History of the Devil, ancient and modern (2)

History of the Devil, ancient and modern  (1784-1822) 
by John Morren


Part I. Containing a State of the Devil's Circumances, from his expulſion out of Heaven to the Creation, with Remarks concerning his Fall.
Part II. Containing his more private Conduct down to the preſent Times; his Government, his Appearances, his manner of Working, and the Tools he works with.—Alſo an Account of St Peter's Key, and Dr Fauſtus.

Bad as he is, the Devil may be abus'd,
Be falsely charg'd and causelessly accus'd,
When Men, unwilling to be blam'd alone,
Shift off those Crimes on him who are their

The ſubject of this work is ſingular, and it has been handled after a ſingular manner; the wiſe part of the world hath been pleaſed with it, the merry part hath been diverted with it, and the ignorant part has been offended at it; who can wonder then, that when the Devil is not pleaſed, his friends ſhould not be angry?

Printed by J. Morren, Campbell's Close, Cowgate.

DEVIL, &c.

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 a reſolving
whether they had beſt look into it or not. leſt
they ſhould really raiſe the Devil by reading his
It muſt certainly therefore be a moſt uſeful un-
dertaking, to give a true hiſtory of this tyrant of
the air, this god of the world, this terror and
averſion of mankind, which we call the Devil;
to ſhow 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 what
the Devil is really and bona fide, in great many
of our honeſt weak hearted friends, when they
know nothing of the matter.
It may, perhaps, be expected of me in this hiſ-
tory, that once I ſeem inclined to ſpeak favour-
ably 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 ſuch 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 unprofit-
able 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 profitable
to his hearers, it is as much their fault as it is out
of his deſign.
It is ſaid alſo, and I am very apt to belive it,
that he was very familiar with that holy Father
Pope Silveſter II. and ſome charge him with per-
ſonating Pope Hildebrand on an extraordinary
occaſion, and himſelf ſitting in the chair apoſtolic,
in a full congregation; and you may hear the
more of this hereafter: but as I do not meet
with Pope Diabolus among the liſt, in all Fa-
ther 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 all ambiguous; for I love to ſpeak poſi-
tively and with undoubted evidence.
1. He is a believer. I think none of my readers
will doubt but he has more religion that is to be
found in all the preſent French Convention, that
even ſome of our own countrymen ſhow them-
ſelves Devils enough to admire; for beſides ab-
juring God and all religion, they even refuſed the
reſpect that Satan thinks he has a right to, as
they have decreed, that all the people of France
ſhall believe death is eternal ſleep; thus putting
even the Devil out of the queſtion: but as he
wiſhes to be ſupreme in that reſpect, he ſoon
brought part of them to the guillotine, and the
reſt taking the hint, ſet up Paganiſm, and worſhip
even at preſent his infernal majeſty under the
title of the God of Reaſon, only inſtead of allow-
ing every ſeventh day to him, as they uſed to do
to God, they give him every tenth. Thus have
they and their Britiſh admirers far out deviled
Satan: for I can aſſure them their prototype the
Devil is no infidel.
2. He fears God. This you have the Devil's
own authority for; and that in a confeſſion againſt
himſelf. 1. He confeſſes Chriſt to be the Son of
God; but no thanks to him for that, for it does
not need the Devil's evidence 2. He acknow-
ledges he may be tormented. 3. He acknowledges
that there is a time appointed when he ſhall be
tormented. But when, and by what means this
ſhall be executed, I think as needleſs, as it is im-
poſſible to know on this ſide the blue blanket.
I will, I confeſs, come very much within the
compaſs of this part of my diſcourſe, to give an
account, or at leaſt to make an eſſay towards it,
of the ſhare the Devil has had in the ſpreading
religion in the world, and of dividing and ſubdi-
viding opinions in religion; perhaps to eke it out,
and make it reach the farther; and alſo to ſhow
how far he is, or has made himſelf miſſionary of
the famous clan for propagating the faith. It is
true, we find him heartily employed, in almoſt
every corner of the world, promulgating errors;
but that may require an hiſtory by itſelf.
I think it 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 called; ſtir-
ring up the Chriſtian princes and powers of Europe
to run a madding after the Turks and Saracens,
and make war with theſe impatient people above
a thouſand miles off, only becauſe they had enter-
ed into God's heritage when he had fairly turned
it into a common, and laid open for the next
comer, ſpending their nation's treaſure, and em-
barking their kings and people (I ſay) in a war
above a thouſand miles off, filling their heads
with that religious madneſs, called in thoſe days,
Holy Zeal, to recover the Holy Land, the Se-
pulchres of Chriſt and the ſaints, and, as they
called falſely, the Holy City, tho' true religion
ſays it was the accurſed city, and not worth ſpill-
ing one drop of blood for
This religious bubble was certainly of Satan,
who as he certainly drew them in, ſo like a true
Devil he led them in the lurch when they came
there, faced about to the Saracens, animated the
immortal Saladdin againſt them, and managed ſo
dextrouſly, that he left the bones of thirteen or
fourteen hundred thouſand Chriſtians there, as
a trophy of his infernal politics, and after the
Chriſtian world had run all a ſanta terra, or in
Engliſh, a ſauntering about an hundred years, he
dropt it to play another game leſs fooliſh, but ten
times more wicked than that which went before it;
namely, turning the cruſadoes of the Chriſtians
one againſt another; and as Hudibras ſaid in an-
other caſe,

"Made them fight like mad or drunk,
For Dame religion, as for punk."

Of this you have a complete account in the hiſ
tory of the Pope's decrees againſt the Count de
Thoulouſe, and the Waldenſes and Abigenſes,
with the cruſades and maſſacres which followed
upon them, wherein, to do the Devil's politics
ſome juſtice, he met with all the ſucceſs he could
deſire. The zealots of that day executed his in-
fernal orders moſt punctually, and planted religion
in thoſe countries in a glorious and triumphant
manner, upon the deſtruction of an infinite num-
ber of innocent people, whole blood has fattened
the ſoil for the growth of the Catholic Faith in a
manner very peculiar, and to Satan's full ſatisfac-
I might, to complete this part of the hiſtory,
give you the detail of his progreſs in the firſt
ſteps of his alliances with Rome, and add a long
liſt of maſſacres, wars, and expeditions in behalf
of religion, which he has has had the honour to
have had a viſible hand in; ſuch as the Pariſian
maſſacre, the Flemiſh war under the Duke d'Al-
va, the Smithfield fires in the Martin days in
England, and the maſſacres in Ireland; all which
would moſt effectually convince us, that the De-
vil has not been idle in his buſineſs: but I may
meet with theſe again in my way; it is enough,
while I am upon the generals only, to mention
them thus in a ſummary way.
To come to a regular enquiry into Satan's af-
fairs it is needful we ſhould go back to his ori-
ginal, 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
profane, 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 pre-eminence.

Par. Loſt, book v.

And again the ſame author, and upon the ſame

—Brighter once amidſt the hoſt,
Of angels, then that ſtar the ſtars among.

Ib. book vii.

The glorious figure which Satan is ſuppoſed to
make among the thrones and dominions in hea-
ven is ſuch as we may think the higheſt angel in
that exalted train could make; and ſome think
as above, that he was chief of the archangels.
Hence that notion, that the firſt cauſe of his
diſgrace, and on which enſued his rebellion, was
occaſioned upon God's proclaiming his Son gene-
raliſſimo, and with himſelf ſupreme ruler in hea-
ven; giving the dominion of all, his works of
creation, as well already finiſhed, as not then be-
gun, to him: which poſt of honor (ſay they)
Satan expected to be conferred on himſelf, next
in honour, majeſty and power to God the ſu-
In a word, Satan withdrew with all his fol-
lowers male-content and ſhagrined, reſolved to
diſobey this new command, and not yield his obe-
dience to the Son. The learned agree in opinion,
that the number of angels which rebelled with
Satan was infinite; and Mr Milton ſuggeſts in
one place, that there were the greateſt half of
the angel body, or ſeraphic hoſt.

"———But Satan with his powers
An hoft
Innumerable as the ſtars of night,
Or ſtars of morning, dew drops, which the ſun
Imperial on ev'ry leaf, and ev'ry flower."

Par. Loſt, book v.

Be their number as it is, numberleſs millons
and legions of millions, that is no part of my
preſent enquiry; Satan the leader, guide and ſu-
perior, 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 began in heaven; making war ſtill
with heaven, in the perſon of his image and
creature man, and tho' vanquiſhed by the thun-
der of the Son of God, and caſt down headlong
from heaven, they have yet reſumed, or rather
not loſt, either the will or the power of doing
After we have ſeen him ſo ignominiouſly toſſ-
ed out of heaven, we ſhall enquire a little what
he is. We believe there is ſuch a thing, ſuch a
creature as the Devil; and that he may ſtill with
propriety of ſpeech, and without injuſtice to his
character, be called by his ancient name, Devil.
That he is of an ancient and noble original muſt
be acknowledged; for he is a heaven born and of
angelic race, as has been touched 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 ef-
fulgence of glory, and ſurrounded the throne of
the Moſt High; from whence commencing rebel,
and being expelled, he was caſt down, down,
down, God and the Devil himſelf only know
where; for indeed we cannot ſay that may man
on earth knows it; and wherever he is, he has,
ſince man's creation, been a plague to him—been
a tempter, a ſeducer, a calumniator, an enemy,
and the object of man's horror and averſion.
How long the Devil remained wandering or
confined in chaos, or how he employed himſelf,
hiſtory is ſilent, and tradition ſays but little.
Rabbi Judah ſays, the Jews are of opinion, that
he remained twenty thouſand years in that cond-
ition, and that the world would contain twenty
thouſand more, in which he ſhall find work enough
to ſatisfy his miſchievous deſires; but he ſhows
no authority for his opinions. Indeed let the
Devil have been as idle as they think he was be-
fore, it muſt be acknowledged that he now is the
moſt buſy, vigilant and diligent of God's crea-
tures, and very full of employment too, ſuch as
As the Devil's Hiſtoriographer Royal has not
yet favoured us with any publication of his infer-
nal Highneſs, we are left much in the dark for
materials, and muſt draw them as inferences from
his actions and connections. This we are con-
vinced of, when we come to ſpeak of his ſhape, or
perſonality of ſubſtance; and as we ſhall have
occaſion to ſay a good deal on that ſcore after-
wards, we leave the reader, from the credibility
of the witneſſes, to attach what degree of belief
he pleaſes to it. Only we are certain, whatever
his puiſſance is as prince of the power of the air,
it is limited here, and that in two particulars:
firſt, he is limitated from aſſuming a body, or
body ſhapes with ſubſtance: and ſecondly, from
exerting ſeraphic powers, and acting with that
ſupernatural force, which as an angel he was cer-
tainly 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
diminished 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 reſtrained
from exerciſing it in this world; and he who was
once equal to the angel who killed 180,000 men
in one night, is not able now without a new com-
miſſion, to take away the life of one Job, nor touch
any thing he had.
But let us conſider him then limited and re-
ſtrained as he is, yet he remains a mighty, a ter-
rible, an immortal being, far ſuperior to man as
well in the dignity of his nature, as is the dread-
ful powers he retains ſtill about him. It is true
the brain ſick heads of our enthuſiaſtics print 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 hie Maker, to diſtri
bute both puniſhments and rewards, in this they
are very wrong, terrifying and deluding fanciful
people about him, till they turn their heads and
fright them into belief that the Devil will let
them alone if they do ſuch and ſuch good things,
or carry them away with him they knew not whi-
ther, 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 favour-
able and civil to them if they did well. On
the contrary we have a clear diſcovery,
1. That he is the vanquiſhed, but implacable
enemy of God, his Creator, who has conquered
and expelled him from the habitations of bliſs;
on which account he is filled with envy, rage,
malice, and all uncharitableneſs; would dethrone
God and overturn the thrones of heaven, if it
was in his power.
2. That he is man's irreconciliable enemy; not
as he is man, not on his own account ſimply, not
for any advantage he (the Devil) can make by
the ruin and deſtruction of man; but in mere
envy at the felicity he is ſuppoſed to enjoy as
Satan's rival, and as he is appointed to ſucceed
Satan and his angels in the poſſeſſion of thoſe glo-
ries from which they are fallen.
So Satan looking narrowly into the nature and
frame of our firſt parents; from the nature of
Eve, he had room to conclude, that ſhe was of a
conſtitution eaſy to be ſeduced, and eſpecially by
flattering her; raiſing a commotion in her ſoul,
and a diſturbance among her paſſions; and according-
ly he ſet himſelf to work, to diſturb her re-
poſe, and put dreams of great things into her
head; together with ſomething of a nameleſs
kind, which (however ſome have been ill natured
enough to ſuggeſt) I ſhall not injure the Devil
ſo much as to mention without better evidence.
But I only give the general hint of theſe things,
as they appear recorded in the annals of Satan's
firſt tyranny, and at the beginning of his govern-
ment in the world: thoſe that would be more
particularly informed, may enquire of him and
know farther.
And here, to be ſure, began the Devil's new
kingdom: as he had now ſeduced the two firſt
creatures, he was pretty ſure of ſucceſs upon all
the race; and therefore prepared to attack them
alſo, as ſoon as they came on, nor was their en-
creaſing multitude any diſcouragement to his at-
tempt, but juſt the contrary; for he had events
enough to employ, if every man and woman that
ſhould be born was to want a Devil to wait upon
them, ſeparately and ſingly, to ſeduce them; wher-
eas ſome whole nations have been ſuch willing ſub-
jects to him, that one of his ſeraphic imps may,
for aught we know, have been enough to guide a
whole country; the people being entirely ſubjuct
ed to his government for many ages, as in Ame-
rica for example, where ſome will have it, that
he conveyed the firſt inhabitants; at leaſt, if he
did not, we don't know who did, or how they got
But as to the Americans, let the Devil and
them alone to account for them going thither;
this we are certain of, that we knew nothing of
them for many hundred years; and when we did,
they that went from hence found Satan in a full
and quiet poſſeſſion of them, ruling them with an
arbitrary government, particular ta himſelf. He
had led them into a blind ſubjection, nay, I might
call it devotion (for it was all the religion that
was to be found among them); worſhipping hor-
rid idols in his name, to whom he directed human
sacrifices continually to be made, till he deluged
the country with blood, and ripened them up for
the deſtruction that followed, from the invaſion
of the Spaniards, whom he knew would hurry
them out of the world as faſt as he (the Devil
hlmſelf) could deſire of them.
To return to the beginning of things, in the
midſt of his conqueſt, he found a check put to the
advantages he expected to reap from his victory,
by the immediate promiſe of grace to a part of
the poſterity of Adam, who notwithſtanding the
fall, were to be purchaſed by the Meſſiah, and
ſnatched out of his (Satan's) hands, and over
whom he could make no final conqueſt; ſo that
his power met with a new limitation, and that
ſuch as indeed fully diſappointed him in the main
thing he aimed at, viz. preventing the beatitudes
of mankind; which were thus ſecured, (and what
if the numbers of mankind were upon this account
increaſed in ſuch a manner, that the ſelected num-
ber ſhould, by length of time, amount to juſt as
many as the whole race had they not fallen, would
have amounted to in all?) And thus, indeed the
world may be ſaid to be upheld and continued for
the ſake of thoſe few; ſince, till their number
can be completed the creation cannot fall, any
more than that without them, or but for them, it
would not have ſtood.
The ſecond exploit the Devil atchieved, was
abſtracting the mind of Cain, Adam's eldeſt ſon,
from his allegiance to God, who, on finding that
his brother's more virtuous ſacrifice was prefer-
red to his own, conceived and perpetrated the ſa-
tanic deed of butchering Abel. For which God
curſed Cain, blaſted his race, and drove them
from his preſence.—Thus the Devil too ſuc-
ceſsfully practiſed his wiles on the Antedeluvian;
for tho' Seth the third ſon of Adam had had two
ſons, in thoſe days we find "that men began to
call on the one of the Lord;" yet in tracing
the ſucceſſion of blood in the royal original line
of Adam, brought down as low as Noah and his
three ſons, for it continued a ſeries of 1450 years,
ſay ſome, 1640, ſay others; in which time, ſin
ſpread itſelf ſo generally through the whole race;
and the ſons of God, ſo the ſcripture calls the
men of the righteous ſeed, the progeny of Seth
came in unto the daughters of men, that is, join-
ed themſelves to the curſed race of Cain, and
married promiſcuouſly with them according to
their fancies—the women it ſeems being beauti-
ful and tempting; and though the Devil could
not make the women handſome or ugly in one or
other family, or either ſide, ſo as to make both
the men and women tempting and agreeable to
one another, where they ought not to have been
ſo; and perhaps as it is often ſeen to this day,
the more tempting for being under a legal re-
ſtraint, Thus having completely debauched them
the whole 1500 years, he led them to ſcorn and
contemn, Noah, and treats him as a fantaſtic reli-
gious fool for building the ſhip in which he and
the flock on board were to ſkip over hills and
dance over plains: but ſoon were they left in
the Devil's lurch; and he no doubt amazed and
nonpluſſed to gueſs what would enſue from this
No ſooner did the Devil ſee the ark reſting
on Mount Araret, and Noah and his family and
every living creature deſcend from it; and know-
ing all his infernal work was to begin, that he
might again ſtrike at the root inſtantly com-
mences with Noah, who had been a very great
preacher; and by means of his witched child
Canaan gets him drunk, and ſo ſtopt his mouth;
for we never hear of him after, though he lived
a long time.
It would be tedious and deſultory to trace Satan
through all his indefatigable working to ſeduce
mankind to devil worſhip; and how completely
he ſucceeded. God called Abraham out from
among his idol-worſhipping friends, and in his
ſeed erected a church, in which, in fulneſs of
time, the Meſſiah, who before had expelled Sa-
tan from heaven, was to appear and give his
kingdom a mortal wound. Nor ſhall we ſhow
the many defections in the brighteſt luminaries of
the church, to the coming of our Saviour, and
it was, no doubt, then at a low ebb, though there
was a glorious remnant of ſaints who waited the
ſalvation of Iſrael, and kept Satan at bay. And
this was a more mortal ſtab to the thrones prin-
cipalities infernal, than the creation of man; and
therefore with this I break off the antiquities of
the Devil's history, or the ancient part of his
kingdom: for from hence downward, we ſhall find
his empire had declined gradually; and though
by his wonderful addreſs, his prodigious applica-
tion, and the vigilance and fidelity of his inſtru-
ments, as well human as infernal and diabolical;
and of the human, as well the eccleſiaſtic as the
ſecular, he had many times retrieved what he had
loſt, and ſometimes bid fair for recovering the
univerſal empire he once poſſeſſed over mankind;
yet he has been ſtill defeated again, repulſed and
beaten back and his kingdom has declined in many
parts of the world, and eſpecially in the northern
parts. And we ſhall conſider how he has politi-
cally maintained his intereſt, and increaſed his
dominion among the wiſe and righteous genera-
tion that we cohabit with, and among which is in
ſo far, the ſubject of the modern purt of Satan's
hiſtory, and of which we are next to give an ac-

The Modern History of the DEVIL.


I HAVE examined the antiquities of Satan's hiſ-
tory, and brought his affairs down from the
creation as far as our bleſſed Chriſtian times; eſpe
cially to the coming of the Meſſiah, when one
would think the Devil could have nothing to do
among us. I have indeed but touched 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 happened to his
more ſublimated government and his angelic ca-
pacities, 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 domi-
nion over man, which he gained by the fall of our
firſt father and mother in paradiſe, received
a downfal or overthrow.
It is worth obſerving, in order to confirm what
I have already mentioned of the limitation of Sa
tan'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 ſeem
have been circumciſed and cut ſhort; and inſtead
of his being ſo cunning a fellow as before, when,
as ſaid, it is evident he outwitted all mankind,
not only Eve, Cain, Noah, Lot, and all the pa-
triarchs, but even nations of men, and that in
their public capacity: and thereby led them into
abſurd and ridiculous things, ſuch as the building
of Babel, and deifying and worſhipping their kings
when dead and rotten; idolizing beaſts, ſtocks, ſtones,
any thing, and even nothing; and in a word, when
he managed mankind juſt as he pleaſed.
Now, and from this time forward, he appeared
a weak, fooliſh, ignorant Devil, compared to what
he was before. He was almoſt upon every occa-
ſion reſiſted, diſappointed, balked, and defeated;
eſpecially in all his attempts to thwart or croſs
the miſſion 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 artifices in like caſes, to
put Herod upon ſending to kill the poor inno-
cent children in Bethlehem in hopes to deſtroy
Chriſt? for take it for granted it was the Devil
put it 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 have eaſily guided his friend Herod
to the place where the infant was.
This ſhows, that either the Devil is in general
as ignorant as we are of what is to happen in the
world before it is really come to paſs; and con-
ſequently 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 im-
mediate power ſuperior to his, which I cannot
think neither, conſidering how much he was con-
cerned in it, and how certainly he knew that it
made to come to paſs.
But be that as it will, it is 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
deſtroy the Meſſiah among the reſt.
The next ſimple ſtep the Devil took, and in
deed the moſt fooliſh one that he could ever be
charged with, unworthy the very dignity of a
Devil, and below the underſtanding that he al-
ways was allowed to act with, was that of coming
to tempt the Meſſiah in the wilderneſs; it is cer-
tain that the Devil knew our Saviour to be the
Son of God; and it is as certain he knew, that
as ſuch he could have no power or advantage
over him; how fooliſh then was it in him to at-
tack him in that manner, "If thou be 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 in plain, the Devil though he knew
him co be the Son of God, did not fully know the
myſtery of the incarnation nor did he know how
far the power of Chriſt extended, and whether as
a man, he was not ſubject to fall as Adam was,
though his reſerved Godhead might be ſtill im-
maculate and pare, 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 ig-
norant of the myſtery of godlineſs, as the text
calls it, God manifeſt in the fleſh; and therefore
made that fooliſh attempt upon Chriſt, thinking
to have conquered his human nature, as capable
of ſin, which it was not; and at this repulſe
hell groaned; the whole army of regimented De-
vils received a wound, and felt the ſhock of it;
it was a ſecond overthrow to them; they had a
long train 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 wo-
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 horrible manner,
whenever Chriſt met with him; or elſe very
humble and ſubmiſſive, as when he begged leave
to go into the herd of ſwine, a thing he has often
done ſince.
Defeated here, the firſt ſtratagem I find him
concerned in after it, was his entering 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 as to reſcue the fallen race; from
that death they had incurred the penalty of by
the fall; that this was the fulfilling of all ſcrip-
ture prophecy; and that thus it was that Chriſt
ſhould be the end of the law: I ſay, as ſoon as he
perceived this, he ſtrove all he could to prevent
it, and diſturbed Pilate's wife in her ſleep, in or-
der to ſet her upon her huſband to hinder his de-
livering him up to the jews; for then, and not
till then, did he know how Chriſt was to vanquiſh
hell by the power of his croſs.
Thus baffled and thwarted the Devil reſolved
on this truly helliſh thing called perſecution, and
armed the whole Romiſh empire againſt God's
Church; but tho' for a long time he was glutted
with blood and ſatisfied with deſtruction, yet un-
der Conſtantine the Chriſtian Church was eſta-
bliſhed and religion flouriſhed in peace, which
continued till the days of Arius, who was zea-
louſly oppoſed by the orthodox biſhop of the
Eaſt Athanaſius, whom they baniſhed and called
ſeveral times, as error ran high, and as the Devil
either loſt or got ground. The emperor Arian a
child of the Devil. eſpouſing the diabolical tenets
of arms, a violent perſecution aroſe betwixt the
Arians and the orthodox. So virulently did
they carry on this perſecution, that the Devil
by means of the emperor Julian made one puſh
for eſtabliſhing Paganiſm again; but like King
James II, he drove too hard; and Julian had ſo
provoked the whole Romiſh empire which was
generally become Chriſtian, that had the apoſtate
lived he would not have been able to have held
the throne; but as he was cut off in his begin-
ning, Paganiſm expired with him; and even Satan
with propriety might have joined him when mor-
tally wounded (throwing a handful of his own
blood, as it were at heaven), crying, Thou haſt
conquered me, O Galilean.
Juvian, 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 be bring the Chriſtians to a breach again
among themſelves a great while after. But the
Devil, a more cunning fiſhermen than ever St Pe-
ter was, ſoon ſet the Biſhops effectually by the
ears with the new notion of Primacy; which bait
the prieſts eagerly ſwallowed, and ſoon fell to
baniſhing and party-making for the ſuperiority as
heartily as ever temporal tyrants did for domi-
mion; 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 declared for the Roman pontiff,
and that upon excellent conditions, in the reign
of the emperor Mauritus; for Boniface, who had
long contended for the title of ſupreme, fell into
a treaty with Phocas captain of the emperor's
guard; 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 murdered his maſ-
ter (the emperor) and his ſons, Boniface ſhould
countenance the treaſon, and declare him empe-
ror; and in return, Phocas ſhould acknowledge
the primacy of the church of Rome and declare
Bonitace univerſal biſhop. A bleſſed compact!
which at once let the Devil to the head of affairs
in the Chriſtian world, as well ſpiritual as tem
poral, eccleſiaſtic as civil Since the conqueſt
over Eve in paradiſe, by which death and the
Devil, hand in hand, eſtabliſhed a more important
point than he gained at this time.
Then he drew the Biſhop 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, put 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 Catholic world went a-whoring af-
ter the idol; and the Biſhop of Romae ſent more
idols to the Devil by it, than ever he pretended
to let into heaven, though he opened 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 it 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, hap-
pened 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 aſſumed the
power of opening and ſhutting heaven's gates;
and afterwards ſetting price or toll upon the
entrance, as we do here at paſſing a turnpike;
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 triumphed openly, and having
ſet up a murderer on the temporal throne, and a
church emperor upon the eccleſiaſtic throne, and
both of his own chuſing, 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 mixed with that which we call
the Chriſtian faith: that in a word, from this
time the Biſhop of Rome commenced whore of
Babylon in the moſt expreſs terms that could be
imagined; tyranny of the worſt ſort crept into
the pontificate; errors of all ſorts into the pro-
feſſion; and they proceeded from one thing to an-
other, till the very Popes, for ſo the Biſhops of
Rome were now called, by way of diſtinction; I
ſay, the Popes themſelves, their ſpiritual guides,
profeſſed openly to confederate with the Devil,
and to carry on a perſonal and private correſ-
pondence with him, at the ſame time taking upon
them the title of Chriſt's Vicar, and the infallable
guide of the conſciences of Chriſtians.
This we have ſundry inſtances of, in ſome merry
Popes, who, if fame lies not, were ſorcerers, ma-
gicians, had familiar ſpirits, and immediate con-
verſation with the Devil, as well viſibly as invi-
ſible; and by this means became what we call
Devil's incarnate.
Among the inſtances of Satan's appearances, we
have the following: Charles VI, of France, ſur-
named the beloved, was riding over the foreſt
near Mons, a ghaſtly frightful fellow (that is to
ſay, the Devil ſo clothed in human vizor came up
to his horſe and taking hold of his bridle, ſtopt
him, with addition of theſe words, "Stop king:
whether go ye: you are betrayed!" and imme-
diately diſappeared. It is true the king had been
diſtempered in his head before and ſo he might
have been deceived; and we might perhaps have
been led to have charged it to the account of a
whimſical brain, or the power of his imagina-
tions; but this was in the face of his attendants,
ſeveral of his great officers, courtiers, and princes
of the blood, being with him, who all ſay the man
heard the words, and immediately to their aſtoniſh-
ment, loſt ſight of the ſpectre, who vaniſhed from
them all.
Theſe are ſome of the Devil's extraordinaries,
and it muſt be confeſſed they are not the moſt a-
greeable to mankind for ſometimes he takes up-
on him to diſorder his friends very much on theſe
occaſions. And in the above caſe of Charles VI.
of France, the king, they ſay, was really dement-
ed ever, after that is, as we vulgarly, but not al-
ways improperly, expreſs it, he was really frighted
out of his wits. Whether the malicious Devil
intended it ſo or not, is not certain, tho' it was
not ſo foreign to his particular diſpoſition if he
It is true, Satan may be obliged to make differ-
ent appearances, as the ſeveral circumſtances of
things call for it; in ſome places he makes his pu-
blic entry, and then he muſt how himſelf in the
habit of ceremony: in other caſes he comes upon
private buſineſs, and then he appears in diſguiſe;
in ſome caſes he may think it fit to be in cog, and
then he appears dreſſed ala maſque; ſo they fay
he appeared at the famous St Bartholomew s wed-
ding at Paris, where he came in dreſſed like a
trumpeter, danced in his habit, ſounded a levit,
and then went out and rung the alarm bell (which
was the ſignal to begin the maſſacre) half an hour
before the time appointed, leſt the king's mind
ſhould alter and his heart fail him.
If this ſtory be not made upon him (for we
ſhould not ſlander the Devil) it would ſeem he
was thoroughly ſatisfied in King Charies the IX's
ſteadineſs in his cauſe; for the king it ſeems had
relaxed a little once before: Satan might be a-
fraid he would fall off again, and ſo prevent the
execution. Others ſay, that he did relent imme-
diately after ringing the alarm-bell; but then it
was too late; the work was begun, and the rage
of blood having been let looſe among the people,
there was no recalling the order, which was exe-
cuted fully; for every Proteſtant in Paris was
that night butchered, and they had been collected
by fair promiſes from every corner in France.
So long a ſeries of deluſion followed this, that
even the famous doctors of the faculty at Paris,
when John Fauſtus brought the firſt printed books
that had then been ſeen in the world, or at leaſt
not there, into the city and ſold them for manu
ſcripts, they were ſurpriſed at the performance,
and queſtioned Fauſtus about it; but he affirming
they were manuſcripts, and that he kept a great
many clerks employed to write them, they were
ſatisfied for a while.
But looking further into the work, they obſer-
ved the exact agreement of every book one with
another that every line ſtood in the ſame place,
ever page a like number of lines, every line a
like number of words; if a word was miſ-ſpelt in
one, it was alſo miſ-ſpelt in all; nay, that if
there was a blot in one it was alike in all; they
began again to muſe how this ſhould be? in a
word, the learned divines, not being able to
comprehend the thing, (and that was always ſuf-
ficient) concluded it muſt be the Devil; that it
was done by magic and witchcraft; and that in
ſhort, poor Fauſtus (who was indeed nothing but
a mere printer) dealt with the Devil.
So the learned doctors, not being able to un-
derſtand how the work was performed, concluded
as above, it was all the Devil, and that the man
was a wizard; accordingly they took him up for
a magician, and a conjurer, and one that worked
by the black art that is to ſay, by the help of
the Devil: and in a word, they threatened to
hang him in their criminal courts, which made
ſuch a noiſe in the world, as raiſed the fame of
poor John Fauſtus to a frightful height, till at laſt
he was obliged for fear of the gallows, to diſcover
the whole ſecret to them.

N. B. This the true original of the famous
Dr Fauſtus or Foſter, of whom we have be-
lieved ſuch ſtrange things, as that it is be-
come a proverb, a great as the Devil and
Dr Fauſtus; whereas poor Fauſtus was no
doctor, and knew no more of the Devil than
any other body.


This work was published before January 1, 1928, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.