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“ upon the Land which thou hast given unto thy “ People for an inheritance. If there be dearth in the “ Land, if there be pestilence, if there be blasting or .“ mildew, locusts or caterpillers; if their enemies “ besiege them in the cities of their Land; whatsoever "". sore, or whatsoever sickness there be: Then what “ prayer, or what supplication shall be made of ANY .“ Man, or of all thy PEOPLE ISRAEL, when EVERY “ ONE shall know his own sore, and his own grief, and " shall spread forth his hands in this house: then hear “ thou from heaven, and forgive, and RENDER UNTO “ EVERY Max according unto all his ways, whose “ heart thou knowest *.” Solomon in this petition, which, with respect to the given Covenant, we miglit properly call a Petition OF RIGHTS, speaks the language of one who extended the temporal sanctions of the Law to PARTICULARs and IndIVIDUALS. For he desires God, according to the terms of the Covenant, to render unto every man according to all his ways. But when is it that he prays for the exertion of this extraordinary providence to particulars ? At the very time when it is administering to the state in general. If there be dearth in the land, if there be pestilence, if there be blasting or mildew, locusts or caterpillers, if their enemies besiege them, &c. The necessary consequence is, that as sure as Solomon believed an extraordinary Providence exercised to the State in general, so surely did he believe it exercised to indi. viduals in particular. The Psalmist bears his testimony to the same Economy: I have been young (says be) and now am old: yet have I not seen the Righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging their bread f. God himself declares it, by the Prophet Isaiah : Say ye to
* 2 Chron. vi. 26. See also note [O] at the end of this Book. + Psal. xxxvii. 25. See also note [P] at the end of this Book.
the the Righteous that it'shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. Ito unto the Wicked, it shall be ill with him : for the reward of his hands shall be given him *. And again: He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly, &c. he shall dwell on high : his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks, bread shall be given him, his waters shall be sure t. And we learn, from a parabolical command in Ezekiel, how exactly these proniises were fulfilled: “And the Lord said unto him, Go through “the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, “ and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that " sigh, and that cry for all the abominations that be “ done in the midst thereof. And to others he said “ in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, “ and smite : let not your eye spare, neither have ye “ pity. Slay utterly old and young, both maids and .“ little children, and women; but come not near any “ man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my Sanc“ tuary .,”. &c. The same Prophet in another place, alluding to Abraham's intercession for Sodom, declares from God, that when his judgments come out against the land of Judea, the Righteous, found in it, should save only themselves; which plainly shews, a providence extending to particulars—" Son of man, when “ the land sinneth against me by trespassing grievously, “ then will I stretch out mine hand upon it, and will “ break the staff of the bread thereof, and will send “ famine upon it, and will cut off man and beast from " it. Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and “ Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own • souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord God.” Ch. xiv. 13, 14. But God, by the Prophet Amos, . * Chap. iii. ver. 10, 11. + Chap. xxxiii. ver. 15, 16. Chap. ix. ver.4–6. See also note (Q) at the end of this Book.
describes describes this administration of Providence in the fullest manner : “Also I have withholden the rain from "t you, when there were yet three months to the har" vest; and I caused it to rain upon one city, and ss caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece He was rained upon, and the piece w kcreupon it rained s not, withered. So two or three cities wandered suf uinto one city to drink water; but they were not sa satisfied : yet have ye not returned unto me, saith
the Lord. I have smitten you with blasting and • mildew *," Sc. And again : Lo, I will connnud, and I will sift the house of Israel amongst all Nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth t,
These declarations of God's providence are so ex. actly correspondent to Solomon's petition; that they seem as it were the FIAT to it I.
Thus we see the Law, as well by its express declarations as by its essential nature and genius, extended its sanctions of temporal rewards and punishments as well to Particulars as to the General. And as in civil Governmeist, universal practice shews the necessity of a more exact dispensation of punishment than of reward, so we may observe from the passages last quoted, that the Mosaic Law had the same attentions which occasioned the Wise Man to say, Bchold the Righteous shall be recompensed in the Earth: MUCH MORE the Wicked and the Sinner .
The inspired writers of the New TESTAMENT give evidence to this dispensation of Providence under the Ols. The Author of the Epistle to the llebrew's argues from it as a thing well known and generally allowed: For if the Word spoken by Angels was Chap. iv. ver.q-ll.
# Chap, ix. ver. 9. · 1 See isote [R] at the end of this Book. Prox. xi. 31.
stedfast, and EVERY TRANSGRESSION AND DISOBEDIENCE RECEIVED A JUST RECOMPENCE OF REWARD, how shall we escape if we neglect so great saloation * ?
St. Paul, in his Epistle to the Romans, speaking of the advantages which Christianity had over Judaism, says : Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. By whom also we have access by Faith into his Grace, wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but WE GLORY IN TRIBULATION ALSO, knowing that Tribulation worketh patience t. &c. Here St. Paul, opposing the advantages which the Gentile Converts had by. Faith, to those which the Jews, in contempt to the Gentiles, gloried to have by the Law, adds, in order to shew those advantages in their highest superiority, that the Christian Gentiles could glory even in that which was the very opprobrium of the Jews, namely, tribulation. For the sanction of the Jewish Law being temporal rewards and punishments, administered by an equal providence; Tribulation was a punishment for crimes, and, consequently, an high opprobrium. But the followers of Christ, who were taught, that we must through much TRIBULATION enter into the kingdom of God'$, had the saine reason to glory in the roughness of the road, as the ancient Agonistæ had in the toils which procured them the victory. This is urged with great address. But the Critics, not taking the Apostle's meaning, have supposed, in their usual way, that he here broke in upon his argument, with an idea 'foreign to the point in hand.
† Rom. 5. 1. & seq.
. Chap. ii. ver. 2, 3.
This will help us to explain an odd remark of the excellent Maimonides : That their wise men talked of a thing which was NOT TO BE FOUND in the Law, namely, that which some of them call the CHASTISEMENTS OF Love, by which they meant that TribuLATIONS might befull a man without any precedent sin *, and only in order to multiply his reward. And that this was the very opinion of the Sect called Muatzal, of which, or in favour of which opian, there is not one single word to be found in the Law t. This seems to have perplexed our Rabbi; and with cause. He lived when his countrymen were under a common providence, and had the doctrine of a future state of rewards and punishments, which, he took for granted, was always in the Jewish Economy. These things disabled him from seeing that-NO CHASTISEMENTS OF LOVE was a necessary consequence of temporal rewards and punishments administered by an equal providence: And likewise that when this sanction ceased, and a future state was known, then CHLASTISEMENTS OF LOVE became a necessary consequence.
But if by the Law, Maimonides did (as the Jews frequently do) include the writings of the Prophets, then he was very much mistaken in saying there is not one word in it concerning the chastisements of . * This explanation was necessary; for, another hind of chustisements of Love there was in the Law, namely, paternal chastiscments. Thus Moses : Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that as a man chasteneth his son, so the Lord thy God chusteneth thee. Deut. viii. 5. · + Unum tamen occurrit in verbis sapientum nostrorum, quod NON INVENITUR IN LEGE; id nempe, quod quidam eorum dicunt CASTIGATIONES AMORIS. Juxta hanc enim sententiam possunt TRIBULATIONES alicui evenire sine præcedente peccato, sed ut multiplicetur.ejus Remuneratio. Atque hæc ipsissima est sententia Sectæ Muatzoli, de qua, aut pro qua, nie verbulum quidem in Lege reperitur. More Nevoch. Buxtorfii, p. 381.