The Expiatory Sacrifices Of The Greeks And Romans, And Their Relation To The One Sacrifice Upon Golgotha. -- By: Ernst Von Lasauix

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 001:2 (May 1844)
Article: The Expiatory Sacrifices Of The Greeks And Romans, And Their Relation To The One Sacrifice Upon Golgotha.
Author: Ernst Von Lasauix


The Expiatory Sacrifices Of The Greeks And Romans,
And Their Relation To The One Sacrifice Upon Golgotha.

Ernst Von Lasauix

Professor of Classical Literature in the Julius-Maximilian University, Wuerzburg, Bavaria. Translated by Rev. Henry B. Smith, West Amesbury, Mass.

Introductory Note by the Translator.

[The following dissertation is called by its author a Contribution to the Philosophy of Religion. It is thought, that it presents the subject of heathen sacrifices, and of their connection with the one offering of Christ, in some points of view deserving our consideration.

That there is a connection, and a close connection, between the heathen sacrifices and the sacrifice of our blessed Lord, can hardly be contested. That the fundamental ideas of the one must be found in the other, is only a plain inference from language and from history. The early Christians could say: “De vestris faimus; fiunt, non nascuntur Christiani” Even Tertnllian calls Christ “the true Prometheus.” The Jewish sacrifices were consummated in Christ’s oblation; were not the heathen sacrifices also? Did not heathenism, as well as Judaism, pass over into Christianity? If the grace of God led on the Hebrews, did not the providence of God lead on the heathen? With a proper understanding of the phrase, heathenism as well as Judaism may be said to have a prophetic character in relation to Christianity. There are two books, by German authors, upon the Christian Elements in Plato’s Philosophy; and one, upon the Christian Elements in the works of Tacitus. And though the titles may sound paradoxical, and be open to the charge of anachronism, yet is there not a profound truth involved in them? Does not the providential theory of history force us to the conclusion, that in heathenism there was a preparation for Christianity? Was not the God of the Jews, also the God of the gods of paganism? And the sacrifices offered to them—did they not, as well as the Jewish, (to use the words of archbishop Magee,) “terminate in that one grand and comprehensive offering, which was the primary object and the final consummation of the sacrificial institution?” And if

we were required to seek that conservative element in the heathen superstitions, which kept them so long in being,—that article of faith which constituted the link between them and Christianity, where can we find it so clearly as in their views of the nature and necessity of a propitiatory sacrifice?

The sacrifices of the Jews, the sacrifices of the heathen, the sacrifice of Christ—there is a connection between them all. The sacrifices of the Jews were divinely instituted; the sacrifice of Christ was divinely appointed; ...

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