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above all things, exposed them to temporal calamities, instead of screening them from it. In short the apostles did just what Mr. B. supposes ministers of the present day would do, if they believed in the exposure of the heathen world to hell.— " They rushed into the hottest place of the battle and suffered every privation in the conflict.”
Since Mr. B. in this connexion, plies some of the thread-bare sneers against the missionary enterprise, I must here remark that the apostles were in the completest sense of the word, missionaries. They consecrated their lives to the conversion of the heathen. Now if their gospel was Universalism, and if the Universalists are the true successors of the apostles, why do we not now hear of universalist missions to the heathen ? If the universalist gospel be the same which Paul believed and preached, why does it not produce a similar spirit in its believers, and similar results on the world? Why does it not send abroad its evangelists to every heathen nation ? The temporal condition of the heathen is no better now,
than it was in the days of Paul. The call for the gospel is every way as great as it was then. And why do not Universalists copy the example of Paul and become missionaries to the heathen? I ask not, why they do not contribute to sustain orthodox missions, but why not plant those of their own? Why profess to hold the gospel as apostles held it, and to be their true and only successors in the world, and then both in theory and practice, denounce, yea, sneer at the very employment, by reason of which they were called apostles ? Are not universalist missions to the heathen in the nature of things impossible ? And is not here proof enough that theirs is a system at war with the gospel? Suppose the universalist congregations were called upon to aid in establishing and supporting missions. What effectual motive could be brought to bear upon them? Tell them of the immoralities and temporal wretchedness of the heathen, most of them would have sense enough to know within themselves, that Universalism would not greatly tend to improve their morals.
And over against any possible innprovement of temporal condition, they would set the dangers and
sacrifices to be encountered in relieving them by the tardy process of gospel illumination. But suppose a Universalist undertakes the work with the zeal and self-denial of a Paul. On his first entrance upon his field of labor, he is met by the question-Why are you so much in earnest and enduring so much to induce us to embrace your religion? By your own showing we are safe enough as to the future world without it. You answer—My object is to make you so much the happier in this world. It is replied— The advantage which you offer us then, is the advantage of enduring persecutions. On this hypothesis, the early christians would have replied to Paul-If all the advantages which you offer us are included in what christians are here seen to enjoy, the advantage of being hunted like wild beasts, persecuted, afflicted, tormented as they are, to use your own phrase, and if the conduct in this life do not affect the life to come, we wish for no christianity. Such a reply would have been enough to silence every attempt to convert the world from paganism to Universalism. And so such a conversion is not in the nature of things possible. Shall we yield to the pretence that Universalism is primitive christianity ? the religion which induced the apostles to spill their blood in the cause of mission, while Universalism takes the lead in enmity to the work of missions to the heathen?
His 4th objection, that though the Old Testament is often quoted in the New, it is never quoted to show that hell is a place of eternal misery, is harmless and shall not be harmed.
Obj. 5. "If there be a place of endless misery, another remarkable fact is, that the Hebrew, Greek and English, originally had no name for this place.” Remarkable fact indeed! There was a time when these languages had no name for any thing, but things existed then. The Hebrew language in the same sense may be said originally to have had no name for heaven. Is this too, a remarkable fact to prove that there is no place of happiness beyond the grave ? Or was that word chans ged from its original meaning by divine or human author
Obj, 6. " 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 the place of endless misery.” If such a childish objection as this will have the impudence to show itself, it shall have the mortification of answering itself. For I know of none concerned to answer it.
Obj. 7." Another fact deserving some notice is, that the punishment of gehenna is never once spoken of as a place of punishment for the spirit separate from the body in an intermediate state nor as a punishment for both body and spirit after the resurrection.” Ans. It is spoken of as a place of everlasting punishment for men. And I'see not how the absence of these particulars about body or spirit affects the question. Have it of the spirit or body or both, it is a place of a fire that never shall be quenched.
Obj. 8. "Closely connected with the last fact, is another, that the learned men seem to believe in two places of future punishment, and the common people only in one.” Suppose it be so.
This does not prove that there is no place of punish
Here is another pitiful quibble, unworthy of a man who pretends to reason.
Obj. 9. “ Another fact is, we read of the sea, death and hades delivering up the dead, which are in them, yet we never read of gehenna delivering up anything, dead or alive.” And there is a good reason why we do not. Gehenna is a place of everlasting punishment, and there is no deliverance from it. Hades as the place of the dead not as the place of the punishment, is represented as yielding up the dead in it. But gehenna never being used in the general sense of a place of the dead, there is no occasion for speaking of delivering up its inmates.
Obj. 10. “That none of the original words translated everlasting in the common version are connected with gehenna or hell.” What does the man mean? Is not in Matt. 18 everlasting fire used interchangeably for hell fire or gehenna fire ? And is not this a connexion of gehenna with the word everlasting? That
the expression, eternal hell, does not appear in the Bible is a fact and for a good reason : for gehenna was a name for a punishwent known to be eternal, and the addition of that word was superfluous. Besides, the eternity of the punishment in gehenna is sufficiently asserted in other connections, and the fact that that word is not used in that connection proves nothing.
Obj. 11. “In the common language of most christians, you find heaven as the place of blessedness for the righteous, spoken of in contrast with gehenna or hell as the place of endless misery for the wicked.” Ans. Now if most christiars use improper language in this particular, I see not but they must reform their vocabulary. But what does this prove as to the question of the meaning of gehenna in the bible ?
Obj. 12. “ It is common with orthodox preachers to represent hell as a place of endless torments for the wicked, and speak of persons being tormented there by the devil and his angels.” Indeed! it is common to speak of devils and wicked men as being in the same place of punishment! O tempora ! O mores!! Orthodox preachers have become so wicked as to copy the very language of Jesus Christ—Depart ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his ans gels.
I have thus quoted seriatim two strings of Mr. B.'s objections, amounting to 16 in all, not because there was one of them which I would not be willing to have stand unanswered, but that my readers who have never read his learned works, may have some idea of the kind of argumentation, by which he makes out his results. I shall make no reliance on the arguments drawn from the Targums to prove that in the days of Christ the Jews used gehenna in the sense of hell, though I deem it of itself conclusive. Because I conceive that that point has been already made out by examination of passages from the New Testament. And because a full and satisfactory statement of that argument, would occupy more space than the relative importance of the question would justify. His section devoted to answering objections I shall not notice, because I choose to have the framing of my own objections to his system, in preference to those
which he has constructed, for the ease of answering. I leave the question now whether gehenna does not mean a place of punishment in the future world to the reader's decision.
The idea of a place of punishment in the future world is inculcated in the New Testament in passages where neither of the words above considered, is used. Rev. 19: 20. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him—these both were cast into a lake of fire, burning with brimstone. Rev.20: 10. And the devil that deceived them was cast into a lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever. And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it from whose face the earth and the heaj. ens fled away. And I saw the dead, small and great stand before God, and the books were opened, and another book was opened, which is the book of life, and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books according to their works. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life, was cast into a lake of fire. Rev. 21: 8. But the fearful and unbelieving and the abominable and murderers and whoremongers and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars shall have their part in a lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. To these may be added those passages which speak of casting into a furnace of fire, where shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth-into outer darkness where shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. These passages need no comment. Let the reader take them in their connection and judge for himself
, whether they relate to scenes before or af ter death,