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architect; none was ever graced, save the Temple at Jerusalem, with so glorious an inhabitant; and none, except the Temple, had ever such important bearings on the character and happiness of the entire family of man.

A fabric of such interest cannot, we think, be otherwise than an attractive subject for engravings and descriptions in this Magazine; and we have therefore resolved to devote a few papers to the Tabernacle itself, and the furniture about it.

The term tabernacle is of similar meaning to that of tent, and though not strictly applicable to the more substantial fabric we are going to describe, yet expresses very properly several features of it. It was, like a tent, moveable from place to place; easily set up, and as easily taken down; without a fixed locality; and composed of moveable boards and overhanging curtains. But it was of more costly material, greater extent, and higher finish and beauty, than any ordinary tent. It was, indeed, no other than a portable temple, adapted to the wandering habits and unsettled residence of the children of Israel at the time.

In order to get a right idea of this structure, we must bear in mind that the so-called Tabernacle is properly divisible into two distinct parts: the Tabernacle proper, and the court or sacred enclosure, by which it was surrounded. In keeping with this division, it possessed the twofold character of (1) a ROYAL PALACE, for the residence of the visible symbol of Jehovah's presence with his people-the glorious Shechinah, a place where he might hold his court, and issue his laws, and make known his will, as king of Israel: and (2) a SANCTUARY, or place of worship for his followers, where they might pay their homage and present their offerings to him as their God.

The structure properly called "the Tabernacle," was of an oblong figure, fifty-five feet in length, by eighteen feet in height and breadth. When set up, its length extended from east to west, its entrance being placed toward the east. The two sides and west end, consisted of a framework of boards, of which there were twenty on each side, and eight at the west end. These boards were very strong, not less than nine inches thick, and fitted to each other much after the fashion of large shop shutters. They did not, however, slide in grooves, but were each furnished with two tenons at the bottom, which fitted into sockets in the bases, which were of solid silver; while to give the whole greater firmness, every board had five rings or staples of gold upon it,

through which rods were passed, and by means of which these boards were run up to their proper places. These rods served as the ribs of the structure, and bound all tight and firm together.

The boards, as well as the bars, were all of shittim wood, overlaid with thin plates of gold. The east end, being the entrance, had no boards, but was furnished with five pillars of shittim wood, overlaid with gold, and each standing in a socket of brass. Four similar pillars within the Tabernacle, towards the west or further end, supported a rich hanging, which divided the interior into two apartments, of which the outer or larger was called the "holy place," and the inner or lesser, the "Holy of Holies," or "Most holy place." The separating hanging was called "the vail.” It was of the most exquisite workmanship, and brilliant colours; and within this chamber the presence of Jehovah was more immediately displayed, Exod. xxvi. 31-35. The whole of this framework of wood was covered with various hangings, of different fabrics and descriptions. Of these hangings there were four distinct sets; but whether all of them served as coverings for the outside, or one of them formed the lining, and the three others the coverings of the boards, is not now certain. We are strongly inclined to think the latter was the case. The first set of hangings were of the very finest linen, dyed of the most beautiful colours, blue, purple, and scarlet, and curiously embroidered all over with cherubim, Exod. xxvi. 1-6. This set of curtains appears to have been so hung, in the inside, as to cross over the top of the wooden structure, and hang down on each side, so as to form a roof and lining to the Tabernacle, of the most beautiful character. The second set were of goats' hair, spun by the women of the camp. This formed a covering outside the frame-work, passing overhead and hanging down on every side, with a portion in the front, partly covering the entrance; but which, when the Tabernacle was in use, was generally folded back.

The third set of hangings was of rams' skins, dyed red, which were laid upon the goats' hair coverings, protecting them from the weather, and themselves covered with a fourth set, consisting of badger skins, and which completely concealed all the under hangings, except on festive occasions, when probably they would be lifted up, so as to show the finer curtains below, and the rich silver basement of the boards, Exod. xxvi. 14.

The entrance to the Tabernacle was protected by a beautiful vail of the finest linen, and embroidered, but apparently of less

costly and beautiful character to that which hung before the most holy place, Exod. xxvi. 36, 37.

Such was the Tabernacle; and very beautiful and imposing it must have been when it stood complete in the midst of its great enclosure.

This enclosure must now be referred to:-It consisted of an oblong area or court, 150 feet long and 75 feet broad. It was formed by a plain hanging of fine twined linen yarn, about three yards deep, and which seems to have been worked into an open or net-work texture, so that the people might freely see through and observe all that was passing within. These hangings were supported by sixty pillars of brass, standing on bases of the same metal, but with capitals and fillets of silver, Exod. xxvii. 1—15. The entrance to this enclosure was at the east end, opposite to that of the Tabernacle, and it was guarded by a door-curtain of "fine twined linen," and of precisely the same description as that which hung at the entrance of the Tabernacle itself, Exod. xxvii. 16. Into this enclosure alone were the people admitted. None but the priests, and only those who had to officiate, were ever permitted to go into the sacred tent itself, and even then none but the high priest, and that only once a year, might go into the "most holy place." All the sacrifices were offered, and the services conducted in the open court, and the Tabernacle only entered in the morning, by those priests whose duty it was to burn incense on the altar there, and extinguish the lamps, and in the evening to relight them; or on the seventh day, to change the shew-bread on the table.

Of the furniture of the Tabernacle, and its internal arrangement and services, we cannot now refer, and close with three brief remarks:

1. It was all planned in heaven. God was its great architect, and Moses only made it "after the pattern shown him in the mount."

2. It was built by the voluntary offerings of the people, Exod. xxv. 1, 2. God had enriched them with the stores of their enemies and oppressors, and given them all they had. Hence it was only right they should give him freely of their substance, to build him a house for his worship.

3. It had all a highly symbolical and typical reference. Every part of it pointed to some better thing, either in the gospel church below, or the gospel church in heaven. The "holy places of old,

made with hands," were only "figures of the true" and abiding things of a better and more glorious dispensation. Of these figurative references, however, and many important lessons it would teach, we must speak another time.



Query.-Can Hebrews ix. 27, be reconciled with 1 Thess. iv. 16, 17?

"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment."-Heb. ix. 27.

"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 first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."-1 Thess. iv. 16, 17.

THE difficulty appears to arise thus: the sentence of death is absolutely universal in Heb. ix. 27, and yet a large number of those who shall be "alive" at Christ's second coming shall be exempted from its execution.

The origin and extent of the sentence of death is fully set forth in Rom. v. 12: "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." This plainly shows that sin is the cause of man's mortality, and that all men, being partakers of guilt, are under the sentence of death. This is then the law of God's moral government, that sin and mortality shall maintain the inseparable relation of cause and effect. Though this law may, like other laws, be suspended by the Divine fiat, as in the case of Enoch, or of Elijah, yet it is not abrogated.

Even in the execution of this sentence, the experience of the believer realizes a joy, which makes him rise superior to the pangs of death, so that he can triumphantly sing, “O death, where is thy sting?" This may illustrate the triumph of grace over sin. But when Christ shall come for the express purpose of being "glorified in his saints," then those that are found faithful to him, shall be "changed" by his omnipotent influence. Death shall have no power over them. Yet a glorious transformation shall pass upon them, and they shall thus be prepared to grace the triumphs of Christ, as he returns to his throne amidst the acclaim of admiring angels, and adoring spirits of men made perfect. This seems to be more fully expressed in 1 Cor. xv. 51, 52: "Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."

The sentence of death shall continue to be carried into effect on all, until the arrival of an event which is minutely described in 1 Thess. iv. 16, 17. And that event is of a nature sufficient to account for the fact, that the believers that are alive when it occurs, shall be at once assimilated to Christ, and thus be prepared to be "for ever with the Lord." This event marks the conclusion of the present economy, and the commencement of that glorious era when the results of the atonement shall be manifested in the salvation of a multitude which no man can number. If in the days of Christ's humiliation, even as he expired on the cross, the graves opened, gave up their dead, and thus owned his power, much more may it be expected, that when he shall come in all the glory of his finished salvation, the power of death shall be utterly destroyed, as a signal of the Saviour's complete victory.



IF there be, among my numerous young readers, any who have committed mistakes, and fallen into errors, either in principle or practice, during the past year, the beginning of a new year will be an excellent time to amend them, only let there be no delay; often has a day's delay occasioned a year of sorrow.

I was once present when a poor boy came back in great distress to his parents. By neglecting the instruction of his father, and forsaking the law of his mother, he had brought much affliction on his head and his heart. He came with fear, but he was met with affection; he came in tears, but his sorrow was turned into joy. "My poor boy," said his father, almost choked with his emotion, "Why did you not come to me before?"

One of the most common of our faults in this world of errors, is that of delaying to turn back again when

we know that we are going wrong. In a thousand cases wherein we apply to one another for counsel, for help, or for forgiveness, the remark with propriety might be made, "Why did you not come to me before?"

How much of trouble and distress the poor prodigal needlessly endured by not returning sooner to his father's home! So far from there being any backwardness on the part of his father for the meeting, he seemed to be in a much greater hurry than his backsliding son; for while the latter "was yet a great way off," he "saw him, and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him." One would almost think that he had been on the "look out" for him, day after day, and that affection had quickened his eyesight. Not a word of reproof escapes his lips; nothing is said by him but words of love, and nothing is done by him but deeds of kindness. His best robe must be brought

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