SECT. XL. Our fourth Confutation of the Non-conformists, and Iustification of our selues, issueth from the Non-conformists owne Practise.
First, by their Intentionall Reuerence.
You would account it an extreme iniurie, to be cen∣sured as contemners, or profaners of these holy myste∣ries; or not to celebrate and receiue them reuerently, with the truely religious affections of your hearts and mindes: which you professe will be the dutie of euery worthy Communicant, that shall rightly discerne in this Sacrament the Lords body.* This being granted (which without impietie cannot be denyed) it ministreth vnto vs an Argument, whereby you may bee confuted (as I suppose) without all contradiction.
Fist, I may reason thus: That manner of Reue∣rence, which it is lawfull for a Christian to conceiue in his mind, the same is as lawfull for him (the case of Scan∣dall excepted) to expresse in his outward gesture of bodie. But it is lawfull for a Christian to conceiue such a Relatiue Reuerence; as from the sight of the Sacrament (being Obiectum àquo) to raise his thoughts to a con∣templation of the mysticall and spirituall obiect of faith, signified thereby: and vpon the vnderstanding of the mysticall, euen the body and blood of Christ really (al∣beit Page 300 not corporally) exhibited vnto vs in this Sacra∣ment, to receiue these visible pledges of our redemption, by the death of Christ, (as the Obiectum propter quod) with all holy and reuerent deuotion of heart and mind. Therefore, it is lawfull to performe a sensible and bo∣dily reuerence at our outward receiuing thereof.
The infallibilitie of this Consequence ariseth frō the difference which is betweene the inward, and outward Reuerence: for the inward reuerence is the formall part and very soule of reuerence, and farre exceedeth the bo∣dily, which is but onely the materiall. Where therefore the materiall and bodily forme of Reuerence is acoun∣ted Idolatrous, there the Intentionall and formall much more; because the worship is in it selfe and Act indiffe∣rent, and so may become either religious, or superstiti∣ous, by the vse, or abuse thereof, according to the inten∣tion and mind of the Agent: euen as we may discerne in this one word, Aue, vsed in salutation; for many came to Christ, and said Aue; O haile Master, and did honour him; the Iewes also bowed to him, & said Aue; & dishono∣ed him. The difference of these two consisted not in the out ward gesture, which was the same (both sorts Salu∣ters) but from the diuerse Intentions, the one kinde per∣forming their salutations in ciuilitie, but the other in mockery. Euen so the gesture of Kneeling is an act in∣different in it selfe, being vsed as wel of Children to their Parents, as of either religious persons to God; or sacri∣legious vnto Idols: but the formall distinction of each one proceedeth from the mind and affection of the Ac∣tor; for that, which is in childrē pietie, & in subiects loy∣altie, the same is in the truely religious deuotion, and in the superstitious and sacrilegious Idolatrie.
Vpon these Premises wee inferre this conclusi∣on; Page 301 that if there bee in you an inward, relatiue reuerence of soule, in the receiuing of this blessed Sacra∣ment, from a respect had betwixt the Doner, God, and this holy Sacrament, being so precious a pledge of our saluation: then can it not be vnlawfull, to giue some expression of this your religious intention, by the same visible reuerence, in one, or other outward gesture of the body; especially being to participate of the Sacra∣ment, the seale of mans redemption, both body and soule. And indeed the bodily parts of man are nothing else but the Organs and Instruments of the affections of his soule. If therefore that godly Indignation, which the Publican had against his sinnes,* be shrewing (as it were) his owne heart, commanded his hands to Knock on his breast:* If Hope lifteth vp pure hands in prayer vnto hea∣uen, in confidence of Gods promises: If holy Faith moued the womans hand to pull Christ by the hemme of his garment,* in beleefe to be healed by some vertue from him: If Charitie stretched out the Samaritans hand,* to Bynd vp the wounds of the distressed man, that lay halfe dead by the way: If Deuotion towards God in Lydia,* charged her eares to giue Attention to Gods word: If Contrition for sin powred out of Peters eyes bitter teares of repentance; shall not the vertue of Humilitie,* haue some power to make demonstration of it selfe, in an ac∣knowledgement of so vndeserued mercy, as is to be partaker, by faith, of the body and bloud of our Lord Ie∣sus, by some significant gesture of bowing the body at the receiuing thereof, answerable to the religious affe∣ction of your mindes? Thus much of the Intentionall Reuerence.