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showing them every where as the monuments of his grace and mercy, and by their means diffusing in every place the odour of the knowledge of God-in reference to a triumph, when all the temples were filled with fragrance, and the whole air breathed perfume :-and the apostle, continuing the allusion, adds, that this odour would prove the means of the salvation of some, and destruction of others as in a triumph, after the pomp and procession was concluded, some of the captives were put to death, others saved alive.1
triumpheth over us in Christ: leading us about in triumph, as it were in solemn procession. This yields a most congruous and beautiful sense of his words. And in order to display the force of his fine sentiment, in its full compass and extent, let it be observed, that when St. Paul represents himself and others, as being led about in triumph, like so many captives, by the prevailing power and efficacy of Gospel grace and truth, his words naturally imply and suggest three things worthy of particular notice and attention; namely, a contest, a victory, and an open show of this victory. (Brekell's Discourses, pp. 141, 142.) "While God was leading about such men in triumph, he made them very serviceable and successful in promoting Christian knowledge in every place wherever they came. (Ibid. p. 151.)
1 Brüning's Compendium Antiquitatum Græcarum e profanis sacrarum, pp. 107-136.; and his Appendix de Triumpho Romanorum, pp. 415-434.; Lydii Diatriba de Triumpho Jesu Christi in Cruce, pp. 285-300. of his work, intituled Florum Sparsio ad Historiam Passionis Jesu Christi (Dordrecht, 1672. 18mo.); Harwood's Introduction to the New Testament, vol. ii. pp. 29-34. 47-58.
SACRED ANTIQUITIES OF THE JEWS, AND OF OTHER NATIONS INCICDENTALLY MENTIONED IN THE SCRIPTURES.
OF SACRED PLACES.
THE whole world being the workmanship of God, there is no place in which men may not testify their reverence for His supreme Majesty. From the very first beginning of time God had always some place appropriated for the solemn duties of religious worship. Adam, even during his continuance in Paradise, had some place where to present himself before the Lord; and, after his expulsion thence, his sons in like manner had whither to bring their oblations and sacrifices. This probably was the reason why Cain did not immediately fall upon his brother, when his offering was refused, because perhaps the solemnity and religion of the place, and sensible appearance of the divine Majesty there, struck him with a reverential awe that might cause him to defer his villanous design till he came into the field, where he slew him.
The patriarchs, both before and after the flood, used altars and mountains and groves for the same purpose: thus we read of Noah's building an altar to the Lord, and offering burnt offerings upon it. (Gen. viii. 20.) Abraham, when he was called to the worship of the true God, erected altars wherever he pitched his tent (Gen. xii. 8. and xiii. 4.): He planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the Lord (Gen. xxi. 33.): and it was upon a mountain that God ordered him to offer up his son Isaac. (Gen. xxii. 2.) Jacob in particular called a place by the name of God's House, where he vowed to pay the tithes of all that God should give him. (Gen. xxviii. 22.)
In the wilderness, where the Israelites themselves had no settled habitations, they had by God's command a moving tabernacle; and as soon as they were fixed in the land of promise, God appointed a temple to be built at Jerusalem, which David intended, and his son Solomon performed: after the first temple was destroyed, another was built in the room of it (Ezra iii. 8.), which Christ himself owned for his house of prayer (Matt. xxi. 13.), and which both he and his apostles frequented, as well as the synagogues.
In the very first ages of Christianity we see in the sacred writings more than probable footsteps of some determined places for their solemn assemblies, and peculiar only to that use. Of this nature was
that upper room into which the apostles and disciples, after their return from our Saviour's ascension, went up as into a place commonly known and separated to divine use. (Acts i. 13.) Such another (if not the same) was that one place, in which they were all assembled on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Ghost visibly came down upon them (Acts ii. 1.); and this is the more probable because the multitude, who were mostly strangers of every nation under heaven, came so readily to the place, upon the first rumour of so extraordinary an incident, which supposes it to be commonly known as the place where Christians used to meet together. And as many of the first believers sold their houses and lands, and laid the money at the apostles' feet, to supply the necessities of the church, so it is not unlikely that others might give their houses, or at least some convenient room in it, for a place of worship; which may be the reason why the apostle so often salutes such and such a person, and the church in his house (Rom. xvi. 5. 1 Cor. xvi. 19. Coloss. iv. 15.): for that this salutation is not used, merely because their families were Christians, appears from other salutations of the same apostle, where Aristobulus and Narcissus, &c. are saluted with their household. (Rom. xvi. 10, 11. 2 Tim. iv. 19.)
Solomon, indeed, at the consecration of the temple, acknowledges that the heaven of heavens could not contain God, and much less the house which he had built him. (1 Kings viii. 27.) But it will not therefore follow, that there is no necessity for places to be appropriated to divine worship: these are requisite for this purpose, that all the offices of religion may be performed with more decency and solemnity, and by such structures to defend us from many inconveniences, which would extremely incommode us in paying our duty to God. It is the same thing doubtless to the Almighty wherever we pray, so long as we pray with a pious mind and a devout heart, and make the subject of our prayers such good things as he has permitted us to ask; but it was not consistent with the preservation of the Jewish state and religion, that God should be publicly worshipped in every place; for, since the Jews were on every side surrounded with idolators, it was highly necessary that in all divine matters there should be a strict union between them all, both in heart and voice, and consequently that they should all meet together in one place to worship God, lest they should fall into idolatry, which actually came to pass after the kingdom was divided, and the places of worship by that means became distinct; and therefore though Solomon knew very well that in every place God was ready to hear the prayers of devout supplicants, yet for the preservation of peace and unity, he, at the consecration of the temple, thought proper to leave this impression on the minds of the people, that as God had ordained he should be publicly worshipped in the manner prescribed by him, so he would be found more exorable to the prayers which were offered up in that temple (as the place of public worship) rather than in any other place, thereby to excite them to resort frequently to it. It is beyond all doubt, how
ever, that pious persons among the Jews worshipped God also in private, and in their families; in which they might be assisted by the priests and Levites, who having no distinct portion of the land allotted to them, were dispersed among all the tribes; and thus it is said of Daniel, that in his chamber he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before God. (Dan. vi. 10.)
There were several public places appropriated by the Jews for religious worship, viz. 1. The Tabernacle, which in time gave place to 2. The Temple, both of which are oftentimes in Scripture called the sanctuary; between which there was no other difference as to the principal design (though there was in beauty and workmanship) than that the tabernacle was a moveable temple, as the temple was an immoveable tabernacle; on which account the tabernacle is sometimes called the temple (1 Sam. i. 9. and iii. 3.), as the temple is sometimes called the tabernacle. (Jer. x. 20. Lam. ii. 6.) 3. There were also places of worship called in Scripture High places, used promiscuously during the times of both the tabernacle and temple until the captivity; and lastly, there were Synagogues among the Jews, and other places, used only for prayer, called proseucha or oratories, which chiefly obtained after the captivity; of these various structures some account will be found in the following section.
OF THE TABERNACLE.
I. Different Tabernacles in use among the Israelites.-II. THE TABERNACLE, so called by way of eminence, not of Egyptian Origin.Its Materials.-III. Form and Construction of the Tabernacle.Its Contents.-IV. Its Migrations.
I. MENTION is made in the Old Testament of three different tabernacles previously to the erection of Solomon's temple. The first, which Moses erected, is called the tabernacle of the congregation (Exod. xxxiii. 7.); here he gave audience, heard causes, and inquired of Jehovah, and here also at first, perhaps the public offices of religion were solemnised. The second tabernacle was that erected by Moses for Jehovah, and at his express command, partly to be a palace of his presence as the king of Israel (Exod. xl. 34, 35.), and partly to be the medium of the most solemn public worship, which the people were to pay to him. (26-29.) This tabernacle was erected on the first day of the first month in the second year after the departure of the Israelites from Egypt. The third public tabernacle was that erected by David in his own city, for the reception of the ark, when he received it from the house of Obed-Edom. (2 Sam. vi. 7. 1 Chron. xvi. 1.) Of the second of these tabernacles we are now to treat, which was called THE TABERNACLE by way of distinction. It was a moveable chapel, so contrived as to be
taken to pieces and put together again at pleasure, for the convenience of carrying it from place to place.
II. It has been imagined that this tabernacle, together with all its furniture and appurtenances, was of Egyptian origin: that Moses projected it after the fashion of some such structure which he had observed in Egypt, and which was in use among other nations; or that God directed it to be made with a view of indulging the Israelites in a compliance with their customs and modes of worship, so far as there was nothing in them directly sinful. The heathen nations, it is true, had such tabernacles or portable shrines as are alluded to by the prophet Amos (v. 26.), which might bear a great resemblance to that of the Jews; but it has neither been proved, nor is it probable, that they had them before the Jews, and that the Almighty so far condescended to indulge the Israelites, a wayward people, and prone to idolatry, as to introduce them into his own worship. It is far more likely that the heathens derived their tabernacles from that of the Jews, who had the whole of their religion immediately from God, than that the Jews, or rather that God should take them from the heathens.1
The materials of the tabernacle were provided by the people; every one brought his oblation according to his ability: those of the first quality offered gold, those of a middle condition brought silver and brass and shittim-wood; and the offerings of the meaner sort consisted of yarn, fine linen, goats-hair and skins; nor were the women backward in contributing to this work, for they willingly brought in their bracelets, ear-rings, and other ornaments, and such of them as were skilful in spinning made yarn and thread. In short, the liberality of the people on this occasion was so great, that Moses was obliged by proclamation to forbid any more offerings, and thereby restrain the excessive zeal of the people for that service. (Exod. xxxv. and xxxvi.)
This tabernacle was set up in the wilderness of Sinai, and carried along with the Israelites from place to place as they journeyed towards Canaan, and is often called the tabernacle of the congregation. The form of it appears to have closely resembled our modern tents, but it was much larger, having the sides and roof secured with boards, hangings, and coverings, and was surrounded on all sides by a large outer court, which was enclosed by pillars, posted at equal distances, whose spaces were filled up with curtains fixed to these pillars: whence it is evident that this tabernacle consisted first of the tent or house itself which was covered, and next of the
1 The hypothesis above noticed was advanced by Spencer in his learned, but in many respects fanciful treatise, De Legibus Hebræorum, lib. iii. diss. i. c. 3. and diss. vi. c. 1. His arguments were examined and refuted by Buddeus in his Historia Ecclesiastica Veteris Testamenti, part i. pp. 310. 548.
2 This shittim-wood is supposed to have been either the acacia or the cedar, both which grow in Egypt and in Syria. The acacia is delineated by Prosper Alpinus, De Plantis Egyptiacis, c. 4. Hasselquist found it in Palestine (Tour in the Levant, p. 250.), and Dr. Pococke found it both on Mount Sinai and in Egypt. The cedar has been already mentioned.