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ferings and trespass offerings were to be conducted by the Priests, both for their consecration, as well as offerings for the people, for leprosy and other things of a ceremonial nature.
The sixteenth chapter is occupied in giving a full account of the great yearly sin offering. On this occasion the tabernacle of the congregation,—the holy place ilself, as well as the altar--the Priest was to make atonement for, by sprinkling the blood of the victim upon them “to cleanse them," it is said and they were thus to be “reconciled.” Now it is observable that the very same ceremonies and at the same time, were performed and the same victims offered for these inanimate things, as for the Priests and people, indeed they are all included, and when this part of the service was ended, and reconciliation or atonement was made, (see v. 20.) then and not before, the living Goat was to be brought forward, over which the Priest was to make confession of “the iniquities of the children of Israel in all their sins," "putting them" it is said “upon the head of the Goat," and the Goat was then to be “sent away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness," and the Goat was to bear
him all their iniquities into a land not inhabited;" i. e. he was to bear them away—for the fit man was to let go the Goat into the wilderness." Thus the Goat over the head of which confession of sins was made, and which to bear them away, was not offered up in sacrifice at all; and of the Bullock and the Goat which was made an offering for an atonement and reconciliation, the completion of which atonement appears to have been made by the Scape-Goat, it is said in conclusion, "On that day the Priest shall make an atonement for you to cleanse you that ye may be clean from all your sins before the Lord.” And in v. 33. Sand he shall make an atoncment for the Holy Sanctuary, and he shall make an atonement for the Tabernacle of the congregation, and for the Altar, and he shall make an atonement for the Priests and for the people of the Congregation.” In the 20 v. of this chapter the word reconciling is used in the same sense with that of atonement, compared with v. 16. and also with Exodus 29:36—to the end; where in the directions respecting the daily sacrifice-morning and evening—we find that the Altar was to be previously cleansed and sanctified by an atonement being made for it during seven days, and it was then to be most holy.
It appears evident that the leading idea in all these sacrifices, offerings &c. was purification or cleansing and that they were altogether of a ceremonial nature; for is it at all probable that if the Sanctuary, the Tabernacle, and the Altar, were only ceremonially cleansed, while the Priest and People were mor
ally so, that the same sacrifices, offered at the same time, and in the same manner, without any distinction either in the things themselves, or in the language used concerning them—would be applicable? It is clear from the same circumstances, that these offerings were not intended to represent a substitute for moral guilt; otherwise the Holy Sanctuary, i. e. altar and the tabernacle of the congregation would have been excepted, as these could not have committed any moral offence.
The account given respecting the offerings that were to be made in the case of Leprosy, chapter 14, after the disease was healed viz: a sin offering and a burnt offering, with which the Priest was to make an atonement for the Leper sbefore the Lord," as well as from a number of other circumstances and things which were deemed unclean or unholy, as in chapter 15—evidently shows, that no moral substitution was intended to be prefigured, but a ceremonial cleansing from the defilement of a disease, or whatever else had separated the subject of it, from the worship and service of the Sanctuary. Here too we perceive the true meaning of the word atonement or at-one-ment, viz: re-uniling, or bringing together those persons or those things which before were considered in a state of separation; so that whatever circumstances, employments &c. had a tendency to unfit the mind for the sacredness of devotion, were called unboly, or uphallowed, and therefore separated whatever was the subject of them, from the service of the Sanctuary.
On the other hand, no sacrifices or offerings were made for moral guilt, except in the minor instances of breach of goodfaith, theft, deceit &c. as mentioned in chapter 6, where reparation was first to be made to the injured party, and a fifth part to be added, after which an atonement was to be made by the Priest with the offerings as before stated.
But the Murderer, the Adulterer, the Blasphemer, the Idolater, the Sabbath breaker, the curser of Father or Mother—were to be punished with death; see Num. XXXV: 31. Lev. xxiv: 16, 17. and xx:9, 10. and Exod. xxxv: 2. and no mention is-any where made of sacrifice or offering in either of those cases.
In this view it is very observable, that David, when under a strong sense of guilt for the crimes of Murder and Adultery, makes a solemn confession to God and pours out his soul in deep contrition and abasement-never alludes to sacrifice, either typical or otherwise, as a means of removing his guilt. On the contrary, he declares “thou desirest not sacrifice-thou delightest not in burnt offerings.” He makes no whatever, but casts himself entirely on the Divine Mercy for
forgiveness--prays to be cleansed from his sin and iniquity by a clean heart being created, and a right spirit being renewed within him, &c. And after praying for the divine blessing on Zion and Jerusalem-anticipating the falfilment of his prayer “Then” says he “shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings, &c." It is evident that sacrifices are not, throughout this Psalm, considered as a substitute for punishment, or as a means of removing crime, for David makes no allusion to them as connected with his guilt; on the contrary, he entirely disclaims them; but when the walls of the church should be built (by which a state of her prosperity must be indicated) then God would be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness," as the church's prosperity must consist in her obedience to the divine will. The Apostle Paul's language will perhaps illustrate this. “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, i.e. the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name," and again but to do good and to communicate, forget not, for with such sacrifices, God is well pleased.” We do not
meet with a case of greater enormity of crime, so unreservedly acknowledged and so sincerely repented of, and one of which the Divine Being was pleased to pronounce so unequivocally his pardon, through the whole of scripture history. And yet David in particular, was well acquainted with all that related to God's method of forgiveness. Paul bears bis testimoto this, Romans iv: 6. David therefore must be supposed to have given a faithful view of the subject.
In the 50th Psalm a solemn prophetic description is given of the divine judgment; the Saints are called to gather together; “those that have made a covenant,” with God, "by sacrifice.” To which they are warned not to attach the first importance“I will not approve thee for thy burnt offerings, &c.”—but they are urged to the exercise of gratitude and praise to God, the fulfilment of their religious vows; to a constant sense of dependence on him by prayer and supplication--particularly
times of trouble, in the assurance of being heard; giving glory to God.
Now surely, if sacrifice was intended to be considered as the means of taking away moral guilt, by substituting the animals offered in place of the offenders, (although only typical of the person of Jesus Christ,) is it possible that it should not have been alluded to, nor any refernce made to it, on so solemn a representation as this, when the true grounds of man's acceptance with God is the all important topic? Whereas so far is a "covenant with God by sacrifice, from being of a vicarious nature, that "unto the wicked God saith, what hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth.” It is plain then, that this covenant by sacrifice" was not suited to the condition of this description of the wicked. See verse 16 to the end.
As to the Passover, it has been said that the Paschal Lamb prefigured the sufferings and death of our Lord Jesus Christ, as a substitute for men, in order to appease the wrath of God and make restitution for guilt, by satisfying divine justice for offences committed against it. But in order to establish this position, it is necessary to show that these things were represented in the Paschal Lamb. But nothing of this kind appears. The Paschal Lamb was not offered up as a victim to appease Divine Justice, for in this instance Divine Justice was not acting against the Jews, but in their favor. The Egyptians indeed felt the stroke of retributive justice, for they had been guilty of destroying the Jewish male offspring; but the Jews were themselves the oppressed and not the oppressors, and therefore were not implicated in the crimes of the Egyptains. It was not therefore, a case which had reference to guilt at all, on the part of the Jews, how then could the Lamb be slain on account of guilt? Also the blood of the Paschal Lamb was not a means of restoring the Jews to the divine favor, for in this instance they had not forfeited it: but it was the express appointment of the Supreme Being to distinguish them as being already objects of bis special favour and regard.
Again, as divine justice was not directed against the Jews, so neither was the Paschal Lamb put to death by any divine infliction, but by those wh ) were to be benefited by it. 66 The sword of justice did” not “rest upon the Paschal Lamb, when it passed over the Iraelites."
Where then is the analogy between the death and sprinkling of the blood of the Paschal Lamb and what is called but not in scripture language--the vicarious sufferings and death of Jesus Christ, or the substitution of his blood and his obedience in the place of guilty men?
ART. X.-CHURCH MUSIC NO. 3.
I have a few criticisms to make upon the music of our churches, as music.-Indeed, considered as music, without reference to the system in which it originates; or the place and
time selected for its exhibition; it is mostly below criticism, and that is as low as most human attempts can be expected to sink after being put forth with such especial parade. Our aim should be to expose the system, and to suifer the ignorance and carelessness with which it is conducted to expose themselves; we admit that the present system of divine worship might be made more tolerable, provided true science would take the place of absurd pretension. But we do not see how even perfection itself could reconcile a devout and reflecting Christian, to a system which at best does but convert the house of God into a concert room, or an academy for music. What we wish to see is a disposition among congregations, to join the singing of the orchestra. If bad, let the congregation drown, if good, let them imitate it; until such a disposition is manifested, what is the use of choir music? To please the ear; one would think that if such were the object, a serious effort would be made to improve the music-in some churches such efforts have been made with success—wecommend these efforts, they show a refined taste, and imply mental cultivation. When we see that the music is really scientific, we infer that the congregation is not vulgar. But can we infer more than this? It does not necessarily imply moral cultivation; and for the purpose of worship, the highest act of the human soul, what matter is it whether the congregation be vulgar or refined -I mean for the purpose of that pious devotion which has nothing to do with the laws of taste, because in the most humble of mankind, it rises infinitely above those laws. What, I say, has such an act of the soul to do with taste?—and yet I do not deny that it is better that church music should be conducted with taste than without it; because, after all, music, which is really scientific, and skilfully persormed, affects the feelings of all men, whether ignorant oraccomplished, more than the same musicunskilfully performed; for what is the object of musical science, if not to adapt sounds to the production of a certain effect on the natural feelings? It operates by means of the voice; which it exercises, developes, and renders more clear and harmonious; by means of instruments, which it attunes, not to jar discordantly upon the natural car, but to conform to the natural laws of sound;---by means of selecting certain melodies to accompany certain sentiments; by means of harmonizing sweet voices together; so that there is no voice which may not come in play, be it high or low, in one or another of the parts;—and finally, by means of time and expression, which like true eloquence, touch the feelings of the most uneducated man without his knowing why. There are some sorts of scientific music, I admit,