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that Christ has already fulfilled all moral obligations in our stead. The Antinomian system is unhappily the only one which surmounts this incongruity; and its advocates accordingly have availed themselves of the advantage:Since, say they, Christ suffered for us, and in our stead, so
as to exempt us from suffering ourselves, by parity of reasoning, the good works which He performed,-the personal holiness he possessed,-being imputed to us, as performed for us and in our stead, must, in like manner, exempt us from any such performance of our own." Difficulties, pp. 215, 216.
We do not admit, however, that the practical tendency of the doctrine can be disposed of so shortly. Even the death of Christ has not exempted us from the necessity of dying, though to believers it has disarmed death of its sting; and just so the obedience of Christ has not exempted us from the duty of obedience, though it has disarmed the law of its terrors, and rendered that duty practicable to believers from which they would otherwise shrink. For the very end for which the righteousness of Christ is imputed to them, is, that they may have access to him with filial confidence and gratitude, and thence be enabled to render him that affectionate service which, without a sense of pardon, and a consciousness of acceptance, and therefore (we should say) without the imputation of a righteousness which they do not of themselves possess, would be impossible; and it would indeed be a perversion of the whole scheme and design of the Gospel-though, it must be admitted, a perversion far too common-if the means and aids afforded by it were construed into a licence to disregard the end.
We may next bring into view the observations which Dr. Whately makes on a future state. These are found chiefly in an anonymous volume, which, even if it were not currently attributed to him, and dedicated to his parishioners as discourses preached among them" by their pastor," bears too strong an internal evidence of his authorship to be mistaken. He makes, indeed, in his Essays on some of the Peculi
arities of the Gospel, many interesting observations on the state of heathen knowledge and belief respecting futurity, which, independently of the purpose to which he applies them, are worthy of perusal, for the sake of the insight which they give into the moral state of a large and enlightened portion of mankind. But the chief substance of his opinions on this important subject is exhibited in his View of the Scripture Revelations concerning a Future State. There he speaks, first, of the revelation of immortality through the Gospel; secondly, of the intermediate state of the soul; and, lastly, of the condition of the blessed in heaven: on each of which particulars we must offer some remarks.
With respect to the revelation of immortality, in the first place, Dr. Whately understands the declaration of St. Paul, that Jesus Christ brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel, to import that he then made the first revelation of that truth; for he thinks that the Jews, unless from the occasional allusions of some of the later Prophets, knew nothing of it, and, consequently, that the old fathers did look only for transitory promises. He elsewhere says (Peculiarities, p. 5), that even what little knowledge he considers some of the Jews to have obtained, was derived, not from revelation, but from " their own reason," or from "the neighbouring nations."
This question is a matter of no small moment for the right appre
hension of the doctrines of the Old Testament; for if the piety of David, for example, had reference only to the present life, it can hardly furnish us with a model: nor indeed is it likely, that, under such circumstances, the expressions of his devotional feeling in the Psalms should be so lively and animated as not to be surpassed, if equalled, by the expressions of any Christian writer, inspired or uninspired, on similar occasions. Still, if St. Paul meant
this, when he said that Jesus Christ brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel, strange as it appears, it must be so. Let us therefore consider what his meaning really was in this declaration.
The word here translated "to bring to light," is often used in the New Testament, but generally applied to persons. So in John i. 9, Ην το φως το αληθινον, ὁ φωτίζει Tаνта аνSрwπоv. Here our Saviour is represented as giving light to every man. Again, in Heb. vi. 9, by roνs ȧñα qшriodevтaç are evidently meant persons who have once received a kind and degree of light which they did not enjoy before. The word may commonly be rendered to "throw light upon," or to "enlighten," that which was either dark or obscure: and so here our blessed Saviour is said to have defeated death, and thrown light upon the incorruptible life which follows. It cannot be inferred from this statement that nothing was before known of life and immortality, but only that the knowledge of them was obscure and uncertain. The question whether any thing at all was known of them before, is undetermined by that expression; though it is plainly implied that whatever knowledge was possessed of them was comparatively faint and indistinct. Now, with respect to the ancient heathens, we concede that they had no knowledge whatever, properly speaking, of a future state. The fictions of poets and the dreams of philosophers were, we should imagine, perverted relics of early traditions, and rather intimate that something was once known of them, than that all was dark from the beginning. The arguments suggested by the philosophers were probably rather subsequent reasonings to substantiate a traditional opinion, which, when once known, appeared certainly reasonable, than the antecedent basis on which the opinion was first grounded. But of the Israelites our firm persuasion is very different. Our Church holds, and
we think scripturally, that "they are not to be heard which feign that the old fathers did look only for transitory promises." We da not maintain, indeed, that the first revelation of the doctrine was through Moses: for all the revelations through Moses were additions to. revelations made before; and we believe this revelation to have been coeval with man. But, says Dr. Whately, Have we any proof of this opinion? Our answer is as follows: We are bound, by the text of St. Paul already cited, to admit that the ancient fathers did not know of immortal life precisely as we know of it. But the force of his expression is not contravened, if only we allow, for example, that they did not possess the evidence derived from the resurrection, as well as the teaching, of Christ; but had only some less defined expectations of what has to us been made a subject of actual demonstration. We have no doubt, indeed, that some obscurity hung over the subject; but that the hopes of any true servant of God were ever confined exclusively to this life, we cannot be brought to believe. When the prophecy was indirectly communicated to Adam, in the Divine sentence pronounced upon the serpent; "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her Seed: it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel;" can it be supposed that his hopes were directed by it to a deliverance to be afterwards granted to his posterity, but of which he was not to be a partaker? Or if, as is possible, he then expected to witness this promised deliverance in the present life, is it to be believed, that, when he found it to be delayed through his life, he had no hope in his death? The contrary seems to be taught by the Apostle, when he says, Heb. xi. 13, 14, 16, "These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off; and were persuaded of them,
and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth." These all, Abel, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, died in hope: "for they that say such things" as they confessed of themselves, "declare plainly that they seek a country." They seek a better country; "that is, a heavenly." It may be presumed, indeed, that this hope became weaker in process of time, through the prevalence of iniquity; and the translation of Enoch might be effected, among other reasons, to keep it alive. It again grew weaker after the Flood; and therefore, the rest of the world being abandoned to their own delusions, Abraham and his posterity were called, to preserve the hope of the promise made to the fathers. Afterwards, the Law of Moses was added, not to extend the promises of God, but to guard those already made; and therefore, were it granted that the sanctions of the Mosaical law were not in any degree drawn from another life, which was the chief good at issue, but from this, it would only prove that it was intended that, from the experience of the faithfulness of God to his word in this life, a perverse generation might learn to rely on his promises for another. But it is demonstrable that the hopes of true Israelites were not limited to these temporary enactments: they looked forward to something beyond the grave; though they may not, in many instances, have ascertained with distinctness-such distinctness as we enjoy under the Gospel-what it was. Yet what does Saint Paul say of their hope, in his speech to Agrippa? "I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto the fathers; unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come." (Acts xxvi. 6, 7.) Now that hope is in the next verse expressly stated to be, that God should raise the dead. Of which hope Martha distinctly expressed her assurance, in her memorable confession to our Saviour
concerning her brother: "I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day." And that this hope was entertained by them at least as far back as the time of David, is plain from his own solemn asseveration: "As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness; and when I awake up after thy likeness, I shall be satisfied with it" (Psal.xvii. 15): from which it appears, first, That he expected some great advantage when he should awake up from the sleep of death; secondly, That the advantage he looked for consisted in the likeness of God; and thirdly, That he knew that this blessing, when attained, would completely satisfy him. It is true, indeed, that there are other expressions in the Book of Psalms, as well as also in the prayer of Hezekiah, quoted by Dr. Whately, which may seem at variance with this truth. The strongest, perhaps, is that in Psal. vi. 4, 5, Return, O Lord; deliver my soul: Oh save me, for thy mercies sake: for in death there is no remembrance of thee; in the grave who shall give thee thanks?" Yet it is so incredible, so contrary to the whole scheme of the Bible, so inconsistent with the warmth and fervour of the devotion of the sacred writers, as well as with their own language on other occasions, that such should have been their meaning, that we are compelled to look again at the passages, and see if they do not properly bear a very different construction to that put upon them. Now we find, that, whatever may be alleged to have been the notions of the writers (or, more properly, the declarations of the Holy Ghost by them) of a benefit beyond the grave, their ideas of duty were justly on this side of it; and it was to this only they were referring. If they were to praise God; to declare his truth, his lovingkindness, his faithfulness, his wonders, and his righteousness; it must be done before they descended to the land where all things are forgotten-that is, forgotten, not by
perversions of revealed truth, than creations of an inventive fancy. Nor must it be omitted, that two of the ancient prophets, Isaiah and Ezekiel, by predicting the future restoration of Israel under the figure of a resurrection (Isa.xxvi. 19; Ezek. xxxvii. 12, 13,) clearly indicate that the doctrine of a resurrection from the dead must in their days have been familiar to their countrymen. And, in fact, our Lord himself tells us that the Jews of his day did think that even in the Scriptures of the Old Testament they had eternal life (John v.39); though Dr.Whately seems to imagine they were mistaken in so thinking. Indeed, we cannot refrain from expressing our surprise at the stress which he lays, in this whole argument, upon the meaning of the words pwrw and doKE
the omniscient Jehovah, but by the passing generations which occupy successively the face of the globe. They therefore asked for a continuation of life, that they might do something for the promotion of his cause, and witness something of its progress, besides making advances in their own meetness for that life which was to follow. Accordingly, amidst Hezekiah's petitions for lengthened days, we find him occupied in observing what is the life, not of the body, but of the spirit; for of that alone could it be said that it is promoted by sorrow, penitence, and faith. "O Lord, by these things men live; and in all these things is the life of the spirit." (Isa.xxxviii.16.) We are therefore persuaded-to say nothing of various strong and expressive passages, which, though disputed, we do not think fairly disputable that the old fathers looked forward universally (that is, all the faithful among them looked forward) to the complete fruition of God's promises after death; though they knew not many particulars, more fully revealed in the Gospel, as to the way in which they should enjoy them. And yet it is probable that their notions on these matters were far more enlarged and correct than we can trace them to have been, in the portion of their writings which remains to us. Indeed, Dr. Whately himself acknowledges that "the doctrine of a future state was, at the time of our Lord's coming, the belief of the greater part (the Pharisees and their followers) among the Jews; though the sect of the Sadducees reject it." (View, p. 22.) And Saint Paul himself, besides the passage already quoted, says of the martyrs in still earlier times, that "they were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection" (Heb. xi. 35); which favours the idea of a primitive revelation, inasmuch as correct notions upon such a subject could not be human discoveries: and even the errors entertained upon it among the heathen are more likely to be
although the former is frequently applied to the illumination of an obscure as well as of a dark object; and the latter, with an infinitive, is often little more than a periphrasis. Thus doкouvres apxεiv (Mark x.42) does not mean less than aрxovτes (Matt. xx. 25); nor will Dr.Whately, we are confident, teach that Saint Paul doubted his own inspiration, when he said Aoko de καγω πνευμα Θεου εχειν. (1 Cor. vii. 40.)
It would be very painful to us, and may be unnecessary, to express all we feel relative to the hardihood of some of Dr. Whately's remarks and conjectures on this and several other subjects, more especially in parochial sermons, which, being preached to "a mixed congregation, consisting principally of the unlearned," ought to have been peculiarly free from those rash and unedifying, and we think unscriptural, speculations in which they abound. We mention this once for all, that in our passing observations on some of his statements, with a view to shew their unsoundness, we may not seem, by our abstinence from the language of animadversion, to imply that we do not appreciate their danger. We do feel very strongly as
respects the complexion of many parts of these volumes; and most seriously do we mourn over such speculations, and regret their appearance before an unthinking and ungodly world, especially in this age of scepticism, neology, and heresy; but we have thought that we shall best subserve the cause of truth by confining ourselves to a calm reply to particular statements, rather than by general expressions of censure, which rather close than open the ear to truth.
On the intermediate state of the soul after death, which Dr. Whately discusses at some length, he correctly states, that
"One thing is perfectly clear and certain, that it is not a state of trial and probation, a state in which any thing can take place to affect a man's final condition; (as the Romanists pretend,) since we are plainly taught in Scripture that this present life is the whole of our state of trial, and that we shall be judged at the last day according to our conduct here on earth." View, p. 51.
"Since then the intermediate state is not one of trial, it must be either one of enjoyment and suffering according to each man's character, (that is, a state of reward and punishment,) or else a state of utter insensibility and unconsiousness; either of which opinions may, I think, be safely entertained (though only one of them can be true), without failing in any part of the faith which it is essential for a Christian to hold." p. 51.
He then exhibits some of the arguments for that state being a state of consciousness, and some of those which favour its being a state of insensibility; and after a review of both, he draws the conclusion, that either of them has some evidence of probability on its behalf, but has yet to conflict with equally probable evidence on the other.
Now we readily concede to Dr. Whately, that, if this intermediate state were one of entire insensibility, the moment of resurrection would be, to the consciousness of each individual, though at the end of ten thousand years, the same thing as if it took place the instant after death.
This indeed is a position susceptible of illustration, as well as of demonstration; for instances have occurred of apparently suspended animation, of unnaturally protracted sleep, and some also of mental derangement, in which the recovered patient has been altogether unaware of any interval having elapsed between the commencement of that state of disorder and its termination. But, on the other hand, the reader may recollect the ingenious tale in the Spectator, in which a person is made to dream that he passes through a series of adventures, occupying a course of many years, in the interval of dipping his head into water and lifting it up again. These opposite cases may concur to shew how little the actual lapse of time is connected with the sense of it.
We may also further concede to the ingenious author, that an intermediate state of consciousness is not in so many words among the direct positive revelations of Scripture. We are here, however, desirous to observe, that many things are distinctly intimated there, which are not in so many words directly and positively revealed. We may explain our meaning by an illustration. We may suppose a father willing to convey to his son some notion of the future fortune which awaits him. The shortest way to do this would be, to tell him at once the amount of income which it would annually place at his disposal. But this precise statement, we will suppose, he, for some reason judged inexpedient. He might think, for example, that an inexperienced young person would have no adequate idea of the difference, in the command of comforts, which a smaller or larger income would afford him; while the sanguine anticipations of youth would tempt him to expect from a smaller sum greater advantages than could actually be procured by a much larger. He might therefore prefer giving him by little and little some occasional intimations of what might be effected with his future