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And Aaron lifted up his hand towards the people : and blessed them ; and came down from offering of the sin-offering, and the burnt-offering, and peace-offerings.
And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of the Lord appeared unto all the people.
And there came a fire out froin before the LORD, and consumed upon the altar the burnt-offering, and the fat : which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
From this section we may form a good idea of the Dature of the Jewish sacrifices, and probably of the first sacrifices also offered by Cain and Abel, though the number of offences being multiplied, and a particular deliverance wrought for Israel, there were doubtless additional ceremonies.
The conditions of the sacrifices under the Mosaic Dispensation were, that the victims and offerings should be without blemish, and presented publicly before the congregation, in token that those for whom they were offered confessed themselves to be sinners, standing in need of redemption. In the New Testament, we see, what exact analogy these particulars bore to CHRIST; and we also find, that not only the victims, but the various sorts of sacrifices, bore an evident reference to Him. It was not the blood of bulls, or of goats, that took away sin*; but these animals were appointed as means of procuring, through faith in God's mercy, an interest in the blood of the GREAT REDEEMER, of
* Heb. x. 4.
whose, human nature all the victims that were slain,
Moses, by. Divine appointment, as the Mediator of the Temporal Covenant, purified and consecrated the priests, and made atonement for them with the blood of beasts, so that they were fit to offer sacrifices; and the sacrifices they offered for themselves, expressive of their faith, procured them admittance into the earthly Tabernacle ; but into the Tabernacle belonging to the EverLasting Covenant, not made with hands, which the Lord pitched, and not man, even Heaven itself to none cap enter, who are not purified by the GREAT HIG# PRIEST nor will any blood avail, but that of the RÈ DEEMER the true Paschal Lamb.
It is manifest, from this short view of the Jewish sá crifices, that, under the first Covenant, there was no re mission of sins, without shedding the blood of an innocent victim, by way of atonement for the guilt of a sinner ; and we find from several texts of Scripture, that the first covenant was designed as a shadow of the Everlasting Covenant. : We should steadfastly hold fast the doctrine of atonement for the sins of the world by the blood of CHRIST. It must appear evident,
+ Heb. ix. 11, 12.
* Rev. xiji. 8.
prejudiced reason, that we cannot clear ourselves from the guilt of sin ; for having once sinned, sinners we should remain for ever in the sight of God, because we cannot call back our offences, nor do any thing to satisfy Divine justice ; all our hopes of pardon then must arise from our reliance on the mercy of God; and God has expressly revealed in the Scriptures, that it is inconsistent with His justice to clear the guilty, without atonement * : how foolish, then, would it be, to slight the means God has so graciously appointed for salvation, and render ineffectual, through unbelief, the blood of Christ, with which he hath redeemed us to God, and opened a way to everlasting life and happiness !-Had the Israelites despised the sacrifices which the LORD ordained, and relied on their own repentance only, they never could have obtained pardon, nor have been permitted to behold His glory on earth ; and if we, who have been initiated into the Christian Covenant, despise the sacrifice of our Great REDEEMER, we shall never behold him in Heaven.
OF THE SOLEMN FESTIVALS.
The Israelites were required to observe a variety of holy times, besides the weekly Sabbath, particularly three great festivals, viz. the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Pentecost, and the Feast of Tabernacles. The first of these was joined to the Passover, which, as has been already related, .was kept in remem- , brance of the Lord's passing over the houses of the
* See Exod. xxxiv, 7.
Israclites, when the first born of the Egyptians were destroyed.
The Feast of Pentecost, which was also called the Feast of Weeks, was the next: at this they offered the first produce of their wheat harvest, in acknowledgment that they were indebted to God's bounty for the increase of their corn.
The feast of Tabernacles was the third, celebrated when they had gathered in their corn and fruits. The propriety of these institutions is so evident, that there is no need of a comment on them. These probably made a part of the primitive religion of Mankind after the Fall.
Besides these, were the Feast of the New Moons, the Feast of Trumpets, and the great Day of Atone
The first was designed to mark to the Israelites the beginning of every month ; and the method of keeping it was by blowing a silver trumpet over their sacrifices, 10 announce the appcarnace of the new moon.
The feast of trumpets was observed with peculiar sacrifices, attended with a solemn blowing of trumpets ; an holy asembly was kept, it was held at the beginning of the seventh month; this was counted the first month of the year for civil affairs, as that in which the passover was kept was for religious matters :
The g:eat Day of Atonement was the senth day of the seventh month ; it was appointed as a day of general fasting and humiliation, repentance and atonement for all the people. On this day the high priest, dressed in his richest garments, attended at the door of the tabernacle, and after having made an atonement for himsolf and his house, he took for the congregation two bids of the goats, and a ram for a burnt-offering. When he had presented the former at the door of the taber
nacle, he cast lots upon them, one for the Lord and
On the three great festivals all the males were to an. pear before the LORD, to assenible together in that place where the ark and the tabernacle were fixed. The Israelites reckoned their sabbaths, feasts, &c. from sunset one evening, till the same cime the next. When they appeared before God at the great festivals, they were required to bring the tithe, or tenth part, of their corn, wine, and oil, and the first born of their cattle ; bat they themselves were to partake in eating it, though