1. If she had been as Ugly as the Devil, she had no body to rival her, so that she need not fear Adam should leave her and get another Mistress.
2. If she had been Bright and Beautiful as an Angel, she had no other Admirer but poor Adam, and he could have no room to be jealous of her, or afraid she should cuckold him; so that in short, Eve had no such Occasion for her Beauty, nor could she make any use of it either to a bad purpose or to a good, and therefore I believe the Devil, who is too cunning to do any thing that signifies Nothing, rather tempted her by the Hope of encreasing her Wit, than her Beauty.
But to come back to the Method of Satan's tempting her, viz. by whispering to her in her sleep; 'twas a cunning Trick, that's the Truth of it, and by that means he certainly set her Head a madding after Deism, and to be made a Goddess, and then back'd it by the subtle talk he had with her afterward.
I am the more particular upon this Part, because, however the Devil may have been the first that ever practised it, yet I can assure him the Experiment has been tried upon many a Woman since, to the wheedling her out of her Modesty, as well as her Simplicity; and the Cunning Men tell us still, that if you can come at a Woman when she is in a deep sleep, and Whisper to her close to her Ear, she will certainly Dream of the Thing you say to her, and so will a Man too.
Well, be this so to her Race or not, it was it seems so to her; for she wak'd with her Head fill'd with pleasing Ideas, and as some will have it, unlawful Desires; such, as to be sure she never had entertain'd before; These are supposed to be fatally infused in her Dream, and suggested to her waking Soul, when the Organ Ear which convey'd them was doz'd and insensible; strange Fate of sleeping in Paradise! that whereas we have Notice but of two Sleeps there, that in one a Woman should go out of him, and in the other, the Devil should come into her.
Certainly, when Satan first made the Attempt upon Eve, he did not think he should have so easily conquered her, or have brought his Business about so soon; the Devil himself could not have imagined she should have been so soon brought to forget the Command given, or at least who gave it, and have ventur'd to transgress against him, and made her forget that GOD had told her, it should be Death to her to touch it; and above all, that she should aspire to be as wise as him, who was so ignorant before, as to believe it was for fear of her being like himself, that he had forbid it her.
Well might she be said to be the weaker Vessel, tho' Adam himself had little enough to say for his being the stronger of the two, when he was over-persuaded (if it were done by Persuasion) by his Wife to do the same thing.
And mark how wise they were after they had Eaten, and what Fools they both acted like, even to one another; nay, even all the Knowledge they attain'd to by it was, for ought I see, only to know that they were Fools, and to be sensible both of Sin and Shame; and see how simply they acted, I say, upon their having committed the Crime, and being detected in it.
'View them to Day conversing with their God, 'His Image both enjoy'd and understood, 'To Morrow skulking with a sordid Flight, } 'Among the Bushes from the Infinite, } 'As if that Power was blind, which gave them Sight; } 'With senseless Labour Tagging Fig-Leaf Vests, 'To hide their Bodies from the sight of Beasts. 'Hark! how the Fool pleads faint, for forfeit Life, 'First he reproaches Heaven, and then his Wife; 'The Woman which thou gav'st as if the Gift 'Could rob him of the little Reason left, 'A weak Pretence to shift his early Crime, 'As if accusing her would excuse him; 'But thus encroaching Crime dethrones the Sense, 'And intercepts the Heavenly Influence, 'Debauches Reason, makes the Man a Fool, 'And turns his active Light to Ridicule.
It must be confess'd that it was unaccountable Degeneracy, even of their common Reasoning, which Adam and Eve both fell into upon the first committing the Offence of taking the forbidden Fruit: If that was their being made as Gods, it made but a poor Appearance in its first coming, to hide their Nakedness when there was no body to see them, and cover themselves among the Bushes from their Maker; but thus it was, and this the Devil had brought them to, and well might he, and all the Clan of Hell, as Mr. Milton brings them in, laugh and triumph over the Man after the Blow was given, as having so egregiously abused and deluded them both.
But here, to be sure, began the Devil's new Kingdom; as he had now seduc'd the two first Creatures, he was pretty sure of Success upon all the Race, and therefore prepar'd to attack them also, as soon as they came on; nor was their encreasing Multitude any Discouragement to his Attempt, but just the contrary; for he had Agents enough to employ, if every Man and Woman that should be born was to want a Devil to wait upon them, separately and singly to seduce them; whereas some whole Nations have been such willing subjects to him, that one of his Seraphic Imps may, for ought we know, have been enough to guide a whole Country; the People being entirely subjected to his Government for many Ages; as in America, for example, where some will have it, that he convey'd the first Inhabitants, at least if he did not, we don't well know who did, or how they got thither.
And how came all the Communication to be so entirely cut off between the Nations of Europe and Africa, from whence America must certainly have been peopl'd, or else the Devil must have done it indeed? I say, how came the Communication to be so entirely cut off between them, that except the time, whenever it was, that People did at first reach from one to the other, none ever came back to give their Friends any account of their Success, or invite them to follow? Nor did they hear of one another afterwards, as we have Reason to think: Did Satan politically keep them thus asunder, lest News from Heaven should reach them, and so they should be recover'd out of his Government? We cannot tell how to give any other rational Account of it, that a Nation, nay a Quarter of the World, or as some will have it be, half the Globe, should be peopled from Europe or Africa, or both, and no body ever go after them, or come back from them in above three thousand years after.
Nay, that those Countries should be peopled when there was no Navigation in use in these Parts of the World, no Ships made that could carry Provisions enough to support the People that fail'd in them, but that they must have been starved to death before they could reach the Shore of America; the Ferry from Europe or Africa, in any Part (which we have known Navigation to be practised in) being at least 1000 Miles, and in most Places much more.
But as to the Americans, let the Devil and they alone to account for their coming Thither, this we are certain of, that we knew nothing of them for many hundred Years; and when we did, when the Discovery was made, they that went from Hence found Satan in a full and quiet Possession of them, ruling them with an arbitrary Government, particular to himself; He had led them into a blind Subjection to himself, nay, I might call it Devotion, for it was all of Religion that was to be found among them) worshipping horrible Idols in his Name, to whom he directed human Sacrifices continually to be made, till he deluged the Country with Blood, and ripen'd them up for the Destruction that follow'd, from the Invasion of the Spaniards, who he knew would hurry them all out of the World as fast as he (the Devil) himself could desire of them.
But to go back a little to the Original of Things, It is evident that Satan has made a much better Market of Mankind, by thus subtilly attacking them, and bringing them to break with their Maker as he had done before them, than he could have done by fulminating upon them at first, and sending them all out of the World at once; for now he has peopled his own Dominions with them, and tho' a Remnant are snatch'd as it were out of his Clutches, by the Agency of Invincible Grace, of which I am not to discourse in this Place; yet this may be said of the Devil, without Offence, that he has in some Sense carried his Point, and as it were forc'd his Maker to be satisfied with a Part of Mankind, and the least Part too, instead of the great Glory he would have brought to himself by keeping them all in his Service.
Mr. Milton, as I have noted above, brings in the Devil and all Hell with him, making a Feu de Joye for the Victory Satan obtain'd over one silly Woman; indeed it was a Piece of Success greater in its Consequence than in the immediate Appearance; nor was the Conquest so compleat as Satan himself imagin'd to make, since the Promise of a Redemption out of his Hands, which was immediately made to the Man, in behalf of himself and his believing Posterity, was a great Disappointment to Satan, and as it were snatch'd the best Part of his Victory out of his Hands.
It is certain the Devils knew what the meaning of that Promise was, and who was to be the Seed of the Woman, namely, the incarnate Son of God, and that it was a second Blow to the whole infernal Body; but as if they had resolved to let that alone, Satan went on with his Business; and as he had introduc'd Crime into the common Parent of Mankind, and thereby secured the Contamination of Blood, and the Descent or Propagation of the corrupt Seed, he had nothing to do but to assist Nature in time to come, to carry on its own Rebellion, and act it self in the Breasts of Eve's tainted Posterity; and that indeed has been the Devil's Business ever since his first Victory upon the Kind, to this Day.
His Success in this Part has been such, that we see upon innumerable Occasions a general Defection has follow'd; a kind of a Taint upon Nature, call it what you will, a Blast upon the Race of Mankind; and were it not for one thing, he had ruined the whole Family; I say, were it not for one thing, namely, a selected Company or Number, which his Maker has resolv'd he shall not be able to corrupt, or if he does, the sending the promis'd Seed shall recover back again from him, by the Power of irresistible Grace; which Number thus selected or elected, call it which we will, are still to supply the Vacancies in Heaven, which Satan's Defection left open; and what was before fill'd up with created Seraphs, is now to be restor'd by recover'd Saints, by whom infinite Glory is to accrue to the Kingdom of the Redeemer.
This glorious Establishment has robb'd Satan of all the Joy of his Victory, and left him just where he was, defeated and disappointed; nor does the Possession of all the Myriads of the Sons of Perdition, who yet some are of the Opinion will be snatch'd from him too at last; I say, the Possession of all these makes no amends to him, for he is such a Devil in his Nature, that the Envy at those he cannot seduce, eats out all the Satisfaction of the Mischief he has done in seducing all the rest; but I must not preach, so I return to things as much needful to know, tho' less solemn.
Of the Progress of Satan in carrying on his Conquest over Mankind, from the Fall of Eve to the Deluge.
I doubt if the Devil was ask'd the Question plainly, he would confess, that after he had conquer'd Eve by his own wicked Contrivance, and then by her Assistance had brought Adam too (like a Fool as he was) into the same Gulph of Misery, he thought he had done his Work, compassed the whole Race, that they were now his own, and that he had put an End to the grand Design of their Creation; namely, of Peopling Heaven with a new Angelic Race of Souls, who when glorify'd, should make up the Defection of the Host of Hell, that had been expung'd by their Crime; in a Word, that he had gotten a better Conquest than if he had destroy'd them all.
But in the midst of his Conquest, he found a Check put to the Advantages he expected to reap from his Victory, by the immediate Promise of Grace to a Part of the Posterity of Adam, who, notwithstanding the Fall, were to be purchased by the Messiah, and snatch'd out of his (Satan's) Hands, and over whom he could make no final Conquest; so that his Power met with a new Limitation, and that such, as indeed fully disappointed him in the main thing he aim'd at, (viz.) preventing the Beatitudes of Mankind, which were thus secur'd; (And what if the Numbers of Mankind were upon this account encreased in such a manner, that the selected Number should, by Length of Time, amount to just as many as the whole Race, had they not fallen, would have amounted to in all?) And thus, indeed, the World may be said to be upheld and continued for the Sake of those few, since till their Number can be compleated, the Creation cannot fall, any more than, that without them, or but for them it would not have stood.
But leaving this Speculation, and not having enquir'd of Satan what he has to say on that Subject, let us go back to the Antediluvian World: The Devil to be sure, gain'd his Point upon Eve, and in her upon all her Race: He drew her into Sin; got her turn'd out of Paradise, and the Man with her: The next Thing was to go to work with her Posterity, and particularly with her two Sons Cain and Abel.
Adam having, notwithstanding his Fall, repented very sincerely of his Sin; receiv'd the Promise of Redemption and Pardon, with an humble but believing Heart; Charity bids us suppose that he led a very religious and sober Life ever after; and especially in the first Part of his Time, That he brought up his Children very soberly, and gave them all the necessary Advantages of a Religious Education, and a good Introduction into the World, that he was capable of; and that Eve likewise assisted to both in her Place and Degree.
Their two eldest Sons Cain and Abel; The one Heir apparent to the Patriarchal Empire, and the other Heir presumptive, I suppose also, lived very sober and religious Lives; and as the Principles of natural Religion dictated a Homage and Subjection due to the Almighty Maker, as an Acknowledgment of his Mercies, and a Recognition of their Obedience; so the receiv'd Usage of Religion dictating at that Time that this Homage was to be paid by a Sacrifice, they either of them brought a Free-will-offering to be dedicated to God respectively for themselves and Families.
How it was, and for what Reason that God had respect to the Offering of Abel, which the Learn'd say, was a Lamb of the Firstlings of the Flock, and did not give any Testimony of the like Respect to Cain and his Offering, which was of the first Fruits of the Earth, the Offerings being equally suited to the respective Employment of the Men, that is not my present Business; but this we find made Heart-burnings, and raised Envy and Jealousy in the Mind of Cain; and at that Door the Devil immediately entred; for he, who from the Beginning, was very diligent in his way, never slip'd any Opportunity, or miss'd any Advantages that the Circumstances of Mankind offered him to do Mischief.
What Shape or Appearance the Devil took up to enter into a Conversation with Cain upon the Subject, that Authors do not take upon them to determine; but 'tis generally supposed he personated some of Cain's Sons or Grandsons to begin the Discourse, who attack'd their Father, or perhaps Grandfather, upon this Occasion, in the following manner, or to that Purpose.
* * * * *
D. Sir, I perceive your Majesty (for the first Race were certainly all Monarchs as great as Kings, to their immediate Posterity) to be greatly disturb'd of late, your Countenance is chang'd, your noble Chearfulness (the Glories of your Face) are strangely sunk and gone, and you are not the Man you used to be; please your Majesty to communicate your Griefs to us your Children, you may be sure, that if it be possible, we would procure you Relief, and restore your Delights, the Loss of which, if thus you go on to subject yourself to too much Melancholy, will be very hurtful to you, and in the End destroy you.
Cain. It is very kind, my dear Children, to shew your Respect thus to your true Progenitor, and to offer your Assistance: I confess, as you say, my Mind is oppress'd and displeased; but tho' 'tis very heavy, yet I know not which way to look for Relief, for the Distemper is above our Reach, no Cure can be found for it on Earth.
D. Do not say so, Sir; there can be no Disease sure on Earth but may be cur'd on Earth; if it be a mental Evil, we have heard that your great Ancestor, the first Father of us all, who lives still on the great western Plains towards the Sea, is the Oracle to which all his Children fly for Direction in such Cases as are out of the Reach of the ordinary understanding of Mankind; please you to give leave, we will take a Journey to him, and representing your Case to him, we will hear his Advice, and bring it to you with all Speed, for the Ease of your Mind.
Cain. I know not whether he can reach my Case or no.
D. Doubtless he may, and if not, the Labour of our Journey is nothing when plac'd in Competition with the Ease of your Mind; 'tis but a few Days travel lost, and you will not be the worse if we fail of the desired Success.
Cain. The offer is filial, and I accept your affectionate Concern for me, with a just Sense of an oblig'd Parent; go then, and my Blessing be upon you; but alas! why do I bless? can he bless whom God has not bless'd!
D. O! Sir, do not say so, has not God bless'd you? are you not the second Sovereign of the Earth? and does he not converse with you Face to Face? are not you the Oracle to all your growing Posterity, and next after his Sovereign Imperial Majesty Lord Adam, Patriarch of the World?
Cain. But has not God rejected me, and refused to converse any more with me, while he daily Favours and Countenances my younger Brother Abel, as if he resolv'd to set him up to rule over me?
D. No, Sir, that cannot be, you cannot be disturb'd at such a thing; is not the Right of Sovereignty yours by Primogeniture? can God himself take that away, when 'tis once given? are not you Lord Adam's eldest Son? are you not the firstborn Glory of the Creation? and does not the Government descend to you by the divine Right of Birth and Blood?
Cain. But what does all that signify to me, while God appears to favour and caress my younger Brother, and to shine upon him, while a black Dejection and token of Displeasure surrounds me every Day, and he does not appear to me as he used to do?
D. And what need your Majesty be concern'd at that, if it be so? if he does not appear pleased, you have the whole World to enjoy your self in, and all your numerous and rising Posterity Adore and Honour you; what need those remote Things be any disturbance to you?
Cain. How! my Children, not the Favour of God be valued! yes, yes, in his favour is Life; what can all the World avail without the Smiles and Countenance of him that made it?
D. Doubtless, Sir, he that made the World and plac'd you at the Head of it all, to govern and direct it, has made it agreeable, and it is able to give you a full Satisfaction and Enjoyment, if you please to consider it well, tho' you were never to converse with him all the while you live in't.
Cain. You are quite wrong there, my Children, quite wrong.
D. But do you not, great Sir, see all your Children as well as us rejoicing in the Plenty of all Things, and are they not compleatly happy, and yet they know little of this great GOD? He seldom converses among us, we hear of him indeed by your sage Advices, and we bring our Offerings to you for him, as you direct, and when that's done, we enjoy whatever our Hearts desire; and so doubtless may you in an abundant manner, if you please.
Cain. But your Felicity is wrong plac'd then, or you suppose that God is pleased and satisfied in that your Offerings are brought to me; but what would you say, if you knew that God is displeased? that he does not accept your Offerings? that when I sacrific'd to him in behalf of you all, he rejected my Offerings, tho' I brought a princely Gift, being of the finest of the Wheat, the choicest and earliest Fruits, and the sweetest of the Oil, an Offering suited to the Giver of them all?
D. But if you offered them, Sir, how are you sure they were not accepted?
Cain. Yes, yes, I am sure; did not my Brother Abel offer at the same Time a Lamb of his Flock, for he, you know, delights in Cattle, and covers the Mountains with his Herds? over him, all the while he was sacrificing, a bright Emanation shone chearing and enlivening; a Pledge of Favour, and light ambient Flames play'd hovering in the lower Air, as if attending his Sacrifice; and when ready prepar'd, immediately descended and burnt up the Flesh, a Sweet odoriferous Savour ascending to him, who thus testified his Acceptance; whereas, over my Head a black Cloud, misty, and distilling Vapour, hung dripping upon the humble Altar I had raised, and wetting the finest and choicest Things I had prepar'd, spoil'd and defac'd them; the Wood unapt to burn by the Moisture which fell, scarce receiv'd the Fire I brought to kindle it, and even then, rather smother'd and choaked, than kindled into a Flame; in a Word, it went quite out, without consuming what was brought to be offer'd up.
D. Let not our truly reverenc'd Lord and Father be disquieted at all this; if he accepts not what you bring, you are discharg'd of the Debt, and need bring no more; nor have the Trouble of such labour'd Collections of Rarities any more; when he thinks fit to require it again, you will have Notice, no Question, and then it being call'd for, will be accepted or else why should it be requir'd?
Cain. That may indeed be the Case, nor do I think of attempting any more to bring an Offering, for I rather take it, that I am forbidden for the present; but then, what is it that my younger Brother Triumphs in? and how am I insulted, in that he and his House are all Joy and Triumph, as if they had some great Advantage over me, in that their Offering was accepted when mine was not?
D. Does he Triumph over your Majesty, our Lord and Sovereign? give us but your Order, and we will go and pull him and all his Generation in pieces; for to triumph over you who are his elder Brother, is a horrid Rebellion and Treason, and he ought to be expell'd the Society of Mankind.
Cain. I think so too, indeed; however, my dear Children and faithful Subjects, tho' I accept your Offer of Duty and Service, yet I will consider very well, before I take up Arms against my Brother; besides, our Sovereign Father and patriarchal Lord, Adam, being yet alive, it is not in my Right to act offensively without his Command.
D. We are ready therefore to carry your Petition to him, and doubt not to obtain his Licence and Commission too, to empower you to do your self Justice upon your younger Brother; who being your Vassal, or at least inferior, as he is junior in Birth, insults you upon the fancied Opinion of having a larger Share in the Divine Favour, and receiving a Blessing on his Sacrifices, on Pretence of the same Favour being denied you.
Cain. I am content, go then, and give a just Account of the State of our Affairs.
D. We shall soon return with the agreeable answer; let not our Lord and Father continue sad and dejected, but depend upon a speedy Relief, by the Assistance of thy numerous Issue, all devoted to thy Interest and Felicity.
Cain. My Blessing be with you in your Way, and give you a favourable Reception at the venerable Tent of our universal Lord and Father.
* * * * *
Note, Here the cursed Race being fully given up to the Direction of the Evil-Spirit, which so early possess'd them, and swelling with Rage at the innocent Abel and his whole Family, they resolved upon forming a most wicked and detestable lie, to bring about the Advice which they had already given their Father Cain a touch of; and to pretend that Adam being justly provok'd at the undutiful Behaviour of Abel, had given Cain a Commission to chastise him, and by Force to cut him off and all his Family, as guilty of Rebellion and Pride.
Fill'd with this mischievous and bloody Resolution, they came back to their Father Cain, after staying a few Days, such as were Sufficient to make Cain believe they had been at the spacious Plains, where Adam dwelt; the same which are now call'd the blessed Valleys, or the Plains of Mecca in Arabia Faelix, near the Banks of the Red-Sea.
Note here also, that Cain having received a wicked Hint from these Men, his Children and Subjects, as before, intimating that Abel had broken the Laws of Primogeniture in his Behaviour towards him, (Cain) and that he might be justly punish'd for it; Satan, that cunning Manager of all our wayward Passions, fan'd the Fire of Envy and Jealousy with his utmost Skill all the while his other Agents were absent; and by the Time they came back had blown it up into such a Heat of Fury and Rage, that it wanted nothing but Air to make it burn out, as it soon afterwards did in a furious Flame of Wrath and Revenge, even to Blood and Destruction.
Just in the very critical Moment, while Things stood thus with Cain, Satan brings in his wicked Instruments, as if just arriv'd with the Return of his Message from Adam, at whose Court they had been for Orders; and thus they, that is the Devil assuming to speak by them, approach their Father with an Air of solemn but chearful Satisfaction at the Success of their Embassy.
* * * * *
D. Hail Sovereign, Reverend, Patriarchal Lord! we come with Joy to render thee an Account of the Success of our Message.
Cain. Have you then seen the venerable Tents where dwell the Heaven-born, the Angelic Pair, to whom all human Reverence highly due, is and ought always to be humbly paid?
D. We have.
Cain. Did you, together with my grand Request, a just, a humble Homage for me pay, to the great Sire and Mother of Mankind?
D. We did.
Cain. Did you in humble Language represent the Griefs and Anguish which oppress my Soul?
D. We did, and back their Blessing to thee bring.
Cain. I hope with humblest Signs of filial Duty you took it for me on your bending Knees?
D. We did, and had our Share; the Patriarch lifting his Hands to Heaven express'd his Joy to see his spreading Race, and bless'd us all.
Cain. Did you my solemn Message too deliver, my Injuries impartially lay down, and due Assistance and Direction crave?
D. We did.
Cain. What spoke the Oracle? he's God to me; what just Command d'ye bring, what's to be done? am I to bear the insulting Junior's Rage? and meekly suffer what unjustly he, affronting Primogeniture and Laws of God and Man, imposes by his Pride unsufferable! Am I to be crush'd, and be no more the firstborn Son on Earth, but bow and kneel to him?
D. Forbid it Heaven! as Adam too forbids, who with a justice God-like and peculiar to injur'd Parents, Abel's Pride resents, and gives his high Command to thee to punish.
Cain. To punish? say you, did he use the Word, the very Word? am I commission'd then to punish Abel?
D. Not Abel only, but his rebel Race, as they alike in Crime alike are join'd in Punishment.
Cain. The Race indeed have shar'd the Merit with him; how did they all insult, and with a Shout of Triumph mock my Sorrow, when they saw me from my Sacrifice dejected come, as if my Disappointment was their Joy?
D. This too the venerable Prince resents, and to preserve the Race in Bounds of Laws subordinate and limited to Duty, Commands that this first Breach be not pass'd by, lest the Precedent upon Record stand to future Times to encourage like Rebellion.
Cain. And is it then my Sovereign Parent's Will?
D. It is his Will, that thou his eldest Son, his Image, his belov'd, should be maintain'd in all the Rights of Sovereignty deriv'd to thee from him; and not be left expos'd to injury and Power usurped, but should do thy self Justice on the rebel Race.
Cain. And so I will; Abel shall quickly know what 'tis to trample on his elder Brother; shall know that he's thus sentenc'd by his Father, and I'm commission'd but to execute his high Command, his Sentence, which is God's, and that he falls by the Hand of Heavenly Justice.
* * * * *
So now Satan had done his Work, he had deluded the Mother to a Breach against the first and only Command, he had drawn Adam to the same Snare, and now he brings in Cain prompted by his own Rage, and deluded by his, (Satan's,) Craft, to commit Murder, nay a Fratricide, an aggravated Murther.
Upon this he sends out Cain, while the bloody Rage was in its Ferment, and wickedly at the same Time bringing Abel, innocent and fearing no ill, just in his Way, he suggests to his Thoughts such Words as these.
Look you Cain, see how Divine Justice concurs with your Father's righteous Sentence, see there's thy Brother Abel directed by Heaven to fall into thy Hands unarm'd, unguarded, that thou may'st do thy self Justice upon him without Fear; see thou may'st kill him, and if thou hast a Mind to conceal it, no Eyes can see, or will the World ever know it, so that no Resentment or Revenge upon thee, or thy Posterity, can be apprehended, but it may be said some wild Beast had rent him; nor will any one suggest that thou, his Brother, and Superior, could possibly be the Person.
Cain prepar'd for the Fact, by his former avow'd Rage and Resolution of Revenge, was so much the less prepar'd to avoid the Snare thus artfully contriv'd by the Master of all Subtilty, the Devil; so he immediately runs upon his Brother Abel, and after a little unarm'd Resistance, the innocent poor Man expecting no such Mischief, was conquer'd and murther'd; after which, as is to be supposed, the exasperated Crew of Cain's outrageous Race, over-run all his Family and Houshold, killing Man, Woman and Child.
It is objected here that we have no Authority in Scripture to prove this Part of the Story; but I answer, 'tis not likely but that Abel, as well as Cain, being at Man's Estate long before this, had several Children by their own Sisters, for they were the only Men in the World who were allow'd the Marrying their own Sisters, there being no other Women then in the World; and as we never read of any of Abel's Posterity, 'tis likewise as probable they were all murther'd, as that they should kill Abel only, whose Sons might immediately fall upon Cain for the Blood of their Father, and so the World have been involv'd in a Civil War as soon as there were two Families in it.
But be it so or not, 'tis not doubted the Devil wrought with Cain in the horrid Murther, or he had never done it; whether it was directly or by Agents is not material, nor is the Latter unlikely; and if the Latter, then there is no Improbability in the Story, for why might not he that made Use of the Serpent to tempt Eve, be as well supposed to make a Tool of some of Cain's Sons or Grandsons to prompt him in the wicked Attempt of murthering his Brother? and why must we be oblig'd to bring in a Miracle or an Apparition into the Story, to make it probable that the Devil had any Hand in it, when 'twas so natural to a degenerate Race to act in such a Manner?
However it was, and by whatever Tool the Devil wrought, 'tis certain that this was the Consequence, poor Abel was butcher'd, and thus the Devil made a second Conquest in God's Creation; for Adam was now, as may be said, really Childless, for his two Sons were thus far lost, Abel was killed, and Cain was curst and driven out from the Presence of the Lord, and his Race blasted with him.
It would be a useful enquiry here, and worthy our giving an Account of, could we come to a Certainty in it, namely, what was the Mark that God set upon Cain, by which he was kept from being fallen upon by Abel's Friends or Relations? but as this does not belong to the Devil's History, and it was God's Mark, not the Devil's, I have nothing to do with it here.
The Devil had now gain'd his Point, the Kingdom of Grace, so newly erected, had been as it were extinct without a new Creation, had not Adam and Eve been alive, and had not Eve, tho' now 130 Years of Age, been a breeding young Lady, for we must suppose the Woman, in that State of Longevity, bare Children till they were seven or eight hundred Year old: This Teeming of Eve peopled not the World so much as it restored the blessed Race; for tho' Abel was kill'd Cain had a numerous Offspring presently, which had Seth, (Adam's third Son) never been born, would soon have replenish'd the World with People, such as they were; the Seed of a Murtherer, cursed of God, branded with a Mark of Infamy, and who afterwards fell all together in the universal Ruine of the Race by the Deluge.
But after the Murther of Abel, Adam had another Son born, namely, Seth, the Father of Enos, and indeed the Father of the holy Race; for during his Time and his Son Enos, the Text says that Men began to call on the Name of the Lord; that is to say, they began to look back upon Cain and his wicked Race, and being convinc'd of the Wickedness they had committed, and led their whole Posterity into, they began to sue to Heaven for Pardon of what was past, and to lead a new sort of Life.
But the Devil had met with too much Success in his first Attempts, not to go on with his general Resolution of debauching the Minds of Men, and bringing them off from God; and therefore as he kept his Hold upon Cain's cursed Race, embroil'd already in Blood and Murther; so he proceeded with his degenerate Offspring, till in a Word he brought both the holy Seed and the degenerate Race to joyn in one universal Consent of Crime, and to go on in it with such aggravating Circumstances, as that it repented the Lord that he had made Man, and he resolv'd to overwhelm them again with a general Destruction, and clear the World of them.
The Succession of Blood in the royal original Line of Adam, is preserv'd in the sacred Histories and brought down as low as Noah and his three Sons, for a continu'd series of 1450 Years, say some, 1640 say others; in which Time Sin spread it self so generally thro' the whole Race, and the Sons of God, so the Scripture calls the Men of the righteous Seed, the Progeny of Seth, came in unto the Daughters of Men, that is, join'd themselves to the curs'd Race of Cain, and married promiscuously with them, according to their Fancies, the Women it seems being beautiful and tempting; and tho' the Devil could not make the Women handsome or ugly in one or other Families, yet he might work up the Gust of wicked Inclination on either Side, so as to make both the Men and Women tempting and agreeable to one another, where they ought not to have been so; and perhaps, as it is often seen to this Day, the more tempting for being under legal Restraint.
It is objected here, that we do not find in the Scripture that the Men and Women of either Race were at that Time forbidden intermarrying with one another; and it is true, that literally it is not forbid; but if we did not search rather to make doubts than to explain them, we might suppose it was forbidden by some particular Command at that Time; seeing we may reasonably allow every Thing to be forbidden, which they are tax'd with a Crime in committing; and as the Sons of God taking them Wives as they thought fit to choose, tho' from among the Daughters of the cursed Race, is there charg'd upon them as a general Depravation, and a great Crime; and for which, 'tis said, GOD even repented that he had made them, we need go no farther to satisfy our selves that it was certainly forbidden.
Satan no doubt too had a Hand in this Wickedness; for as it was his Business to prompt Men to do every Thing which God had prohibited, so the Reason given why the Men of those Days did this Thing was, they saw the Daughters of Men, that is of the wicked Race or forbidden Sort, were fair, he tempted them by the Lust of the Eye; in a word, the Ladies were beautiful and agreeable, and the Devil knew how to make use of the Allurement; the Men liked and took them by the meer Direction of their Fancy and Appetite, without regarding the supreme Prohibition; They took them Wives of all which they chose, or such as they lik'd to choose.
But the Text adds, that this promiscuous Generation went farther than the meer outward Crime of it, for it shew'd that the Wickedness of the Heart of Man was great before God, and that he resented it; In short, God perceived a Degeneracy or Defect of Virtue had seiz'd upon the whole Race, that there was a general Corruption of Manners, a Depravity of Nature upon them, that even the holy Seed was tainted with it, that the Devil had broken in upon them, and prevail'd to a great Degree; that not only the Practice of the Age was corrupt, for that God could easily have restrain'd, but that the very Heart of Man was debauch'd, his Desires wholly vitiated, and his Senses engag'd in it; so that in a Word, it became necessary to shew the divine Displeasure, not in the ordinary Manner, by Judgment and Reproofs of such kind as usually reclaim Men, but by a general Destruction to sweep them away, clear the Earth of them, and put an End to the Wickedness at once, removing the Offence and the Offenders all together; this is signify'd at large, Gen. vi. 5. God saw that the Wickedness of Man was great in the Earth, and that every Imagination of the Thoughts of his Heart was only evil continually. And again ver. 11, 12. The Earth also was corrupt before God; and the Earth was fill'd with Violence. And God look'd upon the Earth and behold it was corrupt; for all Flesh had corrupted his Way upon the Earth.
It must be confess'd it was a strange Conquest the Devil had made in the Antediluvian World, that he had, as I may say, brought the whole Race of Mankind into a general Revolt from God; Noah was indeed a Preacher of Righteousness, and he had preach'd about 500 Years to as little Purpose as most of the good Ministers ever did; for we do not read there was one Man converted by him, or at least not one of them left, for that at the Deluge there was either none of them alive, or none spar'd but Noah and his three Sons, and their Wives; and even they are ('tis evident) recorded, not so much to be sav'd for their own Goodness, but because they were his Sons; Nay, without Breach of Charity we may conclude, that at least one went to the Devil even of those three, namely, Ham or Cham for triumphing in a brutal Manner over his Father's Drunkenness; for we find the Special Curse reach'd to him and his Posterity for many Ages; and whether it went no farther than the present State of Life with them, we cannot tell.
We will suppose now that thro' this whole 1500 Years the Devil having so effectually debauch'd Mankind, had advanc'd his infernal Kingdom to a prodigious Height; for the Text says, the whole Earth was fill'd with violence; in a Word, Blood, Murder, Rape, Robbery, Oppression and Injustice prevail'd every where, and Man, like the wild Bear in the Forest, liv'd by Prey, biting and devouring one another.
At this Time Noah begins to preach a new Doctrine to them, for as he had before been a Preacher of Righteousness, now he becomes a Preacher of Vengeance; first he tells them they shall be all overwhelm'd with a Deluge, that for their Sins God repented they were made, and that he would destroy them all, adding, that to prevent the Ruin of himself and Family, he resolv'd to build him a Ship to have recourse to when the Water should come over the Rest of the World.
What Jesting, what Scorn, what Contempt did this Work expose the good old Man to for above a 100 Years? for so long the Work was building, as antient Authors say; let us represent to our selves in the most lively Manner how the witty World at that Time behav'd to poor old Noah; how they took their Evening Walks to see what he was doing, and passed their Judgment upon it, and upon the Progress of it; I say, to represent this to our selves, we need go no farther than to our own Witicisms upon Religion, and upon the most solemn Mysteries of Divine Worship; how we damn the Serious for Enthusiasts, think the Grave mad, and the Sober melancholy; call Religion it self Flatus and Hyppo; make the Devout ignorant, the Divine mercenary, and the whole Scheme of Divinity a Frame of Priestcraft; and thus no doubt the building an Ark or Boat, or whatever they call'd it, to float over the Mountains, and dance over the Plains, what could it be but a religious Frenzy, and the Man that so busied himself, a Lunatick? and all this in an Age when divine Things came by immediate Revelation into the Minds of Men! the Devil must therefore have made a strange Conquest upon Mankind to obliterate all the Reverence, which but a little before was so strangely impress'd upon them concerning their Maker.
This was certainly the Height of the Devil's Kingdom, and we shall never find him arrive to such a Pitch again; he was then truly and literally the universal Monarch, nay the God of this World; and as all Tyrants do, he governs them with an arbitrary absolute sway; and had not God thought fit to give him a Writ of Ejectment, and afterwards drown him out of Possession I know not what would have been the Case, he might have kept his Hold for ought I know till the Seed of the Woman came to bruise his Head, that is to say, cripple his Government, Dethrone him and Depose his Power, as has been fulfill'd in the Messiah.
But as he was, I say, drown'd out of the World, his Kingdom for the present was at an End; at least, if he had a Dominion he had no Subjects, and as the Creation was in a Manner renewed, so the Devil had all his Work to do over again: Unhappy Man! how has he, by his weak Resistance, made the Devil, recovering his Hold too easy to him, and given him all the Advantages, except as before excepted, which he had before? Now whether he retired in the mean Time, and how he got footing again after Noah and his Family were landed upon the New Surface, that we come next to enquire.
Of the Devil's second Kingdom, and how he got footing in the renew'd World by his Victory over Noah and his Race.
The Story of Noah, his building the Ark, his embarking himself and all Nature's Stock for a new World on board it; the long Voyage they took, and the bad Weather they met with, tho' it would embellish this Work very well, and come in very much to the Purpose in this Place, yet as it does not belong to the Devil's Story, for I cannot prove what some suggest (viz.) that he was in the Ark among the Rest, I say, for that Reason I must omit it.
And now having mention'd Satan's being in the Ark; as I say, I cannot prove it, so there are, I think, some good Reasons to believe he was not there: First, I know no Business he had there; secondly, we read of no Mischief done there, and these joyn'd together make me conclude he was absent; the last I chiefly insist upon, that we read of no Mischief done there, which if he had been in the Ark, would certainly have happen'd; and therefore I suppose rather, that when he saw his Kingdom dissolv'd, his Subjects all ingulph'd in an inevitable Ruin and Desolation, a Sight suitable enough to him, except as it might unking him for a Time; I say, when he saw this, he took care to speed himself away as well as he could, and make his Retreat to a Place of Safety, where that was, is no more difficult to us, than it was to him.
It is suggested that as he is Prince of the Power of the Air, he retired only into that Region. It is most rational to suppose he went no further on many Accounts, of which I shall speak by and by: Here he stay'd hovering in the Earth's Atmosphere, as he has often done since, and perhaps now does; or if the Atmosphere of this Globe was affected by the Indraft of the Absorption, as some think, then he kept himself upon the Watch, to see what the Event of the new Phaenomenon would be, and this Watch, wherever it was, I doubt not, was as near the Earth as he could place himself, perhaps in the Atmosphere of the Moon, or in a Word, the next Place of Retreat he could find.
From hence I took upon me to insist, that Satan has not a more certain Knowledge of Events than we; I say, he has not a more certain Knowledge; that he may be able to make stronger Conjectures and more rational Conclusions from that he sees, I will not deny; and that which he most outdoes us in is, that he sees more to conclude from than we can, but I am satisfied he knows nothing of Futurity more than we can see by Observation and Inference; nor, for Example, did he know whether God would repeople the World any more or no.
I must therefore allow that he only waited to see what would be the Event of this strange Eruption of Water, and what God propos'd to do with the Ark, and all that was in it.
Some Philosophers tell us, besides what I hinted above, that the Devil could have no Retreat in the Earth's Atmosphere, for that the Air being wholly condens'd into Water, and having continually pour'd down its Streams to deluge the Earth, that Body was become so small, and had suffer'd such Convulsions, that there was but just enough Air left to surround the Water, or as might serve by its Pressure to preserve the natural Position of Things, and supply the Creatures in the Ark with a Part to breath in.
The Atmosphere indeed might suffer some strange and unnatural Motions at that Time, but not (I believe) to that Degree, however, I will not affirm that there could be room in it, or is now for the Devil, much less for all the numberless Legions of Satan's Host; but there was, and now certainly is, sufficient Space to receive him, and a sufficient Body of his Troops for the Business he had for them at that time, and that's enough to the Purpose; or if the Earth's Atmosphere did suffer any particular Convulsion on that Occasion, he might make his Retreat to the Atmosphere of the Moon, or of Mars, or of Venus, or of any of the other Planets; or to any other Place, for he that is Prince of the Air could not want Retreats in such a Case, from whence he might watch for the issue of Things; certainly he did not go far, because his Business lay here, and he never goes out of his Way of doing Mischief.
In particular, his more than ordinary Concern was, to see what would become of the Ark; he was wise enough doubtless to see, that GOD, who had directed its making, nay even the very Structure of it, would certainly take Care of it, preserve it upon the Water, and bring it to some Place of Safety or other; tho' where it should be, the Devil with all his Cunning could not resolve, whether on the same Surface the Waters drawing off, or in any other created or to be created Place; and this State of Uncertainty being evidently his Case, and which proves his Ignorance of Futurity, it was his Business, I say, to watch with the utmost vigilance for the Event.
If the Ark was (as Mr. Burnet thinks) guided by two Angels, they not only held it from foundering or being swallow'd up in the Water, but certainly kept the Waters calm about it, especially when the Lord brought a strong Wind to blow over the whole Globe, which by the Way was the first, and, I suppose, the only universal Storm that ever blew, for to be sure it blew over the whole Surface at once; I say, if it was thus guided, to be sure the Devil saw it, and that with Envy and Regret that he could do it no Injury, for doubtless had it been in the Devil's Power, as God had drown'd the whole Race of Man, except what was in the Ark, he would have taken care to have dispatch'd them too, and so made an End of the Creation at once; but either he was not empower'd to go to the Ark, or it was so well guarded by Angels, that when he came near it he could do it no harm: So it rested at length, the Waters abating on the Mountains of Arrarat in Armenia, or some where else that Way, and where they say a Piece of the Keel is remaining to this Day; of which, however with Dr. ——— I say, I believe not one Word.
The Ark being safe landed, 'tis reasonable to believe Noah prepared to go on Shore, as the Seamen call it, as soon as the dry Land began to appear; and here you must allow me to suppose Satan, tho' himself cloth'd with a Cloud, so as not to be seen, came immediately, and pearching on the Roof, saw all the Heaven-kept Houshold safely landed, and all the Host of living Creatures dispersing themselves down the Sides of the Mountain, as the Search of their Food or other proper Occasions directed them.
This Sight was enough; Satan was at no Loss to conclude from hence that the Design of God was to repeople the World by the Way of ordinary Generation, from the Posterity of these eight Persons, without creating any new Species.
Very well, says the Devil, then my Advantage over them, by the Snare I laid for poor Eve, is good still; and I am now just where I was after Adam's Expulsion from the Garden, and when I had Cain and his Race to go to work with; for here is the old expung'd Corrupted Race still, as Cain was the Object then, so Noah is my Man now, and if I do not master him one way or another, I am mistaken in my Mark. Pardon me for making a Speech for the Devil.
Noah big with a Sense of his late Condition, and while the Wonders of the Deluge were fresh in his Mind, spent his first Days in the Extasies of his Soul, giving Thanks, and praising the Power that had been his Protection, in and thro' the Flood of Waters, and which had in so miraculous a Manner, safely landed him on the Surface of the newly discover'd Land; and the Text tells us, as one of the first Things he was employ'd in, He built an Altar unto the Lord, and offered Burnt-Offerings upon the Altar. Gen. viii. 20.
While Noah was thus employ'd he was safe, the Devil himself could no where break in upon him; and we may suppose very reasonably, as he found the old Father invulnerable, he left him for some Years, watching notwithstanding all possible Advantages against his Sons and their Children; for now the Family began to encrease, and Noah's Sons had several Children; whether himself had any more Children after the Flood or not, that we are not arriv'd to any Certainty about.
Among his Sons the Devil found Japhet and Shem, good, pious, religious, and very devout Persons; serving God daily, after the Example of their good old Father Noah, and he could make nothing of them or of any of their Posterity; but Ham the second, or according to some, the younger Son of Noah, had a Son who was nam'd Canaan, a loose young profligate Fellow, his Education was probably but cursory and superficial, his Father Ham not being near so religious and serious a Man as his Brothers Shem and Japhet were; and as Canaan's Education was defective, so he prov'd, as untaught Youth generally do, a wild, and in short a very wicked Fellow, and consequently a fit Tool for the Devil to go to work with.
Noah, a diligent industrious Man, being with all his Family thus planted in the rich fruitful Plains of Armenia, or wherever you please, let it be near the Mountains of Caucasus or Arrarat; went immediately to work, cultivating and improving the Soil, encreasing his Cattle and Pastures, sowing Corn, and among other Things planting Trees for Food, and among the Fruit Trees he planted Vines, of the Grapes thereof he made no doubt, as they still in the same Country do make, most excellent Wine, rich, luscious, strong, and pleasant.
I cannot come into the Notion of our Criticks, who to excuse Noah from the guilt of what followed, or at least from the Censure, tell us, he knew not the Strength or the Nature of Wine, but that gathering the heavy Clusters of the Grapes, and their own weight crushing out their balmy Juices into his Hand, he tasted the tempting Liquor, and that the Devil assisting he was charm'd with the delicious Fragrance, and tasted again and again, pressing it out into a Bowl or Dish, that he might take a larger Quantity; till at length the heady Froth ascended and seizing his Brain, he became intoxicate and drunk, not in the least imagining there was any such Strength in the Juice of that excellent Fruit.
But to make out this Story, which is indeed very favourable for Noah, but in it self extremely ridiculous, you must necessarily fall into some Absurdities, and beg the Question most egregiously in some particular Cases, which way of arguing will by no means suppose what is suggested; at first you must support there was no such Thing as Wine made before the Deluge, and that no Body had been ever made drunk with the Juice of the Grape before Noah, which, I say, is begging the Question in the grossest Manner.
If the Contrary is true, as I see no Reason to question, if, I say, it was true that there was Wine drank, and that Men were or had been drunk with it before, they cannot then but suppose that Noah, who was a wise, a great and a good Man, and a Preacher of Righteousness, both knew of it, and without doubt had in his preaching against their Crimes, preach'd against this among the rest, upbraided them with it, reprov'd them for it, and exhorted them against it.
Again, 'tis highly probable they had Grapes growing, and consequently Wines made from them, in the Antediluvian World, how else did Noah come by the Vines which he planted? For we are to suppose, he could plant no Trees or Shrubs, but such as he found the Roots of in the Earth, and which no doubt had been there before in their highest Perfection, and had consequently grown up and brought forth the same luscious Fruit before.
Besides, as he found the Roots of the Vines, so he understood what they were, and what Fruit they bore, or else it may be supposed also he would not have planted them; for he planted them for their Fruit, as he did it in the Provision he was making for his Subsistence, and the Subsistence of his Family: and if he did not know what they were, he would not have set them, for he was not planting for Diversion but for Profit.
Upon the whole it seems plain to me he knew what he did, as well when he planted the Vines as when he pressed out the Grapes; and also when he drank the Juice that he knew it was Wine, was strong and would make him drunk if he took enough of it: He knew that other Men had been drunk with such Liquor before the Flood, and that he had reprehended them for it; and therefore it was not his Ignorance, but the Devil took him at some Advantage, when his Appetite was eager, or he thirsty, and the Liquor cooling and pleasant; and in short, as Eve said, the Serpent beguilded her, and she DID EAT, so the Devil beguiled Noah, and he DID DRINK; the Temptation was too strong for Noah, not the Wine; he knew well enough what he did, but as the Drunkards say to this Day, it was so good he could not forbear it, and so he got drunk before he was aware; or as our ordinary Speech expresses it, he was overtaken with drink; and Mr. Pool and other Expositors are partly of the same Mind.
No sooner was the poor old Man conquer'd, and the Wine had lighten'd his Head, but it may be supposed he falls off from the Chair or Bench where he sate, and tumbling backward his Clothes, which in those hot Countries were only loose open Robes, like the Vests which the Armenians wear to this Day, flying abroad, or the Devil so assisting on purpose to expose him, he lay there in a naked indecent Posture not fit to be seen.
In this juncture who should come by but young Canaan, say some; or as others think, this young Fellow first attack'd him by way of Kindness and pretended Affection; prompted his Grandfather to drink, on Pretence of the Wine being good for him, and proper for the Support of his old Age, and subtilly set upon him, drinking also with him, and so (his Head being too strong for the old Man's) drank him down, and then, Devil like, triumph'd over him; boasted of his Conquest, insulted the Body as it were dead, uncovered him on purpose to expose him, and leaving him in that indecent Posture, went and made Sport with it to his Father Ham, who in that Part, wicked like himself, did the same to his Brethren Japhet and Shem; but they like modest and good Men, far from carrying on the wicked Insult on their Parent, went and cover'd him, as the Scripture expresses it, and as may be supposed inform'd him how he had been abus'd, and by whom.
Why else should Noah, when he came to himself, shew his Resentment so much against Canaan his Grandson, rather than against Ham his Father, and who 'tis supposed in the Story the guilt chiefly lay upon? we see the Curse is (as it were) laid wholly upon Canaan the Grandson, and not a Word of the Father is mention'd, Gen. ix. 25, 26, 27, Cursed be Canaan, a Servant of Servants shall he be, &c.
That Ham was Guilty, that's certain from the History of Fact, but I cannot but suppose his Grandson was the Occasion of it; and in this Case the Devil seems to have made Canaan the Instrument or Tool to delude Noah, and draw him in to Drunkenness, as he made the Serpent the Tool to beguile Eve, and draw her into Disobedience.
Possibly Canaan might do it without Design at first, but might be brought in to ridicule and make a Jest of the old Patriarch afterward, as is too frequent since in the Practice of our Days; but I rather believe he did it really with a wicked Design, and on Purpose to expose and insult his Reverend old Parent; and this seems more likely too, because of the great Bitterness with which Noah resented it, after he came to be inform'd of it.
But be that as it will, the Devil certainly made a great Conquest here, and as to outward Appearance no less than that which he gain'd before over Adam; nor did the Devil's Victory consist barely in his having drawn in the only righteous Man of the whole Antediluvian World, and so beginning or initiating the new young Progeny with a Crime; but here was the great Oracle silenc'd at once; the Preacher of Righteousness, for such no doubt he would have been to the new World, as he was to the old, I say, the Preacher was turn'd out of Office, or his Mouth stopt, which was worse; nay, it was a stopping of his Mouth in the worst kind, far worse than stopping his Breath, for had he died, the Office had descended to his sons Shem and Japhet, but he was dead to the Office of an Instructor, tho' alive as to his Being; For of what Force could his Preachings be, who had thus fallen himself into the most shameful and beastly Excess?
Besides some are of the Opinion, tho' I hope without Ground, that Noah was not only overtaken once in his Drink, but that being fallen into that Sin it became habitual, and he continued in it a great while, and that it was this which is the meaning of his being uncovered in his Tent, and that his Son saw his Nakedness; that is, he continually exposed himself for a long Time, a hundred Years, say they, and that his Son Ham, and his Grandson Canaan having drawn him into it, kept him in it, encourag'd and prompted it, and all the while Satan still prompting them, join'd their Scoffs and contempt of him, with their wicked Endeavours to promote the Wickedness; and both with as much Success as the Devil himself could wish for.
Then as for his two Sons modestly and decently covering their Father, they tell us, that Represents Shem and Japhet applying themselves in an humble and dutiful Manner to their Father, to entreat and beseech him to consider his ancient Glory, his own pious Exhortations to the late drowned World, and to consider the Offence which he gave by his evil Courses to God, and the Scandal to his whole Family, and also that they are brought in effectually prevailing upon him; and that then Noah cursed the Wickedness of Ham's degenerate Race, in Testimony of his sincere Repentance after the Fact.
The Story is not so very unlikely as it is certain that it is not to be proved, and therefore we had better take it as we find it (viz.) for one single Act; but suppose it was so, 'tis still certain that Noah's Preaching was sadly interrupted, the Energy of his Words flatter'd, and the Force of his Persuasions enervated and abated, by this shameful Fall; that he was effectually silenc'd for an Instructor ever after, and this was as much as the Devil had Occasion for; and therefore indeed we read little more of him, except that he lived three hundred and fifty Years after the Flood; nay, we do not so much as read that he had any more Children, but the contrary, nor indeed could Noah have any more Children, except by his old and perhaps super-annuated Wife, who it was very likely he had had four or five hundred Year, unless you will suppose he was allow'd to marry some of his own Progeny, Daughters or Grandaughters, which we do not suppose was allow'd, no not to Adam himself.
This was certainly a Master-piece of the Devil's Policy, and a fatal Instance of his unhappy Diligence, (viz.) that the Door of the Ark was no sooner open, and the Face of the World hardly dry from the universal Destruction of Mankind, but he was at work among them; and that not only to form a general Defection among the Race, upon the Foot of the original Taint of Nature, but like a bold Devil he strikes at the very Root, and flies at the next general Representative of Mankind, attacks the Head of the Family, that in his Miscarriage the Rise and Progress of a Reformation of the new World should receive an early Check, and should be at once prevented; I say, like a bold Devil, he strikes at the Root, and alas! poor unhappy Noah, he proved too weak for him, Satan prevail'd in his very first Attempt, and got the Victory over him at once.
Noah thus overcome, and Satan's Conquest carried on to the utmost of his own Wishes, the Devil had little more to do in the World for some Ages, than to carry on an universal Degeneracy among Mankind, and to finish it by a like diligent Application, in deluding the Generality of the Race, and them as they came on gradually into Life; this he found the less difficult, because of the first Defection which spread like a Contagion upon the Earth immediately after.
The first Evidence we have of his Success in this mischievous Design was in the Building that great stupendious Stair-case, for such it seems it was intended, call'd Babel, which if the whole World had not been drunk, or otherwise infatuated, they would never have undertaken; even Satan himself could never have prevail'd with them to undertake such a preposterous Piece of Work, for it had neither End or Means, Possibility or Probability in it.
I must confess I am sometimes apt to vindicate our old Ancestors, in my Thoughts, from the Charge it self, as we generally understand it, namely, that they really design'd to build a Tower which should reach up to Heaven, or that it should secure them in case of another Flood; and Father Casaubon is of my Opinion, whether I am of his or no, is a Question by it self; his opinion is that the Confusion was nothing but a Breach among the Undertakers and Directors of the Work, and that the Building was design'd chiefly for a Store-house for Provisions, in Case of a second Deluge; as to their Notion of its reaching up to Heaven, he takes the Expression to be allegorical rather than little, and only to mean that it should be exceeding high; perhaps they might not be Astronomers enough to measure the Distance of Space between the Earth and Heaven, as we pretend to do now; but as Noah was then alive, and as we believe all his three Sons were so too, they were able to have inform'd them how absurd it was to suppose either the one or the other (viz.) (1.) that they could build up to Heaven, or (2.) that they could build firm enough to resist, or high enough to overtop the Waters, supposing such another Flood should happen; I would rather think it was only that they intended to build a most glorious and magnificent City, where they might all inhabit together; and that this Tower was to be built for Ornament and also for Strength, or as above, and for a Store-house to lay up vast Magazines of Provisions, in Case of extraordinary Floods or other Events, the City being built in a great Plain, namely, the Plains of Shimar near the River Euphrates.
But the Story, as it is recorded, suits better with Satan's Measures at that Time; and as he was from the Beginning prompting them to every Thing that was contrary to the Happiness of Man, so the more preposterous it was, and the more inconsistent with common Sense, the more to his Purpose; and it shew'd the more what a compleat Conquest he had gain'd over the Reason as well as the Religion of Mankind at that Time.
Again, 'tis evident in this Case, they were not only acting contrary to the Nature of Things, but contrary to the Design and to the Command of Heaven; for God's Command was that they should replenish the Earth, that is, that they should spread their Habitations over it, and People the whole Globe; whereas they were pitching in one Place, as if they were not to multiply sufficient to take up any more.
But what car'd the Devil for that, or to put it a little handsomer, that was what Satan aimed at; for it was enough to him, to bring Mankind to act just contrary to what Heaven had directed or commanded them in any thing, and if possible in every Thing.
But God himself put a stop to this foolish Piece of Work, and it was time indeed to do so, for a madder thing the Devil himself never proposed to them; I say, God himself put a stop to this new Undertaking, and disappointed the Devil; and how was it done? not in Judgment and Anger, as perhaps the Devil expected and hop'd for, but as pitying the Simplicity of that dreaming Creature Man, he confused their Speech, or as some say, divided and confused their Councils, so that they could not agree with one another, which would be the same Thing as not to understand one another; or he put a new Shibboleth upon their Tongues, thereby separating them into Tribes or Families, for by this every Family found themselves under a Necessity of keeping together, and this naturally encreased that Differing Jargons of Language, for at first it might be no more.
What a Confusion this was to them we all know, by their being oblig'd to leave off their building, and immediately separating one from another; but what a Surprize it was to the old Serpent, that remains to be considered of, for indeed it belongs to his History.
Satan had never met with any Disappointment in all his wicked Attempts till now; for first, he succeeded even to triumph upon Eve, he did the like upon Cain, and in short upon the whole World, one Man (Noah) excepted; when he blended the Sons of God, and the Daughters of Hell, for so the Word is understood, together, in promiscuous voluptuous Living as well as Generation.
As to the Deluge, Authors are not agreed whether it was a Disappointment to the Devil or no, it might be indeed a Surprize to him, for tho' Noah had preach'd of it for a hundred Year together, yet as he (Satan) daily prompted the People not to heed or believe what that old Fellow Noah said to them, and to ridicule his whimsical Building a monstrous Tub to swim or float in, when the said Deluge should come; so I am of the Opinion he did not believe it himself, and am positive he could not foresee it, by any insight into Futurity that he was Master of.
'Tis true the Astronomers tell us, there was a very terrible Comet seen in the Air, that it appeared for 180 Days before the Flood continually; and that as it approach'd nearer and nearer every Day all the while, so that at last it burst and fell down in a continual Spout or Stream of Water, being of a watry Substance, and the Quantity so great, that it was forty Days a falling; so that this Comet not only foretold the Deluge or drowning of the Earth, but actually perform'd it, and drown'd it from it self.
But to leave this Tale to them that told it, let us consider the Devil, surpris'd, and a little amaz'd at the Absorption or Inundation, or whatever we are to call it, of the Earth in the Deluge, not, I say, that he was much concern'd at it, perhaps just the Contrary; and if God would drown it again, and as often as he thought fit, I do not see by any thing I meet with in Satan's History, or in the Nature of him, that he would be at all disturb'd at it; all that I can see in it, that could give Satan any Concern, would be that all his Favourites were gone, and he had his Work to do over again, to lay a Foundation for a new Conquest in the Generation that was to come; But in this his Prospect was fair enough, for why should he be discouraged, when he had now eight People to work upon, who met with such Success when he had but two? and why should he question breaking in now where Nature was already vitiated and corrupted, when he had before conquer'd the same Nature, when in its primitive Rectitude and Purity, just come out of the Hands of its Maker, and fortify'd with the Awe of his high and solemn Command just given them, and the threatning of Death also annext to it, if broken?
But I go back to the Affair of Babel: This Confusion of Language or of Councils, take it which way you will, as the first Disappointment that I find the Devil met with, in all his Attempts and Practices upon Mankind, or upon the new Creature, which I mentioned above; for now he foresaw what would follow; namely, that the People would separate and spread themselves over the whole Surface of the Earth, and a thousand new Scenes of Actions would appear, in which he therefore prepares himself to behave as he should see Occasion.
How the Devil learn'd to speak all the Languages that were now to be used, and how many languages they were, the several ancient Writers of the Devil's Story have not yet determined; some tell us they were divided only into fifteen, some into seventy two, others into one hundred and eighty, and others again into several Thousands.
It also remains a doubt with me, and, I suppose, will be so with others also, whether Satan has yet found out a Method to converse with Mankind, without the Help of Language and Words, or not: Seeing Man has no other Medium of Conversing, no not with himself: This I have not time to enter upon here; however, this seems plain to me (viz.) that the Devil soon learn'd to make Mankind understand him, whatever Language he spoke, and no doubt but he found Ways and Means to understand them, whatever Language they spoke.
After the Confusion of Languages, the People necessarily sorted themselves into Families and Tribes, every Family understanding their own particular Speech, and that only; and these Families multiplying grew into Nations, and those Nations wanting Room, and seeking out Habitations wandred some this Way, some that, till they found out Countries respectively proper for their settling, and there they became a Kingdom, spreading and possessing still more and more Land as their People encreased, till at last the whole Earth was scarce big enough for them: This presented Satan with an Opportunity to break in upon their Morals at another Door, (viz.) their Pride; for Men being naturally Proud and Envious, Nations and Tribes began to jostle with one another for Room; either one Nation enjoy'd better Accommodations, or had a better Soil or a more favourable Climate than another; and these being numerous and strong thrust the other out, and encroach'd upon their Land; the other liking their Situation, prepare for their Defence, and so began Oppression, Invasion, War, Battle and Blood, Satan all the while beating the Drums, and his Attendants clapping their Hands, as Men do when they set Dogs on upon one another.
The bringing Mankind thus to War and Confusion, as it was the first Game the Devil play'd after the confounding of Languages and Divisions at Babel so it was a Conquest upon Mankind, purely devilish, born from Hell, and so exactly tinctured with Satan's original Sin Ambition, that it really transform'd Men into meer Devils; for when is Man transform'd into the very Image of Satan himself, when is he turn'd into a meer Devil, if it is not when he is fighting with his fellow Creatures and dipping his Hands in the Blood of his own Kind? Let his Picture be consider'd, the Fire of Hell flames or sparkles in his Eyes, a voracious Grin sits upon his Countenance; Rage and Fury distort the Muscles of his Face; his Passions agitate his whole Body, and he is metamorphos'd from a comely Beauteous angelic Creature into a Fury, a Satyr, a terrible and frightful Monster, nay, into a Devil; for Satan himself is describ'd by the same Word which on his very Account is chang'd into a Substantive, and the Devils are call'd Furies.
This sowing the Seeds of Strife in the World, and bringing Nations to fight and make War upon one another, would take up a great Part of the Devil's History, and abundance of extraordinary Things would occur in relating the particulars; for there have been very great Conflagrations kindled in the World, by the Artifice of Hell, under this Head, (viz.) of making War; in which it has been the Devil's Master-piece, and he has indeed shewn himself a Workman in it, that he has wheedled Mankind into strange unnatural Notions of things, in order to propagate and support the fighting Principle in the World; such as Laws of War, fair Fighting, behaving like Men of Honour, fighting at the last Drop, and the like, by which killing and murdering is understood to be justifiable. Virtue and a true Greatness in Spirit is rated now by Rules which God never appointed, and the Standard of Honour is quite different from that of Reason and of Nature: Bravery is denominated not from a fearless undaunted Spirit in the just Defence of Life and Liberty, but from a daring Defiance of God and Man, fighting, killing and treading under Foot his fellow Creatures, at the ordinary Command of the Officer, whether it be right or wrong, and whether it be in a just Defence of Life, and our Country's Life, that is Liberty, or whether it be for the Support of Injury and Oppression.
A prudent avoiding causeless Quarrels is call'd Cowardice, and to take an affront Baseness, and Meanness of Spirit; to refuse fighting, and putting Life at a Cast on the Point of a Sword, a Practice forbid by the Laws of God and of all good Government, is yet call'd Cowardice; and a Man is bound to die duelling, or live and be laugh'd at.
This trumping up these imaginary Things call'd Bravery and Gallantry, naming them Virtue and Honour, is all from the Devil's new Management, and his subtil influencing the Minds of Men to fly in the Face of God and Nature, and to act against his Senses; nor but for his Artifice in the Management, could it be possible that such Inconsistencies could go down with Mankind, or they could pass such absurd Things among them for reasoning; for Example, A is found in Bed with B's Wife, B is the Person injur'd, and therefore offended, and coming into the Chamber with his Sword in his Hand, A exclaims loudly, Why Sir, you won't murder me, will you? as you are a Man of Honour let me rise and take my Sword.
A very good Story indeed! fit for no body but the Devil to put into any Man's Head; But so it is, B being put in mind, forsooth, that he is a Man of Honour, starts back and must act the honourable Part; so he lets A get up, put on his Clothes and take his Sword; then they fight, and B is kill'd for his Honour; whereas had the Laws of God, of Nature and of Reason taken Place, the Adulterer and the Adulteress should have been taken Prisoners and carried before the Judge, and being taken in the Fact, should have been immediately sentenc'd, he to the Block and she to the Stake, and the innocent abus'd Husband had no Reason to have run any Risque of his Life for being made a Cuckold.
But thus has Satan abus'd the Reason of Man; and if a Man does me the greatest Injury in the World, I must do my self Justice upon him, by venturing my life upon an even Lay with him, and must fight him upon equal Hazard, in which the injur'd Person is as often kill'd as the Person offering the Injury: Suppose now it be in the same Case as above, a Man abuses my Wife, and then to give me Satisfaction, tells me, he will fight me, which the French call doing me Reason; No Sir, say I, let me lie with your Wife too, and then if you desire it, I may fight you; then I am upon even Terms with you; but this indeed is the Reasoning which the Devil has brought Mankind too at this Day: But to go back to the Subject, viz. the Devil bringing the Nations to fall out, and to quarrel for Room in the World, and so to fight in order to dispossess one another of their Settlements: This began at a Time when certainly there were Places enough in the World for every one to choose in, and therefore the Devil, not the want of Elbow-room, must be the Occasion of it; and 'tis carried on ever since, as apparently from the same Interest, and by the same original.
But we shall meet with this Part again very often in the Devil's Story, and as we bring him farther on in the Management of Mankind, I therefore lay it by for the Present, and come to the next Steps the Devil took with Mankind after the Confusion of Languages, and this was in the Affair of Worship; It does not appear yet that ever the Devil was so bold, as either,
1. To set himself up to be worship'd as a God, or which was still worse,
2. To persuade Man to believe there was no God at all to worship.
Both these are introduc'd since the Deluge, one indeed by the Devil, who soon found Means to set himself up for a God in many Parts of the World, and holds it to this Day; but the last is brought in by the Invention of Man, in which it must be confess'd Man has out-sin'd the Devil; for to do Satan justice, he never thought it could ever pass upon Mankind, or that any Thing so gross would go down with them; so that, in short, these modern Casuists, in the Reach of our Days, have, I say, out-sin'd the Devil.
As then both these are modern Inventions, Satan went on gradually, and being to work upon human Nature by Stratagem, not by Force, it would have been too gross to have set himself up as an Object of Worship at first, it was to be done Step by Step; for Example.
1. It was sufficient to bring Mankind to a Neglect of God, to worship him by halves, and give little or no Regard to his Laws, and so grow loose and immoral, in direct Contradiction to his Commands; this would not go down with them at first, so the Devil went on gradually.
2. From a Negligence in worshiping the true GOD, he by Degrees introduc'd the worship of false GODs; and to introduce this he began with the Sun, Moon, and Stars, call'd in the holy Text the Host of Heaven; these had greater Majesty upon them, and seem'd fitter to command the Homage of Mankind; so it was not the hardest Thing in the World, to bring Men, when they had once forgotten the true God, to embrace the Worship of such Gods as those.
3. Having thus debauch'd their Principles in Worship, and led them from the true and only Object of Worship to a false, it was the easier to carry them on; so in a few Gradations more he brought them to downright Idolatry, and even in that Idolatry he proceeded gradually too; for he began with awful Names, such as were venerable in the Thoughts of Men, as BAAL or BELL, which, in Chaldaick and Hebrew, signifies Lord or Sovereign, or Mighty and Magnificent, and this was therefore a Name ascrib'd at first to the true God; but afterwards they descended to make Images and Figures to represent him, and then they were call'd by the same Name, as Baal, Baalim, and afterwards Bell; from which, by a hellish Degeneracy, Saturn brought Mankind to adore every Block of their own hewing, and to worshipping Stocks, Stones, Monsters, Hobgoblins, and every sordid frightful Thing, and at last the Devil himself.
What Notions some People may entertain of the Forwardness of the first Ages of the World, to run into Idolatry, I do not enquire here; I know they tell us strange Things, of its being the Product of meer Nature, one remove from its primitive State; but I, who pretend to have so critically enquir'd into Satan's History, can assure you, and that from very good Authority, that the Devil did not find it so easy a task to obliterate the Knowledge of the true God, in the Minds and Consciences of Men, as those People suggest.
It is true he carried Things a great Length under the Patriarchal Government of the first Ages, but still he was sixteen hundred Years bringing it to pass; and tho' we have Reason to believe the old World, before the Flood was arrived to a very great Height of Wickedness, and Ovid very nobly describes it by the War of the Titans against Jupiter, yet we do not read that ever Satan was come to such a Length as to bring them to Idolatry; indeed we do read of Wars carried on among them, whether it was one Nation against another, or only Personal, we cannot tell; But the World seem'd to be swallow'd up in a Life of Wickedness, that is to say, of Luxury and Lewdness, Rapine and Violence, and there were Giants among them, and Men of Renown, that is to say, Men fam'd for their mighty Valour, great Actions of War we may suppose, and their Strength, who personally oppos'd others. We read of no considerable Wars indeed, but 'tis not to be doubted but there was such Wars, or else it is to be understood that they liv'd (in common) a Life somewhat like the Brutes, the Strong devouring the Weak; for the Text says, the whole Earth was filled with Violence, hunting and tearing one another in Pieces, either for Dominion or for Wealth, either for Ambition or for Avarice, we know not well which.
Thus far the old Antediluvian World went, and very wicked they were, there is no doubt of that; but we have Reason to believe that was no Idolatry, the Devil had not brought them to that Length yet: perhaps it would soon have follow'd, but the Deluge interven'd.
After the Deluge, as I have said, he had all his Work to do over again, and he went on by the same Steps; first he brought them to Violence and War, then to Oppression and Tyranny, then to neglect of true Worship, then to false worship, and then Idolatry by the meer natural Consequence of the Thing; who were the first Nation or People that fell from the Worship of the true God, is something hard to determine; the Devil, who certainly of all God's Creatures is best able to inform us, having left us nothing upon Record upon that Subject, but we have Reason to believe it was thus introduc'd.
Nimrod was the Grandson of Ham, Noah's second Son, the same who was cursed by his Father for exposing him in his Drunkenness: This Nimrod was the first who it seems Satan pick'd out for a Hero: Here he inspir'd him with ambitious Thoughts, dreams of Empire, and having the Government of all the Rest, that is to say, universal Monarchy; the very same Bait with which he has plaid upon the Frailty of Princes, and ensnar'd the greatest of them ever since, even from his most August Imperial Majesty King Nimrod the first, to his most Christian Majesty Louis the XIV. and many a mighty Monarch between.
When these mighty Monarchs and Men of Fame went off the Stage, the World had their Memories in esteem many Ages after; and as their great Actions were no otherwise recorded than by oral Tradition, and the Tongues and Memories of fallible Men, Time and the Custom of magnifying the past Actions of Kings, Men soon fabl'd up their Histories, Satan assisting, into Miracle and Wonder: Hence their Names were had in Veneration more and more; Statues and Bustoes representing their Persons and great Actions were set up in public Places, till from Heroes and Champions they made Gods of them, and thus (Satan prompting) the World was quickly fill'd with Idols.
This Nimrod is he, who according to the received Opinion, tho' I do not find Satan's History exactly concurring with it, was first call'd Belus, then Baal, and worship'd in most of the eastern Countries under those Names; sometimes with Additions of Sir-names, according to the several countries, or People, or Towns where he was particularly set up, as Baal Peor, Baal Zephon, Baal Phegor, and in other Places plain Baal, as Jupiter in after Times had the like Additions; as Jupiter Ammon, Jupiter Capitolinus, Jupiter Pistor, Jupiter Feretrius, and about ten or twelve Jupiters more.
I must acknowledge, that I think it was a Master-piece of Hell to bring the World to Idolatry so soon after they had had such an eminent Example of the infinite Power of the true God, as was seen in the Deluge, and particularly in the Escape of Noah in the Ark, to bring them (even before Noah or his Sons were dead) to forget whose Hand it was, and give the Homage of the World to a Name, and that a Name of a mortal Man dead and rotten, who was famous for nothing when he was alive but Blood and War; I say, to bring the World to set up this Nothing, this meer Name, nay the very Image and Picture of him for a God, it was first a Mark of most prodigious Stupidity in the whole Race of Men, a monstrous Degeneracy from Nature, and even from common Sense; and in the next Place 'twas a token of an inexpressible Craft and Subtilty in the Devil, who had now gotten the People into so full and compleat a Management, that in short, he could have brought them, by the same Rule, to have worship'd any thing; and in a little while more, did bring many of them to worship himself, plain Devil as he was, and knowing him to be such.
As to the Antiquity of this horrible Defection of Mankind, tho' we do not find the beginning of it particularly recorded, yet we are certain it was not long after the Confusion of Babel; for Nimrod, as is said, was no more than Noah's great Grandson and Noah himself, I suppose, might be alive some Years after Nimrod was born; and as Nimrod was not long dead, before they forgot that he was a Tyrant and a Murtherer, and made a Baal, that is a Lord or Idol of him, I say, he was not long dead, for Nimrod was born in the Year of the World 1847, and built Babylon the Year 1879; and we find Terah the Father of Abraham, who liv'd from the Year 1879 was an Idolater, as was doubtless Bethuel, who was Terah's Grandson; for we find Laban, who was Bethuel's Son, was so, and all this was during the Life of the first Post-Diluvian Family, for Terah was born within one hundred ninety three Years after the Flood, and one hundred fifty seven Years before Noah was dead; and even Abram himself was eight and fifty Years old before Noah died, and yet Idolatry had been then, in all probability, above an hundred Years practised in the World.
N. B. It is worth Remark here, what a terrible Advantage the Devil gain'd by the debauching poor Noah, and drawing him into the Sin of Drunkenness; for by this, as I said, he silenc'd and stop'd the Mouth of the great Preacher of Righteousness, that Father and Patriarch of the whole World, who not being able for the Shame of his own foul Miscarriage, to pretend to instruct or reprove the World any more, the Devil took hold of them immediately, and for want of a Prophet to warn and admonish, ran that little of Religion which there might be left in Shem and Japhet, quite out of the World, and delug'd them all in IDOLATRY.
How long the whole World may be said to be thus overwhelm'd in Ignorance and Idolatry, we may make some tolerable guess at by the History of Abraham; for it was not till God call'd him from his Father's House, that any such Thing as a Church was establish'd in the World; nor even then, except in his own Family and Successors for almost four hundred Years after that Call; and till God brought the Israelites back out of Egypt, the whole World may be said to be involv'd in Idolatry and Devil worship.
So absolute a Conquest had the Devil made over Mankind immediately after the Flood, and all taking its Rise and Beginning at the fatal Defeat of Noah, who had he liv'd untainted and invulnerable, as he had done for six hundred Years before, would have gone a great way to have stem'd the Torrent of Wickedness which broke in upon Mankind; and therefore the Devil, I say, was very cunning and very much in the Right of it, take him as he is a meer Devil, to attack Noah personally, and give him a Blow so soon.
It is true, the Devil did not immediately raze out the Notion of Religion and of a GOD from the Minds of Men, nor could he easily suppress the Principle of Worship and Homage to be paid to a Sovereign Being, the Author of Nature and Guide of the World; the Devil saw this clearly in the first Ages of the new World, and therefore, as I have said, he proceeded politically and by Degrees: That it was so, is evident from the Story of Job and his three Friends, who, if we may take it for a History, not a Fable, and may judge of the Time of it by the Length of Job's Life, and by the Family of Eliphaz the Temanite, who it is manifest was at least Grandson or Great Grandson to Esau Isaac's eldest Son, and by the Language of Abimilech King of Gerar to Abraham, and of Laban to Jacob, both the Latter being at the same Time Idolaters; I say, if we may judge of it by all these, there were still very sound Notions of Religion in the Minds of Men; nor could Satan with all his Cunning and Policy deface those Ideas, and root them out of the Minds of the People.
And this put him upon taking new Measures to keep up his Interest and preserve the Hold he got upon Mankind; and his Method was like himself, subtle and politick to the last Degree, as his whole History makes appear; for seeing he found they could not but believe the Being of a God, and that they would needs worship something, it is evident, he had no Game left him to play but this, namely, to set up wrong Notions of Worship, and bring them to a false Worship instead of a True, supposing the Object worship'd to be still the same.