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Time, that defiroys the fiftions of error and opinioni, confirms the deter-
CICERO of the nature of the Gods.
TOWNSEND, CHATHAM; LEDGER, DOVER ; EORGESS,
ATTEM PT, &c.
An Examination of the Pasages in the Old Testament,
in which the Words DEVILS and SATAN occur, and what is related of him.
HE first 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 jealousy with their strange gods; they sacrificed 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 priests for the high places, and for the Devils, and for the calves which he had made.-They sacrificed to the calves, 1 Kings, xii. 31, 32.
He made other gods and molten images to provoke God to anger. xiv. 9.
In Psal. cvi. 35. 38, it is related of the people of Israel, when they were mingled with the Heathen,
* Dr. Taylor, in his Hebrew Concordance, faith, “ Ic fignifies hairy, or a goat, so called from its shaggy hair. The deities worshipped, in Egypt, such as oxen, dogs, wolves, monkeys, goats." It may just be observed, that the word Devil doch not once occur in the Old Tefament.
and learned their works, That they ferved their idols, which was a snare unto them ; yea, they facrificed their sons 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 should 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 translation, is, i Chron. xxi. 1. And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked (or moved David, as the same original word is rendered in the next verse) to rumber Ifrael; or, as it is worded, 2 Sam. xxiv. I. Again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel 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 shekel, 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 Israel before the Lord, to make an atonement for their fouls. But there is not even the least hint in either of the fore-cited chapters, that David intended, or gave any order to Joab to collect the half shekel of the people that were numbered. And it is plain, that Joab, his chief General, looked upon the King's command as abominable; and said to him
* Mr. Farmer obferves, in his Answer to Dr. Worthington, p. 53, That the authors of the Septuagint did not imagine there was any reference to Satan in i Chron. xxi. i. which they render και ανεςη διαβολος (not Diabolos εν τω ισραελ, and there arose an enemy in Israel. Even in reference to a good angel, the Hebrew word is translated diaboan, by the Septua. gint, Numb. xxii. 32. which therefore must denote opposition without malice. In reference to the fame angel, the Septua. gint uses the verb from which diaconos is derived.
Why, Why doth my Lord require this thing ? Why will he be a cause of tresspass to Israel? And when he and the inferior officers had executed the King's command, at least in part, and returned to him with the list of the men, it appears plain he very soon recollected he had trespaffed by not observing the command of God, in Exodus. 1 Chron. xxi. 8. In his confession, mentioned in this chapter, it doth not in the least appear, he perceived in himself that he was tempted by Satan to commit the sin, or that he was moved to it by God; and indeed, as God charged him with the sin, or transgression, we cannot suffer ourselves to admit he was either the fole or partial cause of it.*
From David's opposing Joab's judgment and remonftrance against numbering the people, it is evident he was determined upon it from whatever cause it arose.
Farther, it appears from Samuel, just cited, that previous to this, Israel, or the people had sinned, and it provoked God; for, it is said, Again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Ifrael
. What their former sin was, is not mentioned; but for that, as well as for their present transgression, God pue nished the people ; as is related, 2 Sam. xxiv. II, &c. David again confessed, that as he alone had sinned, he and and his family only deserved to be punished.
* Though the original word translated " moved," doth in most texts where it occurs, properly signify stirred up, persuaded, or enticed by the influence which one person hath over or upon another, to engage him to act conformable ihereto, as appears in these texts, Deut. xiii. 6, 7. Johua xv. 18. i Kings xxi. 25. 2 Chron. xviii. 2. yet it cannot well be ad. mitted in the cale under consideration, for as the Apollle 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.