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Some years ago, while perusing the Book of Leviticus in the course of his daily study of the Scriptures, the author was arrested amid the shadows of a past dispensation, and led to write short notes as he went along. Not long after, another perusal of this inspired bookconducted in a similar way, and with much prayer for the teaching of the Spirit of truth-refreshed his own soul yet more, and led him on to inquire what others had gleaned in the same. field. Some friends who, in this age of activity and bustle, find time to delight themselves in the law of the Lord, saw the notes, and urged their publication.
There are few critical difficulties in the book; its chief obscurity arises from its enigmatical ceremonies. The author fears he may not always have succeeded in discovering the precise view of truth intended to be exhibited in these symbolic rites; but he has made the attempt, not thinking it irreverent to examine both sides of the veil, now that it has been rent. The Holy Spirit surely wishes us to inquire into what he has written; and the unhealthy tone of many true Christians may be accounted for by the too plain fact that they do not meditate much on the whole counsel of God. Ex. perience, as well as the Word itself (Ps. i. 2, 3), would lead us to value very highly the habit of deeply pondering the discoveries of the mind of God given in all parts of Scripture, even the darkest.
Throughout this Commentary, the truth that saves, and the truth that sanctifies, is set before the reader in a variety of aspects, according as each typical rite seemed to suggest. It may thus be useful to all classes of per.
And what, if even some of the house of Israel may here have their eye attracted to the Saviour, while giving heed to the signification of those ceremonies which to their fathers were signposts (minix, Ps. lxxiv. 9) in the way of life. It is a book which Romaine called, “The Gospel according to Leviticus ;” and of which Berridge said, “It is the clearest book of Jewish Gospel.”
THE NATURE OF THE BOOK
There is no book, in the whole compass of that inspired Volume which the Holy Ghost has given us, that contains more of the very words of God than Leviticus. It is God that is the direct speaker in almost every page; his gracious words are recorded in the form wherein they were uttered. This consideration cannot fail to send us to the study of it with singular interest and attention.
It has been called “ Leviticus," because its typical institutions, in all their variety, were committed to the care of the tribe of Levi, or to the priests, who were of that tribe. The Greek translators of the Pentateuch) x devised that name. The Talmud, for similar reasons, calls it may ngin, “the law of the priests." But Jewish writers in general are content with a simpler title; they take the first words of the book as the name, calling it *77?1, “ Vayikra,” q. d., the book that begins with the words, " And the Lord called."
It carries within itself the seal of its Divine Origin. As an internal proof of its author being Divine, some have been content to allege the prophecy contained in chap. xxvi., the fulfilment of which is spread before the eyes of all the earth. But if, in addition to this, we find
every chapter throughout presenting views of doctrine and practice that exactly dovetail into the unfigurative statements of the New Testament, surely we shall then acknowledge that it bears the impress of the Divine mind from beginning to end.
The Gospel of the grace of God, with all that follows in its train, may be found in Leviticus. This is the glorious attraction of the book to every reader who feels himself a sinner. The New Testament has about forty references to its various ordinances.
The rites here detailed were typical; and every type was designed and intended by God to bear resemblance to some spiritual truth. The likeness between type and antitype is never accidental. The very excellency of these rites consists in their being chosen by God for the end of shadowing forth “good things to come” (Heb. x. 1). As it is not a mere accidental resemblance to the Lord's body and blood that obtains in the bread and wine used in the Lord's supper, but on the contrary, a likeness that made the symbols suitable to be selected for that end; so is it in the case of every Levitical type. Much of our satisfaction and edification in tracing the correspondence between type and antitype will depend on the firmness with which we hold this principle.
If it be asked why a typical mode of showing forth truth was adopted to such an extent in those early days, it may be difficult to give a precise answer. It is plain such a inethod of instruction may answer many purposes. It may not only meet the end of simplifying the truth, it may also open the mind to comprehend more, while it deepens present impressions of things known. The existence of a type does not always argue that the thing typified is obscurely seen, or imperfectly known. On