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solemn service of the yearly atonement, described in pp. 61, 62, of this volume. Mean time, it may be worth while to enquire, how far the
arguments urged in opposition to the vicari, ous nature of the Mosaic sacrifices, will operate against this acceptation. And for this purpose, it will be sufficient to examine the objections, as stated by Sykes, and H. Taylor; inasmuch as the industry of the former, and the subtilty of the latter, have left none of the arguments of Socinus, Crellius, or the other learned antagonists of the doctrine of atonement, unnoticed or unimproved ; and the skirmishing writers of the present day, have done nothing more than retail, with diminished force, the same objections.
They are all reduced by Sykes and Taylor under the following heads, 1. It is no where said in the Old Testament, that the life of the victim was given as a vicarious substitute for the life of him who offered it. 2. The atonement was not made by the death of the animal, but by the sprinkling of the blood at the altar. 3. No atonement could be made, where life was forfeited. 4. Atonements were made by the sacrifice of animals in some cases where no guilt was involved. And 5. Atonements were sometimes made without the death of an animal, or any blood-shedding whatever.*This is the sum total of the arguments, collected
* See Sykes's Essay on Sacr. p. 121–141. Ben. Mord, p. 797—799. and Crello contra Grot. cap. ..
by the industry of these writers, against the notion of the vicarious nature of sacrifice : and it must be remembered, that Sykes applies these to the idea, that "the taking away the life of the animal was designed to put the offerer in mind of his demerits," no less than to the idea, that “the life of the animal was given in lieu of the life of the sinner;" (pp. 120, 121.) so that they may fairly be replied to, on the principle of atonement here contended for. Now, to the first of these objections it may
be answered, that it is again and again asserted in the Old Testament, that in cases where punisha ment had been incurred, and even where (as wę shall see hereafter) life itself was forfeited, the due oblation of an animal in sacrifice was effectual to procure, the reversal of the forfeiture, and the pardon of the offender; that is, the death of the animal was so far represented as standing in place of the offender's punishment, and in some cases even of his death, that through it, no matter how operating, the offerer was enabled to escape. This however is not deemed sufficient. Some precise and appropriate phrase, unequivocally marking a strict vicarious substitution, is still required. But as a strict vicarious substitution, or literal equivalent, is not contended for, no such notion belong. ing to the doctrine of atonement, it is not necessary that
any such phrase should be produced. The words, 297, and swa, in their sacrificial applin
*cation, sufficiently admit the vicarious import ; and the description of the sacrificial ceremony and its consequences, especially in the instance of the scape-goat, positively prove it; and beyond this nothing farther can be required.
But it is curious to remark, that both Sykes and Taylor, in their eagerness to demonstrate, that the sacrificial terms conveyed nothing whatever of a vicarious import, have urged an objection, which rebounds with decisive force against their own opinion. “The life of the animal," say they, " is never called, in the Old Testament, a ransom; nor is there any such expression, as λυτρον, αντιλυτρον, αντιψυχον, equivalent, erchange, substitute, &c.” Essay on Sacr.
on Sacr. p. 134. B. Mord. p. 197.-Now, not to speak of their criticisms on the expressions in the original, (particularly on the word 9,) which merely go to prove, that these words do not necessarily convey such ideas, inasmuch as being of a more extended signification, they are not in all cases applied exactly in this sense :-an argument, which will easily strip most Hebrew terms of their true and definite meaning, being, as they are denominated by Grotius, (De Satis. Chr. cap. viii. $ 2, 3.) Tohuonjas -not to speak, I say, of such criticisms, nor to urge the unfairness of concluding against the meaning of the original, from the language used in the Greek translation ; have not these writers, by admitting, that the words λυτρου, αντιλυτρον, &c. if applied to the Mosaic sacrifices, would have conveyed the idea of vicarious substitution, thereby established the force of these expressions, when applied in the New Testament to the death of Christ, (Mat. xx. 28. Mark x. 46. 1 Tim. ii. 6.) which being expressly said to be a sacrifice for the sins of men, and being that true and substantial sacrifice, which those of the law but faintly and imperfectly represented, consequently reflects back upon them its attributes and qualities, though in an inferior degree.
Again, secondly, it is contended, that the atonement was not made by the death of the animal, but by the sprinkling of the blood.-True; and by this very sprinkling of the blood before the altar, it
was, that according to the prescribed rites, of sacrifice, the life of the animal was offered ; as appears from the
from the express letter of the law, which declares the life to be in the blood, and subjoins as a consequence from this, that it is the blood, (the vehicle of life, or, as it is called a few verses after, the life itself) that maketh an atonement for the soul, or life, of the offerer. See Ainsworth, and Patrick, on Levit. xvii. 11. and for the concurrent opinions of all the Jewish doctors on this head, see Outram De Sacrif. lib. i. cap. xxii. $ 11.-The rendering of the above verse of Leviticus in the Old Italic version is remarkable; Ani- : ma enim omnis carnis sanguis ejus est : et ego dedi eum vobis, exorare pro animabus vestris ;
sanguis enim ejus pro anima exorabit. Sabatier. Vet. Ital. And even Dr. Geddes's translation is decidedly in favour of the sense, in which the
passage has been applied in this Number. “ For the life of all flesh being in the blood, it is my will, that by it an atonement shall be made, at the altar, for your lives.”
But thirdly, the sacrifice could not have implied any thing vicarious, as no atonement could be made where life was forfeited. There is no argument advanced by the opponents of the doctrine of atonement, with greater confidence than this; and there is none which abounds with greater fallacies. It is untrue, in point of fact : it is sophistical, in point of reasoning: and it is impertinent, in point of application.
1. It is untrue; for atonements were made in cases, where without atonement life was forfeited. This appears, at once, from the passage of Levit. last referred to ; which positively asserts the atonement to be made for the life of the offerer ; it also appears from the unbending rigour of the law in general, which seems to have denounced death against every violation of it, (see Deut. xxvii. 26. Ezech. xviii. 19-23. Gal. ii. 10. James ii. 10.) and in particular, from the specific cases, of perjury, (Levit. vi. 3.) and of profane swearing, (v. 4.) for which atonements were appointed, notwithstanding the strict sentence of the law was death (Exod. xx. 7.-and Levit. xxiv. 16.)