« הקודםהמשך »
fion, Death, and Resurrection. And every thing that concern's Morality, the eternal Law of Nature and Reason in either, he not only fulfill’d; in doing all manner of Good to those that stood in need of it; but, as the *original Word implies, improv’d, and added new Force and Vigour to it; by requiring a more exact Observance of it than had before been thought necessary.
Of this there are several Instances immediately following the Passage last cited. Ye have heard (says he) that it was said by them of old time, Thou Malt not kill; and whosoever shall kill Mall be in danger of the judgment. But I say unto you that who
angry with his Brother, &c. shall be in danger of the Judgment, &c. And therefore he prescribes speedy Reconciliation and Forgiveness, to those, among whom any Misunderstanding has hap
Again; Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery. But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her,
bath committed adultery with her already, in bis Heart.
And so, he forbids all manner of idle Swearing, even tho' God's Name be not us'd in the case. He declares against Retaliation of Injuries, and requires us to return Good for Evil: and to love, not only such of our Neighbours, as never hurt us, but even those who are our Enemies and hate us; after the Example of our Father which is in Heaven.
And then, as to the judicial Part of the Law, well might he be said to fulfill that, by bringing Life and Immortality to Light, thro' the Gospel; and, to enhance the Obligation arising from earthly and temporal Rewards and Punishments, by adding to the one, the eternal Joys of Heaven, and to the other the everlasting Torments of Hell.
CH A P.
SECT. I. The Form of their Government.
O far concerning the Law. Let us
proceed to inquire next into the Nature and Form of their Government ; both as it was establish'd by those Laws which God gave them, and such as he permitted it to be afterwards, when the Law came to be neglected by them.
Now, by inquiring into the Form and Kind of their Government, we mean nothing more than to know in what Hards the sovereign Power was lodg’d. And this, at the Beginning, we find to have been exercis'd by a certain Number of the principal or leading Men among them; afterward by their Kings: The first of which was what is call’d an Aristocracy, the Second a Monarchy. For, as to its having been a Theocracy, as some affect to term it, (which Word implies that their Government and the executive Power of
it flow'd immediately from God) that Character, I conceive, would not be lufficient to ascertain its proper Form; being such, as may be occasionally applied to either a Monarchy, an Aristocracy, or a Democracy, at such Times as they conform themselves, in ble Degree, to the Rules of God's natural and revealed Law. By me kings reign, Prov. viii. and princes decree justice; by me princes rule, 15. and nobles, even all the judges of the earth: says the Voice of Wisdom.
S E C T. II.
First, an ARISTOCRACY. The Jewish Government therefore, as it was left settled by Mofes, and that by God's special Direction, was an Aristocracy. The LORD said unto Moses, Gather Deut. xi. unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, wbom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear
the burden of the people with thee; that thou
bear it not thy self alone. Accordingly to Deut. them, together with the Priests and Le
vites, the Charge of seeing to the Execution of the Law was intrusted. The Law under their Administration was the fupream Power; and fo continued, both during the Life of Moses, before they passed over Jordan into the Land of Canaan, and after they were seciled there, under Joshua, and the Elders.
For, after the Death of Moses, Joshua acted as Conductor of their Affairs, according to the Law, by a special Com
mission from God; Part of which runs Josh. i. 7. thus; Be thou strong and very courageous,
that thou may's observe to do according to all the Law which Moses my fervant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou may'st prosper whithersoever thou goeft.
How he observ'd it therefore, we may conclude by the Proportion in which he prospered. He conquer'd divers Nations and flew 'mighty Kings; all Opposition fell before him, till he had put the Ilraelites in Poffefsion of the promis'd Land.