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Entered aiccording to Act of Congress, in the year 1854, l>y 


In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts. 

Bteteotyped by 


Nvw EiifUnd Typ« uid Steraotjpa Fonndrjr, 


.In performing the work which was requested of me by the publisher 
of this Yolume (who has purchased the copy-right of the heirs of the 
author), I have been careful to make no change in the thought of any 
portion of it fdid not deem that I had any right whatever to mod- 
ify, in the least, a single view it contained. Its doctrines and expla- 
nations belong to the author, and to alter them would be a sacrilege. 
The task I undertook was entirely of another character. When this 
work was written, the subjects discussed in it were new, and the views 
presented were radically different t^m those generally entertained. . 
The author naturally felt a great solicitude to be distinctly understood, 
and to establish his position beyond contradiction. He, therefore, in- 
dulged in a repetition of questions, statements and forms of expression, 
which the present state of theological knowledge renders unnecessary. 
This remark will indicate to the reader all the changes that have been 
made, except in the abridgment of sentences not as concise as they 
might have been. What has been added is over my own initials. 

Though I read this Inquiry with care and profit in the early part of 
my ministry, and though in my theological studies I have had frequent 
occasion' to consult its pages, I was never so deeply impressed with its 
great value as I am now. The author was very thorough in his re- 
searches, and performed the task which he undertook with remarkable 
ability. While no one had preceded him in his investigation for the 
purpose which he had in view, none who have followed him have been 
more thorough and satis&ctory. I do not mean by this to say that in 
every point he attempted to make he was conclusive or clear, or that I 
concur in every opinion he expressed ; but this I mean to say, that he 
entered upon his labor with a mind well stored with knowledge, that 
he had that strength and aouteness of intellect which enabled him to 
write with a powerful pen, and that he has proved his main positions 
beyond controversy. For honesty of heart, devotion to truth, and 
respect for the Scriptures, no man was his superior. 

The appearance of this Inquiry produced a great sensation. The 
author, for over twenty years, had been an advocate for endless pun- 
ishment, and during a great portion of this time had been on terms of 


the most intimate oommonion with several eminent orthodox clergy- 
men of New England. The position he took was new and startling. 
Boldly he said, " There is no place of endless suffering ; the idea of a 
fdtnre hell has no authority in the Bible.** This changed entirely the 
ground of controyersy in regard to endless punishment ; and several 
replies, in the course of a few years, appeared against the work. In 
his introduction to the third edition, the author speaks with reference 
to them in the following manner : 

** In presenting the third edition of the Inquiry to the public, it may 
be proper to inform the reader of the following things respecting it. 
The first edition was published in 1824. It would be tedious, and 
would occupy more room than we can spare, to notice all the attacks 
which have been made upon it from the pulpit and in the publio 
journals. The instances which have come within the range of our 
own personal knowleiige and observation have not been few. We shall 
only notice the attempts which have been made to refute it in regular 
book form. 

"The first attempt was made by Mr. James Sabine, a Boston clergy* 
man. Boon after the Inquiry was published. A gentleman called on 
the clergy, in the publio journals, either to refute the Inquiry or con- 
fess they were deceiving the people. This call roused Mr. Sabine, and 
he annonnoed in the pubUc papers his intention .to refiite the Inquiry, 
provided a suitable meeting-house could be obtained, his own being in- 
convenient fo> the purpose. When all sects declined offering him a 
house fer the purpose, the Universalist society in Charlestown unani- 
mously voted him the "Ofie of theirs. He accepted their offer, and 
delivered ax discourses, one every other Sabbath evening, to exces- 
ttvely crowded audiences. He afterwards published his discourses, 
and our reply to them appeared in 1825. This public and published 
attack on the Inquiry hastened a second edition of it in a cheaper form, 
but in every material respect the same as the first Mr. Sabine's 
reply was considered very generally a total fe.ilure. He did not pre- 
tend to advocate endless punishment, nor did his discourses touch the 
principal fects and arguments contained in the Inquiry. All seemed 
to allow that his discourses did more evil than good to the cause of 
endless punishment. They, however, efoited inquiry in the publio 
mind, and somewhat promoted the demand for my work, which was 
very unpopular. Most people denounced it as a pernicious book, but 
felt perplexed with the evidence it contained, and were desirous to see 



The next attempt to reftite the Ihqtury was made by Mr. Charlef 
Hudson, a Uniyersalist clergyman, in Weetminster, Mass. His letters 
appeared in 1827, and were replied to in my Essays, which were 
published in 1828. Mr. Hudson's ' Beply ' to my Essays appeared 
in 1829, and in the same year my Letters in answer to it were pub- 
lished. From some cause or other, like Mr. Sabine, he passed over 
the principal facts and arguments of the Inquiry, still leaying the book 
to be answered by some one else. 

" Br. Allen, President of Bowdoin College, Maine, was the next per- 
son who made an attack on the Inquiry. This he did in a lecture, 
which he first delivered before the students of the college, and afterwards 
published. We replied to his lecture in a letter, which was published in 
1828. The doctor's attempt to refute the Inquiry was deemed so weak, 
even by his own friends, that his pamphlet was withdrawn from the 
bookstores and suppressed, if our information is correct It is certain 
it was frequently asked for in the bookstores of Boston, but could not 
be obtained, and very few persons in this region ever procured a copy 
of it. The very weakness of this effort to refute the Inquiry was cal- 
culated to lead many to think it could not be answered. 

** Another attempt to refcite the Inquiry was made by Professor Stuart 
of Andover. From some cause or other, the public had long looked to 
him to furnish a refutation. The &ilure of the preceding attempts 
was imputed, by some, to the want of talent. When Mr. Saline did 
not succeed, we heard it remarked, * If Mr. Stuart only takes hold of 
it he will easily refute it.' At last, his Exegetical Essays appeared. 
They were published in 1830. Though he avoids naming me or the 
Inquiry in them, it is obvious enough to all they were written to coun- 
teract the effect which the Inquiry had produced on the public mind ; 
and, also, what I had written in my Second Inquiry on the words ren- 
dered * everlasting ' and • forever,* in our common version. I re- 
plied to these Essays in a series of letters addressed to Mr. Stuart, which 
were published in 1831. He has not yet made any reply to them. 
Here the controversy for the present rests. 

" Before Mr. Stuart's Essays appeared, I supposed he must have 
something new and powerful to produce ; that the Inquiry would re- 
ceive a fiill and &ir reply, and that I should see in what my error 
conasted. But I was entirely disappointed ; for, like all the preced- 
ing attempts, the principal &cts and arguments were passed over 
without notice. Indeed, many of Mr. Stuart's statements confirm the 
-news advanced in the Inquiry. I begin to suspect that no reply can 



1m made wMoh will piove that Sheol, Hades, Tartarus, or Ochenna, 
dedgnatea a place of endless miseiy. I have too high an opinion of 
Hir. Stuart's understanding to think that he considers his Essays de- 
serring the name of an answer to the Inquiry. I have never heard 
of a single intelligent man, orthodox or otherwise, who thinks his 
Essays a reply. But I have heard several express a contrary opinion. 
If the book, then, is not unanswerable, I may say it yet remains un- 

" I have a word or two to say respecting this third edition of the 
Inquiry. In every material respect it is the same as the first and 
second editions. The only alterations deserving notice are the follow- 
ing. All the texts under Sheol, Hades, Tartarus and Gehenna, are 
arranged and considered in the order they occur in the Bible. But 
'the arguments and explanations are in substance the same as in the 
preceding editions. Perhaps this edition has been somewhat improved 
by the help afforded me by Mr. Stuart's Essays. Objections and views 
urged by him have been noticed. Some slight alterations in the 
arrangement of the matter in a few places have^)een made, and some 
new matter has been introduced. But all the facts and arguments, 
and, indeed, the whole substance of the work, remains the same. I 
have seen nothing which alters the views expressed in the Inquiry. 
After all the attacks which have been made upon it, its foundation re- 
mains unshaken, and its pillars and posts unbroken. All the replies, 
to m^ have only tended to show the solid foundation on which the 
views advocated in the Inquiry rest, and ought to excite my gratitude 
to the men who have made them. Without these I might have gone 
down to my grave doubting whether I might not, after all, be mistaken in 
my views. It would be almost sinful in me now to doubt their cori'ect- 
ness, considering the character, talents, a^d standing of the men who 
have tried, but failed, to point out my error." 

Since the appearance of the third edition of the Inquiry, other books 
have been published against it. Among them is the work of Rev. 
Parsons Cooke, which is composed of a series of lectures delivered in 
Weare, Mass., to the parish over which the author was then settled. 
This appeared in 1834, under the imposing title of ** Modem Univer- 
saUsm Exposed, in an Examination of the Writings of Rev. Walter 
Balfour." We have seen nothing in this work which renders us un- 
willing to name it in this place. In conclusion, we will say, though 
we have read what the ablest and most learned men have published 
against this Inquiry, we think it has never been refuted, and that its 
leading views are unanswerable. 0. A. S. 


IzTTRODuoTORT EssAT, shoiHiig that Gehenna, in the time of 

Christ, was not used to signify a place of endless misery, . • 9 


SECTION I. — All the passages of Scripture considered, in 
which Sheol occurs, translated pit, graye, and hell, in the 
common yersion, .26 

SECTION n. — All the passages in which Hades occurs, consid- 
ered, rendered grave, and hell in the common version, . . 66 

SECTION nL — 2 Peter 2 : 4, in which Tartarus occurs, consid- 
ered, rendered hell in the common version, ....... 99 



Gehenna, uniformly translated hell in the New Testament, consid- 
ered as a place of eternal punishment, 118 

SECTION I. — Remarks on Dr. Campbell's views of Gehenna, . 118 

SECTION II. — A number of fiwts stated, showing that Gehenna 
was not used by the New Testament writers, to express a 
place of endless misery, 128 

SECTION m. — All the passages in which G^enna occurs, con- 
sidered, 186 

SECTION IV. — Additional facts stated, proving that Gehenna 
was not used by the sacred writers to express a place of 
endless misery, 199 

SECTION V. — The argument derived fipom the Targums, and 
other Jewish writings, showing that Gehenna means a 
place of endless misery, considered, 228 

SECTION VL — Objections considered, ._.... 269 

SECTION Vn. — Concluding remarks, 816 


Christ and the apostles opposed the doctrine of endless misery, . . 835 

Comments on Matt. 10 : 28, 858 

Index of texts illustrated, 859 


Eyer since the early ages of the Christian chorch, it has been 
generally believed that there is a place of woe, to which the wicked 
are consigned forever. Its tortares have been a fruitful theme of 
pulpit declamation, and have had a powerful iofluenoe on the 
minds of the old and the young. There are four words in the 
original language of the Scriptures, all translated hell (though 
not invariably), each of which, it has long been supposed, denotes 
this place of woe. Of late, however, that opinion has been dis- 
carded. The most learned vmters of the present age have con- 
ceded that three of them — Sheol, Hades and Tartarus — do not 
mean such a place. But while they concede these words, they are 
positive that Gehenna does have such ia meaning. The history, 
therefore, of the opinions in r^ard to the place, and of the word 
by which its existence is supposed to be proved, becomes a matter 
of much mterest. 

Ages before Christ there was a very general belief in an eternal 
prison for the wicked. It is a &ct, hovirever, of great signifi- 
cance, that we find no trace of it in the Old Testament. Jahn, in 
his Biblical Archeology, — a work in high repute among the 
Orthodox, translated and published at the Andover Theological 
School, with the approbation of the Professors, — has given us the 
follovdng as the doctrine of the. Old Testament on the condition 
of man after death. Let it be remembered that he vras a believer 
in future retribution. He says : 

'< That the ancient Hebrevro, that the Patriarchs themselves 
had some idea of a future life,>lthoagh we must acknowledge 


their infinmatioa on the eatjeci to have been limited and obeenre^ 
18 evident,— 

" L From the distinction which is made between the sabtena- 
nean residence denominated S^bol, ^s and ^^^, and ihe^otTe 

or phice of intennent of the body, denominated ^p, Gen. 25 : 8 : 

• • 

37:35; 49:33; 50:2—10; Num.20: 24—26: Dent. 34:7; 
31 : 16 ; 1 Kings 11 : 43. 

*' n. That they believed in the existence of the spirit after the 
death of the body, is evident likewise from the credit which they 
were disposed to give to the art of necromanct, by means of which 

the Jews believed that the spiriU of the dead, trcnik^ niM> "^bT^j 

were sommonod back to the present scene of enstence. I^v. 19 : 
31; 20: 6, 7, 26,27; Dent. 18: 11; 1 Sam. 28: 3—10; 2 
Kings 23: 24; 1 Ghron. 10 : 13; Isai. 19:3; 29:4; 57. Com. 
Zech. 13 : 2—6. 

" The objection which is sometimes made, namely, that persons 
whose minds are under the influence of superstition, are very 
inconsistent with themselves and in th^ opinions,' does not avail 
anything in the present case, for it would in truth be a miracle 
of inconsistency, if those persons who believed that departed spir- 
its were no longer existing, should nevertheless give full credit to 
the ability of such non-exiBtent spirits to reveal the mysteries of 
the future. 

<< The belief of the ancfent Hebrevrs, therefore, on this subject, 
was, that the spirits of the dead were received into Shsol, v^hich 
is represented as a large subtezranean abode, Cren. 37 : 35. Com. 
Num. 16 : 30—33 ; Deut. 32 : 22. Into this abode we are told 
that the wicked are driven suddenly, their days being cut short, 
but the good descend into it in tranquillity, and in the fulness of 
their years. 

<< This very spacious dwelling-place for those who have gone 
hence, is often described as dark, as sorrowful and inactive, — Job 
10 : 21 ; Ps. 6 : 5 ; 88 : 11, 12 ; 115 : 17 ; Isai. 38 : 18 ; but in 
Isai. 14 : 9, et seq., it is represented as fiill of activity ; and in 
other places, as we may learn from Job 26 : 5, 6, and in 1 Sam. 
28 : 7 9 more than human knowledge is ascribed to its inhabitants, 


which is indeed implied in the credit which was given to necro- 
mancers. In this abode, moreover, the departkd spirits rejoice 
in that rest so much desired by the Orientals, — Job 3 : 13 ; and 
there the living hope to see once more their beloved ancestors and 
children,— Gen. 37 : 35, comp. Gen. 25 : 10 ; 35 : 28 ; 49 : 29 ; 
Num. 20 : 24—26 ; 1 Kings 2 : 10, 11, etc. ; and there also the 
servant is at length freed from his master, and enjoys a cessation 
from his labors. Job 3 : 13 — 19. 

<< That the ancient Hebrews believed that there was a differ- 
ence, in their situation in Sheol, between the good and the bad, 
although it might indeed be inferred from their ideas of the jus- 
tice and benignity of God (Matt. 22 : 62), cannot be proved by 
direct testimony. The probability, however, that this was the 
case, seems to be increased, when it is remembered that the 
author of the book of Ecclesiastes, who, in chapter 3 : 18, speaks 
somewhat sceptically of the immortality of the soul, says, in chap- 
ter 12 : 7, that the * spirit shall return to God who gave it,^ 

" We have not authority, therefore, decidedly to say that any 
other motives were held out to the ancient Hebrews to pursue the 
good and to avoid the evil, than those which were derived from 
the rewards and punishments of this life. ' That these were the 
motives which were presented to their minds, in order to influence 
them to pursue a right course of conduct, is expressly asserted in 
Isai. 26 : 9, 10, and may be learnt also from the imprecations 
which are met vnth in many parts of the Old Testament. 

" The Mkhestani, who were disciples of Zoroaster, believed in 
the immortality of the soul, in revrards and punishments after 
death, and in the resurrection of the body ; at the time of which 
resurrection, all the bad would be purged by fire, and associated 
with the good. Zend Avesta, P. I., pp. 107, 108, P. H., pp. 
211, 227, 229, 124, 125, 173, 245, 246, comp. Ezek. 37 : 1—14. 

*< There is some uncertainty respecting the passages in Daniel 
12 : 2, 3, 13 ; but it is possible, at any rate, that they may be a 
confirmation of the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, and 
it is very clear that Haggai (2 : 23) speaks of some state of glory 
after the termination of this present life. Compare Zech. 3 : 7. 
These sentiments of the later prophets, which are perfectly in 


unison with what is said of the justice and demenoy of God, in 
other parts of the Old Testament, were at length adopted by the 
Jews generally, with the exception of the Sadducees, against whom 
they aie defended in the following passages of the Apocryphal 
Books, namely, 2 Mao. 7 : 9, 11, 14, 23, 29, 36 ; 12 : 40—44, 
and Wisdom 3 : 1—11 ; 4 : 7—16. 

<< Thus the Jews were gradually prepared to receive that 
broader and fuller light which Jesus shed upon them. 2 Tim. 
1 : 10." 

From the foregoing, it is certain that the idea respecting a place 
of endless woe did not originate with the inspired writers ; its ori- 
gin, therefore, must have been among the heathen. This, in the 
mind of every candid person, must awaken much suspicion in 
regard to it ; for we cannot avoid the conviction that if God had 
prepared an eternal prison for the vdcked, he would have declared 
the &ct by his inspired servants. Their silence is an unanswera- 
ble argument against the exbtence of the place. Why did they 
withhold knowledge of infinite interest to the soul ? And how 
did it happen that the heathen were in advance of revelation, 
Tespecting one of the most important arrangements in the govern- 
ment of God? These considerations can never be harmonized 
with the idea that there is a place of endless woe ; for if there 
were, God certainly would have revealed it. Justice required it, 
for how could he vnthhold knowledge affecting the eternal interest 
of the soul ? And may we not ask, also, how he could be just in 
dooming men to an endless torture of which he had never spoken ? 
Were a human government to keep its penalties a secret, we 
should all say it had no right to inflict them. And yet, according 
to Jahn, Campbell, Stuart and others, God kept hell a secret for 
four thousand years, and that, too, when he was making constant 
communications to his chosen people ! 

Though the Old Testaqient is acknowledged to be entirely 
nlent respecting a place of endless misery, the heathen notion was 
adopted by the Jews during the time between Malachi and the 
coming of Christ. When in this period it began to be embraced 
we cannot fully determine, though probably it was introduced 
among them by the Pharisees, who took their rise some two 


hundred years before Christ. The influenoe of this sect, in his 
time, was very great ; and it is quite certain that it had biou^t 
over to its ojwion on the subject of punishment nearly all except 
the Sadducees. On the fiust of the general belief among the Jews 
in a world of woe at tiie coming of Christ, no authorities we 
deemed necessary ; and we therefore pass to an inquiry in regard 
to the popular idea respecting that world. This is a subject of 
great moment, for it has a direct bearing on the question, whether 
Geh^ma, during Christ's minority, vras used for hell. We wish, 
therefore, to direct attrition to the following points: first, 
What vfras the prevailing opinion respecting hell among the Jews, 
in the lime of Chri£ft ? Second, What was the prevailing opinion 
respecting it when Gehenna was applied to it ? 

It might, perhaps, be sufikient in answering our first inquixy, 
to give the popular opinions concerning heU, at the time of 
Christ ; but it may be more satisfiustory to go back to the time 
when the Jews adopted this heathen idea. The first trace of it is 
found in the Wisdom of Solomon and the second Maccabees. The 
second book of Esdras teaches the oj^on, but that, it is now con- 
ceded, has been forged by some Christian since the New Testament 
was vmtten. All the olher Apociyphal books are silent on tiie 
subject of a future existence. Dr. Ballon says : 

** The rewards of virtue and the punishment of sin they place 
expressly in the experience of this life, in the reputation that one 
leaves behind, and in the prosperous or adverse fortune of his 
descendants. And h^re the vmtws drop the subject, notwith- 
standing they had firequ^t oocaaons to carry it forward into 
another life, if sudi were the t^or of their vievra." 

In a note he directs tiie readw to the following passages, as an 
iUastraticm of his statements : 

" On the subject of rewards and punishm^ts, see Tobit 3 : 10 ; 
4 : 5—9 ; 12 : 8 — 10 ; 14 : 9 — 11 ; Ecclus. passim, particularly 
39: 9—11,25—31; 40: 1—14; Baruch 3:13,14; 4:1; 1 
Ifac. 2: 50—64 ; 6 : 44. On the state of the dead, Tobit 3:6; 
Eodus. 14 : 15— 19 ; 17:27—30; ^:11,12; 38:16— 23;41: 
1—4; Baruch 2 : 17, 18." — Universalise Expositor, vol. ii. 
As the date of the Wisdom of Solomon and the second Macca- 



bee8 cannot be pnt more than one hundred and fifty yeai» befons 
Christ, it is miuiifest that the notion concerning hell as a place of 
endless woe had not been long held by the Jews when he 
appeared. Philo, an eminent Jewish writer, often refers to the 
place. His works appeared about the time of the Saviour's min- 
istry. These are the only authorities extant oa which any 
information can be gained. 

We come now to the main point of inquiry under this head, 
namely, What was the idea entertained concerning hell ? Was it 
supposed to be a place of fire? Dr. Ballon, in the article from 
which we have quoted, says : ^ 

" Let it, then, be carefully observed, that, during the period 
now under review, the crude notions which spread among the 
Jews, concerning future misery, seem to have been altogether 
unconnected with the idea of fire, either as a reality or as a fig- 
me. The second book of Maccabees, the Wisdom of Solomon, 
and the works of Philo, the only sources of information, never 
describe the condition of the vdcked after death, by any metaphor 
of the kind. On the contrary, they represent it in another light. 
According to the first, the pious Jews, who suffered martyrdom 
or fell in battle, believed that God would, in due time, restore 
Hieir souls from the realms of death to their former bodies; 
whether on this earth or in some other region does not appear. 
Those, too, who died in defence of the law, though otherwise sin- 
ful and even rebellious, might expect the same fiskvor, should an 
atonement be offered for their sins by the survivors. But while 
the fiiithful entertained such confidence for themselves, one of 
them is represented in his last moments as threatening the heathen 
tyrant, their ruthless persecutor, that he would < have no resur* 
rection tolife.' His soul, after his decease, would be left forever 
in the place of the dead ; a dark and undesirable abode, accord- 
ing to the opinion of the ancients, an obscure region, in which 
perpetual confinement must have presented a dreadful idea to the 
living. Such are the views we gather from the second book of 
Maccabees. In the Wisdom of Solomon, a Jevnsh production 
from the Alexandrian hot-bed of Platonism, we meet vnth a doc- 
trine somewhat different. Here, no return of departed spirits, 


nor reunion with their bodies is intimated. The souls of the right- 
eous, the author represents, enter at death on a state of peace, 
hope and honor, and are entrusted with some kind of dominion 
over the living. But those of the wicked go into a darkness, of 
which that once brought upon E^ypt was but an image. They 
are in tribulation, and are accounted a reproach among the dead. 
At a certain time, which the author calls the visitation of souls, 
the just will be conducted to a glorious palace, and reoeive a 
beautifol crown ; but the unjust shall give in the account of 
their sins with fear, and behold with surprise and hopeless regret 
the deliverance of the godly whom they had contemned in this 
world. The whole creation shall fight against them. Thunder- 
bolts and hailstones shall be discharged upon them from on high ; 
the sea shall rage agaiust them, and a mighty wind shall blow 
tiiem away. It should be remembered that tl\^ more highly- 
colored representations are given by an Egyptian Jew, and not by 
Ui inhabitant of Palestine. Nearly the same are the ideas of 
Philo, another Egyptian Jew; if, indeed, he be not, as many 
aooount him, the identical author of the Wisdom of Solomon. 
Though bom before the Christian era, he lived several years after 
oar Lord's crucifi^on. In the works which bear his name, the 
bmortality of the soul is clearly taught, together with the future 
bppiness of the righteous and misery of the wicked. The place 
of the impious, hereafter, he describes as < a dark region, which 
» covered with profound night and perpetual blackness,' where 
they live in an eternal death. But, we think, he never r^esents 
it as a scene of fire, nor even alludes to it by that glaring meta- 
phor, which haj9 always been the first and the fikvorite one wher- 
ever the notion of a burning hell prevailed. From the few traces, 
^erefore, which remain to us of this age, and which have now 
been presented, it seems that the idea of future punishment, such 
tt it was among the Jews, was associated with that of darkness, 
and not of fire ; and we shall have occasion to see that among 
those of Palestine, the misery of the wicked was supposed to con- 
sist rather in privation than in positive infliction." 

We will not leave the subject here, for it is important to know 
whether these views of hell were retained for any considerable 


time after the peoriod of which we hare been speaking. The only 
authority, ezoept the New Testament, which we have relating to 
the period under consideraticHi, are the works of Josephus, which 
bear date between a. j>, 70 and a. n. 100. His writings, there- 
£>re, reveal the opinion concerning heU in the times of the New 
Testament. Bat we find in them no trace of the notion that hell 
was a place of fire. On the contrary, it was a dark, dismal prison, 
a deep, subterranean abode. l£ the reader wishes to satisfy him- 
self on this point, he can refer to the following, which are the 
only places where Josephus introduces the subject : Book i., ch. 
33, 2, and Antiq. B. zvm., ch. 1, 3. See Antiq. B: xvin., 1, 
3 ; Jewish War, B. i., 33, 2 ; B. n., 8, 10^14 ; B. iii., 8, 5 ; 
B. Yii., 8, 7, and against Apion, B. ii., 31. The discourse con^ 
eerning Hades, in Whiton's edition, is now generally regarded as 
the v?ork of some Christian of the second or third century. 

We have now reached about the year of our Lord 100, and yet 
we find that hoU was never spoken of as a place of fire, but always 
as a gloomy prison, an abode of darkness. Thus we have answered 
our first questioD, and shown the prevailing opinion among the 
Jevre respecting hell in the time of Christ. We are, therefore, 
prepared to oonsidor our second question, namely, what was the 
prevailing opinion respecting hell, when C^enna was applied 
to it? 

^ Before addaoing authorities on tiiis point, it is necessary to 
refer to the great change which took place in the condition of 
the Jews, when their city vms destroyed by the Romans, under 
the command of Titus Yei^pafiiui. History, perhaps, presente no 
more fearful ruin than that to which they were doomed. As a 
nation and as a ohuroh they were destroyed, and for a long time 
they had no pcditical or eooksiastical organization; and some- 
thing like a hundred years elapsed before any Jewish writings 
appeared that have berai {reserved. In this distracted and 
ruined condition, it is natural to suppose that great changes 
would take place in their opinions. Accordingly we find that 
they adopted various wild conceito, and among them was the idea 
that hell mm a fdaoe of literal fire, to which they applied the 


irord Gehenna. In the Targnm of Jonathan we find sach expm^ 
dons as the following : 

" Abram saw Grehenna belching forth smoke and burning ooals,- 
and sending up sparks to punish the wicked therein." *< The 
wicked are to be judged, that they may be delivered to eternal 
burning in Gehenna." ** Like embers in the fire of Gehenna, 
which God created the second day of the creation of the world." 
<< The earth from which springs forth food, and beneath which is 
Qehenna, the cold of whose snow is changed so as to become like 

These are comments, among others, on the following passage of 
Scripture, '* Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire t 
Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? " — Isai. 
33 : 14. These quotations show the sense in which Gehenna was 
employed when applied in the Targums to future woe. Other 
quotations might be given, but these are sufficient ; they show 
beyond any doubt that when Gehenna began to be used to denote 
a future hell, the popular opinion had changed entirely in regard 
to the nature of its torment. Then it was not a prison of dark- 
ness, but a place of fire. 

In this &xst, so clearly proved, we see that Gehenna could not 
baye been employed, till long after the destruction of Jerusalem, 
to denote a place^of future misery. The sense in which we find it 
always used, when thus applied, was not at all applicable to the 
pierailing view respecting hell, till after all the New Testament was 
written. This conclusively shows that when Christ was upon the 
earth Gehenna had not begun to be employed as the synonyme 

But we do not. propose to leave the subject here. We have 
other &cts to present, which bear with equal weight with the 
foregoing upon the question under consideration. The works in 
which Gehenna is used to denote hell were all vmtten after the 
destruction of Jerusalem. Dr. Ballou, in the very learned article 
from which we have quoted, says : 

^* Through all the times of the Old Testament, which descended 
within four centuries of the Christian era, it is plain that Gee 
Hennom (such as was then the form of the expression), had, 



MHH^ the people, no other than its literal application. Of thtf 
kM^ period we therefore take our leave. It is likewise plain that 
during the mueh later age in which the Septuagint was writt^, 
CyWiifUl denoted, at least among the Jews of Egypt, where this 
irenion was made, simply the valley of Hinnom : that pariioiilar 
mmt to which the border of the tribe of Benjamia descended oa 
the south side of Jebusi, or Jerusalem. So the word is used in •- 
the only case of its ooourroice, as we have seen ; so another word, 
fomed on the same principle, is likewise used in two other pa»- 
■ages ; and none of this class of terms is ever introduced in any 
diffiirent sense. Thus fiur we proceed on sure ground. To how 
late a period do these firsts conduct us, in our progress towards 
the times of the New Testament ! 

** The Septuagint was begun about two hundred and seventy 
or two hundred and eighty years before Christ, when the five 
books of Moses, called the law, were translated. But the version 
«f the other books, in which we find the usage just mentioned, 
was not undertaken, it is generally supposed, till within one hun- 
dred and seventy years of our Saviour's birth. Even then the 
work does not seem to have advanced very speedily to its comple- 
tion ; for, allhoogh we have no positive facts to determine the 
question, it would appear, firom the evident marks of different 
hands, and firom the great diversity of style, that the several 
books were tiansUted at various times, without much regard 
to the order of the canon, and by such as engaged in the task 
only when oooanon required or inclination induced. On the 
decisive authority of the Septuagint, then, we may conclude that 
two hundred years at most, and perhaps but a hundred and fifty, 
before the date of the New Testament, Gehenna retained its ety- 
mological signification amcmg the Jews of Egypt ; and, probably, 
likewise among all those that spoke the Greek language, siace 
they generally used this version and adopted its phraseology. It 
should now be observed that these conclusions have an important 
bearing on the Jewish usage in Palestine. It is well known, to 
Buoh as have examined tiie mattw, that in the gradual corruption 
of tilie Old Testament religion by the admixture of heathen phi- 
losophy, and in tiie oorreeponding change of the ancient forms of 


eipreBBion ta a new meamng, the Jefws of Egypt appear to haTO 
taken the lead, and to have been ocmsiderablj before thoee of Jadea. 
We cannot sajq^ose, therefore, that Gehenna had acquired, in 
Palestine, an entirely new and &r-fetched applicaticm, so long as 
we find it, in Egypt, still unchanged from its original and simple 
import. The preceding fiicts afford all the direct Hght that can 
be obtained on its usage at this time; since no other Jewish 
works haye descended to us from the age of ihe Septua^t, except 
some of the older books of the Apocrypha, and these are whoUy 
silent on our subject." 

The only other works which haye descended to our times, are the 
Apocry^^l books, the works of Philo and of Josephus ; and in none 
of these do we find Gehenna applied to the world of woe. K we pass 
on to about a. d. 150, we find Justin Martyr, a Christian &ther, 
uang the word to denote a future hell. It should be remembered 
that he believed in the annihilation of the wicked. This is the 
first case. The next case is that of Clemens Alexandrinus, about 
A. B. 195. He says, '< Does not Plato acknowledge both the 
riveTs of fire, and that profound depth of the earth which the bar- 
barians [the Jews] call Gdienna? Does he not prophetically 
Bkcntion Tartarus, Co<^^tus, Acheron, the Phlegethon of fire, and 
certain other like places of punishment, which lead to correction 
uid discipline ? ' ' Clemens' was a Uniyersalist . 

But, it will be said, the Targums bear a much earlier date. So 
it was formerly believed, but the opinion has been generally aban- 
doned. Concerning the Targums of Onkelos, we need make no 
inquiry, as they do not contain the word we are considering. In 
that of Jonathan Ben Uzziel, the word is frequently used. 
Though we have already quoted firom it, we will ask the reader's 
atteution to the following extracts : 

" It [Gehenna] is ' prepared of old, for the nations that have 
oppresBed Israel : the King eternal hath prepared it deep and 
wide; a flaming pile is kindled therein, as of much wood ; and 
the word of the Lord as a torrent of sulphur sets it on fire.' " 

*' * Who among us shall dwell in Jerusalem, where the impious 
an to be judged and sent into Gehenna with eternal burning?' 
*' The blessed shall see them descending into the land of Gehenna.' 


Sach as say, * Stand by thyself, oome not near unto me, for I am 
holler than thoa,' shall have their punishment in Gehenna, where 
the fire bums continually ; and their bodies shall be deUyered to 
the second death.' " 

It is fiiir to infer that when the Taigums of Jonathan were 
written, Gehenna was generally used to signify hell. We ask, 
therefore, what was its date? The older critics among the mod- 
ems, like Prideauz, generally ascribe it to about the Christian 
era, on the authority chiefly of Jewish traditions. The same is 
true of the English critics down to this day. Home says : 

« According to the Talmudical traditions, Jonathan Ben Uzziel 
was chief of the eighty distinguished scholars of Rabbi HiUel, the 
elder, and a fellow-disciple of Simeon the Just, who bore the 
in&nt Messiah in his arms." I will here add, according to these 
traditions, Jonathan was contemporary with Malachi, Haggai 
and Zechariah, and received his Targum from their lips. Not 
only so, according to these, while Jonathan vras writing his Tar- 
gum, there was an earthquake for forty leagues around him, and 
if any bird happened to pass over him, or a fly alighted on his 
paper while writing, they were immediately consumed by fire 
from heaven, without any injury being sustained either by his 
person or paper. So much for the authority of Jewish tra- 

Let us now examine what a majority of the most eminent lato 
German critics say on this subject. Higher authority than these 
cannot be given. 

John says, << From this it is evident that he (the author of Jon- 
athan's Targum) must have lived long before the time of the Tal- 
mudists, and not, as some have supposed, in the fifth or sixth cen- 
tury, since in that case his history would have been better known. 
# « # y^^ uaay properly infer that the work is a collection of 
the interpretations of several learned men, made towards the close 
of the third century [N. B. In the preceding instances, Jahn 
seems to prefer the date of about a. n. 282], and containing some 
of a much older date." — JahrCs Introduction to the Old Testament, 
Gen. Introduction, ^ 47, page 66. 

Eichhom^ who in the beg^ming of the present century waa 

nn&ODUGioBT flsaiT. 21 

piobablj aoconnted the firat biblioftl scholar of Germuiy and of 
the world, says, '^ First, that many refer the aath(Hr of Jonathan 
.Ben Uzziel's Targum to a period a little before the birth of 
Cfanst ; but," continues he, << he certainly lived later. His Tar- 
^om, to judge by its style, is the work of some Palestine Jew ; 
still the Jerusalem Talmud says nothing of it, any more than do 
Origen and Jerome. How could it remain unknown to those 
^lalmudists as well as to those Christian fibthers, who lived in 
JPfeJestine, if it were already in circulation in their time ? More- 
over, it is fall of such fables as first gained curr^cy in Palestine 
^t a later period. Hnally, in its translation of passages, it strives 
-i» conceal all traces of the Messiah in those texts which the Chris- 
-fcians applied to him ; a manifest proof that the translator lived 
sat a time when the Christiuis were already in controversy with 
-tiie Jews, to say nothing of the drcumstance that a Chaldaio 
•fcranslation [that is, Targum] was not used in the synagogue at so 
early a period. Even if the Targum on the Chronicles, which 
lOE&entions the Turks, should not be reckoned to bel(»ig to this, still 
it appears that no Targum on the propheto [N. B. Jonathan's 
TCurgum is on the prophete] vras in use before the fourth century, 
ov rather later." — Eichhom^s Einldtung in das aUe Testament, 
ISap. m., $ 226, Band, n., S. 6364. Gottingen, 1823. 

Bertholdty a contemporary of Eichhom, and one of the most 
eminent Orientalists c^ the hist generation in Qennsaij, after hav- 
ing mentioned Onkelos' Targum says, '*' Another Targum on the 
earlier and later prophete, bears the name of Jonathan, the Son 
of Uzsiel. l^e Talmud reckons him amcmg ihe Jerusalem disci- 
ples of the aged Hillel ; and therewith agrees the tradition of the 
later Jews, who made him to have flourii^ed one hundred and 
■zty years beforer the destruction of the second temple. Accord- 
ing to tins reckoning, Jonathan would have been a contemporary 
with Onkelos, <mly somewhat younger. But we cannot possibly 
carry him back to so early an age. The Talmudists must have 
confounded a Jonathan who lived in Palestine in the end of the 
seoond or banning of the third century, with the earlier Jona- 
than. For the Targum which bears J<mathan's name cannot 
have been owi^leted b^oie the end of the seoond century. In it 


there are texts (for example Inu. 53, and 63 : 1 — 5) aniYersally 
regarded by the Jews, at the birth of Christ, ae prophedee of the 
Messiah, which are here explained in another manner. This 
betrays the spirit of the second century, when the Jews were 
deeply engaged in controversy with the Christians, and when 
being pressed, and seeking relief on every hand, they adopted 
new principles in the explanation of many Old Testament pas- 
sages. Moreover, the language of Jonathan's Targum, which 
abounds with foreign words, indicates the second or third cen- 
tury. Later than this, however, we cannot place it, for when 
Morinus and J. Vossius thought it v^as not composed before the 
seventh or eighth century, they did not consider that its lan- 
guage is &ir purer than in the later Targums, or in all the 
Aramoean writings of this late period." — Bertholdt^s Htstoris- 
cheritsche EinleUung in Schriften des alt. und neu Test, Zweyter. 
Th. ^ 173. 

I might mention other German Orientalists of reputation, as 
Bauer, &c., but I will only add, that though Gesenius, a dis- 
tinguished Hebrew scholar, decides in fiivor of the earlier date of 
Jonathan's Targum, placing it about the Christian era, his 
opinion does not seem to have been considered authoritative in 
Germany ; for Euinoel, the celebrated commentator on the his- 
torical books of the New Testament, in his commentary on John, 
revised in 1825, since Gesenius advanced his opinion above 
noticed; Euinoel, I say, relies on Eichhom as authority, and 
quotes the Targums as the work of the third or fourth century. 
And he probably, in such a work, took the prevalent opinion of 
the judges of such questions. — Comment in EnangeUum Johan, 
Prolegom, p. 109. lips. 1824. 

Thus do we see that the prevalent opinion among the German 
critics is, that Jonathan's Targum was written at the close of the 
second or beginning of the third century, and no higher authority 
on this point can be quoted. Mr. Dwight expressed an universal 
opinion, when, in his travels through Germany, he declared that 
the Germans in biblical knowledge were a century in advance of 
all the other nations of Europe. 

Thus as we cannot place tbie date of the Targum of Jonathan 


befoie about the banning of the third centoxy, there can be 

no aathoritj for sa^g that Gehenna, in the times of Christy 

had any other signification than that which it had in the Old 

Teetament. And while there is no authority for saying this, it is 

evident that it could not then haye been used for hell, because 

when 80 used it denoted a hell of fire, and none believed in such a 

p)aoe till long after the New Testament was written. If, then, 

Christ used the word in its prevailing acceptation, he certainly 

cBdnot use it to denote a place of endless woe. 

0. A. S. 





Words, which are signs of ideas, were used by the 
inspired writers in their ordinary acceptation, as they 
must be by all who speak and write to be understood. 
In order, therefore, to have a correct view of their lan- 
guage, it is necessary to ascertain what sense they 
affixed to their words, and this we can only learn by 
consulting scripture usage. That men have attached 
ideas to some scripture terms which they were never 
meant to convey, will not be denied. That this is not 
\ the case with me words Sheol, Hades, Tartarus, and 
Gehenna, which we propose to examine, ought not to 
be taken for granted. 



Most Christians have supposed that the word hell 
denotes a place of eternal punishment for all the wicked. 




Wherever they meet the word, it calls up the idea of 
such a place, and by many it will be deemed the worst 
of heresies to give it any other signification. The ciy 
of heresy ought not, however, to deter us from candidly 
inquiring, *' what is truth? " on this deeply interesting 

There are four words in the original languages of the 
Bible, which are translated by the word hell, in our 
common version. These are Sheol, Hades, Tartarus, 
and Gehenna, The first tWo are translated grave, as 
well as hell; the two last always hell in the common 

There is one fiict, which deserves attention at the 
outset, of which many readers of the Bible are ignorant. 
In the Old Testament, Sheol, hell, never means a place 
of eternal misery for the wicked.* This is indisputable. 
No one can doubt it who will take the trouble to examine 
for himself Nor is this a novel opinion, a discovery of 
mine. The fact is attested by some of the ablest writers 
who believed in endless misery^ Dr. Campbell, in his 
6th Preliminary Dissertation, writes: — '*As to the 
word Hades, which occurs in eleven places in the New 
Testament, and is rendered hell in all, except one, where 
it is translated grave, it is quite common in the classical 
authors, and frequently used by the Seventy, in the 
translation of the Old Testament. In my judgment it 
ought never in Scripture to be rendered hell, at least in 
the sense wherein tiiat word is now universally under- 
stood by Christians. In the Old Testament, the corres- 
ponding word is Sheol, which signifies the state of the 
dead in general, without regard to the goodness or bad- 
ness of the persons, their happiness or misery. In trans- 
lating that word, the Seventy have almost invariably used 
Hades. This wprd is also used sometimes in rendering 
the nearly synonymous words or phrases bor and abne 

* Professor Stuart says, ** Sheol designates future punishment," 
but adds, we must also admit, that it does not determine, of itself, tli9 
duration of that punishment" — Exeget. Essays, p. 107. 


bor, the pit, and stones of the pit, tsal moth, the shades 
of death, dumeh, silence. The state is always repre- 
sented under those figures which suggest something 
dreadful, dark and silent, about which the most prying 
eye and listening ear can acquire no information. The 
term Hades is well adapted to express this idea. It was 
written anciently, as we learn from the poets (for what 
is called the poetic is nothing but the ancient dialect) 
aides, ab a privatio et eido video, and signifies obscure, 
hidden, invisible. To this the word hell, in its primitive 
signification, perfectly corresponded. For, at first, it 
denoted only what was secret or concealed. This word is 
found, with little variation of form, and precisely in the 
same meaning, in all the Teutonic dialects. 

" But though our word hell, in its original significa- 
tion, was more adapted to express the sense of Hades 
than of Grehenna, it is not so now. When we speak as 
Christians, we always express by it the place of the pun- 
ishment of the wicked after tiie general judgment, as 
opposed to heaven, the place of the reward of the right- 
eous. It is true, that, in translating heathen poets, we 
retain the old sense of the word hell, which answers to 
the Latin orcus, or rather infernus, as when we speak 
of the descent of Eneas, or of Orpheus, into hell. Now, 
the word infernus, in Latin, comprehends the receptacle 
of all the dead, and contains both Elysium, the place of 
the blessed, and pTartarus, the abode of the miserable. 
The term inferni comprehends all the inhabitants, good 
and bad, happy and wretched. The Latin words infer- 
nus and inferni bear evident traces of the notion that the 
repository of the souls of the departed is under ground.'^ 
This appears also to have been tiie opinion of both Greeks 
and Hebrews, and indeed of all antiquity. How far the 
ancient practice of burying the body may have coptrib- 

♦ What sacred writer, I ask, says, " the repository of the souU of 
the departed is under gronnd ? " We shall see afterwards, from Dr. 
CSempbell himself, and Whitby, that this is a heathen notion. Mr. 
Stoari oonfinns this. 


uted to produce this idea concerning the mansion of the 
ghosts of the deceased, I shall not take upon me to say ; 
but it is vei^ plain, that neither in the Septuagint ver- 
sion of the Old Testament, nor in the New, does the 
word Hades convey the meaning which the present 
English word hell, in the Christian usage, always conveys 
to our minds. 

''It were endless to illustrate this remark, by an 
examination and enumeration of all the passages in both 
Testaments wherein the word is found. The attempt 
would be unnecessary, as it is hardly now pretended by 
any critic, that this is the acceptation of the term in the 
Old Testament. Who, for example, would render the 
words of the venerable patriarch Jacob, Gen. 37 : 35, 
when he was deceived by his sons into the opinion that 
his favorite child Joseph had been devoured by a wild 
beast, ' I will go down to hell to my son mourning ? ' or 
the words which he used, ch. 42 : 38, wKen they expostu- 
lated with him about sending his youngest son, Benjamin, 
into Egypt along with them, 'Ye will bring down my 
gray hairs with sorrow to hell ? ' Yet in both places 
the word, in the original, is Sheol, and in the version of 
the Seventy, Hades. I shall only add, that, in the 
famous passage from the Psalms, 16 : 10, quoted in the 
Acts of the Apostles, Acts 2 : 27, of which I shall have 
occasion to take notice afterwards, though the word is the 
same both in Hebrew and in Greek, as in the^two former 
quotations, and though it is in both places rendered hell 
in the common version, it would be absurd to understand 
it as denoting the place of the damned, whether the ex- 
pression be interpreted literally of David the type, or of 
Jesus Christ the antitype, agreeably to its principal and 
ultimate object." — I have made this long quotation 
from Dr. Campbell at the outset for several reasons. 

1st. It shows that Sheol of the Old Testament, and 
Hades of the New, both translated by our English word 
hell, did not originally signify a place of misery for the 
wicked, but simj^y the state of the dead, without regard 


to the goodness or badness of the persons, their happiness 
or misery. It follows, of course, that wherever these 
two wor^ are used in Scripture, though translated by 
the word hell, we ought not to understand a place of 
misery to be meant by the inspired writers. 

2d. It establishes, also, that our Engl^h word hell, in 
its primitive signification, perfectly corresponded to Hades 
and Siieol, and did not, as it now does, signify a place of 
misery. It denoted only what was secret or concealed. 
What we wish to be noticed here, is, that people, gen- 
erally, have connected the idea of misery with the word 
hell ; but it is evident that it is a very felse association. 
It is beyond all controversy that the word is changed 
fix>m its original signification to express this idea. 

3d. It is also obvious from the above quotation, and 
from other authors which might be quoted, that Gehenna is 
the word which is supposed to express the idea of a place of 
endless misery. The correctness of this opinion we shall 
consider afterwards. At present it need only be observed, 
that if the opinion be correct, it is somewhat surprising 
that the English word hell must assume a new sense to 
accommodate it with a name. Kor was this the original 
sense of the term Gehenna, as I shall show afterwards. 

4th. I add, in regard to the statements made in the 
above quotation, that they are not opinions broached 
by a Universalist in support of his system. No; 
they are the statements of Dr. Campbell, who was 
not a Universalist. Nor are they his opinions alone, but 
admitted as correct by learned orthodox critics and com- 
mentators. In Mr. E. J. Chapman's critical and ex- 
planatory notes, we find very similar statements made, 
on Acts 2-: 27, which, to save room, I forbear tran- 

5th. It is now generally conceded that the doctrine 
of endless punishment is not taught in the Old Testa- 
ment. Mr. Stuart does not pretend that it is taught 
there; but thinks that probably future punishment may 
be taught in five texts. Was it then brought to light by 



the Gospel ? The doctrine of endless punishment was 
current among the heathen nations long before the ap- 
pearance of Christ. But who revealed it to heathen 
nations, yet left the Jewish nation in ignorance concern- 
ing it? If it is said it originated in early reyelations 
which are now« lost, I ask, how happened it that the 
heathen knew so much and the Jews so little about it? 
And if Moses, learned in all the wisdom of the I^yptians, 
believed that the doctrine of endless misery originated in 
lost revelations, why did he not teach it in his writings? 
But how could he refrain from teaching it, had he be- 
lieved it true ? The Jews could not avoid endless mis- 
ery, for they knew nothing about it ; they died, went 
down to hell, and the first notice they had of its exist- 
ence was the awfiil consciousness that they were doomed 
to its hopeless tortures. Surely, then, if there is such a 
place, the Jews have reason to thank the heathen, not- 
withstanding (jod prohibited all intercourse with them. 

It being admitted that the .Old Testament does not 
teach endless punishment, we will inquire whether it 
teaches future punishment. We will begin our examina- 
tion by considering the passages where Sheol occurs. 

Genesis 37 : 35. Jacob said, concerning his son Joseph, 
'* I will go down unto the grave (Sheol), unto my son, 
mourning." Grave is here the correct rendering of 
Sheol, for surely no one thinks Jacob believed Joseph 
had gone to hell, and that he also expected to go down to 
the same place of misery. But Dr. Allen says, " It is 
altogether probable that he (Jacob) had reference to the 
abode of departed spirits, where he hoped to meet his 
son. But our translators, by using the word grave, have 
excluded this important and interesting idea, annihilated 
the strong hopes of paternal affection and enlightened 
piety." But what is it which makes this probable? for 
there is not a text in the Bible which says Sheol is '' the 
abode of departed spirits," or even names '* departed 

Gen. 42 : 38. Concerning Benjamin, Jacob said, << If 


mischief be&U him by the way in which ye go, then shall 
ye bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave 
(Sheol)." Evidently grave, in the same sense ad &e 
precedmg passage. 

Gen. 44 : 29. Jacob again says, "Ye shall bring doWB 
n*y S^J liairs with sorrow to the grave," in the same 
sense as above. 

Gen. 44 : 31. Judah, in making a speech for the lib- 
eration of Benjamin, said, " Thy servsmts shall bring 
down the gray hairs of thy servant our father with sor- 
row to the grave (Sheol).'' * Obviously grave, as in the 
three preceding passages. See the quotation from Dr. 

Numb. 16 : 30. Moses said, concerning Korah and his 
company, " But if the Lord make a new thing, and the 
earth open her mouth and swallow them up, with all that 
appertain unto them, and they go down quick into the 
pit (Sheol)." If Sheol, here rendered pit, means hell 
in its common acceptation, then Korah, his company, and 
all appertaining to them, went down alive there. But 
what is meant is explained, verse 32, by ^*the earth 
opening her mouth and swallowing them up, and their 
houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, 
and all their goods." They were swallowed up as whole 
cities have been by an earthquake. Who believes that 
pec^le go down alive, soul and body, to hell, or endless 
misery 7 The common opinion teacnes that no bodies go 
tiiere until after the resurrection. Besides, did those 
persons, houses, and their goods, go there with them? for 
all went down into the pit, whatever place that was. 

Numb. 16:33. **They and all that appertained to 
them (that is, Korah and his qompany), went down alive 
into the pit (Sheol) ; and the earth closed upon them : 
and they perished n-om among the congregation." The 
sense here is the same as in the chapter preceding. But 
in reference to both these passages, it is said by Profes- 
sor Stuart, " That Korah and his company went to the 
world of woe, there can be but little if any reason to 


doubt, GonsideriBg their character and the nature of their 
crime." This is being wise above what is written, for 
neither Moses nor anj other sacred writer intimates any 
such thing. Mr. Stuart says, in the very next sentence, 
" But the words of Moses, in this place, seem to refer 
primarily to the event which was about to take place, 
namely, to Korah and his company being swallowed up 
alive, and thus going down into the under world." Can a 
particle of evidence be produced that Moses referred to 
anything else ? 

JDeut. 32 : 22. " For a fire, is kindled in mine anger, 
and shall bum unto the lowest hell (Sheol), and shall 
consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the 
foundations of the mountains." Moses is here foretelling 
God's judgments on the Jewish nation ; and it required 
strong imagery to describe them. The figure of fire is 
common in Scripture to describe God's judgments on 
men ; and as on the Jewish nation came all the righteous 
blood shed on the earth, so here the description of their 
punishment is set forth by a fearful fire. But if by the 
lowest hell we understand a place of endless misery, 
there must be three divisions of it, for the lowest hell 
supposes some hells above it, and all these hells must be 
burnt through for this fire to reach it. But who believes 
this ? Besides, it may be asked, was David ever in this 
lowest hell ? For he says to Gt)d, ** Thou hast delivered 
my soul (me) firom the lowest hell," Psalm 86 : 13. I 
may add, no intimation is here given, or anywhere else, 
that in this lowest hell any persons are suflfering misery. 

1 Sam. 2:6. ** The Lord killeth and maketh alive; he 
bringeth down to the grave (Sheol), and bringeth up." 
Grave, or state of the dead, is evidently the meaning of 
Sheol here, as the two parts of the verse show. The 
words in the last part, '* He bringeth down to Sheol and 
bringeth up," answer to the words in the first, '^The 
Lord killeth, and maketh alive." Indeed, who believes 
that the Lord brings men up from Sheol, or hell, in the 


popular sense of this term? and yet, if Sheol means 
hell, it is here plainly asserted. 

2 Sam. 22:6. ^*The sorrows of hell (Sheol), com- 
passed me about; the snares of death prevented me," or 
came upon me. The parallelism, here, shows what is 
meant. In the first part of the verse, " The sorrows of 
hell (Sheol) compassed me about," is explained by the 
fiecom, ^Hhe snares of death prevented me." '^ Sor- 
rows of Shed," and ''snares of death," express the 
same idea. See on Psalm 18 : 5, below. 

1 Kings 2: 6. David charged Solomon thus, ''Do 
therefore according to thy wisdom, and let not his (Joab's) 
hoar head go down to the grave (Sheol) in peace ; " let 
him die, according to the laws, a violent death for the 
crimes he hath committed. Solomon could not send 
Joab to hell. 

1 Kings 2 : 9. David charged Solomon thus concern- 
ing Shimei, " But his hoair head bring thou down to the 
grave (SheoH with blood." No feult is generally found 
with David, m charging Solomon respecting Joab, but 
he has often been bh^^ for cruelty towards Shimei. X 
quote the following from the Missionary Magazine, voL 
vii., p. 333, Vfhick places his conduct in a different light. 
It is there said, " David is here represented, in our Eng- 
lish version, as finishing his life^with giving a command 
to Solomon to kill Shimei ; and to kill him on account 
of that very crime for which he had sworn to him, by the 
Lord, he would not put him to death. The behavior 
thus imputed to the king and prophet should be exam- 
med very carefully as to the ground it stands upon. 
When the passage is duly considered, it will appear 
highly probable that an injury has been done to this 
illustrious character. It is not uncommon, in the He- 
brew language, to omit the negative in a second part of 
a sentence, and to consider it as repeated when it has 
been once expressed, and is followed by the connecting 
particle. The necessity of so very consiaerable an altera- 
tion as inserting the particle not, may be here oon&ro^ 


by some other instances. Thus, Psalm 1:5,^ The mi- 
godly shall not stand in the judgment, nor (the Hebrew 
is and, signifying, and not) sinners in the congregation 
of the righteous.' Psahn 9 : 18; 38 : 1 ; 76 : 5; 
Proy. 24 : 12. If, then, there are many such instances, 
the question i& whether the negative here expressed in the 
former part of David's command may not be understood 
as to be repeated in the latter part ? And if this may 
be, a strong reason will be addecLwhy it should be so in- 
terpreted. The passage will run thus, 'Behold, thou 
hast with thee Shimei, who cursed me ; but I sware to 
him by the Lord, saying, I will not put thee to death 
by the sword. Now, therefore, hold him not guiltless, 
(for thou art a wise m9Ji, and knowest what thou ought- 
est to do unto him), but bring not down his hoary head 
to the grave with blood.' Now, if the language itself 
will admit this construction, the sense thus given to the 
sentence derives a very strong support from the context. 
For how did Solomon understand this charge ? Did he 
kill Shimei in consequence of it? Certainly he did not. 
For, after he had commanded Joab to be immediately 
slain in obedience to his father, he sends for Shimei, and 
knowing that Shimei ought to be well watched, confines 
him to a particular spot in Jerusalem for the remainder 
of his life. 1 Kings 2 : 36 — 42. See Kermicotfs Re- 
marks, p. 131." Those who wish to see this verse no- 
ticed at considerable length, 'may consult the Christian's 
Magazine, vol. i., p. 172-— 181. David could not surely 
mean that the hoary head of either Joab or Shimei 
should be brought down to endless misery with blood. 

Job 7:9. ** As the cloud is consumed and vanisheth 
away ; so he that goeth down to the grave (Sheol) shall 
come up no more." The next verse explains the writer's 
meaning; '^he shall no more return to his house, neither 
shall his place know him any more." 

Job 11 : 8. ** It is high as heaven; what canst thou 
do7 Deeper than hell (Sheol) ; what canst thou know? " 
The antithesis here shows what is meant by Sheol^ for it 


is contrasted with the heaven for height. The sea, or 
abyss, is probably alluded to. See verse 7. No man 
can by searching find out God, any more than he can 
measure tiie height of heaven, or the depth of the abyss. 
Sheol included the abyss, for it was the state of all the 
dead, whether in the abyss, grave or tomb, etc. 

Job 14 : 13. ** that thou wouldst hide me in the 
grave (Sheol)." The context shows Job longed for 
death, to find rest in the grave. TSo man supposes Job 
prayed that God would hide him in the place of endless 

Job 17 : 13. '* K I wait, the grave (Sheol) is mine 
house." I must die at last, and I may as well die now 
as at any future period. 

Job 17 : 16. " They shall go down to the bars of the 
pit (Sheol), when our rest together is in the dust." The 
grave or sepulchre is here evidently referred to by Sheol, 
rendered pit. Corruption and the worms were to be with 
Job there, which he explains to be *' in the dust." Not 
surely in hell, or endless misery. 

Job 21 : 13. '* They spend their days in wealth, and 
in a moment go down to tiie grave (Sheol)." Our trans- 
lators understood Sheol here to mean grave, and have 
rendered it so ; and the &ct stated, we see daiily occur- 
ring around us. This is the first of Professor Stuart's 
five texts, in which he thinks Sheol '^ may designate the 
future world of woe." But he places little dependence 
on it, for he says, " Job 21 : 13 is not altogether so prob- 
able as to afford entire satisfaction. Verses 17, 18, 21, 
30 — 33, it may be alleged, seem rather to incline the 
mind to construe Sheol in verse 13 as meaning grave ; 
and so our translators have done." The general usage 
of Sheol, by his own confession, is also opposed to con- 
struing it otherwise than grave. 
Job 24:19. '^Drought and heat consume the snow 

waters; so doth the grave (Sheol) those which have 

sinned." This is true of the grave; but does hell, the 

world of woe, consume those which have sinned ? 


Job 26 : 6. '^ Hell (Sheol) is naked befinre him, and 
destruction hath no covering." What is called hell or 
8heol in the first part of the verse, is called destructum 
in the last. Hell, here, has the sense of grave, as in the 
apostles' creed, and other texts. 

Fsal. 6:5.^^ For in death there is no remembrance of 
iheo ; in the grave (Sheol) who shall give thee thanks?" 
The parallelism here shows that grave is the meaning 
of Sheol. The first part of the verse, '^ in death there 
is no remembrance of thee," explains what is meant in 
the last, "in the grave (Sheol) who shall give thee 
thanks ? " Did David expect to go to the world of woe 1 
And who ever supposed it was a place for praising 

Ps. 9: 17. "The wicked shall be turned into hell 
([Sheol), and all the nations that forget God." This 
is Professor Stuart's second text to prove that " Sheol 
may designate the future world of woe." But, prob- 
ably perceiving that the context stood opposed to such 
a view of it, he passes it without remark. Dr. Allen 

fives this text up as teaching future punishment, 
[e says, "But probably the punishment expressed is 
cutting ofi* from life, destroying from the earth, by some 
special judgment, and removing to the invisible place of 
the dead." But there is no text in which the word 
Sheol occurs, which has been more frequently quoted 
than this, to prove that by hell is meant a place of 
misery for the wicked. The wicked are the persons 
spoken of, and they are said to be turned into hell, vrith 
all the nations that forget God. Plausible as this ap- 
pears, we have only to consult the context, to see that 
no such idea was intended by the writer. The Psalm 
in which the words stand is treating of God's temporal 
judgments upon the heathen nations. We think, if verses 
15 — 20 are consulted, this will suflSciently appear. 
What leads people to think that this passage refers to 
eternal misery, is the fitlse idea which they have attached 
to the word hell. But surely no one, who has attended 


to all the texts, cab continue to belieye tha4; Sheol here 
has sach a meaning. It is the hell into which the 
widLed are turned, and to which Jacob said he would 
go down mourning. It is the hell in which the Sav- 
iour's soul was not left. It is the same one David 
prayed the wicked might go down quick, or alive, into. 
When I can believe that David prayed the wicked misht 
go down idive to a place of endless misery, and that 
EonJi and his company did go there alive, it is possible 
I may believe the text before us contains the answer to 
David's prayer. But it will not be easy to produce evi- 
dence of this. The &ct is, it would prove too much. It 
would prove that all the heathen nations must &> to 
eternal misery, a thing which few are prepared to admit. 
Ask the question of the most zealous advocates of the 
doctrine, Are all the heathen nations turned into eternal 
misery? They hesitate to say, yes. But why, if 
Sheol means such a place? Tne passage is explicit in 
declaring it. 

But it will be asked, Are not all good people turned 
into Sheol, or the state of the dead, as well as the 
wicked ? Why, then, is it said the wicked shall be turned 
into hell, with all the nations that forget Qod? We an- 
swer : though all good people in David's day, went to 
Bheol, as well as Uie wicked, yet not in the way he here 
represents. He is speaking of God's public judgments 
on the heathen, by which they were to be cut off from 
the earth, or turned into Sheol. It is one thing to die, 
and quite another to be cut off by the judgments of God. 
I shall only add, if all the wicKed, yea, all the nations 
who forgot God in those days, were turned into a place 
of endless misery, upon what principles are we to justi- 
fy the character of God, or of good men, for their want 
(^ feeling towards them, or their exertions to save them 
from it ? We are told that the times of this ignorance 
God winked at : that he suffered all nations to wk after 
&eir own ways. If all the heathen nations were turned 



into a place of endless misery, neither God nor good 
men felt, spoke or acted, as if this was true. 

Fsal. 16: 10. ^'For thou wilt not leave my soul 
(me) in hell (Sheol) : neither wilt thou sofier thine 
holy one to see corrupticm." Peter quotes this text, 
Acts 2 : 24 — 32, and applies it to the resurrection of 
Christ. He was not left in Sheol, or the grave. Thai 
grave only is meant, seems obvious from the next words^ 
''neither wilt thou suffer thine hoh^ one to see corrup- 
tion." Professor Stuart says, '' Can the soul . of Jesus 
be supposed to have been in the world of woe, the place 
of the damned ? I know, indeed, that there are some, 
who deduce from this passage the doctrine of a purgatonr, 
into which Christ descended, in order to preach to the 
spirits who are in prison ! But there is no foundation 
in this text for any such deduction." But is there not 
just as much foundation for such a deduction in this text 
as there is in any text where Sheol occurs, that it is '' a 
world of woe, the place of the damned " ? The Bible 
may as well be quoted to prove purgatory a spiritual 
prison. Where does it teach sudi a prison 7 or what 
text can be adduced to prove there are any spirits in it 
who need preaching? We will thank Mr. Stuart, or 
any other man, to prove these things from Scripture. 
He takes for granted the existence of such a prison, and 
that there are damned spirits in it, but lacks in benevo- 
lence to let Christ go there and preach to them. But if 
one of these things is believed without scripture authori- 
ty, why not all of them? 

Ps. 18 : 5. "The sorrows of hell (Sheol) compassed 
me about ; the snares of death prevented me." See on 
2 Sam. 22 : 6, for the sense of Sheol. In both places, 
and in others where Sheol is rendered hell, nothing but 
the popular sense attached to this word leads people to 
thiuK of a place of future punishment. It would have 
been well if Sheol had in all cases been left untranslated, 
for then people would have looked to the context for its 


. Ps. 80 : 3. ^'0 Lord, thou hast brought up my soul 
(me) from the grave (Sheol) : thou hast kept me aliye, 
that I should not go down to the pit." The paralld- 
iam in this verse shows its meaning; for what is ex- 
pressed in ike first part is explained in the second. Was 
the writer ever in the future world of woe ? And was 
he ever brought up from it? 

Ps. 31: 17. ''Let the wicked be ashamed, and let 
them be silent in the grave (Sheol)." On this text I 
ask, 1st. If Sheol means hell, the world of friture pun- 
ishment, how could David or any good man pray, '' Let 
the wicked be silent in this hell" ? If so, David was like 
the bold blasphemer who sends his companions to hell 
with his prayers and curses. But, 2d. If Sheol means 
hell, did David think it a place of silence ? He says, 
^' Let them be silent in Sheol." None believe now that 
hell is a place of silence ; for it is said to be a place 
where the wicked are weejMUg, and wailing and gnashing 
dieir teeth. But, 3d. Admit David here only means, 
let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the 
grave ; how could he ever pray for this, as a good man. 
If he believed in any future punishment ? for just so 
sore as they were turned into the grave, their souls went 
to hell to be punished, according to the common opinions. 
Sy implication then, if he believed in any future pun- 
ishment, he prayed that the wicked might suffer the ago- 
nies of an endless hell. What good man now prays so ? 
4dL But, if we admit David knew of no future punish- 
ment after death, all difficulty is removed. As a good 
nan, and a king, David might pray that the wicked 
Qiight be cut off by death ; or, as Mr. Stuart expresses 
it, '^ that the justice dhe to them, in a civil respect, 
inidit be executed." 

Ps. 49 : 14. " Like sheep they are laid in the grave 
(Sheol) ; death shall feed on them ; and the upright shall 
have dominion over them in the morning; and their 
beauty shall consume in the grave (Sheol), from their 
direllmg." Sheol occurs here twice, and is properly 


rendered grave by our translators; for are any sheep laid 
in hell, the world of woe ; or does any person's beauty 
consume there ? 

Ps. 49 : 15. " But Gkxi will redeem my soul (me) 
from the power of the grave (Sheol), for he shall re- 
ceive me." Evidently grave is used here as in the last 
verse ; for in what sense could David be under the power 
of the world of woe, and be redeemed from it ? On 
this text Mr. Stuart says, " Whether under this imagery 
more than a literal meaning is not conveyed, as also in 
the example above ^Pls. 49 : 14), will be matter of in- 
quiry in the sequel.'' But all he says in the sequel, is, 
p. 113, '' Let any one now, in addition to these texts, 
carefully inspect such passages as Numb. 16 : 80, 33. 
Deut. 32: 22; 1 Kings, 2:6; Ps. 49 : 14, 15; Is. 5: 
14, and then say, whether the Hebrew, believing in a 
state of future retribution, did not connect such lan- 
guage, in his own thoughts, with the apprehension of 
future misery in regard to those of whom he thus spoke." 
But the very question in dispute is, did the Hebrew 
" believe in a state of future retribution ? " Until this 
point is settled, it is premature to inquire, '' whether the 
Hebrew did connect such language, in his own thoughts, 
with the apprehension of future misery in regard to those 
of whom he thus spoke." It is surprising that a man 
of Mr. Stuart's attainments, should assume the very 
question in debate. Besides, who can tell what the He- 
brew thought, or connected with his thoughts, but hy 
what he has expressed in the language he used ? 

Ps. 55: 15. '^ Let death seize upon them, and let 
them go down quick into hell ^Sheol)." Mr. Stuart oq 
this text says, ^' There is a serious cufBculty in the way 
of supposing the Psalinist to have prayed that his ene- 
mies should go down suddenly to the world of future 
woe. Here, however, our English version renders Sheol 
by hell ; but why this should be done here, and not in 
rs, 31 : 17, it would be difficult to say." This is indeed 
a serious difficulty, which we have noticed in P& 31: 17, 


above. We have shown that there is no possible way of 
getting rid of it, but by admitting that Sheol does not in 
any case designate the world of woe, and that David 
did not believe in any punishment after death. 

Ps. 86: 13. "Great is thy mercy toward me; and 
thou hast delivered my soul (me) from the lowest hell 
(Sheol)." On this text, Mr. Stuart says, " The next 
verse seems plainly to indicate that deliverance from 
temporal death is nere meant. It runs thus : ' God, 
the proud are risen up against me ; and the assemblies 
of violent men have sought after my soul (my life), 
and have not set thee before them.' The word nephisk^ 
which our translators have here rendered soul, is a common 
Hebrew word for life ; and is very often so rendered. It 
clearly has that miming here ; for David's enemies sure- 
ly did not seek after his soul in any^other sense. Con- 
sequently, we must conclude that the deliverance, com- 
memorated inverse 13, is from the grave, or under- 
world, that is, from death. By saying lowest grave or 
sepulchre, the writer designates a most terrible and cruel 
death, or a death of the most shocking nature." This 
is very much to the purpose. Let the reader notice, 
that lowest Sheol, hell, grave, or sepulchre, simply 
means, by Mr. Stuart's own confessions, " a death of the 
most blocking nature." 

Ps. 88: 3. "My soul is full of trouble; my life 
draweth near unto the grave (Sheol)." Certainly grave 
is here the proper rendering of Sheol, for the writer 
surely did not mean to say his life drew near unto hell 
or endless misery^ The context decides the sense of 
Sheol to be grave, for, in verse 4, he says, " I am counted 
with them that go down into the pit; " and in verse 5, 
'"like the slain that lie in the grave." Yea, says verse 
6, "thou hast laid me in'the lowest pit ; " and, asks verse 
10, "wilt thou show wonders to the dead?" The 
phrase "lowest pit" is equivalent to "lowest hell" or 
Sheol. Ps. 86 : 13. 

Ps. 89 : 48. "What xoan is he that liyeth and shall 



not see death? shall he deliver his soul (life) from the 
hand of the grave (Sheol)?" The hand of the grave 
simply means the power of the grave. And the paral- 
lelism determined that Sheol is correctly rendered *^ grave." 
Thus some are delivered from hell, the world of woe. 

Ps. 116 : 8. **The sorrows of death cwnpassed me, 
and the pains of hell (Sheol) gat hold up(On me." The 
"sorrows g£ death" and '* pains of hell" are equivalent 
expressions. The same sentiment b expressed, 2 Sam. 
22 : 6, and 18 : 5, already noticed. 

Ps. 189 : 8. *^If I ascend up into heaven, thou art 
there; if I make my bed in hell (Sheol), behold, thou 
art there." The writer, here, surely did not mean to say, 
if I make my bed in hell, the world of woe. This lan- 
guage is evidently used to express the omnipresence o< 
God, as the context^hows. 

Ps. 141 : 7. " Our bones are scattered at the grave's 
(Sheol) mouth." This is true of the grave; but are 
people's hemes scattered at the mouth of hell, the world 
of woe? 

Prov. 1 : 12. " Let us swallow them up alive as the 
grave (Sheol) ;" and whole, as those that go down into 
the pit." The parallelism, as well as the context, suffi- 
ciently shows that Sheol means grave, as our translators 
have rendered it. 

Prov. 5:6. " Her feet go down to death ; her steps 
take hold on hell (Sheol)." The equivalent to **her 
steps take hold on Sheol," is, "her feet go down to 
death." Both express the premature or sudden death 
of a lewd woman. The parallelism is similar here to 
that in Ps. 6 : 5, Prov. 1 : 12, and other texts noticed 
already. This is Professor Stuart's third text, in which 
he thinks " Sheol may designate the future world of 
woe." He is correct in saying, ^'This and Prov. 9 : 18, 
have respect to prostitutes," p. 109. But the argument 
he draws from iiiem is founded on the mistake that in the 
ancient world, " disease in some of its most awful forms" 
was not, as now, a concomitant attending illicit inter- 


ooonse. In my reply to his essays I have fully consid- 
ered this argoment, and to this I beg leave here, and 
on all his book, to r^er. It is sufficient, now, to notice 
tiiat y. 11 of ike context shows Mr. Stuart must be mis- 
taken. It runs thus, ^'And thou mourn at the last, 
when thy flesh and thy body are consumed." What do 
these words mean, if ^^ disease in some of its most awful 
Ibnns '^ was not then a concomitant attending illicit in- 
tercourse? Medical men aver that such a disease is 
produced without illicit intercourse, and that it no doubt 
existed in the ancient world, though not known then by 
lis modem names. 

Prov. 9 : 18. " But he knoweth not that the dead 

are there, and that her guests are in the depths of hell, 

(Sheol)." This is Professor Stuart's fourth text in 

proof that " Sheol may designate the future world of 

woeJ' But his argument, founded on this text, is drawn 

from the same mistake as noticed on the preceding text. 

He renders this passage thus, '^ But he knoweth not that 

the ghosts are there." What ghosts? Are they living 

beings, disembodied spirits ? Not a word of this can be 

true, by Mr. Stuart's own confessions, for he says, p. 121, 

^'A deep region beneath, peopled with ghosts, is what 

ve do not befieve in." Besides, we have shown in our 

reply to his essays, that the term repaint, rendered 

"ghosts" by him, and "dead" in the common version, 

has no reference to living beings of any kind, but to the 

dead body. 

Prov. 15: 11. "Hell (Sheol) and destruction are 
before the Lord ; how much more, then, the hearts of the 
children of men?" Here Sheol and destruction are 
joined, and plainly refer to the grave, where 'destruction 
takes place. If th^e are obvious to the sight of the 
Lord, much more the hearts of men. 

Prov. 28 : 14. " Thou shalt beat him with the rod, 
and fihalt deliver his soul from hell (Sheol)." The verse 
which precedes this explains what is meant. ** Withhold 
not oonection from the child." Why ? To save 1a\a «/w>V 


from the world of woe? No; it is added, "for if thou 
beatest him with the rod, he shalt not die. Thou shalt beat 
him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul (him) firom the 
grave (Sheol).'' The child will bring himself to a pre- 
mature death by his wicked course of life ; but, if you^ 
apply the rod in time, it will drive his folly &r from him 
and prevent it. But this is Professor Stuart's fifth and 
last text, where he thinks '* Sheol may designate the 
future world of woe." Let us now hear what he con- 
cedes about these texts. He says, " It is possible to in- 
terpret such texts as Prov. 5 : 5 ; 9 : 18 ; 23 : 14, as 
designating a death violent and premature, inflicted by 
the hand of Heaven." Thus much he concedes respect- 
ing three of his texts. Again, he says, " The probability 
that Sheol designates the future punishment of the 
wicked, in the passages just cited (all his five texts), 
depends perhaps, in a great measure, on the state of 
knowledge among the Hebrews with regard to future re- 
wards and punishments." But were not these very texts 
quoted to show what was " the state of knowledge among 
the Hebrews with regard to future rewards and punish- 
ments ? " But it is confessed they do not teach this ; for 
their teaching it depends, in a great measure, on the state 
of knowledge among the Hebrews with regard to future 
rewards and punishments, a thing they do not teach. If 
they did teach it, they would not need to depend on any- 
thing else. The texts, then, are nothing to Mr. Stuart's 
purpose, even by his own confession, until it is proved 
that the Hebrews believed as he asserts. He even con- 
cedes that the texts are susceptible of a different inter- 

Prov. 27: 20. "Hell (Sheol) and destruction are 
never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied." 
Here, again, Sheol and destruction are joined. The 
grave and destruction never say they have enough ; so 
the eyes of man are never satisfied with seeing. Why 
render Sheol *'hell" here'? 

Prov. 80 : 15, 16. " There are three things that are 


never isatisfied, yea, four things say not, It is enough. 
The grave (Sheol^, and the barren womb ; the earth 
that is not filled with water ; and the fire that saith not, 
It is enough." It is strange our translators should have 
rendered Sheol, "hell," in the last text, and render it 
here, "grave," where the same idea is conveyed. No 
one can suppose that, in either text, Sheol means hell, 
the world of woe. 

Eccles. 9 : 10. "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, 
do it with all thy might ; for there is no work, nor device, 
nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave (Sheol), whither 
thou goest." No one doubts that Sheol, here, means the 
grave, as rendered in the English version; for such 
things could not be said concerning it if it meant hell, a 
place of future punishment. But if it meant in any 
case hell, he who should thus speak would be liable to be 
misunderstood concerning it. 

Cant. V 8 : 6. "For love is strong as death ; jealousy 
is cruel as the grave (Sheol)." We know that the grave 
k cruel, for it spares neither age nor sex, and is a fine 
figure to describe the efiects of strong jealousy. But 
how is it known that hell, the world of woe, is cruel, or 
that jealousy resembles it? 

Isai. 5: 14. "Therefore hell (Sheol) hath enlarged 
herself, and opened her mouth without meai^ure: and 
their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he 
that risjoiceth, shall descend into it." All allow that 
Sheol, the grave, is here personified. It is represented as 
having a mouth, opening it wide without measure, to 
receive the wicked with all their pomp and glory. 

Isai. 14 : 9. " Hell (Sheol), from beneath, is moved 
to meet thee at thy coming : it stirreth up the dead for 
thee, even all the chief ones of the earth ; it hath raised 
up from their thrcHies all the kings of the nations." On 
this verse Professor Stuart says, " The prophet is speak- 
ing of the king of Babylon, who was to be slain ; and 
when he should go down into the under-world, or Sheol, 
tlie ^oBts, or umbrtie of the dead there, would rise up 


to meet him with insult and contumely." Our English 
version renders Sheol ** hell." But, plainly, the region 
of the dead, the land of ghosts, is here meant; for, in 
verse 18, all the kings of the nations are said to repose 
in glory there, that is, to lie in their sepulchres, attended 
with aU the ensigns of splendor which were deposited 
around the bodies of deceased kings. See in the next 
passage for further remarks. 

Isai. 14: 15. **Yet thou (the king of Babylon) 
shalt be brought down to hell (Sheol), to the sides of the 

Eit." On this text, Professor Stuart adds, '^The word 
ere is most evidently in the same sense as above ; for so 
the parallelism, which follows, clearly shows, namely, 
" to the sides of the pit." On the two last texts he gives 
us the following excellent remarks, pp. 121, 122. " A 
deep region beneath, peopled with ghosts, is what we do 
not believe in. Nor is there any more certainty that it 
is true because this method of speaking about it in 
Scripture is adopted, than that the sun goes round the 
earth because they speak of it as doing so. In most 
cases, it is the language of poetry, which employs the 
popular methods of representation. It is poetry which 
gives a kind of life and animation to the inhabitants of 
the under- world. Poetry personifies that world. So in 
Isa. 5 : 14 ; Prov. 27 : 20 ; 30 : 15, 16 ; 1 : 12. Above 
all, is this the case in that most striking passage, Isa. 14 : 
9 — 20 (the two last passages), in which all commenta- 
tors are compelled to admit a fictitious or imaginary 
costume. Here the ghosts rise up from their places of 
repose, and meet and insult the king of Babylon, and 
exult over his &11. All is life and animation when he 
goes down into the under-world. Yet who was ever 
misled by this passage, and induced to regard it as a 
passage to be literally understood ? But if this be very 
plain, then are other passages of a nature in any respect 
similar, equally plain also." On this quotation from 
Professor Stuart I have a few remarks to make. 
1st. He explicitly declares that he has no faith in a 


deep region beneath, peopled with ghosts. There is no 
more reason to believe this true than that the son goes 
round the earth. But, we ask, are not disembodied souls 
or spirits considered ghosts? Mr. Stuart believes in 
them. Perhaps his scepticism respects not their exist- 
ence, but the place of their existence ; they are not in 
"a deep region beneath." Be it so; where, then I can- 
not find &om his writings. 

2d. The professor tells us " It is poetry which gives a 
kind of life and animation to the inhabitants of the under- 
world. Poetry personifies that world," and in the pas- 
sages he cites, he assures us ''All commentators are 
compelled to admit a fictitious or imaginary costume. 
Here the ghosts rise up from their places of repose, and 
meet and insult the king of Babylon, and exult over his 
fall. All is life and animation when he goes down into 
the under-world." Very well; but if this is the lan- 
guage of poetry, where will he find a text in the Old 
Testament which is the language of reality, declaring 
that persons were alive in Sheol after death ? We do 
not demand what, on his system, we have a right to de- 
mand, that he produce a text which says persons are 
punished there. No, we only ask him to name the text 
which teaches that the king of Babylon, or any other 
person, was in a state of conscious existence after death, 
either in a region beneath, or in any other region in the 
universe of God. He says " In most cases it is the lan- 
guage of poetry, which employs the popular methods of 
representation." If not so in every case, he can produce 
the exceptions where the language of reality gives to 
persons in Sheol real life and animation. 

8d. If the plainest texts which represent persons alive 
after death, are abandoned by Mr. Stuart as the mere 
language of poetry, how is his system to be supported 7 
He nas abandonea them, and we are confident that none 
others give his idea half so much support. Would he have 
abandoned them as the language of poetry, if it had only 
been said concerning the king of Babylon, or any other 


person, " And in Sheol he lifted up his eyes, being in 
torment " 7 This would have altered the passages finom 
a fictitious and imaginary costume, to solemn reality. 
Doubtless this would have been said, had the poets then 
known that in the Hebrew Sheol there was a Tartarus, a 
place of torment. But at that period the poets had not 
given such a representation to Sheol. We shall see that 
the Greeks gave to Hades this representation ; this ficti- 
tious and imaginary coetume, which Mr. Stuart adopte 
without scruple, as the truth of God. It is a strange 
inconsistency to say, when the king of Babylon goes down 
to Sheol, and all is life and animation on his arrival, this 
is only fiction ; and when the rich man, Luke 16 : 23, 
goes down to Hades, and all is life and animation, this is 
solemn reality. Does not Mr. Stuart admit that Sheol 
and Hades are only the Hebrew and Greek names for the 
same place ? And is he ignorant how Hades came to dif- 
fer from Sheol respecting such a representation? We 
shall refresh his memory about this in the sequel. 

Isai. 28 : 15. " Because ye have said, We have made 
a covenant with death, and with hell (Sheol) are we at 
agreement." The persons mentioned, fancied themselves > 
so secure that they say " with Sheol, the grave, we are at 
agreement." They add, "When the oveifiowing scourge 
shall pass through, it shall not come unto us ; for we have 
made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid 
ourselves." But thus their way was their folly, for it is 

Isai. 28 : 18. " Your covenant with death shall be 
disannulled, and your agreement with hell (Sheol) shall 
not stand." No covenant can be made witii death and 
the grave ; all must die, all go to Sheol. Hence, it is 
added, "When the overflowing scourge shall pass through, 
then ye shall be trodden down by it." 

Isai. 38 : 18. " For the grave (Sheol) cannot praise 
thee ; death cannot celebrate thee ; they that go down 
into the pit cannot hope for thy truth." Here, what is 
expressed by the words, " the grave (Sheol) cannot praise 



thee," is explained by the next words, *' death cannot 
celebrate thee." It is still further explained by the 
words, ^' they that go down into the pit cannot hope for 
thy truth." On this text Mr. Stuart says, ** The mean- 
ing here is plain, namely, how can the dead, or those in 
the sepulchre, praise thee ? Surely, we cannot well sup- 
pose Hezekiah means to say here, that hell, that is, the 
world of torment, cannot praise God. He did not expect 
to perish forever, when he should die. But when he 
says, ^ Sheol cannot praise thee,' does he mean that after 
death there is no ability to praise God, no existence of 
the powers and capacities of the soul ? I think not. It 
seems to me clear that this is not his design, although 
not a few of the later critics have affirmed it to be so. 
Shall we represent the Hebrews, and a Hebrew monarch 
enlightened as Hezekiah was, as being more ignorant in 
respect to futurity than the Egyptians ? The people of 
God, who lived under the light of a revelation, more 
ignorant than those who were in the midst of Egyptian 
night ? Believe this who will, I must have stronger evi- 
dence of its correctness than I have yet found in order to 
give it credit." On this quotation I have to remark : 

1st. Hezekiah did not expect to perish forever when 
he should die, for, like all believers in divine revelation, 
be hoped for a future life by a resurrection from the dead. 
But did he or any other person ever intimate that he 
should praise God or be aUve in Sheol after death 7 No. 
But it was incumbent on Mr. Stuart to produce some 
declaration or example &om Scripture, lliat in Sheol 
there is ** ability to praise God ; an existence of the pow- 
ers and capacities of the soul" to do this. If this could 
have been found, he would have produced it. 

2d. Mr. Stuart's argument proves too much. It proves 
that the transmigration of souls is a scripture doctrine, 
for it was believed by those in Egyptian night. I then 
Bay to Mr. Stuart, in his own words, " Shall we represent 
the Hebrews, and a Hebrew monarch enlightened as Hez- 
ekiah was, as being more ignorant respecting the trans- 



migration of souls than the Egyptians? The people of 
God, who lived under the light of a revelation, more igno- 
rant than those in the midst of Egyptian night ? Believe 
this who will, I must have stronger evidence of its cor- 
rectness than I have yet found in order to give it credit." 
Does Mr. Stuart think the Hebrews, the people of God, 
believed in the doctrine of transmigration of souls ? 

3d. Mr. Stuart forgets himself He furnishes evidence 
that the Egyptians in the midst of their night knew 
nil aSout future rewards and punishments, and yet he 
cannot show that the Hebrews, the people of God, 
knew anything about them, or that they were taught in 
the Old Testament. Now, how will he, or any other man, 
be able to account for the fact that the Egyptians taught 
this doctrine in the days of Moses and the prophets, yet 
they never taught it ? If they were better informed than 
the Egyptians on this subject, as Mr. Stuart asserts, 
how happened it that they gave us no information upon 
it ? But, 

4th. Mr. Stuart adds, "I regard the simple meaning 
of this controverted place (and of others like it, e. g-., Ps. 
6: 5; 30: 9; 88: 11; 115: 17; comp. 118: 17), 
as being this, namely, * The dead can no more give thanks 
to God nor celebrate his praise among the living on earth, 
amd thus cause his name to be glorified by them,' or thus 
do him honor before them. So the sequel of Isai. 38 : 
18 ; * The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do 
this day ; the father to the children shall make known 
thy truth,' that is, thy faithfulness. This last clause 
makes the whole plain ; and one is ready to wonder that 
so mfich scepticism about the views of the Hebrews in 
regard to a future state of existence, could have been 
eked out of the verse in question." No man disputes, 
with Mr. Stuart, that " the dead can no more give thanks 
to God, nor celebrate his praises among the living on 
earth." What he has to prove is, that the dead celebrate 
God's praises in Sheol ; that there, people have powers 
and capacities to do this. 


Isai. 57 : 9. '^ And thou didst debase thyself even 
to hell (Sheol)." Sheol here evidently means grave ; 
1 to be debased even unto Sheol, Hades, or the grave, 
presses the lowest state of debasement or degradation. 
Ezek. 81 : 15. "In the day when he went dovm to 
i grave (Sheol), I caused a mourning." The prophet 
iiere speaking of the death of the king of Egypt ; and 
Lcol is correctly rendered grave by our translators. 
Ezek. 31 : 16. "I made the nations to shake at the 
iiidof his &11, when least him down to hell (Sheol)." 
tt why is Sheol rendered hell here, and grave in the 
rse preceding, for the prophet has not changed his sub- 
rfi This is a striking example of inconsistency in the 
ndators. Many other examples may be found. 
Esek. 31: 17. "They also went down into hell 
heql) with him, unto them that be slain with the 
ord.'' The same subject is continued, as in the two 
needing verses already noticed, and " grave " ought to 
ve been the rendering of Sheol. 
Exek. 32 : 21. " The strong among the mighty shall 
»k to him out of the midst of hell (Sheol), with them 
it help him." This is spoken of the king of Egypt, 
1 is similar to what is said^Isai. 14 : 9 — 20, concerning 
) king of Babylon, above noticed. This is one of the 
rts which Mr. Stuart considers the language of poetry. 
B Isai. 14 : 9—20. . 

Eaek. 32: 27. "And they shall not lie with the 
ghty that are fallen of the uncircumcised, which are 
ae down to hell (Sheol), with their weapons of war ; 
1 they have laid their swords under their heads." 
aye, vault or tomb, is the meaning of Sheol here; for 
people carry their weapons of war with them to hell, 
J world of woe 1 And do they lay them under their 
ids there 7 The allusion is evidently to the custom of 
rying the hero's implements of war with him. Another 
ct which is only the language of poetry. See Isai. 14 : 
Hosea 13 : 14. " I will ransom them from the power 


of the grave (Sheol) ; I will redeem them from death : 

death, I will be thy plagues ; grave (Sheol), I will 
be thy destruction." If Sheol means hell, the world of 
woe, its destruction is here plainly declared. But if it 
means grave, this is agreeable to Scripture, for death and 
the grave are to be destroyed when men are raised from 
the dead immortal and glorious. There is a double anti- 
thesis in this passage, which shows that Sheol means 
grave. The first member of the verse is explained by 
the second ; and the fourth member is explained by the 
third ; Sheol, in the first and fourth members, answers to 
death in the second and third. 

Amos 9 : 2. "Though they dig into hell (Sheol), 
thence shall mine hand take them." People may dig 
down into the lowest grave. But can any person dig 
down to Sheol, if it means the world of woe, hell, in the 
common acceptation of this term? If it does mean this 
in any instance, it is here supposed that men may dig 
into it. But can any man seriously believe this 7 Be- 
sides, hell must be a region beneath peopled with ghosts, 
Mr. Stuart's scepticism on the subject to the contrary, 

Jonah 2:2. "Out of the belly of hell (Sheol) cried 
I, and thou heardest my voice." But how could Jonah 
be in hell, the world of woe, for he was only in the belly 
of the fish ? He thought his situation the same as if he 
had been in the gravd. And, unless there are two or 
more Sheols or hells, how can it mean both grave and 
world of woe, for all at death go to Sheol 7 

Such are all the places where Sheol occurs in what- 
ever way rendered in our common version. The exam- 
ples of its usage are numerous ; but, numerous as they 
are, I do not &id that, in a single instance, Sheol is used 
to designate hell, the world of woe. To this conclusion 

1 have come after patient and repeated investigations. 
Mr. Stuart's attempt to establish a contrary conclusion, 
only confirms me in my own. Indeed, the result of his 
examination leaves his mind doubtful as to the truth of 


his conclusion that Sheol means hell in the common use 
of this word. Let us hear him respecting the result of 
his inquiries. 

He says, p. 93, '^ There can be no reasonable doubt 
• that Sheol does most generally mean the under- world, the 
grave or sepulchre, me world of the dead, in the Old 
Testswient Scriptures. It is very clear that there are 
many passages where no other meaning can reasonably 
be assigned to it. Accordingly, our English translators 
have rendered the word Sheol grave in thirty instances 
out of the whole sixty-four instances in which it occurs 
in the Hebrew Scriptures. In many of the remaining 
cases, where they have given a different version of the 
word, that is, translated it hell, it is equally clear that it 
should have been rendered grave, or region of the dead. 
This has been clearly shown, by producing the instances 
in the above exhibition of examples. In three cases, 
they have recognized the same principle (at least this 
seems to have been their view), namely, Numb. 16 : 30, 
33 ; Job 17 : 16, where it is translated pit. In regard 
to most of the cases in which they have rendered the 
word hell, it may be doubtful whether they meant thereby 
to designate the world of future torment. The incon- 
gruity of such a rendering, at least in not a few cases, 
has been already pointed out in the citations of the 
respective examples above, and, therefore, need not be 
here repeated. The inconstancy with which they have 
Bometimes rendered the word Sheol, in the same connec- 
tion and with the same sense, is a striking circumstance 
which cannot but be regarded with some wonder by an 
attentive inquirer. Nor is this always to be attributed 
to different translators (who are known to have been em- 
ployed in making the English version) ; but the same 
translator has been occasionally inconsistent with him- 
self; e, g-., Ezek. 31 : 15, compared with Ezek. 31 : 16, 

Such are Mr. Stuart's own frank confessions respect- 
ing the term Sheol ; and how far the result of his inves- 



tigations differs from mine, let the reader judge. Bot it 
will no doubt be said, Professor Stuart contends that 
there are at least five texts '^ in which Sheol may desig- 
nate the world of woe." True, but as the conclusion o( 
this whole matter, he says, p. 114, ^' The sum of theeyi- 
dence from the Old Testament, in regard to Sheol, is that 
the Hebrews did probably, in some cases, connect with 
the use of this word the idea of misery subsequent to 
the death of the body." He puts these words in capital 
letters, no doubt to make them the more conspicuous. 
But with or without this parade of capitals, it is conspic- 
uous enough that all he contends for is a mere proba- 
bility that Sheol. in some cases, does mean what he says. 
Or rather, '' The Hebrews did probably, in some cases, 
connect with the use of this word, the idea of misery 
subsequent to the death of the body." It is obvious this 
probability is not founded on the original signification of 
the term Sheol, its general scripture usage, or the five 
texts which he deemed most to * his purpose. He allows 
that Sheol originally signified the grave, or state of the 
dead ; and that the general usage of Sheol is in favor of 
my views is obvious from his own statements. Besides, 
the five texts on which he places his dependence are sus- 
ceptible of a different interpretation from the one he has 
given them, by his own confession. On what, then, does 
he found his probability that Sheol in some texts means 
hell, the world of woe ? We answer, on assertions ; he 
begs the question of his readers ; he assumes that the 
Hebrews, in some cases, when they used the term Sheol, 
had in their minds the idea of future punishment. But ^ 
he has not produced a single text to show this, and he 
could not. 

Mr. Stuart exhibited his sagacity in making some show 
of defending the doctrine of future punishment from the 
term Sheol. This is the foundation of the whole super- 
structure of punishment after death. If it gives way the 
whole falls to irrecoverable ruin. If a Tartarus is not 
found in Sheol, it cannot be found in Hades, its corre- 


sponding word in the Greek, except on heathen authority. 
And we shall see, from Mr. Stuart himself, that Gehenna 
did not originally mean Tartarus, hut came through a 
superstitious notion to designate hell, the world of woe. 
This Tartarus, this world of woe, was first invented by 
men, and then terms were invented, or words had new 
senses affixed to them, to designate it. It would be alarm- 
in^&anklyjiBk state that Sheol had no Tartarus in it 
People would naturally ask, Had the ancient Hebrews 
no hell, no world of woe ? If they had none, why should 
we have one 7 Of course, it is of the last importance to 
contend that the Hebrews had a Tartarus in their Sheol, 
fi)r if this was abandoned, no other word, no other text 
in the Old Testament furnishes a shadow of foundation 
for it. 

The reader must have noticed that, in the text quoted, 
Sheol is often rendered by the word hell, which, to most 
ears, conveys the sound of terror and dismay. But he 
has also seen that the word, in its original signification, 
excited no such terror. Mr. Stuart confesses that, in a 
great many instances, it is a very improper rendering of 
Sheol. Let us hear him again respecting the word hell. 
He says, pp. 113, 114, ''On the whole, it is to be regret- 
ted that our English translation has given occasion to the 
remark that those who made it have intended to impose 
on their readers, in any case, a sense different from that 
of the original Hebrew. The inconstalicy with which 
they have rendered the word Sheol, even in cases of the 
same nature, must obviously afiford some apparent ground 
for this objection against their version of it. But I can- 
not persuade myself that men of so much integrity as 
the translators plainly were, and, I may add, of so much 
critical skill and acumen also, would undertake to mislead 
ibeir readers in any point where it is so easy to make 
oorrecti<His. I am much more inclined to believe that in 
their day the word hell had not acquired, so exclusively 
as at present, the meaning of world of future misery. 
There is plain evidence of this in what is called the 


Apostles' Creed ; which savs of Christ (after his cruci- 
fixion), that he descended into hell ! Surely the Protest- 
ant English Church did not mean to aver that the soul 
of Christ went to the world of woe ; nor that it went to 
Purgatory. They did not believe either of these doc- 
trines. Hell, then, means, in this document, the under- 
world, the world of the dead. And so it has been con- 
strued by the most intelligent critics of the English 
Church. With this view of the ♦meaning of the word 
hell, as employed in past times, we may easily account 
for it, why it has been so often employed as the transla- 
tion of Sheol. This view of the subject, also, enables 
us to acquit the translators of any collusion in regard to 
this word ; and to acquit them in this respect does seem 
to be an act of simple justice, due to their ability, their 
integrity, and uprightness." 

Mr. Stuart here makes a very handsome apology for 
the translators of our common version. ^' In their day 
the word hell had not acquired, so exclusively as at pres- 
ent, the meaning of world of future misery." In proof 
of this, he very properly refers to the use of this term 
in the Apostles' Creed, and might also have appealed to 
the marginal readings in our English translation. But 
we have two or three remarks to make about this. 1st. 
Who has been so kind as to makewferld of future misery 
the exclusive sense of hell since me common translation 
was made 7 for Aow it is used in no other sense but this. 
We have been improving the wrong way since that period. 
2d. Why should hell have the sense of ^* world of future 
misery " at all 7 for certainly this was not its original 
signification, as is allowed by Dr. Campbell, Parkhurst, 
and many others. Who', then, first gave to it such a mean- 
ing 7 Not God, but probably the poets. 3d. Is it cor- 
rect, ia it honest, to attach such a new sense to the term 
hell, making it a bugbear to frighten women and chil- 
dren, and men who know no better 7 This subject, if it 
was only generally examined, would put an end to peo- 
ple's terrors, about eternal hell torments, the confes- 


sions of Mr. Stuart enable us to see that hell is not exact- 
ly what they have supposed. 

I have now finished what Dr. Campbell called an end- 
less labor, and shown, by an enumeration of all the pas- 
sages in die Old Testament where Sheol is found, that it 
does not designate hell in the common usage of this term. 
I shall briefly advert to some facts and observations which 
have occurred to me in my examination. 

1st. In no passage is Sheol represented as a place of 
fire or torment. Nothing of this kind stands connected 
with it in the Old Testament. It is frequently repre- 
sented as a place of darkness, silence, ignorance, insen- 
sibility, but never as a place of pain and misery, arising 
from torment by fire. But how happens this to be the ^.^ 
case, if there was in the Hebrew T wP t a OTio -• Sheol,^4# ^<i'>7 
Mr. Stuart supposes ? for all know Tartarus is represeifted 
as a place of fire and torment. So he represents his hell, 
fi)r he calls it " the lake of fire ;" and also positively 
asserts '^ that in Hades, Sheol, according to the views 
of the Hebrews, there was a place of torment." But 
from no text in which Sheol occurs does he attempt to 
show a vestige of evidence for such an assertion. No , 
evidence for this can be produced. On the contrary, it 
will be shown how the later Hebrews came to include in 
Sheol a Tartarus, which reflects no great honor on the 
doctriner of hell torments for which Mr, Stuart contends. 

2d. It is a &ct that olim, rendered everlasting, forever, 
etc., is never connected with Sheol in any shape what- 
ever. For example, you never read of an everlasting 
Sheol or hell. So far from this, we are told that Sheol 
is to be destroyed, Hos. 13 : 14. But supposing we did 
read of an everlasting Sheol, and everlasting punishment 
in it, this would not prove either of endless duration, for 
this term is often applied to things, yea to punish- 
ment, not of endless duration, as shown in my Second 
Inquiry. Mr. Stuart does not pretend that endless pun- 
ishment is taught in the Old Testament. But if the doc- 
trine be true, as he asserts, why is it not taught there, 


and taught with as much plainness and frequency as hy 
modem preachers? Eternal hell and everlaating fire 
are very common expressions now. But why was there no 
everlasting fire in the Hebrew Sheol ? Whj was it not 
eternal ? for Mr. Stuart says, there was a Tartarus in it 
But he must be sensible that Sheol in no instance is ever 
represented as a place of punishment, either by fire or 
anything else. 

3d. No persons are said to be alive in Sheol, to be 
punished in any way, or by any means whatever. The 
only texts which speak of persons as alive in Sheol, Mr. 
Stuart positively declares, are merely the language of 
poetry; they have a fictitious or imaginary costume. 
And no other text has he adduced, or can he adduce, 
to show that Sheol is a receptacle of souls, or of any 
living beings, bodied or disembodied, rational or irrational. 
Hence, we are told, without qualification, that there " is no 
work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in Sheol." 
Eccles. 9 : 10. It is represented as a place of insen- 
sibility, — " for the dead know not anything." There- 
fore Hezekiah says, " The grave (Sheol) cannot praise 
thee, death cannot celebrate thee ; they that go down 
into the pit cannot hope for thy truth." If men are not 
aUve in Sheol, they cannot suffer misery there, either by 
fire or anything else ; they cannot eitner praise God or 
curse him. 

4th. The Old Testament writers and modem Chris- 
tians speak very differently about Sheol and hell, if both 
designate the same thing, and include in them a place of 
future punishment. I shall merely give a specimen of 
their disagreement. Notice, then, 1st, how the inspired 
writers in those days, and good men in these, speak about 
Sheol or hell, in regard to themselves. Jacob, Job, and 
others, speak of going to hell, and expecting it as a 
thing of course, which they could not avoid. Yea, Job 
prays to be hid in hell. I need not be more particular, 
for these texts show what were the views and feelings of 
the very best of men in those days about this. Bat I 


ask, is there a Ghnstian in the world, who, in the pres- 
ent day, speaks and prays about hell, as those Old 
Testament saints did? But why not? The reascm is 
obvious. In those days Sheol or hell signified not a 
place of punishment, but the state of the dead. In these 
days, when Christians speak about hell, they always 
mean a place of endless misery for the wicked. This 
shows that we have affixed a very diflferent sense to this 
word from what they did. ^^ we are to understand the 
Scriptures correctly, we must ascertain jjgt sense the 
original writers attached to the words they used, without 
regar3ing*"the sense^ men"may"have'"givenThem since 
Revelation was completed. What right have we to alter 
the sense of the inspired language? p 

2d. The sacred writers in those days, and pious people 
in these, speak about hell for the wicked, but no in- 
stance can I find where it is intimated that any such 
went to a world of woe. Both good and bad went to 
Sheol, but not a word is said showing that this was a 
place of misery. If the Old Testament saints enter- 
tained the same ideas about hell as most Christians now 
do, I wish some person would rationally and scripturally 
account also for the following facts : — 

1st. If their belief was the same as in our day, why 
did they never express themselves as people now do in 
books, sermons, and common conversation 7 None can 
deny the wide difference in the language used, or that the 
difference is proof that the new language had its origin 
in new views concerning the future. An unscriptural 
doctrine always gives rise to unscriptural language ; for 
lie words of Scripture are the very best which could be 
chosen to express the will of God to men. If the doc- 
trine were of God, the words of Scripture would be 
sufficient to express it. As we do not find this new 
phraseology in the Bible, we infer that the doctrine it 
was introduced to teach is not there. 

2d. How is it to be accounted for that the fears and 
feelings and exertions of good people, under the old 


dispensation, were so different from the fears and feelings 
and exertions of Christians in our day, about saving men 
from hell ? I do not find that they express any &x of 
hell, and it is fidr to conclude that they had none. I find 
no examples of their fears about their children, their 
relations, their neighbors, or the world at large, going to 
eternal misery. As to their feelings, I do not &ia a sigh 
heaved, a tear shed, a groan uttered, a prayer offered, or 
any exertions made, as if they believed men were exposed 
to endless misery. We see parents, and others, deeply 
affected at the loss of their children and friends by death ; 
we see pious people grieved on account of their dis- 
obedience to God's laws ; but we find no expressions of 
feeling arising from the belief that such persons would 
lift up their eyes in endless misery. Nqw, is it not 
strange that all this should be the state of the fears and 
feelings of good people, if they believed such misery 
was to be the portion of the wicked ? The whole race of 
mankind was swept from the earth by a flood, Noah and 
his &mily excepted ; but does this good man deplore, in 
any shape, that so many precious souls should be sent to 
hell 7 Grod also destroyed the cities of the plain. Abra- 
ham interceded that they might be spared, but used no 
argument with God that the people might not go to hell to 
suffer eternal misery. If Abraham believed this doc- 
trine, is it possible he should have failed to urge it as an 
argument, that all those wicked persons must go to hell, 
if God destroyed them ? No notice is taken of the very 
argument, which, in our day, would be most urged in 
prayer to God, if anything similar was to take place. 
All who have read the Old Testament know what vast 
numbers were cut off in a day, by war and pestilence, 
and other means ; yet do you ever hear it deplored by a 
single individual, as is often done in our day, that so 
many were sent out of the world to eternal misery ? If, 
in short, this doctrine was then believed, a dead silence 
and the most stoical apathy were maintained even by good 
men about it. 


Under the Old Testament dispensation the sinful 
eondition of the heathen nations is often spoken of. But 
do we ever find the inspired writers representing those 
naticms as all going to eternal misery, or did they use 
similaT exertions to save them from it as are used in the 
present day? If the doctrine of eternal misery was 
xnown and believed in those days, is it not unaccountable 
that so many ages should pass away before God com- 
manded Hie gospelto be preached to every creature, and 
before those who knew their danger should use exertions 
to save them from it ? If the doctrine be false, we may 
cease to wonder at this ; but if it be true, it is not easy 
to reconcile these things with the well known character 
of God, and the feelings of every good man. What an 
immense multitude of human beings, during four thousand 
years, must have lived and died ignorant that such a place 
of misery awaited them ! It is evident that both Jews and 
Gentiles, during this period, were often threatened with, 
yea, suffered, temporal punishment. God. raised up and 
sent prophets to warn them of his judgments against them. 
I am, then, totally at a stand wb^t to say in justification 
of Crod's character, the character of the prophets sent by 
him, yea, of all good men in those days, if eternal misery 
awafted every heathen, yea, every wicked Jew, as noth- 
ing was said to them on this subject. Jonah was sent 
to Nineveh, and the sum of his message was, '^ Yet forty 
days and Nineveh shall be overthrown." But did he 
leoeive, or did he deliver, any message declaring that their 
aouls were in danger of eternal misery 7 No ; and every 
one who has read the Old Testament khows that this is 
only a single example from many more I might adduce. 
The reason why Jonah refused to go to Nineveh was, he 
knew that God was a merciful God, and would spare 
Nineveh. After he did go, his pride was hurt, because 
6od did not destroy the city as he had predicted. His 
peeyish disposition was sufficiently manifested about this ; 
W not a word escapes him, that the Ninevites were 
expoeed to endless punishment. I ask, can a single 



instance be produced from the Old Testament, where a 
prophet of the Lord was ever sent to any people to warn 
them against eternal misery in a place called Sheol, or hell? 
I do not find that either true or &lde prophets did so under 
that dispensation, or that this doctrine was known and be- 
lieved by a single individual. As men were not threatened 
with such a punishment, so none were ever congratulated 
upon being saved from it. As it was never held up to deter 
men from sin while ignorant of God, so it was never urged 
on believers to stimulate them to gratitude and obedience. 
Is it possible, then, that this doctrine could have been 
believed, yet all remain silent on the subject ? If no ' 
revelation was given about it, how could men avoid such 
a punishment ? K a revelation was given, how is it 
accounted for that it is not mentioned by one of the Old 
Testament writers 1 That it is mentioned by any of 
them, under any other name than Sheol, is not pretended 
by those who believe the doctrine. 

3d. Another fact deserving notice is, that the living, 
in speaking of their dead friends, never speak as if they 
were to be separated fix)m them after death, but always 
as associated with them. This appears to have been the 
case whether the persons were good or bad. An instance 
to the contrary cannot be produced. But it is well 
known that persons in our day not only expect to be 
separated from many of their friends forever, but say 
they shall give their hearty amen to their everlasting 
condemnation. Yea, it is even said that the happiness 
of those in heaven is to be greatly enhanced by looking 
down on those in eternal torments, in seeing the smoke 
of it ascend forever and ever. This was once current 
popular divinity, and, though not yet altogether out of 
use, I am happy to say sober-minded men reject it. 
But, it may be asked, is it true that persons under the 
Old Testament expected to be associated with their 
deceased friends after death ? I do not recollect a single 
instance to the contrary, ahd shall here, in proof of 
this assertion, refer to Jahn's Biblical Archaeology, 


p. 234. To this it may probably be objected, that associa- 
tion with their friends after death only referred to their 
bodies mingling in the dust together, and had no reference 
to their spirits. Admitting this to be true, permit me to 
ask, can any proof be adduced that their spirits were 
aeparated from each other after death ? I further ask, 
did their spirits exist in a state of either happiness or 
misery after death ? I demand proof of this. As I am 
unable to adduce any proof, I request those who say so 
to produce e^adence of it from the Old Testament. I 
shall give it all due consideration. At any rate, if the 
Old Testament is silent on the subject, it ill becomes us 
to assert that such was the case. Its very silence is to 
me an indication that no such idea was entertained. As 
it is not expressed by any of the Old Testament writers, 
how is it known that such an idea was entertained by 

In concluding this investigation of the term Sheol, we 
shall briefly notice the following objections. 

1st. Does not David intimate that his child was alive 
somewhere after death, when he says, " I shall go to 
him, but he shall not return to me "7 2 Sam. 11 : 23, 
We answer, no. David no more says his child was alive 
than Joseph was after death, when his &ther said, ''I 
will go down into Sheol unto my son mourning." But 
let me ask, where did those parents suppose their children 
were aft«r death ? In hell 7 Surely not, for why were 
they in this case desirous to go to them 7 If there, well 
might Jacob say he would go down to Joseph mourning. 
Were they then in heaven 7 If so, Jacob ought to have 
said he would go down to Joseph rejoicing. But if in 
heaven, why did he speak of going down to him, for 
people always speak of going up to heaven 7 Where, 
then, did David and Jacob suppose their children had 

Sne 7 I answer to Sheol ; the house appointed for all 
e living, Job 30: 33; the place Solomon refers to 
irhen he says " all go to one place,"- Eccl. 12 : 23. All, 
good or bad, went to Sheol. Ps. 89 : 48. This was the 


world of the dead ; and the small and the great are 
there. There the wicked cease from troubling; there 
the weary be at rest. Job 8. David knew his child had 
gone there; and, impressed with his own ~ mortality, he 
says, "I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me." 

2d. It may be objected, when Samuel said to Saul, 
" To-morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me," that 
he intimates he was alive somewhere after death, and 
his conversing with Saul is proof of it. He that believes 
this, must take Saul and his sons to heaven, for no one 
supposes Samuel went to hell. Moreover, he must believe 
that a woman had power to bring a departed spirit oat 
of heaven. But we have shown, in Essays, Sect. 2, that 
this woman was an impostor. The popukr notion was 
that Sheol was a deep rerion in the earth, where the 
ghosts of the dead all resided. The woman's trade was 
to consult with the dead, and for this purpose Saul re- 
sorted to her. But all such superstitious practices God 
condemned, and expressly prohibited the Jews from giving 
any countenance to them. It is strange Christians in 
the nineteenth century should suppose there was any 
truth in them. 

3d. It may be objected, future existence was not 
known under the Old Testament ; and if its silence on 
the subject of endless misery proves it false, it also proves 
there is no future existence. Answer. We admit the 
force of this argument, if it can be proved the Old 
Testament is silent on the subject of future existence. 
But we are surprised that any man should aver this. As 
it would be aside from our present design to discuss the 
point, we refer to Jahn's JSib. Arch. Sect. 314. We 
doubt if this ever would be denied, except for the pur- 
pose of getting rid of the stumbling argument that the 
Old Testament does not teach the doctrine of endlesa 
punishment. That it does not teach, and, rather than 
abandon it, some are willing 4;o allow future existence is 
not taudit there. 

4th. It may be further objected, if men are at deatii 


reduced to dust, lose their powers and personal identity, 
and for a time cease to be susceptible of either enjoyment 
or suffering, why may not this state continue forever? 
What reason have we to hope that their powers and per- 
sonal identity will ever be restored ? To this I answer, 
God has promised man a future and an immortal life by 
a resurrection from the dead ; and the example and pledge 
of it are given in Christ's resurrection. No man. will 
deny this who regards the authority of the Scriptures, or 
doubt its accomplishment, until he doubts the truth of 
divine revelation, and the power of God to effect it. But 
to doubt the competency of God's power to restore to 
man his powers and personal identity is not doubting 
enough. The man who doubts this ought also to doubt 
the competency of his power to create man at first with 
such powers and personal identity. Creating at first, and 
a resurrection from the dead, are both ascribed to the power 
of Gt)d in Scripture. If I am asked, How are the dead 
raised up, and with what body do they come ? I refer the 
reader to 1 Cor. 15 : 36 — 50, for the answer. 

To conclude. It is now generally conceded, by all 
critics and intelligent men, that endless punishment was 
not taught under the first covenant. But it is generally 
believed to be taught under the new and better covenant. 
If this is true, how can it be called a better covenant, 
and ' * established upon better promises " ? Is endless pun- 
ishment a better promise? And was it the fault in the 
first covenant, which required the second and better 
covenant, that it did not teach the doctrine of endless 
punishment ? If all this be true, how is Christ the 
mediator of a better covenant ? If endless punishment 
is not threatened in the law which came by Moses, 
how can it be threatened in the grace and truth which 
came by Jesus Christ ? K it is not heard in the thun- 
ders, fire, and tempests of Mount Sinai, who can think 
it is to be heard from Mount Zion ? 





All critics agree that the Greek Hades in the New 
Testament corresponds in meaning to the Hebrew Sheol 
in the Old. In the Septuagint version the translators 
have rendered the term Sheol sixty times by the word 
Hades, out of the sixty-four instances where it occurs. 
Hades also occurs sixteen times in the apocryphal books, 
and is used in a similar way as the Hebrew Sheol is in 
the canonical writings of the Old Testament. Besides, 
the New Testament writers, in quoting from the Old, use 
Hades as the rendering of SheoL S^ Psalms 16 : 10, 
compared with Acts 2 : 27, etc. 

The term Hades occurs eleven times in the Greek of 
the New Testament. In the common version it is once 
rendered grave, and in the other ten places by the word 
hell. The following are all the passages. 

Matt. 11 : 23. '^ And thou Capernaum, which art ex- 
alted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell (Hades)." 
Dr. Campbell,, in the dissertation already quoted, says,- 
"As the city of Capernaum was never literally raised 
to heaven, we have no reason to believe that it was to be 
literally brought down to Hades. But, as by the former 
expression we are given to understand that it was to 
become a flourishing and splendid city, or, as some think, 
that it had obtained great spiritual advantages ; so by the 
latter, that it should be brought to the lowest degree of 
abasement and wretchedness." See on Isa. 7 •.. 9, where 
Sheol is used in a similar sense. This text has often 
been quoted to prove that all who have abused spiritual 
privileges shall be brought down to hell, or endless misery. 

Matt. 16: 18. "Upon this rock I will build mv 
church, and the gates of hell (B[ades) shall not prevail 
agamst iV' Dr. Campbell says, **lt is by deam, and 



by it (ml J, the spirit enters into Ebdes. The ggtes of 
Hades is, therefore, a very natural periphrasis for deatibu" 
But this is not altogether in unison with what the Dr» 
has said elsewhere concerning Hades ; and we shall see, 
from Dr. Whitbj, that Hades is not a receptacle of soub 
or spirits. This was not believed by the ancient Hebrews, 
but was a mere heathen notion. Gertainlj, no text in 
the Bible says it is by death the spirit enters into Hades, 
or speaks of souls or spirits being there. 

Luke 10: 15. ''And thou, Capernaum, which art 
exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell (Hades)." 
See on Matt. 11 : 23. This is the parallel text. 

Luke 16 : 28. "And in hell (Hades) he lifted up 
his eyes, being in torment." As this is the only text in 
which Hades occurs, where it is alleged it signifies hell, 
the world of woe, we shall give it a full consideration. 
The following are all the remarks which Mr. Stuart makes 
on this passage. " That in the heathen Hades was a 
Tartarus, a place of punishment and suffering, is too well 
known to need illustration and proof on the present 
occasion. More will be said on this point when I come 
to treat of Tartarus. That in Hades, Sheol, according 
to the views of the Hebrews and of Jesus himself, there 
was a place of torment, is put out of all question by the 
passage now before us." All this is mere assertion, but, 
as it comes from Mr. Stuart, we shall examine it. Let 
us inquire, 

1st. Was the Tartarus in the heathen Hades real, or 
was it fictitious ? This question ought to be fully exam- 
ined ; fi)r if it was fictitious, the mere fancy of the poets, 
Mr. Stuart's hell is built on the sand. But he is so con- 
fident it was a reality, he says, " That in the heathen. 
Hades was a Tartarus, a place of punishment and suffer- 
ing, is too well known to need illustration and proof on 
the present Occasion." We are surprised tliat he should 
take this bold ground, for we shall show from his own 
statements that the heathen Tartarus was a mere fiction. 
Sorry are we to think he should allege our Lord in thi9 


passage sanctioned a heathen fable for truth. That Tar« 
tarus was a mere heathen fable, and had its origin in 
heathenism, we shall now show. 

Cicero, one of the wisest men among &e heathen, in 
his seventh oration, says, "For it was on this account 
that the ancients invented their infernal punishments of 
the dead, to keep the wicked under some awe in this life, 
who, without them, would have no dread of death itself." 
Intelligent heathen had no more faith in infernal punish- 
ments, tha>n people now have in the Salem witchcraft. 
See my letters to Mr. Hudson, pp. 266, 267, where I 
have quoted Mosheim, who says, " Such punishments 
were invented for state and nulitary purposes." Sec, 
also, the next section. 

But, as Mr. Stuart will not dispute his own testimony, 
let us see whaf he has said elsewhere about Tartarus. 
After describing Gimmeria as an imaginary place, and 
Erebus as no better, though contiguous to Hades, he thus 
describes it. " Last and lowest of all was Hades, which 
is subdivided into the upper and lower. In the upper 

Krt are the Elysian fields, the abode of the good ; and 
neath these, that is, in the deepest dungeon in the 
bowels of the earth, is Tartarus, the place of punishment 
for the wicked, answering in some respects to the Gehenna 
of the Hebrews. Hades, then, in the view of the Greeks 
and Romans, was the under-world, the world of the dead, 
a place deep in the earth, dark, cheerless, where every- 
thing was unsubstantial and shadowy. The Manes were 
neither body nor spirit, but something intermediate, not 
palpable to any of the senses, except to the sight and 
hearing ; pursuing the mere shadows of their occupations 
on earth, and incapable of any plans, enjoyments, or 
satisfaction which were substantial." — Exeget. Essays, 
pp. 124 — ^128. Such is the heathen Hades and its Tar- 
tarus, as described by Mr. Stuart himself This Tartarus, 
he ^vers, Jesus sanctions as real in the passage in question. 
But did Jesus convert a heathen fable into truth ? Did 
the heathen invent a hell for him 1 But let us look at 


this Hades or bell ? Where-is Hades ? The above quo- 
tation says, '^ It is a place deep in the earth." What is 
the use of this Hades? The usual answer is, f' Theabode 
of departed souls." Again, How is it divided? The 
uiswer is, ^^ It is subdivided into the upper and lower. 
In the upper part are the Elysian fields, the abode of the 
good ; and beneath these, that is, in the deepest dungecm 
in the bowels of the earth, is Tartarus, the place of pun* 
ifliment for the wicked, answering in some respects to the 
Gehenna of the Hebrews." Mr. Stuart must have for- 
gotten that he said, '^ A deep region beneath, peopled with 
^bosts, is what we do not believe in." It is a great mis- 
take to saj, Tartarus iuisw^:b in some respects to the 
Gehenna of the Hebrews, if by Hebrews he means the 
ancient Jews, or the sacred writers. Not a trace of Tar- 
turus is to be found in the Old Testament, and its writers 
never use Gdienna in the sense of Tartarus. 

But the principal question to be decided is, was Tar- 
turos real or imaginary ? Mr. Stuart says it is a reality. 
The fikct he considers so well known as to save him all 
trouble of giving proof or illustration of it. But here he 
strangely forgot what he said, p. 126, ^'Virgil in his 
Ma&d, book vi., has given a vivid picture of Orcus or 
Hades. It is nK>re adapited, however, to convey the fon- 
cies of his own poetic imagination, than it is to convey an 
exact idea of the more ancient and general opinions of 
the Greeks in respect to Hades. He loses sight, in some 
measure, of the views of Homer, and is more intent on 
making out a striking picture, than on giving an exact 
account of tradition." 

But agam, he says, p. 128, ^' Virgil describes the 
progress of Eneas in the region of Hades, in terms which 
show what a dolefiil place he thought it to be. However, 
when he brings his hero to Elysium, to the locus laetos 
et amoena vireta, sedesque (vi. 737, seq.), he seems 
to make somelhing more substantial out of them than 
can be found in any of the preceding heathen writers. 
But it is plainly the foncy of the poet which does this, 


and not the tradition of the Greek and Roman nations.'' 
On the same page, he adds, " Of the Elysium of Virgil, 
Homer knows little or nothing; and it is sufficiently 
plain that it is principally the offspring of his own imag- 
ination." But if all this be the &ncy of the poet, " the 
(Spring of his own imagination," why did Mr. Stuart 
say, '^ That in the heathen Hades was a Tartarus, a place 
of punishment and suffering, is too well known to need 
illustration and proof on the present occasion " 'J He 
would have said the truth, and maintained consistency in 
his statements, had he said that in the heathen Hades was 
a Tartarus, which was the fancy of the poet, the o£&pring 
of his own imagination. But he assumes the heathen 
Tartarus to be a reality, and declares that Jesus taught 
it in the parable before us. 

I shall now proceed to show from other writings, ap- 
proved by Mr. Stuart, that this Tartarus was of heathen 
origin. It is well known that Mr. Isaac Stuart, his son, 
lately translated from the French, J. M. Greppo's Essay 
on the Hieroglyphic System of M. ChampoUion, junior. 
He and his father have added notes and illustrations to 
this work, which furnishes the following information on 
this subject. See all they have said in notes M and N, 
a part of which I shall quote. In note M, p. 232, it is 
thus written : — 

" Osiris was the chief god of the Egyptian Amenti, an- 
swering to the Pluto of the Greeks and Latins. It is 
sufficient for our purpose to know where his dominion 
was exercised. This was over the souls of men after 
their decease — a feet which is revealed by almost every 
legend and painting relating to the dead. The Amenti 
of the Egyptians, corresponding to the Hades of the 
Greeks and to the Tartarus of the Latins, was the place 
of the dead. It was governed by Osiris as chief, and by 
many subordinate divinities." On this I remark, 

1st. It is confessed '^ the Amenti of the Egyptians^ 
corresponded to the Hades of the Greeks, and to uie Tar- 
tarus of flie Latins.'' But why not also confess it oor- 


responds to the hell of Christians ? Mr. Stuart identifies 
fais hell with the heathen Tartarus, and of course with 
the Egyptian Amenti. ^ 

2d. If " Osiris was the chief god of the Egyptian 
Amenti, answering to the Pluto of the Greeks and Lat- 
ins," is not the Devil the chief god in the hell of Chris- 
tians ? Where was the dominion of Osiris and Pluto exer- 
cised 7 It is answered in the above quotation, " This was 
over the souls of men after their decease," And is not this 
the very dominion which Christians assign to their Devil ? 
Is not his dominion over the souls . of men after their 
decease ? Is not he represented as the chief god or ruler 
in their hell ? And if it be " a fact, which is revealed 
by almost every legend and painting relating to the dead," 
among the Egyptians, that this was the proper dominion 
of their Osiris, do not almost every sermon and tract 
among Christians reveal that hell is the proper dominion 
of the Devil 7 In a word, who can well deny that the 
Devil among Christians answers the same purposes to 
them that Osiris did to the Egyptians, and riuto to the 
Greeks and Latms? 

But, again, in pp. 235, 236, the following account of 
an Egyptian burial is quoted from Spineto. Mr. Stuart 
assigns this reason for the quotation: "We quote the 
whole, as it shows from whence an important part of the 
Greek mythology was derived." It runs thus : " The 
common place of burial was beyond the lake Acherjsia, 
or Acharejish, which meant the last state, the last con- 
dition of man, and from which the poets have imagined 
the &bulous lake of Acheron. On the borders of this 
lake Acherjsia sat a tribunal, composed of forty-two 
judges, whose office, previous to the dead being permitted 
to be carried to the cemetery beyond the lake, was to in- 
quire into the whole conduct of his life. 

"If the deceased had died insolvent, they adjudged the 
corpse to the creditors, which was considered as a mark 
of dishonor, in order to oblige his relations and friends to 
redeem it by raising the necessary sums among them- 


selves. If he had led a wicked life, they ordered that he 
ghould be deprived of solemn burial, and he was conse- 
quently carried and thrown into a hrge ditch, made for 
tne purpose, to which they gave the appellation of Tartar, 
<m account of the lamentations that this sentence produced 
among his surviving friends and relations. 

^' TUs is also the origin of the &bulous Tartarus, in which 
the poets have transferred the lamentations made by the 
living, to the dead themselves who were thrown into it. 

"If no accuser appeared, or if the accusation proved 
groundless, the judges decreed that the deceased was en- 
titled to his burial, and his eulogium was pronounced 
amidst the applauses of the bystanders, in which they 
praised his education, his religion, his justice, in short 
all his virtues, without, however, mentioning anything 
about his riches or nobility, both of which were consid- 
ered as mere gifts of fortune. 

" To carry the corpse to the cemetery, it was necessary 
to cross the lake, and this was done by means of a boat, 
in which no one could be admitted without the express 
order of the judges, and without paying a small sum for 
Ae conveyance. This regulation was so strictly enforced 
that the kings themselves were not exempt from its 

•^ The cemetery was a large plain, surrounded by trees 
and intersected by canals, to which they had given the 
appellation of elisout or elisuBnSj which means nothing 
else but rest. And such, again, is the origin of the po- 
etical Charon and his boat, as well as of the &buloua 
description of the Elysian Fields.'' 

But, again, pp. 241, 242, it is said, " In comparing 
the Egyptian Amenti with the Hades of the Greeks and 
with tide Tartarus of the Latins, Spineto briefly adverts 
to some points of assimilation as follows : ^ Upon the 
whole, the first seems to have been the prototype and the 
origin of the two last. Orpheus, who had been initiated 
into all the secrets of the mysteries of I^nP^ carried 


into Greece theee mysteries ; ^ and the Oreeks 80<hi so 
altered the whole, as to render them no longer cognizable. 
Osiris became Pluto ; Sme, Persephone [or rather The- 
mis simply] ; 0ms, Cerberus ; Thoth, Mercurious Psy- 
chopompos ;< Horus, Apis and Anubis, the three infenm 
judges, Minos, .^Bacus and Bhadamanthus. To conclude 
the whole, the symbolical heads of the different animals 
under which the forty-two judges were represented, be- 
ing deprived of their primitive and symbolical meaning, 
were changed into real monsters, the Chimeras, the Har- 
pies, and the Gorgons, and other such unnatural and 
horrible things with which they peopled their fimtastic 
hell ; and thus the Amenti of the Egyptians, as, indeed, 
the greater part, if not the whole, of their religion, be- 
came, in the hands of the Greeks and Romans, a compound 
of &bles and absurdities.' " 

It is very obvious from these quotations, 

1st. That the Egyptian Amenti became the Hades of the 
Ch*eeks, and the Tartarus of the Latins. The first was 
the prototype and origin of the two last. Mr. Stuart 
does not pretend that Tartarus had its origin in divine 
revelation. On the contrary, it is called '* the fabulous 
Tartarus." Why, then, say it is a reality and sanctioned 
by our Lord in the parable before us? Tartarus had 
just as little truth in it as the '^ fabulous lake, Acheron," 
the " poetical Charon and his boat," or " the ideal Ely- 
sian fields." It is here admitted Tartarus, or hell, had 
its origin in the Egyptian Amenti. 

2d. We are told, in the above quotations, "that Or- 
pheus carried this knowledge of the Egyptian Amenti, or 
hell, with other mysteries, into Greece ; and in the hands 
of the Greeks and Eomans it soon became a compound 
o[ &bles and absurdities." Was it truth, I ask, which, 
in the hands of the Greeks and Romans, " became a com- 

* Any one wlio will take the trouble to compare the mysteries of Isis 
and Osiris with those of Ceres and Proserpine, with those of Yenns and 
Adonis, and with tho&e of Bacchus, will discover many striking re- 
semblances. — Tb. 



pound of fitbles and absurdities " ? Surely not. It was 
only absurdities which became more absurd. The Greeks 
and Romans improyed on the Egyptian hell, as they did 
on eyerything else. And haye not Christians adopted 
the Egyptian hell, with the Grecian and Roioan improve- 
ments, yea, made some improyements of their own 'I The 
Grecian and Roman hell is more like the Christian heU 
than the original Amenti of the Egyptians. Does not Mr. 
Stuart ayer that our Lord teaches a Tartarus in the par- 
able before us, and is not this his hell 1 

8d. It seems now to be ccmceded that the Egyptian 
Amenti is the prototype and the origin of the Hades of 
the Greeks, the Tartarus of the Latins, and the hell of 
Christians. Dr. Good, in his Book of Nature, says : 
'^ It was belieyed in most countries that this hell, Hades 
or inyisible world, is diyided into two yery distinct and 
opposite regions by a broad and impassable gulf; that the 
one is a seat of happiness, a paradise, or elysium, and the 
other a seat of misery, a Grehenna, or Tartarus ; and that 
there is a supreme magistrate and an impartial tribunal 
belonging to the infernal shades, before which the ghost 
must appear, and by which he is sentenced to the one 
or the other, according to the deeds done in the body. 
Egypt is said to haye been the inyentress of this impor- 
tant and yaluable part of the common tradition ; and, un- 
doubtedly, it is to be found in the earliest records of 
Egyptian history." The only question to be settled is, 
JDid the knowledge of this Egyptian Amenti, hell or inyis- 
ible world, come from God, or was it of man's inyention? 
If this question can be fiarly determined, the hell of" 
Christians stands or falls with it. Can it then be deter- 
mined that this Amenti or hell of the Egyptians was of 
man's inyention ? We answer yes, and that to a moral 
certainty. 1st. Dr. Good allows, Egypt was "the inyen- 
tress " of this doctrine. Mr. Stuart admits this by his 
silence, for he does not intimate it had its origin firom , 
God. 2d. What puts this out of all question is, Moses 
was brought up in Egypt ; was learned in all the wisdom 


of the Egyptians, — consequently knew all about their 
Amenti or hell, — yet, says not a word about it in his five 
books. But why was he silent on such an important doc- 
ferine, if he believed it came from God? TVTiat, I ask, 
could prevent him from teadiing it, except this, that 
Egypt, not God, was the inv^tress of it, as Dr. Good 
affirms. If it is found in the earliest records of Egyp- 
tian history, as Dr. Good aflSrms, why is it not found in 
the earliest records of divine revelation, if the doctrine 
is from God 1 Mr. Stuart indeed asserts that there 
was a Tartarus in the Hebrew Sheol ; but assertions will 
iK)t answer on a subject of diis nature.' Dr. Campbell, 
Dr. Whitby and otliers, adduce evidence in point-blank 
CMitradiction of this assertion. The very silence of 
Moses and the prc^hets, about an Amenti, Tartarus, or 
hell, shows no such doctrine was believed by them. See 
my Essays and Letters to Mr. Hudson, where the history 
<^ hell t(»inents is given, and I show how this doctrine 
came to be embraced by the Jews, and was finally intro- 
duced into the Christian Church.- Further evidence (^ 
this will appear by considering another question ; namely, 
2d. Is it true, as Mr. Stuart asserts, '' That in Hades, 
Sheol, according to the views of the Hel^rews, and of 
Jesiis himself, tibere is a place of torment, is put out of 
all question by liie, passage now before us?" This 
assertion I shall now examine. It divides itself into two 
parts. 1st. It is asserted " That in Hades, Sheol, accord- 
ing to the views of the Hebrews, there was a place of 
torment, is put out of all question by the passage before 
us." If Mr. Stuart here by Hebrews means the ancient 
Hebrews, the Scripture writers, his assertion is false. 
His own examination of Sheol sufficiently proves this, for 
iK)t in a single text did he e^ow that any scripture writer 
bdieved that in Sheol there was a place of torment. 
Dr. Whitby, in the following remarks on Acts 2 : 27, 
proves the assertion false. He says, * * That Sheol through- 
out the Old Testament, and ifauies in the Septuagint, 
answering to it, signify not the place of punislunent, or 


of the souls of bad men only, but the grave only, (sr the 
place of death, appears, 1st. From the root of it, Shaal, 
which signifies to ask, to craye and require, because it 
craves for all men, Prov. 30 : 16, and will let no man 
escape its hands. Psal. 88 : 4& It is that Sheol or 
Hades whither we are all going, Eccles. 9 : 10. 

'^ 2d. Because it is the place to which the good as well 
as the bad go, for they whose souls go upwards descend 
into it. Thither went Jacob, Gen. 37 : 35. There Job 
desired to be, chap. 14 : 13, for he knew that Sheol was 
his house, chap. 17 : 13, and to descend into the dust was 
to descend into Hades. Is not death common to all men 7 
Is not Hades the house of all men ? Hezekiah expected 
to be there after he went hence, for he said ' I shall go 
to the gates of Hades,' Isa. 38: 30. That is, saith 
Jerome, to those gates of which the Psalmist speaks, 
saying, ' Thou wilt lift me up from the gates of death.' 
The ancient Greeks assigned one Hades to all that died, 
and therefore say. Hades receives all mortal men together; 
all men shall go to Hades. 

'^ 3d. Had Uie penmen of the Old Testament meant by 
Hades any receptacle of souls, they could not truly have 
declared there was no wisdom or knowledge in Sheol, 
Eccles. 9: 10; no remembrance oi God there, PsaL 
6: 5 ; no praising of him in Sheol, Isa. 38 : 18. For 
those heathens who looked upon it as the receptacle of 
souls held it to be a place in which they would be 
punished or rewarded." Compare this with Mr. Stuart's 
assertion. It is unquestioaable thatHades, in its original 
significaticm, did not include in it a Tartarus, any more 
than Sheol. Dr. Campbell says, it signified " obscure, 
hidden, invisible. So did the word hell originally." Dr. 
Whitby has just told us, '^ the ancient Greeks assigned 
one Hades to all that died," the same the ancient He- 
brews did, in regard to their Sheol. Indeed, the above 
quotation stands in direct opposition to Mr. Stuart's 
views of both Sheol and Hades. Can he or any other 
man show that Whitby is mistaken? 


I repeat the question, then, what Hebrews does Mr. 
Stuart refer to in the above assertion ? If he means the 
later Hebrews, the Hebrews in the days of our Lord, 
hill assertion is true ; but the way they came to believe 
that in Sheol, Hades, there is a place of torment, does no 
credit to the doctrine of endless hell torments. Let us hear 
Dr. Campbell, one of its professed j&iends. Li his sixth 
Prelim. Diss., sect. 19, he tiius writes: ^^ But is there 
not <Hie passage, it may be said, in which the word 
Hades must be understood as synonymous with Gehenna, 
and consequently must denote the place of final punish- 
ment prepared for the wicked, or hell in the Christian 
acceptaticm of the term ? Ye have it in the story of the 
rich man and Lazarus, Luke 16 : 23.. '^ Lihell," en to 
ade, ''he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth 
Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. This is the 
only passa^ in Holy Writ which seems to give counte- 
nance to we opinion that Hades sometimes means the 
same thing as Gehenna. Here it is represented as a 
place of punishment. The rich man is said to be tor- 
mented there in the midst of flames. These things will 
deserve to be examined narrowly. It is plain that in 
the Old Testament, the most profound silence is observed 
in regard to the state of the deceased, their joys or 
sorrows, happiness or misery. It is represented to 
us rather by negative qualities than by positive, — by its 
silence, its darkness, its being inaccessible, unless by 
preternatural means, to the living, and their ignorance 
about it Thus much in general seems always to have 
been presumed concerning it, that it is not a state of 
activity adapted for exertion, or indeed for the accom- 
plishment of any important purpose, good or bad. In 
most respects, however, there was a resemblance in their 
notions on this subject to those of the most ancient 

" But the opinions neither of Hebrews nor of heathens 
remained invariably the same. And &om the time of 

the captivity, more especially from the time of the sub- 



jection of the Jews, first to the Macedonian empire, and 
afterwards to the Boman, as they had a closer inter- 
course with Pagans, they sensibly imbibed many of their 
sentiments, particularly on those subjects whereon their 
law was silent, and wherein, by consequence, they con- 
sidered themselves as at greater freedom. On this sub- 
ject of a future state, we find a considerable difierence 
in the popular opinions of the Jews in our Saviour's 
time, from those which prevailed in the days of the 
ancient prophets. As both Greeks and Romans had 
adopted the notion that the ghosts of the departed were 
susceptible both of enjoyment and of suflFering, they 
were led to suppose a sort of retribution in that state, 
for their merit or demerit iiuthe present. The Jews did 
not indeed adopt the Pagan &bles on this subject ; nor 
did they express themselves entirely in the same manner ; 
but the general train of thinking in both came pretty 
much to coincide. The Greek Hades they found well 
adapted to express the Hebrew Sheol. This they came 
to conceive as including different sorts of habitations for 
ghosts of different characters. And though they did not 
receive the terms Elysium or Elysian fields, as suitable 
aj^llations for the regions peopled by good spirits, they 
took instead of them, as better adapted to their own 
theology, the Garden of Eden, or Paradise, a name 
originally Persian, by which the word answering to 
garden, especially when applied to Eden, had commonly 
been rendered by the Seventy. To denote the same state, 
they sometimes used the phrase Abraham's bosom, a 
metaphor borrowed from the manner in which ' they 
reclined at meals. But, on the other hand, to express 
tlie unhappy situation of the wicked in that intermediate 
state, they do not seem to have declined the use of the 
word Tartarus. The apostle, Peter, 2 Epis. 2: 4, saya 
of evil angels, that Goi cast them down to hell, and 
delivered' them into chains of darkness, to be reserved 
unto judgment. So it stands in the common version, 
though neither Gehenna nor Hades are in the original, 


where the expression is seirais zophou Tartarosas 
pcuredoken eiis krisin teteremenous. The word is not 
Gehenna, fer that comes after judgment ; but Tartarus, 
which is, as it were, the prison of "Hades, wherein crim- 
inals are kept till the general judgment. And as, in the 
ordinary use of the Greek wordj it was comprehended 
under Hades, as a part, it *ought, unless we had some 
positive reason to the contrary, by the ordinary rules of 
interpretation, to be understood so here. There is, then, 
no inconsistency in maintaining that the rich man, though 
in torments, was not in Gehenna, but in that part of 
Hades called Tartarus, where we have seen already that 
spirits reserved for judgment are detained in darkaess." 

Such are the statements of Dr. Campbell. For a 
correction of his views of 2 Peter 2 : 4, and some other 
things in this quotation, we refer to the next section. 
Here we submit, for the consideration of the reader, the 
following remarks. 

1st. He declares that the parable of the rich man and 
Lazarus is the only place in Holy Writ which seems to 
give countenance to the opinion that Hades sometimes 
means the same as Gehenna. We have seen already he 
denies that Hades is the place of eternal punishment ; 
and in the next chapter we shall see that he says Gehenna 
is the place. 

2nd. He says, " It is plain that in the Old Testament 
the most profound silence is observed in regard to the 
state of the deceased, their joys or sorrows, happiness or 
misery." If the Old Testament maintains a profound 
silence on this subject, it ought to be inquired, 

3d. How did the Jews in our Lord's day come to 
consider Hades as a place of punishment for the wicked 1 
That a change in their opinions on this subject had taken 
place is evident ; for he says, '* On this subject of a future 
state, we find a considerable diflference in the popular 
•opinions of the Jews in our Saviour's time from those 
which prevailed in the days of the ancient prophets.'' 
Well, ho^ did this change in their opinions take place ? 


Was it by some new revelation which God made to them ? 
He thus accounts for the change of their opinions. " But 
the opinions neither of Hebrews nor of the heathen re- 
mained invariably the same. And from the time of the 
captivity, more especially firom the time of the subjection of 
the Jews, first to the Macedonian empire, and afterwards 
to the Roman, as they had a closer intercourse with 
Pagans, they insensibly imbibed many of their senti- 
ments, particularly on those subjects wnereon their law 
was silent, and wherein, by consequence, they considered 
themselves as at greater freedom.* As both Greeks and 
Romans had adopted the notion that the ghosts of the 
deceased were susceptible both of enjoyment and of suf- 
fering, they were led to suppose a sort of retribution in 
that state for their merit or demerit in the present. 
The Jews did not indeed adopt the Pagan fables on this 
subject, nor did they express themselves entirely in the 
same manner ; but their general train of thinking in both 
came pretty much to coincide." This statement is surely 
too plain to be misunderstood. How much plainer could 
he have told us, that a punishment in Hades was a mere 
heathen notion, which lie Jews learned firom their inter- 
course with them 1 He declares that neither Sheol nor 
Hades is used in Scripture to express a place of punish- 
ment, and shows that the Pagan fables teach it, and the Jews 
learned it from them. What are we then to think, when 
this is the account of the doctrine of hell torments by one of 
its professed friends ? Had this statement been given by 
a professed Universalist, the cry would be raised that it 
was a mere fabrication of his own, in support of his system. 
But this is the statement of Dr. Campbell, late principal 
of Marischal college, Aberdeen, who lived and died a cele- 
brated theologian in the Church of Scotland. To this 
popular opinion, which the Jews imbibed firom their 
intercourse with the heathen, our Lord alluded in his 

* But who has the freedom to adopt oi: inyent opijuons on the sab- 
ject of a future state ? The indulgence of this fireedom by others before 
us occasions our difficulties now on the subject 


parable of the rich man and Lazarus. He no more at- 
tempts to correct this Pagan notion, than the common 
opinion that Satan had bound a woman eighteen years 
with an infirmity. 

4th. Dr. Campbell further declares, that though the 
Jews did not adopt the Pagan fables on this subject, yet 
their train of thinking pretty much coincided. ^* The 
Greek Hades they found well adapted to express the He- 
brew Sheol. This they came to conceive as including 
different sorts of habitations for ghosts of different char- 
acters." They did not adopt the term Elysian fields, to 
express the region of good spirits ; but, he says, " they 
do not seem to have declined the use of the word Tar- 
tarus " to express the unhappy situation of the wicked 
in an intermediate state. Concerning the word Tarta- 
rus, he says, '^ The word is not Gehenna, for that comes' 
after judgment, but Tartarus, which is, as it were, the 
prison of Hades, wherein criminals are kept till the gen- 
eral judgment" What then is to be done with the crimi- 
nals which have been confined in this prison ? They are 
not to be released and made happy. They must be sent 
somewhere after this period, and no place so suitable 
could be devised as Gehenna. But whether it be a very 
happy device in establishing the doctrine of eternal 
misery, will appear from the next chapter. All we wish 
notic^ here, is, that then we shall have done with 
Hades, and Tartarus, the prison of Hades, and all pun- 
ishment in them, for they are to be no more. This 
is not only the opinion of the authors we have quoted, 
but we believe is the general opinion of all the learned. 

2d. Mr. Stuart also asserts, " That in Hades, Sheol, 
according to the views of Jesus himself, there was a 
place of torment, is put out of all question by the pas- 
sage now before us." -JSV^ell, by the same passage, it is 
put out of all question that literal fire was the cause of 
the torment, for the rich man said, "I am tormented in 
this flame." The passage also puts it out of all question 
that he had bodily memltors in hell. He had eyes, and 



could see ; ears, and could hear ; a tongue, and could 
speak in hell. Besides, the passage puts it out of all 
question that the good and had are after death located so 
near each other that they can fejniliarly converse to- 
gether, etc. But does Mr. Stuart also believe all this 7 
We presume not. 

3d. If this parable puts it out of all question that 
in Hades, Sheol, there is a place of torment, then other 
passages put it out of all question that our Lord believed 
in demons ; in an evil being called Satan ; in ghosts ; and 
that .the sacred writers believed in witchcraft. Did not 
Jesus often speak of demons as real beings ? Did he 
not speak as if Satan had bound a woman eighteen years 
with an infirmity ? And are not ghosts and witchcraft 
spoken of as realities ? Kow, if it is said in these cases 
the writers only speak in acconmiodation to popular opin- 
ions, the same must be said respecting the parable in 
question. . There is no escape here but by boldly affirm- 
ing they are all realities. But Mr. Stuart must then 
abandon his scepticism about ghosts ; for is not his Tar- 
tarus a deep region beneath, peopled with ghosts ? The 
evidence is fifty times more that demons are real beings, 
than that Hades is a place of torment ; and yet, I ques- 
tion if he believes in demons. 

4th. If this parable puts it out of all question that in 
Hades, Sheol, there is a place of torment, then Isa. 14 : 
9 — 20, puts it out of all question that persons are alive 
in Sheol, and insult one another there. Mr. Stuart takes 
the liberty to say about this passage, pp. 121, 122, 
**Adeep region beneath, peopled with ghosts, is what 
we do not believe in. Nor is there any more certainty 
that it is true because this method of speaking about it 
in the Scriptures is adopted, than that the sun goes 
round the earth because they speak of it as doing so. 
In most cases it is the language of poetry, which employs 
the popular methods of representation. It is poetry 
which gives a kind of life and animation to the inhabi- 
tants of the under-world. Poetry personifies that world, 


soinlsai.5: 14; Prov. 27: 20; 30: 15, 16,andl2: 1. 
Above all, is this the case in that most striking passage 
Isai. 16 : 9 — 20, in which all commentators are compelled 
to admit a fictitious or imaginary costume. Here the 
ghosts rise up from their places of repose, and meet and 
insult the king of Babylon, and exult over his fall. 
All ia life and animation, when he goes down into the 
under-world. Yet who was ever misled by this passage, 
and induced to regard it as a passage to be literally un- 
derstood ? But if this be very plain, then are other 
passages, of a nature in any respect similar, equally plain 
also." On this quotation, in connection with the para- 
ble before us, we remark, 

Ist. Are not Isai. 14 : 9—20, and Luke 16 : 19—32, 
very similar? The king of Babylon in the one, and the 
rich man in the other, are both represented as ip. Sheol 
or Hades after death. Both are represented as alive 
there. All is life and animation, when both go to Sheol 
or Hades. Both find company there. Both find per- 
sons ready to converse with them there. In these and 
other things the passages are very similar indeed ; so 
much so that they may be called the same. 

2d. By what rule of scripture interpretation does Mr. 
Stuart then conclude, Isai. 14 : 9 — 20, is not to be un- 
derstood literally, but that Luke 16 : 19 — 32, is to be 
thus understood 7 How does he determine that the one is 
the language of poetry, but the other is a reality ; that 
the one haa "a fictitious or imaginary costume," but the 
other is a plain narrative of fe.cts7 What, I ask, is 
there in the one passage more than the other which 
leads him to such different interpretations of them? Has 
he not told us, " other passages of a nature in any re- 
spect similar " to Isai. 14 : 9 — 20, must be interpreted 
as the language of poetry ; as having a fictitious and 
imaginary costume ? K the one passage i^ the language 
of poetry, the other is the language of parable. And 
if the one passage " employs the popular method of rep- 
resentations," 80 does the other. And what intelligent 


man can deny that the representations in both had their 
origin in fable? If it is poetry or fable " which gives 
a kind of life and animation to the inhabitants of the 
under-world/' it is also poetry or fable which represents 
Hades as a place of torment. And if there is no " cer- 
tainty that it is true, because this method of speaking 
about it in Scripture is adopted " in the one case, neither 
is there any certainty in the other. There is no more 
certainty in either case than that the sun goes round 
the earth because the Scriptures thus speak of it. 

3d. I am aware it will be said, there is one ^reat dif- 
ference between the two passages. In Luke 16 : 19 — 32, 
the rich man in Hades is represented as in torment ; but 
no such representation is given of the king of Babylon 
in Sheol, fea. 14 : 9 — 20. This is fireely granted ; but 
a few remarks will account for this difference, and place 
the subject in a proper light. We ask, then, why it was 
not said, concerning the king of Babylon, that he was in 
torment in Sheol, just as well as the rich man in Hades? 
Was the king of Babylon so much better than the rich 
man that he did not deserve it ? As no man will affirm 
any Old Testament writer said, concerning the worst 
man that ever went to Sheol, "And in Sheol he lifted 
up his eyes being in torment," how are we to account 
for this difference ? If what Mr. Stuart asserts be true, 
" that in Hades, Sheol, according to the views of the 
Hebrews, and of Jesus himself, there was a place of tor- 
ment," this ought to have been said, and said frequently, 
both in the Old and New Testaments. It is incumbent 
on him to account for the silence of the Old Testament 
writers on this subject, if his assertion be true. But 
it is without foundation, and opposed above by Dr. 
Campbell and other critics. Dr. Whitby, we have seen, 
declares that Sheol, Hades, was not a receptacle of souls, 
but that this was a mere notion of the heathen Greeks. 
But I shall account for the difference between the two 

1st. In the days of Isaiah, the Jews did not believe 


Sheol or Hades was .a place of torment. The doctrine 
had not then been imported from the • heathen. This is 
testified by Dr. Campbell, Whitby, Macknight, and- 
odiers. Poetry then had given a kind of life and anima- 
tion to the dead in Sheol, as Mr. Stuart shows, but the 
poets had not gone so far as to represent them as either 
in torment or happiness. It was impossible, therefore, Jbr 
Isaiah, chap. 14 : 9 — 20, to represent the king of Baby- 
lon as tormented in Sheol, for then no such popular 
opinion among the Jews prevailed. 

2d. But when our Lord spoke the parable, Luke 16 : 
19 — 32, the opinion prevailed among the Jews that 
there was torment in Hades. How they obtained this 
opinion we have seen from Dr. Campbell ; and Mr. Stu- 
art and his son have traced the doctrine of punishment ' 
in Hades to heathen origin. That our Lord in this passage 
speaks in accordance with the heathen opinions which pre- 
vailed in Judea at the time, is rather reluctantly admitted 
by Dr. Macknight. Perhaps he foresaw the danger of ad- 
mitting it. He says, *' Verse 23, ^ Seeth Abraham afar off 
and Lazarus in his bosom.' Because the opinions as well as 
the language of the Greeks had by this time made their way 
into Judea, some imagine that our Lord had their fictions 
about the abodes of departed souls in his eye when he 
formed this parable. But the argument is not conclu- 
sive. (Where lies its defect?) At the same time it must 
be acknowledged that his descriptions of these things are 
not drawn from the writings of the Old Testament, but 
have a remarkable affinity to the descriptions which the 
Grecian poets have given of them. They, as well as 
our Lord, represent the abodes of the blessed as lying 
contiguous to the region of the damned, and separated 
only by a great impassable river or gulf, in such a sort 
that the ghosts could talk with one another from its op- 
posite banks. In the parable, souls whose bodies were 
buried knew each other, and conversed together as if 
they had been embodied. In like manner, the Pagans 


introduce departed souls talking together, and represent 
them as having paihs and pleasures analogous to what we 
feel in this life ; it seems they thought the shades of the 
dead had an exact resemblance to their bodies. The par- 
able says the souls of wicked men are tormented in 
flames ; the Grecian mythologists tell us they lie in 
Pryiphligethon, which is a river of fire, where Qiey suf- 
fer the same torments they would have suffered while 
alive, had their bodies been burnt." 

Macknight here confesses, first, that " the opinions as 
well as the language of the Greeks, had by this time 
made their way into Judea." He also confesses that 
" our Lord's descriptions about the abodes of departed 
souls are not drawn from the writings of the Old Testa- 
ment, but have a remarkable aflSnity to the descriptions 
which the Grecian poets have given of them.'' This 
confirms what Dr. Campbell and others stated above. * 

As it is admitted that our Lord's descriptions of 
the abodes of departed souls are not drawn from the 
writings of the Old Testament, and as such descriptions 
have a remarkable affinity to that of the Grecian poets, 
I ask, Were those descriptions true ? If it is answered 
yes, I then ask. Why were not the sacred writers in the 
Old Testament as able to give such descriptions as the 
Grecian poets ? If such descriptions are here sanctioned 
as truth by our Lord, it is evident the heathen had the 
honor of inventing hell torments, and from them Jews 
and Christians have learned this doctrine. But such a 
view of this parable stands opposed to the whole usage 
of Sheol and Hades in the Old and New Testaments. 
This is the solitary text, in a parable too, where Sheol 
or Hades can be supposed to teach future punishment. 
He who asserts that our Lord sanctioned this doctrine 
here, virtually says he understands the parable better 
than Christ's apostles, for not one of them so understood 
it. Who can think they believed " that in Hades, Sheol, 
according to the views of Jesus himself, there was a 


place of torment," jet never taught this doctrine to the 
"world ? 

Should anj one object, If our Lord in this parable 
only spoke in accommodation to the prevailing popular 
opinions, was he not liable to be misunderstood? — I an- 
swer, no ; not any more than when he spoke of demons, 
satan, ghosts, etc. The Scriptures, which the Jews had 
in their hands, were opposed to si;ch a popular opinion, 
for they taught nothing about immortal souls, departed 
souls, separate spirits, or their bemg tormented in Sheol 
or Hades. Nothing is said about the soul of the rich 
man. I may add, if our Lord, on this occasion, by speak- 
ing in accommodation to the popular opinions, meant to 
sanction them as truth, he acted contrary to his usual 
practice on other occasions. I know of no instance where 
he ever spoke of a popular opinion which had no author- 
ity from the Old Testament, with a view to sanction it 
as truth. Our Lord's work was to teach the truth, not 
to correct the popular modes of speaking. 

8d. There are other heathen popular opinions alluded to 
in the New Testament, which the Jews in the Old seem to 
have known nothing about. For example, what is more 
common in the New Testament than to read of demons or 
devils ; of persons possessed with th^m ; and of their 
being cast out of them ? But nothing of this kind is 
found in the Old Testament. I might ask, how is this 
difference to be accounted for 7 The answer is precisely 
die same as in the case before us. Li the days of Moses 
and the prophets, the popular opinions about demons were 
unknown among the Jews. But in the days of our Lord 
they were common, and are often alluded to in the New 
Testament. But, like torment in Hades, such opinions 
had been adopted by the Jews from their intercourse 
with the heathen, after the Babylonian captivity. 

Sheol, in Isai. 14 : 9 — 20, and in most otner texts where 
it occurs, Mr. Stuart says • means the grave, under- 
world, or the region of the dead. Why not interpret 
Hades, Luke 16 : 23, in the same way, for it is allowed 



on all hands that Sheol and Hades are only the Hebreir 
and Greek names for the same place. Wakefield inter- 
prets Hades so, for he says, " Verse 23, in the grave ; en 
to ade ; and conformably to this representation, he (the 
rich man) is spoken of as having a body, verse 24. It 
must be remembered that Hades nowhere means hell, 
Gehenna, in any author whatsoever, sacred or profane ; 
and, also, that our Lord is giving his hearers a parable 
(Matt. 13 : 84), 'and not a piece of real history. To those 
who regard the narrative as exhibiting a reality, it must 
stand as an unanswerable argument for the purgatory of 
the papists. The universal meaning of Hades is, the 
state of death ; because the term sepulchrum, or grave, 
is not strictly applicable to such as have been consumed 
by fire, etc. See verse 30.'' 

Understanding Hades, then, in this parable, to mean 
what Sheol does, Isai. 14 : 9 — 20, all is plain, and nat- 
ural, and in agreement with the Old Testament. The 
only material difference between the two passages is, the 
rich man is said to be in~ torment in Hades ; and this 
difference we think has been rationally accounted for 
above. Hades, Sheol, grave, under-world, region of 
the dead, is here represented, in conformity to the pre- 
vailing opinions' in our Lord's day, as a place of torment, 
and this was only a small addition to the popular opin- 
ions in the days of Isaiah. Since persons had been rep- 
resented as alive and full of animation in Sheol, or 
Hades, it was natural for the fancy of the poet to de- 
scribe them as happy or miserable. 

Dr. Hammond, on this passage, says, **That this is 
not a story but a parable, may appear by Gamara Babyj. 
Ad. Cod. Berachoth, where thus much of it is set down, 
that a king made a great feast, and invited all the stran- 
gers, and there came one poor man and stood at his gates, 
and said unto them. Give me one bit or portion ; and they 
considered him not ; and he said, My Lord the king, of 
all the great feast thou hast made, is it hard in thine 
eyes to give me one bit or fragment among them ?" He 


adds, the title of this parable is, "A Parable of a King 
of Flesh and Blood." See also, my Letters to Mr. Hud- 
son, for what Dr. Whitby has said respecting this parable. 
The views of Christians in former ages, as stated by 
him, were very different respecting tibis parable from 
those which are now entertained. 

3d. The only other question to be considered is, What 
did our Lord mean to teach when he uttered this par- 
able 7 That he was not speaking on the subject of a future 
state when he introduced it, is obvious from the context. 
See verses 14 — 18. And no one ought to say our Lord 
taught in parables a doctrine nowhere taugnt in plain 
language in the Bible. But this must be said, if in this 
parable he did teach that in Hades there is a place of 
punishment. No Old or New Testament writer says 
Sheol or Hades is a place of torment ; a repository for 
good or bad souls after death. Nor did our Lord's dis- 
ciples so understand this parable. What our Lord ut- 
tered in parables, they were to proclaim on the house- 
tops, or express in plain language. But none of them 
say that Hades is a place of torment ; a doctrine they cer- 
tainly would have taught, had they believed it announced 
by our Lord in this parable. 

What, then, did our Lord mean to teach, by repre- 
senting Hades as a place of torment ? This question 
may be answered by asking one or two more. "V^at did 
our Lord mean to teach, when he spoke of demons as real 
beings 7 And what did he mean to teach when he spoke 
of Satan as a real being, Luke 13 : 10 — 18 1 Did he 
mean to recognize these beings as real? We should 
think not, but only availed himself of the prevailing 
opinions, in reasoning- with his opponents, to enforce his 
instructions and convince them. Is it not so here 7 Our 
Lord was reasoning with the Pharisees, who believed that 
in Hades there was a place of torment. They also pro- 
fessed faith in Moses' writings. But he here says, if 
they did not believe him to be the Messiah, from what 
Moses and the prophets had said concerning him, they 



would not be persuaded of this, if one coming &om 
Hades, their supposed repository of souls, testified it to 
them. This view of the parable is in conformity with 
our Lord's conduct and teaching on other occasions.* 

*What is a parable? I>r. Johnson sajs, **A parable is arelatioa 
under which something else is figured.** The Greek verb from which 
the word parable is derived signifies to compare things together. 
Webster says, '* A parable is a fable or allegorical relation or represen- 
tation of something real in life or nature, from which a moral is draWn 
for instruction." Dr. Barnes, one of the ablest writers among the 
Presbyterians, says, ** A parable is a narrative of some fictitious or 
real event, in order to illustrate more clearly some truth that the 
speaker wished to communicate.*' He also says, *' It is not necessary 
to suppose that the narrative is strictly true. The main thing, the 
inculcation of spiritual truth, was gained equally whether it was true 
or only a supposed case. Nor was there any dishonesty in this. It was 
well understood ; no person was deceived. The speaker was not un- 
derstood to affirm t^e thing literally narrated, but only to fix the atten- 
tion more firmly on the moral truth presented.** According to these 
views, the account given of the rich man and the poor man is the 
narrative of the parable, used to teach something reaL It was made 
up of opinions common among the Jews concerning the future state. 
In weaving those opinions into his narrative, Jesus did not endorse 
them any more than he did the opinions of the Jews respecting demons 
when he spoke the parable of the unclean spirit, of which Dr. Light- 
foot says, ** Here the Saviour takes a parable from something commonly 
believed and entertained, that he might express the thing which he 
propounded more plainly and fully.** Neither are we to infer that the 
narrative of the parable is true — that a rich man died and went to 
hell. We cannot infer this, for nearly all the particulars stated con- 
cerning the rich man and the poor man, though according to Jewish 
opinions, are known to be false. A spirit has not eyes, a tongue, 
fingers, etc. In a spiritual state there can be no gulf ; neither can 
there be fire and water. It will not do to say these are to be understood 
figuratively, for a narrative cannot be made of figures of speech. The 
▼ery idea of a narrative im plies literality . We cannot say this expression 
is literal and that figurative, as in a discourse ; but the whole must be 
understood as a literal account. We know, therefore, that the narrative 
cannot be true, any more than that of Jotham*s parable, in which the 
trees are represented as going forth to anoint themselves a king. The 
author of a parable is never supposed to endorse the narrative. - He uses 
manners, customs, laws, opinions, fiction, anything that suits his pur- 
pose, without implying tiie least approval of what he uses. The question 
with us, then, is, not was there a rich man who went to hell,''where he was 
tormented in flames ; but what does the Saviour employ this narrative to 
represent? Let it be remembered that a parable is a relation or story 
under which something else is figured, and that Dr. Barnes says, ** It • 
is not necessary to suppose that the narratives were strictfy true.** 


Acts 2 : 27. "Because thou wilt not leave my soul 
(me) in hell (Hades), neither wilt thou suffer thine holy 

Now I shall not, I am certain, be considered as affirming too much 
when I say, that the whole force of this parable, so &r as supposed to bear 
against Universalism, is derived from the idea that the narrative is 
true, and that one man, at least, has been sent to a hell of fire in the 
future world. Hence the question, how can a future hell be denied 
when the Saviour declares that the rich man at his death went there ? 
But you might as well ask, how can it be denied that the trees had a 
meeting to anoint a king, when Jotham declares they did ; or that a 
demon went and got seven other demons more wicked than himself and 
took possession of a man, when Jesus declares he did ? These state- 
ments belong to the story of a parable, and are made, not as truths, 
but to set forth truth. . 

Perhaps it will be said, if we grant all that is claimed with regard 
to the narrative of this parable, nothing will be gained thereby, inasmuch 
as the scenes of it are laid in the future world. But are we to infer 
from this that it must have been designed to represent the condition 
of mankind there ? If so, it must be explained in agreement with the 
popular opinions of the times. For instanqe, it has been said as the 
Pharisees believed in an endless hell, they must have understood 
that part of the narrative descriptive of the rich man in his torment 
as a figure of the punishment which the wicked will endure in a future 
hell. Suppose we grant this, what then ? Christ must have repre-f 
sented hell to be just such a place as the Pharisees believed it to be, so 
that, instead of saying the fire in which the rich man was burnitig was 
a figure of the horrors of a guilty conscience, it was a literal repre- 
sentation of what all the wicked would suffer. But why must we say 
the parable refers to the future world because the scenes of the nturra- 
tive are there ? The scenes of one country are used to represent what 
will take place in another ; and scenes in time to represent what will 
take place in eternity. Is it not equally as proper to borrow imagery 
from common opinions of the future world to represent what would 
take place here, as to bdrrow imagery from this world to represent 
what will take place in the future world ? Do not reply, we represent 
spiritual things by things temporal ; for though that is the case, we 
know that vulgar opinions borrowed from the heathen were used to 
represent the condition of the Jews at the close of their dispensation. 
We have an instance of this in the parable of the unclean spirit. If, 
then, opinions, and even false opinions, may be used to represent what 
takes place here, why may not opinions respecting futurity, and those 
that are false, be used to express what would take place here ? Such 
opinions had the requisites for the imagery of a parable. They were 
well known, and they were applicable. But we must not prolong our 
remarks, and will close this note by mentioning two or three things to 
show that the parable was not designed to represent the &te of all men, 
but was spoken with reference to the Jews. 1. The rich man, in. his tor- 
ment, applied to Abraham for relief This shows that he was a Jew, and 
a representative of Jews, otherwise he would have applied to Christ. The 


one to see corruption.'* Grave is evidently the sense of 
Hades here, and refers to Christ's resurrection. 

Acts 2 : 31. " He, seeing this before, spoke of the 
resurrection of Christ, that his soul (he) was not left in 
hell (Hades), neither his flesh did see corruption." 
Grave, as in the last text^ the same as Sheol, Psal. 16 : 

1 Cor. 15 : 55. "0 death, where is thy sting ? 
grave (Hades), where is thy victory?" Hades here 
plainly means grave, and was so understood by our trans- 
lators. The grave shall not always retain its dead; 
hence the question, " grave, where is thy victory?" 
The dead shall be raised incorruptible. 

Rev. 1 : 18. " I am he that liveth, and was dead ; 
and, behold, I am alive forever more, amen ; and have 
the keys of hell (Hades), and of death." This ^ ex- 
plained by Acts 2 : -27, ol. To Jiave the keys of Hades 
or the grave, shows that Jesus has power to raise from 
the dead, which he will do in the last day. 

Rev. 6:8. " And I looked, and behold a pale horse ; 
and his name that sat on him was Death, and hell (Hades) 

parable , therefore, sets fbrth tlie evil that was to come upon the Jews, and 
the Jews only. It has no applicability to all men. 2. If the parable was 
designed to represent the condition of all sinners in the future world, 
why did Jesus select a rich man as their representative ? We know 
that sin is not confined to the rich. If you will go through Christen- 
dom, you will find as much sin among the j)oor as among the rich. 
'Apply the parable as we do, and you will see a special reason for his 
selecting a rich man. It was the rich among the Jews who opposed 
Christ, and the poor who received his word. The common people heard 
him gladly. While they heard him gladly, he said, *' It is easier lor a 
camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter 
the kingdom of heaven.'* Riches then were a great obstruction to the 
progress of the gospel, because it was unpopular, and men had to give 
up all their wealth when they became Christians. Is any one pre- 
pared to say that the rich only are damned, and the poor only saved ? 
8. If the parable was designed to represent the fate of the world, to de- 
scribe the condition of all in heaven or hell, wh^ time is no more, 
how could the rich map Jjiave friends upon the eari^Ti^nd praythatone 
might be sent from the dead to warn them of their da nger ? This 
renders it clear that the Saviour had not in mind the termination of 
the earthly economy, but the Jewish economy. - 0. A. S. 


fcllowed with him." Hades here evidently means grave. 
It follows death, as is here represented. Mr. Stuart, on 
this text observes, '* Here is the king of the empire of 
the dead, with his subjects in his train. Hades, in this 
passage, stands for the inhabitants of Hades ; just as, in 
inniunerable cases, we employ the name of a country in 
order to designate the inhabitants of the same." But I 
ask, is the king of the empire of the dead a living being 7 
Are his subjects living beings ? No, the inhabitants of 
Hades, the grave, are all the dead ; and death, the king 
of terrors, of the grave, shall reign over them until raised 
from the dead. See 1 Cor. 15 : 55. 

Rev. 20 : 13. ** And the sea gave up the dead which 
were in it ; and death and hell (Hades) delivered up 
the dead which were in them." Here death, '* the king 
over the region of the dead," is again introduced. What 
does this passage say he '* delivered up"? Was it 
immortal souls which Hades delivered up 7 No. Were 
they living beings of any kind ? No ; not any more 
than the sea delivered up immortal souls or living beings. 
The sea delivered up the dead which were in it. Aid 
*' death and Hades delivered up the dead which were in 
them." But, according to the conmion views of Hades 
in Luke 16 : 23, Hades ought to have delivered up the 
immortal souls which had long been in torment there. 
Had John believed as most people do now about Hades 
or hell, no doubt he would have told us this. But wher- 
ever the resurrection of the dead is mentioned in Scrip- 
ture, not a word is said about immortal souls, coming 
forth from H[ades, hell, or any other place. But why 
not, if immortal souls are punished there from death until 
the resurrection? 

Rev. 20 : 14. ** And death and hell (Hades) were 
cast into the lake of fire ; this is the second death." On 
this passage, Dr. Campbell pertinently remarks, ^^ If we 
interpret Hades, hell, in the Christian sense of the word, 
the whole passage is rendered nonsense. Hell is repre- 
sented as being cast into hell ; for so the lake of fire, 


which is, in this place, also denominated the second 
death, is universally interpreted.'' 

Concerning the usage of Hades in the Apocalypse, 
Mr. Stuart says, ** It is the genuine Sheol of the He- 
brews, with the exception, perhaps, that the Hebrew 
sacred books have nowhere represented Hades as having 
a king over it." I then ask, Does John in this book say 
that in Hades there is a Tartarus? No. Why thend^ 
Mr. Stuart say, " that in the Hebrew Sheol there was a 
Tartarus '' ? Does he know more about this than John 
did ? We have seen why the Hebrew sacred books have 
nowhere represented Sheol or Hades as having a king 
over it. This opinion, like many others derived from 
the heathen, was unknown to the ancient Hebrews. They 
knew of no king, God, or devil, who ruled in Sheol. 

Such are all the passages where Hades occurs in the 
New Testament. We add the following remarks. 

1st. It will not be disputed by any man that what the 
Hebrew writers of the Old Testament expressed by the 
word Sheol, the Greeks expressed by the word Hades. 

2d. Observe that the heathen Greeks not only attached 
similar ideas to the word Hades that the Hebrew 
writers did to the word Sheol, but also the additional 
idea that in Hades persons were punished or rewarded, 
according to their merits or demerits in the present world. 
This punishment was by fire. This was their own addi- 
tion ; for no such idea seems to be conveyed in all the 
Old Testament by the word Sheol. The very circum- 
stance that Ebdes, and not Sheol, is represented as a 
place of torment, shows that this doctrine is of heathen 
origin. Hades is a Greek word ; and it is well known 
that Greek was the language of the heathen, and Hebrew 
that of the Jews. Th^re is nothing, then, but what we 
ought to expect, in the use of the term Hades in the 
New Testament. Besides, the Jews had blended many 
of the heathen notions with thjeir own religion. If we 
then find the New Testament writers, in using the Greek 
word Hades, speak as if this was a place of punishment, 



it is easily accounted for without admitting that they be- 
lieved any such thing, or wished to inculcate this doc- 
trine as a part of divine revelation. But of this they 
have been very sparing ; for only in the parable of the 
rich man and Lazarus can it be supposed there is any 
allusion to such an idea. In all the other places where 
they use the term Hades it is plain no such doctrine 
seems to be hinted at, but the reverse. In fa<3e of these 
facts and circumstances, and current usage of the word 
Hades, we think it would be well for persons to pause 
and reflect, before they attempt to establish the doctrine 
of future misery from the language of a parable. If a 
Universalist was obliged to establish his views from a 
parable, and in &ce of so much evidence to the contrary, 
he would be considered as driven to the last extremity for 
proof in support of his system, and obliged to abandon it 
as indefensible. But this parable is regarded as the most 
plain and conclusive part of Scripture, in proof of a place 
of endless misery. It is considered more conclusive than 
all the passages which speak of Gehenna. What critics 
and orthodox commentators give up as no proof of the 
doctrine, by the least informed, is considered as the very 

3d. Since neither Sheol, Hades, nor hell, originally 
signified a place of endless misery, we have a few ques- 
tions to put to those who believe in this doctrine. We 
ask, then, is it not a perversion of the divine oracles to 
quote any of the texts in which Sheol or Hades occurs, 
to prove it 7 It is well known that such texts are often 
quoted for this purpose. But I ask again, is it not a 
very great imposition upon the ignorant to quote such texts 
in proof of this doctrine 7 The simple, honest-hearted, 
English reader of his Bible has been taught from a child 
that hell means a place of endless misery for the wicked. 
Every book he reads, every sermon he hears, tends to 
deepen hia early impressions and confirm him in this 
opinion. Those who know better are not much disposed 
to undeceive him. On the one hand, they are perhaps 



deterred from it by a false fear of disturbing public 
opinion ; and, on the other, by reluctance to encounter 
the odium of the Christian public, in being looked on as 
heretics. Select the most celebrated preacher you can 
find, and let him frankly tell his audience that neither 
Sheol, Hades, nor hell, originally meant a place of endless 
misery, and his celebrity is at an end. He would from 
that moment be considered as a heretic, and his former ad- 
mirers would now be his warm opponents. But I ask 
again, and I solemnly put it to every man's conscience who 
professes to fear God, Ought not men to be honestly told the 
truth about this, let the consequences be what they may 7 
Are we at liberty to pervert the Scriptures in favor of 
any sect or system in the world 7 Must we be guilty of 
a jpious fraud, in concealing from the people what they 
ought to know, because the disclosure may excite popular 
prejudices against ourselves, and afford cause of suspicion 
that the doctrine of endless misery is not true 7 If it be 
true, it can and must be supported from other texts than 
those in which Sheol and Hades are used. Perhaps some 
may think, if all these texts are given up, some of the 
principal supjyrts of the doctrine are removed. Well, 
allowing this xfu^would any one wish to retain them 
but such as are determined to hold fast the doctrine of 
eternal misery at all hazards 7 It is a false system of 
religion, or those who embrace it do not know how to 
defend it, who wish to support it by perverting a single 
text of Scripture. To found the doctrine oCendless mis- 
ery on the texts which speak of Sheol or Hades, is 
building on the sand. When the building is assailed by 
reason and argument, and an appeal to the Bible, it must 
fall if it has no better support. Even if it could be 
proved true from other texts, this is calculated to bring 
the doctrine into suspicion. 

4th. The translators of our common version appear to 
have had more correct ideas about Sheol, Hades or hell, 
than most people who read their translation. They, cer- 
tainly, were at some pains to guard us against attaching 


to the word hell the idea of a place of misery. In many 
places where they render Sheol and Hades by the wora 
hell, they have put grave in the margin. Besides, let it 
be remembered that the word hell originally signified the 
same as Sheol and Hades. It was then the very best ' 
word they coulfl use in rendering these two words. If 
men have now fixed a diflFerent sense to the word hell, the 
translators are not to blame. Admitting that when our 
translation was made it had acquired the sense of a place 
of endless misery, what could the translators do but use 
this word in rendering Sheol and Hades 7 It meant the 
same as those words originally, and, to prevent misunder- 
standing, they frequently put grave in the margin. • They, 
no doubt, thought that this, together with the context, 
was security against all misapprehension. Unfortunately 
this has not been the case. But no blame attaches to 
them, for they must in this case have either coined a new 
word, expressed themselves by a circumlocution, used 
always the word grave, or left these words untranslated. 
I am inclined to think that if Sheol, Hades, Tartarus, and 
Gehenna, had been left untranslated, few persons would 
ever have thought that by any of these words a place of 
misery after death was meant. Every reader would then 
have been obliged to consult the context, wherever these 
words were used, to attain the sense of the writer. 
Obliged to do this, he would soon have become familiar 
with them, and riiust have seen, from the way in which 
they were used, that the idea of a place of future misery 
was never intended to be conveyed by them. Let any 
one go over all the texts where these words are found, 
and put this remark to a fair trial. It is true that our 
translators, in rendering the word Gehenna, have also 
used the word hell. But, here again, what could they 
do, for this word had acquired a new sense 7 This new 
sense, they supposed, answered to the word Gehenna, the 
place of endless misery. Here they were under the 
necessity of either again coining a new word, leaving 
Gehenna untranslated, or expressing themselves by a 




circumlocution. We doubt if the translators were at 
liberty to do any of these without shocking public preju- 
dice, and exciting the displeasure of those in high author- 
ity, under whose patronage they made their translations. 
They were not left at liberty to give us the best transla- 
tions which their own judgments and the progress of 
Biblical criticism, even at that day, could have afforded. 
In proof of this, see the king's instructions to the trans- 

5th. Several very serious evils arise from understand- 
ing Sheol or Hades p) mean a place of endless misery. 
In the first place, it is a perversion of jbhe texts in which 
these words occur. This perversion of them leads to a 
misunderstanding of many others. By this means the 
knowledge such texts convey is not only lost, but our 
growth in divine knowledge is greatly retarded, and our 
minds are perplexed and embarrassed on other connected 
subjects. Every text of Scripture, misunderstood, lays 
a foundation for a misunderstanding of others ; and thus 
error is not only rendered perpetual, but progressive. 
But this is not all. Understanding Sheol and Hades to 
mean a place of endless misery is perverting God's word 
to caricature himself. It is putting our own sense on his 
words to make him say things against ourselves which he 
never intended. It is giving a false color to the language 
of the Bible, that we may support the felse views we 
entertain of his character, and his dealings with the chil- 
dren of men. 

6th. I may add respecting Hades, what was noticed 
about Sheol, that we never find the words eternal, ever- 
lasting, or forever, used in connection with it or concerning 
it. We never read of an everlasting or eternal Hades or 
hell, or that men are to be punished in it forever. Nothing 
like this is to be found in Scripture. Such epithets 
added to the word hell, found in books and sermons, are 
among the improvements in divinity which man's wisdom 
has made. The word hell is first perverted from its 
original simification, and then the word eternal is added 
to it to make the punishment of endless duration. 




"For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but 
cast them down to hell (Tartarosas), and delivered them 
into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment." 
See Jude 6, to which I shall also advert in my remarks. 

Although the word Tartarus does not occur in the 
Bible, yet the word Tartarosas occurs in this single text. 
It is equivalent to Tartarus; it signiiBes "to cast into 
Tartarus.'' See Parkhurst. Professor Stuart says, 
" That a place of punishment is here indicated by Tarta- 
rus, is put beyond all doubt by the context, * he spared 
not,' * chains of darkness,' * imprisoned for judgment or 
condemnation. ' " But what is there in these expressions 
which says the angels or any other beings suffered pain 
or misery in Tartarus ? They are not even said to be 
alive there, far less suffering torment. In my reply to 
his Essays, I have considered pretty fully what he says 
about Tartarus. See, also, a quotation m>m Dr. Camp- 
bell, in the preceding section, which relates to this sub- 
ject. In what follows I shall principally confine the 
reader's attention to what I consider the true sense of the 
passage or passages in question. 

1st. Let us examine what period is referred to, called 
in the one passage simply "judgment," and in the other 
" the judgment of the great day." These expressions 
are supposed to refer to a day of general judgment at 
the end of this material world. But I know of no sacred 
writer who uses such language to describe such a day. 
I find, however, this or very similar language used to 
describe Grod's judgments on the Jewish nation at the 
close of the Mosaic dispensation. "The sun shall be 
turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before 



the great and terrible day of the Lord come." Joel 2 : 
31. Peter, Acts 2 : 20, quotes these words, and applies 
them to this very event. Again, Malachi, 4 : 5, says, 
'* Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the 
coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord," in 
reference to the. same event. Our Lord, alluding to this 
period, said, Luke 21 : 22, "For these be the days of 
vengeance, that all things which are written may be ful- 
filled.'' Matt. 24 : 21, " For then shall be great tribu- 
lation, such as was not since the beginning of the world 
to this time, no, nor ever shall be." But are the tribu- 
lations of this supposed day of judgment to be less 
than the tribulations which came on the Jewish nation 
at the destruction of Jerusalem? If not, how can our 
Lord's words be true ? In Rev. 6 : 17, we read also of 
**the great day," and '^ the great day of God Almighty; " 
but no man will say that this refers to a day of general 
judgment at the end of this world. The context shows 
that this cannot be meant. 

2d. Let us now consider who are referred to by the 
angels that kept not their first Estate (principality), but 
left their own habitation. The reader ought to notice 
particularly, that neither of the texts gives the least inti- 
mation that they were angelic spirits that sinned in 
heaven, and were cast out of it. It is said they sinned, 
but not in heaven. They kept not their first estate, 
but left their own habitation; but it is not said this habi- 
tation was heaven. Indeed, if we • admit that angelic 
spirits once sinned in heaven, and were cast out of it, 
what security is there that this may not take place 
again ; yea, that all who are there may not become sin- 
ners, and share the same fate 1 The question then is, 
what angels are meant ? It is well known that the term 
rendered angel, signifies not nature but office. It is 
frequently rendered messenger, and is often applied 
to human beings. Some have thought the angels here 
mentioned were the spies sent out to view the land of 
Canaan. I am of opinion, however, that Korah and his 


company are the angels here intended. Their history 
is given, Numb. 16. My reasons for entertaining this 
opinion I shall briefly detail, and let the reader judge 
for himself. 

1st. Korah and his company were "two hundred and 
fifty princes of the assembly, femous in the congrega- 
tion, men of renown." Numb. 16 : 2. From the high 
station which they held in the congregation, with scrip- 
tural propriety they might be termed angels. Certain- 
ly, with just as much propriety as men are called angels 
in many other passages. See, for example, Rev. chaps. 
2d and 3d. 

2d. It will not be questioned that Korah and his com- 
pany sinned ; tha|,t they kept not their first estate, or the 
station Gkni assigned them in the congregation of Israel. 
They raised a rebellion against Moses and Aaron, Numb. 
16 : 3, with a view to their preeminence. They sought 
the priesthood also, verse 10. Certainly the passage ap- 
plies much better to them than angelic spirits who sinned 
in heaven, and were cast out of it. People are more in- 
debted to Milton's Paradise Lost than to their Bible for 
th^ information that angelic spirits sinned in heaven and 
were cast down to Tartarus. 

3d. The connection in which the passage is introduced, 
favors this view of the subject. Peter, in verses 1 — 4, 
speaks of false teachers, and the troubles which their 
heresies gave to the congregation of Christians. At the 
close of verse 3, he says of them, "whose judgment now 
of a long time lingereth not^ and their damnation slum- 
bereth not." Was is not then very natural for him, in 
verse 4, to refer to Korah and his company, who pro- 
duced similar troubles in the congregation of Israel, and 
the judgment which came on Siem? He then, from 
verse 5 — 9, mentions God's judgments on the old world 
and the cities of the plain, confessedly inflicted on hu- 
man bein^, and of a temporal nature. It is very in- 
congruous, then, to suppose, that in verse 4 he referred 
to angelic beings, and punishment of endless duration 



in another world. But the connection of the parallel 
text in Jude is still more cleai'ly in favor of the view I 
have given. Jade, verse 4, also speaks of false teachers 
and the pernicious effects of their teaching on others. 
He adds, by way of warning, verse 5, *'I will therefore 
put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, 
how that the Lord, having saved the people out 
of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that be- 
lieved not." And what could be more natural than for 
him, in verse 6, to refer to Korah and his company, as a 
signal example of God's destroying such unbelievers? 
It is certainly more i:ational than to suppose he itnme- 
diately breaks off, and introduces an example of God's 
judgment on angels who sinned in heaven. He also re- 
fers, in verse 9, to God's judgments on the cities of the 
plain. But if verse 6 refers to angelic spirits, we must 
conclude that he first gives an example in general of 
God's judgments on men, verse 5, then inverse 3, starts off 
and gives an example of his judgment on angelic spirits in 
heaven, and then comes back to his judgments on men 
in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. But if my 
views are admitted, it makes both writers refer to teWt- 
poral judgments on men, uniformly throughout both pas- 
sages. Certainly all will allow that it is not the custom 
of the sacred writers to blend in this way examples of 
God's judgments on men and angels together. If it is 
done here, another example of the kind cannot be pro- 
duced from the Bible. 

4th. It will be admitted that all the other examples 
mentioned in the contexts of these passages of God's 
judgments on men were adduced as a warning to un- 
godly men. They are all of a temporal nature, and are 
calculated for this purpose. But, if we understand by 
angels in these passages angelic spirits, how could God's 
casting them out of heaven down to Tartarus be any 
warning to ungodly men ? No man had seen this done, 
or had any means of knowing the fact, if it was true. 
It rested entirely on Peter and Jude's statements in 



these passages, for no other sacred writer ever mentiotis 
such a remarkable event aa angels sinning in heaven and 
being cast down to Tartarus. But the case of Korali 
and his company is detailed at length in the Jewish 
scriptures, was well known, and calcukted to be a warn- 
ing to those who lived ungodly. But it will be asked, 
what Tartarus did God cast them dowQ to ? We shall 
find a^ answer by considering, 

8d. The punishment here said to have been inflicted 
on them. Peter says, ** God spared not the angels that 
sinned, but cast them down to hell (Tartarosas), and de- 
livered them into chains of darkness to be reserved unto 
judgment." Jude says, ''He hath reserved them in 
everlasting chains of darkness, unto the judgment of the 
great day." Let us here inquire, 1st. What Peter meant 
by Tartarus ? Mr. Stuart says, as " to the ilsus loquen- 
di of the classics, in Greek^ the word Tartarus is em- 
ployed to designate a supposed subterranean region, as 
deep down below the upper part of Hades, as the earth 
is distant from heaven. It is the place where the dis- 
tinguished objects of tfupiter's vengeance are represented 
as being confined and tormented. It is placed in oppo- 
sition to, or in distinction from, Elysium. I remark, 
moreover, that the heathen had no apprehension of de- 
liverance fi'om Tartarus. Tantalus, Sisyphus, Ldon, 
and all others sent there, were doomed to endless pun- 
ishment, in view of the Greeks and Romans." Such 
are the views given us of Tartarus by Mr. Stuart ; and 
it is commonly supposed that in this sense Peter used 
the word in the passage before us. But in the preced- 
ing section it has been shown that Tartarus and its pun- 
ishment were heathe'n fictions, and originally of Egyp- 
tian origin. The Egyptians furnished the first hints, 
and the Greeks and Bomans manufactured a tremendous 
hell out of them. 

But Mr. Stuart is obliged to confess that the above is 
not the exclusive sense in which classical writers use 
the term Tartarus. He says, *'It is occasionally em- 


ployed in the later classic writers^ for the under-world 
m general ; but in such a connection as to show that it 
is only when writers mean to speak of the whole as a 
region of gloom, that they call it Tartarus." This con- 
cession of Mr. Stuart is enough for our purpose, to- 
gether with his explanations of *Sheol and Hades. He . 
concedes that "the later classic writers '' use Tartarus 
for the under-world in general, which is his general 
sense of Sheol and Hades, as seen above. And he also 
concedes that they use it in this sense when they " mean 
ten, speak of the whole as a region of gloom." With 
these concessions in view, I observe, 1st. Peter was a 
IcUer scripture writer. This answers to "the later classic 
writers," of whom Mr. Stuart speaks. And if they 
used the word Tartarus "for the under-world in gen- 
eral," and not for a place of punishment, why not allow 
Peter to use it in the same sense in this passage 7 But 
the reader may notice he speaks of it, not as a place of 
fire and torment, such as tlie heathen supposed it to be, 
but as the Hebrews spoke of Sheol. 

2d. But we are told when the " later classic writers " 
lised Tartarus for the under- world, it was "in such a 
connection as to show that it is only when writers mean 
to speak of the whole as a region of gloom that they call 
it Tartarus." Well, all I ask is to allow Peter the 
same privilege taken by these classic writers. This can- 
not with any show of reason be denied him. The ques- 
tion then is. Does Peter show, from the connection, that 
he means to speak of Tartarus as a place of punishment, 
yea, of endless punishment ; or does he speak of it as 
the under-world, a region of gloom? In the latter 
sense, as I shall now attempt to show. Let it then be ob- 
served, 1st. Whoever may have been meant by the an- 
gels in this passage, they are not said to be suffering 
any pain in Tartarus. iSor is it even said that they are 
reserved there to suffer pain or torment at the day of 
judgment mentioned. If it is maintained the angels 


mentioned aare angelic spirits, the passage has no reference 
to human beings at all. 

Sd. K Peter used the term Tartarus in the sense of 
a place of misery, or " endless punishment in view of 
the Greeks and Romans," he did what no other scrip- 
ture writer did before him^ Not one of them ever uses 
this term, which shows they cared nothing .about Tar- 
tarus. But, had they believed this doctrine of endless 
punishment, and tiiat Tartarus was the most ^' signifi- 
cant " word the Greek language afforded to express it, 
why do they all avoid this word? Mr. Stuart asks, 
"What term, then, in order to express the horrors rf 
future punishment, could Peter select from the whole 
Greek language, which was more significant than Tarta- 
rosas ? " This question implicates not only the sacred 
writers, but even the Holy Spirit, as not knowing what 
word was most " significant " to express the horrors of 
future punishment. 

3d. But if Peter used -the term Tartarus '' for the 
under-world in general," as " it is occasionally employed 
in the later classic writers," he agrees with all the scrip- 
ture writers in their usage of Sheol and Hades, and 
even with those classic writers also. What is more 
common than to put a part &r the whole, or the whole 
for a part, in the language of Scripture ? Tartarus was 
supposed to be a part of Hades, and here a part is used 
for the whole. In Luke 16 : 23, the whole. Hades, 
is put for a part, Tartarus ; fi)r, according to the represen- 
tation given, the rich man was in Tartarus, yet he is 
said to be in Hades. 

4th. But we are told this word was used for the un- 
der-world, " in such a connection as to show that it is 
only when the writers mean to speak of the whole as a 
region of gloom, that they called it Tartarus." K Peter 
then used it in "such a connection," as to show he 
meant " to speak of the whole as a region of gloom " 
the question is settled. Does he then say, either in the 
text or context, that Tartarus was a place of torment? 


No. Does he intimate the angels were alive in Tartarus ? 
No. Does he then speak of it as a region of gloom 1 
Certainly he does. Hear him : " For if God spared not 
the angels that ginned, but cast them down to hell (Tar- 
tarosas)." Well, did he deliver them there into flames 
and torments? No. He "delivered them into chains 
of darkness." Is not this *^ a region of gloom " ? Let 
iw hear Jude : *^ The angels which kept not their first 
estate but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in. 
everlasting chains of darkness." Is not this, again, a re- 
gion of gloom? This is too palpable, I thmk, to be 

Let us now see how this agrees to Korah and his com- 

♦ In the Second Inquiry we have given our views very fully upon 
this text. But as that interpretation may not be satis&ctory to all, 
we win ask the reader to consider the following. The text says, " They 
were cast down to hell, to be reserved unto judgment " To be reserved. 
Where ? In hell. How long ? Unto judgment. 

Here is an important consideration. It is generally thought, by the 
multitude who are daily quoting this text, £at the heU of which it 
spei^ is a place of endless torture ; but the language employed di- 
rectly contradicts such an idea. It simply says, ** Th» angels shall 
be reserved in hell unto judgment ; " not reserved there endlessly^ 
but unto a certain time. It is like this : When a man is guilty of a 
capital offence, he is doomed to prison, to remain till the day of his 
execution. He is reserved there unto judgment or punishment. So 
with these messengers. They were reserved in hell unto judgment. 
The text then limits their continuance in hell. This fact whoUy rescues 
it from the hands of those who employ it to prove the eternity of woe. 
You can prove by it no punishment in hell after the judgment of which 
it speaks. How dififerent from the. common opinion! According to 
that, there is an endless hell after thje judgment ; but according to the 
text, the hell is before the judgment I want all to remember this &ct 
Though preachers say nothing of it, when they quote the text against 
Universsdism, and though they represent the hell as a place of un- 
ceasing woe, orthodox commentators have pursued a different course, 
and confessed that hell here signifies simply the place where the damned 
are kept till judgment ; and that after the judgment they go into 
another place ( (rehenna). Such is the opinion of Dr. CampbelL 

Here I might dismiss this part of the subject, but I wish to show 
that the apostle did not even teach a place of fbture punishment, 
when he said the wicked were cast down to hell. He uses a tradition 
to show what punishment God would inflict upon false teachers ; but 
if by so doing he adopts the tradition, he must adopt it just as it was 



pany, as the angels who sinned and were cast down to 
Tartarus. In Numbers 16 : 81—33, it is said, « The 
ground clave asunder that was under them; and the 
earth opened her mouth and swallowed them up, and 
their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Ko-* 
rah, and all their goods. They, and all that appertained 
to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed 
upon them ; and they perished from among the congre- 
gation." " See, on this text, under Sheol above. " They 
went down alive into the pit (Sheol).' ' Is not Sheol often 
represented as a region of gloom ? Yea, does not the 
very word Sheol, as Dr. Campbell has told us, mean 
" obscure, hidden, invisible ? The state is always repre- 
sented under those figures which suggest something dark, 
dreadful and silent." 

To the views of this passage which have now been 
stated, it may be objected. Does not Jude say, the angels 
that sinned are "reserved in everlasting chains, under 

held ; but to say this would make him teach doctrines entirely at vari- 
ance with modem orthodoxy, and endorse the heathen notions of helL 
Among the ancients, Tartarus was supposed to be a place fitr under 
ground, where the wicked are bound in chains of darkness. The 
Greek poets make frequent allusion to it Lucian thus speaks of it : 

** Where iron gates and bars of solid brass.** 

Homer speaks of it as a gulf with iron gates and brazen ground. 

Now, if we say Peter employed it to denote ftiture punishment, we 
must say that he used it in the sense of the Greek writers ; and that 
Tartarus is far under ground, and has bars of brass, and gates of iron, 
and literal chains for Sie confinement of its victims. We must adopt 
all the fanciful notions of the Greeks respecting it. But here are nu- 
merous difficulties. None adopt the heathen idea that hell is in the bow- 
els of the earth. Neither do any well-informed clergymen believe that 
it has iron gates, a ** brazen ground," or literal chains for the torture 
of the wicked. 

It is evident, therefore, that Peter used this popular tradition 
to denote, not a 'punishment in the eternal world, but in this ; 
for he certainly could not have believed in all the vagaries of the 
Greeks in regard to Tartarus. 

And this idea is confirmed by the fact that he was laboring to show, 
from what it was generally believed God had done, the certainty of the 
punishment of £ilse teachers. 0. A. S. 


darkness, unto the judgment of the great day"? I 
answer, yes ; but it has been shown that the judgment 
of the great day does not refer to a general judg- 
ment at the end of this world, but to the judgment €^ 
God on the Jews at the close of their dispensation. 
Now, though Korah and his company were punished (m 
the spot for their rebellion, yet, we are told, all the sins 
of the Jews as a nation, which had been committed dur- 
ing past ages, were at that time visited on the nation. 
On that generation came all the righteous blood which 
had been shed on the earth. Of course, the rebellion of 
Korah and his company is included. They were deliv- 
ered into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto this 
judgment, when God's signal vengeance was poured 
out on the whole nation for all their rebellion and wick- 
edness. Chains of darkness is a figure for the power of 
darkness ; for who can burst the bands of death, who can 
return from Sheol to the land of the living ? The word 
everlasting connected with chains of darkness, in Jude, 
can occasion no difficulty. Those who have attended to 
the scripture usage of this word must see that it is often 
used for a limited time, and sometimes even for a short 
period of time. From the time of Korah's rebellion to 
the destruction of Jerusalem was a much longer ever- 
lasting than some other everlastings mentioned in Scrip- 

Though enough has been said to show that punishment 
in Hades is a heathen notion, it may be of some use to 
see what were the views entertained by the ancient heathen 
about Hades and Tartarus. M. Le Glerc, in his Reli- 
gion of the Ancient Greeks, pp. 147 — 154, thus writes : 
^<In general, the doctrine of a future life has been 
adopted by all nations, at least by all those that deserve 
to be cited as examples. Legislators have considered it 
as the most effectual curb for restraining the passions of 
men, and they have employed every argument to estab- 
lish this salutary doctrine, as we may be convinced by 

tjirtarus, rendered hell. 109 

attending to the descriptions which the ancients have 
left us of hell.' 

''This word signified among them the residence of 
souls. Thither, after death, they repaired in crowds to 
receive remuneration for their deeds. Minos sat as judge, 
and, as the names were drawn out of the &tal urn, ne 
distributed to each his merited punishment or reward* 
Pluto, seated on a thrcHie of ebony., presided over the in- 
fernal regions; because, as we have already observed, 
in the symbolical religion of the ancients, part of which 
was dedicated to the worship of the stars, winter was the 
night of nature, and because the sun at that time took 
the name of king of the Shades. For this reason Pluto, 
^hd represented the sun, mates so important a figure in 
mysteries destined to describe the empire of the dead. 
That gloomy region was situated at an immense distance, 
&r beyond the limits of this universe. According to the au- 
thor of the Theogony, ' as far as the heaven is distant from 
the earth, so &r is me earth removed fiom the dark abyss. 
A mass of iron &lling from the top of the starry heavens, 
would take nine days and nine nights before it reached 
the surface of the earth ; and it would require the same 
time in &lling from thence to Tartarus,' the place des- 
tined for the punishment of the wicked. 

'' This frightftil abode was said to be twice as deep as 
it is distant from the brilliant summit of .Olympus. It 
was surrounded by a triple wall ; it was bathed by the 
flaming waters of Cocytus and of Phlegethon, and towers 
of iron guarded the entrance. The cruel Tisiphone 
vfatched night and day at the gate, armed with serpents, 
which she shook over the heads of the guilty. Their 
groans, their doleftil cries, mixed with the sound of their 
stripes, caused the wide abyss to resound. There are 
forever shut up the impious Titans, and those no less 
audacious mortals who dared to resist the xlivinity; 
Tityus, Ixion, Pirithous, and the impious Salmoneus. 
Perjury, adultery, incest and parricide, are likewise pun- 
ished ; and those whose life has .been sullied with odious 



crimes — those ^ho have not respected the ties of blood, 
who have waged unjust wars, who have sold their country — 
those who have dared to commit enormous* wickedness, 
and enjoyed the fruit of their crimes, are all consigned to 
the most cruel torments. 

'' We may conceive what impression these images would 
make on the mind, when unceasingly presented to the 
eyes from earliest infancy. It is not to be doubted, 
that if the hope of felicity unbounded leads to virtue, the 
idea of endless punishment must have a still stronger in- 
fluence on the conduct. The religion of the ancients, 
which to us appears of so light a nature that we are apt 
to believe its only end was to flatter the senses, yet em- 
ployed the most proper means for restraining the outrs^ 
geous multitude."^ It alarmed them on all sides with the 
most frightful .represenjtations. A poet of antiquity paints 
in the strongest colors that continual terror which takes 
possession of the human heart, which disturbs and poisons 
the pleasures of life, and which in every part of the earth 
has erected temples for the purpose of conciliating the 
gods. Plato, in the beginning of the flrst book of his 
Bepublic, represents an old man seized with fear at the 
approaclv^of death, and full of inquietude with regard to 
objects that never occupy the season of health. Then it 
is, says he, that we reflect on our crimes, on the injustice 
we have committed, and that often, in our agitation, we 
start in our sleep, and are frightened like children.! As 
soon as some were found among the ancients who had 
overcome these fears, it was pretended that such had 
never existed among them : we might as reasonably judge 
of the public belief at this day by the opinions in which 

* The doctrine of endless punishment, among the heathen* did not 
make them moral men, as racts e^ow. Nor has it done this among 
Christians, as all must admit. The apostles preached the love of God 
in the gift of his Son. This produced holiness, and it mil do so 

t Preaching endless hell torments, in the present day, produces not 
(mlv fear, but many cases of iijjsani^ and suicide. Cui God be the 
aio&or of such a doctrine ? 


89me modem writers have been pleased to indulge them- 
selves. The testimony of those of antiquity who opposed 
the prejudices of their times, their very attempt to dissi- 
pate those fears, and to turn them into ridicule, rath^ 
proves how deeply they were rooted. Observe with wha* 
solicitude Lucretius everywhere endeavors to burst the 
bonds of religion, and to fortify his readers against the 
threatenings of eternal punisnment. The observation 
of Juvenal, so often cited, that nobody in his day believed 
in the fables of hell, is that of an enlightened mind which 
takes no part in the opinions of the vulgar. The same 
thing is to be said of wnat we read in Cicero, and in some 
other writers on tjie same subject ; and when Virgil ex- 
idaims, VHappy the man that can tread ui^r foot inexo- 
vable Destiny, and the noise of devouring Acheron,' he 
indicates, in a manner sufficiently precise, that it was the 
province of philosophy alone, to shake off the yoko of 
custom, riveted by eiiucation. 

'' Those who were unable to conquer these vaJn tenrors, 
&und consolations of a different kind. Religion sketched 
forth her kind hand to ^courage their hopes, and to 
relieve their despondency. When remorse had brought 
back, within her pale, an unfortunate wanderer &om the 
paths of justice, she informed him that by a true confesr 
sion of his guilt, and sincere repentance, forgiveness was 
to be obtaii^. With this view expiatory sacrifices were 
instituted, by means of which the guilty expected to par- 
ticipate in the happiness of the just." 

Such were the views of the ancient Greeks about Hades 
or Tartarus, and its punishment. There is consid^:«ble 
similarity in the above quotation to some descriptions 
given of hell torments by modem preachers. I shall 
leave all to their own reflection on it. One or two things 
I shall merely notice. 

1st. The doctrine of punishment in Tartarus seems to 
have originated with legislators, for the purpose of re- 
straining the passions of the multitude, and to alarm 
^' them on all sides with the most firighliul representa- 



tions." The Persians, Chaldeans, Egyptians and Greeks^ 
all introduced punishment after death. The Jewish na- 
tion is an exception. Some deistical writers have blamed 
Moses, as a legislator, for not introducing eternal punish- 
ment into his code of laws, as a curb on men against 
licentiousness. It is generally allowed that the punish- 
ments threatened in the Old Testament are of a temporal 

2d. From the above quotation it appears that though 
punishment after death in Tartarus was belieyed by the 
heathen generally, yet the better informed among them 
did not believe " in the &bles of heD," but turned them 
into ridicule. Juvenal took no part in those opinions of 
the vulgar; and Virgil says, "It was the province of 
philosophj^ alone, to shake oflF the yoke of cust(Hn riveted 
by education." Is it not then strange, that a doctrine 
which was invented by heathens, and treated with con- 
tempt by their own wisest men, should be a fundamental 
article in the faith of Christians? 

8d. I may just add, that, when the heathens were made 
converts to the Christian faith, all allow that many of 
their pluvious notions were soon incorporated with it. 
This, together with the erroneous views held by the Jew- 
ish converts, laid a foundation for mSi a corruption of 
Christianity, which, if it were not attested by evidence 
indisputable, could not be believed. That punishment in 
Tartarus is not a part of this corruption of Christianity 
derived from the heathen, deserves to be seriously c(Hisid- 
ered. The evidence we have adduced, proving mat it is, 
we submit to the reader's judgment. 

We have shown that neither Sheol, Hades, nor Teut- 
tarus, is ever used by the sacred writers to signify a place 
of endless misery for the wicked. This was all we weref~ 
boimd to do, in opposing the common (q[>ini(»i on diis sub- 
ject. But we have also shown that this opinion originated 
with the heathen, and that the Jews learned it from 
them. To invalidate the^ evidence which has been pr^ 
diioed, the very reverse must be proved. 



We have now arrived at a part of this inquiry which 
requires the utmost attention. It is generally believed 
that the New Testament teaches the doctrine of endless 
misery, and that Grehenna is the place in which it is 
suffeim. The truth or falsehood of this doctrine, then, 
depends upon the answer given to the following question : 
What is the scripture meaning and usage of the wOrd 



We have seen, from a consideration of the texts in which 
Sheol, Hades, and Tartarus occur, that these words 
never ought to have been translated hell, at least in the 
sense used by most Christians. Dr. Campbell and otherS| 
who believed, in endless misery, fiiUy confirm this. 

The word, and I believe the only word, supposed to 
express the place of this misery, is Grehenna. As Dr. 
Campbell conclusively proves that Sheol, Hades, and 
Tartarus, do not mean this place, he as positively asserts 
that this is always the sense of Grehenna in the New 
Testament. He wus writes in his sixth preliminary dis- 
sertation. Part ii. Sect. 1. '^ That Gehenna is employed' 
in the New Testament to denote the place of future pun- 
ishment, prepared for the devil and his angels, is indis- 
putable. In the Old Testament we do not find this placQ 
in the same manner mentioned. Accordingly, the word 
Gehenna does not occur in the Septuagint. It is not a 



Greek word, and, consequently, not to be found in tbe 
Grecian classics. It was oridnally a compound of the two 
Greek words, ge hinnonij tne valley of Hinnom, a place 
near Jerusalem, of which we hear first in the book of 
Joshua, 15 : 8. It was there that the cruel sacrifices of 
diildren were made by fire to Moloch, the Ammonitish 
idol, 2 Ghron. 33 : 6. The place was also called Tophet, 
2 Kings 23: 10; and that, as is supposed, firom the 
noise of drums, toph signifying a drum, a noise raised 
on purpose to drown the cries of the helpless infjants. As 
this place was, in process of time, considered as an emSlem 
qf hell, or the place of torment reserved for the punish- 
ment of the wicked in a future state, the name Tophet 
oame gradually to be used in this sense, and at lengdi to 
be confined to it. This is the sense, if I mistake' not, in 
which Gehenna, a syno^vmous term, is always to be un- 
derstood in the New Testament, where it occurs just 
twelve times. In ten of these there can be no doubt ; 
in the other two the expression is figurative ; but it 
scarcely will admit a question that the figure is taken 
from tnat state of misery which awaits the impenitent." 
With great reluctance I dissent from such a learned and 
sensible writer as Dr. Campbell. But he has taught me 
to call no man master. He encourages &ee inquiry, and 
teaches his readers that no doctrine ought to be believed 
Qierely because asserted by the learned and professed by 
the multitude. The quotation I have made contains 
essentially the views of all who believe Gehenna to sig- 
nify the place of endless punishment. With all due 
respect (or the learning of its author, I solicit attention 
to the following remarks upon it. 

1st Let it be observed how differently he speaks in the 
first and last part of it. In the first he says, '^ That 
Gehenna is employed in the New Testament to denote the 
place of future punishment prepared for the devil and 
WB angels, is indisputable." But in the last he says, 
'^ This is the sense, if I mistake not, in which Gehenna, 
^UaMXDymous term, is always to be understood in the 


Kew Testament/' Whether what he had written between 
the first and last sentences led him to hesitate about the^ 
word, I cannot say ; but sure I am that he was too shrewd 
a* man not to perceive, and too candid not. to own, the 
insufficiency of the evidence adduced to convince his 
readers. He does not usually depend upon assertions. 
He generally states evidence, and seldom &ils to convince. 
But here hia course is different. In attempting to make 
out tibe proof of what he asserts, I have been led to alter 
my opinion about the meaning of Gehenna. 

2d. Though Dr. Campbell says that this is always 
the sense of Gehenna in the New Testament, he denies 
that it is supported by the Old Testament. He says, 
'^ In the Old Testament we do not find this place in the 
same manner mentioned. Accordingly, the word Gehenna 
does not occur in the Septuagint. It is not a Greek 
word, and, consequently, not to be found in the Gredian 
classics." To me this is very strange. What ! are we 
to believe without evidence that the word Gehenna is 
taken from the Old Testament, and the sense of endless 
misery affixed to it by the New Testament writers, yet 
no intimation given of such a change? This we think 
ought to be inifisputably proved before believed. Unless 
they explain the word in this new sense, their hearers 
could not have understood them. 

3d. Dr. Campbell attempts to account for this change 
in the meaning of Gehenna in the following manner : 
^' As this place was, in process of time, considered as an 
emblem of hell, or the place of torment reserved for the 
punishment of the wicked in a future state, the name 
Tophet came gradually to be used in this sense, and at 
length to be confined to it." I am surprised that such 
an author should make this statement. He does not pre- 
tend that the New Testament writers explained the change 
made in the word, nor does he pretend that in any text 
Tophet was used as an emblem of a fixture helL^^ut how 
could it become an emblem ^ that not k nown at the 
time the Old Testament was written? Can one place be 


an emblem of another when the other is not known to 
exist 7* Dr. C. says, that ** neither Sheol, Hades, nor 
Tartarus, means a place of endless torment ; also, that 
Gehenna has not that sense in the Old Testaicnent; that 
it is not a Greek word, and is not found in the Grecian 
c^^ssics or the Septuagint.''* 

^Here, then, we have a place of endless punishment for 
which the Bible, in the original languages, ha^ no name ; 
for which even the copious Grecian classics a^rd no 
name ; for which our Lord and his apostles could find no 
name in the Old Testament. Hence they affixed a new 
sense to a word applied to the valley oi Hinnom, and 
lEat, too, without giving even an intimation of th e chang e ; 
and this they did when addressmg"^Jews who wef e fsuniBar 
with the Old Testament, opposed to Christ and his apostles, 
and j ealous of innovation^ Moreover, the change made 
is to teacETbn divine authority, the awful doctrine of end- 
less woe ! Judging from what Dr. C. says, it was not 
from the Old Testament. The change must have taken 
place between the completion of the Old Testament and 
the commencement of the gospel dispensation. If it began 
to assume this new sense before the Old Testament was 
completed, it had no authority from it ; for he declares 
that Gehenna does not occur in this sense in the Old 
Testament. This new sense, then, affixed to the word, 
is not of divine but of human origin; it rests on the 
authority of man, and not on the authority of God. I 
think tins cannot be denied, unless it is proved that our 
Lord informed those to whom he spake tiiat this was the 
sense in which it was now to be understood. But is 
anything like this to be found in the New Testam^oit ? 
Hence the very thing which ought to be proved is assumed. 

* It will doubtless be said by the objector that Tophet might be used 
as an emblem of heU, though it had not that signification in the Old 
Testament ; for a writer may properly borrow imagery from any source 
he pleases. Mr. Balfour did not deny this. We understand his argu- 
ment to be, that in the emblem there is nothing to authorize the idea 
of endless misery; and that if used for that jmrpose in the New Testa- 
taent, it must be because a new signification was giyen to the word. 

0. A.a 


But further ; there is something extremely suspicious 
in the W2Ly in which the change is said to have taken 

Elace. Ibd it been divinely authorized, it would not 
aye been effected gradually, but the sense would have 
been settled at once. "It came," he says, "gradually 
to be used as an emblem of hell, and at Idst to be confined 
to it." At what time it began to be so used, who had 
the honor of first introducing it, and how long before it 
came to be confined to it, we are not informed. The 
thing is barely asserted by Dr. Campbell ; no evidence of 
it is given. We have been at some pains to find evidence, 
but our labors have been entirely fruitless. But it may be 
said, Is it not^ evident that our Lord used Gehenna always 
and indisputably in this new sense ? It is certain, it is in- 
disputable, that Dr. Campbell has asserted this, without so 
much as attempting to prove it. But surely this ought 
not to be received on the assertions of any man. Only 
let it be proved that our Lord used Gehenna in this new 
sense, and I am forever silent on the subject 

In his Dissertation, already quoted. Dr. Campbell thus 
writes, in regard to the state of the dead : " It is plain 
that in the Old Testament the most profound silence is 
observed in regard to the state of the deceased, their joys 
or sorrows, happiness or misery. It is represented to us 
rather by negative qualities than by positive; by its 
silence, its darkness, its being inaccessible, unless by pre- 
ternatural means, to the living, and their ignorance about 
it. Thus much, in general, seems always to have been 
presumed concerning it ; that it is not a state of activity 
adapted for exertion, or indeed for the accomplishment 
of any important purpose, good or bad. In most respects, 
however, there was a resemblance in their fiotions on this 
'subject to those of the most ancient heathen." Thus 
lie did not believe that such a torment, or the name for 
meh a place, was known to the writers of the Old Testa- 
ment. Besides, he held that the Jews, from their inter- 
course with the heathen, learned the notion of pun- 
idmikent in hell. TherdTore, either he must greatly 


err in his statements, or endless punishment in hell is a 
heathen notion, and ought to be rejected by all Chris- 
tians. Surely our Lord did not speak to the Jews about 
Gehenna in a sense it had not in their sacred books, 
but in that given it by mere human authority. Did he 
use a scripture word in a sense which man's wisdom 
teacheth ? Are we to believe that he who said to the 
Jews, " Full well ye reject the commandment of the Lord 
that ye may keep your own traditions," thus gave them 
countenance by his example 7 Admitting, for argument's 
sake, that Gehenna was made fh^ emblem of a place of 
endless torment, I ask, by what name wasit called before 
^is new sense was affixSi to the word 7 ""Dr. ^Campbell 
says it came gradually to mean this place, and at last to 
be confined to it. Before it was thus used, was such a 
place known, and ty what word or phrase waTlt desig^ 
nated ? Or was it a nameless fj^ml jJi so, hoy could 
they speak about it 7 But it seems men came ^idually 
to use Gehenna as an emblem of future torment, before 
^§y had any revelation about it. Cyfe thought places 
and thm^ were first known, and then names for them 
followed ; but here the case is very different In £act, 
there is something here which will not bear examination. 
I ask again, why were not men content to speak of hell 
as God directed, if indeed he had given any direction 1 Or 
did men first invent this place of torment, and tjien make 
Gehenna an emblem of it 7 Unless it is proved that our 
Lord used Gehenna in this new sense, will it not follow 
that such a place of torment is not mentioned in the 
Bible by the name Sheol, Hades, Tartarus, or Grehenna? 
If it is proved that he used Gehenna in this ' sense, does 
it not follow that he adopted a heathen notion, and has 
made it a principal article of belief to all his followers 7 
Further, Dr. Campbell says that at length the sense of 
the word was confined to a place of en^ess woe. But he 
cannot mean that it was confined to it by the Jews in 
reading the Old Testament Scriptures. Let any one 
consult the phu^ where it occurs, and see if it could be 



80 understood by them. If they did, it was a great 
misunderstanding of the passages ; for Dr. G. himself 
declares that in Uiis sense it does not occur in the Old 

4th. Dr. Campbell says that " Gehenna is originally 
a compound of the two Hebrew words, ge hinnom, the 
valley of Hinnom, a place near Jerusalem, of which we 
hear first in the book of Joshua, 15 : 8. It was there 
that the cruel sacrifices of children were made by fire to 
Moloch, the Ammonitish idol, 2 Ghron. 23 : 10, and that, 
as it is supposed, from the noise of drums, toph signify- 
ing a drum ; a noise raised on purpose to drown the cries 
of the helpless infants;" Here, then, is the origin of 
Gehenna ; and though it does not signify future torment, 
it occurs in the Old Testament in some sense. What 
that sense is ought to be carefully considered, and not 
departed from unless substantial reasons are assigned. 
According to Dr. Campbell, our Lord would not use 
Geheima in a di£ferent sense firom that of the Old Tes- 
tament; for in his fifth Dissertation, Part 2, Sect. 13, he 
says, **Our Lord, we find fi-om the evangelists, 
spoke to his countrymen in the dialect of their own 
Scriptures, and used those names to which the reading 
of the law and the prophets, either in the original or in 
the versions then used, had familiarized them. Our 
translators, and indeed most European translators, rep- 
resent him as using words which, even in their own trans- 
lations of the Old Testament, never occur, and to which, 
in fact, there is nothing there that corresponds in mean- 
ing." In his first Preliminary Dissertation, Part 1, Sect. 
1 and 2, he further says, " K the words and phrases 
employed by the apostles and evangelists, in delivering 
the revelation committed to them by the Holy Spirit, 
had not been agreeable to the received usage of the people 
to whom they spoke, their discourse being unintelligible, 
could hav^ conveyed no information, and consequently 
would have been no revelation to the hearers. Our Lord 
and his apostles, in publishing the gospel, first addressed 



themselves to their countrymen the Jem ; t, people who 
had, many ages before, at different periods, been favored 
with other revelations. As the writings of the Old Tes- 
tament are of a much earlier date, and contain an account 
of the rise and first establishment, together with a por- 
tion of the history, of the nation to whom the gospel was 
first promulgated, and of whom were all its first mis- 
sionaries and teachers, it is thence unquestionably that 
we must learn both what the principal facts, customs, 
doctrines, and precepts are that are alluded to in the 
apostolical writings, and what is the proper signification 
and extent of the expressions used." 

Here, it is admitted that '^ Our Lord spoke to his coun- 
trymen in the dialect of their own Scriptures, and used 
those names to which the reading of the law and the 

Erophets, either in the original or in the versions then used, 
ad &miliarized them." Taking as true the admission of 
Dr. C. in regard to the sense of Gehenna in thfe Old Tes- 
tament, we cannot suppose that our Lord used it in a dif- 
ferent sense, unless he was willing to mislead his hearers. 
To say that he used Gehenna in a new sense, is to " rep- 
resent him as using words in a sense which does not' 
occur in the Old Testament, and to which, in &ct, there 
is nothing there that corresponds in meaning." This, 
Dr. Campbell condenms, and declares t£at to the writ- 
ings of the Old Testament we must go, to learn "the 
proper signification and extent of the expressions used in 
the new." Let us, then, turn to the Old Testament, and 
learn the " signification and extent " of G^htbna in the 

What, then, is the meaning of Gehenna in the Old Tes- 
taments Li what sense or senses is it used there? I 
answer in the two following. 

1st. Literally. Dr. Campbell allows that " it is origi- 
nally a compound of the two Hebrew words, gehinnom^ 
the valley of Hinnom, a place near Jerusalem, of which 
w© hear first in the book of Joshua, 15 : 8." The word 
ge^ or gia^ signifies a valley, and enm^ or ERnnom^ the 


name of its owner. The following are the places where 
it thus occurs. Josh. 15: 8; lo : 16; Neh. 11*: 30; 
2 Chron. 28 : 3, and 23 : 6 ; Jer. 32 : 35. From these 
texts we learn that kings and princes, priests and people, 
burnt their children to Moloch, and practised the most 
horrid abominations in the valley of Hinnom. The fol- 
lowing texts refer to the same scenes of wickedness, 1 
Kings 2 : 4—8 ; Ezek. 16 : 20, 21 ; 23 : 37—39 ; 
20 : 26—31 ; Amos 5 : 26 ; Acts 7 : 43. It was death, 
by the law of Moses, for any man to sacrifice his chil- 
dren to Moloch, Levit. 18 : 21. Comp. 20 : 16. 

In this valley of Hinnom was Tophet^ concerning 
which Calmet thus writes. "It is thought Tophet was 
the butchery, or place of slaughter at Jerusalem, lying 
south of the city, in the valley of the children of Hin- 
nom. It is also said that a constant fire was kept here, 
for burning the carcasses, and other filth, brought hither 
from the city. Into the same place they cast the ashes 
and reftiains of the images of false gods, when they de- 
molished their altars and statues. Isai. 30 : 33 seems 
to allude to this custom of burning dead carcasses in To- 
phet. Speaking of the defeat of the army of Senna- 
cherib, he says; ** For Tophet is ordained of old; yea, 
for the king it is prepared ; he hath made it deep and 
large ; the pile thereof is fire, and much wood-; the 
breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, doth kin- 
dle it.* Others think the name of Tophet is given to the 
valley of Hinnom because of the sacrifices offered there 
to the god Moloch, by beat of drum, to drown the cries 
of the consuming children." The idol god Moloch was 
worshipped in the valley of Hinnom. On the word 
Moloch, Calmet says : " The rabbins assure us that the 
idol Moloch was of brass, sitting on a throne of the same 

* Parkhurst renders this text, " For the furnace is already set in 
order: for the king (of Assyria namely), it is prepared," etc. But 
iras heU prepared for this king ? And if it refers to hell in another 
world, •' the pile thereof is fire and much wood." We have heard 
this text quoted to prove a hell in another world. 



metal, adorned with a royal crown, having the head of a 
calf, and his arms extended as if to embrace any one. 
When they would offer any children to him, they heated 
the statue within by a great fire ; and when it was burn- 
ing hot, they put the miserable victim within his arms, 
where it was soon consumed* by the violence of the heat; 
and, that the cries of the children might not be heard, 
they made a great noise with drums, and other instru- 
ments, about the idol. Others say that his arms were 
extended, and reaching toward the ground ; so that when 
they put a child within his arms, it immediately fell into 
a great fire which was burning at the foot of the statue. 
Others relate that it was hollow, and had internally seven 
partitions, the first of which was appointed for meal or 
flour ; in the second there were turtles, in the third an 
ewe, in the fourth a ram, in the fifth a calf, in the sixth 
an ox, and in the seventh a child. All these were burned 
together, by heating the statue on the inside." 

In 2 Kings 23 : 10, we are told that at the time of 
Josiah's reformation, *^ he defiled Tophet which is in the 
valley of the children of Hinnom, that no man might 
make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to 
Moloch.'' Concerning this, Prof. Stuart says, p. 141, 
''After these sacrifices had ceased, the place was dese- 
crated, and made one of loathing and horror. The pious 
king Josiah caused it to be polluted, 2 Kings 23 : 10, 
that is, he caused to be carried there the filth of the city 
of Jerusalem. It would seem that the custom of dese- 
crating this place, thus happily begun, was continued in 
after ages down to the period when our Saviour was on 
earth. Perpetual fires were kept up, in order to consume 
the offal which was deposited there ; and as the same offal 
would breed worms (for so all putrefying meat of course 
does), hence came the expression, * Where the worrn 
dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.' " Such is th^ 
origin of the phraseology in Mark 9 : 42 — 47, by Mr. 
Stuart's own showing. ** The worm that dieth not, and 
the fire that is not quenched," was not in a future 


Btate, bat in the valley of Hinnom. But I find gia 
enm^ or the valley of Hinnom, used in the Old Testa- 

2d. Symbolically. By comparing the texts referred 
to above with their contexts, it will be seen that, on ac- 
count of the crimes committed in the valley of Hinnom, 
(jod threatened to bring on the Jewish nation severe 
punishment, and as the valley of Hinnom, or Tophet, was 
the place where their horrid abominations had been com- 
mitted, so it is used as a symbol or figure to describe 
their punishment This is done by Jeremiah, chap. 19, 
and chap. 7. 

'' Thus saith the Lord, Go and get a potter's earthen 
bottle, and take of the ancients of the people, and of the 
ancients of the priests ; and go forth unto the valley of 
the son of Hinnom, which is by the entry of the *east 
gate, and proclaim diere the words that I shall tell thee ; 
and say, Hear ye the word of the Lord, kings of Ju- 
dah and inhabitants of Jerusalem : thus saith the Lord 
of hosts, the God of Israel : Behold, I will bring evil 
upon this place, the which, whosoever heareth, his ears 
shall tingle. Because they have forsaken me, and have 
estranged this place, and have burned incense in it unto 
other gods, whom neither they nor their fathers have 
known, nor the kings of Judali, and have filled this 
place with the blood of innocents ; they have built also 
the high places of Baal, to bum their sons with fire for 
burnt-offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor 
spake it, neither came it into my mind ; therefore, be- 
hold, the days come, saith the Lord, that this place shall 
no more be called Tophet, nor the valley of tlie son of 
Hinnom, but the valley of slaughter. And I will make 
void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place ; 
^and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their 
lienemies, and by the hands of tnem that seek their lives ; 
and their carcasses will I give to be meat for the fowls 
of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth. And I 
will make this city desolate, and an hissing ; every one 


that passeth thereby shall be astonished, and hiss because 
of all the plagaes thereof. And I will cause them to 
eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daugh- 
ters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his firiend 
in the siege and straitness, wherewith their enemies, 
and they that seek their lives, shall straiten them. Then 
shalt thou break the bottle in the si^ht of the men that 

E) with thee, and shalt say unto wem. Thus saith the 
ord of hosts : Even so will I break this people and this 
city, as one breaketh a potter's vessel, that cannot be 
made whole again ; and they shall bury them in Tophet, 
till there be no place to buiy. Thus will I do unto this 
place, saith the Lord, and to the inhabitants thereof^ 
and even make this city as Tophet ; and the houses of 
Jerusalem, and the houses of the kings of Judah, shall 
be defiled as the place of Tophet, because of all the houses 
upon whose roofs they have burned incense unto sdl the 
host of heaven, and nave poured out drink-ofierings unto 
other gods. Then came Jeremiah from Tophet, whither 
the Lord had sent him to prophesy ; and he stood in the 
court of the Lord's house, and &.id to sdl the people. 
Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the Gtod of Israel : Behold, 
I will bring upon this city and upon all her towns all the 
evil that I have pronounced against it, because they have 
hardened their necks, that they might not hear my 
words." Chap. 7 : ver. 29—34. " Cut off thine hair, 
Jerusalem, and cast it away, and take up a lamenta.- 
tion on high places ; for the Lord hath rejected and for- 
saken the generation of his wrath. For the children of 
Judah have done evil in my sight, saith the Lord ; they 
have set their abominations in the house which is callea 
by my name, to pollute it. " And they have built the 
high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son 
of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in 
the fire ; which I commanded them not, neither came it 
into my heart. Therefore, behold, the days come, saith 
the Lord, that it shall no more be called Tophet, nor the 
valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of slaugh- 


ter; for they shall bury in Tophet till there be no place. 
And the carcasses of this people shall be meat for the 
fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth ; and 
none shall fray them away. Then will I cause to cease 
from the cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusa- 
lem, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the 
voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride ; for 
the land shall be desolate." 

No one can doubt, after reading these two quotations, 
that the Old Testament writers made the valley of Hin- 
nom or Tophet an emblem of punishment, and of future 
punishment, but not of future eternal punishment. It 
is equally evident that they made it an emblem of future 
temporal punishment to the Jews as a nation. Not a 
word is dropped that this punishment was to be in a fu- 
ture state of existence. No ; it is a prediction of mise- 
ries to be endured by the Jews for their sins. It is not 
mentioned as a punishment for wicked men generally, 
or for Jews and Gentiles indiscriminately. No; the 
Jews, as a nation, were to suffer this punishment. In 
this prediction they are reminded of the crimes they had 
committed against the Lord in the valley of Hinnom, 
and it is used as an emblem of the punishment he was 
to inflict upon them. This is very apparent from the 
following verses in the above quoted passages, Jer. chap. 
7 : 20, 21, and 19 : 4, 5. No man, we think, can read 
these predictions of the prophet, without recognizing 
that our Lord, in the following texts, referred to the same 
punishment. " That upon you may come all the right- 
eous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of right- 
eous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, son of Barachias, 
whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. For 
then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the 
beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall 
be. And except these days should be shortened, there 
should no flesh be saved. For these be the days of 
vengeance, that all things which are written may be ful- 
filled.'' Matt. 23 : 35, and 24 : 21, 22; Luke 21: 22. 




Yes, the days referred to were indeed the days of ven- 
geance, and the things which €rod had long predicted 
were fulfilled, and the above quoted predictions of Jere- 
miah were surely of the number/ But, that we may see 
more particularly what Jeremiah made Oehenna or To- 
phet an emblem of, it is necessary to point this out by 
going over the above predictions. 

Ist. The prophet predicts that the valley of Hinnom 
should be to the Jews the valley of slaughter, and that 
they should bury in Tophet till there should be no place 
to bury. In proof of its exact fulfilment, I quote the 
following firom Macknight, on Matt. chap. 24. He says : 
" Besides, in the progress of the siege, the number of 
the dead, and the stench arising from their unburied car- 
casses, must have infected the air and occasioned pesti- 
lence. For Josephus tells us that there were no less , 
than six hundred thousand dead bodies carried out of 
the city, and suffered to lie unburied." It should be 
recollected that the valley of Hinnom was in the immedi- 
ate vicinity of Jerusalem. We see, then, this part of 
Jeremiah's prediction literally and minutely fulfiUed. 

2d. Jeremiah further predicts " that their carcasses 
also should be meat for the fowls of heaven and for the 
beasts of the earth.'' K the fowls of the air and beasts 
of the field did not feed on their carcasses, it was not for 
want of opportunity, for six hundred thousand of their 
carcasses lay unburied. This part of the prediction was 
also literally fulfilled. 

3d. Jeremiah also predicts that '^ in the straitness of 
the siege they should eat the flesh of their children." 
This was also fulfilled in the siege of Jerusalem, as Jo- 
sephus, their historian, testifies. 

4th. He further predicts that " their land should be 
desolate." This it soon became after the destruction of 
the city and temple, and in this state, in a great measure, 
it remains until this day. 

, 5th. Again, the prophet predicts " that their city 
should be as Tophet." We have seen tha.t he said be- 


fore, " the valley of Hinnom should be to them the val- 
ley of slaughter, and that they should bury in Tophet 
till there should be no place to bury." It is evident, 
&om the prophet's prediction, that the city of Jerusalem 
should be as Tophet, or like unto Tophet. Tophet is used 
as an emblem, to describe the misery in whicn it was to 
be involved by the judgments of G}od. And why, it may 
be asked, was Tophet made an emblem of those temporal 
miseries, rather than anything else ? To this I answer, 
that no temporal miseries, past or future, could equal 
them in severity, and no place known to a Jew could be 
more fitly chosen by the prophet as an emblem to repre- 
sent them. 

6th. The prophet adds, that " all the evil which the 
Lord had spoken he would bring upon them." The fol- 
lowing words of the apostle, 1 Thess. 2 : 16, suflSciently 
explain this, '*for the wrath is con\e, or coming upon 
them to the utmost." And the words of our Lord, quoted 
above, "for these be the days of vengeance, that all 
things that are written may be fulfilled." Luke 21 : 22. 
This part of the prediction, compared with these pas- 
sages,'' shows that the prophet did refer to the dreadful 
punishment which God brought upon the Jewish nation 
at the end of the world, or age, and described Matt. 24. 
For '^ all the evil which the Lord had spoken," he did 
not bring upon them, until the destruction of their city 
and temple by the Roman army. 

Such are the principal things contained in this proph- 
ecy of Jeremiah. It is then put beyond all fan: debate, 
that Grehenna was made an emblem of punishment to 
the Jews ; and nothing but ignorance of their own Scrip- 
tures could prevent their fully knowing this. It was made 
an emblem of temporal punishment, and a very striking 
emblem indeed. But that it was made an emblem of 
eternal punishment to the Jews, or any of the human 
race, does( not appear fi*om this prophecy of Jeremiah or 
any other part of the Bible. We hope these things will 
be kept in view, as they have a very important bearing 


on the passages about Gehenna in the New Testimeni 
Gehenna, the valley of Hinnom, or Tophet, is made by 
Jeremiah an emblem of the temporal calamities coming 
on the Jewish nation. That in this very way it is used 
in the New Testament, we shall show when we come to 
consider the passages where it occurs. Dr. Campbell is 
80 far correct, then, in saying that Gehenna was made an 
emblem of punishment; but he is certainly wrong in 
saying that it was made an emblem of fiiture eternal pun- 
ishment for the devil and his angels, or any other beings 
in the universe. Supposing Gehenna to have been 
made an emblem of the place of eternal torment to the 
wicked, it is certain that it was not done by the Old Tes- 
tament writers. Dr. Campbell assures us that in this 
manner it does not occur in the Old Testament. That 
he is correct in this, is plain from the places in which it 
occurs. Is it not, then, deserving particular notice, that 
the Old Testament writers should use the term Gehenna 
as an emblem of temporal and not of eternal punishment; 
and yet we are told that in process of time it came to be 
used as an emblem of eternal punishment ; but no man 
can tell us on whose authority this was done ? 



Before we consider the texts, where Gehenna occurs in 
the New Testament, it is of importance to notice the fol- 
lowing fa<5ts. They have been altogether overlooked, or 
:but little attended to in discussions on this subject. 


l^t. The term Gehenna is not used in the Old Testa- 
ment to designate a place of endless punishment. Dr. 
Campbell declares positively that it has no such meaning 
there. All agree with him; a^d this should lead to 
careful inquiry whether in the New Testament it can 
mean a place of endless misery. This has been too long 
believed without examination. The admitted &ct that it 
has no such sense in the Old Testalnent ought to create 
the suspicion that its sense is misunderstood in the New. 

2d. Those who believe Gehenna designates a place of 
endless punishment in the New Testament, entirely over- 
look its meaning in the Old. All admit its literal original 
signification to be the valley of Hinnom. But not 6ne 
of them takes the least notice that Gehenna was used also 
by Jeremiah, as a source of imagery or emblem, to 
describe the punishment God threatened to the Jewish 
nation. But why overlook this sense of it in the Old 
Testament 7 Is it not possible, yea, is it not probable, 
that this may be its sense in the N^w ? All critics admit 
the language of the New Testament is derived from the 
Old, and ought to be interpreted by it. 

3d. Those who'believe Gehenna in the New Testament 
designates a place of endless punishment give it this 
sense on mere human authority. Dr. Campbell, above. 
says, Gehenna came gradually to assume this sense, and 
at last came to be confined to it. But no divine author- 
ity is referred to for the change. Professor Stuart refers 
to the later Jews, the Babbinical writers, as authority : 
and finally tells us, '^ Gehenna came to be used as a 
designation of the infernal regions, because the Hebrews 
supposed that demons dwelt in this valley." But who 
can believe the term Gehenna in the New Testament is 
used in a sense which originated in a silly, supersti- 
tious notion ? 

4th. The word Gehenna only occurs twelve times in 
the New Testament. The following are all the texts. 
Matt. 5 : 22, 29, 30, and 18 : 9 ; Mark 9 : 43—47 ; 
Luke 12 : 5 ; Matt. 10 : 28, and 23 : 15, 33 ; James 


8 : 6. The rendering of Gehenna in these texts is 
uniformly hell in the common version. The &ct that 
Gehenna is only used twelve times in the New Testament 
deserves notice ; for Dr. Campbell and others say, this is 
the only word in the Bible which designates a place of 
endless punishment. If this is true, the place of endless 
punishment is only mentioned twelve times. But, really, 
(Jehenna was not used even twelve times. It occurs 
eleven times in the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, 
which all know are only three histories of the same 
discourses in which Gehenna was used by our Lord. 
Viewing the subject in this light, few words of such 
importance occur so seldom in the New Testament as the 
word Gehenna. I notice this, to show the difference 
between our Lord and modem preachers as to the fre- 
quency of their use of the word hell. Allowing it used 
twelve times in the New Testament, this is not so often 
as many preachers use it in a single sermon. 

6th. The word Gehenna is used by our Lord, and by 
James, but by no other person in the New Testament. 
Any person who can read English may satisfy himself 
of this fact, by reading the texts referred to above. John 
wrote the history of our Lord, as well as Matthew, Mark 
and Luke ; but he does not use Gehenna either in his 
gospel or epistles. What is more remarkable, Luke, 
though he uses Gehenna once in his gospel, does not use 
it in Acts, which contains the history of the apostles' 
preaching for thirty years. Paul, Peter and Jude are 
entirely silent about Gehenna, which is very strange, if 
it designated a place of endless punishment. The writ- 
ings of those persons who do not use it form two thirds of 
the New Testament. But, surely, it is a very natural ex- 
pectation, warranted by the frequent mention of other 
important subjects, that all the writers in the New 
Testament should often speak of Gehenna, if it means a 
place of endless misery. And if thev believed this, yet 
were silent about it, they were not so faithful as most mod- 
em preachers. But can any man believe that our Lord's 


disciples understood him to mean by Gehenna a place of ' 
endless misery, yet most of them never said aword about 
it in their preaching, or in their letters to the churches ? 
Is it at all probable that they would lay aside the term used 
by our Lord to designate such a place, and adopt some 
other language to express it ? We strongly doubt this. 
6th. All that is said about Grehenna in the New Testa- 
ment was spoken to Jews, and to Jews only. No Gtentile 
is ever threatened with Gehenna punishment. Any 
person can satisfy himself of this by simply reading the 
texts where Gehenna is used, with their respective con- 
texts. It is of no consequence to decide to whom the gos- 
pels were originally addressed, for, in the eleven places 
where our Lord used the term Gehenna, it is certain he 
was speaking to Jews. And in the only place where 
it occurs, it is certain James wrote to the twelve tribes 
which were scattered abroad. James 1 : 1, comp. chap. 
3:6. It forms no objection to this fact, ** that our 
Lord's ministry was among the Jews, and not among the 
Grentiles, hence hg^qpuld ngt say to the Grentile^. as to the 
Jews, * How can ye escape the damnation of fiell (Ge- 
henna)?" The apostles' ministry was among the Gen- 
tiles ; but tky W^ m. ^J^?S ifiU^em abo^ 
Gehenna in any shape whatever, whicn shows that the 
'^damnation of Gehenna" 5^nlv ppncernfifl tb^ .fews. 
This fact is of great importance m the present investiga- 
tion. Let us, then, attach what sense we please to the 
term, it is certain that Jews are the only persons con- 
cerned in its punishment. As proof of this it may be 
observed, that Matthew, Mark and Luke, are thought to 
have written their gospels for the use of the Jews," and 
in them Gehenna is used. It seems certain that John 
wrote his gospel for the use of the Gentiles, for he 
explains Jewish places, names, and customs, altogether 
unnecessary in writing to Jews. But it deserves 
especial notice that JfiEsf ^Q^ ^ftt. ^fistipji Grehenna, 
and omits all the discourses of our Lord in which he 
8poke*''or fE. If the damnation of Gehenna or hell 



182 6BHENNA. 

only concerned the Jews, we see a good reascm for sach 
an omission ; but if it equally concerned the Grentiles, 
how shall any man accoont/or the omission on rational 
and scriptural principles? Of Jews and Gentiles were 
aJ^ke concerned in the pumshment of Gehgnna, why 
were not both ialike admonished concerning it^ How, I 
ask, could the Gentiles avoid the punishment otGehenna, 
seeing no sacred writer said anything to them about it 7 
Does not this very omission prove that the New Testa- 
ment writers did not mean by Gehenna a place of endless 
misery, but that it designated the temporal punishment 
which Jeremiah predicted to the Jewish nation ? 

To the above it may possibly be objected,, ** Were not 
all the Scriptures written for the benefit of mankind ? 
Why, then, make this distinction between Jews and 
Gentiles ? " Answer : " Whatsoever was written afore- 
time was written for our instruction." But notwithstand- 
ing this, who does not make this very distinction ? As 
Gentiles, we may derive much instruction firom Matt., 
chaps. 23d and 24th ; but all allow that these two chap- 
ters had a particular reference to the Jews. In the first, 
some of the most important things occur which our Lord 
ever delivered respecting Gehenna. Who denies that 
the words, " Fill ye up then the measure of your 
fathers," had a special reference to the Jews as a nation ? 
By why not also the very next words, " Ye serpents, 
ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation 
of hell ? " And as this is the only instance where our 
Lord ever threatened the unbelieving Jews with the " dam- 
nation of Gehenna," and no sacred writer evetr threat- 
ened the Gentiles with it, who can doubt this punishment 
only respected Jews? This fact ought to lead all to 
suspect that our Lord, by Gehenna, meant the temporal 
punishment coming on the Jewish nation, and not a place 
of endless punishment. The man who can avoid such a 
suspicion must have some way of accounting for this and 
other facts of which I am ignorant. 

7th. Nearly all that our Lord said about Gehenna was 

0BfiBNNA. 188 

spoken to his own discipled. In the twelve places wKere it 
occurs, only in two instatices is there an allusion to the 
unbelieving part of the Jewish nation. In nine of the 
other instances our Lord was addressing his own disciples. 
They are the persons principally warned against Gehenna. 
In tihe only other instance James was addressing believing 
Jews of the twelve tribes scattered abroad. A reference 
to the texts will satisfy the reader as to the correctness of 
these statements. I then ask, if our Lord by Gehenna 
meant a place of endless misery, why was he so solicitous 
that his few disciples should escape this punishment, yet 
say so little concerning it to the unbelieving multitude 1 
How is this to be rationally and scripturally accounted 
for? Besides, he airways spoke about Gehenna to his 
disciples as a thing they might escape; but to the 
unbelieving Jews he said, " How can ye escape the dam- 
nation of hell 7 " Why warn those so often, who were in 
the least danger of Gehenna, yet only threaten once those 
in the greatest danger of it, if the common opinions on the 
subject are correct? Our Lord's conduct differs very 
much from that of preachers in the present day. What 
preacher now shows more solicitude that the few in his 
church should be saved from Gehenna or hell, than the 
multitude he considers living in disobedience? Why 
they act so differently from our Lord, I must leave for 
others to explain. 1 am satisfied that this can never be 
rationally accounted for on the common opinions re- 
specting Gehenna. I may add, either our Lord said a 
great deal too little about Gehenna, or hell, to the wicked, 
or modem preachers say a great deal too much. Which 
of these is the truth must be left for themselves to deter- 
mine. This, with the other facts above, must create 
more than a doubt that Gehenna in the New Testament 
does not mean a place of endless punishment. 

8th. Wherever Gehenna is mentioned in the New Tes- 
tament, the persons addressed are supposed to be perfectly 
acquainted with its meaning. No explanation is asked 
by the hearer, none is given by the speaker, nor ia it au^- 



posed by either to be necessary. The Jews were always 
the persons addressed about Gehenna. The first time oar 
Lord addressed his disciples about it, Matt. 5 : 22, they 
had no more occasion to ask him what he meant by G^ 
henna, thon what he meant by the judgment and council 
And when he said to the unbelieving Jews, ''How can 
ye escape the damnation of Gehenna 7" they understood 
as well what punishment he meant, as if he had spoken 
of stoning to death. If all this be true, and we think it 
indisputable, the question arises. Did the Jews our Lord 
addressed understand Gehenna to mean a place of end- 
leBS misery? As this is generaUy asserted, I have » 
right to ask, &om what source of information did they 
learn this sense of the word ? I can think of no other 
sources firom which they could possibly derive it, except 
the following : — 

1st From immediate inspiration. But no evidence of 
this can be produced ; nor is it even alleged by those 
who contend that Gehenna in the New Testament means 
a place of endless punishment. No man will assert this, 
who has considered the subject. 

2d. The preaching of John the Baptist. But this can- 
not be alleged, for John never said a word about Gehenna 
in his preaching, if a correct account is given of it in the 
New Testament. 

3d. The instructions or explanations of the Saviour. 
This, no man will aver who has read the four gospels ; 
for our Lord never explained Gehenna to mean the place 
of endless punishment. 

4th. The Old Testament. All admit that Gehenna is 
not used in the Old Testament to designate a place of end-, 
less misery. Dr. Campbell declared that in this sense it 
is not found there. 

5th. The assertions of uninspired men. This is the 
source whence originated the sense now given to Gehenna. 
Lideed, no higher authority is quoted Uian this ; no one 
contends that God first gave it such a sense. Dr. Gamp- 
bell said, '' Gehenna in process of time came to be used 

GEHEgKA. 185 

in this sense, and at length came to be confined to it" 
And Professor Stuart refers us to Rabbinical writers 
as his authority that Gehenna in the New Testament 
means a place of endless punishment. In fact, he traces 
the origin of this sense given to Grehenna, to the silly 
superstition among the Jews, who thought demons dwelt 
in the valley of Hinnom. • Such is the "way, the believers 
in endless hell torments say. Oehenna came to have such 
a sense attached to it. We presume no man can devise 
a better. 

But let us suppose the Jews understood our Lord, by 
Gehenna, to mean a place of endless punishment. How 
were they likely to relish such a threatening ? Not very 
well, for we shall see afterwards, from Dr. Whitby, that 
the Jews believed no Jew, however wicked, would go 
to hell. I ask, then, how was it possible for our Lord to 
say to the unbelieving Jews, "How can ye escape the 
damnation of hell?" without exciting their wrath and in- 
dignation against him ? But nothing is said in the four 
gospels that this threatening excited their indignation, 
or that it was ever brought up as an accusation against 

There is no evidence that the unbelieving Jews 'under- 
stood our Lord in one sense, and the disciples in another. 
No ; nor have we ever seen or heard that this has been 
alleged by any one. How, then, did both understand him 7 
I answer this question by asking, how ought they to have 
understood him according to the meaning of Gehenna in 
their own Scriptures ? Certainly either as meaning the 
literal valley of Hinnom, or symbol of the punishment 
God had threatened their nation, as seen from Jeremiah. 
In no other sense was Gehenna used in their Scriptures. 
In the last of these senses they must have understood 
him ; for when our Lord spoke to them of Gehenna, it 
was the punishment of Gehenna ; and that such a -pun- 
ishment had been threatened by Jeremiah, no Jew could 
be ignorant who was acquainted with the Scriptures. K 
ike Scriptures were the common source of information^ 

18ft GBHENHA. 

both to believing and unbelieving Jews, none of them 
could understand our Lord, by Gdienna punishment^ to 
mean endless punishment in a future state; for they con- 
tained no such information. Those who contend that the 
Jews so understood our Lord, are bound to inform us how 
they came by this information, seeing it was not found in 
their Scriptures. .Who taught them this doctrine ? Was 
it from heavQn or of men ? These are the questions at 
issue. To assume that Gehenna means a place of endless 
punishment, will not satisfy candid inquirers after truth. 
And to refer them to Babbinical authority for this sense 
of Gehenna, is plainly admitting that it cannot be sup- 
ported by a fair appeal to the Bible. 

We have some additional facts to produce, to show that 
Gehenna, in the New Testament, does not designate a 
place of endless misery to the wicked. But these will 
be more appropriately introduced, after we have consid- 
ered all the texts in die New Testament where the word 



That the term Grehenna, in the New Testament, desig- 
nates punishment, all admit, but the question is, What is 
that punishment? Is it endless punishment, as Dr. 
Campbell and others assert; or is it God's judgments ou 
the Jewish nation, in the destruction of their city and 
temple ? 

Some have alleged that Gehenna in the New Testa- 
ment might refer to "that dreadful doom of being 
burned afive in the valley of Hinnom." But this is fiur 
from being probable, for burning ailive in the valley of 
Hinnom was not a Soman punishment ; and in our liOid's 


day the Jews had not power to put any man legally t(f 
death, by any mode of punishment whatever. Burning 
alive in the valley of Hinnom was, in our Lord's day, 
unknown among the Jews. To this horrid practice, then, 
I think he could not allude when he threatened them 
with the damnation of Gehenna. 

Schleusner observes, that among the Jews " any se- 
vere punishment, especially a shameful kind of death, 
waa denominated Grehenna." If this remark is correct, 
it well agrees with the prediction of Jeremiah. He had 
used Gehenna as imagery to describe the punishment to 
be inflicted on the Jewish nation, when on them came all 
the righteous blood shed on the earth. That this pun- 
ishment was severe is certain. Our Lord declared, " For 
then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the 
beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall 
be. And except those d^s should be shortened, there 
should no flesh be saved." Matt. 24 : 21, 22. Josephus 
said, six hundred thousand dead bodies were carried out 
of Jerusalem and suffered to lie unburied. Their pun- 
ishment, then, was both severe and shameful, and might 
well be denominated Gehenna, for no place was more 
horrible to Jews than the valley of Hinnom. It was a fit 
emblem to describe their punishment. 

It cannot be consistently objected - by believers in end- 
less misery ,^ that the inspired writers made Gehenna an 
emblem of the temporal punishment which came on the 
Jewish nation, seeing they make it an emblem of endless 
punishment in a future state. To adopt the words of 
Mr. Stuart, " What could be a more appropriate term 
than this, when we consider the horrid cruelties and dia- 
bolical rites which had been there performed," to describe 
the carriage of the Jews in the destruction of their city 
and temple? But, let us attend to the passages, and 
see how they agree to this view of the subject. 

Matt. 5 : 22. " But I say unto you, that whosoever is 
angry with his brother without a cause, shall be in dan- 
ger of the judgment ; and whosoever shall say to his 


brother, Baoa, shall be in danger of tbeconncil ; but wh<v- 
soever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell 
(Gehenna) fire/' This is the first time Qehenna is men>- 
tioned in me New Testament and was addressed bj our 
Lord to his own disciples. K it means hell, the world of 
woe, I ask, were thej in so much more danger of going 
there than the unbelieving Jews, that he first warned 
them about it? Yea, was dieir condition so perilous that 
the chief thing said about Gehenna was addressed to 
them? But the passage or its context affords no proof 
that our Lord, by Gehenna, referred to a place of punish*- 
ment in a future state. This sense of Gbhenna is assumed, 
and in face of evidence to the contrary, as I shall now 

1st. In the passage there are three crimes and three 
punishments mentioned. No one supposes the two first 
refer to a future state. Why, then, should the third ? Is 
the crime of calling a brother a fool so much worse than 
the other two that it puts the person ''in danger of hell," 
or endless punishment ? 

2d. The question then is, what did our Lord mean by 
Gehenna fire, or, as Mr. Stuart renders it, " the fire of 
the valley of Hinnom" ? He says, "It is employed as a 
source of imagery, to describe the punishment of a future 
world, which the Judge of all hearts and intentions will 
inflict." But this is assuming the question in discussion, 
and deserves no regard. Schleusner says, " Any severe 
punishment, especially a shameful kind of death, was de- 
nominated Gehenna." Jeremiah, we have seen, describes 
the punishment of the Jews, as a nation, under the em- 
blem of Gehenna. This punishment was at hand, when 
our Lord addressed his disciples in this passage. What, 
then, did he mean by '* Gehenna fire " ? I answer; noth- 
ing can be more obvious from the Bible, than that fire 
is a common figure to express God's judgments on men 
for their sins. No man can doubt this who consults the 
following among otlier passages : Dent. 82 : 22 — ^25 ; 
Isai. 66 : 15, 16; 5 : 24, 25; 80 : 27—83 ; 9 : 18, 19 j 


10 : 16—18 ; Ezek. 22 : 18—22, 41. See, also, flie two 
first chapters of Amos. I shall only quote one or two 
examples in proof, respecting die Jews. Jeremiah, Lam. 
2 : 8, says, ^' God burned against Jacob like a flaming fire, 
which devoureth round about." And David says, PsaL 
89 : 46, '' Shall thy wrath bum like fire ? " It is con- 
tended, by believers in endless misery, that what is ex- 
pressed by the word punishment. Matt. 25: 46, is de- 
scribed figuratively by the word fire, verse 41. Thus, 
according to the figurative use of the term fire, and ac- 
cording to Schleusner, ** Grehenna fire " means " any 
severe punishment, especially a shameful kind of death." 
And we can be at no loss in determining to what punish- 
ment our Lord referred, as Jeremiah, under the emblem 
of Gehenna, predicted a most severe punishment to the 
Jewish nation. Where could he have found a more ap- 
propriate emblem than Gehenna ? It was certainly a 
more appropriate term to describe God's temporal pun-» 
ishment of the Jews, than to describe an eternal punish- 
ment in a future state of which we know nothing, for no 
description of it is given in the Bible. 

3d. Let us inquire what Gehenna fire our Lord's dis- 
ciples were in danger of. That they were in danger of 
the punishment God was about to iimict on their nation, 
no one will dispute. See how carefiil our Lord was, 
Matt. 24, in pointing out to them how they might escape 
this punishment. He tells them, verse 13, " He that 
shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." 
Saved from what 7 The context clearly shows ; they 
would be saved from this punishment coming on their 
nation. But the utmost watchfulness on their part was 
necessary, for this day of vengeance would come upon 
the nation unawares, Matt. 24 : 42 — 51. Compare 1 
Thess. 5 : 1 — 10. But where does our Lord show like 
earnestness in warning his disciples that they might es- 
cape Gehenna fire, or endless misery in a future state 1 

The following objection may perhaps be urged against 
the above view of this passage. '^ Allowing Gehenna to 



refer to the temporal punishment coming on the Jewish 
nation, why did calling a brother a fool subject to this 
punishment, rather than the other crimes mentioned 1 " 
Answer : As Grehenna fire, or God's temporal judgments 
on the Jews, is the greatest punishment mentioned in the 
passage, we may expect that the crime of which it is the 
punisnment was also the greatest. The word morekj 
rendered fool, Dr. Campbell renders miscreant ; and in 
his preface to Matthew's Gospel, says, ** The word mareh, 
here used by the evangelist, differs only in number from 
moritn, the compellation with which Moses and Aaron 
addressed the people of Israel when they said, Numb. 
20 : 10, with manifest and indecent passion, as rendered 
in the English Bible, ' Hear now, ye rebels ! ' and were, 
for their punishment, not permitted to enter the land of 
Canaan. The word, however, as it is oftener used to im- 
ply rebellion against God than against any earthly sov- 
ereign, and as it includes disbelief of his word as well as 
disobedience to his command, I think might be better 
rendered in this place miscreant, which is also, like the 
original term, expressive of the greatest abhorrence and 
detestation. In this way translated, the gradation of 
crimes as well as of punishments is preserved, and the 
impropriety avoided of delivering a moral precept, of con- 
sequence to men of all denominations, in words intelligi- 
ble only to the learned."* 

Matt. 6 : 28, 29. " And if thy right eye offend thee, 

* We haye here a reference to two oourts among the Jews ; one 
called the Judgment, and the other the Council The Judgment was a 
court composed of seven persons, and tried cases of murder. Hence 
the expression : " Ye haye heard that it was said by them of old time. 
Thou shalt not kill ; and whosoeyer shall kill shaU be in danger of the 
judgment" Appeals could be taken from this court to the Council or 
Sanhedrim, a court composed of seyenty-two persons, selected from 
among the principid men of the commonwealth. 

Not only are these two courts referred to, but the different modes of 
inflicting death among the Jews. The Judgment had its modes ; so 
also had the Council. The former inflicted the punishment of death 
Iqr strangling, and the latter by stoning, and other ways. Its authori- 
^ was very extencdye. It decided cases brought b&>re it hy appeal 

GBHENN^. 141 

{)lttck it out and cast it from thee ; for it is profitable for 
thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that 
thy whole body should be cast into hell (Gehenna). Apd 
if thy right nand offend thee, cut it off and cast it from 

from tlie infisrior courts ; and eyen the king, the high priests and the 
prophets, were under its jurisdiction. Before it were brought the gen- 
eral afi^kirs of the nation. The worst of all punishments known in his- 
tory were inflicted by it One of its extreme forms of punishment is 
mentioned in the text, and called hell firt. This consisted of being 
burned alive in the yalley of Hinnom. 

Here, then, we have tiie three modes of punishment to which the 
Saviour referred : strangulation, stoning, burning alive. But it may 
be said, this rather increases than settles the difficulties in the text ; 
for surely it cannot mean that those guilty of the offences named were 
to be subjected to these punishments: I grant this. I grant it be- 
cause the courts nsuned could not take cognizance of the sins here 
mentioned ; they could not, for they had no rights of this kind vested 
in them ; and &ey could not, for it was not posnble to know when 
Anger had possession of the heart It does not always find vent; it 
may be smothered, and burn within like a smouldering fire. This 
renders it certain tiiiat Christ did not mean that one who was angry 
without a cause should be strangled to death ; that oneidio should say 
Baca, should be stoned to death ; or that one who should say. Thou 
fool, should be burnt to death in ilie valley of Hinnom. I want this 
point remembered, for it is one of great importance, and has a direct 
bearing go. the question at issue betwe^i us and the advocate of aid- 
less misery. He contends that when Christ says, *' ShaU be in danger 
of hdl fire,'* he means shall be in danger of being doomed to a place 
of ceaseless woe in the eternal world, eaUed Gehenna. Now, if we 
say Christ used the Judgment, the Council, and hell fire, merely te 
represent the punishment to which the sin of anger would expose, and 
not to teach that those guilty of it in the several forms named should 
be dealt with by the courts mentioned, we admit that he uses G^enna 
here to represent punishment, and that it stands in the place of some- 
thing else. 

And here I would call attention to an important &ct If the Judg- 
ment is used to represent a punishment, the Council and hell fire are 
used in the same sense ; on the other hand, if hell fire is used to denote 
a place of endless woe, then the Judgment and the Council are used to 
denote, that those guilty of anger strangled and stoned to death. 
But this interpretation is against &ct ; for these courts never took any cog- 
nizance of the mere sin of anger, or the expression Raca ; and, thei^ore, 
if the Saviour taught that these sins would be punished by strangulation 
and stoning, he taught that which never occurred. In each case, then« 
he used the punishment referred to as a representative of that to 
which the sinner would be doomed. 

Let it be observed that there is a regular gradation to the punish- 
ments. Strangulation was regarded by the Jews as the easiest way % 


thee ; for it is profitable for thee that one of thy meni' 
bers should perish, and not that thy whole body should be 
cast into hell (Grehenna)." Here again our Lord was ad- 
dressing his own disciples ; and whatever was meant by 
Gehenna in verse 22, the same must be meant here, as all 
will allow. Let us then inquire, 1st. What our Lord 
meant by (Jehenna. On this text, Mr. Stuart says, 
" Most certainly this cannot be understood of a literal 
casting into Gtehenna ; for who was to execute such a 
punishment ? Not the Jewish courts ; for they had no 
cognizance of the offence which a man's right hand or 
right eye moved him to commit ; that is, they could not 
call in question and punish a member of the human body, 

man could be put to death ; being stoned was mucli more dreadful ; 
but being burnt alive in Gehenna was a death of horror and terrible 
disgrace. The idea, then, of the Master is this : The Jews say, that 
those who kill shall be put to death by the Judgment ', but L say, if 
you are angry without a cause, you shall suffer a punishment as severe 
as the death inflicted by the Judgment ; if you say Baca, you shall 
suffer a punishment as severe as being stoned ; but if you say Thou 
fbol, you shall suffer a punishment as severe as being burned alive in 
the valley of Hinnom. Thus in each case the temporal punishment 
spoken of was used to represent the severity of the punishment which 
God would inflict. 

If I am right here, G^enna does not mean, in this text, a 
place of torture in the next world, but simply the vaUey of Hinnom, 
where some of the worst criminals were burnt alive. Dr. Clarke says, 
" Our Lord here alludes to the valley of the Son of Hinnom." He 
also says, ** It is very probable that our Lord here means no more than 
this : If a man charge another with apostasy fh)m the Jewish religion 
or rebellion against God, and cannot prove his charge, then he is ex- 
posed to their punishment (burning alive), which the other must 
have suffered if the charge had b^n substantiated." The Doctor 
adds : " There are three kinds of offences here, which exceed each 
other in their degrees of guilt. 1. Anger against a man, accompanied 
with some injurious act 2. Contempt, expressed by the opprobriooa 
epithet, raca, or shallow-brains. 8. Hatred and mortal enmity, ex- 
pressed by the term moreh, or apostate, where such apostasy could not be 
proved. Now, proportioned to these three offences were &ree different 
degrees of punishment, each exceeding the other in its severity, as . 
the offences exceeded each other in their different degrees of guilt. 

1. The Judgment, which could inflict the punishment of strangling. 

2. The Sanhedrim or Great Council, which could inflict the punishment 
of stoning. And, 8. The being burnt aHve in the vaUey of the So^ of 
Hhmom. This appears to be the meaning of our Lord." O. A. & 


because it tempted its owner to sin. It must, llien, be a 
punishment which God would inflict. But was this a 
literal casting into the valley of Hinnom ? It may, how- 
ever, be said that the caution of the Saviour runs thus, 
* Avoid all temptation to sin, lest you bring on yourself 
the terrible punishment of being burned in the valley of 
Hinnom, in case you give way to any temptation.' This 
would be a possible interpretation, provided the crimes in 
question could be shown to be of such a nature as were 
punishable in this manner by the Jewish courts. But as 
this cannot be done, this exegesis seems to be &irly inca- 
pable of admission." On this quotation I remark, 

1st. We perfectly agree with Mr. Stuart that this 
cannot be understood of "the terrible punishment of be- 
ing burned in the valley of Hinnom." And we also agree 
with him that " it must then be a punishment which God 
would inflict." But, we ask, does God inflict no punish- 
ment but that of casting the whole body into hell, the 
world of woe ? But, 

2d. What does Gehenna in this passage mean? It is 
here used twice, but without the word fire being added. 
It is no doubt understood, however, from verse 22, no- 
ticed above, to which I here refer. Our Lord's warning 
here is more alarming, for he says twice, " And not that 
thy whole body should be cast into hell (Gehenna)." But 
to understand him as meaning that their whole body 
should be cast into a place of endless misery, is inadmis- 
sible. This sense of the term is entirely assumed, for 
nothing in the text or context authorizes such a construc- 
tion. But it does not accord with the facts of the case ; 
for an instance was never known of an individual having 
his whole body, or soul and body, cast into a place of 
endless misery. This is not done surely at any man's 
death, as every sexton in the world can testify. And to 
say it shall be done at the resurrection of the dead, is not 
only an unsupported assertion, but is contrary to all the 
texts which speak of the resurrection. It does not even 
accord with modem preaching. ' Who tells his audience 


Alt tlMir irtiok bodieB are to be cast into beD, the inkU 
9( woe } If it is to be done at the resnirectioii, then im- 
mortal, inoorraptible bodiea are to be cast into this place 
of endless misery. Besides, Christians are in great dan- 
srcrfthis; for, be it remembered, Christ was not speaking 
ire to widced people, but to his own disciples. But are 
modem Christians mnch afraid that their whole body is 
to be cast into endless misery ? But understand our 
Lord here to use Gehenna^ as Jeremiah did, as a sonrce 
of imagery to describe the punishment God was aboat to 
inflict on the Jewish naticm, and all is plain and ccmsist- 
ent Wh^it came upon diem, there was even a literal 
casting into*the valley of Hinnom. Did not Jeremiah 
say the valley of Hinnom was to be to the Jews the valley 
of slanghter ; and that they shoold bniy in Tophet tiU 
there was no place? And does not Josephns declare 
that six hundred thousand of the carcasses of the Jews 
were cast oat of Jerosalem and lay nnburied ? And who 
will deny that God inflicted this pun&hment, althongh he 
used human agents to accomplish it ? Viewing the sub- 
ject thus, we see good reason for what our Lord here said 
to his disciples about Gehenna. If anything dear to them 
as a ri^t eye or right hand proved a temptation to sin 
or apostacfy, they must part with it This was profitable 
to them, for only he who endured to the end should be 
saved. If they ccmtinued faithful and obeyed his instruc- 
tions, they should escs^ the danmation of Gehenna; that 
punishment which the unbelieving part of the nation 
oould not escape. "V^ 

Matt 10: 28. <<Fear not them who kill the body, 

* Dr. Balloa, in toL L of the UniTeraalist Qnarteriy, has the follow- 
ing critidam upon Hub text. He says : " We take it ftr gnoited, 
that this passage is metaphoricaL For nobody, so &r as we have 
learned, supposes the real meaning to be what the words literally ex- 
press, namely, that we shoald extract, or amputate, one of our mem- 
bers, in certain cases, lest it should be tiie means (^ destroying oar 
whole body. True, it may sometimes be advisable to submit to such a 
mutilation, in order to preserve our lives ; but still, this is not the 
4aty whioh ciqx Savioor here aims to enforce, nor is it, prcfmtj speak 

' GBSqENlfA. 145 

but are not able to kill the soal ; but ratiher fear lum wbo 
is able to destroy both soul and body in hell (Gbhenna)." 
The following are all the remarks Mr. Stuart makes on 
this passage: ^^The body might, indeed, be literally 

ing, the sabject he is treating of, notwithstanding it IB the import of 
his language when taken literally. He uses tlus well-known example 
of a most painful sacrifice £)r the preserration of corporeal life, only 
that he may the more strongly enforce a corresponding solicitude to 
preserve the moral life of the soul. This, we suppose, aU will admit 
to have been his object , 

<*And if so, it naturally follows that those promin^it particulars in 
the passage, which literally relate to the body, are to be understood as 
figures, and interpreted accordingly ; the right eye or hand,^^ pluck- 
ing of it out or cutting it ofif, the perishing of one memfli of the 
body, and the casting of the whole body into Gehenna, or the yalley 
of Hinnom (translated in our common version, hell), all are meta- 
phorical, meaning something else, of a moral or spiritusil nature. That 
IS, the right eye or hand becoming an offence, means som^ing else 
than is literally expressed ; so does the plucking of it out, or cutting 
it off ; also, the perishing of one member of the body, and the casting 
of the whole body into Gehenna, likewise mean aomething else than is 
literally expressed. These are but the ^ures which are employed to 
denote other ideas. This consideration, which grows directly out of 
the obvious character of the passage, has not been sufficiently attended 
to, by interpreters ; and» of course, their ezpositiona haye been pro- 
portionably confused. 

'* It may help us to the natural and consistent view of the text, if 
we take the precaution, io the first place, to distinguish between ihQ 
outward frame-wo4(:^ of Jjiila^hail^of which it is composed, and the 
meaning which the whUH^ was designed to conv^ : just as we would 
distinguish between the literal story in a parable, and its signification 
or moraL Now, the imagery, or figurative representation in the texjt, 
when taken literally, is this 4 that ^ one's eye or hand become t6 him 
an offence, or cause of danger, it is better for him to part witl^^t, even 
though it be a right eye, or right hand, than to let it remain to corrupt 
and finally mort^y the whole body, making it a loathsome carcass, fit 
only to be thrown into that abominable receptacle of filth, the valley 
of Hinnom, or Gehenna. To the feelings of a Jew, it was the most 
horrible ignominy to have his corpse unburied, cast into that desecrated 
place, where the worms were perpetually swarming over the mass of 
ofiSed, garbage and dead bodies, while a fire was sdways kept burning 
to consume the remains. Such, then, is the form of the metaphor 
here employed. But the meaning which the figure was designed to 
convey, appears to be, that it is better to deny ourselves everything, 
howsoever innoc^it and even valuable in itself, if it become to us an 
occasion of sin, lest it should be the means of depraving the whole 
heart and life, and thus oi bringing upon us the most drea^fhl oonse- 
qoenoes, — consequences that are aptly represented in the figure, by 


146 QEHENlfA. 

burned in the Tallej of Hinnom ; but the immaterisl, ii 
mortal soul — is tnat to be literally burned there ? " We 
answer, no ; for no Universalist holds any such opinum, as 
Mr. Stuart knows. But we ask him, in turn, How is he to 
punish the whole body or soul and body in his hell, with- 
out fire or some other means of to!rment? If soul and 
body are to be tormented there, why not employ fire 
lust as well as anything else to do it ? Was not his hell 
long considered a place of literal fire and brimstone ? Do 
not some still -speak of it as such? Is his immaterial, 
immortal soul to be burned there? But let the punish- 
ment q£ his hell be what he pleases, if it is taught in this 
text, SDul and body, according to his'yiews, are to be 
destroyed there. 

But we ask Mr. Stuart, where the Scriptures speak 
of an ''immaterial, immortal soul" ? Has he forgotten 
that he told us psuhe, Acts 2 : 29, which is the same 
word for soul in this text, means me? See its corre- 
sponding word, nephiski Psal. 16 : 10. Until he proves 
man has an immaterial, immortal soul, it is premature to 
speak of it as being burned in any place. 

But let us attend to the passage, and see what our Lord 
taught by it. Here, as in the preceding texts, he ad- 
dressed his disciples, and taught them how to conduct 
themselves in preaching the gospel. The text and the 
context show that he was not speaking of a future state^ 
but fortifying their minds in view of the difficulties ihey 
were about to encounter. The passage says, Ist '' Fear 

having one's dishonored and putrid corpse thrown into the aooursed 
TaUey of Hinnom. It will be perceiyed, at once, that this exposition 
IbUows the figure out consistently to the end, by a perfectly eai^ and 
natural application of it." 

We regard the above comment to be of great value, and as proving 
beyond all question that Gehenna was not used in this text, as the 
name of a place of future misery. There is a difference, we are aware» 
between Dr. Ballou's opinion and Mr. Balfour's. WMle both deny 
that there is any reference to an endless hell, Mr. Ballou thinks that 
Gehenna is used as a figure of punishment, and Mr. Balibur to denote 
the national judgment % which the Jews should be destroyed. 

0. A, a 

aBHENKA. 147 

not t^m wliich kill the body but are not able to kill the 
80ul (psuhe)^ By the body {soma), all allow is meant 
the fleshly part of man, which is here and in other places 
distinguished from his psuhe, soul or life. The perscms 
who might kill the body were many, and are desimated 
by the plural word, them. The term here render^ kill, 
means to slay, to put to death, as its scripture usage 
shows. It is here said men can kill the body, " but are 
not able to kill the soul." What, then, is meant by the 
80ul ? Mr. Stuart and others say the immaterial, im- 
mortal soul which, after death, is susceptible of happi- 
ness or misery in a disembodied state. But this must 
not be assumed. No proof is offered. Th&t psuhe, here 
rendered soul, often means the life, is evident. It is 
rendered life in verse 39 of the context. But it may be 
objected, if soul only means here the life, is not it killed, 
when men kill the body ? We answer no, fer this is most 
expressly denied in tne passage. They ''are notable 
to kill the soul." In one siense they do kill it, namely, 
tbe soul 6r life is no longer in the body. But it is not 
killed, for at death the soul or spirit returns to God who 
gave it. Ecd. 3 : 19 — 22. It returns to the fountain of 
Ufe, and is to be restored to man, an immortal life, in the 
resurrection. After this, man shall not die any more, 
but shall be equal unto the angels whidi are in heaven. 
Until this period, man's life is hid with Ofarist in God. 
It is laid up for him, and will then be restored to him. 
So &r as I can find from Scripture, man is now mortal, 
but is to be constituted immortal in the resurrection. In- 
deed, if he was now immortal, neither God n9r man could 
kill him ; for can that which is immortal die ? But we 
are told in the next part of the verse that God is '' able to 
destroy both soul and body.'' This God ca^i do, for if it 
pleased him he could blot man forever out of existence. 
2d. '' But rather fear him, who can destroy both soul 
and body in hell (Gehenna)." The word him, in this 
part of die passage, refers to some one who is placed in 
contrast to ^em in the first part of the- verse. This is 


obvioTis. The question is, to what one did our Lcnrd 
refer 7 K it is said, it refers to . man, the question 
returns — what man 7 I also ask, how could Uiis one 
man do what more than one are said, in the former part 
of the verse, not to be able to do ? If it is said, the civil 
magistrate is the man referred to, I then ask, could he 
kill the soul or life, which others could not do? Could 
he " destroy both soul and body "7 If so^ then Grod 
himself coiud do no more than this. But unless it caxi 
be shown that destroying '^ both soul and body in Gehen- 
na " was a punishment inflicted by the civil magistrate 
in our Lord's day, it is not at all probable that our Lord 
referred to him. Besides, why should his disciples fear 
the civil magistrate in this case, yet be commanded not 
to fear them who kill the body 7 Were his disciples to 
have no fear of others who killed them, yet to fear the 
civil magistrate, whose power could not go mudi beyond 
this 7 Perhaps it may be said, acc(M*ding to Schleusner, 
'^ Any severe punishment, especially a shameful kind of 
death, was denominated Gehenna. This the civil mag- 
•istrate could inflict on Christ's disciples, and hence they 
are here exhorted to fear him." But if this was our Lord's 
meaning, his disciples paid little regard to his words, as 
their future hist(M*y dLows. In the execution of their 
missi(»^ they do not seem to have feared even the civil 
authority, so as to be deterred from their duty. 

Who, then, is referred to by the word Aim, whom the 
disciples were commanded to fear 7 God, we think, is the 
being spoken of. He ^4s able to destroy both soul and 
body in hell (Gehenna)." It will not, I presume, be 
questioned that the terms rendered kill and destroy are, 
in this verse, used as in the other part of the text. As 
the word kill cannot mean merely to hurt or punish the 
body in the first clause of the first part of the verse, so 
neither can it mean to hurt or punig^ the soul in the sec- 
ond clause. And, in the seccmd part of the verse, the 
word destroy is used as an equivalent to the word kill 
in the first ; aod what man in the first part is not able 


GEHENNA. 149^ 

to do, God, in the second, is able to do. God: '' is able 
to destroy both soul and body in hell (Gehenna)." That 
the terms rendered kill and destroy, are used to express 
the same thing will appear from the following : — 

1st. Let us notice &e word (ipokteino^ here rendered 
kill. Its general usage is to slay, kill, or put to death. 
Mark 8 : 4, is the only text where it is used to express 
the killing of the soul or life. ** Is it lawful to do good 
on the sabbath days, or to do evil ? To save life {psur 
hen) J or to ]sSl{apoktein6) 1 " But in the parallel text, 
Luke 6 : 9, the word rendered destroy is used to express 
the same idea. '^ Is it lawful on the sabbath days to 
do good, or to do evil 7 To save life (psuhen\ or to 
destrojr (apolesai) it ?" Let the reader notice tne same 
term, psuhe, soul, in the text in question, is in these texts 
rendered life, and it is said can be killed or destroyed. 
But can this psuhe, soul, mean an immortal soul? 
And can it be killed or destroyed 1 We should think 
not No sacred writer mentions an immortal soul. Why, 
then, should it be contended that this is the sense of the 
passage before us? See Bom. 7: 11; Eph. 2: 16; 2 
Cor. 3 : 6, where apokteino is used, but without any re- 
lation to our present subject. Let us now notice, 

2d. The word apoUumi, here rendered destroy. This 
term, we have just seen, is used by Luke, in chap. 6 : 9, 
as equivalent to apokteino, kill, in Mark 3:4; and both 
words are in these texts applied to killing or destroying 
the psuhe, soul, or life. The term apollumi is also used 
in the following texts to express destroying the psuhe, 
soul or life. Matt. 10: 39, "He that findeth his life 
(jDSuhen), shall lose (apolesei) it; and he that loseth 
(apolesas) his life (psuhen), shall find it." But must 
a man lose his immortal soul before he can find it? 
Again, Luke 17: 38, "Whosoever shall seek to save 
his life {psuhen), shall lose (apolesei) it; and whoso- 
ever shall lose {apolesei) his bfe, shall preserve it" Is 
it then true that the man who seeks to save his immortal 
soul is sure to lose it ; and he who shall lose it is certaiii 



to save it? This h lerersing wliat is said alxnit immoT' 
lal souls and their salfaticm in the present day. But 
again, John 12: 25: '^He that loveth his life (jifsu- 
hen), shall lose (apolesei) it; and he that hateth hia life 
(vsMheri) in this world, ^nall keep it unto life eternal" 
u psuhe, soul, means an immortal soul, then the true 
way to secure its salvation is not to bve it, but to hate 
it in this world. Again, Matt. 16 : 24, 26, " For whoso- 
ever will save his life {psuhen), shall lose {apolesei) it^ 
and whosoever will lose {apolesei) his life {psuhen), for 
my sake, shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he 
shall gain the whole world, and lose ms own soul 
(vsuhen) 7 " See the same thins stated, Mark 8 : 86— 
SV, also m Luke 9 : 24, 25, with wis variation, '' and lose 
(apolesas) himself, or be cast away." How castaway ? it 
may be asked. I answer, just as the unbelieving Jews 
were, Rom. 11 : 15. Comp. 1 Cor. 9 : 27 ; Luke 9 : 66. 
'^ For the Son of man is not come to destroy (apolesai) 
men's lives {psuhas), but to save them." 

It is now obvious that, in a considerable number of 
texts, the soul or life is said to be destroyed. But who 
supposes (unless grossly ignorant of the terms psuhe 
and apollumiy and, still worse, shutting his eyes to the 
context) that soul means anything more than me or per- 
son in me texts which have just been quoted ? Let life or 
person be read instead of soul in them all, let their con- 
texts be attended to, and no man can think an immortal 
soul is meant in any one of them. Or, let immortal soul 
be read instead of life, where the word is so rendered, and 
ihe absurdity of the supposition that this was the writers' 
meaning, is at once manifest. 

But the question will probably be asked, Why does 
Matthew in this text make a distinction between soul and 
body, if soul does not mean an immaterial, immortal soul ? 
Attention to the following remarks will place this subject 
in its true light. It is admitted by all that in scripture 
style a part is sometimes put for the whole, and some- 
times the whole is put for a part, of the thing c^Kdcen 


aboat Man, considered as a whole, is one individual 
person. But this person is in Scripture divided into three 
parts, sirma^ body; psuhe soul or life; and pneuma^ 
spirit It is with the two first of these distinctions we 
are principally concerned in the passage before us. Notice, 
then, that the psuhe, or life, is often put for the whole 
man, or person. So is its corresponding word, nephish, 
in the Old Testament. Take the following texts as ex- 
amples, where nephish is rendered soul, and is used to 
express the whole man, or the person himself Gen. 12 : 
18; 19: 20; Exod. 12: 16; Levit. 5:2; 20: 
11 ; Numb. 11 : 6 ; 31 : 28. Take the following texte 
as a specimen, where psuhe is rendered soul, and is used 
to express the whole man, or the person himself Acts 
27: 37; 1 Peter 3: 20; Rom. 13: 1; Acts 8: 23. 
Psuhe is also rendered life, and used to express the whole 
man. or person, in Matt. 2 : 20 ; John 10 : 15, and other 
texts. Take, now, the following texts, as a specimen, 
where the soma, body, and the psuhe, soul or life, are both 
mentioned together, and distinguished fixmi each other, 
Luke 12 : 22 ; Matt. 7 : 25, and the passage now before us. 
Such being the modes of speaking used in the Scriptures, 
it is plain, if a writer only mentions the psuhe, soul or 
life, he designates the whole man or person, by putting a 
part for the whole. The same is the case if he only 
mentions the soma, body, or pneum>a, spirit. But some- 
times the sacred writers designate the whole man or per- 
son by enumerating all the three parts into which man 
is divided, body, soul, and spirit. See 1 Thess. 5 : 23. 
But to come more particularly to the passage in question. 
Sometimes the sacred writers designate the whole man or 
person by only enumerating two of the three parts into 
which he is divided. This is evidently the case with 
Matthew, in the passage we are now considering. He 
says, God ** is able to destroy both soul and body in hell 
(Gehenna).' ' Or, he can destroy the whole man or per- 
son. That this is hia meaning, is obvious from chap. 5 : 29, 
80, considered above, where he twice uses the expression, 


'^ thy whole body," to express precisely the same thing. 
No man we think will dispute this. 

It is obvious, from this examination, that soul, when 
used alone, designates the whole man, or the person him- 
self. The body, also, when used alone, likewise designates 
the person or whole man. And when soul and body are 
both mentioned, as in the passage in question, it desig- 
nates no more than the man or person himself. Now, 
men who were able to kill the body, could not kill the 
whole man or person, for this would be to blot the man 
forever out of existence. God only was abl6 to do this. 
He gave man life; it returns to him at death; and he has 
promised to restore it again when this corruptible puts 
on incorruption. But, on this view of the subject, there 
is no immaterial, immortal soul which lives in a conspic- 
uous state of happiness or misery, in a disembodied 
condition. This doctrine has been the fertile source of 
much error and human misery. It also makes void the 
doctrine of the resurrection. In confirmation of these 
remarks, it may be observed that though the words of 
the New Testament are Greek, the idiom is Hebrew. 
Besides, it is thought Matthew wrote his gospel originally 
in Hebrew, which accounts for his using more of the He- 
brew idiom, as noticed above, than Luke does, chap. 12 : 
4, 5, where the same discourse of our Lord is recorded. 
. What did our Lord mean by Gohenna ? Whatever 
may be meant by " soul and body," or destroying them, 
it is very plain this destruction of them is said to be 
** in hell," or Gehenna. This hell, or Gehenna, Dr. 
Campbell, Mr. Stuart, and others, take for granted is 
a place of endl^s punishment in a future state. We 
shall here give a condensed view of our reasons why we 
think this a mistake. 

1st. Such a view of the term Gohenna is contrary to 
its admitted original signification. It is a compound, gia 
a valley, and onm the name of its owner, JERnnom, 
The valley of Hinnom. All admit this. 

2d. Tms sense given to Gehenna is contrary to its 


usage in the Old Testament. Dr. Campbell frankly 
declares it does not mean there a place of endless punish- 
ment. No man will allege it has such a sense in the 
Old Testament. 

3d. Such a sense attached to the term Gehenna is at 
yariance with all the fiax^ts stated in the preceding section. 
If Gehenna means a place of endless misery, they ought 
all to d'^ee with this meaning. 

4th. This sense attached to the term Gehemia is also 
at variance with a large number of facts to be stated in 
the next section. K this was its true sense in the New 
Testament, it ought to harmonize with them. 

5th. In no instance, where (Gehenna is\Lsed in the 
New Testament, is the writer speaking on the subject of 
a future state. The connection of the texts where it 
occurs gives no countenance to such a sense attached to 
it. But if this was its true sense, the context of some 
of them would point it out. 

6th. In the contexts of some of the passages where 
Gehenna occurs, the writers show clearly that by Gehenna 
pmushment they referred to the pihmei of God 
about to be inflicted on the Jewish nation. See par- 
ticularly Matt. 28 : 38. 

7th. Those who say Gbhenna in the New Testament 
means a place of endless punishment, entirely assume 
this to be its meaning, without any authority from the 
Old. The Rabbinical writers are their authority, which 
on other subjects they reject as of no value. Mr. Stuart 
traces the origin of this sense of Gehenna to a super- 
stitious notion among the Jews that demons dwelt in the 
valley of Hinnom. He would smile, at least, if I traced 
my sense of Gehenna to such an origin. He does not 
pretend that the meaning he attaches to it was of divine 

8th. Giving to Gehenna the sense of a place of end- 
less punishment in the New Testament does not harmo- 
nize with the phraseoloCT used in the places where it 
occurs. Take, for example, the passage before us. Who 


belieyes the whole hod^, or soul and hody, are cast into, 
or are to be destroyed in, aplace of endless punishment ? 
This is not done at death, as ta/cta show. And to say it 
shall be done at the resurrection is a gratuitous assertion, 
never made in the Scriptures. 

Such are some of my reasons for thinking Gehenna 
does not signify a place of endless punishment. They 
apply to all the texts where it is used in the New Testa- 
ment. We have introduced them here, because this is 
considered the strongest text to designate this place of 
misery. Li view of these reasons, let us look for a 
moment at this passage : '^ But rather fear him which is 
able to destroy both soul and body in Grehenna." To say 
our Lord meant by Gehenna here a place of endless 
punishment, and call on others to believe it, is, 

1st. Calling on them to believe not only without 
evidence, but contrary to evidence. To believe this, is 
not only implicit faith, but a man must shut his eyes to 
evidence before he can say he believes it. 

2d. Those who believe our Lord here taught that 
Gehenna means a place of endless punishment seem to 
suppose (jod cannot '^ destroy both soul and body,'' or a 
person, except in hell. But is not this a very silly 
supposition ? ^^i what can prevent Qod from doing 
this any Inhere ? He certainly could do this in (jehenna, 
the literal valley of Hinnom. And could he not do it 
also by the punishment which he brought on the Jewish 
nation, described by Jeremiah under the symbol of Ge- 
henna ? But I ask, 

3d. How were our Lord's disciples likely to under- 
stand these words ? If God had previously spoken of a 
place of endless punishment by the name (jehenna, we 
allow in this sense bur Lord's disciples might understand 
them. But even this would not be certain ; for, as the 
prophet Jeremiah had also spoken of a temporal punish- 
ment coming on the Jewish nation under tiie symbol of 
Gehenna, it might be doubtful if the words did not refer 
to it But, as God had never before spoken of Gehenna 

aEHBNNA. 155 

as a place of endless punishment, or oar Lord explained 
it in this sense to his disciples, how could they possibly 
understand him to use it in a new sense? They could 
be at no loss to xmderstand his meaning, if it signified the 
punishment of (jod on the nation of the Jews. This 
sense of the term they had learned &om their own Scrip- 
tures. No other Gehenna punishment was taught there. 
And no other sense can be rationally and scripturally 
given to our Lord's words. 

4th. The phraseology of the passage, when correctly 
understood, accords witfi this view. The phrase, ''both 
soul and body," is a mere Hebrew idiom, to express the 
whole man or person. Our Lord, then, warns hisdisciples 
of their danger, in being killed or destroyed by the pun- 
ishment to be inflicted on the Jewish nation ; a punish- 
ment which Jeremiah predicted under the imagery of 
Gehenna. He does not say, '' they could not escape this 
damnation of Gehenna," like the unbelieving Jews, 
Matt. 23 : 33. No ; here, and in other places, he 
showed his solicitude that they might escape it. To 
rouse them to watchfulness and obedience, he exhorts 
them to fear him, who is able, or has power, to bring 
such a punishment on them, as well as the whole nation 
of the Jews. To affirm, because it is said, God '' is able 
to destroy both soul and body in Gehenna," that he 
actually did it, is surely incorrect. It is contrary to the 
fact, whatever sense we give to Gehenna. K it means ^ 
place of endless misery, I ask, did God destroy both the 
souls and bodies of Christ's disciples there ? Surely not. 
If it means the terrible punishment God brought on the 
Jewish nation, I ask, did God destroy them with it ? No ; 
for we shall see that they escaped tnis punishment. It is 
a very false conclusion to say, because God is able to do 
a thing, that it is actually done. It is said, Matt. 3 : 9, 
'' God is able of these stones to raise up children unto 
Abraham." But according to this reasoning he has 
actually done this. No one, however, believes this true. 
It iif as sufficient to alarm the fears of the disciples to say, 

156 6BHBKNA. 

(jod was able to infliot on them the same punidimeiit as 
on the unbelieving Jews. 

6th. If our Lord's words, "is able to destroy both 
soul and body in Grehenna," designated their punishment 
in a future world, his threatenings to his own disciples 
were far worse than his threatenings to the unbeliemg 
Jews. In Matt. 23 : 83, the only place where he threat- 
ened them with (jehenna punishment, he only says to 
them, ^ ' How can ye escape the damnation of Gehenna ? " 
There, we shall show firom the context, he meant, by Ge- 
henna, the punishment coming on the Jewish nation. 
But can any man think our Lord only threatened the 
unbelieving Jews with a severe temporal punishinent, 
and threatened ]ub own disciples with endless torments in 
a future state? Who can believe the disciples were nine 
times solemnly warned about hell, Grehenna, in the world 
to come, and the wicked Jews oiily once about hell, 
Gehenna, or temporal punishment in this world? K 
Gbhenna had the same sense when our Lord spoke about it 
to both, it is beyond all reasonable question that it merely 
refers to the punishment of God on the Jewish nation. 

6th. K Gehenna refers to punishment in a future 
state, the passage in question rather teaches the doctrine 
of annihilation than endless misery. If to kill the body 
is to put it out of all pain and even conscious existence, 
to destroy soul and body, or the whole man, must be 
to put them out of all pain and conscious existence. 
But did Christ threaten his own disciples with annihila- 
tion? And was God to cast them into Gehenna in 
another world to accomplish this? Excuse me from 
believing that he threatened them either with annihilation 
or endless misery, until the evidence I have produced is 
destroyed, and good evidence adduced to prove that this 
is true. 

We have said enough, and perhaps more than was 
necessary, on this passage. We have discussed it re- 
satedly . See my Answer to Mr. Sabine, Letters to Mr. 
[udson, and Reply to Professor Stuart. See, also, on 
Luke 12 : 4, 5. 


Matt 18 : 9. '^ And if thine eye offend thee, phick it 
out and cast it from thee : it is better for thee to enter 
into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be 
cast into hell (Grehenna) fire." Mr. Stuart considers 
this text '^ an instance of the same nature as Matt 5 : 
29, 30, excepting that the phrase here is Gehenna 
tou purosy a fiery Gehenna, which one cannot doubt 
has the same meaning as unquenchable fire, Mark 
9 : 43, 45, inasmuch as this very phrase is there used to 
explain Gehenna ; the same meaning also as the lake of 
fire. Rev. 20 : 14, 16 ; 21 : 8, which is ' the second 
death,' Rev. 21 : 9." To say the lake of fire, which is 
the second death, means Mr. Stuart's hell, we think a 
great mistake. But it would be too great a digression 
from our present subject to examine i£is here. As the 
phrase Gehenna tou puros, a fiery Gehenna, is con- 
sidered the same as unquenchable &:e, Mark 9 : 43 — 
45, we refer the reader to our remarks on that passage. 
See Matt. 5 : 22, 29, 30, for an explanation of some 
things in this verse. There we have shown what is 
meant by a hand or foot offending. Also, the figurative 
use of the term fire has been noticed ; and on me texts 
already considered, we have seen that Gehenna and cast* 
ing into Gehenna do not refer to punishment in a future 
state, but to the infliction of punishment on the Jewish 
nation. On this text, however, with its context, we 

1st. Here, as in all the preceding texts, our Lord 
addressed his own disciples. It is also obvious from the 
context that he was not speaking to them on the subject 
of a future state. In no text where he speaks of Gre- 
henna was this the subject of his discourse; which 
circumstance, together with the fact that his disciples 
were chiefly addressed about (Jehenna, shows it did not 
refer to punishment in a future world. 

2d. The Greek phrase *' Gehenna toupvros^'^ which 
Mr. Stuart renders *'a fiery Gehenna," instead of 
meaning ^^the lake of fire," or hell, in another world, he 



has esplained correctly in his Essays, p* 141. He says, 
in Gehenna, or the valley of EUnnom, '^ perpetual fires 
were kept up, in order to consume the ofial which was 
deposited there. And as the same offal would breed 
worms, hence came the expression, * Where the worm 
dieth not and the fire is not quenched.' " The allusion 
is to the fire in the valley of Hinnom ; and this only in- 
creases the strength of the figurative use of the term 
fire in describing the terrible judgments of God on the 
nation of the Jews. 

3d. In verse 8 it is said, '* Wherefore, if thy hand or 
thy foot offend thee, cut them off and cast them from 
thee : it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, 
rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into 
everlasting fire." It will be said, Is not everlasting fire, 
in verse 8, the same as the fiery Gehenna, verse 9 7 and 
to be cast into everlasting fire the same as to be cast into 
this fiery Gehenna 1 And is this not a strong objection to 
your views of Gehenna? We admit all this, and to strength- 
en the objection will add the following. The Greek phrase, 
pur to aionion, here rendered *' everlasting fire," is the 
same in Matt. 25 : 41, and rendered by the same words. 
I also admit that both passages refer to the same punish- 
ment, and that what in these texts is called everlasting 
fire, is called everlasting punishment verse 46. I have 
no occasion to dispute this. I admit, also, that the same 

Eunishment is called the damnation of hell, or Gehenna, 
latt. 23 : 33 ; eternal damnation, Mark 3 : 29 ; and 
is also designated by other terrific expressions too numer- 
ous to detail. See my Second Inquiry, on these and all 
the texts in the Bible where eternal, everlasting, etc., 
occur. But so far from these admissions being against 
my views of Gehenna, they strongly confirm them, as I 
shall now attempt to show. I observe, then, 

1st. That the phrases Gehenna fire, everlasting fire, 
damnation of hell, or Gehenna, and eternal damnation, 
were used by Jews, and addressed to Jews who were 
fibmiliar with the language of the Old Testament. Cer* 


tainly our Lord was a Jew, and his disciples were Jews, 
whom, in the passage before ns, he addressed about ever- 
lasting fire, and hell, or Gehenna fire ; or, in plain words, 
everlasting punishment. No persons except Jews were 
ever threatened with Gehenna fire, either by Christ or 
his apostles. Nothing is ever said to Gentiles about 
Gehenna, as shown in another place. As it is, then, con- 
tended that Gehenna fire, in verse 9, and everlasting fire, in 
verse 8, express the same pimishment, let us consider, 

2d. If an everlasting fire or punishment was threatened 
the Jews in their Scriptures, and what that fire or punish- 
ment was. Was it in another world ? When and how did 
this punishment come upon them? These questions will be 
noticed in what follows. Our fear is we cannot spare 
room to say all we wish on this subject, for it has an im- 
portant bearing on the question before us albout Gehenna. 
The first passage I produce in proof that an everlasting 
fire or punishment was threatened the Jews in their own 
Scriptures, and was not in a future state, is Isai. 33 : 14. 
^'The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath sur- 
prised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with 
devouring fire ? Who among us shall dwell with ever- 
lasting burnings?" This passage has been often quoted 
to prove the endless duration of future punishment. A 
great mistake ; for, 1st. It is manifest the hypocritical 
Jews are the persons designated in'the passage. They 
are termed sinners, sinners in Zion, and hypocrites, which 
agrees with our Lord's words. Matt. 23, *' Woe unto you, 
scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites." Notice those called 
"sinners in Zion," in the first part of the verse, answer, 
according to the Jewish parallelism, to ** hypocrites" in 
the second; and their being "afraid" in the first, answers 
to "fearfulness" seizing mem in the second. A doubt 
cannot be entertained that the prophet speaks particularly 
of Jews, and of them only. The question is, did the 
prophet refer to the Jews in our Lord's day ? The very 
language of the passage seems to determine that he dia. 
This is confirmed by the context^ for the days of the 


goq)el dispensation seem to be alladed to. For example. 
Terse 18 seems to be quoted by the apostle, 1 Cor. 1 : 20. 
The Roman people are spoken of, verse 19, who were to 
come against the Jews, and destroy their city and temple. 
And their condition at that period is described, verses 11, 
12. The Messiah and his times are alladed to, verses 5, 
6. The condition of our Lord's disciples is referred to 
verses 16 — 17 ; and ifrom verse 20 to the end of the 
chapter, the peace and prosperity of the Christian church 
are described. 

2d. Let us now notice the punishment of the Jews 
described in this passage. It is not doubted it speahs of 
punishment ; for it is alleged it teaches endless punish- 
ment. This is drawn, we presume, 1st. From the words 
fire and burnings. But it has been shown in a preceding 
passage, that fire or burning is a common figure to de- 
scribe temporal punishment. Nor are we aware that fire 
is ever used as a figure to designate punishment in 
another world. The expression here is, ^ * devouring fire, ' ' 
and the parallelism to it is '' everlasting burnings." After 
examining the usage of the phrase, "devouring fire," 
I cannot find it is ever employed to designate punishment 
in hell. But it is used to express temporal calamities. 
See Isa. 19 : 6 ; 30 : 80. 

2d. The word everlasting is here joined with burnings. 
But who does not know that the word everlasting often 
expresses a limited period of time? Yea, who does not 
know that it is even applied to punishment when it does 
not express the endless duration of it? That it is so 
applied to the temporal punishment of the Jews in this 
very passage the above observations show. But if there 
should be any doubt in the reader's mind about this pas- 
sage, we introduce another, about which there can be no 
dispute. It is Jer. 23 : 39, 40. " Therefore, behold, I, 
even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you, 
and the city that I gave you and your &thers, and cast you 
out of my presence. And I will bring an everlasting 
reproach upon you, and a perpetual shaine, which shaU 


not be forgotten." On this passage let H be noCieed, 1st 
The same Hebrew word, oUtn^ is here rendered "erer- 
lasting" and ^^perpetnaL" The passage says, "I will 
bring an everlasting reproach npon you, and an everiast- 
ing shame, which shall not be fingotten." It is well 
known that olim is rendered perpetoal, ^rerhstnig, 
eternal, forever, and is often used to express a limited 

2d. Let it be noticed, the Jews are the persons of whom 
the prophet here speaks. He is speaking of them as a 
xiation, and what the Lord would do towards them at 
some future period. It is not a narratiYe of what was 
already past, but a prediction of eveuts. 

3d. Notice, further, the passage predicts a punishment 
to the Jewish naticm. (jod was utterly to fiirget and for- 
sake them, and the city he gave to them and their fiUhera. 
He was also to cast tnem out of his presence, or oat of 
Judea, where the Jews believed (jod's presoice was. 
Moreover, he was to bring on them an everlasting re- 
proach, and an everlasting shame, which should not be 
forgotten. This punishment of the Jews could not be 
their seventy years' captivity in Babylon. This does not 
answer to the strong language of the passage. Besides, 
the Babylonian captivity was just at lumd, or had already 
commenced, as the chronology shows. 

The prediction is concerning a punishment whidi was 
future and of long duration. The language only answers 
in its full force to God's punishment on the Jews at the 
destruction of their city and temple, and their dispersion 
among all n9.tions ever since. God seems utterly to have 
forsaken them and the city he gave them. He has cast 
them out of his presence and brought upon them an ever- 
lasting reproach, and an everlasting shame, which have 
lasted eighteen hundred years, and are not yet forgotten. 

4th. 'But does any man think, do the Jews think, that 
the punishment here mentioned is in another world, or is 
of endless duration ? No ; not an individual will assert 
either of these things. Tlie context, all the circumstan- 



ces of the ease, show the punishment is a national one, 
and is of a temporal nature. And if any one should aek, 
. why this punishment of the Jews is called perpetual, 
everlasting, the answer is easy. All know olim, in the 
Hebrew, and aion and aionion in Greek, are used to 
express a limited duration, and express a longer or shorter 
duration as the subjects to which they are applied require. 
See my Second Inquiry and Reply to Professor Stuart's 
Essays, where this subject is discussed. The present 

{punishment of the Jewish nation may well be called ever- 
iEisting. It is the longest punishment they ever endured 
as a people. It has lasted already eighteen hundred years, 
and is a much longer everlasting than some mentioned in 
the Bible, as could easily be shown. Neither their sev- 
enty years' captivity in Babylon, nor any other punish- 
ment that I have observed, is ever called everlasting, like 
the one they are now suflfering. But even their present 
punishment is to end, for the Lord is yet to have mercy 
on Israel. They, as a people, are beloved for the fathers' 
sake. It is then put out of all question that the term 
everlasting is applied to temporal punishment, punish- 
ment which all admit is to end. 

But let us suppose the term everlasting was applied to 
punishment in a future state, this would not conclusively 
prove it to be endless. Why ? Because we find it applied 
to punishment in this world. It might, also, be limited 
if applied to punishment in another world, for anything 
I can find in the Bible to the contrary. But after very 
mature examination, I must say I cannot find a single 
instance where everlasting is applied to, punishment in 
another world. It is chiefly from overlooking the scrip- 
ture usage of the words, rendered everlasting, etc., 
that people are led to conclude that in the Bible pun- 
ishment is taught in a future world, and that it is endless 
in its duration. So far, then, from the phrase '* everlast- 
ing fire," in verse 8, being any objection to my views of 
Gehenna, in verse 9, it strongly confirms them. Gehenna 
fire, and everlasting fire, in both verses, plainly refer to 

GBHSiniA. 16S 

the punidunent wliich came <a the Jewish nation st the 
clofie of the Mosaic dispensatioiL I think ptejndioe 
itself will allow this. 

Matt. 23 : 15. '^ Woe unto yon, scribes and FhariseeSy 
hypocrites ; for ye compass sea and land to make one 
proselyte ; and when he is made, ye make him two-foU 
more the child pf hell (Grehenna) than yourselves." This 
is the first place in the New Testament where anything 
is said about Grehenna to wicked men. Hie scribes and 
Pharisees werellie persons addressed, as the passage states. 
Dr. Campbell says, '^ This is one q[ the places where the 
term Qehenna is need figaradvely." Aiki Parkhorst re- 
marks that '^ Son of Gehama or hell is <»ie desenring of 
or liable to helL" He considers, and justly, the exptes- 
sion an Hebraism. See Professor Stuart's letters to Dr. 
Millar, where this is shown at length. The words plainly 
imply that our Lord considered the persons addressed 
chilclren of hell or Gehenna. This, acceding to Pari^- 
hurst, means ''deserving of cft liable to hell or Gdienna." 
Their making their proselyte two-fold more the child of 
hell than themselves, of course, means they made him 
two-fold more deserving of or liiable to hell than them- 
selves. The questiim then is, what hell or Grehenna were 
both deserving of or liable to ? If it is said, eternal mis- 
ery, the sense evidently is the I^arisees made their pros- 
elyte two-fold more deserving of or liable to eternal 
misery than themselves. But to assome this as the sense 
of Gehenna is taking for granted the question in discus- 
sion. No proof of this is (rffered, no evidence of it can 
be given. Mr. Stuart, after quoting this passage, simply 
adds the following assertion, '' that is, he is £mbly de- 
serving of the punishment of helL Surely the Saviour 
does not mean to say that he will suffer double the pun- 
ishment literally to be ioflicted on them, in the literal 
valley of Hinnom." But this asserticm determines 
nothing. I might return it thus, surely the Saviour does 
not mean to say that he will sufier double endless tor- 
ments in Mr. Stuart's helL 


The simple question to be decided is, what was the 
sense our Lord attached to the word Gehenna ? Was it a 
place of endless punishment in a future state? Not a 
word in the context favors such an opinion, for our Lord 
was not discoursing on the subject of a future state, but 
on the judgments of Grod coming on the nation of the 
Jews, ad we shal} see ^om verse 83, to be considered 
immediately. If our Lord, in verse 33, by Gehenna, 
meant the temporal punishment of the Jewish nation, no 
one will allege that in verse 15, he meant by Gehenna end- 
less punishment in the world to come. Inde^, this sense 
would be contrary to its meaning in all the other passages, 
and no ingenuity could reconcile it with the facts we 
have adduced, and still have to produce in the next sec- 

Matt. 23 : 33. '^ Ye serpents, ye generation of vi- 
pers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell (Gehen- 
na) 1 " This is the only other text in the New Testament 
where anything is said about Gehenna to wicked men ; 
tixid the solitary text where the phrase, "damnation of 
hell,'"' occurs; — a very singular fact, if it means endless 
misery in a future state. The only remark whi^h Mr. 
Stuart makes on this text, is, ''Does the Saviour mean 
here to ask, How can ye escape being burned alive in the 
valley of Hinnom? Were they in danger of thisV 
We answer his question very promptly and pleasantly, 
, — no. They were in no danger of this, for Mr. Stuart has 
shown that burning alive in the valley of Hinnom was not 
a punishment inflicted in the days of our Lord, either by 
Jews or Romans. To balance this account with Mr. 
Stuart, I ask, and in his own words, " Does the Saviour 
mean here to ask, How can ye escape being burned in hell, 
the world of woe ? Were they in any danger of this ? " 
Having balanced this short account, we may now in- 
quire, what our Lord meant to teach in this passage ? 
Let us, 

1st. Examine the import of the word kriseos, here 
rendered damnation. This word means judgment or pun- 


S^bment Dr. Campbell and others render it pnniahment. 
See his note on "ihitt 12 : 40. It is so rendered in some 
places in oiur common version. But, as I have examined 
Its scripture usage in my Second Inquiir, to it I refer 
the reader for what I have there adyancea. It would be 
useless to discuss it here, as there is no dispute respect- 
ing the sense of the word in the passage in question. 
The sense, all admit, is, ^'How can you escape the pun- 
ishment of hell, or Gehenna?" I may just notice, what 
must be obvious to every one, that the word damnation, 
or punishment, determines nothing about the place, the 
nature, or duration of the puni Raiment allud^ ta It 
expresses punishment to the persons addressed ; but all 
these things must be determined from other sources of 
evidence t^an the word rendered damnation. But the 
word in most people's ears has a much more terrific 
sound than either the word judgment or punishment. 
It carries their minds into a future state for that damna-* 
tion or punishment. Let us inquire, 

2d. What sense did our Lord attach to the term Ge- 
henna? The correct understanding of the passage de- 
pends on ascertaining this. If it means, as Mr. Stuart 
and others assert, the place of eternal misery to all the 
wicked, then, beyond all question, our Lord's meaning is, 
How can ye escape the punishment of endless misery ? 
But this sense of the term must not be assumed ; it must 
be established on scripture authority. How, then, it will 
be asked, shall we determine in what sense our Lord 
used the word Gehenna in this passage? I answer, 
there are three ways at least in wmch this may be de- 
termined ; for no scripture question can be determined 
without them. These are, me original meaning of the 
term Gehenna ; its scripture usage ; and the context of 
the passages in question. Let us notice, 

1st. The original meaning of the term Gehenna. Did 
it originally mean hell, world of woe, the place of tor- 
ment reserved for the punishment of the wicked in a fu- 
ture state, as Mr. Stuart and Dr. Campbell both assert ? 


No ; far from it, as their own testimony already cited 
shows. I need only very briefly advert to it here. 
What do they say. was the original meaning of the term 
Gehenna 7 Dr. Campbell says, *' It is origiQally a com- 
pound of the two Hebrew words,, ge Hinnom, the val- 
ley of Hinnom, a place near Jerusalem, of wl^ich we 
hear first in the book of Joshua, 15 : 8," etc. Mr. Stuart 
makes the same confession in his Essays, p. 140. To 
this all agree, except Dr. Allen. Speaking of Gehenna 
and its punishment, he says in his lecture on my First 
Inquiry, ** Indeed the word seems to have been formed, 
and is used in Scripture, for the express and sole purpose 
of denoting future punishment." Beader, cast the 
mantle of your charity over this statement, made no 
doubt. without ^consideration. 

2d. The scriptural usage of the term Gehenna. Does 
Gehenna occur in the Old Testament, where it designates,, 
a place of future punishment for the wicked? Hear 
Dr. Campbell : '^In the Old Testament we do not find 
this place in the same manner mentioned. Accordingly, 
the word Gehenna does not occur in the Septuagint. It 
is not a Greek word, and consequently not found in the 
Grecian classics." This statement we have examined, 
Section 1. We have also laid before the reader all the 
texts in the Old Testament where the word Gehenna is 
found. Not in a single instance has it the least allusion 
to a place of future punishment. We have seen it is 
only used there in two senses. First, for the literal val- 
ley of Hinnom. Second, as a symbol or source of im- 
agery to describe the temporal punishment God was to 
bring on the Jewish nation. In this last sense we have 
shown it is used in the New Testament in all the pas- 
sages already considered. And those yet to be noticed 
we think strongly confirm all we have advanced re- 
specting the sense given to this term. The passage be- 
fore us deserves particular attention. It is considered 
one of the strongest texts in proof that Gehenna means 
a place of future punishment for the wicked ; and yet. 


the context of tliis yery passage shows that the seme I 
have attached to it, taken from Jeremiah, is the true one, 

8d. The context of the passage in question. Does 
the context teach that our Lord used the word Gehenna 
to designate a place of endless torment, reserved for the 
punishment of the wicked in a future state ? Let us ex- 
amine and see. That our Lord speaks on the subject of 
the destruction of Jerusalem, in this and the two follow- 
ing chapters, none will question. But let us examine 
the more immediate context of the passage. It is mani- 
fest, from verse 1 of the chapter, that what is said in it 
was addressed to the multitude and to the disciples. 
From verse 3 to 18, our Lord spoke to his disciples con- 
cerning the scribes and Pharisees, and warned them 
against certain evils in those wicked men. At verse 18 
he begins a direct address to the scribes and Pharisees, 
and continues it to the end of the chapter. Some of 
them were present, for the discourse seems a very pointed 
address to them. No man can read from verse 13 to 
82, without noticing in what a plain and pointed manner 
our Lord exposed their wickedness- and hypocrisy, and 
how often he said to them, " Woe, or alas ! unto you, 
scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites." But at verse 32 he 
says to them, *' Fill ye up then the measure of your * 
fathers." The words in question immediately follow : 
'' Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape 
the damnation of hell (Gehenna)?" Two questions 
here are presented for consideration. How were these 
men to fill up the measure of their fathers ? And, what 
is the damnation of hell, which they could not escape ? 

1st. Let us consider how these men were to fill up the 
measure of their fathers. If we consult the context, it 
gives us the following answer to this question. Verse 
84, " Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and 
wise men, and scribes ; and some of them ye shall kill 
and crucify, and some of them shall ye scourge in your 
synagogues, and persecute them from city to city." That 
in tms way the scribes and Pharisees were to fill up the 


measoie of their fiiihers, no man "will questdon. Thdfr 
fathers had killed the prophets sent to them, verses 80, 
81. And they were a generation of vipers, proving 
themselves to be the children of such &thers. The 
measure of their fathers they did fill up by crucifying 
the Lord of glory, and persecuting his apostles and fol- 
lowers. See Acts 2d, where Peter charges them with 
this crime. Comp. John 16 : 1 — 3, 1 Thess. 2 : 16. 

2d. Let us now examine what the damnation of Gehen- 
na was, which those men could not escape. K verse 
84 answered the first question, verse 35 as certainly 
answers the second. It runs thus : " That upon you may 
come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from 
the blood of righteous Abel, unto the blood of Zacharias, 
son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and 
the altar." When it is said here, " That upon you may 
come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth," all 
allow that punishment is meant. This punishment com- 
ing on them was near, for our Lord added in the next 
words, '* Verily I say unto you, all these things shall 
come upon this generation." The context, then, clearly 
decides, that our Lord, by the damnation of hell, referred 
to the punishment God was to bring on the Jewish 
♦ nation during that generation. Indeed, if ever the con- 
text of a passage can decide in what sense the writer 
uses a woid or phrase, it is decided in the case before us. 
But is there a vestige of evidence in the context, which 
shows that our Lord, by the damnation of hell, meant a 
place of punishment reserved for* the wicked in a future 
state ? No, nothing which bears the most distant resem- 
blance to this. Let any one attempt to make out proof 
of this from the context, and nothing is so likely to con- 
vince him that the interpretation I have given is correct. 
It was in making such an attempt I was led to this very 
view of the words "damnation of hell." The only thing 
which leads people to conclude that these words refer to 
punishment after death, is the felse and entirely gratuit- 
ous sense affixed to the word hell or Gbhenna. Bat all 


eandid mea will aUow, that if ire affix what muse we 
pleaae to the words of the Holy Spirit, an end is put to all 
correct interpretation of the Scnptnres. To recor to 
the context in ascertaining the sense of any word or 
phrase used by a writer, is allowed by all a first role in 
explaining his meaning. 

But some things in the context strongly ccmfirm the 
sense given to the words, damnation of helL 1st. The 
expression, damnation of hell, or Grehenna, occurs in this 
discourse of our Lord's about the destruction of Jerusalem, 
but in no other discourse he ever delivered. Had he 
used it when preaching the gospel, when enforcing re- 
pentance on his hearers, (Mr in speaking on the subject of 
a future state, one might be led to suppose he did mean 
a place of punishment there. But being used in such a 
discourse as this, and in no other, seems to put it out cS 
all question that I have rightly interpreted the words, 
damnation of hell, or Gehenna. 

2d. The persons to whom the words, damnation of hell, 
were addressed, confirm my views of this passage. They 
were Jews. To no other person except them is a word said 
about Gehenna in the whole Bible. Jews, and they only, 
were concerned in the damnation of hell, for not a word 
is said about Gehenna or its punishment to any Gentile, 
whether a believer in Christ or an unbeliever. 

3d. No man will dispute that verse 35 refers to the 
punishment inflicted on the Jews at the destruction of 
their city and temple. See chapter 24th. Well, when 
our Lord said, verse 36, ^^ All these things shall come 
upon this generation," was not the damnation of hell, 
verse 33, and e:q)lained verse 35, the very thing referred 
to ? And as the case of the Jews was past all remedy, 
and could not escape the impending judgments of God, our 
Lord laments over their condition, verses 37—39. To this 
view of the damnation of hell, I am aware, it is objected, 

lat. Prophecies have a double meaning ; and though 
our Lord referred to the temporal punishment coming on 
the Jewish nation, in the same expression he might in« 



elude the endless punishment of the wicked in anotJier 
world ; and in Matt. chap. 24, he blends, in one descrip- 
tion, die end of the Jewish state and the end of this ma- 
terial world." To this objection several answers mi^t 
be given. 1st. If prophecies have a double meaning, why 
not twenty or a huncb^d meanings ? And if it is saia, 
our Lord might include both the above meanings in the 
phrase, damnation of hell, let us see the proof of this 
supposition from the context or some other quarter. What 
is it which we may not suppose and say is taught in 
the Bible, if never called on to establish our suppositions ? 

2d. Giving prophecies a double meaning exposes the 
Scriptures to ridicule, and is abandoned by all rational 
commentators. Mr. Stuart, in his letters to Dr. Chan- 
ning, p. 126, gives up ' a double sense to Matt. 24th. 
Commenting on verse 36, he says, '' ' Of that day and 
hour knoweth no man ; no, not the angels which are 
in heaven, neither -the Son, but the Father.' The day 
and hour, according to some, is the day of judgment ; but 
as I apprehend (from comparing the context), the day 
of vengesince to the Jews is meant." But if he, by com- 
paring the context, sets aside a double view of this text, 
comparing the context sets aside a double view of the 
words, damnation of hell. It does more, it sets aside the 
common idea that these words mean a place of endless 
misery to the wicked. 

3d. Let it be noticed, the words, damnation of hell, 
are not a prophecy. No ; they are a very plain decla- 
ration put in the form of a question, " How can ye escape 
the damnation of hell?" But had they occurred in 
Matt 24th, and were they a prophecy, we see, from the 
quotation just made from Mr. Stuart, that only one sense 
could be attached to them, and the context must decide, 
yea, has decided, their true sense. Their sense is. How 
can ye escape the impending vengeance coming on your 
nation ? So long as an examination of the context and 
scripture usage of words are deemed safe rules in deter- 


mining the sen^eof any scriptare writer, so long ahall we 
feel confident that our Lord, by the danmation of hell, did 
mean this, and had no reference to endless misery in 
another world. 

4th. But this doable view of the words, damnation of 
hell, does not deserve notice, fi>r it is only a mere as- 
sumption made in fiice of evidence to the contrary. This 
evidence has been stated. Here, I add, since people take 
the liberty to give a double sense to the words, damnation 
of hell, why not use the same liberty and give a double 
meaning to every phrase our. Lord ever used? For ex- 
ample, with the same breath he said, '' How can ye escape 
the damnation of hell," and '^ All these things shall come 
upon this generation." But why not give a double 
meaning to the last words, and say he meant also. All 
these things shall come upon thid generation in a future 
world — and all these thmgs shall come on the genera- 
tion in which we live in the present day 7 Why not this, 
as well as that the danmation of Gehenna shall come 
upon us? 

It was shown at some length, Sect. 1, that Jeremiah 
made Gehenna, or the valley of Hinnom, a source of im- 
agery to describe the punishment God would bring on 
the Jews for their sins. Let the reader now take into 
view what was there said in connection with the passage 
before us, and notice the following things. Jeremiah and 
our Lord evidently addressed the same people, the Jews. 
Both speak of a punishment, a dreadful punishment, to 
this people, and mey use the term Gehenna to describe it. 
Both speak of it as punishment in this world, without 
giving the least hint that it extended to a future state of 
existence. Both confine this Gehenna punishment to the 
Jews, without intimating that it belonged to the Gentile 
nations, or must be suffered by other wicked men. Jere- 
miah foretold, some hundred years before, a punishment 
to the Jews, to the &thers of the very men our Lord ad- 
dressed. Our Lord points them to that prediction, and 
solenmly warns them, '^ All these things shall come upon 


this generation." But there are two things which the 
reader ought distinctly to notice, in w^ch Jeremiah's 
prophecy agrees with what our Lord says respecting 

1st. The prediction of a punishment to the Jews, un- 
der the emblem of Gehenna, was a national one ; one in 
which all classes of the nation were to be involved. Such 
is exactly the punishment of which our Lord speaks in 
the passage in question, as we have seen £rom the con-^ 
text. This rationally accounts for the fact, why our 
Lord said so much to his own disciples about the punish- 
ment of Gehenna, and mentioned it only once to the un- 
believing Jews. They could not escape the danmation 
of Gehenna, but his own disciples might; hence he shows 
his solicitude in warning them respecting it, and in in- 
structing them how to escape the severity of the ven- 
geance which came on the unbelieving part of the nation. 
On no other view of the term Gehenna can it ever be 
rationally and scripturally accounted for, why our Lord 
should say so much to the disciples and so little to the 
unbelieving Jews respecting the punishment of Gehenna. 

2d. The time referred to by Jeremiah when his pre- 
diction should be fulfilled, and the time referred to by our 
Lord, exactly agree. No year or date is mentioned bv 
either of them, but there is a fact or circumstance which 
answers the same purpose. Jeremiah, in his prophecy, 
said, chap. 19 : 15, '^ Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the 
God of Israel, Behold, I will bring upon this city, and 
upon all her towns, all the evil that I have pronounced 
a^Ednst it." Notice now what our Lord says, Luke 21 : 
22. ** For these be the days of vengeance, that all 
which are written may be fulfilled." Jeremiah could 
refer to no other period of time, nor to any other punish- 
ment of the Jews, except the destruction of Jerusalem by 
Titus. All the evil the Lord had pronounced against it 
did not come upon it until this event took place. 

I may add, if by Gehenna punishment our Lord did 
not refer to the punishment predicted by Jeremiah| in 

GEHBI^NA. 178 

no other way did he remind the Jews that such a pun- 
ishment was threatened them. All allow that our Lord, 
in Matthew, chapters 23 and 24, and in other places, 
spoke of punishment coming on the Jewish nation. Is it 
then in the least probable that he should entirely overlook 
so plain and pointed a prediction as that in Jeremiah ? 
And if it is denied that, by the damnation of Grehenna, he 
did refer to the punishment predicted by Jeremiah, — that 
he meant endless misery in a future world, — how hap- 
pened he to tell the Jews about this in a discourse where 
he is certainly speaking of temporal punishment, yet not 
say a word about endless punishment in Gehenna on any 
other occasion? If, really, the damnation of Gehenna 
means hell, the world of woe, why should he introduce it 
in such a discourse to the unbelieving Jews ? Why speak 
of it only once to them ; and why speak of it as a thing 
they could not escape? The great object of modern 
preachers, in warning people about hell, is to tell them 
they can easily escape it by obeying their directions. 
But our Lord had no directions to give the unbelieving 
Jews how they might escape the damnation of Gehenna. 
The cup of their iniquity was nearly filled up, and the 
wrath of God was coming upon them to the uttermost. 
Before I dismiss this passage, permit me to bring the 
prophecy of Jeremiah a little more into view in connec- 
tion with it. See this prophecy considered, Chap. 2, Sect. 
1, which ought to be consulted and compared with the 

rissage under consideration. On both, teken together, 
submit the following remarks : — 
1st. Who does not see that the prediction of Jeremiah 
and the discourse of our Lord, Matt, chapters 23 and 24, 
speak of the same events? Comparing both with that 
part of Josephus' history of the siege of Jerusalem, we see 
both minutely and affectingly fulfilled. 

2d. It could not appear strange to the Jews that our 
Lord should speak to them of the damnation or punish- 
ment of Gehenna, for under this very emblem the prophet 
Jeremiah had foretold great and jreadful calamities to 


174 aSHENHA. 

this people. With the prophet's lah^iiage the Jews ffett 
fiuniHar, so that they had no occagion to ask what he 
meant by the danmation of hell. Nor conld'they find 
&ult with him in calling to their remembrance a punish* 
ment to which they were exposed, so long ago foretold, 
but which was now near, even unto the €kx)rs. Indeed, 
nothing but blindness of mind could have prevented tl^m 
from fearful anticipations of sudi dreadful calamities. 
Accordingly, they asked no explanation, and seemed not 
to be surpnsed at our Lord's saying, " How can ye es- 
cape the damnation of hell? " Is this likely to have 
been ihe case, if by this expression the Jews understood 
him to threat^i them with eternal misery in the world to 
come ? No sentiment our Lord ever uttered was more 
^culated to shock their feelings and rouse their indigna- 
tion against him. To understand him in this sense, was 
entirely at variance with their pride, prejudices and reli- 
gious opinions ; for the Jews had no idea that a^yof th^ir 
nation should ever suffer eternal misery. See Whitby's 
note on Bom. 2. 

3d. Let us for a moment suppose that any of the dec- 
larations concerning Gehenna in the New Testament had 
occurred in the above prediction of Jeremiah. For exam- 
ple, let us take the words of our Lord before us, " How 
can ye escape the damnation of hell ? " I ask any can- 
did man, how the Jews would have understood these words, 
had they been uttered by the prophet, or how we would 
understand them? It will, I presume, be readily answered, 
that the prophet would be understood as threatening the 
temporal punishment which he had been predicting. 
Must the words, danmation of hell, then, only mean tem- 

E)ral punishment, in the mouth of Jeremiah, but, in our 
ord's, eternal misery ?• If the^ words would have con- 
veyed no such idea in the days of Jeremiah, why should 
they in the days of our Lord, and, especially, as he not 
only seems to allude to Jeremiah's prophecy, but intro- 
duces them in a discourse to the same people, and in 
treating of the same temporal punishment 1 It will not 



be aaid that our Lord was diaoottrsing about a future 
state of existence, or even a di&reut subject from that 
oi the prophet, when he used this expression. No ; the 
subjects are precisely the same, and the same people 
were addressed. 

4th. I ask, was the expression, '^daannation of hell," 
understood when our Lord used it, or was it without any 
meaning? If the latter, then the idea of eternal misery 
is given up, at least from this expression. Besides, it is 
not very honorable to the Lord, to say he used tliis ex- 
pression without any meaning. If the former is con- 
tended for, in what way was our Lord understood by hk 
hearers? Nothing is said in the Old Testament inti- 
mating that Gehenna was to have a different meaning 
under the gospel dispensation. Nor, in the New Testa- 
ment, is anything said showing that Gehenna was used 
there in a different sense from that which it had in the 
Old. By whose authority, and upon what rational and 
scriptural ground, do we, then, interpret Gehenna, in the 
passage before us, so differently from its allowed sense ia 
the Old Testament ? Our Lord was a Jew, and he spoke 
to Jews, who had the Old Testament in their hands. 
Until it is proved to the contrary, we conclude that the 
Jews must have understood Gehenna as their Scriptures 
taught them. We think all will allow that this is at least 
a rational conclusion. That it is a correct one, ought 
not to be denied, unless it is shown our Lord laid aside 
the sense in which Jeremiah had used the word Gehenna, 
and adopted a new sense on mere himian authority. K 
our Lord did this as to the word Gehenna, we doubt if 
another instance of the kind can be produced from the 
New Testament. If it were proved that he did so, it 
follows that, instead of calling the attention of the Jews 
to the true sense of Scripture, he rather encouraged 
them in a sense put on scripture words of men's own 
invention. We have seen that Dr. Campbell avers that 
our Lord spoke to the Jews in the dialect of their own 
Scriptures, and used words to which their reading of the 

17ff 0EHBNNA. * 

law and the prophets had accustomed them ; and yet he 
contends for a sense given to Oehenna in the New Testa- 
ment which it never had either in the law or the prophets. 

6th. If we are to learn from the Targums * how to 
understand the word Gehenna or hell, but few people 
could ever understand the New Testament on this subject. 
Is there one in a thousand who ever saw the Targums ? 
and is there one in ten thousand who ever read them? 
But until we have learned from such writings the sense 
of the word Gehenna, we must either remain imorant, 
or take this sense at second hand from others. But put 
the Bible into a man's hands, let him search it on this 
subject, and compare the New with the Old Testament, 
and would he ^er conclude that the New Testament 
sense of Gehenna was so different from that of the Old ? 
No ; he would soon perceive that there is an agreement, 
and a very striking agreement, between both Testaments 
in the sense and application of the word Gehenna. Scrip- 
ture usage and the context, safe rules in all other cases, 
would soon lead such a person to the same conclusion to 
which I have come, that our Lord, by ^^ the damnation of 
hell," did not mean punishment in a place of endless 
misery. But it seems these safe rules of interpretation 
must all be laid aside, and that we must sit at the feet 
of the writers of the Targums, to learn the meaning of 
Gehenna. But it is well known how little confidence 
most people place in those writings in other cases, though 
their authority is considered good by many in the one 
before us. 

6th. That Gehenna was made an emblem of temporal 
punishment to the Jews, rests on divine authority. But 
tiasi it was made an emblem of eternal misery, rests 
merely on human authority. Let us state a case where, 
system and preconceived opinion being out of sight, we 
would give a just decision which of these authorities 

* See the argament, drawn from the Jewish Targoms, in &Yor of 
Gehenna being the place of endless punishment, considered. Sect 5. 

asHSNNiL « 177 

oa^ to be preferred. Suppose this case, then, rerersed. 
In the Old Testament, let us suppose tibie word Gehenna 
to mean the place of eternal puimhm^it for all the wick- 
ed ; that this was its allowed sense, by critics and com- 
mentators, and that it never, in a single instance,* meant 
temporal punishment. Suppose, furdier, that the term 
Gehenna occurred twelve times in the New Testament ; 
that, upon examining one of the texts in which it oo- 
curped, saj the passage before us, it evidently had the same 
aense as in the Old Testament ; tliat the text and con- 
text clearly decided this to be ks meaning ; but a Uni- 
Tersalist infurms us from the Targums that Gehenna, ia 
the Old Testament, in process of time, came to be used 
as an emblem of temporal puniidunent, and at last came 
to be coined to it; and that this was always and indis- 
putably its meaning in die New Testament, which he 
roundly asserts, without any attempt at proof on the 
subject. I ask what decision we should fonn in this 
case 1 Let candor decide if we would not say tliat the 
doctnne of eternal punishment was put beyond all debate. 
And would not every man agree to condemn the Univer- ' 
salist ? Happy, then, is the man who condemneth not 
himself in the thing which he alloweth. But what would 
be the decision in &vor of eternal punishment and against 
die Universalii^ if, upon examining all the other eleven 
places in the New Testament, it was found that Gehenna 
had the same or a similar sense as it had in tibie Old Tes- 
tament, and in the one in the New Testament where the 
context so clearly decided ? The triumph of the doc- 
trine of eternal misery would be complete. We shall 
leave it for every man of candor what to say, if it h 
proved that all l£e remaining passages which speak of 
Gehenna corroborate the views I have advanced on the ^ 
passage we have been considering. But all this is strongly 
confirmed by a number of facts, showing that no omer 
sense could be rationally attached to the term Gehenna. 
We have adduced a few facts already, and have yet some 
more to pvoduoe, proving that Gehenna cannot mean a 


178 GEHEHlfA. 

place of endless misery for the wicked, but that it re- 
ferred to the temporal vengeance coming on the Jewish 
nation. We should like to see an equal number of such 
fSeu^ts produced, showing that Gehenna does not mean this 
temporal vengeance, but eternal miserv, before we are 
condemned for refusing to believe tha;t this is its meaning. 
7th. Supposing that the term Gehenna^^in this pas- 
sage, was equivocal, though it certainly is not, still, ac- 
cording to Dr. Campbell, my interpretati(xi of the pas- 
sage is correct. In his thira Dissertation, Sect. 11, he 
says : ^ ' Nothing can be more pertinent, or better founded^ 
than the remark of M. Le GlBrc, that ' a word which is 
equivocal by itself, is often so clearly limited to a par- 
ticular sign&cation by the strain of tne discourse, as to 
leave no room for doubt.' " The strain of our Lord's dis- 
course in-this chapter fixes the sense of Gehenna to be 
what I have stated so clearly and decisively that no room 
is left for doubt. But let us hear Dr. Campbell further. 
In«his ninth Dissertation, Part 1, Sect. 13, he says: 
" When a word in a sentence of Holy Writ is Buscep- 
table of two interpretations, so that the sentence, whichso- 
ever of the two ways the word be interpreted, conveys a 
distinct meaning suitable to the scope of the place ; and 
when one of these interpretations expresses the common 
import of the word in Holy Writ, and the other assigns 
it a meaning which it plainly has not in any other pas- 
sage of Scripture, the rules of criticism manifestly re- 
quire that we recur to the common acceptation of the 
term." This is just what I have done with the term 
Gehenna, in the passage before us. I have given it a 
neaning, ^^ suitable to the scope of the place." The 
s^ise I have given it also ^' expresses the common im- 
port of the word in Holy Writ," where it is used as an 
emblem of punishment in the Old Testament. We shall 
see that it agrees, also, with all the places where it oc- 
curs in the New. The interpretation commonly given 
to Gehenna, ^^ assigns it a meaning which it plainly has 
not in any other passage of Scripture." '^ The roles of 


criticism manifestly require," then, tho interpretation 
which I have given this passage. The commonly received 
sense of this word is, therefore, contrary to the rules of 
criticism, as declared by Dr. Campbell himself. 

I am aware that I have dwelt longer on this passage 
than was absolutely necessary. This I have done for 
several reasons. It is one of the principal texts supposed 
to teach the doctrine of hell torments. It is also the 
only text where a punishment of Gehenna or hell is 
threatened wicked men in the New Testament, whether 
Jew or Gentile. It is also a text, the ccmtext of 'which 
decides clearly what our Lord meant by the punishment 
of Gehenna. It serves as a key to unlock the meaning 
of other places, where the circumstances in the context 
may not so clearly determine the sense of Gehenna. If 
our Lord, in this passage, did not mean by Gehenna a 
place of endless misery, there is no probability that in 
any other this was his meaning ; for here he spoke to 
men who, Josephus says, were the most wicked race 
that ever lived on the earth. Since, by the damnation of 
hell, he did not threaten them with eternal punishment, 
it is not to be supposed that in any of the other texts he 
did this ; for what is said in them is addressed to his dis-^ 
ciples. It is not likely he used Gehenna to express both 
a place of temporal and eternal punishment; and it is 
less likely that he should threaten the unbelieving Jews 
with the former, and his own disciples with the latter. 

Mark 9 : 43—49. '' And if thy hand offend thee, cut 
it off; it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than 
having two hands to go into hell (Gehenna), into the 
fire that never shall be quenched ; where their worm 
dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thy foot 
offend thee, cut it off; it is better for thee to enter halt 
into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell 
(Gehenna), into the fire that never shall be quenched; 
where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 
And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out ; it is better 
for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye^ 


tfian hayiiig two eyes to be cast into hell (Gehenna) fire; 
where il^eir worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." 
Concerning these verses, Professor Stuart simply says^ 
'' The like cases with Matt. 5 : 29; 18 : 9, and where^ 
in both instances, jmr to asbestan, unquenchable fire, is 
ftdded, in order to explain the tremendous nature of the 
Gehenna in question.'' What, then, is the Gehenna in 
question ? 

This being the most terrific and full description of 
Cbhenna fire, given in the New Testament, we shall give 
it a careful consideration. It ought to settle the ques- 
tion that Gehenna does not refer to a place of endless 
punishment in a future state. Let it then be observed, 
several things are mentioned in this passage which have 
been noticed already. For example, we have seen what 
IS meant by cutting off a right hand, or plucking^ out a 
right eye; that the term fire is a commcm figure in 
Scripture to express punishment, and punishment in this 
world. The question in dispute is, does Gehenna fire, in 
this and other texts, express punishment in a future 
state ? We have also noticed the expression '^ to be cast 
into hell fire." In this passage, we have the expression 
" to go into hell " once, and ** to be cast into hell " 
twice, which express the same thing. Let us first notice 
the things contrasted in this passage. 

1st. To "enter into life," or "into the kingd<»nof 
God," is contrasted with "going into or being cast into 
hell or Grehenna." If it can be shown, then, that to 
enter into life, or into the kingdom of God, does not 
mean to enter into heaven above, it will follow that to be 
cast into Gehenna, or go into it, does not mean to go into 
or be cast into hell beneath. If kingdom of (}od, or life, 
refers to the heavenly world, I am willing to admit Ge- 
henna refers to a world of woe. Congruity in the con- 
trast demands this. But we are confident this never can 
be proved. 

2d. Entering into life, or into the kingd(»n of God, 
with the Ices of a hand, a foot, or an eye, is oontrsstea 


with going into, or being cast into Gehenna, without the 
loss of any of these. But who ever speaks of entering 
into the heavenly state with the loss of their bodily mem- 
bers ; or of sending sinners to hell with their members 
mutilated ? Let it be admitted our Lord only meant that 
his disciples, in order to enter into life, or tne kingdom 
of God, must part with things as dear to them as a right 
hand or eye. What then ? This may,suit the one side 
of the contrast, but it does not suit the other ; for, I ask, 
do those who go to hell carry with them there things the 
other parted with in order to get to heaven? As this 
will not be pretended, something else than heaven and 
hell must be meant by kingdom of God and Gehenna in 
this passage. What, then, is the true meaning of this 
language ? 

1st. We have the phrase, "to enter into life," twice ; 
and " to enter into the kingdom of God," once. Dr. 
Campbell, in his fifth Dissertation, conclusively shows 
that these two phrases are used by the writers of the New 
Testament to express the same thing. This must be 
obvious enough to any person who reads the four gospels 
with attention. But to enter into the kingdom of heaven, 
or kingdom of Grod, does not mean enteriug iuto heaven 
in a future state, as many suppose, but entering into the 
reign or kingdom of the Messiah in this world. See Dr. 
C.'s Dissertation. John, Jesus, and his disciples, preached 
this kingdom as coming, as at hand. Christ's reign or 
kingdom did not, properly speaking, commence until after 
his resurrection &om the dead, wnen God exalted him to 
hii|..right hand, saying, '' Sit thou on my right hand un- 
til I make thy foes thy footstool." Lideed, in one sense, 
his kingdom did not come until the destruction of Jeru- 
salem. Biospecting this, Dr. Campbell, in his note on 
Matt. 19 : 28, says, "We are accustomed to apply the 
term regeneration solely to the conversion of inditiduals ; 
whereas its relation here is to the general state of things. 
As they were wont to denominate the creation genesis, 
a remarkable restoration or renovation of the face of 




things was very suitably termed palingenesia. The re- 
turn of the Israelites to their own land, after the Babylo- 
nish captivity, is so named by Josephus, the Jewish 
historian. What was said in verse 23, holds equally in 
regard to the promise we have here. The principal com- 
pletion will be at the general resurrection, when there 
will be, in the most important s^ise, a renovation or re- 
generation of heaven and earth, when all things shall 
become new; yet, in a subordinate sense, it may be said 
to It^ve been accomplished when Grod came to visit in 
judgment that guilty land; when the old dispensation 
was utterly abolished and succeeded by the Christian 
dispensation, into which Ihe Gentiles from every quai:ter, 
as well as Jews, were called and admitted." 

It is very evident our Lord did not think his kingdom 
had come during his lifetime. He said to his disciples, 
Matt. 18 : 3, '* Verily I say unto you, Except ye be con- 
verted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter 
into the kingdom of heaven." It may be said, were not 
the disciples already in this kingdom ? No ; for our Lord's 
words plainly imply that they were not ; nor could they 
afterwards enter it except they were converted. On this 
text Dr. Campbell says, **They must lay aside their 
ambiti^p and worldly pursuits before they be honored to 
be members, much more the ministers, of that new estab- 
lishment or kingdom he was about to erect." See, also, 
Dr. Macknight, who gives a similar view of it. It is 
evident, from Luke 22 : 18, and other texts, that our 
Lord's kingdom was not come just before his death. But 
the very passage in question &.irly implies, that, in cj^me 
sense, our Lord's disciples were not in his kingdom. K 
they were, why is it said to them, " It is better for thee 
to enter halt into life," and "It is better for thee to enter, 
into the kingdom of God with one eye," etc. ? Those who 
wish t(5 see further proof that the kingdom of heaven, or 
kingdom of God, was not come when our Lord spoke the 
passage in question, may consult Luke 21 : 81, 32 ; 
Mark 9 • 1. Comp. Matt. 16 : 28. 


Sd. We shall now examine wbat our Lord meant by 
Gehenna fire, the contrast to life, and the kingdom of 
Ood, m this passage. Gehenna fire is here mentioned 
three times. What, then, did our Lord mean by it? He 
explains what he meant tiius, '^Into the fire that never 
shall be quenched ; where their worm dieth not, and 
the fire is not quenched." As Gehenna fire is three 
times mentioned, so the explanation is three times re- 
peated. Mr. Stuart, p. 144, admits that this is our Lord's 
explanation of Gehenna fire. All, then, we have to do 
is to ascertain cc^rectly the true sense of this explanation. 
It divides itself into two parts, which I shall now ex- 
amine. Our Lord says, 

1st. " Lito the fire that never shall be quenched." Do 
the Scriptures then speak of ''a fire that never shall be 
quenched," in a fiiture state o£ existence ? No. I find 
an '^ unquenchable fire," or '^ a fire that never shall bo 
quenched," often mentioned there. It is said, in Matt 
3 : 12, ^^ Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly 
purge the floor, and gather his wheat into the gamer; 
but he will burn the chaff with unquenchlbble fire." The 
same is repeated Luke 3 : 17. Fire, we have seen on a 
former passage, is a figure for punishment. Jesus was 
to separate tiie good from Uie bad of the Jewish nation ; 
the former he should gather into his gamer, the church ; 
but the latter he should punish, or bum witli unquench- 
able fire. This he did at the end of the age. Their fire 
or punishment is not yet ended. 

But, let us now see whence the language used is bor- 
rowed, ^'a fire that never shall be quenched," or an 
"unquenchable fire." It is from Uie Old Testament. 
The reader may consult the following places where a fire 
that shall not oe quenched is mentioned. Amos 5:6; 
Isai. 34 : 10, and 1 : 31 ; Ezek. 20 : 47, 48. But I 
quote the folbwing passages which are directly to our 
purpose. 2 Kings 22 : 16, 17. ** Thus saith the Lord 
God, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon 
the inhabitants thereof, even all the words of the book 


which the kii^ of Judah hath read, because they have 
forsaken me, and haye burnt incense unto other gods, 
that they might provoke me to anger with all the works 
of their hands; therefore my wrath shall be kindled 
against this place and shall not be quenched." The same 
is repeated, 2 Ghron. 84 : 24, 25. Again, it is said, Jer. 
4 : 4, ^^ Circumcise yourself to the Lord, and take away 
the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhab- 
itants o( Jerusalem; lest my fury come forth like fire, and 
bum that none can quench it, b^use of the evil of your 
doings." Again, Jer. 7 : 20, ** Therefore, thus saith the 
Lord God, Behold, mine anger and my fury shall be 
poured out upon this place, upon man, and upon beast, 
and upon the trees of the field, and upon the fruit of the 
ground; and it shall bum, and shall not be quenched." 
Again, Jer. 17 : 27, " But if ye will not hearken unto 
me to hallow the Sabbath day, and not to bear a burden, 
eyen entering in at the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath 
day ; then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and 
it shall deyour the palaces (^ Jerusalem, and it shall not 
be quenched." Once more, it is said, Jer. 21 : 12, "0 
house of Dayid, thus saith the Lord, Execute judgment 
in the morning, and deliver him that is spoiled out of the 
hand of the oppressor, lest my fury go out like fire, and 
bum that none can quench it." Such are the texts which 
speak of an ^'unquenchable fire," or *' a fire that never 
^11 be quenched; " and upon them I submit the follow- 
ing remarks in connection with the passage before us. 

1st. God's wrath is said to be kindled, and shall not be 
quenched. So is his fiiry. It is said to '' bum, and shall 
not be quenched." Grod's wrath and fury are compared 
to fire, for it is said, '^ Lest my fury ccnne forth like fire, 
and bum that none can quench it." But God has no 
such evil passions as anger and fiiry, nor do these bum 
like literal fire. No ; the above passages suflSciently ex- 
plain what is meant by his anger and fury, namely, his 
judgments or tbe punishments he inflicts on men '^ because 
q! the evil of their doings." Perhi^ no figure could be 


more appropriate than fire to describe this. And a 
Gehpnna fire is peculiarly appropriate to describe God's 
judgments on the Jewish nation; for no fire was so terrible 
to Jews as the fires which had existed in the valley of 
Hinnom, whether we view them as used to consume the 
Jiuman sacrifices made there, to bum persons alive, or to 
consume the ofial of the city of Jerusalem. As the pun- 
ishment God inflicted on the Jewish nation exceeded all 
the punishments which had ever been or will be inflicted 
on men, so no figurative use of the term fire could so 
well apply to it as the fire of Gehenna. 

2d. Let it be specially noticed, that all said in the 
above passages about an unquenchable fire, or a fire that 
never shall be quenched, was spoken concerning the Jews 
as a nation. The punishment thus described under the 
figure of fire was to come on them for sins. Some of 
these sins are particularly specified, one bf which is, they 
had "burnt incense unto other gods." It is called an 
unquenchable fire, not on account of its endless duration, 
but its long continuance. No such unquenchable fire 
was threatened to the Gentiles. Jews, and the Jews as 
a nation, are the persons threatened with this punish- 
ment, which exactly agrees to what is said about Gehenna. 
Jews, and Jews omy, are threatened with Gehenna pun- 
ishment in the New Testament. 

3d. The anger, and wrath, and fury of the Lord, de- 
scribed in the above passages uiider the figure of a fire 
that should not be quenched, do not extend to another 
world. On the contrary, it «s particularly specified in 
what God's anger, wrath, and fury consisted, and where 
the Jews were to sufier them. His anger and fury were 
not to be poured out in hell, but " upon this place and 
upon the inhabitants thereof," which was the land of 
Judea and Jerusalem. His anger was to " be poured out 
upon man and upon beast, and upon the trees of the 
field, and upon the fruit of the ground." It was to be 
"kindled in the gates of, Jerusalem," and was to " de- 
vour the palaces of Jerusalem," etc. K a single drop 



of God's nfrath wsus to be poured out upon the Jeirs in a 
future state, it is rery strange the above passages are 
silent about it. And that the expression, ^' an unquench- 
able fire," does not mean endless in duration, is manifest, 
for this is spoken concerning the trees of the field, fruits 
of the ground, the gates and palaces of Jerusalem, as« 
well as the Jews themselves. The dispersed condition 
of the Jews, and the waste condition of Judea and Jeru- 
salem, afibrd a plain comment on the above passages. 

4th. Our Lord still further explains what he meant 
by Gehenna fire, thus, " where their worm dieth not, and 
the fire is not quenched." But where is the fire not 
quenched? Answer, "where their worm dieth not." But 
where is this ? In Gehenna, as the connection shows. 
But is this Gehenna in a future state ? Mr. Parkhurst 
says, " Our Lord seems to allude to the worms which 
continually preyed on the dead carcasses that wefe cast 
out into the valley of Hinnom, Gehenna, and to the 
perpetual fire kept up to consume them. Comp. Eccles. 
7 : 17, Judith 16 : 17 ; and see the learned Joseph 
Mode's Works, fol. p. 31." Mr. Stuart says, in the valley 
of Hinnom, Gehenna, *' perpetual fires were kept up, in 
order to consume the ofial which was deposited there ; and, 
as the same ofel would breed worms, hence came the ex- 
jpression, 'where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not 
quenched.' " Here, then, is the place " where their worm 
dieth not, and the fire is not quenched," stated by Drs. 
Parkhurst and Stuart, both believers in endless misery. 
It is not in hell, the world of woe, but in the valley of 
Hinnom. Here there were worms ; here there was a fire 
not quenched, by their own showing. But are these 
things in hell, their world of woe ? n was long believed 
hell was a place of literal fire, but now this is discarded 
by most intelligent men. The idea of literal worms being 
in hell no one ever believed ; hence the worm that never 
dies is interpreted to mean conscience, which is to torment 
the damned forever. But this is a private interpretation, 
for conscience is not spoken of under the figure of a 


worm by any sacred writer. There is nothing in this 
passage or its context which intimates that our Lord was 
speaking on the subject of a future state, or that by 
Gehenna he referred to a place of endless punishment. 

How, then, shall we decide with certainty what our 
Lord meant by the words, " where their, worm dieth not, 
and the fire is not quenched "? As this is his own ex- 
planation of what he meant by Gehenna, it must be 
decided by the passage our Lord here quoted from the 
Old Testament. It is the following, Isai. 66 : 24 : " An^ 
they shall go forth and look upon the carcasses of the 
men that have transgressed against me ; for their worm 
shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched, and 
they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh." Mr. Stuart, 
in his letters to Dr. Channing, p. 69, makes the follow- 
ing remark, which well applies here. " It will be remem- 
bered that the passage in question is a quotation from 
the Old Testament ; and that to quote the language of 
the Old Testament, therefor^, in order to explain it, is 
peculiarly appropriate and necessary." Let us see how 
peculiarly appropriate this passage from the Old Testa- 
ment is in explaining the words of our Lord before us. 

1st. When Isaiah said, " for their worm shall not die, 
neither shall their fire be quenched," did he mean to de- 
scribe hell, the world of woe 7 No man, we think, will 
affirm this. But this must be affirmed unless it is alleged 
our Lord altered the sense of this passage in quoting it. 
Jesus gives no intimation that these words spoken by 
Isaiah had one sense, and when quoted by him another; 
that Isaiah only referred to temporal punishment, but he 
to endless torments. 

2d. When the Jews read the words in the prophet, 
*^ for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be 
quenched," if they did not understand them as describing 
hell, the world of woe, how could our Lord's disciples 
understand them so when he quoted them? To say these 
words, when quoted by bin, had such a sense affixed to 



them, and were so understood by the disciples, implicates 
both in perverting the Old Testament Scriptures. 

8d. What, then, is the meaning of the words in Isaiah, 
** for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be 
quenched " ? Let it be noticed, generally, the chapter in 
which this passage stands relates to events under the 
gospel dispensation. The new heavens and new earth, 
mentioned in verse 22, all allow, refer to this period; and 
the extension of the gospel to liie Gentiles is repeatedly 
adverted to in the course of the chapter. With this in 
view, let us now notice what is said in the passage. 1st. 
** And they shall go forth and look upon the carcasses of 
the men that have transgressed against me." What men 
are referred to, who transgressed against the Lord? The 
context shows they were the unbelieving Jews. The 
next question is, what men are referred to who should 
go forth and look upon the carcases of the men who 
had transgressed against the Lord ? The preceding verses 
show that he refers to the persons who worship and obey 
the Lord. The third question is, to what place shall the 
men who worship and obey the Lord go forth and look 
upon the carcasses of the men who transgressed against 
the Lord? The passage itself answers, to the place 
''where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." 
But are the carcasses of men who have transgressed 
against the Lord, in hell, the world of woe ? And who 
goes forth there to look on such carcasses? Who 
ever heard of carcasses in hell ? And does any rational 
man think persons go forth, either from heaven or this 
world, to look on them there? The idea is as absurd as 
it is contrary to common opinion on the subject. 

Wfiat, then, is meant? I answer, let the reader recol- 
lect what was shown from the prophet Jeremiah. The 
Lord was to make the city of Jerusalem as Tophet, and 
he was to make the carcasses of the wicked Jews meat 
for the beasts of the earth, and they should bury in 
Tophet until there should be no place to bury. Josephus, 


the Jewish historian, relates that six hundred thousand 
of their carcasses were carried out of the city and left 
unburied. The disciples of our Lord, or those who wor- 
shipped and obeyed him, could not go forth into the 
very streets of Jerusalem without looking upon the car- 
casses of those men, for the streets were filled with their 
carcasses. And when the disciples left the city, accord- 
ing to our Lord's directions, Matt. 24, they must have 
looked on the carcasses of the men who had transgressed 
against the Lord, if six hundred thousand of them lay 
unburied. They could not help looking at them, unless 
they were blindfolded. 

But the passage adds, '^ and they shall be an abhorring 
unto all flesh." This is said of the men who had trans- 
gressed against the Lord, mentioned in the former part 
of the passage. The Jews had greatly transgressed against 
the Lord, and filled up the cup of tneir iniquity in cruci- 
fying the Lord of glory, and persecuting his disciples. 
They pleased not God, and were contrary to all men. 
The former part of the passage fully applies to them. 
Let us see how this last part applies, '^ and they shall be 
an abhorring unto all flesh." Whoever will take the 
trouble to examine the phrase, ''all flesh," easily found 
by a concordance, will see it is used to designate the 
Gentile nations. Li the unbelieving Jewish nation who 
survived the destruction of their city and temple by Titus, 
and in their posterity, this part of the passage has been 
literally fulfilled. From tlmt day to this, the Jews have 
been an abhorring to all the Gentile nations. They have 
been a by-word and a reproach among all the nations of 
the earth. The Boman empire, at vie time Jerusalem 
was destroyed, was considered the whole world, and is so 
denominated in Scripture. The army of Titus which 
besieged it was made up of men from the various nations 
which composed this empire. The carcasses of the Jews 
who 1;^ transgressed against the Lord were an abhorring 
sight to the army, as Josephus testifies. On this view 
of the words, they were literally and awfully fulfilled. 



Let us now return to the passage in question. It is 
evident our Lord quoted from Isaiah the words, and three 
times repeats them, ^* where their worm dieth not, and 
the fire is not quenched." K we ask, whose worm shall 
not die 7 whose fire is not quenched ? the answer to these 
questions must be drawn from verse 42. The persons 
who offended those who believed in Jesus, is the antecedent 
to the word their. Now, all allow the unbelieving Jews 
were not only the greatest opposers of Jesus, but hated 
and persecuted such as believed on him. This exactly 
answers to the persons Isaiah referred to in the words 
which our Lord quotes, and three times repeats. They 
were the men who transgressed against the Lord, or the 
unbelieving, wicked Jews. Is it objected, Have you not 
said our Lord in this passage was addressing his own dis- 
ciples ? We answer, yes ; but it is obvious enough he 
does not refer to his own disciples by the word their ^ 
when he says, " where their worm dieth not, and the fire 
is not quenched." On the contrary, he is warning them 
against a punishment others were to suffer, which ne de- 
scribes by Gehenna fire, the fire that never shall be 
quenched ; where their worm dieth not, and the fire is 
not quenched. Our Lord told his disciples it was better, 
or profitable for them, to enter into life, into the king- 
dom of Gtxi, maimed in their bodily members, than, having 
all these, to go or be cast into Gehenna or hell fire. Ana 
what he meant by this we have seen from the above ex- 
amination of the language of the passage."^ 

* In a note on p. 141 we have given, from an article by Dr. BaUou» 
an exposition of Matt 5 : 29, 80. In the same article he has the fol- 
lowing on Matt: 17 : 8, 9 ; Mark 9 : 48 — 48. " It is evident, by oomparing 
the parallel expressions in these two passages, that * to be cast into 
the fire that is everlasting,' is the same as to 1^ cajst into the Gehenna 
of fire, or into Gehenna, or * into the fire that is unquenchable, where 
their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.' And we scarcely 
need to say that all these are phrases which, in their literal sense, 
designate or aptly describe the valley of Hinnom, with its perpetual 
fire, and its ever-swarming, ever-devouring host of worms. It has 
already been seen that the Gehenna of fire is the appellation by which 
Ghriat spoke of that place. Its fire is called the everlasting {aumiof)^ 


LTike^2 : 4, 5. " And I say unto you, my friends, 
be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that 
have no more that they can do. But I ^nll forewarn you 
whom ye shall fear: fear him, which, after he hath killed, 
hath power to cast into hell (Gehenna)." Here our 
Lord was also addressing his own disciples. " It is," 
says Mr. Stuart, '' a passage parallel with Matt. 10 : 28, 
above, ailid of the same import" To my remarks there 

or unquenchable (asbestos), because it neyer was extingaished ; and 
the worm, it is said, *dietii not,' because it was always found there 
in such abundance. It should be observed, moreoyer, that this lan- 
guage had a proverbial reference to the valley of Hiionom ; for our 
Saviour borrowed it from Isaiah 66 : 24, where it had been used with 
reference to that place, and where it had presented the same imagery 
as here : * They i^all go forth,' said the prophet, * and look upon the 
carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me ; tor their worm 
shall not die, neither shaU their fire be quenched ; and they shall be 
an abhorring unto aU flesh.' 

" Accordingly, it is plain that aU these phrases denote (we mean liter- 
ally) the valley of Hinnom. The general development of the meta- 
phor, therefore, if we fill out the break in it, is obviously the same 
here as in the text at the head of this article. And the moraL or sig- 
nification of it, is the same, namely. Give up everything that oecomes 
to thee an occasion to sin ; for it is better to enter into the kingd^ of 
Gk)d, into the spiritual life and blessedness of the gospel, even at the 
sacrifice of outward privileges and comforts, than, by retaining them, 
to have thy whole soul corrupted tiU thou art involved in a state of 
utter abomination and wretchedness, like a dishonored corpse that is 
cast into Gehenna to be preyed upon by the worms, and abandoned to 
the fire. Such is the interpretation which appears to us the most nat- 
ural and simple. Certain it is that the conmion explanation is beset 
with several difficulties. If carried out strictly, it presupposes, 1st. 
That Gehenna, and the fire that is everlasting, and the pai^llel phrases, 
do not designate, in any way, the valley of Hinnom, but are the direct 
names or descriptions of a future state of tdrment in the spiritual 
world ; of course, that the metaphor with which the passages begin 
is wholly abandoned in the latter part 2d. That to enter into the 
kingdom of God, is not to enter into the gospel in this life, as the ex- 
pression usually means, but into the state of glory hereafter, as if the 
person had never been in the kingdom before. 8d. That if we sacrifice 
any outward privileges and comforts here on earth, in order to avoid 
occasions to sin, we shall hereafter be deprived of corresponding con- 
veniences, shall enter into heaven maimed, and halt, and half-blind, a^ 
it were. 4. That when speaking directly and exclusively of a future 
state of torment, our Saviour mentioned only the body as being cast 
into it." 0. A. S. 


I then refer the reader. Some light pay be shed on both 
passages by comparing Matthew and Luke's account of 
our Lord's discourse. Matthew says, '* And fear not them 
which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul." 
Luke's statement of the same thing is, ^' Be not afraid 
of them that kill the body, and after that have no more 
that they can do." The words of Luke, " after that have 
no more that they can do," express what Matthew meant 
by the words, " but are not able to kill the souL" 

2d. Matthew says, **But rather fear him, which is able 
to destroy both soul and body in hell (Gehenna)." To 
express the same thing, Luke says, '^ Fear him, which, 
after he hathkilled, hath power to cast into hell (Gehenna)." 
We notice the following agreement and difference between 
Matthew and Luke in expressing the same thing. 1st 
Both mention Gehenna, and no one can doubt bom mean 
the same thing by it. 2d. What Matthew expresses by 
the words, "destroy in Gehenna," Luke expresses by the 
words, ' ^ cast into Gehenna." But Matthew used the same 
language, "cast into Gehenna," twice, chap. 5: 29, 30, 
and in chap. 18 : 9, once. To be destroyed, or to be 
cast into Gehenna, then, means the same tning with the 
same writer and with both writers. But, 8d. Matthew 
says " both soul and body" God is able to destroy in Ge- 
henna. But Luke mentions neither soul nor body. The 
words "after he hath killed," used by Luke, or "after he 
hath killed, hath power to cast into Gehenna," answer to 
the words of Matthew. They suggest the question, afl»r 
he hath killed what? If we supply the answer to this 
question from Matthew's account, it will be, afl»r he hath 
killed or destroyed both soul and body, he hath power to 
cast into Gehenna. 4th. Matthew says God is able to 
do all this. Luke says God has power to do it, which 
is the same. But it is rather a hasty conclusion to say 
because he is able, or hath power to do all this, it was 
done, as noticed on Matt. 10 : 28. From this compari- 
son of MattJiew and Luke's language, I would remark, 

1st. Luke does not use the distinction made by Matthew 


between soul and body. He only mentions the body, in 
the first part of his statement, when he speaks of men kill- 
ing it. In the last, when he speaks of God's killing, he 
does not mention soul or body. K he thought man had 
an immortal soul, and if, by soul, Matthew meant this, 
it was a great omission in Luke not to mention it, if (jod 
was to destroy or kill, the immortal soul as well as the 
body in Gehenna. But, 

2d. Luke's not using the distinction between soul and 
body confirms what was noticed on Matt. 10 ; 28, that 
this distinction between soul and body is a mere Hebrew 
idiom. It simply means, as noticed already, the whole 
body or the person. That soul is used for the person 
himself, we have seen above. But that it is ever used to 
designate an immortal soul, in distinction from the body, 
and which is to be happy or miserable in a disembodied 
state, I am unable to find in Scripture. This doctrine is 
assumed firom this text, and Matt. 10 : 28, which give no 
countenance to the opinion. Do these texts say the soul 
is immortal ? No. Do they say the soul or body is 
alive in happiness or misery after being killed or destroyed 
in Gehenna ? No. Not the slightest intimation of this. 

3d. Both Matthew and Luke savour Lord enjoined on 
his disciples not to fear men. Why? Because they 
could only put them to death. This they did, and was all 
they could do. See Acts 12 : 1 — 3. The apostles were 
above the fear of man in fulfilling their mission, as the 
whole book of the Acts shows. 

4th. Both Matthew and Luke say our Lord enjoined 
on his disciples to fear God. This is often enjoined on 
Christians in Scripture. Why, on this occasion, did Jesus 
enjoin the fear of God on his disciples ? Because, though 
man could kill the body, none but God could bring upon 
them that tremendous punishment predicted by Jeremiah 
under the emblem of Gehenna. This was a much se- 
verer punishment than that inflicted upon the men who 
died without mercy under the layr of Moses. The like 
had never been before, and would never be again. In 



this our Lord's disciples might be involved, for nothing 
but fidelity to him, and obedience to his instructions, 
could save them from it. 

5th. It is objected, *' To destroy both soul and body 
in Gehenna seems to intimate something more than this." 
But if it does, it intimates annihilation, or the total de- 
struction of the whole man. But, surely, no one thinks 
that by destroying both soul and body in Grehenna, more 
can be meant than " the damnation of hell, Gehenna." 
Matt. 23 : 33, which was threatened the unbelieving 
Jews. Did this mean annihilation 7 No. Did it mean 
endless punishment in a future state ? No ; for we have 
shown from the context it evidently meant the temporal 
punishment coming on the Jewish nation. Who can 
suppose that our Lord threatened his own disciples with 
a worse punishment than the unbelieving Jews ? 

James 3: 6. ** And the tongue is a fire, a world of 
iniquity ; so is the tongue among our members, that it 
defileth the whdle body, and setteth on fire the course of 
nature; and it is set on fire of hell f Gehenna)." Dr. 
Campbell thinks the term Gehenna is here used figu- 
ratively. He observes, " It is the intention of the writer 
to draw an illustration of the subject from that state of 
perfect wretchedness." But why forget, 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 a place of perfect misery 1 But, by Dr. Camp- 
belFs own showing, no Jew could learn this from the Old 
Testament. The term Gehenna is not used in the Old 
Testament to designate a place of endless punishment 
Nor are the words Sheol or Hades used* in this sense. 
James could not draw an illustration of any subject, then, 
from such a place of future punishment, nor ought this to 
be asserted until it is proved he knew of such a place 
as a place of wretchedness. 

James was a Jew and wrote to believing Jews. Now, 
no place, to a Jew, Qonveyed an idea of more perfect 
wretchednes than the valley of Hinnom. Professor Stu- 


art says, " We cannot wonder, then, at the severe tenns in 
"which the worship of Moloch is everywhere denounced in 
the Scriptures. Nor can we wonder that the place itself 
should have been called Tophet, that is, abomination, de- 
testation (from tup^ to vomit with loathing)." Such a 
place of perfect wretchedness was Gehenna, that he and 
others allege, it was made a source of imagery to desig- 
nate hell or the world of woe. Hence he says, " What 
could be a more appropriate term than this, when we 
consider the horrid cruelties and diabolical rites which 
had been there performed?" Which, then, is most likely 
the truth, that James drew an illustration from hell in 
another world, a place unknown, or from the valley of 
Hinnom, a place well known as a place of perfect wretch- 
edness ? He is here speaking of the evils arising from an 
improper use of the tongue ; and to draw an illustration 
from the valley of Hinnom was both natural and proper, 
as it was the most abominable place known to Jews. 
Surely, it is'as difScult to conceive how the tongue could 
be set on fire from hell in another world, as from the val- 
ley of Hinnom in the present world. 

We have now considered all the texts in the New Testa- 
ment which speak of Gehenna punishment. We have two 
or three additional remarks to make On the whole of them. 

1st. If these texts do not refer to the same pun- 
ishment predicted by Jeremiah to the Jewish nation, 
then our Lord never reminded the Jews that such a pun- 
ishment had been threatened them. K he spoke of this 
punishment at all to them, it must have been under the 
imagery of Gehenna, for under this imagery it was de- 
scribed by the prophet. It will not be pretended that 
this punishment had been inflicted on the Jewish nation 
previous to the days of our Lord. Fidelity to the unbe- 
lieving Jews, and love to his own disciples, required he 
should frequently speak of it, for this punishment was 
nigh even at the door. The texts which speak of Ge- 
henna punishment agree to this view of die subject. 
Their contexts, the persons addressed about Gehenna, 
and the phraseology used, are all in unison with it. 

^ 196 GEHENNA. 

2d. It is asserted, Gehenna was such an abominabld 
place that in proccess of time it was made an emblem of 
the endless punishment of the wicked in a future state. 
But if it was so abominable as to be made an emblem 
of this, it ought to have been made so in the days of the 
Old Testament writers ; for it was then the most cruel 
sacrifices were made in the valley of Hinnom, and the 
most horrid abominations were committed. After the 
Babylonian captivity the Jews were cured of idolatry. 
But during the days of the prophets, no one ever thougnt 
of making Gehenna, the valley of Hinnom, an emblem 
of hell, the world of woe. And yet, during this period, 
the prophet Jeremiah did make Gehenna an emblem of 
temporal punishment to the Jewish nation. If Gehenna, 
in the days of its greatest abomination, was not made an 
emblem of the world of woe by inspired writers, but of 
temporal punishment to the Jews, why should it be made 
an emblem of this when it was far less abominable, and 
that too by uninspired writers ? K God did hot see fit to 
make it an emblem of hell, the world of woe, when at its 
height of abomination, who had a right, on their own 
authority, to make it so afterwards ? 

3d. But it must first be proved that God, in the Old 
Testament, had revealed such a hell, such a world of woe> 
before we ought to believe Gehenna was made an emblem 
of it. I demand, then, that the texts be produced, which 
teach such a world. Where is it described by the name 
Gehenna, or by any other name ? Mr. Stuart tried to 
find it under the name Sheol; but his attempt was a total 
febilure. I ask, then, how could any Old Testament wri- 
ter make Gehenna an emblem of a world of woe, when 
no such world was known to him 7 

4th. The Jews, in after ages, derived their notions of 
punishment in a world of woe from the heathen, and to 
this the term Gehenna was applied. But both th^ place 
and the sense given to Gehenna are of human invention. 

Such are all the texts in which the word Gehenna is 
used by the New Testament writers. According to 


every just rule of Sci ipim e in t erpfcti tkmy I do nol 
how thej can be int»]^eted diffezemlj. Indeed, to 
it is surprising how the doctrme of etenni misezj 
ever founded on anj of the texts which sfeak aC (jeheniA 
or hell. If I am oorrect, it also aiixds a striking exai&- 
pie how &r we maj be misled^ in a proper vnderstandiDg 
of the Scriptui:^, bj attaching to a ^igle word a sense 
different &om that giren b j the inspired writers^ How &r 
I am correct, my readers most judge. I hope they will, 
on the one hand, guard against receiTing my error if it 
be one, and on the other, beware of rejecting my view, 
if trae, from prejndkes of edncaticMi. Under the influ- 
ence of these prejudices I began to examine this subject, 
and have been obliged to relinquish my foqner yiews of 
Gehenna, firom the force of the eyidenoe I have already 
stated, and which I hare yet to state. K my views of (jo- 
henna are found correct, it is also a striking proof how £ur 
we may be misled in a proper understanding of the New 
Testament, firom our inattention to the Old. K the word 
Grehenna in the New is used in a similar sense as in the 
Old Testament, all the &lse views we have had of the 
texts in which it occurs in the former, have arisen from 
our inattention to its usage in the latter. 

Before closing this section, it is proper to notice any 
objections which have occurred against the sense given 
to ; Gehenna in the passages we have been considering. 
1st. One of the most popular objections likely to be 
urged, is that it is contrary to the long established eccle- 
siastical use of this word. This is frankly admitted; 
but, certainly, this is no certain evidence that my views 
are incorrect. In the present case, I have done no 
more than what is done by Presbyterians, Hopkinsians>. 
Congregationalists, Baptists, Methodists, yea, by all 
sects in religion. That the ecclesiastical use of some 
words is very different from the scripture usage of them, 
few will deny. I have as much regard for the ecclesi- 
tical use of words as Dr. Campbell. He says, p. 416, 
of his Dissertations, " Ecclesiastical use is no security 



that the word, though it be understood, convejs to us the 
same idea which the original teriyi did to those to whom 
the gospels were first promulgated. In a former disser- 
tation, the fullest evidence has beea given that, in regard 
to several words, the meaning which has been long estab- 
lished by ecclesiastical use is very different from that 
which they have in the writings of the New Testament." 

It is easily seen from this quotation, and more fully 
from the other dissertation to which he refers, that he did 
not scruple to disclaim the ecclesiastical use of words if 
it did not agree with the New Testament. We have 
examined the scripture usage of Sheol, Hades, Tartarus 
and Gehenna, and if ecclesiastical usage makes them 
signify a place of endless misery, we must say that it is 
not supported by the Bible. 

2d. Another objection closely connected with the for- 
mer is that my views of Gehenna are contrary to the 
opinions of almost all the learned in the present day, 
in ages past of the Christian Church, and to its sense 
in the Apocrypha and Jewish Targums. This may be 
true, yet my view of Gehenna be lEe correct and scrip- 
tural one notwithstanding. Dr. Campbell says, p. 91 of 
his Dissertations, "The opinion of Grotius and some 
learned Rabbis, unsupported by either argument or ex- 
ample, nay, in manifest contradiction to both, is here of 
no weight. Scriptural usage alone must decide the ques- 
tion. These commentators (with all deference to their 
erudition and abilities be it spoken), being comparatively 
modem, cannot be considered as ultimate judges in a 
question depending entirely on an ancient use, whereof 
all the evidences that were remaining in their time remain 
still, and are as open to our examination as they were 
to theirs. In other points where there may happen to be 
in Scripture an allusion to customs or ceremonies retained 
by the Jews, but unknown to us, the case is different. 
But nothing of this kind is pretended here." We have 
attempted to decide the question, what is the meaning of 
tiie term Gehenna, by an appeal to the scripture usage 


of this word, and we must say it is our present opinion 
that it is not once used either in the Old or New Testa- 
ment to express a place of endless misery for die wicked. 
We conclude this section with two brief qaotationg 
from Mr. Stuart, in his letters to Mr. (now Dr. J Chan- 
ning, which we wish were engraven on every man s heart, 
never to be efl&ced. In page 14, he says, '^ The claims 
of the Bible to be authoritative being once admitted, the 
simple question, in respect to it, is, what does it teach in 
regard to any particular passage ; what idea did the orig- 
inal writer mean to convey? When this is ascertained 
by the legitimate rules of interpretation, it is authorita- 
tive. This is orthodoxy in the highest and best s^ise of 
the word ; and evervthmg which is opposed to it, which 
modifies it, which mtters its meaning away, is heUao-' 
doxy, is heresy ; to whatever name or par^ it is at- 
tached." He adds, p. 109, " After all, it is a principle. 
by which, if I have any knowledge of my own heart, I 
desire forever to be guided, to ' call no man master, on 
earth.' I would place the decision of Seripture, &]rly 
made out, immeasurably above all human opinions* I 
regard the one as the decision of an unerring God ; the 
other as the opinions of &llible men.'' 



The &ct8 idiich have been stated in K««!iMm 24^ mr§ 
certainly very singular, if Gehenna in tb^ Xew T^ttiiU^ 
ment signifies a place of endless mmry ffff ilm wkki(4. 
Those I am now to adduce aie to me mo iK^mfi^, uj^ 


such a view of this subject. Some of them have been 
slightly hinted at in the course of our remarks, but 
deserve a more distinct statement. 

1st. If Gehenna means a place of endless misery for 
the wicked, it is a fact that the apostles never preached 
it, either to Jews or Gentiles. The history of the Acts 
of the Apostles contains an account of their preaching 
for thirty years, but not once is the sulgect of Gehenna 
torments mentioned by them. They were commanded 
to preach the gospel to every creature, and they did so ; 
but to no creature under heaven did they preach this 
doctrine, or threaten its punishment? They addressed 
the worst of characters, but to none of them did they 
say, ** How can ye escape the damnation of Gehenna, 
hell 7 " They threatened men sometimes with punish- 
ment, but never with eternal punishment in hell. Paul 
said to Elymas, the sorcerer, " ! full of all subtil ty 
and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of 
all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right 
ways of the Lord 7 " But he does not threaten him with 
the damnation of hell. He says, ** And now, behold, the 
hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, 
not seeing the sim for a season." Acts 13 : 10, 11. In 
the same chapter, verses 40, 41, he SE^ys, " Beware, 
therefore, lest that come upon you whicn is spoken of in 
the . prophets. Behold, ye despisers, and wonder and 
perish." In this last text the word perish occurs, and 
perhaps some may think it means eternal punishment. 
But it should be observed that Paul was here addressing 
himself to Jews, concerning whom our Lord had said, 
^' Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish," refer- 
ring to the temporal destruction of the Jewish nation. 
Now, how can we account for this silence, if the apostles 
believed hell to be a place of endless misery? Their 
ministry continued thirty years, and yet they do not 
once use Gehenna ! What would we say of a man in 
these days who should preach thirty years, yet never say 
a word about hell to those whom he addressed ? ' Should 


we not say he waa a Universalist ? He would be an out- 
law from orthodoxy. If my veracity in this statement 
is doubted by any, let them read the book of Acts. It 
is silent on the subject of hell torments. If preachera 
should take the apostles for their models, we should hear 
no more about hell. We respectfully ask, then, from 
what source ministers learn that they should preach 
Gehenna or hell torments to us Grentiles? To what 
chapter or verse, in any book of the New Testament, can 
they refer us where an inspired apostle ever did so ? Let 
eveiT one, who preaches this doctrine, consider if he did 
not learn it from his catechism when a child, from books 
he has read, £Lnd from the preaching he has heard, sinoe 
he became a man, and not from his Bible. Let him alao 
ask whether he has ever given this subject a thorough 
and impartial examination. We are all too pnme to eoDr 
demn opinions contrary to our own, before we have dulj 
considered the evidence brought in support of them. 

To the above it may be objected, ^^ Gehenna was & 
Jewish figurative mode of spesJdng of future eternal 
punishment, and had it been used by Ihe apostles in 
preaching to the Grentiles, they could not have been un- 
derstood ; for the Grentiles knew nothing about Gehemui 
as a place of friture punishment" To this I rephr, 

1st. This objection would have some force if it mm 
found that the apostles ever said to tibe wicked Gentiles, 
'^ How can ye escape the damnation of Hades, or Tar* 
tarus 1 " Had they done thus, the objection would hare 
force ; but they did not, and it is fair, therefin'e, to infer 
their silence concerning Gehenna, in preaching to Gentiles, 
was not because it was a Jewidi figure which tbey eoola 
not understand. But, 

2d. Admitting the term Gehenna was one which th4» 
Grentiles did not understand, the apostles cooM har<5 tix^ 
plained it to them, as they have oone other thifitfn hm 
important. Let any one read John's gofipel, simI m will 
see that he explains Jewish names and iswHUntm ; n^rnm 
examples of which we have gHrm in saotbsr pises. But^ 


3d. The above objection assumes that the Gentifetf 
"were unacquainted with the term Gehenna. But is there 
not as good reason to think that the heathen, in their in^ 
tercourse with the Jews, should imbibe their notions of 
(Jehenna, as that the Jews should imbibe the heathen no- 
tions concerning Hades or Tartarus ? Their mutual inter- 
course would produce a mutual interchange of opinions. 
This being the case, if the Spirit of God recognized either 
the Jewish notions of Gehenna, or the Pagan notions of 
Hades, as truth, we might expect that the apostles would 
have preached the doctrine to both Jews and Gentiles. 
Had both been recognised, we might expect Hades and 
Gehenna to be used indiscriminately by the apostles in 
speaking of future eternal misery. But tnis was not 
done, if we may judge of their preaching from what is 
contained in the New Testament. K they believed both 
to be true, they would have spoken at least of Gehenna 
to Jews, and of Hades to Gentiles, as a place of eternal 
punishment in a future state. 

4th. But this objection assumes that the Jews in our 
Lord's day used Gehenna to signify a place of endless 
misery, and that this was its exclusive sense. That this 
could not be its exclusive sense we have proved ; for in 
reading the Old Testament they could not understand it 
so ; or, if they did, they must have perverted it to an 
extent I am unwilling to believe, even of the Jews. The 
objector must then prove that the Jews in our Lord's day 
used the term Gehenna exclusively to express a place of 
endless misery. The apostles preached to the Jews as 
T^ell as the Gentiles, but they did noteven name it to them. 
Will any man affirm, then, that the apostles of our Lord 
understood him to mean by Gehenna a place of endless 
misery, and yet never preached it, to either Jews or Gen- 
tiles, in the whole course of their ministry ? Whatever 
excuse we may make for them, in regard to the Gentiles 
not understanding the term, none can be made for them 
respecting the Jews. 

2d. The salvation revealed by the gospel, is never 


spoken of as a salvation from hell or endless misery. No 
such was ever promised or predicted in the Old Testa- 
ment, and no such salvation was ever preached bj Christ 
or his apostles. Our Lord received the name Jesus, 
because he should save his people from tfieir sins, not 
because he should save them from helL Our Lord and 
his apostles, in preaching, proposed by it to torn men 
from darkness to light ; from the power of satan onto God : 
from idols to serve the living God ; from the oonne of 
this world, and from all sin, to holiness ; bat where do 
we ever read of their saving them from hell ? No sudli 
salvation was preached by our Lord. Li all the texts 
where he speaks of hell, he was not preaching the gotftl^ 
but addressing the Jews about the temporal cahmitics 
coming on them as a people. Li no inafemfle did he erer 
exhort men to bring forth fruits worthy rf repentatioe, be* 
cause they were exposed to hell torments in a fotnre state. 
So hr from this, in nine instances out rf elereo, where 
Gehenna is used by him, he was addressing his discipka. 
Nothing is said in oar Lord's commissioQ to his apostkn 
about hell, and as little by tfiem in their eiecaiifm of it 
James is the only exception, thoa^ he oses it figorailtrdy. 
To Jew and Gentile, bond and free, all the rest Mte mleui 
about it. This silence of the apostlaoooUiKA be he^eMiso 
the people in those days were so good that they did wA 
need pungent preaching. No: die whole world kyin 
wickedness, yet they did not declaim iqipoa the tMHseots <^ 
hell to alarm their fears, and tarn ibem bom tm to O^ph 
No calculations were made, as in oor day. of ihe tmm^ 
ber daily and hoarly going to eternal misery. Xor were 
any schemes adopted by the apostles to rme futA^ Up 
save men from such a £ite. As tbey exipremeA Wp fnUmm 
about the vast crowds going to Ml, so we ^lo iM UtA 
them expressing their joy because any were m^eA fr^pm 
it. They were deeply grieved to see snett \Wm% \u mn^ 
and their spirit was stirred within tli^;^ to fiee wSitfU 
cities given to* idolatry ; bat tfa^ t^e^er jMMrrt t)«at all 
such were on the road to etctnal w^je, they bud f(r«ai 


204 aEHBNNA. 

joy to see men walking in the truth, and often congrata- 
lated them on account of their being saved from their 
former course of life, but not a syllable escapes them that 
such persons have been saved from ceaseless misery. 
You search the Scriptures in vain to find a single instance 
where the apostles made any attempt to .work on the fears 
and feelings of men by giving terrific descriptions of hell, 
or the horrors and bowlings of the damned. As they 
never held up the torments of hell to make men Chris- 
tians, so we never find them using it as an argument to 
induce Christians to love and to good works. The latter 
were often reminded that they formerly were idolaters, 
working all uncleanness with greediness, to induce them 
to holiness ; but we do not find a word said about, their 
being saved fi-om hell, as any inducement to it. In view 
of these things, how are we to explain their conduct, if 
they believed as many do now respecting the wicked ? Is 
it possible they believed this, yet preserved such a dead 
silence on the subject ? 

But I may be told, that though none are said to be 
saved from hell, they are said to be delivered from the 
wrath to come, and to be saved from wrath through 
Jesus. True ; but it is not said that this wrath was in a 
future state, or of eternal duration, which is the point to 
be proved. I can show that the expression " wrath to 
come " does qpt refer to a future state. To do it here 
would be too great a digression fi-om our present subject 

3d. Supposing that Grehenna is a place of endless 
misery, who can vindicate the character of our Lord or 
his apostles for faithfulness, compassion or zeal? It is 
certain that our Lord was faithful to him who appointed 
him. The apostles were also faithful in declaring the 
whole counsel of God. But can all this be true, if they 
knew that hell was a place of eternal misery, and that all 
the world stood exposed to it, yet said nothing about it ? 
It is true the Saviour mentions Gehenna nine times to 
his disciples, and twice to the unbelieving Jews. But 
neither he nor his apostles use the word in speaking to 


the OentileB. Now, I ask, is this heing fidthfull Is 
this being half so faithfiil as most preachers are in our 
day ? Every candid man must say no ; it is rather being 
very unfaithful, if they believed this doctrine as it is 
commonly received among us. How can preaching hell 
as a place of endless misery now be a duty, since it was 
not done by the apostles or our Lord? The fidelity of 
preachers in these days, both to God and the souk of 
men, in preaching the doctrine of endless misery, far 
exceeds that of the apostles or of Christ. But how is 
their compassion to the souls of men to be vindicated, if 
by hell is meant a place of such misery 1 The case 
stands thus. The Saviour knew about this place of end- 
less torment He had compassion on the multitude when 
they needed food, and wrought a miracle to supply their . 
wants. His compassion made him weep over Jerusalem, in 
view of the temporal calamities coming upcm its inhabit- 
ants, and &ithfully warn them of Sieir danger. In 
reference to those calamities, he once said to the unbe- 
lieving Jews, "'How can ye escape the damnation of 
hell 7 " In reference to the same calamities, he uses the 
word hell in addressing his disciples. But he sheds no 
tears, he gives no warnings, he works no miracles to 
save from endless misery. But can any man think this 
of the Son of God, the Saviour of the world 7 Can any 
man believe that he whose heart was wnmg with anguish 
at foreseeing temporal evils, and who could shed tears at 
the grave of Lazarus, was so devoid of all compassion 
as never to warn men of endless misery ? But suppose 
we admit that in all the places where our Lord mentions 
hell such a place of misery is meant. In that case he 
had a little compassion for the Jews. But neither he 
nor his apostles had any for the Gentiles. The apostles 
did shed tears, but not a tear &lls from their eyes on 
account of men's Joeing in danger of hell torments. On 
this subject, their bowels of compassion were entirely shut 
up, for they say not a word about hell to them. Either 
then we must allow these men to be devoid of compas- 



8ion, or admit that they did not know the torment that 
awaited the wicked. How different from modem preach- 
ers ! Solemnly, and seriously, and frequently, do they 
warn men of hell torment. What deep compassion they 
pretend to feel for the multitudes of poor souls on the 
brink of hell, and going down to suffer its torments 
forever ! In what loud and frightful tones do we hear 
them describe the horrors of this place ! Their com- 
passionate hearts they represent as bleeding, because men 
will thus rush down to ruin in crowds. But where do 
we find such things in the preaching of our Lord and 
his apostles ? Were they to return to the earth, every 
pulpit would be shut against them, and they represented 
as unfaithful and unfeeling men. But how is their zeal 
for the glory of God and the salvation of men to be vin- 
dicated / Our Lord said, '*The zeal of thine house 
hath eaten me up." But surely his zeal was not spent in 
warning men against endless miseiy. The apostles had 
also great zeal, and zeal according to knowledge, but they 
never spent it in enforcing such a doctrine. The topic 
of hell torments, on which so much zeal is spent in the 
present day, is one which they never introduced. 

I do not blame the zeal of any in the present day in 
urging this doctrine on mankind, if it be true ; I con- 
tend that their zeal is not ardent enough. So &r from 
condemning the greatest zeal which can be manifested, I 
have some doubts, from the indifference of many persons, 
whether they believe their own doctrine. ,K they do, 
how can they live in such wealth and splendor, yet do so 
little to save men from hell ? I have serious doubts 
whether many of the preachers, most active and zealous 
in rousing the people to give money to save the heathen 
from hell, believe this doctrine. If they believed it, 
would they live at home in comparative ease and affluence, 
and send raw, inexperienced youths a]^road, to encounter 
the^ difficulties and dangers of such a work? No; they 
would rush into the hottest place of the battle, and suffer 
every privation in such a conflict. One thing is certain, 


aSHENNA. 207 

that, in saying others from hell, they seem determined 
to do it with as little self-denial ana personal risk as 
possible. How often does it happen that all the zeal for 
the doctrine in question eyaporates in the pulpit, and 
nothing more is heard of it until the preacher returns to 
it again ! In the common intercourse of life, he speaks 
and acts to the same people as if all his threatenings of 
eternal torment were not true. Yea, some of the very 
persons whom he threatens with hell are his most inti- 
mate companions through the week. He visits in their 
families, he feasts at their table, and his salary is chiefly 
paid by them ; but not a word escapes him, perhaps the 
whole week, in warning them of their danger. Can such 
a man be said truly to believe this doctrine ? We must 
be allowed to doubt it, so long as such un&ithfulness is 
so apparent. 

4th. The Old Testament is often quoted in the New, 
but it is an indisputable fact, that though quoted by our 
Lord, when speaking about hell or Gehenna, it is not 
quoted to show that hell was a place of eternal misery, 
but in reference to temporal punishment. Indeed, it was 
impossible for him or his apo&tles to quote the Old Testa- 
ment for such a purpose ; for we have seen, jfrom Dr.r 
Campbell and others, that it did not afiFord them anything 
to quote. Well, permit me to ask why our Lord quoted 
the Old Testament, and in the very texts in which hell or 
Gehenna is spoken of? In Mark 9, our Lord expressly 
quotes a passage from Isaiah, when speaking concerning 
hell to his disciples. In other places he seems to allude 
to other prophets. Had our Ijord then meant to use 
Gehenna in a different sense from that in the Old Testa- 
ment, was it not calculated to mislead his hearers thus to 
quote it? Is it rational to suppose that he quoted texts 
which speak of a temporal punishment, when he intended 
that what he said about (Jehenna, or hell, should be un- 
derstood of eternal punishment ? I think this would be 
imputing to our Lorn a want of correctness of judgment, 
and even of common propriety, which we seldom have 


occasion to impute to our fellow-men. The man would 
be looked on as insane, or something worse, who, in the 
present day, if he intended to prove the doctrine of hell 
torments, should quote from the Old Testament the paa* 
sage about the three persons thrown into the fiery furnace. 
But this is just what our Lord did, if Gehenna in the 
New Testament means a place of eternal misery. See 
on Matt. 23 : 33, and Mark 9 : 42, considered in the 
preceding section. 

5th. K there is a place of endless misery for the wicked, 
it is a most remarkable fact that the Hebrew, Greek 
and English languages originally had no name for it. 
We have seen, from Dr. Campbell, that Gehenna does not 
occur in this sense in the Old Testament.' Let us also 
see what he says about our English word hell. Speaking 
of Hades in his sixth Dissertation, he says, " To this the / 
word hell in its primitive signification perfectly corre- 
sponded ; for, at first, it denoted only what was secret 
or concealed. This word is found with little variation of 
form, and precisely in the same meaning, in all the' Teu- 
tonic dialects. But though our word hell in its original 
signification was more adapted to express the Bense of 
Ifides than of Gehenna, it is not so now. When we 
speak as Christians, we always express by it the place of 
the punishment of the wicked after the general judgment, 
as opposed to heaven, the place of uie reward of the 
righteous." It is very evident, from this, that the word 
hell did not originally signify a place of endless misery. 
In confirmation of what Dr. Campbell says, I shall quote 
the following from Parkhurst, on the word Hades. He 
says, " Our English or rather Saxon word hell, in its 
original signification (though it is now understood in a 
more limited sense), exactly answers to the word Hades, 
and denotes a concealed or unseen place ; and this sense 
of the word is still retained in the eastern, and especially 
in the western counties of England ; to hele over a thing, 
is to cover it." These statements are above suspicion ; 
fi)r the fidelity of their ftuthors has led them to say things 


at variance with their professed creed as Christians. It 
is Tery evident, then, that our English word hell did not 
originally signify a place of endless misery, but, like 
Hades or Sheol, signified the unseen or concealed place ; 
and that it now has this meaning in some of the counties 
in England. It is then evident, that for this place of 
endless misery, the Hebrew, Greek, and English lan- 
guages originally furnished no name. We have then to 
ask, had the inspired writers any idea of such a place? 
If they had, it is evident they wanted a name to express 
it. If they have not expressed it by any word, how does 
any man Imow that they entertained such an idea 1 We. 
have seen persons use words to which they attached no 
distinct ideas. And we have also seen persons having 
ideas which they could not very easily express in appro- 
priate language. But -it would be singular to suppose 
that the Bible reveals a place of endless misery for which 
its inspired writers had no name. It is surely, then, a 
very proper question to be asked, who changed the words 
Gehenna and hell from their original signification to their 
present one ? We shall see, in the next section, that the 
writers of the Targums and the Apocrypha are adduced 
to show that this change was gradually produced, and 
that, finally, Gehenna was used exclusively to mean, a 
place of endless suflfering ; but it will be found that these 
authorities do not establish the point for which they are 
brought forward. 

After these statements from such eminent critics rela- 
tive to Gehenna and our English word hell, it is very 
natural to put something like the following questions : 
1st. Were these words changed from their original signi- 
fication by divine authority, or was it on the authority of 
men 7 None of the above authors insinuate that such a 
change in the meaning of these words was made by divine 
authority. It has never been noticed in the course of our 
reading, that any one ventured, to prove or even assert 
this. We have seen what Dr. Campbell says respecting 
this change in the use of Gehenna. 2d. By whom, and 




in what period of time, did tliis cliange in the sense of 
these two words take place? Here we are left to con- 
jecture*; for neither Dr. Campbell, nor any other writer 
of whom we have any knowledge, gives us any informa- 
tion. That a change in the sense of these two words 
has taken place is certain, but when or where, or by 
whom it was made, no information is afforded. 3d. By 
what name was this place of endless misery called before 
the Jews gave it the name of Gehenna ? And what was 
its name in the English or rather Saxon language, before 
the word hell was changed &om its original signification 
9.nd applied to it ? Or was it without a name before these 
words were altered ? 4th. If it had a ^ame before Ge- 
henna and hell were changed and applied to it, why was 
it laid aside ? And what were the reasons which induced 
men to make such an alteration on their own authority ? 
Why were they not content to speak of this place as ike 
Scriptures teach, if indeed they reveal such a place? 
5th. If Gehenna and hell have undergone such a change 
of sense on mere human authority, ought we not to 
change them again to their origii^al signification, on the 
same authority 1 Such are a few of the questions which 
may be put relative to the change in the sense of these 
two words. We leave our reader to determine how they 
are to be answered. The last is easily answered, but all 
the others, we think, must remain unanswered. 

6th. Another fact deserving our consideration is, that 
Christians, when they speak of hell, adopt the phraseol- 
ogy used about Sheof and Hades rather than Gehenna, 
though it is contended that Gehenna is the word which 
signifies the place of endless misery. I shall explain 
what I mean. For example, it is evident, from an in- 
spection of the passages in which Sheol, Hades, and Ge- 
henna occur, that Gehenna for depth is never contrasted 
with heaven for height, like Sheol and Hades. Nor do 
we read of persons going down to Gehenna • of the depths 
of Gehenna, or of the lowest Gehenna. JSTeither do wo 
read of the gates of Gehenna, nor of the pains of Gehen- 


na. All these thin^ are said of Sheol and Hades, as we 
have seen in a former part of this Inquir j. Besides, no 
representations are given of Grehenna, as of Sheol and 
Hades, that all the dead, or even the wicked, are there. 
No persons are ever represented as alive in Gehenna, as 
speaking out of Gehenna, or as tormented in its flames. 
It is never, like Sheol and Hades, represented as a dark, 
concealed place, under the earth. Ko ; it is represented 
as on a level with the persons addressed concerning it« 
These facts show a remarkable difference in the scripture 
representations of the two places. Such a marked di^ 
ference must strike every man's mind with great force, 
who takes the trouble to examine this subject. An ex- 
amination of the twelve places in which Gehenna occurs 
in the New Testament will show that what I have stated 
is strictly correct. In them we read of the damnation of 
Gehenna or hell ; persons are there said to be in danger 
of it ; they are threatened with going Into it, or being 
cast into it ; but we never read that any one was alive in 
it, and lifted up his eyes in its torments. Now, qompar- 
ing all these different forms of speech, about Sheol and 
Hades, with those of Gehenna, the difference is not only 
manifest, but very significant. 

Let us now compare these statements with the way in 
which Christians speak about hell, or the place of future 
punishment. They seldom use the language emploved 
in the Bible about Gehenna, but, generally, that used in 
speaking of Sheol and Hades. Thus, for example, when 
a preacher describes hell to his hearers, and threatens the 
wicked with its punishment, he speaks of it as a deep 
place, as the lowest hell, and as a place to which they 
are going down ; and of some already there, lifting up 
their eyes in torments. Permit me, then, to ask, why 
this is done? For what reason is the scripture language 
about Grehenna laid aside, and that of Sheol and Hades 
substituted in its place ; when it is allowed on all sides that 
Sheol or Hades do not mean a place of endless mis* 
ery ? It must be confessed, that this is, at least, handling 

212 GSHBNlfA. 

the word of God ignorantly, if not deceitfully ; and, 
under the maak of scripture phraseology, imposing on 
the ignorance and credulity of mankinoT If such per- 
sons will have Q^henna to be the place of endless misery, 
let them use the language of Scripture about it, and 
ndt the language allowed to have no reference to such a 
subject We cannot help thinking that the reason of this 
change of phraseology is from necessity. It would be 
contrary to &ct, and even common belief, to speak to 
people of hell in the language used about Gehenna. To 
tell them that their whole body should be cast into hell 
would not do. A case of this kind was never known. 
The change of the language from Gehenna to that of 
Sheol and Hades is therefore necessary, to be in unison 
with the common belief on this subject. If men were 
obliged to confine themselves to the language of Scrip- 
ture about Gehenna, when they speak of hell, it would 
probably lead them to see that all was not correctly 
understood respecting it. I may add, here, that this 
change is not altogether in agreement with the popular 
ideas entertained of hell. The parable of the rich man 
and Lazarus is not in unison with the common belief. 
No man believes that the body is tormented, at least till 
after the resurrection of the dead; but how often do 
preachers represent the body after death as in hell, lift- 
ing up its eyes there, and as tormented in its flames ! 
Fondness for a popular sentiment often blinds our eyes to 
the contradictions and absurdities of our language in 
speaking about it. 

7th. . Another &ct deserving some notice, is, that the 
punishment of Gehenna is never once spoken of as a pun- 
ishment for the spirit separate from the body in an inter- 
mediate state, nor as a punishment for both body and 
spirit after the resurrection of the dead. As to the first 
part of this statement, let the texts in; which Gehenna 
occurs be ever so rigidly examined, and it will be found 
that they do not afford a particle of evidence that Gehen- 
na is an intermediate place of punishment for the spirit 


after the deatii of the body. The text, and we bdieyo 
the only text, quoted to prove this intermediate place of 
punishment, is the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. 
But supposing this account to be literally understood, it 
should be remembered that the rich man was not in 
Gehenna, but in Hades. Admitting, then, tha.t Hades ia 
an intermediate place of punishment &r die separate 
spirit, Gehenna must be given up as such a place. But 
ask any commob Christian, who believes the doctrine of 
eternal misery, if he thinks tiiat we are punished before 
and after the resurrection, in two different places, and he 
would regard you as a heretic. B|e has always believed, 
as taught by his parents, his catechism, and lus sect, that 
there is only one hell for sdl the wicked. It is high time 
that common Christians, in distinction from learned 
Christians, should be told that this is very far from being 
the true state of the case, as they would soon see, if the 
learned would only speak their minds freely on this 
subject. Dr. Campbell has dared to speak of Gehenna 
and Hades as two places of punishment for die wicked, 
and it is somewhat surprising tibat orthodox Christians 
have not before now denounced him as a heroic. "^ 

But the punishmeiUi of hell or Gehenna, say Dr. 
Campbell and others, comes after the judgment, for 
Hades is to be destroyed. But let the texts which speak 
of Gehenna be again examined, and it will be seen that 
as little is said about its being a place of punishment 
after the resurrection as before it. No ; we never find 
it onee mentioned in connection with the resurrection of 
the dead, but always in connection with the temporal 
miseries coming on the Jews. Without making myself 
liable to the charge of arrogance, I think I may challenge 
the whole world to produce a single text which speaks of 
Gehenna, either as an intermediate place of punishment 
for the spirit, or for both body and spirit after the resur- 

* Professor Stuart admits that.Skettl, or Hades, is not the place of 
endless punishment, but, like Dr. Campbell, cont^idfl that Gehenna li 
tkia place. He has two heUB, Hke many othei& 

214 • GBHBNKA. 

recti<»i of the dead. We think that all the passages 
have been shown to have a totally di&iBnt meaning, wA 
therefore people must have been led into such mistaken 
ideas on this subject by confounding Sheol, Hades and 
Gehenna together, as one place, and supposing that the 
word hell, by which all these words are translated, means 
the place of endless punishment. The endless duration 
of this pimishment has been belieyed from Mark 9 : 43^ 
44, considered above, and firom a few other passages, in 
which the word everlasting is used and applied to pun- 

It has been shown, from a consideration of the pas- 
sages which speak of Grehenna, that it referred to the 
punishment of the Jews, and we think we have proved 
that this punishment was called an everlasting punish- 
ment. But where do we ever read of an everlasting 
punishment in hell, either in an intermediate state or after 
the resurrectioQl Let something like proof of this be 
produced. It is granted that we read in books, and hear 
in sermons, of an eternal hell, and of the bowlings of 
the danmed, and of infants a span long in this place. 
But, in the name of common humanity, and in vindication 
of the character of God, we demand in what part of the 
Bible such statements are to be found. Do the Scriptures 
ever give such statements? Certainly not Is it not, 
then, daring presumption in any man to speak thus ? 
Shall we never be done with attempts to supply what we 
deem God's deficiencies ? 

Dr. Campbell, and we presume all critics, object to the 
doctrine that Hades is to be a place of punishment after 
the resurrection. It is evident from Scripture that it is 
to be destroyed and be no more. But why should this 
be objected to, and why should i% be contended for, that 
Gehenna is to be a place of punishment after this period, 
and of eternal duration? Certainly as little is said about 
Gehenna as about Hades being a place of punishment 
after the resurrection. From no text in whicn Gehenna 
IB mentioned could this be inferred. G^enna ia never 


spok^ of a£i a place of punishment after the resurrection 
of the dead ; nor is it ever mentioned in connection with 
this subject. 

8th. Closely connected with the last fiu)t is another, 
that the learned seem to believe in two places of future 
punishment, and the common people oidy in one. We 
have seen what Dr. Campbell declares respecting Ge- 
henna as the place of eternal punishment, and what he 
thinks about Hades as an intermediate place of punish- 
ment until the resurrection. If it be true, then, that 
Hades is one place of punishment and Gehenna another, 
it is beyond all doubt true that there are two places of 
future punishment, the one temporary and the other to be 
eternal in its duration ; the one before and the other after 
the resurrection. The first, punishment for the soul, 
separate from the body, until the resurrection ; and the 
other after, for both soul and body forever. This is 
indisputable, unless it can be proved that Hades and 
Gehenna are only two names for the same plsuse, or, 
which is much the same, that Hades is a part of Gehenna, 
or Gehenna a part of Hades. But no man who has paid 
the slightest attention to the passages in which these two 
words occur can for a moment thmk so. So far fropi 
this, no two places could be more distinctly marked 
as separate places. The various modes of speaking 
about them which we have noticed clearly decide this. 
Which of these is the place of endless misery ? Not 
Gehenna, for it cannot have such a sense ; not Sheol or 
Hades, for, admitting it to be a place of punishment in the 
intermediate state, it id to be destroyed, therefore cannot 
be of endless duration. K such a place of misery is 
taught us under any 'other name in the Bible, I am 
willing to consider it. But this is not pretended, I 
believe, by the most zealous friends of the doctrine of 
endless misery. 

The common opinion of the unlearned is, that there is 
but one place of future misery, and this place they call 
bell, whether this word be die translation of Sheol, 


Hades, Tartams, or Qehenna. They always speak aboni 
it as one place of punislimeDt, and consider this punish- 
ment as endless. The same hell to which the spirits of 
the wicked are sent at death is the hell to whidi they 
send all the wicked forever. If this be a mistaken 
notion of the vulgar, it is certain most orthodox preach- 
ers do not attempt to correct it, for what they say about 
hell tends to confirm them in this opinion. They always 

rk about one hell as certainly as about one Uod ; nor 
hey take any notice of the distinction, so clearly 
marked in Scripture, between Hades and Gehenna. 

9th. Another fact is, we read of the sea, death, and 
Hades, delivering up the dead which are in them, yet we 
never read of Gehenna delivering up anything dead or 
alive. Now, let us suppose that at death the body goes 
to Hades, the grave, or state of the dead, and the sgiiit 
goes to Gehenna or hell, to suffer punishment until the 
resurrection. If this commonly received doctrine be true, 
is it not as rational to think that we should read in Scrip- 
ture of Gehenna or hell delivering up the spirits of the 
wicked at the resurrection, as that Hades or the grave 
should deliver up their bodies? In order to have a 
reunion at this period, it is just as necessary that the 
spirits should come forth &om the one placets weir bodies 
from the other. But nothing like this is to be found in 
the Bible. 

If heaven be, as is generally believed, the place of 
happiness after death for the spirits of the righteous, and 
Gehenna or hell be the place of punishment for the 
spirits of the wicked, must not the spirits of the last, in 
order for a reunion with their bodies, come forth from hell 
as certainly as the first from heaven ? But I do not find 
that at tlus period a word is said about hell, or any 
spirits coming forth from it. But how is* this accounted 
for, if the generally received doctrine be correct? The 
only possible way to account for it is that suggested by 
Dr. Campbell, that Gehenna is not the place of punish- 
ment for the wicked until after the resurrection. But 


tiiis, we think, will not bear examination. In all the 
texte where Gehenna occurs, nothing is said of the 
resurrection of the dead. It will not be disputed that 
when our Lord spoke to the unbelieving Jews, and to his 
disciples, of Gehenna, that he referred to the temporal 
punishment coming on the Jewish nation. Why intro- 
duce Gehenna on a subject like this, if it be true that 
the punishment of Gehenna is that suffered by the wicked 
after the resurrection ? K it is, why is it never intro- 
duced by the inspired writers, when speaking of the 
resurrection ? It is natural to think it would be always 
spoken of in connection with it. We find Hades follows 
death, and these two are spoken of as connected. But 
do we ever find it said that Gehenna follows the resur- 
rection of the dead ; or that there is any connection 
between these two things ? No ; this is not hinted at in 
the most distant Vay. Let anyone read all the passages 
where this subject is treated of, and he will find that not 
a word is said by the sacred writers concerning Gehenna 
or hell. In 1 Cor. 15, the ftillest account is given of 
the resurrection, of any place in the Bible ; but neither 
the punishment of hell nor, any other punishment is there 
spoken of We think it incumbent on those who believe 
that the punishment of hell succeeds the resurrection of 
the dead, to show that the Spirit of God speaks of it in 
such a connection. If what is said about this be true, 
this ought to be its uniform connection. But no man 
will assert that this is the case, who has paid any atten- 
tion to the subject. 

10th. Another important fact deserving our notice is, 
that none of the original words translated in the comi^on 
version eternal, eveplasting and fi)rever, are connected 
with Gehenna, or hell. No; though we often hear 
preachers, in our day, speak of an eternal hell, such 
language never was used by any inspired writer. The 
phrase '^ everlasting fire '' occurs in the Bible, and this 
has been shown to be the same as ^^ everlasting punish- 
ment," and the '*fire that shall never be quenched." 



But we have seen that none of these, expres^ons refer to 
a place in a f\iture state, called Gehenna or hell; or that 
the punishment referred to is endless in its duratic^:^. But 
an eternal hell is often heard of from the pulpit, and per- 
haps many believe it to be a scripture expression. This, 
and many other terrific expressions, which are the chief 
ornaments of modem serm(His, and often uttered without 
much feeling by the preacher, are not found in the Bible. 
They are bugbears of his own creating, which no man, who 
regards the Scriptures and has considered this subject, 
will be frightened at. Children, ignorant, weak, nervous 
people, maybe, and indeed often are, powerfully wrought 
upon by the terrific descriptions which are given of helL 
And auer this is effected to a great extent, it is called a 
revival of religion. But is this the work of the Spirit of 
Grod ? K it be, I demand that some part of the New 
Testament be produced, showing that similar revivals 
were effected by terrific descriptions of hell under the 
ministry of Christ or his apostles. Did they paint, in 
glowing colors, the horrors of the damned in hell to make 
men Christians? No man will say so. All such lan- 
guage is coined at the mint of modern divinity, and may 
do well for increasing a sect, but not for making Chris- 
tians. When many of these people get over their fright, 
they return like the dog to his vomit and the sow that 
was washed to her wallowing in the mire. 

The reader may ask, are not everlasting life and ever- 
lasting punishment contrasted in Matt. 25 : 46, and some 
other places? Yes, but this contrast is not between heaven 
as a place of eternal blessedness and Gehenna as a place 
of endless punishment, as is generally believed.* 
' 11th. In the common language of Christians, you hear 
heaven as the place of blessedness for the righteous spoken 
of in contrast with hell for the wicked. I shall illustrate 
what I mean by an example or two. In the Bible we 

* See this passage, and every other passage where everlastiiig, eto.> 
occurs in the Bible, ^lly conindered in my Second Inquiry. 


find persons expr^sing their Lopes of going to heaven; 
but do we ever read of one expressing his fears of going 
to hell 7 We, indeed, find persons speaking familiarly of 
Sheol and Hades, and expressing both their fears and 
feelings in regard to this place ; but we never read of one 
who expressed his fears or feelings about going to Ge- 
henna. Again ; we read of an inheritance incorruptible 
and undefiled, and that &deth not away, reserved in 
heaven ; but do we ever read of endless punishment re- 
served for any one in hell or Gehenna ? Again ; Paul, 
we are told, was caught up into paradise, ai^ heard un- 
speakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter ; 
but do we read of afiy one thsU; was sent to Gehenna and 
there heard or saw anything 7 No. But why should 
not One be sent to hear the unutterable misery of the 
one place, as well as the unutterable blessedness of the 
other ? But, again ; we have some instances of persons 
mentioned in Scripture who were taken up into heaven. 
Such were Enoch and Elijah. But do you ever find one 
individual abandoned for wickedness^ on whom God dis- 
played his signal vengeance by sending him to hell or 
Gehenna ? We inde^ read of Korah and his company, 
who went down quick into the pit ; but we have shown 
that this pit was not Gehenna or hell, but only the grave 
or state of the dead. Again ; Moses and Elias made 
their appearance on the mount at our Lord's transfigura- 
tion; but do we find any of the wicked characters men- 
tioned in the Scripture ever making their appearance 
fi-om hell ? We have heard idle stories of wicked per- 
sons coming firom hell to warn others, and describing the 
awful misery of that place. But is anything like this 
stated in the Scriptures 7 All know that they are silent 
about such ridiculous fables. 

ISth- It is common with orthodox preachers to rep- 
resent hell as the place of endless torment for the wicked, 
and speak of persons being there tormented by the devil 
and his angels. Indeed, it is common to speak of devils 
and wicked men as being in the same place of punishment. 


But how they oame by their mformation I know not. It 
is indisputable, that whatever the Scriptures mean by the 
deyi) and his angels, they are not once represented as in 
Hades, or tormenting any persons there. Even Dr. 
Campbell, though he considers Hades as an intermediate 
place of punishment, says, ^^That Gehenna is employed 
in the New Testament to denote the place of future pun- 
ishment, prepared for the Devil and his angels, is indis- 
putable." If the Devil and his angels are in this place, 
which Dr. Campbell says was prepared for them, they are 
not then in Hades, the intermediate place of punishment 
for the wicked. We a^, then, how it can be said with 
truth that the Devil and his angels are the tormentors of 
the wicked in Hades? But some have thought, that 
though Gehenna is the place prepared for the Devil and 
his angels, they are not sent there until the day of judg- 
ment, when they and all the wicked are to go there to- 
gether, to su£fer its punishment forever. If the devil and 
his angels are not in G^h^ina, and are never said to be 
in Hades, it seems they, for the present, are not in either 
place of punishment, whilst wicked men are all sent to 
Hades to be punishend from death until the resurrection. 
Besides, it is certain that such preachers, who represent 
the Devil and his angels as the tormentors of wicked men 
in Hades, greatly misrepres^it them ; a thing which ought 
not to be doae in regard to real devils. But how often 
has it been heard from the pulpit, and published to the 
world, that wicked men at death go to hell, to be the 
companions of devils and damned spirits forever. And 
have not books been put into the hands of children de- 
scribing in words, and representing in cuts, the Devil 
tossing about the wicked there with pitchforks? The 
truth is, whether my views of Gehenna be right or wrong, 
it is evident that the common opinions entertained on the 
subject cannot all be true. 

The evidence which has already been stated, proving 
that Gehenna does not signify a place of endless misery, 
ia suffident But there are yet some things which ought 


not to be passed over, of a circamstantial nature, wliich 
very much confirm this evidence. 

1st. Why did not John in his gospel mention Gtehenna, 
and why did he omit all the discourses recorded by the 
other evangelists, in which our Lord spoke of Gehenna ? 
It has been noticed, already, that John wrote his gospel 
for the use of the Gentiles. This is generally admitted. 
Such being the case, it may be thought there was no 
occasion to say anything about Gehenna to the Gentiles. 
K our Lord, as I have stated, meant by Gehenna the 
temporal punishment coming on the Jews, this is readily 
admitted ; but if the damnation of hell was an eternal 
punishment for all the wicked, whether Jews or Gentiles, 
how could John omit all mention of it ? How can it ever 
be rationally accounted for, that he believed the damnation, 
of hell was an eternal punishment, yet say nothing about 
it to them ? Was it a matter of more importance to tell 
them that Messias being interpreted signifies the Christ, 
or that there was at Jerusalem a pool, in the Hebrew 
language called Bethesda, having five porches 7 Or that 
the water-pots, chap. 2, contained two or three firkins 
apiece '? Can any man think that if John believed Ge- 
henna a place of endless misery, he would be silent about 
it, yet mention to his Gentile readers these things, com- 
paratively of small importance ? But why did John omit 
all these discourses in which our Lord spote of Gehenna? 
A very good reason can be assigned for this, and it shows 
in what light John viewed the discourses of our Lord, 
alluded to. It was after the destruction of Jerusalem he 
wrote his gospel. Whitby, in his preface to the gospel of 
John, thus writes : '^ The fathers of the fourth and fifth 
centuries do all agree, that he wrote it either in that isle 
(Pataos), or after his return from it; when he was ninety 
years old, says Epiphanius ; when he was an hundred, 
says Chrysostom. So that, according to the account of 
all these ecclesiastical writers, John must have written this 
gospel a considerable time after the destruction of Jeru- 
salem.'' Here we see a very good reason why John says 



222 GKHEI^NA. 

BotihiDg about Geheima, yea, omits all our LokI's dm- 
courses in which it is nientioned. The eyent was past. 
To have related those discourses would hare been to de- 
liver predictions afker they were fulfilled, and warn men 
of evils to be endured after thej had been suffered. 
John's conduct is not only excusable, but highly proper. 
Does not this very omission strongly confirm the view 
which I have given of Gehenna? And, is not this omis- 
sion irreconcilable with the common ideas entertained on 
this subject ? 

2d. Why does not Luke mention Grehenna in his his- 
tory of the Acts of the Apostles 7 This is the more sur- 
prising, as he mentions it in his gospel. On my view of 
Gehenna, this can be rationally accounted for, but on the 
common view it cannot. In his gospel he relates our 
Lord's discourses to the Jews, in which he spoke to them 
concerning Gehenna, in the punishment of which they 
were alone concerned. But in his history of the Acts of 
the Apostles, he gives us an account of the preaching of 
the gospel, and its success among the Gentiles, who were 
not concerned in the punishment of Gehenna, and there- 
fore had no need to have it mentioned to them. But if 
it was a punishment in common to Jews and Gentiles, 
who died wicked, let it be satisfactorily accounted for 
why the apostles did not preach it to the Gentile nations. 
If they ever preached this doctrine, it is certain Luke 
does not give a faithful history. To say they did preach 
it is a gratuitous assertion, and impeaches the fidelity of 
Luke. What historian would omit mentioning the doc^ 
trine of universal salvation as preached by the Universal- 
ists, if he undertook to write an account of their preach- 
ing for thirty years 7 

But, if it was right in the apostles to say nothing of 
Gehenna or hell, it must be right in us, for they are 
models to copy after. Supposing, thenj that all preachers 
among the Gentile nations should, in imitation of the 
apostles, say nothing of hell to their hearers, who could 
Uame them? They, could urge the example of the 


apostles- in their defence. Here they might tal:e their 
stand and bid defiance to the whole world. 

3d. Why did the apostles never mention anything about 
hell in any of their epistles to the churches ? !Not one 
of them, (fames excepted, ever introduces it. The reason 
oi this is equally obvious. The epistles, for the most 
part, were written to Gentile believers, who were not con- 
cerned in the national punishment of the Jews. «Fames 
wrote to believing Jews, and hence used this word. Now, 
can any one suppose that if the Gentiles had been exposed 
to hell, the* apostles never would, in any of their 
epistles, have reminded those to whom they wrote, that 
they had been saved from it? They are often re- 
minded that they were idolaters, and wicked, before they 
believed the gospel, and had been saved from such things ; 
but they are not reminded that any of them had ever 
been saved from Gehenna. From the consideration of 
their being saved they are often exhorted to love and 
good works ; but never from the consideration of their 
being saved from endless misery. As it is never said 
that they were once exposed to such a punishment, so 
they, are never reminded that they were now delivered 
from it. No self-complaisant remarks are made that 
they were now safe from the torments of hell, nor any 
whining complaints that their friends and neighbors, yea, 
the whole unbelieving Gentile world, were every moment 
exposed to this punishment. We find the apostles and 
primitive Christians expressing the most heartfelt grati- 
tude that they had been saved from this present evil 
world ; that tney were translated from the* kingdom of 
dai'kness into the kingdom of God's dear Son ; and using 
all proper meaps that their fellow-men might believe the 
gospel and enjoy like blessings. The New Testament 
abounds with evidence of this. But we never find them 
intimating that their exertions in diffusing the gospel 
were for the purpose of saving the heathen from everlast- 
ing torments. We leave it with every candid man to 
say, if the apostles and first Christians believed as people 


do now on this subject, whether they could |iaye been tiius 


Further ; no instance is left on record where an unbe- 
liever or backslider was told, as now they frequently are, 
that the J had sinned away their day of grace, and that 
everlasting torments in hell would be their unavoidable 
fate. Nor is an instance recorded of a person being 
driven to distraction by the horrors of hell, produced by 
apostolic preaching. No example is given in Scripture 
of a person ending his days by suicide to get rid of his 
present terrors of hell torments. Some instances of sui- 
cide are recorded ; see the cases of Ahitophel, Judas, etc. 
But do we find a single hint dropped that the terror of 
hell torments drove them to thi^ 7 Even of Judas it is 
not said that he went to hell, which ought to teach some 
persons modesty and caution, who, in the heat of their 
zeal, afSrm that he did. K such persons had the Bible 
to make, they would express many things very differently 
from what it has pleased God to do in the revelation of 
his will to mankind. • 

It will be allowed that from the gospel of John, the 
Acts of the Apostles, and the epistles, we learn what were 
the doctrines taught to the Gentiles. But can we learn 
from tibem that the doctrine of eternal punishment in hell 
was one of these doctrines? Certainly we cannot. Sup- 
pose that such writings were published in our day, omit- 
ting all mention of hell or its endless punishment, should 
we not say that they did not teach the doctrine ? We 
have not stated this as an argument conclusive in itself. 
But we think that if none of the other New Testament 
writers teach it, the argument is conclusive. We have 
seen what all admit in regard to the Old Testament, and 
have endeavored to show that the New does not differ from 
it ; and, therefore, do not hesitate to say that their silence 
in regard to a place of endless woe is full proof against it 

Sometimes we learn what doctrines are held by persons 
from the accusations of their enemies. If we bring the 
doctrine before us to this test, we shall find some addi- 


aBHBNKA. 225 

tional confirmation that endless misery was not taught by 
our Lord or his apostles. 

1st. Let us inquire what accusations the Jews brought 
against the Saviour. They accused him of many things ; 
such as his being an enemy to Gassar, in league with 
Beelzebub, and & blasphen^er. At his trial Pilate said to 
him, ^' Behold how many things they witness against thee." 
The principal of these were, that he called himself the 
Son of God, and said he was able to destroy their temple. 
But did the Jews eveiT accuse him of having threatened 
them with endless misery? No; bad as they were, they 
never preferred this charge. If he had done it, they 
would have brought it forward against him. The Jews 
had no idea of going to hell ; and if the Saviour had 
threatened any such fate, they would have indignantly 
resented it. fiut this formed no ground of accusation, 
notwithstanding their unwearied opposition to him. 

2d. Let us see what accusations were brought against 
his followers. They also were accused of being enemies 
to Caesar. But passing over other accusations, we shall 
fix on what Stephen was accused of as a fair specimen of 
what they were all charged with. "This man ceaseth 
not to sp^ blasphemous words against this holy place, 
and the law ; for we have heard him say that this Jesus 
of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shalLchange the 
customs which Moses delivered us." Enemies as the 
Jews were to the disciples of our Lord, they did not even 
insinuate the charge that they ever threatened Jews with 
endless torments. They say that Stephen said, "Jesus 
of Nazareth shall destroy this place;" but they do not 
say that either Jesus or Stephen said that he would de- 
stroy them with everlasting misery in Gehenna. No ; 
let me advocate, for once, the cause of the Jews ; they 
never brought such a charge against Christ or any of his 
followers. On this occasdon, let it be remembered, that 
the accusers of Stephen were false witnesses, procured 
for the very purpose of finding him guilty. Now, can 
any man suppose that they would have failed to prefer 


the worst charges that could have been founded upon the 
truth ? Those who can believe this must be prepared to 
believe anything. But they could not bring such an 
accusation against him, or any of the first preachers; for 
none of them ever made such a threatening. All who 
had heard them preach could have been called as wit- 
nesses to prove that it was a false accusation. Such a 
charge would have been confronted by public opinion. 

Again; let us see what accusations the Gentiles brought 
against the followers of Christ. They accused him of 
turning the world upside down ; of turning away much 
people, saying that '* they were no gods which were made 
with hands.'' In consequence of this they were accounted 
atheists, enemies to the gods, and deserving to be abhorred 
of men. Now, give me leave to ask, was the charge ever 
brought against them in any shape, by any person, that 
they threatened men with endless punishment? No; all 
the Jesuitical ingenuity in the world camiot find a word 
said which has such an appearance. But had the apostles 
ever threatened the Gentiles with punishment in hell, 
would they have failed to bring this accusation against 
them 1 The objector may say. You show that the heathen 
nations all believed in the doctrine of endless punishment, 
and that the Jews learned it from their intercourse with 
them ; therefore, the heathen could not be o£fended with 
the apostles for teaching one of the tenets of their relig- 
ion. To this I answer, that the heathen believed in a 
future punishment in Hades; but observe that the apostles 
neither taught such a punishment there nor in Grehenna. 
This is a fact we think beyond all fair discussion. K 
they had preached future punishment in Gehenna to 
them, they might have said. We have heard of it in Hades, 
but why preach this new doctrine, a punishment in Ge- 
henna 1 They did not preach it in Hades, which shows 
that they did not believe this heathen notion; and, as they 
are never accused of threatening Gentiles with endless 
punishment in Gehenna, it is clear that no such doctrine 
was taught by them. 


Another circumstance, corroborative of the views I 
have advanced concerning Gehenna, is the following. 
According to my views, the conduct of our Lord and his 
apostles is just what might be expected ; but if by Gehenna 
is understood a place of endless misery, it is strange and 
unaccountable. What I refer to will be best seen by, 

1st. Considering our Lord's conduct. We have seen, 
&om a consideration of all the passages in which he 
speaks of Gehenna, that nine times out of twelve all he 
says concerning it was addressed to his disciples. In 
only one instance did he ever say to the unbelieving Jews, 
** How can ye escape the damnation of hell 7" Matt. 23 : 
33. Now, notice, that at verses 38, 39, he adds, " Be- 
hold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say 
unto you, ye shall not see me henceforth till ye shall say, 
bless^ is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." 
After this, he never said a word to them about the dam- 
nation of hell. Now, let it be supposed that by this 
expression he meant endless misery in a future state. I 
ask, is it possible he should only mention it once ? I ask 
again, can it be believed that he who said on the cross, 
*' Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do," 
should have ceased but with his dying breath to warn 
these men that such a place of misery awaited them ? I 
ask once more, is it possible that he, who, when he beheld 
the city, wept over it, on account of temporal calamities 
in which it was soon to be involved, should shed no tears 
in anticipating the endless misery of its wicked inhabit- 
ants? On the supposition that Gehenna is such a place, 
our Lord's conduct is uijaccountable. But on my views 
of the damnation of hell, his conduct excites no surprise ; 
all is rational, and what the circumstances of the case 
warrant us to expect. They had rejected their promised 
Messiah, the measure of their iniquity they were soon to 
fill up, and they could not escape the damnation of hell. 

2d. The conduct of his apostles. This was in perfect 
agreement, with that of their Master. They are silent 
about Gehenna to the Gentiles. If it should be objected 


here, '^ Why did not the apostles continue to speak to 
the unbelieving Jews about the damnation of hell, allow- 
ing it to mean the temporal miseries coming on that gener- 
ation ? Why should they not have continued to warn 
them of this, as their Lord had done before them 1 " 
The answer to this is easy. In Luke 19 : 42, our Lord 
told the Jews that the things which belonged to their 
peace were now hid from their eyes. Then: doom was 
fixed, their punishment was xmavoidable. Accordingly 
our Lord said, '^ How can ye escape the danmation of 
hell ? " Soon the wrath of God was to come on them 
to the uttermost. This came in the destruction of their 
city and temple, when such calamities were experienced, 
that unless the Lord had shortened the days no flesh 
could have been saved. 

In many places of the epistles, written to believers, 
allusions are made to the judgments of God coming on 
the Jewish nation, though not mentioned under the name 
Gehenna. The event is not only alluded to, but spoken 
of as near ; and Christians are exhorted to patience and 
holiness, in view of it. But these very parts of the 
epistles are by many, like the texts which speak of 
Gehenna, all applied to punishment in a future state of 
existence. See, for example, 1 Peter 4 : 17 — ^19, and 
other texts, considered in jny Second Inquiry. 



If Gehenna, in the New Testament, means, as is gen- 
erally believed, a place of endless misery, we might 


expect the evidence of this to be plain and conclosiye. 
But, on examination, we have found strong evidence on 
the opposite side of this question. We have considered 
all the texts in which tUs word occurs, and have seen 
that by Gehenna our Lord referred to (Jod's punishment 
of the Jewish nation. Besides, a great number of fects 
have been produced, in confirmation of this view of the 
subject, which never can be reconciled with the common 
views entertained of Gehenna. 

• It is contended by Dr. Campbell that Gehenna, in the 
days of Christ, signified, not what it did in the prophets, 
but a place of endless .suffering, and that in the New 
Testament it has no other signification. Mr. Stuart takes 
the same ground. In his Exegetical Essays, p. 141, he 
says, " It is admitted that the Jews of later date used 
the word Gehenna to denote Tartarus, that is, the place 
of infernal punishment." He says, p. 146, "That the 
word Gehenna was common among the Jews, is evinced 
by its frequency in the oldest Rabbinical writings. It 
was employed by them, as all confess, in order to desig- 
nate hell, the infernal region, the world of woe. In no 
other sense can it in any way be made out that it is em- 
ployed in the New Testament." The authority, to which 
Mr. Stuart refers for this sense of Gehenna, is not the 
Old Testament writers, but "the oldest Rabbinical writ- 
ings," and " the Jews of later date." This we learn from 
p. 27. " The later Hebrew, the Talmudic and Rabbinic, 
was not so late, but that it preceded the time when the 
New Testament was written." 

From such statements as these, an argument has been 
urged like the following : "In the days of our Lord, 
Gehenna was commonly used among the Jews to desig- 
nate hell, a place of endless misery. Our Lord and his 
apostles must have used it in this sense, if they meant to 
be understood by their hearers, unless they apprized 
them to the contrary. But they did not do this; 
hence it is concluded that Gehenna is used to designate 
the place of future punishment, and that it is used in no 



other sense in the New Testament." In reply to this 
argument, we observe, 1st. Admitting that Genenna, in 
our Lord's day, had obtained this sense among the Jews, 
the conclusion drawn firom it does not follow, and for the 
following among other reasons. This, in no instance, 
was the sense of Gehenna in the Old Testament ; and 
the writers of the New used words and phi-ases in the 
sense they have there. They spoke, ** Not in the words 
which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost 
teacheth." 1 Cor. 2 : 13. Our Lord and his apostles 
had no occasion, then, to apprize their hearers in what 
sense they used the term Gehenna. Again, to suppose 
that they used Gehenna in a new sense is to accuse 
them of adopting human innovations in religion — a thing 
they reproved in the Jews. Again, those who use this 
argument would object to its application to other words 
and phrases. They would be the last to assert that our 
Lord and his apostles adopted the sense which the Jews 
had attached to the words justification, righteousness, 
etc. At what point, then, are we to stop, if we begin to 
adopt Rabbinical glosses given to the language of Scrip- 
ture ? But, 

2d. We question the truth of the statements made, 
from-which this conclusion is drawn. Is it true that in 
our Lord's day, Gehenna was exclusively used among the 
Jews to designate a place of future punishment 7 This 
is roundly asserted, and has long been taken for granted. 
Let us examine its truth. 

Between the closing of the Old Testament canon by 
Malachi, and the commencement of the gospel dispen- 
sation, about four hundred years intervened. Some 
time during this period Gehenna must have changed its 
sense, if, in the days of our Lord, it designated the world 
of woe ; for, in regard to its sense in the Old Testament, 
there is no dispute. It becomes necessary, therefore, to 
notice all the Jewish writings, between the days of 
Malachi and that of our Lord, in order that we may 
trace the history of the word. The following are aU 



the Jewish writings extant, of which we have any knowl- 

1st. The Septuagint versiofi. The first question to 
be settled is, at what time was this version made ? Dr. 
Kennicot, in his Dissertation, says, pp. 319, 320, ** After 
many voluminous controversies amongst learned writers 
upon the Greek version of the Old Testament, we seem 
to have three circumstances clearly ascertained : that there 
was no Greek version before that called the Seventy — 
that the version so denominated was made at the begin- 
ning of the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus, about 280 
years before Christ — and that the version, then made, 
was onlv of the Pentateuch.'' I add, Jahn says, all 
the books were translated, "at latest, in the second 
century before Christ." The Septuagint version was 
commenced 280 years before Christ, but was not perhaps 
completed until about 150 years before this period. 

The only other question necessary to be decided 
is, do we find Gehenna used in the Septuagint to desig- 
nate hell, the world of woe ? Dr. Campbell says, " The 
word Gehenna does not occur in the Septuagint." But 
here he was mistaken, for it does occur there with a slight 
variation in the spelling of the word. For example, see 
Josh. 18 : 16, where the word occurs, and is spelled 
Gaienna, The compound Hebrew word ge enm in 
both cases is merely given in Greek letters. But it is 
useless to dwell on this topic, for the seventy translators, 
in rendering the passages from the Hebrew, where val- 
ley of Hinnom and valley of the son of Hinnom are 
mentioned, never suggest that such phrases were intended 
to designate hell, or 9ie world of woe. No one alleges 
they do this. It is manifest, then, that " in the second 
century before Christ," Gehenna had no such sense af- 
fixed to it, and if it had, it received no countenance from 
the seventy translators. Had the change in its meaning 
then taken place, it would have had its influence upon 
the Seventy, for we see how education swayed the 
authors of our common version in translating Sheol, 

282 aSHBNNA. 

Hades, Tartarus and Gehenna. The Septuagint brings 
us to within less than 200 years before Christ, and vet 
Gehenna signifies what it did among the prophets. Be^ 
sides, we see that it retained its meaning among the Jews 
in Egypt, and it is well known they were the first in 
corrupting the Jewish religion, by mixing heathen opin- 

2d. The Apocryphal books, ^ These books are the 
best authority extant, respecting the religious opinions 
of the Jews between the days of Malachi and the com- 
ing of Christ. As they are in the hands of most Eng- 
lish readers, let us first advert to the time when th^Apoo- 
ryphal books were written. This is not easily deter- 
mined, for the dates of the books are uncertain. But it 
is not of much importance to settle their dates precisely. 
Those who wish to see what is said on this subject, may 
consult Home's Introduction, Prideaux's Connections, 
and Jahn's Introduction. It is certain most of them 
were written previous to the days of our Lord. The sec- 
ond book of Esdras is an exception, for some think it 
was written by some Christian since that peripd. Gray, 
in his Key to the Old Testament, says, p. 631, " The 
second book of Esdras is not to be found in any He- 
brew or Greek manuscript. It is supposed to have been 
originally written in the Greek language, but is extant 
only in a few Latin copies, and in an Arabic version." 
He adds, p. 534, '^ The book was never admitted into the 
Hebrew canon, and there is no sufficient authority to 

?rove that it. was ever extant in the Hebrew language, 
ts pretended prophecies are not produced in evidence by 
Christian writers, striking as such testimony must have 
been, if genuine ; and the book was never publicly or 
generally acknowledged either in the Greek or Latin 
church ; nor was it ever inserted in the sacred catalogue, 
by either councils or fethers ; but is expressly represented 
as Apocryphal by St. Jerome, who describes it as rejected 
by the church." But, notwithstanding the date and 
character of this book, we have no objection to use it, 

- \ 


and shall avail ourselves of what it says on the subject, 
in common with all the other books. 

It should be distinctly understood by the reader that 
our examination of the Apocryphal books is merely to 
ascertain what were the opinions of the writers relative 
to Grehenna. The books we do not consider canonical, 
and are not referred to as proof of the truth of such 
opinions. Gray, in his preface to the Apocrypha, says, 
p. 611, " The books which are admitted into our Bibles 
under the description of Apocryphal books are so de- 
nominated from a Greek word, which is expressive of 
the uncertainty and concealed nature of their original. 
They have no title to be considered as inspired writings ; 
and though in respect of their antiquity and valuable 
contents they are annexed to the canonical books, it is in 
a separate division ; and by no means upon an idea that 
they are of equal authority, in point of doctrine, with 
them ; or that they are to be received as oracles of faith ; 
to sanctify opinions, or determine religious controver- 
sies." But supposing all the Apocryphal books were 
written some time during the period which intervened 
between the days of Malachi and the Saviour, the ques- 
tion then comes before us, what were the opinions enter- 
tained by the writers on the subject of punishment in 
Gehenna 7 

/^ 1st. Do they ever use the term Gehenna to designate a 
^ place of future punishment 1 This has been asserjed by 
/ some, but is certainly a great mistake, for Gehenna does 
xnot occur in any of Jhe Apocrypha l boo ks. ^^_is_ noj 
( used tE^e in any sense, which settles the question tEat 
/ they eave no countenance to the opmion of Campbell and 
I Stuart. I might here drop the subject, having already 
. ascertained the information required. But I will inquire, 
^ 2d. Do the Apocryphal writers use the term Hades 
to designate a place of future punishment for the wicked? 
The term Hades occurs sixteen times in the original Apoc- 
ryphal books, and is rendered as follows, in our En^ish 
version : 



First. It is rendered death. See Wisdom of Solomon, 
chap. 1 : 14. It cannot mean a place of punishment 

Second. It is rendered ** the place of the dead," Eccles. 
48 : 5, ^^ who (Elias) didst raise up a dead man from 
death, and his soul &om the place of the dead, by the 
word of the Most High." The reference is here to what 
the prophet did, in raising man to life, recorded in the 
Old Testament. When it is said he raised the *^soul 
from the place of the dead," the person himself is meant; 
for the term soul is often used in the Old and New. Tes- 
taments to designate the man or person, as we have 
shown. In Scripture, Sheol or Hades is represented as 
the place of all the dead. 

Third. Hades is rendered " grave" in the following texts: 
Wisdom of Solomon 2: 1; Eccles. 9 : 12; 14: 12, 
16 ; 17 : 27 ; 28 : 21 ; 41 : 4 ; 2 Mac. 6 : 23. No 
one can doubt that in these texts it simply ineans grave, 
and was so understood by our translators. 

Fourth. Hades in the following places is rendered 
" helK" Song, verse 66; Wisdom of Solomon, 16 : 13 ; 
17 : 14 ; Eccles. 21 : 10 ; 51 : 5, 6. Although thus 
rendered, it is obvious that it simplv refers to the grave, 
or state of the dead. If the reader turns to all the 
above texts, he will see that Hades is used there very 
much as Sheol is in the Hebrew canonical books. It is 
not intimated by any of the writers, that they believed 
Hades was a place of punishment after death. Not one 
of them insinuates that any person is alive in HadesL 
On the contrary, our translators render it *Hhe place of 
the dead," not the place of the living. 

3d. Do the Apocryphal writers use the term Tarta- 
rus to designate a place of future punishment for the 
wicked ? No ; the word is not used by any Apocryphal 
writer. None of them venture to say, what Air. Stuart 
asserts, 'Hhat in the Hebrew Sheol, Hades, there was a 
Tartarus, a place of punishment for the wicked." 

There are three additional places where the word hell 


occurs in the Apocryphal books. 2 Esdras 2 : 29 ; 4 : 
8 ; 8 : 63. But any one who consults them must con- 
clude, from the phraseology connected with the word, 
that Hades, not Gehenna, is used in the original. We 
have seen from Gray, that though the second book of 
Esdras is *^ supposed to have been originally written in the 
Greek language," ,it is now only extant *' in a few Latin 
copies, and in an Arabic version." As the passages 
stand in our English version, no one can suppose the 
writer meant to teach by them a place of future punish- 
ment. The hell mentioned is not said to be a place of . 
torment, or a state of conscious existence. The phrase- 
ology used shows Sheol, Hades, the grave, is referred 
to, for it is similar to the language used about Sheol m 
,the Old Testament. 

It is then manifest, from the above examination, that 
the Apocryphal writers do not use Sheol, Hades, Tarta- 
rus, or Gehenna to designate hell, the world of woe, as 
has been supposed. Further, they do not use Gehenna 
in any way, which settles, in the most satisfactory man- 
ner, the question in debate. That some of the Apocry- 
phal Writers believed in future punishment, and held 
other opinions not found in the Jewish Scriptures, we 
have shown in our Second Inquii-y, from pp. 86 — 98, to 
which we refer the reader. But this only confirms what 
has been stated in another place, that the Jews, while in 
Babylon, and after their return, imbibed many opinions, 
from their intercourse with the heathen, which are not 
taught in their sacred books. This feet is admitted by 
all, and what many of these heathen opinions were may 
be learned from the Apocryphal books. But none of 
the writers of them designate the world of woe by the 
term Gehenna, which shows that this was not its common 
usage among the Jews when they were written. Now, 
it is certain some of the Apocryphal books were written 
near the times of the New Testament, and some think 
one or more of them was written after this period. 
Does this look as if Gehenna was in common use among 


the Jews to designate hell, the world of woe ? Let the 
reader judge. 

3d. Philo JudcBUS* writings. The first question to he 
determined is, at what time did Philo write? Calmet 
answers, Philo ''was pretty far in years when he was 
deputed with others to go to Bome, about A. d. 40, by 
the Jews of Alexandria, to defend the right of citizen- 
ship of Alexandria, which the Jews claimed, before the 
Emperor Caius.'' It is obvious, then, that Philo must 
have written his works about the time X)ur Saviour was 
on earth. 

The next question is, does Philo in his writings use 
the term Gehenna to designate the world of woe 7 This 
we have every reason to suppose he did, if in our Sa- 
viour's day Gehenna was used in this sense, and was, 
as Dr. Campbell asserts, exclusively confined to it. It is 
evident Philo believed in endless punishment. He says, 
the punishment of the wicked persons is to live forever 
dying ; and to be forever in pains, and griefs, and calam- 
ities. See Whitby on Mark 9 : 43, 44. It is not 
surprising Philo should believe in endless punishment, if 
Calmet's account of him be correct. He says : ** Philo, 
a famous Jewish author, of the city of Alexandria, and 
of the race of the priests. He made himself so famous 
by his eloquence, and by his knowledge of the philoso- 
phy of Plato, that it was commonly said of him at Alexan- 
dria, either Philo imitates Plato, or Plato imitates Philo. 
And the learned called him the Jewish Plato, or the 
second Plato." Philo could not have been a true Pla- 
tonist without believing in endless punishment. There 
is every ground for supposing that he would use the 
term Gehenna, if in the days of our Lord it signified 
endless punishment. 

The question then is, does the term Gehenna occur in 
Philo's writings designating a place of endless punishment? 
It is of no consequence, in settling the present question, that 
he believed in endless punishment. No, the question is, 
did he use the term Gehenna to designate this place of 


panishment, which is said to haye been its exclusive 
sense in the days of the Saviour? In answer to this, we 
must say, we have never seen, or heard, that Philo's 
writings are quoted in proof of this. Nor have we been 
able to find that he uses the term Grehenna in any sense 
whatever. If he does, let his writings be quoted, that 
we may see what he says on the subject. No doubt 
ihey would be quoted, if they contained any proof on the 
point in question. 

4th. Josephtis* writings. At what time did Josephus 
live and write 7 Calmet says, he was " bom at Jerusa- 
lem, in the first year of the reign of Caius, A. d. 37." 
And his writings are all included between A. D. 70 and 
A. D. 100. He was then bom not far from the time of 
the Saviour's death, and his writings appeared about the 
same period with the books of the New Testament. 

Does Josephus use the term Gehenna to designate 
hell, the world of woe 7 We answer, no; nor have wo 
ever seen his writings appealed to in proof of such an 
opinion. He gives an account of the opinions of the 
Jews relative to future punishment, but does not use Ge- 
henna to describe it. Whitby, on Mark 9 : 43, 44, 
quotes Josephus thus : ^' The Pharisees held that the souls 
of the wicked were to be punished with perpetual pun- 
ishment, and that there was appointed for them a perpet- 
ual prison." But neither he nor any other person, so 
&r as I know, ever quoted Josephus to show he used the 
term Gehenna in reference to future punishment. It 
does not appear, fi:om Josephus' works, that any punish-^ 
ment after death was believed among the Jews, until 
after their return from the Babylonian captivity, or near 
the times of the Saviour. 

6th. The Jewish Tar gums. It is to these Targums 
we are chiefly referred for proof that in the days of our 
Lord Gehenna designated hell, the world of woe, and in 
this sense it is always used in the New Testament. It is 
necessary, then, that we examine this with care and atten- 
tion. Let us first ascertain the nature and number of 


these Targums. For the infonnation of some of my 
readers, I give the following abridged account of them 
from Prideaux's Connections, vol. 4, pp. 560 — 586. 

" The Chaldee paraphrases are translations of the 
Scriptures of the Old Testament, made directly from the 
Hebrew text into the language of the Chaldeans ; which 
language was anciently used through all Assyria, Baby- 
lonia, Mesopotamia, Syria, and Palestine; and is still 
the language of the churches of the Nestorian and Mar- 
onite Christians in those eastern parts, in the same man- 
ner as the Latin is the language of the Popish churches 
here in the west. And, therefore, those paraphrases 
were called Targums, because they were versions or trans- 
lations of the Hebrew text into this language ; for the 
word Targum signifieth, in Chaldee, an interpretation or 
version of one language into another, and may properly 
be said of any such version or translation ; but it is most 
commonly by the Jews appropriated to these Chaldee 
paraphrases ; for being among them what were most emi- 
nently such, they therefore had this name by way of emi- 
nence especially given to them. 

** These Targums were made for the use and instruc- 
tion of the vulgar Jews after their return from the Baby- 
lonish captivity ; for, although many of the better sort 
still retained the knowledge of the Hebrew language 
during that captivity, and taught it their children, and 
the Holy Scriptures that were delivered after that time, 
excepting only some parts of Daniel and Ezra, and one 
verse in Jeremiah, were all written therein ; yet the com- 
mon people, by having so long conversed with the Baby- 
lonians, learned their language, and forgot their own. 
It happened, indeed, otherwise to the children of Israel 
in Egypt; for, although they lived there above, three 
times as long as the Babylonish captivity lasted, yet 
they still preserved the Hebrew language among them, 
and brought it back entire with them into Cana«,n. 
The reason of this was, in Egypt they all lived together 
in the land of Goshen; but, on their being carried cap< 

aBHBKNA. 289 

tive by the Babylonians, they were dispersed all over 
Chaldea and Assyria ; and, being there intermixed with 
the people of the land, had their main converse with 
them, and therefore were forced to learn their language ; 
and this soon induced a disuse of their own among them, 
by which means it came to pass that, after their return, 
the common people, especially those of them who had 
been bred up in that captivity, understood not the Holy 
Scriptures in' the Hebrew language, nor their posterity 
after them. And, therefore, when Ezra read the law to 
the people, he had several persons standing by him, well 
skilled in both the Chaldee and Hebrew languages, who 
interpreted to the people in Chaldee what he first read to 
them in Hebrew. And afterwards, when the method was 
established of dividing the law into 54 sections, and of 
reading one of them every week in their synagogues, the 
same course of reading to the people the Hebrew text 
first, and then interpreting it to them in Chaldee, was 
still continued. For, when the reader had read one verse 
in Hebrew, an interpreter standing by did render it into 
Chaldee ; and then the next verse being read in Hebrew, 
it was in like manner interpreted in the same language as 
before ; and so on from verse to verse was every verse 
alternately read first in the Hebrew, and then interpreted 
in Chaldee, to the end of the section ; and this first gave 
occasion for the making of Chaldee versions for the help 
of these interpreters. And they henceforth became 
necessary not only for their help in the public synagogues, 
but also for the help of the people at home in their fam- 
ilies, that they might there have the Scriptures for their 
private reading in a language which they understood. 

" This work having been attempted by divers persons 
at different times, and by some of ttiem with different 
views (for some of them were written as versions for the 
public use of the synagogues, and others as paraphrases 
and commentaries for the private instruction of the people), 
hence it hath come to pass that there were anciently 
many of these Targums, and of different sorts, in the 



same manner as there anciently were many different ver- 
sions of the same Holy Scriptures into the Greek lan- 
guage, made with like different views, of which we have 
suflScient proof in the Octapla of Origen. No doubt, 
anciently there were many more of these Targums than 
we now know of, which have been lost in the length of time. 
Whether there were any of them of the same composure 
on the whole Scriptures is not anywhere said. Those 
that are now remaining were composed by difierent per- 
sons, and on different parts of Scripture ; some on one 
part, and othets on other parts, and are in all of these 
eight sorts following. 1. That of Onkelos on the five 
books of Moses. 2. That of Jonathan Ben Uzziel on 
the prophets, that is, on Joshua, Judges, Samuel, the 
two books of Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the 
twelve minor prophets. 3. That on the law, which is 
ascribed to Jonathan Ben Uzziel. 4. The Jerusalem 
Targum on the law. 5. The Targum on the five lesser 
books, called the Megilloth, that is, Ruth, Esther, Eccle- 
siastes, the Song of Solomon, and the Lamentations of 
Jeremiah. 6. The second Targum on Esther. 7. The 
Targum of Joseph, the one-eyed, on the book of Job, 
Psalms, and the Proverbs ; and, 8. The Targum on the 
first and second book of Chronicles. On Ezra, Nehemiah. 
and Daniel, there is no Targum at all. The reason 
given by some for this, is, because a great part <$ those 
books is written in the Chaldee language, and, therefore, 
there is no need of a Chaldee pharaphrase upon them. 
This, indeed, is true for Daniel and Ezra, but not for 
Nehemiah ; for that book is all originally written in the 
Hebrew language. No doubt, anciently, there were 
Chaldee paraphrases on all the Hebrew parts of those 
books, though now lost. It was long supposed there were 
no Targums on the two books of Chronicles, because none 
such were known till they were lately published by Bec- 
kius, at Augsburg, in Germany, that on the first book 
A. D. 1680, and diat on the second in 1683." 
2d. We shall now lay before the reader what the Tar- 

aEHSNHA. 241 

gums contain on the. point in question. What, then, do 
the advocates of endless misery produce from them, show- 
ing that Gehenna was made an emblem of hell, the world 
of woe 7 Parkhurst thus writes : " From this valley hav- 
ing been the 49cene of those infernal sacrifices, and prob- 
ably, too, from its continuing, after the time of Josiah's 
reformation, 2 Kings 23 : 10, a place of abominable 
filthiness and pollution, the Jews in our Saviour's time 
used the compound word ge eflm^ for hell, the place of 
the damned. This appears from that word being thus 
applied by the Ghaldee Targums in Ruth 2 : 12 ; Psalm 
140 : 12 ; Isa. 26-: 1—5, and 33 : 14, and by the Jeru- 
salem Targum, and that of Jonathan Ben Uzziel, Gen. 
8: 24, and 15: 17; comp. 2 Esdras 2 : 29." 

Again; Whitby, on Mark 9 :43, 44, says, "That Ge- 
henna was by the Jews still looked on and represented as 
the place in which the wicked were to be tormented by 
fire ; so the Jerusalem Targum represents Gehenna, whicn 
is prepared for the wicked in the world to come, as a fur- 
nace sparkling and flaming with fire, into which the 
wicked fall. And the Targum upon Ecclesiastes speaks 
of the fire of hell, Eocles. 9 : 15 ; of the sparks of the 
fire of hell, chap. 10:2, and of the wicked who shall go 
to be burned in hell, chap. 8 : 10. Accordingly, our 
Lord speaks, verse 47, and Matt 5 : 22, of the wicked 
being cast into the fire of hell, and of their being ca«t 
into a furnace of fire. Matt 13 : 42. The ancient Jews 
held that the punishment of the wicked in hell should be 
perpetual, or without end. So Judith saith that they 
shall weep under the sense of their pains forever, chap- 
ter 17." 

Dr. Allen, in his lecture, pp. 20, 21, gives us the foU 
lowing account : "As the word Gehenna is a IhAmtm 
word, it is worthy of our inquiry to ascertain the rrw«r** 
ing attached to the word by the Jewish writers, iJy 
Gehenna the Jews understood the place of jmriishiri^frit, 
or the punishments of the wicked after the pres^it lifo. 
The Targum of Jerusalem, on Gen* 8: 24, sayi^ that 

21 ^ 


* two thousand years before the foundation of the world, 
God founded paradise for the just, and Grehenna for the 
impious, like a two-edged sword^ cutting on either side. 
In the midst of it he placed a raging fire, in which the 
wicked shall be burned.' So the Targum of Jonathan, 
on Isa. 33 : 14, says, ' that the impious are judged and 
delivered over to everlasting fire in Gehenna.' On Isa. 
66 : 5, their punishment will be in Gehenna, where the 
fire burns perpetually." 

The following is to be found in the Targums on the 
texts to which Whitby and Parkhurst refer us. 

'^ Ruth 2:12. The Lord shall abundantly recompense 
thee in this age for thy good work, and shall be thy com- 
plete reward to the age that shall come, &om the presence 
of the Lord God of Israel ; because thou hast come to 
join thyself to his people and worship, and find protection 
under the shadow of the majesty of his- glory, and for 
this righteous conduct thou shalt be delivered from the 
punishment of Gehenna, that thy portion may be with 
Sarah and Riblah, and Rachel and Lea." 

'* Psalm 140: 10, 11. Let coals of fire fall from 
heaven upon them ; let him cast them into the fire of 
Gehenna ; into miry pits ; from which let them not rise 
to eternal life. Let tiie angel of death hunt the violent 
man, and cast him into Gehenna." 

*^ Isaiah 26 : 15. Thou hast been revealed to us, 
Lord, as about to assemble the dispersed of thy people; 
it shall also come to pass that thou wilt collect them from 
their wanderings ; that thou mightest appear in thy pow- 
er, to cast all &e wicked into Grehenna." 

** Isaiah 26 : 19. And those who transgress thy word, 
thou wilt deliver into Gehenna." 

*^ Isaiah 33 : 14. Who among us shall dwell in Zion, 
where the splendor of his mdesty is as consuming fire 1 
Who among us shall dwell in Jerusalem, where the wicked 
are to be judged, and cast into Gehenna, into everlasting 

In the Universalist Expositor, vol. ii, pp. 367, 868, we 


have the following account of Gehenna, as odlecied 
the Targoms. ''We come, at last, to the Targnms of 
Onkelos and Jonathan Ben Uzziel ; and in the latter <if 
these we meet, for the first time in Jewish writings, with 
Gehenna in the sense alleged. In the fonoer. to &r at 
least as the end of the paraphrase <hi CrenesB. Dnthmr 
that term nor anything else relating to our subject ocean: 
and we presume that such is the case with the rest of tLe 
work, since it is nearlj a literal transhtion, and is 
quoted by the critics for examples in point. But in 
Targum of Jonathan Ben Uzziel, Gehenna is terml 
times used ; and here, as we hare alreadj oleerrcd. ^ 
seems appropriated exclusiyely to scenes either cf fmxmr^ 
woe, or of severe and extensive jodgmentB in this vgrii : 
perhaps always to the former. The antbor q^aks 'jf 
Gehenna as Uie place which God 'balfa prepuel bt-V/v- 
for transgressors ; ' to which he ' will adjwlge than in xut 
day of trial ; ' and 'from which he will preaerre his ritja^ 
teous servants.' When he redeems the eapdntr cf tM 
people, he will appear in his power in isder to eut all 
the impious into Gehenna. It is 'prepared, of diJL &r 
the nations that have oppressed Isael; the King es^nol 
hath prepared it deep and wide ; a flainiiig pile is kJuLtA 
therein, as of much wood ; and the word of tb^ I/rd Mk 
a torrent of sulphur sets it on fire V The diHsctprAgrt, ia* 
their terror, exclaim, 'Who amonp ns dudl dwell in 'Art^ 
salem, where the impious are to be judged a&d fees isfif* 
Gehenna with eternal burning?' ' The UesKd ^al'k i^^ 
them descending into the land of GAeasAi' i»db ait atcr. 
' Stand by thyself, ccnne not near mifto ne. ifx\imx vZ/jMr 
than thou,' shall have their prniighmmt in ^pA^et^^^, 
where the fire bums continually ; and Itietr V/i^esf AeeiiX 
be delivered to the second deatfL When all j^^^J^ WiisJj 
come ' from month to numth, and from BaUbath V/ ^v- 
bath, to worship before the Lord : they ehatl jeo ifrU^ ^nnA 
behold the carcasses of the sinners who hare ^Mipiti^ ^»^ 
word of the Lord ; their souls die vfK^ luJi liaJm if^ ^ 
not quenched ; and they shall be judged in firJWMWi, Mrtfl 


the righteous shall say of them, We have seen enotigh,' 
etc. Such is the language in which this author speaks 
of Gehenna. And we may repeat, that it is not only in 
a different style, but under a difierent name, that he men- 
tions the valley of Hinnom. At the date of this Targum, 
therefore, we may conclude that the term had become 
appropriated by the Jews to a place of futurp torment. 
Nothing remains but to point out the age of the work." 

3d. We shall now examine at what time the Jewish 
Targums were written. Jahn, in his Introduction to the 
Old Testament, pp. 64—68, thus writes: "The Chaldee 
paraphrases are known by the name of Targums (which 
means a version or an interpretation). The most cele- 
brated among them is that of the Pentateuch, ascribed to 
Onkelos, whom the Babylonian Talmud makes contem- 
porary with Gamaliel, adding many incoherent tales re- 
specting him. It is evident, however, that he lived several 
centuries before the Talmudical writers, since they know 
so little of him, although he wrote in Babylonia. Onk- 
elos, therefore, would seem to have written not in the 
fourth or fifth century of the Christian era, but in the 
third ot rather in the second, and this is confirmed by 
his paraphrase itselfj*' etc. 

Jahn says, concerning the Targum of Jonathan Ben 
Uzziel on the prophets, ** The work is a collection of in- 
terpretations of several learned men, made towards the 
close of the third century, and containing some of a much 
older date ; for that some parts of it existed tis early as 
in the second century, appears from the additions," etc. 

Respecting the Targum of the Pseudo Jonathan on the 
Pentateuch, Jahn says, *Hhat it was not written before 
the seventh or eighth century. It seems, however, to 
have been compiled from older interpretations." 

As to the Jerusalem Targum on the Pentateuch, Jahn 
observes, **This work is more modem than that of the 
Pseudo Jonathan, or certainly not more ancient. It seems 
to have been compiled, however, fix)m more ancient works, 
and hence contains many sentences which are found in 

aEHSNNA. 245 

the New Testament," etc. Jahn adds, '' The other Chal- 
dee paraphrases are neither older nor better than the 
preceding, but abound with digressions and fictions." \ 

We have quoted Jahn's authority respecting the age 
of the Jewish Targums, because he stands very high as 
a writer among orthodox people. The following from the 
Universalist !]£q)ositor generallj confirms his statements. 
In p. 368, speaking of the Targum of Jonathan Ben 
Uzziel, it is said, '^ This is uncertain. Prideaux, together 
with several of the old critics, and even Gesenius among 
the living, place it not &r &om the Christian era, cm the 
authority chiefly of Jewish traditions. Prideaux, how- 
ever, has well observed, that, ' in historical matters, it is 
not to be regarded what the Jews write or what they 
omit.' " Most of the eminent writers now agree that it 
could not have been completed till some time between two 
and four hundred years after Christ. Dr. Jahn thinks it 
a collection of the interpretations of several learned men, 
made towards tjie.end of the third century, and contain- 
ing some of a much older date. Eickhom says that 
^ ^ Jonathan certainly lived later than the birth of Clirist ; " 
and, judging &om his style, his fables, his perversion of 
the prophecies concerning the Messiah, and from the pro- 
found silence of the early Jews and Cliristian Others, he 
concludes that his compilation cannot have been marie before 
the fourth century. The same circumstances that £jr;k- 
horn adduces, are thought by Bertholdt to inrlieate tlie 
second or thud century; and he is coiifident tiiat the 
collection ^^ cannot have attained its complete fhrm before 
the end of the second century." With these geni^ral 
conclusions it is said that Bauer likewise agrees: and 
some critics have referred the work to as late a peno^l tm 
the seventh or eighth century. 

Such is the account which the various critics give of 
the dates of the Jewish Targums. We shall now sabmit 
a few brief remarks for the consideration of our readers. 

1st. Those who refer us to the Targums for proof that 
Gehenna, in the days of our Lord, was used among the 



Jews to designate hell, the world of woe, seldom quote 
what they say, on this subject, fully and feirly to their 
readers. Mr. Stuart makes no quotations at all in 
proof of his assertions, nor does he even name the books 
or pages where such proof may be found. We suspect 
he was somewhat ashamed to do this ; for what xnan, 
tender of his own reputation, would quote the silly remarks 
which Dr. Allen quoted from the Jewish Targums 7 No 
madman ever said more silly and ridiculous things than 
are to be found in the Jewish Talmuds and Targums. 
The Targums, most commonly referred to in proof of 
such a sense given to Gehenna by the Jews, are those 
into which the writers introduced their own ** glosses 
and silly stories, fables, prolix explications, and other 

2d. Let the reader observe that the texts on which the 
Targums are written afford no foundation for such a sense 
being given to the term Gehenna. This t^rm is not used 
in the texts in any sense whatever ; nor is the writer in 
any of the texts speaking either of a future punishment 
or a future world. None of the texts afford the least 
reason for saying Gehenna means hell, the world of woe. 
There is no connection between the text and the comment 
given on it by the Targumists. They might have given 
the same comment on any other text in the Bible, with 
equal propriety. If the texts, then, afforded no foundation 
for such comments, why were they made, and why should 
Christians regard them ? 

3d. But what decides the question at issue is, the 
Targums were not written in the days of our Lord, con- 
sequently cannot be quoted as proof that in his day 
Gehenna among the Jews designated hell, the world oi 
woe. It was impossible, in the nature of the case, that 
our Lord derived this sense of Grehenna from the Jewish 
Targums, as the dates of them show. They were not 
in existence until several hundred years after our Lord 
was on earth, as the best critics have testified. Why 
then are they appealed to at all in proof of this ? 


And on wbat ground did Mr. Stnart assert that tke kter 
Jewish writers gare such a sense to Gehenna, prior to 
the writing of the New Testament ? It appears from the 
following quotation that the &>Gts are yerj di&rent 

^'From the time of Josephus, onwaras, there is an 
interval of about a century, from which no Jewish writ- 
ings have descended to us. In this period we meet with 
the first information which we receive from any quarter 
whatsoever that Gehenna was the place of the damned. 
Still, it is not from a Jew that this earliest notice oomes, 
but from the celebrated Christian father, Justin Martyr, 
about A. D. 150. He quotes the language of our Sa^ 
viour, ' Fear not them which kill the body, but are not 
able to kill the soul ; but rather fear him which is able to 
destroy both soul and body in Gehenna;' and then adds, 
for the instruction of the heathens to whom he was writ- 
ing, that Gehenna is the place whei^ those are to be 
punished who have led unrighteous lives, and disbelieved 
what God declared by Christ. This is, of course, merely 
his interpretation of that term, as he understood it in the 
New Testament ; and, notwithstanding Uiat he had been 
brought up in one of the cities of die andent Samaria^ 
he certainly had no acquaintance with the language, and 
probably none with the peculiar usages, of the Jews. 

'^ The next notice of the kind is, we think, that of 
another Christian &ther, Clemens Alexandrinns, about 
A. D. 195. Maintaining the doctrine of a future state, 
he adduces the authority of the heathen philosophers : 
' Does not Plato acknowledge both the rivers of fire, acMi 
that profound depth of the earth which the barbarians 
(the Jews) call Gehenna? Does he iK>t propheticaHy 
mention Tartarus, Cocytus, Acheron, the Phlegetbon of 
fire, and certain oth^r like places of punishment, wbidi 
lead to correction and discipline 7 ' Here Clemens tn^oM^ 
beyond all doubt, that the Jews denominated the place of 
future punishment Gehenna ; but whedier he spoxe front 
personal knowledge or from presumption it is nlUffOathifr 
uncertain. He knew it to be a Jewish, not a Uremic 


word ; and he may hare judged its usage among the 
Barbarians, as he called them, by what he supposed its 
sense in the New Testament." [Universalist Expositor^ 
vol. ii., pp. 861, 366. 

4th. but suppose the Targums were written prior to 
the days of Christ, — yea, suppose that among the Jews 
in his day the current sense of Gehenna was hell, the 
world of woe, — what does this prove 7 It does not prove 
that this sense was given to Gehenna by divine authority. 
Nor does it prove that our Lord used it in this sense. 
On the contrary, there is not the least foundation for 
supposing that he would lay aside the Old Testament 
sense of Grehenna, and adopt this new sense on the 
authority of men, and especially such writers as the 
authors of the Targums. Jesus Christ gave no counte- 
nance to men's inventions in religion, or sanction to the 
alterations which the Jews had made in the language of 
their Scriptures. The whole of his teaching proves this ; 
and the texts, with their contexts, where he used the 
term Gehenna, stand opposed, as we have seen, to such 
a sense of the word. Besides, the facts we have adduced 
never can be reconciled with this sense attached to 
the term Gehenna. But if people will contend that the 
authority of the Targums is good, in establishing that 
Gehenna in our Lord's day meant hell, the world of woe, 
they can have no reasonable objection to receiving it as 
good in a case closely connected with this. I shall there- 
fore submit, for their serious consideration, the following 

1st. If the Targums are good authority that Gehenna 
is a place of endless punishment, their authority is 
equally good in determining who are to suffer it. Permit 
me, then, to adduce the same authority from Whitby, on 
Bom. 2, to show that no Jew went to nell to be punished 
forever, but all the Gentiles are fit fuel for hell fire. He 
says, ** The Jewish religion was very much corrupted at 
our Saviour's coming, so that they thought it sufficient 
to obtain God's favor, and to secure them from his judg- 


ments, 1st. That they were of the seed of Abraham ; 
and henoe the Baptist speaks thus to them, Bring forth 
fruits meet for repentance, and (think it not sufficient to) 
say within yourselves, we have Abraham for our father, 
Matt. 3 : 8, 9. The Chaldee paraphrasts do often men- 
tion their expectation of being preserved for the merits 
or good wc^ks of ^eir forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and 
Jacob; and their writers add, that hell fire hath no 
power over the sinners of Israel, because Abraham and 
Isaac descend thither to fetch them thence. 2d. They 
held that circumcision was of sufficient virtue to render 
them accepted of Grod, and to preserve them from eternal 
ruin, for they teach that no circumcised person goes to 
hell, God having promised to deliver them from it for the 
merit of circumcision, and having told Abraham that 
when his children fell into transgression, and did wicked 
works, he would remember the odor of their foreskinSj 
and would be satisfied with their piety. And, 3d. They 
taught that all Israelites had a portion in the world t» 
come ; and that notwithstanding their sins, yea, though 
they were condemned here for their wickedness ; whereas, 
of all the Gentiles without exception, they pronounce 
that they su-e fuel for hell fiire.'' Let persons, then, who 
quote the Targums in proof that Gehenna or hell is a 
place of endless misery, take their choice. They mu^ 
either reject their authority altogether, or be willing to 
go to hell on the same authority ; as Gentiles we must all 
be content to be fuel for hell fire. We might here take 
our leave of the Targums ; for what has now been stated 
is sufficient to convince any man that their authority is 
not for a moment to be regarded. But we shall proceed. 
2. Parkhurst says, that " the Jews in our Saviour's 
time used the compound word ge enm, for hell, the place 
of the damned." And he adds, that **this appears firom 
that word's being thus applied by the Chaldee Targums, 
and by the Jerusalem Targums, and that of Ben Uzziel." 
And why does it not also appear that all the stories, and 
glosses, and fables, which they introduced into their 


Targmns, are also true ? We hare the same authcmty 
for the one as the other. If it should be said that the 
Targums are only appealed to fOr the manner in which 
the Jews used this word, we reply that this is not Ae 
whole truth, for it is in the way the Jews used this word 
in the Targums that the doctrine is attempted to be 
proved. The sense in which our Lord used the word 
Gjshenna is assumed, and the Targuma are appealed 
to, not (Hily for the sense of this word, but for tl^ truth 
of the doctrine. Let it be shown, from the context of 
the passages in which it is used, that this is its sense, and 
there is no necessity to appeal to the Targums. But if 
it be true which is stated in the above quotation, why 
does it not also appear that the Gentiles were fuel for 
hell fire ? By this way of making things appear to be 
true, it will be no difficult thing to show that all the silly, 
sick-brajned stories of the Apocrypha, Targums and 
Talmuds, are true. Besides, by the same rule, we ought 
to believe that the fire of hell is literal, material fire, for 
the Targumists appear to have believed this, as is plain 
fi*om the above quotation. But notice, Whitby says that 
" the Jewish religion was very much corrupted at our 
Saviour's coming." By what evidence does it then 
appear that the Gentiles were fuel for hell fire, and that 
this is a corruption of their religion, but that hell fire 
itself is not also a part of this corruption? Neither of 
these is taught in the Old Testament. From what source, 
then, do we learn that both are not a corruption of their 
religion 7 How could they be anything else but a corrup- 
tion of it when not found in their Scriptures'? K this is 
denied, let proof be produced to the contrary. .After 
reading the above quotation from Whitby, no one 
can doubt that the Jewish religicm was very much cor- 
rupted. It was a corruption, however, as any one may 
see, which flattered themselves, ami sufficiently expressed 
their enmity against the G^entiles. After seeing this 
quotati(»i, and considering the strange and ridiculous 
opinions held by the Jews, what credit can any man give 


to anything such persons could say about Crehenna being 
a place of endless misery? One would certainly be 
disposed to think, that, so Sir from the doctrine being 
true, it was invented &r the purpose of showing their 
deep-rooted aversion to the Grentiles. If Gehenna, held bj 
them to be a place of endless misery, be a truth, yet aU 
the other things stated in the above quotaticm are con- 
sidered corruptions of their rdigicm, we honestly own 
that we have seldom seen a truth held with so many 
absurd notions. To say the least of it, the testimtmy of 
such witnesses is very suspicious. 

3d. But w^ should like to know how the writers of the 
Targums came by the informaticm which they detail to 
us concerning Gehenna ? By what means did they come 
to know that it was a place rf punishment fiv the widced, 
tiiat the punishment was to be literal fire, and endless in 
its duration ? I repeat the questiim, where did the above 
persons get all this information 7 Did they derive it from 
the heathen, or did they invent it themselves? If from 
neither of these sources, let it be shown from what source 
they did derive it. Until it is proved that this informa- 
tion was derived from God's authority, no man ought to 
believe it. 

But it may be objected to this, by saying, is it not 
said, in the above quotations, that our Lora speaks, Mark 
9 : 47, and Matt. 5 : 22, of the wicked being cast into 
the fire of hell, and of their being cast into a fui^iace of 
fire, Matt. 13 : 42 ? The two first of these passages 
have been considered, being two of those in which Ge- 
henna occurs. It has been shown that Gehenna in no 
instance signifies a place of endless misery for the wicked. 
As to the last passage, we have shown in our Second 
Inquiry, that it has nothing to do with a place of endless 
misery, but refers to the same temporal calamities which 
are spoken of under the emblem of Gehenna, by the 
prophet Jeremiah. It is there shown that our Loid did 
not derive his allusion to a '^ furnace of fire" in the 
above passage, from the Targums, but from the Old 


Testament Scriptures. It is very certain that all pro- 
fessing Christians, not only in our day, but for many ages 
past, have believed that uehenna is the place of eternal 
punishment for all the wicked. It would not be difficult 
to show from what source this information was derived. 
We might also expect that, instead of referring to the 
Targums, God's authority would be appealed to at once, 
ftnd the scripture evidence of its truth would be fall 
and explicit. A subject of such universal and deep 
interest to the human race, we think, would not be left as 
a matter of doubtful disputation, depending on the sense 
which the writers of the Targums give to the word 
Gehenna. Even when such writings are appealed to, 
they afford no proof of the doctrine, and give us but a 
poor opinion of either the piety of the writers or the 
correctness of their religious opinions. If eternal pun- 
ishment in Gehenna be a part of the revealed will of God, 
at some time or other ^is revelation must have been 
given. Now, I am willing to believe it, and shall teach 
it with all the ability God has given me, if it can be 
shown that such a revelation has been given during any 
part of the four following periods of time, which includes 
all periods in which it could be revealed. 

1st I shall believe it if it can be proved that it was 
revealed at any time during the Old Testament dispen- 
sation. That such a doctrine as the eternity of hell 
torments was not revealed during this period, is now 
generally admitted. It is confessed, by Mr. Stuart and 
others, that it was not revealed under the name of Sheol, 
Hades, Tartarus, or even Gehenna, during that dispen- 
sation ; and it is not pretended that any other name is 
used to express this place of endless punishment. I 
therefore observe, 

2^. That I shall believe this doctrine if it can be 
proved that God revealed it in any time from the com- 
pletion of the Old Testament Scriptures to the com- 
mencement of the gospel dispensation. The time which 
elapsed between these two events was about four hundred 


yea^. Malachi, in closing his book, commanded atten- 
tion to be given to the law of Moses, until the coming of 
John the Baptist, but gives no injunction to pay attention 
to the Apocrypha or the Targums. And we have no 
account during the above period, that any inspired proph- 
et arose, and revealed such a doctrine to the world. Ta 
quote any writer from Malachi to John the Baptist, in 
proof of this doctrine, is nothing to the purpose. 

3d. I will believe this doctripe if it is proved that 
God revealed it since the New Testament was completed. 
This is not supposed, for it is contended by all who hold 
it, that it was known long before this. To contend that 
it was revealed after the New Testament was completed, 
would be to give it up as a Scripture doctrine, and sanc- 
tion all the wild pretensions to inspiration since that 
period. If we do not end our revelations with the New 
Testament, we shall have a host of inspired fanatics, and 
an inundation of enthusiastic reveries, for the fiithful 
sayings of God. 

4th. I will believe this doctrine if it can be proved 
that it was revealed by God to men, during the ministry 
of Christ or anv of his apostles ; or, in other words, if it 
can be proved from the New Testament. All the passa- 
ges where Gehenna occurs, we have considered, and we 
think have shown that no such doctrine is taught in them. 
Besides, we have adduced a number of &cts at variance > 
with such a view of the subject. But we have a few 
remarks to make on the above quotations, of a different 
nature from those already made. 

1st. There is considerable similarity in the opinions 
held by the Targumists and Christians in the present 
day. 1 need not notice that both are agreed that Gehenna 
means hell, world of woe, for this is obvious. But it 
deserves special notice, the similarity of their opinions 
as to those who must go to hell. The Jews considered 
all Gentiles as fuel for hell fire, but exempted themselves 
from this punishment. No Jew could go to hell ; or if 
he did, '^ Hell fire hath no power over the sinners of 



Israel, because Abraham and Isaac descend thither to 
fetch them thence." The " merit of circumcision," and, 
" th^odor of their foreskins," was suflScient to preserve 
them from hell. Such waa the faith of the persons on 
whose authority we are to believe Gehenna to be a place 
of endless misery. Christians now retaliate on the Jews, 
and consider them fit fuel for hell fire. Christians also 
believe no Christian will go to hell. Ask any one (rf 
them, Do you believe you shall go to hell? O, no ! say 
they, God forbid. But why not? The reasons they 
assign are very similar to those the Jews assigned. They 
are the children of godly parents ; they have been bap- 
tized ; they are members of the church. These, or simi- 
lar things, have put all their fears to rest about hell. The 
fact is, I never met with a person, in my life time, who 
believed hell was a place of punishment for himself. No, 
this is for the wicked Jews, the heathen, or wicked 
persons around them. We have even known some good 
people, who, while their children lived, considered them 
as on the broad road to hell ; but, when they died vrithout 
much evidence of a change, still hoped they were gone to 
heaven. This conduct of theirs has reminded t^ of the 
conduct of the ancient Romans with their Caesars. While 
they lived they counted them devils, but after death 
deined them. 

2d. But how came the Jews to believe in a place of 
endless misery, and at length to use the term Gehenna to 
express it ? There are several points fixed about this, 
which enable us to form at least a rational conjecture 
respecting it. Let it then be observed, Mr. Stuart, Dr. 
Campbell, and others, seem to admit that a place of endless 
punishment is not taught in the Old Testament Here 
is one point fixed. Again ; it is admitted by all, that the 
term Gehenna, and no other term, is used in the Old 
Testament to express a place of endless punishment. In- 
deed, it was impossible to use Gehenna in such a sense if 
no such place was known, for a place must first be known 
before we can give it a name of any kind. Here ia 

another point fixed on the question before ns. Again ; it 
is stated bj Dr. Campbell and others, iliat daring and 
after the Babylonian captivity the Jews learned from the 
heathen the notion of endless punishment in a future 
state. ' This we have seen above. The introduction of 
this and other heathen opinions among the Jews was 
gradual, but in the days of our Lord had become general, 
with ^rhaps the exception of the sect oi the Sadduceeg. 
But though they learned from the heathen this notion of 
a place of endless punishment, they could not kam froot 
them to call it by the name Gehenna, for this was a He- 
brew term. Another point which seems to be certain, is, 
that the Jews, from a variety of causes, had imbibed » 
deep-rooted hatred of the Grentile nations. They counted 
them dogs, and excluded them from sUl participation in 
the blessings of their Messiah'sreign. It is also univer- 
sally admitted that no place known to a Jew was more 
abominable than Gehenna, the valley of Hinnom. Jahn, 
in his Archeology, p. 527, says, '' In the later periodg 
of the Jewish kingdom, this idol was erected in llie valley 
south of Jerusalem, namely, in the valley of Hinnom, aid 
in the part of said valley caUed Tophet, so named from 
the drums which were beaten to prevent the groans and 
cries of children sacrificed, from being heard, cfer. 7 : 81, 
32; 19: 6—14; Isai. 30 : 33; 2King8 23: 10. The 
place was so abhorrent to the minds of the more recent 
Jews, that they applied the name of Ge Hinnom or 
Gehenna, to the place of torments in a future life. The 
word Gehenna was used in this way (namely, for the 
place of punishment beyond the grave), very nrequently, 
in oriental writers, as mr as India, uompa^e TVetsten's 
New Testament, at Matt. 5 : 5." 

Such are the points which seem to be fixed relative to 
this subject. From these &cts we may form a rational 
conjecture how the Jews came to use the term Gehenna 
to express a place of endless punishment in a future state. 
They did not apply this t^rm to express a place of endlosi 
punishment for themselves, but K>r the Oentilos. No 

256 GEHfiNNA. 

JeiY could suffer its torments; but all the Grentiles 
were fit fuel for its fire. The Jews had even no dealing} 
with the Samaritans ; and thej counted it proper to hate 
their enemies, Matt. 6 : 42. See how strong this preju- 
dice was even in the minds of Christ's own foUowers, 
Acts, chapters 10 and 11. The whole New Testament 
shows to what extent self-righteousness, self-love, national 
pride and vanity, had taken possession of the minds of 
the Jews. The quotaticm made from Whitby, on Boul 2, 
shows the malignant hatred which the Jews had to the 
Gentiles. To express this hatred of them, they consigned 
them to hell fire ; and it is a probable c(mjecture, that, as no 
place was more abominable to Jews than Gehenna, they 
used the term Gehenna to express the place of endless 
punishment to the Gentile nations. This conjecture, the 
reader will perceive, seems to be countenanced from the 
quotation from Whitby, and also frcmi the accounts given 
from the Targunis respecting Gehenna. But, at this dis- 
tance of time, we have no hope o£ being ever able to 
determine when, or by whom, this new sense was first 
given to Gehenna. That it was not fixnn divine authority, 
seems certain, and in the nineteenth century it is high 
time for Christians to discard all human authority in ti^e 
things of religion. 

We have now finished our examination of the term 
Gehenna. The result to which we have come, and the 
evidence by which we have arrived at it, are before the 
reader ; let him judge for himself. In conclusion, we 
would observe, 

1st. K any person believes my views are unscriptural, 
the first step to be taken to convince me of my error is 
to account rationally for the things I have stated. Until 
these are &irly removed out of the way, it is impossible 
for me to believe that Gehenna, in the New Testament, 
designates hell, a world of woe. Let any candid man ex- 
amine these facts, and then say if it is possible, with them 
in view, for him to believe tJ^s doctrine. They form a 
pbalanx of difficulties which is impenetrable against its 


recepthm. Upon no part of this whole LiqTurj has more 
labor of ^thinking been bestowed, than in attempting to 
reconcile tbe &cts with the common opinion lliat Ge- 
henna designates a place of ^mDcss poniahment I haye 
turned this subject round, and viewed it cm all sides, with 
all the attention I could command. I can sinoerelj saj, 
I have sought, but sought in yain, to find something 
which could fiurly account for the &cts, and reconcile 
them with this doctrine. The more I have labored in this 
way, the &cts have increased against it And I am per-, 
suaded that if tbe labor was continued, they would still 
increase, for I am not c<Hivinced that tne subject is 

2d. The next step to be taken, to convince me of m^ 
error, if it be one, is to examine all the texts whidi 
of Gehenna, and show that I have misinterpreted 
When this is dome, there will be no need to refin* me to 
the Jewish Targums for proof that Gehenna in the New 
Testament means hbll, a world of woe, for I will believe 
the doctrine without any appeal to their authority. The 
only question to settle with me, is, Has €rod revealed 
this doctrine in the Bible ? If he has, this is enou^ for 
me. But if he has not, popular belief^ the Jewish Tar- 
gums, all human authority, will not convince me. 

3d. That Gehenna in the New Testament means hell, 
the world of woe, is assumed. The most plausible argu- 
ment in &yor of this sense, is its usage in the Targums. 
But if this argument ever had any force it is destroyed, 
for it is now seen that it was derived fixnn a mistaken 
opinion that the Targums existed prior to the days of our 
Lord. This has always been taken for granted, as if it 
ought not, yea, could not, be questioned. How this cai$e 
stands, let die reader judge from the evidence laid before 
him. Should it still be said, Gehenna is to be foaml in 
this sense in Jewish writings prior to the days of onr Lonl^ 
I demand that the names and dates of these writingpi }m 
given, and let them be quoted, that all may see what thinr 
say on this cmbj^ Assortioos prove nottiing; and if 



358 C^SHENKA. 

eyidence can be proinoed, why withhold it, for who can 
believe without it ? * 

4th. If the true sense of Gehenna in the New Testa- 
ment is to be learned from its usage in the Targums, 
but yerj few persons can understand the Scriptures on 
this subject. Not one iil len thousand ever heard of such 
writings, and not one in a million of our race ever sayr 
them or has had an opportunity to consult them. Can 
any man believe God has left his rational ofispring at the 
mercy of such interpreters of the true sense of Gehenna? 
It is allowed that the Bible is the religion of Protestaiits ; 
and no maxim is more true than this, ^' The Bible is the 
best interpreter of itself Why, fhen, go to the writers 
of the Targums, enemies of Christ and of Christianity, to 
learn that Gehenna means hell, world of woe l How 
could they tell that in this sense he used Gehenna, if they 
wrote several hundred years after our Lord was on the 
earth 7 They did not hear him deliver his discourses in 
which he speaks of Gehenna, and if they had, there was 
some temptation on their part to pervert his meaning. 
He announced punishment to their nation under the em- 
blem of Gehenna, — " How can ye escape the damnation 

5th. To quote as authority the Targums, or even the 
Christian fathers, that Gehenna means hell, world of woe, 
in the New Testament, is a plain concession that such a 
sense is not to be found in the Bible. ' If Universalists 
depended on such authority for the truth of universal 
salvation, their cause would be deemed indefensible. 
They would be looked on as weak, silly, credulous peo- 

* It is important that the reader shonld keep in xhind, that the best 
aathorities qooted by Mr. Balfour, fix the date of the Targums so long 
after the time of Christ, that they can do nothing towards deciding the 
sense in which (Gehenna was used by him. This is a point of the high- 
est importance; Ibr, admitting that Christ used the word in its popiUar 
acceptation, the objector has yet to ftimish the evidence that it had 
acquired a sense different from what it had in the Old Testament 
Until this evidence is adduced, the interpretations given by Mr. Bal- 
ftrar stand in full force. O. A. 8. 


pie ; obstinately attached to a &lse system, which can- 
not be supported by scripture authority. . But do they 
support their views of Gehenna, or any other part of 
their system, by such kind of authority as this ? No. 
We have appealed to evidence and argument drawn from 
Scripture, for the views we have advanced about Gehenna, 
and invite a refutation by an appeal to the same authori- 
ty. All we have had to do with the Targums, and other 
Jewish writings, has been in exposing the rotten founda- 
tion on which the common doctrine rests about Gehenna 



There is no truth revealed in the Bible against which 
objections may not be urged. It would, however, be a 
waste of time, and a very trifling employment, to answer 
every one which might be made. Those which are 
rational, and which affect the subject in dispute, demand 
an answer. Every one which has occurred to me, or 
has been suggested by others, of any weight against my 
views, I shall now attempt to consider. They divide 
themselves into two classes ; common popular objections, 
and objections which are urged against the argument 
adduced. Let us begin with the first of these. 


It is said, ^ ^If you do away Gehenna or hell as a place 
of endless punishment^ what is left to deter men from 
the commission of every crime .^ " * ^Indeed, ' ' say some,* 
*^ if I believed there was no heUj I would indulge my» 
self in all kinds of iniquity! Look^^ they say, '* at 
the loose principles^ and still more loose morals ^ of the 
Universalists ;" and then add, by way of triumph, ^^who 
ever heard of a revival of religion among them 7 " 
It will be allowed that I have stated this objection fully 


and &irly. It shall now be my business as fully and 
fairly to meet it. 

" If hell^ a place of endless punishment, is done 
away, what is left to deter men from the commission 
of crime ? " In reply, I remark — 

1st. Under the Old Testament dispensation, it is albwed 
that the doctrine of endless hell torments was not known. 
Suffer me, then, to ask what was left to deter men from 
crime before this doctrine had existence ? When these 
persons have told us what was left in those days to deter 
men from crime without it, we are prepared to inform them 
what can deter men in these days without it. And if this 
doctrine was not preached under the Old Testament to 
make men holy, how came any then to be holy without 
it ? Did Adam preach the doctrine of hell torments to 
Cain to make him holy ? Did Noah preach this doctrine 
to make the antediluvians holy ? Did Lot preach this 
doctrine to make the Sodomites holy? Tea, was the 
belief of this doctrine the cause of the holiness of Adam, 
Noah, Abraham, Lot, and a host of others ? Did the 
belief of hell torments make them holy, in distinction 
from those who were unholy ? If this was the cause of 
their being holv themselves, why did they not preach it 
to make their friends, neighbors, and indeed all mankind 
holy ? If this doctrine was believed in those days, and 
was so well fitted; as is supposed, to prevent wickedness, 
why was it not preached 7 Surely Noah ought to have 
preached it to the people of the old world, y^en all flesh 
had corrujited their way upon the earth. He was a 
preacher of righteousness, but I do not find a hint given 
in his history that he was a preacher of hell torments to 
deter men from their licentious courses. Besides ; why 
did not Lot preach it to the Sodomites to make them 
holy? They were sinners before the Lord exceedingly; 
but I do not find that this doctrine kept him holy, or 
that he preached it to others to deter them fpin licen- 
tiousness. Not a word is said which would lead one to 
conclude that the antedilvuians and Sodomites were ail 


believers in the doctrine of universal salvation, and that 
this was the cause of their wickedness ; but that Noah, 
Lot, and others, believed in the doctrine of hell torments, 
and that this led them to holiness. 

2d. If the doctrine of hell torments is so well calcu- 
lated to prevent sin, and promote holiness, why did not 
our Lord teach it to the Jews who are allowed to have 
been a race of very wicked men ? Can any man believe 
that, by the damnation of hell, Jesus meant a place 
of eternal misery ; that he thought it well fitted to pre- 
vent licentiousness, yet only mentioned it once to the un- 
believing Jews 7 Did he think there was nothing left to 
prevent men from committing all manner of iniquity, 
and yet but once, and that in a discourse relating to the 
destruction of Jerusalem, say to them, **How can ye 
escape the damnation of hell?" It is not the easiest 
thing in the world for us to believe this. 

8d. It is an indisputable fact that the apostles of our 
Lord never said a word about hell to the Gentiles. If 
they knew that hell was a place of endless misery for 
the wicked, and thought it such an excellent antidote 
against licentiousness, why did they never make use of 
it ? They must have either been ignorant of such a 
doctrine, or very culpable in not preaching it, to deter 
men fix)m crime ; or they did not consider it so efficacious 
as the objector imagines. The Gentile nations in the 
apostles' days were very licentious. And it appears 
from Chap. 1, Sect. 3, that they were also believers in the 
doctrine of eternal misery in Tartarus. But we see 
that the belief of this doctrine did not turn them from 
their licentious courses. Nor did the apostles of our 
Lord think the preaching of eternal misery, either in 
Hades, or Gehenna, would eflfect this ; for they do not 
say one word to them about punishment in either of 
those places. L^ the objector then account for it, if 
the apostles were of his mind about this, why they did not 
preach this doctrine to prevent wickedness in their day. 
And let him account for it, why the Gentiles, in believ* 


ing it, should be so licentious. K the prophets, Jesus 
Christ, or his apostles, did not teach eternal torments in 
hell to promote holiness, ought not their doctrine to be 
charged with a licentious tendency as well as min^ 1 
These is no way of evading this, but by proving that 
they did teach this doctrine to mankind. This we think 
never can be done. If I am then to be condemned, how 
are they to be cleared ? And if their doctrine did not 
lead to licentiousness, how, in justice, can the views I 
have advanced be charged with it 7 I shall not feel much 
ashamed at being found in such company. These facts 
are sufficient to put down this objection forever. Nor 
need we be alarmed that the doctrine will produce an 
increase of iniquity*, when the inspired writers never 
used the opposite doctrine to check the progress of sin 
in the world. They had certainly something left to deter 
men from sin, and which they deemed so efficacious as to 
supersede the necessity of the doctrine' of hell torments. 
4th. Let us inquire what that was which they deemed 
sufficient without it. Taul says, " the goodness of God," 
and not hell torments, leadeth men -to repentance. It is 
" the grace of Grod," not hell torments, which teaches men 
to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts. It is the ^* love 
of Christ," not hell torments which constrains men not 
to live to themselves, but to the glory of God. All 
who are acquainted with the Scriptures know to what 
extent I might here refer to texts of a similar nature, 
showing the same thing ; but I forbear. Here, then, was 
the sovereign remedy, which they proposed to cure a 
licentious world. K this failed, Ihey had no other to 
propose. All other remedies which people have tried, 
have been like the woman, who spent ner all on the phy- 
sicians, but rather grew worse. The love of (Jod in the 
gift of his Son is that which when believed, and its in- 
fluence felt, constrains to love and to g{^ works. Every- 
thing else to effect a cure without this is only religious 
quackery, and this we deem the very worst kind of quack- 
ery. But, 


6th. Those persons who ayer that if the doctrme of 
hell torments is done away, there is nothing left to deter 
men from the commission of every crime, must certainly 
think that where this doctrine is taught, it greatly tends 
to prevent wickedness. I believe that this will be strongly 
contended for. Is this then true ? Can it be established 
by sufficient evidence ? Has the preaching of hell tor- 
ments to mankind produced such glorious effects as such 
persons would have us believe 7 Our actual observation 
of its effects, we admit, is very limited. But we have 
seen a little of it, at least in two quarters of the globe, 
and we think facts will warrant us to say that hell tor- 
ments and heathenish morality have been preached to 
people until they have been preached into the grossest 
immorality. Was not this tried for ages among the 
Gentile nations, but did it turn them from sin to God ? 
No ; it was when the world by wisdom knew not God, 
it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save 
them that believe. Besides, our own actual observation 
does not lead us to think that where the doctrine of hell 
torments is most preached, there the people are most 

6th. But admitting that the preaching of hell tor- 
ments deters men, in many cases, from the commission 
of crimes, what opinion are we to form of the morality 

* It would be well for those who think that there is a peculiarly 
saying power in the doctrine of endless torture to consider the follow- 
ing &cte. 1. It has been generally believed by the heathen world. 
2. It was the general doctrine of the Jews in the time of Christ. Per- 
haps it wiir be said, these facts do not present the case fairly ; for 
though these nations held the doctrine in ^luestion, it was so asso- 
ciated with errors as to prevent its efl&cacy. To this we reply, 1. The 
Jews grew corrupt in proportion as the doctrine of endless misery 
gained credence among them. 2. Christians have been the most cor- 
rupt when this doctrine has had the greatest ascendency over them. 
This is true in regard to the Catholics, and the oldest Protestant sects. 
In proof, we refer to the dark ages, to the Episcopal church, and the 
Presbyterian church. Besides, while some of the worst men bearing 
the Christiaai name have been zealous advocates of endless misery, 
some of the best men of the church have been Universalists. 

0. A. a 



produced by such a cause ? We do not envy that pa- 
rent the respect and obedience which he receives fo)m 
his wife and children who obtains them from the fear of 
being cast into a furnace of fire ! This might do well 
enough for an eastern despot, but no rational man, &r 
less the God of the universe, would think this true obe- 
dience or morality. We venture to say that such a course 
to produce obedience, either to men or to Grod, is as bad 
state policy as it is &lse divinity. It shows as much 
ignorance of human nature as a want of common hu- 
manity. In the preaching of Jesus Christ and his 
apostles, I do not find any attempts made to frighten 
men from their licentious courses into religion, by terrific 
descriptions of hell torments. They had so many rational 
arguments, to induce men to obedience to God, that thev 
never employed them. Had they deemed them of as much 
importance as the objector, we nave no doubt they would 
have preached them to the world. At any rate h6 must 
first prove that they did preach this doctrine before his 
objection is of any force. 

7th. The apostles' doctrine of salvation by grace, 
through faith, was denounced as leading to licentious- 
ness. Let us sin, says the objector, because grace 
aboundeth. Now, we should like to know how salva- 
tion in this way to all, should be of a licentious nature, 
and not also to a few 1 The truth is, the number saved 
can make no difference in the case. If the doctrine is 
licentious when extended to the whole human race, it 
must be so though limited to a single individual. But 
every one knows how the apostles refuted the objection. 
'* Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? (Jod 
forbid. How shall we that are dead to sin live any Ion- 
ger therein ? " We repel the charge in the same way. 
But the persons who bring this charge against us seem 
to think that, because no hell torments are prepared, 
men are to go to heaven without any Saviour or salva* 
tion. We believe no such doctrine. On the contrary, 
we firmly believe that all are savedfrom their sins, recon- 


oiled to God, and made meet for heaven. If there be 
any XJniversalists who believe otherwise, we disown them, 
and would be glad to have them give up the name until 
they have relinquished such principles. But we never 
heard of any XJniversalists who held the opinion that 
persons go to heaven in their sins. No j in their writ- 
ings and preaching they disclaim the idea, and consider 
it not very candid or honorable in their opponents to 
bring such a charge against them. 

Should it be said here, " But, whatever they pretend, 
do you not see a great many, who profess to be iJniver- 
salists, living very licentious lives ? " we freely grant 
this ; but if this is any argument against the doctrine, it 
is one which will prove a great deal too much. It will 
prove equally against the Congregationalists, the Bap- 
tists, the Methodists, the Unitarians, and, in short, every 
religious denomination in the world. Do you hot find 
many who profess the principles of all these sects, who 
live licentious lives ? We are sorry to say that this is 
but too evident. This kind of argument would even 
prove the principles of the Bible to be licentious. Are 
there not many who profess its principles that lead licefl- 
tious lives 7 Yes, alas ! too many. But you. will sel- 
dom find that the disciples of Paine, or Voltaire, are so 
uncandid, and reason so incorrectly, as to conclude that 
the Bible is of a licentious tendency, because many who 
believe it are very wicked men. But, say the objectors, 
those licentious persons, who profess to believe the Bible, 
do not understand the principles they profess. Granted. 
And why will not the objectors also allow that many, 
who profess to be XJniversalists, do not understand the 
principles which they profess ? If it is no reproach to 
the other sects to have such kind of professors, why should 
it be any reproach to the XJniversalists 7 The fact is, 
such professors are no honor to any denomination pro- 
fessing the Christian name, and we once heard of a sect 
of Deists who would not have received them into their 
community, for they would not admit an immoral 



person among them. We are sure the fact is too evident to 
be disputed, that wherever the eternity of hell torments has 
been published, and published too in all the horrors with 
which human eloquence could decorate it, and enforced 
with all the clerical dignity and civil authority that popes, 
priests, and kings, could afford, it has not prevented wick- 
edness in the earth. In my judgment, it has produced 
immorality and other evil consequences, which human 
nature, bad as it is, condemns. 

Should an appeal be made to facts, by comparing the 
numbers of those who have lived licentiously, embracing 
the various religious systems which have been in the 
world, we are not prepared to admit that the balance of 
the account would be against Universalists. But admit- 
ting that it was greatly against them, it could only^ prove 
that their views tend more to licentiousness than the 
others. All these different systems produce it to a cer- 
tain extent, but that of the Universalists is the most 
prolific. But such a mode of reasoning is false, for it is 
allowed that an argument which proves both sides of a 
question cannot be a good one. The fact is, that persons 
jfrofessing the very best principles have led licentious 
lives. The grace of God has been turned into lascivioUs- 
ness; and what good is there which men have not 
abused ? 

But if even a greater proportion of licentious men 
were externally attached to Universalists we should not 
be surprised, nor do we think this would prove anything 
against the doctrine. When our Lord was in the world, 
we are told that " Then drew near unto him all the 
publicans and sinners for to hear him." Luke 15 : 1. 
He was also called by his enemies, ** A friend of publi- 
cans and^ sinners." Had our Lord preached to them 
the doctrine of hell torments, why were they so fond of 
hearing him, and why was he accused of being their 
friend 7 Certainly he said nothing to encourage them to 
continue in sin ; but we think it is equally evident that 
he did ndt preach the terrors of hell torments to turn 



them firom their iniquities. K he did not preach this 
doctrine, there is as little wonder that sinners flocked to 
hear him, as that now a great many of similar characters 
should flock to hear the XJniversalists. We think, then, 
that allowing a greater proportion of immoral people 
should be disposed to hear the preachers who exclude 
the doctrine of hell torments from their sermons, the 
case is not surprising. It was so in the days of our Lord, 
nor is there anything in the nature of the case but what 
might be expected. 

But it is said further, " If I believed that there was 
no eternal punishment^ IwoiM indulge myself in aU 
kinds of iniquity?^ But we would ask. Is this person's 
holiness of the right kind ? K it is, we do not see but that 
Grod must hold up the tcwrments of hell, even in heaven, to 
prevent this person becoming licentious there! When 
the stimulus of hell torments is removed, what is there 
to preserve such a person holy 7 Nothing ; >and even when 
thus prevented from licentiousness, what is his holiness 
good for? K it were not for his evil example in society, 
we would say to him, Indulge in all manner of iniquity, 
for your wickedness will as soon bring you to heaven as 
your holiness. But, fruilier ; it is a very evident case, 
that the obedience of all such persons is tne obedience of 
a slave under the terror of the lash. Yea, it shows very 
clearly, 'that, under all this hypocritical obedience, sucn 
persons are in love with sin, and nothing under heaven 
prevents their outward indulgence of it but the fear of 
hell torments. Indeed, the objector openly avows that 
if there was no hell he would indulge his lusts without 
restraint. Holiness, for its own sake, he does not love. 
Holiness, from love to God, he knows nothing about 
And, instead of pursuing it because he finds it the way 
of peace and comfort to himself, or of any benefit to soci- 
ety, he confesses it to be a burden ; and, but for the terror 
of hell torments, he would prefer a licentious course of 
life. Can any Universalist be a worse character than 
this? and if there be a hell, can any man be found, who 


is a more fit subject for its punishment? The terror of 
hell torment is a common topic. It is held up in such a 
terrific point of view, that we do not much wonder the 
objector loses sight of everything else, and thinks that 
all he has need to be saved from is merely from helL 
We must here indulge ourselves* with a few remarks rel- 
ative to this view of the subject. 

1st. To be saved from hell torments is all that con- 
cerns the objector. This, we fear, is the case with too 
many. We are not much surprised at this, for, in preach- 
ing about hell, the chief thing dwelt upon is to be saved 
from its dreadful punishment. This is urged so ear- 
nestly, and described so glowingly, that the mind is whol- 
ly absorbed in it, and it becomes the most essential part 
of religion. 

2d. The objector is constrained to practise self-denial, 
much against his inclination, to avoid the torments of 
hell. If there was no hell, he would indulge in all kinds 
of iniquity. But, seeing that there is such a place, to 
avoid it he restrains his inclinations. His holiness is the 
mere effect of fear. The man is chained and in fetters, 
and cannot act himself. Only let him loose from these, 
by assuring him that there are no eternal torments, and 
he would be foremost in the ranks of licentiousness. 

3d. The objector has a very wrong view both of sin 
and the salvation of Jesus Christ. He thinks sin a pleas- 
ant, good thing, if it were not for the hell torments in 
which it must end. He plainly intimates that this is the 
chief if not the only thmg which prevents his present 
enjoyment of all the pleasures of sin. Now, nothing is 
more obvious from Scripture than this, that sin is con- 
nected with present misery ; and that truth and holiness 
are productive of happiness. The ways of transgressors 
are hard, whilst wisdom's ways are ways of pleasantness 
and all her paths are peace. A man that feareth the 
Lord is happy ; but though the wicked join hand in hand 
they shall not go unpunished. Licentiousness is insep- 
arably connected with loss of health, reputation and prop- 


ertj; with the pangs of remorse and mental agonj. 
Holiness is connected with health, reputation and tem- 
poral prosperity, in addition to peace and serenity of 
mind, which are worth everything else the world can 
afford. But the objector does not t£ink so ; for he says a 
life of licentiousness is the most happy life he could lead, 
and, but for the dread he has of hell torments, he would 
gratify every sinful lust and passion. But he has also a 
wrong view of the salvation of Jesus Christ. His miad 
is so much absorbed with the subject of hell torments, 
that he has no idea of being saved- from sin, but merely- 
from such punishment. The objector should remember 
that our Lord received the name Jesus, because he should 
save his people from their sins. But does he find that 
he received this or any other name because he should 
save them from eternal torments ? I do not find it once 
mentioned in the Bible, that Jesus is said thus to save. 
He came into the world to save the chief of sinners, to 
save men from sin, from the course of this present evil 
world, firom ignorance, folly, crime and death ; but no in- 
spired writer ventures to say that he came to save men 
from endless punishment in Gehenna. 

But the objector says further, ^* Look at the loose 
principles and still more loose morals of the Univer- 
salists ; " and he adds by way of triumph, '* Who ever 
heard of a revival of religion among them .^'' As to 
the first part of this charge, we think enough has already 
been said, showing that persons who understand the true 
principles on which the doctrine of universal salvation is 
founded in Scripture, can neither be licentious in their 
principles nor morals. Such Universalists are no more 
accountable for the licentious principles and practices of 
all those who style themselves Universalists, than Cal- 
vinists, Methodists, Baptists, are for similar characters 
among them. The very same charge has been brought 
against other denominations ; and at the present time is 
urged with great zeal against the Unitarians, and indeed 
all who are not orthodox. 



^ As to the charge of loose principles, we obserye Aat 
this is a , very loose way of speaking ; for we may call 
any principles loose which do not exactly accord with our 
own. This is the kind of, shot eyery party fire in their 
turn at each other, when they haye nothing better at 
hand. Before we can determine any principle to be 
loose, we must first settle what principles are scriptural 
The standard must first be established before we can de- 
termine who deyiate from it. The principles of our Lord 
and his apostles were counted loose by the Jews. Be- 
sides, do we not find that eyerything which does not 
accord with the popular creeds of the day is branded with 
this same mark for party purposes 7 At the Reformation 
the principles of the reformers were counted loose by the 
Komish church ; but these yery loose principles which they 
adyocated are certainly a blessing to us in the present 
day. Indeed, what man, since their day, who has advo- 
cated anything contrary to the popular belief, has not 
been obliged to submit to the same kind of scorn and 
obloquy? Some of the principles advanced by those 
calling themselves the orthodox, would have been deemed 
not only loose but also heretical, by the persons whose 
names are the objects of veneration to the different sects 
of the day. Calvin would not now own many of those 
who call themselves Calvinists, because 'their principles 
have become so loose, and differ so much from his. And 
we doubt if Hopkins would not disown many who call 
themselves Hopkinsians. Yea, Mr. John Wesley, if he 
was to rear his head from the tomb, would remonstrate 
with the Methodists that they have become loose in their 
principles in not following up the system which he left 
them. And it is a notorious fact, that there is a falling 
off in almost every sect, from the rigid systems which 
were originally given them by their respective founders. 
All sects of professed Christians have corrupted their 
way, and are more loose in their principles than they 
once were. What can be more loose, compared with an- 
cient orthodoxy, than that Jesus Christ made an atone- 

OBjamoss cossmsftBDi. ri 

ment fin- tfie nns of tihe ^lide woM ? Yet diis loose 
principle is now enAraeed bj MetbodistB. Go^regAtkxi- 
alists, Baptists, ye», bj afanost aU sects of Cbiistiuis. 
This loose principle, which fi>rnierl7 would have beoi 
considered oniTersal salTatkxi in di^oise. is now advo- 
cated bj the sects ct the day. and what more loose prin- 
ciples ibej may yet adc^t. it is not for me to say, <»r 
even oonjectore. Sach has been the rapid march ot 
scripture inquiry and inTesdgation^ that orthodoxy now 
is a very di&rent thing from orthodoxy twenty years ago. 
And what orthodoxy will be twenty years hence, time 
must de?elop. If Calvin was aliye, that which is now 
current orthodoxy would be heterodoxy with him. He 
would disown it 

Connected with this-loose principle another is now ad- 
vocated,' that the number which shall be sent to hell, to 
be eternally miserable, will not be a greater proportion 
of the whole human race than the persons executed in 
any country are to the whole community. The man who 
should have broached such a loose principle as this, in 
former years, would have been burned as a heretic. We 
ask, how much more loose must those persons become in 
their principles to be as loose as I am in mine ? They 
have not many steps to take to stand on my ground ; 
indeed, they have got one foot on it already. If Jesus 
Christ made an atonement for the sins of the whole world, 
we really think that such persons might let all the world 
be saved. Why deny him the glory of saving all for 
whom he died l Must he die in vain for a number, and 
must they suffer eternally for the very sins for which he 
made atonement or reconciliation ? And if such persons 
have reduced the number which are to be eternally mis- 
erable to so few, why not let the Saviour's triumph over 
sin and death be complete, in saving the whole 7 If my 
principles are loose, the principles of such persons are 
far removed from old, rigid orthodoxy. The fact is, 
that nothing is easier than to call certain principles loose. 
The question with every man ought to be, are they true 


or false? This suggests another : What saith the Scri|)- 
tures ? To them Ihave appealed, and by their decision 
I am willing to abide, and shall feel grateful to the man 
who will show me my error by an appeal to the same 
authority. The word of Gkxi, correctly understood, is 
true orthodoxy, and no man's principles ought to be con- 
demned as loose until it is shown that this standard of truth 
does not warrant them. It will be allowed that men have 
gone beyond the Bible in rigid principles. This present 
orthodoxy warrants me to assert. It is the duty of or- 
thodox people to show that my principles are more loose 
than the Bible. 

To the second part of this charge, made with such an 
air of triumph, **Who ever heard of a revival among 
the Universalists ? " we shall now. attempt a reply. As 
we do not wish to hurt the feelings of any who may dif- 
fer from us about revivals of religion, we shall touch this 
point with as gentle a hand as possible. 

1st. If preaching the doctrine of hell torments pro- 
duces revivals of religion, it is not to be expected that 
any revivals of this kind could be produced among Uni- 
versalists; for they do not preach it. That the preaching 
of eternal torments in hell is one of the principal causes 
which produce revivals of religion in the present day, 
^ will not be denied. None of the subjects of such revi- 
' vals would be deemed genuine converts, unless they sub- 
scribed to this doctrine, and confessed they had seen 
themselves doomed to hell by God's word. Yea, some 
even demand the confession of them, that they were 
willing to be damned, in order that they might be 

2d. There were no revivals arising from this cause, 
produced by the prophets, by Christ, or his apostles; 
nor could they be produced, for they did not preach the 
doctrine of hell torments. We think no man will aflSrm 
that any revival of religion was produced, or so much as 
attempted, by preaching such a doctrine. They never 
used it as a means to frighten persons into a profession of 


religion. They were never found running from house to 
house, terrifying men, women, and children, bj the most 
frightful descriptions of hell torments, until the whole 
community was in a religious ferment, and a reaction 
must take place, from the mere want of being able to 
carry l^e excitement any further. Nor do we find, in 
those days, what is too obvious in these, the different 
sects all exerting themselves in every possible way to 
secure the greatest number of converts to their dif- 
ferent churches. A man must shut his eyes very 
close who does not see through all this religious ma- 

3d. Deducting, then, all the religion produced by the 
preaching of en(Uess misery, which appears in religious 
excitements, how much would be left with the subjects 
of it? Such people's minds are lashed with the terrors 
of hell torments into religion, or something that passes 
for it, and the fear of this punishment, in a greater or 
less degree, operates upon them all the days of their 
lives. Should we hear of revivals among such persons, 
any more than among Universalists, if this false doc- 
trine, the ciiief cause of their production, was done away? 
We question this ; for, as &r as our observation has ex- 
tended, the doctrine of hell torments has been a constant 
theme in public preaching, and in private meetings, to 
work on the min(b of the people. This has been done 
with children, and others of weak minds, in a way, and 
to an extent, which men of common sense and prudence 
ought to avoid. But let us consider what the scriptural 
idea of a revival of religion is, and by what means it is 
produced. A scriptural revival of religion may be 
viewed in a twofold light. 

1st. When true reSgion is revived among those who 
are already professors of it ; wh6n they are stirred up 
to be more obedient to God, and lively in obeying his 
commandments, and observing the ordinances which he 
has appointed. 2d. When persons, formerly irreligious, 
are convinced of their sins, believe the gospel of Christ, 


and turn to the Lord. I presume no person, yea, the 
most zealous contenders for revivals of religion, ttouM 
object to this statement. 

Let us then consider how scriptural revivals of religion 
were produced. It will, perhaps, be the best way, here, 
to refer to some examples of revivals mentioned in Scrip- 
ture. The first I refer to is that which took place in 
the days of Ezra and Nehemiah, seen at large in the 
two books bearing their names. What, then, produced 
this revival of religion in those days 1 Was it by preach- 
ing the eternity of hell torments 7 Was it by workmg on the 
passions and alarming the fears of people, by eflforts 
to overwhelm their understandings with terror? No 
man will say this, who has ever read those two books. 
How, then, was this revival of religion produced ? It was 
by reading the Bible, and pointing out to the people how 
far they had departed from what Grod had commanded in 
his word, and showing them that all their sufferings 
originated in this departure from God. This statement 
of the means by which this revival was produced, no one 
will dispute. Jfor can the man be found who will ven- 
ture to assert that preaching hell torments to the wicked 
had any share in effecting it. We should rejoice to see 
a revival of religion among all professors of religion in 
the present day, produced by studying the Scriptures, to 
see how far they have departed from the law of the Lord. 
We trust we should not be wanting in giving it all the 
aid in our power. I pass over attempts made by Jere- 
miah and other servants of the Lord, to produce revi- 
vals of a similar nature among the Jews, but without suc- 
cess. I only observe, in passing, that they used similar 
means to effect it, as did Ezra and Nehemiah. But when 
those means failed, they did not betake themselves to the 
means so efficacious in our day, to work on the passions 
of men, by preaching the doctrine of hell torments, in 
order to effect their purpose. 

A second instance of a revival of religion mentioned 
in Scripture, is that in the days of John the Baptist, 


Was it produced by preaching hell torments? John 
never used the word hell in all his preaching to the 
people. It was produced by preaching repentance, and 
pointing them to the lamb of God who was to take away 
the sin of the world. But the most extraordinary 
revival of religion is that which took place on the day of 
Pentecost, and during the ministry of the apostles. 
Now, let all read the Acts of the apostles, and see if 
they can find that any one of the apostles ever said a 
word about hell, or its eternal torments, to produce this 
revival. Peter, on the day of Pentecost, is as silent on 
the subject of hell torments as if no such thing existed 
in the universe of God. He addressed the 'very men 
who had been the betrayers and murderers of the Lord 
of glory ; but did he threaten them with the torments of 
'hell, or enforce his doctrine by saying they were exposed 
to such a 4)lace of punishment? And is not all the 
preaching of the apostles uniformly the same in regard 
to this subject 7 No working on the passions ; no 
attempts made to terrify people into religion. One 
might with as much truth affirm that an eruption of 
Mount Vesuvius produced this revival, as that it was 
effected by preaching endless misery! Let men only 
preach as the apostles did, by declaring the glad tidings 
of forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ, and many 
things which go by the name of religion would be at an 
end. As the means of revivals in our day are very dif- 
ferent from those used by the apostles, so are the revivals 
produced by such means. The converts made, instead 
of partaking of the meek, humble and gentle spirit of 
Christ, become censorious, bigoted and dogmatical ; and 
with reluctance will they admit that persons, who cer- 
tainly give as much evidence as themselves of Chris- 
tianity, can really be Christians. They get attached to 
their minister, and to their sect, and zeal for these is 
often mistaken for a zeal for God and his glory. Strong 
excitement of the animal passions^ sometimes even to 
extravagance, is ascribed to the power of Grod, at work 


among the people. We think we may say to such 
persons, in their own language, *' Who ever heard of such 
revivals of religion among the apostles and primitive 
Christians," or who ever heard of their producing any 
kind of revival whatever by terrifying people with fear- 
ful descriptions of eternal misery ? The course which 
the apostles pursued was open, manly and dignified, and 
the doctrine they preached was glad tidings of great joy 
to all people. Their object was not to save men from 
Gehenna or hell, but from ignorance, idolatry, licentious- 
ness and unbelief, and to instruct them in the knowledge 
and obedience of the one living and true Grod. But the 
primary Object of preaching in the present day seems to 
be to save men from hell ; to attach converts to some 
religious party, and enjoin on them to believe neither 
more nor less, all the days of their lives, than is con- 
tained in the creed which they subscribed to on their 

No one will certainly construe what id said in the 
foregoing remarks into a disapprobation of true revivals. 
We maintain, yea, we advocate scriptural revivals of 
religion. We know of nothing which could afford us 
more heartfelt joy than to see all parties in religion, yea, 
all mankind, attending to the oracles of God, and sin- 
cerely searching them, in order to obey the Lord. We 
have shown that terror is the principal agency in pro- 
ducing revivals in the present day ; and to such, and 
such only, our observations apply. Divest modern 
orthodoxy of this most powerful engine for producing 
religious excitements, and henceforth it would probably 
have as few to boast of as Universalism itself We know 
not why the truth of God preached by Universalists should 
not produce a scriptural revival of religion, equally as 
when preached by others. Is it the particular medium or 
manner of communication that gives the word of God 
effect 7 Or is the power of the Lord exclusively confined 
to a certain class of preachers ? It is now as it was in 
the days of the apostles, the Lord bears testimony to his 


own word. Paul may plant, and ApoUos water, but Qoi 
gives the increase. We have seen printed rules for bring- 
ing about revivals of religion, and some preachers have 
not hesitated to say that it was the people's own fault that 
they had not revivals among them. Yea, some have 
determined beforehand that tibey would get up a revival, 
and have gone to work in their own way and accom- 
plished it. All this we really think is without precedent or 
eilkmple in the history of apostolic preaching. 


It is objected, " This is a very pleasing doctrine to the 
world.^^ In reply, I would observe, 1st. That the ques- 
tion to be settled is this, Is it a true or false doctrine ? 
The Bible must decide this, and to it we have appealed. 
Of what use can it be, in determining whether a doctrine 
be true or &.Ise, to call it either pleasant or unpleasant? 
Such arguments are generally used by those who have 
nothing better to urge, or are too indifferent about what 
is truth to give themselves the trouble of investigation. 
To ascertain the truth of any doctrine, we have only, 
according to this objection, to find out if it is pleasant 
or unpleasant. K pleasant, it must be false, and if 
unpleasant, true. This mode of decision saves a great 
deal of time and labor in reading and investigation, for 
who would put themselves to the trouble of these, when 
a decision can be made by so short and easy a process ? 

2d. I might, in my tum, say the opposite doctrine is a 
very harsh doctrine. Perhaps there is more force in 
this objection against it than in the one we are consider- 
ing. K they must be false because they are pleasant, 
does it follow that the opposite doctrine is true 
because it is harsh? We should rather think it an 
argument against its truth. That the objector's doctrine 
is not a harsh one be has got to prove. The very 
saying that my doctrine is pleasant implies that his- is 
harsh. We doubt if any man can seriously meditate on 



the doctrine of eternal misery, and say it is pleasant. 
Influenced by religious prejudices, and overawed by 
public opinion, persons assent tait, but do not feel con- 
vinced in their judgments of its truth. When they begin 
to reflect seriously on the eternity of hell torments, and 
compare it with the well-known character of God as a being 
of goodness, mercy, and truth, the mind is at a stand 
what conclusion to adopt They think the Bible teaghes 
it ; and, therefore, they must believe it, though opposed 
to the character of God. 

3d. The gospel of the grace of God is a very pleasing 
doctrine, and if the objection has any force against my 
views, it lies equally against that. It is certainly a very 
pleasing doctrine that there is a possibility that any of 
the human race will be saved. It is still more pleasing 
that there is a probability that a great number of them 
will be saved. And we are at a loss to know why it 
should not be still more pleasing, if it can be proved that 
all the human race will certainly be saved. But while 
the two first of these will be admitted as truth, the last 
is considered false, because it is the more pleasant. Does 
the objector say, we know the two first are true, but not 
the last 7 This is the very point at issue, and the proof 
must be drawn from something besides the pleasing nature 
of the doctrine. If a doctrine is to be suspected of fieilsity 
because pleasing, we must say that that doctrine has the 
greatest claim which teaches the salvation of the fewest 
Hence a doctrine which should teach the endless misery 
of all men would have the greatest mark of truth ; the 
more harsh and unpleasant a faith, the greater the evi- 
dence of its truth. 

4th. The force of this objection arises from the idea 
that all are to be saved in sin. This is the objector's mistake, 
not mine. Should he say, this is the inference that many 
draw from it, I reply, I cannot help this any more than 
the objector can when persons draw false inferences from 
his doctrine. Yea, I cannot help this any more than the 
apostle could when persons said, ^^ Let us sin beoausQ 


grace aboundeth." What doctrine is there from which 
men may not draw encouragements to sin 7 The only 
one that I can think of is that of universal, eternal 
miseiy. Even this is not an exception, for the inference 
would be, since at death we are all to be eternally miser- 
able, let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die. If some 
have argued, " Let us sin because grace aboundeth," per- 
ha^ oti^ers have also said, let us sin because eternal 
torments abound. 

5th. Is it not Grod's design that the gospel of his grace 
should be a pleasing doctrine to the world ? It is glad 
tidings of great joy to all people. We ask, does God 
mean to save the world by the preaching of an unpleasant 
doctrine 7 K so, we know of none better fitted to efiFect 
this than that of eternal torments. Had the apostles 
preached this doctrine as ministers do now, we should 
have been inclined to believe that God meant to save 
men by its agency. But will any man aflSrm that their 
preaclung has any affinity to many sermons we hear in 
our day 7 The word hell is now on the lips of all preachers 
who believe this doctrine, so frequently, that one would 
think, if they learned their divinity from the Bible, that 
it was ftill of hell. The apostles never used this word in 
any sermon ; but the ministers seldom omit it. Whether 
my views be right or wrong, it is certain it was not God's 
design to save men in the apostles' day by preaching hell 
torments to them ; and it is also very certain that my 
views are more like those entertained by the apostles, 
than those now taught by orthodox preachers. I put in, 
therefore, my claim for being more orthodox than they 
are, if apostolic preaching is a true standard of ortho- 
doxy. I may add, what seems also certain, that if it be 
God's design now to save men by preaching the doctrine 
of eternal misery, he haa changed his mind, for this was 
not his design in the days of the apostles. 

6th. If the opposer is sincere in urging that because 
the doctrine is pleasant it cannot be true, does it not 
fairly follow that the more unpleasant any doctrine is, 


the more certain can we be of its truth ? Upon this 
principle no doctrine ought to be more firmly believed 
than that of eternal misery, for it is a most unpleasant 
doctrine. All Universalists, therefore, ought to believe ^ 
the objector's doctrine because it is so unpleasant to them. 
But, on the other hand, the objector ought to believe 
their doctrine, because so extremely unpleasant to him. 
By this mode of deciding what is truth, both doctrines are 
proved true, and the two ought to believe each other's doc- 
trine, and reject their own. But when they have done this, 
they must just reject the new doctrines they have embraced, 
and receive their former ones, for the very same reason; for 
the doctrines they have embraced respectively are pleas- 
ant, and those they now oppose are unpleasant. In short, it 
proves both doctrines true and both false at the same time. 
7th. Is it possible to receive any doctrine until it ap- 
pears pleasant? Wq think npt. / Let the objector try. The 
doctrine of endless misei^ he^ms received, mMK must ap- 
pear pleaJai^tSte ver it mayifc to other people. We think 
^ he ought notto deny this, ana sure we are that we shall 
never envy him any part of the pleasure which it affi)rda 
him, until we have altered our mind greatly on this subject. 
8th. If my doctrine is so pleasant, why is it not uni- 
versally received ? Why is it so much opposed 7 So far 
from being so pleasing, it is one which is generally con- 
demned. All sects are agreed to put it down, if possible. 
There is something, then, in it which renders it unpleasant 
What that is can be easily perceived. It certainly bears 
hard against the pride and self-righteousness of the humau 
heart. It affords no room for one man to glory ovep 
another as a particular fevorite of Heaven. Some, yea, 
many, murmur against the good man of the house that 
every one should have a penny ; and, like the elder son 
in the parable, are angry that the fiither should treat 
prodigals with such kindness. They think there should 
be a hell to punish sinners in forever, and some have even 
gone so far as to say if all men are to go to heaven, they 
do not wish to go there. So long .as such a spirit pre- . 


vails, there need be no wonder that my yiews of this 
subject should be hated and opposed. The first thing 
such persons ought to do is to consider the nature of their 
spirit. Can such a spirit be the spirit of Christ ? 


It is further objected, that ^^This is a very good 
doctrine to live by, but it will not do to die by,^^ In 
answer to this I will say, that the objection implies 
that the doctrine of eternal misery is one which will do 
both to live and die by, while mine can afford no hope or 
comfort either in life or in death. Perhaps the objector 
means that his doctrine affords more of these, both in life 
and in death ; but that mine only affords a false and tem- 
porary hope and comfort in life, but no hope or comfort 
in death. Taking this to be his idea, we would then ask 
him how he knows that his doctrine will do better to live 
and die by than mine ? We do not think he can make 
any possible reply to this but by saying, ** My doctrine is 
true, and yours is false." Well, whoever urges this objec- 
tion will consider it a duty first to prove tibat my views 
are unscriptural. For, 

1st If they are true, why will they not do to live and 
die by better than the opposite views, which must be 
false ? The whole here depends on the truth or falsehood 
of my views. If they can be proved from the Scriptures 
false, I frankly confess that they are neither fit to live 
by nor die by. Candor in the objector will certainly also 
grant, that if my doctrine is true, his doctrine of eternal 
torments is not fit either to live or die by, because it must 
be false. I contend that the truth, or, in other words, 
the doctrine of the Bible, is that which men can either 
live or die by comfortably. Error is not good for men, 
either in life or in death. It is truth which gives real 
hope and joy to the mind, and it is truth which is a light 
to the feet and lamp to the path. The whole here de- 
pends on which of the two doctrines is from God. While 



this remains undecided, I have as good a right to say to 
the objector as he has to me, your doctrine is a yery good 
doctrine to live by, but it will not do to die by. Until 
he fairly meets the arguments by which I prove Geh^ma 
or hell is not a place of endless misery, I might dismiss 
this and other objections of a similar nature. But^ 

2d. The objector must allow that if his doctrine is so 
good to die by, it is not very good to live by. He cer- 
tainly cannot deny that the doctrine of eternal torments 
.has given much distress to many, and many, too, whom 
he would admit to be the excellent of the earth. We 
think it does not give one half the distress to the thought- 
less and licentious as it does to the more thinking, serious, 
and exemplary part of the community. The former laugh, 
dance, and play, and drive away all their fears of hell 
torments. The doctrine gives distress and misery of 
mind to the most valuable part of society. These, and 
these almost exclusively, are the persons who are ren- 
dered miserable all their life-time by it. Many instances 
have occurred where persons of thiuKing and serious habits 
have been driven to distraction, and even to suicide by 
it. But was a case ever known where a person was dis- 
tressed in his mind, went deranged, or ended his days, 
because hell was not a place of eternal torment for a 
great part of the human race ? We have found a few 
who would be very sorry if my views could be proved 
true. This we have imputed to want of consideration, 
and a false zeal for a favorite doctrine ; but we are under 
no apprehension, that, if they are found true, they will 
carry their zeal so far as to end their days in consequOTice 
of it. Is not my doctrine, then, better to live by than 
that of the objector 7 

3d. But if my views are such as may do to live by, 
but will not do to die by, how came it to pass that per- 
sons could both live ana die by them under the Old Tes- 
tament dispensation ? It was not known in those days 
that Gehenna was a place of eternal misery for me 
wicked, yet many lived happy and died happy. It does 


not appear from anything I have ever noticed in the Old 
Testament, that persons then derived any hope or conso- 
lation, either in life or in death, from the doctrine of eter- 
nal torment ; nor that it was any motive in producing 
obedience to God's commandments. We find no holy 
man of God, in those days, urging the eternity of misery 
as a good doctrine to live and die by, and warning men 
against the opposite as a dangerous error. Besides, how 
could the apostles and first Christians either live happy 
or die happy, seeing they knew nothing about hell as a 
place of endless misery ? They knew nothing of this 
doctrine ; therefore, let the objector account for it why 
my views will not do fo live and die by now, as well as 
in the days of the apostles. What would the objector 
have done had he lived eighteen hundred years ago? 
He cannot say that the apostles ever preached the doc- 
trine of hell torments for any purpose ; and far less that 
tihey preached it as a good doctrine in life and death. 

4th. But let us examine a little more particularly 
what there is in the doctrine of hell torments which is 
so much better fitted to live and die by than the senti- 
ments which I have stated in the foregoing pages. The 
objection we are considering is often used, and serves 
some, on all occasions when argument fails, in defending 
the doctrine of hell torments. When hardly pushed to 
defend it from Scripture, the. matter is cut short, thus : 
*^Ah ! your doctrine may do very well to live by, but it 
will never do to die by." This, perhaps uttered with a 
sigh or a groan, answers in place of a thousand arguments 
with many. I shall therefore give it more attention than 
it deserves. Let us, then, consider the comparative merits 
of the two opposite doctrines to live by. Mv doctrine, 
that hell is not a place of eternal torment ror all the 
wicked, is barely allowed to be one which men may pos- 
sibly live by in the present world. Now, how Adam, 
Noah, Abraham, Lot, and others, made out to live by it, 
I do not stop to inquire. I leave my opponents to in- 
quire, how they, and the apostles, and first Christians, 



yea, I may add Jesus Clirist himself, succeeded in living; 
so well by it When they have found out this, I can he 
at no loss to tell them how I and others can live by it. 
But wp pass over this, and wish to bring the comparative 
merits of the two doctrines into notice,*as best fitted to 
live and die by. 

Then let us attend to the fitness of the doctrine 
of eternal misery to live by. If it is indeed bet- 
ter fitted for this purpose, it must be in the following 
things : 1st. As a ground of hope in respect to future 
happiness. But how any man can make the eternal tor- 
ment of others a ground of hope to himself, I am unable 
to devise. If the eternal misery of one human being 
aflTords the objector any ground of hope, the more doomed 
to this punishment, then, so much greater the extent and 
solidity of his ground of hope. But, as this is not prob- 
ably the idea of the objector, I observe, 

zd. Does it afford a more certain and sweet source 
of joy in this world, than the opposite doctrine? A 
man's joy must arise from his hope, whether it is well or 
ill founded. If, then, the doctrine affords no ground of 
hope, it can be no source of joy to him. Besides, we 
have always thought that Jesus Christ an4 him crucified 
was the foundation of true hope, and the source of true 
joy to people in this world. We never understood that 
the certainty of endless misery was set forth in Scripture 
as the ground of our hope, or the source of our joy. ' 
The apostle, Gal. 2 : 26, says : " The life which I now 
live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, 
who loved me, and gave himself for me." But did the 
apostle ever say that the life he now lived in the flesh 
he lived by the faith that hell waa a place of endless 
misery, either as a ground of his hope or source of his 
joy? Or did he ever say that Christ loved him and 
gave himself for him, to save him from the punishment 
of this place 7 He joyed in God through our Lord 
Jesus Christ ; but I do not find that hell torments were a 
source of joy either to him or to any one else. It 


could not be so ; for none of the apoetlefl ever spoke of 
hell as a place of endless misery. We then ask, how 
this doctrine can be to any a better doctrine to live by 
than mine ? We ask, further, in what way is it better 
fitted to live by than mine, if |lie persons who profess it 
derive neither hope nor joy from it ? I ought to allow, 
perhaps, that it does afford a selfish jov to some, that 
they are secure from the torments of hell, while multi- 
tudes are doomed to suffer its punishment forever. This, 
we presume, is all the joy which this doctrine affords, 
and we ought to call it anything but Christian joy. 
« 3d. Perhaps it is thought to be a better preservative 
agamsta licentious life, aula more powerful motive to hoU- 
ness. This, I presume, is the ground on which the doc- 
trine of eternal misery is counted the best of the two to 
live by. Is this, then, true? We think we have said 
enough, in answering the first objection, to prove that it is 
not. We shall, however, add the Mlowing remarks here, 
to show that it cannot be true. We ask, then, is love 
or terror die more powerful principle to stimulate to a 
cordial and universal obedi^ice? Let both Scripture 
and every day's experience decide. Will any man affirm 
that the obedience required of us in Scriptore is there 
held forth as an obedience induced by the terror of heU 
torments? No; it is the obedience of gratitude and 
love. Terror may frighten men to comply with many 
things to which their hearts are totally averse. It is 
love which sweetly constrains, not only to external obe- 
dience, but to &e obedience of the heart. But what do 
experience and daily observation teach concerning this? 
Wlio, that is acquainted with the history of the world, 
or with human nature, will say that terror of the most 
horrid punishment has been found efficacious in produc- 
ing a cordial obedience in any department of human so- 
ciety ? So much are legislators and others convinced to 
the contrary, that many nations are altering their code 
of laws respecting the severity of human punishments. 
We then ask, in what respect the doctrine of eternal 


misery is better fitted to Kve by than my doctrine, if it 
affords no hope or joy to those who believe it, and is not 
a proper inducement to a holy life ? Let the objector 
point out, if he can, its pre&rable nature, and show 
wherein it consists. My doctrine is, that God never 
threatened men with eternal t(»:ments; that he never 
made any such revelation to the world, but sent his Son 
to make reconciliation &r transgressors, and to save them 
from their sins. That this doctrine is better fitted to 
live by, as to hope, joy and obedience, we should deem 
it a waste of time to show. My doctrine then, compared 
with its opposite, is like noon-day to the gloom of mid- 
night. Certainly it will not be disputed, that, if my 
views are scriptural, all anxious fears about eternal mis- 
ery are at once removed ; a foundation of hope and of joy 
to men laid open, calcuhted to animate and console the 
mind under every trouble ; and motives to gratitude and 
obedience presented, which the doctrine of eternal mis- 
ery does not afford. On the other hand, endless misery 
fills the mind with gloom and anxiety ; it presents views 
of God not very fiiiVorable to his character ; and is not 
calculated to make men love and serve him. We may 
indeed hope in his mercy revealed in the gospel through 
Jesus Christ, and may have joy in believing that we 
shall escape the torments of hell. But that the best of 
men are still b^^u^ted with fears and anxieties, notwith- 
standing thiS) will not be denied. That this has been 
their state of mind, in regard to their own personal safe- 
ty, is what we might expect ; but they have been also per- 
plexed and distressed, as we think every good man must 
be, about the eternal condition of all their fellow-crea- 
tures. We pity the man, who, if he thinks himself safe 
from this place of ^rment, feels no concern for the un- 
numbered millions of men all equally interested in the 
decision of this important question. 

Let us now consider how the doctrine of eternal mis- 
^ is better fitted ihMi my doctrine to die by. It mHSk 


1st. As a ground of hope in death. But we ask, 
what ground of hope it can afford to any man, at death, 
to think that the doctrine of eternal misery is true ? 
Can he look on his wicked wife, and still more wicked 
children, and neighbors, in the hour of death, and make 
their eternal misery a foundation of hope for his own 
eternal blessedness 1 Can the certainty of their eternal 
misery aflford him any hope of safety? Can he die 
with a more joyful hope beciMise their ibisery is to have 

2d. As a source of joy aiid consolation in death. But 
to which of the saints of old shall we refer, to find that 
the doctrine of endless misery was any source of joy to 
them when about to leave this world ? Can anything 
like this be found in all the book of God ? What name 
ought even a joy of this kind to receive, if it was pos- 
sessed 1 But we do not think this doctrine affords any joy 
in death, to a person dying, either concerning himself or 
those he is about to leave. We rather think the doctrine, 
at this hour, is often to the believers of it themselves 
rather a source of pain and uneasiness. Should their 
hope of heaven be such as to banish all fear for them- 
selves, it often proves a source of misery to them in re- 
gard to the friends and relations they leave behind. 
This, we think, will not be disputed. Now, allowing 
that my doctrine is true and the objector's false, how 
different would be the state of mind in which men would 
bid a last adieu to friends and relations, yea, to all the 
world ! Such separations are often heart-rending scenes. 
My doctrine at this time gives hope, is a healing balm, 
for it is only a momentary, not an eternal separation. 
But the opposite doctrine adds pungency to every parting 
pang, and the only ^consolation it affords to the dying 
saint, with regard to many of his relatives, is, that he 
shall have the pleasure of viewing from heaven their 
torments in hell forever. Let us suppose ourselves by 
the bed of a dying person, and hear him say that he 
was full of hope and joy, arising from his belief in the 


eternity of hell torments; and that the torment of his 
relations, friends and neighbors, would ^ive him pleasure 
in, heaven. I a^ what shoiJd we think of such a pe r- 
jjk emj It woulJcertainlyTie chaHfy to^belieye Itathe 
. was disordered in his mind. If we did not, we should 
conclude that some evil spirit possessed him, and that in 
this state of mind he was very unfit for heaven. 

To conclude. We are either too blind, or too per- 
verse, to perceive how the .objector can prove that his 
doctrine is a good doctrine, eitiier to live or to die by. 
We should be glad to see it shown, if it can be done, 
bow eternal misery in hell can be to any man a good 
doctrine, in life, or at death ; in time or in eternity. 


But the objector will say, again, ^^ If you are correct ^ 
we must believe the most learned and good men, yea, 
m^st Christians, for a great many ages, have been m a 
great error. Do you think yourself wiser than any of 
fliem ?" In answer, I would remark, 

1st. That I make no pretensions to superior learning, 
wisdom or goodness. I only profess to have paid some 
s^ttention to the Scriptures on this particular point, which 
those persons, taking the subject for granted, have inad- 
vertently overlooked. It will be granted that no man 
is perfect in knowledge. And it will be seen that those 
learned and good men from whom I difier, very unfor- 
tunately took it for granted that Gtehenna was a place of 
endless misery for all the wicked. Had they not done 
this, but, as I have attempted to do, examin^ into the 
truth of this doctrine, they would have given a very 
different account of Grehenna or hell from what they have 
done. From their superior learning, talents, and means 
of information, to which I have no access, they would 
have placed this subject in a much more luminous and 
convincing light. Were those very men alive, they would 

^^i ^^ ^'- ^ ^^ ^^^ ^^'' "^-^ *^ 


be the last men who would blame me for my inquirj on 
this important subject. 

2d. This objection was urged at ihe Beformation 
against the reformers, and indeed may be urged against 
all reformation to the end of time. It will serve a Jew, 
a. Mahometan, or a Pagan, as well as a Ghristianr If it 
has any weight against me, in the present case, it is 
equally strong against every ipan who advances any<- 
thing &om his Bible contrary to what learned and good 
men have believed in past ages. Those very men, whom 
I am blamed for differing from, were blamed in the same 
way, in dissenting from learned, wise and good men who 
prec^sded them. They did not scruple to diss^t from, 
or go beyond, those who went before them, and assigned 
their reasons for so doing. And why should not we do 
the same thi^g? If this were not done, knowledge 
would be perfectly stationary, and an end be put to 
advancement in biblical knowledge. Had the remrmers 
been frightened with this and similar objections, we 
would now be all ^ood Catholics, or perhaps idolaters, 
worshipping the wo^s of our own hands. 

3d. So long a9 such learned and good men are allowed 
to be Mlible, it must be admitted that they may have 
been mistaken. We ought not to receive their opinions 
about Gehenna or any other point, without examination. 
We ought to bring tnem to the Bible {or trial, and be 
satisfied that they are not the mere opinions of men, but 
the faithful sayings of God. This *I have done with 
respect to the common opinion entertained about hell, 
and I request every man to try what I have advanced 
by this infallible standard, if those men have been 
mistaken, it is certainly high time that the mistake was 
corrected. Jf they are correct, and the conmion opinion 
concerning hell be true, much ^ood must result from the 
present discussion, in leading men to examine more care- 
ftiUy the ground on which their faith is built. It will 
not be denied that a great many, who are believers in the 
doctrine of hell torments, have received this doctrine by 



tradition firom their fathers, without any senptarsl 
examination of it for themselves. 

4th. It is allowed that those learned and good men 
lived and died in many errors, and some who bring this 
very objection against me take the liberty to dissent from 
then: opinions in other things. Why may they not have 
erred m thinking that Gehenna was a place of endless 
misery ? And why have not I as good a right to dissent 
from them in this thing as they have in other things? 
Let the subject be impartially examined, and truth will 
be brought to light by the investigation. Can any 
Calvinist, Hopkinsian, Baptist or Methodist, urge such 
an objection with a good grace, when each one dissents 
from the doctrines of so many learned, wise and ^ 
men, who lived before them ? Before any open their lips 
against me, let them return to the doctrines of their 
forefathers, and confess how greatly they have departed 
from the good old way. But each sect thinks that their 
departure from the fathers is a nearer approach to 
the doctrine of the Bible. This is just what we think 
concerning our departure from their views of Cfehenna. 
In proportion as we have receded from them we think we 
have approached the truth in the Bible concerning this 

l£ we are to believe just as learned and good men 
have taught in past ages, many things now most surely 
believed must be renounced. You hear men every day 
call themselves Galvinists ; but Calvinism now is a very 
different thing from what is found in the works of Jolm 
Calvin. You also hear of orthodoxy ; but orthodoxy is 
not the same now that it was twenty years ago, and what is 
true orthodoxy in America would not be orthodoxy in Scot- 
land. The truth is, men are beginning to search the 
Scripture for themselves, and are taking the liberty to 
dissent from their fathers, however learned or good fliey 
may have been. The Beformation was the dawn of day, 
after the long night of ignorance and superstition. But 
were the reformers to rise from the tomb, they would be 


surprised to ^ some good smd wise and I^med men 
contending that we must advance no further, but must 
sit down satisfied where they left us. Happy for m 
that we live in an age and in apart of the world where it 
is not in the power of man to stop the tide of inquiry and 


Another popular objection against my views of Ge- 
henna is thus stated : ^' Supposing that the evidence 
you have produoed, shotaing that Gehenna is not a 
place of endless misery^ to he almost^ if not alto- 
gether^ conclusive, yet allowing a bare possibility 
that the opposite doctrine may be true; those who 
believe it, though in an error, are still on the safest 
side. They can lose nothing if your doctrine is truCj 
but you may lose both soul and body forever if their 
doctrine is trueJ^ I have stated this objection with all 
the force I can give it. It is predicated on a mere possi- 
bility that the doctrine of hell torments may be true, 
and that in face of evidence allowed to be almost, if 
not altogether, conclusive, in proving the opposite doe- 
trine true. We shall oflfer a few remarks in reply. 

1st. If there is any force in this objection, it is cer- 
tain we ought not to be regulated, in our belief or dis- 
belief of any doctrines, by the degree of evid^Qce which 
may appear in their support. This has nothing to do in 
the case ; for though the evidence in &vor of a doctrine 
is conclusive, it is nothing ; we must reject it on th^ pos- 
sibility that it may be false, providing it does not threaten 
so great a punishment as that for which no conclusive 
proof can be adduced. 

2d. Whether my views of (Jehenna, or the commonly 
received doctrine about it, be the truth, one thing is cer- 
tain ; every scriptural doctrine is based on evidence. This 
is the criterion of truth ; and no man believes any doctrine^ 
further than he understands it, and perceives the evidence 


cf its truth. Where the evidence for or against any 
doctrine is equallj balanced, the mind is in doubt, and 
suspense prevails, until something additional appears, 
which leads the mind to preponderate to one side or the 
other. This is the natural course of every candid mind, 
in serious search after truth. But here, though the evi- 
dence adduced that Gehenna is not a place of endless 
misery is allowed to be nearly conclusive, yet the mind 
must preponderate to the opposite side. It is not even 
allowed to hang in doubt, and suspend judgment until 
further evidence shall appear, but must come to the con- 
clusi<»i at once, on the mere ground that possibly endless 
misery may be true. The mind must adopt the opposite 
eonclusion of that to which the evidence leads. A mere 
possibility, thrown into the one scale, far outweighs all 
the evidence in the other. This is not the course a can- 
did mind pursues in considering the comparative weight 
of evidence. If the importance of the subject demands 
scrupulous care in coming to a decision, the evidence on 
both sides is subjected to a striot examination, and further 
evidence is eagerly sought to remove doubts and decide 
with certainty osk the subject. I enter my protest against 
believing an old popular doctrine, upon the mere possi- 
bility that it may be true, without examining evidence on 
the other side. Had such a course been pursued, or had 
such objections as this and others been albwed at the Bef- 
oormation, we should to^y have heesi in a darkness which 
might be felt 

Sd. The objeot(»r has reduoed the subject in discussicm 
to one of mere profit and loss. Let Us examine the ac- 

^ 1st. Let us attend to his side of the account It 
stands thus : The doctrine of eternal torment may pos- 
sibly be true, and, if true, those who reject it may lose 
soul and body forever. Such is the loss charged ; it is 
one which cannot be exceeded, and of such a nature thai 
no man should on any consideration place himself in a 
posilioii in which it may be ineorred. No language has 


a word to express my folly and madness in avowing such 
sentiments, if tbey are not true. I certainly, then, must 
have. the credit oi being a sincere believer of what I 
have advanced relative to this subject, whether true or 

But how is this account proved against me to be true ? 
I deny that the entry is true, or that the account of loss 
charged can be proved. Is it the belief that hell is a 
place of endless misery which saves any man? And 
is it unbelief in this doctrine which damns any man to 
this punishment ? Here seems to be one radical mistake 
of the objector. He thinks that if his doctrine is true, 
all who luive not believed it must suffer this punishment 
for not believing it. But if this was true, he would 
send all the ancient prophets and saints to hell. He 
would also send all the apostles and first Christians there, 
yea, the Saviour himself, for neither he nor they seem 
to have believed his doctrine. If their unbelief of it 
does not involve such an awful and solemn loss to them, 
how can it to me ? Placing me in such company, I shall 
not feel much alarmed. Besides, he will be obliged to 
add to our company all the Universalists, and all who 
have doubted the truth of his doctrine, and a multitude 
which no man can number, who have in their hearts dis- 
believed it. He, perhaps, may be obliged to add even 
himself; for a belief founded on a mere possibility that 
the thing believed is true, is surely not for from unbe-* 
lief concerning it. ^ 

But the objector labors under a mistaken notion as to 
what saves. According to him, it is the belief of the 
doctrine that hell is a place of endless misery. But this 
saves none fix)m hell or from anything else. Jesus Christ 
is the Saviour, and it is the gospel or glad tidings of God's 
grace or favor through him that saves men from everything 
that can harm them. Nor would the objector under- 
take to defend that a man who believed the gospel, and 
showed his faith by his works, would be damned if he did 
not also believe the doctrine of endless misery. Would 



he not pause a moment before, with one undiscriminatmg 
BTfeep, ne sent all to hell who have not believed his doe- 
trine ? This eharge must then be cai^pelled from his side 
of this account against me. The objector may take his 
choice, either to do this, or with me to consign prophets, 
apostles, and innnmerable others, over to eternal 

2d. Let US now examine my side of this accoont 
against the objector. My loss is the loss of both soul 
and body forever, if his doctrine is found true. It is 
freely granted, tiiat, if my doctrine is true, neither 
the objector nor any other man loses soul and body for* 
ever. But because these are not lost, does it follow that 
he loses nothing ? We think that this is another very 
considerable mistake which requires to be corrected in 
his account. Is it no loss to a man to live all his days, 
and at last die iq a very great error, though that error 
does not involve him in eternal misery ? Is it no loss 
to him that his error gives him very wrong views of 
God and h^ designs of mercy ? Does it make# no differ- 
ence, as to profit or loss, whether we look on God as 
dooming a part, and by far the greater part, of mankind 
to inconceivable and endless misery, or are persuaded 
that God never threatened one of the children of men 
with such a punishment? Is it no difference to him 
whether he spend his days in the certain and joyful hope 
of heavenly happiness, without any fears and anxieties 
about eternal misery, or live under fear and anxieties all 
his days, and, with trembling as to his future destiuy, 
give up the ghost ? And allowing him free from all 
such fears and anxieties as to his own future happiness, 
is it no loss to be denied the same hope and comfort of 
mind as to all his fellow-creatures ? In one word, does 
he suffer no loss by conceptions of God which mar his 
own peace and comfort, and involve so many of his fel- 
low-mortals in endless misery ? Such is a brief state- 
ment of the objector's losses. Can he now say that he 


looes nothing, admitting my doctrine true, and his own 

We oome now to the second class of objections which 
are supposed to have some weight against the evidence 
adduced that Gehenna is not used to. express a place of 
endless misery. These we shall attempt to consider 
without much regard to the order in which the j are 
brought forward. 


It has been objected that a very great change took 
place in the language of the Jews during the cap- 
tivity i^ Babylon^ and that it would be wrong to in- 
terpret words in the New Testament according to 
the sense which they have in the Old. It has been 
thought that during the captivity the Hebrew lan- 
guage ceased to be vernacular among the Jews, and 
that they brought ba^k from Babylon the Chaldaic 
instead of it. This has been urged against the views 
we have given of Gehenna, and in favor of its mean- 
ing a place of endless misery. In reply to this, it 
ought to be noticed that the supposed fact on which 
this objection is founded is disputed by the learned. 
Mr. Parkhurst, in his Lexicon, on the word Ebrais, 
p. 181, thus writes : — "A strange notion, originally 
derived from the Jewish rabbins, the descendants of 
those who crucified the Lord of Life, hath prevailed, 
and is but too generally received, that during the Baby- 
lonish captivity the Hebrew language ceased to be 
vernacular among the Jews, and it is pretended that they 
brought back the Ghaldee or Babylonish, instead of it ; 
and, in consequence, that the language commonly spoken 
in Judea in our Saviour's time was not Hebrew, but 
Syriac, or Syro-Chaldaic. But, 

" 1st. Prejudice apart, is it probable that any people 

* According to this objection, Uniyersalists must go to hell because 
their opinion of God's character is too good ; and oSiers go to ^eaTen 
because they bdieve him not so good a being as UnivenwJists do. 


should lose their native language in a captivity of no 
longer than seventy years' continuance? (Comp. Ezra 
8 : 12 ; Hag. 3 : 2.) And is it not still less probable 
that a people so tenacious of their Kw as the Jews, 
should yet be so negligent of their language wherein 
that law, both religious and civil, was contained, as to 
suffer such a bss, and exchange their mother tongue for 
that of their detested and idolatrous enemies ; especially 
since they had been assured by the prophet Jeremiah, 
chap. 25 : 11, 12 ; 27 : 22 ; 29 : 10 (comp. Dan. 
9:2), that after a captivity of no more than seventy 
years they should be restored to their own land ? But, 

'^ 2dly. It appears from Scripture that under tjhe cap- 
tivity the Jews retained not only their language, but 
their manner of writing it, or the form and fashion of 
their letters. Else, what meaneth Esth. 8 : 9, where we 
read that the decree of Ahasuerus, or Artaxerxes Lon- 
gimanus, was written unto every province according to the 
writing thereof, and unto every people after their lan- 
guage, and to the Jews, according to their imting and 
according to their language? (Comp. Esther 1, Ezra 
4:7.) And let it be remarked that this decree was 
issued, according to Prideaux, Connect., part i., book 5, 
five years after Ezra had obtained his commission for his 
return to Jerusalem with those of his nation, of which 
see Ezra 7. 

'*3dly. 'Ezekiel, who prophesied during the cap- 
tivity to the Jews in Chaldea, wrote and published ms 
prophecies in Hebrew.' — Leland's Reflections on Lord 
Bolinbroke's Letters, p. 229, 3d edit., where see more. 

'^ 4th. The prophets who flourished soon after the 
return of the Jews to their own country, namely Haggai 
apd Zechariah, prophesied to them in Hebrew, and so 
did Malachi, who seems to have delivered his prophecy 
about an hundred years after that event. Now if Chaldee 
was the vernacular language of the Jews after the cap- 
tivity, what tolerable reason can be assigned why those 
inspired men addressed not only the priests and great 


men, but also the body of the people in Hebrew, and did 
not, as Daniel and Ezra have sometimes done, use the 
Ghaldee language ? It is, I think, b j no means suf- 
ficient to answer, with Bishop Walton, that they did this 
because the rest of the sacred books were written in 
Hebrew ; for if there were any force in this reason, it 
would prove that Daniel also and Ezra ought to have 
written in Hebrew only. 

" Sthly. Nehemiah, who was governor of the Jews 
about a hundred years after their return from Babylon, 
not only wrote his book in Hebrew, but, in chap. 13 : 23, 
24, complains that some of the Jews, during his absence, 
had married wives of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab, 
and that their children could not speak, ikuritjiiiG Jews' 
^language, but spake a mixed tongue. Now ihurit ia 
Hebrew, as it appears from all the other passages in 
which it occurs, namely, 2 Kings 18 : 26, 28 ; 2 Chron. 
32 : 18 ; Isai. 36 : 11, 13. But how impertinent is 
the remark, and how foolish the complaint of Nehemiah 
appears to be, that the children of some Jews who had 
taken foreigners for wives, could not speak pure Hebrew, 
if that tongue had ceased to be vernacular among the 
people in general a hundred years before that period ! 
* So that (to use the words of the learned Spearman, to 
whom I am greatly indebted in the above observations), 
this very text of Nehemiah, I tidnk, refutes the received 
supposition of the Hebrew being lost in the Babylonish 

'^ 6tUy. It is highly absurd and unreasonable to sup- 
pose that the writers of the New Testament used the 
term Hebrew to signify a different language from that 
which the Grecizing Jews denoted by that name; but 
the language which those Jews called Hebrew after the 
Babylonish captivity was not Syriac or Chaldee, but the 
same in which the law and the prophets were written. 
This appears from the prologue to Ecclesiasticus, which, 
according to Prideaux, was penned by the grandson of 
Jesus al^ut 132 years before Christ ] for he there ob- 


serves that '' the same things uttered in Hebrew and 
translated into another tongue, have not the same force 
in them ; and not only these things (this book of Eccle- 
siasticus) but the law itself, and, the prophets, and the 
rest of the books, have no small difference when they are 
spoken in their own language. 

" Lastly. It may be worth adding that Josephus, who 
frequently uses the expressions ten ebraion dialekteUj 
glottan ten ebraion, ebraisti, for the language in which 
Moses wrote (see inter, al. Ant. lib. i. cap. i. $ 1, 2. 
Comp. lib. X. cap. i. $ 2), tells us, De Bell, lib. vi. cap. 
ii. § 1, that towards the conclusion of the siege of Jeru- 
salem he addressed not only John, the commander of the 
Zealots, but tois pollois, the (Jewish) multitude, who 
were with him, ebraizon in the Hebrew tongue, which 
was, therefore, the conunon language of the Jews at that 
time, that is, about forty years after our Saviour's death. 
Comp. Ant. lib. 18, cap. vii. $ 10. 

" On the whole, I conclude that Ihe Jews did not ex- 
change the Hebrew for the Chaldee language at the cap- 
tivity, and that the terms Ebrais, Ebraikbs, Ebraisti, 
in the New Testament, denote, not the Syriac, or Syro- 
Ghaldaic, but the Hebrew language, commonly so called ; 
though I readily grant that this language, especially as 
it is spoken by the Gralileans (See IMJ^rk 14 : 73 ; Matt. 
26: 73, and under Galilaois), had in our Saviour's 
time deflected from its ancient purity, as particularly 
appears, I think, from the words Abba, Akeldama, 
Boanerges, Oogotha, which seeT in their proper 

We give this just as we find it, that the reader m^j 
judge for himself. But, in whatever way this point is 
determined, we are unable to perceive its bearing against 
the views we have advanced about Gehenna. Admitting 
that a great change took place in the language of the 
Jews during their captivity, if, by this word, they did 
not understand a place oi eternal misery from their 
Scriptures before they went to Babylon, yet understood 


it SO after they returned, it follows lliat this notion was 
learned during the captivity. This is no honor to the 
doctrine, nor is it authority for a moment to be regarded. 
However great the change in the language of the Jews 
was during the captivity, we think it has been proved 
that our Lord uses the term Grehenna, in the sense it was 
used by the prophet Jeremiah, as an emblem of temporal 
calamities. Until this is disproved, and it is established 
that this change in the Jewidi language gave such a dif- 
ferent sense to this word as the objector supposes, it does 
not deserve a serious consideration. 

But though the idea of a place of future misery was 
learned by the Jews from the heathen, yet their giving 
it the name Oehenna was of a later date. This is evident 
from considering that neither Ne&emiah, Ezra, nor any 
Old Testament writer, after the captivity, ever spoke of 
this doctrine, or applied this word to it. The fact is, 
that, whatever change either the ideas or the laoguage 
of the Jews underwent in Babylon, there is no proof to 
be derived from the Old Testament that Gehenna was 
changed in a sense from being an emblem of temporal 
punishment, to being an emblem of endless misery. We 
presume no person will pretend that any proof can be 
produced of this. Let us, then, be informed upon what 
rational and scriptural grounds this term was so differ- 
ently understood by the inspired writers of the New 
from those of the Old Testament. There must be a con- 
scious lack of evidence, to urge the change which the 
Jewish language underwent in Babylon as any proof that 
our Lord used the term Gehenna to express a place of 
endless punishment for the wicked. It is rather explod- 
. ing the doctrine than proving it, to have recourse to 
such means in establishing it. 


It has been urged that though the Tar gums are not 
good authority to prove any doctrine^ yet they are suf'- 
Jicient testimony to show in what seiise Gehenna was 


used amang the Jews about -eur Saviour^ s time, and 
it is evident from them that it expressed a place of end- 
less misery. But this argument is founded in the mistake 
that the Targums were written before our Lord's day. We 
think this has been disproved. But supposing this was the 
sense of Gehenna then, it is very evident the Jews could 
not understand it in this sense when t|^ey read the Old 
Testament Scriptures. How they understood it when they 
read the Scriptures is one thing, and how they used it in 
common discourse, and in making all the C^ntiles fit fuel 
for the fire of hell, is another. If they gave it such an 
application, this is no proof that our Lord used it in the 
same manner. If they learned the notion that Hades 
was a place of endles§ misery among the heathen, and 
applied the term Gehenna to it, — ^yea, consigned over all 
the Gentiles to its punishment, — does this prove that our 
Lord either adopted this notion of theirs, or used Gehenna 
in this sense ? That he should adopt this popular sense 
of the word is far from being probable, and that he 
used it, as Jeremiah had done, as an emblem of temporal 
punishment, we think has been proved. Can any man 
reasonably believe that our Lord used Gehenna in a sense 
seemingly invented out of enmity to the Grentiles, and 
laid aside its use in the Old Testament 7 Besides, — and 
what ought to settle this question, — the apostles, so &r 
from making the Gentiles or any others fit fuel for hell fire, 
never used the word in speaking to them, or about them. 


It is further objected : Admitting, say some, all that 
you have advanced about Gehenna or hell to be true, 
yet the doctrine of eternal misery can be established 
from other parts of Scripture. If this is true,^ many 
a man might have saved himself a great deal of labor in 
writing and preaching, and many books on this subject 
are mere waste paper, for th^ are written expressly to 
establish the very contrary. If this ground is taken we 


shall be very happy, for it is greatly abridging the ground 
of debate on this subject. Am I, then, to understand that 
all the text^ which speak about Gehenna are abandoned 
as not teaching the doctrine of endless misery ? If they 
are, it is to be lamented that they have been so long 
quoted as the principal proo& of this doctrine, and thus 
perverted fix)m their true meaning. My labor, at any 
rate, is not lost.^ If I am instrumental in rescuing so 
many parts of God's word from such a misapplicaticm of 
them, I shall have the consolation that I have not lived 
or written in vain. A correct understanding of God's 
word is, to me, the first thing in religion. There can be 
no real religion in the perversion of that blessed book. K 
all such texts are relinquished as proof, we hope we shall 
hear no more about hell as a place of endless misery. 
Not only the texts, but the very word hell, must be laid 
aside as inapplicable to the subject. But if this is done 
we shall feel some impatience until we learn by what 
other name it is called in Scripture. 


It has been objected to my views, thM by Gehenna 
a STATE, and not a place, of future endless punish^ 
meiit is intended, and that I have dwelt too mtwh on 

1 M 

the idea of its being a place. In reply to this we 

1st. That, before this objection is urged against me, 
such as hold to the doctrine of endless misery ought to 
give up speaking of it as a place of punishment. It is 
always represented as a place in writing, in preaching, 
and in conversation. Let the writer or the preacher be 
named who does not speak of it as a place, but as a state. 
Dr. Campbell, Edwards, and all other writers that I have 
seen or heard of, speak of it thus. Yea, some have even 
pretended to tell where it is located, and have described, 
also, the nature of its punishment and the wretched con- 
dition of its inhabitants in a very circumstantial manner. 



There can be no reasonable objection brought agamst my 
speaking of it as a place until such persons give up this 
mode of speaking about it. But if any uneasiness is 
felt, as if the doctrine was in danger, in speaking- of hell 
as a place of endless punishment, we have no objection 
that they adopt the term state. Only let us fairly un- 
derstand one another, and let them not blame me for 
speaking about it as they do themselveit, until they have 
made this alteration. 

" 2d. Supposing, then, the word state to be substituted 
for the woid place, we ask what advantage is gained in 
favor of the doctrine of endless misery ? How does this 
new word shield it from what has been advanced against 
it ? If it affords it any asylum, we confess our inability 
to perceive it. We are equally at a loss to perceive how 
it invalidates a single fact or argument which we have 
advanced in proof that Grehenna or hell in the New Tes- 
tament does not teach the doctrine of endless misery. K 
we are mistaken, let our mistake be pointed out. 

3d. We should feel obliged to the persons who wish to 
abandon the word place, to describe to us what they mean 
by state, and endless punishment in this state, without 
any idea of place. We hope they will be kind enough 
to inform us, also, why they wish to shift their ground 
from place to state, and whether this is coming nearer to 
the scripture mode of speaking of their doctrine ; or is 
it with a view to perplex and evade the arguments urged 
against it ? Men who would lay aside the good old way 
of speaking of hell, must have some reasons for doing it. 
We wish to know them. 

4th. We have attempted to show that Gehenna, spoken 
of in the New Testament, is in reference to the same 
punishment of which the prophet Jeremiah had spoken 
long before concerning the Jewish nation. He had made 
Gehenna, or the valley of Hinnom, an emblem of this 
punishment. In speaking, therefore, of Gehenna as a 
place, it was not my views which required this so much 
as in opposing the conmion ideas entertained on this sub- 


ject. . This was rather a thing I could not avoid than 
anything in my views which required such a mode 
of speaking in establishing them. Whv, then, blame me 
for what they do themselves, and which their own views 
of this doctrine force upon me in controverting them? 

5th. It is allowed that heaven is a place as well as a 
state. Buck, in his Theological Dictionary, vol. i., p. 
830, says, ** Heaven is to be considered a pkce as well 
as a state ; it is expressly so termed in Scripture, John 
14 : 2, 3 ; and the existence of the body of Christ, and 
those of Enoch and Elijah, is a further proof of it. Yea, 
if it be not a place, where can those bodies be ? And 
where will the bodies of the saints exist after the resur- 
rection?" I Appeal to all the world if hell is not as 
generally spoken of as a place as heaven is. And sub- 
stituting the word heU for heaven in this quotation, the 
same things may be said of the wicked as are said of the 
righteous. I only ask, in the language of this quotation. 
Where will the bodies of the wicked exist after tiie resur- 
rection, if hell be not a place ? For all who believe this 
doctrine say they are to be raised. 

6th. The popular views of Grehenna or hell not only 
represent it as a place, but the Bible is thought to coun- 
tenance this view of the subject. It is very certain that 
the Scriptures do not mention hell as a state, and do not 
guard us against supposing it to be a place, as this objec- 
tion would have us believe concerning it. All past 
orthodoxy would denounce the man as heretical who would 
insinuate that hell was not a place, but only a state. 
And must I now be condemned as heretical for not speak- 
ing of hell as a state, but as a place ? 


It has been objected, that the words spoken by our 
Lord^ Matt. 23 : 33, to the unbelieving Jews were 
prophetic^ and that by the damnation of hell he 
might simply W£an some punishm,ent after deaths 


without any reference to the place or the nature of 
the punishment. On this objection we remark, 

1st. That it has been shown in considering this passage 
above, that our Lord's words are not a prediction, but 
simp] J a threatening of temporal punishment to the Jews. 
But this objector takes it for granted that our Lord's 
words are prophetic. It is not assertions and suppositions, 
but proof, that can avail on this subject. K the objector 
says, that by the damnation of hell our Lord might simply 
mean some punishment after death, without any reference 
to the place or the nature of the punishment, le;t him 
produce some evidence of it We think we have shown 
from this text and its context Uiat our Lord had no refer- 
ence to a punishment after deaUi, but to the temporal 
punishment coming on tlie Jewish nation. Let the ob- 
jector disprove what we have said, and let him show from 
the context how his supposition can be supported from it 
We may suppose anything ; but, if unsupported by evi- 
dence, ought mere suppositions to be regarded ? 

2d. If the objector can prove that the punishment 
mentioned in this passage is after death, we really think 
that the place where it is to be suffered is called dehenna 
by our Lord. Why he should think the punishment to 
be after death, and yet have any difiSculty as to its loca- 
tion, or the nature of the punishment, we cannot ccmceive. 
The context of this place, surely, gives him no reason to 
conclude that the punishment is after death, but the 
reverse. And if it does not determine, also, the nature 
of the punishment to be temporal, and that which was to 
come on the Jewish nation during that generation, it will 
be difiScult to determine anything from the Bible. If the 
punishment of which our Lord spoke in this passage be 
after death, it will not be difficult to show mat every 
punishment mentioned in the Bible is after death. 



It is further objected, If the 'mere silence of the Old 
Testament concerning Gehenna as a place of endless 
misery is of any force against it, vnU it not be of 
equal force against the doctrine of future existence, 
the resurrection of the dead, and many other things 
which are not revealed in the Old Testament? In 
answer to this, we remark, 

Ist. That we have never laid much stress on the silence 
of the Old Testament respecting Gehenna not being a 
place of endless misery. We have decidedly expressed 
our willingness to believe the doctrine, if it can be proved 
from either Testament. We have said, and we now say, 
that it is somewhat remarkable that such a doctrine should 
not be taught in the Old Testament. 

2d. The objector proceeds on the assumption that future 
existence and the resurrection of the dead were doctrines 
not revealed under the Old Testament. But this he must 
prove before his objection can invalidate anything which 
I have said, drawn from the silence of the Old Testament, 
to prove that Gbhenna or hell is not a place of endless 
misery. If he proves that a life of happiness afler death 
was unknown under the Old Testament, it is freely ad- 
mitted that my argument, drawn from its silence about 
future punishment, is destroyed. But if future happiness 
was known, and future eternal misery not known, how 
stands the argument? It is easily seen that it has^con- 
siderable force in favor of the views which I have ad- 

8d. That both future existence and the resurrection of 
the dead were in some degree known under the old dis- 
pensation, we think can be proved. Our Lord blamed 
the Jews for not inferring this from the words of God to 
Moses at the bush. Paul, in the 11th of Hebrews, shows, 
we think decidedly, what was the faith of the ancient 
patriarchs about this. Though life and incorruption were 
brought to light by the gospel, yet, if this were the 



proper'place, we think it could be shown that it was not 
the doctrine, but the fact, which was brought to light. 
But can the objector prove the contrary, and can he Aom 
that the doctrine of hell torments was brought to light by 
the gospel ? Unless he can do this, what I have said 
about the silence of the Old Testament respecting hell 
torments, remains unaffected by this objection. 


It has been objected. Since paradise in the Old 
Testament merely referred to temporal happiness^ 
but in the New is usedf(yr heavenly blessedness^ why 
WAxy not also Gehenna^ used in the Old Testament 
for temporal m^isery, be used in the New for eternal 
punishment ? If the objector thinks so, let him show, 
from the use of the words paradise and Gehenna in the 
Old and New Testaments, that this is actually the case. 
To admit things at this may be rate is nothing to the 
purpose, and especially on a subject of such importance 
as the one in question. Do we find a place of future 
eternal happiness and a place of eternal misery equally 
and clearly revealed in Scripture ? This is the &rst thing 
to be settled. Were both of these revealed, there 
would be nothing strange that paradise and Gehenna 
should be used by the inspired writers in speaking of 
them. But is -this true as it respects a place of eternal 
misery 7 No; we do not find, upon looking at all the 
places in the New Testament where the words paradise 
and Gehenna are used, that similar things are said of 
Gehenna as a place of future punishment after death, as. 
are said of paradise as a plac^ of happiness after death. 
Let our readers judge if there be any aflSnity between 
paradise and^ Gehenna, and if these two words are used 
to express future eternal blessedness and misery alike in 
Scripture. The objector takes it for granted that para- 
dise is used in the Old Testament. But in thia he is 


mistaken, for the word does not occur there. Paradise is 
not even a Hebrew word, but is allowed to be Persian. 
Had the objector noticed that this word is not used in the 
Old Testament, it might have prevented such an objection 
being made against my views. 


It has been objected that the reason why John said 
nothing about Gehenna^ was that he was the beloved 
disciple; and the reason why aU the apostles are si- 
lent dbout it is, they wished to save men by love, and 
not by the terror of hell torments. This objection has 
some comfort in it, even if it does not convince us of 
our error. In reply we may remark, 

1st. K this was the reason why John and the apostles 
said nothing about hell torments, it is fair to infer that 
modem preachers wish to save men by terror and not by 
love. How, then, does the objector account for the dif- 
ference between apostolic and modem preaching ? This 
objection agrees with my views so far as this, that God 
makes men obedient by love and not by terror. So fiir, 

2d. It seems from this objection, that the more we be- 
come apostolic or like John in love, the less we shall say 
about hell torments. K we can only, like John, be be- 
loved disciples, and be like the apostles in our tempers 
and dispositions, we shall not mention endless misery in 
our preaching or conversation, though we may be full in 
the belief that all sinners are in the downward road to 
ruin. For, 

Sd. This objection, notwithstanding all the love in 
John and the apostles, and their desire to save men by 
love and not by terror, supposes Gehenna to beTJfece of 
endless misery. The objection proceeds on thfSupposi- 
tion that John and all the apostles believed this, yet said 
nothing about it, because they wished to save men by love 


rather than terror. There is another difficulty. Christ, 
it seems, wished to save men, yea, his own disciples, by 
the terror of hell torments ! The objector approves of 
the conduct of the apostles, and thinks it was a lovely 
disposition in them ; it showed love to the persons whom 
they addressed in saying nothing to them about hell. 
Let no man say that this is love. What ! John and the 
rest of the apostles love men's sonls, and believe them 
exposed to endless misery in hell, yet never once mention 
their danger to them ? All will agree with me in say- 
ing that this is anything but love or &ithfulness to ^e 
souls of men. 


It is further objected that-. If Gehenna signifies 
wrath to come, it was natural to speak to Jews of 
endless misery by the former, and to Gentiles by the 
latter mode of expression. Why it waa natural to 
speak to Jews of eternal misery by the one expression and 
to Gentiles by the other, we are not informed. But, 

1st. Allowing that this id the case, can it be proved 
that Gehenna, and the phrase, wrath to come, are used 
in Scripture U> express either to Jews or Gentiles end- 
less punishment 1 We have shown that Gehenna is not 
so used in Scripture, and we can show that the express- 
ion, wrath to come, does not refer to a future state of 
existence. Wrath, yea, even the wrath of God, may be 
wrath to come, and yet be wholly confined to the present 
world. We think it will be difficult to prove that the 
wrath to come, mentioned in Scripture, had any reference 
to a state of punishment after death. 

2d. Upon examination we think it will be found that 
the phrase, " wratii to come," refers to temporal punish- 
ment to Jews as well as Gentiles ; but, as the damnation 
or punishment of hell or Gehenna had a particular 
reference to the temporal miseries of the Jews, at the 


destraction of their city and temple, we never find it 
spoken of to the Gentiles.* 


It has also been objected, that if my views of Ge- 
henna be correct^ my interpretation of the passages 
where our Lord spoke to his disciples concerning it, 
go to shoio that he was m>ore concerned for their tent" 
poral safety than their eternal welfare, Thiff objec- 
tion to some will appear more plausible than many 
others which we have stated. But in answer to it, we 
remark, 1st. That it assumes the question in debate, the 
whole of the present Inquiry being to prove " that the 
eternal wel&re of the disciples was not in danger." This 
objection goes on the presumption that the disciples 
were in danger of eternal misery, and that, according to 
my interpretatioijL of the passages in which our Lord 
spoke of Gehenna, he was more concerned about their 
temporal safety than he was about their deliverance £rom 
eternal misery. The objector has then got to disprove 
the evidence I have- adduced, showing that Gehenna 
does not refer to a place of endless misery. 2d. That 
our Lord should be more concerned for the temporal 
safety of his disciples, than for that of the unbelieving; 
Jews, many r^L idght be assigned. Thej were hi 

* The phrase *< wrath to c^e *' is found in Matt 8 : 7, and is ex- 
plained by Dr. Clarke as follows : <* The * wralh to come,* The des- 
olation which was about to &11 on the Jewish nation for their wicked- 
ness, and threatened in the last i^ords of their own Scripture. See 
Mai. 4 : 6. Lest I come And smite the earth — fftts very land, vnth a 
curse. This wrath or curse was coming ; they did not prevent it by 
turning to God, and receiving the Messiah ; and, therefore, the wrath 
of God came upon them to the uttermost" In agreement with this 
interpretation are the views of Dr. Clarke of Matt 8 : 10. He says, 
the Romans were the axe in the hands of C^ for cutting down the 
Jews. He applies verse 12 to the same Judgment, and thus makes 
wra^ to come, hewn down and cast into the fire, and unquenchable fire, ' 
Qmonymous expressions, which John employed to describe the judg- 
ment soon to come on the Jews. O. A. 8. 

^ 7 4^- -^^* ^^^ ^ <^^ cCfti or i ti . c ^ ^ c^ ^^ 


disciples, and their temporal safety could not be a mat' 
ter of indifference to him. Their temporal safety also 
made manifest his character, in not destroying the right- 
eous with the wicked. And was not this very sparing 
them, as a father spareth his only son that servetn him, 
a fulfilment of what Grod had spoken ? See Mai. 3 : 17, 
18, and comp. chap. 4. But, above all, was it not a mat- 
ter of importance that our Lord should show concern 
for the temporal safety of his disciples, as thev were to 
be witnesses of his resurrection, and the heralds of his 
salvation to the ends of the earth ? All these and other 
things which could be mentioned account for our Lord's 
solicitude about the temporal safety of his disciples, with- 
out supposing that their souls were in danger of endless 
punismnent in Grehenna. 


It is further objected, As Jews and Gentiles believed 
hell to be a place of misery, why did not Christ and the 
apostles take occasion to contradict this false notion ; 
and why did they eocpress themselves so much in favor 
of it, that a great part of mankind from that time to this 
have supposed it fully taught in the New Testament ? 
Some remarks are made in Chap. 1, Sec. 3, which meet 
this objection. We offer a few additional remarks here 
in reply to it. 1st. Then, we ask, how came they by 
such a belief? It was not from the Old Testament, for 
that does not teach such a doctrine. 2d. But the point 
of this objection lies in the following things : It is asked, 
'^ Why is it that neither Christ nor his apostles ever took 
occasion to contradict this false notion that hell was a 
place of misery ? " In answer to this we ask, incur turn, 
** If Christ and his apostles believed this doctrine com- 
mon to both Jews and Gentiles, why did they not avail 
themselves of this universally received notion to inculcate 
and enforce this doctrine?" To have taught it, could 
have given no offence to either of them ; yet we find 


them silent on the subject that Gehenna or even Hades 
is such a place. The only exception to this is the para- 
• ble of the rich man, which has been shown not even to 
teach an intermediate state of punishment. K this popu- 
lar belief then was triie, and believed to be so by the 
Saviour and his apostles, why did they not avail them- 
selves of it, and enforce it on both Jews and Gentiles ? 
8d. If we are to conclude that because Christ and his 
apostles never expressly contradicted this false notion, 
common to both Jews and Gentiles, and that they by 
their silence sanctioned it as true, it follows that all the 
false notions entertained by Jews and Gentiles not ex- 
pressly contradicted by them are true. But we presume 
few would admit this, though it is a natural consequence 
from this objection. , When any man will fairly make 
out that their not contradicting expressly all the false 
Jewish and heathen notions is proof that those about 
which they are silent are true, we shall admit the one in 
question to be of the number. But another part of the 
point of this objection is, that " on the contrary, they ex- 
pressed themselves in appearance at least so much in 
favor of this opinion, that a great part of mankind from 
that time to this have supposed it fully taught in the 
New Testament." In reply, we would ask in what 
parts of the New Testament do we find this? Not 
surely from those parts which speak either of Hades or 
Gehenna. The places where our Lord used those words, 
have been considered, and we think it has been shown 
that in none of them did he teach such a doctrine. His 
apostles never once named Gehenna, nor even intimate 
that either Hades or Gehenna referred to a place of end- 
less misery. If our Lord and his apostles did in ap- 
pearance speak of such a place of misery, some other 
texts must be referred to than those in which the words 
Hades and Gehenna are found. But it is supposed that 
Jesus Christ and his apostles expressed themselves in ap- 
pearancO) at least, so much in favor of this opinion, *' that 
a great part of mankind from that time to this have sup- 

812 oBJXcnoKS consibbbsd. 

posed it fully taught in the New Testament." It will 
not be denied that men from that time to this have sup- 
posed Christ and his apostles to teach doctrines which 
thej are now coming to be convinced are not taught in 
the Bible. That the one we have been considering is 
not of that number ought not to be taken for granted. 
It is admitted bjr all that a great many Jewish and hea- 
then notions were very early incorporated with the doc- 
trine of Christ and his apostles. Past ages have fur- 
nished but too much evidence that the Scriptures have 
been used to countenance almost every opinion. Closer 
attention to the oracles of God has exploded many of 
them, and increased attention may expose the falsehood 
of many more. That hell, Jk place of endless misery for 
the wicked, is an opinion which originated with the hea- 
then we have shown ; and have also attempted to show 
that those texts on which this doctrine has been founded 
have been greatly misunderstood. If we have erred in 
interpreting them, let this be pointed out. Until this is 
done, and it is shown that the doctrine of hell torments 
did not originate in heathenism, but^ in the authority of 
God, our views stand unshaken by this objection. 


We find it also objected, If there be no place of pun- 
ishment in a future state, prepared for sttch as die 
in unbelief how is this part of mankind to- be dis- 
posed of after death; in what part of the universe is 
an abode to be assigned them ? Not in heaven ; for 
God is represented in Scripture as bringing with 
him thence, at the resurrection of the dead, only those 
that ** sleep in Jesus,' ^ and of all the dead ofily " the 
dead in Christ " are said to ascend thither with him 
to dwell forever with the Lord. Not in Gehenna 
or hell ; for, according to your views, there is no such 
j}lace in the world to corns. On this objection let it be 
remarked, 1st. Whatever abode we assign such persons 


in a future state, we think we have shown that Gtod does 
not assign to them as their abode, ^heol, Hades, Tarta- 
rus, or even Gehenna. K God has not assigned to them 
such a place, it is rash in us to assert this without his au- 
thority. If he should leave them without any abode, 
either as to happiness or misery, there we ought to leave 
them. Dr. Campbell, as we have seen, declares that 
Hades is at last to be destroyed, and accordingly he as- 
signs them an everlasting abode in Gehenna, but we think 
without any warrant from Scripture. . K, then, we have 
proved that hell or Gehenna is not the everlasting abode 
which God has assigned them, and seeing the objector 
thinks that heaven is not to be their abode, we ask him, 
in turn, how they are to be disposed of? If he denies 
that heaven is to be their abode, we think it has been 
shown that hell is not said to be their abode. If it is 
said, because they are not to go to heaven they must go 
to hell ; we may reply, because they are not to go to hell 
they must go to heaven. 2d. The objection states that 
their abode is not to be in heaven, and the reasons as- 
signed are, " For God is represented in Scripture as 
bringing with him from thence, at the resurrection of the 
dead, only those that ' sleep in Jesus ; ' and of all the 
dead, only ' the dead in Christ ' are said to ascend thither 
with him to dwell forever with the Lord." This refers 
to 1 Thess. 4 : 43, etc., on the whole of which passage 
I shall make the following remarks. 

1st. The grand distinction in this passage is between 
the dead and those found alive on the earth at the period 
referred to. The passage does not teach how the wicked 
dead and those wicked found alive are to be disposed of; 
for not a word is said about the wicked. The persons 
asleep or dead, verse 13, and those which sleep in Jesus, 
verse 14, and also as asleep, verse 15, and the dead in 
Christ who shall rise first, verse 16, all refer to the same 
persons. They refer to the dead, and we presume are 
exclusively confined by the objector to believers. On the 
other hand the we, who are said to be alive and remain, 



mentioned verses 15 — 17, must also be confined exclu- 
sively to believers then found alive on the earth. These 
shall not prevent, or go before, them who are asleep. Be- 
fore they shall ascend, the dead in Christ shall rise, a^d 
both shall ascend together to meet the Lord in the air. 
These last we must confine to all living believers fi)und 
on the earth, for if we extend it to all living, indiscrimi- 
nately, why not the first also to all the dead indiscrimi- 
nately ? But if we take into view the 15th chapter of 
Ist Corinthians, and especially from verse 51 — 58, which 
seems to treat of the same subject, all the dead seem to 
be included. Compare, also, verses 20 — ^22, 81, 85, 

2d. It is evident that the passage makes no distinction 
between two classes of people to be raised at this period, 
righteous and wicked. Either, then, this passage does 
not teach us anything concerning the wicked, or Aey 
are included with the others here mentioned. If they 
are not, and their resurrection is nowhere else spoken 
of, the inference would be that they are not raised at all. 
But in some other places their resurrection is asserted. 
See Acts 24 : 15. K Paul, then, in the passage does 
not include all dead and alive, it is* rather singular that 
he should say nothing about the resurrection of the 
wicked, or how those left on the earth are to be disposed 
of, after all the others have left it to meet the Lord in 
the air. If he did not see fit to consign them over to 
hell forever, nor inform us how they are to be disposed 
of otherwise, the objector ought to prove that hell is to 
be their everlasting abode. If I am mistaken in my 
views of Gehenna or hell, I wish to see my error pointed 
out. If it is to be their abode, I am in a great mistake. 
But if this passage is allowed to speak only of believers, 
yet there are others which do not accord with what the 
objector seems to draw fix)m it. According to this ob- 
jection, none but such as died believers in Christ are to 
be finally happy in heaven, This at once excludes all 
the heathen world, and a great part of what is called the 


Christian world. But how does all this agree with the 
promises of Grod, that in Christ all the "femilies of the 
earth are to be blessed ; that the heathen are given him 
for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth 
for his possession ; that God hath reconciled all things to 
himself by Jesus Christ; that he is Lord of all, Lord 
both of the dead and of the living ; that every knee shall 
bow to him and every tongue conJfess? But see among 
others the following passages, which we think it will be 
difficult to reconcile with the objection urged from this 
passage. 1 Cor. 16 : 24—29 ; Rom. 5 : 12—21 ; Rev. 
5 : 13 ; Phil. 2 : 9—12. Li short, how could it, with 
any propriety, be said, that the devil, the works of the 
devil, and death, the last enemy, are all, destroyed, if this 
objection is founded in truth ? 

But the whole force of this objection seems to rest 
on the expression that is here used concerning the per- 
sons who are to be raised, that they sleep in Jesus. The 
term sleep is used for death, and we think it can be 
proved that it is so used concerning good and bad. It is 
then the words " in Jesus," on which the whole depends. 
Now we would ask, if even those who died in ignorance 
and unbelief concerning him are persons for whom he 
died, — for whose sins he was a propitiation, — and if he 
is not to giv^ up the kingdom until all things are sub- 
dued, — yea, such persons are to be raised by him, — may 
it not be said that they sleep in him 1 

But there is one thing in this passage which I would 
notice, and with it conclude my remarks on this objec- 
tion. Li verse 13, the apostle, addressing the Thessa- 
lonians, says, ^^I would not have you to be ignorant, 
brethren, concerning them who are asleep, that ye sorrow 
not even as others who have no hope." Who were 
asleep, let me ask, and concerning whom' the apostle 
wished them, " not to sorrow as those who have no 
hope " ? According to the view taken in the objection, 
they were only believers, or believing relatives who had 
died. But why should they sorrow so much for them, 


and be told not to sorrow like the heathen, whose grief 
at the death of their relatives was excessive ? !u we 
confine those who are represented as asleep to believers 
only, it should seem that the Thessaloniana had even 
little hope as to them, and went to excess in grief, and 
needed to be cautioned against it. But if we consider 
the apostle as exhorting them against excessive grief at 
the death of their relations who even died heathens, it 
not only obviates this difficulty, but their minds are con- 
soled bv the apostle concerning them. To understand it 
otherwise would represent tlie Thessalonians as being 
grieved only at the death of their believing relations, and 
no way concerned for the future c<mdition of such of 
them as died heathens. 

Such are the objections, of any importance, which we 
have heard urged against the views we have advanced 
concerning hell or Grehenna. Some of them, we frankly 
admit, are too trifling to have been noticed. After a 
consideration of .them we must say that not one of them, 
yea not all of them taken together, have even led us to 
suspect that what we have said concerning hell^ is con- 
trary to Scripture. But let our readers consider them, 
and judge for themselves. 


If the sentiments advanced in the preceding pages 
have been duly considered by the reader, he no doubt 
perceives that the conclusion which results from t^em is, 
that there is no place of endless misery taught in Scrip- 
ture, as is commonly believed by most Christians. This 
we admit to be tlie &ir inference which results from what 
has been stated, unless it can be proved that such a place 
of endless miseiy is revealed in Scripture under some 


I • 


Other name than Sheol, Hades, Tartarus, or Gehenna. 
It is our deliberate and candid opinion that these words 
are never used in Scripture to express such a place of 
misery. We have laid the evidence on which tins opin- 
ion has been formed before our readers, and they are 
left to judge for themselves as to its truth or falsehood. 
Some, no doubt, will condemn what we have said, without 
giving the evidence produced a patient hearing. The 
popular but senseless cry of heresy is sure to be rung 
in people's ears to deter them from paying any attention 
to the subject. From such persons we expect nothing 
but noise and abuse, for they have no desire that their 
faith should stand in the wisdom of God. But there are 
others, whose good sense, judgment and piety, we respect, 
who, no doubt, will conclude that my inquiry has ended 
in a great and fatal error. To all such I would offer a 
few remarks, in vindication of myself, against this sen- 
tence of condemnation; 

1st. Let those who thus condemn me consider if they 
do not take for granted the grand question which has 
been under discussion. Do they not first determine in 
their own minds that hell is a place of endless misery, 
and, because my investigation has not brought me to this 
conclusion, conclude I must be in a great error 7 But 
why ought not such persons to admit that they may be 
in an error on this subject, and, instead of condemning 
me, bring the subject to the Bible for examination ? It 
is not our work to make a Bible, to alter it, or bend it 
to support any sentiment, however popular in the relig- 
ious world. It is a duty incumbent on every man to 
study that precious book with serious care and attention, 
and, by every just rule of interpretation, to ascertain 
what is its true meaning. This I have attempted to do, 
and, unless I shut my eyes against evidence, and am 
determined to be an implicit believer in the doctrine of 
endless misery, to what other result could I come on this 
subject 1 If, after all the care and attention I haveb^en 
able to give this subject, it can be proved that I am in an 



error, let it be done, and I pledge myself tare&oiiBOe it 

I have the testimony of my own conscience that I haye 
sought after the truth, and that witjiout any regard either 
to the favor or the frown of my fellow-creatures. 

2d. But if we are not to examine mto the truth of 
religious doctrines unless our examinations end in the 
belief that the popular and long-established views of 
them are true, all inquiry and investigation might as 
well be spared. It is much easier to adopt the popular 
belief at once ; for,. after all our labor and care, to this 
we must come at last. Besides, in this way we avoid 
all the pain and popular odium which a change of reli- 
gious opinion frequently involves. But, had this course 
been pursued by all who have gone before us, what 
would our conditfon now have been as to science or reli- 
gion '} We had to-day been sitting in darkness, and say- 
ing to the works of our own hands, " Ye are our gods." 
The Bible is the religion of Protestants, and among all 
the sects into which they are divided, free inquiry is, to 
a certain extent, inculcated. Most sects, however, have 
their limits fixed, beyond which if a mangoes, he b€KX)mes 
suspected, and perhaps is denounced as an heretic. He 
may inquire and investigate as much as he pleases, to 
support the peculiar tenets of his sect, but beyond this 
it is dangerous to proceed. Should he push his inquiries 
further, and find some of them the inventions of men, 
he must conceal his discoveries, for, if he does not, the 
vengeance of the whole sect, if not the whole religious 
community, will be poured out on his head. I must be 
very fond of suffering, thus to expose myself 

8d. Since I am to be condemned because my inves- 
tigations have not resulted in the popular belief of the 
doctrine of endless torments, I do not see any possible 
way of getting rid of error, or increasing in knowledge. 
I have done no more than thousands have done before 
me, — examine the Bible for myself, and state the result 
for the consideration of others. Such as have done this, 
have seldom escaped the appellation of heretics. But 


the first to condemn ofhexs, are g^erally the last W 
examine for themselves. If, in this investigation, I hav6^ 
travelled beyond the record, let this be pointed out by 9A 
appeal to the same record* If a man, under mistaken 
views of a religious doctrine, avows his mistaken senii* 
ments, and thereby brings more truth to light, and excited 
inquiry, are not these valuable ends served to society 7 

4th. Suppose the views which have been advanced 
had been the universal belief of the religious community, 
and the^pposite doctrine had never been known in the 
world, and that I had come forward, and attempted td 
show that endless misery was a doctrine taught in Scrip- 
ture, and that the contrary was a mistaken view of the 
subject, should I not be liable to the very same condem*' 
nation to which I am now subjected 1 The trumpet would 
sound loud and long by all religious parties against me. 
It would be sagely and gravely remarked, " What a 
dreadful doctrine he has embraced ! What dreadful views 
his doctrine gives of the God who made us ! He repre*- 
sents him as dooming a great part of his creatures to 
endless misery ! His inquiries have led him into a most 
dreadful error." I appeal to every candid man if this 
would not be my fate, and if as good ground would not 
be afforded for such conclusions and condemnations ia 
the one case as in the other ! Sut let us view the twa 
opposite doctrines in the following points of light. 

1st. How do the two doctrines affect the character of 
God? Let us view them as to his promises. He prom- 
ised that the seed of the woman should bruise the head 
of the serpent. To bruise a serpent's head is to kill or 
destroy it. But is the serpent's head bruised, if the 
greater part of the human race are to be eternally miser- 
able 7 Even this is too gross to be believed by respect- 
able orthodox writers in the present day. Mr. Emerson, 
in his book on the Millennium, commenting on Gen. 3 : 
16, thus writes, p. 11, *' Now the question arises. Has 
the serpent's head been bruised in any degree answerable 
to the manifest import of the passage ui^er considera- 

820 ooiroLUDiNa remabes. 

tion? A great part of mankind have gone to destraC' 
tion. Does this look like bruising the serpent's head ? If 
the greater part of the human race are to be lost by the 
cunning craftiness of Satan, will that look like bruising 
his head? To me it would seem far otherwise. Should 
Satan continue the god of this world from the beginning 
to the end of time, leading whole nations captive at his 
will, surely he will seem to have cause to triumph. But 
the head of Satan must be bruised ; his plots must be 
crushed. Are all mankind to be saved ? Certainly not. 
That would be giving the lie to numerous declarations 
of eternal Truth ; it would be throwing away the Bible 
at once. And if the Bible be thrown away, it would be 
impossible to prove the salvation of any. ^ But there is 
no doubt that by far the greater part of mankind will be 
saved. This appears necessary, in order that the ser- 
pent's head may be bruised. I am strongly inclined to 
the opinion of Dr. Hopkins, that, of the whole human 
race, tiiousands will be saved for one that is lost.^' 
« We are happy to see from such respectable authors 
that ^^ thousands will be saved for one that is lost; " and 
that, if the greater part of the human race are to be lost, 
Satan's head would not be bruised, but that he would 
have cause to triumph. K so many must be saved, as 
stated in this quotation, to avoid these consequences, we 
would suggest it for the consideration of all, as well as 
that of the worthy author, whether Satan's head could 
be bruised, or he destroyed, and whether* he. would not 
have cause of triumph if one individual of the human 
race was lost. If but one was left in his power to be 
tormented forever, how could his head be bruised, and 
why would he not triumph in this small conquest ? We 
do not see how the number could materially alter the 
case. We seriously think that if the number to be saved 
be so great, in proportion to those lost, whether it would 
not be well to consider if all mankind may not be saved, 
and we believe this without throwing away our Bibles. 
On this quotation, we cannot help remarking how differ- 


ent the sentiinents contained in it are, to those considered 
true orthodoxy in former ages. In those days, it would 
have been considered throwing away the Bible to say 
that thousands will be saved for one lost, just as much as 
saying in these that all will be saved. If Christ comes 
so near saving the whole human rade, in the name of 
humanity, why not let his triumph be complete ; why 
strain at the gnat and swallow the camel ? Grod also 
promised to Abraham that in his seed, which was Christ, 
all the &.milies of the earth should be blessed. But if 
the doctrine of endless misery be true, and a great part 
of mankind are decreed to sudi a punishment, how can 
this promise of Grod be fulfilled 7 Let any one go ovw 
the promises and predictions of the Old Testament, and 
then candidly say if he finds them in unison with the 
limited views of salvation which most men entertain. It 
would be as endless, as usdess, for me to dwell on this 

But let us view the two doctrines in regard to the 
threatenings of God. The doctrine of eternal misery 
supposes God threatened that Adam in the day he ate 
of the forbiddeu fruit should be doomed to endless misery. 
Hell torment, then, was threatened before sin existed, or 
before the promise of a Saviour was given. But is this 
a correct understanding of the death threatened ? The 
falsehood of it is evident £rom one &ct, that neither 
Adam, Noah, Abraham, nor any of the Old Testament 
believers so understood it. K they did, would they not 
have taught it to mankind ? 

But let us also view the two doctrines, in regard to 
the attributes or diaracter of God. It has been said 
that my views are very dishonorable to Gk)d, His justice, 
his holiness, and truth are dishonored, if there be no 
endless punishment for all the wicked. But if my views 
dishonor God's justice, holiness and truth, what comes 
of his mercy and goocbess, if ike opposite doctrine be 
true? We have seen attempts made by some meta* 
physical writers to reconcile eternal misery with the 


mercy and goodivess of Qod, but in yain. All they haye 
said is only enveloping the subject in mist, or throw- 
ing dust in people's eyes to blind tixem on this subject 
It is reported of the mte Dr. Osgood diat when he was 
asked the question, '^ How he reconciled thp doctrine of 
eternal misery with the character of God as a Grod of 
mercy and goodness," he lifted both his hands, and 
said, '^ If any man is able to do this I cannot do it." 
Whether Goa is more glorified in men's damnation or in 
their salvation, I need not discuss. One thing is certain ; 
that those called orthodox writers in the present day are 
fully aware that if Gt)d did not ultimately save the 
greatest part of mankind, God's character would be dis- 
honored. K this was not the case, who could deny that 
the Devil was more honored than God 1 Mr. Emerson, 
aware of this, agrees with another celebrated divine that 
those saved at last will exceed those that are lost by a 
large majority. I am truly glad to see men of intel- 
ligence, so much concerned for God's honor and glory in 
this respect; and I hope the time is not very distant 
when they may think God most honored and glorified by 
saving the whole human race. It is a very evident case 
that those writers do not hesitate to dissent from ancient 
orthodoxy. Had they written so in some former ages, 
they would have suffered death in some of its most ter- 
rific forms for their temerity. At any rate, I am not a 
greater heretic now than they would have been th^i. 

2d. How do the views advanced, and their (^posite, 
affect the Scriptures of Truth ? I think it will not be 
denied that my views of all the passages in which Cte- 
henna occurs, are explained consistently with themselves, 
and their respective contexts. Those who give a different 
interpretation, pervert the Scriptures, and shut their 
eyes against the context and scripture usage of words. . 
The context points out the sense I have given Gehenna ; 
scripture usage comes in aid ; nor i^ anything taken for 
granted. But that Gehenna is a place of future misery, 
is assumed and asserted without proof, and when the^ 


context aiMi scripture usage are consulted for evidence, 
all they afford is on the opposite Side. 

3d. Let us see how the two doctrines aflbct the vari- 
ous religious sects in the world. Allowing that this 
doctrine was universally the faith of all parties, discord 
must cease, and Christians would embrace each other as 
children of the same fether, and heirs of the same in- 
heritance. It wauld lead all sects to treat each other 
very differently from what they have done. But how 
does the opposite doctrine operate among them ? Hell 
being a place of endless misery, Christians have been 
for ages consigning each other over to its punishment, 
and that often for conscientious differences of religious 

4th. Let us consider how my views and their oppo- 
site affect the diffusion of the gospel in the world. Say 
some, *' If your views are correct, why trouble ourselves 
or be at such an expense to send the gospel to the hea- 
then?" The principal object in sending missionaries to 
the heathen in our day seems to be to save them from 
hell. If this be the object of sending them, we think 
they may abide at home ; for certainly theirs is an errand 
on which the apostles were never sent. Those who wish 
to see what they proposed, yea, accomplished, by preach- 
ing to the heathen, may consult the Acts of the apostles 
and all the epistles. !Because there is no eternal torment 
from which, to save them, shall we not impart to 
them the knowledge and hope of eternal life ? Unless 
we can terrify them with preaxjhing hell, shaU we let 
them live\nd die ignorant about heaven? In short, 
because we cannot save them from a place where they 
shall dishonor God and be punished forever, shall we 
not save them froifi dishonoring his name and from 
punishment in the present world ? I pity the man who 
can feel and reason thus. Supposing the happiness of 
heaven and the torment of hell out of the question, and 
that the heathen world were as ignorant of science, 
agriculture, and the arte of life, as they are of spirit- 


«al things, haw ought we to feel aod reaaon an this 
subject? Deists and atheists, in this case, would put 
Christians to* the blush, if they would do tiiem no ser- 
vice, because they had no hell torments to save them 
from. My views of heU, so far from abating true Chris- 
tian zeal, only give it a right direction. The zeal mani- 
fested in the present day in behalf of the heathen is highly 
to be commended, and nothing prevents its being more 
generally approved but the object towards which it is 
directed. It is zeal, but we tlunk not according to true 
knowledge. If an intelligent heathen were to ask a 
modern missionary, after hearing him preach hell tor- 
ments, the following questions, what could he answer ? 
''Do you profess to take the apostles as a pattern in 
your preaching and conduct ? " To this the missionary 
would, without doubt, reply in the aflSrmative. ** Give 
me leave," says he, ^^then, to ask you what heathen 
nation they ever went to and preached as you do ? To 
what sermon of theirs can you refer in which they men- 
tioned the word hell?" Were I this missionary, such 
q|uestions would nonplus me. To what could the mis- 
sionary appeal in defence of himself? Not to his Bible, 
a book they know nothing about. Not to anything he 
could point them as an object of sight, feeling, or hearing. 
He could indeed refer them back to the old heathen fables 
about hell, from which source Dr. Campbell thinks the 
Jews derived this notion. But we are rather inclined to 
think so far as our knowledge of present heaUienism goes, 
that the heathen have forgotten the ancient fables about 
hell, and are obliged to Christians for reviving this an- 
cient doctrine of their fathers among them. 

5th. Let us see which of the two doctrines accords 
best with the prayers of good men. What a good man 
desires, and is agreeable to his best feelings, he prays for. 
Accordingly, it is common with all Christians to pray for 
the salvation of all men ; and we believe that they do 
this often with holy and ardent desires for its accomplish- 
xnent But, is there not a contradiction betweeu their 



wishes, feelings, and prayers, and their professed creed? 
If they are confident all will never be saved, why pray 
for the salvation of all? Their prayers ought to oe re- 
stricted to the elect. And we see not why they ought 
not to pray for the eternal misery of all the rest, seeing 
it is the will, yea, the eternal decree, of God that they 
should be forever miserable. All we request here is that 
every Christian would impartially and seriously examine 
if my views may not be true, and especially singe they 
are so much in unison with his best feelings, and his 
prayers, when in the most solemn intercourse with his 
God. If I am in an error, it is strange that this error 
should have such a place in the feelings and prayers of 
all Christians. 

6th. How do my views and the opposite aflfect the eter- 
nal condition of men 7 According to my views, not one 
of the human race is to be punished forever. This is 
certainly a pleasing thought, amidst all the guilt and wod 
in our world. But how does the contrary doctrine repre- 
sent this 1 It says that a certain number, no better than 
others, are to be received into heaven to enjoy its happi- 
ness forever. All the rest of the human race are to be 
banished to hell torments forever. The husband, the 
parent, the brother, the sister, shall look down from hea- 
ven on their relations in hell, and so fer from havmg any 
pity at seeing them in an unspeakable and eternal tor- 
ment, the ven^ sight shall ei^ance and increase their 
happiness, ifow, give me leave to ask, and let conscience 
speak which of these two views is likely to be the truth. 
Unless everything like Christian feeling is banished from 
heaven, can such a doctrine be true 7 Yea, I ask, if 
Christian feelings are known in this place ? Is it possi- 
ble that the happiness of the place could be enjoyed, 
while it is known that a single individual is to be eter- 
nally miserable ? If this be true, then, a believer does 
not better his situation, as to Christian feeling, by going 
to heaven. I once saw the idea highly extolled • m an 
account of missionary proceedings, ^' uiat a Christian 




could not feel happy, so long as he knew that there was 
a single individual of the human race without the knowl- 
edge and belief of the gospeL" This is like a Christian 
in this world. Heaven is, then, a change f(»r the mrorse, 
if 4he eternal torment of innumerable beings in hell is 
to afford an increase of joj to its inhabitants. For my 
own part, I must say that with such feelings I could not 
be happy in heaven. 

To conclude. With the following remarks, we shall 
take oiir leave of this subject &r the present. 

1st The books of the Old Testament, says Jahn, in 
his introduction, p. 4, go '' back to sixteen centuries be- 
fore the Christian era. The most ancient of them are 
between six and seven hundred years older than Homer, 
the oldest Greek poet, who lived in the ninth century 
before Christ; and about eleven hundred years older 
than Herodotus, the earliest Grecian historian, who wrote 
in the fifth century before Christ, and near the time 
when Malachi and Ifehemiah composed the last of the 
Hebrew Scriptures." Now, let the reader notice that 
in these ancient sacred writings not a syllable is to be 
found respecting endless torments. This doctrine is not 
taught under the name Sheol, Hades, Tartarus, Gehenna, 
or by any other mode of expression. Mr. Stuart does 
not pretend that endless punishment is taught in the 
books of the Old Testament ; and his very attempt to 
prove that Sheol included in it a Tartarus or place of 
future punishment shows they afforded no solid evidence 
of such a doctrine. After all his efforti to prove this, he 
is obliged to beg of his readers to grant that this may 
probably be true. But it is now generally conceded by 
orthodox critics and commentators that all the punish- 
ments mentioned in the Old Testament are of a temporal 
nature, and are confined to the present state of existence. 

Here, then, are inspired writings, "sixteen centuries 
before the Christian era," none of which teach either 
endless or limited punishment in a fiiture state. Now, 
let any candid man say, if either of these doctrines had 


I)een believed b j theae ancient sacred writers, would they 
not have taught it ? Can any other reason be assigned 
why they did not teach it, except that it was not re- 
vealed by God or believed by them ? Let it be remem- 
bered that in these ancient records Gk>d promised to 
Abraham that <' in his seed (Christ, Gral. 3 : 16) all the 
nations and families of the earth were to be blessed.' ' 
See Gren. 12 : 3 ; 22 : 18. But, if some of these &mi- 
Ues of the earth were in 'danger of limited or eternal 
punishment in hell, who can believe that these ancient 
sacred records would have been silent on the subject? 
Dr. Good, speaking of Arabia, says, *> The oldest work 
that has descended to us from this quarter (and there is 
little doubt that it is the oldest, or one of the oldest works 
in existence), is that astonishing and transcendent com- 
position, the book of Job." But, in this oldest book in 
existence, not a word, in any shape, is to be found re- 
specting future hell torments, and yet a future life by a 
resurrection from the dead is taught in it Job 19 : 
25—28 ; 14 : 7 — 15. The hope of future life was en- 
tertained in those ancient times, and this hope was ex- 
pressed. But if the fear of future punishment waa 
also entertained, why was not it expressed ? 

Had no future existence been revealed in those ancient 
sacred writings, no surprise would be excited that they 
are silent on the subject of endless or limited future pun- 
ishment. But the above texts, and Hebrews, chap. 11, 
with other texts which might be referred to, put it out 
of all question that a future Hie was known and believed 
in those days. Men then had a promise of future life 
to believe, but had no threatening of future endless pun- 
ishment to fear. Such was the state of things among 
those who enjoyed the earliest records of divine revela- 
tion. Where can you find in them anv fears expressed 
by a single individual, either respecting himself or others, 
that after death there was either an endless or limited 
future punishment to be endured? Whether persons 
died a sudden or a lingering deat^ ; by t^eir o?m hands 

928 « ooKcn^piNa wMAnKa. 

or the hands of others ; in the ordinary oour&ie of events 
or by the immediate hand of God ; not a syllable escapes 
the Ups of any one^ that any of them had gone to hell to 
suffer such a punishment The love of life and die fear 
of death prevailed then as now ; but no man seems to 
have feaiDDd punishment of any kind beyond it And 
the reason why m^i had no dread of punishment after 
death was, they had no knowledge concerning it But 
let us now see, 

2d. What was the state of knowledge among the h^ 
then nations, respecting future punishment, during ^ 
period of sixteen centuries befi^re the Christian era, while 
those ancient sacred recoaxls were enjoyed by others? 
Did they believe in future punishment, and in endless 
punishment 1 Most assuredly they did. It is well known 
that both the Greeks and Romans believed in endle^ 
punishment. And we have seen, from Hr. Stuart and 
his son, that thv^ doctrine was derived by them from the 
ancient Egyptians. The Egyptian Amenti was the 
prototype and origin of t}ie Hades of the Greeks, and 
Tartarua of the l4atin& And Dr. Good, we have seen, 
declares, that the doctrine of future punishment is tau^t 
in the earliest records of Egyptian history. Now, it k 
safest they did not derive this doctrine from the earli- 
est records of divine revelation, {or they are as silent as 
the grave on the subject Be it also remembered that 
Moses, who wrote 'the first five books of the Bible, was 
brought up in Egypt, and was learned in all the wisdom 
cf the Egyptians. It is very oertain, then, if he had be- 
lieved the doctrine of future punishment originated fit>m 
God, he would have taught it in his writings. Had it 
been a truth from him, which the Egyptians had received 
through tradition, or lost revelations, it cannot be ques- 
tioned but he would have approved of it, and taught it 
to the Hebrews. But he gives no hint that this d<^trine 
was true, or ought to be believed, any m<une than the 
doctrine of traneunigration, which was also believed by 
th^ Dgyptians. I3 it not» th^ a very eztraordinary &et, 


that the heathen nations, who had no divine revelation, 
should know all about endless hell torments in those days, 

{ret those who enjoyed the earliest records of divine reve- 
ation should be ignorant and silent about them? Why 
should the heathen &bles be full of this doctrine, vet 
God's revelations to men silent on the subject ? Why 
should the heathen philosophers know QO well about it, ^ 
yet the inspired writers know nothing about it? 

But the reader ought also to notice under what shape 
the doctrine of future punishment was believed and 
taught among the heathen nations. Dr. Grood remarks, 
it is '^curious to observe the different grounds appealed 
to in favor of a future existence, in the most learned re- 
gions of the East : ' the Hindu philosophers totally and 
universally denying a resurrection of the body, and sup- 
porting the doctrine alone uppn the natural unmortality 
of the soul, and the Arabian philosophers passing over 
the immortality of the soul, and resting it alone upon a 
resurrection of the body.' " He adds, that in Arabia, 
whence the book of Job originated, the immortality of the 
soul is '^ left in as blank and barren a silence as the 
deserts by which they are surrounded." It is very evi- 
dent, then, that if the doctrine of future punishment 
was believed in Arabia, it was a punishment after the 
resurrection from the dead. But no countenance is 
given to such an opinion in the book of Job, which 
originated in Arabia, and is the oldest book in the world. 
But it is equally evident that future punishment, as held 
by the Hindu philosophers and other heathen nations, 
was the punishment of the immortal soul separate from 
the body, for they did not believe in the doctrine of the 
resurrection from the dead. When Paul preached it at 
Athens, the people mocked at it ; for a resurrection fi^m 
the dead was deemed by the heathen incredible. Their 
hope of future happiness, and dread of future misery, 
depended on the truth or felsehood of the doctrine thev 
had believed, that the soul was immortal, and at death 
went either to Elysium to be happy, or to Tartarus to be 


npsorable. Thej could have no hype on the odb hand 
of f^tate hajipiiiesfis or dr^ of future misery on the 
other^ but oa the ground that the soul was imnaortaL 
We ought then to notice that the doctrine of the soul's 
immortality was commonly believed among all the hea- 
then nati^^ But we should inquire, 

8d. J^WMsbee ancient sacred writings^ some of whi^ 
existed sixteen centuries before the Christian era, any- 
thing'sMdB^ respecting the immortality of the soul.1 
Nothing of the kind appears in any part of them. The' 
soul is never once mentioned in ^e Bible as immortal. 
And in the book of Job, the oldest of the sacred books, 
the only ground stated for a future life is a resurrection 
from the dead. Dr. Good, we have seen, says, in Ara- 
bia, whence the book of Job emanated, this was the ooly 
ground for a future life known there. We search the 
Bible in vain to find the doctrine of the immortality of 
the soul ; and yet, what doctrine is more geilerally be- 
lieved among Christians ? This doctrine, like the doctrine 
of future punishment, with which it is closely connected, 
is abundantly taught in heathen authors, and can be 
fairly traced to heathen origin. The next question, then, 

4th. How the doctrine of the soul's immortality orig- 
inated among the heathen.? It seems to be indisputa- 
ble that the immortality of the soul was believed by 
most of the heathen nations. It was received among 
the Egyptians, Celts, Scythians, and other nations. It 
was taught by Zamolxis, Orpheus, Socrates, Plato, and 
a host of others. As it is not taught in the oldest records 
of divine revelation, nor in any part rf the Bible, how 
came it to be so common among those who had no divine 
revelation? Whence did it originate among men? for 
on the doctrine of the immortality of the soul, the doctrine 
of future punishment is founded. This doctrine among the 
heathen could not exist without the immortality (rf the Soul. 
The following quotation from Enfield's philosophy gives 
the best account we can find of the origin of his. d^trine. 



He sajs, vd. i., pw 50, "According to Zoroast^, yarioug 
ordm of spiritual beings, gods or demons, have pro- 
ceeded from the deity, which are more or less perfect, as 
the J are at a greater or less distance, in the course of 
emanation, fi^m the eternal fountain of intelligence; 
among which the human soul is a particle of divine light, 
which will return to its source, ana partake of its immor- 
tality ; and matter is the last and most distant emanation 
from the first source of being, which, on account of its 
distance from the fountain of light, becomes opaque and 
inert, and whilst it remains in this state is the cause 
of evil ; but, being gradually refined, it will at length 
return to the fountain whence it flowed. This doctrine of 
emanation afterwards produced many fanciful opinions 
in theology." 

This doctrine of emanation was extensively believed 
among the heathen nations, and from it the doctrine of 
the soul's immortality seems to have originated. Hero- 
dotus asserts that the Egyptians '^ were the first people 
who taught this doctrine." Speaking of the Indians, 
Enfield says, p. 56, " The human soul they represented 
as of divine original, because, with all the other eastern 
nations, they conceived it to be a particle, or an emana- 
tion of that intellectual fire by which they believed the 
universe to be animated. Their doctrine of the return 
erf the soul to Grod, which some have confounded with the 
Christian' doctrine of the resurrection, seems to have 
meant nothing more than that the soul, after being disen- 
gaged from the grosser material body, would be reunited 
to the fountain of all being, the soul of the world. It is' 
an opinion still found among the Indians, and probably 
of a very ancient date, that there is in nature a periodi- 
cal restitution of all things ; when, aftier the return of 
all derived beings to their source, they are again sent 
forth, and the whole course of things is renewed. Inferior 
divinities were doubtless worshipped among them as 
emanations from the first spring of life." 

The doctrine of the immortaUty of the soul seems to 


have had one common origin among the heaihen, and was 
communicated from one nation to another. On pp. 121, 
122, Enfield says, '' The human soul, Orpheus, after 
the Thracians and Egyptians, from whom he derived his 
philosophy, held to be immortal. Diodorus Siculus relates 
that he was the first who taught (that is among the 
Greeks) the doctrine of the future punishment of the 
wicked, and the future happiness of the good. That 
this doctrine was conmionly received among the followers 
of Orpheus appears from the following anecdote. A 
priest of Orpheus, who was exceedingly poor and wretched, 
boasting to Philip of Macedon that all who were admitted 
into the Orphic mysteries would be happy after death, 
Philip said to him, * Why, then, do you not immediately 
die, and put an end to your poverty and misery?' — 
The planets and the moon, Orpheus conceived to be 
habitable worlds, and the stars to be fiery bodies like the 
sun : he taught that they are animated by divinities ; an 
opinion which had been c6mmonly received in the East, 
and which was afterwards adopted by the Pythagoreans, 
and other Grecian philosophers." Much more might be 
quoted from the same writer. But we have quoted enough 
to show the oridn of the doctrine, and its extensive 
difiusion among the heathen. It was not, however, uni- 
versally believed, for Aristotle, Dicearchus, Ocellus, and 
others denied it ; and even Socrates, and other wise men 
among the heathen, doubted it. Besides, the speculations 
of the heathen were various about it. The strongest 
believers in this doctrine derived little benefit from it, and 
for a good reason — it had no solid foundation. It origi- 
nated in the speculations of men who, " professing them- 
selves to be wise, had become fools." 

5th. But it may be asked. Is not the doctrine of the 
soul's immortality revealed in the New Testament? 
No ; for if it was taught there, it would be no revelation 
from God to the world, for it was a popular doctrine 
among the heathen nations many centuries before the 
Christian era. With more propriety it might be said 
the heathen revealed this doctrine to God than that God 


revealed it to them. Had the New Testament writers 
believed the soul to be immortal, why did they never 
speak of it as such ? And why did they not alann their 
hearers, as orthodox preachers do, describing the ever- 
lasting misenr to which their precious immortal souls 
were exposed? But no such descriptions are to be 
found in the New Testament, notwithstanding they 
would have accorded with the popular opinions on the 
subject. But, though the heathen believed the soul 
immortal, and had hope of its living happy after death, 
the New Testament writers declarS to them they had 
** no hope," and were ** without God in the world." 
Eph. 2 : 12 ; 1 Thess. 4 : 13. With Uttle truth or pro- 
priety could they have said this, had they believed the 
soul immortal, and that men might hope for happiness 
after death on this ground. And with still less truth or 
propriety could Paul say, if Christ be not raised, they 
** who are fallen asleep in Christ are perished." If their 
souls were immortal, mey never could have perished, had 
Christ slept forever in the grave. 

6th. But some will no doubt ask. May not future, yea, 
endless punishment still be maintaine^t, if we abandon 
the immortality of the soul ? This we more than doubt, 
for future punishment depends on, and arose out of, this 
doctrine. Among the heathen, the first of these doctrines 
could not exist without the last Socrates and Plato would 
have deemed the man insane who taught future punish- 
ment, yet denied the doctrine of the soul's inmiortality ; 
for like all the heathen they considered a resurrection 
from the dead incredible. How could any person be pun- 
ished aft^er death, if he did not live in a conscious state 
of existence to be punished ? Punishment after death 
will, in all probability, be believed so long as men think 
the soul immortal. The branch cannot wither so 
long as this root exists to nourish it. But when it dies, 
the branch of course dies ; and with it all the bitter 
fruits it brings forth will be destroyed. 

Is it said, May not men be punished after the resurrec- 
tion from the dead? To this I answer, — if the Bible 

884 OONOLUDIKa remabes. 

teaches this, let us believe it Let the passages which 
are supposed to teach it, be carefully and candidly 
considered. But, after all the care and candor I 
can bring to this subject, I frankly confess, it is not in 
my power to find this doctrine taught in the Bible. It 
frequently speaks of the hope of the resurrection of the 
dead, but never of any man's fear of it. It teaches that 
the dead shall be raised incorruptible, but never teaches 
that men will be sinners after this period. On the con- 
trary, it says they shall be equal unto the angels of God 
which are in heaven. But it does not sav, any of them 
shall be equal unto the devils which are m hell. What 
the Bible teaches, let us believe. But what it does not 
teach, permit me to leave for those whe desire to be wise 
above what is written. 




On p. 310, under the head of Objection XYI., Mr. Balfonr 
considers the following argument against Uniyersalism : The doc- 
trine of endless misery was believed in the days of Christ and the 
Apostles ; and if they rejected it^ they certainly would have contrth 
dieted it ; and as they did not, it is fair to infer that they beUeved it. 
We think Mr. B. right in the idea that Christ did not employ 
himself in expressly contradicting the folse opinions of his day. His 
method of teaching was entirely different from that. He dealt more 
in positives than negatives ; he aimed to place before the mind the 
sublime truths of his religion, knowing that in due time they 
would eradicate error, and mould all hearts into his image. But 
while Jesus did not employ himself in contradicting every &lse 
notion of his times ; while he did not say, for instance, to the 
&talist, your theory is false ; while, he did not arraign the Essenes 
and other errorists, his course waa such as to show them the 
falsity of their views, — that there was a Divinity which shaped the 
ends of human existence, and that there was a higher conception 
of life than repudiating the laws of our nature, vnthdrawing 
from all objects of sense, and giving the mind solely to the con- 
templation of Deity. Merely to contradict did not comport with 
his dignity, or with the great ends he encompassed in every word 
which he uttered, and in every act which he performed. By attend- 
ing the marriage-feast in Oana, and converting water into wine, he 
not only showed that he was not an Essene, but gave a lesson fuU 
of comprehensive instructioii. In saying, therefore, that it was 
not compatible with his character and method of teaching to 
descend to mere contradictions, I do not mean to be understood as 
admitting that he did not oppose both directly and indirectly 
many existing errors. And I hold, that, according to his usual 
method of teaching, he opposed the doctrine of endless misery. 



I will proceed by oonddering two points in the objection, to 
which I assent. 1. I admit that the doctrine of endless misery 
was prevalent in the time of Christ and the Apostles. The Phar- 
isees believed it, and doomed to its fearfUl tortures the whole 
Gentile world. The heathen believed it, and used it as an instru- 
ment of mighty power. The doctrine held a high place in nearly 
all creeds. 2. I admit, that if Jesus and the Apostles did not 
oppose it, we may fairly infer that they believed it. This conclu- 
sion cannot be denied ; especially when we consider the awful 
nature of the doctrine, and the peculiarly false character it 
ascribes to God. I make this statement frankly, and without any 
reservation. The question, therefore, what course did they pursue, 
is one of great moment. There are three modes by which this 
may be ascertained. I. By learning whether they used the 
popular language employed in thdir day to express endless misery, 
n. Whether they directly opposed the doctrine in question. And, 
m. Whether they taught the opposite doctrine* These modes will 
enable us to form an accurate judgment in r^rd to the whole 
subject. We ask, then, 

I. Did Jesus and the Apostles use the language, in speaking of 
punishment, commonly employed in their day by those who 
believed in endless misery ? The reader will see the bearing of 
this question, if he considers that terms become common property 
among those who advocate a common opinion. If we go back, for 
instance, fifty ji^ars, when the prevailing theology taught that hell 
was a place of literal fire and brimstone, we find all the clergy 
using the same terms in speaking of the place ; and now, tluit 
few, if any, believe in a hell of fire, you seldom hear the words 
fire and brimstone, employed in reference to hell ; and when you 
do, it is in a way which shows that they are used in a figurative 
sense. The world of woe is now supposed to be one of darkness, 
where the soul is banished from God, and tormented by the 
reproaches of conscience ; and the word hell, in its popular 
acceptation, denotes this place. This is its common, its received 
acceptation. Eternal and everlasting are words used to express 
the endless duration of heU ; this is their popular meaning. Thus 
we see words have a common use among those who concur in 
belief. An appeal to the classics would fully establish this point- 


Saoh bdng the &ct, it is important to know, 1. What were 
itie common words, in the time of Christ, used to express endless 
miseiy? 2. Did Christ and the Apostles ever use themi Let 
it be remembered that we admit the general prevalence, in the 
time of which we are speaking, of the doctrine in question. By 
. referring to the writings of that period, we learn, first, that 
Gehenna was not used in any of them in speaking of hell. It is 
not in the Apocryphal books, not in the works of Philo, not in 
the works of Josephus, the only works of the period we are con- 
jsidering. As in these productions much is said about hell, it is 
certain that Gehenna had not then become a popular term to 
denote the place. Second. It is equally dear, from the works to 
which we have referred, that the word atonios, rendered eternal 
and ererlasting, was not employed to express the endless duration 
of misery. PhUo, in his glowing descriptions of the awfulness 
and perpetuity of punishment, does not employ it. Josephus 
frequently uses it, but not in the sense of which we are speaking ; 
and it is not until the beginning of the fifth century that the 
word is adduced to prove endless misery. Third. While Ge- 
henna and aionios, in the time of Christ, were not used to denote 
the eternity of punishment by its believers, they had common 
terms to express it. AidUos was the fovorite word vfith Philo, 
though he .used others denoting immortal, interminable. He 
spoke of the wicked as enduring aidios, endless punishment ; as 
being doomed to tlumaton aihanaton, death immortal, and as 
suffering ateleuteton, endless death. According to Josephus, the 
prison of the damned viras aidios eirgmoSf an endless prison ; and 
the retribution of the damned was aidios timoria^ an eternal, or 
endless retribution. He says, speaking of the Essenes, " They 
believed that the soi^ of the bad are sent to a dark, tempestuous 
cavern, full of {adialeiptos timoria) uninterrupted Vengeance." 
Here we have the common phraseology used in the time of Christ 
in speaking of the fiite of tibe wicked ; the language in which the 
acknowledged believers in endless misery expressed themselves on 
the subject ; the terms appropriated by common usage to describe 
the doom of the lost. 

This brings us to our second inquiry, namely, Did Christ use 
any of these terms ? If he did,itis just to infer that he believed 



with Philo and Joeephus ; that as he employed the cnrrent lan- 
guage of his age in speaking of punishment, he held the current 
opinion upon it ; but, if he did not, we must conclude that he had 
no faith in that opinion. What, then, is the fact ? We answer : 
he did not use these terms ; we look in vain for them in his 
conversations with the disciples, and in his discourses to them and 
the Jews. How are we to account for this, if the doctrine of 
endless suffering is true 1 On all other topics, Jesus adopted the 
conmion terms of his times, so far as he agreed with the generally 
received opinions. He was simple in his language, and spoke to 
the understanding of those he addressed ; and, therefore, he used 
conmion terms in their common signification. And yet, when he 
spoke of punishment, he studiously avoided the terms in general 
use among those who believed it endless : not only so, one of the 
words ( Oehenna) which he employed in speaking of punishment, 
is not found in the writings of the believers in endless woe, and 
the other word (aionios)^ supposed to have been used by him to 
denote the eternity of suffering, they use in a limited sense, and 
apply to temporal shame and misery. 

These facts must, in the judgment of every candid person, 
prove conclusively that Jesus gave no countenance to the received 
doctrine respecting the eternity of punishment. The advocates 
of endless misery have argued that Gehenna in the age of the 
Saviour was generally understood to mean a place of endless woe, 
and, therefore, he must have been understood to teach by it the 
existence of such a place. We admit that the inference is a fair 
one from the premise ; but we deny the premise. [See our Intro- 
ductory Essay to this volume.] We now take the position of our 
opponents, and say, as Christ did not use the language employed 
by the believers in endless misery, he could not have been under- 
stood as teaching the doctrine. 

But it will be said, though Christ does not use the language 
of those who taught endless punishment, Jude does ; and, 
therefore, " our argument loses all its force. We reply, it is 
true that Jude uses one of the several words they employ; 
and we have no objection to admitting that it as clearly expresses 
dndless as any one of them. He says (v. 6) , " reserved in {aidios) 
everlasting chains under darkness, unto the judgment of the great 


day." By referring to our Appendix to Part I. (Sf Mr. Balfour *s 
Second Inquiry, it will be seen that this is a quotation from the 
Book of Enoch, used by Jude without endorsement, as an illustra- 
tion. If the reader objects, and says, by quoting it as an illustra- 
tion, he adopted it as true, we answer : the chains, whatever 
they may have been, or however enduring in nature, are not said 
to bind the angels forever. <* Hath reserved in everlasting chains 
under darkness unto the judgment of the great day." The time 
of their confinement in the chains is limited ; and, therefore, 
Macknight says : '* Hath kept them ever since in everlasting 
chains of confinement under darkness, unto the judgment of the 
great day." He supposes that they are to be retained in a prison 
till the day of judgment, when they are to be consigned to hell ! 
Aidios, therefore, is used by Jude, not to denote the eternity of 
their punishment, but the duration of the chains which held them 
till the day of their final doom. While this is the natural con- 
struction of the language, and therefore can be no proof of endless 
suffering, I am confident that Jude quoted it merely to illustrate, 
on the authority of a received tradition, the certainty that God 
would punish the fiilse teachers of whom he vras speaking. 

These remarks virill be confirmed by considering that this is the 
only text in which aidio^ occurs in connection vdth punishment ; 
and is the only instance in all the New Testament where a term 
employed by the beHevers in endless misery, in expressing it, is 
used. When this fisict is considered, together vnth the &ct that 
Jude gives this language, not as his own, but as a quotation, 
we think that but little, if any, weight can be attached to the text 
in question. Besides, it should be remembered that the proof of 
endless misery is thus reduced to one passage of Scripture, and that 
one in the book of Jude ! If faint praise is sometimes the worst 
damnation a man can have, may we not say that such fidnt proof 
of endless suffering is the severest condemnation it can receive % 

n. It is time that we pass to consider the instances where 
Jesus and the Apostles directly opposed the doctrine of endless 
misery. These are found in those cases where they were brought 
in contact with their opposers. 

I. In Matt. 22 : 24 — ^28, the Sadducees proposed the follow- 
ing inquiry to the Saviour : << Master, Moses said, If a man die. 

840 APPEiimix- 

haying no ohildfto, his brother thaU many his wife, and ruse up 
seed unto his brother. Now there were with ns seven brethrm : 
and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, haTing 
no issue, left his wife unto his brother : likewise the second also, 
and the third, unto the seventh. And last of all the woman died 
also. Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife shall she be of 
the seven? for they all had her." Before giving the Saviour's 
reply, it may be well to state the reason for their making this 
inquiry. The conceptions which the Pharisees had of the future 
state were of a gross character ; they supposed it to be a place of 
sensual pleasure, like the Mohammedan heaven, rather than one 
of spiritual delight. The Sadducees, who denied a future exist- 
ence, and the existence of angeb and spirits, supposing that Ohnst 
taught the same resurrection in which the Pharisees believed, saw 
an insuperable objection to it ; for if the ties of marriage vrere 
binding in heaven as they are on earth, the woman they had men- 
tioned would have seven husbands. Hence their inquiry — 
'< Whose wife of the seven shall she be V But we have not yet 
stated all the errors to be met. The Pharisees believed that the 
resurrection was the portion of only the good, — ^the worthy. 
They held that this part of the dead would be raised, and enjoy 
endless bliss ; while the unworthy vrould not be raised, but be kept 
in an eternal prison. With these points in mind, let us attend to 
the Saviour's reply : — << Jesus answered and said unto them. Ye 
do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God. For 
in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, 
but are as the angels of Qod in heaven. But, as touching the 
resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken 
unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God 
of Isaac, and the God of Jacob t God is not the God of the dead, 
but of the living." — Vs. 29 — 32. This meets all the errors 
involved in the case. 

First. Jesus replies to the main error of the Sadducees — *< Te 
do err, not knoi^g the Scriptures nor the power of God." There 
were many sacred texts which taught a future life. Isaiah said, 
'< In this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a 
feast of fat things, a feast of vrines on the lees ; of fet things full 
of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. And he^ will destroy 


in this mountain the &ee of the covering cast over all people, and 
the vail spread over all nations. He will swallow up death in 
victory ; and the Lord God will Tdpe away tears from off all faces ; 
and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the 
earth ; for the Lord hath spoken it." 25 : 6, 7, 8. Hosea said, 
"O death, I will bethy plagues ; grave, I will be thy destruc- 
tion." Hosea 13: 14. Equally plain was the language jof 
God, at the burning bush, << I am the God of Abraham, of Isaac, 
and of Jacob." If he was their God, they must have been alive 
in the future world, for he cannot be the God of nonentity. 

The power of God was equally conclusive in proving a future 
life. Being materialists, the Sadducees could conceive of no 
existence separate from flesh and blood. All life, in their opinion, 
was the result of organization ; and consequently, death termi- 
nated aU being. Man differed from a worm only in form and 
degree of knowledge. Thus they limited the power of God. He 
could create only & physical being. To a spirit he could give no 
existence. Truly could Jesus say, "Ye do err, not knowing the 
power of God." He is a spirit, an infinite spirit, and can give a 
spiritual existence as well as control matter, and create worlds 
and gystems of worlds. Death is no obstruction in his way, and 
has no power to remove men from his care. Did he not give to 
the sun its brightness, and the universe its majesty and might ? 
Who gave death permission to reign ? In whose earth is the 
grave dug ? The power of God is almighty. 

Thus did Jesus refrite the error that we can live only in the 
flesh. He proceeds, 

Secondly, to remove the objection of the Sadducees. This was 
founded on a difficulty growing out of the character of the future 
existence supposed to be t?,ught. " The children of this world 
marry, and are given in marriage." Luke 20 : 34. The 
marriage institution belongs to this world, and has its origin in 
our earthly nature and condition. Here we are mortal ; generation 
succeeds generation ; and had we no descendants, the race would 
become extinct. In the friture world we shall be differently con- 
stituted ; death there wiU have no dominion, and there will be no 
succession of generations. Paul says, " Flesh and blood cannot 
inherit the kingdom of God ; neither doth corruption inherit 



inoomiptaon." 1 Oor. 15 : 50. To diaur the duosotar of ih% 
ezifitenoe we shall have, Ohrist intrpdaoes ai^els, and thus, by a 
xDoet admirable arrangement of hie reply, refutes inddentallj the 
notion of the Sadduoees that there are no angeb. Henoe he 
says, '< But are as the angels of God in heaven." Had he 
simply said, " Are as the angels," there would have been some 
chance for saying he did not teach the purily of man in the 
resurrection, though his purity is implied in the contrast drawn 
between the two states ; but as he says, *' angeb of God m 
A«av6n," he shows most condudvely, that the resurrection is a 
state free from all evil. Not only do we learn this from the nature 
of angels, but from the £su)t that we shall have none of the char- 
acteristics that belong to us as beings in the flesh. Luke 
says, '< We shall be equal unto the angels;" 20: 36; and 
though this does not imply equality in knowledge or moral devel- 
opment, on our entrance upon this state, it does imply equality 
in the constitution of our nature and the state we shall occupy ; 
because these are points involved in the main subject of discourse,— 
for he is showing why we shall not marry and be given in mar- 
riage ; and, if he means anything, he must mean that the spirit 
will be entirely separated from everything earthly, and be immor- 
tal in a pure state. Therefore, Luke adds, '' And are the children 
of God, being children of the resurrection." This is remarkable 
language. To be children of God is to be holy, to have his spirit, 
be created in his likeness. Li the present world, the best of men 
are children of God only in an imperfect sense. Our love is 
feeble and cold, our purity mixed with evil. But when we are 
children of God, being children of the resurrection, we shall bear 
a likeness to God of which we now can have no conception ; our 
hearts wiU be free from every unholy influence, and our virtues 
shine with a lustre pure as that whidi irradiates the divine &ce. 
Thus Jesus shows that in the resurrection there will be noihing 
gross, and that it will be a purely spiritual state, *<a8 the 
angels of God in heaven." Here, then, we have an answer to the 
objection- of the Sadduceee, and a correction of the Pharisaio 
notion respecting the resurrection state. 

Thirdly. Jesus did not stop here. If he had, there would have 
been reason for suspecting that he fltvored the idea of the Phan- 


sees in regard to the number to be raised, and tlie &te of thoso 
not raised ; and especially once, aooordii^ to Lake, he said, 
** But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world 
and the resurrection from the dead, neither* marry, nor are given 
in marriage," But he does not stop witti answering the Sad- 
ducees ; he uses the occasion to ref\ite the error of the Pharisees 
in regard to the number to be raised. Here let me repeat, what 
has been already stated, that, according to the Pharisees, to be 
raised was to be saved, and not to be raised was to be endlessly 
lost. Keeping this in mind, with the description Christ has given 
of the resurrection state, we proce^ to inquire how many vrill be 
raised. Dr. Macknight gives the following rendering of one 
important verse in the Scripture we are considering : *^ But 
among those who shall be honored to share in the resurrection 
and the other world." This gives the sense exactiy. The mean- 
ing is — they that shall be accounted worthy to obtain the state 
of the raised or the blessed, neither marry, nor are given in maiu 
^riage. But why have we the expression, '< they that shall be 
accounted worthy ? " I answer, this is in agreement with the 
idea of the Pharisees ; it is their language ; they held that only 
the worthy, the just would be raised. Did the Saviour agree vntii 
them on this point ? If he did, he endorsed the eternity of miseiy ; 
if not, he denied it. 

In the text, '* I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, 
and the God of Jacob. God is not a God of the dead, but of the 
living," we have not decisive proof in regard to this ; for the 
patriarchs were worthy. Luke's record, however, is full and 
explicit. *' Now, that the dead are raised, even Moses showed 
at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and 
the. God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. For he is not a God of 
the dead, but of the living : for all live unto him." 20 : 37— 
38. This is most important language. He says, 1. " Now, that the 
dead are raised," — not the worthy, not the just, but the dead, ite 
uses the word in a universal sense, vrithout any restriction, as Paul 
does : ^* Npw, if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, 
how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the 
dead ? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ 
not risen. And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain. 


and your fidth is ako yain. Yea, and we are found false wit* 
nesses of God ; because we have testified of God thai he raised up 
Christ, whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 
For if the dead rise not, then is not Ohrist raised." 1 Cor. 15: 
12 — 16. The sense in which the word dead is used is placed 
beyond all question by the following : *^ For sinoe by man came 
death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in 
Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." 1 Cor. 
15 : 21, 22. 2. We have another important expression in the 
language of the Saviour. *' For he is not a God of the dead, but 
of the living ; for all live unto him." Here he does not refer 
nmply to patriarchs, the worthy and the just, but to all the dead ; 
and, with reference to them, Jesus says, far aU live unto him. 
Thus he teaches the resurrection of all the dead in contradistinction 
from tiie Pharisees, who held to the resurrection of only the wor- 
thy ; and hence he denies, directly and positively, the doctrine of 
endless misery. There is no way to avoid this conclusion, unless 
we say he taught the resurrection of the just only ; but this no 
sect of the present day believes, for all concur in the belief that 
the entire world will be raised from the dead. Must not all, then, 
concur in saying that Christ denied the eternity of misery ? 

This, it will be said, would be satisfactory, if it were not for 
the expression, " They that shall be accounted worthy." Let 
us ascertain, then, if we can, why the Saviour used this language. 
He had before him two errors which he "^shed to correct. First. 
That, in the resurrection, mankind vrill marry as they do here. 
Second. That none vdll be raised except the virtuous ; that the 
resurrection is dependent on good works, — a doctrine nowhere 
taught in the New Testament. In answering the Sadducees, he 
keeps these two errors in view. He answers one first, and then 
proceeds to the other ; and, in answering the first, he is very 
careful to say nothing to turn the mind from the point under 
consideration. Hence he speaks as though he believed that only 
the good would be raised. They that shall be accounted worthy to 
be raised neither marry nor are given in marriage. As much as 
though he had said, we will first show that the Pharisees are 
wrong in teaching that there is anything earthly in the resurrec- 
tion state ; and when we have settied that, we will show who will 


be raised. Here is the only reason why he said, ** they that shall 
be accounted worthy ; " it was adapting his language to the 
<^cumstances in the case. We all pursue the same course daily* 
If I were arguing the question respecting the salvation of all 
men, I would aUow nothing to come in which did not hear directly 
on the point under consideration. And I might, in keeping out 
everything foreign, seem to endorse what I did not. This is all 
the Saviour does. He does not say only the worthy shall be 
raised. His. language is *^ But they which shall be accounted 
worthy;*^ and, in using it, he speaks after the manner of the 
Pharisees. We find him pursuing the same course in r^rd to 
other matters. Thus, when he was charged vfith casting out 
devils by Beelzebub, the prince of devils, he said, << If J bj 
Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast then 
them out?^' Now, he knew that they did not cast them out; 
but in his. reasoning he admitted it for the sake of the argument. 
To deny that they cast them out was not essential to the point he 
was enforcing. So in the case before us. He wished first to show 
what would be the condition of those raised ; and, in doing this, 
he speaks as though the Pharisaic idea was right, and that only 
the worthy would be raised. 

After he had corrected the idea in x^ard to man's condition in 
the resurrection, and got &irly before the mind the great truth 
that he would be immor^ and holy and a child of God, Jesus 
proceeds to correct the second error, or to show the number to be 
raised. Hence he says, " Now that the dead are raised " — not 
a part — not the worthy, but the dead. Why did he speak thus, 
if only the worthy were to be raised ? 

Thus Christ taught the resurrection of all the dead ; and, m 
doing that, he directly opposed the doctrine of ^uUess misery. 
So he must have been understockl, for resurrection was synony- 
mous with salvation. 

2. The attention of the reader is now invited to another in- 
stance in which the doctrine of endless misery was opposed. Li 
the Acts of the Apostles (24), we find Paul arraigned, among 
other things, for heresy. The Jews employed Tertullus, a Roman 
layryer, to plead their cause against him. The case was tried 
beSm Felixi the Roman governor. After Pftul had finished his 


exordium, he said, '' But this I confess unto thee, that after the 
way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my ^hers, 
believing all things which are written in th^ law and in the 
prophets; and have hope toward God, which they themsdYCs 
also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, botibi of 
the just and unjust." Acts 24 : 14, 15. In the same speech 
he says again, << Touching the resurrection of the dead, I am 
called in q^uestion of you this day." y. 21. 

Josephus is explicit in saying that the Pharisees limited the 
resurrection to the just ; and this, we have seen, was their doc- 
trine, fipom Christ's reply to the Sadducees. Why, therefore, Paul 
should have said, *< which they themselves also allow," we may 
not be able fully to explain. It has been suggested that there 
were some present who differed, firom the general opinion on the 
subject, and that he pointed to them in this remark, with a view 
to help his cause from their admissicm, and, perhaps, with the 
hope of producing a contention among them, as he did when on 
trial before the Sanhedrim. Acts 23 : 6 — 8. It is not material, 
however, in regard to this ; it is enough to know that, contrary 
to the general doctrine of the Pharisees, he advocated the resur- 
rection of all the dead, — the just and the unjust, — or, as 
Barnes says, *' of the righteous and the wicked ; that is, of all 
the race." Here, so ^ as this subject vras concerned, was the 
point in dispute. That there was to be a resurrecticm, the Phari- 
sees believed, l^he only question, therefore, was in regard to the 
number to be raised. The great body of the Pharisees said only 
the just would be raised ; but Paul said both the just and the 
unjust would be raised. There is no controversy in r^ard to the 
condition when raised. The Pharisees said those in the resurrec- 
tion were happy, eternally blessed, and all others were eternally 
cursed. Paul enters no protest against the idea that the resurrec- 
tion state was one of bliss : but he does enter a protest against 
the idea that all would not enjoy it ; that the unjust were not 
worthy of being raised, but would be left to suffer in an endless 
prison. This he denies positively, unequivocally ; and, on the 
testimony of the prophets and on the promises of God, he has 
hope in the resurrection of all men, — the just and the unjust. 
See how caiefiil he is to specify the two daasee into whieh the 


Pharisees divided the world, and how particular he is to say that 
his hope embraces both. How exactly this accords with the fol- 
lowing in regard to the basis and extent of Christian hope: 
'< For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could 
ewear by no greater, he sware by himself, saying. Surely, blessing 
I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. And so, 
aftw he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For 
men verily swear by tiie greater, and an oath for confirmation is 
to them an end of all strife. Wherein God, willing more abun- 
dantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his 
counsel, confirmed it by an oath : that by two immutable thingfs, 
in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong 
consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope 
set before us : which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both 
sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the vail, 
whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made a high 
priest forever after the order of Melchisedec." Heb. 6 : 13 — 
20. Equally doed it agree with the following : ^* The first man 
is of the earth, earthy ; the second man is the Lord from heaven. 
As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy ; and as is the 
heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have 
borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of 
the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood 
cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption- 
inherit incorruption. Behold, I show you a mystery : we shall 
not all sleep, but we shall all be changed ; in a moment, in the 
twinkling of an eye, at the last trump (for the trumpet shall 
sound) ; and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall 
be' changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and 
this mortal must put on immortality. So, when this corruptible 
shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on 
immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is 
vnritten. Death is swallowed up in victory. death, where is 
thy sting 1 grave, where is thy victory? The stmg of death is 
sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, 
which giveth us the victory, through our lord Jesus Christ." 1 
Cor. 15 : 47 — 67. What could more fully teach than this does 
the great ertoit of the Pharisees in saying the resorreotion will 


nofc be nnhrenal T The just and the mguit diall be xaised ; none 
■hall Be left in an eternal prison. How directly is the doctriae of 
endless misery here opposed ! 

m. There remains one other topic for oonsid^ratioQ ; and, id 
disoosdng it, we cannot, perhaps, pursue a more satiB&etory 
eourse, than by calling attention to the object of Christ's mission, 
his fitness for his work, the accounts g^yen of his final saooess, 
and the charges preferred against him and his apostles. 

1. In regard to the object of his mifiedon we may say. First, 
that he did not come to change God and render him more kind. 
John 3 : 16, 17 ; 1 John 4 : 10. Secondly, that he did not o(»ne 
to repair some unexpected eyil, to rectify scmie mistake in the 
diyine plan. Isaiah 40 : 13, 14. Thirdly, that he did not come 
to do a work not fully known to the divine mind. Acts 15 : 
18 ; Heb. 4 : 13 ; Isaiah 46 : 10. If these jxropositicmB are true, 
Christ in his mission is simply a co-worker with Qod ; his agent 
employed to execute that which he desires. Not only so, the 
work to be done is in agreement with a perfect plan formed in the 
beginning, and formed in infinite wisdom and benevolence. This 
plan presupposes that no evil can arise superior to the divine 
control, or which Christ vnU be incompet^:it to remove. It pre- 
supposes, also, that there are no conditions in the plan of God, or 
penalties attached to his law, which will be obstructions in his 
way. If these inferences are legitimate, it follows, first, that the 
common doctrine of conditions cannot be true ; for, according to 
that, thousands are cut off annually whom Christ has no means 
of reaching. It foUovrs, secondly, that the penalty of the law 
cannot be endless misery, for such a penalty is an infinite obetruo- 
tion in his way. It follows, thirdly, that there can be no place 
of endless woe ; for such a place can have no existence unless 
God designed it in the beginning, and he could not design that, 
and also design the endless happiness of all. It is no removal of 
the difficulty to say, he designed men for happiness on certain 
conditions ; for as he knew who would comply vnth the conditions, 
and who would not, he could only design that which comes to 
pass. It is impossible for God to design an end on conditions 
which he knovrs vnll not be accepted. Therefore, if any are to 
be endlessly miserable, God purposed it ; if there is an endless 


kell, God dfifiigned it, and designed to have it peopled, and ten 
thousand Saviours like Jesus cannot change the result. Every 
system of theology which teaches endless misery, ascribes, in some 
way, the infinitely sad result directly to God, either to his original 
purpose, or an undue power given to man, or conditions involving 
infinite consequences, or penalties which place the sinner beyond 
the reach of help, or the structure of a prison, whose gates no 
power can open. How different the theology of the Bible ! Ac- 
cording to that, God is supreme, and man finite ; and there is a 
perfect agreement between the end of Cbd's government and its 
means ; between the agency of the creature and the control of the 
Creator ; between the conditions and penalties of the plan of 
salvation and the results it is deedgned to accomplish. With this 
reasoning in mind, we vnll proceed to speak of Christ's mission. 

First, he came to save men. ' ** The Son of man is come to 
seek and to save that which was lost." Luke 19 : 10. Secondly, 
he came to save men from sin. << Thou shalt call his n^^e Jesus, 
for he shall save his people from their sins." Matt. 1 : 22. 
Thirdly, he came to save all men. << He gave himself a ransom 
for all." 1 Tim. 2: 6. These propositions accord, first, with 
God's first promise to the world. " The seed of the woman shall 
bruise the serpent's head." Secondly, with his promise to Abra- 
ham. In Christ shaU all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. 
Thirdly, with the divine purpose. " For this purpose was the Son 
of God manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil." 
Such was the object of his mission. 

2. His fitness and ability for his work are a necessary inference 
from the wisdom of the Being by whom he was sent ; for we can* 
not suppose that God would send him on a mission unless fully 
qualified for its performance. Hence we read, first, that he haa 
all wisdom, Col. 2: 3. Secondly, that he has aU power in 
heaven and in earth. Matt. 28 : 18 ; 11 : 27 ; Eph. 1 : 17 ; 
power over all flesh, John 17 : 2 ; power over death, John 11 : 
24 ; 1 Cor. 15 : 21 ; 2 Tim. 1 : 10 ; Rev. 1 ; 18 ; pcrwer 
over sin, Titus 2 : 11, 14 ; 1 John 1 : 7, 22 ; Heb. 2 : 7— 
10 ; and that he is superior to every influence that can be exerted 
against him, Eom. 8 : 35, 39. Thirdly, that in him are all 
the riches of the grace essential to universal salvation, Eph. 2 * 



7-^24 ; 3 : 1—19 ; Col. 1 : 13—20. Fourthly, that he hu 
that loyalty to God, that fidelity to him, and that interest in the 
world, which will make him pursue his work till it is accomplished, 
John 10 : 7—18 ; 17 : 1—4 ; PMl. 2 : 5—11 ; Heb. 2 : 14—18. 
These views agree with the titles which are given him. Among 
the more prominent of these are the follovnng : " Brightness of 
the Father's gloiy," " Captain of Salvation," «* Comer Stone," 
«* Deliverer," " Friend of Sinners," ** Head," " Heir," «« Leader," 
"Light of the World," "Saviour of the World," "Lord," 
" Master." " Resurrection and the life." 

3. That one possessing such qualifications will succeed in his 
work, is a proposition which needs no proof. But God has given 
us numerous assurances on this point. First, he has declared 
that Christ shall enlighten all. " For this is the covenant that 
I will make with the house of Israel, after those days, saith the 
Lord ; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their 
hearts : aad I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a 
people : and they shall not teach eveiy man his neighbor, and 
every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord : for all shall 
know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful 
to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I 
remember no more." Heb. 8 : 10 — 12. Secondly, that Christ 
shall save all. " Having made known unto us the mystery of his 
vnll, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in 
himself: that in the dispensation of the fulness of times he 
might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are 
in heaven, and which are on earth ; even in him." Eph. 1 : 9, 
10. Thirdly, that Christ shall conquer all. " For he must 
reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy 
that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under 
his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is 
manifest that he is excepted which did put all things under him. 
And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the 
Son'also himself be subject unto him that put all things under 
him, that God may be all in all." 1 Cor. 15: 25—28. Fourthly, 
that all shall be made alive in Christ. " But now is Christ risen 
from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept. 
For since by man came death, by man came also ^e resunecticm 


of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be 
made alive." 1 Cor. 15 : 20 — 22. How fully is his final sucoess 
taught ! 

4. That we do not misunderstand the foregoing testimonies is 
evident from the opposition encountered by Christ and the Apos- 
tles. First, We find him charged with being the friend of pub- 
licans and sinners. His reply is given in three parables, the lost 
sheep, the lost piece of silver, and the prodigal son, in which he 
shows the worth of the sinner, his own unwearying fidelity, Gk)d's 
readiness to extend pardon to the worst offender, and the wide 
difference between the narrow, selfish, vindictive spirit of the par- 
tial theology of the Pharisees, and the noble, generous, forgiving 
spirit of his religion of love and grace. Luke 15. Secondly. 
Paul says, '< We both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust 
in the living God, who is the Saviour of aU men, especially of those 
that believe." 1 Tim. 4: 10. The Jews trusted in God; they 
trusted in him as the living God ; they trusted in him as a Sav- 
iour ; but they did not trust in him as the Saviour of all men ; and 
because Paul and the other Apostles trusted in him thus, they were 
persecuted and doomed to reproach. The impartiality of the Gofr- 
pel, its u;u:estricted benevolence, was its most obnoxious feature to 
the narrow-hearted Jew, who seemed to contemplate vdth pleasure 
the endless misery of those he called unjust. Thirdly. Peter en- 
countered the same opposition. Before he had his vision of the sheet, 
he supposed salvation Hmited ; and he resisted stoutly the instruc- 
tion given in the vision. He saw « heaven opened, and a certain 
vessel descending unto him, aa it had been a great sheet knit at the 
four comers, and let dovm to the earth : wherein were all manner 
of four-footed beasts of the earth, and vnld beasts, and creepiug 
things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him, Rise, 
Peter, kill, and eat. But Peter said, Not so. Lord ; for I have never 
eaten anything that is common or unclean. And the voice spake 
unto him again the second time. What God hath cleansed that 
call not thou common. This vms done thrice : and the vessel 
was received up again into heaven." Acts 10 : 11 — 16. Here 
we see how he stood out and dung to his partial notions ; but 
after having been directed three times to eat, he was obliged to 
yield. Before him was a representation of all- men ; not only so, all 


oame from heaTen, and all retained to heaven. Beddee, the sheet 
was knit at the four oomers ; it was perfect, holding securely all 
its contents ; and he was commanded not to call that unclean 
which God had cleansed. In this way he is converted, his faith is 
enlarged, his eye is opened to behold the boundless extent of grace, 
and now in every man he sees a brother. His brethren reproved 
him for his broad views, his expanded spirit, his universal love. 
But he defended himself by relating his vision, and concluded by 
saying, *' What was I that I could withstand God? " 

Thus, in the days of Christ and the Apostles, there was the same 
contest that there is now ; a narrow theology was arrayed against 
a liberal theology ; the advocates of endless misery opposed and 
denounced the teachers of impartial grace and salvation, so that 
it is certain that Christ and the Apostles taught a doctrine directly 
opposed to that of their times. Hence, the objection with which 
we commenced is fully answered. Christ and the Apostles did not 
use the common terms of thdr times, employed by those who be- 
lieved in endless misery ; they directly opposed tJie doctrine, and 
they so clearly taught the salvation of all, as to incur, on that ac- 
count, the especial displeasure of the believers in endless sufEering. 

0. A. S. 



Perhaps there is no text where the word Gehenna occurs, on 
which so much reliance is placed by believers in endless misery as 
the following : 

<* And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to 
kill the soul : but rather fear him which is able to destroy both 
soul and body m hell." Matt. 10 : 28. 

We propose to give two views, which have been advanced by 
different vnriters, on these words. In a work entitled " Thirty 
Sermons," I find the following : 

'< Admitting, then, that this passage appertains to a punish- 
ment in the future world, it may be asked, what are the difficul- 
ties which such a disposition of the passage involves? A few of 
these I will now state in detail. 

" First, The language was addressed to his own disciples in 
private, on a particular occasion, namely, when they were first 
chosen, and commissioned to go and proclaim ' the kingdom of 
heaven is at hand,' and to work miracles. It was never repeated 
to them again ; nor was this language ever breathed by our Sa- 
viour, nor by any of his apostles, in preaching to others. How 
is this conduct of theirs to be reconciled with the principles of 
common honesty, if the text involves the doctrine of endless mis- 
ery in hell ? If such were the case, would not Jesus have plainly 
stated this same threatening to the common people, and warned 
them of such a fearful doom ? He certainly would, for he was 

*' Second. Aire the bodies of men to be hilled or literally de- 
stroyed in a future hell ? They are not. Mesh and blood cannot 
inherit a future state of being. What, then, are we to under- 
stand by destroying both soul and body in heU ? All must per- 
ceive that there is the same certainty that this mortal body shall 
be destroyed there, that there is that the soul shall. Both were 



to be defltioyed in the mim place ! Now, as this same mortal 
body, which men can kill, is not to enter a future world in a con- 
dition where it can be killed or even harmed as a body, is it not 
strong presumption, is it not irrefragable evidence, that this heU 
is not in another world ? Does it not, to say the least, present an 
insuperable difficulty to the advocate of this soitiment ? It does. 
The objector cannot but see its force. 

<< Third, Men are able to Mil the body, but are not able to 
kiU the soul ; but Qod is able to kiU or destroy them both. Now, 
what are we to understand by killing the body ? If the objector 
say, it means the extinction of animal life, thai certainly the 
body is incapable of any further sensation, and is consequently 
free from all suffering and pain. Again, — < but are not 
able to kill the soul.' What does this mean? Dr. Adam 
Clarke and others give us to understand that they are not able 
to put the soul out of existence, because it is ' immateriaU 
Then, if men were able to kill the sovl and body ^th, it would be 
annihilation, according to the construction put upon it by our 
opposers. It then follows that to destroy both soul and body in 
hell must mean their utter extinction, so that neither oould be 
susceptible of sensation, suffering, or pain, any more than the 
clods that cover the tomb ! This is certain ; because what men 
are able to do only partially in the first adjunct of the passage, 
God is able to do completely in the last adjunct. Hence, to destroy 
soul and body in the last clause must mean the same as to kill the 
soul and body in the first clause. The objector vnll perceive that 
this conclusion is absolutely irresistible, if he vnll carefully no- 
tice the negative of the first part of the text. After stating, that 
men kill the body, Christ says, but are NOT able to kill the soul. 
Here let me ask, Is God able to do what Christ here informs us 
men can not do, namely, to annihilate soul and body? K the 
objector says he is not ; then I reply that God and men are placed 
in the same predicament by the objector. But if it be granted 
that Christ meant to express God's ability to do that very thing 
which he clearly stated, and then said men could not do, it follows, 
of course, that God was able to kill both the soul and body, that 
is, annihilate them, as such. So, you perceive, that, to allow 
common opinion its full force, it lays the cold hand of aouihila- 


tion upon the &ce of the text ; or else charges Qod with threat- 
etdng his creatures with a doom he never meant to execute ! 
Proving too much, it proves nothing, — for if man, soul and 
body, were Idlled or destroyed, he could not suffer to all eternity, 
— admitting, at the same time, as they believe, that ' the soul 
means the immortal part. Buffering must terminate vnth such 

After endeavoring to show that Jesus was speaking in the 
passage of the national destruction of the Jews, the work from 
which we have quoted says : 

'< Leaving these, I will select one or two, which now occur to 
my mind, as having a direct bearing upon the case in hand. 
Isaiah 10 : 16, 17, 18, < Therefore shall the Lord, the Lord of 
hosts, send among his &t ones leanness, and under his glory he 
shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire. And the light 
of Israel shall be for a fire, and his holy one for a flame ; and it 
shall bum and devour his thorns and his briers in one day ; and 
shall consume the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, 
both soul and body ; and they shaU be as when a standard-bear^ 
fainteth.' Here you perceive the prophet declares, that they 
shall be destroyed ^ soul and body,^ This did not mean their 
punishment in another world, nor their * moral death,* nor even 
the natural death of that whole people ; but it was a proverbial 
expression, to denote their entire destruction as a nation. On this 
passage, Dr. A. Clarke says, 'The fire of God's wrath shall destroy 
them both great and small, it shall consume them from the soul 
to the flesh, a proverbial expression ; soul and body, as we say ; it 
shall consume them entirely and altogether, and the few that 
-escape shall be looked upon as having escaped from the most im- 
minent danger.' Here Dr. Clarke says, that to destroy or con- 
sume them, * soul and body,' is * a proverbial expression,* and 
that in the Hebrew, it means ^from the soul to the flesh; ' yet 
he grants, that it did not even mean the natural death of all of 
that people against whom it was spoken. Scott says, that to 
destroy them soul and body means ' absolutely and finally,* 

** This proverb originated among the Hebrews, and hence we see 
why our Lord's disciples perfectly understood him. The expres- 
sion, destroying soul and body, is equivalent to destroying a 


nation, < root and branch J* The latter is, in fact, the same 
proverb in difoent phraseology. In proof of this I will produce 
an instance. Malachi 4:1,' For behold the day cometh that 
shall burn aa an oven, and all the proud, yea, and all that do 
wickedly, shall be stubble, and the day that cometh shall bum 
them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither 
root nor branch,^ Now all commentators, so far as I am ac- 
quainted, apply the above passage to that very destruction of the ^ 
Jews to which I believe the langu&ge of Jesus now under con- 
sideration applies. And is there not a striking coincidence be- 
tween the words of Malachi and Jesus ? ' Burning them up 
root and branch,'^ and * destroying them soul and body in Ge- 
henna fire, ^ I confflder as parallel passages. They both refer to 
the same people, and to the same long predicted and final de- 
struction which God brought upon them, when their national sun 
went down in blood. On the passage in Malachi (destroying 
them root and branch) , Scott says, — * it is a proverbial eaipression 
for extirpating desolation.' Dr. Clarke, ail;er stating that it 
refers to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Komans, says, 
*■ the day that cometh shall bum them up. Either by famine, 
by sword, or by captivity, all those rebels shall be destroyed. It 
sJudl leave them neither root nor branch, A proverbial expres- 
sion for total destruction.' " 

In the Universalist Expositor, vol. 2, the following explanation 
is given : 

" If, then, we have correctly fixed the reference in this clause, 
it was God whom the disciples were to fear ; and this, in consid- 
eration of his surpassing power. The infinite superiority of his 
power is illustrated by the remark, that he is able, after he has 
killed, to cast into Gehenna ; that is, to destroy, or utterly ex- 
terminate, not only the body, but the soul* also, in those judg- 

* The word here traiiBlated sofdy is in the New Testament oflen tanta- 
mount to lifty according to our modem phraseology. Often, however, in 
the New Testament, it appears to signify the wid^ the mind ; as in the 
following passages, which are but a few out of the many that might be 
quoted : Matt. 11 : 29. And ye shall find rest unto your wuU, — 12 : 
18, in whom my aovl is well pleased. — 22 : 37, thou shalt loye the 
Lord thy God with aU thy heart, and with all thy tout, Ae. — Acts i : 


ments that were expressed by Gehenna, the most terrible and 
destructiye punishment that was known among the Jews. We 
see no allusion, here, to the idea of endless misery, but rather to 
that of annihilation. It was a kiUing of the soul as well as of 
the body, a destroying of both soul and body ; and the literal 
import at least of the expressions, is, that it was a destruction of 
the one in the same sense as of the other. This, then, was what 
(Jod had * power * — was * able * — to do. 

<* But, granting that the object was to impress the disciples with 
an engrossing sense of the divine power, yet, why did Christ, for 
this purpose, remind them that God was <Ak to annihilate, unless 
he meant to imply some danger that he wotiM actually annihilate 
them? Why should they fear a power, though it were adequate 
to this effect, if they themselves v^re not exposed to its execution? 
Should this question be asked by the advocates of endless misery, 
we may return it to them, and ask, on their own ground, Why 
should Christ remind his disciples that God had power to torment 
forever, unless he intended to imply that they themselves were 4n 
danger of suffering its actual infliction? It is not generally 
thought that the disciples were exposed to any such danger. So 
that, in either case, it does not seem>to have been the design to 
intimate that their souls and bodies would be thus destroyed in 
Gehenna. So far aa this point is concerned, we have a parallel 
instance in John the Baptist's admonition to the Pharisees and 
Sadducees : < Think not to say vrithin yourselves, We have Abra- 
ham to our &ther ; for I say unto you, that God is abk of these 
stones to raise up children unto Abraham,' * — where John cannot 

32, were of 0119 heart and one s<nd» — 14 : 2, made their mimda evil-af- 
fected against the brethren. — 14 : 22, confirming the mnda of the dis- 
oiples. — Eph. 6 : 6, doing the wUl of God from the heart, — Philip. 
1 : 27, stand fast in one spirit, with one mind. — Heb. 6 : 19, which hope 
we have as an anchor of the «o«2. — 12: 3, lest ye be wearied and fkint 
in yonr mind*, — 1 Pet. 1 : 22, seeing ye have purified your 9ouU, — 
2: 11, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the aoul, — 2: 25, 
the Shepherd and Bishop of your acvU^ke,, ka, — A olefur exposition of 
the ancient Jewish Psychology would doubtless throw much light on the 
New Testament use of the word referred to. 

* Matt 3: 9. Parallel, Lake 3: 8. 


have meant to imply that God fjoould, in any case, raise up children 
unto Abraham, from those stones; and still, his object in re- 
minding them of God's power to do this, was, unquestionably, to 
strike them with a sense of the vanity of their relying on their 
descent from that patriarch. That it was the design of Christ, 
in the passages under consideration, to lead his disciples to reyer- 
ence the surpassing power of God, which he thus illustrated, and 
not to make them fear an actual destruction of their souls and 
bodies in Gehenna, seems evident from the words that immediately 
follow. For he proceeded to show them that t?uU power was con- 
stantly exerted in their behalf — not against them. See the fol- 
lowing verses. The divine providence did not overlook even the 
sparrows ; and as for the disciples, it numbered the very hairs of 
tiieir head. Would it not, then, protect the disciples themselves, 
who were manifestly of more consequence than many sparrows ? 
* Fear ye not, therefore,' adds he : that is. Fear not your mortal 
enemies ; ye are under the protection of your heavenly Father *8 
power. (Matt. 10 : 29—31. Luke 12 : 6, 7.)" 

0. A. S. 


Chapter. Page. 


37 : 35 80 

42 : 38 30 

44 : 29 31 

44 : 31 31 


18 : 80 31 

16 : 33 31 

82 : 22 32 

1 Samoel. 

2:6 32 

2 Samukl. 

22 : 6 33 

1 Kings. 

2:6 33 

2:9 33 


7:9 34 

11 : 8 34 

14: 13 36 

17 : 13 35 

17 : 16 35 

24 : 19 35 

26:6 36 


6:5 36 

9 : 17 36 

16: 10 38 

18 : 5 38 

30 : 3 39 

49 : 14 39 

49 : 15 40 

65: 15 40 

86 : 13 41 

88 : 3 41 

89 : 48 41 

116 : 3 42 

139 : 8 42 

141 1 7 42 

Chapter. Page. 


6:6 43 

9 : 18 43 

16 : 11 43 

23 : 14 43 

27 : 20 43 

30 : 16, 16 43 

9 t 10 46 


8: 6 











14 . 
9 . 
9 . 





'V 125 

19 126 

23 : 39, 40 160 


31 : 15 61 

31 : 16 61 

31 : 17 51 

32 : 21 61 

32 : 27 61 


13 : 14 61 

9:2 '. • . 51 

2:2 52 

Chapter. Page. 


6 : 22 137 

6 : 28, 29 140 

10 : 28 144 

11 : 23 66 

16 : 18 66 

18 : 9 167 

22 : 23—82 .... 889 

23 : 16 168 

23 : 83 164 


9 : 4a-49 ... 179, 190 


10 : 16 67 

12 : 4. 8 . . . ^ . . 191 

16 : 23 67 

16 : 20—31 90 

20 : 27—38 .... 841 


2 : 27 91 

2 : 81 92 

24: 14,16 846 

1 Corinthians. 
15: 65 92 


4: 10 861 

8:6 104 

2 Peter. 
2:4 09 


6 99 


1 : 18 02 

6:8 92 

20: 13 08 

20: 14 OS 



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