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is there any proof that Gehenna was used in such a sense, before the time of the Saviour. Jesus would not employ the word in a sense to which the people were altogether unaccustomed ; and, therefore, it is more than probable, that he did not use the word to signify a place of punishment in the future state. At any rate, we must believe that he did not, until we see evidence to the contrary. We know that quotations are sometimes made from the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan Ben Uzziel, to show that Gehenna had been employed in the time of Christ to signify endless misery ; but these Targums are now generally referred, by the learned critics, to a much later date. If any person will produce a passage, in which Gehenna is applied to punishment in the future state, from any writer who is known to have lived before the time of Christ, or even contemporaneously with the Saviour, we will acknowledge, that there is an argument in favor of such an application of the term, which as yet we have never


But again; is it certain that the Saviour intended to refer to the principle, which is called the immortal spirit of man? "Fear not them which kill the body (σua), but are not able to kill the soul (uz)." Is it certain the Saviour here referred to that immortal part of man, which is to survive the ravages of death? We want proof, if we are called on to admit this. We know that the Greek term yuz does very frequently signify mere animal life. Thus, Matt. ii. 10; "They are dead which sought the young child's life." Did they seek its immortal spirit, or did they seek to destroy its earthly being? Again; "Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat," &c. "Is not the life more than meat?" Matt. vi. 25. Here the term evidently does not signify any thing more than mere animal existence. What circumstance is it, then, which makes it so certain as some imagine it to be, that yuz, in Matt. x. 28, and Luke xii. 4, 5, signify the ever-living principle? We think there is room for great doubt on that point.

But, in still further confirmation of what we have said, let it be observed, that the sacred writers make a clear distinction between yuz, the life, and яrεčμα, the spirit. The spirit, revua, is never said to be destroyed in Gehenna. We challenge the world to produce an instance of the kind. Paul says, "I pray God your whole spirit (su), and soul (uz), and body (ou), be preserved blameless, unto the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Thess. v. 23. Here ψυχὴ is plainly distinguished from πνεῦμα. See also Heb. iv. 12. "For the word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit." Here yuz and лvμ are plainly distinguished again. If yuz signifies the immortal spirit, what is the aуεйμα? We beg, that it may be specially remembered, that we read of casting the body into Gehenna, and of destroying the yuz, life, in Gehenna; but the word vεvμa is not mentioned once in connexion with Gehenna in the whole Bible. Strange! strange! if the immortal spirit is doomed to be punished in Gehenna forever! *

If the foregoing remarks have been duly considered, the reader will see, that it is by no means probable, that Jesus spoke the words in Matt. x. 28, for the purpose of teaching the doctrine of endless misery

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Various explanations of this passage have been given by Universalists. We do not think it necessary to ad

duce them here.

The reader is referred, for the opinion presented by Rev. H. Ballou, of Boston, to the Universalist Expositor," Vol. II. pp. 233–241. Also to a sermon on Luke xii. 4, 5, by Rev. S. Cobb, entitled, “The

* Since writing the above we have examined 1 Cor. xv. 44. "It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body, — Where natural is from ψυχικόν, and spiritual from πνευματικόν. Here the ψυχὴ is evidently put for something pertaining to the natural body, while the Areva is the pure spirit which shall live in the immortal world, beyond the resurrection of the dead. And remember, rua is not mentioned once in the whole Bible in connexion with Gehenna.

Destruction of Soul and Body in Gehenna," in which the author has advanced opinions somewhat similar to those of Rev. Mr. Ballou. An article from the pen of Rev. H. Ballou, 2d., may be found in the

Universalist Expositor," Vol. IV. pp. 164-169, and a reply to the same, by Rev. H. Ballou, of Boston, in the same volume, 322-326. See also a very learned article on the word Gehenna, same work, Vol. II. pp. 351-368. See also Balfour's "First Inquiry, ed. of 1832, pp. 139-151, and 187-190. Balfour's "Reply to Sabine," pp. 99-125. "Letters to Hudson," pp. 171-186. "Reply to Stuart," p. 222. See also Trumpet," Vol. XI. p. 77, for an interesting article from Mr. P. Hay, Jr. Also p. 92, same volume. See also an article from Rev W. E. Manley, same volume, p. 193, and a reply thereto from H. B. 198. Mr. Manley's rejoinder appeared in the "Trumpet," Vol. XII. p. 5. See also a very interesting article from Rev. J. B. Dods, same volume, p. 79.


XII. "But I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shall be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom, in the day of judgment, than for thee." Matt. xi. 22-24.

For the explanation of this passage, so far as the phrase, "day of judgment," is concerned, we refer to our remarks on Matt. x. 15, section IX. We need not repeat the arguments here.

Let it be observed, that the word hell in this passage is not translated from Gehenna, a word we have already considered, but from hades, which primarily signifies the state of the dead in general, but secondarily (as in the passage before us), it signifies a low, depressed, and debased situation. The sense of the passage we believe to be this: It shall appear, in the judgment about to come, that the punishment inflicted on Tyre and Sidon, was more tolerable, than the punishment

which shall fall on the Jewish cities which have rejected the Gospel. And thou, Capernaum, which hast been highly favored, and exalted, as it were, to heaven, in point of distinguished privileges, shall be brought down to hades, i. e. to the lowest desolation. If the mighty works which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, that city would not have been destroyed. For I say unto you, in the judgment about to come, it shall appear to have been more tolerable for the land of Sodom, than for thee. Such, we believe, to be the true sense of the passage; and by a reference to Paige's "Selections," Sect. xx., such will be seen to have been the opinion of some of the most eminent of the orthodox commentators. The reader is refer

red to that work.


"Wherefore I say unto you, all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come." Matt. xii. 31, 32.

In examining this passage, we shall attend to the following particulars :

1st. Did the Saviour intend to say, that the sin against the Holy Ghost could not, on any condition, nor under any circumstances, be forgiven?

2nd. In what did the sin against the Holy Ghost consist?

3d. What is to be understood by the expression, "hath never forgiveness?" Mark iii. 29, or "shall not be forgiven, neither in this world, neither in the world to come?" Matt. xii. 32.

Our first question is, Did the Saviour intend to say, that the sin against the Holy Ghost, could not, on any conditions, nor under any circumstances, be forgiven? We think not. The spirit of God in Jesus Christ would not have taught any thing contradictory to what the same spirit taught, when speaking through some other person. God said to the rebellious Jews by

Isaiah, "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." Isa. i. 18. It was the evident intention of this language to show, that, however deep their sins, they might be washed away. We read, also, 1 John i. 7, 9, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son, cleanseth us from ALL SIN; [the sin against the Holy Ghost not excepted ;] and, again, "if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness.' We think it is the intent and meaning of these quotations, that all sins will be freely forgiven upon repentance. How, then, it will be asked, shall we explain the words of Christ, "all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto



We answer, that we would explain these words on precisely the same principle of interpretation, on which we explain many other passages of Holy writ. Every diligent student of the Bible knows, that the Hebrew writers were in the habit of saying, such a thing shall be, and such a thing shall not be, when they did not mean that the latter thing was impossible, but that it was less probable than the former. The learned Grotius says, "This form of speech is a common Hebraism the Jews often said, this shall be, and that shall not be; not intending, however, to affirm absolutely that the first should be (and, of course, not affirming absolutely that the last should not be), but merely to show that the last was much more unlikely or difficult than the first. The sense," says he, "is this: any crime which may be committed, even all calumnies (or blasphemies) which hold the first rank among crimes, may be forgiven more readily than the calumny (or blasphemy) against the Spirit of God." Paige's "Selections," p. 85. The same view precisely is taken by many commentators, and particularly in a note in the Doway [a Catholic] translation, on this passage

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