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distances from the sides, but just at the west end, where the vail opened to give an entrance into the most holy place; wherefore by our apostle it is reckoned unto that part of the sanctuary, as we shall see on the next verse.
Concerning this part of the tabernacle, the apostle affirms that it was called αγια, holy ;' ήτις άγια λεγεται. This name of it was given and stated, Exod. xxvi. 33. The vail shall divide Ewopom Wyp 721 vip7 7'3, between the holy,' that is, that part of the sanctuary, and the most holy,' which our apostle describes in the next place. And we may observe, that,
Obs. I. Every part of God's house, and the place wherein he will dwell, is filled and adorned with pledges of his presence, and means of communicating his grace.--Such were all the parts of the furniture of this part of the tabernacle. And so doth God dwell in his church, which in some sense is his tabernacle with men.
But the principal inquiry about these things, is concerning their mystical signification and use. For by the apostle, they are only proposed in general, under this notion, that they were all typical representations of things spiritual and evangelical. Without this he had no concern in them. This therefore we shall inquire into
We may in this matter be supplied by expositors with variety of conjectures. But none of them, so far as I have observed, have at all endeavoured to fix any certain rule for the trial and measure of such conjectures, nor to guide us in the interpretation of this mystery.
Some say, the candlestick, with its branches, represented the seven planets, the sun in the midst, as the scapus of the candlestick was in the midst of the six branches, three on the one side, and three on the other. And the loaves of bread, say they, did represent the fruits of the earth, as influenced by the heavenly bodies. This is the interpretation of Philo, a Jew and Platónical philosopher; and it is not unbecoming of his principles. But that any Christian writer should approve of it, I somewhat wonder, nor doth it deserve a confutation.
Some say, that the altar of incense signified those that are of a contemplative life; the table of shew-bread, those that follow the active life; and the candlestick, those that follow both of them. The pretended reasons of this application of these things, may be seen in the commentaries of Ribera and Tena, on this place.
Some, with more sobriety and probability, affirm the candlestick to represent the ministry of the church, appointed for the illumination of it, and the table with the shew-bread, the ordinances as administered by them; which things are declared succinctly by Gomarus on this place; and unto them they may have safely a secondary application,
But, as was said, a rule is to be fixed to guide us in the interpretation of the mystical signification of these things, and in ihe application of them, without which we shall wander in ancertain and unapproveable conjectures. And it is plainly given us in the context. For therein are two things manitest. 1. That the tabernacle, and all contained in it, were typical of Christ. This is directly affirmed, ch. viii. 2. as hath been evinced in the exposition of that place. And it is the design of the apostle further to declare and confirm it in what remains of this chapter. 2. That the Lord Christ, in this representation of him by the tabernacle, its utensils and services, is not considered absolutely, but as the church is in mystical union with him. For he is proposed, set forth, and described in the discharge of his mediatory office. And these things give us an evident rule in the investigation of the original significancy of the tabernacle, with all the parts, furniture and services of it, and the design of God therein. They were all representative of Christ in the discharge of his office, and by them did God instruct the church as unto their faith in him, and expectation of him.
This is excellently observed by Cyrill. in Johan. lib. iv. cap. 28. Christus licét unus sit, multifariam tamen à nobis intelligitur. Ipse est tabernaculum propter carnis tegumentum ; ipse est mensa, quia nosler cibus est et vila ; ipse est arca habens legem Dei reconditum, quia est verbum patris ; ipse est candelabrum, quia est lux spiritualis ; ipse est alture incensi, quia est odor suavilatis in sanctificationem ; ipse est allare holocausti, quia est hostia pro tolius mundi vita in cruce oblata. And other instances he gives unto the same purpose. And although I cannot comply with all his particular applications, yet the ground he builds upon, and the rule he proceeds by, are firm and stable. And by this rule we shall inquire into the signification of the things mentioned by the apostle, in the first part of the tabernacle.
1. The candlestick, with its seven branches, and its perpetual light with pure oil, giving light unto all holy administrations, did represent the fulness of spiritual light that is in Christ Jesus, and which by him is communicated unto the whole church. • In him was life, and the life was the light of men,' John i. 4. God gave unto him the Spirit, not by measure, John iii. 31. And the Holy Spirit rested on him in all variety of his gifts and operations, especially those of spiritual light, wisdom and understanding, İsa. xi. 2, 3. And in allusion unto this candle. stick, with its seven lamps, the Holy Spirit is called the seven Spirits that are before the throne of God,' Rev. i. 4. as he, in and by whom the Lord Christ gives out the fulness and perfection of spiritual light and gifts, unto the illumination of the church, even as the light of the tabernacle depended on the seven lamps of the candlestick. Wherefore, by the communication of the fulness of the Spirit, in all his gifts and graces unto Christ, he became the fountain of all spiritual light unto the church. For he subjectively enlightens their minds by his Spirit, Eph. i. 17-19. and objectively and doctrinally conveys the means of light unto them by his word.
2. Again, There was one candlestick which contained the holy oil (a type of the Spirit) in itself. Thence was it communicated unto the branches on each side of it, that they also should give light unto the tabernacle ; yet had they originally no oil in themselves, but only what was continually communicated unto them from the body of the candlestick. And so the communications from Christ of spiritual gifts unto the ministers of the gospel, whereby they are instrumental in the illumination of the church, was signified thereby. For unto every one of us is given grace, according unto the measure of the gift of Christ,' even as he pleaseth, Eph. iv. 7.
3. But hereon we must also remember, that this candlestick was all one beaten work of pure gold, both the scapus,
the body, and all the branches of it. There were neither joints, por screws, nor pins, in or about it, Exod. xxv. 36. Wherefore, unless ministers are made partakers of the divine nature of Christ, by that faith which is more precious than gold, and are intimately united unto him, so as mystically to become one with him, no pretended conjunction unto him by joints and screws of outward order, will enable them to derive that pure oil from him, with whose burning light they may illuminate the church. But this I submit unto the judgment of others.
This is of faith herein." That which God instructed the church in by this holy utensil and its use, was, that the promised Messiah, whom all these things typified and represented, was to be by the fulness of the Spirit in himself, and by the communication of all spiritual graces and gifts unto others, the only cause of all true saving light unto the church. • He is the true light which lighteneth every man coming into the world,' namely, that is savingly enlightened. Upon the entrance of sin, all things fell into darkness ; spiritual darkness covered mankind, not unlike that which was on the face of the deep, before God said, “Let there be light, and there was light, 2 Cor. iv. 6. And this darkness had two parts; first, that which was external, with respect unto the will of God concerning sinners, and their acceptance with bim; secondly, on the minds of men, in their incapacity to receive such divine revelations unto that end, as were or should be made. This was the double vail, the vail vailed, and the covering covered, over the face of all nations, which was to be destroyed, Isa. xxv. 7. And they are both removed by Christ alone, the former by his doctrine, the latter by his Spirit. Moreover, there was no light at all in the sanctuary, for the performance of any holy administrations, but Vol. VI.
what was given unto it by the lamps of this candlestick. And therefore was it to be carefully dressed every morning and evening by a perpetual statute. And if the communication of spiritual gifts and graces do cease, the very church itself, notwithstanding its outward order, will be a place of darkness.
Obs. II. The communication of sacred light from Christ in the gifts of the Spirit, is absolutely necessary unto the due and acceptable performance of all holy offices and duties of worship in the church. And,
Obs. III. No men, by his utmost endeavours in the use of outward means, can obtain the least beam of saving light, unless it be communicated unto him by Christ, who is the only fountain and cause of it.
4. The table and the shew-bread mentioned in the next place, respected him also under another consideration. The use of the table, which was all overlaid with gold, was only to bear the bread which was laid upon it. What resemblance there might be therein unto the divine person of Christ, which sustained the human nature in its duties, that bread of life which was provided for the church, it may be, is not easy to declare. Howbeit, the head of Christ is said to be as the most fine gold,' Cant: v. 11. Wherefore, the matter of it being most precious, and the form of it beautiful and glorious, it might as far represent it, as any thing would do which is of this creation, as all these things were, ver. 11. But that the Lord Christ is the only bread of life unto the church, the only spiritual food of our souls, he himself doth fully testify, John vi. 32. 35. He therefore, he alone, was represented by this continual bread of the sanctuary. VER. 3-5.-Μετα δε το δευτερον καταπέτασμα, σκηνη η λεγομενη αγια
αγιων κρυσεν εχεσα θυμιατηριον, και την κιβω dicendanas Regizeκαλυμμενην παντοθεν καυσιω, εη και σταμνος χρυση εχ8σα το μαννα, και και ραβδος Ααρων ή βλαστήσασα και αι πλακες της διαθηκης. Υπεραν δε αυτης Χιρεσια δόξης, κατασκιαζοντα το έλαστηριον περι ών εκ έστι
ywy Asytty XATA peigos. Μετα δε το δευτερον καταπέτασμα, σκηνη ; but after the second vail or covering, the tabernacle. Our Latin translation reads, post medium velum; that is, after the vail that was in the midst.' For there were not three vails whereof this should be in the midst, but two only. The Syriac somewhat changeth the words, “The inner tabernacle which was within the face of the second gate. The same thing is intended, but the inner' is added; and after the second vail,' is expressed by an Hebraism.
What XWTOTITATUs is, which is rendered velum, and velamentum, . *a vail, a covering,' and by the Syriac, 'a gate of entrance, we shall see afterwards.
'I asyojtyn; quod dicitur ; quod vocalur : Syr." it was called.'
Xquosv sXtra Juplatneir; aureum habens thuribulum, having the golden censer:' Syr. ' and there were in it the house of in. cense of gold;' whereby either the altar or the censer may be understood. Ev i otapevis, Syr. ' and there was in it;' referring plainly to the ark.
Tags wv 8% soto wy deyour rata pigos ; non est tempus : non est propositum: . It is not a time or place : it is not my purpose to speak:' non est modo dicendum : Kata pesgos; singulatim ; Vul. Lat. per singula. Arias, per partes. Syr. By one and one, apart, particularly, according to the parts laid down distinctly. The Syriac adds the following words unto these : • It is not time to speak of these things by one and one, which were thus disposed.' But the original refers that expression unto what follows. Ver. 3—5.-And after the second vail, the tabernacle, which is
called the holiest of all; which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid (covered) round about (on every side) with gold ; wherein was the golden pot that had manna; and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; and over it the cherubim of glory shadowing the mercy-seat ; of which (things), we cannot (shall not) now speak particu
larly. The apostle, in these verses, proceedeth unto the description of the second part of the tabernacle, with the things contained in it, or the holy furniture thereof. His design is not to give us an exact description of these things, as he declares in the elose of the fifth verse, but only to declare their use and signification. Wherefore he doth not propose an accurate account of their station and relation one to another, but makes such mention of them in general, as was sufficient unto his end, namely, to manifest their use and signification. Wherefore, they deal injuriously both with him and the text, who rigidly examine every word and passage, as though he had designed an exact account of the frame, position, fashion, and measure of this part of the tabernacle, and every thing contained in it; whereas the use and signification of the whole is all that he intends. A due consideration hereof, renders the anxious inquiry that hath been made, about the assignation of holy utensils unto this part of the sanctuary, and the placing of them with respect unto one another, which was no part of his design, altogether needless. For with respect unto the end he ained at, the words he useth are exactly the truth.
He describes this part of the tabernacle, 1. From its situation : it was after the second vail. 2. From its name given unto it by God himself: it was called the holiest of all, or the holy of holies. 3. From its utensils or vessels, which were,