Page:Studies in the Scriptures - Series I - The Plan of the Ages (1909).djvu/53

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spirit which is upon thee and will put it upon them, and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not alone. " (Num. n : 16, 17. See also verses 24 to 30 for an example of true and guileless statesmanship and meekness.) Moses, rehearsing this matter, says : " So I took the chief of your tribes, wise men, and known [of in- fluence], and made them heads over you: captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, and captains over fifties, and captains over tens, and officers among your tribes.'* Deat. i : 15 \ Exod. 18 : 13-26.

Thus it appears that this distinguished lawgiver, so far from seeking to perpetuate or increase his own power by placing the government of the people under the control of his dircl relatives, of the priestly tribe, to use their relig- ious authority to fetter the rights and liberties of the people, on the contrary introduced to the people a form of govern- ment calculated to cultivate the spirit of liberty. The his- tories of other nations and rulers show no parallel to this. In every case the ruler has sought his own aggrandizement and greater power. Even in instances where such have aided in establishing republics, it has appeared from subse- quent events that they did it through policy, to obtain favor with the people, and to perpetuate their own power. Cir- cumstanced as Moses was, any ambitious man, governed by policy and attempting to perpetuate a fraud upon the people, would have worked for greater centralization of power in himself and his family ; especially as this would have seemed an easy task from the religious authority being already in that tribe, and from the claim of this nation to be governed by God, from the Tabernacle, Nor is it supposable that a man capable of forming such laws, and of ruling such a people, would be so dull of comprehension as not to see what the tendency of his course would be. So completely was the government of the people put into their own hands,

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