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As the Merits of every Cause werè to ili "turn, upon the Evidence given, let us Tee a whar Roles the Law layš down in refeó 1 rence thereuito. At" the mouth of two
witnesses, òr three witnesses, Mall be, that xvii. 6. is worthy of death, be put to death: But; at the mouth of one witness, be Mall not
be put to death. Again; One witness fall ib. xix. is not rise up against a man for any iniqui
ty, and for any sin that be finneth; at the
it is faid; If a falfe witness rise up against di any man, to testify against him that which * is wrong: Tben, both the men between whom it the controversy is, fhall stand before the
LORD, before the Priests and the Judo -3 ges, which shall be in those days; and the
Judges fhall make diligent inquisition: And
to do unto his brother. Life Mall go for 27 Bife; eye for eye; tooth for tooth; band for
band; foot for foot.
Deut. XXV. I.
It was likewise'a Part of their Larz, that no Man should be condemn’d without being brought to a fair Trial, and
hearing what he had to say for himself, John vii. And therefore Nicodemus says to the Chief
Priests and Pharisees, Doth our Law judge any man before it hear him, and know what be doth?
Then as to passing Sentence, the Law runs thus; If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, that the Judges may judge them; then, they mall juftify the righteous, and condemn the wicked. And, if the wicked man be worthy to be beaten, the Judge shall cause him to lie down and to be beaten before his face, according to his fault, by a certain number, Forty Atripes he may give him, and not exceed. We find, the Jews, in the latter Times, would not take the utmost Liberty the Law allow'd; for, though St. Paul was mortally hated by them; and they went as far in punishing him as the Romans had left them Power; which was only that of giving Stripes; and were so inveterate as to inflict this Punishment upon him, five Times ; yet, they gave him, each
o Time, but nine and Thirty Stripes. He says 54 Of the Jews, five times received I, 2 Cor. xi, forty stripes, fave one.
This Abatement, it is probable, was made out of a Pretence of Clemency. zw. I
S. E C T. VI. d.
The Great Council at Jerusalem. ** This Council, or Court of Judicature, - call’d by the Jews themselves, the Sanbe% drim, was superior to all others, both as : to the Condition and Number of the Jud
ges which fate in it, and the Authority i and Power with which it was vested.
This, like the rest, was constituted by
as a Court of Appeal, or Dernier Resort, 1 if there should be Occasion, from any of
the inferior Courts. It was kept, first, in
If there arife å matter too hard for thee in Deut. . judgment, between blood and blood, between xvii. 8. plea and plea, and between stroke and
stroke, being matters of controversy within thy gates ; B b 2
then malt thou arise, and get thee up into the place which the LORD thy God Mall choose. And thou shalt come unto the Priests and Levites, and unto the Judge, that shall be in those days, and enquire: and they fall shew thee the sentence of judgment. · And thou shalt do according to the fentence, which they of that Place, which the LORD mall choose, Mall Skew thee; and thou shalt observe to do according to all that they shall inform thee : Thou Malt not decline from the
sentence which they fall shew thee, to the right band, nor to the left. And the man, that will do presumptuously, and will not bearken unto the Priest, that standetb to minister there before the LORD thy God, or unto the Judge, even that man mall die: And all the people shall bear, and fear, and do, no more, presumptuously.
By this it appears that the chief Conductor, Judge, King, High-Priest, or whoever was at the Head of their Affairs, was to be the President in this Court. The Rest of the judges seem to have consisted of the Chief Priests, and such of the Levites, as were appointed, by. David's Regulation, to be Officers and Judges
For, in the Case of a false Witness, be
Deut. et forementioned, Mofes determines that Both tbe
men, between whom the controversy is, fall stand before the LORD, before the Priests and the Judges which mall be in those days. And, it is probable, this Court took Cognizance of all Matters which were litigated during their sojourning in the Wilderness; and cill the Tribes came to have Cities of their own allotted them.
In Process of Time, as their Kings came to be idolatrous, this Ordinance, among others, was neglected. For we find Jebolhaphat restoring it, at the same Time as he did the Courts in Every City. Moreover, in Jerusalem, did Jehoshaphat.2. Chron. set, of the Levites, and of the Priests, and of the Chief of the fathers of Israel, for the judgment of the LORD, and for controverhes, when they returned to Jerusalem. And be charged them, saying, Thus Mall ye do, in the fear of the LORD, faithfully, and with a perfe&t beart. And what cause foever shall come to you, of your brethren that dwell in their cities, between blood and blood, between law and command.