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Kedosh, or the setting apart of the souls to the holy place, is said to be comely, for the house of God(Le-orech-Jamim) during the period of paradise, because it is the law of that house, that every tie shall be broken off but that which unites them to their God that to him the exercise of every fa culty shall point, and every particle of their existence be devoted. This law of Kedosh, or separation, Christ himself taught." If a man hate not father and mother, and wife and child, and houses and lands;" that is, be willing to be separated from all these," he cannot be my disciple." Lk./4.26 In the book of Proverbs, wisdom is represented 3.16 as coming to mankind with length of days in her right hand, and in her left riches and honours. It is impossible that this can refer to earth, because on earth, time and chance happen alike to all men; and the most eminent for wisdom are sometimes very far from enjoying the longest period of life. Neither would it be befitting the dignity of heavenly wisdom, nor sufficiently come up to the earnestness of her address, to offer her votaries a few of the evil days of earth. It is generally agreed, that by wisdom is meant Messiah himself, and who in the gospels is expressly called the wisdom of God. Now if he address Jerusalem, offering to gather them; understanding by the term gathered, bringing them to the assembly of the pious in Paradise, this will tally
exactly to his offering them, in the person of wis dom, length of days; namely, that period which is allotted to the duration of the intermediate state. If we view wisdom as giving first that which is in her right hand, the life of the world to come, and then that which is in her left as the object of more remote bestowal-riches and glory, this will point us to that reward which Messiah says is to be bestowed only at the resurrection of the just."
To all this let us now join what Jehovah de clares by the mouth of the prophet; "For as the days of the tree shall be the days of my people." Is. lxv. 22. The tree (for it has the demonstrative article prefixed) is either an abbreviation for the tree of life, or the Seventy and the Chaldee have read in their copy, tree of life. The amount then of the promise will be this, s0 long as the tree of life (put metonymically for Paradise) continues, of the same extent shall be the days of my people.
Solomon tells us that "the fruit of the righteous is the tree of life;" that is, the revenue which falls to him after death, is the possession of Paradise. Two passages in the book of Revelations, confirm this sense. The first, "to him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God." The se cond, "Blessed are they who do his command
ments, that they may have a right to the tree of life."
In a passage in Ezek. xxviii. 13, it is probable that the Jews might be led to believe, that although the earthly paradise was no where to be found, there was the celestial existing, into which, after death, entered the spirits of the pious. "Thou hast been in Eden, the garden of God every precious stone was thy covering." Such, as appears from the Apocryphal writings, seems to have been the opinion of the Jews, during the two or three centuries that preceded the coming of Messiah. "Since Paradise shall be opened to us, the fruit of which knows no corruption, in which there is safety and healing.) The tree of life shall be to them a sweet smelling savour, and they shall not labour nor be weary."-" Thus saith the Lord to Esdras, declare to my people that I will give to them the kingdom of Jerusalem, which I intend giving to Israel, and I will give to them the tabernacles of the future age." 2 Esd. ii. 10-12, The purpose for which I have adduced these quotations, is not affected that they are taken from writings confessedly Apocryphal. However fabulous the narrative may be esteemed, the opinions they state are genuine, and belong to that period. Whatever then becomes of the facts, the opinions merit attention, because when Messiah came, "to tell us all things," he added new confirmation
firmation to these, and employed, as has been already shewn, the very phraseology. However corrupted the religion of the Jews was at the time of Christ, he never overthrows the expectations they had formed, founded on the letter of the scripture. When he said, " search the scriptures," he admits the truth of their opinion, that the life so often promised there was not this, but (HaiOlam) the life of the hidden period, and founded on the covenant of the same name; he only censures them that in this search they had not found HIM there: "They are they which testify of
The Opinions Heathen Nations entertained on this Subject, and how far they coincide with, or may be supposed to have been derived from Revelation.
It appears that the theology of the Heathen
world, and their worship of the supreme Being, were so much the more pure, in proportion to their distance from the primitive ages; and that amidst all the corruptions which length of time had accumulated, still traces were to be discerned of true and genuine religion. This evidently appears to be the state of those Heathens, some parts of whose history are mentioned in scripture. In the prosperity of Isaac, king Abimelech, and his friend Phichol, discerned a divine agency. "We truly saw that the Lord was with thee." Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses, "rejoiced for all the goodness which the Lord had done to Israel." Melchizedeck, who was not of the seed of Abraham, is termed the priest of the most high God. The patriarch Job, made it his daily practice to sanctify his family; i. e. to set them apart unto God, by the blood of a sacrifice.
The carliest teachers of mankind in things pertaining to the invisible world, were what the Hebrews