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things, which are mentioned in the Law and the Prophets and the Hagiographa, relate to the Wisdom or the Word or the Messiah Angel of Jehovah'. Such is the doctrine of R. Samuel. In the study of the Law, a double method is to be observed: the one, that its literal meaning may be acquired; the other, that its hidden signification may be understood. Such again is the doctrine of R. Bechai. The statutes of Moses are a figure of spiritual things: and those spiritual things are above. On the same principle of the Law being a speaking hieroglyphic from end to end, Philo and Maimonides explain the various ceremonial washings and purifications to symbolize cleanness of heart and holiness of life': while Menasseh Ben-Israel, with what propriety I stop not to inquire, remarks, that no open mention of a future state is made in the book of Genesis, because that recondite doctrine was left to be inferred by the wise from numerous passages of the Law itself'.
In consequence of their pursuing this principle, we find their sentiments respecting the tabernacle and the high-priest pretty much the
'Præf. in Maimon. de vacc. ruf. Acts iii. 18. x. 43. xxvi. 22, 23. Rev, xix. 10.
? Præf. in Maimon, de vacc. ruf.
Compare Luke xxiv. 27. Heb. x. 1. 2 Peter i, 19.
✦ Phil. de vit. Mos. lib. iii. p. 521, 523. Maimon. Mor.
Nevoch. par. iii. c. 33.
5 Men. Ben-Isr. de resurr. mort. lib. i. c. 13.
same as those advanced by St. Paul when writing to the Hebrews; so that the strain of interpretation, which he has adopted throughout his epistle, would not appear to his countrymen either forced or novel or unnatural.
The figures of the tabernacle, says the gloss upon the Talmud, relate to spiritual figures, that we may learn from thence more sublime truths'. This idea is largely expanded by Josephus and we shall find it to be no other than that, which has been authoritatively set forth by an inspired apostle. According to the Jewish historian, who does not speak as if he was broaching any strange and unheard of speculation, the whole tabernacle was an hieroglyphic of the universe: for the outer chamber, which was twice as large as the inner one, and which was left common to the priesthood as an apartment that might be lawfully trodden by human feet, symbolized the two grand material divisions of the world, the sea and the land; while the inner chamber symbolized heaven, and was set apart to God alone because heaven is inaccessible to men. The outer chamber thus representing the material world, its entire furniture (proceeds Josephus) is arranged with the strictest regard to congruity. On the sacred table were set out twelve loaves of bread: these typify the twelve months of the year. The candlestick with seven lights exhibits to us the
Præf. in Maimon. de vacc. ruf.
courses of the seven planets: the veil, woven of four colours, typifies the four elements of nature; earth, air, water, and fire: and the tunic of the officiating high-priest has still the same reference; for its various parts represent the earth, the sea, the sun, the moon, the twelve months, and that heaven of heavens in which God peculiarly delights'. A similar notion occurs in the works of Philo: and he adds to it an apparent refinement, which yet is perfectly familiar to the inspired evangelical writers. There are, as it appears to me, says he, two temples of God: the one indeed is the world; but the other is the rational soul2. As the Jews themselves thus agreed with St. Paul in their sentiments respecting the hieroglyphical tabernacle, so did they accord with him likewise in their estimate of the pontifical character. When the tabernacle was erected in the wilderness, they inform us, another tabernacle was also erected, even that of the child Metatron whose name is the same with the name of God.
Joseph. Ant. Jud. lib. iii. c. 7. § 7.
2 Phil. de somn. p. 463. Compare 1 Cor. iii. 16, 17. vi. 19. 2 Cor. vi. 16. It is not unworthy of notice, that the ancient pagans had exactly the same idea respecting the symbolical import of their sanctuaries. As every temple was pronounced to be the world in miniature, so the whole world was esteemed one grand temple of the deity. Cicer. de leg. lib. ii. p. 335. Macrob. in somn. Scip. lib. i. c. 14. p. 51. Plat. apud Clem. Alex. Strom. lib. v. p. 584. Herac. in epist. ad Hermod. p. 51. See Origin of Pagan Idol. book v. chap. 7. § II. 4.
In the Levitical tabernacle, the high-priest made expiation: but, in this other tabernacle, the child Metatron offers the souls of the just, that may make expiation for Israel during the time of his captivity'. Here it is plain, that Metatron officiating in the second tabernacle corresponds with the high-priest officiating in the first tabernacle whence we may safely conclude, that the high-priest was deemed a symbol or image or type of Metatron. But by Metatron the Rabbins understood the great Angel of the covenant or the Word of God or the promised Messiah. Therefore the Messiah must have been supposed by them to be the antitype of the high-priest. Accordingly, Philo declares roundly, that, as the temple or the tabernacle was the world, so the officiating high-priest was the first-begotten Divine Word 3.
(3.) To every argument of this description Bishop Warburton has a ready answer.
The Jews, as our Lord teaches us, might think they had eternal life in their own Scriptures*; their ancestors, in the time of Antiochus-Epiphanes, might have entertained exactly the same opinion, resting their hope of everlasting blessedness on the alleged special covenant of God; and the Hebrew Church, even before the minis
1 Talmud. Chagigah. c. 2. Vitring. Obs. Sacr. lib. i. c. 9. 2 See Hora Mosaic. book ii. sect. 1. chap. 3. § II. 3.
3 Phil. de somn. p. 463. de profug. p. 562, 563.
try of Christ, might have proved the existence of this covenant by the self-same mode of inter pretation which St. Paul assures us is the true mode: yet to all this the learned prelate thinks it quite sufficient to give the following reply.
The Jews engrafted on their predecessors, just as the Pagans had done on theirs; and with the same secular policy. For, being possessed with a national prejudice that their religion was to endure for ever, and yet seeing in it the marks of a carnal temporary and preparatory Dispensation, THEY CUNNINGLY
ALLEGORIZED ITS RIGHTS AND PRECEPTS INTO
A SPIRITUAL MEANING, which covered every thing that was a real deficiency in a religion which they considered as perfect and perpetual. Both these sorts of allegorists therefore had reason in their rage'.
The bishop most truly observes, that these later Jews were a race of marvellously cunning allegorists for, while they were contriving only how they might best save the credit of their Law, they excogitated, with rare felicity, both the identical principle of interpretation, and the identical mode of applying that principle to the highpriest and to the tabernacle, which St. Paul himself has advanced and exemplified. In short, either by most extraordinary cunning or by most extraordinary good luck, these merely prejudiced and secular allegorists, whose best encomium is that they had reason in their rage, have
1 Div. Leg. book vi. sect. 6. p. 101.