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REFLECTIONS.

l. T T TH. A T an awful and majestic Being is the blessed God Í V V who hath all our comforts in his hand. All creatures are at his disposal; he has the command of all diseases ; they are his servants. All nature, heaven, earth, air, rain, and beasts, and the hearts of men, are under his control. He can stir up enemies when he will. Men are his sword; their spirits are under his influence; who would not therefore fear him!

2. How great is the wisdom of those who practise religion, which makes this God our friend. He will have respect to those that keep his statutes and commandments; he will favour and bless them; no good thing -will he withhold from them that walk •uprightly. GodSncss hath the. ¡iromise of the life that nom is, at well as of that which is to come.

3. We learn from hence, that good men, those who endeavour to promote religion in their country by their prayers, admonitions, and examples, are the best friends to it. We are not under an equal providence now, as the Jews were: there is therefore no arguing in our favour from their circumstances. But stilï the Lord loveth righteousness; and righteousness exalteth a nation. We have reason to expect peculiar blessings frort! heaven, especially when we observe his sabbatlis, and reverence his sanctuary.

4. We are here taught the great value of spiritual blessings above all others, and how happy those are who possess them: God toiu be their God, and they s'liall be hi» people. His soul will not abhor them. Let us ever desire God's word and ordinances; remembering that his blessing is bestowed on a regular, orderly attendance on them. Let us esteem them more than all the blessings of the corn floor and the wine press, and be thankful that we have them in such abundance. God hath not dealt so with many other nations, fraise ye the Lord.

5. Let us be thankful that our nation is free from those desolating judgments which are here threatened. Ours is a fruitful land, wherein we dwell safely ; here arc no wild beasts to break in and destroy. Yet God could soon break our staff of bread, turn our fertile soil into barrenness, and cause despised enemies to go through the land. But through divine goodness and patience our blessings are continued, though we are unworthy of them. Let us then adore his goodness, that our land yield» its increase, that he strengthens the bars of our gates, feeds us teith theßnest of the wheat, and suffers none to make vs afraid. He give t h us all things richly to enjoy. Let us therefore love and' »erve God, who dcaleth so bountifully with us.

6. We learn, that in our private conduct we must not walk contrary to God. All sinners walk contrary to his nature, will, and law; especially those who sin presumptuously, or, after manifest rebukes of Providence. If, when visited with affliction, we despise God's chastisements, and are not awakened and reformed, but trespass yet more and more, he will punish us yet seven times more. God grant that all who have been, or still are, under his rod, may consider this, lest his strokes the next time should be heavier; lest he send greater judgments, for he both can and will do it.

7. Let us pray that Israel may be taught, by the fulfilment of these thre'atenings, the evil of sin, which brought all their calamities upon them ; and that they maybe brought to true repentance and conversion. Their sins were many and great; but it was their crucifying Christ which filled up the measure of their iniquities: in consequence of which, they have remained longer in their pres., ent dispersed state than any former captivity; yea, than all the time they continued in their own land. But when their uncir. cumcised hearts s/tall be humbled to confess their iniquity, their own obstinacy and unbelief, as well as the iniquity of their fathers, / then, and not till then, can they reasonably expect the full accomplishment of the promises of their restoration, with which the chapter closes. May God hasten it in his own time! And let our constant prayer for Israel be, that they may be saved.

CHAP. XXVII .

This chapter relates to vows, and to devoted things which were not to be redeemed.

1 AND the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak untoj

2 Jljl the children of Israel, and say unto them, When a man shall make a singular vow, that is, an extraordinary vow that he would devote himself to the service of God's sanctuary, the persons [shall be] for the Lord, set apart for his service,, or else redeemed, by thy estimation, accordi>ig to that value which the priest, by the direction here given, shall set upon them.,

3 And thy estimation shall be of the male from twenty years old even unto sixty years old, even thy estimation shall be fifty shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary, or about

4 five pounds fourteen shillings of our money. And if [it be] a female, then thy estimation shall be thirty shekels, about three pounds eight slullings : it was less than for a man, because the labour and service of a man is usually worth more than of a

5 woman. And if [it be] from five years old even unto twenty years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male twenty"' shekels, or about two pounds five shillings, and for the female

6 ten shekels, about twenty two shillings. And if [it be] from a month old even unto five years old, then thy estimation

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shall be of the male five shekels of silver, or twefve trnd sixpence, and for the female thy estimation [shall be] 7 three shekels of silver, or seven ntàHings and sixpence. And if [it be] from sixty years old and above ; if [it be] a male, then thy estimation shall be fifteen shekels, or one ftoundßvrteen shillings, and for the female ten shekels, or onrfioundjhc S stólüngs. But if he be poorer than thy estimation, then he shall present himself before the priest, and the priest shall value him: according to his ability that vowed shall the priest value him.»

9 And if [it be] a beast, whereof men bring an offering unto the Lord, all that [any man] giveth of such unto the Lord shall be holy, consecrated to God, either to be sacrificed, or grv

10 en to the priest. He shall not alter it, nor change it, a good for a bad, or a bad for a good: and if he shall at all change beast for beast, then it and the exchange thereof shall be

1 1 holy. And if [it be] any unclean beast, of which they do not offer a sacrifice unto the Lord, then he shall present the

12 fyeast before the priest: And the priest shall value it, whether it be good or bad: as thou valuest it, [who art] the priest, so

ГЗ shall itbe.f But if he will at all redeem it, then he shall add a fifth [part] thereof unto thy estimation. |

1 -t And when a man shall sanctify his house [to be] holy unto the Lord, shall a/i/iroflriate the income ofthat house to the service of the sanctuary, then the priest shall estimate it, whether it be good or bad : as the priest shall estimate it, so shall it

IS stand. And if he that sanctified it will redeem his house, then he shall add the fifth [part] of the money of thy estimation unto it, and it shall- be his.

te And if a man shall sanctify unto the Lord [some part] of a field of his possession, then thy estimation shall be according to the seed thereof, according to the quantity of seed it -will take to »ow it: an homer of barley seed

17 [shall be valued] at fifty shekels of silver. If he sanctify his field from the year of jubilee, according to thy esti

18 mation it shall stand. But if he sanctify his field after the jubilee, then the priest shall reckon unto him the money according to the уеагз that remain, even unto the year of the

19 jubilee, and it shall be abated from thy estimation. And if he that sanctified the field, will in any wise redeem it, then he shall add the fifth [part] of the money of thy estimation

20 unto it, and it shall be assured to him. And if lie will not redeem the field, or if he have sold the field to another man, 31 it shall not be redeemed any more. But the field, when it goeth out in the jubilee, shall be holy unto the Lord, as a field devoted ; the possession thereof shall be the priest's.

• These person» were prei»My the sama яз thí yetMninn »fVerward; Ae young men wfrt hewer» ef wood and oirriers of w*N»r: the oiU nvNo vwo employed in. twerp* inç the floor, and carrying out inhes ; the women in m^kiiu; the pric-sts* garments and repairing the covering of the tabcnrarle : but le« too many iliould вЛг for this work, the pi ice of their redemption. was fixed. that no mora might b» rouin*4 than чет«

t TV i it. he •••/:, to leave it with the prie«, or pay the value according ta the priest's estimation.

i If he did this« It is plain thit he thought it worrit more than the priest pat upon it ) a.id therefore a fifth part more might be thought to be the real value.

22 And if [a man] sanctify unto the Lord a field which he hath bought, which [is] not of the fields of his possession, but

23 farmed by him till the jubilee; Then the priest shall reckon unto him the worth of thy estimation, [even] unto the year of the jubilee: and he shall give thine estimation in that day,

24 [as] a holy thing unto the Lord. In the year of the jubilee the field shall return unto him of whom it was bought, [even] to him to whom the possession of the land [did belong] by

25 original right* And all thy estimations shall be according to the shekel of the sanctuary : twenty gerahs shall be the shekel.

86 Only the firstling of the beasts, which should be the Lord's firstling, no man shall sanctify It; whether [it be] ox, or sheep: it [is] the Lord's before, and therefore would

97 be trifling with him. And if [it be] of an unclean beast, not fit for sacrifice, then he shall redeem [it] according to thine estimation, and shall add a fifth [part] of it thereto: or if it be not redeemed, then it shall be sold according to thy estimation.

28 Notwithstanding no devoted thing, that a man shall devote unto the Lord of all that he hath, [both] of man and beast, and of the field of his possession, shall be sold or.redeemed:

29 every devoted thing [is] most holy unto the Lord.! None davoted, which shall be devoted of men, by the particular direction of God, or agreeable to/us law, shall be redeemed; [but] shall surely be put to death 4

30 And all the tithe of the land, [whether] of the seed of the land, [or] of the fruit of the tree, [is] the Lord's: [it is] holy unto the Lor D, consecrated to the service of God's sane.

31 tuary and the maintenance. of the priests. And if a man will . at all redeem [aught] of his tithes, he shall add thereto the

32 fifth [part] thereof. And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock [even] of whatsoever passeth under the rod :||

* There is a considerable difficulty in this passive i it seems to me that if a man devoted a field, and did not redeem it at the year of jubilee., he was at liberty to redeem it afterward; bot if this was a geld that was raortiraged, it went to the original pro. prietor ; the former possessor, who gave it. being only a tenant till the year of jubilee. 1 apprehend the priest could not have any other lands but what were settled by the law of Go.li but they Duight keep a devoted field, after the year of jubilee, till the price of re. demptiou was paid.

t Every thing thus solemnly given to God> shall be perpetually employed in the service to which they are devoted. If land was thus devottc% it was absolutely Riven to the service of the sanctuary; sT a msni or slave, he wasrto h.? i>erpetually employed in the service of the sanctuary : such were the Ncthinims; if a beast. It was to be sacrificed or put to death.

T This docs not relate to what was devoted to a sacred use, but to persons devoted to destruction by a solemn cherum or curse, as the Canaanites by God's appointment; Jericho, and the idolatrous Israelites, Exadus xxii. 20. also the idolatrous cities, Dent. xiii. 15. those shall not be redeemed : no ransom shall be accepted ; they shall surely be put to death* not on the altar, as a sacrifice, but by the sword, or the magistrate.

I As the beasts of their own accord went out of the fold or cot, the tithing man, standing at the door, marked every tenth lamb or kid with a rod coloured with ochre.

33 the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord. He shall not search whether it be good or bad, neither shall he change it : and if he change it at all, then both it and the change thereof shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed.

34 These [are] the commandments, which the Lord commanded Moses for the children of Israel in mount Sinai.*

REFLECTIONS.

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1. "\T7"E learn hence the solemn nature of vows, and that V V we are not to trifle with God. Vows are solemn engagements to be thcLord's, or to do something for his cause. .This chapter teaches us to be cautious not to make them rashly, lest we should repent. After vows are made, let us inquire, Have we been constant in keeping them, though sometimes to our hurt in temporal things ? Let us renew our resolutions for «trictev fidelity to God; be ready to do all the good we can, for his house and the oflices thereof. It is proper to lay ourselves under solemn engagements to do so. This should often be done ;" and having sworn, let us perform it. If we have hitherto neglected it, let us renew our resolutions with greater seriousness and care. When thou voient! a Т.ЮЧУ unto God, drfcr not tofiay it: far he hathno jileature in fools: fiay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it .thai thou shouldst not vow, than that thou shouldst voio und not /lay, Eccles. v. 4, 5.

2. We are taught from this chapter, and the whole book, to be thankful that we are not under l/te lav, but under grace; that we are not come to mount Sinai, but are under an easier, milder, and more spiritual dispensation ; that the yoke of ceremonies is removed, which neither we пот our fathers could bear. We may now, and we ought, to consecrate ourselves, our families, ¿ur fields, and all we have, to God. Ourselves, by presenting body and soul, a living sacrifice to God. Our families, by a §okmn dedication of our children, and engaging our house to serve the Lord. Our fields and possessions, by honouring the ¿orrf ivith our substance, cheerfully contributing to the support of his house, his ministers, and members. Every man should give as God hath prospered him. To do good and to communicate^ iet not forgtt, for with suck sacrifices God is well fileased.

* This seems to refer to the -whole bonk: many "F thf prccepn are vfrr important in th^ir own nature, and necessary to be uiidemoodi in order to explain lèverai particular* in the gosiH'i.

ГНЕ £.VD OF THE flRST

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