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837 B2 1825

District of Massachusetts, to wit:

BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the thirtieth day of March, A.D. 1825, in the forty-ninth year of the Independence of the United States of America, WALTER BALFOUR, of the said District, hath deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as Author, in the words following, to wit:

"An Inquiry into the scriptural import of the words Sheol, Hades, Tartarus, and Gehenna: all translated Hell, in the common English version. By Walter Balfour. Second edition."

In conformity to the act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, "An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the -copies of Maps, Charts and Books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned;" and also to an act entitled "an act supplementary to an act entitled 'an act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned, and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving and etching, historical and other prints." "


Clerk of the District of Massachusetts.

1177 68-4


THE simple object of the author, in this Inquiry, is, to examine the foundation on which the doctrine of endless misery is built. This doctrine rests on the fact or the falsehood that a place called hell, in a future state, is prepared for the punishment of the wicked. In speaking, and preaching, and writing on the subject, this is always presumed as true. It is taken for granted as indisputable. Most Universalists have conceded this to their opponents, and have contended not against the existence of such a place of misery, but against the endless duration of its punishment. All the principal writers on both sides of this question proceed on this ground, that there is a place of future punishment, and that the name of it is hell. Winchester, Murray, Chauncey, Huntingdon and others, all admit that hell is a place of future punishment. Edwards, Strong, and others who opposed them, had no occasion to prove this, but only to show that it was to be endless in its duration. This Inquiry is princi

pally for the purpose of investigating, if what has been taken for granted by the one party, and conceded by the other, is a doctrine taught in Scripture. If the views I have advanced be false, it still leaves the question between Universalists and their opponents undisturbed. If they are found upon examination to be true, all dispute about endless misery in hell must of course cease, for if no such place exists, why dispute about the endless duration of its punishment?

The author is aware, that the subject he has undertaken to discuss, is both solemn and important, and that his sentiments, are not in unison with the principles and prejudices of the religious community. He is deeply sensible that much learning, and piety, and popular opinion, are against him. The doctrine he opposes is a fun-damental article of almost every religious creed, is taught weekly from almost every pulpit, and writings from the press are numerous in its support.

There are some, we hope many, who would rejoice to find it fairly and scripturally proved that hell is not a place of endless punishment. Their benevolence of disposition, and their inability to reconcile this doctrine with the character of God, and with many parts of his word, all concur in leading them to wish that clear and decided evidence of this might appear. The following pages are an humble attempt at showing this. From such, the author expects a candid and patient hearing of the evidence he has to produce. All he wishes, is, that his arguments and explana

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