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camp: and because Christ, who is both high priest and sacrifice, was not to enter into heaven without his own blood having been first shed, hence it was provided that the Jewish high priest should not enter into the holy of holies without the blood of the sacrifices. But these things are to be discussed more at large in subsequent parts of this work. In prosecuting the other branches of the subject, we are to treat,—first, of the places appropriated to sacrifices; -secondly, of the ministers of sacrifices;—and lastly, of the sacrifices themselves, and the rites performed upon them. When these points shall have been discussed, it will be easy to demonstrate what was the proper efficacy and design of sacrifices.
CHAPTER II. The Places used for offering Sacrifices. THE places in which sacrifices might be lawfully offered present three principal subjects for examination: first, the places themselves; secondly, the sanctuaries, courts, altars, rooms, and other parts which they contained ; thirdly, their nature and design.
Before the tabernacle was erected at the immediate command of God, it was lawful to perform religious ceremonies in any place, and consequently in those little shrines which, from their being built in elevated situations, are generally called “bigh places."* After the erection of the tabernacle this was forbidden to the Jews. For as long as that tabernacle, the depository of the ark, stood in the midst of the congregation, which was the case in the wilderness, or was fixed in any other more permanent situation, all victims were to be brought thither, and there they were to be sacrificed in the manner prescribed. To this purpose are the following observations of Jewish writers. • While the people were in the wilderness, ' it was provided by the law, that no one should offer
sacrifices in the high places; but this law ceased ' when they came to Gilgal, where, as there was no fixed or certain situation for the tabernacle, the people were separated into various places. But on the building of the sanctuary at Shiloh, which was reared with stone walls though it was covered with
curtains, the same law that had been in force in the • wilderness became binding again. For in this place the ark had a fixed and certain station.
+ Levit. xvii. 4, 5, 6.
• Levit. xxvi. 30.
· Hence that sanctuary is frequently called “ the ' house of God."* When the ark was at Nob and • Gibeon, where it had no fixed station, it was law'ful again to perform divine worship in the high
places. Hence in those times Samuel offered sacri'fices in some such place.This was never permitted to the Israelites after the building of the
temple at Jerusalem, where the ark had a fixed and permanent station.'I With the Jews coincides the learned Grotius, in his explanation of this prohibition of Moses, “ Ye shall not do after all the things " that we do here this day.” 'Ye shall not offer sacrifices in various places, but in one. That place was first Shiloh, and afterwards the temple at Jeru'salen. In the intermediate periods this law was
suspended, because the ark had no fixed station. · For it was at Mizpeh, at Gilgal, at Nob, at Gibeon, . and in the house of Obed-edom. To the same purpose he also remarks:// ‘At that time on account * of the frequent removals, there was no fixed or ' certain place for sacrifices.'
II. As the sacred tabernacle, then, was the first place exclusively appointed for the oblation of sacrifices, and was afterwards succeeded by the temple at Jerusalem, I proceed to give some account of their sanctuaries, courts, and other parts already mentioned.
In the tabernacle, a full description of all the construction and furniture of which would be irrelevant to the present subject, there were two sanctuaries, divided by a suspended curtain: one is generally called the inner, and the other the outer sanctuary. The former on account of its superior sanctity, being the peculiar residence of the symbolical presence of God, and emblematical of the highest heaven, is denominated “the holy of holies.”* In it was placed the sacred ark, the cover of which is called “the “ propitiatory” or “merey-seat.”+ Above the mercyseat, that nothing might be wanting to a similitude of the highest heaven, stood two cherubims, with their faces directed towards each other, and both looking towards the mercy-seat, which they also covered with their expanded wings. From this place God was accustomed to speak to Moses, and hence he delivered his holy oracles. I
* Judg. xviii. 31. I Sam. i. 24. f I Sam. ix, 12, 13. Schilte Hagibborim c. 57. Isaac Abarbinel and R. Levi Ben Gerson, on
I Kings iii. f Deut. xii. 8. H Comm. I Sam. ix. 12, 13.
In the outer sanctuary was a table, always supplied with bread, which is commonly called “the shew
bread;” and an altar to burn incense upon, with four horns. The table and altar were both overlaid with gold: whence the altar is frequently called the golden altar. In this sanctuary was a candlestick constantly furnished with seven lamps; which many suppose to have represented the stars of heaven, as they imagine the place itself to have been a figure of the visible world. Nor is it improbable, that, as the inner sanctuary was an emblem of the supreme heaven, so the outer sanctuary was an image of the visible world; and that thus the residence which God had among the Hebrews shadowed forth his vast temple of the universe. Before the door of the tabernacle was a court inclosed on every side by extended cur
ip The original 1993 is rendered by the Septuagint, sometimes 716such the covering, sometimes thaoingiov the propitiatory, Exod. XXV, 22. Num. vii. 8, 9.
tains. There was placed a larger altar to burn the sacrifices upon, with a sloping ascent and four horns. This altar was covered, not with gold, but with brass. Between the altar and the door of the tabernacle stood a brazen laver, where the priests used to wash their hands and their feet when they were about to enter on any sacred services; for they were prohibited to perform any of the rites of their worship with their hands or feet unwashed.
It is not necessary to enumerate all the other parts and appendages of the tabernacle. It only requires to be added, that the tabernacle itself, and all its vessels, in order to give them the greater appearance of sanctity, were anointed with a holy oil; which was the way in which God directed them to be consecrated and dedicated to himself.
III. As a moveable sanctuary was sufficiently adapted to the unsettled state of the people in the wilderness, so it little comported with the fixed habitions, and ample wealth which they acquired on their settlement in Cariaan. Influenced by this consideration, and expecting to illustrate his own name, David, the best of their kings, meditated the great work of erecting a fixed and splendid edifice as a temple for God. The piety of the design was commended, but the work itself was not permitted to be executed, as not becoming a man engaged in war and stained with blood and slaughter. That honour was reserved for Solomon, a monarch born to peace and tranquillity; who having ascended the throne, acquired immense wealth, and obtained the friendship of Hiram king of Tyre, which very much facilitated the great work, erected a magnificent temple to Jehovah.
The sanctuaries of the temple and tabernacle were