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died for all, that they which live might not live to them- SERM. felves, but to him that died for them; this being, let us not XXVII. wrong the Lord who bought us, by withholding his due, 2 Pet. ii. 1. the price of his dearest blood; let us not abuse him, by defeating his purpose, no less advantageous to ourselves, than honourable to him ; but as by being our Saviour he hath deserved to be our Lord, fo in effect let him ever be; let us ever believe him so in our heart, confess him with our mouth, and avow him in our practice ; which that we may do, God of his infinite mercy, by his holy grace, vouchsafe unto us, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Now, Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our Rev. i. s. fins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father : to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.

Worthy is the Lamb that was Nain to receive power, Rev. v. 12. and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and bleshng.

Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him Rev. v. 18. that fitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever,

Amen.

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Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell.
SERM. ST. PETER in his fermon to the Jews cites these words
XXVIII. of the Psalmist to prove the resurrection of Christ. And

because upon these words our Saviour's descent into hell
seems to be grounded, I shall from this text take occasion
to discourse of this article of the Creed, Kate Jóvta eis ode,
He descended into hell.

This article is of later standing in the Creed, and doth
not appear to have had place in any of the most ancient
ones public or private; excepting that of Aquileia ; into
which also perhaps it might have been inserted not long
before Ruffinus's time; and the meaning thereof hath al-
ways (both in more ancient times among the Fathers,
and afterwards among the Schoolmen, and lately among
modern divines) been much debated, having yielded occa-
fion to many prolix and elaborate discourses : to recite the
several opinions about it, or different explications thereof,
with the reasons produced to maintain or disprove them,
were a matter of greater time and pains than I can well
afford; and to decide the controversies about it, a matter of
greater difficulty than I could hope to achieve. Where-
fore (both upon these accounts, and because I rather
choose to infist upon matters more clear in their nature,

and more practical in consequence) I Nould be willing al- SERM. together to wave this obfcure and perplexed subject; yet

XXVIII. however somewhat to comply with expectation, I shall touch briefly upon some things seeming conducible to the clearing, or to the ending of the controversies about it.

Now whereas there may be a threefold inquiry; one, concerning the meaning of these words (he descended into hell) intended by those who inserted them ; another, concerning the most proper signification of the words themselves; a third, concerning the meaning they are in confistency with truth capable of;

1. The first I resolve, or rather remove, by saying, it seems needless to dispute, what meaning they, who placed the words here, did intend; since, 1. It is posfible, and by many like instances might be declared so, and perhaps not unlikely, that they might both themselves upon probable grounds believe, and for plausible ends propound to the belief of others, this proposition, without apprehending any

distinct sense thereof; as we believe all the Scriptures, and commend them to the faith of others, without understanding the sense of many passages therein : and since, 2. Perhaps they might by them intend some notion not certain, or not true, following some conceits then passable among divers, but not built upon any fure foundation, (like that of the millennium; and the necessity of infants communicating, &c. which were anciently in great vogue, but are now discarded :) and fince, 3. To speak roundly, their bare authority, whoever they were, (for that doth not appear,) could not be such, as to oblige us to be of their minds, whatever they did mean or intend ; they perhaps were such, to whom we might owe much reverence, but should not be obliged to yield entire credence to their opinions. But farther, 4. Were I bound to speak my sense, I should say, that, supposing they had any distina meaning, they did intend to affirm, that our Saviour's foul 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 and current opi

SERM, nion of those times, which it is probable they did comply XXVIII. with herein, whencefoever fetched, however grounded.

2. As to the second inquiry, concerning the signification of the words, what may be meant by he descended ; whether our Saviour himself, according to his humanity, or his soul, or his body, called he by fynecdoche : what by defcended, whether (to omit that sense, which makes the whole sentence an allegory, denoting the fufferance of infernal or hellish pains and sorrows, as too wide from the purpose; whether, I say) by descending may be fignified a proper local motion toward such a term, or an action fo called in respect to some such motion accompanying it; or a virtual motion by power and efficacy in places below : what by hell, whether a state of being, or a place ; if a place, whether that where bodies are reposed, or that to which fouls do go; and if a place of souls, whether the place of good and happy souls, or that of bad and miserable ones; or indifferently, and in common of both those; for such a manifold ambiguity these words have, or are made to have; and each of these fenfes are embraced and contended for: I shall not examine any of them, nor farther meddle in the matter, than by saying,

1. That the Hebrew word fheol (upon the true notion ri—in foffo of which the sense of the word hell (or hades) in this alto vafti- place is conceived to depend) doth seem originally, most tas, et in ipfis vifceri properly, and most frequently (perhaps constantly, except bus ejus ab- when it is translated, as all words sometimes are, to a fifunditas. gurative use) to design the whole region protended downTertul. de ward from the surface of the earth to a depth (accord'Acól.se. ing to the vulgar opinion, as it seems anciently over the Prov. xv. world) indefinite and unconceivable ; vastly capacious in Ave@gogá. extension, very darksome, defolate, and dungeon-like in

quality, (whence it is also frequently styled the pit, a the

lowest pit, b the abyss, c the depths of the earth, d the darkPf. lxxxviii. ness, e the depths of hell.). I need not labour much to

confirm the truth of this notion, since it is obvious, that

this Theol (when most absolutely and properly taken, the h Pl. lxxi. circumstances of discourse about it implying so much) is John ii. 6. Rom. x. 7.

Nobis infe

terræ et in

ftrufa pro

Prov. xxvii.
20.
a Ifa.
Xxxviii. 18.

6. Ecclus. xxi. 10.

d Job xvii. 13. Pfal. cxliii. 3. Ecclef. vi. 4. i Sam. ii. 9.

20.

c Pfal. lxxi. 20. • Prov. ix. 18.

xxxii. 22.

48.

commonly opposed to heaven, not only in situation, but in SERM.

XXVIII. dimension and distance; as when Job, speaking of the unsearchableness of the divine perfections, faith, It is as Job xi. 8. high as heaven ; what canst thou do ? deeper than hell; what canst thou know ? and the prophet Amos; Though Amos ix. 2.

(Pf.cxxxix. they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them ; s.) though they climb into heaven, thence will I bring them (Deut. down.

Isa. Ivii. 9.) 2. I say farther, because the bodies (or visible remainders) of persons dying do naturally fall down, or are put into the bofom of this pit, which is therefore an universal grave and receptacle of them, therefore to die is frequently termed καταβαίνειν εις άδου, or κατάγεται εις άδου, το descend, or to be brought down into this hell; which happening to all men without exception, (for, as the Pfalmift fays, there is no man that Mall deliver his foul (or his life, or himself) from the hand of this all-grasping hell,) there- Pr. Ixxxix. fore it is attributed promiscuoully to all men, good and bad alike; I will go down, faith good Jacob, unto the Gen. grave, unto my son mourning, (xatabýcqua eis äde, I will

xliv. 29, 31. go down to Neol, this common grave of mankind,) and so frequently of others. Whence this hell is apt figuratively to be put for, and to signify equivalently with, death itself; and it is once by the LXX. fo translated, (and St. Peter seems to use the phrase f after them;) for death, I say, or 2 Sam. for the law, condition, and state of death : as in that of Aets ii. 24. Hezekiah in the prophet Isaiahs; Sheol cannot praise thee; 'ņdiveshadeath cannot celebrate thee : they that go down into the pit forrows of cannot hope for thy truth : where oi év übv, and oi drogavóv- bell.com TES, (as the Greek renders Mheol and death,) are the same, about. and opposed to the living, of whom it is said, The living, xxxviii

. 18. the living he shall praise thee.

3. I say farther, that this word, according to ancient frequently use, seems not to signify the place, whither men's souls do joined as

synonygo, or where they abide ; for that,

(Ecclus. I. It can hardly be made appear, that the ancient He

xlviii. 5.) brews either had any name appropriated to the place of fouls, or did conceive distinctly which way they did go ; otherwise than that, as the Preacher speaks, they returned Ecclef. xii.

xxxvii. 35.

Death and hades are

mous.

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