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not punish'd with Death, is in the Nature of it sure to be attended with Infamy and great Inconveniences, in this Life; and, in the next, to have its adequate and proper Reward.
We have one or two Instances of this Punishment being inflicted
pretended Account of Blasphemy, in the holy 1 Kings Scripture; One, in the Case of Naboth;
where two Men, suborn'd by Jezebel, witnoffed against him, in the presence of the people, saying, Naboth did blaspheme God and the King. Then they carried him forth out of the city, and stoned him with ftones,
that he died. The other in the Case of A&s vi. St. Stephen. They set up falfe witnesses,
which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blafphemous words against this boly place, and the law. And, upon his making his Apology, They stopped their ears, and ran upon him, with one accord, and cast bim out of the city, and stoned him. And the witnesses, (who began to cast the first Stone) laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.
And, upon our blessed Lord's, saying, John X. I and my fatber are one; which the Jews
immediately understood to be, as it really was, making himself equal with God, John v.8. they took up stones to stone bim. Jesus answered them, many good works have I fbewed you from my father; for wbich of those works do ye stone me? The Jews anfwered him, saying, For a good work we ftone thee not : but for blafphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thy Self God.
Though Decollation or Beheading, is not mention'd in the Law, it is probable it was the ordinary and most usual Way amongst them, of putting to Death. We Matt. find Herod, fent and beheaded John in the Xiv. 10, prison. As for Strangling or Hanging, there is no Mention of that, but in the Cases of Achitophel and Judas, two Traitors, who, out of Despair, laid violenç Hands upon themselves.
Their MAGISTRA TES.
The Chief Magistrate among the Ifraes lites, before the Time of their Kings, was in the Capacity of either a Leader, or a
Judge;( and call’d by the Name of the one or cohes other, according as the Nature of the Business was, for which he was pla
ced at the Head of their Affairs. Joshua Numb. was conftituted a Leader, or Captain of xxvii. 17.
the People; to go out before them, and to gorin before them, and to lead them out,
and to bring them in: And particularly, to Deut. conduct them into the promis'd land. xxxi. 23.
And, when, after the Death of yoshua, they forsook the LORD God of their Fathers; and thereby caused the LORD to forsake them, and to deliver them up into the Hands of their Enemies, we are told that, after a Time, che LORD, re
membring his Promise to Abraham, raiJudges 16. fed up I udges, which delivered them out of
the bands of those that spoiled them. Not but that the Chief Magistrate; by whatever Name he was called, govern'd in both these Capacities; as we may see plainly from the Nature and End of the Kingly Office, when they are any where spoken of.
The LORD says to Samuel, concerning 1 Sam. Saul, I will send thee a man out of the
land of Benjamin, and thou shalt anoint bim to be captain over my people Ifrael.
And so, the LORD said unto David;
David says concerning Solomon his Song
i. 35. rael, and over Judah.
And to thew that it was their Business i to judge as well as rule, The Elders say
to Samuel, Bebold, thou art old, and i thy fons walk not in thy ways; now make us a king to judge us like all the nations, And so it is said of David, That he reign-2.13. ed over all Israel; and executed judgment and justice untos att bis people.' Nay, to shew that this latter Qualification is the grear End of Kingly Government; God says to Solomon; Because thou baft asked 2 Chron. wisdom and knowledge for thy felf, that thou mayest judge my people, over whom I have made thee king; wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches and wealth and bonour, such as none of the kings have had.
Such a Character is by far the greatest that any King can arrive at; and, of all ophers, the most desirable, in point of Interest and Profit; as the Rewards annex'd
to it fufficiently declare. It is exalted above all mortal Glory and Splendor; it is truly divine and Godlike. When the Psalmist is raising his voice to the highest
Pitch of Rapture and Gratulation, he says, Pfalm ix. I will praise thee, O LORD, for thou bat 4. 7, 8. maintained my right and my cause, tbou
Satest in the throne, judging right. Again; The LORD. Hall endure for ever ; be bath prepared bis throne for judgment. He shall judge the world in righeousness; He fall minister judgment to the people, in uprightnefs.
To rule and to judge make up tural Notion we have of the Office of a fupreme Magistrate. And therefore, when Mofes would have compos'd the Difference between the two contending
Ifraelites, the Aggreffor says to him, Exod. ii. Who made thee a Prince and a Judge O
ver us? In a Word, the whole Duty of the Head of any People'is, first to administer justice among them, according to their Laws; and when there is Occasion, to lead them forth, either to avoid or meet their Enemies; in Defence of their Religion, Liberty, and Poffeffions,