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Some of these were they who, by Je

xvu. 9.

boJhaphat\ Order, taught in Judah, "and * Chron"

bad the hook os 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 Trie/I, the Scribe, Ewa VH. even a Scribe of the words of the command- IO» &c* ments of the Lord, and of bis statutes to Israel j and a Scribe of the law of the God of heaven; is said to have prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments. From him, the expounding and teaching os the haw, continued 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 heaven, is like unto a man that is an*2' hou/holder} which bringeth forth, out of his treasure, things new and old.

They seem to have had the sole expounding of the Scriptures; and therefore the Disciples ask our Lord, faying, Why then fay the Scribes that Elias must ib.xvii. first come f Again, How fay the Scribes j^jj^xii, that Christ is the son of David? So 35. v. . Z Herod,

Herod, when he wanted to know where
Christ should be born, applies jfaini-

y**- "- self to the Chief Priests an&v&ribes. And while our Lord is p-eacbtng^fbe

Luke xx. Gospels the Chief Triests and tbw Scribes came upon him, with the Elders>'faying, Tell us, by what authority do/I thou these things? or who is he that gave thee tbii authority? which they thought ti6\*>fle had a Right to but themselves. And therefore, it is said in another Gospel, He taught them as one that had authorityand not as the Scribes, The manifest Troth and Efficacy of his Doctrine, so different from the unnatural, unscriptural Stuff which the Scribes usually entertain'd them with, convine'd them that he was, at least, a Prophet sent from God, zdl . For tho' they were employ'd to be the Judges, Interpreters and Preachers of the Law to the People, we find that they came, in Length of Time, greatly to abuse their Trust; by delivering Traditions, instead of Scripture, and thereby setting aside even the Law it self' Thus we find them very pertly demanding of

Matt.xv. Christ} Why do thy disciples transgress

tha tradition of the Elders? which our Lor » fully answers by another Question, to them; Why do you transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, faying, Honour thy father, and thy mother. But ye fay, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother. It is a gift by whatsoever thou mightest be frofked by me, and honour not his father or bis mother, he Jhall be free. Tims have ye made the commandment of God of none effe£i by your tradition, Ye hypocrites, well did Isaias prophejy of you, faying, 'thispeople draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, but their heart is far from me\ but, in vain do they worship me, teaching, for doctrines, the commandments of men, '•'.[-•

The Places where they usually taught these false Doctrines, were, the temple, and the Synagogues. For, ih both these we find the People assembled, to hear the Law expounded j every Sabbath Day at least. And thither we find these Doclors of the Law, as they are sometimes call'd, ger.. My camej to confer about their own Interpretations; and to hear those of other People} if any one, mov'd by a divine Z £ Impulse,

Impulse, had any thing of that Kind to offer.

Hence it is that we find Jesus, though Luke ii. but twelve years of age, in the temple, *6' fitting in the midst of the doctors; both bearing them, and asking them questions. And when the High-Priest question'd him about his dijciples and his doctrine. The John Answer he makes, is; I spake openly to the world; I ever taught, in the Synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.

And St. Paul in his Defence before FeAct* lix, fays; They neither found me, in the 'temple, disputing with any man j neither raising up the people, neither in the synagogues, nor in the city. By which, the Apostle means no more than that he was not in either of these Places with Intent to raise a Tumult} for we find, in several Instances, that he us'd to go into the synagogues, and preach} if not, in Jerusalem, at least in other Cities, where there were Synagogues of the Jews. For, in the fame Chapter, where we read, that he ib. ix. a, desired of the High-Priest, letters to Da

20. g.

malcus, mafcus, to the synagogues, that if he found any Believers in Christ, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem; being converted by the immediate Call of God, we find he fraitway preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the son of God. Nay, we read, that he disputed in the fy- Acts nagogut, 'with the Jews at Athens. All xvu* which, with many more Instances that might be brought, is only to {hew that the Law was taught and expounded generally by the Scribes, after their Fashion, in the Temple at Jerusalem; and in thes Synagoguesy both there and elsewhere.' f.'.MV irirl 73:;'i' ,•' .'!

But, as.' a Departure from the trud Faith, in Doctrine, is generally accompanied with a Depravity of M6rals, in Life; so we find the Scribes, when our s Lord came into the World, for all their outward Zeal and Profession, had little or; no true Religion, at Bottom. Therefore he fays to his Audience Upon the Matt vMount, Except your righteousness Jhall ex- 2°ceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye Jhall, in no cafe, enter into xxiii. the kingdom of heaven. Again; The Scribes 3< Z % and

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