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Moon, whilst the Israelites pursued and vanquished their Enemies-, and the prodigious Hail-stones cast down from Heaven, which flew more of them than the Sword could do; and a continued Course of Victories , never interrupted but for Achan\ Offence , struck such a mighty Terrour into the Canaanitest that some of them sought out ways to make their peace with the Israelites-, by Submission, and others fled into foreign Countries. And to shew that they conquer'd by a Miraculous and Divine Power, not by any carnal Force or Strength} Jojhua, by God's Command, destroy'd the Horses and the Chariots that he took from the Enemy , Jojh. xi. 9. which had been a strange Action in Humane Policy, but by such unlikely means he subdu'd one and thirty Kings of the Canaauites, chap. xii. and then divided the Land, not yet conquer'd, amongst the Tribes of Israel-, being as certain of it, as if they had it already in possession, chap. xiii. 2, 7.
Jojhua-, after so many Victories, and so many Mirarcles, when the Land of Canaan came to be divided among the Children os Israel-, took no more for his own Inheritance, than they were willing to spare him, after the Land had been divided among the Tribes, chap. xix. 49- and at last, as Moses had done, he appeals to their own Experience, and to their very Senses, for the Truth of all the Wonders and Deliverances, and the mighty Works which God had wrought amongst them, chap. xxiv.
After the Death of Jojhua, God rais'd up Judges out of several Families and Tribes, with an immediate and extraordinary Commission to govern and pror tect his People: So that there could be no private Ends, or politick Designs carry'd on, under the pretence of a Divine Commission. But upon their Disobedience and Idolatries, they were, from time to jtime, puniih'd with Slaughter and Captivity * and , upon their Repentance, were as constantly deliver'd •, k',; r' -■■■«■< Judges
Judges being purposely railed up" to be Conquerors and Deliverers, and never failing of Success.
But besides these who were impower'd by God, upon extraordinary Occasions, they had other Judges, or Chief Magistrates, to administer Justice, and to preside over the Publick Affairs, for the Welfare of the People: such were Eli and Samuel. Eli was a great Example, how much Fondness, and Natural Affection may prevail over good and wife Men ; but he was more afflicted to hear that the Ark of God was taken, than at the Death of both his Sons ; that gave him his mortal Wound, and he could not out-live the Hearing it, i Sam. iv. 18. SamueCs Sons were wio ked, as well as EWs, and he doth not conceal their Faults, but plainly fays, That they turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment, chap, viii. 3. but he appeals to the whole People for his own Integrity, who solemnly declare him free from any Oppression or Injustice. He resign'd the Government, though he had the Power in his hands to appoint two Kings successively, and by God's Commandment rais'd both Saul and David out of their Obscurity to a Throne. Samuel fays plainly, That when the Elders of Israel came to him to ask a King j the thing displeased him, 1 Sam. viii. 5. and he who could make Two Kings of Two different Tribes, and of no Interest in their respective Tribes, might as well have made himself King, if he had acted upon Humane Considerations, and by Humane Power and Means. The Divine Power therefore was visible in the Government of the Children of Israel, from the time of Moses and Joshua to Saul; for they were constantly govern'd by Persons of God's Appointment; their Government was a Theocracy, being administred by God's immediate Direction, the Lord their God was their King, 1 Sam. xii. 12.
CHAP, CHAP. VIII.
Of the People of Israel, under their Kings.
AFter a standing Regal Government was settled among the People of Israel, they were either happy or miserable at home, and either a Defeat or Victory attended their Armies abroad, as they prov'd obedient or disobedient to the Law of Moses, and to the Word of the Lord, delivered by his Prophets. 'Upon the Revolt of the Ten Tribes, when Two Tribes only remain'd in the Obedience of Reheboam, and in the true way of Worship^ this had been the time, (as already has been laid) if there had been any Imposture hitherto carryM On, to discover it} for they had all the Temptation, and all the Opportunity to do it, that could possibly be given. But after the Division of .the Ten Tribes, Jeroboam durst not so much as attempt to draw them off from an Acknowledgment of the Divine Authority of that Law by Which they were obliged to go up to Jerusalem to sacrifice, though he persuaded them to change the Place of their Worlhip, and to go no longer up thither. And God had his Prophets in Israel, who were as zealous for the Law, as the Prophets of Judab j for in both Kingdoms they had still Prophets to admonish them, and to direct them in all Matters of great Importance. Though the Vrim and Thummim, and the Shecbina, were confined to the Aarenical Priesthood) tnd the Ark of the Testament \ yet the other kinds of Prophecy were vouchsafed to Israel, as well as Judab: and the Captivity both of Judab and Israel by the Assyrians, and the Deliverance of the Jews out of it, befel them according to express Prophecies and both during the Captivity, and at their Return, they had Daniel, Zechariab-, Malachi, and other Prophets a. "\!' mongst
mongst them ; and for so many Ages, from their first coming out of tÆgyft, the whole People were made continually Witnesses of the manifest Power and Presence of God amongst them. This will be evident, by making some Observations concerning the Prophets and their Writings, and concerning their Prophecies and Miracles.
Of the Prophets, and their Writings.
THE kinds of Prophecy among the Jews, were, I. The Shechina. 2. The Z)rim and Thummim. 3. Revelation by Visions and Dreams, or by Inspiration ', for I shall not here distinguish these ways of Revelation, to consider them apart. And when these kinds of Prophecy ceas'd under the Second Temple, the Bath Kol, or Voice from Heaven, was the only way of Revelation: But of this there is little or nothing certain to be rely'd upon.
1. The Shechina, was the sitting, or dwelling of God between the Cherubims, on the Mercy-Seat, or Cover of the Ark, Pfal. lxxxi. 1. and xcix. 1. from whence he gave out his Answers by an Articulate Voice, Expd. xxv. 22. and xxix. 42. Num. vii. 89.
2. The Vrim and. 'thummim upon the Breast-plate of the High-Priest, Exod. xxviii. 30. was another standing Oracle, to be consulted upon all great occasions, Num. xxvii. 21. 1 Sam. xxviii. 6. xxiii. 9. xxx. 7Ezra ii. 65. and the Answers were return'd by a visible signification of the Divine Will: and this Oracle was not only venerable amongst the Jews, but was famous amongst the Heathen (as *Jofcphnt assures-us)
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fop for its infallible Answers. Mr. Medeb thinks Vrim and Thummim to have been in use among the Patriarchs, before the Law was given; because the making of them is not spoken of amongst the other things of the Efhod. The common opinion is, that this Oracle was delivered by the mining of such Letters of the Tribes Names, engraven on the Stones in the Priest's Breast-plate, as express'd the Answer: but the fame learned Author thinks, that the Vrim and the Tbummim were distinct Oracles •, theThummim shewing when their Sacrifices were accepted ; and the Vrim answering such Questions as were proposed upon any'important occasion.
3. Revelations by Visions and Dreams , or by In* spiration, were the Revelations which properly denominated those, to whom they were made Prophets. For the Prophets were Persons sent by God, with an extraordinary Commission, to declare his Will \ and they were not confined to the Tribe of Levi, or to any one particular Tribe, but sometimes taken out of one Tribe, and sometimes out of another: for tho' the Jews had Colleges and Schools to prepare and qualifie Men, by a vertuous and religious Education, for Divine Illuminations •, yet divers others, who had not been educated in this manner, were endued with the Spirit of Prophecy \ and some of them were but of very mean Employments, and others again of Royal Blood.
They reproved both their Kings and their Priests with a fearless and undaunted Freedom and Authority: and this Plain-dealing, such as became Men who spake and acted by a Divine Impulse, without Design, and without any Disguise, sometimes commanded great Reverence towards them from Princes, not easie to be well advised or directed. Rehoboam, a wilful and rash Prince, at the head of an Army of an Hundred and fourscore thousand chosen Men, upon b Mede'i Discourse, 35. "~~~