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washing was prescribed in cases of holiness, not of pollution. (App. p. 11.) But, besides that this author is singular in his nution that the scapegoat was not polluted, he proceeds altogether upon a wrong acceptation of those passages, which relate to persons and things that came into contact with the sin-offering; it being commonly translated, in Lev. vi. 18, and elsewhere, he that toucheth them (the sin-offerings) shall be holy, whereas it should be rendered, as Wall properly observes, in quite a contrary sense, shall be SANCTified, or CLEANSED, shall be under an obligation, or necessity, of cleansing himself, as the LXX understand it, ayıão Ong etab. See Wall's Critical Notes, Lev. vi. 18. where this point is most satisfactorily treated.
Upon the whole then, there appears no reasonable objection against the idea, that the imposition of hands, in piacular sacrifices, denoted an emblematical transfer of *guilt; and that the
* Dr. Geddes's authority, when it happens to be on the side of orthodoxy, is not without its weight: because having no very strong bias in that direction there remains only the vis veri to account for his having taken it. I therefore willingly accept his assistance on this subject of the imposi. tion of hands upon the head of the victim. He renders Levit. i. 4. And he shall luy his hand upon the head of the victim, that it may be an acceptable atonement for him. And on the words, lay his hand, &c, he subjoins this remark“ Thereby devoting it to God: and TRANSFERRING, as it were, HIS OWN GUILT UPON THE VICTIM.” A mere typical
ceremony consequently implied the desire, that the evil due to the sinner inight be averted, by what was to fall on the head of the victim. This receives farther confirmation, from the consideration of other parts of Scripture, in which this ceremony of imposition of hands was used without any reference to sacrifice. In Levit. xxiv. 14, 15. we find this action prescribed in the case of the blasphemer, before he was put to death ; it being at the same time added, that whosoever curseth his God, shall bear his sin : thus as it were expressing by this significant action, that the evil consequences of his sin should fall upon his head : and in these words, Maimonides expressly says, the blasphemer was marked out for punishment, by those who laid their hands upon his head, “thy blood be upon thine own head,” (see Outram. De Sacr. lib. i. cap. xv. 8.) “as if to say, the punishment of this sin fall upon thyself, and not on us and the rest of the people.” The expressions also in Joshua ii. 19. 2 Sam. i. 16. Esth. ix. 25. Ps. vii. 16. and several other pas
rite, (he adds,) derived, probably, from the legal custom of the accusing witness laying his hand upon the head of the criminal. As to Dr. Geddes's mode of explaining the matter I am indifferent. Valeat quautum. His admission of the emblematical transfer of guilt upon the victim I am perfectly contented with : and indeed his illustration, by the witness pointing out the object with whom the guilt lay, does not tend much to weaken the significancy of the action.
sages of the Old Testament, respecting evils falling upon the head of the person to suffer, may give still farther strength to these observations.
It deserves to be remarked, that the sacrifice referred to in the passage cited in the text, was that of a burnt offering, or holocaust ; and as the language in which it is spoken of, as being accepted for the offerer, to make atonement for him, obviously falls in with the interpretation here given of the ceremony of laying hands on the head of the victim, it appears, that it was not only in the case of the sin-offering enjoined by the law, that this action was connected with an acknowledgment of sin, but with respect also to that kind of sacrifice, which existed before the law; and which, as not arising out of the law, is accordingly not now prescribed; but spoken of in the very opening of the sacrificial code, as already in familiar use, and offered at the will of the individual ; If any man bring an offeringa burnt sacrifice, &c.—That the burnt-sacrifice was offered in expiation of sins has indeed been doubted, but so strongly is the reference to sin marked in the description of this sacrifice, that Dr. Priestley, on the supposition of its being a voluntary offering, feels himself compelled even to adınit it as a consequence, “that in every sacrifice the offerer was considered as a sinner, and that the sacrifice had respect to him in that character” (Theol. Rep. vol. i. pp. 204, 205.) --a con, clusion, so directly subversive of his notion of sacrifices as mere gifts, that in order to escape from it, he is obliged to deny, in opposition to every commentator, that the burnt-sacrifice here spoken of was a voluntary offering. Now, that the word, 19375, should not be translated, as it is in our common version, of his own voluntary will, I admit with Dr. Priestley. It should be rendered, as appears from the use of the word immediately after, and in other parts of Scripture, as well as from the Greek, the Chaldee, the Syriac and the Arabic versions, for his acceptance. * See Houbig. Ainsw. and Purver. But the present version of this word is far from being the strength of the
The manner in which the subject is introduced, and the entire of the context, place it beyond doubt, that the sacrifice spoken of, was the voluntary burnt-offering of an individual. And thus Dr. Priestley's argument holds good against himself, and he admits that in every sacrifice there was a reference to sin. On the expiatory nature of the burnt-offering, we shall see more hereafter, in Number LXVII.
* The words, 17779 »> 1987, Rosenn. renders, ut acceplus sit Deo, Dei favorem sibi conciliet. Levit. i. 3.
NO. XL.-ON THE SUFFICIENCY OF THE PROOF OF
THE PROPITI ATORY NATURE OF THE
SACRIFICES, INDEPENDENT OF THE ARGUMENT WHICH ESTABLISHES THEIR VICARIOUS IM
PAGE 34. (9)~That the Jewish sacrifices were propitiatory, or in other words, that in consequence of the sacrifice of the animal, and in virtue of it either immediately or remotely, the pardon of the offender was procured, is all that my argument requires, in the place referred to by the present Number. The vicarious import of the sacrifice seems indeed sufficiently established by shewing, as has been done, that the sins of the offender were transferred in symbol to the victim, and immediately after, expiated by the death of the animal, to which they had been so transferred. But this has been an argument ex abundanti; and has been introduced, rather for the purpose of evincing the futility of the objections so confidently relied on, than as essential to the present enquiry. The effect of propitiation is all that the argument absolutely demands. For further discussion of this important subject, I refer the reader to Number XLII.