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common thing; so that the most dreadful punishment was denounced against the man who should dare to transgress the divine commandment respecting it. Nor was it merely with the establishment of the Jewish economy, that this prohibition had place. It was spoken to Noah, the second father of the whole human race, immediately after the flood, when permission to use animal food at all was first granted; so that from the beginning of time man had not been allowed to eat blood. Nor does it appear to have been merely for a ceremonial reason, that the statute was thus early clothed with obligation. The only reason assigned at first was that the life was in the blood. (Gen. ix. 4.) Hence many have, not without cause, adopted the conclusion, that the original prohibition was intended to have force among all men till the end of time, as a memorial that life, even in its humblest character, is sacred, and that man has no right to destroy it in any case except as God, the author of it, has been pleased to give him explicit permission. This idea is supposed to receive great confirmation from the celebrated decree of that Christian council, held in the earliest age of the gospel at Jerusalem, of which we have an account in the 15th chapter of Acts. Others, however, reject this notion, and consider the prohibition of blood to have had respect from the beginning only to the ceremonial use to which it was, on account of its vital nature, consecrated in the institution of sacrifices, and which accordingly was brought to an end, with other shadows of the ancient economy, in the death of Jesus Christ. Whether it is lawful for a Christian or any person at the present time to eat blood, is therefore a disputed question. In such a case then, it is at any rate wise not to taste it. It may be, that the use of it is not unlawful, but it is certainly safer on the whole to act as it were clearly ascertained to be otherwise; especially, since the article is in itself so pernicious to health, and so uninviting naturally to a sound taste, that it is truly marvellous how, through a process of strange and artificial preparation, it should, in some parts of our country, have found toleration, and even right friendly reception in civilized entertainments.
4. The blood being disposed of, the animal was rapidly stripped of its skin, and cut in pieces, and as far as it was
to be consumed upon the altar, made ready for the fire. In the second temple, there were tables of marble, and pillars with hooks fixed in them for hanging victims upon, which afforded every convenience for this business. The skins were all given to the priests. The animal was cut up, not carelessly, but neatly, and according to rule. Certain parts were required to be carefully washed, that no sort of filth might be allowed to come upon the altar.
5. We read of particular parts of slain victims, as well as of whole offerings, at other times, both such as were bloody and such as were not, being presented to God with certain peculiar ceremonies, denominated heaving and waving. It is not clear what, precisely, these ceremonies were, or whether there was really any material difference between them. Some suppose, that the one was a lifting up of the offering, and the other merely a letting down of it again; so that every heave offering necessarily became a wave offering. The Jews tell us, that to heave an offering was to lift it upwards, and that to wave it was to pass it this way and that way toward the four quarters of the world; all which solemn ceremony was designed to signify that it was thus presented to Him who fills the universe with his presence-the Maker and Possessor of heaven and earth with all their fulness. In a few instances, animals were subjected to this rite before they were killed. (Lev. xiv. 24. xxiii. 20.) More commonly, it was performed with some particular parts, after they were cut up; especially, with the breast and right shoulder, in all cases of peace offering sacrifices, which were appropriated for the use of the priests by a continual statute. Bloodless offerings, also, were at times presented with the same ceremony. (Ex. xxix. 22-28.)
6. All fat, in sacrifices of every sort, that could be conveniently separated from the flesh of victims, was required to be burned upon the altar. Thus, we find direction still given, however other parts of the victim might be disposed of, that those portions which were either altogether or principally composed of this substance, should be made an offering by fire unto the Lord. These being the richest portions, it was thus intimated, as it was in other requirements already noticed, that God ought to receive in all our
worship, the best service which it is in our power to render. Hence, fat became, in something of the same manner as blood, a sacred substance; so that it was declared unlawful to eat those parts that have been referred to, in the case of any animal of the different classes from which the altar derived its victims, even when it was killed at home for common use. (Lev. vii. 23-25.)
Destitute as it was, besides, of all the advantages of butter or pork in any shape, this prohibition of all manner of fat, whether of the flock or of the herd, would have left the Jewish cookery in a sad predicament, had it not all been more than compensated for by the excellent oil of olives which the country yielded in such rich abundance. In these latter days, many of the scattered family of Abraham, who dwell in other countries, where the olive of their ancient land is not known, have found themselves subjected to no inconsiderable inconvenience on this score. Butter, they maintain, was not only not in use among their ancestors for the preparation of food, as it was in Egypt and other countries, but actually forbidden, as much as hog's lard and the other fat that has been mentioned, by the divine law. In this extremity, they have been compelled to put up altogether with such fat as can be procured from animals that were not reckoned in this prohibition, and are yet of that number that were considered clean; among which they number the goose, though its claim to the lat ter distinction is not entirely out of the reach of dispute, and have made it, accordingly, their most substantial resource for this purpose, using its fat in the room of butter, for want of the favourite oil of their fathers. The law that has been supposed to forbid the use of butter, it may be remarked here, by the way, is the following: Thou shalt not seethe a kid in its mother's milk. Nor is this interpretation without strong reason in its favour, however unnatural it may seem at first glance. It is not without countena from the usage of eastern language, that the phrase, a kid's mother, is understood to mean, universally, a goat that gives milk, without reference to any particular case; or, that what is spoken particularly of one class of animals, is considered to include a general precept, having force in regard to OTHERS also, that gave similar room for its appli
cation. Thus, the milk of a kid's mother is interprèted to mean any sort of milk, and of course any thing produced from milk, as all butter is; while the flesh of a kid means any sort of flesh; so that, altogether, out of the sententious statute, Thou shalt not seethe a kid in its mother's milk, is derived this very practical signification, Thou shalt not dress meat with butter. However this interpretation may be received, it is clear, that the law gave no encouragement to the use of butter, but by prescribing oil in all meat offerings ch were used sacred entertainments, indirectly discountenanced it.
7. With all thine offerings, it was commanded in the law, thou shall offer salt. (Lev. ii. 13.) This statute, the Jews tell us, was so strictly regarded, that nothing came unsalted to the altar, but the wine of the drink offering, the blood sprinkled, and the wood that was used for the fire. Salt for this purpose, used to be kept always at the temple, provided at the public charge, so that it was not expected to be furnished by those who presented the offerings. It was customary, we are told, to salt the parts of victims that were to be burned, generally on the rise that went up to the altar, but in some cases, on the top of it. To the usage of salting sacrifices, our Saviour refers in Mark ix. 49. Especially was it enjoined, that this article should be found with every meat offering As it was the symbol of friendship, it was altogether fit that it should not be wanting in the sacred entertainments, where men were admitted, as it were, to participate with God on the most intimate terms. Because of its significance in this respect, it was denominated the salt of the covenant.
8. The wood was always placed in order, and set on fire first. Care having been taken to have it thus in readiness, the several parts of the sacrifice that were to be consumed, after the preparatory steps that have been noticed, were placed upon the burning pile. In the case of holocausts, or burnt offerings, as we have seen, the whole victim, except the skin, was thus destroyed: in other cases, only certain portions of it.
9. The altar having received its share, in those cases where the whole was not given to it, there were three different ways in which the remainder of the flesh, ac
cording to the nature of the sacrifice, was required to be disposed of. 1st. It was in some instances to be carried out of the camp, or out of Jerusalem, which, in the times of the temple, answered to the ancient camp in the wilderness, and burned as a polluted thing. The bodies of those beasts, whose blood was carried into the Sanctuary, were all borne forth, and destroyed in this way. 2d. It was, in certain cases, to be eaten by the priests. Thus, all was appointed to be used in the case of common sin offerings, or trespass offerings, in which the blood was not taken into the Sanctuary, and also in the case of the two lambs offered on the day of Pentecost, as peace offerings for the whole congregation; and particular portions, viz:-the breast and the right shoulder, in the case of all peace offerings presented by individuals. In the cases first stated, it was considered especially holy, and might not be eaten any where out of the court of the Sanctuary, and only by such of the priestly family as were males. (Numb. xviii. 9, 10.) But the flesh allotted to the priests from common peace-offerings, like that which fell to them in the way of firstling dues, might be eaten, it seems, any where in Jerusalem, and by all that properly belonged to their households, if only they were free, at the time, from ceremonial uncleanness-a thing that was required in every person that tasted, in any case, food that was made sacred by being presented at the altar. (Lev. xxii. 2-16. vii. 20, 21.) 3d. Whatever of the flesh of the sacrifices was not disposed of in the ways that have been already mentioned, was ap propriated to the use of the offerers themselves, and might be eaten in the sacred entertainments, in which it was expected to be all employed within less than two days, by all classes of persons that were clean, and in any part of Jerusalem. Thus, all the flesh not claimed by the altar, except the breast and right shoulder, which fell to the priests, was made use of in the case of every common peace offering. In these offering-feasts, as already intimated, a sort of sacred communion was instituted between God and his worshippers. The entertainment was furnished by him from the provisions of his House; and as with men, social feasts are always indicative of friendly feeling among those who unite in them, and in ancient times, especially,