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rable; more holy, and more worthy of God. He had likewise instructed them how to point him out to the world, by types and shadows. And thus they became prophets, and were not ignorant of their having been chosen out to represent to mankind the things which God resolved one day to accomplish.”
So that the first thing we must suppose, in order to explain the sacrifices of the antient law, is, that they were established only, that they might typify that sacrifice which Jesus Christ was to offer up. Unless we are prepossessed with this truth, we can look on the tabernacle and temple of Jerusalem only as slaughter houses, whose victims, blood, and fat, are more proper to inspire disgust than religion. And God himself testifies the distaste he had for this immolation of animals, as soon as the Jews came to consider and practise it, without a view to Jesus Christ. “ To what purpose (says he in Isaiah*) is the multitude of your sucrifices unto me? I am full of the burnt-offerings of 'rams, and the fut of fed beasts ; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he-goats. But how then could God reject the sacrifices which he had himself commanded? could that which pleased him at one time, displease him at another? No; we cannot charge him with such inconstancy. But we see, by his reproaches, that when he commanded the sacrifices of the antient law, he did it not out of any desire to drink the blood of goats, or eat the flesh of bulls, as David speaks,t but only to typify thereby the
great and precious sacrifice, which his Son should one day offer up: and that, as soon as these sacrifices ceased to be animated by this spirit, (as those did which the carnal Jews offered) they became insupportable to him.
The end of all religion is sacrifice; and there was never any religion without it. As to that of animals, I shall speak of it only so far as is necessary to render those parts of Scripture, where they are mentioned, intelligible; and shall therefore here confine myself to the explaining, 1. What these antient sacrifices were: 2. How many sorts of animals were used in them: 3. What the manner of offering them was: 4. What ceremo. nies attended it: 5. Who was the minister: 6.
The place; and 7. The time for them: 8. How many sorts of them there were: and, 9. What was the manner of partaking of them. All which I shall endeavour to do in a very few words. .
1. Sacrificing is the offering up an animal to God, whereby his supreme majesty is acknow. Jedged, sin expiated, and the divine justice appeased. Man by sin merited death; and in order therefore to satisfy in some measure the justice of God, he substituted animals in his own room; whose blood, nevertheless, would have had no efficacy in blotting out sin, were it not that it was a type of the precious blood which Jesus Christ has since poured out for us on the cross, and by which he has reconciled us to his Father. So that, by the death which the victims suffered, and by the fire which consumed them, were represented to sinners, the two punishments which sin had deserved, namely, death Hh:
and eternal fire and sacrifices were, at the same time, both marks of repentance, and pledges of a reconciliation.
2. There were but, five sorts of animals, which could be offered up in sacrifice, and these were oxen, sheep, goats, turtle dores, and pigeons ; which are indeed the most innocent, the most common, and the most proper animals in the world, for the nourishment of men. And among these, great care was taken in the choice of such as were designed for victims;, for the least defect that could be discovered in them, made them unworthy of God. If the beast be blind, or. broken, or maimed, or having a wen, or scurvy, or scabbed, ye shall not offer these unto the Lord, nor make an offering by fire of them upon the altar anto the Lord.* Maimonides, in his treatise on this subject, t gives us a long enumeration of all the defects which pollute an animal; he reckons up fifty which are common to beasts and men, and three and twenty, which are peculiar to beasts.only, and gives a sort of anatomical account of the parts in which they are found. And what then is this great purity which God required in the choice of his victims, but another proof, that they were only designed to be the figures of Jesus Christ, whose innocence was to be perfect, and the holiness of his sacrifice: infinite. . 3, He, who offered sacrifice, led up the vica tim before the altar; laid both his hands, according to Maimonides, but only one, according * Lev. xxii. 22. + De Ratione Sacrif. | Ibid, c.iii. n. 13.
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to other Rabbins, upon the head of .it, * upon which he leaned with all his strength; and while the sacrifice was offering up, said some particular prayers. If several offered the same victim, they put their hands upon his head one after another. Which imposition of hands upon the animal, which they were just going to sacrifice, was to shew, that they loaded him with their iniquities, and that they had deserved the death which he was going to suffer. And hereby the victims of the Old Testament were again the types of Jesus Christ, who was to be laden with all the sins of men'; and were likewise the symbols of repentance. For which reason, Maimonides adds,t concerning the sin-offering, that if he who offered it did not repent, and make a public confession of his sins, he was not cleansed by it.
4. The manner of killing the animal was this: They cut through the throat and windpipe at one stroke ; and they catched the blood in a bason, which they kept perpetually stirring about, lest it should coagulate before it had been sprinkled upon the vail, or the altar, or other things, according to the nature of the sacrifice. I What blood remained after these sprinklings, was poured out at the foot of the altar, either all at once, or at different times, according to the kind of the sacrifice that was offered. There was round the altar, as has been observed, a sort of trench, into which the blo d fell, and froin whence it was conveyed, by subterraneous channels, into the brook Cedron; and this altar, which was raised very high, was a representation of the cross, to which Jesus Christ was fixed, and which he washed with his precious blood. After these aspersions, they skinned the victim, and cut it in pieces, and carried up the parts of it to the altar in great pomp, by the little hill or ascent to it, of which we have spoken. The priests, as they went up, lifted up that part of the victim which they carried towards the four parts of the world.* Either the whole victim, or some parts of it only, (according to the different sorts of sacrifices,' were burned upon the altar, where the priests maintained a fire always burning, by taking care to be perpetually laying fresh wood upon it.,
* Lev. i. 14.
Lev. iv. 5–7.
As they went up to the altar, they salted the victim ; for the law forbad the presenting any there which was not salted : and the sacrifices were always attended with libations, which were a mixture of wine and flour. Sometimes they had cakes made of the finest flour, and oil, and incense, which were baked in a pan, or upon a gridiron; and at other times, they had such as were only made of parched wheat, One half of these cakes was burnt, and the other half belonged to the priests. And all these which I have mentioned, the victim, the wine, the oil, and the cake, are all expressed in the single word Corbanoth, that is, Gifts offered to God; and were all either to be consumed, killed, burned, or poured out, with the ceremonies which the
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* See De Tabern. 1. 7. c. 7. $ 1. Maimon. de Ratione Sacrificii, c. 6, n. 18.