« ElőzőTovább »
bersonal expuggest the things of the doctrine
more adequate to account for the eager solicitude with which the tenet bas ever been maintained. It is, we believe, (when unhappily the only doctrine that can inspire a humble confidence, has been rejected,) from the half-hushed and indefinite uneasiness of the thoughtful mind, anticipating at once the terrors of the Divine tribunal, and the purity of the Divine Presence, that this secret but powerful impulse is derived. Under some varied phraseology, the belief in a purgatory has always accompanied any material obscuration of the Gospel doctrine of justification. The muttered forebodings of the labouring and unappeased conscience, suggest the necessity, both of puro gation, and of personal expiation.
It is true, that a life of pleasure, or of active employment, often so far obscures the moral sense, that men whose temper and conduct are the most flagrantly at variance with the requirements of the Bible, (the authority of which they, nevertheless, acknowledge,) are seen to approach the term of life, without anxiety, or ever making preposterous professions of expected felicity. But this is more rarely the case with men of contemplative habits. On the one hand, they are unable to derive any satisfaction from that attention to superstitious observances, which avails to appease the fears of vulgar minds : on the other, they are perplexed by the clashing of plain scriptural statements, with their own feelings, and with any theory they can entertain, relative to the distribution and object of future reward and punishment. Without venturing to appropriate the hope of acquittal, they are fain to cast themselves upon an undefined expectation of being at any rate comprehended in the great plan which shall issue in universal good. And although no man calling himself a Christian, would, in so many words, profess to date his personal hope, beyond the term of xonian punishment, or deliberately calculate upon working his way through the discipline of the infernal pit, yet, it may be very true, that a universal and abstracted anticipation, which makes no reference to individual conscience, may afford a far more tangible consolation, than a special hope of salvation, which conscience is reluctant to corroborate. We might, in illustration of our meaning, adduce the dying language, equally melancholy and striking, of the amiable philosopher who ranks prominently among the leaders of modern christianized Deism. When conversing on the subject of the state into which he was about to pass, he is reported to have expressed himself to this effect: “ We must all pass through a discipline, more or less “ protracted, to fit us for the Divine Presence.” We cannot but ask, Is this the hope of the Gospel ? Is this the amount of the redemption that is in Christ? Was it for this that Paul 80 carnestly desired to be absent from the body? or, are the mansions wbich the ascended Saviour is employed in preparing for his followers, in fact, cells of penance and expiation ? But we cannot wonder, when “ the Blood that taketh away sin," is deliberately spurned, the doctrine of necessity, or of the Divive causation of Evil, may, in the abstract, quite destroy all idea of ill-deserving, or of moral unfitness but, with thoughtful minds, the sense, both of ill-deserving; and of unfitness, will press heavily upon the conscience, in the near apprehension of death; and the hope of discharging the debt, and of undergoing the discipline, takes possession of the mind. Thus, the doctrine of Final Restitution--the mournful gospel of Purgatory-supplants the bright offers of Revelation. Infatuated men, contemning “ the fine gold,” that costs but the humble suit, choose rather to dig the full price of their Heaven, from the very bowels of Hell.
(To be continued.)
Art. IV. Tro Dissertations on Sacrifices : the first on all the Sacrifices
of the Jews, with Remarks on some of those of the Heathen; the second on the Sacrifice of Christ : in both which the general Doc
trine of the Christian Church on these Subjects is defended against · the Socinians. By William Outram, D.D. formerly Prebendary
of Westminster; translated from the original Latin, with additional Notes, by John Allen, 8vo. pp. vii. 400. London. 1817. THE custom of offering sacrifices to super-human natures,
prevailed at the beginning of the present era, among all nations, and it is still universal, except where it has been abolished by the influence of Christianity. The object and origin of a practice common to all the varieties of human society, must, as a matter of simple curiosity, be a most interesting subject of inquiry; but the investigation is of the first iinportance, as illustrative of the Jewish sacred writings, and as assisting us to form a just conception of the stupendous interposition of the Son of God on our behalf, in giving himself for us an offer‘ing and a sacrifice.' These dissertations, which have drawn forth the highest commendations from learned persons of different sects, were originally published in 1677, under the title, De Sacrificiis duo Libri, &c. They have, ever since, formed a sort of common armory, to which incessant recourse has been bad, for weapons to defend the doctrine of reconciliation to God by the death of his Son; we are glad, therefore, of the opportunity tbat Mr. Allen's version, which on the whole is well executed, affords us, of directing the attention of merely English readers, to Dr. Outram's very able and judicious work. A slight analysis of this learned work will be its best com* mendation.
Whether sacrifices were of Divine, or of human origin, appeared to Dr. Outram, to be a question so difficult and obscure, that he
* ventured not to determine it; but though he professes to detail the i arguments in support of the opposite sides of the question, yet
he has given such superiority to the reasoning in favour of the s: human origin of sacrifices, that he who should make up his lö 'opinions purely upon the ground of what is advanced by Dr. line O., would conclude that they were a device of man. To Encounteract the tendency of his Author's reasoning, the TransErleben lator bas added a note, to strengthen or more fully illustrate the
evidence of the Divine origin of sacrifices. That the practice I of sacrifice originated in Divine institution, is our decided con
viction ; but instead of discussing the subject at length, which In our limits forbid, we shall simply recominend our readers to peruse the. Discourse and Dissertations on the Scriptural Doc
trines of Atonement and Sacrifice,' by Dr. Magee, Vol. i. p. 43, 45, and Vol ji. p. 2, 91. where they will find the objections to the supposition of the Divine institution of sacrifices, satisfactorily refuter, and the arguments in favour of it stated with
great depth of learning and force of reasoning. e From the origin of sacrifices, the Author proceeds to treat of
the places in which they might be lawfully offered. Before · Mones erected the tabernacle, it was lawful to perform sacrifices in any place, but afterwards, that structure, and subsequently the temple, were exclusively appropriated to the oblation of sacrifices. Dr. Outram explains the natnre and design of these sacred buildings, which formed, successively, the residence of the Divine Being. By the symbol of his presence, the Deity dwelt in them as the monarch of Israel. In the synagogues, God was worshipped; but the temple was the palace of the Great King.
Hence, the Jews suppose, the very splendid furniture of the sanctuary, and the highly magnificent equipage as it were of a domestic establishment. Hence the exceedingly ample retinue, and the various ministers appointed to various offices : some who procured the things required for the sacred service ; others who guarded the house; others employed as musicians, who, while the holocausts were burning and the wine was poured out, with the appointed solemnities, sang with the voice, blew with the trumpets, and played on the stringed instruments. Hence the table always furnished with
bread, the fire continually blazing on the altar, the incense burned e twice every day, and twice every day the members of the slaughtered e victims laid on the altar of God, as on a table, and accompanied with
salt and wine and Aour. Hence the celebration of solemn days and feasts held at stated seasons.' p. 49.
The Jews were not only forbidden to offer sacrifice in any other place than that wlich the Divine presence rendered sacred, they were moreover restricted to a particular family in their choice of the ministers of their oblations. It appears, indeed,
from the example of Cain and Abel, that in the primeval age, every person offered his own sacrifice. In an oblation for a family, the father officiated as priest; and when sacrifices were made for communities, the chief of the community performed the sacred ceremonies. But on the erection of the tabernacle, the functions of the priesthood, which consisted in offering sacrifice to God and blessing the people, were commanded to be per. formed exclusively by Aaron and his sons. The priests were divided into two ranks ; tbe higher being assigned to Aaron and his successors in the pontifical dignity, and the lower to the other priests. The Aaronic priests were consecrated to their office by oblations, after which they were solemnly invested with the sacred garments, and by the rites of unction and sacrifice. These ceremonies, together with the qualifications relative, corporal, and mental, essential to the priesthood, as well as tbose relating to the consecration and office of their servants the Levites, are described by our Author with great clearness and general accuracy.
The only dedicated things which the Jews considered as properly sacrifices, were the oblations called Corban, a terni applied to all things offered to God before the altar. Every consecrated thing brought to the door of the tabernacle, where the great altar was placed, was thus offered. Of things offered before the altar, some were dismissed, as the goat wbich was oled into the wilderness; some were dedicated entire and unin
jured to the service of the sanctuary,' as the vessels appropriated to sacred uses, and the Levites, who were formally offered to God; others were consumed. Not however to the former, but to the latter only was applied the term sacrifice, which implied an oblation presented to God and then duly coosumed. Those oblations only which this definition will comprize, and in the Scriptures termed offerings, were considered by the Jews as sacrifices ; but the Scripture mentions some other • victims, which, as they were never presented to God before his
altar, are no where called oblations, and yet, I think, adds Dr. • Outram, may justly be denominated expiatory sacrifices.' Of this class were the bird killed for the purification of the leper; the red heifer, whose ashes were kept for purifying those who might be polluted by the dead; and the heifer, whose head was cut off to expiate death by an unknown boinicide. Of the offer. ings duly consumed, almost all of which were taken from the materials of human food, some were inanimate, and others animate substances. The inanimate oblation consisted of wheaten or barley flour always mixed with oil, and sometimes with an addition of wine. This offering, termed in the Scriptures mincha, bread offering, was invariably united with that of an animal, which sort of sacrifice, birds excepted, was termed ze
and there bullocks threoil and hou mingled
bach, a victim. Thus Corban comprehends whatever was of-.
fered at the altar of God; mincha denoting the flour offerings Ii consumed on the altar, and zebuch animal sacrifices. The pro. * portion of flour, oil, and wine, varied with the animals with which they were offered : 'for bullocks three ténths of an ephah
of fine flour mingled with half a hin of oil and half a bin of o wine: for rams, two tenths of an ephah of fine flour mingled
with the third part of a hin of oil, arrd the third part of a hin of TË wine: and lastly, for goats and female sheep, as well as for k lambs and hids, both male and female, only one tenth of an ? ephah of fine flour mingled with a fourth part of a bin of oil
"and the fourth part of a hin of wine. Besides the meat-offer
ing of inapimate substances, there was an oblation of incense, a, ds perfume composed of various sweet spices, which was to be E burned once a year in the inner sanctuary, and in the outer sancE tuary once every morning and every evening. . 5 The sacrifices of the Israelites were peculiar in respect of the 3 selection of the victims. The heathen nations sacrificed every
species of animal, however base or savage ; but the Israelites were permitted to offer only bullocks, goats, sheep, turtle doves,
and pigeons, and the animals themselves were to be perfect in E their kind, without spot or blemish. E The animal sacrifices which the law prescribed, were the burnt, the peace, the sin, and the trespass offerings. As the sacrifices anterior to the law, were holocausts or whole burntofferings, our Author considers it as uncertain whether piacu
lar sacrifices were before that period ever used. To us there I appears to be little room for doubt. The sacrifice of Abel, is,
by the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, compared with that of Christ; and both, though in different degrees, are said
to speak peace. As the sacrifice of Christ was eminently piaÉ cular, it seems to follow from this comparison, that the sacrifice
of Abel was of the same nature. Sacrifice being of Divine in3 stitution, it is most reasonable to regard the rite as designed to te be emblematical of the offering of Christ ; and this will lead us E to conclude, that all the sacrifices prior to the law, which, it is
highly probable, consisted of animals, were in some degree pibacular. The burnt offering, the only species perhaps of sacri
fice in use in the patriarchal age, was presented in gratitude for by the Divine favour, to supplicate good or to deprecate evil, both
in compliance with express precepts and at the will of indivi1 duals. The peace offering, so called because it referred to the prosperity, (either obtained or solicited,) was termed an eucha
ristic sacrifice, when made for good received; but when to obtain Hi future good, votive and voluntary. These two sorts of peace
offerings differed from each other, in that the latter was pré* sented without previous solemn engagement, and often when the si Vol. X. N.S.