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1. John 8: 48, ανθρωποκτονος ην απ’ αρχης-ψευστης και ο ο πατηρ αυτου (ψευδους), he was a murderer (a homicide) from the beginning—a liar and the father of lies. That these words are an allusion to the history of the fall (Gen. 3), is proved in the Commentatio de Protevangelio. For the declaration of Jesus that the devil is a murderer, is not applicable to any incident excepting the history of the fall recorded in Gen. 3, and this may be believed with the greater certainty, as we may infer from the passage in the book of the Wisdom of Solomon, “φθονο διαβολου θανατος εισηλθεν εις τον κοσμον, through the envy of the devil, death entered the world,” that according to the prevalent opinion of the Jews, the devil was regarded as the cause of the mortality of man.
II. Satan is hostile to the interests of man. Matth. 13: 39. 2 Cor. 2: 11. Ephes. 6: 11. Rev. 12: 10.
III. We have to contend with the wicked spirits. Eph. 6: 12.
IV. Pernicious influence of the devil. — Luke 22 : 31. John 13: 2, 27. Acts 5:3. Ephes. 2:2, the spirit that now worketh in the sons of disobedience. Eph. 6:11–13, the wiles or stratagems of the devil. Thus, in Matth. 4:8, the devil is called Ó NELQOŚWv i. e. he who is in a habit of seducing to sin. Acts 26: 18, επιστρεψαι απο της εξουσιας του Σατανά επι τον frov to turn from the power of Satan unto God; and Heb. 2: 14, τον το κρατος εχοντα του θανατου, τουτέστι τον διαβολον him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, · q. "the devil who wishes to plunge men into sin, and by sin into death, or the punishments inflicted by God after death.93 Rev. 12: 9. 20: 3, 8, Satan who leadeth astray the whole world.
2 Chap. 2: 23.
Opusc acad. Vol. II. p. 424 &c. 3 Comment, on Heb. in loc. Note k.
V. While Satan is labouring to promote iniquity among men, his object is none other than to make them partakers of that misery and punishment which he himself is doomed to endure. See Matth. 25: 41. 13: 38 &c, “ sons of the wicked one,” in opposition to “sons of the kingdom.” Compare v. 42; and Rev. 20 : 10, 15. Comment. de Protevangelio, in Opuscul. acad. Vol. II. p. 429 &c.
VI. Demoniacal possessions—their reality.
John 16: 11, αρχων του κοσμου τουτου κεκρυται the prince of this world is judged. John 12:31, vvv-Exp.nonostal EEW and now he shall be cast out, i. e. now mankind shall be delivered from the tyrannical power of the devil."1 Col. 2 : 15. Gen. 3: 15. Heb. 2: 14.2
Jesus said to the Pharisees, “If I, by divine power, expel demons, it is evident from this proof of my superiour power over Satan, that the kingdom of God has come, or that the powerful descendant of David has appeared, by whom the long promised victory over Satan is to be achieved." And in order to give to the devil's hostility to man an ocular perceptibility, and to place in a clear light the salutary influence of Jesus, in deseating the baneful purposes of this ancient enemy of the human family; it pleased God, in the time of Christ and the apostles, to grant to Satan and his angels the power to possess certain individuals, i. e. to torment them with diseases. Thus the sickness of the blind and deaf man, in Matth. 12: 22–28, who is called daquoviGouevos possessed of the devil, is by our Saviour himself (ν.26) attributed to Σατανας Or Βεελζεβουλ, αρχων δαιμοvlov Satan or Beelzebub, the prince of demons. And, in reference to the woman who had been sick eighteen years, Jesus “ Satan bound her;" and in v. 11, it is said “
1 Dissert. III. in libros historicos N. T. p. 58–61. 2 Comment. in Protevangelium, p. 20. Opusc. acad. Vol. II. p. 433. 3 Comment, de Protevangelio, p. 21. Opusc. acad. Vol. II. p.
σθενειας εχουσα having a spirit of disease. Jesus declared the subjugation of the demons by the 70 disciples, to be a humiliation of Satan ;' and those who were possessed (Acts 10:38) and whom Jesus healed, are called καταδυναστευομενοι υπο του diabolov who were held under the dominion of the devil. That such power was given also to the angels of Satan, is taught in the passage oφεις και σκορπιοι-πασα η δυναμις του εχθρου 2 serpents and scorpions and every power of the enemy.
That the influence of the devils was exerted in the form of diseases, we learn from the passages, Acts 10: 38, ιωμενος τους καταδυναστευομενους υπο του διαβολου healing those who were under the dominion of the devil ; and 5: 16, οχλουμενοι υπο πνευματων ακαθαρτων εθεραπευοντο those who were distressed by unclean spirits, were healed. The phrases also in which the devils are spoken of as “ being in ” or “ going out” or “ being driven out,” must be regarded as figurative expressions, the first of which is used to denote the influence of the demon on the individual, and the last two to denote the cessation or removal of this influence. But Christ had the power, to destroy this visible influence of the devil, in a visible manner.
The same power he granted to his disciples : Matth. 10:1, and Jesus gave to his twelve disciples authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out. Luke 10:17, the devils are subject to us in thy name. Mark 16: 17, in thy name they shall cast out devils. And even to those also who were not his followers such power was given : “ by whom do your sons expel demons (said Jesus to the Pharisees), οι υιοι υμων, sc. των Φαρισαίων, εν τιVi expandovoi ta daluovia ;” Matth. 12 :27. Mark 9: 38, 39. (See § 8. Illust. 3.)
Some of the narratives of the influence of demons, are of
1 Luke 10: 17, 18.
2 Luke 10: 19. See Dissert. de sensu histor. p. 37. Opusc. acad. Vol. I. p. 47.
3 See Disssert, on the atonement, p. 538.
such a nature, that no reasonable exposition can well be given of them, without admitting the reality of demoniacal agency. Such, for example, is the account of the expulsion of the devils from the two possessed men in the country of the Gergesenes (Matth. 8:28 &c. also Mark 5:1–4. Luke 8:26—37)”. Jesus could not have addressed those demons and granted them permission to enter into the swine, if he had not really regarded demons as the cause of the disease of these individuals. Otherwise, he would have confirmed an error of his cotemporaries, not only with words, but actually by the performance of a miracle. We must carefully distinguish between the expressions
curing a demoniac or one possessed of a devil [δαιμονιζομεvos],” and “expelling demons or commanding them to depart, εκβαλλειν δαιμονας, επιτιμαν να παραγγελειν εξελθειν.” It might indeed be conceded that, according to the usage of the language, the expression demoniac signified a person affected by a particular natural disease ; and that the writers of the New Testament used it in its common acceptation, although that acceptation of the word originated in an erroneous opinion ; just as the word lunatic (osanviaGouevos Matth. 4: 24) could with propriety be applied to a certain species of diseased persons, because, though it originated in error, it had by usage, become the customary name of persons affected by a certain disease ; and yet it would by no means follow, that the person who thus uses the word in its ordinary acceptation, must have entertained the erroneous opinion that the subjects of lunacy were under the particular influence of the moon. Thus when the astronomer uses the erroneous phraseology " the sun rises, or the sun goes down,” no one would think of charging him with holding that vulgar opinion. But if we suppose that when Jesus addressed the demons, and when he commanded them to depart, he at the same time believed the disease to be entirely natural, and
1 Vide Dissert. de sensu historico N. Test. Opusc. acad. Vol. I. p. 53
to have no connexion with demoniacal influence; we could not believe that Jesus merely used a customary peculiar expression which usage had made proper;
but we must believe that he actually confirmed an erroneous opinion by the language which he used. In reference to the possession above mentioned (Matth. 8:28), Hess remarks,1 « The fact that these demoniacs had, agreeably to the narrative itself, actually been delivered from their affection (oi de echJovtes v. 32) before any thing happened to the herd of swine, proves that it was not the possessed persons who threw themselves among the swine in a fit of madness, but that it was the devils who had been expelled from these persons.” And it is evident from the history of this event, that its object was to expose to view, in reference to the defence of himself which Jesus was compelled to make against the most horrible slanders (Matth. 12: 24), the number [2sykov legion, Luke 8: 30] and malignity of these demons, and their actual though involuntary subjection to Jesus (Luke 8: 31); and the utmost publicity was given to this matter by the incident of the swine. Relative to the cures of the demoniacs in general, which are related in the New Testament, Hess makes the following remark :3 “ It cannot be denied that the sacred historians did actually mean vexatious spirits, who grievously oppressed the bodies and minds of men ; agreeably to their intention, therefore, the numerous examples of the cures of demoniacs acquire a peculiar importance, inasmuch as Jesus appears, not only as their deliverer from bodily evil, but as the conqueror of hostile
powers from the invisible world.” Paulus, in his commentary on the New Testament,4 has maintained that the cures of the demoniacs were nothing else than cures of diseases of the mind, which were effected by the opinion in the deranged per
1 Uber die Lehren, Thaten und Schicksale unseres Herrn, S. 258. 2 On the Object of the Gospel and Epistles of John, p. 322. 3 Sup. cit. 259.
4 Vol. II, III.