"Blow the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast-day. For this was a statute for Israel, and a law of the God of Jacob." (Psalm 81). The 81st may be called "The New Moon Psalm," or "The Psalm of the Silver Trumpets." While these trumpets were blown every morning, at daybreak, in preparation for the morning sacrifice, they were specially sounded at each New Moon. There was one occasion, specially designated "The Feast of Trumpets," which took place on the 1st of the seventh month, the holy month of the Jewish year—when, instead of the one matin blare, their sound was heard all day long, accompanying the eucharistic and expiatory sacrifices. A longer preliminary blast summoned the worshipers to prepare for solemn service. They are reminded in this Psalm of the divine Institution and authority of the Feast—"For this was a statute for Israel, and a law of the God of Jacob." One among other designs of this Jewish Festival, was to prepare the hearts of the people for the celebration of the Great Day of Atonement.

The silvery tones of the Gospel trumpet are sounding in my ears its herald notes for today's Gospel Feast. How solemnly and vividly is the Jewish great Day and Feast of Atonement recalled, with its wondrous typical significance; when the High Priest of the nation sprinkled the blood on the Mercy Seat! He disrobed himself of his gorgeous dress, his tiara of gold, his ephod and sparkling jewels—and was arrayed in a simple garment of spotless white. Fit emblem and prefiguration surely of Him, who divested Himself of His eternal glories, and came into our world attired in the pure white vestments of a holy humanity, to suffer and die—Antitype alike of priest and victim. Alone He went into the most Holy Place, the divine presence chamber; alone He carried the censer; alone He sprinkled the blood—"I have trodden the wine press alone!"

I am to see all this, today, in impressive symbol—the blood sprinkled on the Mercy-seat and before the Mercy-seat. In the blood cast, or sprinkled on the pavement "before the Mercy-seat," I behold a type of the blood of Jesus speaking peace to His people on earth—"above the Mercy-seat," speaking peace from before the Throne, where He now pleads as Intercessor. "For Christ has not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us."

I would seek to hear the preparation-trumpet calling me to devout thought and meditation in the prospect of the great Gospel Festival—"Blow the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed; on our solemn feast day." It was a universal belief of the Jews of old, that on this their Feast of Trumpets, Jehovah seated Himself on a Throne, and that His people "passed before Him as a flock of sheep before their shepherd." In the presence of a heart-searching God, let me listen to the New Testament exhortation of the Great Apostle, as he too, in a spiritual sense, sounds the herald note—"Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup." Let my feet be shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace, as now the summons is heard—"Prepare to meet your God, O Israel!"

Yes, "your God." This is His own message to me, and to each intending communicant. Let me hear it addressed in this Psalm (verse 10th), "I am the Lord YOUR God—open your mouth wide and I will fill it." He will there—at His own appointed ordinance—reveal Himself as my God in Covenant; and, if I 'open my mouth wide,' that is, if I go with longing desires after Him and longing earnestness for His help and blessing—He will not mock my approach by sending me away unblest. "He satisfies the longing soul with goodness." True to the closing promise of this new-moon Psalm, He will feed me with the finest of the wheat, and with honey out of the rock—with spiritual treasures hid in Christ, the true Rock of Ages—will He satisfy me (v. 16).