« הקודםהמשך »
brethren to dwell together in unity. Every good and upright propensity of the human heart, will stand forth as vouchers of those pleasures which result from witnessing an exhibition of domestic harmony. As there are few sounds which grate more discordant on the well adjusted ear, than the jarring clamours originating in family feuds, so the philantrophist is highly gratified by a view of filial piety, of fraternal kindness, of sisterly attachment, of unbroken confidence reigning among the members of that family, who are the offspring of one faithful and tenderly affectionate pair. That it is good and pleasant for brethren to dwell together in unity, none but a madman or a demon can or will deny. But our text, as we humbly conceive, is of higher reference; we believe that it embraceth the whole family of man. And thus we are brought to the consideration of
Thirdly, and lastly, That irradiating view of our text, where this good and pleasant dwelling together in unity, is in perfection to be found.
Aaron was a striking type of the High-Priest of our profession; Aaron clad in his figurative garments was, we conceive, designed by Jehovah to point out the union of the head and members. Let us pause to view these emblematic garments, Leviticus viii. 7, 8, 9.
“ And he put upon him the coat, and girded him with the girdle, and clothed him with the robe, and put the ephod upon him, and he girded him with the curious girdle of the ephod, and bound it unto him therewith.
« And he put the breast-plate upon him; also he put in the breast-plate the Urim and Thummim.
“And he put the mitre upon his head; also upon the mitre, even upon his fore-front, did he put the golden plate, the holy crown; as the Lord commanded Moses."
But as those sacerdotal garments are not now particularly our subject, I do not mean to dwell upon the variety of information, to be derived from the portion of scripture just read; I will only take leave to produce a few sacred testimonies, in which I conceive thefallusion Ihave suggested, will plainly appear.—Isaiah in the xxii. 21 of his prophecy says, “ And I will clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle.” And again, xlix. 18, “Lift up thine eyes round about, and behold: all these gather themselves together, and come unto the. As I live, saith the Lord, thou shall surely clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them on thee as a bride doeth.” In the book of Jeremiah xüi. 11, we hear of this same girdle :
“ For as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel, and the whole house of Judah, saith the Lord, that they might be unto me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory."
It is in this God-honouring, man-restoring contact, that Isaiah in the xi. 5 of his prophecy, beholds, righteousness the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.” The prophet proceeds to delineate the glorious consequences of the union of head and members :
“ The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling logether; and a little child shall lead them.
“ And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
“ And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice's den.
“ They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain : for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
“ And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his Test shall be glorious.”
In the 28th chapter of Exodus, we learn that the breast-plate of judgment was to be made with cunning work. “ And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breast-plate of judg. ment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place for a memorial before the Lord continually.
“ And thou shalt put in the breast-plate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron's heart, when he goeth in before the Lord: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the Lord continually."
The mitre is called a holy crown.
« And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, HoliNESS TO THE LORD.
“ And it shall be upon Aaron's forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall ballow in all their holy gifts, and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the Lord.”
The prophet Zechariah iii. 5, adverts to this mitre. “And I said let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments."
This robe, my friends, this figurative robe, these figurative garments, may be said to exhibit a compendium of the most consolatory truths in our holy religion. But, as I said, we are not now led to an accurate investigation of particulars, I therefore only add, that they are strikingly figurative of that sacred union existing between the glorious, dignified head, and the transgressing members.
It was not, you will observe, until Aaron was completely clothed in these sacerdotal garments, that the holy ointment was poured upon his head, which ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard, unto the skirts of these garments.
It is manifest that the divine truth in our text, consists only where every other divine truth consists; in the comprehensive character of the Lord Jesus. If we behold the brotherhood existing in the wide spreading race of Adam, alas ! alas! what scenes of blood, what carnage, what destguction ; how extensive, how horrid the desolation wbich meets our view! But lifting our eyes to the HighPriest of our profession, it is in him, and in him only we find the brethren dwelling together in unity, in unbroken unity, without even the shadow of contention. In this dwelling place is perfect truth, perfect righteousness; the wicked will cease to assault, the brethren dwell in perfect peace; and there, this holy ointment is as the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion : for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for
I have been highly gratified, by a short conversation which I hasten to commit to paper, for your inspection. A well looking gentleman accosted me, expressing high satisfaction at finding himself in my company.
Gentleman. I am very happy to see you, Sir; I left home with a determination to find you out, if possible. Much, very much, has been said about you, but as I have some knowledge of mankind, I do not give unbounded credit to all I hear. Report speaks loud and strange things of you as a preacher ; but, it asks more faith than I possess, to admit as unqualified facts, these reports. Yet, having heard, and having read some things in the public prints, the agitation of my mind would not permit me to rest, I drew up a resolution, not withstanding the distance, (for my home is many a
mile from this city,) notwithstanding my advanced time of life, 1 came, I say, to a conclusion to seek you out if you were still in being; and with this sole purpose, I have travelled to this metropolis. Not, Sir, that I am desirous of disputing with you, I never in my life saw any advantage from disputation ; but, although I do not like disputation, I am fond of conversation, if it can be sensibly and dispassionately supported.
Fortunately I have obtained the first part of my object; I have found you, and I hope I am happy enough to find you, what I am told others have found you, free to communicate upon religious subjects, and not easily offended. But first, give me leave to repeat what I have heard of you. If you say there is no truth in the report, I am satisfied, I have done. I have heard, Sir, that you publickly advocate the doctrine of Universal Salvation ; I confess, when I was first informed that there was a man in this country preaching this doctrine, I smiled incredulously; and I was filled with resentment at the idea, there should be found an individual sufficiently wicked to raise such a report, and that there should be any found sufficiently silly to believe a tale so improbable. But hearing it frequently repeated, and by many different and respectable persons, I began to believe it must have a foundation ; and I could find no repose, but in the contemplation of seeing and inquiring for myself, and right glad am I to find myself in your presence. And now, Sir, if
you will permit me to ask, in the first place, is the report true ?
Murray. Yes, Sir, it is indeed very true.
G. Well, this is very extraordinary! and do you really so frankly and so unhesitatingly avow the truth of this report?
M. Yes, Sir, I ought not to hesitate in avowing my belief in what is based upon divine authority.
G. Well, Sir, I thank you, this will save some time, and some trouble. Why, I was told I should find it very difficult to obtain a direct answer from you.
M. Alas! Sir, you have heard no doubt, a great many things to my disadvantage, and among them a great many falsehoods; but now that we are met, I do assure you upon the word of a Christian, you shall hear nothing from me, which I do not believe to be true.
G. I thank you, Sir, and I assure you I have a great many ques. tions to ask you, if you permit me, and will be so obliging as to answer me.
M. I cannot say, Sir, that I shall answer all your questions ; I may not be able ; but I can say, that I will answer you if I can, and if I cannot, I shall not fail to tell you so. A question may be started by a child which the wisest of men could not answer. But, Sir, as you have a great many questions to ask, which I feel a very sincere desire to answer, that you may not be interrupted, I will, with your leave, previously propose three questions to you. I do not mean embarrassing questions, they shall be such as any one can answer. Have I your permission, Sir ?
G. Certainly, Sir.
M. Then, Sir, in the first place, do you really think God had any design in creating man ?
G. Any design, Sir ; and do you mean this as one of your ques. tions ?
M. Yes, Sir.
G. But there is not a being in this world, of the weakest understanding, who could not answer your question.
M. I am glad of it, I do not wish to perplex you.
G. I am very much at a loss to know what you can intend by asking me this question.
M. Why, Sir, that I may obtain your answer.
G. Is that all, you may obtain my answer directly. No man in his senses could be at a loss to answer you ; infinite wisdom could not work without design.
M. Thank you, Sir, you have answered me as I expected. My second question is as easy as my first. You will have the goodness to excuse my asking you such simple questions. Was the design of God in creating man, a good or a bad design?
G. What! was the design of God in creation good or bad ? you astonish me, Sir! can you suppose that infinite goodness could possibly form a bad design?
M. No, Sir, I cannot. But I wished to know if you could thus believe?
G. Who, I, Sir; could you think me capable of supposing that infinite goodness had a bad design in making man. God forbid I should harbour such an impious thought.
M. Amen, say I.
G. But still I am at a loss to know why you should ask me twe such questions.