Serle - BT590 N2 S47 1776

C 34 ]' As all Heathenifin was propagated by perverfeiy imi- tating the Inftitutions of GOD, delivered to the firfi' Patriarchs ; * fo the principal Root and Ground of all Polytheifm before Chr, and of many Herefies after him, f em to have confifted in Mifapprehenfions and Corruptions of the DoEtrine of the Trinity. With ref- peec to the Pagans; they (as their firft Error) appear to have confidered thethree Perfons in the divine Effence, as fo many diftin& and feparate GODS ; -{- and then they imagined each of the divine Attributes, or what- ever Perfections of the Deity were difcoverable in the Fabric and. Government of the World, to be alfo GODS. t ,Thefe they adored at first as Mediators, in whole Names they worshipped (as Mr. Shuckford has endeavoured to prove) the true GOD ; and the Dif- pute between Abraham and the Egyptian Priefts, when he fojourned among them, lay in this, Whether God should be worshipped in and through thefe Mediators, or fimply in his own Name and Effence. § Hence the Notions of their Astrologers, concerning the Power of the heavenly Orbs ; which were confidered by them, without Regard to the Divine Mind, as fo many Genii prefiding over and controuling the World. Hence alto the World itfelf was efteemed, by many both of the earlier and later Heathens, to he GOD, or at lealt the Substance of GOD ; and the fecret Power, circulating through the material Syftem, to be the Soul of GOD. 1 rror here, as in other cafes, proved itfelf infinite: For the Corruptions, Idolatries, abominable Superftitions, and filly Obfervances, which finally prevailed among Men, cannot be enumerated. If Rome alone could' boaft of her thirty thoufand Gods ; what might the whole World have produced, when almoft every Man * SPANH. H1J1. Eccles. Y. 2: p. 316. fi EusES.deprap.evang.c.xi.JAlost. §8.c.3.&not.T. Gale inlac. $ Aue. de Civit. Dei, apud KIRCH. Ob. Pamph. 1. iii. c. z. Oedip. de Polit. Oeg. Synt. ii. C. 7. iv. c. 16. § Conned. of Sacr. and Prof. Hi,/}. Vol. ii, p. 1.33-135, and 378-399. Dr. GvYSS's Paraphe. an MISYüo 43. carried