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the beast as to its going downward to the earth? (as it should be translated). Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in bis own works ; for that is his portion : for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him' Eccl. iii. 17-22. Here Solomon, according to the law, places retribution in this life. For he had said just before, “I know that there is no good in them (men), but tor a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life. And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.” ii. 12, 13. As to tbe spirit of a man's going upwards and the brute's going downwards, it was all one then. In Solomon's time the bodies and souls
of both perished together ; so that he wisely exclaims at the end, Eccl. xii. 7, 8, “the dust shall return to the earth as it was; and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher, all is vanity:" i. e, even the spirit returning to God who gave it. The Hulsean says, that Solomon here “anticipates the purity the eternity before hin”! If he had said that he looked back to the eternity behind him before he had a being, he would have done right, for the spirit returned to its ancient state, and did not acquire a new one. The conclusion of the twelfth chapter, where his son is addressed, cannot bear upon any thing further than
‘judgment" in the present life" under the sun,” in which Solomon bad before said that there was plenty of “time for every purpose and every work.” The Hulsean does not understand Solomon when be says, Prov. xiv. 32, that “the righteous hath hope in his death." He means that the righteous hath hope to be restored to life, even when he is about to die, just as Hezekiah, Is. xxxviii. was from his sickness “ unto death” Upon the whole therefore Solomon was no fool as the Hulsean would make him to be ; nor any infidel in God's moral government, but the open assertor of
As be knew that the Jews did not receive the promise" of immortal life on their death, and as he knew that it was afar off,” he did not mention it, though he gave his subjects tull scope, to perceive the vanity “ of the weak and unprofitable coinmandment going before," and that they might guess that there was to be “a better covenant established on better promises" hereafter, but wbich it was not his office to introduce while the other was in its acme, and himself the most glorious administrator ot it. . It is not my purpose to follow the Hulsean throughout all bis vagaries, arising from his half-reading or half-understanding bis authors: but as he has touched upon something with regard to a passage of Job, which he learnt from me, and which bears upon * the strange notion, but which he has rejected as the true “accomplishment" of Job's " expectation," I shall follow him there. Ånd to me it appears the height of absurdity to suppose that in a poem, whose moral was, that though a good man suffered for a time yet he should be ultimately rewarded in this life twofold, the most prominent and solemn asseveration should be that he should be rewarded at the resurrection, in another. I cannot · conceive snch a thing. “ Truly, it passeth before the mind impressed with characters” of hideous and frightful deformity. The passage is, according to its true translation, Oh that my words were now written! Oh that they were engraven on a tablet! That
they were engraven with an iron pen and lead for ever! For I know that my avenger liveth, and will at last stand up for dust. And though after worms (Job vii. 5.) thus destroy my skin, yet from my flesh (i. e. with it, out of it, viz, before I die,) I shall see God, whom I shall see for me, even mine eyes shall behold (i. e. while I am yet alive,) that he is not mine enerny. The Hulsean says,
Though Job confesses in the forty-second chapter, now mine eye seeth thee” (ver. 5.) which has been thought to be an accomplishment of the expectation, “in my flesh shall I see God wbom I shall see for myself and mine eyes shall behold, and not another ;' yet this does nut necessarily restrict the passage to a temporal sense." So indeed says the Hulsean. But if " unfairness” could be charged any where, I think it may be mostly fairly charged on him in his partial and dislocated representation of Job's statements. Thus what Job is representing as a desireable yet hopeless, or at least remote and uncertain thing, the Hulsean, hy dislocating his speech, makes an obtainable and certain thing. Thus Job speaks, “There is bope of a tree if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground : yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth bougbs like a plant. But man dieth and wasteth away: yea man giveth up the ghost, and where is he? As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and drietb up; so man lieth down and riserb not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep. O that thou wouldest bide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time and remember me! If a man die shall be live again? All the days of my appointed time will (would) I wait till my change come (came). Thou shalt (shouldst) call and I will (would) answer thee: thou wilt (shouldst) bave a desire to the work of thy hands.” Here the phrase " till the heavens be no more,” is evidently not to be taken in the Christian sepse : for Job would not assert as certain in one verse wbat he only wished and prayed might be in the next. I therefore take “ till the beavens be no more,” with Warburton, as signifying " never ;" because Job himself before represents the resurrection of men as a hopeless case. Job. xiv.7–15. Job therefore seeing the promises so “far off," that he, in the strength of his clespondency, looks upon them as little better than “ never” to happen, very consistently takes up with the promises of the law, which fail not; and though in doubt about the former, will fearlessly sign his belief “with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever, ,” with regard to the truth of the latter, that Jehovah shall at last stand up for him, dust as be is and all consumed with worms as to bis skin, as he is represented to be at vii. 5 ; and that out of his flesh with bis own eyes he shall see that God is for him and not his enemy, Job, xix. 26, 27 ; the accomplishment of wbich expectation is made ac, cording to xlii. 5, to be on this side of the grave, as he intended it should. The Hulsean, not understanding Jewish arithmetic, thinks that “the principle of a double reward is violated in the case of Job's children,” though accomplished in every thing else ; and he takes up with some Rabbinical comment as ibe solution,
that Job was conscious that his other children who were deceased, were enjoying a state of blessedness, and that these together with the new ones, made up " the double as much as he had before !" Strange calculation indeed; and strange that Job) did not think of this at first! He might as well bave thought that if his deceased children were bappy, his lost goods were happy too. But the truth is, we never hear that Job altered his opinions concerning the state of the dead though be altered his property. To him it was land of darkness and the shadow of death” still; " a land of darkness as darkness itself; and of the shadow of death, without any order, and where the light is as darkness.” Job, x. 21, 22. Death was a state of unconscious “ sleep” to him, ont of which wbether any body might“ wake" or not to consciousness, was a very remote sort of thing. I think then that double as much as he bad, is confined solely to bis live stock in cattle, &c. or as the Jews are not always very nice in their arithmetic, seven and three" will easily stand for “double as many as he had before," just as one day and a half sometimes staụds for three days. The Hulsean bas made strange work of the translation of the passage, Job xix, by not understanding the scope of the poem. He does not seem to understand what Job's "dust": means; for thus he translates : “ He shall stand over my dust to the last," when it is ' he shall at last stand up for dust," i.e. to vindicate Job, who is as vile as dust. For if the Hulsean had looked at Dan, xii. 1, he would bave found that a verb which signifies “ to stand up," will have that particle to follow it, which he falsely translates by " over." But the Hulsean, and bis “ reverend and learned" doctor, understood as much about the poem cf Job as they did about the Book of Ecclesiastes. The book of Job was Ezra's supplement to the law of Moses, and written with a particular design. First to encourage the Jews after their sufferings in the re-building of the temple, which was to bave twice as much glory as the former temple bad, Haggai ii. 9; and secondly, to shew that the temporal rewards and punishments of the law were still in force, “ for I am with you saith the LORD of Hosts : according to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit remaineth amoug you, fear ye not,” Haggai ii. 5, which is the reason that Job is made to be so confident in bis expectation of being justified and re-established by God in this life, and why the eternal rewards aud punishments are thrown into the back ground in that poem, that they might not have too much intluence before the law had done its office. That the poem was written by Ezra or some one living after the Babylonish captivity, seems evident as Satan is pot mentioned in those sacred books, which were written before the captivity; of which circunstance there is a remarkable proof in 1 Chron. i. 1, written by Zachariah and Haggai, who lived after that event, where something is attributed to Satan, which in 2 Sam. xxii, 1, written before the captivity, is attributed to God himself. The writer of the book of Job srems also to have had a general object in view, viz. to save the sipking credit of the law, after the general misery and distress of the Jews, which taught that good or evil fortune attended the good or evil deeds of men in this life ; which rule possibly with respect to good men, to the superficial seemed very often violated, a 'hasty conclusion, it was the writer's object to set aside, by shewing that good men were ultimately rewarded, and retribution made for their losses before their death. So that if the Hulsean, and his "reverend and learned" doctor, bad taken the benefit of my canon about “the scope” proging every tbing, they would not have made sucb gross blunders : but I always thought that orthorloxy and cursoriness went band and hand. However I do not mean to reflect on the young man; because I know well, that he is sagacious enough, and bas tact enough to catch the spirit of the caste for whom he wrote, by whom he expected to be rewarded, and by wbom be consequently has been for bis shrewdness.
Once more.'—The Hulsean refers to St. Paul's declaration, that “Enoch was translated that he should not see death." Heb. xi. 5. But who does not see, that this means, he did not see death in the usual manner ?
If the Hulsean bad enlarged the circle of his reading he would have discovered that my notion was not so “ strange" as he represents it to be. Bishop Law in his Theory of Religion maintains, that the sentence pronounced upon Adam, was that he should " utterly die," as he translates it, meaning that God would resume all the conscious existence which he bad lately been pleased to confer upon him. He also quotes Archbishop Tillotson, vol, 11. fol. Serm. 100, who says, that with respect to death being " a continuation of conscious being though in some other place, that he does not find it in the Scriptures.” He also quotes Jortin's Serm. vol. vii. p. 283, “When Adam was told that if he offended that he should die, he could not then understand by death a future punishment after death, but rather an annihilation of his soul, and a dissolution of his body, and a returning to the same insensibility from which he had been called into being.” He also quotes Jeffery; Select. Disc. p. 22. “As the threatening was only in general Thou shalt die; and it does not appear by the history, that man had
any notice given him of a spiritual death, (or of the necessity of sinning) nor of eternal death, (i. e. a necessity and eternity of torment) so it would seem surprising, if it bad not often been said by some men, (which was yet never yet proved by any,) that death, natural, spiritual and eternal, was threatened.' Law hence inferred that all men at their death underwent a total dissolution of all their component parts, and remained in a state of unconscious insensibility till their resurrection, through the fault of Adam, So that the notion “ that before Christ came, the souls of men perished with their bodies" is not so strange" as the Hulsean would have it to be. It might be strange to him, no doubt, perhaps to the “reverend and learned” doctor also, for really I will not undertake to answer for him. The real strangeness, if there was any, lay in the notion, that extinct souls returned to consciousness after Christ came, " that they might be judged at the day of judgment, like men, in flesh, but live until then, like God, in spirit.” This indeed is strange, and would doubly puzzle such men as maintain that mind is merely the result of the peculiar organization of men's animal frame, but our only business is with, as the Hulsean remarks, “What READEST ou "' in “the Scriptures of truth ;” and in order to save the reader the trouble of referring to those passages in Scripture, whose place only is
noted down under Article Death, I will here give them at length. And first those which Law has collected in his Theory of Religion, to prove his point, with which I go only halfway.
“11. Death is represented by a negation of all life, THOUGHT, or ACTION; even to good men,” i. e. before Christ's coming.
Job, iii. 11, Why died I not from the womb ?-13, for now should I have lien still,-16, as an hidden untimely birth, I had not been ; as infants which never saw light. xiv. 10. Man dieth-and where is he ?-14. If a man die, shall he live again? [vid. Chappelow, on v, 12.] Ps. vi. 5.- In death there is no remembrance of tbee. xxx; 9. What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit ? Shall the dust praise thee?—xxxviii. 10, 11, 12. Wilt thou sbew wonders to the dead ? sball the dead arise and praise thee? Shall thy loving kindness be declared in the grave ? or thy faithfulness in destruction? Shall thy wonders be known in the dark ? and thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness ?—cxv. 17. The dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down into silence.-cxlvi. 4. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth, in that very day his thoughts perish. Eccl. ix. 5. The dead kuow not any thing :-6. their love and their hatred, and their envy is now perished.-10. There is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave,
whither thou goest.—Is. xxxviii. 18. The grave cannot praise thee, death cannot celebrate thee ; they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.-19. The living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day.--Acts, ii. 34. David is not ascended into the Heavens, &c.” though this, I should think, meant “ did not ascend,” &c. “ IV. A state of Silence,” i. e. before Christ's coming.
1 Sam. ii. 9. He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall he silent in darkness. Ps. xxxi. 17. Let the wicked be ashamed and let them be silent in the grave. xciv. 17. Unless the Lord had been my help, my soul bad almost dwelt in silence, cxv. 17, in sect. ii. Jer, xlviii, 2, Come, and let us cut it off from heing a nation ; also thou shalt be cut down, (in the margin, be brought to silence). Ezek. xxxii. 25. They have set ber a bed in the midst of the slain with all her multitude: her graves are round about him : all of the circumcised slain by the sword ! though tbeir terror was caused in the land of living ;-Add 27, &c.”
“ V. Of Oblivion. Ps. vj. 5 : 1xxxviii. 12. as above, sect. ij.” 6. VI. OF DARKNESS."
“ 1 Sam. ii. 9. as above, sect, iv. Job, jii. 5. Let darkness and the shadow of death stain it, (viz. the day of his birth). X. 21. Before I go to the land of darkness, and the shadow of death.22, A land of darkness, as darkness itself, and of the shadow of death ; without any order, and where the light is as darkness. xii. 22. He discovereth deep things out of darkness, and bringeth out to light the sbadow of death. xxii. 13. The grave is mine bouse; I have made my bed in darkness. xxxiii. 28. He will deJiver bis soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light. Ps. xliv. 19. Though thou hast sore broken us in the place of dragons and covered us with the shadow of death. [Add xlix. 19, in sect. vii. Ps. Ixxxviii. 12, as above, sect. ii.] cvii. 10. Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. Add v. 14. Eccles. xi. 6. If a man live many years, yet let him remember the days of darkness, for they shall be many. John, ix. 4. I must work