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shall submit for candid consideration the following observations:

1st, Let it be noticed, that the rich man is not represented as in Gehenna, but in Hades. It is contended by Dr. Campbell and others, that Gehenna, not Hades, is the place of endless misery for the wicked, and that the punishment of Gehenna does not take place till after the resurrection of the dead; yca,

it is contended, that Hades, the place in which the rich man is here said to be, is to be destroyed. It is very evident then, that whoever contends for this person's being actually in a place of torment, must allow, that it is not to be of endless duration. But, I ask those who advocate the torment to be a reality, first to prove, the person tormented in Hades to be not a parabolic person, before they draw the conclusion that the torment is not a parabolic torment. The first must be proved, before the last can be admitted; for a person must exist before he can be tormented in any place. If the person mentioned is a real being and the torment he complains of a reality, and not a fictitious or parabolic representation, we have a right to demand why every thing in this account, is not considered a narrative of facts, and not a parable ?

But letting such persons have this parable all their own way, on their own principles, it does not prove endless misery. All that they can possibly draw from it is, that Hades is an intermediate place of punishment between death and the resurrection; and that then, according to their own account, this place is to be destroyed. Supposing then that I should grant all they desire, they must allow, that this parable does not say a word about a place of endless misery. I might here close my remarks on this parable, as it has no bearing on the subject of our investigation. But I proceed to observe,

2. That whatever place Hades is, in which the rich man is here represented as in torment, it is very evident that Abraham and Lazarus were also in Hades. Though spoken of as at some distance from each other, yet they were within sight and hearing, and could converse together. The one is not represented as in heaven and the other in hell. No; they are represented as in the same place and on a level with each other. Every one knows, how very different this representation is from the common ideas entertained about the place of punishment, and the place of happiness in our day. Do you ever hear Christians speak as if both righteous and wicked were in the same place after death? The very reverse of this is the case. But,

3d, If people will interpret a part of this parable literally, to suit their own religious opinions, we insist, that they go through with a literal interpretation. If it is maintained, that Hades was to this man a place of torment, they must allow, that literal fire was ihe cause of it. This we believe some are consistent enough to maintain. They must also admit, that his body was tormented in Hades, and, that he believed a drop of water would give some ease to his torment. It must be granted, that while tormented in the flames of Hades, he could see, and hear, and hold conversation with Abraham, &c. But in these, and other things, the literal sense is abandoned, and the part only which speaks of bis torment, ts literally interpreted. But we have a right to ask why this is done? Who gave any man the privilege to cull out a circumstance from this parable, and consider it a literal fact, and view all the other parts as mere fiction, to fill up the body of the parable? Let us be informed, upon scriplural and rational principles, why this man was not tormented in his body in Hades, and why all that is said is not to be as literally understood as this one

circumstance? The reason of this I think is obvious, This part of the parable so interpreted, does very well to support the popular idea, ihat the wicked go to hell at death, and are tormented in this place. But every

candid man must allow that this is a very strange and arbitrary mode of interpreting parables ; yea, any part of the Bible. Give me leave thus to interpret the Bible, and I pledge myself to prove almost any thing from it. Until rational and scriptural rules of interpretation are adopted, it is in vain we attempt correctly to understand it, or that ever people shall be agreed about what it reveals. If men only exercised the same rationality and common sense in interpreting the Bible, that they do in understanding human writings, the diversity of opinion in religion would decrease greatly.

4th, Interpreting this parable literally, we cannot blame the Roman Catholics to claim it as a proof of the doctrine of purgatory. It might be urged, that in this place the rich man was brought to repentance, felt sorry for his past sins, and was deeply concerned for the welfare of his brethren he had left in the world. This he showed by his requesting one to be sent from the dead, to warn them lest they should come into this place of torment. But we have always understood, that there is no compassion among the damned in hell, nor any desire that others should avoid the same misery. But here the rich man is represented as very solicitous that his five brethren should escape this place of torment. We are aware that it has been said that his solicitude arose, not from any desire he had for their good, but that his own misery might not be increased, by their persisting in the wicked courses, of which, he, while in this world, had set them the example. But this is a mere gratuitous assumption, for the parable affords no evidence of this. His brethren's personal good, is

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5th, All know, or at least ought to know, that the. s place imagery, or the language of parables, was never in

tended to be interpreted literally. This every sensible commentator allows to be correct in interpreting other parables. Why then interpret the language of the one before us literally? A parable, like a fable, is designed to impress on the mind, ii a' pleasing manner, some important truth. What man in his senses ever supposed that the language of a fable was intended to be interpreted literally? It is the moral lesson to be taught, which is of any importance, and the fable is only a pleasing mode of inculcating the moral. Great care, we think, is necessary in interpreting parables; and the utmost caution should be observed, in reasoning from them, to establish any particular doctrine of Christianity. The occasion of them ought to be strictly attended to, and the object the writer had in view by them. Without this, parables may be made to ieach any thing, and every thing, as fancy may dictate.

Perhaps it may be asked," what then is the important truth our Lord intended to leach by this parable ?" This I think may be learned from verse 31st.. -“If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither would they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” T'he parable was spoken to the unbelieving

Jews, who enjoyed the writings of Moses and the aware? prophets. They, as a people, owned such persons to

be sent of God. If their writings did not persuade that wicked generation to believe, and turn from their evil ways, one sent from the dead would not effect these things in them. Such a person could come with no greater authority, nor give them any more assurance of the truth of God, than they had from Moses and the prophets. Jesus, who spoke this parable, did.

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circumstance? The reason of this I think is obvious, This part of the parable so interpreted, does very well to support the popular idea, that the wicked go to hell at death, and are tormented in this place. But every

candid man must allow that this is a very strange and arbitrary mode of interpreting parables; yea, any part of the Bible. Give me leave thus to interpret ihe Bible, and I pledge myself to prove

almost any thing from it. Until rational and scriptural rules of interpretation are adopted, it is in vain we attempt correctly to understand it, or that ever people shall be agreed about what it reveals. If men only exercised the same rationality and common sense in interpreting the Bible, that they do in understanding human writings, the diversity of opinion in religion would decrease greatly.

4th, Interpreting this parable literally, we cannot blame the Roman Catholics to claim it as a proof of the doctrine of purgatory. It might be urged, that in this place the rich man was brought to repentance, felt sorry for his past sins, and was deeply concerned for the welfare of his brethren he had left in the world. This he showed by his requesting one to be sent from the dead, to warn them lest they should come into this place of torment. But we have always understood, that there is no compassion among

the damned in hell, nor any desire that others should avoid the same misery. But here the rich man is represented as very solicitous that his five brethren should escape this place of torment. We are aware that it has been said that his solicitude arose, not from any desire he had for their good, but that his own misery might not be increased, by their persisting in the wicked courses, of which, he, while in this world, had set then the example. But this is a mere gratuitous assumption; for the parable affords no evidence of this. ' His brethren's personal good, is

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