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CONTENT Ş.

Inquiry into the existence and interference of a superior evil

being, 137; no such being mentioned by Moses, 138. “ Devils,"

a term introduced into our translation of the Pentateuch without

authority, 139; terms, “ familiar spirits,” equally unjustifiable, 140.

Meaning of the word “ Satan” in several passages of the Old Testa-

ment, 141; the existence of a superior evil being not to be derived

from the Old Testament, 143; whence the Jews derived their opi-

nion of him, 144; and how the term Satan came to be used by the

evangelists, 145. Meaning of the term Satan in several passages.

the New Testament, 146; our Saviour expressed only the popular

opinion on this subject, 147; as is seen by various passages, 148–

151. The apostles held not the opinion that there was an evil:

being, 151–153. Archbishop Newcome and Mr. Wakefield, 153.

What the Devil really is, 155. Important conclusions, 155.

CONVERSATIONS

ON THE

DIVINE GOVERNMENT,

&c. &c.

CONVERSATION 1.

VICTORIN TO VOLUSIAN, I have a singular satisfaction oftentimes in recollecting a conversation which took place some years since at ******, the country-seat of our respectable friend, in which

you

bore no inconsiderable part, and in my opinion came off with more honour than those who were crowned in the Olympic games; an honour that, however, not to be attained without much labour and self-denial. But you gained a victory over yourself, and many narrow and inveterate religious prejudioes which you had the courage to renounce, and, notwithstanding obloquy and various worldly disadvantages, have ever since remained firm in the profession and worship of the one true God and father of the universe, as prescribed and practised by Jesus Christ.

In the account of the conversation to which I allude, it is stated, that the way of worship, which you, after much inquiry and deliberation, embraced,

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2 Conversations on the was that held forth to the English nation and to the church of England in particular, in the “Amendments, humbly proposed to the Consideration of those in Authority, of the Book of Common Prayer according to the Use of the Church of England. By Samuel Clarke, D.D. Rector of St. James’s, Westminster.” Such is the modest style, in which this excellent person speaks of what had been the fruits of many years labour and thought to promote the honour nd credit of the established church, and a purer worship of God in it. What farther information may be desired concerning this valuable manuscript work of Dr. Clarke, which, after his decease, was presented by his son Mr. Clarke to the British Museum, and deposited there, may be found in a Tract, entitled, “Conversations on Christian Idolatry.” . And I cannot forbear adding, that, from some facts reported at the close of that Tract, it may appear probable, that the pure worship of the One true God might silently and quietly, in a course of time, have then made its way * in France, had the first happy revolution in that country proceeded and continued as it began, and not been followed by such dire and violent convulsions. It affords, however, a pleasing omen of what may hereafter take place there in-more

favourable times. - But I have run out to a much greater length than

* See the French Constitution, pp. 371-375, the 2d edition, with corrections and additions, by Benjamin Flower. " " .

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