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pentance being necessary to the forgiveness of sin.” (Theol. Rep. vol. i. p. 409–411.)-Now in direct opposition to this, it is notorious, that the stated confession made by the Jews, in offering up the victim in sacrifice, concludes with these words, let this (the victim) be my expiation.* And this the Jewish writers directly interpret as meaning, “ let the evils which in justice should have fallen on my head, light upon the head of the victim which I now offer." Thus Baal Aruch says, that “wherever the expression, let me be another's expiation, is used, it is the same as if it had been said, let me be put in his room, that I may bear his guilt : and this again is equivalent to saying, let this act whereby I take on me his transgression, obtain for him his pardon." In like manner, Solomon Jarchi (Sanhedr. ch. 2.) says, “ Let us be your expiation, signifies, let us be put in your place, that the evil which should have fallen upon you may all light on us :" and in the same way, Obadias de Bartenora, and other learned Jews, explain this formula.
Again, respecting the burnt offerings, and sacrifices for sin, Nachmanides, on Levit. i. says, that « it was right, that the offerer's own blood should be shed, and his body burnt:- but that the Creator, in his mercy, hath accepted this victim from
* See the form of confession in Maim. de Cult. Divin. de Veil. pp. 152, 153.
him, as a vicarious substitute (Tan), and an atonement (193), that its blood should be poured out instead of his blood, and its life stand in place of his life.” R. Bechai also, on Lev. i. uses the very same language. Isaac Ben Arama, on Leviticus, likewise says, that “the offender, when he beholds the victim, on account of his sin, slain, skinned, cut in pieces, and burnt with fire upon the altar, should reflect, that thus he must have been treated, had not God in his clemency accepted this expiation for his life.” David de Pomis, in like manner, pronounces the victim, the vicarious substitute (iyon) for the offerer. And Isaac Abarbanel affirms, in his preface to Levit. that “the offerer deserved, that his blood should be poured out, and his body burnt for his sins; but that God, in his clemency, accepted from him the victim as his vicarious substitute (nan), and expiation (723), whose blood was poured out in place of his blood, and its life given in lieu of his life.”
I should weary the reader and myself, were I to adduce all the authorities on this point. Many more may be found in Outram de Sacrificiis, p. 251—259. These however will probably satisfy most readers, as to the fairness of the representation which Dr. Priestley has given, of the notion entertained by modern Jews concerning the doctrine of atonement, and of their total ignorance of any satisfaction for sin, save only repentance and
amendment.--One thing there is in this review, that cannot but strike the reader, as it did me, with surprise: that is, that of the three writers of eminence among the Jewish Rabbis, whom Dr. Priestley has named, Maimonides, Abarbanel and Nachmanides, the two last, as is manifest from the passages already cited, maintain in direct terms the strict notion of atonement: and though Maimonides has not made use of language equally explicit, yet on due examination it will appear, that he supplies a testimony by no means inconsistent with that notion.--Dr. Priestley's method of managing the testimonies furnished by these writers, will throw considerable light upon his mode of reasoning from antient authors in support of his favourite theories. It will not then be time misemployed, to follow him somewhat more minutely through his examination of them.
He begins with stating, that Maimonides considered sacrifice to be merely an Heathen ceremony, adopted by the Divine Being into his own worship, for the gradual abolition of idolatry, This opinion, he says, was opposed by R. Nachmanides, and defended by Abarbanel, who explains the nature of sacrifice, as offered by Adam and his children, in this manner-viz.“ They burned the fat and the kidneys of the victims upon the altar, for their own inwards, being the seat" (not, as it is erroneously given in Theol. Rep. as the seal) “ of their intentions and purposes ;
him, as a vicarious substitute (7710m), ar
we above form of
without hesitation he sins; but
ve held the notion of a vicafrom hir e, in the strictest acceptation, ( Sacrifices, pp. 121, 122.) and, that the
of the Jewish Rabbis at large is uniformly favour of atonement by strict vicarious substitution, he feels himself compelled to admit, by the overbearing force of their own declarations, although his argument would have derived much strength from an opposite conclusion. (Ibid. pp. 149, 150. 157, 158.) The same admission is made by the author of the Scripture Account of Sacrifices, (Append. pp. 17, 18.) notwithstanding it is equally repugnant to the principles of his theory. But, after stating the
passage last quoted
- ll length, what is Dr. Priestley's remark ?--all this is evidently figurative, the act of
being represented, as emblematical of nts and language of the offerer.” And
by which he establishes this, is,
could never think, that an aniroper satisfaction for sin," &c. Priestley's argument ?—The er entertained an idea, of
'e repentance only ; for
Li, that expiation was oy the victim being put in his
this he did not mean, that the aniuue expiation for the sin of the sacrificer, vecause he could never think that an animal could make satisfaction for sin !! Now might not this demonstration have been abridged to much advantage, and without endangering in any degree the force of the proof, by putting it in this manner :-Abarbanel did hold, that by the sacrifice of an animal, no expiation could be made for sin, for it is impossible that he could have thought otherwise,
Complete as this proof is in itself, Dr. Priestley however does not refuse us still farther confirmation of his interpretation of this writer's testimony. He tells us, that “ he repeats the observation already quoted from him, in a more particular account of sacrifices for sins committed through ignorance, such as casual uncleanness, &c. in