« PreviousContinue »
to .enjoy; provided and brought to their Hands without any Expence or Toil on their Side, (the Ministration of the sacred Offices excepted) that so, they might the more intirely devote and apply themselves to the great Business of their Profession; the greatest Good and Happiness of Mankind; and, from which, consequently, it was the best Interest of all the People committed to their Charge, to use their whole Endeavours, that they stiould not be call'd off, or disturb'd, by being oblig'd to hunt after the Necessities and Conveniencies of Life.
Their Portion and Allotment is mentions in several Places, in the Law. The Lord fays to Aaron; Thou Jhalt have no Numb. inheritance in their land; neither Jhalt'*,"'"2* thou have any part among them: I am thy part, and thine inheritance, among the children of Israel. And behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel, for an inheritance -, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation: And, in the same Chapter, most of the Emoluments arising to the High-Priest, are likewise specified.
Of whose Office we will begin to treat i« the first Place.
SECT. II. >s
The High-pr Le. S grucli J: ,•
When God had dclivcr'd the £,a>w From Mount Sinai, and given Directions' dboa the Tabernacle, and all its AppurtenahExod. ces; he then fays to Moses, Take unto tbet xxvui. i. Aaron thy brother, and bis sons ivith hxih, from among the children of Israel; tbatbt may minister unto me in the Priest's office: even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Elea^sir and Ithamar, Aaron'J sons. Of these, Aaron was the Chief or High-Prieji; bis Sons, in a subordinate Degree, only iViests.
This Distinction is frequently ntiade'm the Law, as it is also in other Parts tif 2 Kings tne Scripture. King Josiah commaniti xxiii. 4. Hilkiah the High-Priejl, arid the Przefts-if the second order, and the keepers of the door, to bring forth out of the temple of the Lordj all the vessels that were made for Baal. And we are told that at the Time Jer. lii. °f tnc Babylonish Captivity, The captain'if 24- the guard took Seraiah the Chief-Priest, and
'Zephaniah the second Priest\ and the three keepers of the door. And we read, after the/r Return from the Captivity, that Elia- Neht iii. shib the High-Priest rose up with his ire- '• thren the Priests, and was instrumental in rebuilding the Walls of Jerusalem. But as the Directions about those things, which related to the High-Priest and the rest of the Priests, are mostly given to Aaron and his Sons, what we read of as establisli'd nominally in and for them, must be look'd upon as appertaining to all the HighPriests and Priejis of the second Order, who were to succeed them in after Times.
By enquiring first into the Circumstances of the High-Priest'$ Office, therefore, we shall clear the way a little, and lay some Foundation towards our better understanding all the rest, which are to follow. And as these Circumstances are deli ver'd in the Law, under four Heads, First, the Vestments or Robes; next, the Consecration; then, the Qualifications; and lastly, the Office of the High-Priest; it will not be amiss, if we pursue the same Method.
S E CT. '-ttjjc Oj ^£,70 >:
Vestments of the High-pri¥s.^;.
To begin, therefore, with the Vestmnfs of the High-Priest-, concerning which the Scripture Direction is as follows: God fexod. fays to Moses; Thou shalt make holy garxxvm*z" merits for Aaron thy brother; for glory\ani for beauty. And thou Jhalt speak unto all that are •wife-hearted (skilful in Works of this Kind) whom I have filled -with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron V garments^ to consecrate him, and tbaliv,Be may minister to me in the Priest's office. '
They were, in general, to be rich and ornamental: partly, to make him appear awful and venerable in the Sight of the People; partly, to be a Shadowing sifid Resemblance, as far as human Skill and Ability could reach, of the Glory of Christ; of whom, as a Mediator and Redeemer, by making Atonement for the Sins of the People, the High-Triest himself was but a Type and Shadow.^* \ And thus the Psalmist, typifing the Purity and Elegance of Manners, in which