Is a Hebrew word, and signifies an adversary, or enemy, and is commonly applied in Scripture to the devil, or the chief of the fallen angels. “By collecting the passages,” says Cruden, “where Satan, or the devil, is mentioned, it may be observed, that he fell from heaven with all his company; that God cast him down from thence for the punishment of his pride; that, by his envy and malice, sin, death, and all other evils, came into the world; that, by the permission of God, he exercises a sort of government in the world over his subordinates, over apostate angels like himself; that God makes use of him to prove good men and chastise bad ones; that he is a lying spirit in the mouth of false prophets, seducers, and heretics; that it is he, or some of his, that torment or possess men; that inspire them with evil designs, as he did David, when he suggested to him to number his people; to Judas, to betray his Lord and Master; and to Ananias and Sapphira, to conceal the price of their field. That he roves full of rage like a roaring lion, to tempt, to betray, to destroy, and to involve us in guilt and wickedness; that his power and malice are restrained within certain limits, and controlled by the will of God. In a word, that he is an enemy to God and man, and uses his utmost endeavours to rob God of his glory, and men of their souls.”
More particularly as to the temptations of Satan. 1. “He adapts them to our temper and circumstances.–2. He chooses the fittest season to tempt: as youth, age, poverty, prosperity, public devotion, after happy manifestations; or when in a bad frame; after some signal source; when alone, or in the presence of the object; when unemployed and off our guard; in death.–3. He puts on the mask of religious friendship, 2 Cor. 11:14. Matt. 4:6. Luke, 9:50. Gen. 2:4. He manages temptation with the greatest subtlety. He asks but little at first; leaves for a season in order to renew his attack.–5. He leads men to sin with a hope of speedy repentance.–6. He raises suitable instruments, bad habits, relations, Gen. 3. Job, 2:9, 10.
Charles Buck (1771-1815) was an English Independent minister, best known for the publication of his “Theological Dictionary”. According to the “Dictionary of National Biography”, a Particular Baptist minister named John C. Ryland (1723-1792) assisted Buck by writing many of the articles for the aforementioned publication. One may conclude, based not only Buck’s admiration for his friend Ryland, but also on the entries in his Theological Dictionary, that he stood head and shoulders with the High-Calvinists of his day.