Page images
[ocr errors]

ment, ftatutes and judgments, ye shall even warn them that they trespass not against the 57. LORD, &C.

And here we find, that if the Caufe was of a Spiritual Nature, the High-Priest was the Chief Judge; if otherwife, a Chief Juftice, who fate in Behalf of the "King. For thus it immediately follows; And be bold, Amariah the Chief Prieft is over you, in all matters of the LORD; And Zebadiah the son of Ishmael, the ruler of the boufe of Judah, for all the king's matters. Alfo the Levites fhall be officers before you. Deal courageously, and the LORD shall be with the Good.

It is probable that in Caufes Ecclefiaftical, the Confiftory Court was made up of the High-Prieft, and the Chief Priests, or Heads of the four and twenty Courses, only; and that, in Matters purely temporal, the fupreme Magiftrate, with the Princes and Elders, and Scribes, who were Doctors of the Law, either by himself or his Deputy, took Cognizance. And that, where any one was accus'd of Crimes relating to Religion and State both, the Judges, in each of thefe Faculties, fate to hear


[ocr errors]

the Cause. So, at the Trial of our blesfed LORD, of which we shall speak more by and by, Jofeph of Arimathea, a rich Man, and an honourable Counsellor (probably one of the Seventy Elders) was one of them who fate as Judges; but did not join in the Sentence of Condemnation, The Gospel, fpeaking of him, fays, The Luke fame had not confented to the council, and xxiii. 51. deed of them.

This Council, at their Return from the Captivity, was reftor'd, with the rest of their Commonwealth: As the Prophet Ezekiel foretold it should. The Priests, Ezekiel the Levites, fhall teach my people the diffe- xliv. 24. rence between the holy and profane, and cause them to difcern between the unclean and the clean. And, in controversy, they shall ftand in judgment; and they shall judge it according to my judgments.

The Method of Proceeding in this Court, was as follows. They who had a mind to implead any one, applied either to the King, or the High-Priest, or who ever filled the Poft of Chief Justice, and inform'd against him. Upon this, proper Officers were fent to take him up; and, Bb 4 if


required, a Derachment from

rd, went along with them. as taken, was canin'd by then committed, either be Cuftody of the Of till his Trial came

7 i sut

fate, those who

against the CriWords; This Man I i is worthy to 'die. defend him, ane

= worthy to die; a. And, when

were finish'd, pinions, fingly, 20: And, ac

of Votes, one was acquitted

The India

we have ih; who herving the md Temple continued

A God's Law.


8, &c.



be Briefts and the Prophets (who were Jer. xxvi. Time-fervers,) and all the people, took him; ying Thou shalt furely die. When the rinces of Judah (the Members of the Council) beard thefe Things, then they came p from the king's houfe unto the house of be LORD; and fate down in the entry of he new gate of the LORD's house. Then pake the Priefts and the Prophets (who were Court Informers) unto the princes, ind to all the people, Saying; This man is worthy to die, for he hath prophesied against this city, as ye have heard. Then, the Prophet having fpoken in his own Defence, The princes and all the people faid unto the Priests, and to the Prophets, This man is not worthy to die, for he hath spoken to us in the name of the LORD our God. Then rofe up certain of the Elders of the land, and pake to all the affembly of the people, saying, &c.

The Form of Condemnation was thus,

(as we find it in the Gofpel) The High- Matt. Prieft rent his clothes (which by the Law xxvi. 65, he was forbidden ever to do) faying, He bath spoken blafphemy: what further need bave we of witnesses! Behold, now ye

have beard


if Occafion requird, a Detachment from 22 the Temple Guard, went along with them. The Person thus taken, was examin'd by the Juftice, and then committed, a either to Prison, or to the Cuftody of the Of ficer of the Guard, till his Trial came on. bent ma surua 421 90x


When the Court fate, those who brought the Information against the Criminal, did it in thefe Words; This Man having done sonor fa, is worthy to die. And they who were to defend him, an fwer'd, This Man is not worthy to die; for he has only done fo or fo, And, when the Pleadings, on both Sides, were finish'd, the Judges gave their Opinions, fingly, whether he was guilty, or not; And, according to the Majority of Votes, one way or t'other, the Culprit was acquitted or condemn'd.. 03 31

Of the Manner of laying the Indictment, and giving in the Anfwer, we have an Inftance in the Cafe of Jeremiah; who was inform'd against for prophefying the Destruction of both the City and Temple of Jerusalem, in cafe the Jews continued to neglect the Obfervance of God's Law.


« PreviousContinue »