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shalt lay it up within thy gates; and the Levite (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee.) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat, and be satisfied; that the Lord thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine band which thou doest.” Now, those tithes, Levitical, priestly, and triennial, were unalienable, and incapable of being redeemed, without paying an additional fifth of the value, according to the estimation of the family of Aaron. Lev. xxvii. 31 : “ If a mau will at all redeem aught of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof.”

In the fourth place, there were also various offerings,—some presented according to fixed statute, and some proceeding from spontaneous devotion, which, either in whole or in part, were the property of the ministers of the Jewish Church, They had various dues, or fixed portions, for corporeal sustenance, from the sacrifices which they were commissioned to offer. Deut. xviii. 3: “ Tbis shall be the priest’s due from the people, from them that offer a sacrifice, whether it be ox or sheep; and they shall give unto the priest the shoulder, and the two cheeks, and the maw.” There was no option here; the provision was regulated according to established law. But, there does appear to have been something of a voluntary nature in certain of the offerings at the three great general feasts of the nation at Jerusalem, -those of the Passover, the Pentecost, and the Tabernacles. Deut. xvi. 16 : “ Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the Lord thy God, in the place wbich he shall choose ; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles; and they shall not appear before the

Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord thy God, which he hath given thee.” It would appear, from these words, that there was something left to the gratitude and generosity of the people, in addition to the regular tribute of the annual tithe, which was payable: on the second of those feasts, namely, on the feast of weeks, or harvest. And we have no objection to such an expression of gratitude, when added to the established provision of the clergy. There is also another instance of private benefaction in support of religion among the Jews, in the case of vows concerning different kinds of property, as is recorded in the 27th chapter of Leviticus; and, perhaps, also in that of thank-offeriugs, which, after all, is not exactly in point, for the laws that regulate them are laid down in the Levitical code. Besides those few particular exceptions in some of the offerings at the national feasts, and in the case of vows and thank offerings, (which, strictly speaking, are not exceptions, because regulated by law,) we know not that there is to be found one single vestige of simply spontaneous support of religion, in the whole compass of Jewish legislation.

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We have been thus minute and circumstantial, in giving a short and comprehensive view of the fixed revenues of the Established Church among the Jews; for, the whole force of the argument rests upon the fact that it was an Establishment; that is, an institution set up and supported by the public law, of the country. If God deemed that the best scheme for the maintenance of the truth then, who shall gainsay the expediency of such a system in preserving and spreading the truth now. The Jewish Establishment was not, as it has been sometimes degradingly misrepresented,-a mere superstructure to preserve a series of carnal observances and ceremonial rights; but a noble and grand institution to maintain inviolate the truth of God, to transmit to the human race the purity and spirituality of the moral law, and to be a standing evidence, in the midst of superstition and will-worship, to the great truths and distinguishing peculiarities of the Gospel. The Religious Establishment of the Jews was but a Christian Establishment in miniature.

2. God did not only establish the true religion in Judea; he bas also encouraged, by his commendation and blessing, those kings among the Jewish people who were most instrumental in reforming abuses, and re-establishing the religion of their country, after it had been much neglected and impaired, and almost forgotten by the introduction of idolatry.

Let us attend to wbat may be termed some of the chief eras of revival, and the providences connected with them, in the history of the Old Testament Church :

Asa “ took courage, and put away the abominable idols out of the land of Judea and Benjamin, and out of the cities which he had taken from Mount Ephraim, and renewed the altar of the Lord that was before the porch of the Lord. And they (the Jews,) entered into a covenant to seek the Lord God of their fathers, with all their heart, and with all their soul; that whosoever should not seek the Lord God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman.” 2 Chron. chap. xv. verses 8, 12, 13. Now the inference that we would draw. hence is, that it is the duty of a people, as a nation, to enter with full determination of heart, and the reciprocity of mutual compact, into the public avowal and open support of the truth. Not that we would inculcate the propriety or lawfulness of corporal punishments for difference in religion ;-far from it. The Jewish religion, as being the truth in infancy, held forth earthly terrors, with earthly promises : the threatening of corporal death, with the award of temporal longevity. But, because the dispensation of the Jews contained some parts peculiar to themselves, are we therefote to suppose, that it contained nothing of general application ? Because it embraced a system of ceremonial and judicial laws, are we therefore to imagine that it embraces nothing of mo

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rality? The concerted agreement of Asa and his people to serve the Lord, is a moral and not a carnal observance. The Jews also had the Gospel preached to them. Heb. iv. 2.

Moreover, in Jerusalem did Jehoshaphat 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 controversies, when they returned to Jerusalem. And he charged them, saying; Thus shall ye do in the fear of the Lord, faithfully, and with a perfect heart. And behold, Amariah the chief priest is over you in all matters of the Lord; and Zebadiah the son of Ishmael, the ruler of the house of Judah, for all the king's matters : also, the Levites shall be officers before you. Deal courageously, and the Lord shall be with the good.” 2 Chron. xix. 8, 9, 11. Every judicious and unprejudiced man must grant that there is not a Church on earth that comes nearer to the injunction contained in the 19th verse than the Established Church of Scotland, with its Moderator and King's Commissioner, and attendant Clergymen and Auditors.

Hezekiah, in like manner, “ in the first year of his reign, in the first month, opened the doors of the house of the Lord, and repaired them. And he brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them together into the east street, and said unto them, Hear me, ye Levites; sanctify now yourselves, and sanctify the house of the Lord God of your fathers, and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place.” 2 Chron. xxix. 3, 4, 5. Then, having complied with his injunction, the priests and Levites “ went in to Hezekiah the king, and said, we have cleansed all the house of the Lord, and the allar of burnt offering, with all the vessels thereof, and the shew-bread table, with all the vessels thereof. Moreover, all the vessels which king Ahaz in his reign did cast away in his transgression, have we prepared and sanctified, and bebold, they are before the altar of the Lord.” (Verses 18, 19.) And what was the issue? “ Hezekiah rejoiced, and all the people, that God had prepared the people : for the thing was done suddenly. (Verse 36.) But, still farther : “ Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, to keep the Passover unto the Lord God of Israel. So the posts passed from city to city, through the country of Epbraim and Manasseh, even unto Zebulun: but they laughed them to scorn and mocked them.” (Chap. xxx. verses 1 and 10.) Such was the conduct of those Hebrew voluntaries; but did the king, therefore, relax his efforts, and finding out that it was best to leave all men to their own opinion, settle down into the listlessness of indolent repose? He persisted in the cause of truth and of God. “ And there assembled at Jerusalem much people to keep the feast of unleavened bread in the second month, a very great congregation. And they arose, and took away the altars that were in Jerusalem, and all the altars for incense took they away, and cast them into the brook Kidron." (v. 13, 14.) “ Then the priests the Levites arose, and blessed the people'; and their voice was heard, and their

prayer came up to his holy dwelling-place, even unto heaven.(v. 27.) Such was the result of this work of reformation,-a work which, had the Judean king acted upon the principles of modern innovators,

ould never have been accomplished. It is manifest from the 12th verse of the 30th chap, of 2d Chronicles, that Judah was the only tribe that was unanimous in obeying the summons; and that “ while divers of Asher, and Manasseh, and Zebulun, humbled themselves,” the great majority of the people were primarily disaffected to the measures of Hezekiah. They bad in fact become almost totally alienated from the Mosaic ritual, during the idolatrous reign of Abaz, when the house of the Lord was spoiled and shut up; and instead of the service of Jehovah, altars to burn incense to strange Gods were reared“ in every several city of Judah, and in every corner of Jerusalem.” 2 Chron. xxviii. 24, 25. Now, in these circumstances, a monarch actuated by indifferency in religion would have left the multitude to worship as they pleased. Is that, then, which was incumbent on Hezekiah, not incumbent on kings pow? The peculiarity of the Jewish nation is the uniform expedient that solves every such difficulty. But, what in truth was the peculiarity that bound Hezekiah? His countrymen, some centuries before, had entered into covenant with God; and such was a sufficient peculiarity, even although the Jewish king had not been peculiarly pious. But was that covenant more binding on Hezekiah, than the covenant into which every man, woman, and child enters, when he is baptized into the Christian Church, or than the obligation incumbent on every one, who professes the truth, to discourage idolatry, and establish the truth of God ?

A few remarks on the reign of Josiah will conclude this line of argument: “ The king stood by a pillar,” says the sacred historian," and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord, and to keep his commandments, and his testimonies, and his statutes, with all their heart, and all their soul, to perform the words of this covenant, that were written in this book : and all the people stood to the covenant. And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the door, to bring forth out of the temple of the Lord all the vessels that were made to Baal, and for the grove, and for all the host of heaven; and he burned them without Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and carried the ashes of them unto Bethel. And Josiah took away all the abominations out of all the countries that pertained to the children of Israel, and made all that were present in Israel to serve, even to serve the Lord their God.” 2 Kings xxiii. 4, 5. 2 Chron. xxxiv, 33.

In these, and such like circumstances, then, we have the example of Jewish kings, and the confirming attestation of the Almighty, to the usefulness, and advantage, and incumbent duty of a Religious Establishment. God does not merely establish truth, but he attaches the seal of his approbation to its restoration and re-establishment, after being greatly tarnished and impaired by a long reign of worldliness and will-worship. It is in vain to allege the idiosyncrasy of the Jewish institutions, and the ceremonial nature of the actions of the Hebrew kings. If Judaism is but the dawn of Christianity, and Christianity but at its dawn over the horizon of a benighted world, the mode that was best fitted for the preservation and ultimate expansion of the one, must also be the most proper for the maintenance and complete promulgation of the other. It requires only. the exercise of an ingenuous mind, free from prejudice and prepossession, to separate the ceremonials of the law from what is moral and immutable; and if, as in the present instance, we reject the accredited example and authority of the good kings of Judea, we must on the same principle reject the other great examples of Judean piety and worth'in private life, and throw discredit and the charge of uselessness on all the divinely sanctioned characters of Biblical biography.

3. God did not only establish the true religion among the Jews, and sanction its renovation and re-establishment under the kings of Judea, he also commends in his word those beathen kings and magistrates, who have contributed to aid the Jews, and advance the true religion by civil statutes, in other countries, or their own.

It might be,-as it has been-objected, in reference to the kings of Judah, that their example is merely in accordance with a peculiar system, and is not properly of any authority now: although, strictly speaking, as that system involves all the high moralities of the Gospel, the Jewish kings are rather to be considered as Christian monarchs in an age of Rudimental Christianity, and their example as binding on the rulers of the present day, as it was salutary to the subjects of their own. Such an objection, however, cannot be urged against the example of heathens establishing that very religion which-some would estimate as so penuriously peculiar : and, while we hold that much may be gathered from the reforming periods of Hezekiah, and Josiah, and Asa, and Jehoshaphat, to confirm the principle of an Established Church, we now come to what none can in this case consistently oppose,-the authority of Heathen Monarchs in support of the truth, and the Divine sanction attached to that authority.

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