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of restoring light to a man, that had not seen for some time. Belides, God, that was willing, that his decrees should be accomplishd, let loose the rains to the spirit of illufion. We need but follow the History of the Church, and the Legends of the Saints, and there we shall find every where these dreams, these visions , these apparitions of Souls ; Saints speaking, the Virgin Mary appearing to her devotoes; the whole designed, not to confirm the Doctrines of Christianity, buttheinvocation of Saints , the adoration of the Virgin, the adoration of Images, the Mass, Purgatory and other parts of the Antichristian abomination. And this fountain of seduction was opend in part by deceiving spirits among men, wicked , superstitious wretches, Priests and Monks; in part by the wicked Spiriss, that perpetually surround men to deceive and mock them.
The last Character of the Religion of Antichriff here express'd, is the Do&trine of Devils, or of Damons, giving up themselves to deceiving spirits, and to Do&trines of Damons,
The common opinion is, that by the Doctrines The Doof Devils, or of Demons , we are to understand &rines of those Doctrines, of which the Devil is the Author of Dæmons and inventor , and that bear upon them a Diabo- what they lical Character. Joseph Mede hath made a new conjecture upon it, and which I believe we owe to him. He understands by Demons, not wicked Spirits, that are represented as dwelling in Hell; but those spirits, which the Heathens worshipt as Mediatours between God and men, whom in truth in their Theology they called Demons. For then the word was not taken in an ill sense, and Damons were properly in the Heathen Religion, secondary Gods, subject to the great Gods. By
the Dactrine of Demons he understands a Doctrine of which Demons are the object , not thc authors. And according to him, the sense is, that men in the Antichristian Religion would renew the Divinity and the worship of these mediatory Spirits called Damons; that Paganism shall be introduced into the Religion of Jesus Christ ; that therein shall be establitht a second order of Divinities, besides the three adorable persons of the Trinity; that dead men shall be invocated in this new Paganism, in the same manner as was practifed under the old ; that their Reliques shall be honour'd ; Statues shall be erected to them; Images shall be consecrated for them, which shall be worshipp'd ; that Temples shallbe built for them, and sacrifices be offer'd to their honour; that apotheoses, or canonizations shall be renew'd ; that Miracles shall be feign'd to be done by these Images and these Demy-Gods; that Trees shall a new be set up with Trophies, which are the Crosses, before which men shall prostrate themselves į that it shall be pretended , that God comes to dwell here below in a piece of consecrated bread, just as in the ancient Paganism it was pretended, that the Godsby vertue of the con
secration came to dwell in their Images. Popery Which interpretation foever we follow, 'tis tainly De certain, that Antichristianism is found here. It is vils for its composed of Do&trines that are truely Diabolical,
and that have Devils for their Authors. 'Tis a Do&trine of Devils , that hath establisht that Tye rant in the Church, who hath exercised so much fury there, who pretends to be King of Kings, and Lord of the Lords of the Earth, who exalts himself above all that is called God; who faith he can't be judged by any one ; but though he
fhould lead men to Hell by troops, he must be suffer'd to do it, and be left to God to be judged. ?Tis a Doctrine that hath the Devil for its Author, which sets
other objects of worship besides God, that gives Iefus Chrift companions, and believers other Saviours. It was no other than the Devil, that could inspire Christians with the thoughts of adoring Images, and bringing in afresh that Paganism, that was once buried. 'Twas the Devil, the father of lies, that form'd that monster of Transfubftantiation, that hath contrived that prophane sacrifice of the Mass'; and who of a Sacrament hath made a wretched Idol of it; and so to keep to the common opinion, the true Religion will not lose any thing by it.
However, I confess I have resolved on foseph By Donor Mede's sense. It hath not been without weigh- Dænois ing things ; and I did a long time believe, that we mud this interpretation was much more ingenious than Do&rincs, solid. But after I had well thought on it, I shatnhave judg’d the quite contraryand that for these Gods for reatons.
ject. 1. First, This expresion, Doctrine of Demons, doth not more
, naturally signify, that the Doctrine spoken of hath Demons for its Authors, than it doth that it hath them for its Object. For it is certain, that in all languages these sorts ofpropofitions are æquivocal. We fay, the love of God, to signify the love of which God is the objelt, more naturally than to fignify that love of which he is the Author. We say, the knowledge of bodies, to signify that knowledge of which bodies are the objects ; the knowledge of the stars , to express Astrology; a treatise of Angels, to express a book, not made by the Angels, but treating of them. The same æquivocal speech, and the same
By the Do &rine of
usage is to be met with in the sacred books. In
the sixth Chapt. of the Epistle to the Hebrews the Heb. 6. 2. Apostle speaks of the Doctrine of Baptisms , i. e.
of the Do&trine , that hath Baptism for its object. 10.13.12.
St. Luke faith , that the Pro-consul Sergius was
aftonished at the Doctrine of the Lord , i.e. the Gal.::20. Doctrine treating of the Lord. The faith of the Son
of God, and faith of his name, is the faith,not which hath Jesus Chrift for its Author, but its object. And thus you see, we have already gaind one point, viz. that Grammar can put in no obstacle to this Interpretation.
II. My second reason is, because explain it how
you will, I am perswaded that by the Domuft be un- &trine of Devils, or of Damons, is meant the Ido.. the Idola- latry which Antichrist was to re-establish in the try of Po- Church. For this is that which distinguishes that
Religion from the Christian Religion, and which renders it abominable. It will be said, that there are some things in the Papism, which are not less abominable than its Idolatry, that is, the usurpation of Jesus Christs power by the Pope. I confefs it. But befides, that this ufurpation is joined with Idolatry, seeing they make an Idol of the Pope, I say, there is in Antichristianism an Empire and a Religion. The Empire is Diabolical, Tyrannical, Antichristian, and may well be called an Empire of Devils, as having them for its Authors. “And 'tis in this respect of an Empire and a Tyranny, that St. Paul principally considers Antichristianism in the second Chapter of the sea 'cond Epiltle to the Thessalonians. For there he represents the head of this Empire , as a Tyrant that fits himself down on the Throne of God, and was to possess the Empire , when he that then held it, was cast down. "Tis true, that he con
liders it also a little as a Religion ; for he calls it a Mystery , and faith, it shall be establisht by false figns and false miracles. But in this fourth Chap. of the first Epistle to I imotly, he considers An. tichristianism purely as a Religion, and not as an Empire. Therefore he speaks only of Apostacy, Spirits, Deceivers, and of Doctrines. Now, that which is most abominable in the Papism, as 'tis a Religion, is without doubt its Idolatry, and not its heresies; and consequently, this is what we must here understand by the Doctrine of Devils, or of Demons. For the Apostle intends by that to note that which is most criminal in the Papism. Seeing therefore we must necessarily understand by these words Doctrine of Demons', the Antio christian Idolatry, why should we not believe, that the Apostle Saint Paul calls it so by way of allufion, and comparing it with the heathen Religion and Theology?
I have just before made a distinction, which I Antichti desire may be observed, because 'tis of great use confidered for the understanding the Prophecies of the Reve- in the Prolation, on this argument of the estate of Anti- sometimes chrift ; "Tis this, that the H. Spirit sometimes as a Relispeaks of it as of a Religion , sometimes as of an times as an Empire. Indeed, he considers it much oftner Empire. under the notion of an Empire, than under that of a Religion. In the 13, 14, 16, 17, and 18h of the Revelation, where Antichriftianism is represented as a Beast with two horns, or seven heads and ten horns, and as a City called Babylon, 'tis under the Idea of an Empire. For in the Prophetical visions: Beasts always signify Kings and Empires : But in the 11th Chap. Antichristianism is represented as a Religion; for it is called Pagsnism, and is shadowed forth under the emblem