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In the course of the first two chapters of the book of Job, Satan is twice introduced, his name occurring several times. This repetition, however, assists us very little in determining the character and functions which the author attributed to this being, so that the two chapters combined present us but one object of consideration. The date, origin and intention of the book of Job are involved in such obscurity that we have only internal evidence upon which to base our conclusions. Although Milton, in “ Paradise Regained,” has confounded the Satan of Job with the Satan of the later Jews, yet a careful consideration of the passages to which we have referred will make it evident that they have few points of resemblance. So far from the Satan, mentioned in the book of Job, being a fallen angel, we have decided intimations to the contrary. We read that “there was a time when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the Lord.” Were it not for our previous conceptions of the character of Satan, we should naturally consider that he was here reckoned among the sons of God. But waiving this point as not altogether clear, are we not justified in inferring as much as this — that, if Satan is not reckoned among the sons of God, (that being a title of too much honor to be applied to one of his office,) he is at least a minister of God, under his control and acting only by his permission in the production of mere physical evil. Would Satan, if a fallen angel, with the character usually ascribed to him, seek the throne of the Most High? Is darkness thus attracted to light, and does God hold such conference with the Devil as in the book of Job he is said to hold with Satan? What is the work accomplished by Satan in the narrative we are considering? Does he stir up evil thoughts and passions in the heart of Job? Nothing of the sort is intimated, but only that God gave Satan the power, which he did not of himself possess, to afflict Job, first by destroying his property, and afterwards by visiting his body with disease. Who then was the real author of these calamities? Certainly not Satan, for he had not of himself the power to inflict them, neither did he ask for the power,but, when the uprightness of Job was mentioned, he simply ascribed it to his worldly prosperity, and intimated that if God should withdraw this, Job would be found to have the weaknesses of other men. To Satan, then, as his minister for the infliction of physical evil, God intrusts the trial of Job. No malice is visible in Satan ; he is represented as merely the stern executor of physical punishment. If there is anything to be deprecated, it is the action of the judge and not that of the executioner. Moreover, neither Job nor his friends ever mention Satan as the author of the calamities which befell him, but God is said to have inflicted them.

The substance of the whole matter seems to be this : Job lost his property and his children by incursions of savage tribes and the violence of lightnings and tempests, and his body was afflicted with disease. Though unconscious of any disobedience deserving such severe punishment, yet his confidence in the goodness and justice of God is unshaken, and he exclaims, “ The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away ; blessed be the name of the Lord ; and again, “ What! shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil ?” Throughout the whole, God is acknowledged as the author of his suffering. The writer of the history, (or poem, which ever it may be,) introduces the intermediate agency of Satan, either because God was always seen to work through agents, or because it did not seem consistent to ascribe the apparently unmerited sufferings of Job to a just Deity. On the latter supposition, it is only the old question of the origin of evil, which men have ever found it so hard to understand, and which has given birth to so many schemes for justifying the ways of God to man.

In the one hundred and ninth Psalm, David, uttering imprecations against his enemies, says, “ Set thou a wicked man over him, and let Satan stand at his right hand." The office of Satan here seems to be that of punishment, and, as in the case of the Satan who afflicted Job, there is no reason for supposing that a malevolent being is intended. As David is imprecating temporal evils upon his enemies, it is natural that he should call upon God to send Satan, his angel of punishment, to inflict these evils.

There remains in the Old Testament one passage more for our consideration, namely, the first and second verses of the third chapter of Zechariah, which read as follows: " And he shewed 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 ; eren the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee." The book of Zechariah is the last but one in the Old Testament canon, and, considering the late period of its composition, the prophet, in the passages we have read, may have referred to such a Satan as we know the later Jews believed in. The prophet himself, however, gives us no indication with regard to the character and office of Satan, except that he is in some sort an adversary, as his name indicates,) who resists the execution of the will of God. It is to be remembered that Zechariah was narrating visions and not facts, which renders it ditficult to determine in how literal a sense we are to understand this vision of Satan. It would seem, therefore, that no argument can justly be based upon this passage.

Practically, then, discarding mere repetitions of the word in the same connection, Satan is mentioned but four different times in the Old Testament, and never with any indication that he was concerned in the fall of man. Perhaps we ought, however, to mention a passage in Isaiah which is often quoted as referring to Satan and his expulsion from heaven. It is found in the fourteenth chapter, and reads thus: “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!” The application of this passage to Satan is a striking example of that blind zeal which eagerly catches at whatever disjointed fragments of thought or expression appear to favor preconceived opinions or established dogmas. The question in this case is too simple for argument; it is a mere case of inspection. Instead of taking what has been quoted by itself, read the whole paragraph connected with it, and you will wonder how, from a triumphant exultation over the fall of Babylon, any one could have honestly extracted a single passage and applied it to Satan simply because the words “Lucifer” and “fallen from Heaven were contained in it. One would think that the very next words, embraced in the same verse, -"How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!” — would have tended to recall the wandering imagination of the over-zealous interpreter, and cause him to suspect that a consideration of the connection of words had something to do with discovering their sense. In view of such exegesis, no wonder infidels think that anything and everything can be proved from the Bible.

In one of the apochryphal books, written within a hundred and fifty years of the birth of Christ, is the first indication which we have of the agency of Satan in the fall of man. 6. For God created man to be immortal, and made him to be an image of his own eternity. Nevertheless, through the envy of the Devil, came death into the world ; and they that do hold of his side do find it so.'

The conclusion which has been drawn from this passage is, that, between the closing of the Old Testament and the opening of the New, there sprang up that interpretation of the Mosaic account which has held its place in the Jewish and Christian world to this day. At least in the present state of our knowledge, and judging from the silence of the Old Testament record on this subject, no other conclusion seems possible.

When we come to the New Testament, although we find there no direct account or description of Satan, yet the incidental references to him are so numerous as clearly to indicate at least this -- that, according to the popular belief of the Jews of that age, there existed such a being. On what principles and with what intent Christ and the apostles referred to Satan in their teachings, is what we have now to consider.

Perhaps the most superficial of all arguments on this subject drawn from the Scriptures is this, – that since Christ and his disciples make such frequent mention of Satan, and never deny his existence, this usage and this silence show that they accepted the popular belief as their own. We can answer this no better than by introducing one or two parallel cases. There was a heathen god called Mammon, against the worship of whom Christ warned the people, saying, 66 Ye cannot serve both God and Mammon. Did he thereby acknowledge that there was such a god as Mammon, as real an existence as the Jewish Jehovah ? No more than a missionary to the Hindoos, who should say “ Ye cannot serve both God and Siva,” would thereby acknowledge the existence of Siva.

Luke speaks of a damsel who had “a spirit of divination,” as our version renders it, but the original words are more specific, and imply that she was inspired by the Pythian Apollo. Did Luke mean to acknowledge the

inspiration of the priestess, and that this inspiration was derived from the

heathen god ? But supposing that he did think thus, it being a relic of the heathen polytheism, — would that prove its truth? We must remember that the apostles were were not perfect men, and that in acknowledging their inspiration we do not assume their perfect infallibility. Were they not egregiously mistaken with regard to the objects and scope of Christ's mission, so as to need repeated corrections of their views from Christ? But if it is claimed that their writings must be free from error, otherwise they are not an infallible and reliable guide, - it is sufficient to answer, that, in cases where the sacred writings are not giving direct instruction, but certain matters are introduced incidentally for illustration or other kindred purposes, it is nothing derogatory to them or to the sacred record to suppose that common errors of the world at large, or particular errors of their own, have thus indirectly found place in their narratives and epistles. It would not be strange if the apostles, being Jews, shared the common belief of their countrymen with regard to Satan; but unless this belief was confirmed by Jesus, it forms no part of Christianity. Whether they actually held this belief or not, it is unnecessary to discuss here, even if we had sufficient data for determing the question with any certainty. It is upon the sayings of Christ that we must rely for our opinions.

Christ, according to the record, did not often speak of Satan, and never in a manner necessarily implying a belief in his personal existence, even if we understand his words in their most literal sense. If there had been such a being, possessed of almost supreme power for evil over imperfect men, we can say with confidence that Christ would have made it a prime point of his teaching to warn men against him in unmistakable language, and would often have discoursed of the secret wiles of this arch enemy. On the same principle, (to return for a moment to one of the disciples,) when James said that God tempteth no man, but that “every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lusts and enticed," if he had believed that Satan had a prominent agency in the temptation of men, would he not have said, "God tempteth no man, but men are tempted by Satan,” thus placing before his readers the disposition and works of Satan in direct contrast with those of God?

A literal interpretation of most of the passages in which

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