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hast redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins. Let me then ask, dost thou feel thy sin, and want of Christ? Art thou brought to know the everlasting sufficiency of the blood and sacrifice, the obedience and death of the God-man, Christ Jesus, to save thee from all thy sins and miseries, and to present thee before God as perfectly righteous and spotless, as though thou hadst never sinned? Art thou trusting on the blood of the Lamb of God, for thy everlasting discharge and acquittance from all sin; and upon the obedience of Christ to death, even the death of the cross, for thy perfect justification before the throne? If thou canst call God to witness, saying, I speak the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, that I believe the blood of Christ to be everlastingly sufficient to cleanse me from all sin, thou art a believer, and hast everlasting life. The Lord bless what I have set before thee. Amen.
ON THE DEDICATION OF THE ALTAR BY THE PRINCES OF ISRAEL.
Numbers vii. 10, 11.
11 And the princes offered for dedicating of the altar, in the day that it was anointed; even the princes offered their offering before the altar. And the Lord said unto Moses, they shall offer their offering, each prince on his day, for the dedicating of the altar.
IN the first chapter of this book, we are informed, that on the first day of the second month, the Lord provided for the Israelites to pitch their camps, as on the first day of the first month, they had begun to erect the tabernacle. The people are numbered from twenty years old, and upwards; and their number amounted to six hundred thousand, and three thousand, and five hundred and fifty, Numb. i. 46. Of all which number, only two men entered the land of Canaan, viz. Caleb and Joshua.
The levites are not reckoned in this sum, and accordingly fall not under the same curse with the others, of not entering into the land of promise.
Not one impotent or sickly person, was found in all the congregation of Israel: sd good was the Lord unto them.
The Lord gave commandment also concern* ing their encampment, in what manner they should pitch. The tabernacle was to be the centre: that being placed in the middle, the levites pitched next unto it, in a quadrangular body, round about it, at a certain distance. The whole body of Israelites pitched at another distance about them, in the same form, and two thousand cubits distance from the tabernacle. Every side of the square was distinguished by its respective ensigns. Judah's ensign was a lion, one of the figures in the cherubim: Ephraim's ensign was a bullock, this was also a figure in the cherubim: a man was the ensign of Reuben: an eagle was the ensign of Dan: both cherubic emblems.
As the camps were cast into a four-square form, and had these four ensigns, all taken from the cherubim of glory; so as they lay encamped, the tabernacle was in the midst, as Christ is in the midst of his church.
The sanctuary and its court, were in a long square, twice as long as they were broad. In what form the camp of Israel was, the scripture doth not shew, save that it was round about the tabernacle. Ainsworth says, it is likely it was a square, and so many thousand tents could not be pitched in a little room. Josephus says, that between every tribe in the four quarters, there was a space, like a mart, or fair, to buy and sell, with artificers shops, as if it had been a city. The camp of Israel is said to be twelve miles long, and twelve miles broad.
As God's sanctuary was walled about with the twelve tribes of Israel, so the new Jerusalem hath a wall with twelve gates, and names written thereon, of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel. And the wall hath twelve foundations, and in them, the names of the twelve apostles and the Lamb, Rev. xxi. 12.
As there were three tribes on every quarter,
so the new Jerusalem hath three gates on the
east, three on the north, three on the south, and
three on the west, Rev. xxi. 13. As these twelve
tribes, had their fathers' name graven on twelve
precious stones, on the breast plate of the high
priest; so the foundations of the wall of the
heavenly city, is of the like precious stones, Rev,
xxi. 19. As between the sanctuary and the
tribes of Israel, there were four companies of
levites, to watch and guard the holy tabernacle;
so between God's throne, and the four and
twenty elders, who encompassed it, were four living animals, full of eyes, and round them were four and twenty elders, who fell down and worshipped God: see Rev. iv. The description in the fourth chapter of Revelations of the gospel church state and worship, is evidently taken from the encampment of the Israelites round about the tabernacle in the wilderness.
The levites being taken instead of all the first-born of the children of Israel, they are numbered. The time when they should enter on their service, what their particular employments should be, and when they should cease from serving, is very expressly declared. The truly excellent and learned Ainsworth, hath an excellent observation respecting the dignity of Aaron: 'He was elder brother to Moses; he was by marriage, brother to Nasson, prince of Judah, for he had to wife, Elzabeth, his sister, Exodus vi. 23. he was joined with Moses in the government of Israel, Psalm Ixxvii. 20. He had the honour to offer sacrifice for the whole church, 1 Chron. xxiii. 13. But Christ, our prophet, priest, and king, far excelleth him.'
In this chapter before me, an account is given, that when the tabernacle was set up, and anointed, and sanctified, the princes of the twelve tribes brought their presents, as voluntary offerings to the service of the Lord. The Holy Ghost, had doubtless, suggested to their minds, what would be necessary. And their