Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. III.: The Deduction of the Chirotonia from popular Government, and of the original Right of Ordination from the Chirotonia. In which is contain'd the Institution of the Sanhedrim or Senat of Israel by Moses, and that of Rome by Romulus - The Oceana and Other Works
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CHAP. III.: The Deduction of the Chirotonia from popular Government, and of the original Right of Ordination from the Chirotonia. In which is contain’d the Institution of the Sanhedrim or Senat of Israel by Moses, and that of Rome by Romulus - James Harrington, The Oceana and Other Works 
The Oceana and Other Works of James Harrington, with an Account of His Life by John Toland (London: Becket and Cadell, 1771).
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The Deduction of the Chirotonia from popular Government, and of the original Right of Ordination from the Chirotonia. In which is contain’d the Institution of the Sanhedrim or Senat of Israel by Moses, and that of Rome by Romulus.
DIVINES generally in their way of disputing have a bias that runs more upon words than upon things; so that in this place it will be necessary to give the interpretation of som other words, wherof they pretend to take a strong hold in their controversys. The chief of these has bin spoken to already: chirotonia being a word that properly signifys the suffrage of the people, wherever it is properly us’d, implys power; wherfore tho the senat decrees by suffrage as well as the people, yet there being no more in a decree of the senat than authority, the senat is never said to chirotonize, or very seldom and improperly, this word being peculiar to the people. And thus much is imply’d in what went before.
The next word in controversy is psephisma, which signifies a decree or law; and this always implying power, always implys the suffrage of the people, that is, where it is spoken of popular government: for tho a psephisma or decree of the Athenian senat was a law for a year before it came to the suffrage or chirotonia of the people, yet the law or constitution of Solon, wherby the senat had this power, originally deriv’d from the chirotonia of the people.
The third word (ϰαϑιϛάναι) signifys to constitute or ordain; this in the political sense of the same implys not power, but authority: for a man that writes or proposes a decree or form of government, may be said (ϰαϑιϛάναι) to propose or constitute it, whether it be confirm’d by the chirotonia of the people or not; nay with Halicarnassæus the word signifys no more than barely to call or assemble a senat, βουλὴν ὑπερ τινὸς ϰαϑιϛάναι.
Now if these words be somtimes otherwise taken, what words be there in any language that are not often us’d improperly? but that understood politically, they must of necessity be understood as I have shewn, or will so intangle and disorder government, that no man shall either make head or foot of it, is that which I make little question to evince in the surest way, that is, by opening the nature of the things whence they derive, and wherof they are spoken by the best authors.
And because the words (tho the things they signify were much more antient) derive all from Athens, I shall begin by this constitution to shew the proper use of them. Chirotonia in Athens, as has bin shewn out of Suidas (who speaking of Rome refers to this) was election of magistrats, or enacting laws by the suffrage of of the people; which, because they gave by holding up their hands, came thence to be call’d chirotonia, which signifys holding up of hands. The legislative assembly, or representative of the people, call’d the nomothetæ, upon occasion of repealing an old law, and enacting a new one, gave the chirotonia of the people:Demost. contra Timocr. and yet says the Athenian law (διαχειροτονίαν δεῖ [Editor: illegible character] τ[Editor: illegible character]ς προέδρȣς περί τ[Editor: illegible character]των τ[Editor: illegible character]ν νόμων) Let the proedri give or make the chirotonia to either law. The proedri, as was shewn in the former book, were the ten presidents of the prytans; which prytans upon this occasion were presidents of the nomothetæ.Chap. III. Again, wheras it was the undoubted right and practice of the people to elect their magistrats by their chirotonia (ϰἂν ὑμεῖς ἕνα, ϰἂν ϖλείȣς, ϰἂν τον δεῖνα, ϰἂν ὁντιν[Editor: illegible character]ν χειροτονήσητε ϛ[Editor: illegible character]ατηγὸν) it is nevertheless shewn by Pollux to have bin the peculiar office of the thesmothetæ, (ϛρατηγ[Editor: illegible character]ς χειροτονεῖν) to chirotonize the magistrats.Phil. 1. For as the proedri were presidents of the people in their legislative capacity, so were the thesmothetæ, upon occasion of elections:L. 8. c. 8. thus the chirotonia of the proedri or of the thesmothetæ signifys nothing else but the chirotonia of the people, by which they had enacted all their laws, and elected all their civil or ecclesiastical magistrats or priests, as the rex sacrificus, and the orgeones, except som by the lot; which ordination, as is observ’d by Aristotle, is equally popular. This whether ignorantly or wilfully unregarded, has bin, as will be seen hereafter, the cause of great absurdity; for who sees not that to put the chirotonia, or soverain power of Athens upon the proedri or the thesmothetæ, is to make such a thing of that government as can no wise be understood?
What the people had past by their chirotonia, was call’d psephisma, an act or law. And because in the nomothetæ there were always two laws put together to the vote, that is to say, the old one, and that which was offer’d in the room of it, they that were for the old law were said (ἀποψηφίζειν) to pronounce in the negative; and they that were for the new (ϰαταψηφί[Editor: illegible character]ειν) to pronounce for the affirmative.
These laws, these propositions, or this frame of government, having bin propos’d first by Solon, and then ratify’d or establish’d by the chirotonia of the Athenian people; Aristotle says of him (τὴν δὲ δημοϰρατίαν ϰαταϛῆσαι) that he instituted or constituted the popular government; which constitution implys not any power in Solon, who absolutely refus’d to be a king, and therfore the word ϰαταϛὴσαι as to him implys no more than authority. I have shew’d you the words in controversy, and the things together in the mint; now whether they that as to Athens introduc’d them both, understood either, I leave my reader by comparing them to judg.
It is true that the things exprest by these words have bin in som commonwealths more, in others less antient than the Greec language; but this hinders not the Greecs to apply the words to the like constitutions or things, wherever they find them, as, by following Halicarnassæus. I shall exemplify in Rome.
Ὁ ΔΕ Ρώμυλ[Editor: illegible character], ἐπειδὴ ταῦτα διεϰόσμησε, βȣλευτὰς ἐυθυς ἔγνω ϰαταϛήσασϑαι.Lib. 2.Romulus,when he had distributed the people into tribes and parishes, proceded to ordain the senat: in this manner the tribes were three, and the parishes thirty; out of every tribe he elected three senators, and out of every parish three more, all by the suffrage of the people. These therfore came to ninety nine chosen by the chirotonia; to which he added one more, not chosen by the chirotonia, but by himself only: which election we may therfore say was made by the chirothesia; for as in this chapter I am shewing that the chirotonia is election by the many, so in the next I shall shew that the chirothesia, is election by one, or by the few. But to keep to the matter in hand; the magistrat thus chosen by Romulus was (præsectus urbi) the protector of the commonwealth, or he who, when the king was out of the nation or the city, as upon occasion of war, had the exercise of royal power at home. In like manner with the civil magistracy were the priests created (tho som of them not so antiently) for the pontifex maximus, the rex sacrificus, and the flamens, were all ordain’d by the suffrage of the people (pontifex tributis, rex centuriatis, flaminescuriatis) the latter of which, being no more than parish priests, had no other ordination than by their parishes. All the laws, and all the magistrats in Rome, even the kings themselves, were according to the orders of this commonwealth to be created by the chirotonia of the people; which nevertheless is by Appian somtimes call’d δεμάρχων χειϱοτονία, the chirotonia of the tribuns, whether these magistrats were presidents of the assemblys of the people, or elected by them.Galv. Inst. l. 4. cap. 3. § 15.Sic Romani historici non raro loquuntur, consulem qui comitia habuerit creâsse novos magistratus, non aliam ob causam nisi quia suffragia receperit, & populum moderatus est in eligendo.
Dion. Hal. l. 8.What past the chirotonia of the people, by the Greecs is call’d psephisma: μελλούσης δὲ διαλύεοϑαι τῆς ἐϰϰλησίας, ἀναϛὰς ὁ Μάϱϰι[Editor: illegible character] ἔφη. ἃ μὲν εψήφιϛαι τὸ ϰοινὸν ὑμῶν ἔχει ϰαλῶϛ· When the congregation of the people was to be dismist,Marcusstanding up, said, Your psephisma, that is your act, is exceding good, &c.
This policy, for the greater part, is that which Romulus (as was shewn) is said (ϰαταϛήσαϑαι) to have instituted or ordain’d, tho it be plain that he ordain’d it no otherwise than by the chirotonia of the people.
Thus you have another example of the three words in controversy (Chirotonia, ϰαϑιϛάναι, psephisma) still apply’d in the same sense, and to the same things. Have I not also discover’d already the original right of ordination, whether in civil or religious orders? This will be scandalous. How! derive ordination as it is in the church of Christ, or as it was in the church of the Jews, from the religion, or rather superstition of the heathens! I meddle not with their religion, nor yet with their superstition, but with their ordination which was neither, but a part of their policy And why is not ordination in the church or commonwealth of Christ, as well a political thing as it was in the churches or commonwealths of the Jews, or of the heathens? Why is not election of officers in the church as well a political thing, as election of officers in the state? and why may not this be as lawfully perform’d by the chirotonia in the one, as in the other?
Philo de Inst.That Moses introduc’d the chirotonia, is expresly said by Philo; tho he opposes it to the ballot, in which I believe he is mistaken,Princ. as not seeing that the ballot including the suffrage of the people, by that means came as properly under the denomination of the chirotonia, as the suffrage of the Roman people; which tho it were given by the tablet, is so called by Greec authors. All ordination of magistrats, or of the senators or elders of the sanhedrim, of the judges or elders of inferior courts, of the judg or suffes of Israel, of the king, of the priests, of the Levits, whether with the ballot or viva voce, was perform’d by the chirotonia or suffrage of the people. In this (especially if you admit the authority of the Jewish lawyers, and divines call’d the Talmudists) the Scripture will be clear, but their names are hard; wherfore not to make any discourse more rough than I need, I shall here set them together. The authors or writings I use, by way of paraphrase upon the Scripture, are the Gemara, Babylonia, Midbar Rabba, Sepher Siphri, Sepher Tanchuma, Solomon Jarchius, Chiskuny, Abarbanel, Ajin Israel, Pesiktha Zotertha. These and many more being for the election of the sanhedrim by the ballot, I might have spoken them more briefly; for the truth is, in all that is talmudical I am assisted by Selden, Grotius, and their quotations out of the rabbys, having in this learning so little skill, that if I miscall’d none of them, I shew’d a good part of my acquaintance with them.
Nor am I wedded to Grotius or Selden, whom somtimes I follow, and somtimes I leave, making use of their learning, but of my own reason. As to the things in this present controversy, they were no other in Athens and Rome than they had been in the commonwealth of Israel.
When Moses came to institute the senat, he ask’d counsil of God.Numb. 11. v. 16, 24.And the Lord said, Gather to me seventy men of the elders of Israel; andMoseswent out and told the people the words of the Lord: that is, propos’d the dictat of the supreme legislator to the chirotonia of the congregation. What else can we make of these words of Moses to the people?Deut. 1. v. 13, 14, 15.Take ye wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes (ϗ ϰαταϛήσω ἀυτȣς ἐφ’ ὑμῶν ηγουμένους ὑ ɹων) and I will constitute them rulers over you. Now how the people could otherwise take or chuse these rulers or magistrats thus propos’d, than by their chirotonia, let divines—shew; or notwithstanding the constitution of Moses, both the senat of Israel, and the inferior courts, were decreed by the chirotonia of the people. For the people upon this proposition resolv’d in the affirmative, or answer’d and said, The thing which thou hast spoken is good for us to do. This then was the psephisma or decree of the people of Israel, whereupon says Moses (ϰατέϛησα ἀυτ[Editor: illegible character]ς ἡγεῖσϑαι) I constituted or ordain’d them governors. In which example you have the three words, or the three things again; nor as to the things, is it, or ever was it, otherwise in any commonwealth. Whence it is admirable in our divines, who will have ϰατέϛησα, constituted, to be the word of power; that they do not see by this means they must make two powers in the same government; the ϰατέϛησα or constitution of the legislator, and the chirotonia or suffrage of the people: or else say that the commonwealth of Israel was instituted by the power of the legislator, and the authority of the people, than which there is nothing more absurd. But the people staid not upon their first psephisma, or result, that the thing was good for them to do, but did accordingly. The manner of their proceding at different times was somwhat different; for it was somtimes viva voce, somtimes by the lot, without the suffrage; and somtimes by the ballot, which consisted not of the lot only, but of the suffrage. Each of these are equally popular (for neither of them gives an advantage to any person or party) but not equally prudent ways of proceding; the lot committing too much to fortune, except in som kinds of businesses, as first in the division of lands, whence the suffrage was properly excluded: for the divisions being made by three deputys out of each tribe, if there happen’d to fall som advantage or disadvantage to any man by the lot, it was equal or impartial; wheras if it had fallen by the suffrage, it must have bin inequal, or partial. Such was the cause why the lot in the division of the land of Canaan was us’d without the suffrage. In case of a crime committed by an unknown author, but among many of whom som one or more must have bin guilty, as in the cases of Achan and Jonathan, the lot was also us’d without the suffrage, somwhat after the manner of decimation in an army, when many that are guilty throw the dice, and he on whom the lot falls is punish’d; yet with considerable difference, for wheras decimation is not us’d but for punishment, where the persons are as well known as the guilt; this use of the lot in Israel was for the discovery of the unknown author of som known crime, that som one of many being put to the question (who if either by his own confession, or other proof he were found guilty, was punish’d accordingly, otherwise not) men might have less incouragement that their crimes would be the more hidden, or less punishable for company, or the shadow of it.
When the people were set upon the introduction of a new magistracy, and car’d not at all who should be the man, as in the election of Saul, at which time the Philistins lay hard upon them, and they look’d upon the ease they hop’d from a king, without coveting the trouble which he was like to have; it seems to me there was a third use of the lot without the suffrage.
But that the common use of the lot in Israel imply’d also the suffrage, and was of the nature of the ballot at this day in Venice, is little to be doubted; or you may satisfy your self, when you have consider’d the manner how the senat or sanhedrim was first elected (ϰαϑιϛαμένη) or constituted by Moses.
Upon the psephisma, or decree of the legislator and the people, The thing which thou hast spoken is good for us to do, they proceded to election of competitors in this manner. Each of the twelve tribes (to be hereafter as well locally, as they were yet but genealogically divided) were to make the election, not excluding the thirteenth, nor yet nominally taking it in; for Levi, tho genealogically as distinct a tribe as any of them, yet was not design’d locally so to be, but to have the right of promiscuous inhabiting, cohabiting, or marriage with all or any of the rest, and with right of suffrage accordingly; for this cause the tribes being thirteen, are reckon’d but twelve. So each of the twelve tribes elected among themselves by their suffrages, six wise men, and understanding, and known among them; who being elected, were written; and being written, were deliver’d each in a several scrol to Moses. Moses having receiv’d all the scrols, had seventy two competitors, which caus’d a fraction; for the senat, as is plain by the text (gather me seventy men, that they may stand with thee) was to consist but of seventy with Moses, that is, in all, of seventy one. So Moses having two competitors more than he needed, caus’d two urns to be brought, into one of which he cast the seventy two competitors, or names written in the scrols; and into the other seventy two scrols, of which two were blanks, and seventy were inscrib’d with the word presbyter. This being don, the whole congregation pray’d, and when they had pray’d gave forth their lots.
The lots were given forth after this manner. First a lot was drawn out of the urn of the magistracys, then another out of the urn of the competitors. The competitor to whose name a blank was drawn, departed: but he to whose name a prize was drawn, or given forth, became a magistrat.
They who had thus gain’d magistracy were συνϰαταψηφιζομένοι, by this psephisma decreed to be together of the number of the seventy elders. But wheras in the urn of magistracy there were two blanks, two that had bin written competitors must of necessity have fail’d of magistracy.Numb. 11. 26. So Eldad and Medad being of them that were written competitors by the tribes, yet went not up to the tabernacle; that is, attain’d not to be (συνϰαταψηφιζομένοι) numbred among the seventy, who were to sit in the court of the tabernacle; as afterwards they did in the pavement, or stonechamber, in the court of the temple.
In this place I shall mind you but once more of the three words in controversy. Moses the legislator (ϰατέϛησε) constituted the people chirotoniz’d; and that which they had chirotoniz’d, was psephisma, their decree.
There be in these times that are coif’d with such opinions, that to shew scripture to be reason, is to make it lose weight with them; and to talk of the Talmudists, is to profane it: of these I shall only desire to know how they understand that place of Eldad and Medad; for if they can no otherwise make sense of it than as I have don, it is a sufficient proof (letting the Talmudists go) of all that I have said. What therfore has the hierarchy, and the presbytery for their opinion that the sanhedrim was instituted by the chirothesia, or imposition of hands?
There is in the Old Testament no mention of laying on of hands by way of ordination, or election, but only by Moses in the designation of Joshua for his successor: and in this Moses did first as Romulus afterwards in the election of the prefect or protector of Rome, but upon a far greater exigence; for the commonwealth of Rome, when Romulus did the like, was seated or planted, but the commonwealth of Israel, when Moses did this, was neither seated nor planted, nor indeed a commonwealth, but an army design’d to be a commonwealth. Now between the government that is necessary to an army, and that which is necessary to a commonwealth, there is a vast difference. The government even of the armys of Rome, when she was a commonwealth, was nevertheless monarchical: in this regard Moses himself exercis’d a kind of dictatorian power for his life; and the commonwealth being not yet planted, nor having any balance wherupon to weigh her self, must either have bin left at his death to the care of som man whom he knew best able to lay her foundation, or to extreme hazard. Wherfore this ordination, which was but accidental, regarding the present military condition of the people, Moses most prudently distinguishes from the other; in that he shew’d them how they should manage their commonwealth, in this he bequeaths them the man whom he thinks the most likely to bring them to be a commonwealth: of which judgment and undertaking of Moses, Joshua the next illustrious example, most worthily acquitted himself.
There is in these elections another remarkable passage, but such a one as, being so far from political that it is supernatural, dos not properly appertain to this discourse, and so I shall but point at it.Num 11. 24, 25. When the elders, thus chosen, were set round about the tabernacle, the Lord came down in a cloud, and took of the spirit ofMoses,and gave it to the seventy elders; and it came to pass, that when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesy’d and did not cease.Deut. 34. 9.SoJoshuawas full of the spirit of wisdom, forMoseshad laid his hands upon him. And Paul minds Timothy,Stir up the gift of God which is in thee by the laying on of my hands.1 Tim. 1. 6. But the Talmudists themselves do not pretend that their ordination was further accompany’d with supernatural indowments than the first institution; and if divines were as ingenuous, no less might be acknowleg’d of theirs. Moseswas a prophet, the like to whom has not bin in Israel; and has there bin an apostle like Paul in the Christian church? every body cannot do miracles, we see they can’t. Take heed how you deny sense, for then bread may be flesh. If we be not to make choice of a political institution without a miraculous test or recommendation; either ordination was at first accompany’d with supernatural gifts, and from thenceforth, as I conceive, neither. Divines methinks as such should not be so much concern’d in the ordination of the sanhedrim, or of Joshua, who were magistrats, as the people or the magistrat: yet if these should hence infer that their election, ordination, or designation of persons confer’d supernatural gifts, divines would hardly allow of it; and why are the people, or the magistrat oblig’d to allow more to that of a clergy? To return.
Deut. 1. 15.Such as I have shewn was the ordination of the senat, or great sanhedrim, that of the lesser sanhedrim, or inferior courts, was of like nature, for it follows; I took the chief of your tribes, wise men and known (ϗ ϰατέϛησα) and made them heads over you, captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds, &c. which were other magistrats than according to our custom, we should readily expect to be intimated by such words, for they were the judges of the inferior courts, those that sat in the gates of each city, and others that appertain’d to the villages, as in the next verse:Ver. 10.and I charg’d your judges at that time, saying, Hear the causes, and judg righteously.
The next magistrat whose election coms to be consider’d is the dictator, or judg of Israel.Judg. 2. 16. Where it is said of this people, that the Lord rais’d them up judges, which deliver’d them out of the hands of those that spoil’d them, it is to be understood, says Sigonius, that God put it into the mind of the people to elect such magistrats, or captains over them.De Rep. Heb. For example, when the children of Ammon made war against Israel, God rais’d up Jephtha, whose election was after this manner:Judges 11.the elders went to fetchJephtha,out of the land of Tob, and when they had brought him to Mizpeh (which in those days was the place, where εϰϰλησία Θε[Editor: illegible character], the congregation of Israel usually assembled) the people made him head and captain over them. Now that the election of the king was as much in the chirotonia of the people, as that of the judg, is past all controversy, seeing the law, speaking of the people, says thus:Deut. 17. 15.one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee; and accordingly when the government was chang’d to monarchy, it was not Samuel, but the people that would have it so; thus Saul was chosen king by the lot.Arist. Pol. b. 6. c. 2. Where the contradiction of Grotius is remarkable, who in this place to shew that the lot is of popular institution, quotes Aristotle; and yet when he coms to speak of the lots that were cast at the election of Matthias, says it was that it might appear not whom the multitude, but whom God had ordain’d; as if the magistrat lawfully elected by the people, were not elected by God, or that the lot which thus falls into the lap were not at the disposing of the Lord.De Imp. S. P. c. 10. But if the league by which the people receiv’d David into the throne, or the votes by which first the people of Jerusalem, and afterwards the congregation of Israel (as was shewn in the former book) made Solomon king, were of the Lord; then election by the people was of the Lord and the magistrat that was elected by the chirotonia of the people, was elected by the chirotonia of God:Judges 20. for as the congregation of Israel is call’d in Scripture (εϰϰλησία Θε[Editor: illegible character]) the ecclesia or congregation of God; so the chirotonia of this congregation is call’d by Josephus (Θεȣ χειροτονία) the chirotonia of God, who, as I noted before out of Capellus, was in this commonwealth political king, or civil legislator (sans comparaison) as Solon in Athens, and Romulus in Rome; that is to propose to the people (Hæc est lex quamMosesproposuit) and whatever was propos’d, by God, or the lawful magistrat under him, and chirotoniz’d or voted by the people, was law in Israel, and no other.Jos. l. 4. Nay, and the people had not only power to reject any law that was thus propos’d, but to repeal any law that was thus enacted:Josephus, l. 6. c. 5. for if God intending popular government should have ordain’d it otherwise, he must have contradicted himself; wherfore he plainly acknowledges to them this power, where (Θεὸν ἀϖοχειροτονȣσι τῆς ϐασιλεῖας) they rejected him (whom they had formerly chirotoniz’d or chosen king) that he should not reign over them; and elected Saul. This if God had withstood by his power, he must have introduc’d that kind of monarchy which he had declar’d against; wherfore he chose rather to abandon this sottish and ingrateful people to the most inextricable yoke of deserv’d slavery, telling them, when he had warn’d them and they would not hear him, that they should cry to him and he would not hear them, one title of whose words passed not unfulfill’d.
By this time I have shewn that all the civil magistrats in Israel were chosen by the chirotonia of the people, or, to follow Josephus, by the chirotonia of God, which is all one; for the chirotonia of the president of the congregation, as I have instanc’d in that of the proedri, of the thesmothetæ, of the consuls, of the tribuns, and the chirotonia of the congregation is the same thing; and of the congregation of Israel God, except only at the voting of a king, was president.
To com then from the civil magistrats to the priests and Levits, these were chosen in two ways, either by the lot, or by the chirotonia.
The office and dignity of the high priest being the greatest in Israel, and by the institution to be hereditary, caus’d great disputes in the election: to this Moses by the command of God had design’d Aaron his brother; which designation, the command of God being at first either not so obvious as that relation, or the ambition of others so blind that they could not or would not see it, caus’d great combustion. First, thro the conspiracy of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram; and next by the murmuring of the princes of the tribes, all emulous of this honor.Numb. 16.Korah being not only a great man,Josephus, l. 4. but of the tribe of Levi, could not see why he was not as worthy of the priesthood, consideration had of his tribe, as Aaron; and if any other tribe might pretend to it, Dathan and Abiram being descended from Reuben were not only of the elder house, but troubl’d to see a younger prefer’d before them. Wherfore these having gain’d to their party three hundred of the most powerful men of the congregation, accus’d Moses of affecting tyranny, and doing those things which threaten’d the liberty of the commonwealth; as under pretence of divination to blind the eyes of the people, preferring his brother to the priesthood without the suffrage of the congregation: of which charge Moses acquitting himself in the congregation, tells the people that Aaronwas chosen both by God, and (ϰατὰ τὴν ὑμετεραν γνώμην αυτ[Editor: illegible character] τυ[Editor: illegible character]χάνων) by their suffrages, which (Korah being upon this occasion miraculously destroy’d) were therupon once more given by the people. Nevertheless the princes of the tribes continuing still discontented, and full of murmur, God decided the controversy by a second miracle, the budding ofAaron’s rod: (and so ϗ ὁ μεν τρὶς ἀυτόν τ[Editor: illegible character] Θε[Editor: illegible character] χειροτονησατος ϐεϐαίως ἔιχε τὴν τιμὴν) being thrice confirm’d by the chirotonia of God, he was confirm’d in that honor. Now that the chirotonia of God in this place of Josephus signifys the chirotonia of the people, is plain by that in Scripture, where they made Solomon king, and Zadoc to be priest.1 Chron. 20-22. After the captivity, as in other things, so in this power the sanhedrim came, as I conceive, to overreach the people: Joshua the son of Josedech being thus elected high priest by the sanhedrim, and this honor thenceforth (as appears by Maimonides) being at the disposing of this court.Grot. ad Nor cou’d any inferior priest serve at the altar, except he had acquir’d that right by the lot, as is not only deliver’d by the same author and by Josephus, but in Scripture.Hag. 1. 1. Now the lot, as was shewn, giving no prerogative either to any person or party,Joseph. de Bel. is as popular an institution as the chirotonia.Jud. l. 4. So in election of priests, the orders of Israel differ’d not from human prudence, nor those of other commonwealths,Maimon. the priests of Jupiter having bin elected after the same manner in the commonwealth of Syracusa; the Augustales, and the Vestals in that of Rome:Hal. Cele and if the right of bearing holy magistracy, being in Israel confin’d to one tribe or order,Hamikdasch, cap. 42 & 5 may seem to make any difference, it was for some time no otherwise in Athens, nor in Rome, where the patricians or nobility assum’d these offices, or the greatest of them to themselves,2 Chron. 24. 5 & 25. 8. & 26. 13. till the people in those citys disputed that custom, as introduc’d without their consent, which the people of Israel could not fairly do, because it was introduc’d by their consent.
Numb. 8. 9, 10.To com to the Levits in their original ordination, God commanded Moses saying, Thou shalt bring the Levits before the tabernacle of the congregation, and thou shalt gather the whole assembly of the children of Israel, and they shall put their hands upon the Levits. This in the sound of the words may seem to imply the chirothesia, or imposition of hands, but take heed of that; divines will not allow the chirothesia to be an act of the people: but in this proceding the whole people acted in the ordination of the Levits, wherfore the Levits also were ordain’d by the chirotonia, consent, vote, or suffrage of the whole people imply’d in this action. But for the ordination of priests and Levits, whatever it was, it is not to the present purpose; divines deriving not theirs from priests and Levits, but from dukes, generals and magistrats, from that of Joshua and of the sanhedrim, always provided, that this were of the same nature with the former, that is, by the chirothesia, or imposition of hands, and not by the chirotonia of the people.Exod. 29. However the ordination of the magistracy was certainly political; and so in this deduction they themselves confess that their ordination also is a political constitution:Numb. 8. yet wheras Moses is commanded by God to bring Aaron and his sons to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and having wash’d them there, to adorn them with the priestly robes, with the miter, and to anoint them; wheras he is commanded (the children of Israel having first laid their hands upon the Levits) to cleanse them, and offer them for an offering: divines of the hierarchy and the presbytery (tho it be otherwise with Wallæus and such as acknowlege popular government) give the congregation, or consent of the people for nothing, and put the whole ordination of the priests and Levits upon the washing and cleansing, or other ceremonys of consecration: as if to put the ordination of Saul upon the ceremony of anointing by Samuel, tho perform’d by the immediat command of God, were not absolutely contradictory to Scripture, and to the known law of Israel, which speaking of the people, expresly says, One from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee; upon which place says Philo,Most wiseMosesnever intended that the royal dignity should be acquir’d by lot, but chose rather that the king should be elected by the chirotonia, or suffrage of the whole people.Philo de inst. principiis.The congregations of the people assembl’d upon this as upon other public affairs, and requir’d a sign or confirmation from God: forasmuch as by his will man is to the rest of nature, what the face is to the body. Wherto agrees that of the Heathens, Os homini sublime dedit, cælumque tueri jussit, and their divinations upon the like occasions by intrals, none of which were ever understood as destructive of the liberty of the people, or of the freedom of their chirotonia.
Where Solomon is made king, and Zadoc priest by the people, tho the ceremony of anointing was doubtless perform’d, and perhaps by the prophet Nathan, it is wholly omitted in the place as not worth the speaking of. The opinion that the ordination of the priests and Levits lay in the ceremonys of their consecration, is every whit as sober and agreeable to reason, as if a man should hold the kings of England to have bin made by the unction of the bishops. Israel from the institution of Moses to the monarchy, was a democracy, or popular government; in popular government the consent of the people is the power of the people, and both the priests and Levits were ordain’d by the consent of the people of Israel.
Chap. IV.Ditm. c. 10.To bring these things to the citys in the perambulation of the apostles, which by the former chapter I have prov’d to have bin popular governments; it is acknowleg’d by Grotius to the citys of Asia, not only that they us’d the chirotonia, but in the strictest sense of the word, that is, to give their suffrage by the holding up of hands. And that they had the liberty of their religion, the choice of their magistrats, both civil and ecclesiastical in their ecclesiæ, or congregations, has bin also undeniably evidenc’d; whence it must needs follow that there were citys in Asia (χειροτονησαντες ἀυτ[Editor: illegible character]ῖς ϖϱεσβυ[Editor: illegible character]έϱȣς ϰατ’ εϰϰλησίαν) chirotonizing or ordaining them elders, that is, magistrats and priests in every congregation (with reverence be it spoken) long before Christ was in the flesh, or the apostles any of them were born. Wherfore to sum up what in this chapter I conceive to be sufficiently prov’d, I may boldly conclude, That the chirotonia derives from popular constitution, and that there was a way of ordination by the chirotonia.