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“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. ii. p. 291.
That the worship of Satan, and not improbably the worship of the Serpent, as the representativeof Satan, 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 scaritozcão 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, anu 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 Βασιλευ 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 atrodası, to destroy, which exactly answers to the Hebrew 7w, Shad, the Devil's name, from 770, to destroy; whence, Deut. xxxii. 17, Dow", 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 xaxadauw, 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, 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 Erod 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.
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 mignt 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 Egyptians did begin to adore their gods under the form of Serpents, for the beginning of it is attributed to Tauutus by Eusebius. And Heinsius observes, " non dubitandum sit, quin Pythius Apollo, hoc est, Spurcus ille spiritus, quem Hebræi Ob et Abadilon, Hellenistæ ad verbum Aturvoára, cæteri Anadávce dixerunt, sub hac forma, quâ miseriam humano generi invexit; primo cultus sit in Græcia." Stillingfleet'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, ipsuinque adeo Cacodæmonem, sive Satanan adorabant, ut Arimaniun 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 on, 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 Kaxodaspor, or Evil 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."
"Article 17th, framed according to St Augustin's doctrine, which scarcely differs from that of Calvin ; and though it be expressed with a certain latitude, that renders it susceptible of a mitigated interpretation, yet it is very probable that those who penned it were patrons of the doctrine of absolute decrees.” Maclaine's Mosh. 8vo. vol. iv. p. 106.
“The composers of the Articles evidently intended such a latitude as would admit the assent of moderate persons of what was afterwards called the Arminian as well as of the Calvinistic persuasion, yet so as to exclude the extravagant notions of each party.” Tottie's Charge.
" But Calvin's assistance in framing the Articles was rejected.” Id. See, also, p. 324, 325.
“ The Synod of Dort had its partisans in the established Church of England, as well as among the Puritans; and its decisions, in point of doctrine, were looked upon by many, and not without reason, as agreeable to the tenour of the book of Articles established by law.” , Maclaine’s Mosh. vol. iv. 516.
Archbishop Wake, in a letter to the pastors of Geneva, upon the doctrine of universal grace, writes thus : – "Nom nimium curiosi sitis in iis determinandis, quæ Deus non admodum clare
revelaverit, quæ absque salutis dispendio tuto nesciri potuerint; quæ sapientissimi prædecessores nostri in omnibus suis confessionibus caute tractanda censuerunt ea moderatione, ut universi in iis subscribendis consentirent. Quæ in Articulis suis statuerit ecclesia nostra talia sunt, ut ab omnibus ex æquo admittantur. His contenta, nec ipsa aliquid amplius requirit curiosius statuere. Hic summa inter nos pax cum sobria sentiendi libertate conjuncta,” Vide Mosh, vol. v. p. 172.
“ In another letter to Professor Turretin, he writes thus, concerning the Divine decrees : “ Hoc apud nos tum ex mandatis regiis, tum ex diu servatâ (utinam semper servandâ) consuetudine fixum est atque stabilitum, neque a quoquam exquirere quod de his rebus sentiat, modo Articulis religionis publica authoritate constitutis subscribat, neque in concionibus aut etiam disputationibus theologicis, aliquid amplius de iis determinare, quam quod illi Articuli expresse statuant, et ab omnibus ad ministerii munus admittendis profitendum requirant.” Id. p. 176.
“ The first reformers in England, as in other European countries, embraced the most rigid tenets of predestination and absolute decrees, and had composed upon that system all the Articles of their religious creed.” Hume's History. vol. vii. This assertion is contradicted by the Articles themselves. See, also, p. 324, 325.
“Our Articles are asserted, by a more learned divine, to have been formed on the model of the Augsburgh Confession, vide Bulli Harm. Apost. Dissert. c. xviii. See this confession in the works of Grotius, tom. iv. which, by the way, may serve to acquit them of the charge of Calrinism. These testimonies might be enlarged from Bishop Ellys on the Liberty of Protestantism, 127, 152, &c.” Apthorpe's Review of Dr Mayhew's Remarks.
" A Calvini (viri licet excellentis ingenii, atque in multis de reformatione optime meriti) tum disciplinâ, tum doctrinâ (qua parte ipse a Melancthone aliisque instaurati purioris Christianismi magistris antiquioribas abierit) prorsus alienos fuisse primos reformationis nostræ authores satis constat. Nimirum positis his duabus hypothesibus, 1, Christum etiam eos, qui pereunt, vere redimisse ; 2, posse vere in Christum credentes, et per Christum justificatos, a fide et justificatione, suâ culpâ, penitus deficere atque æternum perire, (quæ manifesta sunt atque indubitata ecclesiæ nostræ dogmata ;) corruit tota Calvinismi, qui dicitur, moles et machina. Hoc unum contendimus: ex incertis varieque disputatis prædestinationis occultæ conceptibus, & speculationibus, non neganda esse hæc tam clara, fixa, et stabilita Scripturæ, ecclesiæ nostræ et Catholicæ dogmata ; sed potius ex his apertis et manifestis secreta illa ita explicanda, ut cum ipsis vere possint consistere.” Bulli Apolog. pro Harmonia, p. 57.
“The doctrine of a first and second justification (of the former of which St Paul must be always understood to speak, when he affirms it is to be had by grace, and not by works, and was peculiar to those who were converted from a state of paganism to Christianity, and was conferred upon them when they were received into the communion of the church, by baptism) is exactly