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its darkness, its being inaccessible, unless by preternatural means, to the living, and their ignorance about it. Thus much in general seems always to have been presumed concerning it, that it is not a state of activity adapted for exertion, or indeed for the accomplishment of any important purpose, good or bad. In most respects, however, there was a resemblance in their notions on this subject, to those of the most ancient heathen.
“But the opinions neither of Hebrews nor of heathen, remained invariably the same. And from the time of the captivity, more especially from the time of the subjection of the Jews, first to the Macedonian empire, and afterwards to the Roman; as they had a closer intercourse with Pagans, they insensibly imbibed many of their sentiments, particularly on those subjects whereon their law was silent, and wherein, by consequence, they considered themselves as at greater free. dom. On this subject of a future state, we find a considerable difference in the popular opinions of the Jews in our Saviour's time, from those which prevailed in the days of the ancient prophets. As both Greeks and Romans had adopted the notion, that the ghosts of the departed were susceptible both of enjoyment and of suffering, they were led to suppose a sort of retribution in that state, for their merit or demerit in the present. The Jews did not indeed adopt the Pagan fables on this subject, nor did they express themselves entirely in the same manner; but the general train of thinking in both came pretty much to coincide. The Greek Hades they found well adapted to express
the Hebrew SHEOL. This they came to conceive as including different sorts of habitations for ghosts of different characters. And though they did not receive the terms Elysium or Elysian fields, as suitable appellations for the regions peopled by good spirits, they took instead of them, as better adapted to
their own theology, the garden of Eden, or Paradise, a name originally Persian, by which the word answering to garden, especially when applied to Eden, had commonly been rendered by the Seventy. To denote the same state, they sometimes used the phrase Abraham's bosom, a metaphor borrowed from the manner in which they reclined at meals.”'
On the above Mr. Balfour remarks as follows:
“How did the Jews in our Lord's day, come to consider Hades as a place of punishment for the wicked ? That a change in their opinion on this subject, had taken place from what is contained in the Old Testament is evident; for he says,-"on this subject of a future state, we find a considerable difference in the popular opinions of the Jews in our Say. iour's time, from those which prevailed in the days of the ancient prophets.” Well, how did this change in their opinions taken place ? Was it by some new revelation which God made to them on this subject ? No such thing is stated by Dr. Campbell, but the reverse. He thus accounts for the change of their opinions. “ But the opinions neither of Hebrews nor of heathen, remained invariably the same. And from the time of the captivity, more especially from the time of the subjection of the Jews, first to the Macedonian empire, and afterwards to the Roman; as they had a closer intercourse with Pagans, they insensibly imbibed many of their sentiments, particularly on those subjects whereon their law was silent, and wherein, by consequence, they considered themselves as at greater freedom. As both Greeks and Romans had adopted the notion, that the ghosts of the deceased were susceptible both of enjoyment and of suffering, they were led to suppose a sort of retribution in that state, for their merit or demerit in the
present. The ews did not indeed adopt the Pagan fables on this subject, nor did they express themselves entirely in
the same manner; but their general train of thinking, in both came pretty much to coincide.”—This statement is surely too plain to be misunderstood. How much plainer could he have told us, that a punishment in Hades was a mere heathen notion, which the Jews learned from their intercourse with them? Could this have been more obvious had he said so in as many words? We presume no man will deny this. He not only declares that neither Sheol nor Hades is used in Scripture to express a place of punishment, but he shows, that the Pagan fables teach it, and the Jews learned it from them. What are we then to think, when this is the account of the origin of the doctrine of hell torments by one of its professed friends ? Had this statement been given by a profesor ed Universalist, the cry would be raised that it was a mere fabrication of his own, in support of his system. But
this is the statement of the learned, and acute Dr. Campbell, late principal of Marischal college, Aberdeen, who lived and died, a celebrated theologian in the church of Scotland. It is notorious, that in this quotation he declares, that the Jews derived these opinions from their intercourse with the heathen. Where they got those opinions he does not inform us.
Had they been from divine revelation, the heathen ought to have learned them from the Jews. But here the matter is reversed. The heathen it seems anticipated divine revelation, as to the doctrine of punishment in Hades. They revealed it to the Jews by means of their fables. The Jews it is said, "did not adopt their fables, nor did they express themselves entirely in the same manner, but their general train of thinking came pretty much to coincide. That man must be very dull, who does not learn from this, that the doctrine of torment in Hades, had its origin in heathenism, and, that the Jews were ignorant of it, until they learned it from the heathen.---From all this,
will it be easy for any one to resist the conviction, that to this popular opinion, which the Jews had imbibed from their intercourse with the heathen, our Lord alluded in his parable, of the rich man and Lazarus? Such were the popular notions of the Jews in our Lord's day; and to what else could he allude? The Old Testament, as we have seen, taught no such doctrine, and in the parable it is not introduced as a new revelation to the world. It is merely brought in as a part of its imagery, and that without asserting its truth, or exposing the erroneous notion which people had imbibed. He no more attempts to correct this Pagan notion, than the common opinion, that satan had bound a woman eighteen years with an infirmity.
“ Dr. Campbell further declares, that though the Jews did not adopt the Pagan fables on this subject, yet their train of thinking pretty much coincided with theirs. “The Greek Hades they found well adapted to express the Hebrew Sheol. This they came to conceive as including different sorts of habitations for ghosts of different characters." They did not adopt the terms Elysium, or Elysian fields, to express the regions of good spirits, but he says, “they do not seem to have declined the use of the word Tartarus” to express the unhappy situation of the wicked in an intermediate state."
Le Clerc, as qnoted by Rev. Mr. Balfour, gives us the Pagan notion of punishment in a future world, in the following words :
“ Though enough has been said, showing that punishment in Hades was a heathen notion, and not sanctioned by divine revelation, it may be of some use to see what were the views entertained by the ancient heathen about Hades and Tartarus. M. Le Clerc, in his Religion of the Ancient Greeks, p. 147—154. thus writes :-"In general, the doctrine of a future life has
been adopted by all nations, at least by all those that deserve to be cited as examples. Legislators considered it as the most effectual curb for restraining the passiops of men, and they have employed every argument to establish this salutary doctrine, as we may be convinced by attending to the descriptions which the ancients have left us of hell.
“ This word 'signified among them the residence of souls. Thither, after death, they repaired in crowds to receive remuneration for their deeds. Minos sat as judge, and as the names were drawn out of the fatal urn, he distributed to each his merited punishment or reward. Pluto, seated on a throne of ebony, presided over the infernal regions ; because, as we have already observed, in the symbolical region of the ancients, part of which was dedicated to the worship of the stars, winter was the night of nature, and because the sun at that time took the name of King of the Shades. For this reason Pluto, who represented the sun, makes so important a figure in mysteries destined to describe the empire of the dead. The gloomy region was situated at an immense distance, far beyond the limits of this universe. According to the author of the Theogony, (Hesiod, Theog. v. 720.]“as far as the heaven is distant from the earth, so far is the earth removed from the dark abyss. A mass of iron, falling from the top of the starry heavens, would take nine days and nine nights before it reached the surface of the earth ; and it would require the same time in falling from thence to Tartarus,' the place destined for the punishment of the wicked.
“This frightful abode was said to be twice as deep as it is distant from the brilliant summit of Olympus. It was surrounded by a triple wall, it was bathed by the flaming waters of Cocytus and of Phlegethon, and towers of iron guarded the entrance. The cruel Tysiphone watched night and day at the gate, armed :