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that neither the Apostles nor the Jews could de. rive the least information concerning Satan or his devices ; or, that any person, 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 seducing her to sin, is a proof that an individual at least, is an exception; I answer, that, admitting it was by a fallen angel who assumed the bodily shape 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 conversing with her, and not by his infusing in an invisible or unperceived manner into her mind or heart, evil thoughts, or raising evil desires in her, as is now believed to be the way or manner by which he tempts men to sin; consequently the former essentially differs from the latter. And, I suppose there is not any man who will plead that Satan tempts men after that manner. Her being tempted, as is related, I should therefore apprehend cannot justly be urged as a real or satisfactory proof of Satan's tempting men to sin. In what conspicuous light must the difference appear between the sacred writings and thofe of other men in the present and past ages who lived under the light of the Christian religion, which are replete with affertions that a fallen angel asumed the Ihape of a real ferpent, or entered into one; and that he tempted her and her posterity to the commission of the fins which they have been guilty of, or at least, to the principal part of them.

But was the commonly received opinion that it was a fallen angel entered into the serpent, 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 juftly remark, there is not even

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a lin. a single text in the New Testament where the word Devils is to be found. The only one from whence it may

seem to be inferred is, Matt. xxv. 41. where Jesus spoke 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. ii. 11. 2 Epistle iii. 3. Titus ii. 3. and is rendered slanderers and accusers.

Likewise wherever the word Satan is mentioned in the New Testament, except Matt. xii. 26. it is in the singular only, and there it can include two Satans only; also 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. Jesus repeating what the Jews said of him, that he cast out Devils; the original word is Diamonia, a word of very different signification 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 expressions either in the New Testament or in the Old; because those writings invariably use the word Devil, or Satan, in the singular, and never in the plural number as importing there are many such beings; and I will just note, that in all the conversations the Jews had with Jesus, 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 Jesus. Matt. iv. 1-11. Mark i. 11, 12. Luke iv. 1-13. Matthew and Luke relate, he was led

I: 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 fafted forty

days day's and forty nights, he was afterwards an hungred. The particulars related of Satan's tempting Jesus is, his saying, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread ; i. e. to supply you with food. His taking him up upon a pinnacle or battlement of the Temple, and saying to him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence, for it is written, he, (i.e. God) shall give his angels charge concerning thee; and in their hands they shall hold thee up, left, at any time, thou dash thy foot against a stone, His taking him up on an exceeding high mountain, and Thewing him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; and saying, 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 whomsoever I will I

give it.

I would just premise, that a person may be said to be tempted when an offer is made of what is agreeable to him, or when it excites in him some desire to accept of it; or when, as the apostle James faith, he is tempted, being drawn away of his own luft, and enticed, and thereby it bringeth forth fin.

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

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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 proposal

. Indeed, if we may judge of this temptation as a true specimen of the artful wiles of Satan, (I mean if there is such a being) it certainly doth not evidence his abilities in tempting men to be luperior to those of men ; 'or, that he is a much more subtle and powerful tempter; for, had he, in either of thofe respects, been superior to men, I think we may justly conclude, that his templing Jesus would have been much more artfully laid and conducted, and therefore more likely to have succeeded than in what is related by the Evangelists. I would finally observe, they have not given the least intimation, that Satan, in an invisible manner, unperceived by Jesus, infused into his mind any evil thoughts, or raised in him any inordinate desires to tempt him, as the means by which most men believe he tempes persons to sin.

The next relation of the Devil, or Satan's tempting, I will mention, is that of Judas. John xiii. 2. 27. it is said, 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 sop, 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 silver, and he promised and fought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude. Luke xxii. 3-6.

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

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as a fallen angel, or of his having put into the heart of any man evil thoughts, by which he tempted him to sin; or, that he ever entered into any one to effect it. Neither is there any proof, in the evangelists, that they had received from Jesus the last 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 Testament of men's being pofsessed by an evil spirit, or fpirits, are, of a demon, or demons, and not by Satan as a fallen angel

Farther, I observe, that in every paffage in the Evangelists in which Jesus mentioned to his apoftles, or to Judas, his being betrayed by one of them, he did not give them the least intimation that he would be tempred to it by Satan, much lefs by his entering into him as the real cause 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 purse-bearer, he used to pilfer what was in bank; as the original words are rendered by another translator: and like: wise that Jesus said he is a devil, i. e. an adversary or accuser, and not clean, like the rest of the apostles; xiii. 11. and his covenanting with the chief priests for thirty pieces of silver, to betray himi It is probable we shall be led to understand John's and Luke's words, cited above, not in the literal fense, but only as expressive of Judas's principle and conduct as a very covetous man and an adverfary to Jesus, who was then going to execute his des sign; and it is reasonable to believe, he previously knew the chief priests had fought to take and destroy Jesus. 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

cers,

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