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"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15
From The Travels of Ungodliness (An Allegory), 1736
The pedigree rife, original and antiquity of this cruel and Hell-bred enemy, Sin, having briefly been opened to you: Apollyon having now nourished and brought him up fit for his turn, work and service; and finding he had already so wonderfully succeeded in his first and main enterprise, he saw he would be a true and faithful friend to him, and a rare foot stool or stirrup for him, to mount or raise him up to his longed-for sovereignty; and finding him, by this time, grown to some considerable maturity, resolved to fend him abroad to travel into all quarters of the Earth, to manage the affairs of his infernal kingdom, greaten his power and actually subdue all enemies under his feet, in all nations, countries, and kingdoms of the world. But before the Tyrant entered upon this woeful journey, we will suppose the Devil gave him his commission and instructions how to proceed in all his achievements; to whom he addressed himself after this manner:
Sin's Commission, Received from the Devil
My most dear and beloved child,
The true Image of thy father, and choice darling of Hell, and the only hope of this infernal lake, whom my Lord Lucifer, Beelzebub, and other inferior Princes, as Belial, Satan &c. do adore:
Hearken to thy Father who begat thee, and gave thy being to thee. Thou art my creature. What care I, though the Powers of Heaven hate thee, I will, in despite of all thy mortal enemies, make thee great, raise thy honours, and crown thee as king and chief ruler throughout the whole universe.
And all who will not obey thee and yield subjection to thee, I will raise all manner of mischief upon, make them miserable, and tread them under thy feet, Thou seest how successful already thou hast been, and what a mighty conqueror thou art become in thy very nonage. Thou hast, at one blow, defeated all the hopes of this newborn mortal, and crushed him to pieces in the very bud. He that was the other day the darling, of Heaven, who swam in pleasures, and was mounted so high in sovereignty, glory and inconceivable grandeur shining as a Star of the first magnitude; possessing perfect union and communion with his creator, is now by thee, by the power of thy hand, and success of thy arms, made miserable, and become so hateful to him whose delight he was that he hath cast him off and turned him out of Paradise.
Ah, how I laugh to see it! How is he become the reproach and scorn of all the princes and mighty host of this unconquered lake! What care I, though there is much bitter enmity put between me and the woman’s seed? Do I fear what hurt anyone that shall proceed from her can do to me? If thou in thy nonage hast done such mighty things, and overcome this excellent creature, when all his internal powers were utterly averse to us and no ways inclined to favour our interest, what any of her offspring do to our hurt, much less break my head or destroy thy sovereignty, since now we have got so strong a party to our side in their own house? Thou hast been so happy in this late mighty victory that the powers of that noble soul possessed by this creature are at once brought over to us.
I have a purpose to send thee to travel to and fro in the Earth until thou hast gone through the whole universe. And to my joy, I find all people are prepared by thee and made willing participants for all their faculties are inclined to entertain thee, so that I have no cause to doubt of an happy progress. I am sure thou wilt find a ready welcome in all places, not only amongst the poor and baser sort, but amongst the mighty and noble ones of the Earth.
An now therefore know that I am thy Prince and only Sovereign, and I do here give thee a commission, a passport read drawn and signed for thee by all the high and might lords of these dark and vast Regions; with certain instructions how to carry thyself in all they travels. I have also prepared for thee two great wings that sometimes (as need shall require) thou mayest fly to and fro and be as swift as thought. The vast deep shall be no less to thee. Thou shalt pass from port to port, from place to place, from one land and kingdom to another without ship or galley, and shalt never need to stay for wind nor tide. I will also teach thee to transform thyself into any form or shape at my pleasure.
And to hide thy sting and ugly visage, I have provided thee a cloak which thou shalt have power and skill to alter or change in the fashion of as will best suit thy occasion at any time. Be thou sometimes a dog to fawn, a dragon to devour, a dove to seem innocent, be a serpent or fox for subtilty, a lion for strength, and in all thy travels observe the constitutions and natural inclinations of all people. Build rather thy nest among willows that bend every way that on tips of oaks whose heads are said to be solid. Fly with the swallow, close to the Earth when storms are at hand, but keep company with birds of greater talons when the weather is clear, and never leave them till they look like ravens. Creep into every bosom.
Fear not to approach the course of emperors, kings, princes and noble ones of the Earth – for I will cause thee to find favour amongst all ranks and conditions of men. I will teach thee to get in at their eyes, ears, mouth, nay a thousand ways thou shalt have to invade them and to spread the wings of thy infection over them. Make every head they pillow to lean upon, and use it like a mill to grind mischief. When thou meetest a Dutchman, teach him to stab; when a Spaniard, how to betray. Present an Italian with a fair damsel, and teach him to poison. When though meetest a Scot, teach im false-heartedness; when with an Irishman, teach him to forswear himself; great men hard, they are my very good benefactors, and their example hath commonly when an Englishman to do all this.
Pursue great influence upon those of a lower rank. Haunt taverns, there thou shalt find brave youths easily overcome. Erect store of play-houses, for they tend greatly to the enlarging of my principalities. There I keep my market, and vend my wares more abundantly or offer my rotten goods to sale, burnished up bravely to the eye, enough to bewitch all who lack understanding to dote upon them.
Be sure to beset (on every side) the younger sort, for if thou canst get possession of their hearts timely, thou wilt find it easy to keep them safe enough, and make them thy constant slaves and vassals to the end. And when thou meetest with them afterwards, shew them the glory of this world, allure them with thy pleasures, and hold forth they golden apples to them. But if that sorry fellow, Conscience, at any time gets power to frighten them, promise them late repentance, and assure them of long life, and thereby thou wilt soon overcome them.
When though meetest with the rich, tempt them to trust in it, se their hearts upon it, and make their bags of gold and silver their god. And grind the face of the poor, and force them to sell their commodities cheaper than they can afford them, and not give them a penny to relieve their necessities. For thereby thou wilt subdue them both at once. For the one I am sure of, and the other will be so hunted with one of thy offspring, called Carping-Care, that if Light-Finger doth not overcome and tempt him to steal, the other will beak his heart, and force him to take the Name of God in vain, and not think of anything else than what will tend to the strengthening of thy hands and conduce to my interest in him.
When thou comest to meet with such who are naturally inclined to ambition, or have an eager desire and thirst after honour, suit thy bait accordingly. Teach them how to contemn their God, their conscience, their good name, the law and religion, too, that so they may the better mount the hill of ambition and earthly grandeur.
When thou dost approach to a melancholy person, entice him to be alone, and not to open his mind to anybody, as he renders his life also persuade him nobody in the world can tell what his distemper is, and make him believe he is damned. Nay, tell him there is a way, but to hell he must go, and then we shall between us, perhaps entice him to hang, drown or poison himself, or cut his own throat, and so we shall destroy many of these silly souls and that way enlarge our kingdom.
When thou meetest with an old man, make him conceited, vain-glorious, fretful, and very peevish. Fill his head with tales and old stories, and to put them off the better, tempt him to add to them.
When though comest to married people, make one jealous of the other If a man have a beautiful woman to his wife, trouble his thoughts without just cause because she is fair, make him conclude she is false and every one that looks on her, persuade him he loves her. If she speaketh him fair, let him believe she feigneth. If she behave herself dutiful, make him think she then doth counterfeit. When she goes abroad, fill his head with fear, and make his heart pant. If she be neatly dressed, persuade him it is to allure and please others. If she be homely dressed, ‘tis because she knows that he will keep house that day.
If by any means we can but kindle this spark in either of them to be jealous-headed, we shall do our business effectually.
Be sure to what you can to make discord between every couple. When one is hot, let not the other be cold. Suffer not one to throw water upon the fire which the other kindles. For by this means we shall let the house on fire and then warm ourselves with the sparks and heat thereof. Teach them to live either below what they have or else above what they have, and if they have children, I will give thee instructions about them hereafter. When thou enterest the country of nonage, if they go behind-hand thou must stir up the husband to lay all the cause thereof on his wife, and let the wife charge the husband wholly with it. Do what thou canst; be sure in the morning and evening to prevent prayers, for that I fear more than all the Pope’s holy water.
We must make the fountain muddy, and the spring cannot be clear. Discords and confusion in a family do as much to strengthen my kingdom as anything in the world. You cannot think how I am pleased, how greatly it delights me to see men and their wives live at strife and variance.
When though meetest with a singer, or unmarried person, perplex his mind continually about a wife, and render his life not worth regard without one. If though canst tempt him to uncleanness, do. I will stand his friend in the matter, but if he will marry, let him more mind portion than the person. Let his inquiry be what money she hath, not what grace she hath, as you love me. We must also find but such a one for him as may be a plague to him as Job’s wife was to him. Never let him mind the temper of the woman, nor whether she will or not be a suitable help-meet, only that she doth but please his eye, and bring ore of gold and silver into his coffer.
When though does assault a choleric or passionate man, raise his anger to madness. If thou canst cause his mind to swell high and so full that there may be no room left for any god word or motion. Make his I his fits like spider-poisoned toad, so that reason, modesty, grace and humanity may fly from him as people do from a house that is all on fire. Let it be contumely without any distinction or respect, had to friend or foe, alien or familiar to him also add violence of hand, savage or monstrous behaviour like the troubled sea it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt, fuming and foaming like a muddy channel. Add a distorted countenance, sparkling eyes, foul languages, and let him not come to himself nor speak a word to his nearest friends for two or three days.
Nay stir him up in his mad fit to run away, though there was no cause for the feud, and if thou canst, persuade him to throw the house out of the window. Tear his wife’s linen and fine clothes to pieces, or break her chinaware. But know, we are cautious observers of the tempers and various passions of men. In some anger hath a quick and sudden motion, but presently ceases. This they call choler. And they think it is an influence of some angry planet. Let the fools have their fancy, but I must tell thee, ‘tis a child of thy begetting, but this like fire in the stubble, soon kindled, soon goes out. Or like gunpowder, which no sooner thou puttest fire to, it but flies in the faces of their dearest friends. These they say are the best natured men, but they may thank us for that excuse.
There is another sort whom thou canst not so suddenly move, but when passion is raised, it takes deeper hold in their memory. And this fire is not so easily kindled, so neither is it easily put out. If thou dost but do they best ‘twill prove fire and iron, which hardly taketh, and long abideth.
A third sort there be in whom thou mayest kindle this fiery passion suddenly, and retain it perpetually, not desisting without revenge. These are like fire which ceaseth not without the ruin and waste of that matter whereon it hath caught. Mind they instructions, for by this engine thou mayest destroy thousands.
There is yet another kind of people which thou must attack whom I perfectly hate and hold for my mortal enemies, and they are called Saints, bout whom we have held diverse Grand Councils in Hell how to destroy. These are they who are also called the woman’s seed.
Most noble Prince, if thou canst beguile, deceive and subdue this sort, the day is our own. Thou must do it, or it never can be done. Therefore I conjure thee, in the name of my Lord Lucifer Beelzebub, and in the name of all the mighty thrones, dominions, principalities and powers of this burning lake to use thy utmost skill and policy. For what thou dost upon these thou must do by craft, and after a more wary and clandestine manner. For they have studied our politics, and are not ignorant of our devices. Yet, let me tell thee there are some who bear that Name and are accounted of their company who are our good friends and indeed, as serviceable to our interest as most in the world.
But as touching advice and counsel, how thou shouldest prey upon those my grand enemies, I shall forebear at present, it being a secret that out not to be revealed. I shall give thee therefore instructions hereafter when thou meetest with them in the Town of Religion, how to betray and overcome them.
Moreover, there are diverse other ranks, qualities and conditions of people with whom thou wilt meet in thy travels which I have not yet mentioned, viz. noblemen, counsellors, lawyers, doctors, & c. and all sorts of mechanics. But when thou enterest into the Town of Commerce, thou shalt have advice and directions how to handle them.
And now because I am sensible of the great weight and importance of this grand enterprise, and how by the travels I am like to lose or win all, I am resolved to accompany thee continually to the end of the world. I will go with thee and be as a servant to thee. And I must tell thee also, I have got the skill to transform myself into any shape. If need be, I can be an Angel of Light, and become devilish godly. We must both sometimes be very religious for else how should we set up our spiritual kingdom. For such a one I have and shall have, as well as a fleshly. And the advantage thereby to us is and will be very great. Otherwise, we should never have spent so much time, and held so many grand cabals in Hell about contriving, ushering in and establishing, this our ecclesiastical state of the world.
Lastly, that we may not lose time, I shall only admonish thee of diverse grand enemies which thou must be aware of and throughly be revenged upon, or al our design will prove in a great measure fruitless. I shall therefore, before thou begin thy travels, give thee their names:
The first is a paper enemy, a contemptible for to look upon. And yet I dread him more than all the powers of Heaven and Earth. May it please your greatness, ‘tis a book. Not a play book. No, no, that is an engine of my own forging. Not a conjuring book, for that same this hath often made me brave sport. Nor is it a song book. No, nor a book of Philosophy or Physic, but ‘tis the Bible. I would wish all the plagues of Hell to light upon it if that would do. But I see is in vain, for ‘tis under the perpetual care of Him who reigns above, and cast me down into these lower regions.
We must do, therefore, what we can to keep all men ignorant of it, and not suffer them to have it in their mother tongue. Or, if we cannot do that, then take off their hearts from it so that they may not read, meditate upon it, nor remember what is contained in it. For ‘tis like a cruel Sword with Two Edges, which if they got skill to use it, it will destroy them utterly. Yet do not fear, for I can teach thee to use it so as to turn the edge of it against themselves and wound them with their own weapon. Besides, I will show thee how to magnify some other books, and unwritten verities, mere inventions of our own devising above it, and raise up others to cast it away as a dead letter and also to wrest it and to make a nose of wax of it and cause thousands to believe that it doth not belong to lay people to read it and forewarn them not to study it on their peril.
The second enemy I must advise thee of is one Theology, a holder forth, a preacher forsooth that gives himself up wholly to study how to bring both thee and I to shame, nay and to destroy thee utterly. This fellow pries into all our secrets, but I will teach thee how, one way or another, to be revenged upon him.
The third adversary is a Spirit. Some call him the Holy Spirit. I must confess he is a powerful enemy, and I cannot deny but he hath been sometimes too hard for all the mighty powers of this burning lake. When soever therefore he breaks in upon thee, with his Sword drawn in his hand, he will slay thee at once, nay such cruel hatred he hath to thee that no other death will satisfy him but to crucify thee which grieves my heart to think upon. Therefore, beware of him and keep the door shut (where thou hast possession) against him. Moreover, I shall teach thee man other ways to quench his heart and hinder his prevailing power upon men’s hearts. Yes, tire his patience, and grieve him so that he shall not strive against thee, nor appear for their help any longer.
The fourth is a rare and beautiful damsel. Her name is Grace, and she hath also several sisters – as Faith, Hope, Charity, & c. It grieves me to think thou shouldst at any time be worsted and utterly vanquished by any of the feminine gender. But thou wilt sustain great loss, I perceive, by her means. For, she has a cruel train of powerful enemies to torment us continually attending her. Yet, I shall teach thee how to mar her beauty and spoil her growth.
The fifth enemy is called Knowledge of God, but I think there is no great fear of him. For the greatest parts of the world I doubt no, but we shall keep in ignorance, in heathenism, and popish darkness. But if he gets in, he will do us great hurt by discovering al our intrigues.
The sixth is only morality. I hate him as a man hates a toad. Yes, as we will order matters, he shall do us a great kindness, for he is not very well-known, and so we will cause diverse silly creatures to trust in him for life and salvation. That way, we shall bring some solid blades to Hell with mighty hopes of Heaven in their noddles.
The seventh is a scurvy, obstinate fellow, called Enlightened Conscience; a mere tell-tale one that never will be bribed, nor doth he fear frowns, nor regard flatteries. I doubt he will prove a plague to thee in all they ravels, but I will shew thee hereafter how to deal with him.
The eighth is an engine of war, an enemy that has made the very foundations of Hell itself to shake. I think they call him prayer, but he can do little hurt without faith. And I will teach thee many rare devices to make him ineffectual. There are some prayers thou needest no fear, viz. such that some use beads, &c. Prayer always prevails according to the nature, holiness, truth, sincerity, fervency, skill and care of the person who use him. Besides I fear not the prayers of unsanctified persons.
The ninth is repentance, but fear him not, if he comes not in timely, or approaches alone, without his dreadful retinue whom I tremble at the thoughts of which are there following viz. Godly sorrow, holy revenge, vehement desire, spiritual indignation, filial fear, heavenly care, self-clearing, fiery zeal, &c.
The tenth enemy is consideration who is the ringleader to all the mischiefs, troubles, wars and disquietments raised up in any kingdom, and were it not for him, I would not fear any adversary on Earth. Therefore, thou must prevent his coming to the assistance of parties thou dost encounter with which thou mayest do by filling their minds with the cares of this life. Also render him odious make them believe his is a dangerous fellow, have made many a brisk youngster a mere mope, causing them to hand gown their heads like bulrushes to fold their arms and to spend their days in tears and sighing, and hath caused many to go besides themselves. Moreover, thou mayest drive him away by sending the party to some play or tavern or such like diversion.
The eleventh are truth and justice both implacable enemies to our empire, but I am resolved to do what I can to make them wander resolved to do what I can to make them wander like vagabonds in the open air, for truth shall find no lodging unless it be with a mute, and justice though shalt throw her down in the street and equity shall not enter. We will so handle her that few or none shall know her when they see her, they shall indeed have ready at hand in every kingdom, a multitude of such brave catchpoles that I hope they effectually will do her business. Let her fly to Heaven what hath she to do on Earth? And as for who bears that name, we will turn her Sword against our enemies (and as much as in us lies) to spare our friends.
The twelfth enemy is one whom they call true godliness, who hath been travelling up and down a long time to undermine my kingdom. He is made up, they say, with a right faith and holy life, but I am glad he meets with no better entertainment. Now, my grand design by granting thee this commission is to spoil his enterprise, and finally to vanquish him out of these lower regions. Ponder well what hath been said and bestir yourself. Fly to and fro, east, west, north and south beset all mortals. My instructions will serve for every age, and will suit with all climates and countries throughout the whole universe, but chiefly I aim at the latter times. Be gone and raise my honour, and let my renown break forth in all quarters.
Clothe my ambitious children with ornaments of gold, and crown them with glory and honour. Fill the voluptuous with pleasure and the delights of this world. Let the envious and choleric have all the sweet reverie their precious hearts can desire. Glut them with rapine, massacre and murder. Set one man against another: husband against the wife; wife against the husband; parents against their children; and the children against their parents. And teach masters to be cruel to their servants, and servants to rob and steal from their masters, promoting lying, swearing, whoring, blasphemy, atheism, flattery, drunkenness, cruelty, pride, hardheartedness and all many of debauchery.
Raise up wars and commotions in every kingdom, let all before thee be put to fire and sword. Introduce superstition, heresy, false doctrine and gross idolatry. Visit all in thy journey – the young, the old, the high, the low, the rich, the poor, the king on the throne, the beggar on the dunghill. Let truth, righteousness, justice and equity, conscience, charity, fidelity, simplicity and modesty be banished in all the regions of the Earth.
Thou art my great emissary and hast they parent of assignment and grand from me, the great Prince of Darkness, whom thou must daily honour, and under whose standard continually advance thy colours, and spread the flag of my authority by which not only the lodgings and outward gates of all courts and cities of the world, but also the inward and inmost chambers and closets therein will soon fly open and give way to this strong commission.
Thou hast the world, the flesh and me, the Devil; nay, all devils and infernal spirits for thee to side with thee and take thy part.
All men are ready to receive thee, no tradesmen, nor others can well live without thee, but be sure to remember that never be satisfied to take up they quarters in their barns nor stables, nor in their outward courts, nor castle yards, but command the best room they have viz. their hearts and be sure where thou comest there sway the scepter and make them all subject to thee and become thy servants vassals forever.
Let me see thee bring millions of millions into these dark regions to dwell with us in everlasting burnings.