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be happy in a State of Separation, that is, while it is in a State of Punishment, before its Sins be forgiven, and the Punishment remov'd: And how they can prove, that God will reward good. Men, while he continues the Punishment of Sin upon them, and will always do fo, I cannot guefs; for this is to reward and punish at the fame time. When God is reconcil'd to Men thro' the Merits and Mediation of Christ, he may for wife Reafons defer their Refurrection till the day of Judgment; and in the mean time bestow such Happiness upon them as feparate Souls are capable of. But if Death be the Punishment of Sin, we can never be fecure, that separate Souls either are, or ever fhall be, happy, without a Promife and Expectation at leaft of a bleffed Refurrection. This is the difference between Deifts, who reject all Revelation, and Chriftians. They pretend to believe the Immortality of the Sout in a State of Separation ; but we believe immortal Life, or the Refurrection of the Dead, with immortal, glorious, and incorruptible Bodies. They have fome probable Arguments for the Immortality of the Soul; we have an exprefs Promife of Life and Immortality: But were they never fo certain of the Immortality of the Soul, they can never prove the Happiness of feparate Souls, who are in a State of Death, and are never to rife again. For the Re-union of Soul and Body in the Refurrection of the Dead, which restores them to Life and Immortality, is the proper Reward and compleat Happiness of good Men; not a living Death. Let us then blefs God for the Gospel of our Saviour, and for that Life and Immortality, which he bath brought to light thro' the Gofpel; and live like

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Men, who have the exprefs Promises and certain Hopes of eternal Life. And I heartily pray, that thofe, who with fo little reafon magnify and adore natural Reason, to the contempt of all Revelation, may fee their Miftake; and learn that from the Gofpel of our Saviour, which mere Nature can never teach them; and yet which is the greatest Concernment of Mankind to know, as it will be their greateft Happiness to enjoy.

SECT. III.

The Promifes of Immortal Life confirm'd by the Refurrection of Chrift from the Dead.

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AVING fhewn you that the Gospel of Chrift contains the exprefs Promises of immortal Life; and that fuch exprefs Promises give us a more certain Evidence of immortal Life, than the World ever had before, or ever could have had without a Promife: I proceed now to fhew, Secondly, What Affurance the Refurrection of Chrift gives us of the Truth and Certainty of all thefe Promifes. For if divine' Promises give us the greatest Affurance of iminortal Life, and the Refurrection of Chrift gives us the higheft Confirmation of all these Promifes; there needs nothing more to compleat and perfect this Evidence of Immortality.

First, Then, let us confider the Refurrection of Chrift as a great Miracle. Now tho' all the Miracles which our Saviour wrought while he

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lived on Earth, were a manifeft Proof of his divine Authority, and an undeniable Confirmation of all the Promises which he made in God's Name; yet he himself refers the last and finishing Proof of all to his own Resurrection from the Dead. This Anfwer he gave the Pharifees, who, after all the Miracles they had feen him do, still demanded a Sign. An evil and adulterous Generation feeketh after a Sign; but no Sign fhall be given to it but the Sign of the Prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was Three Days and Three Nights in the Whale's Belly, fo fhall the Son of Man be Three Days and Three Nights in the Heart of the Earth, Matth. 12. 39, 40. And, Deftroy this Temple, and in Three Days I will raife it up, which, the Evangelift tells us, be Spake of the Temple, of his Body, John 2. 19. Now what greater Teftimony could God poffbly give to any Prophet, than to raise him from the Dead? This is an undoubted Miracle; all the World fees, that a dead Man cannot raise himself; and therefore this must be done by fome invisible Power, and that no CreaturePower neither. For if Man was made by God, none can raife Man from the Dead, but he who formed Man of the Duft of the Earth, and breathed into him the Breath of Life. For to give Life at firft, and to restore it again when it is loft, is the Work of the fame Almighty Power.

There are fome great Philofophers and exact Speakers, who will by no means allow us to talk of the Certainty of Faith; but for what Reason I cannot tell, unless they would have us believe our Faith to be uncertain, or lefs certain than what they call natural Knowledge and Science. This is a more civil way, than to re

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ject and ridicule all Faith: But if they will allow any Thing in Religion to be certain, I would defire to know, what more certain Proofs they have from natural Reason, that there is a God, than we have, fuppofing the Hiftory of the Gospel to be true, that Chrift came from God, and revealed his Will to us. The best natural Proof they have of the Being of a God, is the visible Frame of the World, which is a Work of infinite Wisdom and Almighty Power; that is, they prove an invifible Almighty Caufe, which we call God, from the vifible Effects of an Almighty Power. And does not Chrift prove his divine Miffion and Authority by the fame Argument, that he works the Works of God, that he does fuch Works as never Man did; and, as the blind Man told the Pharifees, fuch, as no Man can do, except God be with him? If I do not the Works of my Father, believe me not; but if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the Works, that the Father hath fent me. For if the visible Frame of the World proves, that there is a God who made the World, because it could not be made without him; then for the fame reason those miraculous Works that none can do but God, not only prove that there is a God who does them, but that the Perfon who does them in God's Name, comes from God. So that if we allow the Refurrection of our Saviour to be an unquestionable Miracle, that is, what is above the Power of any natural Cause, and must be attributed to the immediate Power of God; it gives us the fame fort of Evidence for the Divine Authority of our Saviour, and the Truth of all his Promifes, which we have for the Being of God by mere natural Reason ;

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that is, the Argument from vifible Effects to an invifible Cause.

Secondly, But befides the Miracle of our Saviour's Refurrection, which is an evident Proof that it was owing to a divine Power; what greater Approbation could God give to our Saviour, than to raise him again from the Dead?. However God may reward good Men in another World, who, as our Saviour did, lay down their Lives to bear Witness to the Truth; fuch Rewards are not vifible to us in this World; and therefore cannot give any visible Teftimony of God's extraordinary Favour to fuch good Men; nor confequently any new Authority to that Doctrine, which they preach. But all the World will own, that to raise a Man from the Dead, who had facrificed his Life to bear Witnefs to the Truth, is a moft fignal Expreffion of God's peculiar Love and Favour to fuch a Man, and an undeniable Confirmation of the Truth of all that he taught the World in God's Name. This is fuch a Teftimony as never was given to any Man, but only to Jefus Chrift; and therefore gives him fuch an Authority, as never any other Prophet had, and is fuch a Confirmation of the Gospel, as no Religion before ever had.

And befides this, whereas we must confefs that there have been a great many Impoftors in the World, who have abufed Mankind with fome counterfeit Miracles; and Deifts and Infidels make this a Pretence for rejecting all kind of Miracles; the Refurrection of Chrift is fuch a Miracle, and gives fuch a Teftimony to him, as no Impoftor ever pretended to. Whatever lying Wonders they wrought while they lived, none of them could ever give this Authority to

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