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not punish'd with Death, is in the Nature of it fure 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 Inftances of this Punishment being inflicted upon the pretended Account of Blafphemy, in the holy Kings Scripture; One, in the Cafe of Naboth; where two Men, fuborn'd by Jezebel, witneffed against him, in the presence of the people, faying, Naboth did blafpheme 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 Cafe of Acts vi. St. Stephen. They fet up falfe witnesses, which faid, This man ceafeth not to speak blafphemous words against this holy place, and the law. And, upon his making his Apology, They stopped their ears, and ran upon him, with one accord, and caft him out of the city, and ftoned him. And the witneffes, (who began to caft the first Stone) laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.
13. ib. vii. 57.
And, upon our bleffed LORD's faying, John x. I and my father are one;
which the Jews immediately
immediately understood to be, as it really was, making himself equal with God, John v.8. they took up ftones to ftone him. JESUS anfwered them, many good works have I Shewed you from my father; for which of thofe works do ye ftone me? The Jews anfwered him, faying, For a good work we ftone thee not: but for blafphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makeft thy Self God.
Though Decollation or Beheading, is not mention'd in the Law, it is probable it was the ordinary and moft ufual Way amongst them, of putting to Death. We Matt. find Herod, fent and beheaded John in the xiv. 10, prifon. As for Strangling or Hanging, there is no Mention of that, but in the Cafes of Achitophel and Judas, two Traitors, who, out of Defpair, laid violent Hands upon themselves.
The Chief Magiftrate among the Ifraelites, before the Time of their Kings, was in the Capacity of either a Leader, or a Ee 4
Judges and call'd by the Name of the one orcheother, according as the Nature of the Business was, for which he was placed cat the Head of their Affairs. Joshua was conftituted a Leader or Captain of the People; to go out before them, and to go in before them, and to lead them out, and to bring them in: And particularly, to Deut. conduct them into the promis'd land.
Judges 1. 16.
* Sam. ix. 16.
And, when, after the Death of Joshua, they forfook the LORD God of their Fathers; and thereby caufed the LORD to forfake them, and to deliver them up into the Hands of their Enemies, we are told that, after a Time, the LORD, remembring his Promife to Abraham, raifed up Judges, which delivered them out of the hands of thofe that spoiled them. Not but that, the Chief Magiftrate, by whatever Name he was called, govern'd in both thefe Capacities; as we may fee plainly from the Nature and End of the Kingly Office, when they are any where spoken of. The LORD fays to Samuel, concerning Saul, I will fend thee a man out of the land of Benjamin, and thou shalt anoint him to be captain over my people Ifrael.
And fo, the LORD faid unto David; Thou shalt feed my people Ifrael, and thou 2 Sam. v, halt be a captain over Ifrael. And again David fays concerning Solomon his Son; I have appointed him to be ruler, over If-1 Kings rael, and over Judah.
And to fhew that it was their Bufinefs
to judge as well as rule, The Elders to Samuel, Behold, thou art old, thy fans walk not in thy ways; now make & us a king to judge us like all the nations, E And fo it is faid of David, That he reign- 2 Sam. ed over all Ifrael, and executed judgment and justice unto all his people. Nay, to fhew that this latter Qualification is the great End of Kingly Government; God
fays to Solomon; Becaufe thou hast asked Chron.
fay I Sam.
wisdom and knowledge for thy felf, that
Such a Character is by far the greateft
4. 7, 8.
to it fufficiently declare. It is exalted above all mortal Glory and Splendor; it is truly divine and Godlike. When the Pfalmift is raifing his Voice to the highest Pitch of Rapture and Gratulation, he says, Pfalm ix. I will praise thee, O LORD, for thou haft maintained my right and my caufe, thou fateft in the throne, judging right. Again; The LORD fhall endure for ever; ke bath prepared his throne for judgment. He fhall judge the world in righeoufnefs; He shall minifter judgment to the people, in uprightness.
To rule and to judge make up the natural Notion we have of the Office of a fupreme Magiftrate. And therefore, when Mofes would have compos'd the Difference between the two contending Ifraelites, the Aggreffor fays to him, Exod. ii. Who made thee a Prince and a Fudge over us? In a Word, the whole Duty of the Head of any People is, first to adminifter juftice among them, according to their Laws; and when there is Occafion, to lead them forth, either to avoid or meet their Enemies; in Defence of their Religion, Liberty, and Poffeffions,