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heroic and sublime, as to bid defiance to all those temptations which can be supposed to spring from evil principle. Have you ever reflected on the agony of Christ in the garden, when the sweat fell from him, as it had been great drops of blood"? Why the earnest entreaty, "let this cup pass from me"? Why this extremity of agony during the whole of the passion? What occasioned it? Socrates died not thus. Washington died not thus. Dr. Payson died not thus. Multitudes, of the tenderest years and of the most delicate sex, have been broken upon the rack or consumed in the flames, and come off conquerors and more than conquerors, rejoicing to suffer affliction, rejoicing to die for the name of the Lord Jesus. Was Christ less innocent, less noble, less capable of endurance? Was there not a struggle with "the powers of darkness"? "with spiritual wickedness in high places"? "Forasmuch, then, as the children were partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same, that through death he might destroy him, who had the power least, to "the simplest elements of theology." Their testimony to the force of language according to Greek usage, coinciding in the present case, gives them an authority with all parties, which it will be difficult for the most tortuous and remorseless criticism to resist or evade. If words can mean any thing definite and certain," the tempter" in this passage means, according to these critical philologists, agent, whose unceasing occupation it is to tempt to sin." Let him who can, evade the force of this, by showing it to be a principle of Greek usage, to predicate abstract existence of the masculine article prefixed to the present participle. I have referred to but two authorities on this subject, though a host might be mentioned of philologists, commentators, and critics, all in unison on this point. But Gerard and Storr, having lately issued from the American press, are accessible to all, and of ample authority. It may be well to state here, once for all, that many pertinent, as well as many more doubtful proof texts, will be wholly omitted. Of the latter, the Lord's prayer affords a well known and striking example. The clause "deliver us from evil" is ambiguous in the original, and may mean, as in the common version, from the evil principle, or from the evil one. The word is in an oblique case, and may be derived from either a neuter, or a masculine noun. No dependence could be placed on such a word, and in the present discussion, there is no necessity for thus misplacing it. Even the univocal passages must be decimated, to bring the subject within proper limits.
of death, that is, the devil." Heb. ii. 14. "Having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it," (that is, by his cross, his death.) Col. ii. 15. "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil." 1 John, iii. 8. The preceding passages show how-by his death. Is there any other rational interpretation than that just given? Christ was innocent, perfect, was to suffer for a limited and short time, and on the third day to rise again. All of this he knew. What so dreadful in this, if barely or chiefly to attest the truth of his mission, and the doctrine of a resurrection and a future life, that he could not meet it "like a man," and rise above the mere physical suffering he would now endure? Rather was not this, as he himself has assured us, the hour of his earthly enemies, and the power of darkness? Was he not at this time so "forsaken of his Father," that he suffered all that could be inflicted by him "who has the power of death, that is, the devil;" "whose works he came to destroy," and whose power and dominion at this hour, trembled and were broken? This is an intelligible and rational explanation of this great and momentous subject. This view of the passion of Christ does not exclude, but may very properly include all suffering he may have endured from his clear perception of the evil of sin, and of its tremendous consequences; all suffering of a vicarious nature, with which it pleased the righteous Judge of the moral universe "to bruise Him, by whose stripes we are healed." That he, hower, suffered at this moment "hell torments," we do not for a moment believe. Innocence can never endure the agony of remorse, or feel the stings of personal guilt, or suffer the burning torture of an accusing conscience. Holiness can never, till the principles of mind and the laws of moral agency are completely subverted, endure
the same kind of suffering with unholiness. The sufferings of Christ sprung from a different source. The passages just quoted, point out this source, it is believed, with great distinctness. Not a gleam of light breaks in upon this subject from any Unitarian hypothesis.
The prince of this world, then, tempted Christ, entering on his ministry, and agonized him, (so to express it,) finishing it. At these two periods we might, a priori, expect the enemy of all goodness, if ever permitted to assail the Prince of Peace, to be awake to the dangers of his kingdom, and active to prevent its overthrow. The commencement and the completion of the great work of redemption, were epochs too marked not to call forth all the art and the venom of the powers of darkness. If Christ, if spotless perfection, could be thus tempted and caused to suffer, what shall we think of those in whose mortal members sin reigns, whose hearts are evil only, and continually ?*
* See note C.
Rev. and Dear Sir,
My second argument is, that Christ himself repeatedly and explicitly taught this doctrine.
I. He taught it to the Jews at large, as a people.
Proof. John, viii. 44-48. "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do: he was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God, heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God. Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, say we not well, that thou art a Samaritan and hast a devil?" See the whole chapter. It contains an account of one of the most extended conversations between the Jews and our Saviour, which the Holy Spirit has put on record for our instruction. If we can, by any strength of prejudice or ingenuity of supposition, doubt, after reading it, whether Jesus really meant to assert the fact of diabolical existence and agency, let us for once fancy ourselves wholly divested of our Christian birth and education, feelings, opinions, and prejudices. Let imagination annihilate eighteen centuries, and place us in the midst of this perverse and querulous group. What are the opinions of this multitude whom the Saviour is addressing? They are mostly, if not all, of the sect of the Pharisees. They believe in evil spirits of different orders and influence. They pride themselves on their lineal descent from Abra
ham. Jesus denies that they are truly the children of Abraham, possessed of like faith, feelings and character. "No. Your real father is one whom you are little disposed to own. Ye are of your father the devil, and his lusts ye will do. Who of you ever knew me utter a falsehood? Have I not always spoken the truth? Do I not speak the truth now? Why then do ye not believe me? He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God." The Jews are hard pressed by these accusations and arguments. They must evade them. The edge of truth must be blunted. "Say we not well, thou hast a devil?" "I have not a devil; but I honor my Father, and ye do dishonor me. If any man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death." "Now we know thou hast a devil. Even Abraham is dead. Whom makest thou thyself? None but one influenced by a devil could bring such charges against us, the offspring of Abraham, the chosen people of God; and make such pretensions. Thou hast a devil." It deserves special notice, that when Jesus in the 34th verse states the abstract proposition, "whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin," it excites little notice, no rage. When in the 38th verse he gives them to understand that their father and his were different, they forget God and claim Abraham. But when he distinctly asserts their connexion with the devil, then, to evade the accusation, they throw it back upon him. They do not deny diabolical existence, nor raise any cavils about the mode, or the reasons, or the propriety of this invisible influence. They concede all this, but to exculpate themselves, charge him with being instigated by an unseen evil agent. "Thou hast a devil." Was it not incumbent on him, who in this very conversation called upon them to declare if he had ever uttered an untruth, not to utter one at this moment? How could he address them, "I tell you the truth when