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Time, that defroys the fictions of error and opinion, confirms the deter,
minations of nature, and of truth.

CICERO of the nature of the Gods.






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An Examination of the Paffages in the Old Testament, in which the Words DEVILS and SATAN occur, and what is related of him.

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HE firft text in which the former word is mentioned is, Liv. xvii. 7. And they shall no more offer their facrifices unto Devils, after whom they have gone a whoring. That by Devils is meant, the idols or objects of idolatry only, is plain, from Deut. xxxii. 16, 17. They (the Ifraelites) provoked God to jealoufy with their ftrange gods; they facrificed unto Devils,* not to God; to gods whom they knew not; to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.

Of Jeroboam, it is related, 2 Chron. xi. 15. That he ordained him priefts for the high places, and for the Devils, and for the calves which he had made. They facrificed to the calves, 1 Kings, xii. 31, 32. He made other gods and molten images to provoke God to anger. xiv. 9.


In Pfal. cvi. 35. 38, it is related of the people of Ifrael, when they were mingled with the Heathen,

* Dr. Taylor, in his Hebrew Concordance, faith," It fignifies hairy, or a goat, fo called from its fhaggy hair. The deities worshipped, in Egypt, fuch as oxen, dogs, wolves, monkeys, goats." It may just be obferved, that the word. Devil doth not once occur in the Old Teftament.

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and learned their works, That they ferved their idols, which was a fnare unto them; yea, they facrificed their fons and their daughters unto Devils, i. e. to the idols of Canaan. Of the Heathen, the Apostle faith, The things which the Gentiles facrifice, they facrifice to Devils; and I would not that ye fhould have fellowship with Devils. 1 Cor. x. 20. viii. 7. 10. Deut. xii. 30, 31. Rev. ix. 20.

The first text in which the word Satan occurs, in our tranflation, is, 1 Chron. xxi. 1. And Satan stood up against Ifrael, and provoked (or moved David, as the fame original word is rendered in the next verfe) to number Ifrael; or, as it is worded, 2 Sam. xxiv. 1. Again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Ifrael, and he moved David against them to fay, Go, number Ifrael and Judah.*

Whenever the people were numbered, from twenty years old and upwards, each one, whether rich or poor, is commanded to pay half a fhekel, Exod.. xxx. 11, &c. This was to be applied to the fervice of the tabernacle of the congregation, that it may be a memorial unto the children of Ifrael before the Lord, to make an atonement for their fouls. But there is not even the leaft hint in either of the fore-cited chapters, that David intended, or gave any order to Joab to collect the half fhekel of the people that were numbered. And it is plain, that Joab, his chief General, looked upon the King's command as abominable; and faid to him

* Mr. Farmer obferves, in his Anfwer to Dr. Worthington, p. 53, That the authors of the Septuagint did not imagine there was any reference to Satan in 1 Chron. xxi. i. which they render και ανέςη διαβολος (not Diabolos εν τω ιεραελ, and there arose an enemy in Ifrael. Even in reference to a good angel, the Hebrew word is tranflated diaboxn, by the Septua gint, Numb. xxii. 32. which therefore must denote oppofition without malice. In reference to the fame angel, the Septua gint uses the verb from which diaconog is derived.


Why doth my Lord require this thing? Why will he be a caufe of trefspafs to Ifrael? And when he and the inferior officers had executed the King's command, at least in part, and returned to him with the lift of the men, it appears plain he very foon recollected he had trefpaffed by not observing the command of God, in Exodus. 1 Chron. xxi. 8. In his confeffion, mentioned in this chapter, it doth not in the least appear, he perceived in himfelf that he was tempted by Satan to commit the fin, or that he was moved to it by God; and indeed, as God charged him with the fin, or tranfgreffion, we cannot fuffer ourselves to admit he was either the folė. or partial cause of it.* From David's oppofing Joab's judgment and remonftrance against numbering the people, it is evident he was determined upon it from whatever cause it arofe.

Farther, it appears from Samuel, juft cited, that previous to this, Ifrael, or the people had finned, and it provoked God; for, it is faid, Again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Ifrael. What their former fin was, is not mentioned; but for that, as well as for their prefent tranfgreffion, God punifhed the people; as is related, 2 Sam. xxiv. 11, &c. David again confeffed, that as he alone had finned, he and and his family only deferved to be punished.

*Though the original word translated "moved," doth in moft texts where it occurs, properly fignify stirred up, perfuaded, or enticed by the influence which one perfon hath over or upon another, to engage him to act conformable thereto, as appears in these texts, Deut. xiii. 6, 7. Joshua xv. 18. 1 Kings xxi. 25. 2 Chron. xviii. 2. yet it cannot well be admitted in the cafe under confideration, for as the Apolle James faith, As God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempted he any man. i. e, by any real influence on his inind to excite him to do that which is evil.

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