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at large by the inspired lawgiver himself in his final recapitulation to the whole people.
It shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day; that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: and all these blessings shall come on thee and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God. Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store. Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out. The Lord shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways. The Lord shall command the blessing upon thee in thy store-houses and in all that thou settest thine hand unto: and he shall bless thee in the land, which the Lord thy God giveth thee. The Lord shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God and walk in his ways. And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord: and they shall be afraid of thee. And the Lord shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land
which the Lord sware unto thy fathers to give thee. And the Lord shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow. And the Lord shall make thee the head and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath: if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the Lord thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them; and thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.
But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee. Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field. Cursed shall be thy basket, and thy store. Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out. The Lord shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings whereby thou hast forsaken me. The Lord shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have consumed thee from off the land whither thou goest to possess it. The
Lord shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew: and they shall pursue thee until thou perish. And thy heaven, that is over thy head, shall be brass; and the earth, that is under thee, shall be iron. The Lord shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed. The Lord shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them; and shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth. Thou shalt carry much seed out into the field, and shalt gather but little in: for the locust shall consume it. Thou shalt plant vineyards and dress them, but shalt neither drink of the wine nor gather the grapes: for the worms shall eat them. Thou shalt have olive-trees throughout all thy coasts, but thou shalt not anoint thyself with the oil: for thine olive shall cast his fruit. Thou shalt beget sons and daughters, but thou shalt not enjoy them: for they shall go into captivity. All thy trees and fruit of thy land shall the locust consume. The stranger, that is within thee, shall get up above thee very high; and thou shalt come down very low. He shall lend to thee, and thou shalt not lend to him: he shall be the head, and thou shalt be the tail. Moreover all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed: because thou hearkenedst not unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to
keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded thee'.
Here we have the sanction of the Hebrew Law drawn out at large, with a special regard to the immediate personal interference of the supreme magistrate himself in the way both of reward and of punishment. In ordinary breaches of the statute, the sword of the inferior magistrate, as in the case of any other form of government, was amply sufficient: nor was it necessary or decórous for the king himself to appear upon every smaller occasion. Murder among the Israelites, when perpetrated by an individual, was punished like murder among ourselves in the common course of administering justice: for here no spe cial or extraordinary interference on the part of the sovereign was necessary. But, if the nation became universally corrupt, if the regular administration of justice was generally neglected or prevented, and if evil spread in such a man ner as to baffle or elude or defy the statute law of the land then, under circumstances against which no provision can be made by any mere human government, the divine king of Israel himself came forward to inflict merited punishment through the operation of an extraordinary providence. Yet still, even in a case thus extreme and thus extensive, what is the proposed
1 Deuter. xxviii. 1-25, 38-45.
sanction of the Law? Clearly it is altogether of a temporal nature. As the rewards, held forth to the obedient, consist of great worldly prosperity; so the punishments, denounced against the disobedient, are wholly limited to this present life. Nothing can be more clear than the copious passage, which I have just cited; except indeed the rationale or the principle, on which the passage itself is built. In the very nature of things, the sanction of the Hebrew statute Law, like the sanction of any other statute law, must inevitably be temporal: and accordingly we are told, in words as express and as explicit as can well be devised, that such is actually the case even under the most extreme conceivable circumstances.
II. But, though in strict propriety of speech the openly proposed sanction of the Hebrew Law is its only sanction; we must not forget, that another sanction of a very different sort was attendant upon it, though not truly and absolutely belonging to it.
1. The moral law, being founded upon the eternal difference between right and wrong, existed, with its own peculiar sanction, long before the promulgation of the Hebrew statute law from mount Sinai and long before the commencement of the miraculous Theocracy of the Israelites. This law was adopted indeed into the Hebrew law, but itself was of much higher antiquity. Hence it is plain, that, whatever its original sanction was, that sanction would remain unaltered, unless