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SERMON XI.

ON THE OFFICE OF THE HIGH PRIEST, AND

PRIESTS, AS COMMANDED BY THE LORD, AND
INSTITUTED BY HIS AUTHORITY IN THE
JEWISH CHURCH; WITH AN ACCOUNT OF THE
PONTIFICAL DRESS OF THE HIGH PRIEST;
AND ALSO OF HIM, AS A FIGURE AND RE-
PRESENTATIVE OF OUR GREAT HIGH PRIEST
CHRIST JESUS.

Exodus xxviii. 1.

And take thou unto thee Aaron, thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office, even Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar."

MOSES, whilst he was in the mount with God forty days and forty nights, was admitted into peculiar fellowship with the Three in Jehovah, and their covenant of grace. And he re

ceived those commands concerning the tabernacle, ark, mercy seat, and cherubims of glory, the golden candlestick, shew-bread, table, golden altar of incense, vails, curtains for the tabernacle, and hangings for the court which surrounded it, with the brazen altar, and brazen laver, which are recorded in the 25th, 26th, and 27th chap. ters of this book.

These sacred utensils were all and each of them emblematical and figurative of Christ, in his person as God-man; and in a variety of ways they were very expressive of his work, offices, salvation, and grace. You may see the whole of them elucidated, and read a spiritual exposition of them in the epistle to the Hebrews.

In this chapter we have the Lord's command concerning the persons who were to officiate in his house, the church, with his command for separating Aaron and his sons to the office of priesthood. Aaron was to be the high priest, the others were priests. I shall, as the Lord may

be pleased to assist me, speak of their call and apa pointment to their office of high priest, and priesthood, with their boly garments; after which I will shew how they were figures of Christ, and represented him, his work, and offices, with the blessings and benefits thereof; in which we shall see the glory of God shining forth in the face or person of Jesus Christ; and how Aaron and the priesthood were figurative of him.

To the intent that this subject may the better be understood, and the whole more clearly appear, I will propose what I have to say under the following distinct heads.

First, I will view and set before you the command concerning the call and separation of Aaron and his sons to be set apart for the priesthood; and that holy garments were appointed for them, and what they were.

Secondly, I will particularly set forth the peculiar dress and pontifical attire of Aaron, the high priest.

Thirdly, What was sigvified thereby, and how he was the figure and representative of our great high priest, Christ Jesus.

I am, in the first place, to view and set before you, the command concerning the call and separation of Aaron and his sons to be set apart for the office and work of the priesthood; and that holy garments were appointed for them, and what they were.

The chapter before us begins with an account of it. The Lord spake unto Moses, and said, verse first, “ And take thou unto thee Aaron, thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office, 'even Aaron, Nadab, and Abibu, Eleazar, and Ithamar, Aaron's sons.” Aaron himself, and then the eldest sons in Aaron's family, were to be high priests in succession; and the rest of his sons, and their posterity, were to be priests, provided they had no blemish in their bodies. The high priest was the greatest person, and his office the highest and most dignified in the old testament, or jewish church ; according to his office, he was, in an especial manner, to minister in the service of God, in offering the sacrifices, confessing the sins of the people over the head of the scape goat, carrying the blood of the sacrifices into the holiest of all, sprinkling the blood before the mercyseat, and fuming the incense between the cherubims of glory, putting some of the blood of atonemeut on the horns of the incense altar, and pronouncing the blessing prescribed in Numb. vi. 23, &c. on the day of atonement. He was also the overseer over the whole worship of God; it belonged to him, and was a part and branch of his office to oversee all the public worship, and to act as judge in all civil as well as religious matters. In the whole of which, he was a type of Christ, as shall be hereafter shewn and declared, under the third general head. The office and work of the common priests were, to offer sacrifices, to burn the daily incense in the holy place, to trim the lamps, and supply them with oil, to pronounce the benediction, and to instruct the people.

When all the tribe and family of Levi were taken into the service of the Lord, and were classed according to their families, under their three distinct heads of Roathites, Gershonites, and Merarites, the Lord appointed them their respective offices and services. And thongh all the priests were Levites, yet all the Levites were not priests.

The oflice of the Levites was to wait on the priests, and assist them in killing the sacrifices, flaying them, wasbing and cutting them up, bringing their parts, and laying them on the altar, and in other servile employments; they did the lower and meaner services of the sanctuary. They were taken into the service of God instead of all the first-born of Israel, and were sanctified to their office by sprinkling water of purification on them, washing their garments, by the people's laying their hands on them, and by se. veral sacrifices, viz. burnt-offerings and sin-offerings; see Numb. viii. 6 to 16. All the servants of the Lord had a peculiar dress: the high priest's garments are stiled holy garments, because he ministered in them before the Lord, and they were for glory and for beauty, to distinguish him in his office beyond his brethren. The common priests had four priestly garments, viz. first, linen breeches, or trowsers; second, fine linen coats; third, embroidered girdles of fine linen, wrought with blue, purple, and scarlet, like the high priest's; fourth, they had bon. nets, or turbans of fine linen, like the high

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