« AnteriorContinuar »
Lord commanded Moses. And he set thelaver between the tent of the congregation and the altar, and put water there to wash withal. And Moses, and Aaron, and his sons, washed their hands and their feet thereat; when they went into the tent of the congregation, and when they came near unto the altar, they washed; as the Lord commanded Moses." And thus I am brought to my text, "And he reared up the court round about the tabernacle and the altar, and set up the hanging of the court gate; so Moses finished the work."
I will here endeavour to set before you briefly, what the tabernacle, with its sacred emblems, and the court, with its sacred furniture, signified. And first, of the tabernacle. It was a type, symbol, and pledge of our Lord's incarnation; a figure of his body, as was the temple, of which our Lord, speaking of himself as the antitype, says, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it op. But he spake of the tabernacle or temple of his body." John ii. 19, 21. The tabernacle and temple were both one and the same, as to their symbolical meaning. The walls of the temple, which were of shittim wood, were covered with plates of gold on the inside, and on the outside with various coverings; so that it might be said to be mean in its outward appearance, though all-glorious within. So Christ in our nature appeared in the form of a servant, and in the likeness of sinful flesh. The tabernacle being to be taken down and set up, as occasion required, might serve to point out how our Lord's body would be pulled down by death, and raised up again by his resurrection from the grave, and power of death. The tabernacle being all-glorious within, served to point out Christ, who though essentially and personally glorious, as one in the incomprehensible Jehovah, and as God-man, all fulness of grace and glory was inherently in him, yet it was suspended and concealed under and within the tabernacle of his earthy body. The fine linen sculptured curtains were emblematical of the immaculate purity and perfection of his human nature; which was prepared by the Father, framed and articulated by the Holy Ghost, and assumed by the only begotten Son of God into personal union, so that God and man became one Christ. The man and lion, and the lion and man united in the profile cherubic figure on the curtains of fine linen, were a memorial of the union of the Second Person in Jehovah, to the man Christ Jesus. The colours of blue, purple, and scarlet, with which the figures of the cherubs were wrought in the curtains, may be considered as expressive of the bloody sweat, the bleeding body, and the death of Christ. The several coverings might denote the protection and safety which Christ affords his church. The tabernacle was Jehovah's dwelling-place. It shadowed forth Christ's becoming incarnate, and tabernacling with his people.
The tabernacle and its vails also were types of the body 6f Christ. The first vail or curtain, by which the priest entered into the holy place, was expressive of Christ, who is the way of access to God. Our Lord says of himself, "I am the door; by me, if any man enter in, he shall be saved." As the priest entered, he saw the golden candlestick, with its seven lamps; an exhibition of Christ, the light of everlasting life. Opposite to it was the table of shew bread, with the cups of frankincense; expressive of Christ, who bears up his people in remembrance before the Lord; he is always in his Father's presence on their behalf; he perfumes both their persons and services, so that they are a sweet perfume to God: Christ remembers his church and people with everlasting kindness. It was also expressive of Christ, the bread of everlasting life. The golden altar of incense was typical of Christ, the intercessor of his church. The curious vail or curtain, which parted the holy from the most holy place, was expressive of the body of Christ: it pointed out his flesh, as rent by death, to open a passage way into the holiest of all. The ark, mercy-seat, and cherubims of glory, were sacred records of the covenant transactions of the eternal Three; they were symbolical of Christ, who is the most holy; they were memorials of him, as the propitiation; they pointed him out as the great law-fuller, "Who is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth." The cherubims were the figures of the great ones, the Three in the Essence, who engaged before all worlds, by their covenant transactions and oath* to save the elect in Christ, with an everlasting salvation. And the golden pot of manna, in the holy of holies, was typical of Christ, the everlasting life and glory of his people.
The court of the tabernacle, which was the inclosure of the tabernacle, as it surrounded it, might serve to shadow out the church of Christ as a sacred inclosure, guarded, secured, and surrounded by the Lord, who is as "a wall of fire round about his people, and their glory in the midst." The altar of burnt-offering, was a solemn memorial of Christ, as God's ordinance of salvation; his oblation and death being the true and only atonement for sin. The laver of brass, with the water in it, was emblematical of Christ's blood, as a fountain opened to the house of David, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for siu and for uncleanness.
Having thus set before you in this brief manner, what the tabernacle, with its sacred emblems, and the court, with its sacred furniture, signified, I am brought to my last head of discourse, and shall go on to shew,
Lastly, how the cloud covered it, and the glory of the Lord filled it, when it was set up, according to the divine command.
The tabernacle, with all its sacred emblems and symbols, and the court, with its peculiar and mystical furniture, being perfected according to the divine command, it pleased Jehovah to testify his divine acceptance and approbation thereof, as says my text, "Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle." Jehovah descended in this cloud, which, I conceive, was the same in which he went before the people when he had brought them out of Egypt, and covered the tent or tabernacle with it. Its covering the tent was a symbol of the Lord's immediate presence, and shewed his acceptance of what had been done in preparing and rearing it. The tabernacle was itself a symbol of the Lord's presence with his people, and by the cloud and glory of the Lord which now filled it, Jehovah took up his dwelling in this his tent or pavilion thus prepared for him. As it was a testimony of his divine approbation, so it shewed that he was come to dwell with them, according to his promise, £xod. xxv. 8. "And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them." And again, Exod. xxix. 43." The tabernacle shall be sanctified by my glory." The Lord at this time