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cal insignia He has fullly realised; unsullied holiness is the resplendent gem of which his splendid diadem is alone composed—it sheds a lustre of unrivalled glory over all his blessed raiment; yields odours far more delicious than the rich, precious ointment poured on Aaron's head, which ran down on his beard, descending to his skirt as the dew-drops of Hermon, (Ps. cxxxiii.)—faint emblem of the blest heavenly dew, the gracious dew of grace, descending from this great High
we call daceas; and the Grecian herbalists, henbane. And lest any man that hath not heretofore seen the same, should be ige norant of the nature thereof, I have thought good to set down the description in this place. This herb is of the height of three spans; hath a root like a turnip or navew, and leaves that resemble smallage or rocquet. Out of the stem it putteth forth a certain bud, cleaving to the branches of it, invested with a coat which it casts off when the fruit waxeth ripe. This bud is as big as the joint of a little finger, having a circumference like unto a cup;—which I will describe more plainly, that the ignorant may the better comprehend it. In the lower part thereof about the bottom, it resembleth in roundness a half a bowl; and according as it groweth up it is straitened, until being again dilated in the extremity or brim, it ends in a partition, not much unlike to a pomegranate cut in the midst; to which there is annexed and groweth a round cover, as if turned and framed on purpose, having eminent clefts (as I said,) like to the midst of a pomegranate, resembling the pointed and sharp thorns, and pricking blades: (it may be symbolic of the sharp crown of thorns with which the head of our adored Lord was barbarously and impiously invested.) Now it containeth a certain fruit under the cover, and the whole is like to the seed of the herb siderites; its fower is not much unlike that which springeth from the poppies. This mitre covered the back part of the head, and the two temples; for these cups came not near the front or brow, for on the same there was as it were a plate of gold, on which the name of God was engraven. Such were the ornaments of the high priest.”
Priest of priests on Zion's faithful ministers : for there the Lord commands his choicest blessing, even life for evermore. From this refulgent region, its hallowed Priest and King sends forth his swift-winged bierarchs to the quarternian windsdirecting that no hedge or highway be left un explored; Arcturus, Orion, Pleiades, and chambers of the south ; (Job ix. 9;) but that they glean and gather every virtuous spirit from heaven's remotest end, from one end to the other. These radiant convoys never near the happy shores of this pure, peaceful realm, without importing us fresh influx of felicity : myriads of ambient spirits hover around its coasts, in joyful expectation of a re-union with their long-left kindred friends; hailing, with the celestial songs of Moses and the Lamb, (Rev. xv. 3,) their fast approach unto that glorious gate, where the great steward over God's unnumbered household (Heb. x. 21) awaits their blest arrival. No reckoning here is required ; faith in the atoning blood of this adored Saviour has fully paid their passport, and obtained free and abundant entrance into his blessed kingdom. But no pencil here can paint, no tongue on earth can tell, the overflowing rapture of this most blissful meeting. They will ever follow now the unblemished Lamb whithersoever He goes : He will lead them to the crystal fonts of true and living water; there will they allay their thirst, and never thirst again. (John iv. 14.) Not a probationary throughout infinite space but here does joy and glory, that they have not an high priest which cannot be touched by feeling of intirmity. The last and solemn act that closed their state of trial, pleaded the merits of their slaughtered Shepherd upon that brazen altar in these our nether heavens, whereon He overcame the sharpest pangs of death ;-their bright perspective, that royal heavenly altar, whose magnificence far, far transcends the choicest gold of Ophir. * Unto this splendid edifice, led by the King of kings, and Lord of lords, the Sovereign Pontiff over all pontiffs, amidst the melodious gratulations of Zion's sainted choristers, these countless millions of redeemed spirits now joyfully ascend. The prophetic prayer of Israel's sweet Psalmist is here completely fulfilled; God has sent out his light and truth, Urim and Thummim has brought his much loved fuck unto this holy hill, unto this sacred tabernacle; it is light and truth who now triumphanty lead to the celestial altar, before God's glorious throne.t The blood of Christ has brought them nigh to God, to the last parting vail; unto the very confines of their exceeding joy. On this resplendent altar, the great anointed Primate himself performs the last perfecting rite. The emblematic prophecy set up aloft on the Aaronic mitre,* had been in part fulfilled. His holiness had borne the weight of all repented sins: it now sustains the imperfection of all holy things. The radiant lustre beaming from his high crown of glory out-dazzles every speck, effaces every stain. Fixed for eternity on his exalted head, eternal acceptation for his wide extended charge it evermore obtains. But though the benignant minister of this blessed tabernacle is minister of God's unbounded mercy, He will not be minister of one allowed sin. His fan is in his hand-He thoroughly cleans his floor ere He gathereth the wheat into the heavenly garner. This glorious sun of righteousness, who has broke and scattered the black thick cloud of crimes and of transgressions, tenders no frailties with celestial offerings: they are consigned to the incense cloud, ascending up unto the mercy-seat, and blown by the pardoning breath of Him who sits thereon enthroned, evaporate in air. O ye called, chosen, faithful, perfected spirits and souls of the righteous, who are with God's spotless Lamb, vowing thy last vows on this bright hallowed altar ; there thou dost worthily magnify his great and glorious name; there thou dost heartily rejoice in the almighty strength of this thy great salvation. Thy lengthened lays of joy mingle with heavenly harps in sweet vibrations through the mellifluous air,—thy love ecstatic swells sublimest notes of praise. With these enraptured strains, angelic voices join : cherubic chaunts, seraphic anthems rise, and pure devotion quaffs its sweetest incense to the highest skies. Vast and excessive as is here their bliss, yet still they onward press—the hope of ransomed spirits enters within the vail : the merits of the Saviour obtains a further passport; for we have boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus. (Heb. vi. 19; x. 19.) But the Holy Ghost this signifies, that the way into the boliest of all was not as yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing. (Heb. ix. 8.) When the great blessed Redeemer pronounced the words, It is finished, when He completed that stupendous work, redemption, the emblematic vail was instantly rent in twain-the typical religion abolished for ever. Then He ascended up on high to mediate in that consecrated sanctuary, the intermediate heavens, between the dead and living ; the highest hierarchs of highest heavens singing a new song, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive honour, and glory, and blessing. But when the great blessed Redeemer appears the second time unto salvation, and does again pronounce, It is finished; when He has completed that glorious work, salvation, then the celestial vail will instantly be rent in twain, the vision
* The symbolic representation of the golden altar was always affixed in the holy place: it stood at its utmost confines, close to the vail that separates between it and the holy of holies, in a direct line above the brazen altar, that was placed in the outward court for worship, and immediately before the mercy-seat, the glorious throne of God.-See quotations already inserted from Exodus.
+ “O send out thy light and thy truth, let them lead me, let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacle ; then will I go unto the altar of my God, unto God my exceeding joy. Upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God. (Psalm xliii. 3, 4.)
* “And they made the plate of the holy crown of pure gold, and wrote upon it a writing, like to the engravings of a signetholiness to the Lord. And they tied unto it a lace of blue to fasten it on high upon the mitre, as the Lord commanded Moses. And it shall be upon Aaron's forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead that they may be accepted before the Lord."