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but images and columns were for demons; and if they seemed to be made for any other, Plutarch's Eremite would resolve us that they were but demons called by the name of some sovereign gods whose agents they were. The truth of this the history of the beginning of idolatry by images makes evident. For that images and pillars were at first devised and erected to the honour and memory of dead men, this the fourteenth chapter of the Book of Wisdom will tell us, and that “ by the vain glory of men they first entered into the world;" no less will the long-continuing custom of the world, using thus to honour not only their dead, but since also the living, be sufficient to persuade the truth. Minucius Felix, in his Octavius, will put us forth of doubt.* “ Our ancestors (saith he) while they religiously honour their kings, while they desire after their departure to behold them in their images, and delight to preserve their memory in statues; what was at first taken up for their own solace, was at length made a matter of religion.” When, therefore, those whom they thus honoured and remembered were canonized as demons, then were these memorials also worshipped for some supposed presence or divine respect of such demons in or to them. The worshipping, therefore, of images and columns is by its original and institution, a piece of the doctrine of demons; so that whatsoever is thus worshipped, yea the glory of the incorruptible God himself, is thereby changed into a demon.
Thus much of images and idol-pillars, of the reason of their supposed divinity, and of the original and first occasion of worshipping them. But yet we have not done, there is another piece of demon-devotion yet behind, viz., the worshipping of demons in their reliques, shrines, and sepulchres; for this was also a part of the doctrine and theology of demons. Plato, whom before we quoted, for
* Majores nostri dum reges suos colunt religiose, dum defunctos eos desiderant in imaginibus videre, dum gestiunt, eorum memorias in statuis detinere; sacra facta sunt, quæ fuerant assumpta solatia.
the canonizing for demons, of the ghosts of such as died valiantly in the field, would have their shrines and coffins to be worshipped, *“as the coffins of demons.” Hear also what Clemens Alexandrinus speaks of this demondoctrine.f “They (that is the Greeks) are of opinion that it matters not whether we call those souls (viz. the demons whom they invocate) gods or angels. But the more skilful theologists place the coffins of the deceased in many of their temples as so many statues of the gods, calling their souls demons, and withal teaching that they ought to be worshipped by men, as being for the holiness of their lives intrusted by Divine Providence to be employed about this earth for the service of men; for they well knew that some souls were naturally tied to the body." Out of which words observe, that they supposed the like presence and power of demons at their coffins and sepulchres which before we observed and heard of in their images : as though there always remained some natural tie between the souls deceased and their reliques ; and therefore they there builded temples unto them where their bodies and ashes were entombed. And hence it is that the primitive fathers which write against the Gentiles do so often upbraid them. “That their temples were nothing else but the sepulchres of dead men;" “Šthey were indeed called by the specious and plausible name of teinples, but were in truth nothing but sepulchres; that is, the very sepulchres of dead men were called temples." He goeth on speaking to the Gentiles; “ ||be ye therefore at length persuaded to forget and relin
*ws Adsporowy Jhxas. + Strom. lib. vi. Abdepesy d'ade youissow EQV y’ y Jells, ÉITE και αγγελας τας ψυχας ταυτας λεγομεν,
1 Δαιμονας μεν τας τουτων ψυκας καλουντες, θρησκευεσθαι δε προς ανθρωπων διδασκοντες.
και Νεως μεν ευφημως ονομαζομενους ταφους δε γενομενους, τουτεσι, τους ταφους νεως επικεκλημένους.
Η Υμεις δε αλλα και νυν δεισιδαιμονιας εκλαθεσθε, τους ταφους τιμαν αισχυνομενοι.
quish your demonship, and be ashamed to worship the sepulchres of dead men." To the like purpose Arnobius, lib. vi. advers. Gent., where he tells them* that many of their temples, famous for their high and golden roofs, were nothing but the sepulchres of the deceased, covering dead bones and ashes; and that it was very evident that for the immortal gods they worshipped men that were dead, or that they were guilty of doing a horrible dishonour to the gods, whose temples were built over the burying places of dead men.
I might further add to these universal doctrines of demons, that monstrous one of the Egyptians, for which their fellow Gentiles derided them, who worshipped living brute beasts, yea onions, and garlick, and water itself, with divine worship, as supposing some demon or other to dwell in them. Such were their cow-god Apis, their bull-god Mnevis, and their water-god Nilus, which it shall be enough to have only named, to make the former complete; and that from it and the rest of that kind of abominations we may gather this conclusion once for all, that since the sovereign and celestial gods (as you heard before) might not be approached nor polluted by these earthly and material things, but kept always immovably, without change of place or presence, their heavenly stations; therefore the adoring or worshipping of any visible or material thing for any supposed presence or other relation of a divine power therewith, is to be accounted amongst the doctrines of demons.
* Quid quod multa ex his templa qnæ tholis sunt aureis et sublimibus elata fastigiis, auctorum conscriptionibus comprobantur contegere cineres atque ossa, et functorum esse corporum sepulturas ? Nonne patet et promptum est aut pro diis immortalibus mortuos vos colere, aut inexpiabilem fieri numinibus contumeliam, quorum delubra et templa mortuorum superlata sunt bustis?
A RECAPITULATION OR SUMMARY OF THE DOCTRINES OF De
MONS.—HOW THE SEVERALS THEREOF ARE REVIVED AND RESEMBLED IN THE APOSTATE CHRISTIAN CHURCH.—THAT THE WORD " DEMON,”* IS SOMETIMES IN SCRIPTURE TAKEN ACCORDING TO THE THEOLOGY OF THE GENTILES, AND NOT ALWAYS FOR AN EVIL SPIRIT.—THAT IT IS SO TO BE TAKEN IN THE TEXT WAS THE JUDGMENT OF EPIPHANIUS; AN OBSERVABLE PASSAGE QUOTED OUT OF HIM TO THIS PURPOSE.
AND thus have you seen the theology of demons : lst, for their nature and degree, to have been supposed by the Gentiles an inferior and middle sort of divine powers between the sovereign and heavenly Gods and mortal men ; 2. their office to be as mediators and agents between these sovereign Gods and men; 3, their original, to be the deified souls of worthy men after death ; and some of a higher degree, which had no beginning, nor ever were imprisoned in mortal bodies; 4, the way to worship them -to find and receive benefits from them, namely by consecrated images and pillars, wherein to have and retain their presence at devotions to be given them ; 5, to adore their relics, and to temple them.
Now, therefore, judge impartially whether St. Paul's prophecy be not fulfilled already amongst Christians, who foretold that the time should come that they should apostatizeandreviveagaint"doctrines ofdemons;" whether the deifying and worshipping of saints and angels, whether the bowing down to images, whether of men or other things visible, breaden idols, and crosses like new demon pillars, whether the adoring or templing of relics, whether these make not as lively an image of the Gentile's theology of demons i as possibly could be expressed and whether these two words comprehend not the whole * Accomorioy. t Aidao xanoas daruonwy.
Aidao xandan sorporowy.
pith and marrow of CHRISTIAN APOSTASY, which was to consist in spiritual fornication or idolatry, as appears by that name and denomination given by St. John in his revelation, THE WHORE OF BABYLON. Is she not rightly termed the Babylonish whore, which hath revived and re-planted the doctrines of demons first founded in the ancient Babel ? And is not this now fulfilled which St. John foretells us Rev. xi. That the second and outermost court of the Temple (which is the second state of the Christian Church) together with the holy city should be trodden down and overtrampled by the Gentiles (that is overwhelmed with the Gentile's idolatry) forty-two months ?
But, perhaps, I am yet too forward in my application; some things in our way must first be cleared; for howsoever the resemblance indeed be evident, yet first the text seems not to intend ormean it, because (it would be ohjected) the word Demon* is in the Scripture never taken in the better or indifferent sense, howsoever profane authors do so use it, but always in an evil sense, for the devil, or an evil spirit. Now the signification of words in scripture is to be esteemed and taken only according to the scripture's use, though other writers use them otherwise. Secondly, for the charge of Idolatry. Though much of that wherein we have instanced may be granted to be justly suspected for such indeed, yet, nevertheless, that, whereupon this application mainly relieth, namely, the praying to Saints glorified, as mediators and agents for us with God, should not seem to deserve so foul a name. For suppose it were a needless, yea a fruitless ceremony, yet what reason can be given why this should be more tainted with idolatry, than is the like honour given to saints and holy men whilst they live on earth, whom then to desire to mediate and pray to God for us was never accounted so much as an unlawful matter? When these two scruples are answered, I will return to continue my former application.