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"Luke XX.

The Sadducees retire in Confufon.

349 him : [Mar. Ye therefore Covenant, owns himself the God of all such ; Sect. 155. do greatly err.) [M AT, and confe

and consequently he must be an everlasting Patron XXI. — 32. MARK XII.

and Friend to them, even to their whole Persons, 27.]

ns, 38.
so as to recover their mortal Part from the Ruin
and Desolation of the Grave. And therefore, on
the whole, you greatly err in denying this Doc.
trine ; and your Error tends to bring a Disgrace
on the whole Series of Divine Revelation, and
to weaken one of the strongest Motives to a Life

of Holiness and Obedience.
39 Then certain of the Then some of the Scribes who were present, 39
Scribes answering, said, Ma- being of the Sect of the Pharisees, were pleased
iter, thou hast well said.

to hear a Doctrine of their own so judiciously de· fended, and said in Reply, Master, thou hast spoken

fo well upon this. Subject, that nothing solid can Mat. XXII. 33. And be objected to thy Discourse. And indeed Mat. XXII: when the Multitude heard when all the Multitude, that was present in the 33. this, they were astonished at his Doctrine.

Temple at that Time, beard [this] unthought of,
yet convincing Argument, together with so clear
an Answer to a Cavil, in which the Sadducees
used to triumph as invincible, they were greatly
astonished at bis Doctrine, and plainly testified the

Admiration and Delight with which they had Luke XX. 40. And attended his Discourse. And as the Sadducees Luke XX.. after that, they durft not ask had nothing to reply, they were alhamed and 40. him any Question at all.

disappointed ; and after that, they dürfe not any
more presume to ask him any Thing at all (b), but
retired in. Silence and Confusion.

IMPROV E M E N T.

ITITH what Satisfaction Tould we read this Vindication of so, W important an Article of our Faith and Hope ? Easily was this boasted Argument of the Sadducees unravelled and exposed, and all the Mat. xxii. Pride of those bold Wits, who valued themselves so much on that ima- 23,--28.

ginary

Faithful are the Children of Abraham, and the Divine Promise of being a GOD to him and bis Seed is entailed upon them, it will prove their continued Existence and Happiness in a Future State, as much as Abraham's. And, as the Body, as well as the Soul, makes an essential Part of Man, it will prove both his Resurrection and theirs, and entirely overthrow the whole Sadducean Doctrine on this Head.

(b) After that they durft not ask bim any Thing at all.] It is evident, that this is meant of the Sadducees, and must be understood as limited to them; because in the very next Sellion we read of a Question which one of the Scribes put to him.

Taniplantes

350 Reflections on the Certainty of the Resurrection. Sect. 155. ginary Penetration which laid Men almoft on a Level with Brutes, W covered with just Confusion. Indeed Objections against the Resurrection,

much more plausible than this of theirs, may be answered in that one Ver. 29. Saying of our Lord's : Ye know not the Scriptures, nor the Power of GOD.

Were the Scripture-Doctrine of the Resurrection considered on the one
Hand, and the Omnipotence of the Creator on the other, it could not

seem incredible to any, that GOD should raise the Dead. (Afts xxvi. 8.) Luke xx. How sublime an Idea does our Lord give us of the Happiness of those, 35, 36.

who shall be thought worthy to attain it? They shall be equal to the Angels! Adored be the Riches of that Grace, which redeems us from this degenerate and miserable State, in which we had made ourselves so much like the Beasts that perish, (Psal. xlix. 12.) to raise us to so high a Dignity, and marshal us with the Armies of Heaven!

Let us esteem so glorious a Hope aright, and with the greatest IntenseVer. 34. ness of Soul pursue and insure it. And as for those Enjoyments of this

present World, which are suited only to the Mortality and Imperfection
of it, let us moderate our Regards to them; and cultivate those higher
Entertainments with the most solicitous Care, which will be transp
into the Paradise of God, and flourish for the Delight of his immortal

Children.
Ver. 37. Christ, we see, argues a very important Point of Doctrine, from Pre-

mises, in which, perhaps, we might not have been able to have discovered it, without such a Hint. Let us learn to judge of Scripture- Arguments, not merely by the Sound, but by the Sense of the Words. And as our Lord chose a Passage from the Pentateuch, rather than from the Prophets, for the Conviction of the Sadducees, let us be engaged to study the Tempers, and even the Prejudices, of those with whom we converse ; that we may, if possible, let in the Light of Divine Truth on their Hearts,

on that Side by which they seem most capable of receiving it.. Mark xii. In a Word, let us with Pleasure think of the Blessed God, under

that gracious Title, by which he manifested himself to Moses at the Bus). Still he is the GOD of Abraham, the GOD of Isaac, and the GOD of Jacob; the GOD of our pious Ancestors, the GOD of all

our departed Friends, who are now sleeping in Jefus : For all their Luke xx. 38. Souls now live unto him, and their Bodies shall e'er long be awakened

by him. In like Manner, if We are Followers of them who thro' Faith and Patience are now inheriting the Promises, when we are gathered to our Fathers, and our Names, perhaps, forgotten among succeeding Generations, he will still be our ĠOD. He will shew us by the blessed Experience of Eternity, that when he treated with us by that Title, and admitted us into the Covenant by which he bears it, he intended for us something far nobler. and better, than the transient Scenes of Earth, and of Time, could admit.

26.

SE CT.

A Scribe enquires, which is the first and great Command.

351

SECT. CLVI.
CHRIST discourses of the first and great Command of the

Law, and confounds the Pharisees with a Question relating
to David's calling the Messiah bis Lord. Mat. XXII. 34, to
the End. Mark XII. 28,---37. Luke XX. 41,---44.

Ma T. XXII. 34..

MAT. XXII. 34. RUT when the Pharisees T HUS Jesus defended the great Doctrine of Sect. 156. D had heard, that he had 1 the Resurrection, from the vain Cavils

M U Y put the Sadducees to Silence, they were gathered together.

which were brought against it : But the Debates
of the Day ended not here ; for when the Phari-
fees heard, that he had thus flenced and confounded
the Sadducees, they were soon gathered together
again, with a malicious View of carrying on the

fame Design, to try if they could any way expele
· him to the People, and to make their Remarks

upon what he might say... 35 Then one [of the And one of the learned Scribes, [who was] also 35 Scribes,] which was a Law. a Doctor of the Law, came with the rest, and yer, (came, and having heard having attended to the Discourse between Jesus them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had an- and the Sadducees, and heard them reasoning toswered them well,] asked gether,* perceiving that he had answered them well, [him] a Question, tempting asked him a farther Question ; intending to make him, and saying, (MARK XII. 28.-]

*s another Trial of him as to his Understanding in
36 Master, which [is] the the Sacred Books ; and said to him, Master, 26
[hrit and ] great Command- I desire thou wouldst inform me, which is the
ment [of all] in the Law ?
(MARK XII. —28.]

First [and] great Commandment of all that are
contained in the whole Law (a)? Is it a Cere-
monial, or a Moral Precept, that is the most im-
portant, and deserves the Preference ?

And

(a) Which is the first and great Commandment &c.) This was a Point that often was dis. puted by the Jewish Doétors; some contending for the Law of Circumcision, others for that of Sacrifices, and others for that of the Phylašteries. And tho' it was a Rule among them, that the Law of the Sabbath was to give Place to that of Circumcision, yet they were not agreed as to the rest, which was the principal and most important Precept, only in general they were inclined to give the Preference to the Ceremonial Part.- Dr. Lightfoot remarks, (in his Hor. Hebr. on Mark xii. 28.) that Christ answers the Scribe out of a Sentence which was written in the Phylateries, in which he avoided all Occasion of Offence, and plainly Thewed (as the Scribe afterwards observes, Mark xii. 33.) that the Observance of the Moral Law was more acceptable to GOD, than all the Sacrifices they could offer to him.

(6) The

.344 Reflections on the Duties we owe to GOD and the King. Sect. 154. Let us not, with the Simple, believe every flattering Word; (Prov. xiv. m 15.) since sometimes the highest Encomiums may be designed as the InVer. 21. struments of Mischief: And too often they prove so, when they are not

treacherously intended. Mat. xxii. Our Lord was indeed the Person, whom these artful Hypocrites de16.

scribed; and was in that respect an excellent Pattern to all his Followers, and especially to his Ministers. He knew no Man in the Discharge of his Office; but without regarding the Persons of any, neither seeking their Favour, nor fearing their Resentment, he taught the Way of GOD in

Truth, and declared the whole of his Counsel. Ver. 21. Let us particularly attend to his Decision in the present Case, and

learn with the utmost Readiness to render unto Cæfar the Things which are Cæsar's, and unto GOD the Things which are GOD's. Our Civil Magistrates, by Virtue of their Office, justly claim our reverent Regard; and Tribute is most reasonably due to those, who attend continually to the Service of the Publick, and are, under God, the Pillars of our common

Tranquillity and Happiness. (Rom. xiii. 6, 7.) Let that Tribute therefore be justly and freely rendered, with Honour, and with Chearfulness; as he is surely unworthy to share in the Benefits of Government, who will not contribute his Part towards its necessary Expence. But let it also be remembered, that the Rights of GOD are sacred and inviolable: He, and He alone, is the Lord of Conscience; and when that is invaded, it is easy to judge, whether Man, or GOD, is to be obeyed. (Axts iv. 19.) Let us be daily thankful, that in our own Age and Country these Rights are so happily united. May a Guardian Providence continue to watch over both! and may we seriously consider how impossible it is, under such a Government, to be good Christians, without being obedient Subjects, or to fear GOD, if we do not honour the King! (1 Pet. ï, 17.)

SECT. CLV.

Our LORD proves the Resurrection to the Sadducees, and

answers their foolisle Objection against it. Mat. XXII. 23,---33. Mark XII. 18,---27. Luke XX. 27,---40. LUKE XX. 27.

Luke XX. 27. Sect. 155. THEN on that Day in which our Lord had THEN (the same Day] 1. thus confounded the Pharisees and the Hero

came to him certain of

in the Sadducees, which deny Luke XX. dians, some of the Sadducees came to him, who (as it was before observed,) were a Sect of pretended

Free.

that

27.

The Sadducees urge a Difficulty against the Resurrection. 345 that there is any Resurrec- Free-thinkers among the Jews, that deny there is Sect. 155. tion ; and they alked him, any Resurrection of the Dead (a), or any Future

I (Mat. XXII, 23. MARK

Luke XX. XII. 18.]

State in which the Soul exists after Death (6) to Luke.
receive the Reward of its Actions. And they ap-
plied themselves to Jesus, and asked him a Que-
ition, in which they put a Case, which they used
often to urge against those who were of a different

Opinion from themselves, and with which they
28 Saying, Master, Mo- also hoped to puzzle him : Saying, Master, if 28
les (laid and ] wrote unto us, there be, as we know thou teachest, a Resur-
If any Man's Brother die,
Marand leave his Wife rection of the Dead, how can this Difficulty,
behind him, and leave no which we are going to propose, be adjusted?
Children,) that his Brother Mores, as thou well knowest, faid, sand wrote to
lhould take his Wife, and
raise up Seed unto his Bro us this Precept, (Deut. xxv. 5.) That if a Man's
ther. "(Mat. XXII. 24. “ Brother die, and leave a Wife and no Children
MARK XII. .19.]

behind him, his surviving Brother should take
his Wife, and raise up Seed to his Brother ;” the
first Child of this second Marriage being esteemed

the Child of the Deceased, so as to inherit his Mat. XXII. 25. Now whole Estate, and bear up his Name. Now it Mat. XXII. there were with us Seven so happened, that there were with us, in a certain 25. Brethren; and the First when be had married a Wife, de- Family in our Neighbourhood, Seven Brethren ; ceased, and having no [Luk. and the First, when he had married a Wife, died Children, ] left his Wife un- quickly after, and, having no Children, left bis to his Brother. [MARK XII. ; 20. Luke XX. 20,1.9d Wife of Course to his Brother. And upon this, Luke XX.

Luke XX. 30. And the the Second followed the Direction of the Law, 30.
Second took her to Wife, and married ber; and be likewise after some Time
and he slikewise) died Child-
Jels. MA XI. 26.- died Childless, as his elder Brother had done.
MARK XII, 21.-

And then the Third took her, and he also died, as 31
31 And the Third took the others had done, without Iffue : And in like
her; and in like Manner the
Seven alfu (Mar. had her :)

Manner also they went on, till every one of the
And they left no Children, Seven Brothers had married ber; and they all died,
and died. (Mat.XXII.—26. and left no Children behind them. And last 32
MARK XII. -21, 22.-]

of (a) Who deny there is any Resurrection.] It is generally known, that their Master Sadoc, from whom the Sadducees took their Name, taught that God was not to be served from mercenary Principles, i. e. (as he crudely explained it,) from Hope of Reward, or Fear of Punilhment. His Followers interpreted this as an implicite Denial of a Future State, and so imbibed that pernicious Notion of the utter Destruction of the Soul at Death, equally uncomfortable and absurd. See Drufius, in loc.The Story they tell, seems to be a Kind of Common-Place Objection, which we meet with in the old Jewish Writers. See Lightfoot, Hor. Heb. in loc.

(6) Or any Future State, &c.] As it is expressly said, Aits xxiii, 8. that they denied any spirit, and consequently the Existence of the Soul in a separate State ; so our Lord's Answer here, and much of St. Paul's Reasoning in i Cor. xv. goes on the Supposition of such a Denial on their Part. See 2 Mac, xii. 42,-44. where the Author proves, that Judas believed a Resurrection, from his offering Sacrifices for the Souls of the Slain. VOL. II.

xx

(c) Are

lurrection, frome ? Mac.ng in Cor" a separate.

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