"A golden bell and a pomegranate."

H. C. Anstey

Christian Friend vol. 18, 1891, p. 153.

"A golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate,

upon the hem of the robe round about." - Exodus 28:33-34.

We should know something of priestly service as Christians (1 Peter 2:5, Rev. 1:6), and therefore something of priestly attire. Our great High Priest, ever perfect, is now in the presence of God for us, and the sound of the golden bell is heard; for the Holy Ghost has come out consequent on Christ's going in. But there is in Him perfect communion, moreover, in all His service with God's present thoughts of and for His people; this is the pomegranate.

The pomegranate was the fruit of the land. (See Deut. 8:8.) Around "the ephod all of blue" (the heavenly colour) and upon the hem of it were these golden bells and pomegranates alternately. The measure of my testimony as a Christian (the sound) is equal to the fruit which I am feeding upon; it is equal to my communion. Never more, never less. Only as I feed upon Christ will Christ be heard, and the sound come from me; only thus can I fulfil my priestly service. I go in to minister.

This robe (and its accompaniments, the bells and pomegranates) was appointed to be worn when the high priest went into the holiest. But there the priests now have always access. (Heb. 10.) It is their place, and this dress was the suited attire for the place. Every movement of the one this arrayed would tell, as heard without, that, he was in the holiest. It is not, I think, for us to consider ourselves fittingly clad if otherwise attired; for then either some other sound, or no sound at all, is heard from me. What was heard without, coming from the priest was not separated from the fruit of the land, which in all varied colours also formed part of his dress; and my testimony is irrevocably linked with it. If I give out in the assembly something which is not God's present sound for His people, though it may be the truth, I am separating the golden bell and the pomegranate. It is not what measure of communion I enjoyed in the past that my testimony in the present is based upon. This would also be separating the golden bell and the pomegranate. No, it is the fruit of the land in present enjoyment; to this alone is the golden bell united. "As I hear I judge" gives it us from the lips of the Lord Himself. It is as I hear from communion, it is as I feed upon the heavenly, that heavenly sounds will be heard from me.

H. C. A.