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From these reflections we turn to considerations identified with our future labors. Another volume of the Harbinger is called for by most, if not by all our supporters and contributors, who have urged upon us its continuance. If they desire to know anything concerning the character of its contents, we can only refer them to the previous volumes, as indicating what the ensuing volume is likely to contain. That it will not be inferior, in any respect, to its predecessors, as to its matter or arrangement, or in its earnest pleadings for the truth, we can confidently assume, upon good and substantial evidence.
It is well known that this periodical sustains a different position to that of
any other in Great Britain. Its articles comprehend mainly, at least - the thoughts and free inquiries of others rather than our own. Nevertheless we generally, though not always, approve of what is presented to our readers. But the great design of this effort is to advance the claims of the gospel of Jesus upon the attention of the world, and to plead for Primitive Christianity unconnected with human traditions. We desire to learn this beaven-born science as it came from the lips of Jesus and his holy Apostles 1800 years ago, and to uphold the Word of God in its integrity, as the only rule of faith and practice.
We may be permitted to say, without incurring the charge of egotism, that we commence this volume with as much zeal as we have felt at any former period, with a little more experience, a deeper conviction of the truth for which we contend, and of the importance of the position occupied by the Reformation-and with as firm reliance on the wisdom and grace from above. Hitherto our efforts have been successful for good, and we entertain the conviction, that for the future they will not be in vain. In the midst of our engagements, we feel that this undertaking is no sinecure.
We are greatly indebted to Brethren A. Campbell, Professor Pendleton, Dr. Richardson, W. Scott, J. B. Ferguson, and many others in Great Britain and America — whose names are doubtless familiar to our readers for their contributions to the pages of the Harbinger. These brethren, with some hundreds of thousands in different parts of the world, are pleading for a restoration, in theory and practice, of primitive Christianity. We are with them in all that is essential for the realization of this object. Whether we succeed or not, our course is onward with this periodical, and we hope will remain so, until events shall declare that the Harbinger is no longer needed, or acceptable to the brethren.
British Millennial Barbinger.
THE SPIRITUAL UNIVERSE.—No. VII.
SATAN'S KINGDOM. This is no hallucination—no blunder of the pen--no figment of the imagination. It is a solemn and awful reality. The great Revealer of the secrets of eternity-the Light of the World has himself so denominated a portion of this universe. It is, on his own declaration, as much a fact as Christ's kingdom. Both are princes. Nay, they are both kings; and as kingdom and king are correlative terms, the one implies the other. But does any one ask for the proof? Here it is. I presume the Lord Jesus Christ will be admitted as competent authority in this case. He not only admits the fact of such a kingdom, but argues from it as from any generally established and conceded fact. “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city and house divided against itself shall not stand And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself. How, then, SHALL HIS KINGDOM STAND ?"**
The Jews, as indicated by their Scribes and Pharisees, equally with the Christian people, recognized “the Prince of Demons" and his kingdom, and very foolishly represented the Messiah as casting out demons by the power of their own king, Beelzebub, one of the appellatives of Satan.
But we need not argue the case as though any one doubted it. The territory of his kingdom is more extensive, on this earth, than the Messiah's present kingdom. It is, also, a well ordered kingdom. Satan has his armies-his hosts and agents—as well as the Lord our King. “ The Devil and his Angels," are a well compacted government. Hence, Christians have not to wrestle merely against flesh and blood," but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against wicked spirits in the regions of the air." Hence this Prince Beelzebub, this Prince of Darkness, this Prince of the powers of the lower heavens, or the air, works with or by men--" the children of disobedience”-in extending his empire and in assailing that of the “ Prince of Righteousness and Peace.”
But we must attend to his names and titles. His most ancient and most common official characteristic name is that of Satan. He had that title in the days of Job, whose nativity, according to Hales and our best chronologists, antedates that of Abraham one hundred and twenty-two years. Job's extreme age of 280 years corresponds with the era of Serug, the grandfather of Abraham. He was familiarly known by the name of Satan when Moses found the Book of Job in the land of Midian.
* Matthew, Mark, and Luke report this statement-Matt. xii. 25, Mark iii. 24, Luke si. 17.
He is never called Devil, in the sacred canon, from Adam to the birth of the Messiah. It is first found in the history of the temptation of the Lord Messiah ; and as the term indicates, he appears there as a Devil, or an accuser, a calumniator, a tempter.
He was, in his moral character, known and designated as the original LIAR, DECEIVER, and MURDERER, from the commencement of our race. His titles are, “ Prince of this World, "' « Prince of Darkness," " Beelzebub,” “ Belial,” “ Serpent,” “ Tormentor,” “ Prince of the Power of the Air," " the God of this World," &c.
“Satan" is, par eminence, his most comprehensive, as well as his most common and most ancient name. We find it in the first chapter of Job, the oldest book ever written known to the world. We also find it in the last chapter of the Apocalypse. It is found some forty-four times in the Old and New Testaments, and indicates, that from the creation of this world to the end of it, he is the immutable enemy or adversary of God and men. Literally, he is Ho SATANAS“ The Adversary.” “ Your Adversary, the Devil, goeth about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour."
He is as certainly a fallen spirit, as we are fallen men. The Messiah informs us that “he abode not in the truth ;' that he was the original liar. That he was at first a celestial prince of very high rank amongst the angelic peers, is a logical inference from sundry hints and allusions found in the New Testament. But he alienated his admiration and love from God, to the admiration of himself. His sin was essentially an undutiful, an inordinate selfishness, and seeking of his own glory insubordinate to the glory of God. On his expulsion from the Divine Majesty, his selfishness grew into a perfect enmity against God and his former kindred spirits, and now his hatred of God and of man is intense, implacable, commensurate with his whole power.
He and his angels that participated, or even sympathized with him, were driven from the lofty heavens-from the divine presence and confederated against God, not in his personality, but in his works. Hence our fall and expulsion from Paradise, and all the ills and evils consequent thereupon. By one man, seduced by him, sin, with all its woes, came into world.
The two, the only two active principles in our nature, in all rational nature, are love and hatred. These are two all-controlling, all-pervading influences in the moral universe. The heart, and not the head, is the fountain of life and the spring of all moral actions. It is, indeed, the fountain of all animal and moral life. Our volitions and our actions are but the issues of the heart. Well and truly spoke the wise man when he said, “ Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.” Love is the great centripetal law of the moral universe, and hatred the centrifugal.
Love is, in truth, the all conservative principle in the empires of Jehovah. God himself is infinite, eternal, and immutable love; and hence originated the universe and all its order, grandeur, beauty, and happiness. Creation but found a vent for Infinite benevolence. In communicating so much of grandeur and glory-so much of beauty and blessedness-to his creatures, his spiritual and moral offspring, divine benevolence graduated rank above rank of being, from the mere vegetative animal up to the angelic hierarchies, burning in intellectual and moral splendor and blessedness, to such an eminence as made pride, ambition, and rebellion merely possible; and in order to infinite and eternal blessedness, made voluntary subordination essential to glory and creature happiness. Hence sin was born. Satan and sin will, therefore, be associated in eternal infamy.
His love, when his aspirations were frustrated, was converted into immutable hatred. Hence, to the fulfilment of all his power, he became the adversary of God and of all who did not sympathize and coalesce with him in his rivalry and ambition. Many angels took part with him in his rebellion, and with him those ranks “ that kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation,” (proper position in the universe,) “ he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness"—the awful hiding of his face-"unto the judgment of the great day.” Here revelation closes on this catastrophe, and here, to us, the curtain falls.
Meantime, Satan the tempter, has also become the accuser of the brethren. Hence he asked, most impiously, “ Does Job serve God for nothing? Hast thou not made a hedge around him, about his family, and about all that he hath on every side? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased. But put forth thy hand now and touch all that he hath, and see if he will not curse thee to thy face?" The Lord gave Satan power against him, and though commencing with all his malice and stratagem, he failed in every assault. Job was tempted, but sinned not. So commences the history of Satan under this his appropriate name.
The empire of Satan is immensely large and powerful. He is “the god of this world.” He is the prince of innumerable legions of demons; he has all the spirits of those that died in their sins, together with all the fallen angels, under his reign and government. His is the second great empire in the universe. How true it is, that Christians wrestle not against mere flesh and blood,“ but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against wicked spirits in the regions of the air."
But the great and important question is, How carries he on this government? -how influences he the children of men? Paul, indeed, gives us some light on this subject, and informs us that he was not ignorant of his devices. As we sometimes say, he does not always show his cloven foot, nor make himself sensibly and visibly present with us.
We may, from all the developments of the Bible, learn that he tempts not by actual contact, but by argument and motive, direct and indirect. He has studied human nature more than all the sons of men. He comprehends man, every man, more than any one man comprehends himself, and addresses him in perfect harmony with his nature.
Our premises, indeed, are more than sufficient for these conclusions. We have many instances of his temptations detailed in the Holy Scriptures. A few of the more prominent must and will suffice to satisfy every reasonable and intelligent inquirer. Take the cases of Mother Eve, of Job, of David, in numbering Israel, of the Saviour in the wilderness, of Ananias and Sapphira, of Peter in the last scenes of the Messiah's life.
In analyzing these, we observe that the temptations were in words, actions, or suggestions, suited to the prevailing passions, infirmities, or exigencies of the tempted.
The ancient familiar companion of man, once more subtle and ingenious than any other species of the brutal race-now, since its metamorphosis into a serpent, much fallen and degraded—was selected as the medium of communion with woman. Eve, already as familiar with that creature as any lady since has been with a parrot or a lap-dog, would not be startled at such a conversation as was opened by Satan, through that companionable creature. Had they been strangers to each other before, Satan would but have defeated himself by employing a dumb brute, that for the first time it ever spoke, only uttered the sug
gestions of Satan incarnate. It was, indeed, most probably an incarnation; but the policy was to select a well known and companionable animal, whose person and language were so familiar as to be listened to without a single suspicion of guilt, of fraud, or fiction in the case. I need not say, that Satan had already become a proficient in the study of human nature, in the person of both Adam Eve. He, therefore, sought an opportunity in the absence of Adam, and in harmony with the delicate sensibility and inquisitive curiosity of a woman of fine imagination and great impressibility, most eloquently addresses her on the unreasonableness of her construction of the inhibition touching “the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil."
He pays a due respect to the natural love of novelty-to the goodness of God in all other respects--and only questions the meaning of the oracle, insinuating a doubt, not as to the goodness and truthfulness of God, nor as to the certainty and authority of the inhibition, but merely as to her construction of it. “ Yea! hath God said you shall not eat of this most beautiful and charming tree? Impossible! God knows that in the day you eat thereof you shall be as a god, discerning both good and evil!!"
Suiting his action to his words, he puts forth his hand, and snatching the fruit, began to eat himself. On seeing him delight in the luxury, and no harm following, under the impulse of her own curiosity, beguiled by the tinsel of false eloquence, and allured by the smiles of the tempter, she hastily put forth her hand, plucked and eat. But, alas ! how soon her eyes were opened, and with what shame she saw the halo of glory in which she was enveloped fading away, and herself standing like the wick of a suddenly extinguished lamp, divested of the glory and beauty of light.
I need not dilate upon the catastrophe. She was doomed to sorrow and anguish—to travail and ath; and the medium of delusive eloquence through which she parlied with Satan and ruin, is transformed into a serpent, and prostrated to wallow in the dust. Such was the first temptation of this fallen adversary of God and of man.
The next we shall note is the case of Job. He envied and hated this good and perfect man-one that feared God and hated evil. He was the greatest of Eastern princes, and the most prosperous of all his contemporaries. A renowned patriarch and a model saint, he was peculiarly an object worthy of his enmity.
He had also studied his character, but saw no prospect of success in any ordinary temptation. He felt himself as if challanged to assail him. His natural affection for his family, and his large estate, were the most likely means of his success; and, therefore, he machinated the ruin of these. He showed himself possessed, not only of the most crafty wiles, but of immense power over all the agents of destruction. He successfully availed himself of all these. Misfortunes and calamities are made to tread on the heels of one another, but Job maintains his piety and integrity. A deep and all-pervading sense of his own unworthiness and original poverty, with a profound veneration for the justice and goodness of God, were all-sufficient to his triumph over all his losses. While the temptation of Satan was superlatively crafty and wicked, the patience of Job, and his resignation to the will of God, made him triumphant in the midst of a long series of unprecedented calamities. In all his trials," he sinned not, nor charged God foolishly."
The next case is that of David. It is differently reported. In 2 Sam. xxiv. 1, it reads, “ And again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go number Israel and Judah.” To which