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the quality of harmlessness, or the lamb that of meek. ness. Those familiar with the scriptures know, that many of the beasts of the field are used as figures, in a similar way, which it would be tedious to detail. For example: our Lord says, “ be ye wise as serpents and harmless as dôves.” And it is well known, that in Daniel and the book of Revelation, the writers deliver their prophecies under the figure of beasts, and other symbols derived from the material world.
3d. In after parts of Scripture, the serpent is in fact used, as a figure for cunning and deceit. The word rendered 'serpent in the account before us is Nehesh. Taylor says it signifies the 6 common snake. But in southern, hot, desert countries, the snakes may be larger or more venomous than in the cold northern climates." It is used literally for the snake or serpent, Job 26: 13. Eccles. 10: 8. Prov. 30: 19. Deut. 8: 15. Numb. 21: 7, 9. Amos 9: 3. Jer. 46: 22. Mic. 7:17. Jer. 8:17. Eccles. 10:11. Amos 5: 19. Numb. 21: 6. The same word is used for the brazen serpent which Moses made, 2 Kings, 18 : 4. Numb. 21:9. Also for Moses' rod changed to a serpent, Exod. 4: 3. and 7: 15. It is used figuratively for tribes and nations, and to express a state of subjugation, degradation, &c. Gen. 49: 17. Isai. 27: 1. Mic. 7: 17. Isai. 65: 25. This word is also used figuratively, to set forth the deceit, and lies of wicked men. Please consult the following passages. Psalms 58: 3-5. and 140. 1-4. Eccles. 10; 11. Isai. 14: 29. Prov. 23: 32. If the cunning and deceit of the serpent was learned by men from experience and observation, and was used figuratively for this purpose, why not also by Moses in this account, in showing how Eve was deceived by her own lust? Was it not just as proper a figure, to show how sin entered by the deceit of lust, as to illustrate its deceitfulness, in its progress among men afterwards? If lust is deceitful
now, and if the serpent on account of its subtilty is a proper figure to express it, at what date shall we fix the commencement of its deceit, and the use of this figure, if my view of this subject is controverted ?
4th. The view given of Eve's deception by the serpent, or her own lust, accords with every man's own experience. We all, like her, have appetites and desires, nor is it sinful to have them, or even to gratify them in the way, or to the extent God allows us. But I ask, where is the man to be found, who has not felt the conceivings of lust within him after some forbidden object? And can any man deny the subtile, deceitful influence, which lust or desire has had over his reason and understanding? Yea, I appeal to every man, if something of a similar dialogue has not taken place with him and his own lust, as I have said took place between Eve and hers. Our consciences, if well informed, will reason and remonstrate against our desires, and in favor of obedience to the com. mandment. And can the man be found, who will affirm, that his lusts have never flattered him into disobedience? In the very best of men, the flesh has lusted against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh, and made them exclaim" wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from this body of death."
5th. The view I have given of Eve's deception, accords with what is stated in the subsequent part of the chapter. We shall merely glance at this. The first thing stated is—“ the eyes of them both were opened," as the serpent or lust had suggested to Eve, verse 5. They came to know evil as well as good by disobedience, but it did not add to their happiness and comfort as was expected. Does not every man find this, who yields to the flattery of his lusts, and transgresses the commandments of God? But what deserves our notice is, the account to which the offend
ers are called. Adam is first called
and asked 66 What is this that thou hast done?” He answers “the woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree and I did eát.” The woman is next interrogated—“ what is this that thou hast done ?” She answers—“ the serpent beguiled me and I did eat.” What serpent beguiled her? I have said her own lust taking occasion by the commandment beguiled her. Let us see how this view accords with the sentence pronounced on the serpent. God does not say to Eve's lust or the serpent
what is this that thou hast done ?" But because thou hast done this thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field: upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.” The sentence is in accordance with the figurative use of the term serpent. It would have destroyed the congruity of the account to have done otherwise. Well, let us see how this sentence agrees to men's bodily appetites and desires, as figuratively expressed by the term serpent. We have said that man was created with bodily appetites, passions and desires. These were given him to be in subjection to God's will, and not gratified beyond the limits which he had prescribed. Ive listening to them beyond this limit transgressed. In her and all who have followed her example, when gratified beyond this they become degraded and groveling even below every beast of the field. The real bodily wants of man are few, and their supply easily obtained. But to bis artificial, sinful desires, no boundaries can hardly be prescribed. These often are so low, and filthy, that no beast of the field is ever found given to similar indulgencies. Men's lusts and passions
are cursed above all cattle and above every beast of the field.” Like the natural serpent, dust or earthly gratifications are their enjoyment, until the person
is created anew in Christ Jesus, and is led to place
I shall only add, that to represent Eve as holding a dialogue with her own lust or desire can create no difficulty to persons familiar with their Bible. The beasts of the field, and trees of the wood, are in the figurative language of Scripture represented as holding conversation together. Nor is the Bible wanting in examples of persons holding dialogues with them
selves. But I must suppress many additional remarks, which I intended to make on the three first chapters of Genesis, as the remarks already made, exceed the limits assigned to this part of the subject.
ALL THE TEXTS IN THE OLD TESTAMENT, WHERE THE ORIGINAL WORD SHAITAN, OR SATAN OCCURS, CONSIDERED.
THE passages where the term satan occurs in the Old Testament, are now to be brought forward, and we urge it on the reader to observe, if satan is a fallen angel, and the serpent which deceived Eve, as is very generally asserted. We shall take up the passages, , in the order they occur in the common version. Taylor, Parkhurst, and other writers all declare, that the word satan signifies, “ an adversary." In this sense it was understood by our translators, for this is their usual rendering of it, as we shall see immediately. It occurs then first as a noun feminine.
Gen. 26 : 21. “And they digged another well, and strove for that also: and he called the name of it sitnah." If the term satan be the name of a fallen angel, it is strange, that the sacred writers should first apply it to a well. Had the existence of such a being been previously announced, it might be supposed that he was the cause of the strife about this well, and on account of which it received this name. like this is to be found. The well is called sitnah, or