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Campbell furnishes all that is necessary to be said on these passages. In the above quoted Dissertation, he thus writes," as the city of Capernaum was never literally raised to heaven, we have no reason to believe that it was to be literally brought down to Hades. But as by the former expression we are given to understand that it was to become a flourishing and splendid city, or, as some think, that it had obtained great spiritual advantages; so by the latter, that it should be brought to the lowest degree of abasement and wretchedness." But how often has this passage been quoted to prove that Capernaum, and all who have abused great privileges, shall be brought down to a place of endless misery. Indeed this is the common use which is made of this passage, even in the present day. It is certainly to be regretted, that if the doctrine of endless misery can be fairly proved true from the Scriptures, that men should thus quote and misapply texts in its support.
Rev. i. 18. is the next passage." I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold I am alive for evermore, amen; and have the keys of hell and of death." This Jesus said of himself. That Hades or hell here simply means the state of the dead, we think none will dispute. This is the same hell in which the Saviour's soul was not left, and considered above on Acts ii. 27. and Psalm xvi. 10. The expression, "keys of hell or Hades," appears to be in allusion to the ancient custom of inducting a person into office by delivering him a key. The steward of the family had the keys of the house committed to him, and he had power over it, to manage its temporal concerns. Peter had the keys of the kingdom of heaven given him, or power to open it, as we find he did on the day of Pentecost, to the Jews, and afterwards to the Gentiles, in the house of Cornelius. Jesus proved that he had the keys of Hades and of death, by his rising from
the dead, or that he had power over death and the grave. But all know that this text has been often quoted to show that Jesus has the keys of hell or the place of endless misery, and can shut up whom he pleases in it. What is it men may not prove from. the Bible, if quotations made from it at this random rate are admitted as evidence?
Rev. vi. 8. comes next to be noticed.“ And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was death, and hell followed with him." It is beyond all fair debate, that Hades follows death to all men, whether good or bad. Death brings all men to Hades, or the house appointed for all the living. But does death bring any persons to Gehenna? No; we may challenge the whole world to produce a text, in which it is said that any, good or bad, go to Gehenna at death. But we all know that it is believ ed by most people, that at death the wicked go to. hell, and by this is meant a place of endless misery. Not a word of this is true; for Hades, and not Gehenna, follows death; and we think it has been proved that Hades is not a place of endless misery. After what has been said on the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, we must receive some new light on the subject, before we can believe it to be a place of any misery at all. If it can be proved to be a place of endless misery, or even a place of temporary punishment, we shall give the evidence of this a candid and careful consideration. See Chap. ii. about Gehenna.
Rev. xx. 13, 14. is the last passage in which Hades occurs in the New Testament." And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death." As I have considered this text in a separate Inquiry into the import of the
expressions, "lake of fire," and "second death," I shall only make a few brief remarks on this passage here, so far as the term Hades or hell requires attention.
1st, The first remark on this passage, I make, is— that one of two things must be abandoned as unscriptural, by those who believe in the doctrine of eternal misery. They must either give up the idea that Hades or hell is a place of eternal misery, or that the lake of fire is. To say that both are places of eternal misery, makes the Bible speak of two such places; and at the period of which John speaks, it makes him say that hell is cast into hell, or one place of eternal misery, is cast into another place of eternal misery. I am not disposed to believe that John ever used such inconsistent language. On this passage, Dr. Campbell, in the above quoted Dissertation, thus writes: "indeed, in this sacred book, the commencement, as well as the destruction of this intermediate state, are so clearly marked, as to render it almost impossible to mistake them. In a preceding chapter, vi. 8. we learn that Hades follows close at the heels of death; and from the other passage quoted, that both are involved in one common ruin at the universal judgment. Whereas, if we interpret Hades hell, in the Christian sense of the word, the whole passage is rendered nonsense. Hell is represented as being cast into hell: for so the lake of fire, which is in this place also denominated the second death, is universally interpreted." I shall only here remark, that while the Dr. and others clearly prove that neither Sheol nor Hades signifies this place of endless misery, all he advances in proof that Gehenna and the lake of fire refer to it, is only bare assertion. It is very easy to prove any thing, if assertions are to be considered proof; but this will not do in the present day. The Bible was never more critically examined than it is now. The
man who thinks his assertions are proof on any subject of religion, may find, and he ought to find, that they are just good for nothing. The persons who believe his assertions, are a disgrace to religion; and if they are any honour to him, he is welcome to all the honcur such converts to implicit faith can confer upon him.
2d, Instead of Hades or hell being here represented as a place of torment to others, itself is here spoken of as being destroyed; and before this takes place, it is said to deliver up all the dead which are in it. It is very evident that Hades here simply means the grave. But, having fully considered this passage in another Inquiry, and these remarks being sufficient to show that Hades does not mean a place of endless misery, we give it no further attention.
These are all the passages in which the New Testament writers use the word Hades, and which is once translated grave, and ten times hell in the common version. We think all must admit, that it is never used to express a place of endless misery; and some evidence has been given that it is never used to express a place of punishment of any kind. In connexion with the remarks made on the word Sheol, I shall add the following here.
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 scemed not only to have 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 was their own addition; for no such idea seems to be conveyed in all the Old Testament, by the word Sheol. The
evidence of this adduced above, we think will be al lowed conclusive. If the Jews did not imbibe the idea, that Hades was a place of punishment, from the beathen, let it be shown from what source they derived this information. The doctrine must be either from heaven or of men. I have attempted to prove that it is not from heaven. It becomes those who believe it, to show that it is not of men, or cease from believing it, and from quoting the texts in which Sheol and Hades occur, in proof of it. The very circumstance, that only Hades, and not Sheol, is represented as a place of torment, shows in part, 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. It was a Greek word, and this additional idea attached to it was in familiar use among the Jews as well as Greeks. 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 any such 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. If a Universalist was to attempt to establish his views from the language of a