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request! If the demoniac was under the influence of a mere natural distemper, what was it that asked permission to enter the swine? The distemper? The supposition is absurdity. The man himself fancying that the spirit spoke through him? Then why did Christ who came to establish truth make such an answer as would go to confirm the spectators in a serious error? Then went the demons out of the man, and entered into the swine. Who or what went out of the man into the swine? The man himself? Did he go out of the man? Was it the distemper? That did not ask liberty to go. Turn which way you will, you cannot evade the necessity of understanding it of real evil spirits.

Again, when Jesus had rebuked the evil spirit who had uttered his name, it is said, He came out of him, and hurt him not. And why does he say it hurt him not, if nothing is meant but a natural disease? Is it wont to hurt a man to be cured of a natural disease? Would a writer having the spirit of inspiration or the spirit of common sense, think it worth his while to inform us, that such a man was not hurt by being set clear of his disease? But if the writer understood the matter as of the ejection of a devil, that in other cases is said to have cried ou and rent the patient sorely on coming out, it would be natural for him to inform us of this circumstance. Take now this passage just alluded to-The spirit cried and rent him sore, and came out of him. Now what cried? The disorder? Then the disorder, to wit deafness and dumbness, a disorder by the way not given to crying, cried out and rent the man, and took away his strength, and left him as dead. Was it the man himself that cried? Then the man cried, and rent himself, andcame out of himself.

And if cases of demoniacal possessions were only natural diseases, what will you do with those instances where distinctions are made, as in this?—And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, that he might send them forth to preach and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out devils. If possessions of the devil were only sicknesses, why is the addition thus made, after the whole story is told? Say if

you please, the latter clause is meant for a particular kind of disease. Then it would be about equivalent to this to cure sicknesses, and to cure fevers. That is by no means a natural mode of expression.

This kind of proof might be much more extended, but it is needless. I consider myself now warranted in taking it as an incontrovertible fact, that there were cases in the time of Christ, wherein persons were really afflicted by the agency of evil spirits. I do not consider it essential to maintain that the Jews never ascribed to their influence, discases which were in fact merely natural. While they saw many cases of real and indisputable possession of the devil, they might suppose these cases to be much more numerous than they were, as men now attribute many temptations to the devil, which have their origin in their own lusts. It being once proved that there were cases of demoniacal possession, that proof is not invalidated, should it be shown that some of the diseases attributed by the people to demons, were natural distempers. Because Christ would not be interested to correct their mistake in individual cases, while their belief as to the general fact of such demoniacal agency, was well founded. If it be true that persons were ever afflicted in the manner described in the New Testament,if descriptions there given of ejecting demons,are descriptions of realities, the whole of Mr. B.'s scheme is upset by a class of proofs, which he has seen fit not to notice. But surely it is not competent for Mr. Balfour to assert, without any examination, that in no instance we are authorized to believe that men are possessed of the devil. He knows, if his reading has been such as at all to qualify him to write on this subject, that his opponents generally insist as much on the agency of evil spirits in the case of demoniacs, as in any other case. And as an honest reasoner, he should have met them on that ground.

I shall now examine some of the passages on which he has commented in order to divest them of the doctrine of the reality of evil spirits. The first is that in relation to the temptation of Christ. The objections which he quotes from Farmer,

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I take to be correctly quoted, but as they are built on the rationalist assumption, that reason should sit in judgment on what the Bible ought to teach, and is at liberty to reject this or that, as not taught, when the plainest language asserts it, if it do not consist with our antecedent opinions of what is reasonable, instead of simply inquiring by the uses of the general rules of language, what is the meaning of the writer, I do not consider myself called upon particularly to notice them. The admission of such a principle is a departure from the legitimate principles of interpretation, and from such principles as Mr. B. himself has tacitly acknowledged through the main part of the discussion. The question is not whether it "comports with the dignity and sanctity of the Redeemer to be seen in conference with satan," nor any of a thousand such questions as might be started, but what saith the sacred record f that be intelligible and true, the Redeemer was found, while in his voluntary humiliation, in many positions which to Mr. Farmer's mind might not seem to comport with his dignity and sanctity. All the objections here stated are therefore irrelevant to the question, what does this passage inculcate respecting evil spirits?

Mr. B. makes the tempter here a personification of three distinct things. In the first part of the story, he makes the devil to mean hunger; in the second, flesh and blood; and in the third, worldly grandeur. The first difficulty I have to suggest to this way of interpreting the passage is, that the occurrence of personification in such a narrative, and in such a connexion,is an absurdity without a parallel. Personification the most perspicuous of all figures, never occurs in any writings, sacred or profane, where it is possible to doubt whether the sense be figurative. Mr. B. is challenged to find another instance in the whole compass of written composition, where personification is introduced, in a manner so obscure, as to be mistaken for the literal sense. If this be an instance of personification it is marvellous that the study of the Bible for eighteen centuries by many of the most accomplished scholars, has never until now revealed the fact. And then what in

creases the difficulty is, that this personification is not true to itself, but that it assumes any and every shape, to elude detection or to suit the convenience of the interpreter. In the case before us it becomes three distinct things in one story. We have on the principle supposed, a devil so accommodating, as to become now lust or desire, now the Sabean and Chaldean free-booters, now hunger, now flesh and blood, now the glory and grandeur of the world, now the persecuting Jews, now the rigidity of the back bone, now dead men deified, and any thing that the exigences of a desperate cause demand. Το be convinced that this is an unwarrantable use of language, take any other word frequently personified, and see if it is capable of thus expressing different things? Take for instance Death. This has sometimes the properties of a living person ascribed to it, and is sometimes addressed as a living being, as -O Death where is thy sting? Destruction and Death say we have heard the fame thereof with our ears. Death is represented as riding upon a pale horse. Here are three instances, very diverse in which the same object is personified, and you see that the object still remains the same in all.

But let us see how these three devils figure in the passage before us. It should read to give us the sense (?)-Then Jesus was led up by the spirit into the wilderness, to be tempted of three devils, hunger, flesh and blood, and the grandeur of the world, and when he had fasted forty days he was an hungered. And when hunger came to him hunger said unto him, if thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. Jesus said unto hunger, it is written man shall not live by bread alone. (Exit hunger.) Then flesh and blood taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, and saith unto him, if thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down, &c. and Jesus said unto him, it is written again (why again if he is addressing now another person) thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Exit flesh and blood.) And worldly grandeur taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, (worldly grandeur must have had powerful op

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tical instruments) and saith all these things will I give thee if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, get thee hence, worldly grandeur. For it is written thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then worldly grandeur left him, and the angels came and ministered unto him. And as angels must be the opposite of devils, and as Mr. B. seems not to believe in any spiritual beings, by that name, I suppose these angels were the opposites of the three devils above named whose exploits we have considered,—that is, fulness of bread, spirituality of mind, and worldly poverty and degradation.. These angels came and ministered to him. What beautiful and lofty sentiments are here set forth, and with what finished drapery are they clothed! Here we have flesh and blood pleading to be cast down from the pinnacle of the temple, as though flesh and blood delighted in such exercises and could artfully misquote the scriptures, to procure the desired privilege.

Luke 10: 18. And he said unto them I beheld satan as lightning fall from heaven. Here Mr. B. gives us to understand that satan must be used in a tropical sense, for human adversaries of the gospel, because, serpents and scorpions in the context are used figuratively. I will quote it in its connexion. And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. And he said unto them, I beheld satan as lightning fall from heaven i 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. Now suppose serpents and scorpions, were used figuratively, there is nothing which would imply that saBut they are not used figuratively, the passage is most plainly parallel to that in Mark where similar privileges are conferred in these words,-In my name shall they cast out devils, and they shall speak with new tongues, they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them. Now this had a literal fulfillment. They did speak with new tongues, as on the day of pentecost; they did take up serpents unhurt, as in the Island of Melita. So Mr.

tan was.

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