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pose to have been hung within the hollow frame, (which they conceive was cased with boards all the way down,) just in the middle between the bottom and the top of it, and that it was the sacred fire-place where the sacrifices were to be burned: it was made full of holes, they say, round about and below, to let the ashes fall through to the bottom of the altar, where there was a little door on one side by which they might be taken out to be carried away. Another opinion is, that across the middle of the frame there was fixed some kind of flooring, and that the whole upper half above this was filled with carth, on which the sacrifice-fires were kindled; while the lower part, it is imagined, was altogether unoccupied, being enclosed only with grated sides, according to the idea already mentioned, through which in certain cases the blood of the victim was poured under the altar. (Lev. iv. 7, 18, 25.) This opinion, therefore, supposes the grate of brazen net-work put under the compass of the altar beneath, to be nothing else than the lower half of the frame itself made with grated sides, on which the upper half, closely boarded and filled with earth, was made to rest. There is certainly the best reason to believe, that the sacrifices were burned upon a surface of earth, and not upon a metal grate, from the direction in Ex. xx. 24. We are to suppose, therefore, that such a surface, on its top, the altar of burnt-offering did present, and that its brazen frame was formed only to support and hold together the earthy pile in which it especially consisted.It had four horns, one rising from each of its corners. These seem to have been clothed with a peculiar sacredress, as in particular cases of solemn sacrifice, the priest was required to put on every one of them some of the blood. (Lev. iv. 25, 30. xvi. 18.) Hence it was usual for those who fled to the altar for protection and safety, (according to an ancient custom which caused it to be regarded as a sanctuary or sacred asylum,) to lay hold upon its horns. (1 Kings i. 50--53. ii. 28-34. Ex. xxi. 14.) At the same time, the horns added to the goodly appearance of the whole structure, and they were made so strong, that animals, when about to be sacrificed, might be secured to them with cords, as it seems they sometimes were. (Ps. cxviii. 27.) A sloping walk of earth heaped up, was made
to rise gradually on one side to the top of the altar, by which persons might go upon it. (Ex. xx. 26.) Connected with the altar were several different sorts of instruments; such as pans to carry away the ashes, shovels for taking them up, basons for receiving the blood of the victims, and flesh-hooks for turning pieces of flesh in the fire all of them were made of brass. (Ex. xxvii. 1—8.)
On this altar the fire was required to be kept ever burning. A short time after it was set up, there came fire in a miraculous manner, from the Lord, and kindled upon the offering that was laid in order on its top. This sacred flame was cherished with the greatest care from year to year, and none was allowed to be brought ever afterwards from any other quarter, to be employed in the service of the tabernacle in any way. For presumptuously making use of fire not taken from the altar, immediately after their consecration to the priestly office, Nadab and Abihu were destroyed by an awful judgment from the Almighty. (Lev. vi. 12, 13. ix. 24. x. 1-10.)
The altar was fed with the unceasing sacrifice of life. The place where it stood, was a place of daily slaughter. The stain of blood was at all times fresh upon its sides. From its summit, rose, almost without interruption, the smoke of burning flesh; and dark oftentimes and exceedingly heavy was the cloud, with which it mounted toward heaven. Thus it was a continual remembrancer of SIN, displaying in lively representation its awful guilt, and the consuming wrath of Heaven which it deserves. It stood in front of the sacred dwelling-place of God, to signify that his holy nature could not endure sin, or allow it to pass unpunished; and that he never would therefore admit the sinner to come before him in peace, without the law being completely satisfied, and guilt atoned for by suffering equal to its desert. At the same time, the altar was a sign of peace and good will to men; because while it taught that justice must be satisfied before God could be reconciled to the sinner, it declared also, that the satisfaction was provided without expense to man-that the necessary atonement was secured-that the wrath of heaven, which, left to light upon his own head, must crush him downward in eternal death, had found for itself another victim; and thus
God could be just, while he threw open a way for the guilty to draw near to his throne and be restored to his favour. In this way, the obstacle that shut up the way of life, and the removal of that obstacle by infinite grace, were at once presented to view. The blood-stained altar, with its dark column of smoke soaring on high, was a standing monument of God's unyielding justice, and yet a standing memorial of his victorious mercy; clothed with severity and terror, yet the significant pledge of goodness, friendship, and peace.
"This Brazen Altar," to use the words of a learned and 'holy man, was a type of Christ dying to make atonement for our sins. The wood had been consumed by the fire from heaven, if it had not been secured by the brass; nor could the human nature of Christ have borne the wrath of God, if it had not been supported by a divine power. Christ sanctified himself for his church, as their altar, (John xvii. 19,) and by his mediation sanctifies the daily services of his people who also have a right to eat of this altar,' (Heb. xiii. 10,) for they serve at it as spiritual priests. To the horns of this altar poor sinners fly for refuge, when justice pursues them, and there they are safe in the virtue of the sacrifice there offered."
2. The Brazen Laver stood between the altar of burnt offering and the door of the tabernacle. The name which it has in the original language of the bible, implies that it was round in its shape, and it is reasonable to suppose that its pattern was followed in the general form of the much larger one which was made for the temple afterwards, and called a molten sea; this, we are told, was round all about. The laver, therefore, was a circular vessel, rounded toward the bottom, it seems, after the manner of an urn or a tea-cup, so as to rest upon a single foot at its base below. It must have been of considerable size, but we are not informed what were its dimensions. It was for holding water, which was required to be kept constantly in it, for the priests to wash their hands and feet with, when they went into the tabernacle, or when they came near the altar to minister before the Lord. This they were solemnly charged never to neglect; they shall wash their hands and feet, was the injunction of God, that they die not. There were spouts or cocks by which the water might be let
out through the lower part of the vessel, as it was wanted for use. The Jews say, that the laver stood near the entrance of the tabernacle, so, however, as not be directly between it and the altar, but a little off toward the south side. They tell us, too, that fresh water was put into it every morning. (Ex. xxx. 18-21. xxxviii. 8.)
The washing of the body in the outward service of the ancient sanctuary, was intended to teach the necessity of inward purity in all who would draw near to him in spirit and in truth. (Ps. xxvi. 6. lxvi. 18.) Thus the apostle exhorts believers to draw near to God with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having their hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and their bodies washed with pure water. (Heb. x. 22.) So we need to be washed every day, and are required every day to come with repentance and faith to Christ, that we may be cleansed from guilt, and so fitted to come before the Lord with an acceptable service. (James iv. 8. 1 John i. 7-10.) More especially, the laver was, moreover, a continual sign that the nature of man had become polluted, and that until the pollution was entirely taken away, it could find no entrance into heaven. As on the altar the eye of faith might behold, as it were, this inscription, without shedding of blood there is no remission; so, also, it might read upon the laver, without holiness no man shall see the Lord. It is not enough that sacrifice and atonement are made for sin, so as to satisfy the law; the soul needs at the same time to be delivered from its deep-rooted power, to be washed from its darkcoloured stain-to be sanctified as well as justified, and so made meet for the inheritance of the saints in light. A laver, therefore, as well as an altar, was planted out before the tabernacle; and it stood between the altar and the sanctuary, showing that pardon through the the Great Sacrifice is the first benefit which the believer receives, and that this is followed by the complete sanctification of his nature, before he passes into the House not made with hands on high. Thus the laver also was a symbol of rich mercy. While it forcibly called to mind the deep depravity of the soul, and presented before it the alarming truth, that in its native character, or while one spot of its pollution remained, it could never see God; it
gave assurance at the same time, that this great purification was not an object of despair, as it must have been if left for man to accomplish by his own power, but that the grace of God had made provision for it altogether sufficient and sure that a fountain for the uncleanness of sin was wonderfully secured, by the same love that procured redemption from its guilt, in which the soul might be made as white as if it had never been defiled with the smallest stain. (Eph. v. 26, 27. Rev. i. 5. vii. 14.).
We are now ready to move the curtain aside, and enter within the holy place, the first apartment of the sanctuary. No window, or opening of any sort was provided in the tabernacle, to let in the light of day but this room was never dark. Night and day it was brightly lighted with burning lamps. All its furniture, therefore, was clearly exposed to view, as soon as it was entered. This consisted of only three principal articles; the altar of incense, the table of shew-bread, and the candlestick from which the light proceeded. It was not allowed, however, for a common Israelite to enter into this sacred tent, and behold its furniture: no one but a priest might pass the outer veil and go in even so far as the first apartment.
3. The Golden Candlestick was placed on the south side of the holy place, so as to be to the left of any person when he came into the room by the middle of the entrance. It was made entirely of pure gold. It consisted of a shaft or principal stem rising upright from a suitable base, and six branches. These branches started out at three different points from the main stem, and turned upward with a regular bend, so as to reach the same height with it. From each point went out two, one directly opposite to the other, and those above went out exactly in the same direction with those below: thus all were in the same range, three on one side, and three just over against them on anotherthe lower ones bending round in a larger curve, and the upper ones in a less, so as to bring all their tops to the same height, and in the game line, at equal distances one from another. The stem and each of the branches were adorned with artificial bowls, knops, and flowers. The size of the candlestick is not mentioned in the bible, but the Jewish tradition is, that it was as much as five feet high, and