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been incongruous to introduce again the popular language about satan in speaking to Sapphira. What shows Satan, a fallen angel, had nothing to do with the sin of either of them is, Peter's explanation of the popular language“why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart," agrees precisely with James' account how people are tempted to sin. “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God : for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: but every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed," chap. i. 13, 14. James does not allow any man to say when he is tempted, that he is tempted of God, for God tempt. eth no man. But if it be true, that Ananias was, or any man is tempted of satan, would he not allow them to say the truth? But James expressly declares that every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust. Ananias and his wife were drawn away by their lust or love of money,
This satan filled their heart. They were enticed by it to lie to the Spirit of God. But had a fallen angel enticed them or others, why is he never blamed for it by those whom he seduced. Did David blame him? Did even Judas blame him? No, bad as he was, he takes all the blame to himself. “I have betrayed the innocent blood." Nor is satan ever threatened with any punishment. Ananias and his wife are struck dead for their crime, but if satan was the chief agent why does he escape? For a very good reason, there never was such a being to be punished.
Acts xxvi. 18. “ To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith which is in me." The history of Paul's preaching does not afford an instance that he ever proposed, or actually did turn a single individual from
the power of a fallen angel, called the devil or satan. Had such a remarkable thing happened, we think it would have been noticed, and the person congratulated on account of his deliverance. He turned many from the power of the adversary, for it is said he turned away much people, saying they were no Gods which were made with hands. Was there no adversary but a fallen angel from which he could turn men? The persecuting Jews are called satan. Peter was called satan. And surely the whole system of ignorance and superstition, upheld by priests and civil rulers, were a satan or adversary. See this more fully shown on 1 Tim. vi. 11. in the next Section. From this satan many were turned, as the history of the Acts of the Apostles shows. Comp. Col. i. 13. particularly, where we read of men turned from " the power of darkness.” Accordingly some read the passage before us thus : “ to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, even from the power of satan unto God.” The darkness of ignorance, superstition, and wickedness, were the satan from which Paul turned men, and this he did by the light of the glorious gospel of Christ.
Rom. xvi. 20. “And the God of peace shall bruise satan under your feet shortly.” It is not easily conceived how a fallen angel was bruised under the feet of Christians in the apostolic age. It does not accord with fact, and satàn now is believed to be as subtile, powerful, and active as ever. The term satan is frequently used to designate the persecuting Jews, and this declaration of the apostle is agreeable to the fact, for they were bruised under the feet of Christians in the destruction of their city and temple, and dispersion among all nations as our Lord predicted, Matth. 24. At this period the disciples of Jesus had rest from their persecutions. The God of
peace bruised the adversary under the feet of Christians.
1 Cor. v. 5. "To deliver such an one unto satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus." I shall here avail myself of some remarks I made on this passage in the Universalist Magazine, vol. vii. No. 33. 66 1 need not stop to prove, that the term spirit, is often used in Scripture as equivalent to person, or for the person himself. Paul certainly did not mean this person's spirit separate from his body, for it does not appear, that his punishment included such a separation: nor that it was to be punished to the end of the world and then saved, for he says nothing about the destruction or punishment of his spirit. Besides, is it not the common belief, that unless persons' spirits are saved before death, they never can be saved after it? If satan was a fallen angel to whom this person was delivered, it is rather strange, that such a being should be in any way the 'instrument of such a salvation. Besides, if the day of the Lord here means the end of this world, and spirit a part of man which exists separate from the body, why is the salvation of spirit only mentioned? One should rather think, that it would be the flesh that required salvation from the hands of satan, for he was to destroy the flesh that the spirit might be saved. Was this person's flesh or body not to be saved? But the question is, what is the meaning of this passage ? This I shall state briefly, without entering into the detail of the evidence whereby my views may be supported. It is well known, that the term satan signifies an adversary. It is often applied to the adversaries of Christians and Christianity. This person in the church at Corinth was guilty of incest. See verse 1. The apostle commanded them to deliver him over to this satan, or to put him away from among
themselves, verse 13. This was to be done for the person's good, the destruction or punishment of the flesh, or to bring him to repentance, and that he might be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. The first question that arises here is, what day of the Lord Jesus is meant? I answer, that day which our Lord had forewarned his disciples of, and in view of which he exhorted them to be found watchful and faithful. See Matth. xxiv. Well, what kind of salvation did the apostle mean, when he said, that the spirit or person may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus? I answer, the same kind of salvation enjoyed by all those who endured to the end. Matth. xxiv. 13. This person was not believing to the salvation of his soul or person, but was drawing back to perdition. He was not looking for-his Lord's coming, but was saying by his conduct, my Lord delayeth his coming. Such were the means prescribed for converting this sinner from the error of his way, and saving a soul or person from death, and hiding a multitude of sins. The means proved effectual, as is evident from 2 Cor. 2. where Paul commands the Corinthians to forgive him, and to confirm their love to him; and assigns as a reason why they should do so, ólest satan should get an advantage of us : for we are not ignorant of his devices. What satan, pray? The very same satan or the adversaries of the gospel, to whom this person was delivered for the
destruction of the flesh."
1 Tim. i. 20. “Of whom is Hymeneus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme." The remarks on the last text are sufficient here.
1 Cor. vii. 5. “ Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that satan tempt you not for your incontinen
cy.” At Corinth, prostitution formed a part of the worship of the gods. To avoid fornication among Christians, the apostle commands that every man should have his own wife, and
woman her own husband, verse 2. But if the one. defrauded the other, the defrauded, in such a place as Corinth, was liable to be tempted by satan, or the adversaries of the gospek to licentiousness. To guard them against bringing such a reproach on Christ's name, this injunction was delivered. Comp. verse 4. where their mutual rights are stated. But somewhat of a different view
may be given of this passage in agreement with the Scripture usage of the term satan. It sometimes designates lust or sinful desire, which might, if the one defrauded the other, prove a satan or adver. sary to tempt them to licentious indulgence.
2 Cor. ii. 11. “Lest satan should get an advantage of us : for we are not ignorant of his devices.” See on 1 Cor. v. 5. above, for the meaning of this text. I may just add, that the Scripture usage of the term satan, would warrant us to say, that an unforgiving temper of mind was the satan here referred to. It is surely an adversary to a Christian, and gets an advantage over him if he indulges it.
2 Cor. ii. 14. “ And no marvel; for satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” The whole context goes to show that the apostle is speaking of human beings. He speaks 1st. Of satan, which simply means an adversary; and we think it indisputable that this term is applied both in the Old and New Testaments to the unbelieving and persecuting Jews. They were transformed into an angel of light, for their opposition was under the pretence of great zeal for God and the law. It is implied, that in reality they were the angel of darkness, and considered by Zoroaster the author and director of all evil. This was indeed the case with the Jews, for they were the