Page images

, ,

have given offence, by any way failing in their-Duty and Allegiance to Him: S6, we may conclude, this diftinguishing Mark of Favour was put upon the Tribe of Levi, out of Respect to Mofes,' that great Prophet; whom God thought fit, fo lignally to employ; first, in the Deliverance of his People, from Egyptian Servitude; and afterwards, in settling and establish ing among them that Form of Government, which he judg’d to be the most reasonable and proper for them.

Especially, confidering how great a share in the Administration of their Affairs, temporal as well as fpiritual, the Chiefs of this Tribe were sure to have, as long as the 'rest of them would live contented under that Political Oeconomy, which God himself had defign'd for their Comfort and Well-being. And, at the same time, how * sufficient an Income they were * All the First-fruits and Tenths of elevent, or rather, twelve Tribes; were appropriated to the Maintenance of this One, besides Offerings, Vows, and Donations of all Kinds. Which, if paid regularly and fairly, without any Deduction or fraudulent Abatement, must have eother single Tribe.


to enjoyi; 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 Happinefs of Mankind; and, from which, consequently, io was the best Interest of all the People committed to their Charge, to use their whole Endeavours, that they thould not be call’d off, or disturb’d, by being oblig'd to hunt after the Neceflities and Conveniencies of Life.

Their Portion and Allotment is mention'd in several Places, in the Law. The LORD says to Aaron; Thou shalt have no Numb. inberitance in their land; neither shalt thou have any part among them: I am thy part, and thine inberitance, among the children of Ifrael. 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.


xviii. 20, 21.

[ocr errors]

Of whose Office we will begin to treat is the firft Place.

S E C T. II.

The HIGH-PRLES Toid in


When God had deliver'd the Law from Mount Sinai, and given Directions about the Tabernacle, and all its 'Appurtenan

ces; he then says to Moses, Take unto tbee xxviii. 1. Aaron thy brother, and his sons with bim,

from arong the children of Israel; that be may minister unto me in the Priest's office: even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron's fons. ' Of these, Aaron was the Chief or High-Priest; his Sons, in a subordinate Degree, only Priests.

This Distinction is frequently made in

the Law; as it is also in other parts of 2 Kings

the Scripture. King Josiah commanded xxiii. 4. Hilkiah the High-Priest, and the Priests of

the second order, and the keepers of the door, to bring forth out of the temple of the LORD, all the vessels that were made for Baal. And we are told that at the Time of

the Babylonish Captivity, The captain of Jer. lii. the guard took Seraiah the Chief-Priest, and



Zephaniah the second Priest, and the three keepers of the door. And we read, after their Return from the Caprivity, that Elia- Neh. ii. shib the High-Priest rose up with his bre- ". 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 establish'd nominally in and for them, must be look'd upon as appertaining to all the HighPriests and Priests of the second Order, who were to succeed them in after Times.

By enquiring first into the Circumstances of the High-Priest's 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 deliver'd in the Law, under four Heads, First, the Vestments .or Robes ; next; the Consecration; then, the Qualifications ; and laftly, the Office of the High-Priest ; it will not be amiss, if we pursue the same Method.



'n ini, pois cibisi) S E C-T. HIE OD 10,161

11:0111 suu Vestments of the High-PRIESTO:

To begin, therefore, with the Vestments of the High-Priest; concerning which the

Scripture Direction is as follows: God Exod. says to Mofes, Thou shalt make holy garxxviii. 2.

ments for Aaron thy brother, for glory, and for beauty. And thou halt speak unto all that are wise-hearted (skilful in Works of this Kind) whom I have filled with the Spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron's garments, to confecrate him, and that be may minister to me in the Prief's office.

They were, in general, to be rich and ornamental: partly, to make him appe

appear awful and venerable in the Sight of the People; partly, to be 2. Shadowing and 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 che Sins of the People, the High-Priest himself was but a Type and Shadow." Jibo į

And thus the Psalmist, typifing the Purity and Elegance of Manners, in which


office, ich

« PreviousContinue »