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The Divine Legation of Moses demonstrated from his having made
express mention of, and insisted so much on the Doctrine of a Future State : whereby Mr. Warburton's attempt to demonstrate the Divine Legation of Moses from his Omission of a future State is proved to be absurd, and destructive of all Revelation.
PREACHED BEFORE THE
UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD,
ST. MARY'S, MARCH 4th, 1739.
The foundations of all religion lie in two things; that there is a God
who rules the world, and that the souls of men are capable of subsisting after death : For he that comes unto God must believe that he is, and that he is a Rewarder of them that seek him : so that if these things be not supposed as most agreeable to human reason, we cannot imagine upon what grounds mankind should embrace any way of religion at all. Stillingfleet's Orig. Sacræ. B. 3. Ch. 1. Sect. 1.
LEGATION OF MOSES.
MARK xii, 24, 25, 26, 27. And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the
power of God? For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels which are in heaven. And as touching the dead, that they rise, have ye not read in the book of Moses, 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? He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the
living : ye therefore do greatly err. The New Testament is full of passages in which it is asserted, that Moses hath directly treated of the state in which man was at first created;—of the laws which his Creator gave him ;-of his violation of those laws; -and of his forfeiting thereby life here, and happiness hereafter ;-of the method of his being restored, and again enabled to attain that happiness ;—and of his having instituted many types and figures expressive of the sufferings, death, and resurrection of that person who was to restore man to happiness. Though these truths frequently occur in the New Testament, yet many persons have been at a loss where to find them in Moses' writings; and there hath not been a more common and popular objection against them, than what hath been drawn from hence, viz. “ That the deity 66 could have no other end in the creation but to com“municate happiness, that therefore whenever he re“ veals his will to his creatures, this revelation ought “ to contain some means to attain happiness: because if “ it doth not in fact promote the happiness of his
creatures, then it must either be made in vain, or to “ promote misery, both which are ends unworthy of “ the deity, and inconsistent with his moral perfections. “ But the law by Moses doth not contain any means to
promote the happiness of God's creatures; because “there is no mention made in it of that happiness for 66 which man was created : And because man could not
answer the end of his creation, if he was ignorant of 6 that end. The law therefore by Moses could not be
a revelation from God; for God never acts in vain, “ and could never be the author of misery in keeping
men ignorant of that great truth, which it was of the “ utmost importance to their happiness to be acquainted 66 with.”
It cannot be concealed, that the answers hitherto made, have given little satisfaction to the objectors. A late performance indeed promised to clear up this. point, and to demonstrate the divine legation of Moses from his omission of a future state, even upon the very principles of those who rejected his authority. But this design can never answer the end, but must rather promote that very cause which it pretends to overthrow: because it strengthens and confirms the objection, and because the very foundation upon which it is built is weak and false : for it is a matter of fact, that a future state is mentioned in Moses' writings, and is so far from not being to be found there, that it makes if not the whole, yet a very great part of those writings, it being delivered there in such plain literal terms, that he who can barely read, may read and find it there. To those modern Sadducees who will