« AnteriorContinuar »
eat together; and, by eating together, (which was a federal rite and a symbol of friendship,) did enter into a covenant of friendship with one another. But of all this the text fays nothing: for it only speaks of the Israelites as joining themselves to Baal-Peor, by joining with his worshippers in two acts of that idolatrous worship which they payed to him by joining them in the one, as much as by joining them in the other; that is, by eating of the sacrifices which were offered to this idol, and by bowing down to him; and that without explaining the nature of either of these acts or rites of worship, or giving any hint that they were symbols of friendship or fœderal rites. In a word, all that this text fays, is, that the Israelites joined themselves to BaalPeor by joining in the acts of his worship, but says nothing of their doing this by any symbol of friendship, or fœderal rite. This text, therefore, proves nothing for the Author's purpose.
The third text quoted by the Author, is, Exod. xxxiv. 15. where the Israelites are forbid to make any covenant with the inhabitants of the land of Canaan, for the following reason, viz. Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they (the Israelites) go a whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and one call thee, and :hou eat of his sacrifice.—Here
the the Author says, that the meaning of these last words, and thou eat of his sacrifice, is, and thou engage in covenant and friendship with their gods: and from this he would infer, that the eating of a sacrifice with the god to whom it was offered, was a symbol of friendship with him, and a fœderal rite by which the owner of the sacrifice did engage in covenant with him. But this is pure imagination, for the text fays nothing about it, nor supplies any hint from which it can be inferred. The eating of any sacrifice that was offered to an idol, was, as is well known, an act of idolatry, or idolatrous worship, and as such only is it mentioned in the text, and not as a symbol of friendship with the idol, or a fœderal rite.
The text mentioned next by the Author, is, Psal. cvi. 28. 'They joined themselves also to Baal-Peor, and ate the sacrifices of the dead. Here the Author is at it again with his favourite comment. They ate the sacrifices of she dead, that is, fays he, they entered into a state of friendship with gods that were no more than dead men; from which he would have his readers to infer, that eating the sacrifices of those gods, or dead men, was the fame thing as engaging in friendship or entering into covenant with them; consequently, a symbol of friendship, and a fœderal rite. But of all this the text fays nothing, which only speaks of the Israelites
as as joining themselves to Baal-Peor by joining with the Moabites in his worship, and not by partaking of a symbol of friendship, or the performance of a fœderal rite; and mentions their eating the sacrifices of the dead, as An act of idolatrous worship only, without taking any notice of its having a symbolical meaning and use, as an embkm of friendship, or a fœderal rke. . The last thing which our Author mentions as a proof of his point, is, the covenant which, he ingenuously supposes, was made -between God and the Israelites by their eating together of the paschal lamb. "As
there was no altar, fays he, the blood :*c was to be struck upon the lintel, and the "two side-posts of the door, which served
instead of an altar. And then the Lord "engaged, on his part, that he would not "suffer the destroyer to come into any of "their houses. The children of Israel were "to eat the flesh of the lamb with one ** another.—-The blood, upon this occasion, "was given to God's share; and then im"mediately the people were under his proM tection." Answ. It is no where said, or hinted, that God and the Israelites entered into a covenant by the paschal-sacrifice, or that he and they did eat together of this sacrifice, or engaged in covenant by eating of it together, or that the blood was given as God's share. All these are new ways of
speaking speaking and thinking, of which the scripture knows nothing. It is most certain, that, at the institution of the passover, no covenant was entered into by stipulation
ment and consent of two parties. Allwas of God's appointment and ordering: and whatever was done by the Israelites, was done in obedience to his authority and express command; for their consent was not given or required previously to the injunction of it. As to the blood which was struck upon the lintel and the two side-posts of their doors; this, instead of being given to God as his share, which he was to eat, was only disposed of in that manner, that it might be to the Israelites, for a token upon the houses where they were; a token to them not of a covenant, or of God's entering into a covenant with them, but of divine protection from destruction ; a token to them, that God would pass over them, and the plague should not be upon them to destroy them, when he smote the land of Egypt, Exod. xu\ 13. Withal, this whole transaction was intended to be a memorial, not of any covenant-engagement, but of a great and miraculous deliverance. When, therefore, the whole affair is duly considered, it doth not appear to have any one circumstance in it, that is favourable to our Author's opinion about the symbolical na
ture ture and design of sacrifices, as being sym-* bols of friendship and fœderal rites.
The Author proceeds thus, "Hence it "is, that one may easily explain what St. "Paul fays, i Cor. x. 21. Te cannot drink "of the cup of the Lord, and of the cup of 11 devils: Te cannot be partakers of the Lord's ** table, and of the table of Devils. He "had been urging the Corinthians to flee "from idolatry, and was mewing them "that, if they did eat of the sacrifices "offered unto idols, they, by that act, pro"fessed themselves to be in a state of friend*c ship with them. The Jews, by eating "the sacrifices offered to God, partook of "the altar or table of God, and by that "were deemed to be in a state of friendship . ** with him. The Gentiles, by eating the ,c things offered to their gods, were, for "the fame reason, in a state of friendship "with them. Now it is impossible, as tc the Apostle argues, to be in covenant "or friendship with two such contrary "masters; and consequently, the Corin** thians ought not, could not, partake of IC the table of the Lord, and of the table "of devils, or dæmonsb."
Answ. Whatever way be taken to explain this passage of St. Paul, I can fee no reason or necessity for assuming the Author's
b Page 63, 64.