« 上一頁繼續 »
for the worst. We are all sinners before the Almighty God, and his word teaches that we must repent of sin, believe in Jesus Christ with a heart unto righteousness, be regenerated by the Holy Spirit, and live a life of obedience and love to God, doing good to mankind, as far as possible. All those who pursue this course, and those alone, have the word and oath of him who cannot lie, to secure to them eternal life and happiness beyond the grave.
Now sir, the question being settled, beyond the possibility of a doubt on the subject, I shall let the matter rest. But, if you shall produce any thing, by way of objections to what I have stated, bearing any marks of plausibility, I am ready to shew their fallacy.
To Rev. Joseph M3 Kee:
Dear Sir-You have a singular propensity for asserting, that you have incontrovertibly proved your positions,' Hence your present letter is commenced by declaring, that you have 'demonstrated the eternity of misery, by the word Gehenna.' It is well sir, to keep up the appearance of courage and success, but really, when every argument which you have adduced has been fully noticed, and when you have attempted a reply to only two or three of
an assertion smacks quite too much of mock confidence, to have the credit of sincerity. It is true, you have backed it up by asserting that my twelve facts in letter No. 8, are 'twelve miserable subterfuges,' that my 'criticism on apokteino is in direct opposition to Parkhurst,' [Not so, I gave Parkhurst as one of my authorities, Donnegan as another,] and one of the most barefaced absurdities you ever saw,' &c., all of which is very charitable, very argumentative! And such is the proof by which you have demonstrated, that Gehenna overthrows Universalism!
The first four of my twelve facts, you assert, 'are founded on a falsehood viz. that Gehenna is used in the Old Testament.' Doubtless the reader supposes, I have here committed some egregious blunder, or told some daring lie, for this your language implies.
But what is the fact? Why in the Old Testament, Gehenna is written Gehinnom. Thus because the word is differently written in the New, from what it is in the Old Testament, I am accused of falsehood! It is the same word, only written Gehenna instead of Gehinnom! And such are the arguments by which the falsity of my twelve facts is shown! But sir, according to this logic, Gehenna does not occur in Jonathan's Targum, for there it is written Hinnom; so that if what I asserted be false, you must yield the Targums,
This play upon the word Gehenna is in perfect keeping with the charge that what I said respecting the discourse in Josephus on Hades, is an impudent forgery,' and 'one among the
many lies and falsehoods, invented and propagated by Universalists, to injure the truth and establish error.' But that I am correct is evident from the following considerations:
1. This discourse is not in Hudson's Critical edition of Josephus, of which Horne (vol, 2, p. 306,) thus speaks:
Those distinguished Bibliographers, Fabricius, Harwood, Harles, and Oberthur, are unanimous in their commendations of this elegant and most valuable edition.' He also says, 'Dr. Hudson seems to have consulted every known manuscript and edition. The correctness of the Greek text, the judgment displayed in the annotations, the utility of the indexes, and the consummate knowledge which is evinced of the history and antiquity of the time, render this work deserving of everything said in commendation of it.'
2. It is the same work which the learned quote under the following titles: "Concerning the cause of the Universe;' Concerning the Universe;' Concerning the Universal Cause;' 'Concerning Universal Nature.' This discourse is barely alluded to in the Prefatio (written by Antonius Hallius, for Hudson did not live to publish his edition) to Hudson's Edition, among the pieces falsely ascribed to Josephus; and then Fabricius is quoted, who says,(Bibliotheca Græca, Art. De Josepho et ejus Scriptis, § 8,) that Dodwell and others attribute it to Caius or Hippolytus, two Christian fathers of the end of the 2d or beginning of the 3d century. Du Pin (Bibliotheca Patrum, vol. 1, Art. Caius,) says, that Photius, the most learned and accurate critic in ecclesiastical affairs of my arguments on this subject, I do think, such
all antiquity after Eusebius, attributes to Caius, "The treatise of the Universe,' or of the 'Nature of the Universe,' or of the causes thereof, which went in his time under the name of Josephus.' Photius lived in the 8th_ceutury. Du Pin also observes (Ibid.) that Photius says, 'some had attributed the piece to Irenaus, some to Justin Martyr, and that it had no author's name affixed to it.' Photius says too, that Caius in one of his works remarked, that he was the author of the Book concerning the nature of the Universe.' This same book is set down in the catalogue of Hippolytus' works, taken from an ancient Roman marble, dug up near Rome in 1551. See Du Pin (Biblioth. Patr. vol. 1 Art. Hippolytus.)
3. The 'Discourse conce ncerning Hades,' is I believe never quoted by any respectable critic as Josephus's; nor is it made use of, by those who have carefully sifted Josephus, to get every particle of evidence he affords, concerning the Jewish notions of a future state, the Messiah, and the several subjects of which this discourse treats.
4 No one can carefully read this discourse, without being catisfied, from its general tenor and language, that it was written by some one familiar with the New Testament, and that many passages, especially of St. Paul are referred to; and that, in one word, the author wrote in the character of a Christian, expecting and meaning to be so understood. If so, he certainly was not Josephus.
From the foregoing proofs, the reader can judge whether any reliance can be placed on
the Discourse concerning Hades; and whether my assertion respecting it is a forgery and a falsehood. Surely you betray unpardonable ignorance on this subject, to make such charges. Thus we see that the Discourse concerning Hades proves nothing respecting Gehenna.
I will now proceed to notice the dates of the Targums. That these are a matter of critical conjecture, I am willing to admit. And this none can dispute, for some have supposed that they were written before Christ, and some as late as A. D. 700 or 800. Now to say that books of such uncertain dates, determine for a certainty the meaning of Gehenna, is surely highly unreasonable.
And even were I not a Universalist, I should require some stronger proof, than has ever yet been given, before they could outweigh in my mind, the declaration of Christ, that the 'damnation of Gehanna' should come on the generation to which he spake. Why have you not answered this argument? Why have you passed it in entire silence? On this generation shall the damnation of hell come! This generation shall not pass away till Christ come,' Matt. xxiv. 34. There be some standing here which shall not taste death till they see the Son of man come.' Matt. xvi. 27. This damnation of Gehenna, then, was to come at the destruction of Jerusalem. You may as well reason against your owr existence, as against this fact. Besides, this was the figure by which the prophets foretold it. But sir, to say nothing of these arguments, the simple fact, that only the Jews and, those connected with their nation, were threatened with Gehenna; that it is not men