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man is risen from the sleep of death.'" So that, by this, it should seem to be done upon the day of the resurrection. But the relation of it by St. Paul, puts it between the appearance which he made to the five hundred, and that last to the apostles, when he was to ascend into heaven. Last of all, when the apostles were " at dinner, he appeared to them, upbraiding their incredulity:" and " then he opened their understanding, that they might discern the sense of Scripture," and again commanded them to preach the Gospel to all the world, giving them power " to do miracles, to cast out devils, to cure diseases;" and instituted the sacrament of baptism, which he commanded should, together with the sermons of the Gospel, be administered" to all nations, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." Then he led them into Judea, and they came to Bethany, and from thence to the Mount Olivet; and he commanded them to "stay in Jerusalem," till the Holy Ghost," the promise of the Father, should descend upon. them," which should be accomplished in few days; and then they should know the times, and the seasons, and all things necessary for their ministration and service, and propagation of the Gospel. And while he "discoursed many things concerning the kingdom," behold a cloud came, and parted Jesus from them, and carried him, in their sight, up into heaven; where he sits at the right hand of God, blessed for ever. Amen.
6. While his apostles "stood gazing up to heaven," two angels appeared to them, and told them, that "Jesus should come in like manner as he was taken away," viz. with glory and majesty, and in the clouds, and with the ministry of angels. Amen. "Come, Lord Jesus; come quickly."
Ad SECTION XVI.
Considerations upon the Accidents happening in the Interval after the Death of the holy Jesus, until his Resurrection.
1. THE holy Jesus promised to the blessed thief, that he should" that day be with him in Paradise;" which, therefore, was certainly a place or state of blessedness, because it
was a promise; and in the society of Jesus, whose penal and afflictive part of his work of redemption was finished upon the cross. Our blessed Lord did not promise he should that day be with him in his kingdom, for that day it was not opened, and the everlasting doors of those interior recesses were to be shut till after the resurrection, that himself was to ascend thither, and make way for all his servants to enter, in the same method in which he went before us. Our blessed Lord "descended into hell," saith the creed of the apostles, from the sermon of St. Peter, as he from the words of David, that is, into the state of separation and common receptacle of spirits, according to the style of Scripture. But the name of " hell" is nowhere in Scripture an appellative of the kingdom of Christ, of the place of final and supreme glory. But concerning the verification of our Lord's promise to the beatified thief, and his own state of separation, we must take what light we can from Scripture, and what we can from the doctrine of the primitive church. St. Paul had two great revelations ; he was "rapt up into Paradise," and he was "rapt up into the third heaven:" and these he calls" visions and revelations," not one, but divers : for Paradise is distinguished from the "heaven of the blessed," being itself a receptacle of holy souls, made illustrious with visitation of angels, and happy by being a repository for such spirits, who, at the day of judgment, shall go forth into eternal glory. In the interim, Christ hath trod all the paths before us, and this also we must pass through, to arrive at the courts of heaven. Justin Martyr said it was the doctrine of heretical persons, to say that the souls of the blessed, instantly upon the separation from their bodies, enter into the highest heaven. And Irenæus makes heaven, and the intermediate receptacle of souls, to be distinct places: both blessed, but hugely differing in degrees.
Symbolum Aquileiense, et ex eo Romanum hodiernum.
Ubi duas magnas revelationes sibi obtigisse dixit Paulus, bisque in sublime se raptum; semel ad cœlum tertium, semel ad paradisum. — Methodius cont. Origen. apud Epiphan. Idem ait Moses Barcephas, lib. de Paradiso, c. 7. p. 4.
e Dial. adv. Tryphon.
d Lib. v. c. 3.
Tertullian is dogmatical in the assertion, that till the voice. of the great archangel be heard, and as long as Christ sits at the right hand of his Father, making intercession for the church, so long blessed souls must expect the assembling of their brethren, the great congregation of the church, that they may all pass, from their outer courts, into the inward tabernacle, the holy of holies, to the throne of God. And as it is certain, that no soul could enter into glory before our Lord entered, by whom we hope to have access: so it is most agreeable to the proportion of the mysteries of our redemption, that we believe the entrance into glory to have been made by our Lord at his glorious ascension, and that his soul went not thither before them, to come back again, to be contracted into the span of humanity, and dwell forty days in his body upon earth. But that he should return from Paradise, that is, from the common receptacle of departed spirits, who died in the love of God, to earth again, had in it no lessening of his condition, since himself, in mercy, called back Lazarus from thence, and some others also returned to live a life of grace, which, in all senses, is less than the least of glories. Sufficient it is to us, that all holy souls, departing, go into the hands, that is, into the custody of our Lord; that they rest from their labours;" that "their works 'shall follow them," and overtake them, too, at the day of judgment; that they are happy presently; that they are visited by angels &; that God sends, as he pleases, excellent irradiations and types of glory, to entertain them in their mansions; that their condition is secured: but "the crown of righteousness is laid up h" against the great day of judgment, and then to be produced and given to St. Paul, and "to all that love the coming of our Lord;" that is, to all who either here in duty, or in their receptacles, with joy and
e Lib. de Anima; et de Præscript. Idem sentiunt Scriptor Resp. ad Orthod. q. 76. S. Greg. Naz. orat. 10. S. Chrysost. hom. 15. in Matt. S. Ambr. in Micheam, Cyrilli Liturg. Epiphan. ep. apud S. Hier. Theodoretus, Theophylactus, et Vet. passim.
f Revel. xiv. 13.
* Just. Mart. 75. inter quæst. Gentiles ait, bonos statim duci a morte ad Paradisum, ubi consuetudo et aspectus est Angelorum et visus Christi Salvatoris.
h2 Tim. iv. 8.
certain hope, long for the revelation of that day. At the day of judgment, Christ will "send the angels, and they shall gather together the elect from the four winds ;" and all the refuse of men, evil persons, they shall "throw into everlasting burning." Then our blessed Lord shall call to the elect to enter into the kingdom, and reject the cursed into the portion of devils; " for whom the fire" is but now prepared in the interval. For "we must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ," saith St. Paul," that every man may receive in his body according as he hath done, whether it be good or evil." Out of the body the reception of the reward is not. And, therefore, St. Peter affirms, that "God hath delivered the evil angels into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment." And St. Jude saith, that "the angels which kept not their first faith, but left their first habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness, unto the judgment of the great daym." And, therefore, the devils expostulated with our blessed Saviour," Art thou come to torment us before the time "?" And the same also he does to evil men," reserving the unjust unto the day of judgment, to be punished "." For since the actions which are to be judged, are the actions of the whole man, so also must be the judicature. And our blessed Saviour intimated this to his apostles; " In my Father's house are many mansions: but I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go away, I will come again, and take you unto me; that where I am, there ye may be also P." At Christ's second coming this is to be performed 9. Many outer courts, many different places, or different states, there may be; and yet there is a place whither holy souls shall arrive at last, which was not then ready for us, and was not to be entered into, until the entrance of our Lord had made the " preparation:" and that is, certainly," the highest
i Matt. xiii. 41. et xxiv. 31.
k 2 Cor. v. 10. Ἵνα κομίσηται ἕκαστος τὰ ἴδια τοῦ σώματος· sic quidam Cod. Tà dià Toũ cáμatog' sic communiter, et rectius.
12 Pet. ii. 4.
m Jude, 6.
n Matth. viii. 29.
• 2 Pet. ii. 9. Nec tamen quisquam putet animas post mortem protinus judicari: nam omnes in una communique custodia detinentur, donec tempus adveniat, atque maximus judex meritorum faciat examen. → · Lactan. lib. vii.
◄ Satiabor cùm apparueris. Psal. xvii. 15.
P John, xiv. 2, 3.
heaven," called, by St. Paul, "the third heaven;" because the other receptacles were ready, and full of holy souls, patriarchs, and prophets, and holy men of God; concerning whom St. Paul affirms expressly, that "the fathers received not the promises: God having provided some better thing for us, that they, without us, should not be made perfect':" therefore, certain it is, that their condition was a state of imperfection, and yet they were placed in Paradise, in " Abraham's bosom ;" and thither Christ went, and the blessed thief attended him. And then it was that Christ made their condition better: for though still it be a place of relation in order to something beyond it, yet the term and object of their hope is changed: they sate in the regions of darkness, expecting that great promise made to Adam and the patriarchs, the promise of the Messias; but when he that was promised, came, he "preached to the spirits in prison," he communicated to them the mysteries of the Gospel," the secrets of the kingdom," the things "hidden from eternal ages," and taught them to look up to the glories purchased by his passion, and made the term of their expectation be his second coming, and the objects of their hope the glories of the beatific vision. And although the state of separation is sometimes in Scripture called heaven, and sometimes hell, (for these words in Scripture are of large significations ;) yet it is never called "the third heaven," nor "the hell of the damned;" for although, concerning it, nothing is clearly revealed, or what is their portion till the day of judgment; yet it is intimated in a parable, that between good and evil spirits, even in the state of separation, there is distance of place: certain it is, there is great distance of condition; and as the holy souls, in their regions of light, are full of love, joy, hope, and longing for the coming of the great day, so the accursed do expect it with an insupportable amazement, and are presently tormented with apprehensions of the future. Happy are they, that, through Paradise, pass into the kingdom, who, from their highest hope, pass to the greatest charity, from the state of a blessed separation, to the mercies
Heb. xi. 40. Irenæ. lib. v. adv. Hæres. ad fin. Origen. hom. 7. in Levit. Chrys. hom. 39. in 1 Cor. Theodoret. Theophylact. Oecumenius in Hebr. xi. S. Aug. lib. i. Retract. c. 14. Victorin. Mart. in c. 6. Apoc. Ambros. de Bono Mortis, c. 10. et 11.