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that which Philo Byblius, out of Sachoniathon, would tell , us, that the barbarians, especially the Phænicians, &c.
gave names from their Kings to such as were canonized after death. For so we see here, that the Babylonians, and the neighbouring countries, which spoke the Hebrew tongue, or some dialect thereof, called all demons Baalim, from the first demon or deified King in the world, Baal or Belus. For at the time when Belus reigned in Babel, Phænicia, with the neighbouring people, was under the kingdom of Babel, whence may seem also to have come their community of language and ceremonies. And here note a wonderful mystery--that old Babel, the first pattern in the world of ambitious dominion, was also the foundress of idols,* and the mother of the fornication and abominations of the earth.
And because we have fallen upon the naming of Demons, let us observe another mystery of names, out of Plutarch (De defect. orac.) which may help us ont of, or prevent some difficulties, namely, that “ demons are sometimes called by the names of those celestial Gods whose ministers and proctors they are, and from whom they receive their power and divinity; as Apollo's demon, Apollo; Jupiter's demon, Jupiter; and so the rest.”+ To which is agreeable what Eusebius #quotes out of Diodorus, viz., that “the Egyptians affirmed such as had been great benefactors when they lived, to be deified after their death, and some of these to be called by the very names of the celestial Gods."
The same Plutarch in the same place doth acquaint us with this pretty conceit, which being to the purpose, I will not omit; namely, that the souls of men look degrees after death; first they commenced heroes who were as Probationers to a demonship; then after a suitable time demons; and after that, if they deserved well, * Jer. 1. 38.
Is. xlvii. 12. ή ω γαρ εκαςος θεω συντετακται, και παρ' ου δυναμεως και τιμης ειληκεν, απο τουτο φιλει καλεισθαι·
I Præpar Evang. lib. iij. cap. 3.
to a more sublime degree. Howsoever it be, demons and heroes differed but in more and less antiquity; the more ancient heroes being called demons, and the younger demons, heroes.
But that we may return again more close to the matter in hand, this order of demons, or soul-gods, as I may call them, found place in the religion of the elder Romans, who called them Penates, Lares, and Manii Dii; and when once they began to canonize their deceased Emperors (which was from the time of Augustus) they called them divi, or gods, which word before that time was more general. Tully, in his second book concerning laws, * shall be my witness, that his countrymen acknowledged this distinction of sovereign gods, and soul-deified powers; for there you shall find this law.t “Let them worship the gods; both those who were ever accounted celestial, and those whom their own merits have advanced to heaven.” And again, I “let the rights of separate souls be kept inviolable, and let them account the deceased worthies as gods.” Would God the present Christian Romans had not renewed this law.
Yea so strongly was this doctrine embraced amongst the Gentiles, that some of their latter Theologists thought that even the souls of wicked men and tyrants had a power after death, and that of these came evil demons § which hurt men; and yet to these they ordained temples and sacrifices to keep them from hurting them, as well as to the good demons for helping them. But the ancients gave this honour to the souls of virtuous men only.
Thus have you heard the original of demons according to the ancient and general opinion of the Gentiles. But besides these demons whose original you have heard,
* De legibus. + Divos, et eos qui Cælestes semper habiti, colunto: et ollos quos in cælum merita vocaverint.
Deorum manium jura sancta sunto. Hos letho datos Dios habento.
$ Mali demones.
(I mean besides soul-demons and canonized mortals) their Theologists bring in another kind of demons more high and sublime, which never had been the souls of men, nor ever were linked to a murtal body, but were from the beginning, or without beginning always the same. So Apuleius tells us in his book on the god of Socrates, saying.* " there is another and a higher kind of demons, who always having been unconnected with bodies may be regarded as peculiar powers. Plato thinks, that froin these more exalted demons men are supplied with witnesses and guardians." This sort of demons doth fitly answer and parallel that sort of spiritual powers which we call Angels, as the former of soul-demons those which, with Roman Catholics, are called saints.
THE MANNER AND WAY OF WORSHIPPING THE DEMONS AND
RETAINING THEIR PRESENCE, VIZ., BY CONSECRATED IMA-
BUT lest I might seem to have no measure in raking up this Ethnical dunghill, I will now leave the theology
* Est et superius aliud augustiusque Dæmonum genus, qui semper a corporis compedibus et nexibus liberi, certis potestatibus procurentur. Ex hac sublimiori Dæmonum copia autumat Plato singulis hominibus in vita agenda testes et custodes singulos additos.
of the original of demons, and shew you yet another piece of that doctrine, namely, concerning the manner how deinons were to be worshipped, and as it were brought to the lure of men, when they had occasion of devotion with them; and this was done by consecrating of images. This you shall hear from an ancient author, and passing skilful in the mysteries, even Hermes Trismegistus, who in his Asclepius speaketh, in English thus: “It is a wonder (saith he) beyond all wonders, (and he saith truly) that man should find out a way to make gods; yet because (saith he) our forefathers erred much through unbelief concerning deities, and had small regard of religion and divine worship; therefore they devised an art to make gods, (he meaneth images) and because they could not make souls, (he means to these senseless bodies) therefore they called the souls of demons and angels, and put them into their images and holy mysteries ; by which means alone these images have power of helping and hurting ; which thus incorporated (he saith) are called by the Egyptians holy animals." And in another place, “that kind of gods (saith he) which men make, is composed of two natures, of a Divine (which is first and more sacred) and of that which is amongst men, namely, the matter whereof they are made.” The sum of all this mystery is, that images were made as bodies, to be informed with demons as with souls ; for an image was as a trap to catch demons; and a device to tie them to a place, and to keep them from flitting.
The like hath Eusebius out of Porphyry. “That the gods did exceedingly delight in consecrated images, and were circumscribed and enclosed therein as in a sacred place ;* and the image being taken away, that is dissolved which detained the deity upon earth.” This is that which Psellus + calleth the approachings or presensings of demons. And Iamblichus termeth these consecrated idols, 1 * ns apdevons, Redulous to spotov ett yns to Jalov.
t wpooryYOELS d'aboriwi.
“ Iinages filled with divine fellowship, or with divine society.” And our forementioned Hermes calleth them* “animated statues, full of sense and spirit."
Hence came that answer or defence of the Gentiles, as + Arnobius makes them speak:1“ we do not think brass and gold, and silver, and other materials of images, to be of themselves gods and holy powers; but in these we worship and reverence the gods brought into these images by sacred dedication, and keeping their residence there.” And in another place he makes this objection for their behalf; “but you say, perhaps, the deities present themselves unto you in some sort under these images : and because the gods cannot be seen, they are thus worshipped and have religious service done unto them.”
And thus have we seen the ground of the idolatrous use of images, and found that the worship of them also is a doctrine of demons; for as at first they were ordained for demons; so whatsoever deity is worshipped in this manner, though it were the true and sovereign God, is thereby made a demon.
What I say of images must be understood also of pillars and columns whereof we read. Levit. xxvi, 1. “Ye shall make no idols, nor graven images, nor rear you up a pillar to bow down unto it.” For, however, pillars and images, through some confusion at length surprising the Gentiles superstition may afterwards seem to be ascribed to other deities besides demons, yet, by original institution, they were proper unto demons and no other. The sovereign and celestial gods, they were worshipped in the sun, moon, and stars, where they were supposed to dwell;
Statuas animatas, sensu et spiritu pleras
+ Lib. vi. advers. Gent. I Neque nos æra, neque auri argentique materias, neque alias quibus signa confiunt eas esse per se Deos et religiosa decernimus numina; sed eos in his colimus, eosque veneramur quos dedicatio infert sacra, et fabrilibus efficit habitare simulachris.
§ An numquid dicitis forte præsentiam vobis quandam sub his numinum exhiberi simulachris; et quia Deos videri non datum est, eos ita coli, et iis munia officiosa præstari.