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8, &c.


The Priests and the Prophets (who were Jer. xxvi. Time-fervers,) and all the people, took him; faying Thou shalt furely die. When the #princes of Judah (the Members of the Council) heard these Things, then they came up from the king's houfe unto the house of the LORD; and fate down in the entry of the new gate of the LORD's house. Then fpake the Priests and the Prophets (who were Court Informers) unto the princes, and 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 be bath fpoken to us in the name of the LORD our 1 God. Then rofe up certain of the Elders of the land, and spake to all the assembly of the people, faying, &c.

The Form of Condemnation was thus, (as we find it in the Gospel) The High- Matt. Prieft rent his clothes (which by thẹ 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

heard his blafphemy: What think ye? They anfwered and faid, He is guilty of death. But when Judaa came to be fsubject to the Romans, these referv'd the Power of Life and Death to themselves; fo that this Council could proceed no further than to Condemnation. For Execution, they were to apply to the Roman Governor.


Some are of Opinion that there were more Courts of Judicature at Jerufalem than this we have been speaking of; and that they were above each other in Dignity; where Causes were heard according to their Importance, before the higher or the inferior Courts; and that each could inflict higher Degrees of Punishment than the other: And that our Saviour alludes Mat. v. to thefe, when he fays; Whoever is angry with his brother without a cause, shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever fhall fay to his brother, Raca, fhall be in danger of the council; but, whosoever shall fay, Thou fool, fhall be in danger of bellfire.


Interpreters fuppofe that our LORD proportions the Punishments in the next World, according to the different Senten



ces which were ufual in the different Courts of Judicature at Jerufalem. Therefore they fay, the Judgment, means that Court where the Judges were three and twenty,


and could only fentence to death by the Swords The Council, alludes to the Court where the feventy Elders fate, which was the Great Sanhedrim, and could punish by ftoning to Death: And that, by HellFire; the Burning of the greatest Malefactors in the Valley of Hinnom, is implied. abc coas avode s




That by the Words Judgment and Coun cil, either different Courts, or, at least, different Punishments are alluded to, feems very plain; though it is difficult to affign exprefly, which they were. When our LORD foretells his own Sufferings to his Disciples, he mentions the feveral Sorts of Men that were to fit in Judgment upon him; where it it faid; From that time Mat. xvi, forth began JESUS to fhew unto his difciples, how that he must go unto Jerufalem, and fuffer many things of the Elders, and 1 Chief Priests, and Scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. But this means the Great Council or Sanhedrim.







For, as foon as his Preaching came to MAY be obferv'd, and did, as they thought, impugn the ancient Law; This Counci thought it a Matter worthy of their CogJohn xi. nizance. Then gathered the Chief Priests and Pharifees a council; and faid, What d we? For this man doth many miracles. If we let him thus alone, all men will believ on him: And the Romans fhall come and take away both our place and nation. Again, Luke xx. we are told; That on one of those days, as

I, &c.

be taught the people, in the temple, and
preached the Gospel, the Chief Priests, and
Scribes came upon him, with the Elders;
and spake unto him, saying, Tell us,
by what authority dost thou these things, or,
who is be that gave thee this authority?
And when this Expedient would not serve
their Turn, they fent out fpies, which should
feign themselves just men, that they might
take hold of his words; that, fo they might
deliver him unto the power and authority
of the

But this Stratagem fucceeding no bet-
ter than the other; and because they fear-
ed the People, who surrounded him to fee
his Miracles, and hear his Doctrine; they



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fterwards agreed to publish an Order, requiring all Perfons under fome Penalty, wherefoever they faw him or met with him, immediately to come and inform them of it. And, as the Pallover was then approaching, they took it for granted he would come to the Feast, and thereby furnish them with an Opportunity of getting him into their Hands. Now both the John xi. Chief Priefts and Pharifees had given à 57. commandment, that if any man knew where he were, he should fhew it, that they might take him. And this probably was accom panied with a Promise, that the Informer fhould be well rewarded.

Allur'd with the Hopes of which, JuEdas, one of his twelve Disciples, went to them and made a Propofal; that for thirty Pieces of Silver, he would difcover him, in fuch a Manner, as effectually to 1 put him into their Power. They covenanted with him accordingly. And, becaufe JESUS, though he appear'd daily in publick, was continually furrounded and defended by the Multitude, his Hearers and Admirers, and therefore could not fo well be apprehended, Judas undertook



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