16. And when the cherubims went, the wheels went by them: and when the cherubims lifted up their wings to mount up from the earth, the same wheels also turned not from beside them.
16. Et cum proficiscebantur cherubim proficiscebantur rotae e regione ipsorum:1 et cum attollerent cherubim alas suas in sublime e terra, non revertebantur rotae, etiam ipsae e regione ipsorum.
The Prophet here confirms what he had said before, namely, that there was no intrinsic motion in the wheels, but that they were drawn by a secret instinct wherever the cherubim moved themselves. Hence we gather that the events of things are not accidental, nor excited in various directions by any blind impulse, but directed by the hidden energy of God, and that too by means of angels. First he says, when the cherubim set out, the wheels set out at the same time: then when the cherubim raised their wings upwards, the wheels followed the same course, and did not return; that is, were not drawn aside from that agreement of which he had spoken before; but how the wheels were not reversed, we shall explain more clearly to-morrow.
Grant, Almighty God, since we are the work and fashioning of thy hands, that we may know that we exist and move in thee alone, so that we may submit ourselves to thee, and not only may we be ruled by thy hidden providence, but may it so appear that we are obedient and submissive to thee, as becometh sons, that we may desire to glorify thy name in the world, until we arrive at the fruition of that blessed inheritance which is laid up for us in heaven, through Christ our Lord. -- Amen.
Lecture Twenty seventh.
We began yesterday to explain the sentence of the Prophet when he says, that the wheels were raised together with the living creatures. But we have shortly taught that whatever we behold in creation so depends on angelic motion and inspiration, that there is an inseparable connection between them. Now the Prophet adds, that the wheels were not reversed, by which phrase he expresses their continual tenor. For it cannot happen that any agreement should appear for a time without a sudden change occurring. But the Prophet says that the wheels were so raised with the living creatures that they never departed from them. Now we understand his intention. He had previously asserted the same thing of the living creatures, and there was a kind of contradiction to be solved which might otherwise occasion a scruple, for he said that the living creatures were reversed and yet not reversed, but we can reconcile these two things, because the living creatures never deviated from their prescribed course and from a definite and settled space; meanwhile they were reversed, because they ran like lightning and hastened quickly from one action to another. Meanwhile the Prophet wished to teach, that in God's works nothing is abrupt, nothing cut off, nothing mutilated, but angels so direct all actions and all events of things, that whatever God determines arrives at its own end. But this does not prevent God from operating variously, and after at one goal from beginning a new course. Now it follows --
1 Or, "near them." -- Calvin.
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