XL. (136) And he brings not only the first fruits from the firstborn, but also from the fat; showing by this that whatever there is in the soul that is cheerful, or fat, or preservative and pleasant, might all be surrendered to God. And I see also in the arrangements established about sacrifices, that three things are enjoined to be offered from the victims; in the first place the fat, and the kidneys, and the lobe of the liver, about which we will speak separately; but not the brain or the heart which it seemed natural should be dedicated before the other parts, since, according to the language of the lawgiver, the dominant power is recognised as existing in one of them.

(137) But may it not be owing to an exceeding holiness and to very accurate consideration of the matter that he did not bear these things to the faithful altar of God? because that dominant part being subject to changes in either direction, either for bad or good, in an indivisible moment of time receives impressions which are continually changing, at one time impressions of what is pure and approved, and at others of an adulterated and base coinage. (138) Therefore the lawgiver judging a place which was capable of receiving both these opposite qualities, namely, what is honourable, and what is disgraceful, and which was adapted to each, and distributed equal honour to both, to be quite a much impure as holy, removed it from the altar of God. For what is disgraceful is profane, and what is profane is by all means unholy; (139) and this is why the dominant part is kept away from sacrifices, but if it is subjected to examination, then, when all its parts have been purified, it will be consecrated as a burnt offering, free from all stain, and from all pollution. For this is the law respecting whole burnt offerings, that with the exception of the refuse of the food, and of the skin which are tokens of the weakness of the body and not of wickedness, nothing else should be left to the creature, but that all the other parts which exhibit the soul perfect in all its parts, should be presented as a whole burnt offering to God.

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