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of demons, and likewise the Apostles and Evangelists affirmed that those “possessed with demons” were brought to Christ, and that demons departed from them at his command. This is said and implied in various ways and at different times without any hesitation. But had they used such language by way of accommodation to the notions of the age, why should they not have said, “Such persons as were supposed to be possessed with demons were brought to Christ" ? Besides, did not Christ himself say: "I cast out demons and I do cures today and tomorrow,” without any intimation that he meant merely the healing of diseases ? Could this have been said consistently with his integrity if there had been no possessions by demons? And

6. It was shown, in considering the arguments on the other side, that the sacred writers made a palpable distinction between demoniacs and diseased persons, and between casting out demons and healing diseased persons. And I need not here quote the many instances in which this is done. It is sufficient to advert to one or two instances, thus : “They brought unto Jesus all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with demons.” And Jesus himself made the like distinction, as is seen in a passage already quoted : “Behold I cast out demons, and do cures today and to-morrow.” . And he said to the disciples in his apostolic commission : "Heal the sick; cleanse the lepers ; cast out demons.”

Would Christ and his apostles have been so particular in making this distinction had there been no demons and no demoniacs? It seems to be altogether improbable, to say nothing of the dishonesty of so doing.

7. Demoniacs, as has been already implied, were the only persons among the Jews who treated Christ with respect, or who seemed to understand his real character. In some way they knew that Jesus was the Son of God, the son of David, the true Messiah, and they treated him with all reverence and homage. It looks, therefore, as if these demoniacs were about the only sane persons in Judæa and Galilee! They certainly knew what epilepsy and insanity never taught them. They show many things which were wholly incompatible with the notion that they were merely diseased persons.

8. Christ spake to demons, asked their names, and gave them commands. They also answered him, and obeyed his commands. “He forbade them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ.” How could this have been on any other principle than that the doctrine of real possessions by evil spirits is. true? Any other supposition implies that Christ was a deceiver. Besides

9. When the seventy disciples returned from fulfilling their commission, one ground of their joy was, that even the demons were subject to them. Now here was a fair opportunity for Christ to explain himself, and to give clear views in opposition to demoniacal influence: If he had before spoken ad hominem, why did he not say: "I have heretofore used language in accommodation to the superstitions of the times, but I would not by any means have you deceived, or have you believe that there is any just grounds for your present rejoicing”? Would not this have been natural, and honest, and appropriate, had there been no demons and no demoniacs ? But what did he do? He used language that was adapted still to mislead them, if there were no truth in the doctrine of demoniacal possessions : “I beheld Satan, as lightning, fall from heaven! Behold I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of The Enemy! Notwithstanding, in this rejoice not, that tà fiveuplata, the spirits, are subject unto you, but rather rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Here Christ plainly speaks of spirits, and evidently means to convey the idea that demons had been made subject to the disciples, and he meant so unless he was a deceiver.

10. Can we account for the language which Christ used when the Pharisees accused him of casting out demons by Beelzebub, without maintaining that he believed in real possessions? He showed that a kingdom divided against itself could not stand, and that if one devil expelled another, the kingdom of darkness would come to nought. And he inquired : “How can one enter into a strong man's house and spoil his goods, unless he first bind the strong man?” As much as to say: "How could I expel the agents of Beelzebub unless I first bound Beelzebub himself?” It is futile to say: “This is ad hominem,” that is, according to the professed belief of the Jews. We can not construe it according to any legitimate principles of exegesis, with

out admitting the existence and agency of demons, and without perceiving that he claimed the power to bind Satan and his legions. And

11. Who ever supposed that any disease would hurt a man by departing from him? But this must be supposed if we admit the notions of the opponents of real possessions. For in Luke iv. 35, when Jesus rebuked the devil which cried with a loud voice, “I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God,” he said, “Hold thy peace, and come out of him.” “And when the demon had thrown him in the midst he came out of him and hurt him not.” The people present were amazed, not that disease did not hurt the man by departing from him, but that with authority and power he commanded τοίς ακαθάρτους πνεύμασι, , the unclean spirits, and they came out.

While we grant, indeed, that for Jesus to heal insanity or epilepsy or any other disease, would have been a display of divine power which ought to convince all that he was sent of God, and that his religion is divinie, yet how much more convincing do his miracles appear on the supposition that he commanded all the powers of darkness, and they obeyed him; that he cast down Satan and his agents, and triumphed over the principalities of hell itself?

And why may we not suppose that God permitted the multiplied manifestations of demoniacs at the time of our Saviour's ministry, the more gloriously to display his power, and to furnish irrefragable evidence that he was the Son of God? There was ground for the people's amazement that he could command unclean spirits, and be obeyed by them.

We most sincerely deprecate that false philosophy and that plastic power of exegesis which are attempting to destroy the plain teachings of God's word and the simplicity of the Gospel history, and we would urge all the friends of Christ to stand in the defence of the faith once delivered to the saints; to maintain legitimate exegesis of the Scriptures in opposition to all the crude theories and false assumptions of infidels, neologists, and free thinkers; to frown upon all such as follow in the footsteps of Renan, Colenso, or the writers of the Westminister Review, and to ignore that criticism that would turn the most plain and didactic teachings of inspiration into tropes, and figures, and myths, and anything but what the sacred writers intended, making God's revelation as unintelligible and frivolous as the Sibyllian oracles, and as uncertain as the responses from the Delphic Apollo.





OLDER and more thoroughly experimental Christians are surprised at certain things in religious circles, and they find it difficult to gain a satisfactory explanation. They are surprised to find so little deep, painful and pungent conviction of sin preceding supposed regeneration. They are surprised that the change of heart in many is so slightly perceptible at and about the time when it is supposed to take place. They are surprised, too, that no more uniform and thorough, strong piety is shown by many modern converts. To become a Christian seems to them to have been simplified and reduced to an easier, lighter process, than it was seen to be in their earlier days.

Studying the revivals from Edwards' day down through ten or fifteen years of the present century, and comparing them with those of the last twenty years, we find good ground for these contrasting reflections. There must be a cause for such a confessed difference, and it is quite reasonable to seek for an explanation. If becoming a Christian has, with not a few, dropped down into an easy, human act, and the new life become so uneven in its tenor, and the change from the unregenerate to the regenerate state, so unmarked by violent and overwhelming convictions of guilt, an explanation can be found.

There is a modern theory of becoming a Christian, and within the evangelical school it is novel to the last half century. The theory is partly psychological, and partly theological. With some holding it, the psychology necessitates their theology, but with most, as we apprehend, their theology necessitates their psychology. In this theory, as we think, lies the solution, in part, of the anomalies in Christian life to which we have referred. We propose, in this paper, to state this theory, and, without controverting it, to show some of its practical bearings on personal religion.

This theory teaches that the soul is not a substance, organism or structure existing before, and separate from, its mental and moral acts. It is not a perfect and personal entity anterior to its activity, as a machine is something preceding and separate from its running. It is, on the contrary, said to be a mere series of exercises, and so entirely so, that we can not conceive of a soul, or its existence, separate from its exercises. We can not conceive of it as distinct from its perceptions and sensibilities and emotions. It is nothing having a mental and moral structure and nature prior to action. As an organism dormant, or inactive, or not yet started in its career, it is taught to be not conceivable. We can have no idea of the soul as the foundation of perception, conscience, memory, reason, volitions, etc., and out of which the exercises of these come. The soul is no agent at all, but only a series of acts, or rather a prolonged and varied activity. The soul is the exercises, and the exercises are the soul, either being the other, and the two identical. The mental or moral act is the actor, and the actor the act. It is as if we should say that the machine and the running are one and the same thing. According to this teaching, personality is only a continuity of thoughts, emotions, judgments, choices and the like. Back of these there is no substance, or organ, or agent, that performs them.

The older and the common notion of the soul is, that it is a being by itself, and the basis, the source, of mental and moral acts ; that it, as an agent or person, chooses, purposes, loves, hates, etc., and precedes in time all these exercises, just as a person precedes, and is separate from, his own conduct. But according to the theory in question, personality, or soul, is made as it goes. Exercises constituting the soul, and each person performing his own mental and moral acts, God could not have created the soul of Adam. Our first father made his own soul by his first mental and moral acts. When God pronounced him

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