These lectures were written in the hope that they might contribute, in some degree at least, to the removal of error, and the firmer confirmation of faith in the important doctrines of which they treat. Assailed by materialistic philosophy on one hand, unnumbered attempts have been made to explain away by resorting to metaphor or personification, what hereto-fore had been accepted as actual truth; and overwhelmed on the other by sarcasm and ridicule, the whole subject of Diabolic personality has been summarily thrust aside as unworthy of serious consideration. Hence the attitude assumed by numbers, even of otherwise orthodox christians, is one of determined opposition. So intense, and unreasoning, this opposition has been in some instances, as to justify an application to them of the words of Goethe, " They would not believe that it was the devil, Even though he had them by the throat." Hostility to formulated doctrine, is at the present time, one of the most marked features of popular religious sentiment. Spring from what sources it may, there is a widespread tendency to looseness in defining, and to unwillingness in maintaining dogmatic truth. This is especially the case with doctrines which bear upon pneumatology in all its forms. Hence the antagonism that has grown up against received views of sin and retributive punishment, as connected in Christian teaching with the kingdom and prince of the powers of darkness.
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