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we are required to give up whatever is most dear in this life of the body, if we-would save it from the pit of destruction which yawns beneath it. It appears, indeed, from the account of this discourse given in Luke vi. that part of it was afterwards spoken in the ears of the people. We read there (12th verse) that Jesus "went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, He called unto Him His disciples." A few verses further on we are told that "He came down with them and stood in the plain," and that a great multitude was then gathered about Him. But even in this report by Luke the discourse is thus introduced: "And He lifted up His eyes on His disciples, and said." And in the account of it that follows there is not a word about being cast into hell.
It is, therefore, an unfounded assumption that Jesus warned the common people in woids familiar to them of an endless torment in hell. Words addressed to disciples for another purpose have been tortured into this meaning.
2. Matt, xviii, 8, 9, almost repeats the words of the sermon on the mount. Hell-fire is here called eternalfire. But here again the words are thus introduced: "At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven?" Here again the words are designed to impress upon them the law of self-humiliation and renunciation as the way of life. He warns them that pride and self-seeking must be crucified, and offending members mortified—put to death —that the whole man may not have to be cast into eternal fire Here again there is no public warning of the people of this peril.
3. In Mark ix. 43, 45, 4! this conversation is given at greater length. We have here the added particulars that in this Gehenna "the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched." But also a more particular statement that the instruction was esoteric, and given in the privacy of a house at Capernaum to disciples (verse 33). The common impression seems to be that these solemn words were frequently on the lips of Jesus when addressing the multitudes. Dr. Hodge's argument derives its main force from this. And yet in no instance given in these narratives is there proof of this. And as a consequence of this perversion, not only has there grown up this monstrous doctrine of what God purposes to do with the great mass of His creatures, but Christians have been blinded to, and so have evaded the salutary lessons taught in these passages to them. The words apply to them. They are designed for them. They teach them that, if the sacrifice of their life shall ascend as a sweet savor to God, they must be salted with fire. They show us especially that our God is a consuming fire. If Christians understood better the meaning of this declaration, and interpreted God's dealings with them in the light of it, they would have less difficulty in understanding the mystery of the punishment of the wicked.
4. One of Dr. Hodge's quotations, Matt, xxiii. 33, is an exception to the esoteric character of these passages. Our Lord, addressing the Pharisees, says: "Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? But here the terms are more vague. They do not necessarily imply that this damnation is endless misery. Indeed, the words that follow—the lament over Jerusalem—of which the scribes and Pharisees were the chief class, ends with a distinct promise of blessing after her visitation of judgment. "For I say unto you, ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord." There is nothing in the words, " damnation of hell," which requires that the destruction threatened be located beyond the resurrection of the dead. * Dr. Hodge quotes from Josephus in proof that the Pharisees would understand by this term an eternal punishment. Yes, but not a punishment that lasts beyond the resurrection. The passages he refers to from Josephus read as follows: "The Pharisees believe that souls have a deathless vigor in them, and that under the earth there will be rewards or punishments, according as they have lived virtuously or viciously in this life; and the latter are to be detained in an everlasting prison, but that the former shall have power to revive and live again. * * * But the doctrine of the Sadducees is this, that souls die with the bodies." (Antiq. xviii, 3, 4). "They say (the Pharisees) that all souls are incorruptible, but that the souls of good men only are removed into other bodies, but that the souls of bad men are subject to eternal punishment" (Jewish War, II. ch. 8, 14). Now in both these passages it is to be observed that the souls of the wicked are viewed as continued in punishment, because
they are denied a resurrection. This is the very point we have raised in this magazine. the hints of resurrection in the Old Testament, as well as positive statements in the New (Rom. v. 18; I Cor. xv. 21, 22) view it as redemptive. The fewish mind did not conceive of it in any other way. Christ's hearers, therefore, would never think of referring His words about hell-fire to a period beyond the resurrection. Nor does such a reference lie in the words themselves. All these passages relate to an impending destruction of man's present embodied being. When Jesus spoke about cutting off a hand, lest the body be cast into hell, not a thought would enter their minds of a future resurrection body. These passages have all been misunderstood, because they have been wrongly located. Jesus throughout is speaking of what awaits men before resurrection. He was the first to teach clearly that all men would be raised, although He taught also that the wicked would still remain in the region of judgment. But it is a legitimate inquiry what change will be wrought in the condition of the unjust, who are lifted out of death and hell through resurrection? This is the new aspect in which we have insisted this whole subject must be re-studied. Dr. Hodge's prime mistake is in viewing all these passages as applying to the condition of the unsaved after a general resurrection. Whereas they all relate to their condition prior to that deliverance. •
5. The same remarks apply to his use of Matt. xxv. 31-46. This, again, is a part of our Lord's private teaching. Matthew is careful to begin his report of this discourse with the statement, "And as He sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately." Mark limits it still further, "And as He sat upon the Mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked Him privately." No warrant is found in the passage for the common assumption that Jesus warned His promiscuous hearers of the danger of an everlasting punishment in eternal fire. How can this reticence before them be accounted for? Moreover, there is not a word about this judgment being preceded by a resurrection. It is a living judgment of the nations of mankind. And it is plainly implied that the Son of Man would enter upon His office as King and Judge of the world before that generation passed away. The question, therefore, still remains open whether resurrection will not lift out of the destruction represented by the phrase, " eternal fire," the nations consigned to it.
It may be said that, even if these were private instructions to disciples, Jesus meant that they should proclaim to men everywhere their exposure to this unspeakable danger. If His disciples so understood it, then they did not carry out His instructions. Not a recorded sermon in the Acts, not a line in the epistles, speaks of a possible endless torment of lost men in an eternal hell after resurrection.
We find that Dr. Hodge's use of the passages is vitiated throughout by these two misconceptions:
1. They are viewed as warnings addressed to the multitude.
2. They are taken out of their place as warnings of the peril to which sinful man is exposed in death, and