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Kings, xvii. 16, the Israelites are said to have worshipped all the host of heaven, and to have served Baal. Now, that these Baalims were no other than demon-gods appears by their cutting and lancing themselves who worshipped them. 1 Kings, xviii. 28. For these tragic ceremonies are counted by those who treat about these mysteries as certain characters of demons. But this you shall have further confirined in due place, where the arguments may be better understood.
This distinction, also, of sovereign Gods and demons, I suppose, our Apostle alludes to, 1 Cor. viii. 6, 6, where he saith—" Though there be that are called Gods, whether in heaven or in earth : as there be* Gods MANY," (that is, Dii cælestes, sovereign deities;) “ fand LORDS MANY,” (that is, demons, presidents of earthly things.) “Yet, to us” Christians,“there is but one" sovereign “ God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we to him," (that is, to whom, as supreme, we are to direct all our services ;) “and but one Lord Jesus Christ,” (instead of their many mediators and demons,) “ by whom are all things" which come froin the Father to us, and through whom alone we find access unto him. The allusion, methinks, is passing elegant, and such as, I think, cannot be well understood, without this distinction of superior and inferior deities in the theology of the Gentiles; they having a plurality in both sorts, and we Christians bnt one in each, as our Apostle affirmeth. There wants but only the name of demons, instead of which, the Apostle puts Lords, and that for the honour of Christ, of whom he was to infer one Lord; the name of Christ being not to be polluted with the appellation of an idol. For had he said, "there be Gods many, and demons many," to keep up the opposition, he would have been obliged to say “to us, there is but one God," and " Sone demon." Or it may be he alludes unto the Hebrew name, Baalim, which signifies Lords ; and those Lords, as I told you, were nothing else but demons. * 801 mondo..
+ xos xupiou modo.. AasMoves etrex Boves.
THE GENTILES' DOCTRINE CONCERNING THE ORIGINAL OF DE
MONS-VIZ., THAT THEY WERE THE SOULS OF MEN DEIFIED, OR CANONIZED, AFTER DEATH.—THIS PROVED OUT OF HESIOD, PLATO, TRISMEGIST, PHILO BIBLIUS, THE TRANSLATOR OF SANCHONIATHON, PTUTARCH, TULLY.-BAAL, OR BEL, OR BELUS, THE FIRT DEIFIED KING; HENCE DEMONS ARE CALLED IN SCRIPTURE, BAALIM. DEMONS AND HEROES, HOW THEY DIFFER. DEMONS, CALLED BY THE ROMANS, PENATES, LARES, AS ALSO DII ANIMALES, SOUL GODS.- ANOTHER AND A HIGHER KIND OF DEMONS, SUCH AS NEVER DWELT IN BODIES: THESE ANSWER TO ANGELS, AS THE OTHER (viz. THE SOUL DEMONS) ANSWER TO SAINTS.
AND thus I have shewed you, (though but briefly, in regard of the abundance the arguinent would afford,) the nature and office of these demons, according to the doctrine of the Gentiles. I come now unto another part of this doctrine, which concerns the original of demons, whom you shall find to be the SOULS OF MEN DEIFIED AFTER DEATH. For the canonizing of the souls of deceased worthies, is not now first devised among Christians, but was an idolatrous trick, even from the days of the elder world ; so that the Devil, when he brought in this apostatical doctrine amongst Christians, swerved but little from his ancient method of seducing mankind.
Let Hesiod speak in the first place, as being of the most known, the most ancient. He tells us, that* “ when those happy men of the first and golden age of the world were departed this life, the great Jupiter promoted them
* Αυταρ επει μεν τουτο γενος κατα γαια καλυψεν
to be demons; that is, keepers and protectors, or patrons of earthly mortals, and overseers of their good and evil works, givers of riches,&c. and this” saith he, “is the kingly royalty given them.”
And hence it is that Oenomaus, quoted by Eusebius, calleth these demon-gods, * “Hesiod's Gods."
The next shall be Plato, who, in his Cratilus, says, that Hesiod, and a great number of the rest of the poets, speak excellently, when they affirm that good men, when they die, attain great honour and dignity, and become demons,t which is (saith be) as much as to say, I wise ones; for wise ones (saith he) are only good ones, and all good ones are of Hesiod's golden generation.
The same Platoş would have all those who die valiantly in the field “ to be accounted of the golden kind,” and|| “ to be made demons, and the oracles to be consulted how they should be buried and honoured ; and accordingly,** ever afterwards their sepulchres to be served and adored as the sepulchres of demons. In like manner should be done unto all who, in their life time, excelled in virtue, whether they died through age or otherwise.” This place Eusebius quotes,tt to parallel with it the then harmless practice of Christians, in honouring the memory of martyrs, by holding their assemblies at their sepulchres; to the end that he might shew the Gentiles that Christians also honoured their worthies in the worthiest fashion. But it had been well if, in the next ages after, this custom of Christians (then but resembling) had not proved the very same “doctrine of demons” which the Gentiles practised.
* 'Holodevos Deos. t Actuoves, i. e. daimones. * Aanuoves, daemones. Dai. mon in Greek means a demon; but daèmon means, one that is wise, knowing
Lib. 5. de Repub.
|| Aasporas effici. ** ως Δαιμονων ουτω θεραπευσομεν τε και προσκυνησομεν αυτων τας θηκας.
++ Lib. 13. Præp. Evang,
But I go on, and my next author shall be Hermes Trismegistus, whose antiquity is said to be very near the time of Moses. I will translate you his words out of his Asclepius, which Apuleius translated into Latin. There, having named Æsculapius, Osyris, and his grandfather Hermes, who were (as he saith) worshipped for demons in his own time, he adds further, that the Egyptians call them namely, the demons) holy animals,* and that amongst them, (namely, the Egyptians,) +" through every city, the souls of those are worshipped whose virtues are deified.” And here note, by the way, that someare of opinion that the Egyptian Serapis, whose idol had a bushel upon his head, was Joseph, whose soul the Egyptians had canonized for a Demon after his death.
Philo Byblius, the translator of Sanchoniathon, that ancient Phænician historian, who lived before the times of Troy, and wrote the Acts of Moses and the Jews, (saith Eusebius,) very agreeably to the Scripture, and (saith he) learned his story of Jerom-baal, a Priest of the God Jevo; Philo Byblius, (I say,) in a preface to his translation of this author, setteth down what he had observed and learned out of the same story, and might serve to help the understanding of those who should read it: namely, that all the barbarians, chiefly the Phænicans and Egyptians, of whom the rest had it, accounted of those for the greatest Gods, I who had found out any thing profitable for the life of men, or had deserved well of any nation; and that they worshipped these as Gods, erecting statues, images, and temples unto them. And more especially they gave the names of their Kings (as to the elements of the world, so also) to these their reputed Gods; for they esteemed the natural deities of the sun, moon, and planets, and those which are in these, to be only and properly Gods ; so that they had two sorts
* Sancta animalia. + Per singulas civitates coli eorum animas, quorum sunt consecratæ virtutes.
of Gods : some were immortals, and others were (as we may term them) mortalists.
Thus saith Philo Byblius, out of the Phænician history ; from which testimony we may borrow some more light concerning those Baalims in Scripture. For* Baal, or Belus, whose worship Jezebel, the danghter of Ithobaal, King of Tyre, brought into Israel, was a deified Phænician King of that name, as Virgil will tell us, in the verse concerning the Phænician Queen Dido.t
Nay, Baal, or, in the Chaldee dialect, Bel, (for all is one,) was the first King of Babel after Nimrod; and the first I (as it is written) that ever was deified, and reputed a God after death, whence afterwards they called all other deinons Baalim, even as because the first Roman Emperor was called Cæsar, thence were all the Emperors after him styled Cæsars. And it may be that this is part of
• Jerome on the 23rd Chapter of Ezekiel, writes :-Idolum autem Baal, sive Bel Assyriorum religio est, consecrata a Nino Belis filio in honorem patris. Also on Hosea. Ninus in tantam pervenit gloriam, ut patrem suum Belum referret in Deum, qui dicitur Hebraice Bel et in multis prophetis, maximeque in Daniele; et juxta Theodotionem sub Idolo Babylonis hoc appellatur nomine: Hunc Sidonii et Phenices appellant Baal.
+ Implevitque mero pateram quam Belus et ompes. A Belo soliti.
She filled with wine the bowl, which Belus and all her ancestors from Belus used.
Eusebii Chron. Chronicron Alexandrin. Seu. Fasti Siculi. Jerom. paulo post locum proxime citatum; Dicimus, inquit, exordium Dæmonis, imo hominis in Dæmonem consecrati: omnia enim Idola ex mortuorem errore creverunt. Idem in Isai xlvi. Quem (i. e. Baal) Græci Belum, Latini Saturnum dicunt ; cujus tanta fuit apud veteres religio, ut ei non solum humanas hostias captivorum ignobiliumque mortalium, sed et suos liberos immolarent. Cyrillus contra Julianum Lib. iii. versus finem, Primus (inquit) regnavit in Assyriorum terra [amp anal we sat UT EPOQgus apa Bnaosvir superbus et arrogans Belus, qui et primus hominum dicitur a subditis nomen Deitatis accepisse : Hic interpres vitiose transfert Arbelus et ubi mox sequitur Eita Bnaou yeyoyey o Niros, Interpres, Arbeli, &c. Lactantius Defalsa relig. C. 23. et ult. Originem Idolatriæ ad Belum refert.