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Luke vi. 6.
and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Spirit: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? And they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers; who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it. When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart; and they gnashed on him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God: and said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, and cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep. And Saul was consenting to his death."
Again, the envy and hatred of the scribes and pharisees, called madness, is evident in the case related, of the restoration of the withered hand by our Saviour.
"There was a man whose right hand was withered, and the scribes and pharisees watched
Jesus, whether he would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him.Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath day to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it? And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand; and he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other. And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another, what they might do to Jesus."
Again, the betraying of our Saviour by Judas, shews his nature. "Jesus saith unto Simon Peter, John xiii. 10. he that is washed (in spirit,) needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all, for He knew who should betray him: therefore said he, ye are not all clean. Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake. He then lying on Jesus' breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it? Jesus
answered, he it is, to whom I shall give a sop when
John xviii. 3.
Matt. xxvii. 3.
Satan, that thou doest, do quickly. Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him. He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night."
"Judas then having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and pharisees cometh thither, with lanterns, and torches, and weapons: Jesus, therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and saith unto them, Whom seek ye? They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth! Jesus saith unto them, I am he! And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them.”
Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, I have sinned, in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? See thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself." He was, therefore, in the torments of the spirit of malignity, that drove him to destruction in hanging himself, in the consciousness of having betrayed innocent blood.*
* Rom. ix. 19.-" Thou wilt say then unto me, why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will! Nay, but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say unto him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another to dishonour?" All are in his power, and "His mercy is on them that fear him." Luke i. 50.
We need go no farther than the actions of the jews towards our Saviour, to prove that they were of the nature, and full of the spirit of the devil, in envy, malice, and hatred.
"Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do with Matt.xxvii.22. Jesus, which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified. And the governor said, Why? what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified. When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children. Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers: and they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him; saying, Hail, king of the jews! and they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him upon the head. And after they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him."
"And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull, they gave him vinegar to drink mixed with gall: and when he
John v. 14.
had tasted thereof, he would not drink. And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled, which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots. And set over his head his accusation written, This is Jesus the King of the Jews."
So far, every thing relative to the malignant spirit that degrades mankind is clear and definite. But throughout the Scriptures, it is also revealed, that diseases, infirmities, and death, are caused by them. From our experience, we know that restless depraved characters, whose general actions belong to the preceding catalogue, often bring disease and premature death upon themselves: but it is totally impossible that we could know, in our present state, the malignant influence of this base spirit upon the general frame of our constitutions, in which we all live; and that all diseases and infirmities of mankind arise from it: yet, the new testament is explicit, and accords with the old upon this subject, and is also consistent with our Saviour's words: "All things that I have heard of my Father, I have made known unto you."
We have now to show it, by relating some of the cases recorded in the new testament. To the impotent man, that our Saviour had restored to health, by the Holy Spirit removing the spirit of malignity that caused his disease: he said, "Behold thou art