Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

has no evidence to support it from text or context. Indeed, only render the term satan adversary, and no one would ihink of a fallen angel as concerned in this affair. Our Lord only says, "behold the adversary hath desired

you
that he

may

sift

you as wheat." Mark 3: 23. “ And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, how can satan cast out satan." See the whole context. The following remarks from Jahn are sufficient on this passage. He says, p. 226—" Jesus, in Matt. 12: 24–30. Mark 3: 22—30. Luke 11:16–24. employs against the Pharisees the ARGUMENTUM AD HOMINEM, which has no bearing in this case any further than the refutation of the adversary is concerned. The ground of his employing this species of argument in the present instance was this. The Pharisees, if we may believe Josephus, taught, that the demons, by which men were possessed, were the spirits of bad men, who were dead, and were commissioned on their present business of torinenting the children of men by Beelzebub. Jesus, therefore, replied, provided this were the true state of the case, that Beelzebub, by lending his assistance in casting out his own devils, was overturning his own kingdom. He then adds, that this powerful spirit, for such the Pharisees supposed him to be, could not be compelled to perform such an unwelcome task, unless a stronger one than Beelzebub himself, should first come, should bind him, and take away his arms."

Luke 10: 18. “And he said unto them, I beheld satan as lightning fall from heaven.” The following remarks from Jahn are also sufficient on this text. He says, p. 225—“ Jesus, in Luke 10: 17. does not assert the operations of demons in men, for he couples Satan with serpents and scorpions, which places us under the necessity of interpreting all these words tropically, and of understanding by them cunning and powerful adversaries, who opposed the progress of the Gospel, but with all their power were unable to interrupt its advancement. The expressions which he employs are as follows. "I see, (Hebrew an8,) I see Satan,' i.e. all the adversaries of the Gospel, who are afterwards called serpents, scorpions, and the enemy's host, fall like lightning from heaven, i.l. from the political beaven, from power and aus thority. Consult Isai. 14: 12, 13. Matthew 24th chapter, Luke 10: 15. Revelation 12: 7-9. see also Cicero, where he says to Mark Antony, you have hurled your colleagues down from heaven. (The adversaries of the Gospel occur in Luke 22: 31. under the name of Satan.) Behold, (he proceeds,) I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy,' i.e. of overcoming and subduing by your miraculous gifts all adversaries,

and nothing shall by any means hurt you,' i.e. oppress and overcome you, (comp. adixnoei with the

· Notwithstanding, in this rejoice not, that the 'spirits are subject unto you, but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven, i.e. rejoice rather in the favor of God, than in the power of casting out devils, or of healing the most difficult diseases." In addition to these remarks I would ask, how many fallings from heaven has satan had, for he fell from heaven before he tempted Eve, and fell again it seems while the seventy disciples were on their tour of preaching? But how did he get to heaven to make a second fall from it, and while there, was he also walking about on our earth seeking whom he might devour?

Luke 13: 16." And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?" Jahn on this passage says, p. 227“ Jesus liberates the woman, described in Luke 13:

•עשק Hebrew

?

12. as bowed down with infirmity, without making any mention of a demon; if, therefore, a little after, he asserts, that she was a daughter of Abraham, bound by Satan for eighteen years, the expressions are to be considered as figurative, being an allusion to the loosing of oxen, which it was lawful to do on the Sabbath in order to lead them to drink, and having reference at the same time to an opinion among the Jews, that all diseases had their ultimate origin, (not indeed from demons, but from the Devil, that overruling spirit of wickedness, who tempted Eve, and to whom allusions are made in Acts 10 : 38. and in 2 Cor. 12: 7." Dr. Lightfoot on Matth. 17. says" that the Jews usually attributed some of the more grievous diseases to evil spirits, especially those in which either the body was distorted or the mind disturbed.” Jahn and Dr. Lightfoot allow that such opinions existed among the Jews, and we have shown Sect. 4. how they came to in bibe them. But no countenance is given to the truth of the opinion, that a fallen angel was the cause of this woman's disorder. It is called “a spirit of infirmity.. Dr. Campbell says, Dissert. 6.—“It is a common idiom

among

the Jews, to put spirit before any quality ascribed to a person, whether it be good or bad, mental or corporeal. Thus the spirit of fear, the spirit of meekness, the spirit of slumber, the spirit of jealousy, are used to express habitual fear, &c.". A spirit of infirmity ther, was an habitual infirmity, which was certainly true of this woman, for she could in-no wise lift up herself “ for eighteen years." This complaint medical men have called " the rigidity of the back bone." Notice, when our Lord restored her, he does not command satan to leave this woman, nor does he rebuke him, but says woman, thou art loosed.” Loosed from satan ? No, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. This bound her, and was sufficient without his assistance.

Notice further, that our Lord in the act of healing her “ laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight and glorified God.” The ruler of the synagogue, speaking according to the true state of the case, spoke of this woman as laboring under a mere bodily disorder. He does not say-ihere are six days, in them come and be loosed from satan's bondage, but in them come and be healed, verse 14. He was filled with indignation because our Lord had healed her on the Sabbath. What was said by our Lord about satan, in defence of his conduct, is predicated on two grounds; 1st. On the principles of common humanity, which the Jews exercised towards their cattle on the Sabbath. “Thou hypocrite” says Jesus, " doth not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering?" What was the inference from this? Ought not this woman a daughter of Abraham to be loosed from her infirmity on the Sabbath? 2d. He defends his conduct on the supposition that satan had bound this woman. If they believed this, how could they blame him for loosing her on the Sabbath day. Who could resist these reasons ? Accordingly it is said verse 17. that “all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.” Here our Lord showed his wisdom in refuting his adversaries. But let us suppose, that satan positively was the cause of this woman's disorder, what follows ? It follows, that our Lord, neither on this or any other occasion, warned men against his great power and malignity, nor were the people half so much alarıned, as they would have been, if a wild beast had visited their neighborhood. They showed no fear respecting such a powerful wicked being. Whoever contends that satan bound this woman, ought to contend, that all persons so bound now, and why not all dis

eases, are inflicted by him. If this be true, we are in a miserable condition. Medical men may scatter all their knowledge of the healing art to the winds, and henceforth learn to work miracles, or cultivate the friendship of satan, as the only means left them of excelling in their profession.

Luke 22: 3. 6 Then entered satan into Judas, surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve." If satan entered into Judas, was not Judas possessed of satan? But it is a fact, that though persons are said to have been possessed of demons, yet we never read of one who was possessed of the devil or satan. But how could satan be in Judas, tormenting the wicked in hell, and tempting all the world besides, unless we make him almost equal to God himself? And if he did enter Judas for the purpose of working evil, is if not strange that some good angel did not also enter him to counter-work his evil devices? Well, what satan entered into Judas ? I answer, the spirit of opposition to Jesus and the secret purpose to betray him. The 4th verse shows this, for— he went his way and communed with the chief priests and captains how he might betray him unto them.” See on the next passage.

John 13: 27. “ And after the sop satan entered into him.” What satan now entered Judas, for it was said in the preceding passage, that satan had entered into him? I answer, his fixed determination immediately to execute his purpose. It was just before the last Passover, Judas purposed to betray Jesus, and bargained with the chief priests about it, Matth. 26 : 14–17. This purpose is called satan entering into him, Luke 22:1---7. and the devil putting it into his heart, John 13: 2. But, from the time he formed the purpose, until he received the sop, none but himself, Jesus, and the chief priests knew his design. At verse 10. Jesus says, " ye are clean but not all,"

« PreviousContinue »