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cribed, no agent in this case is mentioned. Satan, or the evil god, has to father this affliction himself, without the assistance of any agent. Hence it is said, satan smote Job with the boils, which is not said respecting his other afflictions, though the whole aspect of the account, is in agreement with considering him the author and director of all evil. I shall only add, that it has always appeared strange, that in this ac. count, satan should be represented as conversing freely and familiarly with God. But if the account be as I have stated, the good and evil gods are here only represented as conversing together. It was in unison with the popular opinions concerning them.
In concluding our remarks, let us briefly notice some points of similarity in the Magian creed, to those of Christian creeds in the present day.
The Persians then had one good being or god, and also one evil being. Or, as Prideaux observes, that is to say God and the devil.” Christians in this are perfectly agreed with them, for they believe in one God, and also one devil. Again; the Persians believed, that these two gods were the authors of all good and evil in the world. In this also Christians agree with them, for all good they ascribe to God, and impute all evil to satan or the devil. Further; the Persians made darkness the symbol of their evil god. So do Christians. When they speak of the devil he is described as black, dark, and hideous, and as loving darkness, and dwelling in darkness, and keeping men in darkness, and will lead them at last into eternal darkness. Again ; the Persians believed that their good god was eternal. Some believed also, that their evil god was eternal. About this, there was a diversity of opinion. So all Christians believe their good god to be eternal, but about the devil there is a difference of opinion. Though none of them believe him to have been from all eternity, yet some of
them believe that he is to live forever, and shall remain eternally the same wicked being. Others of them think that, after a long period of punishment, he will be either struck out of existence, or be redeemed and made eternally happy. But again, the Persians believed, that there was a continual opposition between their good god and evil god, and that: this should continue to the end of the world. Then, the good god shall overcome the evil god, and thenceforward each of them shall have his world to himself, that is, the good god his world with all good men with him, and the evil god his world with all evil men with him. All Christians contend, that there is a continual opposition between their God and the devil, and that this opposition shall continue to the end of the world. Then, God is to overcome the devil, and from that time henceforward, God is to have his world and all good men with him, and the devil is to have his world, and all wicked men with him. Such are a few of the leading points of similarity, between the ańcient Magian faith and Christians in our day, respecting God, the devil, and future punishment. It is but proper and fair to notice
2d. Some of the points of dissimilarity between them. The Magians then believed, that their good and evil gods were only “two principles.". These principles they not only personified, but deified and worshipped. When Xerxes prayed for evil on his enemies," he addressed his prayer to Arimanius the evil god, and not to Ormasdes, their good god." Christians, believe their God and the devil, to be, not two principles, but two beings. Their devil is not only a being, but was once an angelic being, but for his sin and rebellion was cast out of heaven. Christians do not worship their devil. But alas, too many who profess to be Christians, like Xerxes, when they wish evil on their enemies, pray to the devil. Chris
tians have a great number of names for their devil. But it is apparent, that whether such a being is called Ahraman, Arimanius, satan, or devil, the leading features of his character among all nations are the same. The evil god has become the Christian's devil. In fact they make their devil the worst being, for though it was believed that their evil god, should at the end of the world have a world to himself with all wicked men, yet it does not appear, that they believed he was to be the eternal tormentor of men, But it is well known, that this is a principal article in most orthodox creeds, and no man would be deemed orthodox, who denied it. I shall only add, that though the Persians and Christians agree in hating Ahraman or the devil, yet the latter have not carried their hatred so far as to write the devil's name inverted. In the next Section we shall see, that the Magian creed was much improved by Zoroaster, and that Christians have not only adopted his sentiments, but the very language in which he expressed them.
Psalm xxxviii. 20. comes next to be considered. “ They also that render evil for good are mine adversaries. Here the word satan occurs in the plural, and is rendered as usual adversaries. It is useless to make any remarks on this text, for its context clearly shows, that David is not speaking of fallen angels but of men. In verse 19. he calls them his enemies, and speaks of them as lively, strong, and multiplied.
Psalm Ixxi. 13.. Let them be confounded and consumed, that are adversaries to my soul:" The word satan is also used here in the plural, and is again rendered adversaries. In verse 10. David calls these satans or adversaries his enemies, and the whole Psalm shows, that he is not speaking of wicked spirits, but of wicked men.
Psalm cix. 4. “For my love they are my adversaries." Here again the word satan occurs in the plural form
and is rendered adversaries. It is generally contended, that this psalm relates to Christ and his adversaries, or satans. It is certain, that verse 8. is quoted Acts 1. and is applied to Judas. This term occurs in several other parts of the psalm which we shall briefly notice. In verse 6. it is said 66 set thou a wicked man over him: and let satan stand at his right hand.” Here, the word satan is left untranslated, but is rendered adversary in the margin. In the Jewish mode of parallelism, a wicked man in the first part of the verse, is the same as satan in the second.For an illustration of what is said about satan,or a wicked man standing at his right hand when he shall be judged as in verse 7. see on Zach. iii. 1, 2. below. In verse 20. it is said_let this be the reward of mine adversaries from the Lord, and of them that speak evil against my soul.” The word satan, is here again used in the plural, and rendered adversaries. It is rendered in the same way verse 29.
" Let mine adversaries be clothed with shame, and let them cover themselves with their own confusion, as with a mantle.” On the whole of this psalm, and the use of the term satan in it, we would merely remark, that no person who reads it, can suppose that there is the least reference to a fallen angel in it. It is evident; that if the psalm refers to the Messiah, Judas and the persecuting Jews are designated by the term satan; and shows us, the propriety of the terms devil and satan being applied to them in the New Testament, as we shall afterwards see.
Zach. iii. 1, 2. is the last place where the term satan occurs in the Old Testament. " And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the Lord said unto satan, the Lord rebuke thee, O satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem, rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked
out of the fire.” Here the word satan is again left untranslated, except in verse 1. where it is rendered "to resist him.” In the margin it is to " be his adversary.” In the Seventy's version, the word satan is throughout this passage rendered diabolos. On the whole of it I remark,
1st. Let the word satan be only rendered adversary throughout these verses, and the idea of a fallen angel vanishes. The reader can easily put this remark to the trial, by substituting the term adversary for satan, in reading the passage. From our habit of associating the idea of a fallen angel with the term satan, and not with the word adversary, this and some other texts are supposed to teach such a doctrine. But can this false association establish it?
2d. If it were necessary, it could be shown, what satan or adversary was meant. Let any one read Ezra, chaps. 3. and 4. and notice particularly what is said concerning Tatnai, and Shethar-boznai in chap. 5. and little doubt can remain, that they were the satan or adversary referred to. It is allowed, that Zachariah prophesied about the time the events in the book of Ezra took place. Compare with this what is said on Ezra iv. 6. above. If people will interpret this passage literally of a fallen angel, why not also interpret the following chapters in the same book literally. See chaps. 1, 2, 5, 6.
3d. In this passage and in Psal. cix. 6. above, Jahn thinks there is an allusion to the forms of judicial trials in ancient times. He thus writes : 66 The cerel monies which were observed in conducting a judiciatrial, were as follows.
1. The accuser and the accused both made their appearance before the judge or judges, Deut. xxv. 1. who sat with legs crossed upon the floor, which was furnished for their accommodation with carpet and cushions. A secretary was present, at least in more