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living animals, full of eyes, and round them were four and twenty elders, who fell down and worshipped God: see Rev. iv. The description in the fourth chapter of Revelations of the gospel church state and worship, is evidently taken from the encampment of the Israelites round about the tabernacle in the wilderness.

The levites being taken instead of all the first-born of the children of Israel, they are numbered. The time when they should enter on their service, what their particular employments should be, and when they should cease from serving, is very expressly declared. The truly excellent and learned Ainsworth, hath an excellent observation respecting the dignity of Aaron : He was elder brother to Moses; he was by marriage, brother to Nasson, prince of Judah, for he had to wife, Elzabeth, his sister, Exodus vi. 23. he was joined with Moses in the government of Israel, Psalm lxxvii. 20. He had the honour to offer sacrifice for the whole church, 1 Chron. xxiii. 13. But Christ, our prophet, priest, and king, far excelleth him.'

In this chapter before me, an account is given, that when the tabernacle was set up, and anointed, and sanctified, the princes of the twelve tribes brought their presents, as voluntary offerings to the service of the Lord. Holy Ghost, had doubtless, suggested to their minds, what would be necessary. And their


sacrifices were to honour the altar, and shew their part in the sacrifice of the holy and immaculate Lamb of God, who was the substance and antitype both of the altar, sacrifices, sprinklings of blood, and all the rites and ceremonies performed in this instituted worship of God.

On what particular day the princes presented themselves to the dedication, is not easy to say. It was probably in the second month, after the people had been numbered, and properly disposed in their camps, round about the tabernacle.

On the first day of the first month of this year, the tabernacle was erected. Out of it the Lord spake to Moses; he, at the Lord's command, anointed the tabernacle, and Aaron, and consecrated him to his office of high priest, and his sons to the priesthood: seven days were engaged in their ordination; which being ended, the next day Aaron entered on his office, offered sacrifice for himself and the people, went into the holy place, and burnt incense on the golden altar, came out from thence, and with uplifted hands, blessed the people in the name of the Lord.

From this time the service of God was carried on successively day by day. On the first day of the second month, the Israelites were numbered. Orders were given for forming their camps, and how they were to be placed round

about the tabernacle. The Aaronites, Koathites, Gershonites, and Merarites, were also numbered, and their stations, offices, and work assigned them. Aaron and Moses were to pitch immediately before the court of God's sanctuary, on the east. The levites of Kohath on the south; the levites of Gershon on the west; the levites of Merari on the north side of the tabernacle; whilst the camps of Israel surrounded them.

On the twentieth day of this month, the cloud was taken up from off the tabernacle, and the people journeyed from Sinai to the wilderness of Paran.

Now whether it was on the first month in which the tabernacle was set up, after seven days had been employed in the consecration of Aaron and his sons, on the tenth day of which month, the passover was celebrated; or in this second month, that the princes offered for the dedication of the altar, is not very clear, though it seems probable it was in this second month.

The sanctuary and the altar, were the principal things, and therefore they were anointed first: these sanctified the services, and all the oblations. Aaron and his sons were to minister in the sanctuary, and at the altar; therefore the one was anointed, the others had blood and oil sprinkled on their garments, to consecrate them to minister in the priest's office: and the princes as the representatives of the twelve tribes, bring

their offerings for the dedication of the altar, according to the order in which they lay encamped round about the altar. The offerings they brought, were six waggons and twelve oxen for the service of the sanctuary: these were given to the levites of Gershon and Merari: the waggons were of service when the tabernacle came to be taken down, to put the boards, bars, coverings, vails, &c. therein. And the oxen were of use to draw the waggons. These things were given by Moses to the Gershonites and Merarites, because it was their charge to take down and set up the tabernacle, as it was to be removed and pitched in the wilderness state the people were now in.

The altar which was now to be dedicated for the sacrifices of all Israel, at all times, and for all cases, the princes of the twelve tribes dedicated it with gifts and sacrifices of all sorts, and with very great solemnity, for twelve days. Hereby they testified their faith and joy in Christ, who was typified by the altar, by whom they were to draw nigh unto God.

In discoursing on the words before me, which 1 have selected for my text, and which read thus; "And the princes offered for the dedicating of the altar, in the day it was anointed, even the princes offered their offerings before the altar and the Lord said unto Moses, they shall

offer their offerings, each prince on his day, for the dedicating of the altar." In opening and explaining which, I will aim to set forth the following particulars.

First. I will speak of the offerings of these princes, presented by them before the altar.

Secondly. The Lord's command concerning these, when they should be offered.

Thirdly. What we may understand, as shadowed forth, and represented hereby.

I am, first, to speak of the offerings presented by these princes before the altar. It may not be amiss to remind you of the solemnities with which the first and second month of this second year, after the Israelites were come forth out of the land of Egypt, were accompanied.

On the first day of the first month, the tabernacle was erected, the sacred furniture being placed in it, Jehovah, the essential Word, took up his dwelling therein, by the cloud of glory, which rested on that part of the tabernacle, stiled the most holy place, and in it he displayed his glory between the cherubic emblems, and spake with an articulate voice to Moses,


Soon after this, Aaron and his four eldest sons, were invested and consecrated to their office of priesthood. Aaron, and the tabernacle, with all its vessels, the altar of burnt-offering, the laver and its foot, were also anointed seven times, for seven days successively: and the sons

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