« 上一页继续 »
Gifts and Sacrifices for Sins. For whenever SE RM. any of the People finned, either a Bullock or à Goat was commanded to be killed and offered up to God, as a Satisfaction for the Sing which such Person had committed. And if such Offering was made by the Hands of the Priest in the Manner which God himself appointed; the Death of the Sacrifice was accepted by him instead of the Death of the Offender. The Sin was looked upon as transa ferred from the Criminal to the Sacrifice and the Man was again admitted to be present at Divine Worship, in the Tabernacle or Temple, as freely as he had been before he had committed the Offence.
And this Sacrifice or Atonement, when made for any one single Perfon, or for one Family, or for any certain Number of the People, was not required to be offered up by the High Priest in his own Person ; but any of the ordinary Priests might perform it. All whose Oblations were accepted by God, in Behalf of particular Men, or Families, in Virtue of that one great Sacrifice or Atonement, which the High Priest himself, once only, but once constantly, every Year more solemnly foreshewed by the Oblation he then offered for the Sins of the whole People. For
on that one Day of the Year, the great Day of Expiation, when a very solemn Atonement was made for the whole Body of the People in general ; no one, the Text Thews, was to offer up the Sacrifice, but the High Priest alone. And this being the Sacrifice in which the High Priest acted as the liveliest Figure of Christ, and that very Sacrifice by which Christ's own Sacrifice was most exactly foreshewed; it will be necessary that I relate to you what it was that the High Priest did on this Occasion, that you may the better understand, from the Sequel of my Discourse, in what our Saviour's Priesthood confifted.
And here we must turn to the 16th of Leviticus, where we read that on the roth Day of the 7th Month, the High Priest, having first prepared both himself and the People for the ensuing Solemnity, by some additional Sacrifices, which on that Day were all offered by himself; he then came into the outward Court of the Tabernacle, and there with his own Hands killed a Goat, which he had beforehand presented alive to God, at the Door of the Tabernacle, to die for the People ; and there offered it as an Expiation for those manifold Şins, by which the People had forfeited their own Lives to him, By this means those Sins
and the Punishment of them were understood SERM.
This is what the High Priest did as Re-
But to perfect the Sacrifice, and to gain its Acceptance with the Divine Majesty, the Blood (which is called the Life of the Animal) was presented in very solemn Manner before the Lord. And therefore in the second Place the High Priest, (as a Person authorized to appear in the Place of his fymbolical Presence) when he had killed the Goat, was to take the Blood, and to pass with it, through the Holy Place of the Tabernacle, into the Holy of Holies, i. e. into the inmost or most Holy Place of all; where were the
SERM. Symbols of the more immediate Presence of
God, which consequently was an Emblem of the highest Heavens, into which also none might enter but the High Priest alone, and he only, upon this Occasion, once a Year. Here was he to sprinkle the Blood of the Sa-, crifice, seven-Times upon and before the Mercy Şeat, which covered the Ark, where the two Tables of the Covenant, i. e. the Ten Commandments, lay. And this sprinkling was a solemn presenting of the Life of the facrificed Animal to God, and a Rite of pleading and interceding with him, (in Virtue of that Blood it represented and foreshewed) to forgive the Sins and Neglects of the People, in the Breach of the Law which was there
When this Rite was over,
God was deemed to be appeased, and the People to be cleansed from all their Sins, (if not as to Conscience, yet at least) as to their Privilege of returning again to the Performance of their legal Ceremonies and Rites. And therefore in the third Place, the High Priest returned back from the Holy Place, the Presence of God, where he had been to appease him; and pronounced a solemn Blessing on the People. And from this Time the ordinary Priests might
again barn Incense for them in the Sanctuary SERM. as usual, till the Return of the next folemn Day of Atonement, on that Day 'twelve Month, when the High Priest again must himself renew, and himself perform, and in this fame Manner, this great Expiation.
And this is sufficient to thew the Nature and Office of the High Priesthood amongst the Fews. : It consisted, you see, in offering a grand and folemn Sacrifice once a Year for the Sins of the People ; in interceding with God to take the People into his Favour again for the Sake of that Sacrifice; and in obtaining and conferring the Pardon and Grace, the Favour and Blessing of God upon them. Not that you are to imagine that the High Priest had Interest enough of himself, or that the Sacrifice of a poor Beast was of sufficient Value, to appease God for the Sins of Men: No, they, neither of them, availed any further than to represent, by God's own Appointment, (as I have already hinted) fome great prevailing Prieft to come, who, in due Time, should once for all offer up a full, perfect, and sufficient Sacrifice for the Sins of the World ;-one who should be the true and real High Priest and Sacrifice both ; and as Types of whom only all former High Priests and Sacrifices