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Now the Sun of righteousness, * as does the sun of nature, reveals a partial glory. The triune Godhead, paternal, filial, and consoling Deity, robed in light which man cannot approach, blazes upon its glorious throne, the mercy-seat, in full meridian splendour, 'midst cherubims of glory. The brightness of his Father's glory, and express image of his refulgent person, in close approximation, like to outstretching sunbeams, diminishes in lustre as he diverges from the glory of his source, shines in the milder radiance of his benignant presence over paradisaic realms, lengthening his fainter rays unto our lower region, where veiled in the medium of a carnal nature, or hid within the pillar of a cloud, bending from out their rectilineal course by countless incurvations, comforts, illumines, sanctifies the intellectual system of these nether heavens. The glory of the Lord filleth his whole house; his baptism is fire. (Matt. xxviii. 19; Exod. xxiv. 16, 17; xxv. 22; John xvii. 5; Heb. i. 3; John xiv. 12; 2 Cor. v. 8; Phil. i. 23; Heb. x. 20; 1 Cor. x. 4; Ephes. iv. 16; 2 Chron. vii. 1; Matt. iii. 11.) From these passages the foregoing description has been formed.
We do, however, trust that our readers have discriminated between our humble endeavour to show that such things may be, and the vain supposition of having discovered how these things are, (any further than they are revealed to us by the word of God,) and remembered that the sketch adumbrated is merely designed to illustrate the first position. Religionists believe what they do not comprehend, rationalists reject it: any figures, therefore, that can lead the latter from what they do see and can comprehend, to acknowledge that such things may be as in this life they cannot see and cannot comprehend, will not, we hope, be held an useless contemplation by the former: it may be graciously rendered through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ, (2 Pet. i. 1,) the feeble instrument of their obtaining like precious faith with us. (2 Pet. i. 1.) The manifestation of the Spirit hath been given to profit withal. (1 Cor. xii. 7.) The manifestation of the doctrine of the Trinity has undoubtedly been imparted for the same benevolent purpose ; and we feel assured, that when our more particular examination of this doctrine has been stated, that the inferences therefrom arising will tend to prove the truth of that apostolic assertion, which declares, that it is through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus Christ our Lord, that grace and peace are multiplied unto us. (2 Peter i. 2.)
* Malachi ij. 7. “On you shall the Sun of righteousness arise, with healing in his wings.”
But to return to the object of our contemplation, the holy place, or intermediate heaven, which it may not be improper to remark, is distinguished in Scripture by several different titles : for besides that just specified, it is called the sanctuary. (Heb. ix. 2.)* By St. Luke it is styled the temple, (Luke i. 9,) of which it unquestionably
* The first division is distinguished by the appellation of the outward sanctuary.
formed a part.* In Leviticus, the court of the tabernacle of the congregation.t In Exodus,f the tent of the congregation-which appellation does itself pre-show a temporary residence—and the holy types therein contained do very clearly point out, that its express appropriation is for the reception and perfecting of probationary beings,that though regeneration must be commenced in the primary tabernacle, it is to be completed in the secondary one,-and that it is in the holy place above we shall be purified and perfected for acceptance with God. “And thou shalt also make a table of shittim wood, and thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, and make thereto a crown of gold round about.” (In this illustrious region the holy types were likewise ordered to be surmounted by a royal diadem; and it may be presumed that the splendid crown affixed to this type was intended to denote that here the second glorious person in the blessed Trinity reveals his sacred presence.) “And thou shalt make unto it a border of an hand breadth round about, and thou shalt make a golden crown to the border thereof round about. And thou shalt make the staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold, that the table may be borne with them. And thou shalt make the dishes thereof, and spoons thereof, and covers thereof, and bowls thereof, to cover withal : of pure gold shalt thou make them. And thou shalt set upon the table shew-bread before me alway. And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work shall the candlestick be made : his shaft, and his branches, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers, shall be of the same : all of it shall be one beaten work of pure gold. And thou shalt make the seven lamps thereof: and they shall light the lamps thereof, that they may give light over against it. And the tongs thereof, and the snuff-dishes thereof shall be of pure gold. Of a talent of pure gold shall he make it, with all these vessels. And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was showed thee in the mount.” (Exod. xxv. 23-40.) “And thou shalt set the table without the vail, and the candlestick over against the table.” “ And thou shalt make an altar to burn incense upon : of shittim wood shalt thou make it. And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, the top thereof, and the sides thereof round about, and the horns thereof, and thou shalt make unto it a crown of gold round about. And thou shalt put it before the vail that is by the ark of the testimony, before the mercy-seat that is over the testimony, where I will meet with thee. And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning: when he dresses the lamps, he shall burn incense on it. And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations. Ye shall offer no strange incense thereon, nor burnt sacrifice, nor meat offering ; neither shall ye pour drink offering thereon.” (Exod. xxx. 1—9.) In these directions we find some distinction in splendour between the types affixed in the most holy and the holy place ; the former, with the exception of the ark of the testament, (Exod. xxv. 10,) being commanded to be made of gold, beaten out of one piece. (Exod. xxxvii. 7.) Whereas, the other was ordered to be formed of shittim wood, overlaid with purest gold; for besides the subordinate dignity of its destination and inhabitants, it may be presumed that this distinction was intended to denote, that in that most resplendent region in which these most splendid types were placed, paternal Deity does evermore reveal the glory of his presence.
* And it came to pass, that while Zachariah executed the priest's office before God, in the order of his course according to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord; and the incense altar, we know, was placed in the holy place before the vail. See Rev. xi. 1.
+ Levit. vi. 16. “And the remainder thereof shall Aarop and his sons eat: with unleavened bread shall it be eaten in the holy place; in the court of the tabernacle of the congregation they shall eat it.”
Exod. xl. 22–27. “And he put the table in the tent of the congregation, upon the side of the tabernacle north ward, without the vail. And he set the bread in order upon it before the Lord; as the Lord commanded Moses. And he put the candlestick in the tent of the congregation, over against the table, on the side of the tabernacle southward. And he lighted the lamps before the Lord, as the Lord commanded Moses. And he put the golden altar in the tent of the congregation before the vail : And he burnt sweet incense thereon, as the Lord commanded Moses.” It is here observable, that the table for the shew-bread, which is above directed to be placed in the tent of the congregation, is, in Exod. xxvi., expressly directed to be placed in the holy place, clearly proving, that the tent of the congregation and the holy place, are descriptive of one and the self-same religion.