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their laws, that related to civil policy, in execution, which, it is plain, he did not, seeing every man lived as he listed, without any publick check, or restraint, then God was not, in fact, a king, or civil governor, to that people. The Jewish writers may, perhaps, have spoken of God, as their civil governor ; but then, this did not make or constitute him to be such, nor, I think, is such language of any weight in the present cafe ; seeing God did not, in fact, take upon him that office, nor did he exercise any civil jurisdi&tion over that people; and, if God did give them a body of laws, yet he left them to govern themselves by those laws, without taking upon him the task of being their civil governor.
But farther, the presence and ministry of the God of Israel, with, and towards, the people of Israel, do by no means comport with the just and proper character of the supreme Deity, or the one God over all; but rather, with the character of some tutelar and subordinate God, or ministerial and guardian angel, suitable to the pagan theology, in that respect, of which, I think, there is abundant proof. Thus Exodus xxxiii. 21, 22, 23.
And the Lord said, bekold there is
a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock. And it shall come to pass, while my glory paseth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock; and will cover thee with my hand, while I pass by. And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my backparts : but my face shall not be seen. Here, we are informed, the person or Deity Moses conversed with, and received his informations from, was local, and visible, and was circumscribed within certain bounds, which cannot possibly be applicable to the fupreme Deity. To say, that those terms, face, hands, and back-parts, are all figures of speech, can answer no purpose; because there were some things to be expressed and set forth, by those terms, or figures, which were relative to the person referred to, and which were the objects of vision to Moses ; whereas, there is nothing relative to the person of the supreme God, nor, indeed, to any other person, purely Spiritual, that could be expressed by those figures, which could possibly be the objects of vision to Mofes ; so that what was intended to be expressed, by those figures, must, of necessity, have been relative and applicable only to some local, visible being; and consequently, the perfor
who appeared to, and conversed with Mofés, could not be the one God over all, but must have been some local, tutelar, and subordinate God. To say, that the agent, or perfon, who shewed his back-parts to Moses, was not the supreme Deity, but his angel, minister, and representative, this is the very thing ; and, indeed, it seems to have been St. Paul's opinion, touching this matter, viz. that the law, or the dispensation of Mofes, was not dispensed to the Jews, by the supreme God himself, but (according to the Pagan theology) by a mediatorial and subora dinate God, Galatians iii. 19. this angel, or ministerial Deity, being the tutelar and substituted national God of Israel, or that subordinate Deity, to whom the care of that nation had been committed; as Baalzebub, and other fictitious Deities of the Canaanites, were fupposed to have had the several cities and nations, in Canaan, committed to their care and protection ; the supreme God, in both these views, being supposed to act, not in his own person, or immediately of himself, but by his ministerial and deputed Gods, suitably to the theology of those times. Whether the Jews thought, that the person who had appeared to, and conversed with, Mojis,
and other of their Patriarchs, was the supreme Deity, and therefore, called him by such names as they judged proper, under that consideration, this, I think, is of no consequence; because the question is not who, or what the Jews might think their national God to be ? but who, and what he was in himself? (abstracted from their opinion of him) who possibly might err, in that respect. Nor, I think, is it of
is it of any confequence, what name the national God of Israel might call, or characterise himself by, whether Jehovah, or any other name, which may be supposed to be expressive of, and only applicable to, the supreme Deity ; for if he was a substituted God, as, I think, it appears, from what I have already observed, he could be no other ; then, any name he might be called by, could not poflibly make him to be otherwise ; nor is it likely that those names, when used by him, were then expresive of what men, in after times, have used them to signify ; because it is very improbable, that a substituted God would take to himfelf the name, or the respect, that was proper and peculiar to his principal. And,
That the supreme Deity was not the pational God of Israel, I think, is farther
evident, from the moral conduet of their national God; which, in several of it's branches, I think, will not comport with the true and proper character of the supreme Deity, and therefore, can only be
applicable to some tutelar and subordinate God. Thus, 1 Sam. xv. 1, 2, 3. Samuel also said unto Saul, the Lord sent me to anoint thee to be king over his people, over Israel : now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the Lord. Thus faith the Lord of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Ifrael, how he laid wait for him in the way, when be came up from Egypt. Now go, and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they bave, and spare them not; but say both man and woman, infant and fuckling, ax and sheep, camel and ass. Here is a commission given forth, which, in it's execution, was most cruel, barbarous, and inbuman; and in it's moving cause must have been moft unjust, and greatly contrary to true goodness; because the sufferers had not done any thing to be a just and proper ground for so severe a revenge: For whatever had been done to the Israelites, when they came up out of Egypt, by the ancestors of those Amalekites; yet, as the Amalekites then in being had