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been made to the several parts of it, it is manifest, I think, that this evidence doth not amount to a clear and good proof, or even to the shadow of a proof, of the point men^ tioned: and (which is still worse for the Author) that, if it did amount to a clear and good proof of if, yet it would, in no way, answer the Author's main purpose; because the transactions and allusions, upon which it is grounded, are too late for being proper vouchers of the truth of his opinion, viz. That eating and drinking together was, at the time when men first began to offer sacrifices, a known and customary rite by which they engaged in, and renewed, friendships with one another.
The Author, having now finished his dir rect scripture-evidence, next endeavours to produce some collateral proofs, which he places in such a light as renders them seemingly favourable to his opinion about sacrifices. But as those collateral proofs coincide with the subject of the next section, I shall consider them in jt.
Containing an examination of what the Author has advanced, to prove, that, upon the supposition, that eating and drinking together, was the customary rite by which men made and entered into covenants of amity and friend/hip with-one another, it is natural to think, that they wouldfollow the fame method, and observe the same rite, in engaging in, renewing, and keeping up friendship with God; and that, in fail, they did use it for these ends and purposes, in the affair of sacrifices.
T N order to prove the proposition, contain* ed in the title of this section, our Author advances many things, which I shall now consider in the fame order in which they lie in his book.
He fays, "This (/. e. eating and drink"ing together were federal rites, by "which men made, and entered into, co,c venants of friendship with one another, "and with God) was so well understood by "the ancients, that whenever any one of"fered a sacrifice to God, or to any idol ct whatsoever, it was looked upon as an ac"tual engagement either in covenant, or "friendship, with him to whom the sacri"sice was made. And hence it is, that to
"eat w eat of any sacrifice offered to God, is the
"fame thing as to be in friendship with
"God: as likewise to eat of a sacrifice of
"fered to any idol, is to be in friendship
"with that idol. It was this that made the
"psalmist say, Gather my saints together unto
t( me, those that have made a covenant by
"sacrifice with me, Psal. 1. 5. And when
** the Moabites are said to call the people
"of Israel unto the sacrifices of their gods,
tC the people did eat, and bowed down to
tC their gods; it immediately follows, And
"Israel joined himself to Baal-Peor, Numb.
"xxv. 2, 3. This practice was so well
<c understood, and was so common in those
"days, that when the Israelites were forbid
"to make any covenant with the inhabitants
"of the land of Canaan, it is expressed thus,
"Left when the Canaanites did sacrifice unto
"their gods, and one call thee, and thou eat
** of his sacrifice, Exod. xxxiv. 15, 16.
"r. e. engage in covenant or friendship with
"selves also to Baal-Peor, and eat the offer"ings of the dead, i. e. they entered into "a state of friendship with gods that were *c no more than dead men. And hence it "was, that when the first-born of Egypt "were threatened with destruction, that "God, by Moses, instituted the passover, f* by which a covenant was made betwixt ff him and the children of Israel.—A Lamb
"for every house, (or if the houshold was "too small, then a man and his neighbour "next unto him were to join in procuring a c* lamb,)—A lamb was to be taken; and cc as there was no altar, the blood was to "be Jiruck upon the lintel, and the two Jide"posts of the door, which served instead of ** an alter. And then the Lord, on his "part, engaged that he would not suffer the "destroyer to come into any of their houses, "Exod. xii. 23. The children of Israel *c were to eat the flesh of the lamb with one tC another; and this was an ordinance to "be kept forever. The blood, upon this "occasion, was given as God's share: and *t then immediately the people were under "his protection
Answ. I grant, that sacrifices were means by which men engaged in coyenant and friendship with God. But that eating and drinking .with G.od was the sole use and design of sacrifice, and that this eating and drinking with God was a symbol of friendship with him, and a fœderal rite whereby he and the offerers of sacrifice did engage in covenant and friendship with one another; and, consequently, that the eating of any sacrifice was, in this fense, the fame thing as engaging in covenant or friendship with God; these are things which I cannot admit,
mit, without a good and clear proof of them. The Author here alledges some passages of scripture as a proof of them; but none of them, I think, come up to the point, as will appear from a particular inspection of them.
The first passage quoted by the Author, is, P&l L 5. Gathpr my saints together unto me* those who have made a covenant by sacrifice with me.'—Here mention is made of a covenant which had been made with God by sacrifice.- But then there is nothing said, from which it can be inferred, that the offerers of this fecrifice did eat .or drink with God, or that his and their eating or drinking together was a symbol of friendship betwixt them, or the fœderal rite by which they engaged in covenant with one another. Of all this there is neither a word nor hint in the test; and therefore it proves nothing that is for the Author's purpose.
The second text, which the Author quotes, is, Numb. xxv. 2, 3. And they (the Moabites) called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods: and Israel joined himself io Baal-Peor.-^In these words it is intimated, that Israel joined himself to Baal-Pear, by eating of the sacrifices which were offered to this idol, and bowing down to him; whence our Author would infer, that the Israelites and the idol .Baal-Peor did