« PreviousContinue »
how to assist them. The latter was an engraver, and a cunning workman, and an embroiderer in blue and in purple, and in scarlet, and in fine linen. Under their direction, and according to the pattern which Moses had received on the mount, the important undertaking commenced. He was soon informed, so prompt and liberal were the people, that they were bringing much more than was needed; and he caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp that the offerings might cease.
It was a great and magnificent work; for a particular description of which the reader is referred to the Scriptures, and recommended to use such helps as may be accessible, for the full understanding of the subject. To go into it minutely here, would occupy more time than the limits of the author will permit.
Each Israelite who was twenty years old and upward, was taxed half a shekel of silver, (about twenty-five cents,) as a contribution to the object; making in the whole about one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. And in order that this might be done, Moses took an account of all the neonle of
terials that were employed, how rich the spoils were which the Israelites took from their oppressors when they escaped from Egypt.
Six months were occupied by the workmen in their labors, that is, from the sixth month of the holy year, after the departure from Egypt, to the first day of the first month of the following year, A. M. 2514.
When all was completed, after giving it a critical examination, and finding that every thing was done according to the divine direction, Moses expressed his approbation, and pronounced a blessing both upon the workmen and the people.
Blessed, indeed, are those who fulfil in all respects the divine will. Happy is that individual who not only gives bountifully of his substance to the service of the Lord, but unreservedly consecrates to it himself, and all that he is, and has !
What have been your offerings, my young friend, to help build a tabernacle for the Most High among men,ma holy dwelling-place for his Spirit in cvery heart? The work is a great one. A few are pressing it forward ; but ah! how many more laborers are needed for its completion, and what an abundance still of free-will offerings, and of contributions, to sustain it ?
What are you giving? What are you doing? God has given you the means of giving and doing something, it may be much, for this great work. Propose the question to your own conscience. Christ has done every thing for you. How are you showing your gratitude to this compassionate Redeemer ?
The tabernacle being completed, God descends, and fills it
with his glory. Nadab and Abihu destroyed.
In the first month, on the first day of the month, in the second year of the departure of the Israelites from Egypt, Moses reared the tabernacle. He completed, too, all its internal arrangements, with every thing which it was to contain. He placed the altar of the burnt-offering, and the laver for the necessary ablutions, before the door of the tabernacle; and he set up the court round about it, and the hanging at the court gate. He set the bread in order upon the table. He lighted the lamps. He burnt sweet incense upon the golden altar. He offered up the burnt-offering and the meat-offering, before the door of the tabernacle in the presence of the people. All this being done in exact conformity with the
divine directions, Jehovah manifested his approba. tion, and took up his abode in the dwelling-place which had thus been prepared and sanctified for liis residence, in a most wonderful and striking manner. A bright, descending cloud hung over and covered the tabernacle, and its interior was filled with the divine glory. So overwhelming was the effulgence that Moses was not able to enter. And, afterwards, " when the cloud was taken
from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys. But if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the Lord was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys."
About the same time, from the glory within the tabernacle the voice of Jehovah was heard by Mo. bes, giving him many new ordinances to be communicated to the Israelites for their observance. They are to be found in the first seven chapters of Leviticus, and relate to the burnt-offerings and meat-offerings; the oblation of the first-fruits; the peace-offerings; the sin-offering for sins committed through ignorance; the witnesses of transgres. sion; uncleanness; the trespass-offering; deceit and fraud; the perpetual burning of the sacred fire upon the altar; the offerings of Aaron and his sons; and the not eating the fat of certain animals
which were offered in sacrifice, nor the blood of any living thing.
It would be deeply interesting to go into this whole subject of Jewish sacrifices and offerings. But, for reasons already given, it must be omitted. A distinct and elaborate treatise would be requisite to do it justice. It is hoped, however, that the reader will not
it over, without giving it that attention, by the study of it in the sacred Scriptures, and such other works as may be necessary for its elucidation, which its importance demands.
The next thing which Moses did, was to consecrate Aaron and his sons, in the presence of the whole congregation, convened on the occasion before the door of the tabernacle. It was a solemn and imposing ceremony. They were washed with water by Moses, and clothed by him in their official garments; the dress of Aaron, the high priest, being very rich and splendid. They were sanctified with the anointing oil. Offerings and sacrifices were made ; and they were commanded not to go out of the door of the tabernacle for seven days, until the