Of The Manner Of Satan's Acting And Carrying On His Affairs In This World And Particularly Of His Ordinary Workings In The Dark

The Devil being thus reduc'd to act upon Mankind by Stratagem only, it

remains to enquire how he performs, and which way he directs his

Attacks; the Faculties of Man are a kind of a Garrison in a strong

Castle, which as they defend it on the one hand under the Command of the

reasoning Power of Man's Soul, so they are prescribed on the other hand,

and can't sally out without Leave; for the Governor of a Fort does not

mit his Soldiers to hold any Correspondence with the Enemy, without

special Order and Direction. Now the great Enquiry before us is, How

comes the DEVIL to a Parley with us? how does he converse with our

Senses, and with the Understanding? How does he reach us, which way does

he come at the Affections, and which way does he move the Passions? 'Tis

a little difficult to discover this treasonable Correspondence, and that

Difficulty is indeed the Devil's Advantage, and, for ought I see, the

chief Advantage he has over Mankind.

It is also a great Enquiry here, whether the Devil knows our Thoughts

or no? If I may give my Opinion, I am with the negative; I deny that he

knows any thing of our Thoughts, except of those Thoughts which he puts

us upon thinking, for I will not doubt but he has the Art to inject

Thoughts, and to revive dormant Thoughts in us: It is not so wild a

Scheme as some take it to be, that Mr. Milton lays down, to represent

the Devil injecting corrupt Desires and wandring Thoughts into the

Head of Eve, by Dreams, and that he brought her to Dream whatever he

put into her Thoughts, by whispering to her vocally when she was asleep;

and to this End, he imagines the DEVIL laying himself close to her Ear,

in the Shape of a Toad, when she was fall asleep; I say, this is not so

wild a Scheme, seeing even now, if you can whisper any thing close to

the Ear of a Person in a deep Sleep, so as to speak distinctly to the

Person, and yet not awaken him, as has been frequently tried, the Person

sleeping shall dream distinctly of what you say to him; nay, shall dream

the very Words you say.

We have then no more to ask, but how the DEVIL can convey himself to the

Ear of a sleeping Person, and it is granted then that he may have Power

to make us dream what he pleases: But this is not all, for if he can so

forcibly, by his invisible Application, cause us to dream, what he

pleases, why can he not with the same Facility prompt our Thoughts,

whether sleeping or waking? To dream, is nothing else but to think

sleeping; and we have abundance of deep-headed Gentlemen among us, who

give us ample Testimony that they dream waking.

But if the DEVIL can prompt us to dream, that is to say, to think, yet

if he does not know our Thoughts, how then can he tell whether the

Whisper had its Effect? The answer is plain, the DEVIL, like the Angler,

baits the Hook, if the Fish bite he lies ready to take the Advantage, he

whispers to the Imagination, and then waits to see how it works; as

Naomi said to Ruth, Chap. iii. 5, 18. Sit still, my Daughter, until

thou know how the Matter will fall, for the Man will not be at rest

until he have finished the thing. Thus when the DEVIL had whisper'd to

Eve in her Sleep, according to Milton, and suggested Mischief to her

Imagination, he only sat still to see how the Matter would work, for he

knew if it took with her, he should hear more of it; and then by finding

her alone the next Day, without her ordinary Guard her Husband, he

presently concluded she had swallowed the Bait, and so attack'd her


A small deal of Craft, and less by far than we have reason to believe

the Devil is Master of, will serve to discover whether such and such

Thoughts as he knows he has suggested, have taken Place or no; the

Action of the Person presently discovers it, at least to him that lies

always upon the Watch, and has every Word, every Gesture, every Step we

take subsequent to his Operation, open to him; it may therefore, for

ought we know, be a great Mistake, and what most of us are guilty of, to

tell our Dreams to one another in the Morning, after we have been

disturb'd with them in the Night; for if the Devil converses with us

so insensibly as some are of the Opinion he does, that is to say, if

he can hear as far as we can see, we may be telling our Story to him

indeed, when we think we are only talking to one another.

This brings me most naturally to the important Enquiry, whether the

Devil can walk about the World invisibly or no? The Truth is, this is

no question to me; for as I have taken away his Visibility already, and

have denied him all Prescience of Futurity too, and have prov'd he

cannot know our Thoughts, nor put any Force upon Persons or Actions, if

we should take away his Invisibility too, we should undevil him quite,

to all Intents and Purposes, as to any Mischief he could do; nay, it

would banish him the World, and he might e'en go and seek his Fortune

some where else; for if he could neither be visible or invisible,

neither act in publick or in private, he could neither have Business or

Being in this Sphere, nor could we be any way concern'd with him.

The Devil therefore most certainly has a Power and Liberty of moving

about in this World, after some manner or another; this is verify'd as

well by way of Allegory, as by way of History, in the Scripture it self;

and as the first strongly suggests and supposes it to be so, the last

positively asserts it; and, not to croud this Work with Quotations from

a Book which we have not much to do with in the Devil's Story, at

least not much to his Satisfaction, I only hint his personal Appearance

to our Saviour in the Wilderness, where it is said, the Devil taketh

him up to an exceeding high Mountain; and in another Place, the Devil

departed from him. What Shape or Figure he appear'd in, we do not find

mentioned, but I cannot doubt his appearing to him there, any more than

I can his talking to our Saviour in the Mouths, and with the Voices of

the several Persons who were under the terrible Affliction of an actual


These Things leave us no room to doubt of what is advanced above,

namely, that he, (the Devil) has a certain Residence, or Liberty of

residing in, and moving about upon the Surface of this Earth, as well as

in the Compass of the Atmosphere, vulgarly call'd the Air, in some

manner or other: That is the general.

It remains to enquire into the manner, which I resolve into two Kinds;

1. Ordinary, which I suppose to be his invisible Motions as a

Spirit; under which Consideration I suppose him to have an

unconfin'd, unlimited, unrestrain'd Liberty, as to the manner of

acting; and this either in Persons, by Possession; or in Things, by


2. Extraordinary; which I understand to be his Appearances in

borrowed Shapes and Bodies, or Shadows rather of Bodies; assuming

Speech, Figure, Posture, and Several Powers, of which we can give

little or no Account; in which extraordinary manner of Appearances,

he is either limited by a Superior Power, or limits himself

politically, as being not the Way most for his Interest or Purpose,

to act in his Business, which is more effectually done in his State

of Obscurity.

Hence we must suppose the Devil has it very much in his own Choice,

whether to act in one Capacity, or in the other, or in both; that is to

say, of appearing, and not appearing, as he finds for his Purpose: In

this State of Invisibility, and under the Operation of these Powers and

Liberties, he performs all his Functions and Offices, as Devil, as

Prince of Darkness, as God of this World, as Tempter, Accuser, Deceiver,

and all whatsoever other Names of Office, or Titles of Honour he is

known by.

Now taking him in this large unlimited, or little limited State of

Action, he is well call'd, the God of this World, for he has very much

of the Attribute of Omnipresence, and may be said, either by himself or

his Agents, to be every where, and see every thing; that is to say,

every thing that is visible; for I cannot allow him any Share of

Omniscience at all.

That he ranges about every where, is with us, and sometimes in us,

sees when he is not seen, hears when he is not heard, comes in without

Leave, and goes out without Noise, is neither to be shut in or shut out,

that when he runs from us we can't catch him, and when he runs after

us we can't escape him, is seen when he is not known, and is known when

he is not seen; all these things, and more, we have Knowledge enough

about to convince us of the Truth of them; so that, as I have said

above, he is certainly walking to and fro thro' the Earth, &c. after

some manner or other, and in some Figure or other, visible or

invisible, as he finds Occasion. Now in order to make our History of him

complete, the next Question before us is, how, and in what manner he

acts with Mankind? how his Kingdom is carried on, and by what Methods he

does his Business, for he certainly has a great deal of Business to do;

he is not an idle Spectator, nor is he walking about incognito, and

cloth'd in Mist and Darkness, purely in Kindness to us, that we should

not be frighted at him; but 'tis in Policy, that he may act

undiscover'd, that he may see and not be seen, may play his Game in the

dark, and not be detected in his Roguery; that he may prompt Mischief,

raise Tempests, blow up Coals, kindle Strife, embroil Nations, use

Instruments, and not be known to have his Hand in any thing, when at the

same time he really has a Hand in every thing.

Some are of Opinion, and I among the rest, that if the Devil was

personally and visibly present among us, and we conversed with him Face

to Face, we should be so familiar with him in a little time, that his

ugly Figure would not affect us at all, that his Terrors would not

fright us, or that we should any more trouble our selves about him,

than we did with the last great Comet in 1678, which appear'd so long

and so constantly without any particular known Event, that at last we

took no more Notice of it than of the other ordinary Stars which had

appear'd before we or our Ancestors were born.

Nor indeed should we have much Reason to be frighted at him, or at least

none of those silly Things could be said of him which we now amuse our

selves about, and by which we set him up like a Scare-Crow to fright

Children and old Women, to fill up old Stories, make Songs and Ballads,

and in a Word, carry on the low priz'd Buffoonery of the common People;

we should either see him in his Angelic Form, as he was from the

Original, or if he has any Deformities entail'd upon him by the supreme

Sentence, and in Justice to the Deformity of his Crime, they would be of

a superior Nature, and fitted more for our Contempt as well as Horror,

than those weak fancied Trifles contrived by our antient Devil-raisers

and Devil-makers, to feed the wayward Fancies of old Witches and

Sorcerers, who cheated the ignorant World with a Devil of their own

making, set forth, in terrorem, with Bat's Wings, Horns, cloven Foot,

long Tail, fork'd Tongue, and the like.

In the next Place, be his frightful Figure what it would, and his

Legions as numerous as the Host of Heaven, we should see him still, as

the Prince of Devils, tho' monstrous as a Dragon, flaming as a Comet,

tall as a Mountain, yet dragging his Chain after him equal to the utmost

of his supposed Strength; always in Custody of his Jailors the Angels,

his Power over-power'd, his Rage cow'd and abated, or at least aw'd and

under Correction, limited and restrain'd; in a Word, we should see him a

vanquish'd Slave, his Spirit broken, his Malice, tho' not abated, yet

Hand-cuff'd and overpower'd, and he not able to work any Thing against

us by Force; so that he would be to us but like the Lions in the Tower,

encag'd and lock'd up, unable to do the Hurt he wishes to do, and that

we fear, or indeed any hurt at all.

From hence 'tis evident, that 'tis not his Business to be public, or to

walk up and down in the World visibly, and in his own Shape; his Affairs

require a quite different Management, as might be made apparent from the

Nature of Things, and the Manner of our Actings, as Men, either with our

selves or to one another.

Nor could he be serviceable in his Generation, as a public Person as now

he is, or answer the End of his Party who employ him, and who, if he was

to do their Business in public, as he does in private, would not be able

to employ him at all.

As in our modern Meetings for the Propagation of Impudence and other

Virtues, there would be no Entertainment and no Improvement for the Good

of the Age, if the People did not all appear in Masque, and conceal'd

from the common Observation; so neither could Satan (from whose

Management those more happy Assemblies are taken as Copies of a glorious

Original) perform the usual and necessary Business of his Profession, if

he did not appear wholly in Covert and under needful Disguises; how, but

for the Convenience of his Habit, could he call himself into so many

Shapes, act on so many different Scenes, and turn so many Wheels of

State in the World, as he has done? as a meer profess'd Devil he could

do nothing.

Had he been oblig'd always to act the meer Devil in his own Clothes, and

with his own Shape, appearing uppermost in all Cafes and Places, he

could never have preach'd in so many Pulpits, presided in so many

Councils, voted in so many Committees, sat in so many Courts, and

influenc'd so many Parties and Factions in Church and State, as we have

Reason to believe he has done in our Nation, and in our Memories too, as

well as in other Nations and in more antient Times. The Share Satan has

had in all the weighty Confusions of the Times, ever since the first

Ages of Christianity in the World, has been carried on with so much

Secresy, and so much with an Air of Cabal and Intrigue, that nothing can

have been manag'd more subtilly and closely, and in the same Manner has

he acted in our Times, in order to conceal his Interest, and conceal the

Influence he has had in the Councils of the World.

Had it been possible for him to have raised the Flames of Rebellion and

War so often in this Nation, as he certainly has done? Could he have

agitated the Parties on both Sides, and inflam'd the Spirits of three

Nations, if he had appears in his own Dress, a meer naked DEVIL? It is

not the Devil as a Devil that does the Mischief, but the Devil in

Masquerade, Satan in full Disguise, and acting at the Head of civil

Confusion and Distraction.

If History may be credited, the French Court at the Time of our old

Confusions was made the Scene of Satan's Politicks, and prompted both

Parties in England and in Scotland also to quarrel, and how was it

done? Will any Man offer to scandalize the Devil so much as to say, or

so much as to suggest that Satan had no Hand in it all? Did not the

Devil, by the Agency of Cardinal Richlieu, send 400000 Crowns at one

Time, and 600000 at another, to the Scots, to raise an Army and march

boldly into England? and did not the same Devil at the same time, by

other Agents, remit 800000 Crowns to the other Party, in order to raise

an Army to fall upon the Scots? nay, did not the Devil with the

same Subtilty send down the Archbishop's Order to impose the

Service-Book upon the People in Scotland, and at the same Time raise a

Mob against it, in the great Church (at St. Giles's)? Nay, did not he

actually, in the Person of an old Woman (his favourite Instrument) throw

the three-leg'd Stool at the Service-Book, and animate the zealous

People to take up Arms for Religion, and turn Rebels for God Sake?

All these happy and successful Undertakings, tho' 'tis no more to be

doubted they were done by the Agency of Satan, and in a very

surprizing Manner too, yet were all done in secret, by what I call

Possession and Injection, and by the Agency and Contrivance of such

Instruments, or by the Devil in the Disguise of such Servants as he

found out fitted to be employ'd in his Work, and who he took a more

effectual Care in concealing of.

But we shall have Occasion to touch all this Part over again, when we

come to discourse of the particular Habits and Disguises which the

Devil has made use of, all along in the World, the better to cover his

Actions, and to conceal his being concern'd in them.

In the mean Time the Cunning or Artifice the Devil makes use of in all

these Things is in it self very considerable; 'tis an old Practice of

his using, and he has gone on in diverse Measures, for the better

concealing himself in it; which Measures, tho' he varies sometimes, as

his extraordinary Affairs require, yet they are in all Ages much the

same, and have the same Tendency; namely, that he may get all his

Business carried on by the Instrumentality of Fools; that he may make

Mankind Agents in their own Destruction, and that he may have all his

Work done in such a Manner as that he may seem to have no Hand in it;

nay he contrives so well, that the very Name Devil is put upon his

opposite Party, and the Scandal of the black Agent lies all upon them.

In order then to look a little into his Conduct, let us enquire into the

common Mistakes about him, see what Use is made of them to his

Advantage, and how far Mankind is imposed upon in those Particulars, and

to what Purpose.