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him dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily," and it seems to be this to which the Apostle refers, also in the Hebrews, when he speaks of "a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is, not of this building."--It is moreover typical, as the dwelling place of God, of his true and spiritual church. This is indeed the "habitation of God through the Spirit ;" and thus he dwells not only among, but in, his people. Know ye not," saith St. Paul, that your
bodies are the temples of the Holy Ghost ?" Thus the tabernacle affords us some views of heavenly and spiritual things, and leads our minds to a devout contemplation of these nobler objects.
2. On the appearance of the tabernacle, I will now proceed, secondly, to a description of its interior.
This was separated into two parts by a large curtain, called the veil, made of the same materials, and ornamented in the same manner, as the first covering of the tent. It divided the tabernacle into two unequal parts. The first part was called the Holy
Place, and was about twelve yards long. In this the priests performed the various functions of their office. The second part was called the Most Holy Place, being about six yards square, into which no one but the high priest was allowed to enter, and he only once in the year. Of both these we read, in the ninth of Hebrews and sixth verse," The priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the errors of the people." And the Apostle proceeds to instruct us in the intention of this exclusion of the priests and people from the inner part of the tabernacle, "The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest." But, blessed be God, we are not so excluded. We have all, people and priests together, the fullest access to all the ordinances of God. At the death of Jesus "the veil was rent in twain from the top to the bottom ;" and now every believer may draw near to God at any time,
"having boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh."
II. I go now to the second head of this sermon, and therein to describe to you the furniture of the tabernacle.
Beginning with the court we find at its entrance the altar of burnt-offering and its various vessels. This was about two yards and a half or three yards square, and about a yard and a half high. The frame of it was made of shittim wood, hollowed within, and covered over with plates of brass of considerable thickness. Rings were placed upon the sides, and staves of shittim wood, covered with brass fitted into them, by which it was carried. At each corner was a projection, called a horn, also covered with brass, to which the victims to be sacrificed were occasionally bound. In the middle was a grate of brass for the fire, where the sacrifices were burnt, and four rings were attached to it, by which it might at any time be taken out. Various kinds of vessels, all made of brass,
were also in use about it, as fire-pans and shovels, pans to carry away the ashes, basons to receive the blood of the animals sacrificed, and flesh-hooks to place the pieces on the fire, to move them or take them off. The blood of the sacrifices was sprinkled upon this altar, and poured by its side. The bodies of the burnt-offerings, and the greatest part of all the other offerings, except the sinofferings, were burnt on it, and on it the appointed parts of the daily sacrifices were consumed.
Between the altar and the tabernacle were the laver and its foot. The laver was a large cistern of brass, constantly replenished with water by the Levites, and its foot was a brazen trench, or receptacle round it, by which water was received from the laver by a cock, and where the priests were commanded, on pain of death, to wash themselves, whenever they went into the tabernacle to perform any of their duties there, and whenever they came to the altar to offer sacrifice upon it of any kind. This shews us that pollution with which we are defiled, and that purity with
which we must enter into the presence of God. We need a purification as much as a sacrifice; and therefore Jesus not only "purchased the church with his blood," but he also gave himself for it," that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish." And hence the Apostle describes those Corinthians who by the power of the word had renounced their sins, "but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."
We enter now into the interior of the tabernacle; and in the first division of it, or the Holy Place, we have to notice three pieces of furniture, with their respective
1. The Table of Shew-bread. made of shittim wood, and overlaid with pure gold. It was about four feet in length, two in breadth, and three in height, with an