Page images






The Oblation of INCENSE

And befide the Sacrifices beforemention'd, there was an Oblation of Incenfe, appointed to be made every Day, Morning and Evening. When the Lamps were drefs'd in the Morning, and lighted up at Evening, then the High-Priest was to burn Incense, upon the Altar that ftood juft without the Veil of the most holy Place: a perpetual incenfe before the LORD throughout their generations. Ye shall offer no ftrange incenfe thereon, nor burnt-facrifice, nor meat-offering; neither fhall ye pour drink-offering thereon. And Aarón (the High-Prieft) fhall make an atonement upon the horns of it once in a year.

And afterwards, when we have an Account Exod. xl. of the Tabernacles being fet up, it is faid'; He put the golden altar in the tent of the congregation, before the veil; and be burnt fweet incenfe thereon, as the LORD commanded Mofes. We have frequent mention of burning Incense, both upon this Altar and on the High-Places, in the Books of the Kings, and those of the Chronicles;


9, &c.

and in fome other Places in the Scripture. Particularly in St. Luke; who, fpeaking of Zacharias, one of the Priefts, and the Father of John the Baptift, tells us, that according to the custom of the Priest's office, bis Luke i. lot was to burn incenfe when he went into the temple of the LORD. And the whole multitude of the people were praying without, at the time of incenfe. And there appear'd unto him an angel of the LORD ftanding on the right fide of the altar of incenfe.

Philo the Jew fays, "This Altar dif"fer'd from the Altar of Burnt-Offering "in three Particulars; the Materials of "which it was compos'd; the Place in "which it ftood; and the Use to which "it was put. Whereas the one was made "of rough unpolifh'd Stones; the other

[ocr errors]

confifted of pure Gold wrought in the " beft manner. Whereas the one stood "in the Court, without the Temple, expos'd to the Sight of the Vulgar; the "other stood in the holy Place, within "the Temple, inacceffible to all, but the "Priests, who were purified and fanctifi"ed by their Office. And whereas the one was for offering up in Sacrifice the


"Flesh of Beasts, the other was only to burn

Incense, and to fend forth the most grateful Odours." Whence he concludes that " a pious Thanksgiving of"fer'd up by a pure innocent Heart is "more acceptable to Heaven, than all "the other pompous Ceremonies of De

[ocr errors]

votion, confifting of a Multitude of

grofs Formalities, without that accep"table Ingredient: inafmuch as Gold is "better than rough Stone, the Infide of "the Temple more honourable than the "Outfide, and the Smell of Incense more

[ocr errors]

fragrant than the Steams of Burnt-Sa"crifices. Wherefore (as he goes on to "tell us) the daily Devotions of the Tem

[ocr errors]

ple began with fuch a Thanksgiving: "It not being allow'd to enter upon making any Burnt-Offerings abroad, 'till "the Incenfe had been offer'd, betimes in "the Morning, within."

[ocr errors]


Devotions at the Time of SACRIFICE.

During the Time that these Sacrifices

were offering, those who attended at them employ'd

employ'd themselves in Exercises of Devotion fuitable to the Occafion; either in Supplications or Thanksgivings. While Zacharias, as beforementioned, was offering the Incense within; we are told, all the People were praying without. But of folemn Thanksgivings upon these Occafions, we have many Inftances, in the Times of David, and the other religious Kings. Where, among other Branches of the Levitical Office, this is mention'd as one; to ftand every morning to thank and Chron. praise the LORD, and likewife at even.

xxiii. 30.

At the Dedication of the Temple by Solomon; The Levites which were the Sing- 2 Chron. ers, being arrayed in white linnen, and ac- v. 12, 13. companied with a concert of all kinds of proper inftruments, were as one; to make one found to be heard, in praifing and thanking the LORD. And when they lift up their voice, with the trumpets and cymbals and inftruments of mufick, and praised the LORD, faying, "For He is Good, for his mercy endureth for ever," we read, that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD.

[blocks in formation]

And, upon Hezekiah's purifying and refitting the Temple, after it had been long neglected, or polluted with Idolatry; a

mong the rest of the folemn Preparations 2 Chron. upon that Occafion, The Levites flood with xxix. 27. the inftruments of David, and the Priests with the trumpets: And when the burntoffering began, the fong of the LORD began alfo, with the trumpets, &c. And all the congregation worship'd, and the fingers fang, and the trumpeters founded: And all this continued until the burnt-offering was finished.


The fame Solemnity was used at the laying of the Foundation of the second Ezra iii. Temple. The Priests in their apparel, with trumpets, and the Levites with cymbals, were plac'd in order to praise the LORD, after the ordinance of David king of Ifrael. And they fung together, by course, in praifing and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is Good, for his mercy endureth for ever.

Luke i.


The Book of Pfalms contains feveral of thefe Gratulatory Hymns. And the Gofpel has two very fine ones; that of the Bleffed Virgin, My foul doth magnify the


« PreviousContinue »