« EdellinenJatka »
suffered a man to put away his wife for other causes than that of adultery. But Christ took away this permission, and asserted the doctrine’in the verse before us. The scope then of the passage is this,-by the change of dispensations not a tittle of the moral law, suffers a change; as may be seen in the example of the change which has been made by it in the law of divorce, which is only the rectifying of the imperfections of ecclesiastical institutions, and bringing the statutes of the church to a more perfect correspondence with the unalterable principles of right. But what has all this to do with the parable of the rich man and Lazarus ? A new subject is commenced in the opening of this parable.
Mr. B. makes the rich man to represent the Jewish nation, and the poor man the Gentiles. The rich man in hell he makes that nation, cast off for their sins. And the great gulf is the combination of circumstances which go to keep asunder the Jews and Gentiles. But before this is admitted we shall want a rational answer to some such questions as these: Is this gulf separating Jews and Gentiles such that they which would come from them cannot? Cannot the Jews come to the embrace of Christianity if they will ? And what was the mercy of a drop of water begged of Lazarus ? To this Mr. W. wers by proxy, “ The Jewish people longed for one drop of the former legal sprinklings and purifications to refresh their tongue, that they might confidently say to us that the law was still efficacious and availing.” But these legal sprinklings are a boon for which they are not dependent on Christians, and they were never applied to the tongue nor for purposes of cooling. And then when have the Jews stood in such a posture of humble supplication before the Gentiles in any case ? And where were his father's house and his five brethren to which he wished Lazarus to be sent to testify? Are there any other Jewish nations in danger of being cast off and coming to that place of torment? Do you say they were parts of this same nation? But the rich man is made to personate the nation, and if the whole nation was the person praying, who were his brethren ? And are Jews wont to supplicate the Gentiles for
the extension of gospel influences ? And how is it that the five brethren were to be kept from that place of torment by Moses and the prophets, and not by the gospel ? The gospel in the peculiar phrascology of Mr. W., is the covenant to which the church has been married, since the Jews were cast off, and since they have been supplicating for a drop of legal sprinkling. And it would be adultery for those five brethren to marry Moses and the prophets. Then how comes it that Lazarus, that is the Gentiles, if he go to the five brethren, must go from the dead, when they are spoken of as not persuadable by one risen from the dead? Are the church, those who have the gospel to dispense to others, the dead, while the apostate Jews are the living ?
The dying of Lazarus is made a figure for the calling of the Gentiles. But what similitude is there between the dying of a man and the rising of the Gentile world to the glorious light of the gospel ? One would think it should be rather life from the dead—especially, if death be taken in the Universalist sense, a dark annihilation sealed upon the spirit till the resurrection. Really, Mr. Whittemore, are there not some difficulties in the way of your ingenious interpretation ? But suppose we quietly digest all this trash thus far; hades you say is used figuratively when made a place of torment. But does not a figurative sense pre-suppose the possibility of a literal sense? Now if the parts of this story, such as the soul's entering the invisible world at death, and suffering happiness or misery there, were not admitted and familiar ideas, how came they to be used as figures to set forth something else ? Further, both Mr. W. and Mr. B. tell us, that this parable, or something very like it, is found in the Gemara Babylonicum, and that it is used by Christ as a quotation. Suppose we admit it, and what follows? If it was composed originally so long before the time of Christ, it was not composed to pre-figure the rejection of the Jews, and calling of the Gentiles. For the idea of that rejection was far from having a place in the current literature of those times. Do you say that though originally constructed for another purpose, it was capable of being accommodated to
this purpose? Well, but where do you find your reasons for applying it at all to this subject, if not from the very frame and structure of the parable itself? But if that structure was originally adapted to something else, why not now? So by your own showing, your interpretation is not the most natural and obvious. The truth is, no man would have thought of putting such a construction upon such a parable, did not the occasions of a rotten system demand it—did he not feel himself driven to the desperate expedient of silencing testimony which he cannot face. When a man undertakes to force the language of the Bible into harmony with systems so abhorrent to the true scopeand spirit of the Bible, into what wretched absurdities is he unconsciously led! What a miserable business is this of wresting the Scriptures! To say nothing of the violence done to the supreme authority of the Bible and its au:hor-of the violence done to conscience, a man embarked in this enterprise becomes in relation to these subjects, strangely abandoned of
His invention will be fertile in expedients to throw an air of plausibility over false positions, and make the worse appear the better reason. But he will in the mean time be guilty of such reasonings as in another man, and on other subjects, he himself would see to be supremely ridiculous.
I take it then that the testimony of this parable, to the truth that hades sometimes means a place of torment, is unimpaired. There are several instances of the use of the word in Revelation, in which to my mind the word seems indirectly to imply a place of punishment in hades. But they are such instances as I should not rely upon for proof of a doctrine.
MEANING OF TARTARUS.
2 Peter 2: 4. For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment. Here is not the word tartarus, but the verb derived from it, tartarosa s, which amounts to the same thing as to the question before us. In this case the context is so decisive as to the meaning of the word, that if it had been left a blank we could not fill the blank with anything short of that which means a place of the future punishment of the wicked. I shall first adduce some considerations independent of the context, and then consider the evidence which comes from that. If the question were to be settled by the classical use of the word tartarus, there could not be a doubt. For rarely is it used in Greek authors in any other sense than that of a place of punishment, and it is only when the writers speak of the whole of the under world as a region of gloom, that they call it tartarus. This fact was stated by Mr. Stuart; and Mr. Balfour in his reply did not deny.it. This kind of proof Mr. B. attempts to evade by saying that the tartarus of the Greeks was an imaginary place of punishinent. This is an objection which Mr. Stuart has anticipated in the following terms—“We may allow the premises, without, in any measure, feeling ourselves moved to the con
asion. Did not the Greek Theos designate an imaginary God? Was not his our anos and his elusion (elysium) imaginary ? And yet when a Hebrew writer employs Theos and o uranos does it designate nothing real, nothing different from the idea that a heathen Greek expressed by these words ?-Peter when he wrote Greek, was obliged to use the Greek language as he found it already made.
What term, then, in order to express the horrors of future punishment, could he select from the whole Greek language, which was more significant than tartaros as? Until this question be answered, I know not how to avoid the conclusion here that the apostle does refer to a future and endless punishment.” To this Mr. B. replies that Theos and ouranos are used more frequently than tartarus, and therefore, the cases are not parallel. Not parallel in respect to what? The number of times in which they are used. But as to the manner and nature of the use, exactly parallel-as Mr. B. by not showing, leaves us to believe. But he goes on to say—“Had the Scripture writers only used Theos and ouranos once, how could you be certain that they attached to them those peculiarities of meaning, which may be sought for in vain from the classic authors to designate the true God or a true heaven?” Surely you might be certain that they used them in a new and peculiar sense or in the old classical sense, and Mr. B. may choose which he will have it. If Theos had been used but once, say in the instance—“I am the God of Abraham," or in the phrase, “the Son of God”—would any one doubt whether the God of the heathen or the true God were meant? No more reason is there to believe that tartarus was used for the heathen hell. So much for the meaning of the word tartar us.
We will now direct our attention to the manner in which it is here used. That a place of punishment is meant, is evident, because the writer is speaking directly of punishment. In the verse preceding he says, whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not; and whose damnation slumbereth not. And he then proceeds--For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness to be reserved unto judgment; and he then goes on to enumerate other examples, as God's bringing the flood upon the world of the ungodly, and his overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrha. Mr. B, informs us that the “angels that sinned" here mean Korah and his company. But there are some small difficulties in the way. The writer in citing other examples follows the order of time, mentioning the flood first, and Sodom's destruction after; but this interpretation would put Korah's destruction before the flood. Then we have no reason to suppose that the churches to whom Peter wrote, had been accustomed to call Korah and his compar.y a company of angels, and that they would know that he meant them by that name. Then the angels are said to be delivered into chains of confinement, as if in prison, which is no natural phraseology to express the matter of dying, or the particular death supposed. Then it is said they are reserved unto judgment—which is not true of Korah's company on Mr. B.'s hypothesis. According to his system, Korah's company remain in blank annihilation, till they shall, at the end of the world, awake to a heavenly existence. But such a difficulty as this, is nothing in the way of Mr. Balfour. He tells us that the judgment means the des