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We come now to the fifth, and last, objection; in which it is urged, that atonements for sin being made in some cases without any
animal sacrifice, but merely by an offering of flour; by piacular sacrifice it could never be intended to imply the vicarious substitution of a life. To this the answer is obvious, that although no vicarious substitution of a life could be conceived, where life was not given at all: yet from this it cannot follow, that where a life was given, it might not admit a vicarious import. It should be remembered, that the case here alluded to was a case of necessity; and that this offering of flour was accepted, only where the offerer was so poor, that he could not by any possibility procure an animal for sacrifice. Can then
any thing be inferred from a case, such as this, in which the offerer must have been altogether. precluded from engaging in any form of worship, and shut out from all legal communion with his God, or indulged in this inferior sort of offering? Besides is it not natural to conceive, that this offering of flour being indulged to the poor man, in the place of the animal sacrifice which, had he been able, he was bound to offer, he should consider it but as a substitute for the animal sacrifice? And that being burnt and dem stroyed upon the altar, he might naturally conceive of it, as a symbol and representation of that destruction, due to his own demerits? And
to all this it may be added, that this individual might be taught to look to the animal sacrifices, offered for all the sins of all the people on the day of atonement, for the full and complete consummation of those less perfect atonements, which alone he had been able to make.
These constitute the sum total of the arguments, which have been urged against the vicarious nature of the legal piacular atonements. How far they are conclusive against the notion of their vicarious import here contended for, it is not difficult to judge. It deserves to be noted, that in the examination of these arguments, I have allowed them the full benefit of the advantage, which their authors have artfully sought for them; namely, that of appreciating their value, as applied to the sacrifices of the law considered independently of that great sacrifice, which these were but intended to prefigure, and from which alone they derived whatever virtue they possessed. When we come hereafter to consider them, as connected with that event in which their true significancy lay, we shall find the observations which have been here made acquiring a tenfold strength.
What the opinions of the Jewish writers are upon the subject of this Number, has been already explained in Number XXXIII. Whoever wishes for a more extensive review of the testimonies which they supply, on the three points,
of the translation of the offerer's sins, the consequent pollution of the animal, and the redemption of the sinner by the substitution of the victim,---may consult Outram De Sacrif. lib. i. cap. xxii. 4–12.
NO. XXXIX. ON THE IMPOSITION OF HANDS
UPON THE HEAD OF THE VICTIM.
Page 34. (')—The ceremony of the imposition of hands upon the head of the victim, has been usually considered, in the case of piacular sacrifices, as a symbolical translation of the sins of the offender upon the head of the sacrifice; and as a mode of deprecating the evil due to his transgressions, So we find it represented by Abarbinel, in the introduction to his commentary on Leviticus, (De Viel. p. 301.): and so the ceremony of the Scape Goat in Lev. xvi. 21. seems directly to assert. And it is certain, that the practice of imprecating on the head of the victim, the evils which the sacrificer wished to avert from himself, was usual amongst the heathen, as appears particularly from Herodotus, (lib. ii. cap. 39.) who relates this of the Egyptians, and at the same time asserts that no Egyptian would so much as “ taste the head of any animal,” but under the influence of this religious
custom flung it into the river. This interpretation of the ceremony of the imposition of hands, in the Mosaic sacrifice, is however strongly contested by certain writers, particularly by Sykes, (Essay on Sacrif. p. 25-50) and the author of the Scripture Account of Sacrifices, (Append. p. 10.) who contend, that this ceremony was not confined to piacular sacrifices, but was also used in those which were eucharistical, “ in which, commemoration was made, not of sins, but of mercies:" it was not therefore, say they, always accompanied with confession of sins, but with praise, or thanksgiving, or in short such concomitant as suited the nature and intention of the particular sacrifice. But in order to prove, that it was not attended with acknowledgment of sin, in sacrifices not piacular, it is necessary to shew, that in none but piacular was there any reference whatever to sin. In these indeed, the pardon of sin is the appro. priate object; but that in our expressions of praise and thanksgiving, acknowledgment should be made of our own unworthiness, and of the general desert of sin, seems not unreasonable, That even the eucharistic sacrifices, then, might bear some relation to sin, especially if animal sacrifice in its first institution was designed to represent that death which had been introduced hy sin, will perhaps not be deemed improbable. And in confirmation of this, it is certain, that the Jewish doctors combine, in all cases, con fession of sins with imposition of hands. “Where there is no confession of sins," say they, “ there is no imposition of hands.” See Outram De Sacr. lib. i. cap. xv. $ 8.
But, be this as it may, it is at all events clear, that if the ceremony be admitted to have had, in each kind of sacrifice, the signification suited to its peculiar nature and intention; it necessarily follows, that when used in piacular sacrifices, it implied a reference to, and acknowledgment of, sin: confession of sins being always undoubtedly connected with piacular sacrifices, as appears from Levit, v. 5. xvi. 21. and Numb. v. 7. The particular forms of confession, used in the different kinds of piacular sacrifice, are also handed down to us by the Jewish writers; and are given by Outram (De Sacr. lib. i. cap. xv. $ 10, 11.) The form prescribed for the individual, presenting his own sacrifice, seenixparticularly significant, “ O God, I have sinned, I have done perversely, I have trespassed before thee, and have done so and so. Lo! now I repent, and am truly sorry for
misdeeds. Let then this victim be my expiation." Which last words were accompanied by the action, of laying hands on the head of the victim; and were considered by the Jews, as we have seen from several authorities, in pp. 261, 262, to be equivalent to this; .“ let the evils, which in justice should