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pensation at all; this notion having been entirely of Heathen origin.
As to the two first arguments, they deserve but little consideration. The want of an exact similitude to the precise form of the Mosaic sacrifice, is but a slender objection. It might as well be said, that because Christ was not of the species of animal, which had usually been offered up; or because he was not slain in the same manner; or because he was not offered by the High Priest, there could have been no sacrifice.k But this is manifest trifling. If the formal notion of a sacrifice for sin, that is, a life offered
in expiation, be adhered to, nothing more can be required to constitute it a sacrifice, except by those who mean to cavil, not to discover truth.
Again, as to the second argument, which from the comparison of Christ's death to the different kinds of sacrifices, would infer that it was not of the nature of
may be replied, that it will more reasonably follow, that it was of the nature of all. Resembling that of the Passover, inasmuch as by it we were delivered, from an evil yet greater than that of Egyptian bondage; partaking the nature of the Sin offering, as being accepted in expiation of transgression; and similar to the institution of the Scape Goat, as bearing the accumulated sins of all: may we not reasonably suppose, that this one great sacrifice conSee No. XXXIII. See No. XXXIV. See No. XXXV. tained the full import and completion of the whole sacrificial system? And that so far from being spoken of in figure, as bearing some resemblance to the sacrifices of the Law, they were on the contrary, as the apostle expressly tells us, if but figures, or faint and partial representations, of this stupendous sacrifice, which had been ordained from the beginning? And besides, it is to be remarked in general, with respect to the figurative application of the sacrificial terms, to the death of Christ; that the striking resemblance between that and the sacrifices of the Law, which is assigned as the reason of such application, would have produced just the contrary effect, upon the sacred writers; since they must have been aware, that the constant use of such expressions, aided by the strength of the resemblance, must have laid a foundation for error, in that which constitutes the main doctrine of the Christian faith. Being addressed to a people, whose religion was entirely sacrificial, in what but the obvious and literal sense, could the sacrificial representations of the death of Christ, have been understood?
We come now to the third and principal objection, which is built upon the assertion, that nó sacrifices of atonement (in the sense in which we apply this term to the death of Christ) had existence under the Mosaic Law: such as were called by that name, having had an entirely different import. Now that certain offerings
+ Hebr. x. l. m See No. XXXVI,
under this denomination, related to things, and were employed for the purpose of purification, so as to render them fit instruments of the ceremonial worship, must undoubtedly be admitted, That others were again appointed to relieve persons from ceremonial incapacities, so as to restore them to the privilege of joining in the services of the temple, is equally true. But that there were others of a nature strictly propitiatory, and ordained to avert the displeasure of God from the transgressor not only of the ceremonial, but, in some cases, even of the n moral law, will appear manifest upon a very slight examination. Thus we find it decreed, that if a soul sin and commit a trespass against the Lord, and lie unto his neighbour in that which was delivered to him to keep--or have found that which was lost, and lieth concerning it, and SWEARETH FALSELY, then, because he hath sinned in this, he shall not only make restitution to his neighbour-but he shall bring his trespass-offering unto the Lord, a ram without blemish out of the flock; and the Priest shall make an ATONEMENT for him before the Lord, and it shall be forGIVEN HIM. And again in a case of criminal connexion with a bond-maid who was betrothed, the offender is ordered to bring his trespassoffering, and the Priest is to make ATONEMENT for him with the trespass-offering, for the sin See No. XXXVII. + Lerit. vi. 2-7.
which he hath done ; and the sin which he hath done shall be FORGIVEN him.* And in the case of all offences which fell not under the description of presumptuous, it is manifest from the slightest inspection of the book of Leviticus, that the atonement prescribed was appointed as the means, whereby God might be propitiated, or reconciled to the offender.
Again, as to the vicarious o import of the Mosaic sacrifice; or in other words, its expressing an acknowledgment of what the sinner had deserved ; this not only seems directly set forth in the account of the first offering in Leviticus, where it is said of the person who brought a freewill offering, he shall lay his hand upon the headp of the burnt-offering, and it shall be ACCEPTED for him, to make atonement for him up : but the ceremony of the Scape-Goat on the day of expiation appears to place this matter beyond doubt. On this head however, as not being necessary 4 to my argument, I shall not at present enlarge.
That expiatory sacrifice (in the strict and proper sense of the word) was a part of the Mosaic institution, there remains then, I trust, no sufficient reason to deny. That it existed in like manner amongst the Arabians,' in the time of
* Levit. xix. 20,
22. o See No. XXXIX. 4 See No, XL.
. See No. XXXVIII.
Job, we have already seen. And that its universal prevalence in the Heathen world, though corrupted and disfigured by idolatrous practices, was the result of an original divine appointment, every candid enquirer will find little reason to doubt. s But be this as it may, it must be admitted, that propitiatory sacrifices not only existed through the whole Gentile world, but had place under the law of Moses. The argument then, which from the non-existence of such sacrifices amongst the Jews, would deny the term when applied to the death of Christ to indicate such sacrifice, necessarily falls to the ground.
But, in fact, they who deny the sacrifice of Christ to be a real and proper sacrifice for sin, must, if they are consistent, deny that any such sacrifice ever did exist, by divine appointment. For on what principle, do they deny the former, but this ? ---that the sufferings and death of Christ, for the sins and salvation of men, can make no change in God: can not render him more ready to forgive, more benevolent, than he is in his own nature; and consequently can have no power to avert from the offender, the punishment of his transgression. Now, on the saine principle, every sacrifice for the expiation of sin, must be impossible. And this explains the true cause, why these persons will not admit the language of the New Testament, clear and express
s See No. XLI,
t See XII.