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swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish's belly...... And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land” (Jonah i. 17; ii. 1, 10). Our Lord himself acknowledged the bistorical character of this, when he said: “ As Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly, so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matt. xii. 40). Jesus, as the Lord of nature, once and again showed how all things obeyed him. One example will occur to most, viz. that of the stater in the fish's mouth : “ lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea and cast an hook and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money; that take, and give unto them for me and thee" (Matt. xvii. 27). From these passages it is plain that God could and did use the lower animals in as wonderful a way in order to good, as Satan here used the serpent in order to evil. Besides, we have proof that such influence has been permitted bim. It has not been appointed to him, but in virtue of his spiritual power he has not been hindered from taking it. The whole iniracle of the cure of the Gadarene demoniac testifies to this. The devils truly entered into the swine, and so influenced them, that they hastened over the cliffs into the sea, and were killed. Jesus did not send them into the swine, but he did not hiuder them from taking their own way. It is thus clear from scripture, that such a power of that which is spiritual over brute nature as was seen in the temptation, is more than once recognized in the word of God. This of itself strips the narrative of much of its strangeness. It indeed removes its chief difficulty. Even in man's relations with the lower animals we see something of the same kind : we see him leaving the impress of his mind and affections on the beasts put under him so strongly that they show the power of both in their actions. " In our common life, the horse, and the dog no less, are eminently receptive

of the spiritual conditions of their appointed lord and master, man.

With what electric swiftness does the courage or fear of the rider pass into the horse ; and so too the glad. pess or depression of its master is almost instantaneously reflected and reproduced in the faithful dog” (Trench). The poet carries these thoughts into these relations, and addressing Satan as “ruthless murderer of immortal souls," he pictures him as bringing down man,“ whose spirit goeth upwards,” to the level of the beasts, “whose spirit goeth downwards."

“ Thou play'st the lion when thou doost ingage
Blood-thirsty Nero's barbarous heart with rage,
While flesht in murthers (butcher-like) he paints
The saint-poor world with the deer blood of saincts.
Thou play'st the dog, when by the mouth profane
Of some false prophet thou doost belch thy bane.
Thou play'st the swine, when plunged in pleasures vile,
Some epicure doth sober minds defile.
Thou play'st the nightingale or else the swan
When any famous rhetorician
With captious wit, and curious language, draws
Seduced hearers; and subverts the laws.
Thou play'st the fox, when thou doost fain aright

The face and phrase of some deep hypocrite." (1580.) Such figures are no doubt fanciful; but may not our Lord have had in view the same aspects of truth when he characterized the crafty king as “that fox Herod," and the bitterhearted pretenders of his day as “a generation of vipers ?”

There are, however, many other difficulties connected with this transaction. Does what we know of the habits of serpents warrant us to speak decidedly as to its cunning being greater than the other “beasts of the field which the Lord God has made ?" There may be much in the noiseless way in which it winds its deadly coils around its victim, and much in the fascinating glance of its bright eye, to suggest something like this; but there can be no doubt that it is far less subtle in its mode of taking its prey than many other creatures are. There is no necessity here to make out a disposition of superior subtilty in order to corroberate

the words in Genesis iii. 1. Its craft is directly associated with the evil will which was now acting on it and through it, in the manner indicated above the will of him who was a “liar from the beginning." The first words spoken declare by their abruptness, point, and power to arrest the attention of the good, were it for no other purpose

than to put the speaker right, that the evil mind now acting on it was full of “all subtlety and all mischief." As thus used by Satan, the serpent was more subtle than any“ beast of the field.” There is literally nothing in this passage to indicate that superior craft and cunning are affirmed of the serpent, apart from its presence as completely under the control of spiritual wickedness. The complete identification of the beast with the bad angel is all that is referred to. Thus there is no break in the narrative, no filling in of an explanatory sentence between the former and latter parts of the verse, such as “ when the devil had entered into it be said unto the woman." The act of possession — of entering in and complete subjugation of the brute to the evil spiritual nature is not described. In some other cases the link missing here is supplied. Thus, in the account given by Mark (v.) of the demoniac at Gadara it is distinctly said: “ The unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine, and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea." So too, when he took complete control both of the mind and body of Judas, it is said " and after the sop Satan entered into him." “ He then, having received the sop, went immediately out, and it was night” (John xiii). The direct address of the Creator to the serpent has been surrounded with unnecessary mystery. “ And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field : upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life. And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed: it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (vs. 14, 15). The reptile and its indwelling evil spirit are now regarded as


The address proceeds on the recognition of this relation. It consists of two parts, answering to the two natures - the body of the reptile and the mind of the evil spirit. This direct mode of address to the lower animals has its illustration in the narrative of creation. Thus, to the fish of the sea and the fowl of the air God said: “ Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.” The expression of the will of the Creator became thus a law of their being. There is, moreover, the well-known revelation of a yet higher influence of God over his creature in 1 Kings xvii. 31. “Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And it shall be that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.In 2 Chron. vii. 13, he speaks of himself as one that can “ command the locusts to devour the land." And in Amos ix. 3, we have the striking words: “ Though they hide themselves in the top of Carmel, I will search and take them out thence; and though they be bid from my sight in the bottom of the sea, thence will I command the serpent, and he shall bite them."

Many other passages will readily occur to the reader, and though, as the last quoted, the words may be highly figurative in some cases, they yet illustrate the sovereignty met with in the curse pronounced upon the serpent.

The chief difficulty remains. The general and popular impression of the fourteenth verse has been, that there were no serpents before the time of our first parents, and that at the Fall some change was made in the structure of this creature. Is there anything in this verse which, of necessity, shuts us up to this impression ? We think not. There were serpents on the pre-Adamic earth, whose structure was analogous to the true serpents (Ophidia) of our day. Geological discoveries have put this as completely beyond doubt as that there were mollusca in those primeval times.

The Ophidia range froin the top of the chalki, up through the tertiary group of rocks, and culminate at the top of the

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highest member of that series — the Pleiocene.

« The earliest evidence,” says Professor Owen, “of an ophidian reptile has been obtained from the Eocene clay of Sheppey; it consists of the vertebrae indicating a serpent of twelve feet in length, the Palaeophis toliapicus. Still larger, more numerous, and better preserved vertebrae have been obtained from the Eocene beds of Bracklesham, on which the species Palaeophis typhaeus and the Palaeophis porcatus have been founded. These remains indicate a boa-constrictor-like snake, about twenty feet in length. Ophidian vertebrae of much smaller size from the newer Eocene at Hordwell, support the species Paleryx rhombifer and Paleryx depressus. Fossil vertebrae from a tertiary formation near Salonica have been referred to a serpent, probably poisonous, under the name of Laophis. A species of true viper has been discovered in the Miocene deposits at Sansans, South of France.” In Professor Owen's description, many years ago, of the species first named, one of those inductions in regard to associated forms of life occurred which are so often to be met with in natural science. We are well acquainted with the favorite food of living Pythons and Boas; and proceeding on this knowledge, he added : “ If, therefore, there had not been obtained direct evidence of both birds and mammals, in the London clay, I should have felt persuaded that they must have co-existed with serpents of such dimensions as the species of which the dorsal vertebrae are here described." There can, then, be no manner of doubt that serpents existed in pre-Adamic times, and that their structure and, by fair inference, their habits corresponded with those wbich now inhabit various parts of the world. This fact is, of course, fatal to all attempts to make out a case of direct interference with the structure of the serpent because of the transaction in Eden. Neither does it favor any speculations, professedly based upon the inductions of “philosophic naturalists” as to the serpent being the “ extreme of animal degradation," even its very type and exempler. “How remarkable the fact," says Hugh Miller, " that the reptile selected as typical

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