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on a supposition which I take to be a false one, viz. that the mercy-seat was the cover of the ark. And, indeed, the mercy-feat was put above upon the ark. But then the scripture gives us no ground to think, that the mercy-feat was the cover, or any other part, of the ark. It is no where called the cover of the ark , and its being said to be put above upon the ark, only intimates, that the ark was its pedestal, and not that it was the cover of the ark: for the way and manner in which this is expressed in the Hebrew, imports no more. And to confirm the truth of this farther, I observe, ist. That in the directions given (Exod. xx. 10—15 ) for making the ark, there are none found which relate to the making of the mercy-feat. But, after all the directions, for the fabric of the ark, have been finished, then follow (ver. iy-—21.) the directions for making the mercy-feat, as a thing that was different from the ark and all its appurtenances; and to place it, when made, above upon the ark, which was its pedestal. 2dly. What seems to put this beyond all doubt, is, that in the directions which are given for the fabric of the ark, all the parts of it are ordered to be made of Shittim-wood, and to be over-laid -with pure gold, ver. 10, 11. But in those directions, which are given for the fabric of the mercy-feat, it is ordered, that it should be
made made not of Sbittim-wood over-laid with
gold j but) of pure, solid gold, ver. 17. «
These reasons satisfy me, that the mercyfeat was not the cover, nor any other part, of the ark; though the Dr. and the most part of other writers, think in a different manner. And if it was not the cover of the ark, it could not be called p"iflv caporeth from its use, as being the cover of it. It is more probable, that it was so called, because it was the principal instrument that was appointed to be used on the most solemn occasions, «in making atonement for sin. See Levit. xvi. 14.
These are the most material passages, besides those which have been before considered, in which the Dr. seems to me to have mistaken, and departed from the fense of revelation, in that part of his book which relates to Jewish sacrifices and -atonements.
The Dr. indeed, in the three first paragraphs of his VIIth chapter, has some reflections upon Jewish sacrifices, which are purely imaginary, and without any foundation either in scripture, or common sense. And to those I had drawn up an answer, which I intended to insert in this place. But finding, that it would swell this piece to too large a bulk, and that these reflections did not relate to the nature of Jewish sacrifices, but only to an imaginary dis
I 3 tinction tinction of them into political and not* political institutions, and to their reference, or not-reference, to the Abrahamic covenant, and the gospel; I did not think, that the insertion of an answer to them was very material, at least essential to my main purpose: and, therefore, I judged it proper to leave it out, and to proceed to the second part of this work.
Containing an examination of what Dr. Taylor teaches, in his fcripture-doSirineof.ato?iement examined, and in his key to the apostolic writings, concerning the meaning, efficacy, and design of the sacrifice of our blessed Lord, Jesus Christ.
IDo not here propose to examine all that, the Dr. has said concerning the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, but only the main and essential parts of his scheme, and the whole scripture-evidence by which he endeavours to support it.—The Dr's whole scheme is reducible to the following heads, viz.
I. That the blood or sacrifice, which Christ offered, was the perfect obedience and goodness of his whole life,
II. That the sacrifice (/'. e. the perfect obedience and goodness) of Christ, considered as a moral mean, has a strong and natural tendency to render men,' who are corrupt and wicked, penitent and obedient.
III. That because the blood or sacrifice (*. e. the perfect obedience and goodness) of Christ hath a natural and strong tendency to render men, who are corrupt and wicked, penitent and obedient, therefore is it a reason with
I 4' God, God, for granting to them the remission
or pardon of their sins. In these three particulars, consists theDr's whole doctrine about the meaning, efficacy, and design of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. And, therefore, I shall examine them severally, in the same order in which I have here placed them.
Containing an examination of Dr. Taylor'* notion of the blood or sacrifice of Jesus Chrijl, as being the perfect obedience and goodness of his whole life; and of the scripture-evidence by which be endeavours to prove and support the truth of it.
§. i.TT appears from many passages in the Dr's writings, that he considered the perfect obedience and goodness of Christ's whole 1 iie, as being the sacrifice which he offered to God for the sins of mankind. "The blood of Christ, fays he, is con"sidered as an offering and sacrifice to God. cc—How then is this to be understood? "jinfw. The blood of Christ is the per"sect obedience and goodness of Christ \" To the fame purpose, " The blood of "Christ is precious,—as it is the blood of
a See Key to the Apostolic writings, Chap. VIII. §. 119, 120.