Thursday, June 8th, 2023
the Week of Proper 4 / Ordinary 9
the Week of Proper 4 / Ordinary 9
Seiss' Lectures on Leviticus and Revelation Seiss' Lectures
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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Seiss, Joseph A. "Commentary on Leviticus 25". Seiss' Lectures on Leviticus and Revelation. https://studylight.org/
commentaries/ eng/ sei/ leviticus-25.html.
Seiss, Joseph A. "Commentary on Leviticus 25". Seiss' Lectures on Leviticus and Revelation. https://studylight.org/
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The Sabbatic Year and the Jubilee
The stress laid on the number "seven"—The year-Sabbaths—How the people were to be supplied during the Sabbatic years—An argument for the Divine legation of Moses—How the truth of the Gospel is proven by these ancient laws—The Sabbatic periods in their typical signification—The "Jubilee"—Not properly the Gospel dispensation, but the final consummation to which the Gospel refers—A Sabbath to come—A period of Restitution—Of Release—Of Return home—Of Feasting upon the supplies of our years of toil—Conclusion.
I have had repeated occasion to remark, in the course of these lectures, upon the number seven. It is singular how this number is inwrought with nearly everything sacred. The Scriptures throughout rest upon it with peculiar emphasis. It was on the seventh day that God ceased his work of creation and hallowed a rest, which has made the computation of time by septenaries of days the common and universal method from that day until now. Seven days were given to Noah to gather in the tenants of the ark; and with him came over the flood seven persons, and sevens of all the clean animals. On the seventh month the ark rested On the earth again, and on the seventh day the dove was sent out. Seven years of plenty and seven of famine were sent upon Egypt, as the Lord signified through Joseph. Seven priests, with seven trumpets, were to encompass the walls of Jericho seven successive days, and the seventh day it fell into the hands of Israel. Seven days were the Jews to celebrate sundry of their feasts; seven days were their priests to be in course of consecration; seven days were their unclean to be in cleansing; and seven victims were required in many of their sacrifices. Seven days did Job’s friends sit with him, and seven bullocks were to be offered for their sins. Seven years was Solomon’s temple in building; seven days was the feast of its dedication; and seventy years was Israel captive at Babylon. Seven years was Nebuchadnezzar degraded as a brute, and seventy weeks were determined until Messiah should be cut off. Enoch, whom God translated, and the first man ever exempted from death, was the seventh from Adam; and, according to Luke, Jesus was the seventy-seventh. Seven hours did the Savior hang upon the cross; seven times did he speak while hanging there; seven times did he show himself after his resurrection; and seven days after his ascension was the Holy Ghost poured out. Seventy was the number of disciples whom he first commissioned. Seven petitions are contained in the prayer which he taught his followers. Seven lamps were in the Tabernacle. Seven Churches we read of in the Apocalypse; and seven seals, seven vials, seven angels, seven Spirits of God, and the finishing of the mystery at the sounding of the seventh trumpet. And one of the most prominent and remarkable features of the Levitical code was that Sabbatic system which pervaded it, making the seventh day, the seventh month, the seventh year, and an additional year every seven times seven years, holy periods and seasons, to be observed with peculiar solemnity and special services. It is these year-sabbaths, and God’s ordinances concerning them, which we are now to consider. And may the Holy Spirit direct our meditations, and bring us to a proper and profitable understanding of his will and purposes!
The first of these Jewish year-sabbaths, as presented in the chapter before us, was that which occurred every seventh year. From the time Israel became settled in the land of promise, they were to count seven years, and that seventh year was to be a holy year of rest, especially for the land. It was a year during which all agricultural pursuits and processes were to be interrupted, and the grounds to be left lying fallow. The whole country was that year to be turned into a public common, free to all, the proprietor of his estate not only ceasing to cultivate it, but having no more right to its spontaneous products than any one else. But the people were not, therefore, necessarily required to be idle. "They could fish, hunt, take care of their bees and flocks, repair their buildings and furniture, manufacture clothes, and carry on their usual traffic" (Bush in loc). There was nothing to hinder free social intercourse. It was only the land that was to rest, and man from tilling it. It was to "be a Sabbath of rest unto the land," in which there was to be no sowing, no reaping, and no gathering of what the vine might produce without dressing. This was the leading characteristic of the Sabbatic year, although it doubtless embraced other, religious, economical, civil, and political interests and ends.
The second and most famous of these Jewish year-sabbaths was that which came in at the end of the seventh septennial rest, and occurred every fiftieth year. This was called the great year—the year of Jubilee. It was an institution of the same general Sabbatic character with the seventh day, seventh month, and seventh year, except that it occurred more seldom, and was attended with joys, blessings, and concomitants of good beyond all other sacred seasons. It was also a Sabbath of rest for the land, in which the people were neither to sow, nor prune, nor gather. It was a year of redemption through which no bonds could hold, no contracts bind, no prisons remain locked, and no possessions or estates continue out of the hands of the original owners. When that year came, all debtors were released, all slaves set at liberty, all captives discharged, all exiles Drought home, all alienated property restored to those to whom God had given it, and all absent ones once more returned to the bosoms of their families and friends. It was one of those gracious provisions scattered over God’s ancient economy, showing the hand and presence of Him who is full of goodness and tender mercies. It was an arrangement which served to equalize and balance society in that uncultivated age, and to prevent many of the causes which so often operate disastrously to a State. Long unrighted wrongs, or depressions too numerous and long continued, are the generators of the temper and passions which give birth to revolutions. Society needs balances and counterpoises against monopolies of wealth and the extremities of ill fortune. And in these, as well as in other respects, a very beneficent and gracious end was subserved by this ancient institute of the Jubilee. It not only contributed to rest the land from the exhaustion of incessant tillage, and to restore the unfortunate; but it was a sort of "restitution of all things," by which a fresh and happy impulse was given to the whole current of affairs. It was a grand year of refreshment and recuperation for a new and more contented life. As long as the Jewish people faithfully kept these Sabbatic laws, they continued to be a prosperous people and a peaceful State; but as they came to disregard them, they were torn and spoiled by intestine strifes, social disorders, and all varieties of political trouble.
There is a feature of these year-sabbaths which would, perhaps, particularly arrest the attention of the political economist, and which is of no less interest to the Christian. It was a bold and hazardous undertaking for a legislator to propose laws which would interrupt the supplies upon which the people subsisted. Yet, this is what was done in these Sabbatic regulations. The ordinary Sabbatic year commenced in the harvest month; but there was to be no seeding during that year, and consequently no harvest until the third succeeding year. The year of Jubilee always begun with the conclusion of the ordinary Sabbatic year, thus bringing together two successive years in which there was neither reaping nor sowing. There would thus be three, if not four, years of complete interruption in the ordinary supplies from the fields. Now, it was no small matter, by mere arbitrary legislation, to strike out of existence three successive harvests every fifty years. The mere partial failure of one of our crops, sends stagnation and distress into all departments of society. Three successive failures would fill the whole country with famine, wretchedness, and starvation. What was to prevent a like result from these long and total intermissions in the agriculture of the Jews? So important an inquiry was not overlooked by the framer of these Laws. The Lord directed Moses to say to Israel, "And if ye shall say, What shall we eat the seventh year, seeing we shall not sow, nor gather in our increase? Then will I command my blessing upon you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for three years." The people were required to rely upon a miracle for subsistence, and the Lawgiver pledged a septennial miracle in their favor. The fruits of two or three years were to be forthcoming, from the earth on the year preceding each Sabbatic year.
Now, from this, I join with others in deducing an important evidence of the truth of the Mosaic narrative and the divinity of these laws. No legislator would ever have proposed, and no people ever would have received, a law which thus required a miracle, i. e., the direct interference of the Power which governs the springs of nature and guides the course of providence, in order to subsist in its observance, without a clear conviction that the law itself came from Him who alone is able to perform what it promised. There must therefore have been entire confidence on the part of Moses that it was God who spoke to him, and that what was promised was really a pledge from Deity certain to be fulfilled. And a similar confidence must have governed in those who accepted the law from his hands, while a few septenaries of years were to settle, by actual demonstration, whether their confidence was well-founded or false. It was a test so direct, so palpable, so certain to expose the falsehood in case there was. falsehood, so unlimited as to time, so removed beyond the reach of man to affect the result, and repeated on so grand a scale every seven years, that I cannot see how Moses could have ventured it without certain knowledge that he was speaking by authority of God, or how the people could ever afterwards have regarded him as a divine prophet if it had failed or miscarried. And as Moses certainly did give this law and the pledge connected with it; and as the Jewish people did receive it, and for centuries obeyed and tested it, and still continued ever to honor and reverence him as the prince of all God’s prophets; I cannot see to what other conclusion we are to come, but that his communications to Israel proved to be authentic, and that he was just that man of God and legate of heaven which he professed, claimed, and was believed to be.
I do not give this as the only, nor yet as one of the principal evidences of the Divine authority of these laws. It is but one line in the great volume of testimony upon that subject. Indeed, this whole series of discourses, to me has been a gradual and continuous development of an argument for the inspiration of Moses, which I know not how any man can logically set aside. Though our examinations have been somewhat cursory, every chapter, to me, has been luminous with what never could have originated with the mere ingenuity and forethought of man. The declaration with which I began these comments, that the contents of this "third book of Moses" entitled it to be called "the Gospel according to Leviticus," seems to me to have been signally sustained. We have found all its peculiar inculcations radiating from one great centre which has no model but in Christ, and his works and offices of mercy for mankind. And to this we have found them to fit and conform in a minuteness of detail, in a profuseness and magnificence of illustration, in a perfection of accuracy, and in a logical and historical correctness, which has astonished and amazed me. They seem more like allegories framed after the occurrence of the facts, than like types instituted fifteen hundred years in advance. The question, therefore, arises. How came Moses thus to anticipate Christ and the redemption that is in him? How came he to know anything about a character so unique, or about those miraculous facts and wonderful results of the Savior’s great and singular history, so as to give such luminous pictures of what God was thus to achieve in the far off ages? Where did he get the idea from which he drew those vivid and living illustrations of the great economy of grace in Christ Jesus? Whence could he have had all this accuracy of information concerning what was to be, but from Him who knew the end of all things from the beginning? It does seem to me, that the denial that Moses acted in these matters under the aid and direction of God, makes of him a greater prodigy, and a more wonderful exception to the experience of mankind, than the inspiration which we claim for him. There was miracle on the one side or other; and I submit it to every candid man, whether it was not most likely on that side to which the great majority of thinkers, and the best and most competent judges in the world, have uniformly assigned it. And if Moses was inspired, then the Gospel is true, for we find that Gospel set forth in what Moses commanded and wrote.
But, it is of the typical significance of these year-sabbaths, that I desire more particularly to speak. Thus far, everything in this book has been full of interest. A magnificent panorama has been passing before us for the last five months. Our way has been through a long gallery of Divine pictures of Christ and his work of mercy for man. We have been tracing some of the steps and stairways by which the world has come up to the sublime heights of spiritual wisdom and hope eventually laid open in the New Testament. All the great facts, appliances, and stages of the redeeming process, have passed in review before us. It only remains for us now to take a glance at its ultimate results and final consummation, and the entire scheme, in all its grand magnificence, will have been exhibited. And to this end serves the Sabbatic system which so singularly characterized the Hebrew ritual.
I do not suppose that these sabbatic regulations referred severally to separate and distinct things. The seventh day, the seventh month, the seventh year, and the year of jubilee, as I take them, all express the same great thought, and are related to each other in signification as the different sections of a telescope. They fold into each other. The one is only a repetition of the other on a larger scale. And they all range in the same line to give a focus for gazing the further into the depths and minuter details of one and the same scene. We have sabbaths of days, and sabbaths of months, and sabbaths of years, and septenaries of years, all multiplied in each other with augmenting interest, to indicate the approach of some one great seventh of time when all God’s gracious dealings with man shall come to their culmination, and to point the eye of hope to some one grand ultimate Sabbath, in which the weary world shall repose from its long turmoil and all its inhabitants keep Jubilee.
The word "Jubilee" is of doubtful origin and signification. Some derive it from a verb which means to recall, restore, bring bach; which would very appropriately designate an arrangement which recalled the absent, restored the captive, and brought back alienated estates. Some trace it to Jubal, the inventor of musical instruments, and suppose chat this year was named after him from its being a year of mirth and joy, of which music is a common attendant ana expression. In, Hebrew, yobel means the sounding of a trumpet; hence some take the word Jubilee as derived from the extraordinary sounding of trumpets with which this particular year was always introduced, some making it refer to the kind of instruments used, and others, to the particular kind of note produced. But, after all, it may have been a name invented for the occasion, and intended to carry its meaning in its sound, or to get it from the nature of the period which it was thenceforward to designate. It is a word which, if not in sound, yet in its associations, connects with the sublimest joys, ushered in with thrilling and triumphant proclamations. "Like the striking of the clock from the turret of some cathedral, announcing that the season of labor for the day is closed," says Bonar, "so sounded the notes of the silver trumpet from the sanctuary, announcing that the great year of redemption and rest had come—the year of release and restoration throughout all Israel."
Some interpret this year of Jubilee as a picture of the present Gospel dispensation, and consider that we are now living in this remarkable year. And there is doubtless an accommodational sense in which this is true. The Gospel is a trump of gladness, proclaiming liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison-doors to them that are bound, and announcing the moral rest of forgiveness and peace in Christ Jesus. But I cannot find in this the direct and highest significance of the Jubilee. The year of Jubilee did not begin till the close of the day of atonement. It was only after the High-priest had finished all the services of that solemn day that the silver trumpet sounded for the Jubilee. This day of atonement only began with the Savior’s sufferings and death. It is still in progress. Our great High-priest is still within the veil sprinkling the atoning blood. Sinners without are still afflicting their souls and waiting for his reappearance to pronounce upon them the life-giving benediction. Bonds, trials, heavy sorrows, and sore privations still cleave to the saints. Even the holiest Christians have not yet come to the fulness of their rest. The very martyrs, who laid down their lives for the testimony of Jesus, are represented as waiting and crying, "O Lord, how long!" With all our peace in Christ Jesus, our portion as yet is connected with dust and tears. The proper Jubilee, therefore, is yet to come. Our priest must first gone forth from the Holy of holies, whither he has gone, and close the reconciliation day, and then only will our joyous rest rightly begin. Jesus must first appear the second time, before our final release and salvation shall be complete.
Many a time have we heard the sounding trumpets of Gospel tidings. Long and loud has the summons to repentance and reconciliation been ringing in the ears of a drowsy world. Many have listened, believed, and accepted, and thereby experienced the glad earnest of the appointed Jubilee; but there is another trumpet—"the great trumpet"—"the trump of God"—which yet remains to be sounded. It is a trumpet which shall never be heard but once in all the revolutions of the ages;—a trumpet whose clangor shall thrill worlds, and startle up the very patriarchs from their long-lost graves, and transmute time itself into eternity;—a trumpet which shall be blown throughout all the earth the moment our High-priest shall have appeared again. "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise." "For the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." And that trumpet is the true trumpet of the true Jubilee. When it sounds, shall the great Sabbath of the ages begin. Let us, then, survey some of the sublime features of that coming time.
I. First of all, it is to be a Sabbath—a consecrated and holy rest. The year of Jubilee was the intensest and sublimest of the Sabbatic periods. The Sabbath is the jewel of days. It is the marked and hallowed seventh, in which God saw creation finished, and the great Maker sat down complacently to view the admirable products of his wisdom, love and power—blessed type of a still more blessed rest, when he shall sit down to view redemption finished, the years brought to their perfect consummation, and the life of the world in its full and peaceful bloom. The Jubilee is therefore to be the crown of dispensations, and the ultimate glory of the ages, when the Son of God shall rest from the long work of the new creation, and sit down with his saints to enjoy it for ever and ever. Wiped off then shall be the sweat of the toiling brow, and quiet and useless the ploughshare which has so long been bruising and tearing the face of the world. The perfection of the Sabbaths shall then throw its dewy mantle over us for ever.
Rivers of gladness water all the earth,
And clothe all climes with beauty.
II. In the next place, it is to be the period of restitution. The year of Jubilee was a year when all property which had been sold or alienated came back to its original owners. Farms and houses that the Jew, through misfortune, had to part with, then became his again. If any one had been reduced to servitude, his freedom returned to him. The land itself received release, and rested in the undisturbed repose which it enjoyed before the fall. Everything seemed to go back to the happy condition in which God had originally arranged things.
Man, in this present world, is a dispossessed proprietor. God gave him possessions and prerogatives which have been wrested from him. God made him but a little lower than the angels, crowned him with glory and honor, and set him over the works of His hands. All creatures were given to him for his service, and he was to "have dominion over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." But, where is all that glory and dominion now! How has the gold faded and the power waned! How much are we now at the mercy of what was meant to serve and obey us! Gone, are our once glorious estates. Gone, the high freedom which once encompassed man. Gone, all the sublime dignity which once crowned him. But we shall not always remain in this poverty and disgrace. Those old estates have not gone from us for ever. When the great joyous trump of Jubilee shall sound, the homesteads of our fathers shall return to us again, nor strangers more traverse those patrimonial halls. With blanching cheek shall the vile intruder then shrink back, and let go his avaricious grasp upon what can be no longer his. Hell then shall cease to vex and rifle those who have taken refuge in the Lord. Our long down-trodden excellence shall then rise from the dust, radiant with the splendors in which it came at first from the great Creator’s hand. The crown that has fallen shall then again take its proper place upon the brow for which it was made. The mansions which we have had to exchange for these dissolving tabernacles, shall then he once more our own. And there shall be beauty for ashes, and the oil of praise for the spirit of heaviness; for "in that day shall the Lord of hosts he for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people."
III. Again, it shall he a time of release for all that are oppressed, imprisoned or bound. The year of Jubilee struck off the bonds of every Jewish captive, and threw open the prison doors to all who had lost their liberty. We are all prisoners now. Though the chains of sin be broken, the chains of flesh and remaining corruption still confine us and abridge our freedom. Even those pious ones who have passed away from earth, are still held in the power of death. Their souls may be at rest, but their bodies are still shut up in the pit of the grave. There still is groaning and "waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body." But when the great trump of Jubilee shall sound, these groanings shall cease, and these fetters all dissolve. Rocky vaults and sepulchres, sealed for ages, shall then suddenly burst open, and the doors of death fall down from their rusty hinges, and broad daylight break into the darkest tombs, and all God’s buried saints shake off their damp and mouldy prison garbs, to bid farewell for ever to the dingy cells that now clasp their holy forms. The expecting patriarchs from their ancient tombs shall hear the thrilling call and come; and holy martyrs, whose sacred dust the winds and waters scattered o’er the earth; and "slaughtered saints, whose bones lie scattered on the Alpine mountains cold;" and poor-house paupers, sleeping in Christ in potter’s fields; and faithful missionaries, whose hearts the savages have eaten or cast unto the dogs; and sea-lost loved ones, whom shipwreck left to perish on the barren rocks or melt in the still depths of the unfathomed sea—all, all, all, shall then find their sorry fate reversed, and the power of the oppressor gone for ever.
And equally blessed shall be the arrival of that day to those bound sufferers in Christ who shall still be found living in the flesh. The poor consumptive, gradually fading with decay; the trembling paralytic, bound to his sick-room chair; the rheumatic cripple, whose pains have lifted his bones out of their sockets; and the old bed-ridden saint, already halfway in his grave; and the bright youth, wild and parched with intolerable fever; and the maimed soldier of the cross, hobbling sorrowfully on his crutches; and the benighted blind one, feeling his sad way through a world of light and beauty in perfect darkness; and the chained maniac of the mad-house, consuming with rage; and the poor driveling idiot, whom not one flash of reason has ever lit; and the sad, broken-backed daughter, pining in obscurity, cut off from all earthly hope; and the aged grandmother, bowed together with a weight of years that have carried away all the friends of her youth;—these, and ten thousand more that suffer in the Lord, each and all, at that high bugle-note, shall feel the sudden thrill of immortal deliverance, and waste, and sigh, and suffer, and feel their sad privations, no more; for the year of Jubilee has come!
IV. Another feature of that happy time is, that it shall be a time of regathering for the scattered household. Jehovah’s word to Israel was, "The fiftieth year shall be a jubilee unto you, ye shall return every man to his family."—It is not possible in this world for families to keep together. A thousand necessities are ever pressing upon us to scatter us out from our homes. The common wants of life, to say nothing of aims and enterprizes for good, honor, or distinction, operate to drive asunder the most tenderly attached of households. And if we should even succeed in overcoming dividing forces of this kind, there are others which do their work in a way which we cannot hinder. Death comes, and, one by one, the whole circle is mowed down, and sleep in separate graves, mostly far apart. One lies in the country church-yard, one in the city cemetery—one in the far-off fatherland, and one in some remote corner of the wide new world. One sleeps in the sunny south, another in the dark and frozen north. One has found his bed on the gory field of battle, and another in the deep wide sea. A sister reposes in the sweet family lot in the flowery city of the dead, and a brother in the waste wilderness, no one knoweth where, There is no complete household upon earth—no family among men—that has not some absent one to mourn.
There is no flock, however watched and tended,
But one dead lamb is there;
There is no fireside, howsoe’er defended,
But hath one vacant chair.
But there cometh a day when all the households of the virtuous and good shall be complete. The year of Jubilee shall bring back the absent one. For when the Son of man shall come, "he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the one end of heaven to the other." Not one shall be overlooked or forgotten. That faithful son that fills the unknown stranger’s grave; that brother who sleeps in a foreign land, or mingles his ashes with the golden sands of the Sacramento; that mother whose lonely pillow is in the deep cold ground; that cherub child that slumbers in its little grassy bed in the far-off hamlet; that loved one whose small gifts and tokens of affection are all that remains of him in this world; the lost original of that fading daguerreotype so often washed with your warm tears;—all these shall hear the trump of Jubilee, and come back to their happy, happy homes.
Then shall love freely flow,
Pure as life’s river;—
Then shall sweet friendship glow,
Changeless for ever;
And bliss each heart shall fill;
And joys celestial thrill;
And fears of parting chill
V. But, there is still another feature of this blessed time to come, to which I will refer. The sounding of that trump shall be the summons to a sacred feast upon the stores laid up by the industry of preceding years. Though no sowing or gathering was to be done in the year of Jubilee, Israel was to have plenty. The bountiful hand of Heaven was to supply them. Years going before were to furnish abundance for all the period of rest. The Sabbath of the land was to be meat for them. Now is our harvest-time. The fields are waving with beautiful golden products which God means that we shall gather and store for our Jubilee. Industry and toil are required. We must thrust in the sickle, and gather the blessed sheaves, and lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven. It will not do to play the sluggard while that ripe vintage is inviting us to gather. We must work while we may, and lay up while it is within reach. When once the trumpet sounds it will be too late to begin to lay up for the year of rest. Now is the accepted time; now is the day of salvation. Neglecting this bright, rich, plenteous summer period, we must starve when the faithful are feasting on abundance. But if diligent now, we shall have an ample portion. No Christian effort will ever be lost. Every good deed here done, every gift of charity, every prayer for Zion, every self-denial for Jesus, every cup of cold water given to a thirsty disciple, every word of serious admonition whispered in a sinner’s ear, shall contribute to swell the accumulations for a coming festival sublime as heaven. Twenty, forty, sixty years have some been toiling in the exhaustless field. Oft have they been faint and. weary. Heavy upon them has been the heat and burden of the day. Hunger and nakedness, peril and bitter soul-sickness have often oppressed them. But, the weight of their long service, their hardships and pains, have all the while been laying up for them "a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." And, oh, what abundant treasures have some of them garnered in heaven for the everlasting year of their rest. Blessed storages of good! How will the soul leap when the trump shall sound to come and feast upon them for ever. Then shall "the good wine" come which has been so long delayed. Then shall our Samuel bring us into the celestial parlors which his own hand has fitted up for us, and seat us in the chiefest place, and set before us what has been kept for us, and cause us to feast upon "fat things fall of marrow," with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the saints of God, without interruption and without end.
Hail, then, to the blessed year of jubilee! Hail to the bright year of God’s redeemed—year of release for them that sigh—year of the exile’s return to his home—year of rest to them that toil—year of finished salvation to the lost! We bid thee welcome! Yea, welcome, thou coronal of time! Welcome, thou opener of the prison doors! Welcome, restorer of our beloved dead! Welcome, health of the nations and liberation to the bound! The weary world waits impatient for thy coming! Millions of saints stir in their mossy graves impatient for thy dawn! Break, sacred morning, and lighten to their birth the glories of the new creation! Let time’s slow charioteers drive on without delay, and hasten to the blessed consummation! Behold! "He that testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly: Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!"
Friends and brethren, I have done with this "third book of Moses, called Leviticus." For three times seven successive Sabbath evenings we have been traversing the Tabernacle courts together, inquiring into its "meats, and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances." With the New Testament in our hands, we have endeavored to get a glimpse of what was meant by these services of the ancient fathers. Not in vain, I hope, has been our expenditure of time and study. Luminously have we seen redemption shining through them all. Step by step have we beheld the scheme of grace unfolded in the living pictures of the ancient ritual, until to-night we stand upon the radiant summit of this mount of love and light. And now, as I take leave of the subject, I would fain wish that all the happy things, shadowed in this book, may be possessed by all who have listened to these comments upon them. But what can avail my wishing or your hearing, if these glad tidings be not embraced, believed, pondered, acted upon, and made the light and guide of life? In this solemn hour, then, with your eyes upon the sublimites of the everlasting jubilee, and your hearts moved and softened with the glad visions of what is then to be realized, permit me, in one last closing sentence, to ask and entreat each one of you, now, before leaving this house, to let your honest heart felt vows go up to God, from this forward, to live for Jesus and for heaven. God seal the sacred covenant and make it firm unto everlasting life! Amen, and Amen