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2 CORINTHIANS v. 8. “ To be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord."
(UNITARIANISM.) “ That is, to quit the present state, and to enter upon that state of recompence and happiness which we are to enjoy with Christ. This text is usually understood as expressing the Apostle's persuasion, that death is a separation of the soul from the body, and his expectation, that the separate spirit would be introduced into a state of glory and happiness in the presence of Christ, while the body is perishing in the grave. But it is quite impossible that this should be the Apostle's meaning, as he had expressly declared in his former epistle, 1 Cor. xv. 18, that if there be no resurrection of the dead, all who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished; which is palpably inconsistent with their possessing life and happiness in a separate state; and the Apostle cannot be supposed to contradict himself. And in truth, the Apostle's language in this passage will not bear the construction which is usually given to it; and gives no countenance to the doctrine of an intermediate state of perception, activity and enjoyment between death and the resurrection. He is here only contrasting the present state of trial and suffering, with the future promised state of happy existence in the presence of Christ. He never once mentions, or even glances at, an intermediate state, in which the spirit will be happy, when separate from the body. On the contrary, he represents the state which immediately succeeds to death, as a state of nakedness, ver. 3, which was so far from being the object of his wish, that he expresses his earnest desire to
be exempted from it, by being permitted to continue in the world till the appearance of Christ. That the Apostle regarded the season of rest in the grave as an evanescent point, hardly worthy of notice when compared with the glory which was to succeed, cannot reasonably be doubted. See Phil. i. 23. But this is to be attributed to a prevailing, but erroneous opinion, that Christ would appear to judgment before the generation which then existed should expire, rather than to the speculative, however correct opinion, that the idea of duration ceases while thought is suspended. We have no reason to believe that the Apastle was a profound metaphysician.”
2 CORINTHIANS v. 10. « We must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ, that every
man may receive the things done in his body,” de. No. 1.
(HIERAX.) Hierax, the Egyptian, excluded from the kingdom of heaven, children who had died before they arrived to the use of reason, and that upon the supposition, that God was bound to administer the rewards of futurity to those who had fairly finished their victorious conflict with the body and its lusts.
Epiphan. Hæres. 67, Hieracitarum.
(JULIAN.) Julian, who adopted the opinions of Pelagius, quoted this passage in opposition to St. Augustine.
Julian concludes from these words, that children
who have done neither good nor evil, would not appear with adults; and that being incapable of crime, they would not be exposed to punishment. · The Pelagians had asserted, that the doctrine of original sin was contrary to the justice of God; they had said, that if concupiscence were an evil and an effect of sin ; in a word, if all children were born in sin, as their adversaries asserted, then it was necessary to acknowledge, that marriage, which is the effect, and which becomes the source of this sin, is an evil and a disorder. ..
St. Augustine had replied to this difficulty, in his first book on marriage and concupiscence.
Julian read this book, and asserted, that the principles of St. Augustine lead to Manicheism; he undertook to prove, that according to the principles of the Catholics, as well as the system of the Manicheans, marriage was an evil; that man, in conformity with the system of original sin, as well as the system of Manes, was born determined to evil; and that if a child were born criminal, and worthy of hell for a sin which he had it not in his power to avoid, then it was necessary to acknowledge, that the God of the Catholics was as wicked and relentless as the evil principle of the Manicheans,
Aug, in Julian. lib. i. cap. 4. &c.
(Wesley.) Wesley thought it probable (he said) that the judgment would last several thousand years, that the place would be above the earth, and that the circumstances of every individual's life would then be brought forth in full view, together with all their tempers, and all the desires, thoughts, and intents of their hearts. This he thought absolutely necessary for the full display of the glory of God, for the clear and perfect manifestation of his wisdom, justice, power and mercy.
See Southey's Life of Wesley; Life of Mr. Wesley by Dr.
Whitehead, and another by Dr. Coke and Mr. Moore.
2 CORINTHIANS v. 10.
“ Things done in his body."
(ROMAN CATHOLICS.) - “ In the particular judgment immediately after death, the soul is rewarded or punished according to what she has done in the body.”
. Note to the Roman Catholic Version.
2 CORINTHIANS v. 17. * Old things are past away ; behold, all things are become new.”
(AMALRIC.) The following tenets are said to have been introduced by the disciples of Amalric:
“ That the power of the Father had continued only during the Mosaic dispensation, that of the Son 1200 years after his entrance upon earth, and that, in the thirteenth century, the age of the Holy Spirit commenced, in which the sacraments, and all external worship were to be abolished.
Fleury Hist. Eccles. c. 76. sect. 59.
who have done neither good nor evil, would not
'e, &c. St. Augustine had replied to this difficrised in first book on marriage and concupiscence. way of
Julian read this book, and asserted rkings of principles of St. Augustine lead to Mani He held, undertook to prove, that according to th }l evil, acof the Catholics, as well as the system som matter, cheans, marriage was an evil; that ma ure be suffermity with the system of original sin, the permits system of Manes, was born determiner ce of good that that if a child were born criminal, & duced,) as the hell for a sin which he had it not in instrument like avoid, then it was necessary to ackreatures less pure the God of the Catholics was as v beings will finally lentless as the evil principle of the M doctrine of atone
Aug, in Julian. lib. i. cap. 4. stion that the
Wesley thought it probable (h judgment would last several tho the place would be above the ea circumstances of every individua be brought forth in full view, tog tempers, and all the desires, thot
supreme being reas theory is, that man,
God, had lost the i all communication was nearly lost. In rn make some mysteri
ise between the deity
mally, in order to afford
as as it were, sensible