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ledged, the one good, the other evil. These two they supposed to be continually at war together, the one to produce all the good he could, the other all the evil. It was thus they accounted for that mixture of good and evil in the universe, fo difficult to be reconciled with juft ideas of God. The moft pernicious effect however of this fyftem was, that it led men to the bafeft fpecies of idolatry, to the worship of the devil, in order that they might escape the direful effects of his malice. Mankind thus erring in their conceptions concerning the invifible world, the Son of God came from that world, and testified unto all the things which he had there feen; namely, That there is but one God fupreme; That all beings are abfolutely fubject to him; That he is infinitely powerful and good; and that he is the friend of mankind; That God has an only begotten Son, by whom he made and governs all things; That Jefus himfelf is this Son of God; That he loves mankind, is their protector, and will be their judge at the last day; That, befide the Father and the Son, there is the Spirit of God, who alfo loves the human race, affifts them in becoming good, and prepares them for eternal life: Finally, that there are in the invisible world many good, angel's; that they too bear a friendly regard to the virtuous; and that they are often fent forth to minifter to them who fhall be the heirs of falvation; That Jefus taught men what numerous, powerful, and benevolent friends they have in the invifible world. On the other hand he taught them, that they have there also numerous, powerful, and malicious enemies; namely, the devil and his angels, who go about continually feeking whom they may deftroy. At the fame time, against the dread of thofe enemies he has fortified us, by affuring us, that the devils are all abfolutely fubject to God, who allows them no farther than is agreeable to the ends of his own righteous administration; and that in due time their kingdom he will utterly deftroy. But the Son of God came to inftruct the poor. Therefore he did not content himself with giving a tcientific account of the invifible world, for the benefit of the learned. He revealed it in a manner adapted to the comprehenfion of the vulgar, and which at the fame time afforded to all claffes of men a compleat demonftration of the truth of what he taught. He made the inhabitants of the invisible world the actual objects of men's fenfes; reftoring unto us the knowledge of these things, in the very manner wherein, according to the Mofaic hiftory, it had originally been communicated. For, in the first place, being himself the only begotten Son of God, the bright"nefs of the Father's glory, and the exprefs image of his perfon; yea, "having the fulness of the Godhead dwelling in him bodily;" by appearing in our world, he manifefted the character and perfections of the Godhead to the fenfes of men. More especially, he manifefted to them the infinite wifdom of God in the fcheme of redemption which he taught. He fhewed them his boundless power in the many and great miracles which he performed, or enabled his apoftles to perform. He difplayed God's unfpeakable goodnefs, in his own life, which was one continued courfe of beneficence. Hence, in allufion to the fact, that God was manifefted in the flesh," he told his difciples and the
people, John xii. 45. "He that feeth me, feeth him that sent me.' In like manner, when Philip faid unto him, John xiv. 8. "Shew "us the Father, and it fufficeth us;" he replied, 9. "Have I been "fo long time with you, and yet haft thou not known me, Philip? "He that hath feen me hath feen the Father; and how fayeft thou "then, Shew us the Father?" 2. Jefus fhewed mankind the maker, governor, and judge of the world. Being himfelf that great perfonage, by appearing in the human nature, and converfing fo long upon earth, he made himself the object of men's fenfes. By fupplying eyes and limbs to thofe whose bodies wanted thefe members, and by raifing the dead, he fhewed men his creating power. By changing the courfe of nature in all its parts, and by ruling the wills of men, fo that they did not lay hold on him till his own time came, he shewed himself to be the governor of the world. By rifing from the dead, and at the fame time raifing others who were dead, he demonftrated that he will raise all men, and bring them to judgment. 3. The exiftence of the devil, and of evil Spirits his angels, alfo their malice and their power, Jefus fhewed by allowing the devils in that age, not only to afflict mankind with incurable difeafes, but, by means of thofe diseases, to take poffeffion of their bodies and fouls. Nevertheless, their abfolute fubjection to him, and confequently that he is himself the fole governor of the world, he demonftrated by cafting them out, Whatever power therefore the devils exercife in this world, is merely by permiffion from him. 4. By poffeffions of a kind different from thefe juft now mentioned, Jefus fhewed mankind the existence of the Spirit of God, their great friend, together with the reality and efficacy of his operation in their falvation. The apoftles and first converts he filled with the Holy Ghoft; and the reality of that poffeffion he made evident to the fenfes of men, by the miraculous gifts which the perfons filled with the Holy Ghoft exercifed. They fpake a variety of languages, which they knew nothing of before; they uttered prophecies, the meaning of which they did not underftand; they difcerned fpirits; they wrought miracles: fo that no one, who faw these men, could doubt that the spirit of God was in them of a truth. 5. The exiftence of good angels, and their affiduity in miniftering unto those who fhall be heirs of falvation, Jefus made evident to the fenfes of men, by giving the angels frequent occafions of appearing in vifible forms to minifter unto him; namely, at his conception, birth, temptation, agony, refurrection, and afcenfion. Thus our Lord may be faid, while on earth, to have made the whole inhabitants of the invifible world, along with himself, the objects of men's fenfes, and by fo doing to have put their exiftence and their feveral characters beyond doubt, in all fucceeding generations.
These things confidered, the miracles performed upon the Demoniacs in the Gofpels appear credible, though no fuch poffeffions are now obferved among mankind. The poffeffion of devils was peculiar to thofe times; juft as the poffeffions of the Spirit of God, the appearances of angels, nay, and the appearance of the Son of God himfelf, undoubtedly were. Moreover, as there were reafons for con
fining the poffeffions of the Spirit of God, the appearances of angels, and the prefence of the Son of God on earth, to the firft age of Chriftianity; fo there may have been reasons of great importance determining the poffeffions of devils to that age alfo. It was not agreeable to the wifdom of God to repeat in every age, thofe proofs addreffed to the fenfes of men, by which he was pleased to reveal to them the ftate of the invifible world. The age in which his Son appeared on earth, he honoured with the miraculous effufion of the Holy Ghoft, and with frequent appearances of angels, becaufe thereby the doctrines of his Son, concerning the friends which mankind have in the invifible world, was made an object of their fenfes. For the fame reafon, he confirmed what his Son taught concerning the devil and his angels, by the peculiar power which he allowed the devils to exercife in that age. Of this difpenfation mankind could not then complain; because in that age the Son of God, and the apoffles of his Son, lived on earth, armed with miraculous powers for reftraining and cafting out the devils. Such a difpenfation tended greatly to the inftruction and benefit of mankind, in all future generations. It has made us fenfible of the number, nature, and power of our enemies. And this information, while it ftirs us up to watchfulness, is fo tempered as not to difpirit us. At the very time our enemies were shewed to us, we were fortified against the exceffive dread of them, by the sensible demonftrations which were given in their ejections, proving that the devil, though powerful, is not independent and infinitely powerful, but is abfolutely fubject to God and to his Son; fo that he can hurt no man beyond what is permitted him of God. Wherefore, however ftrange it may feem, that evil fpirits were allowed, not only to afflict mankind with diseases, but by means of those diseases to take poffeffion of them, in the age wherein the Son of God appeared on earth, the great importance of the end gained by this difpenfation, renders it every way worthy of the perfections and government of God, and confequently gives fufficient probability to all the poffeffions recorded in the Gospels *.
In the above defence of the miracles wrought upon the Demoniacs, it is allowed that the devils have not now that power over the bodies and fpirits of men, which they exercised in our Lord's age. From this, however, it is not to be inferred, that they have no power at all over them. The vifible operation of their power, in the age mentioned, proves the contrary; being intended to convince men, that evil spirits often intermeddle in their affairs. Many difeafes, called incurable, may be brought on and continued by the operation of evil spirits Other mifchiefs, of various kinds, they may be inftrumental in producing. For the Scriptures attribute to the devils much more influence in the affairs of the world than most people are willing to allow them. For example, the Apoftle Paul calls the devil, the prince of the power "of the air," Eph. ii. 2. and his angels "the rulers of the darkness of this world," Eph, These titles mark the influence which evil spirits have in changing the conftitution of the air, and by that means of bringing diseases both upon man and beaft, and of deftroying the fruits of the earth. Farther, we are told that the Apoftles delivered over to Satan incor rigible offenders for the deftruction of their flesh and it is to be fuppofed, that, in confequence of this fentence, the devil punished them with mortal diseases. In the moral world also the Scriptures reprefent the devils as having great power: for, on two different occafions, Jefus attributed to them the machinations whereby he was put to death, John xiv. 30. Luke xxvii. 53. In like manner, the evangelift Luke afcribes the treachery of Judas to an efpecial energy of Satan upon his mind, chap. xxii. 23. and the cowardice of Peter to the fame caufe, chap. xxii. 31. alfo the wickedness of Ananias, Acts v. 3. Hence Peter, taught by experi
3d. "The destruction of the herd of fwine," which happened in confequence of the difpoffeffion of the Demons of Gadara, may,be defended upon the foundest principles of reafon, if the foregoing vindication of poffeffions in general is admitted. Impoftors have pretended by exorcifms to expel devils; for the idea of demons and their power is not only of ancient original, but hath widely prevailed. Thefe exorcifts, however, have never fucceeded, unlefs by compact with impoftors like themselves, who have counterfeited poffeffions, in order to bestow upon their accomplices the honour of miracles. Wherefore, to prevent every fufpicion, even the moft diftant, that this was the cafe with Jefus in the miracles which he performed upon the poffeffed, it became both his wifdom and his goodness, in one inftance at least, to order matters fo that the miracle fhould be raised above all doubt. This happened in the difpoffeffion of the demons of Gadara. For the devils, who were expelled, being permitted to enter into a herd of fwine on the neighbouring mountain, they drave them into the fea, where they perifhed, to the number of two thoufand. This extraordinary circumftance very happily answered the end defigned by it; because both the learned and the ignorant must be fenfible, that, whatever bargain our Lord may have made with the Demoniacs, he could make none with the fwine. In this illuftrious miracle, therefore, by a proof addreffed to the fenfes of men, a proof which, if it had not been found in the Gofpels, the enemies of revelation very probably would have exprefsly required, Jefus has taught men that there are really evil fpirits exifting in the world, enemies to mankind, and authors of all evil; that thefe wicked spirits are many in number; that a multitude of them are often employed in hurting particular perfons; that their power and malice are very great; but that they are abfolutely fubject to God and to his Son; and that God actually reftrains them from doing all the mischief they incline. Finally, by this undeniable miracle, Jefus has given crediVOL. V. O
ence, earnestly cautions his difciples to beware of the devil, who, he tells them, 1 Eph. v. 8. goeth about as a roaring lion, feeking whom he may devour." To theie representations the Apoftle Paul agrees; for he tells us, 2 Cor. iv. 4. that the devil blindeth the minds of "thofe who believe not." Befides, it is on account of the power which the devil exercises both in the natural and moral world, that our Lord has ftyled him, in three different places, THE PRINCE OF THIS WORLD (John xii. 13. xiv. 30. xvi. 11); and the Apoftle Paul, THE GOD OF THIS WORLD, 2 Cor. iv. 4. Finally, to imprefs mankind with a fenfe of their danger from evil fpirits, our Lord, in the form of prayer which he taught his difciples, hath commanded us to befeech God to deliver us (TO T8 Tovnge) from the evil one," the Devil.---Such are the reprefentations which Jefus and his Apoftles have given, of the power exercised by evil fpirits in the natural and moral world. If any one takes upon him to difbelieve thofe things, he ought to remember that they are matters of fact which he cannot reafon upon, because he knows nothing of the invifible world at all; and that Jefus, having come from that world, deferves to be credited in the account which he has given of it.
The reader, no doubt, observes, that I have not produced our Lord's temptation in the wildernefs as an example of the agency of evil fpirits in the moral world. The reafon is, Le Clerc affirms, it was transacted in a vifion; and the ingenious Mr. Farmer, in his " Inquiry" &c. that it happened in a " Divine Vision." But I now mention it after the other proofs from Scripture, relative to the agency of the Devil in human affairs, not doubting but the whole taken together, will convince impartial judges, that the literal fenfe of the history of the temptation is agreeable to the reprefentation which the Scriptures have given us of the agency of evil spirits; and the rather, that all the objections which have heen raised against the literal fenfe may eafily be removed, by attending to the circumstances of the tranfaction, and to the true meaning of the phrafes which the Evangelis have made ufe of in that part of their narration.
bility to the other miracles which he performed upon the Demoniacs, and has vindicated his own character from the afperfions which have been thrown upon it, as if, to aggrandize himself in the eyes of the ignorant multitude, he made the fpectators believe the difeafes which he cured were not natural, but the effects of poffeffions: while in reality there never was in the world any person whatever poffeffed with devils.
4. That fo great a quantity of wine was furnished at the marriage of Cana, cannot be thought indecent, confidering that, among the Jews, marriage-feasts lafted a whole week, and that on thofe occafions great numbers of people were gathered together. In the whole of his life, Jefus fhewed the most perfect temperance. We may therefore believe, that he would not be prefent at any meeting where was excefs; far lefs would he be inftrumental in carrying on the debauch, by furnishing the means thereof. For which reafon, though the quantity of wine that was produced fhould be thought too great for the occafion and the company, we ought to view it in any favourable light, rather than imagine that he acted here quite contrary to his acknowledged character. In particular, we may fuppofe Jefus did not intend that the whole of the wine which he formed fhould be drunk at this time. He defigned it as a nuptial prefent, for fupplying the future neceffities of the new-married couple. It was ufual for relations and friends to make prefents on fuch occafions: wherefore, feeing the nature of the miracle required that the quantity of wine which was formed should be large, to prevent all fufpicion of fraud, could there be any thing more proper than that what remained fhould be charitably defigned by our Lord as a provision for the new family? In the hiftory no circumftance occurs, hindering us to put this favourable conftruction upon the miracle. We are told, indeed, that the governor of the feast, when he tafted the wine that was made, faid to the bridegroom, ver, 10, "Every man at the beginning doth fet forth. "good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is
worfe, but thou haft kept the good wine till now." And the adverfaries of revelation complain, that the true import of the word bobwo is difguifed in the tranflation, by being rendered, “when men have well drunk;" because they fay the proper meaning of it is, "when men have got drunk." However, as this is not the conftant fignification of the word, the tranflators cannot be charged with unfair dealing. It means no more, often, but to drink" to fatisfaction, or "plentifully." Thus, Gen. xliii. 30. it is faid of Jofephus's brethren that εμεθύσθησαν μετ' αυτ8, which can mean no more but that they drank
to fatisfaction." Nay, the word is applied to "meat" as well as to drink." For Hofea, xiv. 7. fpeaking of the Ifraelites, fays, nola, xas μedvolgovilas ow. In like manner, the Apostle, blaming the Corinthians for eating together in parties, and not waiting for one another, when they met for celebrating the Lord's fupper, mentions it as one of the inconveniences of that method, 1 Cor. xi. 21. is μer Tei10, As de E❝ one is hungry, and another is filled." Wherefore, from the words of the governor of the feaft at Cana, it cannot be in