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rate collation of Manuscripts, Fathers, and Versions, into one scale, and throwing the spurious Gospel of Ebion, and the more spurious Gospel of Marcion, into the other, behold them ignominiously kick the beam ?

CHAP. IV.

Intermediate State between death and the Resurrection.

Authenticity of Luke xxiii 43.

As the Authors of this Version are manifestly disciples of those fond philosophers who descry, or fancy that they descry, in the page of Scripture the characteristical hues of their own ephemeral systems, so also do they appear to be of that peculiar sect which maintains, that human souls are material, that they are composed of a genuine corporeal substance, although of one so refined and subtle, that thousands of them, as it is quaintly but forcibly expressed by a Platonical writer* of the seventeenth century,

* Dr. Henry More, in his Divine Dialogues :

Hyl. Is it not incredible, Philotheus, if not impossible, that some thousands of spirits may dance or march on a needle's point at once?

Cuph. I, and that booted and spurred too.” Vol. i. p. 90.

Having alluded to the Dialogues of this eccentric but amiable writer, whose talents as a metaphysician, philosopher, and divine were doubtless highly respectable, but whose imagination too frequently outran his jndgment, I cannot avoid digressing a moment from my subject to notice, that from a passage in the same work, viz. the story of the Eremite and the Angel, related, p. 321–-327, the celebrated “ Hermitof Parnell was evidently borrowed, not merely in the general circumstances of the narrative, with some slight deivations indeed, but sometimes in its very turn of expression ; a production which I have heard the late Mr. Burke pronounce to be, " Poem without a fault."

can dance booted and spurred upon a needle's point.But whatsoever may be the creed of these Translators upon the particular doctrine of materialism, it is certain that they contend for the extinction of the soul with the body, and for the revivification of both together at the day of judgment. This opinion they clearly assert in a note upon Phil. i. 21. “For as concerning me, (rather a singular translation of suos page) to live is Christ, and to die is gain” where they maintain, that the Apostle does not “express an expectation of an intermediate state between death and the resurrection," but simply represents “ a quiet rest in the grave, during that period, as preferable to a life of suffering and persecution.”

But it is not my present object to oppose their theological system, to pursue them from one labyrinth of Unitarian exposition to another through all the intricate mazes of metaphysical refinement; yet I cannot help reminding them, that one text at least in another Epistle of St. Paul, seems to make directly against their position, required a little explanation. It is this; “We are derirous rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord,2 Cor..v. 8; a declaration which to common minds

appears to imply, that the “presence with the Lordhere spoken of, must mean a presence during the period of absence from the body, a period immediately commencing with death, after the same manner as it was stated in the

preceding verse, while we are present in the body, we are absent from the Lord.” This passage nevertheless is suffered to pass without a comment.

While, however, they here abstain from all explanatory remark, on another occasion they contrive to preclude the necessity of it altogether. The Sadducees are said to believe, “ that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit, unts wvEwud, Acts xxiii. 8.” Now the conjunction unos, nor, they ha

chosen to translate or ; 65 the Sadducees say, that there is no resurrection, nor angel, or spirit,” in

order to convey the idea of the word spirit being synonymous with that of angel, instead of being intentionally distinguished from it. It is perhaps a singular coincidence that the same translation should occur in an anonymous version of the New Testament, published at an early period in the preceding century by some person or persons well versed in the art of what the majority then denominated, and are still disposed to denominate, the art of unchristianizing the records of Christianity. I shall transcribe the animadversion made upon it at the time by the acute T'wells, who volunteered on this, as on other occasions, the unpleasant duty of exposing ignorance and detecting subterfuge. “St. Luke says,” observes that discriminatingwriter, “the Sadducees affirm, that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit. Gr. Mnde aylenov unas Tveuua, i.e. they denied the existence of angels and also of souls separate from the body, that is, spirits. In all which they are represented to err. But the Translator has a device to keep his reader from seeing that the denial of spirits is one of the errors of Sadducism, by mistranslating unge or instead of nor. The Sadducees, says he, maintain there is neither resurrection, nor ungel, or spirit. Su that according to him, spirit was but another name for angel."

Neither is this the only passage upon the point under consideration, in which both the Versions alluded to ac

*

* " Critical Examination of the late new Text and Version of the New Testament,” Ed. 1731, p. 134. But why all this contrivance to expunge from Scripture a belief in the existence of disimbodied spirits, when our Saviour himself expressly asserts it ? For when his Apostles were terrified at his appearance after his resurrection, “and supposed that they had seen a spirit,he said to them, A spirit has not flesh and bones, as ye see me “have,” Luke xxiv. 29. Are the Unitarians bold enough to insinuate, that the Apostles only proved themselves on this occasion to be fools, and that our Sa, viour answered them according to their folly?

X X 2

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cord. That of the former period renders eis åds, Acts ii. 27, in the grave, “because thou wilt not leave my soul in the grave,” which is also adopted by this of the present day, with the addition of a still wider deviation from the established Version, in translating and fuxenu Mis my soul, by the prououn me, “ because thou wilt not leave me in the grave.” I indeed admit that fuxn is often put by synecdoche for the whole person, as Matthew xii. 18, “my beloved in whom my soul, i. e. I am well pleased;" but so also is the English word soul in the very same text. But does it therefore follow, that neither the Greek nor the English word has any other appropriate meaning ? Surely we must perceive, that not the whole, but a peculiar part of man is directly pointed out, when our Saviour says, “ Fear not them who kill the body, but cannot kill the soul, anu fuxnx;"> Matt. x. 16. I am also aware that Grotius, in Matt. x. 36, argues for a reciprocal sense of the substantive Luxen, in conjunction with a pronoun, as a sort of familiar Syriasm ; but the application of this rule in the instance alleged is successfully opposed by Vorstius, nor are other examples of it in the New Testament referred to by either Author. Besides, were it generally admissible the grammatical connexion of the word in the disputed text would preclude its influence ; for to say, “ thou wilt not leave myself in the grave,” would be little better than nonsense, and a direct violation of common syntax. If it be observed, that the context will determine the sense ; this is precisely the point for which I am contending: for I maintain, that åóns cannot be correctly translated the grave, but always means the receptacle of departed souls, and consequently that fuxn can only signify that part of man to which such a receptacle is appropriated. In proof

* Ibid. p. 133. | De Ebraismis Nov. Test. p. i. p. 120. 122.

mation."*

of what I assert, it will be sufficient perhaps simply to ap peal to Schleusner, Art. côns, and to Wetstein in Luc. vxi. 23, whose “ numerous and invaluable notes," as the Authors of the New Version themselves conceive, “supply an inexhaustible fund of theological and critical infor

Both support their opinion by respectable references. Wetstein obşerves generally, “ Vox Græca ddns, cui respondet Hebræa 5180, et Latina inferorum, denotat illum locum communem, in quem recipiuntur omnes hominum vita functorum animæ. Nunquam vero significat aut sepulchrum aut cælum.” I rather suspect that these Authors had perused the note of Wetstein alluded to, because, in their translation of the very text upon which this comment is given, they render ådns the unseen state.Be this however as it may, I shall, I trust, be excused if I prefer, in the instance before me, the opinion of such able critics and philologists as Schleusner and Wetstein, supported by numerous and respectable authorities, to that of a whole committee of Unitarian Translators, who either cannot or will not, on the other side, adduce

any

authori. ty whatsoever.

But, on the controverted topic of an intermediate state between death and the resurrection, there exists a passage in St. Luke, which, without a little expository straining, or a disavowal of its legitimacy, seems completely at war with the Unitarian hypothesis. It is Luke xxiii. 43, " And Jesus said to him, Verily I say unto thee, To-day shalt thou be with me in Paradise.”+ An attempt indeed was made, at a very early period, by some who disliked the doctrine which this text evidently contains, to get rid of the offensive position by a novel punctuation. Instead of putting the comma before the word omuegov to-day, they

* Introduction p. 21.

+ Wolfii Curæ Philologicæ, vol. i. p. 766, Koecheri Analecta, p. 982, and Hackspan in loc."

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