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are not in Christ, they are not saved. Whose fault | possibility of over-reaching the laws of God by any is this?
legal equivocation. The union must be a union like
that of the husband and wife in regard to property, or At the same time, it must be observed that, in order the head and band in regard to crime. Justice will to satisfy the requirements of law, the union between not be fooled into mercy by a pretended union which the sinner and Christ must be a real and personal exists only in fancy, and has no reality in fact. union, not theoretical only, nor fictitious. There is no
THOUGHTS ON THE GOSPEL OF LEVITICUS.
IN TWO PAPERS,
T was on the first day of the second were less for the Church of that day than for the
year after the exodus from Egypt Church of the future and of all time. Its ordinances that the Tabernacle was completed and symbols were to the Jew what the alphabet
and set up in the wilderness of and primer are to the child; but in their Sinai (Ex. xl. 17).
spiritual significance they are for the Christian, 66 Then a cloud covered the tent of the con- to whom they furnish the most exquisite illusgregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the trations of the gospel, and which, as divinely tabernacle" (Ex. xl. 34); "and the Lord called given, cannot mislead if but rightly interpreted. unto Moses, and spake unto him out of the For Judaism, " in its expiations, in its washings, tabernacle of the congregation, saying” (Lev. in all its solemnities, constituted a volume of i. 1).
prophecy expressed by signs, in which the atoneSuch is the introduction to the Gospel of ment of Christ, the sanctification of the Spirit, Leviticus. And now began the fulfilment of the and the leading doctrines of the gospel, were promise that had before been made unto Moses :- prefigured. But the service of the tabernacle “I will meet with thee, and I will commune was a record, the language and characters of with thee from above the mercy-seat, from be- which few of those who were perpetuating it tween the two cherubims which are upon the ark understood. Being typical and prophetic, it of the testimony, of all things which I will give was necessary that it should be prescribed with thee in commandment unto the children of Israel” the most minute exactness; that the observance (Ex, xxv. 22).
of every tittle should be enforced, and no disThus," while the moral law was given with cretion allowed for deviating from the formula, terror from a burning mountain in thunder and for adding, diminishing, or altering. The perlightning, the remedial law of sacrifice is given formance of such a service was like taking a more gently from a mercy-seat, because that was copy of a book in an unknown tongue, where typical of the grace of the gospel, which is the the alteration of a word, or a letter, or a dot, ministration of life and peace.'
may destroy the sense in some material point. With sacrifice, as a propitiatory rite, mankind It was therefore the will of God that it should had long been familiar; but now, to a single be performed according to the letter of the comnation, separated from the rest of the world, mandment.”* and set apart as the typical Church of God, was The earlier economy thus embodies everlastto be given a fuller knowledge of the way of ing truth, and will to the end of time form an life.
instructive portion of the Word of God. Nor is Judaism was the projected shadow of a com- it too much to say that, as a dictionary is reing reality; and from the substance it derived quired to interpret the words of a new language, its shape and outline. But its higher teachings so the words and facts of the gospel can be understood in the fulness of their meaning only ance of the subject, and considering also that in the types and institutions given to Israel.* the field from which we gather them stretches "A Christian ignorant of Judaism can have over a period of twenty-five centuries; a durabut a most imperfect notion of the evidence and tion so vast that, in comparison, the existence breadth of Christianity, especially of the atone- of Judaism is little more than a parenthesis ment, acceptance on the ground of which is the between the patriarchal dispensation and the one great lesson of the Mosaic sacrifices. And Christian. Nor do we learn from these Scripwhile these throw much light on the subject of tures the origin of a rite, which yet has been the atonement of Christ as revealed in the New the fundamental principle of all religions, the Testament, they, at the same time, draw all their central point of worship everywhere and in all light and meaning from it.”+
* Matthew Henry.
*The Three Temples of the One God," by Bishop Hinds.
ages. That sacrifice, however, was of divine At first, however, the ritual of Leviticus is appointment, there can be no doubt. For how embarrassing. For instead of the one primeval else can be explained the universal prevalence sacrifice, of unmistakable significance, and of an observance so extraordinary, so contrary " majestic in its simplicity," we have a multi- to natural reason, as that of vicarious atoneplicity of offerings, and are at a loss to read ment—the notion that guilt can be expiated their distinctive lessons. Their number and by other blood than that of the offender! The variety, with the confusing effect of cross-lights, third of Genesis, however, sheds a light upon seem only to create haze and uncertainty. We the darkness. For it tells us that “unto Adam feel, too, as is the completeness and sufficiency and his wife did the Lord God make coats figured by the one great sacrifice were impaired of skins, and clothed them” (Gen. iii. 21). and weakened by the many. And the embar- - Much is hidden in these words. With a sense rassment is not a little increased by the unex- upon the surface, there is a sense also below the pected, the singular order in which the offerings surface. The sinner can only be clothed at the come before us. For the sin-offering, now cost of a life. Some harmless beast, which had specifically appointed, is neither foremost, nor not died if they had not sinned, must perish, and of unlimited intent. On the contrary, it comes perish by God's immediate decree, that they after the peace-offering, and seems designed for may be clothed; that what covered it may sins of ignorance only! All this is perplexing. thenceforth cover them, being the garment in By-and-by, however, when the right view-point which they may not be ashamed to appear before is found, the lights combine, and the Mosaic God. In this view, that offering was the first system stands out clearly defined in every feature, of a long series, a type and a shadow, a prelude -a grand unity, instructive not only in each of and a prophecy of that coming Sacrifice, in which its members, but instructive likewise in the order all the others were to find their consummation of their collocation. Each offering is seen to and their end. The third of Genesis is assuredly represent some one use or aspect of Christ's the most important chapter in the whole Bible. atonement; the whole group being required to It is the only chapter which, could we conceive set it forth in the fulness of its adaptation to the it withdrawn, would leave the rest of Scripture needs of the true Israelite, with the development unintelligible.* of whose inner life and experience the arrange
The earliest sacrifice mentioned in Scripture is ment of the group is found to be strikingly the burnt-offering of Abel (Gen. iv. 4, 5). Brief accordant.
but full of meaning is the record, for it tells us But ere we go on to speak of the several that the Lord had respect unto Abel and his oblations now instituted, let us glean such notices offering ; but to Cain and to his offering he of sacrifice as the earlier Scriptures afford. These had not respect,”-thus proving the divine apnotices are of the most incidental kind, and pointment of sacrifice,- for not after man's desingularly few, considering the supreme import- vice will the Lord be worshipped, but only in a way marked out and prescribed by himself, the same from the beginning down through all (Mark vii. 7). Next comes the burnt-offering of the ages; but the further back, the higher and Noah, when “the Lord smelled a sweet savour," purer seems to have been the knowledge of God. and “set his bow in the cloud,” in token of For with the earlier patriarchs God walked and his covenant of mercy (Gen. viii. 20, 21; ix. 13). talked, awakening, by personal intercourse and Then follow the offerings of Abraham, whose teaching on his part, that acquaintance with himaltars built here, built there, as he journeyed self for which man was created; for as speech lies along a land not his own, marked a life of faith, dormant in the heart of a child till called into and betokened the presence of a reconciled God exercise by the speech which he hears around (Gen. xii. 7, 8; xiii. 4). Of Isaac there is the him, so it is only his own “I am the Lord," that one instance at Beersheba, where he builds an calls forth the response "Thou art my God."* altar to the God of his father Abraham (Gen. But whatever that earlier light, and whatever xxvi. 23–25); but that sacrifice was to him no the subsequent darkness, we now reach a period strange thing is plain from the touching words when the Scriptures disclose a fuller revelation on Mount Moriah, “My father! behold the fire both of man's duty and of the way of salvation. and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt. For the chosen people are to be taken into coveoffering?” (Gen. xxii. 7). Of Jacob, too, the notices nant with Jehovah; and, as preparatory to that are scant. When re-entering Canaan, he rears august transaction, the law, at first written in the an altar in the field bought of the sons of Hamor, heart, but now well-nigh obliterated, is spoken calling it El-elohe-Israel (Gen. xxxiii. 18-20). to the ear with "the voice of words,” and alterAnd when, after long years of vicissitude, Bethel wards engraven on tables of stone: the gospel is made his dwelling-place, an altar is erected to rite of sacrifice too is enjoined anew, with proHim who had there appeared to him in the day mise of divine acceptance. The circumstances of his distress, when he fled from the face of Esau are of dread solemnity. For the people are his brother; and that hallowed spot is made yet brought out of the camp to meet with God, and more memorable, for there God"talks” with him, stand at the nether part of Mount Sinai, which and the promise is renewed,—" Thy name shall is altogether on a smoke, because the Lord not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall descends upon it in fire; and the smoke thereof be thy name (Gen. xxxv. 1-15). And yet ascends as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole again, when full of years, and about to go down mount quakes greatly (Ex. xix. 17–20). And with his sons into Egypt, we find him sacrificing so terrible is the sight that the people remove to the God of his father Isaac, and this at Beer- and stand afar off (Ex. xx. 18), and even Moses sheba (Gen. xlvi. 1-3), the place where Isaac is overcome of terror (Heb. xii. 21). But immehimself had sacrificed, and perhaps was wont to diately they are reassured. An altar of earth sacrifice; for these few instances of sacrificial shalt thou make unto me, and shalt sacrifice worship are to be viewed as but illustrations of thereon thy burnt - offerings ...... in all places what we may well believe to have been the where I record my name I will come unto thee, patriarchal usage and custom.*
Christ and the Scriptures,” by Saphir. 1 Stewart, of Cromarty.
* Archbishop Trench.
and I will bless thee " (Ex. xx. 24). Thus, as in Generations now pass away, nor until the seed the case of man's first sin, the revelation of merey of Jacob have multiplied into a nation do we meet follows close upon the sense of guilt and shortwith another reference to sacrifice. It is on the eve coming. of the exodus, when the herds and flocks of Israel And now that both law and gospel have been are demanded of the stubborn King of Egypt for set forth anew, there ensues the ceremonial of the offerings to the Lord (Ex. x. 24-27).
covenanting Thus, however brief the summary, we trace, First of all, certain statutes-judicial, ritual, from Eden to Sinai, the one way of reconciliation, and moral—are delivered to Moses for the observ
ance of the commonwealth. These are recited Genesis xxxi. 54 is omitted, as referring, perhaps, to a feast rather than a sacrifice. See marginal reading. But the feast
may have followed upon a sacrifici.
in the audience of the people, who make answer, among his people; and months must yet elapse "All that the Lord hath spoken will we do.” ere the typical instituticns of Judaism come into They are then inscribed in a book called “The existence. Book of the Covenant."* The altar is now built To Moses, however, instructions are now given with twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes to prepare a tabernacle according to a pattern of Israel. The offerings are presented, and of shown to him, and “in cach bolt and partition the blood, half is sprinkled on the altar. The significant.”* He is directed to separate Aaron words of the book are again read in the hearing and his sons to the priest's office (Ex. xxviii. 1); of the people, who again make answer, "All that a ceremonial of consecration is prescribed (Ex. the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient.” xxviii.); a daily burnt-offering enjoined (Ex.xxix. The remainder of the blood is then sprinkled on 38); and the acceptance of the sacrifice is graci. the book and on the people, Moses saying, “Be- ously promised. After a wondrous communing hold the blood of the covenant which the Lord of forty days, the man of God descends from the hath made with you concerning all these mount bearing in his hands the “two tables of words."
testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger The covenant being thus solemnly ratified, of God” (Ex. xxxi. 18.) there follows a marvellous communion. For At length the sacred tent is reared, and the Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy glory of the Lord fills it; the tabernacle of God of the elders of Israel, are called up to the mount is with men, and he dwells with them; they are to eat bread in the presence of God. “And they his people, and he is their God. saw the God of Israel : and there was under his And now has arrived the fulness of the time feet as it were a paved work of a sapphirestone, for the symbolic Gospel of Leviticus. From and as it were the body of heaven in its clear- the tabernacle the Lord calls (Lev. i. 1), and as
The transition is from Sinai to Zion. Moses draws near there is heard " the voice of The blackness, and darkness, and tempest are one speaking unto him from off the mercy-seat gone, and through an atmosphere of crystalline that was upon the ark of testimony from between purity the azure sky appears, like a pavement of the two cherubims” (Num. vii. 89). For thus blue, betokening peace." The saints of the graciously did the Lord "talk with Moses, and Lord, thus "gathered unto him," and now “in speak unto him face to face, as a man speaketh covenant by sacrifice” (Ps. 1. 5), eat and drink unto his friend” (Ex. xxxiii. 11). before him, and upon the nobles of Israel no The offerings now appointed constitute a syshand is laid (Ex. xxiv. 1-11).
tem of religious worship and instruction. They Such, briefly, was the ceremonial of this great form a group of five members, each member with covenanting, and such the fellowship that fol- a minute law or ritual of its own. With these lowed. To Israel, a people ransomed and thus subsidiary laws, however, it is not our purpose
near unto Jehovah," the Decalogue is evan- to deal, their recondite prefigurations requirgelized by its preface, “I am the Lord thy God ing the finest perception of gospel similitude which hath brought thee out of the land of Egypt, and the ripest maturity of judgment. Forbearout of the house of bondage.” We speak of the ing then all that is exquisite in symbolism, we true Israel, the Church of God; and here, as would deal with the system in its larger features throughout, we refer, not to what the Jew under only. We would speak of it in its unity and in stood, but to what Judaism prefigured.
the relation of its parts; and, after the fashion of But all this while there is neither priesthood a skeleton map, understood at a glance and easily nor ritual, nor has Jehovah a dwelling-place remembered, would trace the comprehending outexperienced by the reader of Leviticus, and, like Israelite on his own behalf. “He shall offer it the map, prepare for the study of what lies of his own voluntary will at the door of the taberwithin.
line and contained divisions: and this in the hope This book consists of Ex. xxi., xxii., xxiii.
that the presentation, however blank and meagre, t Ex. xxiv. 3-8; also Heb. ix. 18-20, printed in full.
may remove some of the perplexities commonly "The Oriental sapphire is of a blue, sky colour, or fine azure; whence it is that the prophets describe the throne of God as it were of the colour of a sapphire; that is, of celestial blue or azure.” (Ezek. x. i.)-Cruden.
* Dr. C. J. Vaughan.
nacle,......and he shall put his hand upon the 1. The first in order of the group is the head of the burnt-offering; and it shall be acBurnt-offering (Lev. i.). This great oblation, cepted for him to make an atonement for him the primeval, catholic sacrifice appointed in the (Lev. i. 2-4). beginning, when as yet there was neither Jew nor Of all the offerings, this only could stand alone. Gentile, having descended from age to age, is now The others, when presented, went along with it; adopted as the foundation of the Jewish system. but none of them for an instant interrupted or Representing the atonement of Christ in its in- set it aside. So far from being independent, each finite fulness, and instituted for the sins, not of of them rested on this as its basis, and was but an any one people or nation, but for the sins of the index or exponent of some one feature or result whole world, this offering holds the foremost and of atonement, or of some use of it according to chief place in the Mosaic ritual. It formed the the changing circumstances of the worshipper. grand, public expiation for the commonwealth of Hence the poor man's handful of flour, though a Israel, and availed for sins of whatever kind. It bloodless sacrifice, availed as a sin-offering no was the root or stock from which all the other less than the rich man's bullock; for both rested offerings sprang,—the basis on which the entire alike on the burnt-offering, and, through it, system rested,-it comprehended all within itself. pointed to the atonement. Indeed, the sin
This great offering was presented daily, a lamb offering itself, as we shall presently see, was but morning and evening; weekly, the victims being a specific appropriation of this fundamental obladoubled on the Sabbath ; monthly, their number tion. being increased at new moon; and yearly, for at In the sacrifices thus viewed — the burntthe Passover and other annual solemnities they offering as comprehending in itself all the others, were still further multiplied (Num. xxviii., xxix.). and they, again, as but unfolding it in its various It was a holocaust or “whole burnt-offering," uses and shades of meaning in this, we conceive, the carcass of the victim being wholly consumed; is to be found the explanation and the key to the and it was “the continual burnt-offering,” one sacrificial system of the Jews. So viewed, all victim replacing another upon the altar without becomes consistent and harmonious. Each offerpause or intermission.* It was thus an ever- ing contributes a light and a meaning of its own; living sacrifice, undying efficacy being symbolized and together, their lights, instead of interniingling by its ceaseless continuance. It was also of “a to confuse the vision, blend into one full and sweet savour unto the Lord” (Lev. i. 9, 13, 17), clear illumination, making the vision greatly and ever burning on the altar, made “continual more distinct and perfect. intercession."
Before passing from this oblation, let us observe Some are of opinion that this oblation pointed that at the inauguration of the Tabernacle serto the whole work of Christ upon earth: not to vice, on the day when Aaron entered upon
his his atonement only, but also to his life-long ministry as High Priest, “there came a fire out obedience; that along with “reconciliation for from before the Lord, and consumed upon
the iniquity,” it figured "the everlasting righteous- altar the burnt-offering and the fat: which when ness” (Dan. ix. 24)-zeal, like a consuming all the people saw, they shouted, and fell upon fire, rendering his entire life a holocaust," an their faces” (Lev. ix. 24). Can we wonder that, offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet- seeing the victim taken and themselves set free, smelling, savour” (Eph. v. 2).
there should follow the shout of a great deliverThough in an especial sense a public oblation, ance—this solemnized joy and lowliest adorathe burnt-offering might be presented by any tion? For thus was the altar “the meeting
place of mercy and truth” (Ps. lxxxv. 10), and As the evening sacrifice was kept burning on the altar Israel's God manifested as at once night unto the morning," that of the morning was no doubt kept burning all day. (Lev. vi. O, 10.)
and a Saviour” (Isa. xlv. 21). It was probably of
a just God