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a grave. But if in all such places they will say they mean nothing else but to signify death, and that to go down into the grave, and to die, is all one; we ask them, why they follow not the words of the holy scripture to signify the same thing, which call it going down to “hell,” not going down to the “grave"? Here they must needs open the mystery of antichrist working in their translations, and say, that so they should make hell a common place to all that departed in the old testament; which they will not, no, not in the most important places of our belief concerning our Saviour Christ's descending into hell, and triumphing over the same. Yea, therefore of purpose they will not, only for to defeat that part of our christian creed.
Fulke. We cannot always take the word “grave” properly, when the scripture useth it figuratively. But if we say, to go down to the grave and to die is all one, you ask us why we follow not the words of the holy scripture. I answer, We do, for the scripture calleth it “grave,” and not “hell.” Where then is your vain clattering of the mystery of antichrist, that we must open? Because we will not acknowledge that heretical common-place, invented by Marcion the heretic, we purpose to defeat the article of Christ's descending into hell. A monstrous slander 1 when we do openly confess it, and his triumphing over hell in more triumphant manner than you determine it. For if he descended into that hell only, in which were the souls of the faithful, which was a place of rest, of comfort, of joy, and felicity; what triumph was it to overcome such an hell? which, if you take away the hateful name of “hell,” by your own description will prove rather an heaven than an hell. But we believe that he triumphed over the hell of the damned, and over all the power of darkness, which he subdued by the virtue of his obedience and sacrifice, so that it should never be able to claim or hold any of his elect, whom he had redeemed.
Martin. As when the prophet first, Osea xiii., and afterward the apostle, 1 Cor. xv. in the Greek, say thus": Ero mors tua, o mors, morsus
tuus ero, inferne. Ubi est, mors, stimulus tuus? ubi est, inferne, victoria bist; tua 2 “O death, I will be thy death: I will be thy sting, O hell. #8 : Where is, O death, thy sting? where is, O hell, thy victory?” They translate in both places, “O grave,” instead of “O hell.” What else * * can be their meaning hereby, but to draw the reader from the common sense of our Saviour Christ's descending into hell, and conquering the same, and bringing out the fathers and just men triumphantly from thence into heaven? which sense hath always been the common sense of the catholic church and holy doctors, specially upon this place of i..."
'omment. in the prophet. And what a kind of speech is this, and out of all tune, 13. Osee". to make our Saviour Christ say, “O grave, I will be thy destruction”? as though he had triumphed over the grave, and not over hell; or over the grave, that is, over death; and so the prophet should say “death" twice, and “hell” not at all.
Fulke. St Jerome, whom you quote in the margin, to Fulke, prove that all the catholic doctors understood this text of 16. Osee, of Christ's descending into hell, and thereby reprove our translation, which for “hell” saith “grave,” after he hath repeated the words of the apostle, 1 Cor. xv. upon this text, thus he concludeth : Itaque quod ille in resurrectionem interpretatus est Domini, nos aliter interpretari mec possumus mec audemus. “Therefore that which the apostle hath interpreted of our Lord's resurrection, we neither can nor dare interpret otherwise.” You see therefore by Jerome's judgment, that in this text, which is proper of Christ's resurrection, it is more proper to use the word of “grave,” than of “hell.” How vainly the same Jerome interpreteth the last words of this chapter, of spoiling the treasure of every vessel that is desirable, of Christ's delivering out of hell the most precious vessels of the saints, &c. I am not ignorant; but we speak of translation of the 14th verse, which being understood of Christ's resurrection, it argueth, that the grave is spoken of, rather than hell. As for the repetition of
Hell, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin,” Tyndale,
one thing twice for vehemency and certainty's sake, [it] is no inconvenient thing, but commonly used in the scriptures.
Martin. Why, my masters, you that are so wonderful precise translators, admit that our Saviour Christ descended not into hell beneath, as you say, yet I think you will grant that he triumphed over hell, and was conqueror of the same. Why then did it not please you to suffer the prophet to say so at the least, rather than that he had conquest only of “death” and the “grave"? You abuse your ignorant reader very impudently, and your own selves very damnably, not only in this, but in that you make “grave,” and “death,” all one; and so, where the holy scripture often joineth together “death” and “hell,” as things different and distinct, you make them speak but one thing twice, idly and superfluously.
Fulke. For our faith of Christ's triumphing over hell, I have spoken already sufficiently; but of the prophet's meaning, beside the words themselves, the apostle is best expounder, who referreth it to the resurrection, and his victory over death, which he hath gained not for himself alone, but for all his elect. Where you say we make “grave” and “death” all one, it is false. We know they differ; but that one may be signified by the other, without any idle or superfluous repetition, in one verse, I refer me to a whole hundred of examples, that may be brought out of the Psalms, the Prophets, and the Proverbs, where words of the same, like, or near signification are twice together repeated, to note the same matter; which none but a blasphemous dog will say to be done idly or superfluously.
Martin. But will you know that you should not confound them, but that mors and infernus, which are the words of the holy scripture, in all tongues are distinct; hear what St Jerome saith: or if you will not hear, because you are of them which “have stopped their ears,” let the indifferent christian reader hearken to this holy doctor and great interpreter of the holy scriptures, according to his singular knowledge in all the learned tongues. Upon the aforesaid place of the prophet, after he had spoken of our Saviour Christ's descending into hell, and overcoming of death, he addeth : “Between death and hell this is the
[* Inter mortem autem et inferos hoc interest: mors est, qua anima separatur a corpore; infernus, locus in quo animae recluduntur, sive in refrigerio sive in poenis, pro qualitate meritorum. Hoc diximus, utostenderemus id mortem facere, quod meretricem mulierem. Mors enim difference, that death is that whereby the soul is separated from the body; hell is the place where souls are included, either in rest, or else in pains, according to the quality of their deserts. And that death is one thing, and hell is another, the psalmist also declareth, saying: “There is not in death that is mindful of thee, but in hell who Psal. vi. shall confess to thee?” And in another place: “Let death come upon them, and let them go down into hell alive.” Thus far St Jerome.
Fulke. He that by the grave understandeth a place Fulke,
to receive the bodies of the dead, and figuratively death, 18.
Martin. By which differences of “death” and “hell,” whereof we Marrin, must often advertise the reader, are meant two things: death, and the 19. going down of the soul into some receptacle of hell, in that state of the old testament, at what time the holy scriptures used this phrase so often. Now, these impudent translators in all these places translate it “grave,” Bib. 1579. of purpose to confound it and “death” together, and to make it but one thing, which St Jerome sheweth to be different, in the very same sense that we have declared. o dividit fratres, hoc et mulier facit. In fratribus, omnem intellige caritatem: quod et mater dividatur a filia, et pater a filio, et frater a fratre. Quod autém aliud sit mors, et aliud infernus, et Psalmista demonstrat, dicens: Non est in morte qui memor sit tui; in inferno autem quis confitebitur tibi ? et in alio loco: Veniat mors super eos, et descendant in infernum viventes, Hieronymi Comment. in Osee. c. xiii. Opera, iii. p. 1329.]
Fulke. The difference of mors and infernus, which Jerome maketh, cannot always stand; as I have shewed of the hoar heads of Jacob, Job, and Shemei, (which none but mad men will say to have descended into a receptacle of souls,) beside other places of scripture, where sheol must of necessity signify a place for the body. And even those places of the Psalms, that St Jerome calleth to witness, do make against his error. For where David saith, Psalm vi." “In hell who shall confess unto thee?” how can it be true of the souls of the faithful, being in that holy hell, Abraham's bosom ? Did not Abraham confess unto God, and acknowledge his mercy? Did not Lazarus the same? did not
all the holy souls departed confess God in Abraham's bosom ?
Were all those blessed souls so unthankful, that being carried into that place of rest and comfort, none of them would confess God's benefits 2 It is plain therefore, to the confusion of your error, that sheol in that place of David must needs signify the “grave,” in which no man doth confess, praise, or give thanks unto God, of whom in death there is no remembrance. Therefore he desireth life and restoring of health, that he may praise God in his church or congregation. Likewise in the 54th psalm”, where he prophesieth unto the wicked a sudden death, such as befel to Chore, Dathan, and Abiram, which went down quick into the “grave;” not into “hell,” whither come no bodies of men living, but the souls of men that are dead.
Martin. But, alas! it is the very nature of the Hebrew, Greek, or Latin, that forceth them so much to English it “grave,” rather than “hell.” We appeal to all Hebricians, Grecians, and Latinists in the world : first, if a man would ask, What is Hebrew, or Greek, or Latin for “hell”? whether they would not answer these three words, as the very proper words to signify it, even as panis signifieth “bread.” Secondly, if a man would ask, What is Hebrew, or Greek, or Latin, for a “grave"? whether they would answer these words, and not three other, which they know are as proper words for “grave,” as lac is for “milk.”