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that neither the Apostles nor the Jews could derive the least information concerning Satan or his devices; or, that any perfon, much less men in general, had been tempted by him to fin.

Should it be faid, that the relation given of the Serpent's tempting Eve, and feducing her to fin, is a proof that an individual at least, is an exception; I anfwer, that, admitting it was by a fallen angel who affumed the bodily fhape of that creature, or entered into one, (of which however there is not the least mention in the Bible) yet the relation of his tempting her was, by converfing with her, and not by his infufing in an invifible or unperceived manner into her mind or heart, evil thoughts, or raifing evil defires in her, as is now believed to be the way or manner by which he tempts men to fin confequently the former effentially differs from the latter. And, I fuppofe there is not any man who will plead that Satan tempts men after that manner. Her being tempted, as is related, I fhould therefore apprehend cannot justly be urged as a real or fatisfactory proof of Satan's tempting men to fin. In what confpicuous light muft the difference appear between the facred writings and thofe of other men in the present and paft ages who lived under the light of the Chriftian religion, which are replete with affertions that a fallen angel affumed the fhape of a real ferpent, or entered into one; and that he tempted her and her posterity to the commiffion of the fins which they have been guilty of, or at leaft, to the principal part of them.

But was the commonly received opinion that it was a fallen angel entered into the ferpent, proved to be justly founded in the plain language of Scripture, which it certainly is not, yet that could not prove there is more than one as a tempter of men to fin? And, I may justly remark, there is not even D 2 a fin

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a fingle text in the New Teftament where the word
Devils is to be found. The only one from whence
it may
feem to be inferred is, Matt. xxv. 41. where
Jefus fpoke of the Devil and his angels. For, in
every other text where the word Devils occurs, it
it is Daimonia, and not Diabolos. The only text
where the last word hath a plural meaning is,
1 Tim. iii. 11. 2 Epiftle iii. 3. Titus ii. 3. and is
rendered flanderers and accufers.

Likewife wherever the word Satan is mentioned in the New Teftament, except Matt. xii. 26. it is in the fingular only, and there it can include two Satans only; alfo where the words the Prince of this world, the Prince of the power of the air, occur, it is in the fingular only. The fame is true of the words, the Power of Darkness. When in Luke xi. 18. Jefus repeating what the Jews faid of him, that he cast out Devils; the original word is Diamonia, a word of very different fignification from Diabolos, or Satanas.

If the common opinion that there are numerous Satans, or Devils, is pleaded for, it certainly cannot be proved from any expreffions either in the New Teftament or in the Old; because thofe writings invariably use the word Devil, or Satan, in the fingular, and never in the plural number as importing there are many fuch beings; and I will just note, that in all the converfations the Jews had with Jefus, they do not even once make use of the words Diabolos, i. e. Devil, or Satanas.

The first relation, in the New Testament, of Satan, or the Devil tempting any one, is that of Jefus. Matt. iv. 1-11. Mark i. 11, 12. Luke iv. 1-13. Matthew and Luke relate, he was led up of the spirit into the Wilderness to be tempted of the Devil, and mark that the spirit driveth him into the Wilderness; and when he had fasted forty


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day's and forty nights, he was afterwards an hungred. The particulars related of Satan's tempting Jefus is, his faying, If thou be the Son of God, command that these ftones be made bread; i. e. to supply you with food. His taking him up upon a pinnacle or battlement of the Temple, and faying to him, If thou be the Son of God, caft thyfelf down from hence, for it is written, he, (i. e. God) fhall give his angels charge concerning thee; and in their hands they fhall hold thee up, left, at any time, thou dash thy foot against a stone, His taking him up on an exceeding high mountain, and fhewing him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; and faying, All these things will I give thee, and the glory of them, if thou wilt fall down and worship me; for they are delivered unto me, and to whomfoever I will I give it.

I would just premife, that a perfon may be faid to be tempted when an offer is made of what is agreeable to him, or when it excites in him fome defire to accept of it; or when, as the apoftle James faith, he is tempted, being drawn away of his own luft, and enticed, and thereby it bringeth forth fin.

Now, fuppofe it is admitteed that Satan is a fallen angel, and that what he faid to Jefus is to be literally understood; yet, I think it cannot be doubted but he knew who he was, and his defign and end in tempting him. I fhould therefore judge that no man can really believe the propofals were agreeable to him, much less that they raised in him a defire to comply with either of them; and, as to the laft, it is certain, that both Satan and Jefus well knew it was not in Satan's power to give him them had Jefus complied with the condition. On what real ground then can it be justly fuppofed, that if


Satan knew he was the Son of God, he could have the least reason to believe or expect he could tempt him to comply with either propofal.

Indeed, if we may judge of this temptation as a true fpecimen of the artful wiles of Satan, (I mean if there is fuch a being) it certainly doth not evidence his abilities in tempting men to be fuperior to those of men; or, that he is a much more subtle and powerful tempter; for, had he, in either of thofe refpects, been fuperior to men, I think we may justly conclude, that his tempting Jefus would have been much more artfully laid and conducted, and therefore more likely to have fucceeded than in what is related by the Evangelifts. I would finally obferve, they have not given the least intimation, that Satan, in an invifible manner, unperceived by Jefus, infufed into his mind any evil thoughts, or raifed in him any inordinate defires to tempt him, as the means by which moft men believe he tempts perfons to fin.

The next relation of the Devil, or Satan's tempting, I will mention, is that of Judas. John xiii. 2. 27. it is faid, That, fupper being ended, the Devil now put into the head of Judas Iscariot to betray Jefus; or, that after supper he gave him the fop, when Satan entered into him. When he had taken it, he immediately went out, or he went his way, and communed with the chief priests, and said to them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they were glad, and covenanted with him for thirty pieces of filver, and he promised and fought opportunity to betray him unto them in the abfence of the multitude. Luke xxii. 3-6.

I muft again intreat the reader to confider, that neither John nor Luke could have received, from the Old Testament, the least knowledge of Satan


as a fallen angel, or of his having put into the heart of any man evil thoughts, by which he tempted him to fin; or, that he ever entered into any one to effect it. Neither is there any proof, in the evangelifts, that they had received from Jefus the laft knowledge of either; and, and indeed, this is the only account, in the Bible, of Satan's having entered into any man. For all the inftances recorded in the New Teftament of men's being poffeffed by an evil fpirit, or fpirits, are, of a demon, or demons, and not by Satan as a fallen angel.

Farther, I obferve, that in every paffage in the Evangelifts in which Jefus mentioned to his apoftles, or to Judas, his being betrayed by one of them, he did not give them the leaft intimation that he would be tempted to it by Satan, much lefs by his entering into him as the real caufe of it.

If we impartially attend to what John has related of his principle and conduct, chap. xii. 6. that he cared not for the poor, and being purfe-bearer, he used to pilfer what was in bank; as the original words are rendered by another tranflator: and likewife that Jefus faid he is a devil, i. e. an adverfary or accufer, and not clean, like the reft of the apoftles; xiii. 11. and his covenanting with the chief priests for thirty pieces of filver, to betray him It is probable we fhall be led to understand John's and Luke's words, cited above, not in the literal fense, but only as expreffive of Judas's principle and conduct as a very covetous man and an adverfary to Jefus, who was then going to execute his defign; and it is reasonable to believe, he previously knew the chief priests had fought to take and deftroy Jefus. Luke fays, Judas fought to betray him unto them, in the absence of the multitude, and therefore he came in the night, with the offi



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