Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

the piacular goat sent out to Azazel, they might the more willingly abstain from all application to the apopompèan gods of the Gentiles.' None of these reasons, so far as I can judge, sufficiently accounts for the fact; and the last of them is both evidently inconclusive, and likewise makes the learned author inconsistent with himself: for it is built upon the supposition, that the Israelites understood the Hebrew word Azazel in the sense of the Greek word Apopompèus ; when yet the propriety of that comparatively modern rendering by the Seventy is justly controverted, when of course the ancient Israelites were wholly unacquainted with a rendering which existed not in their days, and when they never could have learned either from Moses or from the prophets that Satan resembled in his attributes the averruncan gods of Paganism because like them he was potent to avert calamities from his votaries.

Let us then see, whether we can discover any less objectionable mode of solving the difficulty.

I set out with the postulate, which, I should suppose, cannot reasonably be denied : that each of the two piacular goats was alike a type of our Saviour Christ, who laid down his life for us in the quality of a sacrificial victim, and who bore the load of our sins transferred to him by imputation. The whole question therefore resolves itself into an inquiry, why, on the annual great day of atonement, the Messiah was thus doubly symbol

1

Spencer, de Leg. Heb. Rit. lib. iii. dissert. 8. c. 2,

VOL. II.

R.

ized: why, under one aspect, he was represented as a victim offered up to appease the wrath of Jehovah; and why, under another aspect, he was described as burdened with the sins of his people and formally given up to the power of Azazelor Satan.

Now to meet this inquiry nothing more is necessary than to observe the character assigned in Holy Writ to our blessed Lord.

Since all we are transgressors of the Law, since transgression demands punishment at the hand of a perfectly just God, and since the decreed punishment is death both temporal and eternal: it is manifest, that we cannot be pardoned consistently with the divine attribute of justice, unless some one can be found, who, by willingly submitting to the penalty in our stead, has at the same tiine a sufficiency of absolute merit to purchase our justification with the Deity. Such a person was our Saviour Christ. He laid down his life for us, that we might go free: and this sacrifice of himself upon the cross was typified by every bloody sacrifice under the Law, and therefore among others by the piacular devotement of that goat which fell by lot to Jehovah. Here we have the great mystery of the Gospel so well described by the apostle, as that which alone could exbibit God both just and yet the justifier of them that believe in Christ Jesus. But this is not the whole of our Lord's revealed character. At the very commencement of the Bible it was foretold, that, although the promised Seed of the woman should finally bruise the head of the serpent, yet the serpent should first bruise his heel or mortal part. If then the serpent was to bruise his mortal part, that mortal part must needs be delivered over to the power of the serpent; for of himself he could possess no such superiority even during a single moment. Hence it will follow, that Satan, bent only upon satiating his own malice, and unconscious that he was actually subserving the divine purposes of mercy, was the agent, who through his earthly tools effected the death of the Messiah. He indeed sought nothing more than to frustrate God's counsels, which he imagined would be best done by cutting off the prophet of the Gospel : but Christ, in freely submitting to his utmost malice which with ease he might have disconcerted, thus offered himself up a willing sacrifice on the altar of the cross to appease the wrath of heaven and to redeem mankind from ruin. - To this utter dereliction on the part of God, to this complete exposure of the Woman's Seed to all the rage of the infernal serpent, our Lord doubtless alludes, both in his bitter cry from the cross, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me, and in his remark to the priests and elders who came to apprehend him, This is your hour and the power of darkness. Burdened with the full weight of all our iniquities, the Saviour was thus given up to the malice of Satan ; who, with a power exceeding that which was committed to him over Job, had the Messiah placed in his hand without any restriction that he should save his life.

[ocr errors]

Such being the scriptural character of our Lord, it is evident that no single type can perfectly exhibit it in both its parts. The various bloody sacrifices of the Law prefigured it in one part, namely that which respected the atonement made with God for the sins of man : but they spoke nothing concerning its other part, namely that which respected the delivering up of the Messiah to the infernal serpent with the permissive power of bruising his mortal frame. On this second part they were silent : and, if it were at all to he shadowed out under the ceremonial Law, such a purpose could only be effected by the introduction of a new type, connected indeed with the usual sacrificial type, but kept nevertheless studiously distinct from it. A double type, in short, must be employed, if the character of Christ under its twofold aspect was to be completely prefigured.

Now the two goats, which are jointly denominated a sin-offering, constitute a type of this identical description. The two together present us with a perfect symbolical delineation of our Lord's official character, while he was accomplishing the great work of redemption. Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats ; one lot for Jehovah, and the other lot for Azazel. The goat, which fell to the lot of Jehovah, was devoted as a sin-offering, after the manner of any other sin-offering, by its being piacularly slain. This type represented the Messiah in the act of satisfying the strict justice of

1 Levit. xvi. 5.

But the goat,

God, by consenting to lay down his life sacrificially in our stead and on our behalf. which fell to the lot of Azazel, was first imputatively loaded with the sins of the whole people, and was then symbolically given up to his rage by being 'turned loose into the wilderness which was deemed the favourite terrestrial haunt of the evil spirit. This second type represented the Messiah, burdened with the transgressions of all mankind, deserted for a season by his heavenly Father, and delivered into the hand of the prince of darkness with a full permission granted to the apostate angel of mortally bruising his heel or human nature.

Such I conceive to be the plain and obvious interpretation of the ceremonial, which was observed on the great day of atonement : yet, from a part of the ordinance respecting the live goat, I think it not improbable, that a special previsionary regard may have been mysteriously had to a very remarkable part of our Saviour's history. When the goat was delivered up to the malice of Satan, it was turned loose into the wilderness. In a similar - manner, Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness, to be tempted of the devil :' and here, when he had fasted forty days and was afterwards an hungred, the fiend commenced upon him that series of attacks which terminated only with his death upon the cross. Thus perfect throughout is the similitude between the type and the antitype.

5. The two goats do not afford the only instance

1 Matt. iv. I.

« НазадПродовжити »