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the purchase of the blood of Christ, are called his jewels : And they • shall be mine, saith the Lord, in that day when I make up My * JEWELS,' Mal. iii. 17. As in those days, gold and silver were no medium of commerce, they were chiefly employed in decorating theit teraphim, household gods, idols, and their vessels employed in domestic as well as public worship. What belonged to public worship appeared in their temples ; but a man's private wealth appeared in his household gods, and their investiture, which was chiefly under the charge of their women. The history of Micah, recorded Judges xvii. will tend to illustrate this : • Micah said to his mother, the 1100
silvers that were taken from thee, about which thou 'anathemátized, • behold, the silver is with me. And his mother said, Blessed be thou • of the Lord, my son. And when he had restored the 1100 silvers
to his mother, she said, I had wholly dedicated the silver to the * Lord, from my hand, for my son, for a graven image,' &c.' Now, jewels of silver were dedicated pieces of silver, whether in vessels and cups for sacred use, or in images. If traces of this idolatry ap. peared occasionally in the church of God in the patriarchal age, Gen. xxxv. 4. and still more in the after periods of her history, we may safely say, it was but trifling, compared with what was the case in Egypt and other idolatrous nations. The vestige, at least, of this is to be observed in the antichristian kingdom: the ornamenting of her churches, the immense riches of her sacred vessels, her shrines, cruci. fixes, &c.; and we may add, the raiment of her priests, sprung from the same root ; nay, even the immense wealth devoted to religious private worship in the church of Rome, may furnish us with no bad idea of the jewels of gold' which the Israelitish women borrowed of the Egyptian. It is related in the history of Portugal, that in the cabinet of an old lady who died in Lisbon in 1574, there was found an image of our Saviour on the cross, the diamonds in which were estimated at L. 173,000 Sterling. We cannot suppose
necessary to illustrate our subject, that we should travel through the scraps of Egyptian' mythology, to prove, that this commandment of God to borrow the sacred substance of Egypt'was part of the divine plan of judgment against her gods that the word spoil in the text is sacred spoil; and that the Egyptian gods were robbed, afterwards to decorate the sanctuary of the God of Israel ; and that all this was a sign and figure of the manner in which the glory and honour of the na
tions shall be brought into the new Jerusalem, Rev. xxi. 24. It is worth the reader's notice, that he will in no instance find the words
jewels of gold or silver' used in any other sense than dedicated ; thus, in Exod. xxxv. 22. • And the Israelites, both men and women, as • many as were willing hearted, and brought bracelets, and ear-rings, • and rings, and tablets, all jewels of gold; and every man that offered
gave an offering of gold to the Lord.' Again, in Numb. xxxi. 50. • We have therefore brought every man an oblation for the Lord, jewels of gold, chains, bracelets, rings, earrings, and tablets, to • make an atonement for their souls to the Lord. And Moses took • the gold of them, all laboured or formed jewels. From these, and many similar passages, it is clear, that the word jewel, when applied We repeatz
to gold or silver, is not used in the sense we apply it, viz. a precious stone; but that these precious metals became jewels, when dedicated to the service of the Lord, or to be used in his worship. In this transaction, then, Israel was directed to ask (not borrow.; the translators in, troduce this word to soften what they did not understand) the vessels which were sacred in Egypt for their worship; and what a wonderful miracle was it ! God gave them favour in the sight of the Egyptians,
and they gave them freely such things as they required?
that this was a miracle more wonderful than which preceded it! That God should dispose the hearts of the Egyptians to give to those very Israelites whom they had so oppressed, and who were now professedly going three days' journey into the wilderness to sacrifice to the Lord their God, the vessels sacred to the worship of their gods, was a more singular judgment against these gods than he had yet executed. Nor do we at all find ourselves careful to answer profane, scoffers, as to divine honesty, in spoiling the household gods of Egypt. As to the use to which these very idolatrous jewels were applied in the Israelitish worship, we shall be called to speak as we proceed, as well as to the great thing signified or prefigured by this, which shall be fulfilled, just before the Lord's hosts shall be delivered from spiritual Egypt. Although we have extended on this subject beyond what is custom
us, yet as we believe the view now given of jewels of gold? has not been hitherto attended to, we shall take notice, in this place, of a few other passages where the expression occurs. In 1 Sam. vi. a transaction is recorded, to which we request our readers to attend particularly. The ark of God had been seven months in the land of the Philistines, which had in consequence been afflicted with divine judgments. By advice of the priests and diviners, they were not to send back the ark empty, or spoiled, but to make ten golden images, viz. five golden mice, and five golden emerods, and return them in the ark; 'peradventure, said they, he will lighten his hand from off you,
and from off your gods,' &c. Now, in the 8th verse, these golden images of inice and enerods are expressly called jewels of gold. But perhaps the subject is nowhere placed in a more undeniable point of view than in such passages as the following, when the prophets are expressly speaking of the ornaments of the church of God: Thou • hast also taken thy fair jewels of my gold and silver, and madest to
thyself images of men, and committedst whoredom,' &c. Ezek, xvi. 17. In the 39th verse of same chapter, it is said, ' And I will also
give thee into their hand; and they shall throw down thine eminent • places, and shall break down thy high places ; they shall strip thee
also of thy raiment, clothes, and shall take thy fair jewels, and leave • thea, naked and bare.' We shall only detain our readers farther to observe, that there was sacred raiment in all idolatrous worship, as well as sacred jewels : these we shall consider inore fully in the investiture of the priesthood, and structure of the tabernacle.
It way appear strange to our readers, that we should have considered it necessary to spend so much time on the circumstance of the jearls, and now that we are to consider the destruction of the Egyp
tian first born, shall pass it over very briefly : the reason is simply this : it is not our purpose to occupy our pages with subjects which, however important, are generally understood : our leading object is to attempt to elucidate what has not frequently been observed.
We find, ver. 3. that the man Moses was very great in the sight of Pharaoh, and all' Egypt ; and indeed it has always appeared, that the friends of Jesus Christ will appear great in 'the eyes of the world, however persecuted or opposed, while they cleave stedfastly to his word ; hence Paul exhorts á church, whom he encourages to stand firm, . And in nothing terrified by your adversaries, which is to them • an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of
God,' Philip. i. 28. It is remarkable, that all the preceding plagues were committed to the hand of Moses and Aaron, but in the destruction of the first born God takes the sword into his own hand; At • midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt. Here the reader will be led to think of another midnight cry, of which the scripture speaks, when that same divine person who here threatens will go forth into the midst of spiritual Egypt, when out of his mouth a sharp twoedged sword shall proceed, and execute the vengeance threatened in bis word. This last judgment is against the first born of Egypt; and here also we find judgment against her gods. It is a well-established fact, that among many idolatrous nations, but in a particular manner among the Egyptians, the first born were devoted to the service of the gods. That this custom took its rise from revelation cannot be doubted, and is one, among many instances, of the testimony which idolatry and paganism bear to the truths of God. That the Great Highpriest should be God's first born, was an early subject of revelation : the curious reader will find, in the writings of Macrobius, some curious facts as to Egyptian first born. It is sufficient however for our purpose, to state, that the death of the first born was, if we may so express it, cutting off their whole hope, root and branch ; and, in a particular manner, it was more directly against their gods that all the former judgments concentrated. The first born of beasts are also threatened ; and we know, that they were not only devoted, but that in many cases it was a high crime to apply them to any common use; see Potter on Pharmaceutic Sacrifices. Here, then, let us pause for one moment, to examine a picture of the human heart :-We have seen Moses, divinely directed, dealing out one judgment on the back of another in the most awful manner: there remains but one step to an. nihilate their whole system of worship, and even this is threatened. Wbat says the Lord ? * Pharaoh shall not let you go.'
CHAP. XII.-The redemption of Israel was now at hand, the paschal lamb to be slain, and the ransomed host of the Lord to go forth under his banner. The year of the Lord's redeemed should now have a new beginning : ABIB, the springing year, should henceforth be the beginning of the months ; in the same manner as the death of Christ, our true passover, altered the day of rest. The first prominent arti cle in this important chapter is, the institution of the passover, a subject interesting to all Christians, and which, had it been properly at:
tended to, would have prevented much profanation of the ordinance of the Christian Passover, as now commanded to be observed as his memorial. The victim in this sacrifice is a LAMB of the first is a singular circumstance, that the original word, seh, has no connection with the other names of the animal, and that, when attended to in its composition, plainly means, This is he. Holloway considers this word as pointing to Him, represented by the innocent lamb, as peculiarly opposed to the beasts and monsters of which we have already spoken. In this character, John saw the heavenly Jesus on Mount Zion, and with him his 144,000. Opposed to this, Nebuchadnezzar, the great king of Babylon, and the zealous supporter of idolatrous worship in that kingdom, was metamorphosed into a real beast ; and this for the purpose of teaching him, that there is a God who ruleth in heaven, &c. The character of the lamb without blemish, his connection with the household, and many similar circumstances, will lead the reader's mind directly to Christ our passover, sacrificed for • us. The lamb was to be kept up from the 10th to the 14th of Abib. Jesus entered into Jerusalem privately with his disciples, exactly the fourth day before he died. He was separate from the world, and had no intercourse with them from that hour. The household, and the communion they all, and they alone, had in this lamb, was a fine figure of the communion of the whole family in heaven and earth in the true paschal lamb of God, who beareth away the sins of the world. The lamb was to be killed in the evening, viz. in the evening of the world. Christ died in the evening of the day; and he instituted his great evening feast, the memorial of his death, and of that night in which he was betrayed ; this feast is therefore called The Lord's supo
The death of this blameless lamb was necessary, as the victim by which the first born of Israel were preserved. The blood was sprinkled in faith of that precious blood of sprinkling which speaks better things than Abel. The cating of this lamb Israel was called to enjoy as a feast, in the very evening, when the cry of horror and misery was resounding through all Egypt. It was a glorious repre. sentation of him who said, - My flesh is meat indeed! my blood is • drink indeed !' see John vi. 51. 57. The roasting of the flesh with fire appears to point out the fire of divine wrath under which the di. vine victim suffered, Psalm xxxi. 10. The unleavened bread with which it was to be eaten, Paul explains, as pointing to that simplicity or unmingledness in the truth with which the true passover should be eaten, not with the leaven of malice and wickedness, 1 Cor. v. 7, 8. Still farther, the bitter herbs would seem to point out the recollection, in that ordinance, of the bitterness of his sorrow, who bare all our griefs and carried our sorrows. Israel were to eat it when just about setting out from Egypt, the • loins girt,' and staff in the hand, &c. see ver, 11. It is a feast provided for strangers and sojourners, while passing through to a better country, that is an heavenly. It is the Lord's passover. It is remarkable, that, in all languages, the name of this feast carries the same expressive idea, the sovereign mercy of God passing over. It leads to remember, Ist, What is passing over? The righteous judgment of God, now executing in Egypt. Not a house
in all that country, where the doleful cry of death is not heard, where the effects of the righteous judgment of God are not felt, where the consequences of a hardened heart against the word of God are not seen! In this awful night in Egypt, they were taught by experience, what a fearful thing it is to fall into the hands of the lio ving God! 2dly, Who are they, respecting whom it is said, God passes over, in this fearful night of judgment? The guilty.children of Ísrael, equally deserving to share in this dreadful wrath with those who are now bleeding under it. In no other view could it be called a passing over. It is a noble, a glorious view of the gospel, which this very word proclaims ! 3dly, Why did God pass over Israel? Because they were under the sprinkling of blood. We mistake the grand design of this subject, if we suppose there was any natural difference between the one and the other, but that ye may know that the Lord doth
put a difference. This difference was the work of sovereign mercy ; and the guilty Israelite was led to see how that mercy should vent, when he saw the spotless lamb bleeding under his knife, the victim and substituted sufferer for his first born. With the blood of this victim sprinkled on his door, the father stood, and his ransomed fae mily around him, living, and feasting on the flesh of their saviour : • Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night, nor the arrow that • fieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness, nor • for the destruction that walketh at noon-day. A thousand shall fall
at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come * nigh thee,' Psalm xc. 5. 8. • The blood shall be to
for a token ;' • and when I see the blood, I will pass over you.' Precious is the blood of atonement! The hour draws quickly nigh: the day is far spent, the night is at hand ; that still more memorable night, when the sword of vengeance shall pass through spiritual Egypt, and when the grand and final difference will be put between the Egyptians and the true Israel of God. Happy they, who shall be found under the covering of the blood of the covenant at that important hour !
Because of this great event, Great, say we ? Yes, great indeed !Because of the still greater event which it shadowed forth, • This day • shall be unto you for a memorial ; and ye shall keep it a feast to the • Lord, throughout your generations. We see how important the observance of this day as a memorial was kept in all the church of Israel : He that despised this law of Moses died without mercy.' Are we equally attentive to the feast which a greater than Moses instituted for his people ? saying, “This do, in remembrance of me. If the transgressor against Moses died, of how much sorer punishment • shall we be thought worthy,' if we despise the blood of the true paschal lamb,-if we neglect the Lord's passover? Nor can we leave this part of the subject, without adding, that the doctrines and commandments of men have totally obscured that in the Lord's supper which was the glory of the passover, viz. the sovereign mercy which it exhibited. This is not an ordinance for men to befit themselves, by searching for and collecting together every good and gracious trait in their own characters, which they can fancy or conjure up: it is not a feast whith they are to enjoy, because of the gracious, saint-like, or