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After speaking of the sacrifices customary with various nations, especially their human sacrifices, he goes on to say,—“ These nations had certainly a notion of a federal and an expiatory sacrifice. It was derived to them by tradition; and though originally founded in truth, yet being by degrees darkened and misapplied, it gave rise to the worst of profanations, and was the source of the basest and most unnatural cruelty. I have shewn at large that human victims were very common among the Phenicians : and Philo Byblius tells us from Sanchoniatho, that in some of their sacrifices there was a particular mystery : 'they who were devoted for this purpose, were offered mystically :' that is, under a mystical representation : and he proceeds to inform us, that it was in consequence of an example which had been set this people by the God Kronus, who in a time of distress offered up his only son to his father Ouranus."*-He observes, that there is something in the account so very extraordinary as to deserve most particular attention; and after quoting the passage from Eusebius, which I have given at full length in page 381,
page 381, he remarks, that“ if nothing more be meant by it, than that a king of the country sacrificed his son, and that the people afterwards copied his example, it supplies a cruel precedent too blindly followed, but contains nothing in it of a mystery.” “When a fact” (he adds) “ is supposed to have a mystical reference, there should be something more than a bare imitation. Whatever may have been alluded to under this typical representation, it was, I believe, but imperfectly understood by the Phenicians; and is derived to us still more obscurely, by being transmitted through a *secondary channel.”
* It is to be noted that Eusebius has given this account of the matter, in a passage different from that, which I have already quoted from him. Λουμε δε γενομενε, και φθορας, τον εαυτο μονογένη υιον Κρονος Ουρανο πατρι ολοκαρποι. Prep. Evang.
Our author, having cleared the history from some obscurities and apparent contradictions, proceeds to his final result.-—“ This is the only instance of any sacrifice in the Gentile world, which is said to be mystical; and it was attended with circumstances which are very extraordinary. Kronus, we find, was the same with El, and Elioun : and he is termed Υψιςος, and Yψερανιος. He is moreover said to have the Elohim for his coadjutors: Συμμαχοι Ιλα τα Κρονα Eλωειμ επεκλήθησαν.
* Bryant here alludes to the circumstance of our not.be.
possessed of Sanchoniatho's history itself, but merely of a fragment of a Greck translation of it by Philo Byblius, handed down to us by Eusebius; who, as well as the translator, appear to have mixed with the original some observations of their own. On this fragment of Sanchoniatho, see Goguet's Orig. of Laws, vel. i. p. 370—384: Banier's Mythology, &c. vol. i. p. 88-102: and particularly Boch. Pha. leg. (Opera. tom. I. p. 771--777.) VOL. I.
(Proep. Evang. p. 37.) He had no .np father to make any offering to; for he was the father of all, and termed Kupios Oupave, by the confession of the author, by whom the account is given. These sacrifices, therefore, had no reference to any thing past, but alluded to a great event to be accomplished afterwards. They were instituted, probably, in consequence of a prophetic tradition, which, I imagine, had been preserved in the family of Esau, and transmitted through his posterity to the people of Canaan. The account is mixed with much extraneous matter, but, divesting it of fable, we may arrive at the truth which is concealed beneath. The mystical sacrifice of the Phenicians had these requisites ; that a prince
* This seems a direct contradiction to what has been just before quoted from Eusebius. Bryant, however, explains this by shewing, that, in truth, Ouranus, the father, to whom Kronus is said to have offered up his only son, is the same as El, or Elioun, or Kronus, being only another title for the same person. This also he asserts to be the same with the Hasos of the Greeks, and refers to Servius in Virg. Æneid. Lib. I. de Belo Phænice, “ Omnes in illis partibus Solem colunt, qui ipsorum lingua Heu dicitur." Bryant's Observ. &c. p. 290.--Servius adds to this quotation from him by Bryant what deserves to be noticed : "unde" (ex Hec scil.) “ et Hasos. Ergo, additâ digamma, et in fine factà derivatione a sole, Regi imposuit nomen Beli.”—This last formation by the digamma, Vossius however rejects. Belus he says came from Bnd, contracted from Ban, from which Bornoajnu and other words. Voss. de Idol. Lib. II. cap. iv. tom. i. pp: 322, 323,- See the whole of that chapter of Vossius.
was to offer it ; and his only son was to be the victim : and, as I have shewn, that this could not relate to any thing prior, let us consider what is said
upon the subject, as future, and attend to the consequence. For, if the sacrifice of the Phenicians was a type of another to come, the nature of this last will be known from the representation, by which it was prefigured. According to this, El, the supreme Deity, whose associates were the Elohim, was in process of time to have a son ; αγαπητον, , well beloved ;
μονογενη, his only begotten : who was to be conceived, as some render it* of grace, but according to my interpretation, of the fountain of light. He was
He was to be called Jeoud, whatever that name may relate to ; and to be offered up as a sacrifice to his father, avo Tpov, by way of satisfaction, and redemption, Topewa pois desploss, to atone for the sins of others, and avert the just vengeance of God; avto TNS TEAVTWD otopas, to prevent universal corruption, and at the same time general ruin. And, it is farther remarkable, he was to make this grand sacrifice, βασιλικω σχηματι κεκοσμημένος, ,
*“I cannot help thinking that Anobret is the same as Ouranus; and however it may have been by the Greeks dif. ferently constructed, and represented as the name of a woman, yet it is reducible to the same elements with Ouranus; and is from the same radix, though differently modified. I take it to have been originally Ain Ober, the fountain of light, the word 7:4 being rendered variously, Aur, Aver, Aberg Ober.”—Now Ouranus, Bryant had before derived in like manner, making it, the transposition of Ain Aur or Our, the fountain of light ; written Our ain, and thence by the Grecks Quranos.-Bryant's Observ. &c. pp. 295, 291.--Bochart however derives the word Anobret differently: thus, 720p-in, An-oberet, i, e. ex gratiâ concipiens : which, he says, is a just appellation for Sara, the wife of Abraham.-Boch, Phal. (Opera tom. I. p. 712.) + The Hebrew word 7'77. Jehid, signifies unicus, solitarius,
invested with the emblems of royalty.—These surely are very strong expressions ; and the whole is an aggregate of circumstances highly significant, which cannot be the result of chance. All that I have requested to be allowed me in the process of this recital, is this simple supposition, that this mystical sacrifice was a type of something to come. How truly it corresponds to that, which I imagine it alludes to, I submit to the reader's judgment. I think it must necessarily be esteemed a most wonderful piece of history."
—Bryant's Observations on various parts of Ancient History, p. 286—292.
A most wonderful piece of history, undoubtędly, this must be confessed to be: and a most wonderful resemblance to the one great and final sacrifice is it thus made to present to the view. One impediment, however, in the way of a full and entire assent to the conclusion of the learned writer, arises from the consideration, that if we
It is the very
and is frequently applied to an only son. word used of Isaac iu Gen, xxi. 2.