Изображения страниц


Amongst the various causes of the Mosaic Ritual, the principal were these :

1. First, A necessity of complying with those inveterate prejudices (least liable to idolatrous abuse) which a long abode in Egypt had induced: amongst the chief was their attachment to SACRIFICE ; a species of divine worship, which, at this time, made almost the whole of Religion in the Egyptian world. These people (as hath been observed before) reckoning up six hundred and sixty-sis sorts of sacrifice.

2. A second cause of the Mosaic Ritual was to debar the people from their too ready entrance to Idolatry, by keeping them continually occupied in the performance of their sacred Rites to the GOD OF ISRAEL; whose NAME, when lost in all other places, was, by their SEPARATION, to be preserved in the land of Judea, till the fulness of time should come.

3. A third was to PREFIGURE, by these Rites of Sacrifice, the DEATH OF CHRIST UPON THE Cross : For the Mosaic Religion being the foundation of, and preparatory to, the Christian, it was fit and proper to connect these two parts of God's moral Dispensation, in such a manner that their mutual relation might, in a proper time, become evident to all men.

For in two Religions related to each other, as the MEANS and the END, the FOUNDATION and the SUPERSTRUCTURE, nothing can be more conformable to our ideas of Divine Wisdom, than its contriving some ties which might establish the knowledge, and perpetuate the memory of that close relation, without immaturely explaining the particulars of it. Now what can be conceived more effectual for this purpose than to make the Rites of the one Religion TYPICAL, that is, declarative and expressive of the general nature of the other.

These various uses of SACRIFICE in the Mosaic Ritual cannot but raise our admiration of the divine Wisdom; which hath so contrived, that the very Worship indulged to the Israelites, in compassion to their childish prejudices, should not only prevent the abuses, the natural effect of those prejudices which led to idolatry, but, at the same time, should establish and proclaim, by means of their TYPICAL representations, a strong and lasting



connexion between the two Religions. Representations so apposite to this end and purpose, that all the sects and parties in Christianity, how widely seever they differ amongst theinselves in other matters, agree in this, that the sacrifices of the Law, besides the other uses in the Mosaic institution, are TYPICAL OF THE DEATH OF CHRIST * So far, we say, all the Christian Churches, even the SOCINIAN; agree with us. In this, they differ; they pretend, that though the Jewish Sacrifices prefigured the death of Christ, as Types of it, yet it does not follow that his death was a real Sacrifice, like the Jewish. On the contrary, we affirin, that this alone is sufficient to shew, that if the Type was a real Sacrifice, the Antitype must be so likewise. For (to enter a little more particularly into this mode of representation) a Type differs from a SYMBOL in this, that the Type represents something future; the Symbol, something past or present.

The commanded Sacrifice of Isaac was given for 'a Type ; the Sacrifices of the Law were Types. The Images of the Cherubims over the Propitiatory were Symbols ; the bread and wine in the last Supper were Symbols.

So far they agree in their genüs, that they are equally REPRESENTATIONs; butin their species, they differ widely. · It is not required that the Symbol should partake of the nature of the thing represented: the Cherubims shadowed out the celerity of Angels, but not by any physical celerity of their own; the bread and wine shadowed out the body and blood of Christ, but not by any change in the Elements.

But Types being, on the contrary, representations of things future, and so partaking of the nature of Prophecy, were to convey information conceruing the nature of the Antitypes, or of the things represented; which they could not do, but by the exhibition of their own nature.

Hence we collect, that the command to offer Isaac, being the command to offer a real Sacrifice, the death and sufferings. of Christ, thereby represented, was a real Sacrifice. And the piacular and vicarious Sacrifices of the Law being real Sacrifices, the Death on the Cross was a real Sacrifice likewise.

* See what hath been said of the logical and natural propriety of Types and secondary senses, Book vi. $ 6. Vol. VI.



The Type

Were this otherwise, the Type, as a Type, would contain more than was contained in the Antitype. An absurdity, which makes the Shadow convey more than the Substance; when, by its very nature, it should convey less. On this Truth, the reasoning in the Epistle to the Hebrews is founded -" Christ, (says the Apostolic "Writer) was once offered to bear the sins of many. “For the Law having the Shadow of good things to * come, and not the VERY IMAGE of the things, can

never with those Sacrifices, which they offered, year by year, continually, make the comers thereunto perfect: for then would they not have ceased tę be offered *."

The Jewish Sacrifices are here called SHADOWS, not in an absolute, but in a comparative sense. is inferior to the Antitype, just as, in visible things, a natural shadow is to an artificial image. For the Typical Sacrifices of the Law, having, besides their property of Types, a MORAL IMPORT, (and not like the Typical Sacrifice commanded to be offered by Abraham, a mere shadow without any moral import) are called Shadows, not in opposition to realities (for having a moral import, they are realities); but called Shadou's, only in comparison to the vast disparity between the virtues of the Types and the Antitype, thus explained and enforced by the same inspired Writer—" For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer, sprinkling the “ unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh, How

MUCH MORE shall the blood of Christ, who offered “ himself without spot to God, purge your conscience “ from dead works to serve the living Godt?

Again ; though, from hence, it appears that these Types with the Antitype are occupied in the elucidation of the same great subject, yet it will not follow, that every several Type is equally expressive of the Antitype. Some of them shall present a more perfect image of the Antitype than others; yet they do not exclude the most imperfect from a share in the honour of so august a representation, For though the divine Author of the System had ordained, that the whole of the Jewish Ritual, concerning Sacrifices, should typify or prefigure the great SACRIFICE OF

* Heb. ix. 28.~-X. 1, 2. See Book vi. $ 6. of the Divine Legation, # Hleb, ix, 13, 141

CHRIST: * See Book vi. $ 6. U 2

[ocr errors]

Christ; yet as those Sacrifices, at the same time, constituted an essential part of the Mosaic economy, whic!), on several occasions, I have expressed more generally by the terms of their bearing à MORAÍ IMPORT, it could not but be that some would carry fainter and others stronger; shadows or images of what as Types they represented; just as the various Jewish service, in its moral nature, afforded more or less occasiotis of cvidence. Thus, the Type of the Paschal Lamb was a more perfect representation, than the Type of the Victim burnt without the Camp

It might, and probably would have been otherwise, had these Types borne no moral import, like the conmand to offer Isaac, for then nothing could have hindered all the Types from being as coinplete representations of the Antitype as that command to Abrahum was ; and if nothing hindered, it is reasonable to suppose, it would have been done.

We have observed, that these Types, in the Mosaig Ritual, were a kind of Prophecy by action; in which Providence was pleased to manifest to the world, the real connexion between the Jewish and the Christian Revelations. But this was not all. The other sort of Prophecy was not wanting, whicli, by way of eniinence, has commonly assumed the name, viz. The written Predictions of the Jewish Prophets. Where, in a detailed account of the PROMISED MESSIAII, the principal part relates to his death and sufferings on the Cross, under the idea of a SACRIFICE. And if, as hath been pretended, these things relate to Jesus only in a secondary scnse, and to the Jewish Leaders in a primary; this would only make the analogy between these two kinds of Prediction more complete, and the connexion between the two Religions more strong and durable. For the Jewish Saerifices, though as types they refer ultimately to Christ, yet as a religious service not typical, they had; like Prophecy, a prior reference to the Law. So admirable is this coincidence between these two sorts of prediction. As to the logical and moral fitness of SECONDARY SENSES, I have explained that matter at large in the former parts of this work *


Hitherto in support of the Doctrine of the GREAT SACRIFICE ON THE Cross. And this alone seems abundantly sufficient to establish it.

: But this is not the whole. It was not only FORETOLD: hy the Types and other Prophecies of the old Lau, but the Remembrance of it was PERPETUATED by a divine Institution in the new : and an explanation of this Rite is the last step we shall take to fix this fundamental Article of our holy Faiths.

In those Ages of the World *, when Victims made a principal part of the Religion both of Jews and Gentiles, the Sacrifice was commonly followed by a religious Feast on the thing ofte red, called a l'enst upon, or after, the Sacrifice; the partakers of which were supposed to be. come partakers of the BENEFITS of the Sacrifice.

Iu allusion to this custom, Jesus was pleased to institute a 'cast of the same kind:--In order of time, indeed; the Feast naturally followed the Sacrifice. But in this great Atonement, where the VICTIM, the OFFERER, and the Priest, were all one and the same Person, the Feast was, of necessity, to precede the Sacrifice...

The History of this institution is recorded, by the Evangelists, in these words :-". And as they were eat

ing, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and gave it to his

disciples, and said, Take, cat : THIS IS JY BODY. And “. he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them,

saying, Drink ye all of it; for Tius IS MY BLOOD of " the New Testament, wlrich is shed for many, for the ( remission of sins.” Matt. xxvi. 26-28.

Now, to manifest that we are not mistaken in the idea here giver of this Rite, let us retieet on the precise tine of its celebration.

As Jesus, with lis Disciples, (says the text) was concluding the Paschal Supper, which was a Jewish Feast after the Sacrifice, his own approaching Sacrifice naturally suggested to him the idea of this customary Feast. But being himself both the Victim and the Offerer, the Institution of this Rite must of necessity, as we observed, precede the SacrificeThe Sacrifice on the Cross was the Antitype of the Paschal Lamb; and the Feast on Christ's

* See the Discourse on the Nature and End of the Lord's Supper, Tol. X. of this Edie


« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »