« PreviousContinue »
Idolatry (which Word implies, the Regarding Pictures or Images in Time of Prayer and Adoration) being every where stigmatiz'd as a very great Abomination, in the Sight of the LORD. By the third they are striąly injoin'd, Not to take God's Name in vain, That is, not to swear by his holy Name, but upon serious and important Occasions; and then, punctually to observe their Oath. By the fourth, they are requir'd to keep holy every seventh Day, by ceasing from their usual Labours. That so, their Minds and Bodies being wholly free and disengag'd from other Business, they might be at leisure to meditate upon the mighty Works of their Creator, and devote themselves more entirely to his Service. By the fifth, they are commanded to honour their Parents; and encourag'd to it by the conditional Promise of a long and happy Life. The sixth prohibits the committing of any kind of Murder: The seventh, of Theft: The eighth, of Adultery: The ninth, bearing false Witness: The tenth, defiring to obtain, unlawfully, (any thing which is the Property of another. All which are faid
to have been written by God himself, upon two Tables of Stone, for general and lasting Use.
SECT. III. .
Further Particulars of the L A W. But the several Particulars compris'd under these general Heads being too many to be retain'd and observ'd faithfully by all forts and degrees of Men: God was pleas'd further to reveal every Minute Circumstance of what he expected from them, both in cheir Duty to Him, and to one another. All which he caus'd to be written; that those who were to have the Government of the People, either in a Spiritual or Temporal Capacity, might expound it to them, as Occasion should serve; and fee to the Execution and Observance of it.
Commentators have taken Notice, that the Hundred and Nineteenth Psalm (which is wholly made up of the Celebration of God's Law) rings the Changes, as it were, upon it, in the ten following Words ; which, as they are render'd in our English
Translation of the Bible now in use, are
2. Testimonies. 3. Ways.
7. Judgments. 8. Word. 9. Ordinances. 10. Justice.
We need not question but every one of these Expressions singly were intended by the Composer of this Pfalm, to signify the whole Law of God. But when we find several of them us’d together, in the four last Books of the Pentateuch especially; as where it is said, God made a Statute and Exod. xv. an Ordinance; and These are the Statutes
Levit. and Judgments and Laws, which the LORD xxvi. 46. made between Him and the children of Il
and These are the Commandments and Numb. the Judgments, which the LORD commanded xxxvi.13. unto the children of Israel; and I command Deut. thee, this day, to love the LORD thy God, xxx. 16, to walk in his Ways, and to keep his Commandments, and his Statutes, and his Judgments; we may reasonably conclude that they have somewhat different Significations; that they are not casually jumbled together as a Parcel of synonymous Words, only to express the same thing by; but,
were * judiciously intended to denote the several Kinds and Parts of the Law: ac least, that they point out to us the two principal Sorts of it; that which relates to the Worship of God, and that which concerns the Manners and Properties of Men between themselves. The first of which seems to be implied by the Word Statutes or Commandments; and the second, by that of Judgments; these Terms occurring the most frequently in all those Places where the Law is professedly declar’d; and afterwards, whenever it is occasionally mention’d.
And, tho' these Terms are but two, yet in the Version of the Septuagint they are utter'd by, at least, two several Greek Words apiece; which makes each of them carry more than one Sense: And therefore, by Commandments or Statutes, we may well understand to be meant God's Will in relation to what should or should not be
* As appears very plainly from the Greek Version, where the Words manifeftly import Meanings diftinet from one another ; Commandments, "E.Jona. Statutes, llegs. ταγματα. Judgments, Keίματα, Κισάς, Δικαιώματα.
done about the religious Worship of Himfelf; together with the Rationale or Propriecy, as to the Manner and Order in which it ought to be done. As by the Word Judgments is implied, the Rules by which they were to proceed in their Courts of Judicature; where they were, either to * condemn or f acquit those who should be tried by them. And thus much it was expedient should be said toward the explaining of these Terms; because they occur very frequently in the Scriptures; and we shall be oblig'd, now and then, to have recourse to them in the Prosecution of this Treatise.
S E C T. IV.
How the L A w was to be taught. Now, the better to notify and make this Body of Laws understood, by all those who were concern'd to know them, God, foreseeing that this people, in Process of Time, would reject him, that he should not 1 Sam. reign over them; and, by their own Con- viii, 7. fession, unto all their fins, in running into xii. 19.
* Kevés, Kelguel Telo
ή Δικαιώματα. D