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ease ?] and the spirit cried and rent him sore and came out of him.” Does this look like the cessation of merely natural disease ?-Again, did the maniacs ever mistake either of the 82 apostles and disciples for the Messiah ? How should madmen always have judged thus correctly? A large number of passages like those already quoted must be wholly omitted ; as also a multitude of particular cures, such as that of the two men among the tombs, of the daughter of the Syrophenician woman, &c. &c. each of which, if closely examined, would of itself, establish the position taken as beyond the possibility of rational doubt. The forecited passages from Matthew, Mark, and Luke, are however amply sufficient, and at once, short, pertinent, and conclusive. In these passages, the fact, that Christ expelled demons, devils, or evil spirits, is expressed in language so diverse and varied, generic and specific, as to admit of no doubt what the writers intended to assert. If the testimony is intelligible, are the witnesses credible ? The authority of the witnesses, it is believed, is the only reason why doubts, as to the import of their testimony, were ever expressed. Over similar language in Philo or Josephus, the veriest tyro could not stumble. Were such miracles ascribed to Apollonius of Tyana, and not to Jesus of Nazareth, who would doubt as to their mean

ing ?*

A fourth argument is, The scriptures declare that Christ communicated this power of expelling demons to his apostles, and that they repeatedly exerted it.

Proof. Matthew, x. 1, 8. “And when he had called * Beausobre, in his Remarks upon the New Testament, says, some think these, (the deinoniacal possessions,) were natural diseases, though the causes were unknown. To this opinion I subscribe. My reason is, that the miracles of our Saviour, who cured them, will appear to be more wonderful (plus grands) on this than on the other supposition. Which is the greater miracle, for intelligent beings to obey a command of Christ, or for him to cure diseases by his simple word ?” Strange as it may seem, Lardner countenances this “ rational” mode of interpretation. Any one who wishes

unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. ... Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils, freely ye have received, freely give." Compare Mark, iii. 13, 14, vi. 7, 13. Luke, ix. 1. Two remarks suggest themselves on these passages. Does any one suppose that when Christ selected his apostles and sent them forth, commanding them to cast out devils," he intended to impart to them merely the power of curing natural diseases, whether of a more or less aggravated nature ? Besides the want of evidence for such a use of language, the awkwardness of such an expression, and the needless repetition of ideas, which that interpretation would force upon the commission, there is another answer to the objection, less apparent at first, but not less conclusive. This extensive commission, “heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead and cast out devils,” is, according to the three evangelical historians, limited to the twelve apostles. But in Luke, tenth chapter, we read that “ the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face, into every city and place whither he would come. . . . And into whatsoever city ye enter and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you; and heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, the kingdom of God is come unto you.” That is, in other words, “ be content with your fare, heal all the diseases you meet with, and preach the reign of the Messiah.” “ Heal the sick that are therein," is as general, as unfor a medley of learning, ingenuity, contradiction and absurdity, will find it in Lardner's four sermons on demoniacs. He acknowledges that the apostles actually believed in demoniacal possessions ; and that Christ knew better, but did not rectify the error. Dr. Lardner was a learned, and somewhat ingenuous Unitarian. He seems to have believed in the existence of Satan, yet, from his qualified use of language, it is somewhat doubtful what he really believed, and what he only said in reference to the prejudices of his hearers and the times.

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limited a commission as could have been issued for the purpose of curing simply natural diseases. So these disciples understood it. But it is very plain that they did not think it communicated to them the ability of ejecting evil spirits. For we read in the same chapter, that “the seventy returned with joy, saying Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.” It is evident that these disciples had unexpectedly found themselves in the possession of miraculous powers, greatly beyond the letter of their commission, and rejoiced in the discovery. This certainly would not have been the fact, had they understood this commission originally in the sense now controverted, i.e. had they understood the commission, heal the sick that are therein," to have involved the power of casting out evil spirits. There could have been no occasion for them to express their joyful surprise to Christ, on finding that they possessed simply the powers they knew to have been delegated to them. To have done this would have been a tacit impeachment of the veracity, or the power of their Lord. But additional and unsuspected powers, imparted to them through the name of Christ, afforded a natural and a suitable occasion for an expression of their joy and their surprise. The two expressions in the apostolical commission, "heal the sick, cast out devils,” are not synonymous, neither does the former involve the latter, the disciples being judges. To cast out devils," in their judgment, was something different from “healing the sick” of merely natural diseases. Who would best understand the import of their commission, those disciples or modern critics ? rather, Christ himself, or the deniers of demoniacal possessions? Had it not been true, that the power of expelling demons was superadded to that of curing diseases, or had it been true that both these were the same, would it not have been natural, nay, would not common honesty and the interests of truth have required

of Christ, when the disciples thus returned, some explanation of his commission, or some correction of their error ? Might it not, under such circumstances, have been most reasonably expected, that he would have said to them something like this, “ the joy you express is without proper cause.

When I sent you forth to cure diseases, your commission was unlimited. How could you be surprised that diseases of any form or of the most malignant nature should be cured, when that was the intent of my commission ?” Instead of this, Jesus confirms the fact, asserted by these disciples to have occurred beyond their expectation. He said unto them, “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; and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding, in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you ; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven."*

A second remark on this apostolical commission is also deserving of notice. “ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils.” Here all admit miraculous

* A remark may here be made that, perhaps, will serve to explain a passage of somewhat doubtful import. The twelve apostles and the seventy disciples were commissioned and sent forth at different times. There is no evidence that they all knew each other; or if the apostles knew these disciples, they could not have known them to possess the power of expelling demons, as Jesus at this time alone knew this fact. Hence, when “ John saw one casting out devils in the name of Christ and forbade him," this may, for aught that appears, have been one of the seventy. As the commission of both classes extended, at this time, only “ to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and they were forbidden to go into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans,” the probability is great, that the apostles would have met with some of the disciples in their various, yet limited peregrinations. When the answer of Christ to John is considered, “ forbid him not, for there is no man, which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me,” this probability rises very near to certainty. In the same way we may also illustrate the forecited argument of Christ to the Pharisees, “ if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out?" From this passage Storr infers, that “ this power of expelling demons

powers were conferred on the apostles, independent of the voluntary agency of the subjects affected. “In healing the sick, cleansing the lepers, raising the dead," the will of the individual, cured, or cleansed, or restored to life, need not be consulted. But how stands it with the last particular, cast out devils”? If this mean cast out

“ the evil principle,” was this to be done without the voluntary agency of the persons themselves? Is it credible that bad

men, very bad men, were, in the time of Christ, by an immediate act of divine power, altogether independent of their wish and will and effort, yes, contrary to these, against their express and earnest entreaty, cleansed of their evil principles ? Is this consistent with Unitarian notions of “ moral liberty”? Is it consistent with any man's common sense ? Does not the intelligent Unitarian perceive that in adopting such a mode of interpretation, he slides into what he considers one of the most obnoxious tenets of five-pointed Calvinism,—"irresistible grace"? that he really destroys free agency, and makes mere physical machines of these men ? And if of these, why not of others? Why not of all ? was possessed by others besides the followers of Christ.” But this is neither a necessary, nor a natural inference. Besides, such an interpretation would destroy the whole force of Christ's argument. Surely if others possessed the power of expelling demons, independent of Christ, his possessing that power would not prove his messiahship, any more than their possessing it would prove their messiahship. The question, “ by whom do your children cast them out ?” may very naturally mean, according to the well known latitude allowed to those words, the apostles—the disciples, who were Jews, and, probably, most of them of the sect of the Pharisees, before called to follow Christ. These apostles and disciples would all with one consent, if questioned as to the origin of their power over Satan, have ascribed it to Christ. The appeal then to these eighty two individuals, “ they shall be your judges,” known, as they must have been, in different parts of Judea, and probably to many of his auditors, to the Pharisees among the rest, was peculiarly pertinent and forcible. This view gives to the argument an appositeness and force, hitherto in some degree overlooked, and is also simple, natural, and unencumbered with any difficulty. Whether it is the true interpretation, let the reader judge.

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