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symbols therein contained, which we are expressly assured were patterns of things in the heavens, do indeed very evidently point out that it was that magnificent region, the grand emporium, the sanctum sanctorum, the heaven of heavens, where Deity resplendent reigns upon his glorious throne, the mercy-seat, ’midst cherubims of glory, (Heb. ix. 5, which they were intended to represent. For herein wer placed the symbolic ark of the first testament, in which were treasured up those hallowed relics, the tables of the covenant, brought down to earth from heaven, (2 Chron. v. 10,) of wihch St. John was honoured with a view in the great heavenly temple, (Rer. xv. 5,) laid over of purest gold, within and without, surmounted and surrounded by a golden crown, a royal diadem, the bright and superb emblem of sovereignty supreme. Above the ark, and upon it, was set the glorious resting-place,* the mercy-seat, made all of purest gold; (Exod. xxxvii. 6 ;) the rabbins say, of solid gold out of one mass, unjoined in any part by solder, affixed at the ends of which were two cherubims of glory, beaten also out of the same piece of pure and massive gold, (Exod. xxxvii. 7,) standing on their feet, (2 Chron. iii. 13,) their faces looking inward; towards the mercy-seat was the chariot of the cherubims directed to be turned. (1 Chron. xxviii. 18.) Their large, expanded wings far stretched forth on high, (Exod. xxv. 20,) covering the mercy-seat, meeting on each
* “Over the ark was the mercy-seat, and it was the covering of it.”—Prideaux.
side in the middle, between which the shekinah, or Divine Presence, rested visibly, in the appearance of a cloud. From thence the divine oracles were given out in an audible voice,* for there the
* “ This cloud, or shekinah, did there first appear when Moses consecrated the tabernacle, and was afterwards, on the consecrating of the temple by Solomon, translated thither. And there it did continue, in the same visible manner, till that temple was destroyed, but after that it never appeared more.
Its constant place was directly over the mercy-seat; but it rested there only when the ark was in its proper place, in the tabernacle first, and afterwards in the temple, and not while it was in movement from place to place, as it often was during the time of the tabernacle. On the return of the Israelites into Judea, after the Babylonish captivity, they laid the foundation of the second temple with great solemnity; Zerubbabel the governor, and Joshua the high priest, being present, with all the congregation. The trumpeters blew their trumpets, and the musicians sounded their instruments, and singers sung all in praise to the Lord their God, and all the rest of the people shouted for joy while the first stones were laid. Only the old men, who had seen the glory of the first temple, and had no expectation that this which was now building by a few poor exiles lately returned into their own country, could ever equal that which had all the riches of David and Solomon, two of the wealthiest princes of the east, expended, in the erecting of it, wept at the remembrance of the old temple, while others rejoiced at the laying the foundation of the new. And, indeed, the difference between the former temple and this was so great, that God himself tells the prophet Haggai, (ii. 3,) that the latter, in comparison with the former, was as nothing, so much did it come short of it. But this is not to be understood of its bigness, for the glory of Solomon's temple was not in the temple itself, much less in the bigness of it; the main glory of the first temple was those extraordinary marks of the Divine favour with which it was honoured, and which were wholly wanting in the second. The Jews reckon them up in these five particulars: first, the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was
God of glory did himself declare, “I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy-seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.” (Exod. xxv. 22.) “And hence it comes to pass, that God is so often said in Scripture to dwell between the cherubims."*
It has been already inferred, from the recitals of St. Paul, that the signification of these illustrious symbols, the cherubims of glory, does exhibit matter for most particular inquiry and express illustration; and the probable reason of his declining any comments on them was also slightly touched. From the coincidence, however, that has been traced between con
the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant, and the mercy-seat which was upon it; secondly, the shekinah, or Divine Presence; thirdly, the Urim and Thummim; fourthly, the holy fire upon the altar; and fifthly, the spirit of prophecy;—and these, as well as many other particulars of the glory of the first temple, being wanting in the second, there was reason enough for those to weep at the rebuilding of the second temple who remembered the first. But all these wants and defects were abundantly repaired in the second temple, when the desire of all nations, the Lord whom they sought, came to this his temple. And Christ our Saviour, who was the truest Shekinah of the Divine Majesty, honoured it with his presence, and, in this respect, the glory of the latter house did far exceed the glory of the former house; and herein the prophecies of the prophet Haggai, who foretold that it would be so,—And I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of Hosts,' (Haggai ii. 9.)—had a very full and thorough completion.”—Prideaux's Connerion, vol. i.
clusions stated, and assertions contained in his writings, we conceive may be deduced an explanation of their high, momentous import. The requisition for the vindication of God's honour, by the delineation of that perfection which was attained through, and evinced by, the arduous test of trial, is, we think, a point incontrovertibly established in our former pages.* We have also ascertained, that from thence is derived the propitiation for sin it and that, in virtue of this propitiation, God extends his mercy to offending creatures. These things, and the glory that should follow, have been distinctly proved, from reason and from Scripture, to be those very things into which the principalities and powers in heavenly places so fervently desired to look. Upon these things the superstructure of the church is built; Christ purchased it with his own precious blood. (Acts xx. 28.) This church He covenants to finally present a glorious and a spotless church, (Eph. v. 27,) of which He is the foundation-stone and head. God has himself declared, Behold I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner-stone, a sure foundation which shall disannul the covenant with death, which shall overthrow the agreement made with hell. (Isa. xxviii, 16-18.) God putteth all things under the feet of Christ; God giveth him to be the head over all things to the
P. 8-10; though we must refer our readers to subsequent pages for the fulfilment of our promised particular inquiry, Why Christ must needs have suffered.
+ P. 31.
church; (Eph. i. 22;) and by this church it is our Lord's intent that to the heavenly hierarchs, princedoms, and powers, may be demonstrated the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in himself in Jesus Christ our Lord. (Eph. iii, 10, 11.)*
Now imagination cannot conceive figures more aptly representative of this eternal purpose of Almighty God, this most momentous of all momentous purposes, the manifesting his consummate wisdom and unbounded mercy, than those displayed by the splendid types affixed in the holiest of holies. Here we behold the chariot of the cherubims, thousands of mighty angels,t standing around the
* This recital does, we conceive, fulfil our former promise of giving the passage, partially quoted from the Ephesians, p. 10, as it is in full recorded in that epistle, taken in connexion with the purpose to which it was then applied.
† It is here to be observed that in 1 Chron. xxviii. 18, the two cherubims of glory are styled the chariot of the cherubims. The verse runs thus: “Gold for the pattern of the chariot of the cherubims that spread out their wings, and covered the ark of the covenant of the Lord. All this, said David, the Lord made me understand in writing by his hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern.” A most illustrious proof of its momentous import, this pattern having been twice received on earth from the hand of Deity himself. And as he who did receive them in the second instance, declares that the chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels, we may with certainty conclude, that the chariot of the cherubims, as spoken of in the first book of Chronicles, was intended, and is representative, of those chariots of the Lord which are composed of innumerable angels. (Ps. lxviii. 17.) And as the royal psalmist further adds, that the Lord is among them as in the holy place of Sinai, it may also be again with certainty concluded, that Moses was, in the first instance acquainted with