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Elpis Israel
by Dr. John Thomas

But God hath revealed them to us by his spirit"; that is, to those who received the gospel of the kingdom.

Immortality, then, and the way to it, are things about which man must have remained for ever ignorant, so long as their discovery depended upon the thinking of the flesh.

In other words, they are matters purely of divine testimony; and as faith is the belief of testimony, men can have no faith in them beyond what is stated in the written word of God.

The carnal mind, by reflecting upon its own consciousness, may be "of opinion" that what it terms "I myself" is immaterial because it thinks, and "therefore immortal"; but beyond that it can never go.

Opinion implies doubt; for if a matter be beyond doubt, it is no longer opinion, but faith or knowledge.

Where, then, is the man, be he philosopher or theologist, who can demonstrate the existence of an "immortal soul" in the animal man, by a "thus it is written," or a "thus saith the Lord"?

A few phrases in scripture may be twisted, and tortured into an inference -- which, however, becomes fighter than vanity before the direct testi- monies of the word to the contrary.

With these words, then, by way of preface, I shall proceed to offer a few remarks upon THE CHERUBIM.

But little is said about the Cherubim in the Mosaic narrative.

The word is a plural noun, and represents, therefore, more objects than one.

But, in what did this plurality consist?

I should say, judging from a text in the next chapter, that it had especial regard to a plurality of faces; for when the Lord God sentenced Cain to a fugitive and vagabond life, the fratricide answered, "Behold, then, from thy faces (plural in the Hebrew) shall I be hid" that is, "I shall no more be permitted to come before the Cherubic faces, which thou hast placed at the east of the garden, to present an offering for my sin".

As he truly observed, "Mine iniquity is greater than that it may be forgiven".

He was exiled from the Faces of God still further to the east as a murderer doomed to eternal death at the end of his career.

That the faces were connected with the Cherubim seems unquestionable from other passages of scripture where cherubim are described.

The Lord spoke of them to Moses in the Mount.

Having commanded him to make an ark, or open chest, overlaid with gold, with a crown along its upper margin, he said, "Thou shalt make a mercy-seat of pure gold.

And thou shalt make two cherubim of beaten gold in the two ends of the mercy-seat".

In another place, this is explained thus -- "Out of the mercy-seat made he the cherubim on the two ends thereof".

Then it is continued, "And the cherubim shall stretch forth wings on high, covering the mercy-seat with their wings, and their faces one to another, toward the mercy-seat shall the faces of the cherubim be.

And thou shalt put the mercy-seat above upon the ark, and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee".

It is probable that the reason why Moses gave no description of them in Genesis was bemuse he intended to speak more particularly when he came to record their introduction into the most holy place of the tabernacle.

In the text above recited they are described as having wings and faces; and being made out of the same piece of gold as the mercy-seat, upon which they looked down, beholding, as it were, the blood sprinkled upon it; it is evident, they were symbols connected with the institution of atonement for sin through the shedding of blood.