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under every wicked Administration of the Government, when most Kinds of Immorality were too fashionable to be accounted Vices, we find these Magistracies of Cities or Towns corporate, loudly complain'd of for their illegal Practices, in this Respect. How is the faithful city be- Isa. i. ar. come an harlot! It was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it -, but now murderers. 'Thy fiver is become dross, thy wine mixt with water. 'Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: Every one loveth gifts, andfolloweth after rewards: They judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them. Therefore faith the Lord, the Lord of Hosts, the mighty one of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, a?id avenge me of mine enemies.

How lively a Description of a wretched infatuated People, brought just to the Brink of Destruction, by the profligate Behaviour of their corrupt Rulers! And, at the fame time, how useful an Example, if rightly consider'd, to awaken and deter all those who may unthinkingly be jogging on in the same Road; and, unless H h 3 they unless they make a timely Retreat, when it is too late, find themselves involv'd in as great Difficulties, and given up to an Avengement as grievous, as that which is here denoune'd by the Prophet.

But, to return; The Process, in an Action brought against any one at Law seems to have been this. The Plaintiff laid his Cafe before one of these Rulers of Cities; who, if he thought it a Matter proper to be litigated, sent him to have it tried before the Judges; and, if the Patty against whom the Information was laid, happen'd to be cast, the Judge, or Judges committed him to the Charge of a special Officer, who had him away to Prison, and there detain'd him till he made Satisfaction in all Points. And upon this Method of Proceeding, that kind and charitable Counsel of our blessed Lord in Luke xii. the Gospel, is manifestly founded. When 5 * thou goest, with thine adversary to the magistrate, as thou art in the way, give diligence that thou mqy'Ji be delivered from him; (neglect no Opportunity of making it up with him;) lest he hale thee to the

judge,

judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and the officer caji thee into prison. I tell thee, thou jhalt not depart thence till thou haft paid the very last mite.

When Ahab King of Israel was displeas'd with Micaiah for prophesying his Overthrow at Ramoth-Gilead, he sent him to Amon the governour os the city, with xviii> *' Orders to put him in prison, and feed him •with 'bread and water of affliction.

Of the judiciary Authority of these Rulers, we read further in the Cafe of Jeremiah. When (another) Micaiah had heard his Prophetical Denunciations against Israel and Judah, he went down into the Jcr. kings house, into the scribe's chamber, where **xvt* all the princes (these Rulers) were fitting, and inform'd them of it. And after, when Jeremiah was going out of the City ib.xxxvii. into the Land of Benjamin, Irijah, who suspected that he was going to desert to the Army of the Chaldeans, who were lately broken up from besieging the City, took Jeremiah and brought him to the Princes. Wherefore the Princes were wroth with Jeremiah, and smote him, and put him in prison.

H h 4 And

And upon his further prophesying that the city Jhould be given into the hand of the King of Babylon, therefore the Vrinces said unto the king, We beseech thee, let this man be put to death. Then Zedekiah the King said, Behold he is in your hand; for the King is not he that can do any thing against you. Which {hews that they bore a mighty Sway in the Great Council of the Nation j and that when they pray'd Judgment and Execution against any one, even the King thought it most safe and prudent to comply with them.

The Number of these Rulers, in every City, was in Proportion to the Number of its Inhabitants; as many Thousands as it contain'd, so many Rulers of that Rank and Denomination, belong'd to it -, from which Regulation, the Estimation and Consequence of each City was discernible at one View. And from this Consideration arises that fine Allusion of one of the Prophets concerning the Place where Chmst mould be born; so understood and applied by the Chief Priests and Mat.ii.j. Scribes themselves, as the Evangelist inMicv.z. forms us. But thou, Bethlehem Ephra

rah, >

ih, though thou be little among the thouinds of Judah (in Comparison of those Cities that have Rulers of thousands beDnging to them) yet out of thee, he shall ome forth unto me, that is to be Ruler in Xrael; whose goings forth have been of old, *rom everlasting. So exactly was almost ;very minute Circumstance relating to the Saviour of Mankind, delineated and foretold by those divinely inspired Writers, who liv'd so many hundred Years before he came into the World.

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CHAP. IX.

SECT. I. Military Affairs.

TTAving hitherto treated of the religious and civil Affairs of those People who are the Historical Subject of the sacred Writings; it is reasonable, in'like manner, that we should trace out such Memoirs as are left us of their military Constitution. In relation to which, the Directions given them by God himself are these which follow.

When

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