« ForrigeFortsæt »
havior as becometh holiness, not false accusers" (diabolous.) Here the word again occurs in the plural, and is rendered false accusers. Aged pious women are exhorted not to be devils! Again, 2 Tim. iii. 3. speaking of those who in the last days should have a form of godliness but denying the power of it, they are said to be o without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers" (diaboloi.) Literally, devils. Suffer me now to ask, why in these three iexts the word was not rendered devils ? The reason is obvious; it would appear very strange to our ears to exhort Christian women not to be devils, for we have associated the idea of a fallen angel with this word, as we have with the term satan. It would have been just a similar impropriety, had the angel
of the Lord, David, and others been called satan. But to avoid this impropriety, satan is rendered adversary in the Old Testament, and in the above texts, the term diabolos is rendered slanderer and false accuser. These three texts however, show us, both how it was understood by the apostle and also by our translators. Let the reader keep these remarks in view, while we consider all the other texts, where the term diabolos occurs in the New Testament.
John vi. 70. “ Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil ?” Dr. Campbell renders the term diabolos here spy, and Newcome and Wakefield, render it accuser. This is in agreement with the preceding texts, and further remark is unnecessary.
John xiij. 2. “And supper being ended, (the devil having now put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son to betray him”). See on Luke xxii. 3. and John xiii. 27. in the last Section, as a sufficient explanation of this passage. What is said to be done by satan in one, is said to be done by the devil in the other, which shows that they are only two names for the same thing. Suffer me here to ask, When one
man betrays another in our day, is the plea sustained in court or any where else, that the devil urged him on to it? And, would any man hang himself, if he believed he was the tool of such a powerful and malicious being? Judas' crime is wholly imputed to himself, Acts i. 17, 18. And every man is conscious when he sins, that he did not need the assistance of such a being. The Scriptures, in plain language, refer sin to ourselves and not to the devil. See James i. 14. and Mark vii. 21, 22.
1 Peter v. 8, 9. “Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” As this is one of the principal texts quoted in proof of the existence of an evil being, called the devil I shall consider it particularly. We have then, 1st. An exhortation, “ be sober, be vigilant." This was addressed to Christians scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, &c. chap. i. 1. It is so plain, that they were suffering persecution from the enemies of the gospel, that it would be loss of time to give any proof of it. 2d. We have next the reason assigned why this exhortation should be obeyed. Why be sober and vigilant ? * Because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." It is confidently believed by many good people, that this devil who walketh about like a roaring lion, is a fallen angel or malignant spirit. But I ask, how is such a belief to be reconciled with his having his abode in hell, with some in the air, and others, his tempting men in all parts of the earth at the same time? Such a belief is contrary to all facts and experience. Did ever any person see the devil in the shape of a lion, hear him roar, or is an instance on record in the history of mankind of one
being devoured by him? Such idle, childish stories have been told of the devil, but what man in our day gives the least credit to them. I find human beings are frequently compared to lions.-Numb. xxiii. 24. xxiv. 8, 9. Jer. I. 17. 2 Tim. iv. 17. also to roaring lions, Psalm xxii. 13. Prov. xix. 12. XX. 2. Jer. ii. 15. Isai. v. 29. They are also compared to a devouring lion, Psalm xvii. 12. xxii. 21. Jer. ii. 30. iv. 7. Ezek. xix. 1-6. xxii. 25. On examination I also find that God is compared to a lion and a roaring, lion, Isai. xxxi. 4. Hosea xi. 10. xiii. 7, 8. Amos iii.
Such is the result of my examination of the Scripture usage of the word lion. Not one instance can I find where the devil is compared to a lion. If he is so in this passage, it is a solitary instance, which is presumptive evidence that this was not the apostle's meaning. Who then was this roaring, lion ? Peter answers by saying, "your adversary the devil as a roaring lion walketh about seeking whom he may devour." The word here rendered adversary is antidikos. It only occurs in this and the following texts in the New Testament, Matth. v. 25. Luke xii. 58. xviii. 3. It is uniformly rendered adversary, but has no reference to a fallen angel. In the texts referred to, Parkhurst says it means "an adversary or oppopent in a law-suit,” and quotes Herodian in proof of it. The text under consideration, is the only one in which he considers this word to mean a fallen angel or the devil. He desires us to compare Rev. xii. 10. Jobi. 9. i. 3. and Zach. iii. 1. in proof that antidikos in this text means such a wicked spirit. It is very plain that he considered adversary and devil to mean the same thing. We have not only compared, but have considered the passages, and our readers may judge from the evidence we have adduced if they teach such a doctrine. In short, to say that the word devil, or the word adversary here used as its ex
planation, refers to a fallen angel, is taking for granted the very question at issue. Who then was this adversary, the devil who went about like a roaring lion? By recurring to the New Testament usage of antikeimai, also rendered adversary, we shall see this.
1st. It is rendered adversary and applied to men who were the adversaries of Christ and of Christianity, particularly the persecuting Jews. Thus, when our Lord had refuted the Jews who had found fault with him for healing a person on their Sabbath, it is said—“ all his adversaries were ashamed,” Luke xiii. 17. He also said to his disciples— I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist,” Luke xxi. 15. Again, Paul says, 1 Cor. xvi. 9.-"For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.” And Philip. i. 28. he says--" And in nothing terrified by your adversaries : which is to them an evident token of perdition.” And in 1 Tim. v. 14. he exhorteth young women to conduct themselves as to give “none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.” In all these texts the adversaries of the gospel, particularly the Jews are referred to by the term adversary.
2d. It is rendered opposeth and contrary, and applied to the following things. To the man of sin. * Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God," 2 Thess. ii. 4. To the opposition between flesh and spirit. “For the flesh lusteth against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary the one to the other," Gal. v, 17. And in 1 Tim. i. 10. it is used to express whatever is opposed to the truth. “And if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine." It is then beyond all fair debate, that antikeimai, adversary, is not once used in reference to the devil or satan, though most people say he is the greatest adversary of both
God and man. The fact is certain from the above texts, and the whole New Testament is an illustration of it, that the opposing Jews were the adversary of Christians and the chief cause of all their persecutions. They were the adversary, the devil, the slanderer, or false accuser, who went about as a roaring lion seeking whom they might devour. Hence they are in several texts denominated by the term devil and satan. It cannot be questioned, that Peter referred to the persecuting Jews, for they did go about like a roaring lion; see Acts 17. and indeed all the New Testament. It is also evident that the lusts and evil passions of men are termed adversary in several texts. And why are they termed so? I answer, because it is this devil or adversary within men, which makes them devils or adversaries in their conduct. I may add, the term satan we have seen sig. nifies an adversary, and devil and satan are used synonimously in the New Testament, and both terms are used to express opposing persons and opposing things. That person or thing, is a devil, satan, or adversary to another which is opposed to it. The unbelieving, persecuting Jews are in Scripture compared to a lion. Thus Paul says, 2 Tim. iv. 16, 17. " At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. Notwithstanding, the Lord stood with me and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known and that all the Gentiles might hear; and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion." It is thought by some, that by the lion, Paul referred to Nero or his prefect Helius Cesarianus, to whom he committed the government in his absence, with power to put to death whom he pleased. The reason given for this application of lion to Nero is, that Marsyas said to Agrippa when Tiberias died the lion is dead." Whether Paul ever heard