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by feveral eminent writers. And Dř Lardner feems to admit its force. For the devil is often called Sa+
It doth not, however, feem to me to follow from the paffage under confideration, that the devil is ever called Beelzebub. For the term, fatan, is not ap propriated to one particular person or fpirit, but fignifies an adversary, or oppos ment, in general. The Jews called every demon by this name, and ufed it in the plural number. Samael is ftyled by them, the prince of fatans. Nay, the very words of our Saviour, How can Satan caft out Satan, if taken in their ftrictest sense, imply that there were feveral fatans. And
E a Cafe of the Demoniacs, p. 42. See alfo p. 35. In what manner the author of a Review of the Controverfy concerning Demoniacs, attempted to folve this difficulty, the reader may fee by consulting p. 79. Compare Remarks on that Tract, p. 17.
And the prince of all the fatans. See Dr. Doddridge on Matt. xii. 25. v. I. p. 372, and Ode's Commentar. de Angelis, p. 611.
our Lord might only mean, that it was unreasonable to fuppofe, that one demon would caft out another. Or if you underftand him to the following purpose: « Were Beelzebub, whom you regard as "the chief of the poffeffing demons, to expel himself, which would in effect be "the cafe were he to expel his agents "and instruments, he would act against
his own intereft, and defeat his own "schemes:" it will not follow from hence, that Beelzebub was confidered as the fame person with the devil. It doth not appear, that there is any reference here to the latter. He and Beelzebub
might be regarded as two distinct perfons, and yet each be called fatan: a word that the Scripture itfelf very commonly applies to every one who is an adverfary, or acts in oppofition to another. Indeed, if Beelzebub and his
The angel of the Lord is called fatan, Numb. xxii. 22. God's anger was kindled against Balaam, because he went and the angel of the Lord food in the way 1 for a fatan or adverfary against him.
demons were in our Saviour's time conceived to be the very fame perfons as
In the 33d verfe of the fame chapter, the angel fays, I went out to withstand thee, which in the ori-ginal is, to be a fatan (17) or adverfary to thee. The word is also very frequently applied to men. Let not David go down with us to battle, (said the princes of the Philistines) left in the battle he be a fatan, or adverfary to us, I Sam. xxix. 4. What have I to do with you, ye fons of Zeruiah, that ye Should this day be a fatan, or adverfary to me? 2 Sam. xix. 22. The Lord my God hath given me rest on every fide, fo that there is neither adversary (1) nor evil occurrent, 1 Kings v. 4. See alfo Kings xi. 14, 23, 25. Pfal. xxxviii. 20. Pf. lxxi. 13. Pf. cix. 4, 20, 29. In the New Teftament Chrift fays to Peter, Matt. xvi. 23. Get thee behind me, fatan, "You act rather as an enemy, than as a “ friend, in diffuading me from fubmitting to fufferings and death." St. Paul, in 2 Cor. xii. 7. fays, Left 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 fatan to buffet me. In the original it is not ἄγγελος τῇ σαλᾶν, 4. the angel
of Satan," but äzyɛhos çarãv, an angel fatan, or adverfary. The beft commentators fuppofe, that the bodily affliction, or thorn in the flesh, here referred to, was fome paralytic symptom, called elfewhere the infirmity of the flesh, Gal. iv. 13. In confirmation of this opinion it may be obferved,
the devil and his angels, is it not very furprifing, that the New Teftament in its original language, fhould always fpeak of the diseased perfons under confideration as poffeffed by a demon, or demons, and never by the devil, or devils? a word, as all must allow, that is never there applied to evil spirits in the plural number, whatever its ufe may be in the fingular. I add, that inafmuch as Chrift is here re
that the word dobivala, ufed here in the original, is that by which both the New Testament writers and the Greek phyficians defcribe the palfy. This diforder feems to have been occafioned by the fplendor of his vifions affecting the nervous system; and was purpofely defigned by God, not merely to prevent a too great elation in the apoftle, but, by taking off from the gracefulness and energy of his delivery, to render the divine power more confpicuous in the fuccefs of his ministry. It is impoffible that St. Paul fhould refer this diforder to the devil; he speaks of it as proceeding from God, or (which is the fame) his angel acting a part adverfary to the apoftle; to whom this difpenfation of divine Providence was exceedingly humiliating and painful, however wifely defigned by God.
plying to the Pharifees, and reasoning with them on their own principles, he cannot be supposed to speak of a different order of beings from what they did. Satan therefore must be equivalent to demon, in the fenfe in which demon was used by them, which will be explained hereafter. And fhould it then appear, that by demons and their prince they understood human fpirits, it will from hence follow, that Chrift cannot be speaking of spirits of a celestial origin.
Differt. on Mir. p. 388,