Page images
[ocr errors]


The Oblation C/incensj,

And beside the Sacrifices beforemention'd, there was an Oblation of Incense, appointed to be made every Day, Morning and Evening. When the Lamps were &c dress'd in the Morning, and lighted up at Evening, then the High-Priest was to burn Incense, upon the Altar that stood jtrft without the Veil of the most holy Place: a perpetual incense bejore the Lord throughout their generations. Ye shall offer no strange incense thereon, nor burnt-sacrifice, nor meat-offering-, neither shall ye pour drink-offering thereon. And Aaron (the High-Priest) shall make an atonement upon the horns of it once in a year,'" And after watds, when we have an Account Exod. xl. Qc the Tabernacles being set up, it is said; He put the golden altar in the tent of the congregation, before the veil; and he burnt sweet incense thereon, as the Lord commanded Moses. ' We have" frequent mention of burning Incense, both upon this Altar and on the High-Places, in the Books of the Kings, and those of the Chronicles.


and in some other Places in the Scripture.
Particularly in St. Luke; who, speaking
of Zacharias, one of the Priests, and the
Father of John the Baptist, tells us, that
according to the cujiom of the Priest's office', his Luke i.
lot ivas to burn incense when he went into the'
temple of the Lord. And the whole multi-
tude of the people were praying without, at
the time of incense. And there appear d
unto him an angel of the Lord standing
on the right side of the altar os incense.

Philo the Jew fays, " This Altar dif"fer'd from the Altar of Burnt-Offering "in three Particulars; the Materials of "which it was compos'd; the Place in "which it stood; and the U/e to which "it was put. Whereas the one was made "of rough unpolish'd Stones; the other "consisted of pure Gold wrought in the "best manner. Whereas the one stood "in the Court, without the Temple, ex"pos'd to the Sight of the Vulgar; the "other stood in the holy Place, within "the Temple, inaccessible to all, but the "Priests, who were purified and sanctifi"ed by their Office. And whereas the "one was for offering up in Sacrifice the



s "Flesh of Beasts, the other was only to burn "Incense, and to send forth the most "grateful Odours." Whence he concludes that "a pious Thanksgiving of"fer'd up by a pure innocent Heart is "more acceptable to Heaven, than all "the other pompous Ceremonies of De"votion, consisting of a Multitude of "gross Formalities, without that accep"table Ingredient: inasmuch as Gold is "better than rough Stone, the Inside of "the Temple more honourable than the "Outside, and the Smell of Incense more "fragrant than the Steams of Burnt-Sa"crifices. Wherefore (as he goes on ro "tell us) the daily Devotions of the Tem"pie began with such a Thanksgiving: "It not being allow'd to enter upon ma"king any Burnt-Offerings abroad, 'till "the Incense had been offer'd, betimes in *l the Morning, within."


Devotions at the 'Time of Sacrifice.

During the Time that these Sacrifices were offering, those who attended at them


employ'd themselves in Exercises of Devotion suitable to the Occasion; either in Supplications or Thanksgivings. While Zacharias, as beforementioned, was offering the Incense within j we are told, all the People were praying without. But of solemn Thanksgivings upon these Occasions, we have many Instances, in the Times of David, and the other religious Kings. Where, among other Branches of the Levitical Office, this is mention'd as one; to Jiand every morning to thank and 1 Chron. praise the Lor D, and likewise at even. m' 3°*

At the Dedication of the Temple by Solomon; The Levites which were the Sing- 2 Chron. ers, being arrayed in white linnen, and ac-r,l2yl$' companied with a concert of all kinds of proper instruments, were as one; to make one found to be heard, in praising and thanking the Lord. And when they lift up their voice, with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the Lor D, faying, " For He is Good, for his mercy endureth for ever" we read, that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord.

N Aad

And, upon Hezekiah's purifying and refitting the Temple, after it had been long neglected, or polluted with Idolatry; ar mong the rest of the solemn Preparations 2 Chron. upon that Occasion, The Levites flood with xxix. »7. tjjg instruments of David, and the Priests •with the trumpets: And when the burntoffering began, the song of the Lord began also, with the trumpets, &c. And all the congregation worshiped, and the fingers fang, and the trumpeters sounded: And all this continued until the burnt-offering was finished.

The fame Solemnity was used at the laying of the Foundation of the second Ezra iii. Temple. The Priests in their apparels 10' with trumpets, and the Levites with cymbals, were placd in order to praise the Lord, aster the ordinance of David king of Israel. And they sung together, by course, in praising and giving thanks unto the Lord; because he is Good, for his mercy enduresb for ever.

The Book of Psalms contains several of these Gratulatory Hymns. And the Gospel has two very fine ones; that of the Lukei Blessed Virgin, My foul doth magnify the 46- • Lord,

« PreviousContinue »