Page:Ruskin - The Seven Lamps of Architecture.djvu/40

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condition of the acceptableness of the sacrifice. 'Neither will I offer unto the Lord my God of that which doth cost me nothing'[1]. That costliness, therefore, must be an acceptable condition in all human offerings at all times; for if it was pleasing to God once, it must please Him always, unless directly forbidden by Him afterwards, which it has never been.

Again, was it necessary to the typical perfection of the Levitical offering, that it should be the best of the flock? Doubtless, the spotlessness of the sacrifice renders it more expressive to the Christian mind; but was it because so expressive that it was actually, and in so many words, demanded by God? Not at all. It was demanded by Him expressly on the same grounds on which an earthly governour would demand it, as a testimony of respect. 'Offer it now unto thy governour'[2]. And the less valuable offering was rejected, not because it did not image Christ, nor fulfil the purposes of sacrifice, but because it indicated a feeling that would grudge the best of its possessions to Him who gave them; and because it was a bold dishonouring of God in the sight of man. Whence it may be infallibly concluded, that in whatever offerings we may now see reason to present unto God (I say not what these may be), a condition of their acceptableness will be now, as it was then, that they should be the best of their kind.

VI. But farther, was it necessary to the carrying out of the Mosaical system, that there should be either art or splendour in the form or services of the tabernacle or temple? Was it necessary to the perfection of any one of their typical offices, that there should be that hanging of blue, and purple, and scarlet? those taches of brass and sockets of silver? that working in cedar and overlaying with gold? One thing at least

  1. 2 Sam. xxiv, 24.Deut., xvi, 16, 17.
  2. Mal. i, 8.