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MODERN HISTORY OF THE DEVIL

Being An Introduction To The Whole Work

Of Divination Sorcery The Black-art Pawawing And Such Like Pretenders To Devilism And How Far The Devil Is Or Is Not Concern'd

Of God's Calling A Church Out Of The Midst Of A Degenerate World

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 F

Of Satan's Agents Or Missionaries And Their Actings Upon And In The Minds Of Men In His Name

Of The Devil's Last Scene Of Liberty

Of The Devil's Management In The Pagan Hierarchy By Omens Entrails Augurs Oracles And Such Like Pageantry Of Hell

Of The Devil's Second Kingdom And How He Got Footing In The Renew'd World By His Victory Over Noah And His Race

Of The Extraordinary Appearance Of The Devil And Particularly Of The Cloven-foot

Of The Manner Of Satan's Acting And Carrying On His Affairs In This World And Particularly Of His Ordinary Workings In The Dark

Of The Name Of The Devil His Original And The Nature Of His Circumstances Since He Has Been Called By That Name

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 Mankin

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 Ti

Of The Power Of The Devil At The Time Of The Creation Of This World

Of The Progress Of Satan In Carrying On His Conquest Over Mankind From The Fall Of Eve To The Deluge

Of The Station Satan Had In Heaven Before He Fell The Nature And Original Of His Crime And Some Of Mr Milton's Mistakes Aboutit

Of The Tools The Devil Works With Witches Wizards Or Warlocks Conjurers Magicians Divines Astrologers Interpreters Of Dreams Te

Of The Various Methods The Devil Takes To Converse With Mankind

Of The Word Devil As It Is A Proper Name To The Devil And Any Or All His Host Angels

The Total Works

What Became Of The Devil And His Host Of Fallen Spirits After Their Being Expell'd From Heaven

Whether Is Most Hurtful To The World The Devil Walking About Without His Cloven-foot Or The Cloven-foot Walking About Without T

Witches Making Bargains For The Devil And Particularly Of Selling The Soul To The Devil




The Total Works








I have examined the Antiquities of Satan's History in the former Part of
this Work, and brought his Affairs down from the Creation, as far as to
our blessed Christian Times; especially to the Coming of the Messiah,
when one would think the Devil could have nothing to do among us. I
have indeed but touch'd at some Things which might have admitted of a
farther Description of Satan's Affairs, and the Particulars of which we
may all come to a farther Knowledge of hereafter; yet I think I have
spoken to the material Part of his Conduct, as it relates to his Empire
in this World: What has happen'd to his more sublimated Government, and
his Angelic Capacities, I shall have an Occasion to touch at in several
solid Particulars as we go along.

The Messiah was now born, the Fulness of Time was come, that the old
Serpent was to have his Head broken, that is to say, his Empire or
Dominion over Man, which he gain'd by the Fall of our first Father and
Mother in Paradise, receiv'd a Downfal or Overthrow.

It is worth observing, in order to confirm what I have already mention'd
of the Limitation of Satan's Power, that not only his Angelic Strength
seems to have received a farther Blow upon the Coming of the Son of God
into the World, but he seems to have had a Blow upon his Intellects; his
Serpentine Craft and Devil-like Subtilty seems to have been
circumscrib'd and cut short; and instead of his being so cunning a
Fellow as before, when, as I said, 'tis evident he outwitted all
Mankind, not only Eve, Cain, Noah, Lot, and all the Patriarchs,
but even Nations of Men, and that in their publick Capacity; and thereby
led them into absurd and ridiculous Things, such as the Building of
Babel, and deifying and worshiping their Kings, when dead and rotten;
idolizing Beasts, Stocks, Stones, any Thing, and even Nothing;
and in a Word, when he manag'd Mankind just as he pleased.

Now and from this Time forward he appeared a weak, foolish, ignorant
Devil, compar'd to what he was before; He was upon almost every
Occasion resisted, disappointed, baulk'd and defeated, especially in all
his Attempts to thwart or cross the Mission and Ministry of the
Messiah, while he was upon Earth, and sometimes upon other and very
mean Occasions too.

And first, how foolish a Project was it, and how below Satan's
celebrated Artifice in like Cases, to put Herod upon sending to kill
the poor innocent Children in Bethlehem, in hopes to destroy the
Infant? for I take it for granted, it was the Devil put into
Herod's Thoughts that Execution, how simple and foolish soever; now we
must allow him to be very ignorant of the Nativity himself, or else he
might easily have guided his Friend Herod to the Place where the
Infant was.

This shews that either the Devil is in general ignorant as we are,
of what is to come in the World, before it is really come to pass; and
consequently can foretel nothing, no not so much as our famous old
Merlin or Mother Shipton did, or else that great Event was hid
from him by an immediate Power superior to his, which I cannot think
neither, considering how much he was concern'd in it, and how certainly
he knew that it was once to come to pass.

But be that as it will, 'tis certain the Devil knew nothing where
Christ was born, or when; nor was he able to direct Herod to find him
out, and therefore put him upon that foolish, as well as cruel Order, to
kill all the Children, that he might be sure to destroy the Messiah
among the rest.

The next simple Step that the Devil took, and indeed the most foolish
one that he could ever be charg'd with, unworthy the very Dignity of a
Devil, and below the Understanding that he always was allow'd to act
with, was that of coming to tempt the Messiah in the Wilderness; it is
certain, and he own'd it himself afterwards, upon many Occasions, that
the Devil knew our Saviour to be the Son of God; and 'tis as certain
that he knew, that as such he could have no Power or Advantage over
him; how foolish then was it in him to attack him in that Manner, if
thou beest the Son of GOD? why he knew him to be the Son of GOD well
enough; he said so afterwards, I know thee who thou art, the holy One
of GOD; how then could he be so weak a Devil as to say, if thou art,
then do so and so?

The Case is plain, the Devil, tho' he knew him to be the Son of GOD,
did not fully know the Mystery of the Incarnation; nor did he know how
far the Inanition of Christ extended, and whether, as Man, he was
not subject to fall as Adam was, tho' his reserv'd Godhead might be
still immaculate and pure; and upon this Foot, as he would leave no
Method untried, he attempts him three Times, one immediately after
another; but then, finding himself disappointed he fled.

This evidently proves that the Devil was ignorant of the great Mystery
of Godliness, as the Text calls it, God manifest in the Flesh, and
therefore made that foolish Attempt upon Christ, thinking to have
conquer'd his human Nature as capable of Sin, which it was not; and at
this Repulse Hell groan'd, the whole Army of regimented Devils
receiv'd a Wound, and felt the Shock of it; 'twas a second Overthrow to
them, they had had a long Chain of Success, carried a devilish
Conquest over the greatest Part of the Creation of GOD; but now they
were cut short, the Seed of the Woman was now come to break the
Serpent's Head, that is, to cut short his Power, to contract the Limits
of his Kingdom, and in a Word, to dethrone him in the World: No doubt
the Devil receiv'd a Shock, for you find him always afterward, crying
out in a horrible Manner, whenever Christ met with him, or else very
humble and submissive, as when he begg'd leave to go into the Herd of
Swine, a Thing he has often done since.

Defeated here, the first Stratagem I find him concern'd in after it, was
his entring into Judas, and putting him upon betraying Christ to the
Chief Priest; but here again he was entirely mistaken, for he did not
see, as much a Devil as he was, what the Event would be; but when he
came to know, that if Christ was put to Death, he would become a
Propitiatory and be the great Sacrifice of Mankind, so to rescue the
fallen Race from that Death they had incurr'd the Penalty of, by the
Fall, that this was the fulfilling of all Scripture Prophesy, and that
thus it was that Christ was to be the End of the Law, I say, as soon
as he perceiv'd this, he strove all he could to prevent it, and
disturb'd Pilate's Wife in her Sleep, in order to set her upon her
Husband to hinder his delivering him up to the Jews; for then, and not
till then, he knew how Christ was to vanquish Hell by the Power of his
Cross.

Thus the Devil was disappointed and exposed in every Step he took, and
as he now plainly saw his Kingdom declining, and even the temporal
Kingdom of Christ, rising up upon the Ruins of his (Satan's) Power; he
seem'd to retreat into his own Region the Air, and to consult there with
his fellow Devils, what Measures he should take next to preserve his
Dominion among Men; Here it was that he resolv'd upon that truly hellish
Thing call'd Persecution, by which, tho' he prov'd a foolish Devil in
that too, he flatter'd himself he should be able to destroy God's
Church, and root out its Professors from the Earth, even almost as soon
as it was establish'd; whereas on the contrary, Heaven counter-acted him
there too, and tho' he arm'd the whole Roman Empire against the
Christians, that is say, the whole World, and they were fallen upon
every where, with all the Fury and Rage of some of the most flaming
Tyrants that the World ever saw, of whom Nero was the first; yet in
spight of Hell, GOD made all the Blood, which the Devil caus'd to be
spilt, to be semen Ecclesiae, and the DEVIL had the Mortification to
see, that the Number of Christians encreased even under the very Means
he made use of to root them out and destroy them: This was the Case
thro' the Reign of all the Roman Emperors, for the first three hundred
Years after Christ.

Having thus tried all the Methods that best suited his Inclination, I
mean those of Blood and Death, complicated with Tortures and all Kinds
of Cruelty, and that for so long a Stage of Time as above; the Devil
all on a suddain, as if glutted with Blood, and satiated with
Destruction, sits still and becomes a peaceable Spectator for a good
while; as if he either found himself unable, or had no Disposition to
hinder the Progress of Christianity in the first Ages of its Settlement
in the World: In this interval the Christian Church was establish'd
under Constantine, Religion flourished in Peace, and under the most
perfect Tranquillity: The Devil seem'd to be at a Loss what he should
do next, and Things began to look as if Satan's Kingdom was at an End;
but he soon let them see that he was the same indefatigable Devil that
ever he was, and the Prosperity of the Church gave him a large Field of
Action; for knowing the Disposition of Mankind to Quarrel and Dispute,
the universal Passion rooted in Nature, especially among the Church-Men
for Precedency and Dominion, he fell to work with them immediately; so
that turning the Tables, and reassuming the Subtilty and Craft, which, I
say, he seem'd to have lost in the former four hundred Years, he gain'd
more Ground in the next Ages of the Church, and went farther towards
restoring his Power and Empire in the World, and towards overthrowing
that very Church which was so lately establish'd, than all he had done
by Fire and Blood before.

His Policy now seem'd to be edg'd with Resentment for the Mistakes he
had made; as if the Devil looking back with Anger at himself, to see
what a Fool he had been to expect to crush Religion by Persecution,
rejoyc'd for having discover'd that Liberty and Dominion was the only
way to ruin the Church, not Fire and Faggot; and that he had nothing to
do but to give the zealous People their utmost Liberty in Religion, only
sowing Error and Variety of Opinion among them, and they would bring
Fire and Faggot in fast enough among themselves.

It must be confess'd these were devilish Politicks; and so sure was the
Aim, and so certain was the Devil to hit his Mark by them, that we
find he not only did not fail then, but the same hellish Methods have
prevail'd still, and will do so to the End of the World. Nor had the
Devil ever a better Game to play than this, for the Ruin of Religion, as
we shall have room to show in many Examples, besides that of the
Dissenters in England, who are evidently weaken'd by the late
Toleration: Whether the Devil had any hand in baiting his Hook with an
A--- of Parliament or no, History is silent, but 'tis too evident he has
catch'd the Fish by it; and if the honest Church of England does not
in Pity and Christian Charity to the Dissenters, straighten her Hand a
little, I cannot but fear the Devil will gain his Point, and the
Dissenter will be undone by it.

Upon this new foot of Politicks the Devil began with the Emperors
themselves: Arius, the Father of the Hereticks of that Age, having
broach'd his Opinions, and Athanasius the orthodox Bishop of the East
opposing him, the Devil no sooner saw the Door open to Strife and
Imposition, but he thrust himself in, and raising the Quarrel up to a
suited Degree of Rage and Spleen, he involv'd the good Emperor himself
in it first and Athanasius was banish'd and recall'd, and banish'd
and recall'd again, several times, as Error ran high, and as the Devil
either got or lost Ground: After Constantine, the next Emperor was a
Child of his own, (Arian) and then the Court came all into the
Quarrel, as Courts often do, and then the Arians and the Orthodox
persecuted one another as furiously as the Pagans persecuted them all
before. To such a Height the Devil brought his Conquest in the very
Infancy of the Question, and so much did he prevail over the true
Christianity of the Primitive Church, even before they had enjoy'd the
Liberty of the pure Worship twenty Years.

Flush'd with this Success, the Devil made one Push for the restoring
Paganism, and bringing on the old Worship of the Heathen Idols and
Temples; but like our King James II. he drove too hard, and Julian
had so provok'd the whole Roman Empire, which was generally at that
time become Christian, that had the Apostate liv'd, he would not have
been able to have held the Throne; and as he was cut off in his
Beginning, Paganism expir'd with him, and the Devil himself might have
cry'd out, as Julian did, and with much more Propriety, Vicisti
Galileane.

Jovian, the next Emperor, being a glorious Christian, and a very good
and great Man, the Devil abdicated for a while, and left the Christian
Armies to re-establish the Orthodox Faith; nor could he bring the
Christians to a Breach again among themselves a great while after.

However, Time and a diligent Devil did the Work at last, and when the
Emperors concerning themselves one way or other, did not appear
sufficient to answer his End, he chang'd Hands again, and went to work
with the Clergy: To set the Doctors effectually together by the Ears,
he threw in the new Notion of Primacy among them, for a Bone of
Contention; the Bait took, the Priests swallow'd it eagerly down, and
the Devil, a cunninger Fisherman than ever St. Peter was, struck
them (as the Anglers call it) with a quick Hand, and hung them fast
upon the Hook.

Having them thus in his Clutches, and they being now, as we may say, his
own, they took their Measures afterwards from him, and most obediently
follow'd his Directions; nay, I will not say but he may have had pretty
much the Management of the whole Society ever since, of what Profession
or Party soever they may have been, with Exception only to the Reverend
and Right Reverend among our selves.

The Sacred, as above, being thus hook'd in, and the DEVIL being at the
Head of their Affairs, Matters went on most gloriously his own way;
first, the Bishops fell to bandying and Party-making for the
Superiority, as heartily as ever Temporal Tyrants did for Dominion, and
took as black and devilish Methods to carry it on, as the worst of those
Tyrants ever had done before them.

At last Satan declar'd for the Roman Pontiff, and that upon excellent
Conditions, in the Reign of the Emperor Mauritius; for Boniface, who
had long contended for the Title of Supreme, fell into a Treaty with
Phocas, Captain of the Emperor's Guards; whether the Bargain was from
Hell or not, let any one judge, the Conditions absolutely entitle the
Devil to the Honour of making the Contract, viz. That Phocas first
murthering his Master (the Emperor) and his Sons, Boniface should
countenance the Treason, and declare him Emperor; and in Return,
Phocas should acknowledge the Primacy of the Church of Rome, and
declare Boniface universal Bishop. A blessed Compact! which at once
set the Devil at the Head of Affairs in the Christian World, as well
Spiritual as Temporal, Ecclesiastick and Civil. Since the Conquest over
Eve in Paradise, by which Death and the DEVIL, Hand in Hand,
establish'd their first Empire upon Earth, the Devil never gain'd a
more important Point than he gain'd at this time.

He had indeed prospered in his Affairs tolerably well for some time
before this, and his Interest among the Clergy had got Ground for some
Ages; but that was indeed a secret Management, was carried on privately,
and with Difficulty; as in sowing Discord and Faction among the People,
perplexing the Councils of their Princes, and secretly wheedling in with
the dignified Clergy.

Also he had raised abundance of little Church-Rebellions, by setting up
Hereticks of several Kinds, and raising them Favourers among the Clergy,
such as Ebion, Cerinthius, Pelagius, and others.

He had drawn in the Bishops of Rome to set up the ridiculous Pageantry
of the KEY; and while he, the DEVIL, set open the Gates of Hell to
them all, set them upon locking up the Gates of Heaven, and giving the
Bishop the Key; a Cheat which, as gross as it was, the DEVIL so gilded
over, or so blinded the Age to receive it, that like Gideon's Ephod,
all the Catholick World went a whoring after the Idol; and the Bishop of
Rome sent more Fools to the Devil by it than ever he pretended to
let into Heaven, though he open'd the Door as wide as his Key was able
to do.

The Story of this Key being given to the Bishop of Rome by St.
Peter, (who, by the way, never had it himself,) and of its being lost
by Somebody or other, (the Devil it seems did not tell them who) and
its being found again by a Lombard Soldier in the Army of King
Antharis, who attempting to cut it with his Knife, was miraculously
forced to direct the Wound to himself, and cut his own Throat; that King
Antharis and his Nobles happened to see the Fellow do it, and were
converted to Christianity by it, and that the King sent the Key, with
another made like it, to Pope Pelagius, then Bishop of Rome, who
thereupon assum'd the Power of opening and shutting Heaven's Gates; and
he afterwards setting a Price or Toll upon the Entrance, as we do here
at passing a Turn-pike; these fine things, I say, were successfully
managed for some Years before this I am now speaking of, and the Devil
got a great deal of Ground by it too; but now he triumph'd openly, and
having set up a Murtherer upon the temporal Throne, and a Church Emperor
upon the Ecclesiastic Throne, and both of his own choosing, the Devil
may be said to begin his new Kingdom from this Epocha, and call it the
Restoration.

Since this time indeed the Devil's Affairs went very merrily on, and the
Clergy brought so many Gewgaws into their Worship, and such devilish
Principles were mixt with that which we call'd the Christian Faith, that
in a Word, from this Time the Bishop of Rome commenc'd Whore of
Babylon, in all the most express Terms that could be imagin'd: Tyranny
of the worst sort crept into the Pontificate, Errors of all sorts into
the Profession, and they proceeded from one thing to another, till the
very Popes, for so the Bishop of Rome was now called, by way of
Distinction; I say, the Popes themselves, their spiritual Guides,
profess'd openly to confederate with the Devil, and to carry on a
personal and private Correspondence with him at the same time, taking
upon them the Title of Christ's Vicar, and the infallible Guide of the
Consciences of Christians.

This we have sundry Instances of in some merry Popes, who, if Fame lies
not, were Sorcerers, Magicians, had familiar Spirits, and immediate
Conversation with the Devil, as well visibly as invisibly, and by this
means became what we call Devils incarnate: Upon this account it is
that I have left the Conversation that passes between Devils and Men
to this Place, as well because I believe it differs much now in his
modern State, from what it was in his ancient State, and therefore that
which most concerns us belongs rather to this part of his History; as
also because, as I am now writing to the present Age, I choose to bring
the most significant Parts of his History, especially as they relate to
our selves, into that Part of Time that we are most concern'd in.

The Devil had once, as I observ'd before, the universal Monarchy or
Government of Mankind in himself, and I doubt not but in that
flourishing State of his Affairs, he governed them like what he is
(viz.) an absolute Tyrant; during this Theocracy of his, for Satan
is call'd the God of this World, he did not familiarize himself to
Mankind so much, as he finds Occasion to do now, there was not then so
much need of it; he governed then with an absolute Sway; he had his
Oracles, where he gave Audience to his Votaries like a Deity, and he had
his Sub-Gods, who under his several Dispositions receiv'd the Homage of
Mankind in their Names; such were all the Rabble of the Heathen Deities,
from Jupiter the Supreme, to the Lares or Houshold Gods of every
Family; these, I say, like Residents, received the Prostrations, but the
Homage was all Satan's; the Devil had the Substance of it all, which was
the Idolatry.

During this Administration of Hell, there was less Witchcraft, less
true literal Magick than there has been since; there was indeed no need
of it, the DEVIL did not stoop to the Mechanism of his more modern
Operations, but rul'd as a Deity, and receiv'd the Vows and the Bows of
his Subjects in more State, and with more Solemnity; whereas since that,
he is content to employ more Agents and take more Pains himself too; now
he runs up and down Hackney in the World, more like a Drudge than a
Prince, and much more than he did then.

Hence all those Things we call Apparitions and Visions of Ghosts,
Familiar-Spirits and Dealings with the Devil, of which there is so great
a Variety in the World at this Time, were not so much known among the
People, in those first Ages of the Devil's Kingdom; in a Word, the
Devil seems to be put to his Shifts, and to fly to Art and Stratagem for
the carrying on his Affairs, much more now than he did then.

One Reason for this may be, that he has been more discover'd and expos'd
in these Ages, than he was before; then he could appear in the World in
his own proper Shapes, and yet not be known; when the Sons of GOD
appear'd at the divine Summons, Satan came along with them; but now he
has plaid so many scurvy Tricks upon Men, and they know him so well,
that he is oblig'd to play quite out of sight and act in disguise;
Mankind will allow nothing of his doing, and hear nothing of his saying,
in his own Name; and if you propose any Thing to be done, and it be but
said the Devil is to help in the doing it, or if you say of any Man he
deals with the Devil, or the Devil has a Hand in it, every Body
flies him and shuns him, as the most frightful Thing in the World.

Nay, if any Thing strange and improbable be done or related to be done,
we presently say the Devil was at the doing it: Thus the great Ditch
at Newmarket Heath, is call'd the Devil's Ditch; so the Devil
built Crowland Abby, and the Whispering-Place in Gloucester
Cathedral; nay, the Cave at Castleton, only because there's no getting
to the farther End of it, is call'd the Devil's A---- and the like:
The poor People of Wiltshire, when you ask them how the great Stones
at Stonehenge were brought thither? they'll all tell you the Devil
brought them: If any Mischief extraordinary befalls us, we presently say
the Devil was in it, and the Devil would have it so; in a Word, the
Devil has got an ill Name among us, and so he is fain to act more in
Tenebris, more incog. than he used to do, play out of sight himself,
and work by the Sap, as the Engineers call it, and not openly and
avowedly in his own Name and Person, as formerly, tho' perhaps not with
less Success than he did before; and this leads me to enquire more
narrowly into the manner of the Devil's Management of his Affairs
since the Christian Religion began to spread in the World, which
manifestly differs from his Conduct in more antient Times; in which if
we discover some of the most consummate Fool's Policy, the most profound
simple Craft, and the most subtle shallow Management of Things that can
by our weak Understandings be conceiv'd, we must only resolve it into
this, that in short it is the DEVIL.





Next: 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 F

Previous: Of God's Calling A Church Out Of The Midst Of A Degenerate World



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