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therefore, as well as Samuel, stand as a demonstrable proof, that a child born under the circumstance of polygamy is no bastard - God Himself being the judge, whose judgment is according to truth.
A more striking instance of God's thoughts, on the total difference * between polygamy and adultery, does not meet us any where with more force and clearness, in
any part of the sacred history, than in the account which is given us of David and Bathsheba, and their issue.
When David took Bathsheba, she was another's wife-the child which he begat upon her in that situation was begotten in adultery - and the thing which David bad done difpleased the LORD, 2 Sam. xi. 27. And what was the consequence? We are told, 2 Sam. xii. 1. The LORD fent Nathan (the prophet) unto David. Nathan opened his commission with a most beautiful parable, descriptive of David's crimne ; this parable the prophet applies to the conviction of the delinquent, sets it home upon his conscience, brings him to repentance, and the poor penitent finds mercy his life is spared, ver. 13. Yet GOD will vindicate the honour of His moral government, and that in the most awful manner--the murder of Uriah is
* See also vol. i. p. 230-2.
D d 2
to be visited upon David and his house in The sword shall never. depart from thine house, ver. 10. The adultery with Bathfbeba was to be retaliated in the most aggravated manner-Because thou haft despifed me, and haft taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife-Thus faith the Lord, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house and I will take thy wives and give * them unto thy neighbour before thine eyes--and he shall lie with thy wives in fight
* God's taking and giving David's wives to Absalom, is to be understood in a very different sense from His giving the deceased Saul's wives into David's bofom, ver. 8. This last is peculiarly mentioned as a favour done to David, and therefore spoken of as an ingredient to heighten his ingratitude in taking the wife of Uriah-the other was threatened as a judgment, and permitted, as many other evils are, in a course of providence, as a fore punishment on David for what he had done. But Abfalom was nevertheless guilty of adultery and incest, in taking his father's zvives and lying with them, and is no more excusable, than he was in drawing his sword in rebellion against his father, because this, as the other, was a fulfilment of God's threatening --ver. 11. I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house.
So when it is said - Ezek. xx. 25.--I gave them Statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live ; and I polluted them in their own gifts, &c. it appears from ver, 24, where the reafons of this are set down, that all was in a way of judgment for their departure from the statutes of JeHOWAH. Wherefore God left them to follow the
of this fun--for thou didft it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Ifrael, and before the fun. All this was shortly fulfilled in the rebellion and incest up. of Absalom, chap. xvi. 21, 22,
And this was done in a way of judgment on David, for taking and defiling the wife of Uriah, and was included in the curses threatened, Deut. xxviii. 30. to the despisers of God's laws.
As to the issue of David's adulterous commerce with Bathsheba, it is written2 Sam. xii. 15.-The Lord struck the child which Uriah bare unto David, and it was very fick. What a dreadful scourge this was to David, who could not but read his crime in his punishment, the following verses declare ; wherein we find David almost frantic with grief: however the child's fickness was unto death, for, ver. 18, on the seventh day the child died.
Now let us take a view of David's act
deceit of their own hearts, the consequence of which may be described, Pf. cvi. 39. Thus were they defiled in their own gifts, and went a whoring with their own inventions. As if God had said - I gave them--that is— 1 permitted them to follow-fuch Natutes and precepts, as a judgment on their departure from Me. See Jews Letters to M. de VOLTAIRE, vol. i. p. 339–341. a very sensible solution of this passage of Ezekiel.
† For the tragical story of Amnon, see 2 Sam. xiii. throughout.
of polygamy, when, after Uriah's death, he added Bathsheba to his other wives, ver. 24, 25. And David comforted BathSheba his wife, and went in unto her, and lay with her, and
she bare a fon, and be called bis name (71240) Selomob"(that maketh peace and reconciliation or recompence) and the LORD loved bim. Again, we find Natban, who had been sent on the former occasion, sent also on this, but with a very different message- And He (the LORD) sent by the band of Nathan the prophet, and He called bis name JEDIDIAH (Dilectus DOMINI :- beloved of the LORD) because of the LORD -i. e. because of the favour God had towards him, ver. 24.
Let any read onward through the whole history of Solomon-let them consider the instances of God's peculiar favour towards him already mentioned, and the many others, that are to be found in the account we have of him-let them compare God's dealings with the unbappy issue of David's adultery, and this happy Offspring of his polygamy--and if the allowance and approbation of the latter, doth not as clearly appear, as the condemnation and punishment of the former, surely all distinction and difference must be at an end, and the scripture itself lose the force of it's own evidence.
Α Ρ Ρ Ε Ν DI X No ΙΙ.
See before, Vol. i. p. 393-4.
AVING mentioned Barbeyrac's
note e e. on Grotius de Jure, lib. ii. c. v. sect. 9.-in which the latter is represented as having changed his opinion, with regard to
new law of Christ on the subject of polygamy-I was much inclined to examine farther into this matter, and therefore procured Barbeyrac's French translation of Grotius de Jure, with the French annotations, to which Barbeyrac refers in the above note, imagining that I might there meet with a more ample account of the matter.
On searching the notes of this learned Frenchman on his translation of Grotius de Jure, I find abundant proof of a very great change of sentiment in that great man.