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assumed, as being himself a pretended descent of that great mundane soul which was often identified with the universal father Nous or Men, the name of Manes or Menes or Menu as the appellation is variously expressed, which is one of the most common titles of the anthropomorphic transmigrating god of the heathen Mysteries. In this impiety he did but imitate his master Terebinthus : for he also seems equally to have claimed to be an incarnation of the same deity; as we may collect not equivocally from his calling himself Buddas, w bich is another title of the same pagan divinity, Nor did the gangrene stop even here. On the very principle of the imagined successive incarnations of Budda or Menes or Mithras in the person of the reigning Lama of Thibet, the disciples of Manes, and those Christians whom he had perverted, vehemently taught, not only that their master was such an incarnation, but that he himself was afterwards transmigratively born again in the body of his pontifical successor BuddasAddas or Adda-Menes. In imitation of Christ, with whom (like Simon Magus) he appears to have wished ultimately to identify himself, Manes had twelve special disciples : and, being esteemed a descent of the virgin-born Buddba, he thence in ļlindostan, whither his heretical pravity was early conveyed and where it still flourishes, for Buddha is even yet pronounced to be the same as Christ; he thence in Hindostan was called Salivahana which is one of the many titles of that heathen god, and was venerated as the deity and pilot of
the purgatorial ship of Hades or Patala. To this ship, which was also the ship of the sphere, Manes plainly alluded, when he taught that the souls of the dead were to be purified in the ship either of the Sun or of the Moon. The whole speculation, with its concomitant purgatory, was borrowed from the pagan Mysteries: in the celebration of which, the ship of the dead was formed like the lunar crescent and thence spoken of as a floating Moon; while. its pilot was a deified hero, venerated astronomically in the Sun beneath the horizon, and thence esteemed an infernal god. Into this ancient philosophy, which constituted the basis of Gnosticisin and Manicheism, Virgil and Porphyry have largely entered : it may be pronounced the very essence of Pythagorisin and Orphism and Platonism : and, as it was the system of ancient Egypt and Persia; so, with whatever modifications, it is still the prominent theory of Hindostan taken in its largest acceptation.
The leading idea, in short, of the Manichean heresy is palpably the same as that of Simonianism and Gnosticism. Another Christ and another Spirit, to adopt the expressions of St. Paul, are introduced into the place of the genuine Christ and the true Spirit of God: while another gospel, far unlike the sincere Gospel, effectually destroys all connection between the three closely allied dispensations,
Theodoret. Hæret. Fab. lib. i. c. 26. Epist. Marcell. apud Epiph. ady. Hær. lib. ii. S. Augustin. Confess. lib. iv, v. Epiph. adv. Hær. lib. i, ii. Euseb. Hist. Evan. lib. vii. c.31.
Such were the dangerous errors of some early gentile converts : we have next to consider certain niistakes, which were peculiar to the descendants from the stock of Israel.
Clem. Alex. Strom. lib. iii. p. 431-435. Bp. Pearson on the Creed. Art. 1. note c. vol. ii. p. 76. Oxon. Asiat. Res. vol. ix. p. 212--222. Virg. Æneid. lib. vi. ver. 603—751. Georg. lib. iv, ver. 219-227. Porph. de ant. nymph. p. 263 -268. See my Origin of Pagan Idol. book iv. c. 1, 2. book v. c. 1, 2, 3, 6. book vi. c. 6.
THE ERROR RESPECTING THE CONNECTION OF
THE LAW AND THE GOSPEL PECULIAR TO
THERE are other mistakes, now to be considered, which more peculiarly respect the connection of the Levitical and Christian dispensations : for in that view of the subject, which is about to present itself to us, the Patriarchal dispensation seems never once to have been taken into the account.
The basis of all these mistakes was the leading error, that the Law of Moses was of perpetual obligation, that it was never to be annulled, and that the Messiah himself was so to act under its sanction as to preserve its entire ceremonial unaltered. Such an error was peculiar to the Hebrew nation : and so deep had it struck its root, that both the unconverted and the converted Jews were alike tainted with it; for the former rejected the Messiah, because he appeared not with divine majesty and power to uphold the gorgeous service
of the temple and to reduce all nations to its obedience; while the latter acknowledged him indeed, but could not comprehend how the ordinances of the Law were to be superseded by the better covenant of the Gospel.
So far as abstract reasoning is concerned, they each seem to have argued on pretty much the same principles. They knew, that the Levitical dispensation proceeded froin God. But God is confessedly immutable. Therefore a dispensation, which proceeded from him, must be perfect and can never be annulled.
This syllogism will be found at the bottom both of Jewish unbelief and of Jewish misbelief: yet analogy itself inight have taught the Hebrews its palpable inconclusiveness. The very same mode of reasoning would have equally demonstrated the perpetuity of the Patriarchal dispensation and the impossibility of its being annulled in favour of the Levitical: nor can a single argument be adduced by a Jew in favour of the divine authority and legation of Moses, which cannot be equally adduced by a Christian in favour of the divine authority and legation of Christ. If the repeal of the Patriarchal dispensation, a dispensation confessedly from heaven, ought not to be judged as arguing any mutability in God: why should the repeal of the Levitical dispensation be thought so inevitably to involve the idea, that the counsels of Jehovah are changeable ? Before this notion can be rationally adopted, it ought to be shewn, that the Law of Moses was destined for eternity, and that it was