« ForrigeFortsæt »
things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.”
Fifthly, By the appointment of God, the high Priest was to be clad in holy garments when ministering before the Lord, and a view of these symbolic garments leads to an important inquiry.
Sixthly, What were the garments of the glorious high Priest of our profession? The prophet Isaiah, our ever-ready, our evangelical expositor, gives us (chap. xlix. verse 18,) an answer to this question. “Lift up thine eyes round about and behold; all these gather themselves together and come to thee. As I live, saith the Lord, thou shalt surely cloihe thee with them all as with an orna. ment, and bind them on thee as a bride doeth." And are we not assured by the volume of inspiration, that Emmanuel passed by the nature of Angels and took upon him the seed of Abraham-clothed himself inhumanity ?
Seventhly, These garments are holy garments! Astonishing ! Is the fulness of human nature, fallen from rectitude, fallen from righteousness, is this nature holy? Assuredly. For the Being who called the human family into existence, and who so loved them as to give them his son, has made this son unto them wisdom, righteousness, and sanctification ; thus presenting them with that holiness which renders them blameless before the LORD.
Eighthly, These garments shall be for glory and for beauty? Isaiah is again ready with his luminous comment. lviii. 8. “ Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily; and thy righteousness shall go before thee, the glory of the Lord shall by thy re-reward :" and thus clothed in garments of spotless purity, the Redeemer of the world shall say, “ Behold thou art fair, my love, thy beauty is without a cloud, I see no spot nor wrinkle in thee."
EXODUS Xxviii. 3, 4, 5. First, It is observable that Moses was directed to speak unto all who were wise hearted, whom God had filled with the spirit of wiscom. It was not sufficient that they were wise hearted: previous
to their possessing ability to make those holy garments, God must give them the spirit of wisdom. The thirty-first chapter and sixth verse of this book corroborates, if it does not illustrate this clause in our text. “And I, behold I, have given him Aholiab the son of Ahisimach of the tribe of Dan, and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted, I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee.” Isaiah, xxviii. 26. “For his God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him.” Again, verse twenty-ninth. « This also cometh forth from the LORD of hosts, which is wonder. ful in counsel, and excellent in working."
Secondly, The garments which were to be made. A breastplate, Leviticus, viïi. 8. Urim and Thummim. The breastplate is a piece of defensive armour, 1 Thessalonians, v. 8. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith, and love, and, for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
Thirdly, The Ephod. A coat or upper garment. To be made of gold, blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen. Each of these colours is expressive of the grace and truth which were brought to light by our great high Priest, who is the author and finisher of our faith. Gold was, and is considered the most precious metal, and therefore it is selected to convey an idea of the inestimable value of the Redeemer of the world. Isaiah xiii. 12. I will make a man more precious than fine gold, even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir. Blue is emblematick of faithfulness. Scarlet of courage or heroism ; and a mixture of these colours, blue and scarlet, becomes purple. The fine linen is a figure of that garment of unspotted righteousness, wrought out by Jesus Christ for the saints. These were the colours, and such the quality of the finished Ephod, or the outward coat or garment, prepared for the high Priest, which demonstrates that he was clothed with the garments of salvation, and covered with the robe of righteousness. It is remarkable that the Evangelist Luke, xvi. 19, describes the rich man as clothed in purple and fine linen, which is one proof that the parable of the rich man and the beggar was intended as a representation of the two nations, Jews and Gentiles. The Jews fared sumptuously every day, while the person of Lazarus is a striking figure of the Gentiles.
We pass, for the present, the broidered coat, the robe, and the mitre, dwelling with ineffable pleasure upon the girdle. In the eighth verse of this chapter, this girdle is called the curious girdle
of the Ephod. The prophet Jeremiah, xiii, 11, gives us the design of this memorable girdle, the formation and texture of which was directed by Omnipotence. “For as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have. I caused to cleave unto me, the whole house of Israel, and the whole house of Judah saith the LORD, that they might be unto me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: but they would not hear.”
As a further illustration of our subject, we present the last verse of the thirtieth chapter of Deuteronomy. “ That thou mayest love the Lord thy God and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him ; for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.” Twenty-ninth 5th, “And thou shalt take the garments and put upon Auron, the coat, and the robe of the Ephod, and the Ephod, and the breastplate, and gird him with the curious girdle of the Ephod. Compare this direction with Revelations i. 13, “ And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.” Can we view the divine substance of these figures, and not feel our busoms glow, as if touched with a coal from the sacred altar of God? Can we view this son of man, thus girt about, without rendering him the devout homage of gratitude, of the purest adoration ?
Exodus, xxviii, 9.-12.
He names of the people of God were to be engraven upon onyx stones. The onyx stone is a gem as transparent as chrystal. Moses was directed to select two stones, on which were to be engraven the names of the people of God, and these stones, thus engraven, were to be set in ouches of gold-small golden frames.
Secondly, These stones, thus engraven, and thus set, were to be for a memorial. What are we to understand, in this place, by a memorial? Joshua iv. 7, “Then ye shall answer them, that the
paters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD ; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel forever.
Thus, these stones were to be a standing memorial of the love of God to the people ; and these precious stones set in gold, and engraven with their names, were continually reminding them of the love wherewith he loved them. This memorial is an abiding memorial. Psalm cxxxv. 13, “ Thy name, O LORD, endureth forever ; and thy memorial, O LORD, throughout all generations."
Thirdly, and lastly, Aaron shall bear their names before the LORD for a memorial. Thus both the high Priest and the people were to behold these names, thus arranged, thus engraven, as a perpetual memorial : the people that they may never be unmindful of the necessity of such an high Priest, and the high Priest that he may forever live for the people. Hebrews, vii. 25, “ Wherefore he is able always to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by bim, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” Yea, verily, the God-man of whom the Jewish high Priest was a figure, is able to save unto the uttermost, for when he ascended, the people ascended with him, they came unto God by him, in their elder brother, in their common head, in the head of every man.
But the high Priest must bear the names of the people upon his shoulders. Isaiah, ix. 6, “ For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder.” God so loved the world, that he gave them his son. I introduce this precious passage in this place, because it is frequently made a question, indeed a subject of violent contention, to whom this son was given. But John, the beloved disciple, decidedly says, “God so loved the world as to give them his son,” and upon the shoulders of this son, thus given, the government shall be placed.
How various, and how comprehensive are the names of the Redeemer! Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of peace.
I confess I am so fond of this passage, that I rarely pass an opportunity of giving it in full, even when it may not appear, in every part, perfectly apposite. But indeed I am inexpressibly delighted with every testimony penned by the spirit of truth, and the permission frequently to reiterate passages from sacred writ, is to me a divine indulgence. How delightful the study of the sacred ora
cles! How refreshing to slake our thirst at the never failing fountain of truth! The spirit of God, by the prophet Isaiah, xxii. 22, presents us with another glorious passage, which is full to our present purpose. “ And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.” I cannot forbear proceeding onward, even to the close of this chapter.
“And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father's house. And they shah bang upon him all the glory of his father's house, the offspring and the issue, all vessels of small quantity, from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of fagons. In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, shall the nail that is fastened in the sure place be removed and be cut down and fall; and the burden that was upon it shall be cut off : for the Lord hath spoken it."
Of what is this nail fastened in a sure place figurative ? Doubtless of the Lord Jesus. He was indeed fastened in a sure place, his abode was the heaven of heavens, and he was truly for a glorious throne in the house of his father. All the glory of his father's house hangeth upon him ; the offspring and his issue, all vessels of small quantity, from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of flagons. What is designed by those vessels? The human family are compared to vessels ; some individuals are said to be vessels of wrath, fitted for destruction. But they shall be emptied of wrath, and rescued from destruction.
When was this nail removed? In the day of the LORD; in the day which burnt as an oven, when all that were proud and who did wickedly became as stubble. When Christ Jesus suffered upon the cross, the intense fire of that indignation which burned furiously against the transgressions of inankind; when so exquisite were his agonies that he was removed, he was cut down, yea, although fastened in a sure place, united to, and one with the divine nature, he expired, and the burden that was upon him, by which he had been thus sorely oppressed, thus weighed down, the iniquities of the people were cut off. Merciful God, can language be plainer? Yes, he was indeed, and in truth, the immaculate Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world. These are, to the wretched, wandering, undone children of men, blessed discoveries. These are glad tidings of good things, and this intelligence, eternal praises be to God, this intelligence is sent to you, my beloved hearers, to