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SATAN KNEELS TO GOD.
was in birth rather than in being. Embryonic himself, he could at best produce only embryons. Already had the prolific earth and the majestic skies quickened his mind with a faint notion of a Good Power who, being good, could not be the author of this terrific destruction. Whence then was it? It came from some Evil Spirit. These were but shadows (one somewhat light, the other very dark) in that infantile mind. Shadows so thin and evanescent were they, that to put them, as I am doing, into words, is to give them form and hue far too real and definite.
And yet something had brought him to his knees. It was for the first time. No! he had not kneeled to the Good Spirit. Only can the terror of the tempest move that hard and unimpressible heart.
Nevertheless, it was chaos, blind, confused, in some sense empty chaos, in the bosom of that wild man of the woods. What may come of that inner whirl, who can tell? It may sink into stolid stupidity. It may emerge into self-consciousness, producing somewhat clear recognitions. At present all is embryonic.
When the flames ceased for want of fuel, our chief was still sitting alone on the summit of a ridge of hills which ran parallel with the stream. There he sat day and night for I know not how long, darkly musing on the disastrous event. At the end of that time he felt as if he had received a blow in his inner nature. Exhausted with fatigue, worn out by intensity of sentiment, unfed, unrefreshed by water or sleep, he fell under the stroke, and lay prostrate on the soil,—a victim to a raging fever.
Days passed and nights passed; the sun and moon rose and set; fair weather returned; the air was alive with the flight and the buzz of insects; and the roar of the lion echoed
SATAN BROUGHT TO CONSCIOUSNESS.
from a distance: but nothing awoke him from his stupor of mind.
One morning at early dawn he opened his eyes; he opened them only to let the lashes languidly fall. Hours fled away, and he opened them again. The awakening power was his wife, who bent over him, and with her warm breath, her soothing hand, her kindling words, brought back his departing spirit, and he looked as if he saw some one; he looked again, and smiled.
His self-consciousness came and came in a less vague and impersonal form. He knew his wife, and, knowing her, he knew himself.
The knowledge in time gave distinctness to his mental conceptions of outer things, and by and by he knew the Good Spirit, and no less the Bad Spirit. But for the antithesis he could not have known either, and he knew both the better from their contrasted character and reciprocated influence.
In that knowledge I was truly born. I was the dark and evil shadow of that sunny reality. I was the opposite of that bright and pleasing dream. My darkness made the retention of that serene light possible. But for me, the chief must have attributed the devastating storm and the consuming conflagration to the Good Spirit. The act would, with this infant of barbarism, have extinguished the sole glimmer of hope and trust he had. Out of that glimmer, thus preserved, sprang religion. And thus in those primordial days I was not an unessential element in the first acts of worship by which man's spirit lifted itself up toward the descending spirit of God.
I have revealed the secret of my birth. I am a child of the hurricane and the deluge and devastation and fever and suffering and woe. The womb that bore me is the human mind in its half chaotic state, as occasioned by external calamity and internal meditation. Human in my birth, I am human in my character. As the sunderance between evil and good, darkness and light in man, is never exact and complete,
SATAN BECOMES ADULT.
I derive from my parentage a streak or two of sunshine; but as I am in virtue of my existence the contradiction of good, I share in all that is bad and dark in human nature. Those evil dispositions are exaggerated by being seen through the darkened medium of fear and dread. A terrified imagination throws my bad qualities into distorted and monstrous proportions. And ever as a period of trouble and distress passes, in tempest, war or famine, over the earth, I am seen by the discoloured eyes of mortals in hues the deepest and features the most repulsive.
Born together with my twin brothers and sisters in a state of barbarism, I passed unknown ages in unconscious or half unconscious ignorance, stupidity and vice. By degrees, the bright side of nature opened my eyes slenderly, and I dimly surveyed the universe around me, without clearly knowing what it was. Then came the ministry of storm, tempest, thunder and lightning, and those terrible forces called forth my energies even more effectually than the sunshine. I was assailed by the beasts of prey and had to fight for life. Here was a great educational discipline. These conflicts, however, unfolded the lower, the ruthless, the ferocious tendencies of my nature. Looking back from what I am, I may say that then first I became devilish. What, however, still more developed in me the diabolical, was my struggle for food, which I had to carry on against dearth, famine, sickness, pestilence, human competitors and deadly animals. Most of all do I owe my evil propensities to a kind of corporation called Shamans, who bent their knees to me first from fear, and then from awe, and lastly from self-interest. They proceeded in their timorous adulations for successive ages, until they and I grew first familiar, and then associates in sustaining superstitions which were as profitable to them as they were pleasing to me.
SATAN'S DIRECT AND INDIRECT EDUCATION.
The Shamans fanned my pride, and I filled their purse, both of us meanwhile losing the little manhood we had, and gaining more and more of the mean, the sordid, the astute, the selfseeking. And when ordinary means failed to reward our common efforts, we took to force, cruelty and fraud. Ere very long they became consummate hypocrites, and I became purely diabolical. In this state of thorough depravity we acted one on the other for untold centuries, until life was no longer sustainable on evil, and we took a turn for the better. How far my educators improved I venture not to say, but certainly I have not wholly failed to keep step with the general march of humanity on toward higher forms of life. Such, at least, has been the effect of the better principles and impulses of my nature, that I now desire to sink my fiercer and darker qualities, and to rid the world of the pestiferous delusion that I am an individual and everlasting embodiment of sin and malignity. It is therefore with complacency that I see bodies of men who in former days withstood popular education, busily engaged in its promotion. Let them take encouragement from my example. When Satan turns schoolmaster, the day of general culture is beginning to dawn. In this honourable character I shall be recognized at least by you, my attentive and diligent pupil.
The education through which I have gone has been indirect as well as direct. Of the latter I have given a brief description. The former has operated on me only through others. The encouragement of the idea of a personal devil tends to produce and perpetuate one. The features ascribed to me by sacerdotal authorities become living and concrete realities in vulgar minds. This creative operation proceeds even at present on a very large scale, especially under Romanist influences, and ever as my ghostly educators and their pupils stand low in the scale of civilization, does my character assume more repulsive traits and a more murky hue. "In the year 1861, at Morzine, at the south of the Lake of Geneva, there might be seen in full fury an epidemic of diabolical possession
ROMANISM FOSTERS AND AGGRANDIZES SATAN.
worthy of a Red-Indian settlement or a Negro kingdom of . West Africa-an outburst which the exorcisms of a superstitious priest had so aggravated, that there were a hundred and ten raving demoniacs in that single village. The following is from a letter written in 1862 by Mgr. Anouilh, a French missionary bishop in China. "Would you believe it? Ten villages have been converted. The devil is furious and deals around heavy blows. During my fortnight's preaching, there have been five or six demoniacs. Our catechumens with holy water drive away the devils and heal the sick. I have seen marvellous things. The devil renders me great services in my efforts to convert the pagans. As in the days of our Lord, though the father of lies, he cannot help telling the truth. Cast your eye on that por demoniac, wrung with agony and shouting, Why do you preach the true religion? I cannot endure your taking from me my disciples.' 'What is your name?' asks the catechist. After several refusals he says, 'I am Lucifer's envoy.' How many of you are there?' 'Twenty-two.' Holy water and the sign of the cross delivered that wretched creature." *
-Whence this caricature of me and the frenzy of those poor ignorant maniacs-whence this dishonour to religion, but from the gross fanaticism of this episcopal preacher of what ought to be the simple, sublime and practical verities of the Sermon on the Mount? In truth, I am made what I am by ignorance, passion, dupery and superstition. Such was my education. Such, in part, is the influence to which I am, alas ! still subject.
* Primitive Culture, by Ed. B. Taylor, Vol. II. p. 129.