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yet when they appear to any body, if he be a Book II. prudent and learned Man, he asks the name of him that appears, that he may at once acknowledg the Dignity of him that is fent, and the Authority of him that fent him. For every Nation has its Angel, to whom the Government of that Nation is intrusted by God; who when he appears, altho he be believ'd to be, and is call'd God by those over whom he prefides, yet will not he give himself fuch a Teftimony. For the High God, who alone has the power of all things, has divided the Nations of the whole Earth into feventy two Parts, and has fet principal Angels over them; while to one of thefe, who was the greatest of the Archangels, was by Lot given the Government of those who receiv'd the Worship and Knowledg of the High God above all the reft. Moreover, Holy Men are, as we faid, fet as Gods over the Wicked, as those that had receiv'd a power over them of Life and Death; which we have already noted was the Cafe of Mofes and the Judges. For which reafon is it that 'tis written of them, Thou shalt not re- Exod. vile the Gods, and thou shalt not curfe the Ruler of xxii. 29. thy People. The Governors therefore of every Nation are call'd Gods, but the God of thefe Governors is Chrift, who is the Judg of all. Wherefore in reality neither can Angels, nor Men, nor any Creature be Gods; forafmuch as they are under fubjection, as created and mutable Beings, that is, Angels, who once did not exift, and now are; and Men, as being mortal; and every Creature, as what can be diffolv'd, I mean in cafe he diffolves them who made them. And therefore he alone is the True God, who not only himself lives, but does alfo give Life to all other Beings, which he ftill can take away when he will.
XLIII. Now for this reafon the Scripture cries out, in the Perfon of the God of the Jews, and fays, See, fee that 1 am God, and there is none oxxxii. 39. ther befides me; I will kill, and I will make alive; I will fmite, and I will heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my Hands. You see therefore, how by fome ineffable Virtue the Scripture, to prevent the future Errors of those who affirm'd, that there was another God, befides him who is the God of the Jews, either in the Heavens or iv. 39. in the Earth, pronounces and fays, The Lord thy
God is One God, in the Heavens above, and in the Earth beneath, and befides him there is none else. How then dare you fay that there is another God, befides him who is the God of the Jews? x. 14. And again, the Scripture fays, Lo the Heaven, and the Heaven of Heaven, the Earth, and all things that are therein, are the Lord thy God's; yet did I chufe thy Fathers to love them, and you after them. So that this Doctrine, that he who created the World is the True and Only God, is every way confirm'd by the Scripture.
XLIV. But if there be others, as we faid, who are call'd Gods, they are under the power of the God of the Jews; for fo fays the ScripVer. 17. ture to the Jews, The Lord our God he is God of Gods, and Lord of Lords. The Scripture also admonishes us, that he only is to be worship'd, Mat. iv. when it fays, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only fhalt thou ferve. Besides, the Holy Beings that were full of the Spirit of God, and bedew'd with the Drops of his Mercy, cry'd
Deut. vi. 4.
out, and faid, Who is like unto thee among the Ixxxvi. 8. Gods, O Lord? who is like unto thee? And again, xviii. 31. Who is God Save the Lord? and who is God except our Lord? Mofes therefore, when he faw the People make fome progrefs in Religion, initiated them by little and little into the understanding
of the Monarchy, and into the Faith of One God; Book II. as he fays in what follows, Thou shalt not make Exod. mention of the names of other Gods well remembring, no doubt, what was the Punishment allotted to the Serpent, who firft nam'd Gods, in the Plural number. For at the conclufion, he was condemn'd to eat the Duft of the Earth, and was deem'd worthy of that Food, because he first of all introduc'd the name of Gods into the World. Now if you have a mind to introduce many Gods alfo, have a care left you have the fame Fate which the Serpent had.
XLV. However, be you affur'd that you fhall not find us your Affociates in fo bold an Attempt; nor will we fuffer our felves to be deceiv'd by you: For it will not ferve us for an Excufe in the Judgment, if we alledg that you deceiv'd us; fince neither did it excufe the first Woman, that the foolishly believ'd the. Serpent: but because she gave fuch foolish Credit to him, she was condemn'd to die. For this Reafon therefore did Mofes alfo recommend the belief of One God to the People, and faid, Be watchful over Deut. vi. thy felf, left thou be beguiled from the Lord thy God. Obferve that he uses the fame word which the first Woman alfo us'd for her Excufe, faying, he was beguiled: But it profited her nothing. Nay beyond all this, altho any True Prophet fhould arife, who fhould do Signs and Wonders, and withal would perfuade them to worfhip other Gods, befide the God of the Jews, we could never believe him. For fo has the Divine Law taught us, recommending a fecret Notion more purely by Tradition. It fays then, If there arife in thee a Prophet, or a dreamer of xiii.1,&c. Dreams, and fhall give thee Signs and Wonders, and Shall Say unto thee, Let us go and worship other Gods which ye have not known; Ye shall not hearken to the H words
xi. 16. xiii, 5.
Book II. words of that Prophet, nor of that dreamer of Dreams; because the Lord throughly proveth you, that he may fee whether ye love the Lord your God.
XLVI. Upon this account, when our Lord wrought Signs and Wonders, and preach'd the God of the Jews, there was good reason to believe in his preaching. But for you, altho you were really a Prophet, and did Signs and Wonders, as you promis'd to do, yet while you declare other Gods, befides him who is truly God, 'tis plain that you are rais'd up for the Tryal of the People of God; and that therefore you are not to be believ'd: for there is but One True God, who is the God of the Jews. And for this reafon did our Lord Jefus Chrift teach us, that we must seek not God, whom they well knew Mat. vi. already, but his Kingdom and Righteousness; which Righteoufnefs the Scribes and Pharifees, who had receiv'd the Key of Knowledg, had not included, but excluded: For had they not known the True God, he had never certainly omitted the taking notice of this matter, which was the principal of all others, and only blam'd them about fmall and trifling Things. For example: Luke xiv. That they made broad the Borders of their Garments, and claim'd to themselves the uppermost Rooms at Feafts, and that they stood in the Corners of Streets when they pray'd, and other the like Faults: Which certainly may well feem fmall and inconfiderable in comparison of this mighty Crime, the Ignorance of God.
XLVII. To this Simon faid as follows: I will convince you by your own Mafter's words, that he alfo introduces a certain God unknown to all. For whereas Adam knew God his Maker, and the Creator of the World; as did Enoch, inafmuch as he was tranflated by him; and Noah, inafmuch as he was bidden by him to build the
Ark; and whereas Abraham, and Ifaac, and Jacob, Book II. and Mofes, and all the Fathers, as well as all the People, and indeed all Nations knew the Creator of the World, and own'd him to be God, your Jefus, who appear'd long after the Fathers, fays, No one knoweth the Son but the Father; neither Mat. xi knoweth any one the Father fave the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him. So that your Jefus confesses that there is another God, incomprehenfible, and unknown to all.
XLVIII. Then 'Peter faid, You do not perceive how you contradict your felf; for if our Jefus knows this unknown God, as you call him, then is he not known to you only. Nay, indeed, if our Jefus knows him, without doubt Mofes himfelf, who foretold that Jefus was to come, was not utterly unacquainted with him; for he was a Prophet, and he that prophesied of the Son, without queftion knew the Father alfo. For if it be within the Pleafure of the Son to reveal the Father to whom he will; the Son, who from the Beginning, and continually was with the Father through every Generation, as he reveal'd the Father to Mofes, fo did he to the other Prophets: And if fo, 'tis evident that he was not unknown to any of the Fathers. But how could the Father be reveal'd to you, who do not believe in the Son, when the Father is known by none, but to whom the Son will reveal him? Now the Son reveals the Father to those who do fo honour the Son as they honour the Father. John v XLIX. Then Simon faid, Remember that you 23. faid, that God has a Son; which is an Affront to him: For how can he have a Son, unless he be like Men or Animals? But this is not a proper time to confute your profound Folly; for I haften to deliver my Mind about the Immenfity of the Supreme Light; and do you attend juft