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will thus rush down to hell in crowds. But where do we find such things in our Lord's, or in his apostles' preaching? Were they to return to the earth, and preach just as they did, 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 vindicated, if they knew hell to be a place of endless misery? Our Lord said, "the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up." But surely, as we have seen, it was not spent in preaching, and warning men against endless misery in hell. The apostles had also zeal, great zeal, and zeal according to knowledge, but they never spent any of it in preaching 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 to their hearers. This topic, hardly forgotten in a single discourse, and so powerful in inducing all classes of society to contribute, seems to have been unknown in the days of the apostles. This theme, so effectual in rousing the sleeping energies of mankind, and of exhausting human ingenuity in devising means to save them from hell, was either unknown to them, or they did not know how to avail themselves of it. It was never used by them to procure themselves a morsel of bread, or in any way to do good to athers. The most profound silence is maintained by the apostles on this subject.
I do not blame the zeal of any in the present day, in urging the doctrine of hell torments on all mankind. If the doctrine be true, I contend that their zeal is not ardent enough. Indeed, if true, no one can easily go to excess in his zeal. So far from condemning the greatest zeal which can be manifested, I have some doubts if a great many of such persons believe their own doctrine. If they did, how could they live in such wealth and splendour as they do, yet do so
little to save men from hell torments? I have serious doubts if even many of the preachers most active and zealous in rousing the public to give money to save the heathen from hell, believe this doctrine, If they did, would they live at home in comparative ease and affluence, and send raw, inexperienced youths abroad 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, that in saving others from hell, they seem determined to do it with as little self-denial and personal risk as possible. How often does it happen that all the zeal for the doctrine of hell torments evaporates 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 from the pulpit, of eternal torment in hell, were not true. Yea, some of the very persons whom in the pulpit he threatens with the torments of hell, are his most intimate companions through the week. He visits in their families, he feasts at their tables, and his salary is chiefly paid by them; but not a word escapes him, perhaps the whole week, in warning them of their danger in being every moment exposed to endless misery. Can such a man be said truly to believe this doctrine? We must be allowed to doubt it, so long as such unfaithfulness is so apparent. I do not blame any for great zeal, if this doctrine be true. No; I only wish some one would açcount for it, if they can, why the apostles never mentioned hell as a place of torment, nor availed themselves of this doctrine, to stimulate their own zeal, or rouse that of others, in attempting to save men from such a punishment. I wish it to be accounted for, why this topic was never urged on Christians to induce liberality, to assist in saving the heathen from
hell, or on the heathen to induce them to turn from their idols to the living God. I wish it to be accounted for, if the apostles knew of the doctrine of hell torments, why they forgot to mention it either to Jews or to Gentiles. Either they did not believe the doctrine, or, if they did, how is their fidelity, compassion, and zeal to be defended? Who would undertake to defend the fidelity, compassion and zeal of any preacher in our day, who, if this doctrine was believed by him, should never mention Gehenna as a place of endless misery for all who died in ignorance and unbelief concerning the Saviour? Instead of defending him, all sects, Herod and Pilate like, would be made friends for once, to put such a preacher down by every means in their power.
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 our Lord or his apostles to quote the Old Testament to prove that hell was such a place of misery; for it is acknowledged by Dr. Campbell and others, that in this sense Gehenna or hell does not occur there. They could not make a quotation in proof of this from it, for it did not afford them any thing to quote. Well, permit me to ask, why our Lord did quote the Old Testament, and quoted it in the very texts in which hell or Gehenna is spoken of? In Mark ix. considered above, our Lord expressly quotes a passage from Isaiah, when speaking concerning hell to his disciples. In other places he seems to allude to others. Had our Lord then meant to use Gehenna or hell in a different sense from that in the Old Testament, was it not calculated to mislead his hearers thus to quote it? Is it rational and proper to suppose, that our Lord quoted texts from the Old Testa
ment, which speak altogether of a temporal punishment, when he intended that what he said about Gehenna or hell should be understood of eternal punishment? I think this would be imputing to our Lord 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 presentday, if he intended to prove the doctrine of hell torments, should quote from the Old Testament the passage about the three children thrown into the fiery furnace, as proof of it. But this is just what our Lord did, as we have seen, if Gehenna in the New Testament means the place of eternal misery. See on Matth. xxiii. 33, and Mark ix. 42. considered in the preceding section..
5th, If there be a place of endless misery for the wick-ed, is it not another remarkable fact that the Hebrew, Greek, and English languages originally had no name for this place? We have seen from Dr. Campbell, that: Gehenna does not occur in this sense in the Old Testament; that it is not a Greek word; that it is not found in the Septuagint, nor in the Grecian classics. It is originally a compound of the two Hebrew words gia enm, ge hinnom, the valley of Hinnom, a place near Jerusalem, of which we hear first in the book of Joshua xv. 8." Let us also see what he saysabout our English word hell. Speaking of Hades, in his 6th dissertation, he says:" 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 signification, was more adapted to express the sense of Hades 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 the 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 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 inthe western counties of England; to hele over a thing is to cover it."-The correctness of these statements are above suspicion; for, the fidelity of these men as writers, has led them to say things at variance with their professed creed as Christians. It is very evident, if they are to be believed, that our English, or Saxon word hell, did not originally signify a place of endless misery for the wicked, but like Hades or Sheol signified the unseen or concealed place; and that it has this meaning in some of the counties in England to this day. It is then a very plain case, that for this place of endless misery the Hebrew, Greek, and English languages did not originally furnish a name. We have then to ask, had the inspired writers any idea of such a place of misery? If they had, it is evident they wanted a name for it to express it to others. If they have not expressed it by any word to others, how does any man know that they entertained such an idea? We have seen persons use words to which they had no distinct ideas. And we have also seen persons having ideas, which they could not very easily express in appropriate language to others. But we believe it is a singular case, that the Bible is said to reveal a place of endless misery, yet the inspired writers had no name for it. It is surely