Imatges de pÓgina

a Deputy, dind consequently that their King was his Viecroy, it tells us next, how He was pleased to bring them to repentance in an extraordinary way; the gracious method he commonly employed when he ir tended to partion. Samuel assembled the People * ; and to eonvince them of their crime in elemanding e King, called clown the present vengeance of their offended God in a storm of thunder and rain at the time of wheat-harrest t. . This sucien desolation brings them to a sense of their guilt, and they implore merey and forgiveness : " And all the People said

unto Samuel, Pray for thy servants into the Lord

thy God, that we die not: foc we have added unto * all our sins this evil, to ask us a King. And Samuel " said unto the People, Fear not; (ye have done afl

this wiekedness : yet turn not asiele from following

the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart; * and turn ye not aside: for then should you go after * Fajn things which cannot profit nor deliver ; for they

are vain :) For the Lord will not forsake his People “ for bis great Naine's sake : because it hath pleased * the Lord to make you his People 1. Here, we sce, they repent, are "pardoned, and received again into Grace, as appears by the concluding promise, that the Theocratic form should be continued. They are ready to give up their king, and yet a regal character is instituteil. The plain conclusion from all this is, that their King was given, and, now at least, received as God's DSPUTY.

But Father Sinon is at length provoked into a Rcason, and that, to say the truth, no weak one. God, he obscrves, kept the election of their King in his own hands ş. *, Samsii. + Chap. xii. 17, 18. i Sam. xii.

Et une preure même qu'il ne cessait pas d'être leur chef par cette election, c'est qu'il s'en rend le maître. Reponse aux SenAineis, p. 55.




But this, Le Clerc says, proves nothing. How so? Becausė, according to this reasoning, we should be obliged to say that God oftener discharged the functions of Civil chief in the idolatraưs realm of the tex Tribes than in that of Judah: for that was elective, this, hereditary * And what if we do? Where will be the harm of it? The two kingdoms made up but .one. Commonwealth ; of which God, as Head, gowerned by two Viceroys. And if he oftener, acted immediately in the kingdom of Israel, there was a plain reason for it.; Its inhabitants were inore given to idolatrous worship; and needed more the frequenc of an extraordinary restraint. And, in effect, we find he did interfere greatly in other instances, as well as in the election of their Kings.

In truth, F. Simon seemed to see as little into the force of the observation (that God reserved the choice of their King to himself, when he urged it, as M. Le Clerc did, when he despised it: yet it is strongly con.clusive for the continuation of the Thcocracy. For had the visible King which the Israelites demanded been granted to them, that is, a King in his own right, sovereign, and at the lead of a new Constitu. tion, or indeed, any other than a Viceroy to the King of the Theocracy, the choice of him would have been reserved to the People. It was a natural right; and more than that, a right which God did not think fit to take from them, when he first accepted the regal office for himself. But if the People have, by natural Law, a right to chuse their own King, that King hath, by civil Law, a prerogative to chuse his own Deputy. When we see him therefore exercise this prerogative, we may be assured that the King chosen was no other than his Deputy, as SOVEREIGN of the Theocracy? But to return to the two Combatants.--Here the Dispute ended;. and for farther satisfaction, Le Clere refers us to a book of Spencer's, written professedly upon

* Pour ce que dit M. Simon, que Dieu se rend maitre de l'elec. tion des Rois, il ne s'ensuit nullement qu'il continuât d'être pour -cela chef politique de la Fepublique d'Israël; puisque si cela étoit, il faudroit dire que Dieu faisoit beaucoup plus souvent les func. tions de chef de l'etat dans le royaume Idolatre des dix tribes, que dans celui de Juda. Car ce derniere royaume étoit hereditaire, & étoit possedé par la maison de David, sans qu'il fut besoin d'aucune election, au lieu qu'il le fit plusieurs elections dans celui des dix tribes. Defense des Sentimens, pp. 121, 122.


this very subject *. It is his tract De Theocratia Judaica. What is to be found there, besides, the arguments which Le Clerc has borrowed from it; and which have been considered already, I shall now with some reluctance inform the Reader..

This treatise is by no means in the number of those on which Spencer raised his reputation. He goes on a wrong hypothesis ;' he uses weak arguments; and he is confused and inconsistent in his assertions.

1. He thinks the Theocracy was established by degreest, and abrogated by degrees A conceit highly absurd, as God was the Lawgiver, and Supreme Magistrate of the Jews---He thinks the first step to its introduction was their protection at the Red Sea ş; and the first step to its abolition, their demand of a King *: That it was still more impaired when Saul and David got possession of the throne : That it approached much nearer to its end when it becanze lrereditary, under Salomon 1: and yet, for all this, lie confesses that some obscure footsteps of it remained even to the time of Christ g.

and * Il n'est pış necessaire que je m'arrête d'avantage à cela, après ce qu'ea: a dit le savant Spencer dans un traité qu'il a fait expres, sur cette matiere.. Lib.i. de Legg.-Ileb. Rit. Det. des Sent. p. 122.

t- Neminem in sacris literis vel mediocriter versatum latere potest Theocratiam in ipso rerum Israeliticarum exordio aliquatenus obtinuisse, ad áruno autem non nisi gradatim & post lerenu in Sinai datam pervenisse. Vol. I. p. 239.

Cum autem regiminis hujus, non simul & semel, sed per gradus quosdam, jacturam fecerint, placet hic veritatis fugientis vestigia gradatim premere. Id. ib.

Gradum primum ad potestatem regiam obtinendam fecisse videtur Deus, cum gentem Israeliticam insigni illo potentiæ &


2. In his reasoning for the abolition of the Tuka CRACY, instead of crnploying the general principles of civil Policy, which were the only means of coming to the truth, he insists much on the disuse of Urim and Thummim, &c. which Le Clerc borrowed from liin; and wlich hath been already considered. lle brings the despotic power of the Kings l as another argumcnt; which, I think, proves just the contrary, For if so be, that these Kings were the Viceroys of God, whose power was despotic, their power must be despotic too, i.e. independent on all but the SOVEREIGN. Not so, if they were Monarchs in their own riglit.

3. Though, as wc Obscrved, Spencer, in the second section of his fourth chapter, supposes a gradual decay of the Theocracy; and thiat cven some obscure foot

stepe 'bonitatis suæ documento (Ægyptiorum 'jn Mari Rubto submer. sione) sibi devinxissct. Id. ib.

Primo itaque ad certum afirme, quod Israelitæ, Tegem sibi dari postulaules, gruvuin priorum ad insperii liujus desideratissimi ruinam fecisse videantur. Id. ib.

+ Dei regimen niulto magis inminutin-est, cum Deus Suulcin & Davidem all rerum arbitriuin evocasset, p. 240.

Salonione rerum potito, Tlveocratia multo vicinior Sanomat non imterito censeatur.

Ş Judizi Theocratiæ veteris indicia & vestigia quædam obsexrivra, ad extrem usque politiæ suæ tempora retinuere-ipse Domini nostri seculo, Hierosolyma cixilas magni regis audiit. Ib.

# - adeo ut bine constet, eos se pro regibus gessisse, & potesutcm arbitrarian exercuisse. lb.

steps of it remained to the time of Curist; yet, ir the following section, le, all the way, argues upon threr supposition of an absolute and entire atirogation * by the estabiishment of the Kings t.- To proceed.

II. That this Theocracy, the administration of shich lay, as it were, in abeyance during the Captivity, was again exercised after the retum from it, is evident from the express declaration of the Almighty, Öy the Prophet Haggai: Yet now be strong, 0 Zerriko babel, saith the Lord; and be strong, O Joshua, Sara of Josedech the High Priest ; and be strong, ult People of the Land, saith the Lord, and work: for s em with you, saith the Lord of Hosts: ACCORDING 10 THE WORD TILAT I COVENANTED TOP WHEN YOU CAME OUT of Egypt, só MY Spirit HEMXINETIL AMONGST YOU : fiar ye noi.. What was that Covenant ? That Israel sliould be his People, and He, their God and king. Therefore it cammot Barely man, that he would be their God, and they should be his People; for this was but part of the Covenant. Nor cun is incau that they should be conducted by any extraordinary providence, as at their coming out of Egypt, and during die first periods of the Theostuy; for his was but the effects of the Corenant : and besides, we know tlsat that dispensaRion of Providence soch ccased after the Rc-establiskineut. The meaning therefore must be, that lic wouluk still continue their lixe as well as God Yet at the: sanse time, when this Theocracy was restored, it was both fit, on count of its own dignity, and necessary for the People's assurance, that it should be attended

Regintinis hujus mutati vel abrogati causa principalis De regiminis hujus abroguli ettectu vel eventu breviter disse reodum est - &c. pp. 241-243.

+ See note (H) at the end of this Book. $ Clap. ii. ver. 4, 5

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinua »