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CHAPTER Xl

farther views of the tabernacle of Witness. Beginning wi lb the martyr Stephen's view.

It will perhaps be profitable to recur to the tabernacle of witness, and to note well the testimony of Stephen and others in respect to the manifestations, elucidating the doctrine we have Under examination. In Acts 7th chapter, and 44th and 45th verses we find it recorded, " Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen: which also our fathers Which came after brought in with Jesus into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drave out before the face of our fathers unto the days of David." Stephen, with great propriety, calls this the Tabernacle of witness, for here was a standing miracle of the truth which Moses delivered. The ten commandments given to Moses, and written on tables of stone upon the Mount, were deposited in the compartment of this tabernacle, designated the "ark of the covenant, in the most holy place;" and Aaron's rod, that "budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds, and the golden pot that contained the manna ware there deposited, as a memorial," and as "a shadow of good things to come." And Stephen tells us, that " our fathers that came after, brought in with Jesus," that is Joshua, "into the possession of the Gentiles,," that is, unto the land afterwards called Judea.-— This Tabernacle was erected first in Shiloh, after the children of Israel had gained possession of the promised land; and in the days of David they took the city of Jerusalem from the Jebusites. And here it should be remembered, the Lord commanded Moses, that the ark of the covenant should be placed in the city which he should choose, to put his name there. And after this, David gathered all the children of Israel together, with the priests and Levites in their station in which the Lord had appointed them, and went down and brought the tabernacle to Jerusalem; and placed it in that part of the city called Zion. And David beheld the glory of the Lord, and the cloudy pillar, which had accompanied the children of Israel through the Red Sea, and after that abode on the mount Sinai, and after that abode on the tabernacle, and followed the tabernacle to Shiloh, and till that time, when the Tabernacle was removed to Zion. David, on beholding this glory, danced before the ark with all his might, and said the Lord has gone up to Zion. The last cited text gives some light on the subject . We discover wisdom and goodness in God, in adopting this method to inform and confirm the human family, in the being of a God, the truth of divine revelation, and gradually leading them into the plan of redemption, and especially into the true knowledge of the Saviour of mankind, before he came in the flesh. Surely this Tabernacle may properly be called the "'tabernacle of witness," because it stood as a present witness, a standing miracle of the wisdom and goodness of God, not only in its formation, but especially for the long continuance of the Sche

chinah, or Divine Glory, which shone with light of transcendant lustre from the mercy seat, from between the cherubims. This glory was sometimes so bright, it filled the outer-court and the whole temple. This divine, effulgent glory, continued not only to the clays of David and Solomon, but long after, even down to a little period, before the Lord sold his people into the hands of the Babylonians.

One or two displays of this Divine Glory, which in particular was more than the usual displays of it, while it attended the tabernacle and temple we shall notice. The first will be found recorded in the 2d of Chronicles. In order, however, to give the reader the fullest view of this tabernacle of witness, we transcribe the 5th chapter at large, and part of the following one.

"Thus all the work that Solomon made for the house of the Lord was finished: and Solomon brought in all the things that David his father had dedicated; and the silver, and the gold, and all the instruments, put he among the treasures of the house of God.

"Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, unto Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of the city of David, which is Zion.

"Wherefore all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto the king in the feast which was in the seventh month.

"And all the elders of Israel came; and the Levites took up the ark.

"And they brought up the ark, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and all the holy vessels that were in the tabernacle; these did the priests and the Levtes bring up.

"Also king Solomon, and the congregation of Israel that were assembled unto him before the ark, sacrificed sheep and oxen, which could not be told nor numbered for multitude.

"And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the Lord unto his place, to the oracle of the house, into the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims:

"For the cherubims spread forth their wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and the staves thereof above.

* And they drew out the staves of the ark, that the ends of the staves were seen from the ark before the oracle; but they were not seen without . And there it is unto this day.

"There was nothing in the ark save the two tables which Moses put therein at Horeb, when the Lord made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of Egypt.

"And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place; (for all the priests that were present were sanctified, and did not then wait by course:

"Also the Levites which were the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, being arrayed in white linen, having cymbals, and psalteries, and harps, stood at the east,end of the altar, and with them a hundred and twenty priests, sounding with trumpets;)

"It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord, and when they lifted up their voice with the trump«fs, and cymbals, and instruments of music, and praised the Lord, saying, Foi he is good; for his mercy endureth forever: tha; then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord;

"So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud : for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God.

"Then said Solomon, The Lord hath said that he would dwell in the thick darkness.

"But I have built a house of habitation for thee, and a place for thy dwslling for ever."

And in the 41st verse of chapter 6, "Now therefore arise, 0 Lord God, into thy restingplace, thou, and the ark of thy strength: let thy priests, 0 Lord God, be clothed with salvation, and let the saints rejoice in goodness.

And in the same chapter, verse 18, "But will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth? Behold, heaven, and the heaven of heavens, cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built!"

And in chapter 7, " Now, when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the house.

"And the priests could not enter into the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord's house.

"And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and, the glory of the Lord upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the Lord," &c.

Having quoted the most leading and prominent manifestations of God's presence, and the displays ef his glory in the temple and tabernacle, yet it

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