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  • Of Sacrifices.

    Chapter V.—Of Sacrifices.

    So, again, we show that sacrifices of earthly oblations and of spiritual sacrifices1197

    1197 This tautology is due to the author, not to the translator: “sacrificia…spiritalium sacrificiorum.”

    were predicted; and, moreover, that from the beginning the earthly were foreshown, in the person of Cain, to be those of the “elder son,” that is, of Israel; and the opposite sacrifices demonstrated to be those of the “younger son,” Abel, that is, of our people. For the elder, Cain, offered gifts to God from the fruit of the earth; but the younger son, Abel, from the fruit of his ewes. “God had respect unto Abel, and unto his gifts; but unto Cain and unto his gifts He had not respect. And God said unto Cain, Why is thy countenance fallen? hast thou not—if thou offerest indeed aright, but dost not divide aright—sinned? Hold thy peace. For unto thee shalt thy conversion be and he shall lord it over thee.  And then Cain said unto Abel his brother, Let us go into the field: and he went away with him thither, and he slew him. And then God said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: am I my brother’s keeper? To whom God said, The voice of the blood of thy brother crieth forth unto me from the earth. Wherefore cursed is the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive the blood of thy brother. Groaning and trembling shalt thou be upon the earth, and every one who shall have found thee shall slay thee.”1198

    1198 See Gen. iv. 2–14. But it is to be observed that the version given in our author differs widely in some particulars from the Heb. and the LXX.

    From this proceeding we gather that the twofold sacrifices of “the peoples” were even from the very beginning foreshown. In short, when the sacerdotal law was being drawn up, through Moses, in Leviticus, we find it prescribed to the people of Israel that sacrifices should in no other place be offered to God than in the land of promise; which the Lord God was about to give to “the people” Israel and to their brethren, in order that, on Israel’s introduction thither, there should there be celebrated sacrifices and holocausts, as well for sins as for souls; and nowhere else but in the holy land.1199

    1199 See Lev. xvii. 1–9; Deut. xii. 1–; 26.

    Why, accordingly, does the Spirit afterwards predict, through the prophets, that it should come to pass that in every place and in every land there should be offered sacrifices to God? as He says through the angel Malachi, one of the twelve prophets:  “I will not receive sacrifice from your hands; for from the rising sun unto the setting my Name hath been made famous among all the nations, saith the Lord Almighty: and in every place they offer clean sacrifices to my Name.”1200

    1200 See Mal. i. 10, 11, in LXX.

    Again, in the Psalms, David says: “Bring to God, ye countries of the nations”—undoubtedly because “unto every land” the preaching of the apostles had to “go out”1201

    1201 Comp. Matt. xxviii. 19, 20, Mark xvi. 15, 16, Luke xxiv. 45–48, with Ps. xix. 4 (xviii. 5 in LXX.), as explained in Rom. x. 18.

    —“bring to God fame and honour; bring to God the sacrifices of His name: take up1202

    1202 Tollite = Gr. ἄρατε. Perhaps ="away with.”

    victims and enter into His courts.”1203

    1203 See Ps. xcvi. (xcv. in LXX.) 7, 8; and comp. xxix. (xxviii. in LXX.) 1, 2.

    For that it is not by earthly sacrifices, but by spiritual, that offering is to be made to God, we thus read, as it is written, An heart contribulate and humbled is a victim for God;”1204

    1204 See Ps. li. 17 (in LXX. l. 19).

    and elsewhere, “Sacrifice to God a sacrifice of praise, and render to the Highest thy vows.”1205

    1205 Ps. l. (xlix. in LXX.) 14.

    Thus, accordingly, the spiritual “sacrifices of praise” are pointed to, and “an heart contribulate” is demonstrated an acceptable sacrifice to God. And thus, as carnal sacrifices are understood to be reprobated—of which Isaiah withal speaks, saying, “To what end is the multitude of your sacrifices to me? saith the Lord1206

    1206 Isa. i. 11.

    —so spiritual sacrifices are predicted1207

    1207 Or, “foretold.”

    as accepted, as the prophets announce.  For, “even if ye shall have brought me,” He says, “the finest wheat flour, it is a vain supplicatory gift: a thing execrable to me;” and again He says, “Your holocausts and sacrifices, and the fat of goats, and blood of bulls, I will not, not even if ye come to be seen by me: for who hath required these things from your hands?”1208

    1208 Comp. Isa. i. 11–14, especially in the LXX.

    for “from the rising sun unto the setting, my Name hath been made famous among all the nations, saith the Lord.”1209

    1209 See Mal. i. as above.

    But of the spiritual sacrifices He adds, saying, “And in every place they offer clean sacrifices to my Name, saith the Lord.”1210

    1210 See Mal. i. as above.


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