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ing a name above every name in heaven and earth, to the glory of God the Father.” Of which likewise we can see the propriety and justice. And Scripture also countenances the opinion, that the high exaltation of such a number of mankind, as shall be found.capable of it, is given him as a reward for his sufferings.

However, none of these considerations, nor all of them together, come up to the point in question, viz. What connexion in the nature of things there is between the death of Christ and the salvation of mankind. This will probably be a desideratum as long as the present state lasts.

To expect that we should be informed of the Divine economy with the same distinctness as of our own duty, would be a piece of arrogance above ordinary. It is by experience we are instructed in temporals as well as spirituals.; and we proceed according to it, and are successful in the affairs of life, while we know little or nothing of the means by which the Divine Wisdom acts in the natural world, and ought in all reason to expect to know still less of his scheme in a supernatural interposition; as the plan of our redemption may be called. Did we know, which probably it is not proper we should, more of the foundations and connexions of the various parts of that sublime scheme, we should then know nothing useful to us but our duty. That we know now; and with such clearness as will render us wholly inexcusable if we be not found in the full and faithful performance of it.

The doctrine of the future resurrection of the body may, as properly as any one, be said to be peculiar to revelation. For there is no reason to think, that

even the more civilized heathen nations had generally any notion of it. On the contrary, we find the enlightened Athenians, in the apostolic times, startled at it, as altogether new to them. But, to use the words of the great apostle of the Gentiles to his hearers, “ Why should it be thought a thing incredible that God should raise the dead ?" To give life and being at first to what was once nothing, is certainly at least as difficult as to restore a bodily vehicle from a state of corruption, and to re-unite to it the mind, which had still preserved its existence during the state of separation. And the same Omnipotence, which was equal


to the former, may be fairly concluded equal to the latter, The precise modus, in which this re-union of the material and spiritual parts of human nature, at the resurrection, will be executed, is to us, as well as innumerable other effects of the Divine power, wholly unknown. The following hypothesis, or conjectures, (the author of whicla I cannot recollect,) has been thought ingenious. That there may be originally disposed, in the structure of the human frame, a system of stamina, in miniature, of the suture ærial or ætherial resurrection-body, so enveloped or. wrapt up, as to continue incorruptible till the consummation of all things ; at which time, by a pre-established law of Nature, it may unfold itself in a manner analagous to conception or vegetation, and the soul being re-united to it, the perfect man may again appear, renewed in his nature and state, and yet in general the same compound being he is at present, consisting of soul and body, or, perhaps more properly, of body, soul, and spirit. "The apostle Paul's comparison of the death and burial of the body to the sowing of a grain of wheat; and the resurrection of the future body to the springing up of the stalk, which we know to be nothing else than the unfolding of the minute stamina originally disposed in the grain sown, gives countenance to this conjecture, and probably furnished the first hint to it. It is not my purpose to establish any one hypothesis whatever. The only end answered by mentioning a conjecture for solving this difficulty, if it be a difficulty, is to show the doctrine of a future resurrection to be conceivable, without any absurdity. It must even be owned, that the scheme of a restoration, or renovation, of the whole human nature is incomparably more beautiful and regular, and consequently more likely to be the true one, than that received by the heathen world, which supposed the total lost or destruction of one essential part of the nature, I mean the body, and made the future man a quite different being, an unbodied spirit, instead of an embodied one. Whereas, the Christian scheme represents the dissolution and separation of the body for a time, as the effect and punishment of vice, and its restoration as the effect of the kind interposition of our glorious Deliverer; by

which means the whole existence of the human species (I mean that part of them which shall be found fit for life and immortality) appears uniform, and of a piece; and after the conclusion of the separate state, goes on as before, only with the advantage of being incomparably more perfect, though still the same in kind.

The views held forth in Scripture of the future restoration, glory, and happiness of the peculiar people of God; of the universal establishment of the most pure and perfect of religions; of the millennium, or paradise restored, with the general prevalency of virtue and goodness, by which means a very great proportion of those, who shall live in that period, will come to happiness; all these views are sublime, worthy of the Divine revelation which exhibits them, and suitable to the greatness of the moral economy. But as the future parts of prophecy are, and ought to be, difficult to understand in all their minute particulars, as is evident from the diversity of opinions given by the commentators on those parts of holy writ; while they generally agree, that the abovementioned particulars are in Scripture held forth as to be hereafter accomplished; as this, I say, is the case, it may not be necessary that I attempt to fix any one particular scheme of the completion of those parts of prophecy

The doctrine of a future general judgment of the whole human race by the same Divine person, who, by the pow. er of the Father, made the world, and who redeemed it, is held forth in Scripture in a manner suitable to the pomp with which so awful a scene may be expected to be transacted. That the whole Divine economy, with respect to this world, should conclude with a general inquiry into, and public declaration of, the character, and so much of the past conduct as may


individual of the species; and that, in consequence of the different behaviour of each, during the state of discipline •and probation, their future existence should be happy or miserable ; that every individual should be disposed of according to what he has made himself fit for; all this the perfect rectitude of the Divine Nature indispensably requires. And without this conclusion of the whole

of every

economy, the moral government of the world must be imperfect; or rather, without it, the very idea of moral government is absurd. That the decision of the future state of men will turn chiefly upon their general prevailing characters; the habits they have acquired; the dispositions they have cultivated; their attachment to virtue and obedience, or to irregularity and vice, seems probable both from Scripture and reason. So that, as on one hand a few errors, if not persisted in, but repented of and reformed, being consistent with a prevailing good character, may be overlooked; so, on the other, a thousand acts of charity, or virtue of any kind, if done from indirect views, or by persons of hypocritical or bad hearts, will gain no favour from a general Judge. Of what consequence is it then that we be sure of our own integrity! And how dreadful may the effects prove of going out of the present state of discipline, with one vicious habit uncorrected, or with a temper of mind defective in respect of one virtue !

Whether all the more secret errors of persons of good characters, of which they have sincerely repented, which they have for years lamented with floods of undissembled tears, and which they have thoroughly reformed, will be displayed to the full view of men and angels, seems a questionable point : For it does not to reason appear absolutely necessary : It being easily enough conceivable, that the character of a person may be determinable by Divine Wisdom, and capable of being set forth to the general view in a manner sufficiently satisfactory, without so minute an examination. And if so, it may be concluded, that the sincere penitent will be put to no needless paio. And if there is a pain more cruel than another, it is for a generous mind to be exposed to public shame. Besides what reason may suggest on this head, the numerous expressions of Scripture, of “ blotting out the sins of penitents from the books of remembrance; of hiding, covering, and forgetting them," and the like, seem to favour the opinion, that the character and conduct of penitents will be only so far displayed as to show them to be fit objects of the Divine mercy,

SECTION IV. Considerations on the Credibility of Scripture. It is not only to the studious and learned, that the proofs of Revelation lie level. All men, who will apply their faculties with the same diligence and attention which they every day bestow upon the common affairs, and even the amusements of life, may be rationally convinced that they are under Divine Government, and must feel, that they are accountable creatures; upon which fundamental principles the whole scheme of Revelation being constructed, they may easily bring themselves to see the force of the evidence arising from miracles and the completion of prophecy, particularly those relating to the Jewish people; which, in conjunction with the character of Moses, and the Prophets of Christ and his Apostles; a due attention to the nature and tendency of the doctrines and precepts contained in Scripture; and the consideration of the establishment of Christianity, so wholly unaccountable upon any other footing, than its being from God; may give full and well grounded satisfaction to any considerate person, that all the objections of the opposers of Revealed Religion can never amount to such a degree of weight in the whole, as to over-balance the positive proof for it, or yield a sufficient proof that the whole is a forgery.

At the same time it must be observed, that to be qualified for examining in a proper manner all the various arguments in favour of Revelation, requires a very extensive knowledge in various ways, as in philological and eritical learning, history and philosophy, natural and moral. Which shows in a very strange light the presumption of many men of superficial and narrow improvements, who pretend to oppose religion, and rashly enter into a dispute for which they are so ill furnished.

For it is the unfair and fallacious proceeding of many disingenuous opposers of revealed religion, to detach some single branch of proof, or some doubtful argument, and by caviling at that, endeavour to overturn the whole evidence for Revelation. But whoever will consider the subject with candour, will see, that it is of such an extensive nature, comprehends so many different views, and

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