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But from the Heathens let us come unto the Jews; aniongst we shall find the same sentiments to have prevailed, insomuch that St. Ambrose affirms, " that the Pagans stole the forementioned notion of the state of de, parted souls, from the Jews and the books of the old testament; though he wishes, that they had not mingled other superfluous and ụnprofitable conceits there with, but would have been contented with that single opinion, that souls delivered from their bodies, go to hades, or hell, that is, a place not seen, which is called by the Latins Infernum.
The Sadducees indeed denied angels, and spirits, and the world to come; by which, as Josephus writes, “ they took away the rewards and punishments of souls in hell ;?' but the Pharisees, who were the prevailing and far more numerous sect,” believed the in, mortality of souls, and that they were either tormented or honored under the earth,” that is, in hell, “ according to the virtue or wicked. ness of their past lives." In an agreement whereunto, the learned Huetius observes in his notes on the commentaries of Crigen, " that the modern Jews distinguish between the superior Paradise, or heaven, which is prepared for the glorified souls and bodies of the saints, after the resurrection-day, and the ina
ferior Paradise usually called by them the Garden of Eden, which is appointed to be the hąbitation of holy souls during the time of their separation from their bodies :” according un. to which, in the Jewish liturgy, there is a pray. er prescribed to be said in time of sickness, wlierein the sickman prays, " that if the time pf bis departure be come, God would give hiin. his portion in the Garden of Eden, and purify him for the world to come, the hidden place of the righteous ;” which exactly answers the Greek word hades, which as it hath been already said, signifies“ an hidden or unseen place :” and, in one of the following prayers, called Hakaphoth, or Encompassings, because the elders encompass and go round the grave of the buried person ; in their petition for them, they first pray, “ that the departed soul may go to the Garden of Eden, and that from thence he may ascend on high and not stay without." But whether the modern Jews universally concur herein, is not necessary for me to enquire, seeing my design leads me only to the consideration of the sentiments of the ancient Jews ; concerning whom, one well versed in their opinions, I mean father Richard Simon, assures us, “ that in the days of our Saviour and his apostles, their common belief was that there were places under ground, whither souls went, after
they were separated from their bodies.” And a learned man long before him, even O. rigen, affirms, “ that the Jews were instructed from their infancy, in the immortality of the soul, and that under the earth, that is, in hell; there are both judgments and rewards according to men's merits and deserts in this life." From all which it doth most evidently appear, that the ancient Jews as well as Heathens, understood by hades, or hell, the place whither all separated souls do go, and there live according to their different qualities and merits either in a state of joy or misery.
But, that which nearly concerns me, is the opinion of the primitive Christians herein ; which after an unprejudiced enquiry, I find to have been almost, if not altogether the same with that of Heathens and Jews, viz. that hell was the common receptacle of all departed souls, whether good or bad, being divided into two mansions or habitations; in one whereof, the souls of the wicked remained in grief and torment; and in the other, those of the godly in joy and happiness; both of them ex. pecting the general resurrection-day.
Now, that they believed the separated souls of the wicked to have immediately passed ina to a place of punishment and anguish, requires no proof, at least it will be needless for me to insist upon it; but seeing it will be proved,
that they maintained, that-eyen the souls of the faithful went to hell, it will be necessary, by reason that that word is now always taken
in an evil sense, and so without a previous 'caution may possibly create wrong ideas and · misapprehensions in some peoples minds, as
if I would insinuate, that the separated souls of the godly suffer the pains of hell, or at least pass through the flames of a pretended purga.tory: I say, upon these and the like accounts, it will not be unnecessary, before I come to evince this main point, that the ancients pla. ced believing souls in hells, briefly to shew, that notwithstanding this, they affirmed them to be there in a state of rest and peace, in a full complacency of spirit, joyfully expecting the restitution of all things, and the general resurrection-day, when their happiness should be completed in the highest heaven.
Archelaus, bishop of Caschara in Mesopota. inia, though he supposes “ both Dives and Lazarus to have been in hell,” yet maintains, “ that the latter was there in a place of rest :'' for which reason, Origen calls him “ the rester in Abraham's bosom ;” and Clemens Alexandrinus, " that he flourished in the bosom of father Abraham ;” upon which account Hilary of Poictiers very well argues, “ that our Saviour could not fear to enter into the infernal chaos, seeing Lazarus rejoiced in Abraham's bosom.” And from the same consideration, Cyprian comforted the Christians of his age against the fear of death, and exhorted them chearfully to receive it; “ let us embrace," saith he, “ the day that assigns to every one his habitation, that delivers us from these worldly snares, and restores us to the heavenly kingdom: who being abroad, would not hasten to return into his own country? Who, hastening to sail home, would not heartily wish for a good wind, that he might speedily embrace his friends? We may reckon paradise for our country; we have begun already to have the patriarchs for our parents ; why then do we not hasten and run to see our country, and to salute our parents? A great number of friends expect us there ; a numerous company of parents, brethren and sons, desire us, already secure of their own immortality, but now solicitous about our salvation. How great must their and our joy be, in the mutual seeing and embracing of each other? What must be the pleasure of the heavenly kingdonis, where there is no fear of death, but a certainty of eternal life? There is a glorious choir of the apostles, there is the number of the exulting prophets, there is the innumerable company of martyrs, crowned for the vic