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We think, therefore, that the manner by which a devil may enter into a man, is plainly enough stated and settled in the New Testament, to have been by simply entering in, as easily as they can go any where else, if allowed; which, for reasons un. searchable, have often been permitted, or Scripture and history are both false on this subject. Were it not for the invisible providence of God, this same Satan, with his angels would instantly enter in, derange and destroy, the whole human race; and the cases where evil spirits have taken the possession of any one, were doubtless, in most cases, such as had by a course of inward wickedness, caused the Holy Spirit to withdraw his protecting as well as his gracious influence; so that devils being permitted to have the possession, did actually enter, and torment such victims of their own folly, as in a mul. Litude of places in the New Testament are spoken of.
But to conclude on this subject, we give the belief of that eminent and holy man, Adam Clarke, on the subject of spirits, and of the possibility of acquaintance with them, and of their ability to appear to men. See his comment on 1st Samuel, xxviii. 15, on the subject of the woman of Endor, as follows: Ist. "I believe there is a supernatural and spiritual world, in which HUMAN spirits, both good and bad, live in a state of consciousness. 2d. I believe there is an invisible world, in which various orders of spirits, not human, good and bad, live and act. 3d. I believe that any of these spirits, may, according to the order of God, in the laws of their place of residence, have intercourse with this world, and become visible to mortals. 4th. I believe there is a possibility, by arts not strictly good, to evoke and have intercourse with spirits not HUMAN; and to employ, in a certain limited way, their power and influence. 5th. I believe that the woman of Endor had no power over the spirit of Samuel the prophet; nor that any incantation can avail, over any departed saint of God, nor indeed over any human spirit whatever."
Attributes of Satan, and Evil Spirits. But as to Satan, and his demon coadjutors, what are their powers and attributes ? are they everywhere present or not, which some incline to believe ? This is impossible, as there can be but one everywhere present being, and that is God. How is it then, as some may enquire; as Satan appears to be ev ywhere present by being a universal tempter to evil? This is probably the secret of it: the heart of man is Satan's representative; and has, ever since the fall of Adam, been his faithful
representative, by way of depravity; and were that being, with all his associate fallen spirits, at a blow of the Almighty hand, swept out of being, yet men would continue sinners; because they have naturally bad and corrupt natures, even from infancy, tending thitherward. But it is our opinion, that were there no Satan nor subordinate spirits of that description, that the world would not witness so many violent acts of wickeness as it now does-deeds of horror, as in some cases, which seems to exceed the capabilities of man.
But although Satan, or any of ihe fallen angels, are not omnipresent, yet they are spirits; and as such, possess the power of inconceivable swiftness, so that the circuit of the earth can probably be made by them in a few minutes. But notwithstanding this, the Scripture settles the point, that Satan moves over the earth leisurely and at his will, seeking opportunities of moral ruin; see 1st Peter, v. 8, who says, “Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." And also, Job, ii. 2, where it is seen that Satan's answer to the interogation of the Almighty, respecting from whence he came, was that “from going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it."
But how do we prove that spirits can pass swiftly from one place to another? We prove it from Daniel, ix. 21, who says that while he was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel
, who was a spirit or angel, flew swiftly, and touched him about the time of the evening oblation. But from whence did he fly? We cannot tell; but most certainly from some place in immensity of space; perhaps from heaven itself, on this errand to pious Daniel." That Satan can pass swiftly from one part of space to another, is more than intimated by the New Testament, which says that Satan is the prince of the power of the air, the region in which speed by flight is performed. So that if he will
, he can visit any quarter or particular part of the earth or the planets, as speedily as he raay desire, and from thence away, or can remain, as the interests of his kingdom may require.
Who does not know with what amazing velocity a thought can travel, and how much it can review in a few moments ? and that it has only to think of the most distant regions of the far heavens, when lo it is there, and as quickly as far away in some other direction, if it will ? Now allowing that Satan has as much power in this respect, as the mind of man, there is no diffi. culty in ascribing to him and to his subordinate spirits, a suffi. cient degree of omnipresence for all the purposes of his evil nature, and to bear out the Scriptures in their incidental statements of his power and attributes to do evil, and to superintend the affairs of his kingdom, in opposition to God and his Christ. We have no doubt he can descend into the earth-as all evil spirits can—and return when he will; or pass through any globe of the universe, as substances are no objection to the pra gress of spirits.
But there is another advantage which Satan has, besides that of the power of velocity; which is, there are multitudes of fallen spirits like himself, but inferior to Satan, and various among themselves, as to intellectual powers, who are at his command, and do his will, so far as their power extends. That he is a king, is shown from Rev. ix. 11, “And they (the inhabitants of hell,) had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek hath his name Apollyon," both of which names signify a destroyer. If then he is a king, or a prince, as he is frequently called in the New Testament, he must of necessity have subjects, and laws, by which they are governed, who are no doubt the fallen angels, who fell from heaven at the same time with himself. But what those laws are, is unknown to mortals, as they belong to the invisible mysteries of eternity; but no doubt consist in part of schemes, plans, and stratagems, by which to injure the creatures of God, who are endowed with the gift of free agency, as well as of intellectual powers.
That good spirits are engaged in aiding man's happiness, as well as that bad spirits are equally engaged to produce contrary effects, is shown from the Bible; see Dan.x. 13, and onward, “ But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days; but lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, and now I am come to make thee understand what shall befal thy people in the latter days.” But this is not the only instance which can be brought as proof that good and bad angels contend about the affairs of men; see St. Jude, 9th verse, where is an account of the contention which took place about the body of Moses, between Michael, the same arch-angel mentioned above, and Satan. But why single out those two instances, when the whole Bible is full of accounts to this effect, by which it appears that heaven and hell are in constant conflict on man's account, each addressing themselves to man's free agency, the one for his salvation, the other for his ruin.
But the reason why Satan delights himself in the work of our ruin, is because man is a creature of God, an intellectual being, having in this sense the image of God in some degree, by which the evil one is gratified, and in a manner revenged for his loss of heaven; and because it is also the direct operation of his very nature, now that he is fallen, and shipwrecked of all the excellencies he was in possion of in heaven. Froin which it is easy to perceive how the devil is a universal tempter; which we have said is, first, himself, second, by the assistance of associate spirits, and third, by the fallen nature of man, which is by far the most efficient aid to his purposes in the earth ; which are counteracted only by faith in the blood and merits of Jesus Christ
Evidence of Polycarp, the Martyr, against Universalists,
in Relation to a Hell, after Death. Universalists vainly boast that all the apostles, disciples, and first Christians of the first age of Christianity, believed as they do, about the universal and unconditional happiness of all the human race, after death. But how should they bow their heads in confusion, and hide their faces for shame, when they read the sentiments uttered by the martyr Polycarp, to the pro-consul of Tragan--the emperor of Rome, at that time when he was about to be burnt, because he was a Christian. What does he say in that awful hour, when his faith was about to be put to the severest test, by torture; when the pro-consul threatened to burn him alive if he would not swear by the genius of the Emperor, and blaspheme Christ, the crucified? He replied : “ You threaten me with fire, which burns for a moment, and will soon be extinguished; but alas, you are ignorant of the judg. ment to come, and of the fire of everlasting torments, reserved for the ungodly."
No man will pretend, that Polycarp meant, by the words “ judgment to come," the destruction of Jerusalem; as that had happened sometime before Polycarp's death. What fire of everlasting torments did Polycarp refer to, in that speech to the pro-consul ? Certainly, to no event which could happen in this life. It could not have been the fire of salvation so often alluded to in this work, as believed in, by Ballou, which he has partly discarded in the Preface of his work. It could not have been the destruction of Jerusalem : as the ungodly of that time could not be effected by it, in a way of torment. There is no way to understand him, but of the damnation of hell, after death, when the ungodly are to go into a fire of everlasting torments, as the martyr has called it.
That this was the universal belief of the Asiatic Christians, at that time, which was but one hundred and thirty-three years after the crucifixion of Christ, is shown from the fact that Polycarp was the great teacher of the Churches, by his writings and preaching, in that quarter of the globe; and that this was the fact, is shown from the acclamations of the multitude when they burnt him, who cried aloud, “ This is the great doctor of Asia, the father of the Christians; this is the destroyer of our gods, who hath taught men not to offer sacrifices, nor to worship them.” And to prove this was the belief of the writers of the New Testament, if such proof is required, more than their own statements in their writings, we have only to recollect that this same Polycarp was a disciple of St. John, the Revelator, of whom he learnt this great doctrine. John, the Revelator, lived till norrly the end of the first century, with whom Polycarp had
been acquainted from his youth, a lapse of about thirty-eight years. This we make out from Eusebius, one of the early wri. ters of ecclesiastical history; who says that Polycarp died aged ninety-five, and that he died in the year of our Lord 166; which would make their acquaintance about thirty-eight years, as St. John died about the year A. D. 100; see Eusebius, page 146.
What are Universalists to do with this witness against them? by whom we prove, that in the first age of Christianity the doctrine of the eternal punishment of the finally impenitent in hell in eternity, was believed in; because they so read and so understood the Bible on that subject, and especially the New Testament. It is of no importance for them to cite the writings of Origen, a man of great importance as a heretic, who was not born till about twenty years after the death of Polycarp, but who it is true, did not believe the orthodox doctrine on this subject. We say it is of no importance that this writer believed a contrary opinion, because the opinion came into being too late to give it force and influence, as those opinions nearest the fountain are the most to be relied on. Origen was a great critic, and a scholar in the languages, but of no importance as a spiritual or orthodox teacher. Origen's opinions were considered heresics, and were opposed by the orthodox church for many ages, the same as they are now opposed in the Arians, Socinians, and Universalists, by the orthodox of the present times; and came up too late to claim fellowship with the primitive belief of the first Christians.
Proofs of the Immortality of the Human Soul. That the souls of the human race die at the time the body dies, is unreasonable and unnecessary, as well as contrary to Scripture. It is unreasonable, inasmuch as there appears to be no use in such a procedure; for it may be enquired, of what importance can it be that the soul should die with the body, and thus leave a blank in its being of some thousands of years before the resurrection of the bodies? It it unnecessary; for the same reason that it is unreasonable. There can arise out of such a circumstance, no developement of Divine wisdom, toward the furtherance of human happiness; as we can easily perceive there does in the death of the body, now that its companion, the soul, has become a sinner; as we have hinted in another place, in this work. It is contrary to Scripture, direct to the point, as well as contrary to fair ipference, in many places in that book. The fact that God breathed in the nostrils of Adam, the breath