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Dr. Ta Ylor's ideas of the nature, efficacy, and design of Sacrifices.

^lyyy!"^ HEN I join with the public, jjCg '' |^| in acknowledging Dr. Taylor's M§ ^ |^ great learning, and uncommon l^mma®/1* abilities as a writer; his indeteJE^P&J& fatigable diligence in searching after truth, with a just and laudable disregard to popular opinions and human systems; and his exemplary candor and integrity in

communicating to the world the real and genuine result of his useful inquiries; I only do justice to his character, without any mixture of unmeaning compliment. The freedom of thought, zeal for pure, unadulterated revelation, immoveable attachment to the interests of truth, and integrity

B and and courage in exposing error, however popular, which shine forth in his writings, raise in me an high esteem of his character, as they must in every ingenuous mind, which has a fense of true worth. After all, the Dr. with all these fine accomplishments, cannot be thought to be exempted from the common foible of fallibility. He has written many things well: but too much, for leaving room to think, that his valuable performances may not be blended with some mixture of involuntary error. And if any fach errors should be found in them, or in the works of other eminent writers; these errors ought to be exposed, not only for the sake of truth, but because they are of a very infectious nature, and the consequences of them more permanent than those of the errors of ordinary writers are.

The most exceptionable things, which I have yet met with in the Dr's excellent writings, are those which he has taught concerning the nature, efficacy, and design of Sacrifices, in his Scripture-doctrine of Atohement examined, and in his other writings. -These therefore, I propose to examine with candor, and just freedom. And if the rules of good manners be observed in the examination of them, I hope, the importance of the subject, and the Dr's prefatory caution to his reader, may be sufficient cient to excuse me, both to him and the

public, for this undertaking.

In the piece just now mentioned, the Dr. examines the scripture-doctrine of atonement, 1st. In relation to Jewish sacrifices: And adly. In relation to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I shall observe the same method in examining what the Dr. has taught, as scripture-doctrine, concerning these two sorts of sacrifice.


Containing an examination of what Dr. Taylor has taught) in his fcripture-doBrine of atonement examined, concerning the mean" ing, efficacy, and design of Jewish sacrifices,

§. i.~T\R. Taylor gives us the following de» finitions of Jewish sacrifices, viz. Sacrifices were a symbolical address to God; tended to express before him the devotion, af~ sections, dispositions, and desires of the hearts by fignificative and emblematical actions a. Again, Sacrifices were symbolical addresses to God, expressing by outward signs, what is expressed in prayer and praise by words, or, in. the course of life, by deeds b.

» See Scripture-doctrine of Atonement examined, Chap. II. §. 24.

» Ibidem, Chap. VI. §. 118.

B 2 These

§. 2. These two are the only definitions which the Dr. has given us of Jewish sa* crifices. And it appears from them, that these sacrifices, in his idea of them, were symbols or emblems of prayer and praise, and of those internal affections and dispositions of the mind which are expressed by prayer and praise. Agreeably to this notion, of sacrifice, he tells us, that piacular sacrifice " was a penitent address to God c ;'y that is, the symbol or emblem of penitent address to him, or, which is the fame thing, of repentance expressed by prayer.

§. 3. When I consider the great mischief which has been already done, and may still be done, by indulging a luxuriant imagination, and multiplying symbols, emblems, types, or allegories, without any reason or necessity; I must confess, that I have no great opinion of the way of explaining scripture-doctrines by the help of such means as these, except where the scripture itself points them clearly out, and warrants the use of them. By this way of explaining scripture-doctrines, the true and genuine doctrines of revelation have been both obscured and misrepresented; endless, inexplicable mysteries set on foot, and propagated; the whole bible converted into figure and allegory j and numberless hot contentions

c See Script, doc. of aton. Chap. II. § 28.

and and disputes about trifles, destructive of christian temper, raised and kept up in the church of Christ. And, indeed, is there any whim ever so ridiculous, or any doctrine ever so false or absurd, but what, by a free and liberal use of this single engine, may be fathered upon the holy scriptures, and even supported and defended by their authority? These considerations, methinks, should make christian divines, the rational ones especially, extremely cautious against introducing symbols, emblems, types, or allegories, in their explanations of scripturedoctrine, without clear warrant from the scripture itself, or from the nature and circumstances of the case. But the Dr. thinks, that he has abundance of scripture-evidence to support his idea of the emblematic nature of Jewish sacrifices. And as this is pre-. tended, 'tis fit and reasonable, that we should carefully attend to every thing of this kind, which he has advanced, and give it a fair hearing and trial.

§. 4. But, before I enter upon this work, it will be proper to make the following: observations concerning the nature of symbols or emblems, and the proper rules which are to be observed in interpreting the sense of figurative expressions in the holy scriptures, and other writings; which will be of great use to illustrate the criticisms and reasonings which occur in the course of this work. B 2 ObC

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