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To the first, therefore, to the use of the word Demon in scripture, I say : that because those which the Gentiles took for demons and deified souls of their worthies, were indeed no other than evil spirits, counterfeiting the souls of men deceased, and masking themselves under the names of such supposed demons, under that colour to seduce mankind; therefore, the scripture useth the name demons, for that they were indeed, and not for what they seemed to be : for no blessed soul or good angel would admit honour which did derogate from the honour of the only true God who made them : neither do the glorified saints in heaven, or the blessed angels, though Apostate Christians now invocate and worship them, accept of this honour, hear their prayers, or condescend to their devotions, by any sign or act whatsoever; but whatsoever is made seem to be done by them, is done by the self-same wicked spirits which heretofore were masked under the names of demons; and, therefore, on this account, the one may as well bear the name of demons as the other, and be as likely to be intended by the use of that word.
Secondly, though the Scripture often uses this word in the worst sense, yet follows it not, it always should do so; because the word Devil* itself, which the Scripture hath appropriated to signify Satan the Prince of hell hounds, following therein the seventy (who first gave it this notion no where else sampled in any Greek author,) yet is this word Devil in the New Testament itself,t three several times used in the common sense for a slanderer or false accuser, and that in three several epistles, in both those to Timothy, and in that to Titus. And why should the like seem improbable for the word Demon. I Nay, most certain it is so, as I now come to make manifest.
And that first, Acts 17, 18, where St. Paul our Apostle, having at Athens preached Jesus risen from the dead,
+ 1 Tim. iii. 11. 2 Tim. iii. 3. Tit. ii. 3. Η Δαιμων or Δαιμονιον.
the philosophers thus encountered him, saying, “This fellow * seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods, namely Demon-gods;" for hearing of one Jesus after death, to become a Lord and Saviour, and to be adored with divine worship, they took him presently (according to their own principles in that kind) to be some new or foreign Demon ; for so it follows in the text, that they said thus, “because he preached unto them Jesus and the resurrection.” Upon the same ground Celsus calls the same Christ our Saviour the Christians' Demon : for whereas, the Christians said that they without hurt and danger blasphemed and reproached the Gentiles' Gods. Celsus replies,t “Do you not see, good sir, that one opposing your Demon, does not only reproach him, but proclaims him unworthy to be at all in the world.” Where Origen answers Celsus, “He that acknowledges no evil Demons, I know not how he came to forget himself calling Jesus a Demon.” But St. Paul thus charged by the philosophers, coming to make his apology in the Areopagus, retorts their accusation : “Ye men of Athens, (saith he) I see you in all things too full of Demons already ;" I shall not need bring any more amongst you. But I (saith our Apostle) preach no new Demon to you, but that “sovereign and celestial God who made the world and all things therein : who being Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not (as your Demon-gods do)
* Ξενων Δαιμονιων δοκει καταγγελευς ειναι. † Nonne vides, bone vir, quod etiam tuo demoni opponens se quispiam non solum convitiatur, sed terra marique illum exigit?
ουκ ορας ουν, ω βελτιστε, οτι και τον σον δαιμονα κατατας τις, ου βλασφημει μονον, αλλα και πασης γης και θαλαττης εκκηρύττει και
I Qui nullos scit malos demones, nescio quomodo sui oblitus, Jesum vocarit demonem.
κατα δε Κελσον μηδεν εμφηναντα περι φαυλων δαιμονων, ουκ οιδ' οπως επιλαθομενον εαυτου, δαιμων ο Ιησους ειρηται.
και For thus the word Δεισιδαιμων by ymology signifies worshipper of Demon.gods,” and was anciently used in this sense ;
in temples made with hands, neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, (as you conceive of your Demons) seeing he giveth to all life and breath and all things : this God I preach unto you." And this place I take to be so unanswerable for the indifferent and common acceptation of the word Demon* that I care not now though the rest should fail me; but let us see what they are.
In Revelation ix. 13, &c., the sixth trumpet from Euphrates brings a huge army upon the Christian world, which destroyeth a third part of men; and yet those which remained “repented not of those sins” (verse 20.) for which these plagues came upon the earth, viz. “ that they should not worship | demons and idols of gold, silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood, which can neither see, nor hear, nor walk.” Is not this a comment upon the Apostle's prophecy in my text? The time which it concerns must needs fall in the last times; for it is the last trumpet save one. The place must be the Roman Empire, or. Christian world; for that is the stage of all the seals and trumpets. And how could it be otherwise, seeing St. John at Patmos, saw them coming from the great river Euphrates ? Whatsoever comes from thence must needs fall upon the territory of the Roman Empire. To hold you no longer, the best expounders, make it the Ottoman or Turkish invasion which hath swallowed so great a part of Christendom. But what people are they who in
and so you shall find it often in* Clemens Alexandrinus, his Pro. trepticou, not to speak ot others; though afterwards, from signifying η προς το θείον ευλάβεια, as Budeus speaks, it came to be applied to those who were too precise and anxious in their devotions.
* Et Strom. 1. vii. p. 504. Δεισιδαιμων ο δεδιως τα δαιμονια. Lactantius lib. iv. Inst. Div. ait. Superstitiosi vocantur aut ii qui superstitem memoriam defunctorum colunt. Aut qui parentibus suis superstites celebrant imagines eorum domi, tanquam Deos penates. Nam qui novos sibi ritus assumebant, ut Deorum vice mortuos bonorarent, quos ex hominibus in Cælum receptos putabant hos superstiosos vocabant: eos vero qui publicos et antiquos Deos colerent religiosos uominabant; unde Virgilius, vana superstitio veterumque ignara Deorum.
the Roman territory do in these latter times worship idols of gold, silver, brass, and stone, and wood ? Are they Heathens ? There are none such. Are they Jews? They cannot endure the sight of them.
Are they Mahometans ? Nay, they abhor it also. Then must they needs be Christians; and then must Christians too, worship demons; for both are spoken of the same
But what Christians do, or ever did worship Devils formally? But demon-gods (alas !) they do and long have done. Here, therefore, demon is again taken in the common and philosophical sense, or at least, which is all one, for evil spirits worshipped under the names of demons and deceased souls. Besides
my text, there is but one place more in all the Epistles of St. Paul, where the word demon is used, namely, 1 Cor. x. 21, where if there be any allusion to the Gentiles conceit of demons, then all the places of St. Paul's Epistles are bending that way. But some there are, saith Stephen in his Thesaurus, who think the Apostle in his “cup of demons," alludes unto that*" cup
of the good demon," used among the Gentiles. And, further, to strengthen this conceit of the Apostle's allusion to the heathenish notion of demons, the words of the former verse make much; “ for the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice (saith he) to demons and not to God.” Now this was the very tenet of the Gentiles, that the sovereign and celestial Gods were to be worshipped only with the spirit, and with hymns and praises, and that sacrifices were only for demons.t He, therefore, who had given his faith to that one Lord, to the only Potentate, to the one and only Mediator Jesus Christ, must have no communion, have no part in the service of those many Mediators, Lords or demon Gods of the nations; for Christ's monarchical mediation excludes all other mediators and demons; not that the wooden idol was ought
* poculum αγαθου ΔαιμονΘ. # Vid. Porphyr. in Euseb. Præp. Evang. Herm. Trismeg. in Asclepio, Apuleium de Demonio Socratis.
of itself, but that the Gentiles supposed there dwelt some demon therein, who received their sacrifices, and to whom they intended their services. Thus may this place be expounded, and so the use of the word demon in the worst sense or directly for a Devil, will be almost confined to the Gospel ; where the subject spoken of being men vexed with evil spirits, could admit no other sense or use ; and yet St. Luke, the best languaged of the Evangelists, knowing the word to be ambiguous, and, therefore, as it were to distinguish it once for all, doth the first time he useth it, do it with an explication, Chap. IV. verse 33. “There was (saith he) a man in the Synagogue, *having the spirit of an unclean demon."
Thus much of the word demon in Scripture; whereby I hope it appears, that this place of my text is not the only place where the word is used according to the notion of the Gentiles and their theologists. But you
of the Fathers or ancients expound it thus, in this place ? If they had done so, the Mystery of Iniquity could never have taken such footing; which because it was to come according to Divine disposition, what wonder, then, if this were hidden from their eyes ? Howsoever it may seem that God left not his Spirit without a witress, for, as I take it, Epiphanius, one of the most zealous of the Fathers of his time against Saint worship then peeping, took the doctrines of demons, in my text, for a Doctrine of worshipping dead men. You may read him in the seventy-eighth heresy towards the conclusion, where, upon occasion of some who made a goddess of the blessed Virgin, and offered a cake unto her as the Queen of Heaven, he quotes this place of my text concerning them, saying, t"That also of the Apostle is fulfilled
εχων πνευμα Δαιμονιου ακαθαρτου. . * πληρουται γαρ και επι τουτους το, Αποιησονται τινες της υγιειος διδασκαλιας, προσεχοντες μυθοις και διδασκαλιας Δαιμονιων εσονται γαρ, φησι ΝΕΚΠΟΙΣ λατρευοντες, ως και εν τω Ισραηλ εσεβασθησαν,