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ter Proof made of the Fact, caft the first Stone; and were immediately feconded by the rest of the People; who pur* fued the Criminal, with Stones, till he t died.
Deut. xvii. 2,
As to ferving Strange Gods, it is thus written; If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD &c. thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that 11 bath wrought wickedness in the fight of the LORD thy God, in trangreffing his covenant, and bath gone and ferved other Gods, and worshipped them; either the fun, or the moon; or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded: And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquir'd diligently, and behold it is true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Ifrael. Then shalt thou bring forth that man, or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, and halt ftone them with ftones till they die. At the mouth of two witnesses or three witneffes, fhall be, that is worthy of death, be put to death; but, at the mouth of one witness, he shall not be put to death. The bands of the witnesses shall be first up
on him, to put him to death, and after-
Deut. xiii. 1,&c.
Again; If there arife among you a profhet, or a dreamer of dreams; and the fign or wonder come to pass whereof be Spake unto you, faying, Let us go after other Gods; or if thy brother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend which is as thine own foul, entice thee fecretly; faying, Let us go and ferve other Gods: Thou shalt not confent unto him, nor bearken unto him, neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither fhalt thou conceal him. But thou shalt surely kill him; Thine hand fhall be firft upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the band of all the people. And thou shalt ftone him with ftones, that he die.
As to the Law concerning Blafphemy, we read; that the Son of an Ifraelitish Woman, whofe Father was an Egyptian, Lev. blafphemed the name of the LORD, and xxiv. 10, curfed. And they brought him unto Mofes, and put him in ward, that the mind of the LORD might be shewed them. And the LORD spake unto Mofes, faying, Bring forth him that hath curfed, without the camp;
camp; and let all, that heard him, lay
tion fhall certainly ftone him; as well the ftranger as he that is born in the land, when he blafphemeth the name of the LORD, Shall be put to death.
In relation to Sabbath-Breaking, the Numb. Law fpeaks thus; While the children of xv. 32. Ifrael were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered fticks upon the fabbath-day. And they that found him brought him unto Mofes and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him. And the LORD faid unto Mofes, The man shall be surely put to death; All the congregation fhall ftone him with ftones, without the camp.
In the Cafe of Adultery, it is faid; If Deut. a damfel that is a virgin be betrothed unto xxii. 23. an husband, and a man find her in the ci- &c. ty, and a man lie with her: Then ye fhail bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall ftone them with ftones Ee 2
that they die: The damfel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man because be bath humbled his neighbour's wife. And, If a man be found lying with a woman that hath an husband, then they shall both of them die. And fo, the damfel that was married, and upon whom the tokens of virginity were not found, was to be brought out to the door of her father's house, and there Stoned to death, by the men of her city.
But, by an Inftance that we meet with, in the Gospel, it should seem that our LORD (who came to abolish the typical fhadowy Parts of the Ceremonial Law, and had fufficient Authority to mitigate what he thought was too rigorous and inconfiftent with his new Lew of univerfal Charity, in the Judicial Law) thought this Punishment too fevere for frail Mortals to inflict upon one another, for a Crime to which, though a very heinous one, the Generality of them are much John vi, too prone. too prone. We are told, that The Scribes and Pharifees brought unto him a woman 3, &c. taken in adultery: And, when they had fet her in the midft, They fay unto him; Mafter, This woman was taken in adultery, in
the very acts Now Mofes, in the law, commanded us that fuch fhould be ftoned; but what Sayeft thou? This they did, tempting him, that they might have to accufe him. But JESUS Stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking bim, He lift up himself and said unto them, be that is without fin among you, let him,
first, caft a stone at her. And again he Stooped down and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted
by their own confcience, went out, one by
one, beginning at the eldest even unto the laft: And JESUS was left alone, and the woman ftanding in the midft. When JESUS bad lift up himself, and faw none but the woman, he faid unto her, Woman, where are thefe thine accufers? Hath No man condemned thee? She faid, no man, LORD. And JESUS faid unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: Go, and fin no more.
As much as to fay, I have no Proof whereby to condemn you; but, in case what has been affirm'd against you be true, I admonish you not to be guilty of fo great a fin any more; a Sin, which, though it be Ee 3