페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

A Constant Reader seems to think we ought to understand the word Hell as signifying the place of eternal torment; and that the Soul of Christ descended thither. If Christ descended into Hell, thus understood, it surely could not be on his own account; but for some purpose connected with his work of redemption. As to the latter, however, it is presumed he referred to it when he declared, with his dying breath, "it is finished." And, if finished when he expired on the cross, it cannot be supposed that he afterwards descended into hell to complete it: and that his supposed descent into hell was subsequent to his death on Calvary is universally allowed. But if he could not, as is believed, descend thither on his own account; and if it were wholly needless he should do so to perfect his work of salvation, as that, 'tis presumed, had been already accomplished, it seems rational to conclude that he did not descend into Hell, according to the ordinary acceptation of the term: and that Hell is commonly understood to signify the place of endless misery, prepared for the Devil and his Angels, and impenitent Sinners, it is believed 999 out of a thousand, at least, would testify, if the question were proposed to all who profess the name of a Christian.

66

A Friend says, in reference to the form of words which some imagine to have been dictated by the apostles of Christ, and by many fondly deemed "The Apostles' Creed," it, (meaning the word hell, or that Christ descended into it,) was probably inserted for the confirmation of the death of Christ. But this seems quite unnecessary after having asserted, as in the form, that he was dead." No better proof can be wanted, that Christ was actually dead, when his body was taken down from the cross, than is furnished in the gospel, where it is said that" one of the soldiers, with a spear, pierced his side, and forthwith came thereout blood and water." The efflux of water from the wound made in Christ's side by the spear, is deemed a plain and irrefragable proof that the weapon had penetrated the pericardium; and that the water which flowed, when the spear was withdrawn, was the aqua pericardii; which, by those skilled in anatomy, is said to be collected after death: and therefore, its effusion establishes the fact that Christ was, antecedently,

really dead. But A Friend seems to understand the subject of Christ's descent into hell as Bishop Pearson and Bishop Horsley did. The former of these prelates said the substance of the article consists in this-" that the soul of Christ, really separated from his " body by death did truly pass into the place below, where the souls of departed men were." But where, or what, is that place below, (in which the souls of departed were or are supposed to be,) defined in Scripture; other than that Heaven, the habitation of God; and Hell, the abode of Devils and lost Sinners?-these are the only receptacles for the souls of departed men. With all due deference to a mitre, it is presumed that Bishop Pearson's notion of the descent of Christ's soul into Hell" that he might undergo the condition of a "dead man as well as of a living," is a mere vagary of his own fancy. And I humbly conceive, the opinion of Bishop Horsley on this point, does not appear to have any better foundation! although he seems to have attached great importance to it. After having professed he had exploded the notions of temporary extinction and dormancy of the soul, between death and the resurrection, he has said, "Christ's disembodied soul descended into hell; thither shall the soul of every believer in Christ descend. Christ's soul was not left in hell; neither shall the souls of his servants be left, but for a season. The appointed time will come when the Redeemer shall set open the prison doors, and say to his redeemed, Go forth!!!" But where, in the Bible, is it recorded that the soul of Christ ever descended into hell? and that the souls of his servants shall be left for a season; or, at any time? The appointed time to which this latter prelate refers, when the redeemed of Christ shall be set free, is supposed to be the day of resurrection; but, if the souls of the redeemed of the Lord, be not emancipated till then, did the Bishop believe they shall, during the interval mentioned, be shut up in limbo, or purgatory? It seems difficult to apprehend what other view, if any, he had of the matter: and, if such were his notion of it, surely it deserves to be ranked with that of Roman Catholics, on the state of departed souls; and not to form an article in the creed of a Protestant Bishop; or, perhaps, of any real Christian. A Friend has added that" Christ's disembodied spirit took

its abode in that place of separation assigned to the souls of departed spirits. (Mark this, the souls of departed spirits!) generally called hades or hell, awaiting the resurrection, and fully assured he should not long remain there: Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell." But where is the warrant for all this? It remains to be proved, it is presumed, that the soul of Christ ever was in hell; and, if never in hell, it follows that it could not be left there. Christ said to the penitent malefactor, who was crucified with him, "to-day shalt be with me in paradise." Hence, it is presumed, the soul of Christ could not take its abode in hades, or hell, and there await the resurrection, as A Friend seems to suppose.

Clericus Senex has given a definition of the word Hell; but although hell might, possibly, be understood by the translator who first introduced that word into, what is denominated, "The Apostles' Creed" in English; (for this creed is understood to be, at least, of foreign origin;) and also by those who framed the third of the 39 articles; in the sense that Clericus Senex does; yet, it is presumed, this is not the signification attached to the term by those who are unacquainted with the etymology of it; nor by any, except a very few among the learned. It is believed that, at this time, the term Hell is considered to signify the place of interminable misery! but, if such be not, really, the sense of it in the articles and liturgy of the established church, should not its proper signification be fully explained, in the national ritual; and by all the clergy, (especially those who adhere to the episcopal hierarchy, as by law established among us,) to their auditories? However, neither the one nor the other is done; except by a few individuals of the clerical order, on some rare occasions! Clericus Senex has said he believed our Lord departed into the invisible world, or state of the dead; which seems to imply that his notion, in this respect, is near akin to the opinion of Bishop Horsley, already quoted: but, however this may be, I cordially join with Clericus Senex, in saying

that Christ descended into hell, (taking the word in its modern sense,) I by no means believe."

Now, Mr. Editor, I cannot, wholly coincide with either of those your correspondents, in what they have stated

concerning the Descent of Christ into Hell; and beg leave to submit, that I doubt if it can be proved by scripture evidence, that the soul of Christ ever descended into hell; and consequently, his soul could not be left in hell. I humbly conceive it to be questionable if in the Hebrew of Psalm xvi. 10, and in the Greek of Acts ii. 27, (the latter being only a quotation, and metaphrase, of the former,) there be any reference to the soul of Christ!

The Hebrew word Nephesh, and the Psuché, are deemed synonymous, and to signify animal life; also, the human person, comprising both soul and body; the human soul, or spirit, distinguished from the body; and the human body alone, even when dead.

The Hebrew word Sheól, and the Greek Hades, are, also, deemed synonymous; and (inter alia) to signify the grave; also hell, as the place of eternal torment; and the invisibility, as regards our perception of both soul and body after death; i. e. as to the body, when no longer in view.

On the two Hebrew words quoted, depends the sense of the text, (Ps. xvi. 10.) on which is founded the tenet in question: namely, the descent of Christ into hell, and that his soul should not be left there.

But, quere, must not the word Nephesh, in Ps. xvi. 10, refer to the dead body of Christ alone? because he said, when he expired on the cross, " Father, into thy hands, I commend" (parathésomai) I consider or entrust" my spirit." If, then, Christ delivered his spirit, (i. e. his soul,) into the hands of his Father, (i. e. God,) must not his soul have been in Heaven, from the time of his death until the resurrection of his body? Can it be rationally supposed that his soul was, as some fancy, in an undefined state; a receptacle, (which does not seem sanctioned by the Scriptures), properly, neither Heaven nor Hell; prepared for the souls of men between death and the resurrection? That Christ's body, was in Sheól, or Hades, i. e. the sepulchre, from the time it was entombed until raised from thence, is certain. Wherefore, it is concluded that Sheól and Hades are to be understood as the grave; and Nephesh and Psuché, to signify the dead body of Christ, in the texts quoted, and nothing else. And, it is presumed, that Psalm xvi. 10, may be read thus, (without any violation of the sense of the original

text: and, indeed, truly; although differently from the usual acceptation of it;) viz. "Thou wilt not leave my body in the grave: thou wilt not permit thy Holy One" (Chasidea, “thy abundantly kind, or bountiful one) to undergo corruption" and that it ought not to be understood as having any reference to the soul of Christ; because the text immediately refers, and is applied in scripture, to the resurrection of the Saviour's body. Much more, it is presumed, may be adduced, from the scripture, to disprove the notion that the soul of Christ descended into hell. But, I fear, I have already trespassed too much on your patience; and, therefore, at present, forbear to dwell longer on this subject. If what is here written, may be deemed worthy of a place in your columns, the insertion of it, at your convenience, will much oblige,

Sir,
Your very respectful servant,
A LAYMAN.
Plymouth, 16th Oct. 1819.

The following LINES we conceive will be acceptable to our readers, on account of their intrinsic merit, and their peculiar application.

Bells toll for peasants, and we heed them not :
But, when proclaiming that the nobler die ;
Roused by the grandeur of their lofty lot,
Musing we listen, moralizing sigh.
Such knells have now a sad, familiar sound;
Oh, that, which spoke worst woe to Albion's
isle,

More unaccustom'd flung its murmurs round, Chill'd the warm heart, and stole the gayest smile.

We cannot grieve alike o'er youth and age:
Thee, loveliest scion of the royal tree,
We mourn'd in anguish Time could scarce as-
suage;

We wept-and, oh! not only wept for thee!
Survivors claim'd the bitterest of our tears;
And we had sorrows, that were all our own;
We, who had cherish'd hopes for future years,
Too long indulg'd, too soon, alas! o'erthrown.
But thee, the age-worn Monarch of these
realms,

Thyself survivor of each dearest tie,

We mourn not with the sorrow that o'erwhelms,
But with the silent tear of memory.
It is not now the blossom in its prime,
Torn in fresh vigour from its parent root,
Scatt'ring on vernal gales before its time
The golden promise of expected fruit;
It is the oak, once monarch of the glade,
Which lives again in many a circling tree;
No. 13. Vol. II.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

breath,

Seem'd to our hearts thine image to restore.
We muse on all thou wert, and tears will start;
When shall we see so good, so great again?
But wherefore ponder not on what thou art,
High o'er this brief abode of woe and pain?
Oh! what a glorious change from dark to light,
From double darkness of the soul and eye,
When thy freed spirit spread its wings for
flight!

To thee 'twas death to live, 'tis life to die.
For thee? it is to all, whose anchor'd faith
Enters beyond death's transient veil of gloom;
But, oh! how perfect was thy living death,
Who wert thyself thine own unjoyous tomb!
Those darken'd eyes no more obstruct the day;
That mind no more spurns reason's blest con-
trol;

Far from its ruin'd tenement of clay,
All eye, all reason, soars the happy soul.
Dull are those ears no more, but, raptur'd,
share

Notes, far from earth's best harmony remov'd;
But, oh! of all the heav'nly music there,
Is not the sweetest, every voice belov❜d?
Say as the hour of blissful death drew nigh,
Did not around thy couch bright angels stand,
Reveal'd in vision to thy mental eye,

And sweetly whisper," Join our kindred band?

[ocr errors]

Leave thy poor crown of earth, whose ev'ry gem

Was but the splendid cov'ring of a thorn; For thee, ev'n now a brighter diadem, Cluster'd with beams, by seraph hands is borne. "That crown not less domestic virtues twine, Which never purchas'd at ambition's shrine Than patriot faith, unsullied, unsubdued, A nation's glory, with a nation's good. "Come! where, beyond the portals of the grave,

The lov'd, the lost, to thy embraces press: Come, where a Saviour, who has died to save, Lives, loves, and reigns, eternally to bless."

January, 1820.-Lit. Gaz.

N

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

IMPORTANT MECHANICAL IMVENTIONS.

THE following are the inventions of an American gentleman named Clymer, lately arrived from Philadelphia. These productions of his genius have been seen with surprise and admiration by many competent judges, whose testimonials in their favour merit the highest regard. The first of these, which we shall briefly describe, may be considered as a machine of the higher order of mechanics; and the second, which we have accompanied with a cut, as an invention of the highest class in Hydraulics.

The "COLUMBIAN PRINTING PRESS," is a machine, which, in its appearance, is classically chaste; and, in its properties, as far surpasses any other Printing Press, as the late Earl Stanhope's improvements exceeded all others which preceded him. We have perused a variety of corroborating testimonials in favour of this Press, which clearly prove its superiority. The simplicity of its construction; the ease of labour which it occasions to the workmen ; the amazing power, and the simple mode of regulating it to work the heaviest form or the lightest card, by the legitimate mode of producing the finest typographic specimens between two flat surfaces, or what is technically termed the table and plattin, all conspire to announce it the perfection of the Printing Press.

The COLUMBIAN SHIP'S PUMP, EXTINGUISHING ENGINE, AND SHIP'S

PURIFYING SYPHONS," we hav says our correspondent, with ment. Having heard of its pow visited Mr. Clymer for that purp his manufactory, Finsbury-street, bury-square; and we confess we taken by surprise at seeing its e as a Ship's Pump. It raises an charges from 250 to 300 gallo water per minute, together with a stances which do not exceed th meter of 18 or 24 lb. shots; and the water, it raises and disgor and 24 lb. shots in rapid succes This circumstance sufficiently pr the impossibility of choking or ret ing it in its operations, in any si tions in which vessels may be plac All other pumps, particularly those board East or West Indiamen, liable to be choked and rendered u less by the very goods which they are chiefly calculated to import-coffee, sugars, spices, molasses, &c.; but this Pump bids defiance to them all; it will raise and discharge sand, stones, shots, gravel, ballast, coffee, sugars, molasses, spices, any thing which the diameter of the tube below will suffer to enter it, without a shadow or possibility of impeding its operations, or putting it out of order; and being almost of one solid mass, and remarkably simple in its construction, any person of common understanding can always keep it in working trim. In a few seconds it is convertible into an Extinguishing En

1

« 이전계속 »