THE FUTURE STATE AND THE REDEMPTION. Sec. in.
Death in its sensible aspect is a return to the dust (Gen. iii. 19). This is the destiny of the body. On the particular destiny of the spirit and the soul, the word of divine wrath was silent. Therefore there was thought to be no special revelation; but on the ground of that word of wrath, the destiny of the spirit was conceived to be analogous to that of the body. As the body is inherited by the grave, thus the inner part of the earth1 receives, as into a retreat, the bodiless spirit,—a representation not contradictory of the nature of the spirit. For although the spirit is no externum, it may still be locally restrained; it is indeed so restrained so long as man lives in the
1 That Scheol was conceived of as sub-terrene, is manifest not only from the collective expressions referring thereto, e.g. Ps. lxiii. 10, Ezek. xxvi. 20, xxxii. 18, Job xxvi. 5, but also from the history of the company of Korah (Xum. xvi. 30, 33), and the appearance of Samuel (1 Sam. xxviii. 13). Certainly we are not to conceive of any localization, after the fashion of the present state; and perhaps it is this which Hofmann means to say, Schriftbeweis, i. 492, "When the Scheol is called deep, it is not meant to be so understood as if it were anywhere deep down under us, but it goes down subterraneously, just as immeasurably deep as it goes up on high towards heaven;" for the last "it" is not to be referred to Scheol. Strbbel goes further when, I.e., he teaches that "the separated souls partially sojourn also in the regions of the invisible world, which in the Apocalypse are called heaven, i.e. not in the home of the blessed, but in that part of the invisible world which bodiless creatures of good and evil kind have in common with one another." He asserts of the souls under the altar, Apoc. vi., "For them Hades is in heaven," with the remark, " A super-terrene, supramundane Hades of souls is far more consistent with Scripture teaching than a sub-terrene and sub-mundane one." I am compelled to declare the limitation of Hades in this form, even in spite of Strbbcl's reply (Luth. Zeitschr. 1857, pp. 709-771), to be unscriptural; because he proceeds from the assumption that soul and spirit separate themselves in death, and that the former always is allotted to Hades: he is compelled to make the heavenly state of the martyr-souls (Apoc. vi. 9) one which, although it is found in heaven, is yet in Hades. Hades is, indeed, the kingdom of death; but where God's eternal altar stands, there is heaven in the highest sense— xiri; i oipxri;, into which Christ has entered (Heb. ix. 24). This one text
present state. Although itself unallied to space, it is limited in the local body, and within and not outside of it.1
The state of the spirit, or of the soul, in Scheol,2 was not conceived of as an enfranchised and more perfect state; but, since all the life of man is naturally carried on by means of the body, as a state deprived of actuality—bound; and, as death is a doom of God's wrath, as a state cut off from God's grace, and from communion with Him,—as a half-life in the darkness of the abyss, not without consciousness and remembrance and fellowship, but all only in feeble passing remnants, and the like in respect of good and evil, without any view of a return to the upper world, or, which is the same thing, without any prospect of redemption.
This is the most ancient notion of Scheol. It was especially in that want of distinction and want of hope that it assumed the pure reflex of the word of divine wrath, not without admixture of the hyperbolic fear of death found in the Old
overthrows that false assumption. All souls do not come into Hades; and that the soul of a man may be found there while his spirit is in the heaven of the blessed, is a notion just as contrary to reason as to Scripture; opposed to which, the view of Jung Stilling (in his Knowledge of Saints, and its Apology), who places the peculiar hell in the centre of the earth, and regards Hades as the mid-region between hell and heaven, is indeed not contrary to reason, but at least finds no support in Scripture. For the rest, we acknowledge with v. Rudloff, p. 331, "If even Holy Scripture points very definitely to earthly localities of the kingdom of death, still that kingdom cannot, as a region of immaterial, and therefore of spiritual being, be subjected to the laws of locality of material beings, in the degree in which the things of the visible world are so. There are spiritual localities, of which we can have no idea, very probably extending themselves throughout the whole dimension of visibility, and beyond it." Still, we here commend to inquiring comparison the chapter upon the localities of the intermediate state, in C. W. Rinck's work upon the state after death (1864).
1 In the local body, as say the ancients, the spirit is non localiter sc. dimensive sed definitive. The scholastics (Bonaventura, Occam, and others) say instead dijfinitive as the opposite of circumscriptive.
1 For what of man could be in Schedl unless it were his soul? When in Baruch ii. 17 it is said of the dead in Hades, uv thr/QD* ri xnvfit t dvi run an^x'/xnui/ xvrut, from whose inward parts the spirit was taken, "spirit-' is not the spiritus vitalis withdrawn from them (as Schott in his Licentiatenschrift at Gbttingen, Veteris testamenti de hominis Immortalitate Sententia illtistrata, 1860, declares), but the spirit itself disembodied, and leading a shadowy life in Hades.
Testament, and, in its fantastic picturing, not without mythologic elements.1 But in itself it was no mythus.8 Death is, indeed, the punishment of the entire man. To the state of punishment of the body corrupting in the grave, there must correspond an analogous state of the incorruptible soul. Death, grave, Scheol, therefore, are in the Old Testament most closely associated ideas, interchanging with one another, and passing over into one another.
New Testament Scripture puts to the existence of Hades its seal in the history of redemption. In doing this, it at the same time denies objectivity to the ideas of indiscrimination and hopelessness associated with Scheol in the Old Testament: to the former by the parable of the rich man, and by the word of the crucified Lord, "This day shalt thou be with me in paradise;" to the latter by the whole work of redemption, as a reward of which the keys of death and of Hades (Apoc. i. 18) are in the hand of the God-man.
But, at the same time, with God's wrath, God's love had even after the fall of man announced itself. The Old Testament declarations of the future state are not merely reflections of the former, but also of the latter. Even in the Old Testament, those confused mythologic representations are in many ways broken through. The facts of the rapture of Enoch and Elijah throw on to them their beams of light: Faith, the Chokma, and Prophecy lay hold of them together, and beat them down. Faith takes refuge in Jehovah, the ever-living, the redeemer (see especially Ps. xvi. xvii. xlix. lxxiii.3). The Chokma points the lover of wisdom with a promise upwards (Prov. xv. 24, xii. 28, Wisd. vi. 13-20, comp. Eccles. iii. 214),
1 The name of the dweller in Hades, D'KETI, the loosed (from NS"i, weak,
"T; T T
languid), agrees with the Homeric designations ol xa,fiivrt;, the relaxed, tifcun»a xapv»a, the heads without power (uho:). oxiui, tiouha, and occurs also in the inscription of the Sidonian king Sargon.
* That Scheol is only the shadow which the temporal horror of death projects upon the spiritual world (Fr. Beck in the Tlieol. Jahrb. 1851, p. 473), is an unhistorical view.
3 Jul. Muller, Unsterblichkeitsglaube und Auferstehungshoffnung (1855), pp. 21-23.
4 Heyder, I.e., translates this passage, " Quia est qui cognoscat spiritum hominum? hie est qui ascendit sursum; et spiritum pecoris? hie est qui," etc.; and certainly the vowel arrangement seems to require this translation,
and declares already the great truth, "In the midst of death the righteous is comforted" (Prov. xiv. 32, comp. Job xxvii. 8-10). The thought of a redemption out of Scheol already appears at least in the form of a wish (Job xiv. 14); and the thought of a future vision of the God who reveals Himself as a redeemer, appears in the form of a postulate of faith, to which the righteous man, misapprehended and persecuted even to the death in this world, is urged (Job xix. 25-271). The truth of such glimpses of light into the future state does not annul the truth of the existence of Scheol. The truth of Scheol subsists in the fact, that by the power of the word of wrath (Gen. iii. 19) every man who dies comes under the principle of wrath with body and soul; and the truth of those loftier views consists in the fact, that he who in this state has loved Jehovah, even in the future state, although encompassed by the principle of wrath, nevertheless, as waiting for a certain redemption, is in the principle of love. He is with his soul in Scheol, as certainly
for n before y in a questioning significance is certainly elsewhere without example. Yet the interrogative Qnxn (Judg. vi. 31) may be compared to r6tyn, and the interrogative 3B"n (Lev. x. 19) to nn'n; and as well the collocation as connection permit no other comprehension than that which is repeated, moreover, by LXX., Targ., Syr., Jer., Luther: "Who knows of the spirit of the children of men, whether this goeth upwards; and of the spirit of the brute, whether this goeth down below towards the earth?" As also elsewhere in this book (ch. ii. 19, vi. 12), jn* lays open a doubtful question; and there subsists between it and ch. xii. 7 no contradiction which could determine us to look towards its exegetic removal. For in ch. xii. 7 is declared the fact, in itself comfortless, that the elements of man return to their original; and in ch. iii. 21, the uncertainty whether the spirit bestowed upon man goes back in any other way to its original source than does that of the brute. None the less, I have with careful deliberation quoted above Eccles. iii. 21. In the doubt there is a longing, and even the acknowledgment of the dilemma is an important step in advance.
1 Everywhere in such passages of the books belonging to the literature of the Chokma, there allows itself to be anticipated a substance which transcends the degree of knowledge of redemption of the time then present; so that observations such as Hitzig's on Prov. xiv. 82, "The proverb touches upon an earlier time than that in which resurrection or immortality was believed in," depend upon ignorance of the peculiar nature of the spiritual tendency of that time, which was hurrying on a tendency which brought forth in the midst of Israelite people, books bearing the stamp of common humanity, such as the book of Proverbs and the book of Job.
as the body is in the grave; but resting in the depth of love from which, in the fulness of time, the Overcomer of death and of Hades will go forth. Looking beforehand to Him, Isaiah prophesies the future swallowing up of death; the waking up of the bodies of the righteous, and the redemption of their souls from Hades (Isa. xxiv.-xxvii.); and Ezekiel beholds the restoration of Israel, as the animating of a large field strewed with corpses, by the resurrection word of power of Jehovah. In the book of Daniel (xii. 2), moreover, the general rising of the dead is declared without a figure, and plainly as the final fact of time. The apocryphal literature shows us this new light still in conflict with the ancient gloom. For the horizon of the books of Baruch and Sirach is still bounded by the old Hades view. The book of Wisdom teaches a blessed future of the souls that have been united to God here below; and a finally determining judgment, which raises the righteous to eternally blessed dominion, and rejects the godless into everlasting shame, but without giving expression to the statement so closely suggested of a twofold resurrection. And the second book of Maccabees, arming its martyrs with the hope of resurrection, confesses a resurrection of the godless as of the righteous,—without, however, expressly extending it (vid. vii. 14) to the whole of humanity, or even beyond the limits ef Israel. Near to the Christian times, however, the hope of resurrection was already part of the inalienable substance of the believing consciousness of Israel.1 And it need not surprise us, since the eternal counsel of redemption presides over temporal history; and the historical future of salvation is withal a coming one, which, as it approaches nearer to the end, leaves behind it clearer traces as well in history as in consciousness.
The more nearly the manifestation of Jesus Christ drew nigh, the more preparatory became, as in the Christologic questions the perception of His person, so in the eschatologic questions the perception of His work.2 This His work consists
1 Only the Sadducees denied it. When in Acts xxiii. 8 it is said that they generally denied the existence of a iwtvfioo, it is explained from Josephus, Ant. xviii. 1, 4, according to whom they taught r£f 4*vxx; ovnxfatnioxi Toi; aufixew. They were materialists.
2 Bottcher, in his learned and careful work, de inferis (1846), represents this process of development; but without considering it from the point of
iii reconciliation, redemption, and perfection: reconciliation through an atonement, which in love does away with the wrath of God upon humanity; redemption, by the breaking up of all powers and circumstances which bind humanity under the wrath of God; perfection, in the exaltation of humanity to the height of its destination. In Him arose the Sun which in eternally decisive manner enlightened the gloom of futurity, and maintained the hope of the faithful by facts of redemption that were rich in results, and proved itself the essential unity of those beams which had announced its coming.
In order to redeem humanity from death, the Redeemer must, as the Sinless One, suffer the wrathful destiny of death. He must die and be buried without seeing corruption, and go down into Hades without being holden of Hades (Acts ii. 27).1 The descent els ra Karwrepa /j,eprj Tt}s yrjs, i.e. into Hades, which with the burial is comprised in the sojourn eV 177 KapSiq rrjs 779 (Matt. xii. 40), is the extreme lowest point contrasted with the ascension above all the heavens (Eph. iv. 9); for heaven and Hades (Matt. xi. 23), or heaven and the under world (Phil, ii. 10; Apoc. v. 3), or heaven and the abyss (Rom. x. 6), or heaven and the prison (1 Pet. iii. 19, 22), are opposite poles.
This lowest point of His humiliation was also the turningpoint and commencement of His exaltation. He did not appear in Hades as the dead one, without immediately approving Himself ev irv6v/j,ari to the spirits in prison as the living one; for He went thither eV irvevfiari, which could not, like His flesh, be slain, but which, in the midst of the condition of death awaiting the reunion with the body, through the creative might of the Father, asserted itself as an undestroyed power of life. It is thus that we must understand iv w (1 Pet. iii. 18).8 He
view of its object, without which, according to our conviction, neither insight into the unity of the several Old Testament views of the future state, nor their just criticism, is possible.
1 See my Psalm-Commentary, on Ps. lxiii. 10 (i. 470), where the LXX. translates r.anuratu 7% yh;', and H<ilemann's argument on behalf of the reference of the passage, Eph. iv. 9, to the descensus ad inferos in his Bibelstudien, Div. ii. p. 89.
3 Not only H. W. Rinck, Vom Zustande nach dem Tode (1861), p. 87, where the degree of consistency of the mention of the descent into Hades in that passage is very well authenticated, but Wold. Schmidt, De Statu animarum medio inter mortem et resurreclionem (1861), agree with us in
appeared in the world of the dead as a spirit,1 while His incorruptible but not yet glorified and risen body was at rest in the grave; but He appeared none the less in the undissolved unity of His divine-human person as the Prince of Life breaking through the bands of Hades and the grave.
Thus manifesting Himself to the dead in Hades, He preached to them (eKrjpvfcev) the victory that had now come to pass. He preached to the Old Testament dead the New Testament gospel (wiipot? evrjyye\ladrj) of the now completed redemption (1 Pet. iii. 19, iv. 6). There the fallen angelic powers beheld Him as the conqueror; the Old Testament saints, as the Redeemer; those who had died in the attitude of hardening themselves, as the Judge; and for many who, as in the' judgment of the deluge, had been swallowed up by Hades in very unequal measure of sin, there were glimpses of deliverance still
this, that the Lord went bodilessly into Hades, according to His spiritual nature, and there manifested Himself not only as a Judge, but chiefly as a Redeemer; but both, after the example of Bengel, allow the ^uo^oiniu; to coincide with the death in which His spirit indeed is for a moment enwrapped, but is at once forced through the night of death to life; wherefore the latter is to be regarded as the correlation of the fitn-li, which infers contemporaneousness, and the former corresponds to the prophecy according to which the Christ of God should assuredly not be left in Hades. All this is untenable. The words %mmivfoii H 'zrmCfitttt, according to the New Testament use of language (John v. 21; Rom. iv. 17; 1 Cor. xv. 22), can only be understood of the awakening of which the resurrection was the consequence. The assertion of the fact of the intermediate state begins for the first time with it and precisely by this in u (not merely £) it is characterized as a fact that occurred apart from the body. The spirit, since it was the might of indissoluble life (limxfii; guy; eUxrxhvtov, Heb. vii. 16), needed no making alive. For the same reason, however, we are not compelled to the supposition (last suggested by Schott) of a double descensus; such an one as perfected the reality of death, and such an one as had for its subject the bodily aroused but yet not risen one. We subscribe to the words of Bengel, "Christus vitam in semet ipso habens et Ipse vita spiritu vivere neque desiit neque iterum ccepit, sed simul atque per mortificationem involucro infirmitatis in carne solutua erat, statim vitas solvi nescias virtus modis novis et multo expeditissimis sese exserere ccepit," referring the vivificatio not to this unfettering, but to the awakening, and comprehending the descent into hell as the dividing limit and turningpoint of the two status.
1 This is the view which has become symbolical in the Romish Church, and moreover is defended in our church by ancient teachers, as Urbamis Rhegius, Lucas Osiander, and others, which, as I belieye, is more conformed
possible. There also the soul of the penitent thief beheld Him in the bliss of Paradise.
Then ascending out of Hades, arising out of the grave, and rising towards heaven, the Lord led captivity captive (tj^io\c»revaev al^jiaXwaiav): the gifts which the Exalted One sends down, are the fruits of His victory; and, as it were, benefactions out of the spoils of a triumphant victor (Epli. iv. 8). For He has triumphed over the angelic powers (Col. ii. 15); and when He had subjected to Himself the spirits that rule in the kingdom of death and of darkness, He led the men who in Hades honoured Him as a Redeemer with Himself toward heaven,1 for the Paradise is from that time forth above the earth (2 Cor. xii. 1-4). And the souls of the blessed dead are, according to the constant testimony of New Testament Scripture, henceforth in heaven—in the Jerusalem which is above, under Qod's altar; or, according to the synonymous expression of the old synagogue, under the throne of glory. The enigma of the prophetic word, which far transcended the prophet's own
to the Petrine assertion than the view that has become symbolical in the Greek church, and even in our own (although in a less stringent manner). Yet guominiOti; Sf wtifixri is meant, as it is said, of the awakening of the corpse coincident with the resurrection, with which awakening the spiritlife of glorification took its beginning, as the dying put an end to the fleshly life of humiliation; and only in u will be so understood, as that He went in the spirit, according to which (so that the now commencing life had its determinate character in the spirit) He, in awakening up, was again living. Little as I, with Besser (Zeitschr. fiir Protest. 1856, p. 294), can approve of Hofmann's interpretation of this passage—of Christ—of the not yet incarnate testimony to the race of men during the deluge—during the 120 years of grace (Gen. vi. 3),—yet I regard as just what he remarks, ii. 1, 474. By i t u voptviti; ixsjpi/Ji» is designated a going and preaching of Christ, for which the spirit served Him as an agent, in opposition to the flesh; and it is not said in the state characterized as £aioxo/>i0fif vnifixri, that He went and preached. Thus also judges Martensen, Dogm. sec. 171.
1 Even Hofmann finds in that which is related by Matthew (xxvii. 51-53), that this is at least hinted at; but observes, nevertheless, "Although the intelligence of the church of the earliest times has given this perhaps not unjustifiable expansion to the event testified, still the silenco of Scripture is for us a consenting testimony, that the scientific declaration of Christendom has nothing to announce respecting it." We go further; for what we teach above, proceeds on the assertions of Scripture of necessity beyond the distinction of the spiritual condition of the Old Testament and New Testament believers, and is supported by the direct evidence of Scripture.
understanding (Hos. vi. 2), is solved: Hades has now, according to the prophecy of Isaiah (xxvi. 19), yielded up the dead that belong to the Israel of God;1 it is now only as yet the forehell (Apoc. xx. 14),2 although only in such a way as there
1 It is there predicted, that while the oppressors of Israel are pressed down into the shadowy kingdom, without the possibility of thinking of a raising of themselves again, or a lifting of them up again (xxvi. 14), the power of God's grace prepares for His people the restoration which they long desired while under punishment, and in vain strove to attain by their own efforts. "We have not wrought deliverance to the land—the dwellers on the land have not come to light (^S^a)," i.e. a new race which shall people the desert land (ver. 18). But now it has happened, instead of celebrating the event in song, the prophecy transplants itself into the midst of it: the people, in consequence of their long sufferings and chastisements, is melted away to a small remnant; and many of them that might in truth be numbered among them, lie in the dust of death. Then it cries to itself, as if present to itself, pervaded with a hope which will not be ashamed, Tnr Dead Men Shall Live Again—consoles itself with the operation of God's power and grace, even now exhibiting themselves in completion—The Corpses Of Men Shall Arise; and cries, as certain of the purpose of God, the mighty word of faith over the field of dead bodies, Awake, And Sing, Ye That Dwell In The Dust; and justifies this believing word of power in its own sight, by acknowledging, with a glance upwards to God: For The Dew Of The Lights,1 i.e. the powers of life, is Thy Dew; And The Earth Will Bring Forth snADOWS, i.e. will again bear forth the dead who are sunk down into it. Hofmann does not find prophesied here any peculiar arising of the dead, but only that under the form of raising, which is presupposed as an element of the Israelitish consciousness of faith, is predicted the restoration of Israel: "The people of redemption does not awake by any effort of Israel's own to new-create itself; but when it is all over with it, God wondrously transforms it as out of death into life, although of its own impulse there had been no hope for it for ever " (Schriftb. ii. 2, 511). My conviction is different. Even (Ezek. xxxvii. 1-1-1) therising of the dead, which the prophet sees, is to me more as an image of the restoration of the people buried in exile. The two prophets here prophesy what the apocalyptic seer calls " the first resurrection;" the latter certainly in more special and continuous connection, and in less enigmatical fashion. Isaiah and Ezekiel unfold what is announced in Pb. xlix. 15. They unfold it by the power of divine revelation, which has previously set forth the hope of the rising of those that have died in the Lord, as the expectation of the resurrection of the dead in general.
s The idea of ^iKB' is already on the way to this change in the Old Testament, especially in the Proverbs; vid. Oehler, Veteris testamenti Sen
1 Ros lucis, Vulg., the dew of the morning.—Tn.
can be a fore-hell prior to the absolutely final decision. The hope that the souls of the righteous are in God's hand, and in the enjoyment of rest and peace (Wisd. iii. 1, 4, iv. 2), has now its heavenly seal: the curtain is rent,1 and the new and living way is opened, on which henceforth all the faithful follow their Redeemer, without being compelled to pass further through any veil, to the place where God's loving presence is revealed in glory (Heb. x. 19). Thither look the eyes of the dying; thither, when their eyes fail them, their hands still point; there they are in the presence of their risen and glorified Saviour, who guarantees to them their own resurrection and glorification, even in their disembodied state, blessed and waiting in peace the dawning which will make even their bodies alive again. They are in the enjoyment of the peace of blessed inward contemplation, and blessed exaltation.2 They are in the heaven of glory, but this glory is still awaiting an increase. The history upon earth must first have passed away before the completion in heaven comes on (Heb. xi. 40). This completion is their sweet longing, their blessed hope. "Interim ergo," says the holy Bernhard, in profound and beautiful figures, "sub Christi humanitate feliciter sancti quiescunt, in quam nimirum desiderant etiam angeli ipsi prospicere, donee veniat tempus, quando jam non sub altari collocentur, sed exaltentur super altare." 3
tentia de rebus post mortem futuris. Our limitation above, " although only," etc., has not been strictly rendered by v. Rudloff, p. 329 : it indicates the extreme limit of what biblical psychology is authorized to say.
1 Such an occurrence, says Gbschel, Letzte Dinge, p. 78, with reference to Matt. xxvi. 51, stands alone, as the death itself, of which it was the result; but something similar, a shadow of that solitary fact, accompanies every hour of death, where one soul passes away in the Lord, and another looks after it. It is as if the veil were not closed until a little later. Gradually therefore, even the sharpest anguish is lightened at the beginning: the deepest affliction comes after.
2 Gbschel, Der Mensch diesseits und jenseits, p. 91, thus distinguishes xxtxvxvot; and xvxirxvoi;. To this belongs also the thoughtful expression in his work upon old age. The exit of the soul from the body first completes its entrance into itself.
8 In the first of the sermons on the Festival of All Saints. In agreement with us, H. W. Rincke remarks ( Vom Zustande nach dem Tode, p. 61): "The purification which is completed by becoming enlightened and pervaded with light by the glorious light, and the heavenly glance of God's fire, is something very distinct from an intermediate state of purgatory."
This is, in outline, the doctrine of the Old and New Testament of the intermediate state between death and resurrection. Of a purgatory we can say nothing, for Scripture teaches none. The scriptural passages on which it is founded, impartially looked at, and intelligently explained, prove quite other things. The chief argument for purgatory is found in the assertion of its psychologic-ethical necessity. "It is the most complete contradiction," it is said,1 "to enter into heaven polluted with sin, whether it be covered by atonement, or uncovered. Therefore the question obtrudes itself, How is man finally delivered from sin, and holiness established in him as a fundamentally living principle? Or, if we leave the earthly world still stained with any sort of sinful character, how are we to become purified from the same?" This question assuredly presses upon us. Released from the body, we are not on that account released from sin. And justification through the grace of God in Christ, releases us from the guilt of our sin in the way of responsibility, without therefore uprooting sin itself in us. This continues to be weakened in us here below; and the most earnest endeavour after holiness gains the mastery over it indeed—rules it, banishes it within narrower and narrower limits, but without being able entirely to separate and eradicate it from us. How then is the soul which has found grace in God, freed from sin at its translation into the future state? Let it be done as it may, it is by no means effected by a fire which is needed to help forward the effect of the holy baptism, and the blood of the Son of God, which have both in themselves the virtue of fire: it is by no means effected through an expiating suffering, which would have to assist the saving purpose of the reconciling passion of Christ, for the first time to attain the effectuation of its final object. How then? It has been said that death itself is one purgatory; and the final shock of death also the final dividing (Heb. iv. 12), which pierces through and through, even to the finally decisive purification.2 And, in fact, who could deny that every wellresisted death-struggle is, moreover, a finally determining crucible, which absolutely detaches the gold of the divinely wrought spiritual life that will stand the fire, from the dross which 1 Thus e.g. Mohler in his Symbolik.
1 Thus Goschel, in his work, Der Mensch diesseits und jenseits.
burdened and disintegrated it here below? But not every soul is led through by God, by means of such a confirming and refining fire of a long sickness and a victorious dying bed. It must therefore be assumed that the spiritual life, begotten and nourished in us by word and sacrament, is in itself actually sufficiently powerful, as,—when it has rid itself of the world lying in the wicked one, or is suddenly withdrawn from it,—to break forth in the view of the manifest reality of that which has been believed here below with such intensity, that it drives out the sin which is still dwelling in human nature, even to the last trace of its consequences. Whether this may happen to one at one time, to another by and by, we know not. Scripture on this matter says nothing. And as far as concerns those who, in the present state, are unconverted and unbelieving, certainly the hope is at hand, that on this side of the final destiny, the breaking through God's wrath to God's love is still, under certain circumstances, possible; but Scripture says of it nothing, either direct or indirect, but contains expressions which rather leave the opposite to be dreaded. And we therefore decline taking our flight into inferences and presumptions, or following other lights than the one whose clearness, measured by the divine wisdom, ought to be sufficient for us here.
But we hold all the more strenuously to the doctrine of the intermediate state which we have sketched above. In all its details it depends upon irrefragable exegetic foundations, and can appeal to the believing consciousness of the church brought by Scripture and tradition from those times in which it had not yet, in order to oppose superstitious disfigurements, exchanged the primitive Christian views for a heartless dialectic rigidity foreign to Scripture. That such passages of Scripture as 1 Pet. ill. 18, iv. 6, speak of a subterraneous self-manifestation and declaration of power on the part of Christ, seems to me as clear as the sun; although, because they appeared to militate against the analogia fidei, they were banished1 out of the circle of the
1 Thus, for instance, David Chytr'aus' book, de morte ac vita seterna. Polemics against the Romish purgatory have here operated mischievously. The able John Heinr. Ursinus, in his work, On the State of Faithful Souls after Death (1663), makes a worthy supposition as well in the doctrine of the descent into hell as of the intermediate state. "The descent of the Lord into hell," says he, p. 285, "belongs partly to His true death; be
illustria verbi divini testimonia; and, as if blinding by their intense brightness, they were sought to be dimmed and obscured by other scriptural passages, especially Heb. ix. 27, where is signified not a judgment immediately following a death, but the conclusive general judgment. In the meantime, it is not a problem of biblical psychology to bring scriptural proof for the above positions. These are lemmata from dogmatics, against which one must be on one's guard, not to wish to know either less than Scripture or more than Scripture.1 To this is essential quotation and scriptural proof; wherefore we, in order not to trench upon a foreign region of science, have been thus aphoristically brief. But those disclosures of Scripture upon the intermediate state are the indispensable postulates of certain questions, to the discussion of which dogmatics are
cause He, as all men as far as their souls are concerned, was gathered to His fathers, and of His free-will for us was given up to the dominion of death, in order to abrogate it for ever. But partly also it belongs to His triumph; because He as a victorious Prince, and a hero of two parent stems, overcame death thereby, and bound the devil. When the holy body of Christ was borne to the grave, the soul of the Lord was gathered to the fathers, and continued under the law of death till soul and body were united. Thus He also triumphed over death, and awakened the dead fathers to be the trophies of victory, and led them with Himself out of the condition of death." "From which it plainly shines forth," adds Ursinus to this, "that our Lord maintained this triumph, not only in respect of the making alive of His soul, but of the making alive of Himself in the grave with body and soul; for how could He have triumphed over death if He had been subjected in respect of the body to its laws?" For this same reason, in later times, a twofold descensus is distinguished by Wiesinger, v. Zezschwitz (De Christi ad inferos descensu, 1857), Engelhardt (Zeitschr. fiir Protest. 1856, p. 285), Schott, and others: one at death, involved in the death itself; and one at the awakening (which would therefore have preceded the rising), subsequently in reassumed and glorified corporeity. "It was an exegetical error," says Schott, On the First Epistle of Peter, p. 240, "when the fathers regarded the descendit ad inferos of the Apostles' Creed, and the *opwiu; Utyviir of 1 Pet. iii. 19, as referring to one and the same event." We are not of this opinion; and similarly, then as now, are we certain that f*ijfwf£» cannot be understood of a preaching which had no saving object in view: He who preaches x.vpvtmu, provided that his preaching always has in view whatever saving determination of themselves may be possible in the case of those to whom He preaches. The absolute mpiaaut cannot signify a partial concio damnatoria.
1 Schleiermacher, Dogm. sec. 161, 2, may serve as a representative of the former error; Jung Stilling of the latter.
not directed; but upon which psychology, at least this especially, is called to enter.