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In spite of these two memorable transactions, the Quakers have notwithstanding rejected water-baptism. What is the pretence ? "Water-baptism” (it seems) “is John's baptism, and only a type of baptism by the Holy Ghost or by Fire ; so that when this last came in use, the former ceased and was abolished.” Yet in the two histories given above, both these fancies are reproved ; and in such a manner as if the stories had been recorded for no other purpose : For in the adventure of Paul, the water-baptism of Jesus is expressly distinguished from the water-baptism of John : And, in that of Peter, it appears, that water-baptism was necessary for admittance into the church of Christ, even after the ministration of baptism by fire, or the communicated power of the Holy Ghost. It is further observable, that these two Heads of the Mission to the two great divisions of Mankind, the Jews and Gentiles, here acted in one another's province; Peter the Apostle of the Jews administering baptism to the Gentile houshold of Cornelius; and Paul the Apostle of the Gentiles administering the same rite to the Jewish Converts. And why was this crossing of hands but to obviate that silly evasion, that waterbaptism was only partial or temporary?
But what is reason, evidence, or truth, when opposed to religions Prejudice ! The Quakers do not hold it to be clearer, that repentance from dead works is necessary for obtaining the spiritual benefits of the Gospel-Covenant, than that WATER-BAPTISM is abolished, and of no use to initiate into the Church of Christ.
II. But to proceed. The error in question is, as we said, not confined to the Christian Church. The Jews too maintain it with equal obstinacy, but not with equal indiscretion ; the Children of this world are, in their generation, wiser than the Children of light ; * their fatal adherence to their long abolished Rites depending altogether upon this single prejudice, that Moses taught a future state of rewards and punishments: for if he taught it not, the consequence is inevitable, his Religion could be only preparatory to one that did teach it. This therefore is their great support ; and wisely have they inforced it by all the authority and power of the Synagogue.t But what Christians gain by so doing, I confess I know not. What they lose hath been seen in part, and will be more fully shewn hereafter : not one demonstration only, of the truth of the Mosaic Mission, but all true conception of that divine harmony which inspires every part, and runs through the whole of God's great Dispensation to Mankind.
III. The error is still more extensive ; and hath spread from true Religion to the false ; a fitter soil for its reception. For the MahoMETANS, who hold the divine original of the Jewish Law, are as obstinate as the best, in giving it this mistaken advantage: but, it must be
† See the Dedication prefixed to book ir.
• Luke svi. 8.
owned, under a modester pretext. Their expedient for saving the honour of the Law is this : They confess the Doctrine of a future state is not at present to be found there : But though IT BE NOT THERE, IT OUGHT TO BE; for that the Jews, in pure spite to them, have interpolated their Bible, and taken away all mention of it.*
Matters being in this odd situation, the reader will excuse me, if I turn a little to consider those texts of Scripture which CHRISTIAN writers have produced to prove, That a future state of rewards and punishments does indeed make part of the Mosaic Religion.
But here let me observe, that the thing of most consequence in this part of my discourse will be to state the question clearly and plainly. When that is done, every common reader will be able, without my help, to remove the objections to my System; or rather, the question being thus truly stated, they will fall of themselves.
I. My declared purpose, in this Work,t is to demonstrate The Divine Legation of Moses, in order to use it for the foundation of a projected defence of Revelation in general, as the Dispensation is compleated in Christianity. The medium I employ for this purpose is, that there was no future state of reward and punishment in the Mosaic Religion. I must needs therefore go upon these two principles : 1. That Moses did not disbelieve a future state of reward and punishment. 2. That his Religion was preparatory to the Religion of Jesus which taught such future state. Hence proceed these consequences :
1. From my holding that Moses did not disbelieve a future state, it follows, that all those texts of Scripture which are brought to prove that the ancient Jews believed the soul survived the body, are nothing to the purpose : but do, on the contrary, greatly confirm my Thesis : 'for which reason I have myself shewn that the early Jews did indeed suppose this truth.
2. From my holding 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, I 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.
•“ Taourat—Les Musulmans disent, que c'est l'ancien Testament que Dieu revela à Moyse écrit en langue Hebraique, livre qui a été alteré et corrumpu par les Juifs. C'est la le sentiment des Magulmans qui a été recueilli de plusieurs anteurs Arabes par Hagi Khalfah. Le même auteur dit-que l'on n'y trouve pas aussi aucuu endroit où il soit parlé de l'autre vie, ni de la Resurrection, ni du Paradis, ni de l'Enfer, et que cela vient peut être de ce que les Juifs ont corrompu leurs exemplairs."--Voyez la Bibliotheque Orientale de M. D' Herbelot, Mot. Taouart. + See the Appendix to the first edition of “the Alliance between Church and State." 1 See the last section of this book.
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 taught to the People under the law, what occasion was there for any typical representation of them, which 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 the spiritual sense during the continuance of the first ? Yet as clear as this is, the contrary is the doctrine of my Adversaries ; who seem to think that the 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 hath this matter been so little attended to, in the judgements passed upon my argument, that both sorts have been urged as confutations of it. I speak not here of the dirty calumnies of one or two forgotten scriblers, 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
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 Eristence. 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 obscurely 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 omitted 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 pretended meaning.
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 as the book of Job * is supposed to teach both a SEPARATE EXISTENCE and 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 it
may be said by those who thus hold it to be the earliest Scripture (allowing the words of Job, I know that my Redeemer liveth, &c. to respect a future state) that the Jewish people must not only have had the knowledge of a FUTURE STATE of rewards and punishments, bat, 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 need to inculcate the doctrine of a future state.t But I much suspect that the clear knowledge of so 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, I was not at all suited to the times of Job or Moses. The learned and
• See note B, at the end of this book. 1 Col. i. 26.
† See note C, at the end of this book.
impartial Divine will perhaps be 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 endeavour 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 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,
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, by way of narrative, information of such facts as fell not within the compass of the one entire Action represented.*
I am induced to embrace this opinion from the cast of the style, the SENTIMENTS, and COMPOSITION; all perfectly suited to such a kind of Work, and ill agreeing with any other.
1. As to the Style, it hath been observed by the Critics, even from
* See note D, at the end of this book.