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The tabernacle, therefore, of Moses was called also a tent, and was covered by one, intimating, that it was to pass away and to cease, when Christ should have accomplished the whole purpose, which it prefigured, and should have terminated his salvation in an everlasting temple. This last temple, for that reason, is called, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven ;* i. e. the final accomplishment and manifestation in heaven, of what both the tabernacle and the temple testified and led to upon earth.
It is highly derogatory to the wisdom and truth of the Most High to suppose, as some have dared to suppose, that this fabric of the tabernacle and all its appurtenances and economy, so carefully delineated by God himself, so expressly wrought under his divine tuition, and so exactly ordered in all its parts and applications, had neither certain nor sublime meanings in it; but was only a colluvies, a mass of idle ceremonies, borrowed from heathens, and calculated merely to soothe the idolatrous prejudices, or to employ the idle attention, of the Israelites in their passage through the wilderness.f But the Lord speaks otherwise, and calls them his charge [a matter to be closely, carefully, constantly, observed and considered, as the Hebrew word imports] his sta
* Rev. xv. 5. † Apostolus ait : litera enim occidit, spiritus vivificat. Si enim hoc tantum volumus intelligere, quod sonat in litera; aut parvam aut prope nullam ædificationem de divinis lectionibus capiemus, Illa enim ošnia quæ recitantur, typus erant et imago futurorum. In Judæis enim figurata; in nobis, gratia Dei donante, completa sunt. Aug. Serm. 201. de tempore,
tutes, his judgements, and his commandments :* which were to be laid rip in his people's hearts, and in their souls ; which they were to teach, and to speak of, when they were sitting in the house, or walking by the way, when they were lying down or rising up, that their days might be increased, not merely in number, but with the true increase of happiness and divine enjoyment, as the days of heuven upon earth, † They were full of those secrets of wisdom, that hidden mystery, which God only explains to the soul, and shows to it, that both his works and word are two-fold in existence, having an outward use and a spiritual signification.
The tabernacle signified both Christ personal and Christ mystical; in other words, it prefigured both himself and his body the church. It was therefore anointed with oil, and all its utensils; and thus made figuratively holy. Christ and his people take their very name, from that holy unction, which the divine Spirit hath poured forth upon them, and by which they are for ever conse, crated unto God.
It denoteth Christ personal, as the particular being in whom DWELLETH all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, or, as in one body, or eminent place; whence the word place & was anciently applied to Jehovah in our nature.
Wisdom, which sees, things as they are, and for what they are intended, Prov. ži, 7.
Sipe, As a place is a point, in which the action of a being is determined; so the word is applied to Christ, as that person, in whom the purposes and power of Jehovah, respecting salva
Thus the blasphemy, mentioned against God and his tabernacle,* is understood to be against God and his Christ, who, as the Word, or revealer of God, was made flesh, became manifest in the flesh, and dwelt, EoXnWOE,
tion, solely concentrate, and by whom they are effectuated. He is to be understood in this name, as the center, point, place, or instrument, of all divine authority, exaltation, and glory; and the word seems to be used to give our feeble intellect an idea of the great condescension of that divine Person, who will be found of his people in a limited spot, the human nature of Jesus; though, as to his divine nature, he is illimitable, being in every place, and above it, incomprehensibly. Thus Jehovah made him known to Moses: Behold, the Place with me. And the representation ordained to be made of this place, where God would meet with and communicate with his people, was called, dipo 1997 the place of my feet, or 99 097 footstool, the rest of my feet. See Psalm cxxxii. 7. Isa, lx. 13. This was the onga, or mercy seat, which was at the feet of the cherubim, or throne of glory, where JEHOVA” only would be found, where he rested for salvation, and to which all the true worshippers of old (as to the very life and point of all their service) turned their faces from all parts of the world. This noog is rendered by the apostle propitiation, and directly referred to Christ.
The rabbins themselves understood by PLACE, the essence of God, and the means of contemplating it. Maimon. More Nev. P. i. c. 8,
The word of God speaks after the manner of men, and employs figures from sensible objects to convey notices of spiritual things. Thus, place, height, depth, &c. are used to communicate ideas of what is infinitely above the limits expressed by those terms.. In like manner, we may observe concerning the life of the creatures, that it consists of a series of reiterated acts, comprehended in their time and place; but the life of JEHOVAH, which includes all things and can be included by none, is (speaking with the bumblest reverence) one immanent, or continued act, infinite and
perpetual, * Rev. xiï. 6.
tabernacled among us.* He was the name, and that cloud of glory, placed in the church of old, who manifested his presence by a thousand signs and tokens; that Jehovah, who was to come and dwell in the midst of the church in the latter day; and that temple and tabernacle not made with hands, resembled by those, which God had sketched out for men to raise.
The tabernacle also denoted Christ mystical, that is, his body the church, in union with him the head. And this tabernacle, made up of various parts and members, signified his people of various countries, times, capacities, and designations. Thus, in that memorable chapter of Ezekiel, the promise runs; My tabernacle shall be with them; yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And the heathen shall know, that I Jehovah do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the
perpetual, extending through every atom of the creation, and imparting motion, and the powers of motion, to the whole. He is all-perception, all-intellect, all-power; every where present, in every moment. More truly than what has been said, respecting the human soul energizing the body; the Lord is “ All in all, and all in every part." We know, within our own frames, that the finest point which can be conceived, impressed upon any, the most distant member, is instantly perceived by the mind, through the continuity which obtains in the structure of the whole. So the Almighty, in a far sublimer sense than can be expressed by words or conceived by created thought, pervades, perceives, comprehends, every action, whether corporal or spiritual, of all his creatures throughout his creation, instantly, distinctly, abid- • ingly, infinitely; because all and every part are within Him, and by Him, and through Him, as their first cause, their constant support, and their ultimate end. In a word; He is the fulness, which filleth all in all.
* John i. 14. To keep up the memorial of this, when they en
midst of them for evermore.* Our Lord explains this in his last prayer.† The Psalmist also prophesies of the church; there is a river (the Spirit of life] the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the Most High. The outward tabernacle was a figure for the time then present; and it was a figure representing a greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building, $ frame, or constitution, which were holy places made with hands; evidently implying, that this true house or dwelling of God, his people collected, was signified by the outward dwelling, whịch he ordered to be raised among his figurative people the Jews; and, in this respect, and for this end, Judah was called his sanctuary, and Israel his dominion.
Though it may not be right for us curiously or absolutely to point out the meaning of the several members of this holy structure; yet doubtless the wisdom of God had an intention in every part of what is so carefully specified and commanded. We should speak with caution upon these divine allegories, lest we follow our own fancies instead of the mind of God; but doubtless the allegories do exist, and have a sacred sense and analogy of faith, whether we understand them or not. They were also proposed for our consideration, or they
tered Canaan, the Israelites kept the feast of tabernacles, which signified, both the Lord's abode with them, and their pilgrimage and sojourning upon earth, * Ezek. xxxvi.
† John xvii. 22, 23. Psalm xlvi. 4,
Heb. ix. 9, 11, 24,