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* 66 Do
not see it there, one may safely say upon Christ's authority in the text, what he said upon the very same occasion, ye not therefore err because ye
know not the scriptures,” (and therefore if they had known the scriptures, they would not have erred, so that the doctrine they deny, must be contained in the scriptures) neither the power of God: for have ye not read in the book of Moses, (in that part of the scriptures in particular) how in the bush God spake unto him saying, “I am the God of Abraham, and the “ God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?” their (God after they had departed this life, and therefore they existed in a future state, because) “ he is not the God “ of the dead, but the God of the living; ye therefore “ do greatly err.” If we may take it for granted that our Saviour hath here made a just inference, then Moses will be found not only to teach a future state, but a resurrection also of the body. “ And as touching “the dead," says Christ, “ that they rise, have ye not “ read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God
* Hammond on the New Testament, p. 107. Bp. Burnet on the 39 Articles, p. 97, 98, &c. Critici Sacri. Tom. 6. from p. 662, to p. 668. Whitby on the New Testament, Vol. 1. p. 179, 180. Erasmi Paraph. in N. Test. Fol. 118. Grotii Op. Theologica, Tom. 2. 205, &c. La Sainte Bible imprimée a Liege en 3 Tom. Fol. 1702. p. 48. Tom. 3. T. Cartwrighti Harmonia Evang. Ludg. Bat. 1647. p. 797, &c. J. Piscator, in N. Test. Vol. 3. p. 323. F. Gaspari á Melo Comments in Lucam.p. 1002, &c. V. Musculi in Matthæum Comment. p. 461, 462, &c. Veneer on the 39 Articles, Vol. I. p. 197, &c. 214, &c. B. Aretius in N. Test. 191, 192, S. Baradij Com. in Concordiam Evang. Tom. 3. p. 593, &c. Continuation of Pool's Synopsis. Lond. 1688. Notes on the 22d Ch. of Matthew. J. Tirinus in N. Test, 955. Theophylacti in 4 Evang. Comment. Paris 1635. p. 132, 133, 259. J. Lightfoot's Horaæ Hebraicæ in Evang. Matthæi, Cant. 1658. 241, 242. Woollebij Compend. Theol. Christianæ, 192. Resurrectionem mortuorum S. S. probant Testimoniis, Exemplis, Typis, & Rationibus. Rationes petuntur a foedere Dei, quod morte non rumpi. tur, Matt. xxii. 30. Le Nouveau Test. par. J. Clerc, p. 90. Je suis le Dieu d' Abraham, &c. Cette Expression ne marque en François (and in the English the same) qu'être le Dieu qu' Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob ont adoré; d' ou l'on ne pourroit rien conclurre a' l'Egard de l'autre Vie. Mais en Hebreu elle signifie souvent, favoriser d'une maviere extraordinaire ceux dont on se dit le Dieu C'est le sens qu'elle a dans toutes les Promesses, ou Dieu dit qu'il sera le Dieu des Israelites, comme Gen. xvii. 7, 8. Et elle est fondée sur l'Usage des Nations de ce Temps lá dont chacune avoit des Dieux particuliers, qu'elle croyoit lui être favorables ; à cause de quoi être le Dieu d'une Nation, signifie la favoriser d'une Maniere toute particuliere. And if he did not favour Abrahan, &c. as he observes in the next note, in an extraordinary manner here in this world, consequently he must in another. Poli Synopsis Criticorum, Vol. 4. p. 533, 534, 535.
spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham ?" Now if saying the Lord was God of Abraham, was saying that Abraham was to rise from the dead, it follows that the Jews, if they understood their own language when Moses wrote, must have known that this doctrine was taught in his writings. And if calling the Lord the God of Abraham proves his resurrection, then calling him the God of the Israelites must prove theirs : so that they must have known that they also were to arise from the dead. This conclusion cannot but be just, because Christ hath made it; and they who allow it to be just, must own that there are numerous arguments in the pentateuch for the doctrine of a future state.
I might here shew wherein the justness of our Saviour's inference consists, but that will be more properly considered in another place; however it must be sufficient to a Christian audience, and if Christ hath said that a future state is to be found in Moses, I am satisfied every one here present will conclude that it actually is there.
But our adversaries require other proofs : their ignorance hinders them from seeing wherein the force of our argument lies, so that they are not convinced by it; but send us to Moses himself, and desire we would shew them some plain texts in his writings, where a future state is expressly mentioned.
“ As it was the doctrine of the reformation, and is still of the Church of England in her articles and homilies, that Moses hath treated of a future state :As this is a subject that will give us an opportunity of clearing up the design of some part of Moses' writings:
-As truth, the glory of God, the honour of Moses, and the revelation by him are concerned in this en
quiry : And as we must be forced to give up Christianity, if we cannot shew where a future state is mentioned in the law, because it is all throughout the New Testament said to be there : so are we forbid by these reasons to be unconcerned in this point; they call upon us to use our utmost diligence, and require the most careful study of every Christian to find out the places where it is directly mentioned, and to give light to those where it is taken for granted and hinted at."
It would be needless to prove that there shall be a future state. This others assisted by revelation have sufficiently done. It will abundantly answer our purpose and fully convince every reasonable man, if we can prove the truth of these three propositions.
First, That if the doctrine of a future state could not be directly found in the law of Moses, yet there are many strong and unanswerable arguments, which suppose that it is, and prove that it ought to be there.
Secondly, That the doctrine of a future state actually is to be found in, and doth make a very great part of the writings of Moses, the obligation to observe every law, rite, and ceremony, being enforced upon the sanctions of future rewards and punishments. • Thirdly, That therefore the divine legation of Moses may be truly and properly demonstrated upon these principles.
If these propositions could be fairly proved, there would be no room to impeach the moral perfections of God, or to accuse Moses of imposture. supposition upon which these accusations are grounded would appear false and absurd: and it would be seen, that they, who could not find the doctrine of a future state in the writings of Moses, did not understand those writings: that he, who pretended to give some reasons why Moses did not mention a future state, could neither do Moses nor religion any service by such a false representation of the case: and that they who believe this to be the case, are either enemies to Moses or to
truth: though in the point before us he must be an enemy to both who is so to either of them.
There will appear reason enough for these and many more such like observations when it is proved
First, That if the doctrine of a future state could not be directly found in the law of Moses, yet there are many strong and unanswerable arguments, which suppose that it is, and prove that it ought to be there. This will
appear from arguments drawn from reason or the nature of the thing, and from the scriptures of the New Testament. And first from the reason of the thing, A future state ought to make part of the law, because upon the supposition that God intended man for happiness, it is inconsistent with his attributes to make a revelation of his will, and to omit such a doctrine in it. God hath all perfections originally in himself; among the rest infinite wisdom, because that is a perfection: as therefore he must know the value of every thing, both as omniscient, and as he made every thing, it follows that he can never form a wrong judge ment, and being also infinitely good, can never prefer a lesser good to a greater: for nothing can appear to us with greater certainty, than that he who hath all perfections, cannot be imperfect; or that he who is omniscient, cannot but know that eternal happiness is a much greater good than temporal; or that he who is infinitely good cannot but be concerned to promote this greater good in opposition to the less. So that the
sup position of the revelation by Moses coming from God, and yet omitting a future state, hath these manifest absurdities chained to it, that God must either not have seen the Jews' greater good, their eternal welfare, or if he did see it, not have been concerned to promote it, * i. e. he is either not infinitely wise, or not infinitely good, both which are infinite contradictions. And therefore if eternal happiness be a much greater good than temporal, and if the deity be infinitely wise and good, and of course must know and prefer this greater good in opposition to the lesser, it is almost a demonstration, that whenever God reveals his will to his creatures, he must act consistently with those attributes, and that therefore the revelation by Moses ought almost entirely to treat of, however to contain something concerning a future state. If God indeed could promote the Jews' eternal happiness more effectually by keeping them ignorant of it, then this argument would not be conclusive, but this it will soon appear he neither could nor did intend to do.
* Stillingfleet's Origines Sacræ, 153. 1. 21.
Secondly, But farther God actually did see this greater good and did promote it, because he gave man freedom of will. For what was the intention of the deity in creating man? Was it not to make him a free agent ? To give him certain laws ? To place him in a state of trial, where he was to give proof of the right use of his free-agency by observing those laws, and after a sufficient time of probation to admit him to his favour and endless happiness? That this was the original intention will be readily allowed by most persons. Was man then created for such ends, and was not he to know the end of his creation ? If he did not know it, how could he answer it? Being ignorant of the end for which he was created, it was impossible he could know the true reason why those laws were given him, which were designed to answer that end. So that he could not have any reason to follow those laws which were the right means to attain the end, if he knew not that there was any end, or that the means tended not to it: because if he was ignorant of the true intention of the laws, no motive could be drawn from hence to enforce his observance of them, and because it is a contradiction to assert, that a reasonable being acts without some motives, or evidence, i. e. without a reason; and it must cease to be reasonable, when it acts where it hath no end in view, or where it proposes nothing by acting : for there can be nothing to determine a reason: able being to perform any action, which he cannot dis