« PrécédentContinuer »
And the DoCTRINE of the ancient
Concerning a FUTURE STATE, fhewn to be
By JOHN JACKSON,
Printed for JOHN NOON, at the White-Hart, near the Poultry,
in Cheapfide. MDCCXLV.
Proved to be
A FUNDAMENTAL ARTICLE of the Religion of the Hebrews, &c.
S the Evidence of Natural Religion, which teaches the Worship of God, and the Belief of a future State, is de
duc'd from the Principles of Reafon and the ordinary Providence of God; fo the only direct Proof of reveal'd Religion is founded on an extraordinary divine Providence manifefted in Miracles and Prophecies: nor can any other immediate or direct Evidence be given of a Revelation. And as all Revelation prefuppofes na-. tural Religion, and is an immediate divine Atteftation given to it, fo it is defign'd to reform A 2
the Corruptions brought into it, and to add Light to the Evidence, and Force to the Obligations of it.
I propose therefore to fhew that the Religion of the Hebrews or Jews was founded on the Principles of natural Religion, to which Revelation was added; and particularly, that the Belief of a future State, or Life to come, was a primary fundamental Article of this Religion.
This is very clear and evident to me, and I shall endeavour to make it fo to the Reader, without defiring or intending to enter into Controverfy with any learned Perfon, who is or fhall be of another Opinion.
Whoever attentively confiders and compares together the Old and New Teftament will, I think, find such an Agreement and Connection between them, that they must appear to be two Parts of the fame general Syftem of Religion, reveal'd by God first to the Patriarchs and their Defcendants the Hebrews or Jews, and contain'd in the Writings of Mofes and the Prophets; and afterwards both to Jews and Gentiles, or the rest of Mankind, by Chrift, and contained in the Gofpels and other Writings of his Apostles.
In the Connection of the two divine Covenants or Laws, it is eafy to fee that all the main and effential Parts of the latter or Chriftian Covenant are contain'd, and either plainly and expreffly, or else typically and fymbolically declar'd and represented in the first Covenant, and in the Explanations of it by the Prophets.
As the great Design and End of God's Reve lation to Abraham and the Patriarchs, and afterwards to Mofes, was to preserve amongst the Hebrews the true Belief and Worship of him the only true God, in oppofition to the Idolatry and Superftition which then prevail'd in other Nations, and almost in every Part of the World; till he should by a farther and more perfect Revelation by Christ Jefus make his Will known to the Gentiles, or the rest of Mankind, in order to destroy all Idolatry and Superstition, and to establish true Religion in the whole World: fo by the wife and good Providence of God, the Coming of Chrift, and the End of his Miffion, was from the Beginning gradually and in various manners represented and foretold in the Revelations made to Adam and the Patriarchs, to Mofes and the Prophets.
By these the Jews, and all who embraced their Religion, were taught as it were beforehand the Gospel of Chrift; and by Faith in God's Promifes, and Obedience to the Commandments of the Law, became Partakers of the Bleffings of it.
Now, as the great End of the Miffion of Jefus Chrift was to abolish Death, and to bring Life and Immortality to Light by his Gofpel (2 Tim. i. 10.) fo the Apoftle St. Paul affures us in the foregoing Verfe, that this Life and Immortality in or by Chrift Jefus was purpos'd by God, and given or reveal'd before the World be gan, as it is render'd in the English Verfion. But the Greek Words [πρὸ χρόνων αιωνίων] mean before the Times of the Ages, that is, before the