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bottom: and the like arrangement was afterward observed in the building of the temple. Of these apartments, the first or outermost was called the holy place; and it was appointed for the daily services of prayer and sacrifice: but the second or innermost, to which there was no access save through the first, was called the most holy place or the holy of holies; and into this the high-priest alone entered once in every year. It was in this special sanctuary or adytum that the presence of God was manifested; and his glory is sometimes said to have filled the entire tabernacle : but this luminous manifestation
generally appeared above or between the Cherubim, which were placed upon the mercy-seat that covered the ark, and which seemed as it were to prohibit all access into the further part of the sacred chamber.
(1.) Now, according to St. Paul, both the whole tabernacle itself, and the annual entrance of the high-priest into the most holy place, were figures or symbols or hieroglyphics, which exhibited to the bodily senses certain important theological realities.
The tabernacle represented the world: whence the learned apostle terms it a cosmical or mundane sanctuary'. But the world is divided into two parts, the present world and the future world: and these two parts are separated from each other by a veil, which effectually conceals the future world from the present. Agreeably to this grand division of the universe, the tabernacle was similarly divided into two parts: and, since the entire tabernacle was an hieroglyphic of the entire world, its two chambers, separated from each other by a symbolical veil, must have shadowed out the two constituent parts of that world.
1 Αγιον κοσμικον. Ηeb. ix. 1.
Accordingly, St. Paul assures us, that such was actually the case: for he tells us, that the holy of holies represented heaven or that part of the world general which to us is future ; whence it must follow, that the outer chamber or the holy place, through which alone there was a passage into the inner chamber or the most holy place, must have represented the material world or that part of the world general which to us is present.
Such was the tabernacle: and analogous to its hieroglyphical character was the rite annually performed by the high-priest alone. While the inferior priests performed daily services in the outer chamber; their pontifical superior once every year went alone into the inner chamber, not without blood which he offered for himself and for the errors of the people. The symbolical import then of the two chambers having been ascertained, it is easy to see, that the daily ministration of the priesthood in the outer chamber, shadowed out the daily worship of God's people
in the present or material world. But what, on such principles, are we to understand by the annual solitary entrance of the high-priest into the inner chamber? This act must clearly exhibit the entrance of some one, represented by the high-priest, into the future or invisible world : for, if the future or invisible world were symbolized by the inner chamber, an entrance into that chamber can only denote an entrance into that world.
In strict agreement with so inevitable a conclusion, the apostle assures us, that the entrance of the high-priest into the holy of holies shadowed out the entrance of Christ into the invisible world of heaven, Christ being typified by the high-priest as heaven or the future world was typified by the inner chamber.
But for what purpose did the high-priest enter into the most holy place ? He entered thither, we are told, to make expiation by blood both for his own sins and for the sins of the people; he himself as a fallen creature, notwithstanding he sustained a figurative or hieroglyphical character, needing atonement as well as others. The rite then was immediately connected with the rite of piacular sacrifice; the mystical import of which, as we have already seen, there is reason to believe was known from its very first institution. Hence it will follow, that the entrance of the high-priest into the hieroglyphical heaven, on behalf both of himself and of the people was made to depend upon the virtue of shadowy piacular sacrifice: and, correspondently with it, we read, that Christ being come an high-priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building ; neither by the blood of goats and of calves, but by his own blood, he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us'.
The action therefore of the high-priest taught the ancient Israelites, through the medium of certain hieroglyphics, not only that there is a future world, but that the free entrance into that world is purchased for them by the sacrifice and mediation of that true high-priest the promised Seed of the woman.
(2.) To this inference from the ceremonial law it will obviously be replied, that, however clear the matter may be to us Christians, the real question is, whether it was equally clear to the ancient Israelites. The action indeed of the high-priest might teach to the latter, through the medium of certain hieroglyphics, the doctrine of a future state : but it is abundantly manifest, that, unless the language of the hieroglyphics themselves was understood, any teaching of the people through their medium would leave them just as wise as it found them ; for, in the very nature of things, it could not possibly convey any more distinct ideas to the minds of the Israelites, than the now unintelligible hieroglyphics of Egypt convey to the minds of us Englishmen. Unless therefore it can be shewn, that the ancient Hebrews understood the medium through which instruction was conveyed to them ; it is perfectly clear, that they could draw no inference of a future state from the symbolical import of the tabernacle and from the ceremonial action of the high-priest.
1 Heb. ix. 11, 12.
Such a remark is perfectly well-founded : and nothing could have been more nugatory and inconclusive than my adduction of the present matter, unless it could also have been shewn, that the Israelites sufficiently understood the import of their own hieroglyphics to enable them to draw the identical inference which has been authoritatively drawn by an inspired apostle. My business therefore now is to shew, that this was actually the case.
Much has been brought forward in another place, which bears immediately upon the present very curious question': I shall avail myself of what has been there said, adding however some other particulars which may be thought necessary to complete the argument.
The Rabbins, in strict conformity with the writers of the New Testament, lay it down as an essential principle of interpretation; that all
See Horæ Mosaic. book ii, sect. 1. chap. 3.