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226 $ 106. opinion of cHRIST, THE Apostles, Etc.
derstand, that the disease had terminated at their command. It was for a reason of the same nature, viz. to make an impression on the minds of those present, that the Saviour, when the tempest was overruled and laid by his miraculous interference, commanded in an audible manner the winds and the seas to be at rest. Let those, who inquire, how Jesus could call the demon by name, if he did not believe one to be present, read the Greek text of Mark 5: 9. and of Luke 8:30, and they will see, that it is not the demon, which is addressed by name, but the demoniac himself, (sangajra aviów, i.e. &v6gonov, not avrò, i. e. two jug.) Jesus, in Luke 10: 17, does not assert the operations of demons in men, for he couples Satan with serpents and scorpions, which places us under the necessity of interpreting all of these words tropically, and of understanding by them cunning and powerful adversaries, who opposed the progress of the Gospel, but with all their power were unable to interrupt its advancement. The expressions, which he employs, are as follows. “I see,” Hebrew "nos", “ Satan,” i.e. all the adversaries of the gospel, who are afterwards called serpents, scorpions, and the enemy's host, “fall like lightning from heaven,” i. e. from the political heaven, from power and authority. Consult Is. 14:12, 13. Matt. xxiv. Luke 10:15. Rev. 12: 7–9. see also Cicero, where he says to Mark Antony, you have hurled your colleagues down from heaven. (The adversaries of the gospel also occur in Luke 22:31. under the name of Satan.) “Behold,” he proceeds, “I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy,” i.e. of overcoming and subduing by your miraculous gifts all adversaries, “and nothing shall by any means hurt you,” i.e. oppress and overcome you, (comp. Götzmon with the Hebrew Poz.) “Notwithstanding, in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you, but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven,” i.e. rejoice rather in the favour of God, than in the power of casting out devils, or of healing the most difficult diseases. Jesus, in Matt. 12: 24–30. Mark 3:22–30. Luke 11: 16–24. employs against the Pharisees the ARGUMENTUM Ad homineM, which has no bearing in this case any further than the refutation of the adversary is concerned. The ground of his employing this species of argument in the present instance was this. The Pharisees, if we may believe Josephus, taught that the demons, by § 196. opinion of cHRIST, THE ApostLEs, Etc. 227
which men were possessed, were the spirits of bad men, who were dead, and were commissioned on their present business of tormenting the children of men by Beelzebub. Jesus, therefore, replied, provided this were the true state of the case, that Beelzebub, by lending his assistance in casting out his own devils, was overturning his own kingdom. He then adds, that this powerful spirit, for such the Pharisees supposed him to be, could not be compelled to perform such an unwelcome task, unless a stronger one, than Beelzebub himself, should first come, should bind him, and take away his arms. The parable in Matt. 12:43–45. and Luke 11:24–28. is to be interpreted with a reference to the explanation, at the end, viz. “so shall it be with this wicked generation.” The demons in these passages are the vices of the Jews, which had been, in some little degree, corrected by the preaching of John the Baptist and the Saviour, but which soon after developed themselves with greater virulence, and to a greater extent than ever, as Josephus testifies was the case in the time of the War with the Romans; comp. the large German edition of this Work, P.I. Vol. II. § 232, p. 490, 491. Finally, Jesus liberates the woman, described in Luke 13:12. as bowed down with infirmity, without making any mention of a demon ; if, therefore, a little after, he asserts, that she was a daughter of Abraham, bound by Satan for eighteen years, the expressions are to be considered as figurative, being an allusion to the loosing of oxen, which it was lawful to do on the sabbath in order to lead them to drink, and having reference at the same time to an opinion among the Jews, that all diseases had their ultimate origin, (not indeed from demons,) but from the devil, that overruling spirit of wickedness, who tempted Eve, and to whom allusions are made in Acts 10:38, and in 2 Cor. 12; 7. ARGUMENT IV. That the church fathers unanimously agreed in the opinion, that individuals, in the time of Christ, were really and truly possessed with demons, those, who maintain that Demoniacs were diseased persons, plainly and expressly deny. They produce testimonies to the contrary. They assert, moreover, that, in point of policy, the church fathers would not have thought it advisable, to have made such assertions, as are represented, since they were contending incessantly with philosophers, 228 § 197. opinion of cHRIST, the Apostles, etc.
who believed in, and strenuously contended for the agency of demons. They say further, that nothing is gained or lost, even if the fathers were unanimous in one opinion, since this is not a question of faith or doctrine, in which alone the united sentiment of the Fathers can be considered, as possessing a binding authority. They deny also, that it can be concluded from the fact, that a class or order of persons, called erorcists, existed in the primitive ages of the church, that the church itself believed in the real agency of demons; since the popular superstitions on the subject might have been, as no doubt they were, the ground of such an institution, see Veronius IN REGUL. Fid. § 4. no. 4.
§ 197. REAL Possessions INconsistENT witH THE DoctriNE of JEsus AND THE Apostles.
Those, who oppose the doctrine of real possessions, state that Jesus, the Apostles, and Evangelists, are not to be understood literally, when they speak of the agency of demons, because such a supposition would make them act contrary to the doctrine, which they themselves taught. They, accordingly, in support of the point, that the doctrines of the apostles and Jesus are contrary to that of real demoniacal possessions, advance the following considerations. ARGUMENT I. Jesus and the apostles teach us, that all things, even the most minute, are under the direction of God. They could not, therefore, for a moment suppose, that so great miseries were inflicted by demons, (whether they were the spirits of dead men, or other evil spirits,) or that God would be accessory to such evils, by permitting them to exist in such a way. They would not countenance such an opinion the more especially, because it had its origin among nations, which were given to idolatry. It was the common belief among such nations, that the celestial divinities governed the world by prory, entrusting it to inferiour deities, and to the spirits of the dead. ARGUMENT II. Jesus and the apostles teach us, that the spirits of the dead immediately enter upon that state or destiny, which from their previous character they deserve ; both the good and the bad going to a retribution, from which they can never return, Luke 16:22, et seq. 23:43. 2 Cor. 5: 1. 1 Philip. 1:21. 3: 12. § 197. opinion of christ, The ApostLEs, Etc. 229
Heb. 12:23. Some of the wicked spirits, as we learn from 2 Peter 2: 4. and from Jude verse 6. are reserved in custody, till the day of judgment; a statement, which cannot be reconciled with the supposition, that they are straying about the earth, and tormenting its inhabitants. ARGUMENT III. Let it be admitted, that Jesus does not in direct terms contradict the prevailing notions, and does not expressly and explicitly say, that the demoniacs were not afflicted by the agency of demons, but merely by natural diseases, (which was the opinion maintained by the Sadducees,) still it must be confessed, that, on the other hand he no where expressly denies, that the effects, produced upon individuals, who were represented as possessed with demons, resulted from such diseases merely. The fact is, as is contended, the Saviour neither took one part nor the other, neither denied nor asserted the reality of demoniacal possessions. Indeed it was not necessarily nor actually his province. A question of that kind, one which involved the state of the body or the mind, belonged rather to professed physicians. The Apostles pursue the same course in respect to this subject that the Saviour does, with the exception of John and Paul, who, having resided much in Asia Minor, do not, as has been already observed, make use of the customary and prevalent phrases in regard to demoniacs. It is stated, further, in defence of the conduct of the Saviour and his apostles, that there was no need of their refuting the vulgar opinion in respect to demoniacs, as it was evidently inconsistent with their doctrine concerning the state of the dead, and was attacked by the physicians of that age with great success. Besides, an attempt at such a refutation, in an age when the opinion to be attacked was yet so prevalent, and in a country where it was so fondly cherished, would have involved the disciples and the Saviour in prolix disputations, and would have withdrawn their attention too much from the preaching of the Gospel. I have thus given the statements, illustrations, and arguments on both sides of this question, and will leave each one to form his own opinion. [Note. To give an opinion on a question, where so many plausible considerations have been brought forward on both sides, ... would be of no avail, without various arguments to support it. And to do this, after the statements, which have been already 230 § 198. The ANGEL that Troubled the bath.
made, could hardly be expected here ; especially as it seems to be generally admitted by both parties, that the adoption of either sentiment does not necessarily imply a doubt of the divine authority of the Saviour, or of the integrity of the historians of the New Testament.—Our author has merely undertaken to give a concise account of the views of the conflicting writers on this inquiry; and it is only in pursuance of this design, that we here mention for the student's perusal the Lectures of the late President Appleton. In this work, which is generally accessible to the students of this country, but probably never came to the notice of Dr. Jahn, not only the common arguments in favour of real possession are forcibly presented, but a number of specious objections to that view of the subject are met and controverted in a manner, worthy of the inquirer's candid consideration.]
§ 198. The Pool, NEAR THE Sheep-MARKET At JerusaleM.
The pool, it to 1908wtux, or the receptacle of water, called Bethesda, John 5:2, was a bath.
I. The first argument in favour of this position is to be found in the fact, that the Rabbins and the Chaldaic paraphrast on Ecclesiastes make the words nintone and No-E, (the Greek ngogarian,) mean baths; and make the word stone mean the servant attending on a bath. The name Bethesda, in Hebrew noa Notr, means, the house or place of favour or kindness, and agrees very well with a bath, which was both salutary and pleasant.
II. Another proof, that the pool in question was a bath, is the fact, that the blind, maimed, and withered, were gathered around it; and that there were likewise five porticos, erected without doubt for the reception of those, who were sick and infirm. That this was the object of the porticos is the opinion, expressed both in the Peshito and by Suidas.
The ANGEL THAT TRoubled THE BATH.
It is related, (John 5: 2–4, 6, 7.) in respect to this bath, that an angel of the Lord descended at certain times and troubled the water, and that the person, who descended first after this operation upon the water, was healed of whatever infirmity he might labour under.
This account of the descent of an angel, and of the consequent