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been presented to the public by Mr. Peabody in the writings of the late Bernard Whitman.
Take an extract from the Targum of Jonathan, supposed to have been written by a learned Jew, who lived twenty or thirty years before the birth of Christ. I appeal to the writings of these learned Jews, not as authority for any doctrine of Christianity, but simply to ascertain the import of a word.
· The wicked are to be judged that they may be delivered to eternal burnings in GEHENNA.' Like embers in the fire of Gehenna which God created the second day of the creation of the world.'. Thou shalt see them descending into the earth to Gehenna. Here you see at once that the word GEHENNA is used by this writer to represent the punishment of the wicked in the world to come. His language will bear no other construction.
Take a few extracts from · Pierche Eliezer,' a work said to have been written by Eliezer, whose wife is supposed to have been great-grand-daughter to Simeon who took the infant Jesus in his arms. "He flourished about the time Jerusalem was destroyed.' The following are his sayings. On account of the Sabbath, Adam was delivered from the condernnation of gehenna." Whosoever confesses his transgressions and forsakes them is delivered from the condemnation of gehenna.' 'All angels and seraphiin shall not deliver the wicked from the condemnation of gehenna.' Here you clearly see that the word is used in the sense of future punishment. Once more.
I will give you an extract from a. work written by Rabbi Hoschiakia, who flourished, about the
• Hereafter Abraham will set at the gates of gehenna and will suffer no circuincised Israelite to descend thither, but what will he do to those who have sinned beyond measure ? He will restore to them their foreskin, and they will descend into gehenna.'' Before paradise gehenna was ereated.'
Look at a few extracts from the Talmuds. For those who observe the law, paradise is 'prepared, but for transgressors, gehenna.' While you apply yourselves with the greatest labor to the study of the law, and yet neglect' to fulfil it, you will become heirs of gehenna at your death, while you have enjoyed no pleasures in this life.' • Heretics, traitors, apostates, epicurears, those who deny the law and those who deny ihe resurrection, and those who separate themselves from the congregration, and those who cause terror among the dwellers upon earth, and those who have sinned and caused many to sin, aś, Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and his companions, these all descend into gehenna and are punished therein.
From these quotations, you learn the sense in which the Jews of our Savior's time and since that period, used the word GEHENNA. They used it to represent a state of suffering in the eternal world. Christ must have used it in the same sepse, or he deceived his hearers. Take which horn of the dilemma you please. To this understanding of this word you will perhaps object,
(1) That GEHENNA occurs only twelve times in the New Testament, eleven times by Christ, and once by James. But what does this prove ? Not that a doctrine cannot be true because one word which has reference to it, occurs but a few times. The doctrine of future punishment is expressed or implied as often as any other doctrine of the Bible, and in a rich variety of phraseology.
(2) You tell us that Paul and Peter never used the word GEHENNA, and ask how this can be accounted for on the supposition that this word denoted future punishment. I answer; it was a Jewish word, probably understood only by the Jewś. Paul and Peter addressed those who spoke the Greek language, and to whom, at that time, the Jew ish word gehenna, would have been unmeaning. They were practical, cominon sense men, and as such they would not employ words that their hearers or readers could not understand. Christ, on the contrary, preached in Judea, where the word was in use and well understood, and hence
he frequently used it. This is just as we might expect to find the case. It is all natural and easily understood. If there were no way of expressing our faith in a judgment to come without employing the word GEHÈNNA, then we might expect to find this word in every instance where the retributions of eternity are alluded to; but this is far from being the case.
How many times have you heard persons of evangelical sentiments express their belief in a coming judgment without using the word HELL? Did you in fer that they did not believe the doctrine, because they did not use "he word HELL? By no means.
As to the word, TARTARUS, rendered' Hell, it occurs but once in the bible. It is a word with which the Jews seem not to have been familiar. It was entployed by the Greek poets and orators to denote the infernal world, or the place or state in which wicked angels and men were to suffer the consequences of sin. Peter, in addressing those who were scattered. abroad,' where this word was known and used, makes use of it to describe the present condition of fallen angels. For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them duwn to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.' 2 Pet. 2:4.
Grove, a Greek Lexicographer, defines the word thus:
TARTARUS, the infernal regions; hell of the poets; a dark place; prison; dungeon ; jail; the bottomless pit; hell The sense which the Greeks attached 10. it may be learned from the manner in which it was employed by Homer. Hear him.
*Oh! far! oh far from steep Olympus thrown,
That gulf, wiib iron gates and brazen ground,
But murky Tartarus extends around.' Had I room I might extend my quotations ; but it is unnecessary. No intelligent, honest man will deny that
the word TARTARUS. was employed by the Greeks in the apostolic age to denote a place or state of future sufferings. Peter must have been understood then by his readers as teaching the doctrine of punishment in the eternal world for apostate intelligences. Universalists understand the word an gels as employed by Peter to refer to man, and not to angels in the ordinary acceptation of that word. If this should be admitted, it would make the testimony of Peter still stronger against you. The import of Hades will be considered hereafier. Yours as ever.
Dear I cannot adopt your religious views, because our Savior has taught the doctrine of future retribution, so distinctly, in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day : And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover, the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bo
The rich man also died, and was buried : And in hell he listed up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father. Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue : for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed : so that they which would pass from hence to you, cannot ; neither can they pass to us, that would come from
thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldst send him to my father's house : For I have five brethren ; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham said unto him, they have Moses and the prophets ; let them hear them. And he said, nay, father Abraham ; but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, if they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead.' Luke 16:194-31.
Now our Savior has been understood by all learned and good men, of every age of the church, to teach-here, in the clearest and most emphatic manner, that the righteous are rewarded and the wicked punished after death ; and this you will not deny, -is the natural, common sense interpretation. But Universalists affect to believe that this is not the true interpretation. What then, let me ask, is the true sense and import of this parable ? I appeal to Hosea Ballou, your oldest and most popular preacher, for
He has given an interpretation, which with some trifling modifications, is generally adopted by your preachers and authors. According to his exposition the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus was designed to teach and illustrate the taking away of religious truth and privileges of the Jews, and giving them to the Gentiles. He tells us that, “ the rich man is ihe Jewish high priest," ihat "bis riches consisted in the righteousness of the law;" --that the beggar represents the Gentiles; that the table of the rich man, from which he desired to be fed, is none other than the table of stone, on which the oracles of God were written;" that the crumbs which the beggar desired, and which the rich man was unwilling to give, denote religious instruction, that the dogs which came and licked the sores of the beggar, were the heathen philosophers, such as Socrates, and Plato, who endeavored to cure the moral infirmities of their disciples by their philosophy ; that the beggar's death represents the death of the Gentile world to idolatry; and that after this death to idolatry, they