Obrazy na stronie

law prescribes. or else to be reserved for sacred banquets. Nevertheless, the victims and cakes have different names among the Hebrews; the former of which they called Zebachim, that is, Sacrifices ; and the latter Mincha, that is, Offer. ings. And the cakes which were made of the flour of wheat or barley; and wine, were called Cakes of Libation. All those that were offered at the altar, must first have had some oil poured upon them; and incense must likewise have first been put to them, as is expressly commanded in Leviticus.* Salt was likewise put in all these cakes; and this is what Virgil calls Salsas fruges, for the Heathen had all these ceremonies. The cakes were burned upon the altar, and the wine poured out at the foot of it; but it was not lawful to put upon the altar either honey or leaven.


in 5. As to the ministration of the sacrifice, any one might kill the victims, and skin them, and cut them in pieces ; but the other ceremonies, as those of catching the blood, and sprinkling it, belonged only to the priests. And in this the law is very express, that he who offers the sacri. fice, shall kill it on the side of the altar, and shall cut it in pieces, but that the Priests the sons of.. Aaron shall sprinkle the blood round about the altar.f And it may be remarked with Origen, that when Annas, Caiaphas, and the other priests, condemned Jesus Christ to death in the Sanhedrim, which was in the temple, they then, in that place where the altar was, poured out

* Chap. ii. 1.

f Lev. i. 11, 12..




the precall the sacriuilding of th

the precious blood of that innocent Victim, to whom all the sacrifices of the law referred.

6. Before the building of the temple, the sacrifices were offered up at the entrance into the tabernacle ; but after that was built, it was not lawful to offer them up any where but there, as is commanded by God himself in Deuteronomy:* and this law took away from the Jews the liberty of sacrificing in any other place. They might slay their victims in any part of the priests' court that they liked, but not out of it; and they were even obliged to sacrifice the paschal lamb here. And to this prohibition of sacrificing any where but in the temple built at Jerusalem, Jesus Christ alludes, when he says in St. Luke, that it cannot be that à prophet perish out of Jerusalem :t for by this means, not so much as the types of the death of the Prophet could be represented any where but in that city. Those victims that were most holy, could only be offered up on the north side of the altar, * 7. As to the time of offering sacrifice, it could only be done by day, and the blood of the animal was always sprinkled the same day that it was killed; for the blood became polluted as soon as the sun was down. But if the sprinkling had been made in the day-time, the members and entrails of the victim might be burnt all night long. ; ;

The morning sacrifice was offered as soon as the day began to break, before the sun was above the horizon; and the evening one, as soon as darkness began to overspread the earth. The ** xü. 14. + xiii. 33.

paschal paschal lamb was offered between the two everings, that is to say, at the time when the sun begins to decline, about the hour that Jesus Christ expired on the cross, which answers to our three in the afternoon.

8. We come now to the other sorts of sacri-, fices. One alone was not sufficient to represent the adorable sacrifice of Jesus Christ, whose effects are infinite ; and therefore it was necessary the old law should have different sorts of them. Some of them were more, and some of them less holy; but they were all either, Ist, Burnt-offerings, or 2dly, Sin-offerings, or 3dly, Trespass-offerings, or 4thly, Peace-offerings. Maimonides reduces all the sacrifices of the Jews to these four sorts; which were either offered up by particular persons, or else by the whole people in general: and we shall say something of each.

ist, The Holocaust, as the word implies, is a sacrifice or victim, which is entirely consumed by firę, together with the intestines and feet, which they took care to wash, before it was offered. But it was not so with other sacrifices; a part only of them was burnt, and the rest divided among the priests and the lay-men, who, offered the sacrifice. The Hebrews call it Hola, which signifies to rise, because the victim ap. peared to rise up to heaven in a smoke, as an odour of sweet smell before God. It sometimes happened, that fire came down from heaven, and, miraculously consumed the victim. The reader. may likewise find an account of the ceremonies that attended the offering up the Burnt-offeringin Leviticus, chap. i, 5, 6.

• 2dly, The second sort of sacrifice is called a Sin-offcring. And here we may observe, that the words which St. Paul puts into the mouth of Jesus Christ, in the epistle to the Hebrews,* Sacrifice and offering, and burnt-offering, and offerings for sin, thou wouldst not, are not to be understood of God's having refused to accept of the sacrifice which Jesus Christ had offered him for the sins of men, but only that God disliked all the antient sacrifices, the oblations, the burntofferings, and the sin-offerings, which were made to him under the law. This sacrifice was likewise sometimes simply called sin; and therefore when it is said, that Jesus Christ was made sin for us, t we are to understand thereby, that he was made å sin-offering for us. The Hebrews understand by the word chatha, (sin) any voluntary crime, or violation of the law, which was committed through inadvertency, and which God always punished, unless it was expiated. And they were persuaded that several diseases and pains, as leprosy, and the pains of childbearing, were punishments for some sin; and therefore the sacrifices that were offered by lepers, or women after they had lain in, are reckoned among the sin-offerings.

3dly, In order to understand what is meant by the third sort of sacrifices, we must first know what the Hebrews meant by the word Ascham, which the Latin interpreter renders Delictum, and signifies, a trespass, error, or doubt. They offered this third sort of sacrifice when they had just reason to doubt whether they had broken

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]


some precept of the law of God, or no. When they were in this uncertainty, they were obliged to offer sacrifice. What the law commands concerning it is this,* If a person sin through ignorance, and does any of those things which the lato forbids, and comes to a knowledge of his fault after he has committed ilit (in the Hebrew it is, the man who shall sin, and condmil-some crimes against any of the commandments of the Lord, though he be not certainly ussured of his sin, yet he shall nevertheless look upon himself as guilly of il) this man, as the Latin interpreter goes on in the Vulgate, I shall present unto the priest a rum of his flock, in proportion to the crime he has committed; und the priest shall pray for him, bee' cause he hath sinned through ignorance, and it shall be forgiven him.

Athly, The Peace-offering, or sacrifice of grati.' tude, (for the llebrew word schelamim signifies both) was offered as a thanksgiving, either for having recovered health, or for having received some signal mercy of God, or for the happy state of their affairs; and therefore it was called eucharisticul.

But some divide sacrifices into those of consccralion, which was offered when any one was admitted into the priesthood ; those of purification, which was offered for women who had lain in, and lepers, and those of expiation, which were offered for purifying the sanctuary, or temple, or people,

9. Nothing now remains, but to speak of the

* Lev. v. 17. + According to the Vulgate.

v. 18.


« PoprzedniaDalej »