Imágenes de páginas

the very best of men obliged to undergo, CHAP. in their progress to final beatitude. But I. as for those, who gave themselves up to the pleasures of the flesh, and had not selfcommand enough to mortify their bodies, they were destined to a yet feverer fate; nor could their fins be expiated, till they had paffed through a long courfe of torment and fuffering, inflicted upon them by evil demons". At length, when the final diffolution of all things fhall have arrived, this material world will then be confumed by fire; and the evil principle, and his affociates will be confined for ever in outer darkness, from which all hopes of emerging are prevented by a battalion of infernal fpirits, who are fo inveterately wicked, that no penance can wash out the atrocity of their guilt.

[ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

5. Και εαν εξέλθη ἡ ψυχή μη γνεσα την αληθειαν, παραδίδοται τοις δαίμοσιν, όπως δαμασωσιν αυτην εν ταις γενναις τ8 πυρός, και μετα την παίδευσιν μεταγνίζεται εις σωματα, ἵνα δαμασθη και έτω βαλλεται εις το μέγα πυρ, αχρι της συντελείας, EPIPH. ady. Hæref. lib. ii.

[blocks in formation]

SECT. philofophy completely at variance with the I. Old Teftament, and the greatest part of

the New; and that, let him retain which he would, he must give up the other; fuffered the prejudices of education to prevail, followed the example of the other Gnoftics, and at once rejected all the Old Testament, and fuch parts of the New, as could not be reconciled with his schemeo. The Mofaical difpenfation was, as ufual, afcribed to the inventive tyranny of the prince of darkness, whose kingdom Chrift came to overthrow; and those paffages in the Gospels, Acts, and Epiftles, which build Christianity upon the foundations of Judaism, were rejected, as originating from the fame malignant power, and as corruptions and interpolations of his Jewish fubjects.

The Herefiarch further declared himself

• Είτα παλιν λέγει ὁ αυτος Μανης, ου δύναται ἕνος διδασκαλου είναι παλαια και καινη Διαθηκη τει δὲ ἡ μεν παλαια ἕνος, και ἡ καίνη τε αλλά, τε δε καλὰ θες εσιν ή καινη Διαθηκη, πονηρου δε ἡ παλαια. Epiph. adv. Hæref. lib, i. Περί δε των παρ' ἡμιν προφητών, έτως λεγει πνευμα είναι ασέβειας, ήτοι ανομίας τε σκοτες, τε απ' αρχης ανελθοντος. Ibid. Τον δε λαλησαντα (Θεον) μετα Μωυσέως, και των Ιεδαίων, και των Ιερέων, τον άρχοντα λέγει είναι το σκοτες. Ibid.

[ocr errors]



to be the Comforter promised by Chrift, CHAF. and afferted, that it was his commiffion to I. put the finishing stroke to the plan of our redemption, by commanding all Chriftians, who hoped for falvation, to mortify and fubdue the corrupt matter of their bodies. Thus every innocent gratification was to be abftained from, and all the bleffings of a bounteous Creator to be abhorred, as containing in them the feeds of evil. Such as afpired to the highest rank among his followers, were debarred from marriage,

d Theod. Hæret. Fab. lib. i. c. 26. Epiph. adv. Hæref. lib. ii. Eufeb. Hift. Evang. lib. vii. c. 31.


e This prohibition was in ufe likewise among the followers of Marcion; and indeed it seems to be the necessary confequence of the notions entertained by the Gnoftics refpecting the malignity of matter. The precept and its motive are both clearly fet forth by Clemens Alexandrinus, AM' of μεν απο Μαρκίωνος φυσιν κακην εκ τε ύλης κακης, και εκ δύο καιου γενομενην δημιουργουν ᾧ δη λογῳ μη βελομενοι τον κόσμον τον απο δημιεργος γενομενον συμπληρών, απέχεσθαι γαμου βέλονται. Strom. lib. iii. The fame Author speaks in fimilar terms of the Gnoftics in general. Τοις δε ευφήμως d' εγκρατείας ασε βεσιν, εις τε την κλισιν και τον άγιον δημιουργον τον παντοκράτορα μονον θεον, και διδασκουσι fin δεν παραδέχεσθαι γαμον, και παιδοποιϊαν, μηδε αντεισαγειν τῷ κόσμῳ δυςυχήσοντας έτερες, μηδε επιχός pnyelv Ty Davarų Tрopny. Ibid. Manes goes fo far, as to pronounce marriage to be an invention of the Devil. Tov de γαμον του διαβολου νομοθεσιαν φήσι. THEOD. Hæret. Fab. lib. i. c. 26.


[ocr errors]

SECT. the ufe of animal food, and wine, as tend1. ing to detach the foul from heavenly contemplation, and as entangling it still more inextricably with grofs and corrupt mat


Other fimi


4. From what has been faid, it is evilar heretics. dent, that the grand herefy of the Gnoftics, which comprehended a variety of different fects, entirely cut afunder the link of connection between the Mofaical and Christian difpenfations. For, however the heads of these various fects might difagree among each other in fome particular points, in one they all coincided. Cerinthus, Elxai, Saturninus, Manes, Cerdo, Marcion, Bafilides, Valentine, the Cainites, and the Ophites, all denied the Mofaical difpenfation to be the work of God; though Some attributed it to the evil demon, and others to a powerful and degenerate angel, whom the Jews worshipped as God. The natural confequence of thofe fentiments was, that they all denied the connection.

f An accurate account of these heretics and their doctrines may be found in Irenæus, Epiphanius, and Theodoret.


between the Law and the Gospel; and, CHAP, instead of believing that Christ came to I. confirm the ancient covenant, they fuppofed that the end of his miffion was its deftruction.


« AnteriorContinuar »