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about marriage and meats were not peculiar to the last times, but were found in the Apostles' own times, as may be gathered from their epistles. Why, then, should our Apostle, here speaking of the apostasy of the latter times, instance only such things as the first times, were, in some measure, never free from ? Lastly, (which I take to be alone sufficient,) the words in the original cannot grammatically bear the sense commonly put on them.* But to translate the passage as I do, making it describe the instruinents by whom the apostasy was brought about, as it keepeth the grammar true, so I hope to make it appear hereafter to be the very meaning, to which the event is most accordant. You shall have it proved out of history that this apostasy of the visible Church came in by lying wonders and all deceivableness of unrighteousness, managed by those who either professed or doted upon monastical hypocrisy; the affectation and errors whereof at length surprising the body of the Church, is that which St. Paul (2 Thess. ii. 10) calls not the apostasy itself, but a not-love of the truth, for which God gave them over to strong delusions, that they might believe a lie.
But this is out of its place; only I have anticipated thus much, lest you should be too long in suspense concerning the grounds of this novelty in translating. And yet this difficulty concerning the grammar, hath stumbled many of our later interpreters, among whom Beza, who gets over the difficulty by saying, that the
* For the persons in the first verse TIVES IT POO EXOYTES are expressed in the nominative, whereas the persons in the verses following, Leudocywy xEXAUTOPIAO uewy, xw2UOYtwy, are in the genitive: now, by what syntax can these be made to agree together? It would be a breach of grammar upsampled in our Apostles' epistles. If any say the latter may agree with dainoyw, that, indeed, would be a strange sense, and nothing to their purpose, to say that devils lie, have seared consciences, and forbid marriage and meats. But to construe it transitively, and to make all these genitive cases to be governed by xv UnoXploeb, and take the preposition sy to signify causam, or modum actionis, as is most usual in Scripture, keepeth the syntax truc.
Apostle regarded rather the matter, than the construction; which, for my part, I cannot believe.
APOSTASY IN THE SCRIPTURE IMPORTS “RevolT” OR “RE
BELLION.”—THAT " IDOLATRY" IS SUCH, IS PROVED FROM SEVERAL PASSAGES IN SCRIPTURE.-BY “SPIRITS," IN THE TEXT, ARE MEANT “ DOCTRINES.”-DOCTRINES OF DEMONS ARE TO BE TAKEN PASSIVELY, VIZ., FOR DOCTRINES CONCERNING DEMONS. SEVERAL INSTANCES OF THE LIKE FORM OF SPEECH IN THE SCRIPTURES.
I RETURN now unto the first part of my text, the description of that awful A POSTASY; where I will consider the five parts or points thereofas I have propounded them, though it be not according to the order of the words. And first in the more general expression, as I called it in the words, * some shall revolt from the faith, and giving heed to erroneous spirits.
1. Some shall revoltot That is as much as to say, shall make an apostasy. Now apostasy (’Anosacia) in the Scripture's use, when it looks towards a person, signifies a revolt or rebellion: when toward God, a spiritual revolt from God or rebellion against divine majesty, whether total, or by idolatry and serving other Gods. For the Seventy whence the New Testainent borrows the use of speech, usually translates by this word the Hebrew verb marar to rebel, and merer rebellion ; both which when they have reference to a spiritual sovereignty, mean nought else but idolatry and serving of other gods, as may appear Joshua, xxii. 19, where the Israelites supposing
* OTTOS NO OUTLU ONS TOISEWS, and poo EXOUTES TVEUPBOL 720
their brethren the Reubenites and Gadites, in building another altar upon the banks of Jordan, had meant to have forsaken the Lord and served other gods, they said unto them, timroru, you have rebelled against the Lord, and presently rebel not against the Lord, nor rebel against us; where the Seventy hath, be not apostates from the Lord and apostatize not from us.* And in v. 22, merer,t rebellion is translated apostasy in the words, the Lord God he knoweth if it be in rebellion or in transgression against the Lord. Also, Numb. XIV. verse 9, when the people would have renounced the Lord upon the report of the spies, Joshua and Caleb spake unto them saying, al timroru, rebel ye not; where the Seventy hath be not apostates from the Lord. So Nehem. ix. 26, in that repentant confession which the Levites make of the idolatries of their nation, they were disobedient, say they, veyimreru and rebelled against thee: where the Seventy hath, they became apostate from thee. $ And Daniel in the like confession, chap. ix., verse 5, says we have rebelled against him, using the same Hebrew word mararnu, which the Seventy translates || we have become apostate. So the idolatry of Ahaz. ii. Chron. chap. 28 and 29, is by the same interpreters called his apostasy, and he revolted greatly from the Lord, i. e., he apostatized with apostasy from the Lord.**
I will not trouble you with the places where marar, translated by the Greek word, from which comes apostasytt is used for treason and rebellion against earthly princes, which are many. It is sufficient to gather from what we have quoted, that apostasy having reference to a sovereignty and lordship, betokens a withdrawing of service and subjection therefrom ; which if the sovereignty
and majesty be divine, is done by idolatry and service of other Gods, as well as if the majesty of the true God were renounced altogether. The use of the New Testament is answerable. Heb. iii. 12,“ Take heed lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief * in departing from the living God. And which is more near to our purpose, St. Paul, in 2 Thess. ii. 3, means no other thing in his prophecy of the mau of sin, by falling away, than Christian Idolatry ; his words are, unless that Apostasy come first,t that is, unless there be a breach of allegiar.ce and of the faith given unto Christ, by idolatry under Antichrist. The like, therefore, I conclude to be intended in my Text by-they shall apostatise from the faith, namely, that in the latter times men should break their oath of fidelity to Christ, which is, that in and through him alone they should approach and worship the Divine Majesty. And so hath the use of the word Apostasy ('Arosario) taught us something, or at least it hath wrought an indefinite suspicion of what should befal Christians in the latter times. However we are yet in suspense whether this departing from Christ and the mystery of godliness should be total, in not acknowledging him at all, or whether heretical, in serving others beside him. For the Jews we know, when they forsook the Lord most, yet did not forsake him altogether ; but their Apostasy was not in serving him only and alone, but others along with him, as calves, the host of Heaven, and Baalim.
2. Let us, therefore, see if the next general words will afford us yet further information, viz., attending to erroneous spirits, or as some read, spirits of error. I It would be unprofitable and tedious to tell here of the diverse use of this word, Spirit, in Scripture. Some take it in this place for doctors of spiritual things, and so the words, either as they stand, or as they are read by others, as above stated, would mean, doctors of errors.
But I had rather take spirits in this place for doctrines
* In making an apostasy from evtW ATOs nya. + εαν μη ελθη η αποφασια πρωτον, Η πνευμασι πλανης.
themselves; for so Divines observe it to be used, I John, iv. 1, believe not every spirit, i.e. every doctrine, but try the spirits, i. e. the docirines, if they be of God; because many false prophets (or teachers) are gone out into the world; and so onward in that chapter, the spirit of Antichrist signifies the false doctrines of Antichrist. So if this sense be admitted, we are something less in suspense than we were, and may guess that this revolt should not be total but heretical. For we shall not easily find the word spirit to be otherwise used but either for the doctrines or doc. tors of Christianity, or for heresies under the same. It seems, therefore, to be some revolt from Christ by Idolatry, even in those who would seem to worship him.
But suppose it be so, yet still are we in suspense what these erroneous and idolatrous doctrines might be; for idolatry, as we may see in the Jewish apostasies, was of diverse kinds, as worshiping the Host of Heaven, Baalims, and the Gentiles other things besides them. But we shall not be long in doubt, the next words will clear the case, and tell us they shall be * Doctrines of Demons : not those which Demons and Devils are authors oft (though that be true), but doctrines concerning Demons, i as in Heb. vi. 2, we have “ doctrines of baptisms,” and “ doctrines of laying on of hands, of the resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment,” that is, doctrines about and concerning all these. And the same use may elsewhere be found even with the word doctrine; as in Acts xiü. 12, “the doctrine of the Lord, that is, concerning him. So Titus ii. 10 $ " the doctrine of God our Saviour.” And Gal. ii, 27, we have “the faith of the Son of God," that is, concerning him. Similarly in my text, Doctrines of Demons are, Doctrines concerning Demons, that is, THE GENTILES' IDOLATROUS THEOLOGY OF