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A49845 Observations upon Mr. Wadsworth's book of the souls immortality and his confutation of the opinion of the souls inactivity to the time of general resurrection, 80. Layton, Henry, 1622-1705. 1670 (1670) Wing L758; ESTC R39124 150,070 217

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Testimonies I think it likely that the Body of our Thief was one of these Bodies of Saints which came out of their Graves after Christs Resurrection and his Body so chang'd as at or in the Resurrection might and probably did ascend with our Lord into that Paradise which before was promis'd him and was there with our Lord both present with their Souls and Bodies or their whole Persons in such manner as they had before lived in this World And thus Observing I have given a Reasonable and I think a Sufficient Answer to all those Inferences and Arguments which Mr. W. hath raised from this Text which therefore I decline to examine any further in this place knowing we shall meet with the same afterwards and that Mr. W. in the Progress of his Treatise doth repeat over again this and divers others of those Arguments which he hath made Parcel of his Five Propositions I therefore now proceed to Examine his last Quotation for the Proof of Souls being Rewarded or Punished presently after their departure out of the Bodies For the further Proof of which Assertion he quotes Luke 16.19 Where the Parable of Dives is at large Related and thereupon says little more but that he concludes from the Contents of this Parable That the Souls of Men seperate at Death from their Bodies enter into a State of Joy or Misery before the Resurrection Observing upon which I pretend to give some Reasons why he ought not so to conclude First because the Relation in this Place is but of a Parable Similitude the Nature whereof is not to prove but Illustrate the Subject upon which Men are then Discoursing and therefore his Practice is not Reasonable in making choice to prove by a Medium whose Design is not to teach but represent things in such a manner as they may be better received by those to whom the Discourse is Prosecuted Secondly I say There appears no Design in this Parable to teach or instruct our Lord's Auditors concerning the true State or Nature of Men after Death because in the Context to this Parable there is no Question raised or Discourse held concerning that Subject Whence I conceive the intent of this Parable was not to confirm or illustrate the Speculation thereof but that rather this Parable was offer'd to illustrate and confirm an Assertion which our Lord in the fore-going verses had deliver'd as vers 15 When the Pharisees had derided our Lords Doctrine he Answers them Ye are they which justifie your selves before Men but God knoweth your Hearts for that which is chiefly esteemed amongst Men is an abomination in the sight of God Soon after which our Lord delivers this Parable and therein describes Dives as in a very high manner enjoying the Glory and Good things of this World and counted one of the happiest amongst Men and then sets out Lazarus in as low and miserable a Condition as Men commonly can fall to Whence the State of Dives was very highly esteemed amongst Men but was in the Sight of God much otherwise and placed far below the Condition of Lazarus in respect of those future Enjoyments which God had appointed for him The Parable therefore I conceive was a very sufficient illustration of our Lord's Assertion before-mentioned and I think was not intended to teach or discover the true State of Men after Death and then if we suppose that Parables confirm or illustrate those Discourses only which they are intended so to assert it seems inferrible that this Parable may not reasonably be made good a Ground or Proof concerning the true State of Men after Death or that they receive rewards before the Resurrection because it was not spoken with intent to teatch or illustrate that Point A Third Argument against the alledging this Parable as a Proof is the apparent Incongruity which it hath With Solomon's return of the Spirit to God who gave it Because the return there spoken of seems to be deliver'd as an effect of the Souls Natural Inclination as a thing commonly done and easie to be performed and says It is a return made to God who gave it From which our Parable differs in Material Points For the Parable doth not say That Lazarus or his Soul either returned or went to God for Judgment or any other purpose Next The Parable doth not say That Lazarus or his Soul went any whither but that he was carried by Angels not before God or to Judgment but into Abraham's Bosom a place of repose and some measure of happiness So as we may say of these two Proofs tho' they be the main Pillars of the Souls Seperate Subsistence yet their Testimonies do not agree together We Read that at our Lords Trial before Pilate divers false witnesses appeared to give their Evidence against our Lord whose Testimonies yet were finally rejected because they agreed not together Mark 14.56 Many bare false witness against our Lord but their Testimonies were rejected because they agreed not together And Moses's Law required two witnesses for the putting any Man to Death And for this Reason I think our Parable to be but a weak Proof of the Souls Seperate Subsistence or immediate Reward after Death A Fourth Argument opposing the proving Power of this Parable rifes from the difficulty of finding Truth in the Words of it for that it says Dives afar off beheld Lazarus in Abraham's Bosom and between the places of their aboad there was a great Gulf fixed so as none can pass from the one of them to the other This to my Understanding seems somewhat incredible First that Dives at such a distance should be able to discover Lazarus as to know him Next that Dives in his place of Torment should be able so to Speak and Discourse as that Abraham could hear what he said and return Answers to him Fifthly I observe upon this Parable That Abraham and Dives seem very well acquainted and nearly Related one to the other Dives gives Abraham the Title of Father which Abraham accepts and returns Answer to him by the Name of Son whereas if Mr. W. says true there could be no such real Relation between them For Mr. W. says There was nothing of Dives in Hell but his Soul subsisting there in a State of Seperation from his Body And this sort of Soul is in no manner Propagated by the Parents but it is a New and Pure Creature Created by God at the first Procreation of every Person having a Subsistence of its own until it be by God injected into the newly procreated Body where it presently becomes Tainted and Defiled with Original Sin We will leave that to fall out as it may but here I say That this Soul not Generated or Propagated from Abraham or any of his Posterity can by no means be properly or truly Stiled the Son of Abraham And from all these Arguments and Promises I find my self apt to Collect that there is little Real or Historical truth in this Parable that it very
failed in the Proof of it He hopes his Adversaries will not be such Blasphemers as to deny the truth of Solomon's Words The Spirit returns to God who gave it Concerning which Words I have before fully declared my Conceptions and have no design to repeat them again here Further he quotes again Eccl. 3. as if Solomon there said That when Man dieth his Body goes one way and his Spirit another and whether he quotes this Text truly shall be left to Judgment Then Mr. W. puts an Objection against himself Supposing some may say If all Souls return to God that gave them the Souls of the Wicked do so too and he grants that so they do and for solution of this Objection he says That tho' God be in his highest Heavens and keep his Sessions there yet there are some other parts of the Heaven where he keeps a particular Sessions to which Evil Spirits may approach as they did in Micaiah's Vision where God may pass Sentence upon the Souls of the Wicked without bringing them into Heaven and he thinks God hath a glorious Presence in the lower Heavens with his Angels and that there he doth Transact many Affairs relating to the Government of this World and quotes for this the Devils Appearance in the Case of Job and says If Devils may appear before God so may the Souls of the Wicked do too In Answering I declare to agree with his last Expression That if there be Seperate Souls of Wicked Men Subsisting by themselves they may appear before God as his quoted Texts testifie Devils have done but I demand as clear Texts and Testimonies of Scripture for the appearing of wicked Souls before God as are quoted for the appearing of Devils before him But he brings not one Text to Prove that he saith Truth concerning the appearing of wicked Souls before God And I confide that no one Text of Scripture can be brought which gives an Assertory Testimony of that Fact or says there was ever such a thing done in the World And for what he says of God's keeping his Sessions of Judgment sometimes in Heaven and sometimes in other particular Parts of Heaven I am apt to demand Proofs thereof from Texts of Scripture but he brings not one to this purpose And therefore I think it may be concluded that these several Sessions of God for Judgment are but a Device of his own Brain which hath no real Truth in it And thus by Mens Devices they strive to heal cover and confirm their Erroneous Opinions which I look upon as a great Fault in a good Man But notwithstanding those Humane Inventions I am apt to conclude that if the good Souls go to God for Judgment in Heaven that bad Souls do also somewhat evidently do the like Solomon says The Soul returns to God who gave it The Soul returns are Words that intend indefinitely and seem therefore equivalent to an Universal and signifie as much as if it had been said All Souls return to God who gave them And this Sense of the Words our Author hath lately granted Whence I conclude that as God says All Souls are mine which I think intends Persons so all Souls are intended to return to God who gave them as well and as much the Bad as the Good for any thing that I can perceive either in the words of the Text or any thing that is true in our Author's Discourse of it P. 60. He puts a Second Objection against this Opinion which I think he doth set up as a Man of Straw that he may have the battering of it down again He pretends some say that he hath indeed proved the Soul and Body to be seperated at Death and that one of them goes to one Place and the other of them goes to the other Place but that he hath not yet proved the Soul to live in that State of Seperation Hereupon I observe That after he hath said The Soul and Body are seperated at Death he adds That they go to two different Places Which Saying I think the Text doth not warrant for it doth not say that either of them go to any Place And first we may be sure a dead Body cannot go any whither The Text says It returns to the Earth as it was and of which before it received Life it was a Part So for the Spirit the Text says It returns not goes to God who gave it I have before offer'd an Apprehension That Solomon might intend this Spirit returned to God in a natural and easie manner as a Part doth to its Totum and the Parcels of Air or Water return to and incorporate with their Elements and that as the Body returns to the Earth as it was and as a Part doth to its Totum so the Spirit returns to God from whom it came and of which I suppose Solomon might think it to have been a Part But I grant That if the Soul in our Author's Sense do go to God after Death then the Objection which says he did not prove it alive in a seperate State is vain and frivolous and may easily be overthrown without putting our Author to the Trouble of Defending his Opinion against it In the Close of this Argument Mr. W. asks What hath the Living God to do with dead Spirits And I say so too and therefore grant that if the Intelligent Seperate Spirit of a Man be dead it can with no Propriety or Truth be said to Return to God who gave it P. 61. Mr. W. says So I shut up this Third Argument and with it my Proofs from the Old Testament And concerning these Threee Arguments I say the First is measurably Confuted the Second is Disregarded and the Third is otherways Expounded and in such a manner as Opposes Mr. W's Pretensions thereupon The Fourth Argument PAg. 61. Mr. W. quotes here that Text of Scripture whereby the Opinion of the Souls Seperate Subsistence is principally supported and upon which it is with a great measure of Clearness grounded and which arises near unto an Assertion that the thing is so and I think Mr. W. doth from thence rightly Argue That if the Soul cannot be killed by killing the Body or Person it seems to be a reasonable Inference drawn from this Text to Argue That the Soul must needs have a Seperate Subsistence of its own after the Death of the Person And further Mr. W. observes well the Reason why our Lord deliver'd this Doctrine to his Disciples viz. To encourage them against the Fears of such Persecutions as were likely to fall upon them in the Prosecution of their great Duty the Preaching of the Gospel encouraging them not to sear what Harm Men could do unto them upon that account because Men could only kill the Body intending the Person but were not able to kill the Soul or lay any other sort of real Punishment upon Men after their departure out of this world P. 62. Mr. W. produces an Argument which I think
men in England who do not only with you deny the possibility of the Souls Seperate subsistence but do also deny the being of any sort of Spirits whatsoever I desire to rectifie one of his Expressions in this Paragraph in the saying There are other men who with you deny the possibility of the Souls Seperate subsistence which I would have thus read There are other men who with you deny the probability of the Souls Seperate subsistence and if this alteration happen to be refus'd me I will also refuse to be comprehended under the words with you Page 7. He says Men cannot be certain that Souls do not subsist in a state of separation after Death or that they are not in a state of happiness or misery till the Resurrection I answer That if such things were once made certain and clear to us we should need to remain no longer in a doubting condition as we now do and therefore we do heartily wish and desire that God would please so far to inlighten some man or men with a certain or clear knowledge of the truth in this point as that they may be able to clear the same to the understanding and minds of such persons as are very desirous to be farther and fully instructed in this great Point and divers other particulars thereupon depending Page 5. Mr. W. seems to expect rather thanks than blame for endeavouring to clear up to mens minds the truth in this Question and in this I am fully agreed with him and am ready to give to him or any other man who proceeds candidly and fairly as he doth my sincere and hearty thanks for such labour of love with intent to draw others from the evil of their ways of Errour of in Practices P. 6. Mr. W. says I conceive some who embrace the Opinion of the Souls Materiality may be otherways good Christians and are by this Opinion the most enemies to themselves and therefore he deserves their thanks for endeavouring to draw them out of it And I commend his Charitable Profession and Practice wherein he exceeds divers other maintainers of the Souls Immortality and give him my iterated thanks for endeavouring to draw me and others out of those Apprehensions or Opinions which he thinks at the best to be our mistakes and errours and thus I part with his Epistle to the Reader to make some such farther Observations upon his following Treatise as to my own understanding shall appear fit and reasonable to be done HIS Treatise stands divided by himself into several Chapters to each of which I purpose to apply the Observations intended to be made towards the discovery and clearing of the Truths therein deliver'd and the answering of such Objections or Inferences as he may have drawn from them or built upon them without true or sufficient grounds for his so doing CHAP. I. PAge 1. he pretends here to speak of the Soul as if the Point in dispute were already granted him or were judicially determin'd to be on his side for he says speaking of the Soul that when she is born down with melancholy damps of her muddy tabernacle so as to think that at death she shall be turned into sensless stupid dust she strait grows sad and affrighted and then upon the consideration of her own Immortality she clears up her doubts and receives great comfort upon the Opinion which she hath of her being so qualified Hereupon I observe he seems to take for granted that the Soul hath thoughts or conceptions of her own by reflection upon her self or otherways without being therein assisted by the bodily Organs of that person wherein she resides now whether she hath such thoughts of her own or not himself very well knows to be one of the main Points in our Controversie for that all Materialists do maintain she hath no thoughts activity or being but in the Body and therefore can do nothing without it I have formerly quoted Aristotle de Anima where he calls it a very Improper way of Speaking for men to say The Soul is sorrowful or learned or wise and that they might as well say the soul weaves or builds because all these and the like Qualities are not Powers of the Soul but of the Man and therefore our Author should have said when the man is born down by the sad Contemplations of Death or any other accident he may take comfort from the high Conceptions of his Immortality but in the mean time it seems Mr. W. stumbles dangerously at the very Threshold or Entrance of this Dispute and must either have that granted him which he knows his Opponents do utterly deny or otherways all that he says in this Paragraph must pass for a Non sequitur without serving to any purpose in the Dispute of that Question which he at this time pretends to handle P. 2. He goes on and says He cannot believe his Souls confidence of her own Immortality to be a distempered fit of her spirit prone to believe that to be which she desires may be because he finds men of the best tempers and practices to be of that Opinion as if this Opinion of the Souls Immortality were a plant that co0uld spring and thrive only in a pure Conscience and a Mind united to God He says This confidence of the Souls Immortality is so appropriate to the wisest and best of men as it seems an absurd suggestion that it should have risen from mens own Imaginations but it seems rather evident that the Souls of men having in some measure recovered their pristine holiness and integrity they thence begin to know themselves and their alliance to the great God and see plainly that they do not only bear his Image in righteousness and holiness but likewise in Immortality Upon this Paragraph I observe that no man charges the Opinion of the Souls Immortality that it is a bare Imagination of mens idle brains or phantasies but we are ready to grant that this Opinion is founded upon antient and great Authority and was first introduced into the Heathen World by the Doctrine of Phericides Syrus whose Scholar Pythagoras built upon that Conception his Opinion of the Transmigration of Souls from one Creature to another with a general Community both to Men and Beasts which Opinion was generally received by the World of his time and was thence propagated to future Generations and continues at this day to be firmly believed in the Eastern Parts of the World of India China and Japan Plato became a Scholar to the Successors of Pythagoras in that Doctrine and Opinion which by his Genius became somewhat refined by rejecting a Community of Souls formerly supposed to be betwixt Men and Beasts and confining the Transmigration of Humane Souls to the Bodies of Men only conceiving withal that some more perfect and pure Souls amongst them might so have acted in Bodies wherein they lived as they might deserve to be delivered from the Drudgery of acting Humane Bodies any longer and
therefore were received up into higher Regions and Places where they enjoyed such Happiness and Powers of Acting as far exceeded the most Happy State upon Earth This Opinion of Plato found great Credit amongst the Learned Persons which came after him and particularly in the Heathen and Christian Schools of Alexandria as appears by the Writings of Origen and Pantenus who were Christian Doctors and Teachers in those Schools at Alexandria and this Opinion seems to have been also spread amongst the Nation of the Jews and Proselytes of their Churches because that when St. Matthew comes to relate our Lords Doctrine and Direction rather to fear God than Men for that God can punish men after Death which is not in the power of men to do he words it thus Fear not men because they can only kill the body but cannot kill the soul Which plainly proves it to be that Apostles Opinion That the Soul might have and had a natural Subsistence in a State of Seperation from the Body and that his believing the Truth of this Doctrine was the Cause why he worded our Lord's Direction in this Point as we find him to have done in the Text before quoted By what hath been said before it appears clearly we do not charge the Opinion of the Souls Immortality with being the Product of Mens idle Brains or Fancies grounded upon their own Desires of having it pass'd for an establish'd Truth for we have shewed and agree'd That the same is grounded in a learned Antiquity and very great Authority whence it hath grown to be the most general and near the universal Opinion of Mankind which having been so entertain'd Mothers and Nurses have instill'd the same into the Minds and Learning of their tender Infants who by Fathers and Masters are after farther confirmed in this so early radicated Opinion which is after farther illustrated and prov'd to them from Pulpits and the Ministers of their Churches And this Deduction manifests That we do not Charge the Opinion of the Immortality with being the Product of Mens idle Brains or Fancies or their Desires concerning the Truth of it As to what he pretends That the Immortal Opinion thrives only or mostly amongst the wisest and best Practicers of the Christian Profession I conceive him therein to be mistaken and think that for every wise and good Man which he can produce prosalted to believe and maintain the Opinion of the Immortality I shall be always able to produce twenty Sensualists at least and evil Livers who will be ready with great Zeal and Constancy to maintain Mr. W's Opinion of the Immortality to the uttermost As to his saying That Men attain to the Image of God in Righteousness and true Holiness and Immortality I find in my self no inclination to grant him That any Men whil'st in this World do attain to the Image of God in any of these Particulars I find it written That God made man after his own Image and in the Image of God made he man But I do not find my self able to explicate or conceive the true and full Scope and Meaning of these Expressions nor wherein the Image of God in man doth consist but am very apt to think That man was not made like God in Immortality because then there would have been no need of the Fruit of the Tree of Life to make Men live for ever But we read That God made that Tree and Fruit grow out of the Earth to that very purpose that Man by eating of that Fruit might become Immortal and live for ever and that upon his Sin he was debarr'd from eating of that Fruit and lost that Remedy which God had provided against the stroke of Death and in that Condition hath his Posterity remain'd ever since his Commission of that Sin against God And therefore I think St. John informs us truly when he says We know not yet what we shall be but we know that when he shall appear we shall be like him And therefore I leave the Pretences to such Knowledge to the Time of our Lord's second Appearance and sitting upon the Throne of his Glory when Men of good Practices may hope to be like him and that I think is sufficient to satisfie the reasonable and most exalted Desires of Mankind P. 3. Mr. W. says Whilst the Spirit of Man continues its Conflicts with the Flesh and the Lusts thereof as she will whilst she abides in the Body it is needful to maintain in her the Thoughts of her Immortality Here I observe that when he speaks of the Spirits contesting with the Flesh he says It continues that Conflict with the Flesh and the Lusts thereof as it will whilst she abides in the Body and therefore it is needful to maintain in her high Thoughts of her self By this manner of Speaking he first expresses that Spirit by the Name of it and presently without giving any Reason slides down upon it the Title of She and Her as if the daily Contests betwixt the Flesh and Spirit of Man intended a Contention between his Body and an Immortal intelligent Spirit within it expressing that Spirit by Terms of She and Her But I differ from him therein conceiving that by the Flesh and Spirits so contending one against the other is chiefly and even only intended the Contests which are daily found between Mens Affections and other Sensual Powers and the Minds or Rational Faculties of the same Person and his sliding the Terms of She and Her into this Discourse with design to have it thought that these Contests are maintained by an intelligent immortal Spirit against that Body wherein she lives looks to my Apprehension like a sort of Legerdemain which may perhaps prevail upon very unwary Readers but will not be suffer'd so to pass by considerate Examiners of his Writings P. 4. He says That She his Immortal Spirit will continue her Conflict with the Body so long as she is in it I am ready to Agree That such a Contest between the Sensual Appetites and Rational Faculties of Men is likely to continue throughout and during the whole Life of the Person but that this sort of Contest is so maintain'd between the Immortal Intelligent Soul and the Body of that Person whom she enlivens I am very apt and ready to deny P. 4. He says further If we seek Encouragement against the Fear of Death there is no Truth can arm us with a better Resolution than the Belief of the Souls Immortality And I grant that if this were a Truth sufficiently evidenced to the Understandings and Consciences of Men it would be a great strengthening to such Persons as have a very good Opinion of their own Merits to make their Passage through the Gates of Death with great Boldness and Assurance but to those who are working out their own Salvation with fear and trembling and are very humble in the Contemplation of their own Merits who tremble more at the sight of their Sins than they are
of his Death and Burial was derived or how the Jews might come to know that he so died and was buried Deut. 3.27 Goe get ye up into the Top of Pisgah and take a view of the Land And Chap. 34. says Moses went up from the Plains of Moab to the Top of Pisgah and died there The Words of both Texts seem to intend that Moses went up alone into the Top of this Mountain and told the Jews before his going up that he was to die there and they never saw or heard more of him after that time whence they might according to the common course of the World in such Cases reasonably enough conjecture that he died there and was buried according to the Custom of the World without finding any Evidence or Truth of such a Burial Whence I conceive his being buried was but a Conjecture of the Jews because they could not find what was become of the Body altho' probably they made a great Search for it Whence I Collect that his dying in the Mount and his being buried thereabouts was but a Collection or Conjecture of the Jews from his own not returning to them and their not being able to find his Body by their most diligent Search And Collecting from these Premises I am ready to infer as a Probability that Moses was translated and therefore neither dead nor buried and yet was never seen or heard of after nor could they by search find any place of his Burial or what other ways was become of him and I offer his Appearance at Mount Tabor as the best ground I have for this Conjecture conceiving that it might please God the Jews might not know of that Translation for that if they had known of his immediate going to Heaven they might have been apt to direct Prayers thither to him to intercede with God for their Nation as he often successfully did whil'st he was here upon Earth I have said before that Mr. W's Opinion of Moses's appearing at Mount Tabor in Soul only cannot be proved by any Text of Scripture is but his or at the most a humane Conjecture And I grant that his appearing in Person at Mount Tabor is also a humane but I think a more reasonable Conjecture And to this whole fifth Argument drawn from Mens Collections and Conjectures thereupon I Answer That Men expect more Clear and Assertory Proofs of the Soul 's Seperate Subsistence than this or such like Arguments can afford them The Sixth Argument PAg. 67. Mr. W. founds his Sixth Argument upon that which is delivered to us in the Parable of Dives And first he grants that Relation to be a Parable and not a real Story adding That Parables are shadows of Discourse by which are set forth things that are real and substantial And I grant they may be Instructive concerning those Matters for whose Illustration they were purposely delivered and yet even in those things I do not take them to be proving Mr W. says further That Tertullian Augustine and the rest of the Fathers did much build their Faith of the Souls Immortality and of Mens Happiness or Misery immediately after Death before the Judgment of the Great Day upon this Scripture I observe he avoids calling it this Parable I know not whether what he says concerning the Fathers building their Belief of such things upon this Parable be true or not but conceive that if this Parable was really the principal Foundation of that Belief it had but a very soft and sandy Foundation so as the building thereupon erected will not be enough able to resist the Storms Rains and Floods which may happen to assault it He further quotes Ireneus and relates the gross Errours which he and Tertullian fell into by following this Parable too closely viz. so far as to think That a Seperated Soul has a Shape Eyes Mouth and other like Members of a Humane Body He repeats his Concession again That this Similitude of Dives and Lazarus is not Historical but Parabolical P. 68. Mr. W. says By Abraham's Bosome is meant a Place of great Pleasure and Happiness reserv'd for the Righteous when they have finish'd this Life And hereupon I observe a Variance between being carried to this Place of Pleasure and a going before God to an intermediate Judgment and conceive that the being carried to this Place stands in Opposition to the Text of Solomon The Spirit returns to God who gave it for Lazarus in this Parable neither went to God for Judgment nor return'd to Him by a natural Bent or Power of its own but was carried to this unknown Place by the Ministry of Angels P. 70. Mr. W. raises a Question Whether the Words and Sense of this Parable do speak of and import a State of Persons presently after their Death or such a State as shall overtake them at the Resurrection and the last Judgment And he spends divers Pages and Arguments in Proving That the Import of this Parable points to a State presently succeeding the Parties Death and not to that State which shall follow low upon the Resurrection but his Labour to this Purpose is needlessly bestowed upon me or others who may think as I do That the Sense of this Parable intends a State presently succeeding the Parties Death Here Mr. W. says Our Lord by this Parable intended to set forth an immediate state of Happiness for the Godly and of Misery for the Wicked I Reply to this That there appears no Evidence in the Context of our Lord's Intent how to Teach by this Parable There is no Discourse in any Part of the Context which might lead our Lord to speak of the State of Persons after Death but the Context immediately fore-going doth plainly intimate and prove the special Intent of our Lord in this Parable was to Illustrate and Confirm a Sentence which himself had lately before uttered viz. That there are things highly esteemed among men and yet are an Abomination in the sight of God And to this Purpose he describes the state of Dives with such Circumstances as make it highly esteem'd and desired amongst Men and sets Lazarus so low and in a Condition so miserable as one can hardly devise a worse Condition amongst Men notwithstanding whereof the Sequel of the Parable declares That the state of Dives though highly esteemed amongst Men was in the whole of it abominable to the sight of God and Lazarus's state tho' abominated by Men was in the whole more blessed than that of Dives was And I conceive thereupon that our present Parable was delivered by our Lord with special Intent to illustrate this Doctrine without any apparent Intent to teach concerning the State of People after Death and yet I do Agree this Parable to set forth or prove that the common Opinion of the Jews at that time was correspondent to the Descriptions made in this Parable but I conceive withal that divers Particulars therein specified prove it to be a Jewish Conception of that
have done conceiving it was intended by the word Spirit in this Place to signifie the Spirit of Life in Man which is one of the two Constituent Parts of his Person and by the ordinary figure of Synecdoche setting one Part for the Whole the word Spirit here seems to intend the whole Person So as under this Term of Spirit the Petitioners intended to recommend themselves or their whole Persons the one into the hands of his Father under whose Custody his Body as well as his Soul viz. his whole Person remained and was preserved without seeing Corruption until the Time and Hour of his Resurrection And I conceive St. Stephen's Prayer was made in a like Sense and to the same Purpose that our Lord 's was Mr. W. says further He does not know of any such Phraesed Petitions as these are put up by either of them or any other Person in Prayer but just at the Moment of dying I will therefore refresh his Memory by quoting to him and our Readers Psal 31.6 where the very same Words are used Into thy hands I commend my Spirit for thou hast redeemed me O Lord thou God of Truth For any thing that appears the Psalmist was in Health at the uttering of this Petition but withal in a state of great Trouble as the foregoing Verses testifie And it thence seems somewhat Clear to my Understanding that by these Words our Prophet did not intend to recommend to God's Protection his Spirit of Life or Seperative Soul only but that rather in those Words he intended to recommend to God's Care and Protection his whole Compositum of Soul and Body his Person or himself without having any particular or singular Respect to his Spirit of Life or Soul whatsoever the same might be Which seems may be somewhat mo●e Cleared by a short Paraphrase Into thy hands O God I commend my self for thou hast redeemed me This I take to be the true Meaning of David's Words and I take the Prayers of our Lord and St. Steven to be of the same Import and that they have no such other Emphatical Signification as Mr. W. in this place endeavours to put upon them P. 80. he says If his Interpretation of those Words be true they clearly express the Souls Immortality I do not deny this but withal conceive that his Interpretation of these Words is not true as my fore-going Answers testifie and then I think no man can believe that they are a good Proof or any Proof at all for the Souls Seperate Subsistence P. 82. he says The Word Spirit here intends Seperate Soul and if it doth not mean so he desires to know what it doth mean And I have said before that it intends the whole Person of the Petitioner as it is a Compositum of Soul and Body Mr. W. farther demands What the word Spirit here means and whether it mean the Life of the Body Here I am at a loss what he means by the Life of the Body and if he doth not mean the Life of the Person he means that which hath no good Sense in it for the Body quatenus tale or divided from the Person hath no sort of Life in it as St. James tells us A Body without a Spirit is dead And therefore to mention the Life of the Body without a Figurative Intent inclines to the Nature of a Bull in such manner as if one should speak of the Life of a dead thing He then demands What Is it the dead Carcass the whole M●n Body and Soul Putting them together as if the dead Carcass was the whole Man Body and Soul intending to confound these Terms and give to each of them an equipollent Signification as if the dead Carcass and the whole Man Body and Soul signified the same thing whereas I must divide them and say The dead Carcass signifies one thing and the whole Man Body and Soul or the Person signifies another thing and tho' the Carcass shall go to the Dust as it was yet the Person shall be preserved the good sleeping in Christ and the bad remaining under the Knowledge and Disposal of God until the times of refreshing shall come from the Presence of the Lord and the Trumpet shall sound and all Persons who have lived shall be raised and summoned to the Judgment of the Great Day And therefore from the Words as I have Expounded them I think the direct contrary to what he says that no good Argument can be raised from our first quoted Texts for proving his Opinion of the Souls Seperate Subsistence The Ninth Argument PAge 83. Mr. W. quotes Rom. 10.11 And if Christ be in you the Body is dead because of sin but the Spirit is Life because of Righteosness and if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the Dead dwell in you he that raised up Christ from the Dead shall also quicken your Mortal Bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you And he says upon this Text Methinks this Truth of the Souls Immortality doth very clearly shine in the Evidence of this Scripture I Answer That what shines so clearly to him I do not at all discover P. 84. Mr. W. proceeds in a long Discourse which I think rather confounds and misleads than opens and declares the Meaning of St. Paul's Words and yet I have no Intent to implicate my self with him upon that Subject especially in many Words P. 85. He raises an Exception out of St. Paul's Doctrine but I think it is out of his own Brain and Invention not perceiving that Paul thought of such an Objection nor that he makes or intends any Answer to it But Mr. W. himself both tells the Tale and gives the Answer And there he says further If you ask How comes the Soul thus to over-live the Body He Answers by a perplex'd Repetition of some other Words in the Chapter which he pretends to Expound as by an Old Rule Mala Expositio corrumpit Textum and then he draws out of that Exposition what I do not find in the Text but will not particularize for avoiding of Length and Confusion P. 86. Here he Propounds another Objection to St. Paul's Doctrine and says The Apostle was well aware of it and therefore gave it an Answer But I think he is mistaken in both not finding by the Text that St. Paul ever thought of it and therefore did not design to give it an Answer and specially such an Answer as Mr. W. in this Place hath done He proceeds and raises a Third Objection against St. Paul's Doctrine but doth not say the Apostle was aware of this or made any Answer to it but Mr. W's Invention and Construction are ready to give it a full Answer but not such an one as I am willing to Consent unto P. 87. Mr. W. says Having thus cleared up the Text by giving you its Meaning I proceed now to lay down my Argument to prove that the Soul of Man dieth not with the Body I Answer some
they are most apt to intend A coming to them by Faith whilst we are in this World Such a Faith as is the Evidence of things not seen but we have direction to hold fast our Hope and Expectation of them until the End when we may look for a Crown or Crowns of Life to be then distributed to all who love our Lords Second Appearing And then only I conceive may we hope to be made Partakers of all that Company and Happiness which in this Text are particularly recited And from this Exposition the Conclusion will be easily drawn That Mr. W's Fourteenth Argument hath very little force to prove the Subsistence of Mens Souls in a State of Seperation from their Bodies The Fifteenth Argument PAge 108. Heb. 11.39 40. These having all obtained a good Report through Faith received not the Promise God having provided some better thing for us that they without us should not be made perfect Hereupon Mr. W. says This seems a very obscure Text especially applied as a Proof of the Souls Immortality To this I Agree and Prognosticate That the Proof which it makes of the Soul's Immortality will fall out accordingly viz. That it will be both very obscure and weak Mr. W. further says It is evident the Apostle here speaks of some special Promise that the Patriarchs had rec●iv'd the fulfilling whereof they never lived to see and which