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ercise; nor, indeed, do they do it, it being like searching after jewels, that lie concealed in the bowels of the earth, which require much labour and inspection to find them ; whereas, if the belief of this doctrine be so absolutely necesary to human happiness, as is supposed, and if it was intended to be the grand spring and principle of action to men ; then, it certainly would, because the case manifestly requires that it should, lie naked, and open to every one's view, that, thereby, it might be always present to the mind, to answer the purposes aforesaid.
I ALSO farther observed, that if the belief of the doctrine of futurity was wanting, among the Jews, or if this was generally the case, the former of which you maintain, and which, I apprehend, is analogous to what Mr. Warburton hath advanced, in his di
vine opinion of these, that such things are, and perhaps, will, be, without any folid solid conviction of their truth. As for men's love to, and desire of life, the object of these, is this present life only; men's affection to their offspring, to their relations and friends, and their other attach. ments to this present world, make them very unwilling to leave it ; especially, as they are to pass into a state, they know nothing of, nor how they shall fare in it. And as every man may be conscious of some impropriety of action, which is commonly called fin; so, when the mind is greatly enfeebled by pain, sickness, or the decays of age, then, even the best of men may have some misgivings, some perturbation, or uneasiness, when death looks them in the face, whatever their thoughts of futurity may have been
vine legation ; then, surely, this is an evidence from fact, that the belief of the doctrine of futurity is not absolutely necessary to hold men together in society; and that there is some other principle, in nature, beside the belief of that doctrine, which is sufficient for that purpose; seeing it is admitted, that the Jews were beld together in society, exclufive of the belief of the doctrine of futurity. To this, you replied, that the Jews were under a Theocracy; that is, God was their king, or civil governor, which has not been the case of any other nation, or people; that God, by a particular and special application of his power and providence, ruled over, and governed them, and thereby held them together in society, or rendered them a fociable people, which, otherwise, they would not have been. And, as here our conversation ended, so I beg leave to re-afsuine the argument, and to observe farther, viz. that if God governed the Jews, by a particular and special application of his power and providence, and thereby held them together in fociety, then, I conceive, he must have done it in one, or other, of these ways ? viz. either, first, he governed them, like the inanimate parts of the creation, forcibly, and ir
Tepliably, by destroying, or taking off, the force and strength of their appetites and passions, and thereby rendered them fociable, which, otherwise, they would not have been; or else, secondly, he governed them in a way that was suitable to their intelligent natures, as free beings, by exhibiting fome moral spring, or principle of action to them, which, when duly attended to, 10gether with the incentives to association, that arise from the human constitution, was so far fufficient to curb and restrain their appetites and passons, as to hold them together in fociety, which, otherwise, would not have been their case.
As to the first of these ways, by which God may be supposed to have governed the Jews, viz. forcibly and irrefiftably, by destroying, or taking off, the strength and prevalence of their appetites and passions, and thereby to have rendered them a fociable people, this, their history proves, was not the case ; as it affords a variety of instances, or facts, by and from which it appears, that the appetites and passions of that people, were as strong and violent, as turbulent and ungovernable, as the appetites and patsions of other men ; and, consequently, were not
under that forcible restraint as is here supposed. And if God did not govern the Jews forcibly and irresistibly, but dealt with them in a way suitable to their intelligent natures, as free beings, by exhibiting to them some moral spring, or principle of action, which, when duly attended to, together with the excitements to fociety, that arisc from the buman constitution, was sufficient to answer the aforesaid purpose ; then this destroys Mr. Warburton's first proposition, viz. that there is 120 principle in nature, exclusive of the belief of the doctrine of futurity, that is sufficient to command and restrain the appetites and pasions of men, so as to hold them together in society ; I say, what was last admitted destroys this proposition, as, by it, is admitted, that there is fome other principle in nature, beside the belief of the doctrine of futurity, which is sufficient for that purpose, which principle was exhibited by the Deity to the Jews, and was, in fact, fufficient to hold them together in society, even whilst (as is allowed) the belief of the doctrine of futuriiy was wanting among them.
AND this very naturally leads to the question, viz. what was that spring, or prin
ciple of action, which was exhibited to the Yews, as aforesaid, and which was suficient for that purpose and the answer is most obvious, if it be collected from the pentateuch, and if it be allowed that Moses was God's minister, or substitute,in all that he delivered to that people ; I say, if these points are admitted, then it appears, that the way in which God applied to the Jews; in order to command and restrain their appetites and palfions, and thereby to hold them together in society, was by connecting, or, at least, by declaring the connection betwixt, their present happiness and their duty, or fociableness, which was the same thing; and by making, or declaring, their present happiness and their breach of duty, or unfociableness, to be incompatible. And this he did, by giving them a body of laws, guarded with proper sančtions, and by promising, or declaring, that temporal blessings would, or should, attend those who kept his laws, or were fo. ciable, and by threatening, or declaring, that temporal evils should, or would, attend those who transgressed them, or were unfociable. This was the state of the case, with respect to the Jews ; they were applied to in the farie way, and their appetites and pas