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not to be wasted, but improved; and that he who expects every probable deduction from Scripture to be made out complete in all its parts before he will admit it, expects more than he will in many cases meet with, and will learn much less than he might otherwise learn.

Having made these preliminary remarks, I shall now proceed to collect the detached incidents in Genesis which appear to point out the existence of a Patriarchal Church. And the circumstance of so many incidents tending to this one centre, though evidently without being marshalled or arranged, implies veracity in the record itself; for it is a very comprehensive instance of coincidence without design in the several parts of that record.

1. First, then, the Patriarchs seem to have had places set apart for the worship of God, consecrated, as it were, especially to His service. To do things" before the Lord," is a phrase not unfrequently occurring, and generally in a local sense. Cain and Abel appear to have brought their offerings to the same spot-it might be, (as some have thought,) to the East of the Garden, where the symbols of God's presence were displayed; and when Cain is banished from his first dwelling, and driven to wander upon the earth, he is said to have "gone out from the presence of the Lord;" as though, in the land where he was henceforward to live, he would no longer have access to the spot where God had more especially set his name: or it might be a sacred tent, for it is told Cain, "if thou doest not well, sin, (i. e. a sin-offering) lieth at the door :" and we know that the sacrifices were constantly brought to the door of the Tabernacle, in later times. Again, when the angels had left Abraham, and were gone towards Sodom, "Abra

1 Hooker, Eccl. Pol. b. v. § 11. Vide Mr. Faber's Three Dispensations, Vol. I. p. 8; and comp. Wisdom, ix. 9.

2 Gen. iv. 16.

3 Ib. iv. 7.

4 See Lightfoot, i. 3.

ham," we read, "stood yet before the Lord," i. e. he staid to plead with God for Sodom in the place best suited to such a service, the place where prayer was wont to be made; and accordingly it follows immediately after, "aud Abraham drew near and said ;" and again, the next day, "Abraham gat up early in the morning," (probably his usual hour of prayer,)" to the place where he stood before the Lord," the same where he had put up his intercessions to God the day before; in short, the place where he "built an altar unto the Lord," when he first came to dwell in the plain of Mamre, for that was still the scene of this transaction. Again, of Rebekah we read, that when the children struggled within her, "she went to inquire of the Lord," and an answer was received prophetic of the different fortunes of those children. And when Isaac contemplated blessing his son, which was a religious act, a solemn appeal to God to remember His covenant unto Abraham, it was to be done "before the Lord." The place might be as I have just said, an altar such as was put up by Abraham at Hebron, by Isaac at Beer-sheba, or by Jacob at Beth-el, where they respectively dwelt ; it might be, as I have also suggested, a separate tent, and a tent actually was set apart by Moses outside the camp, before the Tabernacle was erected, where every one repaired who sought the Lord, or it might be a separate part of a chamber of the tent; but however that was, the expression is a definite one, and relates to some appointed quarter to which the family resorted for purposes of devotion. Accordingly the very same expression is used in after-times, when the Tabernacle had been set up, confessedly as the place where the people were to assemble for prayer and sacrifice.

1 Gen. xviii. 22.

2 Ib. xviii. 23.

4 Ib. xiii. 18.

5 Ib. xxv. 22.

7 See Gen. xiii. 18; xxvi. 25; xxxv. 6.

3 Ib. xix. 27.

6 Ib. xxvii. 1.

8 Exod. xxxiii. 7.

1 Lev. i. 3.

"He shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the Tabernacle of the congregation before the Lord, and he shall kill the bullock before the Lord." "Three times in the year shall all thy males appear before the Lord thy God in the place which he shall choose." Here there can be no question as to the meaning of the phrase; it occurs, indeed, some five-and-thirty times in the last four books of Moses, and in all as significant of the place set apart for the worship of God. I conclude therefore that in those passages of Genesis which I have quoted, Moses employs the same expression in the same sense.

Such are some of the hints which seem to point to places of patriarchal worship.

2. In like manner, and by evidences of the same indirect and imperfect kind, I gather that there were persons whose business it was to perform the rites of that worship -not perhaps their sole business, but their appropriate business. Whether the first-born was by right of birth the priest also has been doubted; at the same time it is obvious that this circumstance would often, perhaps generally where there was no impediment, point him out as the fit person to keep alive in his own household the fear of that God who alone could make it to prosper. Persons, however, invested with the sacerdotal office there undoubtedly were; such was Melchizedeck "the Priest of the Most High God," as he is expressly called, and the functions of his ministry he publicly performs towards Abraham, blessing him as God's servant, as the instrument by which His arm had overthrown the confederate kings, and receiving from Abraham a tenth of the spoil, which could be nothing but a religious offering, and which indeed, as such, is the ground of St. Paul's argument for the superiority of

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1 Heb. vii. 9. 42 Peter ii. 5.

7 Gen. xxvii. 15.

Christ's priesthood over the Levitical. Such probably was Jethro "the Priest of Midian." Moreover, we find the priests expressly mentioned as a body of functionaries existing amongst the Israelites even before the consecration of Aaron and his sons; the "young men" who offered burntofferings, spoken of Exod. xxiv. 5, being the same under a different name, probably the first-born. Then if we read of Patriarchal Priests, so do we of Patriarchal "Preachers of Righteousness," as in Noah. So do we of Patriarchal Prophets, as in Abraham, as in Balaam, as in Job, as in Enoch. All these are hints of a Patriarchal Church, differing perhaps less in its construction and in the manner in which God was pleased to use it, as the means of keeping himself in remembrance amongst men, from the churches which have succeeded, than may be at first imagined.

3. Pursue we the inquiry, and I think a hint may be discovered of a peculiar dress assigned to the Patriarchal Priest when he officiated; for Jacob, being already possessed of the birthright, and probably in this instance of the priesthood with it, since Esau by surrendering the birthright became "profane," goes in to Isaac to receive the blessing, a religious act, as I have already said, to be done before the Lord. Now on this occasion, Rebekah took "goodly raiment" (such is our translation) " of her eldest son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them upon Jacob her youngest son." Were these the sacerdotal robes of the first-born? It occurred to me that they might be so; and on reference I find that the Jews themselves so interpreted them, an interpretation which has been treated by Dr. Patrick more contemptu

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ously than it deserved to be ; for I look upon it as a trifle indeed, but still as a trifle which is a component part of the system I am endeavoring to trace out; had it stood alone it would have been fruitless perhaps to have hazarded a word upon it-as it stands in conjunction with so many other indications of a Patriarchal Church it has its weight. Now I do not say that the Hebrew expression? here rendered "raiment" (for of the epithet "goodly" I will speak by and by,) is exclusively confined to the garments of a priest; it is certainly a term of considerable latitude, and by no means to be so restricted; still when the priest's garments are to be expressed by any general term at all, it is always by the one in question. Yet there is another term in the Hebrew, perhaps of as frequent occurrence, and also a comprehensive term; but whilst this latter is constantly applied to the dress of other individuals of both sexes, I do not find it ever applied to the dress of the priests. The distinction and the argument will be best illustrated by examples:-Thus we read in Leviticus, according to our version, "the high-priest that is consecrated to put on the garments, shall not uncover his head, nor rend his clothes." The word here translated "garments" in the one clause, and "clothes" in the other, is in the Hebrew in both clauses the same--is the word in question -is the raiment of Esau which Rebekah took, and in both clauses the priests' dress is meant, and no other. So again, what are called "the clothes of service," is still the

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1 More especially as he quotes in another place (on Exod. xxviii. 2,) an opinion of the Hebrew Doctors, that vestments were inseparable from the priesthood, so that Adam, Abel, and Cain did not sacrifice without them; see Gen. iii. 22: and again, (on Exod. xxviii. 35,) a maxim among the Jews, that when the priests were clothed with their garments they were priests; when they were not so clothed, they were not priests.


4 Chap. xxi. 10.

5 Exod. xxxv. 19.

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