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Price. In those works the Bishop and the Archdeacon were held to have overstepped the limits of orthodoxy; and I cannot but confess, that I felt a sensation of considerable uneasiness, on being informed by your Psychopanrystical Correspondent, that the Works of the Author of “the Confessional” are now printing at the Cambridge University press !,
It is hard to say what Adam's idea of the denunciation against break ing God's commandment may have been" in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die”-and it is difficult to find out how the Bishop came by his elaborate explanation of surely in this text, by the word utterly; the Hebrew, literally translated, signifying only this
in dying thou shalt die.” Even at this day different men may alfix different senses to these words; but this cannot alter their true sense. Adain was created for immortality ; and had he not broken the Divine command, he had not been obliged to pass into Heaven through the gates of death; but if he had been to suffer any change, it could only have been similar to that which the Saints shall undergo at the coming of our Lorn; when those who are alive shall be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air ; when a sudden change of some undescribed and inconceivable kind shall take place, to enable us to be with the LORD for ever. 1 Thess. iv. 17. I do not think with Bishop Law, that the determination of the question concerning the nature of the Intermediate State, depends upon Adan's skill, either in logic or physics. Nor do I think, that we are obliged to decide upon it by referring solely to the text, containing the denunciation, without a référence to the whole of Revelation, without using every light, indeed, which we can derive from every quarter. The Bishop affirms, that "life is not an inherent property in our original nature.” Here I cannot but differ from him, toto cælo. Man was created to live for ever. Eternal life was his distinguishing property. When he fell, he was deprived of it. The very terms of the denunciation declare this, for why should death be threatened to any creature who already sat in the power of death ; No; as one of the glories of Britain says, in the sublimest of poems,
" Man's first disobediencë, and the fruit
But for the fall, death had never had dominion, for a moment, over us, The Gospel brought, I grant it, life and immortality to light : that is, brötght this comfortable doctrine out of the obscurity in which it lay, and the incertitude which attended it. Our SAVIOUR, after his pase sion, " arose again from the dead;" and proved that he taught truly when he said, "I am the Resurrection and the Life. But was our Saviour nowhere when he was in Hades . Was his soul pent in his lifeless body deposited in the tomb of the pious Arimatheun? Was it Sleeping Nos the Scripture says, it " was not left in Kades;" and this could not have been said, if it had never entered Hades. His body was deposited in the new tomb, o ta nduwy Mymptaru, but his soul went to the receptacle of disembodied spirits, as Admin, I have already discussed this point, pretiy much at length, in your Magazine for * May last, to which I beg kave to refer your Correspondent; requesting him to avail himself of the complete collation of texts printed in your Number for June. Is there nothing to be inferred from the distinction always obs served in Scripture in the use of the words Sheol and Keber?
There are two or three places in Scripture, where the interior of Hades is shewn us, One in Isaiah, particularly; another in Ezekiel, and another in the Gospel by St. Luke. That in Isaiah, chap: xiv. is well known, and is certainly one of the sublimest passages in Holy Writ. The King of Batylon is represented as slain, as having no grave, as being cast out of Keber. ; (v. 19.) but he enters Sheol. Hades personified, is moved, it stirreth up the dead for him, to meet him at his coming. It raises up from their shadowy thrones all the kings of the nations. One bebolds the king of Babylon entering the yawning cavern, where the souls of the mighty are ranged in gloomy state; he seems stepping into it, just like the figure entering the regions of the dead on the Barberini vase; the shades of the departed Monarchs of the earth rise from their th nes and insult him on being reduced to the same low estate of impotence with themselves. “ This,” says Bishop Lowth, " is one of the boldest prosopopæias that ever was attempted in poetry; and is executed with astonishing brevity and perspicuity, and with that peculiar force which, in a great subject, results from both. The image of the state of the dead, or † infernum poeticuin of the Hebrews, is taken from their custom of burying, those, at least, of a higher rank, in large sepulchral vaults hewn in the rock. Of this kind of sepulchres there are remains at Jerusalem now extant; and some that are said to be sepulchres of the King's of Judah. (See Maundrell
, p. 76.) You are to form to yourself an idea of an immense subterraneous vault, a vast gloomy cavern, all around the sides of which are cells to receive the dead bodies; here the monarchs lie in a distin guished sort of state, suitable to their former rank, each on his own couch, with his arms beside him, his sword at his head, and the bodies of his chiefs and companions about him. These illustrious shades cisę at once from their thrones, and advance to the entrance of the
avern to meet the King of Babylon, and to receive him with insults on cis Fall.
Churchman's Magazine, for May, p. 292, 1. 14, for their Socinian,--read the Socinian. In the Magazine for July, p. 20, 1, 10, for offertorymaoffatory, -read for offatory-offertory.
+ The infernum poeticum of the Greeks and Romans of the American Indians, and the Scandinavians, is nearly the same. Thus Hades has the attestation of the consent of nations. May I presume to point out a defect in Bishop Lowth's Latin version of this
"Te propter imis concita sedibus.
En ! luce defunctos tyrannos,
Sceptrigeraș soliis ab altis
The passage in Ezekiel, referred to by Bishop Lowth, presents a picture of Hades nearly similar. A marked difference is observable throughout it, between the Grare and Hades ; and it is clear, too, that the word 72, translated pit, may be considered, in several verses of this chapter, as denoting (to use the language of my excellent friend **, Mag. for June, p. 325,) " the prison-house of departed souls.”
The view of Hades, afforded in St. Luke, is presented in the 16th chapter, which contains the parable of the rich Man and Luzarus. In all these places Hades is represented as inhabited. It was indeed the popular, the universal, creed. That the souls of the dead continued in a state of active existence and unceasing intelligence, was a doctrine every where admitted, nor was the sleep of the soul ever heard of till invented by the semi-sadducean spirit of later times,
As to that which your Correspondent calls the strongest argument for the sleep of the soul; I confess I discern no strength in it. In passages innumerable in the Bible, a man who is dead is said to sleep with his fathers. It is a common figure of speech to put sleep, mortis imago, for death itself. ne would think nobody wide awake could confound them. Our Saviour said of Lazarus, he “sleepeth ;" the Disciples mistook his meaning, thinking that “he spake of taking rest in sleep;" and our Lord corrected their error by saying to them plainly, (tapinosa in plain terms,) “ Lazarus is dead." I find a note upon this verse in
Tremellius's Bible, which is a very sensible one" Hebræi mortem, somni, molliore vocabulo indicaverunt; inde cæmeterium (xounonpror, a xoslaw, sopio) i.e. Dormitorium ubi
corpora resurrectionem expectantia quiescunt." To explain the passage thus, is the reverse of “allegorizing" it; thus to explain it, is to simplify it. Surely that must be an ardent imagination, or a mind subject to waking dreams, which can discover in it, that Jesus taught here the doctrine of the sleep, or the temporary extinction, of the sou).
How can the soul sleep? How can it be annihilated? Or how compressed in a clod of the valley? Has the soul any form - Has it limbs “A spirit,” said our Lord to his Disciples, “ hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have.” How can that which is immaterial sleep : The body sleeps----but when the body sleeps most profoundly, the soul is oftentimes most perfectly awake. Does "a Soul-sleeper" never dream? How sleeps his soul then? In the sleep of death, I am per, suaded, we shall experience dreams more vivid and more astonishing than any we have known whilst our souls are yet incumbered with bodies.
“ To die ;--to sleep. To slecp! perchance to dream; aye, there's the rub.” How frequently, even whilst the body wakes, does the soul demonstrate its independence on its earthy tabernacle ; such is the power of abstraction.
As to the space of time which may take place between the hour of death, and the second Advent of CurisT; if the soul can be extinguished during that interval, and shall revive again at its termination, that period nust needs seem as nothing; de non apparentibus et non esistentibus eadem est ratio; but before we can thus argue, there is a
previous question to dispose of, viz. whether the soul shall be, or, in. deed, is capable of being, deprived of consciousness? There is something taking in the expression, “the twinkling of an eye;" as if it related to shutting the eyes in the sleep of Death, and opening them on the morning of the Resurrection. Gentlemen, although your Correspondent says, (p. 403.) the “sleep from the time of our respective deaths to the general resurrection will be no more to us than the twink.. ling of an eye”--these last words have reference only to the suddenness of the change which shall take place in the form of our bodies;-"we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.”
Your Correspondent savs, (p. 406.) “the Bishop shews, in speaking of the connection between our present and future existence, that the Scriptures do not take into account our intermediate State in Death ; no more than we, in describing the course of a man's actions, take in the time he sleeps.” There is a fallacy here-the question is not about uctions, but existence. In estimating the duration of a man's life, night is reckoned as well as day, his sleeping as well as his waking hours. “It is appointed unto all men once to die, and after this the judgment." Is it said immediately after? "Whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord; we are willing rather to be absent from the body, and present with the Lord.” With what view this text has been pressed into the service of the soul-sleepers, I cannot conceive. According to the Catholic belief, " the spirit repairs to God who gave it," immediately on leaving the body. But according to the Sleeper's opinion, it continues “ pegged” in the body, fast asleep in the icy arms of death. Is there not here a most clear distinction observable between the soul and the body the former by the act of dying is disengaged from the latter, I maintain, and passes into Hades, where it continues no more asleep, than Lazarus is represented asleep by our Lord in the parable.
As to those texts (p. 406.) which speak of the coming of Christ to. judgement, as an event near at hand; there was a very general expectation amongst our Lord's contemporaries, that his final Advent was just approaching. “He did come, indeed, and did not tarry,” to take vengeance on that generation which had put him to death, he with power," to destroy Jerusalem. But St. Paul warns the Thessa- , lonians (ch. ii. v. 2.) not to be soon shaken in mind, or troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter, as that the day of Christ is at handi” All the alledged texts, however, refer to the time when CHRIST was to come; and have nothing to do, but by the most circuitous inference, and the most forced construction, with the sleep of the soul.
But, it seems, Mr. Archdeacon Blackburne, where your Correspondent quotes him, (p. 407.) says, “if the conscious perception of the sou! is (be) suspended between death and the resurrection, which is the uniform language of the Scriptures, (this is begging, the question, with a witness,) it may be called annihilation, or whatever you please, provided will allow that God can create it anero).” That is as much as to say--grant all I ask, and reason as you like.” So then, the soul when it is summoned to judgement, is not the same, but A NEW one. Here is a fresh creation. Bishop Stillingfleet maintained a strong, but an unavailing conflict against Mr. Locke, when his Lordship asserted, Vol. V. Churchm. Mag. Sept. 1803.
that the same body was to be raised, at the last day, which was laid in the grave after the death of any individual ; and this, in order to preserve the identity of the party. Mr. Locke shewed that this identity did not reside in the body, but in the conscious principle, the soul; that the body, during life, suffers continual change, parting with former and assuming fresh matter; and that scripture no where affirms, that the sume body shall be raised, but rather the contrary; because of that change which is spoken of, and those glorified bodies to which, at least, allusion is made ; but Mr. Locke was not prepared to allow that the soul, too, may be changed that it may be created anew. This brave doctrine was reserved for the more hardy Archdeacon of Cleveland. A new creation constitutes another soul. There must be given to it a new memory, and, what I take to be a contradiction in terms, and an utter absurdity-new consciousness. The vigour of Pythagoras's memory would not be adequate to the exigency of the case. He remembered himself to have been Euphorbus at the siege of Troy, to have wounded Patroclus, and to have been slain by Menelaus ;-however, taking his story for granted, he was the sume man, in either period of his existence, under different outward forms, and different names. But the new created soul, must be made a party in what it never was concerned in; it must remember sins which it never committed, and virtues which it never exemplified; it must be punished for trangressions into which it never fell, or rewarded for good deeds which it never performed. Now here is an utter inversion of all principle; here is a monstrous heap of absurdity, confounding all responsibility of man for his actions, nay, impeaching the justice of God himself. “ Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" O eternal Gon, thou wilt never punish one creature for the offences of another; nor transfer the rewards of piety to a soul which did not exist when that piety was displayed upon earth, benefitting man, and well pleasing unto thee! Thy holy word hath long ago affirmed, that “the soul which sinneth, it shall die;" " the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him; and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him."
I have only to notice another paragraph in your Correspondent's letter, containing the following quotation from the Archdeacon's “ Historical View, &c." with which, says " A Soul-sleeper," " be shuts up his performance.” Truly he shuts up his precious casket so imperfectly, that the lid flies open without an effort; open sesamc !" will expose its contents. If he turn the lock, he obligingly leaves the key in it. “They who preach up an intermediate state as a topic of consolation and encouragement to the virtuous and good, should be able to give a good account how and in what manner the soul acts while it is deprived of the body, and not pretend ignorance, whether it acts by its own natural powers, or by more subtle material organs and instruments fitted to its separate stale.” Now this is but a rude way of calling people to account—" they who preuch up;" but let that pass. The soul, in its disembodied siate, acts by its oun powers. The Scripture speaks of no subtle material organs” adapted to its use in Hades. The soul is a spiritual essence; and I will take upon me, without the smallest difficulty, to point out a spiritual essence which has acted with more force upon matter, than the most powerful of the sons of men were able to