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Prophets, it was not brought to light through the Gospel: therefore the generality of those under the Law had no knowledge of a future state. But Scripture is ever consistent, though men's systems be not. And for this reason we find that life and immortality, which is here said to be brought to light through the Gospel, is so often called the MYSTERY OF THE Gospel * : that is, a mystery till this promulgation of it by the disciples of CHRIST: IVhich had been hid from ages and from generations, but was then made manifest unto the Saints t. The term was borrowed from those famous Rites of Paganism, so named; and is applied with admirable justness. For as the Nysteries were communicated only to a few of the wise and great, and kept hid from the populace: so life and immortality, as we shall see, was revealed by God, as a special favour, to the holy Patriarchs and Prophets, but kept hid from the body of the Jewish Nation.
4. The Author of the Epistle to the Hebrews says: That THE LAW MADE NOTHING PERFECT, BUT
BETTER HOPE DIDI Now, that could not be said to be brought in, which was there before. . And had it been there before, the Law, it seems, had been perfect; and, consequently, would have superseded the use of the Gospel. Therefore this better hope, namely of immortality in a future state, is not in the Mosaic Dispensation. Let us observe farther, that as the Gospel, by bringing in a better hope, made the Law perfect, it appears, there was that relation between the Law and Gospel which is between the beginning and the completion of any matter. From whence these two consequences follow :
See note (TT) at the end of this Book. 4 Col. I, 26.
Cbapo vii. ver. 19,
1. That • Chap. x. ver. 1.
1. That the Law wanted something which the Gospel supplied: And what was that something but the doctrine of a future State? 2. That the Law musi nerds make some preparation for that better hope which the Gospel was to bring in. What it was, the same writer tells us, namely, That it had A SHADOW (cxtar] of good things to come, but not the VERY IMAGE [eixóuz] of the things *. Hence it is evident that by this shadow is meant such a typical representation, so faintly delineated, as not to be perceived by vulgar eyes, intent only on a carnal Dispensation. This was contrived for admirable purposes : For if, instead of a shadow or faint outline of a design, the Image itself, in full relief, had glaringly held forth the object intended, this object, so distinctly defined, would have drawn the Jews from that Economy to which it was God's pleasure they should long continue in subjection: And had there been no delineation at all, to become stronger in a clearer light, one illustrious evidence of the Dependency between the two Religions had been wanting
Again, the same Writer, to the same purpose, speaking of CHRIST, says, But now hath he obtained a more excellent Ministry, by how much also he is the Mediator of a BETTER COVENANT, which was established upon BETTER PROMISES. For if the first Covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been found for the Second t. 1. We see that this better Covenant was established by Christ, and not by Moses. 2. If the first Covenant had been faultless, that is, had contained betier promises, or taught the doctrine of a future state, there had been no room for a second.
+ Chap. viii, ver.
To sum up all, This admirable writer gives in the last place, the fullest evidence to both parts of the proposition, namely, “ That temporal rewards and punishments were the sanction of the Jewish Dispensation; and that it had no other.” For in the second chapter we find these remarkable assertions :
Ver. 2. For if the word spoken by Angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience RECEIVED A JUST RECOMPENCE OF REWARD, How shall we escape, &c.
Ver. 5. For unto the Angels hath he not put in subjection the WORLD TO COME, whereof we speak.
Ver. 14; 15. Fle [Christ] also himself likewise took part of the same [flesh and blood] that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death; that is, the Devil; and deliver them, who through fear of Death were ALL THEIR LIFE-TIME subject to bondage
Let us lay these three texts together. And we shall find, 1. from ver. 2. that the sanction of the Law, or the word spoken by angels, was of a temporal nature - every transgression received a just recompence. 2. From ver. 5. that the Law taught no future statethe world to come not being put in subjection to these angels. Aud 3. from ver. 14, 15. that the people had not the knowledge of such a state--being all their life-time subject to bondage. For the Devil is here said to have power of death, as he brought it into the world by the delusion of the First Man. Therefore, before death can be abolished, He, who had the power of it, must be destroyed. But his destruction is the work of the SECOND VAN. Till his coming therefore, the Jews, as we are here told, were through fear of death all their life-time subject to bondage. Christ then bro'ight them into the gloricus liberty of VOL. W. O
the children of God *, by setting before them life and immortality 1:
To all this, I hope, the reader will not be so inattentive to object, “That what is here produced froin the New Testament, to prove that the followers of the Law had no future state, contradicts what I have more than once observed, That the later Jewish Prophets had given strong intimations of an approaching Dispensation, with a future state.' For the question is concerning a future state's being the Sanction of the Law, not of later intiinations, of its being ready to becoine the sanction of the GOSPEL.
As inconsiderate would be this other objection,
That my point is to prove that this Dispensation had no future state of reward and punishment at all, and my evidence from the New Testainent only shews they had not the Christian Doctrine of it.” For to this I answer, 1. That those I argue with, if they hold any difference between the Christian and general Doctrine of a future state of reward and punishment, it is only this, that thic Christian Doctrine was revealed; the other, a conclusion of natural reason. Now if the Jews had this Doctrine, they must needs have it, as irrealed; consequently the same with the Christian. 2. That though I myself suppose the natural and the Christian Doctrine of a future state of reward and, punishment to be very different things; yet I shall shew, in due time, that if Moses were indeed God's Alessenger, and would teach a future state, it could be no other than the Christian Doctrine of it. But as those, I have to do with, may be ready to tell me, that this due time, like that of the Jews' Messiah, is either past or will never come, they will, I suppose, readily bear with me while I anticipate the subject, and in a very few words prove what is here asserted. Revelation teacheth that mankind lost the free gift of immortal life by the transgression of Adam; and, from thence, became mortal, and their existence confined to this life. Revelation likewise teacheth that the MEAN which Divine Wisdom thought fit to em, ploy in restoring mau from death to his first state of immortality, was the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. Hience it appears to be a thing impossible, that any Messenger from God, any Agent or Instrument made use of for conducting this grand Dispensation towards its completion, could (were it in his choice or in his office to promulgate the doctrine of a future State) speak of any other but that purchased by Christ, and promulged and proclaimed in the Gospel, since in fact, on the principles of Revelation, there is no other; and to inculcate another, would be impeaching the veracity of God, and the eternal stability of his councils.
• Rom. viii. 21.
# For the further illustration of this matter, I would recommend to the Reader's serious perysal the first chapter of The free and candid Eramination of the Bishop of London's Principles.
To conclude, There is one thing which plainly evinceth, that if the Jews had the knowleuge or belief of a FUTURE STATE of reward and punishment, they must have had the knowledge of the REDEMPTION of man by the death and suffering of Jesus Christ, likewise. And it is this, That all the Sacrifices in the Jewish Ritual regarded only temporal things. A very competent judge in these matters assures us,Universa Judæorum simul congesta Sacrificia ad assequenda hujus vitæ commoda omnia facta erant*. The consequence is this, That if the Jewish religion taught its followers a future state of rewards and punishments, it either afforded them no mcans of
* Outram de Sacr. p. 305.