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If we take the form of the cherubim, from the description in Ezekiel or the Revelation, we shall find such a mixed form, of a man, a lion, an ox, and an eagle, with such a position of wings, hands, and feet, as seems evidently to teach, the cherubim were not designed to be a likeness of any creature whatsoever, but as a figurative and emblematical representation of some qualities of the beings designed by them.
Thus, when the glorious light of the Shechinah represented the majesty of Jeho, vah, who is light, and with whom there is no darkness; the form of the cherubim might represent the angels of God, accord, ing to a great author, the highest beings in knowledge and power, next to God *, Hence, the strength of a lion, the useful labour of an ox, the wisdom of a man, the „quick sight and swift motion of an eagle, were proper and significant emblems af such knowledge and power, in which the angels of God excelled,
The most judicious of the Hebrew masters gives this as the meaning of the cherubim, and explains by it the reason of placing them over the mercy-seat, in the most holy place; to confirm the doctrine of angels, and to teach this as an article of faith, that all the angels of God, of what
* Summam secundum Deum, scientiam, et poteu: piam angelorum.-Spencer,
dignity, order, or power soever, as they Maimon. were the creatures of Jehovah, so they Mor. were the servants of Jehovah, ministers III.c.xiv. attendant on his presence, in particular to p. 476. execute his will, and acts of grace, as God and King of Israel *. How agreeable to this is the representation of the Psalmist ! The chariots of God are twenty thousand, Psalong
Ixxviij. even thousands of angels; the Lord is among 17. them as in Sinai, in the holy place. And again : And he (Jehovah) bowed the hea- Psalm
xviii, vens also, and came down; and darkness
9, 10. was under his feet; and he rode upon a cherub, and did Ay. Or again: Bless ye
Psalm the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in ciii. 20, strength, that do his commandments, hearkening to the voice of his word. Bless ye the Lord all ye his hosts, ye ministers of his that do his pleasure.
* Ad hujus rei confirmationem, præcepit Deus supra arcam duorum angelorum figuram facere, ad existentiam angelorum in animis hominum confirmandam, quæ secundus est articulus scientiæ, post fidem existentiæ Dei, principiumque prophetiæ et legis, quod si una tantum figura fuisset, h. e. unius tantum cherubini forma. Id facile errandi causam præbuisset, existimare enim quis potuisset, ac si esset figura Dei colendi, sicut idololatræ faciunt, vel quasi angelus unicum tantum esset individuum, atque ita in multiplices errores juducere. Duos autem cherubinos faciens, cum hac declaratione, Dominus Deus noster, Deus unus, extra omne dubium, istos articulos posuit, quod angeli existant, et illorum sunt multi, deinde omnem causam errandi vel cogitandi, ac si illi Dei essent sustulit, declarando, quod Deus sit unus, et quod ille bos multos creavit.--Maimon. Mor, Neb. P. III. c. xlv. p. 476.
This part of the ritual, then, taught the being of angels, an order of spirits of higher dignity, of greater power and perfection than ourselves, or our own spirits ; but teaches at the same time, they were not to be honoured as Gods, for all were the creatures, and servants of the one true God, the only object of worship.
Hence you perceive the reason of the ritual of the Presence. The Shechinab, or glory of Jehovah over the mercy-seat, between the wings of the cherubim, is made the sole kebla of the Hebrew church, the place to which alone, all the temple service and worship were to be addressed. Before the Presence, therefore, was the only altar; there all the rites of worship were per formed : hence the Psalmist, when he ex
horts to the worship of God, uses such exPsalm pressions as these, Exalt the Lord our xcix.5,9. God, and worship at his footstool. Exalt
the Lord our God, and worship at his holy hill.
Here God appears in the glory of his greatness and holiness, of his mercies and his grace, as we shall more clearly perceive, when we come to apply this part of the ritual to the designs for which this law of Moses was given.
CHAP. III. Ritual of the Hebrew Worship. You have seen the ritual of the holy, and Ritual of most holy place, the seat of the Presence, the worand kebla of worship; consider now the
ship. worship itself, as directed by the ritual. This was to be performed in the courts of the temple. Just before the temple there was a space of ground 187 cubits long from Lightwest to east, and 135 from north to south, foot,
Temple, near 300 foot long by 200 broad. This c. xvi. fore-court of the temple was divided into two; the court of the priests was that nearest the temple, and divided from the other, or court of Israel, by steps, and a Ib. c. balustrade, or sort of rails. In the inward court of the priests was the great altar of sacrifice. There is a general direction concerning altars: An altar of earth thou Exod.xx. shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice 24,25,26. thereon thy burnt-offerings, and thy peaceofferings, thy sheep, and thine oxen : in all places where I record my name, I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee. And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone : for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it. Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon. Some bave ap
plied this direction to the altar, before the Presence, in the tabernacle, or temple ; but it seems rather to refer to such altars as they were allowed to make for themselves before the tabernacle was erected; for, this direction was given before the directions for the tabernacle. Altars made of turfs or loose stones were very proper for, them while travelling in the wilderness; they were soon set up, and soon taken down, nor was it proper they should be left standing, lest the people should be tempted to use them as already consecrated, in neglect of the only altar before the
Presence. Exodus, There is a particular order of the ritual xxvii.1,2. for making this altar. And thou shalt make
an altar of Shittim wood, five cubits long, and five cubits broad: the altar shall be four-square, and the height thereof shall be three cubits. And thou shalt make the horns of it upon the four corners thereof : his horns shall be of the same : and thou shalt overlay it with brass. This was the altar for the tabernacle, which was to be
moveable with it; but when the temple 2 Chron. was the fixed seat of the Presence, and the iv. 1.
altar thereby immoveable, the dimensions of it are enlarged, and the materials seem
to be all of brass, Exodus,
The ritual directed also to place a laver xxx. 18, of brass, or a vessel to hold a quantity of 19, 20.
water for Aaron, and his sons, to wash