« AnteriorContinuar »
IRST of all, I will endeavour to explain and establish the true meaning of demoniacs in the New Testament:
In the next place, attempt to folve the feveral objections that have been urged against that explication;
And then point out the advantages of it, and the inconveniences attending the common interpretation of this fubject. CHAP.
CHA P. I.
Will endeavour to explain and establish the true meaning of demoniacs in the New Teftament.
Whatever is neceffary to our forming a juft idea of the gofpel-demoniacs, will be comprized under the ten following propofitions.
Prop. I. The fpirits that were thought to take poffeffion of men's bodies, are called in the New Teftament demons, not devils.
The Greek word" from whence comes the English name, devil, when used in the fingular number in the New Teftament, is generally fuppofed to refer to one particular evil fpirit, the chief of the fallen angels: but, at the fame
In the following paffages, Matt. iv. 1. chap. xxv. 41. Acts x. 38. ch. xiii. 10. Ephef. vi. 11. Jam. iv. 7. Pet. v.8. Rev. xii. 9.
time, it must be allowed by all, that, even according to the tranflation now in ufe, when the fame Greek word occurs in the plural number, it is never applied to any evil fpirits". Indeed, we often meet with the term devils in the English translation; but, in all thefe inftances, that of demons is used in the original. Strange as it may feem; it is nevertheless an undoubted fact, that there is not a fingle paffage in the New Testament, in which the devil or devils are spoken of, in reference to the prefent.subject. Though poffeffed perfons are fo very frequently mentioned in the Gof
It occurs only in the following paffages: Their wives must be not flanderers, (un diablónas, not devils) 1 Tim. iii. 11. I In the laft times, men will be (diáboro, devils) false accufers, 2 Tim. iii. 3. In like manner, in Tit. ii. 3. aged women are forbidden to be (diabóλrs, devils) false accufers.
1 Δαίμονες, δαιμονία.
* That Acts x. 38. is no exception will be fhewn below, fect. V.
In defcribing perfons poffeffed, the word dainin occurs in the Gofpels fifty-two times; daiv pels,
pels, they are not, on any occafion whatever, faid to have, or to be possessed by the devil. They are uniformly and invari→ ably defcribed as having, or being poffeffed by, a demon or demons. Beelzebub is called the prince of demons", not of devils. It would therefore be foreign from our present subject to enquire who the devil is.
It is indeed commonly apprehended, that demons and their prince are the very fame spirits as the devil and his angels. In fupport of this opinion, the abettors of it argue in the following manner": "Satan and Beelzebub are "names for the fame perfon: for when
three ; and δαιμονίζομαι, thirteen ; though διάβολος doth not occur so much as once in reference to poffeffions, either in the Gospels, or in any other part of the New Teftament.
m Mat. xii. 24. Mark iii. 12.
" See Pegge's Answer to Sykes, and the learned Dr. Doddridge on Mat. xii. 25. Fam. Expof. vol. I. p. 372, note g, and alfo vol. II. p. 82, note c, 2d edit.
"Chrift was reproached with cafting out "demons by the affiftance of the prince " of demons, he replied, How can Satan I caft out Satan? Now, if Satan, "who is confidered as the fame perfon " with the devil, was the prince of those "demons who were caft out by Christ; "then demons are the fame fpirits as the "devil's angels. And on this fuppofi “tion, there can be no other difference "between demons and the devil, than “that which fubfifts between a prince " and his fubjects, who both partake of one common nature, though the prince, "as prefiding over the reft, hath a pe"culiar name of his own." It is obfervable, that Dr. Sykes, who maintained that demons and their prince were a different order of fpirits from the devil and his angels, never replied to this objection, though frequently urged against him
• Mat. xii. 26. Mark iii. 26. Luke xi. 18. Rev. ix. 12. compare Matt. iv. I, with Mark i. 12+