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example, as music and perfumes. His pretended aim in all this was to detach the soul from the senses, and from all terrestrial affections, because without a perfect purification it could not ascend to heaven.*
The transmigration of souls was a part of Manes' system.t He taught that they pass from one body to another for their purification ; those that are not purified by a certain number of revolutions being delivered to the demons in the air to be tormented and disciplined, after which they go into other bodies, as a new school, until, having acquired sufficient purity, they traverse the region of matter, and pass into the moon. Thence they are emptied into the sun, and thence into what the Manichæans called the column of glory. The increase of the moon is caused by the influx or souls, or particles of celestial light ascending from the earth; it decreases by the departure of souls from the moon into the sun. The Holy Spirit, residing in the air, assists them in their purification, and the sun burns off the material particles that cling to them, and facilitates their ascension to heaven. When all souls, and all parts of the celestial substance, plundered in the first war, shall have been separated from matter, then cometh the end, the consummation. The caverns of fire will be opened, and the Omophore, that is, the angel who sustains and balances the world in its position, will let it fall into the flames, and will cast the whole material mass of its enclosure after it, into the place which the Scriptures call outer darkness. There the devils will be shut up for ever, and those lazy souls, that, by the time this catastrophe happens, shall not have finished their purification, will be set, as the punishment of their negligence, to the eternal business of keeping the devils in their dungeons, in order that they may never more attempt any thing against the kingdom of God. While the world continues, the Living Spirit keeps the demons chained in the air, and it is their rage and furious gambols that excite the tempests, thunderings, lightnings, contagious maladies and deluges of rain.I
The worship of the Manichæans seems to have been simple
* Hist. du Manich. Pref. p. 30. Mosheim, Vol. I. p. 239.
+ Idem corpora ex aliis in alia transmutari asserit, Empedoclis et Pythagoræ, Egyptiorumque opinionem manifeste secutus. Socrates, Hist. Eccles. c. 22. I Beausobre, Pref. SECOND SERIES, VOL. VI. NO. II.
and plain ; so much so, that they claimed to be farther removed from Paganism than all other Christians.* They observed the Lord's day; but observed it by fasting, supposing that the world's conflagration would happen on that day, and desirous to be found in the exercise of humiliation and repentance. They had no temples, altars, images, sacrifices, burnings of incense. The following from Faustus, the Manichæan bishop, is in a higher strain than the usual tenor of the heresy.t « The heathen think that God is to be worshipped with altars, victims, chapels, images, incense. I, if I might be worthy, would esteem myself a reasonable temple of God. Christ his Son, I receive as a living image of the living God. His altar is my mind, cultivated with care, and endowed with knowledge and just sentiments. The honors and sacrifices, which I present to the Deity, are prayers, and those pure and simple.” Nevertheless, Socrates accuses them of worshipping the sun, and Augustine makes the same accusation. To the same purpose is the evidence of a passage in Cyril, who had among his own hearers some converts from the Manichæan heresy. The Ma-nichæans observed the anniversary of the death of Manes with great solemnity, but the memorial of Christ's death with but little devotion. They practised, in some measure, the ordinance of baptism. Baronius quotes Jerome blaming Hilarius as a schismatic, because he received those baptized by the Manichæans without any other baptism. T
On the whole, the account of the system of this heresiarch may not unfairly, though severely, be summed up in the words of the learned Čave. Dogmata quæ spargebat Manes, partim ex fæculentissimis hæresiarcharum lacunis, partim ex ineptissimis orientalium nugis, partim ex absurdis gentilium philosophorum placitis, partim denique ex ipsius Christianæ religionis
* Mosheim and Schlegel in Annot. I. p. 239. + Lardner, III. p. 384.
I Valesius in Socrates quotes a letter from Libanius to Priscian in Palestine, that they worship the sun-are found in many places,-but everywhere few. Vales. in Soc. I. c. 22.
§ Cyril, Catechesis, 16, § 3. “Here let converts from the Manichæans gain instruction, and no longer make these lights their gods, nor impiously think that the sun, which shals be darkened, is Christ."
|| Mosheim, Beausobre, and Lardner. 1 Baronius, Annales, 277, 687.
institutis partita sunt.* One of the strangest things connected with this perverse and prodigious mixture of heathenism and Christianity is this, that it was not attended and followed with some equally perverse form of practical immorality; but from this charge, though there have been some monstrous things alleged of the practices of the Manichæans, its historians have remarkably abstained. There is reason to believe, that, in actual manners or morals, the sect of the followers of Manes were among the purest of the ancient errorists. Such was their profession, and some strong and ardent minds were allured by it.† Manes himself may have been not wholly an impostor, perhaps not more so than Ammonius, Plotinus, or Jamblichus. His pretensions to divine visions and authority the two latter speculators share with him. A philosophical and ardent genius having led him astray in the mazes of Oriental speculation, he determined to accommodate Christianity to the Oriental, philosophy, and baptize that philosophy with the semblance of Christianity. When he had finished his scheme, it was in opposition at once to Jews, Christians and Pagans.
With all its monstrous absurdities, the consideration of thj as of every Gnostic heresy,f is of great interest and importa in ecclesiastical history. Not that the followers of Manes many,—some in many places, but everywhere few, ac to Libanius,—but his system was the personification : isting spirit and tendency necessary to be studied, ay lineation forming an essential part of the history of It is true that it derives no small degree of impoy character and writings of its opponents, August in whose personal experience, as well agth works, we have a practical exhibition of K fluence. The system itself, as well as sy is interesting and instructive, were it ved in ness and vain struggles of the mind ans that
aper * Cave. Voc. Manes. An. 277, A
iticæ + To this purpose Augustin ise
atum the same superstition with manos show of continency which yc. August. Confess. VI. 12.
# It was certainly of Manichæans our credu knowledge, and then
96. posed to be believe
An. 27". Among the Augustin ise of certain in with mings were im.
duo ine et stente. Diss.
mingled with dogmas from the Oriental philosophy, the Jew Philo was a follower and teacher. The Cabbalistic philosophy was gathered into a system under the same influence.* Brucker has drawn up a minute and laborious parallelism, under twentytwo points, of the dogmas received in the Alexandrian, Oriental and Cabbalistic philosophy, showing beyond controversy that they all have the same origin.t He thinks that in the apocryphal book of the Wisdom of Solomon, there are indications, beyond all contradiction, of the mingling of the Grecian and Egyptian philosophies, and he refers to the 17th verse of the 7th chapter especially, as containing a brief adumbration of the whole encyclopedia of the Alexandrian philosophy of that day. I Nor can it be doubted that the author of this book was a man of Grecian erudition, drawing both from the PythagoricoPlatonic school already adulterated by a mixture of Oriental dogmas, and also from the dreams of the Cabbalists themselves.
An examination of the Valentinian and other Gnostic heresies shows the same complicated derivation for the whole of them; that of Manes, more than the rest, being avowedly Oriental. A strong additional argument is preferred from certain fragments of Theodotus, which the reader may find annexed to the works of Clemens Alexandrinus, exhibiting the Valentinian and Gnostic explanations of Scripture, and bearing the title of “ Epitome of the writings of Theodotus, xaù rñs évatoAcxñs xochovuévns diddoxalías, and of the doctrine called the Oriental in the time of Valentinian.”|| This witness seems at once to vindicate the assumption of the existence of a system
* Brucker, Hist. Crit. Phil. Tom. II. 832. Ejus contaminatæ philosophiæ Judaicæ origines in Ægypto fuisse enatas et cum allegorica methodo philosophemata Ægyptiaca, Orientalia et Pythagorico-Platonica introduxisse inter Judæosdemonstravimus.
+ Tom. II. 958—968.
# Tom. II. 695. Habes hic, lector, et voces ex intima philosophia Græcanica maxime Platonica, desumtas, et encyclopædiæ, qualis eo tempore Alexandriæ obtinet, brevem adumbrationem, et dogmata Græcanica, consistere sapientiam in earum rerum notitia, quæ tum summo in Platonicorum scholis loco habebantur.
$ Idem, 697.
of Oriental philosophy at that early period, and the reference of the schemes of the Gnostics to that system as their grand fountain. The earliest Jewish knowledge of this system takes us back to the Babylonish captivity, and thence we remount to the philosophy of Zoroaster, and even of Oriental sects before his appearance. The Cabbalistic product, from such a filtration of philosophic mud as we have been tracing, is so simply, and with just severity, delineated by Brucker in the expression of his own opinion, that we shall give it in his own words. Scripta Cabbalistica antiquiora, qualia sunt Soharica, Jezirah, Bahir, et similia, tant caligine densaque nocte repleta, tantaque confusione scripta esse, ut æque facile sit, album et nigrum, quadrata et rotunda, ex illis exsculpere, et eadem verisimilitudine dogmata sibi e diametro adversa effingere.*
Briefly summed up by Enfield in his abridgment of Brucker, the argument stands thus : “ When the sects of the Essenes and the Therapeutæ were formed in Egypt, foreign tenets and institutions were borrowed from the Egyptians and Greeks, and, in the form of allegorical interpretations of the law, were admitted into the Jewish mysteries. These innovations chiefly consisted in certain dogmas concerning God and divine things, at this time received in the Egyptian schools, particularly at Alexandria, where the Platonic and Pythagorean doctrines, on these subjects, had undergone a material alteration, by being mixed with the Oriental philosophy. For the Alexandrian Platonists, having rejected the Dualistic system, had now, from the Orientalists, adopted the Emanative, and admitted the doctrine of various orders of divine emanations. This doctrine, which, by the help of allegory, was easily accommodated to the sacred writings, was embraced, under the notion of traditionary mystery, by Aristobulus and other founders of the sect of the Therapeutæ, and admitted into their writings, as may be seen from the works of Philo. The Jewish mysteries, thus enlarged by the accession of Pagan dogmas, were conveyed from Egypt to Palestine at the time when the Pharisees, who had been driven into Egypt under Hyrcanus, returned, and with them many other Jews, into their own country. From this time the Cabbalistic mysteries continued to be taught in the Jewish schools.”+
* Historia Critica Philosophiæ, Tom. II, p. 1058.