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given any the least countenance to it, much less would he have plainly confirmed it, by teaching the same thing in this parable.
These testimonies of holy writ (to omit divers others) clearly enough prove what we have alleged them for. But for our farther confirmation, and to leave no ground of suspicion that we have misunderstood or misapplied them, let us in the next place hear what the approved doctors of the church, that were the disciples and scholars of the divinely inspired apostles, and the nearer successors of these, have delivered concerning this matter. Now I do affirm the consentient and constant doctrine of the primitive church to be this: that the souls of all the faithful, immediately after death, enter into a place and state of bliss, far exceeding all the felicities of this world, though short of that most consummate perfect beatitude of the kingdom of heaven, with which they are to be crowned and rewarded in the resurrection: and so on the contrary, that the souls of all the wicked are presently after death in a state of very great misery, and yet dreading a far greater misery at the day of judgment. And here in the first place would it not be highly worth the while to understand the faith in this question of a cotemporary, familiar, and fellow-labourer with the apostles, and a most approved one too, canonized and sainted even while on earth, by the great apostle St. Paulb, and himself called by the ancients i an apostle, and that delivered in a writing or epistle, used to be read in the public assemblies of the primitive church, together with the holy Scriptures of the New
h Phil. iv. 3.
(Clem. Alex. Strom. IV. 17.]
Testament? Doubtless one clear and full testimony of such an author, out of such a writing, is more precious than gold, worth a thousand sentences of our later most celebrated doctors. St. Clement therefore, in his undoubted Epistle to the Corinthians k, chap. 50. thus writes of the place and state of all faithful souls presently after death.
“ All the generations from Adam to this day are past and gone: but they that have finished their “ course in charity, according to the grace of Christ, ,
possess the region of the godly', who shall be “ manifested in the visitation of the kingdom of “ Christ. For it is written, Enter into thy cham“ bers, for a very little while, till my wrath and “ fury be passed over : and I will remember the
good day, and will raise you again out of your “ graves."
Where he assigns but one place to the souls of all good men deceased since the beginning of the world, and he calls it the region of the godly, and understands it to be a safe and comfortable refuge, shelter, or hiding-place for them till the visitation of the kingdom of Christ, that is, till the resurrection and final judgment.
But where are we to seek that text of Scripture, which St. Clement applies to this purpose ? I answer, we may find, though not exactly the words, yet the sense of it, Isai. xxvi. 19. Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. And ver. 20. Come, my people, enter
k Edit. Cotelerii.
Γ'Εχουσιν χώραν ευσεβών.
thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee : hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. Where that the words of the 19th verse were by the Jews before our Saviour's time mystically understood of the real and proper resurrection of the dead at the last day, is certain from the Chaldee paraphrast on the place. And it is as certain, that the chambers of God's people in the 20th verse were by the ancient Jews also mystically expounded of the receptacles of the souls of the righteous till the resurrection. For in the second apocryphal book of Esdras, (as we number it,) chap. iv. 35, 36. after some curious questions propounded by the author to his angel, concerning the state of the world to come, the angel is brought in thus answering : Did not the souls also of the righteous ask questions of these things in their chambers, saying, How long shall I hope on this fashion? When cometh the fruit of the floor of our reward ? And unto these things Uriel the archangel gave them answer, and said, Even when the number of seeds is filled in you ; that is, when the number of God's elect is accomplished, as our church expresseth it in the Office of the Burial of the Dead. To the same purpose speaks St. John in the Revelation, chap. vi. 9, 10, 11. And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held : and they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
But to return to St. Clement again : the region of the godly, where all the faithful deceased from the beginning of the world inhabit, of which he here speaks, he in the beginning of his Epistle (as was observed at first in the explanation of my text) calls with reference to St. Peter, one of that number, the place of gloryo; because, according to the exposition of the Clementine Liturgy, of which I shall give you an account presently, they that are there behold the glory of Christ, though not in that full brightness wherein it shall be seen at the day of his glorious appearance. And presently after, he terms the same place, speaking of St. Paul there, the holy place p, not the most holy place. For he seems to allude in that expression, as otherwhere in the same Epistle he doth, to the temple at Jerusalem, which at the time of his writing it was yet standing9; wherein there was the sanctuary, or holy place; and within it the sanctum sanctorum, the holy of holies, both figures of the heavenly things. He altogether seems therefore to have thought the region of the godly deceased, to be a part of the heavenly regions, as the sanctuary was a part of the temple; and near to the highest region of the heavens, as the sanctuary was near the holy of holies. But I dare not venture too far into these curious and abstruse questions. Only I note, that upon this account some of the Fathers, as St. Cyprian, St. Ambrose, and others, stuck not to
ο Τόπον της δόξης. [c. 5.] Ρ Τον άγιον τόπον. [ib.] 9 [This is not now the opinion of the learned. See Lardner.] VOL. I.
call the place of the separate spirits of good men, by the name of heaven, or the heavens, meaning, as it appears", not the aditum, or inmost apartment of the heavens, where the throne of the majesty on high is seated, and the pôs ampócitov, the unapproachable light shines ; but a heavenly mansion near to it. Whence also the ancient Hebrews were wont to say of the separate spirits of the righteous, that they are under the throne of glory.
But again, as to St. Clement's region of the godly, where the spirits of all the faithful deceased from the beginning of the world inhabit, we have a clearer account of it in the Clementine Liturgy in the Office for the Dead s; where the entrance of good souls into that state of bliss, which presently succeeds death, is : said to be their admission "into the region of the “ godly released from their bodies; into the bosom of
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and of all those that “ have pleased God, and obeyed his will from the be
ginning of the world: where all sorrow, grief, and
mourning is banishedt." And presently after the same region is called “the land of those that see there “ the glory of Christ u.”
Of the same region of godly souls Justin Martyr plainly speaks in his Dialogue with Trypho, not very far from the beginning of it: where, among the ca
Vid. Ambros. de Bono Mortis, cap. 10, 11. et eundem ad Michæam, obs. 2.
* Vid. Constit. Apost. VIII. 41. (Bull could hardly have considered the Apostolical Constitutions to have been the work of Clement. They were probably written in the third or fourth century.]
t Eίς χώραν ευσεβών ανειμένων.