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SELECTIONS FROM MATTHEW HENRY.
“ The way to have our creature comforts either continued or restored, or the loss of them made
up some other
way, is cheerfully to resign them to God."
“The almighty power of God is engaged for the protection and consolation of all that trust in Him, in their greatest straits and distresses, and under the heaviest burthens.”
“In every stage of our lives, nay, in every step, we should take notice of what God has wrought for us; what He did at such a time, and what in such a place, ought to be distinctly remembered.”
“ It is not enough to have Bibles, we must use them, use them daily, as the duty and necessity of every day requires; our souls must have their constant meals of that manna, and, if well digested, it will be true nourishment and strength to them."
" When we hear the word of God, we must set ourselves to learn it, that we may have it ready to us upon all occasions; and what we have learned, we must put in practice, for that is the end of hearing and learning; not to fill our heads with notions, or our mouths with talk, but to rectify and direct our affections and conversation.'
“ Let those that find themselves under tokens of God's displeasure never complain of him, but complain to Him, and they shall receive an answer of peace.”
“ Times of fear should be times of prayer; whatever frightens us, should drive us to our knees, to our God."
“ It is a good question for us to ask ourselves in the close of every day, Where have I gleaned to day ? that is, what improvement have I made in knowledge and grace? What have I done or got, that will turn to a good account ?"
“ When we see death hastening towards us, that should quicken us to do the work of life with all our might."
“If we perform family worship, we must not think that will excuse our secret devotions; nor that the days we go. to church we need not worship God alone, and with our families; but we should always abound in the work of the Lord.”
“The happiness of man consists not in being clothed with purple and fine linen, nor in faring sumptuously every day, but in being taken into covenant and communion with God, and in learning his righteous judgments.”
POWERLESSNESS OF INFIDELITY. “ How much soever we may lament the prejudice, the weakness, the wickedness of those who enter into warfare against the interests of Christ; whatever horror we may feel at the boldness or scurrility of some anti-Christian champions; we feel no alarm at the onsets of Infidelity in its attempts against the Gospel. We know that the cause of Revelation has sustained already every species of assault which cunning could contrive or power direct. It has had its enemies among the ignorant and among the learned, among the base and among the noble. Polite irony and vulgar ribaldry have been the weapons of its assailants. It has had its Celsus, and its Porphyry, and its Julian. And what were the effects of their opposition? The same as when the rulers and elders and scribes united against it-its purification and increase. It has had its Bolingbrokes and its Woolstones, its Humes and its Gibbons; and what disadvantages has it sustained? what injuries has it received? Has it lost any of its pretensions, or been deprived of any portion of its majesty and grace, by their hatred and their hostility? Had they a system more credible, more pure, better comporting
with the wants of man, and with the anticipations of i everlasting existence, to enlighten and sanctify man, and
to effect the regeneration of the world, for which they were able to prevail on mankind to exchange the system of Jesus of Nazareth? We gain but little from our reading, but little from our observation, if we shake with fear when truth and error are combatants. All facts connected with the history of the Christian religion are confirmations of a Christian's faith, that the doctrine which he believes will resist every attack, and be victorious through all opposition. No new weapons can be forged by its enemies; and the temper and potency of those which they have so often tried they will try in vain. They may march to battle; but they will never raise their trophies in the field."
THE HIGH PRIEST IN HIS ROBES.
WHEN God directed Moses to choose his brother Aaron and his sons to minister before Him in the priest's office, He gave orders that "holy garments” should be made for them, "for glory and for beauty.” This was for the same purposes, no doubt, as the other appointments; namely, that the people might see there was something peculiar and distinguishing in the holy office to which they were chosen, and that the service of God might be conducted as a thing altogether different from the concerns of daily life. The priests also themselves were meant to understand, when they thus prepared their persons for attending the worship of God, that a preparation of the soul was still more needful; even that purity and carefulness, without which we cannot hold communion with Him. The dress appointed for the inferior priests was much simpler than that of Aaron, because Aaron, the High Priest, was a type of Christ, and it became him, who should thus represent the glorious Son of God, to be arrayed in extraordinary splendour. But the others, who were perhaps a type of the redeemed church, of those who shall be hereafter "priests unto God” in his heavenly kingdom, were as much beneath him in personal appearance as in the honour and dignity of their office. The robes appointed for him are next minutely described in the twenty-eighth chapter of Exodus; but some parts are now not rightly understood by those who have given the subject a most careful attention. The meaning of the “Urim and Thummim” we cannot hope to understand, since the most learned men, and even the Jews themselves, have confessed themselves ignorant of it. The words mean, in the Hebrew language, “lights and perfections," and are connected with the sacred breastplate which will be presently mentioned. We often hear of the Urim and Thummim being consulted. This was appointed by God as a means of learning his will in difficult circumstances; but no further information is given us in Scripture.
The most important parts of this sacred dress are the ephod and breastplate, the mitre and the bells. An
ephod signifies something that fastens, and was a kind of girdle, passing from behind over the neck and shoulders, and hanging down before, crossing the stomach, then being carried round the waist, and used as a girdle to the robe. That belonging to the High Priest was composed of gold, blue, purple, crimson, and twisted cotton, and formed a very rich ornament to the dress. On that part of the ephod which came over the shoulders were two large precious stones, on which were engraven the names of the twelve tribes of Israel, six names on each stone. Where the ephod crossed his breast was a square ornament, called the breast-plate, on which were set twelve precious stones, with the names of the twelve tribes of İsrael engraved on them, one on each stone. On account of this, it was said, “ Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his breast when he goeth in unto the holy place, for a memorial before the Lord continually." This circumstance was, no doubt, intended as a type of the intercession of Christ for his people; and is an assurance to us, that our names are always carried by Him upon
his heart, now that He sits at the right hand of God in heaven. The blue robe which the ephod fastened had a remarkable border at the bottom near the feet, composed of pomegranates and bells alternately placed round it. The former were perhaps only for ornament, but the purpose of the bells is explained in verse 25: “ His sound shall be heard when he goeth in unto the holy place before the Lord, and when he cometh out, that he die not.” The sound of the numerous bells gave notice to the assembled people that the most awful ceremony of their religion had commenced. When arrayed in this garment he bore into the sanctuary the vessel of incense. It was the signal for them to prostrate themselves before the Lord, and to commence those fervent ejaculations which were to ascend with the column of that incense to the throne of heaven.
The last which requires particular remark, as convey. ing an important spiritual meaning, is the mitre which the High Priest wore upon his head. A golden plate was fastened with a blue lace upon the front of it, and these