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sion, such as left undone what the law required to be performed. Another equally learned, has assured us, that it was just the other way; that the sins were the faults of commission, and the trespasses such as consisted in omission. Both opinions seem to be without foundation, as well as those that have been mentioned first. Another opinion is, that under the name of trespasses, were comprehended cases of two general kinds; viz. such as found a man's conscience in doubt whether he had not committed an offence, which, if certainly known, would have called for a sin offering; and such as were offences of that nature, that they injured a man's neighbour: while sins, or those faults that required sin-offerings, are supposed to have been such transgressions of the law as did not directly affect a fellow-being, but had the whole reason of their unlawfulness in their contrariety to the pleasure of God, and which, being done in ignorance, or without thought, were afterwards clearly discovered to conscience. Lastly, it has been supposed by others, that no general distinction between these two classes of offences is to be inquired after; that the distribution of particular offences to one and to the other, was made arbitrarily, or in compliance with the common usage of speech, concerning the reason of which it must be idle to seek information; and that, therefore, we are to rest satisfied with the statement, as we find it in the bible, that certain delinquencies which are mentioned, were reckoned as belonging to one class, and certain others to the other, without attempting to discover any specific difference of nature that may satisfactorily account for the arrangement.
4. PEACE OFFERINGS. The manner of these is told in the third chapter of Leviticus. The animals used for them were bullocks, heifers, rams, ewes, or goats: birds were not sacrificed in this way. Peace offerings, as we learn from Lev. vii. 11-20, were presented, either in thankfulness for some special mercy received, or in the way of supplication for some special mercy desired. Sometimes, when a person was in distress, he accompanied his prayers to God for help with a vow, that he would afterwards present an offering, if preserved or prospered; and sometimes, of a man's free will he presented his of
fering beforehand, together with his prayers for divine help or blessing. Hence arose the distinction of vow offerings and voluntary offerings, though both of these had in them the nature of supplication-sacrifices, and so differed from the other class of peace-offerings that were designed to express gratitude for favours already enjoyed.-In the case of these offerings, the person that presented the victim, as in the other cases already considered, brought it to the altar, and laid his hand upon its head with solemn ceremony before the Lord. It was not slain, however, to the north of the altar, as the victims offered in the other sacrifices were, but to the south of it. After it was killed, the priest sprinkled the altar round about with its blood, and placed its fat upon the sacred fire, to be a sacrifice of sweet savour unto the Lord: which being done, the flesh was divided between the priest and the offerer-the priest received for his part the breast and the right shoulder, and the offerer had all the rest. The meat was not allowed, however, to be carried away and laid up for common use, but was required to be all eaten on the same day that it was offered, or, at farthest, on the day after; and if any part of it happened to be left till the third day, it was to be burned. Thus, in these peace-offerings, a communion of friendship was celebrated between God and his people, and he himself, as it were, and his ministers, and those that worship him in this way, partook together of the same sacred feast. At the same time, as already inti mated, the death of the victim, after the solemn laying of hands upon its head, and the sprinkling of its blood upon the altar, called to remembrance the guilt of those who aspired to this sacred and precious privilege, and expressively signified, that without atonement God never can hold friendly intercourse in any way with sinful, fallen man.
The number of peace-offerings sacrificed every year was very great. In addition to those that were presented without obligation, as piety or formality led individuals, from time to time, to come before the Lord in this way, a vast multitude were made necessary by the law. From Deut. xii. 17, 18, xv. 23. and xiv. 19, 20, it appears, that not only the tithes of every farmer's agricultural produce, with a portion of its several first fruits, but the firstlings
also of his whole flock and herd, were to be consecrated to God as peace offerings, and solemnly feasted upon year by year; only when the animals happened to have blemishes in them, they were considered unfit for sacrifice, and might be used in the common way, for food, at home; in all other cases, they were either to be taken themselves to the place of God's Sanctuary, or turned into money, which should then be laid out for other victims in their stead, and so entirely consumed according to the manner of thanksgiving sacrifices. In these sacred feasts, not only the families of those to whom the offerings belonged, servants and all, were to participate, but it was enjoined also, that others, who were without portion of their own, should be remembered, and invited to take part in their joyous celebration. The hospitality thus recommended and commanded, was powerfully enforced, at the same time, by the consideration, that all the provision made for these entertainments, which was most liberal, was to be consumed on their several occasions, and could not, after the second day, be used at all: thus even those that in other cases were niggardly and inhospitable, could not well refuse to be generous and friendly enough in their peace-offering feasts. How much these feasts of friendship must have tended to promote good feelings among the people, and to secure proper regard to the lower classes of society, and such as were shut out from its more fortunate advantages, the servant, the poor, the orphan, the widow, and the stranger, it is needless to suggest.
Under the general class of sacrifices of which we are now speaking, are properly to be reckoned those by means of which it was usual to ratify and confirm Covenants. These, indeed, were attended with some ceremonies peculiar to themselves, but had in them, on the whole, the nature of peace-offerings. The custom of confirming covenants in this way, had its origin very far back in antiquity. The manner of the solemnity, it seems, was for the persons who wished to enter into covenant, to slay and divide the victim, or victims, employed; to place the parts opposite each other; and then to pass through between them, using, at the same time, we may suppose, some form of words suited to the transaction. The division of
the victim expressed, symbolically, the punishment which ought to fall upon him who should afterwards violate the agreement, while the offering of it in sacrifice to God was, in fact, calling upon him to witness what was engaged, and to take vengeance in future on either of the parties that might prove false to it; thus laying conscience under the obligation of a most solemn oath. Part of the flesh, it is to be supposed, was afterwards converted into a feast, of which both parties partook together, in token of friendly agreement and confidence. It was in conformity with human usage in this thing, that God condescended to confirm his covenant with Abraham in the remarkable manner that is recorded in Gen. xv. 8-17, causing a flame and a smoke, as the sign of his own presence, to pass in vision between the parts of the victims prepared for the occasion. We have notice of these Covenant sacrifices also in Jer. xxxiv. 18, 19; where it is intimated, that the ceremony just mentioned, was used in a solemn covenant entered into by Zedekiah and the people of Jerusalem before the Lord. They cut the calf in twain it is said, and passed between the parts thereof. From this case, thus incidentally noticed, it would seem that other covenants among the Jews were confirmed in like manner, although it is not expressly mentioned in the bible, when other cases are spoken of. It is clear, however, that sacrifices were habitually made use of on such occasions. (Gen. xxxi. 53, 54. 1 Sam. xi. 15. Ps. 1. 5.) In the great coveInant which God made with the Israelites at the foot of Mount Sinai, Moses sprinkled the people with the blood of the sacrifices. (Ex. xxiv. 3—8. Heb. iix. 18-23.)
The sacrifice of the Passover lamb seems to have had in it also much of the nature of a peace offering. It had, however, a peculiar character belonging to itself. A more particular consideration of it will come in our way hereafter.
As we have already had occasion to notice, some sacrifices were offered by single individuals for their own advantage, and others were offered in behalf of the nation as a whole. Those of the first sort, if the case in Lev. xvi. 6, be excepted, were not regulated by times and seasons; but were presented, either freely at any time a man's heart moved him to render such worship to God, or in conformity
with the requirement of the law, when persons were brought into certain circumstances, which, according to the divine will called for particular offerings, in the way either of atonement for sin, or of thankful acknowledgment of the Lord's mercy. Of such offerings as were presented freely, various notices are found throughout the bible; of the others that were required from individuals in particular circumstances, besides the cases stated in the 4th, 5th, and 6th chapters of Leviticus, we have instances in Lev. xii. 6, 8. xiv. 10-31. xv. 14, 15, 29, 30. xix. 21. Numb. vi. 1021.-The other general class of offerings, viz. such as were made in behalf of the whole nation, were all, except the particular cases noticed in Lev. iv. 13, 14. Numb. xv. 2226. and xix. 5-10, assigned to certain times, and had their regular periods when they were to be performed. Such were the daily morning and evening sacrifices; (Ex. xxix. 38-40.) the Sabbath-day sacrifices; the new moon sacrifices, and the sacrifices that belonged to those three great festivals. For an account of all these, see the 28th and 29th chapters of Numbers.-The paschal lambs, sacrificed in vast multitudes on the first day of the feast of unleavened bread, were offered severally in behalf of single families or small companies. The victim required to be slain in cases of uncertain murder, was sacrificed in behalf of a particular city or town. (Deut. xxi. 1-9.) This case, as well as the case of the red heifer to which reference has just now been made, was not in all respects a regular sacrificial offering, inasmuch as the victim was not brought to the altar and there killed; both heifers, however, had in them the nature of expiatory sacrifices.
The regular stated sacrifices which the law required to be offered for the whole nation, in the course of each year, were as follows: viz. 1. On every day, two lambs; amounting altogether to at least 730.-2. On every Sabbath, two additional lambs; making altogether 104.-3. On the first day of every month, two bullocks, one ram, seven lambs, and one goat; amounting in the year to at least 24 bullocks, 12 rams, 84 lambs, and 12 goats.-4. On each of the seven days of the feast of unleavened bread, the same as in the case of every new moon just stated, (Numb. xxxviii. 1925.) and besides, an additional lamb on the second day with