Imatges de pÓgina

3. be had no legislative power : which a Vieeroy could not possibly have.

4. He was placed and displaced by God at pleasure : of which, as Vieeroy, we see the perfect fitness; but as Sovereiyn by the people's choice, one cannot easily account for; because God die 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 himself for their King.

5. The very same punishment was ordained for cursing the King as før blaspheming God, namely, stoning to death; and the reason is intimated in these words of Abishai to David, Shall not Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed the Lord's ANOINTED *? This was the coinmon title of the Kings of Israel and Judah, and plainly denoted their office of Viceroyalty: Improperly, and superstitiously transferred, in these later ages, to Christian Kings and Princes.

From this further circumstance, a l'iceroyalty is necessarily inferred: The throne aud kingdom of Judea is all along expressly declared to be God's throne and God's kingdom. Thus, in the first book of Chronicles, it is said that Solomon sat on the THRONE OF THE LORD, as King, instead of David his father. $. And the queen of Sheba, who visited Solomon, to be in structed in his wisdon, and doubtless had been informed by hiun of the true nature of his kingdom, compliments hiın 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 unanner Abijah speaks to the house of Israel, on their defection from Rehoboam : And now ye think to withstand the KINGDOM OF THE Loud in the hands of the 2 Sam. xix. 21. † Chap. x.xix. ver. 23. I 2 Chron. ix. 8.



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cons of David *. And to the saine purpose, Nehemiah: Neither have our kings, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers; kept thy law, giár hearkened unto, thy commandments, and thy testimonies, wherewith thou didst 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 BAXIAEIA EOY, 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. And again: Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their Kixgs. And thus the Prophet Jeremiah: The King, whose name is the Lord of Hosts ll

. 7. The penal Laws against idolatry were still in force during their Kings, and put in execution by their beșt rulers, and even by men inspired. Which, alone, is a demonstration of the subsistence of the TheoCRACY; because such laws are absolutely unjust under 'every other form of Governinent.

As to the title of King given to these Rulers, this will have small weight with those who reflect that Nioses like:vise, who was surely no more than God's deputy, is called King: Moses commanded us a Law; éven the inheritance of the congregation of Jacob. And he was King in Jeshurun, when the heads of the people, and the tribes of Israel, were gathered together.

Let us now see what the celebrated ML Le Clerc says in defence of the contrary opinion, which supposeth the THEOCRACY to have ended with the Judges. Father Simon of the Oratory had said, that the republic of the Hebrew's never acknowledged any other CHIEF than God alone, 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 f Letters, intitled, Sentimens de quelques Theologiens de Hollande, where his only business is to pick a quarrel. He therefore maintains against Simon, That the theocracy ceased on establishing the throne in the race of Darid 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 Kings as he had done before g. But this, instead of proving the abolition of the Theocracy, only shew's that it was

2 Chron. xiii. 8. + Ch. ix. 34, 35. Psalm lxxxix. 3. Psalm cxlix. 2. || Ch. li. 51:

I Deut. xxxiii. 4 & 5.


* La Republique des Hebreux differe en cela de tous les autres états du monde, qu'elle n'a jamais reconnu pour chef que Dieu seul, qui a continué de la gouverner en cette qualité dans les tems mêmes, qu'elle a été soůmise à des rois, Histoire Crit. de Vieux Test. 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 gouverné la republique des Hebreux, en qualité de chef politique, que pendant qu'ils n'avoient point des rois, & peut-être au conmmencement que le rois furent 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 de roi, II jugeoit des affaires-il repondoit par l'oracle—il regloit la marche de l'armée-il envoyoit même quelquefois un ange-On n'étoit obligé d'obeir aveuglement, qu'aux seuls ordres de Dieu. Mais lors qu'il y eut des rois en Israël, & que le royaume fut attaché à la famille de David, les rois furent maîtres absolus, & Dieu cessa de faire leurs fonctions. pp. 78, 79. 6



gave way to it.

administered by a Viceroy. For in what consists the office of a Viceroy but to discharge the functions of his Principal?. He had been a 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 deputation, why might it not be done by Kings as well as Judges? The difference, if any, is only froin less to more, and from occasional to constant. No, says our Critic, the cession was in consequence of lis own declaration to Samuel: For they have not rejected thee, but they have REJECTED ME, that I should not reign over themt. This only declares the sense God had of their mutinous request; but does not at all imply that he

For who, from the like words (which express so natural a resentment of an open defection) would infer in the case of any other monarch, that he thereupon stepped down from his throne, and suffered an usurper to scize his place? This, we see, was. poor reasoning. But, luckily for his reputation, he had an Adversary who reasoned worse.--However, Simon say thus much into Le Clerc's cavil, as to reply, That all, he had said was quite beside the purpose, for that the thing to be proved was, that, after the establisá ment of the Kings, God was no longer the civil Chief &

On * --au lieu qu'auparavant Dieu lui-même la faisoit, par le ministerc des Jugee, qu'il suscitoit de temps en temps au milieu d'Israël. Def. des Sept. p. 121.

+ --C'est pour cela que Dieu dit à Samuel, lors qu’ Israël voulut avoir un roi pour le juger à la maniére de toutes les nations : ce n'est pas toi qu'ils ont rejetté, mais moi, afin que je ne regne point

i Sam. viii. 7. passe

sous silence le long discours de Mr. le Clere louchant le pouvoir de Dieu sur les Israëlites ayant l'etablissement des rois, d'où il pretend prouver que Dieu peudant tout ce temps-la fit la Lonction de roi. Tout cela est hors de propos, puis qu'il s'agit de


sur eur.

I Je


On which Le Clerc thus insults him: As much as to say; that in order to prove God was no longer Chief

of the Hebreus after the election of a King, it is beside the purpose to shew, he never afterwards discharged the functions of a Chief of the republic. It : is thus this great Genius happily unravels matters, and discovers, in an instant, what 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 he passes on it: but that it ! was indeed nothing to the purpose, is nost evident, if , this proposition be true, “That a King does not cease “ to be King, when he puts in a Viceroy, who executes : “ the regal office by deputation.”

Le Clerc returns to the charge in his Defence of the Sentiments:-“ The Israelites did not reject God as I ** Protector, but as civil Chief, as I observed before. : ;

They would have a King who should determine

sovereignly, 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 t." It is indeed strange,

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that, prouver, qu'apres ces temps la Dieu 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 Hebreux, 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 debrouille heureusement les matieres, & découvre d'abord ce qui est hors de propos, de ce qui ne l'est pas, Defens. des Sentimens, p. 120.

+ Les Israëlites ne rejetterent pas Dieu comme protecteur, : n3 mais comme chef politique, ainsi que je l'ai marqué. Ils voulurent +


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