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observable ; that the temple, here called of
Psal. 1. 14, Sacrifice unto God thanksgiving. Ver. 23. Whoso sacrificeth praise, glorifieth me. Psal. li. 17, The sacrifices of Godare a broken spirit. 1. Pet. ii. 5, Ye are arz holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable unto God. Heb. xiii. 15, By him let us offer up the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his name. 22. Moreover, expenses, labours, pains, sufferings for God, kindness to the poor, are by the sacred writers figuratively called sacrifices, pleasing and acceptable to God. Which plainly shews, they understood proper sacrifices were acceptable to him in the same manner, viz. as attended with a pious and well disposed mind. Phil. iv. 18, Having received the things you sent, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice well pleasing to God. Heb. xiii. 16, But to do good and communicate, forget not : for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. A pure and chaste body is also called a sacrifice, Rom. xii. 1. Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God. The conversion of the Gentiles is considered as a sacrifice, Rom. xv.16, That I Paul should be the minister, or priest of Jesus Christ to the
Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up, or sacrificing, of the Gentiles might be acceptable, &c. Hence it appears, that Jewish offerings, and sacrifices had respect to self-dedication; otherwise, the apostle could not have used them to signify his presenting the Gentiles to God. See Isa. lxvi. 20. They shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord. Blood spilt in God’s service, is also called a sacrifice, Phil. ii. 17, Yea and if I be of: fered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith. Where likewise the service of faith, or faithful service to the interest of God, comes under the same notion. Agreeably to this, the souls of them, who were slain for the word of God, are represented to be under the altar, Rev. vi. 9, 10, the very place where the blood or soul, of the sacrifice was poured out, Lev. iv. 7, 18, 25, 30.3%
* That the altar, under which St. john saw the souls of the martyrs, Rev. vi. 9, was the great altar of sacrifice in the court of the temple, must surely be allowed : for the blood, lives, or souls, of the sacrifices was poured out under no other altar but that. And though the whole scene of this, and the other visions, might be in the sanctuary; and though St. john might have his face towards that and his back towards the great altar in the court behind him; yet for all that, when the fifth seal was opened, he saw the great altar of sacrifice. For all that could be seen in the visions of the seals was pourtrayed or painted in hieroglyphic figures and mottos upon each leaf; which when unfolded and displayed, presented the several visions to his view, as they appeared upon the leaf; as Mr. Lowman hath very judiciously observed in his paraphrase upon the revelation, Chap. vi. in the contents, and Ver. 2, 4, 5, 7. When therefore the fifth seal was opened, and the fifth leaf was displayed, St. John saw the great altar of sacrifice poutrayed upon that leaf, with a large quantity of blood at the bottom of it, representing the lives or souls of those who were slain for the word of God. For blood in the sacrificial style, at least, is, or stands for, the life or soul, (which are both signified by the same word in He-brew wb) and in Greek wuxw) see Lev. xvii. 14. Deut. xii. 23. And when St. John saw the blood of the martyrs at the bottom of the altar,he would naturally call it their souls, or lives sacrificed in the cause of true religion.
23. This leads us to conceive, that probably the pouring out the blood of every sacrifice at the bottom of the altar denoted the readiness and resolution, or however the duty, of the person, who offered the sacrifice to lay down his life in adherence to God. And whereas our Lord, who was himself both sacrifice and sacrificer, [he gave, or affered himself a sacrifice to God, Eph. v. 2. Heb. ix. 14.] is styled a Lamb without spot and blemish, to denote his perfect holiness and purity, this suggests, that the sacrifice's being without spot and blemish de
notes, that the sacrificer ought to perform the service, or to lead his whole life, with the utmost sincerity and sanctity of heart. Other ritual actions, as washing the inwards and feet, &c. I doubt not, had their spiritual meaning, which would not be difficult to be understood, by a people that were so much versed in moral figures and emblems. But as I am confined to Scripture evidence, I must insist upon nothing but what is there particularly explained. And what we have found there is sufficient to the present purpose. For 24. Laying all this together, it can, I think be no question, but sacrifices were a symbolical address to God; intended to express before him the devotion, affections, dispositions, and desires of the heart by signysiicative and emblematical actions. 25. And thus, whatever is expressive of a pious and virtuous disposition may rightly be included in the notion of a sacrifice; as prayers, thanksgivings; expenses, labours and sufferings in the cause of religion; the faith and obedience of the converted Gentiles, alms-giving, &c. 26. Thus the worshipper made a covenant with God by sacrifice, Psal, l. 5, as thus