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CHAPTER VIII

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

Son.--(Owen.)
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

congregation.
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

Father."


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!

I come."
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-

plete endowments.

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

here.

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

tombs.
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;

the "podh

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

its fulness.
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

sanctify them.
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

of sinners!

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

affection.


* 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

for us."

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

commanded Moses.
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

ministering priest.

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

burnt-offering.

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

ram.
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

them go.
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!

I come."
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

eat it.
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

favour.
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

Greek "teleio

"krion telei o[lokau

sewj;" ver. 33, "h[me

“o[ teteleiwme

xxix. 9, teleiwseij ]Aarwn ta>j xeiraj au]tou."* These

are specimens.

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-

fecting" (tetelei

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

tou

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

says--


"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.)

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