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ings. In the 2d verse, the priest is commanded to take a handful of the flour, with the oil and frankincense, and burn them on the ale tar for a memorial. We find this referred to in such passages as Ps. xx. 4. • Remember all thy offerings ;' or, as it should be read, · Let
the memorial of thy minchah, and thy burnt sacrifices be accepted.' With a reference to this, the angel says to Cornelius, · Thy prayers • and thine alms, thy memorial, are accepted before God,' Acts x. 4. The remnant of this meat-offering was given to the priest, and was considered as most holy. The same regulations are enjoined, from 4—12th verses as to the other meat-offerings. In the 13th verse, the general law is laid down for salting every sacrifice and offering to the Lord. Salt, in all nations, is the symbol of incorruption ; and thus the covenant of salt, or perpetual covenant, are synonymous terms. Lot's wife became a pillar of salt, that is, a lasting monument of looking back, or apostacy. The apostles were the salt of the earth, because to them was committed that word of the Lord which endureth for ever, which is that word by which the world that now is, is kept in store. Of the various references to this is the New Testament, we shall have occasion to speak in their proper place. In ver. 14. we have the law of the meat-offering of the first fruits, which is more fully detailed, Lev. xxiii. The word green ears of corn is abib, by which name the first or beginning of months is called, as in that month barley was eared and began to ripen. The green corn dried, then parched and broken, was a grand figure of the true grain of corn, the first ripe fruits of the heavenly harvest, who was cut off green, parched and broken for his guilty people. The last clause of this verse is noticeable, as introducing to our notice a word which often occurs in the metaphorical language of scripture, Full ears of corn ; in the Hebrew, Carmel ; from which that rich district of country in Judea derives its name. Throughout the prophets, Carmel is the fie gure of fertility. From this, minchah, a memorial, was also taken for a burnt-offering made by fire unto the Lord.
Chap. III.-In this chapter the law of the peace-offering is laid before us. Peace-offerings were generally intended as thanksgivings to God for the peace and reconciliation of his word. Thus Solomon describes the false church as saying, ' Peace-offerings are upon me ; • this day have I paid my vows,' Prov. vii. 14. These sacrifices of peace were attended with confession and thanksgivings, which we will be led to consider, Lev. vii. 11 and were generally voluntary offer, ings, Lev. vii. 16. The word in the original is shelamim, many pay. ments or thanks to God for mercies ; and thus the Psalmist says, . I
will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon • the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows unto the Lord, in the
presence of all his people,' Psal. cxvi. 17, 18. It is remarkable, .that the Greek Septuagint sometimes translates this word eirenskee, that is, pacifying, or a peace-offering ; yet more generally, soterion, a sacrifice of salvation, or an offering or sacrifice of thanks to God, for his salvation. The great object of these peace-offerings is thus point. ed out by Hoseah xiv. 2. • Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously, and we will
pay the bullocks of our lips ;' which Paul thus expounds, · By him, that is, Jesus, • let us offer the sacrifice • of praise continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to
his name,' Heb. xiii. 15. These peace-offerings were also paid, connected with prayers to God, for deliveratice and peace. See two remarkable instances of this, Judges xx. 26, and xxi. 4.
In like manner, David in the threshing-place of Ornan, the Jebusite, I Chr. xxi. 26. They had a manifest reference to the peace-speaking blood of the cross; and to Him who is the peace of all bis people, and left them his peace which passeth all understanding, as his last and invaluable legacy, when leaving them to lay down his life an offering to God in their room. Some have been led to suppose, that these offerings were instituted with a reference to the peace between Jew and Gentile, or slaying of the enmity by his blood ; and that this is the reason why the distinction of male and female is set aside in the peace-offerings, así pointing to the time, when in Christ Jesus there should neither be Jew nor Greek, Barbarian nor Scythian, bond nor free, male nor female, but all one in Cbrist Jesus. There is nothing heterodox in this idea, but it does not seem sufficiently demonstrable.
As we have uniformly mentioned, our intention is not to touch upon every verse, but merely to draw the attention of our readers to such parts of the law of Moses as tend particularly to preach the gospel, we shall only hint at such passages, as we glance through the levitical law, as mention circumstances of this kind, and which have not been elsewhere noticed. The chief distinction in the laws of the peace-offerings, which we have observed, are the following :
In the 11th verse, the flesh which was to be eaten up or consumed on the altar, is called the food, or the bread of the offering. This is perfectly obvious from Numbers xxviii. 2. and Ezek. xliv. 7. And thus the priests who burned this flesh on the altar, are said to offer the bread of their God, Lev. xxi. 6. 8. 17. And thus the holy things which the priests eat, are called by the same name, Lev. xxi. 22. In the two last verses of this chapter, we find the fat and the blood are forbidden to be eaten throughout their generations in all their dwellings. From this the advocates for blood eating have asserted, that fat and blood are on the same footing ; that both were forbidden under the law of Moses, because they were given to the Lord upon the altar; and hence, that when the law of Moses waxed old, that law was abrogated, and the prohibition ceased. But this evasion will not do ; we will have a more suitable occasion to enter into this subject ; át present it is only necessary to mention, that the fat, viz. on those places of the animal which are particularly mentioned, and which we have already seen had a typical object, was forbidden to Israel, as well as the blood. But blood, the life of the animal, was prohibited
on a different principle, and enforced upon Gentiles, on whose consciences the law of Moses never was binding.
CHAP. IV.- This chapter is entitled to much attention, as setting before us a very important distinction, between sins of ignorance, and presumptuous sins. This is a subject on which it becomes us to speak with great caution, neither to conceal the truth of God, nor limit his grace.
sin of ignorance, the law provided atonement ; but he that despised Moses's law, died without mercy: hence, says Paul, but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly,” and in unbelief. The word Shegagah, here translated ignorance, in its strict meaning, implies crror, or going astray out of the way. To this Paul's words evidently refer: speaking of every high-priest taken from among 'men,' he
says, • Who can have compassion on the ignorant, even them • that are out of the way; for that he himself is com passed (or begirt) • with infirmity,' Heb. v. 1, 2. It implies all kinds of guilt, originating from, not only ignorance, but, as Ainsworth expresses it, forgetfulness of the law of God, unadvisedness, being deceived and the like, in a word, every thing short of sinning with a high hand, or presumptuously; as described, Numb. xv. 17-30. The Greek state the contract by expressing the one agnoia, ignorantly, and frequently, as in this very passage, acousios, unwillingly; whereas the other is expressed h-cousios, willing'y or wilfully, as Heb. X. 26. The one includes ail those wanderings out of the way,
those departures from the truth, those errors in way, which arise, not merely from ignorance, but losing view of the ospel; while the other points to that confirmed apostacy, which is connected with hatred, malice and persecution of Christ and his members. And we may also here observe, that though the law instituted no offering of atonement for the presump. tuous sinner, this arises from no want of worth or value in ihe blood of Jesus to cleanse from all sin ; but Paul gives the reason, when he says, • It is impossible to renew them again to repentance. The heart and conscience, which has been purged and cleansed from old sins, entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse than the beginning. Hence Peter
it were better for them not to have • known the way of righteousness.' That conscience which has been purged and cleansed of Satan, if again given up to his rule, he taketh with him seven other spirits, more wicked that himself, and the last state of that man is worse than the first. We have already said, nor can it be too strongly enforced, (for were it otherwise, what but despair could remain for us), that every departure from the truth, every wandering from the right way, is not presumptuous sinning. The high-priest of old was a sinful mortal, begirt with infirmity, and thus he could shew compassion to wanderers. Israel of old was not cut off for every act of rebellion ; her prophets, during her grossest departures, were commissioned to proclaim from the Lord, I will heal their backslidings.' The Spirit says to the churches, even during that period when they suffered that woman Jezebel to teach and seduce
. I do not say
God's servants, Repent:' and thus, when Christ went abroad preaching, his doctrine was, “ I am not sent but to the lost sheep of i the house of Israel.' But while sovereign mercy is thus sovereign and free, it becomes those who have tasted the good word of God, . and the powers of the world to come,' to beware ; they and they alone, can commit that sin which is unto death, concerning which John says,
pray for it.' All unrighteousness is sin; and the sheep of Christ bave in all ages been an erring and wandering fuck, which needed the skilfulness of his hands to lead them, guide them, turn them again, and make his face to shine upon them; but all who belong to his folds, lest any inan be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin, ought to watch and pray, that we enter not into temptation ; and to commit the keeping of our souls in well doing, as to a faithful creator. Most suitable is the Psalmist's prayer : ( Who can understand his errors ? Cleanse thou me from * secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins, • let them not have dominion over me ; then shall I be upright, and . I shall be innocent from the great transgression,' Psal. xix. 12, 13.
The first instance of sins of ignorance, respects the priest that is • anointed,' verse 2. viz. the high-priest, for he alone was anointed among the priests in the following ages, Lev. xi. 10. and xvi. 32. if he sin to the guilty sin, as the text literally reads, and implies more than can be collected from our English translation, according to the sin of the people ; and rather implies causing the people to sin. Thus it is said of David, · Why will he be a guilty son,' or, as we properly read it, a cause of trespass to the people, i Chron, xxi. 3. This the high-priest might do, not only by sinning himself, but by misleading the people, either by his precept or example. In the 6th verse, the high-priest, who is here represented, agreeably to Paul's doctrine, as offering, first for his own sin, &c. is enjoined to sprinkle the blood sever times before the Lord. This perfect member seems here to refer to the perfection that comes by the sprinkling of the blood of Christ ; or rather, to that seventh period, when the perfect cleansing by that blood shall take place, . For this is my covenant with them, when • I shall take away their sins.' In verse 7. we find that some of the blood was put upon the horns of the altar of swee incense, plainly pointing to the blood of atonement, as the ground of intercession at that altar. In the 12th verse we have a renewed instance of that particular in the law which so often occurs pointing to Christ suffering for us without the gate ; “ the place where the ashes are poured
out,' will readily remind the reader of GOLGOTHA, the place of a skull.
From the 13th verse, the law is laid down, in cases when the whole congregation are guilty; and it had been well, if many who have thought themselves congregations of the Lord, had remembered that the law supposes a whole congregation may sin.
Had this been attended to, we would have heard less of the infallibility of the holy mother church, and less either from her or her daughters. We know not a more sure mark of antichrist than this, of forgetting or denying that a whole congregation may sin; and some of those churches, in our day, who can look around them, and talk of antichristian communion, would do well to bethink themselves of this genuine mark of the beast.
CHAP. V.-is occupied with the laws of the trespass-offering ; in ordinary cases, verse 1–13. and in things sacred from 14–19. It is observable, that the trespass-offerings were instituted chiefly for omitting or neglecting duties, or for typical defilements. The expression in verse 1. • Hear the voice of swearing,' implies, that if a person be sacredly sworn or adjured, that is, required upon oath to bear testimony ; if he do not tell the whole of what he knows, though he does not bear direct false witness, yet still he is a trans. gressor. The word adjuration implies, binding by a curse ; thus, Abraham's servant says,
• then shalt thou be clean from my curse or • execration, that is, the penalty of the oath. See Gen. xxvi. 28. and xxiv. 41. Deut. xxix. 12. 14. 19. 21. The Hebrew word alah, Paul expresses in Greek ana-thema, an oath of cursing ; see Numb. v. 21. Rom. iii. 14. The Septuagint translates the passage we are now considering by a Greek word, implying binding by an oath of cursing, as in Judges xvii. 2. Prov. xxix. 24. 1 Kings viii. 31. We have an example of adjaration, in the case of our Saviour : when Pilate questioned him, he ansered him nothing ; when the hi hpriest, displeased by his silence, prays, “I adjure thee by the living • God,' that is, by the curse of the living God, ó that thou tell us, • whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God,' Matt. xxvi. 63. To this adjuration Christ immediately replied. In like manner we hear Paul saying, “ I adjure you by the Lord,' Thess. v. 27. The law here plainly states, that any person so odjured, and concealing, by not uttering what he knows, shall bear his iniquity, viz. shall be a transgressor, and liable to the curse so entailed on him.
In the 2d and 3d verses, defilement is mentioned, either from touching unclean beasts, or other natural uncleanness. Any one so defiled was a transgressor, and so needing purification by the trespass-offering. In the 4th verse, another kind of vath is mentioned, • swearing to do goud or evil.' This is what the Jews called the oath of pronunciation ; this is, when one swears to do any thing, whether good or evil, and it be hidden from him, that is, prevented from doing it, so as to be impossible for him to fulfil his oath, then he is guilty. It was such an oath that the Jews took, of whom we read Acts xxiii. 12. • Certain of the Jews banded together, and • bound themselves with an oath of execration (see margin), that they • would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. Now this oath, it was hidden from them, that they could not execute, and they were guilty, by the law of Moses, of the execration ; for such this trespass-uffering was provided. It shall be when he shall be
uilty ;' the word guilty in the Hebrew asham is the name of the