« VorigeDoorgaan »
an hundred years old, shall be accursed.” Verses 24, 25, “ And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD." Chapter xxix. 19, “The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.” Chapter xxxi. 1, “ But they look not unto the Holy One of Israel.” But who is the Holy One of Israel? Isaiah xli. 14, “I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel." Chapter xliii. 14, “Thus saith the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel." Chapter xly. I1, “Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker." Chapter xli. 20, “That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the Lord hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it." Chapter liv. 7, “For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name ; and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel : The God of the whole earth shall he be called.”
Fourthly, This Creator, this Preserver, this Husband of human nature, this Holy One of Israel, hath put his name upon us, hath blessed us; yea, and we shall be blessed.
First, Immediately after the blessing an account of which closed the sixth section the voluntary offerings of the people were liberal and splendid.
Secondly, Judah takes the lead. Judah so eminently typical of the world's Saviour. ii. 3, “ And on the east side toward the rising of the shall they of the standard of the camp of Judah pitch throughout their armies, and Nahshon the son of Aminidab shall be captain of the children of Judah.”
Thirdly, There is no difference in the quantity or quality of the offerings.
Fourthly, Naphtali is the last who offers. Deuteronomy xxxiii. 23, " And of Naphtali he said, O Naphtali, satisfied with favour, and full with the blessings of the LORD possess thou the west and the south.” This is said to Naphtali the last who offered.
Fifthly, The LORD spake to Moses. From whence did the LORD speak to this faithful servant ?
Sixthly, and lastly, From the mercy seat that was upon the ark of testimony between the two Cherubims.
NUMBERS viii. 1-4.
“And the Lord spake unto Moses, Saying, speak unto Aaron and say unto him, when thou lightest the lamps, the seven lamps shall give light over against the candlestick. And Aaron did so; he lighted the lamps thereof over against the candlestick, as the Lord commanded Moses. And this work of the candlestick was of beaten gold, unto the shaft thereof, unto the flowers thereof was beaten work : according unto the pattern which the LORD had shewed Moses, so he made the candlesticks."
First, The LORD spake unto Moses. The condescending God spake unto many of his chosen servants. Genesis xxxii. 30, “And Jacob called the name of the place, Peniel ; for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” Exodus xxxiii. 11, “And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend ;" Yet it is said, John i. 18, “No man hath seen God at any time.” Let us attempt to reconcile these passages. We are directed to search the scriptures, and the effort to prove the divinity of scripture, by their consistency, is a praise worthy effort. In fact, it is morally impossible that the scriptures should in reality be inconsistent. Yet we sometimes meet with sacred testimonies apparently contradictory; and I confess that the circumstance of God's conversing face to face with several individuals of the human family, as recorded in the books
of Moses, seems to clash with the Evangelist i.18, “No man bath seen God at any time.” Nay, God himself speaking unto his servant Moses, saith, “Thou canst not see my face and live :" for there shall no man see me and live. God is a spirit, and a spirit is not clothed in flesh. But God is supplicated to lift up the light of his countenance ; and it is frequently said, he doth lift up the light of his countenance upon individuals. When one friend averteth his face from another, he gives evidence of an unfriendly disposition. The mode of expression in holy writ is often accommodated to our understandings, it is generally figurative; when therefore a servant of God is said to have seen the face of God, when the everlasting Father is said to have conversed with his children, as one friend converseth with another; what is it but an evidence of affection and approbation. Thou hidest thy face, and I was troubled, said one. No man hath seen God at any time-Ye cannot see my face and live. Well, these testimonies are perfectly in unison. We can behold God manifest in the flesh, in the person of Christ Jesus, in the angel of the covenant, which angel of the covenant hath on various occasions conversed face to face with the children of men. But no man hath at any time seen God, the pure essence of all intelligence, the self existent source of being. We cannot see the wind which bloweth, the atmosphere in which we live, the fire which warmeth or consumeth, but the effects produced by those elements are visible to our understanding. No man hath seen God at any time. God the divine nature, is like the soul in the body, which is the figure of the divine nature. Who hath at any time seen the soul? The soul cannot be seen; it is invisible. Neither can any man at any time, see God, the divine nature. Show us the Father, said Philip, and it sufficeth us. Have I been so long with thee, Philip, and thou hast not known me? To men and angels, out of Christ, Jehovah is unknown. Thus, it is apparent, our souls would be forever unknown (for our souls are the breath of God) if they had never been embodied; but we were made in the image of God. No man, then, hath at any time seen the divine nature : but the human nature, the head of every man, was the clothing of Deity. Yet, wlien God graciously shows favour to his children, he lifts up upon them the light of his countenance, and then they are said to see his face. VOL. III.
Secondly, Our subject. The candlestick and the lamps. First, The candlestick. This candlestick is described, Exodus
And it is spoken of in the singular character; but there is a shaft, and there are branches described; three on one side, and three on the other; and these branches were all to proceed out of the candlestick, and altogether were to be made of pure gold, of beaten work, of one piece. It is remarkable that for these candlesticks, seven lamps were made.
Thirdly, What are we to understand by the lamps. These were first of the candlesticks ; Secondly, they were to be placed over against the candlesticks: Thirdly, they must burn in them pure olive oil : Fourthly, they must burn continually.
Fourthly, We will diligently inquire, if peradventure we may catch a glimpse of the grand design of the Omnipotent architect, in this circumstantial delineation. We know that the candlesticks are emblematic of the churches. Revelations i. 20, « The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angel of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest, are the seven churches." The shaft and the branches were of one piece. Hebrews ii. 11, “ For both he that sanctifieth, and thcy who are sanctified, are all of one; for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren.” The candlesticks were to be of pure gold. Isaiah xiii. 12, “I will make a man more precious than fine gold: even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir."
The branches proceeded out of the candlestick, and are in the candlestick. John svii. 23, “ I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one." John xv. 5, “I am the vine, ye are the branches." Ephesians ii. 15, 16, “Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments, contained in ordinances, for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby," The human nature of Christ, and the human nature of the sons and daughters of Adam, have but one origin in birth, in life, in death, in resurrection. Galatians iii. 28, “ There is neither Jew nor Gree there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male non female ; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."
Thirdly, We are to inquire the design of the spirit of truth in the figure of the lamps. But this investigation must be reserved till we are indulged with the privilege of again assembling together in this place.
GENESIS yi. 6. 7.
“And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the carth, and it grieved him at the heart. It repenteth me that I have made them.” Exodus xxxii. 14, “And the Lord repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.” Judges ii. 18, “For it repented the LORD because of their groanings." 1 Samuel xv. 35, “ And the LORD repented that he made Saul king over Israel.” 2 Samuel xxiv. 16, “The Lord repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, it is enough.” i Chronicles xxi. 15, “ And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem, to destroy it; and as he was destroying, the LORD beheld, and he repented him of the evil.” Jeremiah xxvi. 19, “And the LORD repented him of the evil which he had pronounced against him.” Psalm cvi. 45, "And the LORD repented according to the multitude of his mercies.” Amos vii. 3, " The Lord repented for this ; It shall not be, saith the LORD.” Jonah ii. 10, “ And God repented of the evil that he had said that he would do unto them, and did it not."
Numbers xx. 19, “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the Son of man, that he should repent: Hath he said, and shall he not do it? Or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good ?” i Samuel xv. 29, “ And also the strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent.” Psalm cx. 4, “ The Lord hath sworn and will not repent.” Jer. emiah iv. 28, “ I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it." Ezekiel xxiv. 14, “I the LORD have spoken it; it shall come to pass, and I will do it;