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might have passed to the Jews. In this view the word ragaxλnros, or advocate, is applied to Christ, our intercessor, who pleads the cause of sinners with his father. (1 John ii. 1.) The form of proceeding appears to have been as follows:
1. Those who were summoned before courts of judicature, were said to be προγεγραμμένοι εις κρισιν, because they were cited by posting up their names in some public place, and to these judgment was published or declared in writing. The Greek writers applied the term goysygauusvous, to those whom the Romans called proscriptos or proscribed, that is, whose names were posted up in writing in some public place, as persons doomed to die, with a reward offered to whoever would kill them. To this usage there is an allusion in the epistle of Jude (verse 4.), where the persons who are said to be προγεγραμμένοι εις τουτο το κρίμα, ordained to this condemnation, denote not only those who must give an account to God for their crimes, and are liable to his judgment, but who moreover are destined to the punishment which they deserve, as victims of the divine anger.1 In the sacred writings all false teachers and impure practices have been most openly proscribed and condemned, and in the following verses of the same epistle the apostle distinctly specifies who these persons
2. He, who entered the action, went to the judges, and stated his affair to them and then they sent officers with him to seize the party and bring him to justice. To this our Lord alludes, when he says, (Matt. v. 25.) Agree with thine adversary while thou art in the way with him, before thou art brought before the judge, lest thou be condemned. On the day appointed for hearing the cause, the plaintiff and defendant presented themselves before the judges; who at first sat alone. (Deut. xxv. 1.). In later times, the Jewish writers inform us, that there were always two notaries belonging to the court, one of whom stood on the right hand of the judge, who wrote the sentence of acquittal; and the other, on his left hand, who wrote the sentence of condemnation. To this custom probably our Saviour referred (Matt. xxv. 23.) when, speaking of the last judgment, he says, that he will set the sheep on his right hand, in order to be acquitted, and the goats on his left, in order to be condemned. It appears that the judicial decrees were (as they still are in the East) first written by a notary, and then authenticated or annulled by the magistrate. To this the prophet Isaiah alludes when he denounces a woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and to the writers that write grievousness. (Isa. x. 1. marginal rendering.) The judges sat, while the defendants stood, particularly during the examination of witnesses. Thus, Jesus stood before the governor. (Matt. xxvii. 11.)
3. In criminal cases, when the trial came on, the judge's first care was to exhort the criminal to confess his crime, if he really were guilty: Thus Joshua exhorted Achan to give glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession unto him. (Josh. vii. 19.) To this
1 Parkhurst and Schleusner's Lexicon to the New Testament, voce Пpoypapw. 2 Harmer's Observations, vol. ii. pp. 519–521.
custom of the Jews, St. Paul seems to allude, when he says, Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth (Rom. xiv. 22.); that is, who being convinced of the truth of a thing, does not really and effectually condemn himself in the sight of God by denying it. After the accusation was laid before the court, the criminal was heard in his defence, and therefore Nicodemus said to the chief priests and pharisees, Doth our law judge any man before it hear him, and know what he doth? (John vii. 51.)
4. In matters of life and death, the evidence of one witness was not sufficient in order to establish a charge, it was necessary to have the testimony of two or three credible and unimpeachable witnesses. (Numb. xxv. 30. Deut. xvii. 6, 7. xix. 15.) Though the law of Moses is silent concerning the evidence of women, Josephus says that it was prohibited on account of the levity and boldness of their sex! He also adds that the testimony of servants was inadmissible, on account of the probability of their being influenced to speak what was untrue, either from hope of gain or fear of punishment. Most likely, this was the exposition of the scribes and pharisees, and the practice of the Jews, in the last age of their political existence.1 In general, the witnesses to be sworn did not pronounce the formula of the oath, either when it was a judicial one, or taken on any other solemn occasion. A formula was read, to which they said Amen. (Lev. v. 2. Prov. xxix. 34. 1 Kings viii. 31.) Referring to this usage, when Jesus Christ was adjured or put upon his oath, he immediately made an answer. (Matt. xxvi. 63.) All manner of false witness was most severely prohibited. (Exod. xx. 13. xxiii. 1—3.)
5. In questions of property, in default of any other means of decision, recourse was had to the lot. In this manner, it will be recollected that the land of Canaan was divided by Joshua, to which there are so many allusions in the Old Testament, particularly in the book of Psalms. And it should seem, from Prov. xvi. 33. and xviii. 18. that it was used in courts of justice, in the time of Solomon, though probably only with the consent of both parties. In criminal cases, recourse was had to the sacred lot, called Urim and Thummim, in order to discover, not to convict the guilty party (Josh. vii. 14-18. 1 Sam. xiv. 37-45.); but it appears to have been used only in the case of an oath being transgressed, which the whole people had taken, or the leader of the host in their name.
A peculiar mode of eliciting the truth was employed in the case of a woman suspected of adultery. She was to be brought by her husband to the tabernacle,-afterwards to the temple; where she took an oath of purgation, imprecating tremendous punishment upon herself. The form of this process (which was the foundation of the trial by ordeal that so generally prevailed in the dark ages) is detailed at length in Numb. v. 11-31., to which the rabbinical writers have added a variety of frivolous ceremonies. If innocent, the woman suffered no inconvenience or injury; but if guilty, the
1 Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. iv. c. 8. § 15.
punishment which she had imprecated on herself immediately overtook her.
6. Sentences were only pronounced in the day time; of which circumstance notice is taken in Saint Luke's narrative of our Saviour's mock trial. (xxii. 66.) It was the custom among the Jews to pronounce sentence of condemnation in this manner. He is guilty of death. (Matt. xxvi. 16.) In other countries, a person's condemnation was announced to him by giving him a black stone, and his acquittal by giving him a white stone. Ovid mentions this practice
Mos erat antiquus, niveis atrisque lapillis,
A custom was of old, and still obtains,
In allusion to this custom, our Saviour (Rev. ii. 17.) promises to give the spiritual conqueror a white stone, and on the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth, saving he that receiveth it; which may be supposed to signify-Well done, thou good and faithful servant. The white stones of the antients were inscribed with characters; and so is the white stone mentioned in the Apocalypse. According to Persius the letter was the token of condemnation : Et potis es nigrum vitio prefigere Theta.
SAT. iv. 13.
Fixing thy stigma on the brow of vice.
But on the white stone given by our Lord was inscribed a new name of dignity and honour, which no man knoweth but he who receiveth it ; agreeably to the custom of nations, from the earliest ages, by which a person raised to dignity was commonly invested with a new name, expressive of his deserts.1
7. Such were the judicial proceedings in ordinary cases, when the forms of law were observed. On some occasions however, when particular persons were obnoxious to the populace, it was usual for them to demand prompt justice upon the supposed delinquents. It is well known that in Asia, to this day, those who demand justice against a criminal, repair in large bodies to the gate of the royal residence, where they make horrid cries, tearing their garments and throwing dust into the air. This circumstance throws great light upon the conduct of the Jews towards Saint Paul, when the chief captain of the Roman garrison at Jerusalem presented himself to them. (Acts xxii. 28-36.) When they found the apostle in the temple, prejudiced as they were against him in general, and at that time particularly irritated by the mistaken notion that he had polluted the holy place by the introduction of Greeks into it, they raised a tumult,
1 Wetstein, Doddridge, and Dean Woodhouse on Rev. ii. 17. VOL. III.
and were on the point of inflicting summary vengeance on Saint Paul. As soon as the chief captain of the Roman soldiers, who resided in a castle adjoining the temple, heard the tumult, he hastened thither. They then ceased beating the apostle, and addressed themselves to him as the chief official person there, exclaiming, Away with him. Permission being at length given to Paul to explain the affair in their hearing, they became still more violently enraged, but not daring to do themselves justice, they demanded it nearly in the same manner as the Persian peasants now do, by loud vociferations, tearing off their clothes and throwing up dust into the air.1
V. As soon as sentence of condemnation was pronounced against a person, he was immediately dragged from the court to the place of execution. Thus our Lord was instantly hurried from the presence of Pilate to Calvary: a similar instance of prompt execution occurred in the case of Achan; and the same practice obtains to this day, both in Turkey and Persia. In those countries, when the enemies of a great man have sufficient influence to procure a warrant for his death, a capidgi or executioner is despatched with it to the victim, who quietly submits to his fate. Nearly the same method of executing criminals was used by the antient Jewish princes. It is evidently alluded to in Prov. xvi. 14. Thus, Benaiah was the capidgi (to use the modern Turkish term,) who was sent by Solomon to put to death Adonijah, a prince of the blood royal (1 Kings ii. 25.), and also Joab the commander in chief of the army. (29-31.) John the Baptist was put to death in like manner. (Matt. xiv. 10.) Previously, however, to executing the criminal, it was usual, among the antient Persians, to cover his head, that he might not behold the face of the sovereign. Thus, the head of Philotas, who had conspired against Alexander the Great, was covered ;3 and in conformity with this practice, the head of Haman was veiled or covered. (Esth. vii. 8.)
So zealous were the Jews for the observance of their law, that they were not ashamed themselves to be the executioners of it, and to punish criminals with their own hands. In stoning persons, the witnesses threw the first stones, agreeably to the enactment of Moses. (Deut. xvii. 7.) Thus, the witnesses against the protomartyr Stephen, after laying down their clothes at the feet of Saul, stoned him (Acts vii. 58, 59.); and to this custom our Saviour alludes, when he said to the Pharisees, who had brought to him a woman who had been taken in adultery,-He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. (John viii.) As there were no public executioners in the more antient periods of the Jewish history, it was not unusual for persons of distinguished rank themselves to put the sentence in execution upon offenders. Thus, Samuel put Agag to death (1 Sam. xv. 33.); and in like manner Nebuchadnezzar ordered Arioch the commander in chief of his forces to destroy the wise men
1 Harmer's Observations, vol. iii. p. 367-369.
2 Ibid. vol. ii. pp. 372-376.
3 Quintus Curtius, lib. vi. c. 8. tom. ii. p. 34. edit. Bipont.
of Babylon, because they could not interpret his dream. (Dan. ii. 24.) Previously, however, to inflicting punishment, it was a custom of the Jews, that the witnesses should lay their hands on the criminal's head. This custom originated in an express precept of God, in the case of one who had blasphemed the name of Jehovah, who was ordered to be brought without the camp: when all, who had heard him, were appointed to lay their hands upon his head, and afterwards the congregation were to stone him. By this action they signified, that the condemned person suffered justly, protesting that, if he were innocent they desired that his blood might fall on their own head. In allusion to this usage, when sentence was pronounced against Jesus Christ, the Jews exclaimed,-His blood be upon us and our children. (Matt. xxvii. 25.) From the above noticed precept of bringing the criminals without the camp, arose the custom of executing them without the city.
But in whatever manner the criminal was put to death, according to the Talmudical writers, the Jews always gave him some wine with incense in it, in order to stupify and intoxicate him. This custom is said to have originated in the precept recorded in Prov. xxxi. 6., which sufficiently explains the reason why wine, mingled with myrrh, was offered to Jesus Christ when on the cross. (Mark xv. 23.) In the latter ages of the Jewish polity, this medicated cup of wine, was so generally given before execution, that the word cup is sometimes put in the Scriptures for death itself. Thus, Jesus Christ, in his last prayer in the garden of Gethsemane, said-If it be possible, let this CUP pass from me. (Matt. xxvi. 39. 42.)
OF THE ROMAN JUDICATURE, MANNER OF TRIAL, AND TREATMENT OF PRISONERS, AS MENTIONED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT.
I. Judicial proceedings of the Romans.-II. Privileges and treatment of Roman citizens, when prisoners.-III. Appeals to the imperial tribunal.-IV. The Roman method of fettering and confining criminals.-V. The Roman tribunals. VI. The Areopagus of the Athenians.
WHEREVER the Romans extended their power, they also carried their laws; and though, as we have already seen, they allowed their conquered subjects to enjoy the free performance of their religious worship, as well as the holding of some inferior courts of judicature, yet in all cases of a capital nature the tribunal of the Roman prefect or president was the last resort. Without his permission, no person could be put to death, at least in Judæa. And as we find numerous allusions in the New Testament to the Roman Judicature, manner of trial, treatment of prisoners, and infliction of capital punishment, a brief account of these subjects so intimately