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person under the name spirit. If they had, he would have been mentioned by them. 1 Tim. v. 21. "I charge thee, before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels." Rev. i. 4, 5. "Grace from him, which is and from the seven spirits before the throne, and from Jesus Christ." Our Lord will come in the glory of the Father, with the holy angels." How could the holy spirit be omitted in all these places, if Jesus and his apostles knew there was a divine Spirit equal to the Father, or nearly so?
November 13, 1762.
Shall I add a few more thoughts upon the same subject?
By the Holy Ghost is plainly meant, in divers places, a power, a gift, an effusion of spiritual gifts. John vii. 39. "For the Holy Ghost was not yet given." So we translate, supplying the sense. But the Greek is, " for the Holy Ghost was not yet:" and so the Latin vulgate, and Beza, nondum erat spiritus sanctus. In Dr. Jortin's Life of Erasmus, vol. I. p. 420, are some curious observations upon that text. If by the Holy Ghost is to be understood a divine person, St. John would not say, that "he did not exist yet." Read also Acts xix. 1-19. There are twelve Jewish people who know not that there was any Holy Ghost." The meaning is, they did not know that there was an effusion of spiritual gifts, in which they could partake. St. Paul laid his hands upon them, and the "Holy Ghost came on them, and they spake with tongues and prophesied." Compare Acts x. 45, and xi. 15-17.
Our Lord has told us what he meant by the Comforter," John xiv. 26, "but the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost," meaning the miraculous knowledge and understanding which they should receive by inspiration.
"The blasphemy against the Holy Ghost" is blaspheming the miraculous works which Christ did, or professed to do, by the power or finger, or spirit of God. To ascribe those works to dæmons, or to Satan himself, was that blasphemy.
John xvi. 14. "He shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you." This relates to some things of which Christ had spoken, but not fully, and which the disciples did not yet understand; particularly the calling of the Gentiles, and the manner of receiving them. Says Christ, John x. 16. "And other sheep I have which are not of this fold, them also I must bring." And he several times said, that many should come from the east and the west-and the children of the kingdom be cast out. These things were explained afterwards to the disciples by divers miraculous manifestations, as we see in the Acts, chap. x. and elsewhere. And gradually, by such means, the disciples were led into "all truth," that is, every thing relating to the gospel
November 22, 1762..
END OF THE LETTER TO C. FLEMING.
THE LATE DR. WARD'S DISSERTATIONS
SEVERAL PASSAGES OF THE SACRED SCRIPTURES.
WHEREIN ARE SHOWN, BESIDE OTHER THINGS, THAT ST. JOHN COMPUTED THE HOURS OF THE DAY
THE DESIGN OF THE APOSTOLIC DECREE, ACTS XV. THAT THERE WAS BUT
DR. WARD'S intimate acquaintance with antiquity, and his uncommon skill in all parts of literature are well known. His sincere piety and respect for the sacred scriptures were as conspicuous. And his dissertations, though posthumous, have been well received by the public. Nevertheless eless among many curious criticisms, and just observations, there are some things, which appear to deserve farther consideration. I hope, therefore, that my making remarks upon some places, where I hesitate, will not be reckoned inconsistent with the respect which I long had, and still have for the learned and pious author.
And I may take this opportunity to enlarge upon some articles, beyond what the design of making remarks would require.
PAGE age 73. diss. xxi. The case of the dæmoniac, who resided among the tombs on the coast of Gadara.'
As my remarks are to be made in the order of the dissertations, I begin with this. Upon which I have received some observations in a letter from my much esteemed friend, Mr. Thomas Mole, which I shall here transcribe.
I have read the Dissertations of Dr. Ward: among which I find one upon the case of the • dæmoniac, who resided among the tombs on the coast of Gadara.
This affair of the possessions is an embarrassment, which one would be glad fairly to get rid of. The interpretation, which represents them as mad, or otherwise grievously diseased, seems to be the only method effectually to remove it. A great deal has been written to show the probability of this explanation, and principally by yourself. Our late friend seems to have been very tenacious of the other sense, and treats them as real possessions. He justly observes
the impropriety of calling devils what in the evangelists is called dæmons; but does not, I think, so fairly, as one would desire, argue in support of their being possessions.
The man,' he says, p. 75, is here described, as wholly unconversable, so fierce that no one ' dared come near him. This must have been at times only. For it is said, Mark v. 4, that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by
him, and the fetters broken in pieces." So that it is going farther than the text allows, to
say of him, that none dared to come near him, during all the time, since he was first seized:
as he evidently, I think, means. For he adds immediately: he had lived a long time in that
When it is added by St. Mark, ver. 4, " neither could any man tame him," it seems to me, that there had been many trials of cure undertaken, and various methods used for that purpose, though without success, especially if he was a man of any note in that city. For εn ToλEWS, εκ πολεως, "out of the city," in St. Luke, must, I think, refer to the place of his habitation, while he was sane, rather than when thus disordered, and from which he came, when he met Jesus. And
• the word, dapače, here used, and in St. James iii. 7, of " taming wild beasts," and the “ tongues ' of men,” seems not improperly to express the cure of madness, and perhaps more properly than the dispossession of dæmons. It might deserve our inquiry, whether it is never so used by the • ancients, in treating of maniacal cases.
It appears farther probable to me, that this man had his madness by fits, or at certain 'seasons, with intervals of sanity between them: and that when his fits were observed to be coming on, he was bound by his friends (with whom he might possibly have lived in those intervals) to prevent his doing harm to himself, or others, and have him more under command. Does not St. Luke say, or mean this? viii. 29. "For oftentimes, zohλs ovos, it had caught him, and he was kept Quλaccouevos, bound with chains and fetters. And he brake the bands, ' and was driven of the devil into the wilderness." St. Mark says, he had been "often bound," Toλhánis. St. Matthew, viii. 28, ascribes to him this exceeding fierceness only, when coming out of the tombs to them.
Hence I would farther observe, that we are under no necessity of allowing what we find asserted, that he had lived a long time in this condition; and therefore was neither capable, nor had any opportunity of knowing any thing concerning Christ or his character. For though ⚫ he had been ever so long a time disordered, if there had been any intervals (and the longer had been the time, it is likely there had been the more :) might he not in some one or other of those intervals, have acquired some knowledge of the character, and even of the person of Christ? And hence, in his fits, especially, when Christ appeared in his sight, discourse and ' behave to him as he did: only allowing for what his disorder made him mingle therewith. What is farther said, p. 76, concerning the inhabitants of the neighbouring town, that they 'do not seem to have known more of Christ than this man, is with me alike void of probability. • For Christ had been teaching the doctrine of the kingdom, and working miracles, a considerable 'time, and had taken up his residence at Capernaum: in which, and in the neighbourhood thereof, he lived a good while. Is it credible that all this could have been, and St. Matthew, iv. 24, (as is by our late friend observed, p. 78.) had said before, "that his fame went throughout all Syria?" And yet the people of this town, not above perhaps seven or eight
"Especially if he was a man of note in that city."] That appears to me a curious thought, and a valuable hint; which may lead us to consider, whether there are not in this history some things which may induce us to suppose, that the dæmoniac, to whom St. Mark and St. Luke confine their narration, was a man of some substance. And I think there are several such things. In St. Mark, v. 19, our Lord says: “ Go home to thy friends.” Ύπαγε εις τον οικον σε προς τες 085. Literally, go to thy house to thy own people,' 'meaning family, or friends. In Luke viii. 39, "return to thy own house.” Υποςρεψε εις τον οίκον σε. Care had been taken of him, and there had been, as is manifest, divers attempts made to cure his disorder, or to relieve and restrain him under it. And when the multitude from the city, and from the country round about came to Jesus, they saw the man sitting, and clothed. Clothing therefore had been brought to him, and probably from his own house, in the adjacent city, and
from his family. They knew where he was, though he had escaped from them; and upon the first intelligence concerning what had happened, they recollected the distress he must be in, for want of clothing: they therefore immediately sent him apparel. And that they were his own garments, which he had been used to wear when composed, or at least such in which he could make a decent appearance, may be collected from his request to be with Jesus, and accompany him. This circumstance may be one reason why St. Mark and St. Luke give an account of this one dæmoniac ouly, though there were two, as St. Matthew says. Finally, his being a person of good condition in the city where he dwelt, might render him better qualified to speak of this great work. Any man, however mean, deserved to be attended to, when he spoke of a miracle wrought upon himself, of which divers others were witnesses: but a man of substance, and a reputable inhabitant of the place might do it to better advantage.
miles distant, and to which a boat might pass in a night's time from Capernaum, had never heard and knew nothing of him? What spread over all Syria, and never reached a place within a few miles of him? I allow it is a general expression, and must admit of limitation. But I can see no other ground for excepting this place, than the serving an hypothesis.
Nor does the instance adduced, p. 79, from Mark i. 21, &c, prove any thing, as I think, to the purpose for which it is brought. For though that was something earlier in the ministry of Christ than this, and he might be then less known; yet he had been long enough known there for that person to have heard of him. For Mark i. 15, he had begun to preach the gospel of the kingdom of God, saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand : repent ye, and believe the gospel:" and walking by the sea of Galilee, he had called first Simon and Andrew, and afterwards James and John his brother, ver. 16-20, and I suppose, ⚫ had wrought some miracles. It is not impossible, but the person who was cured in the synagogue of Capernaum, being left at his liberty, and allowed to enter there, might have heard of what Christ had done in his way thither: and heard, or heard of, what he had preached after ⚫ he came thither. And in St. Luke iv. 31-37, it should seem, that this person was cured, not upon Christ's first coming to Capernaum. Which enlargeth the time, that this man had to 'come to the knowledge of him..
There is no necessity therefore to suppose, that these persons could have no knowledge of • Christ, and that it must not be they, but the devils only in them, who knew him.
The arguing, p. 82, from the mention made of " casting out devils," after raising the dead, "the commission given by Christ to his disciples, Matt. x. 8, when he sent them forth, is, I think, of no force for there may be no necessity of supposing the expression to rise higher than the other, from its being placed after it; as appears from other texts. Luke ix. 1, 2. "Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils,, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick." • And Matt. x. 1. "And when he had called unto him the twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness, and all manner of disease." See also Matt. iv. 24. It may likewise be observed, that if the expression of
casting out devils" be supposed to refer to real possessions; it is not an expression of greater power, than that of raising the dead. Nor does the fact carry in it a greater degree of evidence and conviction: because there is not equal evidence to be had that a person is really possessed, as there is of a person's being really dead. And therefore it may be as well placed after raising the dead, if it be interpreted of persons mad, as if it be understood of "possessed.
May not the term ocvre,. Mark v. 15. Luke viii. 35." in his right mind," by which this person is represented after his cure, as it is used both by sacred and profane writers in opposition to madness, afford some countenance to this interpretation ??
So far my good friend.
One of my arguments against real possessions was taken from the manner in which the 'persons, said to have "unclean spirits," speak of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For such persons did often bear an honourable testimony to our Lord. So Mark i. 24. Luke iv. 41. But it is incredible, that Satan, or any other evil spirits, under his influence and direction, should freely and cheerfully bear witness to our Lord, as the Christ.
Indeed, this appears to me a very forcible argument. I have been sometimes apt to think, that this consideration has been overlooked by learned and pious men, who have so readily admitted real possessions.'
So I said. But Dr. Ward is not at all moved by that consideration. He even thinks the testimony of dæmons to our Lord, to have been of some value, and of use, especially for encouraging the disciples.
Diss. p. 81. And as to the case of these dæmoniacs among the Gergesenes, there seems to have been the greatest propriety at that time, not only for his permitting the devils to confess him to be the Son of God, but likewise to worship him. For it does not appear, that any other 'persons were then present, but Christ himself, and his disciples, except the dæmoniacs. And this was not long before he sent forth his disciples both to preach, and also "to heal the sick,
a See Vol. i. p. 254.
to raise the dead, and cast out devils," Matt. x. 7, 8. Therefore what could be more 'proper, or give them higher encouragement to hope for success in their work, than to see the 'devils thus subject to their master, and paying homage to him?'
But first, it is not at all likely that our Lord should accept the testimony of dæmons in private, if he did not receive it in public. How he checked and disallowed the confessions of persons under these disorders, may be seen Mark i. 23-26, and Luke iv. 33-35. Dr. W. supposeth that there was great propriety in permitting such confessions, when few were present. But I am not able to discern that propriety.
Secondly, there were others then present with our Lord, beside the disciples, and the dæmoniacs. For St. Matthew says, viii. 28. "And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce." St. Mark v. 1, 2. "And they came over unto the other side of the seaAnd when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit." Luke viii. 27. Luke viii. 27. "And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes." The place of the present abode of these dæmoniacs was on the sea coast. When they saw our Saviour and the disciples come on shore, they immediately came toward them. Nor can there be any doubt made, that the sailors also, in whose ship our Saviour and his disciples had arrived, came ashore with them, or presently after. The appearance of such objects could not but excite their curiosity. Moreover, in the voyage from the other side there had happened a great storm, which our Lord composed by his word. And the men of the ship, as well as the disciples, "marvelled greatly," or were exceedingly surprised, "saying: What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!" Matt. viii. 27. Nor were these men now first acquainted with our Lord. Before this they had heard him preach, and might have seen some other miracles done by him. Besides, as we are assured by St. Mark, upon our Lord's saying in the evening, "Let us pass over to the other side," he not only set out himself in the ship, where he had been preaching: but there were also several other little ships," filled, it is likely, with men who had attended on his discourses in the day-time. These knew he was going to the other side" of the lake: and would be there as soon as he, or before. In short, our Lord was now, as it were, in the height of his ministry. And we know from the evangelists, that before this time, he was followed with uncommon zeal by multitudes wherever he went, even into desert places. As is shown Mark i. 45, and Luke iv. 42, 43. So that before this man, or these men, worshipped our Lord, or acknowledged him to be the Son of God, many people must have been gathered together.
P. 75. For proving that this unhappy person was not barely distracted, our author says: Besides, it is plain that he could not be apprised of his coming at that time, for the ship sailed over from the other side in the night. And so soon as Christ came ashore, and the man saw him at a distance, he ran to him, and worshipped him.'
But there is not sufficient precision in that proposition. Two things are joined together, which ought to be separated. When our Lord, and his disciples, (let me now add) and other people, landed, he came toward them. And from the respect shown to our Lord by the disciples, and by all the company, he discerned him to be the principal person; but he did not worship our Lord, nor confess him to be the Christ, until after some discourse, as appears from the history.
Matt. viii. 28, 29, already cited. "And when he was come to the other side, into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce-And, behold, they cried out, saying: What have we to do with thee, Jesus,
thou Son of God?"
But let us compare the other evangelists. Mark v. 2. "And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit-- Ver. 6—8. 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 God? I adjure thee, that thou torment me not. For he had said unto him: Come out of him, thou unclean spirit."
And Luke viii. 27-29. " And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man which had devils long time-When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God Most