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Concerning a Future State, shewn to be
SomeREMAfcics on the Fifth Volume of the second
Part of Mr. Lardner's Credibility of tke Gospel-History.
By JOHN JACKSON,
Rector of Rcffington, in the County of Tork,
And Master of Wigfion"% Hospital, in Leicester.
O F A
Proved to be
A Fundamental Article
os the Religion os the Hebrews, &c.
AS the Evidence of Natural Religion, which teaches the Worship of God, and the Belief of a future State, is deduc'd from the Principles of Reason and the ordinary Providence of God; so the only direct Proof of reveal'd Religion is founded on an extraordinary divine Providence manifested in Miracles and Prophecies: nor can any other immediate or direct Evidence be given of a Revelation. And as all Revelation presupposes natural Religion, and is an immediate divine Attestation given to it, so it is design'd to reform A 2 *" the the Corruptions brought into it, and to add Light to the Evidence, and Force to the Obligations of it.
I propose therefore to shew that the Religion of the Hebrews or Jews was founded on the Principles of natural Religion, to which Revelation was added; and particularly, that the Belief of a future State, or Life to come, was a primary fundamental Article of this Religion.
This is very clear and evident to me, and I shall endeavour to make it so to the Reader, without desiring or intending to enter into Controversy with any learned Person, who is or shall be o/ another Opinion.
Whoever attentively considers and compares together the Old and New Testament will, I think, find such an Agreement and Connection between them, that they must appear to be two Parts of the fame general System of Religion, reveal'd by God first to the Patriarchs and their Descendants the Hebrews or Jews, and contain'd in the Writings of Moses and the Prophets; and afterwards both to "Jews and Gentiles, or the rest of Mankind, by Christ, and contained in the Gospels and other Writings of his Apostles.
In the Connection of the two divine Covenants or Laws, it is easy to see that all the main and esiencial Parts of the latter or Christian Covenant are contain'd, and either plainly and expressly, or else typically and symbolically declar'd and represented in the first Covenant, and in the Explanations of it by the Prophets.
As the great Design and End of God's Reve* lation to Abraham and the Patriarchs, and afterwards to Moses, was to preserve amongst the Hebrews the true Belief and Worship of him the only true God, in opposition to the Idolatry and Superstition which then prevail'd in other Nations, and almost in every Part of the World $ till he should by a farther and more perfect Revelation by Christ Refits make his Will known to the Gentiles, or the rest of Mankind, in order to destroy all Idolatry and Superstition, and to establish true Religion in the whole World: so by the wise and good Providence of God, the Coming of Christ, and the End of his Mission, was from the Beginning gradually and in various manners represented and foretold in the Revelations made to Adam and the Patriarchs, to Moses and the Prophets.
By these the Jews, and all who embraced their Religion, were taught as it were beforehand the Gospel of Christ; and by Faith in God's Promises, and Obedience to the Commandments of the Law, became Partakers of the Blessings of it.
Now, as the great End of the Mission of Jesus Christ was to abolish Death, and to bring Life and Immortality to Light by his Gospel (2 Tim. i. 10.) so the Apostle St. Paul assures us in the foregoing Verse, that this Life an I Immortality in or by Christ Jesus was purpos'd by God, and given or reveal'd before the World be* gan, as it is render'd in the English Version. But the Greek Words [7*7:0 %£pvtav Cu.mnw] mean before the Times of the Ages, that is, before the A 3 Ag$s