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then in its place; and this veil, let it be recollected, was never drawn aside, or the búpa, doorway, or entrance opened, but once in the year. The circumstance of the entrance having been opened before John's attention was called to it by the voice, as of a trumpet, addressing him a second time, informs us of the special day of service that answers to John's vision; for it was on the great day of atonement, and on that only, that the high priest (having opened the entrance by removing the veil) went into the holiest of all, in which were the ark of the covenant, and over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercy-seat. If the scene of John's vision, then, was the Tabernacle or Sanctuary, and not heaven, (in the common acceptation of this term) as has been very generally imagined, why does John call it the heaven ?-Because it was so called anciently ; though the circumstance has been overlooked, and, in consequence, many passages in the Old Testament in which dipun," the heaven,” occurs, have been misunderstood, this term having been referred to the heaven above in places where, in fact, it refers to the typical sitting-place or dwelling, which God had condescended to establish among the children of Israel. As this is a fact of some importance, I shall briefly state what led to the investigation of this point, and refer to a few passages in the Hebrew
scriptures in proof of what has been just stated.
Observing, what several expositors had before noticed, the coincidence between John's description of the heaven and the description given in the scriptures respecting the sanctuary, I was led to conclude that, possibly, the scene of the vision had no relation whatever to heaven above, but simply to the Tabernacle on the earth ; and I was the more confirmed in this by the consideration, that those who place the scene of the vision in heaven, the place of God's actual presence, are, in some way or other, obliged to conceive the appartenances of the sanctuary to have some actual resemblance, or similitude, to things that exist in the place of God's glory--an idea that appears exceedingly revolting to my mind, however much those who talk thus may invest their descriptions with a halo of high-sounding words of apparent piety, but altogether incomprehensible, about angels, and archangels, seraphims and teraphims, &c. &c. The Book, being a Revelation, is evidently intended to explain things that before were comparatively obscure. If in the question before us this book has reference to the typical and symbolical services and furniture of the Tabernacle, it must be for the purpose of yielding information from them in reference to the antitype ; and to apply these typical things to existences in hea
ven is to divert them from their purpose, and to exclude entirely all search after an increase of knowlege respecting the things that were adumbrated by these material symbols. Having come to this conclusion I was naturally led to ask the question, Why John should call the sanctuary, the Heaven? and it was this that first led me to discover what was meant by the opened Oupa (or entrance), as stated above, and thus to establish some farther points respecting the coincidence between the scene of the vision and the sanctuary, which had, I believe, entirely escaped the notice of those who have preceded me in this enquiry. But still I was not quite satisfied : the question yet remained to be answered, Why does John call the sanctuary, the heaven? At length it occurred to me, that, as the writer of the Apocalypse employs Hebrew phrases, and often has Jewish customs and observances in his mind, even in passages where it has been but little suspected, this might possibly be a Hebrew epithet or name, expressed in Greek, though the circumstance had hitherto escaped observation ;-and thus I was led to do, at last, what I should have done at first; and which had I done, would have saved me much unnecessary labor.
The mercy-seat is called God's seat ; and the sanctuary which contained the mercy-seat,
God's dwelling, or God's sitting-place. When Moses was commanded to construct a sanctuary, it was for a dwelling-place for. Jehovah (Exod. xxv. 8.); an ark (a chest) was made for this dwelling-place to contain the Tables of the Law; over the Ark was placed the Mercy-seat ; and on
; the ends of the Mercy-seat, Cherubims, covering the Mercy-seat with their wings. Respecting this seat, God says to Moses “ There will I “ meet with thee, and, onam, I WILL COMMUNE *[speak] WITH Thee, from above the Mercy-seat, "from between the two cherubims which are upon the “ Ark of the testimony,” &c. (Exod. xxv. 22.) The place of the Mercy-seat being for oral communication, it gets a name answerable to this in 1 Kings ch. vi. and viii., and in 2 Chron.ch. v., where it is called, 737, THE ORACLE (the speaking-place); which term, in 1 Kings viii. 6., is also put in apposition with Ow777 VTP, the holy of holies, or the most holy place, the name given to the inner apartment of the sanctuary. In the dedication of the Temple by Solomon (1 Kings ch. viii.) several things are remarkable." I have surely built thec
house (says Solomon in his address to JEHOVAH) to dwell in, A SETTLED PLACE (Heb. 7132, “ literally A PREPARED PLACE) for thee to abide in “(v. 13). And Solomon stood before the Altar of “ JEHOVAH, in the presence of all the congregation “of Israel, und spread forth his hands toward hea
“den"--[Hebrew O'Don, “THE HEAVEN"] v. 22. What heaven ? Not the region of the clouds, which is sometimes called heaven, as in v. 35.“When heaven (ouw without the i7 prefixed ') is shut
ир, and there is no rain," &c.; nor the heaven above, for in this chapter particular pains are taken to distinguish this heaven from that of which Solomon principally speaks in his dedicatory prayer, by contrasting it with the earth beneath, as in v. 23., “ There is no God like thee in the HEAVEN ABOVE nor on THE EARTH BENEATH;' -and in v. 27. the heaven of Solomon (for he made it, as we shall see immediately) is actually put in contrast with the heaven above: “ But will “ God indeed DWELL ON THE EARTH ? (viz. at “ Jerusalem] behold THE HEAVEN, [that which “Solomon built for him to dwell in at Jerusalem,] “yea THE HEAVEN OF HEAVENS [the “heaven above], cannot contain thee, how much less
THIS HOUSE which I have built.” In fact, the place of God's dwelling or sitting (for the Hebrew means either), wherever supposed to be, is called HEAVEN, which is only another name for his dwelling-place, whether the heaven above (otherwise called the Heaven of heavens) be intended, or
" In 2 Chron. vi. 26. the common Hebrew text has the n, but it is an undoubted corruption. Many of Kennicott's codices are without the n in this place.