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port of the Jewish Lawgiver, against the formidable attacks that had been made upon him. Some specimens of this great undertaking are given by Mr. Holloway, in his translation from the Latin of Dr. Woodward's natural history of the earth illustrated, enlarged, and defended*. He has also given the titles of several distinct treatises which composed a part of this plan; one of which is, “ Of the antient “ Egyptians, a discourse concerning their arts, their learning, and " their religion, with occafional reflections on the state of learning « amongst the Jews, and foine other nations t." In this, besides other things, fays Mr. Holloway, the Mosaic institution is vindicated; and the charge of Sir John Marsham I, and Dr. Spencer ll, that some parts of this institution were taken from the Egyptians, is refuted.”
It is this treatise, which, having fallen into the hands of Mr. Lort, written out fair, and seemingly prepared for the press, he communicated to the Society for publication : but of this, and the remaining articles in the present volume, we beg leave to speak farther in our next.
An Impartial Enquiry into the Case of the Gospel Demoniacks.
With an Appendix, consisting of an Elay on Scripture Demonology. By William Worthington, D. D. 8vo. 45. 6d. Rivington.
The London Reviewers have been sufficiently censured, by certain pretended Rationalists, for that essential diftinction, which they have endeavoured to establish, between the nature and means of acquiring human and divine knowledge. Scarce a treatise of controverfial divinity appears, however, in which the necessity of such a distinction is not rendered more and more apparent. The subject before us, in particular, is peculiarly adapted to display the expediency of employing very different means in the investigation of natural and supernatural phænomena. We ventured, indeed, to touch but flightly on this distinction, in our account of Mr. Farmer's Effay on Demoniacks, inserted in the first number of our Review; as the incompatibility between Reason and Revelation was not then a topic so fainiliar to our readers, as repeated occasions, for mentioning it, have since made it. Paying a proper respect to the profesicu design of Mr. Farmer's Ellay, viz. " the obviating the doubts and objections of unbelievers," we gave his arguinent the utmost credit; averse as we were to trying the doctrines of Revelation by the test of Reason, or attempting to reconcile iniraculous facts to the ordinary course of nature.
8vo. 1726. + P. 108. Chron, Canon, Saec, 9..
We We have more than once, perhaps unnecessarily, repeated, that we conceive such a practice tends to the multiplication, rather than the decrease, of unbelievers. How far the worthy author of the present Enquiry be of our opinion, we presume not to judge. We are perfectly of his opinion, however, as to the manner in which the scripture miracles should be explained and defended, that is, by the consistent testimony, on which the simple matters of facts are attested, instead of explaining away the obvious sense of words, in order to reconcile such facts to our notions of their probability*. That Dr. Worthington conceives this latter method to be imjurious to the cause of Christianity, is evident from the present publication, which appears to be aimed entirely at the presumed ill effeéts of Mr. Farmer's treatife. We could wish, nevertheless, the good Doctor had treated that writer a little more respectfully, He should have reflected that he is a brother clergyınan ; unless indeed the false-step he committed, in atteinpting to annihilate the devil, when he should only have manfully opposed him, be as unpardonable as it is professionally impolitic.. Mr. Farmer's Demonology (lays this Iinpartial Enquirer) lies in a narrow compass.
" The declared purport of it is, to argue us out of the reality of poffeffions, and to persuade us, that they are only imaginary, and the notion superstitio_16That poffessing demons were esteemed to be only departed fouls ; and there are reduced to non-entities. That neither the Devil nor his angels had any concern in posleflions at all; and that the Devil is never mentioned in scripture in any connection with this subject +: The contrary to which I fatter myself, is in the foregoing iheets made very evident. Other positions of the fame tendency maintained by this author are-" That it is absurd and dangerous to allow, that men are in the power of superior malevolent spirits "-" That, whoever the heathen demons or deities were, whether human or angelick spirits, they are all, without exception, branded in fcripture, as being utterly void of all power, to do either good or evil to mankind 5"-" That the Devil was not really, and personally present with Christ, in his temptation || ;” notwithstanding what the gospel informs us to the contrary-"That there is but one Devil;" which is observed more than once **: And I do not find, that he is supposed to be a real tempter at all; though he is ex
in It being very true, as our author observes, that the holy Scriptures are the only source we have to draw from in this respect. We have no data of our own to proceed upon, in researches of this kind : the Scripture alone affording any certain infoệmation about the devil or his angels.
+ Eflay, p. 385.
# Enquiry into Christ's temptation in the wilderness, p. 85.
preffly so called in the word of God; or allowed to concern himself with mankind in any respect. But that he is a kind of folitary, infig nificant, inactive Being, that seems only to fill up a blank in the crea. tion. How just a representation of him this is, appears from the whole and every part of what hath been said concerning him.
" A rhetorical passage out of Tertullian is indeed quoted, which gives him a kind of ubiquity * ; in common with angels, and demons in general : But for what purpose I know not, unless it be to infinuate, that by being supposed to be every where, he is no where.
" This is the demonology of this author, which is not only contrary to the scripture account of it here laid down; but diametrically opposite likewise to the very letter, sense, and whole tenour of the scripture itself, from the one end of it to the other.
" He hath made short work with the Devil and his angels; and hath done more than all the exorcists put together ever pretended to. He hath laid the Devil, and all other evil spirits ; banished them out of the world; and in a manner dettroyed their very existence. And if this be the case, we are absolutely delivered from one third part of our spiritual enemies ; and those the most dangerous of any." 1 We leave our readers to judge wliether this latter consideration be not sufficient to give the aların to every true son of the Church; whose very profession itself might in time become useless, if her enemies were to be thus absolutely destroyed.
The consequences would be terrible ; for, as our Enquirer hints, as he is gone so far, he may possibly proceed one step farther to complete this goodly system.
« For as he seems to be persuaded, that Beelzebub, and other des mons, are non-entities; why should he boggle at allowing the Devil to be the self-fame Being with Beelzebub, when there is fufficient proof of it; and more than sufficient to convince a well-inclined mind? And then why not annihilate him likewise ?
" This would be doing acceptable service to libertines, free-thinkers, and all the infidel tribe ; in ridding them of so troublesome a gueit, as he otherwise would sometimes be, and of all gloomy apprehenfions concerning hin."
" Bur, continues our author, let them be assured, that the Devil is not a naine, or word, contrived to scare and affright timorous people with. He is a real Being, though generally invisible to our fleshly eves, but not therefore the less dangerous enemy. If he were to appear in his own nakedness and deformity; that would counteract his atrempts upon us, and be alone sufficient to make us fhun him, and bless ourselves from him. But uncloathed and unbodied natures may converse with us by secret illapíes, while we are riot aware of them, "And as there is a good fpirit, conversant in the world; inviting and influencing man. kind to virtue and holiness : So is there an evil spirit, who is ever busy. ing himlelt in tempting them to fin and vice, and drawing them into a
*Ellay, p. 263. Text. Apologet. p. 22.
resemblance to himself. For the Devil and his angels did not fall from Heaven so much, by a local descent, as by a mental apostacy from, and diffimilitude of God. They were indeed cast down into a local hell likewise ; but we have seen, they are not all, nor at all times, strictly confined there: and we have too good proofs of their enlargement and liberty, to need the descending thither to seek them, or to use any - magical charms to fetch them up from thence *. Satan is perpetually ranging and roving about the world. This we have his own word for. He repeatedly confessed to his Maker, that he came from going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it t. And the Apostle assures us, that our adversary the Devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour . And he uses this as an argument of fobriety and vigilance against him. · But how oppofite to the word of God, and to the design of our holy religion; and how pernicious to the souls of men is it, to broach any opinions, or suggeit any intinuations, of a contrary tendency? This is putting us off our guard, and lulling us asleep, when the enemy is in our quarters; besetting us on every fide; and playing all his artillery against us. It is acting the part of a confederate. It is fighting under his banner; and betraying our fellow-creacures, and ourselves too, it is to be feared, into his snares.
And this I must own appears to me to be the plain tendency of the unsettling of our faith in our Lord's temptation ; and of that relating to diabolical possessions. If the fcripture had been filent about Christ's temptation; there had been no foundation for our faith in it. But this is mentioned as a fact by three evangelists; and very particularly and circumstantially recorded by two of them; and we are elsewhere assured by the word of God, that he was in all things tempted like unto ourselves : And yet the reality of this fact is disputed. And if any can be induced to think that Christ was not tempted at all; I do not see what should hinder them from flattering theinselves ; that neither are they obnoxious to temptations; whatever they are taught to the contrary.
“ So likewise, though the Devil and his angels never gave such palpable proofs of their intermeddling with mankind, in the great affair of their salvation ; and never exerted themselves fo openly, in any other methods of mischief, and destruction, as in that of posetions ; if notwithstanding men suffer themtelves to be persuaded, that there was notning real in them; they will be tempted to laugh at the imperceptible assaults of their spiritual enemies ; and may be bantered out of the belief of their very existence.
" Thus hath this man been tugging at the two main pillars, op which the scripture doctrine concerning the existence of the Devil, or any other evil spirits, rests.” . It is proverbial that the devil will quote scripture when it serves its purpose : we think it, however, a little strange in a Christian divine, to appeal to the authority of the Devil, to serve any purpose. In the above passage, we are told that
* See Smith's Select Discourses, p. 47.
6 Satan is perpetually ranging and roving about the world," and that “this iwe have his own word for.” But the devil is a liar, and has been so from the beginning. Are we, then, to take his word for it? Surely not ! -Indeed there is no need to have recourse to such lying evidence, as an inspired Apoftle has assured us the same thing; so that our author should not (to use his own words) have “ given handle for cavilling at the devil's testimony *,”-But to come to our author's demonology: His introduction to which, that we may not be aceused of misrepresenting him, we shall give in his own words.
" Demoniacal possessions are so frequently mentioned in the gospel; and make so considerable a part of it; and the miracles wrought with regard to them are so many, and so fignal; and constitute fo large a proportion in the evidence of scripture-miracles ; that it is of great importance to the cause of Christianity, to ascertain the nature, both of The one, and the other; and to determine the controversy concerning them with precision.
" The question is, Whether these poffeffions were real, or imaginary? And whether the miracles, wrought with regard to them, were rcal dispoffeffions of evil spirits out of the bodies of men ? or were performed for the cure of some natural distempers, under that notion ; in conformity with which, and the vulgar language concerning them, the distempers, and the cure of them, are described as possessions, and difpoffesfions ?
is This is a question of facts. As such therefore it should be considered: And by reducing it to this point, and divesting it of all such confiderations as are not neceffarily connected with it, this quellion will be brought to a short issue.
“ Facts are objects of sense ; than which there is nothing we are less liable to be deceived in. They are likewise the proper subjects of testimony. Testimony concerning facts of diftant times, and places, . is conveyed down by tradition and history. The more numerous the facts of the same kind and nature are, so attested and conveyed, the more they confirm and ascertain each other. The more competent, credible, and numerous, the witnesses of those facts are; tire more they corroborate the evidence they give upon the whole ; and the more they increase the sum of it.
“ The more circumstantially the facts are related, and the more they have of particular incidents interwoven with them; the more scope and compass is given, for weighing and comparing the several circumstances with the facts and with each other the more room there is given to judge and see how they all tally together. The less probability like. wife of deception there is; and the less room for suspicion of fraud, or apprehension of error; because it is more difficult to forge, or mistake
• And yet our author says, in another place, that “ as the testimony of enemies is allowed co be of the greatest weight, the testimony of such enemies must be allowed to amount to a demonstration.” We can hardly admit this unless upon the etymological reasoning of Serjeant Kite the Cons jurer, who derives demonftration from Demon, the father of lies.,