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and drinking together (there being- no such thing) could not be a symbol of friendship, or a fœderal rite, by which they engaged in, renewed, or kept up friendship with one another. This difficulty comes often in our Author's way; and, it being a dead weight upon his whole system, he uses several shifts to get rid of it. I shall here exhibit and consider the chief of them.
Firjl. Our Author, in order to shewj that his notion of the symbolical use and design of sacrifices, is applicable to these sacrifices of which the owners had no share to eat or drink, argues in a pretty strange and uncommon manner. He fays, "When ** a burnt-offering was brought, the person "that offered it, looked upon himself as in "a state of offence.—He could not then, "under these circumstances, presume to "eat as a friend with God, till he had *c made confession, and had declared him"self a sincere penitent. Here then an "holocaust was to be offered, and a meat "and drink-offering accompanied it: but
the offender, considering himself as guilty, "acted as under a fense of guilt. He only "applied to be restored to favour, and did "not partake of the offering And to the n same purpose, speaking of all piacular ** sacrifices in general, he faith, no sacrifice
1 Page 277.
"that was offered on account of guilt for "offences actually committed; nor no sa"crifice offered for offences which men "imagined or thought themselves guilty of, "could be eaten of by the owner. The r cc offender was too much a criminal in his ,c own opinion, to be admitted to God's "table immediately. What, therefore, he cc offered to God was the beginning of re"conciliation. He laid his hands upon "the sacrifice; he confessed his sin; he c.c promised and professed repentance; but "till all this was done and over, he was cc an improper person to partake of the tt table of God, who was justly conceived "to be displeased, or, at least, to have a "right to shew displeasure m."
An S W E R.
The Author here acknowledgeth, that the owners of piacular sacrifices did not eat or drink any mare of them; consequently, piacular sacrifices were not symbols of friendship in his fense, or federal rites, by which God and the offerers engaged in, renewed, or kept up friendship, by eating or drinking together.—But the Author fays, these sacrifices were an application to be restored to favour, and the beginning of reconciliation.
T 3 Be
m Pag? 283, 284.
Be it so; but still God and the offerers of. them did not eat or drink together; consequently, these sacrifices were not, in his fense, symbols of friendship, or fœderal rites: and, therefore, his notion of the symbolical nature and use of sacrifices doth not, cannot, agree to them.
But to enter more thoroughly into this affair with the Author, I would fain know how, or in what fense, piacular sacrifices were an application to be restored to favour, and the beginning of reconciliation. Can it be thought that these sacrifices had a natural tendency or fitness to effect a reconciliation betwixt God and the offerers; and might, on that account, be deemed an application to be restored to favour, and the beginning of reconciliation? This is what the Author himself will, by no means, admit of; for he fays, "repentance would "always cover lins, and make them not to *c be remembred or imputed to the sinner; V and a sacrifice attended with repentance "would always produce the fame effect; "and, without repentance, ten thousand "sacrifices would never cause that sin should "not be remembred"." Accordingly he says, "pardon was never obtained by sacri"fice alone, but as it was attended with a "right disposition of mind; and pardon
■ Page 158.
** maybe, and has been, obtained by a "right disposition 6f mind alone, without "the concurrence of any sacrifice.—The "victim therefore, or the blood of the '* victim, or millions of hecatombs, or ten. "thousands of rivers of oil, can never, of *( themselves make atonement"." And agreeably to all this, he faith, "When a "sinner, at any time, repented, and con** fessed his sin, and offered his proper fau crifice, he was then admitted to eat at tc God's table, (this, we have seen before, "Was seldom, if ever, true,) as being in - "a state-of friendship with God; that is, "he Was taken into favour, and the sin '* which he had been guilty of, was par"doned: not because he had offered up "his sacrifice, but because he had returned ** to his duty, and had declared his return M by this open testimony of sorrow for fin. "The imputing to sacrifices, and to exter*( nal rites, what was wholly owing to the tX moral disposition of the mind, is so much "inconsistent with the reason of the thing, "that we find, in scripture, sacrifices some"times treated as if they had never been "required or commanded by God. The "people imagined that they had done their "dutys, when they had brought their sal< cristees to the altar, and had there pre*
T 4 sented
Page 306, 307,
"sented them to God; and never thought of that rectitude of mind, — without which sacrifices were an empty, ground"less ceremonyp,"—-According to this doctrine of the Author, sacrifices, considered in themselves, were an empty, groundless ceremony, could make no atonement, had no natural fitness or tendency towards effecting a reconciliation between God and a sinner: and therefore, considered in this view, they could not be accounted an application to be restored to favour, or the beginning of reconciliation, or, indeed any thing but an empty, groundless ceremony. —In what fense then were piacular sacrifices, an application to be restored to favour, and the beginning of reconciliation ?—truly, we had best consult the Author himself, for an answer to this knotty question.—He puts the question thus, what then was the use or design of sacrifice? and then subjoins, "The "true answer to this, is, that sacrifice was *c designed as a mode of engaging in friendtc ship, or as a desire of being reinstated in friendship V And, a few pages below, he explains himself further upon this head, in the following words, "Sacrifice was the *c customary, external, visible mode, by "which the internal acts of the mind were "expressed; hence that was imputed to fa
t Page 304, 305. 1 p. 306, 307.