Page images


not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. Thefe Marks they, miftaking the Nature of CHRIST's Kingdom, thought suited exactly with Herod; because he was a Stranger, and withal, a + Great and flourishing Prince.

This Opinion, Herod judg'd it proper for him to encourage, because it fo manifeftly tended to fupport his Power and Grandeur: And for this Reason it was, that we find him so troubled, when the Mat. ii. wife men came from the East to Jerufalem, 1, &c. to worship Him that was just then born king of the Jews: and that he could act so exceeding inhuman a Tragedy, as to order all the Children, under two Years old, to be put to Death, in and about. Bethlehem.

[ocr errors]

And, upon the fame Account, we find the Herodians, afterwards, fo bufy and follicitous in joining with the Rest of our 1 LORD'S invidious Enemies. No fooner did he begin to work Miracles, and make

† He was firnamed, The Great.


Himself known by his heavenly Doctrine,







Mark. iii. but we find, The Pharifees went forth, and ftraitway, with the Herodians, took counfel against Him, how they might deftroy him. Mark xii. Again; The Pharifees and the Herodians, are fent to him, to catch him in bis words. Therefore, our LORD charges his Difciples, to beware, not only of the leaven of the Pharifees, but of Herod alfo ; that is, of the Herodians. This is all we find neceffary to be observ'd, in relation to the Affairs of Religion, among the People of Ifrael.


viii. 15.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


5. 0096 S

CHA P. VIII. t SECT. I. The Civil Government.


E come, next, to difcourfe of their Civil Government. Having, according to our bleffed LORD's Direction, render'd unto God, the Things which are God's; that is, having gone through all those Particulars, which more immediately relate to spiritual Matters, and divine Worship; we shall now endeavour to render

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

der unto Cæfar, the Things which are Cæfar's to give fuch Account of the Temporal Adminiftration of the Ifraelites, as the Holy Scriptures furnish us with.


And this we fhall do, by inquiring after and laying together what may be found relating to these three Heads, Councils, Judicatures, and Magiftrates. The Good and Happiness of all Nations, arifes and grows from their respective Councils; from fuch wholfom and beneficial Laws, as the wifest Heads among them are, from Time to Time, able to devife: And these again, must be defended and maintain'd by the regular Administration of Justice. Justice.


But because, neither Councils can be fummon'd and adjourn'd, upon Occafion; nor Laws, when made, be put in Force and Execution, fo well, without a fufficient Power being delegated by Commiffion and Truft to fome Perfon, under whom others again fhould be fubordinate, for the fame Intents and Purposes; Therefore thefe are what we may call Magifirates: And whom, after we have treated of the other two Branches, we fall confider in their

proper Place.


[ocr errors]




By Councils we are to understand, any of those authoriz'd Meetings, in in which Things appertaining to the Good and Wel fare of the State are propos'd, debated, and finally enacted into Laws. Such as Matters relating to Peace and War; encouraging and regulating Trade appointing Magiftrates, as often as Occafion requires; and levying fuch Supplies as fhall be judg'd neceffary for the general Support, Defense, and Honour of the Nation.

[ocr errors]

But as thele Councils, in most well-regulated Governments, are of two Kinds; one public and general,confifting of a Convention of the whole collective Body of the People; the other private and separate, made up of a certain number of felect Perfons, whom either their Age, or extraordinary natural Parts have qualified for Business; so it was among the Jews. Their Councils were, either The Congregation; a promifcuous Meeting of all their Tribes come together in one Place; or, the Senate


compos'd of a fegregate Body of grave
experienc'd Elders.

cvii. 32.

The Pfalmift makes mention of both thefe Councils; when, exciting his Countntrymen to a high Pitch of Devotion to the LORD for his great Goodness, he fays; Let them exalt Him alfo in the congregation Pfalm of the people, and praise Him in the affembly of the elders. Again; I will praise the Pfalm LORD with my whole heart, in the affembly cxi. 1. of the upright, and in the congregation. These two sorts of Councils, under the fame Distinction, he speaks of in feveral Places: whence we may conclude there were no other: For, if there had, it is not likely that he would have fail'd taking fome notice of them also. Of these two therefore we shall proceed to the Consideration. And first, of the Congregation.



The Nature of their Government, as was obferv'd before, being threefold; as it confifted, first, of that which fubfifted among the whole twelve Tribes in General; fecondly, of that which related to each A a Tribe,

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


« PreviousContinue »