A COMPARISON OF Popery and Paganism.
WEll, what is all this to us? may some men say. Here is a great deal of adoe about a Pagan Successor: but Papists are Christians, and a true Church of Christ, only corrupt. O that Bishop Ridly were alive to hear them! if it be lawful to wish a good man out of Heaven, to come and do good upon a degenerate age: He would tell them what Christians the Papists are.
But we may very well let him, and all the other Glorious Martyrs, rest in peace; for we have store of living authorities. The whole Clergy of England, who have subscri∣bed, with Hand and Heart, to the Homilies, as containing a godly, wholesome, and necessa∣ry*Doctrine for these times; and by name, to those against the peril of Idolatry, have con∣sequently declared it as their Judgment, which I hope they are still ready to main∣tain; That the Church of Rome, as it is * presently, and hath bin for the space of nine hundred Dears and odd, is so far wide from the nature of the true Church, that nothing can be more. That it is an Idolatrous Church, not *Page 66 only an Darlot, (as the Scripture calls her) but also a foul, Filthy, old withered Darlot, and the 〈◊〉 her of *〈◊〉, guilty of the same 〈◊〉 and wozle, then was among Ethnicks and Gentiles: & abundantly more to the same purpose, which I shall hereafter have occasion to quote. And to name no more, we have the honourable Testimony of my Lord Chief Justice Pem∣berton,* that Popery is a Religion ten times worse than all the Heathenish Superstitions. Which is so great a Truth, and so seasona∣ble, and coming from so great a Man, that it deserves to be written in Letters of Gold.
And if Popery be ten times worse than all the Heathenish Superstitions; then I am sure we do no worse than the Pri∣mitive Christians, if we have ten times a greater aversion for a Popish Successor, than they had for their Julian. And yet if it be but equal, I think it will serve the turn: and therefore it will be sufficient to prove Popery as bad as Paganism; though if in so doing I prove it much worse, I cannot help that.
It would be endless to run through all the particulars of both these Religions, and to compare them together. I shall chuse therefore to insist upon those things where∣in they mainly agree, and wherein they are removed at the greatest distance from Christianity: and they are Polytheism, Ido∣latry, and Cruelty, which I shall treat of in order.
CHAP. X. Their Polytheism.
WHenever Paganism is named, the most obvious thing in it, and that which comes first to our Thoughts, is the multitude of Gods which they worshipped. And that the Papists have herein equalled and out-done the old Pagans,
I shall first shew, is the publick and pro∣fessed Doctrine of the Church of England.
And, secondly, I shall demonstrate the truth of it.
First, That the Papists are gross Poly∣theists, and worship a vast number of false Gods, is the publick and professed Do∣ctrine of the Church of England: And he that doubts of this, never read the Homilies; which I shall take this occasion to recom∣mend to every Bodies reading, as one of the best Books that I know in the World next the Bible, and in the mean time shall set down several passages at large, which plainly shew what is the Do∣ctrine of the Church in this point. In the third part of the Sermon against Peril of Idolatry, you have these words:
And for that Idolatry standeth * chiefly in the mind, it shall in this part first be proved, that our Image∣maintainers have had, and have the Page 68 same Opinions and Judgements of Saints, whose Images they have made and worshipped, as the Gen∣tiles Idolaters had of their Gods. And afterwards shall be declared, That our Image-maintainers and worshippers, have used, and use the same outward Kites of honouring and worshipping their Images, as the Gentiles did use before their I∣dols, and that therefore they commit Idolatry, as well inwardly and out∣wardly, as did the wicked Gentiles Idolaters.
And concerning the first part of the Idolatrous Opinions of our I∣mage-maintainers. What I pray you he such Saints with us, to whom we attribute the defence of certain Countries, spoiling God of his due Donour herein, but Dii tutelares of the Gentiles Idolaters? Such as were Belus to the Babylonians and Assyrians, Osiris and Isis to the Egy∣ptians, Vulcane to the Lemnians, and to such other.
What be such Saints to whom the safeguard of certain Cities are appointed, but Dii Praesides with the Gentiles Idolaters? Such as were at Delphos, Apollo; at Athens, Mi∣nerva; at Carthage, Juno; at Rome, Quirinus, &c. What be such Saints, to whom, contrary to the use of the Primitive Church, Temples and Page 69 Churches be builded, and Altars erected, but Dii Patroni, of the Gen∣tiles Idolaters? Such as were in the Capitol Jupiter, in Paphus Tem∣ple Venus, in Ephesus Temple Diana, and such like. Alas, we seem in thus thinking and doing, to have learned our Religion, not out of God's Word, but out of the Pagan Po∣ets, who say, Excessere omnes adytis, arisque relictis, Dii quibus imperium hoc steterat, &c. That is to say, All the Gods, by whose defence this Em∣pire stood, are gone out of the Tem∣ples, and have forsaken their Altars. And where one Saint hath Images in divers places, the same Saint hath divers names thereof, most like to the Gentiles. When you hear of our Lady of Walsingham, our La∣dy of Ipswich, our Lady of Wilsdon, and such other: What is it but an imitation of the Gentiles Idolaters? Diana Agrotera, Diana Coriphea, Dia∣na Ephesia, &c. Venus Cypria, Venus Paphia, Venus Gnidia. Whereby is evidently meant, that the Saint for the Image sake, should in those places, yea, in the Images them∣selves, have a dwelling, which is the ground of their Idolatry. For where no Images be, they have no such means. Terentius Varro sheweth, that there were three hundred Jupi∣ters in his Time, there were no Page 70 fewer Veneres and Dianae, we had no fewer Christophers, Ladies, Mary Magdalenes, and other Saints. Oeno∣maus and Hesiodus shew, that in their time there were thirty thousand Gods. I think we had no fewer Saints, to whom we gave the ho∣nour due to God. And they have not only spoiled the true living God of his due Honour, in Temples, Ci∣ties, Countries, and Lands, by such Devices and Inventions as the Gen∣tiles Idolaters have done before them: But the Sea and Waters have as well special Saints with them, as they had Gods with the Gentiles, Neptune, Triton, Nereus, Castor and Pollux, Venus, and such other. In whole places be come Saint Christo∣pher, Saint Clement, and divers other, and specially our Lady, to whom Shipmen sing Ave Maris stella. Nei∣ther hath the Fire scaped the idola∣trous inventions. For instead of Vul∣can and Vesta, the Gentiles Gods of the Fire, our men have placed Saint Agatha, and make Letters on her day for to quench Fire with. Every Ar∣tificer and Profession hath his special Saint, as a peculiar God. As for Ex∣ample, Scholars have Saint Nicholas and Saint Gregory; Printers, Saint Luke; neither lack Souldiers their Mars, nor Lovers their Venus, a∣mongst Christians.
Page 71 All Diseases have their special Saints, as Gods, the curers of them. The Por, Saint Roche; the Fal∣ling Evil, Saint Cornelis; the 〈◊〉, Saint Appolin, &c. Neither do Eeasts and 〈◊〉 lack their Gods with us, for Saint Loy is the Dorse∣leech, and Saint Anthony the Swine∣herd, &c. Where is God's Provi∣dence and due Honour in the mean season? who saith, The Heavens be mine, and the Earth is mine, &c. But we have left him neither Heaven, nor Earth, nor Water, nor Countrey, nor City, Peace nor War, to rule and govern, neither Men, nor Beasts, nor their Diseases to Cure, that a Godly man might justly for zealous indignation cry out, O Heaven, O Earth, and Seas, what madness and wickedness against God are men fal∣len into? What dishonour do the Creatures to their Creator and Ma∣ker? And if we remember God some∣time, yet because we doubt of his Abi∣lity or Will to help, we joyn to him another Helper, as if he were a Noun Adjective, using these sayings; Such as Learn, God and Saint Nicholas be my speed; such as Neese, God help and Saint John: To the Horse, God and Saint Loy save thee. Thus are we become like Horses and Bules, which have no understanding. For, is there not one God only, who by his Power Page 72 and Wisdom made all things, and by his Providence governeth the same? and by his goodness maintain∣eth and faveth them? Be not all Things of him, by him, and through him? Why dost thou turn from the Creatur to the Creatures? This is the manner of the Gentiles Idola∣ters; but thou art a Christian, and therefore by Christ alone hast access to God the Father, and help of him only. These things are not wzit∣ten to any reproach of the Saints themselves, who were the true Ser∣vants of God, and did give all ho∣nour to him, taking none unto them∣selves, and are blessed Souls with God: but against our foolishness and wickedness, making of the true Ser∣vants of God, false Gods, by attri∣buting to them the Power and Donour which is God's, and due to him only.
And after more to the same purpose, there are these words.
If answer be made, That they * make Saints but obtain to God, and means for such things as they would obtain of God: that is, even after the Gentiles idolatrous usage, to make them of Saints, Gods, called Dii Medioximi, to be mean Intercessozs and Helpers to God, &c.
Page 73 There cannot be a fuller charge of Po∣lytheism than this is, which is here drawn up against the Papists, for making Gods of the Saints, nay, for making as very Devils of them, as ever any of the Heathen Gods were. From which they cannot clear themselves, with their lewd distinction, as the Homily calls it, of Latria & Dulia, for it is evident that the Saints of * God cannot 〈◊〉, that as much as any outward worshipping be done or exhibited to them.
And to attribute such desire of di∣vine * Honour to Saints, is to blot them with a most odious and 〈◊〉 ignominy and villany, and indeed of Saints, to make them Satans and very Devils, whose property is to challenge to themselves the honour which is due to God only.
So far the Papists are even with the Gentiles Idolaters, and as deep in Po∣lytheism* as they: But in many points also they have far exceeded them in all wickedness, foolishness, and madness. * Particularly in this they pass the folly and wickedness of the Gentiles, that they honour and worship the Ke∣liques and Bones of our Saints, which prove that they be mortal men and dead, and therefore no Gods to be worshipped, which the Gentiles would never confess of their Gods for very shame. And after a great many ridiculous practices of theirs, in Page 74 reference to these Reliques, are reck∣oned up, the Homily concludes that they are, not only more wicked than the Gentiles Idolaters, but * also no wiser than Asses, Dozles, and Dules, which have no under∣standing.
I have been the more copious in these Citations, to shew that this is the standing Doctrine of the Church of England, to which all Orders of the Clergy have all a∣long subscribed; and is not one Doctor's opinion, or the conceit of any private man. But because the Judgment of our Heretical Church signifies nothing to Papists; who will likewise be sure to treat us as such when time serves, though now they have the treacherous impudence to pretend a mighty Zeal for us, when at the same time we are satisfied they are making their ap∣proaches to our Lives: I have another sort of proof for them, made up out of their own Oracles and Infallibili∣ty, with the help of a little common sense.
Socrates taxes Libanius for making Por∣phyry* a God, only because he once used these words;
- First; Their bare Invocation of the Saints makes them Gods; because thereby they bestow Divine Attributes upon them.
- Secondly, The Matter of their prayers bestows several others.
First, The bare Invocation of their Saints, and praying to them, is making them Gods, and bestowing Divine Attri∣butes upon them. And I am willing, in the first place, to take their Invocation at the very lowest: because though in their pub∣lick prayers and Liturgies, they often pray to their Saints to demand and command, and make them partners with God, and give them a divided Empire with him; yet in their Apologies, not being able to justify such abominable Sacriledge, they are con∣tent to lower theirSaints, and to place them * in the rank of suppliants, and then their Invocation is no more than prier pour prier. Well, be it so for the present, for this gives them the Attributes of Omnipre∣sence and Omniscience, which belong to 〈◊〉 alone.
First, Of Omnipresence. It is nororious that the Papists, in all parts of the World, familiarly make their addresses to the Vir∣gin Mary; whereby they suppose her pre∣sent, both here, and in the Indies, and in all Countries between; that she gives au∣dience in this and the lower Hemisphear at once, and in millions of distant places in both, besides her presence Chambers, such as 〈◊〉. Hall, &c. and innumera∣ble Altars, where she does especially Page 76 reside; and is notwithstanding in Heaven all the while. Now what can an Infinite Being do more? What other Ubiquity do we ascribe to God? That the very Act of directing their prayers to Saints, implies this Ubiquity, is very plain; for they im∣mediately apply themselves to the Saints, that they may obtain their mediation to God. So that their prayers are not in∣tended to be conveyed by God to the Saints, but to come directly to them, and by them to be recommended to God. And for that reason, in the Trent Catechism they are called Internuntii & Patroni, Interpre∣tes*& Deprecatores ad 〈◊〉. For to make God their Messenger to the Saints, (as he must be, if these prayers do not come directly to them) and to have him convey Orapro nobis's, is no good Court fashion, from whence we are told they take their pattern; and would very ill comply with that profound reverence towards God, and keeping of due distance, and avoiding ab∣rupt approaches to him, which is the great pretence for flying to the mediation of Saints and Angels.
2. The bare Invocation of their Saints supposes their Omniscience. For (to say * nothing of the Council of Trent's decree∣ing mental prayer to be used to them) it is not to be thought that the Saints will prefer Hypocritical prayers to God, and such as are an abomination to him; and therefore it is necessary for them to know mens hearts. Now not only the Scripture attributes this as proper and peculiar to God; so Solomon says, Thou only know st the Hearts of the Children of men: And God appropriates it to himself, The Heart isPage 77deceitful above all things, and desperately wick∣ed,*who can know it? I the Lord search the Heart, I try the Reins. But likewise the Heathens themselves attributed it to their Gods, as that which was the ground of worshipping them, and of attesting them in all their Oaths and solemn Compacts Not only to know what is in man, but to know what is in all men, and at all times, is the perfection of infinite knowledge: which it is there∣fore impossible for Saints or Angels to have, because it is a contradiction, for a Crea∣ture to have so much as one single infinite perfection.
It would be a great presumption in us, to go about to fix the Bounds and Limits of their enlarged understandings, and to tell just how wise an Angel of God is. They may for ought I know have an intui∣tive knowledge, without the trouble and hazzard of reasoning, and see the remo∣test Conclusions by as clear a light, as we do first principles: They may, in many other respects, have their under∣standings elevated and enlightned, beyond what we can imagine. Yet it is no pre. sumption to say, that they have not any such knowledge in any kind, as may equal them with God: But on the other hand, it is Blasphemy to ascribe that to them, than which we cannot ascribe any thing greater to him. And this knowledge of under∣standing and searching men's Hearts, the Papists not only imply in their praying to Saints and Angels, and decree in their Councils, but they openly avow it like∣wise in their writings, and will prove it by Scripture it self. Cardinal Perrone for one a∣mongst many others, proves that the Saints Page 78 know men's Hearts, because they are equal to the Angels: and the Angels assuredly know them, because they rejoyce at the Conversion of a Sinner; which is the inward change of man's mind, and lies very deep, even at the bottom of the Heart. But far less charity than the Angels burn withal, and a much smaller degree of knowledge than they really are endued with, will solve this Phaenomenon. For cannot such silly Wretches as we, be glad of the conversion of a sinner, who was given for lost, though we never saw him in our lives; if we be assured of it by a very good Friend, who likewise was himself the happy Author of this Conversi∣on, and invites us to congratulate the good success of his care and pains in it? And that this is the very case of the Angels Joy, I will venture to refer it to any man that will but once read over the first ten verses of the 15th Chapter of St. Luke. They like∣wise argue from Elisha's Heart going with Gehazi, and from his discovering the King of Syria's Counsels. But, 1. these were Actions and Words, which are nothing near so private as thoughts. And then, 2. there is no consequence from the extraor∣dinary performances of Saints and Prophets enabled and inspired by God, to infer an ordinary and constant power and fa∣culty of doing such things, at all times. Have the Saints and Angels Praescience, be∣cause Prophets have been some times ena∣bled to foretel Things to come? Have they the power of raising the Dead, and of do∣ing such Miracles, as are plainly the Fin∣ger of God, because God has been pleased, at some times, to make men his Instru∣ments in the performance of these mighty Page 79 Works? One would be ashamed of such Reasonings, and yet they have still worse. * For some of them take it ill, that in deny∣ing Invocation of Saints and Angels, we will not allow them so much knowledge as the Devil has. Well, for ought I know, they may hereafter have a new set of Gods, and from worshipping those, which as the Homily says, they transform into Devils, by setting them up as the Rivals of God, they may fall to courting those which have made themselves so; who it seems have one qualification towards Invocation. For who knows where Apostasy from God will end?
Secondly, The Matter of their Prayers to Saints and Angels makes them Gods, by giving them still more Divine Attributes.
1. They attribute to Saints and Angels the disposal of Grace, pardon of Sins, de∣liverance from Hell, and eternal Life; which are as peculiarly the Gifts of God, as the Creation of the World was his Work: As you may see by these following prayers.
Here they pray the Angels to blot out their Sins, and bestow upon them the Joys of Heaven.
Page 80 Here they pray the Virgin to pardon their Sins, and to give them the Kingdom of Heaven.
From the horrible Torment of Hell Good Lady deliver us.
That it may please thee to give ever∣lasting Rest to all the faithful de∣parted this Life, we beseech thee to hear us.
And in the Versicles, and Responses, towards the end of that Litany, you have these words.
I have said, Lady, have mercy upon me,
Heal my Soul, for I have sinned a∣gainst thee.
Shew they mercy upon us,
And be gracious unto thy Servants.
And presently after, you have this de∣vout Ejaculation.
Be merciful to thy Servants, who are called by thy Name.
Page 81 And so let them be, and never hereafter pretend to be Christians! for that she is their great Goddess, appears,
2. By that blasphemous Honour which they have done her, in decking and mag∣nifying her with the very same glorious praises and acknowledgements, where∣with David was inspired to honour God; which our Blessed Saviour himself, when he was upon Earth, and all the Church of God have sung to him ever since. Such as these which follow, and the rest is alike, for it is all quintessence.
118. 7th Part.
Page 82 And then this Psalter concludes just as David's does.
Who can endure to see Scripture thus transpros'd and abused, and a Creature cloathed with all the Majesty of Heaven, and adorned at this rate with the spils of her Maker? And besides David's Psalms, there is hardly an Hymn in the whole Bi∣ble, that is not in the same manner appli∣ed to her.
How came she to cast them into the Sea, ye blasphemous Wretches, a thousand years before she was born?
They have likewise a Te Deum for her, which concludes thus;
And an Athanasian Creed, which con∣cludes thus, speaking of our Saviour;
Now, whence had we this blasphemous Liturgy? Did not Pope Sixtus the Fifth himself take care to print it in the Vaticar,Page 83 amongst Bonaventure's Works? And did he not make this Bonaventure a Doctor of the Church, and a Father, for these Works? And did not 〈◊〉 the Fourth * long before canonize him, and make him one of their Gods, for his Sanctity and Doctrine, which was testified by Miracles: such as raising the dead, &c. at the instance and intreaty of Frederick the Emperour, the Kings of France, Sicily, Hungary;* the Dukes of Venice, Savoy, Milain, &c? Did not the same Pope Sixtus hire and en∣courage people with Indulgences, to wor∣ship this new God at his first setting up, that so he might be sure to have the more di∣vine Honour done unto him? And did not * this Divine Bonaventure make this Book, when he was upon Earth, with the Virgin Mary's help? And did not he make it for this end, That those that often praised her by this Book, she might merciful∣ly look upon, with her amiable Coun∣tenance, and receive into her Love, and recreate and refresh their Souls at present, and in the Glory that shall be hereafter, set a Crown of precious Stones upon their Heads? And if all these Saints, and Popes, and Miracles, cannot make this to be good Catholick Doctrine, it is very hard.
However, to wave this Liturgy, there is as much attributed to the Virgin Mary, in the publick Offices of their pretended Church: which no Papist can have any manner of colour of pretence to disown, because he himself joins in them. For in∣stance, they attribute Omnipotency to * her. Bonaventure indeed says roundly, Domina nostra Omnipotens, post Deum nomenPage 84ejus. And is not cuncta potens as good as Omnipotens? and this the Missal freely be∣stows upon her, and gives it as a reason why she should forgive sins, and bestow the Kingdom of Heaven.
Nay if she can do all things, they have reason, she is to be worshipped; O Dea certé.
But how comes she to be thus all-pow∣erful, * and Queen of the World? It is not by the Right of a Mother, which else∣where she is desired to use in commanding her Son, for then the Lady Ann, our La∣dies Mother, would come in for a share: Who, alas, must be content with her Daughters honour, for she her self is made but a poor Messenger, as you may see by these words to her:
What handing of prayers is here just as they help Bricks out of a Cart. From whence, by the way, we may observe that Cardinal Perronne stopt short, when he said, Invocation was only prier pour prier; it is prier pour prier pour prier at the least: For an ordinary Saint, no nor Angel neither, will not serve to present their prayers, but must go to the Virgin Mary and pray her over again.
For thus likewise they speak to the An∣gel Gabriel.
It is well Poste haste is written upon this last Packet of prayers, for otherwise that mischance might happen to them, which did to the Master of Requests Petitions, Page 86 in Queen Elizabeth's Time: who told the Queen, when she complained that his new Boots stunk; that it was not his new Boots, but the old stale Bills which he had kept too long in his Pocket.
To return from this Digression, The Vir∣gin Mary takes her place as Queen of the World, and Empress of Heaven, by an∣other right; for they have blasphemously made her the Bride, or the Wife of God the Father. So Bonaventure in his Te Deum.
But because I said I would wave Bona∣venture, though at the same time I proved his authority to be sacred, the very same is said, or sung, in their own Mass-Book.
And again you have an account how he came by her.
And this Title is so familiarly given to the Virgin Mary, that it seems to be annex∣ed to her Imperial Stile; for I will be bound, at very short warning, to produce an hun∣dred places out of their publick and pri∣vate Devotions, where she is called by that Name. We are extreamly beholden to the Papists, and ought to take this occa∣sion to thank them, for answering an Ob∣jection of Mahomet against our Saviour's Divinity. For he being a crafty Impostor, found a necessity of lessening our Saviour, and making him barely a Prophet: by which means he himself would clearly have the advantage, in being the last Pro∣phet. And therefore he not only tells a ridiculous Story, how Jesus the Son of Ma∣ry, being questioned for it by God, utter∣ly denyed that ever he called himself the Son of God, and laid all the fault upon his Followers, because they had done it of their own Heads; but likewise he repeats and inculcates it all over his Alcoran, that there is but one God only, and no more. And in one place, I remember he gives this reason for it: There is but one God and no more, and he has no Son, for he Page 88 never had a Wife. But now there's an end of that Turkish Argument. And now likewise the Secret is out. For I con∣fess it has often amazed me, to see the ex∣travagant Blasphemies, which are used in their prayers to the Virgin Mary: as when they call her the Fountain of Mercy, (which * is the brightest and loveliest apprehension of God, that can possess the minds of Crea∣tures); when they call her, Empress of Heaven, who upheld the Cherubim and Sera∣phim from falling, (there I thought them mad) whom all the Angels worship, (that methought was but reasonable, supposing the former) whom the Sun, Moon, and Stars, and the whole Creation, are called upon to praise and magnify, (as if she had been the Maker of them all) and who threw Pharaoh and his Host into the Red Sea, (there, thought I, they make old Time go back a thousand years for this piece of Flattery). Where∣as this unthought of Relation entitles her to every thing that is, was or can be in the Universal World. Methinks such rank Blasphemy as this should poyson the Air, into which it is breathed forth, and blast the whole Creation round about! I am sure it will make the Ears of all Christians to tingle, and raise their Blood against such an horrid Religion.
And thus I have proved the Papists, out of their own blasphemous mouths, to be Polytheists, in setting up Saints and Angels for Gods, and in giving Divine Honour to them. I have employed no other Argu∣ment, at present, to prove this, than only their prayers to them; whereas I might have used very many others, as he that will read the Homily against Peril of Idolatry, Page 89 may easily see. Against certain truth, I know there cannot possibly be any materi∣al Objection: but I would answer all tri∣fling ones, if I could foresee them. It may be the Papists will say, They do not make the Angels and Saints Gods, because they make them, in many respects, inferior to God. Were the Heathen Gods no Gods, because Jupiter was King of them? Was Vulcan no God, because he was only armed with an Hammer, and not with the Sove∣raign Thunderbolt? What difference the heathens made betwixt Jupiter and the other Gods, you may in part see, by this following passage, taken out of Maxi∣min's* Edict upon a Pillar in Tyrus. The highest and greatest Jupiter, who presides over your famous City, and delivers the Gods of your Country, your Wives, and Children, and Houses, from all destructive Calamity, &c. These poor helpless Gods, were so far from being Omnipotent, that they needed the protection of Jupiter, as much as the meanest of their Votaries.
Or it may be they will say, They reserve peculiar Worship and Services to God, which they do not communicate to Saints: For they tell us,
Page 90 We grant they do not offer the Sacri∣fice of the Mass to the Saints, but to the Trinity: So that they offer the Son of God to himself; and according to the usual decorum, which they constantly observe in that awkerd Religion, which is made to spite the Reason of Mankind; As our Savi∣our once heretofore sat at the Table dis∣coursing and lay sowering in twelve seve∣ral mens Stomachs at the same time, so now he is every day, in person, both the Sacrifice it self upon Earth, and the God in Heaven to whom it is offered. None, but such a Fool as I am, would stand argu∣ing and disputing with these men; whom all the Reason upon Earth can never di∣stress, by reducing them to Impossibilities or Absurdities, when they own and profess these Absurdities and Contradictions of their own accord: it would certainly be more wisdom, to go and preach, as Vene∣rable Beds once did, to a heap of stones. But to proceed nevertheless, are not we to take it for a great favour, that they do not offer the Great God of Heaven in Sacrifice to Thomas of 〈◊〉? The Gentiles Idolaters were so far from offering Jupiter in Sacri∣fice to any petty God, that I never yet read, that they offered him in Sacrifice to himself. There is no consequence at all in this reasoning; The Papists do not offer the Sacrifice of the Mass to Saints and An∣gels, but only to the Trinity, therefore they do not make Saints and Angels Gods. For had not the Heathens proper Sacrifices for Jupiter, which were sacred only to him? and yet this did not destroy the Divinity of the other Deiries. It makes no more difference amongst the Gods, nor affects Page 91 their God-head any more, to have this or that particular Sacrifice, offered or not of∣fered to them, than it did for 〈◊〉 to have a great Beard, and his Father Apollo to have none at all.
Lastly, The Papists may possibly say, That there is great difference betwixt the Gods of the Pagans, and the Saints which they honour and worship: the former ha∣ving been lewd men, and sometimes feigned persons; the latter being such as we Hereticks pay some respect to, though not enough. I shall not now enter into the merits of that Cause, but refer them to a great Prelate of our Church, who has told them, That they Worship Saints in Heaven, and Saints in Hell, and Saints that are in neither place, nor ever were in being. Though, by the way, I cannot find any such great difference betwixt Romulus and Igna∣tius Loyola; the one having been, in his time, the Governour of a Den of Thieves, and the other the Captain General of the Modern Banditi: and it is all one to me, whether they worship the Nine Muses, or * the Seven sleepers, for still the Polytheism remains the same; they have indeed chang'd their Gods, but not their Religion.
CHAP. XI. Their Idolatry.
ACcording to my former Method, I shall, 1. shew, that the Church of England has all along charged the Papists with Idolatry. And, 2. I shall make good that Charge upon them, out of their own Mouths.
1. The Church of England has all along charged the Papists with Idolatry. The Homilies, I am sure, charge them with it above an hundred times over, out of which I shall make choice of some few Instances. Speaking of the Ages of Popery;
It is evident, that Images, Su∣perstition, * and worshipping of Ima∣ges and Idolatry, have continued many hundred Years. And in the same Paragraph, we have a fuller de∣scription of the State of all Christen∣dom before the Reformation. So that Laity and Cleray Learned and Unlearned, all Ages, Seas, and degrees of Men, Women, and Chil∣dren, of whole Christendom, (an 〈◊〉 and most 〈◊〉 thing to think) have been at once 〈◊〉 in abominable Idolatry, of all other 〈◊〉 most detested of God, and most damnable to 〈◊〉, and that by Page 93 the space of eight hundred Years and more.
And in another place, after a de∣scription of their Men Saints, which look'd like Princes of Persia Land; and the Idols of their Women Saints, which might have been taken for nice and well-trimmed 〈◊〉, you have these words; And because * the whole Pageant must be through∣ly plaid, it is not enough thus to deck Idols, but at the last come in the Priests themselves, likewise decked with Gold and Pearl, that they may be meet Servants for such Lords and Ladies, and fit worship∣pers of such Gods and Goddesses. And with a solemn pace they pass * forth before these Golden Puppets, and fall down to the Ground on their Marrow Bones before these ho∣nourable Idols, &c. And elsewhere you have a large Discourse, shewing, * That their 〈◊〉 and Ceremonies, in honouring and worshipping of the Images, or Saints, be all one with the 〈◊〉 which the 〈◊〉 Ido∣laters used in honouring their Idols. In Pilgrimages to 〈◊〉 Images, which had more Holiness and Vertue in them than others: In their Candle-Religion, * turning Incense, offer∣ing up Gold to Images, hang∣ing up Crouches, Chains, and Ships, Legs, Arms, and whole Men Page 94 and Women of War, before Ima∣ges, as though by them, or Saints, (as they say) they were delivered from Lameness, Sickenss, Capt∣vity, or Shipwrack. In spreading abroad, after the Example of the Gen∣tiles Idolaters, lying and feigned Mi∣racles * of Images. Such an Image was sent from Heaven, like the Pal∣ladium or Diana of the Ephesians: Such an Image was brought by An∣gels. * Such an one came it self far from the East to the West, as Dame Fortune fled to Rome. Some Images, though they were hard and stony, yet for tender-heart and pity, 〈◊〉. Some spake more 〈◊〉 than ever did Balaam's Als, who had Life and Breath in him. Such a Criple came and sa∣luted this Saint of Dke, and by and by he was made whole, and lie, here hangeth his Crouch. Such an one in a Tempest vowed to Saint Christopher, and scaped, and behold 〈◊〉 is his Ship of War. Such an one, by Saint Leo∣nard's help, brake out of Prison, and see where his 〈◊〉 hang. And 〈◊〉 thousands more Mira∣cles, by like or more shameless Lies were reported. And to con∣clude, * The Papists serve themselves of those very ercuses which the Devil heretofore put into the Mouths of the Page 95 Gentiles to palsiate their Idolatry. So that by making use of the same Pretences and Answers, it is plain, that they be all one with the Gentiles Idolaters.
These things hitherto are spoken in re∣ference to the worshipping of Images; and then as to their worshipping the Host, the Rubrick, after the Communion, declares, * that it is Idolatry to be 〈◊〉 of all faithful Christians. Which has been always the Doctrine of our Church, not∣withstanding the ignorant Cavils of some men, as appears by the Homilies, where this Doctrine was never discontinued. The Papists ignorance of the Sacrament is affirmed to have been the cause of the * ruine of God's Religion, the cause of gross Idolatry, and of mummish 〈◊〉.
Their worshipping and falling down be∣fore every cross piece of Timber, which * is but an Image of our Saviour's Cross, must needs be rank Idolatry; when in St. Ambrose judgement to have wor∣shipped * the Cross to self, which was 〈◊〉 with our Saviour Christ s own precious Blood, had been an hearthentsh Error and 〈◊〉 of the Worked.
In a word, 〈◊〉 is so interwoven * with their Religion, that the Homily very justly brands them with the Name of the Idolatrous Church.
So much for the Doct of the Church of England, which I hope will not seem strange or new to the meanest Reader; for I Page 96 am sure all the people of England ought to * have been instructed and perfect in it, any time this hundred Years and better.
2. And now I shall undertake to prove the Papists to be as blockish Idolaters as ever were in the World, by irrefragable and uncontroulable authorities, such as they must either own, or renounce their Popery; and they are, their own Mass∣book, the Roman Catechism set out by the Decree of the Council of Trent, and the Roman Pontifical.
And, 1. I shall set down all the sorts of Idolatry, which are enumerated by the Roman Catechism.
And then, 2. prove them to be guilty of 〈◊〉 very things, which they themselves acknowledge to be both Idolatry, and old Heathen Idolatry.
In their Explication of the Second Com∣mandment, they have these words.
To begin with the first instance of Idola∣try, Page 97 to worship Idols or Images as God: by which if they mean worshipping an Image, with a persuasion that it is God; truly that is a very low dispensation, which very few, if any, of the Heathens were under. And such an imputation as this, they always look'd upon as an horrid slan∣der upon their Religion. If any Papist had charged the Heathens with it in Julian's time, he would have returned him this an∣swer.
Let that be as it will, I am sure the Page 98 modern Pagans will never be able to * acquit themselves of ten times more stupid Idolatry, when they worship a contemptible Wafer, which is hardly fit to seal a Letter, with a full persuasion, that it is not only a perfect and compleat man, but likewise the great God of Hea∣ven. An Heathen Idol look'd like some Body; and being placed, as St. Austin says, in an honourable sublimity, having the very likeness of Limbs and Organs of Sense, though it really were without Life and Sense, yet it might affect weak minds, and seem to them to live and breathe: But ne∣ver was there such a blunder before in the World, as to mistake a despicable patch of Bread, yea, though it have a Crucifix printed upon it to help the Imagination, for the Living God who made Heaven and Earth. No man can forbear scorning, and speaking contemptuously of this despica∣ble and detestable Idol. For though a small piece of Bread has an honourable place in the Creation, and a much more honourable place in the Sacrament, where we remember our Saviour by it; yet, when it comes to be made a God, it is vilely de∣graded, and becomes an Object of nothing but Scorn and Derision, of Hatred and De∣testation. * As St. Gregory's words are, speaking of the Reign of Jovian, when Paganism ex∣pired;
Page 992dly, That this sorry Wafer, this con∣temptible Idol, is likewise to be worship∣ped with the same adoration, which is due to the true God, is the express determina∣tion of the Council of Trent, with a Curse * to all them that shall say the 〈◊〉. And accordingly they make those Addresses to the Host, which are enough to astonish a man, and fill him with the greatest hor∣ror and amazement. In the middle of the Prayer, Deus Pater 〈◊〉 & origo totius*bonitatis, &c. is this Rubrick;
And Bishop Coverdale, who translated * the Canon of the Mass, affirms, That the Priest here speaks in this manner to the Host, and asks why not? if it be his Maker: according to the usual saying of Papists, who have been at Mass, I thank God, I have seen my Maker to day. And for certain, that Noble Confessor understood the sense of the Papists, and their Worship, but * too well, to his cost.
To conclude this whole matter with that, which would have startled and amazed the old Pagans themselves; after they have thus hailed their God, and bowed the Knee be∣fore him, and worshipped him with all Page 100 their Heart, and Soul, and Strength, they very fairly eat him up.
2. The next instance of Idolatry is this; If any Divinity or Vertue be believed to be in Idols or Images, for the sake of which they are to be worshipped. By Divinity, here must be meant, a divine Power and Efficacy to supernatural Effects; for other∣wise it will be the very same with the for∣mer Instance. And that the Papists are likewise guilty of Idolatry in this particu∣lar, I shall make as clear as any Demonstra∣tion in Euclide, with the help only of this one reasonable postulatum, That there is all that Divinity and Virtue in a thing, which * is put into it. Now let any one read the Consecration of a New Cross, or a Picture of the Crucifix, and he will be satisfied, that there is Divinity and Virtue enough put in them to justifie the worshipping of them.
There is no man living can make an estimate of that infinite Divine Virtue, which is in the Paschal Taper, that very tall Idol, being thirty six foot long. For in the Consecration of the New Fire (very well worth the reading) which is to light this Paschal Taper; They pray, that who∣soever*shall carry away Light from it, may be illuminated with the Light of Spiritual Grace. Now this Light, well husbanded, may convey Grace to all the World. But I shall never be reconciled to that scurvy Rubrick, which directs to sprinkle this New Fire with Holy Water; with which, if it were never so little too lavishly blest, the World is in danger of being left grace∣less, and in the dark.
And yet for ought I know, there is a lit∣tle Idol in a String, which may have as much Divinity and Virtue in it as any of them; and that is a Pectoral Cross, over which they say this Prayer.
If any Unbeliever, after all, does secret∣ly imagine that these Charms which we have repeated, do not work; and that these Crosses and Trade are not really endu∣ed with all this Divine Virtue, which is here be spoken for them: To cure him of his Infidelity, let him only read the form of delivering a Banner, after it is consecra∣ted; *
You see the Bishop has blest it, and it is blessed.
3dly, I come now to the next instance of Idolatry, which is, desiring any thing of Idols or Images: Where I would fain know, whether the Papists do not ask as much of the Cross, as ever was begg'd of piece of Timber in all former Ages? In these follow∣ing words;
Nay, they desire as much of an Aerial Idol, as they can of God himself.
Here they beg, neither more nor less, than that the Name of Jesus, (not the Per∣son) may release them of their 〈◊〉, and give them the Joys of Heaven.
4thly, And as for the last instance, which is, 〈◊〉 their 〈◊〉, and placing their Hope in Images or Idols; If the Papists have no hope in these Idols which I have named, it is a sign they have no Faith in them, and are as very Infidels as we. So much for the first branch of Idolatry.
Secondly, The other is, If any one endea∣vour * to represent the form of the Divinity in any kind of Workmanship, as if it could be seen with bodily Eyes, or expressed by 〈◊〉 or Figures.
This, as the Roman Catechism adds, was the Idolatry of the Heathens: who, as St. Paul excellently says, changed the Glory*of the incorruptible God, into the similitude of Birds and four-footed Beasts, and creeping things. These men want nothing but to have all the Bibles in the world in one heap, which I am certain they would burn with as good a will, as our people do once a year their past-board Pope: For then they might go to work, and make a new Bi∣ble; and then St. Paul might say excellently what they had a 〈◊〉 have him. In the mean time they have found out this useful expedient, to 〈◊〉 and suppress any par∣of Page 104 Scripture, which makes against them: and that they have shamefully done in this place. They afterwards allow the Is∣raelites to be Idolaters, for changing their Glory into the similitude of a Caif that eateth Hay; and the Heathens in this place, for changing the Glory of God into the*similitude of Birds and Beasts, and creeping Things. Now it is true, they do not trade in this sort of Imagery, and therefore they are willing that it should pass for Idolatry. But St. Paul's first instance of Idolatry, in this very passage, which they have shamefully mangled, is changing the Glory of the Incorruptible God, into the likeness of an Image of Corruptible Man: The absurdity whereof St. Paul expresses by an elegant Antithesis. But this falls heavy upon their own bald-pate Images, and their Monster Head with three Faces, and the other with an Imperial Crown on his Head, giving his Benisons with his two fore-fingers and Thumb, and that which sits with a Cru∣cifix resting on his Knees, and a Dove up∣on it; and to name no more, that same, which the honest Iconoclast found busie in creating the World, in a blue Coat, bare-foot and bare-legged, and marking out the Sun and Moon with a pair of Com∣passes; and therefore they make no words at all of that part of the Text, which con∣demns these horrid Disguises of the Deity. What, dare they not quote an entire Text of Scripture to their own Priests, for this 〈◊〉 is written for their Instruction: No, nor in trusty Latine neither, which 〈◊〉 so many of their cheats from the Eyes of the common people?
Page 105 Nay, then I do not wonder at it any longer, that there was once a Vulgar Lan∣guage, spoken above four hundred Years in a Catholick Country, which never was worthy to have the Second Commandment in it. That great Antiquary, Mr. Lamhert in his Notes upon the Preface to King Alu∣red's Laws, has long since told the World, that he never met with that Command∣ment in any Copy that is written in the Saxon Language. By these practices we may see, that the Papists know themselves to be Idolaters, as well as we can tell them. But because they wipe their Mouths, and deny it, and endeavour to shuffle it off by nice Distinctions, I shall not think much to examine them.
First, They say,
Secondly, They say,
In answer to the first of these Ex∣cuses.
First, Let them then fairly confess them∣selves Idolaters, for making those Pictures of God, of which they have neither sign, nor shadow of a sign in Scripture. For under Page 106 which Testament did their Monster-head with three Faces appear? than which, ne∣ver did any Egyptian or Indian God make a worse Figure. Or out of which Testa∣ment did they copy their other pictures of the Trinity, that with a Crucifix on his Knees, or that where they sit all three a∣breast; where our Saviour has holes in his Hands and Feet, that you may know him from the Holy Ghost, for otherwise they are like as the two Sosia's in Plautus! Had they these out of Daniel? And one or other of these abominable Images of the Tri∣nity, we had formerly in every Church, * as the Compilers of the Homilies tell us; who, though they be not allowed as Doctors, may nevertheless serve for Testifiers.
2dly, If a Scripture Sign be the only au∣thentick Original of a Christian Image or Picture, then are theirs all Idols: for I never saw any of those, which they pre∣tend to copy from Daniel's Dream, but va∣ried extreamly from the Original. They add very much in some things, and in others they take away. They picture the Ancient of Days like an Old Man; there is * no such word as Man in Daniel: Then they give him all the Lineaments of a Face, and a Beard, purely out of their own Inventi∣on: And then, as for the Drapery, the Painter himself is the fashioner, for there is nothing more of it mentioned in Daniel, than the Colonr of the Garment. In a word, the Lines and proportion of the Body, the Face and Features, are altogether as the Painter pleases. If men had not been Page 107 stark mad of Idolatry, they would never have catch'd thus at the shadow of a Dream, and gone to work furnish'd with no better Instructions, than with the description of Eternity, of the colour of a Head of Heir, the colour of a Garment, and the posture of sitting.
The Jews might as well have taken hints from Moses's Metaphorical Expressions of the Hand, and Arm, and Finger of God, and much more from his own speaking to them, to have pictured God in a humane Shape; from which they are so often and so strictly forewarned.
And then, as for all those awful expres *〈◊〉 of Majesty, wherewith the Antient of Days is attended in Daniel, which are fit to make all the World fear and trem∣ble before him, they are all left out in their Pictures. His Throne was a fiery Flame,*and his Wheels burning Fire. A fiery Stream issued and 〈◊〉 forth from before him: 〈◊〉 thousands ministred to him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: The Judgment was sit, and the Books were opened. All this glorious representation of the Ancient of Days, is dwindled into a solita∣ry decrepid Old Man, who is no more like Daniel's Description, than a Mouse is to a mighty Monarch.
3dly, These Sign-Painters shew the worst Judgment that can be, in chusing their Pattern out of Daniel. For every Body knows, that Prophetick Dreams and Visi∣ons, and the Schemes of their Language, and their Descriptions, are more wide from the thing it self, and more unlike, than the Page 108 harshest Metaphors that ever were in the World. Flourishing Kingdoms are re∣presented in that Book by Rams Horns, and Goats Horns: which would make very unintelligible Pictures of Kingdoms, and would certainly require a Label to tell what they are. And therefore for men to fetch the Picture of God out of such a Book, where besides, above two thirds of their Picture is a perfect blank, is to do just like Children, but not with their Innocency, who, rather than fail of a Ba∣by to play withal, will make it of a Clout.
Secondly, Their other Excuse is,
To this I Answer;
1st, That not only their common peo∣ple, but all Papists call these the Images of God the Father; of which we have an instance in the Margin of this Catechism, (which is as great an Authority as I cite it for) where it is called Dei Patris Imago. And if no body is so rude and ignorant, as to think the Divinity is expressed by * those Images, (as the Catechism says) Why then is every Body so rude and ignorant, as to call them by that Name? For an Image of God the Father, must be an Image of the Divinity, or an Image of no∣thing: for I hope he never assumed Hu∣manity.
Page 1092dly, Further, it is undeniably plain, that the person of God the Father is declared by these Images, and not any properties or Actions. For would not he blazon a Picture of the Trinity very improperly, and like an Heretick, who should say, There is the Holy Ghost, and that is God the Son, and the other is Eternity, or infinite Wisdom? So that if a Picture of our Saviour stands for his per∣son, and the Dove, &c. for the Holy Ghost, so does this Old Man for the person of God the Father.
3dly, To let the 〈◊〉 have their own way, I afform, That the very declaring of the properties and Actions of the Deity by Images, was the Idolatry of the Heathens. For when they made an Image of Jupiter, they did not pretend that it was the very Figure of his Di∣vinity, but declared some of his proper∣ties and Actions. And to prove that these Images were instructive, as the Po∣pish are pretended to be, I shall only give this Instance. The same Jupiter* was pictured in Crete〈◊〉 no Ears, and by the Lacedaemonians with four Ears, whereas the ordinary Pictures of him had but two. Now it is a Contradicti∣on, and therefore held to be an impos∣sibility, that one and the same person should have four Ears and yet but two Ears, and no Ears at all. When they therefore made him with two Ears, they would have him look like a man, and had no further meaning; but when they made him with four Ears, and no Ears, then they declared proper∣ties. Page 110 And the Moral, and Signification, * of both these, seems to be much alike. For when the Cretians crop'd him, they declared, That being King of the World, it was not fit that any one should have his Ear, but that they should lie open to all alike. And they that gave him that large set of Ears, declared, That he heard all things, and from all parts and quarters of the World. So that when the Papists have done all, when they have excused, and apologi∣zed, and blanched their Images of God, and made the 〈◊〉 of them, still they are no better than old Pagan Idols.
CHAP. XII. Their Cruelty.
WHat the Prophet says of Ephra∣im, has often come into my mind, with relation to the Pa∣pists, They are joyned to Idols: let * them alone. They are infallible and in∣curable; and if they will not hear Moses and the Prophets, poor private men may do wisely to save their Breath. So we would with all our Hearts; but they will not let us alone. Nothing will satisfie them, unless they force their Idolatry upon us, (as the French King sells his Salt) whether we have any occasion for it, or any mind to it or no.
These Mighty Nebuchadnezzus set up Images, and all People, Nations, and Languages, must either fall down and worship them, or else be cast into a fi∣ery Furnace. This is the hard Chapter to which we are now come, which is the very Sting of Popery: in which I shall first shew, That the Church of England has been all along sensible of the Popish Cruelty. And secondly, shew, That the Papists herein have far exceeded the old Pagans.
Page 112 First, As for the sense of our Church. The Homilies give us a large account of the Cruelty and Tyranny of ma∣ny * of the Popes of Rome, who had not the Spirit of God, but of the Dehil; who not only were Cruel to the Living, but persecuted dead Bo∣dies: to whom they apply our Savi∣our's Prediction of cruel and raben∣ing * Wolhes in Sheeps cloathing. Their Image worship was maintained, at the very first by the Ireason and Rebellion of Pope Gregory the Third, Which Example, other Bishops of Rome have continually followed, and gone through withal most stout∣ly. And afterwards we have an account of the Tragical Cruelties, which were com∣mitted by the Empress Irene, in main∣tenance of Image Worship: who was the great Patrone and 〈◊〉 Ca∣ptain * of the Bishops of Rome, whose wicked and unnatu cruelty passed Medea and Progne, whose detestable 〈◊◊〉 ministred matter to Poets, to write their horrtble Tra∣gedies.
Amongst other things, she digged * up the Body of her Father-in-Law Constantine the Fifth, and com∣manded it to be openly burned, and the Ashes to be thrown into the Sea; because when he was alive, he had Page 113 destroyed Images, and taken away the sumptuous drnaments of Chur∣thes. Which Example of hers (as the constant Report goeth) had like to have been put in pradice with Princes corses in our days, had the Authority of the holy father continued but a little longer.
This is true modern Popish Cruelty and Barbarity, which according to the daily improvement of it under that Re∣ligion, would have far exceeded Irene's. She burnt her Father-in-Law, a man that was no kin to her, otherwise than by an artificial Relation, and a fiction of Law: But here it would have been an own natural Father, and Brother; in which case a sweet Protestant Prince, and a per∣secutor of Protestants, only not a Slave to the Pope, had both fared alike. So that where Popery comes to be well set∣led, the Sacred Reliques of all those Prin∣ces are in danger of suffering the most barbarous Indignities, who have been in their time either hearty Protestants, or not hearty and thorow-paced Papists. And neither the reverence of a Father, nor the dear Relation of a Brother, shall save them from being treated like the most notorious Malefactors, whom the Justice of a Nation thinks it self bound to follow and pursue into the other World, and to make examples to all fu∣ture ages. For blind Catholick Zeal knows no Body; but be it Peasant or Prince, Page 114 Strangers, or their own Flesh and Blood, alive or dead, if they have been Hereticks, or insufficient Catholicks, into the Fire 〈◊〉 all they go.
What English man, who had but one drop of true English Blood lest in his Veins, could have endured to behold this horrid sight? To see a parcel of cowardly Papists breaking up a Royal Monument with Sacrilegious Hands, and dragging thence a mighty Monarch, whom when he was alive, they durst not have look'd in the Face: to see those sacred Temples, which had been incir∣cled with a Crown, and that puissant Arm which had swayed the English Scepter for almost forty Years, now reduced to infamous Ashes; and these thrown into the Water, as not fit to have a place upon God's Earth: and all this perform'd by the pure Zeal of his own Daugher, on∣ly because he was not quite so good a Catholick as her self?
I could not forbear shaking this Note a little, to try what Musick it will make in their Ears, who make way for a Po∣pish Successor, out of pure Loyalty to a Protestant Prince. As they like this, they may proceed. For here they may plain∣ly behold what blessed Fruits the Au∣thority of the Holy Father is like to pro∣duce, and what true and laudable Ser∣vice will be done to Protestant Princes, by introducing Popery.
So well the first Reformers, in the be∣ginning of Queen Elizabeth's Time, un∣derstood Page 115 the Spirit of Popery. And yet they know nothing of those Hellish Plots, which almost filled up 〈◊〉 succeeding part of that Queen's Reign. They knew no∣thing of the Paris Wedding, the Gun∣powder Plot, or the 〈◊〉 Massacre; which will remain in Books, as Monu∣ments of the inhumane and accursed Cruelty of Papists, when time has peri∣shed the London Monument. And they may as well go and try their Foreheads up∣on this Monument of stone, as endea∣vour to out-face the other.
These Cruelties never entred into the Hearts of Pagans, and therefore we have no foundation of a Comparison betwixt Popery and Paganism in this point; no more than we can compare Prince Ru∣pert's Iron Guns with Julius Caesar's. For this Murdering and Massacring hundreds of thousands upon the score of Religion, in cold Blood, and under the Sacred Rites of Friendship, are things found out in these latter Ages: And the com∣pendious destruction of a Nation at one blow, is as perfectly a new invention, as the Gun powder it self, which was to have done that Catholick Job.
All that can be done therefore in this Matter, is;
1. To shew what Cruelty the Pagans exercised upon the account of Reli∣gion.
And, 2. to shew that the Papists have far exceeded them.
Page 116 The Pagan Cruelty, upon the account of Religion, falls under these two Heads.
1. The Sanguinary Laws which were enacted, or put in execution against the Christians.
2. The Outrages which were commit∣ted upon them.
In both these the Papists have much out-done the Pagans, as might easily be made appear from their own Gene∣ral Councils, their own Historians, their Popes Speeches, particularly that of Sixtus Quintus, upon the Murder of Henry the Third of France; their Popes Bulls, par∣ticularly to the Irish in their late Holy War; their Holy Inquisition, which has, I will not say, Ten Persecutions, but ten thou∣sand Persecutions in the Belly of it.
Alas, the Roman Laws were but Cob∣webs, to those of Holy Church against Heresy. You may see some of them in the * Decrees of the Lateran Council, under Innocent the Third; Laws like our late Act for burying in Wollen, which will execute themselves, and extirpate pe∣stilent Northern Heresie, by a modest computation, in a Year and halfs Time. For it is Deprivation to the Bishop that is remiss and negligent, who must make room for another, that can and will con∣found Heretical Pravity: It is Death in that private man, who will not be an In∣former: it is the loss of his Kingdom to Page 117 that Prince, who will not extirpate as fast as he can; which in that case is to be given to Catholick Free-booters, who, when they have extirpated the Here∣ticks, are to possess it without any con∣tradiction, and to keep it in the purity of the Faith.
But because I would willingly do all Right to the Papists in this Matter, which cannot be done, but by a large and just Discourse upon the Subject; I shall here break off, making that the Conclusion, which is the only end and intention of this Book, and that my hearty prayer to God, which shall always be my poor endeavour among men.
The Lord of Heaven and Earth * defend us from their eyranny and Pride, that they never enter into his 〈◊〉 again, to the di∣sturbance of his seely poor Flock: but that they may be utterly con∣founded and put to flight in all parts of the World: And he of his great Mercy so work in all mens Hearts, by the mighty Power of the Holy Ghost, that the comfor∣table Gospel of his Son Christ may be truly preached, truly received, and truly followed in all places, to the beating down of Sin, Death, the Pope, the Devil, and all the Kingdom of Antichrist, that like scattered and dispersed Sheep, being Page 94 at length gathered into one Folo, we may in the end rest all together in the Eolom of Abraham, sahac, and Jacob, there to be partakers of e∣ternal and 〈◊〉 Life, through the 〈◊〉 and Death of Iesus Christ our Sabour.