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Bar-jesus may stand as the type of one class of foes with whom Christianity has to

contend. He is described as a “mage” and a “false prophet.” It appears that he gave

himself the title of Elymas … - “wise man” par excellence. The essence of the magic
calling is the pretension to override the laws of nature and providence in obedience to the
wishes and phantasies and caprices of the individual. It would make imagination and
feeling the test of truth and right, rather than the fixed truth and Word of God. …
If we really love the truth and possess it, we have no desire to divert the course of
argument from other minds. The more light and discussion, the better for the truth.
Suspect the man who tries to silence another by clamour or prejudice the ear of the
audience against him. … There are times when denunciation may be used by the servant
of Christ; for there are times when evil, stripped of its disguises, is manifest, and no terms
can be held with it.
There is craft, guile, the design to deceive others for private ends. There is a certain
lightness and recklessness of conduct connected with this … The false teacher will
respect no truth and no sanctity which stands in the way of his objects and ends … and
the false prophet will stick at no lies to serve his ends. He is the foe of all that is good,
and must be; for the good and right, resting on the principle of truth, is deadly opposed to
him, the living lie. … While the servants of God proclaim, in the words of the ancient
prohphet, the leveling of inequalities and the making of the crooked straight, the object of
the deceiver is to twist the straight into crookedness, and bring back old chaos and
disorder. …
If we use not our intelligence in the cause of truth, we cannot expect to retain it in its
clearness. … The fall of error means the establishment of a conviction in the mind. The
overthrow of a lie delights the spirit, which is made for truth. Falsehood tempts and
enthralls when it appeals to our passions; let the falsehood be exposed, and spiritual
emancipation follows.
Fear and astonishment are often the means God employs to break up the fatal
slumbers of the soul. They are like volcanic forces, which prepare for the working of the
genial forces of nature. Every conversion implies in the subject of it the knowledge of
the superiority of truth over falsehood, the presence of the soul at a mortal victory. Truth
in conquering us, sets us free.

The Pulpit Commentary, Acts p. 416-417, Acts 13:4-12, (E. Johnson)

Gold Nugget 282

Intelligence in the Cause of Truth