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1 Tim. iii. 6, 7. 2 Tim. ii. 26.
In these two passages, the snare of the devil should be rendered the snare of the accuser. i Tim. v. 15.--for some have already, turned aside
after Satan] that is, some women have behaved ill. 1 Peter v. 8. Your adversary the devil walketh about
seeking whom he may devour ;] that is, spies and informers who accused them before the heathen
magistrates. 1 John ii. 13. Ye have overcome the wicked one, by
the power of christian principles. Archbishop Newcome* and Mr. Wakefield, the
It is highly to the credit of Archbishop Newcome, that he leaves out of his translation of the New Testament, the spurious text, i Joho v. 76 of the three heavenly witnesses, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, without any reserves or intimations, as if the doctrine generally held to be contained in that text was supported by other passages of Scripture; and that, at the same time, he gives such a clear and intelligible explanation of the whole passage, as shews that he himself made no such conclusions from it.
It is not to be doubted, that if it had pleased the divine providence to spare Mr. Wakefield's most valuable life, he would have availed himself of the Archbishop's version in his own projected new edition, as the Archbishop had profited by his improvements. Indeed the pious and useful labours of this excellent prelate in illustrating the sacred voluine, deserve particular attention. And it is a great advantage in the present age, that from the versions now given of the scriptures by persons of great eminence in learn. ing, every English reader may attain to a competent and satis
two last translators of the New Testament, in their just and rational interpretations of the sacred volume, have not found it necessary to bring in a supposed great evil spirit, or being, to solve the accounts that are given of the devil, or Satan, which it contains, as the whole is more easily and naturally explained by 'considering these terms not as descriptive of any person or thing without us, but as referring to those wicked passions and tempers within us, whence all evil proceeds. And these being sufficient to account for the whole, it is wrong to seek or require any other CallSC. So that the devil or Satan is not any person or thing without us, but selfish, jealous, envious, malignant, cruel, impure, fraudulent, ambitious desires and tempers indulged in us, and which tempted our first parents to sin and disobey the divine commands, and have unhappily induced their posterity in all ages to follow the same evil courses. As to the interference of any evil being or spirit of a nature and powers superior to mankind, we do not scruple to assert, from the declarations in our sacred books, that there are no such evil beings or spirits who have any concern with human affairs. All such beings, who are recorded at any time to have had in
factory knowledge of divine truth. It may be recommended to all families, who use the vulgar translation made under the auspices of James the First, to correct the prejudices which they have been led into from its various perversions of the text, by comparing together this translation with some other of our more valuable
modern versions. fluence
fluence over mankind, have been of heathen device and invention, as has before been pointed out : such, for instance, as St. Paul speaks of in his epistle to the Christians of Ephesus, by the phrase the prince of the powers of the air, one of their objects of worship.
In all times, the more ignorant mankind have been of the one great author of nature, and of his works, and of those holy writings which make farther revelation of him, the more have they been found to be addicted to such blind and baneful superstition.
The sum of what has been said, is to vindicate the Scriptures from the imputation of teaching the existence of a wicked spirit, called the devil or Satan, by shewing there is no such being, but that the evil which is in the world is produced from men's evil passions and dispositions, which are therefore called his works.
There is, therefore, no evil in the world but what takes its rise from men themselves :
Nor any devils, but so far as men extremely wicked. and abandoned may deserve the name.
And to uphold such evil beings is to engraft heathenism upon christianity*.
• The Rev. Thomas Belsham, my honoured and much esteemed friend, has in an able general way, in his Review of Mr. Wilberforce's Treatise, p. 34, shewn the falsity of the opinion vulgarly entertained on evil spirits, and, in his convincing manner, proved it to be contrary to the principles of philosophy and the uniform tenor of the
pture. The whole work is admirably calculated to remove various other errors. The world is also indebted to the same author for a late publi
156 Conversations on the Divine Government.
To these conclusions the whole company gave their
These repeated friendly conferences here ended, and
cation entitled “ Elements of the Philosophy of the Mind," where
voured to reform the
in the translation of the
deration of his charac-
lative to his government 95
guage concerning them 10,5
of men by intolerantand