To come to a regular inquiry into Satan's affairs, it is needful we should go back to his original, as far as history and the opinion of the learned world give us leave.

It is agreed by all writers, as well sacred as profane, that this creature we now call a Devil, was originally an angel of light, a glorious seraph; perhaps the choicest of all the glorious seraphs. See how Milton describes his original glory:

Satan, so call him now, his former name

Is heard no more in Heaven; he of the first,
If not the first archangel, great in power,

In favour and preeminence.-Par. Lost, lib. v.

And again, the same author, and upon the same subject:
Brighter ones amidst the host

Of angels, than that star the stars among.-Ib. lib. vii.

The glorious figure which Satan is supposed to make among the thrones and dominions in heaven is such, as we might suppose the highest angel in that exalted train could make; and some think, as above, that he was the chief of the archangels.

Hence that notion, and not ill founded, namely, that the first cause of his disgrace, and on which ensued his rebellion, was occasioned upon God's proclaiming his Son generalissimo, and with himself supreme ruler in heaven, giving the dominion of all his works of creation, as well already finished as not then begun, to him; which post of honour, say they, Satan expected to be conferred on himself, as next in honour, majesty, and power, to God the supreme.

This opinion is followed by Mr. Milton, too, as appears in the following lines, where he makes all the angels attending at a general summons, and God the Father making the following declaration to them:

Hear all ye angels, progeny of light,

Thrones, dominations, princedoms, virtues, powers!

Hear my decree, which unrevok'd shall stand.

This day I have begot whom I declare

My only Son, and on this holy hill

Him have anointed, whom you now behold
At my right hand; your Head I him appoint;
And by myself have sworn to him shall bow
All knees in heaven, and shall confess him lord;
Under his great vice-gerent reign abide
United, as one individual soul,

For ever happy: him who disobeys,
Me disobeys, breaks union, and, that day
Cast out from God and blessed vision, falls
Into utter darkness, deep ingulf'd, his place
Ordained without redemption, without end.

Satan, affronted at the appearance of a new essence or being in heaven, called the Son of God; for God, says Mr. Milton (though erroneously), declared himself at that time, saying, This day have I begotten him, and that he should be set up above all the former powers of heaven, of whom Satan (as above) was the chief, and expecting, if any higher post could be granted, it might be his due; I say, affronted at this, he resolved

With all his legions to dislodge, and leave

Unworship'd, unobey'd, the throne supreme
Contemptuous.-Par. Lost, lib. v.

But Mr. Milton is grossly erroneous in ascribing those words, This day have I begotten thee, to that declaration of the Father before Satan fell, and consequently to a time before the creation; whereas, it is by interpreters agreed to be understood of the incarnation of the Son of God, or at least of the resurrection: see Pool, upon Acts xiii. 33.*

In a word, Satan withdrew, with all his followers, malcontent and chagrined, resolved to disobey this new command, and not yield obedience to the Son.

But Mr. Milton agrees in that opinion, that the number of angels which rebelled with Satan was infinite; and suggests

* Mr. Pool's words are these: Some refer the words, this day have I begotten thee,' to the incarnation of the Son of God, others to the resurrection: our translators lay the stress on the preposition, of which the verb is compounded, and by adding ‘again,' (viz.) 'raised up Jesus again,' Acts xiii. 33, intend it to be understood of the resurrection; and there is ground for it, in the context, for the resurrection of Christ is that which St. Paul had propounded in v. 30. of the same chapter, as his theme or argument to preach upon.

Not that Christ at his resurrection began to be the Son of God, but that he was manifested then to be so.



in one place, that they were the greatest half of all the angelic body or seraphic host.

But Satan with his powers,

Innumerable as the stars of night,

-an host

Or stars of morning, dew drops, which the sun
Impearls on every leaf and every flow'r.-Ib. lib. v.

Be their number as it is, numberless millions and legions of millions, that is no part of my present inquiry; Satan, the leader, guide, and superior, as he was author of the celestial rebellion, is still the great head and master-devil as before; and under his authority they still act, not obeying, but carrying on the same insurrection against God, which they begun in heaven; making war still against heaven, in the person of his image and creature man; and though vanquished by the thunder of the Son of God, and cast down headlong from heaven, they have yet resumed, or rather not lost, either the will or the power of doing mischief.

This fall of the angels, with the war in heaven which preceded it, is finely described by Ovid, in his war of the Titans against Jupiter, casting mountain upon mountain, and hill upon hill (Pelion upon Ossa), in order to scale the adamantine walls, and break open the gates of heaven, till Jupiter struck them with his thunderbolts and overwhelmed them in the abyss. Vide Ovid. Metam. new translation :

Nor were the Gods themselves secure on high,
For now the Giants strove to storm the sky,
The lawless brood with bold attempt invade
The Gods, and mountains upon mountains laid.
But now the bolt, enraged the Father took,
Olympus from her deep foundation shook,
Their structure nodded at the mighty stroke,
And Ossa's shattered top o'er Pelion broke,

They're in their own ungodly ruins slain.-Lib. i. p. ix.

Then, again, speaking of Jupiter, resolving in council to destroy mankind by a deluge, and giving the reasons of it to the heavenly host, says thus, speaking of the demigods, alluding to the good men below:

Think that they in safety can remain,

When I, myself, who o'er immortals reign,

Who send the lightning, and heaven's empire sway,
The stern Lycaön* practised to betray?—Ib.

* Satan.

Since, then, so much poetic liberty is taken with the Devil, relating to his most early state, and the time before his fall, give me leave to make an excursion of the like kind, relating to his history immediately after the fall, and till the creation of man; an interval which I think much of the Devil's story is to be seen in, and which Mr. Milton has taken little notice of, at least it does not seem completely filled up; after which I shall return to honest prose again, and pursue the duty of an historian.

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Satan, with hideous ruin thus supprest,
Expell'd the seat of blessedness and rest,
Look'd back and saw the high eternal mound,
Where all his rebel host their outlet found
Restor❜d impregnable: the breach made up,
And garrisons of angels ranged a top;
In front, a hundred thousand thunders roll,
And lightnings temper'd to transfix a soul,
Terror of Devils. Satan and his host,

Now to themselves as well as station lost,
Unable to support the hated sight,
Expand seraphic wings, and swift as light
Seek for new safety in eternal night.

In the remotest gulf of dark they land,

Here vengeance gives them leave to make their stand;

Not that to steps and measures they pretend,

Councils and schemes their station to defend,
But broken, disconcerted, and dismay'd,
By guilt and fright to guilt and fright betray'd;
Rage and confusion every spirit possess'd,
And shame and horror swell'd in every breast;
Transforming envy to their essentials burns,
And beauteous angels frightful devils turns.

Thus Hell began; the fire of conscious rage
No years can quench, no length of time assuage.
Material fire, with its intensest flame,
Compared with this can scarce deserve a name;
How should it up to immaterials rise?
When we're all flame, we shall all fire despise.
This fire outrageous and its heat intense
Turns all the pain of loss to pain of sense.
The folding flames concave and inward roll,
Act upon spirit and penetrate the soul:
Not force of devils can its new powers repel,
Where'er it burns it finds or makes a hell;
For Satan flaming with unquench'd desire
Forms his own hell and kindles his own fire;
Vanquish'd, not humbl'd, not in will brought low,
But as his powers decline his passions grow;

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The malice, viper like, takes vent within,
Gnaws its own bowels, and bursts in its own sin &
Impatient of the change he scorns to bow,
And never impotent in power till now;
Ardent with hate, and with revenge distract,
A will to new attempts, but none to act;
Yet all seraphic, and in just degree,
Suited to spirits' high sense of misery,
Derived from loss which nothing can repair,
And room for nothing left but mere despair.
Here's finish'd Hell! what fiercer fire can burr?
Enough ten thousand worlds to overturn.

Hell's but the frenzy of defeated pride,
Seraphic treason's strong impetuous tide,
Where vile ambition, disappointed first,
To its own rage and boundless hatred curst;
The hate's fann'd up to fury, that to flame,
For fire and fury are in kind the same;
These burn unquenchable in every face,
And the word endless' constitutes the place.
O state of being! where being's the only grief,
And the chief torture's to be damn'd to life;
O life! the only thing they have to hate;
The finish'd torment of a future state,
Complete in all the parts of endless misery,
And worse ten thousand times than not to be!
Could but the damn'd th' immortal law repeal,
And devils die, there'd be an end of hell;
Could they that thing called 'being' annihilate,
There'd be no sorrows in a future state;

The wretch, whose crimes had shut him out on high,
Could be revenged on God himself, and die;
Job's wife was in the right, and always we

Might end by death all human misery,

Might have it in our choice, to be, or not to be.






THE Scripture is the first writing on earth where we find the Devil called by his own proper distinguishing denomination, Devil, or the Destroyer*; nor indeed is there any other

The meaning of the word Devil, is destroyer. See Pool, upon Acts xiii. 10.

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