And you shall make the robe of the ephod all of blue.…
I am glad that the first use of bells was a religious use; and hereafter the gospel of God to me shall be a chime of bells; and whether I hear them in the garments of the high priest, or in the cathedral tower, they shall suggest to me the gladness, the warning, and the triumph of the gospel.
1. These gospel bells, like those that adorned the high priest's robe, are golden bells. Other bells are made of coarser materials — zinc, and lead, and tin, and copper; but these gospel bells are bells of gold. There is one bell in Europe that cost three hundred thousand dollars. It was at vast expense that metallic voices were given to the towers of York, and Vienna, and Oxford. But all the wealth of heaven was thrown into this gospel bell. No angel can count its value. Eternity cannot demonstrate its cost. When the bell of the Russian Kremlin was being fused, the lords came and threw their gold into the molten mass; but when this Gospel bell was to be constructed, the kings of heaven, the hierarchs of eternity, threw into it their crowns and their sceptres. It is a golden bell. Do you believe it? Hear it ring! "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." "Him hath God exalted to be a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance unto Israel, and forgiveness of sins."
2. I remark, further, that these gospel bells, like those around the high priest's garment, are bells of invitation. When the Jews heard the clash of those bells in the hem of the priest's robe they knew it was an invitation to worship. That is the meaning of every church tower from San Francisco to New York, and from London to St. Petersburgh. It is, "Come — come."
3. I remark, further, that the gospel bells, like those on the high priest's robe, are bells of warning. When the Jews heard the clash and ring of these bells, it was a warning for them to worship, lest their God be offended. On Bell Rock, in the German Ocean, there is a lighthouse, and there are two bells, that every half-minute ring out through the fog, through the darkness, through the storm, and over the sea. Beware! Beware! The helmsman on the ship, hearing the warning, turns the wheel and steers off. It is a startling thing, at midnight, to hear the heavy clang of a fire bell, if you live in the third ward, and the tongue of the bell strike one, two, three! If a city is besieged, and the flash of the musketry is seen on the hill-tops, and the cavalry horses are dashing up and down, and the batteries are being unlimbered, all the bells of the city call, to arms! to arms! So this gospel bell is a bell of alarm.
4. I remark, further, that the bells on the high priest's robe were bells of joy. When the Jews heard the chiming of those bells on the priest's robe, it announced to them the possibility of pardon for their sins, and of deliverance. "Behold! I bring you good tidings of great joy, that shall be to all people." There have been bells rung on days of victory. The bell of London rang after Waterloo. The bells in many of our cities rang after the settlement of our national strife. The great bells of York, and Oxford, and Vienna, at some time, have sounded the victory.
5. These gospel bells, of which I speak, are bells of triumph. Aye! they are ringing now: "All flesh shall see the salvation of God." "And He shall reign for ever and for ever!" The Bishop of Malta, in superstition, had all the bells of the city rung, in the hope that the storm that was raging in the city might be quieted. That was superstition: but I think it is faith in God that leads us to believe that the ringing of these gospel bells will yet silence all the storms of this world's sin, and all the storms of this world's trouble. Oh! when Jesus, our Great High Priest, in full robes shall enter into His glory, the bells on the hem of His garments will ring with the music of an eternal merriment.
6. But we shall have no share in that joy unless now we listen to the gospel tiding. There is a bell on the other side of the waters, weighing two hundred and eight thousand pounds; and it takes twenty-four men to ring it. But to bring out all the sweetness of this gospel bell would take all the consecrated spirits of earth — seraphim and archangel. Who in this august assembly will listen? Who will listen now? In New England they have what they call a passing bell; that is, when some one dies in a village, word is sent to the sexton, and he sounds the bell just as often as the man lived years: and when the sound is in the tower, the people are solemn, and they say, "Some one is dead — who is it?" For us the passing bell will soon sound. Gone from the family. Gone from the church. Gone from the last opportunity of salvation.
(T. De Witt Talmage.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And thou shalt make the robe of the ephod all of blue.