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which was afterwards personified and deified, Essenus thus writes p. 125. "Plutarch observes, that the doctrine of two contrary principles prevailed in all countries. The reason is obvious; evil abounded in every age and nation: and as men could not reconcile the notion of natural and moral evil with an allwise and benevolent author, it was natural for them to reason in the following manner: Since nothing can come into being without a cause; and since that which is perfectly good cannot be the cause of evil, then there must exist a distinct principle in nature, as well for the production of evil as of that which is good.' In this manner argued the Persian sages; and Plutarch seems to have considered the argument conclusive. This doctrine was introduced into Judea before the age of Isaiah, who, as we have seen, thus sets it aside I form the light and create darkness ; I make peace and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.' 45: 7."

3d. It may also be objected, "you have said, that the doctrine of an evil principle deified, was known as early as the days of Job, which was about the time of Moses but is not this too early a date for the existence of such an opinion among men, and is there any proof that it existed at such a date?" Some notice was taken of this objection, Section 3. and I shall here add a few remarks in reply to it. It is then certain, that the worship of idols prevailed in the world before the days of Moses. If the question is examined, did the worship of idols or that of an evil principle first prevail? we think the evidence will be in favor of the latter. But, we have found it impossible to ascertain dates as to the first origin of either, both being lost in antiquity, where no dates are given. Essenus quoting from Plutarch, says p. 74. "There are others again, who call the good principle only God, giving the name of Demon to the evil being; in

which number is Zoroaster the Magian, who is said to have lived 5000 years before the Trojan war. Now, this philosopher calls the good principle Oromazes, and the evil one Arimanius; adding, moreover, that as of all sensible beings, the former bears the greatest resemblance to light, so the latter was most like darkness.' § 45, 40. The doctrine here stated is undoubtedly very ancient; but the earliness of the period in which Zoroaster is said to have lived is absurd and must have proceeded from that propensity in which all nations indulged to magnify their own antiquity." Further; Mr. Mayo, in his Ancient Geography, says, p. 37. "the Scythians, whom the dawn of history discovers in present Persia under their king Tanus, attack Vexores king of Egypt, conquer Asia, and establish the Scythian empire fifteen hundred years before Ninus, or three thousand six hundred and sixty years before Christ." And quoting from Mr. Pinkerton concerning "the aboriginal Scythian empire of Persia," he thus writes: p. 23. "And beyond this there is no memorial of human affairs, save in Egypt alone, the history of which begins with Menes, the first king, about four thousand years before our era; while the earliest appearance of the Scythians in history is about four hundred years after, when Vexores was king of Egypt, and Tanus of the Scythæ not to mention the collateral light derived from the whole history of the Greeks and Romans, who were Scythæ, as just shown." He adds, on the same page" on this route we shall find the Scythians, Getae, or Goths, not only peopling all Scandenavia and Germany, but extending hence and actually possessing Gaul and Spain five hundred years before Christ, as well as Britain and Ireland three hundred years before Christ." From these statements the following things are obvious:

1st. That the Magian religion is very ancient, ex

tending so far back into antiquity that no distinct account of its origin is to be found on record. If such a thing is in existence we have been unable to find it. 2d. That the people to whom the Christian religion was first preached, from the very nature of the case, must have been previously imbued with the tenets of the Magian religion. It was preached first to the Jews, who had spent seventy years in captivity at Babylon, where we have seen that the Magian religion prevailed. It was also preached by the apostles to the Greeks and Romans, whom Mr. Mayo says, "were Scythians," and "whom the dawn of history discovers in present Persia," the very place where Prideaux, above quoted, says the Magian religion first originated. 3d. Mr. Mayo's statements also show us how the tenets of the Magian religion were diffused throughout Europe. He says, "the Scythians whom the dawn of history discovers in present Persia" we shall find "not only peopling all Scandenavia and Germany, but extending hence and actually possessing Gaul and Spain five hundred years before Christ, as well as Britain and Ireland three hundred years before Christ." The Magian religion being the ancient religion of Persia, when the people from thence overran Scandenavia, Germany, Gaul, Spain, Britain and Ireland several hundred years before Christ, they must have carried its principles along with them. A miracle was necessary to prevent Christianity being blended with them when introduced into those countries. That it has been blended with them we think proved in preceding Sections.

We have then all the evidence which the nature of the case will admit, that the doctrine of an evil principle deified, was known among men in the days of Job. If our orthodox brethren deny this, and can prove that their devil had another or better origin, we respectfully request them to prove it.

Such are the chief objections, which are likely to be made against my views of the devil, excepting such as might be made against any innovation in religious popular opinions. But as these have been stated and answered in my Inquiry into the words Sheol, Hades, &c. to it I refer the reader. In concluding this Section I would merely remark, that many have good reason to object against my views, for if they are true, what a great loss they must sustain in being robbed of their principal topics of preaching and religious conversation. The devil and eternal hell torments are themes on which many delight to dwell. They seem health to their navel and marrow to their bones, and to remove these would be taking away their gods, and what have they more?



It would be an endless task, to detail all the evils which have resulted from the common opinions entertained of the devil. A few only I shall name, and leave the reader to pursue the subject. If it then be true, as I have attempted to show, that no such being as the devil exists, let the reader consider

1st. What a vast number of passages in God's word have been perverted in proof of this doctrine. They are almost innumerable. The texts which have been under our review in this investigation, are but a few of them, for many more, it is well known, are dragged in

as collateral proof of it. Is there no evil then in misunderstanding and perverting God's word? No man will say so, who loves it, and trembles at it. It is one of the greatest of all evils, for it has been the fruitful source of most evils which have existed in the world. If this doctrine be false what a great change it produces on the whole face of the Bible.

2d. Let the reader consider the evil effects of this doctrine on mankind. A belief in the common opinions concerning the devil has laid the foundation for almost every other superstition among Christians. Take into view also, what unnecessary and distressing fears the belief of such opinions have given to children, and even persons of riper years. And who can tell the distress which they have given people, when closing their mortal career. On weak minds, their influence has been such as to drive some to madness, and others to suicide. Most people would dismiss a domestic, if found frightening their children with ghosts and hobgoblins: but these same people, cheerfully pay a man to frighten both them and their children, one day in the week, with the devil. The devil, with many people, is much more feared than God. But what an excellent apology have such opinions afforded men for their sins. The devil has been obliged to bear the blame, while men have had all the pleasure of sinning. By such opinions, men's attention has been turned away from the true devil within them, to an invisible, imaginary being, called the devil, without them. While a deceived heart has been drawing them aside from truth and holiness, the doctrine of the devil helps to calm their fears, stupifies their conscience, and emboldens them to repeat their crimes. And why should it not, if it be true, that such a powerful, deceitful being as the devil, is continually influencing them to sin?

3d. The common opinions concerning the devil,

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