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I will now examine the New Teftament to fee whether any thing occurs therein to corroborate the commonly received opinion of Fallen Angels, or Satan and the Devil.


HE only texts, or at least the principal ones, are, in 1 Pet. ii. 4. and Jude v. 6. For if God fpared not the angels that finned, but caft them down to Hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness to be referved unto judgement. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitations, he hath reserved in everlasting chains of darknefs unto the judgement of the great day.

On these words I obferve, first, That none of the Apostles could derive the least knowledge from the Old Testament, that any of the angels had been caft out of Heaven on account of their having finned against God; and we have no account that Jefus made any discovery of it to them.

Secondly, Had Peter, or Jude, known, from the Old Teftament, or from Jefus, that there were fallen angels, it is natural to fuppofe they would have been explicit in mentioning them to the perfons they wrote to, otherwise they could not have understoood what beings they intended; and that for reafons already offered.

Thirdly, Neither of the particulars juft mentioned, can be fatisfactorily inferred from the word Angels. The primary import of the original word is, to relate any matter, particularly as a meffen


ger, and in this fenfe, the fame original word is rendered, James ii. 25. Thefe meffengers were fent to spy the interior parts of the land of Canaan; and, upon their return, they related to Mofes and to the people what they had feen and heard in traversing it. And there is but one text where the original word can in the least be fupposed to allude to fallen angels, and that is Matt.

XXV. 41.

Fourthly, That the word raptaput, translated cast down to Hell, is the only place in the New Testament where it is tranflated caft down to Hell.

Fifthly, All that the two Apostles have related of the conduct of the angels, is, that they finned, and kept not their firft eftate, or principality, but left (not were caft out of) their own habitation; where that was is not mentioned.

Of the punishment, it is faid they were caft down to Hell, and delivered into chains of darknefs to be referved unto judgment of the great day. But there is not the leaft mention what their finful conduct was, nor that they were cast out of Heaven and feparated from the good angels.

Let us now fee whether the context in Peter favors the commonly received opinion or not.

In the foregoing chapters he faith to his brethren, that he and the apoftles who were with the Lord on the Mount, Matt. xvii. 1, &c. heard a voice from Heaven, faying, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleafed. He then adds, That we have a more fure word of prophefy, i. e. a more particular and full revelation in the Old Teftament concerning Jefus as the Son of God, which ye will do well to give heed to, because those writings were indited by the Holy Ghoft; and the meaning of thofe parts of them, refpecting Jefus, are not confined to the prophets, or that people; but we


alfo are included therein: And then he tells them, that in the time of thofe prophets, there were falfe ones among that people; and there are, or will arife, false teachers among you, who will propagate falfe doctrines, even denying the Lord that bought them, and draw away many after them, and thereby bring upon themselves fwift deftruction. And he defcribes the way or manner by which they will attempt to draw them away. And from v. 10-19, I think he represents their principle and conduct; and against fuch falfe prophets. Jefus warned his difciples, Matt. vii, 15. 26. 29. xxiv. 11. Mark xiii. 21, 22, 23. See Acts xx. 30. And I apprehend the Apoftle St. John alluded to fuch perfons. Ephef. iv. 1, 2, 3, calling them Anti-Christs, i. e. oppofers or enemies of Christ.

In the chapter under confideration, the Apoftle warns the Chriftians to be aware of them that they might not fall under the fame condemnation which would overtake thofe falfe teachers. And in verse 4, he mentions others, whom he calls angels, or meffengers that sinned, &c.

The opinion of a very fenfible anonymous author on this fubject, appears to me at least very probable, that the angels, i. e. the meffengers that finned, are thofe men related Numb. xiii. xiv. who were sent to spy out the land of Canaan, whose report to Mofes, &c. of the numbers and fituation of fome of its inhabitants, and the ftrength of their cities, difcouraged the people from going up to take poffeffion of it. These were rulers and heads of the people whom God punished for giving such an account, by inflicting on them a great plague, fo that they and all the people whom they caused to murmur against God, and Mofes his fervant, died.

An Enquiry into the Scripture meaning of the word Satan.


Heb. iii. 7. 19. Both the meffengers and the people had feen the mighty power of God exerted in their deliverances and yet they did not believe, but rebelled. Those meffengers who finned, were plain and pertitent examples of men like themfelves, from whom they might and ought to take warning not to be feduced by the falfe teachers, and thereby be guilty of a like unbelief, i. c. in Jefus their Lord, and a wicked departure from his commands, which, from conviction they had embraced, and on that account, fall under an heavier condemnation and judgment from God, than he had inflicted on those messengers and the people feduced by them. But, I apprehend, that if we understand the paffage we are commenting upon, of fallen angels, it was neither applicable, nor indeed intelligible to the apoftles, or the people to whom he was writing, fince they had no knowledge that any of the angels had finned, or wherein it confifted; and, I may add, if they had, what was the conduct of angels, (properly fuch) to them?

The other instances are clearly taken from men like themselves; the probability therefore is, that these were of the fame nature with those, who, in the time of Noah, God drowned by a deluge; and then he introduces the fimilar conduct of the inhabitants of Sodom, &c. whom God destroyed by fire. But, as a contrast to these, he mentions the cafes of Noah and Lot, who believed in God, and obeyed his word, and were faved from thofe judgments. These, and the former perfons, were obvious examples of men of the like paffions with themselves, which they could not only eafily understand, but also easily apply the former as warnings, and the latter as encouragements to fortify their minds against thofe falfe teachers; but, I apprehend, they could not, as it refpected fallen angels,



What force thefe obfervations will be admitted to have, as proofs, that by the word Angels that finned, &c. the Apoftle did not intend fallen angels, but the rulers. and heads of the people, mentioned above, is fubmitted to the deliberate and unbiaffec judgment of the reader.

In the preceding quotations from the Old Testament, where the words Devils and Satan, &c. occur, it appears to me, there is not any proof that the writers in ufing them, meant fallen angels; and therefore they do not give the leaft account that Satan, in a fecret or unperceived manner, infused, or put into the mind or heart of any one man, evil. thoughts, or excited in him inordinate defires, by which he tempted him to fin. Likewife, in the New Teftament it appears, that there is not any explicit relation that any of the angels were expelled Heaven for their having finned against God.

It will therefore follow, that in the former writings in which it is recorded of individuals, or of the people in general who finned against God by violating the obligations of natural or revealed religion, or both; they have not, even in a fingle inftance, attributed to the temptation of Satan. In this they are as entirely filent as they are refpecting any man's being poffeffed by one of them, or by a demon; and yet had Satan been the real agent, or inftrument in tempting men to fin in like manner; or, as univerfally as it is now believed he doth, I think it will be allowed to be natural to expect the writers of the Old Teftament would have given fome plain account of it, in fome inftances; for it is certain they repeatedly mention many different causes or occafions from whence men were tempted to fin; but, it is certain, they have not attributed it to Satan in a fingle inftance. From those writings therefore it feems to be indifputably certain,


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