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a substantial agreement in the ideas conveyed by the two terms as currently understood by the Greeks and Hebrews respectively-a substantial, but not an entire agreement: for in this, as well as in other ternis which related to subjects bearing on things spiritual and divine, the different religions of Jew and Gentile necessarily exercised a modifying influence; so that even when the same term was employed, and with reference generally to the same thing, shades of difference could not but exist in respect to the ideas understood to be indicated. Two or three points stand prominently out in the views entertained by the ancients respecting hades :—first, that it was the common receptacle of departed spirits, of good as well as bad ; second, that it was divided into two compartments, the one containing an Elysium of bliss for the good, the other a Tartarus of sorrow and punishment for the wicked ; and, thirdly, that in respect to its locality it lay under ground, in the midregions of the earth. So far as these points are concerned, there is no material difference between the Greek hades and the Hebrew sheol. This
, too, was viewed as the common receptacle of the departed : patriarchs and righteous men spake of going into it at their decease, and the most ungodly and worthless characters are represented as finding in it their proper home. (Gen. xlii. 38 ; Psalm cxxxix. 8; Hosea xiii. 14; Isai. xiv., &c.) A twofold division also in the state of the departed, corresponding to the different courses they had pursued on earth, is clearly implied in the revelations of Scripture on the subject, though with the Hebrews less prominently exhibited, and without any of the fantastic and puerile inventions of heathen mythology. Yet the fact of a real distinction in the state of the departed, corresponding to their spiritual conditions on earth, is in various passages not obscurely indicated. Divine retribution is represented as pursuing the wicked after they have left this world-pursuing them even into the lowest realms of sheol; (Deut. xxxii. 22 ; Amos ix. 2 ;) and the bitterest shame and humiliation are described as awaiting there the most prosperous of this world's inbabitants, if they have abused their prosperity to the dishonour of God and the injury of their fellow-men. (Psalm xlix. 14; Isai. xiv.) On the other hand, the righteous had hope in his death; he could rest assured, that in the viewless regions of sheol,
as amid the changing vicissitudes of earth, the right hand of God would sustain bim. Even there he would enter into peace, walking still, as it were, in his uprightness. (Prov. xiv. 32; Psalm cxxxix. 8; Isai. lvii. 2.) And that sheol, like bades, was conceived of as a lower region in comparison of the present world, is so manifest from the whole language of Scripture on the subject, that it is unnecessary to point to particular examples. In respect to the good, as well as to the bad, the passage into sheol was contemplated as a descent; and the name was sometimes used as a synonym for the lowest depths. (Deut. xxxii. 22 ; Job xi. 7–9.) This is not, however, to be understood as affirming anything of the actual locality of disembodied spirits : for there can be no doubt that the language here, as in other cases, was derived from the mere appearances of things; and as the body at death was committed to the lower parts of the earth, so the soul was conceived of as also going downwards. But that this was not designed to mark the local boundaries of the region of departed spirits, may certainly be inferred from other expressions used regarding them,as, that God took them to Himself; that He would give them to see the path of life; that He would make them dwell in this house for ever; or, more generally still, that the spirit of a man goeth upward. (Gen. v. 24 ; Psalm xvi. 11 ; xxiii. 6 ; Eccles. iii. 21 ; xii. 7.) Daring the old dispensations there was still no express revelation from heaven respecting the precise condition or external relationships of departed spirits. The time had not yet come for such specific intimations; and the language employed was consequently of a somewhat vague and vacillating
nature, such as spontaneously arose from common feelings and impressions. For the same reason, the ideas entertained even by God's people upon the subject were predominantly. sombre and gloomy. Sheol wore po inviting aspect to their view, any more than hades to the superstitious heathen; the very men who believed that God would accompany them thither, and keep them from evil, contemplated the state as one of darkness and silence, and shrunk from it with instinctive horror, or gave hearty thanks when they found themselves for a time delivered from it. (Psalm vi. 5; xxx. 3, 9; Job iii. 13, seq. ; Isai. xxxviii. 18.) The reason was, that they had only general assurances, but no specific light on the subject : and their comfort rather lay in overleaping the gulf of sheol, and fixing their thoughts on the better resurrection, sometime to come, than in anything they could definitely promise themselves between death and the resurrection-morn.
For in this lay one important point of difference between the Jewish and the heathen hades, originated by the diverse spirit of the two religions,-that to the believing Hebrew alone the sojourn in sheol appeared that only of a temporary and intermediate existence. The poor heathen had no prospect beyond its shadowy realms ; its bars for him were eternal; and the idea of a resurrection was utterly strange alike to his religion and his philosophy. But it was in connexion with the prospect of a resurrection from the dead, that all hope formed itself in the breasts of the true people of God. As this alone could effect the reversion of the evil brought in by sin, and really destroy the destroyer, so nothing less was announced in that first promise which gave assurance of the crushing of the tempter ; and if, as to its nature, but dimly apprehended by the eye of faith, it still neces. sarily formed, as to the reality, the great object of desire and expectation. Hence it is said of the patriarchs, that they “ looked for a better country, that is, a heavenly ;” and of those who in later times resisted unto blood for the truth of God, that they did it to “obtain a better resurrection.” (Heb. xi. 16, 35.) Hence, too, the Spirit of prophecy confidently proclaimed the arrival of a time when the dead should arise and sing, when sheol itself should be destroyed, and many of its inmates be brought forth to the possession of everlasting life. (Isai. xxvi. 19: Hosea xiii. 14 ; Daniel xii. 2.) And yet again, in apostolic times, St. Paul represents this as emphatically the promise made by
God to the fathers, to the realization of which his countrymen as with one heart were hoping to come. (Acts xxvi. 7.) And Josephus, in like manner, testifies of all but the small Sadducean faction of them, that they believed in a resurrection to honour and blessing for those who had lived righteously in this life. (Ant., xviii., 1, 3.) This hope necessarily cast a gleam of light across the darkness of hades for the Israelite, which was altogether unknown to the Greek. And closely connected with it was another difference, also of considerable moment; namely, that the Hebrew sheol was not, like the Gentile hades, viewed as an altogether separate and independent region, withdrawn from the primal fountain of life, and subject to another dominion than the Forld of sense and time. Pluto was ever regarded by the heathen as the rival of the King of earth and heaven ; the two domains were essentially antagonistic. But to the more enlightened llebrew there was but one Lord of the living and the dead. The chambers of sheol were as much open to His eye, and subject to His control, as the bodies and habitations of men on earth ; so that to go into the realms of the deceased was but to pass from one department to another of the same all-embracing sway of Jehovah.
Such was the general state of belief and expectation regarding hades, or sheol, in Old Testament times. With the introduction of the Gospel a new light breaks in, which shoots its rays also through the realms of the departed, and relieves the gloom in which they had still appeared shrouded to the view of the faithful. The term hades, however, is of comparatively rare occurrence in New-Testament Scripture. In our Lord's own discourses it is found only thrice ; and on two of the occasions it is used in a somewhat rhetorical manner, by way of contrast to the region of life and blessing. He said of Capernaum, that from being exalted unto heaven it should be brought down to hades; (Matt. xi. 23 ;) that is, plainly, from the highest point of fancied or of real elevation to the lowest abasement. Of that spiritual kingdom also, or church, which He was going to establish on earth, He affirmed, that “the gates of hades should not prevail against it,” (Matt. xvi. 18,)which is all one with saying that it should be perpetual. Hades is contemplated as a kind of realm or kingdom, accustomed, like earthly kingdoms in the East, to hold its council-chamber at the gates; and whatever measures might be there taken, whatever plots devised, they should never succeed in overturning the foundations of Christ's kingdom, or effectually marring its interests. In both these passages, hades is placed by our Lord in an antagonistic relation to His cause among men; although, from the manner in which the word is employed, no very definite conclusions could be drawn from them as to the nature and position of bades itself. But in another passage—the only one in which any indication is given by our Lord of the state of its inhabitants—it is most distinctly and closely associated with the doom and misery of the lost : “In bades,” it is said of the rich man in the parable, " he lifted up his eyes, being in torments.” The soul of Lazarus is, no doubt, also represented as being so far within the bounds of the same region, that he could be descried and spoken with
by the sufferer. Still, he was represented as sharing no common fate with the other ; but as occupying a region shut off from all intercommunion with that assigned to the wicked, and, so far from being held in a sort of dungeon-confinement, reposing in Abraham's bosom, in an abode where angels visit. And with this also agrees what our Lord said of His own temporary sojourn among the dead, when on the eve of His departing thither. To-day,” said He, in His reply to the prayer of the penitent malefactor, “ shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (Luke xxiii. 43.) But paradise was the proper region of life and blessing, not of gloom and forgetfulness. Originally it was the home and heritage of man, as created in the image of God; and when Christ now named the place whither He was going with a redeemed sinner
paradise,” it bespoke that already there was an undoing of the eril of sin,—that for all who are Christ's there is an actual recovery, immediately after death, and as regards the better part of their natures, of what was lost by the disobedience and ruin of the fall.
But was not Christ Himself in hades ? Did not the apostle Peter on the day of Pentecost apply to Him the words of David in Psalm xvi., in which it was said, “ Thou wilt not leave my soul in bades, neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption,” and argue, apparently, that the soul of Christ must have indeed gone to hades, but only could not be allowed to continue there? Even so, however, it would but concern the application of a name : for, if the language of the apostle must be understood as implying that our Lord's soul was in hades between death and the resurrection, it still was hades as having a paradise within its bosom; so that, knowing from His own lips what sort of a receptacle it afforded to the disembodied spirit of Jesus, we need care little about the mere name by which, in a general way, it might be designated. But the apostle Peter, it must be remembered, does not call it hades ; he merely quotes an Old-Testament passage, in which hades is mentioned, as a passage that had its verifi. cation in Christ ; and the language of course in this, as in other prophetical passages, was spoken from an Old Testament point of view, and must be read in the light which the revelations of the Gospel have cast over the state and prospects of the soul. We may even, however, go farther ; for the psalmist hiniself does not strictly affirm the soul of the Holy One to have gone to hades: his words precisely rendered are, “ Thou wilt not leave” (or abandon) “my soul to hades," —that is, give it up as a prey to the power or domain of the nether world. It is rather a negative than a positive assertion regarding our Lord's connexion with hades, that is contained in the passage; and nothing can fairly be argued from it as to the local habitation or actual state of His disembodied spirit.
The only other passages in the New Testament in which mention is made of bades are in Revelation : chap. i. 18, where the glorified Redeemer declares that He has the keys of death and of hades ; chap. vi. 8, where death is symbolized as a rider, smiting all around him with weapons of destruction, and hades following to receive the souls of the slain ; chap. xx. 13, 14, where death and hades are both repre
sented as giving up the dead that were in them, and afterwards as being themselves cast into the lake of fire, which is the second death. In every one of these passages hades stands in a dark and forbidding connexion with death-very unlike that association with paradise and Abraham's bosom, in which our Lord exhibited the receptacle of His own and His people's souls to the eye of faith ; and not only so, but in one of them it is expressly as an ally of death in the execution of judgment that hades is represented, while in another it appears as an accursed thing, consigned to the lake of fire. In short, it seems as if in the progress of God's dispensations a separation had come to be made between elements that originally were mingled together; as if, from the time that Christ brought life and immortality to light, the distinction in the next world, as well as this, was broadened between the saved and the lost ; so that bades was henceforth appropriated, both in the name and in the reality, to those who were to be reserved in darkness and misery to the judgment of the great day; and other names, with other and brighter ideas, were employed to designate the intermediate resting place of the redeemed. It was meet that it should be so: for by the personal work and mediation of Christ the whole church of God rose to a higher condition ; old things passed away, all things became new. And it is but reasonable to suppose that the change in some degree extended to the occupants of the intermediate state,—the saved becoming more enlarged in the possession of bliss and glory, the lost more sunk in anguish and despair.
A BISHOP'S “SYSTEMATIC BENEFICENCE." DURING a visit, in April last, to the Isle of Man, (says the Editor of “The Benefactor,” 7, Adam-street, Strand,) I was much interested by hearing on every side evidence of the wise and wonderful beneficence of Bishop Wilson. Although more than one hundred and fifty years have passed away, the memory of his labours is still fresh, and even more blessed than ever. I was so impressed with this, as to be led eagerly to inquire the cause of his great and long-continued usefulness. The result is embodied in the accompanying paper, which I place on record with unmingled pleasure.
In the year 1692, William, Earl of Derby, appointed him his domestic chaplain, and preceptor to his son James, Lord Strange, with a salary of £:30 a year. Out of this he gave one-tenth to God. He was soon after elected master of the alms-house at Latham, which brought him in £20 a quarter. We find that he now set apart one-fifth of his income for pious uses, and particularly for the poor.
“Memorandum.-Easter-Day, 1693.-It having pleased God, of His mere bounty and goodness, to bless me with a temporal income far above my hopes or deserts,—and I have hitherto given but one-tenth part of my income to the poor, I do, therefore, purpose, and I thank God for putting