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From which ceremony the goat be-
25, &c.); and we learn from the last
It is maintained, indeed, by some, that the flesh of all sin offerings became polluted by the rite of sacrifice, and that whereas it is said, (Lev. vi. 18,) Every one that toucheth it shall be holy," this should be rendered "shall be sanctified or cleansed," shall be under the necessity of cleansing himself. In proof of this, Dr. Magee appeals to what is adduced in Wall's Critical Notes, where he says this point is most satisfactorily treated. We have not access to this work, and shall, therefore, only say that we require more than Dr. Magee's dictum to persuade us that Wall or any man, can prove that flesh, of which the ministering priests ate, in the holy place, as of a most holy thing, was such as to pollute and contaminate those, who touched it.
We are not called upon at present to give any theory for the explanation of that pollution which seems to have inhered in the bodies of those sinofferings of which the blood had been taken into the holy, or most holy place. Only we appeal to the judg ment of our readers, to determine whether these few instances in which sacrifices for sin seem to have involved pollution, out of a great number of other sin-offerings which involve no idea of pollution, can be considered as conclusive.
What creates suspicion of the unsoundness of this argument, is the small proportion of cases in which the imposition of hands and (supposed) confession of sins over the victim seems to convey this impurity. For there are only four instances of it. The sin offering of ignorance for the high-priest, (Lev. iv. 3,) that for the whole congregation, (Lev. iv. 13,) and the sin-offerings at the festival of expiation, one for the high-priest and house of Aaron, another for the congregation of Israel. (Lev. xvi.) There is no indication of impurity being conveyed to the victim by imposition of hands in the following cases: the sinoffering for any of the common people who had sinned through ignorance; the sin-offering of ignorance for a ruler, all the trespass-offerings, peaceofferings and burnt-offerings. Now, the flesh of the victims employed in these various sacrifices, so far from being considered as polluted by sacrifice, was either wholly consumed on the altar, or was used in holy festivals, or else was the portion and subsistence of the priests who officiated. Nay, it is sometimes pronounced to be most holy, and on that account not to be eaten but in the holy place, by every male of the family of Aaron. (Lev. vii. 6.)
And this is particularly affirmed respecting the flesh of all sin-offerings, excepting those cases of sin-offering which have been particularized as be ing burnt without the camp (Ley. vi.
aggravated cases was inflicted upon the offender himself, in lighter offences was transferred to his victim, and that the punishment of the beast was substituted for the punishment of the man?"
selection of the phrase "vicarious import of the Mosaic sacrifices," declares even this position to be unnecessary for the establishment of his main argument, and after having bestowed more than twenty pages upon the proof of vicarious import in the Mosaic sacrifices, subjoins a No. 40, in which he amusingly tells his fatigued reader that all this had been "an argument ex abundanti," and had been introduced rather for the purpose of shewing the futility of objections so confidently relied on, than as essential to his inquiry.
We must profess ourselves incapable of perceiving these evident marks of vicarious punishment, which our author claims for the instances which he here adduces. May not the following explanation sufficiently account for this difference of treatment, namely, that when the offence was too light and fugitive to be treated in a strict, judicial way, the Divine Lawgiver was pleased to appoint a method by which the offender might be reconciled as a worshiper?
All that Dr. Magee considers as necessary to the defence of what is called orthodoxy on this subject, is to shew that the Jewish sacrifices were propitiatory, (or in other words, says he, No. 40,) that in consequence of the sacrifice of the animal, and in virtue of it, either immediately or remotely, the pardon of (sin in) the offender was procured.
For our own part, however, we are of a different opinion, and feel it necessary to maintain the position still further against all objectors, that the Mosaic law contains nothing emblematical of vicarious punishment.
There is an argument, used by Dr. Outram, on the opposite side of the question, which it seems proper to examine. He says, (lib. 1. cap. xxi. § 6,)" Although there is a somewhat clearer indication of vicarious punishment in those sacrifices in which the blood of the victims was carried into the holy place, and their bodies burnt without the camp, yet the same meaning really existed in all the other trespass and sin-offerings. Which is apparent from this, that when offences of a more aggravated nature were to be expiated by the death of the guilty person himself, those of a lighter kind were to be expiated by the blood of an animal. For example, let it be supposed that any one had reached such a height of impiety as to compose for his own use holy oil,
The ceremony of shedding and sprinkling the blood of the victim in the ritual of the Mosaic sacrifices, is thought to be a strong argument in favour of the opinion of vicarious punishment. And though, as we have observed already, any force which this may appear to have from other considerations is weakened by the occurrence of the ceremony in Mosaic sacrifices of all kinds, that is, in a great number of sacrifices where no confession of sins took place, and consequently no vicarious import could possibly be conveyed; yet it must be allowed that more is to be said in defence of the vicarious import of this part of the sacrificial rite than any other.
for by his own death: on the contrary, the same crimes committed through ignorance and by accident, were to be expiated by the blood of a victim. Wherefore," says Dr. Out"what can be more evident than that the punishment, which in more
There is a passage in Leviticus, which is certainly more like an indication of the vicarious substitution of life for life than any other passage to be found in Scripture relating to Mosaic sacrifices. It is as follows, (chap. xvii. 10, 11,) "Whatsoever man there be of the house of Irael, or of the strangers that sojourn amongst you, that eateth any manner of blood, I will even set my face against that man that eateth blood, and will cut him off from amongst his people." The next verse runs thus in the Hebrew:
כי נפש הבשר בדם הוא ואני נתתיו or knowingly and advisedly to eat of לכם על המזבח לכפר על נפשתיכם fat or blood, his sins were to be atoned
' Wada Kin Dan ' thus translated, Anima enim omnis carnis est in sanguine eumque vobis in aram dedi ad expiandas animas vestras. Sanguis enim est, qui pro animâ expiationem facit. And the following seems to be the most exact translation of it into English.
For the life of all flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your lives, for it is the blood that maketh atone ment for life.
eminent degree offered to God: hence, also, the restrictions laid upon the eating of the flesh of sacrifices; and to this intent we must attribute the ceremonies by which the altar, the priests' dresses, and all the furniture of the holy place were separated and made holy, as well as those annual ceremonies by which all these things were sanctified afresh, or, (as the Scriptures term it,) reconciled and atoned. (Lev. xvi. 16.)
In reference to this sentence, probably, the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews says, that (in the Mosaic law) without shedding of blood there was no remission of sins. See Magee's Dissertations, No. 38, and Outram De Sacr. lib. i. cap. xxi. § 10.
The meaning then given with much plausibility to this passage is as follows: No one shall eat any manner of blood, for I have given the blood upon the altar, so as to imply that the life of the animal is given in lieu of the life of the offerer, which would otherwise be forfeited, and that by that means he is saved from the evils which might be the consequence of the sins he has committed.
Now we may freely admit that the shedding of blood upon the altar was a very solemn act, and had some such religious meaning as made it highly expedient that no common use should be made of blood, without in the least obliging ourselves to adopt the particular theory which is here insisted on. No doubt, when man appears before his Maker, especially as one intending to confess himself guilty of certain forbidden actions, he is filled with that fear and awe, which an apprehension of the results that would arise from the displeasure of this Being naturally occasions. He naturally measures his ideas of the punishment which may follow his crime, not so much from estimating the place which it takes in the scale of offences, as from contemplating the overwhelming power of him who bears the sword of justice; and religious worship is to him a very solemn and awful act.
This is a feeling which, though by no means pleasing, is salutary, especially to minds that are too gross and sensual to be moved by other considerations, and hence it was a part of wisdom to defend the principal constituents of Jewish worship from being made common by profane uses.
Hence the prohibition of imitating the composition of the holy oil and perfume; and this was partly the reason of the prohibition of eating blood and fat-both of which were in an 2 x
And whereas it is said that the life of the animal is in the blood, this appears to be rather a physical than a theological doctrine, and as far as it has any moral effect or purport, seems well explained by Dr. Sykes, (on Sa crifices, p. 130,) when he says that the law prohibiting the eating of blood was with design to keep men from all cruelty and immanity, by commanding them to take away the lives of animals in the gentlest and mildest manner possible.
We require, therefore, a plainer proof than the mere juxta-position (in the verse quoted from Leviticus) of the life of the victim and the life of the offerer, to be assured that the one has a vicarious relation to the other; especially as there are Hebrew phrases which would have placed the matter beyond dispute; a most desirable object in a doctrine considered as so material to orthodoxy. Would it not have been said, as the latter Rabbins have said, "Let his blood be for my blood; his soul of life for my life, or in lieu of mine," and " 197 17 wai nnn wa), “Life for life, eye for eye"? &c.
Nor will the later interpretations given by the Jewish Doctors to an ancient form of confessions, stated in Outram, lib. i. cap. xxii. § 9, be of any great service in support of the doctrine of vicarious punishment, though much relied on by Outram in loc., by Dr. Magee, in No. 33, and by Dr. Pye Smith, in pp. 12 and 14 of his Discourses on the Sacrifice of Christ, Lond. 1813.
This ancient form is as follows: "Now, Lord, I have sinned, I have rebelled, I have committed iniquity, thus and thus have I done. But I return penitently to thy presence, and be this my expiation"
the remark of Dr. Outram is, these
last words, “let this (victim) be my
tematic a way as might have been:
(To be continued.)
The Jews may tell us this; but the words, "Let this be any expiation," express no more than this, Let this victim remove all displeasure of God from me, let this be my cleansing ; leaving the real purport of Jewish sacrifices for sin, still a subject to be ascertained from other circumstances.
We shall use but one further argument against the notion of the vicarious import of Jewish sacrifices; the one which Dr. Magee cites, as the fifth and last of these objections of which he volunteers a complete refutation, though it would, it seems, make no difference to his main arguanent, whether such objections were proved just or not.
We have already argued that the sacrifice of a victim is no emblem of vicarious punishment, because it is appointed for a variety of religious Occasions where confessions of sin formed no part of the ceremony. Our present argument is the converse of this, namely, that atonement for sin being made in some cases without any animal sacrifices merely by an offering of flour, by piacular sacrifices could never be implied the vicarious substitution of a life.
"To this," says Dr. Magee, "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 of a vicarious import." The question is not whether it might, but whether it did actually, and it is nothing else but giving up the question in dispute to concede, as Dr. Magee evidently does, that where a life was given in sacrifices, it might not have any vicarious import.
We must be excused from entering now into that particular description of the four principal classes of Jewish sacrifices, which we proposed to give with reference to what can be collected respecting their distinct objects and purposes. What is material to our purpose has already come under notice, though not, perhaps, in so sys
Homerton, SIR, June 14, 1823. AM happy in being able to transRepository, information calculated to yield pleasure to your correspondent Appeal in bewho lately made an " half of the Christian Tract Society," and equally so to another of your correspondents, ("No Eutopian,") whose remarks in the last number, (pp. 293, 294,) though apparently at first sight, intended as a sarcasm on his benevolent proposal, were obviously suggested by the most cordial approbation.-I hope "No Eutopian" will soon have the gratification of seeing, that the example set by the Bristol Fellowship Fund Society has so many list" of votes imitators, that the " "in behalf of this institution" does occupy much room."
G. S. Grant by the Bristol Fellowship Fund to The Christian Tract Society.
"To the Secretary of The Christian Tract Society.
"Bristol, June 13, 1323. "I feel it a pleasure to hand you a resolution that was passed at our Fellowship Fund Meeting on Wednesday evening, viz. That three guineas be voted in aid of the Christian Tract Society, and the tracts be presented to the ladies and gentlemen conducting our Charity and Sunday Schools, for distribution, as they may deem proper, among the children. And also, that this resolution be recomiended to the attention of each succeeding committee, as a means of usefulness, both to the Christian Tract Society and our Schools.'
"The objects of the above resolution are very perceivable. Besides the assistance afforded to the Christian Tract Society, the conductors of our schools will have extra rewards to bestow, for attention, good conduct and fair
Remarks on two mysterious Doctrines of Dr. Priestley and Dr. Southwood Smith.
June 12, 1823.
I ther exempt from inconsistency, and I have always considered the Unitarians as affording a striking exemplification of this remark, in laying so much stress on their objection to the Trinitarian doctrine, from its mystery. When they attempt to prove that it is unfounded in the language of Scripture, they do no more than exercise that right which unquestionably be longs to every Christian; and this, in truth, is the only mode of reasoning on the subject which can be called legitimate. But when they contend, as they are too apt to do, that the doctrine ought to be rejected on account of its mysterious nature, and its obvious impossibility, they evince the same degree of prejudice which they impute to their adversaries, and act in direct contradiction to their own practice on other points of speculative theology. Without recurring to the inexplicable difficulties which meet us in every quarter, when we direct our thoughts to the operations of the natural world, I shall content myself with selecting two instances from Unitarian writers of acknowledged emi
nence, which may serve to verify the charge I have here advanced.
In the first volume of Dr. Priestley's Institutes of Natural and Revealed Religion, (pp. 7, 8,) we meet with the following remarkable passage: after arguing that the Deity must have exerted his creative power from all eternity, he observes, "So little are our minds equal to these speculations, that though we all agree that an infinite duration must have preceded the present moment, and that another infinite duration must necessarily follow it; and though the former of these is continually receiving additions, which is, in our idea, the same thing as its growing continually larger; and the latter is suffering as great diminution, which, in our idea, is the same thing as its growing continually less; yet we are forced to acknowledge that they both ever have been, and always must be, exactly equal; neither of them being at any time conceivably greater or less than the other. Nay,
we cannot conceive how both these
eternities added together, can be greater than either of them taken separately."" Is it possible," the Triniask,
contradiction more palpable than those which are involved in the belief, that the creation is coeval with its Maker; that there is an eternity past which is always increasing, and an eternity to come which is always diminishing, and yet that both of them ever have been, and ever must be, precisely equal; and lastly, that these two eternities added together, will not amount to more than one of them taken separately?" Stronger language than this has never, I believe, been used by the most zealous advocate of the Trinity; but in the present day, it is satisfactory to observe, that the majority of the more liberal divines belonging to the Established Church, rest contented with the simple scriptural statement of this doctrine, without attempting a metaphysical explanation of what is confessedly beyond the comprehension of finite understandings. It is not the essence of the Deity which ought, in my opinion, to excite our researches, so much as his attributes and character; and he who by the united aid of reason and revelation can satisfactorily ascertain the latter, need