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which is over against him, and worshipping God, with his neighbours and his family, in that spot where the Providence of God has placed him (Numb. ii. 1, 2).

We are next informed of the charge given to the Levites (Numb. iii. 5-10), as assistants to the sons of Aaron, to keep the instruments of the tabernacle, and to do its service; and we are repeatedly told that no stranger, that is to say, no one who is not of the tribe of Levi, is to be permitted to interfere with their duties, or to intrude upon their office, on pain of death. Neither ought any person, in the Christian Church, to presume to exercise spiritual functions in the Church, unless he be duly and solemnly appointed by the authority of an ecclesiastical superior to do so. He may exhort his brother to love God; but he may not even do this, in the name of the Church of God, unless that Church give him, by its ministers, authority to do so. These duties, even of the Levites, were limited. They were not permitted to undertake the priests' office of preparing the oil for the light, the incense, and the meat offering. All had their several charges; and no one officer interfered with the charge of another (Numb. iv. 18). Each received the appointments to his own burthen (ver. 19); and the inferior minister was to suffer death if he even gazed upon the holy things belonging to the Holy of holies in the tabernacle. Not only so; but, because the strength of our days, and the vigour of our life, should be devoted to God's service, we are taught this lesson by the command that the Levites should devote to God that period of life which followed their completed education, and preceded their retirement from active service. From thirty years old to fifty they were dedicated to the duties of the tabernacle; each, through that period (ver. 47-49), taking his own commanded burthen. There was no room for ambition, for schism, for dissension. The union of the Church was preserved in the camp of Israel, as it ought to be in the Church of Christ. The rulers spake as God commanded, and invented no doctrine, no command of their own, as of Divine origin (Numb. vii. 89). The nation listened to the priests and Levites, who obeyed the divinely-given command spoken to Moses, and by him repeated to them. The several families and houses were attended by the Levites. Every minister in the tabernacle, every Israelite in his tent, kept his own place, and observed his own duty. There was liberty; but there was no tyranny of man. There was order; for God was obeyed. There was peace; for the ministers of God were revered. There was union; for each remained in his own station, without usurpation on the part of the rulers, or schism on the part of the people. This beautiful order and union were disturbed only, as we shall see, by the rebellion of Korah; but, so long as it lasted, the people and nation were one united Church. When order was restored, peace and union were restored together with it. So may it again be! Amen. So may the kingdom of Christ arrive, when the ministers of all Churches obey the spiritual law of the one Church, and teach nothing to be necessary to salvation, which is not proved to be so by the word of God; and when the people, and their ministers. of the tabernacle, each in his place and station, may be ruled by God's laws alone. May they all seek for that union which results not from partial truth,

not from isolated opinion, but from the love of peace, the knowledge of God's will, and obedience to God's commands. May both be led into all truth; that the prophecy of the beginning of the Bible, and of the end of the Bible, be fulfilled that the head of the serpent be bruised; and all the several kingdoms of this world become the one, holy, spiritual kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ.

BEFORE

:

CHRIST

NUMBERS I. 1-4.

1 And the LORD spake of their fathers, with the 1490. unto Moses a in the wil- number of their names, Exod. 19. 1. derness of Sinai, in the every male by their polls; ch. 10. 11, 12. tabernacle of the congre3 From twenty years

b Exod. 25. 22.

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gation, on the first day of old and upward, all that
the second month, in the are able to go forth to war
second year after they were in Israel: thou and Aaron
come out of the land of shall number them by their
Egypt, saying,
armies.

2 Take ye the sum of 4 And with you there
all the congregation of the shall be a man of every
children of Israel, after tribe; every one head of
their families, by the house the house of his fathers.

d

NUMBERS I. 47-54.

BEFORE

CHRIST 1490.

47 But the Levites down: and when the taafter the tribe of their bernacle is to be pitched, fathers were not numbered the Levites shall set it up: among them. i and the stranger that ch. 3. 10. 38. 48 For the LORD had cometh nigh shall be put spoken unto Moses, saying, to death.

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ch. 2. 33. & 49 Only thou shalt not

26. 62.

Exod. 38. 21.

ch. 3. 7, 8. &

27, 33.

52 And the children of

k

k

1

& 18. 22.

ver. 50.

number the tribe of Levi, Israel shall pitch their neither take the sum of tents, every man by his ch. 2. 2, 34. them among the children own camp, and every man of Israel: by his Own standard, 50 But thou shalt ap- throughout their hosts. 4. 15, 25, 26, point the Levites over the 53 But the Levites shall tabernacle of testimony, pitch round about the taand over all the vessels bernacle of testimony, that thereof, and over all things there be no wrath upon ch. 8. 19. & that belong to it: they shall the congregation of the 16.46. & 18. 5. bear the tabernacle, and all children of Israel : " and ach. 3. 7, 8. & the vessels thereof; and the Levites shall keep the 8. 24, 25, 26. they shall minister unto it, charge of the tabernacle of & 31. 30, 47.

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54 And the children of 2 Chron. 13. Israel did according to all that the LORD commanded

the Levites shall take it Moses, so did they.

BEFORE CHRIST 14:0.

• ch. 1. 52.

4 ch. 8. 6. &

18. 2.

NUMBERS II. 1, 2.

BEFORE CHRIST 1490.

1 And the LORD spake by his own standard, with unto Moses and unto the ensign of their father's Aaron, saying, house: far off about + Heb. over

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2 Every man of the the tabernacle of the conchildren of Israel shall pitch gregation shall they pitch.

NUMBERS III. 5-10.

5 ¶ And the LORD spake gation, and the charge of unto Moses, saying, the children of Israel, to do 6 Bring the tribe of the service of the taberLevi near, and present nacle.

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against.

Josh. 3. 4.

them before Aaron the 9 And thou shalt give ch. 8. 19. &
priest, that
that they may the Levites unto Aaron and

minister unto him.

7 And they shall keep his charge, and the charge of the whole congregation before the tabernacle of the

I

to his sons: they are wholly
given unto him out of the
children of Israel.

10 And thou shalt ap-
point Aaron and his sons,

See ch. 1. 50. Congregation, to do the and they shall wait on service of the tabernacle.

& 8. 11, 15, 24, 26.

Lev. 24. 2.

their priest's office: "and 8 And they shall keep the stranger that cometh all the instruments of the nigh shall be put to tabernacle of the congre- death.

NUMBERS IV. 16.

16 And to the office of Eleazar the son of Aaron Exod 25. 6. the priest pertaineth the oil for the light, and the y sweet incense, and the daily meat offering, and the

y Exod. 30.

34.

■ Exod. 29.

40.

b ver. 4.

d ver. 3, 23, 30.

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anointing oil, and the Exod. 30. oversight of all the tabernacle, and of all that therein is, in the sanctuary, and in the vessels thereof.

NUMBERS IV. 19, 20.

19 But thus do unto his service and to his them, that they may live, burden :

b

с

and not die, when they 20 But they shall not
approach unto the most go in to see when the holy 1
holy things: Aaron and things are covered, lest
his sons shall go in, and they die.

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47 From thirty years the ministry, and the service old and upward even unto of the burden in the taberfifty years old, every one that nacle of the congregation, came to do the service of

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See Exod.

19. 21.

Sam. 6. 19.

BEFORE

CHRIST

BEFORE

numbered of them, were the hand of Moses, every CHRIST 1490. eight thousand and five one according to his ser- 1490. hundred and fourscore. vice, and according to his ver. 15, 24,

31.

49 According to the burden: thus were they commandment of the LORD numbered of him, as the 'ver. 1, 21. they were numbered by LORD commanded Moses.

PRAYER.-LET US PRAY, that we never permit our own prejudices, caprices, or opinions, to cause needless divisions and separations from the Church of Christ; that we study to do our own business as Christians in that state, district, parish, and neighbourhood, in which God has placed us; that we rejoice in the prospect of the fulfilment of the prophecies, the triumphs of the Universal Church, and the anticipation of our own part in the final victory of good over evil.

O LORD GOD of Israel, God and Father of the spirits of all flesh, who didst bring Thy people in the days of old from the bondage of Egypt, and led them in safety through the wilderness; grant to us, we beseech Thee, the power and the will to derive instruction from the records of Thy mercy, and to serve Thee and obey Thee in the communion of Thy holy Church. As Thou didst command and direct Thine ancient people to pitch their tents in the sight of the tabernacle of the congregation, in the order of their tribes, and families, and households; so grant to us, we beseech Thee, the spirit and the desire to place before us the Spiritual and Universal Church, which Thou hast established in this world as the keeper and witness of Thy word; and serve Thee in the Holy Catholic Church by worshipping Thee with our own Church and nation, in the place and in the neighbourhood in which Thy Providence hath appointed our dwelling. Change the hearts of the rulers of the Churches which have departed from the guidance of Thy holy Word, that they may teach the people as Thou alone hast taught them. Preserve the Church of our nation and people, which has desired and does desire to teach the people those doctrines and those truths only as essential to their salvation, which are contained in Thy written Word. We praise Thee, we bless Thee, for the goodness and the mercy which have granted to us to hold communion with our fellow-servants and brethren in this part of the Universal Church, where Thy holy Word is the standard around which we pitch our tents; where all the truths and the doctrines of Thy holy Word are taught; where the spiritual wants of the understanding are supplied by the instruction, the preaching, and the Scriptures, which are understood of the people; where the spiritual wants of the soul are supplied by the holy prayer, the lofty praise, and the Communion at Thy holy table and altar. Keep us stedfast in our faith and love to Thee. Give Thy wisdom to the priesthood, that they may be examples to Thy people in life, doctrine, and wisdom. Give Thy people the spirit of council and fear of the Lord, that they value their privileges, and patiently and peacefully go on through the wilderness of earth to the Canaan of Heaven. As Thy people in the ancient times then served Thee best when they obeyed Thy law, which commanded them to remain in the station which Thy Providence assigned them; so grant, that neither the prejudices of education, nor the changing caprices which are engendered by the controversies or the fashions of the hour, nor the varying opinions which are founded neither on the evidence of reason nor on the pages of Thy holy Word, may cause us to separate from the communion of Thy Church, nor teach our brother to hate his brother. Humbly, peacefully, faithfully, devotedly may we study

to know Thy will and do Thy will, in the station in which Thy Providence has placed us. There may we promote to the utmost the union of Thy Church, the happiness of Thy people, the knowledge of Thy Word, and peace with all men. By the example of a quiet and holy life, by faith unfeigned, by always abounding in the work of the Lord, may we be as burning and shining lights, scattering the darkness which is immediately around us, and serving Thee in meekness, and love, and fear. So let us live; so let us die. And as we now desire to live and die in peaceful communion with Thy Church on earth, so, when this short life is ended, may our prayers be turned to praise in the Church triumphant in Heaven. As we now pray, "Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven;" so do we rejoice to believe that the day is at hand when the promise which Thou didst give at the beginning, and repeat at the end of Thy holy Word, is nearer and still more near. We thank Thee for the hope of the kingdom which shall thus bless mankind. We thank Thee for the hope that our own souls, in our immortality, shall witness the triumph of Thy Son our Lord. We thank Thee for the hope, that when this life is ended, and when our souls, absent from the body, shall be present with the Lord, we shall see, with more than human happiness, the extension of Thy glory, the accomplishment of Thy prophecies, the union of Thy people, and the blessedness of Thy chosen. O may we be partakers of that blessedness, and rejoice in our own redemption from all evil; in our own victory over the sin which the Redeemer has pardoned; and in our portion of the inheritance of the Church triumphant! So may we learn the lessons of truth, of obedience, of gratitude, and of happiness, from the records of Thine ancient people. Thou hast brought us forth from the bondage of the darkness, the ignorance, and the wickedness of the Egypt of the world which despises Thee. Thou art guiding us by Thy light and truth through the wilderness in the communion of the Church militant. O land us safe on that happy shore where we shall rest from all our sorrows, all our temptations, and all our sins; to praise Thee better, to love Thee more, and to dwell in Thy presence with Thy Church triumphant. We know not how to express our hopes, our aspirations, and our faith. Forgive the weakness of our language, and the infirmities of our souls; forgive the sins which cloud our hopes. O make us Thy redeemed and sanctified sons and servants for ever. We ask all in the Name and

in the words of Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Our Father, &c.

The grace of our Lord, &c.

NOTES.

NOTE 1. On Numb. ii. 2, emendatory of the commonly received rendering, of the more recent interpreters," shall pitch by his own standard," which ought to be,-"shall pitch along with his own company," or "host."

est, illud fuisse tribus tribubus, eâdem in statione positis, vexillum unum, quod sequerentur. Tamen contradicitur, v. 17 et 31, in quibus nomen plurale de solâ turmâ Levitarum (ver. 17) dicitur, ut nining by, unusquisque ad suum et de solâ statione Dan (ver. 31); ut planum manipulum sub signis, seu rexillis. Interpresit, non significari in verbo 7, vexillum, tamur manipulum, seu caterram, non tantummodò unum. Itaque etiam pugnant, autem, ut turba Recentiorum, vexillum. Nam in eâ re, cum omnibus Veteribus Recentiores. texilla in verbo ninis, quod sequitur, conti- Nam nec Vulgatus, nec Græci Intt. nec Chalnentur ; quod verbum actum ageret post dæus, nec Syrus, nec Arabs, nec Aquila, nec ba, si haberet signum, seu vexillum. Symmachus, nec denique Theodotio, verbum Multis visum est, fuisse ninis signa singu-, neque hic neque usquam, verterunt larum tribuum, vero cexillum trium; hoc vexillum. Habet hic Vulgatus turmas; Sy

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