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really contained in them, and all the consequences fairly deducible from them, are laid together, they do not amount to any scripture-evidence, or any degree of scriptureevidence, of the truth of the Dr's notion of Jewish sacrifices.
§. 35. In the two following paragraphs, the Dr. tells us, That, in this notion of sacrifice, which he gives us, is included "whatsoever is expressive of a pious "and virtuous disposition S," &c. And that what is said of the worshipper, as having " made a covenant with God by fa"crrfice^ Psalm 1. 5." may be well explained by it.4—To which I answer; that it is not my business here, to consider what is included, or not included, in the Dr's notion of sacrifice; or what may be done, or not done, by the help of it; but to enquire, whether the scripture-evidence, which he has produced, be sufficient to support and prove the truth of it. The scripture-evidence, which the Dr. has yet produced, is lame and inconclusive, as I have shewn. When he has produced better, it may then be proper to consider what is included in his notion of sacrifice, or may be done by the help of it.
§. 36. The Dr. having thus given us his notion of Jewish sacrifices, and confirmed,
s See Scrip, doc. of Aton. Chap. II. §. 25, 26.
as as he thinks, the truth of it by scriptureevidence, he now proceeds to erect his scheme upon it, by accounting, in a rational way, for the effect which those sacrifices had, in reference (i.)ToGod; and (2) To the persons who offered them.
§.37. l ft. As to the effect, which those sacrifices had with God, he fays, " Thus (*. e. by conceiving of sacrifices as symbolical addresses to God, by emblematical actions) " we may form an idea of the ef"sect which sacrifices had with God y "which cannot well be any other than "that of prayer and praise, or other ex"preffions of our religious regards; which "are pleasing to God as they proceed from, "or produce, good affections in us h."
§. 38. Answ. Prayer and praise, without doubt, are acceptable to God, as they proceed from, or produce, good affections in us. But before it can be, in reason, admitted, that Jewish sacrifices had their effect with God after the fame manner as prayer and praise, it must be first proved, that those sacrifices were not only symbols of, but of the fame nature and property with, prayer and praise; or, which is the fame thing, that sacrifice, prayer, and praise, are equipollent terms. Both these propo
h See Scripture-doctrine of Atonement examined, Chap. II, §. 27.
sitions, sitions, however inconsistent, the Dr. indeed, has endeavoured to prove and support by scripture-evidence. But the scriptureevidence, which he has advanced for these purposes, when examined by the rules of just and sober criticism, has been found to be defective, and, indeed, no scriptureevidence at all. And, therefore, real and true scripture-evidence is still wanting, and called for.
-§-. 39. 2dly. As to the effect which Jewish sacrifices had, in reference to the persons who offered them, the Dr.- fays, "They were effectual to obtain the bless"ings desired. Particularly, sin-offerings, "or piacular sacrifices,—were available to "the forgiveness of sin. For it is often "repeated in Levit. iv. v, and vi. chapters, *c And the priejl Jhall make atonement for "him, or them, or for the sin, and it stall
"be forgiven. Now taking sacrifice for
"a penitent address to God, this may be "accounted for in the fame manner as all "other declarations of forgiveness to those
who repent, &c.c."
§. 40. Answ. That sacrifices were, some way or other, the means of obtaining blessings for the offerers, or of the conveyance of blessings to them; and that piacular sacrifices, in particular, were the
1 See Scrip, doc. of Aton. ex. Chap. IJ. § 28.
means means of the conveyance of the pardon of sin to them; these are things which no person, who believes the truth of the holy scriptures, can have any doubt about.— But whether piacular sacrifices were a penitent address to God, and whether the efficacy of these sacrifices, as availing to the pardon of sin, be to be accounted for after the fame manner as that of penitent address; these are things which stand in need of some good proof. Supposing it really were true, that piacular sacrifice was a penitent address to' God, yet this is not a self-evident proposition; and, therefore, it ought to be proved, before it be admitted for a true one.— And, I add, that other and better evidences must be brought of its truth, than those texts of scripture, from which the Dr. would infer, that sacrifice and prayer are equipollent terms; because there is nothing in those texts that amounts to a proof, or even any shadow of a proof, of it, as I have shewn already. But there is no need to insist any farther upon this point, because the Dr. himself, if he will stand to his own definitions of sacrifice, must disclaim this notion of sacrifice: for, in his own fense of things, expressed in those definitions, sacrifice is not penitent address, but only a symbol of penitent address. And it will be allowed, I think, that there is a wide difference between a thing and the symbol of it. Now if we should suppose with the Dr. that piacular sacrifice was a symbol of penitent address, yet it will be no easy matter to prove, that the efficacy of sacrifice and that of penitent address are the fame, or that they may be accounted for after the fame manner: for in order to prove this, it will be necessary to prove, that penitent address and the external symbol of it have the same efficacy: and, therefore, it will be incumbent on the Dr. to produce a clear and satisfactory proof of this; and in doing this, if I am not mistaken, he will find great difficulty.—To fay here, that piacular sacrifices, as symbols of penitent address to God, availed to the obtaining of the pardon of sin, is saying nothing to the purpose. It is the fame way of reasoning as if, to prove that the shell of a nut is nourishing to the body, one should say, the shell of a nut, as containing the kernel, is conducive to the nourishment of the body; and, therefore the efficacy of the shell and of the kernel of a nut in nourishing the body, may be accounted for after the same manner. The moral virtues of the mind have been represented by external symbols. But can any person think, that those symbols, however used, or to