« AnteriorContinuar »
evidence on this head.—The only text the Dr. quotes, in this paragraph, as a proof of it, is, Psalm cxli. 2. Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.— Here, it is observable, that the psalmist, in this text, fays nothing about sacrifice, as being a symbol of prayer; nor gives any manner of hint, from which such a notion of sacrifice can be fairly inferred. In the latter part of it, where he alludes to the evening-sacrifice, he doth not say one word about prayer; but only speaks of the lifting up of his hands in the performance of that duty. And the only thing he prays for, is, that the lifting up of his hands, in prayer, might be set forth before God as the evening-sacrifice: in which petition there is a manifest allusion to the evening-sacrifice which was burnt upon the altar, and ascended up towards heaven in a cloud of smoke; but not a word about sacrifices being an emblem of prayer. This text, therefore, comes not up to the Dr's purpose. However the Dr. has abundance of other scripture-evidence in store. And his next paragraph, which I now proceed to examine, is crowded with it.
C 3 ScripScripture-evidence, produced by Dr. Taylor, continued.
§. 9. The Dr. goes on with his scriptureevidence in the following manner, " This c* (i. e. this notion of sacrifices being a "symbolical address to God) is implied cc 1 Sam. xiii. ia. (Therefore, said I, the c* Philistines will come down upon me to Gilgal, u and I have not made supplication to the u Lord: I forced myself, therefore, and of"fered a burnt-offering. Prov. xv. 8. The "sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to "the Lord; but the prayer of the upright is cc his delight. Hence the bullocks offered "in sacrifice, are sometimes elegantly put "for verbal prayer, or address to God. "Hos. xiv. 2. Take with you words, and turn "to the Lord, and fay unto him, take away u all iniquity, and receive us graciously: Jo *c will we offer up the bullocks of our lips. "Hence also such expressions as these, "Psalm iv. 5. Offer unto God the facri
fees of righteousness. Psalm L 14. Sa"crifice unto God thanksgiving. ver. 23. "Whoso sacrificeth praise, glorifieth me. ,c Psalm li. 17. The sacrifices of God are a (( broken heart. 1 Pet. ii. 5. Ye are an holy (' priesthood to offer up spiritualsacrifices, ac"ceptable unto God. Heb. xiii. 15. By him cc let us offer up the sacrifice of praise to God
c* continually, that is, the fruit of oar lips, "giving thanks to his name c."
§. to. The texts, contained in this paragraph of the Dr's book, are all quoted in order to prove, that sacrifices were symbolical or emblematical addresses to God, or, an address to him by symbol or emblem. And, in order to discover how far they amount to a proof of this point, I shall examine the first three of them separately, and the rest of them conjunctly.
§. ii. The first text, which the Dr. exhibits as a proof of this point, is, 1 Sam. xiii. 12. Therefore said 1, the Philijlines will come down upon me to Gilgal, and 1 have not made supplication to the Lord: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt-offering.—In these words, king Saul excuses himself to the prophet Samuel, for his having taken upon him to offer a burnt-offering, from the necessity he was brought under to make supplication to the Lord, by the danger wherewith he was threatened. And, from his excusing himself, after this manner, to the prophet, the Dr. would infer, " that "burnt-offering was a symbol of supplica
* See Scripture-doctrine of Atonement examined, Chap. II. §. zi.
C 4 ** tion," ** tion," or, " that burnt-ofFering and sup"plication are equipollent terms." Let us then suppose, with the Dr. that king Saul, in this apology, used the word burnt-offering, in either of the two senses mentioned; and we shall presently see, how ridiculous the excuse which he made for his fin, must have appeared not only to Samuel, and to every other thinking person, but even to himself. If king Saul, in this apology, did really use the words, burnt-offering and supplication as synonimous terms, 'tis clear, that the thing for which he excuses himself, was no other, than his making supplication to the Lord, which, as it was not a sin, needed no apology. On the other hand, if king Saul, in this apology, made use of the term, burnt-offering, in the fense of its being a symbol of supplication; then the excuse, which he made for himself, was this, that the danger he was in, making it proper and requisite, that he should make supplication to the Lord, he, therefore, found himself under a necessity to offer up to the Lord, not supplication, but the symbol or emblem of it. Apologys these ridiculous enough! although king Saul was a very wicked person, yet he was a man of wit and understanding; and, therefore, cannot well be supposed to have made such apologys for his sin, as could have answered no end, but to expose his own folly, and his want of common mon sense.—What I take to have been real fact in this case, is this; king Saul in his present danger, was desirous to obtain the pardon of his great sins, as fearing that they might now provoke God to deliver him, and his army, into the hands of the Philistines. The pardon of these sins, according to the rules of the law of Moses, was not to be obtained, but by a penitent confession of them, and prayer for pardon, in conjunction with the oblation of a piacular sacrifice: and, therefore, king Saul, as he had no priest with him, judged it necessary, both to make public confession and supplication, and, likewise, to offer a burnt-offering. And he thought, that' the necessity of his affairs, in the present dangerous conjuncture, might excuse him to the prophet Samuel, and all reasonable men, for his invading the priest's office, on this occasion. And this is what he tells Samuel, as thinking that the motive, upon which he had acted, might justify what he had done. This interpretation of the text, or account of the case, is consistent with the method and means appointed by Moses for the expiation of sin: and it makes king Saul apologize for his sin, like a wicked man of wit and fense, and not like a fool or idiot: but it is no way favourable to the Dr's idea of Jewissi sacrifices.