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xii. 22-29. It would really be hopeless to argue with any one, who could attempt to explain away such words as these. What perfect nonsense the whole passage becomes, if we explain "devil," "Satan," "Beelzebub," as personifications of an evil principle or disease! "If one disease or evil principle cast out another, it is divided against itself; how shall then its kingdom stand?" &c. &c.-" And when he was come out of the ship, there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, and cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee Jesus, thou son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit. And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion; for we are many ** * And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine; and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea (they were about two thousand) and were choked in the sea,' Mark v.2-13. What can all this mean? This raving madman recognizes Jesus a long way off, knows him to be the Son of God, and, on his ordering the disease to leave him, begs Jesus not to torment him! He next says his name is Legion, "for we are many;" and then (with the greatest consideration for his friends and neighbours) entreats, that his disease may not be sent "away out of the country," but that it may be sent "into the swine." And verily the conclusion is worthy of the premises. For his request is granted; and at the same time that he is restored (probably because diseases are considered the most infectious when the patient is just recovering) a neighbouring herd of swine are suddenly seized with the same kind of madness, and rush over a precipice into the sea." And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God. And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not." Luke iv. 33-35. How very strange, that these madmen should almost always know Jesus, acknowledge him to be the Christ, shew signs of terror at the sight of him, and speak of themselves in the plural number as we and "us." Observe too, that Jesus says "Hold thy peace, and come out of him;" so that, although the man's lips might be the organs of speech on the occasion, yet the real speaker was that which was to come out of him. If it was the disease, which was to come out, then it was the disease, which was to
hold its peace; if it was the diseased man, which was to hold his peace, then it was the diseased man, which was to come out of himself!
Many instances might also be brought, from the inspired narratives, of the Apostles, according to their Master's promise, casting out devils: but the above will amply suffice to establish the fact of literal demoniacal possession. I do not pretend to answer all the questions that may be asked about it; it is enough for me, that it is a plain revelation of God's word; and therefore there is no more excuse for disbelieving it, than there is for disbelieving that "in the beginning God created the heaven and
The next circumstance, which naturally presents itself to one's mind, is our Lord's temptation by the Devil, Matt. iv. 1-11. Had he any evil principle within to tempt him? No; he was "holy, harmless, undefiled," and "without sin;" he had no fallen nature, no wicked heart, no carnal mind, to fight against: temptation could only come to him from without. All attempts to explain away this transaction, whether by pretending that it was a mere vision, or otherwise, totally fail. If one of the parties concerned in it was a real person, undoubtedly the other was too.
No less plain are the following testimonies to the real personality of Satan. "I beheld Satan, as lightning, fall from heaven." Luke x. 18.-"Simon, Simon, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat; but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not." Luke xxii. 31.-"Fire prepared for the devil and his angels." Matt xxv. 41.-"That through death he might destroy him, that had the power of death, that is, the devil." Heb. ii. 14.-" Your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour." 1 Pet. v. 8.-Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation; but said, The Lord rebuke thee." Jude 9.-" Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar, and the father it." John viii. 44.-" The devils also believe, and tremble." James ii. 19.-"For if 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.-" And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved unto everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Jude 6.-" He that soweth the good seed is the Son of Man: the field is the world: the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the
wicked one: the enemy that sowed them is the devil: the harvest is the end of the world: and the reapers are the angels." Matt. xiii. 37-39. Remember, this is not a parable, but our Lord's explanation of a parable. This remark also applies to Luke viii. 12., "The seed is the word of God; those by the way side are those that hear: then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved."-" Neither give place to the devil." Eph. iv. 27.-"That ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." Eph, vi. 11.-"Lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil." 1 Tim. iii. 6."And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will." 2 Tim. ii. 26. "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." James iv. 7.-"For this cause the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil." 1 John iii. 8."God shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly." Rom. xvi. 20.-"Lest Satan should get an advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices." 2 Cor. ii. 11.-" For Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness." 2 Cor. xi. 14.-" Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us." 1 Thes. ii. 18.
Let me conclude, by drawing your attention to two important passages, in which the practical application of this subject is briefly summed up. "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness [the original is "wicked spirits "] in high places." Eph. vi. 12. This is explained to mean the Jewish ecclesiastical rulers. But St. Paul says, "We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against wicked spirits." By which he means, that the Jews, or any other human adversaries, were only tools of Satan; and that whether the assault came from within or without, he was the great enemy, which the Christian had to contend with. What force this gives to that petition in the Lord's prayer, which is the last passage I shall notice, "Deliver us from the evil one," as it is in the original. How much more keenly should we feel the need of this request, and how much more earnestly should we make it, if in all our conflicts either with inward corruption or with outward foes, we kept constantly in mind, that we "wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against wicked spirits in high places," under the command of that great Leader, "the Prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience." Eph. ii. 2.
"If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words; then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." Isaiah lviii. 13, 14.
THE main ground on which the obligation of the Sabbath is sought to be denied, is, that it was merely a Jewish ordinance, and therefore, like all the other rites and ceremonies of Judaism, done away with by Christ.
The following illustration may show the force of such an objection, more clearly perhaps than laboured argument. A number of persons form themselves into a society for certain purposes. They have various rules and regulations for their members, with particular penalties attached to the breaking of them. One law is, that any member convicted of drunkenness, shall receive a certain number of lashes, after the manner of the army or navy. Well; the society lasts for a time, and is then broken up. After its dissolution, one of its former members is summoned before a magistrate for drunkenness. What is his defence? Why, he pleads that there is no law against it now; that the society being dissolved, its rules are no longer binding. Certainly not, says the magistrate; but the law of the land is binding. There was a law against drunkenness long before your society existed, and that law is as much in force as ever; the repealing of your bye-laws cannot do away with the old established law of the land. Then do you mean to have me flogged?-asks the culprit. By no means: is the reply: I'm not going to inflict on you the particular penalty enjoined by the law of your former society, but the general penalty, which is enjoined by the law of the land: you are no longer liable to the one, but as much as ever to the other.
Now this is just the state of the case with regard to the law of the Sabbath. It was originally the universal law of the land. It was given to Adam in Paradise as the father of the whole human race. Adam was no more a Jew than he was an
Englishman; and the command given to him is as much binding upon every nation in every age of the world, as it was upon any Jew that ever lived. When the Jewish national law was given to them by Moses in the wilderness, there were certain particular penalties attached to the breaking of the Sabbath, which are now of course no longer in force; because that ceremonial and judicial law is repealed. But the repealing of those bye-laws, if we may so call them, which were only fitted for the temporary circumstances of the Jewish nation, cannot affect the original universal law of the world: that remains in force as much as ever. Yet persons can be found, who will actually reply to any argument in favour of keeping the Sabbath, "Oh! then you would stone a man for gathering sticks on Sunday." Let me ask them whether they consider the fifth commandment repealed, as well as the fourth: whether they think we are "eased" from the obligation to honour our parents. If they say, No; I would answer them in their own coin, 'Oh, then you would stone a child for disobeying his father or mother: " for this was the penalty under the Mosaic law. Or again, Do you think Christians “relieved" from the prohibition of the seventh commandment against adultery? If not, may we further ask, Would you stone a woman, who was found guilty of it? Surely we need say no more to expose the fallacy of such objections.
But in order to escape from this, some learned men have been bold enough to deny that the Sabbath was instituted in Paradise, and to contend that it was first given to the Israelites at Mount Sinai. *This preposterous notion Dr. Wardlaw refutes with the clearness and force for which his writings are remarkable. The plain language of the passage (Gen.ii. 1--3) disproves it It is the language of history, and relates to the appointment of the day of rest as made at the time, with the same simplicity as that with which all the other associated transactions of creation are related. The nature of things shows that the reference could not be to any future event. If it is admitted that the Sabbath was a commemoration of God's work of creation, then why should not the commemoration commence from the time the work to be commemorated was completed? Was it not thus with the Passover? Was it not thus with the Lord's Supper? And why not with the Sabbath?'
This quotation, and several that follow, are taken from a review in the "Christian Penny Record" of four admirable tracts, that deserve wide circulation:-"The Divine Authority and Permanent Obligation of the Sabbath," by the Rev. Dr. Wardlaw; "Traces of the Primitive Sabbath in many of the Institutions of the Ancient World," by the Rev. J. Jordan; "The Sabbath not a mere Judaical Appointment," by the Rev. A. Thompson; "The Adaptation of the Sabbath to the Temporal Well-Being of Men, and more especially of the Working Classes," by the Rev. D. King. Partridge, London.