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the Fifth Week of Lent
the Fifth Week of Lent
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Simeon's Horae Homileticae Horae Homileticae
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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on Leviticus 23". Simeon's Horae Homileticae. https://studylight.org/
commentaries/ eng/ shh/ leviticus-23.html. 1832.
Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on Leviticus 23". Simeon's Horae Homileticae. https://studylight.org/
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FEAST OF FIRST-FRUITS
Leviticus 23:15-17. And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave-offering; seven Sabbaths shall be complete: even unto the morrow after the seventh Sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat-offering unto the Lord. Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave-loaves, of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the first-fruits unto the Lord.
THERE is no blessing which is not enhanced by a sense of reconciliation and acceptance with God. An ungodly man has his very provisions cursed to him [Note: Deuteronomy 28:16-19.] ; whilst to the righteous “God hath given all things richly to enjoy.” Indeed, it is to present, no less than to future, happiness, that God calls his people. He bids us weep, it is true; but he no-where bids us to be always mourning: on the contrary, he commands us to “rejoice in him always, yea, to “rejoice evermore:” and assures us, that, though our “weeping may endure for a night, joy shall come in the morning.” We have this beautifully exemplified in the appointments under the law. One day in the year was appointed for national humiliation, namely, the day of atonement, wherein all were commanded to afflict their souls: but the very next day, and the whole week following it, was appointed for a feast [Note:, 6.] ; by which appointment it was clearly intimated, that they who had obtained reconciliation with God through the atonement of Christ, had reason to rejoice throughout the whole remainder of their lives.
The week succeeding the Passover was called “the feast of unleavened bread:” on the first day of which they were to present to God a sheaf of newly reaped barley; and, fifty days after that, two loaves of wheaten bread; both of them being the first-fruits, the one of the barley harvest, and the other of the wheat. Hence these two periods were called the feasts of “first fruits:” and the appointment of them may be considered in a three-fold view; as,
[The day on which the sheaf of barley was to be presented unto God, was that on which they had come out of Egypt: and it was to be kept in commemoration of that event; that, when they were enjoying the peaceful fruits of industry, they might call to mind the labour and travail they had endured in the land of their captivity.
The fiftieth day after that, was the day on which the law of God had been delivered to them from Mount Sinai. This was no less a mercy than the former: for whilst by the former they were rescued from bondage to men, by the latter they were brought into the service of God [Note: The two are spoken of precisely in this way, as equalled by each other, but by nothing else. Deuteronomy 4:32-35.].
Both of these events were to be remembered on the days thus set apart [Note: Deuteronomy 16:9; Deuteronomy 16:12.], in order that He who had done such great things for their bodies and their souls, might have the glory due unto his name.
And here we cannot but observe, how beneficial it is to the Church to have particular times set apart for the special remembrance of the various wonders of redemption. If indeed the observance of such institutions were required of us as necessary to salvation, or inculcated as contributing to work out for us a justifying righteousness, or represented as superseding the necessity of a more frequent remembrance of them, or enjoined, as Jeroboam’s was, in opposition to the commands of God [Note: 1 Kings 12:33.], we should be ready to join with those who reprobate such appointments. But experience proves, that the appointment of seasons for the distinct consideration of particular subjects, has been productive of the greatest good; and that the more solemnly those seasons are devoted to the special purposes for which they are set apart, the more will humility, and every Christian grace, flourish in the soul. And, if the annual remembrance of an earthly deliverance was pleasing and acceptable to God, there can be no reasonable doubt, but that the annual commemoration of infinitely richer mercies (provided only that we guard against self-righteousness and superstition) must be pleasing to him also.]
But these feasts derived a still greater importance from being,
[Two of the greatest events which ever happened from the foundation of the world, and which are the source and warrant of all our hopes, occurred on the days appointed for these feasts, and were typically prefigured by them.
On the former of those days, that I mean on which the Israelites came out of their graves in Egypt, (which was the first-fruits of their deliverance, as the wave-sheaf was of the barley harvest,) Christ rose from the dead, and rose, not as an individual, but “as the first-fruits of them that slept [Note: 1 Corinthians 15:20.] ;” and has thereby assured to us the resurrection of all his people to a life of immortality and glory [Note: 1 Corinthians 15:21-23.].
On the latter of those clays, namely, the fiftieth day, on which the law was given, (which, like the first-fruits of the wheat harvest, was the pledge and earnest of those mercies which they were afterwards to enjoy under the immediate government of God,) on that day, I say, the Holy Ghost was poured out upon the Apostles [Note: Acts 2:1. “Pentecost” means the fiftieth day; for which, it is evident, the communication of this blessing was reserved: and it was communicated when that day “was fully come.”], who then “received the first-fruits of the Spirit [Note: Romans 8:23.].” As on that day God had proclaimed his law, so on that day he promulged his Gospel; and gathered to himself three thousand souls, who were the first-fruits of that glorious harvest [Note: Revelation 14:4.], which shall in due time be reaped, when “all shall know the Lord from the least even to the greatest,” and “all the kingdoms of the world become the kingdom of the Lord and of his Christ.”
In these views the feasts of which we are speaking become exceedingly important. It is true, they were but shadows, and very obscure shadows too: but to us who have the substance, and on whom “the true light shineth,” they are worthy of most attentive consideration; as being the first rude drafts or models of that glorious edifice which we inhabit.]
But these feasts are of further use to us, as,
[There is not any thing which we are more interested to know than our obligations to God, and our consequent duty towards him: yet these are clearly and strongly represented to us in the ordinances before us.
Behold our obligations to God. In each of these feasts the first-fruits were “waved” before God [Note: 1, 17], in token that every earthly blessing was derived from him. This was done in the name of the whole congregation; so that, whatever diligence or skill any had used in the cultivation of their land, they did not arrogate any thing to themselves, but gave glory to Him “from whom alone proceeds every good and perfect gift.” Happy would it be for us, if we also learned this lesson, so as to have our minds duly impressed with the goodness of our God! — — —].
Corresponding with our obligations to God is our duty towards him. If we have received every thing from him, it is our bounden duty to devote every thing to him, and improve every thing for the honour of his name. And, as at the former of these feasts they offered only one sheaf, and one lamb, but at the latter they presented two loaves, and seven lambs [Note: 2, 18.], so, in proportion as God has multiplied his mercies towards us, we also should enlarge our exercises of gratitude, liberality, and devotion.
Shall these sentiments be thought an undue refinement on the subject before us? They are the very sentiments which God himself suggests in reference to these very institutions. We are expressly told in this view to honour him with all that we have, and all that we are. Have we property? “We must “honour the Lord with our substance, and with the first-fruits of all our increase:” and, lest that should be thought likely to impoverish us, and it should be deemed advisable rather to gather in our harvest first, and then give him out of our abundance, he particularly guards us against any such covetous and distrustful thoughts, and tells us that a believing and thankful dedication of our first-fruits is the most likely way to ensure to ourselves an abundant harvest [Note: Proverbs 3:9-10.]. Alas! how melancholy it is that, when we are receiving so many harvests at God’s hands, not a few of us are found to grudge him even a sheaf!
But it is not our property only that we should devote to God: we should give him our whole selves. We are told that “God hath set apart him that is godly for himself [Note: Psalms 4:3.],” exactly as he did the first-fruits of old, of which it would have been sacrilege to rob him: and every one that professes a hope in Christ is called upon to consider himself in that very view, namely, “as a kind of first-fruits of his creatures [Note: James 1:18.].” Yes, Beloved, “we are not our own; we are redeemed, and bought with a price: and therefore are bound to glorify God with our bodies and our spirits, which are his [Note: 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.].”
Only let these instructions be impressed upon our minds, and exemplified in our lives, and then we shall make the best possible improvement of these typical institutions. Yea, whether we contemplate the types or the things typified, the improvement of them must be the same. From the resurrection of Christ we must learn to rise again to newness of life; and from the outpouring of the Spirit we must learn to cherish and obey his sanctifying operations. Thus will both Law and Gospel be transcribed into our lives, and God be glorified in all his dispensations.]
THE FEAST OF TRUMPETS
Leviticus 23:23-25. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, In the first day of the month, shall ye have a Sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation. Ye shall do no servile work therein; but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord.
THE ordinances of the Mosaic law, though dark in themselves, are, for the most part, rendered luminous by the Gospel: their true meaning is opened to us by inspired expositors; and little room is left for the exercise of fancy or conjecture. This however is not universally the case: the ordinance before us is a remarkable exception to the general rule: Moses himself does not inform us on what occasion, or for what particular end it was appointed: nor do the New-Testament writers give us any explanation of the subject. But as it was one of the great annual feasts among the Jews, it must of necessity be instructive. We shall endeavour therefore to search out the meaning as well as we can; and to shew,
For what end this feast was instituted—
Some have referred it to the blowing of the trumpet on Mount Sinai: and others have supposed that it referred to all the different occasions whereon the trumpet was blown. But the former of these does not appear a proper foundation for a joyful feast; (when it made all Israel, not excepting Moses himself, to “tremble and quake:”) and the latter opinion refutes itself: for if they were used on a variety of occasions, as the summoning of the people to the tabernacle, the directing of them in their journeys, the stirring of them up against their enemies, and the proclaiming of the year of jubilee, it is reasonable to suppose, that the appointment of a feast, called the feast of trumpets, was for some special and peculiar purpose. Accordingly, though the purpose is not specified, we may form a good judgment respecting it, from the peculiar day on which it was to be observed. That which in our text is called the seventh mouth, had been always deemed the first month of the year; but when God brought his people out of Egypt, he ordered them, in remembrance of that event, to reckon their year differently, and to begin it in the spring, instead of the autumn [Note: Exodus 12:2.]. Still however, in their civil and political matters, they retained the original mode of reckoning; and, except in their ecclesiastical concerns, this continued to be the first month in the year. This day then was the first day in the new year; and the feast of trumpets was to them “a memorial;” a memorial of mercies received, and of mercies promised:
Of mercies received—
[It is possible that the creation of the world, which was supposed to have been in the autumn, (when so many of the fruits are ripe,) was then particularly commemorated. But we apprehend that the mercies of the preceding year were then reviewed; and grateful acknowledgments were made to God for them. This seems to be a fit employment for the commencement of a new year; and every succeeding year must of necessity bring with it many renewed occasions for praise and thanksgiving. Even though the nation should have been visited with judgments, still those judgments are so disproportioned to men’s ill desert, and are always blended with so many mercies, that there could not fail of being always abundant reason for joy and gratitude.
The blowing of the trumpets would awaken the attention of the people to the duties of the day, and bring to their recollection some at least of those mercies, which they were now called upon to acknowledge.]
Of mercies promised—
[In this sense the term “memorial” is often used in Scripture. The stones on Aaron’s breast-plate were a “memorial,” to remind the people, that God regarded them as his peculiar care, and bore them upon his heart [Note: Exodus 28:12; Exodus 28:29.]. The atonement-money, which was to be paid on numbering the people, was also a “memorial” of the security which was assured to them under God’s protecting hand [Note: Exodus 30:16.]. The frankincense which from week to week was put upon the shew-bread [Note: Leviticus 24:7.], was of a similar nature; for whilst it reminded God of his people and their necessities, it was a pledge to them that he would supply their wants. Moreover, the Psalmist, expressly referring to this feast, says, “it was ordained for a testimony [Note: Psalms 81:1-5. Comp. also Numbers 10:9-10.].” Now when this “memorial” sounded in their ears, the various temporal mercies which they would need, would of course occur to their minds. But there were spiritual blessings, which probably came but little into the contemplation of the people, which yet were of principal importance in the sight of God, and were particularly shadowed forth on this occasion; I mean, the prosperity of Zion, and the enlargement of the Church of Christ.
That this was intended, an inspired Apostle assures us; for speaking of this very feast amongst others, he says, “Which things are a shadow of good things; but the body is of Christ [Note: Colossians 2:16-17.].”
The language used in reference to the Gospel, strongly confirms this truth. It is emphatically called, “the joyful sound;” and they who preach it are said, to “lift up their voice as a trumpet:” and when the fulness of time shall come for the universal establishment of Christ’s kingdom in the world, the sound of this trumpet shall be heard to the remotest corners of the earth, and all, from the least even to the greatest, shall come up to his temple. Even “Assyria and Egypt,” the most determined enemies of God’s people, shall be stirred up by it to “come and worship in the holy mount in Jerusalem [Note: Isaiah 27:13. Mark this passage.].”
Such a prospect was a solid ground of joy. We rejoice in the partial accomplishment of this event that has already taken place: and we look forward with joy to its full and final accomplishment.]
Let us proceed to consider—
In what manner it was to be observed—
The three great feasts, the Passover, the feast of Pentecost, and the feast of tabernacles, were greater than this; because, on them, all the males were required to assemble at Jerusalem: but next to them was the feast of trumpets. It was more holy than a common Sabbath; because no servile work at all might be done on this day; whereas on common Sabbaths an exception was made for preparing their necessary provision. Moreover on this day they were to be fully occupied in offering sacrifices to God. Besides the daily sacrifices, and those appointed at the beginning of every month, there were many peculiar to this occasion: and an express order was made, that neither the daily nor monthly offerings should be superseded, but that those for this day should be presented in addition to all the others [Note: Numbers 29:1-6.].
Now from this feast, so peculiarly prefiguring the Gospel, and being observed with such extraordinary strictness, we may learn,
The scope and tendency of the Gospel—
[When it reaches the ears and hearts of men, it calls them from the world to serve and delight in God, and that without intermission, from the morning to the evening of their lives. Not that it forbids all servile work; on the contrary, it requires “every man to abide in the calling wherein he is called,” and to fulfil the duties of his station with assiduity: but, while it leaves our hands at liberty, it forbids that our hearts should be enslaved: they must be reserved for God, and fixed on him alone. The one occupation of our lives must be to offer to him the sacrifices of prayer and praise [Note: Hebrews 13:15.]: “Rejoice in the Lord always,” says the Apostle, “and again I say, Rejoice.” Every blast of the trumpet should remind us of the infinite obligations conferred upon us, and of the assurances which God has given us of final and everlasting happiness. It is not a deliverance from temporal bondage, or victory over earthly enemies, that we have to rejoice in, but in deliverance from the wrath of God, and in victory over sin and Satan, death and hell. All this, too, is given us, not by a mere exertion of God’s power, but by the death of his Son, and the influences of his Spirit. Shall not we then rejoice? Again I say, that the Gospel trumpet sounds these things in our ears continually: and therefore we should keep throughout our whole lives a feast unto the Lord.]
The duty of those who embrace it—
[We have already seen what abstraction from the world. and what devotedness to God, were required of the Jews on that day. If they then, who had only the shadow of heavenly things, were to serve God in this manner, how ought we, who enjoy the substance! Surely we should serve him without grudging, without weariness, and without distraction. If they grudged their numerous and costly sacrifices, or were weary of their long and lifeless services, or had their minds diverted from these poor and “beggarly elements,” we should not wonder at it: their very feasts, though suited to the ends for which they were appointed, were burthensome in the extreme. But ours is a spiritual service. True, it may require some sacrifices; but none that are worthy of a thought, when we consider for whom they are made. As for sin, the mortifying of that should be deemed no sacrifice at all: it is rather like the removal of a leprosy, or the healing of a wound. As for time, or interest, there is nothing to be sacrificed in relation to these, that will not be repaid an hundred-fold even in this life, and with everlasting life in the world to come. And, if we engage heartily in the Lord’s service, we shall find, that the more we are employed in it, the more delightful it will be: it is wearisome only to those who are formal and hypocritical in their duties. Doubtless “the flesh will often evince its weakness, even when the spirit is most willing:” but the more we seek to rejoice in God, the more we shall rejoice in God. Let us be on our guard against those worldly cares or pleasures that are apt to divert the mind from its proper duties. St. Paul particularly tells us, that “he would have us without carefulness;” and recommends us so to order our matters, that we may “attend upon the Lord without distraction [Note: 1 Corinthians 7:35.].” These things then are our duty: duty, do I say? they are our privilege, our highest privilege. So David thought, when he said, “Blessed are the people that know the joyful sound; they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance: in thy name shall they rejoice all the day; and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted [Note: Psalms 89:15-16.].”]
THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES
Leviticus 23:39-43. Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the Lord seven days: on the first day shall be a Sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a Sabbath. And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm-trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days. And ye shall keep it a feast unto the Lord seven days in the year: it shall be a statute for ever in your generations; ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month. Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths; that your generations may know, that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
CHRISTIANS in general are deterred from the study of the ceremonial law, by the consideration that there is not sufficient light thrown upon some parts to determine their spiritual import, whilst in other parts we are distracted through the diversity of senses which the New Testament appears to affix to them. Certainly these are difficulties in our way; nor can we expect entirely to overcome them: but still there is much that is clear; and even that which is in some respects dubious, will be found in other respects highly edifying.
The feast of tabernacles was one of the three great feasts, at which all the males throughout the nation were to assemble at Jerusalem. Its importance therefore cannot be doubted. But, in our inquiries after the truths which it shadowed forth, we must be guided in some measure by conjecture; and consequently, cannot speak with that full confidence that we maintain where the inspired writers have led the way. Taking care however to distinguish what is doubtful from what is clear and certain, we shall proceed to consider this feast, and to open to you,
Its peculiar rites—
Whilst it had some rites common to other occasions, it had some peculiar to itself:
The sacrifices offered—
[These were very peculiar, and such as were offered on no other occasion. The feast lasted eight days: on the first of which, thirteen bullocks, with two rams, fourteen lambs, and one kid, and certain meat-offerings, were presented; and, on the six following days, there were the same sacrifices, except that the number of the bullocks, and of their appropriate meat-offerings, was one less every day: this went on to the eighth day, when there was only one bullock, one ram, seven lambs, and a goat, offered [Note: Numbers 29:12-39.]. The precise reason of this gradual diminution is not known, unless that it was to shew, that the Mosaic dispensation would gradually decay, and at last vanish away, being terminated by that one great Sacrifice which should in due time be offered.]
The services enjoined—
[All were to leave their houses for seven days, and to live in booths constructed of the branches of trees, which they had previously cut down for that purpose. This would doubtless be attended with much inconvenience to them: but they were to rise superior to such consideration, and to spend the time in holy joy. Part of the command was, that they should “rejoice before the Lord their God.” After the time of Joshua, when the piety of the nation had begun to decline, the observance of this ordinance was discontinued; or if it was now and then repeated for a single year, the institution was regarded only in a partial and formal way; till Nehemiah, after the return of the people from Babylon, revived and enforced the practice of former days [Note: Nehemiah 8:13-17.].]
The next thing to be noticed in reference to this feast, is,
Its primary end—
This was two-fold:
[All the time that the people sojourned in the wilderness, even forty years, they dwelt in booths or tents; in remembrance of which this feast was instituted [Note: 3.]. We are apt to forget the mercies which God has vouchsafed to us, and especially those vouchsafed to our forefathers at a remote period. But we ourselves inherit the benefits conferred on them: the descendants of those who were delivered from Egypt, owed all their liberty to God’s miraculous interposition, no less than their fathers; and therefore were equally bound to keep God’s goodness to them in remembrance: and by leaving their houses for a week, and living in booths, they would know precisely the situation of their ancestors, and learn to be thankful for their own more comfortable habitations.]
[This feast was after the harvest and vintage were finished; and it was intended to be a season of thanksgiving for the fruits of the earth. Hence it was called “the feast of in-gathering [Note: Exodus 23:16; Deuteronomy 16:13-15.] ;” which shews, that the time of keeping the feast was illustrative of one thing, and the manner, of another. Not but that there was a close connexion between the two; for in the wilderness they had nothing but manna; but, in the land of Canaan, they enjoyed all the fruits of the earth in the richest abundance: and, consequently, whilst they glorified God for miraculously supplying the daily wants of their ancestors by food from heaven, they were called upon to bless and adore his name for the continued blessings imparted to themselves.]
Thus far the intention of the feast is manifest. Our ground is not so clear in what remains: yet we utterly disclaim all idea of giving loose to our imagination on sacred subjects: we propose to you what, though we cannot prove, we think highly probable; and leave you to judge for yourselves, whilst we point out,
Its mystical design—
That this was a shadow, we have no doubt: and that Christ is the substance, is equally clear and certain: this point is determined by God himself in reference to the feasts and Sabbaths in general [Note: Colossians 2:16-17.], and therefore much more in relation to this, which was as sacred a feast as any, perhaps the most so of any, in the whole year. We apprehend then that this feast was intended to shadow forth,
The incarnation of Christ—
[The three great feasts were, the Passover, or feast of unleavened bread, the feast of Pentecost, and the feast of tabernacles. In the first, the death of Christ was typified: in the second, the out-pouring of the Spirit: and in this last, the incarnation of Christ. It was highly probable that this great event would be shadowed forth by some feast, as well as the other two: and there is good reason to think it was referred to in the feast before us. The very term used by the Evangelist in declaring the incarnation of our Lord, seems to mark this reference [Note: Joh 1:14 ἐσκήνωσεν. And though custom has led us to regard December as the time of his birth, the arguments to prove that he was born in the autumn are far more probable. Could this point be perfectly ascertained, it would strongly confirm the supposed reference of this feast to that event.]: and the conduct of the people, when they were persuaded that he was the Christ, corresponds very much with the rights prescribed at this feast: “They cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way, and cried, Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosannah in the highest [Note: Matthew 21:8-9.] !” It is true, this was at another feast: but still it marks the connexion in their minds between the feast of tabernacles, and the advent of the Messiah. There was a remarkable circumstance which took place at the feast of tabernacles, which throws some additional light on this subject. The eighth day was “the great day of the feast.” And though the dwelling in booths was discontinued, the people observed the season as a feast unto the Lord. They had indeed substituted a rite or ceremony on that day, bringing water from the pool of Siloam, and pouring it out as a libation to the Lord. The idea was perhaps adopted from that expression of the prophet, “With joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation [Note: Isaiah 12:3.].” On this day, in the place of public concourse, our Lord stood and cried with a loud voice, “If any man thirst, let him come unto ME and drink [Note: John 7:2; John 7:37-38.].” This was in fact, as if he had said, You expect at this time the advent of your Messiah, from whom you will derive all spiritual blessings: behold, I am he: and, if you will come unto me, you shall receive more than tongue can utter, or imagination conceive.
We say not that these things amount to a proof of the point in question: but we suggest them for your consideration, and leave you to form your own judgment upon them.]
The duty of his people—
[Here we can speak with more decision. No one who knows the figurative nature of the Jewish ritual can doubt, but that this feast was designed to teach us, that “we are strangers here, and sojourners, as all our fathers were [Note: Psalms 39:12.].” When fixed in our habitations and enjoying every comfort of life, we are apt to think that this is our home: the language of our hearts is, “Soul, take thine ease; eat, drink, and be merry.” But “this is not our rest.” We are here only in a wilderness; and we must in the spirit of our minds resemble the patriarchs of old, “who, though in the land of promise, dwelt in tabernacles, declaring that here they had no continuing city, but that they sought another country, that is, an heavenly [Note: Hebrews 11:9; Hebrews 11:13-14; Hebrews 11:16.].” This is to be the character of all the Lord’s people [Note: 1 Peter 2:11.], who, “though in the world, are not of the world,” and who “are looking for a city that hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God”— — —]
[It may be asked, What is all this to us? I answer, Read what the prophet says, and you will have more satisfactory information than you are aware of [Note: Zechariah 14:16-19.]. Beyond all doubt he is speaking of those who live under the Gospel: and the repeated injunctions which he gives relative to our observance of this feast, are a strong confirmation, that there was in it a mysterious and most important meaning. I call upon you then to keep this feast, to keep it with holy joy unto the Lord. Think of the incarnation of our blessed Lord! What a stupendous mystery! God, even the most high God, leaving his blest abodes, and sojourning here in a tabernacle of clay! Is not this worthy to be commemorated? Does it not demand our most ardent praise? — — — Think of the harvest of blessings which we obtain through him! Our corn and wine and oil are but shadows of that heavenly food which is prepared for us, and on which, if it be not our own fault, we are feeding from day to day. Let earthly things then not engross your affections, but lead you to seek those which are spiritual and eternal [Note: Colossians 3:2.] — — — And whether your temporal comforts be increased or diminished, ever remember where your home is; and that when your week is finished, “you have an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens [Note: 2 Corinthians 5:1.] ” — — —] [Note: If this subject were taken on a Christmas-day, or for a Harrest Sermon, the more appropriate idea must be most expanded.]