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been accepted of God, will manifestly avail for Israel in the coming day of their repentance (Zech. xii. 10; xiii. 1); i.e., they will be made conscious of their interest in the offering—the remission of their sips at the reappearance of the Messiah. Now for the ceremony. Aaron, washed and arrayed in linen robes of spotless white, emblematic of intriusio human righteousness (Rev. xix. 8, 14), in which the Son of God could present those for whom He suffered in the same moral condition as Him. self. Lots were cast for the two goats prepared for the occasion ; one for Jehovah, and the other for the scape-goat. That on which Jehovah's lot fell belonged to Him, and He commanded it to be killed as the sin. offering. It represented sin, and all which that woril signified to Flin, to which the penalty of death attached. Under shelter of the blood of this goat, together with that of a cloud of incense, Aaron entered the presence of Jehovah, and sprinkled the blood once on the mercy-seat, signifying that one offering of one life was propitiatory to the majesty of the Throne, satisfying its righteous claims; whilst some of the same blood was sprinkled seven times before the Mercy-seat, to show that there was a blood-purged ground of standing for the high priest, and for all whom he there represented; howbeit of this transaction they knew nothing, for as yet the aspect of the ceremony was towards Jehovab within the vail. When this was finished, and the offering accepted, the rest of the rite gavo assurance from Jehovah Himself as to the result. The question for Israel outside was, Has sin been atoned for ? is Aaron to reappear to confirm our personal acceptance ? The action with the scape.goat replies. Having presented it alive before Jehovah, Aaron was told to lay both hands on its head, and “confess over it all the iniquities and transgressions of the children of Israel in their presence.” The goat was then dismissed to a place whence it was never to return, that the eye of Jehovah might never again rest on their sins !
The antitypical scene to the above may be read in John xx. 17-23, where we behold the reappearance of Him who had ascended on the morn of His resurrection for acceptance before the judicial throne of God, as the sin-offering; and had displayed to the wondering gaze of the principalities and angelic powers around that
throne A PERFECT MAN. He there held out the tokens, in hands and side, of the accomplished work, wbich He that same evening showed to His expectant disciples on earth; Himself the Proto-Evangelist of the glad tidings of reconciliation. “ Peace be unto you,” were His assuring words, and it was on the ground of the entire action both in heaven and earth, that He qnalified and commissioned them to go and proach forgiveness of sins—the earthly aspect of His sacrifice – to whosoever shonld believe.
The day on which this double transaction took place was emphatically THE DAY OF ATONEMENT!"
THE GEHENNA OF CHRIST..
CHAPTER VI. UNABLE TNABLE to see any such general agreement among the Jewish
people as to the meaning of Gehenna which should be our probable guide to the menning in which our Lord used it, we turn to the Gospels to see from His own words what He thought of it. We believe this to be the only satisfactory way of arriving at His sense.
obtain aid to this from the prophets of the Old Testament, who spake by a Divine Spirit; but the opinions of the uninspired Jewish writers are too various and contradictory to afford us anytbing like a certain clue to His meaning. Of all the views of future punishment, they afford least countenance to the view of universal restoration held by Mr. Cox. We are strongly inclined to think that he can advance in favour of it not one single writer who can be proved, on sa isfactory evidence, to have lived prior to or during the life of Christ. The theory of universal restoration was, we fully believa, of late appearance either in the Jewish or or Christian Church.
We now proceed to examine the various passages where Gehenna is spoken of by Christ. Mr. Cox's idea is, that in very few of these places is bell, the place of future doom, spoken of by Him at all (85). We will see a liule farther on the unreasonableness and the inconsistency of this opinion on his part.
The first place where Christ speaks of Gehenna is in Matt. v. 22. He says there that, “ Whosoever is angry with bis brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment; and whosoever shall say to his brother, Ruca, shall be in danger of the council : but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of bell fire." In commenting on this passage, Mr. Cox first rejects the idea that it refers to various grades of punishment for various offences inflicted by the Jewish courts of justice. He tells us, and we think vary properly, that it is impossible to take them in this literal sense, for that in that sense they were not true (79, 80). He then goes on to insist that it is altogether an incredible thing to suppose that, for the offence of calling his brother“ fool," and this, perhaps, only in a moment of angry impulse, any one should “ be damned to an everlasting torment." And hence he infers that here “there is no thought of hell in His (Christ's) mind" (79-81).
llere our readers will, we think, see the impropriety of the general argument of Salvator Mundi,” in reasoning as though the Augustinian theory of everlasting torment were our only alternative if we reject that of universal restoration. We fully concede that for any possible evil language, dictated by the most hateful feelings, eternal torment could not be a just punishment. But we are not compelled to think anything of the kind We come to the inquiry under totally different circumstances, and inquire, whether hell, in our idea of it as the place of destruction, is not a suitable punishment for the sin of which Christ speaks here.
What this sin is, we cannot express better than in Mr. Cox's own language. He tells us that Christ is here teaching “that every sin,
Salvator Mundi." By Samuel Cox.
however in ward, will receive its due recompense of reward ; that the heart is the fountain from which all sin flows; that in God's sight the murderous wish, sı heme, bent, is murder; and that every utterance of it, whether in word or in deed, since it deepens and confirms it, will entail a still severer punishment” (81). A truer description of our Lord's meaning here we have never seen. The sin committed is that hatred of our brother which the Scripture calls murder, finding its expression in words of reproach and contempt. Now, is not Gehenna in our sense of it, namely, as a place of destruction, where life is withdrawn from the sinner, exactly the punishment which Scripture has poin:ed out for this sin ?
" Whosoever bateh his brother," St. John tells us, “is a murderer; and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him' (1 John iii. 15). Are not the words of Christ simply the repetition in another form of those of His disciple ? He, too, speaks of the murderer in heart, if not in act, reviling the object of bis hatred. He too, speaks of the end of such a mon, if he repents pot
He describes eternal life not abiding in the murderer by his being cast into that hell, that Gehenna, where God will destroy both the body and soul of the unsaved. There is not the smallest objection on our view of taking Gehenna hero as the place of future doom, nor the smallest reed of explaining away its obvious sense by calling it, as Mr. Cux does, “ a parable.”
We are next referred to Matt v. 29, 30, where our Lord again speaks of Gehenna. Mr. Cox treats these passages exactly as be treated Matt. v. 22. He rejects any direct reference here to the Valley of Hinnom, and rejects as still more incredible, that for the sin spoken of here, the sinner should be consigned to "everlasting torment” (82). In both of these opinions we fully agree with him. But here, as throughout his book, ignoring our view of hell as a place of destruction, he supposes that he has vanquished all bis opponents, while one of them remains in unbroken force to contest bis claim to victory. We do not suppose Gehenna here to be the Valley of Hinnom. Still less do we suppose it to be a place of “ everlasting torment,” for we do not believe such & place to exist in all (iod's universe. But we suppose it to be a place of destruction, where the adulterer, repenting not here of his unchaste life, will find that for him, as for the murderer, there is no “ eternal life." We take Gedepna in its usual sense in our Lord's time as the place of future doom, and do not want to explain it away by calling it "a parable."
We need not dwell at any length on the next passages to which Mr. Cox resers us, and where we find the same sentiment expressed as in Matt. v. 22, 29, 30 ( Matt. xviii. 8, 9; Mark ix. 43.48). Here, too, for similar reasons, Mr. Cox rejects the idea, tbat either the Valley of Hinnom, or the place of future doom, is referred to (83-85). Here, 100, agreeing with bim that our Lord does not refer to the Valley of Hinnom, we find ample room for our idea of hell as the place where “ the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” Our Lord speaks of such a place as the end of those who hold fast to their favourite sins, of whatever kind they be. Their end is destruction. The undying worm and the quenchless flame consume them; an end in unison with the oft-repeated declaration of other Scriptures.
And now we have a few words to say of Mr. Cox's treatment of the word Gehenda, translated “hell,” in our Authorised and Revised Versions. of the New Testament. Our Lord uses this word eleven times in the New Testament. We have considered it already in no less than eight of these. We have been very greatly surprised, and we rather think our readers have been surprised, at finding that in no one of these eight passages does Mr. Cox allow that our Lord makes any reference to the place of future doom. This appears to us to call for a few observations.
Mr. Cox believes fully in a state and place of future doom. He believes in this as much as we, or the Augustinian theorists do, though he holds it to have been prepared for a different purpose. He also holds that the Jewish people, both before and subsequent to Christ, believed in this place and state. And he also tells us, with perfect propriety, that Gebenna was the word used by the Jews of our Lord's time; as well as before and after it, for this place of doom.
At page 73 Mr. Cox givos us a good many quotations from various Rabbinical writers, taken from the Talmud and other sources. one of these quotations Gehenna is, according to him, used by those writers for the place of doom. Those quotations are so clear in this respect, so numerous, so uncontradicted by opposite examples, that Mr. Cox tells us that we can arrive from them at the exact sense in which the word Gehenna was used among the Jews in our Saviour's time : “ They show us," he says, “they prove beyond contradiction, the general sense put on the word Gehenna by the Jews of our Lord's time" (75). That sense we have seen to have been the place of future doom.
Mr. Cox proceeds to give further consequences from the use of this word by the Rabbis in the quotations he brings forward. Its use by them is to determine the sense in which we are to use it now. “We are bound,” he positively affirms, to take the word in this Jewish sense” (76). He will allow us no liberty here. But he goes farther than this. He not only tells us that we must use Gehenna for the place of doom, but that we are rationally bound to conclude that our Lord used it in this sense. “ Christ was a Jew," he tells us, " and spoke to Jews; and in what but their Jewish sense can we fairly and reasonably interpret His words?" (75).
Mr. Cox here very plainly and confidently states his opinion. This “ Jewish sense" for Gehenna was, according to him, its all but universal, if not absolutely universal sense. This was the sense of the word among them.
In this sense we are bound to take it when we read it in Jewish writings for from, at least, three centuries before Christ to three centurios after Him. If we find our Lord using it, if we are rational men, we are bound to suppose that He uses it in this sense! And yet, what do we find Mr. Cox doing when he comes to this word as used by Cbrist ? Why, be does the very thing that he said ought not to be done! Our Lord has used this word eleven times. If we were to follow Mr. Cox's canon of interpretation, as drawn from Jewish usage, we would be compelled to conclude that in every one of these eleven instances, or at least in the far larger proportion of them, our Lord meant by Gehenna the place of future doom. But it is nothing of the kind. One after another, Mr. Cox carefully examines them, and sets them aside from having the meaning we should suppose them, from his guidance, to have. After having examined thus eight out of the eleven places, he tells us, “ As yet we have not met a single passage which so much as alludes to the future state of the wickeil” (85).
We cannot here go with Mr. Cox. Being inconsistent with himself, it would be impossible for us to follow him in the directly opposite directions in which he would have us go. We must choose one of those ways, and that leads us to the conclusion which he ably and clearly works out from page 70 to page 75. With him we hold that before and after the time of Christ, the Jewish people used the word Gehenna as significant of the future doom of the wicked. With him we hold that this usage is to be our guide to the sense in which Christ used the word; and, therefore, we also hold - still following the road he pointed out for us, though he no longer walks in it himself – that in the eight passages of Scripture which Mr. Cox brings before us, and in which Christ speaks of Gebenna, He means by it the place and state of future doom.
In our opinion Gehenna has but one signification ; and that is the place and state of future punishment. Differing as the three great schools of thought on this subject do, on the duration and nature of this punishment, all agree that there is a place and state of future retribution. To express this, Gehenna is the word used among the Jews from a very ancient time. We believe it to have this, and only this meaniog. Derived from Ge-Hinnom, the Valley of Hinnom, we do not believe that in its derived form, Gehenna, it ever means the Valley of Hinom (Joshua xviii. 16). Here, of course, we hold ourselves open to correction. We may be wrong, and will be obliged for correction if we are. But before Mr. Cox can, with the smallest show of probability, claim our credence for his most extraordinary opinion that, at least, in eight out of eleven instances our Loril nses the word Gehenna in a sepse not recognised among His nation, we must ask Mr. Cox for a single example from Talmud, or from Targum, that any Rabbi ever used Gebenna in any other sense than for the place of doom.
But we are glad to find that, at least, in two places in the Gospels, Mr. Cox does allow that Christ uses Gehenna to describe the future state of the wicked (85). Those two passages are in Matt. x. 28, and Luke xii. 5. They are parallel passages, cunveying the same awful truth, with some variety of expression. They are very important passages in our present question. We will, therefore, consider the first of them somewbat fully. In Matt. x. 28, our Lord says to His disciples, “ Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both body and soul in hell” (Gehenna).
Now we must say that we have read Mr. Cox's observations upon this. text with some surprise, and with considerable satisfaction. It certainly appears to us that in these observations, Mr. Cox has conceded to us all that we can ask. He seems, so far as we can judge from his words, to interpret the text just as we interpret it; and to our mind it has always appeared that this text teaches, beyond any fair objection, our theory of the destruction, or annihilation, of the wicked. This we will now endeavour to show.