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Before we leave this Head, it must be obferv'd that frequent Mention is made of Prophets, both true and falle, in the New Testament; by which, are not always meant such as foretold, or pretended to forecell, future Events; but, many times, such only, as in preaching the Word of God, had an extraordinary Gift of expounding and interpreting the Writings of the old Prophets. This Difference may be discern'd with a very little Atčention. For though we often read of Prophets and Prophecy in the Epistles of St. Paul, yet there is no Reafon for us to think, that the Prophetic Spirit of which we have been discoursing, was ever found, in any Persons, where Christianity had taken Place, except in the Apostles themfelves; who, for the more effectual Establishment and Propagation of the Gospel, were furnish'd with Abilities, in several Respects, beyond what any other Mortals have enjoy'd fince their Time.
Spoids 1:9:15 di The SCRIBE S. ?
Next to the Prophets, we shall speak : 5-3 of the Scribes; who were such as, down from Moses, through all Generations, made
it their Business to teach and expound the judicare Law, We don't find the Name till the Time of David; when, we read of the : Chron. families of the Scribes, which dwelt at Jabez; Which Thews that such Persons were then well establish'd, and had been so a considerable Time before. at the Time that David is said to have made the Regulation of that. Tribe, we read that fix Thousand of them were constituted Officers and Judges, among ib. xxiii. whom it is reasonable to believe, the 4. Scribes were included. For, in another Place we read of Shemaiah the Scribe; 1 Chron. one of the Levites : and again we find it xxiv. 6. written ; Of the Levites, there were Scribes 2 Chron. and Officers.
When the Principal Officers of David's Houthold and State are enumerated,
The Scribe is not omitted. At one Time 2 Sam.
we find Seraiab was the Scribe; at anoib. xx.25. ther, Sheva is said to have fill'd that Post:
Whether they were in the Nature of Secretaries of State, of Auditors of the Royal Accounts is uncertain, But probably they fillid all those Places, where a ready Pen, and some Knowledge of the Arts and Sciences were requir’d. For, at the Time of the Captivity, it is said, The
Captain of the Guard, among other confi2 Kings derable Persons, took the Principal Scribe
of the Host (or Secretary at War) which
It is not unlikely that they might have
together ; and the Prophet Isaiah, and afxxxiii. ter him St. Paul, instancing in them as 1 Cor. i. such. Where is the Wise? where is the
Scribe? Where is the Disputer of this
Matt. xxiii. 34: Isaiah
Some of these were they who, by Je
2 Chron. bofhaphat's Order, taught in Judah, and had the book of the law of the LORD with them; and went about through all the cities of Judah, and taught the people.
Thus, Ezra, call’d the Priest, the Scribe, Ezra vii. even a Scribe of the words of the commands 10, &c. ments of the LORD, and of bis statutes to Israel; and a Scribe of the 'law of the God of beaven; is said to have prepared his beart to seek the law of the LORD, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments. From him, the expounding and teaching of the Law,.concinued to be deriv'd, successively, to the Chief Priests, and Elders and Scribes, at our LORD's Coming into the World. Therefore he says, Every Scribe that is instructed unto the kingdom Mat. xiii. of beaven, is like unto a man that is an boufholder, which bringeth forth, out of his treafure, things new and old. • They seem to have had the sole expounding of the Scriptures; and therefore the Disciples ask our LORD, saying, Wby then say the Scribes that Elias must ib. xvii. first come? Again, How say the Scribes
Mark xia that Christ is the son of David? : So 35.
Herod, when he wanted to know where
CHRÍST should be born, applieg himMatt. ii.
felf to the Chief Priests and Scribes.
And while our Lord is preaching the Luke XX. Gospel, The Chief Priests and the Scribes
came upon him, with the Elders, saying, Tell us, by what authority dost thou" these things? or who is be that gave thee this authority? which they thought no one had a Right to, but themselves. And therefore, it is said in another Gospel, He taugbt them as one that bad authority, and not as the Scribes. The manifest Truth and Efficacy of his Doctrine, so different from the unnatural, unscriptural Stuff which the Scribes-usually entercain'd them with, convinc'd them that he was, at lçast, a Prophet fent from God.
For tho' they were employ'di to be the Judges, Interpreters and Preachers of the Law to the People, we find that they camé, in Length of Time, greatly to-abuse their Trust; by delivering Traditions, instead of Scripture, and thereby fercing aside even the Law it self. Thus we
find them very pertly demanding of Matt. xv. CHRIST; Why do thy disciples transgress
2, 3, &c.