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the epistles be given up, but the gospels also, and all revelation, and the possibility of revelation. In this case, I must become an absolute skeptic, " I must doubt of every thing; yes, of these doubts themselves." I am thrown into a state of more perplexing doubt than Socrates himself. I cannot even hope that a divine teacher shall ever come. What that class of Unitarians expect to gain, who, while they profess most sincerely to believe in Christianity as a revealed system of divine truth, give but a partial, forced, unwilling acceptance to the epistles, is more than any of them have yet distinctly informed us. It would seem, from a recent article in the Christian Examiner, that American Unitarianism is about to undergo an unwonted and unexpected transformation.* Paul is apparently about to become a favorite, at least till the epistle to the Hebrews is uncanoned. Whether he will retain his hold on Unitarian affections after that, considering his "inconclusive reasoning " and the things in him " hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest to their own destruction, as they do also the other scriptures," can scarcely be thought problematical. I beg the writer of the article just alluded to, seriously to consider the quotations, which will shortly be made from Paul, from the unquestioned writings of the great apostle of the Gentiles. Paul is not an allegorist. He does not indulge in "allegorical," "mystical," or "merely imaginary senses" of quotations from the Old Testament, or of arguments addressed to Roman, Corinthian, or Ephesian Christians. "We must recollect that the words of Christ were reported from memory by the evangelists, and not always with perfect accuracy." "The evangelists, differing as they do occasionally as to the sense and bearing of these words," and "being all allegorists," "it would not have been strange, if unconsciously and through inadvertence
* See note D.
they had given an allegorical turn, by a slight change of expression, to words, which were used by our Saviour himself only by way of application." Perhaps Matthew and John, with the very best intentions, were not, after all, faithful reporters of what Christ said in regard to the existence and agency of Satan. The medium of communication may have tinged the instructions of Christ with a superadded allegorical sense, which they did not possess when first uttered. But this cannot be said of Paul. He is plain and explicit, indulging in no allegorical, rejecting all mystical, imaginary interpretations and applications. He never allows himself in liberal "accommodation" to suit his doctrine to his hearers. If he at times reasons ad hominem, the context and occasion plainly point this out. Let it be remembered that this is the "latest fashion" of Unitarian belief.
When Paul and the other apostles were sent forth to "turn men from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God," what did they understand their commission to mean?
Omitting the Acts and the Apocalypse, we will limit our quotations to the epistles, and here too we can only make a selection, omitting many passages equally as pertinent and strong as those to be quoted.
Romans, xvi. 20.
"The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly." I Cor. v. 5. “I have judged.... to deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus." vii. 5. "Come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency." 2 Cor. ii. 11. "Lest Satan should get an advantage of us, for we are not ignorant of his devices." What does the word "Satan" in these passages mean? 'Principle of evil?" "Disease?" " Mythus?" A leading Unitarian writer, of great learning and ability, has recently told us, that "ac
cording to a Jewish conception, Sammæl, the angel of death, was identified with Satan." Satan, if I understand the writer, was only another name in the popular Jewish mythology, for the angel of death. But then there was in reality no such being as the angel of death. The word was used in "a merely imaginary sense." I ask that writer to examine his assertion, these remarks and the above passages, and, in view of the whole, to decide what the word "Satan," used by Paul, means. What in a special manner does it mean in these passages? 2 Cor. xii. 7. "Lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan, to buffet me." Did Christ strengthen "the principle of evil" in the chiefest apostle?
1 Thess. ii. 18. "Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again, but Satan hindered us. Was Paul hindered from visiting the Thessalonian Christians by the Jewish conception about the imaginary angel of death? or if it mean that he was hindered by sickness, how will that explanation suit 1 Tim. v. 14, 15? "Give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully; for some are already turned aside after Satan." Is it any occasion of speaking reproachfully of Christians, that they "suffer those ills which flesh is heir to "? Did not the importance of the subject and the strength of opposing prejudices demand that varied and multiplied illustrations should be given, and the fallacy and absurdity of the Unitarian theories be shown, I should fear exhausting the patience of the reader by any further quotations, after so full and so unequivocal an exhibition of this apostle's meaning. But as Paul is just now likely to be listened to with special deference, it may be well to give him a still farther hearing.
2 Cor. iv. 3, 4. "If our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost, in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."
Do you doubt who "the God of this world" is? See Eph. ii. 1, 2. “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience." The phrase, "the prince of the power of the air," according to the well known idiom of the New Testament, evidently means the powerful invisible prince, which the synonymous parallelism," the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience," still farther explains and limits. All this exactly coincides with the declarations of Christ before quoted, that the prince of this world is judged, is cast out, &c.
One passage more from Paul, and only one. Eph. vi. 10-12. "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." See the whole of this most striking passage. It is so full a representation of our invisible spiritual enemies, and of the mode of meeting and vanquishing them, that those, who may be in doubt as to the truth on this subject, and yet willing to believe what the word of God declares, are earnestly requested to read it, study it, meditate upon it, compare it with the preceding declarations of Christ, and of this apostle, and see if it must not refer to actual spiritual existences, and not to abstract impersonalities. Compare it with
Col. i. 13, and ii. 15. See how by the cross, i. e. his death, Christ triumphed over his enemies and the enemies of the human family, spoiling principalities and powers, delivering true Christians from the power of darkness. Let every one examine this subject without prejudice, dispassionately, ready to give up preconceived opinions, if unsound, and say, will any Unitarian theory meet the apparent intensity of apostolic meaning?
In reference to the quotation from Eph. vi. 10-12, the following remarks by Storr deserve special attention. "St. Paul, who had dared to overturn the magical system of the Ephesians, regarded the doctrine of evil spirits as not at all inconsistent with the dignity of that very Christianity, which had discarded superstition. And he did not hesitate to interweave this doctrine with his epistle to the Ephesians themselves, although in this same epistle he inveighs against the superstition of the Essenes, with which the Ephesians were in danger of being tinctured. Had not Paul believed the doctrine of wicked angels, the epistle to the Ephesians would surely have been the last place in which he would have spoken so impressively and circumstantially concerning their temptations, as he in this very epistle was contending against the Essenes, who had manifested a veneration for good angels and a terror of wicked ones altogether extreme.”
On any Unitarian hypothesis, which has yet been advanced, darkness, thick darkness, and only thick darkness rests upon this subject. The plainest language must be wrested and "turned aside from its obvious meaning," or the defenders of that system would, long since, have either, quoad hoc, embraced Orthodoxy, or renounced revelation. This is strong language, but see, in confirmation and illustration of the remark, another passage from a plain, literal, un-figurative apostle. James, ii. 19. "Thou believest there is one God; thou doest well. The devils