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so that if we believe Moses, we have a very plaint and exprefs Proof of the spiritual and immortal Nature of human Souls, without concerning our felves with the uncertain Reafonings and Conjectures of Philosophy, which are great Secrets to us. For he tells us, that the Soul was not made of Matter, but was immediately created by God, and breath'd into the Body, which was form'd of Duft: That it is this Breath of Life, which gives Life, and Sense, and Motion to the Body;
and therefore as it receives not Life from the Body, but gives Life to it, fo it does not depend on the Body for Life, but can live without it; nay, that it has a Principle of a true Divine Life, being made after the Image and Likenefs of God; and therefore is capable of fuch divine Enjoyments and Pleafürès, as have no Dependance on the Body: That Man was made to be immortal į and, had he preferv'd his Innocence, would never have fuffer'd fuch a Separation of Soul and Body as we call Death. But however, that the Sentence of Death related to the mortal Part of Man, to his Body which was form'd of the Duft, and must now return to Dust again ; But the Soul is immortal still, and lives in a separate State ; wherë good Men when they dýe meet each other again; as the Scripture assures us, That they are gather'd to their Fathers.
This is the Mofaical Philofophy concerning the Nature and Origin of human Soul, which agrees with the wiseft and best Philosophers in their Doetrine of the Souls Immortality. And this is the beft Confirmation of the Reasonings of Philosophy; that, as to their main Conclusion, they are confirmed by the most authentick History of the Creation. And I hope it máy reconcile some Wanton Philosophical Wits to Moses ; that in the most concerning Point of all, the Immortality
of the Soul, his Account is fo strictly Philosophical. And when we have the agreeing Testimony both of Reason and Revelation, I hope this will confirm us in the Belief of this most important Article, the Immortality of the Soul.
Concerning the Universal Consent in the Belief
of a Future State, and the Natural Desires of Immortality,
To girls HE second natural and moral Argument for TH
a future State, I told you, was the universal Consent of Mankind in this Belief. And if this be a good Argument, the Yereis had the best Evidence of it, from the constant Faith and Tradition of their Fathers. They knew all their Progenitors from Adam to Abraham, and through all successive Generations: and there was not an Infidel in their whole Line. They were Men of great Piety and Virtue, who worshipp'd the one Supreme God; and God frequently vouchsafed them his Presence, and convers’d familiarly with them ; as the Histories of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, abundantly witness. So that they could resolve their Faith into a Tradition as old as Adam. And if Adam believ'd another Life after this, he must learn it either immediately from God, or from the Dictares of Nature; ; and could not be mistaken in either.' For though Adam was fall'n, we must not think that he immediately lost all that natural Knowledge, wherewith he was created : For the Fall has not that Effect upon us even at this Day; and there is no Reason to doubt, but that Adam understood the Philosophy of Nature better than all the Experiments and Obfervations since can teach us. That Trial God made of his Knowledge of Creatures, when he brought them to him to see by what Names he would call them, is a good Evidence of this ; and makes it very probable, that Adam understood the Immortality of his own Nature from the Principles of Nature and Philosophy, with which he was so intimately, acquainted.
But besides this, though we cannot certainly tell how much Adam understood of that Promise which God made him after his Fall, That the Seed of the Woman should break the Serpent's Head; yet we may reasonably think, that a Man of so great Understanding and Sagacity must apply this to the Redemption of Mankind' from Death. The Serpent by his Subtilty had deceiv'd our first Parents into the Transgression of the Divine Law, which brought Death upon them and their Pofterity ; and therefore to break the Serpent's Head, is to deliver Mankind from Death, that Curse of the Law, which his Malice and Subtilty had betray'd
And I cannot see how Adam at that time could understand any thing less by it, if he thought it a Promise of Grace and Favour : For nothing but a Promise of a new Life could support and comfort him under the Sentence of Deach. And then this Promise did not only assure Adam of the Immortality of liis Soul after Death, but gave him reasonable Hopes of the Resurrection of his Body too: For the Death of the Body is that Curle which the Serpent had brought upon him ; and therefore the Resurrection of the Body effectually disappoints his Malice, and breaks his Head. And thus St. Paul expounds it in the second of the Hebrews, 14 and 15 v. For as much then as the Children are partakers of Flesh and Blood, he also hima; self likewise took part of the same, that through Death be might destroy him, who hath the power of Death,
that is, the Devil; and deliver them, who through fear of Death were all their Life-time subject to Bondage. Which plainly relates to this Promise of breaking the Serpent's Head.
And it seems very probable to me, that good Men, even in those Days, were not wholly ignorant of the Doétrinë of the Resurrection. I can give no other tolerable Account of what Job tells us, Job 19. v. 25, 26, 27. For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that be shall stand at the latter Day upon the Earth; and though after my Skin Worms destroy this Body, yet in my Flesh Shall I see God; whom I shall see for my self, and mine Eyes shall behold, and not another, though my Reins be consumed within me. That our Church understands this in a literal Sense of the Resurrection of the Body, appears from that place she has given it in the Office of Burial. And whereas others expound this as a Prediction and Prophecy of that happy and Aourishing State, which he mould be restored to in this World ; I have two Objections against it, which I cannot answer. i That had he known how happy and prosperous God intended to make him in this world, as a Reward of his present Sufferings, this must have filenc'd all his Complaints, even with respect to his present hard Usage, which yet in this very Chapter he is full of; which makes it most likely, that he knew nothing how near the End of his Troubles, and his future Felicity was. Nor is it likely that God should discover this to him ; because these Amictions were in: tended as a Trial of his Faith and Patience, and to make him a greater Example of both to the World. But had he certainly known what a happy End his Sufferings Thould have, even in this Life, his Patience and Submillion to the Will of God had not been so exemplary and wonderful. For, I believe, there are but few Men, did they know it beforehand, but would be contented to endure all that Fob did, for so short a time as he did, to enjoy fo great and so long a Prosperity in this World in Recompence of it. My second Objection is, That, in the plain and literal Sense, these Words' fignify a Resurrection of the Body, after it is destroy'd by Worms, and diffolv'd into Duft ; 'and therefore cannot be mere Metaphors to represent temporal Happiness and Prosperity by. For this is contrary to the Use of Scripture, that mere Metaphors should have more Truth and Reality in them, than the Things they are intended to represent. Temporal Deliverances, and Temporal Prosperities, are many times made use of in Scripture as Types and Metaphors, to represent the spiritual Blessings of the Meffias; for these spiritual Blessings are much greater than all the present external Pomp, and Glory, and Riches of a temporal Kingdoin. But to rise again from the Dead, after the Worms have destroy'd this Bady, is infinitely a greater thing, than to be very prosperous in this World after some severe Trials and AMictions. And there is no other Example in Scripture, wherein the Type and Figure has more Truch and Reality than its Antitype has. These, I think, are very reasonable Objections against this metaphorical Interpretation : And the only. Objection I know against the expounding these Words of Job, of the true and proper Resurrection of the Body after its Death and Diffolution, is the general Persuasion, That the Doctrine of the Resurrection was not then known to the World. And it is most probable that this was not then generally known: But yet, as I have shewn you, this might have been known from that Promise God made to Adam, That the Seed of the Woman sculd. break the Serpent's Head: And from these Words of Job, which will nat reasonably admit of any other Sense, it seenis most probable that such wise and good Men as Job was,