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LECT. to those who are out of it. This life, con
fidered in itself, is no better than death; (westra hæc, quæ dicitur vita, mors eft ;) so that if God, when he called himself the God of the Hebrews, was the God of those who had hope only in this life (as a modern divine asserted for a project) then he was the God of the dead ; and so the name God of the Hebrews would have been a dirhonourable title, of which, as the apostle observes, Heb. xi. 16. God would have been ashamed, as a title no better than that of a mortal king, whose power and promises extend to this life only.
6. All this is further evident, in that the law promised a Rest or Sabbath which it never gave; and therefore, the promise looked forward to that other glorious Sabbath which is to be fulfilled in another life. The apostle, in explaining the scripture on this subject, shews us how the fulfilling of this promise was suspended. That the faithful had a Sabbath of Rest in prospect after the course of their labours, appears from that threatening sentence
in the law, which denied it to those who LECT, did not believe. For, faith the apostle, we which have believed do enter into Rest, as he said, as I have sworn in my wrath if they Jhall enter into my Reft: although the works Wire finished from the foundation of the world*. Now the question is, what the Rest here spoken of can mean? It cannot mean that Rest which immediately followed the fix days of the creation, when God did rest on the seventh day from all his works; for that Rest of God hed been past and gone from the foundation of the world, when the works of God were finished. We must therefore look for another : and in this enquiry, it may occur, that the Rest to be expected was in the land of Canaan ; because those who were precluded from it fell in the wilderness ; according to what is faid fo with whom was he grieved forty years? Was it not with them that had finned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware be that they Nould not enter into his Rest, but to them that believed not?
* Chap. iv, 3. ☆ Chap. iii, 17, 18. See Numb. xiv, 30, and Deut. xii, 9.
LECT. Hence, I say, it might be imagined, that
the settlement of the people in Canaan was the Rest with which God was to reward them. But neither can this be the case ; because in the prophet David, many ages afterwards, he limiteth the promisə of this rest to a certain day; saying, to day, after so long a time; to day if ye will bear his voice, harden not your hearts *. For if Jesus, as the apostle argues, (that is, if fosbua, who is also called Jesus) bad given them Resi, (in Canaan) then would be not afterwards have spoken of another day. There remaineth therefore a Rest to the people of God: that is, in other words, according to the drift of the argument, the Rest proposed to the people of God always meant what it means now; and that which remains to us at this day, after so long a time, is the same that was promised to the faithful of old. Consider the application of the term, and you will see that the apostles reasoning must be true: for it is called the Rest of God if they shall enter into Mr REST—and what was that? It was un* Ch. iii. 7, 8.
doubtedly a Rest in Heaven, after the works LECT. of the creation were finished upon earth: S be that is entered into his rest, he also hatb ceased from his own works as God did from bis: therefore it is a Rest, into which no man can enter, till his works upon the earth are finished. To those who understand the language of the law, and the apostles reasoning upon it, this is a demonstration, that the law did not rest in temporal promises. They who lived in faith under the patriarchal dispensation, died in the same faith; death could make no change in their creed, because they expected of God what they could never receive, till their works upon earth were finished. Therefore, it is truly said of them; these all died in faith, not baving received the promises; but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth*. The land of Canaan was not the object of their hope: it was only a sign and a pledge of the goodness of God, an earnest of what they were to expect after this life; there* Ch.xi, 13, &c.
LECT. fore they desired a better country, that is an
heavenly, and their mortal life was a pilgrimage in quest of it. There never was an age, in which it was not required of the children of God, that they should renounce the world, and prepare themselves by that discipline which should fit them for a better state. Such is the language of the scripture to them all, under the several names of Patriarchs, Jews, or Christians—My son despise not thou the chaftening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of bim: for whom the Lord loveth he chasleneth, and scourgeth every fon whom be receiveth *
7. What I proposed to consider in this lecture hath been sufficiently proved ; namely, that the religion of the people of God was the same for substance under the Old as under the New Testament; so that, in fact, we find but one true religion from the beginning of the world to the end of it; a religion of faith and dependence upon