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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."

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?

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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 many 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 have 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. 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, are highly dishonorable to the character of God. We have never seen the least attempt made to show how such a being as the devil was for the honor of God's character. On the contrary it is believed, that sin dishonors God, and why not also the devil, the author of sin? And why should these be for his dishonor here, when God is finally to make them redound to his glory in the world to come? But if any man can explain, how the devil can be for the honor of God, either here or hereafter, we should be glad to see it done. How such a being, with such extraordinary powers, with this world for his range of wickedness, and existing forever the enemy of God and the tormenter of men, can be for the honor of Jehovah's character, is beyond all my feeble powers to comprehend. It seems to argue, that God could not, or

would not prevent his existence. That he cannot, or will not curtail his powers, confine him, restore him, or strike him out of existence. This evil, once introduced, is without remedy and without end. It is certainly a poor account of God to tell us, that the glory and honor of his character, is inseparable from the devil and sin, and that the eternal misery of this being, with multitudes of mankind, are to promote the glory of God forever. If this be glory and honor, pray what is dishonor or disgrace?

4th. The common opinions concerning the devil and satan, with others generally held, have tended to land men in downright infidelity. Is it any matter of surprise that men become infidels, when such opinions are presented to them as the religion of Jesus Christ? Is it not rather matter of wonder that all men are not infidels? Cast your eyes round the whole world, and say, if infidelity has not had its hot-bed, in the countries where such absurd and ridiculous opinions have been palmed on the world for religion by interested priests. Neither infidelity, nor idolatry, can be conquered or prevented, but by the truth of God.

5th. Such opinions, mixed with the religion of Jesus Christ, have been in time past, and must. be while they are retained, a great hindrance to the universal reception of Christianity in the world. It is a question of no ordinary kind to a reflecting mind, Is the religion of Jesus Christ presented to the heathen in its pure unadulterated state? Or, are we introducing to them a human creed, containing articles derived from Zoroaster and the Grecian philosophy, and only supplanting one system of ignorance, superstition, and cruelty, by establishing another in some respects worse? Viewing the creeds taught the heathen generally, let us see if this is saying any thing but the truth.

Christian missionaries teach only one God, but this God they divide into three. But passing this, I ask, what heathen god ever called on its votaries to believe that he had elected some to everlasting happiness before they were born, and had left, not to say doomed all the rest to endless misery? Heathen gods have required parents to sacrifice their children to them, women to immolate themselves on the funeral piles of their husbands, and hecatombs of old and young have been slaughtered to appease their wrath; but name the heathen god, if you can, that ever required its worshippers to be willing to be damned in order that he might save them? What heathen divinity ever required its votaries to believe, that hell was paved with the skulls of their infants a span long? And, when did any of them ever teach their worshippers, that their happiness in heaven will be greatly increased by the sight of their nearest and dearest relatives writhing under eternal torments? I call on our orthodox brethren to name the heathen god, who ever taught such doctrines, or ever bore such a cruel, horrible character; and to crown the climax of his nameless wickedness said, "all this was done for the display of his glorious character." Who would be a Christian if this be the Christian's God? Who would not be a Pagan to get rid of such a God?

Is it said" Missionaries do not teach such things to the heathen?" It will certainly afford me pleasure to find that they do not. But did they not teach such things here, before they went far hence unto the Gentiles to teach them? If they taught them here, why not there? Had they openly disavowed their disbelief in such doctrines here, would they ever have been employed as missionaries? The managers of missions teach such doctrines. They hold the purse strings; and would not the pay of a missionary be

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