Page images
PDF
EPUB

burnt offerings on the altart. Abraham offered sacrifices of burnt offerings"; and, when he was about to offer up his son, Isaac said, “ But where is the lamb for a burnt offering w?” which question shows that such an offering was customary. Isaac builded an altar at Beershebax. Jacob erected altars and offered sacrificesy. All these sacrifices had the same import ; they all represented that great sacrifice which Christ was to offer for the whole of mankind; they were all figures of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God?,” the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world a;” as such, only, were they acceptable to God, for, in themselves, they had no efficacy; and accordingly we find, that, when these sacrifices were no longer accompanied by that faith of which they were the outward signs, they were rejected by the Deity, they became “ vain oblationsb,” and they were no longer acceptable” or “ sweet."

The offering of animal sacrifices, then, was not instituted, but confirmed, by Moses, who appointed fixed times and seasons for the regular administration of them, and added several

[ocr errors]

y Gen. xxxi. 54; xxxiij. - 21, 22.

rites which more clearly illustrated their figura- · tive meaning.

Besides the sacrifice of the Paschal lamb, there were a great many offerings of animals appointed by the Mosaic law; and, of these, some were offered at regular stated times on behalf of all the people, while there were other offerings appointed to be made on behalf of individuals as occasion might require. At the annual feast of tabernacles ? ; at the feast of trumpets a; on the day of first fruits b; in the beginning of months"; and on every sabbath , there were sacrifices appointed to be offered, over and above the daily sacrifice of two lambs e. There was a sacrifice of consecration of the priestsf. For individuals, there was the burnt offerings, the peace offeringhi, the trespass offeringi, whether for sins done in ignorancek, or done wittingly!, or for uncleannessm; and the sin offering of ignorance, whether for one of the common people", or for the priesto, or for a

2 Lev. xxiii. 3, 4. Deut. xvi. 13, 16.

a Numb. xxix.

• Exod. xxiii. 16; xxxiv. 22. Lev. xxiii. 10. Numb. xxviii. 26. Deut. xvi. 10.

c Numb. xxviii. 11.
d Numb. xxviii. 9, 10.

e Exod. xxix. 38, 39. Numb. xxvii. 3.

[ocr errors]

i

ruler P. There was also the sin offering of ignorance for the whole congregation 4. Each of these offerings required the sacrifice of an animal with out spot or blemish. The priest, before he killed the animal, laid his hand upon its heads, and, when he had killed it, he sprinkled the blood upon the altart, upon the vail of the sanctuaryų, upon the mercy-seat W, or before the tabernaclex. Aaron and his sons were sanctified by sprinkling the blood of the sacrifice upon their persons and upon their garmentsy. And when Moses had read the book of the covenant in the audience of the people, he took of the blood of the sacrifices which he had offered, and sprinkled with it the altar, and the book, and the people, and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant which the Lord hath made with you ?;" “ Moreover he sprinkled likewise with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry; and almost all things are by the law purged with blood ; and without shedding of blood is no re

[ocr errors]

mission 8." Blood had been prohibited as food to Noah b; the prohibition was repeated in the Mosaic law, “ I will set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people ; for the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.For offences against man, restitution was in many cases enjoined', or the offender was made to suffer in his own person, the injury which he had inflicted e; but, when an offence was committed against God, unless it was of such a nature as to subject the offender to the penalty of death (which was adjudged to certain offences, such as idolatryf, profanation of the sabbaths, blasphemy", open defiance', defiling or profaning holy thingsk, murder', adultery", incest", and the like), atonement was to be made, and forgiveness obtained, by the shedding of the blood of an animal. The animal was substituted

[ocr errors]

| Exod. xxii. 20. Deut. m Lev, xx. 10. xii.; xvii. 2—7.

* Lev. xx. 11. Numb. xv. 32-36. .

for the offending party, and the offence being, as it were, transferred to it, by the imposition of the priest's hand on its head, expiation was made by the shedding of its blood. Thus vicarious atonement was shown to be capable of expiating sin, and thus was represented that great vicarious atonement which was offered by that « Lamb of God," “ without blemish and without spot," who was “ once offered to bear the sins of manyo."

The ceremony observed with the two goatsp; had a striking reference to our Redeemer. That goat upon which “ the Lord's lot felly," was killed, and his blood was sprinkled upon and before the mercy-seat to make an atonement,” “ because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins ?." But the goat upon which the lot fell to be the scape-goat, was presented alive before the Lord to make an atonement with Hims; and the priest laid his hands upon his head, and confessed over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, whom he then sent into the wilderness and let him go, bearing upon him all their iniquitiest. The goat which was slain for a sin • Hebr. ix. 28.

Lev. xvi. 15, 16. ? Lev. xvi.

Lev. xvi. 10. 4 Lev. xvi. 9.

+ Lev. xvi. 21, 22.

« PreviousContinue »