INTERMEDIATE STATE: A term designating both the period and the condition of the soul between death and the final judgment. The intermediate state is an aspect of the doctrine of Hades (q.v.). It has assumed many forms. (1) The early doctrine; which in general has continued to be the common view, that the dead remain in a condition of privation until the resurrection--the righteous happier (martyrs going at once to Paradise), the wicked more miserable, than while on earth (Irenĉus, Haer. v. 31; Tertullian, "On the Soul," lv.). (2) Purgatory, the condition of those who depart this life in faith, yet are still liable to punitive sufferings for venial sins and who are purged before their entrance into heaven; such may be "helped" by the suffrages of the faithful, but principally by the acceptable sacrifice of the altar " (Council of Trent, Sess. xxv.; see PURGATORY). (3) The limbo of the Fathers is the abode of Old-Testament saints to whom after his death Christ preached the Gospel (Thomas Aquinas, Summa, qu. 69, art. 4; Dante, Divine Comedy, Inferno, Canto iv.; W. E. Addis and T. Arnold, Catholic Dictionary, pp. 564-565, London, 1903). (4) The limbo of infants is the region to which unbaptized infants are consigned after death, to remain forever in a state of privation, without suffering and also without happiness, a doctrine based on the universal necessity of baptism for the remission of the guilt of original sin (Thomas Aquinas, ut sup., qu. 69, art. 6; See INFANT SALVATION; LIMBUS). (5) The sleep of souls, based on such passages as Acts vii. 60, xiii. 36; I Cor. xv. 6, 18, 20, 51; I Thess. iv. 13-15. Between


death and the second coming of Christ all souls are is a dreamless sleep (thus oblivious of the lapse of time and without moral change) from which they are simultaneously awakened for the judgment. This view was opposed in the early Church (of. Eusebius, Hist. eccl. VI., xxxii.). Calvin wrote in refutation of it Psychopannychia (1534), directed against the Anabaptists. Richard Whately presented it with great force and sympathy as an alternative belief, in his work On the Future State (London, 1829). It is an article of faith among the several branches of Adventists (q.v.). (6) Preservation of the spiritual element of both the saved and the unsaved during the middle state, when by a creative act of God soul and body are reunited before the judgment. This element of the personality exists in various degrees of consciousness, knowledge, and enjoyment, some sleeping, some learning, some as demons on earth, some imprisoned in the abyss or suffering in Hades for life's sins, some being evangelised. In the interval between death and the resurrection the Gospel may be accepted or finally refused by those who have not known it here below (Edward White, Life in Christ, chap. xxi., London, 1878). (7) A relatively bodiless condition in which the pious dead are in a state of privation, to be described as inwardness and spirituality and progressive development, of deepest retirement, and of withdrawal into self, and at the same time of communion with Christ (cf. H. L. Martensen, Christian Dogmatics, § 276, Edinburgh, 1866; J. J. van Oosterzee, Christian Dogmatics, § cxlii., London, 1870; I. A. Dorner, System of Christian Doctrine, iv. 212, Edinburgh, 1880-82). (8) As to the unbelieving dead, who have not decisively rejected the Gospel, the intermediate state opens the door of repentance and spiritual life (See ESCHATOLOGY; PROBATION, FUTURE).


BIBLIOGRAPHY: The literature of the subject is well covered under ESCHATOLOGY; HADES; and PROBATION, FUTURE (qq.v.). Consult further: V. U. Maywhalen, The Intermediate State, London, 1856; H. M. Luckock, The Intermediate State between Death and Judgment, ib., 1890; T. H. Stockwell, editor, Our Dead: Where are They? A Symposium, ib., 1890; A. Williamson The Intermediate State, ib., 1891; G. S. Barrett, The Intermediate State; the Last Things. ib., 1896· C. H. H. Wright, Intermediate State and Prayers for the Dead, ib. 1900; G. T. Fechner, Little Book of Life after Death, Boston, 1904; S. C. Gayford, Life after Death, chaps. ii-iii., Milwaukee, 1909.


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