Imágenes de páginas

similar passages. In some of the old English versions, the seventeenth verse of the ninth Psalm is thus rendered, "the wicked Go into hell,"-i. e. into anxiety and trouble. This translation is perfectly harmonious with the revelation of God, and the experience of man. There is no peace, saith my God to the wicked; they are like the troubled sea; Is. 57: 20, 21; into this hell Jonah went, when he endeavoured to flee from the Lord. The pains of this hell took hold of David when he went into it, by the commission of those crimes, which tarnish his character, and blacken his memorial to all generations. O sinner, thou canst only keep out of this hell, by doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with thy God.

But my audience may demand what is implied in the text, O sheol, I will be thy destruction. I answer, the Lord God will swallow up death in victory; and wipe away tears from all faces. Is. 25: 8. God will dwell with men, and they shall be his people, and he will be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain. Rev. 21: 3, 4. The Hell of the Bible is that anxiety and trouble which are the effects of sin; and follow as a consequence that vanity to which the creature is subject. Rom. 8: 20. But the creature shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption, into the glorious liberty of the children of God, at the restitution, regeneration, or new creation of all things. The transgression shall be finished, sin terminate, death and hell be cast into the lake of fire to be destroyed, and evil be abolished from the empire of God! HADES.

Hades from a, not, and eido, to see-signifies unseen, invisible; the invisible reception or mansion of the dead, where all departed spirits are supposed to reside, without any distinction whatever.-In the scriptures,

it is often personified as a king of terrors, or destroying monster, having his basileion, or kingdom.-Wisd. 1 14. This is implied in the phrase, heos hadou, or doma hadou. Genesis 37: 35. Num. 15: 80. Is. 14: 11. Math. 11: 23. His pulai, or gates. Is. 38: 10. Math. 16: 18. His puloroi, or doorkeepers, Job 38: 17. His cheir, or hand, Ps. 59: 15. And his kentron, or sting. And notwithstanding the many have formed an unholy alliance, or covenant with him, to support his iniquitous administration, Is. 28: 15, yet he will be cast eis ten limnen tou puros, into the lake of fire. Here, my auditors, is the fortunate event my text contemplates when death and hell will be destroyed, and golden years return again.

Hades was generally considered by the ancients as a deep cavern, or dark region, located in the centre of the earth, by those who admitted the spherical form of the globe, but according to the vulgar notions of astronomy among the ancients, it was thought by the majority to be as far beneath the earth as the heaven was above it.-Hence Zophar, speaking to Job of the incomprehensibility of the Deity, says, it is high as heaven, deeper than hell. Homer, Hesiod, and Virgil, describe Hades as being as far beneath the earth as heaven is above it.

Tosson enerth' haideo hoson ouranos est apo gaies.-I. 8, 16. Tosson enerth' hupo ges, hoson ouranos est apo gaies.-Theog. 720 tum Tartarus ipse

Bis patet in precepts tantum, tanditque sub umbras
Quantus ad ethereum cœli suspectus Olympum.-En. 7, 577.


Josephus, who borrowed his views from the Grecian traditions, which had been lately adopted by the Pharisees, tells us hades is a subterraneous region, where the light never shines, and which must therefore be perpetual darkness. This region is appointed as a place of custody, in which the souls both of the righteous and unrighteous are detained. Into this region

there is only one descent, at whose gate stands an archangel with a host. The souls which pass through the gate go not all one way. The just are guided to the right, and conducted to a luminous region, which we call Abraham's bosom. The unjust are dragged to the left hand by the angels allotted for punishment, who reproach and threaten them by their terrible looks. This is evidently the view of hades exhibited in the parable, Luke 16.

From the time of the Pythagorean and Platonic Philosophy, the hell of the ancient heathen was divided into two mansions; that on the right they called Elysium, from a, not, and luo, to dissolve, which they intended to signify eternal existence, and is derived from the same word which the apostle employs, Heb. 7: 16, to express endless duration. The Elysium of the Greeks, called by the Jews the bosom of Abraham was believed to be a pleasant and delightful place, abounding in all manner of delicacies; but its pleasures they supposed to be corporeal and sensual. The left hand department was appointed for the wicked. This mansion they demoninated Tartarus, either from the verb tartarizo, to tremble, or tarasso, to disturb. This was the lowest and most dreadful place in hell, in the opinions of the Greeks and Romans, and is that to which the Psalmist alludes, Ps. 86: 13. It is also mentioned from an apocryphal work, 2 Peter, 2: 4. The entrance or descent into this subterraneous region, the Latins supposed to be through the lake Avernus, in Campania, near the bay of Putelus, now called Lago d'Averno. The exhalation from this lake was believed to be destructive to all birds; hence called Avernus, from a, negatively, and ornis, a bird. This name, however, says Lucretius, was afterwards applied to all places or lakes possessing similar qualities.


* Nunc age Averna tibi, quae saint locacunque lacusque.-L. 6, 788

Strabo describes the country around this lake as abounding with fountains of warm waters, mixed with salt, sulphur, alum, and bitumen, which gave origin to the names of Phlegethon and Pyriphlegethon, two rivers of hell-so called from these warm, sulphurous waters. Of this passage to the infernal regions Virgil says, the descent at Avernus is easy, and the gate of Pluto lies open night and day.

The Greeks had a passage into hades at Taenaris, a promontory of Peloponnesus, now called Capo Maina. Of this Virgil also takes notice, when he tells us that Orpheus having entered the passage of Taenaris, and the lofty gates of Pluto, he visited the shades and their terrible king.*

We cannot refrain from viewing with a mixture of pity and ridicule, the foolish fancies of the ancients and moderns on the local position of hell. When our modern pietists of much devotion, little learning and much less sense, address the Maker, they look up, supposing him a venerable old man, commodiously seated in some lofty region in the Zenith, whilst they believe his Satanic majesty holds a commanding position in the Nadir, or regions directly beneath. Were these sages, who measure heaven and hell, and fix their stations in the vast empire of the Deity, to look into a book on astronomy, and there discover that the Zenith and Nadir changed places every twelve hours; so that the point directly above at noon, would be perpendicularly beneath at midnight, how would they be alarmed! Surely that man who looks up to find God, believes as much in a local and tutelar deity as the Israelites, when they adored the calves at Dan and Bethel !

+ Æ. 6, 25.

*Tonarias etiam fauces, alta ostia Ditis

Ingressus, Manesque adiit regemque tremendum.—Geor. 4. 467.

Though Hades has sometimes the signification of Sheol, and simply intimates the idea of an unknown and unseen state, or nonentity, yet it more generally denotes the abode of spirits indiscriminately. In the Septuagint it answers to sheol, and cannot therefore communicate any other idea than that of the Hebrew term. Therefore by Hades, many have understood the grave; and in that sense it is sometimes used by the Greek writers.

Metros d' en hadou kai patros kekeuthotoin,

Ouk est adelphos hostis an blastoi pote.-Sophocles Antig. 924.

The Reformers generally maintained in their controversies with the Catholics, that hades simply denoted the grave, or state of the dead. Hence Corneil a Lapide, in Ephs. 4: 10. asserts that Calvin and Beza both denied the descent of Christ to hell; believing hades to mean no more than the grave. Indeed our orthodox commentators, on Acts 2: 27, are as strenuous advocates of the innocent meaning of the term, as any Universalist whatever and the uniform testimony of competent judges, ancient and modern, affixes one meaning to the word hades, i. e. the invisible world, or abode of spirits. The Greeks assigned one hades to all that die: hence they often say, "pantas homos thnetous haides dechetai. Hades receives all the dead." Caius, a Roman Presbyter, adopts similar language. "En hadou sunechontai psuchai dikaion te kai adikon. The souls of both the just and the unjust go to hades." Job exclaims, "Sheol Bethni, hades is my house, 17: 13. Thou wilt bring me to the house appointed for all living."-30: 23. Both Homer and Euripides say of the dead in general, katelthein eis dom hadou-they go to the house of hades: and the learned Wingate says, haiden nekron chorion exponunt Geaeci, the Greeks call the place of the dead, hades. Homer describing the rage of Achilles,

« AnteriorContinuar »