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over the houses of the Israelites, their door-posts having been sprinkled with the blood of the paschal lamb, which was sacrificed in the evening. That night was the termination of the four hundred and thirty years of the sojourning of the Hebrews, from the time of Abraham, Gen. xv. 13, 14. Exod. xii. 41, 42. It was the fourteenth day of the month Abib, answering to the beginning of our April; and which, from that event, became the chief of their months, and the commencement of their ecclesiastical year, which had not been before that time distinguished from the civil, Exod. xii. 2–18; xxiii. 15.

(The passover was typical of our Saviour, and hence the apostle says,

“ Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us,” 1 Cor. v. 7.) The spotless purity of his heart and life was prefigured by the paschal lamb, being without blemish. Christians are, therefore, redeemed not with “ silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot,” 1 Pet. i. 18, 19. As the Israelites were passed over and delivered by the shedding of the blood, and feeding upon the flesh of the paschal lamb,--so the salvation of Christians is enjoyed by feeding, in faith, upon the flesh and blood of Christ, John vi. 52–62.

6. Pentecost is a Greek word, signifying the fiftieth ; this festival was so called because it was celebrated the fiftieth day after the second day of the passover. The feast of Pentecost was instituted to commemorate the giving of the law at Sinai, it being received fifty days after the deliverance from Egypt. It was called, also, the Feast of Harvest, as it was held at the close of the wheat harvest, the first fruits of which, in two loaves of fine flour, were presented to the Lord, with sacrifices, thanksgiving, and rejoicing. The public sacrifice was seven lambs of that year, one calf, and two rams for a burnt-offering; two lambs for a peace-offering, and a goat for a sin-offering, Lev. xxiii. 15–17.

It is worthy of observation, that this feast happened on the Lord's-day that year in which our Saviour was


crucified, when the apostles were miraculously endowed by the Holy Spirit to qualify them for establishing the kingdom of Christ, and when three thousand were at one time brought into his church.

7. The Feast of Tabernacles was held at the close of the whole harvest and vintage, Deut. xvi. 13, to acknowledge the bounty of God, in crowning the year with his blessings. It was designed to commemorate the goodness of God in protecting the Israelites in the wilderness: for which purpose during this feast they dwelt in booths formed of the boughs of trees, and in these they continued seven days, to remind them of their forefathers sojourning in the desert. The Feast of Tabernacles commenced on the fifteenth day of Tisri, which was the first month of the civil year, on the first of which a festival was held called the Feast of Trumpets, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, or of triumph and shouting for joy. It began the year; the tenth was the Day of Atonement, Lev. xxiii. 27. 34–43. Deut. xvi. 13-15.

8. The Sabbatical Year, the Jubilee or Year of Release, was every seventh year. As the sabbath-day signified that the people were the Lord's, for which reason they abstained from their own work to do the work of the Lord; so the sabbatical year was intended to remind them that both they and their land belonged to the Lord. The observation of this festival consisted principally in two things. 1. In not tilling the ground or pruning the vine; whence the land was said to keep a Sabbath, Lev. xxv. 6. 2. In discharging all debtors and releasing all debts; from which it was called the Lord's Release, Deut. xv. 249. To remove all the fears of the timid, God promised to command his blessing upon the sixth year, that the land should bring forth the fruit of three years, Lev. xxv. 20—22. Religious instruction was to be particularly communicated to the servants and to the poor in this year of release, that the knowledge and fear of God might be preserved among the people, Deut. xxxi. 10–13.

9. The Great Jubilee, or Grand Sabbatical Year, was appointed to be held every fiftieth year, at the end of seven of the smaller jubilees. This was a year of general release, not only of all debts, but of all slaves and prisoners, and of all lands and possessions, whether they had been sold or mortgaged. This joyful period was announced in the evening after the solemn services of the day of atonement. This time was most wisely appointed; as the rich and the injured would be better prepared to remit the debts of their brethren, when they themselves had been imploring forgiveness of God; and when peace was made with God, by the sacrifices of atonement, it was peculiarly suitable to proclaim liberty and rejoicing throughout the country. The design of this institution was both political and typical. The jubilee was political, intended to prevent the oppression of the poor, as well as their being liable to perpetual slavery. By this means, the rich were prevented from getting the whole of the landed property into their own possession, and a kind of equality was maintained in all their families. By this means also, the distinction of tribes was preserved, in respect both of their estates and families, and it was thus correctly ascertained from what tribe and family the Messiah descended.

The jubilee had a typical design, to which the prophet Isaiah refers in predicting the character and office of Messiah, lxi. 1, 2. Luke iv. 17-21. The various terms which the prophet employs alluded to the blessings of the jubilee, but their full sense refers to the richer blessings of the gospel, which proclaims spiritual release from the bondage of sin and Satan, liberty of returning to our heavenly inheritance by Jesus Christ, and the privilege of being enriched with the treasures of his grace on earth, preparatory to the enjoyment of the ce lestial glory.

CHAPTER XIII.-DIVISIONS OF THE BIBLE. The Bible contains two collections of writings, distinguished by the titles, the Old and The New Testament. The former comprises the successive revelations of the divine will to the Hebrews, both the Israelites and Jews, before the advent of Christ; and the latter contains the inspired writings of the apostles and evangelists of our Lord and Saviour. The two parts include sixty-six books. The thirty-nine books of the Old Testament were classed in three divisions by the ancient Jews: these portions were called, 1. The Law: 2. The Prophets: and 3. The Holy Writings. The law containing the five books of Moses, was called the Pentateuch, from a Greek word signifying five instruments. The Prophets included Joshua, Judges, the two books of Samuel, and the two books of Kings, which were called the Former Prophets: and the Latter Prophets comprised Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the twelve lesser prophetical books from Hosea to Malachi, which were reckoned as one book. The Hagiographa, or Holy Writings, comprehended the Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Solomon's Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra, with Nehemiah, and the two books of Chronicles.

That arrangement of the sacred books, which has been adopted in our Bibles, is not regulated by the exact order of time in which they were severally written : the book of Genesis is, however, universally allowed to have been the first, (the book of Job being perfected by Moses about the same time,) and the prophecy of Malachi was the last of the Old Testament.

The Psalms were, from the first, distinct compositions; but the other sacred books were divided into fifty-three larger and smaller sections: so that one of each being read in the synagogue every sabbath-day, the whole of the Old Testament was read publicly once a year.

The sacred writings had, originally, no marks of punctuation, and letter followed letter, as if every line were but a single word. Necessity, therefore, led to the adoption of some marks of distinction, both for public and private reading. The Jews began early to point their sections: some say in the time of Ezra; others attribute this improvement to the second century of the Christian era. The New Testament was first pointed by Jerome, in the fourth century; and divided into church lessons and sections by Ammonius and Euthalius in the century following:

The division of the Bible into chapters and verses (not however such small portions as the present verses) was made by cardinal Hugo, about A. D. 1240. The plan of Hugo having become known to Rabbi Nathan in the fifteenth century, he made a Hebrew concordance to the Old Testament, retaining the chapters, but improving the order of the verses.

The New Testament was divided into verses, and numbered, A. D. 1545, by Robert Stephens, a very learned Frenchman, who was printer to the king of France. These divisions were made for the convenience of more readily finding the different passages of the Scriptures; and they are of incalculable advantage to us: but in some cases, they ratherinterrupt the connexion between one part and another: it is, therefore especially necessary, in seeking correctly to understand any chapter or passage, to consider the whole design of the writer, as it may be perceived by means of the preceding and following parts of the book.

The following table has been published, as containing accurate particulars of the English version of the Bible; and which will probably be interesting to most readers. In the Old Testament. In the New Testament.

Total. Books. 39 Books....

27 | Books Chapters. 929 Chapters.

260 Chapters

1,189 Verses....... ..23,214 | Verses. ..7,959 | Verses

.31,173 Words.......592,493 Words. 181,253 Words ..773,746 Letters.....2,728,100 | Letters...... 838,380 | Letters .... 3,566,480

The middle chapter and the shortest in the Bible is the hundred and seventeenth Psalm; the middle verse

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