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mentality of men, had immediately interposed, upon each and every transgression of those laws, according to Exodus xxi. 23, 24, 25. and had taken away life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, and had rendered burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe, &c. this would certainly have had it's effect, and would have been such a scheme of policy, as no human government could possibly execute ; and then it might have been said, with propriety, that the Jews were under a theocracy; but, alas ! this was far, very far, from being the case. For, tho' God, by the hand of Mofes, gave the Jews a body of laws, guarded with fanctions, as aforesaid; yet he left them to govern themselves by those laws, without executing the office of
governor among them ; and thohe, sometimes, by his special providence, interposed, and advised them, and brought down his blessings and his curses upon them ; yet as those extraordinary interpositions were very rare, and were arbitrarily dispensed ; so they were not intended to, nor did they, answer the purposes of civil government to that people; and therefore, they must have been held together in society some other way.
Besides, the extraordinary dispensations of providence to the Jews, whether, by way of advice, or in the dispensing good and evil to them, were all relative to this present life, with it's enjoyments, and so come under the denomination of temporal promises and temporal threatnings, of temporal blefsings and temporal curses; and, consequently, the civil government of the Jews, (if it may be so called) even by those extraordinary dispensations, stood upon a foot with that of other nations, as one principle of action, viz. present felf-good was common to them all. And tho'one was dispensed by a divine, and the others by human hands; yet, as the Spring of action in both cases was the same, fo, surely, its effećt, or influence, upon the human appetites and passions, must be the fare also. Death is the same kind of evil, whether it is to be inflicted by the Deity, or by the civil magistrate; and therefore, the prospect and apprehension of death must needs have the same effect, and be as great a restraint upon the human appetites and pafsions, in one case, as in the other. And if God's governing the Jews, by connecting their present happiness with their duty, or fociableness, and by making their present
happiness and unfociableness incompatible, (which is likewise the case of human government) I say, if this scheme of policy was sufficient, in fact, to hold the Jews together in society, exclusve of the belief of the doctrine of futurity, as I apprehend Mr. Warburton hath maintained; then, frain hence, I think, it clearly follows, that the belief of the doctrine of futurity is not absolutely necessary to that end, which yet, I apprehend, Mr. Warburton hath also maintained that it is.
The sum of the argument is this, either the belief of the doctrine of futurity is absolutely necessary to hold men together in society, or it is not; if it is, then no people can be held together in society, where the belief of that doctrine is wanting ; but the Jews were held together in society, exclufive of the belief of the doctrine of futurity; therefore, the belief of this doctrine is not absolutely necessary to that end. Thus, the admitting Mr.Warburton's third propofition, destroys his first, supposing this to be the state of bis case, as it is your's; and which I here consider as the same. Again, the ben lief of the doctrine of futurity is absolutely n:cesary to hold men together in society, or
it is not; if it is, then no people can be held together in society where that doctrine is wanting ; but the Jews were held together in fociery; therefore, that doctrine was currantly believed by them. And thus, the admitiing Mr. Warburton's first proposition, destro's his third. But then, how, out of this chaos, the divine legation of Moses appears; or how Moses's law is proved, to be divine, is hard to conceive, or rather, to me at least, it is inconceivable.
As to Mr. Warburton's first proposition, viz. that the belief of the doctrine of futurity is absolutely necessary to hold men together in society; this doctrine, I find, has many abettors; not, as it may seem, from a full convi&tion of it's truth, as grounded on argument and evidence, but rather in complaisance to the christian revelation, whose divinity may seem to be the better supported thereby. For, if the belief of the doctrine of futurity is absolutely necessary to hold men together in society; and if association be necessary to human happiness; then, the abettors of this doctrine think this news the necessity of a divine revelation, to exhibit that doctrine plainly and explicitly to the world, which they say is done by the christian reve
lation, and which nature has been deficient in. But then these men do not seem fufficiently to attend to the consequences of their own argument. For, if association be necefsary to human happiness, and if society cannot be maintained without the belief of the doctrine of futurity; then the case most obviously requires, that there should have been a sufficient provision, in nature, for the production of such belief, by exhibiting this doctrine plainly and explicitly to men, which yet nature has been deficient in; so that the want of such provision, plainly bespeaks the Author of nature to have been wanting, as well in goodness, as in wisdom, by his not so constituting the natural world, as to make it effe&tually answer his own good design, viz. the well-being of his intelligent creatures ; nor was this deficiency in nature fupernaturally relieve,dor supplied, till
four thousand years were past.
As to Mr. Warburton's third proposition, viz, that the doctrine of futurity was not generally believed by the Jews, it's abettors, I apprehend, are not so numerous ; tho', it seems, there are some who maintain, that this doctrine was not currantly believed by that people, till after the Babylonish capti