WE are highly gratified with the favorable notice brother J. Clark has taken, in his communication, page 12, of brother Trott's proposals to re-publish Elder Parker's “Third Dose,” with structures on the objectionable parts of the same, and we sincerely hope brother Trott may be sustained in the undertaking by a liberal patronage. We feel disposed to offer a remark or two on that part of brother Clark's letter is which he speaks of the horns.
Whether Elder Parker has, or has not denied the apostacy of the devil, we are not informed, excepting by what may be implied in brother Clark's remark; but if Elder Parker or others have denied that the devil was ever an inhabitant of that heaven which is the throne of God and the ultimate destiny of all the election of grace, we cannot perceive that such a denial would involve him or them in any such dilemma as brother Clark seems to suppose. We can perceive no necessity for horns or dilemmas, in sustaining the position we have hitherto maintained upon this subject; yet, lest our views should be misunderstood we will state as explicitly as possible that while we deny a heavenly origin to satan, and consider the views of Milton in his “Paradise Lost,” unscriptural, absurd and ridiculous, we do believe that the devil is a creature of God, more subtle than any of the beast that the Lord God made; yet we believe that he came a sinless creature from the hand of his Creator; that he has apostatized from his native sinless state, and since God put enmity between him and the woman, and his seed and her seed, he goeth about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. If the fact that the devil is what he is, is thought by brother C., or any other brother, to involve the monstrous doctrine that the devil is either self-existent and independent, or that he orginated in the throne of God, (according to Milton) and has apostatized to what he now is, is not the same difficulty involved in reference to the human family? Does any brother conclude because man has apostatized from his original innocence, and become degenerate and devilish in his nature and actions, that therefore he was once a member of the angelic host of the world of eternal and unfading glory, or that he is in his existence independent of God? Some have expressed a difficulty in conceiving how God could produce a creature unlike himself; but do they dispute that God has created innumerable creatures opposite to each other? “I form the light, and I create darkness, I make peace and create evil, I, the Lod, do all these things,” such are the words of the Creator himself. Light and darkness, peace and evil, heat and cold, are opposites, yet God has made them all; he has formed the smith that bloweth the coals, and he has created the waster to destroy. But does all this imply that God is like every thing that he has made, or that every thing he has made is like him? We believe not. Serpents, no less than doves, were essential parts of the general creation of God, and all were pronounced very good in the day of their creation; not because they were like God in wisdom, power and majesty; but because the workmanship was perfect, and the vast variety of creatures produced by the all creative voice were precisely such as God designed to make. The subsequent history of the creation of God, whether of men, devils or beasts, does not effect our argument; but if either men or devils have failed to fill that sphere for which they were designed by their Maker, it would involve an awful thought indeed. Whether it is, in the estimation of brethren, more compatible with the attributes and eternal perfections of God, to suppose that the alwise Creator, has been disappointed in regard tot he place or station of any part of his workmanship, so that those intended by him to bask in the uninterrupted enjoyment of ineffable glory, in the cloudless realms of interminable day, have now to bear the fury of his wrath, in storms of ceaseless vengeance so long as he is God, than to believe the simple history of the creation and government of the heavens and earth just as God has been graciously pleased to reveal them in the scriptures we leave others to decide. We wold not strive for the mastery, and certainly, our views on this point are not sufficiently popular to make us ambitious; but we honestly think the traditional notion of the apostacy of Satan, and especially the whimsical and lidicrous flights of Milton's dramatically written “Paradise Lost,” derogatory to the character of God, as challenging the wisdom and immutability of the Holy One. Whether any of the brethren named in this article will agree with us we know not; but we feel confident that the position we have assumed is perfectly tenable, and fully warranted by the scriptures of truth.
Elder Gilbert Beebe
New Vernon, N. Y.,
January 15, 1842.
Editorials Volume 1