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tions of the sacrifice, after the lamb was slain and cut up, to the rise of the altar, where it was usual to lay them down to be salted. There were two more lots, a little after this; one for the service of presenting the incense in the Holy Place, and the other for that of taking up the pieces of the sacrifice where they were first laid down, and bearing them to the top of the altar to be burned.
The lamb was slain as soon as it was fairly day. It was considered a matter of importance, however, that it should never be killed earlier than this, and care was taken to have it well ascertained beforehand, that day-light was truly come. Go, (the President was accustomed to say,) and see whether it be time to kill the sacrifice. Some one immediately went up to the top of one of the buildings about the court, and when he saw it to be decidedly day, gave the word aloud, It is fair day.—But is the heaven bright all up to Hebron? (the President would ask.) Yes. Go then, (he would say,) and bring the lamb out of the lamb-room. The lamb-room was one of those that were in the great building that has been mentioned, at the north-west corner of the court, in the middle hall of which, most of the priests were accustomed to pass the night. There were always as man as six lambs kept in it, ready for sacrifice. When the victim was brought to the altar, although it had been well examined before, it was again diligently searched all over with the light of candles, to be sure that it was perfectly free from imperfection and blemish. Those whose business it was, then proceeded to kill it, and dispose of it according to the common manner of sacrifice. In the meantime, the gates of the court had been thrown open, the trumpets sounded to call the Levites and others to their attendance, and the front door of the temple itself solemnly unfolded. It was just as this last thing was done, that the person who had to kill the victim, having every thing ready, applied the instrument of death to its throat. While the work of sprinkling the blood, cutting up the flesh, and carrying it to the altar, then went rapidly forward without, the two men on whom it had fallen to dress the golden altar and the candlestick, were found at their business in the Holy Place. All that he did who cleansed this altar, was merely to brush off the ashes and coals that were on it,
into a golden dish kept for the purpose, which he then left standing by its side. The priest who dressed the lamps, examined them, lighted such as were gone out, supplied them with oil, &c.
All these duties being accomplished, the whole company of priests betook themselves again to the room of lots, and there united in offering up a short prayer to God, rehearsing the ten commandments, and saying over the Shema, as it was styled-a religious form consisting of certain passages of the law, which was regarded as particularly sacred, and necessary to be repeated on a variety of occasions. The Shema was so called because that was the word with which it always began, meaning in English, Hear; for the passage that was first said over, was Deut. vi. 4-9, which begins, Hear, O Israel," &c. And the other passages that belonged to it, were Deut. xi. 13-21, and Numb. xv. 37-41. Not only were the priests in the temple required to say over this Shema, but every Jew, it was held, was bound to do the same thing, wherever he might be, every morning and every evening. This service over, in the case before us, the lot was once more employed to determine the persons that should perform the next duties, when they immediately returned to the court of the sanctuary, to carry forward the morning work.
Then, while the pieces of the slaughtered lamb lay duly salted upon the rise of the altar, and ready to be carried to its top, the offering of incense was solemnly presented in the Holy Place. Two persons were always employed to perform the duty: one took in his hand a silver dish, in which was a censer full of frankincense, and the other carried, in a proper vessel, some burning coals from the summit of the brazen altar, and thus together they passed into the temple. Before they entered, however, they caused the great sounding instrument, that was provided for the purpose, to ring its loud note of warning, which directly brought the priests that might be out of the court, and any of the Levite musicians that happened to be away, to their proper places, and, at the same time, gave all the people notice, that they should be ready to put up their prayers with the incense that was to be offered. The two priests, also, who had been in a short time before, to dress the can
dlestick and the altar, now went in a second time, just before the other two that have been mentioned: but they came out directly again, bringing with them their vessels of service, which they had the first time left standing in the Holy Place; and quickly after them, the one who took in the censer of coals, having placed them upon the altar, came out in like manner, leaving his companion, who had to offer the incense, alone in the sacred apartment. There he waited, till the President without called to him, with a loud voice, Offer: at which signal he caused the incense to kindle upon the golden hearth; when, all at once, the sanctuary was filled with its cloud, and its fragrant odour diffused itself all over the consecrated hill, while the multitude without united in solemn, silent prayer; and oftentimes, no doubt, there went up from hearts, like those of Simeon and Anna, the breathings of true and fervent devotion, more acceptable to the Almighty, far, than all the sweetest tribute of the altar.
So soon as this offering of incense and prayer was concluded, the person whose lot it was to lay the pieces of the lamb upon the altar top, with as much despatch as possible, committed them to the sacred fire. Then, while the dark smoke ascended toward heaven, some of the priests, especially those who had just been in the Holy Place, took their station upon the flight of steps that led up to the entrance of the Porch; and, lifting their hands on high, solemnly blessed the people; one of them, (who, as it would seem from Luke i. 21, 22, was always the same that offered the incense,) taking the lead, and pronouncing the words first, and the others falling in and saying them over all along just after him, so as to make together one united benediction. The form of words which they used, was the one so beautiful and expressive, that is found in Numb. vi. 24-26; and in answer to it, as soon as it was uttered, the people returned aloud, Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! After this blessing, the meat offering of the whole congregation was presented, then that of the High Priest, and last of all, the regular drink offer. ing; when, immediately, the Levites lifted on high their song of sounding praise, after the manner that has been already described, and so concluded the morning worship.
It was not till about the third hour, or the middle of the forenoon, that the whole service was thus finished, and hence the Jews were not accustomed to eat or drink before that time of day, holding it improper to do so, until after this stated season of sacrifices and prayer was over. (Acts ii. 15.)
The Evening Service began about the ninth hour, or the middle of the afternoon. (Acts iii. 1.) It differed only in some few points, of no importance, from that of the morning, and needs not, therefore, any separate consideration. Generally, the particular duties were performed, severally, by the same persons that did them in the morning, so that no new casting of lots was required.
These were the stated services of every day; whatever other duties might be required on some other extraordinary days, these were not allowed in any case to be omitted. Between the sacred seasons of the morning and the evening worship, there was no particular regular course of employment in the temple: yet the interval was not unoccupied with acts of religion; it was then, that other common sacrifices, presented by individuals, were brought forward, from time to time, to the altar, of whatever sort they might be.
Ye shall reverence my sanctuary, was a holy commandment of the Lord himself, and all-reasonable it certainly was, that so solemn a place, especially in the time of public worship, should not be profaned by impious or thoughtless folly. The Jews did not, therefore, at any time, manifest a too careful regard to this point, however solicitous they showed themselves, in a certain way, to have it secured in the smallest things. But their zeal was not sound or consistent withal. It became, in some particulars, trifling and superstitious, while in others, it showed a marvellous indif ference to the whole honour of God's House; here, as in many other cases, it strained out a gnat, and swallowed a camel. Thus, it was held unlawful to go out of the Court of Israel by the same gate that one came in by; or to retire, when their worship was over, any other way than walking backwards, lest it should seem disrespectful to the altar and the sanctuary, to turn the back upon them; while yet, all manner of worldly traffic was allowed to be carried on in the outer court, without scruple or shame. In their care,
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too, of outward forms, they lost, in general, all concern about the inward temper, which God especially regards. Still, much of this attention to outward carriage and appearance was altogether highly becoming, since true reverence toward God requires this, as well as a right spirit in the soul, and it is not to be doubted, that the want of it must be truly offensive in his sight. No person was allowed to enter the ground of the temple with a staff in his hand, or with his scrip on, or with money in his purse, as if he were coming to a place of worldly business; neither might he go in with dust on his feet, but must wash or wipe them beforehand; nor might he spit upon the sacred pavement any where, nor might he pass across it, when going to some other place, because it happened to be the nearest way; all which things would have been disrespectful. Nor was any light or careless behaviour, such as laughing, scoffing, or idle talking, allowed to be indulged, as being unseemly and irreverent, in such a place: but those who came to worship were required to go to the proper place, with leisure and sober step, and there to stand during the service, each with his feet close together, his face turned toward the sanctuary, his eyes bended downward to the ground, and his hands laid one over the other upon his breast, having no liberty, in any case, to sit down, or lean, or throw his body into any careless posture whatever.-What a pity it is that such a regard to reverence, in outward carriage, is found in so small a measure in most Christian churches! How little sense, alas, do the great multitude of those that visit the sanctuary now, seem to have of God's presence, even in his own house, as they come, with light and careless movement, into its solemn courts, and as they attend, with all manner of outward indifference upon its sacred services-bearing on all their looks the image of a worldly spirit, and in their whole deportment, showing more regard to themselves than to their Maker! Especially, what a spectacle of irreverence is often displayed in the time of prayer: what roving of the eye, indicative of roving thought within-what show of list. less languor and weariness, that denotes a mind empty of all interest in the business of the place-what unseemliness of posture and manner, such as sitting without necessity, leaning this way and that way, lolling in every self-indul