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man and man, if the Divine Teacher did not, in this explanation of a parable, before uttered with intentional comparative obscurity, assert distinctly the existence of an evil spirit, his influence in this world, and the agency of angels at the last day in separating the good from the bad among men. An accumulation of similar testimony, after an explanation so distinct, so pointed, so express, were a needless waste of time and paper. The mind, which is in a state to resist or explain away the explanation already given, would not believe though one were to rise from the dead. In relation to this very subject the Saviour said, "because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not." Is there no reason to fear that a similar charge would still hold good? The nature of the truth itself is, often, the very reason why that truth is rejected. The passagen quoted from Matthew presents to every mind, on first reading it, one meaning, and one meaning only. It admits of no other. This meaning the Saviour expressed to his confidential friends in their retirement, when they had requested him to explain the parable of the tares. There was no possible room for an ad hominem argument here. All occasion for obscurity was removed. The apostles express no remaining difficulty as to the parable. It is all cleared up. Philologically considered, this meaning lies on the surface, and pervades the substance of the passage. Those who have studied the scriptures, simply as a record of human opinion, without considering themselves bound to submit to its decisions, have come by general consent to this conclusion, that "Jesus did mean to teach the doctrine of diabolical agency. But he erred. It was however the error of the times, from which it is not rational to expect that any mind should have been entirely free." Whether Amer

* The following references would confirm, if additional testimony were needed, the position taken. Matthew, xiii. 18, 19, xvii. 19—21. Mark, iv. 14, 15. Luke, viii. 12, x. 17—21.

ican rational inquirers are willing to take this ground, remains to be seen. With us it is now a question of philology, what did the Saviour teach? That made out, the question is allowed to be at an end. What Jesus taught we acknowledge to be true. Philosophy, extraneous to the scriptures, whether skeptical, dogmatical or critical, knows nothing, and can teach nothing upon the subject. The doctrines of the Bible, in relation to the unseen, spiritual, eternal world, are yet held, in the land of the Pilgrims, to be sound philosophy. The private opinion of the Saviour, as divulged to his chosen companions and friends in their most secret retirement, we have found to coincide with the opinion which he openly advanced to the Jews at large, and to the Pharisees as a sect. He did not teach a Pythagorean, esoteric, Eleusinean system of doctrines, to gull and hoodwink the people, while to the initiated he intrusted the key which unlocked the whole mystery. His opinion was not cloaked in ambiguous generalities. It was distinctly uttered, and definitely understood. Can this be said of all who claim to be Christian teachers?


Additional proof as to the Saviour's private opinion is Other related truths will receive still further elucidation from a passage in the gospel of John. This is a part of his instructions in that solemn interview, which took place just before he was betrayed into the hands of men. The shepherd was about to be smitten, and the sheep to be scattered. Jesus was aware of his approaching end, of the conflict before him, of the agony he was to endure. Though desirous of avoiding, he was still resigned to meet it. "Not my will but thine be done." If ever he was honest and open in his instructions, one would think, from the account given by the apostle whom he loved, that it was on this occasion Jesus unbosomed all his heart to his sorrowing disciples. "I tell you the

truth; it is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment; of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged." John, xvi. 7--11. What does the Saviour mean when he says the Holy Spirit shall reprove or convince "of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged"? Does he here mean "the principle of evil," or an actual person? If the former, what does he mean when he says, the spirit shall convince "of sin"? Does not a plain understanding, or a profound and erudite understanding perceive, that, when the Saviour asserts that the spirit shall convince of sin, of righteousness and of judgment; adding, of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to the Father; and of judgment; because the prince of this world is judged ; he meant to assert some distinction, some diversity of truth? But according to "the principle of evil" interpretation, the Saviour is unmeaning, or at least tautological in his declarations. A candid mind, unwarped by theory, cannot help seeing that Jesus taught here, as in a multitude of other cases, the existence of a mighty evil spirit, "the prince of this world," "an archangel ruined." This, he solemnly assures his disciples, is one of the doctrines which the Holy Spirit shall specially make known The following remarks by Hess, are well worth the attention and solemn thought of all, whose minds are not yet callous to evidence, who are not yet compromised to party, who are inquiring for truth, and willing to receive it, coming from whatever quarter and with whatever odium. "In this passage, Jesus is not addressing the illiterate populace, but he is speaking to his own apostles.

to men.

Nor is he conversing of unimportant opinions which might yet be tolerated for sometime, but of the future preaching of these teachers of the world. Nor is he speaking of certain modifications which the discourses of the apostles might assume from their own infirmities, or of the erroneous ideas of some of their hearers, but of the contents of their gospel, as derived from the Spirit of God, who should teach the truth, regardless of the circumstance whether it accorded with their former ideas or contradicted them."

A third argument is, The scriptures assure us that Christ possessed and exerted the power of expelling devils from individuals tormented by them.

Proof. Matthew, iv. 24. "They brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those that were possessed with devils, and those that were lunatic, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them." viii. 16. " "They brought unto him many that were possessed with devils; and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick." Mark, i. 34. "He healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him." iii. 11. "Unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, thou art the Son of God." Is this the same 'principle of evil" that, in the account of the temptation, is supposed to have called upon Christ to fall down and worship it? In the preceding quotation, it is intelligent, but speechless; it is here both obeisant and communicative. In each case there is a striking external appearance of personality. The artless historians, or rather this abstract "principle" has a wonderful aptitude, it must be confessed, for keeping up this fabulous verisimilitude. It is done to the life. But to proceed with the evidence. Luke, iv. 40, 41. "Now when the sun


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was setting, all that had any sick with divers diseases, brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them. And devils also came out of many, crying out and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he, rebuking them, suffered them not to speak; for they knew that he was Christ." How did disease, or evil principle, which are generally thought modifications of matter or of mind, rather than subjective of intelligence itself, know this great truth, that Christ was the Messiah? A truth, unknown to the Scribes, and the Pharisees, and the High Priest, and the Sanhedrim, and the wise men, and the rulers, and the mighty men of the age; a truth, revealed to Simon Barjona, not by flesh and blood, not by any human intelligence or instrumentality, but by the Father, who is in heaven? Or how should maniacs and lunatics, who had been thus for a "long time," know him to be the Messiah? The whole ministry of Christ, from his baptism to his crucifixion, is not thought to have exceeded three years. Let the reader examine the recorded cures of demoniacs, and say whether appearances warrant the belief that their insanity was, at the utmost, of only three years' duration. This supposition will throw all these cures into the last year of Christ's ministry, a supposition plainly untrue. Many of them occurred in the early part of his ministry, probably, much the largest number of such cures were effected in the first eighteen months of it. But what shall we say of the young man, whose cure is recorded in Mark, ix. 17-29? His father, when asked by Jesus, how long is it ago since this came unto him, replied, of a child. This was one of the most violent cases recorded in the gospels, yet of the same general nature with others. "Jesus rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee come out of him, and enter no more into him; [did Christ secure immunity from subsequent dis

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