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or sins, had been committed, that could be a ground or reason for penitent disposition, or for penitent address to God for pardon, either literal or symbolical. And, in all cases of this kind, the Dr's notion of piaeular sacrifice doth not supply us with any account of the meaning, design, or use of these sacrifices which were appointed to be offered: consequently, these sacrifices must, upon his scheme, appear to have been quite useless.
Secondly. In the oblation of those very sacrifices, which were offered for fins, there was not only the oblation of a flain animal, but an express, verbal confession of the sins committed, and a literal prayer to God for pardon: not only so, but the penitential confession and prayer always preceded the oblation of the sacrifical animal. Now, upon the supposition, that the oblation of the animal was a symbol of penitential confession and prayer, these facts, which I have mentioned, will supply an inference that is very unfavourable to this notion of sacrifice; which is this, viz. that the oblation of the animal was neither needful nor useful. The thing, of which the sacrifical animal is supposed to have been a symbol, was itself present. Of what use then was the symbol of it, or what imaginable end could it answer? As a symbol of penitent disposition,
H 3 there there was neither room nor occasion for it, because that disposition was better, and more naturally, expressed by the penitential confession and prayer which went before it. And to the production of penitent disposition in the mind of the offerer, the oblatioa of the sacrifice could contribute, nothing, because that disposition is supposed to Jiave been both produced, and properly expressed, before it came in play, or could have any influence upon the mind. What end then could these symbols of penitent disposition answer, since there was no manner of occasion for them as representations or expressions of such a disposition; and since they neither were, nor could be, productive of it? No end, as far as I can fee, unless it was to put the offerers of them to needless trouble and expense.
§.41. Now, if the Drs notion of piacular sacrifices, which supplies us with this inference, that these sacrifices were useless institutions, should prove to be the true scripture-notion of them; I need not say, what grounds of just triumph would be hereby afforded to deists and men of seep- , tical minds; and how ready they would be to rally christians for their weakness and credulity. Would not persons of this turn of mind, be apt to argue in the following manner? From the very notion, which
your divine oracles give of piacular sacrifices, (which were a heavy and grievous burden to the Jews,) it appears, that they were useless and unprofitable institutions; and that they neither did, nor could, answer any one good end, or wise design, in any case whatsoever. How then can you, christians, mew, that the institution of these sacrifices was consistent with the wisdom of God, who never acts without reason and design; yea, without proposing to himself a good end and wise design in whatsoever he doth? Or how can you reconcile the institution of such burthensome and oppressive rites with the goodness of the Deity, who is incapable of taking any pleasure in the sufferings and distresses of his creatures, and is always concerned and active to promote their happiness? And if you cannot bring the institution of them to any consistency with the wisdom and goodness of God, how can you believe that book to be a divine revelation, which ascribes to him the institution of them?—If an handle were given to sceptical minds, from any doctrine of revealed religion, to reason after this manner, how would it be possible to answer their arguments, or to check their triumph! but, I hope, that as the Drs notion of piacular sacrifices has, upon the strictest examination, been found to have no sup
H 4 p. rt port from the holy scriptures; so the true scripture-notion of these sacrifices, when once it comer to be set-in a proper light, may be found, to be perfectly conformable to the wisdom and goodness of the Deity, and such as will, at once, stop the mouth of the infidel, and give solid, rational satisfaction to the believer.
Containing remarks on some passages, in Dr, Taylor'j scripture-doSirine of atonement examined* relating to Jewijh sacrifices and atonements, which have not been considered in the foregoing sheets,:;
"T^HE sins and trespasses for which "-*- they (/. e. piacular sacrifices) were "offered, were generally sins of igno"ranee, or ceremonial pollutions." (For this he refers to many texts of scripture; and, among others, to Numb. xv. 22. And then fays,) " It is added, ver. 30. But the "foul that doth ought presumptuously, the same "reproacheth the Lord, and that soul shall ct be cut off from his people. No sacrifices ct were to be offered for him that did ought "presumptuously, i. e. knowingly and wil«* fully. And yet there are three cafes, "which seem to be exceptions from this ** general rule. (1.) When a person, upon M his oath before a magistrate, did not "utter what he had seen or known, Levit. ,c V. 1. (2.) When a man dealt fraudulently - " with his neighbour, Levit. vi. 1. (3-) The