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from this time forward never shall you ascend into heaven;" chap 14: 3 seq. Again : “Never shall you obtain peace ;" chap. 16: 5.
Afterwards Enoch is represented as taken by his conduct. ing angel to see the place where the souls of the wicked are kept. of them it is said : “Abundant is their suffering until the time of the great judgment, the castigation, and the torment of those who continually execrate, whose souls are punished and bound there for ever ;" 22:12. Soin in 22 : 14, “ Their souls shall not be annihilated in the day of judg. ment, neither shall they arise out of this place."
In chap 38 : 2 seq. it is said of the wicked : “ Better for them would it be, had they never been born. ... Impious mnen shall be afflicted in presence of the righteous and the elect ... Nor thenceforward shall any obtain commiseration from the Lord of spirits.”
Chap. 39 : 2,“ Never shall they (the wicked] obtain mercy, saith the Lord of spirits." Chap. 46: 4, “ Darkness shall be their habitation, and worms shall be their bed ; nor from their bed shall they hope to be again raised, because they exalted not the name of the Lord of spirits.” And again in 48:11, “ In his presence shall they (the wicked) fall, and not be raised up again; nor shall there be any one to take them out of his hands to lift them up; for they have denied the name of the Lord of spirits, and of his Messiah.” In 49: 11 is the like declaration : “He who repents not before hiin shall perish. Henceforth I will not have mercy upon them, saith the Lord of spirits.”
* In chap. 54 : 8 it is said of the paramours of the apostate angels : “The days of their life shall be consumed, but the days of their error [i. e. in which they will suffer the consequences of their error) shall be innumerable.” In 66: 9, To it is said of those who have denied the Lord of spirits : “ They will perceive their condemnation, day by day .... and as the inflammation of their bodies shall be great, so shall their spirits undergo a change for ever.”
In chap. 67: 2 seq., Michael and Raphael are represented as beholding the punishment of the apostate angels; then Michael exclaims : “ The severity of the judgment, of the secret judgment of the angels, the endurance of that severe jndgment which has taken place and been made permanent, who is capable of beholding, without being melted at the
sight of it? .... The Lord of spirits ..
... will bring upon them a secret judgment for ever and ever ... they alone shall receive their own judgment for ever and ever."
In the like manner sinners among men are denounced : "Wo unto them who build up iniquity and oppression, and who lay the foundation of fraud ; for suddenly shall they be subverted, and never obtain peace:" 93: 6. And again in the sequel, v. 10: “When you fall, he will not shew you mercy; your Creator will rejoice in your destruction."
In chap. 94: 4 it is said of the wicked who have bound themselves by an oath to do evil : “ The remedy is far removed from you on account of your sins.” In 96: 18 seq. it is said respecting sinners: “Know that you are destined to the day of destruction ; hope not that sinners shall live; in process of time you shall die, for you are not marked for redemption ... To you there shall be no peace; you shall surely die suddenly.” Again : “Wo to you who build your houses by the labour of others . with the stone of crime; I tell you that you shall not obtain peace ;" 97: 13.
So in chap. 97: 7 seq. “Wo to you, ye sinners, . . , in the flame of a blazing fire shall you be burned." Chap. 102: 5, “But you, ye sinners, are for ever accursed ; to you there shall be no peace.” More at large in 103:5; ** Has it not been shown to them (to sinners], that their evil deeds shall become their greatest torment, when their souls shall be made to descend to the receptacle of the dead? Into darkness, into the snare, and into the flame which shall burn to the great judgment, shall their spirits enter ; and the great judgment shall take effect for ever and ever. Wo to you, for to you shall be no peace.”
Of the righteous it is said in 104: 3, “ You shall not be found like sinners; and eternal condemnation shall be far from you, so long as the world exists.” That is, the righteous shall not suffer eternal condemnation, as the wicked do ; this shall never be their lot, so long as the world endures.
Again, chap. 105: 21, “Wait . . . until evil doers be consumed, . . . until sin pass away; for their names (those of the wicked] shall be blotted out of the holy books, their seed shall be destroyed, and their spirits slain : In the flame of fire there is the clamour of exclamation, of wo, and of great suffering.” Who will not here spontaneously call to mind, that “weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth,”
which the Saviour declares shall come upon those “ who are cast into outer darkness ?" Indeed, in a subsequent verse (v. 28) the writer says of the wicked : “ They shall be cast into darkness.”
Such is the view which the author of the Book of Enoch has given of the future punishment of the wicked. Of the passages which relate to this subject, I have, as I intimated at the commencement of these extracts, selected only a small part. Even of those which either directly or indirectly announce the endless doom of the wicked, I have not transcribed all. But so many have now been presented, that I cannot help thinking it would be irrational and exceedingly unfair, to deny that the writer of the book before us believed in the doctrine of eternal punishment. I do not see how it is in the power of human language to convey this idea, if he has not most explicitly and undeniably conveyed it.
The intelligent and considerate reader will not fail to note, that the doctrine in question is not made here to depend merely on the use of the words for ever, or for ever and ever. It is expressed in a great variety of ways, so great, that no room seems to be left for any uncertainty as to the purpose of the author's mind. :" No pardon shall be given them;" " they shall not arise out of their place” [of punishment]; “it would be better for them had they never been born;" “they shall not be lifted up from their bed of worms and distress ;" “ they shall perish;" “ the Lord will not have mercy upon them;" “ the days of their error [i. e. of punishment for error] shall be innumerable ;" “the remedy is removed far from them on account of their sins ;" “they are not marked for redemption ;" “ they shall have no peace;" “ the great judgment shall take effect upon them for ever and ever.” More numerous still are the declarations, that their torment or punishment shall last " for ever and ever," and that “they shall never have peace.”
Such is the fearful array of comminations against the wicked, in the book before us. If we add to these the often and every where repeated threats, in general terms, of judgment, condemnation, punishment, chastisement, and suffering, it will be evident beyond all doubt, certainly beyond all reasonable contradiction, how the writer of the book of Enoch thought and felt in regard to the subject under consideration.
But granting that the declarations in the book before us are plain, and scarcely capable of being perverted or obscured, the question will no doubt be promptly asked: • To what purpose is an appeal to a book confessedly apocryphal, and therefore of no authority? Why should we believe in the doctrine of eternal punishment, because an unknown writer of an unknown period, who was (as nearly all agree) an uninspired man, has expressed his belief in such a repulsive dogma ?
I have already anticipated, in part, an answer to this question, in what I have said in the introductory part of this communication. But to avoid all ambiguity as to my views and my object, on the present occasion, I would state in the most explicit manner, that I have not the most distant intention to refer to the book of Enoch, as a book of authority. I can never be brought to believe that the Ethiopians had any good right to place it in their Canon ; not so much ground, even, as the Council of Trent had to admit and sanction the books commonly named apocryphal among us. There is less of puerility and of superstition in most of the so named Apocrypha, than in the book of Enoch. I have therefore not the remotest design to urge on my readers the authority of this book. My full belief is, that “our present Scriptures are the only and the sufficient rule of faith and practice.”
Still this detracts nothing from the importance or propriety of my design. I resort to the book of Enoch, in order to find the usus loquendi of the times, when the books of the New Testament were written, and also to find what were the prevailing opinions of the same times in respect to the great point under discussion. Whatever uncertainty may attend the question respecting the individual author of the book, or the exact year when it was composed, still I cannot concede, that there is any uncertainty worth computing, whether the author lived and wrote during the first century of the Christian era. That he was a Jew intimately ac quainted with the ancient Scriptures, cannot be called in question by any reader of candour and intelligence. That he was a man of a serious, devout frame of mind, of high moral susceptibilities, and disposed to place the standard of moral actions high, is exhibited in every part of his work. That he speculates on demons, and on matters of astronomy
and natural philosophy, in such a way that we are compelled to regard some of his views as even childish-is no good reason why we may not receive his testimony about plain matters of fact within his cognisance. If such things were to destroy the credit of a writer, then alas ! for most of the Christian fathers; in whom we can find not a few things which are little, if any, less repugnant to sound reason and philosophy, than what is found in the book of Enoch. The testimony of this book, as to the common opinion of the times respecting the perpetuity of future punishment, may then be received, without transgressing the usual laws of a critical examination of testimony concerning any usage or opinion of ancient times.
* But I shall be asked : •How does it appear from the con. tents of the book of Enoch, that the usual opinion of the Jews of his day, or of the Christians of his day (in case the author were a Christian), was, that the future punishment of the wicked is endless ? The author speaks for himself, and we can only gather from what he says, the opinions which he himself entertained.
This, I answer, might be said in respect to some things in his book; e. g. the peculiar manner in which he accounts for the phenomena of nature, and the motions and phases of the heavenly bodies. But the subject of future retribution is a matter of common speculation and of deep concern to all sober men. It is one about which the common people, as well as the learned, have an opinion. And the manner in which a writer introduces this, will always satisfy any intelligent reader, whether it is a matter of dispute and sing ularity of opinion with the author, or whether he only ar ludes to it and states it as a thing which will be taken for granted, or at least allowed, by his readers.
It is on this ground that I place the appeal, in the present case, to the book of Enoch. Let any one read it attentively, I should rather say, study it, and he will easily perceive, that it is no part of the writer's plan to maintain a disputed doctrine. His threats against the wicked, which are very frequeat, proceed upon the acknowledged ground, that there is a just God who governs the world, and who will make retri. bution to sinners. That retribution he holds up as endless, because this, and this only, sets forth the aggravated nature of their doom in its full extent. There are no marks in the