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*-"-——Corruption. But being a Prophet;, -and SER^1. knowing that God had sworn with an _Oath to him, That of the Fruit of his Loynsy according to the Flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He fteing this before spake of the Resurrection of Christy That his Soul was not left in.' Belly neither his Flesh did see Corruptions The Apostle's Argument is very clew and convincing; ib that nothing more need be said to prove, that the Words o|' the Psalmist are to be understood osjesus Christ. . .»si .c'i
In my Discourse on these Words, If propose, ..,;' :; F .*.
First, To explain the true Meaning 0f them.
Secondly, To confirm the Doctrine contain'd in them. And, r •"/>'
Thirdly, To deduce from it fomcInferences, which may have a useful Influence upon our Practice.
First, I Shall endeavour to explain the true Meaning of the Words j which as they lie in the Original are very ambiguous, and capable of diverse T/ans*
lations; lations j and do for that reason admit of"~ different Senses. ......
For first, the Word ¥&;#», which we * , render Soul, does sometimes in the Translation of the Seventy Interpreters signify a dead Body; and the Word "A^s, which is here render'd Hell, frequently signifies the Grave. So that the original Text will bear the following Translation; Thou wilt not leave my Corps in the Grave, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see Corruption. Again, (he Word SPop*, here render'd Soul, does both in the Translation of the Septuagint, and in the New Testament frequently signify Life; so that the Text might have been thus translated, Thou wilt not leave my Life in the Grave, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see Corruption. Which of these two Rendrings is to be preferr'd, is a Question of no great Importance; since they differ in Words only, and agree in the fame Sense. For, according to both, that Part of Christ which was mortal and corruptible is spoken of in both Branches of the Text;
-" "and these two Clauses, Thou wilt not
'' leave my Corps, or my Life, in the
Grave; and thou wilt not suffer thine
Holy One to see Corruption, are Explanatory of each other, and do in different Words express -the very fame Thought. Whereas there seems to be an Antithesis in the Words j and it is most natural by ^v<)y, or Soul in the former part of the Verse, to understand that Part of Christ's human Nature which was immortal arid incorruptible, and which seems to be oppos'd to that Tart of him which was mortal, and might have seen Corruption, tho' it did not. Wherefore in all probability our Translators have rightly render'd the Text; Thou wilt not leave my Soul in Helli neither wilt thou suffer' thine Holy One to jee Corruption. For allowing the Word ^v^h to denote the Soul, it must be owh'd that by A§V« is meant Hell, and not the Grave; since the Soul descends not into the Grave, but the Body only. Granting therefore our Translation to be, as it most probably is, the true one; our next Enquiry 17 must be what is meant by Hades or
Hell. For tho' the Text assures us that sermthe Soul of Christ was not left in Hell; V* and we do all of us profess in our Creed ^ to believe that Jesus Christ descended into Hell; yet to the Generality of unlearned Persons it seems to be a very strange Assertion, That so innocent and excellent a Person, as we believe Jesus Christ to have been, went after he was Dead to Hell; at which we shall cease to wonder, when we know what we are to understand by the Word Hell.
Now the Word "A^« s or 'AicT» 5 Hell properly signifies an unseen or invisible Place; and is a Term borrow'd from the Theology of the Heathens; who taught that the Souls of all Men when they departed this Life, are convey'd to an invisible Place, or to Hades 5 at the Entrance of which there are, fay they', two Paths, the one to the right Hand, the other to the left; that to the right Hand leads to a Place of Pleasure and Happiness, called Elyjtum, where live the Souls of pious and virtuous Men; that to the
——li— lest Hand leads to a Place called TartaE* * rus, where, as they supposed, wicked
_'..Men suffer Punishment for the Crimes which they committed while they liv'd in this World. Wherefore in the Opinion of the antient Pagans, Hades contained both Elyfium and Tartarus; and tho* they thought that the Souls of good and bad Men were lodged in seperatc Mansions, the Good in Elyjium, and the Bad in Tartarus; yet they suppos'd that the Souls of all Men, both good and bad, were lodged in Hades, of which Elysium made one Part and Tartarus another. So that among them Hades did not signify a Place of Torment only, as now a-days Hell does among us; but it had a larger and more general Signification, denoting the invisible Region, which receiv'd all departed Souls of Men and Women, and was very frequently used by them in a good Sense, as well as in a bad one. This was the Doctrine of the Pagans. Let us now fee how far the Christian Divinity agrees or disagrees with it; that we may be able distinctly to understand that