Although the institutions and examples of the Old Testament, of the duty of magistrates in the things and about the worship of God, are not; in their whole latitude and extent, to be drawn into rules that should be obligatory to all magistrates now, under the administration of the gospel,-and that because the magistrate was “custos, vindex, et administrator legis judicialis, et politiae Mosaicae,” from which, as most think, we are freed-,- yet, doubtless, there is something moral in those institutions, which, being unclothed of their Judaical form, is still binding to all in the like kind, as to some analogy and proportion. Subduct from those administrations what was proper to, and lies upon the account of, the church and nation of the Jews, and what remains upon the general notion of a church and nation must be everlastingly binding
Works (London: Banner of Truth, 1967), VIII, 394
The Latin phrase means, “guardian, vindicator, and manager of the judicial law, and of the constitution of Moses.”
Thesis 42: The judicial laws, some of them being hedges and fences to safeguard both moral and ceremonial precepts, their binding power was therefore mixed and various, for those which did safeguard any moral law, (which is perpetual,) whether by just punishments or otherwise, do still morally bind all nations; … and hence God would have all nations preserve their fences forever, as he would have that law preserved forever which these safeguard. . . . As, on the contrary, the morals abiding, why should not their judicials and fences remain? The learned generally doubt not to affirm that Moses’ judicials bind all nations, so far forth as they contain any moral equity in them, which moral equity doth appear not only in respect of the end of the law, when it is ordered for common and universal good, but chiefly in respect of the law which they safeguard and fence, which if it be moral, it is most just and equal, that either the same or like judicial fence (according to some fit proportion) should preserve it still, because it is but just and equal that a moral and universal law should be universally preserved…
Thomas Shepard, The Morality of the Sabbath, in Works (Boston: Doctrinal Tract and Book Society, 1853), III, 53f.