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of a double type :: we have a similar ordinance in the law of the leper, which ought, I apprehend, to be interpreted after an exactly similar manner.
When the plague of leprosy had been healed in any person, two clean birds were to be taken by the priest with cedar-wood and scarlet and hyssop: Of these, one was to be killed in an earthen vessel over running water : but the other, after having been dipped in the blood of the slain bird, was to be let loose into the open field." '
In this ceremony, the two birds answer to the two goats : and there can be little doubt, I think, that the one was sacrificed and that the other was dismissed with exactly the same ideas that were intended to be associated with the parallel treatment of the goats on the great day of atonement.
II. The next matter to be considered is the PERSON, who was appointed under the Law to offer
the sacrifices. This was eminently the high-priest : but, subservient to him, there was a number of other inferior ministers. The performance however of one ceremony, to which the piacular rite of the two goats was specially attached, belonged exclusively to the high-priest: and with it no other person, either of the clergy or of the laity, was permitted to interfere. The account, given by St. Paul of this eminently pontifical ordinance, is as follows.
Into the second tabernacle went the high-priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he
offered for himself and for the errors of the people; the Holy Ghost thus signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing : which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him, that did the service, perfect, as pertaining to the conscience ; which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the day of reformation. But 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 calves, but by his own blood; he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us..
St. Paul here interprets the high-priest. to represent Christ; the outer tabernacle, this world ; and the inner tabernacle or holy of holies, the celestial world to come. Now the epistle, which contains this passage, is addressed to the Hebrews : and, instead of their thinking such a mode of interpretation forced and unnatural, it must in reality have been perfectly familiar to them. They had been so well prepared for it by similar images in the writings of the prophets, that we find nearly the same idea in the works of their own Philo.
1. With respect to the prophets, the sublime vision of Isaiah, in which he beheld Jehovah
sitting upon a lofty throne in the temple and attended by the Seraphim or Cherubim, is manifestly constructed, so far as its machinery is concerned, with a special reference to the temple of Jerusalem :' and the description of heaven itself, as given by Ezekiel (for heaven, no less than earth, was presented to his imagination), is entirely drawn from the furniture of the tabernacle." To heighten the resemblance between the Levitical sanctuary and the celestial adytum, there was a visible manifestation of God, under the semblance of a bright cloud inveloping and perhaps partially displaying the Angel of Jehovah, between the Cherubim that were placed in the holy of holies : and, if from the Mosaical dispensation we pass forward to the Christian, it will be found, that, in order to preserve the uniformity which befits the inspired writings, St. John in his Revelation adopts the same images, and paints the habitation of the Almighty under the same emblems, so well known to his brethren the Jews.
Such then, according to the prophets, was the mystic import of the sanctuary : and, as that holy place shadowed out heaven, so they additionally teach, that Messiah was to be the priest of the celestial temple. Thus David represents Jehovah, as placing Adoni, by whom the Jews rightly understand the promised Saviour, at his right hand; and as solemnly swearing to him by an irrevocable oath, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of
Isaiah vi. 1-7.
2 Ezek. i, x.
the King of righteousness." And thus Zechariah foretells, that the man, whose name is THE BRANCH, shall build the spiritual temple of Jehovah, and shall sit and rule a priest upon his throne.
2. From the study of such passages as these, Philo seems to have been brought to those remarkable opinions, which he expresses respecting the sacerdotal character of the Divine Word : though he has in some degree marred them by his excessive love of mysticizing.
The Word, says he, by which the world was made, is the image of the Supreme Deity. As we perceive the sun's light though the sun itself is not seen, and as we behold the brightness of the moon though its orb may not appear to the eye ; so men look up to and acknowledge the likeness of God in his minister the Word, whom they esteem as God." For the Word of God, which is above all the host of heaven, cannot be comprehended by human vision, having nothing in his nature that is perceptible to mortal sense. For, being the image of God and the eldest of all intelligent beings, he is seated immediately next to the one God, without any interval of separation. We maintain, that by the highpriest is not meant a man, but the Divine Word; who is free from all voluntary and involuntary
Psalm cx. 1, 4.,
? Zechar. vi, 12, 13. 3 Phil. de Monarch. lib. ii. p. 225. 4 Phil. de Somn. vol. 656. s Phil. de Profug. vol. i. P.
transgressions, being of heavenly parentage, born of God and of that Divine Wisdom by which all things were produced : on this account, he is said to have his head anointed with oil."
For there are, as it appears to me, two temples of God. The one, indeed, is this world; in which the high-priest is his first-begotten Divine Word. But the other is the rational soul ; of which he, who is true man, is the priest. Of him, that mortal high-priest, who, according to the customs of our fathers, offers up prayers and sacrifices, is the sensible imitation or type.
This doctrine, which Philo clearly enough perceived to be the doctrine of Scripture, caused him no small perplexity, when he came to that remarkable part of the high-priest's function which is connected with the cities of refuge. If the guilt even of unintentional homicide had been incurred, the offender was directed to flee to one of these cities, from which he could not depart in safety until the death of the reigning high-priest.?
The Christian finds no difficulty in explaining this typical ordinance : for the great high-priest of our profession has, by his own emancipating death, furnished its obvious interpretation.
But it is most curious to observe the perplexity of Philo, who evidently rejects the doctrine of a properly
· Phil. de Profug. vol. i. p. 562.
? Phil. de Somn. p. 463. For these citations I am indebted to Mr. Bryant and Dr. Jamieson.
3 Numb, XXXV.