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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 season upon Government and Laws.
Yet this was not all. For the Law not only gained its end, in delivering down the Religion of the TRUE God into the hands of the REDEEMER OF MANKIND; who soon spread it throughout the whole Ronan 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 much 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 true 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 up the doctrine of the one Gon, in its purity and integrity. It is again remarkable, that to guard and secure this doctrine, which He made the fundamental principle of Ishmaelitism, he brought into his limposture many of those provisions which Moses had pus in práctice to prevent the contágion of idolatry.
But the great Man with whoin we have to do, is so secure of his fact, namely, that the Law was perpe-tually 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 irx fertnce by throwing the ill success of its operations on thc hardness of the People's hearts and the impiety of their Governors. And this affords him fresh occasion of triumph.
I will not be positive that this species of Divines i intiiely of his own inverttion, and ikat tiris their apology for Moses is altngether as imaginary as their famous CONFEDERACY † against God; because I know by experience that there are of these Divines, who, in support of their passions and prejudices, arc always, ready (as I have amply experienced) w admit what Scripture opposes, and to oppose wlrat it admits, in: almost every paige. But the best Apologies of such men are venet worth a defence, and indeed are merely capable of any.
To conclude: Such as these here exposed) are als the reasonings of his Lordship's bulky voluincs: And: 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 293, 4•
op Fol. V. p. 303-307: -393.
HAVING thus shewn the nature of this TutoCRACY, and the attendant circumstances of its erection; our next enquiry will be concerning its DURATION.
Most writers 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
1. That it ended not with the Judges, appears evident, for these reasons :
1. Though indeed the People's purpose, in their elamours for # 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 consequerice 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 desiguation.
2. This King had an unlimited executive power; as God's Viceroy must needs have.
* i Sam, vii. 7.
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 sce the perfect fitness; but 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 Shimţi be put to death for this, because he cursed the Lord's ANOINTED *? This was the common title of the Kings of Israel and Judah, and plainly denoted theię office of Viceroyalty: Improperly, and superstitiously transferred, in these later agcs, to Christian Kings and Princes.
From this further circumstance, a Vięcroyalty is necessarily inferred: The throne and kingdom of.Judea is all along expressly declared to be God's throne and God's kingdom. Thus, in the fiust book of Chronicles; it is said that Solomon sat on the THRONE OF TILS LORD, as King, instead 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 him of the true nature of bis kingdom, compliments him in these words: Blessed be the Lord thy God, which delighted in thee to set thee on his THRONE, TO BE KING FOR THE LORD thy God. In like inanner Abij ih speaks to the house of Israel, on their defection from Rehoboam : 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 same purpose, Nehemiah: Neither have our kings, our princes, our; priests, 1101 our fathers, kept thy laži, nor kvarkened unto thy commandinents, and thy testimonies, wherewith thou didst testify against them. For they have not served thee in THEIR KINGDOMf. The sense, I think, requires that the Septuagint reading should be here preferred, which says EN BASIAEIA EOT, IN THY Kingdom. And this the Syriac and Arabic versions follow. As Judea is always called his kingdoin, so he is always called the King of the Jews. Thus the : Psalmist: Thine Altars, O Lord of Hosts, my King, and my God I. And again : Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their Kixgg. And 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 TureCRACY.; because such laws are absolutely unjust under every other form of Government.
As to the title of King given to these Rulers, tliis will have small weight with those who reflect that Moscs likewise, who was surely no more than God's deputy, is called King: Moses commanded us a Law; een the inheritance of the congregation of Jacob. . Ind he was King in Jeshurun, when the heads of the people, and tke tribes of Isruel, ucre gathered together?
Let us now see what the celebrated N. Le Clerc says in defence of the contrary opinion, which supposeth the 'THEOCRACY to liave ended with the Judges. * 2 Chron. xiii. 8. + Ch. ix. 34, 35. * Psalm lxxxir. 3. Psalm cxlix. 2. || Ch. li. 5ị. I Deut. xx.xiii. 4 &