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did understand it, and therefore that they did expound the Promife made to Adam, in this Senfe. For there is no other Promife or Revelation but this, whereby they could know it.

But to return to our Argument. The Jews had reafon to believe, that the Tradition of a future State came from Adam; and that he had very good Reason to believe it, whatever it was, or he would not have deliver'd it down to his Pofterity, And the great Opinion they had of the great Piety of their intermediate Ancestors, could not fuffer them to think that they were miftaken in a Matter of fo great Concernment to themfelves, and to all Mankind. Whoever believes that immortal Life after Death was the Faith of all the ancient Patriarchs, from Adam, to Abraham, Ifaac and Jacob, who were not only skill'd in the Philofophy of Nature, but favour'd with divine Manifeftations, can never fufpect, that they were deceived in it. However they came by this Knowledge, whether by Nature or Revelation, the most prudent and cautious Man may venture to believe as Adam did, and as the whole Series and Succeffion of good Men have done from the beginning of the World. This gives new Strength and Authority to the Argument from a general Confent. For tho' the Antediluvian World were grown very wicked, and all Flesh had corrupted their Ways, yet the holy Line, which preferv'd the Belief and Worship of the true God, preferv'd alfo the Belief of another Life. And when we can trace this up to the beginning of the World, it is an Authority not to be refifted. This Evidence the Jews had above the rest of the World, who from the Hiftory of Mofes could derive their Pedigree, and with it their Faith, from Adam himself.

But befides this, there is one Paffage in their Hiftory, which puts the Matter out of doubt.

One of their Ancestors, as a Reward of fingular Piety, did not die, but was immediately translated to Heaven. Enoch walked with God, and was not: for God took him, Gen. 5. 24. He was an Example of fingular Piety and Virtue; and God made him an Example of as great Rewards, which were not confin'd to this World, but reach'd to Heaven. Enoch pleafed the Lord, and was tranflated, being an Example of Repentance to all Generations, Ecclus. 44. 16. This was a vifible Demonftration of another Life, where good Men fhall be rewarded. It did not indeed prove, that they fhould be tranflated to Heaven without dying; but it did prove, that there is another Life, where good Men live, and are rewarded with the Vision and Enjoyment of God. No Man can doubt of this, who believes this Story; and this Evidence the Jews had, who did moft firmly believe it.

3. As for the natural Defires of Immortality, wherein all Mankind agree; if this be a good Argument that we are immortal, the Jews faw the moft powerful and visible Effects of it in their Progenitors. It is certain all Men defire to be immortal, and must own it, if you put the Question fairly to them. We feel this Defire in our felves: and in fuch things as are purely natural, we may judge of other Men by our felves: For Nature is the fame in all. But yet few Men give any great Signs of fuch a Defire, that it looks rather like an unactive unform'd Wifh, than a Defire of Nature, which hath always Life, and Vigor and Concernment in it. But the Jews, in their Progenitors, faw thefe Defires animated and inspired with mighty Hopes, and with invincible Refolutions of obtaining inmortal Life. They defir'd and hop'd to be immortal; and this made them very devout Worshippers of God, and great Examples of all divine and human Virtues. The Antediluvian Patriarchs,

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from whom they defcended, preferv'd their Innocence and Integrity, when all the World lay in Wickedness.

The Apostle to the Hebrews has fumm'd up this in fhort; and prov'd that all the great and eminent Examples of Piety and Virtue were owing to the Faith and Hope of unfeen Things; which improv'd the natural Hopes and Defires of Immortality into the most powerful Principles of Action. For Faith is the Substance of Things hoped for, and the Evidence of Things not feen; and by it the Fathers obtain'd a good Report, Heb. xi. 1, 2. So that they did not ferve God merely for present and temporal Rewards, but for the Hopes and Defires of Immortality, of things unfeen. This the Apostle lays great Weight on, and undertakes to prove throughout this Chapter, by an Induction of Particulars, That the Defires, and Expectations and Hopes of unfeen things, were, from the beginning of the World, the great Principle of all Religion, to which we owe all thefe great and eminent Examples of Piety and Virtue. And it will be of good Ufe briefly to confider this, which will both confirm the constant Tradition of this Faith, and fhew us the powerful Effects of these Defires and Hopes, and how eminently God approv❜d and rewarded thefe good Men for it.

He gives us three eminent Examples of this before the Flood, which were fignaliz'd with three as extraordinary Events; Abel, Enoch, and Noah. By Faith Abel offer'd to God a more acceptable Sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtain'd witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his Gifts; and by it, be being dead, yet speaketh, v. 4. Abel offer'd the beft he had to God, out of a great Zeal to honour him, and from a firm Belief and Expectation to be accepted and rewarded by him. And God accepted his Sacrifice, and be obtained witness that be


was righteous, God teftifying of his Gifts by fome vifible Signs of his Grace and Favour. But how does this prove that Abel believ'd another Life, and ferv'd God in Hopes of unfeen Rewards? Now there needs no other Proof of this, than that he chose to serve and please God at the Peril of his Life, though he knew how he provoked his bloody Brother by it; and therefore was the first Martyr for Religion: And he that dies for Religion, must expect his Reward after Death. And that Teftimony God gave of his Acceptance of Abel, and of his Offering, whom yet he fuffer'd to fall an early Sacrifice to the Rage and Jealoufy of his wicked Brother, proves the future Rewards of good Men; unless you can think that God commends and approves of Piety and Virtue, which he will not reward. And this is one Thing which he being dead, yet fpeaketh. His Example teaches us to do well, though we fhould fuffer ill for it in this World, and to expect our Reward in the next. His next Example which is of a very different Nature from this, is that of Enoch, who was tranflated, That he should not fee Death, and was not found, because God had tranflated him; for before his Tranflation be bad this Teftimony, That he pleafed God. But without Faith, it is impoffible to please God; for he that comes to God, must believe that he is, and that he is a Rewarder of them that diligently feek him, v. 5 and 6. This is another Example of the Faith and Hope of unfeen Things, which made Enoch an Example of extraordinary Piety; and God made him as eminent an Example of the Truth and Certainty of these Hopes, by tranflating him immediately to Heaven without dying. The next Example is Noah, who by God's own Testimony was the only righteous Man then living; and the Apostle exprefly takes notice, that he be-` liev'd unfeen Things: For being warn'd of God of

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things not feen as yet, mcv'd with Fear, prepared an Ark for the faving of his Houfe. And there is no doubt that he who believ'd God as to unfeen Things, did as firmly believe the unfeen World, as the unfeen Deluge: The first preferv'd him from that Deluge of Wickednefs which overfpread the Earth; the second from that Deluge of Water which deftroy'd it. And he is a mystical And he is a myftical Example to us, by what Means we must escape the final Deftruction of the World, and of all ungodly Men, to wit, by Faith and Baptifmal Regeneration; as St. Peter expounds it, 1 Pet. 3. 20, 21. In these good Men we not only fee the great Examples of Faith, and a powerful Hope of Immortality, but the great and certain Rewards of it too. For which Reason the Apostle particularly mentions thefe good Men, not because they were the only Examples of Faith in the old World, but because God had given fuch extraordinary Testimonies and Confirmation to their Faith. Abel facrific'd in Faith, and died in Faith; his very Death was precious to God: And a Faith, which God owns and approves in this World without any Reward, cannot fail of a Reward in the next. Enoch by Faith walked with God, and he was translated to Heaven without dying; which is the original Notion of Immortality. Noab by Faith was righteous before God, and God fav'd him from that univerfal Deluge which he brought upon the wicked World; which fhews us, that good Men fhall be finally deliver'd from the Ruin and Destruction of the Wicked.

From these good Men the Apostle proceeds to the Example of Abraham, who was the Father of the Faithful, and takes notice of feveral eminent Acts of his Faith: As that he left his own Country and Father's Houfe at God's Command, and went into a strange Country, not knowing whither


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