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Here, then, on the one side, the people came and presented their offerings which pertained to the sanctuary, whilst the priests, standing on the other side, received them upon their hands, over, which their garments did not extend. In such ways an intercourse subsisted between the parties, whilst standing upon ground, of which it may he strictly said, that there was but an hand's breadth between them and death. Thus closely, on all sides, were they shut up to the faith.
As the people of Israel were called out of Egypt in the character, and under the name of the Son, the dispensation bore the aspect of the fulness of time, or their state of mature age, when the bond of circumcision would come on demand, and must be taken up; but the levitical institution placed them again, as minor children, under tutors and governors, as effectually as when they were in the bondage of Egypt; in which condition they were not responsible in their own names; and, though debtors, were not exposed to a direct prosecution; and it appears that in this manner the gracious interposition took place.
OF THE KINGS AND PROPHETS OF ISRAEL.
SECTION I......The Kingdom of David.
THE ancient kingdom of Israel, even as ad
ministered by David, was not the kingdom of God, or the kingdom of heaven. It may be viewed only as a regency, established with limited powers, and for temporary purposes, according to the general state of the minority and pupilage of that. church. As, according to the constitution, the government of Israel extended over two worlds, heaven and earth, distinguished in the pattern by the sanctuary and outward court; it is manifest that a prince, to be fully invested with this high authority, must be a priest upon his throne; to be able to establish the covenant of peace between both worlds, and to reconcile all things to himself, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven; the government, in each part, must be upon his shoulders; he must bear the glory, and stund up with Urim and Thummim.
Though the judges and kings, under that dispensation, possessed a certain sovereignty, which, in some respects, rose above the strict prescriptions of the law, yet, like the Cities of Refuge,
their highest prerogatives were temporary, and limited to the term of the natural life of the chief magistrate; hence, though David absolved Shimei, from the punishment of his perverseness, when he humbled himself at his feet, and confirmed the sovereign act of mercy with an oath; yet, before Solomon, he stood chargeable for the same offence.
Moses was king in Jeshurun, but he received his authority from the burning bush; he was endowed with the Spirit, by taking a rod in his hand that had been animated by being cast upon“ the ground; which indicated that his power was of a nature to smite and rule the earth. This por tion of the Spirit was distributed by his hands to the elders and judges of the people; and, like a common legacy, it descended down to their successors, whoever they were, that sat in Moses seat. Hence the distinction of him that spake on earth, and him that speaketh from heaven.
David smote a Goliath, who defied the armies of Israel; and he was able to conquer all his external enemies; but he could never subdue an adversary that existed in his own house. The sons of Zeruiah, being circumcised men, and professing the true worship, were too hard for him; and with a Joab in the army, and an Ahilhopkel in the cabinet, and an Abiather in the church, he was weak, though anointed king. David himself need-ed to be purged with hyssop. His own house ̈. could not be cleansed from fornication, nor from murders, nor from sorceries and thiefts; much less could he purify the sons of Levi, among whom, from Corah down to the men described by Malachi, were opening continually the deepest sources of corruption; hence, the sword was never to depart from his house; once, and again, his king--dom was shaken, and having served his own gen-eration, and answered a temporary purpose as
king, he fell on sleep, and saw corruption. "David "is not ascended into the heavens.
The Christ of God, being an High Priest, after the order of Melchisedec, was to ascend up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things; and the kingdom of heaven to be set up in the last days, was to open, and be distinguished and known from every thing besides, by the spirit's being "poured upon us from on high." Hence the disciples were required to tarry in the city of Jerusalem until they should" be endued with power from on high." And thus endued, "Whatsoever they bound on earth was bound "in heaven, and whatsoever they loosed on "earth was loosed in heaven." Such power had not David.
Isaiah describes the glory of the kingdom of God, Chap. xxxii. "Behold a king shall reign "in righteousness. and princes shall rule in judg"ment. And a man shall be as an hiding place " from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; "as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow "of a great rock in a weary land. And the eyes "of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears "of them that hear shall hearken. The heart "also of the rash shall understand knowledge, "and the tongue of the stammerers shall be rea"dy to speak plainly. The vile person shall be
no more called liberal, nor the churl said to "be bountiful. For the vile person will speak "villany, and his heart will work iniquity, to "practise hypocricy, and to utter error against "the Lord; to make empty the soul of the hun
gry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty "to fail." The prophet goes on to describe the corrupt and suffering state in which the church will remain "until the spirit be poured out up" on us from on high." Ver. 15. It may be observed, that this pouring out of the spirit, means an
administation of government, and the good order and discipline of the church. The same thing is signified by this expression, as by a king reigning in righteousness, and princes ruling in judgment..........Religious impressions, however strong and wonderful, which do not take the direction of a deep reformation in the government and discipline of the church, ought not to be viewed in the light of the fulfilment of this promise. This pouring out of the spirit characterizes the kingdom of God, and intends an administration of government proceeding from the highest authority; an authority seated over all in the highest heavens.
Hypocrites and false ministers have been ever the most distressing enemies of the true servants of God; and until these are suppressed, the wilderness will afford them a better asylum than Jerusalem. It was no small part of the eternal redemption which our Royal Priest obtained for us, when he entered into the great and perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, by his own blood; that, thereby, Satan was cast out, and the sanctuary was cleansed. This is emphatically called salvation, and the commencement of the kingdom of glory. See Rev. xii. 10. "And I heard "a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of “our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which "accused them before our God day and night."
SECTION II...... The Spirit and Power of Elijah.
The prophets of the Lord, being ministers of the word which abideth for ever, were in the high