« السابقةمتابعة »
ornamental cornice of gold round it. Rings of gold were attached to it, and staves of shittim wood overlaid with gold were prepared for the purpose of carrying it. Various utensils, all of pure gold, belonged to it, as dishes, spoons, covers, and bowls. Upon it were placed twelve loaves, six in a row, called the shew-bread, or bread of faces. These were set on hot every Sabbath, and having remained there through the week, were taken for the use of the priests, to whom alone it was lawful to eat of them. Other bread is provided for us in the gospel. We have the bread of life, that is, that life-giving and life-nourishing doctrine of Christ dying in our human nature to give life to our souls. And of the use of this there is no restriction to any particular class; though it is the office of the ministers of Christ to set it forth before the people, yet no Christian is excluded from feeding on it! Oh! that we may all feed on Christ after a spiritual manner, and find our souls continually strengthened thereby, till we finally eat bread with him in the kingdom of heaven.
2. The next thing to be noticed in the holy place is the golden candlestick. This was made wholly of pure gold, standing on one shaft, with a lamp at the top, and with six branches, three from either side, above one another, and each holding its lamp. It was richly ornamented, and with the tongs and snuff-dishes which belonged to it, weighed in the whole about a hundred pounds weight. The lamps were supplied with the purest oil, and served, as there were no windows in the tabernacle, to give light to the priests, while performing their duties in it. But what light is now vouchsafed to the Church of Christ? Truly the light of divine revelation proceeding from Christ through the inspired writings of his Evangelists and Apostles; hence he is called "the light of the world," "the true light which lighteth every man that is born" into it. A far brighter light will shine in heaven. That glorious place will have no candlestick, will not even need the brightness of the sun itself in it, for the Lord himself will be the light thereof; yea, there will he himself be his church's
everlasting light, and her God will be her glory.
3. Nearer to the veil than either of these stood the altar of incense. This was made of shittim wood covered with plates of gold. It was more than half a yard square, and more than a yard high. It had also a cornice of gold round about it, and four horns at the corners, as the altar of burnt-offering. had also its rings of gold, and staves of shittim wood covered with gold, for the purpose of carrying it wherever they removed. Sweet incense made after a particular manner, for which express directions were given through Moses, was to be burnt upon it morning and evening, and nothing else, of any kind, was to be offered upon it; except once in the year, when the general atonement was made, the High Priest sprinkled some of the blood of the sin-offering upon its horns to make an atonement upon it. The incense thus offered daily seems to set before us that constant intercession of Christ, which he presents continually in behalf of his people before his Father's throne. That is the
incense which comes with the prayers of the saints before the throne, and obtains them favour.
Our description will now pass through the veil, and entering into the most holy place, will notice what was placed there. There was the Ark, commonly called the Ark of the Covenant, or the Ark of Testimony. It was a chest of shittim wood, rather more than four feet long, and nearly a yard in breadth and height. It was plated all over, both without and within, with pure gold, and had a cornice of gold round it. It had also its four golden rings, and its staves of shittim wood overlaid with gold, as the altars of burnt-offering and incense. In it were deposited the tables of the ten commandments; and before it stood a golden pot containing an omer of Manna, placed there as the Lord had directed Moses, and afterwards the rod of Aaron that budded, with a golden censer, on which the High Priest offered incense on the day of atonement, and which seems to have been left there for the rest of the year. The particular care thus taken for the
preservation of the tables of the Law is well worthy of our notice. They were placed there in testimony of the covenant which Jehovah had entered into with the people that their mutual engagements might be remembered; and no place could afford greater security for their safe keeping. The Law is now preserved in the holy Bible; but its best depository is the believer's heart. St. Paul tells us that it is written there; and David sings, "I delight to do thy will, O my God, yea, thy law is within my heart." Let it be our care to lay it up in our memories and affections, and while we ever flee to a better covenant to give us life, let us remember that the Law is a transcript of the divine perfections of God, and defines the duty of man.
Upon the Ark was a covering entirely of pure gold called the Mercy-Seat, or otherwise, the Propitiation. Upon this were placed two figures of Cherubim, with expanded wings stretching over it and meeting together, as if for its protection, and with their faces turned downwards towards it, as if in contemplation of the mercy of God, and the