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viii. 22..

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X. 17.

any other people. Thus, The men of Judges Ifrael (in a general congregation) faid unto Gideon, Rule over us; both thou and thy fon, and thý fon's fon also. And thus Samuel, called the people together unto the Lord in! Sam. Mizpeh, in order to choose a King. And "When Saul was declar'd to be the Person, All 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 LORD, their Business was likewise, partly, to confult about going to 'War; first, with the Ammonites; secondly, with the Benjamites; and thirdly, with the Philistines.

As to the second Sort of these Congrega- tions, which were held by each Tribe, leparately; though we have no direct Institution of them, nor find them exprefly mention'd; yer, by Inference, it plainly appears there were such; Because the People of every Tribe, had Chiefs belonging to them, who could convene chem, 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

dividing

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47.

xii. 1.

,

dividing the Land of Canaan, by Lotzian Joll. xix. mong the Twelve Tribes, The coat of the

children of Dan went out too little for them: therefore the children of Dan went up to fight against Lelhem, and took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and possessed it, and dweli therein, and called Lelhem, Dan; after the 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 order to call him to an Accou

Account for it. si! The same Inference may be made as to their Cities; which were, unquestionably: govern'd by a Body Corporate, or Gommon Council, acting under one Chief, ar Head. We have express Mention of that of je

rusalem; where we are told, that King , Chron. Hezekiah had taken counsel, and bis princes, XXX. 2. and all the congregation in Jerusalem, to

keep the passover in the second month. Of this,

notice was sent out into the Country round -- Ib. 12. about, and, it is said, in Judah, the band

of God was to give them one beart; to do the commandment of the king and of the princes.. Which shews, that the Men of chat Tribe were strangers to the Business, till it was

thus

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viii. I.

congregation THEIR COUNCIL's. chus cómmunicated to them; those of them that were not 'Inhabitants of Feria

It was otherwise, at "the Dedication of the Temple by Solomon : He assembled, the r Kings

elders of Ifrael, and all the heads of the er tribes, the chief of the fathers of the chilI dren of Israel'; and all the men of Israel,

diffembled themselves unto king Solomon.
Again; Solomon ftood before the altar of the --- Ib. 22.
LORD, in the presence of

of all
of Israel. By which, it is plain, the Con-
gregation of Jerufalem, and the Congrega-
tion of all Israel, were diftinct.

Besides, we are not ignorant, what a
Figure these Popular Councils made in our
Saviour's ? Time: And how instrumental
they were,' in procuring Him, at the In-
stigation of the Chief-Priests and Elders,
to be crucified. The Governor, being wont Mat.
to release unto the people at that feast, a &c.
prifoner, whom they would; Therefore when
they were gathered together, Pila te said unto
them, &c. So, in another Gospel; Pilate, Luke

when he had called together, the Chief- xxiii. 13. á Priests, and the rulers, and the people, said 2 unto them, &c. They were to consider of

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xxvii. 15,

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the Matter, and vote whom they would have releas’d. And then, when they chose Barabbas, and rejected CHRIST; we are told; Pilate took water, and washed his bands before them, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just perfon, fee ye to it. Then answered all the people and said ; His blood be on us, and on our children.

SECT. IV.

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Ihe E L D E R S.

We shall inquire next into the Councils of the Elders; which probably, in like manner as the Congregations, were threefold; One, belonging to all the Tribes in 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 Sea nate belonging to all the Tribes in Gene

ral, were appointed originally by God Numb. himself. The LORD said unto Moses, xi. 26.

Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Ifrael ; whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and they

Mall

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Deut. xvii. 1.

pall PIR COUNCIL'S.

363
Shall 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
of the Chief, and the keeping the Ark of
the Covenant: There being a close Con-
nexion between their Religious and Civil
Laws, both as to the Ministers and Ad-
miniftration of them. Thus we read;
Moses, with the Elders of Israel, comman-
ded the people, saying, &c. And, after-
wards, we find The Elders of the congre-
gation consulĆ how to supply the Re- Judges
mainder of the Benjamites, with Wives. xxi. 16.
And, the Elders of Israel gather themselves i Sam.
together, 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. A Ezra x.
proclamation was made throughout Judah 7.
and Jerufalemn, unto all the children of the
captivity, according to the council of I 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; where several Things are requir’d

viii. 4.

to

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