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trian doctrines and ceremonies, and was forced to fly his country.

Hormizdas, son and successor of Sapor, favoured him; but a king who reigned afterwards is said to have put him to death; and his disciples were then persecuted in Persia.

His heresy died not with him; it spread itself in Persia, Mesopotamia, Syria, Egypt, Greece, Afric, and Spain.

Most of the antient heresies were a mixture of philosophy, Greek, or Oriental, and of Christianity.

The most antient sects in Christianity, after the Judaizing Christians, were the Ebionites and the Docetæ; and they were directly opposite: the first denied the divinity, and the second the humanity of Jesus Christ. St. John seems to have had them both in view, asserting against the first, that the Word was God,' and against the second, that the Word was made flesh.'

Manes borrowed and adopted many notions of heretics who had appeared before him, of the Docetæ, and of Basilides, Marcion, Valentinus, Bardesanes.

It is not fair to charge those who held two principles, with admitting two Gods, which they constantly disclaimed. All the dualists in general held that there was only one God, and looked upon the evil principle as upon a dæmon unworthy of the name of God.

The Manichæans detested evil spirits, and never paid them any honour, nor did they invoke angels or saints; but they were constant and assiduous in prayer to God.

They imagined God to be extended and corporeal, but not material, and not present where the evil substance was, yet infinitely extended every where else.

They thought that matter was endued with sense and perception, but not with any morally good quality; and that from this matter the devil was formed, not from eternity, but in time.

They were not fatalists, or not more so than many Christians have been; they held a liberty in the soul to do well or ill, and also the doctrine of original sin, of divine assistance, and of the necessity of infant-baptism.

When they endeavoured to prove from the New Testa

ment, that Jesus Christ was not born of the Virgin Mary, and had not a human body, they had recourse to misera ble shuffle and chicanery, receiving the words of the sacred writers when they could wrest them to their own purpose, and rejecting them when they could not.

In their morals they seem to have been as good as most of their contemporaries, and by no means scandalous; yet in this point they met with cruel usage, and were charged with shocking impurities and abominations in their religious ceremonies, and in celebrating the Lord's supper.

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Augustin having reproached the Manichæans with being no other than Pagan schismatics, who had separated themselves from the body of the Gentiles, but had retained their superstitions and their idolatry, Faustus the Mani chæan replies; The Pagans serve the deity by temples, images, altars, victims, perfumes. As for me, I serve him in another manner, and have quite another notion of the worship which is agreeable to him: It is I myself, if I be worthy of it, who am the reasonable temple of God. I receive in me Jesus Christ his Son, the living image of the Divine Majesty. A soul instructed in the truth is God's altar; and as to the honours and sacrifices due to him, I hold them to consist of pure and pious prayers. How then can I be a schismatical Pagan?'

In this description we may discern the worship of the Christian church, before it was altered by the mixture of numberless Pagan or Judaical ceremonies, and corrupted by secular pride. So that if Faustus be not an audacious liar, which there is no reason to think, there was nothing reprehensible in the Manichæan worship. Manichæus, who separated himself from the catholic church in the third century, retained the worship as he found it and transmitted it to his followers, whilst the catholics altered it by new superstitions.

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This also is what Faustus fails not to retort upon Augus tin, and to represent the catholics as schismatics, who


Ανδρες γὰρ τὰ ἐν τοῖς ἐνυπνιασμοῖς ἐνθυμείσθωσαν, καὶ γυναῖκες Tà év ápédpois. Cyril. Hier. Cat. vi. Such remarks are not fit to be inserted in a sermon or catechism.

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having separated themselves from the Gentiles, had retained many of their errors and superstitions. You have substituted,' says he, your Agape to the sacrifices of the Pagans, and to their idols your martyrs, whom you serve with the very same honours. same honours. You appease the shades of the dead with wine and feasts; you celebrate the solemn festivals of the Gentiles, their calends, and their solstices; and as to their manners, those you have retained without any alteration. Nothing distinguishes you from the Pagans, except that you hold your assemblies apart from


There is in these accusations some exaggeration and falsehood; but it must be confessed that there is also some truth, and that Paganism had already begun to enter, along with the Pagans, into the church. It increased greatly in process of time.

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The Valdenses and the Albigenses were persecuted and massacred, under the pretence of being Manichæans, A. D. 1022. which cruelty continued in Europe long afterwards against persons falsely accused of this heresy.

It has been for a long time a kind of merit to accuse, and even to calumniate heretics, and a crime to excuse them. Why should a man engage in their defence, unless he be engaged in their errors? This spirit and temper passed from the Jews to the Christians, and hath continued to this day and so far is it carried, that to commend the learning, the eloquence, the abilities, the virtues of some illustrious sectary, is to be a favourer of heretics, and to tread the paths that lead to excommunication. The learned world is well acquainted with this ecclesiastical policy, and not ignorant of its reasons.

Upon a fair examination it will appear that no part of history hath been more falsified and misrepresented than that which relates to sects and heresies. The frantic extravagances, the strange impurities, the detestable abomi

b Beausobre wrote a history of these persecuted Christians, and of the reformation in Germany, which, as I am informed, is in the hands of his relations. If they would offer proposals for printing it by subscription, it is to be hoped that all lovers of literature would join to recommend and encourage the undertaking. I can answer for one, though an inconsiderable person.

nations which have been imputed to many societies who invoked the holy name of Jesus Christ, appear to me as so many outrages done to Christianity; and I cannot read without indignation, those evidently fabulous stories of antient sects, charged with monstrous errors, and infamous ceremonies. All this is the effect of blind zeal, weak credulity, precipitation, and blunder. For what more spe

cious argument against Christianity, than this multitude of sects, seeming to vie with one another which should have the honour to invent the most absurd opinions, and the most profane and ungodly rites? The Pagan philosophers failed not to make their advantage of it, and by it to expose Christianity to the contempt and hatred of the people. It is true that the philosophers who passed over from Judaism and Paganism to Christianity corrupted the simplicity of the Gospel, and turned it into a contentious religion, and filled it with unedifying speculations: but as to impure and abominable mysteries, either they who practised them were not Chris. tians, but true Pagans, or those pretended mysteries were fable and fiction.

The Christians accused Manes of being a magician upon very slender grounds. If he had done what Saint Macarius did, there would have been more reason for the suspicion. Palladius, in his history of this monk, tells us, that having interrogated a human skull, the skull answered him, and let him into all the mystery of the state of the dead. It must be confessed that this miracle hath a very magical air, and that, without the best attestations in the world of being a sound catholic, whosoever should do as much in the territories of the Holy Inquisition, would run a great risque of being sent to see whether the skull had given a true account.

Fasting is a kind of austerity too much esteemed in the East, to have been neglected by the Manichæans. The Syrians in general, under which name I comprehend all the communions of the Levant, and the nations beyond Syria, are naturally very austere. Thence it came to pass that monkery, born and nursed in Egypt, made a great and rapid progress amongst the Syrians: thence the stylitæ, so famous in those parts, whom some Heretics called holy birds,' and 'martyrs in the air.' The Easterns are

very sober, and in Persia, the sobriety of the Westerns would be accounted no better than intemperance. The Syrians are perhaps the greatest fasters in the universe. Of the three hundred and sixty-five days of the year, they have one hundred and sixty of fixed fasts, without counting the weekly fasts of Wednesday and Friday observed in all Eastern communions. I cannot forbear citing on this occasion, a passage from the moral system of the Guebres, or antient Persians. When others keep a fast, the meaning is, that they eat nothing before dinner: our fast consists in endeavouring to restrain the organs of our body, our hands, our eyes, our tongues, from all sin. better to abstain from concupiscence and vice, than from food.' This, indeed, is the fast recommended by the prophets, but it is the least brilliant, and the most difficult, and not at all calculated to please hypocrites.

THUS far from Beausobre; to which I add:

It is

MANES drew up a theological system, and entered into a minute detail of things transacted before Adam, for which he had no proofs to give from Scripture or from reason, and therefore thought it convenient to pretend to inspiration. If a man had asked him, Where wast thou, when the dæmons brake prison, and fought with the first man, and with the Living Spirit? he must have replied, The Lord hath revealed these things to his servant Manes. To which the other might have said, Foretell us, then, future events, and work some miracles, that we may be satisfied of thy mission, and then it will be time enough to take thy marvellous doctrines into consideration.

It may seem strange that he had disciples; but it will seem so only to those who consider not what passes in the world. Manes was bold, ingenious, learned, and insinuating; but men, who resembled him in nothing besides effrontery, have found admirers and followers.

Jerom says, Nullus potest hæresin struere, nisi qui ardentis ingenii est, et habet dona naturæ, quæ a Deo artifice sunt creata.' It is usually as Jerom observes; but to this general rule there are exceptions. • Multum refert

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