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mean that he should become an atheist, or live without any God? No; she impliedly wished him to trust in Ahraman, the evil god, the author of all evil, and the cause of all his afflictions. Job had despised him, and continued to trust in the true God to the last. She therefore wished him to abandon this confidence, and trust in the evil god, the true author of his afflictions. By doing so, he would become his friend, remove his afflictions, or terminate them by death.
3d. That this account of satan, is introduced to be condemned, and not sanctioned, appears from the reasonings of Job and his friends throughout the whole book. Job's friends, like himself, did not believe in Ahraman, for they maintain, that Jehovah, on account of his hypocrisy and wickedness, had sent such afflictions upon him. But I ask, does any one of them ever intimate that satan, whether Persian god or Christian devil, had produced his afflictions? No; they are to a man agreed, that they were the doings of Jehovah, nor do they insinuate, that he used satan as a tool in producing them. As a specimen of their sentiments on this subject, let the reader consult chap. 4: 9. and v. 17, 18. and 8: 3, 4. Job defends himself against the charge of hypocrisy and wickedness brought by his friends. See as examples chap. 6: 4, 5. 7: 20, 21. 9: 16-18. 10: 2. 16: 11-15. and 19, 21, We may then appeal to every candid man, whether Job's friends, would have been silent about satan producing his afflictions, if they believed so. And had they believed satan or Ahraman the author of all evil, would they have ascribed his afflictions to Jehovah ? Besides; had Job or his friends believed, that Jehovah used satan as an instrument in inflicting them, why is nothing said about it, either in their charge or his defence? In repelling their accusations, would Job have failed to urge that his afflictions arose from satan's great enmity against him, had he but suspected
that this was true. All know, that people are not very scrupulous now in blaming the devil. Nothing could have been easier or more natural, than for Job to repel the charges against him by saying, that satan hated him and had thus afflicted him. Can any man then believe, that this account was introduced to establish the existence of such an evil being, yet this be contradicted by Job and his friends throughout the book? If true, why not rather go on to confirm such a doctrine? Is it objected--" if false why introduce it at all?" I answer; for the very purpose of refuting such an opinion, and for establishing the unity and supremacy of the one living and true God. It is well known, that false gods are often introduced in Scripture, in contrast with the true, for the very purpose of exposing their absurdity. But I ask, is any false god ever allowed to be able to do good or evil? No; they are challenged to do either, to prove that they are gods. It is admitted by every intelligent man, that in the after parts of the Old Testament, and in the New, there are allusions to the evil principle deified, or the evil god of the Persians. And to darkness as the symbol of this god. See a specimen of these, and how the sacred writers expose such a doctrine, Isai. 45 5--7. 2 Cor. 6: 15. 10: 3. and 11: 13. Eph. 6: 10.
4th. Job's afflictions are referred to, James 5: 11. and his patience under them, is set forth as an example to us, but not ascribed to satan, but to Jehovah. Indeed no sacred writer, these two chapters excepted, say or insinuate that Ahraman or satan had any influence in producing them. But I have a right to demand, why no sacred writer has done this, if they believe as most people do now that satan was the author of Job's afflictions? If they had the same view of those two chapters as most people now have, is it possible that they would have been silent on such a subject?
5th. However prone the Jews were to idolary, and the superstitions of the nations around them, it was a truth obviously taught in their Scriptures, that their God was good, and that he had no evil being as a rival to him. So far from giving any countenance to an evil being called Ahraman, Satan, Devil, or by any other name, all witchcraft, necromancy, or appeals to any other being or power stand condemned, and the Jews were solemnly charged to have no concern with them. Jehovah, and he alone, is declared to be the creator, preserver, and ruler of all things, and all beings in the universe. Life and death, sickness and health, prosperity and adversity, are all ascribed to him. See Gen. 1 1. Dan. 4: 35. 1 Sam. 2: 6, 7. Isai. 45 7. Amos 3: 6. Micah 1: 12. Psalm 33: 1415. Prov. 16: 4, 9. and 21: 30. The idea of an evil being, which Christians call the devil and satan, and other nations have designated by a variety of names, found no place in the Jewish Scriptures. That the Jews learnt such opinions from the heathen, we shall see in the next Section. In concluding our remarks on this account of satan in the book of Job, let us compare what is said in it, with the above quotation from Prideaux, and we shall see all that has been advanced strongly confirmed.
Let us begin with the term satan? We have seen that this word signifies an adversary. That person or thing, is called a satan to another, which stands in his way, or in any shape opposes him. Thus, the angel of Jehovah, was a satan to Baalam, and the writing sent to Ahasuerus, was a satan to the Jews. Satan, in this account, is represented as opposed both to God and Job. He was their adversary or satan. Prideaux, in the above quotation, informs us, that Ahraman, the evil god, was opposed to the good God, and that this opposition would continue to the end of the world. He also informs us that the evil god was considered
the author and director of all evil. This, is precisely the representation, which is given of satan in the book of Job. All Job's afflictions are supposed to be the doings of satan. Orthodox people contend, that this was the case, and that satan is their devil. They have then got only an evil heathen god, or the principle of evil deified, a mere nonenity, for a devil. But is this very honourable to Christianity? And is it like persons, who reverence the word of God, flatly to contradict Job, in ascribing afflictions to satan which he ascribes to Jehovah? Job contends, that the good God was the author of his afflictions, as well as his prosperity. Those who believed in the evil god, did not deny, but the good God was the author of his prosperity, but would not admit him to be the author of his adversity. Job maintained that Jehovah was the author of both, blessing his name when he took away, as well as when he gave. By this the excellency of his character was made manifest.
But again; in the above quotation from Prideaux, it is not alleged, that the good and evil gods always produced good and evil by their own immediate agen⚫ cy, but that these were brought about by the instrumentality of second causes. Though Job ascribes his prosperity and adversity to Jehovah, yet he, and all the scripture writers represent him, as accomplishing both by human means. Looking at the two first chapters of Job, the agents by which Job's afflictions were produced, are distinctly mentioned. For example, the Sabean and Chaldean freebooters carried away his flocks. Were not they then a satan to Job, in the common scripture usage of this term? And does not their very manner of life, exactly agree to what satan says, chap. 1: 7.? "And the Lord said unto satan, whence comest thou?" Well, what answer does he make? He says, "from going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it." Just such an
answer as those freebooters would have given, for it was their mode of life to roam about committing such depredations. Yea, satan is the very name given to such persons in the East to this day. Messrs. Fisk and King, two of the Palestine missionaries, thus write: "For two hours, however, as we moved along our attendants were engaged in loud and violent disputes with these and other companies of Bedouins, who came up after they went away. They extorted a few dollars from the Armenians and Greeks, and at last took an ass from one of the Arabs. Our Shekh knew all these freebooters, and it is probably owing to his acquaintance with them, and his faithfulness to us, that they were so easily satisfied, and we met with so little trouble from them. He says, most of the Bedouins are much worse than these, and yet he called these satans (shaitan.") See Christian Spectator, vol. 7, p. 222. Such is the account given us by two orthodox missionaries. If the writer of the book of Job, did not include the Sabean and Chaldean freebooters in the term satan, all will allow, that the ancient and present usage of this word in the East fully warranted him. We see then, that there was no need for the assistance of a fallen angel, to produce this part of Job's afflictions. The agent by which he lost his children, is as distinctly mentioned. We are told, chap. 1: 18, 19. "That a great wind from the wilderness, smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon them and killed them." Such was the cause, which produced this effect, nor do we perceive, that the aid of any evil being was required to accomplish it. We may just as well accuse satan of blowing down every house which is destroyed by a tornado. Job's sheep were killed by lightning, and it and the wind are agents in the natural world by which God accomplishes his pleasure, over which Ahraman, or the Christian's devil, have no control.