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of sin and of death upon the bosom of the Saviour. A similar type we have in Naaman, whose leprosy is left in Jordan, and yet Jordan flows on as pure as before.
Vers. 37, 38. “ And if any part of their carcass fall upon any sowing
seed which is to be sown, it shall be clean. But if any water be put upon the seed, and any part of their carcass fall thereon, it shall
be unclean unto you." The husk, or skin of the seed, was between it and the polluting object. But if the seed was not in a sowing state, i. e., if it was bruised or ground, then pollution entered. So, if water fell on it, then the water's insinuating qualities, working its way through the pores, would rot the heart. Israel was taught the danger of coming in contact with sin. You must be shielded from its touch: the husk taught this. You must shrink back from all appearance of it: the soaking water taught this.
Vers. 39, 40. “And if any beast, of which ye may eat, die: he that
toucheth the carcass thereof shall be unclean until the even. And he that eateth of the carcass of it shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even: he also that beareth the carcass of it shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even.”
Even clean beasts were polluting if they died by disease, or in course of nature. The remenibrance of sin entering into the world, and its fatal consequences, was thus kept up. In such cases as these, the tendency of all things to corruption was seen.
Vers. 41, 42, 43. “And every creeping thing that creepeth upon the shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creepeth, neither shall ye make yourselves unclean with them, that ye should be defiled thereby.”
earth shall be an abomination: it shall not be eaten. Whatsoever goeth upon the belly, and whatsoever goeth upon all four, or whatsoever hath more feet among all creeping things that creep upon the earth, them ye shall not eat; for they are an abomination. Ye
The Lord now looked down to the meanest things that moved on the earth, and pointed Israel to them. This notice of them was incidentally a good security against cruelty to insects; it would prevent even their children playing with them to their hurt. But we thus are taught how the Lord, whose eye scans the form of the archangel, and rests on the beauties of holiness throughout his holy heavens, “humbleth himself to behold the things that are on earth."
It is those tribes that both creep and walk, not as ver. 21, where mention is made of those that fly and leap. It is such tribes as the caterpillar, the worm, and the centipede, whose feet are so short as to be almost unseen, as if it went on its belly. But probably the serpent-race is chiefly aimed at; and the others that go on their belly are included because of their connection with the serpent in their form, or mode of life. These all are unclean; they must remind man of the fall. They must recall to him Satan, the great deceiver (Gen. iii. 14, 15), slily, unheard, and unseen, winding his way into the heart of Eden, and then into the soul of Eve and Adam. The creeping things were natural types of the Fall, degrading men to the very dust, as if bowed on their bellies by the weight of the curse. And thus, by contrast, the promise of the seed of the woman would daily be brought into the minds of Israel. This simple suggestion would be sufficient to cause a godly Jew to remember the First Promise every time a creeping thing crossed his path. A thought of a coming deliverer would thus dart into his soul, as often as a serpent darted along. His eye was thus turned to Messiah at all times of the day, and his soul drawn forth to expect the time when He should come to set free creation itself from the bondage of corruption. The lowest stage of degradation was the very means of lifting his heart to the hope of the highest blessing—“that blessed hope !"
How beautiful is this arrangement by which the Lord has thus brought us to the feet of his Son, at the close of so singular an enumeration of the clean and unclean! We are left to rejoice in Him who sets us free from the uncleanness, and who will also set creation itself free from the same.
“For the creation was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who subjected the same, in hope; because the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” (Rom. viii. 20, 21.)
WHAT SHOULD CONSTRAIN TO OBEDIENCE.
Vers. 44, 45, 46, 47. “For I am the Lord your God: ye shall there
fore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. For I am the Lord that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God; ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy. This is the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moveth in the waters, and of every creature that creepeth upon the earth: to make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the
beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten.” Nothing, however minute, is to be left undone, if the Lord has commanded it; and hence ver. 44 joins “ I am holy," with “not defiling themselves with creeping things.” The infiniteness of his holy authority is seen in its extending from the height of his thronė to this low
descent. Holiness in what we call small matters, is the surest test of real holiness; for it shows a proper understanding of the wide extent and full reach of Jehovah's holy nature and law.
It is beautiful, also, to notice that the Lord now follows up all his statutes by the grand motive, viz., redemption. In ver. 44, “I am your God," reconciled to
you, to me; therefore, be holy. In ver. 45, “I am he that is bringing you up from Egypt, your deliverer and your guide-your Saviour; therefore, be holy.” His love to them is the motive that is to constrain them. And if they ask, What is holiness ? it is keeping even these laws, vers. 46, 47.
And thus, in the end, it is seen that holiness is the Lord's design and aim. He longs to have his creatures freed from all uncleanness, and made holy. He seeks to hear on earth no longer the cry of wickedness and woe, but the blissful cry that seraph utters to seraph, “Holy, holy, holy !"
WHAT HAS BEEN TRANSMITTED TO US.
BY ONE MAN'S DISOBEDIENCE, MANY WERE MADE SINNERS." —Rom. v. 19.
Vers. 1, 2. “ And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the
children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and
to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean." It was not needful to give Aaron, whose " lips were to keep knowledge,” the regulation of this statute; for it is a thing of which none can pretend ignorance.
The woman is made unclean by the birth of a child. Why is this? Because the child is born a sinner, an heir of hell! She that bare him is therefore held as unclean. So decided is the Lord's view of the sin of a new-born babe.
She continues unclean for seven days, until the time come when her son is to be received into the visible Church by circumcision. This attests that the babe is born out of covenant, and so refers us back to Adam, outside of Eden. “ Thy first father hath sinned” (Isa. xliii.