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three days;" and yet we find,* "that the people came to Rehoboam on the third day, as the King commanded, saying, come again to me on the third day.) A plain instance, that both phrases mean the same thing.
As for the expression of our Savior's being three days and three nights in the heart of the earth; from the foregoing observations, the account of that is very easy; for the Jews, like us, had no one word by which to ex. press a day of twenty-four hours, or, as the Greeks called it, a day-night, as we might do. They sometimes styled it a day, as we do; but at other times, a day and a night; so that we are to understand by the expression of three days and three nights, no more than that Jesus was to be in the grave three days, as we would express it, reckoning, inclusively, the first and last for two of them, and counting the pieces of days for whole ones; and of this way of speaking, there is a remarkable instance in the book of Esther:t she declares that she would fast with her people, the Jews, three days, night and day; and yet we find her, upon the third day, at a banquet with the King and Haman her adversary.
By this, therefore, it plairly appears, that Jesus rose from the grave at the time foretold by him; and thus the prediction was fully accomplished.
ON PSALM xvi 10, AND ACTS i. 27.
E. E. PROFESSES him self much puzzled with that article in the Apostle's creed, that Christ "descended into hell;" and as to the true meaning of these Scrip tures, Ps. xvi. 10, and Acts ii. 27.
* Verse 12.
Chapter iv. 1&
# Chapter v. 1.
It is certain, many of the antients, believed that Christ descended into hell literally: either to preach deliverance to the spirits then in prison, (whence arose the doctrine of Purgatory;) or, at least, to publish there his triumphs, over Satan, Death, and Hell. But, since the nature of the Hebrew language has been more deeply studied, it has appeared sufficiently evident, that by hell, in Scripture, is often meant either the grave, or the invisible world in general. The radical idea of the original term ådys, is the hidden or concealed place; and such is also the primary meaning of the Saxon term hell, from Helan, to cover over. As to the word soul, it is certainly not always used for the immortal spirit; but for the animal frame, whether alive or dead. So that the passage in question may be properly rendered,
Thou wilt not leave my animal frame in the grave;
It may be added, this article did not belong originally to the Apostle's creed; and when it was first inserted, the words, “was buried,” were omitted. For farther satisfaction, E. E. is referred to Bishop Pearson on the Creed; or to Mr. Buck's Theological Dictionary, under the word Hell.
ON THE ATONEMENT.
“Can a person be considered as having an interest in
Christ, who rejects the atonement he has made?” He gives no evidence of his interest: secret things belong to God; and we know not what God may hereafter do for such a person; but we are warranted to say, he gives no evidence of interest in Christ. A belief of the truth (and this is eminently the truth*) is essential to a state of salvation; and “he that believeth not shall be damned." “Except ye eat the flesh, and drink the blood of the Son of man, ye have no life in you.”+ This passage plainly refers to the atonement of Christ; and signifies the use that a real Christian makes of it. Many, very many, other Scriptures clearly prove the necessity of “receiving the atonement,”! in order to our personal salvation. We must tremble, therefore, for a Socinian, or any one who neglects this great salvation.
QUERY OF A SEEKER AFTER SALVATION.
-What are the duties incumbent on man, in a natural state, in order to acquire an experimental knowledge of the gospel of salvation?" An experimental knowledge of the gospel is certainlyan object of the highest importance: and he is the wisest and happiest man who has attained, through Divine grace, the clearest perceptions of that way of salvation, from which the gospel derives all its importance and glory. The proposer of the above Query,
* Galatians iii. 1.
† John vi. 53.
$ Romans v. 11.
seems to be fully satisfied as to the latter of these points. He confesses the necessity of experimentally knowing the gospel of salvation; but he assumes, that this infinite blessing is to be acquired by the performances of duties; and that man in a natural state, is capable of discharging them. His only question of difficulty is, What are these wonder-working duties?" Now, Sir, as I am persuaded you have but few correspondents who could meet our inquirer upon his own terms, and as some questions are best answered by proposing others, I would take the liberty of requesting his unbias. sed attention to the following particulars:
First, What is the scriptural import of the descriptive terms here used,"Man in a natural state?" Is it not that he is a sinner fallen from God by original sin? that he is altogether ignorant of Divine things? that he is at enmity with God in the appointed medium of salvation? that he is enslaved by error and his own carnal base passions?that he has neither will nor power to perform holy exercises? that, as a natural man, not believing in Christ, his very best sacrifices are bad and abominable in the sight of God? How apposite to our purpose is the thirteenth article of the established church of England! “Works,” says that article, “done before the grace of Christ and the inspiration of his Spirit, are not pleasant to God, forasmuch as they spring not of faith in Jesus Christ, neither do they make men meet to receive or deserve grace; and as they are not done as God hath willed and commanded, they have the nature of sin.”
Secondly, If this account of man in his natural, or unregenerate state, be scripturally accurate, on what ground can it be, for a moment, admitted that there is any possi ilit of his performing spiritual and acceptable duties For these duties, which are to acquire an experimental knowledge of salvation, so far from having the nature of sin, in the sense here understood, and so far from being unpleasant to God, they must be spiritual and acceptable; and must deserve, and make men meet to receive his grace. These will be the natural consequences of the sentiment evidently contained in the Query of your correspondent:-a sentiment which, wherever it obtains, must derogate from the glory of the gospel, and tend to the most dangerous and fatal mistakes as to the ground of a sinner's justification. Who does not see that, if the wisdom and diligence of unholy men are to be employed in acquiring the blessings of salvation, as in the affairs of commerce? who does not see, that in this case the death of Jesus is made a vain oblation, that the influences of the Spirit are discarded, and that it can no longer be said, Salvation is of grace, and not of works?
Surely, there would be no less propriety in asking, What duties are incumbent on the dead to make themselves alive? or, What duties are incumbent on the rock, to make itself sensitive? Certainly there would be just as much propriety in these questions as in asking, What duties are incumbent on wicked men to make themselves Christians? I hope, Sir, none of your readers will angrily exclaim, These are high Calvinistic sentiments! What! are not sinners in general called upon to read and hear!--most certainly, and believe the