Page images

Και τότ’ από φθιμένων ανακύψας εις φάος ήξει

Πρώτος αναστάσεως κλητοίς αρχήν υποδείξας. . “Then coming forth from the dead, &c.” are thus turned into Latin in Prosper : “ Tunce ab inferis regressus, ad lucem veniet primus resurrectionis principio revocatis ostenso. Then returning from hell, he shall come unto the light, first shewing the beginning of the resurrection unto those whom he shall call back from thence;" for “ Christ' returning back a conqueror from Hades unto life,” as Basil of Seleucia writeth, “the dead were taught the reviving again unto life." His “ risings from the dead, was the loosing of us from Hades:" saith Gregory Nazianzen. “ He was raised from Hades (or from the dead,) and raised me being dead with him:" saith Nectarius, his successor in the see of Constantinople. Therefore is he called “The first begotten of the dead, because he was the first that rose from Hades, as we also shall rise at his second coming :" saith the author of the treatise of Definitions, among the works of Athanasius.

To lay down all the places of the fathers, wherein our Lord's “ rising again from the dead,” is termed his “ rising again from Hades, inferi or hell,” would be a needless labour; for this we need go no further than to the canon of the Mass itself, where in the prayer that followeth next after the consecration, there being a commemoration made of “ Christ's passion, resurrection, and ascension;" the second is set out by the title “ ab inferis resurrectionis,” of the “ resurrection from hell.” For as the liturgiesk of the eastern churches do here make mention, “ της εκ νεκρών αναστάσεως, of the resurrection from

d Lactant, instit. lib. 4. cap. 19. e Prosp. de prom. et præd. part. 3. cap. 29.

Ο Δι' ής (σαρκός) οι νεκροί την εις βίον αναβίωσιν εδιδάχθησαν, δι' ής ¿ž Qčov vuxnpópoç apòs Swrv ávelýaude. Basil. Seleuc. in Jonam, orat. 2.

5 ý (leg. 8° ¢x) verpūv žyepois, de qdov lúoug. Gregor. Nazian. in Definitionib. Iambic. 15. op. tom. 2. pag. 201.

h Excitatus est ab inferis, meque mortuum simul excitavit. Nectar. orat. in Theodor. martyr. a Perionio convers.

1 Πρωτότοκος γενόμενος εκ των νεκρών· διότι ανέστη πρώτος εκ του άδου, καθώς και ημείς μέλλομεν άνίστασθαι εν τη δευτέρα παρουσία. Tract. de Definit. oper. Athanas. tom. 2. pag. 249.

k Liturg. Jacobi, Marci, Clementis, Basilii, et Gregorii Theologi.

the dead ;" so those of the west' retain that other title of the resurrection ab inferis, that is, tñs ik toū qdov šyéoGEWS, (as it is in the liturgy that goeth under the name of St. Peter) or rñs ék toũ ởdov åvaorárews, as it is in the Gregorian office, translated into Greek by Codinus. If then the “resurrection from the dead" be the same with the “ resurrection from Hades, inferi or hell :” why may not the " going unto Hades, inferi or hell,” be interpreted by the same reason, to be the “ going unto the dead ?" whereby no more is understood, than what is intimated in that phrase which the Latins use of one that hath left this world; Abiit ad plures : or in that of the Hebrews, so frequent in the word of God: he “wentm or was gathered unto his people, he went or was gathered unto his fathers;" which being applied unto a whole generation", as well as in other places unto particular persons, must of necessity denote the common condition of men departed out of this life.

Now, although death and Hades, dying and going to the dead, be of near affinity one with the other, yet be they not the same thing properly, but the one a consequent of the other, as it appeareth plainly by the vision', where Hades is directly brought in as a follower of death. Deathe itself, as wise men do define it, “is nothing else but the separation of the soul from the body;" which is done in an instant : but Hades is the continuation of the body and soul in this state of separation, which lasteth all that space of time which is betwixt the day of death and the day of the resurrection. For as the state of “ life is

| Ambros. de Sacrament. lib. 4. cap. 6. offic. Ambrosian. tom. 1. liturgic. Pamelii, pag. 302. sacramentar. Gregorian. tom. 2. pag. 181.

m Genes. chap. 25. ver. 8. compared with chap. 15. ver. 15. Numb. chap. 20. ver. 24. and chap. 27. ver. 13. &c. 1 Judges, chap. 2. ver. 10.

• Revel. chap. 6. ver. 8. P Mortem nihil aliud esse definiunt sapientes, nisi separationem animæ a corpore. Origen. tractat. 35. in Matth. cap. 27. Vid. Tertullian. de anima, cap. 27. et 51. et Aug. de Civit. Dei, lib. 13. cap. 6.

9 Της ζωής ημών δύο πέρασιν εκατέρωθεν διειλημμένης, το κατά την αρχήν φημι, και το τέλος. Gregor. Nyssen. orat. Catechetic. cap. 27. op. tom. 3. pag. 86.

comprehended betwixt two extremes, to wit, the beginning thereof and the ending;" and there be “ two' motions in nature answerable thereunto, the one whereby the soul concurreth to the body," which we call® generation," the other whereby the body is severed from the soul,” which we call death ; so the state of death, in like manner, is contained betwixt two bounds, the beginning, which is the very same with the ending of the other; and the last end, the motion whereunto is called the resurrection, whereby the body and soul formerly separated are joined together again. Thus there be three terms here, as it were in a kind of a continued proportion, the middlemost whereof hath relation to either of the extremes, and by the motion to the first a man may be said to be natus, to the second denatus, to the third renatus. The first and the third have a like opposition unto the middle, and therefore are like betwixt themselves; the one being a generation, the other a regeneration. For that our Lord doth call “ the last resurrection the regeneration." St. Augustine" supposeth that no man doubteth. Neither would our Lord himself have been stiled “ SV TOMTOTOKOÇ ÉK TWV vekpáv, the first born from the dead,” unless the resurrection were accounted to be a kind of a new nativity, whereof he himself was in the first place to be made partaker, " that" among all or in all things he might have the preeminence;" the rest of "ther sons of God being to be children of the resurrection” also, but in their due time, and in the order of Post-nati.

The middle distance betwixt the first and second term, that is to say, the space of life which we lead in this world


* Τον δε θεόν φαμεν εν εκατέρα γεγενήθαι τη της φύσεως ημών κινήσει, δι' ής ήτε ψυχή προς το σώμα συντρέχει, τό τε σώμα της ψυχής διακρί

Gregor. Nyssen. orat. Catechetic. cap. 16. op. tom. 3. pag. 72. * Η πρώτη κίνησις, ήν γένεσιν ονομάζομεν. Ιbid. 1 Matth. chap. 19. ver. 28.

u Regenerationem quippe hoc loco, ambigente nullo, novissimam resurrectionem vocat. Aug. contra duas epist. Pelagian. lib. 3. cap. 3.

v Revel. chap. 1. ver. 5.

* "Ος έστιν αρχή, πρωτότοκος εκ των νεκρών ίνα γένηται εν πάσιν αυTÒS AT PWTeuwv. Coloss. cap. 1. ver. 18.

* Luke, chap. 20. ver. 36.

betwist the time of our birth and the time of our death, is opposite to the distance that is betwixt the second and third term, that is to say, the state of death under which man lieth from the time of his departure out of this life unto the time of his resurrection : and see what difference there is betwixt our birth, and the life which we spend here after we are born, the same difference is there betwixt death and Hades in that other state of our dissolution. That which properly we call death, which is the parting asunder of the soul and the body, standeth as a middle term betwixt the state of life and the state of death, being nothing else but the ending of the one, and the beginning of the other : and as it were a common mear between lands, or a communis terminus in a geometrical magnitude, dividing part from part, but being itself a part of neither, and yet belonging equally unto either. Which gave occasion to the question moved by Taurus the philosopher: “ When a dying man might be said to die, when he was now dead, or while he was yet living ?” Whereunto Gellius returneth an answer out of Plato: that? his dying was to be attributed neither to the time of his life nor of his death, because repugnances would arise either of those ways, but to the time which was in the confine betwixt both: which Plato calleth tòa gaiovns, a moment or an instant, and denieth to be properly any part of time at all. Therefore death doth his part in an instant, as hath been said, but Hades continueth that work of his, and holdeth the dead as it were under conquest, until the time of the resurrection, wherein shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “O death, where is thy sting? O Hades, where is thy victory? "For “ these

y Quando moriens moreretur ; cum jam in morte esset, an tum etiam cum in vita foret. Taur.

2 Plato neque vitæ id tempus, neque morti dedit (vidit quippe utrumque esse pugnans) sed tempori in confinio. A. Gell. Noct. Attic. lib. 6. cap. 13.

4 Το γάρ εξαίφνης τοιοότυν τι έoικε σημαίνειν, ώς εξ εκείνου μεταβάλ. dov sis štepov. (al. ékátepov.) Plato in Parmenide, op. tom. 3. pag. 156.

b 1 Cor. chap. 15. ver. 54, 55.

© Hæc juste dicentur tunc, quando mortalis hæc et corruptibilis caro (circa quam et mors est, quæ et quodam dominio mortis pressa est) in vitam conscen.

things shall rightly be spoken then,” saith Irenæus, “when this mortal and corruptible flesh (about which death is, and which is holden down by a certain dominion of death) rising up unto life shall put on incorruption and immortality; for then shall death be truly overcome, when the Aesh that is holden by it, shall come forth out of the dominion thereof." Death then, as it importeth the separation of the soul from the body (which is the proper acception of it) is a thing distinguishable from Hades, as an antecedent from his consequent: but as it is taken for the whole state of death, and the domination which it hath over the dead (rūv vɛkpūv deototelav, Basilius Seleuciensis calleth it, in his oration upon Elias) it is the self same thing that Hades is, and in that respect, as we have seen, the words are sometimes indifferently put, the one for the other.

As therefore our Saviour, that we may apply this now unto him, after he was fastened and lifted up on the cross, if he had come down from thence (as the standers by in mocking wise did wish him to do) might be truly said to have been crucified, but not to have died : so when he gave up the ghost, and laid down his life, if he had presently taken it up again, he might truly be said to have died, but not to have gone to the dead, or to have been in Hades. His remaining under the power of death until the third day, made this good. “Whom God did raise up, loosing the sorrows of death, forasmuch as it was not possible that he should be holden of it:" saith St. Peter; and “ Christ being raised from the dead, dieth now no more, death' hath no more dominion over him :" saith St. Paul, implying thereby, that during the space of time that passed betwixt his death and his resurrection, he was holden by death, and death had some kind of do

dens, induerit incorruptalem et immortalitatem. Tunc enim vere erit victa mors, quando ea quæ continetur ab ea caro, exierit de dominio ejus. Irenæ. lib. 5. cap. 13.

d Matth. chap. 27. ver. 40, 41, 42.

• Καθότι ουκ ήν δυνατόν κρατείσθαι αυτόν υπ' αυτού. Αct. cap. 22. ver. 24.

I Oávaros aútoŨ OÚK ŠTI KUputer. Rom. cap. 6. ver. 9.

« PreviousContinue »