Page images
[ocr errors]

the Pleasure that may be had in reading that noble Ceremonial in the sacred History, by transcribing ^it abstractedly from thence; since we may have some Taste of the splendid Appearance and august Manner of the whole, from the Description Chron. pf fhis single part of it

The whole number of Priests and Le

i Chron V'fes (W^ not ^en wa** h courfe> as xxiii. they had been appointed for the ordinary

ministration or Duty) coming forth of the 'Temple ; and those among them which were the fingers, being array'd in white Linnen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps, flood at the eajl end of the altar; and with them, an hundred and twenty priejis founding with trumpets. It came to pass when its the trumpeters and * fingers were as one, to make one found to be heard in praising and thanking the Lor D, and when they lift up their voice, with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of mufick, and prais'd the Lord, faying, For he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever; that then 'fa bouse was fiWd with a cloud, even the

* Who zutre Ho less than two hundred fourscore and fight, i (Jhron. 25. 7.

bouse of the Lord. So that the Priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: For the glory of the Lord had si I'd the house of God,

After they had made their. Procession put of the Temple, and rang'd themselves before the great Altar of Uurnt-offering, in the principal Court, they began the Overture of the Solemnity, with the best Music vocal and instrumental. After * Chron. which the King standing upon a brazenTM' 12' scaffold, or Tribunal, made for the Purpose, sve cubits in length and breadth, and three cubits in height, plac'd in the midst of the fame court, before the altar of the Lord, in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, declar'd the Motives by. which he had been induced to erect that noble Fabric; with other Matters, necessary to prepare their Minds for the holy Office he was entring upon. And then, kneeling s down upon his knees, before all the congregation of Israel, and spreading forth his hands towards heaven, he pronoune'd the Prayer of Consecration: the most pioufly 1.^nZs pathetick and comprehensive that ever 2 Chron. was utter'd upon the like Occasion;V1> I4*


and well deserving the Perusal of the Curious.

In relation to which we are further informed, that after this, The Lord ap2 Chron. pear'd to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to my self for an house of sacrifice. Now mine eyes Jhall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place. For now have I chosen and sancJified this house, that my name may be there for ever; and mine eyes and my heart Jhall be there perpetually. But if ye (you and your People) turn away, and forsake my Jlatutes and my commandments •which I have set before you, and Jhall go and serve other gods and worship them: Then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have sanctified for my name, will I cast out of my fight. However, notwithstanding this good Beginning, we find i Kings Solomon, when he was old (and possibly *'-4- doting) was perverted, by his strange Wives, to worship other Gods. Though it does not appear that the constant Service of the Temple was interrupted, all that while. SECT,


*The Revolt and Captivity of the Ten

But, after the Death of Solomon, Jeroboam, to whom ten of the Tribes revolted, erected a separate Kingdom of his own, called Israel; as was observed before; because the Majority of the People sided with him. And the Men of Judah and Jerusalem, with the Tribe of Benjamin, remaining faithful to Rehoboam the Son of Solomon; Jeroboam, foreseeing the Danger ■ arising from a Probability, that his People by going up to the Temple to worship, would be apt to return to their Allegiance to Rehoboam, erected two Calves, one in Bethel, and the other in Dan; and without much Difficulty, established Idolatry throughout his Kingdom. The Israelites probably retaining some Inclination for the Worship used by their Neighbours the Egyptians; among whom their Fathers had formerly sojourn'd; and from whence we may account for their running so readily into the Egyptian Idolatry, as they did in t.he Wilderness; with even Aaron


at the Head of them. And when they apostatiz'd with the same Expression, as "Jeroboam made use of, upon this OccasiExod. on: These be thy Gods, O Israel, which

X x x 11 8

1 Kings have brought thee up out of the Land of xii. 28. Egypt.

This Idolatry therefore prevailing thro' the Reigns of twenty Kings successively; God, having several Times tried to reclaim them by lending his Prophets to reprove and warn them of their approaching Destruction, but all to no purpose; in the # Reign of Hojhea, the last of them, he suffered Shalmanefer the King of Assyria, to carry them away captive into a strange Land, whence they were never to return.


The Idolatry of the Kings of Judah.

And but very few of the Kings of Judah behav'd themselves better, in this Respect. We are told that Rehoboam forsook

2 Chron. the law of the Lor D, and all Israel with xu* '* him. Therefore, in his Reign, Shifhak

King of Egypt, was permitted to come up 2 Chron. against Jerusalem, and take away the trea

« PreviousContinue »