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the very best of men obliged to undergo, CHAP. in their progrefs to final beatitude. But 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 course 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.
Manes, finding his favourite Mithratic
εν τοις σώμασι τας ψυχας (δε) των τελευτώντων ανθρωπων φα είναι εσας· φερεσθαι δε επι το σκαφος πλοια γαρ θελει λέγειν ἥλιον Tε xaι σeλnry. EPIPH, adv. Hæref. lib. ii.
b. Και εαν εξέλθη ἡ ψυχή μη γνωσα την αλήθειαν, παραδίδοται τοις δαίμοσιν, όπως δαμασωσιν αυτην εν ταις γενναις τε πυρος, και μετα την παίδευσιν μεταγνιζεται εις σώματα, ἵνα δαμασθής και έτω βάλλεται εις το μεγα πυρ, αχρι της συντέλειας. EPIPH, adv.
Hæref. lib. ii.
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 such parts of the New, as could not be reconciled with his scheme. 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 Judaifm, were rejected, as originating from the fame malignant power, and as corruptions and interpolations of his Jewish subjects.
The Herefiarch further declared himself
C Ειτα παλιν λέγει ὁ αυτος Μανης, ου δύναται ἕνας διδασκαλου
to be the Comforter promised by Christ, CHAP. and afferted, that it was his commiffion to I. put the finishing ftroke 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 use likewise among the followers of Marcion; and indeed it seems to be the neceffary confequence of the notions entertained by the Gnoftics refpecting the malignity of matter. The precept and its motive are both clearly set forth by Clemens Alexandrinus. Αλλ' οἱ μεν απο Μαρκιωνος φυσιν κακην εκ τε ύλης κακης, και εκ διο καιου γενομενην δημιουργου· ᾧ δη λόγῳ μη βελομενοι τον κοσμον τον απο δημιυργός γενόμενον συμπλήρων, απεχεσθαι γαμου βέλονται. Strom. lib. iii. The fame Author speaks in fimilar terms of the Gnoftics in general. Τοις δε ευφήμως δ' εγκρατείας ασεβυσιν, εις τε την κλίσιν και τον άγιον δημιουργον τον παντοκράτορα μονον θεον, και διδασκουσι μή δειν παραδεχεσθαι γαμον, και παιδιο ποιΐαν, μηδε αντεισαγειν τῷ κόσμω δυςυχήσοντας έτερες, μηδε επιχός pnyelv Tw Davarų тpopnv. Ibid. Manes goes fo far, as to pronounce marriage to be an invention of the Devil. Tov de γαμον του διαβόλου νομοθεσίαν φησι. THEOD. Hæret. Fab. lib. i. c. 26.
SECT. the ufe of animal food, and wine, as tending to detach the foul from heavenly contemplation, and as entangling it still more inextricably with grofs and corrupt mat
4. Other fimi
4. From what has been faid, it is evì
lar heretics. dent, that the grand herefy of the Gnostics, 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 disagree 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 fome attributed it to the evil demon, and others to a powerful and degenerate angel, whom the Jews worshipped as God. The natural confequence of those sentiments 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.