« VorigeDoorgaan »
clude that the immortal spirit of man is to be killed krethin Gehenna. But ought not such representations to be somente spirits of the wicked go to hell, at death. But from I dence of such a doctrine is to be found there, let it be anse, a what part of the Scriptures do we learn this? If evi- tatil noticed, that the more those texts and their contexts watich
read of the pneuma, spirit being in any of those places? quage No; at death, it returns to God, who gave it. So fare: belie from the pneuma, spirit, being tormented, killed, or de Geben stroyed in Gehenna, or any of those places, it is nev. kad the er represented as being in them at all. We call on the any man to produce an instance from Scripture where hed gart. it is ever said the pneuma, spirit, is in Gehenna, or MALA killed or destroyed in Gehenna. Though nothing to our like this is to be found in the sacred writings, yet tere people, from the passage we are considering, conor destroyed in Gehenna. Even in the parable of stained. the rich man, it is not said his pneuma, spirit, was the cons there, or tormented in Hades. No such representa-them of tions are given in the Bible, either about Hades or found there, if the common belief be the doctrine of Scripture? It certainly is the common opinion that the elecom produced.
In confirmation of all the above remarks, it may be desin are considered, Gehenna in them will appear to have the same sense which it has in other places. Indeed, it would be surprising if in this solitary instance it should mean a place of eternal misery, and in all the others only temporal punishment; that it should be used in this sense when addressing the disciples, and that our Lord should never have used it so when he addressed the unbelieving Jews. If it means this in these two passages, it would be in the face of facts, and other texts, altogether irreconcilable with it. The language, we see, agrees with other passages already considered, where it is said, “and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.” See Matth. v. 29, 30.
Torbit destroyed, or the whole body being cast into hell, be ed, Matth. xxiv. should come on the Jewish nation.
The language of these passages does not accord with So fe common belief; for it is believed that the soul only to or de goes to Gehenna, or the place of endless misery, at
death, and the body suffers not its punishment until
the resurrection. But if soul means the spirit, or imwhere mortal part, and Gehenna means a place of endless
misery, it is a plain case, that, soul and body being both
go there together. And if killed or destroyed, are they not annihilated?
But we think, if the contexts of these two passages ible d are examined, and the occasion of what is said to the
disciples considered, it very strongly confirms the view taken of them. It also confirms all that is said of Gehenna in other passages. Let us glance at this for
a moment. By comparing Mattb. x. and xxiv. all
may see that many things stated are similar, or
rather the same. No man can read them without from seeing this. The sufferings the disciples were to en
dure, are similar. The sources from whence they should arisc, are the same; and the directions given to them, how they should conduct themselves under them, are similar. But there is one thing mentioned in both, which deserves particular notice. It is said in Matth. x. 22. and xxiv. 13.-" but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.” What end is meant in both
passages ? Evidently the end of the Jewish disdhe pensation, or state, when all the tribulations mention
teris have Seed I cent
and i he
This evidently shows that in both chapters our Lord's discourse related to the same time and events.
During the period which was to elapse before this end es i should come, the disciples were to be employed in The publishing the gospel. In the two passages before us,
our Lord warns them against the fear of man, and the fear of God is enforced on them in view of their labours and sufferings. See Matth. X. 26, 27. Luke xii.
1-3. He assures them of the protecting care of God, if they feared him, Matth. x. 29, 31. Luke xii. 6. The sufferings they were to endure would prove them, whether they feared God or man. Matth. $. 31-39. Luke xii. 8, 9. Should any one of them, being influenced by the fear of man, apostatize from the faith of Christ, seeking thereby to save his life, (psuhe) he should lose it. They should, with the rest of the Jewish nation, be involved in all the miseries coming on that generation. On the contrary, he that did endure to the end, should be saved from them, as we have seen that they were; for all the disciples left the city, and were saved. We have seen that Gehenna, or the valley of Hinnom, was made by the prophet Jeremiah an emblem of this very punishment coming on the Jewish nation. We see then, that in this passage, as well as in the preceding texts, that it is when our Lord was speaking in reference to the destruction of Jerusalem, that he says any thing about the punishment of Gehenna. Can it be accounted for, why our Lord never spoke of Gehenna or hell when preaching the gospel, but always in discourses which had a reference to the calamities at the end of the Jewish state? Besides, all he did say about hell, was chiefly spoken to his disciples, and neither by him nor any other inspired person, is a word said about it to the Gentiles.*
These are now all the passages where our Lord says any thing about hell or Gehenna. It must, I think, be allowed, that the vicws I have stated, are supported by facts, by the context of the places where Gehenna occurs, and confirmed by an appeal to the Old Testament Scriptures. May I not, then, be permitted to say, that, if I am in an error, it is very strange this error should have such a body of evi
• In my answer to Mr. Sabine, about to be published, these two texx ere again brought to view and we hope satisfactorily settled.
dence to support it. The sense I have given to Gehenna, is not assumed, but it is settled by divine authority. Can any man produce such faces and evidence in support of Gehenna's being a place of endless mis. ery for the wicked? If this cannot be done, must it not be allowed, that either error has more evidence to support it than truth, or that my view of Gehenna is the true one ? At any rate, with such weight of evidence pressing on my mind, how could I do otherwise than honestly avow the convictions which this evidence has produced, without violating my conscience and forfeiting all claim to an honest minded man? If indeed I am mistaken in my views of those passages, no man can more sincerely wish to see where the mistake lies, than I do. If this mistake can be pointed out, and if it can be proved that Gehenna, or hell, is a place of endless misery for all the wicked, we doubt not but this will be done. It is not to be expected, that a doctrine so popular, which has been so long believed, and supported by the learning and talents of so many good men, will be given up without a struggle. If it be true, we earnestly wish to see it established by an examination of all the passages where Gehenna eccurs; and a rational and Scriptural account given of the facts which we have adduced, and have yet to produce on the subject.
The last place in the New Testament in which Gehenna is used, is James iii. 6. " And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity : so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.” This is one of the iwo places, in which Dr. Campbell thinks the word Gehenna is used figuratively. He observes, that it is “the intention of the wri. ter to draw an illustration of the subject from that state of perfect wretchedness.” It is rather surpris. ing that Dr. Campbell should not have noticed, that
before any illustration could be drawn from Gehenna as a place of endless misery, by a Jew, or any one else, it must first be known as such to be a place of perfect wretchedness. Let me ask from what source could a Jew learn this ? Not from the Old Testament; for Dr. Campbell himself assures us, that Gehenna is not found in the Old Testament in this sense. It is not found in the Septuagint, nor even in the Grecian classics. If James therefore knew all this to be true, how could he ever draw such an illustration ? This was impossible, unless we suppose that James learned this doctrine from the Targums, or from our Lord's instructions. To suppose the first, is to say that James learned this doctrine from a source which is not very creditable to it, nor honourable to him. To suppose the last, is to make James use Gehenna in a sense it never was used by our Lord. This has been shown from an examination of all the places in which he did use this word. It should be recollected that James was a Jew, and that he wrote to believing Jews. No place, to a Jew, could afford such a view of perfect wretchedness as the valley of Hinnom or Gehenna. It is certainly then more rational to think that James drew an illustration of his subject from this place, well known, than from a place of endless misery, which was not known. If we understand this text literally, it is at least as difficult to understand how the tongue could be set on fire from a place of future endless misery, as how it could be set on fire from the valley of Hinnom. It is evident that James is speaking of the evils arising from an improper use of the tongue. What could be more natural, in speaking of the filthiness and abominations which proceed from it, than to draw an illustration from Gehenna or the valley of Hinnom, the most abominable place known to Jews ? But if Gehenna here is understood figuratively, as Dr. Campbell thinks it ought to be, it