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and he was brought by the angels, or messengers, or ministers of the gospel, into the glorious life, and light, and liberty of the new dispensation. He came from darkness into the light of divine truth, he was not buried. The rich man died to the light, and was buried in darkness as profound as that from which Abraham was taken-he was therefore buried-he is buried still. He listened not to the voice which said, Turn ye, turn ye, O house of Israel, for why will ye die? But the Deliverer shall come out of Zion, and turn away ungodliness from Jacob. The vision of the dry bones in Ezekiel 37: will yet be fulfilled.

"Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost; we are cut off for our parts. Therefore prophecy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, and shall put my Spirit in you, and ye shall live; and I shall place you in your own land then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord."

That the primitive preachers of the gospel were termed angels, will not admit of disputation, and that they were commisioned to turn the Gentiles from a state of mental darkness and moral degradation, to the light of the gospel, is evident from Acts 36: 17, 18.


'Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith which is in me."

Perhaps you are by this time ready to inquire what is meant by the great gulf, which completely precluded the possibility of passing to and fro. I presume it means no more than the determination of God, who hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear unto this day. This prediction will most surely be fulfilled, and nothing but the necessary time to bring in the fulness of the Gentiles is now wanting to close the glorious promises respecting this people. Do you learn that this can never be passed? on what page of scripture do you find it written. The Jews were to bow down their back alway, but a deliverance is nevertheless promised. That which cannot be performed today, may be accomplished to-morrow. That which was broken from its own olive tree can be grafted in again, and so all Israel shall be saved, and the top stone of salvation shall be brought forth with joy, crying grace, grace. Christ said to his disciples, as he did to the Jews, whither I go ye cannot come--but the question of a disciple, elicited an answer of peace. But instances of this description are so common, that you will hardly need a repetition in this place.

You may also be ready to ask, who were the five brethren of the rich man. Whether the number five has here any special reference to any definite portion of men, is not perhaps certain. But it is certain, that as the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin were counted but one, so the ten tribes would, in the same ratio, number five. That the Samaritans, or ten tr.bes, were acknowledged by the Jews as children of Abraham, is evident, notwithstanding they had no dealings together. And that they felt them nearer of kin, and nearer in feeling, than others called Gentiles, is more than probable. And as the ten tribes never did oppose the gospel as did the Jews, so it might be said, they had not come into the place of torment into

which unbelief has brought the Jews. Hence the whole is easy of understanding. The rich man did not consider Lazarus as his brother-but he saw him in a situation as he supposed, to render assistance. The perplexity of the Jews was great. They were tributary to the Romans, and continually expecting a conquering Messiah, who should rescue them from this state of vassalage. The time of his coming, was at the advent of Christ, and hence they would take him by force and make him a king; hence also, the populace cried, Hosanna to the son of David--and the same populace cried, crucify him--his blood be on us and on our children.

But after all which has been said on this citation, some may yet inquire, how comes it about, that so many learned men still persist in using this text as proof of interminable misery? We answer, first, by inquiring whether circumstantial testimony, and that very equivocal, is sufficient to outweigh the phalanx of facts which guard this passage from perversion? If you answer, Yes-you are prepared to believe in the infallibility of Popes, and Synods, and Councils. If you reply, No-the question is answered, and the subject is put to rest.

But again--If the tenet is true, merely because many believe and teach it, why not always go with the current of public opinion? On this principle, the Jews were justified in their persecution of Christ and his disciples, and you would thus commend the maxim, that the voice of the people is the voice of God. Numbers would thus sanctify error, and that may be orthodox to-day which will be the most damnable heresy to-morrow. On this principle too, the multitude might say to the few who think-Hitherto shalt thou go, and no further. Every advance which has been made in knowledge would thus be an advance in error,

and we might be persuaded to retrace our steps from civilization to the most heathen barbarism.

We have now looked again at the words sheol and hades, and at their use in the scriptures. We have taken one instance of the use of the latter, and that the strongest instance in the New-Testament, and on examination, found it wanting, as a support for the vulgar but popular error of endless misery. Scripture, reason, analogy, are all against it, as a term expressing a place of punishment posterior to this mode of existence. We find it used figuratively as an emblem of the shutting up of the Jews from the privileges of the gospel kingdom, and of the entrance of the Gentiles into this kingdom. It is thus, that it fulfils the predictions of the Bible, and affords strong reason for trusting in the fulfilment of every other prophecy yet to be accomplished.

In confirmation of what has been advanced on this passage, we shall quote from Dr. Campbell. On the word adns he says

"Here it is represented as a place of punisment. The rich man is said to be tormented there in the midst of flames. These things will deserve to be examined narrowly. It is plain, that in the Old Testament, the most profound silence is observed in regard to the state of the deceased, their joys or sorrows, happiness or misery. It is represented to us rather by negative qualities than by positive, by its silence, its darkness, its being inaccessible, unless by preternatural means, to the living, and their ignorance about it. Thus much in general seems always to have been presumed concerning it, that it is not a state of activity adapted for exertion, or indeed for the accomplishment of any important purpose, good or bad. In most respects, however, there was a resemblance in their notions on this subject, to those of the most ancient heathen.

"But the opinions neither of Hebrews nor of heathen, remained invariably the same. And from the time of the captivity, more especially from the time of the subjection of the Jews, first to the Macedonian empire, and afterwards to the Romans; as they had a closer intercourse with Pagans, they insensibly imbibed many of their sentiments, particularly on those subjects whereon their law was silent, and wherein, by consequence, they considered themselves as at greater freedom. On this subject of a future state, we find a considerable difference in the popular opinions of the Jews in our Saviour's time, from those which prevailed in the days of the ancient prophets. As both Greeks and Romans had adopted the notion, that the ghosts of the departed were susceptible both of enjoyment and of suffering, they were led to suppose a sort of retribution in that state, for their merit or demerit in the present. The Jews did not indeed adopt the Pagan fables on this subject, nor did they express themselves entirely in the same manner; but the general train of thinking in both came pretty much to coincide. The Greek HADES they found well adapted to express the Hebrew SHEOL. This they came to conceive as including different sorts of habitations for ghosts of different characters. And though they did not receive the terms Elysium or Elysian fields, as. suitable appellations for the regions peopled by good, spirits, they took instead of them, as better adapted to their own theology, the garden of Eden or Paradise, a name originally Persian, by which the word answering to garden, especially when applied to Eden, had commonly been rendered by the Seventy. To denote the same state, they sometimes used the phrase Abraham's bosom, a metaphor borrowed from the manner in which they reclined at meals."


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