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ment in a future state, for those who died impenitent. He flatters himself that he has discovered a new method of attacking the doctrine of endless misery-a method by which its foundation may be swept away in a moment. As Mr. B. claims the honor of a new discovery, he cannot but expect that it will be a subject of remark. ' The plan of attack which Mr. B. has introduced is this : To show that the words translated hell, in the scriptures, do not signify misery in a future state, whether temporary or endless. Now if Mr. B. has succeeded in his attempt, if he has proved to demonstration that nei. ther Sheol, Hades, Tartarus, nor Gehenna, imply misery in a future state, how does this affect the point at issue ? All he has said about the import of these words may be true, and still future, eternal misery remains untouched. Endless misery may be taught in other words, tho Sheol, Hades, &c. may ha
have no such signii. cation.
I will now attempt to show that Mr. B.'s plan of attack, instead of being superior to the course usually pursued, does not meet the point in dispute. He maintains, and justly, that Sheol and Hades are synonymous, and signify the grave, or state of the dead. He asserts repeatedly, that they do not signify a place of punishment. See Sec. 1. 2. Now if Sheol and Hades do not signify punishment at all; then they have no bearing in this dispute ; for certainly endless misery cannot be proved false, by putting a limited signification upon words which do not in any sense imply misery. The third word on which Mr. B. remarks, is Tartarus ; which he explains, as he has Sheol and Hades, not to mean misery. Now in order to ascertain whether Mr. B. has succeeded in confuting future or endless misery. it is proper to leave all he has said upon Sheol, Hades, and Tartarus out of the question ; for surely, if they do not signify misery at all, as he contends, they can
have no bearing in deciding the question whether mig. ery be endless. Mr. B. has said repeatedly, that neither Sheol, Hades, nor Tartarus, are used to express punishment. The only word which he allows to mean misery, is Gehenna; and wherever it occurs in the New Testament, it is applied to the Jews, and expres. ses those judgements and those only, which fell upon that nation at the destruction of Jerusalem. ishment of Gehenna, says our author, was never threatened upon the Gentiles.
So the whole of Mr. B.'s labor comes precisely to this; if the destruction of Jerusalem does not mean endless misery, that doctrine is not taught in the scriptures ! He has written more than 400 pages to show that there can be no punishment in a future state ; be sause Jerusalem was captured in this ! It is not my wish to misrepresent Mr. B.'s reasoning, but really I do not see why this is not the natural result of his reason. ing He has undertaken to examine the foundation of endless misery. He confines himself to four words; Sheol, Hades, Tartarus, and Gehenna. Now these words embrace the whole foundation of endless misery, or they do not. If they do not, then Mr. B. has failed in the very onset; the plan, the original, is defective, and all his arguments resting on this base fail of their object; for all he has written may be true, and still endless misery may be a verity. But if these words do embrace the whole foundation of future, eternal misery, then future eternal misery rests entirely upon the term, Gehenna; for certainly it cannot rest upon Sheol, Hades, and Tartarus, words which, according to Mr. B. do not signify punishment at all. Now if eternal misery rests solely upon Gehenna ; then this term embraces all the punishments ever threatened ; then the Gentiles are not exposed to any punishment, for Mr. B. says the Gentiles were never threatened with the punishment of Gehenna. As Mr. B. applies this term to the destruction of Jerusalem, the most that can be made of the argument is, there can be no punishment after death for any individual, because Jerusalem was destroyed in this world! punishment canuot be endless, because that city did not stand an eternal siege !! This I think is the legitimate fruit of his reasoning upon
All that he has done (admitting what he has written to be true) is to shew that endless misery is not taught in the words rendered hell in our version. But this is very far from being conclusive ; for all he has written may be true, and endless misery may still stand unshaken. Hell is not a word on which the learned rely for the support of the doctrine of endless misery. They frequently call endless misery by the name, hell ; but they do not rely upon this word, when they attempt to prove their views from scripture. If they quote texts where this word is used, still the argument is drawn from some circumstance or phrase connected with the passage, and not from the word, hell. I am far from being a believer in endless misery, but I am free to confess that I find nothing in the volume before me, which convinces me of its falsity.
But the very definition which Mr. B. has given of Sheol and Hades, does not exclude punishment or misery. He says again and again that Sheol and Hades signify the state of the dead in general. Now does this explanation of Sheol or Hades oppose future or endless punishment? Not in the least. We might as well contend that there would be no happiness after death, because Sheol does not signify happiness. To maintain that there can be no misery in a future state, because Sheol and Hades do not mean misery, appears to me entirely superficial. If such reasoning be logical, any proposition could be proved. Happiness, for instance, could be argued out of this world. Thus-the word' earth does not signify happiness, therefore there is no happiness on the earth. What should we think of a person who should undertake to prove that there was no suffering in the city of Boston, for example, from the consideration that the word Boston did not mean“ misery, but simply the name of a place ?
But altho Mr. B. has repeatedly said that Sheol or Hades did not mean a place of punishment either tempotary or endless, still he acknowledges that in several instances, they do mean misery. Where the Savior is said to be compassed about by the sorrows of hell, where David was delivered from the lowest hell, and where Capernaum is threatened with being brought down to hell, Mr. B. confesses that hell is used figuratively, and means niisery. Now if hell signifies misery in these texts, how can Mr. B. pretend that it never means inisery either temporal or endless? And if it means misery in these passages, who knows but what it does in many others? It is not my design to point out the instances where hell does mean misery, but only to avail myself of the concessions he has made, which are amply sufficient to weaken his reasoning. When treating upon Gehenna, Mr. B. maintains that it would be extremely inn'proper to borrow language from a temporal scéne to represent an eternal one.
A great pårt of his reasoning when remarking upon Gehenna, is founded upon this principle. But what is the course he has pursued in relation to Sheol and Hades ? He contends that these terms signify the place or state of the dead, that is, they apply to a future world. But he makes use of those words as a figure to represent suffering in this world. Now if Sheol or Hades, a place or state in a future world, can be used figuratively to signify misery, it is much more rational to suppose that it expresses misery in the state to which it naturally belongs than
that it is made to express misery in this state where it does not belong
But Mr. B. has pursued the opposite course, and thus opposed what he has said elsewhere. It is perfectly proper to borrow figures from time, to represent things in eternity; for human language is designed to express our ideas of things belonging to this world, and unless we are allowed to speak of events in a future state in language which originally applied to this, we cannot speak of them at all. But there is not the same necessity of borrowing figures from a future state to represent things in this. But as the sacred penmen have done this, according to Mr. B.'s own confession, it is natural to suppose that they have done the other also.
In his 20 chap. Mr. B. tells us on the authority of Dr. Campbell and others, that Gehenna is derived from the Hebrew words, Ge and Hinnom, i.e. the valley of Hinnom, near Jerusalem, He appears to speak of Gehenna as a proper name, and because the valley of Hinnom did not mean endless, or even future misery, he argues that such misery cannot be represented by the term, Gehenna. But does not any person of common discernment know that the proper name of a place does not express the state of the inhabitants relative to happiness and misery? The word Salem, for example, signifies peace. But who ever thought of proving that there would be no contentions or broil in the town of Salem, from the fact that Salem meant peace ? Again ; suppose a person should assert that there never had been, and never would be any misery in the state of Vermont, because Vermont signifies green Mountains, and not a place of misery. The fallacy of this reasoning would be obvious to the weakest capacity. I think Mr. B. cannot complain that this is misrepresenting his reasoning, for he acknowledged that he has spoken of hell as a place of misery, and he constantly speaks of hell