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Lord to Solomon; after both these sacred types of Christ's body it was formed. It is said of him, "He shall be for a sanctuary," Isaiah viii. 14.
As Bezaleel and Aholiab were divinely filled with the Spirit Jehovah, and instructed by him how to work all the curious work on the curtains, veils, vestments, and other things, which belonged to the tabernacle, and its arks, cherubims, mercy-seat, candlesticks, table, and shew-bread, and other things connected with it: and as the model of the temple, with all belonging to it, was given to David, and the Spirit Jehovah caused him to understand the whole of it, and he gave the same to his son Solomon to execute it; so the eternal Spirit framed, articulated, and reared up the body of Christ, and filled it with the utmost perfection of his gifts and graces. And the Son of God assumed and gave it subsistence by a personal union with it; so that he became hereby true and very man, God and man united in one Christ. By this personal union of our nature to the Son of God, there is a relative holiness which results therefrom, and which stamps all the actions of Christ, and gives them all their worth and efficacy. And as at the dedication of the temple, a supernatural glory, splendour, light, and fire, came down upon it, and consumed the sacrifice, as a token of God's taking possession of the temple, and of his acceptance of their offerings; so at the dedication of Christ's body, when he entered publicly on his mediatorial work, immediately after he had been baptized, on his praying, the heavens were opened, the Holy Ghost descended ou him, and the Father uttered his glorious voice, saying, "Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased," Mark i. 11. It is probable that the descent of the Holy Ghost on our Lord, and the Father's voice, were seen and heard by Christ and John alone, because in the record which he bore of Christ, of his being the Messiah, he says, " I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him, and I knew him not; but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost: and I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God," John i. 32, 33, 34.
Now, had all the multitudes who were with John, seen this great sight, the descent of the Holy Ghost on Jesus of Nazareth, they might have borne their testimony also, that he was the Son of God; but the splendour, glory, majesty, and honour of this, with the irresistible evidence it carried with it, concerning Christ's being the essential Word, the only begotten of the Father, seems to me, and so it did to Dr. Lightfoot before, to have been seen by the baptist only.
As the temple was a solemn memorial of Christ's body, the glory of the Lord which filled it at its consecration, was a symbol and evidence that the humanity of Christ would be filled with all the essential-glory and perfection of Deity, and that God the Son would dwell with men on the earth; so every part of its service and furniture was expressive of him.
As you entered into the court of the priests, where the brazen altar, sea, lavers, and priests stood, there was every thing suited to set forth Christ crucified. The altar of burnt-offering, with the sacrifices burning on it, and the priests officiating thereat, were very expressive of Christ, as the sacrifice for sin, sustaining the fire of divine wrath, and as the Lamb of God bearing away the sin of the world; the blood sprinkled round about the altar, shewed that the efficacy of it to cleanse from all sin, originated in his eternal Godhead. The priests standing at it, was as it were proclaiming atonement for sin, set forth in the typical sacrifices, as God's ordinance for life and salvation, they being memorials of the future offering of Christ's body and soul, in union with his person, whereby the sins of his people would be for ever done away, and an everlasting righteousness brought in, by which they would be perfected for ever. The molten
sea was very expressive of Christ's blood which swallows up all our guilt; so that as the prophet Micah expresses it, "The Lord hath cast all our sins into the depth of the sea." The lavers proclaimed the perpetual virtue of the blood of Jesus, they being always uncovered and for use. The temple itself was full of Christ in all its sacred golden tables and candlesticks, and altar of incense. The bread and light were clearly and divinely symbolical of him who is the living bread, and the light of everlasting life; and the golden altar was typical of Christ's intercession. The ark of the covenant, in the holiest of all, was figurative of Christ, the Holy One of God.
The temple was typical of Christ, as it was the place of God's residence, where he commanded his blessing, even life for evermore; so that our Lord might, with the greatest propriety, allude unto it, and speak of himself as the very substance, glory, and antitype of it, saying, " Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up:" which words were actually fulfilled by him; for the tabernacle and temple of his body, being by wicked hands crucified and slain, he raised it up from under the power and dominion of death, by the power of his eternal Godhead on the third day, and thereby proved the truth of what he asserted of his own life, and which none but himself could say, "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it up again: no man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself: I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again: this commandment have I received of my Father." John viii. 17, 18.
I will now, secondly, shew how Christ is the antitype of the temple. As the temple was the outward visible type of Christ's body, and every part of its furniture a type and figure of him ; so he calls the type, and the thing signified, by the same name. His body is the true tabernacle, the living temple, in which Jehovah the Son dwells and inhabits, and which he fills with all the train of heavenly graces, and with all the fulness of the Godhead; so that like as in the holy of holies, (in the cloud of glory, between the wings of the cherubims, by a supernatural light and splendour,) Jehovah was pleased to attest his presence with his own divinely instituted emblems, and sometimes to shine forth in a human form in the holiest of all, prefiguring and fore-signifying the incarnation of the second person in the essence; so in the man Christ Jesus, all this is realized.
In his human nature, the Son of God lives and dwells, as in his temple: and thus the two distinct natures of Christ, with their union in his one most adorable person, are most divinely evidenced. His humanity is the temple: his