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turgy, (as if it were not sufficiently day; and beside the aid it affords to spiritual,) and thus gradually excite the most devout and spiritual, a aversion to this form of sound words great body of evangelical truth is by and eventually to the church itself.- constant use laid up in the minds of This opinion is confirmed by the pre- children and ignorant people, who, sent work, for it informs us that al- when at length they begin to pray though the liturgy was greatly valued under a religious concern, are alrea. by Wesley, and is so by some of his dy furnished with suitable, sanctifydisciples, there are others" who have ing, solemn, and impressive petitions. been so sagacious as to discover that Persons well acquainted with the the forms of devotion in which metho. liturgy are certainly in a state of dism was nursed are innovations ;- important preparation for the labours: and they are become spiritual in of the preacher; and their piety so bigh a degree above the founder often takes a richer and more sober of methodism bimself, that what character from that circumstance." he through life continually observed This is well said, and we cannot and enforced, appears to them but a avoid expressing a wish that all the barren formality.” It is gratifying members of our church would appreto find that the work before us, in cor- ciate as highly their privilege in posrespondence with the sentiments often sessing their instructive and animating expressed by Wesley, gives its decid- liturgy, and that the disciples of Wesed approbation to our liturgy, “The ley in our country would concur in plan of pacification (1 quote from the opinion with their friends in England, book) recommended, and that strong. that the use of this liturgy is an imly, the use of the liturgy. But the provement” in publick worship, “greatfault lay in not making the latter the ly to be desired." sole and peremptory rule, a
In the present book it is explicitly which then would have been gladly declared that there would have been accepted, as a condition of opening no occasion for methodism had the the chapels, and by this time it condition of the church of England would have become the established been what it now is. From this concustom of the body. The publick cession some might be led to question opinion among us* in favour of the the expediency and indeed the lawful. use of the liturgy is so much in- ness of continuing this institution, and creasing, that the probability is, that especially when it exists no longer as in a few years it will become the an appendage to the church, but in general mode of our forenoon service separation from it. Every churchman, in all the large chapels. That im- however, must respect the candour and provement is indeed greatly to be good feeling which dictated the followdesired; for the liturgy secures the ing remarks : “ To judge of Mr. Wes. reading of a large portion of the ley's conduct, we must consider the scriptures ; it secures also what Mr. state of the church of England and Wesley has properly called the four of the nation, when his publick life grand parts of publick worship, (name. commenced. That church was not ly, deprecation, petition, intercession in its present state of light and of zeal. and thanksgiving ;) it makes the ser- ous activity. It had not then a minisvice of God's house appear more try so well instructed, nor an equal like our true business on the Lord's number of faithful and truly evangeli. * This is a statement which we could not
cal clergy; and any standard taken bave expected, considering the sentiments
or from the present state of the church the customs of the methodists on this side of or of the country to determine the the Atlantick.
merits of the conduct of a clergyman 24
ADVOCATE, VOL II,
who should now commence a career their tenets and customs, and affording as clerically irregular* as that of them an opportunity of hearing the Mr. W. would be obviously errone- sentiments of other Christians. It will ous, if applied to him.” We will have the effect of confirming, if it does not dwell on the obvious remark that not finally settle, some important prin. if clerical irregularity be improper, it ciples both of faith and discipline, and is not to be justified by circumstan- it will naturally enforce the lesson of ces, unless we resort to the false max- inspiration : “ Ask for the old paths, im that the end sanctifies the means ; where is the good way, and walk or admit what Mr. W. and many of therein, and ye shall find rest to his followers often intimate, and per- your souls.” It can scarcely fail haps unconsciously, that he was spe- ihat by this controversy some truths cially directed by heaven to pursue will be elicited, and some errours in that course which he adopted, and opinion and practice corrected. which we here see in this official book It may not be irrelevant to remark, is called "irregular." But to return that to readers in general Mr. Southto our author, " that a great and most ey's life of Wesley cannot be other. gratifying alteration has taken place wise than interesting. It is history. within a few years both in the doc. It is the biography of an individual trine and lives of the national clergy rendered illustrious by his talents, bis is certain."
virtues and his achievements. It is May our author and his friends act philosophy, for it traces conduct to its up to the spirit of the following decla- molives, and effects to their causes, ration. Alluding to our church, he however remote, and we may add it says, “I would not forget that she is has both in sentiment and style many the mother of us all, and I can never of the fascinations of poetry. But it contemplate, without the deepest ad. is particularly valuable to the religious miration, her noble army of confes. world, for it corroborates those views, sors and martyrs, and the illustrious wbich the scriptures afford, of the train of her divines, whose writings character of that strange being, man; have been and continue to be the of the nature of the Christian church; light of Christendom.” This is af. and of an overruling Providence, whose fecting and magnanimous.
constant operation "orders the unruly It is very remarkable, and it ought wills and affections of sinful men, to be known by his admirers, that causes the returning light, and extracts Mr. Wesley disapproved of extempore good from every event. preaching, strictly so called. In his sermon he says concerning enthusiasts, “ Such are they, who designedly speak To the Editor of the Gospel Advocate. in the publick assembly without The descent of our blessed Saviour any premeditation.
I say design into hell is a truth so important; and so edly, because there may obe such clearly revealed, that the reformers of circumstances as, at sometimes, make the church have inserted it it unavoidable.
the But whoever de articles of our religion, and we are
among spises that great mean of speaking taught to repeat it from our infancy in profitably is so far an enthusiast.” To conclude : the controversy ex
the apostles' creed. One would supcited by Mr. Southey's work will pose it, therefore, to be generally un
derstood. But as, on the contrary, probably do good among the methodists by leading them to a review of many persons attach to it no distinct
meaning, or what is worse, one that is *This is a remarkable concession. false, it may be useful to explain the
meaning of the term as it is used in the trast with heaven to convey an idea of scriptures, and by our church. immensity and of boundless depth. How
St. Peter says, “ Thou shalt not · absurd would it have been for Job, leave my soul in hell."*
This text the when he might have used the extent of apostle cites from the Psalms of David, the earth and the ocean, which at that originally written in Hebrew, in which time were not only unknown, but were language the word bwo sheol, rendered supposed to be unknowable, to have in our English version hell, but denot- used as one of the immeasurables the ing the region allotted to the residence depth of a sepulchre, which seldom exof departed spirits, is derived from the ceeds ten or twelve feet, and which verb to sha-al quæsivit, postulavit, being the work of man was perfectly which signifies in one sense of the term known.* Other reasons, which conto demand or crave as a loan. It there. vince us that the Hebrew word sheól fore implies, says Dr. Magee, that what translated hell, seldom means a grave, is sought for, is to be rendered back. In is that another word, employed to sig. this view of the case it is not simply nify a grave in the Hebrew language, is to be understood as the region of de- never translated by the word hades,hell, parted spirits, but as the region which but by some other word, taken in the is to form their temporary residence, limited sense of a sepulchre ; and that and from which they are at some future moreover the word sheól is never contime to be released. It was the opi- . nected with a verb signifying to bury. nion of the Jews, that the soul of man, We know that it cannot always signify on leaving his body, passed into a vast the place of torment, because Jonah subterraneous region, as a common re. used the same word,'when he called ceptacle, but with different mansions, the belly of the fish, the belly of hell. according to the different qualities of We feel a certainty then from the origin its inhabitants. This assertion, says the of the word sheól, from its application learned Vitringa, is confirmed by vari- in various passages of the old testa. ous parts of scripture, and particularly ment, and from the prevailing sentiments by the history of the witch of Endor; respecting it among the Jews, that it inasmuch as, let the illusion in that trans- signifies the invisible region of the souls action be what it might, it goes to es. of the dead. tablish the fact of the opinion then Let us now see the meaning, which the commonly received.
Greek translators of the old testament The Hebrew word 5180, cannot with and the authors of the new testament justice to the sense of the scriptures be affixed to the word sheól. The former iranslated grave. Take, for instance, almost invariably translate it cdrs, the expressions of Job, “Canst thou hades, and St. Peter gives the same by searching find out God? Canst thou version of it. That version we shall and out the Almighty to perfection? It upon examination find to have the is as high as heaven; what canst thou same meaning as the Hebrew word do? Deeper than hell (5189, sieól,) what from which it is translated. '8875, hades, canst thou know?"Now if sheól,or hell,in is a Greek word, signifying invisible, this place be nothing more than a grave, and is defined to be the invisible place the expression of Job would convey no or state of separate souls, between death
, distinct meaning. He would be made and judgment. For proof of this, we to say, you can no more discern the shall cite a passage from the ApocaAlmighty to perfection, than you can lypse, “I looked and behold a pale ascertain the height of heaven, or the horse : and his name that sat on him depth of a grave. Hell is used in con. was death, and hell followed with him
Acts ïi. 27. + Magee on Atonement, p. 348. Note.
*Campbell on the Gospels, Vol. I. Dissert. vi rec, 7.
- death and hell delivered up the feast. This figurative expression shows dead which were in them-death and the happy condition of the poor man. hell were cast into the lake of fire. The wicked are sent into that part of This is the second death.” Here we bell called tartarus, and are doomed to have the commencement and duration suffer remorse, anxiety and despair. . of hades. It succeeds death, and is de. The distress of the rich man in this stroyed with it at the day of judgment. parable may seem to countenance the Death, that is the separation of the soul opinion, that hades means the torments from the body, shall be followed by of the damned. This is the only pas. hades, the state of the soul after death sage bowever, in which hades suggests and before judgment: after judgment such a construction. But the ablest death and hell shall be no more. To criticks think, it cannot bear that sense. the wicked these shall be succeeded by They argue that the parable was aca more terrible death, the death of ge- commodated to the vulgar notions of hepna,or the torments of hell in the com- the Jews and pagans, who considered mon acceptation of that term.* Hades hades as divided into two parts, that one cannot be translated grave or death, part was called paradise or elysium, for since it follows death; and it cannot be the residence of the virtuous; and the translated hell in the common use of other tartarus, where criminals were to that word, for the whole passage would be kept till the day of judgment; and it be nonsense. Hell would be repre- is most reasonable to infer that the sented as being cast into bell. Hades rich man was not cast into hell, but must therefore be the state of the soul consigned to the society of wicked between death and judgment. spirits, and condemned to suffer tor
We seem to have satisfactory proof ment in anticipating his sentence at from the parable of the rich man and the day of judgment. Lazarus, that hades means the place of We might adduce many instances to departed spirits. “The beggar died prove that hades which is translated hell and was buried, and was carried by the means the invisible region of departed angels into Abraham's bosom : the rich spirits. The word occurs only eleven man also died, and was buried, and in times in the new testament ; and except hell he lift up his eyes being in torments, in one or two instances, where it is used and seeth Abraham afar off, and Laz- figuratively, it has decidedly the meanarus in his bosom."
Here we find that ing which we have affixed to it. hell is something whollydistinct from the This opinion is confirmed by the best grave; that it is a place of thought, acti- Greek writers, by the Jews, and the vity and feeling. We find too that the early fathers of the church. The virtuous inbabit this region, as well as the Greeks always considered hodes a vicious; for Lazarus, though in Abraham's place into which the souls of men were bosom, was not so remote from the rich conveyed, distinct and separate from man in torments, but that they were the one in which we live; and this is able to converse. We find too that the evinced by their different opinions, virtuous are separated from each other some placing it in the earth, some under in the same region, and experience it, some in one unknown situation, and very different degrees of happiness. some in another. They observed so The good are received into Abraham's notorious a distinction between the bosom ; a phrase taken from the ancient grave and hades, that they believed custom of reclining at meals, when the many persons admitted to the former, most honourable and beloved leaned had not been admitted to the latter. upon tbe bosom of the master of the Homer tells us that the soul of Elpenor "Campbell on Gospels, Vol. I. Dissert. vi. *Pearson on the Creed. Article 5.
could gain no admittance to hades, their thoughts are carried to that dismal while his body remained unburied, place, where the fallen angels are kept (Odyss. xi. 51) and that the shade of in everlasting chains. * Such a place Patroclus lingered upon the banks of the bible tells us exists, and that it will Acheron till Achilles had paid to his re- burn forever ; but it is mentioned by mains the rites of sepulture. (Iliad. xxiii. the name of gehenna, and is not called
. 72) Plutarch in his commentary hades. Some eminent translators of upon a line of Homer, which mentions the holy scriptures think that the the descent of a soul into hell, says, word hell had better be limited to the • It went into an obscure and invisible sense of the place of torment, and that place."
some other term should be given to The same opinion prevailed among the place of departed spirits, into which the Jews and the early fathers. Jo- our Saviour descended. Bishop Lowth, sephus says, that the soul of Samuel Dr. Campbell, and several other able was evoked from hades, which he in translators of the bible have used the another place represents as beyond the Greek word hades, and made it an sea. St. Ambrose informs us that the English word. pagans stole their notion of the state of Having proved that the words sheól departed souls from the Jews, and froin and hades and hell mean the resithe books of the old testament; and dence or the mansion of departed spiwishes that they had not mingled other rits, it remains to prove, for the defence superfluous and unprofitable conceits of our creed, that our blessed Saviour with them, but had been content with actually descended into hell. “As Christ that single opinion, that souls, deliver- died for us,” says our third article, ed from their bodies, go to hades or “and was buried, so also is it to be be. bell, that is a place not seen. Andrew, lieved, that he went down into hell." árchbishop of Cesarea, who wrote in The first passage we shall adduce Greek,also makes a distinction between in support of this doctrine is one that death and hades. The former he de. bas already been cited from the Acts : fines to be the separation of soul and “ Thou shalt not leave my soul in hell, body, the latter a place unseen, un- neither wilt thou suffer thine holy one known, and invisible to us, which re. to see corruption.” St. Peter shows ceives our souls when we die.
that this verse is wholly inapplicable But it will naturally be inquired if to the monarch David, who used it, the original Hebrew word sheol and since he had been long dead, and buthe Greek version hades mean the re- ried, and had seen corruption ; and as ceptacle of departed spirits, why are his sepulchre was publickly known. they translated by the word hell, which He then states that David, being a conveys to most readers a very dif- prophet, foreseeing the Lord always ferent and a very awful sense ? But before his face, foresaw and predicted the fact is, that the word hell in its his resurrection in those remarkable original and true meaning signified words, that his soul should not be left nothing more than the unseen and cov. in hell, neither should his flesh see corered place. It is derived from the old ruption. If the soul of Christ, says Saxon verb hil, to bide, or from the bishop Pearson, were not left in hell participle helled, hidden or covered. at his resurrection, then his soul was But the word is so often used in com. in hell before his resurrection, but it mon conversation, and in our English was not there before his death, theretranslation of the new testament, for fore upon or after his death, and before the place of torment, that its genuine meaning is almost forgotten. The
* Bishop Horsely's Sermon on Christ's unlearned seldom bear of bell, but descent into hell.