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that such a Service could not make men acceptable to God. On these points the Cause seems chiefly to have rested; and the Fathers thought that They had done enough to justify Themselves for embracing a Religion in which no Sacrifices were offered but the spiritual ones of Prayer, and Praise, and Thanksgiving, when they had cited the Authorities of the Wiselt and Ablest Heathens, who had expressly declared against all other Service or Worship but that of the Mind.
Thus, e.g. Because Porphyry had confessed, * * That you ought not to burn " Incense, or to facrifice, to the God of “ all; nor ought you to imagine Those “ to be Gods who take pleasure in the “ Sacrifice of Animals” : That“ it is " the most unrighteous thing in the world “ to Sacrifice Living Creatures : ” That « it is impious, and detestable, and preju“ dicial, and therefore it cannot be pleasing
* Ομολογει μή δεν το καθόλα μηδέν μήτε θυμιάν, μήτε Júguy orñ fri sãos Jeño ---peis xpôvсes—Jods in one podvety sous ταις δια ζώων θυσίαις χαίροντας. Ειναι γάρ φησι πάντων άδικώτατον το ζωοθυτειν, και ανόσιον, και μυσαρών, και βλαEspès, xão dice ešto und Isole w for Pinès. Euseb. Præp. Evang. l. iv. c. 10.,
* to the Gods ” to offer Sacrifice ; – Because, I say, He had made this Confefsion, The Christian Apologist readily laid hold of This to justify the Worfhip of the One God and Father of all * “ with a Mind free from all Malice; and “ with a Body adorned with the Orna« ment of Chastity and Temperance ; and “ with the holding of right Notions, wor“ thy of God and suitable to his Nature ; " and above all these,” says he, “ we " pray that we may with a right Dispo“ fition keep up and maintain that Godli“ ness which our Saviour commanded, “ even unto Death.” And no doubt so far he reasoned right from his Adverfary's confessions,— That if it was deteftable and impious to sacrifice living creatures, it could not be blameable to abstain from such a Worship, or to use That only of an upright Heart and a pure Mind.
Eusebius goes on to cite from Porphyry
* Nô adons xercebappeér a xossíos, sej válları sèvi era νείας και σωφροσύνης κόσμον -- σεριβεβλημένω, δόγμασί τε ορθοϊς και θεοπρεπέσι, και επί πάσι τέτοις, διαθέσει γνησία την υπό το Σωτήρος ημών παραδοθείσαν ευσέβειαν μεχρι και θαναύτε φυλάττειν ευχόμεθα. Ιbid.
å paffage in which he fays, that * s no« thing material can be otherwise than ci impure to an immaterial Being.” And at length he concludes, that since Porpbyry acknowledges, oth or that They are « no Gods who take pleasure in Sacri“ fices, therefore neither the Aerial, nor “ Cæleftial, nor Ætherial, nor Subterres« trial Deities, were Gods ; no nór Apollo « himself, who had by his Oracle com
manded Sacrifice.” Porphyry, who had pleaded for all these Sorts of Deities, could not with any prerence evade the force of this reasoning : And the Christians could not but triumph over their Adversaries and Calumniators. · But still å difficulty remained, which Eusebius did not meddle with ; and That was in relation to the Jewish Sacrifices. Porpbyry's Arguments were levelled against all Animal Sacrifices : and consequently They might be urged very justly by Chrif* Ουδέν ένυλον ο κή το αύλω ευθύς εσιν ακάθαίον. c. μ.
fi 'Oux ñu čepce Olds, idé tis exsudins sj &ratos decipwr, και τας δι' αιματων λοιδάς τε και κνίσας μικρώ πρόσθεν εισ. Espaciousvos xfáo pindos. óudo 'sxsīvos gailes, eos • xpnc uids θυειν ζωα παρεκελεύσατο. Πλένον άρα και απατεώνα-προσταξαντα μη μόνον τοϊς χθονίοις, αλλά και τους ουρανίοιςCasadursî. C. 14.
fians in Juftification of themfelyes, who used no Sacrifices. But then, if His reafoning was good, 5 That they to whom • the Heathen facrificed were not Gods, " because They commanded Animal Sa"crifices”, must it not follow, that He that commanded the Yews to offer up Animal Sacrifices could not be God? But Eufebius entered not into this Queftion, but only answered ad hominem; and justified Himself, and refuted his Adverfary's Arguments so far only as Christians were immediately concerned, without speaking to the Reason of this mode of Worship.
In the following Papers I have endeavoured to shew what I take to have been the ground of this Practice. It may appear to Us very disagreeable, and odd, to offer up Animal Sacrifices unto God : But the universal practice of the world shews that it did not appear fo to them of old. If one can assign a rational ground of this way of worship, that is all I aim at : And since all agree, that there is no express Assertion in the Sacred Writings, that this Mode of Religious
Worship was instituted or appointed by God at the beginning, I cannot think that They argue right, who infer from the Disagreeableness, or the Oddness, or even * our not being able to understand the Reason or Usefulness of Sacrificing, that therefore it must have been originally a Divine Institution. But as the Rationale of Sacrifices is dark, and has never been duly considered as it deserves, (at least it
does not appear to me to have been so) · I have endeavoured to throw fome Light
upon this Subject; and I shall only add,
- Si quid novisti re&tius iftis Candidus imperti : Si nor his utere mecum.
* Maimonides mentions fome that argued — Si ratio et Utilitas illarum (Legum] non poffit intelligi, tum extra omne dubium effe, quod a Deo Originem fuam trahant, cum ratione humana non poffint intelligi. More Nevoc. 1. lii. c. 31. .
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