Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Theological Scarecrows

Richard Gilpin, Daemonologia Sacra: or, A Treatise of Satan's Temptations (1677, republished as Demonology: A Treatise of Satan's Temptations, 1982), Vol. 1, Part 1, Chap. 13, pp. 82-83:

This kind of atheism is common. Men may not disbelieve a Godhead; nay, they may believe there is a God, and yet question the truth of his threatenings. Those conceits that men have of God, whereby they mould and frame him in their fancies, suitable to their humours -- which is a 'thinking that he is such a one as ourselves,' Ps. l. -- are streams and vapours from this pit, and 'the hearts of the sons of men are desperately set within them to do evil,' upon these grounds; much more when they arise so high as in some who say, 'Doth God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?' [Ps. lxxiii. 11.] If men give way to this, what reason can be imagined to stand before them? All the comminations of Scripture are derided as so many theological scarecrows, and undervalued as so many pitiful contrivances to keep men in awe.

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