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mysticism would have clearly disqualified him, as an evidence on behalf of Dr. Priestley's, or of any intelligible, theory of sacrifice.
Indeed with respect to this ancient writer, the truth seems to be,* that viewing the Jewish system without that light, which alone could give it shape and meaning, he found it impossible to account for it on any sound principles of reason. He therefore made his religion bend to his philosophy, and veiled in allegory whatever would not admit a satisfactory literal solution. And this he must have found still more necessary, if what is related concerning his intercourse with the early Christians be well founded. For in his controversies with them, the sacrificial system, which they would not fail to press upon him as requiring and receiving a full completion in the sacrifice of Christ, he would have found himself compelled to spiritualize, so as to give it a distinct and independent import.
Now if to these considerations be added, what has been already stated, that this writer had not the means of being perfectly acquainted with the nature of the Hebrew rites, it will follow, that
* The above observation may supply an answer to many who have objected against the alleged existence of a doctrine of vicarious atonement amongst the early Jews, the silence of Philo upon that head, even when treating expressly upon the choice of victims for sacrifice.-See particularly Scrip. ture Account of Sacrifices, App. p. 17. VOL. I.
his testimony cannot be expected to bear strongly upon
the present question. The same has been already shewn with respect to that of Josephus. So far however as they both do apply to the subject, instead of justifying Dr. Priestley's position, they are found to make directly against it. Their silence on the subject of the vicarious import of animal sacrifice, cannot for the reasons alleged, be urged by Dr. Priestley, as an argument in support of that part of his system, which denies the existence of that notion amongst the Jews : whilst the explicit declarations of Josephus, on the expiatory virtue of sacrifice; and those of Philo, on the necessity of mediation and propitiation to render even our good works acceptable to a God offended at the corruption of our nature, and of some means of ransom and redemption to restore man to his lost estate, sufficiently evince the existence of those great leading principles of the doctrine of atonement, expiation and propitiation, which Dr. Priestley utterly denies to have had
any place amongst the Jews, in the days of these two celebrated writers.
The value of Dr. Priestley's assertions concerning these writers, as well as of those respecting Jews of later date, being now sufficiently ascertained, I shall conclude this long discussion with a few remarks on the ideas entertained by the ancient heathens, with regard to the nature, and efficacy, of their sacrifices. To adduce arguments for the purpose of shewing, that they deemed their animal sacrifices, not only of an expiatory, but of a strictly vicarious nature, will to those, who are conversant with the history and writings of the ancients, appear a waste of time. But as Dr. Priestley, in the rage of refutation, has contended even against this position, it may not be useless to cite a few authorities which may throw additional light, if not upon a fact which is too glaring to receive it, at least upon the pretensions to historical and classical information, of the writer who controverts that fact. What has been already urged in Number V. might perhaps be thought abundant upon this head; but as the testimony of Cæsar respecting the Gauls, in p. 126, is the only one, which goes to the precise point of the substitution of the victim to suffer death in place of the transgressor, it may not be amiss to add the testimonies of Herodotus, (lib. ii. cap. 39.) and of Plutarch, (Isid, et Osir. p. 363. tom. ij. ed. 1620.) respecting the Egyptian practice of imprecating on the head of the victim, those evils which the offerers wished to avert from themselves : às also those of Servius, (Æn. 3.57.) and Suidas, (in voc. Trepuimuce,) ascribing, the same sacrificial sentiment, the first to the Massilienses, and the second to the Grecian states. Hesychius likewise in substituting for the word Tegelimpa.an expiatory or redeeming sacrifice, the word avtobuxov, (as has been noticed, p. 126,)
marks with sufficient clearness, that the expiation was made by offering life for life. And, not to dwell upon
the well known passage in Plautus, * (Epid. p. 412. ed. 1577.) which clearly defines the expiation as effected by a vicarious suffering ; or, upon that in Porphyry, m (De Abstin. lib. iv. p. 396. ed. 1620.) in which it is asserted to have been the general tradition, that animal sacrifices were resorted to in such cases as required life for life, yuxnu avto puxns; it may be sufficient to state one authority from Ovid, who in the sixth book of his Fasti, particularly describes the sacrificed animal as a vicarious substitute, the several parts of which were given as equivalents, or though not strictly such, yet hoped to be graciously accepted as such, in place of the offerer :
Cor pro corde, precor, pro fibris sumite fibras.
The observations contained in this Number, joined to those in Numbers V. IX. XXII. and XXIII. when contrasted with the position maintained by Dr. Priestley, that in no nation, antient or modern, Jew or Heathen, has any idea of a doctrine of atonement, or of any requi
Men' piaculum oportet fieri propter stultitiam tuam,
Ut meum tergum stultitiæ tuæ subdas succedaneum? + Υπο δε τινας καιρός πρωτον ερειoν θυσαν μυθεύονται ψυχην αντα ψυχης αιτυμεν8ς. .
site for forgiveness, save repentance and reformation, ever existed,-may enable the reader to form a just estimate of that writer's competency ; and may perhaps suggest an useful caution in the admission of his assertions.
NO. XXXIV.-ON H. TAYLOR'S OBJECTION OF THE
WANT OF A LITERAL CORRESPONDENCE BE
TWEEN THE MOSAIC SACRIFICE AND THE DEATH
PAGE 31. (k)-H. Taylor goes so far, as to use even this argument gravely.
(Ben. Mord. p. 811-814.)
Indeed the bold liberties which this writer has been urged to take with the language of Scripture, and the trifling distinctions to which he has been driven for the purpose of divesting the death of Christ of the characters of the sin-offering prescribed by the law, render it desirable that his whole argument upon this particular point should be laid before the reader. When ingenuity, like that of this author, is forced into such straits, the inference is instructive.
“ It is true” (he says) “ that the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews labours to shew a similarity between the Mosaic and the Christian sacrifices : which no doubt there was ; and to make