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Leut.

---15,19. carried off by other inferior Levites.

Aaron and his fons shall go in, and appoint them every one to his service, and to his burden. Tho', afterwards, when the Num. ber of Priests became increas'd so as to be

fufficient for it, we find they always bore xxxi. 9. the Ark it felf.

Of its being a Part of their Office to offer Incenfe, we have a notable Instance, in the Case of Uzziah, King of Judah; who, entering the Temple, rafhly and impiously attempted to usurp that holy Office himself. It will not be amiss to relate the whole at large, out of the fa

cred History 2 Chron. When he was strong, his heart was lifted xxvi. 16.

up to his destruction; for be tranfgreffed àgainst the L O'R D 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 bim fourscore Priests of the LORD that were valiant men.

And they withstood Uzziah the king; and said unto him, it appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the LORD, but to the Priests the fons of Aaron, that are consecrated to burn in

cense:

cense: Go out of the fanétuary, for thou a haft trespassed; neither Mall it be for thine 1 bonour from the LORD thy God. Then

Uzziah was wroth, and had a cenfer 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, bimself alfo. basted to go out, because the LORD had (mitten 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 to violate any of the sacred Righrs 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

Rights

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Rights and Properties, which the Laws of God and Man have vested in them,

and appropriated to their Function, ulat i . Chron. To return; Aaron

Aaron was separated that xxiii. 13. be should fanctify the most boly. things, be

and his fons for ever; to burn incense beScul fore the LORD,* to minister unto him, and 01 to blefs in his name, for ever. But when

this Family was much increas'd, King Da . ib. xxiv. 'wid, we find, divided them," into four and

twenty Orders or Courses; which were to attend upon the Service of the Temple, in their several Turns; to avoid all Milunderstandings and Confusion among themfelves, upon that Account. Thefe Courfes waited by Weeks ; one went out, and another came in against every Sabbath.

Thus, upon the Restoration of the King2 Chron. dom to yoash, Jehoiada the High-Priest,

got two Courses to be in the Temple, at the same Time; when one came in, he did not dismiss the other; and by this means made his Posse the stronger..!

And further; The Priests. of every Course, cast Lots among themselves, what Part of the Duty every one should undertake. Therefore we find, concerning Za

charias

xxiii. 8.

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16 d. 32. Nadab and Abihu, having been

icbarias the Father of John the Baptif,

Luke i. 8, 1 chat, While be x executed the Priest's office,

before God, in the order of his Course, (acj scording to the custom of the Prieft's office) 1.13

bis tot was, to burn incense, when be went en into tbe temple of the LORD. It is said hele morcover, that he was of the Course of Abia : which was the Eighth Course of xxiv. 10.

1 Chron, the Four and Twenty

- I have only to observe further ; That, aamong the Priests, there was a Kind of a Chief or Arch-Prieft; who, though of an

Order inferior to the High-Priest, yet was -dignified with a Sort of Pre-eminence,

and presided, as it were, over all the rest. This Distinction we find, in the Book of the Law: where, it is said; * Eleazar, the fon of Aaron, the Prieft, fall be Chief over, the chief of the Levites, and have the j overhght of them that keep the charge of t.the fonctuary, This Person, was call’d the Second Priest, by way of Distinction from

the Principal or High-Priest; at the 5

cut off, fram the Beginning, for presuming to burn Int

fenfe with unhallow'd Fire. Lev. x. 1, inimui

Timo

23

Numb. lli.

T 3

XXV. 18,

Time of the Captivity, (as we observ'd

before) The captain of Nebuchadnezzar's 2 Kings guard took Seraiah the Chief Priest, and

"Zephaniah the second Priest, and the three keepers of the door.

There is yet, another Senfe, in which we find the mere Priests, fometimes callid Chief Priests; and that is, either, when the Heads of Houses or Families, in the Tribe of Levi, are fpoken of; or Men of great Character for Sense and Experience.

Thus Ezra, who himself was one, menEzra viii. tions twelve of the Chief of the Priests.

We find them mention'd again in the Gospel; where they are plainly enough distinguish'd from the High-Priest. They led Jesus away to the High-Priest; and 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 Acts iv.

Aets 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

of

24, 29.

Mark xiv.

53.

6.

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