THE HISTORY OF THE DEVIL, AS WELL ANCIENT as MODERN: IN TWO PARTS.
Containing a State of the Devil's Circumstances, and the various Turns of his Affairs; from his Expulsion out of Heaven, to the Creation of Man; with Remarks on the Several Mistakes concerning the Reason and Manner of his Fall.
Also his Proceedings with Mankind ever since Adam, to the first planting of the Christian Religion in the World.
Containing his more private Conduct, down to the present Times: His Government, his Appearances, his manner of Working, and the Tools he works with.
Bad as he is, the Devil may be abus'd, Be falsly charg'd, and causelesly accus'd, When Men, unwilling to be blam'd alone, Shift off these Crimes on Him which are their Own.
The SECOND EDITION.
LONDON: Printed for T. WARNER, at the Black Boy in Pater-noster Row. 1727.
The PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.
This Second Edition of this Work, notwithstanding a large Impression of the First, is a Certificate from the World of its general Acceptation; so we need not, according to the Custom of Editors, boast of it without Evidence, or tell a F——b in its Favour.
The Subject is singular, and it has been handled after a singular Manner: The wise World has been pleased with it, the merry World has been diverted with it, and the ignorant World has been taught by it; none but the malicious part of the World has been offended at it: Who can wonder, that when the Devil is not pleased, his Friends should be angry?
The strangest thing of it all is, to hear Satan complain that the Story is handled prophanely: But who can think it strange that his Advocates should BE, what he was from the Beginning?
The Author affirms, and has good Vouchers for it (in the Opinion of such whose Judgment passes with him for an Authority) that the whole Tenor of the Work is solemn, calculated to promote serious Religion, and capable of being improv'd in a religious manner. But he does not think that we are bound never to speak of the Devil but with an Air of Terror, as if we were always afraid of him.
'Tis evident the Devil, as subtle and as frightful as he is, has acted the ridiculous and foolish Part, as much as most of God's Creatures, and daily does so. And he cannot believe 'tis any Sin to expose him for a foolish Devil, as he is, or shew the World that he may be laugh'd at.
Those that think the Subject not handled with Gravity enough, have all the Room given them in the World to handle it better; and as the Author professes he is far from thinking his Piece perfect, they ought not to be angry that he gives them leave to mend it. He has had the Satisfaction to please some Readers, and to see good Men approve it; and for the rest, as my Lord Rochester says in another Case,
He counts their Censure Fame.
As for a certain Reverend Gentleman, who is pleased gravely to dislike the Work (he hopes, rather for the Author's sake than the Devil's) he only says, Let the Performance be how it will, and the Author what he will, it is apparent he has not yet preach'd away all his Hearers.
It is enough to me (says the Author) that the Devil himself is not pleased with my Work, and less with the Design of it; let the Devil and all his fellow Complainers stand on one side, and the honest, well meaning, charitable World, who approve my Work, on the other, and I'll tell Noses with Satan, if he dares.
Being an Introduction to the whole Work, Page 1
Of the Word DEVIL, as it is a proper Name to the Devil, and any or all his Host, Angels, &c. 18
Of the Original of the DEVIL, who he is, what he was before his Expulsion out of Heaven, and in what State he was from that Time to the Creation of Man 31
Of the Name of the Devil, his Original, and the Nature of his Circumstances since he has been call'd by that Name 38
Of the Station Satan had in Heaven before he fell; the Nature and Original of his Crime, and some of Mr. Milton's Mistakes about it 63
What became of the Devil and his Host of fallen Spirits after their being expell'd from Heaven, and his wandring Condition till the Creation; with some more of Mr. Milton's Absurdities on that Subject 77
Of the Number of Satan's Host; how they came first to know of the new created Worlds now in Being, and their Measures with Mankind upon the Discovery 86
Of the Power of the Devil at the Time of the Creation of this World; whether it has not been farther straiten'd and limited since that Time, and what Shifts and Stratagems he is oblig'd to make use of to compass his Designs upon Mankind 95
Of the Progress of Satan in carrying on his Conquest over Mankind, from the Fall of Eve to the Deluge 111
Of the Devil's second Kingdom, and how he got footing in the renewed World by his Victory over Noah and his Race 129
Of God's calling a Church out of the midst of a degenerate World, and of Satan's new Measures upon that Incident: How he attacked them immediately, and his Success in those Attacks 159
The Introduction 192
Of Hell as it is represented to us, and how the Devil is to be understood, as being personally in Hell, when at the same Time we find him at Liberty ranging over the World 206
Of the Manner of Satan's acting and carrying on his Affairs in this World, and particularly of his ordinary Workings in the dark, by Possession and Agitation 216
Of Satan's Agents or Missionaries, and their Actings upon and in the Minds of Men in his Name 226
Of the Devil's Management in the Pagan Hierarchy by Omens, Entrails, Augurs, Oracles, and such like Pageantry of Hell; and how they went off the Stage at last by the Introduction of true Religion 245
Of the extraordinary Appearances of the Devil, and particularly of the Cloven-Foot 265
Whether is most hurtful to the World, the Devil walking about without his Cloven-Foot, or the Cloven-Foot walking about without the Devil? 282
Of the Cloven-Foot walking about the World without the Devil (viz.) of Witches making Bargains with the Devil, and particularly of selling the Soul to the Devil 316
Of the Tools the Devil works with (viz.) Witches, Wizards or Warlocks, Conjurers, Magicians, Diviners, Astrologers, Interpreters of Dreams, Tellers of Fortunes; and above all the rest, his particular modern Privy-Counsellors call'd Wits and Fools 339
Of the various Methods the Devil takes to converse with Mankind 352
Of Divination, Sorcery, the Black-Art, Pawawing, and such like Pretenders to Devilisms, and how far the Devil is or is not concern'd in them 377
Of the Devil's last Scene of Liberty, and what may be supposed to be his End; with what we are to understand of his being tormented for ever and ever 404
THE HISTORY OF THE DEVIL, &c.
Being an Introduction to the whole Work.
I doubt not but the title of this book will amuse some of my reading friends a little at first; they will make a pause, perhaps, as they do at a witch's prayer, and be some time resolving whether they had best look into it or no, lest they should really raise the Devil by reading his story.
Children and old women have told themselves so many frightful things of the Devil, and have form'd ideas of him in their minds, in so many horrible and monstrous shapes, that really it were enough to fright the Devil himself, to meet himself in the dark, dress'd up in the several figures which imagination has form'd for him in the minds of men; and as for themselves, I cannot think by any means that the Devil would terrify them half so much, if they were to converse face to face with him.
It must certainly therefore be a most useful undertaking to give the true history of this Tyrant of the air, this God of the world, this terror and aversion of mankind, which we call Devil; to shew what he IS, and what he IS NOT, where he IS, and where he IS NOT, when he is IN US, and when he IS NOT; for I cannot doubt but that the Devil is really and bona fide in a great many of our honest weak-headed friends, when they themselves know nothing of the matter.
Nor is the work so difficult as some may imagine. The Devil's history is not so hard to come at, as it seems to be; His original and the first rise of his family is upon record, and as for his conduct, he has acted indeed in the dark, as to method in many things; but in general, as cunning as he is, he has been fool enough to expose himself in some of the most considerable transactions of his Life, and has not shewn himself a politician at all: Our old friend Matchiavel outdid him in many things, and I may in the process of this work give an account of several of the sons of Adam, and some societies of 'em too, who have out-witted the Devil, nay, who have out-sin'd the Devil, and that I think may be call'd out-shooting him in his own bow.
It may perhaps be expected of me in this history, that since I seem inclin'd to speak favourably of Satan, to do him justice, and to write his story impartially, I should take some pains to tell you what religion he is of; and even this part may not be so much a jest, as at first sight you may take it to be; for Satan has something of religion in him, I assure you; nor is he such an unprofitable Devil that way, as some may suppose him to be; for tho', in reverence to my brethren, I will not reckon him among the Clergy; No not so much as a gifted Brother, yet I cannot deny, but that he often preaches, and if it be not profitably to his hearers; 'tis as much their fault, as it is out of his design.
It has indeed been suggested that he has taken orders, and that a certain Pope, famous for being an extraordinary favourite of his, gave him both institution and induction; but as this is not upon record, and therefore we have no authentic document for the probation, I shall not affirm it for a truth, for I would not slander the Devil.
It is said also, and I am apt to believe it, that he was very familiar with that holy father Pope Silvester II. and some charge him with personating Pope Hildebrand on an extraordinary occasion, and himself sitting in the chair apostolick, in a full congregation; and you may hear more of this hereafter: But as I do not meet with Pope Diabolus among the list; in all father Platina's lives of the Popes, so I am willing to leave it as I find it.
But to speak to the point, and a nice point it is I acknowledge; namely, what religion the Devil is of; my answer will indeed be general, yet not at all ambiguous, for I love to speak positively and with undoubted evidence.
1. He is a believer. And if in saying so it should follow, that even the Devil has more religion than some of our men of fame can at this time be charged with, I hope my Lord —— and his Grace the —— of —— and some of the upper class in the red-hot club, will not wear the coat, however well it may sit to their shapes, or challenge the Satyr, as if it were pointed at them, because 'tis due to them: In a word, whatever their Lordships are, I can assure them that the Devil is no Infidel.
2. He fears God. We have such abundant evidence of this in sacred History, that if I were not at present, in common with a few others, talking to an infidel sort of Gentlemen, with whom those remote things call'd Scriptures are not allow'd in evidence, I might say it was sufficiently prov'd; but I doubt not in the process of this undertaking to shew, that the Devil really fears God, and that after another manner than ever he fear'd Saint Frances or Saint Dunstan; and if that be proved, as I take upon me to advance, I shall leave it to judgment, who's the better Christian, the Devil who believes and trembles, or our modern gentry of —— who believe neither God nor Devil.
Having thus brought the Devil within the Pale, I shall leave him among you for the present; not but that I may examine in its order who has the best claim to his brotherhood, the Papists or the Protestants; and among the latter the Lutherans or the Calvinists; and so descending to all the several denominations of churches, see who has less of the Devil in them, and who more; and whether less or more the Devil has not a seat in every synagogue, a pew in every church, a place in every pulpit, and a vote in every synod; even from the Sanhedrim of the Jews, to our friends at the Bull and Mouth, &c. from the greatest to the least.
It will, I confess, come very much within the compass of this part of my discourse, to give an account, or at least make an essay toward it, of the share the Devil has had in the spreading religion in the world; and especially of dividing and subdividing opinions in religion; perhaps, to eke it out and make it reach the farther; and also to shew how far he is or has made himself a missionary of the famous clan de propaganda fide; it is true, we find him heartily employ'd in almost every corner of the world ad propagandum errorem: But that may require a history by it self.
As to his propagating religion, 'tis a little hard indeed, at first sight, to charge the Devil with propagating religion, that is to say, if we take it literally, and in the gross; but if you take it as the Scots insisted to take the oath of fidelity, viz. with an explanation, it is plain Satan has very often had a share in the method, if not in the design of propagating the christian faith: For example.
I think I do no injury at all to the Devil, to say that he had a great hand in the old holy war, as it was ignorantly and enthusiastically call'd; stirring up the christian princes and powers of Europe to run a madding after the Turks and Saracens, and make war with those innocent people above a thousand miles off, only because they entred into God's heritage when he had forsaken it; graz'd upon his ground when he had fairly turn'd it into a common, and laid it open for the next comer; spending their nation's treasure, and embarking their kings and people, (I say) in a war above a thousand miles off, filling their heads with that religious madness, call'd, in those days, holy zeal to recover the terra sancta, the sepulchers of Christ and the Saints, and as they call'd it falsly, the holy city, tho' true religion says it was the accursed city, and not worth spending one drop of blood for.
This religious Bubble was certainly of Satan, who, as he craftily drew them in, so like a true Devil he left them in the lurch when they came there, fac'd about to the Saracens, animated the immortal Saladin against them, and manag'd so dexterously that he left the bones of about thirteen or fourteen hundred thousand Christians there as a trophy of his infernal politicks; and after the christian world had run a la santa terra, or in English a saunt'ring, about a hundred year, he dropt it to play another game less foolish, but ten times wickeder than that which went before it, namely, turning the crusadoes of the Christians one against another; and, as Hudibras said in another case,
"Made them fight like mad or drunk "For dame religion as for punk.
Of this you have a compleat account in the history of the Popes decrees against the Count de Thoulouse, and the Waldenses and Albigenses, with the crusadoes and massacres which follow'd upon them, wherein to do the Devil's politicks some justice, he met with all the success he could desire; the zealots of that day executed his infernal orders most punctually, and planted religion in those countries in a glorious and triumphant manner, upon the destruction of an infinite number of innocent people, whose blood has fatten'd the soil for the growth of the Catholick faith, in a manner very particular, and to Satan's full satisfaction.
I might, to compleat this part of his history, give you the detail of his progress in these first steps of his alliances with Rome; and add a long list of massacres, wars, and expeditions in behalf of religion, which he has had the honour to have a visible hand in; such as the Parisian massacre, the Flemish war under the Duke d' Alva, the Smithfield fires in the Marian days in England, and the massacres in Ireland; all which would most effectually convince us that the Devil has not been idle in his business; but I may meet with these again in my way, 'tis enough, while I am upon the generals only, to mention them thus in a summary way; I say, 'tis enough to prove that the Devil has really been as much concerned as any body, in the methods taken by some people for propagating the christian religion in the world.
Some have rashly, and I had almost said maliciously charg'd the Devil with the great triumphs of his friends the Spaniards in America, and would place the conquest of Mexico and Peru to the credit of his account.
But I cannot join with them in this at all, I must say, I believe the Devil was innocent of that matter; my reason is, because, Satan was never such a fool as to spend his time, or his politicks, or embark his allies to conquer nations who were already his own; that would be Satan against Beelzebub, making war upon himself, and at least doing nothing to the purpose.
If they should charge him, indeed, with deluding Philip II. of Spain into that preposterous attempt call'd the Armada, (anglice, the Spanish Invasion,) I should indeed more readily join with them; but whether he did it weakly, in hope, which was indeed not likely, that it should succeed; or wickedly, to destroy that great fleet of the Spaniards, and draw them within the reach of his own dominions, the elements; this being a question which authors differ exceedingly about, I shall leave it to decide it self.
But the greatest piece of management, which we find the Devil has concern'd himself in of late, in the matter of religion, seems to be that of the mission into China; and here indeed Satan has acted his master-piece: It was, no doubt, much for his service that the Chineses should have no insight into matters of religion, I mean, that we call christian; and therefore, tho' Popery and the Devil are not at so much variance as some may imagine, yet he did not think it safe to let the general system of Christianity be heard of among them in China. Hence when the name of the christian religion had but been received with some seeming approbation in the country of Japan, Satan immediately, as if alarm'd at the thing, and dreading what the consequence of it might be, arm'd the Japoneses against it with such fury, that they expell'd it at once.
It was much safer to his designs, when, if the story be not a fiction, he put that Dutch witicism into the mouths of the States commanders, when they came to Japan; who having more wit than to own themselves Christians in such a place as that, when the question was put to them, answered negatively, That they were not, but that they were of another religion call'd Hollanders.
However, it seems the diligent Jesuits out-witted the Devil in China, and, as I said above, over-shot him in his own Bow; for the mission being in danger by the Devil and the Chinese Emperor's joining together, of being wholly expell'd there too, as they had been in Japan, they cunningly fell in with the ecclesiasticks of the country, and joining the priestcraft of both religions together, they brought Jesus Christ and Confucius to be so reconcilable, that the Chinese and the Roman idolatry appeared capable of a confederacy, of going on hand in hand together, and consequently of being very good friends.
This was a master-piece indeed, and, as they say, almost frighted Satan out of his wits; but he being a ready manager, and particularly famous for serving himself of the rogueries of the priests, fac'd about immediately to the mission, and making a virtue of necessity, clapt in, with all possible alacrity, with the proposal; so the Jesuits and he form'd a hotch-potch of religion made up of Popery and Paganism and calculated to leave the latter rather worse than they found it, binding the faith of Christ and the philosophy or morals of Confucius together, and formally christening them by the name of religion; by which means the politick interest of the mission was preserved; and yet Satan lost not one inch of ground with the Chineses, no, not by the planting the Gospel it self, such as it was, among them.
Nor has it been such disadvantage to him that this plan or scheme of a new modell'd religion would not go down at Rome, and that the Inquisition damn'd it with Bell, Book and Candle; distance of place serv'd his new allies, the missionaries, in the stead of a protection from the Inquisition; and now and then a rich present well plac'd found them friends in the congregation it self; and where any Nuncio with his impudent zeal pretended to take such a long voyage to oppose them, Satan took care to get him sent back re infecta, or inspir'd the million to move him off the premisses, by methods of their own (that is to say, being interpreted) to murther him.
Thus the mission has in itself been truly devilish, and the Devil has interested himself in the planting the christian religion in China.
The influence the Devil has in the Politicks of mankind, is another especial part of his history, and would require, if it were possible, a very exact description; but here we shall necessarily be obliged to inquire so nicely into the Arcana of circumstances, and unlock the cabinets of state in so many courts, canvass the councils of ministers and the conduct of princes so fully, and expose them so much, that it may, perhaps, make a combustion among the great politicians abroad; and in doing that we may come so near home too, that tho' personal safety and prudentials forbid our medling with our own country, we may be taken in a double entendre, and fall unpitied for being only suspected of touching truths that are so tender, whether we are guilty or no; on these accounts I must meddle the less with that part, at least for the present.
Be it that the Devil has had a share in some of the late councils of Europe, influencing them this way or that way, to his own advantage, what is it to us? For example, What if he has had any concern in the late affair of Thorn? What need we put it upon him, seeing his confederates the Jesuites with the Assessorial tribunal of Poland take it upon themselves? I shall leave that part to the issue of time. I wish it were as easy to persuade the world that he had no hand in bringing the injur'd Protestants to leave the justice due to the cries of protestant blood to the arbitrament of a popish power, who dare say that the Devil must be in it, if justice should be obtain'd that way: I should rather say, the Devil is in it, or else it would never be expected.
It occurs next to enquire from the premisses, whether the Devil has more influence or less in the affairs of the world now, than he had in former ages; and this will depend upon comparing, as we go along, his methods and way of working in past times, and the modern politicks by which he acts in our days; with the differing reception which he has met with among the men of such distant ages.
But there is so much to enquire of about the Devil, before we can bring his story down to our modern times, that we must for the present let them drop, and look a little back to the remoter parts of this history; drawing his picture that people may know him when they meet him, and see who and what he is, and what he has been doing ever since he got leave to act in the high station he now appears in.
In the mean time, if I might obtain leave to present an humble petition to Satan, it should be, that he would according to modern usage oblige us all, with writing the history of his own times; 'twould, as well as one that is gone before it, be a Devilish good one; for as to the sincerity of the performance, the authority of the particulars, the justice of the characters, &c. if they were no better vouch'd, no more consistent with themselves, with charity, with truth, and with the honour of an historian, than the last of that kind which came abroad among us, it must be a reproach to the Devil himself to be the author of it.
Were Satan to be brought under the least obligation to write truth, and that the matters of fact, which he should write, might be depended upon, he is certainly qualified by his knowledge of things to be a compleat historian; nor could the Bishop himself, who, by the way, has given us already the Devil of a history, come up to him: Milton's Pandemonium, tho' an excellent dramatick performance, would appear a meer trifling sing-song business, beneath the dignity of Chevy-chase: The Devil could give us a true account of all the civil wars in Heaven; how and by whom, and in what manner he lost the day there, and was oblig'd to quit the field: The fiction of his refusing to acknowledge and submit to the Messiah, upon his being declar'd Generalissimo of the Heavenly forces, which Satan expected himself, as the eldest officer; and his not being able to brook another to be put in over his head; I say, that fine-spun thought of Mr. Milton would appear to be strain'd too far, and only serve to convince us that he (Milton) knew nothing of the matter. Satan knows very well, that the Messiah was not declared to be the Son of God with power till by and after the resurrection from the dead, and that all power was then given him in Heaven and earth, and not before; so that Satan's rebellion must derive from other causes, and upon other occasions, as he himself can doubtless give us an account, if he thinks fit, and of which we shall speak further in this work.
What a fine History might this old Gentleman write of the Antediluvian world, and of all the weighty affairs, as well of state as of religion, which happen'd during the fifteen hundred years of the patriarchal administration!
Who, like him, could give a full and compleat account of the Deluge, whether it was a meer vindictive, a blast from Heaven, wrought by a supernatural power in the way of miracle? or whether, according to Mr. Burnet's Theory, it was a consequence following antecedent causes by the meer necessity of nature; seen in constitution, natural position, and unavoidable working of things, as by the Theory publish'd by that learn'd enthusiast it seems to be?
Satan could easily account for all the difficulties of the Theory, and tell us whether, as there was a natural necessity of the Deluge, there is not the like necessity and natural tendency to a Conflagration at last.
Would the Devil exert himself as an Historian, for our improvement and diversion, how glorious an account could he give us of Noah's Voyage round the world, in the famous Ark! he could resolve all the difficulties about the building it, the furnishing it, and the laying up provision in it for all the collection of kinds that he had made; He could tell us whether all the creatures came voluntier to him to go into the ark, or whether he went a hunting for several years before, in order to bring them together.
He could give us a true relation how he wheedled the people of the next world into the absurd ridiculous undertaking of building a Babel; how far that stupendous stair-case, which was in imagination to reach up to Heaven, was carried, before it was interrupted and the builders confounded; how their speech was alter'd, how many Tongues it was divided into, or whether they were divided at all; and how many subdivisions or dialects have been made since that, by which means very few of God's creatures, except the Brutes, understand one another, or care one farthing whether they do or no.
In all these things Satan, who, no doubt, would make a very good chronologist, could settle every Epocha, correct every Calendar, and bring all our accounts of time to a general agreement; as well the Grecian Olympiads, the Turkish Heghira, the Chinese fictitious account of the world's duration, as our blind Julian and Gregorian accounts, which have put the world, to this day, into such confusion, that we neither agree in our holy-days or working days, fasts or feasts, nor keep the same sabbaths in any part of the same globe.
This great Antiquary could bring us to a certainty in all the difficulties of ancient story, and tell us whether the tale of the siege of Troy, and the rape of Helen was a fable of Homer or a history; whether the fictions of the Poets are form'd from their own brain, or founded in facts; and whether letters were invented by Cadmus the Phoenician, or dictated immediately from Heaven at mount Sinai.
Nay, he could tell us how and in what manner he wheedled Eve, deluded Adam, put Cain into a passion, till he made him murther his own brother; and made Noah, who was above 500 years a preacher of righteousness, turn Sot in his old age, dishonour all his ministry, debauch himself with wine, and by getting drunk and exposing himself, become the jest and laughing-stock of his children, and of all his posterity to this day.
And would Satan, according to the modern practice of the late right reverend Historian, enter into the characters of the great men of his age, how should we be diverted with the just history of Adam, in paradise and out of it; his character, and how he behaved at and after his expulsion; how Cain wandered in the land of Nod, what the mark was which God set upon him, whose daughter his wife was, and how big the city was he built there, according to a certain Poet of noble extraction,
How Cain in the land of Nod When the rascal was alone Like an owl in an ivy tod Built a city as big as Roan.
He could have certainly drawn Eve's picture, told us every feature in her face, and every inch in her shape, whether she was a perfect beauty or no, and whether with the fall she did grow crooked, ugly, ill-natur'd and a scold; as the learned Valdemar suggests to be the effects of the curse.
Descending to the character of the Patriarchs in that age, he might, no doubt, give us in particular the characters of Belus, worship'd under the name of Baal; with Satan, and Jupiter, his successors; who they were here, and how they behaved; with all the Pharaohs of Egypt, the Abimilechs of Canaan, and the great monarchs of Assyria and Babylon.
Hence also he is able to write the lives of all the Heroes of the world, from Alexander of Macedon to Lewis the XIV. and from Augustus to the great King George; nor could the Bishop himself go beyond him for flattery, any more than the Devil himself could go beyond the Bishop for falshood.
I could enlarge with a particular satisfaction upon the many fine things which Satan, rummaging his inexhaustible storehouse of slander, could set down to blacken the characters of good men, and load the best Princes of the world with infamy and reproach.
But we shall never prevail with him, I doubt, to do mankind so much service, as resolving all those difficulties would be; for he has an indelible grudge against us; as he believes, and perhaps is assur'd that men were at first created by his sovereign, to the intent that after a certain state of Probation in life, such of them as shall be approved, are appointed to fill up those vacancies in the Heavenly Host, which were made by the abdication and expulsion of him (the Devil) and his Angels; so that man is appointed to come in Satan's stead, to make good the breach, and enjoy all those ineffable Joys and Beatitudes which Satan enjoy'd before his fall; no wonder then, that the Devil swells with envy and rage at mankind in general, and at the best of them in particular; nay, the granting this point is giving an unanswerable reason, why the Devil practises with such unwearied and indefatigable application upon the best men, if possible, to disappoint GOD Almighty's decree, and that he should not find enough among the whole Race, to be proper subjects of his clemency, and qualified to succeed the Devil and his host, or fill up the places vacant by the Fall. It is true indeed, the Devil, who we have reason to say is no fool, ought to know better than to suppose that if he should seduce the whole race of mankind, and make them as bad as himself, he could, by that success of his wickedness, thwart or disappoint the determined purposes of Heaven; but that those which are appointed to inherit the Thrones, which he and his followers abdicated, and were deposed from, shall certainly be preserv'd in spite of his Devices for that inheritance, and shall have the possession secur'd to them, notwithstanding all that the Devil and all the Host of Hell can do to prevent it.
But, however he knows the certainty of this, and that when he endeavours the seducing the chosen servants of the most High, he fights against GOD himself, struggles with irresistible grace, and makes war with infinite power; undermining the church of God, and that faith in him which is fortified with the eternal promises of Jesus Christ, that the gates of Hell, that is to say, the Devil and all his power, shall not prevail against them; I say, however he knows the impossibility there is that he should obtain his ends, yet so blind is his rage, so infatuate his wisdom, that he cannot refrain breaking himself to pieces against this mountain, and splitting against the rock. qui Jupiter vult perdere hos dementat.
But to leave this serious part, which is a little too solemn, for the account of this rebel; seeing we are not to expect he will write his own History for our information and diversion, I shall see if I cannot write it for him: In order to this, I shall extract the substance of his whole story, from the beginning to our own times, which I shall collect out of what is come to hand, whether by revelation or inspiration, that's nothing to him; I shall take care so to improve my intelligence, as may make my account of him authentick, and, in a word, such as the Devil himself shall not be able to contradict.
In writing this uncouth story I shall be freed from the censures of the Criticks, in a more than ordinary manner, upon one account especially; (viz.) that my story shall be so just and so well grounded, and, after all the good things I shall say of Satan, will be so little to his satisfaction, that the Devil himself will not be able to say, I dealt with the Devil in writing it: I might, perhaps, give you some account where I had my intelligence, and how all the Arcana of his management have come to my hands; but pardon me, Gentlemen, this would be to betray conversation, and to discover my agents, and you know statesmen are very careful to preserve the correspondences they keep in the enemy's country, lest they expose their friends to the resentment of the Power whose councils they betray.
Besides, the learned tell us, that ministers of state make an excellent plea of their not betraying their intelligence, against all party inquiries into the great sums of money pretended to be paid for secret service; and whether the secret service was to bribe people to betray things abroad or at home; whether the money was paid to some body or to no body, employ'd to establish correspondences abroad, or to establish families and amass treasure at home; in a word, whether it was to serve their country or serve themselves, it has been the same thing, and the same plea has been their protection: Likewise in the important affair which I am upon, 'tis hoped you will not desire me to betray my Correspondents; for you know Satan is naturally cruel and malicious, and who knows what he might do to shew his resentment? at least it might endanger a stop of our intelligence for the future.
And yet, before I have done, I shall make it very plain, that however my information may be secret and difficult, that yet I came very honestly by it, and shall make a very good use of it; for 'tis a great mistake in those who think that an acquaintance with the affairs of the Devil may not be made very useful to us all: They that know no evil can know no good; and, as the learned tell us, that a stone taken out of the head of a Toad is a good antidote against poison; so a competent knowledge of the Devil, and all his ways, may be the best help to make us defie the Devil and all his works.
Of the word DEVIL, as it is a proper name to the Devil, and any or all his host, Angels, &c.
It is a question, not yet determined by the learned, whether the word Devil be a singular, that is to say, the name of a person standing by himself, or a noun of multitude; if it be a singular, and so must be used personally only as a proper name, it consequently implies one imperial Devil, Monarch or King of the whole clan of Hell; justly distinguish'd by the term THE DEVIL, or as the Scots call him, the muckle horn'd Dee'l, or as others in a wilder dialect, the Devil of Hell, that is to say, the Devil of a Devil; or (better still) as the Scripture expresses it, by way of emphasis, the great red Dragon, the Devil and Satan.
But if we take this word to be, as above, a noun of multitude, and so to be used ambo-dexter, as occasion presents, singular or plural; then the Devil signifies Satan by himself, or Satan with all his Legions at his heels, as you please, more or less; and this way of understanding the word, as it may be very convenient for my purpose, in the account I am now to give of the infernal Powers, so it is not altogether improper in the nature of the thing: It is thus express'd in Scripture, where the person possess'd Matt. iv. 24. is first said to be possess'd of the Devil (singular) and our Saviour asks him, as speaking to a single person, what is thy name? and is answer'd in the plural and singular together, my name is LEGION, for we are many.
Nor will it be any wrong to the Devil, supposing him a single person, seeing entitling him to the conduct of all his inferior Agents, is what he will take rather for an addition to his infernal glory, than a diminution or lessening of him in the extent of his Fame.
Having thus articl'd with the Devil for liberty of speech, I shall talk of him sometimes in the singular, as a person, and sometimes in the plural, as an host of Devils or of infernal Spirits, just as occasion requires, and as the history of his affairs makes necessary.
But before I enter upon any part of his history, the nature of the thing calls me back, and my Lord B—— of —— in his late famous orations in defence of liberty, summons me to prove that there is such a thing or such a person as the Devil; and in short, unless I can give some evidence of his existence, as my Lord —— said very well, I am talking of nobody.
D—m me, Sir, says a graceless comrade of his to a great man, your Grace will go to the Devil.
D—m ye, Sir, says the D——, then I shall go no where; I wonder where you intend to go?
Nay, to the D——l too I doubt, says Graceless, for I am almost as wicked as my Lord Duke.
D. Thou ar't a silly empty Dog, says the D—, and if there is such a place as a Hell, tho' I believe nothing of it, 'tis a place for fools, such as thou art.
Gr. I wonder then, what Heaven the great wits go to, such as my Lord Duke; I don't care to go there, let it be where it will; they are a tiresome kind of people, there's no bearing them, they'll make a Hell wherever they come.
D. Prithee hold thy fool's tongue, I tell thee, if there is any such place as we call NO WHERE; that's all the Heaven or Hell that I know of, or believe any thing about.
Gr. Very good, my Lord—; so that Heaven is no where, and Hell is no where, and the Devil is nobody, according to my Lord Duke!
D. Yes Sir, and what then?
Gr. And you are to go no where when you die, are you?
D. Yes, you Dog, don't you know what that incomparable noble genius my Lord Rochester sings upon the subject, I believe it unfeignedly,
After death nothing is, And nothing death.
Gr. You believe it, my Lord, you mean, you would fain believe it if you could; but since you put that great genius my Lord Rochester upon me, let me play him back upon your Grace; I am sure you have read his fine poem upon nothing, in one of the stanzas of which is this beautiful thought,
And to be part of  thee The wicked wisely pray.
D. You are a foolish Dog.
Gr. And my Lord Duke is a wise Infidel.
D. Why? is it not wiser to believe no Devil, than to be always terrify'd at him?
Gr. But shall I toss another Poet upon you, my Lord?
If it should so fall out, as who can tell But there may be a GOD, a Heaven and Hell? Mankind had best consider well, for fear 'T should be too late when their mistakes appear.
D. D—m your foolish Poet, that's not my Lord Rochester.
Gr. But how must I be damn'd, if there's no Devil? Is not your Grace a little inconsistent there? My Lord Rochester would not have said that, and't please your Grace.
D. No, you Dog, I am not inconsistent at all, and if I had the ordering of you, I'd make you sensible of it; I'd make you think your self damn'd for want of a Devil.
Gr. That's like one of your Grace's paradoxes, such as when you swore by God that you did not believe there was any such thing as a God, or Devil; so you swear by nothing, and damn me to no where.
D. You are a critical Dog, who taught you to believe these solemn trifles? who taught you to say there is a GOD?
Gr. Nay, I had a better school-master than my Lord Duke.
D. Why, who was your school-master pray?
Gr. The Devil, and't please your Grace.
D. The Devil! the Devil he did? what you're going to quote Scripture, are you? Prithee don't tell me of Scripture, I know what you mean, the Devils believe and tremble; why then I have the whip-hand of the Devil, for I hate trembling; and I am deliver'd from it effectually, for I never believed any thing of it, and therefore I don't tremble.
Gr. And there, indeed, I am a wickeder creature than the Devil, or even than my Lord Duke, for I believe, and yet don't tremble neither.
D. Nay, if you are come to your penitentials I have done with you.
Gr. And I think I must have done with my Lord Duke, for the same reason.
D. Ay, ay, pray do, I'll go and enjoy my self; I won't throw away the pleasure of my life, I know the consequence of it.
Gr. And I'll go and reform my self, else I know the consequence too.
This short Dialogue happen'd between two men of quality, and both men of wit too; and the effect was, that the Lord brought the reality of the Devil into the question, and the debate brought the profligate to be a penitent; so in short, the Devil was made a preacher of repentance.
The Truth is, God and the Devil, however opposite in their nature, and remote from one another in their place of abiding, seem to stand pretty much upon a level in our faith: For as to our believing the reality of their existence, he that denies one, generally denies both; and he that believes one, necessarily believes both.
Very few, if any of those who believe there is a GOD, and acknowledge the debt of homage which mankind owes to the supreme Governor of the World, doubt the existence of the Devil, except here and there one, whom we call practical Atheists; and 'tis the character of an Atheist, if there is such a creature on Earth, that like my Lord Duke, he believes neither GOD or Devil.
As the belief of both these stands upon a level, and that GOD and the Devil seem to have an equal share in our faith, so the evidence of their existence seems to stand upon a level too, in many things; and as they are known by their Works in the same particular cases, so they are discover'd after the same manner of demonstration.
Nay, in some respects 'tis equally criminal to deny the reality of them both, only with this difference, that to believe the existence of a GOD is a debt to nature, and to believe the existence of the Devil is a like debt to reason; one is a demonstration from the reality of visible causes, and the other a deduction from the like reality of their effects.
One demonstration of the existence of GOD, is from the universal well-guided consent of all nations to worship and adore a supreme Power; One demonstration of the existence of the Devil, is from the avow'd ill-guided consent of some nations, who knowing no other GOD, make a GOD of the Devil, for want of a better.
It may be true, that those nations have no other Ideas of the Devil than as of a superior Power; if they thought him a supreme Power it would have other effects on them, and they would submit to and worship him with a different kind of fear.
But 'tis plain they have right notions of him as a Devil or evil Spirit, because the best reason, and in some places the only reason they give for worshiping him is, that he may do them no hurt; having no notions at all of his having any power, much less any inclination to do them good; so that indeed they make a meer Devil of him, at the same time that they bow to him as to a GOD.
All the ages of Paganism in the World have had this notion of the Devil: indeed in some parts of the World they had also some Deities which they honour'd above him, as being supposed to be beneficent, kind and inclined, as well as capable to give them good things; for this reason the more polite Heathens, such as the Grecians and the Romans, had their Lares or houshold Gods, whom they paid a particular respect to; as being their Protectors from Hobgoblins, Ghosts of the Dead, evil Spirits, frightful Appearances, evil Genius's and other noxious Beings from the invisible World; or to put it into the language of the day we live in, from the Devil, in whatever shape or appearance he might come to them, and from whatever might hurt them: and what was all this but setting up Devils against Devils, supplicating one Devil under the notion of a good Spirit, to drive out and protect them from another, whom they call'd a bad Spirit, the white Devil against the black Devil?
This proceeds from the natural notions mankind necessarily entertain of things to come; superior or inferior, GOD and the Devil, fill up all futurity in our thoughts; and 'tis impossible for us to form any images in our minds of an immortality and an invisible World, but under the notions of perfect felicity, or extreme misery.
Now as these two respect the Eternal state of man after life, they are respectively the object of our reverence and affection, or of our horror and aversion; but notwithstanding they are plac'd thus in a diametrical opposition in our affections and passions, they are on an evident level as to the certainty of their existence, and, as I said above, bear an equal share in our faith.
It being then as certain that there is a Devil, as that there is a God, I must from this time forward admit no more doubt of his existence, nor take any more pains to convince you of it; but speaking of him as a reality in Being, proceed to enquire who he is, and from whence, in order to enter directly into the detail of his History.
Now not to enter into all the metaphysical trumpery of his Schools, nor wholly to confine my self to the language of the Pulpit; where we are told, that to think of GOD and of the Devil, we must endeavour first to form Ideas of those things which illustrate the description of rewards and punishments; in the one the eternal presence of the highest good, and, as a necessary attendant, the most perfect, consummate, durable bliss and felicity, springing from the presence of that Being in whom all possible Beatitude is inexpressibly present, and that in the highest perfection: On the contrary, to conceive of a sublime fallen Arch-angel, attended with an innumerable host of degenerate, rebel Seraphs or Angels cast out of Heaven together; all guilty of inexpressible rebellion, and all suffering from that time, and to suffer for ever the eternal vengeance of the Almighty, in an inconceivable manner; that his presence, tho' blessed in it self, is to them the most compleat article of terror; That they are in themselves perfectly miserable; and to be with whom for ever, adds an inexpressible misery to any state as well as place; and fills the minds of those who are to be, or expect to be banish'd to them with inconceivable horror and amazement.
But when you have gone over all this, and a great deal more of the like, tho' less intelligible language, which the passions of men collect to amuse one another with; you have said nothing if you omit the main article, namely, the personality of the Devil; and till you add to all the rest some description of the company with whom all this is to be suffer'd, viz. the Devil and his Angels.
Now who this Devil and his Angels are, what share they have either actively or passively in the eternal miseries of a future state, how far they are Agents in or Partners with the sufferings of the place, is a difficulty yet not fully discover'd by the most learned; nor do I believe 'tis made less a difficulty by their medling with it.
But to come to the person and original of the Devil, or, as I said before, of Devils; I allow him to come of an ancient family, for he is from Heaven, and more truly than the Romans could say of their idoliz'd Numa, he is of the race of the Gods.
That Satan is a fallen Angel, a rebel Seraph, cast out for his Rebellion, is the general opinion, and 'tis not my business to dispute things universally receiv'd; as he was try'd, condemn'd, and the sentence of expulsion executed on him in Heaven, he is in this World like a transported Felon never to return; His crime, whatever particular aggravations it might have, 'tis certain, amounted to High-treason against his Lord and Governor, who was also his Maker; against whom he rose in rebellion, took up arms, and in a word, rais'd a horrid and unnatural war in his dominions; but being overcome in battle, and made prisoner, he and all his Host, whose numbers were infinite, all glorious Angels like himself, lost at once their beauty and glory with their Innocence, and commenc'd Devils, being transform'd by crime into monsters and frightful objects; such as to describe, human fancy is obliged to draw pictures and descriptions in such forms as are most hateful and frightful to the imagination.
These notions, I doubt not, gave birth to all the beauteous Images and sublime expressions in Mr. Milton's majestick Poem; where, tho' he has play'd the Poet in a most luxuriant manner, he has sinn'd against Satan most egregiously, and done the Devil a manifest injury in a great many particulars, as I shall shew in its place. And as I shall be oblig'd to do Satan justice when I come to that part of his History, Mr. Milton's admirers must pardon me, if I let them see, that tho' I admire Mr. Milton as a Poet, yet that he was greatly out in matters of History, and especially the History of the Devil; in short, That he has charged Satan falsly in several particulars; and so he has Adam and Eve too: But that I shall leave till I come to the History of the Royal Family of Eden; which I resolve to present you with when the Devil and I have done with one another.
But not to run down Mr. Milton neither, whose poetry, or his judgment, cannot be reproached without injury to our own; all those bright Ideas of his, which make his poem so justly valued, whether they are capable of proof as to the fact, are notwithstanding, confirmations of my hypothesis; and are taken from a supposition of the Personality of the Devil, placing him at the head of the infernal host, as a sovereign elevated Spirit and Monarch of Hell; and as such it is that I undertake to write his history.
By the word Hell I do not suppose, or at least not determine, that his residence, or that of the whole army of Devils, is yet in the same local HELL, to which the Divines tell us he shall be at last chain'd down; or at least that he is yet confin'd to it, for we shall find he is at present a prisoner at large: of both which circumstances of Satan I shall take occasion to speak in its course.
But when I call the Devil the Monarch of Hell, I am to be understood as suits to the present purpose; that he is the Sovereign of all the race of Hell, that is to say of all the Devils or Spirits of the infernal Clan, let their numbers, quality and powers be what they will.
Upon this supposed personality and superiority of Satan, or, as I call it, the sovereignty and government of one Devil above all the rest; I say, upon this notion are form'd all the systems of the dark side of futurity, that we can form in our minds: And so general is the opinion of it, that it will hardly bear to be oppos'd by any other argument, at least that will bear to be reason'd upon: All the notions of a parity of Devils, or making a common-wealth among the black Divan, seem to be enthusiastick and visionary, but with no consistency or certainty, and is so generally exploded, that we must not venture so much as to debate the point.
Taking it then as the generality of mankind do, that there is a Grand Devil, a superior of the whole black race; that they all fell, together with their General, Satan, at the head of them; that tho' he, Satan, could not maintain his high station in Heaven, yet that he did continue his dignity among the rest, who are call'd his servants, in Scripture his Angels; that he has a kind of dominion or authority over the rest, and that they were all, how many millions soever in number, at his command; employ'd by him in all his hellish designs, and in all his wicked contrivances for the destruction of man, and for the setting up his own kingdom in the world.
Supposing then that there is such a superior Master-Devil over all the rest, it remains that we enquire into his character, and something of his History; in which, tho' we cannot perhaps produce such authentick documents as in the story of other great Monarchs, Tyrants, and Furies of the World; yet I shall endeavour to speak some things which the experience of mankind may be apt to confirm, and which the Devil himself will hardly be able to contradict.
It being then granted that there is such a thing or person, call him which we will, as a Master-Devil; that he is thus superior to all the rest in power and in authority, and that all the other evil Spirits are his Angels, or Ministers, or Officers to execute his commands, and are employ'd in his business; it remains to enquire, whence he came? how he got hither, into this World? what that business is which he is employ'd about? what his present state is, and where and to what part of the creation of God he is limited and restrained? what the liberties are he takes or is allow'd to take? in what manner he works, and how his instruments are likewise allow'd to work? what he has done ever since he commenc'd Devil, what he is now doing, and what he may yet do before his last and closer confinement? as also what he cannot do, and how far we may or may not be said to be exposed to him, or have or have not reason to be afraid of him? These, and whatever else occurs in the History and conduct of this Arch-devil and his Agents, that may be useful for information, caution, or diversion, you may expect in the process of this work.
I know it has been question'd by some, with more face than fear, how it consists with a compleat victory of the Devil, which they say was at first obtained by the Heavenly Powers over Satan and his apostate army in Heaven, that when he was cast out of his holy place, and dash'd down into the abyss of eternal darkness, as into a place of punishment, a condemn'd hold, or place of confinement, to be reserved there to the judgment of the great Day; I say, how it consists with that entire victory, to let him loose again, and give him liberty, like a thief that has broken prison, to range about God's creation, and there to continue his rebellion, commit new ravages, and acts of hostility against God, make new efforts at dethroning the almighty Creator; and in particular to fall upon the weakest of his creatures, MAN? how Satan being so entirely vanquish'd, he should be permitted to recover any of his wicked powers, and find room to do mischief to mankind.
Nay they go farther, and suggest bold things against the wisdom of Heaven, in exposing mankind, weak in comparison of the immense extent of the Devil's power, to so manifest an overthrow, to so unequal a fight, in which he is sure, if alone in the conflict, to be worsted; to leave him such a dreadful enemy to engage with, and so ill furnish'd with weapons to assist him.
These objections I shall give as good an answer to as the case will admit in this course, but must adjourn them for the present.
That the Devil is not yet a close prisoner, we have evidence enough to confirm; I will not suggest, that like our Newgate Thieves, (to bring little Devils and great Devils together) he is let out by connivance, and has some little latitudes and advantages for mischief, by that means; returning at certain seasons to his confinement again. This might hold, were it not, that the comparison must suggest, that the power which has cast him down could be deluded, and the under-keepers or jaylors, under whose charge he was in custody, could wink at his excursions, and the Lord of the place know nothing of the matter. But this wants farther explanation.
Of the original of the DEVIL, who he is, and what he was before his expulsion out of Heaven, and in what state he was from that time to the creation of Man.
To come to a regular enquiry into Satan's affairs, 'tis needful we should go back to his original, as far as history and the opinion of the learned World will give us leave.
It is agreed by all Writers, as well sacred as prophane, that this creature we now call a Devil, was originally an Angel of light, a glorious Seraph; perhaps the choicest of all the glorious Seraphs. See how Milton describes his original glory:
Satan, so call him now, his former name Is heard no more in Heaven: He of the first, If not the first Archangel; great in power, In favour and preeminence.
lib. v. fol. 140.
And again the same author, and upon the same subject:
———Brighter once amidst the host Of Angels, than that star the stars among.
lib. vii. fol. 189.
The glorious figure which Satan is supposed to make among the Thrones and Dominions in Heaven is such, as we might suppose the highest Angel in that exalted train could make; and some think, as above, that he was the chief of the Arch-angels.
Hence that notion, (and not ill founded) namely, that the first cause of his disgrace, and on which ensued his rebellion, was occasioned upon God's proclaiming his SON Generalissimo, and with himself supreme ruler in heaven; giving the dominion of all his works of creation, as well already finish'd, as not then begun, to him; which post of honour (say they) Satan expected to be conferr'd on himself, as next in honour, majesty and power to God the Supreme.
This opinion is follow'd by Mr. Milton too, as appears in the following lines, where he makes all the Angels attending all a general summons, and God the Father making the following declaration to them.
"Here, all ye Angels, prodigy of light, "Thrones, dominions, princedoms, virtues, pow'rs! "Hear my decree, which unrevok'd shall stand. "This day I have begot whom I declare "My only SON, and on this hill "Him have anointed, whom you now behold "At my right hand; your Head I Him appoint: "And my self have sworn to him shall bow "All knees in Heav'n, and shall confess him Lord, "Under his great vice-gerent reign abide "United, as one individual soul, "For ever happy: Him who disobeys, "Me disobeys, breaks union, and that day "Cast out from GOD, and blessed vision, falls "Into utter darkness, deep ingulph'd, his place "Ordain'd without redemption, without end.
Satan, affronted at the appearance of a new Essence or Being in Heaven, call'd the Son of God; for God, says Mr. Milton, (tho' erroneously) declared himself at that time, saying, This day have I begotten him, and that he should be set up, above all the former Powers of Heaven, of whom Satan (as above) was the Chief and expecting, if any higher post could be granted, it might be his due; I say, affronted at this he resolv'd
"With all his Legions to dislodge, and leave "Unworship'd, unobey'd, the throne supreme "Contemptuous. ———
Par. lost, lib. v. fo. 140.
But Mr. Milton is grosly erroneous in ascribing those words, This day have I begotten thee, to that declaration of the Father before Satan fell, and consequently to a time before the creation; whereas, it is by Interpreters agreed to be understood of the Incarnation of the Son of God, or at least of the Resurrection:  see Pool upon Acts xiii. 33.
In a word, Satan withdrew with all his followers malecontent and chagrine, resolv'd to disobey this new command, and not yield obedience to the Son.
But Mr. Milton agrees in that opinion, that the number of Angels which rebel'd with Satan was infinite, and suggests in one place, that they were the greatest half of all the angelick Body or seraphick Host.
"But Satan with his Power, "An host "Innumerable as the stars of night, "Or stars of morning, dew drops, which the Sun "Impearls on ev'ry leaf and ev'ry flower.
ib. lib. v. fo. 142.
Be their number as it is, numberless millions and legions of millions, that is no part of my present enquiry; Satan the leader, guide and superior, as he was author of the celestial rebellion, is still the great Head and Master-Devil as before; under his authority they still act, not obeying but carrying on the same insurrection against God, which they begun in Heaven; making war still against Heaven, in the person of his Image and Creature man; and tho' vanquish'd by the thunder of the Son of God, and cast down headlong from Heaven, they have yet reassumed, or rather not lost either the will or the power of doing evil.
This fall of the Angels, with the war in Heaven which preceded it, is finely describ'd by Ovid, in his war of the Titans against Jupiter; casting mountain upon mountain, and hill upon hill (Pelion upon Ossa) in order to scale the Adamantine walls, and break open the gates of Heaven; till Jupiter struck them with his thunder-bolts and overwhelm'd them in the abyss: Vide Ovid Metam. new translation, lib. i. p. 19.
"Nor were the Gods themselves secure on high, "For now the Gyants strove to storm the sky, "The lawless brood with bold attempt invade "THE GODS, and mountains upon mountains laid. "But now the bolt, enrag'd the Father took, "Olympus from her deep foundations shook, "Their structure nodded at the mighty stroke, "And Ossa's shatter'd top o'er Pelion broke, "They're in their own ungodly ruines slain.—
Then again speaking of Jupiter, resolving in council to destroy mankind by a deluge, and giving the reasons of it to the heavenly Host, say thus, speaking of the demy-Gods alluding to good men below.
"Think you that they in safety can remain, "When I my self who o'er Immortals reign, "Who send the lightning, and Heaven's empire sway, "The stern  Lycaon practis'd to betray.
ib. p. 10.
Since then so much poetic liberty is taken with the Devil, relating to his most early state, and the time before his fall, give me leave to make an excursion of the like kind, relating to his History immediately after the fall, and till the creation of man; an interval which I think much of the Devil's story is to be seen in, and which Mr. Milton has taken little notice of, at least it does not seem compleatly fill'd up; after which I shall return to honest Prose again, and persue the duty of an Historian.
Satan, with hideous ruin thus supprest Expell'd the seat of blessedness and rest, Look'd back and saw the high eternal mound, Where all his rebel host their outlet found Restor'd impregnable: The breach made up, And garrisons of Angels rang'd a top; In front a hundred thousand thunders roll, And lightnings temper'd to transfix a soul, Terror of Devils. Satan and his host, Now to themselves as well as station lost, Unable to support the hated sight, } Expand seraphic wings, and swift as light } Seek for new safety in eternal Night. }
In the remotest gulphs of dark they land, Here vengeance gives them leave to make their stand, Not that to steps and measures they pretend, Councils and schemes their station to defend; But broken, disconcerted and dismay'd, By guilt and fright to guilt and fright betray'd; Rage and confusion ev'ry Spirit possess'd, And shame and horror swell'd in ev'ry breast; Transforming envy to their essentials burns, And the bright Angel to a frightful Devil turns. Thus Hell began; the fire of conscious rage No years can quench, no length of time asswage. Material Fire, with its intensest flame, Compar'd with this can scarce deserve a Name; How should it up to immaterials rise, When we're all flame, we shall all fire despise. This fire outrageous and its heat intense Turns all the pain of loss to pain of sense. The folding flames concave and inward roll, Act upon spirit and penetrate the soul: Not force of Devils can its new powers repel, Where'er it burns it finds or makes a HELL; For Satan flaming with unquench'd desire Forms his own Hell, and kindles his own fire, Vanquish'd, not humbl'd, not in will brought low, But as his powers decline his passions grow: The malice, Viper like, takes vent within, Gnaws its own bowels, and bursts in its own sin: Impatient of the change he scorns to bow, And never impotent in power till now; Ardent with hate, and with revenge distract, A will to new attempts, but none to act; Yet all seraphick, and in just degree, Suited to Spirits high sense of misery, Deriv'd from loss which nothing can repair, And room for nothing left but meer despair. Here's finish'd Hell! what fiercer fire can burn? Enough ten thousand Worlds to over-turn. HELL's but the frenzy of defeated pride, Seraphick Treason's strong impetuous tide, Where vile ambition disappointed first, To its own rage and boundless hatred curst; The hate's fan'd up to fury, that to flame, For fire and fury are in kind the same; These burn unquenchable in every face, And the word ENDLESS constitutes the place.
O state of Being! where being's the only grief, And the chief torture's to be damn'd to life; O life! the only thing they have to hate; The finish'd torment of a future state, Compleat in all the parts of endless misery, And worse ten thousand times than not to BE! Could but the Damn'd the immortal law repeal, And Devils dye, there'd be an end of Hell; Could they that thing call'd Being annihilate, There'd be no sorrows in a future state; The Wretch, whose crimes had shut him out on high, Could be reveng'd on God himself and die; Job's Wife was in the right, and always we Might end by death all human misery, } Might have it in our choice, to be or not to be. }
Of the name of the Devil, his original, and the nature of his circumstances since he has been called by that name.
The Scripture is the first writing on earth where we find the Devil called by his own proper distinguishing denomination, DEVIL, or the  Destroyer; nor indeed is there any other author of antiquity or of sufficient authority which says any thing of that kind about him.
Here he makes his first appearance in the world, and on that occasion he is called the Serpent; but the Serpent however since made to signify the Devil, when spoken of in general terms, was but the Devil's representative, or the Devil in quo vis vehiculo, for that time, clothed in a bodily shape, acting under cover and in disguise, or if you will the Devil in masquerade: Nay, if we believe Mr. Milton, the Angel Gabriel's spear had such a secret powerful influence, as to make him strip of a sudden, and with a touch to unmask, and stand upright in his naked original shape, meer Devil, without any disguises whatsoever.
Now as we go to the Scripture for much of his history, so we must go there also for some of his names; and he has a great variety of names indeed, as his several mischievous doings guide us to conceive of him. The truth is, all the ancient names given him, of which the Scripture is full, seems to be originals derived from and adapted to the several steps he has taken, and the several shapes he has appeared in to do mischief in the world.
Here he is called the Serpent, Gen. iii. 1. The old Serpent, Rev. xii. 9. The great red Dragon, Rev. xii. 3. The Accuser of the Brethren, Rev. xii. 10. The Enemy, Matt. xxiii. 29. Satan, Job i. Zech. iii. 1, 2. Belial, 2 Cor. vi. 15. Beelzebub, Matt. xii. 24. Mammon, Matt. vi. 24. The Angel of light, 2 Cor. xi. 14. The Angel of the bottomless pit, Rev. ix. 11. The Prince of the power of the air, Eph. ii. 2. Lucifer, Isa. xiv. 12. Abbaddon or Apollion, Rev. ix. 11. Legion, Mark v. 9. The God of this world, 2 Cor. iv. 4. The Foul Spirit, Mark ix. 5. The Unclean Spirit, Mark i. 27. The Lying Spirit, 2 Chron. xxx. The Tempter, Matt. iv. 3. The Son of the morning, Isa. xiv. 12.
But to sum them all up in one, he is called in the new Testament plain DEVIL; all his other names are varied according to the custom of speech, and the dialects of the several nations where he is spoken of; But in a word, Devil is the common name of the Devil in all the known languages of the earth. Nay, all the mischiefs he is empowered to do, are in Scripture placed to his account, under the particular title of the Devil, not of Devils in the plural number, though they are sometimes mentioned too; but in the singular it is the identical individual Devil, in and under whom all the little Devils, and all the great Devils, if such there be, are supposed to act; nay, they are supposed to be govern'd and directed by him. Thus we are told in Scripture of the works of the Devil, 1 John iii. 8. of casting out the Devil, Mark i. 34. of resisting the Devil, James iv. 5. of our Saviour being tempted of the Devil, Mat. iv. 1. of Simon Magus, a child of the Devil, Acts xiii. 10. The Devil came down in a great wrath, Rev. xii. 12. and the like. According to this usage in speech we go on to this day, and all the infernal things we converse with in the world, are fathered upon the Devil, as one undivided simple essence, by how many agents soever working: Every thing evil, frightful in appearance, wicked in its actings, horrible in its manner, monstrous in its effects, is called the Devil; in a word, Devil is the common name for all Devils; that is to say, for all evil Spirits, all evil Powers, all evil Works, and even all evil things: Yet 'tis remarkable the Devil is no old Testament word, and we never find it used in all that part of the Bible but four times, and then not once in the singular number, and not once to signify Satan as 'tis now understood.
It is true, the Learned give a great many differing interpretations of the word Devil; the English Commentators tell us, it means a destroyer, others that it signifies a deceiver, and the Greeks derive it from a Calumniator or false witness; for we find that Calumny was a Goddess, to whom the Athenians built altars and offer'd Sacrifices upon some solemn occasions, and they call her Diabole from whence came the masculine Diabolos which we translate Devil.
Thus we take the name of Devil to signify not persons only, but actions and habits; making imaginary Devils, and transforming that substantial creature call'd DEVIL into every thing noxious and offensive: Thus St. Francis being tempted by the Devil in the shape of a bag of money lying in the highway, the Saint having discover'd the fraud, whether seeing his Cloven-foot hang out of the purse, or whether he distinguish'd him by his smell of sulphur, or how otherwise, authors are not agreed; but, I say, the Saint having discover'd the cheat, and out-witted the Devil, took occasion to preach that eminent sermon to his disciples, where his Text was, Money is THE DEVIL.
Nor, upon the whole, is any wrong done to the Devil by this kind of treatment, it only gives him the sovereignty of the whole army of Hell, and making all the numberless legions of the bottomless pit servants; or, as the Scripture calls them, Angels to Satan the grand Devil; all their actions, performances and atchievements are justly attributed to him, not as the prince of Devils only, but the Emperor of Devils; the prince of all the princes of Devils.
Under this denomination then of DEVIL, all the Powers of Hell, all the Princes of the air, all the black armies of Satan are comprehended, and in such manner they are to be understood in this whole work; mutatis mutandis, according to the several circumstances of which we are to speak of them.
This being premis'd, and my authority being so good, Satan must not take it ill, if I treat him after the manner of men, and give him those titles which he is best known by among us; for indeed having so many, 'tis not very easy to call him out of his name.
However, as I am oblig'd by the duty of an Historian to decency as well as impartiality, so I thought it necessary, before I used too much freedom with Satan, to produce authentick Documents, and bring antiquity upon the stage, to justify the manner of my writing, and let you see I shall describe him in no colours, nor call him by any name, but what he has been known by for many ages before me.
And now, though writing to the common understanding of my Readers, I am oblig'd to treat Satan very coarsly, and to speak of him in the common acceptation, calling him plain Devil, a word which in this mannerly age is not so sonorous as others might be, and which by the error of the Times is apt to prejudice us against his Person; yet it must be acknowledg'd he has a great many other names and sirnames which he might be known by, of a less obnoxious import than that of Devil, or Destroyer, &c.
Mr. Milton, indeed, wanting titles of honour to give to the Leaders of Satan's Host, is oblig'd to borrow several of his Scripture names, and bestow them upon his infernal Heroes, whom he makes the Generals and Leaders of the armies of Hell; and so he makes Beelzebub, Lucifer, Belial, Mammon, and some others, to be the names of particular Devils, members of Satan's upper house or Pandemonium; whereas indeed, these are all names proper and peculiar to Satan himself.
The Scripture also has some names of a coarser kind, by which the Devil is understood, as particularly, which is noted already, in the Apocalypse he is call'd the Great Red Dragon, the Beast, the Old Serpent, and the like: But take it in the Scripture, or where you will in History sacred or prophane, you will find that in general the Devil is, as I have said above, his ordinary name in all languages and in all nations; the name by which he and his works are principally distinguish'd: Also the Scripture, besides that it often gives him this name, speaks of the works of the Devil, of the subtilty of the Devil, of casting out Devils, of being tempted of the Devil, of being possess'd with a Devil, and so many other expressions of that kind, as I have said already, are made use of for us to understand the evil Spirit by, that in a word, Devil is the common name of all wicked Spirits: For Satan is no more the Devil, as if he alone was so, and all the rest were a diminutive species who did not go by that name; But, I say, even in Scripture, every Spirit, whether under his Dominion or out of his Dominion, is called the Devil, and is as much a real Devil, that is to say, a condemn'd Spirit, and employ'd in the same wicked work as Satan himself.
His Name then being thus ascertain'd, and his Existence acknowledg'd, it should be a little enquir'd what he is; we believe there is such a thing, such a creature as the Devil, and that he has been, and may still with propriety of speech, and without injustice to his Character be call'd by his antient name Devil.
But who is he? what is his original? whence came he? and what is his present station and condition? for these things and these enquiries are very necessary to his History, nor indeed can any part of his History be compleat without them.
That he is of an antient and noble original must be acknowledged, for he is Heaven-born, and of Angelic Race, as has been touch'd already: If Scripture-evidence may be of any weight in the question, there is no room to doubt the genealogy of the Devil; he is not only spoken of as an Angel, but as a fallen Angel, one that had been in Heaven, had beheld the face of GOD in his full effulgence of glory, and had surrounded the Throne of the most High; from whence, commencing rebel and being expell'd, he was cast down, down, down, GOD and the Devil himself only knows where; for indeed we cannot say that any man on Earth knows it; and wherever it is, he has ever since man's creation been a plague to him, been a tempter, a deluder, a calumniator, an enemy and the object of man's horror and aversion.
As his original is Heaven-born, and his Race Angelic, so the Angelic nature is evidently plac'd in a class superior to the human, and this the Scripture is express in also; when speaking of man, it says, he made him a little lower than the Angels.
Thus the Devil, as mean thoughts as you may have of him, is of a better family than any of you, nay than the best Gentleman of you all; what he may be fallen to, is one thing, but what he is fallen from, is another; and therefore I must tell my learned and reverend friend J. W. LL. D. when he spoke so rudely of the Devil lately, That in my opinion he abus'd his Betters.
Nor is the Scripture more a help to us in the search after the Devil's Original, than it is in our search after his Nature: it is true, Authors are not agreed about his age, what time he was created, how many years he enjoy'd his state of blessedness before he fell; or how many years he continued with his whole army in a state of darkness, and before the creation of man. 'Tis supposed it might be a considerable space, and that it was a part of his punishment too, being all the while unactive, unemploy'd, having no business, nothing to do but gnawing his own Bowels, and rolling in the agony of his own self-approaches, being a Hell to himself in reflecting on the glorious state from whence he was fallen.
How long he remain'd thus, 'tis true, we have no light into from History, and but little from Tradition; Rabbi Judah says, the Jews were of the opinion, that he remain'd twenty thousand years in that condition, and that the World shall continue twenty thousand more, in which he shall find work enough to satisfy his mischievous desires; but he shews no authority for his opinion.
Indeed let the Devil have been as idle as they think he was before, it must be acknowledg'd that now he is the most busy, vigilant and diligent, of all GOD's creatures, and very full of employment too, such as it is.
Scripture indeed, gives us light into the enmity there is between the two natures, the Diabolical and the Human; the reason of it, and how and by what means the power of the Devil is restrain'd by the Messias; and to those who are willing to trust to Gospel-light, and believe what the Scripture says of the Devil, there may much of his History be discover'd, and therefore those that list may go there for a fuller account of the matter.
But to reserve all Scripture-evidence of these things, as a Magazine in store for the use of those with whom Scripture-testimony is of force, I must for the present turn to other enquiries, being now directing my story to an age, wherein to be driven to Revelation and Scripture-assertions is esteem'd giving up the dispute; people now-a-days must have demonstration; and in a word, nothing will satisfy the age, but such evidence as perhaps the nature of the question will not admit.
It is hard, indeed, to bring demonstrations in such a case as this: No man has seen GOD at any time, says the scripture, 1 John iv. 12. So the Devil being a spirit incorporeal, an Angel of light, and consequently not visible in his own substance, nature and form, it may in some sense be said, no man has seen the Devil at any time; all those pretences of phrenziful and fanciful people, who tell us, they have seen the Devil, I shall examine, and perhaps expose by themselves.
It might take up a great deal of our time here, to enquire whether the Devil has any particular shape or personality of substance, which can be visible to us, felt, heard, or understood; and which he cannot alter, and then, what shapes or appearances the Devil has at any time taken upon him; and whether he can really appear in a body which might be handled and seen, and yet so as to know it to have been the Devil at the time of his appearing; but this also I defer as not of weight in the present enquiry.
We have divers accounts of Witches conversing with the Devil; the Devil in a real body, with all the appearance of a body of a man or woman appearing to them; also of having a Familiar, as they call it, an Incubus or little Devil, which sucks their bodies, runs away with them into the air, and the like: Much of this is said, but much more than it is easy to prove, and we ought to give but a just proportion of credit to those things.
As to his borrow'd shapes and his subtle transformings, that we have such open testimony of, that there is no room for any question about it; and when I come to that part, I shall be oblig'd rather to give a history of the fact, than enter into any dissertation upon the nature and reason of it.
I do not find in any author, whom we can call creditable, that even in those countries where the dominion of Satan is more particularly establish'd, and where they may be said to worship him in a more particular manner, as a Devil; which some tell us the Indians in America did, who worship'd the Devil that he might not hurt them; yet, I say, I do not find that even there the Devil appear'd to them in any particular constant shape or personality peculiar to himself.
Scripture and History therefore, giving us no light into that part of the question, I conclude and lay it down, not as my opinion only, but as what all ages seem to concur in, that the Devil has no particular body; that he is a spirit, and that tho' he may, Proteus like, assume the appearance of either man or beast, yet it must be some borrow'd shape, some assum'd figure, pro hac vice, and that he has no visible body of his own.
I thought it needful to discuss this as a preliminary, and that the next discourse might go upon a certainty in this grand point; namely, that the Devil, however, he may for his particular occasions put himself into a great many shapes, and clothe himself, perhaps, with what appearances he pleases, yet that he is himself still a meer Spirit, that he retains the seraphic Nature, is not visible by our eyes, which are human and Organic, neither can he act with the ordinary Powers, or in the ordinary manner as bodies do; and therefore, when he has thought fit to descend to the meannesses of disturbing and frightning children and old women, by noises and knockings, dislocating the chairs and stools, breaking windows, and such like little ambulatory things, which would seem to be below the dignity of his character, and which in particular, is ordinarily performed by organic Powers; yet even then he has thought fit not to be seen, and rather to make the poor people believe he had a real shape and body, with hands to act, mouth to speak, and the like, than to give proof of it in common to the whole World, by shewing himself, and acting visibly and openly, as a body usually and ordinarily does.
Nor is it any disadvantage to the Devil, that his Seraphic nature is not confin'd or imprison'd in a body or shape, suppose that shape to be what monstrous thing we would; for this would, indeed, confine his actings within the narrow sphere of the organ or body to which he was limited; and tho' you were to suppose the body to have wings for a velocity of Motion equal to spirit, yet if it had not a power of invisibility too, and a capacity of conveying it self, undiscover'd, into all the secret recesses of mankind, and the same secret art or capacity of insinuation, suggestion, accusation, &c. by which his wicked designs are now propagated, and all his other devices assisted, by which he deludes and betrays mankind; I say, he would be no more a Devil, that is a Destroyer, no more a Deceiver, and, no more a Satan, that is, a dangerous Arch enemy to the souls of men; nor would it be any difficulty to mankind to shun and avoid him, as I shall make plain in the other part of his History.
Had the Devil from the beginning been embodied, as he could not have been invisible to us, whose souls equally seraphic are only prescrib'd by being embody'd and encas'd in flesh and blood as we are; so he would have been no more a Devil to any body but himself: The imprisonment in a body, had the powers of that body been all that we can conceive to make him formidable to us, would yet have been a Hell to him; consider him as a conquer'd exasperated Rebel, retaining all that fury and swelling ambition, that hatred of God, and envy at his creatures which dwells now in his enrag'd spirit as a Devil: yet suppose him to have been condemn'd to organic Powers, confin'd to corporeal motion, and restrain'd as a Body must be supposed to restrain a Spirit; it must, at the same time, suppose him to be effectually disabled from all the methods he is now allow'd to make use of, for exerting his rage and enmity against God, any farther than as he might suppose it to affect his Maker at second hand, by wounding his Glory thro' the sides of his weakest creature, MAN.
He must, certainly, be thus confin'd, because Body can only act upon Body, not upon Spirit; no species being empower'd to act out of the compass of its own sphere: He might have been empower'd, indeed, to have acted terrible and even destructive things upon mankind, especially if this body had any powers given it which mankind had not, by which man would be overmatch'd and not be in a condition of self-defence; for example, suppose him to have had wings to have flown in the air; Or to be invulnerable, and that no human invention, art, or engine could hurt, ensnare, captivate, or restrain him.
But this is to suppose the righteous and wise Creator to have made a creature and not be able to defend and preserve him; or to have left him defenceless to the mercy of another of his own creatures, whom he had given power to destroy him; This indeed, might have occasion'd a general idolatry, and made mankind, as the Americans do to this day, worship the Devil, that he might not hurt them; but it could not have prevented the destruction of mankind, supposing the Devil to have had malice equal to his power: and he must put on a new nature, be compassionate, generous, beneficent, and steadily good in sparing the rival enemy he was able to destroy, or he must have ruin'd mankind: In short, he must have ceas'd to have been a Devil, and must have re-assum'd his original, Angelic, heavenly nature; been fill'd with the principles of love to, and delight in the Works of his Creator, and bent to propagate his Glory and Interest; or he must have put an end to the race of man, whom it would be in his Power to destroy, and oblige his Maker to create a new species, or fortify the old with some kind of defence, which must be invulnerable, and which his fiery darts could not penetrate.
On this occasion suffer me to make an excursion from the usual stile of this Work, and with some solemnity to express my Thoughts thus:
How glorious is the wisdom and goodness of the great Creator of the World! in thus restraining these seraphic OUTCASTS from the power of assuming human or organic bodies! which could they do, envigorating them with the supernatural Powers, which, as Seraphs and Angels, they now possess and might exert, they would be able even to fright mankind from the face of the Earth, and to destroy and confound God's Creation; nay, even as they are, were not their power limited, they might destroy the Creation it self, reverse and over-turn nature, and put the World into a general conflagration: But were those immortal Spirits embodied, tho' they were not permitted to confound nature, they would be able to harrass poor weak and defenceless man out of his wits, and render him perfectly useless, either to his Maker or himself.
But the Dragon is chain'd, the Devil's Power is limited; he has indeed a vastly extended Empire, being Prince of the Air, having, at least, the whole Atmosphere to range in, and how far that Atmosphere is extended, is not yet ascertain'd by the nicest observations; I say at least, because we do not yet know how far he may be allow'd to make excursions beyond the Atmosphere of this Globe into the planetary Worlds, and what power he may exercise in all the habitable parts of the solar system; nay, of all the other solar systems, which, for ought we know, may exist in the mighty extent of created space, and of which you may hear farther in its order.
But let his power be what it will there, we are sure 'tis limited here, and that in two particulars; first, he is limited as above, from assuming body or bodily shapes with substance; and secondly, from exerting seraphic Powers, and acting with that supernatural force, which, as an Angel, he was certainly vested with before the fall, and which we are not certain is yet taken from him; or at most, we do not know how much it may or may not be diminish'd by his degeneracy, and by the blow given him at his expulsion: this we are certain, that be his Power greater or less, he is restrain'd from the exercise of it in this World; and he, who was one equal to the Angel who kill'd 180000 men in one night, is not able now, without a new commission, to take away the life of one Job, nor to touch any thing he had.
But let us consider him then limited and restrained as he is, yet he remains a mighty, a terrible, an immortal Being; infinitely superior to man, as well in the dignity of his nature, as in the dreadful powers he retains still about him; it is true the brain-sick heads of our Enthusiasticks paint him blacker than he is, and, as I have said, wickedly represent him clothed with terrors that do not really belong to him; as if the power of good and evil was wholly vested in him, and that he was placed in the Throne of his Maker, to distribute both punishments and rewards; In this they are much wrong, terrifying and deluding fanciful people about him, till they turn their heads, and fright them into a belief that the Devil will let them alone, if they do such and such good things; or carry them away with him they know not whither, if they do not; as if the Devil, whose proper business is mischief, seducing and deluding mankind, and drawing them in to be rebels like himself, should threaten to seize upon them, carry them away, and in a word, fall upon them to hurt them, if they did evil, and on the contrary, be favourable and civil to them, if they did well.
Thus a poor deluded country fellow in our Town, that had liv'd a wicked, abominable, debauch'd life, was frighted with an Apparition, as he call'd it, of the Devil; He fancy'd that he spoke to him, and telling his tale to a good honest christian Gentleman his neighbour, that had a little more sense than himself; the Gentleman ask'd him if he was sure he really saw the Devil? yes, yes, Sir, says he, I saw him very plain, and so they began the following discourse.
Gent. See him! See the Devil! art thou sure of it, Thomas?
Tho. Yes, yes, I am sure enough of it, Master; to be sure 'twas the Devil.
Gent. And how do you know 'twas the Devil, Thomas? had you ever seen the Devil before?
Tho. No, no, I had never seen him before, to be sure; but, for all that, I know 'twas the Devil.
Gent. Well, if you're sure, Thomas, there's no contradicting you; pray what clothes had he on?
Tho. Nay, Sir, don't jest with me, he had no clothes on, he was clothed with fire and brimstone.
Gent. Was it dark or day light when you saw him?
Tho. O! it was very dark, for it was midnight.
Gent. How could you see him then? did you see by the light of the fire you speak of?
Tho. No, no, he gave no light himself; but I saw him, for all that.
Gent. But was it within doors, or out in the street?