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he did his best to weaken the efficacy, by studiously contriving to draw men off, as it were, from the Doctrine, and always representing it under the impenetrable cover of temporal rewards and punishments ?
2. If a future state obtained by Tradition, What occasion was there for the Law of punishing the trauisgression of the parent upon the children?
3. If it obtained by Tradition, How happened it that the Jews are not represented in their History sometimes at least, as acting on the motives, and in-. Huenced by the prospect of a future state, and expressing their hopes concerning it like the rest of mankind, who had it by Tradition, or otherwise ?
4. If it obtained by Tradition, How came HEZEKIAH to say, that they who go down into the pit cannot hope for the truth : and DAVID, to represent the dead as going into the place of silence and forgetfulness, where they were no longer to praise and celebrate the goodness of God ? On the contrary, are there not passages in the books of Solomon and Joe, which plainly shew that no such tradition obtained in their respective tines ?
5. If it obtained by Tradition, What occasion for the adıninistration of an extraordinary Providence under the Law? Or from whence arose the embarras of David and JEREMIAH (not to speak of the disputants in the book of Jop) to account for the prosperity of some wicked Individuals, in the present life? In a word, to the maintainers of this Tradition may be
very appositely applied the words of Jesus to the Traditionists in general, when he told them, they made the word of God of none effect through their traditions. For certainly, if any thing can render that word of God which brought life and immortality to light by the Gospel, of none effect, it is the pretended PRIMÆVAL
TRADITION which the good Bishop so much insists upon.
The learned Prelate indeed observes, that the Jews were possessed of a future state long before the coming of Christ. But what is this to the
But what is this to the purpose, if it can be shewn, that the knowledge of it might be obtained from a quarter very distant from the old llebrew Traditions; and especially if from the colour and complexion of the Doctrine, it can be shewn, that it did, in fact, cone from a distant quarter? namely, from their Pagan neighbours ; patched up out of some dark and scattered insinuations of their own Prophets, and varnished over with the metaphorical expressions employed to convey them. But not to anticipate what I have to say on this head in the last volume, I proceed in the course of my argument.
WHAT is yet of greatest weight, the inspired writers of the New Testament expressly assure us that the doctrine of a future State of reward and punishment did not make part of the Mosaic Dispensation.
Their evidence may be divided into two parts. In the first, they prove that temporal Rewards and Punishments were the sanction of the Mosaic Dispensation : and in the second, that it had no OTHER.
I. St. Paul, in his epistle to Timothy, enforcing, against certain judaizing Christians, the advantages of moral above ritual observances, says, “ Bodily exercise
profiteth little; but godliness is profitable unto all
things; having the promise of the life that now is, and " of that which is to come That is, though numerous ritual observances were enjoined by the Law, 1 Tim. iy. 8.
and some there must needs be under the Gospel wherever there is a Christian Church, yet they are of little advantage in comparison of moral virtue; for that, under both Religions, the rewards proper to each were annexed only to godliness: that is to say, under the Jewish, the reward of the life that now is ; under the Christian, of that which is to come. This interpretation, which shows temporal rewards to be foreign to the nature of the Christian Economy, I support,
1. From other passages of the same Writer, where he expressly informs us that Christians have not the promise of the life that now is. For to the Corinthians he says, speaking of the condition of the followers of Christ, if in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable *. : To understand the force of which words, we must consider, that they were addressed to Jewish Converts tainted with Sadducism, who argued from the Mosaic Dispensation to the Christian : And holding that there was no future state in the former, concluded by analogy, that there was none in the latter. The argument on which they built their first Position was, that the sanctions of the Law were temporal rewards and punishments. Our Apostle therefore argues with them, as is his usual way, on their own principles. You deny, says he, a resur“ rection from the dead, or a future state of reward .". and punishment. And why? Because there is no such doctrine in the Law. How do
How do you prove
it? “ Because the sanctions of the Law are temporal “ rewards and punishments. Agreed. And now on your own principle I confute your conclusion. You
own that the Jews had an equivalent for future re"" wards and punishments, namely the present. But “ Christians have no equivalent. So far from that,
Cor. xv. 19.
" they are, with regard to this world only, of all men « most miserable ; having therefore no equivalent for " the rewards of a future state, they must needs be " entitled to them.” This shews the superior force of the Apostle's reasoning. And from hence it appears not only that Christians HAD NOT, but that the Jews HAD the promise of the life that now is. 3. 2. If we understand the promise of the life that now is to extend to the Christian Dispensation, we destroy the strength and integrity of St. Paul's arguwent. He is here reasoning against judaizing Christians. So that his business is to shew, that godliness, in every state, and under every Dispensation unto #hich they imagined themselves bound, had the advantage of bodily exercise *
The Author of the epistle to the Hebrews, speaking of Jesus, says : After the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another Priest, who is mude not after the Law of A CARNAL COMMANDMENT, but after the poteer of an endless life t. The Jewish Religion, called a carnal commandment, is here opposed to the Christian, called the power of an endless life. By carnal connnandment then must needs be understood a Law promising carnal things, or the things of this life.
II. That the Mosaic Dispensation had only the sanction of temporal rewards and punishments, or that it taught not futuré, let us hear St. John; who in the beginning of his Gospel assures us, that the Law was given by Moses, but that GRACE and Truth came by Jesus Christ I. As certain then 'as the Law did not come by Jesus Christ, so certain is it, according to this Apostle, that Grace and Truth did not come by Moses. This Grace and Truth cannot be understood gene
See note (RR) at the end of this Book. † Chap. vii. ver. 15, 16. 1 Chap. i. ver. 17.
rically; for, the grace or favour of God was bestowed on the chosen race, and truth, or the revealed will of God, did come by Moses. It must therefore be some species of grace and truth, of which the Apostle here predicates; the publication of wlrich species constitutes what is called the Gospel. And this all know to be redemption from death, and restoration to eternal life. ·
: Again, to this part likewise, let us once more hear the learned Apostle : As by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death pussed upow all men, for that all have sinned: for until the Lare, sin was in the world, but Sin is not imputed where there is no Law. Nevertheless. Death reigned from Adum, to Moses *. It is St. Paul's purpose to slow, that death came by Adam through sin, and so passed upon all men; and that life came by Jesus Christ: But having said that Sin, which brings forth Death, is not imputed where there is no Law, lest this should seem to contradict what he had said of Death's passing upon all men, he adds, nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses ; taking it for granted that his followers would understand it must needs reign from Moses to Christ, as having made Sin's being JMPUTED to consist in there being a Law given. Now I ask how the Apostle could possibly say, that death reigned under the Mosaic Dispensation, if that People had the knowledge of immortal life to be procured by a Redeemer to come, any more than it can be said to reign now with the same knowledge of a Redeemer past; since we agree that the efficacy of his death extends to all preceding as well as succeeding Ages ? Accordingly in his epistle to the Corinthians he calls the Jewish Law, thg MINISTRATION OF DEATH, and the MINISTRATION OF CONDEMNATION t. Rom. y. 12, et seq.
+ 2 Cor. iii. 7, et seg: