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that God was highly displeas'd with his Conduct, and accordingly took him off by Judg. ix. an infamous Death.
>3-s6- ^ shew that this kind of Government by 'Judges thus chosen, was very agreeable to, and a Part of, the Plan which God himself had design'd for them, we read that, when, after the Death of Jo/hua, they had provok'd the Lord,
Judg. ii. by following other Gods, Nevertheless the 16.18,19. / ° . ,
Lord raised tip judges, which delivered
them out of the hands of those that spoiled them. And when the Lord raised them up judges, then the Lord •was with the judge; and delivered them out of the hands of their enemies, all the days of the judge. And, it came to pass when the judge was dead, that they turned and corrupted themselves more than their fathers.
And, to shew that they were chosen out of any Tribe or Family indifferently, we may observe that, of the whole Number which we have upon Record, which is sixteen, nine of them were out of nine different Tribes.
They were succeeded by the Kings; but, upon a quite different Footing and Establishment. For whereas the others, were chosen only to see the Laws executed; or to head the People, when they found it necessary to march out and engage their Enemies: These exercis'd a despotic Power; made War, when, and with whom they pleas'd; and regarded the Law just as much as they thought fit; just, as it suited with their Humour or Conveniency. . ■
God indeed, foreseeing, that when his People, by his good Providence, had got Possession of the promis'd Land, and were bless'd with every thing desirable in Life, Prosperity would make them wanton; and that they would be apt to run into the luxurious Fashions of the Heathen Nations that liv'd round about them, to serve their Gods, and to desire a King, to whom they might be Slaves, as the others were; yet, kindly . F f 3 and
and mercifully, prescribes some Rules, with which, if their Kings compiled, they might possibly preserve some Degree • of Happiness under them. When thou 'art come unto the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, and Jhalt pojsess it, and Jlialt dwell therein; and Jhalt fay, I will Jet a king over me, like as all tht nations that are about me: Thou Jhalt in any wife, Jet him king over thee, whom the Lord thy God Jhall choose; One} from among thy brethren, Jhalt thou set king over thee: Thou may'Jl not Jet a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.
But he Jhall not multiply horses to himself; nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that be Jhould multiply horses: forasmuch as the Lord hath said unto you, Ye Jhall henceforth return no more that way. Neither Jhall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither jhall he greatly multiply to himjelffiver and gold.
And, it jhall be, when he ftteth upon the throne of his' kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this Law, in a book; out of ■■ f 1 that
that which is before the Priests, the Levites. ^4nd it fiall be with him, and he pall read therein, all the days of his life; that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this Law, and these statutes, so do them. 'That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren; and that he turn nos aside from the commandment, to the right band or to the left: To the end, that he may prolong his days in his kingdom; he, and his children, in the midjl of Israel. This Time, which God foresaw, and so graciously provided a Remedy for, by these salutary Directions, came to pass accordingly in the Days of Samuel, who was the last of the fudges.
When that great good Man came to grow in Years, and had delegated a part of the Judicature to his two Sons, foe/ and Abiah; who, we are told, were fudges in 1 Sam. Beersteba; as fobh as it appear'd, how un-v111,1'^' qualified they, were to fill a Post fof that Importance; being fad Wretches; who walked not in the ways of their father, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment; Then, all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came Ff* ft
to Samuel unto Ramah, and said unto him, Beholds thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: Now, make us a king to judge us, like all the nations.
At this Behaviour of his Sons, the 'Prophet must needs have been as uneasy as they were; and would, no doubt, have gladly consulted with them how to remove or remedy that Grievance. But, knowing well, that the Time was now come in which they desired to change their old Form of Government for one, neither so agreeable to God, nor beneficial to themselves, as he could have wisti'd, as the Sequel of the ^History informs us, The thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us: And Samuel prayed unto the Lord. And the Lordsaid unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice os the people, in all that they say unto thee-, For, they have not rejected thee, but they have rejefted me that I foould not reign over them. According to all the works which they have done, since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt, even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods: So do they also, unto thee.