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appertained to them, went "sinners against their own CHRIST about 1471. down alive into the pit, souls, let them make them about 1471. and the earth closed upon broad plates for a covering▪ Prov. 20. 2. them and they perished of the altar: for they of Hab. 2. 10. from among the congrega- fered them before the LORD, therefore they are

Lev. 10. 2.
ch. 11. 1.
Ps. 106. 18.
I ver. 17.

m See Lev. 27.28.



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& 26. 10.

Ezek. 14. 8.

34 And all Israel that hallowed: and they shall ch. 17. 10. were round about them be a sign unto the children fled at the cry of them of Israel. for they said, Lest the earth swallow us up also.

35 And there came out a fire from the LORD, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense.

39 And Eleazar the priest took the brasen censers, wherewith they that were burnt had offered; and they were made broad plates for a covering of the altar:

2 Chron. 26.


36 ། AndtheLoRD 40 To be a memorial spake unto Moses, saying, unto the children of Israel, 37 Speak unto Eleazar P that no stranger, which is ch. 3. 10. the son of Aaron the priest, not of the seed of Aaron, that he take up the censers come near to offer incense out of the burning, and before the LORD; that he scatter thou the fire yon- be not as Korah, and as der; for m they are hal- his company: as the LORD lowed. said to him by the hand of

38 The censers of these Moses.

[To be offered by a Student who aspires to the sacred office of Minister, whether Priest or Deacon, in the Church of Christ.]

PRAYER. LET US PRAY, that in our zeal for God's glory, and for the benefit of the souls of our fellow-men, we do not break God's laws; that we submit to the ordinances of the Church of God which are not opposed to the Scriptures of God; that we remember the undoubted truth of the narratives of Scripture, and believe the certainty of the judgments as well as the promises; and that we glorify God in our death, after we have honoured Him in our life.

ALMIGHTY GOD, who, by Thy Divine Providence, didst appoint in the ancient Church that fathers and heads of families should be unto Thee the ministering servants to guide and direct their children and households, to offer both their sacrifice of prayer and praise; and didst appoint, also, in the Church of Israel, the family of Aaron to take the holy offices of the priesthood, and to attend upon the ordinances of the Tabernacle and the Temple; and hast appointed, also, by Thy Holy Spirit, "divers orders of ministers in the Christian Church;" look down with pity and compassion on me Thine unworthy servant, who humbly desire to be permitted to serve Thee in Thine house, at Thy table and Thine altar, for the promoting of Thy glory, and the edifying of Thy people. I confess before Thee, with shame and confusion of face, that I am not worthy of the least of the mercies Thou hast vouchsafed to me. I am not worthy so

much as to gather up the crumbs under Thy table. But I thank Thee for Thy promises of pardon through Thy Son Jesus Christ my Lord. I thank Thee for the knowledge of Thy goodness, Thy grace, and Thy power. And I humbly implore the strength and assistance of Thy Holy Spirit, to enable me to preach to others the mercy Thou hast shown to Thy servant; the blessedness of the peace and the comfort Thou hast been graciously pleased to bestow upon the soul that seeketh Thee; and the love of Christ to those who truly repent and turn to Thee. Lord and Head of the Universal Church, I desire to live to Thy honour and glory, to the good of the Church, and to the salvation of the souls of my brethren. O accept my prayer! Enable me to become the living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to Thee. Hold Thou up my goings in Thy paths, that my footsteps slip not. Guide me, by Thy Providence, to that part of Thy sacred fold where I may be the useful shepherd of Thy sheep. Give me "faithful diligence 5" always to minister the doctrine, and sacraments, and discipline of Christ, as the Lord hath commanded, and as the Church in this realm hath received the same. Make me zealous, yet obedient; fervent, yet humble; free, and yet faithful. Drive far from me the presumptuous thought, that I shall serve Thee better by despising and neglecting the laws which rule Thy people. Make me ready, with all "faithful diligence," to banish and drive away all erroneous and strange doctrines contrary to Thy holy Word. May I ever be diligent in prayer for Thy guidance, in reading Thy holy Word, and in studying its truths and doctrines, its consolations and its promises, its warnings and its precepts, in such manner that I become the faithful and useful interpreter of all its mysteries and all its sublime discoveries. Clothe me with Thy righteousness, that Thy Word spoken by my mouth may have such success, that it may never be spoken in vain. Make me what Thou wouldest have me to be. May I be the living example to others of all I exhort them to become. May I be the pattern to the flock of Christ. Ever enable me to remember how great a treasure will be committed to my charge, and that the church and congregation whom I may serve, is "the flock, the spouse, and the body of Christ my Lord." O, let no member of that church take hurt or hindrance by reason of my neglect. Impress upon me the greatness of this fault, and the dreadful punishment that will ensue. Impress these convictions of the certainty of Thy judgments and promises upon my soul; that I may live the life, and die the death, of the faithful ministers of Thy word and doctrine; and that all the souls entrusted to my charge may see and know the truth and blessedness of the religion of my Master and only Saviour. Not only with my lips, but in my life and death, may I honour Thee. Make me the epistle of Christ, the Founder and Head of the Church, read and known of all men. O Spirit of the living God! inspire my heart with love, my head with knowledge, my motives with holiness. Give me the fire of love, the light of truth, the life of faith. Pour forth the sevenfold gifts of wisdom, and counsel, and might, that the fear of the Lord, and the comfort of Thy power, rest upon me. Be Thou my Ruler, my Guide, and my Friend; that holiness, peace, and truth, may dwell in my own soul, and be by my mouth and faithful love to Thee imparted to the hearts of all among whom I live, and whom I serve. O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! and hearken, and bless me. Bless the people whom Thou shalt give to my charge, that we may be presented to Thee at the last, saved and delivered from the ruin of this evil world. Pardon the imperfection of my prayers, the coldness of my heart, the wandering of my thoughts. Keep my soul from death,

5 Prayers in the Service for the Ordering of Priests.

mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. Keep me from evil, that it may not grieve my own soul, nor scatter and divide the flock, nor dishonour the name, the religion, and the cause of Christ, my Saviour and Redeemer. His name, and for His sake, I offer all my humble petitions.

words I pray to Thee as

Our Father, &c.

The grace of our Lord, &c.


NOTE 1. On the rendering in our authorized translation of Numb. xvi. 1.

"Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men." The word

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men is not in the Hebrew; "took," ", is in the singular number. This alters the complexion of the whole passage, and shows that "Dathan, Abiram, and On," are governed of the verb 2, which must here be taken in the sense of " c6 "alluring," winning over," "decoying," as in Prov. vi. 25; xi. 30; so that, as Patrick, Kennicott, and Clarke have observed, the true rendering is," Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, won over both (1) Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and also On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben." Josephus remarks on Korah, that he was a very wealthy, plausible, and popular prince : Κορῆς ̔Εβραίων ἐν τοῖς μάλιστα καὶ γένει καὶ πλούτῳ διαφέρων, ἱκανὸς δ ̓ εἰπεῖν καὶ δήμοις ὁμιλεῖν πιθανώτατος, ὁρῶν ἐν ὑπερβαλλούσῃ τιμῇ τὸν Μωυσῆν καθεστῶτα, χαλεπῶς εἶχεν ὑπὸ φθόνου· καὶ γὰρ φυλέτης ὢν ἐτύγχανεν αὐτοῦ καὶ συγγενής· αχθόμενος, ὅτι ταύτης τῆς δόξης δικαιότερον αὐτῷ πλουτεῖν ἐκείνου μᾶλλον μὴ χείρων ὢν κατὰ γένος αὐτὸς ὑπέλαβε.

NOTE 2. On the "two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown." Numb. xvi. 2.

Salvian (De Gubern. Dei, lib. i. p. 28) says that, by the term "famous in the congregation," it is implied that these men had the distinguished honour of being summoned by name to council. Parker's Bibliotheca Biblica, in loc. They may have been firstborn, or at least heads of families, who, before the elevation of Aaron, had themselves ministered in holy things. There is a point of verisimilitude in the narrative which has not escaped the notice of ancient and modern commentators, who observe that Korah had an opportunity of practising upon the minds of Dathan, Abiram, and On, from the circumstance that the Kohathites, to whom Korah belonged,

Joseph. Antiq. 1. iv. c. 2. § 2.


In His holy

encamped on that side of the tabernacle where the tribe of Reuben was stationed (Numb. ii. 10 ; iii. 29); which afforded him a favourable occasion of drawing them into his conspiracy. Aben Ezra thinks that the immediate occasion of this conspiracy was the transference of the right of the firstborn to the tribe of Levi; and that it took place in the wilderness of Sinai. But the Targum of Jonathan says that it was occasioned by the law of fringes, which is mentioned just before; and that Korah had violated the rite concerning the blue riband, by making it all of blue, whereas Moses declared that he had been divinely instructed to make the riband white, with one thread of blue in it.

NOTE 3. On Numb. xvi. 32. The earth swallowed up Korah, son of Levi, and Dathan, Abiram, and On, sons of Reuben.

Moses called Dathan and Abiram to come to him. He gave them no orders about the censers, because they were not of the tribe of Levi; but to Korah and to "his company," who were Levites, Moses gives very special directions respecting the offering of incense. Now here is a difficulty. Two hundred and fifty Levites, as they were going to the tabernacle, were suddenly smitten dead by fire from the Lord, Korah being among them. Turn we now to Dathan and Abiram. They were swallowed up at the doors of the tabernacles of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram; the words of Moses being, "The earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and all the men that appertained unto Korah" (ver. 32). Now, who were they? 1. Not Korah's children; for we are told (chap. xxvi. 10) that they were saved, or, as the Vulgate well expresses the Hebrew, "were saved by a signal miracle." 2. Not the Levites who had sided and leagued with Korah; for we are told (ver. 35) that they were consumed with fire. "The men," then, "that appertained to Korah" (ver. 32), must mean Dathan, Abiram, and On, and "their wives, sons, and little children" (ver. 27). But (xxvi. 10) it is said that "the earth swallowed up Korah."

There seems to be in the case of Korah an ensnaring plausibility; for he was of the tribe of Levi, he was Aaron's cousin, he was

the eldest son of Izhar. But what pretensions had Dathan and Abiram to the office of sacrificature? They were the eldest sons of their respective parents, and rebelled against the law which had lately transferred the right of priesthood from the firstborn generally to the tribe of Levi and the family of Aaron. The design of their rebellion, then, was identical; but their motives were diverse.

Two things, divinely ordained, seem here to be the object of dislike: 1. The transference of the priesthood from the firstborn generally to the tribe of Levi. 2. The transference of the supreme priestly dignity to the family of Aaron, from the tribe of Levi diffusive. Against the former ordinance Dathan and Abiram rebel; against the latter, Korah and his company. The general argument is this (ver. 3)," All the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them;" that is," All this people of Israel is sanctified, and set apart to God, and devoted to Him by true faith, religion, worship, and covenant, entered into at Sinai ; quite as holy as Moses and Aaron. And the Lord is among us as well as with them; raining down manna from heaven; going before us in a pillar of cloud; dwelling among us in His tabernacle. You, then, Moses and Aaron, ought not to assume so much, as if ye were more nearly related to God either by character or office."

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By the expression (ver. 3), "All the congregation are holy," I presume is meant "consecrated," and "set apart' to the PRIESTHOOD;-the priesthood is the common right of all the people, and not the exclusive portion of Aaron and his family. It does not appear that any public and visible designation of Aaron to the priesthood had yet taken place. Perhaps Korah's rebellion was against the law of the priesthood (see ver. 10); Dathan and Abiram's against the presidentship of Moses (see ver. 13). The two parties make common cause; but as their crimes are different, so are their punishments.

If the foregoing view of this difficult passage be correct, we ought to punctuate Numb. xxvi. 10, thus: "And the earth... swallowed them (Dathan and Abiram) up, at the same time that that company [namely, Korah's] died when the fire devoured two hundred and fifty men." The historian is remarking, that Dathan and Abiram were swallowed up at the same time when Korah and his company were consumed by fire.

The view which I have put forward above seems to be confirmed by Ps. cvi. 16-18: They envied Moses also in the camp, and Aaron the saint of the Lord. The earth opened and swallowed up Dathan, and

covered the congregation of Abiram; and a fire was kindled in their company, the flame burnt up the wicked." Envy was the common sin of both parties: envy on the part of Dathan and Abiram towards Moses "in the camp" (throughout the whole of which his authority was felt); and envy on the part of Korah and his company towards Aaron, because he had assumed the office of priest, "the saint "—or "sanctified," emphatically"of the Lord" (ver. 16). Consistently with this view, the 17th verse points at the punishment of the former party; while the 18th exclusively points at the doom of the latter, who, being the more presumptuous transgressors, are branded with a mark of special infamy, and called "the wicked,"

That the sin of Korah was the greater of the two, seems to be also inferrible from the fact, that Aaron's right to the priesthood is immediately afterwards vindicated by a miracle (chap. xvii.), while no further vindication of the rights and office of Moses is recorded.


There is another proof, in the narrative in Numb. xvi., that Dathan and Abiram were punished for attempting to invade the office of Moses. He says (ver. 29), "if these men' -Dathan and Abiram, who were swallowed up-" be visited after the visitation of all men, then the Lord hath not sent ME." with reference to Korah and his two hundred and fifty associates, the reference is distinctly and directly to AARON. "And Eleazar the priest took the brasen censers, wherewith they that were burnt "-Korah and his two hundred and fifty companions-"had offered; and they were made broad plates for a covering of the altar: to be a memorial unto the children of Israel, that no stranger, which is not OF THE SEED OF AARON, come near to offer incense before the Lord; that he be not as Korah, and as his company" (ver. 39, 40).

NOTE 4. On the miraculous destruction of Dathan and Abiram. Numb. xvi. 33.

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"Vide hic," says Corn. à Lapide, (in loc.) quam puniantur rebelles murmuratores: nam, ut ait S. Ambros. Epist. lxxxii.: "Immugiens terra in medio plebis scinditur, aperitur in profundum sinus, abripiuntur noxii, et ita ab omnibus mundi hujus ablegantur elementis, ut nec aerem haustu, nec cœlum visu, nec mare tactu, nec terram contaminarent sepulchro.""

Korah's children, however, were not cut off with their father; this is plain from chap. xxvi. 11. See also Ps. xlii. title; lxxxiv, lxxxv. title; 1 Chron. xxvi. 1; whence it appears that their posterity composed or sang Psalms in the service of the temple.


TITLE.-The human heart always desires two things, God's favour, and its own indulgences; and the sin of the believer in Revelation consists in his endeavouring to reconcile his faith with the indulgences which he knows to be forbidden. The causes of the renewal of their sin by the Israelites immediately after their punishment by miracle. The reasons for the present discontinuance of miracles. The people still murmur against Moses. Aaron intercedes, and their punishment is restrained. The sceptre or rod of Aaron produces at the same time buds, blossoms, and fruit, to prove the certainty of his Divine commission.

INTRODUCTION. The chief objection to the truth of Christianity is deduced from the lives of those who profess to believe it. "How is it possible," asks the Deist, "that those who believe in the Revelation of God's will, the denunciation of His punishments, and the life of the world to come, as that life is developed in Revelation, can live so strangely and inconsistently as we perceive the majority of Christians live?" There are, we answer, two principles in the human heart: one is, the desire of the favour of the Creator and God of all; the second is, the desire of immediate indulgence. Religion commands us to sacrifice indulgence, to the will of God. Infidelity commands us to sacrifice the fear of God to the gratification of indulgence. The cause of the inconsistency we observe in Christians is, not that they deny the truth, not that they deem their compliances with the temptations of the world, or of their own hearts, to be justifiable; but that they sin sometimes from thoughtlessness, sometimes from forgetfulness of the truth, but more frequently from the false hope that they will repent, and change from evil to good at some future day; or that they will depend on the unlimited mercy of God that He will pardon their sin, because of the power of the present temptation. They prove the truth of the original record of the cause of the fall of man, by their conviction of the certainty that they "shall not surely die." So far it is possible that the question, Whence proceed the inconsistencies of the believers in Revelation? may be said to be satisfactorily answered. But the same question has been asked respecting the effect of the miraculous interferences of the God of Israel to punish the Israelites. They renewed their sins, as we read in the present Section, immediately after an evident interposition of a superhuman power; and their doing this has been declared by Gibbon to be "contrary to every known principle of the human mind;" and therefore incredible. No sooner were the two hundred and fifty rebellious chiefs of the company of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram destroyed by the fire which proceeded from the pillar of cloud and glory over the tabernacle than, as we here read in this Section', the people murmured against their God, fresh punishments were inflicted, and other miracles were performed, to reduce

1 Numb. xvi. 35.

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