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decency, and prevent vice, do they not answer a valuable and important purpose to mankind? In perfect conformity to this idea, the loftiest and most conspicuous article of the high-priest's dress, was a plate of pure gold, affixed with a blue lace to the fore front of the mitre, having engraved upon it this remarkable inscription, in order to be seen and read of all men: Holiness to the Lord.Thereby the wearer became

as a city that is set on a hill, which cannot be hid,” Matt. v. 14: and this bright memorial incessantly, though silently, proclaimed to the eye, to the heart, to the conscience, a holy God, a holy service, a holy minister, a holy people, a holy covenant.”

We accordingly observe the strictest attention to external decorum run through the whole of this divine institution. The eye being one of the great avenues to the soul, guilt being the parent of shame, and the dispensations of the divine wisdom and mercy being adapted to the condition and character of men, as they are, depraved and degraded by sin, not as man was, pure and perfect from the hand of his Creator, the licart and conscience must be addressed through the senses.

The next most observable and significant part of Aaron's dress, was the splendid breast-plate, consisting of twelve several precious stones set in gold, inscribed with the names of the twelve tribes in their order; placed externally upon the seat of the heart, to keep for ever alive, a tender concern about the whole. Israel of God, to remind Aaron and his sons for ever, that they were elevated to this high station, not for their own sakes merely, but to be a public benefit. It aimed at producing a most important effect on three different sorts of persons, and was well calculated for this purpose. It presented unto God, according to his own ordinance, a memorial of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and their seed after them. It taught the high-priest to consider

the case of the people as his own, to regard them with impartial, undivided affection, to be watchfully attentive to their temporal, but especially to their spiritual concerns, to wrestle and make supplication in their behalf. It inspired the people with affection and gratitude to the man, whose whole life and labours were devoted to their service, who watched for their souls who had renounced an earthly portion among his brethren, and all the gainful walks of life, to be subservient to their best interests. It formed a most endearing bond of union between them who were administered unto, and them who ministered. It formed a most endearing bond of union among the tribes themselves. Twelve gems of various complexions, set in two different frames, composed nevertheless but one breastplate; so twelve tribes constituted but one congregation, one church, one Israel. The loss of any one must have marred and destroyed the whole; tended to diminished its lustre, to impair its strength. It taught them to love as brethren the children of one father, the worshippers of one God. It inspired confidence in the care and protection of that God. They saw their representative bearing upon his heart, into the holy place, their names and their condition. They had the consolation of reflecting that their memorial would ascend to heaven, with the sweet perfume of that incense which he daily burned upon the golden altar. And the whole looked forward to the day, to the office, to the person, to the work of Him, of whom, and of whose body, the church, Isaiah thus speaks in prophetic vision: “But Zion said, The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me,” Isai. xlix. 14-16. and who thus speaks of himself, “Those that thou gavest me I have kept.

Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me; that they may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me, I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one. I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world,” John xvii. 11, 12, 21-24; and of whom the apostle thus speaks,“ Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth: who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea, rather that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us," Rom. viii. 33, 34. Hence christians are united in still dearer bonds, animated with superior confidence, secured by a firmer and more durable covenant. Hence christian ministers are encouraged with greater boldness, with more ardent importunity, with more assured hope of success, to draw nigh to the throne of grace, as for themselves, so for sinful and wretched creatures of every description.

Under the gospel dispensation every hour is the hour of incense, every believer a minister of the sanctuary, every individual, a name engraven upon the heart of the great “ Apostle and High-Priest of our profession,” and recorded in “ the Lamb's book of life, among the living in Jerusalem.”

The other particulars of Aaron's official dress, we shall not now stop to commemorate: partly, because we have not a distinct idea of them, and partly; because through such a thick cloud as time, change of manners, and the general disuse of the sacred language,

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have interposed, it is difficult, if not impossible, to discover their meaning and import, with reference to the evangelical dispensation; in which great part of the beauty, excellency and usefulness of the Mosaic economy consists.

The ceremonies of Aaron's inauguration, were in a high degree solemn and august. They were performed by Moses himself, in the most public manner. Aaron and his sons were conducted to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, in the presence of a public assembly called for the purpose; were stripped of their usual garments, and washed with water. then arrayed in the several parts of the sacerdotal habit, in their order. The holy vessels of the sanctuary, and all its sacred utensils, were then, one after another, anointed with the holy oil of consecration; and, last of all, Aaron himself, the living instrument of di. vine worship, was set apart to his momentous charge, by a copious sprinkling of the same sacred perfume. The savour of this odorous compound must have been extremely grateful to the sense, is evident from the lofty terms in which David speaks of it, and the subject which he illustrates by it—"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard; that went down to the skirts of his garments," Psalm cxxxiii. 1, 2.

The sons were then invested with their proper habits, and a three-fold sacrifice was performed: a bullock for a sin-offering; a ram for a burnt-offering; and a second, denominated the ram of consecration. Without going into a minute detail, or pretending to explain the specific difference, use, and end of each, we observe in general, that by the ceremony of the imposi. tion of Aaron's hands and those of his sons upon the head of the victim, a solemn wish was expressed, that their guilt might be transferred and imputed to the victim, and its blood accepted as a ransom for their forfeited lives. Here, then, was the innocent suffering for the guilty; the substitute, not the criminal him. self, bleeding and dying; so that the very form of their consecration taught the necessity of atonement, and pointed to Him whom it pleased the Lord tobruise, and to put him to grief; and who “ was wounded for our transgressions, was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed,” Isai. lii. 5.

The first of the three sacrifices, or the sin-offering, seems to have been intended as a public and explicit acknowledgment of guilt, and the expiation of it. The second, that is, the burnt offering, was the token of the divine favour towards them, and of his gracious acceptance of their

persons and services: and the third, the ram of consecration, part of which was eaten by the priests in the holy place, was the ratification of God's covenant of peace with them, and the emblem of perfect reconciliation and friendship; sitting at one common table being the most express declaration of union and good will among men. God was pleased to exhibit a most unequivocal proof of his being well pleased with the whole transaction; for when every thing was arranged according to the form prescribed in the mount, fire from the Lord seized and consumed the burnt-offering on the altar.

The sin-offering Moses burnt with material fire, without the camp; but the sacred flame from heaven laid hold of the sacrifice of pardon and acceptance. In vain do we look for the marks of grace and favour from above; insensible must we be to the genial, penetrating fame of love, unless our repentings be kindled together. When we have been enabled to do our duty, then may we warrantably expect that God will appear for us.

It does not appear whether this striking interposition had been previously announced to the assembly, or whether it took them by surprise. In either case, it must have

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