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by which hell is represented as burning with fire and brimstone, seems to be taken from the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah ;' as well as that of their “smoke ascending." Let the reader compare
Rev. 14:10, 11 with Gen. 19: 24, 28. To this coincidence of the description of future punishments, in the Revelation, with the punishment of Sodom and Gomorrah, Peter perhaps alludes, when he says, (2 Pet. 2: 6,)“God punished the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah with destruction by fire, and thus gave a monitory example to all the wicked."
Still, that even this abode of wretchedness, this very miserable part of the universe, in which the wicked shall dwell, is not totally excluded from the influence of the boundless goodness of God (Ps. 145: 9, 10), is evident from the circumstance, that in this mournful abode, the situation of some is more tolerable than that of others; for we are told (Matth. 11 : 22, 24) that the lot of Tyre and Sidon will be more tolerable in the day of judgment than that of Chorazin and Bethsaida ; and (Luke 12:48) that he who knew not his master's will, shall be beaten with few stripes. For, as the future state of each individual, will be in exact accordance with his conduct in this life, it is evident, that just as there are various gradations 3 of guilt, there must be a great variety in the degrees of future punishment. “That each one may receive according to the things done in the body-he shall give unto each one according to his workwho will render unto every one according to his deeds-whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap he that doeth wrong, shall receive the reward of his wrong. 2 Cor. 5:10, ένα κομισηται εκαστος τα δια του σωματος. Μatth. 25 : 42. 16: 27, κατα την πραξιν αυτου αποδωσει εκαστω. Rom. 2: 6, κατα τα εργα αυτου. Gal. 6: 7, ο γαρ εαν σπειρη ανθρωπος, τουτο και θερισει. Col. 3: 25, ο αδικων κομιειται ο ηδικησε.
1 See Dissert. de Epist. cathol. note 63. 2 See Jacobi, Griesbach, and Maree.
3 Matth. 5: 22, ενοχος τη κρισει-τω συνεδριω-εις την γεενναν TOV TVOOS. In the Dissert. in Libros historicos N. T. p. 23, the first two of these expressions are explained as meaning two different degrees of future punishment, according to the different degrees of guilt. But the 2d and 3d are explained as the same degree; because no difference can be assigned as existing between the words gana and uwoɛ; and consequently, none between the degree of guilt, the punishment of which is expressed in the 2d and 3d phrases. Evoxus ouvedoia qui similis est hominibus synedrio obnoxiis. The last expression, EvoXOS ELS TNU YEEVVOV TOV Tupos deserving future punishment, describes the grade of punishment which is referred to in the first and second clauses.
VII. John 5: 29, οι τα φαυλα πραξαντες (εκπορεύσονται) εις αναστασιν κρισεως they that have done evil, shall come forth to the resurrection of damnation.
VIII. John 5: 28. Acts 24: 15. Rev. 20: 12, 13.
IX. Acts 26 : 8, τι απιστον κρινεται παρ' υμιν, ει ο θεος εγείρει τους νεκρους ; why should it be thought a thing incredible, that God should raise the dead. John 5: 21.
X. Mark 8: 38, ο υιος του ανθρωπου επαισχυνθησεται autov the Son of man shall be ashamed of him. Luke 12: 9, απαρνεθησεται ενώπιον των αγγελων του θεου shall be denied before the angels of God.
XI. The punishment of the wicked, begins immediately after their death.-Luke 16 : 22–25, and it came to pass, that the
poor man died, and was carried by angels into Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died, and was buried. And in Hades (the place of departed spirits) he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom; and he cried, and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. Comp. v. 28. From verses 22 and 28, we must conclude that the punishment of the wicked (like the happiness of the blessed) will commence immediately after death. This inference is the more legitimate, as the evident scope of the whole parable is to describe the lot of the righteous and the wicked after death.1
1 Luke 12: 47, 48, daonoetol noldas-odegas. Matth. 11 : 20-24. Rom. 2: 9. See Reinhard's Dogmatik, p. 695.
XII. The punishments of the wicked are eternal.—They are described as “everlasting punishment,” in opposition to
everlasting life”—and “unquenchable fire,” Matth. 25: 46, nolaous auovios.--Mark 9:44–48. Matth. 3: 12: nvo aoßeotov. In reference to the first of these passages it must be remarked, that even if the word alwvios eternal, in itself considered, could be taken in a limited sense, it could not in this application, have been understood in any other sense than as meaning an absolute eternity, for Josephus expressly informs us that the eternity of hell torments was a doctrine of the Essenes and Pharisees [aidios τιμωρια, τιμωριαι αδιαλειπτοι] in the days of our Lord.
The fact that we are not intimately acquainted with the nature and degrees of future punishment, certainly does not authorize us in denying their eternal duration. 4
[To the above texts might be added many others, in which the eternity of future punishment is either expressly taught or evidently implied.
1. Those in which it is called by other terms, with the epithet eternal aiwvios or aidios added.—Matth. 18: 8, wherefore, if thy hand or thy foot ensnare thee, cut it off and cast it from thee; it is better for thee to enter into life lame or a cripple, than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into everlasting
1 Dissert, de Vita Beata post mortem p. 21.
4 Morus' Epit. Theol. christ. Pt. VII. $ 11; and Dr. Mark, On the unreasonableness of some of the doctrines of the church, p. 122.
fire. See also v. 9. 25: 4, then shall he say also to them on the left hand, depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. Dan. 12 : 2, and many
of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting [biy-alovios) life, and some to everlasting contempt. 2 Thess. 1: 9, who shall be punished with everlasting destruction, far from the presence of the Lord, and the glory of his power. Jude 6, and the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting Cardiois] chains, in darkness, unto the judgment of the great day. v. 7, even as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities about them,—are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. v. 13, (they are) wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever [ELS TOV αιωνα].
]. 2. The texts in which the torments of the wicked are said to endure for ever and ever, εις τους αιωνας των αιώνων. Rev. 14: 11, and the smoke of their torment ascendeth for ever and ever (through the eternity of eternities]. 20: 10, and they shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever (through the eternity of eternities].
That this mode of expression is applied to designate an absolute eternity, the reader may easily be convinced by referring to the texts in which the same Greek phrase is used; such as Gal. 1: 5. 2 Tim. 4: 18. Phil. 4:20. Heb. 13:21. 1 Pet. 4: 11. 5: 11. Rev. 1: 6. 5: 13. 7: 12. 1: 18.
3. Those passages in which the eternity of heaven and hell is contrasted.
The eternity of heaven is admitted, and these texts, among others, are referred to for proof. If, then, they prove eternity when applied to heaven, they must necessarily do the same if applied to hell, in the same manner, and often even in the same verse. Matth. 25: 46, and these (the wicked) shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into everlasting life. Dan. 12: 2, and many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth, shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to everlasting contempt.
4. Those texts which affirm their eternity negatively by denying that they will have any end. Mark 9: 43, and if thy hand ensnare thee, cut it off; it is better for thee to enter maimed into life, than having two hands to be cast into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched. v. 44, where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched. v. 45, and if thy foot ensnare thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter lame into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched. v. 46, where their worm dieth not, and their fire is not quenched. v. 48, and if thine eye ensnare 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 their fire is not quenched. S.]