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return to the city or into their own houses till they had washed themselves in some stream or fountain. 'In this,' Porphyry says in a passage already cited,* 'all theologists agree.'†
XVI. In the last place, as the Jews considered the life of every piacular victim to be sacrificed instead of the life of the sinner, so we are to show that the same opinion was received among the Heathens. This idea is clearly implied in the appellation by which the Greeks designated these victims. Observe also the language of the Scholiast on Aristophanes : For the 'Athenians kept some very mean and useless persons, ' and in the time of any calamity, as a plague or the like, coming on the city, they, in order to purify 'themselves from the contagion, sacrificed these per
sons whom they called purifiers.'|| In another place he says:¶Those who were sacrificed to the gods, ' as a lustration or purgation of some pestilence, or 6 any other disease, were called purifiers.' It is evident that the victims which received this appellation had the same object as those which were distinguished by the other. Nor is there any room to doubt whether the same opinion ought to be formed respecting all the piacular sacrifices offered by the same people and on the same account.
XVII. Plautus introduces one of his characters saying: Must I be made an expiation on account of
thy folly, that thou mayest substitute my back to answer for thy folly?' Where he represents expiation to consist in suffering vicarious punishment for another's offence. Take another passage from the
*C. xvii. §. 3. + De Abstin. L. 1. c. 44. egna, which Hesychius explains by arruxor, life substituted for life. § Ad Equites. || Καθάρματα. ¶ Ad Plutum.
same poet: When thou art thyself the guilty per'son, why does a victim die in thy stead?' Cæsar in his account of the Gauls says:* 'The whole 'nation is very much devoted to religious rites. And 'for that reason, those who are afflicted with grievous 'diseases, and those who are going to battles, or in'volved in dangers, either sacrifice other human vic'tims, or vow that they will sacrifice themselves; and 'the ministers employed by them in these sacrifices are 'the Druids because they believe, that the majesty ' of the immortal gods cannot be propitiated, unless 'the life of man be sacrificed for the life of man.' But least of all must we omit what Porphyry states from Asclepiades:†At first no animal was sacrificed to 'the gods. Nor was there any law for this, which was forbidden by the law of nature. But the first 'animal sacrifice is said to have been offered on some occasion requiring life instead of life.' This passage implies that it was commonly believed in ancient times, that animal sacrifices were only introduced on some occasion which was thought to demand life for life. Such occasions the Heathens considered all seasons of apprehended calamity; as is evident from the same author. For those sacrifices in which he asserts a substitution of life for life, he had just before described as offered for the averting of some " calamities.'
XVIII. If there is any weight, therefore, in the entire agreement of Christians and Jews, and even of Heathens, on this subject, though otherwise differing most widely in manners and religion; no doubt can remain, that the piacular victims were the subjects of
*De Bello Gall. L. vi. c. 16.
† Ψυχήν αντι ψυχής.
↑ De Abstinen. L. iv. c. 15. § Εις αποτροπην τινων κακων.
vicarious punishment. Yet let it be remembered, as
SACRIFICE OF CHRIST.
The general Business of Christ's Priesthood; the Order to which it belongs; and the Things by which he was especially consecrated to this Office.
THE subject of this Dissertation being the Sacrifice of Christ, I conceive it cannot be improper to make a few preliminary observations respecting his priesthood:-in the first place, on the general business of this office; secondly, on the order to which it belongs; and lastly, on the things by which he was especially consecrated to it.
The general business of his priesthood must be defined—an advocacy or mediation with God on the behalf of men. While his other offices, regal and prophetical, are exercised toward men, his priesthood is exercised toward God. For a king is God's vicegerent, and every prophet is his ambassador to men ; ✓ but a priest is an advocate for men with God. Hence we are said to "have Jesus Christ" as 66 an advocate "with the Father;"* Christ is said to "make inter❝cession for us at the right hand of God," and "to appear in the presence of God for us." But, as these things will be more fully explained in another place, the mere mention of them is sufficient here,
* I John ii. 1.
+ Rom. viii, 34,
Heb. ix. 24
ritation git. II. The order of Christ's priesthood is explicitly declared in the scriptures, which describe him as " a 'priest after the order of Melchisedec," and specify two important points of difference between his priesthood and that of Aaron. First, the priesthood of Melchisedec, that great man of whom no history records the genealogy, or the birth, or the death, was confined to no particular family; but the priesthood of Aaron was committed exclusively to his family by a divine law. Secondly, the priesthood of Melchisedec was of such a nature, that the person invested with it would be a priest for ever, either in a shadowy figurative sense, in which Melchisedec, as we have before observed, is declared to be a priest for ever; or in a true and perfect sense, such as the eternity of the priesthood of Christ. He will exercise this office in every age of the world; nor, as long as his advocacy or mediation shall be needed by his people, will he ever desert or discontinue it. In the priesthood of Aaron, on the contrary, those who died were succeeded by others in a continual series; and the office itself has long since been abolished in his family.
The opinion entertained by some,-that the sacrifices offered by Aaron were of a different kind from those which were offered by Melchisedec, that Aaron offered animals as well as inanimate things, and that Melchisedec offered nothing but bread and wine,appears to me to have no foundation. Melchisedec gave bread and wine to Abraham and his servants, on their return from a battle, in order to recruit their exhausted strength. And the sacred history contains plain intimations of the existence of a similar custom in that and the neighbouring countries on
* Gen, xiv, 18.