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The Divine Legation of Moses Demonstrated, Vol. 2 of 3 (Classic Reprint)

The Divine Legation of Moses Demonstrated, Vol. 2 of 3 (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from The Divine Legation of Moses Demonstrated, Vol. 2 of 3

I have now gone through the second general proposition, which is, That all mankind, especially the most wise and learned nations of Antiquity, have concurred in believing, and teaching, that the doctrine of a future state of rewards and punishments was necessary to the well-being of society. In doing this, I have presumed to enter the very Penetralia of Antiquity, and expose its most venerable secrets to open day. Some parts of which having been accidentally and obscurely seen by the owl-light of infidelity, were imagined by such as Toland, Blount, and Coward (as is natural for objects thus seen by false Braves), to wear strange gigantic forms of terror: and with these they have endeavoured to disturb the settled piety of sober Christians.

The ridiculous use these men have made of what they did not understand, may perhaps recal to the reader's mind that stale atheistical objection, that Religion is only a creature of politics, a State-engine invented by the Legislator, to draw the knot of Civil Society more close. And the rather, because that objection being founded on the apparent use of Religion to Civil Policy, I may be supposed to have added much strength to it, by shewing in this work, in a fuller manner than, perhaps, has been done before, the extent of that utility; and the large sphere of the Legislator's agency, in the application of it.

For thus stood the case: I was to prove Moses's divine assistance, from his being able to leave out of his Religion, the doctrine of a future state. This required me to shew, that this doctrine was naturally of the utmost importance to Society.

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