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Acts, ii. 31. He (David) seeing this before, spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
13. Q. What does the word hell sigoify?
A. It is diversely used in the Holy Scriptures. Sometimes it signifies the 'grave: "sometimes the state of the dead: and sometimes (especially in the New Testament,) it denotes the "place of the damned, wherein they are to be tormented for ever and ever.
Proofs Subjoined.—"Gen. xxxvii. 35. And all his sons, and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For J will go down into the grave, unto my son, mourning. xlii. 38. And he said, My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and he is left alone: if mischief befal him by the way in the which ye go, then shall ye bring down my grey hairs with sorrow to the grave. 1 Sam. ii. 6. The Lord killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and lifteth up. b Psalm xvi. 10. Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption, xlix. 15. But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave.
c Psalm ix. 17. The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. Matt. v. 22, 29, 30. But I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger °f hell fire. If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it
°thatandCaSt from thee; forit is profitable for thee one of thy members should perish, and not that V whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy
right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee; for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. x. 28. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. xxiii. 33. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? Luke, xii. 5. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear; Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell. 2 Pet. ii. 4. For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment, the Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.
14. Q. In which of these significatious do you here understand it?
A. In the first it cannot be taken: for of the burial of Christ's body there was mention before; and a soul cannot go into the grave. Neither can it well be taken in the last; for Christ finished all his sufferings upon the cross. John, ix. 30. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head and gave up the ghost; and had nothing to undergo in the place of torments.
15. Q. But might not Christ descend thither to trinmph over the devil in his own place? Or to deliver from thence all such as should there believe in him.
A. This has been the opinion of many of the ancients; but, I think, without any sufficient arguments or authority from the Holy Scriptures to support it.
16. Q. What then do you take to be the true meaning of this Article 1
A. I suppose that it must refer to the place whither Christ's soul went in its state of separation. Acts, ii. 31. He seeing this be/ore spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
Now, what that place was seems clearly pointed out to us in the Holy Scriptures. For, first, our Blessed Saviour promised the penitent thief, but a little before his death, that That day he should be with him in paradise, Luke, xxiii. 43. And secondly, as he was expiring, he gave up the ghost with these words: Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit, xxiii. 46. Christ therefore having now finished his passion, expired upon the cross: his body was laid in the sepulchre; his spirit returned unto God that gave it: and, together with the soul of the penitent thief, was carried by the holy angels into paradise, where the souls of the righteous rest till the day of the resurrection. And from thence it returned on the third day, and was again re-united to its body, as ours also shall be at the day of Judgment.
17. Q. What is your opinion of the limbus patrum, or prison, in which those of the church of Rome suppose the souls of holy men, who died before the time of Christ, to be shut up: and, to deliver whom, they say, our Saviour now went down thither?
A. As of a mere fiction, for which there is not the least ground in Scripture,* but much to the contrary; and fit to keep company with their other dream of purgatory since.
Proofs Subjoined.—*Matt. viii. 11. And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. Luke, xvi. 22, 23. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died and was buried; and in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
Of his Resurrection, the Third Day, from the Dead.
1. Q. Was Christ to continue always under the power of death?
A. No: but on the contrary, it was foretold concerning him, That God would not leave his soul in hell, nor suffer his Holy One to see corruption, Psalm xvi. 10. Acts, ii. 31.
2. Q. How was he delivered from the power of the grave?
A. He rose agafn the thfrti Trap from the UeaTi.
3. Q. How do you understand these words?
A. That upon the third day after his death, his soul and body, which had been separated from one another, were by the mighty power of God brought together again, and vitally united to one another: and so the same Jesus, who was dead, became again alive; or, as it is in my creed, rose again the third day from the dead.
Proofs Subjoined.—Acts, ii. 24. Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holdenof it. iii. 15. Ye killed the prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses, iv. 10. Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ, of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. x. 40. Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly, xiii. 30. But God raised him from the dead. xvii. 31. Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man, whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he raised him from the dead. Rom. iv. 24. For us, also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead.
1 Cor. vi. 14. God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his power. xv. 15. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. Gal. i. 1. Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead). Eph. i. 19, 20. And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he ?-aised him from the dead. Col. ii. 12. Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. 1 Thess. i. 10. To wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come. Heb. xiii. 20. Now, the God of peace that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work. 4. Q. Did Christ raise himself from the dead?