So at Pentecost on the occasion of the first outpouring of the Spirit the saints were by the bystanders accused of being drunk (Acts ii.
The faithful talking with tongues were taken by bystanders for drunken men, but intoxicated men do not talk in languages of which they are normally ignorant.2 Paul on the whole discouraged glossolaly.
Bonaparte and Josephine escaped uninjured, but several bystanders were killed or wounded.
Similarly the Greenland angekok is said to summon his torngak (which may be an ancestral ghost or an animal) by drumming; he is heard by the bystanders to carry on a conversation and obtain advice as to how to treat diseases, the prospects of good weather and other matters of importance.
The intrinsic improbabilities of the narrative, if taken as direct history, are also great: Jesus' deliberate delay of two days to secure His friend's dying, and His rejoicing at the death, since thus He can revivify His friend and bring His disciples to believe in Himself as the Life; His deliberate weeping over the death which He has thus let happen, yet His anger at the similar tears of Lazarus's other friends; and His praying, as He tells the Father in the prayer itself, simply to edify the bystanders: all point to a doctrinal allegory.
Nothing," he adds, " is more likely than that in a crowded assembly a lady should accidentally have dropped her garter; that the circumstance should have caused a smile in the bystanders; and that on its being taken up by Edward he should have reproved the levity of his courtiers by so happy and chivalrous an exclamation, placing the garter at the same time on his own knee, as ` Dishonoured be he who thinks ill of it.'
As the king and queen were returning from the wedding they narrowly escaped assassination in a bomb explosion, which killed and injured many bystanders and members of the royal procession.
Stones and other weapons were freely used, and several of the combatants and bystanders were seriously injured.
But when men set themselves to cultivate skill in disputation, regarding the matter discussed not as a serious issue, but as a thesis upon which to practise their powers of controversy, they learn to pursue, not truth, but victory; and, their criterion of excellence having been thus perverted, they presently prefer ingenious fallacy to solid reasoning and the applause of bystanders to the consciousness of honest effort.