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Exod. xii.

Tribe, in particular; and thirdly, what was us’d in the several Cities belonging to the several Tribes: so there were likewise three kinds of Congregations among them. One, made up of the whole People of the twelve Tribes; another, of the Families in each Tribe, separately; and another, of the Inhabitants of every City, within themselves.

The Great Congregation, which was made

up of the whole People of the twelve Tribes, was constituted by God himself;

where he bids Moses, Speak unto all the 3. xiv. 2. congregation of Ifrael ; and speak into the

children of Israel. All the Statutes, Judgments, and Ordinances, which God delivers to Mofes, were, by him, to be communicated to the People thus assembled.

And accordingly, we find - Moses gathered xxxv. 1. all the congregation of the children of Israel

together, and said unto them, These are the words which the Lord hath commanded.

These Congregations were frequently held, during the Time of Moses. And

when God appoints Joshua to be his SucNumb. ceffor, He orders him, to set him before xxvii . 19. Eleazar the Priest, and before ali the con

gregation,

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gregation, and give him a charge in their
fight. Again, he says, The LORD" deli- Deut. ix.
vered unto me two tables of stone, in the day
of the assembly.

These Congregations no one took upon
him to convene, but that Person who pre-
fided over their Affairs; as Conductor,
Judge, or King. Fopua, who was in the
first Capacity, when be was waxen old, and Josh.
ftricken in age, called for all Israel; and xxiii. 2.
for their elders, and for their heads, and
for their judges, and for their officers.
Samuel, one of their judges, faid, Ga-
ther all Israel to Mizpeh. We read that ? Sam.
David, when he was King, gathered · Sam.
all the people together. And, again; that, be xii. 29.

I Chron. gathered all Ifrael together, to Jerusalem. xv. 3. We read likewise, that all Ifrael 'came to Kings Shechem to make Rehoboam King, after the Death of Solomon. Again ; after the Revolt of the Ten Tribes, when Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, be assembled ---Ib. 21. all the house of Judah, with the tribe of Benjamin. And so Afa King of Judah, is said to have gathered all Judah and Benja- 2 Chron. min, in order to make a solemn covenant XV. 9, 10 with God. They gathered themselves together

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ė at Jerusalem, accordingly, in the third month, in the fifteenth year of the reign of

Go tisd Sri The manner of summoning thefe Gene Numb. ral Congregations, as prefcrib'd by che Law,

was by a particular Sound of Trumpet. The LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Make thee two trumpets of silver; that thou mayst use them, for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps. And when they shall blow with them, all the affembly shall assemble themselves together, at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.ur And, if they blow but with one trumpet, then the Princes, which are the beads of the thousands of Israel, fall gather themselves unto thee. When ye blow an alarm, then the campis that lie on the east parts shall go forward. When ye blow an alarm, the second time, then the camps that lie on the south side shall take their journey. But, when the congregation is to be gathered together, you fall blows but

you shall not found an alarm. The fons of Aaron, the Priest, fall blow with the trumpets; and they shall be to you for an ordinance, for ever, throughout your generations.

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THEIR COUNCIL S. 172 357 to These popular Conventions were called and held upon three Accounts; either, to u bear fome solemn Charge; to implore the ik Mercy of God upon fome important EIz mergency; or, to transact Matters of great

Moment and Weight. The original In

tention of calling them, at the first, was i to hear the Law, when it was dispens'd by

God: When the LORD said unto Moses, Deut. iv.
Gather me the people together, and I will '°.
make them bear my words. And when Da-
vid had fummon'd one of these General
Assemblies, by their Representatives, ac

Yerusalem, he makes a Speech to them, in
relation to the Building of the Temple;
He stood up upon bis feet, and said, Hear me, i Chron.
my brethren, and my people. Again; Fur- xxviii. 1.
thermore David the king said unto all the con- xxix. 3.
gregation.

As to their assembling together to sup-
plicate God's Favour and Protection; we
read that Jephthah, after he had agreed
with the Elders of Gilead to fight the Bat-
tles of the People of Israel against the Aman
nionites, and the People had made Him
Head, and Captain over them, that Jeph Judges
thab uttered all his words before the LORD xi. 11.

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XX. 1.

in Mizpeh. This was a Place held in great Veneration, in those Days. Here it was, probably, that he made his famous Vow, änd hither these General Congregations were most commonly assembled, to ask Counsel of the LORD, before they attempted any Enterprize of Consequence. When the impious and rebellious Obstinacy of the Ben

jamites came to be known, All the children Judges of Israel went out, and the congregation was

gathered together, as one man, from Dan even to Beertheba, with the land of Gilead, unto the Lord in Mizpeh. And the chief of all the people, even of all the tribes of Ifrael, presented themselves in the assembly

of the people of God. So. Samuel says, GaSam.

ther all Israel to Mizpeh, and I will pray vii, 5. for you to the Lord. For, though his bouse

was in Ramah, it is said, be judged the children of Israel in Mizpeh, likewise. He took it in circuit year by year; and there held the Great National Congregations.

The Matters of Weight and Importance which they sometimes assembled together to transact, were, either to choose, their Chief, Yudge, or King ; or to determine whether they should begin a War, with

any

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