spoke of that nation, of course, with a view to be understood; now, we ought, therefore, to know for certain what the Jews meant by paradise, before we can insist that they had the same meaning as is now commonly given to it; but this is a question generally lost sight of.

“Paradise among the Jews,” says Bishop Bull, "primarily signified Gan Eden, the garden of Eden, that blessed garden, wherein Adam, in his state of innocence, dwelt. By which, because it was a most pleasant and delightful place, they were wont symbolically to represent the place and state of good souls separated from their bodies, and waiting for the resurrection.”—“For they distinguished Paradise from the Third Heaven, as St. Paul also (being bred up in the Jewish literature) seems to do, where he speaks of several visions and revelations that he had received, one in the third heaven and another in Paradise.* Hence it was the solemn good wish of the Jews (as the learned tell us from the Talmudists) concerning a dead friend, Let his soul be in the garden of Eden, or, Let his soul be gathered into the garden of Eden.t And in their solemn prayers for a dying person they used to say, Let him have his portion in paradise, and also in the world to come.

In which form, paradise and the world to come are plainly distinguished. According to which notion, the meaning of our Saviour in this promise to the thief is evidently this, that he should presently after his death enter with him into that place of bliss and happiness where the souls of the righteous, separated from their bodies, inhabit, and where they wait in a joyful expectation of the resurrection, and the consummation of their bliss in the highest heaven. For, that our Lord here did not promise the thief an immediate entrance into that heaven, the ancients gathered from hence, that he himself, as man, did not ascend thither till after his resurrection."'* The person to whom our Lord spoke was a Jew, and speaking in kindness to him, Christ must have intended to be understood by him; and he had no long time to study for the sense of it, or consult the critics in order to find such meanings as some of them have twisted the words into, in order to make them agree, by considerable ingenuity and tortuosity, with their doctrine of the sleep of the soul. The meaning of the promise, therefore, depends entirely on the notion of the ancient Jews concerning paradise and the beings which inhabit it.

2 Cor. xii. Whether St. Paul meant that the Revelation was made to himself or to another who related it to him, it is clear that he distinguishes paradise from heaven. + See also Grotius in his Notes on Luke xxiii. 43. The word in the original more properly signifies robber.

That the place which the Jews designated Abraham's Bosom, was not understood by them to be heaven, or at least, what they called the Third heaven, or the region where the blest are to reside for ever, will soon appear manifest to every biblical scholar who will take the pains of investigating the question ; and he will find that they meant by it a Middle State, Indeed, no other view of it will consistently explain many passages in both the Old and the New Testaments. It would have been extraordinary if they had so termed a region where the throne of God is believed to be established, where His presence is more immediately manifested, and the highest of the heavenly host move in visible glory; but still more astonishing would it have been, if, when our Saviour made use of that designation, he had meant the place where his Father manifested the glory of his power in the greatest degree, and distinguished it only by a term that would seem to imply, that Abraham was the principal person in it. There is something even approaching to impiety in the idea of calling the sanctuary of the Almighty, where he has promised ultimately to receive his saints, by the name of any individual soul of a mere man from the earth, however great and excellent we had considered him ; but Abraham being the then head of the faithful in a separate region for their own residence while in a temporary or disembodied state, the term is a very natural and proper one.

* Sermon on the Doctrine of the Middle State.

The Hebrews acknowledged three heavens : 1st, The aerial heaven, where the birds fly, the winds blow, and the rain is formed. The birds of heaven, are the birds which fly in the air: the waters of heaven, and the cataracts of heaven, are the rain-waters which come from the clouds, (seldom above a mile or two from the surface of the earth ;) the windows of heaven were opened, means only that the clouds let fall the water which was in them. God caused fire and brimstone to rain down from heaven on Sodom ; that is to say, to descend from the air. The dews of heaven, the manna which fell from heaven, the winds of heaven; in all these passages, heaven is put for the air surrounding the earth. 2d, The heaven of the firmament wherein the stars are disposed. This the Jews of old conceived to be a solid and extended vault of crystal, or of some such nature. God placed the sun and moon in the firmament of heaven. The stars are called the Host of heaven. 3d, The third heaven, or the highest heaven, or the heaven of heavens, was meant to express that region, where God more directly and gloriously manifests his wondrous perfections and powers, and the future or eternal place of reward for the saints when their souls and bodies are reunited.

It is in one or other of these meanings that the word heaven is always used in Scripture, and they ought not to be confounded with one another, for they were so understood by the people to whom the Scriptures were first delivered ; but there are many who, after more than eighteen hundred years have elapsed, appear to think that no terms in the Bible could have been meant originally in a different sense from what they themselves have been accustomed to consider; and this generally without the least particular investigation, or even knowledge of the language used to express them, or remembering that the English version is but a translation, and that the exact sense of even some English words varies by time.

The learned Bingham, in his Christian Antiquities, remarks, that it was the sense of the primitive Church, that “the soul is but in an imperfect state of happiness till the resurrection, when the whole man shall obtain a complete victory over death, and by the last judgment be established in an endless state of consummate happiness and glory.”' *

Tertullian, who lived in the end of the second century and beginning of the third, was an eminent member of the Christian Church. In his Apologetic, he observes—“And if at any time we mention paradise a place of divine delightfulness, prepared for the reception of the souls of the righteous, at the same time we mean not heaven.” And in the fourth Book against Marcion, adds—“ That region I call Abraham's Bosom ; a place, though not of celestial height, yet higher than the infernal region, adapted to afford refreshment to the souls of the righteous till the consummation of all things completes the fulness of their rewards in consequence of their resurrection.”+

Victorinus, in his commentary on Rev. vi. 9. concerning the souls that are figuratively said to be under the altar (that is, under divine protection) expresses his opinion to be that they must all attend the second coming of our Lord, or on the last day; when, only, the rewards and punishments for their deeds on earth are to be distributed,

Almost all, indeed, of the ancient fathers expressed their belief to be that the souls of men went to Hades, and were not immediately carried to the heaven of heavens, but remained in the state and place appointed for them out of heaven or hell, until time shall bring the day of judgment.

Macarius, Bishop of Jerusalem, explaining the incarnation of Christ to a philosopher in the Nicene Council, shows, that He descended to Hades, that He might in all things be like unto us. As we are all of us carried after death to Hades, He accepted of this condition, and voluntarily went there. From whence, says this divine, He made the same resurrection from death that we are to do. And he afterwards adds to this, and the other things that are mentioned in the same chapter. “This is the Apostolical and unblameable faith of the church.”

* Book XV. chap. 3. § 16.

+ Translated in the text.—When this author speaks of the infernal regions, he alludes to the Tartarus of the middle state, and uses the Latin word Inferi merely to express a place beneath the earth, that is to say, only out of sight, and in this sense speaks of it in other passages. All ancient authors included both Elysium and Tartarus under the general term inferi,

In an old fragment concerning The Cause of all Things, said to be written by one Caius, or at least by some very ancient Christian author, it is more than once asserted that the souls both of the righteous and the wicked are retained in Hades. The author begins thus : “And this is the discourse concerning the angels; but of Hades, in which the spirits of the just and unjust are detained, it is necessary to speak.” And he afterwards distinguishes their several mansions. “ The just, indeed, are now detained in Hades, but not in the same place where the unjust are; for there is one entrance to this place, of which the gate,” &c.—where he places angels as so many guards, who separate the souls as they enter, and either send or conduct them severally to their appointed places. Lastly, he affirms that they remain there till the time of the resurrection. “This is the discourse concerning Hades, in which the souls of men are retained till the time pre-ordained by God, who, when that comes, will raise them altogether.”*

All this is fully shown by the Scriptures, and was the belief of those early Christians who conversed personally with the Apostles, and, as appears from their works, such as those of St. Polycarp and St. Clement, disciples of St. John and St. Paul.

There is a commentary upon the Revelation, still extant, by two Cæsarean Bishops, Andrew and Arathas, noticed by Dr. Burnet, who is uncertain as to the exact time in which they wrote, but undoubtedly of a very early age, in which it is said—“Death is the separation of the soul and body; but Hades is the country to us invisible, that flies from our inquiry, and hides itself from our knowledge, and that receives our souls as soon as they depart from our bodies.”*

The following extract from the works of that eminently

Translated in the text.

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