Orthodox And Heathen Views Identical

Now do popular Christian descriptions resemble anything in the Old Testament? Do they not exactly copy the heathen description? Whence came these ideas? They are not found in the Old Testament. And yet the world was full of them when Christ came.

Jeremy Taylor, of the English Church, says: "The bodies of the damned shall be crowded together in hell, like grapes in a wine-press, which press one another till they burst; every distinct sense and organ shall be assailed with its own appropriate and most exquisite sufferings."

Calvin describes it: "Forever harrassed with a dreadful tempest, they shall feel themselves torn asunder by an angry God, and transfixed and penetrated by mortal stings, terrified by the thunderbolts of God, and broken by the weight of his hand, so that to sink into any gulf would be more tolerable than to stand for a moment in these terrors."

Johnathan Edwards said: "The world will probably be converted into a great lake or liquid globe of fire, in which the wicked shall be overwhelmed, which will always be in tempest, in which they shall be tossed to and fro, having no rest day or night, vast waves and billows of fire continually rolling over their heads, of which they shall forever be full of a quick sense within and without; their heads, their eyes, their tongues, their hands, their feet, their loins, and their vitals, shall forever be full of a glowing, melting fire, fierce enough to melt the very rocks and elements; and, also, they shall eternally be full of the most quick and lively sense to feel the torments; not for one minute, not for one day, not for one age, not for two ages, not for a hundred ages, nor for ten thousand millions of ages, one after another, but forever and ever, without any end at all, and never to be delivered.'

And Spurgeon uses this language even in our own days: "When thou diest, thy soul will be tormented alone: that will be a hell for it; but at the day of judgment thy body will join thy soul, and then thou will have twin hells, thy soul sweating drops of blood, and thy body suffused with agony. In fire exactly like that which we have on earth thy body will lie, asbestoslike, forever unconsumed, all thy veins roads for the feet of pain to travel on, every nerve a string on which the devil shall forever play his diabolical tune of Hell's unutterable Lament."

These horrible ideas were not obtained from the Old Testament, and yet they were fully believed by Jew and Pagan when Christ came. Whence came these views? If the New Testament teaches them, then Christ must have borrowed them from uninspired heathen. What does the New Testament teach concerning Hell?

The Jews of the time of Christ had abandoned the Old Testament teachings concerning retribution. They had made void the word of God by their traditions. How did they come to change their views?

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