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very circumstance would have convicted him of transgression.
But to what authorities does Dr. Magee appeal? To Jewish rabbies; men who made void the commandments of God by their traditions; to Christian writers, who, in general not satisfied with the simplicity of the gospel of Christ, have defended every corruption, both of Judaism and of Christianity. And is this evidence to be set up in opposition to the testimony of Jesus Christ?
But that the passover was not a sacrifice we have even greater evidence than that of Jesus, the testimony of God himself. The passover was instituted and observed by the Israelites on the day in which the Lord their God brought them out of the land of Egypt: but God addressing the people of Israel by the prophet Jeremiah, says, "Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, put your burnt-offerings unto your sacrifices, and eat flesh; for I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them, in the day that I brought them out of Egypt, concerning burnt-offerings or sacrifices; but this thing commanded I them, saying, obey my voice." But, if we believe Moses, God did at that time speak to them by him concerning the passover, and did expressly command them to observe it as an ordinance for ever. If, then, the passover was a sacrifice, this declaration is not true, or else it was not of divine origin, God did not command it. Dr. Magee says that it was a sacrifice, and that God did command it; but "let God be true and" (Dr. Magee, and all the Jewish rabbies and Christian writers, who dare to contradict him) " every man a liar."
Let us see now how Dr. Magee proceeds in his refutation of Dr. Priestley. "Dr. Priestley, however," he says, "hopes to mend the argument by asserting, that this (Exod. xii. 27), is the only place in the Old Testament in which the paschal lamb is termed a sacrifice," and that here, "it could be so called, only in some secondary and partial, and not in the proper and primary sense of the word:" and for these reasons namely,
Chap. vii. 21-23. † P. 298.
that "there was no priest employed upon the occasion, no altar made use of, no burning, nor any part offered to the Lord; all which circumstances (he adds) were essential to every proper sacrifice." What is the reply of Dr. Magee to all this? "Why," he says, "now, in answer to these several assertions, I am obliged to state the direct contradiction of each: for, first, the passage in Exodus xii. 27, is not the only one, in which the paschal lamb is termed at, a sacrifice; it being expressly so called in no less than four passages in Deuteronomy, (xvi. 2, 4, 5, 6,) and also in Exodus xxxiv. 25, and in its parallel passage, xxiii. 18." Let us examine this reply: and, first, we affirm that neither in Exodus xii. 27, nor in any of the other passages referred to, is the passover termed a sacrifice. The Hebrew word na does not necessarily mean a sacrifice, but simply to kill, and when used in relation to the passover cannot possibly have that meaning; for the best of all reasons, namely, because, as we have seen, the passover was no sacrifice at all. The passage in Exodus should have been rendered, "It is the slaying of the Lord's passover;" but the killing of an animal, intended to be offered in sacrifice, no more constitutes it a sacrifice than the slaying of it for food does.
Parkhurst, in his Hebrew Lexicon, gives the following explanation of the word: " to slay in general, Kings xxiii. 20; Ezek. xxxix. 17, 19. Sometimes for food, as in 1 Sam. xxviii. 24; 1 Kings xix. 21; but most frequently for sacrifice. Gen. xxxi. 54, xlvi. 1, and al. freq., and so it may be rendered to sacrifice." In the former of the passages in Genesis, "Aud Jacob offered sacrifice upon the mount," our translators have put in the margin of our Bible, "killed beasts," "Jacob killed beasts upon the mount, and called his brethren to eat bread: and they did eat bread, and continued all night in the mount.”
The same remarks will equally apply to the Greek word made use of by the apostle, 1 Cor. v. 7: "Christ our passover is slain for us." The apostle there refers to the passover, not as a sacrifice, but as a feast; for he immediately adds, "Let us therefore keep the feast, not with the leaven
of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." The Greek word en, there used from Jvw, says Parkhurst, means to slay for food, occ. Matt xxii. 4; Luke xv. 23, 27; Acts x. 13; xi. 7; Compare John x. 10." "In the LXX." he adds," it is used for 1." Upon what untenable premises, then, does Dr. Magee assert, in contradiction to Dr. Priestley, that the passover is expressly called a sacrifice in the passages above referred to!
But in further contradiction to the Doctor, Magee asserts: "2. A priest was employed. 3. An altar was made use of. 4. There was a burning, and a part offered to the Lord: the inwards being burnt upon the altar, and the blood poured out at the foot thereof." It is much easier to assert and to contradict than it is to answer and refute. What is there in the institution of the passover to justify these assertions of Dr. Magee? And yet the institution must necessarily contain every thing in it essential to the due observance of the ordinance; and that it did so we may be assured from the particularity with which Moses describes the manner in which they were to observe it, and he charges them, when the Lord shall have brought them into the land which he sware unto their fathers to give them, to keep this service.
“A priest was employed." What does the Doctor allege in justifica. tion of this assertion? Why he says,† 1. It was a corban, or offering, brought to the tabernacle or temple, as we find it expressly enjoined in Deut. xvi. 2, 5. 6." Thou shalt therefore na, kill the passover unto the Lord thy God, of the flock and the herd, in the place which the Lord shall choose to put his name there. Thou mayest not kill the passover within any of thy gates, which the Lord thy God giveth thee; but at the place which the Lord thy God shall choose to place his name in, there thou shalt kill the passover at even, at the going down of the sun, at the season that thou camest forth
out of Egypt." This is all of it ex. actly agreeable to the institution by Moses; but here is nothing said about
• Gr. Lex. under Jvw, iv. † P. 299.
"a priest, a tabernacle, a temple, an altar, a sacrifice, a corban or offering," or any one thing the passage is brought to prove. They were, it is true, to kill it in the place which the Lord should choose to put his name there: this, says he, must mean the tabernacle or temple. If it were 80, that would not make it a sacrifice.
Dr. Magee not only says that it was expressly enjoined in the passage just quoted, but that it was plified at the solemn passover in the reign of Josiah, 2 Chron. xxxv. 5, 6, 10, 11." It is there stated that Josiah kept a passover unto the Lord in Jerusalem; and they killed the passover on the fourteenth day of the first month, and he set the priests in their charges, and encouraged them to the service of the house of the Lord, and he commanded the Levites to put the ark into the house which Solomon had built, and to prepare themselves by the houses of their fathers after their courses, according to the writing of David, King of Israel, and according to the writing of Solomon his son; and in the 10th and 11th verses it is said, "So the service was prepared, and the priests stood in their place, and the Levites in their courses, according to the king's commandment." This ordering the charges of the priests, and the courses of the Levites, had no connexion with the institution of the passover, but was the appointment of David and Solomon for the general and regular service of the sanctuary. They were, therefore, in their places according to the king's (Josiah's) commandment, on this solemn occasion. It follows, "And they killed the passover, and the priests sprinkled the blood from their hands, and the Levites flayed them." This is all that is said concerning the passover in the above passage referred to by Dr. Magee, to prove that the passover "was a corban, an offering brought to the taber nacle or temple, as expressly enjoined in Deuteronomy, and exemplified in this passage." But there is not any thing in the passage to shew that it was a sacrifice, or that it was an offering brought to the temple and offered to God. There is no mention of any altar, or that the blood was the blood of a sacrifice, that it was sprinkled on the altar, that it was shed for sin, or designed to make an atonement. The
priests, indeed, seem to have been employed in the business: they killed the passover, and sprinkled the blood from their hands, a singular mode of expression, if there was any mystery in it, or any importance attached to it, and this they did not by the authority of Moses or the command of God; but, as it should seem, by the authority of the king; for we are told they were there according to his commandment. Now we well know that kings and priests have always been fond of assumed, unauthorized power. Kings sometimes dispense with the law of God. Thus Hezekiah commanded the passover to be kept on the fourteenth day of the second month, contrary to the command of God by Moses, that it should be kept on the fourteenth day of the first month. "And a multitude of the people had not cleansed themselves, yet did they eat the passover, otherwise than it was written; but Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, The good Lord pardon every one.'
As to the sprinkling of the blood of the passover from the hands of the priests, it could have no relation to the sprinkling of the blood of their sacrifices by the high-priest within the veil, but was properly a memorial of the sprinkling of the blood of the passover, on the lintel and door-posts of the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt; that the destroying Angel, seeing the blood, might pass over their houses, and not slay their first-born. Besides, in the account of Josiah's passover, there is not any mention of the high-priest, (who alone could carry the blood of their sacrifices into the holy of holies and sprinkle it there,) as having any thing to do with it.
But to proceed. Dr. Magee goes on to assert, that," 2. The blood of the paschal lamb was poured out, sprinkled, and offered at the altar by the priests, in like manner as the blood of the victims usually slain in sacrifice, as appears from Exod. xxiii. 18, and xxxiv. 25; 2 Chron. xxx. 15, 16, and xxxv. 11."
In the former of these passages, we read, "Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leavened bread,
* 2 Chron. xxx. 15, 18.
neither shall the fat of my sacrifice remain until the morning." In the margin, in which the trauslators profess to give a more exact meaning of the original, instead of the word sacrifice they have inserted the word feast, the fat of my feast. Nor is there any word in the original that answers to the word offer in the translation. The literal rendering of the passage, 1 conceive, is, Thou shalt not mat kill with leaven the blood of my na! slain beast, neither shall the fat of my feast remain until the morning.
The killing of the blood, in this pas sage, evidently means the shedding of it, as appears from the parallel passage also referred to, Chap. xxxiv. 25, "Thou shalt not onw shed (not thou shalt not offer, but thou shalt not shed) with leaven the blood of my slain beast, neither shall the slaying of the feast 2n, or the festival victim” of the passover be left until the morning."
"The fat of my feast shall not remain until the morning," is exactly in agreement with the words of the institution. The lamb was to be killed in the evening, and the flesh was to be eaten that night roast with fire; the head and the legs and the purtenance thereof were to be eaten, and nothing of it was to remain until the morning. The command, therefore, was to eat the whole that night, and not to leave any of it, even the fat, till the following day.
Dr. Magee next refers us to 2 Chron. xxx. 15, 16: “Then they killed the passover on the fourteenth day of the second month." This is all that is said about the passover in the passage. The remaining part of the 15th and 16th verses relates entirely to the burnt-offerings that were offered for the cleansing of the priests and Levites; for it follows," And the priests and the Levites were ashamed, and sanctified themselves, and brought in the burnt-offerings into the house of the Lord, and they stood in their places after their manner, according to the law of Moses, the man of God: the priests sprinkled the blood, (namely, the blood of the burut-offerings,) which they received of the hands of the Le
See Parkhurst on the word. + Exod. xii. 6-10.
vites." This passage wants no comment; it is upon the face of it a complete refutation of every thing it was intended to prove. With equal propriety might the Doctor have referred to every one of the Levitical sacrifices as he has done to that of the burntofferings, and with equal truth he might have affirmed of each of them that what is said concerning them is applicable also to the feast of the passover.
The last passage Dr. Magee refers to, (2 Chron. xxxv. 11,) we have already considered.
Upon these passages I shall make only one further observation, namely, that the Doctor refers to them without quoting the words: such a quotation would have beeu fatal to the whole of his argument. It was to be presumed that his readers would suppose that the word of a diguitary of the Church was to be depended on as to the contents of the passages, without the trouble of an examination; in that case the Doctor would have been safe; an examination would have led to detection, and the pious fraud would have been discovered.
The Doctor proceeds, with a kind of triumph, to give a summary of the whole of his arguments in the following words: "Thus, then, all the distinguishing characters of a sacrifice, we find to belong to the offering of the paschal lamb. It was brought to the temple, as a corban, or sacred offering to the Lord. It was slain in the courts of the temple; and the blood was received by the priests, and handed to the high-priest; who poured it forth, and sprinkled it before the altar, offered it together with the fat and entrails which were burnt upon the altar." All these characters of a sacrifice the Doctor affirms (without the slightest degree of evidence, and contrary to the plain truth of the fact) to belong to the paschal lamb. It is no where called the offering of the paschal lamb. It is no where called a corban, or sacred offering to the Lord. We no where read that it was slain in the courts of the temple; or that the blood was received by the priests, and handed to the high priest. We are no where told that the high
* P. 301.
priest poured forth the blood of the passover, and sprinkled it before the altar; or that he offered it together with the fat and entrails upon the altar, or that they were burnt upon the altar. On the contrary, the terms corban, high-priest, altar, entrails, pouring forth, sprinkling before the altar, offering, or burning upon the altar, never any one of them in any instance occur in the accounts we have, either of the institution, or of the celebration of the passover. The term fat is ouce mentioued, not as to be offered, or burnt upon the altar, but as to be eaten in the night in which the passover was slain, and not to be suffered to remain until the morning; for so it must have been eaten, if, according to the command of Moses, the whole of the lamb was to be eaten that night, and nothing of it to be left till the morning. How then could Dr. Magee venture to make assertions so palpably false, and their falsehood of so easy detection!!! We appeal to all the passages to which he has referred, and affirm that they do not contain any thing in them to prove the passover to be a sacrifice, or that any one of the distinguishing characters of a sacrifice, as stated by him, belong to that ordinance.
From these observations we see what little reason the Doctor had to treat Dr. Priestley and his arguments upon this subject in the supercilious manner in which he has treated them. If, Sir, you think these remarks worthy of a place in your valuable periodical publication, they are at your service. JOHN MARSOM.
Birmingham, August 6, 1819. DERMIT me to express, however inadequately, the affectionate respect with which I cherish the memory of the late Rev. Joseph Bretland.* Soon after my entrance into public life, I was honoured with his friendship to his uniform kindness and candour I am considerably indebted; and many are the agreeable and instructive hours which I have passed in his society. An individual more distinguished by purity of manners and a strict adherence to the suggestions of duty I have never known. He was a fine example in particular
Mon. Repos. XIV. p. 445.
of filial piety, which he had an opportunity of exercising long after he had reached the stage of manhood. Like many other men of superior talents, attainments and virtues, he courted the shade of retirement: nor can they who were best acquainted with him cease to regret that his habits were so sequestered.
Mr. Bretland was a student in the Dissenting Academy at Exeter; his tutors, if I mistake not, being the Rev. Samuel Merivale, the Rev. Micaiah Towgood,† and the Rev. John Turner. In mathematical learning he was no common proficient; and he had a taste especially for the reasonings and investigatious of geometry, the influence of which on the general cast of his mind and of his compositions it was not difficult to perceive. His knowledge was various and accurate; but theology, in all its brauches, seems to have been his favourite pursuit.
It is a memorable circumstance that, half a century ago, Mr. Bretland avowed, from his pulpit in the Mint Meeting-house at Exeter, those religious principles which are professed, diffused and vindicated by most of the book societies styled Unitarian, and the progress of which has of late years been comparatively wide and rapid. He then stood alone as the preacher of them in the West of England, and was exposed, in consequence, to peculiar obloquy. In the avowal, too, of these principles-the absolute unity of God, and the unequivocal humanity of Christ-he continued stedfast to the last. His pastoral relation to the congregation in the Mint, was of many years' duration; and for a short time he was the colleague of the Rev. James Manning, and of the late Rev. Timothy Kenrick, in the charge of the united societies assembling respectively at the Bow and at George's Meetinghouse. The elocution of Mr. Bretland was extremely correct and pleasing: his discourses were usually practical, though argumentative; and some of
* Belsham's Memoirs of Lindsey, p.219, Note.
See the Sketch of his Life, &c. by Manning, p. 64.
The early friend of the amiable John Scott, of Amwell.
them contained very beautiful and pathetic passages.*
Tuition, either private or public, was, for some years, one of his employments: in 1799, he became the colleague of Mr. Kenrick, whose character and labours he most deeply venerated, in a seminary for the edu cation of Protestant Dissenting mi misters.
By an affecting coincidence, the day of Mr. Bretland's funeral was the day of the anniversary of the Western Unitarian Society, holden this year at Bath + on which occasion one of his former pupils in the academy publicly rendered a very interesting tribute of respect and gratitude to the memory of both his excellent instructors. On the same day too, the society of which I am speaking expressly and formally recognized the principles on which it had been established in 1792, and which, under the blessing of heaven, it has been enabled to assert and illustrate with growing success. That by such a recognition of them it has fulfilled the hopes and wishes of some of its oldest members, who were then present, is true: nor can I doubt that the issue of the discussion approves itself to the feelings and the judgment of nearly all the subscribers, of every class and standing.
I should be happy, Sir, were it in my power to annex a correct list of Mr. Bretland's productions from the press, which however were very few, and, I fear, are, with scarcely an exception, out of print. The attempt shall be made; but I must intreat some of your Correspondents to supply my omissions and rectify my inaccuracies.
A Sermon on Acts xx. 26, 27, preached before an Assembly of Protestant Dissenting Ministers in Exeter, May 10, 1786. Svo. Pp. 36.
The subject is "the duty of ministers declaring the whole counsel of God." It was followed, if I recollect rightly, by a postscript, and involved the preacher in a temporary and local controversy.
* Mon. Repos. IX. pp. 703, 704. + Ibid. XIV. p. 453.
The Rev. J. H. Bransby.