Robert Govett, M. A.
A PUBLISHERS REQUEST
January 12th 1994.
Brother T ...
I have Govetts (photocopies) original notes in the front and back of his own copy of Hades. We have a difficult time reading British handwriting (can you read ours?) and Id like to send the pages to you to decipher for us so that we can incorporate Govetts improved version into one we print. Do you have time to go over 20 pages of handwritten notes and help me place it into proper position in HADES? If so, Ill send it on to you.
May the Lord richly bless and use you in 1994!
Yours for His glory,
WEBSITE EDITORS REPLY
Dear Brother in Christ,
Reference your recent e-mail, I was unable to find anyone able to help me with some of the most difficult sections of the Authors hand-written notes on the pages of his first edition. Some years ago I let brother Jack G see them. He and another brother were unable to help me with this most difficult task! However, both were very interested in reading the authors book, as I am sure multitudes of regenerate believers will be also.
I have the photocopies you sent some years ago. Do you want me to return them? I also own one of the authors books: I bought it off Eddie Howarth. It is now rebound and therefore does not have its original appearance see scanned picture of it below. If you want the loan of this book, I am prepared to sent it to you by recorded delivery. Please let me know A.S.A. P. how circumstances develop at your end.
The following is my attempt - with the Lords help - to incorporate as much of the authors handwritten notes into his initial exposition.
The following quotation was from D. M. Pantons DAWN:
However dim Scripture may be in its portrayal of the intermediate state, it is at least explicit in negativing the current conceptions of Hades, both Roman and Protestant. Nothing short of a betrayal of the original Christian position has been the abandonment, through sheer unbelief, of the clauses in the Creed on Hades and the Ascension: if these clauses are merely figurative and pictorial (the Modernist legitimately retorts) so can be the clauses on the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection. Thus also the modern obliteration of the doctrine of Hades has dislocated, and to a large degree nullified, the doctrine of the Resurrection of the Dead, which, when an intermediate world is eliminated, is made so unnecessary as to slip out of belief. The elimination of a single truth is a hurt done to all revelation. Mr. Govett sets the state after death on its Scriptural foundations: (THYNNE AND JARVIS.)
You might want to make use of the quotation above on the back cover of the book; if you do, it will help multitudes the Lords people to have a better understanding of what Paul meant by the words: if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead (Phil. 3: 11, N.K.J.V.): God will always honour His truth, (Luke 20: 35; Heb. 11: 35)!
In His service,
THE PLACE OF DEPARTED SPIRITS [AND SOULS]
REV. R. GOVETT, JUN., M. A.
OF ST. STEPHENS,
THE STUDY OF THE PROPHETIC SCRIPTURES
ALL BOOKSELLERS IN THE KINGDOM.
Whither go the souls of the righteous and of the wicked at their departure from the body? Popular theology answers - [*Most would answer -] The soul of the righteous to heaven - the soul of the wicked, to hell. But if so, if each at death at once receives its reward or punishment, what need of the judgement? If, as is commonly said, the soul is judged at death, what need of the second judgment? It is not wonderful if, with such views, the notion [*belief] of the Millennium is rejected. For what pleasure could there be in returning to this cold earth after the full brightness and sunshine of the presence of God? And, if the disembodied spirit [soul] **can enter at once into the perfect happiness of heaven, which [what] need to be re-clothed with the body? Thus does one mistaken notion of Scripture affect another, and in a system which is a connected relationship of parts, the dislocation or disarrangement of one, disturbs many more.
[Hand-written comments Its contrary with prophecy. Govett. ALL comments found under this symbol * indicate hand-written words which I can confidently read from Mr. Govetts hand-written notes - the notes which you sent to me attached to photocopied pages of the Book.]
[** NOTE. All comments in blue and inside blue square bracketh [ ] throughout this exposition are mine. They is not to be found in any part of Mr. Govetts commentary. For example, the word soul above. - W.H.T..]
Again, on this hypothesis, another difficulty arises. What became of Christs soul after death? We say, with the Creeds and the Article, He went down into hell. And when inquiry is made, What is meant here by hell? the usual reply is, that it signifies the place of departed spirits.* How, then, are these two opinions to be reconciled? That hell is not the same as heaven, will, I suppose, be admitted; and even with the interpretation that it means the place of departed spirits, it is not reconcilable with the common hypothesis. For we say also, that Christ descended or went down to hell, and that he ascended or went up to heaven; whence we mark, as far as words can mark, an opposition of localities. Thus inconsistent and unreasonable, then, are common ideas.
[Authors hand written notes - If Hades or Hell thus be a place of departed spirits - how can the spirits of the departed go at once to heaven? For it is not even ... by man in general that he went to the place of the lost. - Govett.]
[If Hades or hell thus be the place of departed spirits: how can the spirits of the departed go [up] (immediately after death) to heaven? (See Luke 23: 46; Acts 7: 59. cf. Eccl. 3: 21; 12: 7; Job 34: 14, etc.). It is the animating (life-giving) spirit which returns to God at the time of death? This appears to be to be what the Scriptures teach. W.H.T.]
But a cry is raised, the moment the question is stated respecting the state of the dead, that we can know nothing about it, and must be content to wait. Is it so? This is a question not to be settled by mans opinion. Let us search the Scriptures. Let us pray for light. Let us apply to the Sacred Volume that key of induction which has been able to unlock the most intricate of the sciences. Let us humbly learn, then, what that holy book has declared on this topic. And first a word to the reader. If he should believe with the German school of theology, that the Scripture doctrine on this point is a representation of the popular Jewish notions, and that the whole is a mere figure of speech, of the same quality as the Homeric and Virgilian descriptions of the place of the dead, let him throw aside this Tract, - he will find nothing here to his taste. But if he regards all Scripture as given by inspiration of God - as true to the letter - and as the only unerring information that we can have upon the subjects of which it treats, and especially on one like the present, - then, dismissing all educational prepossessions and prejudices, and with a prayer for the clearing of the mental eye, by the Sacred Spirits power,* let us sit down to the investigation.
[Authors hand written notes - As it says the sin against the Holy Ghost, not to be forgiven either now or ever (See Mark 3: 29; Luke 12: 10) ... it seems to follow that some will be forgiven ... as the ... are now and this ... is supported ... of the angels of Noahs day. - Govett.]
Now, in the first place, by the word Shaoul or Sheol in Hebrew is always and only meant, the place of the dead. Our translators render it often by the grave, sometimes by hell; but it never has the first signification. Another term altogether is used to express the sepulchre, or place of the bodys repose. Sheol signifies always the abode of the soul. As the name is one; so also is its signification in every instance the same. Hence it is that the LXX. invariably render it by the word Hades, and that rendering of theirs is accepted, and so unerringly confirmed, by the writers of the New Testament, as we shall afterwards see.
* * *
The first passage in which the term Sheol occurs, is in Genesis xxxvii.35 [37: 35], where Jacob, on seeing the apparent token of the death of his son Joseph in the bloody coat, declared to his family, when they attempted to comfort him, that he would go down into Sheol to his son mourning. Now, here it is evident that the grave could not be meant. For Joseph was, as he supposed, torn in pieces by a wild beast, while the remains of his corpse lay unburied in some unknown place. It must mean, therefore, that the father expected as a spirit [i.e., as a disembodied soul, - W.H.T.]* to meet his sons spirit [soul] in the place of the dead. And from this we learn, at least, the patriarchal tradition on the subject - that Sheol was the place of assembly for the souls of the departed, and that its situation is somewhere below us.
[* Above I have used bold italics, which are not in the original, and added bracketed comments where the word spirit is replaced by the words disembodied soul. Scripture informs us that there are spirits in Hades, but these creatures are angelic. See also the authors exposition, The Spirits in Prison. In the following sentence, the author has shown that Sheol is the place of the assembly of the souls of the departed! W.H.T.]
But this patriarchal doctrine is also certainly correct: as we find it recognised and authenticated, at the next point of Scripture history, which again introduces the word in question.
* * *
In Numbers 16. we read of the great rebellion under Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, against the authority of Moses. So great was their offence, and so highly did the Most High resent it, that his servant Moses addresses the people before the awful catastrophe of their end, in these words - Hereby ye shall know that the Lord hath sent me to do these works, for I have not done them of mine own mind: If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited with the visitation of all men; then the Lord hath not sent me. But if the Lord make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, and all that appertain unto them, and they go down alive into Sheol ( ** LXX.); then shall ye understand that these men have provoked the Lord. And it came to pass as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that was under them; and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods. They, and all that appertained unto them, went down alive into Hades; and the earth closed upon them; and they perished from among the congregation.
[** The Hebrew is shown here.]
We see therefore at this point, from the testimony of inspiration, that Hades is downward towards the centre of the earth; for it was by the earths opening its mouth that these men were let down into it. Nor is it to be supposed that this was merely a superficial fissure of the surface, just sufficient to bury them alive, or rather to crush them to death beneath it, but it was a descent sheer through the crust of the earth into its centre; for the Scripture assures us that the globe is hollow.*
[* Hand-written note - Proof Pit, hell, gulf. Govett.]
And the new thing which God created here, was not merely that the earth rent, and these men were swallowed up, but that they went ALIVE INTO HADES. For Hades is the place of the dead, and of the soul alone; but these men went thither alive with their bodies; and were in an instant conveyed with fearful speed from the breathing living world of light above, to the place of the dead below. This was indeed a new thing, such as was not before, neither has been since.*
[* Hand-written note - As the grave is a prison to the body - so Hades to the soul: Could a part of a male factor be in the kings palace, and a part in the dungeon? ... As surely as the body is corrupted, so the soul is in Hades and will be so till this is reversed; and when the corrupted body of the wicked rises immortal, they will be ever in prison in Gehenna. - Govett.]
* * *
But there is also
another history which confirms this view most fully, and adds also to our
knowledge of the state of the dead. It
is the much disputed interview of Saul with Samuel at the abode of the witch of
Endor. That portion of it which is material to
the point in hand is here extracted. 1 Samuel
xxvii.7-20 [28: 7-20]: When Saul inquired of the
Lord, he answered him not, neither by dreams, neither by Urim,
nor by prophets. Then
said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman
that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire of her. And
his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor. And Saul disguised
himself, and put on other raiment, and went, and two men with him, and they
came to the woman by night; and he said, I pray thee divine to me by the familiar spirit, and bring me
him up whom I shall name to thee. And the woman said
unto him, Behold
thou knowest what Saul hath done, how he hath cut off those that have familiar
spirits, and the wizards, out of the land; wherefore then layest
thou a snare for my life, to cause me to die? And Saul sware to her
by the Lord, saying, As the Lord liveth, there shall no punishment happen to thee
for this thing. Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up
to thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel. And when the woman
saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake unto Saul, saying,
Why hast thou
deceived me? for thou art Saul. And the king said
unto her, Be not afraid: for what
sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of
the earth. And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he
stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself. And Samuel said unto Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me,
to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me,
and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor
by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me
what I shall do. Then said Samuel, Wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing the Lord is departed
from thee, and is become thine enemy?
And the Lord hath done toa
thee as he spake by me: for the Lord hath rent the kingdom out of thine hand,
and hath given it to thy neighbour, even to David: because thou obeyest not the voice of the Lord, nor executedst
his fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore hath the Lord
done this thing unto thee this day.
Moreover, the Lord also will deliver
[a For which makes no sense, read with several MSS. and the LXX, and Vulg.]
Now, the principal objection made to this account is, that the whole affair was a piece of jugglery and artifice on the part of the reputed witch. It has been said that the woman was probably in a different room from that occupied by Saul and his attendants, and that Saul never saw anything, but took the whole for granted upon the description of the impostor-witch. But this is not only a gratuitous hypothesis, but contradicted by the express declaration of the historian that Saul perceived that it was Samuel. How on any other supposition should he have bowed himself? This is the mark of one standing in the presence and aspect of the person saluted. Nor is it true, as asserted, that he kept his eyes and his person fixed and prostrate upon the earth; for it was not till Samuel had ended his speech and vanished, that he fell along upon the earth.
[* Hand-written comments - The common idea supposes that the soul has to come down from heaven to fetch its clothed body, and then go back to meet the Lord. Hence it is not so much a resurrection as a descent. They are not and cannot be like him [Jesus] till the resurrection and their bodies [are] redeemed: not to be satisfied till they awake up in his likeness. Now they are asleep. This sleep is not broken till the resurrection... - Govett.]
Another hypothesis is, that the apparition was not Samuel, but a spirit that personated him. To which it is sufficient to say, that the Scripture not only gives no hint of such a thing, but declares, in contradiction to such a theory, again and again, that it was Samuel, and that Saul knew it, and that Samuel spoke the words attributed to him, and that the words attributed to him are the words of Samuel. The presumption on which this hypothesis is founded, is also unsound. It is probable or conceivable, say its advocates, that God should permit an evil woman or evil spirits to bring up from the dead one of his servants? We reply, that our conceptions are no measure of realities - that if we were to trust to such presumptions, we should decide with far greater force of argument that in the dominions of an all-perfect and all-powerful God evil could not exist. By like reasoning we might conclude that the wicked could not have power to take away the life of one of his servants - for that is a far greater injury than simply to evoke them for a while from the dead. And if we say that after death we must suppose that Gods saints are in peace; be it answered, that this is true, and asserted in the very history before us; yet this does not destroy the supposition that by certain unlawful arts (for that very reason amongst others forbidden) it is as possible for a wicked man to evoke the spirit [soul] of a servant of the Lord after his death, as it is to take away his life on earth. But the final answer is, that presumption and theory must not be adduced as evidence against fact. And if fact is capable of being at all expressed, then it is clearly announced that Samuel did rise and answer to Sauls interrogatories. And if this be the testimony of the verses before us, it is unerring fact, declared on the word of God.
On such principles, let us see whether the whole scene may not be illustrated. That there is something real intended by the terms sorcery, witchcraft, necromancy, or divination, by answers elicited from the spirits [souls] of the departed, will be evident if we consider, that God himself commanded that wizards and witches should be put to death. Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live, Exodus xxii. 18 [22: 18]. There shall not be found among you any one that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee. Now, if the words here used do not describe a real crime of a heinous dye, distinct altogether from simple fraud for the purpose of acquiring money under false pretences, then there is much solemnity used respecting what does not appear to merit it. For though the pretence to tell fortunes, as practised by the gypsies of the present day, be indeed a sin, yet it does not appear a sin of deeper dye than that by which the begging impostor pretends to be stricken with sickness or poverty in order to attract compassion, and collect alms. Much less would it be regarded as so great an abomination, that because of it in an especial manner the Canaanites were driven from their land.
How, indeed, is it so lightly assumed in the present day, that witchcraft and sorcery are nonentities, even by those who acknowledge the inspiration of the Scriptures? For are there not evil spirits existing around us? The Saviour has assured us of it. And have not these spirits powers superior to man? The Old and New Testament alike prove this. May there not then be a means of communicating with them, and gaining their assistance either by force or compact? To say that such a thing is not known now, is no answer. Were there no oracles of old, because they have long ceased? But we can point to the reason why they are not now obtruded on our notice. That persons of this class still exist, is as sure as that witchcraft is named among the works of the flesh in the 5th of Galations. That they keep themselves close, and are not beheld, and are few in number, is owing to the wide spread of the Gospel: for the same cause that made the devils subject to the seventy disciples, is still powerful to oppose and drive them away.*
[* The author has written on the top of this page: Jesus justified in the spirit, seen of angels.]
It cannot then be said, that granting that there is such a crime as sorcery, or a real league and intercourse with rebel spirits, that the present instance was not such a case; for her act was something for which the woman feared death, and expected it, if discovered. Therefore she was of the same class as those whom Saul had formerly put to death. And those whom Saul put to death he did on the authority of God, which enacted that those who dealt with familiar spirits should be put to death. Now, if this dealing with demons was only farcical, and mere jugglery or ventriloquism, then was the sentence severe beyond the temporal desert of the crime. Apply a like principle to the actor of the present day. If it were just that a person should be put to death for merely pretending to sorcery, while the law denounced that punishment only on the actual and bonβ fide converse with evil spirits; then were it equally just to put one to death for pretending to kill, because the law enacted that every murderer should be put to death. The pretended performance of the act is as far from being included in the sentence of the law, in the one case, as in the other. If the intercourse with spirits were not real, the act threatened by the law was not the same as the act performed, and could not entail the punishment affixed to the specified transgression.
It follows, then, that there is such a thing as being in compact with infernal spirits, for God has forbidden it, and an impossibility he would not forbid: Next, that the case before us was a real case of sorcery, from the womans fears respecting herself, and the former executed enactments of the law against her associates in like wickedness. Nor is there room to allege that this fear was merely pretended, like the rest of the scene; for, after she had discovered who her visitor was, and the hurry and surprise of the whole business, and the evident consternation of the king, had drawn out her whole sympathies, and the oath of Saul had secured her against punishment, and destroyed any necessity for concealment or desire of it, she still maintains that in acceding to his request she had put her life in his hand, verse 21.*
[* The author has written on the top of this page: Much significance is hereby given to baptism as an emblem of death and burial; the departed soul goes under the water at death and has to ... at the resurrection!]
But how shall we account for the womans fright immediately before the coming of the apparition, which she professed to be intending to procure? And why did the vision of the Elohim or gods, and of Samuel himself, appear to her before they were seen by Saul and his attendants? It may, I think, be accounted for thus:- Suppose the place at which they met with the witch to be beside some deep cavern, or pit, or well, and that the witch was stationed close to this pit, so long as she uttered her incantations; while they were at a few yards distance. Nor would such a supposition be entirely gratuitous, for Endor signifies the well of the circle, and might be so named from its having been, both in former days and at that time, a place peculiarly celebrated for the deeds of sorcerers, whose use of the magic circle, as a reputed defence for themselves during their incantations, is popularly known and often alluded to. If we adopt this hypothesis, the whole will be capable of explanation. The Scripture does not indeed tell us what means she used to call up the departed spirit [soul]. It is purposely silent. It did not intend to satisfy our curiosity, as it forbade the Jews to enquire what were the rites with which the Gentiles, whose land they possessed, once served their gods. This being granted, we see why she beheld the Elohim and Samuel himself, before her visitors. And if it be enquired, why she was frightened at the appearance of the gods she described, or what we are to understand by these things? we may reply, that they were probably good angels 1st. Because the Chaldee calls the Elohim in this passage the angel of the Lord; 2dly, Because the word is by the LXX in other places translated by angels, and that translation is by inspiration recognised and adopted (Heb. ii.7 [2: 7]); and, lastly, Because, as we know they guided the holy soul of Lazarus after death to Abrahams bosom, in Hades (Luke xvi.22 [16: 22]), so, it is not improbable that they should conduct the holy soul of Samuel from the same place. And this will account with some degree of probability for the fright of the woman. For it is probable, that none of her former practices had led her to evoke a righteous soul from its abode, and was only therefore accustomed to the presence of dark and malignant spirits; so that the appearance of the angels in their sudden splendour terrified and affrighted even one accustomed to the ordinary course of such diabolical arts.
At the same time,
either by a sudden thought flashing through her mind, or by some communication
from an invisible being, she either conjectured or knew that her querist was
the king of
It is probable, then, that the witch, terrified by the angels whose appearance she had witnessed, deserted her post and ceased her spells, and had need to be reassured by Saul in order to proceed with them. Be not afraid, for what sawest thou? are words likely to be addressed to one about to abandon her purpose through fear. We suppose, then, that the woman, thus encouraged, again took her stand, and at length warned Saul that the object of his desire was ascending from the pit, beside which she stood. Thereupon he naturally asks, What form is he of? and the sorceresss answer is that given above.*
[* At the top of this page the author has: It does not describe her spells.]
Immediately after ascending above the level of the earth he becomes visible to Saul and his attendants; and Saul recognised the features and knew the voice, and bowed himself as in the presence of one whom he acknowledged in awe and authority his superior.
The words that follow agree exactly with the situation and character of Samuel Why hast thou disquieted me to bring me up? From these words, strength is derived to our former conclusion, that the place of departed souls is below, in the hollow of the earth; and the inference is also extended - for we learn that the spirits [i.e. angelic creatures and souls] of the just occupy a part at least of the same locality. This is yet further corroborated by the words of Samuel To-morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me. Whence (since Saul was certainly, and his other sons were probably evil, and Jonathan and Samuel were certainly holy) we gather, that the place of the souls of the righteous and of the wicked is to a certain extent the same. So that it might be said of Saul that he was with Samuel; though his lot as a condemned transgressor was directly the opposite of that of the holy prophet. But of this more hereafter.
We learn, again,
that the abode of the righteous in this their habitation is one of peace,
and that [for] a
disembodied [soul to] return to the earth as it is now is a disquiet - a destruction, that is, of peace
before enjoyed. The reply of Saul, and
the rejoinder of Samuel, each suit exactly the respective former characters of
the king and the prophet. Samuel rebukes
his folly who
should expect aid from a human spirit [or, a spirit speaking through a human soul] when
God himself was departed from him. He
then proceeds as a prophet to foretell the doom of Saul, and the succession of
the kingdom, and the fate of the battle - specifying not only Sauls death but
that of his sons. Now here again is an
unanswerable argument, that the speaker was the prophet and not a demon
personating him. For the Scripture
affirms that evil spirits have not the capacity to predict truly [Isaiah xlii. xliv. xlv. [42., 44., 45] Therefore this prediction, being both clear,
circumstantial, embracing a variety of particulars, are fulfilled by the fact,
was the discovery of the Most High to the mind of the prophet, either
immediately or by means of the angels his conductors. Again, Samuel appeals to a former prophecy of
his, delivered to Saul while yet alive The Lord hath done to thee as he spake my me; for the Lord
hath rent the kingdom out of thine hand; and hath given it to thy neighbour,
even to David, because thou obeyest not his voice,
nor executedst his fierce wrath on Amalek. Now this is a reference the most direct to a
circumstance in the life of Saul while Samuel was yet alive; and is to be found
in the 15th. chapter
of this book. There we read that God
sent Saul to destroy Amalek utterly - which
commission he executed only in part, and spared Agag
their king. For this cause Samuel was
indignant, and even when the king confessed that he had sinned, refused to
return with him. And as Samuel turned to go away, he (Saul) laid
hold upon the skirt of his mantle, and it rent. And Samuel
said unto him, The Lord hath rent the
Lastly, the whole tenor of the speech is such as would not have proceeded from a cunning witch, or a lying spirit. Both the one and the other, in place of bold rebuke, would have uttered glozing lies, instead of confessing their impotence to aid the querist against the power and enmity of God, and the implied folly therefore, as well as wickedness of consulting them - would rather have supported Saul in his rebellion, or have bid him curse God and die.*
[* The author has written on the top of
these pages (18, 19) the words:
The Pharisees thought of Hades.
* * *
Let us now pass to
the consideration of a passage of great moment, to be produced from the New
Testament. It is found in the first sermon of St. Peter, and runs thus -
Ye men of Israel, hear these words:
Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles, and wonders,
and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also
know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God,
ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain, whom God hath
raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that
he should be holden of it. For David speaketh
concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face; for he is at my right
hand that I should not be moved.
Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover, also,
my flesh shall rest in hope; Because thou will not leave me in hell [Gk. Hades], neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see
corruption. Thou hast made known to me
the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance. Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto
you of the patriarch David, that
he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that
God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to
the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He, seeing this
before, spake of the resurrection of the Christ
[of the Messiah,] that his soul was not left
in hell [Hades], neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up whereof we all
are witnesses. Therefore, being by the
right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the
Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens:
but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand
until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
Therefore, let all the house of
But the force of the argument is lost from the words having become familiar to our ear. Let it then be presented in other words. The descent of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost had caused all the disciples then present to speak with new tongues. The sound of so many voices speaking together in tongues unknown to the listeners, naturally drew a great concourse of persons, who questioned amongst themselves what could be the cause of so unusual occurrence. One cause was suggested by some scoffers, - that it was only the effect of intoxication. Thereupon Peter stood up to reply, and made answer, that it was by no means probable that so many could all be intoxicated together at so early an hour as nine in the morning. But he assured them that the cause of the event, which so excited their astonishment, was that thing which was spoken by the prophet Joel - the outpouring of the Holy Ghost, - I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy. St. Peters answer, therefore, is in substance this, - The event you have witnessed is due, not to the intoxication of wine, but to the effusion of the Holy Spirit. Hence, those have misunderstood the scope of the passage, who suppose that St. Peter quotes the whole of this prophecy as then fulfilled. But it is not so. He does not say, Now is fulfilled; but, This is an event due to the same cause, and is of precisely the same nature, as that which, in the last day, shall receive its literal accomplishment.
After this rebutment of the objection, the Apostle then proceeds to the more immediate object of his proof. He lays first as his basis - the undeniable miracles of the man generally known by them under the name of Jesus the Nazarite * ( Greek.*) Now miracles such as his, they all acknowledged, were a testimony on the part of God to a commission received from himself. But this Jesus was dead. Did not that destroy the evidence arising from his miracles? No - it was by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God. They might have anticipated that the Christ or Messiah must die, if they had only attended to their own prophetic writings. In proof of which he cites a passage from the Psalms which evidently implied upon its very face, the death and resurrection of a certain Holy One specified therein. It implied his death - for his body should not see corruption, nor his soul be left in Hades.
[* It is a pity that our translators have not rendered the Nazarite, wherever it occurs. If they had done so, its prophetic force would have been seen.]
But in order to evade the force of this, the Jews might reply Aye, we know that many of our nation understand this of the Messiah, but now we see that we were wrong - it must be meant of David himself. The Apostle then advances to drive them from this stronghold. It cannot be David, he argues - for the Psalm speaks of one whose flesh was not to see corruption. Now though David, as they all knew, died, and so far fulfilled the prophecy; yet his being buried (which probably did not take place till corruption was begun), and certainly his close and fastened sepulchre remaining among them up to their time, was a clear proof that Davids flesh, like all his fathers had yielded to natural laws, and seen corruption: If any doubted, they might open the tomb and judge for themselves. It could not, therefore, be David that was intended in this Psalm. But it was a natural and easy deduction from the acknowledged principle that David was a prophet, that this Psalm should apply to the Messiah of whom all prophecy was full, and in order to prepare the minds of men for his reception, it was given at the first.*
[* At the top of this page (22), the author has written: See also Pauls ... at Antioch of Pisidia Acts 13: 34-35.]
not only did it apply to the Messiah, but it proved also that Jesus [of
[* The author has on page 23:- See - the fire hear - the tongues.]
* At the top of this page (24), the author has written: If one member suffer all the members suffer with it. Applied to ... and men.]
The two things are set side by side - non-corruption of the body, and the restoration of the soul from Hades - which were fulfilled in Christ, and could not be fulfilled in David; therefore it follows, by implication of a strong kind, that, on the other side, corruption of the body answers to the sojourn of the soul in Hades.
But this may be also cleared yet further, from the consideration that Christ is the forerunner, and that it behoved him to be in all things made like to his brethren. As, therefore, he was like them in his death and the disposal of his body, so also in the disposal of his soul. He was to be a man in every point of his history which was compatible with his being sinless; and as his descending to the place of the dead did not destroy that purity of his nature, so it follows that to this also he submitted.*
[* At the top of this page (25), the author has written: "2 [two] are in heaven. Enoch & Elias: but they have never died. The only two of which it is said, he went up into heaven. The ... from the High Priests atonement.]
* * *
But this, though
it seems to me satisfactory, is not left to inferential proof alone. It
is directly affirmed more than once on holy writ Now that he ascended, what is it but that he
descended first into the lower parts of the earth. He that descended
is the same also that ascended far above all heavens, Eph. iv.
9, 10 [4: 9, 10]. We know that when Christ descended he went
down into Hades; and Hades, it has been shewn, is situated in the lower parts of the earth, and is the place of the dead. His descent here spoken of cannot be simply
his descent from heaven, for that were a descent only to the earth, but this is
a descent to the "lower parts" of the
earth itself.* But again, it is more
clearly, if possible, affirmed in
[* On this page (26) the author has written: Why the disobedient angels (of Noahs day) confined in the centre of earth rather than of any other planet? Under ... them as taking human nature and ... all in plain. As found among ... men they perished at the flood and were confined in the ... prison.]
* * *
respecting Christs visiting the spirits in prison has been fully discussed in
the first dissertation appended to Isaiah Unfulfilled. But another passage has yet to be
adduced. The penitent thief petitioned of
Christ Jesus, that he might be remembered, when Christ came, not into
his kingdom, but in his
kingdom ([See Greek.]
). Our Lords
reply was Verily I say unto
thee, To-day shalt thou be with me in
[* On this page (27), the author has written: Agrees with what is said of Samuel. It is disquiet to ascend without the body.
* At the top of this page (28), the author has: A third heaven. Shall a ... on heaven be added?]
* By the authors use of the word spirit here, I understand he means a disembodied soul. That is, a soul not clothed with a resurrected body of flesh and bones (Luke 24: 39) - an immortal and un-corruptable body, described in scripture as: a spiritual body (1 Cor. 15: 44.) W.H.T..
* * *
I proceed then to
show, that this general receptacle of the dead is divided into two portions at
least, one for the righteous, and one for the wicked. This we learn from our Lords parable [discourse] of Dives and
Lazarus. That this was a real
transaction, Greswell in his work on the parables has
well reasoned, especially from the words I have five brethren, which limits the story to an individual case. In this parable we see what becomes of the soul of the righteous
and the soul of the ungodly at death. The beggar died, and was carried by angels
into Abrahams bosom. This, it has been shown, is in Paradise; and
Paradise is in Hades, for
But another topic is involved in this parable. The rich man, and Lazarus, and Abraham, are spoken of as possessing still the various parts of the body, such as we have them now. Abrahams bosom, Lazarus finger, and Dives tongue, are all spoken of. How, then, can this be? Men do not descend with their bodies into Hades! No - but the Scriptures tells us (a point which is lost sight of), that man is made up, not of two parts only, as is ordinarily supposed, but of three. I pray God your whole spirit, and soul, and body be preserved blameless, 1 Thess. v. 23. [5: 23]. The soul and body (Scripture assures us)* man possesses in common with the brutes: he is distinguished from them by possessing also a spirit. Now the soul, we may also learn, is an exact counterpart in appearance to the body; and hence, when the soul of Samuel appeared, it was the exact counterpart of his body, and when the soul of Moses was seen on the Mount of Transfiguration, that was also the counterpart of his body. And suppose the soul to be so far material and organised as to be capable of suffering pain from the subtle element of fire, and the whole is accounted for.
[* Opposite these words (30), the author has written the word: Proof.]
* * *
This place of the wicked dead is called in Scripture by many names - Death, Destruction (or Abaddon, See Hebrew), Corruption, the Pit, Tartarus, the Great Deep, the Bottomless Pit.
Hades and Abaddon (the place of the wicked dead) are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied, Prov. xxvii. 20 [27: 20]. Hence Abaddon or Destruction must be a place, for like Hades it is never full; and these two names are frequently found in the same connection, we infer that as Hades is certainly the place of the dead, so Abaddon is a part of that locality, and its very name specifies for which the two classes of human spirits [souls] it is prepared. So Job xxvii. 6 [27: 6] Hades is naked before him, and Abaddon hath no covering. Here it is stated that Hades or Sheol (which in Hebrew signifies the covered place) is yet open to the eye of God, and that he beholds the lost and the torments of Abaddon.
And in another place Job, describing the difficulty of finding knowledge, adds Abaddon and Death say, We have heard the fame hereof with our ears.
The connection here is such as to substantiate what has been formerly advanced.
So Psalm lxxxviii. 12 [88: 12] Shall thy loving kindness be declared in the grave? Or thy faithfulness in Abaddon?
Again, Proverbs xv. 11 [15: 11] Hades and Abaddon are before Jehovah; How much more, then, the hearts of the children of men?
Where the connection again confirms the former conclusions, and proves that Abaddon, as well as Hades, is a place.
It is also evident, from many passages, that it is a prison, or place of custody, with bars, and gates, and fetters, or bands. Hence the answer of Jehovah unto Job: Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? Or, hast thou walked in search of the DEPTH? Have the GATES OF DEATH been opened unto thee? Or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?
It is called Death, Psalm vi. 5 [6: 5]; and the reference is here, I believe, to the time when the righteous have all risen at the first resurrection, and none but the wicked are left in Hades.*
[* Indicated at this place (32) the author has: Should be (not ... but ...) How can the wicked forget God then?]
For in Death (the place of the lost spirit) there is no remembrance of thee. In Hades who will give thee thanks?
So Psalm cxvi. 3 [116: 3] The sorrows of Death compassed me, The pains of Hades got hold of me.
Again, of the harlot it is said, Prov. vii. 27 [7: 27] Her house is the way to Hades: Going down to the chambers of Death.
It is named the Pit, Psalm 28: 1 - "Be not silent to me, lest if thou be silent to me, I become like those that go down into the Pit."
So it is said of the fearful destiny of Antichrist, Isaiah xiv. 15 [14: 15] Thou shall be brought down to Hades: To the sides of the Pit.
* * *
proceeding further, let us identify the Old and New Testament testimony
concerning the place of the dead. Here,
then, the words of the Redeemer I have the keys of Hades and of Death. This exactly corresponds to
the Old Testament description of both Hades and Death, as places of custody
enclosed with gates, of which the Saviour has the keys. To a similar effect, Matt. xvi. 18 [16: 18], On
this rock will I build my church,
and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. The sense commonly given to this * is at variance with the whole tenor of
Scripture. Hades is not hell [i.e.,
the lake of fire- the eternal place of the lost. W.H.T.], nor does it signify the place of wicked spirits,
though hell, and hellish, are
in English synonymous with the place of the devils,
This has arisen from the confusion introduced by translating different
words having different ideas, by the same term.
The promise our Lord makes here, has nothing to
do with the perpetuity of his church on earth, or its being kept from sin and
it asserts is, that Hades, though now a place of custody to the souls of the
righteous, shall not always be so; but that Christ will by his word redeem them
thence; and that the resurrection shall restore his church to life, so that the
gates of the place of the dead, shall not prevail to keep back any from
glory. It is therefore parallel with the
remarkable passage of Zechariah, the former part of which was fulfilled at the first
coming of the Lord, while its latter part awaits its accomplishment at the
Redeemers return, Rejoice
greatly O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy king
cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an
ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. And
he (LXX.) shall cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and
the horse from
* On the top of this page the author has written: Proof of this from the use of gates in scripture. David at ... - Sampson. Paul.
Hades, then, is the general abode of the dead, when its signification is given indefinitely; it is that place to which every soul departs at death - the wicked and the righteous together. Let not his (Jacobs) hoar head go down to Hades in peace, 1 Kings ii. 6 [2: 6]. Let us swallow them up alive - as Hades; and whole - as those that go down into the pit, Prov. i. 12 [1: 12]. The rich man died and was buried, and in Hades he lifted up his eyes. Ye shall bring down my grey hairs with sorrow to Hades, Gen. xlii. 38 [42: 38]. To morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me, 1 Sam. xxviii. 19 [18: 19].
That it is in a place of custody, may be further proved by those texts which speak of it as having gates and bars - as Job xvii. 16 [17: 16] They shall go down to the bars of Hades, when our rest together is in the dust. I said in the height of my days, I shall go to the gates of Hades, Isa. xxxviii. 10 [38: 10]. Thou that liftest me up from the gates of Hades. And well may it be regarded as a prison. The prisons of old, were in general, deep dark pits in the midst of the fortress, and beneath its habitable part. Precisely, then, such an analogical position does Hades sustain. It is situated in the deep centre of the globe - which we should reach (if our labours were capable of being pursued far enough) by digging - as God himself declares Though they dig into Hades, thence shall mine hand take them, Amos ix. 2 [9: 2]. Around it are the massive walls of the world, and the vast deep whence the ocean takes its rise. What fitter as a place of custody? Accordingly, the abode of the wicked at least, is a place of darkness. If I wait, Hades is my house; I have made my bed in the darkness, Job xvii. 13 [17: 13]. Let me alone, that I may take comfort a little, before I go whence I shall not return, even to the land of darkness and the shadow of death, without any order, and where the light is as darkness, Job x. 20-22 [10: 20-22]. Hence also the expression, the shadow of death.
It is a place (in general) of silence. Psalm xciv. 17 [94: 17] Unless Jehovah had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence; where the LXX. translate it by Hades. And still more evidently are they correct in so rendering it in the following passage The dead praise not Jehovah, neither any that go down to silence. *
[* Indicated here, at the top of the page (37) the author has written: How the time?]
It is a secret place. Man dieth and wasteth away; he giveth up the ghost [spirit], and where is he? As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth, and drieth up; so man lieth down and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep. O that thou wouldst hide me in Hades, that thou wouldst keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldst appoint me a set time, and remember me, Job xiv. 10-13 [14: 10-13].
It is below the fountains of the great deep, and is placed at that connection, by Jehovah himself. Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea, or hast thou walked in the search of the depth? Have the gates of Death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death? Job xxxviii. 16, 17 [38: 16, 17]. From the vast abyss below, the waters of the deluge burst forth The fountains of the great deep were broken up, Gen. viii. 2 [8: 2]; and to it the waters retired again at the subsidence of the flood. Jacob, in his dying prophecy respecting his sons, blessed Joseph with blessings of the deep that lieth under - because the great deep is the fountain of the sea, and from the sea comes the rain that waters the earth, and makes it fruitful. In another place, Christ, representing himself as the divine Wisdom, speaks of Gods government of this part of his dominions, as amongst the wonders of his power. When he prepareth the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass on the face of the depth: when he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep, Prov. viii. 27, 28 [8: 27, 28].
One portion of it is a place of punishment. This we learn from the magnificent dirge over fallen Antichrist, contained in Isaiah, chap. xiv. . So from Job 24: 19 Drought and heat consume the snow waters; so doth Hades those that have sinned.
But which part of this depth is the place of wicked souls? The Scripture in several places informs us - and always in one uniform tone. A fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest Hades, Deut. xxxii. 32: 22 [32: 22]. Great is thy mercy toward me, and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest Hades, Psalm lxxxvi. 13 [86: 13]. Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit; in darkness, in the deeps: thy wrath lieth hard upon me, thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves. Psalm lxxxviii. 6, 7 [88: 6, 7].
In the Revelation
this place is called the Abyss, or bottomless pit; (
the word whereby the LXX. Render
); and twice also it is employed, with the same
signification, in the New Testament. Thus,
when the multitude of evil spirits conversed with our Lord from the body of the
[* At the top of this page (39), the author has written: Keys of Hades and of death, Perhaps by death, Gehenna, and by "Hades" the peculiar place of the dead generally. Yet this is called a lake, Rev. 20.]
To this also agrees the scenes at the opening of the Millennium. I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, Rev. xx. 1, 2 [20: 1, 2]. Moreover, from the declaration of Scripture that it is the lowest or innermost Hades which is the place of the wicked dead - we see why it is called the abyss or bottomless pit. It is the innermost of the concentric circles of the earth, and a circle has no bottom.
It is called Tartarus by St. Peter God spared not angels that sinned [See my Dissertation on the Sons of God, in Isaiah Unfulfilled], but cast them down to hell (Tartarus See Greek.), and delivered them to chains of darkness to be reserved unto judgement, 2 Pet. ii. 4 [2: 4].*
[* On this page (40) the author has: It seems from Rev. 5: 13 that somehow the knowledge of what takes place on high is communicated to those in Hades.]
It is a place of fire. Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them, in like manner giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire, Jude 7. The same is evident from the parable of the rich man and Lazarus I am tormented in this flame. It is the present and temporary place of the wicked, as distinguished from their eternal abode.
It is thus constantly and clearly distinguished in the New Testament. But this distinction is lost to an English reader altogether, from our translators having rendered Hades and Gehenna by the same word. But the New Testament makes always this difference, - that HADES is the present place of the dead generally - GEHENNA is the future and eternal place of the wicked dead alone, when, after the second or general resurrection, they have put on their incorruptible bodies. It is not mentioned in many places of Scripture; but where it is, its punishment is spoken of as eternal. Whoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire (literally, the Gehenna of fire,) Matt. v. 22 [5: 22]. If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell, (Gehenna), Matt. v. 29, 30 [5: 29, 30]. Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but fear him which is able to destroy both body and soul in hell, (Gehenna), Matt. x: 28 [10: 28]. * Here not only the part over which man has some sort of power, is compared with both, over which God has power, but the short-lived power of the one is compared with the eternity of the other, as shall now be shown. If thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into Gehenna, into the fire that never shall be quenched, where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched, Mark ix. 43, 44 [9: 43, 44]. See also the following verses, where this sentiment is thrice solemnly repeated and enforced. A parallel passage to this is Matt. xviii. 8, 9 [18: 8, 9]. The same word, and in a similar connection, occurs in Luke xxiii. 15 [23: 15]. Woe unto you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him two-fold more the child of Gehenna than yourselves. By the child of Gehenna is evidently meant one fit for eternal wrath. Only one other passage can be found, except in places parallel to the words of our Lord already quoted - and that is where St. James describes the tongue It is set on fire of hell (See Greek. ), James iii. 6 [3: 6]. Now, since Gehenna does not (as I believe) yet exist, and neither this word or Hades is used in Scripture as we use the words hell, or hellish, or diabolical, to signify that which is prompted by evil spirits - its meaning appears to be, that sins of the tongue shall be avenged by the fire of eternal wrath; as we read of the rich mans tongue, that it was tormented already in the flame of Hades.
[* On this page (41) the author has: ... probably so called days, Caloin Acts 11: 27. from its insoluable nature. Heberw word means ... to ask or demand. As Enoch and Elijah already alive, and then cast down. Elijah type of the 1st. resurrection ...]
* * *
distinction between the present place of the dead and the future place of the
lost, will now explain a different passage in Rev. xx. . DEATH and HADES
delivered up the dead which were in them; and they were judged
every man according to their works. And
Death and Hades were cast into the
[* At the top of this page (43) the author has written: What is meant by paradise? See Kittinga in Art. ... p. 70. 3 Paradices - of Adam, of Abraham, of God. The Jews even now call it ... ]
With the view above given correspond also the words of the prophet Isaiah xxiv. 21, 22 [24: 21, 22] And it shall come to pass in that day, That Jehovah shall punish the host of the high ones in the height, And the kings of the earth upon the earth; And their multitude shall be gathered as prisoners into the pit, and in the dungeon shall they be shut up. And after many generations shall be their visitation.
This is spoken of the host of evil spirits assembled with Antichrist and his host against the Lord Jesus, at the great day of his return. They, as well as their master Satan, shall be shut up in the pit for the thousand years; and after many generations - even a thousand years - shall be their ultimate visitation and sentence.*
[* On this page (44), the author has written:
* * *
But I now offer a
few words respecting the state of the righteous souls. Less is said of
them, but still enough for us to sketch their general state of thought and
We discover, however, from other passages, that their peace, though great, and their happiness, though considerable, is still not complete and final. We learn from Rev. vi. 9-11 [6: 9-11], that there is a state of waiting and longing desire for Christs return, as the day of their complete joy When he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls [I have shown, I trust, that it is possible for souls to be seen] of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony that they held: and they cried with a loud voice, How long, O lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet a little season, until their fellow-servants also, and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
Similar in its
doctrine, if I interpret it aright, is a passage of
[* On this page (48), the author has: Possible nay probable that the understanding will be quite asleep as in estacy - and in the case of praying in the Spirit.]
Yet a formidable objection may be started against this doctrine. It may be said, that the Psalms, the prayer of Hezekiah, and other passages, assert of Hades, that it is not a place of praise, and that none there celebrate Gods mercy: while a verse in Ecclesiastes asserts, that the dead know not anything, Eccl. ix. 5 [9: 5]. With regard to the dead being ignorant of everything, this, I conceive, must be meant, if the above passages be true, of their ignorance of events passing on the earth - and this therefore, as I doubt not, is absolute. Nor does it militate against the idea, that the soul of Samuel declared to Saul what should come to pass, - since we have only to suppose that God put into his mind the words he should speak, at the very time he stood before Saul. And with regard to Hades not being a place of praise, it will be probably found by the reader, that such passages refer to the abode of the wicked in Hades, and to that time, when, at the Lords coming, the righteous dead are resurrected from its custody. . . . . .*[*Nothing has been left out here] Then it will be indeed true, that Hades will not be a place of praise; none but the wicked being left in its dungeon.*
[** I cannot read any of the authors writing on page (49).- W.H.T..]
* * *
That the righteous shall be redeemed thence at the Lords coming, many places of Scripture declare. Take the following: Jehovah killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to Hades, and bringeth up. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory, (Rev. iii. 21 [3: 21]); for the pillars of the earth are the Lords, and he hath set the world upon them. The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken in pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them; the Lord shall judge the ends of the earth; and shall give strength unto his King, and exalt the horn of his Anointed, (Messiah - See Hebrew) 1 Sam.ii. 6, 8, 10 [2: 6, 8, 10]. The words last quoted define the period at which the former take place; and to those announcements is added, in the 9th verse, the declaration, that then the wicked shall be silent in darkness, words which correspond exactly with the principles just laid down. So again, not to quote the Psalms, it is said in Hosea xiii. 13, 14 [13: 13, 14] I will ransom thee from the power of Hades; I will redeem thee from death; (for the first resurrection is peculiarly the resurrection of Christ) I will raise him up at the last day.
If this be admitted, we shall find an easy explanation of a very difficult passage in Ecclesiastes, - Better is a poor and wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished. For out of prison he cometh to reign: whereas also he that is born in his kingdom becometh poor, Eccl. iv. 13, 14 [4. This, as it stands, does not give any intelligible sense to the concluding verse. But a more accurate translation of that verse is the following: Better is a poor and wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished; for from the house of the prisoners (the one) shall come forth to reign; whereas, (the other), he that was born to his royalty shall become poor.b The interpretation of this is now simple. The poor and spiritually wise child, after his soul has been awhile detained among the spirits [souls] in prison or custody, shall come forth at the first resurrection to reign with Christ: whereas the king, old and spiritually foolish, though he was born on earth to a kingdom, shall become poor, and be cast into the house of the prisoners: and so their respective destinies shall just be reversed; except that the portion of the child is royalty for ever, while the others temporary royalty is countervailed by perpetual poverty and imprisonment. Well therefore may Solomon, by the Spirit, say that the childs lot is preferable by far. *
[b See footnote.]
[* On page (50), the author has written: D. Roberts in his corrections of the E. Vers ... Nichols, 1794 gives it ... that man cometh out of prison to reign, who ... his reign ... was born poor .]
So, again, Job testifies As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up; so man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep, Job. xiv. 11, 12 [14: 11, 12]. If this be understood of the righteous, and the first resurrection, it is true; for at Christs coming the heavenly bodies shall pass away; the stars shall fall down from heaven. Or if it be meant of the general resurrection of man, it is also true; for then the heaven and the earth fled away from the face of him that sat upon the throne, and there was found no place for them. *
[* On page (51) the author has: The course ... of the weather ... and its rivers ... 31. 15. Job 2. 3.]
But I wish to notice two more objections. And first, one that appears fatal, from Eccl. iii. 21 [3: 21] Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, or the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth? But this verse, by translating a particle of two of its words according to the sense commonly expressed by it, gives the sense as follows Who knoweth whether the spirit of man goeth upward, or whether the spirit of the beast goeth downward to the earth?c Thus it is translated by the LXX. and Vulgate - thus it was translated in the Geneva Bible; - and thus Boothroyd renders it Who knoweth the spirit of the children of men? doth it ascend upwards? or the spirit of brutes? doth it descend downwards to the earth?
[c See authors footnote. LXX. Quis novit si spirtus filiorum Adami ascendat sursum, et si spiritus jumentorum descendat deorsum? Vulg.]
Another passage has been quoted as opposed to the view given above then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return to God who gave it, Eccl. xii. 7 [12: 7].* But it is difficult to see how this controverts the doctrine, since God is everywhere present, and it is admitted, that to put off the body, is to enter more immediately into his presence.
[* Here is proof that the animating spirit of man is what returns to God at the time of death. Mr. Govett, by using the word "spirit" and "soul" alternatively throughout his exposition, cannot deal with this statement satisfactorily. W.H.T.]
If any need further proof of the place of the dead being below, in the earths central regions, let them consider a little such places as the following: A fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest Hades, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains, Deut. xxxii. 22 [32: 22]. Here, as usual, Hades is spoken of as beneath, and the place of the wicked dead as the lowest Hades - while it is also mentioned, in connection with the foundations of the mountains, being situated beneath their roots.
Again As the cloud is consumed and vanisheth away, so he that goeth down to Hades shall come up no more, Job vii. 9 [7: 9].
It is high as heaven - what canst thou do? deeper than HADES - what canst thou know? Job xi. 8 [11: 8].
So Isaiah, speaking of the rejoicing of the spirits of the saints at the first resurrection, says Shout, ye lower parts of the earth; break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein, for the Lord hath redeemed Jacob and glorified himself in Israel, Isa. xliv. 23 [44: 23].
Her house, says Solomon of the harlot, is the way to Hades, going down to the chambers of Death, Prov. vii. 27 [7: 27].
The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from Hades beneath, Prov. xv. 24 [15: 24].*
[* On this page (53), the author has: I will come again and receive you unto myself. Where I am there also may my servant be.]
I made the nations, writes Ezekiel of the king of Egypt, to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him down to Hades with them that descend into the pit: and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, shall be comforted in the nether parts of the earth, Ezek. xxxi. 16 [31: 16].
And again, in the
next chapter Son of man,
wail for the multitude of Egypt, and cast them down, even her, and the
daughters of the famous nations, unto the nether parts of the earth,
with them that go down into the pit, Ezek. xxxii. 18 [32: 18]. The same
sentiment is repeated in the 21st. 23rd.
24th. and other verses of the
same chapter. Nor is this the teaching
of the Old Testament alone - the New uniformly maintains the same doctrine Thou,
* * *
But passages of great authority have yet to be cited in proof of Christs descent into Hades - which descent of the soul of Christ, once proved, the question is, I apprehend, as truly set at rest, as the question of the general resurrection, by the proof of his resurrection.
The Pharisees had asked the Lord for a sign, which he refused in the following words: An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whales belly; so the Son of Man shall be three days and three nights IN THE HEART OF THE EARTH, Matt. xii. 39, 40 [12: 39, 40].
Now to say that this was fulfilled by our Lords body being placed in the cave of the rock is trifling; for a rock on the very surface cannot, with any propriety, be called the heart of the earth. It bears no sort of analogy to the invisible position of the heart in the body, to which it is compared. It would more properly be said - if this were its meaning - in the skin of the earth. Nor has it any analogy with that case of Jonah, with which our Saviour institutes a comparison; for it was not in the exterior surface of the whale that Jonah was lodged, but in the fishs deep and invisible interior. Neither, lastly, could the dead body of Christ be justly called the Son of Man. The Son of Man denotes the human soul of Christ united to the divinity. For the Scripture, when it speaks of Abraham and of David after death, does not mean by those terms their dead bodies, but their living and yet surviving souls - which are far more truly themselves, than any part of their corruptible bodies could or can be. I conclude, therefore, that this passage not ambiguously signifies, that Christs soul should sojourn for three days in the deep and invisible interior of the globe, among the rest of the departed spirits [souls] of human kind; for thus only will the analogy between Jonah and the Lord be satisfied. Nor will the conclusion be shaken by a reference to the prophet Jonah, a prophet sent of God to warn an ungodly nation. But as the greater than Jonah, he did not refuse his message, nor seek to flee from the face of Jehovah. He resembled, however, Jonah in the storm that lay upon the vessel wherein he sailed; and the advice which he gave to the sailors, that the sea might be calm unto them, answers to the prophetic intimations of his death our Lord gave at various times during his life. For what said Jonah when the mariners asked what they should do? And he said unto them, LIFT ME UP [See Hebrew (not but )], and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you; for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you. Now this was our Lords declaration respecting himself As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, SO MUST THE SON OF MAN BE LIFTED UP, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life, John iii. 14, 16 [3: 14, 16]. Again When ye have LIFTED UP the Son of Man, then shall ye know that I am He, John viii. 28 [8: 28]. And again I, if I be LIFTED UP from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said signifying what death he should die, John xii. 32, 33 [12: 32, 33]. As, then, the storm that lay on Jonah and the mariners typified the storm of Gods wrath; and the vessel and the mariners, the world and its inhabitants; and Jonahs advice to the mariners to lift him up and cast him into the sea, signified the death he was to die, that the sea might be calm unto them: so the same expression of lifting up, signified the Saviours death by crucifixion, as the means whereby the wrath of God may be pacified toward us. Jonah thus was lifted up [See Hebrew text ] and cast into the sea, and the sea ceased from her raging.
Thus Jesus was
cast forth into the
[* On pages (56 & 57), the author has written: Tartarus being a part of Hades is ... criminals ... supposed to be confined till the day of judgment. Morsefield on 2 Pet. 2: 4. Jewish ... mentioned there.
Timbs Your book of Facts, 1864.
The earth must be more rigid than steel. Else the efforts of ... it would be ... ]
In this situation of terror, Jonah prayed. And from the midst of Hades, Christ also prayed, as many of the Psalms show. It will be further evident from a careful perusal of Jonahs prayer, that it was not only suited to the prophet, but prophetically written of Christ Jesus. From the belly of Hades, saith Jonah, cried I, and thou heardest my voice. And so did Jesus cry, and thus was he heard. I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever; yet thou brought up my life from corruption, O Lord my God, Jonah 2: 6. And these very same words will apply to the Lord Jesus without the change of a letter, according to the doctrine now advocated. And as "the Lord spake to the fish, and it vomited Jonah upon the dry land;" so did God give commandment that Christs bonds should be loosed, and himself set free, on the morning of the resurrection, after the same interval of detention as Jonah. I am inclined to believe further, that when Jonah declared that he called to God out of the belly of Hades, it was strictly true. For, as I have before observed, the ocean communicates with its springs below - which are called in the second commandment the waters under the earth: In the providence of God, then, I believe that the fish that swallowed up Jonah passed through one of these communicating apertures into the abyss of waters beneath the crust of the earth. And when once there, he was in Hades: for by that name, taken generally, is intended all the space contained in the interior of the globe.*
[* The author has written on this page (58):How could the Earth with her bars be about Jonah - Except he were within it?]
This, if admitted, renders Jonah a more evident type of our Lord. And if so, we may see how literally true would be the words of our Lord I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me. The breaking open the crust of the earth, and the pouring out of the waters of the great deep beneath, was, I suppose, the cause of the flood, Gen. vii. 11 [7: 11]. And to this place again they retired. Hence it is, I presume, that St. Peter thus speaks of the earth By the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth, at once standing out of [See Greek ] water and in water, perished. By which (waters, ) the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished That the earth stands out of ([See Greek ])water is clear - this effect was the work of the third day. And God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together in one place: and let the dry land appear. And it was so. Gen. i. 9 [1: 9]. The other expression is also easily explained on the foregoing supposition. The earth is standing in water, because there is water beneath it, and the crust of the earth rests on the waters beneath. Moreover, the earth is in both states at the same time. (Hence the apostle uses the word [See Greek].) It was likewise by the junction of both those bodies of water, - the upper sea and the under sea - that the world was flooded. Hence the sacred writer speaks of the causes of the flood in the plural.
Hence also the Psalmist, describing the state of the earth, says, that God stretched out the earth above the waters, Psalm cxxxvi. 6 [136: 6]. Now I do not see how this can be true on any other supposition. But if so, then any soul that either goes down into Hades or comes up from it, must pass through the mighty waters. And even so is it affirmed in the description of the resurrection of Christs people contained in Psalm xviii. .
Then the channels of the sea appeared, the foundations of the world were discovered, at the rebuking of the Lord, at the blast of the breath of his nostrils. He sent from above, he took me, HE DREW ME OUT OF MANY WATERS, verse 15, 16.
* * *
I would take the present opportunity to answer an objection, which may be called either geographical or astronomical. It is sometimes asked by the astronomer or geographer, What is the meaning of up or down, as applied to our earth? - and the objector points you to a globe freely suspended in air, and bids you observe that the antipodes point in exactly opposite directions. Hence he would have us infer that up or down is relative to the surface of the sphere only, and in no one constant direction. It is worth while then to answer this objection, because it lies as a stumbling-block in the way of comprehending how the Lord ascended into heaven - as the preceding objection would seem to imply that his flight could not be winged in any definite direction. But the fallacy of the objector lies in this, that he offers to our notice a globe unattended and in absolute space. But this is not the case with our earth. Our earth is one of a system of planets moving around the sun. The word upwards, therefore, absolutely taken, is the same for all parts of the earth, and means in a direction towards the sun. And if it be true (which some astronomical phenomena seem to render probable), that the sun itself and all its attendant worlds are moving on in one vast revolution around some enormous mass, situated in immeasurable space; then the expression upwards, taken absolutely with regard to the system of worlds to which we belong, would mean in a direction towards that central mass. In like manner, the direction downwards, though in different directions according to the place of the inhabitant of earth, has yet a common centre in which all the radii unite. And from the opposition which occurs in the prophets and sacred writings generally, between heaven and Hades, a good argument is derived, that Hades does not mean the grave. It is high as heaven; what canst thou do? It is deep as Hades; what canst thou know? Job xi. 8 [11: 8]. For where is the opposition between the height of heaven, and the depth of the grave? We can not only imagine, but do actually know of depths much deeper than that. The sea is deeper. The opposition, then, lying, as it does between the greatest height possible and the lowest depth possible, that lowest depth must be the centre of the globe: whence we gather with the utmost assurance, that Hades is within the interior of the globe.
Nor is it significant, since we believe the wicked to be tormented below with fire and brimstone, that the ejections from below the surface, which frequently take place from the fissures opened by volcanoes, are those of fire and sulphur, water in the form of vapour, or sometimes in its ordinary state, the torrents of mud. It is also known that the sulphur used in commerce, is almost entirely (I believe exclusively) obtained from extinct volcanoes. Whence it is that Rusca, in his book on Hades, says, There are not wanting some who believe that in the neighbourhood of those regions, which on the surface of the world vomit forth flames in great abundance, the souls condemned to eternal fire are tormented: and that the flames proceed from the open mouth of Gehenna. Their grounds for believing this, are the awful records of eruptions, and the extraordinary events accompanying them. Chap. 28.d
(d He advances a step farther: Divus Gregorius aliique permulti probitate morum et insigni doctrinβ illustres, tradidere deductos fuisse plurimos mortalium qui vitam in peccatis exegerunt, ad hosce AEtnae focos, ut in illis poenas luerent; quod satis patebit cum variis exemplis probabitur, divinβ permissione, notae cujusdam improbitatis homines in haec incendia conjectos.
It does not seem unworthy of notice further to observe, that if the transformations of the butterfly be supposed, as they are universally, to offer a just-analogy of the resurrection, the resurrection may be pursued, with diffidence, another step. The chrysalis state, then, answers to the intermediate state of the soul; and the abode of the soul we believe to be in the depths of the earth. Accordingly, in entering on that state, many insects descend into the earth, and remain there till their transformation.) *
[* The author, on this page (62), has written: Increased heat as we descend.]
lately met with, shall now be presented.
Another passage from the Apocalypse has often
been quoted, in proof of the intermediate place. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire, [Rev.] chapter xx. 14 [20: 14]. This is presented as taking
place at the close of the general judgement; after which there will be no more
death, and the entire world of Paradise, Tartarus,
and all - is to be cast into the
[* On this page (64), the author has: Clothing of flesh. Job. 10: 11.]
Acts 23: 6. Greek ... must be construed with Greek ... as well as ... In the hope of the dead I am judged.]
A like analogy
obtains also in the case of the wicked.
Death was threatened as the effect of the breach of the
law, and the Most High often inflicted it as part of the punishment. Death is the name of the eternal
abode of the unrighteous: It is the Second Death. But Death is also the name of the
present abode of the ungodly departed, Rev.
xx. 13 [20: 13]. The
Have the gates of Death been opened to thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death? Job xxxviii. 17 [38: 17]. And in the following passage I seem to myself to see sentiments confirmatory of the idea of Christs preaching to the once rebellious angels [ orspirits] of Noahs day: Such as sit in darkness and the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron, because they rebelled against the words of the Lord, and contemned the counsel of the Most High: Therefore he brought down their heart with sorrow (See Hebrew); they fell down, and there was none to help. Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble; and he saved them out of their distress. He shall bring them (See Hebrew ) out of darkness and the shadow of death, and break their bonds asunder, Psalm cvii. 10-14 [107: 10-14]. Compare this with 1 Pet. iii. 9, 10; iv. 6; 2 Pet. ii. 4; Jude 6 [1 Pet. 3: 9, 10; 4: 6; 2 Pet. 2: 4; Jude 6]. I would further observe, that a prophecy of Isaiah quoted by St. Matthew, appears to have in part a reference beyond that immediately stated by the Apostle. The passage is the following: And leaving Nazareth, he (Jesus) came and dwelt at Capernaum, which is upon the sea-coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; the people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sit in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up, Matt. iv. 13-16 [4: 13-16]. It appears to me, that by those in the shadow of death, we are to understand others than the people of Galilee; and that the words referred to Christs gladdening those in the regions below with the light of his appearance, as truly as he honoured Capernaum on earth with his presence and teaching. But I do not press this.*
[* On page (66) the author has written: Every believer believes or prefers to believe that a soul shall be conveyed to heaven on its ... from the body. Haberhoin on the Apoc - p. 112.]
[* On page (67) the author has written: They are represented ( ... with ...) as waiting to reign (Rev. 5: 10.) on earth. True, they are on thrones. But who are the elders? the ... of the spirits seen on high.]
From the whole discussion
we may learn the utter want of scriptural basis which characterizes the decree
of the council of Trent, which asserts, That the
saints who reign together with Christ offer their prayers to God
for man; and that they are men of impious sentiments, who deny that the saints,
who enjoy eternal happiness in heaven, are to be invoked. For it has been shown, that Hades, and not
heaven, is the place of all the dead, with the exception of those
to be noticed presently. What man is he that shall not see death; and
shall deliver his soul from the hand of Hades? (Psalm
lxxxix. 48 [89: 48]), where it is certainly supposed
that all souls go thither.
But, if it be said that this passage proves too much, because, on this
showing, it would follow that all went to Tartarus, I
answer - first, that death does not in every case, or in the majority of cases,
signify the inner Hades: and where it is spoken of all men, there we should
naturally take it of ordinary death, especially when, as here, it precedes
the mention of Hades; for so natural death precedes the passing into the
abode of the dead. Secondly, be it
replied, that, even granting that it signifies Tartarus,
all that is affirmed is, that Tartarus will be seen, not experienced by all: and this is true.
The declaration also of the Saviour in the 16th. Psalm, and St. Peters comment, have manifested that the souls of David and of the just in general, are left there. The only exceptions that are mentioned, - that is, the only persons who have finally left Hades, are, the many saints that after the resurrection of Jesus, came out of their graves and appeared to many, Matt. xxxvii. 52, 53 [37: 52, 53].
Now, among this
number, the apostles and the Virgin Mary were not to be found: for we know that
Mary was in the assembly of the apostles on the day of Pentecost, Acts i. 14 [1: 14]. Moreover,
Hades is a land of forgetfulness; the dead know not anything, Psalm lxxxviii. 12; Eccl. ix. 5 [88: 12; Eccl. 9: 5]. And this means that they know nothing
of the occurrences on earth: for when Ahab humbled himself, God utters this
sentence, Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me?
Because he humbleth himself before me, I
will not bring the evil in his day, but in his sons day will I bring the evil
on his house, 1 Kings xxi. 29
Here the alleviation of his punishment granted by God is,
that he should not know and see the evil.
Again, the same promise was given in the case of Solomon, 1 Kings xi. 12
12]. Job affirms
it of the dead, that his sons come to honour, and he
knoweth it not; and they are brought low, but he perceiveth
it not of them, xiv. 21 [14: 21].
And Isaiah affirms that Abraham was ignorant of
* * *
It is to this
sojourn of the saints in Hades that I would refer a very difficult passage in
the 139th Psalm, which speaks of
a body being curiously fashioned in the lower parts of the earth. Now, the saints are the body of Christ, Eph. iv. 12,
In this respect
the building of the real
then, the Council of
In conclusion I
would observe, that a prejudication of the destiny of each, takes place at
death, answering to the forms of law among men.
The first step in an indictment is to present a bill to the higher
jury. It is either ignored, or found a
true bill, on primβ facie evidence. According to this, the party is dealt with as
a culprit or not. This prejudication of
the matter does not, however, preclude the judicial investigation of the
affair. It is only preparatory to the
further trial, if the bill be found. Not
otherwise is it, I apprehend, with departed souls. There is a primβ facie evidence respecting each
of them, and according to this they are dealt with: those who are to be
acquitted at last, being admitted to
The following are some citations of authorities confirmatory of the principles laid down.
The 5th article in the fourth year of King Edward VI. ran thus -
That the body of Christ lay in the grave until the resurrection; but his spirit which he gave up, was with the spirits in prison, and preached to them, as the place in St. Peter testifieth.
Bishop Pearson observes on Eph. iv. 9 [4: 9] -
This many of the ancient fathers understood of the descent into hell, as placed in the lower parts of the earth; and this exposition must be confessed so probable, that there can be no argument to disprove it. - (On the Creed, p. 344.)
There is nothing which they (the fathers) agree in more than this, which I have already affirmed, - a real descent of the soul of Christ into the habitation of the souls of the departed. The persons for whom, and the end for which, he descended, they differ in; but as to the local descent into the infernal parts, they all agree. Who were in those parts, they could not certainly define; but whosoever were there, that Christ, by the presence of his soul, was there with them, they all determined.
That this was the general opinion of the Church will appear, not only by the testimonies of the ancient writers which lived successively, and wrote in several ages, and delivered the exposition in such express terms as are not capable of any other interpretation; but also because it was generally used as an argument against the Apollinarian heresy; than which nothing can show more the general opinion of the Catholics, and the heretics, and that not only of the present, but of the precedent ages. For it had been little less than ridiculous to have produced that for an argument to prove a point in controversy, which had not been clearer than that which was controverted, and had not been some way acknowledged as a truth by both. Now the error of Apollinarius was, that Christ had no proper intellectual or rational soul, but that the Word was to him in the place of a soul: and the argument produced by the fathers for the conviction of this error was, that Christ descended into hell; which the Apollinarians could not deny: and that this descent was not made by his divinity or by his body, but by the motion and presence of his SOUL, and consequently that he had a soul distinct both from his flesh and from the Word. Whereas if it could have been answered by the heretics as now it is by many, that his descent into hell had no relation to his soul, but to his body only, which descended into the grave; or that it was not real, but only a virtual descent, by which his death extended to the destruction of the powers of hell; or that his soul was not his intellectual spirit or immortal soul, but his living soul, which descended into hell, that is continued in the state of death: I say, if any of these senses could have been affixed to this article, the Apollinarians answer might have been sound; and the Catholic fathers did urge the same to prove the real distinction of the soul of Christ both from his divinity and his body, because his body was really in the grave when his soul was really present with the souls below; it followeth that it was the general doctrine of the Church, that Christ did descend into hell by a local motion of his soul separated from his body, to the places below, where the souls of departed men were.
Bishop Pearson then mentions the Romish doctrine, that Christ by his descent into Hades delivered from thence the souls of the faithful, and conferred on those who before did not enjoy it, real and essential bliss. He then adds, - But even this opinion, as general as it hath been, hath neither that consent of antiquity, nor such certainty as it pretendeth, but is rather built upon all the improbabilities of a worse. The most ancient of all the fathers, whose writings are extent, were so far from believing that the end of Christs descent into hell was to translate the saints of God into heaven, that they thought them not to be in heaven yet, nor ever to be removed from that place in which they were before Christ's death until the general resurrection. (P 367.)
Let us then adduce some passages of the fathers:
Ignatius says, -
He (Christ) descended into Hades alone, but ascended with a multitude. - Ad. Trall. p. 74.
Hilary says, -
It is the law of human necessity, that mens bodies being buried, their souls should descend to Hades: which descent the Lord, in order to accomplish all that belonged to the destiny of the real man, did not refuse to undergo. - On Psalm cxxxviii. [138 i.e., from Psalm cxxxxix (139) of the Septuagint translation. W.H.T.].
Though the soul of Christ was in the bottomless pit, yet now it is not, for it is written, Thou wilt not leave my soul in Hades, - De Incarn. c. 5.
St. Basil, on Psalm xlix. 15 [49: 15], -
But God will redeem my soul from the hand of Hades, for he shall receive me, - writes thus He clearly prophesies the descent of the Lord into Hades, who will redeem the prophets soul also together with those of his saints from that place, so that they shall not remain there.
Jerome in Isaiah xiv. 14 [14:14] -
Hades is a place of punishment, wherein Dives is to be found, though clothed in purple. Into this place he [Christ] also descended, that he might set free the prisoners from the prison.
After death we are carried into Hades. This also did Christ take upon himself, and descended willingly into it: He was not detained as we are, but he descended. - In Act. Conc. Nicoen. lib. 1.
But the humanity of the Son of God was neither wholly in the grave, nor wholly in Hades, but as to his real flesh Christ being dead, lay in the sepulchre; but in his soul Christ descended in Hades, and in the same soul returned from Hades again to the flesh he had left in the grave. - Ad Thrasimund. lib. 3.
Anstasius Sinaita, -
The sepulchre truly received his body only, but Hades his soul only. - Apud. Euthym. Panopl.
That if those words, This day
thou shalt be with me in
Paradise, be spoken of the humanity which the
Word of God assumed,
Again, - And that the Lord, being put to death in the flesh, came to Hades, is clear, for none can contradict either that prophecy which saith, Thou wilt not leave my soul in Hades, which, lest any one should understand otherwise, the same Peter expoundeth in the Acts of the Apostles; nor those words of the same Peter whereby he asserteth, That he loosed the pains of Hades, in which it was impossible that he should be held. Who, therefore, but an infidel can deny that Christ was in Hades? - Ad Euodium.
Tertullian shows that it was generally supposed that three classes of persons were excepted from the ordinary descent into Hades. The first were, the unburied; the second, abortions; the third, those who had perished by a violent death. The unburied, it was supposed, were detained till they had received burial. Those who died an untimely death, wandered on earth, till the time was completed, to which they would have otherwise lived. Nor did those enter Hades who came to a violent end; especially those who perished by the extreme capital punishments, such as crucifixion, beheading, and the being torn by wild beasts. This distinction, he affirms, was derived from the works of magicians. These writers declared that they were able to evoke from Hades, even those who had come to their end in a full age, and by an honourable death, consummated by a speedy burial. - De Anima, c. lvi. lvii.
He wrote a tract
Augustine, Epist. xcix. cap. 5, -Wherefore, we hold it as based on the most certain authority, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that he was buried, and rose again the third day according to the Scriptures; together with all other particulars which are testified by infallible truth. And amongst these this is to be considered one point, that he went into Hades, and that he broke through those pains, whereby it was impossible that he should be held, from which also it is justly believed, that he liberated whom he chose. And again, Now these words, Having loosed the pains of Hades, are to be taken not of all the souls there, but of those whom he thought proper to liberate: in order that, on the one hand, it might not be supposed, that he descended thither to no purpose, nor profited any of those who were detained in custody there; nor yet that, on the other hand, it should follow, that we are to suppose that divine mercy and justice granted to all, what was bestowed on certain individuals. Cap. 2.
And again, on Psalm lxxx. . Dives when he was tormented in Hades, on seeing Abraham lifted up his eyes. But he could not see him by lifting up his eyes, unless the one were on high [in Hades] and the other below [in Hades].
Origeon tells us (Contra Cels. lib. v. p. 260), -
That the Jews were instructed from their infancy in the immortality of the soul, and that under the earth there were both places for the infliction of the recompense of justice, and for the bestowal of reward to those who have lived well.
Whilst his (Christs) body lay buried in the grave, his soul went into Hades to perform in that place those several actions and operations which were necessary for the complete redemption and salvation of mankind; that he performed after his death different actions by his two essential parts; by his body he lay in the grave and conquered corruption; by his soul he went into Hades, and vanquished death. - De Salut. adv. Christ. tom. i. p. 645.
Again, - In the death of Christ this also appears when his body was not carried beyond the sepulchre, but his soul entered places severed by a vast interval. The sepulchre indeed received what was corporeal, but Hades received the incorporeal part. - De Incarn. Christi.
Archelaus, bishop of Caschara in
Souls depart into an invisible place appointed them by God, where they will tarry till the resurrection, in a constant expectation of it; after which, they, receiving their bodies, and rising perfectly, that is corporeally, will come to the presence of God. - Lib. v. c. 26.
Again (lib. v. c. 31), he applies to Christ Jesus Psalm lxxxvi. 13 [86: 13], and adds, - Rising again the third day, he showed himself to Mary, who first saw and adored him, John xx. 17 [20: 17]. If therefore the Lord kept the law of the dead, that he might be the first born from the dead, and tarried till the third day in the lower parts of the earth; and then afterwards rising in the flesh: so ascended to the Father: How must they be confounded who say that Hades is the world; but that their inner man leaving the body ascends into a place above heaven? For since the Lord departed into the midst of the shadow of death, where the souls of the dead were, then afterwards rose again in the body, and ascended after the resurrection, it is manifest that the souls of his disciples also, for whose sakes this was performed by the Lord, depart into the invisible place appointed by God; and there dwell, until the resurrection, awaiting the resurrection; and then having their bodies restored to them, and risen perfectly, that is, with their bodies, even as the Lord rose, shall then come to the vision of God.
Justin Martyr (Dialogue with Trypho, c. 80), -
For if you have conversed with some that are called Christians, and do not maintain these opinions (the millennarian), but even dare to blaspheme the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and say that there is no resurrection of the dead, but that the souls, as they leave the body, are received up into heaven, take care that you do not look upon these as Christians: as no one that rightly considers would say that the Sadducees, or the like sects of Genists, and Merists, and Galileans, and Hellenians, and Pharisees, and Baptists, are Jews.
For not even the Apostles have yet received their joy, but themselves also wait for it, that I also may become partaker of their joy. For neither the saints, when they depart thence, receive immediately the full reward of their deserts, but wait for us. ... You see therefore that Abraham yet waits for the attainment of that which is perfect. And Isaac waits, and Jacob, and all the prophets wait for us, that they may enjoy with us perfect hapiness. On this account, therefore, even that mystery is kept to the last day of the deferred judgement, Hom. 7 on Levit. § 2. And again, - It is my opinion that all the saints that depart from this life shall remain in a certain place in the earth, which the divine Scripture calls paradise, as in a place of instruction. - De Princip. lib. ii. c. xi.
Nor let any one think that souls are judged immediately after death. For all are kept in one common place of custody, until the great Judge will make inquiry into their deserts. - Instit. lib. vii. § 21.
Hilary on Psalm cxxxviii [138, i.e., 139 in the LXX], -
It is the necessary law of human nature, that bodies should be buried, and souls descend to Hades.
Again, - The souls of the faithful on their departure from the body are reserved for an entrance into the heavenly kingdom under custody of the Lord: and their place in the interim is in the bosom of Abraham, from which the ungodly are separated by the intervention of chaos. - On the cxxth [120th] Psalm.
And again, - To fulfil the nature of man, he (Christ) subjected himself to death, that is, to a departure, as it were, both of soul and body, and penetrated into those infernal abodes, a thing which appeared incumbent on human nature. - On Psalm liii .
Jerome, on the Prayer of Jonah -
Jonah ii. 3 [2: 3], In the heart of the seas, By the heart of the seas is signified Hades; in the place of which expression we read in the Gospel, in the heart of the earth: now, as the heart of an animal is in the midst of it, so is Hades supposed to be in the midst of the earth.
And again, - That Hades is in the lower part of the earth, the Psalmist also testifies, saying, So the earth opened and swallowed up Dathan and covered the congregation of Abiram. - On Eph. 4.
He (Christ) went down to Hades alone, but arose thence with many. He went down to death alone, but raised many bodies of the sleeping saints.
The soul of Christ, which was joined and united with him, descended to Hades, and exhibited himself to the spirits captive there. For those who were there detained and bound with chains, he says, Go forth, and to those who were covered with darkness, Show themselves. And to this the great Peter appears to have referred, when he writes thus of the word of God and of his soul ... Christ was once offered, &c. No one, I suppose, will say that the divinity by itself alone descended into Hades, and preached to the spirits shut up there; for the Deity could not be exposed to the sight. Much less must it be conceded that Christ was transformed into the appearance of a soul; for the figment of such an external apparition must be altogether rejected. As, then, the Only Begotten lived in a body with those who yet dwell in bodies; so preached he to the spirits which were detained in Hades, having a soul endowed with intelligence and reason united with him.
Committing his spirit to his Father, and putting off the flesh, he descended into the place of the enemies; and being life itself, destroyed death, and compelled the adverse powers, who it is probable, at his first entry, supposing him to be mere man, began to surround and insult him as a mean person, but when they perceived him to be more august than man, were put to flight.
Theophylact on Ephesians, iv. . -
Whither did Christ descend?
To Hades - for this is what
The author of Verses against Marcion, supposed to be Tertullian, -
Beneath the body of earth, in the invisible part, lies a certain widely extended region, possessed of its own peculiar light, and its name is, the Bosom of Abraham. It stands high above the darkness, and is far distant from the fires of punishment, yet is beneath the earth.
Cyprian, De Unct. Chrism, -
The King suffered himself to be mocked, and the Life to be slain, and descending to Hades, he led captive the captivity of old.
Prudentius, in his 9th Hymn, and Ambrose, De Mysterio Pasch., describe our Lord as descending into Tartarus. Prudentius speaks of his breaking the door, and tearing off the bolts, and opening a way of return to life to the dead shut up.
Ruffinus, in his Exposition of the Creed, says, -
That Christ descended into Hades is evidently foretold in the Psalms, where he says, Psalm xx. 15 [22: 15], Thou shalt bring me into the dust of death. And again, Psalm xxx. 9 [30: 9], What profit is there in my blood, when I shall go down into the pit? And again, Psalm lxix. 2 [69: 2], I sink in the deep mire where there is no standing.
Arobius, on Psalm cxxxvii. . -
Afterwards he (Christ) visited Hades, and was afar off, not only from the heavens, but even from the earth itself; and in his descent cleft the depths of the abyss, that both thence he might return to the upper regions, and that he might from the upper regions return to the heavens.
Hzppolytier De Cause, *
[* This name may not be accurate. The author has made a correction to a previous error, and written the name (from which he quotes below), in his own handwriting at the side of the page.] -
Now as to Hades, wherein the souls of the righteous and unrighteous are detained, it is necessary to speak of it. Hades is a place in the world not regularly finished - a sub-terraneous region, wherein the light of this world does not shine; from which circumstance, that in this region the light does not shine, it cannot be but there must be in it perpetual darkness. This region is allotted as a place of custody for souls. These (the just) are now indeed confined in Hades, but not in the same place where the unjust are confined.
For there is one descent into this region, at whose gate we believe that there stands an archangel with a host: which gate when those pass through that are conducted down by the angels appointed over their souls, they do not go the same way; but the just are guided to the right hand and led with hymns, sung by the angels appointed over that place, into a region of light, in which the just have dwelt from the beginning of the world: not constrained by necessity, but ever enjoying the prospect of the good things they see, and rejoice in the expectation of those new enjoyments which will be peculiar to every one of them, and esteeming those things beyond what we have here; with whom there is no place of toil, no burning heat, no piercing cold, nor any briers there; but the countenances of the fathers and of the just, which they see always, smile upon them, while they wait for that rest and eternal new life in heaven, which is to succeed this region. This place we call the Bosom of Abraham.
But as to the unjust, they are dragged by force to the left hand by the angels allotted for punishment, no longer going with a goodwill, but as prisoners drawn by violence, to whom are sent the angels appointed over them, to reproach them and threaten them with their terrible looks, and to thrust them still downwards. Now those angels that are set over these souls, drag them into the neighbourhood of hell itself; who when they are hard by it, continually hear the noise of it, and do not stand clear of the hot vapour itself; but as they have a nearer view of this spectacle, as of a terrible and exceeding great prospect of fire, they are stuck with a fearful expectation of a future judgement, and in effect punished thereby; and not only so, but when they see the place of the fathers and of the just, even thereby they are punished; for a chaos deep and large is fixed between them, insomuch that a just man that hath compassion upon them cannot be admitted, nor can one that is unjust, if he were bold enough to attempt it, pass over it.
Bishop Beveridge, -
If his soul had ascended to heaven as his body descended to the grave, then one part of his human nature had been exalted, whilst the other had been debased. For his soul, that would have been shining in the highest heavens, whilst his body was lying under a piece of earth; and so this would have been in a state of humiliation, whilst the other was in its state of exaltation. By which means, at that time he would have been wholly in neither state, but partly in both. And so most of the systems of divinity that ever were made, teaching only a double state of Christ, the one of his humiliation, the other of his exaltation, must be changed, and a third added, partly of exaltation, partly of humiliation. But that needs not, for certainly Christ was never in more than one state at one time: when he was in a state of humiliation, he was in a state of humiliation, not of exaltation; when in a state of exaltation, he was in a state of exaltation, not humiliation ... We cannot but maintain that the soul was in a state of humiliation, as well and as long as the body, and so not in heaven, while this was upon the earth, but under earth in hell, whilst his body was under earth in the grave. And when one rose, they both rose; the soul being fetched from hell to be united again to its body. But in few words, to put this question out of question, that the soul of Christ was not in heaven (but therefore in hell), in the third place the Saviour himself, who best knows when HE first descended into hell, tells us plainly the third day after his death, being the day of resurrection, that he was not then ascended up to heaven, saying to Mary, Touch me not, for I have not yet ascended to my Father. John xx. 17 [20: 17]. P. 172-175.
Barrow on the Creed, vol. i. Serm. 27, p. 341, -
Were I bound to speak my sense, I should say that, supposing they had any distinct meaning, they did intend to affirm that our Saviours soul did, by a true and proper kind of motion, descend into the regions infernal, or beneath the earth; where they conceived the souls of men were detained; for this appears to have been the more general opinion of these times, which it is probable they did comply with therein, whencesoever fetched, however grounded. The Hebrew word Sheol doth seem originally, most properly and most frequently, to design the whole region protended downward from the surface of the earth (according to the vulgar opinion, as it seems, anciently over the world), indefinite and inconceivable, vastly capacious in extension, very darksome, desolate and dungeon-like in quality, - (whence it is also frequently styled the pit, the lowest pit, the abyss, the depths of the earth, the darkness, the depths of hell. I must confess that afterwards (even before our Saviours time,) the word was assumed by the Jews to design (as it did among the Greeks) either the place of souls in common, or more strictly, the place of souls condemned to punishment and pain for their bad lives here.
The following is (in part) a specimen of Jewish extravagance; it is cited chiefly for the conclusion:-
Rabbi Joshua Ben Levi said,
I went with the angel of death, by name Kippod,
to the gates of Gehenna, and immediately I sent the
angel Kippod, who was set over Gehenna,
to measure it from top to bottom: but he had not then a leisure hour; for they
had then slain Rabbi Simeon the son of Gamaliel.
And I wished to go, but could not. Afterwards I went with Kippod the angel of death, and Messiah the son of David
went with me until we came to the gates of Gehenna.
But when the captives who are in Gehenna saw the
light of Messiah, they rejoiced to receive him, saying, This
is he who shall remove us from this darkness: as it is written, Hosea xiii. 14 [13: 14], I will redeem them from the power of Hades: I will set them at
liberty from death. Thus also Isaiah xxxv. 10 [35: 10], And the redeemed of the Lord shall return,
Again, Rabbi Josjua son of Levi
said. The names of Gehenna
are seven; and they are these, Sheol; Abaddon; The Pit of Corruption; The Mirey Clay; The Shadow of Death;
On the passage of Eccles. iii. 21 [3: 21], Who knows whether the spirit of the sons of men goeth upward? the Jewish Commentary or Midrash has these words: The souls of the just are placed in a treasury; and this is the meaning of what Abigail said to David by the Holy Spirit, 1 Sam. xxv. 29 [25: 29], And the soul of my lord shall be bound up in the bundle of the living with Jehovah thy God. But might not this also be true of the wicked? Nay, But the souls of their enemies shall be slung out as out of the middle of a sling.
Again, - Both the one and the other class of men; both the just and the wicked, and the intermediate, are thrust down into silence. The just are in repose: but the others are not; as it is said, All that go down into silence. - (P. 491.)
The Jewish writers call this place of the
just the Garden of Eden, or Paradise; and in their prayers for the sick and
dead are some, beseeching that the party may enter into
Martinis own remarks on these and similar passages are as follows: It is thus evident that of old there were two different places of abode for souls; one for the good, and the other for the evil; yet both the one and the other is called Hades. The place of the ungodly, however, is called the Lowest Hades, but the place of the just the Upper Hades; as many be gathered from that which is written in the Jewish commentary on the Psalms. Psalm lxxxvii. 13 [87: 13] For great is thy mercy toward me, and thou hast redeemed my soul from the lowest Hades. Rabbi Goden said, The way of adulterers is set in the deep of Hades; and this is what is meant, for great is thy mercy over me. So the gloss of R. Solomon: The way of adulterers is to be in the depth of Hades, and thence hast thou delivered me; as Nathan said to David, Jehovah hath taken away thy sin, thou shalt not die. - (P. 488.)
Midrash Coheleth on Eccl. 1: 7, -
All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full: That is, all the dead go into Sheol only, that is Hades: yet Hades is never full; as it is written, Prov. xxvii. 20 [27: 20], Hades and Destruction (Abaddon) are never full.