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"and Saints in all Ages being confeffedly "his Affeffors.".

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Enthufiafm, as it refpects Religion, di vides itfelf into a threefold Diftinction, all agreeing in the Sameness of the Object, but differing in the State of the Perfons who are the Subjects of it. I shall confider these three Kinds under the feveral Epithets, malignant, mix'd, and pure.

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One Species of a malignant Enthufiafm and that the most common, confifts in a blind intemperate Zeal for fomething called Religion, of any Denomination, under the imbittered Fury of a Party Rage, direc ted by the untutored Paffions of the animal Man, and ftanding in all the Depravity of corrupt Nature. It can look no farther than Names and fenfible Things, aud there fore treats with Contempt the Mysteries of the Divine Life, is an utter Enemy to all Spirituality in Religion, and ufes the Word Sanctified, as applied to Perfons, only as a Term of Derifion, appropriating Sanctity to Places, Buildings, Veffels, or Vestments: But tho' its Zeal be exercised on nothing better than Ceremonies, Names, and fenfible Objects, yet it is no lefs interested in their Defence than if eternal Salvation en

tirely depended on them, and therefore fuch as come under this Predicament are ready upon the leaft Preference given to the Effentials over the Circumftantials of Religion to cry out as loudly as the Men of Ephesus for their Great Diana. If fome Notions about Doctrines enter into this kind of Zeal, as Charity is wanting, they only serve to inflame it the more, whilst they go about to fanctify their Wrath with the Pretence of contending earnestly for the Faith. The mad Knight Errantry of the Crufades was ftrongly tinctured with this Spirit of Enthusiasm, and all Wars in every Age that have been entered into for the Propagation of Religion; and fuch Madness unto the Death has been fancied Martyrdom. Now as this kind of a wild-fire Zeal greatly inflames the unmortified Paffions, the Devil finds an eafy Access thro' it to the Heart, where he reigns with uncontrouled Dominion, and is properly and truly Abomination fitting in the holy Place, even that Place which fhould be a Temple confecrated to God, and the peaceful Mansion of the Spirit of Love: And this is deservedly called a malignant Enthusiasm, from the Effects it produces, as Variance, Wrath, Strife, Wars,



Wars, Perfecutions, and Maffacres on ac count of Religion, Men acting the Part of Savages one by another at the Inftigation of the Devil, and calling the Murder of their Brethren the doing God Service. All fuch Profeffors, however they may boast the Antiquity of their Church, the Excellency of its Conftitution and Difcipline, or the Orthodoxy of its Creed, do notwithstanding fall greatly fhort of the Religion of good Heathens, and we fcruple notioto pronounce that Plato and Plotinus had a far better Faith and Practice. The learned · Dr. Henry More * fpeaking of the Illumination of certain Theofophifts, which he attributes to natural Light and a complexional Philanthropy, expreffes himself thus : “This Illumination of the Theofophifts

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is not fo contemptible but that they juftly magnify it above the grim Ferocity of the fuperftitious Factions in the embittered Churches of the World, - who have a." not fo good an Infpiration as this, but 3" their Tongues and Hearts are fet on Fire

of Hell. This Light of Nature, I fay (it is the Doctor that fpeaks) is abundantly well appointed both for Right and

See his Divine Dialogues.

Skill to chaftife and reproach the grofs " and grievous Immoralities of hypocritical ff Religious, and to be fubfervient to that


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Under this Species of malignant Enthufiafm ftand likewife ranged all those who have made themselves infamous in the World by their impious Pretensions to a Divinity of Character, equalling themfelves to one or other of the three Perfons in the facred Trinity; of which Sort were fome of the Herefiarchs of old; and among the more modern ones are to be reckoned David George, who gave out, that he was the fpiritual Meffiah in whom all the Prophecies centred, and other Blafphemies: As alfo that Peruvian Doctor, who affirmed that he was poffeffed of a Sanctity fuperior to that of Angels, and that God Almighty had offered to make him Partaker of the Hypoftatic Union, &c. To which may be added in a lower Degree the chief Leaders of a Fanatic Tribe in Germany in the Sixteenth Century, who boasted that they were commiffioned by God to reftore the Kingdom of Chrift, afpired at Sovereignty, and attempted to depofe Princes, declaring that they themselves were the Meek who fhould inherit the Earth: And with

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with these may be joined the Fifth Monarchy Men of the laft Age, and all fuch filthy Dreamers as go about with carnal Weapons in their Hands to erect Christ's fpiritual Kingdom on mundane Systems.

We fee in these Inftances how Zeal for Religion fpringing up in Hearts unpurified by Christian Faith and Humility, partakes of all the Foulnefs of the Soil that feeds it, mixes with the unfubdued Paffions of the natural Man, and, where it meets with any uncommon degree of Pride, and affected Singularity, lays itself open to all the Delufions of Satan, becomes impregnated with the Spirit of Error, and brings forth the poisonous Fruits of a malignant Enthufiafm.

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The fecond Kind of Enthufiafm that falls under Confideration is of a mixt Na ture: I do not mean that it partakes in any Degree of the Malignancy of the foregoing Species, for the Soul in this Cafe is fo far influenced by the Holy Spirit, that the Devil has not fufficient hold of it to drive it into any criminal or finful Exceffes, yet it is not without a greater or lefs Degree of Infirmity, Weaknefs, and Error. But before we proceed on this Head, it will be proper to give the original Senfe of the

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