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of fire, which is in this place also denominated the second death, is universally interpreted."

Concerning the usage of Hades in the apocalypse, Mr. Stuart says—" it is the genuine Sheol of the Hebrews; with the exception, perhaps, that the Hebrew sacred books have no where represented Hades as haying a king over it." I then ask, does John in this book say, that in Hades there is a Tartarus ? No. Why then did Mr. Stuart say above, “ that in the Hebrew Sheol there was a Tartarus ?" Does he know more about this than John did ? The reason, why the Hebrew sacred books, have no where represented Sheol or Hades as having a king over it, is obvious. This popular opinion, like many others derived from the heathen, was unknown to the ancient Hebrews. They knew of no king, God, or devil, who ruled in Sheol, or that it was a place of torment for the wicked.

Such are all the passages where Hades occurs in the New Testament. Let the reader now judge, what foundation they afford, for the doctrine, that Hades is a place of future punishment. In addition to the remarks, made on the general usage of Sheol above, we add here the following respecting Hades.

1st, It will not be disputed by any man, that what the Hebrew writers of the Old Testament expressed by the word Sheol, the Greeks expressed by the word Hades.

2d, But observe, that the heathen Greeks not only attached similar ideas to the word Hades, as the Hebrew writers did to the word Sheol, but also the additional idea, that in Hades persons were punished or rewarded, according to their merits or demerits in the present world. This punishment was by fire. This was their own addition ; for no such idea seems to be conveyed in all the Old Testament, by the word Sheol. The very circumstance, that Hades, and not Sheol, is represented as a place of torment, shows, that this doctrine is of heathen origin. Hades is a Greek word; and it is well known that Greek was the language of the heathen, and Hebrew that of the Jews. There is nothing then, but what we ought to expect, in the use of the term Hades in the New Testament. Besides, the Jews had blended many of the heathen notions with their own religion. If we then find the New Testament writers, in using the Greek word Hades, speak as if this was a place of punishment, it is easily accounted for without admitting that they believed any such thing, or wished to inculcate this doctrine as a part of divine revelation. But of this they have been very sparing; for only in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, can it be supposed there is any allusion to such an idea. All the other places where they use the term Hades, it is plain no such doctrine seems to be hinted at, but the reverse: In face of these facts and circumstances, and current usage of the word Hades, we think it would be well for persons to pause and reflect, before they attempt to establish the doctrine of future misery from the language of a parable. Universalist was obliged to establish his views from a parable, and in face of so much evidence to the contrary, he would be considered as driven to the last extremity for proof in support of his system, and that finally it must be abandoned as indefensible. But this parable is considered as the most plain and conclusive part of Scripture, in proof of a place of endless misery. It is considered more conclusive than all the passages which speak of Gehenna. What critics and orthodox commentators, give up as no proof of the doctrine, by the least informed, is considered as the very strongest.

3d, Since neither Sheol, Hades, nor hell, originally signified a place of endless misery, we have a few questions to put to those who believe in this doctrine. We ask, then, is it not a perversion of the divine oracles, to quote any

of the texts in which Sheol or Hades occurs, to

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prove it? It is well known, that such texts are often quoted for this purpose.

But I ask again, is it not a very great imposition upon the ignorant, to quote such texts in proof of this doctrine ? The simple, honesthearted English reader of his bible, has been taught from a child, that hell means a place of endless misery for the wicked. Every book he reads, every sermon he hears, all tend to deepen his early impressions, and confirm him in this opinion. Those who know better, are not much disposed to undeceive him. On the one hand, they are perhaps deterred from it by a false fear of disturbing public opinion, and on the other, by reluctance to encounter the odium of the Christian public, in being looked on

as hereties. Select the most celebrated preacher you can find, and let him frankly tell his audi- . ence, that Sheol, Hades, nor hell, originally meant a place of endless misery, and his celebrity is at an end. He would from that moment be considered as an heretic, and his former admirers would now be his warm opposers. But I ask again, and I solemnly put it to every man's conscience, who professes to fear God,--Ought not men to be honestly told the truth about this, let the consequences be what they may? Are we at liberty to pervert the scriptures in favor of any sect, or system in the world ? Must we be guilty of a pious fraud, in concealing from people what they ought to know, because the disclosure may excite popular prejudices against ourselves, and afford cause of suspicion that the doctrinę of endless misery is not true? If it be true, it can, and must be supported from other texts than those in which Sheol and Hades are used. Perhaps some may think, if all those texts are given up, some of the principal supports of the doctrine are removed. Well, allowing this true, would any one wish to retain them, but such as are determined to hold fast the doctrine of eternal misery at all hazards? It is a false system of religion, or those who embrace it do not know how to de


fend it, who wish to support it by perverting a single text of scripture. To found the doctrine of endless més ery on the texts which speak of Sheol or Hades, is building on the sand. When the building is assailed by reason and argument, and an appeal to the Bible, it must fall, if it has no better support. Even if it could be proved true from other texts, this is calculated to bring the doctrine into suspicion.

4th, The translators of our common English version, appear to have had more correct ideas about Sheol, Hades or hell, than most people who read their translation. They certainly were at some pains, to guard us against attaching to the word hell, the idea of a place of misery. In many places where they render Sheol and Hades by the word hell, they have put grave in the margin. Besides ; let it be remembered, that the word hell originally signified the same as Sheol and Hades. It was then the very best word they could use in rendering these two words. If men now have fixed a different sense to the word hell, the translators are not to blame. Admitting, that when our translation was made, it had acquired the sense of a place of endless misery, what could the translators do but use this word in rendering Sheol and Hades ? It meant the same as those words originally; and to prevent misunderstanding, they frequently put grave in the margin. They no doubt thought, that this, together with the context, was security against all misapprehension. Unfortunately this has not been the case. But no blame attaches to them, for they must in this case have either coined a new word, expressed themselves by a circumlocution, used always the word grave, or left these words untranslated. I am inclined to think, that if Sheol, Hades, Tartarus, and Gehenna, had been left untranslated, few persons would ever have thought, that by any of these words a place of misery after death was meant. Every reader would then have been obliged to consult the context, wherev

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er these words were used, to attain the sense of the writer. Obliged to do this, he would soon have become familiar with them, and must have seen, from the way in which they were used, that the idea of a place of future misery was never intended to be conveyed by them. Let

any one go over all the texts where these words are found, and put this remark to a fair trial. It is true, that our translators, in rendering the word Gehenna, have also used the word hell. But here again, what could they do, for this word had acquired a new sense, This new sense they supposed answered to the word Gehenna, the place of endless misery. Here they were under the necessity of either again coining a new word, leaving Gehenna untranslated, or expressing themselves by a circumlocution. We doubt if the translators were at liberty to do any of these, without shocking public prejudice, and exciting the displeasure of those in high authority, under whose patronage they made their translation. They were not left at liberty to give us the best translation, which their own judgments, and the progress of Biblical criticism, even at that day, could have afforded. In proof of this, see the king's instructions to the translators.

5th, Several very serious evils arise from understanding Sheol or Hades to mean a place of endless misery. In the first place, it is a perversion of those texts in which these words occur. This perversion of them leads to a misunderstanding of many others. By this means the knowledge such texts convey, is not only lost, but our knowledge of the Word of God is greatly retarded, and our minds are perplexed and embarrassed on other connected subjects. Every text of Scripture misunderstood, lays a foundation for a misunderstanding of others; and thus error is not only rendered perpetual but progressive. But this is not all. Understanding Sheol and Hades to mean a place of endless misery, is perverting God's word to caricature himself. It is putting

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