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his resurrection, the soul of Christ de departed spirits of all who die, shall scended into hell.
release the soul of Christ, never again Some may say that leaving the soul to receive it, and shall permit it to rein hell, and suffering the flesh to see visit his body. His soul shall not be corruption, mean the same thing, and left in hell; his flesh shall not see corare only different inodes of express- ruption. ing the continuance of a body in the In the ninth verse of the fourth chap• grave.
But this we cannot grant. ter of St. Paul's epistle to the Ephesians We can see no reason, no advantage we also find a proof of Christ's descent in such tautology ; cannot into hell. " Now that he ascended, be assured that hell means nothing what is it but that he also descended more than grave, and the expression first into the lower parts of the earth.” “ leaving the soul in the grave” would We do not say that the lower parts of be untrue and therefore improper.-- the earth always signify hades, for we
, David seems to bave. been very cau- have instances to the contrary in the tious in distinguishing the different old testament. But we do say, that in places of our Saviour's soul and body the Greek language such a phrase is a after death. St. Peter, when apply- circumlocution for hades, that it genering the prediction to the Messiah, ally conveys this idea among the Greeks, speaks of the release of his soul from and that the Ephesians would give it hell, and of his body from the grave, the same construction. It is so per. with marked precision and distinction. fectly equivalent to the word bell, says Dr. Campbell says that the writer in bishop Horsley, that we find it used using two expressions, the one regard. instead of that word in some of the ing the soul, the other regarding the Greek copies of the creed. We know body, would undoubtedly adapt his it to have been the opinion of Jews and language to the received opinion con- Grecians that hell was some place uncerning each ; and, if so, hades was as der the earth, and we find the phrase truly in this account the soul's destiny“ under the earth” used as synonimous after death, as corruption was the with hell by Josephus and the best body's. St. Austin asserts that St. Greek writers. St. Jerome says that Peter understood this text, which he the lower parts of the earth are taken has cited from the Psalms, according for the hades into which our Saviour to the explanation that has been given, descended. Since the lower parts of and adds, that on account of such tes- the earth are generally used in the timony, none but an infidel can deny, sense of the place of departed spirits, that Christ descended into hell. Lu- among Jews and Greeks, and since the ther, in bis commentary on the same Ephesians must have so understood it, verse, calls every exposition of it, there is strong reason for arguing from in which the descent of Christ into this text that Christ descended into hell. hell is denied, frivolous and impi. A very satisfactory proof that our ous trifling. The expressions of the Saviour went down into hell is derived psalmist respecting our Lord's resur- from his promise to the penitent" thief rection are indeed remarkably strik- upon the cross. Verily to-day shalt ing. David seems . not satisfied with thou be with me in paradise. Now simply telling us that the body of Christ no Christian can doubt, but that our shall be raised from the dead; for we Lord fulfilled his promise ; that he acshould then have been ignorant whith- tually descended into paradise on the er the soul of Christ had gone at his day of his crucifixion, and took with death, and from what quarter it should him the soul of the converted malefaccome to re-animate his body ; but the tor. The only question that arises prophet adds that hell, the place of the then is, what is meant by paradise?
It must bave been some place, where ceived opinion of his nation; who Cbrist and the thief were to be together must have had a very distinct idea of after their dissolution. It could not have it, as it was used even in the days of been the grave, for the thief knew that Solomon and ever afterwards. his body would be buried, and would be the common word for a garden, though at rest, and that the same destiny would it was more particularly used, as Gro. also await his impenitentfellow sufferer. tius informs us, for that blissful garden, The mere promise of a burial could in which God placed Adam. The bave afforded him no new information, word was in fact so associated with and very little comfort. Nor could every thing delightful as to be emour Saviour by the word paradise bave ployed to express the joys of the virmeant heaven ; for after he was risen tuous in another life, and was univer. from the dead he declared, that he had sally considered by the Jews, as the not then ascended to heaven. Nor place, into which all pious souls were can we suppose that by the word para received, on being separated from the dise, he meant hell in the common ac. body. Our Saviour and the Jew must ceptation of the term; unless we would have understood the word in this sense. admit the extravagant assertion of Cal. It of course had the same meaning with vin, that our blessed Lord actually hades, and the promise of our Lord to went down to the place of torment, and the penitent thief is a sufficient proof there sustained the pains of a repro- that they both actually descended into bale soul in punishment; which is a hell. suggestion too horrible to be admitted.* The most eminent fathers of the The idea of torment was never known church entertained on this subject the on any occasion to be attached to the same sentiment that we have exhibited, word paradise ; and as our Saviour and saw no reason for disbelieving was a being of infinite compassion, we' Christ's descent into the region of cannot suppose that he would afflict departed spirits. This appears not with menaces of torture, an expiring only from the testimonies of many sinner, who condemned himself for his writers, but from the doctrine's being guilt, and whose dying words declared used as an argument against Apollinahis belief in the innocence of his cru- ris, who maintained that Christ had cibed Lord.
no rational or intellectual soul, but In ascertaining what our Saviour that the word was his soul. meant by paradise, we must take it for linarians acknowledged Christ's descent granted, that he intended to make him- into hell, and thence their adversaries self understood by the robber, and that proved that Christ must have had a be would therefore use intelligible lan- human soul, otherwise neither his body guage. Now the Jew, on hearing the nor the word could have gone down to word paradise, would unquestionably bades.* If the hereticks acknowledgunderstand it, according to the re- ed Christ's descent into hell, and the
catholicks urged it as an argument to We apprehend that our correspondent prove the real distinction of the soul has in some measure mistaken the sentiments of Christ from his divinity and his of Calvin. That reformer imagined that the body, such a doctrine must have been expression of Christ's descent into hell, was to be understood metaphorically,as denoting that generally acknowledged. he suffered during his crucifixion all the tor
The article of our Saviour's descent tures of the damned, not that his soul went to into hell, according to Bishop Burnet, the place of torments during its absence from the body. His opinion, however, was singu. Christ was not only dead in a more
simply this :
• It imports that lar, and if ever adopted by any others, bas been generally, we believe, given up as inde. common acceptation, as it is usual to sensible.-ED.
• Bishop Burnet on the 3d article.
say a man is dead, when there ap- less inactive slumber, but by scenes and pear no signs of life in bim; and that occupations of delight or misery ache was not in a deep ecstacy or fit, cording to our deserts. Such scenes and that seemed death, but that he was occupations shallcontinue till the last truly dead; that his soul was neither trump shall sound; and then shall He, in his body, nor hovering about it, as.. who is the resurrection and the life, cending and descending upon it, as who brought his own soul from the resome of the Jews fancied souls did, gion of departed spirits, and uniting it some time after death ; but that his with his lifeless body ascended to the soul was really moved out of his body, throne of God, evoke our spirits from and carried to those unseen regions of hades, and our bodies from the grave, departed spirits, among whom it con- shall unite forever, those long septinued, till his resurrection."
arated friends, and if we love him, Many and curious have been the shall make us partakers of bis exalta. speculations relative to the object of tion and glory.
B. our Saviour's descent into the invisible mansions of the dead. It has been supposed that he went and preached
For the Gospel Advocate. repentance and salvation to the dama
“ The ways of heaven are dark and intried, to open the gates of hell and let
cate," the prisoners go forth, and to triumph Dark to the imperfect sight of mortal man, over satan and his kingdom.
These And intricate to those, whose hearts corrupt, notions have all been ably refuted, and Have led them on in errour's crooked paths,
Till rectitude seems devious in their view. the church now considers Christ's de. But in God's works, when view'd by reascent into hell only as the last act of his humiliation, in which he was required And clearer in his word, to faith reveal'd, to suffer as man. Since he became in light ineffable we trace his course,
And our High Priest to redeem and save us
every step direct, by wisdom mark'd,
Tends to one end, his glory, and our good. it behooved him to be made like unto
What man shall dare the ways of God to us in all things, sin only excepted. As scan, he was born, lived, suffered, and died And darkness charge on him, whose word like a human being, it was necessary
made light, also that his soul should be separated or doubt his rectitude, whose wisdom fix'd
The course of worlds innumerable, and from his body, and be admitted among mark'd the spirits of the departed.
Their changeless orbits, in the immense of The descent of Christ into hell con- heaven. firms our belief in the existence of an
To fathom infinite is not in man; intermediate state. The soul of Christ His finite powers a nearer limit find.
Man, know thyself, is wisdom's high com. immediately on his death left his body
mand, and associated with the spirits of those Nor impious dare thy Maker to arraign. who had died; and so we believe that By folly's mist obscur'd, man blindly gropes our souls immediately after death shall In errour's endless maze, and madly vain, quit our bodies and associate in some
Trusts his own skill, to make the crooked invisible mansion with disembodied The rough way smooth ; nor craves superiour
straight, spirits. Christ after death possessed aid. life and activity, so may we hope
Did man but know how limited his powers, in our intermediate state to be wake. How prone to err, how willing to transgress ful and active. Our Saviour said The laws which God and nature have orof Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, that they to check his wanderings, point the path of
dain'd, live unto God; in like manner shall truth, we live between death and judgment. And lead him on in wisdom's pleasant ways, Death shall not be followed by a use. To that bless'd goal, where lies bis greatest
He would not then, by pride and passion And boasting Greeks count wisdom's dicsway'd,
tates folly. Trust to the dictates of his blinded mind. The humble Christian will adore that power,
Our Maker, who for all our earthly wants, Who aid affords in every time of need, Such rich supply provides, has also made And raises mortals to immortal life, Ample provision for the mind of man. Children of wo to everlasting bliss, The works of nature, providence, and grace, On the mild terms of penitence and faith. Display his power, his bounty and his love. The contemplation of these glorious themes, Will feed the soul with truth divinely pure, And make it grow in wisdom from above,
For the Gospel Advocate.
EXTRACT FROM THE MESSIAH.
Translated from the original German of That love which over all his works extends,
Klopstock. Will kindle kindred love in mortal breasts,
258.) And love, which wishes good to all, brings All sapient power, whom heaven loves to peace,
adore That peace, which none .can give nor lake Thou who, tho' weigh'd by sleep, still hear
away. And peace serene prepares the heart for joy, Faithful have I obey'd with watchful care Joy unalloy'd with vain deceptive dreams, Thy each command; and lo the sire of men Which haunt the mind with pleasures ne'er Hath op?ned to my eyes his purest wish possess'd.
To see thee near, Redeemer as thou art! Who seeks for joy exclusive to himself, 'Tis said : and now will I obey the words Pursues a phantom which eludes bis grasp. of heaven's great Creator and repair Pleasure unsocial is a dream of bliss. From hence to glorify thy name thro' earth ; Selfish desires can ne'er be satisfied,
Meanwhile ye spirits near be silent all; And constant longing is a state of wo. For sure one passing look upon this hour The worldly wise man is the Christian's Must dearer be to ye, than all the course, fool.
The lightning course of ages that ye serve, He seeks immortal joys in mortal weal,
With such assiduous cares, the sons of man ; And lays up treasures here, to spend in hea. And ye cold breezes cavernd up in holes, ven;
Who love to rage around or cease or let Lays up for ending life, an endless fund, Your still, soft murinurings excite repose ; But for his endless life, nothing provides ; Cloud, gently rolling by, drop blessings down Makes friends too powerless to change a hair, From out thy bosom o'er this place of shade ; By enmity to him, who all things made ; Peace cedars, and ye rustling woods, be still! Rejects the truth, which heaven itself in- Thus died away the voice of watchfulness, spires,
And the pure seraph sped toward the train And folly stamps on wisdom's blessed lore. Friends of the highest, that mid nature's calm The ways
of heaven are dark and intri. Guard our weak orb with bim. Before the sun cale"
Should gleam transcendent o'er the paths of To none but minds blinded by worldly mists. heaven, The wise man sees the attributes divine, Must Gabriel to each the hour have nam'd In all the events wbich this frail life betide. Of man's redemption and that day of joys, The storm and sunshine, pestilence and The sabbath of th' immortal sacrifice health,
O thou, that next to that bright spirit* rul'st The scourge of war, and blessed fruits of With power so great, salvation's coming hour, peace,
Guardian of her that ev'ry fleeting age, Are messengers of him, who rules in love. Sends inexhaustless forth her teeming sons The heavens declare bis glory infinite, To be by thee conducted to abodes The firmament his handy work displays, Of higher, brighter aspect; since o'erthrown While day to day successive tales unfolds 'Mongst hills on which the wand'rer dare not And night to night shows knowledge of his rest, ways,
The mansions of the holy spirit lie; In every clime, and heard in every tongue. Thou guardian of a world once holy, deiga But in his word, the mystery of love,
To pardon, O Eloa, what I ope, Immortal life to sinful men, through heaven's By Sion's songstress taught, to mortal eye Propitious gist, is brought to light. Let then the faithless Jew stumble at truth,
ADVOCATE VOL, II.
Thy dwelling place of might, that lies con- Rushing with thunder-notes around, like ceal'd
storms Since Eden's first creation. Should my soul Which drive thro' deserts with collectiog Lost in pure pleasures cleanse each mundane force! thought
He pass'd- and soon withid his view appear'd By dwelling on such seraphs as thyself, The sanctuary, and the cloud-built gate And fancying what the words, that angels Dispers'd like airy glimmer as he went; hold,
Beneath his feet the mists roll'd fast away O then bright Eloa hear me, whilst I sing Of fitting darkness—in their stead sprang Not the poor troubles of th' unquiet world, forth But raptur'd as the youth of heaven tell Where'er th' etherial trod, bright beams of How earth was sav'd and God arose from dust,
Thus came he near th' abode of holiness! While spirits gath'ring round me silent fit. Just 'neath the vaulted centre of our earth Within ihe circle of the polar north,
There circulates around an atmosphere; Unknown to mortal eye, there reigns around Like heaven's soft gales, where hov'ring in Still darkness, peaceful as the midnight hour,
the midst, Clouds roll above ne'er ceasing, like the sea, A softer sun than ours, and deck'd with White-foaming 'neath a risiog tempest power, So lay in former time th' Egyptian stream, More chaste and milder, reigns around those That stream that flows its fourteen banks depths; between, *
From thence flows light and warmth thro'out When heaven-born darkness,t call'd by Mo- the veins ses down,
Of thankful earth. With this soft lielp-mate's Shadow'd the land and hid those pyramids, aid 'Neath which the pride of kings and heroes Our upper luminary decks the spring rest!
With flowers of variegated hue, and sheds No eye borizon's limits there hath scann'd
O'er summer the rich harvest; autumn Or e'er shall scan amid those plains of night! No voice of mortal e'er hath sounded o'er From hence her vine.crown'd mounts. This them,
Dether sun No death, no hallowed resurrection there! Ne'er sets! ne'er rises in its course around, But made for thought and meditation deep, But morns eternal ever blush within ; The seraphs love them as they wander past, Wondrous, from time to time, God signifies Like planets o'er the cloudy mountain tops His cloud-trac'd thoughts of might to angels And lost in prophet-stillness bend their looks there. On future spirits issuing from mankind ! E'en thus to thee, O earth, he shows himself Amid this darkness tow'reth high the gate Upon the iris colours of the bow, That leads towards earth's guardian's That fitting o'er the heavens, betok’neth e'er abodes;
The storm is past, and shows the hand of God! As at the time of winter, when each tree There th' arch-seraph pass’d, earth's angels By frost-work is net over, glitters forth.
there God's holy sabbath following close the day Quick round him flock'd, angels of war and Of murkiness, and storms—the snow-capt
Who follow thro' the labyrinths of fate Depose their loads, and clouds and night re- The clew that leads toward the hand that
shap'd them ; So pass'd the seraph o'er those still dark 'Tis they who secret rule o'er deeds of might, heights,
Deeds of proud triumph that cause kings to And soon th’ immortal foot had reach'd the swell gate
And boast their own creation; guardians too Which like the rush of cherub-wings undid Of those few virtuous kindred souls were they, And clos'd upon the seraph. Wand'ring far That love to follow the deep-thinking sage, Amid the earth's recesses Gabriel now As, from the world's poor follies, he retreats View'd those vast seas, which roll their mon- Striving to open books of future joys; strous waves
Oft will they, too, invisible to all Slowly the solitary shores along;
Flit round, where Christians feel the present There too the mighty streams of oceans breed
There, too, where brothers, hallowed by the * The Nile said to have 7 mouths or issues, blood
+ One of the plagues of Egypt brought of the all sacred band, pour forth their souls down by the rod of Moses.
In melodies to heaven ; when the front