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saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern showed thee in the mount.” These precise words are found in the twenty-fifth chapter of Exodus, addressed by Jehovah to Moses, in reference to the whole fabric of the tabernacle ; and at the close of almost every paragraph in the Divine directions respecting the construction of its several parts, equivalent expressions are found which intimate to us the fact, not expressly stated in the history, that during that sublime and mysterious conference which Moses held with God upon the secret top of Sinai, there was presented to his view by Him “who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters, and maketh his pavilion round about him dark waters and thick clouds of the sky," the vision of a stately tent extended over that sacred summit, and formed, no doubt, out of the mingled splendour and gloom, the darkness and the great fire, which were the symbols of the Almighty's presence,—with pillars of silver light, and masses of golden splendour, and solemn curtains of wreathed mists and overshadowing clouds, with cherubic shapes and seraph-splendours not represented, as in the tabernacle pitched by man, in embroidery or carved gold, but in their living presence supporting or adoring at Jehovah's throne. That the august pavilion, presented thus to the gaze of the rapt lawgiver of Israel, was intended to convey to him an outline and an emblem - though a shadowy one-of heaven, - of
the place where the glory of the Holy One is more immediately displayed, and the blessed spirits encompass with their adorations the throne of his celestial glory, Moses could scarcely fail to conclude from all the sublime and solemn circumstances in which the vision was presented to his view ; while the studied and emphatic repetition of the expression, “ according to the pattern showed thee in the mount,” in the directions given by him to Aholiab and Bezaleel, and set on record in the imperishable Volume of his law, was well calculated to suggest to those who read them, and those who heard them, that in the fabric and arrangement of that beautiful and holy structure which was the palace of the Lord Jehovah among the tribes of Israel, there was something yet more majestic and more sacred than that which merely met the eye was fitted to suggest. We find, accordingly, from numerous hints and statements in the Jewish writings, that the tabernacle and the temple were very generally considered among them as possessing a mystic and emblematic character. Thus, Philo, in his life of Moses, speaks of the recesses of the tabernacle as to be symbolically understood, and in another place interprets the appellation Bezaleel,—the name you may remember of the principal architect of the tabernacle, --which, literally translated, signifies, " in the shadow of God,"-an artificer in the shadows of Divine things-almost the very phrase
employed by the apostle in the preceding chapter, when he calls the tabernacle the shadow of heavenly things ;" and Josephus more at large describes the innermost enclosure separated by a veil from that without, inaccessible, inviolable, invisible, which was called the Holy of Holies. This third part of the holy place, he adds, the lawgiver of Israel circumscribed and set apart for God alone,-the symbol of the unapproachable heaven in which he hath his dwelling-place. That this interpretation of the typical meanings involved in the structure and order of the tabernacle, was not the produce merely of that passion for fanciful and cabalistic spiritualizing by which, on many occasions, the uninspired Jewish authors are led astray into the wildest extravagance of overstrained and forced analogy, but the very idea which God had in view, and which he intimated to Moses when he gave him his instructions respecting the erection of the sacred pavilion, we have, as we have seen, the express authority of the apostle in this and the preceding chapter for believing. Under his inspired direction, therefore, we feel ourselves proceeding on safe ground while we endeavour briefly to point out one or two points of resemblance between the Holy of Holies, as arranged at first in the tabernacle of the wilderness and afterwards in the temple at Jerusalem,—and that yet more august and hallowed Holiest of all, in which we Christians believe that our High Priest is ministering now.
And, in the first place, we observe, that the ancient Holy of Holies resembled heaven, in that it contained the throne and symbol of Jehovah's immediate presence.
For this reason, the tabernacle is expressly called the dwelling-place of Jehovah's glory." You may remember, that the principal furniture of the Holy of Holies in the ancient tabernacle and temple consisted of that hallowed and magnificent coffer which the apostle describes in the 4th and 5th verses of this chapter, and which was commonly known by the name of the ark of the covenant, or testimony. This is that which the Psalmist, in many of his sacred odes, and in his dying charge to Solomon concerning the house of rest to be built for the ark of the covenant of Jehovah, denominates the footstool of the Lord our God, from the circumstance that it served as the basis for the throne formed by the outstretched wings of the golden cherubim that stood upon the mercy-seat, and bending forwards in the attitude of awe and adoration, interlaced their wings on high, forming a canopy like that which you find described by the name of the firmament in Ezekiel's splendid vision of Jehovah's chariot of thunder. · Upon the place of rest thus formed by the cherubs' meeting wings, there abode, at least during the earlier ages of the theocracy, a wondrous cloud of darkness and of splendour strangely intermixed, the apt and expressive symbol of his. Tran
scendent Nature who is at once an Infinite Excellence and an Infinite Mystery; and who, from this circumstance, is so often celebrated in Scripture as he who dwelleth between,-who sitteth on, the cherubim. It is this appearance, the cloud of the glory of the Lord residing in the Holiest, which is so greatly celebrated in the writings of the Jews, and so frequently referred to even by Christian divines under the name of the Shekinah, or Inhabiting Presence; and from its miraculous effulgence the only light proceeded which shone in that inaccessible and profoundly-veiled recess. Such was the primary distinction for which the ancient Holy of Holies was remarkable,—that it was the residence of the peculiar glory of the Lord of Hosts,-a distinction, however, in respect of which it was but the type and shadow of the Heaven of Heavens. That there is somewhere in the infinite of space a distinct and definite locality, situated apparently in the loftiest and remotest circle of the universe, -that which limits and embraces in its ample bosom the whole creation of God besides, -where, by some special token, the peculiar presence of him who filleth heaven, and earth, and the void immensity, is manifested and made known, the revelations of the Bible seem to put beyond all reasonable doubt. There, without question, by some distinct intelligible symbol capable of producing a deeper and more vivid sense of presence and nearness than the mere faith of his unseen immensity