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THE WORK OF METAPHOR IN MY CREATION.

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persecution to Damascus, he was struck to the earth and converted to Christianity: "The Gentiles unto whom I (the risen Jesus) now send thee, to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among those that are sanctified." Were it certain that this speech received no unconscious colouring from Paul's belief in Satan, and that the speaker believed in the devil as a personal being, then the passage might be adduced as an instance in which a recognition of Satan fell from the lips of Jesus; but as an independent testimony it has no logical value. I shall immediately proceed to consider what position Jesus held in regard to belief in myself, and consequently leave this point in the scales. If, however, we look at the passage itself, we find its tenor adverse to the personal hypothesis. The mission was designed to "open the eyes" of the Gentiles; that is, to communicate religious truth to them, to convert them to the religion of Christ. This office is, for the sake of emphasis, described as turning the Gentiles from darkness to light. A third view is given, namely, to turn them from the power of Satan to God. Not necessarily is Satan to be here understood as denoting in the mind of Jesus a person, myself. The meaning is fully expressed, if instead of Satan we understand the speaker to indicate the power of error and sin. Satan may indeed be a popular personification of those moral evils. What else am I when Jesus says to Peter, "Get thee behind me, Satan”? (Matt. xvi. 23). This admitted, all is averred that can be averred with certainty. Clearly the speaker is here in the regions of spiritual imagery. To open the eyes is one image; to turn from darkness to light is another image. It is a fair inference that to turn from Satan is a third. The presumption, then, is clearly against M. Meylan when, overlooking the figurative language of the two previous instances, he takes the third figure as a literal reality.

Something more substantial seems to present itself in the passage quoted from the Epistle of James in these words:

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BELIEF IN DEVILS A VAIN THING.

"Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well; the

devils also believe and tremble" (ii. 19).

I will first consider the passage as it stands before you now. Be so good as to read the next verse. It runs thus: "But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?" So, then, agreeing with the devils in belief denotes "a vain (in the Greek it is empty) man.” If such agreement is an empty thing when it involves the acknowledgment of God as one, how much more empty must it be when it asserts the existence of devils! Nevertheless, that existence is not asserted by James. He merely quotes a common form of speech, and he quotes it in order to shew how vain belief in any mere proposition is, for "belief without works is dead" (v. 20). It follows that belief in me is really of small importance. And yet what deadly influence has it had on human beings and human affairs! But now let us look at our Greek New Testament. The word rendered devils is dauóvia, that is demons, and by the Latin dæmones is it rendered in the Vulgate or Roman Catholic Version. The English term devils comes from Luther's translation, which has Die teufel, the devils. Luther was a great believer in devils, and he has left the impression of his belief in the English authorized translation, which gives devils as the equivalent of the Greek daμóvia in all cases except one. In Acts xvii. 18, the Epicureans and Stoics who withstood the apostle Paul on the hill of Mars in Athens, say of the apostle, "He seemeth to be a herald of foreign gods." Which translation is right? Here, too, the English slavishly follow Luther. Which is the proper rendering-devils or gods?

To prosecute the inquiry as to what the daiμóvia or demons of the New Testament really were, would occupy us too long. You will remember that Josephus describes them as the spirits of departed men of bad character. This opinion has been backed up by much learning. If this is correct, then James does not speak of me and mine, but of deceased human beings who took possession of and tortured living human beings. Now that possession was imaginary and not real, the effects

A THING DONE AFORETIME IS THEREFORE DONE NOW. 149

which occasioned the notion arising from mental disorders. And in that case James does nothing more than reflect the common opinion of his day. Nor, indeed, whatever may be the view which he took of possession or of the demons in general, can more be ascribed to him in this passage. For, notice, he does not declare that devils exist; still less does he declare that they are personal beings; but, while treating of a totally different subject, namely, the necessity of works to faith, if faith is to be real, he uses in the way of illustration a statement which, implying the existence of devils and implying their having belief, pledges him to nothing more than the recognition of a common saying or proverb. In other terms, you here find in the language of ordinary Jewish society that belief in devils of which I have supplied you with abundant proof. It still, however, remains an open question, how far that belief was shared by the apostle; for certainly the question is not settled by this, the one sole reference to the subject supplied in this Epistle.

Having examined the one solitary passage taken from the Epistle of James, I will now set down the proposition which it is adduced by M. Meylan to establish: "The devils tremble before (or in the presence of) God." Now "before God" is a mere addition. The text does not contain these words. Remove them, and the proposition becomes, "The devils tremble." This statement is made in the nineteenth century. The words of James were uttered in the first century. If the devils trembled then, it does not follow that they tremble now. But the author's theory says that they tremble always. Always, therefore, are they made to tremble.

Here comes my parting word on this point. In the Gospels we find the demoniacs or maniacs ("lunatics" they are called in Matt. iv. 24, xvii. 15) were sometimes troubled and distressed in the presence of Jesus. Thus the demoniac mentioned in Luke iv. 33, says on seeing Jesus approach, "Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? Art thou come to destroy us? I know thee, who thou

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ONE TESTIMONY ONLY IN THE ACTS,

art; the Holy One of Israel." The poor maniac, sharing in the popular superstition, speaks as one under the influence of a malignant spirit. He is afraid of the Messiah, who, in the popular tradition, was to destroy my kingdom of darkness. Accordingly he trembles before "the Holy One of Israel."

Here, my faithful companion, you find the root of the statement made by the apostle James, to the effect that "the devils believe and tremble." You now see what it is they do believe touching God. They believe that olla podrida, or mess of traditional pottage, to which I have frequently alluded. In such a soil man's illusions may grow, but not God's realities.

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"THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES" supplies M. Meylan with one passage; one, and no more. Here, perhaps, I shall find a distinct and explicit statement of this doctrine of devils, which is so fundamental that a learned German theologian says in relation to it: "He who believes himself constantly beset by devils, to whose baleful influences his soul is subject, is placed in a totally different religious atmosphere to that of us, who find evil solely in a diseased condition of our own will, and accordingly have to fight with ourselves, and not with spirits of the air.' How clearly and exactly Jesus laid down the fundamental principles of his religion is exemplified by the greater portion of his teachings. Take, for instance, "the Parable of the Prodigal Son;" take the Beatitudes; "the Sermon on the Mount," as instances. Yet even these invaluable instructions are not more important than is a view of God, the world and the universe, which changes the position, character and issues of all, at least as much as Galileo's discovery of the centrality of the sun changed the view of the physical cosmos, and changes it not for the better but for the worse, and so as to make the whole look like a huge aggregate of at least moral chaos and dismay. I am then justified in demanding a scriptural statement equally formal and emphatic with that

* Christl. Dogmatik, von H. Lang, p. 8. 2nd edition, 1868.

AND WHAT IT SAYS IS A FIGURE OF SPEECH.

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of M. Meylan. Nay, more; let him, if he can—let him, as he ought, according to his own principles, adduce the Scripture which states exactly and in its own words what he states in his words, and requires his readers to believe as infallibly true because taught in the Bible. I have said "the Scripture;" I want one Scripture which makes the affirmation or affirmations on behalf of which he adduces the sole passage he has found in the book of Acts. He is wholly unable to comply with the demand. What, however, does he bring forward? These words: "I (Jesus in his glorified state) send thee (Saul of Tarsus) to open the eyes of the Gentiles, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God" (Acts xxvii. 15-18). Instead of a distinct, explicit and formal statement, you have here, dear Theophilus, words spoken in a vision, and heard in an overpowering excitement, which at the utmost speak allusively of me, and of me as possessing power. But what realities the words represent, remains wholly uncertain. Are the words the words of the speaker or the hearer? Was the hearer in so sound a state of mind as to hear clearly and report exactly what the speaker said? Did that other speak at all? And if so, did he in speaking to an overwhelmed Jewish bigot do aught else than employ phraseology which was current in his day touching the kingdom of Satan? One thing, however, is certain, namely, that the language is metaphorical, and that the metaphor employed finds its explanation in the world of reality in two preceding phrases; viz., "to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light." Hence it appears that the mission which Paul really received was a religious, a spiritual mission. It follows, that if "the mind of Jesus" may be learnt from the bulk of his own words as given in the Synoptical Gospels, he commissioned the converted Saul to the work of teaching men "to repent and turn to God, and to do works meet for repentance, that they might receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me" (Acts xxvi. 16-20, compare 23).

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