« PreviousContinue »
not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him Jhall the gathering of the people be. These Marks they, mistaking the Nature of Christ's Kingdom, thought suited exactly with Herod; because he was a Stranger, and withal, a -f- Great and flourishing Prince.
This Opinion, Herod judg'd it proper for him to encourage, because it so manifestly tended to support his Power and Grandeur: And for this Reason it was, that we find him so troubled, when the Mat. ii. wife men came from the East to Jerusalem,'» &cto -worship Him that was just then born king of the Jews: and that he could act so exceeding inhuman a Tragedy, as to order all the Children, under two Years old, to be put to Death, in and about Bethlehem.
And, upon the fame Account, we find the Herodians, afterwards, so busy and sollicitous in joining with the Rest of our Lord's invidious Enemies. No sooner did he begin to work Miracles, and make
Himself known by his heavenly Doctrine, Mark. iii. but we find, the Pharisees tventjorth, ti 6' Jlraitway, with the Herodians, took counjt, against Him, bow they might deftroy\ bin, Mark xii. Again; Tie Pharisees and the Herodians. IJ" are sent to him, to catch him in bis wsris. Mark Therefore, our Lord charges his DiiciVUK I5' pies, to beware, not only of the ieavenr, the Pharisees, but of Herod also j that is, of the Herodians. This is all we find necessary to be observ'd, in relation to the Affairs of Religion, among the People 4f Israel.,.*.. i.i 1 ' .* ... f
SECT. I. the Chil Government.
WE come, next, to discourse of their Givil Government. Having, according to our blessed Lord's Direction, render'd unto God, the Things which art God's; that is, having gone through all thoses Particulars, which more immediately relate to spiritual Matters, and divine Worship; we shall now endeavour to rtn
der-ttnld Cæsar, the Things which are Cæsar^MW give such Account of die Temporal Aefamnistration of the Israelites^ as the Holy Scriptures furnish us with.- " >
And tftiis we shall do, by inquiring after and laying together what may be found relating to these three Heads, Councils, Judicatures, and Magistrates. The Good and Happiness of all Nations, arises and grows from their respective Councils j from such wholsom and beneficial Laws, as the wisest Heads among them are, from Time to Time, able to devise: And these again, must be defended and maintain'd by the regular Administration of Justice.
But because, neither Councils can be summon'd and adjourn'd, upon Occasion; nor Laws, when made, be put in Force and Execution, so well, without a sufficient Power being delegated by Commission and Trust to some Person, under whom others again should be subordinate, for the same Intents and Purposes j Therefore these are what we may call Magistrates: And whom, after we have treated of the other two Branches, we shall consider in their proper Place. *
"S E CT.
SECT. II. v.
By Councils we are to understand, any of those authoriz'd Meetings, in which Things appertaining to the Good and Wesfare of the State are propos'd, debated, and finally enacted into Laws. Such as Matters relating to Peace and War; encouraging and regulating Trade j appointing Magistrates, as often as Occasion requires; and levying such Supplies as shall be judg'd necessary for the general Support, Defense, and Honour of the Nation.
But as thele Councils, in most well-regulated Governments, are of two Kinds; one public and general,consisting of a Convention of the whole collective Body of the People; the other private and separate, made up of a certain number of select Persons, whom either their Age, or extraordinary natural Parts have qualified for Business; so it was among the Jews. Their Councils were, either The Congregation; a promiscuous Meeting of all their Tribes come together in one Place; or, the Senatt
compos'd of a segregate Body os grave experienc'd Elders.
The Psalmist makes mention of both these Councils; when, exciting his Countrymen to a high Fitch of Devotion to the Lord for his great Goodness, he fays; Let them exalt Him also in the congregation Psalm ef the people, and praise Him in the ajsem-cvn' 3 bly of the elders. Again; / will praise the Psalm Lord with my whole heart, in the assembly CX1, **■ of the upright, and in the congregation. These two sorts of Councils, under the fame Distinction, he speaks of in several Places: whence we may conclude there were no other: For, if there had, it is not likely that he would have fail'd taking some notice of them also. Of these two therefore we (hall proceed to the Consideration. Andfrst, of the Congregation.
The Nature of their Government, as was observ'd before, being threefold; as it consisted, first, of that which subsisted among the whole twelve Tribes in General i secondly, of that which related to each A a Tribe,