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subject, acting that faith in himself; but is passive, to signify that Christ is the object of our faith built on him. Thus Acts iii, 16, "Through faith of his name" This T8 ovoμaros avre,) which our translators render" through faith in his name.' So Phil. iii, 9,-" Having that righteousness which is through faith of Christ,"—that is, through faith concerning or in Christ; (the Greek allows me to put out the word' the;') as if the sentence should run thus "Not having mine own righteousness, &c. but the righteousness of Christ through faith.'
1 Tim. iii, 16, and iv, 1-3. Read" And confessedly (opoλoyeμevws) great is the mystery of godliness, God manifested in the flesh, &c. But the Spirit speaketh • verbatim (pnrws, or, in the written word) that in the latter times (or seasons) some shall apostatize from the faith, giving heed to erroneous spirits, and doctrines touching 'dæmons, (or deified souls of deceased men, &c.) through the hypocrisy of liars, having seared consciences, forbidding to marry, and comImanding to abstain from meats."
All I intend to notice on chap. iii, 16, considered by itself, is its relation to chap. iv, 1; the antithesis being, that though many have confessed this mystery of godliness, (viz. God manifested in the flesh,) yet, notwithstanding, the Spirit speaketh in express words, that some shall apostatize from their confession of that faith. Some ancient Greek copies do indeed unite these chapters.
But my eye is chiefly intent on chap. iv, 1-3; wherein I am forced to depart from our English Bibles. First, in the order of the words; which makes" speaking lies in hypo
crisy, &c." to answer to " giving heed to seducing spirits, &c. and doctrines of devils." But the first mentioned words (speaking lies, &c.) are in the genitive case, (ɛvdoλoywv,) and consequently they cannot agree with the words' giving heed,' which are in the nominative case- προσέχοντες., Nor do they mend the matter that say, those last genitives (speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their consciences seared, forbidding marriage, &c.) should be construed with that first genitive, devils: for it were most improper to say, that the devils have consciences seared, &c. Therefore we must adopt another translation; wherein we make εν ὑποκρίσει (in hypocrisy,) to note the cause and means of this apostasy, (through hypocrisy ;) and ɛvdoλoywv, speaking lies, to be as the latter of two substantives, hypocrisy being the former; and so all the last genitives, (having their consciences seared, forbidding meats, &c.) to agree with the first genitive liars. Further, the Apostle here intends to set forth the apostasy of the christian Church in the latter times; and it is not likely that he would only give instances of petty, circumstantial errors, (such as forbidding meats and marriage,) and omit the fundamental errors of those times, which other Scriptures tell us plainly to be spiritual fornication,―viz. idolatry. Neither are errors about meats and marriage peculiar to the latter times; but such as were extant in the Apostles' days, as their Epistles intimate. See 1 Cor.
2. As I have departed from the order of the words, so must I from the translation of some of them; viz. "of devils." First 'of' must be rendered touching, or concerning: seeing it is not an active genitive case, signifying devils to be the authors of those doctrines; but a passive genitive, to signify the subject matter of those
doctrines, that should be sown in the latter days. For though it is true, that the devil is the author of erroneous opinions; yet that is common to all ages, and not peculiar to the last days. For so rendering the genitive we have many instances: let one, for brevity's sake, suffice; viz. Heb. vi, 2. "The doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of the resurrection of the dead;" means concerning baptisms, &c. If any object, that devils are persons, and therefore that Heb. vi, 2 is not pertinent, let such consider Acts xiii, 12; where the genitive of a person is to be rendered passively. The words are"The deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord:"-that is, evidently, at the doctrine concerning the Lord Christ. Tit. ii, 10, is another instance.
Secondly, Aaipoviwv (which our common translation renders devils) we must translate dæmons; which in its own nature and derivation signifies no such evil as a devil: for Aayov (dæmon,) is as much as to say Aanμwv, (dæmon) i.e. one that knows much, or is skilful. In the gentile theology it constantly signifies deastros;--that is, an inferior sort of deified powers, of a middle nature between the sovereign gods and mortal men; and so of a middle office, viz. to be mediators between them both. For their highest gods they called Oɛot, whom they supposed to be in the heavens, (distinguishing them by the titles, dii superi, dii cœlestes;) and therefore, for their sublimity and purity, not to be profaned with approach of earthly things, or with the care or management of the affairs of mortal men. The original of these dæmons was, the deified souls of men after death: for (say they)
"when those happy men of the 'golden age of the world were de'parted this life, great Jupiter pro'moted them to be demons; that is 'to be keepers, protectors, and patrons of earthly mortals, overseeing good and evil works, giv'ing riches, &c." Further, they would have all those that died valiantly in the field, to be accounted of the golden age, and to be made dæmons; and all such as lived virtuously likewise. Abundant antiquity shows, that the souls of these dæmons (or sancta animalia, as they also called them) were worshiped throughout every city of the heathens; who built certain images, pillars, &c. in honour of them, in order that they might thus find them ready for their use. For assurance of this, let the reader look into Plato in Sympos. &c. Plutarch de Defect. Orac. &c. Hesiod, Origen contra Celsum, Augustine de Civ. Dei, Eusebius de Præp. Evangel.
The holy Scriptures use the same distinction, in reproving the idolatries of the times. For example, in Numb. xxv, their celestial sovereign gods are called, the host of heaven; the other inferior sort are called baalim, that is lords. The same distinction exists in 2 Chron. xxxiii, 3 ; 2 Kings xxiii, 5; and Psalm cvi. Thus again we are told of the Israelites, "that they joined themselves 'to Baal Peor, (Baal coming of the 'old Belus, the deceased monarch,) ' and ate the sacrifices of the dead." And in Deut. xxxii, 17, the Septuagint has" Israel in their apostasy sacrificed to dæmons, and not to God." Many more places of the Old Testament may be referred to, containing allusion to these dæmons and to the worship offered to them: see 1 Kings xviii; Lev. xix, 18; Deut. xiv, 1; Isa. viii, 19; lxv, 3, 4; Jer. xvi, 6; xli, 5; xlviii, 37.
The same distinction of sovereign gods and dæmon gods is also intimated in the New Testament, 1 Cor. viii, 5;—" Though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven, or in earth, (as there be Oɛol Toλo, gods many, and κυριοι Too, lords many,)
but to us (Christians,) there is but eis →ɛoç, one sovereign God, the Father, of whom are all things; and we (εls avrov) to him, (that is, to whom, as supreme, we direct all our services ;) and but εἷς Κυριος, one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him." There is only wanting here in the Greek, the actual expression-damon, when he said "lords many;" but then, in the application of the distinction, he must have said of Christ, that he was our only demon; with which idolatrous word he would not pollute Christ's honor.
To make this exposition of dæmon clearer, let us observe, that though the sacred Scriptures take Aauwv and Aaiμovioi (dæmon, and dæmons) in an evil sense; yet do they also use it in an opposite or an indifferent sense. Thus in Acts xvii, 18, when Paul preached that Jesus was risen from the dead, the heathen philosophers there oppose him withThis fellow seemeth to be a setter forth of strange dæmons; (Aapovwv;) because they preached unto them Jesus and the resurrection:" upon which ground, Celsus in Origen calls Christ, the Christian's dæmon. (Lib. viii, Origen contra Celsum.) Paul, in his reply, tells them, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are decoidaiμovδεισιδαιμονasεpes, too much given to damon worship. So in Rev. ix, 20, the worshiping devils, there mentioned, is demons in the original; meaning these dæmon gods; as is explained by the "idols of gold and silver" following. And in 1 Cor. x, 20, 21, the word occurs three times with a
like signification. Some also of the Fathers use the word dæmon, when they expound our text. For Epiphanius, observing some in his days to have made a goddess of the virgin Mary, and to have offered a cake to her as queen of heaven, urges this text against them, with a little variation in words only, viz,-" That also is fulfilled on these, that some shall apostatize from sound doctrine, ' giving heed to fables, and doctrines of dæmons; for they shall be worshipers of dead men, as they worshiped in Israel." By which dead persons he means their Baalim; of which he brings two examples: one of the Sichemites, in his time, who had a goddess under the name of Jephtha's daughter; another, of the Egyptians, who worshiped Thermutis, the daughter of Pharaoh, that brought up Moses.
The intent of the Apostle therefore, in this phrase "doctrine concerning dæmons," is to point out a main corruption of the last times; charging them with great idolatry, in praying to glorified saints as mediators and agents with God. So that, in the Apostle's sense, those nominal Christians, the Papists, or others that shall so pray, are not only guilty of practising "a needless, foolish, and fruitless ceremony;" (which is all the harm some Protestants can see in it ;) but are guilty of foul idolatry, lineally descended from heathens, the worst of men. For why does the Apostle, immediately on mentioning that Christ was received up into glory, (see chap. iii, 16,) infer, that " some shall apostatize from that faith, &c. ;" but to signify that this embracing the "doctrines touching dæmons" is such an idolatry,-is a denial of Christ's glory and majesty, whereunto he is installed by his assumption into heaven, there to sit at the
v. 8; (said there to be a thousand years;) yet ought they to have faithfully kept to the idiom of the Apostle, leaving others to have inferred as God should enlighten them.
Revelation xiii, 8.
"And all that dwell on the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written from the foundation of
the world in the Book of the Life of
the Lamb that was slain."
The words 'from the foundation of the world' are to be referred to, and construed with, the words in the Book of Life;' which, speaking figuratively, the Lamb hath always kept by him; writing in it every one of his own people that hath lived from the foundation of the world, and believed on him to eternal life;
and who therefore have never worshiped nor wondered after the beast. That they are not to be adjoined to those words of the Lamb slain,' appears plainly; not only by the matter, (Christ not having been slain from the foundation of the world, but "in these last days;" (compare Heb. i, 1, 2, with v, 7, &c.) but also by a parallel place, in the self-same words, repeating the same matter, only leaving out the mention of the slaying the Lamb ;—viz. Rev. xvii, 8, "Whose names were not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world."