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be involved, for nothing but fidelity to him and obedience to his instructions, could save them from it.

5th, Is it objected—“to destroy both soul and body in Gehenna, seems to intimate something more than this.” But if it does, it intimates annihilation, or the total destruction of the whole man. But surely no one thinks, by destroying both soul and body in Gehenna, more can be meant, than—" the damnation of hell Gehenna” Math. xxiii. 33, which was threatened the unbelieving Jews. Did this mean annihilation; No. Did it mean endless punishment in a future state ? No, for we have shewn from the context, it evidently meant the temporal punishment coming on the Jewish nation. Who can suppose, our Lord threatened his own disciples, with a worse punishment than the unbelieving Jews ?

James iii. 6, “and the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell (Gehenna).”. Dr. Campbell thinks, the term Gehenna is here used figuratively. He observes, it is—“ the intention of the writer, to draw an illustration of the subject from that state of perfect wretchedness." But why forget, that before any illustration could be drawn from Gehenna, as a place of endless misery, by a Jew or any one else, it must first be known as a place of perfect wretchedness. But by Dr. Campbell's own showing, no Jew could learn this from the old Testament. The term Gehenna is not used in the old Testament to designate a place of endless punishment. Nor are the words sheol or hades used in this sense, as we have seen above. James, could not draw an illustration of any subject then, from such a place of future punishment, nor ought this to be asserted, until it is proved he knew of such a place, as a place of wretchedness.

James was a Jew, and wrote to believing Jews,

Now, no place to a Jew, conveyed an idea of more perfect wretchedness than the valley of Hinnom. Professor Stuart says " we cannot wonder, then, at the severe terms in which the worship of Moloch is every where denounced in the scriptures. Nor can we wonder that the place itself should have been called Tophet, i. e. abomination, detestation (from tup to vomit with loathing.)” Such a place of perfect wretchedness was Gehenna, that he and others alledge, it was made a source of imagery to designate hell or the world of woe. Hence he says" what could be a more appropriate term than this, when we consider the horrid cruelties and diabolical rites which had been there performed.” Which then is most likely the truth ? that James drew an illustration from hell in another world, a place unknown, or, from the valley of Hinnom, a place well known as a place of perfect wretchedness. He is here speaking of evils arising from an improper use of the tongue; and to draw an illustration from the valley of Hinnom, was both natural and proper, as it was the most abominable place known to Jews. Surely, it is as difficult to conceive, how the tongue could be set on fire from hell in another world, as from the valley of Hinnom in the present world.

We have now considered all the texts in the New Testament, which speak of Gehenna punishment. We have two or three additional remarks to make, on the whole of them. 1st, If these texts, do not refer to the same punishment, predicted by Jeremiah to the Jewish nation, then our Lord never reminded the Jews, that such a punishment had been threatened them. If he spoke of this punishment at all to them, he must speak of it under the imagery of Gehenna, for under this imagery it was described by the Prophet. It will not be pretended, that this punishment had been inflicted on the Jewish nation, previous to the days of our Lord. Fidelity to the unbelieving Jews, and love to his own

disciples, required he should frequently speak of it, for this punishment was nigh even at the door. The texts which speak of Gehenna punishment, agree to this view of the subject. Their contexts, the persons addressed about Gehenna, and the phraseology used, are all in unison with it. But, it requires the prejudice of education, that Gehenna means hell, the world of woe, and a great stretch of construction to make them apply to this view of Gehenna.

2d, It is asserted, Gehenna was such an abominable place, that in process of time, it was made an emblem of the endless punishment of the wicked in a future state. But if it was so abominable, as to be made an emblem of this, it ought to have been made so in the days of the Old Testament writers; for it was then the most cruel sacrifices were made in the valley of Hinnom, and the most horrid abominations were committed. After the Babylonian captivity, the Jews were cured of idolatry. But during the days of the prophets, no one ever thought, of making Gehenna, the valley of Hinnom, an emblem of hell, the world of woe. And yet, during this period, the prophet Jeremiah, did make Gehenna an emblem of temporal punishment to the Jewish nation. If Gehenna, in the days of its greatest abomination, was not made an emblem of the world of woe by inspired writers, but of temporal punishment to the Jews, why should it be made an emblem of this, when it was far less abominable, and that too by uninspired writers ? If God did not see fit, to make it an emblem of hell, the world of woe, when at its height of abomination, who had a right on their own authority, to make it so afterwards ?

3d, But it must first be proved, that God in the Old Testament had revealed such a hell, such a world of woe, before we ought to believe, Gehenna was made an emblem of it. I demand then that the texts be produced, which teaches such a world of woe. Where is

when no

such a world described by the name Gehenna, or by any other name? I cannot find it. Mr. Stuart tried to find it under the name Sheol, but his attempt to establish this, was a total failure. I appeal then to every candid man, how could any Old Testament writer, make Gehenna an emblem of a world of woe, such world was known to him ?

4th, The Jews in after ages, derived their notions of punishment in a world of woe from the heathen, and to this the term Gehenna was applied. But both the place, and the sense given to Gehenna, are of human invention. They are alike unknown in the Old Testament writings. Nor are they to be found in the New, when it is correctly understood. Let the reader judge, if the passages which speak of Gehenna, teach any such doctrine, for they have all been laid before him.

Such are all the texts in which the word Gehenna is used by the New Testament writers, and such are the remarks which have occurred to me in my examination of them. According to every just rule of Scripture interpretation I am acquainted with, I do not see how I could have interpreted them differently. Indeed, to me it is surprising, how the doctrine of eternal misery was ever founded on any of the texts which speak of Gehenna or hell. If I am correct, it also affords a striking example, how far we may be misled, in a proper understanding of the Scriptures, by attaching to a single word a sense different from that given it by the inspired writers. How far I am correct, my readers must judge for themselves. I hope they will, on the one hand, guard against receiving my error if it be one, and on the other, beware of rejecting my view, if true, from prejudices of education. Under the influence of these prejudices, I began to examine this subject, and have been obliged to relinquish my former views of Gehenna, from the force of the evidence I have already stated, and which I have yet to adduce on this subject.

to its

If my views of Gehenna are found correct, it is also a striking proof, how far we may be misled, in a proper understanding of the New Testament, from our inattention to the Old. If the word Gehenna in the New, is used in a similar sense as in the Old Testament, all the false views we have had of the texts in which it occurs in the former, have arisen from our inattention usage

in the latter. Before closing this section, it is proper to notice any objections which have occurred against the sense given to Gehenna, in the passages we have been considering. 1st, One of the most popular objections likely to be urged, is, that the sense I have given to Gehenna is very contrary to the long established ecclesiastical use of this word. This is frankly admitted ; but certainly this is no certain evidence that my views are incorrect. In the present case, I have done no more than what is done by Presbyterians, Hopkinsians, Congregationalists, Baptists, Methodists, yea, by all sects in religion. That the ecclesiastical use of some words is


different from the Scripture usage of them, few will deny. That they are different, and also how little we ought to regard the ecclesiastical use of words when contrary to Scripture usage of them, we here quote the authority of Dr. Campbell. He says, p. 416. of his disertations,—“ecclesiastical use is no security that the word, though it be understood, conveys to us the same idea which the original term did to those to whom the gospels were first promulgated. In a former dissertation, the fullest evidence has been given, that in regard to several words, the meaning which has been long established by ecclesiastic use, is very different from that which they have in the writings of the New Testament."

It is easily seen from this quotation, and more fully from the other dissertation to which he refers, that he did not scruple to disclaim the ecclesiastical use of words, if that use did not agree with New Testament usage.

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