Sayfadaki görseller

charity, which was so beautifully developed in the life and ministry of our divine Master, and which ought to pervade every portion of the Christian's character, and direct his every effort, and warm and enlighten his zeal in the service of God, is the true fire of the altar; with this, and with this alone, can we serve God acceptably, for so the apostle declares, The weapons of our warfare are not carnal.” Men may indeed apparently promote what they consider the honour and glory of God with feelings widely different from these. Like Saul the persecutor, they may be very active, very zealous, very successful, persecuting even to the death, and proselyting even to the doors of the grave, for what they believe to be the cause of the Lord; and in return for all their efforts, hear at the last only those words of the Spirit, “The wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God;" this is strange fire, and not the fire from the altar of the Lord.

Or, again, they may be influenced by the desire to elevate a particular church, or sect, or opinion, or to aggrandize and advance themselves; to obtain more power, more consideration, or rank, or influence among men; and kindled at this unholy flame, their censers may burn as bright, and the fire of their zeal glow as resplendently, as that of the most holy, humble, and devoted followers of the Most High; but He who knows whence the fire is taken, the un, hallowed source from which it flows, and the unsanctified end for which it burns, sees in it, as in the offering of Nadab and Abihu, only self-will and selfworship, under a more refined garb, than the grosser ambition, and more obvious egotism of the man of the world, and rejects at once the strange and unholy incense.

How anxiously, then, should we all scrutinize our motives, how earnest should we be in


how frequent in meditation, how scrupulous in self-examination with regard to every effort we attempt to make in the service of God, that no grain of unhallowed incense be dropped into our censer, or be

permitted to remain there: “Search us, O God, and know our hearts, try us, and know our thoughts, and see if there be any wicked way in us, and lead us in the way everlasting.'

[Here may be read to the end of the fifteenth chapter.]

[ocr errors]


CHAP. xvi. 1-7.

1. And the Lord spake unto Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they offered before the Lord and died;

2. And the Lord said unto Moses, Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy place within the dail, beo fore the mercy seut, which is upon the ark; that he die not: for I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat. 3. Thus shall Aaron come into the holy place; with a young

bullock for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering.

4. He shall put on the holy linen coat, and he shall have the linen breeches upon his flesh, and shall be girded with the linen girdle, and with the linen mitre shall he be altired: these are holy garments; therefore shall, he wash his flesh in water, and so put them on.

5. And he shall take of the congregation of the children of Israel

* Psalm cxxxix. 23, 24.

tuo kids of the goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering

6. And Aaron shall offer his bullock for the sin offering, which is for himself, and make an atonement for himself, and for his house.

7. And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the Lord at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

The chapter which we have just read, commences with a reference to the death of Aaron's two sons, recorded in our last portion of Holy Writ. The conduct of Aaron upon that occasion had been strikingly characteristic of the holy devotedness of his soul to God. When seeing two of his four sons struck dead at his feet, so satisfied was he that Jehovah doeth all things well, that he uttered not a word: it is expressly recorded, “ And Aaron held his peace.” Not a repining expression, not a discontented murmur, scarcely even, as it should seem, a mourning sigh escaped his lips. It was well, for God had done it.

lest such awful instances of Divine vengeance should again be called for by the sins either of Aaron or his remaining sons, God mercifully reveals to him, through Moses, a method of reconciliation, the offering of a young bullock and a ram, expressly, as we are informed in verse sixth, as “a sin offering for himself and an atonement for himself and for his house.” What a striking exemplification is this, of that assertion of the apostle, while drawing a contrast between the priesthood of our Lord, and of all who had preceded him! He says, “Every high-priest taken from among men

.. is compassed with infirmity. And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins."'* But


And now,

* Heb. v. 1,

when he speaks of our blessed Saviour, he says, “Such a high-priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; who needeth not daily, as those high-priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's; for this he did once,” (this atonement for the people,) " when he offered up himself. For the law maketh men high-priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated," (or rather perfected," for evermore.”* Aaron, then, although a type, was necessarily a very imperfect type of our great and glorified High-priest; and to mark the distinction still more forcibly, he was forbidden to enter the "holy place, within the vail, before the mercy-seat,” except on one great and solemn occasion, throughout the year, and this was on what was termed the “ day of atonement.” It was the anniversary of the day when Moses descended from the Mount, and obtained forgiveness from the Lord for the congregation, who had so grievously rebelled against him in the matter of the golden calf. On that day the high-priest was permitted to enter the holy place, not arrayed in his usual splendid vestments, but having on his linen garments, plain and unornamented, for it was a day of deep humiliation; and then the remarkable ceremony succeeded upon which we shall comment in our next exposition.

* Heb. vii. 26-28.


CHAP. xvi. 8–10.

8. And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the Lord, and the other lot for the scape-goat.

9. And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the Lord's lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering:

10. But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scape-goat, shall be presented alive before the Lord, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scape-goat into the wilderness.

Having offered the sin offering for himself and the priests, Aaron proceeded to select two goats, one to be offered unto the Lord, and the other to be what was termed “the scape goat.” The reason that two goats were required is well worth examining. It was obviously this, that it was intended to furnish as perfect a type as possible, of the Lord Jesus Christ dying for our sins, and rising again for our justification. Now no one animal could do this, because when dead, there were no means by which he could furnish a type of the resurrection. Two animals, therefore, of exactly the same kind were provided, and of these one was killed as a sin offering for all the congregation of Israel, and Aaron taking the blood, carried it within the veil and sprinkled it upon the mercy-seat, and thus made the required atonement, for “ without shedding of blood there is no remission of sins.” Here then was prefigured most beautifully and accurately, the “one great sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world,"

« ÖncekiDevam »