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though David himself confess them innocent, and himself alone guilty of the Sin they fuf. fered for. And the thing is confessed, concer ning the Proceedings of the Divine Providence it self, by the ancientest Heathen Poets, in per. sonating the eldest received Notions of Justice from the eldest Traditions they knew of. So Homer makes the whole Body of the Greeks to fuffer for Agamemnon's disrespect to the Priest of Apollo. And Virgil observes it in general: delirant Reges, ple&tuntur Achivi. And it was usual for them to imprecate upon their Chil. drens Heads the Curses due on violation of their Covenants. This was the way of dealing in their Covenants with Strangers. But to ob lige Posterity to observe the Obligations laid on them, God had given Parents a right of Blesfing or Cursing their Pofterity, as they deser. ved either by their Obedience or Disobedience, with an obligation on Providence to perform their Bleshings, or to infli&t their Curses. We find the earliest Ages of which we have any Monuments possess’d with Opinions favourable hereunto, which must needs have been the effects of Divine Establishments for the good of Human Societies, long before the Age of their first Writings. These means therefore Abraham had, to oblige his Posterity in all future Generations, to perform their part of the Covenant. And the nature of the Covenant en tered into with God for himself and his Posterity, implies, his obliging them this way, though it be not express'd. And the Curses of Mount Ebal, and the Song of Mofes, in this Divine Covenant, are of the same nature with those which were usually feared in the case of vio. lating their Parental Authority,

But

But I proceed now more particularly, to con 9. X. sider the subject of our present Enquiry. This The Holiness Holiness of the Worshippers was a necessary citled them to consequence of the Holiness of the Divine Pa-a Divine Proitron. This appears from those many places tection. wherein the Reason, why the Worshippers ought to be Holy, is given from the Holiness of the Deity worshipped by them. Be ye Holy, for I am Holy. This had a double Effect on the Worshippers. It made them holy Men to God. So it is expressed, Exod. xxii. 31. Thus it engaged God to be their Patron, and to refent all Injuries offered to them as reflecting on himself, after He had signified his pleasure to admit them to a participation of his Holiness. This obliged God to take care they I should be punished by the more immediate interposition of his own Providence, in case human Tribunals were negligent of their own Duty in punising them. In this case the whole Body were liable to a contagion of Punishment for the fault of their Governours, and might accordingly fear a Plague or Famine, or a destructive War, or some such epidemical Cala. mity, till an Atonement were made by the principal Criminals. This was the nature of a Piaculum, of which they were supposed guil. ty who broke in on the Divine Proteětion. This was believed to be the case, if Men presumed to violate Holy Perfons. Such, in the esteem of thofe Ages, were Poets, Diviners, Expiators, or any others, who were fingularly eminent for their Piety, or Divine Favours, received by them. Such were even Criminals in Sanctuaries, if feised violently, and without due deference to the Religion by which they were protetted. This Favour the Ifraelites had, 'even before their Settlement in the Holy Land.

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God punished even Kings for their fake, if they touched his anointed, or did his Prophets any harm. Thus God punished Abimelec" and Pharaoh for their injuries to Abraham as a Prophet. Thus he threatned Laban for the sake of Facob. Thus afterwards he plagued Pharaoh for his inhuman Oppressions of the true Peculium. He resented such Dealings as if he felt them himself, and that in the most tender and sensible part :. As if they touched the Apple of his Eye. That is an Expression frequently used on this occasion, Deut. xxxii. 10. Psal. xvii. 8. Zach. ii. 8. And, in all their Afli&ti

. ons he is said to have been affitted, If. 1xiii. 9. This implies as quick resentment, and as severe punishment of Injuries offered them, as Men Thew under fuch a sense and provocation. And withal, that where human Justice fails, himself will undertake their Cause, and punish their Oppressors in a way of extraordinary signal Providences. So he did in the case of the old Peculium in many instances. And so also under the new Peculium, in the instances of Herod the Great, and of the elder Agrippa, who is called Herod also, and of Pontius Pilate. But most remarkably in that of the Jews im. precating the Blood of our Saviour on them and their Children. And it is the design of La, &antius, in his Book De mortibus Perfecutorum, to shew, that the same course of Divine Vengeance was observed against all that were any way concerned in any of the Primitive Persecutions. Thus God's owning his people as a Holy Seed, was, by these Notions of a Picculum, received then universally by the con. fent of civilized Nations, sufficient to warn all Persecutors with whom they had to do in injuring them

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And as this Holiness of their Seed gave the

S. XI. Peculium a Title to the Divine Protection, so It also made on the other fide it exposed them to feverer them obnozi. and more inevitable Punishment than others, if ou to feverer hey committed any thing unworthy the Holi- if they failed ness with which God had favoured them. So themselves in God himself professes : Tou only have I known performing their of all the Families of the Earıh; therefore 1 own Duty. will punish you for all your Iniquities, Am. iii.2. For, he is of purer Eyes than to bebold Evil, and cannot look on Iniquity, Hab. i. 13. And he will be santtified in them that draw righ bim, Lev. x. 3. And Punishment is the way of sanEtifying himself on them who do not fanétifie him by a Behaviour suitable to the Honour done them, in admitting them to a nearer participation of his own Holiness. So he is faid to have been fan&tified in the Rebels at the Waters of Meribah, when he was pleased to punish them, Numb. xx. 13. The holiness of the Seed adds to the aggravation of the Sin, if any of the Peculium be guilty of it. The converfing with holy Examples, leaves thém less.temftation to it than those who are educated in a promiscuous Conversation. They cannot so easily pretend Infirmity who have God to near them, and so ready to assist any fincere and ferious Endeavours. The Ingratitude is greater against such Favours as are enjoy'd by the Peculium above the rest of Mankind. The Honour of God is more injured by it, if his Favourites be guilty of the like Excesses with those who have not been so regarded by him. That is not all: He is more obliged in Honour to see them punished, who are under his profesled care and inspection, than those whose care he has not so exprefly undertaken. He may more securely wink at their Misbehaviour, for whom

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he has no other concern than that of his general Providence. Bụt Mankind will expect a more accurate regard of his chofen People, and the Sheep of his own Pasture. And indeed his ow: good will obliges him to punish his chosen ones

, so far, at least, as temporal Punishments may secure their greatest Interests, that they may not perish finally and eternally. It was for our Saviour's Honour, that he had kept those whon his Father had given him, and that none of them was lost but the Son of Perdition, John xvii. 12 And it is equally for his Fathers Honour, that none of his Favourites should fail of the Bene fits designed for them, who might be reclaim. able by temporal, though severe Punishments. This seems to have been the great design of the Angel of Repentance, in the Discipline so largely accounted for in the Book of Hermas. Indeed, letting Sinners alone unpunished in their ill courses, Hof. iv. 17. is the severest way of treating them. But God's owning his own Relation to his Peculium as a Holy Seed, is that which makes their Ingratitude Piacular, and more redounding to his Dishonour, as a prophanation of his Holiness. This therefore obliges Him to punish it, and to punish it suitably to the degree of the Prophanation, which aggra. vates the Crime much higher than its own na. ture. This is clearly the case of inceft uon Marriages. The Reasons given from their own nature by the School-men and others, will never prove them. criminal in so high a degree as our Divine Revelations suppose them to be. But this degree results from the Confecration God has given Marriage, by the sense of all civilized Nations attelted in their earliest Writings. Which are the only proofs that can, in reason, be expected of a Confecration of that

State

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