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fact that this appears especially in the Gentile Christian communities, and disappears when the Church has overcome paganism, casts a confirmatory light on the view we have just taken.
In the third place, objection is taken against the reality of demoniacal possessions, from the fact that cures of such evils were performed at the time of Jesus by others as well as by Himself and His disciples; for in Matt. xii. 27 our Lord asks the Pharisees, ‘By whom, then, do your sons drive out the demons ? This fact is undenied. Apart from the passage just quoted, it is attested by Josephus. This historian reports, in the 8th Book of the Antiquities, chap. ii. par. 5, in the history of Solomon (Bekker's edition, vol. ii. p. 163), "God gave him to know the art against demons for the service and advantage of men.' And he continues to narrate of a certain Eleazar, who, in the presence of Vespasian, cured in the most convincing manner by means of a magic ring, and of Solomonic magical formula, a man that was possessed. But it is difficult to comprehend how any earnest doubt can be founded upon this. The sons of the Pharisces in the passage in St. Matthew are Jews, who devoted themselves to the driving out of demons, made a profession of it, perhaps made journeys for the purpose, just as other Pharisees, according to Matt. xxiii., gave themselves up to the hunting up of proselytes. But that there were such Jewish exorcists, professional or privileged ones, is of no further significance than that there were Jewish physicians.
It would enter in the mind of no one to doubt the miraculous cures of Jesus on paralytics, dropsical
and in its name. If the demoniacal, as such, is taken out of the Bible, the view held by the ancient Church of the continuance of such like appearances must be explained as superstitious ; in fact, we must decide that it, with its Sunday prayers for the Energumens, was founded in fundamental error.
people, those with an issue of blood, or sick with fever, on the ground that even the Jews had combated these diseases with their means, perhaps now and again with a good result; therefore no conclusion should be drawn against the reality of the driving out of demons by Christ, from the fact that we hear of similar endeavours on the part of the Pharisees. At the same time, we do not perceive in the least any result from them. We put aside the account of Josephus : every one perceives what he aims at.
But even the passage in Matt. xii. 27 does not assert that the scholars of the Pharisees had really driven out devils; the εν τίνι εκβάλλουσιν may really only signify the endeavour; the exßándelv, in fact, points to the act, not to the effect. However, we are often told in Scripture of fruitless attempts which have been made in this region. We leave on one side the passage, Mark ix. 18. For if it is here said of the disciples of Jesus, 'they could not,' they were not able to heal the demoniacal son of the beseeching father, we must seek for the cause, according to the explanation of our Lord, in their 'want of faith.' However, we point so much the more confidently to Acts xix. 13. There it is said that by the hands of the Apostle Paul many great deeds had been done in Asia; in fact, at his command the evil spirits' went out. In consequence of this, some of the neighbouring Jewish exorcists, namely, seven sons of a chief priest Sceva, on their part, said to the demoniacs, “We adjure thee by Jesus whom Paul preacheth;' not only did they receive the surly answer, ‘Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are ye?' but at the same time the person possessed leapt on them, and so ill-used them, that they fled away naked and wounded.
Fourthly, as the most striking argument against the reality of the driving out of demons, is pointed out the silence which John observes on this point; which silence is so much the more expressive, the more the fourth Gospel is considered to give the conquering of Satan as the Messiah's special object. When an exegetical writer like Meyer gives this opinion, we wonder that he has not appreciated better the passage in Mark ix. 38. Here it is in fact John who makes the complaint to Jesus that some one had driven out devils without being His disciple. He had thus entered on a work to which only the Messiah and His disciples were called. From this it follows that John also considered the driving out of demons as a specifically Messianic problem which Jesus solved. Undoubtedly the fact that the fourth Gospel narrates no driving out of demons is explained, and that sufficiently, by the generally accepted fact that John is especially sparing in the relation of miracles, and that he reports no cures of lepers, of dumb or of deaf
perIt needs this explanation so much the more, as the fourth Gospel uses not unfrequently the expression to have a devil' (chap. vii. 20, viii. 48–52, x. 20), but always merely in the sense of 'not being right in the understanding,' and never in the sense of the synoptics. Wherein lies the explanation ? The fact that in this Gospel no demoniacal cures occur, is to Strauss a sure sign of its unauthenticity. To a disciple of Jesus, he continues (p. 454, Eng. transl. ii. p. 192), the driving out of demons which really and undoubtedly occurred, could not possibly be unknown. But it may be conceivable that the author of the fourth Gospel did not wish to know anything of them, as it would not have been in good taste to have mentioned 'demons, and expulsion of demons, at the period, in the district, and the state of cultivation in which and for which he wrote.' 'The whole thing had come into such discredit, by means of magicians and impostors, that it appeared
most desirable to keep Jesus aloof from the whole of their department. This treatment of Strauss is strong, but still stronger does the intelligence appear that between the 5th and 6th chapters of the fourth Gospel
a portion has been lost, in which would have occurred the account of an expulsion of a devil.'? The want of demoniacal cures in John can be cleared up more satisfactorily. In fact, the fourth Gospel also represents Jesus as engaged in a fight against Satan. And in reality, no other Gospel testifies to it so often and so designedly as this. But it keeps in sight a certain side of the combat—the hidden one, that which does not appear, and which cannot be represented by deeds. John does not speak of the subjection of the power of Satan, but of his moral overthrow; he does not depict the combat which is waged on the outskirts, but that which occurs in the centre. First, our Lord appears in this fourth Gospel, not as He who fights with the ministers of Satan, but as the combatant against the very person of the adversary himself. "Έρχεται ο άρχων του κόσμου... νύν εκβληθήσεται έξω. On the other hand, the demoniacs in the synoptics are never inhabited by Satan himself, but always by his ministers only. The battle against the kingdom of Satan appears here only in its beginning; our Lord is revealed solely as He who will once give the deathblow to the prince of this world. Then, in the fourth Gospel we see Christ, not as Him who annuls the outer. workings of the power of Satan, the outer witnesses of his
power over men, but as Him who destroys his real power.
John relates how Jesus designates the Jews, to their surprise and deepest embitterment, as children of Satan, who do according to the lusts of their father, and resemble him in lying and in murder. They,—the
1 Ewald quoted by Strauss.—TR.
Jews, who thought that Satan was only powerful among the Gentiles, that they, on the other hand, are not ignobly born, that God is their father,—they must have felt it an inconceivable and unbearable assertion, that they could stand in a real connection with the devil; that thus Christ, when He combats Satan, combats them, and when He strives against them, He thus strives against Satan. Our Lord replies to them (John viii. 37 and foll.), that Satan does not certainly possess a visible dominion over them, but that he can gain and has gained a moral power over them, and that the Son of God must free them from it. It is just this side of the matter that the fourth Gospel brings forward ; therefore it is silent on the cures of demoniacs. For these latter are not such as have stood under the moral influence of Satan; his power over them concerned the physical and psychical life alone. Therefore also the early Church acted similarly in handing over the demoniacs to the exorcists to be cured, while it excommunicated those who had morally given themselves up to Satan. Ananias and Sapphira were demoniacs just as little as Alexander and Hymenæus, but they were the children of Satan.
The considerations which we have advanced will be sufficient to weaken the arguments against the reality of the indwelling and of the expelling of
1 It has surprised us to remark, how Meyer, in the latest edition of his Commentary, represents the circumstance that the demoniacs do not appear godless and wicked, as a fifth argument (this is thus the fruit of his latest deliberations) against the reality of the indwelling of demons. A more searching examination of this would have infallibly led him to the opposite result. Church dogmatists (Gerhard, Quenstedt) have with perfect justice most decidedly made a distinction between an obsessio corporalis and an obsessio spiritualis, and with equal justice have declared the latter the more dangerous. They have only erred in this, that they have confined the obsessio to the physical region, and not at the same time extended it to the psychical. On the other hand, Delitzsch goes too far in judging that the demoniacal powers had any dominion over the spirits of men.