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a deifying of the dead, (he means by erecting statues, and ordaining ceremonies and sacrifices for their memorials) * they insinuated themselves, and helped forward their error, † by certain motions of the statues which anciently were consecrated to the honour of the deceased ; as also

by ostentation of oracles and cures of diseases, whereby they drove the superstitious headlong, sometimes to take them to be some heavenly powers and Gods indeed, and sometimes to be § the souls of their deified worthies. And so (saith he) the earth-neighbouring demons, which are those princes of the air, those spiritualities of wickedness, and ringleaders to all evil, were on all hands accounted for great Gods; and the memory of those ancients deceased was thought worthy to be celebrated with a greater service, the features of whose bodies the images dedicated in every city seemed to represent; but the souls of them and those divine and incorporeal powers, ** the wicked demons counterfeited by working many miracles.”

Hear Tertullian also speak in his apology to the Gentiles, cap. 21, at the end : ++ “Search, therefore, whether thisdeity of Christ be true or not. If it be that, by the knowledge whereof a man shall be reformed to good, it follows then that the false be renounced; especially that whole mystery (he means of the Gentiles' idolatry, and demonworship) being discovered, which under the names and

* εγΓυθεν εφεδροι και συνεργοι της πλανης παρησαν. + κινησεσι τισι των ξοανων α δη επι τιμη των κατοιχομενων ανδρων προς των παλαιων αφιερωται. Η ταις

dia χρησμων φαντασιαις θεραπειαις τε σωματων. .

και τας των τεθεοποιημενων Ηρωων ψυχος. || η τε των παλαι νεκρων μνημη της μειζον ηξιετο θεραπειας.

** οι φαυλοι Δαιμονες καθυπεκρινοντο δια πολλης της τερατοποιίας.

+ Quærite ergo, si vera est ista divinitas Christi : si est ea, qua cognita, ad bonum quis reformetur, sequitur ut falsa renuntietur ; comperta imprimis illa omni ratione, quæ delitescens sub nominj. bus et imaginibus mortuorum, quibusdam signis, et miraculis et oraculis fidem divinitatis operatur.

images of the dead through signs, miracles and oracles, obtaineth an opinion of divinity.”

Chrysostome shall conclude, who in his oration against the Judaizing Christians saith, “ That the demons of the Gentiles wrought miracles for the confirmation of Pagadism. * For (saith he) they oftentimes by their skill cured diseases, and restored to health those that were sick; what, should we, therefore, partake with them in their impiety because of this ? God forbid.” Then he adds out of Moses, Deut. 13. that which we even now quoted ; which had it been as well applied to the miracles amongst Christians present as it was to those of the Gentiles past, perhaps he that spoke it would have questioned something which he inclined to believe.

CHAP. IV.

THAT SAINT-WORSHIP WAS ADVANCED BY FABULOUS LEGENDS.

THIS PROVED FROM THE ACKNOWLEDGED DESIGN OF THE LATINE LEGENDS, AS ALSO OF THAT GREEK LEGENDER SIMEON METAPHRASTES; PARTICULARLY HIS FABULOUS NARRATIONS CONCERNING ANASTASIA, S. BARBARA, S. BLA

SIUS, S. CATHARINE, S. MARGARET, &c. THE second particular I named oft the hypocrisy or feigning of liars, was fabulous legends of the acts of saints and martyrs. This was also another means to advance the doctrines of demons. For the true acts and stories of the martyrs being extinguished for the most part by the

και γαρ εκείνοι πολλα πολλακις δια της αυτων τεχνης νοσηματα απηλασαν, και προς υγιείων τ8ς κάμνοντας επανήγαγον. τι εν, κοινωνησαι δει της ασεβειας δια τετο ; μη γενοιτο,

* υποκρισις ψευδολογων.

*

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bloody edict of Dioclesian, they now began to supply again that loss by collecting such tales as were then current of them, and adding thereto such miracles as were fabled of them after death ; fashioned all to the best ad vantage of what they meant to promote in the Church, and was already on foot in the same. Such was that wherewith the good father Gregory Nazianzen was abused in his funeral oration upon Cyprian, and many others of the Greek Church; that Cyprian, even that great Cyprian, who was both citizen and Bishop of Carthage in the reign of Decius, (for of him Gregory speaketh expressly) being formerly a conjurer, and falling in love with a Christian virgin Justina, some say of Antioch, whenas by wooing and ordinary means he could not win her unto his will, he went about to prevail with magical spells and conjurations: which the damsel perceiving, she having recourse to God, fell to work against him with prayer and fasting, and in her devotions also besought the Virgin Mary to succour her a virgin in this jeopardy : by which means, Cyprian's magical enchantments were frustrated, and he convinced thereby, became a Christian. All which * Baronius himself confesses to be a fable ; as well he might, it being unknown both to Pontius his deacon, who lived with him and wrote his life, and to the Western and African Churches where he lived and died, who knew (and who could know better ?) that he was in his Paganism not a magician, but a professor of oratory at Carthage, (far enough from Antioch,) and converted by one Cæcilius.

Nevertheless we have cause to think that this tale, together with other the like, served not a little for the advancement of the mystery of demons in the Eastern Churches ; when we see our ad- . versaries so willing to have that passage (as seems by their often alleging it), of calling upon the blessed Virgin to be anthentical, notwithstanding they know (which the Greeks so well could not, he being a Latin Bishop), that the whole story must needs be a fable. of this stamp are the well known legends of our Latin

* An, 259. sec. 5.

Churches, which almost all of them drive principally at this mark; it being also the ordinary conclusion of their tales, (sure of our English,) that since God hath done thus and thus by this holy martyr, or since God hath by such miracles honoured this martyr, let us pray unto him, that by his merits aud intercession we may obtain salvation. Nor is it a late device; Gregory Turonensis, above a thousand years ago, in his two Books, on the miracles of the martyrs, as his fabulous narrations, (which yet many of them he refers to others before him,) and excellently well framed for the promotion of Saint-worship; so in the conclusions of them he plainly confesses that that was his aim, shutting up his first book thus :—*"It behoves us, therefore, 10 desire the patronage of the martyrs, that so we may merit, through their suffrages, and by their intercessions obtain that which we are not worthy of upon the account of our own merits.” His second thus :-+" And, therefore, let the reader, well considering these miracles, understand that there is no possibility for him to be saved but by the help of martyrs and other friends of God."

But, among the Greeks, Simeon Metaphrastes hath a strain beyond us all, who feigns prayers for many of his martyrs, wherein they desire of God, that whoever should pray unto him in their names, or have recourse to their sepulchres when they were glorified, might obtain whatsoever they asked-yea, even remission of sins itself. Which, because it is so singular a counterfeit of a lying Greek, I shall not do amiss to insert the particulars, together with something about the occasion and time of this device.

In the martyrdom of Anastasia, a Roman virgin, under

* Unde oportet et nos eorum Patrocinia expetere, ut eorum mereamur Suffragiis; vel quod nostris digni non sumus meritis obtinere, eorum possumus Intercessionibus adipisci, &c.

+ Ergo his miraculis Lector intendens intelligat, non aliter nisi Martyrum reliquorumque amicorum Dei adjutoriis se posse sal. vari, &c.

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Diocletian, he tells us, if we be so wise as to believe it. “ That at the time of her suffering, when she had, as was fit, given thanks under God, and prayed for the happy accomplishment of her martyrdom, and afterward made suit for those who, being sick, should have recourse unto her, (to wit, after death,) she heard a voice from heaven certifying, that what she had asked was granted her.”

Saint Barbara, a virgin of Heliopolis, martyred under Maximianus, he makes, under the executioner's hand, to pray in this manner :

And thou, O King, (God,) now hear my prayer, that whosoever shall remember thy name, and (this) my conflict, no pestilent disease may

his house, nor any other of those evils which may bring damage or troubles to the bodies of men.” She had no sooner spoken, saith he, but a voice was miraculously heard from heaven, calling her and her fellow martyr Julian to the heavenly places, and promising also that those things which she had asked should be accomplished.

In Saint Blasius (who suffered, saith Baronius, under Licinius,) our Simeon tells us,

“ That when a woman came unto him to cure her son, who had a fish bone sticking in his throat, he prayed in this manner: Thou, O Saviour, who hast been ready to help those who called upon thee in truth, hear my prayer, and by thy invisible power, take out the bone which sticks in this child, and cure him; and whensoever hereafter the like shall befall men, children, or beasts ; if any one then shall remember my name, saying, O Lord, hasten thy help through the intercession of thy servant Blasius, do thou cure him speedily, to the honour and glory of thy holy name.”

Again he tells us, that while they were carrying him before the president, he restored to a poor widow a hog, her only hog, which a wolf had taken away from her. And whenas afterward, in sign of thankfulness, she brought the hog's head and feet boiled to the martyr in prison, he, blessing her, spake in this manner :är Woman, in this habit celebrate my memorial, and no

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