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again and reunited to its old companion the sout, which exists meanwhile in secret and undiscernable regions, there waiting for the day when its Redeemer shall triumph over corruption in his mystical as he has already done in bis natural body."
Archbishop SECKBR in his lectures on the Catechism (lect. 9.) explaining the descent into Hell, observes," the most common meaning, pot only among heathens, but Jews and the first Christians, of the word Hades, here translated Hell, was in general that invisible world, one part or another of wbich, the souls of the deceased, whether good or bad inbabit.” “In what part of space, or of what nature that receptacle is, in which the souls of mer continue from their death till they rise again, we scarce know at all; excepting that we are sure it is divided into two extremely different regions, the dwelling of the righteous, called in St. Lake Abrahan's bosom, where Lazarus was ; and that of the wicked, where the rich man was; between which there is a great gulphi fixed. And we bave no proof that our Saviour went on any ac. count into the latter; but since he told the penitent thief that he should be that day with hima in paradise ; we are certain he was in the former; where they, which die in the Lord, rest from their labours, and are blessed ; waiting for a still more perfect happiness at the resurrection of the last day."
The acute and learned 4 Author of the Evidences of Natural and Revealed Religion," Dr. Samuel CLARKE, Rector of St. James, Westminster, in bis “ Exposition of the Church Catechism,” explains the word Hell in the Creed to mean " the invisible state of departed souls.".
Sir Peter King in his “Critical History of the Apostles' Creed,” proves, at some length, and with great clearness and force, tbe existence of a place of departed spirits,
into which Christ descended, in the interval between his death and his resurrection.
Among the Sermons of the famous Bishop BULL, the learned Author of the Defence of the Nicene Faith, is a Sermon on “the middle state of happiness or misery," which he explains and defends in the following terms“The souls of all the faithful, immediately after death, center into a place and state of bliss, far exceeding all the felicities of this world, though short of that most consummate perfect beatitude of the Kingdom of Heaven with which they are to be crowned and rewarded in the resurrection. And so on the contrary, the souls of all the wicked are presently after death in a state of very great misery; and yet dreading a far greater misery at the day of judgment *.” “ All good men without exception are in the whole interval between their death and resurrection, as to their souls, in a very happy condition ; but after the resurrection they shall be yet more happy, receiving then their full reward, their perfect consummation of bliss, both in soul and body, the most perfect bliss they are capable of, according to the divers degrees of virtue through the grace of God on their endeavours, attained by them in this life. On the other side, all the wicked as soon as they die are very miserable as to their souls ; and shall be yet far more miserable both in soul and body, after the day of judgment, proportionably to the measure of sins committed by them here on earth. This is the plain doctrine of the Holy Scriptures, and of the Church of Christ in its first and best ages, and this we may trust to +."
Bishop Newton, the author of the “ Dissertations on the Prophecies,” maintains, at considerable length, in a
* Bishop Bull's Works, Vol. i. p. 102, 103. + Ibid. Vol. i. p. 126, 127.
dissertation in the 6th volume of his works, this doctrine of an intermediate state.
Bishop PEARSON, in his “ Commentary on the Creed," (Art. 5.) observes “ As the sepulchre is appointed for our flesh, so there is another receptacle, or habitation, or mansion for our spirits. From wbence it followeth that in death, the soul doth certainly pass by a real motion from that place in which it did inform the body, and is translated to that place, and unto that society, which God of his mercy or justice bath allotted to it.” “ It will appear to have been the general judgment of the Church, that the soul of Christ, contradistinguished from his body, was truly and really carried into those parts below, where the souls of men before departed were detained; and by such a real translation of his soul, he was truly said to have descended into Hell.” “ We must confess that the soul of Christ was in Hell, and no Christian can deny it,” saith St. Augustine.
Bishop BURNET observes in his “ Exposition" of the 3d Article, that "by Hell may be meant the invisible place to which departed souls are carried after their death.” And therefore-that by our Saviour's soul descending into Hell is meant “his soul being removed out of his body, and carried to those unseen regions of departed spirits, among whom it continued till his resurrection.”
The pious and learned Bishop TAYLOR advances the same doctrine in various parts of his writings. In a sermon at the end of his “ worthy communicant,” he observes, “ In the state of separation, the spirits of good men shall be blessed and happy souls. They have an antepast or taste of their reward; but their great reward itself, their crown of righteousness shall not be yet. The confirmation of the saint's felicity shall be at the resurrection of the dead."
Dr. WHITBY, in many parts of his “ Commentary,” and particularly on 2 Tim. iv. 8. advances many arguments from Scripture to prove that the final and complete happiness of the righteous does not take place until after the judgment at the great day. He considers the immediate ascent of the soul to Heaven after death, as an heresy contradicted by Scripture, and by the faith of the primitive ages. And he quotes numerous passages from the Fathers to prove that the souls of good men remain till the day of judgment, in a certain place out of Heaven, expecting the day of judgment and retribution.
The learned BINGHAM, in his “ Christian Antiquities” (book xv. chap. 3. sec. 16.) observes, that it was the sense of the primitive Church, that “the soul is but in an imperfect state of happiness till the resurrection, when the whole man shall obtain a complete victory over death, and by the last judgment be established in an endless state of consummate happiness and glory."
The same doctrine of the separate state of departed spirits, is advanced by WHEATLEY, the author of the “Commentary on the Book of Common Prayer," and by JORTIN the author of “ Notes on Ecclesiastical History,” in their Sermons.
Dr. NICHOLLS, in his “ Commentary on the Book of Common Prayer," asserts the same doctrine ; interpreting the descent into Hell, of Christ's descent into the place of separate souls.
Dr. Wall, in his “ History of Infant Baptism,”(part 2, chap. 8.) goes at considerable length into a statement of the doctrine of the intermediate state, and of the opinions of the Primitive Christians on this point.
Dr. HAMMOND, in his “ Annotations” on 2 Tim. i. 16. observes, “ It is certain that some measure of bliss which shall at the day of judgment be vouchsafed the saints,
when their bodies and souls shall be reunited, is not till then enjoyed by them.”
There can be no doubt that the Primitive Church held this doctrine of the intermediate state. The opinions of the Primitive Fathers are quoted by Bishop Pearson on the Creed; by WHITBY on 2 Tim. iv. 8.; by WALL on Infant Baptism, part 2, chap. 8., and by Sir Peter King in his Critical History of the Apostles' Creed. To their works, and particularly to the latter, the inquisitive reader is referred for information on this point.
III. The doctrine of a place of departed spirits to which the souls of the righteous and the wicked go after death, and where they remain in a state of happiness or misery, expecting their complete felicity or woe in Hea-. ven or Hell (yéerva), after the resurrection at the last day, is a doctrine of Scripture.
The leading arguments from Scripture have been already alluded to in the preceding address. It will be proper to recapitulate and amplify them.
In reasoning upon this subject the principle will be assumed, that, with the existence of all created spirits, is essentially connected the idea of locality. They must exist in some place. For, as Bishop Horsley observes, (Ser. vol. ii. 89–90) “the soul existing after death, and separated from the body, though of a nature immaterial, must be in some place : for however metaphysicians may talk of place as one of the adjuncts of body, as if nothing but gross sensible body could be limited to a place, to exist with relation to place seems to be one of the incommunicable perfections of the Divine Being; and it is hardly to be conceived that any created spirit, of however high an order, can be without locality, or without such determination of its existence at any given time to