Page images

it, in the firm conviction that exactly in proportion as that higher life is promoted among the clergy will they labour for the salvation of man, the good of the Church, and the glory of God.

Taken as a whole, therefore, this volume stands alone in sacred literature, and will, it is believed, meet a want deeply and widely felt in the present day. Many, it must be frankly confessed, are not in a position to secure those costly works requisite for use in their high and holy calling. Others, again, are so fully occupied, that they have little or no time left to devote to a calm and wistful study of those celebrated authors who have discoursed specially on the duties of their vocation. Hence this volume will prove acceptable to both these classes, inasmuch as it places before them the accumulated wisdom of ages at a comparatively trifling cost, and in a form which dispenses with the necessity, on their part, of extensive reading. Nor will its usefulness, it is hoped, end here. A multitude of earnest spirits are just entering on their momentous enterprise, and others, equally as zealous, are preparing to follow them; yet, like Moses, all are afraid, more or less, to cope with the immense difficulties lying before them. They need light, and encouragement, and guidance, as much as he needed the presence and eloquence of Aaron the Levite. Surely, then, this work will scarcely fail to be welcome to them also as morning to the storm-tossed mariner, or as summer to the toiling husbandman.

And profound indeed is the interest which the Church at large should feel in a volume like this. Her vitality, her sanctity, her peace, her love, depend greatly upon the character of her teachers as well as upon the matter of their teaching. The fact is—the Ministry and the Church rise or fall together. Only let our pulpits be filled with preachers formed after the model of St. Paul, or, rather, of Christ, and our temples of grace with eminently devout and earnest congregations, and “the gates of hell” shall not prevail against either. “ The Spirit shall be poured on us from on high,” according to “the promise of the Father," and everything wear a new and heaven-like aspect. The world, now a dismantled planet-a moral waste, choked with “thorns and thistles,” shall resume its pristine state, and “rejoice and blossom as the rose.” Every sound shall be immortal harmony, every object sparkle in the sunlight of Edenic beauty, and God Himself “ walk in the garden in the cool of the day." The Church, too, strengthened with almighty energy, shall " loose herself from the bands of her neck," "shake herself from the dust," "put on her beautiful garments,” and “arise and shine," because “ her light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon her." Thus divinely quickened and enriched, the world and the Church will become one: no longer opposing each other, but, like double stars moving on one centre, united in holy action, and promoting the glory of God with a zeal which He will stoop down to admire and commend. Blessed consummation !--earth, stricken down so low in the beginning by sin, lifted up again to her own high place amid the smiling brotherhood of worlds, and the banner of Jesus floating over a re-united, happy universe !

“Come, then, and added to Thy many crowns
Receive yet one-the crown of all the earth,
Thou who alone art worthy! It was Thine
By ancient covenant, ere Nature's birth;
And Thou hast made it thine by purchase since,
And overpaid its value with Thy blood.
Thy saints proclaim Thee King; and in their hearts
Thy title is engraven with a pen
Dipt in the fountain of eternal love !"








A. AARON—the First High-Priest.

Aaron was the brother of Moses, divine wisdom so ordering it that their Latural affection one to another might strengthen their union in the joint execu. siin of their great commission. He was the elder brother; and yet he was siling to be employed by the younger, because God would have it so. The tragte of Aaron, with the head and heart of Moses, made them completely fit for their high embassy.-M. Henry. AARON.-The Gorgeous Vestments of

His vestments were much more costly than those of the inferior order of priests. He wore a mantle or robe of blue, with the borders embroidered with JOILegranates in purple and scarlet; an ephod made of cotton, with crimson, parple, and blue, and ornamented with gold, worn over the robe or mantle, withGat sizeves, and divided below the arm-pits into two parts or balves, of which one was in front, covering the breast, and the other behind, covering the back. In the epbod vas a breast-plate of curious workmanship, adorned with twelve Frocious stones, each one having the name of one of the tribes of Israel; and on tre head a mitre. His office corresponded with his vestments.-A. Barnes. AARON.- The Principal Duties of

Aaron was invested with the priestly office, with befitting solemnity, immečiately after the promulgation of the Law and the consequent setting-up of the Tabernacle. His principal duties were to offer sacrifices upon the altar, and to steredde for the people. In performing these sacred offices, he was clothed with a ghaol and wondrous importance. He became the type of the great “ High


Priest of our profession;" and his annual sacrifices of atonement, his interces. sion, and his appearance at the specified periods before the Shekinah,—all prefigured the propitiation and advocacy of our Lord and Saviour, and His appear. ance in the presence of God for us.—Dr. Macfarlane.

It was death for any one else-priest or layman--to enter the sanctuary. So carefully was this observed and provided for, that to prevent its being necessary for any one to enter to bring out the body of the high-priest, in case he should die there before the Lord on the great day of expiation, & cord was fastened to his foot, the end of which was left beyond the veil, that he might be drawn out by it if such a circumstance occurred. It should be observed, that the Jews were always in dread lest the high-priest should perish in performing the services of that great day.-Dr. Kitto.

AARON.-The Remarkable Death of

With trembling hand,
He basted to unclasp the priestly robe,
And cast it o'er his son, and on his head
The mitre place; while, with a feeble voice,
He blessed, and bade him keep his garments pure
From blood of souls. But then, as Moses raised
The mystic breast-plate, and that dying eye
Caught the last radiance of those precious stones,
By whose oracular and fearful light
Jehovah had so oft His will revealed
Unto the chosen tribes whom Aaron loved
In all their wanderings—but whose Promised Land
He might not look upon-he sadly laid
His head upon the mountain's turfy breast,
And with one prayer, half wrapped in stifled groans,

Gave up the ghost.—Sigourney.
ABBEY.—The Appearance of an

There is something unspeakably reverend in the appearance of an abbey. A mass of ancient masonry, it lifts its noble head aloft, and its marble pillars, bear. ing high its “arched and ponderous roof,” impart an air of majestic grandeur to it. In the beautiful language of the poet-it "looks tranquillity."—W. Irving. ABBEY.–The Ruin of an

Methinks I hear the matin song

From those proud arches pealing ;
Now in full chorus borne along,

Now into distance stealing.
But yet more beautiful by far

Thy silent ruin sleeping
In the clear midnight, with that star

Through yonder arch way peeping.
More beautiful that ivy fringe

That crests thy turrets noary,
Touched by the moonbeams with a tinge

As of departed glory.

« PreviousContinue »