The Priesthood entering on their Office
“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
for evermore."--Heb. vii. 28
THE priesthood in Israel had nothing in common with the
priesthood of Papal Rome. The priests are for the
people, not the people for the priests. The people are
first attended to; then the priests. Neither was there a
shadow of Erastianism; for the ruler, Moses, commanded
nothing to Aaron and his sons except what the Lord
revealed, and sent him to tell. And the Lord, in these
ordinances regarding the priesthood, gave a shadow of
the heavenly transactions between the Father and the
Ver. 1-3. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Take Aaron,
and his sons with him, and the garments, and the anointing
oil, and a bullock for the sin-offering, and two rams,
and a basket of unleavened bread; and gather thou all the
congregation together unto the door of the tabernacle of the
As the sacrifices are ever leading us to the great altar
of brass, and as the continual washings that are men-
tioned in this chapter will be ever turning us to the laver
of brass, let us here, for a moment, fix our eye upon
THE PRIESTOOD ENTERING ON OFFICE 145
them. The one shews us pardon of sin by Christ's death,
the other shews us purification of heart by Christ's
Spirit. Who is there that desires not these blessings, if
he is an awakened man at all? Who, then, would not
join Israel, going up to the feasts, in singing, "How
amiable are thy tabernacles, 0 Lord of hosts!" (Ps.
lxxxiv. 1.) Leave your sweet retreat under the fig-tree,
Nathanael; leave your delicious vineyard, and your garden
that blooms like another Eden, and come thou up to the
courts of the tabernacle. A sin-convinced soul will find
what it needs. Lo! that altar. Bathe thy conscience
there; for the blood there sheweth the Saviour's death
till he come! And next refresh thy cleansed conscience
at the laver; for there the same Messiah holds forth to
thee his Spirit. He that comes to the altar may go
on to the laver. "He that believeth on me, out of him
shall flow rivers of living water."
But why is there such a singular peculiarity in the
construction of both altar and laver? The former was
covered with the brass of the censers that had been held
in the polluted hands of Korah, Dathan, and his company
(Numb. xvi. 38); and the latter was formed of the brass
that was obtained from the mirrors of the women (Exod.
xxxviii. 8) who worshipped at the tabernacle door, and
had been used but too frequently to gratify the unholy
feelings called forth by "the lust of the eye."
I. The brazen censers of Korah and his company
contrasted very evidently with the golden censer of a
true priest. The gold of the latter marked its heavenly
character and use, as we see also in the gold of the
candlestick, of the table, and of the mercy-seat, or in the
golden streets and golden harps of New Jerusalem. But
nevertheless, out of these polluted materials the Lord
146 THE PRIESTHOOD
forms the altar where atonement for sin was to be made.*
Shittim-wood (very durable and incorruptible) is spread
over with plates of this brass. Is not this fitted to
remind us that Christ had the " likeness of sinful flesh"--
the shittiin-wood being veiled and hid by the brass? In
the very nature that sinned so presumptuously the Lord
Jesus appears; and, wearing that nature, presents in it
his offering--only, in his person it ,vas so pure that the
altar sanctified the gift." When he arose and ascended,
he threw off this obscurity, and was "the golden altar."
II. The laver, made of the mirror brass, held pure
water, which was the type of the Holy Spirit. In our
very nature, which in our hands serves only the purpose
of sin and vanity, the Redeemer exhibited purity--the
very purity of the Holy Ghost, who dwelt in him without
measure! He took the brass from the women of Israel
(Exod. xxxviii. 8). He took our true nature from the
womb of the Virgin; and, assuming it to himself, thereby
made it holy. And so it became a holy vessel for the
Spirit to fill. Here, then, is Jesus made unto us of God
“sanctification" as well as "righteousness." And, in
like manner, when the "sea of brass" appears in Solo-
mon's temple, it seems to be still Christ, who was in the
likeness of sinful flesh, the source of the world's holiness.
Perhaps we might take another view of the general
arrangement of these courts. May we not say that there
is something here to remind us of each person of the
Godhead? In yonder Holy of holies, behind the veil, in
light inaccessible, is the symbol of the Father. Then, at
yonder gate, meeting the view of every inquirer, is the
* When in contrast with the gold, brass is a symbol of inferior nature; see
Daniel's image. But when in contrast with earth, or crumbling dust, it may be
a symbol of durability; see Zech. vi. 1.
ENTERING ON THEIR OFFICE CHAP. VIII 147
Altar of Sacrifice, the symbol of the Son, who said, “Lo,
I come." And between, stands the laver of pure water,
the symbol of the Holy Ghost. The whole might be
called Ephesians ii. 18 written in sacred hieroglyphics-
"Through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the
Now let us hasten forward to the scene before us.
We may, view the scene all at once; its details are
given afterwards. God commands Aaron and his sons
to approach the altar, in sight of all the people, with all
the furniture of consecration. Let us see them walking
toward the altar, conscious of the awfully solemn situa-
tion in which they are placed. The deep thoughtfulness
of the father is reflected upon his four attending sons,
whose souls cannot but tremble when they see the trem-
bling step of their aged father, though accustomed to
meet with God. Moses comes with them, bearing the
things needed for consecration. You see the garments
(Exod. xxviii. 2) of the priesthood, ready to cover their
persons, as the skins clothed Adam and Eve, in type of
imputed righteousness. Notice, also, the anointing oil
(Exod. xxx. 23), the sight of which reminds the priest of
their need of the Spirit of all grace. Close by, at their
side, stands the bullock for a sin-offering, on whose head
they are this day to lay their sins; and beside the bul-
lock are two rams, one for the burnt-offering--such as
their father Abraham offered in room of his son Isaac--
the other for consecration (ver. 22). Thus they stand
in presence of types that all speak of their sin and their
poverty of soul; they cannot lift their eye without seeing
sin staring them in the face. And, to complete all, there
is a basket of unleavened bread, which they are to pre-
sent as a type of their whole persons and substance being
148 THE PRIESTHOOD
devoted full and entire to God, without mixture of leaven.
The whole congregation look on upon this spectacle in
silence. It is the priesthood entering on their office?
wherein they are to stand ever after, offering Israel's
sacrifices, and bringing back the news of reconciliation.
Although not so personally interested, yet with a still
deeper wonder and concern, the holy congregation of
heaven stood round when the Son of God was about to
enter on his priestly office, saying, "Sacrifice and offer-
ing thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared for
me. . . . Lo! I come to do thy will, 0 God" (Heb. x. 5-7).
Moses acts here for God. Philo and some of the Jews
call him High Priest,* because of his actings in regard
to the tabernacle. But it is far better to regard him as
somewhat like Melchisedec--king and mediator and pro-
phet. He is peculiar, however; for he is not "king and
priest," but "king and mediator." So many types did
it require to set forth Jesus.
Ver. 4. And Moses did as the Lord commanded him; and the
assembly was gathered together unto the door of the tabernacle
of the congregation.
No sooner does Moses hear than he goes forth to obey;
and no sooner do the people hear than they are seen
gathering themselves at the door of the tabernacle. All
Israel was interested in their priesthood, and should
know how their priests were qualified for their office
even as all earth should look on and see the qualifications
of the Great High Priest, who gave himself, saying, "Lo!
Ver. 5, 6. And Moses said unto the congregation, This is the thing
which the Lord commanded to be done. And Moses brought
Aaron and his sons, and washed them with water.
* See Patrick.
ENTERING ON THEIR OFFICE CHAP. VIII 149
Moses stood by the laver, and said, "This is the thing
which the Lord commanded to be done." And so saying,
he called Aaron and his sons to come near. He then
laved the pure water upon them, to intimate that they
must be clean and holy. And as the water used was
water from the laver, the type signified that it was the
Holy Ghost who was to give them this purity. After
this day, they needed--not to wash their bodies, but only
their feet, when it happened that their feet were soiled
during services, and their hands when they were soiled
at the altar. Our Lord has been supposed to allude to
this in John xiii. 10, "He that is washed needeth not save
to wash his feet, but is clean every whit." A man, after,
being in the bath, is clean; only his feet may be soiled
on the floor as he steps along. So, a priest, after this
washing of his person on the consecration-day, is clean
only he may need to wash his feet or hands again. Being
publicly led by God to the full Spirit, and shewn the
living waters, he has a right to return as often as his office
may call for a renewal of the application. That cleansing
water, or sanctification, needs to be used on all exigencies;
and how appropriate, on entering on office, to shew him
the full supply!
When our Lord used the words in John xiii. 8, he
seems to say, "I am doing to you as was done to the
priests; if I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.
I am thus, under a figure, preparing you for immediate
duty, like priests in the temple. You are consecrated to
me already; but often will you need to apply the water
again to your feet." This is true of all believers, who are
"priests unto God."*
* Others suppose that the allusion to the bath is the true one, and the
cleansing is pardon. But at Passover time, temple-allusions were far more natural.
150 THE PRIESTHOOD
Ver. 7. And he put upon him the coat, and girded him with the
girdle, and clothed him with the robe, and put the ephod upon
him, and he girded him with the curious girdle of the ephod,
and bound it unto him therewith.
Besides purification, the priests must be endowed with
peculiar gifts and graces. Our Great High Priest must
be not only "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from
sinners," but also furnished with extraordinary and com-
The coat and girdle, as well as an ephod and a mitre,
of less costly material and less attractive form, were worn
by all the sons of Aaron. In them we are taught, that
any one who appears as priest at all must be clothed in
righteousness, and girt for active obedience; and must
have, in addition, a special covering for those shoulders
which were to bear the weight of a people's guilt, and
that brow which was to be lifted up in confession. But
the High Priest was marked out more peculiarly still. He
has as much as the other priests to mark him out; but he
has more also--and it is his dress that is specially noticed
In speaking of these garments, it is right to classify
them, or at least to have some idea of the system observed,
in the arrangement of them.
1. The Ephod is to be considered the original dress of
a priest. By itself, and without any other mark, it was
the distinguishing characteristic of one bearing a priestly
office. Its simplest form was that of a robe, flung over
the shoulders (e]pwmij, in the Sept.), made of linen. Per-
haps its pattern was that significant clothing of sacrificial
skins cast over Adam by God (Gen. iii. 21), to cover his
sinful person. The significance of it was, q. d. they need
to be covered who approach God. If seraphim cover
ENTERING ON THEIR OFFICE CHAP. VIII 151
their feet and face before God, much more children of
men must approach with holy reverence. They must
have a hiding or covering for their sins. This seems to
be the plain object of the ephod. It is thus, accordingly,
that we find priests described very frequently, e. g.
1 Sam. ii. 28; xiv. 3 ; xxi. 9 ; xxii. 18; xxiii. 6 ; xxx. 7.
When David said, "Bring hither the ephod," the meaning
was, that the priest should put on his characteristic dress,
and inquire at God. "Having a priest over the house of
God, let us draw near," would be the New Testament
language. Hence we understand Gideon's ephod (Judg.
viii. 27). It was well meant, though followed with evil
consequences. The ephod was to shew the sinner's way
to God by a Mediator; and the splendour of this ephod
was to have attracted Israel's eyes to the true way of
approaching Jehovah, and so keep them after their vic-
tories from self-righteousness, and from the gods of the
heathen. But, being a scheme of human wisdom--like
the invention of rites and ceremonies in some Christian
churches--it led to sin. Hence, also, the sin of Micah's
ephod, in Judges xvii. The words of Hosea (iii. 4) mean
that Israel should no longer have even the simplest ele-
ments of a priesthood: as we see at this day! It may be
objected, however, that Samuel (1 Sam. ii. 18) and David
(2 Sam. vi. 14) wore a linen ephod, and they were not
priests. True but let it be observed, that both these
men of God were in some respects extraordinary, as if
intended to be typical, in regard to office. Samuel was
judge in the land, as well as prophet; and though not
of Aaron's line, God authorised him to act as priest
on many occasions--a threefold office in his own person!
So, also, David combines the same three offices, the king
and prophet fully, the priestly more dimly--a threefold
152 THE PRIESTHOOD
office in his one person; and yet he is not of Aaron's line!
Is there not a type here? Did it not foreshadow our
Messiah, in his threefold offices? Upon the whole, there
seems little doubt that the ephod was the rudimental dress
of the priesthood. And in this light, it is interesting to
see that the onyx-stones, on which the names of the twelve
tribes were engraven, were fixed "on the shoulders of the
Ephod" (Exod. xxviii. 1:2).
2. We now come to the second stage in the inquiry.
In addition to this simple original dress, the Lord com-
manded Moses to provide for every priest of Aaron's line
(Exod. xxviii. 5) a broidered coat, with its girdle, and
trowsers for the limbs, all which were to be worn below
the ephod, covering closely the whole body of the priest.
This coat is said to have been without a seam (a@rrafoj),
like our Lord's (John xix, 23). Is there not here an in-
timation of our need of every complete clothing, in order
to appear before God? The Lord multiplies the types
of our need by this provision, while he shews our need
supplied in the priest. And, at the same time, he ordered
that the same priests should wear "bonnets for ornament
and beauty," as if to say, that they,, whose persons were
thus fully clothed, would be so acceptable in his sight,
that they need not be ashamed to lift up their face before
God. When some of the priests at Calvary saw the
seamless robe of Jesus in the soldiers' hands, must they
not have felt a flash of conviction? It was God in that
hour bringing to light his priestly character.
3. But yet more was to be shewn. The full-length
portrait of our Priest and Substitute was not yet drawn.
Accordingly, the High Priest was to be one superior to all
his brethren. He claims all the coverings that belonged
to them: only, in his case, each one is made of finer mate-
ENTERING ON THEIR OFFICE CHAP. VIII 153
rials. All his garments are "for glory and beauty," to set
off the person of him who is to make complete atonement.
His ephod has a "curious girdle," i. e. a girdle wrought
and embroidered with skilful. workmanship. With this
girdle he binds up his ephod, and goes forward to work
for God, unentangled and undistracted. The rare work-
manship of it prefigured the pre-eminent qualifications of
the Lord Jesus--his zeal more fervent and pure, more
beautiful in its acts and stronger in its efforts, than any
ever seen among the children of men. Every quality was
in its proper place; nothing was out of proportion; all
was graceful. "He bound to him the curious girdle."
But this, and the fine quality of the vestments already
named, was only the beginning of the high priest's pre-
eminence in the dress he wore--the clothing of office.
Next, we find a robe called "the robe of ephod" (lyfimA )
It was worn below the ephod; it reached down to the
feet, and at the feet was set with a row of bells and
pomegranates alternately. Is there not here a further
hint, or rather a plain intimation, that in a full priest
there must not only be nothing wanting, but there must
be something, also, to spare--a superfluity of righteous-
ness to cover the needy? He must have fold upon fold
of the pure linen, for he needs a righteousness "like the
waves of the sea." And these bells,* like the bells in
Zech. xiv. 20, speak to the ear, giving notice of his
approach; while the pomegranates speak to the eye,
telling that he comes laden with Canaan-fruit for those
that hunger and thirst for righteousness. His is a robe
unsoiled, though it touches the ground. Its pomegranates
* It is interesting to find, in the British Museum, small bells, about an inch
in diameter, and nearly of the shape of a pomegranate, brought from Egyptian
154 THE PRIESTHOOD
proclaim that it is rich in righteousness to the very skirts,
while its bells warn off the approach of pollution. This
is the robe, so peculiarly characteristic of the high priest;
thereby proclaiming himself to be the true Aaron.
Besides, being “all of blue,” it had a heavenly tinge--
the "sky-tinctured grain" pointing to the firmament.
But there remained still something to be put on which
might be superior to "the bonnets" of the common
priests, and would yet more significantly declare that the
high priest was accepted of the Lord. There was, there-
fore, a mitre (ver. 9) on his brow, and a breastplate
(ver. 8) of very singular use and form, having on it four
rows of precious stones, and in each row the names of
three of the tribes of Israel.
Ver. 8. And he put the breastplate upon him; also he put in the
breastplate the Urim and the Thummim.
Israel now saw their name--the name of each tribe--
blazing on the precious stones of the breastplate, as
Moses lifted it up to bind upon Aaron's heart.* They
see that their high priest carries on his heart the memo-
* It is curious to notice a connexion between New Jerusalem glories and the
breastplate, and yet more, to observe that both point back to Eden. It may
thus be shewn. The first precious stone mentioned in the Bible is the onyx-
stone (Gen. ii. 12); and it was this stone that formed the "stones of memorial"
on the shoulders of the high priest's ephod (Exod. xxviii. 9), on which the names
of the twelve tribes were engraven. Then, farther, and more directly as to the
breastplate, there is mention in Ezekiel (who is the prophet that describes the
cherubim, and most frequently refers to Eden) of the following precious stones
having been in Eden:--"The sardius, topaz, and diamond, the beryl, and the
onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle" (chap.
xxviii. 13). It would almost appear as if the breastplate of the high priest
pointed back to Eden, promising to God's Israel re-admission into its glories
while New Jerusalem speaks of the same, presenting to the redeemed all, and
more than all, the glory of Paradise, into which they are introduced by the
Lamb, the true High Priest, who bears their names on his heart.
ENTERING ON THEIR OFFICE CHAP. VIII 155
rial of every tribe, a token of his love for all, and care for
all, and a pledge that he will offer sacrifice and intercede
for all. Jesus, yet more fully still, bears on his soul, and
writes on the palms of his hands, the name of every
individual of all that innumerable company, from every
kindred, and tongue, and people, given him by the Father
--and for each he offers himself as the Atonement, and for
each he intercedes. Oh, how unutterably blessed to know
that it is so! "Set me, Lord, as a seal upon thine heart"
(Song viii. 6), may well be our prayer; and his reply is
already given, "I pray for them" (John xvii. 9). Truly
it is blessed to be here, fighting with Amalek in the
valley, when our Intercessor, whose hands never hang
down, is pleading for us before the throne. How quietly
we may rest ourselves, free from all care, enjoying the
sleep of his beloved, when we know that our Priest bends
over us, and, pointing the Father to us, prays, "Father,
I will that they also whom thou hast given me be with
me where I am."
But the "Urim and Thummim" are on the breast-
plate of the high priest. What are these? The first
word means "lights," just as sun and moon are called
(MyriUx) "lights" in Ps. cxxxvi. 7; and the second means
"perfections," or, perhaps, "perfect rules." The terms
would be appropriate to express some revelations of God's
mind and directions given by him; and, accordingly,
much has been said to prove that these terms denote the
law, or two tables on which the commandments were
written.* For anything we know, these may have been
* See a good statement of this in Elzardus, page 202 of his notes and trans-
lation of the treatise of the Gemara, " De Avoda Sara seu de Idolatria." I
suppose he may have had in view 2 Cor. iii. 7--" The ministration of death,
written and engraven in stones, was glorious." The whole subject is obscure.
156 THE PRIESTHOOD
engraven on precious stones; but the point to be observed.
is, that Moses needed to get no description of them. As
in the case of the cherubim, which were known as emblems,
of redemption ever since the days of the Fall, so here,
there was no need of special description; for the things,
were known. The Lord bids him (Exod. xxiv. 30)
"put THE Urim and Thummim on* the breastplate."
We find from Exod. xxxii. 15, that there was much
writing on the tablets given by God to Moses. Like the
seven-sealed book, they were written "on both sides by
the finger of God." The Lord, in Exod. xxiv. 12, spokes
of "tables of stone, and a law and commandments." These
were written ere Moses went up; for it is said, "WHICH
I HAVE WRITTEN." They were lying, therefore, within
sight when Moses went up to meet God on the hill; and
he saw them engraven in some form, just as John saw the
sealed book in the hands of him that sat on the throne.
Hence it is we might account for the manner in which.
Moses was told (Exod. xxviii. 30) to put "THE Urim" on
the breastplate. The Lord, referring to the "law and
commandments" already written, and seen by Moses, calls
them "the lights, and the perfect rules" for Israel; and
bids him place them on the breastplate. How this was
done we know not: it may have been simply on tablets,
or in the form of a roll. And it may have contained
more than the ten commandments. It is to these that
reference is supposed to be made in Psalm xix., where,
"the law of the Lord" is said to be "perfect" and hmAymitA
the "commandment" to be the "enlightener of the eyes,"
as if referring to MyrUx.
Our Lord refers to the breastplate, if not to the Urim
and Thummim also, when he says, in Psalm xl. 8, " Thy
* lxA, "on," not "in."
ENTERING ON THEIR OFFICE CHAP. VIII 157
law is within my heart"--not merely on it. And this is
his plea on our behalf. He pleads his obedience, and sinks
our disobedience therein. Pointing to us, he pleads as a
favour to himself, "Lord, withhold not thou thy tender
mercies from me" (ver. 11), identifying us with himself.
We are in this glorious "ME."
It has been suggested by one who is a "ready scribe in
the law of his God," that the stones of the breastplate
were arranged in the manner in which the tents were
pitched round the ark: thus--
Lightfoot has the idea that the precious stones of New
Jerusalem (Rev. xxi.) were placed in such a way that
there were three layers of them on each side of the square
city; and so each wall exhibited three varieties of precious
stones in its structure. This arrangement corresponds
to what we suppose to have been the arrangement of
158 THE PRIESTHOOD
the breastplate stones. The Urim and Thurnmim would
be in the midst, corresponding to the place of the ark;
and the stones in rows on each of the four sides. If so,
do we not see Israel encamped in safety, with The Law
in the midst? or, in other words, with The Revealed
God*, in the midst. The redeemed abide secure because
his revealed will is their rule.
The mode of consulting the Lord by the Urim is uncer-
tain. It may have been simply this;--the priest put on
the breastplate with all it contained, when he drew near
the Lord's presence. And this was an appropriate action;
for the Urim was a sign or testimony of the Lord being in
the midst of Israel, ready to be consulted in time of need
(1 Sam. xxviii. 6; Neh. vii. 65).
Ver. 9. And he put the mitre upon his head; also upon the mitre,
even upon his forefront, did he put the golden plate, the holy
crown; as the Lord commanded Moses.
There would be a thrill of deepening interest in the
assembled Church of Israel when they saw the breastplate
put on; but not less so when the mitre was put on his
head, and the arraying of the high priest completed. Some
represent the "golden plate"† as different from the " holy
crown;" but this is a mistake; these are but two names
for the same thing. The “golden plate" was no doubt
bound round the head like a diadem, or crown, though it
was only half a circle, encompassing the forefront of the
mitre. On this diadem, or plate of gold, was written,
"Holiness to the Lord;" and hence its name, "the holy
crown." The typical meaning seems to be this;--our
High Priest atones and intercedes and reconciles, yet does
all to the glory of Jehovah's holiness. The manifestation
* The hrAOt (the law) means somewhat taught to us--the revealed teachings
of God, whether doctrinal or preceptory.
† See, e. g., wfaa den on the Types.
ENTERING ON THEIR OFFICE CHAP. VIII 159
of the Divine character appears in the high priest--love
to man, and tender mercies, combined with rich displays
of righteousness and holiness. There is not one frown,
not one look of terror in the high priest, though there is
purest holiness. The deep love and compassion of his
soul make that holiness appear most desirable.
In reference to this scene, and to any such that were
similar, the Psalmist writes, I will clothe her priests
with salvation, and her saints shall shout aloud for joy"
(Ps. cxxxii. 16). The eye of the guilty fell upon this
exhibition of Divine love and righteousness harmonised,
and their heart leapt for joy. It is somewhat remarkable
that the Church itself did not use the word "salvation,"
but prayed (ver. 9), "Let thy priests be clothed with
righteousness, and let thy saints shout for joy." The
conscience of the believing multitude sought for righteous-
ness to cover their guilt; this was the uppermost desire
of their heart, and the chief suggestion of their conscience.
But when the Lord replies to them, in ver. 16, he gives
more than merely forgiveness--he sends "salvation" in
Ver. 10, 11. And Moses took the anointing oil, and anointed the
tabernacle and all that was therein, and sanctified them. And
he sprinkled thereof upon the altar seven times, and anointed
the altar and all his vessels, both the laver and his foot, to
Aaron was now for a time left alone. Clothed and
arrayed as high priest, with his sons at his side, all eyes
gazed upon him. Blessed type of Jesus, with his "many
sons" (Heb. ii. 10), whom all creation beholds with won-
der and delight! And, that the high priest might arrest
every eye, he is left alone, like Jesus when the voice was
past on the transfiguration-hill. “Consider the High Priest
160 THE PRIESTHOOD
of your profession!" is the voice proceeding from this
scene to every believing soul. Ye are complete in him.
And why look ye elsewhere, self-righteous souls? All
that gives peace, all that can speak of God reconciled, is
here. The person of Immanuel, and what hangs upon
that person, furnish you with all your soul can long for.
But, meanwhile, Moses has gone into the tabernacle,
and is busy there. Already all things therein had been
sprinkled with blood, according to the remark in Heb. ix.
21, though at what precise time is difficult for us to say.
That blood had cleansed them: and now the oil sets them
apart for holy purposes. The dust of sin having been
laid, the Spirit breathes freely over every part of the
tabernacle, and through every apartment. The Holiest of
All, as well as the altar; the laver and "its foot," or basin
into which its waters were poured, are solemnly set apart
to the Lord. None can ever claim the use of them again.
They must be used by no other but the Lord; nothing
must be done with them but what bears directly on the
Lord's glory. This is "sanctifying them." Let us learn
what we should be, if really set apart for God.
And this explains to us John xvii. 19, "For their
sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified
through the truth." There Jesus speaks of himself as like
a temple-vessel, or like the Holiest of All, when set apart
to be used for the Lord's purposes. Just as that sanc-
tuary and all it contained was to be used only for setting
forth the sinner's way to God--so, Jesus, of his own free
will, presented himself to be used by the Father wholly
for the purpose of providing for the sinner a way to the
holy God! Glorious truth! The use for which the incar-
nate Saviour is set apart is, to make a way for sinners to
God! The Father used him in this manner in coming to
ENTERING ON THEIR OFFICE CHAP. VIII 161
us; we are to use him thus in going to the Father! A
Saviour set apart for the use of sinners! No angel may
touch that Saviour--he is not for angels. But the guiltiest
soul out of hell may use him--he is for the unlimited use
We thus see the purpose of God in anointing; but next
we see yet more the person.
Ver. 12. And he poured of the anointing oil upon Aaron's head,
and anointed him, to sanctify him.
This is typical of the Spirit fully poured out on Jesus
to set him apart for his public office--his office as Saviour
of the world. Aaron was not merely sprinkled, but had
the oil poured out in full measure on his head. To this
reference is made in Psalm cxxxiii. 2. “It is like the pre-
cious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the
beard, even Aaron's beard; that went down to the skirts
of his garments." It was to foreshew that Jesus was to
have the fulness of the Holy Spirit poured upon him
And inasmuch as this oil was composed of myrrh, cin-
namon, calamus, and cassia (Exod. xxx. 25), the variety
of the Holy Spirit's gifts and grace was shewn. In that
Psalm, the unity of brethren--many persons, yet one soul
and mind--is compared to the oil composed of such varied
ingredients as cassia, myrrh, cinnamon, and calamus,*
and yet forming one sweet fragrant oil. But besides this
point of comparison, there is another, viz. the abundance
of the oil, "that ran down upon the beard of Aaron, that
went down to the skirts of his garments"--or, "to the
collar of his robe." The unity of brethren is not a bare,
scanty love, but is overflowing feeling, full and abundant
* In Ps. xlv. 8, we find, “All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and
cassia." I suppose "aloes" comprehend the cinnamon and calamus. The
anointing of Messiah in that Psalm is thus pointed out as done with the holy oil.
162 THE PRIESTHOOD
Ver. 13. And Moses brought Aaron's sons, and put coats upon
them, and girded them with girdles, and put bonnets upon
them; as the Lord commanded Moses.
The priests receive girdles, coats, and bonnets--all of
which were "glorious and beautiful," for so Exod. xxviii.
2, and xxviii. 40. But they must look up to Aaron; he
only had the complete title to enter the Holiest of all. It
was only the high priest that had "Holiness to the Lord"
on his mitre, and so had right to go into the Holiest, even
as Christ's "many sons brought to glory" owe all to him.
Their clothing is his in miniature, and standing, two on
his right hand and two on his left, himself in the midst,
form a representation of the company who shall be all
"priests to God and his Christ."
Ver. 14. And he brought the bullock for the sin-offering: and
Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the
bullock for the sin-offering.
When Aaron and his sons had been thus arrayed, and
the attention of the people more than ever fixed upon
them, Moses proceeded to another act. He brings for-
ward the bullock for the sin-offering. Immediately the
high priest and the four priests beside him come forward,
and together lay their hands upon the bullock's head,
confessing their sins. They transfer their guilt to this
victim. This was done for themselves personally, as
sinners bringing their individual sins to the sacrifice,
teaching the people to do the same with their sins: even
as ministers must themselves set an example to their
people, of constant dependence on Jesus, and unceasing
application of his death. In proportion as they who lead
others do themselves make use of that atonement, will
their people also be convinced of their need of it. And,
observe, they use the sin-offering, for their special per-
ENTERING ON THEIR OFFICE CHAP. VIII 163
sonal sins, ere they bring the "burnt-offering" for more
general and comprehensive application to the body of sin.
Ver. 15-17. And he slew it; and Moses took the blood, and put
it upon the horns of the altar round about with his finger, and
purified the altar, and poured the blood at the bottom of the
altar, and sanctified it, to make reconciliation upon it. And
he tools all the fat that was upon the inwards, and the caul
above the liver, and the two kidneys, and their fat, and Moses
burned it upon the altar.* But the bullock and his hide, his
flesh and his dung, he burnt with fire without the camp; as
the Lord commanded Moses.
From the order of the original, it seems that Moses
slew the bullock on whose head Aaron and his sons had
laid their sins; and then took the blood in one of the
bowls. We are told what was done with the blood, the
fat, and all that then remained. The fat, and the remain-
der, are used as in chap. iv. 9-11, where the sacrifice of
the priest, for sins of ignorance, is mentioned. But the
blood is used to set apart the altar on which that high
priest was hereafter to resent the daily offerings, He
thoroughly put the blood on it--on its horns and whole
framework--and the remainder is used to bathe its base.
Thus the whole altar is completely washed in blood, and
thereby is "purified"† and "sanctified," i. e. set apart
for these ends. Perhaps in this typical action we are to
see the shadowing forth of the truth, that the person of
the Son of man (who was the altar) was set apart for the
purposes of the Lord's will. He was to be the Lord's
alone; not appearing on earth for himself. “I came,
* Heb. hHAbez;miha toward the altar;" so chap. ix.. 6, 10, 14, 20. But in
chap. v. 10, Hbaz;mi lfa. The expressions are nearly equivalent, only the former
intimates going towards, or carrying the portions mentioned towards, the altar,
perhaps in such a way as to fix attention on the act.
† xF.eHay;. Onkelos in the Chaldee gives yKid, “cleanse from sin, make pure."
164 THE PRIESTHOOD
not to do mine own will, but the will of him that
sent me." The new and living way was consecrated
But why "purify" the altar? I suppose that here we
are shewn another truth. The sin laid on the altar
would have polluted that altar itself, steeping it, in a
manner, in the filth of these sins, had not this blood been
previously laid on it to preclude this danger. So, the Son
of man was prepared by the depth and intensity of his
purity--by the abundant indwelling of the Holy Ghost
for bearing the sin laid upon him without being thereby
polluted at all. He was so set apart and purified before-
hand, in the body prepared for him, that the sins of a
world lying upon his person communicated no stain what-
ever to him.
Ver. 18-21. And he brought the ram for the burnt-offering: and
Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the ram.
And he killed it; and Moses sprinkled the blood upon the altar
round about. And he cut the ram into pieces; and Moses
burnt the head, and the pieces, and the fat. And he washed
the inwards and the legs in water; and Moses burnt the whole
ram upon the altar: it was a burnt-sacrifice for a sweet savour,
and an offering made by fire unto the Lord; as the Lord
The burnt-offering was the most marked and fully
significant of all the sacrifices, being the basis of the
rest. But in this case the priest's sin-offering precedes
it, on the ground, that the priest's special personal sinful-
ness should first be spread out and forgiven; and then
the altar, which had received the stroke of justice, could
be freely used for other purposes--for all the purposes
that the burnt-offering might be applied to--by the
The rites observed are the same as in chap. i. 6--8,
ENTERING ON THEIR OFFICE CHAP. VIII 165
but more briefly stated. Christ offers himself as the
It may be asked in what respect Christ could be said
to offer a sin-offering; for, if He is represented here as
offering the burnt-offering, did he not also offer the sin-
offing? He did, but it was not for personal sin: it was
for what he calls his “own sin,” viz. our imputed guilt.
Thus, in Psalm xl. 12, "Mine iniquities have taken hold
upon me." Psalm xxxviii. 4, "Mine iniquities are gone
over my head; my wounds stink, and are corrupt,
because of my foolishness." Psalm lxix. 5, "0 God,
thou knowest my foolishness: and my sins are not hid
from thee.” The sins of his body the Church are the
sins he can call his own.
Ver. 22. And he brought the other ram, the ram of consecration
and Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the
Instead of a special trespass-offering, as we might have
expected from the order of chap. v. and. vi., there is, in
the priest's case, an offering presented which includes both
what the trespass-offering signified, and also whatever
specially concerned the priest's personal state. Indeed,
we might call "the ram of consecration" by the name of
"The priest's trespass-offering."
It may be asked, Why does the priest bring no peace-
offering on the day he enters upon his office?" Because,
perhaps, all that was signified by the peace-offering was
taught by the priest's remaining in the sanctuary in the
Lord's presence. He remained in the Lord's presence;
therefore there is reconciliation and peace between God
and him. They who are not at peace with God, quickly
go out from his presence, and are found in the world;
and God, also, on his part, drives them out of his garden
166 THE PRIESTHOOD
but those that are his reconciled ones remain in his
presence, entranced and chained to the spot by the
beauties of his Divine: grace, and kept by the mighty
hand of him who so loves them that he will not let
Ver. 23, 24. And he slew it; and Moses tools of the blood of it,
and put it upon the tip of Aaron's right ear, and upon the
thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right
foot. And he brought Aaron's sons, and Moses put of the
blood upon the tip of their right ear, and upon the thumbs of
their right hands, and upon the great toes of their right feet;
and Moses sprinkled the blood upon the altar round about.
By this type, the whole person is visibly dedicated to
the Lord. Every power and faculty is consecrated. The
Lord touches with blood his right ear, right hand, right
foot, as if to say, "I claim from thee the exercise of every
faculty and property of body and soul, to be used in my
service." From head to foot he is marked by blood, and
set apart. He is to hear for God; and at the slightest
whisper of the Divine voice to stretch out that right hand
for immediate activity, and move with that foot in the
Lord's ways. "Here am I; send me!" If we are
"priests to God," such must be our position and readiness
to obey. Our High Priest in the heavens was the full
example of this true consecration, set apart to the Lord,
wholly, and for ever.
Perhaps it is to this that Psalm xl. 6 refers. Our
version has rendered it, "Mine ears hast thou opened.”
The Hebrew is, yli tAyriKA Myinaz;xA, "Ears thou hast provided
for me;"* and the, reference seems to be to this day of
the priest's consecration. The Psalm speaks of Christ's
* In Heb. x. 5, tAYrikA is rendered "kathrti
"kateskeuasaj" is used by Symmachus.
ENTERING ON THEIR OFFICE CHAP. VIII 167
coming forth as the Great Priest and Sacrifice who was
to supersede all other; and in Hebrews x. it is quoted
for that end. Now, in the Psalm, we see one who
says, "Lo! I come"--even Jesus, who appears before us,
casting his eye round about upon all the scenery of a
priest's consecration-day. He looks at the bullock and
rams (ver. 6, "burnt-offering, and sin-offering, and sa-
crifice "), and at the meat-offering (hHAn;mi, "offering");
at the "great congregation" also (ver. 9); but above all,
at the high, priest, whose hand, foot, and ear are wet
with the warm blood just sprinkled upon them. He
comes forward--he looks up to his Father, and says
(ver. 6)--"Thou art not pleased by the material things
presented here, but only by what they typify. ‘Sacrifice
and meat-offering’ thou didst not desire further than as a
type of me; and this priest, whose ear is sprinkled with
blood, gives place to me, for thou hast provided ears to
me, which I consecrate to thee; and this burnt-offering
and sin-offering thou no more requirest. ‘For, lo! I
come to do thy will, 0 God.’”
In this view of the passage, we suppose; Christ to say
of himself, that, having assumed human nature in order
to be our Mediator, he was the true Sacrifice and the
true Priest. And, pointing to his own human body, he
says "Ears* hast thou provided me,"--meaning, that
now he had ears, hands, feet, to be sprinkled as were
Aaron's. It is thus that the writer of the epistle to the
Hebrews has been led to say at once, “A body hast thou
prepared me" (Heb. x. 5).
* The Septuagint version has "sw?ma;" but I suspect this reading has
been inserted by later writers, who were familiar with the New Testament: just
as in some other cases--Prov. xi. 31 compared with 1 Pet. iv. 18, and Ps. iv. 4
compared with Eph. iv. 26. If it is genuine, they may have given the sense,
understanding it somewhat as we have done.
168 THE PRIESTHOOD
Ver. 25-27. And he took the fat, and the rump, and all the
fat that was upon; the inwards, and the caul above the liver,
and the two kidneys, and their fat, and the right shoulder:
and out of the basket of unleavened bread that was before the
Lord he took one unleavened cake, and a cake of oiled bread,
and one wafer, and put them on the fat, and upon the right
shoulder: and he put all upon Aaron's hands, and upon his
sons' hands, and waved them for a wave-offering before the Lord
In ver. 25 we have a summary of the parts of the
different offerings presented. Some pieces of them all
are taken--pieces that represented the inward and most
deep-seated feelings (viz. fat on the inwards and kidneys),
pieces that represented richness and fulness of feeling
(viz. fat in general, and the marrow of the rump), and
that piece which represented the devotion of the person's
whole strength (viz. the right shoulder). Then there is,
in ver. 26, a summary of the different kinds of meat-
offering. The "oiled bread" belonged to the third sort,
and the "cakes and wafers" to the second; thus selecting
neither the highest nor lowest, but the medium, as a
proper specimen of all.
All these cakes were put on “the fat pieces”* just
mentioned, and the right shoulder; and thus a type was
exhibited of soul and body together offered to the Lord.
Moses, therefore, put these into each individual priest's
hand in succession; and as each priest stood with them
in his full hands, Moses stood by and waved his hands
over them, as a symbol and token of their being wholly
the Lord's. As Moses spread his hands over them, and
next waved them from north to south, east to west, he
signified their acknowledgment that they were the Lord's
in every feeling of their souls, and every faculty of their
minds, and every power of their bodies.
* MybilAHE is the expression,
ENTERING ON THEIR OFFICE CHAP. VIII 169
Thus each man presented the fatness of his soul, the
strength of his body, and the richness of his substance to
God. That was the gift which filled the hands of a con-
secrated secrated priest. What manner of persons, then, ought
we to be, if we are "priests to God!" Each of these
priests was a type of him who came forward to the
Father, saying, "Lo! I come." Each of these, with his
full hands, represents Christ in that position. And such
ought each believing man to be--"a holy priesthood"
(1 Pet. ii. 5).
Ver. 28, 29. And Moses took them from of their hands, and burnt
them on the altar upon the burnt-offering: they were consecra-
tions for a sweet savour; it is an offering made by fire unto
the Lord. And Moses took the breast, and waved it for a
wave-offering before the Lord: for of the ram of consecration
it was Moses' part; as the Lord commanded Moses.
Moses put them all "on the burnt-sacrifice," which lay
on the altar. The whole burnt-offering was, in a manner,
the primary sacrifice; it expressed atonement, full atone-
ment. Therefore, the putting on it of those pieces which
represented the giving up of feelings and desires, and
the meat-offering, which represented the person's whole
substance, was a declaration that all we offer to God
must be on the foundation of atonement. "By him,
therefore, let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God
continually" (Heb. xiii. 15).
“They"--these pieces--"were consecrations." They
were parts of the consecrating offering, each part a sweet
savour; and the whole sacrifice together formed an offer-
ing made by fire to the Lord. It was a transaction which
the Lord approved and accepted.
There still remained one--the breast of the ram. This
had been mentioned so far back as Exod. xxix. 26, when
170 THE PRIESTHOOD
first the order of consecration was appointed. This breast
is waved before the Lord, over all the pieces on the altar,
and over Aaron and his sons. The waving of it is the last
sacrificial act. It seems to declare the heartfelt concur-
rence of the parties in all that had been done;--by one
concluding act they give up their heart to the Lord.
But why was this breast to be Moses' part? Perhaps
for the following reason:--The dedication was that of
Aaron and his sons; and Moses kept this last part of the
offering as a pledge, or token, that they had really given
up themselves to God. The pledge, of course, must be
deposited in other hands than their own; and, therefore,
it is not given to the priests, but to Moses. The type may
represent Jesus as depositing in the Father's hands the
pledge of his complete consecration, when he said, "Lo!
Ver. 30. And Moses tools of the anointing oil, and of the blood which
was upon the altar, and sprinkled it upon Aaron, and upon
his garments, and upon his sons, and upon his sons' garments
with him; and sanctified Aaron, and his garments, and his
sons, and his sons' garments with him.
Moses takes the prepared oil and mixes it with the
blood of the ram of consecration (Exod. xxix. 21),
blood already accepted. At first sight, this seems to be
no more than a repetition of what was already done
(ver. 12). But there the act was meant to set apart the
man; here it is meant to set apart the priest. In the
former case, the oil was first poured on them, and then
blood sprinkled (ver. 24) on their persons; as if to say,
Thus does the Holy Spirit point out these persons to be
set apart, and thus are those who are set apart cleansed
with blood. When this was done, they were constituted
priests; and, now that they are actually invested with
ENTERING ON THEIR OFFICE CHAP. VIII 171
office, oil and blood are sprinkled on them and their gar-
ments again, intimating that they need, is priests, a double
portion of the Spirit, and a doubly complete cleansing.
Such was Jesus! "without spot or blemish," and endowed
with the Spirit "without measure."
Their very garments are thus set apart and cleansed.
To this Jude (ver. 23) may allude, "Hating even the gar-
ment spotted by the flesh." Believers are priests to God;
therefore, not their persons only (as verse 24 in this
chapter shews), but their garments also--not their per-
sonal character alone, but every act and outward mani-
festation--must be unspotted by the world. Perhaps
Rev. iii-. 4, "A few names . . . who have not defiled their
garments," may refer to this also; and xvi. 15, "He that
watcheth and keepeth his garments."
Ver. 31. And Moses said unto Aaron and to his sons, Boil the
flesh at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation; and
there eat it with the bread that is in the basket of consecra-
tions, as I commanded, saying, Aaron and his sons shall
The priests must eat of the sacrifices in order to shew
that these sacrifices have brought peace and reconcilia-
tion. But first they "boil the flesh at the door of the
tabernacle;" in the immediate sight of God they do this.
The type represents Christ's sufferings--every joint re-
laxed--I am poured out like water" (Ps. xxii. 14).
The fire was, of course, taken from the altar, which was
fire from heaven--to intimate that Christ's agony pro-
ceeded directly from the Father. But in the very place
where this wrath fell on him, there is peace; found for sin-
ners,--the offerers feast upon the boiled flesh. And then
they rise and take the "meat-offering," or bread, also
for now they can freely dedicate themselves to the Lord.
172 THE PRIESTHOOD
Ver. 32. And that which remaineth of the flesh and of the bread
shall ye burn with fire.
There must be nothing left to corrupt, and nothing left
neglected. Either it must be wholly consumed, or wholly
eaten--a type of the fact, that al things must be either
wholly visited with Divine wrath, or wholly enjoy Divine
Ver. 33, 34. And ye shall not go out of the door of the tabernacle
of the congregation in seven days, until the days of your con-
secration be at an end: for seven days shall he consecrate
you. As he bath done this day, so the Lord hath com-
manded to do, to make an atonement for you.
During some days, the truths represented and expressed
in the preceding types were to be kept before the minds
of the priests themselves, that they might meditate on them
and be imbued with them. So continually was this to be
done, that for seven days they were not to leave the
precincts of the tabernacle--"the door of it" (ver. 35), day
nor night. Thus they were taught their office; and thus
Christ was set forth as a priest who should ever, day and
night, be found at his work of satisfaction and mediation.
Ver. 35. Therefore shall ye abide at the door of the tabernacle of
the congregation day and night seven days, and keep the charge
of the Lord, that ye die not: for so I am commanded.
The last clause is added lest the strict injunction should
seem too severe. "So I am commanded," It is the
Lord's will; therefore, it will be pleasant.
Such passages as, "Blessed is the man that heareth
me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts, of
my doors" (Prov. viii. 34), seem to refer to this case.
Blessed are they, who, like these priests, are wholly the
Lord's, night and day,--unwearied and unexhausted, they
serve him and rejoice in him. Thus, too (Ps. lxxxiv.4)--
"Blessed are they that dwell in thy house; they shall be
ENTERING ON THEIR OFFICE CHAP. VIII 173
still praising thee!" Many a song was heard ascending
from the lips of these sons of Aaron during these seven
days. And in these priests, during these seven days, we
see a type of real believers. The seven days is the
expression for fulness, q. d. the whole space filled, from
beginning of life to the end. Then, there is not the
alternate approach to the altar, and withdrawal from it,
to go back to other duties; there is continual, uninter-
rupted service. This ought to be the characteristic of
believers as "priests to God:" not a few minutes'
service at morning and evening, but the whole day filled
up by successive acts of service.
It shall specially be so in glory. It is thus with our
High Priest, who "appears in the presence of God for
us." He never retires from his blessed position; he
always beholds the face of his Father. The nearer we
come to this, the nearer we resemble him. "Pray,
without ceasing," “Rejoice evermore,” indicate what
ought to be our state, even now on earth. The calm,
blessed, glorious rest of our High Priest within the
Tabernacle, with the Father's love upon him every hour,
and his soul reposing on the Father every hour, repre-
sents to us what we should be. Oh! how sad the long
intervals in our adoration, and in our seasons of com-
munion! How sad, how unlike priests, our intermit-
tent flow of love and joy! When shall we be for ever
the same as to the kind of feeling, and ever rising higher
as to the degree!
Ver. 36. So Aaron and his sons did all things which the Lord
commanded by the hand of Moses.
The Lord ceased to speak; and now, therefore, they
began to act. We see them solemnly engaged seven
days in these appointed rites.
174 THE PRIESTHOOD
Looking back on this chapter, the subject of the
consecration of the priests leads us to an interesting
investigation. The consecration was the time when a
priest was fully brought into the duties of his office, and
all the privileges of his office. Though of Aaron's line,
still he was not fully a priest till he was consecrated.
This is to be kept in mind; for, with a reference partly to
this idea, and partly to the Hebrew term for it (dyA xl.emi
"filling the hand," the Septuagint were led to adopt the
"krion telei o[lokau
sewj;" ver. 33, "h[me
xxix. 9, teleiwseij ]Aarwn ta>j xeiraj au]tou."* These
If we keep this in remembrance, we are prepared to
understand several passages of the New Testament that
otherwise are difficult and obscure. In the epistle to
the Hebrews, Christ is spoken of (chap. ii. 10) as "made
perfect by sufferings;" and more specially (chap. v. 9),
“being made perfect” is connected with his priesthood;
and in chap. vii. 28, this is the term used to describe his
consecration, "ei]j to>n ai]w?na teteleiwme
difficulty left, when we see it is office, not character, that
is spoken of. Now, in a figurative way, but with a refer-
ence to this idea, Heb. x. 14 represents Jesus as "per-
i. e. he puts them, by his one offering, into the possession
of all the privileges of fully pardoned and justified ones.
The "spirits of just men made perfect" (Heb. xii. 23)
bears the same reference; they are entered into posses-
* Perhaps it is in this sense that our Lord uses "teleiou?mai" (Luke xiii.
32), " On the third day, lo! I am fully consecrared!"
ENTERING ON THEIR OFFICE CHAP. VIII 175
sion of what was intended for them. Like Aaron's sons,
looking forward to privileges inasmuch as they were
priests' sons, but not entered on possession till the day
of " telei
By his works was faith made perfect" (e]teleiw
Faith was carried out to its proper purpose; it entered on
its proper work; it was inaugurated visibly by his works,
It is thus, too, in 1 John ii. 5, "Whoso keepeth his word,
in him verily is the love of God perfected." The love of
God, which he feels, is carried out to its proper extent,
or is made use of for the purpose intended, when it leads
a man to walk holily. It has got its consecration-day--
it has filly entered on its office.
This is still better seen in 1 John iv. 17, "Herein is
our love made perfect," &c. The Greek words are, ]En
us that is the theme--"the love that is with us." He calls
it (as if the name Immanuel were running in his mind)
“the love with us;” i. e. God's display of love to us (ver.
16) in his Son; which is now our property. Now, he
says this love of God to us "is made perfect" (tetelei
tai)--has got its consecration-day--has fully entered on
its office. "Herein (viz. as ver. 10, in the sending of his
Son) has God's love to us reached its perfection." The
ocean has been filled with love; it is an ocean which we
may call "ours;"* angels cannot call it "theirs." And
so complete is this display of God's love to us, that at the
*”Ours,” because bestowed on us; just as, in Milton's Comus, "She has
a hidden strength," says the elder brother. The other asks, "What hidden
strength, unless the strength of Heaven, if you mean that?" The other, in reply
"A hidden strength,
Which, if Heaven gave it, may be termed her own!"
Is not Judg. vi. 14, '' Go in this thy might," the might which I give thee?
176 THE PRIESTHOOD ENTERING ON OFFICE
day of judgment we shall have no fear; and even at
present, in spite of indwelling sin, we are as really righteous
as our Surety--as He is, so are we!" Hence it is that
they altogether mistake the gospel who cherish fears and
doubts, as if they were part of its results. This love has
no element of fear in it; nay, “He that feareth is not
made perfect in love" (ou] tetelei
18. He who still fears, and has suspicious doubts
remaining, has not entered upon his consecration-day--
has not fully entered upon the enjoyment of the privileges
to which this love entitles him: for this perfect love casts
out all fear.†
† In “Jehovah Zidkenu,” a small work by F. Sanders, Pastor in Barmen,
this passage is explained in a similar way. "He by whom the love of God is
so perfectly believed, known, experienced, and enjoyed, that he can comfort him-
self with it against all the condemnations of the law, against all the accusations
of conscience, and against all the assaults of Satan, such a one is said in this
respect to 'have boldness for the Day of Judgment.' This 'perfect love'
casteth out all 'fear."'--(P. 51.)