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30). The meaning of the enactment is evidently this,—that nothing could be accepted by the Almighty which had not been ordained by the Spirit of God, and sanctified by that influence which is uniformly represented by the oil, which was poured out alike upon the heads of the holy prophets, priests, and kings, the vessels, and the ornaments, the beams, and the curtains of the sanctuary of God.— Neither is the fourth and last ordinance of the holy perfume of which we read in the conclusion of this Section, less instructive than the three former. As the holy oil was the emblem of the divine influence, so the holy fragrance of perfume and frankincense is an emblem of the prayers of the saints. The command therefore to make the holy oil, is followed by that to make the holy perfume; to teach us that he who lives under the sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit, will ever offer the holy prayers and praises which proceed from that divine power. The holy perfume was to be made (ver. 34–38) of many sweet spices, beaten small. It was to be offered only to the Lord.— The spices are interpreted by the Fathers of the Church, to denote the virtues of humility, mortification, penitence, self-denial, and charity ; all of which were to be made the foundation of the fervent
a broken and contrite heart, conscious that these virtues are required of it, and no less conscious of its deficiency in attaining them.—The whole perfume, which was composed of these sweet spices, is the one prayer for every grace which man can desire, or God bestow.–Thus does the Section before us instruct us in the value of the soul, the necessity of continued purity, the blessedness of spiritual sanctification, and the nature of acceptable prayer.— Wise and happy is that Christian who can unite the remembrance of them all, on his way from the wilderness to the true holy of holies, where his soul will be received by his Saviour, the uncleanness of his earthly nature removed, the Holy Spirit in all its comfort poured forth as the anointing oil upon him, and the prayer of the broken heart be exchanged for the praises of sinlessness, gratitude, and peace.
EXODUS XXX. 11–38.
#ch. 38. 25.
numbered: See Numb.
31. 50. b Job 33. 24.
11 4 And the LORD bered, half a shekel after spake unto Moses, saying, the shekel of the sanctuary :
12 a When thou takest (e a shekel is twenty ge- • Lev 27.25. Nur 26.,2,5. the sum of the children of rahs:) fan half shekel shall Fuenb: 12. 2 Sam. 21. 2. Israel after + their number, be the offering of the Lord.'ch. 38. 26. that are to be then shall they give every 14 Every one that pass
a ransom for his soul eth among them that are
unto the Lord, when thou numbered, from twenty & S6. 18. numberest them; that there years old and above, shall Matt. 20. 28. be no plague among them, give an offering unto the x Job 34. 19. Mark 10.45. when thou numberest them. Lord.
13 . This they shall give, 15 The 8 rich shall not Col. 3. 25. Matt.17.24. every
one that passeth + give more, and the poor multiply. among them that are num- shall not + give less than * Hithin
Prov. 22. 2. Ephes. 6. 9.
1 Tim. 2, 6. 1 Pet. 1.18, 19. c 2 Sam.24.15.
Cant. 4. 14.
Jer. 6. 20.
tch. 29. 40.
. uch. 37. 29. Numb. 35. 25. Ps. 89. 20. &
133. 2. "ch. 40. 9.
ch. 38. 8.
half a shekel, when they mon half so much, even two
souls. hundred and fifty shekels, 16 And thou shalt take 24 And of cassia five. Ps. 45. 8. the atonement money of hundred shekels, after the
the children of Israel, and shekel of the sanctuary, ich. 38. 25. i shalt appoint it for the and of oil olive an hin:
service of the tabernacle of 25 And thou shalt make
the congregation ; that it it an oil of holy ointment, Num. 16.40. may be a memorial unto an ointment compound after
the children of Israel before the art of the || apothecary : 11 0r, pero the LORD, to make an it shall be u an holy anointatonement for
your souls. ing oil. 17 And the LORD 26 "And thou shalt spake unto Moses, saying, anoint the tabernacle of Lev. 8. 10.
18 | Thou shalt also the congregation therewith, 1 Kings 7. 38.
make a laver of brass, and and the ark of the testi-
wash withal: and thou shalt 27 And the table and *ch. 40.7, 30. m put it between the taber- all his vessels, and the can
nacle of the congregation dlestick and his vessels,
19 For Aaron and his burnt offering with all his *ch. 40.31,32. sons "shall wash their hands vessels, and the laver and Isai. 52. Ü. and their feet thereat : his foot.
20 When they go into 29 And thou shalt sancthe tabernacle of the con- tify them, that they may be gregation, they shall wash most holy : w whatsoever "ch. 29. 37. with water, that they die toucheth them shall be not; or when they come holy. near to the altar to minis- 30 X And thou shalt. ch. 29.7,&c. ter, to burn offering made anoint Aaron and his sons, by fire unto the Lord : and consecrate them, that
21 So they shall wash they may minister unto me
their hands and their feet, in the priest's office.
shall be a statute for ever unto the children of Israel,
throughout your genera-
23 Take thou also unto shall it not be poured, "Cant. 4, 14. thee P principal spices, of neither shall ye make any
pure ? myrrh five hundred other like it, after the comProv. 7. 17. shekels, and of sweet cinna- position of it: y it is holy, y ver. 25, 37.
John 13. 10.
Lev. 8. 12, 30.
Ezek. 27. 22. 9 Ps. 45. 8.
2 ver. 38.
and it shall be holy unto 36 And thou shalt beat
some of it very small, and
whosoever putteth any of the congregation, a where I ch. 29. 42. • Gen. 17. 14. it upon a stranger,
a shall will meet with thee: eit. ver. 32. Lev.7. 20, 21. even be cut off from his shall be unto you most che. 129, 37. people.
perbch. 25. 6. & unto Moses, Take unto fume which thou shalt
thee sweet spices, stacte, make, 'ye shall not make fver. 32.
35 And thou shalt make 38 8 Whosoever shall & ver. 33. it a perfume, a confection make like unto that, to
c after the art of the apo- smell thereto, shall even be + Heb. salted, thecary, † tempered toge- cut off from his people.
ther, pure and holy :
e ver. 25.
Lev. 2. 13.
PRAYER.–LET Us Pray, that whatever be the joys or the sorrows, the pros
perities or the adversities of our progress through life, we regard our peculiar position in the world as the scene of our trial and probation ; in which we are called upon to benefit others, to serve, fear, and love God, to prepare for death, and seek the salvation of the soul ; that we devote our hearts and lives to God as His baptized people; that the oil of gladness be poured upon us by the Spirit of God; and that our prayers be as fragrant incense offered and accepted from a broken and contrite heart.
Almighty and merciful Father, God of the spirits of all flesh! God whose mysterious and never failing providence ordereth all things in heaven and earth, and who hast appointed to us our several stations and employments in this world, according to Thy good pleasure ! we Thine unworthy servants humbly desire to confess before Thee, that we have not duly and rightly considered Thy hand in all things that pertain to us. We have neither been grateful to Thee as we ought to have been in our joys and in our prosperities—we have not been resigned to_Thy will as we ought to have been, in our sorrows and in our adversities. Enable us, we beseech Thee, by the graces and influences of Thy Holy Spririt, whether we be high or low, or rich or poor, or master or servant; whether we abound in the temporal blessings of Thy goodness, or are bowed down by poverty, affliction, and sorrow, enable us, we pray Thee, to look upon our station, our circumstances, and our outward condition in this world, to be only that peculiar place, and state, and lot in life, which Thy merciful goodness knoweth to be best for us, as the heirs of salvation, and the expectants of a joyful immortality.-In all our ways, may we acknowledge Thee, and do Thou direct our paths. - If we are in affliction and calamity, make us resigned to Thy will. If we are in trouble, through fears and prospects of sorrow and distress, may we put our whole trust and confidence in Thy mercy, If we are deeply grieved at the loss of our friends and kindred, may we so live in this world, that we finally meet our Christian friends again in the world to come. In the midst of the sorrows we have in our hearts, may Thy comforts possess our souls; and ever may we remember the example and the language, the resignation, and the prayer of Thy blessed Son our Lord, when being in an agony, He prayed more earnestly and said, “ Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not my will, but Thine be done.”—In our prosperity may we be grateful to Thee. If riches increase, give us Thy grace, that we set not our hearts upon them.—Make us stedfast in the duties of our place and station. May we be courteous and kind to all men, and both in our words and actions set them a good example. Teach us to serve Thee as Christians, in the world and in the Church. Implant Thy fear in our hearts, that the dread of Thine anger may be ever one motive to obey Thee; and oh! implant the love of Thy name, and the gratitude for Thy mercies in our souls, that we rejoice to please Thee, while we tremble to offend Thy majesty.-So may we adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things in our place and station in the world.—So may we die in peace, and receive at the last the end of our faith, even the salvation of our souls. As we have been devoted and dedicated to Thee when our anxious parents, in obedience to Thy blessed word and ordinance, caused us to be presented to Thee at the waters of baptism; so continue, we pray Thee, Thy mercy towards us, that the grace of God shall continue to preserve us in the communion of the Church, and in the constant participation of that spiritual food by which the soul is ever nourished, which is received into covenant with Thee.-As the brazen laver in the tabernacle stood between the altar of burnt offering and the holy place, so may our souls, after we have been received into Thy holy Church; and partaken of the body and blood of the one burnt offering Jesus Christ our Lord; still go on towards heaven, refreshed by the dew of Thy Spirit, and cleansed from spot and stain of wilful sin before Thee.-As the priests of the law were commanded to anoint with the holy oil the tabernacle of the congregation, and the ark of the testimony, the table of shew-bread, and the golden candlestick, the altar of burnt offering, and the altar of incense, with all the vessels of the sanctuary; so may the oil of gladness, the comforts of the Holy Spirit, zeal to obey Thy will, and cheerfulness of heart in the performance of all our duties, ever attend the solemn and delightful services which Thou hast commanded as our best privilege, and happiness, and duty.-Whether we go up to the tabernacle of Thy Church, or hear Thy holy word, or eat of the bread of life at Thine holy sacrament, or walk with Christ our Lord in the light of the golden candlestick, of His holy and spiritual Church among us; or plead the merits of the great burnt offering, or kneel at Thine altar of incense, in the blessedness of praise and prayer, or rejoice in the vessels of Thy sanctuary, the conversation and society of Thy saints—in all, all these may the presence of Thine Holy Spirit so be poured forth, that our souls shall be blessed and sanctified in the abundance of Thy mercies, and the happiness of that glorious heaven ; where is the fulness of Thy Holy Spirit begun in the courts of the Church of Christ our Saviour, even now upon earth.—As the incense which was burnt in Thine earthly sanctuary was made of beaten spices, and is declared in Thine holy word to denote the
prayers of Thy saints ; so may the incense of our prayers, which we offer to Thee, ever be the proofs that broken and contrite heart, which Thou, O God, hast told us, by Thy servant the Prophet, Thou wilt not despise.—So let us pray to Thee, and praise, and bless, and serve, and honour Thee, that our bodies and our souls become the living temples in which the Holy, Blessed, and glorious Trinity may dwell as in the sanctuary of the God of our salvation. Hear, O hear our prayers. Hear, O hear and bless us from heaven, Thy holy place, and raise and elevate our hearts, that we may dwell in heaven with Thee; as Thou now dwellest on earth with us, Thy repentant and unworthy children.
-We ask these inestimable blessings, not in our own name, but in the name and for the sake of Jesus Christ, our blessed Lord and Saviour, who in compassion to our infirmities, has taught us when we pray, to say,
Our Father, &c.
Note 1. On the spiritual interpretation by Beda, of the payment of ten gerahs as the ransom money for the soul.
Exod. xxx. 15. The shekel consisted of twenty gerahs. Half a shekel, therefore, was ten gerahs. The venerable 1 Beda interprets these ten gerahs to be the ten commandments, which all were equally required to observe. I cannot be certain that this is the interpretation of the mind of the Spirit which gave the command to Moses. The typical interpretations thus given to various passages, which I tacitly reject for want of a sufficient evidence that they are intended, are very
Note 2. Cardinal Bellarmine on the holy ointment. Exod. xxx. 25.
Cardinal Bellarmine (De Sacram. Confirm. lib, ii. cap. viii, tom. iii. col. 423, edit. 1591) considers that this oil was a figure of the chrism used by the Church of Rome in the sacrament of Confirmation. And in confirmation of this his opinion, he cites S. Cyprian, - De Unctione Chrismatis ; Peter Damian,-De Dedicatione, serm. i.
As to the former of these authorities, it is admitted to be a spurious treatise. See Cave, Hist. lib. i. 128. The second occurs in serm. x. in Cæna Domini, opp. ii. 48, edit. fol. Bassan. 1783. I mention this opinion of the learned cardinal, as a warning to our Protestant interpreters not to discover typical meanings where none can be intended.
Note 3. On the materials of the holy perfume. Exod. xxx. 34.
I have endeavoured in the Introduction, and more especially in the Prayer, to explain
1 Beda, Opera Omnia, tom. ili. De Tabernaculo, lib. iii. cap. xiii. p. 913.
the typical meanings of the half shekel for the ransom money, the laver of brass, the holy ointment, and the holy perfume. With respect to the latter, there is some obscurity in the meaning of the words stacte, ver. 34 (), and onycha (nov). The former signifies to drop,' and is supposed to be the droppings of the myrrh. The other is derived from a word denoting dark coloured, or blackish ; and is interpreted by the LXX, övuxa. The stacte, according to Dioscorides, is the fatness of the recent myrrh, that which remains in it, and is not extracted by pressure. See Salmasii Nota in Plin., p. 570.
Of the onycha Pliny says, “that the chief virtue of this shell consists in its power of healing wounds and bruises." See Hist. Nat. xxxii. cap. x.
See also Dioscorid. ii. cap. xcii. See too Hen. Hottinger, Jus Hebræorum, apud Ugolini Thes. Ant. Sacr. vol. iii. p. 1027. Dr. Geddes, however, thinks that the context and etymology require that some vegetable substance be understood. He would substitute, therefore, bdellium for onycha. The mystical sense of these aromata may be gathered from Rev. v. 8, and viïi. 3. S. Chrys., Hom. Imperf. xiii., likens the smell of this perfume to the sweet savour of a righteous man's
prayer to God. Note 4. On the prohibition of making the holy perfume for strangers. Exod. xxx. 38.
Since sweet-smelling ointments were used among the Jews (Prov. xxvii. 9, Psalm civ. 15), we may infer that this prohibition was not universal, but specific. It was forbidden for profane use, to show that religious service ought to be rendered to God alone (Isai. xlii. 8), and not to saints, to angels, or to the blessed Virgin.
SECTION CXV. EXODUS XXXI.
Title.--Abstract and undoubted truths, may become for a time unacceptable,
and even injurious, when they have been much perverted. The abuse of the doctrine of a future state among the Egyptians was probably the cause of the