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For the life of all flesh is in the blood , and I have given it to you upon * the altar to make atonetnent for your lives , for it is tire bloo < l that rnaketh atonement for life . „
In reference to this sentence , probably , the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews says , that ( in the Mosaic law ) without % shedding of blood there was no remission of sins . See Magee ' s Dissertations , No . 38 , and Qutram De Saer . lib . i . cap . xxi . § 10 .
The meaning- then given with much p lausibility to this passage is as follows : No one shall eat any manner of blood , for I have given the blood upon the altar , so as to imply tbut the life of the animal is given in lieu of the life of the offerer , which would otherwise be forfeited , and that by that means he is saved from the evils
which might be the consequence of the siils he has committed . Now we may freely admit that the shedding of blood upon the altar was a very solemn act , and had some such , religious meaning as made it highly expedient that no common use should be made of blood , without in the least
obliging ourselves to adopt the particular theory which is here insisted on . No doubt , when man appears before his Maker , especially as one intending to confess himself guilty of certain forbidden actions , he is filled with that fear and awe , which an apprehension of the results that would arise
from the displeasure of this Being naturally occasions . He naturally measures his ideas of the punishment which may follow his criuie , not so much from estimating the place which it takes in the scale of offences , as from contemplating the overwhelming power of him who bears the sword of
justice ; and religious worship is to him a very solemu and awful act . This is a feeliag i which , though by no means pleasing , v is salutary , ^ especially to minds that are ^ too gross and sensual to be moved by other-considerations , and hence it was a part , of wisdom to defend tka-principal ..
constituents of Jewish worship from being naade common by profane uses , " \ Hence the prohibition of imitating the composition . ofe * the « holy oil and perfume } aijud this was partly , thel reason of the ; prohibition , of . eating , blood a * $ fat—rbpth of . which were In Lan
eminent degree offered to God : hence , also , jthe restrictions laid Upon the eating of the flesh of sacrifices $ and to this intent we must attribute the ceremonies by which the altar , the
priests ^ dresses , and all the furniture of the holy place were separated and made holy , as . well as those annual ceremonies by which * all these things were sanctified afresh , or , ( as the Scriptures term it , ) reconciled and atoned . ( Lev . xvi . L 6 /)
And whereas it is said that the life of the animal is in the blood , this appears to be rather a physical than a theological doctrine , and as far as it has any moral effect or purport , seems well explained by Dr . Sykes , ( on
Sacrifices , p . 130 , ) when , he says that the law prohibiting the eating of blood was with design to keep men from all cruelty and iminanity , by commanding them to take , away the lives of animals in the gentlest and mildest manner possible . ,
We require , therefore , a plainer proof than the mere juxta-position ( in the verse quoted froni Leviticus ) of the life of the victim and the life of the offerer , to be assured that the one has a vicarious relation to the other ;
especially as there are Hebrew phrases which would - have placed the matter beyond dispute ; a most desirable object in a doctrine considered as so material to orthodoxy . Would it not have been said , as the latter Rabbins
have said , " Let his blood be for ' my blood ; his soul of life for my life , or in lieu of mine , " and > Dinnn IDT irv U / SJ nnn ttfDj , " Life for life , eye for eye" ? &c . . ¦
Nor will the later interpretations given by the Jewish Doctors to an ancient form of confessions , stated in Outram , lib . i . cap . xxii . § 9 , be of any great service in support of the
doctrine of vicarious punishment , though much relied on by Outram ill loc , by Dr . Magee , in No . 33 , and by Dr . Pye Smith , in pp . 12 afld l 4 of his Discourses on the Sacrifice ot
Christ , Lond , 1813 . * *> , * < . This ancient form is as follows : " Now , Lord , I have sinned , I have rebelled , I have committed imqmtyr , thus aril thus have I : doae . Butv ^ I return penitently to thy presence , ? and be , this iny - expiation "—> rna 3 , in ; the remark of ^ Ur . ^ Outram is / these
vol , xvm . 2 x
An Essay on the Nature- and Design of Sacrifices under the Mosaic Law . 337
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), June 2, 1823, page 337, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1785/page/25/