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and in superfluity. This must demonstrate, to a greater degree of certainty, that the wise and just God has not limited our being to this, no less short, than uncertain life; but that he has created us for something far more elevated and desirable, and destined us for an everlasting life, where we can attain that perfection, which is here beyond our reach.
* העולם הזה דומה לפרוזדו בפני העולם This life is but an out court
DINY 93 771119a gosy ipon :x20 (school of preparation) to
youpro's the life to come. Prepare thyself so in the court, that thou mayest be worthy to enter the palace.” (Aboth, Payreck iv.)
46. What is in the first place deducible from the doctrine of the immortality of the soul?
That those, who have led here a godly course of life, and who have sedulously endeavoured to act conformably to the will of Heaven, will be rewarded by the God of mercy and eternal Father, with an inexpressibly great happiness, when they have finished their earthly existence; but that the wicked will be punished, who died in their obduracy, without repentance. So that only in a future life the real reward and punishment will take place, and there will be meted out to every man the just recompense of his deeds. vixhohen nx donn'nghy of And thou, O Eternal, art gracious,
1770ynd for thou wilt pay to each man, according to his deeds.” (Ps. 62, v. 18.)
,And IIanoch walked with God " ויתהלך חנוך את האלהים ואיננו כי
Onbe uns nps and he was no more to be found, for God had taken him away.” (Gen. 5 ch. 24 y.)
47. What did our wise men say on this subject? O'nni nins dinoni nidh ortibo7 “ They, who are born, must die,
,and the dead will live again לדון לידע להודיע ולהודע שהוא אל
הוא היוצר הוא הבורא הוא המבין הוא הדין הוא העד הוא בעל דין הוא עתיד
שאין לפניו לא עולה לדון ברוך הוא ולא שכחה ולא משא פנים ולא מקח
יבטיחך יצרך שהשאול בית מנוס לך שעל כרחך אתה נוצר ועל כרחך אתה נולד ועל כרחך אתה חי ועל כרחך
and the revived are to be judged; that it may be known, experienced, and proved, that
God, the almighty former 589 7120117 ob sonu yol nie. and creator, is also the inves
tigator, judge, witness, and accuser, praised be He ! for
before him there is no injusjos tiny ons 7770 589 no one tice, no forgetfulness, no rediaboo ishra 759 205 juvni yup spect for persons, no receiv
89777177 01977 ing of bribes. Know, therefore, that there every thing will be strictly investigated and counted; and let not thy evil desires persuade thee, that the grave can be a place of refuge for thee ; for without thy consent thou wast formed, without thy consent thou wast born, without thy consent thou livest; without thy consent also thou must die, and without thy consent thou must once render an account of thy deeds and stand to judgment, before the King of kings, the Holy One-praised be He.” (Aboth, iv. 22.)
48. What effect should this, and the uncertainty of the time of our death, have upon us?
We ought never to calculate upon a long life on earth; and we should conduct ourselves every day in such a manner, as if it were the last of our life: so tliat our mémory may be blest by posterity, and that we appear pure before the judgment-throne of the Almighty. We must, therefore, make the best use of our time and powers, and test ourselves daily with real sincerity, and amend whatever we may discover defective in ourselves.
• tonio oh oos Dr 710 “ Repent one day* before thy death!” (i. e. daily.) (Aboth, ii.) .* When Rabbi Eleazer taught this rule to his scholars, they asked him, 49. What else do we infer from the doctrine of the immortality of the soul ?
We believe, that God will revive man from death, and deal out to the pious an interminable beatitude. "haha 13pnby 107x 'I'D D'I7 “ And many, who sleep in the
oby 1995 nions obeu obry dust, shall awake; some to everlasting life, others to everlasting shame and confusion.” (Dan. 12 ch. 2 v.) 13371 13p7 pipipintad q'no in? “ Yes, they shall live, thy dead,
•DY V my corpses shall rise ; awake and rejoice, ye who sleep in the dust.” (Is. 26 ch. 19 v.)
50. Have we any more particular accounts of the circumstances and the period of this great and wonderful occurrence?
No; both the how and the when are alike unknown to us.
ob 1298*5 novi upo nyo 778959 “Such knowledge is from me concealed ; too high for my reach.” (Ps. 139, v. 6.)
But we know, that the promises of God are infallible; the time of the fulfilment is revealed to him alone.
obvy's Dip' 13752371 por 533 780 VI' “ Let grass wither, let blossoms fade; but the word of our God will stand for ever.” (Is. 40 ch. 8 v.)
•7731282 1nwyn soon 927 909) " For the word of the Eternal is faultless, and all his doings are in truth.” (Ps. 33, v. 4.)
51. Have we a clear perception and knowledge of the state of the soul, after the death of the body, and of its reward and punishment?
No; for as long as we are surrounded with this covering of clay, we can form no perfectly clear conception of the essence
“how it were possible to act so literally, as our end is uncertain ;" but he replied, “ then it behoves you to live so, as if every day were the last but one of your career, so that you may always be prepared for death.” (Transl.)
of the soul itself, nor of its state after this life. We, however, suppose the reward to consist in a much more perfect aspect (i. e. knowledge) of God, his attributes and mode of governing the world; in short, in extension of its (the soul's) knowledge of things, which are here beyond the reach of its power of comprehension, and the acquisition of which will afford it the purest uninterrupted felicity; and in the same way we believe the punishment to consist in a state full of shame and compunction of the soul, which must be to it the most painful and afflicting state imaginable.
qnzion ppna nyavs 7'30 nins p733 'N “In righteousness shall I see thy face, and at awakening find intense pleasure in viewing thy countenance.” (Ps. 17, v. 15.)
It is the opinion of our Rabbins, that Isaiah meant to express the same idea, when he (according to their interpretation) said:
God alone , and no eye of man • עין לא ראתה אלהים זולתך יעשה
hoognass (the prophet's) can see that felicity, which the Lord has prepared for those, who place their trust in him.” (Is. 64 ch. 3 v.)
52. What do we mean, when we say, we believe in revelation?
We believe, that the Almighty God, actuated by love towards his creatures, imparts the gift of prophecy to some pious men, who are peculiarly pleasing to him. That is to say, that he lays open to them, through his divine instruction, such things as are unknown to other men; and also sends* them sometimes to others, to proclaim his divine will and precepts, which these are then bound to obey. g'okse '1773 opona yine 73729 x'?) “ A prophet from amidst
quyovn 1958 thee, from thy brethren, like myself, will the Eternal, thy God, raise up unto thee ; him ye shall obey.” (Deut. 18 ch. 15 v.)
53. By what means did such a prophet demonstrate his divine mission?
He used to make it manifest through miracles. But this the prophet is not obliged to do, except when he is compelled to suspend for a time any one of the Mosaic precepts (56), since in this case it might happen, that he would receive no credit,
* The manner in which the eternal and invisible Being revealed himself to those, who revered him, appeared to them in their dreaming or waking state, and made secrets known to them, through the inspiration of his holy spirit, and placed words in their mouth, which they were obliged to announce-can only be presented to us through such words and expressions, as are familiar to us; but they must be understood in an adopted and parabolical signification, since for the thing itself every language must of necessity be too poor and insufficient.