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" said unto the People, fear not: (ye have done all “ this wickedness : yet turn not aside from follow
ing the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your « heart; and turn ye not aside: for then should
you go after vain things, which cannot profit
nor deliver, for they are vain) For the Lord « will not forsake his People, for his great Name's “ fake: because it hath pleased the Lord to make
you his People i.” Here, we fee, they repent, are pardoned, and received again into Grace, as appears by the concluding promise, that the Theocratic form should be continued. They are ready to give up their King, and yet a regal character is inftituted. The plain conclusion from all this is, that their King was given, ånd, now at least, received, as God's DEPUTY.
But Father Simon is at length provoked into a Reason, and that, to say the truth, no weak one. God, he observes, kept the election of their King in his own hands k. But this, Le Clerc says, proves nothing. How so? Because, according to this reasoning, we should be obliged to say that God oftener difcharged the funElions of civil Chief in the idolatrous realm of the ten Tribes than in that of Judah: for that was ele&tive, this, hereditary!. And what if we
1 Ver. 19. & feq.
k Et une preuve même qu'il ne ceffoit pas d'être leur chef par cette election, c'est qu'il s'en rend le maître. Reponse aux Sentimens, p. 55.
dit M. Simon que Dieu se rend maitre de l'election des Rois, il ne s'enfuit nulment qu'il continuât d'être pour cela chef politique de la republique d'Israël ; puisque fi cela étoit, il faudroit dire que Dieu faisoit beaucoup plus souvent les fonctions de chef de l'etat dans le royaume Idolatre des dix tribus, que dans celuy de Juda. Car ce derniere royaume étoit
Pour ce que
do? Where will be the harm of it? The two kingdoms made up but one Commonwealth; of which God, as Head, governed by two Viceroys. And if he oftener acted immediately in the kingdom of Israel, there was a plain reason for it; Its inhabitants were more given to idolatrous worship, and needed more the frequency of an extraordinary restraint. And in effect, we find he did interfere greatly in other instances, as well as in the elec, tion of their Kings.
In truth, F. Simon seemed to see as little into the force of the observation (that God reserved the choice of their King to himself) when he urged it, as M. Le Clerc did, when he despised it: yet it is strongly conclusive for the continuation of the Theocracy. For had the visible King which the Ifraelites demanded been granted to them, that is, a King in his own right, sovereign, and at the head of a new Constitution, or indeed, any other than a Viceroy to the King of the Theocracy, the choice of him would have been reserved to the People. It was a natural right; and more than that, a right which God did not think fit to take from them, when he first accepted the regal office for himself. But if the People have, by natural Law, a right to chuse their own King, that King hath, by civil Law, a prerogative to chuse his own Deputy. When we fee him therefore exercise this prerogative, we may be assured that the King chosen was no other than his Deputy, as Sovereign of the Theocracy. But to return to the two Combatants.Here the Dispute ended; and for farther satisfaction,
hereditaire, & étoit posledé par la maison de David, fans qu'il fùt besoin d'aucune election, au lieu qu'il le fit plusieurs elections dans celui des dix tribus. Defense des Sentimens, p. 121, 122,
Le Clerc refers us to a book of Spencer's, written profeffedly upon this very subject. It is his tract De Theocratia Judaica. What is to be found there, besides the arguments which Le Clerc has borrowed from it, and which have been considered already, I shall now with some reluctance inform the Reader.
This treatife is by no means in the number of those on which Spencer raised his reputation. He goes on a wrong hypothesis; he uses weak arguments; and he is confused and inconsistent in his assertions,
1. He thinks the Theocracy was established by degrees ", and abrogated by degrees”. A conceit highly absurd, as God was the Lawgiver, and Surpreme Magistrate of the Jews. He thinks the first ftep to its introduction was their protection at the Red Sea'; and the first step to its abolition, their demand of a King ?: That it was still more impaired when Saul and David got possession of the throne': That it approached much nearer to its end when it became hereditary, under Salomon: and yet, for all this, he confesses that some obscure footsteps of it remained even to the time of CHRIST'
Il n'est pas necessaire que je m'arrête d'avantage à cela, après ce qu'en a dit le savant Spencer dans un traité qu'il a fait expres sur cette matiere. Lib. i. de Legg. Hcb. Ritual. Defense des Sent, p. 122.
Neminem in facris literis vel mediocriter verfatum latere poteft Theocratiam in ipfo rerum Israeliticarum exordio ali. quatenus obtinuisse, ad axuno autem non nisi gradatim & poft legem in Sinai datam perveniffe. Vol. i. p. 239.
• Cum autem regiminis hujus, non fimul & femel, fed per gradus quofdam, ja&turam fecerint, placet hic veritatis fugientiş veftigia gradatim premere. Id. ib.
p Gradum primum ad potestatem regiam obtinendam feciffe videtur Deus, cum gentem Ifraeliticam insigni illo potentiæ & bonitatis suæ documento (Ægyptiorum in Mari Rubro fubmer, fione) fibi devinxiffet. Id. ib.
2. In his reasoning for the abolition of the THEOCRACY, instead of employing the general principles of civil Policy, which were the only means of coming to the truth, he insists much on the disuse of trim and Thummim, &c. which Le Clerc borrowed from him; and which hath been already considered. He brings the despotic power of the Kings", as another argument; which, I think, proves just the contrary. For if so be, that these Kings were the Viceroys of God, whose power was despotic, their power must be despotic too, i. e. independent on all but the Sovereign. Not so, if they were Monarchs in their own right.
9 Primo itaque ad certum affirmo, quod Ifraelite, regem fibi dari poftulantes, gradum primum ad imperii hujus defideratissimi ruinam feciffe videantur. Id. ib.
s Dei regimen multo magis imminutum est, cum Deus Saulen & Davidem ad rerum arbitrium evocaffet. p. 240.
· Salomone rerum potito, Theocratia multo vicinior apaviouem non immerito censeatur.
* Judæi Theocratiæ veteris indicia & vestigia quædam obfcuriora, ad extrema usque politiæ fuæ tempora retinuereipso Domini noftri feculo, Hierofolyma civitas magni regis audiit. 16.
- adeo ut hinc constet eos fe pro regibus geflisse, & poteltatem arbitrariam exercuisse. Ib.
3. Though, as we observed, Spencer, in the fecond section of his fourth chapter, supposes a gradual decay of the Theocracy and that even some obscure footsteps of it remained to the time of Christ; yet, in the following section, he, all the way, argues upon the supposition of an absolute and entire abrogation by the establishment of the Kingssy. To proceed.
Regiminis hujus mutati vel abrogati causa principalis De regiminis hujus abrogati effectu vel eventu breviter differendum est
. &c. p. 241,243. y Dr. Sykes has undertaken to confute the censure here passed upon Dr. Spencer. Here it is (says this Answerer) that Mr. w. attacks Dr. Spencer's dissertation on the Jewish Theocracy. Are wa not now from hence to IMAGINE that Dr. Spencer was one of those writers that supposed the Theocracy to have ended with the Judges ? [An examination of Mr. W's account, &c. p. 168.] What demands of imagination his trade of Answering may have upon him, I do not know. But from my words, a fair reasoner would imagine nothing but that I meant to prove what I said ; namely, that Dr. Spencer's discourse of the Theocracy is weak and inconsistent.
His first charge (says he) against Spencer is, that he thought the Theocracy was established by degrees, and abrogated by degrees. “ A conceit highly absurd,” says Mr. W. But wherein lies the absurdity of this gradual progress and gradual declenfion? [p. 170.] The Absurdity lies here. When God is pleased to assume the character of civil Magistrate, he muft, like all other Magistrates, enter upon his office at once, and (as common sense requires) abdicate it at once. Now the Government under such a Magistrate is what we properly call a Theocracy. Therefore to talk of the gradual progress and gradual declenfion of this mode of civil relation, is the same as to talk of the gradual progress and gradual declension of Paternity, or any other mode of natural relation ; of which, I suppose, till now, no body ever heard.
He goes on -- if there be any abfurdity or inconfiftency, in this manner of speaking, it may be justified by Mr. W's own arthority. That is, my absurdity will justify another Man's. But