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agreeably to the twofold relation in which our nation stood with God.

16. 1. They stood in the common relation to God as sinners.

In this respect the Levitical sacrifices, like those originally instituted, neither could nor were designed to expiate their sins, but only to typify the atoning sacrifice of the Messiah, and by faith in him who was to come, they realized the same benefits as those do who do now believe in him as having come. He was the original idea and pattern of them, and they were instituted as types of him who was the antitype, a greater and better sacrifice, an oblation of a higher nature, which was to succeed and abrogate them for ever. An inspired apostle has assured us that the whole Levitical institution was typical. Col. 2:17. Heb. 9: 10. Now, as sacrifices were the soul and life of that dispensation, so they were the most typical of the Messiah. This observation is confirmed by the following passages. John, 1: 29. 1 Cor. 5: 7. Heb. 7:27. 10: 1. 1 Pet. 1: 19. Rev. 5: 6. 13: 8.

17. "In the death of Christ," saith the pious Mr. Brown, "we see the great antitype of these legal oblations, Most certain they were public acknowledgments of guilt, and professions of faith in the grand propitiation which they be lieved should appear in the end of the world. Tell us, thou sweet singer of Israel, who is he that shall do for us what the law could not do! In the 40th Psalm, David, speaking not of himself, but of a far more glorious person, hath these most emphatical words: "Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire burnt-offering and sin-offering hast thou not required. Then said I, lo, I come to do thy will O God." It was not Christ who came to imitate the sacrifices, but they were ordained to prefigure him. They were the shadow of future good things, but the body is of Christ. When Christ was first revealed, the sacrifices seem to have been practiced, and when he died they ceased to be offered, The temple heard his dying groan, rent her vail in presence of the priest

hood, as they offered the evening sacrifice and the paschal lamb. From this time forth shall your office be vacated, ye legal priests! ye beasts of the field, no more shall ye smoke as victims on God's altar, for the merciful High-Priest hath now given himself an offering and a sacrifice of a sweet smelling savor unto God! Now, if with the prediction of his death they began, and ended with the accomplishment, what can be more plain than the relation betwixt them, as the shadow and the substance? Set this relation aside, and it is impossible to vindicate, to any advantage, the original appointment of sacrifices, or to account for their abolition after they were enjoined."

18. 2. They stood also in a political relation to God. He was the king of Israel, and they were his chosen subjects. In this relation God gave them peculiar laws, the obedience and disobedience of which was connected with temporal rewards and punishments, without any reference to future happiness or misery. In pity and compassion to his people, the Lord was pleased to enlarge the design as well as the variety of sacrifices. In addition to the original typical design, they were now appointed to make a real atonement or reconciliation, between the King of Israel and his peculiar people for certain sins, such as sins of ignorance, weakness, &c. The offended Sovereign was appeased, and the offender delivered from punishment, and restored to the performance of duties, and the enjoyment of privileges which were peculiar to the congregation of Israel. In reference to this two-fold relation of our nation, and the two-fold design and efficacy of sacrifices, the apostle remarks thus: "For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh; how much more shall the blood of Christ, who, through the eternal Spirit, offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" Heb. 9: 13, 14.

Hence the seeming contradiction of the first and second proposition is reconciled. When the Levitical sacrifices are

said to make an atonement, it relates to the political state of the Jews; when it is asserted that they could not make an atonement, it relates to their relation to God as sinners.

Thus the sacrifices answered two important ends; they delivered immediately from temporal misery, and typically exhibited a spiritual Savior: like the brazen serpent which was lifted up as an immediate remedy for the wounded Israelites, and secondly, as a type of the Messiah "that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John, 3: 14, 15. Hence, David, in his great and heinous sins of murder and adultery, flies to mere mercy, (Ps. 51: 16,) for God had appointed no sacrifice, for the expiation of such sins, as to the political guilt contracted in that commonwealth, though otherwise no sins or sinners were excluded from the benefit of sacrifices.

§ 19. I have now, my beloved brother Benjamin, endeavored, I hope, to your satisfaction, to show that the rite of sacrificing was practiced in the family of Adam, the father of the human race; that its origin was a divine command; that the sacrifice of the Messiah was both its pattern and its antitype; and that the Levitical sacrifices were merely reappointed with a variety of laws and ceremonies, that besides their typical design, they might also make an atonement for the political sins of our nation. I should now proceed to show that it was predicted as well as typified, that the Messiah was to suffer and die as a vicarious sacrifice; but this I must defer to the next letter, and close the present by noticing a sentiment respecting the design of the Levitical sacrifices, which is as false and pernicious as it is general and common. Some of our famous Rabbins, such as Maimonides, R. L. B. Gerson, and Abarbanel, and some eminent Christian writers, such as Spencer, Grotius and others, are of opinion "that Moses indulged our fathers in the practice of sacrificing and other ceremonies, because they had become so violently attached to them that it would have been imprudent or dangerous to prohibit it. Nay, Sir Thomas

R. Blunt, in his Essay, p. 6. is bold and impious enough to say "that God enjoined the Jews the use of sacrifices because they had been used to this kind of worship in Egypt, and God had no other way to bring them off from their idolatry but this. Therefore he was forced to comply with them. and indulge them in this pagan folly." This is indeed "cutting the knot," and plucking up the tree of life by its very roots. At one stroke it denies the divine authority of sacrifices; it classes Moses, nay, Jehovah himself, among those wicked politicians, who say, "let us do evil that good may come out of it;" it makes the apostle a liar, for he saith that all things under the law were types and shadows of better things to come; it makes the death of the Messiah of none effect, and consequently it saps the only foundation of a sinner's hope.

But as this opinion has been unanswerably refuted by many divines, I shall make only two or three observations.

§ 20. 1. It is an undeniable fact, as has been already shown, that sacrifices were in use in the family of our first parents, before heathens were born, or idolatry practiced; and that after the flood, Noah, the father of the new world, offered up sacrifices as soon as he came out of the ark; and so the practice continued through the ages of the patriarchs, until they were re-appointed at the foot of Mount Sinai. Instead therefore of the Jews learning the practice of sacrificing from the Egyptians, it is evident that all nations learned it from the patriarchs, who had received it by divine command.

§ 21. 2. So far was Moses from commanding the Israelites to imitate the customs of the heathen, that they were expressly forbidden it, and that immediately after the re-appointment of sacrifices; "for the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, I am the Lord your God. After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do; and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall

ye not do; neither shall ye walk in their ordinances." Lev. 18: 1-3. Eccl. 7: 29. Is it credible that a man in his senses, yea, a wise politician, nay, even the infinitely wise God, would express his abhorrence, and forbid the practices of the Gentiles, and yet at the same time appoint his people several rites which the Gentiles used, and that merely because they were Gentile rites, and practiced by the idolatrous nations? Surely not. Further we observe,

22. 3. So far was God from having accommodated the Mosaic institutions to the custorns of the Gentiles, that it is evident that most, if not all, the Levitical ceremonies were in direct opposition to those in use among the heathens, and that for the purpose of keeping them a distinct people. Hence, as you well know, our Rabbins call the Mosaic rites Seyak letorah, i. e. a hedge of the law; and hence the apostle saith," Before faith came we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed." Gal. 3 23. Here the apostle compareth the ceremonial law to a strict watch, or military guard, by which our nation was kept from joining the idolatrous nations.

That the Mosaic rites and ceremonies were in direct opposition to the idolatrous rites of the Gentiles, has been fully shown by many writers, such as Selden, Hottinger, and others, chiefly, however, borrowed from Maimonides, More Nevoch. part 3. ch. 38, &c. This most learned and judicious of all our Rabbins observed, "that God commanded our people to kill and sacrifice those animals which the Egyptians chiefly held as sacred, that they might not take them for gods." This hath also been noticed by Gentile historians. Thus Diodorus Siculus saith, "that Moses commanded the rites of sacrificing, and the manner of the Jews' lives, to differ much from the way and usage of other nations." Eclog. and Tacitus speaking of our lawgiver, saith "that the Jewish nation was set up by him, by his enjoining them new rites, and such as were contrary to the custom of other mortals; those things were counted profane with

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