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believe his assertions, are a disgrace to religion; and if they are any honour to him, he is welcome to all the honour 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


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. Both words appear to have been used to express the grave or state of the dead.

2d, But observe, that the heathen Greeks seem 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 allowed conclusive.

If the Jews did not imbibe the idea, that Hades was a place of punishment, from the heathen, let it be shown from what source the Jews derived this information. They attached no such idea to the word Sheol, nor does the Old Testament contain such information. The doctrine must either be 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 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 with most people this parable is considered as the most plain and conclusive part of Scripture, in proof of a place of · endless misery. It is by people generally considered as

a much more conclusive proof of a place of eternal punishment in a future state, than any, or even 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 proof that this is the doctrine of scripture. Here, say they, is a person actually in a future state, and said to be “ tormented in this flame.” In fact, common readers of the Bible are not to blame in drawing such a conclusion ; for this passage has more plausibility in proving the doctrine, than all other texts put together. . Those teachers who know better, are to blame in not attempting, at least, to correct such wrong views entertained on this subject.

3d, Since neither Sheol nor Hades, nor even the word hell, in English, 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 Shcol or Hades occurs, to 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, honest-hearted English reader of his Bible, sees the word hell often used by the sacred writers. He 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 about such mistaken views and wrong impressions. 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 heretics. Select the most celebrated preacher you can find, and let him frankly and fully tell his audience, that neither Sheol, nor Hades, nor even our word hell, did, originally, mean 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 most 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 and plainly 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 prejudice against ourselves, and afford cause of suspicion that the doctrine 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 endless misery at all hazards? It is a false system of religion, or those who embrace it do not know how to defend it, who wish to support it by perverting a single text of scripture. To found the doctrine of endless misery 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 endless 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 have affixed 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, as we have seen, frequently put grave in the margin. They no doubt thought that this, together with the context, was security enough 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 in the common version, very few, if any, would ever have thought that by any of these words a place of future eternal misery was meant,

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