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much, and infamed concupiscence. He required of his clect, or the perfect, that they should embrace a voluntary poverty, and meddle with no secular affairs.
This Heresiarch knew well, that as concupiscence hath such an empire over the mind, it would be a vain thing absolutely to prohibit marriage : he therefore permitted or tolerated it in the laity, as also meat, wine, and the possession of worldly goods. As all could not aspire to evangelical perfection, he used some condescension towards the weak: but as to the perfect, and particularly the ecclesiastics, he ordered them to imitate the life of Christ, who never was married, and who had no possessions. He permitted them only the most spiritualized pleasures, such as music and perfumes. His design was to wean the soul from sensual affections, because, unless it be perfectly purified, it is not qualified for the heavenly mansions,
As it is not possible that all human souls should acquire this perfection in the present state, he admitted the transmigration of the soul, a doctrine much received by those who held its immortality. He taught that souls passed from one body to another, but that those which were not purged in a certain number of these revolutions, were delivered to the dæmons of the air, to be tormented and tamed by them ; that after this severe discipline, they were sent into other bodies, as into a new school, till having acquired a sufficient degree of purity, they traverse the region of matter, and enter into the moon ; that the moon, when she is full of these spirits, which is when her surface is entirely bright, transmits them to the sun, and he sends them to that place which the Mani
chæans called the Pillar of Glory. Manichæus was not the inventor of these notions.
The Holy Ghost, who resides in the air, continually assists the souls by his salutary influences. The sun, who is composed of a pure and purifying fire, facilitates their ascent to heaven, and purges off the material particles whose weight retards their flight.
When all the souls and all the parts of the celestial substance shall be separated and disengaged from matter, then shall be the consummation of the age. A devouring fire shall burst forth from the caverns in which the Creator hath imprisoned it. The angel who holds
the earth, shall let it fall into the flames, and then cast the useless mass from the limits of the world into the place called in Scripture utter darkness. There shall the devils dweli for ever; and the souls, which by indolence have not finished their purification at the time of this great catastrophe, for the chastisement of their negligence shall be appointed to guard the doors of the infernal regions, and to keep the devils confined to their prison, that they may no more make any attempts and inroads on the kingdoin of God.
The punishments which God inflicts on human souls are corrective, and intended to produce reformation, and will produce this happy effect, more or less, sooner or later ; but the souls which have been so corrupted as to be found in a state of imperfection at the last day, must be doomed to this situation and employment, which may be considered rather as a deprivation of superior happiness and glory, than as actual misery. Such is the Manichæan system.
The difficulty of conceiving a creation, and of accounting for the origin of evil, and an unwillingness to ascribe it to God, gave rise to the doctrine of two principles, one good, the other evil, or God and matter, matter eternal and uncreated, and containing in itself the seeds of incorrigible evil natural and moral, whence sprang evil beings and their chief.
This notion was very ancient, and held by Persians, Chaldæans, Indians, and other Oriental nations, and thence brought into Christianity by Christian heretics.
Basilides seems to have been the first who introduced it into Christianity at the beginning of the second century.
Manichæus or Mancs, who was a Chaldæan or Babylonian, was born about A. D. 240. and was a learned and ingenuous man, and a good astronomer and geographer. He taught that the earth was sphe, rical, and this was one of his heresies. Eusebius was of the same opinion concerning the figure of the earth, but advances it cautiously, for fear of giving offence to the Christians of his time,
Manichæus was ordained in his youth a Presbyter in the Christian church ; but a desire of mixing his philosophical notions with Christianity led him to make a new system out of both, which he hoped to propagate among the Persian infidels and the Christians. Upon this he was excommunicated, and then he insinuated himself into the favour of the Persian king.
But his personal success was small, and he pleased neither party.
He offended the Persian Christians by his heresies, and he offended Sapor the Persian king, and the Magi, by innovating and pretending to
reform the Zoroastrian doctrines and ceremonies, and was forced to fly his country.
Hormizdas, son and successor of Sapor, favoured him ; but a king who reigned afterwards is said to have put him to death, and his disciples were then persecuted in Persia.
His heresy died not with him ; it spread itself in Persia, Mesopotamia, Syria, Egypt, Greece, Afric, and Spain.
Most of the ancient heresies were a mixture of philosophy, Greek or Oriental, and of Christianity.
The most ancient sects in Christianity, after the Judaising Christians, were the Ebionites and the Docetre, and they were directly opposite : the first denied the divinity, and the second the humanity of Jesus Christ. St John seems to have had them both in view, asserting against the first that the Word was God, and against the second that the Word was macle flesh.
Manes borrowed and adopted many notions of lieretics who had appeared before him, of the Docetæ, and of Basilides, Marcion, Valentinus, Bardesanes.
It is not fair to charge those who held two principles with admitting two gods, which they constantly disclaimed. All the dualists in general held that there was only one God, and looked upon the evil principle as upon a dæmon unw
a dæmon unworthy of the name of God.
The Manichæans detested evil spirits, and never paid them any honour, nor did they invoke angels or saints, but they were constant and assiduous in prayer to God.
They iinagined God to be extended and corporeal, but not material, and not present where the evil
substance was, yet infinitely extended every where else.
They thought that matter was endued with sense and perception, but not with any morally good quality, and that from this matter the devil was formed, not from eternity, but in time.
They were not fatalists, or not more so than many Christians have been ; they held a liberty in the soul to do well or ill, and also the doctrine of original sin, of divine assistance, and of the necessity of infantbaptism.
When they endeavoured to prove from the New Testament, that Jesus Christ was not born of the Virgin Mary, and had not a human body, they had recourse to miserable shuffle and chicanery, receiving the words of the sacred writers when they could wrest them to their own purpose, and rejecting them when they could not.
In their morals they seem to have been as good as most of their contemporaries, and by no means scandalous ; yet in this point they met with cruel usage, and were charged with shocking * impurities and abominations in their religious ceremonies, and in celebrating the Lord's Supper.
Augustin having reproached the Manichæans with being no other than pagan schismatics, who had separated themselves from the body of the Gentiles, but had retained their superstitions and their idolatry; Faustus the Manichæan replies, “ The Pagans serve " the Deity by temples, images, altars, victims, per“ fumes. As for me, I serve him in another manner,
* "Ανδρες και τα εν τούς ενυπνιασμούς ενθυμέσθωσαν, και γυναίκες τα εν αφέögors. Cyril. Hier. Cat. vi. Such remarks are not fit to be inserted in a sermon or catechism.