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Chapter II.—The Jewish sacrifices are now abolished.

Since, therefore, the days are evil, and Satan14561456    The Latin text is literally, “the adversary;” the Greek has, “and he that worketh possesseth power;” Hilgenfeld reads, “he that worketh against,” the idea expressed above being intended. possesses the power of this world, we ought to give heed to ourselves, and diligently inquire into the ordinances of the Lord. Fear and patience, then, are helpers of our faith; and long-suffering and continence are things which fight on our side. While these remain pure in what respects the Lord, Wisdom, Understanding, Science, and Knowledge rejoice along with them.14571457    Or, “while these things continue, those which respect the Lord rejoice in purity along with them—Wisdom,” etc. For He hath revealed to us by all the prophets that He needs neither sacrifices, nor burnt-offerings, nor oblations, saying thus, “What is the multitude of your sacrifices unto Me, saith the Lord? I am full of burnt-offerings, and desire not the fat of lambs, and the blood of bulls and goats, not when ye come to appear before 138 Me: for who hath required these things at your hands? Tread no more My courts, not though ye bring with you fine flour. Incense is a vain abomination unto Me, and your new moons and sabbaths I cannot endure.”14581458    Isa. i. 11–14, from the Sept., as is the case throughout. We have given the quotation as it stands in Cod. Sin. He has therefore abolished these things, that the new law of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is without the yoke of necessity, might have a human oblation.14591459    Thus in the Latin. The Greek reads, “might not have a man-made oblation.” The Latin text seems preferable, implying that, instead of the outward sacrifices of the law, there is now required a dedication of man himself. Hilgenfeld follows the Greek. And again He says to them, “Did I command your fathers, when they went out from the land of Egypt, to offer unto Me burnt-offerings and sacrifices? But this rather I commanded them, Let no one of you cherish any evil in his heart against his neighbour, and love not an oath of falsehood.”14601460    Jer. vii. 22; Zech. viii. 17. We ought therefore, being possessed of understanding, to perceive the gracious intention of our Father; for He speaks to us, desirous that we, not14611461    So the Greek. Hilgenfeld, with the Latin, omits “not.” going astray like them, should ask how we may approach Him. To us, then, He declares, “A sacrifice [pleasing] to God is a broken spirit; a smell of sweet savour to the Lord is a heart that glorifieth Him that made it.”14621462    Ps. li. 19. There is nothing in Scripture corresponding to the last clause. We ought therefore, brethren, carefully to inquire concerning our salvation, lest the wicked one, having made his entrance by deceit, should hurl14631463    Literally, “sling us out.” us forth from our [true] life.


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