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cerity of faith of the former kind, unless it became merged in an equally sincere faith of the latter, was unprofitable to the believer and void. Those, therefore, who professed to believe in our Lord, as the expected Messias of Israel, before his death, would yet be bound to believe in him as the Saviour of mankind, after his death-or their former faith was vain. Nor is it improbable that there might be many, disposed to believe in him before his death, whom the very nature of his death would not allow to believe in him afterwards. The great obstacle to a faith in Christ during his lifetime, was the reproach of the Nazarene ; but the chief stumblingblock to a saving faith in him since, has been the scandal of the cross.




VIDE VOL. IV. Page 104—116.

THE parable of Dives and Lazarus, though one of the moral parables, differed from the rest, in consisting of an history, part of which was transacted in the present world, and part in another scene of things; the former, such as might be judged of frorn our own experience and observation, the latter, not; the former, as tried by that criterion, apparently perfectly possible and probable; the latter, as incapable of any such test, evidently nothing upon which we might undertake to pronounce for ourselves, whether it was either possible or impossible, probable or improbable, per seand therefore if we were to pass any opinion upon its character in those respects, it must be an opinion, founded upon other grounds than those of our own observation and experience.

If the moral parables in general, however different from each other in all circumstantial respects, agree in this one property, of being narratives or histories of real events; unless we should consider the parable of Dives and Lazarus, for particular reasons, an exception to its proper class, this

present life.

must be supposed a true history, as much as the rest: in which case, that part of the narrative which is transacted in another state of being, must be as real as that which passes, and is related to pass, in the

The first part of the history, indeed, as I before observed, requires no other evidence but its own probability, at once to convince us that the transaction which it relates, is not only possible, but may be real; in which case, the remainder of the narrative, which is in fact merely the

quel of the former, the second part of one and the same account—it may well be presumed, is real also. It would be manifestly incongruous, for one part of the same continuous detail of things to be matter of fact-the rest (and the most important part of the whole) to be purely imaginary and fictitious.

Not to repeat, however, the arguments which were urged in their proper place, in favour of this conclusion; as the scene of that part of the parabolic transaction which passes in another state of being, is laid in what is called Hades; and as the transaction itself is something supposed to pass between the souls of such and such persons, which were once united to the body, and once living in the upper world, but in this instance are supposed to be existing in a disembodied state, and to be locally comprehended in Hades—it seems to me a likely means to confirm the general truth of the whole narrative, if we can shew not only the possibility, but the actual truth and certainty of thus much of its particulars at least; by making it appear that there is such a place as Hades, that it is the receptacle of the souls of men in a disembodied state, that its locality admits of being determined with presumptive assurance and the like.

To these questions then, do I propose to address myself; feeling persuaded that for entering upon the inquiry, no apology is necessary beyond this statement of its connection with the right understanding of one of the Gospel parables—the exposition of which has been, and still is, the proper subject of the present work; the parable of Dives and Lazarus. Nor can it be said that the assumption of the material truth of that parable, supersedes any further investigation into this one point, relating to the locality of Hades. The truth of the parabolic narrative, in each of its parts, being admitted—it would certainly follow that there was such a place as Hades, that it was the receptacle of the soul after death, and the like; but it would not follow that its locality was of such and such a kind ; and however well satisfied of its existence, we should still be under the necessity of inquiring where it might be situated.

To readers, indeed, whose thoughts have ever been turned to so mysterious and so interesting a subject of reflection, as the history of the human soul beyond the limits of the present life—the importance and solemnity of the ensuing discussion will be its best recommendation; if it be conducted with all the care and circumspection, which the obscurity and difficulty of the subject so obviously require. Of the two divisions of infinite duration, both of them alike boundless and immeasurable in comparison of any finite portion of either, properly called time--eternity a parte post, and eternity a

parte antethe endless future and the endless past —the term of human life, as measured by the existence of the soul in an embodied state, lies between the two; or rather, though but an infinitesimal portion of the whole, belongs to the latter, not to the former. We have no direct personal interest in the eternity a parte ante, which preceded the precise moment when we began to be; but we have, in the eternity a parte post, which remained to be transacted after it: for we have no reason to believe that before the moment, when we were conceived in the womb, or born into the world, we had any existence; but we have every reason to know that having once begun to be, we can never cease to bewe must continue to be for everlasting.

Nor am I now speaking of the relation of human life to an endless futurity, in a moral point of view; or of the infinite importance of this limited period of being, considered as the state of trial, on the use or the abuse of which, as adapted to probationary purposes, depends the everlasting happiness or everlasting misery of each individual moral agent: I am speaking of it only as the first stage in a course of existence, which having once begun can never afterwards come to an end, and compared with the duration of which, the term of human life at the longest, is no more than a mathematical point in comparison of infinity. Considered in this relation to something beyond itself, the finite space between the womb and the grave—however long it may be—to whatever uses it may be devoted—and whatever consequences may hang upon those uses—is as good as obliterated : each human subject may be said to

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