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view of the Old Testament as a vast prophecy is based on the principle that in revelation as in nature there is continuity; and speaking broadly, their conception has absolutely justified itself in Christian experience. Even the fantastic ingenuity and extravagance in exegesis which occasionally disfigure the writings of the fathers may be regarded as only instances of the misapplication of a principle both simple and true: the unity of Scripture and the continuity of revelation alike bearing witness to the unity of their Author, and of His purpose for mankind. The levitical cultus in particular is a product too intricate and mysterious to allow us for a moment to suppose that it was an antiquated and meaningless excrescence upon a decaying system. Further, criticism teaches us that in its developed shape the cultus was inspired by thoughts which a Christian knows to be eternally true. was intended to give outward expression to that thought of divine indwelling which has been realized in the Incarnation and in the experience of the Christian Church. Ezekiel's vision of a city which is Jehovah's dwelling-place is essentially identical with St. John's conception of the heavenly Jerusalem'. Accordingly, it is natural and reasonable to discern in every detail of the Jewish ritual a divine thought, a spiritual idea, foreshadowed dimly in the legal type, but manifested in Jesus Christ; Nihil enim vacuum neque sine signo apud Deum2. As we learn from the Epistle to the Hebrews, the whole system of worship was the pattern and shadow of heavenly realities; the holy places made with hands were figures of the true; under material symbols and visible arrangements were continuously disclosed thoughts which the Holy Spirit


Ceremonial Law will be found in Diestel, Geschichte des A. T. in der christlichen Kirche, § 7.

1 Ezek. xlviii. 35; Rev. xxi. 3, 22, 23.

2 Iren. iv. 21, 3. Cp. Orig. de Princ. iv. 6 rò évvпáрɣov pôs To Morréos νόμῳ καλύμματι ἐναποκεκρυμμένον συνέλαμψε τῇ Ἰησοῦ ἐπιδημία, περιαιρεθέντος τοῦ καλύμματος, καὶ τῶν ἀγαθῶν κατὰ βραχὺ εἰς γνῶσιν ἐρχομένων ὧν σκιὰν εἶχε τὸ γράμμα.

intended to teach from the first'. In fact, we miss the real purport of the minute descriptions of the tabernacle and its worship contained in the Pentateuch if we fail to discern beneath the picture of the ideal sanctuary the outlines of the kingdom of God which is destined to find its consummation in the perfected Church of the redeemed.

For the Mosaic tabernacle seems to give concrete and pictorial expression to three fundamental truths of catholic religion.

First, it was a symbol of the right of access to God vouchsafed by the divine mercy to man. The tabernacle was the tent of meeting, the spot where God could be approached, and where He deigned, under conditions of His own appointment, to draw near to man. The writer to the Hebrews points out that in Jesus Christ man acquires the right of priestly access to God. In Him as the representative of His redeemed people we can draw near in full assurance of faith; we can come boldly unto the throne of grace. In union with Him the individual soul may perpetually enjoy that privilege which was imperfectly foreshadowed by the solitary entry of the High Priest, on one day only in the year, into the Holy of Holics. The proof of divine inspiration in the account of the tabernacle lies not necessarily in its actual correspondence with fact, but rather in the ideal anticipations of which it is the product. It bears witness to the consciousness, which ever haunted the Israelite, of his vocation to communion and converse with God.

Secondly, the tabernacle was the abode where God made His dwelling in the midst of His people. Hence

1 Heb. ix. 8 τοῦτο δηλοῦντος τοῦ Πνεύματος τοῦ ἁγίου, κ.τ.λ. Cp. Heb. viii. 5, ix. 24.



. Exod. xxvii. 21; cp. xxix. 42.

3 Heb. x. 22, iv. 16. Cp. vii. 25, &c., and observe the frequent use of the words pooépxeσda, eyyíšem in the Epistle. See also Rom. v. 2; Eph. ii. 18, iii. 12.

it is frequently called Jehovah's dwelling-place1, wherein He deigned to walk with His ancient people throughout the days of their pilgrimage in the wilderness. It prefigured that mystery of condescension which was fulfilled in the tabernacling of the divine Word made flesh among men. It was a visible emblem of that body of the incarnate Redeemer which was the 'temple' or tabernacle indwelt by His divine person. The simplicity of the ancient shepherd's tent probably suggested its structure and arrangements. But another name of the tabernacle indicated a more advanced and spiritual conception of the divine indwelling: namely, the phrase tent of the testimony, which implied that Jehovah's presence among His people was 'a moral fact conditioned by God's covenant grace' rather than any mere local proximity. It was the moral law that was Israel's true glory, and formed the pledge of its special nearness to God.

Lastly, in its structure and characteristic services the tabernacle was an emblem of the inaccessible holiness of Jehovah. Its arrangements and ritual were intended indeed to satisfy man's desire for approach to God, but the privilege of access was jealously restricted. The Jewish worshipper was held, so to speak, at arm's length. He was constantly reminded of the gulf that intervened between sinful man, whatever might be his aspirations, and the all-holy God. The very fact that human approach to God was possible only under the most jealous restrictions served to bring home forcibly to the heart of the Israelite the inherent imperfection of the whole ancient system. 'The inaccessibility,' remarks Dr. Bruce*,

1 D. See Exod. xxv. 8, 9; cp. xxix. 45, 46. The tabernacle was

.שכינה the place of the

2 See 2 Sam. vii. 6 foll. Cp. John i. 14, ii. 19; Rev. xxi. 3.



5. Num. ix. 15. Cp. Exod. xxxviii. 21, &c.; and see Schultz, O. T. Theology, i. 353 foll.


In an exposition of Heb. ix. 1-10; see The Epistle to the Hebrews,

P. 320.

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was not absolute, but the solitary exception made the sense of inaccessibility more intense than if there had been no exception. Had entrance been absolutely forbidden, men would have regarded the inner sanctuary as a place with which they had no concern, and would have ceased to think of it at all. But the admission of their highest representative in holy things on one solitary day in the year taught them that the most holy place was a place with which they had to do, and at the same time showed it to be a place very difficult of access.' This indeed seems to have been the true import of the arrangement, the Holy Ghost signifying this thereby1. It was a perpetual memorial to the Jew of the divine holiness. It was a tabernacle of the congregation only in the sense that the people in the person of their divinely-appointed representative there met with God. The structure of the tent and the regulations in regard to entry taught in the most impressive way the truth that without holiness no man shall see the Lord; and indeed this was perhaps the most significant of the purposes served by the picture of the ancient sanctuary. It fulfilled a function corresponding to its place in the system of divine education. The restrictions under which approach to God was allowable, qualified the sense of His gracious condescension by laying deep the foundations of holy fear. Ye shall reverence my sanctuary, says the Law of holiness: I am Jehovah. And it is obvious that only when the immeasurable interval subsisting between the divine nature and the human had been adequately realized, was the foundation prepared for a true doctrine of their union in the person of the incarnate Son of God. The religious idea of God's distinctness from nature was

1 Heb. ix. 8.

The above A. V. translation of 'Ohel Mo'ed is thus incorrect. See Willis, Worship, &c., p. 68.

Heb. xii. 14. See Riehm, ATI. Theologie, p. 88.

Lev. xix. 30, xxvi. 2. On the natural basis of this fear or reverence for holy places see Robertson Smith, Religion of the Semites, lectt. iii, iv.

educated by a moral discipline which, while it emphasized the possibility of union between God and man, deepened the consciousness of a barrier which only divine grace could remove1.

When we turn to the sacrificial system we still find ourselves under the guidance of the apostolic writer who first explicitly draws out the general significance of the levitical sanctuary. In regard to the law of the offerings, his teaching implies that they were divinely intended to foreshadow the mystery of Christ's person and work, and their intricacy and many-sidedness corresponds to the diversity of aspects under which the work of redemption may be contemplated. The analogy of the Gospels illustrates the mode in which a Christian student may use the Old Testament types. Speaking generally, each Gospel gives a separate view of Christ's person, just as each parable in St. Matthew's thirteenth chapter presents some different aspect of the divine. kingdom. So it is with the Old Testament sacrifices. When Faustus the Manichaean complains that they are no better than a system of idol-worship in which the Church by accepting the Old Testament becomes a partaker, Augustine replies by explaining their real. significance for Christians. Though they do not, he says, form any part of our practice, yet we welcome them among the other mysteries of Holy Scripture as aiding us to understand the things which they prefigured. 'Even these,' he continues, were our examples 3, and

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1 On the symbolism of the tabernacle, see Note A at the close of the lecture.

2 Novatian, de Trin. ix: 'Hunc enim Jesum Christum ... et in Veteri Testamento legimus esse repromissum et in Novo Testamento animadvertimus exhibitum, omnium sacramentorum umbras et figuras de praesentia corporatae veritatis implentem.' Cp. Jukes, The Law of the Offerings, p. 41: The offering of Christ... was but one, and but once offered; but the shadows vary in shape and outline according to the point from whence, and the light in which they are looked upon. In other words, the one offering had several aspects, and each aspect required a separate picture. Had Christ's fulness and relations been less manifold, fewer emblems might have sufficed to represent them; but as they are many, and each to be variously apprehended, no one emblem, however perfect, could depict them all.'

I Cor. x. 6.

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