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any) for above five hundred years after Christ, which did so believe Christ delivered the saints out of hell, as to leave all the damned there; and therefore this opinion cannot be grounded upon the prime antiquity, when so many of the ancients believed not that they were removed at all, and so few, acknowledged that they were removed alone.
And if the authority of this opinion in respect of its antiquity be not great, the certainty of the truth of it will be less.. For, first, if it be not certain that the souls of the patriarchs were in some place called hell after their own death, and until the death of Christ ; if the bosom of Abraham were not some infernal mansion, then can it not be certain that Christ descended into hell to deliver them. But there is no certainty that the souls of the just, the patriarchs, and the rest of the people of God, were kept in any place below, which was, or may be called the hell : the bosom of Abraham might well be in the heavens above, far from any region where the devil and his angels were; the Scriptures no where tell us that the spirits of just men went unto or did remain in hell; the place in which the rich man was in torments after death is called hell, but that into which the angels carried the poor man's soul is not termed so. There was a vast distance between them two, nor is it likely that the angels wbich see the face of God should be sent down from heaven to convey the souls of the just into that place, where the face of God cannot be seen. When God translated Enoch, and Elias was carried up in a chariot to heaven, they seem not to be conveyed to a place where there was no vision of God; and yet it is most probable, that Moses was with Elias as well before as upon the mount: nor is there any reason to conceive that Abraham should be in any worse place or condition than Enoch was, having as great a “testimony that he pleased God" as Enoch had. (Heb. xi. 5.)
Secondly, It cannot be certain that the soul of Christ de
λόγος και απλώς σώζει πάντας επιφανείς, or some only: which Suarez did very ộ køkei ToùG FLOTEÚovras; Orat. xlii. p. well perceive, and therefore was 693. Where his question is clearly this, ready in the same sentence with anWhether Christ appearing in hell did other answer: “Quanquam' Naziansave all without 'exception, or did save zenus non videatur illa : scripsisse there as he does here, only such as verba, quoniam de hac veritate dubibelieved ? To this it is answered by taret, sed solum ut proponeret quid Suarez two ways, that it is the ordi- de hoc mysterio inquirere ac scire nary and universal law; that none of oporteat.' Ibid. Which is as much the damned should be saved : 'An as to say, that he was satisfied of the vero ex speciali privilegio sua volun- truth, but desired to satisfy no man tate et arbitrio aliquem damnatum ex else: whereas it is clear that it was a Gehenna Christus eduxerit, dubitari doubt in his age, as we have before quoquo modo potest-Et juxta hæc shewn, and that he would leave it still possent intelligi Nazianzenus et Au- ; a doubt and undetermined. And as gustinus.'Intertiam partem D.Thomæ, : for the other : Augustinus recte po, disp. 43. sect. 3. But this will by no test intelligi de animabus Purgatorii;' means solve their authorities; for nei. Ibid. it is certainly false, unless they ther of them did doubt or question will enlarge that purgatory as wide whether some of the damned were re as hell; for the question was of empleased, but whether all were released tying that.
livered the souls of the saints of old from hell, and imparted to them the beatifical vision, except it were certain that their souls are in another place and a better condition now than they were before. But there is no certainty that the patriarchs and the prophets are now in another place and a better condition than they were before our blessed Saviour died ; there is no intimation of any such alteration of their state delivered in the Scriptures; there is no such place with any probability pretended to prove any actual accession of happiness and glory already past. Many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven;” (Matt. viii. 11.) there then did the Gentiles which came in to Christ find the patriarchs, even in the kingdom of heaven; and we cannot perceive that they found them any where else than Lazarus did. For the description is the same, “There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.” (Luke xiii. 28.) For as the rich man" in bell lift up his eyes being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off,” (Luke xvi. 23.) before the death of Christ; so those that were in “ weeping and gnashing of teeth, saw Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the prophets,” when the Gentiles were brought in.
Thirdly, Though it were certain that the souls of the saints had been in a place called hell, as they were not; though it were also certain that they were now in a better condition than they were before Christ's death, as it is not: yet it would not follow that Christ descended into hell to make this alteration; for it might not be performed before his resurrection, it might not be effected till his ascension, it might be attributed to the merit of his passion, it might have no dependence on his descension. I conclude therefore that there is no certainty of truth in that proposition which the Schoolmen take for a matter of faith, that Christ delivered the souls of the saints from that place of hell which they call limbus of the fathers, into heaven; and for that purpose after his death descended into hell.
Wherefore being it is most infallibly certain that the death of Christ was as powerful and effectual for the redemption of the saints before him, as for those which follow him ; being “ they did all eat the same spiritual meat, and did all drink the same spiritual drink;" (1 Cor. x. 3, 4.) being “ Abraham is the father of us all," and we now after Christ's ascension are called but to "walk in the steps of the faith of that father;"(Rom. iv. 16. 12.) being the bosom of Abraham is clearly propounded in the Scriptures, (Luke xvi. 22.) as the place into which the blessed angels before the death of Christ conveyed the souls of those which departed in the favour of God, and is also promised to them which should believe in Christ after his death;* being we
* Although the bosom of Abraham only of Lazarus, whom Christ being in express and formal terms be spoken yet alive in the flesh supposed dead;
can find no difference or translation of the bosom of Abraham, and yet it is a comfort still to us that we shall go to him,* and while we hope so never fear that we shall go to hell: I cannot admit this as the end of Christ's descent into hell, to convey the souls of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and those which were with them, from thence; nor can I think there was any reference to such an action in those words, “Thou shalt not leave my soul in hell.”
Another opinion hath obtained, especially in our Church, that the end for which our Saviour descended into hell, was to triumph over Satan and all the powers below within their own dominions. And this bath been received as grounded on the Scriptures and consent of fathers. The Scriptures produced for the confirmation of it are these two, “having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them :" (Col. ii. 11.) and, “when he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?” (Eph. iv. 8, 9.) By the conjunction of these two they conceive the triumph of Christ's descent clearly described in this manner: · Ye were buried with Christ in baptism, with whom ye were also raised; and when ye were dead in sins, he quickened you together with him, forgiving your sins, and cancelling the hand-writing of ordinances that was against us, and spoiling powers and principalities, he made an open show of them, triumphing over them in himself.'+
yet the same bosom is virtually and in hosom of Abraham: as in the case of terms equivalent promised to those his friend Nebridius:,' Nụnc ille vi. which should afterwards believe. For vit in sinu Abraham. Quicquid illud the joys of the life to come are likened est quod illo significatur sinu, ibi Neto a feast, in wbich, according to the bridius meus vivit, dulcis amicus meus, custom then in use, they lay down tuus autem, Domine, adoptivus ex with the head of one toward the breast liberto filius, ibi vivit. Nam quis alius of the other, who is therefore said to tali animæ locus ? Confess. 1. ix. c. 3, lie in his bosom, as we read of St. And he seats that place (as uncertain John, ñv åvaktipevoç év tú kóny In- as before) where it was before: Post coữ. John xiii. 23. thus in that bea- vitam istam parvam nondum eris ubi venly feast in the kingdom of God, erunt Sancti, quibus dicetur, Venite Lazarus is, ávaxeiuevos év tý kólny benedicti Patris, percipite regnum quod ’ABpaáạLuke xvi. 23. and Matt. vobis paratum est ab initio mundi. Nonviii. 11. Christ saith, that “ many dum ibi eris, quis nescit? Sed jam shall come from the east and from the poteris ibi esse, ubi illum quondam west," kai kvak,cOhoovrai perd ’Appa- ulcerosum pauperem dives ille superàju, discumbent cum Abrahamo, “sit bus et sterilis in mediis suis tormentis down with Abraham,” as we translate vidit a longe requiescentem.' Concio it after our custom, at the same feast, 1. §. 10. in Psal. xxxvi. And this he that is, ávaxXconcovrai ấv roig kólnois necessarily takes for a sufficient comTOÑ'ABpadu, &c. as Euthymius: Quia fort to a dying Christian, who seats Deus Abraham, coeli conditor, Pater that place in conspectu Domini,' de Christi est; idcirco in regno coelorum Civit. Dei, 1. i. c. 12. and looked upon est'et Abraham, cum quo accubituræ them which were in it, as upon those, sunt nationes quæ crediderunt in a quibus Christus secundum beatifiChristum filium creatoris.' ad loc. cam præsentiam nunquam recessit.'
St. Augustin often shews the Epist. 99. al. 164. §. 8. comfort which he had in going to the + B. Bilson, p. 294.
(Col. ii. 12–15.) That is, say they, ye died and were buried with Christ, who fastened the band-writing of ordinances to the cross, that he might abolish it from having any right to tie or yoke his members. Ye likewise were quickened, and raised together with Christ, who spoiled powers and principalities, and triumphed over them in his own person. So that these words,“ spoiling principalities and powers,” are not referred to the cross but to Christ's resurrection. This triumph over Satan and all his kingdom, the same apostle to the Ephesians setteth down as a consequent to Christ's death, and pertinent to his resurrection, “ Ascending on high, he led captivity captive:” and this, “ he ascended: what meaneth it, but that he descended first into the lower parts of the earth ?" (Eph. iv. 8,9.) So that ascending
from the lower parts of the earth, he “led captivity captive,” which is all one with " he triumphed over powers and principalities.” With this coherence and conjunction of the apostle's words, together with the interpretation of the ancient fathers, they conceive it sufficiently demonstrated, that Christ after bis death, and before his resurrection, in the lowermost parts of the earth, even in hell, did lead captivity captive, and triumphed over Satan.
But notwithstanding, I cannot yet perceive either how this triumph in hell should be delivered as a certain truth in itself, or how it can have any consistency with the denial of those other ends, which they who of late have embraced this opinion do ordinarily reject. First, I cannot see how the Scriptures mentioned are sufficient to found any such conclusion of themselves. Secondly, I cannot understand how they can embrace this as the interpretation of the fathers, who believe not that any of the souls of the damned were taken out of the torments of hell, or that the souls of the saints of old were removed from thence by Christ's descent; which were the reasons why the fathers spake of such a triumphing in hell, and leading captivity captive there.
That the triumphing in the Epistle to the Colossians is not referred to the cross, but to the resurrection, cannot be proved: the coherence cannot enforce so much: no logic ean infer such a division, that the blotting out of the hand-writing belongeth precisely to our burial with him; and the triumphing over principalities and powers, particularly to our being quickened together with him; or that the blotting out was performed at one time, and the triumphing at another. Our present translation attributeth it expressly to the cross, rendering the last words, “ triumphing over them in it,” that is, in the cross, mentioned in the former verse; and though anciently it have been read triumphing over them in himself, yet still there are these two great advantages on our side;* first, That if we read, in it, it
* So the Vulgar Latin, Palam semetipso.' St. Hilary: Triumphantriumphans illos in semetipso; as also tes cos in semetipso. Tract. in Psal. the Syriac 721312. $o Novatian cxliii
. §. 4. So st. Ambrose, St. Aade Trin. c. 16. i'riumphans illis in gustin, and Pacianus. ad loc.
proves the triumph spoken of in this place performed upon the cross; and if we read in himself, it proveth not that the triumph was performed in any other place, because he was himself upon the cross. Secondly, The ancient fathers of the Greek Church read it as we do, in it,* and interpret the triumph of his death; and those others of the Latin Church, which did read it otherwise, did also acknowledge with the Greeks the cross not only to be the place in which the victory over Satan was obtained, but also to be the trophy of that victory, and the triumphal chariot.t
* Ecumenius sheweth their read. exemplum ; et hæc secunda, qua crux ing: Opraußɛvoas aŭrous ļv aúry and illa trophæum diaboli fuit, in quo et interpretation: Opiapßos Néyeraiń carà crucifixus est et triumphatus. In Tūv yttwuévwv Tróunin kaì ravnyupis. Josuam, Hom. viii. Requievit ut 'Έθριάμβευσεν αυτόν διά του σταυρού, Leo, cum in cruce positus principatus τουτέστιν ενίκησε, και κατ' αυτού θρίαμβον et potestates exuit, et triumphavit vontdv åretédere. Com. in Coloss. c. 7. eos cum ligno crucis.' Idem, ibid. 'Έν αυτό then is διά του σταυρού, and + Tertullian, ad. Marcion. I. ii. 167. this Opiaußos vontòs on the cross will . Serpentis spolium, devicto principe no way agree with that actual triumph mundi, in hell. But Theophylact yet more Affixit ligno refugarum immane troclearly: θριαμβεύσας αυτούς εν αυτώ, phæum.' TOUTÉOTIV, Šv. Ta otavpq tous dair. Prudentius Cathem. Hymn. ix. 83. μονας ήττωμένους δείξας. Opiaußos ‘Dic trophæum passionis, dic triumγάρ λέγεται, όταν τις από νίκης πολεμίων pbalem crucem. ÉTavexowv 'nuoviav TournV Telõ, tous St. Hilary most expressly: “ Manus ηττηθέντας δεσμίους πάσι δεικνύων. Εν ejus edocta ad bellum sunt cum vicit To oravpo oův rò rpóralov othoag ó seculum. Ego enim, ait, vici munΚύριος, ώσπερ εν δημοσίων θεάτρω Ελλή- dum, cum extensus in crucem inviνων, Ρωμαίων, Ιουδαίων τους δαίμονας ctissimis armis ipsius passionis intopráußevoe. In loc. And this exposi- struitur. Et posuisti
, inquit, ut, artion they received from St. Chryso- cum æreum brachia mea, cum de stom, who makes the decypatiquos on omnibus virtutibus ac potestatibus in the cross to consist in the death upon ipso trophæo gloriosæ crucis trium: it: 'Εκεί την πληγήν έλαβεν ο διάβολος pliavit, et principatus et potestates υπό σώματος νεκρού την καιρίαν λαβών. traducit cum fiducia triumphans in In Ep. ad Col. Hom. 6. Where it is semetipso.' Tract. in Psal. cxliii. §. 4. to be observed that the triumph is Where it is observable that the father not attributed to the soul departed does read it in semetipso, and interfrom the body and descended into prets it in cruce. “Nos quoniam trohell, but rather to the body left by the phæum jam videmus, et quod currum soul and hanging on the cross : Aid suum triumphator ascendit, consideτου οικείου σώματος πάσιν ημίν την κατ' remus quod non arborum, non quaautāv xapigájevos vícny, says Theo- drijugis plaustri manubias de mortali doret, in loc. And before all these boste quæsitas, sed patibulo triumOrigen most expressly: Visibiliter phali captiva de seculo spolia susquidem Filius Dei in cruce crucifixus pendit. S. Ambros. I. x. in c. 23. S. est, invisibiliter vero in ea cruce dia- Lucæ, &. 109. and amongst the rest of bolus cum principatibus suis et po- the captives he reckons afterwards: testatibus affixus est cruci. Non tibi captivum principem mundi, et spirihoc videbitur verum, si tibi horum tualia nequitiæ quæ sunt in coeletestem produxero Apostolum Pau- stibus.' Ibid. To this alludes Fulgenlam? Quod erat contrarium nobis, tius, l. iii. ad Thrasim. c. 29. Sic tulit illud de medio affigens cruci suæ, oportuit peccatorum nostrorum chiexuens principatus et potestates tra- rographum deleri, ut dum vetus homo duxit, libere triumphans eas in ligno poster simul cruci affigitur, tanquam crucis. Ergoduplex Dominicæ crucis in trophæo, triumphatoris victoria est ratio; una illa, qua dicit Petrus panderetur.'. Whether therefore we quod Christus crucifixus nobis reliquit read it év avtųã with the Greeks, that