« PoprzedniaDalej »
out the analogy, uses very hard figures : as when he compares the sprinkling the blood of the victim, to the sprinkling our hearts from an evil conscience; and the tabernacle to the body of Christ; and the flesh of Christ to the veil which opened the way into the Sanctum Sanctorum : and calls it a new and a living way; and considers Christ both as the High-Priest and Victim. But were the analogy ever so exact, it would not make the expressions literal : and in many particulars there is no manner of likeness between them. For in the sacrifice of Christ there was mo salting with salt, no imposition of hands, no blood sprinkled by the Priest, in which consisted the atonement; for the atonement was not made by the death of the victim, but by the sprinkling of the blood; since the offender did not offer him to God, nor begged forgiveness of his sins : all which things were customary, and most if not all of them necessary, in a Mosaic expiatory sacrifice of a victim. But this was not the case with Christ. He was crucified and slain, as a common malefactor.”
“ If it be said, that Christ was the sacrificer, and he offered himself up to God; it should be considered, that the sacrifices of the Mosaic law were offered to gain forgiveness to the person who sacrificed; but this could not be true of Christ, for he had no sin to be forgiven.”
“ If it be said, that he sacrificed as a Priest,
to gain forgiveness for others; it should be observed, that, according to the Mosaic law, he was incapable of such an office : for the law requires, that the priests should be of the tribe of Levi, or the family of Aaron. But he (Christ) of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Judah, of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning the priest-hood. (Hebr. vii. 13, 14.) And therefore St. Paul, who was aware of this objection, when he speaks of Christ as a Priest, tells us, that he was a priest of a superior order to the Aaronical priesthood, being a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedek. (ver. 17.) This is a plain concession, that according to the Mosaic law, Christ was incapable as a priest to offer any sacrifice. But supposing he had been of the tribe of Levi, the case would have been just the same with regard to all mankind, except the Jews : for the Jewish sacrifices did not extend beyond the circumcision. The sacrifice of Christ could not therefore be a propitiatory sacrifice, according to the Mosaic law; and much less a propitiation for the sins of the whole world.”
“ if it was therefore a literal offering or såcrifice made by Christ as a Priest, it was of a higher nature, and of a prior and superior dispensation to the Mosaic; such as was offered in the days of Melchisedek, the Priest of the most high God. But we have no reason to think that any offerings before the law were meant to be expiatory, but all of them eucharistical.”
Thus, after labouring to prove that St. Paul was extravagant in his comparison of the Christian and Mosaic sacrifices; and that all his hard figures had not enabled him to make out a resemblance between them : and labouring to prove this by shewing that Christ was neither, literally, a Mosaic victim nor a Mosaic priest (a point which no person was ever mad enough to contend for)—thus, I say, after all this, our author in his concluding paragraph admits the whole nature and force of the Christian sacrifice, and the true distinction which points out the reason why it should not conform in every minute ceremonial with the formalities of the Mosaic; namely, that it was of a higher nature, and of a prior and superior dispensation. For as to the accompanying observation intended to do away the effect of this admission ; viz. that there is no reason to think, that any offerings before the law were meant to be expiatory; this is a mere gratis dictum, the contradiction of which it is hoped is satisfactorily made out in other parts of this work. And thus it appears, upon the whole, that on a single gratuitous assumption, the author rests the entire weight of the preceding argument; and on its strength he has presumed to set up his own doctrines in opposition to those of St. Paul. Whether then in the present instance, this author, ingenious and learned as he undoubtedly is, deserves more to be condemned for his trifling as a reasoner, or for his presumption as a critic, it is not an easy matter to decide.
NO. XXXV.ON THE ARGUMENTS BY WHICH IT IS
ATTEMPTED TO PROVE THE PASSOVER NOT TO
BE A SACRIFICE.
PAGE 31. (1)-It is a curious fact, that the declaration of St. Paul, (1 Cor. v. 7.) that Christ our Passover is SACRIFICED for us, is adduced by Dr. Priestley, (Theol. Rep. vol. i. p. 215.) as a convincing proof that Christ was not sacrificed at all. It follows, he says, “ from the allusion to the Paschal lamb,” contained in this passage and others of the New Testament “ that the death of Christ is called a sacrifice, only by way of figure, because these two" (namely, sacrifice, and the paschal lamb)“ are quite different and inconsistent ideas :" and the argument by which he endeavours to establish this, is not less extraordinary than the position itself, as it brings forward an instance, in which one of these totally different and inconsistent ideas is expressly called in the Old Testament by the name of the other : the Passover being, in the passage which he quotes from Exod. xii. 27. directly termed the Sacrifice of the Lord's Passover. This seems an odd species of logic. Dr. Priestley however hopes to mend the argument by asserting, that “ this is the only place in the Old Testament, in which the Paschal lamb is termed a sacrifice:” and that here, “ it could be so called, only in some secondary and partial, and not in the proper and primary sense of the word :" and for these reasons namely, that “ there was no priest employed upon the occasion ; no altar made use of; no burning ; nor any part offered to the Lord : all which circumstances (he adds) were essential to every proper sacrifice.”—Now in answer to these several assertions, I am obliged to state the direct contradiction of each: for 1st, the passage in Exodus xii. 27. is not the only one, in which the Paschal lamb is termed na, a sacrifice; it being expressly so called, in no less than four passages in Deuteronomy, (xvi. 2. 4, 5, 6.) and also in Exodus, xxxiv. 25, and in its parallel passage. xxiii. 18.--2. A Priest was employed.—3. An altar was inade use of.-4. There was a burning, and a part offered to the Lord : the inwards being burnt upon the altar, and the blood poured out at the foot thereof.—Dr. Priestley adds, for the completion of his proof, that“ the paschal lamb is very far from having been ever called a sin-offering, or said to be killed on the account of sin." But neither is the burnt-offering "ever called, a sin