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A. They obtained Pardon of God according to the Discovery of Grace and Forgiveness fcattered up and down through all the five Books of Mofes, and especially according to the Promifes made, and the Encouragements given to Abraham, Ifaac and Jacob, and in general to all thofe who fincerely repent of Sin, and truft in the Mercy of God fo far as it was then revealed, and to be further revealed in Time to come, Exod. xxxiv. 6, 7. Deut: iv. 29-31. a. lv. 7, &c. But this Forgiveness is owing to the effectual Atonement of Christ, which was to be made in due Time, and which took away Sins paft as well as to come, Rom. iii. 21, 24, 25, 26.
8Q. Did thefe outward Rites of Purification then do nothing towards the Removal of their moral Defilements of Sins?
A. As their outward or ceremonial Defilements were appointed to be Emblems and Figures of the fpiritual or moral Defilement of the Soul by Sin, fo many of thefe Ceremonies of Purification, and particularly thofe by Water and Blood, were Pledges and Tokens to affure them that God would forgive Sin; and they were alfo Figures and Emblems of the Removal of moral Defilement of Sin from the Souls of Men by the atoning Blood of Chrift, and by the fanctifying Spirit of God, which is reprefented under the Figure of clean Water. See Heb. ix, and x..
Note, The following Question perhaps might come,
in properly after the Account of Sacrifices: But having here inquired whether the Ceremonies of Purification did any Thing towards the Removal of the moral Defilement of Sin, I thought it as proper to introduce it here, as a Kind of Objec tion against the foregoing Answers.
9 Q. But
9 Q. But were there not fome Jewish Sacrifices and Methods of Purification and Atonement, appointed for fome real Immoralities and Wickednefs, as when a Man had committed a Trefpafs against the Lord, by lying to his Neighbour, by cheating or robbing him, or by fwearing falfly, when he had found any Thing that was loft, and withheld it from the Owner? Lev. vi. 1-7. Is it not faid, He shall bring his Trespass-Offering to the Lord, and the Pricft fhall make an Atonement for him before the Lord, and it fhall be forgiven bim.
A. This Trefpafs-Offering would fet him right. indeed in the Sight of God, as King of the Nation, against whofe political Laws the Man had committed this Trefpafs; but it never was defigned to free him from the Guilt of this Sin in the Sight of God as the Lord of Confcience, unless he repented of this Sin in his Heart, and trufted in the Mercy of God fo far as it was revealed in that Day; for it is a certain Truth, that the Blood of Beafts cannot take away Sin, Heb. x. 4.
SECT. II. Of the HOLY PERSONS.
ERE the Reader may take Notice that feve ral Things mentioned in this and the two following Sections, namely, of Holy Perfons, Places and Things, are described in Figures, to give a plainer Idea of them.
10Q Having finished the Rites of Purification, let us inquire now what were the most remarkable Things relating to their Forms of public Worship?
A. These five, namely, holy Perfons, and boly Places, holy Things, holy Times, and holy Actions.
11Q. What mean you by calling all thefe Holy? A. I mean fuch Perfons, fuch Places,fuch Things, and
and fuch Times and Actions, as were devoted to God and his Worship, or appointed for his special Service, Numb. xvi. 5. Lev. xxi. 8. and xxii. 15.
12 Q. Who might be called the Holy Perfons among the Jews or Ifraelites?
A. The Priefts, and the Nazarites, and all the Levites, Lev. xxi. 1, 6. Numb. vi. 2, 8. and viii. 14. though fometimes the whole Nation are called holy, Exod. xix. 6.
13 Q. Who were appointed to be Priests? A. Firft Aaron himself, and then the eldest of Aaron's Family were appointed to be High Priests in Succeffion; and the rest of his Sons and their Pofterity were the Priefts, provided they had no Blemifh in their Bodies, Lev. xvi. 32. and xxi. 17. Exod. xxix. 30. Numb. iii. 3, 4, 10, 32. chap. iv. 16. chap. xvi. 40. and xx. 25, 26.
14Q How were they made Priests?
A. They were folemnly feparated at first to the Prieft's Office, by Anointings, and Purifications, and Sacrifices, Lev. viii.
15 Q. What was the Bufinefs of the Priefts?
A. Their chief Business was to offer Sacrifices to the Lord, to burn Incense before him in the holy Place, to kindle the Lamps, to do the higher Ser-vices of the Sanctuary, and to inftruct the People, Lev. i. 5, 7, 8. and chap. ii. 2. Numb. xvi. 40. and Exod. xxx. 7.
16 Q. What was the Office of the High Priest? A. He was appointed to come nearer to God, even to enter into the most holy Place, to do fpecial Services on the yearly Day of Atonement, to overfee all the public Worship, and to judge among them in many civil Matters as well as religious, Acts xxiii. 4, 5. Lev. xvi. Numb. iii. 4, 6. Deut.xvii.
17 Q. Was there any Work which the Priests performed in common with the High Priest?
A. All the Priefts were to to teach the People their Duty, to affift in judging of civil and religious Matters, and blefs the People in the Name of the Lord, Deut. xvii. 8-13. and xxi. 5. Numb. vi. 28. Mal. ii. 7.
Note, The Priests were appointed to give the Sense of the Law in civil as well as religious Concerns; because the fame God, who was the Object of their Worship, was alfo King of their Nation.
18 Q. Who were the Nazarites?
A. Men or Women of any Tribe who fepara-ted or devoted themselves to the Lord for a Time by a particular Vow, Numb. vi.
19 Q. What were the Rules of a Nazarite's Vow or Separation ?
A. He was to drink no Wine nor ftrong Liquor, to come at no dead Body, nor to fuffer any Razor to come upon his Head, but let his Hair grow all the Time, unless he fell under fome ceremonial Defilement, Numb. vi. 5, 6, 9, &c.
20 Q. How was his Vow to be finished or ended? A. By having his Head at the Door of the Tabernacle, offering a Sacrifice, and burning his Hair in the Fire of it, Numb. vi, 13, 18.
21 Q. Who were the Levites?
A. All the Tribe or Family of Levi, for they were taken into the Service of God instead of the Firft-born of all the Tribes of Ifrael, whom God claimed as his own, Numb. iii. 40. and viii. 13-19. 22 Q. Why did God claim all the First-born of Ifrael?
A. Because he faved them from the destroying Angel, when he smote all the First born of Egypt, Numb. viii. 14-18.
23 Q. What was the Bufinefs of the Levites?
do the lower Services of the Sanctuary, or holy Place, Numb. viii. 19. and chap. iii. 4, 6.
24 Q. How were the Levites feparated to the Service of the Sanctuary?
A. By fprinkling Water of Purification on them, fhaving their Flefh, washing their Garments, and the People laying their Hands on them, as well as by feveral Sacrifices, Numb. vi. 6—16.
SECT. III. Of the HOLY PLACES, particularly the TABERNACLE.
25Q. NEXT to the Holy Perfons let us inquire what were the Holy Places?
A. The Tabernacle in the Days of Mofes, and the Temple in the Days of Solomon, each of which is fometimes called the Sanctuary, Exod: xxv. 8. 1 Chron. xxii. 19.
26 Q. What was the Tabernacle?
A. It was a Sort of moveable Building made of Pillars and Boards, fet in Sockets of Silver, and fine linen Curtains embroidered with Cherubs, and coupled with Loops and Tacks of Gold, that the whole might be taken to Pieces, and carried with them in their Journeys. See Exod. xxvi.
Note, When Mofes had received fullOrders for making this Tabernacle, he came down from Mount Sinai, and found the People had been guilty of Idolatry, in making a golden Calf; Then it is faid, He took the Tabernacle, and pitched it without the Camp, and afar from the Camp, and called it the Tabernacle of the Congregation: And every one that fought the Lord, went out to this Tabernacle. This is fuppofed to be a little occafional Tabernacle, made like a small Chapel, for prefent Worship; for God refided there at the Door of it in a cloudy Pillar; and Mofes went into this Tabernacle, and talked with God there, Exod. xxxiii.