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stagger us, or be inexplicable. But we find that our Lord uses precisely the same language on all occasions. When enumerating his own miracles, and when specifying those which he empowered his disciples to perform, he clearly distinguishes the expulsion of demons from healing the sick, cleansing the lepers, and every other species of miraculous cure b. When we learn from the Gospel narrative how he "cast out the spirits with his word," we find that he spoke in a manner which was, at least, perfectly consistent with the opinion that those persons who were supposed to be under demoniacal influence, were really so influenced; and also that the conduct of these persons themselves appears from several circumstances to corroborate the same opinion. And when our Lord reasons with the Pharisees on this very subject in the text and context, he not only argues with them on their own principles, but he never hints that their notions were erroneous; and both on that occasion, and also when the seventy returned, expressing their "joy that even the demons were subject to them through his name," the conclusions, and assurances which he brings forward, so far from discountenancing

b Matt. x. 1, 8; xvii. 21. Mark iii. 15; xvi. 17. Luke ix. 1; x. 17-20; xiii. 32.

< Matt. viii. 28–32. Mark i. 24, 25; iii. 11, 12. Luke iv. 34-41; viii. 28-32.

the notion of demoniacal possession, appear to justify the opinion that the admission of its reality is of no small importance in order to a right apprehension of the object both of his own mission, and of that of the Apostles.-Those who are familiar with the contents of the Gospels will have already called to mind the several passages to which we have alluded, and the citation of which would have made it necessary to dwell much longer on this topic.

Those Christian divines who undertake to shew that "there never was a real demoniac in the world," are of course prepared to explain the remarkable phraseology employed by our Lord and the Evangelists. They observe that it was the popular language on this subject, and that our Lord adopted it, not with a view of countenancing the notion in which such expressions originated, but because the refutation of such errors in philosophy and nosology was not one of the objects of his mission, and because it was not either necessary or expedient to run counter to the prevailing opinion. Yet since they themselves strenuously contend that this opinion has been the occasion of much fraud and superstition, and that it is little better than a relic of Paganism, we might have

a Matt. xii. 25-29. Mark iii. 23-27. Luke x. 17-24; xi. 17-26.

supposed it expedient that our Lord should not so apparently give countenance to it, even if it were not, in other respects, more than a question of philosophy. If the received opinion be correct, it has an intimate connexion with the important question relative to the power, designs, and agency of our great spiritual" adversary, the Devil." And if it be true that in our Christian warfare


Iwe do not wrestle against flesh and blood only, but against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places;" then it behoves us not only to "take unto ourselves the whole armour of God, that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil," but also to "make ourselves acquainted with his devices," and fully to inform ourselves how "the Son of God was manifested to destroy the works of the devil."

We are told indeed that the possessions in the Gospels, are not, with the sanction of the original, to be termed diabolical, but demoniacal, and that wherever the plural word "devils" occurs in Scripture, it is in the original" demons." We allow the truth of this remark. But still the question recurs, whether, or not, the scriptural description of possessing demons supports the received opinion. Much learning has been employed to shew, that by the word demon is meant "the spirit of a dead mortal," that such

only were worshipped as deities by the heathen world, that such is the use of the word in Scripture,--and that, since the popular opinion referred possession to such agents, we are to understand the possessing demons in the Gospel in the same sense, and not as at all alluding to "the devil and his angels." This is not the place to enter upon such an inquiry as this question requires. Suffice it then to remark, that it is not true that even the heathen writers meant by this term only the spirits of dead men; and the sense in which it is used in the Gospels with respect to possessions, will best be determined from the Scriptures themselves.

It is scarcely necessary to remind you that the arch-apostate, the seducer of our first parents, is called in Scripture by various titles, descriptive of his character, influence, and operations. He is called the wicked one, the tempter, Satan, or the adversary, the prince of this world, the devil".

This, and most of the other questions connected with this subject, were treated very largely, and the arguments on both sides very fully detailed, in the celebrated controversy between Farmer and Worthington. A luminous and masterly treatise was written at the time by John Fell, entitled, " An Inquiry into the Heathen and Scripture doctrine of Demons; in which the hypotheses of the Rev. Mr. Farmer, and others, on this subject, are particularly considered."


1 John iii. 12. v. 18. Matt, iv. 3. 1 Thess. iii. 5. Job ii. 6. 1 Pet. v. 8. 2 Cor. iv. 4. &c.

Now if we find some of these titles used by our Lord on other occasions, when not speaking of the subject of demoniacal possession, we can scarcely be at a loss to understand of what description of beings he is then speaking. For instance, he three times mentions "" the prince of this world." He also speaks of " the devil and his angels";" of " the devil as being a murderer and liar from the beginning";" and of " Satan as desiring to sift St. Peter as wheat'." And the Evangelists ascribe the apostacy of Judas by the phrase that "Satan entered into him." Now if we find that the same terms are connected with the subject of demoniacal possession, it will afford no slight presumption that they are in fact to be referred to the same agents. What inference, then, is suggested by the following passage in the tenth chapter of St. Luke? "The seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the demons are subject to us through thy name. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy"; and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that

John xii. 31. xiv. 30. xvi. 11. e John viii. 44.

g Luke xxii. S. John xiii. 2, 27.

d Matt. xxv. 41.
Luke xxii. 31.

h See Matt. xiii. 39.

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