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tation of the original : since an idiomatical peculiarity has been noticed in the expression thus translated, by virtue of which that signification of it, and no other, can be consistent with grammatical proprietyd.
There is one remaining consideration, to which I conceive that an undue importance is not annexed, if we say, that it ought in candour to be regarded as decisive of the controversy. The grant of animal food to man was not till after the flood. Antecedently to that period, we read of no permission to take away the life of brutes. Whence then did Abel derive his authority for the destruction of ani. mal life? That he was authorized, there can be no doubt : for if he had not been, his bloody offering could not have obtained the acceptance and approbation of God.
A celebrated writer on moral philosophy has the following observation. “ It seems to me, that it “ would be difficult to defend the right of killing “ animals for food by any arguments which the light “ and order of nature afford; and that we are be“ holden for it to the permission recorded in Scrip“ ture. • And God blessed Noah and his sons, and “ said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and re“ plenish the earth. And the fear of you and the “ dread of you shall be upon every beast of the “ earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon “ all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the “ fishes of the sea; into your hand are they de“ livered. Every moving thing that liveth shall be
d See Magee on Atonement, vol. ii. p. 244.
“ meat for you ; even as the green herb have I given “ you all things.”
This is the remark of a clear and comprehensive mind, eminently distinguished by a talent, not only of reasoning skilfully, but also of poising the weight of evidence, and of nicely adjusting the balance of conflicting arguments. The foregoing citation from his writings cannot therefore but appear an important concession, respecting the impossibility of establishing, by any unassisted process of the mind, the right of slaying animals for food. On what rational ground then can we establish the right of slaying them for sacrifice ? Cases may perhaps be supposed, such, for instance, as those of necessity and selfprotection, in which for particular reasons the destruction of life might be justified before the permission of animal food was granted. These may be alleged as exceptions to the general law: but in the number of these exceptions sacrifice cannot, on any principle which fairly applies to it, be included. On the whole therefore we contend, that the acceptable
celebration of a sanguinary worship, cannot be ac· counted for consistently with the state of mankind
in the antediluvian world, otherwise than by the admission of its Divine appointmentf.
Gen. ix. 1, 2, 3. Paley's Moral and Political Philosophy, book ii. chap. 11.
f“ We know that no being has a right to the lives of the “ creatures but their Creator, or those on whom he confers that “ right : and it is certain that God had not yet given man a right “ to the creatures, even for necessary food; and much less for “ unnecessary cruelty. And therefore, nothing but his command " could create a right to take away their lives. It is also evident, " that killing an innocent creature cannot, in its own nature, be
Among those who maintain the human original of sacrifice, it cannot be denied that there exists a considerable diversity of sentiment, in regard to the principles which are supposed to have dictated or suggested its introduction. Of the theories which have thus been framed, our attention has hitherto been confined to one. It will not, however, be necessary to the purpose of a candid investigation, that the others should be examined with equal care: because the arguments by which we have encountered the former will, if assented to, be found decidedly conclusive against the latter. Thus, it is contended by Warburton, that “ the common senti“ ments of our nature would draw the first men into “ this mode of worship;" which is itself described by that great writer as an example of the “ ancient “ mode of converse by action in aid of words." “ Some chosen animal,” says he, “ precious to the “ repenting criminal, who deprecates, or supposed “ to be obnoxious to the Deity, who is to be ap“ peased, was offered up and slain at the altar, in “ an action, which, in all languages, when trans“ lated into words, speaks to this purpose, I con“ fess my transgressions at thy footstool, O my God! “ and, with the deepest contrition, implore thy par“ don; confessing that I deserve death for these my “ offences.'-The latter part of the confession was
“ properly said to be doing well. And therefore, since Abel is “ acknowledged by God to have done well, in killing the firstlings “ of his flock in sacrifice, it is evident he must have done this for “some very good and just reason ; and what reason could justify “ him in doing it, but the command of God ?" Revelation examined with Candour, vol. i. p. 132.
“ more forcibly expressed by the action of striking “ the devoted animal, and depriving it of life; which, “ when put into words, concluded in this man“ ner- And I own that I myself deserve the death “ which I now inflict on this animals.” But if the action itself should, under the circumstances connected with its first performance, appear (agreeably to the tenor of our former observations) calculated to provoke the strongest antipathies of nature, and to involve in it the cruel usurpation of a right which God had never conferred ; if this view be correct, it will necessarily follow, that such an action could never have occurred to the mind as a proper mode of pious and reverential intercourse with the Deity. Equally inadmissible, for the purpose of explaining a sacrifice which was observed many ages before the lawful use of animal food, will be the theory of another writer, who proposes to account for the human original of sacrifices by supposing, “that eating and “ drinking together were the known ordinary sym“ bols of friendship, and were the usual rites of en“ gaging in covenants and leagues, and of renewing “ and ratifying friendshipsh.” From a detailed examination of these several systems we feel ourselves exonerated, not only by a regard to the proper brevity of a subordinate inquiry, but by a respect for the proper object of all inquiry whatever, which is, the evidence of truth, and not the gratification of a controversial taste. For, as the evidence of truth in itself supplies the confutation of error, it therefore dispenses with a separate exposure of its fallacies ;
8 Div. Leg. b. ix. c. 2. vol. vi. pp. 275, 276. h Sykes's Essay on Sacrifices, p. 73.
and the traveller, who is satisfied that he is right in the path which he has chosen, can have no occasion to waste his time in the useless labour of exploring deviations.
Meaning of Sacrifice. “Η ΝΕΑ ΔΙΑΘΗΚΗ ΠΑΛΑΙΩ. ΚΕΧΑΡΑΓΜΕΝΗ ΓΡΑΜΜΑΤΙ.
Clem. Alex. Pædag. i. 7. THE foregoing inquiry respecting the origin of sacrifice will be properly followed by an examination of its meaning. · In pursuing this branch of the subject, it will, in the first place, be proper to state the view of it which we feel ourselves called upon to maintain. We contend then that Sacrifice, from the earliest date of its observance, and according to the purpose of its first institution, was distinguished by the following essential characters and properties. It was a means of symbolical instruction appointed in order to the expiation of sin; the instruction being conveyed by transferring, in representation, the imputation of sin from the guilty to the innocent, and by substituting, in representation also, the innocent in the place of the guilty, as the subject of punishment. In other words, it was both expiatory in its design, and vicarious in its import.
Towards establishing the justice of this view, clearness of method will best be consulted, if we first ascertain the character of sacrifice, considered exclusively as a provision of the Mosaic law. Having done this, we shall have gained a step of consider