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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.,

SECT. IV.

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

pall ct// /fo burden of the people with

vee.f They fate, with the Leader; Judge, r King, presiding in the Metropolis; that , the Place, appointed for the Residence f the Chief, and the keeping the Ark of be Covenant: There being a close Cohiexion between their Religious and Civil .aws, both as to the Ministers and Administration of them. Thus we read} VIofes, with the Elders of Israel, comment- ^oA

'" • is* XVII. I.

ded 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"164 And, the Elders of Israel gather themselves 'Sam. together, and come to Samuel to Ramah. Vm" 4*

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 on the Law 3 where several Things are requir'd

to

364 d: Çivil. AFFAIRS, to sa

Deut. to be done by tbe. Élders of the city. And, xix. 12. xxi. 3; in the Time of the Judges, Boaz appeals 19:..., to.ten men of the Elders of the city of BethRuth iv. 2. lehem Judah. And we read, after the Ezra x. Caprivity, of the Elders of every city. And, **Luke in the Gospel, it is said; The Elders of xxii. 66.

Q: the people, and the Chief Priests, and Scribes, Mat. xxi. 23. came together. For it is reasonable to be

lieve those who, in the Gospel are called Elders of the People, were only Elders of the City of Jerusalem. She band white

SE C'T. V. Courts of JUDICATURE. There having been Courts of Judicature in every City, besides the Great Council or Sanhedrim of Jerusalem, we fhall treat of those first; and leave the other co be discours'd of in a Section by it self.

The first Institution of these, was in

the Wilderness; when Mofes, by the Ada Exol. vice of Jethro his Father-in-law, chose chi

ble men out of all Ifrael; and made them beads over the people; rulers of thousandfi rulers of hundreds ; rulers of fiftiess and rulers of tens. These were to judge the peo

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', at all seasons, in small matters; but try greatef matter Wasto be rcferr'dfo ofes himself. •' The Commission given to these Judges Sls, in these Words; Hear the causes be- Deut. i. veen your brethren, and judge righteously l6> &c* •tween every man and his brother; and te Jiranger that is with him. Te stall ot refpeB persons, in judgment; but you hall hear the small as well as the great. 1m shall not be afraid os the face of man; "or the judgment is God's. And the cause lhat is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it.

Afterwards, we find an Ordinance for it, from God himself, fudges and officers xvi. so alt thou make thee in all thy gates, which l8« the L o R D thy God giveth thee, through' out thy tribes: and they jhall judge the people with just judgment. Thou jhalt not wrest judgment; thou Jhalt not refpeEl persons; neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wife, and pervert the words of the righteous.

And, after the Law had been greatly neglected by some of the Kings, we find Jebojhaphat, who was a Kind of a Reformer,

former, among other Regulations that Ik 2 Chron. made, Set Judges in the land* t&raugk *»x.5- all the fenced cities cf Judah, city by ^ And Jaid to the judges, Take heed isbat do; for ye judge not for man, hut for tk JL.ORD, who is with you in judgment. Wherefore now, let the fear of the IfOj.H be upon you. For there is no iniquity with the Lokd our God, nor refpecJ of fterjmx nor taking of gifts. , .T -v„..._

After their Return from the Captivity, among other Parts of their Constitution, the Judges were re-establish Vi; as Isaiah i. Isaiah had prophesied j I will restore tig judges, as at the fir [I; and, thy counsellor^ as at the beginning. Artaxprxes , cornEzra vii. mands Ezra, to set magistrates and judges, 25' which may judge all tthe people. After ib. x.i4. which we read of the judges of £very city But it is somewhat uncertain whether these fudges were any other than a Part, or the whole Body, of the Council of tbt 'Elders; the same Kind of Business being allign'd in common to both. Thus it is Dent. Aid, in the Law; If any man hate his neigh' xix. 11. hour, and lie'in wait for him, and rise rs against him, and Jmife him niortaily thatbt

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