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used in the sense of a race.or family. And when it is said, all these things shall come upon this generation, it is meant the guilt that stands charged against this nation for so many prophets killed, and the guilt yet to be accumulated in the same way, will bring a fearful reckoning upon the nation. The destruction of Jerusalem did not come in that generation, considered in the sense of age, or term of thirty years. It occurred forty years after the death of Christ, when most whom he then addressed must have been in their graves. But if generation does not mean what Mr. B. supposes, the main hinge of his interpretation has gone. I have dwelt longer on this point than is needful for the conviction of most, because the Universalists place so much reliance here.
Mark 9: 43. And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off, it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched, where their worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched. And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off, it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched, where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thine eye offend thee pluck it out, it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire, where their worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched. This is essentially the same as Matt. 18: 9. introduced again because Mr. B. has further carried out his remarks in relation to it. Here he admits that if to enter into life means to enter into heaven, gehenna means the world of woe. But he asks, do they who go to hell carry with them the things with which others parted in order to get to heaven? and says, as this will not be pretended, something else than hell is meant. But this will be pretended. Those who go to hell, do carry with them their lusts and vicious propensities with which others part, in order to get to heaven—they utterly perish in their own corruption. Mr. B. attempts to prove that the phrase, eternal life, and the phrase, enter into the kingdom of God, here mean entering into the reign of the Messiah in this world. His proof is good so far as to show that the phrase, kingdom of God, sometimes means the reign of Christ at his resurrection, but he stops short of proving that that is the meaning here, where it is made synonymous with eternal life. It were easy to show by ample quotations that kingdom of God often means heaven. But I shall adduce but one, and that one whose relevancy Mr. B. will not dispute, because it relates to the resurrection. Now this I say brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 1 Cor. 15: 50. But if the kingdom of God in any case means heaven, it was incumbent on Mr. B. to show why it does not here, especially since it is made synonymous with entering into life, a phrase appropriated to express the entering into heaven, and never used to express the escape from Jerusalem's Destruction.
Another mistake into which Mr. Balfour has fallen with some orthodox writers respects the phraseology where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched. He tells us this came from the burning of perpetual fires in the valley of Hinnom, to consume the offal there and prevent its breeding worms, and in the next paragraph, he tells us this passage he quoted from Isaiah. That this phraseology as used by Isaiah did not originate from the fires in the valley of Hinnom is certain, from the fact that the scenes in question, never had existence in the days of Isaiah. The desetration of the valley of Hinnom by Josiah, and of course the use of fires there for the purpose aforesaid, did not take place till more than sixty years after the death of Isaiah. Mr. Balfour assumes that the passage as used by Isaiah does not refer to hell, as the world of woe, and from that assumption infers that when used by Christ, it does not. Should we admit what is assumed, the conclusion would not follow. But we do not admit it. He ought to have known that the leading orthodox writers refer the passage in Isaiah to the world of woe. Bishop Lowth, whose acquaintance with this prophecy is second to that of few, says this passage refers to something yet future. Scott refers it to the future world. And yet Mr. B. says no man we think, will affirm this, and builds a conclusion on that assumption.
James 3: 6. And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. So is the tongue among our members that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature, and is set on fire of hell. The sum of Mr. B's evasion here, is, that it is as difficult to conceive of the tongue being set on fire of hell, as from the valley of Hinnom. It may be so to him. Yet he has not told us what the valley of Hinnom has to do in originating the mischiefs of the tongue. But to us it is easy enough to conceive what hell has to do in this business. And besides, Nr. B. here, contrary to his rule in other cases in the New Testament and without giving us any reason therefor, interprets gehenna in the literal sense. Now if the word means the destruction of Jerusalem in all other cases, why not here? Surely if the word had become so appropriated to that idea as his other interpretations imply, the readers of James must have understood him in that sense. But so far as it regards the sense or nonsense imputed to the passage, there is little choice between the two. You may as well say that the destruction of Jerusalem sets on fire the tongue of every slanderer, in all parts of the world, as that the valley of Hinnom does it. There is no instance of the use of the word that brings to my mind more resistless demonstration that the word had become appropriated to express the world of woe. It was introduced in such a way as to show that it had a fixed meaning, that would be recognised by all. And it is introduced not so much because it is the place of punishment, as because it is the source of infernal malicious influence. Mr. Balfour's quotations from Schleusner, making gekenna to mean “any kind of punishment especially a shameful kind of death,” will not serve him here. Because . we have in this passage no occasion for a place of punishment, except so far as that is the habitation of evil spirits, who instigate the wickedness of the tongue.
Having considered the passages.in which gehenna is used, we will now notice Mr. B.'s chapters of objections to its being understood in the sense of hell.
Objection 1st. “The term is not used in the Old Testament to designate the place of endless punishment to the wicked.” Answer. Neither is it used in the Old Testament as a name for the destruction of Jerusalem.
Obj. 2. Those who believe gehenna designates a place of endless punishment in the New Testament, entirely overlook its meaning in the Old. Ans. Those who believe gehenna is a name for the destruction of Jerusalem in the New Testament entirely overlook its meaning in the Old, for it is always there used in the literal sense. In one case the prophet is commanded to go forth into the valley of Hinnom or Tophet, and break a bottle in the sight of the people, and tell the people with reference to Jerusalem's destruction by the Chaldeans, that Jerusalem is thus to be broken, and to be made desolate as Tophet, where they then stood. But here Tophet is used in the literal sense as an object of comparison, and is no more the appropriated name for the destruction of Jerusalem, than the bottle was which he broke before him.
Obj. 3. “ Those who believe gehenna in the New Testament designates a place of endless punishment, give it this sense on mere human authority.” Ans. And those who give it the sense of the destruction of Jerusalem do it on no authority human or divine. Pray, on what authority should they fix the meaning of words, but the usage of those who spoke and wrote the language? Where are your divinely inspired dictionaries? I haye always believed, till enlightened by Mr. B's. exuberant philology, that human authority was sufficient to teach the meaning of all words.
Obj. 4. “The word gehenna occurs only twelve times in the New Testament.” Ans. But suppose it had occurred twelve hundred times, would it be any more or less likely to mean hell. The word, valley of Hinnom, does not occur as many as twelve times in the Old Testament; is that any proof that it is not there used in the literal sense ?
Obj. 5. “The word gehenna is used by our Lord and by James, but by no other person in the New Testament.” Ans. True, but what then?
Obj. 6. “But another striking fact it, that all that is said about gehenna in the New Testament, is said to Jews and Jews only.” Ans. Striking indeed, but where it strikes is not so evident. Was not the whole of Christ's preaching addressed to Jews, and through them to the world?
Obj. 7. “ Nearly all that our Lord said about gehenna was spoken to his own disciples." Ans. Most that is recorded of his sayings on other subjects, is spoken to his own disciples,—but spoken to them to be published to the world. What was spoken to them in the ear, they were commanded to proclaim upon the house-tops.
Obj. 8. “Wherever gehenna is mentioned, the persons addressed are supposed to be perfectly acquainted with its meaning." Ans. True-and every public speaker or writer, if he has common sense, will use words which his hearers understand. But what then ? Mr. B. goes on to say, on the supposition that the Jews understood gehenna as a place of endless misery, I have a right to ask from what source of information did they learn it? He then informs us that they did not learn it from immediate inspiration, nor from the preaching of John the Baptist, nor from the instructions or explanations of the Saviour, nor from the Old Testament Scriptures, but from the assertions of fallible uninspired men. Marvellous philology !! Where should they learn the meaning of a word, but from their own mothers, whence all children learn to talk ?-Yea from their own mothers, fallible and uninspired women.. If he had asked how that word came to be used in that sense, the answer would have been different. But after usage had given it the meaning of hell, surely men needed no inspiration to understand a word according to its current use. Whence did Mr. Balfour learn the meaning of the English words which he employs in his writings,-not from immediate inspiration, not from the preaching of John the Baptist, not from the instructions or explanations of the Saviour, but from the mouths and writings of fallible men. One of two things is undeniably true our author is either himself ignorant of one of the plainest principles of language, or else he expects that all his readers will