Confederacy of several Popes, and Roman Priests with the Devil. Such the principal Incouragers and promoters of Idolatry in the Church.
HAving as succinctly as I could, gi∣ven an account of the Gentiles, and Jewish Idolatry, with the mischie∣vous Consequences thereof, in the for∣mer Chapters: My Method now leads me to relate in this Chapter how fatal Idol-Adoration hath been, and must still be to those that continue it, tho under a different denomination: So that Rome Antichristian, will appear not to come short of, if not to exceed, the Daemonolatry of Rome Pagan. I shall therefore first begin with a list of some of their Popes, as I find them Registred by the Learned and Ingenious Mr. Wan∣ly, in his Wonders of the little World, page 473. where, (out of their own Authors, and particularly their Cele∣brated Platina,) he gives a Catalogue Page 118 of divers of them, who stand Recor∣ded for Conjurers, and such as have had Familiarity with the Devil. And here it ought not to pass without good Observation, that in the first Centu∣ries, before their Bishops had made a defection from the humility, and puri∣ty of the Evangelical Doctrine, we find none of them branded with that blackest of Characters; but after the Apostacy from the Primitive Simplici∣ty had gradually obtained among them, then came they to fall off from the Worship of God himself, to a down-right contracting with, if not Wor∣shipping of the Devil.
We will first observe by what de∣grees this defection obtained upon them: For,
- 1. Alexander the first introduced that which they call Holy Water, mixed with Salt, and ordered it to be used.
- 2. Sixtus the first ordered, that Priests should Minister in linnen Sur∣plices.
- 3. Faelix the first appointed yearly Sacrifices in memory of the Martyrs.
- 4. Marcus the first brought in the singing of the Nicene Creed, and the giving the Pal to the Bishop of Ostia.
- Page 1195. Zosimus brought the use of Ta∣pers into the Church.
- 6. Boniface the third obtained of Phocas, a Murtherer of his Lord, that Popish Supremacy, which to this day is so much stood upon, and was the first that Usurped the proud Title of Uni∣versal Bishop.
- 7. Boniface the fourth instituted All-hallow day, and dedicated the Temple of Pantheon, (an Idol Temple) to the Virgin Mary.
- 8. Martin the first, ordered Priests to shave their Polls, and to keep them∣selves single.
- 9. Vitalianus the first, first brought Organs in use in the Church of Rome. He sent Theodorus, and Hadrian into England, to introduce the Latin service.
- 10. Leo the second, Ratifyed the sixth Synod, to confirm the Mass, and brought in the kissing of the Pax.
- 11. John the seventh, noted for buil∣ding Churches, and erecting Images.
- 12. Gregory the second Excommuni∣cates the Emperour Leo Isaurus, for standing against Images.
- 13. Gregory the third Excommuni∣cates the Emperour upon the quarrel about Images.
- 14. Paul the first Excommunicates Page 120 the Emperour Constantine Capronimus upon the same Quarrel, upon which, it was well worth noting that the Empe∣rours, who were descended from Idola∣ters, and Persecutors, withstood Ima∣ges, being convinced of the dangerous consequences of them; when those who pretended to be the Successors of the Apostles, were the Introdu∣cers of Heathenish Idolatry into the Church of God.
- 15. Stephen the third brought in Wor∣shipping, and Censing of Images. So the point was gained.
- 16. Martin the second, his Father Palumbus was acknowledged to be a Conjurer: by which Arts it is said he sought the Papacy.
- 17. Christopher the first is Recorded to have got into the Chair by the a∣foresaid evil Arts: and was therefore deposed, and thrust into a Monastery.
- 18. Sergius the third ordained the bearing of Candles in the feast of the Purification of the Virgin Mary.
- 19. John the thirteenth, a man from his Youth polluted with all kind of villany and dishonesty, deposed in Council by the Emperour Otho, slain in the Act of Adultery.
- Page 12120. John the fourteenth began to Baptize Bells, and give them Names.
- 21. Silvester the second was a Magi∣cian, and contracted with the Devil for the Papacy.
- 22. John the nineteenth given to Magick; he took off the Election of the Pope from the People; and appoin∣ted the Feast of All-Souls.
- 23. Benedict the ninth, a Conjurer, wont with Laurence and Gratian (two Conjurers) whom he made Cardinals, to wander in the Woods, to invocate Devils, and bewitch Women to follow them.
- 24. Nicholaus the second, a great contender for Transubstantiation.
- 25. Innocent the third brought in the Doctrine of Transubstantiation.
- 26. Sixtus the fourth brought in Beads into the Divine Worship.
- 27. Alexander the sixth, Incestuous with his own Daughter, and gave him∣self to the Devil.
By this short, yet dreadful List, it may appear by what degrees, first Superstiti∣on, then Idolatry, and after that Daemo∣nolatry, or a Correspondence, if not a Confederacy with the Prince of Darkness, crept into the world; nay, that part of it that claims the name of an Apostolick Church: Tho nothing more contrary, or Page 122 rather Diametrically opposite to the Doctrine and Faith established by the Holy Jesus, and his blessed Apostles. The Heathen Oracles had been struck dumb by the coming of the Eternal Redeemer, and the Divine Miracles wrought by him in Confirmation of the everlasting Gospel; the Magicians, and Sorcerers confounded by the Sacred Authority derived to the constituted Apostles, as we find recorded in their Acts, in the cases of Simon Magus, and Elimas the Sorcerer, with divers others of that kind: But after the Christian Doctrine had been confirmed by so many, and unquestionable Divine Mira∣cles, so that there wanted nothing that might assure the World of the mighty hand of God that accompa∣nied his Ministers in their first planting the Gospel of Salvation: Then again do we find the Arch-Enemy of our Souls unchained, and we may well calculate his losing from the time of Stephen the third, which was that fatal period that again spread the foul Contagion over the Apostate Church: For now the mystery of Iniquity shewed itself in the Tem∣ple of God, and the old Serpent began again to be Worshipped as God, and 〈◊…〉 his Altars in the obnoxious Tem•••…
Page 123And here I cannot omit that which is irrefragably urged upon this Argu∣ment by the learned Doctor Brevint, in his Book, intituled, Saul and Samuel at Endor; a Treatise, that perhaps gives some of the clearest demonstrations of the defection of the Roman Church, of any thing yet extant: though many of our Reverend and Learned Divines have acquitted themselves with singu∣lar Honour upon that occasion, to whose Memories Posterity will be obliged to pay the most grateful acknowledgments: But this Gentleman had the opportuni∣ty of a long co-habitation amongst their Fathers beyond the Seas, and the ad∣vantage of making such discoveries, and observations, as cannot fall under the cognizance of others. I shall therefore make bold to cite some passa∣ges out of the fore-named book of that excellent Authors, in refutation of the pretended Roman Miracles.
I shall begin with p. 45. where he makes a quotation out of St. August. de Civit. l. 10. c. 16.
to be tryed by the true Church, as we find it in the Scriptures: and not the Church by these Miracles.
Bring Roman Miracles to this Rule, you may divide them into three Ranks; for some of them are but meer Tales; some are counterfeit Impostures, and Artificial tricks of Juglers: others have a real Being, but the Question is, whence they have it.
As for the first sort of Miracles: The Papists have by little and little, heaped them to such an extravagancy, that divers of their Communion, who have some Modesty left them, can scarce forbear blushing at the Re∣lation. Gregory of Tours, and Gregory the first Bishop of Rome, (if the four Books of Dialogues be truly his) did begin pretty well to tell stories: but these are nothing to the advances made by other Prelates, and great Roman Doctors, in the following Ages: And I may say confidently that these Ro∣manists are not much short of the most extravagant Romancers. There you shall read of Constantine the Great be∣ing a Leper, and transferring his Ro∣man Empire upon that Pope that made him clean, of Wolves, and Lyons bringing back Lambs, and restoring Page 125 them out of their Entrails, after they had torn them to pieces; of Birds flocking about to hear Sermons; and of Asses becoming Roman Catho∣licks, at least kneeling to adore the Mass-Sacrament, &c. They cannot conceive any great man to be a Saint, unless he hath an extraordinary gift for the working of such Miracles. How true they be, you may best learn of the very Saints, who deny them: As for Example, S. Bernard, S. Chrysostom, and St. Gregory, and yet they are for∣ced upon them: And you can hardly pass for a true Catholick, unless you believe that St. Bernard was saluted, and suckled several times by our Lady in her Image; that St. Chrysostom did Raise the dead, did cure all sorts of in∣curable diseases; and had every night St. Paul himself whispering in his Ear, what he did write on his Epistles. And as to St. Gregory the Great, he had no meaner whisperer then the Holy Ghost in Person, under the shape of a Pigeon sitting quietly upon his head, and sometimes stretching down her Bill into his Mouth, when he was Prea∣ching. And we know that the Grand Impostor, Mahomet, pretended some∣what the like about the same time. Page 126 Now you may be sure all these things are Fabulous, since disowned by the very men who are pretended to have had them, and who therefore knew best the truth of all these works, and assistances.
Much like to these are the Miracles of Ignatius Loyola, when he cures Wo∣men in their Travail, if you but set his Seal, or Signet on their Belly; when he makes the house where he happens to be, horribly shake; and when himself grows as hot, and as terrible as Mount Aetna, by the fierce motion of that Spirit, which from a debauch'd Soldier, made him a holy Jesuit: or when he sees the Soul of his dearest Friend Hosius mounting up into the Sky, far more gorgeous then the Soul of any other: or when he works greater Miracles with his own name in a little piece of paper, Cum nomine suo Chartae inscripto, then Moses and the Apostles did in Gods name. We cannot deny (says the Bishop of Canaries) but sometimes very grave men write, and leave to posterity such reports about Saints Miracles, humouring hereby both them∣selves and the people, whom they perceive both prone to believe, and importunate to have them do so.
Page 127For the Authority of the above cited Fables, that worthy Divine quotes their own various Authors, citing the seve∣ral Books, and Pages, where they are related; for confirmation of which, I must refer you to the 45th p. of his Book before mentioned. And is it not here∣by evident to all that will not wilfully blind themselves to their own delusion, that these Stories, if true, are no other than Diabolical Cheats; being such, as in no wise can be imagined to confirm the Evangelical Doctrine, but rather the Superstitions and Orders by the Ro∣manists, imposed upon the world: Or if they are not true, then may we con∣clude them to fall within the number of those lying Wonders foretold of in the Scripture, by which Antichrist shall en∣deavour to establish his Blasphemies a∣mongst a Credulous, and Bigotted Gene∣ration. And what can their Fathers, that report those sottish Legends, be thought to be, but such a sort of peo∣ple as are marked out by the Prophet Ezekiel, when he says, The Prophets Prophesy Lies, and the Priests bear Rule by their means, and my people love to have it so, and what will you do in the end there∣of? O Depraved, and Adulterous Church, that imposeth on her Prose∣lytes Page 128 the Credit of such Fictions, that thereby she may procure a reverence, and belief of those Superstitions, and Idola∣tries, which her tainted Doctors teach.
Let us now go on to the second sort of Miracles mentioned by Dr. Brevint, which are such as are made up all of Artifice, and Imposture.
But the third and last sort of Roman Miracles reckoned up by the foremen∣tioned Learned Author, are those that indeed come nearest to our purpose, and do unquestionably prove, that as the Heathens of old under the Images of Serapis, Molech, Baalim, and Apollo, &c. worshipped base and infernal Spirits; so the Romanists now adays, (though they have new dressed and inscribed their Idols) do no less than pay an Adora∣tion to the Apostate Angels, and delu∣sive Spirits, which Act in, and Actuate those Interdicted Images.
For my part (says he) when I do read in grave and famous Roman Writers, that a Consecrated Host will flie and flutter in the Air sometimes, till a Mass-Priest holds up his Pix to receive it; that shapes of Flesh and Young Children have appeared upon their Altars, at the Elevation of the said Host; that by many good Expe∣riences, Horses, and Mules, and Page 131 Cows, have been cured of their Di∣seases, when some Masses were sung for them to the honour of S. Barbara; that S. Dominick did write Books, which upon several Tryals no Fire could ever burn; that once he was seen perfectly in the shape of a Cru∣cifix, with the five wounds in his Bo∣dy, and a Crown of Thorns on his Head, That at the Consecration at Mass, something like Christ was seen hard by him, with the same signs of his cruel Passion, dropping out of his own wounds some of his own dear Blood on this dear Saint; that the B. Virgin beheld all this, and of her own accord plaid the Mass-priest, and ad∣ministred the very Body of her Son, in one moity of a Consecrated Wafer to this same Saint in token of special friendship; and all this averred, and sworn as true, by a formal Oath in the name of the Blessed Trinity, and under pain of all kinds of Gods Curses, in case of a lie or a mistake, with five hundred such and greater Marvels: I think it a kinder, and safer part in me to take them for something, then for meer Tales.
But for my pains of believing so, let me, who by Gods Grace am a Page 132 Protestant, have the liberty which the Papists allow themselves, when they controul what is done by Pagans; to say, as perhaps it is true, that when the Emperour Vespasian once cured a Blind and Lame man, It was the Devil, who hindring the sight of the one, and the motion of the other, seemed really to heal both, when really he did but cease from hurting and anoying them. Some∣times Papists will come so far, as to suspect their own Miracles, and to take them but for sportings of un∣happy and wicked Spirits; and for this he quotes Biel in Canon. lect. 51. Those ordinary shews of a young Child, or of a Man of compleat sta∣ture, that appear sometimes, as they say, among their holiest Mysteries, and upon the Fists of their best Priests. They might as well, if their Interest would suffer it, find the like flaws in all the rest, and you may easily do it, if you compare their own Roman, with all averred Christian Miracles.
I fear there may be some will think I have been too long in this transcript; but if they consider the consistence of the Argument, and upon what great Autho∣rity it is deduced, will find no reason to complain: And I could heartily wish that Page 133 every English Papist had before him those Books to peruse of the Roman Wri∣ters, out of which our Author makes his Citations; I should think it impossible but the Opinion, and Authority of those of their own Religion, must certainly prevail with some of them, that are In∣genuous, at least not to pin their Faith upon the Traditions of some of their over-superstitious Fathers, but I must again return, and go on with our Excellent Author, to observe how the Roman Miracles distinguish themselves from those of our Blessed Saviour and his Apostles: And here he admirably di∣stinguishes,
- 1. The Works in themselves.
- 2. The tendency and design of them.
- 3. The Time, or period of their Ope∣ration. Whenas the so much-boasted Popish Miracles have in them,
- 1. An Intrinsical Impertinence, and frivolousness.
- 2. A general Aptitude and Tenden∣cy to confirm any trifling piece of Su∣perstition; rather than any fundamen∣tal, solid point of Religion.
- 3. An appearing, and exerting them∣selves in the latter times; and even those marked out by our Saviour for times of a general defection, and delu∣sion,Page 134 and are branded for false Miracles, such as Antichrist at his coming should enchant men with, 2 Thess. 2. Rev. 13.13.
At another time (they say) she came to Church (having it seems often be∣fore chid Ʋdo the then Bishop for ly∣ing with her Nuns, Thou hast had, (says she) sport enough, do so no more;) not∣withstanding afterwards she found him a Bed with no meaner Miss than the Mother Abbess her self: At which she calls her Son (it is not to be supposed to be the second Person in the Trinity) and caused their Angels to pluck him off the Bed, where they beat him till at every blow he vomited up one of those Hosts which he had Consecrated whilst in that sin: And because of her Page 136 Sons dirty lying (if there be such a thing as Transubstantiation, it must be so) she held the Chalice to take both the Wafers and her Son in it. Then the Queen of Heaven, says the Historian, takes up these vomited Wafers, and washes them clean with great care, and lays them up reverently on the Al∣tar.
Abundance more of Feats he rec∣kons up reported in the Roman Histo∣rians, and Authors of the same Spirit, which they would perswade their blinded Bigots to be the Virgin Mary; as her going to Orleance with a Box of Ointment, to dress the back of a Dean; giving special Pills to a Monk to purge his Choler; feeding S. Albert, with a sort of Bread, after which he resolv'd to feed on nought but Herbs and Roots: Coming (they say) down from Hea∣ven, but more likely from the power of the Air, to uncover her breasts, and put her Paps into the Mouth of S. Hub∣bert, and S. Bernard; then they make her to woo Sweet-hearts, and give them Rings of her own Hair, as to S. Alan, and S. Harman, to both which they say she was married, and that in the presence of all her Saints, (Spirits like her self relating a thousand other ridi∣culous, Page 137 if not blasphemous stories of her, too tedious here to mention.
Then they bring down (whom they would impose upon us to be the Eter∣nal Son of the Father) lying as if dead under the hand of a Mass-priest, or shewing tricks of Activity, like a young Child among the Novices, in their Churches and Covents:
One says, he hath seen this little Child creeping out at the mouth of a Crucifix ('tis all a Sparrow could do, but the Devil can do much more) and thence jump into the Lap of an Image, thence fly∣ing up again the way that he came. Another says S. Ida had him, and kis∣sed, and embraced him, ut sponsa spon∣sum; then he must hang about her Neck whilst she sings an Anthem; S. Agnes had him too, whilst she stole a little Cross out of his bosom: They say he was brought by his own Mother, to be kissed by S. Catharine, of the order of Clara upon a Christmas Eve; and that the same Dame brought him to Bed to S. Boniface, in swadling Cloths. They will have it, that S. Lucia of the order of S. Dominick had him three Days and three Nights, during which time the Image of the Virgin had no Baby on its left Arm; after that, they Page 138 marry him to her, when he looked as if he had been but seven years old. S. Hostradus and others took this illusion for a real appearance of the Holy In∣fant, and thereupon offered him as we do Children, something to eat; some would dandle him on their Knees, and others play with him, and S. John, who was his companion at it.
Thus, with grief, may pious Souls see according to the Prophesies, Jeru∣salem trodden and danced upon by ugly Owls and wild Satyrs. Isa. 13.21. So the Roman Church is become a Stage for vile Spirits to act upon; for where are the good Saints or Angels that will re∣present, much less act Christ and the Blessed Virgin, under such shameful personages?
Then as for S. Francis, you have Sheep and Asses running to hear his Sermons; Swine falling dead under his curse, for having hurt a poor Lamb; all sorts of Cattel recover with the Water he washt his Feet in; Women eased of their Travel by applying to them some of the Hay his Mule used to eat of.
Again, you may find S. Dominick at Mass, hanging in the Air like a Bird; or at the Bed-side of a sick Woman Page 139 Transubstantiating Worms into Pearls; or by the Water side, raising the River into a Flood; or at his Devotions, forcing the Devil to hold Candle to him, 'till the poor pugg burn his own Fingers in the Service: Or, sometimes you may find him changing the sex of a young Girl unto a Boy.
Nor did the Women come behind hand for extraordinary feasts; for if you read but the Life of S. Christina, you will find that she rose from the dead twice, before she died for good and all, and so died thrice. She had a mighty knack at Miracles all her life long; for to save Souls from the pains of Purgatory, she loved to throw her self into all the hottest Ovens, and burn∣ing Fires she could find, that she might endure here what they suffered there; and to atone for Gluttons, she resolv'd to starve her self, till finding the pains of a sharp hunger, she had Milk came into her Paps, so allayed the cravings of her Stomach, by sucking her self; she expiated for proud Souls, by apply∣ing her self to the worst way of com∣mon begging; she could distinguish too between the honesty and dishonesty of those which gave her alms, for the Bread that came from good hands tast∣ed Page 140 like Bread, but that which came from wicked hands tasted like Toads-flesh. To satisfy for all Sorts of sins contracted by those which used much company keeping, she resolv'd to for∣sake mankind, and to come near none but Beasts; at last that she might be safe from all contagion of Flesh and Blood, she parched her self on the tops of Trees; there her thin body being made thinner, both by continual fast∣ing, and great fervency of Spirit, she did at her prayer contract her self into a round form, much like that of a Hedg-hog. She could climb up the highest Trees like a Squirrel, and swim in Rivers like a Fish; till her Friends, barbarous, it seems, and not believing all these Miracles, put her in Chains as a Mad Woman; and there she miserably lacerated her poor body with struggling hard to free her self; and this violence in Prison gave occasi∣on to more Miracles, for the Milk in her Breasts turned into Oyl, where∣with she did anoint her sores, and some∣times too, she used it as Butter to sweeten her Bread. Cardinals and whole Towns can aver these extra∣vagancies, and therewith we shall con∣clude the first kind of Roman Mi∣racles; Page 141 omitting what might be said of S. Brigit, S. Julia, S. Clara, S. Ʋr∣sula, with hundreds more known and famous in that Church, with whose stories their Voluminous Legends do crawl all over. In the mean time it will not be amiss for satisfaction of the curious, to insert the names of those Authors our Reverend Doctor hath made use of in this Section.
- Alan. Rediv. part 2. c. 4.
- Jul. •omer in vita Ildeph. ap Sur. 23. Jan.
- Chronick Deipar. an. 985.
- Leander in vita Reginald.
- Robert. Archid. in vita S. Albert. ap. Sur. 7. Apr.
- Chronic. Deip. an. 598.
- Histor. Eccl. Carnot. an. 1020.
- Chronic. Deip. an. 1152.
- Ibid. an. 1476.
- Ibid. an. 1235.
- Matth. Paris in vita S. Godric.
- Menol. Cisters. 29. Octob.
- Bov. 14. anal. an. 1317. n. 2.
- Flamin. in vita S Catharin.
- Henriques Fascicul. S. S.
- Chronic. ord. praedict.
- Henriques 3. Jam
- Chronic. Deip. an 1285.
- Ibid. an. 1235.
- S. Bonavent in vit. S. Fran.
- Page 142Job. Garg. in vita S. Dominic.
- Tho. Cantapr. in vita S. Christinae ap. Sur. Jun. an. 1160.
- Jacob de Vitriaco, in vita S. Mariae Ocig∣niar.