Imatges de pÓgina

attaining future happiness, or it instructed them in the doctrine of the Redemption. To say the first, contradicts the nature of all Religion; to say the latter, inakes the Jewish useless, and the Christian false, as contradicting its repeated declarations, that life and immortality, or the doctrine of the Redemption, was brought to light through the Gospel.

But what was asked by St. Paul's Adversaries, will perhaps be asked by mine, Is the Law then against the PROMISES of God? Or does the Law, because it had no future state, contradict the Gospel, which hath? The Apostle's answer will serve me,-God forbid: For if there had been a Law which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the Law*. That is, if the genius of the Laze had produced such a Dispensation as was proper to convey to mankind the free gift of life and immortality, this gift would have been conveyed by it. All this shews that the Law was not contrary to the Gospel, but only that it was not of sufficient excellence to be the vehicle of God's. last best gift to mankind. And it shews too (and it is a very fit remark, as the result from the whole, with which to conclude this fifth Book) that a future state was not the Sanction of the Law of Vioses, or, in the Apostle's more emphatic words, that the Lun did not (because it could not) gire life.

Thus, I presuine, it is now proved beyond all reasonable question, THAT THE DOCTRINE OF A FUTURE STATE OF REWARD AND PUNISHMENT IS NOT 10


It will be asked, then, “ What were the real sentiments of these early Jews, concerning the soul ?" # Gal. ii. 21.



Though the question be a little out of time, yet as the answer is short, I shall give it here. They were doubtless the same with those of the rest of mankind, who have thought upon the matter; that it SURVIVED TAE BODY: But having, from Moses's silence and the establishment of another Sanction, no expectation of future rewards and punishments, they simply concluded that it returned to him who gave it *. But, as to any interesting speculations concerning its state of survivorship, 'tis plain they had none. Indeed how should they have any ? when peRSONALITY did not enter into the idea of this survivorship, that being only annexed to the rewards and punishments of a future state. Flence it was that those ancient Philosophers (almost all the theistical Philosophers of Greece) who considered the soul as a suBSTANCE distinct from the body, and not a mere QUALITY of it (for they were not such idiots as to conceive, that thought could result from any combinations of matter and motion), those Philosophers, I say, who considered the soul as a substance, and yet disbelieved a future state of rewards and punishments, denied it all future personality, and held the refusion of it into the rò fv, or the soul of the world f. And just such inTERESTING SPECULATIONs concerning it had the few philo-. sophic Jews of the most early times, as appears from the book of Ecclesiastes, which speaks their sentiments, Who knoweth (says this author) the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth $? And again : “ Then shall “ the dust returri to the earth as it was, AND THE

SPIRIT SHALL RETURN UXTO God WHO GAVE irg." Yet this writer, perfectly conformable to * Eccles. xii. 7.

+ See Div. Leg. b. iii. Cb.iii. 21. Vid. Cler. & loc. Ch. xii. 7. Vid. Cler. in loc.


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what I have delivered, says, at the same time: But the dead know not any thing, neither hare they ANY MORE A REWARD, for the memory of them is for


And where was the wonder? that a matter which so little concerned them, namely, the future condition of a portion of etherial Spirit divested of its Personality, should only float idly in the brain, when we reflect that even the knowledge of the FIRST CAUSE OF ALL THINGS, while he made no p:urt of the National Il'orship, was entertained by the Gentiles (as appears from all Antiquity) with the utmost unconcern, neither regulating their notions, nor influencing their actions.

But from this uninteresting state, in which the Doctrine, concerning the Soul, remained amongst the carly Jews, the SADDUCEES concluded that their Ancestors believed the extinction of the soul on death. Hence likewise came some late Revivers of this opinion, of the extinction of the soul; though maintained under the softer name of its SLEEP between death and the resurrection : For they go upon the Sadducean principle, that the soul is a quality only, and not a substance.

In support of this opinion, the Revivers of it proceed on the sophism, which Polytheists employ to combat the unity of the Godhead. Al Philosophical arguments (says the Reviver, after having quoted a number of wonderful things from Scripture, to prove the soul A quality, and mortal) draun from our notions of matter, and urged against the possibility of life, thought and agency, being so connected with some porţions of it as to constitute a compound Being or Person, are merely grounded on our ignorance f. Just so the

* Chap, ix. ver. 5.
Considerations on the Theory of Religion, P. 398. Ed. 34.


Polytheist. “ All arguments for the Unity, from metaphysics, are manifestly vain, and merely grounded on our ignorance. You Believers (says he) must be confined to Scripture: Now Scripture assures us, THERE WRE GODS MANY,” which, by the way, I think a stronger text, certainly a director, against the unity of the Godhead, than any this learned Writer has produced for the sleep of the Soul. But what say Believers to this? They say, that Scripture takes the unity, as well as the existence of the Deity, for granted; takes them for trutlis demonstrable by natural light. Just so it is with regard to that immaterial substance, the Soul. Scripture supposes men to be so far informed of the nature of the Soul, by the same light, as to know that it cannot be destroyed by any of those causes which bring about the extinction of the body. Our Dreamers* are aware of this, and therefore hold with Unbelievers, that the Soul is no substance, but a quality only; and so have taken effectual care indeed, that its repose shall not be disturbed in this, which we may emphatically call, the SLEEP OF DEATII. never prove (says another of these sleepers †) that the Soul of man is of such a nature that it can and must crist and live, think, act, enjoy, &c. separate from, and independent of, the body. All our present exferience shews the contrary. The operations of the mind depend cossTANTLY and INVARIABLY upon the state of the body, of the brain in particular. If some dying persons have a lively use of their rational faculties to the very last, it is because death has invaded some other part, and the bruin remains sound and vigorous I. This is the long-exploded trash of Coward, Toland,

* St. Jude's filthy dreamers only deflcd the Flesh. These drfile the Spirit. + Taylor of Norwick

Ib. p. 401. 04


We can

Collins, &c. And he who can treat us with it at this time of day, has either never read CLARKE and Baxter on the subject (in which he had been better employed than in writing upon it), or never understood them.-So far as to the abstract truth. Let us consider next the practical consequences. Convince the philosophic Libertine that the Soul is a quality arising out of matter, and vanishing on the dissolution of the form, and then see if ever you can bring him to believe the Christian Doctrine of the RESURRECTION! While he held the Soul to be an immaterial substance, existing, as well in its separation from, as in its conjunction with, the body, and he could have no reason, arising from the Principles of true Philosophy, to stagger in his belief of this revealed Doctrine.Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened except it die *, is good philosophy as well as good divinity: for if the body, instead of its earthly nature, were to have a heavenly, it must needs pass through death and corruption to qualify it for that change. But when this body died, what occasion was there for the Soul, which was to suffer no change, to fall asleep?

But their sleep of the Soul is mere cant: and this brings me to the last consideration, the sense and consistency of so ridiculous a notion. They go, as we observed, upon the Sadducean principle, that the Soul is a quality of body, not a substance of itself, and so dies with its substratum. Now sleep, is a modification of Existence, not of non-cxistence; so that though the sleep of a Substance hath a meaning, the sleep of a quality is nonsense. And if ever this Soul of theirs re-exerts its faculties, it must be by means of a REPRODUCTION, not by a mere AWAKING; and they may as well talk of the SLEEP of a mushroom turned

* St. Paul. (1 Cor. xv. 36.)


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