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several arts which cunning suggests to unrighteous men, to pervert or deceive the world'. In regard fome doubts might occur, with respect to the nature of the falling away, or apostasy mentioned, 2 Thess. chap. ii. vet. 3. it is illuftrated, 1 Tim. iv. ver. 1.--3." The Spirit speaketh “ expressly, that in the latter times fome shall “ depart from the faith. Speaking lies in hy. “ pocrisy, having their conscience feared with « a hot iron ; forbidding to marry, and com" manding to abstain from meats, which God « hath created to be received with thanksgiv“ ing of them which believe and know the 1. truth.” The apoftasy therefore appears to be no express denial of the Chriftian name, for these apoftates teach lies in hypocrify, a character not applicable to those who have laid aside the profession of Christianity. Besides, the prominent features of that apoftafy are laid before us, to which the doctrines and practices of
the bus, non unquam operatione demonum, ad fallendum inordinatos cultoris. Deo permittente, exigente totium infidelitate. (B. in Can. Millæ, c. 9. In facramento), (inquit Alex. de Hales, in 4. fent. 9. 53.) Apparet caro, interdum hominum procuratione, interdum operatione diabolica.
(1) The various arts of Papal Rome to establish her authority, as well as her fuccefs, cannot be expressed better than in Scripture language ; " By her sorceries were all * nations deceived,"
the church of Rome accord, as face answers to face in a glass.
These features are :—The doctrines concerning demons' ;-the prohibition of inarriage ;-and - the command to abstain from certain meats.
The Pagans asserted concerning their demons, that they were beings of a middle nature, betwixt the sovereign gods and mortal men’; that they were agents and mediators betwixt the fuperior gods and men ; fo Plato', “ God is not " approached by men, but all the commerce 6 and intercourse bewixt gods and men are “ performed by the mediation of demons. De“ mons are reporters and carriers from men to “ the gods, and again from the gods to men, of “ the supplications and prayers of the one, and “ of the injunctions and rewards of devotion 66 from the other.” That some of them were originally men, who, on account of their virtues, were raised to the rank of demons after their death; so Hesiod inform us, “ That when these
(1) That diduoxan&is daiponav, fignify doctrines of which demons are the object, will appear by comparing similar expreffions in Scripture, particularly Heb. vi. 2. Barrio, didayns, &c. fignify doctrines concerning baptifm; the laying on of hands; the resurrection of the dead, and the life eternal.
(2) Παν το δαιμονιον μεταξυ εστί θεε τε και θνητε. Ρlato in Symposio.
(3 In his Symposium.
"happy' men of the first and golden age of “ the world were departed this life, great Ju
piter promoted them to be demons, that is, “ keepers and protectors of earthly mortals, “ overseers of their good and evil works, and
givers of riches." This order of demons found place in the religion of the ancient Romans, under the names of Penates, Lares, and Manes Dii ; of them Cicero says', “Let them
worship the gods, both those who were
ever accounted celestial, and those whom " their own merit has advanced to heaven." Again, “ Let the rights of separate souls be in6 violable, and let them account the deceased “ worthies as gods.” Besides these, their theologists introduced another kind of demons, more high and sublime, who had never been linked to a mortal body, but were from the beginning always the same. The heathens further maintained concerning their demons, that they ought to be worshipped, by making images, building temples, rearing altars for them, and burning incense before them. Who is it therefore that examines without prejudice the doctrines of the church of Rome concerning saints and angels,
(1) Cicero de Legibus, lib. ii.
(2) Apuleius de dic. Socratis. Plutarch de Defectione Oratoruin.-Mede's Works, p. 631.
who is not convinced that they have revived the ancient doctrines concerning demons, as to their nature, office, origin, and the manner of wor: Thipping them'; and that of them the Spirit speaketh expressly, when he says, “ some shall
depart from the faith, teaching doctrines con“ cerning demons.”
Another doctrine of the apostasy foretold is, the prohibition of marriage. The application of this to the church of Rome requires no proof.
(1) See on this last head, Middleton's letter from Rome, in which he proves, from the testimony of the Claflics, compared with what passed under his own eye, that the mode of worship now established in Rome, difers not in the most trivial circumstance from that prac. tised by the ancient Romans, except in the name ; that it is mere Paganism, with a Christian aspect.
The most absurd part of the doctrines concerning demons, the worship of images; is not only practised over all the dominions of the Church of Rome, but it is also defended by the arguments which the Pagan Theologists fuggested; namely, that men worship, not the dead image, but the Being represented by it. So Arnobius (Adversus Gentiles, lib. vi.) introduces the Gentiles defending their image-worship in this manner. “ Neque nos arą, neque “ auri argentique materias, neque alias quibus figna “ confiunt, eas effe per fe Deos, et religiosa decernimus 16 nomina. Sed eos in his colimus, eofque veneramur,
quos dedicatio infert facra, et fabrilibus effecit habi. tare fimulacris."
No doubt some of the early heretics decried marriage, in which they shewed the spirit of the Antichrist foretold, but it remained for the Roman oracle to establith by his authority, and to represent as a Christian institution, the celibacy of the clergy, and such as devote themselves to a religious life.
As to abstinence from particular kinds of meat, another doctrine of the apoftasy foretold, let the devotees of Rome speak their sentiments plainly, and they will acknowledge how much of real religion (in their opinion) consists in abstaining from flesh on Fridays, during Lent, and other fafts appointed by their Church. Or if they should not speak their sentiments. so plainly, all those acquainted with the commerce of Europe, can testify how much it is affected by the superstitious reverence paid to this apoftatical precept, over all the dominions of the church of Rome, in procuring a ready sale for the vast quantities of fish taken on the coasts of Europe, and even of America, to supply the want of Aesh, from which the votaries of Rome piously abstain. In order to fulfil every circumstance, mentioned in the prophecy, these several doctrines have been introduced into the world, recommended to the veneration of mankind, and finally established as laws binding on the conscience, by