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universality of this regard for Serpents shews the high antiquity of them as symbols, and that it was ante-diluvian.” Maurice's Ind. Antiq. vol. vi. p. 172. It rather shews that the Serpent was not worshipped as a symbol, but as the real animal in consequence of the history of the fall. Soe Revel. xx. 2. Stukeley's farther account of the Serpent, in the following page, bears the strongest testimony to the truth of the Mosaical history, and proves that the worship of the Serpent-deity was at least coeval with, if not prior to, any other.
P. 520. “ Erichthonius, the same person as Erectheus, i. e. the Arkite god, was supposed to have been enclosed in an ark. Pausan. lib. i. p. 41. He was deposited in this ark in a state of childhood, and represented under the emblem of an infant, whose lower parts ended in a Serpent. Others described him as guarded by a Serpent which twined round him."
Does not this fable seem to take its rise rather from Adam than from Noah; or, rather, are not the histories of these two persons blended together? The state of childhood may relate as well to the creation of Adam as to Noah's reviviscence from the flood.
P. 529. “ The symbols, in antient times, were instead of writing; harmless, if not abused, nay of great consequence when directed to a proper purpose. Such were the Serpent, the Ark, the Iris, the Dove, together with many others to which there are apparent allusions in Scripture. These were known to the Israelites before their descent into Egypt, being originally from that country beyond the flood, where their fathers of old resided. And, when properly applied, they were as innocent as the elementary characters by which the same histories were in after times recorded. The lifting up of the Serpent, in the wilderness, was as proper a prophetic designation, and as pertinent to the people to whom it was exhibited, as the purport would have been if expressed by letters and written at length upon a tablet.”
The Serpent was no doubt a proper symbol to instruct the posterity of Adam in the true source of the degeneracy of mankind, but does not seem adapted, in its first appointment, to convey to mankind the memorial of their preservation by the ark, which last use of it Mr Bryant assigns it.
“ Sub forma Serpentis non tantum sæpissime coli voluit Diabolus, sed Serpentis nomine frequentius innotuit Græcis et Hebræis antiquioribus, cum præsertim res divinationis ageretur. A Græcis antiquis auguriorum præses, Diabolus, Pythius et Python dicebatur. Vocibus illis a job derivatis, et Serpentis speciem denotantibus. Spiritus, in veteri Testamento memoratus, 'non raro dictus est ain, voce Serpenten sonante.” Spencer, lib. ï. c. 16.
“ Pytho ab Heb.pno, Serpens. Hebræi ex Serpentibus divinationes plures olim et auguria instituerunt. Unde wnia et Serpentem et divinare denotat." Heinsius, Acts, xvi. 16, in Poole's Synopsis.
" Phænicas, “ Phænicas, Indos, Persas, Græcos, Romanos, Chinenses, Borussos, Lithuanos, Sermatas olim superstitionis illius : i. e. Opoora teatas, affines extitisse docuerunt auctores multi magnique. Ideo vero tam magna semper erat gentium circa Serpentes superstitio, quod serpentibus numen aliquod inesse persuasus erat is, qui ab initio formam Serpentis induit, et mores Serpenti similes hominibus instillavit.” Spencer, lib, ii. c. 21, sect. 2.
This observation not only points out the universality of Serpent-worship, but likewise proves the antiquity and origin of it.
“ Prout dæmones hircorum forma se videndos exhibere soliti, nomen Drew, hircorum inde reportarunt; sic et spiritus illi nomen nias, Serpentum, forsan acquisiverunt, quod specie Ser. pentum se videndos et consulendos sæpius exhiberent : - et fatidicum illud numen Apollo in terra Chananæa primo, tandem et in Græcia Serpentis imagine coleretur." Spencer, tom. i. 247, 430. “ Scire sufficiat Egyptios Typhonem suum (i.e. Pythonem et Diabolum) malorum omnium auctorem, et (quod caput erat) Osiridis sui interfectorem existimasse, eosque illud numen sacrificiis delinire solitos et demulcere. Cum autem Typhonem colore rufo fuisse crederent, ut illius gratiam inirent ei non nisi coloris cognati victimas, boves nempe rufos, offerebant.” Id. p. 489.
Does not this seem to refer to the fall or destruction of Adam by the Serpent, and may it not, in some measure, account for the colour of Typhon and his sacrifices, that he was a murderer from the beginning, and delighted in blood ? and hence, probably, the Dragon, or Serpent, is called red Revel. xii, 3. ; this not being the natural colour of the Serpent. .
“Typhonis autem rufi nomine diabolum dexortæ ruggor, Egyptios intellexisse Claverius (Germ Antiq. lib. i. c. 31) e collatis veterum testimoniis abunde comprobavit.” Id. p. 505.
“ In the Sacontala (i. e. Indian Antiquities) the epithet of blood-thirsty is frequently applied to the Evil Demon.” Maurice's Indian Antiquities, vol. ii. p. 179. I am not quite certain what edition of Maurice's Antiq. these quotations are taken from.
It is worthy of remark, that the two principal words made use of in Scripture, to express divination, viz. wns and 318, have a manifest reference to the Serpent; and it is likewise very observable, that the Serpent had a part in alınost all the heathenish rites; particularly Plutarch mentions, “ in Alexandro, ubi Olympias Bacchi orgia repræsentans, angues ingentes ex hedera et cistis, (aut canistris,) mysticis proreptantes, ad augendam venerationem ostentabat.” See Spencer, tom. ii.836.
Hence, perhaps, it comes to pass, likewise, that the circle was so much attended to, as repre. senting the Serpent ; for Kircher observes, that, “vix ullum occurrit hieroglyphicum simulacrum, ubi non occurrat sphæricum aut circulare quidpiam,”
“A Serpent was adored in Egypt as an emblem of the Divine nature ; and in Cashmere there were no less than 700 places where carved figures of Snakes were worshipped.” Maurice's Ind. Ant. vol. ü. p. 291.
That the worship of Satan, and not improbably the worship of the Serpent, as the representative of Sutan, was amongst the oldest species of idolatry, may be learned from Voss. de Orig. Idolol. lib. i. c. 5, where he says; " ante animas humanas angelos divino honore affectos censeo, ante angelos bonos, principem malorum, quem xan ito año Satanam dicimus ; non solum tamen, sed una cum deo boni omnis fonte. Origenem hujus cultus derivo corrupta tum traditione tum ratione, -Noachidæ exinde duo sunt commenti principia, pari vel suppari potestate, boni unum, alterum mali,” &c.
And, as the doctrine of two principles undouhtedly took its rise from the corrupt tradition of the fall, anul gave occasion to the sacrifices which were offered to dæmons and evil spirits, to avert their malice, so it is observable, that, to use the words of Spencer, tom. ii. p. 1083, "præ cæteris numinibus ethnicis mala quævis averruncandi potestatem et honorem Apollini, dæmoni pessimo, tribuisse censeantur. Sic enim in hymno, quem ipsi cecinit, salutat Orpheus,
. Ω Βασιλέυ κακα παύων Απολλων.” .
He was, indeed emphatically styled Apollo, as being the destroyer of mankind; for which see Revel. ix. 11, where Abaddon and Apollyon are used as syonymous terms, both signifying the destroyer. Gale also remarks, (Court of the Gentiles, vol. i. book 2, c. 4,) "that Apollo is so named from anoddaw, to destroy, which exactly answers to the Hebrew 7W, Shad, the Devil's name, from 776, to destroy; whence, Deut. xxxii. 17, D'vw, to devils. We find the same name for substance given to the devil, Rev. ix. 11, Apollyon, i.e. a destroyer, according to the import of the Hebrew Abaddon. So that it is evident this name Apollo answereth exactly to the Devil's name 70, a destroyer.” It is remarkable, likewise, that Apollo, in the heathen theology or mythology, is supposed to have killed the Serpent, and thence was worshipped under the form of a Serpent. " In Epiro, in templo Apollinis Draco colebatur.” Alexand. ab Alexand. fol. xxv. p. 2. “Urbem (delum) Python ob interfectum Pythonem dictam comperimus. Nam et Pythius Apollo, et Pythia festa, et Ludi Pythii, et ipsa vates Pythia dicta, et Pythium oraculi locus.” Idem, fol. clxi. p. 2. .
"It is impossible to say in what country the worship of Serpents first originated. The Serpent was probably a symbol of the xaxodasuws, or evil genius ; and those whose fears led them to adore, by way of pacifying, the evil dæmon, erected to the Serpent the first altar. In succeeding periods its annual renewing of its skin, added to the great age to which it sometimes arrived, induced the primitive race to make it the symbol of immortality. Serpents, biting their tails or interwoven in rings, were thenceforwards their favourite symbols of vast astronomical cycles of the zodiac, and sometimes of eternity itself. And the Serpent, from the Mosaic tradition concerning its being more subtle than any other animal, became the emblem of wisdom.” Maurice's Ind. Antiq. vol. vi. 163.
But, But, it is most probable that the worship of the Serpent originated, as' Bryant observes, p. 6, in Chaldea, where 'the fall took place, and was propagated thence into the other parts of the world.
That the worship of the Serpent had taken place at the time of the Exod appears probable from Exod. c. iv. 3 : for, the reason why Moses's rod was changed into a Serpent seems to have been to show the superiority of the God of Israel over the prince of the air, who might be worshipped at Egypt under the image of the Serpent; for, as Lightfoot observes on the place, " Indiciim erat Mosem hæc minime fecisse ope diaboli, sed in eum potius potestatem accepisse, quod Serpentem, (expressissimum ejus typum,) pro lubito tractare potuit.” ..
Winder, in his History of Knowledge, vol. i. p. 42, observes, “ that our first parents, upon their fall, must obtain the notion of the existence of the devil; and this notion would be propagated, as well as the rest, by tradition, to the time of the dispersion by Noah himself. See Warb. Div. Leg."
And, as the deception of our first parents by the Serpent was most probably derived down by tradition, this might give rise to the early worship of it. " * The' Phænicians, as Eusebius informs us, worshipped their god under the form of a Serpent, which probably might be occasioned by the devil's ambition and tyranny'over men, that he would be worshipped among them in that very form wherein he had done so much mischief to the world. It was very carly in the world when the Phænicians and Egyptiuns did begin to adore their gods under the form of Seipents, for the beginning of it is attributed to Tauatus by Eusebius. And Heinsius observes, " non dubitandum sit, quin Pythius Apollo, hoc est, Spurcus ille spiritus, quem Hebræi Ob et Abadilon, Hellenistæ ad verbum Amulyokra, cæteri Atornáva dixerunt, sub hac forma, quâ miseriam humano generi'invexit, primo cultus sit in Græcia.” Stillingfeet's Orig. Sac. book iii. c. 3.
Delany, on Revel. vol. i. p. 81, observes thus; “ It is notorious that there is scarcely a nation under heaven which Satan hath not seduced, at sundry times, to the grossest and vilest idolatry, (even the idolatry of his own hellish worship,) in the figure and under the semblance of Serpents of all kinds."
“Et recte Grotius aliique observarunt, quod olim malas mentes, ipsumque adeo Cacodæmonem, sive Satanam adorabant, ut Arimanium Persæ, Cacodæmones Græci, Vejoves Latini, &c." Episcop, Instit. Theol. locum, c. 12. See, also, Maurice's Ind. Antiq. vol: ii. p. 175.
Now, it is observable, that Arimanius is most probably derived from DW, Harum, a name of the Serpent, Gen. iii. 1. And it is not improbable that the author of the wisdom of Solomon alludes to the worship of the Serpent in those words, c. xv. 4, " for, neither did the mischievous invention of men deceive us, nor an image spotted with divers colours, the painter's fruitless labour.” But, in c. xi. 15, he expressly makes mention of the worship of the Serpent. And it is farther observable, that “ Ahriman was, in fact, a deity among the Persians and other orientalists, and was symbolized by the great celestial Serpent, or Dragon of the Skies, the Karodaspor, or F.vil Genius of Persia." See Maurice's Ind. Ant. vol. iv. p. 725, 728.
To conclude, in the words of Dr Owen, in his History of the Serpent, p. 216, “ The Devil, who, under the shape of a Serpent, tempted our first parents, has, with unwearied application, laboured to deify that animal, as a trophy of his first victory over mankind. God having passed sentence upon the Serpent, Satan consecrates that form in which he deceived the woman, and introduces it into the world as an object of religious veneration. This he did with a view to enervate the force of the Divine oracle, the seed of the woman. Scarcely a nation upon earth but he has tempted to the grossest idolatry, and in particular got himself to be worshipped in the hideous form of a Serpent.”