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"For that Reason must submit, and own God1 s Ways "to be inscrutable. Now could he possibly rest: in "this Solution how pious soever, if he had the "more satisfactory one of a future State ?—But, "what is strangest of all, when the two Parties "had quite confounded themselves and one ano"ther, for want, as one would think, of this Prin"ciple of a Resurrection which so easily unravels, "&c. the fourth Friend, the Moderator steps in, "as the Precursor of the Almighty, &c. Here "then we might reasonably think, that the Ho"nour of the Solution, which the Doctrine of the "Resurrection affords, was reserved for these; but "to our great Surprize, they neither of them give *' the least Hint concerning it." (p. 170.)—Thus the Objection is fully stated, and I trust, upon the Strength of what we have advanced, may be as fully obviated by a very few Considerations. First then, we will grant that Job could not possibly make mention of the Resurrection, or refer to a future State, inasmuch as his Friends neither acquiesced in the Notion, nor confuted it, as soon as it shall be made to appear that these Friends are the only Instances of Men who could not, or would not sacrifice their Persuasions and Prejudices to the Force
of an Argument. 2dly, If we are asked,
why Job does not again insist upon this conclusive Argument in the Course of the Debate, aster the 19th Chapter? We may answer, 1st, that, for the
Reasons Reasons implied in the above Solution, it could have been to no manner of Purpose: 2dly, That though this Passage be the first in which explicit Mention is made of the Resurrection, it is not the first that is clearly allusive to a future States 'Though he Slay me, yet will I trust in him, &c. (Chapter xiii. 15.) 3dly, That Job has in Effect, though not in so many Words, Recourse afterwards to this very Argument, by enlarging upon a Circumstance which he had but just mentioned before, that plainly evinced the Necessity of admitting his Hypothesis for the Vindication of the Divine Attributes, and shewed the Absurdity of the System maintained by his obstinate Antagonists: I mean the Circumstance of the sometimes prosperous State of the Wicked without Interruption to the very Hour of their Deaths. (Ch. xxi. 7. 13. 23. Ch. xxiv. 6. &c.)—In the 19th Chap. Job asserts the Doctrine of the Resurrection; in the 20thZoPHar, with a view to discredit theNotion, and vindicate the Divine Proceedings upon other Principles, enlarges much upon his and his Companions' favourite Topic, the miserable State and Portion of the Wicked in this World, &c. In the 21st Chapter, Job, admitting the Doctrine in general to be true, does yet in certain Instances alledge such Exceptions against it, as in their Consequences must necessarily force his Opponents into the Hypothesis of a future State, or at least reduce
them them to Difficulties confessedly inexplicable. Accordingly as much as Job might acknowledge the Truth of a general Maxim very consistent with his own Hypothesis, that Reason mustsubmit, and (mm Gods Ways to be inscrutable, yet this, and anothergeneral Position, that God may do as he pleases by his Creatures, who are all utterly vile and unclean in his Sight, are the grand Solutions which his three Friends take Refuge in throughout the Debate. (Ch. xv. 14—xxv. 4.—v. 9,—xi. 7.} By asserting these two Points they seemed to themselves to vindicate the Divine Dispensations in general, arid particularly to invalidate Job's, or any Man's Plea of personal Integrity.—Thus then stands the Controversy when the illustrious Moderator, the Precursor of the Almighty, interferes.—Now neither of these, it seems, give the least Hint concerning the Doctrine which Job is supposed to have been inculcating.—Some People cannot, or will not take 6 Hint; and this may appear to be the Case at present. For if Job did not refer to the Resurrection and the Doctrine of a future State as his capital Argument, how came the Wrath O/'elihu to be kindled against his three Friends because they had found no Answer, and yet had condemned him? In this Case surely they answered him beyond all Possibility of Reply. Again, if Job did not principally insist upon this Point, in order to vindicate and account for the Severity of temporal Visitations,
how how deserved he that Elogy from the Almighty himself, which gloriously distinguifoes him from the other Disputants, who did not speak of God the Thing which is right? Job did not speak &c. the Thing which is right, when he asserted his Innocence, and was ready to expostulate the Case with his Maker; for upon account of this he abhorred himself, and repented in Dust and Ajhes. Neither did he speak &c. the Thing which is right, (i. e. particularly, or characteristically right as maintained by himself) when he confest the Inscrutability of God's Dispensations because this was a Topic much insisted upon by his Opponents themselves; and therefore if his Appeal to a future State was not the Thing which was right, somebody should inform us what was. Lastly, when we consider the acknowledged Inequality of present Distributions throughout this Book, and the utter Inconsistency of the divine Dispensations with our Ideas of Justice in the Case of Wickedness successful, or Goodness distrest throughout Life, what Sense can we make of these Declarations of Elihu, that the Work of a Man God shall render unto him—• that he will not afflict, &c. &c. unless we suppose them to be Confirmations of Job's Argument, and to refer to the final Adjustment of all Difficulties and Irregularities in a future State?
But to proceed. The Examiner tells us, that the supposed Opinion of Job's Friends " who con"fined the Exercise of Providence to the present "Scene, &c." is irreconcileable with the common System, which " teaches that the Belief of a future "State has always been deemed a necessary Part "of revealed Religion, and been a popular Doc"trine among the Worshippers of the true God, "at all Times, and in all Places." (p. 156.) That is, if I see the Force of the Argument, the Belief of a future State has always been a popular Doctrine among the Worshippers of the true God, &c. and therefore there never could have existed any particular Persons who have been singular and perverse enough to deny it!—If ^^'s Friends did deny it, they were singular and perverse; if they did not, what is the Subject of the Book of Job? or, what Advantage will the new System make of their Faiths—Indeed the Examiner, in this Part of his Work, seems inclined to fight the Battle of the common System itself; for after having given us to understand that, "according to his Lordship's "Representation of the Case, Job's Friends were "not only Strangers to the Christian Doctrine of *' a future State, but even to any Notion of a "future Retribution, &c. and that they asserted "that this Doctrine was not only false, &c. but 41 even destructive to the Interests of Religion and also acquainting us in a subsequent Note, that