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the Lord, and consumed upon the altar the burnt-offering and the fat," that is, all that was placed last upon the altar, the parts of the previous offerings having been burnt by common fire. What a decisive and satisfactory proof was this that the Lord God was among them, had witnessed the service of his appointed high priest, had accepted their sacrifices, and confirmed the blessing. how gracious was the Lord in this to both priest and people. We read in a later part of their history that God was pleased to testify his approbation and acceptance of the dedication and service of the temple by the same sign. In the second book of Chronicles, the seventh chapter and first verse, we find these words, "Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt-offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the house." Also in that great trial of the prophetical character and mission which took place between Elijah and the priests of Baal, recorded in the first book of Kings and the eighteenth chapter, there we also read in the
thirty-eighth verse, “Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt-sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench." And as that testimony was given in confirmation of Elijah's office and authority according to his own prayer “let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word," so these tokens were now given in establishment of the office of Aaron as his priest, and of Moses as his law-giver, and that they also had done all these things according to his directions and commandment.
Had the Christian church any thing at the introduction of the gospel, which corresponds to this token of the Lord's presence and acceptance? Behold "when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they" (that is, the disciples) "were all with one accord in one place, and suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting: and there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of
fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." Oh! yes, the appearance of the Holy Ghost as a dove, and the voice from heaven, testified to the acceptance of the blessed Jesus in the great work of man's redemption on which he was then entering, and the descent of the same person of the Holy Trinity upon the disciples in the likeness of cloven tongues of fire gave proof of the Lord's acceptance of them, and at the same time qualified them for the successful preaching of that work of mercy in all the world.
IV. I come now to consider the last head of this sermon, namely, the feelings of the people. We read in the conclusion of the text, that "when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces." Their admiration was great, they shouted for joy at these tokens of the Lord's acceptance of their service, and prostrated themselves before him in humble and grateful adoration and praise. The same effects followed in
those other similar instances to which I have referred. For when the same tokens of the Lord's acceptance were manifested at the dedication of the temple by Solomon, then we read that, "When all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the Lord upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the Lord, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever." And in that other case of Elijah and the priests of Baal, in which the fire of the Lord fell, and thereby testified of the acceptance of Elijah, " when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces, and they said, The Lord he is the God, the Lord he is the God." Thus strongly mixed were the feelings of reverence and joy. They exulted in these manifest tokens of the Lord's presence and favour; they worshipped him with holy devotion and reverential awe.
And what? Have we no cause for holy joy, and animated praise, and profound reverence of God? Have we no tokens of his presence and favour for which we may bless
his holy name, and rejoice in him? Has not he that believeth a witness in himself? Does not the Spirit himself bear witness with our spirits that we are the children of God? These are still testimonies of the happiest kind of his mercy and love towards us: these honours now attend on the ministrations of our great High Priest above, and prove to our infinite satisfaction and joy that his sacrifice and offerings are accepted on our behalf, and that we and our services are accepted in him. Let it not be thought that the ministry of Jesus is in any respect inferior to that of Aaron. No. As the glory in which the Lord has appeared among us is greater than that in which he manifested himself to the Israelites, so the tokens by which he assures and rejoices our hearts are greater also. They may not be outward and visible signs: but they are better; they are inward and spiritual graces. They may not be beheld with our eyes; but they are felt in our hearts. Let then these tokens of his love and presence and of our acceptance in Christ have their suitable effects upon us. Let them fill