Page images
PDF
EPUB

27) is the fact brought to their mind.

ought to their mind. Adam's imputed guilt rests on his posterity.

Vers. 3, 4. “And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be cir

cumcised. And she shall then continue in the blood of her purify. ing three and thirty days; she shall touch no hallowed thing, nor

come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying be fulfilled.” Iniquity is imputed to the mother for having brought a sinner into the world. After he is circumcised, i. e., received into covenant with Abraham's God, her imputed sin is reckoned as in some measure removed. But still, though she shares to some extent in the benefits which her child receives from the covenant of circumcision, she is to touch nothing hallowed, nor come to hallowed ground for thirty-three days. Forty days is a very coinmon portion of time in all Scripture, e. g., forty days the flood advanced; Moses was on the hill forty days; Elijah at Horeb; Christ tempted. Now, the seven and the thirty-three are just forty days.*

The child, in after days, must have learned the lesson of his depravity very deeply, when his mother told him of her forty days' defilement.

Ver. 5. “But if she bare a maid child, then she shall be unclean two

weeks, as in her separation : and she shall continue in the blood of her purifying threescore and six days."

The female child keeps the mother unclean double the time. Perhaps, one reason of this was, that the male

* Here let us indulge a conjecture: it is no more than a conjecture. May it bave been the case that Adam and Eve remained only forty days unfallen? This forty days would thus be a reminiscence of that only holy time on earth. The second Adam was forty days on earth after his resurrection, recalling to mind earth's time of Paradise. If this be so, every "Forty" that struck upon the ear would be a knell of Paradise lost !

child had had the advantage of the covenant of circumcision, and brought thereby blessing to his mother. Another reason, however, was, “because the woman was in the transgression" (1 Tim. ii. 14), and led Adam into it. It kept up the reinembrance of the Fall, and of the first sin.

It may have been in reference to such restrictions on the female children that Paul said, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal. iii. 28.)

Vers. 6, 7, 8. “ And when the days of her purifying are fulfilled, for a

son, or for a daughter, she shall bring a lamb of the first year for a burnt-offering, and a young pigeon, or a turtle-dove, for a sin-offering, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, unto the priest : who shall offer it before the Lord, and make an atonement for her; and she shall be cleansed from the issue of her blood. This is the law for her that hath born a male or a female. And if she be not able to bring a lamb, then she shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons; the one for the burnt-offering, and the other for a sin-offering: and the priest shall make an atonement for her, and she shall be clean."

Her sin is to be brought to the altar at the end of the appointed time. And she offers, through the priest, first of all, a burnt-offering. The burnt-offering was, as we have often noticed, the basis of all the other sacrifices; it was a broad recognition of all the principles of a sinner's acceptance. After this the specialities of her case are presented on the altar in the sin-offering, which sinoffering is to be a pigeon, or a turtle-dove. This was an emblem of the child's tender years and apparent innocence, though guilt lay hid within. Oh! how impressively the mother was taught the need of her infant being washed in redeeming blood !

All mothers in Israel were to act thus. And that none might plead the excuse of poverty, there is permission to take a pigeon or turtle-dove for the burnt-offering. The tender lamb and the gentle dove were both appropriate when offered for a little child ; and the love of God is seen in extending his regard to the poorest by this arrangement. Indeed, there was in it a prospective reference to Mary and Joseph's poverty (Luke ii. 22), or rather this provision was made in order that, when Jesus should be born, he might manifest, by his own poverty, that his salvation was for the poorest on earth-the beg. gar on the dunghill. In every view we recognize the features of the same glorious Gospel. The voice here may be only a whisper, but it speaks the same truth as at other times; “Ho! every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money."

And now the mother returned home rejoicing, to train up her child for the Lord who had accepted her, and had taken her pledge that she would do this for him.

'11

The Leprosy.

INDWELLING SIN-ITS HORRID FEATURES.

FOR OUT OF THE HEART PROCEED EVIL THOUGHTS, MURDERS, ADULTERIES, FORNICATIONS, THEFTS, FALSE WITNESS, BLASPHEMIES.”—Matt. xv, 19.

CHAPTER XIII.

Ver. 1.

" And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, saying.” Aaron is present as well as Moses on this occasion; for the priests were to be judges of leprosy. Hence, the high priest is one of the original receivers of these laws. Jehovah opens up sin under the figure of leprosy-sin, as an evil seen, and disgusting when seen; diffusive as well as penetrating.

An Israelite would naturally turn his thoughts to this chapter when he read such language as Isa. i. 6, “ The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint; from the sole of the foot even unto the head, there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores." In Isa. liii. 5, Smitten of Godis connected with “ stricken" (9479) as if the stroke of leprosy (52) were a direct infliction of God. The expressions of Psalm xxxviii. are borrowed in many things from the leprosy. Thus, “ My wounds stink and are corrupt,ver. 5. “My loins

are filled with a loathsome disease, and there is no soundness in my flesh,ver. 7. And these verses are beyond doubt descriptions of the horrid features of sin. Job's fearful disease was that more awful leprosy called elephantiasis.

It was a disease which man could never heal; and therefore our Lord manifested no less than Divine power and Godhead by healing the lepers as much as by raising the dead. To turn the pale, loathsome, putrid leper to all the beautiful vigor and health of a little child, was what only God could do—only the arm that could raise the mouldering carcass from the grave.

The pain of common leprosy is not vehement, but it keeps the man restless and sad. It is like sin in fallen man—the cause of his restlessness and sadness, the root of his unsatisfied desires; yet not itself felt keenly.

Leprosy is also corrosive, and penetrates unseenalmost unfelt-till it has wasted the substance: like sin in the soul, eating out its beauty and its very life, while outwardly the sinner moves about as before. At length it bursts forth externally, too—the man becomes a skel. eton, and a mass of noisome corruption. So does sin at length deface the whole image of God, and every faint vestige of comeliness that was left. And death is the sure end.

The Lord sent forth such a disease on earth after the Fall, to form it would seem, a type of sin. The workings of the leprosy seem appointed by him on very purpose to show forth sin in all its features.

Ver. 2. “When a man shall have in the skin of his flesh a rising,

a scab, or bright spot, and it be in the skin of his flesh like the plague of leprosy; then he shall be brought unto Aaron the priest, or unto one of his sons the priests.”

« PreviousContinue »