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believed the soul survised the body, are nothing to the purpose: but do, on the contrary, greatly contirm my Thesis : for which reason I have myself shewn that the early Jews did indeed suppose this truth.
2. From my hobling that the Religion of Moses was only preparatory to the Religion of Jesus, it follows, that all such texts, as imply a Future state of rewards and punishments in their TYPICAL signification only, are just as little to the purpose.
For if Moses's Religion was preparatory to one Future, it is, as I have shewn*, highly reasonable to suppose, that the essential doctrine of that New Religion was shadowed out under the Rites, or by the inspired Penmen, of the Old. But such texts are not only inconclusive, but highly corroborative of the opinion they are brought to oppose.
. For if future rewards and punishments were tanight to the People under the Law, what occasion was there for any typical representation of them, wirich necessarily implies the throwing things into shade, and secreting them from vulgar knowledge? What ground was there for that distinction between a carnal and a spiritual meaning (both of which it is agreed the Mosaic Law had, in order to fit it for the use of two Dispensations) if it did not imply an ignorance of thre spiritual sense during the continuance of the first? Yet as clear as this is, the contrary is the doctrme of my Adversaries; who seem to think that tire spiritual and the carnal sense must needs always go together, like the jewel and the foil in Aaron's breast-plate.
Both these sorts of texts, therefore, conclude only against SADDUCEES and INFIDELS. Yet bath this matter been so little attended to, in the judgements passed upon my argument, that both sorts have been * See the last Section of tbis Book, V 4
urged urged as confutations of it. I speak not here of the dirty calumnies of one or two forgotten scribblers, but of the unequitable censures of some who better deserve to be set right.
II. But farther, As my position is, that a Future state of reward and punishment was not taught in the Mosaic Dispensation, all texts brought to prove the knowledge of it after the time of David are as impertinent as the rest. · For what was known from this time, could not supply the want of what was unknown for so many ages before. This therefore puts all the prophetic Writings out of the question. And now, when all these Texts are taken from
my Adversaries, what is there left, to keep up the quarrel? Should I be so severe to insist on the common rights of Authors, of not being obliged to answer to convict impertinencies, this part of my task would be soon over. But I shall, in charity, consider these Texts, such as they are. However, that I may not appear altogether so absurd as the Inforcers of them, I shall give the reader my reasons for this condescension.
1. As to the FUTURE EXISTENCE OF THE SOUL, we should distinguish between the mention of it by Moses, and by the following Writers. These might, and, as we have shewn, did conclude for its existence from the nature of the thing. But Moses, who, we suppose, intentionally omitted the mention of Future rewards and punishments, would not, we must needs suppose likewise, proclaim the preparatory doctrine of the Existence. Nor could he, on the other hand, deny what he knew to be the truth. Thus, being necessitated to speak of Enoch's Translation, it could not be, but that a separate existence might be inferred, how ob'scurely soever the story was delivered. But had he said any thing, in his account of the Creation, which
literally implied (as the words, of man's being made in the image of God, and the breath of life being breathed into his nostrils, are supposed to do that man had an immortal soul, then must Moses be supposed, purposely, to have inculcated that Immortality; contrary to what we hold, that he purposely onnitted the doctrine built upon it, namely, a future state of reward and punishment. It will not be improper therefore to shew that such texts have not this
2. Concerning a FUTURE STATE OF REWARD AND PUNISHMENT; several texts are brought as teaching it in a typical sense, which teach it in no sense at all: several as teaching it in a direct and literal sense, which only teach it in a typical. Both these, therefore, it may be proper to set in a true light.
3. Lastly, concerning the texts from the later Prophets, which are without the period in question ; I own, and it is even incumbent on my Argument to prove, that these Prophets opened the first dawning of the doctrine of a Resurrection, and consequently of a Future state of reward and punishment : even these therefore shall in their proper place be carefully considered. At present let me just observe, that the dark veil under which the first set of Prophets delivered their typical representations was gradually drawn aside by the later.
HAVING premised thus much to clear the way, and shorten the inquiry, I now proceed to my examination.
And first, of the texts brought from the OLD TESTAMENT,
Now it may
Now as the book of Job* is supposed to teach both a SEPARATE EXISTENCE ard a FUTURE STATE OF REWARD AND PUNISHMENT; and is besides thought by some to be the first of Moses's writings ; and by others to be written even before his time, and by the Patriarch himself, I shall give it the precedence in this inquiry : which it deserves likewise on another account, the superior evidence it bears to the point in question; if indeed it bear any evidence at all. For
be said by those who thus hold it to be the earliest Scripture (allowing the worls of Job, I know that my Redeemer liveth, &c. to respect a future state) that the Jewish people inust not only have had the knowledge of a FUTURE STATE of rewards and punishments, but, what is more, of the RESURRECTION of the body, and still more, of the REDEMPTION of mankind by the Son of God: therefore Moses had no trecd to inculcate the doctrine of a future state f. But I much suspoct that the clear knowledge of 50 sublime a mystery, which, St. Paul says, had been hid from ages, and from generations, but was now (on the preaching of the Gospel) made manifest to the Saints to was not at all suited to the times of Job or Moses, The learned and impartial Divine will perhaps bæ rather inclined to think, that either the book of Job was written in a much later age, or that this famous passage has a very different meaning. I shall endea. vour to shew, that neither of these suspicions would be entertained without reason.
As to the Person of Job, the eminence of his Character, his fortitude and patience in afflictions, and
See note [B] at the end of this volume.
his preceding and subsequent felicity; these are realities so unquestionable, that a man must have set aside sacred Antiquity before he can admit a doubt concerning them. But that the book which bears Job's name was written by him, or in any age near his own, a careful and capable examiner will, I persuade myself, be hardly brought to believe.---- In the order of this discourse therefore I shall inquire, I. What kind of composition the book of Job really is. II. In what age it was written. And, III.Who was its Author:
1. Even those who are inclined to suppose this a Work of the highest Antiquity, and to believe it an exact history of Job's sufferings and patience, and of God's extraordinary dispensations towards him, recorded by his own hand, are yet forced to confess that the Introduction and Conclusion are of another nature, and added by a later hand, to give that fulness and integrity to the Piece, which works of imagination, and only such works, require. This is a large concession, and plainly intimates that he who wrote the Prologue and Epilogue, either himself believed the body of the work to be a kind of dramatic Composition; or, at least
, intended that others should have that opinion of it. I shall therefore the less scruple to espouse the notion of those who conclude the WHOLE TO BE DRAMATICAL. For the transferring the Prologue and Epilogue to a late writer, was only an expedient to get rid of a circumstance which shewed it to be such a sort of work ; and which consequently might bring it down to an age remote from that of the subject. But those who contrived this expedient seem to have had but a slender idea of the ancient Drama, which was generally rounded with a Prologue and Epilogue of this sort; to give,