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child they intended to sacrifice, which soon fell into the fire at the foot of the statue, putung forth cries, as may easily ba imagined. To stifle the noise of these cries and howlings, they made a great rattling of drums, and other instruments, that the spectators might not be moved with compassion at the clamours of these miserable victims. And this as they say, was the manner of sacrificing in Tophet.” This valley was defiled by king Josiah, 2 King, xxiii. 10, and made a receptacle of the filth and the dead carcases of the city. Worms bred in the carcases, in great abundance, and fires were kept up continually to consume them. All these circumstances made it a place of the utmost horror and detestation to the imagination, so that it became a very appropriate emblem of hell. And the name of this place was afterwards frequently applied to the place of endless punishment, both by the Jews and our blessed Saviour. The term Gehenna occurs in the New Testament only twelve times, and is always rendered hell; however, for the convenience of the reader I shall cite all the words both in the Greek and the English. They are as follow :—Matt. v. 22. eis ten gehennan tou puros, of hell-fire. Matt. v. 29. eis gehennan, into heli. Matt. v. 30. eis gehennan, into hell. Matt x. 28. en gehenne, in hell. Matt. xviii. 9. eis ten gehennan tou puros, into hell fire. Matt. xxiii. 15. gehennes, hell. Matt. xxiii. 33 tes. gehennes, hell. Mark ix. 43. eis ten gehennan, into hell. Mark ix. 45. eis ten gehennan, into hell. Mark ix. 47. eis ten gehennan, into hell. Luke xii. 5. eis ten gehennan, into hell. Jam. ii. 5. tes gehennes, of hell.

Now sir, I assert once for all, and that without fear of successful contradiction, that the word Gehenna is used in every instance, in the New Testament to signify the place of endless punishment. My reasons for making this declaration are the following:

1. T'he Jews, to whom were committed the oracles of God, understood it in this sense. See Chald. on Is. xxxiv. 14. where mokedey olam is rendered “ the Gehenna of everlasting fire.” Th.; most learned Jews in our Saviour's time emp, uyed the word to signify hell, the place of the damned. This application of it may be seen in the Chaldee Targums on Ruth ii. 12; Ps. cxl. 12; Is. xxvi. 15; xxxiii. 14. And also in the Jerusalem Targum, and that of Jonathan Ber ziel, on Gen. iii. 24. and xv. 17.

2. Josephus, w o was one of the most learned Jews, and a contemporary of our Saviour, understood the word as signifying endless punishment in a future state. When speaking of the transactions of the day of judgment, and particularly of the justice of Christ on that occasion, he observes that, this principle will be manifest in "allotting to the lovers of wicked works eternal punishment. To these belong the unquenchable fire, and that without end, and a certain fiery worm never dying, and not destroying the body, but continuing its eruption out of the body with never ceasing grief." Discourse on Hades, Whiston's Translation. I do not consider Josephus as an inspired writer; but, I regard him as a proper evidence to prove what were the views of the Jews in his day, regarding the application of fire and worms to the fu

ture punishment of the wicked. Our Saviour being a Jew, must have used the words as they were then commonly understood, otherwise, his language would tend rather to deceive than instruct.

3. Mr. Parkhurst, one of the most learned men that ever wrote on the original scriptures, in his Lexicon, says that, “ Gehenna tou puros, A Gehenna of fire, Matt. v. 22., does, in its outward and primary sense, relate to that dreadful doom of being burned alive in the valley of Hinnom. Though this, as well as the other degrees of punishment mentioned in the context, must, as Doddridge has remarked, be ultimately referred to the invisible world, and to the future vengeance of an offended God.” He affirms that the word commonly denotes immediately hell, the place, or state of the damned.

4. The sense of all the passages where this word occurs in the New Testament requires the signification which I have affixed to it; to say the least, the word may be fairly understood, in every place, to relate to future punishment. In Matt. v. 22. the word may literally refer to the condemnation of the Sanhedrim and the fire in the valley at Jerusalem, but it must in a secondary sense relate to endless punishment in a future state. The foot, hand, eye, &c. mentioned in Matt. v. 29, 30; xviii. 9; Mark ix. 43, 45, 47., are metaphorical expressions employed to denote such sinful propensities and practices as we love equally dear with those various members of the body. All such sins must be given up to ensure eternal life; if this is not done, the sinner with all his malevolent propensities and vile dispositions shall be cast into the

fire of an interminable hell, where their worm dieth not and their fire is not quenched! In Matt. x. 28. the destruction mentioned is not inflicted by men, but by God only; therefore, gehenna must, in this place, necessarily signify the punishment of the wicked in a future state. In Luke xii. 5. the casting into Gehenna, is after the death of the body, and the act cannot be performed by any but God, for which reason he is a pecular object of fear; hence, it is not the burning of a dead carcase that is intended here, but the destruction of the soul in endless misery. The phrases, “child of hell,” Matt. xxiii. 15. "damnation of hell,” Matt. v. 33. “set on fire of hell," Jam. iii. 6. must, undoubtedly be understood as relative to the world of endless wo. Any literal interpretation would do violence to the passages that would be highly reprehensible.

I shall close these remarks for the present by making an observation in relation to Paul not using the word Gehenna. First. The Jews wore well acquainted with the word Gehenna and its signification. Second. The Gentiles were unacquainted both with the word and is signification. Third. Paul was the Apostle of the Gentiles, not of the Jews, and on this ground I account for his not using the word Gehenna. Fourth. James in his epistle which was written "to the twelve tribes” of Jews that were scattered abroad, uses the word Gehenna, because they were familiarly acquainted both with the word and its signification.

A few strictures on your letters may be expected before long. Yours, sincerely, &c.

Joseph MCKEE.


BALTIMORE, Nov. 22, 1834. To Rev. Joseph McKee:

I am unable to express my surprise, that you should charge me with glorying that you had given up some texts, and with asking trifling and unnecessary questions. I know that when faithfully wielded, the sword of truth, can de . molish the strong holds of error and disperse its advocates; but I was not prepared to hear from you charges of this nature. Fear for the safety of a long cherished system, renders uncertain the powers of vision and reason; and in this instance it seems to have multiplied 2 Thes. i. 9. into several texts, and changed a refusal to consider it, until my four propositions were answered, into shouts of victory. As it respects my questions, you can answer them or not-they will have their weight with the reader, however often you may denounce them as trifling and unnecessary.

Believing your derivation of Gehenna correct, I will proceed to consider your proofs for saying, it invaribly signifies endless punishment.

1. The Targums : “Targum is a name givin to the Chaldee paraphrases of the books of the Old Testament They are called paraphrases or expositions, because they are rather comments and explications than literal translations of the text. They were written in Chaldee because this was better known to the Jews than Hebrew after the time of their captivity

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