Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

that fuch a Service could not make men acceptable to God. On these points the Cause seems chiefly to have refted; and the Fathers thought that They had done enough to justify Themselves for embra cing a Religion in which no Sacrifices were offered but the spiritual ones of Prayer, and Praife, and Thanksgiving, when they had cited the Authorities of the Wifeft and Ableft Heathens, who had exprefsly declared against all other Service or Worship but that of the Mind.

<s

<<

Thus, e.g. Because Porphyry had confeffed, * "That you ought not to burn Incenfe, or to facrifice, to the God of all; nor ought you to imagine Those to be Gods who take pleasure in the Sacrifice of Animals": That" it is "the most unrighteous thing in the world "to Sacrifice Living Creatures: That "it is impious, and deteftable, and prejudicial, and therefore it cannot be pleafing

""

<<

[ocr errors]

2.

* Ομολογεί μὴ δεῖν τὸ καθόλες μηδὲν μήτε θυμιᾶν, μήτε θύειν τῷ ἐπὶ πᾶσι θεῷ μὴ χρῆναι θεὸς ὑπολαμβάνειν τοὺς τᾶις διὰ ζώων θυσίαις χαίροντας. Είναι γάρ φησι πάντων ἀδικώτατον τὸ ζωοθυτειν, καὶ ἀνόσιον, και μυσαρόν, και βλα Θερὸν, καὶ διὰ τῦτο μηδὲ θεοῖς προσφιλές. Eufib. Prap. Evang. 1. iv. c. 10.

[ocr errors][merged small]

*to the Gods to offer Sacrifice ; Because, I fay, He had made this Confeffion, The Chriftian Apologift readily laid hold of This to juftify the Worfhip of the One God and Father of all * "with a Mind free from all Malice; and "with a Body adorned with the Orna"ment of Chastity and Temperance; and "with the bolding of right Notions, wor"thy of God and fuitable to his Nature; " and above all thefe," fays he, "we pray that we may with a right Difpofition keep up and maintain that Godlinefs which our Saviour commanded, " even unto Death." And no doubt fo far he reasoned right from his Adverfary's confeffions,―That if it was deteftable and impious to facrifice living creatures, it could not be blameable to abstain from such a Worship, or to use That only of an upright Heart and a pure Mind.

(C

Eufebius goes on to cite from Porphyry

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

* Νῷ πάσης κεκαθαρμένῳ κακίας, καὶ σώματι τὸν ἐξ ἁγ νείας καὶ σωφροσύνης κόσμου περιβεβλημένον, δόγμασί τε ὀρθοῖς καὶ θεοπρεπέσι, καὶ ἐπὶ πᾶσι τέτοις, διαθέσει γνησίᾳ την ὑπὸ τῶ Σωτῆρος ἡμῶν παραδοθεῖσαν ἐυσέβειαν μεχρι και θα νάτε φυλάττειν ἐυχόμεθα. Ibid.

a paf

[ocr errors]

se

a paffage in which he says, that * « nothing material can be otherwife than « impure to an immaterial Being." And at length he concludes, that fince Porphyry acknowledges, "that They are

no Gods who take pleasure in Sacrifices, therefore neither the Aerial, nor Caeleftial, nor therial, nor Subterref"trial Deities, were Gods; no nor Apollo "himself, who had by his Oracle com"manded Sacrifice." Porphyry, who had pleaded for all these Sorts of Deities, could not with any pretence evade the force of this reasoning: And the Chriftians could not but triumph over their Adverfaries and Calumniators.

[ocr errors]

But ftill a difficulty remained, which Eufebius did not meddle with; and That was in relation to the Jewish Sacrifices. Porphyry's Arguments were levelled against all Animal Sacrifices: and confequently They might be urged very juftly by Chrif

* Ουδέν ἔνυλον ὁ μὴ τῷ ἀΰλῳ ἐυθύς ἐσιν ἀκαθαρον. c. 11. † Οὐκ ἦν ἄρα Θεὸς, ἐδέ τις ἀψευδὴς καὶ ἀγαθὸς δαίμων, ὁ τὰς δι ̓ ἁιμάτων λοιδάς τε και κνίσσας μικρῷ πρόσθεν εισ προελόμενος χρήσιμονδος ουδ' ἐκεῖνοι πάλες, δις ο χρησμὸς δύειν ζῶα παρεκελεύσατο. Πλάνον άρα και ἀπατεῶνα-προστάξαντα μή μόνον τοῖς χθονίοῖς, ἀλλὰ καὶ τοῖς ουρανίοις Zacturii. c. 14.

tians in Juftification of themfelves, who ufed no Sacrifices. But then, if His reafoning was good, "That they to whom "the Heathen facrificed were not Gods, "because They commanded Animal Sà

crifices", muft it not follow, that He that commanded the Jews to offer up Animal Sacrifices could not be God? But Eufebius entered not into this Queftion, but only answered ad hominem; and juftified Himself, and refuted his Adverfary's Arguments fo far only as Chriftians were immediately concerned, without speaking to the Reason of this mode of Worship.

In the following Papers I have endeavoured to fhew what I take to have been the ground of this Practice. It may appear to Us very difagreeable, and odd, to offer up Animal Sacrifices unto God: But the univerfal practice of the world fhews that it did not appear fo to them of old. If one can affign a rational ground of this way of worship, that is all I aim at And fince all agree, that there is no express Affertion in the Sacred Writings, that this Mode of Religious

"

Worship

[ocr errors]

*

Worship was inftituted or appointed by God at the beginning, I cannot think that They argue right, who infer from the Disagreeableness, or the Oddness, or even our not being able to understand the Reafon or Usefulness of Sacrificing, that therefore it must have been originally a Divine Inflitution. But as the Rationale of Sacrifices is dark, and has never been duly confidered as it deferves, (at least it does not appear to me to have been so) I have endeavoured to throw fome Light upon this Subject; and I shall only add,

Si quid novifti rectius iftis Candidus imperti: Si non his utere mecum.

Maimonides mentions fome that argued - Si ratio et Utilitas illarum [Legum] non poffit intelligi, tum extra omne dubium effe, quod a Deo Originem fuam trahant, cum ratione humana non poffint intelligi. More Nevoc. 1. iii. c. 31.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

1

« AnteriorContinua »