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were Jehoiada, -all the people, — and the King.
1. JEHOIAD A whose character is afterwards reviewed, as the Minister in this transaction: " And Jehoiada made a covenant between HIN, and between all the people*,” &c. Some l'efer the relative him, as referring to the remote antecedent Jehovah, or Lord, mentioned in verse fourteenth ; and they include the intermediate verses in a parenthesis t. And the fense, according to this connection is, and Jelroiada made a covenant between the Lord and all the people. But this connection seems, to me at least, far Itrained ; especially as a much more natural account of things may be had, by referring the relative him to Jehoiada, as its immediate antecedent. Jehoiada sustained a two-fold character ; that of an eminent covenanter, and that of an High-priest in the congregation. Like Moses, he was God's representative ; and also a typical mediator, through whom the people drew near to God I.
2. ALL THE PEOPLE were covenanters at this time. The universal designation ulid in
* 2 Chron. xxiii. 16. + JUNIUS and TREMELLIUS in their annotations subjoined to their translation. In the parallel place, in Kings, the sense must be according to their view of it, indeed; but then Lord is inserted, and not referred to.
See DIODATI, Henry on the text, especially PISCATOR:
the book of the Chronicles, is to be understood of the greater part of the two tribes, as diftinguiiled from the ten, and all from the na tions round about them. It is also to be understood of ALL who werc fit to enter into the congregation of the Lord.- Various orders of people are enumerated in the context, especially such as held any military rank among them : They are designed RULERS OVER II UNDREDS, and CAPTAINS, and the GUARD. They are also described as persons entering in on the Sabbath.
3. The King is also reckoned to the numaber of covenanters on this occasion. He bound himself to be one of the Lord's people, in opposition to wicked Athaliah, and hier accomplices, who were eminently Baal's people. In his public character, he became at once the pattern and protector of the true religion, as well as an opposer of false woriliip. But it inight be enquired, How could Joash be an intelligent covenanter when only seven years of age? It might be answered, Youth come fooner to the exercise of reason, as well as majority, in those warmer oriental climates, than in our coll ones. Irrefragable evidence might be produceil from Jewish history and antiquities, to prove that civil contracts might be made by persons in that nation, at the age of twelve, by females at least; whereas our law's fix their majority at eighteen. Now, as ChriIii 2
stians stians have been deemed capable of being adinitted to partake of the Lord's Supper seven years before they arrive at the years of majority, and also to join in public covenanting; grant but the Jews the same privilege, and you grant unto the King a right to covenant for himself, even at the age of seven. Again, Joalh is not the only instance of early piety among the Jewish monarchis. Josiah gave equal, if not fuperior proofs of it, at much the fame time of life. These covenanters, I shall only add, were the successors of covenanting ancestors, both prince and people ; therefore, bound to act this part both by the law of God and antecedent focderal obligations.
SECONDLY, I shall now attend unto the CHARACTER of the Minister, who had a principal band in the revolution of the State ; and who dispensed this covenant to the people. It has been said, “ That Jehoiada, instead of walking in the paths of peace and loyalty, subverted the established government; and, unlike his office, not only moved fedition; but alto profaned the temple of the Lord, by introducing into it statesmen and military officers, who had formed a combination to assassinate the queen, and assisted in the coronation of a child in her stead. Which are more than prefumptions, that he grasped at the regency for himself, and fought the aggrandizement of his owl family at the expense of the common
wealth.” For answer to these things, I may observe, That Athaliah was an ufurpress (to use the words of Algernoon Sidney) therefore the ought not to reign; and an idolater as well as a murderer, and therefore ought not to live; yea, a most unnatural murder of her own grandchildren. Jehoiada, however, did nothing of himself; but, having the young Prince in his power, it was proper, at once to declare his lineage and secure his life, by taking an oath of the princes of Judah to concert measures for the performance of their duty, as well as allist these princes with his wise counsel and advice in the execution of them. This was consistent with the most rigid loyalty. It was loyalty itself to the constitution, as he was zealous in maintaining the honour of the laws and liberty of the commonswealth from the domination and depredation of a tyrant. Nor have usurpation and tyranny any claim to homage and obedience,--any right to be preserved. But, by the laws of the realm, every person was bound to do all in his power for putting the Davidic line on the throne : And, if that family were at any time dispossessed of it, the administration of right reverted to the people ; and, by the law, the sword was put into their hands, to reinstate the lawful heir, and execute the usurpress, to revenge the murders she had committed ; and to put into execution the law against islolaters, which she had to wickerily violated. Hcr exe
cution, of consequence, was no assassination, but in all respects just; nor were there any to execute jullice but the persons who did it, the rest having caught the dreadful infection. Had Jehoiada leen intent upon the aggrandizewent of his family, he might have set his own fon on the throne, being of the seed-royal by the 1:other’s-side; but regard unto the covenant of David, which settled the fuccefsion on the male Jine, prevented him froin having any such anibitious delign. Nor can the charge of his afpiring at the regency be established on a better foundation : For it does not appear that ever he acted in any other capacity than that of a counsellor, and his counsels were eminently useful, both unto prince and people. He gave good proof of his ability, in this respect, advismg to treh measures as were blessed for the advantage of both Church and State ; and both were preserved in a flourishing condition, as long as matters were managed by his direction.- l cannot easily reconcile myself, however, to the defence which has been used in his behalf: It has been said, that Jehoiada was president of the Sanhedrim, by virtue of his office as High-prict, and had very large authority in civil affairs on that account : For the Sanliedrim, over which he preliled, was an ecclesiastic court, vaftly remote, in its nature and ends, from the supreme council of the state. Somc authors of confiderable nerit have denied, that any fuc! cowt as the Sanhcirin e