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kept continually burning; that they were extinguished in turn, to be cleansed and supplied with fresh oil; and that their parts were made to separate for this very purpose. As the priests alone could enter the holy place, to them of course was committed the whole charge of lighting, trimming, and cleaning the lamps. It is much easier to ask many questions on this subject than to answer one. Why the number of seven lamps in one candlestick; that number of perfection, as some have called it, and under which so many mysteries are supposed to be concealed? Why should it burn in a place where no eye was to see its light, or to receive benefit from it, except a solitary priest? Wherefore this waste of treasure for no apparent equivalent use? To all such questions it must be replied, “ Thus the
great Lawgiver would have it.” “ We know in part, and we prophecy in part. What he doth we know not now, but we shall know hereafter."
From this created, confined, imperfect, self-consuming light, we are lead to contemplate that pure, eternal, undecaying Light which communicates, of its own splendour, whatever glory any creature pos
“We are led to Him who is the true light of the world."
We silently turn from the tabernacle in the wilderness to adore Him who in the beginning said, “Let there be light: and there was light.” We are conducted in the visions of God, to contemplate the splendour of the christian churches, and behold “the Son of Man, walking in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks." We are hurried forward to the last awful hour of dissolving nature, when “ the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.” We are transported to that celestial city which “has no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it; for the glory of God doth lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.”
Without encroaching on your time and patience, or running over the subjects with indecent and unprofitable haste, it were impossible to convey any proper and useful idea of the remaining utensils of this venerable structure, and the still more venerable recess enelosed within it, styled “the most holy place.” The description of these therefore, with the history of the august ceremonies of setting up the tabernacle, and the ralation of the whole to the “better things to come,” of which they were the shadows, shall be postponed to another Lecture, which will conclude the second book of this Sacred History, and another annual revolution of our own frail, transitory life.—“ Teach us, O God, “ so to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom," Psalm xc. 12. Vouchsafe to dwell with us in thy word and ordinances; let « Christ dwell in our hearts by faith,” and raise us one after another to dwell with thee in the holiest of all, through Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.
HISTORY OF MOSES.
And it came to pass in the first month, in the second
year, on the first day of the month, that the taber. nacle was reared up. Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went on. ward in all their journies: but if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not, till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the Lord was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journies.—Exodus xl. 17, 34–38.
EVERY production of human power and skill bears this inscription, “I am made to perish.” Man himself the moment he begins to breathe begins to die, and his noblest, most durable, and most glorious works are no sooner completed, than they begin to fall to decay. In vain we look for the monuments of ancient grandeur and magnificence; they have either wholly vanished away, or present to the eye scattered fragments, or tottering ruins, ready to dash them. selves upon the ground. Where is now that city and tower which raised its proud head to heaven, in defi. ance of the waters of a second deluge? Neither the
solid and costly materials of which it was composed, the sacred purposes to which it was applied, nor the awful glory which once presided over and resided in it, having preserved from decay and loss, the tabernacle of the congregation, the work of divinely inspired Bezaleel and Aholiab. Of the magnificent structure on mount Zion, the wonder and glory of the whole earth, not one stone remaineth upon another.
All that was formal and instrumental in the ancient dispensation seems to have been, by the special appointment of Providence, destroyed and annihilated, that the spirit of it alone might remain. The tabernacle, and temple, and their service exist only in description; and in those simpler and more spiritual or. dinances to which they have given place. And the in. stitutions which now remain, are only preparing the way for a more august, more splendid, and more durable manifestation of the divine glory. The legal economy introduced that of grace by the gospel, and then passed away. The dispensation of grace, in like manner, is now performing its work, fulfilling its day, announcing, unfolding, introducing the kingdom of glory; and “ when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
The satisfaction of Moses, when the whole work of the tabernacle and of its furniture was completed, is more easily to be conceived than expressed. To see the pattern showed him in the mount exactly copied, the design of the great Jehovah perfectly fulfilled, must have filled the good man's mind with delight ineffable. With a holy joy, similar to this, must every lover of the gospel observe the exact coincidence between “the shadows of good things to come,” and “the very image of the things;” between the predictions concerning the Saviour of the world, and their accomplishment; between the promises made unto the fathers, and the blessings enjoyed by their children. And what will it be, christians, in that world of bliss,
which is the end of our faith, and the grand object of our hope; what will it be, to find the entire coinci. dence between the descriptions contained in this book, of future and heavenly glory, and the things described; between the exceeding great and precious promises of the gospel, and the glorious realities of our Father's house above; between the spirit which christianity now teaches and inspires, in order to dignify and bless mankind, and the spirit which all the redeemed shall feel, enjoy, and express, when raised to the diguity of be. ing kings and priests unto God?
In the preceding Lecture we endeavoured to lead your aitention to the form, use and end of the taber. nacle erected in the wilderness, and of the several parts of its sacred furniture. The outward court under the open canopy of heaven, containing "the brazen altar of burnt-offering," on which incessantly burnt the consecrated fire for offering up the daily sa. crifice; and close by it “the laver of brass for the priests to wash in."
We conducted you with trembling feet into the “holy place,” concealed in front from every profane eye, by a veil which it was death to draw aside; and from above, by covering upon covering, which no eye could penetrate. In this saçred recess were placed "the golden candlestick to give light, the golden altar of incense, and the table of shew-bread. Having spoken briefly of the first of these, we now proceed to recommend to your notice the other two.
The "altar of incense" was made of Shittim or in. corruptible wood, overlaid with pure gold, of a cubit square, and its height double that dimension, with a golden horn arising at each angle, and the top encom. passed with a golden border or crown. It had two rings of gold immediately under the border, to which were fitted two staves of the same wood, also overlaid with gold, for the conveniency of transporting it from place to place, as occasion required. Its use was to