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former should be revealed to the sons of men without the latter. But besides, as I have already noted, the words of the Psalmist expressly speak of a change of things at the end and dissolution of this present world; such a change, as when a man puts off, folds up, and lays aside an old garment, and puts on a new and fresh one.

I shall only farther remark here, that the ancient oracles attributed to the Sibyls, extant before our Saviour's time, (which in great part had their original from the Jewish theology,) spake also of the last great conflagration, or dissolution of this present world. For so Ovid testifieth, Esse quoque

in fatis reminiscitur affore tempus, Quo mare, quo tellus, correptaque regia coeli

Ardeat, et mundi moles operosa laboret. [Met. I. 256.] That in them there was mention of a time appointed by the divine decree, wherein heaven and earth should be all on fire, and the vast fabric of this world should sink in the flames thereof.

My next instance shall be taken from the book entitled, The Wisdom of Solomon; which though it be not canonical, is yet an ancient and venerable writing, undoubtedly extant before our Saviour's time, and is a competent and sufficient witness of the faith and belief of the church in the time wherein it was written. In the second chapter of that book, from the first to the twentieth verse inclusively, the author elegantly represents the base and vile sentiments of ungodly infidels concerning the life to come. And then in the four last verses of the same chapter, and the four first verses of the following chapter, against that wicked doctrine, he opposeth the catholic truth, received and believed by the church of God in his time, in these words: Such things they did imagine, and were deceived: for their own wickedness hath blinded them. As for the mysteries of God, they knew them not : neither hoped they for the wages of the righteous : nor discerned a reward for blameless souls. For God created man to be immortal, and made him to be an image of his own eternity. Nevertheless through envy of the Devil came death into the world: and they that hold of his side do find it. But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and there shall no torment touch them. In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die : and their departure is taken for misery, and their going from us to be utter destruction : but they are in peace. For though they be punished in the sight of men, yet is their hope full of immortality.

My last instance shall be in those Old Testament martyrs, that matchless woman and her seven sons, who, for adhering to the law of God, suffered under the impious merciless tyrant Antiochus; whose his

; tory you may read in the seventh chapter of the second book of Maccabees. What exquisite torments did they suffer with the greatest courage, in hope of a blessed resurrection, which they all openly professed to the face of the tyrant! How did they scorn the offer of life and honour too, upon their compliance with the sinful terms proposed to them! But the words of the last of the seven sons, speaking of his brethren that died before him, are express, and most remarkable, ver. 36. Our brethren, which now have suffered a short pain, are dead under God's covenant of everlasting life. I scarce know where to find an instance of greater faith and fortitude in any of our Christian martyrologies. And as to the . truth of the history, it was never questioned in the Jewish church, as appears from Josephus and their other writers. And it is moreover confirmed by the divine author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, who manifestly refers to it, chap. xi. 35. where, discoursing of the faith and patience of the saints before Christ, he mentions some who were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might receive a better resurrection.

By these testimonies and instances it sufficiently appears, that good men under the law did not live and die like swine, feeding only on the husks of these earthly vanities, as some have foolishly imagined. They had undoubtedly a future state in their eye, and lived by the faith of it, as well as we. This faith was first derived, not from the law of Moses, (for that in the letter of it promised nothing beyond this life,) but from the gracious revelation of God to mankind from the beginning. For the clearing whereof we are to remember, what the author of the Book of Wisdom in the place before cited tells us, and the church of God always believed, viz. that God created man to be immortal, and made him to be an image of his own eternity; and that through the envy of the Devil death entered into the world, Wisdom, chap. ii. 23, 24.

. That is, that our first parents in paradise were designed to a life immortal, if they had not sinned. And indeed in the history of Genesis we expressly read, that they were forbidden only the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, being freely allowed to eat of all the other trees, the tree of life not excepted. Which doubtless was so called, because it was either a symbol and sacrament, or an instrument or means of immortality, or

both. And we there read also, that death was threatened to our first parents, as a punishment to them if they should transgress the command of God given them. Which evidently implies, that if they had not sinned, they should not have died. Indeed, how could they understand the sanction otherwise, and what force could it have had on them to deter them from sinning, if they had thought they should have died, whether they had sinned or not? And therefore St. Paul expressly teacheth us, that by the sin of the first man (and no otherwise) death entered into the world, in the fifth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, and in other places.

By his sin then Adam lost paradise, and that whereof it was a figure, heaven too. He was debarred from the sacrament of immortality, the sentence of death being passed upon him. But was he utterly left in this sad estate, without hope of recovery? The church of God hath always believed that he repented, and laid hold on the mercy of a second covenant, and was received again into divine favour; although there be no express mention of this in his history. Thus, we do not read of any precept or law given by God to Adam after his fall, but we find the practice of sacrificing in his family. And it will be very difficult to him that considers the matter thoroughly, to imagine that he invented that rite of his own head; he was taught it therefore by the command and institution of God. And it is highly reasonable to think, that at the same time, when God gave a second law and institution, he encouraged him also to the obedience of it, by a promise of acceptance and restitution to his former favour. Upon this hope doubtless he renewed his

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allegiance to his Creator, and devoted himself to the worship and service of God, and taught his sons, Cain and Abel, to do so likewise. From him they learned to present their several offerings to the Lord, Gen. iv. where we read also, ver. 4, 5. that God had respect to Abel's offering, and declared his acceptance of it by some visible sign, taken notice of by his brother Cain; probably, as the Hebrew doctors tell us, “ by a fire from heaven, in“ flaming his offering.” But how was Abel's offering accepted by God? Surely not to the obtaining of any of the temporal blessings or good things of this life; for, on the contrary, for this very sacrifice which he offered to God, he soon became himself a sacrifice to the envy and malice of his wicked brother. Abel therefore, and his offering were accepted by God to the purposes of salvation, and the obtaining of the good things of the life to come. And as he was the first martyr for righteousness sake, that is, upon the account that he was more righteous than his brother; so he was the first saint that entered the heavenly paradise.

Moreover, it is certain that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, spake of a life to come and a future judgment. For St. Jude assures us, ver. 14, 15. of his Epistle, that he expressly prophesied, that God should come with ten thousand of his saints, or angels, to judge all that are ungodly. And the same Enoch, as he was a preacher of the life to come, so he was an illustrious precedent or example thereof. For we read, Gen. v. 24. that Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him ; i. e. God took him out of this world, to the happiness above, to the bliss of paradise. And the

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