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any other People. Thus, The men o/J^ge* •Israel (in a general congregation) said unto ' * Gideon, Rule over us-, both thou and'thyson, and thy son's son also. And thus Samuel, called the people together unto the Lord in1 Sam* IVTizpeh, in order to choose a King. And when Saul was declar'd to be the Person,^// - the people ''shouted and said, God save the King. And in the three foregoing Instances that we have seen of their assembling -together to make Supplication to the Lo«.d, their Business was likewise, partly, to consult about, going to War; first, with the Ammonites ■, secondly, with the Benjamites-, ■ and thirdly, with the Philistines.
As to the second Sort of these Congregations, which were held by each Tribe, separately; though we have no direct Institution of them, nor find them exprefly mention'd; yet, by Inference, it plainly appears there were such -, Because the People of every Tribe, had Chiefs belonging to them* who could convene them, upon Occasion: And, it is very plain, that they did assemble in Council, hold Judiciary Courts, and determine upon War and Peace. Thus, we read, that, upon A a 4 dividiBg
dividing the Land of Canaan, btfrJkot,*r Jofh.xix. mong the Twelve Tribes, the coajg.APfrrtl* 47. children of Dan went out too little for them, therefore the children of Dzn went up?i&figbt againft Leshem,slW took it,andsmote At, with the edge of the fword,andpossessedit\ and'dive k therein, and called Lesliem, Dan; after fix name of Dan their father. And, that the Ephraimites, resenting their not being invited by Jephthah into the War against the AmJudges monites, gathered themselves together, in orxii. i. jg,. t0 can him tQ an Account for ic.;£ ,-i The fame Inference may be made as to their Cities; which were, unquestionably govern'd by a Body Corporate, or Common Council, acting under one Chief or Head. We have express Mention of that of Jerusalem; where we are told, that King t Chron. Hezekiah had taken counsel, and his princes, xxx. 2. a/1(j all fb$ congregation in Jerusalem, to keep the pajfover in the second month. Qf this, notice was sent out into the Country round Ib. 12. about, and, it is said, iVzJudah, the band of God was to give them one hearts tojdothe commandment of the king and of the princes. Which shews, that the Men of that Tribe were strangers to the Business, till it was
thtJS^feirii&iuslic^ted tb them; those' of tfcymVth^fc were not Inhabitants' of Jeru
AIrw^as>Y)therwise, at the Dedication of theTerrifdeby Solomon: He assembled, tbt*.]p*i& elders 6fx Israel, «»// #// /^ Æ^wj of the l' tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel j and all the men of Israel, assembled themsehes unto king Solomon. Again J Solomon stood before the altar of" the —Ib. ^^. Lord, its the presence bf*all the congregation cf Israeli' By which; \t\S plain, the Congregation of Jerusalem,'; and the Congrega^ tion of att\b*t\y were1 distinct.:
Besides, we are '■hot ignorant, what a Figure these Popular Councils made in our. Saviour's Time: And now instrumental they were,1 in procuring Him, at the In£' stigationof the Chief-Priests and Elders1 to be crucified. The Governor, being wont ^at:
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to release unto the people at that feast, a &c. prisoner, whom they would; Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, &c, So, in another Gospel; Tilate, Lukc when M\ had called together, the Chief- xxiii. 13. Priests, and the rulers, and the people, said unto themx §cc. They were tq consider of ■ <\:~ the
the Matter, and vote whom they woolo have releas'd. And then, when thejy chos: Barabbas, and rejected Christ; we au told; Pilate took -watery and -washed hi: bands before them, faying, I am innocent cj the blood of this just person, fee ye to it. Tha anjivered all the people and said; His bhol be on us, and on our children.,
The ELDERS. .
We mall inquire next into the Councils of the Elders; which probably, in like manner as the Congregations, were three_ fold; One, belonging to all the Tribes m General; another, to every particular Tribe; and a third to each distinct City. Though we do not meet with any direct Instances of the second; but, many of the first and third.
Those Elders, which compos'd the Senate belonging to all the Tribes in General, were appointed originally by God Numb, himself. 'The Lord said unto Moses, l6. Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel; whom thou know est to te the elders of the people, and officers over them; and they
/hall bear the burden of the people with thee. They sate, with the Leader, Judge, or King, presiding in the Metropolis; that is, the Place, appointed for the Residence 6f the Chief, and the keeping the Ark of the Covenant: There being a close Connexion between their Religious and Civil Laws, both as to the Ministers and Administration of them. Thus we read; Moses, with the Elders of Israel, comman- Dcutded the people, faying, &c. And, afterwards, we find 'The Elders of the congregation consult how to supply the Re- Judges mainder of the Benjamites, with Wives. XX1-' * And, the Elders of Israel gather themselves '.?amtogether, and come to Samuel to Ramah.
We read of these Elders continually, to the Time of the Captivity: And we find them again, after the Return. y/Ezrax. proclamation was made throughout Judah 7' and Jerusalem, unto all the children of the captivity, according to the council of \ the Princes and the Elders.
Besides these, there were likewise Elders belonging to every several City. These Elders are mention'd by Moses in the Law j where several Things are requir'd