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SERM. Hope, because thou wilt not leave my Soul
One to see Corruption..
The Apostle here addressing himself to the Jews, does not argue about the Pofli bility of the Resurrection (for they had been long enough train'd up by Miracles to know, that nothing was too hard for an omnipotent Power ; besides, 'twas a Thing done fo lately that it must have been well
own, as appears from their not contradicting it) but declares and maintains the Certainty of it, and refers theni to their own Prophet for their farther Satisfaction.
Before I come to handle the Doctrine
and therefore I shall lay be-
the moft confiderable Interpreta-
see which has the best Right
Some are of Opinion that the Soul in this place is put figuratively for the Body, and that Hell fignifies the Grave; and to maintaiu theirOpinion, have produced several Texts of Scripture in which these twoWords are thus understood. But tho this be very true in those Places, yet it don't seem to be
the Signification or Meaning of the Word SERM in this; for then they would stand thus,
V. Thou halt not leave my Body in the Grave, nor suffer thine Holy One to fee Corruption. Now here we may see the Absurdity of leaving the literal Sense of Scripture without a Necessity for so doing; for, according to this Interpretation, there is no Mention made of the Soul of Christ at all, without which to animate it again, the Body must have been still teft in the Grave; for if it had risen again with another Soul, it would not have been a true Resurrection. So that if the Soul in this Place be not taken in a literal Senfe, then it is not taken into this Interpretation at all, and consequenily there could have been no Resurrection of the Soul with the Body. For the Soul can't be implied in the latter Part of the Text, neither salt thou suffer thine Holy One to see Corruption, becaufe the Soul could not see Corruption ; and if the Soul were not risen, as it could not be if the Body only was risen, then there could be no Refurrection, and so it could not answer the Prophet's Hope and Expectation.
Others are of Opinion, that by Hell we are to understand the Place of Departed
Serm. Souls ; but that Christ did not go there V.
locally but virtually. And then the Text will stand thus ; Thou wilt not leave my Soul in Hell, or in the separate State of departed Souls, where it never was, nor Suffer thine Holy One to see. Corruption ; which Interpretation sounds very harsh and inconsistent. For if it was there only virtually, then it could not be there so as to justify the Expression of not being left there ; for a Thing.can't be said to be taken away, or not to be left in the Place, where it never was, only in a virtual Man.
If this were true, it must have been express'd after this Manner, Thou wilt not Suffer my Soul to go into Hell, instead of laying it would not be left, where it never had been before. Besides, this is directly contrary to Scripture ; for our blessed Saviour promised the penitent, Thief just before his Death, that that Day he should be with him in Paradise; and as he was giving up the Ghost, he faid, Father, into thy Hands I commend my Spirit.
Others again are of Opinion, that Hell fignifies a Place of Torments, or the State of the Dained ; and that there it was where the Soul of Christ was not to be left. But if we look into the Reasons that are given
for it, we shall be able to give a better SERM.
V Judgment of this Interpretation. Now one Reason forChrist's going into thatState is said to be, To suffer there; but for what? To save others from it ? That he did to all Intents and Purposes by his Death. Another Rea. son that is given for it is, That he went there to triumph over the Powers below; but this also was finish'd upon the Cross. But all this is founded upon a Supposition that the original Word, which we translate Hell, is always taken in a bad Sense, which I think is false, as I shall fhew by and by; and therefore it is at best only an Argument drawn from a Supposition that wants to be proved.
Others are of Opinion, that by the Soul is meant the rational Soul, and that Hell fignifies the State of departed Souls; and accordingly this Interpretation stands thus i Thou wilt not leave my Soul, i. e. my real rational Soul in the State of departed Sculs, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to fee Corruption ; i. e. neither wilt thou leave his Body to corrupt in the Grave. And this seems to claim the greatest Right to be the true Meaning of the Words : For the original Word always fignifies the feparate State of the Dead in general. Virgil and others constantly use it in that Sense L
SERM. and tho it may be sometimes taken int a V. good Sense, and sometimes in a bad, yet ’tis
very rarely taken in either, and never so as to exclude the largest Sense of it. However, let those Interpretations be as different as they will in other Respects, yet all agree in this, that the Words of the Text are a Prophecy of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the Dead; and accordingly in my following Discourse I shall
1. Prove them so to be.
II. I shall prove that Jesus Christ did really and truly rise from the Dead, according to this Prophecy.
III. I fliall shew what will be the Benefit of Christ's Resurrection to us.
First, then, I am to prove that the Words of the Text are a Prophecy of the Resurrection. That the Prophecy here before us could not relate to David is plain from hence, that he did see Corruption ; and this the Apostle urges to the Jews, in the Words immediately following the Text, that they might not think that David
prophesied of himself.
Men and Brethren,