Theories as to a Future State
"THE RESTITUTION OF ALL THINGS" - CANON FARRAR
CANON FARRAR often names the doctrine of "final
restitution" (in the universalist sense, of course), and his last "excursus" in
the appendix to his book is entitled "The Voice of Scripture respecting Eternal
Hope." There is little, however, beside a list of texts, which we shall
presently consider. The first two pages are taken up with that protest against
isolated texts, which we have already looked at. Then it is urged, that "if the
doctrine of endless torment be true, it is incredible that there should be no
trace of it in the entire Old Testament, except by putting on the Hebrew phrase
forever a sense which it does not and cannot bear." We have gone so
fully into the question of the Old Testament doctrine, that this also we may
pass by here.
His third section is devoted to the consideration of the Jewish rabbinical teachings upon the subject. I have added the few texts they appeal to to Dr. F.s own list. Otherwise their views are of the very smallest value.* Of course, Josephus and the Pharisees and Essenes do not appear in the consideration of Jewish doctrine.
*As an example we may give the following in Dr. Farrars own words: "In a magnificent passage of Othoth (attributed to R. Akiba) it is said that God has a key of Gehenna, and that He will preach to all the righteous; that Zerubbabel shall say the Kaddish, and an Amen shall sound forth from Gehenna, and that Gabriel and Michael will open the 40,000 gates of Gehenna and set free the damned. Akiba founds this on Isa. xxvi. 2, reading shomer amenim, 'observing the, Amen, for shomer emanim, 'keeping the truth' "!
Of course, according to this, Gehenna must be "in the land of Judah," and the righteous nation are the lost in Gehenna!
His fourth section is occupied mainly with advice to "honest, serious and competent readers" of his book, as to the spirit and manner in which he would have them weigh the texts he adduces. As it includes a brief review of the subject, and some things not said elsewhere, we shall briefly glance at this. He asks: -
"Now will honest, serious and competent readers weigh the plain, literal meaning of the texts which follow - the number of which might easily be trebled, - and in weighing them with an earnest and prayerful desire to get rid of traditional bias and attain to truth, will they also do as follows ? -
"i. Examine their own conscience and reason as to all that they know, and all that the Bible teaches, respecting the love of God and redemption through Jesus Christ."
Only remembering that what they know of either cannot transcend the teaching of that Bible. The love of God is only really known where, and so far as, Scripture is known. And reason and conscience are not other Bibles - are not authoritative standards, - but only make us capable of responsibility, and actually responsible, to the authority of God.
"ii. See how very little, which is in the least degree decisive, they can produce on the other side; and how for every word of that very little an explanation is offered, demonstrably tenable, and far more in accordance with history than that which they adopt." Which if true settles the matter. For if universalism be "demonstrably tenable" its opposite cannot be, save upon principle which destroys the authority of Scripture altogether. But this may safely be left, after all that we have before us.
"iii Consider the tremendous weight of evidence which must be thrown against their private interpretation from the fact that neither the Jewish nor the Christian church have ever been dogmatically to sanction it."
The word of God no more needs the church's "sanction" to make it true, than God Himself the permission of His creature to exist. But Dr. Farrar cannot mean to imply that the church has ever pronounced it a doubtful opinion, or that the overwhelming weight of human testimony has not been in favour of the doctrine he rejects. To me that does not make it one iota more authoritative or more trustworthy, because all true faith is in God's word, not man's; but the facts as to the general ecclesiastical belief are scarcely decisive against the view still prevalent.
"iv. Remember that in the extreme form in which they hold it, which excludes anything resembling purgatory, it is directly opposed to a large body of primitive teaching, and to the views of the entire Roman church."
How the question of "a purgatorial fire where the souls of the righteous are purified by punishment," as Dr. Farrar himself states this doctrine* from the Catechism of the Council of Trent, can mitigate the terror of eternal punishment for the unrighteous, it is hard to say. As for primitive teaching, it is too large a question to take up here, and "honest, serious, and competent readers" will hardly assume what has not been proved. But if Dr. Farrar identifies it, as we must suppose, with that "almost necessary belief" which he speaks of in his preface, then it is hard to say how its exclusion from an evangelical creed, should make that creed harder and less merciful. He states it there as "the wide-spread, ancient, reasonable, and, I had almost said, necessary, belief in some condition in which - by what means know not, whether by the pæna sensus or only the pæna damni - imperfect souls who die in a state unfit for heaven may yet have perfected in them until the day of Christ, that good work of God which has been in this world begun." That is only what we have before heard Canon Farrar intimate that some whom he styles the "poor in spirit" may have to pass to the kingdom of heaven through the flames of Gehenna. Right or wrong, the evangelical creed is not less merciful surely, when it teaches that the blood of Christ and the Spirit of God can make a dying thief fit for paradise same day. It is scarcely less merciful, however little he may esteem it possible, to substitute paradise for the mildest form of purgatory. Nor does this touch the question of the unsaved.
*Pref., p. xvii. P. xix.
"v. Give due weight to the fact that many who have devoted years of earnest labour to the inquiry - ripe scholars and good men, orthodox fathers, eminent theologians, profound thinkers, holy and reverent inquirers - have come to the deliberate conclusion that there is not a single text in all Scripture which necessitates a belief in endless torment."
But how many who have as patiently and laboriously come to the opposite conclusion? The effect of which upon a really reverent soul will be to make him see that God will not allow that to be settled by mere human authority, which must be ascertained in the presence of God alone, and from His word. Good men may, alas, suffer themselves in many ways to be drawn aside from truth; but still the word stands - for "Scripture cannot be broken" - "If any man will do (willeth to do) His will, he SHALL KNOW of the doctrine, whether it be of God."
"vi. Bear specially in mind that it rests, almost if not quite exclusively, on the meanings which they attach to two words, 'Gehenna' and 'Æonian,' of which the first, interpreted by the only possible means of interpretation open to us, cannot bear the sense which they attribute to it; and the other is over and over again applied in Scripture to indefinite but limited time, or to that which transcends all conception of time."
So far from its being merely a question of either word, there are a number of passages which would be decisive without either. Every passage which speaks of final "destruction" or "the second death," such statements as "he shall not see life," "cannot enter into the kingdom of God"; that "now is the accepted time," and "now is the day of salvation"; all the passages, the most solemn and full in all Scripture, of the book of Revelation; all these, among other testimonies, refute Dr. Farrar's first assertion.
Then as to Gehenna, if the students of the rabbins are alone competent to say what it means, few readers comparatively, however "honest and serious," can be pronounced "competent." But why should contradictory and hyperbolical rabbins be more trustworthy than the testimony of Scripture itself? Why on its authority may we not say that "Gehenna" is a place where "soul and body" are "destroyed"; as well as on that of the Jewish doctors, that "the judgment of Gehenna is for twelve months," or that "Gehenna is nothing but a day in which the impious shall be burnt," or that "after the last judgment Gehenna exists no longer" - that last judgment in which men are adjudged to Gehenna! All these statements are given by Dr. Farrar himself from his own chief authority, the Talmud.
Again, as to "æonian," we have seen that while in other writings we can trace a growing use of "aion" for eternity, when used in the sense of duration at all, æonial is never less than "everlasting." And though we may speak of "everlasting hills" this does not make the proper force of the word doubtful.
Dr. Farrar would have his readers begin their Scripture search with the matter already almost settled for them outside of Scripture.
His next piece of advice is characteristic enough: -
"vii. Be shamed into a little humility - little doubt as to their own absolute infallibility on all religious subjects - a little sense of their possible ignorance or invincible prejudice - a little abstinence from cheap anathemas and contemptible calumnies - a little avoidance of such base weapons of controversy as the assertion that those who hold such views as I here have advocated are repeating the devil's whisper, 'Thou shalt not surely die.' "
To all this I may be excused from replying; but note what follows: -
"By not losing sight of the fact that (1) these views have been held in substance, not only (as I have said) by great teachers and holy saints, but also by whole churches; and (2) that they are involved in practices so universal and so primitive as prayers for the dead. The Kaddish, or prayer for the dead, in the Jewish liturgies, is probably as old as the time of our Lord, and if so was by Him unreproved, though it was believed to be efficacious for the relief of souls in Gehenna"
Dr. Farrar does not refuse very dubious texts, as we see, from that other Bible of history in which he believes; but it is a ponderous argument to base upon an "if." The next text is not less dubious, though from Scripture.
"Eminent commentators, comparing 2 Tim. i. 16 and 19 (18 ?), and iv. 19 have believed that St. Paul's prayer for Onesiphorus is a prayer for one who was dead; and he does not reprove the principle of even so superstitious a practice as baptism for the dead."
The first of these is again a large conclusion from scant premises. Paul salutes the house of Onesiphorus, no mention made of Onesiphorus himself. He prays for mercy to his house, and "that he may find the mercy of the Lord in that day," and as Onesiphorus does not appear in all this, it must be inferred it was a prayer for the dead! In an opposite interest, how would Canon Farrar treat such a conjecture?
Yet the second argument is worse. Where does the apostle speak of the principle of the practice of "baptism for the dead"? Nowhere. He argues, if anything, for the practice itself "Else what shall they do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead? And why stand we in jeopardy every hour? I protest. . . I die daily" (1 Cor. xv. 29-31). If this is not approving the practice, I know not what is. Fancy the apostle urging in his argument for resurrection, "Else what shall they do who are (so superstitiously!) baptized for the dead." As for the principle, he says nothing about it. What was the principle? What was the practice even? Dr. Farrar evidently refers to a suppositious ceremony "never adopted except by some obscure sects of Gnostics, who seem to have founded their custom on this very passage,'* the practice of submitting to baptism for some person who had died unbaptized. Dr. Farrar owns it as a "superstitious custom"; yet thinks the apostle does not reprove the principle of it - a principle which must have implied the need of baptism to free from the penalties of sin, and the possibility of the living making up the deficiencies of the dead! A thing too gross to be accepted by the ritualistic Christianity which so soon succeeded the apostolic.
*Conybeare and Howson: Life and Epistles of St. Paul. In their note upon the text they speak of it as the only meaning the Greek seems to admit; "yet," they say, "this explanation is liable to very great difficulties." The first difficulty they mention is "that St. Paul should refer to such a superstition without rebuking it." The second, the discontinuance of such a practice "in the period which followed, when a magical efficacy was more and more ascribed to the material act of baptism." They conclude that "the passage must be considered to admit of no satisfactory explanation."
Yet in the light of the context the difficulties of the passage are not insuperable. Why cannot the ordinary rite be styled - for it is evident there was no special one - "baptism in place of the dead,"* simply because those freshly receiving it were filling up the ranks in what was then indeed "the noble army of martyrs" - of men "appointed unto death." The verses following show that in this track the apostle's thoughts were running. "I protest I die daily. If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not?" Why should it be so very strange an expression for him to use, "baptism in place of the dead," under such circumstances and in such a connection? Especially when the choice is between this and the apostle's sanction of "so superstitious a Practice" as Dr. Farrar owns the other to have been - a practice which there is no evidence ever existed?
*uper ton nekron. - Uper is undoubtedly used in this sense Cor. v. 20 and Philem. 13, though it is not a frequent use in the New Testament.
Ch. iv. 9.
The antiquity of the practice of prayers for the dead we may concede to Dr. Farrar, as of many another error which Scripture shows us coming in already in apostolic days. Superstition is not the more venerable for its grey hairs.
"viii. Let them weigh the fact that what Christ did once - namely, preach to the lost, and open for them the prison doors - He may do again and ever. The text on which I preached 'throws blessed light on one of the darkest enigmas of Divine justice - the cases in which the final doom seems infinitely out of proportion to the lapse which has incurred it.' [Was that the case with the Corinthians ?]. This was the interpretation of the early fathers."
Which does not save it, nevertheless, from being error.* Long before this, in view of what was coming in, the Apostle Paul commended the Ephesians "to God and the word of His grace" and we have certainly no less need of the injunction at the present day. Scripture is conclusive in this case against the interpretation of the fathers, however early or many.
*I would commend Isaac Taylor's "Ancient Christianity" to those who wish to see what patristic teaching had developed into already in Nicene times.
We may now turn to the passages, the principal of which have been already examined. The first is Gen. iii. 15, the prediction of the serpent's head being bruised by the woman's seed, which only needs to be referred to again, on account of a quotation from Dr. Chauncey. "How could this be so, if Satan triumphed by gaining millions to be his slaves? In this case could it be said, as in Isa. liii. 13, 'He shall see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied, for he shall bear their iniquities'?"
Passages adduced, which need no further notice, nothing fresh being said of them, are Gen. xii. 3; (xxii. 18; Gal. iii. 8; Acts iii. 25 John i. 29; iii. 17, 35; xii. 32; 1 John ii. 2; Acts iii. 21 ; Eph. i. 10; Rom. viii. 19, 24; v. 15, 17, 18. 20, 21; xi. 32; xiv. 9; l Cor. xv. 22. 24-28; 1 Tim. ii. 4, 6; iv. 10; Heb. ii. 14; Rev. xx. 14; xxi. 4, 5: xxii. 3.
The answer to the first question is, that Satan will never gain a single slave. His reign in hell is a mere dream and a delusion. To the second, the answer will be found very simply by quoting the whole passage: "He shall see of the fruit of the travail of his soul and be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous Servant justify MANY, for he shall bear their iniquities."
(2.) Exod. xxxiv. 6, 7, is appealed to by Chief Rabbi Weill, who naturally quotes down to, "and will by no means clear the guilty," which he omits.
(3.) Psa. xxx. 5 he also appeals to: "His wrath endureth but the twinkling of an eye, but his favour a lifetime"; but those words are part of an exhortation to the Lord's saints to sing to Him, and are illustrated by the deliverance which the Psalmist has experienced from his enemies. They apply to the discipline of the righteous, and not to the punishment of the wicked.
(4.) Psa. lxii. 14* is one of the texts (with Mic. vii. 18-20, etc.), upon which Rabbi Albo founds the remission of eternal punishment for all except the worst. Nothing is said about it, however, in the psalm, but "two things" are ascribed to God, power and mercy, and these will be shown in rendering to every man according to his work. All the rest is speculation. And the passage in Micah speaks of God's mercy in Israel's restoration in the latter day.
*v. 13 must be meant according to the Hebrew numbering, 12 in the English.
Delitzsch translates: "One thing hath Elohim spoken, these two have I heard," etc.
(5) Psa. ciii. 9: "He will not always be chiding, neither keepeth He His anger forever," is one of Dr. Farrar's own texts, but the application throughout the psalm is again quite obvious, as especially the 17th and 18th verses, where the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on them that fear Him. . . to such as keep His covenant, and those that remember His commandments to do them."
(6.) Psa. cxxxix. 8: "If I make my bed in hell, behold, Thou art there": - a very strange quotation on Dr. Farrar's part, made still more strange, by the poetry in his note.* Strange - because the word for "hell" is (as of course he knows) sheol; one of the words he speaks of elsewhere as denoting "a place both for the bad and the good," and which "means an intermediate state of the soul previous to judgment," and not, therefore, "hell" in the ordinary sense at all. Made stranger by the poetry he quotes: for that would make it appear that hell was a receptacle for those who cling in humility and love to Christ.
* "What hell may be I know not: this I know,
I cannot lose the presence of the Lord:
One arm - Humility - takes hold upon
His dear humanity; the other, Love,
Clasps His divinity, so where I go,
He goes; and better fire-walled hell with Him,
Than golden-gated paradise without."
Pref., p. xxxi.
(7.) Isa. lvii. 16: "For I will not contend forever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made." This has been already urged by Mr. Constable in behalf of annihilation, as by Canon Farrar for restoration. In truth it has nothing to do with either, being simply the reason why the Lord will not pursue Israel to extremity, as having purposes of mercy toward her. This is what the context positively proves.
(8.) Isa. xlix. 9: "That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Show yourselves." This is quoted by Mr. Jukes, as well as Dr. Farrar. It is an address of Jehovah prophetically to Messiah, and applies expressly to the earth and not to hell at all: "I will also give Thee for a Light to the Gentiles, that Thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth, . . . . to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages; that Thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth" etc. Similar language is used in familiar passages, where none would dream of carrying it further. Dr. Farrar must assume that it applies to hell. Will he say why?
As, e. g. Isa. lxii. 7, lxi. 1, Luke iv. 18-21.
(9.) Hos. vi. 1: "Come, and let us return to the Lord: for He hath torn, and He will heal us: He hath smitten, and He will bind us up." How this, which does speak of the Lord's mercy to the penitent, bears upon the question of the judgment of the impenitent, it is again difficult to say.
(10.) Hos. xiv. 4: "I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely; for mine anger is turned away from him." Here also a word of explanation would have been acceptable. How does this show that God's anger will be turned away from those under "eternal judgment"?
(11.) Luke ix. 56, 1 give without comment: "For the Son of Man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them"!
(12.) Luke xii. 47, 48: "He that knew not his Lord's will and did commit things worthy of stripes shall be beaten with few stripes." That I surely believe; but a man must be born again to go to heaven. *
*Mr. Cox (Salv. Mun., p. 186) adduces Ram. xiv. 9 - 1l, to urge that "as 'no man can confess that Jesus is the Lord but by the Holy Ghost,' the dead are to bow to Him, as well as the living, must be open to the renewing ministry of the Divine Spirit: open to it! yes, and mercifully condemned (!) and exposed to it until every one, even the most stubborn, be compelled to yield it." (!) Now "no man can say that not 'confess') Jesus Christ is Lord but by the Holy Ghost" is a question of power not life. Many will say in that day "Lord, Lord," and be condemned (Matt. vii. 22). But condemned, says Mr. Cox, to the renewing ministry of the Holy Ghost.
(13, 14.) Phil. ii. 10, 11; Col. i. 19, 20 :--These have been looked at before. I only mention them here to allow place to Mr. Minton's observations, of course from a different point of view to Dr. Farrar.
Mr. Minton contends that "all things," in the latter passage, means "the whole universe," as being what is spoken of in ver. 16 as "created by Christ; for precisely the same language is used with regard to both. . . . If Gehenna be a locality, it is part of the earth as represented to St. John by the lake of fire. And when we are told that even on our view 'hell has to be excepted' from the universal reconciliation, we reply, that when that reconciliation is completed, hell will have done its work, and passed away with the first earth on which it was seen. . . . In each case the universe is regarded as a whole. . . There is nothing in existence which Christ did not originally create, and there shall at last be nothing in existence that He has not reconciled to God."
Way Everlasting, pp. 23, 24, note.
Now the passing away of hell with the first earth is simply a dream of Mr. Minton's, inasmuch as the dead are not cast into it till after the earth and the heavens are fled away. And hell and those in it are never mentioned as to be "reconciled" at all. They are given as a third class in the passage in Philippians, where subjection and not reconciliation is spoken of: "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of heavenly beings, of earthly, and of infernal." Plainly heavenly and earthly do not here include this other class of infernal beings, and, therefore, all things in heaven and in earth do not, if Scripture is consistent with itself, as it surely is. This is demonstration that Mr. Minton's thought of the expression meaning strictly "the universe" is incorrect.
But he is not willing to give it up, nevertheless, and he urges that in the passage in Philippians in the original, -
" 'at' is .'in the name of Jesus,' and that St. Paul is teaching the Philippians precisely what he taught the Colossians, though in different language. He declares that all the intelligent universe shall ultimately 'bow' to 'God the Father,' that is, worship God 'in the name of Jesus.' 'J. M. C.' appears to think that 'under the earth' means Gehenna. But no one has been cast into Gehenna yet; and it appears to St. John as on the surface of the earth. If he will once more refer to the original, he will see that the word is one commonly used in Greek for the dead. When speaking of the 'all things,' St. Paul divides them into this planet, with everything belonging to it, and all the rest of creation. When speaking - not of all 'things' as erroneously translated in Phil ii., but - of all intelligent creatures, he divides that portion of creation which is subject to death into the living and the dead, probably to convey an assurance of resurrection from the dead. . . . There will not be left in the whole universe one single knee which does not bow to God the Father in the name of Jesus. It is 'subjection' no doubt; but it is the willing subjection of the heart, not a 'paralysis' or an enforced 'harmony of power.' "
Now here again we must first set aside the extraordinary view Mr. Minton has as to Gehenna. Where does it appear to the apostle as on the surface of the earth? Certainly not in the book of Revelation; nor anywhere else so far as I am aware. Then the dead, he tells us, are not in Gehenna "yet." Quite true, if we speak as to the present. But I suppose it is not "yet" that every knee bows. If it be the dead that are to bow in willing subjection of heart to God before they are yet in Gehenna, then it is hardly possible that they should ever go there, and universalism, not annihilation, would be true. But it would scarcely agree with Scripture to blot out Gehenna altogether. We must conclude then, that the "dead" do not bow before Gehenna. But then after Gehenna there are no dead to bow; and even according to Mr. Minton, those that die the second death will not, and there are no other dead at all.
Perhaps he will say, that is not yet what he means. Well, then he must mean that of those now dead, every knee shall in the future "bow"; but that, in his sense of bowing, is universalism again. Mr. Minton cannot give any meaning to the words he quotes, consistent with annihilation; if the subjection be subjection of heart. For if it be living and dead before judgment and every knee shall bow before then, the wicked dead will be converted and saved before they are in hell at all; and if those now dead are to bow after judgment, they will still be converted before they are annihilated, and God will annihilate converted souls; or if finally it be those dead after the judgment, then as none will die in any sense then but the wicked, still the same result follows. Willing subjection of heart in all the living and the dead is either universalism or mere absurdity.
But is it willing subjection of heart that the passage shows? Certainly every knee bowing does not of itself mean that. Nor does it say, as Mr. Minton puts it, that they bow to God the Father at all. The apostle is expressly speaking of the exaltation of the name of Jesus, and it is at that Name (as the context absolutely requires) that they bow, though it be to God the Father's glory that the Son is thus honoured. Mr. Minton (with Jukes and others) renders "in the name," but there is no need from the Greek at all, and the context is decisive against it: "He has given Him a name above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow" is the only consistent reading, and subjection, not reconciliation, and that to Christ Himself; the only possible sense.*
*That en to ovouati must be "in, the name " is a strange assertion to be made for any one who knows the flexibility of Greek prepositions. It would be impossible for a scholar save under influence which had destroyed his mental capacity, to assert it. The text is an example of ?? denoting "the occasion," of which Winer gives an example which is quite parallel to this; Acts vii. 29: ephugen en to logotouto, "then fled Moses at this saying." To which may be added Luke 1. 21, "marvelled that he tarried." or "at his tarrying."
Then as to those "under the earth" being used for the dead, it is allowed that the Greek word often means this; but Mr. M. will probably allow that "infernal" is more exactly literal, although he may not agree that this term should have its modern meaning. But if beings in heaven, on earth, and under the earth are characterized in this way at the time they bow to Christ, and that bowing itself corresponds (as clearly it must) to all things being put under His feet, there are then no "dead" to be covered by this term, and "infernal" must mean lost men and spirits in Gehenna, and no others.
Thus also, infernal being a third class to heavenly and earthly, it does not come into the passages in Colossians and Ephesians, and must be omitted from the thought of the universe which is found in them. Neither annihilationism nor universalism can make good their view from texts like these.
Let us now return to Dr. Farrar.
(15.) 2 Cor. v. 19: "To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation." This says nothing of result; nothing of how men treated the Reconciler, or how they treat the reconciling word.
(16.) Tit. ii. 11, 12:" Not as in the English version, but 'For the grace of God hath appeared, which is saving to all men (e sotertos pasin anthropois)." This again is not result but aspect. "Saving to all" is the grace which has appeared, that is its character, but it does not set aside the warning of the same apostle, "that ye receive not the grace of God in vain";* nor the fact that the gospel is that alone wherein this grace is offered, and that" he that believeth not shall be condemned." Salvation, as we have seen, is not consistent with such "condemnation" but the very opposite of it.
*2 Cor. vi. 1.
(17.) Heb. ii. 8, 9: "Thou hast put all things in subjection under His feet. For in that He put all in subjection under Him, He left nothing that is not put under Him. But now we see not yet all things put under Him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that He by the grace of God (or rather choris deou, 'for every rational being, or for everything (neut.) except God' ) should taste death."
In the first place, no editor of whom I have any knowledge authenticates Dr. Farrar's reading. It is mentioned (as by Alford) as found in "some ancient copies, versions and fathers," but no one prefers it or admits a question as to it. The object of the reading is of course to show that Christ died for angels, which is the very thing contradicted in the 16th verse of the same chapter, the true version of which is in the margin: "For verily He taketh not hold of angels; but of the seed of Abraham he taketh hold," i. e., as result therefore, not even of all men. Dr. Farrar's reading is illegitimate from every point of view. As to the rest of the quotation there need be no dispute.
(18.) Rev. v. 18: "And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth (upoka to tes ges), and such as are in the sea, and all that is in them, heard I saying, Blessing and honor and glory and power be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb forever and ever." Here those "under the earth" are a different class from those in Philippians, as the expression itself and the context shows. "On the earth" and "under the earth" and "in the sea" are evidently so many parts of the world itself; in which every created thing is now vocal with praise. Similarly -
(19.) Rev. xxi. 4, 5 is limited to the new earth; while -
(20.) Rev. xxii. 3 does not necessarily extend beyond the New Jerusalem.
This completes Canon Farrar's list of passages to be considered, and our review of his book. I apprehend that the "honest, serious, and competent reader" to whom he addresses himself will be the last to believe that he has made out his case.
Before summing up the results of our inquiry as to the two main forms of the denial of eternal punishment, it will be well yet to consider the ethics of the doctrine, and as a preliminary to this we must give attention to a view of eternal punishment itself which has been propounded by one. who can by no means be classed with any of the writers we have hitherto been occupied with.
Go To Chapter Forty-One
Home | Links | Literature