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XXXV

SATANIC SYMBOL IN NATURE

." For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made.” -Romans i. 20.

THE evolution of Christian scholarship, during the recent decades, has wrought wonders in bringing about absolute harmony of science and religion. Under the microscope, and through the telescope, men whose hearts are trained as well as their brains, the great book of Nature is found to be a commentator and expositor of the Book of Revelation. They have not only studied and theorized about the science of religion; but by laws of induction and deduction have discovered a “Religion of Science," and when properly understood and applied is not out of harmony with the most orthodox faith.

Just as chemistry, geology, zoology, botany, astronomy, etc., whether seen in the protozoa or the highest type of man; the animalculi (creatures which propagate their specie by millions in a day) or the elephant; the electrons or Polarius (our North Star which is one hundred times brighter, larger, and hotter than the sun-all demonstrate laws, systems, design, purpose, and beneficence from the hand of a wise Father-Creator: so also are there other things in the physical world discovered by the student of nature which suggest an opposite being.

We remember that even the ground was cursed when sin entered with its defiling touch; where flowers and fruits did once abound has come forth a crop of vile weeds, thorns, and poisonous vines. These occupy and will conquer in any soil on the earth-the Poe or Mississippi valleys, without the diligent, unceasing, systematic toil of man. There must be a continuous fight against these omnipresent enemies—in garden, in vineyard, on farm. Clean out every weed, allow none to produce seed of its kind; then leave the land for one year untouched, and it will be a ragged wilderness. Fruits, grains, and vegetables left to fight with these enemies of the soil, and, without a single exception anywhere, they are soon choked out and will die. Unaided by the skill of the gardener, the end is inevitable.

But, observe again, fighting the soil demons and conquering them is only half the battle. There is not a tree, plant, shrub, vegetable, fruit, nor flower, in any latitude or zone, but that must contend with pests, parasites, and insects of all kinds. The herbivorous enemies are not limited to insects and creeping things, but actual diseases. Several of the choicest fruits have cancer; various blights have destroyed whole crops of cereals. Trees and vegetables have diseases that must be diagnosed and doctored as carefully as the family physician treats pneumonia or typhoid fevers.

But this is not all: whole orchards are killed by the caterpillar ; the boll-weevil has been known to devastate great sections in the wheat belt. The grub kills the corn as soon as it sprouts; the potato bug, the tobacco worm, the army worm, the Gypsy moth, celery worm, California scale, etc., on and on, until we find that every fruit, grain or vegetable is beset by some vermin destroyer which, if not removed or poisoned, will sting to death, or gnaw at the vitals until they wither and die. The horticultural kingdom must contend with imps of death until garnered safely in the harvest.

When we examine the animal kingdom we find the same conditions obtain; every animal from the bug to the buzzard, from the ant to the elephant, from mice to monkeys, have a bitter struggle for existence. A distinguished German professor has this to say, addressing the Fishery Association of Berlin: “War is the watchword of the whole of organic nature; there is a constant war of all organisms against outward unfavourable circumstances, and there is a constant war among the different individuals. The seed grain which falls into the ground, the worm crawling on the earth, the butterfly hovering over the flower, the eagle soaring high among the clouds—all have their enemies; outward enemies threatening their existence, and enemies eating their life and strength." Following these remarks he gave a long list of fish parasites sufficient to destroy the whole finny kingdom.

Another eminent naturalist, speaking of the perils of insect life, said: “With such savage murderers prowling among the shadows, life among our singing meadows is anything but a round of pleasure. The warfare is broadcast. Not even the fluttering butterfly is safe, but is pounced upon in mid-air, its wings torn off in mockery, and is then lugged off to some dark hole in the ground. And the bee returning to its hive is waylaid on the wing, and its body is torn open for the sake of the morsel of a honey-bag within."

Still another scientist tells us : “ The microscope shows that these murderous imps appear to have been made to inflict the most excruciating torture upon their victims."

He makes special mention of the sand hornet: “ He is the greatest villain that flies, and is built for a professional murderer. He carries two keen scimitars, besides a deadly poisoned poniard, and is armed throughout with a coat of mail. He lives a life of tyranny and feeds on blood.”

Every drop of water is swarming with hideous creatures which, if sufficiently magnified, would be frightful beyond description; the air we breathe is surcharged with death : infecting organisms which, if the system in the slightest degree becomes unable to eliminate them, bring on dreadful diseases. We must fight for our physical life daily. But for the immunity provisions of Providence, our bodies may be a charnal house, at any moment, of billions of bacilli hastening our end. These are stern facts which face every student of biology or natural history,

As a professor has well said, “ He, therefore, who objects to the teaching of the sacred Scriptures concerning Satan and demons, and appeals to the Cæsar of the natural world, can get no help, for that Cæsar echoes back with thunder tones that there are myriads of living, malignant and destructive organisms in every realm of nature, so far as is known, or so far as one can reason from analogy, that, like Satan and demons, trouble and torment the innocent as well as the guilty; that in some instances these malignant organisms appear to inflict suffering for the sheer delight of doing it."

What is the conclusion of the whole matter : The existence of Diabolus and demonia is a fact of Revo lation verified by both science and philosophy.

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