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2. That the application of it to Mr. G.'s purpose is be. yond all measure forced. (1.) How are the spies said to be messengers ? The word ayyɛãos means a messenger who bears tidings. But the spies were not sent with any message, news, or tidings. They were sent to spy out the land. (2.) Was it the sin of the spies that they did not watch over their principality, but deserted their proper station ? Was it not that they brought an evil report of the land? (3.) Is being reserved in chains to the judgment of the great day, and in everlasting chains, merely a “tem. poral punishment ?" (4.) How can the sin of the spies refer to the journey of the Israelites through the wilderness, to their rebellion and their subsequent punishment ?
Thus, after the utmost latitude is allowed to Mr. G. in his translation, he is obliged to make a most arbitrary application of the passage, and misses the mark at last. The passage from St. Peter's epistle remains untouched, for it would not admit of a similar application, and is therefore fully in our possession. It stands thus : “God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment," 2 Pet. ii, 4.
It is probable that the sin of these angelic beings was pride. Hence St. Paul directs that a bishop should not be " a novice, (or young convert,) lest being lifted up with pride, he fall into the condemnation of the devil,” i Tim. iii, 6. How that pride was manifested, is not explained. But there may possibly be an allusion to their sin in that passage: “ How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations ! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north : I will ascend above the heights of the clouds : I will be like the Most High,” Isa. xiv, 12-14.
At the time of our Lord's appearance, these fallen spi. rits were permitted, in many instances, to take possession of the bodies of mankind. Mr. G. readily grants “ that it was a common opinion among all the heathen nations, that the spirits of departed men and heroes were permitted, after their death, to enter the bodies of human beings."
(Vol. i, p. 73.) A similar notion, he admits, obtained among the Jews, who, he says, “ gave the name of demons to those spirits which were permitted to enter the human frame to do evil.” (Vol. i, p. 74.) This notion is, how
. ever, deemed by him perfectly erroneous, (vol. i, p. 101,) and the demonology of the Jews is treated by him as in no way connected with the Scripture account of the devil, or with the design of the mission of Jesus Christ. (Vol. i, p. 98.) It will therefore be necessary to examine it.
The demoniacs, of whom we have so many accounts in the New Testament, were persons really possessed by de.
Such is the account which the evangelists give of them. They do not speak of them as supposed to be possessed, but as being really so.
6. There met him two possessed with demons, Matt. viii, 28. Such is their uniform language. These demons were wicked spirits. “ And they that were vexed with unclean spirits (came :) and they were healed,” Luke vi, 18. 66 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than him. self; and they enter in, and dwell there : and the last state of that man is worse than the first,” Luke xi, 24–26. Hence, their uniform language is, “ He was casting out a demon,” Luke xi, 14. The circumstances of these cases admit of no other supposition than of real possessions. While the men said to be possessed were cut off from all intercourse with persons who might give them any in. formation respecting Jesus Christ, and therefore knew nothing of him, what were they who said, “ What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God ? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?” who in answer to the question, “ What is thy name ? said, Legion : because many demons were entered into him ?” Luke viii, 30.—Who besought him to “ suffer them to go away into the herd of swine ?” Who went into the herd of swine, and drove them, in spite of their keepers, into the sea ? Matt. viii, 28–32. What is that but a spirit, that seeks rest but can find none? that resolves to return to his first abode ? and that taketh with him seven other spirits, more wicked than himself?
Mr. G. grants that such were the opinions of the Jews, and supposes that “it was no part of the office of Jesus to controvert them;" (vol. i, p. 98;) but rather that “he adopted the phraseology" of those" to whom his instruc. tions were addressed.” (Vol. i, p. 73.) He makes, indeed, some apology for this, by supposing the doctrines of de. monology to be merely philosophical: and “ aviour (says he) was not sent to teach philosophy.” (Vol. i, p. 98.) But will this be a sufficient vindication of him who came “ to bear witness of the truth ?” Did Jesus Christ not only overlook the superstitions of the age in which he lived, but confirm them ?. Mr. Yates says it is the opinion of the Unitarians that Jesus Christ, “ by the force of his doctrines and example, saves men from ignorance and superstition.” (See p. 32.) Was it then for this purpose Jesus Christ falsely declared that the demons he cast out were “ unclean spirits ?” Luke xi, 24. Nay, is not this to charge the Son of God with imposture ? Did he not represent his actually a casting out demons by the finger of God,” as a proof that “the kingdom of God was come ?” Luke xi, 20. Was he not, then, on Mr. G.'s hy. pothesis, a false and uncommissioned teacher ? If so, it is time to give up our appeals to the doctrine of Jesus Christ, and to receive, as the only true apostles of God, the So. cinians, who now teach that “whatsoever was written of old time was (not) written for our learning, but in con. formity to the superstitions of the times! Happily for us, however, Mr. G. has lucid intervals; and at one of those seasons, more favourable to truth, he says, in proof that he ought not to be afraid of attacking popular prejudices, 6 that Jesus and his apostles pursued one direct course, in opposition to long-established opinions, and regardless and fearless of consequences, leaving them to God.” (Vol. i, p. 108.) Such is Mr. G.'s consistency !
On the supposition that Jesus Christ was a “ teacher sent from God," and that what Mr. G. calls “ his instruc. tions” were not, like those of the Jewish scribes, the “ doctrines of men," but the truth of God, with what pro. priety could he say, "We have nothing to do with all those passages
in the New Testament, where persons are spoken of as being possessed : they have no reference to our sub. ject;" (vol. i, p. 74;) except that those passages are an
insuperable bar to the progress of Socinianism? To show that they have the most direct “ reference” to our subject, we will observe that,
1. Of these demons the Jews deemed Beelzebub the chief. Mr. G. has granted this proposition; (vol. 1, p. 74;) and St. Luke relates that “ some of them said, He casteth out demons rough Beelzebub, the chief of the demons," Luke xi, 15.
2. This Beelzebub, the chief of the demons, our Lord called Satan. For when the Jews thus accused him of casting out demons by Beelzebub, he said unto them, “ If Satan be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand ? because ye say that I cast out demons by Beelzebub,” Luke xi, 18.
3. The name Satan is that which our Lord generally used in speaking of him; but he whom our Lord calls Satan, is by the evangelist, speaking his own language, called the devil. In the account which St. Matthew has given of our Lord's temptation, he relates that Jesus said, “Get thee hence, Satan,” Matt. iv, 10. But the evange
“ The devil taketh him up into the holy city ;" “ the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain ;” and “then the devil leaveth him,” Matt. iv, 5, 8, 11.
4. This Satan, the devil, Beelzebub, is called the chief of demons; and in perfect accord with this notion our Lord attributed to him a kingdom. “ If Satan be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand ?” Luke xi, 18. Hence, we read so often of “ the devil and his angels."
5. These demons, the subjects of Beelzebub, the de. vil's angels, are also called Satan. Our Lord supposes that for Beelzebub to cast out demons, would be for 6 Satan to cast out Satan,” Matt. xii, 26. Thus one demon or many is Satan. In like manner, as the operations of an army are attributed to their general because it moves under his direction, so the operations of the demons, under the direction of their chief, are attributed to him.
6 Put on,” says the Apostle Paul, “ the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world,” Eph. vi,
11, 12. Thus the devil, in the singular number, is equiva. lent to principalities, powers, and rulers, in the plural.
6. These“ principalities, powers, and rulers” are said to be “not flesh and blood," not men, but spiritual wick. edness in high (heavenly) places,” Eph. vi, 12.
7. And lastly, This chief of demons, the devil and Satan, is called the tempter. And when “the tempter came to him," &c., Matt. iv, 3.
“ That Satan tempt you not,” 1 Cor. yii, 5.
Thus, instead of finding that the passages in which demons are mentioned" have no reference to our subject," we find them a most useful key to open the doctrine on which Mr. G. has so rashly and injudiciously made an attack. We will now consider some of those passages which still farther illustrate and confirm the truths which we have developed.
The first case which we shall consider is the seduction of Eve. The Mosaic account of that transaction Mr G. has attempted to puzzle by a dilemma. He supposes that we must interpret it either literally, and so make nonsense of it, or allegorically, and make nearly nothing of it. And is this really the case ? Must every thing which is said or written be interpreted as a perfectly literal” or entirely allegorical? Is there no medium ? Let us try.
There is no impropriety whatever in supposing that the whole transaction is related just as it appeared." The serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.” The serpent then was a real serpent, a beast of the field, and a creature which God had made. “ And he said unto the woman,” &c. So it
He actually spoke. And this circumstance leads us to inquire, whether in this transaction the serpent were a principal, or merely the tool of another. The reasoning and speech were not his own, and we are warranted to say that they were of the devil. “ Little children, let no man deceive you.
He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil,” 1 John iii, 7, 8. Here we learn that sin is of the devil from the beginning, and that He that came to “ bruise the serpent's head," came to destroy the works of the devil. Nor is this interpretation in any measure