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not admit of proof; so neither, I think, can certainty be obtained with regard to the affirmative. For, as to the evidence that arises from apparitions, resurrections, and ether like facts, to prove the existence of the human mind, after the diffolution of, and consequently after it's separation from the body; these, I think, do not give certain proof, in the present case, because the facts themselves are liable to be disputed. And, as to the philosophical arguments and reasonings that are offered on both sides of this question, they are too abstruse and subtile for me to understand; and, therefore, I carnot form any judgment about them, nor draw any conclusion from them. And, tho' we cannot come to strict certainty, in the present case (as, I think, we cannot ;) yet, surely, our judgments and subsequent behuviour cught to be determined and dire&ted by the greater degree of probability, as well in this, as in any other case. I am sensible, it is maintained by some, that divine revelation affords a proper ground of certainty, with respect to men's future existence ; whereas, I think, it does not. For, as we cannot, in the nature of the thing, come to a certainty, with regard to the divine origi

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nal of any external revelation ; fo, from hence it seems to follow, that no revelation can be a proper ground of certainty, with respect to the truth of any proposition that is grounded upon it, because that would be drawing a certain conclufion from an uncertain principle, which is absurd. And,

, Here, perhaps, it may be expected that I should take notice of what may be urged from St. Paul, concerning the doctrine of futurity, viz. that as the Apostle observed, 2 Timothy i. 10. That life and immortality were brought to light by the gospel: so he, in 1 Corinthians xv. seems to consider Cbrist as being raised from ihe dead on purpose clearly to evince both the possibility and certainty of a future resurrection to life eternal; and therefore, if the resurrection of Christ be so well attested, as to lay a proper foundation of credit, with regard to that fact, then, that fact becomes a just foundation for credit, with regard to the doctrine of futurity; that is, it becomes a juft and proper

foundation for us to ground the belief of futurity upon. With respect to what is here urged, I observe, that when St. Paul said, that life and immortality were brought to light by the gospel, he possibly might

mean

mean no more, than that the true way to a happy immortality was plainly pointed out by the gospel ; and this assertion of St. Paul the gospel, surely, will justify. If it should be insisted on, that St. Paul meant the doctrine of futurity, and that it was discovered or made known by the gospel; then, the affertion does not come with a very good grace from that Apostle ; because he not only knew that there were a considerable number of people among the Jews, viz. the Pharisees, of which sect himself and family were a part, who believed and zealoully maintained the doctrine of futurity, as appears from Aets xxiii. 6, 7, 8. but he also represents a resurrection to a future life to be what the body of the Jewish nation had hope in, as a promise of God that had been made to their fathers. For, as St. Paul represented his belief in, and his adberence to the doctrine of the resurre&tion, to be the ground of * the charge laid against

him

* When St. Paul returned to Jerusalen, after having preached the gospel to the Gentiles, (according to the Christian historian Aets xxi.) he went to St. James, when the elders were present, and acquainted them of the great success of his ministry among the Gentiles. And James, and the elders also, informed St. Paul that

many housand Jews were believers in Chrift, which believers

Were

him by the Jews; so, he considered that doctrine as a jewish doctrine, or as what had been constantly believed in, and hoped for by that people. Thus, St. Paul told the

Jews

were all zealous of the law; and as they had heard that St. Paul had taught all the Jews, which were among the Gentiles, to forsake Moses, saying, that they ought not to circumcise their children, nor walk after the cuftoms ; fo, of course, they would come together for fatisfaction. However, to avoid the present difficulty, St. Fames and the elders proposed to St. Paul a way to deceive those Yews, which Paul approved, as appears from his compliance with it; viz. they had four men, who had a vow on them, whom they advised St. Paul to take and purify himself with them, and be at charges with them, and have their heads, that thereby all might know, from St. Paul's conformity to the law, in these instances, that what had been said of him was false ; and that he walked orderly, and kept the law, verje 26. But then, though St. Paul went into the temple to answer the purpose aforesaid ; yet, it had another great and unexpected effect, and became the occasion of those troubles that afterwards befel him. For, when the feven days for purification were almost ended, the Yews which were of Asia, when they iaw Paul in the temple, and having before seen Trophimus an Ephesian with him in the city, whom they thought Paul had brought with him into the temple, they {tirred up all the people, and laid hands upon Paul, crying out [men of Israel, belp; this is the man that teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law, and his place: and farther, hath brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this holy place] verses 27, 28. This is the charge of the Jews against St. Paul, in which there is not å tittle concerning his having taught the doctrine of the resurrection, as he afterwards pretended the cafe to be. In like manner, and agreeable to the above charge, Tertullus the orator pleaded against

St.

Jews at Rome, Acts xxviii. 20. for the hope of Israel he was bound with the chain they saw upon

him. And thus, he told King Agrippa, Afts xxvi. that the Jeue's

knew,

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St. Paul, in the following words, (we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ring-leader of the fect of the Nazarenes; who also have gone about to prophane the temple, whom we took, and would have judged according to our law] Aets xxiv. 5, 6. To which accusation the Jews assented, saying, that these things were so, verse 9. In this accusation we have not a word of St. Paul's preaching the doctrine of the resursectior, nor, indeed, does it appear that there was, or could be any place for it; seeing the preaching that doctrine could not be deemed criminal by the Jews;_but it seems to have been forced into the case, by St. Paul, to answer a present purpose to himself. For when the chief captain had brought forth Paul before the council, in order to know what the Jews had to charge him with, and Paul perceiving that the audience were partly Sadduces and partly Pharisees, he (to gain a party to himself) craftily cryed out (men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisec, of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question] Aets xxiii. 6. This stratagem answered the purpose, for by it the multitude became divided, and St. Paul drew off a great party to his fide. And, though it does not appear that St. Paul's preaching the doctrine of the resurrection was ever laid to his charge, nor is it at all likely to have been the case ; yet, we find he stood to it, and represented it to be the ground of those troubles that befel him; probably the better to conceal the true cause of his misfortunes, and which, possibly, he might be ashamed of, viz. his acting the deceitful part before-mentioned, by going into the temple, and performing according to the law, with the view and intent of imposing upon, and deceiving the judaising

Christians thereby.

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