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There he renew'd the Covenant between
But, when all these were dead, there Judg. ii. arose another generation after them, which "2. knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. They forsook the LORD, and serv'd the strange Gods of the Heathens their Neighbours, Baal and Ashtaroth. And this they seem to have done without intirely altering the Form of their Government, or utterly rejecting the Law. But having greatly difpleas'd God by such their Behaviour, he withdrew his protecting Favour from them, so that they could no longer stand before their Enemies.
However the supream Being, mindful of his Promise to their forefathers, leç his Mercy so far temper his Justice, that he would not quite abandon them; but rais'd up Judges, under whose Admini
Judg. it. stration, as long as they liv'd conforma- 17. E
ble to God's Laws, their Affairs profs
went on, rebelling and provoking God, Acts xiii. for about the space of four hundred and
fifty years, till toward the latter End of the Days of Samuel; when they infifted upon having a King.
SECT. III. Afterwards, a Monarchy. From thence began the Monarchy: when they were to be ruld no longer by the Laws of God only, but moreover by the arbitrary Will of a single Person. This
was what they desir'd; make us a king to vii. 5. judge us like all the nations: And this was
what would infallibly be the Consequence; as Samuel the Prophet of the LORD tells them. This will be the manner of the King that shall reign over you; he will take your fons and your daughters, your menservants and
your maid-fervants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses; and put them to his work. And he will take
your fields and your vineyards, and your olives
rå gårds, even the best of them, and give them
to his fervants. And ye shall cry out in le that day, because of your King which yé by have chosen yoú. A very just RepresentaHann tion of Monarchy; and which shews the a Excellency of their former Government, : when they liv'd under † no other Controul Hi than that of good and wholsome Laws, which
they had foberly and seriously covenanted to obey. Accordingly when they chose a King, they are said to have rejected God; 1 Sam. as having forfeited their Liberty, and with viii. 7. it, all Pretence to Happiness and Security.
t Josephus introduces Moses speaking to the People of Israel, after this Manner. An Aristocracy, in
respect to the Benefits of Life which flow from it, is " the best Thing in the World. Do not therefore « wantonly defire to change this for any other Form “ of Government. Keep to this, which lays you un“ der no Restraint but that of your own Laws, and * makes you accountable to thein only. Have no "other Lord, but your God. But---- if you must t needs have a King, let him be elected from among
your own People. Antiq. lib. iv." And agreeably to this, Aristotle makes the following just Reflection. " He that desires to be govern’d by Law, desires that “ God should be his Sovereign. He that desires to be
governd by a King, that is, by a Man, desires to “ be subject to a wild Beast as it were; since Man a is so far from acting always according to Reason, " that he is generally influenc'd by his Passions. Ari" slot. in Polit.
It must be confess'd that, according to the modern way of speaking, Monarchy is of two kinds; the one, absolute; and the other limited. But it is, at the same Time, well known that this latter is, in Truch, a Sort of Commonwealth; which though it cannot be call'd either an Aristocracy or a Democracy, yet is of such a Nature as may be consistent with both: It being a very common thing, in either, to have the executive Power lodg’d in the Hands of a single Person; who, during that Time, is, in Effect, much the same as a limited Monarch; considering, that Names and Titles, Habits and Decorations, are merely contingent, and may differ from one another as much as Times and Places do, without adding to, or detracting from the Power of the Person that wears them: that being fix'd in this case, by the Laws or Customs of the Land; and flowing from the Consent of those who have elected such Person to preside over their Affairs.
Such was the Aristocracy of the Israelites. First Moses held the Helm of their State; then yofhua, and afterwards the
Judges. But this Sort of Government they were not contented with; they must have a King after the Manner of other Nations, that is, an absolute Ruler. Such therefore was Saul their first King; and David their second, who seems to allude to this arbitrary Power in * that Pfalm, where he introduces God, saying; I have Jet my King upon my holy bill of Sion. I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritànce, and the utmost parts of the earth for thy poleffion. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces' like a potter's vefsel.
Whether this Kingdom was hereditary or not, we shall enquire hereafter; only observing, at present, that it descended from Father to Son during the Reigns of
* Psalm ii. I know this Psalm is, by some good Judges, thought ta be solely prophetic of the Messiah, without having any Relation to David, cr his Affairs. But tho' St. Paul, and the rest of the Apostles (Acts xjii. 33, iv. 24.) have appeald to it in such a Sense, yet that does not hinder, but it may be at the same Time typically, predictive, of Christ, and literally descriptive of David. For thom there are, it must be confess’d, some things which one knows not well how to refer to David; there are others again, altogether as unsuitable to Christ : particularly the latter Part of the Pajage above cited