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priest; and their garments served to be an example and shadow of heavenly things. Their fine linen coats, figured the immaculate purity of Christ and his church made white in his blood. Hence when our Lord was seen in a vision by John, he had on his priestly garment, which reached down to the fuot, and he was girded about the paps with a golden girdle; and his head was as white as wool, as white as snow. Rev. 1. The fine linen girdle served to bind the coat tight to the body, to help the priest to be expeditious in his work: and Christ was all alacrity in the discharge of his priestly office, The bonnets, or turbans round the head of the priests, were much like the high priest's mitre, and may serve to remind us, that all believers, who are made kings and priests upto God, have on their heads, for an helmet, the hope of salvation. The linen breeches, shew how the Lord requires the utmost decency in his service. Holivess becometh the house and worship, people and ministers for ever. The common Levites also had a linen ephod, or garment, in which they performed their services; but at present I have only to do with the priests and high priest.
Aaron was the principal person, and in the highest office, and for him, in a particular manner, holy garments were appointed. Aaron, the saint of the Lord, his name signifies a teacher, was, in an especial manner, called of God, and appointed to his office. His priestly garments were to add dignity to him; he was never to draw near the Lord, in the services which were to be performed by him, without being clothed with them. These garments, with the ornaments belonging to thein, were eight in number, as follows. First, a pair of linen breeches, or trowsers. Second, a coat of fine linen, which he wore next the body, as we do a shirt. Third, there was the girdle of fine linen, embroidered with blue, and purple, and scarlet; with this girdle, or belt, the coat was girded and confined close to the body. Fourth, he had a robe of all blue, with seventy-two bells of gold, and as many pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet, upon the skirts thereof; this robe was put over the fine linen coat and girdle. Fifth, an ephod, or short coat, made of gold, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, finely and gloriously sculptured with cherubs, like the curtains and veils of the tabernacle; on the shoulder pieces of it were two beryl stones, on which were engraven the names of the twelve tribes of Israel: this ephod was put over the robe, and girded thereto with a curious girdle, made of the same materials with the ephod. Then, as the sixth ornamental garment, or part of the pontitical attire, was the breast plate, which was curiously wrought of gold, blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen. The breast-plate.
was a span square, it was fastened by gold chains and rings upon the ephod: on it 'were inscribed the names of the twelve tribes of Israel, on twelve precious stones. The seventh garment, was a mitre of fine linen, wrapped about the head like a high crowned cap. The eighth, was the plate of pure gold, or holy crown, whereon was engraven these words, “ Holiness to the Lord.” These were the garments in which the high priest ministered.
There were also four extraordinary garments which the high priest, according to the learned Ainsworth, wore on the annual day of expiation: as first, the holy linen breeches ; second, a holy linen coat; third, a linen girdle, which confined the coat firm to the body; fourth, a linen mitre. These he put on when he made reconciliation for the people, in the most holy place, once a year; and having finished the service, he put off these, and left them there, and never wore them more. Levit. xvi. 4, 23.
Thus Aaron, the type and representative of our Christ, was immediately called of God, and adorned by him with the priestly garments, which were of his own ordaining. The apostle, speaking of the office of high priest, and priesthood, says, “No man taketh this honour to himself, but be that is called of God, as was Aaron." His call was immediately from the Lord; it was unquestionable. Moses was ordered to separate him and his sons. Aaron was the first high priest of the Jews, and from him the rest descended, who were lawful ones. The Lord qualified him for his office: he was fitted for the discharge of it, as he was clothed with these holy garments; these priestly robes were for glory and for beauty. Hereby our true high priest, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens, was shadowed forth. The holy and pure administration of his office, as the apostle and high priest of our profession, was signified by Aaron’s priestly vestments; and his separation to the exercise and discharge of his office of inediation, was clearly shewn, in the call and separation of him and his sons to the work and office of the priesthood. I proceed,
Secondly, to shew and set forth the peculiar dress and pontifical attire of the high priest.
To view Aaron in his costly robes and golden garments, let us remember that the ephod, or outside coat, was like a cloth of gold, and it was girded unto him with a curious girdle, made of the same with the ephod, and which was woven with it. In the front of the ephod was placed the breast-plate, with the twelve jewels, on which were inscribed the names of the children of Israel. This breast-plate was fastened to the ephod with chaios of gold, to the two onyx stones on the, shoulders of it, and beneath with two blue
laces. The robe, which was next to the ephod, was all of blue, and at the skirts of it were golden bells and pomegranates. Under this was the broidered coat; this was next the body, and hung down to the feet. On his head he wore a mitre of linen, to which a plate of gold was fastened, on which was engraven, “ Holiness to the Lord.” In these garments Aaron was arrayed when he ministered ; and being thus adorned, it was evidenced that he was in office advanced to the highest digvity in the jewish church, and his appearance in them was glorious and honourable.
It was death for the high priest or priests to minister without their garments: they are, in the sacred page, called holy garments, and in times following were laid up in holy chambers; and the priests might not wear them
people to sanctify them with their garments, see Ezek. xliv. 19.
Having given an account of the number of the high priest's garments, I will endeavour to explain them more fully.
The fine linen coat, worn next the body, was expressive of the consummate purity and righteousness which would be found in Jesus, the great high priest of our profession. It was woven with round hollow places, like eyes, and the girdle which belonged to it was of the same linen, wrought with blue, and purple, and scarlet, ex