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the truth. Thus, being necessitated to speak of Enoch's Translation, it could not be, but that a feparate existence might be inferred, how obscurely foever the story was delivered. But had he said any thing, in his account of the Creation, which literally implied (as the words, of man's being made in the image of God, and the breath of life being breathed into his nostrils, are supposed to do) that man had an immortal soul, then muft Moses be supposed, purposely, to have inculcated that Immortality; contrary to what we hold, that he purposely omitted the doctrine built upon it, namely a future state of reward and punishment. It will not be improper therefore to Thew that such texts have not this pretended meaning.
2. Concerning á FUTURE STATE OF REWARD AND PUNISHMENT ; several texts are brought as teaching it in a typical sense, which teach it in no fense at all : several as teaching it in a direct and literal sense, which only teach it in a typical. Both these, therefore, it may
be proper to set in a true light,
3. Lastly, concerning the texts from the later Prophets, which are without the period in question ; I own, and it is even incumbent on my Argument to prove, that these Prophets opened the first dawning of the doctrine of a Resurrection, and consequently of a Future state of reward and punishment : even these therefore shall in their proper place be carefully considered. At present let me just observe, that the dark veil under which the first set of Prophets delivered their typical representations was gradually drawn afide by the later.
AVING premised thụs much to clear the
way, and Thorten the inquiry, I now proceed to my examination.
And first, of the texts brought from the Old TESTAMENT.
Now as the book of Job & is supposed to teach both a SEPARATE EXISTENCE and a FUTURE STATI
& Job's Life, by means of the Devil and his false Friends, was an exercise of his Patience; and his History, by means of Criticism and his Commentators, has since been an exercise of purs. I am far from thinking myself unconcerned in this mif.chief; for by a foolish attempt to support his Name and Character, I have been the occasion of bringing down whole bands of hostile Critics upon him, who like the Şabeans and Chaldeans of old, soon reduced him back to his Dunghill. Some came armed in Latin, some in English, and some in the language of Billingsgate. Most of them were professedly written against me; but all, in reality, bear hardest on the good old Patriarch.
However, tho' I am, as I said, to be reckoned, along with these, amongst Job's Persecutors; yet I have this to say for myself, that the vexation I gave him was soon over. If I scribbled ten pages on his back, my Adversaries and his, have made long furrows and fcribbled ten thousand. Now, tho' amongst ail these, Job found no favour, yet by ill-hap my System did: But to whom I am most obliged, whether to those who attacked it, or to those who espoused it, is not easy to say: for, by a fingular event, the Assailants have left me in poffeffion of all its fupports, and the Defenders have taken them all away *: the better, I presume, to fit it to their own use. Learned Naturalifts tell us of a certain Animal in the watery waste, which, for I know not what conceit, they call Bernard the Hermit; and which, in courtesy, they rank with the testaceous tribe, tho' Nature (so bountiful to the rest of its kind) hath given This no habitation of its own, but fent it naked and unhoused into
See Mr. G's, discourses on the book of Job.
book or 10
OF REWARD AND PUNISHMENT; and is besides thought by some to be the first of Moses's writings; and by others to be written even before his time, and by the Patriarch himself, I shall give it the precedence in this inquiry : which it deserves likewise on another account, the superior evidence it bears to the point in question ; if indeed it bear any evidence at all. For it may be faid by those who thus hold it to be the earliest Scripture (allowing the words, of Job, I know that my Redeemer liveth, &c. to respect a future state) that the Jewish people must not only have had the knowledge of a fuTURE STATE of rewards and punishments, but, what is more, of the resuRRECTION of the body, and Atill more, of the REDEMPTION of mankind by the Son of God: therefore Moses had no need to inculcate the doctrine of a future state. But I much fufpect that the clear knowledge of fo sublime a mystery, which St. Paul says, bad been hid from ages, and from generations, but was now (on the preaching of the Gospel) made manifest to the Saints, was not at all suited to the times of Job or Mofes. The learned and impartial Divine will perhaps be rather inclined to think, that either the book of Job was written in a much later age, or that this
the world. In recompence, she has enabled it to figure amongst the best of its tribe : for, by a noble endowment of inttinet, it is taught to make its way into the best accommodated, and best ornamented theils of its brethren ; which it either finds empty, or soon makes so, to fit them up for its own ease and convenience.
But if the reader would see the absurdity of supposing the book of Job to be written thus early, and at the same time, to teach the resurrection and a future ftate, exposed at large, he may read the 3d chapter of The free and candid examination of the BISHOP of London's Principles,
* COL. i. 26,
famous passage has a very different meaning. I shall endeavour to Thew, that neither of these fufpicions would be entertained without reason.
As to the Person of Job, the eminence of his Character, his fortitude and patience in afflictions, and his preceding and subsequent felicity, these are realities so unquestionable, that a man must have set aside sacred Antiquity before he can admit a doubt concerning them. But that the book which bears Job's name was written by him, or in any age near his own, a careful and capable examiner will, I persuade myself, be hardly brought to believe.
In the order of this discourse therefore I shall inquire.
I. What kind of Composition the book of Job really is.
II. In what Age it was written. And,
III. Who was its Author.
: Even those who are inclined to suppose this a Work of the highest Antiquity, and to believe it an exact history of Job's sufferings and patience, and of God's extraordinary dispensations towards him, recorded by his own hand, are yet forced to confess that the Introduction and Conclusion are of another nature, and added, by a later hand, to
give that fulnefs and integrity to the Piece, whichi works of imagination, and only fuch works, require. This is a large concession, and plainly intimates that he who wrote the Prologue and EpiLogue, either himself believed the body of the work to be a kind of dramatic Composition; or, at least, intended that others should have that opinion of it. I shall therefore the less fcruple to espouse the notion of those who conclude the WHOLE TO BE DRAMATICAL. For the transferring the Prologue and Epilogue to a late writer was only an expedient to get rid of a circumstance which shewed it to be such a fort of work; and which consequently might bring it down to an age remote from that of the subject. But those who contrived this expedient seem to have had but a fender idea of the ancient Drama, which was generally rounded with a Prologue and Epilogue of this fort ; to give, by way of narrative, information of such facts as fell not within the compass of the one entire Action repre. sentedk.
I am induced to embrace this opinion from the cast of the style, the sentiments, and COMPOSTTION; all perfectly suited to such a kind of Work, and ill agreeing with any other.
1. As to the Style, it hath been observed by the Critics, even from the time of Jerom, that all
k Calmet makes the following observation, in his comment on the ift verse of chap. xxxviii. L'Ecrivain de cet ouvrage a observé de ne point employer ce nom de Jehovah dans les discours directs qu'il fait tenir a Job & a fes Amis: mais dans les secits qui sont au commencement, et a la fin du Livre, il use de ce terme, comme font d'ordinaire les Ecrivains Hebreux. Ce qui de montre que l'Ouvrage a été ecrit par un Juif, et depuis Moyse ; puisque ce nom incommunicable ne fut connu que de. puis l' apparition du Bujffon ardent,