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ITO shew that I am not singular in as
cribing a moral signification to the corporeal marks by which the clean animals were distinguished, I have referred to some ancient writers, as their sense is exhibited by Pierius in his Hieroglyphics, See p. 18. of the foregoing Disquisition. But it is not necessary to go so far backward. I have followed, without knowing it, the sense of a modern divine; whose compositions shew him to have been one of the best writers this Church can boast of; I mean Dr. Young, Father to the celebrated author of the Night Thoughts. In his Sermon called, the Holy Contemplative, we find these words : “ Among the ceremonial " Laws of Moses (whereof the allegorical was " the most proper and principal interpreta" tion, and according to which sense they
were chiefly to be observed) this was one“ that no beast should be accounted clean, “ but such as had these two qualities, cleaving
of the hoof, and chewing of the cud. And
" these two qualities in the beast were only
symbols of these two acts in men, which I
was a symbol of the act of discerning be“ tween good and evil, that is contemplative
knowledge: and chewing the Cud vas " symbolical of the act of applying what we “ know to practice; and both these are ne
cessary to make a man clean." Young's Sermons, vol. ii. p. 178, 179.
II, At p. 22. some notice is taken of the impure sacrifices of the heathens, and particularly of their horrible practice of offering human victims, which is confirmed by a passage or two in the margin. The axbow roluria and texrobore of the heathens have been treated more at large by a very able hand, Mr. Bryant, in his Observations and Enquiry relating to ancient History, which every learned Reader, who is fond of such researches, will consult with pleasure and advantage; the author having discovered a more than ordinary de gree of skill in Biblical as well as Grecian Antiquity, together with great judgment and ingenuity in the application of Etymological Criticism. He has shewn by a multitude of authorities, that human victims were offered to the heathen Deities, in Egypt, Arabia, all
the states of Greece, Italy, Germany and Gaul, Iceland, Africa, and America. In a word, that where Idolatry prevailed, it was ever attended with this unmerciful superstition of shedding human blood, with every possible circumstance of barbarity. The whole account taken together affords us a frightful picture of the abominations of Paganism, and is even a disgrace to human nature: for it does not appear that the practice was ever censured to purpose by any
of the heathens, till the previous publication of the Gospel had occasioned some of the more learned and rational among them to alter their tone; the Christians in their writings and discourses having severely exposed the impurity, absurdity, and cruelty of the heathen Superstition.
From what original this general practice of offering human victims could be derived, is a question of importance. Mr. Bryant deduces it from a tradition common to the most remote antiquity, which in process of time was miserably depraved : and his curious observations on the Mystical Sacrifice of the Phænicians render, it more than probable. See p. 286. For this, and other offerings like to it under the names of φαρμακοι and καθαρματα, were not devoted upon any apparent principle
of cruelty, as might be supposed when captives taken in war were butchered before an Idol; but for the purposes of expiation and atonement; to compensate for the offences of the people, to avert the anger of heaven, or invite its protection on occasion of any public danger or calamity.
III. In the second part of the Disquisition (II-VII) it has been shewn, that clean and unclean animals are applied in the subsequent parts of the Scripture in such a manner as is agreeable to our sense of the Mosaic distinction. But it has been objected, that the Scripture seems not to be uniform in such an application. To which it must be replied, that as clean and unclean animals are not realities of good and evil, but only figures ; nothing hinders, but that, like other figures, they should signify differently, when under some different acceptation : as the same object, according to every new direction of the Light that falls upon it, will project a different shadow.
My meaning will be best explained by some examples borrowed from the style of the holy Scripture. Water, as a medium of purification, is a fit image of the Spirit of Regeneration in baptism, which washes away Sin : but, in its capacity of overflowing bodies with its waves, it becomes a figure of affliction, de struction, and even death itself. The same water which bore up the ark of Noah in safety, and exhibited a pattern of the Salvation of the Christian Church, destroyed the world of the ungodly. The Light of the Sun is beneficial to the whole creation, and is emblematic of that divine light of life, which enlightens every man that cometh into the world: but the parching heat of its rays is used in the parables of Christ to express the fiery trial of persecution and tribulation for the Truth's sake.
With the same variety of allusion, and without any danger of impropriety or confusion in the language of the Scripture, the Lion, considered as an hungry and blood-thirsty beast of Prey, is an image of the Devil, who as a roaring lion walketh about seeking whom he may devour. But in regard to his Strength, Power, Generosity, and the majesty of his countenance, he is highly expressive of the Regal Character, and is therefore assumed to denote the Power and Majesty of Christ himself, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Rev. v. 5. David, in his Elegy on the death of Saul and Jonathan, recounts it as an honour to them