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a Joshua having sworn unto them by the Lord God of Israel, he durst not, though urged by the murmur of the people, to lay violent hands on them; but he spared both their lives and the cities of their inheritance. Now


ever man had warrant to break faith, and to retract his promise made, Joshua had it. For first, The commandment which he received from God to root out this nation among the rest, preceded by far the peace which he had granted them. Secondly, He might justly have put these men to the sword, and have sacked their cities; if there be any evasion from a promise made, whereof the living God is called to witness. For it was not to the Gibeonites that he

gave peace, because he knew them to be a people hated of God. He told them, that if they were of the b Hevites, it was not in his power to make a league with them. But it was to a strange people that he gave faith, and to a nation which came from far, who hearing of the wonders which the God of Israel had done in Egypt and over Jordan, sought for peace and protection from his people. Thirdly, The accord which c Israel made with these crafty Canaanites was without warrant. For it is written in the same place, that the Israelites accepted their tale; that is, believed what they had said, and counselled not with the mouth of the Lord. Fourthly, These men, who were known idolaters, and served those puppets of the heathen, men of an apish religion, as all worshippers of images are, could not challenge the witness of the true God, in whom they believed not. I say therefore, that if ever man might have served himself by any evasion or distinction, Joshua might justly have done it. For he needed not in this case the help of equivocation or mental reservation : for what he sware, he sware in good faith; but he sware nothing, nor made any promise at all, to the Gibeonites. And yet, to the end that the faithless subtilty of man should borrow nothing in the future from his example, who knowing well that the promises he made in the name of God were made to the living å Josh. ix. from ver. 5. to 13.

b Josh. ix. 7.

e Josh. ix. 14:

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God, and not to the dying man, he held them firm and inviolable, notwithstanding that they to whom he had sworn it were worshippers of the Devil.

For it is not, as faithless men take it, that he which sweareth to a man, to a society, to a state, or to a king, and sweareth by the name of the living Lord, and in his presence, that this promise (if it be broken) is broken to a man, to a society, to a state, or to a prince; but the promise in the name of God made, is broken to God. It is God that we therein neglect; we therein profess that we fear him not, and that we set him at naught and defy him. If he that without reservation of honour giveth a lie in the presence of the king, or of his superior, doth in point of honour give the lie to the king himself, or to his superior; how much more doth he break faith with God, that giveth faith in the presence of God, promiseth in his name, and makes him a witness of the covenant made !

Out of doubt, it is a fearful thing for a son to break the promise, will, or deed of the father; for a state or kingdom to break those contracts which have been made in former times, and confirmed by public faith. For though it were. 400 years

after Joshua, that Saul, even out of devotion, slaughtered some of those people descended of the Gibeonites; yet God, who forgat not what the predecessors and forefathers of Saul and the Israelites had sworn in his name, afflicted the whole nation with a consuming famine, and could not be appeased, till seven of Saul's sons were delivered' to the Gibeonites grieved, and by them hanged up.

And certainly, if it be permitted by the help of a ridiculous distinction, or by a God-mocking equivocation, to swear one thing by the name of the living God, and to reserve in silence a contrary intent, the life of man, the estates of men, the faith of subjects to kings, of servants to their masters, of vassals to their lords, of wives to their husbands, and of children to their parents, and of all trials of right, will not only be made uncertain, but all the chains whereby free men are tied in the world be torn asunder. It is by oath (when kings and armies cannot pass) that we enter

into the cities of our enemies, and into their armies. It is by oath that wars take end, which weapons cannot end. And what is it, or ought it to be, that makes an oath thus powerful, but this; that he that sweareth by the name of God doth assure others that his words are true, as the Lord of all the world is true, whom he calleth for a witness, and in whose presence he that taketh the oath bath promised ? I am not ignorant of their poor evasions which play with the severity of God's commandments in this kind ; but this indeed is the best answer, That he breaks no faith, that hath none to break. For whosoever hath faith and the fear of God, dares not do it.

The Christians in the Holy Land, when they were at the greatest, and had brought the caliph of Egypt to pay them tribute, did not only lose it again, but were soon after beaten out of the Holy Land itself; by reason (saith William of Tyre, a reverend bishop which wrote that story) that Almerick, the fifth king after Godfrey, brake faith with the caliph Elhadech, and his vicegerent, the soldan Sanar, who being suddenly invaded by Almerick, drew in the Turk Syracon to their aid, whose nephew Seladine, after he had made Egypt his own, beat the Christians out of the Holy Land; neither would the wooden cross (the very cross, say they, that Christ died on) give them vietory over Seladine, when they brought it into the field as their last refuge, seeing they had forsworn themselves in his name that was crucified thereon. And if it be a direction from the Holy Ghost, d That he that speaketh lies shall be destroyed, and that the mouth which uttereth them slayeth the soul; how much more perilous is it (if any peril be greater than to destroy the soul) to swear a lie! It was Eugenius the pope that persuaded, or rather commanded the king of Hungary, after his great victory over Amurath the Turk, and when the said king had compelled him to peace, the most advantageous that ever was made for the Christians, to break his faith, and to provoke the Turk to renew the war; and though the said king was far stronger in the field than ever,

d Psalm v.

6. Wisdom i. u.


yet he lost the battle with 30,000 Christians, and his own life. But I will stay my hand; for this first volume will not hold the repetition of God's judgments upon faithbreakers, be it against infidels, Turks, or Christians of divers religions. Lamentable it is, that the taking of oaths nowadays is rather made a matter of custom than of conscience.

It is also very remarkable, that it pleased God to leave so many cities of the Canaanites unconquered by Israel, to scourge and afflict them, by foreseeing their idolatry, and as it is said in the scriptures, e to be thorns in their eyes to prove them, and to teach them to make war. For these cities hereafter named did not only remain in the Canaanites' possession all the time of Joshua, but soon after his death the f children of Dan were beaten out of the plain countries, and enforced to inhabit the mountains, and places of hardest

And those of Judah were not able to be masters of their own valleys, because, as it is written in Judges i. 19. the Canaanites had chariots of iron. And those principal cities which stood on the sea-side, adjoining unto 8 Judah, were still held by the remainder of the Anakims or Philistines; as Azzah, Gath, Asdod, out of one of which cities came Goliath, remembered in Samuel.

Neither did the children of Manasseh over Jordan expel the h Geshurites, nor the Maachathites, which inhabited the north parts of Basan, afterward Trachonitis.

Nor the Nephtalims possess themselves of Bethshemish, nor of Bethanah; but they enforced those Canaanites to pay them tribute. Neither did i Asher expel the Zidonians, nor those of Acho, or Acon, Athlab, Achzib, Heblah, Aphike, and Rehob, nor enforce them to tribute.

No more could Zabulon enjoy Kitron and Nahalol, but received tribute from them. Also the Canaanites dwelt in k Gezer among the Ephraims; and among the children of Manasseh, on the west of Jordan, the Canaanites held 1 Beth

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shean, Taanach, Dor, Ibleam, and Megiddo; yea, Jerusalem itself did the Jebusites defend above four hundred years, even till David's time.

Now Joshua lived one hundred and ten years, eighteen of which he governed Israel, and then changed this life for a better. The time of his rule is not expressed in the scriptures, which causeth divers to conjecture diversely of the continuance. Josephus gives him five and twenty years ; Seder Ollam Rabbi, the author of the Hebrew chronology, eight and twenty; and Masseus six and twenty; Maimonius, cited by Massius, fourteen; Joannes Lucidus, seventeen ; Cajetanus ten; Eusebius giveth him seven and twenty, and so doth St. Augustine; Melancthon, two and thirty; Codoman, five and twenty. But whereas there passed 480 years from the deliverance of Israel out of Egypt, unto the building of the temple, it is necessary that we allow to Joshua only eighteen of them, as finding the rest supplied otherwise, which to me seems the most likely, and, as I think, a well approved opinion.

The same necessity of retaining precisely 480 years from the departure out of Egypt unto the building of the temple, convinceth of error such as have inserted years between Joshua and Othoniel, of whom m Eusebius finds eight years, to which Arius Montanus adhereth, and for which he giveth his reason in his four and twentieth and last chapters upon Joshua: Bunting reckons it nine years, Bucholzer and Reusner but one, Codoman twenty, and Nicephorus no less than three and thirty; whereas, following the sure direction of these 480 years, there can be no void years

found between Joshua and Othoniel, unless they be taken out of those eighteen ascribed unto Joshua by the account already specified. The praises and acts of Joshua are briefly written in the six and fortieth chapter of Ecclesiasticus, where, among many other things, it is said of him, who was there before him like to him, for he

fiught the battles of the Lord ? That he wrote the book called by this name, opinion of Arius Montanus, because it is said in the last

m Euseb. Præp. Evang.

was the

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