« 前へ次へ »
Vity. This is a point that must be left to the inquisition of the learned; and all that I have to observe upon the case is only this, viz. it appears plain to me, that Jesus Christ and St. Paul were on the affirmative side of this question; tho' what such their opinion was grounded upon, I think, does no otherwife appear, than from the quotation Christ made out of the pentateuch. Matthew xxii. 32. as from Exodus iii. 6. viz. I an the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac; and the God of Jacob. From which words Christ infers, by way of implication, that there will be a future state of existence to men, because God is not the God of the dead, but of the living, which implication is wholly grounded on God's speaking of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the present tense, I [am] the God of Abraham, &c. But as justice is due to every argument, and to every adversary; so, in favour of Mr. Warburton's third propofition, I think, it will be but just to observe, that it admits of a question, whether the doetrine of futurity was so plainly and clearly revealed to Moses and the Fews, in and by the words referred to, as to render it probable, that this doctrine was, at least, generally admitted, and affented to,
people, as grounded upon them ; because those words may possibly bear another construction, which may not be greatly forced nor unnatural, and in which no such implication is contained, nor does such doctrine follow from it: As thus, I, that speak unto thee, out of this burning bus, am that very same person that was with, spoke to, and was the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of your fathers; and therefore, thou mayest Safely rely on me, as they have done before thee. As this construction is not greatly forced, nor unnatural; so it seems well to answer the purpose of the speaker ; namely, to beget in Mofes a firm trust and confidence in the person speaking, in whose name, and by whose aut hority and power, Moses was to appear before, and to converse with, Pharoah King of Egypt, and work wonders in the land; thereby to procure deliverance to Ilrael, from the bondage they groaned under. This seems, at least, to be the design of the speaker, in the use of the words above mentioned ; and if so, then the construction I have put upon them is to his purpose' ; whereas, for him to have informed Mofes, that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were then
alive, or that there would be a future state of existence to men, seems to be less fo. Nor, perhaps, is the implication, referred to, the most obvious, according to our reading the text ; because, sometimes, the present is put for the preter tense; as in this instance, " before Abraham was, I [am,"] or I (was.] John viii. 58. Besides, the particle [am,] in our English bible, Exodus iii. 6. is put in italick characters; which, I apprehend, denotes a supplement ; and if so, then the word (was) might as fairly have been added, by way of supplement, to fill up the sentence, as the word [am.)
As the reflections I have added, to what paffed in conversation, upon the subject, when I had the pleasure of your company, were occasioned by that conversation; so they are submitted to your examination and judgment, by,
R E A D E R S.
SECT. I. The Introduc-Sec T. V. Of a future
wherein those judgment and retribuPoints, viz. of Divine tion, Impressions on men's SECT. VI. Of Divine minds ; of special Grace;
Revelation in general; of the Virtue and Merit and of the divine origiof Faith ; and of St. nal of the Jewish, the Thomas's Unbelief, are Mahometan, and the
particularly considered. Christian revelations in Sect. II. Wherein is particular.
shewn, what his Senti- SECT. VII. Of Prophecy. ments are together with Sect. VIII. Of Miracles. the reasons on which Sect. IX. Of the personal those sentiments
CharaEter of JESUS grounded) touching the CHRIST; and of the
existence of a Deitv. figurative language he SECT. III. Of Religion, used, in the exercise of
when taken in all it's his ministry. views.
Sect. X. Of the writings Sec. IV. Of a future of the Apostles.
fate of existence to men, Sect. XÍ. The Conwherein the evidence clufion; with such rearising from Christ's Alections, as are suitaresurrection is fully and ble to the subject. particularly considered.