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of which they must be ignorant as they were not taught by Zoroaster. It does not appear that he knew any thing about hell-fire, as the place of everlasting punishment for his angel of darkness and his disciples. Nor had he learned that his angel of dark. ness was to be the everlasting tormentor of the wicked in this place. He was also ignorant that hell was paved with the skulls of infants a span long. His creed does not recognize, neither, that it is necessary for people to be willing to be damned for the glory of God, in order to their being saved. As to his making God the author of evil or sin, he framed his system so as to avoid this absurdity. Being damned for Adam's transgression, divine retribution, three persons in one God, and other articles of modern theological discussion, Zoroaster seems to have known no more about, than about captain Symmes' theory of the earth. It deserves the serious consideration of the whole orthodox body, whether missionaries ought not to come from Persia and India here, to examine into the innovations and additions made in the creed of their founder, the great Zoroaster. But 1 must leave this, and other reflections arising from the above statements to be made by the reader.
We have now noticed some of the principal articles of Zoroaster's creed, and would ask every can-. did Christian the following questions. Where did Zoroaster learn that under the supreme God there were two angels, one the angel of light, and the other the angel of darkness, who is the author and director of all evil? When did the supreme God delegate his power to two angels, and out of the mixture of light and darkness they made all things that are? And where did Zoroaster learn, that where the angel of light prevails, there the most is good, and where the angel of darkness prevails, there the most is evil? Is it not plain, that he changed the good and evil gods
of the ancient Magian religion into two angels, and called one the angel of light, and the other the angel of darkness? But does a change of names alter the nature of things? But I ask further, where did Zoroaster learn, that at the resurrection, there is to be "a day of judgment" wherein just retribution shall be rendered to all according to their works? And where did he learn, that after the resurrection and day of judgment, "the angel of darkness, and his disciples shall go into a world of their own, where they shall suffer in everlasting darkness the punishment of their evil deeds?" Brethren, from what divine source did this arch impostor learn all these articles of his creed?-1st. Was it from the Old Testament scriptures? This you will not affirm, for intelligent orthodox men allow, that it does not contain such articles. If it does contain them, then you can find them there as well as Zoroaster, and we call on you to prove them from this book. 2d. Did Zoroaster learn such articles from the New Testament? This was impossible, for it was not in existence for more than six hundred years after the days of Zoroaster. 3d. Did Zoroaster learn them from God, when he pretended God spoke to him out of the midst of the fire? This cannot be affirmed unless you admit him to be a true prophet of the Lord. But he is declared the greatest impostor which ever arose, Mahomet excepted. 4th. Did Zoroaster invent these articles of his creed? No other alternative is left, but to admit this, or prove that he derived them from the Old Testament, or by special revelation from God. If he invented them, then he was the author of some of the principal articles of your creeds. This we think is indisputable. 5th. Do you say, your articles, so similar to his creed, were neither derived from him, nor from the Old Testament, but entirely from the New? This will not do, for even allowing
such articles to be clearly taught in the New Testament it is evident Jesus Christ and his apostles had not the honor of first revealing them to the world. Zoroaster the arch impostor had revealed them, and published them all over the East, six hundred years before Christ appeared. If such articles are found in the New Testament, Jesus Christ and his apostles were indebted to this impostor for inventing them. Should you say, that Jesus Christ and his apostles derived these articles from God by immediate revelation, permit me then to ask, who revealed them to Zoroaster six hundred years before the Christian era? Did God reveal them to him? If he did, why not allow him to have been a true prophet of the Lord? And why not frankly own, that Jesus Christ and his apostles did not first reveal such articles of faith to the world, but that God first revealed them through his great prophet Zoroaster? Perhaps you may say, such articles were communicated by inspiration to Christ and his apostles, and it is on their authority you believe them. Beware, I beseech you, of taking this ground, for this is saying, Zoroaster, a notorious impostor, invented articles of faith, which, six hundred years after their invention, God sanctioned as divine revelation. Was God indebted to an impostor for suggesting to him a religious creed suited to the Christian dispensation? For the honor of God, of Christ, and his apostles, yea, for the honor of Christianity, we hope you will not assert this. If Zoroaster learned the above articles of his creed from a divine source, it must have been from the Old Testament. But few will be found who will assert that it contains them, for this ground is abandoned by some orthodox intelligent men, and their defence is drawn from the New Testament. But if their defence can be made from the Old, we request the different articles be distinctly taken up and proved from
it. Please give book, chapter and verse, from which Zoroaster could learn them. Dan. xii. 2. is the most plausible text which can be adduced, from which he could learn the doctrine of endless punishment. This passage will be fully considered in the Second Part, to which I refer the reader. As to satan being a fallen angel, who deceived Eve, tormented Job, and has become the Christian's devil, we leave all to form their own opinion from the evidence which has been adduced.
Let it now be remembered that while the Jews dwelt in Canaan they knew nothing about the devil. If they did, it was merely by report, that the Persians and other nations believed in such a being. They had precepts, guarding them against witchcraft, idolatry, and all the abominations of the Canaanites, but not one guarding them against that almost infinite being whom Christians call the devil. How our orthodox brethren account for this I am unable to say. On my views, it is easily and rationally accounted for. The devil was the principle of evil deified, transformed by Zoroaster into an angel of darkness, and the Jews must go to Babylon to get acquainted with him. That the Jews spent seventy years in captivity there, is a fact disputed by no one. The question which then comes forward for consideration is-Did the Jews imbibe, during their captivity, and did they bring back from it, any religious opinions which were not taught in their sacred books? Were any of those opinions derived from the creed of Zoroaster, and was that now entertained concerning the devil of this number? To see how this matter stands we solicit the reader's attention to the following particulars.
1st. The Magian religion for many ages had been the "national religion of the Medes as well as of the Persians" as stated by Prideaux. About the time the Jews were in captivity at Babylon, Zoroaster flour
ished there, in reviving and improving it. Jahn, p. 391. thus writes respecting the time when the Jews were carried there." When at length admonitions ceased to be of any great avail, and every thing was growing worse and worse, the Israelitish commonwealth was overthrown, 253 years after their separation from Judah, and 722 before Christ. The people were carried away by the Assyrians into Gozan, Chalacene, the cities of Media, and into Assyria.
"The kingdom of Judah was overthrown 387 years after the separation, 588 before Christ, by the Chaldeans, and the people were carried captive to the banks of the river Chebar in Babylonia." Prideaux says, vol. i. p. 65. that the Jews were carried to Babylon in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, which according to his chronology was six hundred and six years before Christ. It was not for want of a fair opportunity, if the Jews did not imbibe opinions not found in their Scriptures.
2d. When they were carried to Babylon no particular place was appointed for them, but they appear to have been dispersed throughout the provinces of that vast empire. It was not with the Jews here, as with their forefathers in Egypt, a particular spot being assigned them, where they lived all together, and could fortify each other against a departure from the religion of Jehovah. Their dispersed condition rendered them liable to forget their own religion, and insensibly imbibe the opinions of those among whom they lived.
3d. The very religion of Zoroaster had many things about it calculated to lead Jews to embrace it. It recognized the first principle of their own, the supremacy of one God; was the religion of the king, his court and of all the nobility. It was popular throughout the whole empire. These, and other things noticed by Prideaux, which I forbear particu