« ZurückWeiter »
soul.* Secondly, Because they which put these words into the Roman Creed, in which the burial was expressed before, must certainly understand a descent distinct from that; and therefore, though it might perhaps he thought a probable interpretation of the words of David, especially taken as be longing to David, yet it cannot pretend to be an exposition of the CREED as now it stands.
The next opinion is, that the soul may well be understood either for the noble part of man distinguished from the body; or else, for the person of man consisting of both soul and body, as it often is; or, for the living soul, as it is distinguished from the immortal spirit: but then the term hell shall signify no place, neither of the man, nor of the body, nor of the soul; but only the state or condition of men in death, during the separation of the soul from the body. So that the prophecy shall run thus, “ Thou shalt not leave my soul in hell,” that is, Thou shalt not suffer me to remain in the common state of the dead, to be long deprived of my natural life, to continue without exercise, or power of exercising my vital faculty: and then the CREED will have this sense, that Christ was crucified, dead, and buried, and descended into hell; that is, he went unto the dead, and remained for a time in the state of death, as other men do.
But this interpretation supposeth that which can never appear, that Hades signifieth not death itself, nor the place where souls departed are, but the state and condition of the dead, or their permansion in death;. which is a notion wholly new, and consequently cannot interpret that which representeth something known and believed of old, according to the notions and conceptions of those times. And that this notion is wholly new, will appear, because not any of the ancient fathers is produced to avow it, nor any of the heathen authors which are produced do affirm it: nay, it is evident that the Greeks did always by Hades understand a place into which the souls of men were carried and conveyed, distinct and separate from that place in which we live; and that their different opinions shew, placing it, some in the earth, some under it, some in one unknown place of it, some in another. But especially Hades, in the judgment of the ancient Greeks, cannot consist with this notion of the state of death; and the per
in inferno declaratur;' §. 27. as we be- and the descent were mentioned; as fore more largely cited the same place. that of Nice in Thracia: dabavóvra,
• I shewed before, that in the rai rapávra, kai els rå vataxoovia Creed made at Sirmium there was the κατελθόντα, δν αυτός ο άδης έτρόμαζεν. descent mentioned, and the burial Theodoret, Hist: I. ii. c. 21. and not omitted, and get that descent was so long after gave in another at Conexpressed, that it could not be taken stantinople to the saine purpose : for the burial: besides now I add, oravpwoevra, kai drogavóvta, kai rathat it was made by the Arians, who φέντα, και εις τα καταχθόνια διεληλυin few years before had given in an- θότα, όν τινα και αυτός ο άδης έπτηξεν, other Creed, in which both the burial Socrat. lib. ii. c. 41.
mansion in that condition, because there were many which they believed to be dead, and to continue in the state of death, which yet they believed not to be in Hades, as those who died before their time, and those whose bodies were unburied.*. Thus likewise the ancient fathers differed much
The opinion of the ancient Greeks come. This he farther expresses in in this case is excellently expressed the terms of the magicians, whose hy Tertullian, who shews three kinds art was conversant about souls deof men to be thought not to descend parted : ? Aut optimum est hic retiad inferos when they die; the first neri, secundum ahoros (i. e: áúpous), insepulti, the second aori, the third aut pessimum, secundum Biæothanabiæothanati: ! Creditum est, insepul- tos (BlatoJavátous), ut ipsis jam vocatos - non ante ad inferos redigi quam bulis utar, quibus auctrix opinionum justa perceperint.' De Anim. c. 56. istarum Magica sonat, Hostanes, et * Aiunt et immatura morte præventas Typhon, et Dardanus, et Damigeron, eousque vagari isthic, donec reliqua- et Nectabis, et Bernice. Publica tio compleatur ætatis, quacum per- jam literatura est, quæ animas etiam vixissent; si non intempestive obiis- justa ætate sopitas, etiam proba morte sent.' Ibid. Proinde extorres infe- disjunctas, etiam prompta humatione rum habebuntur, quas vi ereptas ar- dispunctas, evocaturam se ab inferum bitrantur, præcipue per atrocitates incolatu pollicetur.' Ibid. c. 57. Of that suppliciorum ; crucis dico, et securis, of the insepulti, he produceth the exet gladii, et feræ.' Ibid. The souls ample of Patroclus : Secundum Hoiben' of those whose bodies were un-mericum Patroclum funus in somnis buried were thought to be kept ont of de Achille flagitantem, quod nou hades till their funerals were perform- 'alias adire portas inferum posset, ared, and the souls of them who died centibus eum longe animabus sepulan untimely or violent death, were torum.' Ibid. c. 56. The place he kept from the same place until the intended is that, Iliad ¥.71. time of their natural death . should
θάπτε με, όττι τάχιστα πύλας αΐδαο περήσω. »
Ουδε με πως μίσγεσθαι υπέρ ποταμοΐο εώσιν. .
Πρώτη δε ψυχή Ελπήνορος ήλθεν εταίρου.
Ου γάρ πω ετέθαπτο υπό χθονός ευρυοδείης. . Where it is the observation of Eu- thius ohserves an extraordinary acstatbius :"Ori dóžu ģv tois"El not, tåg, curateness in that question of Peneτων αθάπτων ψυχάς μη αναμίγνυσθαι Iope concerning Ulysses, upon that. rais dorais. And the same Eusta- same ground. Odyss. A. 831...
Είπου έτι ζώει, και ορά φάος ήελίοιο.
"Η ήδη τεθνηκε, και είν αΐδαο δόμοισι. Το δε, και ορά φώς ηλίου, δι' ορθότητα It is here very observable that, acέννοίας κείται ως δυνατόν δν ζήν μέν, cording to the opinion of the Greeks, μη βλέπειν δέ. Ούτω δε και το, είν αΐδαo to be dead is one thing, and to be in dójiozol, apòs expißriav Voyov čppéono hades is another: and that every one κατά γάρ τον έν τοϊς εξής δηλωθησόμενον which died was not in hades, ού πάς Ελληνικόν μύθον, ού πάς τεθνηκώς και εν τεθνηκώς και έν άδου γίνεται, as Eustaάδου γίνεται, ει μή και πυρά δοθή,καθά και thius speaks. Legimus præterea in ο του Ευριπίδου εμφαίνει Πολύδωρος: ώστε Sexto insepultorum animas, vagas esTÒ, von TéSYNKE, kai -siv. áidao dópoloiv, se. Serv. in Æneid. iii. 67. The place ávşi doi, ñ ñon régvnice, kai rébatsai. which he intended, I suppose is this,
Hæc omnis, quam cernis, inops inhumataque, turba est;...
Virg. Æn. xi. 325. :)
concerning the place of the Infernus; but never any doubted but that it signified some place or other:* and if they had conceived any such notion as the state of death, and the permansion of the dead in that state, they needed not to have fallen into doubts or questions; the patriarchs and the prophets being as certainly in the state of death, and remaining so, as Corah, Dathan, and Abiram are, or any person which is certainly condemned to everlasting flames. Though therefore it be certainly true that Christ did truly and properly die, as other men are wont to do, and that after expiration he was in the state or condition of the dead, in deadlihood, as some have learned to speak; yet the CREED had spoken as much as this before, when it delivered that he was dead. And although it is true that he might have died, and in the next minute of time revived, and consequently his death not (precisely taken) signify any permansion or duration in the state of death, and
Thus he is to be understood in the dorus, Æneid. üi. 62. description of the funeral of Poly
Ergo instagramus Polydoro funus, et ingens
Condimus. Not that anima does there signify the time sepultum fuisse. Rite ergo, redbody, as some have observed ; but dita legitima sepultura, redit ad quithat the soul of Polydorus was then etem sepulcri,' saith Servias, An. in rest, when his body received fune- iii. 67.; or rather, in the sense of Vir. ral rites, as Servias :'Legimus præ- gil, ad quietem inferni, according terea in Sexto insepultorum animas 1o the petition of Palinurus, Æn. vi. vagas esse, et hinc constat non legi- 371.
Sedibus ut saltem placidis in morte quiescam. And that the soul of Polydorus was so And when their bodies were buried, wandering about the place where his then their souls passed into hades, to body lay unburied, appeareth out of the rest. So was it with Polydorus, Euripides in Hecuba, where he speak- and that man mentioned in the hisa etb thus, y. 30.
tory of the philosopher Athenodorus, -Nữv ünip untpos pians
whose umbra or phasma walked after “Εκάβης αίσσω, σώμ' ερημώσας εμόν,
his death. Inveniuntur ossa inserta Τριταίον ήδη φέγγος αιωρούμενος. .
catenis et implicita, quæ corpus ævo And in the Troades of the same poet reliquerat vinculis : collecta publice
terraque putrefactum nuda et exesa this aan, or erratio vagabundu insepul- sepeliuntur; domus postea rite conditorum, is acknowledged by the chorus tis manibus caruit.' Plin. I. vii. Epíst. in these words, v. 1073.
27. This was the case of the insepulti. Ώ φίλος, ώ πόσι μοι,
And for that of the biæothanati, it is Συ μεν φθίμενος αλαίνας remarkable that Dido threateneth *Αθαπτος, άνυδρος.
Æneas, Æn. iv. 384.
Omnibus umbra locis adero.-
Dicunt Physici Biæothanatorum ani-. sequar, et adero. quamdiu erravero mas non recipi in originem suam, nisi semper.' vagantes legitimum tempus fati com • "Αδης δε τόπος ημίν αειδής, ήγουν pleverint; quod Poetae ad sepulturam αφανής και άγνωστος, και τας ψυχάς transferunt, ut centum errant annos ημών εντεύθεν εκδημούσας δεχόμενος.. (Æn, vi. 302.). Hoc ergo nunc dicit Andreas Cæsar, in Apocal. c. 64. Dido, Occisura me ante diem sam;va
therefore it might be added, he descended into hell, to signify farther a permansion or duration in that condition : yet if hell do signify nothing else but the state of the dead, as this opinion doth suppose, then to descend into hell is no more than to be dead; and so notwithstanding any duration implied in that expression, Christ might have ascended the next minute after he descended thither, as well as he might be imagined to revive the next minute after he died. Being then to descend into hell, according to this interpretation, is no more than to be dead ;. being no man ever doubted but that person was dead who died; being it was before delivered in the CREED that Christ died, or, as we render it, was dead: we cannot imagine but they which did add this part of the Article to the CREED, did intend something more than this, and therefore we cannot admit this notion as a full or proper exposition.
There is yet left another interpretation grounded upon the general opinion of the Church of Christ in all
ages, and upon a probable exposition of the prophecy of the Psalmist, taking the soul in the most proper sense for the spirit or rational part of Christ; that part of a man which, according to our Saviour's doctrine, the Jews could not kill; and looking upon hell, as a place distinct from this part of the world where we live, and distinguished from those heavens whither Christ ascended, into which place the souls of men were conveyed after or upon their death; and therefore thus expounding the words of the Psalmist in the person of Christ: Thou shalt not suffer that soul of mine which shall be forced from my body by the violence of pain upon the cross, but resigned into thy hands, when it shall go into that place below where the souls of men departed are detained; I say, thou shalt not suffer that soul to continue there as theirs have done; but shalt bring it shortly from thence, and reunite it to my body.
For the better understanding of this exposition, there are several things to be observed, both in respect to the matter of it, and in reference to the authority of the fathers. First, therefore, this must be laid down as a certain and necessary truth, that the soul of man, when he dieth, dieth not, but returneth unto him that gave it, to be disposed of at his will and pleasure, according to the ground of our Saviour's, counsel, " Fear not them which kill the body, but cannot kill the soul.” (Matt. x. 28.) That better part of us therefore, in and after death, doth exist and live, either by virtue of its spiritual and immortal nature, as we believe; or at least the will of God, and his power upholding and preserving it from dissolution, as many of the fathers thought. This soul, thus existing after death, and separated from the body, though of a nature spiritual, is really and truly in some place; if not by way of circumscription, as proper bodies are, yet by way of determination and indistancy; so that it is true to say, this is really and truly present here, and not elsewhere.
Again, the soul of man, which, while he lived, gave life to the body, and was the fountain of all vital actions, in that separate existence after death, must not be conceived to sleep, or be bereft and stripped of all vital operations, but still to exercise the powers of understanding and of willing, and to be subject to the affections of joy and sorrow. Upon which is grounded the different estate and condition of the souls of men during the time of separation; some of them by the mercy of God being placed in peace and rest, in joy and happiness; others by the justice of the same God left to sorrow, pains, and misery..
As there was this different state and condition before our Saviour's death, according to the different kinds of men in this life, the wicked and the just, the elect and reprobate : so there were two societies of souls after death ; one of them which were happy in the presence of God, the other of those which were left in their sins and tormented for them. Thus we conceive the righteous Abel, the first man placed in this happiness, and the souls of them that departed in the same faith to be gathered to him. Whosoever it was of the sons of Adam, which first died in his sins, was put into a place of torment; and the souls of all those which departed after with the wrath of God upon them were gathered into his sad society.
Now as the souls at the hour of death are really separated from the bodies; so the place where they are in rest or misery after death, is certainly distinct from the place in which they lived. They continue not where they were at that instant when the body was left without life; they do not go together with the body to the grave; but as the sepulchre is appointed for our flesh, so there is another receptacle, or habitation and mansion, for our spirits. From whence it followeth, that in death the soul doth certainly pass by a real motion from that place, in which it did inform the body, and is translated to that place, and unto that society, which God of his mercy or justice hath allotted to.it. And not at present to inquire into the difference and distance of those several habitations (but for method's sake to involve them all as yet under the notion of the infernal parts, or the mansions below), it will appear to have been the general judgment of the Church, that the soul of Christ contradistinguished from his body, that better and more noble part of his humanity, his rational and intellectual soul, after a true and proper separation from his flesh, was really and truly carried into those parts below, where the souls of men before departed were detained; and that by such a real translation of his soul, he was truly said to have descended into hell.
Many have been the interpretations of the opinion of the fathers made of late ; and their differences are made to appear so great, as if they agreed in nothing which concerns this