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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 "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 "which man was created: And because man could not "answer the end of his creation, if he was ignorant of ❝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 "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


not see it there, one may safely say upon Christ's authority in the text, what he said upon the very same occasion, "Do 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

* 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 Comment. 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 fœdere Dei, quod morte non rumpitur, 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 maniere extraordinaire ceux dont on se dit le Dieu C'est le sens qu'elle a dans toutes les Promesses, oú 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; á cause de quoi être le Dieu d'une Nation, signifie la favoriser d'une Maniere toute particuliere. And if he did not favour Abraham, &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.


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 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, 1 am satisfied every one here present will conclude that it actually is there.

But our adversaries require other proofs: their ig norance 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. The very 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 judg 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 supposition 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

* Stillingfleet's Origines Sacræ, 153. l. 21.

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