The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 5
The High Priest* was at the head of all religious affairs, and even of the general justice and judgment of the nation He only had the privilege of entering the Most Holy apartment of the Temple once a year, on the day of solemn expiation, to make atonement for the sins of the whole nation.
* The type of the Christ in his millennial glory, as the High Priest of His kingdom—as well as of Him now in the glory of the Father, as the High Priest over His own house, to make intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
The priests of the house of Aaron served immediately at the altar—killed, skinned, and offered the sacrifices. They kept up a perpetual fire on the Altar of burnt sacrifices, and in the lamps of the Golden light stand in the holy apartment of the Temple. They kneaded the loaves of shew bread, baked them, offered them on the golden table, and changed them every Sabbath day. Every day, night, and morning a priest, appointed by casting of lots at the beginning of a week, brought into the holy place a smoking Censer of incense, and set it on the golden altar, called "The Altar of Incense."
A principal employment of the priests, next to attending to the sacrifices and the Temple service, was the instruction of the people and the deciding of controversies—Matt. ii. 7.
In time of war, their duty was to carry the ark of the covenant, to consult the Lord, to sound the holy trumpets, and to encourage the army.
The priests* who officiated at the altar and in the Holy, and Most Holy, were Aaron and his sons, or their descendants. The rest of the Levites were employed in the lower services in the Temple, by which they were distinguished from the priests. They obeyed the Aaronites in the ministration of the Temple, and sung and played on the instruments in the daily service. They studied the law, and were the ordinary judges of the country, subordinate to the priests. It was contrary to the law, and punishable with death, for the priests to officiate without washing their hands and their feet in the laver of brass between the altar and the Temple. These washings were imposed "till the time of emendation."
* The type of the Christ and His brethren in resurrectional manifestation in the age to conic, officiating in the holy place in their garments of glory and beauty, or bodies of incorruption.