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—«S>' 9- carried off by other inferior Levites. Aaron and his sons /hall go in, and appoint them every one to his service, and to his burden. Tho', afterwards, when the Number of Priejis became increas'd so as to be
Peut. sufficient for it, we find they always bore
xxxi.9. the Ark it self.
Of its being a Part of their Office to offer Incense, we have a notable Instance, in the Case of Uzziah, King of Judab; who, entering the Temple, rashly and impiously attempted to usurp that holy Office himself. It will not be amiss to
relate the whole at large, out of the sacred History. 2 Chron. When he was strong, his heart was lifted 'up to his destruction; for he transgressedagainst the Lord his God, and went into the temple of the Lord, to burn incense, upon the altar of incense. And Azariah the Priest went in after him, and with him fourscore Prie/ls of the Lor D that were ■valiant men. And they withstood Uzziah. the king; and said unto him, it appertained not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the Lord, but to the Priests the sow of Aaron, that are consecrated to burn in
cenje: cense: \Go out of tke fancJuary, for thou baft trespassed; neither shall it be for thine honour from the L o R D thy God. Then Uzziah taas wroth, and had a censer in his band to burn incense: And while he was wroth with the 'Priests, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead, before the Priests, in the House of the Lord, from beside the incense altar. And Azariah the Chief Priest, and all the Priests looked upon him, and behold, he was leprous in his forehead: And they thrust him out from thence; yea, himself also basted to go out, because the Lord had smitten him.
An Example, which, it is to be hop'd, may be for ever useful, in two Respects: First, to deter those in Power, let their Power be ever so great, from presuming %o violate any of the sacred Rights pertaining to the Priests of God. Secondly, to encourage all those, who have the Honour to be admitted into that holy Order, to unite and combine together in the Defence of it: And, like valiant Men, to withstand, even the most powerful} when they trespass so far, as to attempt to wrest out of their Hands, any of those T 2 Rights
Rights and f^peffies; - wHc&1th&lA<te of God and Man have vettedv-vjR thetb, and appropriated to their Functabn. . * i Chron. To return; Aaron was separates that xxm-I3,he shouldfanftify the most holy thhjgsr\he and his sons for ever-, to burn incenfe\$tfore the Lord, to minister unto him, and ,01 . .:>, to bless in his name, for ever. But whin this Family was much increas'd, King Daib. xxiv. vidy we find, divided them, into four and twenty Orders or Courses; which were to attend upon the Service of the Tempfe, in their several Turns; to avoid all Misunderstandings and Confusion among themselves, upon that Account. These Courses waited by Weeks; one wenr/^ut/yfid another came in against every Sabbaith. Thus, upon the Restoration of the King* Chran. dom to Joafh, Jehoiada the High-Priest, xxhi'8, got two Courses to be in the TerApte, *t the fame Time; when one came iti; he did not dismiss the other; and by this means made his Posse the stronger. >"i-'
And further; The Priests.- cfLjevery Course, cast Lots among themselves, what Part of the Duty every one should undertake. Therefore we find, coticerntrigv22x£ * charias
-.c&atfa. the Father of Jofm the &pg& j^. 8> jhsk While he executed the Priests office, befomQtdi in the order of his Course, (actordhtg to the custom of the Priest's office) bis lot was, to burn incense, when henuent intfi-the temple of the Lord. It is said -moreover, that he was of the Course 9f~~2:' Abia: which was the Eighth Course of^TM;
the Four and Twenty. ■! 2 tij.
I have only to observe further; That,a- „,. mong the Priests, there was a Kind of a
4%>hf or Arch-Priest-, who, though of an Order inferior to the ffigh-Priest, yet was signified with a Sort of Pre-eminence, and presided, as it were over all the rest.
hS^hisPjstinction we ijaifc in the Book of ,?&e .£4w: where, it is saidj * Eleazar, the son jfAzxon, the Priest, shall be Chief over £%e chief of the Levites, and have the oversight of them that keep the charge of the fan&uary, This Person, was call'd the second Priest, by way of Distinction from, the Principal or High-Priest; at the Time of the Captivity, (as We observ'd
* Numb. iii. 3 2. Nadab and Abihu, having been tttt as, frm the Beginning, for presuming to burn I»t ffnsi' w\th unhallow'd Fire. Lev. x. 1,
before).... she captain of Nebuchadnezzar'*
2 Kings guard took Seraiah the Chief Priest, and
'Zephaniah the second Priest, and the three
keepers of the door.
There is yet, another Sense, in which we find the mere Priests, sometimes call'd Chief 'Priests; and that is, either, when the Heads of Houses or Families, in the Tribe of Levi, are spoken of; or Men of great Character for Sense and Experience. Thus Ezra, who himself was one, menEzra viii. tj|ons twelve of the Chief of the Priests. We find them mention'd again in the Gospel; where they are plainly enough distinguish^ from the High-Priejf. They Mark kd Jesus away to the High-Priest.; and 53' with him were assembled all the Chief Priests. Either, all those that were Members of the Sanhedrim; or such as he had summon'd to consult with, in so arduous and extraordinary a Juncture. Such wete . those probably whom, we read of in the 6. 'Acts of the Apostles; Where Annas the (late) High-Priest, and Caiaphas (the present High-Priest) and John and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred