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by the do&trines of fallible men; and imbibe new notions of sacrifice as unscriptural, and wide of truth, as the old one, which we have been compelled to rehgn.
In the course of the following criticism, upon the works of these two Authors which treat of this subject, I have, I think, made it evident, that the notions of the symbolical nature of sacrifices, exhibited by them, are utterly unsupported by scripture-evidence, and both of them chargeable with absurditys and ill consequences; and, particularly, that the
which is advanced by the Author of the essay on the nature, design, and origin of sacrifices, is such, as can, by no means, be brought to any agreement with the manner of the oblation and disposal of piacular facrifices.
To my criticism upon Dr. Taylor's notion of the meaning and design of Jewish-facrifices, I have subjoined an examination of his fentia ments about the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ; which appear to me to be no less uncommon, than unsupported by scripture-evidence,
In the execution of this whole work, I have ufed all just freedom: and have, every where, ftudied to express my sentiments in a plain, intelligible, and unariful manner; and to
say nothing but what is pertinent, and necessary to set the fubje&t in a just and clear light. I have, likewise, been particularly careful to give a fair and just representation of the sentiments of my Authors, in their own words; and to guard against every offence against good manners. How far I have fucceeded in my dehgn, I leave to be determined by those who have a capacity for judging in the affair.
If it should be objected here, what end can the being at so much pains and labour, in pulling down false schemes, answer? Had it not been much better to have favoured the world with the true one? To this I answer, that falfe schemes, plausibly and artfully erected, blind the human mind; and, therefore, must be demolished and removed out of the way, before the truth, symmetry, and beauty of that which is the true one, can be properly attended to, and duely perceived. The rubbish which covers aný old foundation, must be removed, before the foundation itself can be seen, or any building erected upon it with Safety and firmness : and the greater. the quantity of rubbish is, the more labour, in proportion, mus there be bestowed in clearing it away, or the builder cannot proceed wisely, and with any rational prospect of fucfefs. The more avenues to error and falle
· bood are fout up, the more quickly and readily
doth that, which leads to truth, discover itfelf.
But it may be said, the common, popular notion of sacrifice bas, it seems, been discovered to be a cheat; and the new ones, which have been offered to supply its place, are deemed to be a lie; what then must men do in the mean time? How are they to regulate their faith, with regard to sacrifice Answ. The scriptures are the alone repofitory of revealed truth, and of all true, religious faith: for which reason, men ought to search them carefully and diligently, un, till they have discovered, from them, what they are to believe in this affair. In these sacred volumes alone, a declaration is made, and a description given, of the true end, design, and use of sacrifice. And wbofor ever applieth himself, with due care, and a fair and honest mind, to the study of them, and is so happy as to be led, by them, into a right train of thoughts, will, moli certainly, discover the true end, design, and use of Jacrifice. And when he has once got the true fcripture-notion of these, he will find it to be a notion that is abundantly supported by evidence, and will endure the feverest scrutinys of right reason ; a notion which carries no absurdity in it, nor draws any
ill consequence after it; a notion which, I mistake not, will plainly point out the reason of the institution of piacular facrifice, and of the continuance and use of it under all dispensations of religion, ever fince the lapse of Adam ; and, at the same time, fbew, that this species of sacrifice doth, at present answer, and bas, always answered, its real end and dehgn, notwithstanding men's ignorance of, and many mistakes about the nature of it.
I affirm these things with the greater assurance, because the scripture-do&trine about the nature and design of sacrifices has been my particular study for many years, not only fince, but before, the two pieces, which are the subject of this criticism, were made public. About the time that Dr. Taylor published his scripturedoctrine of atonement examined, I had fome thoughts of publishing my sentiments on that subject : but, upon bearing that the Dr. was then about to communicate his thoughts upon it to the public, I gave up all thoughts of carrying my dehgn into execution, even though I þad colle&ted many materials for the work; as not doubting, but the world and myself would receive full satisfaction in this affair from such an able band. But, being fully fatisfied, that the Dr. bas not only failed in
the execution of his design, but even given us a wrong and unfcriptural idea of the meaning, defign, and end of sacrifices, I intend, if life and health are continued, to resume that work, put the materials of it in order, and make it public likewise, provided I find the world in any disposition to receive and encourage it.