« PreviousContinue »
upon supposal of any divinity therein. What copy was ever solike the sample, as all this to the DOCTRINES OF DEMONS? And for the idolatry of the Eucharist, or bread-worship,-though it may be reduced to imageworship, as being the adoration of a sign, or symbol, yet let it be considered whether, for the quality thereof, it may not be taken rather for an idolatry of reliques, the body and blood of Christ in the sacrament being the mystical reliques which he left us, as monuments of his death till he come. Whichsoever it be, I must confess, it hath a strain above the abominations of the Gentiles, who, though they supposed some presence of their demons in their images and reliques, yet were they never so blockish as to think their images and reliques to be transubstantiated into demons.
But to come to the main again. I will confess, for myself, that I cannot think of this demon resemblance without admiration ; nor do I believe that you will hear, without some astonishment, that which I am now to add further—that the advancers of saint-worship in the beginning did not only see it, but even gloried, (*but their glorying was not good,) that they had a thing in Christian practice so like the doctrines of demons. We heard before, that Plato, in his Republic, would have the souls of such as died valiantly in battle to be accounted for demons after death, and their sepulchres and coffins to
served and adored as the sepulchres of demons. Eusebius, lib. 13, Præpar. Evangel. cap. 11. quoting this place, adds with it, t “ These things do befit at (or after) the decease of the favourites of God, whom, if thou shalt affirm to be taken for the champions of the true religion, thou shalt not say amiss : I whence it is our custom
• Sed gloriatione non bona. * Ταυτα δε αρμοζει επι τη των θεοφιλων τελευτη, 8ς τρατιωτας της αληθες ευσεβειας, εκ αν αμαρτοις ειπων παραλαμGανεισθαι. .
1 οθεν και επι τας θηκας αυτων εθος ημιν παριεναι και τας ευχας παρα ταύταις ποιεισθαι, τιμων τε τας μακαριας αυτων ψυχας. .
to go unto their tombs, and to make our prayers at them, and to honour their blessed souls.” The purpose of Eusebius here was to shew, (as a preparation to draw men to Christianity,) how well the present use of Christians, in honouring the memories of their martyrs, by keeping their assemblies at their sepulchres, did agree with the Gentiles, (so much commended by Plato,) in honouring their champions and worthies for demons after death. But, alas! in the next age after, it proved too, too like it indeed : for these ear-rings, which the Christians had borrowed or stolen from the Gentiles, at their coming out of Egypt, presently became a golden calf, as soon as the woman (the Church) came into the wilderness ; yea, and Aaron the Priest had a foul part of it too.
Read the eighth book of Theodoret,* concerning curing the affections of the Greeks, whose title is concerning martyrst; or in the mean time take these few passages thereof. Thus he speaks, having quoted that passage of Hesiod, for demons commended by Plato :-*“If, then, “the poet (Hesiod) calls good men, after their decease,
guardians and preservers, or deliverers, of mortal men “ from all evil; and, accordingly, the best of philosophers, “ in confirmation of the poet's saying, would have their
sepulchres to be served and honoured. I beseech you, “ Sirs,” (he speaks to the Greeks,) “why do you find “ such fault with what we do? For, such as were “ eminent for piety, and religion, and for the sake “ thereof suffered death, we also call preservers and
physicians : in no wise do we term them demons; * De curandis Græcorum affectionibus. + De martyribus.
1 Ει τοινυν και ο ποιητης και αλεξικακές και φυλακας θνητων ανθρωπων τες αρισα βεβιωκοτας, ειτα τελευτησανίας, προσηγορευσεν εκρατυνε δε τα ποιητε τον λογον των φιλοσοφων ο αρισος, και χρηναι εφη και θεραπευειν τετων και προσκυνείν τας θηκας το δητα μεμψεσθε τοις παρ ημων γιγνομενοις, ω βελτισοι; τες γαρ εν ευσεβεια λαμψανίας, και υπερ ταυτης την σφαγην δεξαμενες, αλεξικακους ημεις και ιατρες ονομαζομεν, και δαιμονας καλετες μη ουτω λυττησαιμεν αλλα Θεω φιλες και ευνες θεραπουλας, ,
(God forbid we should ever fall into such a desperate “ madness,) but the hearty friends and servants of God,"
* “ That the souls of holy men, even when they were “out of the body, are in a capacity of taking care of “ men's affairs, Plato affirms in the eleventh book of his “ Laws. The philosopher (you see) bids men believe
even the vulgar reports"—[That is, the relations and stories which are commonly talked of, concerning the care which deceased souls have of men :]—“but you do not “ only disbelieve us, and are utterly unwilling to hearken to the loud voice of the events or effects themselves"
“1 he martyr temples are frequently to be seen, famous “ for their beauty and greatness.
s“ They that are in health pray for the continuance “ thereof; and they that have been long sick pray for
recovery: the barren also pray for children. And they “ that are to take a long journey, desire them—(viz. the “ martyrs)—to be their companions, or rather their
guides, in the journey."
11“ Not going to them as Gods, but making application “ to them as to divine men and agents for them with « God.” **“ Now that they who made faithful prayers
have ob* Οι και επι μελείσθαι των ανθρωπινων δυναλλαι πραγματων αι των οσιων ψυχαι και το σωμαίΘ- εκτος γενομεναι, ο Πλατων και τελο εν τω ενδεκατω των Νομων εδιδαξε
* Αλλ ο μεν φιλοσοφG» κελευει και ταις φημαις πιςεύειν" υμείς δε
μονον ημιν απιςειτε, και της των πραγματων φωνης βοωσης και βελεσθε
* Οι δε των μαρτύρων σηκοι λαμπροι και περιβλεπιοι και μεγεθει διαπρεπεις.
8 Οι μεν υγιαινοντες αλτεσι της υγείας την φυλακην οι δε νοσω παλαιούλες της των παθηματων απαλλαγην αιτωσι δε και ayoyos
παιδας και οι μεν εις τινα αποδημιαν τελλομενοι, λιπαρουσι τουτους ξυνοδοιπορες γενεσθαι και της οδο
ηγεμονας. | εχ ως θεοις αυτοις πρoσιoντες, αλλ ως θειας ανθρωπους αντιβολουντες, και γενεσθαι πρεσβευλας υπερ σφων παρακαλούντες.
** Οτι δε τυγχανεσιν ωνπερ αιτ8σιν οι πισως επαγγελoντες,
“tained their petitions, clearly appears by the presents “ and gifts brought by the votaries, as so many grateful
acknowledgments of their recovery. Accordingly some “ do present (to be hung up in the Church) the effigies
of eyes, others of hands; and these made of gold or of « silver.”
*“ Nay, the martyrs have utterly abolished and wiped “ out of the minds of men the memory of those who were called Gods.”
f“ Our Lord God hath brought his dead (viz. the mar« tyrs) into the place (the temples) of your Gods, whom “ he hath sent packing, and hath given their honour to “his martyrs. For instead of the feasts of Jupiter and
Bacchus, are now celebrated the festivals of Peter and Paul, and Thomas and Sergius, &c. and other holy martyrs.”
"Wherefore, since you see there is so much advantage " by honouring the martyrs, be persuaded, I beseech
you, to flee from the errors of demons; and making use of the martyrs as so many lights and guides, follow
way which leads directly to God,” &c. Now, judge whether THE DOCTRINES OF DEMONS hath hitherto been fitly applied or not.
go on. .
αναφανδον μαρτυρεί τα τετων αναθηματα, την εατρειαν δηλάντα. οι μεν γαρ οφθαλμων, αλλοι δε χειρων προσφερgσιν εκτυπωματα. και οι μεν εν χρυσου, οι δε εξ αργυρέ πεποιημενα.
και γαρ αυτων των καλεμενων θεων την μνημης εκ της των ανθρωπων εξηλειψαν διανοιας.
* τους γαρ οικείες νεκρους ο δεσποτης αντεισηξε τοις υμετέροις θεοις, και τους μην Φρεδες απεφηνε, τουτοις δε τα ενεινων απενειμε γερα" αντι γαρ των Πανδιων και Διονυσιων, Πετρ8 και Παυλου, και Θωμα και Σερη ι8 &c. και των αλλων μαρτύρων επιτελονται δημοθoινιαι.
* Ορωντες τοινυν της των μαρτύρων τιμης το ωφελιμον, φευγετε ω φιλοι, των Δαιμονων τον πλανoν και τουτοις φωςηρσι και δηγεις κεχρημενοι, της προς τον Θεον αγασαν πορειαν oδευσατε, &c.
THAT IDOLATRY IS THE MAIN CHARACTER OF THE CHURCH's
APOSTASY, PROVED BY THREE ARGUMENTS. HAVING, therefore, by so many arguments, made apparent (as I hope) what I endeavoured to prove, I desire we may observe, among so many corruptions both now and heretofore overwhelming the Church of Christ, what that is wherein the Holy Ghost placetḥ the essence, and accounteth as the very soul of the great apostasy under the man of sin, and would have us to make the pole-star of our discovery thereof; not every error, not every heresy, how foul soever, but Doctrines of Demons, idolatry and spiritual fornication. As for other heresies, though accompanying this, yet are they but accidental, and not of the essence of the great apostasy which was to come. Even as whores are seldom without other foul faults, which yet are no parts of whoredom, so hath the spiritual whore many other heresies, but her whoredom is only idolatry and the doctrine of demons.
Neither is heresy of itself: no, though damnable heresy, a character whereby the great apostasy can be known from other sects and blasphemies. Foul heresies were in the first ages of the Church; yet Antichrist and his time were neither of them yet come. When his time approached nearer, the Arrians, the Macedonians, Nestorians, Eutychians, were abominable heretics; and the Arrians possessed for a time the face of the visible Church, yet was not theirs the solemn apostasy looked for.
But idolatry, or spiritual whoredom, which in that storin the Devil was a working, this is the only character and note whereby the* APOSTASY undertheman of sin is
* 1 Thess. i. 9. Conversion to Christianity is described, a turning from Idols to serve the true and living God, and to wait for his son Jesus Christ; therefore Apostasy therefrom is a return to Idols from the liviug and true God and his son Jesus Christ.