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ments, how are we to account for their silence about it? I think I may be allowed also to ask, how are we to account for the difference between their preaching and that of modern preaching about hell torments, and that too from this very parable ? I confess my inability to account for these things, if this parable teaches the doctrine that Hades is a place of torment. I can account for both if this is not true.
Though most readers of the bible build their faith on this parable, as to the place, and the nature of future punishment; yet the learned know, and as we have seen, confess, that Hades is to be destroyed. This we have seen from Hosea xiii. 14. 1 Cor. xv. 55. and also from quotations made from Dr. Campbell and others, above. Dr. Whitby, as we have seen, denies that Hades is a receptacle of souls. Gehenna is contended for by Dr. Campbell and others, as the place of eterual punishment. That Gehenna and Hades are not the same place, I shall show, afterwards, I think, to the satisfaction of every candid man.
. All then which any person can draw from this parable, is, that Hades is a place of punishment in an intermediate state, but not of endless duration. This was sufficiently evident from our first remarks. Whether the additional observations made, prove the incorrectness of this common opinion, it is not for me to decide. How the fallacy of my observations is to be shown, and the common opinion established by rational evidence, my present degree of knowledge does not enable me to perceive. Besides, how the statements, and the evidence produced by the above critics, can ever be reconciled with the doctrine commonly drawn from this parable, must be left for others to determine. It is far above my powers to attempt such a reconciliation.
Math. xvi. 18. is the next passage in which Hades occurs. Upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." All that need be said on this passage, Dr. Campbell furnishes us with. He says," it is by death, and by it only, the spirit enters into Hades. The gates of Hades is therefore a very natural periphrasis for death. To say then that the gates of Hades shall not prevail against the church, is in other words to say, it shall never die, it shall never be extinct." See Dissert. vi. sect. 17.
There is only one remark I would make, in passing, on this quotation from the Dr. He says, “it is by death, and by it only, the spirit enters into Hades.” We do not recollect a single text where it is said the spirit enters into Hades. It is said the Saviour's soul was not left in Hades. But we shall attempt to show afterwards that the scriptures make a distinction between soul and spirit, and though the soul is represented as in Hades, yet the spirit is never so represented. Indeed we have seen from Whitby's quotation on Acts ii. 27. that he denies Hades to have been considered a receptacle of souls by the Old Testament writers. If it was, it is evident from the scripture usage of the word Sheol, that it was not a receptacle of souls, where any of them were tormented.
Luke x. 15. comes next to be considered. “And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shall be thrust down to hell." See the parallel text, Math. si. 23. which I need not transcribe. Here again, Dr. 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 be. come 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, should 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 a 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 believed 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 mis. ery. 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 mạn, 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.
ist, 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 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 signify 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