« PreviousContinue »
the facred story at large informs us. We read alfo, of the faft of the fourth month, Zech. and the faft of the fifth, and the faft of the viii. 19. feventh, and the faft of the tenth, which were probably in Commemoration of National Calamities, fuch as the Destruction of their City and Temple, and their being led into Captivity. Befides which, it is likely, they might have several other Days of Fafting and Rejoycing; which may be seen in those Authors who have written purposely concerning their Affairs. But our Bibles mention no more than these.
Lev. i. 4.
AVING spoken of the Places and Times facred to the Religion of the Ifraelites, we come next to treat of their Rites and Ceremonies; as they are deliver'd to us in the Books of the Law of Moses. Among which the principal were their Offerings. And these were of two Kinds, Sacrifices and Gifts. Both of which appear to be offer'd up, occafionally, upon three Accounts; firft, either to honour the Supreme Deity; or, fecondly, to obtain fome Benefit from Him; or laftly, to atone for fome Sin committed against Him.
And of this laft we have mention in feveral Places of Holy Writ. Where the manner of the Burnt-Offering is prefcrib'd, in the Conclufion, it is faid; and he shall put his hand upon the head of the burntoffering and it shall be accepted for him, to make atonement for him. Again the LORD
I iii. 14.
Heb. v. I.
fays to Samuel; I have fworn unto the house Sam. of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be purged with facrifice nor offering for ever. And the Apostle to the Hebrews, in two places, declares, That every HighPrieft is ordained for men, in things pertain- viii. 2. ing to God; that he may offer both gifts and Sacrifices for fins. We will therefore inquire, distinctly, what the Scripture faith, first, in relation to Sacrifices; and Secondly Gifts.
The Sacrifices appointed by God himfelf, under the Difpenfation of the Law, are fix. 1. The Burnt-Offering. 2. The Meat-Offering. 3. The Peace-Offering. 4. The Sin-Offering. 5. The TrespassOffering. 6. The Confecration-Offering. The five firft offer'd, by the Prieft, in behalf of the People; the laft, upon his own Account only. And befides, there are likewife fome other Offerings, fuch as those of Purification, and Atonement, and the Oblation of Incenfe. Of all which we shall fpeak in their Places.
The Burnt-Offering, was a Sacrifice intended purely to do Honour to God, and therefore intirely devoted to Him without the Priests partaking of it in the leaft. For being quite confumed by Fire; and afcending up toward Heaven with its odoriferous Fumes, it was fuppos'd to be grateful and pleafing to the fupreme Being.
The manner of ordering it, in its several Kinds, is rather too long to be transcribed from the Bible. I fhall only obferve, that at the End, it is faid to be, An offering made by fire, of a sweet favour unto the Iev. vi. LORD. In another Place, it is thus prefcrib'd; The fire upon the altar fhall be burning in it, it shall not be put out: And the Prieft fhall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt-offering in order upon is. The fire fhall ever be burning upon the altar, it fhall never go out.
This Fire is what we afterwards read of, as being miraculously kindled, to confume
* Oroxaiswμa, a thing wholly burnt.
the first Burnt-Offering that was offer'd after the building of the Altar.
are told, that when Aaron brought the Lev. ix. burnt-offering, and offer'd it according to 16. 24.
the manner, There came a fire out from before the LORD, and confumed upon the altar the burnt-offering, &c. Which Fire, is faid, to have been conftantly kept in, until the Time of the Babylonifh Captivity. However that be, it was reckon'd an impious Prefumption to make use of any other in any Burnt-Offering. For when Nadab and Abibu the Sons of Aaron, burnt Incense in their Cenfers before the LORD, not with this, but other Fire; we are told, there went out fire from the LORD and devoured them; and they died before the LORD.
The Meat-Offering, was a mixture of fine Flour, Oyl and Frankincenfe, made up into a fort of Cakes, without any Leaven in them; and deliver'd to the Prieft; who burnt a certain Part thereof upon the Altar to the LORD, and took the Remainder for his own Ufe. The various ways of preparing