Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

thor has seen no reason to change his opinion, and therefore has made no change in its matter. Any alterations made, are merely verbal, which require no particular notice, and are rather an improvement of the work. Being more deeply concerned than even his readers, that the evidence adduced should not be impaired, he has been scrupulously careful that nothing of this kind should be omitted, or even abridged, to the injury of the book.

2d, To reduce the size and price of the present edition, the following are all the principal alterations, which were found necessary.-The long quotation in regard to the Targums, and some others of a critical nature, which were deemed of little value to most readers, are here abridged, and the latter in one or two instances are entirely omitted. In every instance however, the books from whence such quotations were taken are referred to, so that any who are inclined may consult them. The two last sections, containing answers to objections and concluding remarks, in some places have also been abridged. These, with some reflections, and an occasional superfluous sentence or expression not essential to the argument being expunged, constitute the alterations in this from the first edition. The author would however assure his readers that nothing has been expunged or abridged of the evidence and argument which it contained.

It is known generally that during the last winter Mr. James Sabine announced in the Boston papers his intention to refute the "Inquiry," if a

suitable place for that purpose was afforded him. When none of his orthodox friends volunteered their pulpits, and the Methodists after granting, withdrew theirs, the Universalist Society in Charlestown unanimously voted him the use of their place of worship for that purpose. This unexampled instance of candour, liberality, and unfettered inquiry, ought to be universally known for universal imitation. Mr. S. accepted their invitation, and before a crowded, but attentive audience, delivered six lectures, which have since been published. The public can judge if they are any refutation of the "Inquiry." So far as it was concerned, few I presume would blame me for silence, for we believe it is generally allowed, that his discourses do not touch the facts and arguments of my book. Indeed he does not advocate endless hell torments, but attempts to establish a future retribution, which, if he had established, would leave the book unaffected. I should therefore have deemed a reply to his discourses unnecessary but for the following reasons.

1st, The subject of discussion, is of solemn and deep interest to all men. If therefore any additional light can be shed on it, by a candid and serious appeal to the Scriptures, it ought to be done. Since the doctrine of endless hell torments seems to be given up as indefensible by Mr. Sabine, yet if his doctrine of future retribution be a Scriptural one, it ought to be examined and believed by us all. What is truth, respecting the eternal destinies of men, is a question of no ordinary concern. I am willing therefore to

follow him to his own ground and examine his evidence for a future retribution.

2d, Since the "Inquiry" was published, and Mr. Sabine's attempt at an answer to it, I have often and seriously turned my thoughts to this important subject. But so far from being convinced that the views given in my book are unscriptural, considerable additional evidence has appeared of their truth. We have entered into a further investigation of the texts of Scripture which he controverts, together with others by which he attempts to prove a future retribution. This investigation, not only confirms in the strongest manner all we have advanced in the Inquiry," but proves fata fatal to his doctrine. If he judged it best in answering the "Inquiry," to abandon the doctrine of endless hell torments, and only advocate a future retribution, it will now be found, that both must be given up as unscriptural. If what we have to advance in answer to Mr. S's discourses be true, and it will be difficult to prove it false, some entirely new ground must be taken by him to support future punishment in another world, either for soul or body, temporary or eternal. Such are the reasons which induce us to make any reply to Mr. S's discourses. An answer may therefore be expected to them in a few weeks in a separate pamphlet. This we have deemed the fairest method, for had our reply been added as an appendix to this edition, those who purchased the first, must also purchase this to obtain it.

AN INQUIRY

INTO THE SCRIPTURAL IMPORT OF THE WORDS

SHEOL, HADES, TARTARUS, AND GEHENNA.

CHAPTER I.

WORDS are signs of men's ideas, and were used as such by the inspired writers, as they must be by every man, who speaks and writes to be understood. To understand their writings, it is necessary to ascertain what sense they affixed to their words, and this we can only learn, by consulting Scripture usage of them. That men have attached ideas to some Scripture words and phrases which they never meant to convey by them, we think will not be denied. That this not the case with the words Sheol, Hades, Tartarus and Gehenna, which we propose to examine, ought not to be taken for granted. We shall therefore attempt a consideration of all the places where these words occur, and endeavour to ascertain if by any of them the Spirit of God intended to convey the idea of a place of endless misery.

follow him to his own ground and examine his evidence for a future retribution.

2d, Since the "Inquiry" was published, and Mr. Sabine's attempt at an answer to it, I have often and seriously turned my thoughts to this important subject. But so far from being convinced that the views given in my book are unscriptural, considerable additional evidence has appeared of their truth. We have entered into a further investigation of the texts of Scripture which he controverts, together with others by which he attempts to prove a future retribution. This investigation, not only confirms in the strongest manner all we have advanced in the "Inquiry," but proves fatal to his doctrine. If he judged it best in answering the "Inquiry," to abandon the doctrine of endless hell torments, and only advocate a future retribution, it will now be found, that both must be given up as unscriptural. If what we have to advance in answer to Mr. S's discourses be true, and it will be difficult to prove it false, some entirely new ground must be taken by him to support future punishment in another world, either for soul or body, temporary or eternal. Such are the reasons which induce us to make any reply to Mr. S's discourses. An answer may therefore be expected to them in a few weeks in a separate pamphlet. This we have deemed the fairest method, for had our reply been added as an appendix to this edition, those who purchased the first, must also purchase this to obtain it.

« AnteriorContinuar »