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scribed also the nature of its punishment, and the wretched condition of its inhabitants in a very cir cumstantial manner. There can be no reasonable objection brought against my speaking of it as a place, until such persons give up this mode of speaking about it themselves. 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 understand one another, and let them not blame me for speaking about it as they do themselves, until they have made this alteration.
2d, But, supposing the word state to be substituted for the word place, we ask, what advantage is gained in favour 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 Gehenna or hell in the New Testament does not teach the doctrine of endless misery. If 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 the subject, 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 this. We wish to know them.
4th, We have attempted to show, that Gehenna or hell, 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 common ideas entertained on this subject. This was rather a thing I could not avoid, than from any thing in my views which required such a mode of speaking in establishing them. Why then blame me for what they do themselves, and which their own views of this doctrine forces 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. 330. says " Heaven is to be considered a place, as well as a state; it is expressly so termed in Scripture. John xiv. 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 resurrection ?" I appeal to all the world, if hell is not as generally spoken of as a place, as heaven is. And substituting the word hell for heaven in this quotation, the same things may be said of the wicked, as is said of the righteous. I only ask in the language of this quotation-"Where will the bodies of the wicked exist after the resurrection," if hell be not a place? For all who believe this doc, trine say they are to be raised.
6th, The popular views of Gehenna or hell, not only represent it as a place, but the Bible is thought to countenance 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 objection 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 speaking of hell as a state but as a place?
It has been objected-" that the words of our Lord, Matth. xxiii. 33. to the unbelieving Jews were prophetic, and that by the damnation of hell, he might simply mean some punishment after death, without any reference to the place or the nature of the punishment." On this objec
tion we remark
1st, That it has been shown in considering this passage, p. 127. that our Lord's words are not a prediction, but simply 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 us any thing on this subject. If 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, let him produce some evidence of this. We think we have shown from this text and its context, that our Lord had no reference to a punishment after death, but to the temporal punishment coming on the Jewish nation. Let the objector disprove what we have said, and let him show from the context of this place, how his supposition can be supported from it. We may suppose any thing; but if unsupported by evidence, 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 Gehenna, by our Lord. Why he should think the punishment to be after death, and yet have any difficulty as to its location, or the nature of the punishment, we cannot conceive. 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 difficult to determine any thing from the Bible. If the punishment, of which our Lord spoke in this passage, be after death, it will not be difficult to show that every punishment mentioned in the Bible, is after death.
It is further objected-if the mere silence of the Old Testament concerning Gehenna being a place of endless misery is of any force against it, will 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
1st, 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 as hell torments should not be taught in the Old Testament.
2d, The objector proceeds on the presumption, that future existence and the resurrection of the dead, were doctrines not revealed under the Old Testament. But this he has got to prove before his objection can invalidate any thing which I have said, drawn from the silence of the Old Testament, to prove that Gehenna or hell is not a place of endless misery. If he proves, that a life of happiness after death, was unknown under the Old Testament, it is freely admitted, that my argument, drawn from its silence about fu ture 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 considerable force, in favour of the views which I have advanced.
3d, That both future existence and the resurrection of the dead were in some degree known under the old dispensation, 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 show, 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 used for heavenly blessedness, why may not also Gehenna, used in the Old Testament for temporal misery, 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 first 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? But 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 pun