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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 present. day, if he intended to prove the doctrine of hell torments, should quote from the Old Testament the sage 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. Seeon 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 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."-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
then a very proper question to be asked, who changed. the words Gehenna and hell from their original signification, to mean a place of endless misery? We shall see in the next section that the writers of the Targums and the Apocrypha, are appealed to for this change, that this change was gradually produced, and finally Gehenna was used exclusively to mean such a place of misery. Who gave this new sense to the word bell, or whether its change of sense was gradual or sudden, I can afford no information. It is enough for us to know, that this was not its original signification; and this fact is attested by Dr. Campbell, Parkhurst and others, all firm believers in the doctrine of bell torments.
After these statements from such eminent critics relative to Gehenna and our English word hell, not originally signifying a place of endless misery it is very natural to put something like the following questions. 1st, Were these words changed from their original signification by divine authority or was it on the authority of men? None of the above authors assert or even insinuate that such a change in the meaning of these words was made by any of the inspired writers, or by God's authority. It has never been noticed in the course of our reading that any one ventured to prove this or even asserted it. As to the word Gehenna, we have seen that Dr. Campbell says it came gradually to be used in this sense and at length came to be confined to it. 2d, By whom, and at what period of time, did this change in the sense of these two words take place? Here we are left to conjecture; for neither Dr. Campbell, nor any other writer, of which we have any knowledge, gives us any information about this. That a change in the sense of these two words has taken place, is certain, but when, or where, or by whom it was done, no in formation is afforded us. 3d, By what name was this
place of endless misery called, before the Jews called it by the name Gehenna? And what was its name in the English, or rather Saxon language, before the word hell was changed from its original signification and applied to it? Or was it without a name before these words were altered in sense to suit it? 4th, If it had a name before Gehenna and hell were changed in sense, 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 the Scriptures teach, if indeed they do reveal such a place of endless misery? 5th, If Gehenna and hell have undergone such a change of sense, on mere human authority, may we not, and ought we not, to change them back again to their original signification, on the same authority?-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 readers 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 phraseology used about Sheol and Hades, rather than Gehenna, though it is contended that Gehenna is the word which signifies hell, or the place of endless misery. I shall explain what I mean. For example, it is evident from an inspection of the passages, in which Sheol, Hades and Gehenna 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. Neither do we read of the gates of Gehenna, nor of the pains of Gehenna. All these things are said of Sheol and Hades, as we have seen in a former part of this Inquiry. Besides, no representations are
given of Gehenna, as of Sheol and Hades, as if all the dead, or, even the wicked were 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. No: it is represented as on a level, or nearly so, with the persons addressed concerning it. All these, and other modes of speaking, are used about Sheol and Hades, but never in speaking of Gehenna; and show a remarkable difference in the Scripture representations of those two places. Such a marked, uniform difference must strike every man's mind with great force, who takes the trouble to examine this subject. In all the twelve places, in which Gehenna occurs in the New Testament, we have seen 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 do we ever read of any person's being in it, and lifting up his eyes in the torments of this place? Now, comparing all these different forms of speech, about Sheol and Hades, with those of Gehenna, the difference is not only manifest, but very great.
Let us now compare these statements with the way in which Christians speak about hell, or the place of future punishment. It is evident, that they seldom, if ever, use the language employed 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 the punishment of it, he speaks of it as a deep place, as the lowest hell, and as a place to which they are going down; and speaks of some already there, lifting up their eyes in its torments. All this we have seen, is said of Sheol and Hades, but never