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Ormuzd, Ahura-mazdu, the supreme Good, created all that was good, and inspired every good thought and action ; Ahriman, the supreme Evil, created everything that was bad in itself, and everything that could oppose the work of Ormuzd; he marred and frustrated all the good that Ormuzd had created, and systematically attacked every good thought and action, and endeavoured to turn it into evil. Ormuzd and Ahriman were of equal origin, and practically of equal power, and, although the latter was destined some day to be overcome by, and subjected to, the former, yet in the meantime he enjoyed an ample share of success.
These principles and beliefs were sufficiently received and recognized by the Jews, to be passed on by them into the Christian creed, which proved a congenial soil : we find the Fathers fully persuaded of the power and number of the demons, and also of the great and implacable malignancy of “the devil.” Still, so long as there were a heavenly host of angels and saints between man and Jehovah, and to a great extent, by their multitudinous offices of good to man, veiling Jehovah from his sight, so long the prince of the devils was equally unnoticed in the assumed presence of the legion of demons who worked out the details of the diabolical schemes. It was left for the Reformation and its sternest votaries to sweep away the saints and angels, the demons and devils, leaving
face to face, the Deity, as the abstract personification of good, and Satan, as the abstract personification of evil, each pulling down the strongholds of the other, and waging a perpetual warfare : by associating with these ideas the doctrine of absolute predestination, before the foundation of the world, for evil as well as for good, the nearest possible approach to the Persian dualism was made by some followers of Calvin. It is often asserted, and strenuously maintained, that the Jewish and Christian doctrine has never been that of the Persian dualism : that may be true of the Jewish faith throughout, and of the early and medieval Christians : but the seed of the Persian dogma was sown in the Jewish mind during the Captivity, was fostered and strengthened by after intercourse, and although not appearing on the surface, it formed an under-current, hardly felt, but always present, until after the Reformation, when it again reached the surface, and practically inonopolized the middle channel of the Christian creed; it had even become more sombre, for instead of Ahriman being destined to final reconciliation with Ormuzd, as the Persians taught, we find Satan, and all his victims and followers, doomed, without any sort of hope, to everlasting fire, expressly prepared for them.
In the New Testament, Satan is either called by his old Hebrew name of “Satanas,” the adversary; or by that of “ Diabolos,” the Devil, the false accuser or slanderer.' These two names are employed indiscriminately and interchangeably. In the account of the temptation in the wilderness, Matthew and Luke each call the tempter both Satan and the Devil ; Mark only speaks of him as Satan.” In the parable of the tares and the wheat, the Devil sowed the tares; and in that of the sower Satan snatched away the seed that fell by the wayside. The identity is complete, and in the Apocalypse, Satan, the Devil, and the Dragon are expressly stated to be one and the same individual, a sort of Trinity of Evil.”
In the New Testament, Satan, the Devil, is undoubtedly a personal being and not a mere abstraction. He tempted Jesus in the wilderness; he tempts man to evil, and was the direct agent inciting Judas to bring about the betrayal;" he works all kinds of evil, and resists all kinds of good, and is always on the watch for victims ;' he is himself a transgressor of the divine law, and the father of all other transgres
1 The same word that is used as a name for the arch-fiend is used in St. Paul's injunction that deacons' wives and aged women should not be slanderers—i.e.,“ devils.”—1 Tim. iii. 11; Titus ii. 3.
* Matt. iv. 1, 5, 8, 11-Devil; Ibid. 10—Satan; Luke iv. 2, 3, 5, 6, 13-Devil; Ibid. 8-Satan; Mark i. 13-Satan. Matt. xiii. 39. * Mark. iv. 15.
9; XX. 2. Acts v.
3; 1 Cor. vii. 5; 2 Tim. ii. 26. Luke xxii. 3 ; John xiii. 2, 27. Luke xxii. 31; Acts x. 38; 2 Cor. ii. II; 1 Thes. ii. 18; 2 Thes. ii. 9.
sors ;' he assiunilates the minds of men to his own nature, and possesses and afflicts their bodies with his own evil spirit ;' he can boast of his own synagogue;" he assumes the appearance of an angel of light;" his schemes are deep, but he sits in high places ;' in imitation of his divine enemy, he has his angels, or messengers, makes converts ;' and is politic, for he does not mar his own work. This formidable adversary must never be out of mind, or yielded to, but must be resisted, and is indeed the typical enemy to be cast behind the back."
Michael, the archangel, contended with him," and he fell as lightning from heaven ;13 he had the power of death, but is now overcome ;'* although under condemnation, he is at large, and even has opponents delivered over to him for chastisement. It is however the fervent hope of the Christian that he shall be speedily bruised under foot,' and it is an article of faith that he will be finally and everlastingly punished
in a lake of fire and brimstone,' expressly prepared for him and his angels.
According to the orthodox Christian belief of the present day, Satan, the great spirit of evil, is the “enemy" of the human race, having originally fallen from heaven, and become the first introducer of moral and physical evil into the world, when, in the form of a serpent, he successfully tempted Eve : thenceforward he has been at enmity with the seed of the woman, causing all the diseases of mind and body from which man suffers, the tempter to all moral evil, and the prime instigator of every crime which has ever been committed. He is credited with most seductive powers, and an immense success in his schemes: the many travel on the broad road which leads to his realm, Destruction; and the few escape by the narrow way that leads to Life. This work of destruction began with the first man who lived on the earth, and will continue until the earth itself shall pass away: and although he is destined to condign and everlasting punishment in Hell, he will have dragged down to the same Hell and punishment the vast majority of mankind.
In the meantime, Satan is endued with powers almost amounting to omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence: he can read man's inmost thoughts,