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adhered, I say strictly, and even superstitiously, to the letter of that Law, which allowed of no other Gods, besides the God of Israel. Now if this was not gaining its end, we must seek for other modes of speech, and other conceptions of things, when we reason upon Government and Laws,
s', Yet this was not all. For; the Law not only gained its end, in delivering down the Religion of the TRUE Gop into the hands of the REDEEMER OF MANKIND); who soon spread it throughout the whole Roinan Empire; but even after it had done its destined werk, the vigour of the Mosaic Revelation still working at the root, enabled a bold, Impostor to extend the principle of the Unity, still wider, till it had embraced the re, motest regions of the habitable World : So that, at this day, almost all the Natives of the vast regions of higher Asia, whether Gentiles, Christians, or. Mahometans, are the professed worshippers of the ONE ONLY God. How mụch the extension of the principle of the Unity has been owing to this Cause, under the perinission and direction of that Providence, which is ever producing good out of evil, is known to all who are acquaiuted with the present state of the Eastern world. ; : : The reason why I ascribe so much of this good, to the lasting efficacy of the Mosaic Law, is this : Ma: homet was born and brought up an Idolater, and inhabited an idolatrous Country; so that had he seen no more of frue Religion than in the superstitious practice, of the Greek Church, at that time overrun with saint and image-worship, it is odds but that, when he set up for a Prophet, he might have made Idolatry the basis of his new Religion : But getting acquainted with the Jews and their Scriptures, he came to understand the folly of Gentilism and the corruptions of Vol. V.
Christianity; and by this means was enabled to preach op the doctrine of the one Gon, in its purity and integrity. It is again iremarkable, that to guard and secure this doctrine, which He made the fundamental. principle of Islimaelitism, he brought into his limpoz türe many of those provisions wliich Moses had pus in práctice to prerent the contágion of idolatry. .
But the great Man with whom we have to do, is so secure of liis fact, naincly, that the Law aus perpe tuully defeated, and never gained its end, that he supe poses bis Adversaries, the Divines, are ready to confess it; and will only endeavour to elude his irrs. forence by throwing the ill success of its operations ori the hardness of the People's hearts and the impiety of their Gorcrnors *. And this affords him fresh occasion of triumph. .
I will not be positive that this species of Divines is: intiiely of his own inverttion, and ibat this their apology for Moses is altogether as imaginary as their ta. mous CONFEDERACY † against God; because I know liy experience that there are of these Divines, who, in support of their passions and prejudices, are alwayss ready (as I have amply experienced) to admit what Scripture opposes, and to opposc what it admits, in?' almost every paige. But the best Apologies of such men arc 104 ET worth a defence, and indeed are rarely capable of any. • To conclude: Such as these here exposed) are all the reasonings of his Lordship's bulky voluics: Andi no wonder; when a writer, however able in other matters, will needs dictate in a Science of which he did not possess so inuch as the first principles.
... Pages 203, 4.
Fol. V. p. 303-307-393.
Most wiiters suppose it to have ended with the JUDOES; but scarce any bring it lower than the CAPTIVITY. On the contrary, I hold that, in strict truth and propriety, it ended not 'till the coming of CHRIST:
I. That it ended not with the Judges, appears evi. dent, for these reasons :
1. Though indeed the People's purpose, in their clamours for a King, was to live under a Gentile Monarchy, like their idolatrous neighbours (for so it is represented by God himself, in his reproof of their impiety *); yet in compassion to their blindness, he, in this instance, as in many others, indulged their prejudices, without exposing them to the fatal consequence of their project: which, if complied with, in the sense they formed it, had been the withdrawing of his extraordinary protection from them, at a time when they could not support themselves without it. He therefore gave them a King; but such au one as was only his vicEROY or Deputy; and who, on that account, was not left to the People's election, as he left his own Regality; but was chosen by himself: the only difference between God's appointment of the Judges and of Saul being this, that They were chosen by internal impulse; He, by Lots, or external designation.
2. This King had an unlimited executive power; as God's Viceroy must needs have.
3. He had no legislative power : which a Viceroy could not possibly have.
4. He was placed and displaced by God at pleasure : of which, as Viceroy, we see the perfect fitness; bus as Sovereign by the people's choice, one cannot easily account for; because God did not chuse to supersede the natural Rights of his People, as appears by his leaving it, at first, to their own option whether they would have God hiinself for their King. .
5. The very same punishment was ordained fos cursing the King as for blaspheming God, namely, stoning to death; and the reason is intimated in these words of Abishai to David, Shall not Shimci be put to death for this, because he cursed the Lord's AVOINTED *? This was the common title of the Kings of Israel and Judah, and plainly denoted their office of Viceroyalty:. Improperly, and superstitiously transferred, in these later agcs, to Christian Kings and Princes.
From this further circumstance, a Viccroyalty, is necessarily inferred: The throne and kingdom.of.Judea is all along expressly declared to be God's thronc and God's kingdom. Thus, in the first book of Chronicles; it is said that Solomon sat on the THRONE OF TIS LORT), as King', insteud of David his father f. , And the queen of Sheba, who visited Solomon, to be in, structed in his wisdon, and doubtless had been informed by lain of the true nature of bis kingdom, compliments him in these words: Blessed be the Lord thy God, which ilelighted in thee to set thec on HIS TIRONE, TO BE KING FOR THE LORD thy God. In like inanner Abij ih speaks to the house of Israel, on their defection from Rehoboami And now ye think to withstand the kingdom of the Lord in the hands of the * 2 Sam, xis: 21. + Chap. xxis, ver. 23. | 2 Chron. ix. 8.
sons of David * And to the saine purpose, Nehemiah; Neither have our kings, our princes, our priests, itor our fathers, kept thy lui, nor hearkened unto thy commandments, and thy testimonies, wherewith thou ididst testify against them. For they have not served thee in THEIR KINGDOMt. The sense, I think, requires that the Septuagint reading should be here preferred, which says EN BASIAEIA ZOT, IN THY. KINGDOM. And this the Syriac and Arabic versions follow. As Judea is always called his kingdom, so he is always called the king of the Jews. Thus the :Psalmist: Thine. Altars, O Lord of Hosts, my KING, and mij God I. And again: Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their KINGSAnd thus the Prophet Jeremiah: The · KING, whose name is the Lord of Hosts . . . ..7.: The penal Laws against idolatry were still in
force during their Kings, and put in execution by their best rulers, and even by men inspired. Which, alone, is a demonstration of the subsistence of the TucoCRACY.; because such laws are absolutely unjust under every other form of Government.
As to the title of king given to these Rulers, this will have small weight with those who reflect that Moses likewise, who was surely no more than God's deputy, is, čalled King: Moses commander! us a Law; eeen the inheritance of the congregation of Jacob. . And he was King in Jeshurun, when the heads of the people, and tke tribes of Israel, ucre gathered together .
Let us now sce what the celebrated Ni. Le Clerc says in defence of the contrary opinion, which supposeth the THEOCRACY to have ended with the Judges. * 2 Chron. xiii. 8. + Ch. ix. 34, 35. Psalm lxxxiv. 3.. Psalm cxlix. 2. ll Ch. li. 57. q Deut. xxxiii. 4 & 5. G3