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Mat.

xvii 12.

room

-whom it is written, Bebold I send

bold I send my messen. ger before thy face, which fball prepare thy way before thee. For all the prophets, and the law, prophehed until John. And, if ye will receive it, This is Elias which was for to ciples after John the Baptist was beheaded, I say unto you that Elias is come , and they knew him not, but have done unto him what foever they lifted: likewise shall also the fon of man suffer of them. Then the dif ciples understood, that he spake unto them of John the Baptist. „seidora Georį galt meg?

S E C T. XVIII. to: The Manner of Consulting God. Among the several Ways of asking Counsel of God, among the Israelites, that of having Recourse to his Prophets being one; it will not be amiss, in this. Place, to give a short Account of them all.pl

The most folemn Way, and which, at the Beginning of their Government was most in Use among them, was that of consulting God by the Oracle. When the High-Priest, approaching the Mercy Seat, which was upon the cover of the Ark of

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Exod.
XXV. 22.

There I will meet thee, and I will commune

the Covenant, enquir'd of God,"concerning the Point in Question ; and received an Answer, either in the Negative or Affirmacive.

This Way, God himself allows of, in the Law ; to prevent them from running after the impure Dæmons of the neighbouring Heathens, upon all Occasions. After he had given Mofes precise Directions how to make the Mercy Seat, He says ; with thee; from above the Mercy Seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimonys of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.

Thither, accordingly, • Mofes went;" to confult God, upon all Occafions ;

all Occasions; and from thence it is that the LORD Jpeaks to him. Thus, we read'; When Mofes was gone into Numb. the tabernacle of the congregation to speak with Him,then he heard the voice of one

speaking unto him, from of the Mercy Seat, that was upon the ark of teslimony; from between the two cherubims. And the LORD Spake unto Moses. saying, &c. (whence the Expreffion of, God's dwelling between

the

vii. 89.

Y 3

band.

the cherubims,: which we meet with in Scripcure agos otri cilsh

Again, after the Death of yolua, we Judg. 1.1. find, The children of Israel asked the LORD,

Saying Wbo shall go up for us against the Canaanites first, to fight against them - And the LORD said, Judah shall go up : BCbold, I have delivered the land into his..

asciiT sa Judg. xx.

Again; The children of Israel arose, and 18.23.28. went up to the house of God, and asked coun- <

sel of God, and faid, Which of us fhall go up, first

, to the battle againft. the children of Bena.) jamin. And the LORD faid, Judah fall go up, firft. And when, not having met with the defir'd Succefs, Tbey asked counsel of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up again to battle againf Benjamin my brother? And the LORD said, Go up against him, And having fiu ceeded ill the second, Time, we find them yet more desponding, and seemingly unwilling to think it was the LORD's Wil T that they should engage with the Benjamites.:15 any more; yet they fast, and pray, and en-> quire of the LORD saying, Shall I yet again? go out to battle against the children of Ben-':07 jamin my brother, or fball I ceafe? And ¢

the

2. the LORD faid, Goupí for to morrow, I E will deliver them into thine band. For the

Benjamites had been exceeding impious and rebellious; so as to deserve an exemplary - Punishment, even from the Hands of their Brethren.

Again, when they consulted God about the Election of a King, he names, first, 1 Sam.x. the Tribe ; fecondly, the Family; thirdly, 21, 22. the Person, Saul the Son of Kish. And, when he could not be found, they enquired of the LORD further, if the man would yet come thither? And the LORD answered, Bebold be bath bid himself, among the stuff : And they ran and fetched bim thence. And when there had been a Famine, three years, 2 Cam. in the land, David enquired of the LORD; and the LORD answered, It is for Saul and his bloody boufe.

Of this Method of consulting God, we hear no more, after che Destruction of the Temple; when the Ark of the Covenant, and the Mercy Seat which was a-top of it were loft. It being upon their Account that the Holy of Holies where they stood, was call’dt the Oracle. And it is said of Abito- 1 Kings pbelthat the Counsel which be counselled in 2 Sam.

xxi. 1.

vi. 19.

YA

those xvi. 33.

thof days, was as if a man had enquired an the oracle of God. 01203

obispinum The Ways of consulting. God, befide the Oracle, were either by the Prophets, or the High-Priests, or by Dreams. It Of all's which we have mention, in the following Instance. When Saul, by forsaking God,

had caus'd God to forsake bim; it is said; 1 Sam. And when Saul enquired of the LORD, thes xxviii. 6.

LORD answered him not ; neither by dreams, u nor by Urim, nor by prophets, maki c eft

The High-Priest does not seem to have ji been qualified for resolving any Questions to of this kind, unless he was dress'd in their Ephod, to which the Breast Place belong'd, in which were the Urim and Thummim; as i we have spoken at large before. Therefore, when David was greatly diftrefjed, and had a Mind to enquire of the LORD,

this Way; He said to Abiathar the Priest, xxx. 6, &c.

Ahimelech's fon, I pray thee, bring me bies ther the Ephod; and Abiachar brought thither" the Epbod to David. And David enquired. at the LORD, saying, Shall I pursue after...i this troop? Shall I cvertake them? And be: A answered him, Pursue; for tbou shall surely 9 overtake them, and, without fail, recover all.

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! Sam.

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