Imatges de pÓgina

Father Simon of the Oratory had said, that the republic ef the Hebrews never acknowledged any other CHIET than God alene, who continued to govern in that quality even during the time in which it was subject to Kings *. This was enough to make his learned adversary take the other side of the question; who being piqued at Simon's contemptuous slight of his offered assistance in the project for a new Polyglott, revenged himself upon him in those licentious † Letters, intitled, Sentimens de quelques Theologiens de Hollande, where his only business is to pick a quarrel. tle therefore maintains against Simon, That the theocracy ecased en establishing the throne in the race of David I. What he hath of argument to support this opinion is but little; and may be summed up in the following observation, That God did not PERSONALLY interfere with his directions, nor discharge the functions of a Magistrate after the establishment of the Kingx as he had done before ş. But this, instead of proving the abohtion of the Theocracy, only shew's that it was

• La Republique des Hebreux difiere en cela de tous les autres états du monde, qu'elle n'a jamais reconnu pour chef que Dieur meul, qui a continué de la gouverner en cette qualité dans les tems mêmes, qu'elle a été soumise à des rois. Histoire Crit, de Vieux Tost. p. 15. Ed. Rotterd. 1685, + See note [G] at the end of this Book.

Il paroît au contraire par l'Ecriture, que Dieu n'a governé la Tepublique des Hebreux, en qualité de chef politique, que peudant qu'ils n'avoient point des rois, & peut-être au conimencement que le rois tinent etablis, avant que la famille de David fut affermie sur le trône de Israel. Sentimens, &c. p. 78.

--Pendant tout ce temps-la, Dieu fit les fonctions dr. roi, IĮ jugeoit des affaires-il repondoit par l'oracle--il regloit la marche de l'armée-il envoyoit minne quelquefois un ange-On n'étoit obligó d'obeïr aveuglement, qu'iuux seuls ordres de Dieu. Mais lors qu'il y eut des sois eu Israël, & que le royaume fut attaché à la famille de David, les rois furent maîtres al solus, & Dieu cessą de faire leurs fonctions. pp. 78, 79. 6

administered ediministered bye l'iceroy. For in what consists the office of a Viceroy but to discharge the functions of his Principal? He had beepa cipher, had God still governed immediately, as before. Mr. Le Clerc could see that God acted by the ministry of the Judges *. If then the Theocratic function could be discharged by depustation, why might it not be done by Kings as well as Judi ges? The difference, if any, is only froin less to more, and from occasional do constant. No, says our Critic, the cession was in consequence of his own deneleration to Samuel: For they have not rejected thee, ibut they have REJ EOTED ME, that I skodd mot reigra over themt. This owly declares the sense God had of stheir mutinous request; but does not at all imply that le gave way to it. For who, from the like words (which express so natural e resentment of an open defection) would infer in the case of any other monarch, that he athereupon stepped down from his thronte, and suffered an usurper to seize his place? This, we seo, was poor vreasoning. But, Huckily for his reputation, he had an

Adversary who reasoned worse. --Flowever, Sinyon saw ithus much into Le Clerc's -cavil, aș to reply, That al

he had said was quite beside the purpose, for that the ithing to lne proved was, that, after the estaklishment of the Kings God was no longer the civil Chief I.

On $ ---au lieu qusuparavant Dieu lui-même la faisvit, par le o zministere des Juges, qu'il suscitoit ik temps en temps au milieu l'Israël. Det. des Seut. p. 121.

+ -C'est pour cela que Dieu dit à Sanınel, kiburs quIsraël roulut avoir un roi pou le juger à la maniére de toutes les nations : ce n'est pas toi qu'ils oni ri jetté, mais moi, afin que regne point

1 Sam. viii, 7. Je passe sous silence le long discours de BhJle Clerc loucbunt le pouvoir de Dieu sur les Israëlites avant l'etablissement des rois, d'où il pretend prouver que Dieu pendant stout ce temps-lu tit la sfonction de roi. Tout cela est lors de propos, puis qu'il s'agit de


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On which "Le Clerc thus insults him: As much as to say, that in order to prove God was no longer Chief of the Hebren's after the election of a King, it is : beside the pit pose to shew, he never afterwards dis

charged the functions of a Chief of the republic. It is this this great Genius happily unravels matters, and discovers, in an instant, that is, and what is not 'to the purpose *? Whether Simon indeed knew why · Le Clerc's objection was nothing to the purpose, is to ·be left to God and his own conscience, for he gives us · no reasons for the censure lie passes on it: but that it was indeed nothing to the purpose, is most evident, if - this proposition be true, “ That a King does not cease

" to be Ring, when he puts in a Viceroy, who executes :“ tlre regal office by deputation."

Le Clerc returns to the charge in his Defence of the Sentiments :-“ The Israelites did not reject God as

“. Protector, but as civil Chief, as I observed before. *". They would have a King who should determine !" sovereignty, and command their armies. Which, *“ before this, God himself did by the ministry of the -“ Judges, whom he raised up, from time to time, from " the midst of Israel. In this sense we must under“ stand absolutely the words of God, in Samuel, that I should not reign over them l;” It is indeed strange,

that, pronver, qu'après ces temps la Dien n'a plus été leur chef: &'c'est ce qu'on ne prouvera jamais. Reponse aux Sentimens de quelques Theol. de Hol. p. 55.

--C'est à dire, que pour prouver que Dieu n'a pas été chef des lletreux, après l'election des rois, il est hors de propos de prouver qu'il n'a plus fait les fonctions de chef de la republique. C'est ainsi

que ce grand genie debirouille heureusement les matieres, & découvre d'abord ce qui est hors de propos, de ce qui ne l'est pas. Defens. des Sentinens, p. 120.

+ Les Israëlites ne rejetterent pas Dieu comme protecteur, "muis comine chei politique, ainsi que je l'ai marqué. Ils voulurent

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'that, after writing two books, he should still insist on 'so foolish a paralogism*, That God's giving up his office of civil Chiet, was a necessary consequence of the People's demanding it. For, that they did demand 'it, I acknowledge. Let ús consider then this whole matter a little more attentively.

Samuel (and I desire the Deists would take notice of it) had now, by a wise and painful direction of affairs, restored the purity of Religion, and rescued his Nation from the power of the Philistines, and their other hostile neighbours ; against whom they were utterly : unable to make head when he entered upon the public Administration. At this very time, the People, de· bauched, as usual, by power and prosperity, took the pretence of thie corrupt conduct of the Prophet's t*to

sons t, to go in a tumultuary manner, and demand a • King. But the secret spring of their rebellion was the i ambition of their leaders; who could live no longer : without the splendour of a regal Court and Houshold;

GIVE ME (say they, as the Prophet Hosca interprets their insolent demand) A KING AND PRINCES I; where

every one of them might shine a distinguished Oflicer of State. They could get nothing when their affairs ·led them to their Judges' poor residence, in the Schools of the Prophets, but the Gift of the Holy Spirit S; which-a Courtier, I presúme, would not prize even at the rate Sintdir Magus 'held it, of a paltry piece of

money. • un roi qui les jugeât sujuverainement; & qui commandât leurs armées, au șieu qu'auparavant Dieu lui-inème le faisoit, par le ministere des juges, qu'il suscitoit de temps en temps au milieu d'Israël. .-En ce senis il faut entendre absolument les paroles de Dieu dans Samuël, afin que je ne regne point sur eux, p. 121.

However, foolish as it is, the Reader hath seen, how a late Sermonizer hás borrowed it, and how little force he has added to it. + i Sam. viii. 5. and xii. 12,

Chap. xiii. ver. 10, Chap. x. 10, and chap. xix,

money. This it was, and this orrly, that matle their demand criininal. For the chusing Regal rather than Aristocratic Viceroys was a thing plainly indulged to them by the Law of Nioses, in the following admonition: Jhen thou art come into the lunt which.the Lord thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt duck! #hercin, and shalt say, I will set a King orer me, like

* the nations that are about me; Thou shalt in any sise set him king over thee, whom the LORD THE GOD SHALL CHUSE: one from amongst thy Brethren shalt thou set King over thee: Thou menyest not set a Stranger ocer thee, which is not thy brotherTho plain meaning of which caution is, that they should take care,' when they demanded a king, that they Ethought of none other than such a king who was to be God's DERETT. As therefore Court-ambition only was in the wieked view of the Ringleaders of these Chalecontents, and no foolish fears for the State, or hopes of bettering the public Administration,; it is evident so all acquainted with the genius of this line and People that compliance with their deinand must have ended in the utter destruction of the Mosaic RELE G10x as well as Law. But it was God's purposc to keep them SEPARATE, in order to preserve the memory of himself amidst an idolatrous World. And this not ibeing to be done hut by the preservation of their Beligion and Law, we biust needs conclude that he would not give way to their rebellious demand.

And what we are brougla ito concluc froin the reason of the thing, the history of this transaction clearly crough contirms. For it having now informed us how God consented to give this People a King; To shew. us, that he had not cast off the Goverament, but only trausferred the immediate Adininistration to * Deut. xvii, 14, 15.

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