The political mischiefs of popery, or, Arguments demonstrating I. that the romish religion ruines all those countries where 'tis establish'd II. that it occasions the loss of above 200 millions of livres ... to France in particular, III. that if popery were abolished in France, that kingdom would become incomparably more rich and populous ..., IV. that it is impossible that France should ever be re-established whilst popery is their national religion
Souligné, de., Ridpath, George, d. 1726.
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Political Arguments, proving that the Po∣pish Religion ruines all those States where it is the Publick Religion.

TO justifie my Proposition, I will make it appear in Eighteen Articles, that the Popish Religion occasions the Loss of above 200 Millions of Livers per an∣num to France.

The I. Article which concerns this affair, is the Cheats of the Clergy, by which they pillag'd the People to the Value of 40 or 50 Millions per Annum, Thirty years ago, when the Kingdom was in a good condition. Part of the Methods they took to do this were as fol∣lows.

The Chief are their Masses, which they say for the Living, and the Dead, viz. to deliver the Souls of the Deceased, not from Hell, but from a place (unknown to Scripture, nay to God himself) which they call Purgatory; and to ex∣piate the Sins of the Living, who either pay for those Masses, or assist at saying them. This is the Clergies Greatest Traffick, and that which contributes most of any thing to retain all Po∣pish States and Kingdoms under the Pope's Tyrannical Yoke, by the multitudes of Priests and Monks that it entertains, who are as so ma∣ny Page  2 Armies to support that Usurper, and who render him Master of all those Kingdoms. There are Churches where above 50 or 100 such Masses are said every day upon a great number of Altars, as they call them, which raises Subfi∣stance for a great number of Priests & Monks, and did formerly maintain a greater number.

It is here proper to be observed, that to the end they may entertain the greater number of 'em, at the same time they recommend the Mass as the principal part of Divine Worship and Religion, and oblige the people to fre∣quent it every day; the Priests are strictly forbid to say above two per diem, except in some pri∣viledg'd places, as in Picardy, and the Country of Arras, because the Parishes there are poor and small. Which makes it plain that they have no essential Reason why a Priest may not say di∣vers Maises in one day, but that the Court of Rome was resolv'd to maintain as many of her Pensioners or Life-guard men, at the Charge of others, as she could. The Parliament of Pa∣ris hath regulated their pay at 12 d. per Mass, and in divers Provinces they have not above 5 d. or 6 d. apiece, which is as good, at least, as the pay of Horse and Foot, tho' they be more useful, and their Calling less dangerous.

Abundance of Masses are said for the Cure of Diseases, both in Men and Women, Chil∣dren, Beasts and Birds; as Hogs, Dogs, Geese, &c. as also for a happy Journey, safe return of a Ship, a happy Marriage; as also for meer trifles; as for the finding again of a lost Ring, Fork, Spoon, &c. Nay ev'n for success Page  3 in an Assassination or Plot against a Prince, or a Robbery, &c. That is to say, they do really sacrifice (as they themselves pretend) the Body of Jesus Christ in all those cases, and many others of the same nature. Being herein more blind than the very Pagans, who thought it enough to offer some Cakes, or to sacrifice some low-priz'd Animal to their Gods and Goddesses, when they pray'd them to succeed their designs, according to that of the Poet:

—O pulchra Laverna
Da mihi fallere, da justum sanctum{que} videri
Noctem peccatis & fraudibus objice Nubem,
— & tibi farre litabo.

Which may be Englished ad sensum thus.

O fair Laverna, pre'thee never fail
Ore all my Villanies to spread a Vail,
And thou shalt have thy fill of Cakes & Ale.

I am also well assured, that in order to bring Money into the Priests Pocket, they have in some places introduced a Custom of playing at Dice and Cards for Masses, as well as for Prayers, and he that loses pays the Priest, who does really next morning, as he pretends, sacri∣fi•…e Jesus Christ, (but in an unbloody Sacrifice however) for the Expiation of the Winners Sins and Crimes, how heinous soever they may be. I own that I never saw them play for Masses, but have divers times seen them play for Prayers, and know no reason why they may not as well play for the other: In the time of Pope Leo the Xth. the Preachers of Indulgence Page  4 plaid for the pardon of the Sins of Towns and Cities in Germany. They get also Money by those Masses another way, which is, that those who assist at them do many times put Money into the Box, which falls all to the share of the Priests.

Sometimes it happens that a dying person orders 100, 1000, 6000 nay 10000 Masses to be said for the repose of his soul after his death for which his Heirs pay thro' the Nose. There are very few Roman Catholicks who are not guilty of this Weakness at their death, but if some of those who understand better, despise those fooleries upon their Death-bed, their Friends who are not so well informed, are sure to order Masses for them, and pay the Priests for their pains; nay, the very poorest of them always take care to have some Masses said.

Besides this, there's every year an Anniver∣sary, as they call it, for most people which have left any Estate behind them, or whose Friends are well to pass, that is to say a Mass Sung for the Soul of the deceased, by a great number of Priests, sometimes 50 or 100 together; who must all of them be splendidly treated after∣wards, where they usually fuddle themselves, and each of them must have a piece of Money besides.

It is then upon the account of the great Profit which the Mass brings to the Clergy, that they have made it one of the most essential parts of their Worship.

The Invention of their Fraternities or Bro∣therhoods, is another grand Method, by which Page  5 they pillage the people, who being as Ignorant as Pagans, the Monks take advantage of it, and perswade them that whoever enters into the Order, shall have a share in the Merits of the same, nor do they admit them without a con∣siderable Present at first, which they oblige them to repeat from time to time. Sometimes there are people of Quality of both Sexes, nay, even Generals of Armies, that have been much esteem'd in the World, who do so far forget themselves, and become so weak, as to desire to die in the Habit of these rascally Monks, who impose upon them so far as to make them to believe that they cannot fail of being saved and of going directly to Paradice, without touching at Purgatory, provided they die in the habit of their Order; and that the habit of their St. Francis, is as much worth as the Baptism of Jesus Christ. Many considerable Persons in the Courts of Justice, and abundance of others are guilty of this Weakness as well as silly Women; Whence it comes to pass that they serve the Order, into which they have entred, with all their might; and it may be justly said that they divide the Kingdom into diverse Factions, who are in a continual C•…nspiracy against God, and the King, and their Neigh∣bours; for as those different Orders subsist and enrich themselves meerly by the Idolatry, Superstition and Ignorance of the People, they foment it as much as they can, and engage in the Interests and Designs of the Court of Rome, to favour the same against the King and the State, and every one of those Orders hate and despise Page  6 one another, both out of a principle of Envy, and because they know one another at bottom; and then their Devotionists, who are join'd to their Fraternities espouse all their Passions, Quarrels and Interests.

Those Monks do likewise persuade abun∣dance of Silly Women of Quality and others, to enter their very Sucking Infants into their Fraternities, persuading them that there's no better method to make them to Live; inso∣much that sometimes we shall see those poor little Creatures muffled up in a Monks Hood and Cassock, by which the Order lose no∣thing.

Another method made use of by the Eccle∣siasticks, to catch the Wealth and Substance of the People is their Indulgences, which they obtain of the Pope from time to time, for some Churches or Monasteries, which whoso∣ever Visits, during such a number of days, which serve as a Fair, or so many Market Days to the place, shall infallibly receive a Pardon of all their Sins, provided they give bountifully also to the said Church or Mona∣stery; for that is always to be understood, and there are very few but what give more or less in such cases.

Another of their Baits to fish for the Peo∣ples Money, is the Holy Relicks as they call them, in their Churches, Monasteries, and Convents. And when the Peoples Devotion grows cold for the Old Relicks, they never fail of bringing New Shrines or Boxes full of New and Fresh. And ordinarily they say they Page  7 come from Holy Rome. It is well enough known, that oftentimes those Reliques are pieces of Past-board fashioned like Bones, sometimes they are the real Bones of an Hu∣mane Creature, and sometimes of Beasts, as it hath been often proved; the Priests and Monks making it the Matter of their Diver∣sion to insult over the foolish Credulity of th•… People in this Impudent manner, and yet at the same time make them pay for Seeing and Touching those Reliques.

There are also Miracles to be performed from time to time, when the Priests and Monks please, by the Statues, Images, or Bones of some dead Man or Woman, under the Name of Reliques or Shrines of some Saints, as they call the Bones and Boxes in which they keep them. Those Miracles are of great Advantage to the Clergy, for by this means they bring abundance of Offerings to their Churches •…nd Chappels.

There are moreov•…r Legacies, Dirges and Donatives, whether they be Voluntary by Persons whom they have Seduced, or Suborn'd, or altogether false, which the Priests or Monks forge, in order to dispoil Families, whereof the World has had Millions of Examples, and some such happen every day.

Auricular Confession is also one of their most Gainful Inventions, by which they Shear their Flock four times a Year. There are few People who don't at such times give them a Piece of Money, especially those who are guilty of Great Crimes, and thereupon the•…Page  8 receive Absolution, provided that together with this they do some little troublesome thing, which the Priests impose upon them under the Notion of Penance, the better to colour that Infamous Traffick, and to make the People believe that 'tis not for the Money they Absolve them, for that would appear odious ev'n to the most dissolute Wretch in the World. I take no notice here of the great Advantage the Pope and his Clergy make of this Confession, to dive into the Se∣crets of Princes and Grandees, and of all People in General, that so they may make their own use of it, and take their Measures thereupon to pry into the greatest Secrets of Men and Women, which gives the Ecclesia∣sticks an opportunity to Debauch all the Sex, or to squeeze Money out of them; for by this means they lead Captive silly Women, laden with Sins, and carried away with divers Lusts, according to the Words of the Text.

There's another thing very Gainful to the Romish Clergy, and that is Burials, not only in that they sell the Ground at dear rate in their Churches and Convents, and that they make a great deal of Profit as I have said al∣ready by Masses for the Dead, but they get also a great deal of Money for the singing of a multitude of the Priestly-herd at ordinary In∣terments, where there is commonly a great number, who have each of them a piece of Money and a good Treat, at which they use to fuddle themselves, as well as at the Ani∣versaries above-mentioned.

Page  9I don't here condemn a reasonable Allow∣ance for one or two Ministers or Priests who go before the Corps, and cannot subsist without those little Profits, or who are there to comfort the Friends of the deceased, or to instruct the Company, by putting them in mind of their Latter End; or to Preach the Funeral Sermons of Persons of great Merit; but I condemn only the great Excess of that pretended Church, in imploying such a great number of Priests at Funerals without necessi∣ty, who sing in the Streets like so many Priests of Bacchus, things which neither the People, nor the greatest part of themselves understand, and which occasions a great Charge to the Friends of the deceased, who frequently have not one bit of Bread left after they have paid for the Funeral, and the Masses, that are to be said afterwards for the deceased. In my time it was a Complaint at Paris, that the meanest person, such as a Footman, could not be Bu∣ried for less than four Pistoles. Perhaps the Court has moderated the Charge, since they have erected so many Offices of Buriers of the dead, and Criers of Burials, and that there's a Tax as I am inform'd of eight Crowns laid on every Burial for the King; for it would be ve∣ry hard that the Priests and the King should squeeze so great a sum from the Poor People all at once upon this Account.

The Gain which the Priests have by Mar∣riages and Baptisms, is also very Excessive. Let them in Gods Name have some Profit thence as the Ministers have in England, who Page  10 cannot subsist without it, but this matter ought to be moderated, and there should be a di∣stinction made betwixt Poor and Rich. At present I confess, that those profits of the Po∣pish Priests in France are much di•…inished, because as times are now, there are but few Marriages or Baptisms in that Kingdom.

These are the most General and Common Methods that the Idolatrous Clergy of France make use of to cheat the poor Ignorant people of their Money and Substance.

I take no notice here, of what they gain by their Schools and Boarders, because it may be said in some sense, that what they gain that way is honestly got: Yet herein also they oc∣casion a loss to the State to which they are com∣monly E•…emies. And hereby they do like∣wise take the Bread out of the Mouths of abundance of School-masters, who are Ho∣nester Men than themselves, have nothing else to Live on, have Families to Maintain, and pay Taxes to the King proportionably to their Income. Whereas those Ecclesiasticks have enough to Live on without teaching School, being for the most part too Rich al∣ready, and on the other hand, they pay almost nothing to the King, ruine the Kingdom, and have no Families to Maintain. Nay that which is worse, they acknowledge a Foreign Autho∣rity, viz. that of the Pope, to be Superior to His Majesties Authority, and they are ac∣customed to inspire their Scholars with those injust and pernicious Sentiments, as also a False and Bastard Devotion, which enclines Page  11 them to shake off all Subjection to their Pa∣rents, to make themselves Jesuits, or Priests of the Oratory, and to give their Estates to the Order into which they enter themselves, or at least to make their Relations pay them a good Pension, of which the Convent reaps the Pro∣fit. They do likewise corrupt those Chil∣dren in another manner, at least the Jesuits labour under the Scandal of it, and indeed there's no wickedness of which they are not capable.

The other Monks who neither keep Schools nor Boarders, do nevertheless seduce abun∣dance of Young People, under pre•…ence of Con∣fessing them, and by Vertue of the Credit which they have to creep into Houses, they ensnare and seduce also the Parents to become Monks and Nuns, and to give them their Estates, especially in the time of Widowhood, nay sometimes they persuade them to be Un∣married on that account, and so create Divi∣sions betwixt Man and Wife, and their Chil∣dren. They do likewise Debauch their Wives and Daughters, know all the Secrets of Old and Young, and make their own Advantage of the Weakness of every one.

In many places the Nuns do likewise take young Boarders, who oftentimes learn some∣what else than Virtue among them, and by degrees they persuade them also to turn Nuns, especially if there be any profit to be had by it to the Convent, for the Relations of the Girls give them either a considerable sum of Money for ever, or a good Annual Pension, Page  12 which is so much loss to the Capital Stock of the Kingdom, seeing it falls into Mainmort or becomes Dead.

There are also many of those Convents, both of Monks and Nuns, who for Money take in the young Bastards of Persons of Quality, that would not have the thing known, and many times they make away with 'em▪there have been found in Ponds, Cisterns and Houses of Office, several Corps and Bones of those poor Infants.

They plunder the people also by their Tapers, Wax-candles and Torches, which they use in Grand Processions; for they oblige the people to furnish those things, and all that is not spent belongs, as they alledge, to the Church, that is to say, to the Priests or Monks. It is well enough known, that on certain days, which they look upon as great Festivals, they oblige every Corporation or Company, in great Towns, to furnish huge Torches, each of which does sometimes represent an History of the Old and New Testament, or fabulous Legend; or sometimes they will have the Images of 5 or 6 Persons, or as many Beasts, in Wax at large, so weighty that they must have 10 or 12 Men to carry one of these Torches. Twenty such they carry in Procession, which costs more sometimes than 10 or 20000 Livres; and the profit of this is to be reap'd by their Clergy, at the Expense of the poor Idolatrous People. This is chiefly to be seen on that •…day, which they call the Feast of God, for the Popes, good Men, have thought fit that God should have a Festival, as well as Dominic, Loyola, & Xavi∣er, &c.

Page  13And if the Inquisition were established in France, as many people imagine it may be done in this Reign, which however, I believe not, it would still pillage the Nation more, as it hath done Spain and Portugal.

There's yet another secret way, that the Monks are charged with using, to levy a great Summ of Money upon the People and their own Devotionists, all at once, which is thus, When their Convent and its Dependencies, or their Church, is old and does not please them, they set it on fire themselves, and then make heavy Lamentations for that sad Accident which it hath pleased God to permit, and then they go a begging for Money to Re-build what is burnt. If it require 30000 Livres, more or less, to Re-build it as it was, they will raise at least 100000 upon the people, leaving always the work unfinished, and give out, that the Summs raised were but very small, and not enough to carry on the Work; for none but themselves know perfectly what is given, or what the building hath cost, because they take care that no body shall be acquainted with their Affairs, and so this furnishes them with a pre∣tence to beg constantly, and to procure Le∣gacies from some silly people when a dying, on pretence of finishing that Work.

There are many Orders who sell little Re∣licks, that they say have been Consecrated by the Pope, and Beads that have touch'd some Miraculous Images. The Carmelites have what they call the Apparel of the Virgin, &c.

Page  14The Holy Days are moreover very gainful to the Ecclesiasticks of all sorts, because the people go to Church on those Days, with more Devotion than on Sundays, cause abundance of Masses to be said, and besides paying for them, give Money also to the Box. Those Festival Days are like so many Fairs▪ wherein the Clergy make Money of their Merchandize; They are likewise very advantagious to the Pope, not only in that they contribute to the Enriching of his Ecclesiastical Troops, which he entertains, as I have already said, at the Expence of those whom he has brought under his Yoke, and of whom, he assures himself more and more by that Method, both by weakening them, and keeping in their King∣doms Armies and Garrisons, of Priests and Monks, who have Sworn to him, as being in their Opinion, Superiour to the King▪ and having a Right to claim Obedience from him in every thing; so that they are constantly ready, either to revolt or to kill Kings, when the Pope desires it, or when Princes would have them contribute to the Charge of the State. But those Festivals we now Treat of, are above all advantagious to the Popes in this, that they raise him above all humane Authority▪ nay, above that of God himself; for 'tis they who have Institured or Authoriz'd all those pretended Holy Days, by which they give Laws to the Consciences of Men, and oblige them to Adore and Invoke whom they please, and for the most part Villains, that is to say, the Popes themselves and the Ministers of their Tyranny; Page  15 and by this means the Popes don't content themselves to be Ador'd while they live, but they hope to be Invok'd and Ador'd after their death. They have also this Satisfaction there∣by, that they see the Holy Days of their own Appointment, more devoutly observed than those of God's Appointment, which is the Sabbath. Thence also they reap another grand Advantage, viz. the Money which they squeeze from the people for Canonizing such and such Saints.

I must not forget here, the profit which they make by Means of their Father Titrier, or Title maker, as they call him, especially in the Re∣ligious Communities, for whom he forges Titles, that they may bereave the Laicks of their Estates.

The Popes having erected Marriage into a Sacrament, is also a gainful Contrivance for the Clergy; besides by this means they ren∣der themselves Judges of the Birth and Legiti∣macy of the Children of Princes and Great Men, which keep them in a dependance upon the Popes; for under pretext that Marriage is a Sacrament according to them, and that the Pope is the Sovereign Judge of Sacraments, he can Bastardize or Legitimate whom he pleases.

They often attempt to draw within their own Cognisance, all Testaments, Treaties, Acts and Contracts 'twixt Man and Man, under the pre∣text that the Oaths, by which they are con∣firm'd, are Matters whereof the Violation concerns the Conscience. In this manner they would render themselves absolute Masters of Page  16 all the Estates, as well as of the Quiet and Honour of Mankind.

The Exemption which the Ecclesiasticks plead from the Ordinary Courts of Justice, occasions a great disorder in Society, of which the Popish Clergy make their Advantage.

They get Money also by granting dispensa∣tions, for eating Meat in Lent, and at other times.

They also squeeze Money from sick Persons, or their Friends, for carrying their pretended Sacrament and Holy Oils to them.

Their Mischievous Clergy have a great number of other Methods, to plunder the people of their Substance, and they invent new ones from time to time, or extend and enlarge the old ones.

I confess, that all the Riches of which the Clergy do thus cunningly bereave the people, is not absolutely lost to the Kingdom, because they either spend it themselves, and so it circu∣lates again among the people, or else they hoard it up, by which they do great prejudice to the State; but however, soon or late the Money comes out of their hands, at least after their death, and has its ordinary Co•…se among the People: But it is certain that this Money would have been much more profitable to the State, had it been in the hands of those addicted to Trade, Husbandry or Handicrafts, and who have Children to breed up. All Men agree, that Money robb'd or taken upon the High-way by Villains, and spent lavishly, as it always happens in that case, or that Money got at Page  17 Game by professed Cheats, would do much more good to the State, if it were in the hands of industrious Citizens, and those that are useful to the Commonwealth, than in the hands of such Profligates. And hence it comes to pass that in all Countries, where there's good Discipline, these disorders are punish'd, tho' the Money that they rob and cheat people of, does not go out of the Kingdom. It sig∣nifies nothing to tell me, that the Money which the Priests catch by these Methods, is given •…hem freely; for grant it be so, the State being so much dammag'd by it, ought not to suffer it. The Master of a Family, who wants manage∣ment, does often times waste his Estate to little purpose, tho' he does it willingly, yet he is nothing the less injurious to his Family and Creditors, and therefore the Magistrates in some well-govern'd Countries▪ appoint a Guardian over such, and that many times too at the request of their Children. But more∣over, 'tis not true that the ignorant Papists give their Estates willingly to the Priests, for they are the poor people whom they have made drunk with the Wine of their Fornications, according to the Scripture-phrase, that is to say, with their Idolatries and Superstitions, threatning them with Hell and Purgatory, if they don't give them, and promising them Heav'n if they give. Therefore those who believe their Follies, are under a Moral Necessity of giving them.

It may be truly said, they rob the people of all they get in that manner, seeing the more they give that way, the less they have to main∣tain Page  18 their Families, carry on their Trade and to breed up and give portions to their Children.

If they imployed that which they rob the people of in Trade, Handicrafts, Manufa∣ctures, Husbandry or Fishing, it would still remain a great piece of Injustice and Disorder, 〈◊〉 the State would not suffer so much by it. 〈◊〉 they imployed it in Buildings, profitable to the Society, or purchasing Jewels, or lasting Mo•…oles, the State would not lose so much by it, but many times they spend it in excess of Eating and Drinking, and other lewd De∣bauches; or otherwise hoard it up in their Coffers, or turn Usurers.

If those Ecclesiasticks had not enough to subsist on, without all those cheating Tricks above▪ mentioned, it were much better for the people, how useless soever they may be, to make a publick Fund, for their maintenance, than to suffer them to follow the Trade of Cheating; as all Men agree, it were better for them to provide thus for other Robbers and Cheats, if it were found to be an effectual Method to di∣vert them from that wicked way of Living. But it hath always been thought, that it would be ineffectual as to Highway-men by Profes∣sion, and we may say the same, as to the Po∣pish Clergy, who for the most part have enough to subsist on without cheats; yet they find what they catch that way, sweeter than all the rest, and look upon it as the Fruit of their Cunning and Parts. The shortest way then, would be to suppress six parts in seven of all those Eccle∣siasticks, which would be a good thing, even Page  19 for themselves, because by that sort of Rob∣bery, they not only destroy their own Souls, but also those of the people, whom they have bewitched and besotted, ruining besides a vast number of Families; and thus by their perni∣cious Example, instruct and bring up all the World to Imposture, Cheating and Hyp•…crisie, and make people to conceive Monstrous Opi∣nions of the Deity, by transforming the same either into a Brutish Idol that hath no under∣standing, or into a Daemon as wicked as possi∣ble.

So that all being considered, I do verily believe, that without reckoning the Scandal occasioned by these disorders, there was no less than one third of loss to the Kingdom, by those 40 or 50 Millions which all those Cheats brought to the Popish Clergy of France before this War.

If it be said, that there are many other use∣less lewd Fellows, that plunder the State as well as the Clergy, that does not one whit excuse them, nor those who suffer such disor∣ders, and might easily prevent them. But on the contrary, the more there are of others, the •…ewer there ought to be suffered of these who are doubly hurtful, as being contrary to the Salvation of the peoples Souls, and the Welfare of the Government.

The II. Article relates to the excessive multitude of Ecclesiasticks in France, which are six to one in England, their respective pro∣portions and extents being considered, (and Page  20 yet it is known there are more in England than in any other Protestant Country) whence it appears, that there are proportionably so many more people in France that don't work, being idle Fellows for the most part, altogether use∣less, nay, do a great deal of mischief. They are computed at 300000 altogether Males and Females, whereof I am sure 40000 Males would be sufficient for the Service of their pre∣tended Church, such as it is; so that there remain 260000 useless Ecclesiasticks.

Then it is to be observed, that 300000 Adult Persons, such as they, are worth double the number of others taken out of the common Mass of People, especially if we consider that the greatest part of those Ecclesiasticks are Males. Lets reckon the Work then to which those 260000 useless persons ought to apply themselves, if the World were not turned upside down, only at 3 d. per Day one with another▪ without Victuals; and let us suppose also, that they work 300 days in a year, the unprofitable Holy Days being abolish'd, that amounts to above 11 Millions 500000 Livres per Annum pure loss. I am willing to abate a Million and a half for the Lace, Points, &c. made by some Nuns, and for what some poor Priests and Monks work in their Gardens, yet there remains still above 10 Millions of pure lo•…s, without taking notice of the Contagion of their bad example of Idleness, which cor∣rupts the people, and besides 'tis certain that they spend their time in doing mischief.

Page  21I take no notice neither of their Mainten∣ance, which is ill bestow'd, and another Rob∣bery that they commit on the Nation, seeing it ought to be imployed in maintaining others, who are more useful, and have so much the less, as those Ecclesiasticks have too much, who are as Drones that eat up the Honey of the industrious Bee. This Article amounts to as much as the other; for these people, as I have said, own, that by their Professions, they are not to Work nor to Marry, and so devour the rest of the laborious people that have Families. This, I say, is a Robbery upon the Common∣wealth, according to that Axiom, Non Nobis nati sumus sed Patriae & Liberis. We are not born for our selves, but for our Country and Children.

Some ignorant people will perhaps say, that they pray to God for others: I Answer, That others either do pray, or ought to pray for them; So that, as to that matter, they are ev'n with them. But I can tell them besides, that God doth not regard the Prayers of the Wicked, and their Clergy are every whit as Idolatrous and incomparably more Vicious than the Peo∣ple, and that which is worse, do make them Idolaters and Seduce them a thousand ways.

God also hates the Worship and Prayers of Idolaters and Hipocrites, especialy Seducers, and chiefly when they call themselves Christians, because then they make Jesus Christ the Author of their Idolatry and strange Worship, which is the greatest of all Impieties.

Page  22Article III. Mendicant-Fr•…ars in particular, are a very great charge to the Kingdom, all of them being absolutely needless, whereas amongst the Secular Clergy the Bishops with a few Canons, Curats, and Priests, are necessa∣ry and fit enough for the ordinary Service of their Church, such as it is; and those Begging Friars are so much more intollerable than the Endowed Monasteries, as by their voluntary Begging and Laziness, they are very charge∣able to the People, who maintain them richly one way or other. For ordinarily they Eat the best, and Drink abundance of Wine, whilst many Honest people who are useful Subjects in the Kingdom, have much ado to get Bread by their Labour. Those wretched Monks are also highly injurious to the real Poor, who are robb'd of so much Alms as those Idle Bellies receive. They are more∣over greater Hypocrites, and more Ignorant than the rest of the Clergy, and abundance of handsome Young Women chuse them for their Confessors, because of their seeming Devo∣tion and Mortification, under which pretext the•… commit a deal of Uncleanness. It's sup∣pos'd that there are above 60000 of those Monks in the Kingdom; let us reckon then that they cost the Kingdom but 6 d. a piece per day one with another, that will exceed six Millions of Livres per annum. This is the least they spend, for most part of them live in Good Cities or Towns, where they fare deli∣ciously, but take care as much as they can to conceal their good Chear, because that would Page  23 prevent the Peoples giving them so much. I have several times seen divers Spits full of choice P•…llets, Venison and Wild-fowl roast∣ing for them in by Houses, (at a little distance from their Convents) where the People fol∣lowed that way of living, and they wo•…ld tell me that those things were sent out of Charity to the Good Fathers.

Article IV. All those several sorts of Eccle∣siasticks live Unmarried, whereas Protestant Churchmen Marry for the most part, and con∣tribute to the Peopling of the Kingdom. The Popish Ecclesiasticks in France are comp•…ted as I said, at 300000, who being all of 'em Unmar∣ried they render 300000 other Adult Persons which Nature had designed 'em for Wives or Husbands useless for Propagation. If the rest of the Nation, should do thus, it would be entirely extinguished in 50 or 60 years. It is observed from the Registers of Births an•…〈◊〉〈◊〉 King∣doms, that there is near the matter equal pro∣portion betwixt the Birth and Death of both Sexes; which is a proof that they are born one for another. Now if according to the obser∣vation of 〈◊〉, 600000 persons, double in 〈◊〉 years time, and produce 1200000, these 1200000 in 800 years time ought to be Nine Millio•…s according to the ordinary pro∣gress of Generation. But because the number of Ecclesiasticks was not ne•…r so great at that time as at present, fo•…•…e nearer we approach to the dregs of Time, the more that Vermin multiplies; especially since the Reformation, Page  24 by which the Empire of Antichrist was shaken, and he endeavours to support it by an extraor∣dinary multitude of Guards and Pensioners, who are in the same Interest with himself; and moreover because France was nothing near so well Peopled in those days, as it hath been since, we shall content our selves with a fourth part of those Nine Millions which we sup∣pos'd might have been born in 800 years time, if the Popish Clergy had Married. Let's see then to how much that loss might have amoun∣ted per annum, according to the valuation which we might have made of the People of France 30 years ago.

I have made it plain elsewhere, that without People a Country is worth nothing, and that about 30 years ago, the people of France might have been valued at 1500 Livres a piece one with another, so that the loss of Two Millions and 250000 souls, which is the fourth part of the Nine Millions above-mentioned, that might have been born in 800 years time of the Ro∣mish Clergy, had they been Married, amounts to 3350 Millions, which being divided by 800, is above Four Millions loss each year, and this is so much the more palpable, that those Two Millions and a Half of people, being added to those that were already in the King∣dom, would have increased in Value, and have augmented the Value of the Kingdom, and of all the People; for the better Peopled a Country is, the more Valuable it is, as is also every individual in the Kingdom, so that Page  25 this occasions an annual loss of Four Millions at least, one year with another.

Article V. The Popish Clergy possesses one half of the Estates Real and Personal in the King∣dom of France, which half about 30 years ago, we have computed elsewhere at 200 Millions per annum; then it is to be noted that those Estates are in Mainmort, that is to say, lye dead, because they can neither engage nor alie∣•…ate 'em, nor imploy them in Trade, so that they are less advantagious to the Country than if they were in the hands of Men fit for Com∣merce, Handicrafts▪ Husbandry or Manu∣factures, or that those Estates pass'd by Inhe∣ritance from Father to Son, so that by neces∣sary consequence, their being in the hands of the Clergy, is very much against the Good of the Kingdom. Hence also it follows, that the Ecclesiasticks may well increase their own Riches at the Expense of the People, whose Estates they are able to acquire, whereas the People can never make any advantage of them. They are moreover as so many Usurers, and make profit from the Industry and Labour of the People, by lending them Money at a great Interest, which is very pernicious to a State. They are in this respect abundantly worse than the Iews, who ordinarily are very Covetous, spend little, and are great Usurers, nor are there any Land-Estates to be purchas'd from them, because they ordinarily have none. Yet they are abundantly more profitable to a State than the Popish Clergy, because divers Page  26 of 'em Traffick by Sea, imploy Vessels, Mar∣riners and other People of business, and do moreover maintain and breed up Families.

For our better understanding how prejudi∣cial it is to a State to have a great part of their Fund or Stock in Mainmort, we must consi∣der, that if all the Riches of a State w•…re so, it could not subsist, as the World is managed at present. Trade, Arts, Ma•…factures, Scien∣ces and Industry, &c. must necessarily f•…ll, all hope of advancing ones self, or of acquiring Estates by Labour and Industry, or of distin∣guishing our selves from others would evanish, all people would by this means be alike Wealthy, there would be neither Poor nor Rich, Knowing nor Ignorant; there could be no subordination in any thing, and all should be in confusion. Such a Nation would be un∣capable of making War, or defending it self: for a Neighbouring Nation whose Funds should not be in Mainmort, must immediately be∣come Master of that Nation that were so, for by dividing their Funds amongst their Sol∣diers, they would encourage all their Soldiers to take Arms against the other Nation, and to dispoil them of all. For suppose those two Nations are equal in number of Men, and ex∣tent of Dominions, That Nation whose Wealth is not in Mainmort, and has more poor people than Rich, according to the usual course of the World, might make an Effort twenty times greater than the other, seeing their stock is ordinarily of 20 times more value than their Revenue at the 20th Penny. So that one very Page  27 inconsiderable Nation might by this Method, easily Conquer the whole World, if the Wealth of all other Nations besides it self were in Mainmort, for as soon as ever they should have subdued another, they would dispose of their Stock in favour of their Soldiers, and of all others that should follow their Party.

If that should take place, there would be no such thing as getting of Riches, nor would there be any need of Money, but people would only Barter one Commodity against another with their Neighbours for a few days, and in very small quantities, for the use only of a few persons. Credit must either be totally abolish'd, or extend only to a small part of each ones Revenue, and only for a few Days or Weeks, and there would likewise be a ne∣cessity of assurance, that he who borrowed was not already indebted to another in some part of his Revenue. Who then would take upon him the trouble of administring Justice, if there were no Estate to be acquir'd by his La∣bour? Or who is it would be Physician or Divine, or serve the Publick in any Station for nothing?

Suppose that in such a Country I have an Estate in Land, which I cannot Engage, and I have a desire to take up my abode in a Neigh∣bouring Nation, where their Estates are not so dispos'd in Mainmort, and that I have occa∣sion for Two, Ten, or 20000 l. in Money, for something that may be Advantagious to the State, or my own Family, as carrying on a Trade, opening Shop, &c. Who will lend Page  28 me that Money, if I can•…ot Mortgage my Estate? Or suppose I have Money to Lend, to whom shall I Lend it? Where are my Sureties, seeing no person can alienate his Estate? Whereas when a Man may Mortgage his Estate for ready Money, all those Funds enter into Commerce, every Industrious and Diligent Person imploys himself in hopes that sometime or other he may get some share of it, and thus all is in Motion, and Circulates as it ought to do in a Body Politick, without which it should not be able to make use of its Members, but labour under a Civil or Po∣litical Palsie. The Soldier hopes to purchase some Estate one time or other; Men of Ingenui∣ty and Parts, if Poor, entertain the like hopes, and therefore set themselves to Business; •… good Mechanick or Mariner does the like, and so the rest, for which there would be no room, if Estates were inalienable; for in this case Pro∣digality, Liberality, Covetousness, Industry or Idleness, could neither profit or hurt us; if there were no Riches, and by Consequence no Honours to be acquir'd amongst men.

Hence then it is clear, that the Kingdom of France is depriv'd of the use of one half of its Members, because one half of its Substance is in Mainmort, for the more of a Countries Wealth that there is so, the less they have of Activity, Motion, Commerce or Credit one among another, or with Strangers. Hence it comes to pass, that Popish Countries, who have a great part of their Wealth in Mainmort, cannot drive any considerable Trade, ev'n tho' Page  29 their mischievous Religion should not have un∣peopled them, as it in•…allibly does, unless they have abundance more of ready circulating Mo∣ney than other Nations, which have more Credit and Hopes for Trade, because they have more Funds proper to be engaged in the same. Tho' there be some Popish Countries in Italy, that have still a considerable Trade, as Genoa, Ve∣nice and Leghorn: This is occasioned partly b•…∣cause the Clerg•… is not so Numerous and Rich there, and partly that private persons are for∣bid the putting out of Money to Use, and that for the most part in times of Peace, Interest of Money does not exceed 3 per Cent in those places, which obliges the people to be frugal, and to improve their Money in a way of Trade, without which Popery would reduce them low enough in a little time. And yet notwith∣standing •…his, if all Protestant Nations would fix the Interest of Money among themselves at the same rate, they should quickly Engross all the Commerce into their hands, and in a little time those Popish people would come to nothing, for naturally Popery is good for no∣thing else but to ruin Kingdoms, and to render the Pope and the Ecclesiasticks Masters of all.

The Banks and Lombards in those Towns of Italy are also very useful to them, but after all, these are but two or three Cities in that Coun∣try, which is no great matter, and which with all those helps would be much less conside∣rable, if it were not that they have extended their Dominion in a manner over all the rest of Italy, of whose Land Estates they possess a Page  30 great part by the purchases they have made, whereas on the other hand Fr•…nce and England are generally fitter for Trade, and without doubt the Italians would be four times more proper for it than they are, and their Country abundantly better peopled, were it not for their Religion, and Italy by remaining Papist, would be much more unpeopled than 'tis, were it not the Seat of the Papacy, but it is in some manner compensated for its losses by the Popish Religion, with the Booty which the Court of Rome draws thither from all other Nations, as those who live in the Neighbour∣hood of Algier are advantaged by the Robbe∣ries of that Nest of Pyrats.

It must be considered that in a great State or Country, let it be what it will, and let them drive what Trade they please, except it be in the Provinces of Holland and Zealand, the Real Estates are abundantly more valuable for the Capital Fund than Personal Estates, tho' the latter do very near afford as much Re∣venue. But if all those Real Estates were in Mainmort, and could not be alienated, the Personal Estate would be abundantly more valuable, because any Man who is possessed of such. might therewith purchase an Estate in a Neighbouring Country which should not be in Mainmort, and whereof he might dispose at pleasure.

It is also certain, that how much Land. Estate soever any person may have, if his Estate were in Mainmort, he could not be said to be worth so much as the real value of his Land, Page  31 because a Man cannot be accounted rich, but in proportion to that Estate which he has power to dispose of. It's true, that in a plentiful year, he should be able to maintain abundance of people, but then all of them would run the risk of being starved in a year of dearth and scarcity, because not being able to alienate his Estate, he should not have credit to buy Pro∣visions; and besides, those people that serve him must needs be slaves, for none else would serve him, but in hopes to gain something; and what is it they could gain, when there is no Stock to be acquir'd, nor no Money, and if there were, it would be of no use to them.

Some may perhaps imagine, that if there were great Publick Store-houses of Metals. Cloaths, Linnen, Hides, and such things which might be alienated, and purchas'd by Industry, either in whole or in part, that they might serve instead of real Estates, as to that matter. But it is easily perceived, that this could satisfie none at best, but the poorer sort, who live from Hand to Mouth, and not aspiring persons, or those of a refin'd Spirit. Moreover, except it were Steel and Iron, which are indis∣pensably necessary for the use of Life, Gold, Silver and other Metals, would be of little worth; for there being no Commerce, Money would be out of use, for that very reason: And as for those other Commodities above-mentio∣ned, viz. Linnen, Hides, Cloath, &c. they are so very apt to spoil, that they could not be kept any long time; and besides with what should they be exchang'd, there being little or Page  32 no Money, because it would not be necessary, there being no Trade nor Estate to be alienated.

Further, if all those Real Estates were in Mainmort, and unalienable, there would be no room for Industry, and by Consequence not the 10th part of the Personal Estates, that there are at present. For, as I have already said, Money would be useless, Navigation, Ships, Merchandize, and all Moveables, super∣fluous; all Arts would decay; no Man would work but for his own use, and that of his Fa∣mily and pressing occasions; Persons of Dig∣nity and Honour, if there were any such, could not make any Figure or Pomp, to distinguish them from others; and in a word, the whole face of the Universe would be chang'd, or rather turn'd upside down.

Of all Riches, those which are most gene∣rally desir'd, and without which there could be no other, are Real Estates, to wit, Lands and Houses, because they are most profitable, du∣rable and visible, and cannot be stoln; and besides, they occasion their Possessors to be most taken notice of in the World. These are things which cannot be wanted, whereas we may well enough be without most of the other things, and it's the natural and general desire of all Mankind▪ to attain to such Estates, which cause t•…e subsistance of Society, Arts, Sciences, and Commerce. If it be objected that in our time, there are abundance that love Money better, and prefer it to real Estates: I Answer, That it's because they know that therewith they can purchase Houses and Lands, Page  33 when they have a mind to them. But if they had never so much Money in a Country, where such Estates could not be alienated, they would find themselves very uneasie, and be perfect Beggars, for where there's no Commerce, they would not know what to do with their Money, nor would they any way be taken Notice of.

According to the present Posture of Affairs, a Man may Buy or Farm an House and Land for his Money, without being oblig'd to any Body, because such things are always to be had, ei∣ther for a longer or shorter time, and that there is a flourishing Trade amongst Men, for which there could be no place, if all those Estates were in Mainmort.

At present we may reckon Kingdoms and States, as to the Capital Stock, and as to the Revenue of this Stock, we may reckon all the real and personal Estates of a People, and of every particular Person apart; We can now fix the Value of an entire Nation, at a certain rate, but all these would be worth no∣thing, if Real Estates were in Mainmort▪ be∣cause there could be neither Industry, Com∣merce, Revenue, nor Money, &c.

As for Example, I have valued elsewhere, the Revenues of all the Estates, Real and Per∣sonal, of France, and the Fruits of the Peoples Industry altogether at 1000 Millions of Livres per Annum; and the whole Stock therein, com∣prehending the people at 20000 Millions, at 20 years purchase; And likewise in England, I have valued the same Stock and product at Page  34 550 Millions of Livres per Annum, and the whole Stock therein, comprehending the peo∣ple at 11000 Millions, at 20 years purchase. But if all those Estates were in Mainmort, they would not be worth the 10th, nay, the 20th part so much, nor indeed worth any thing, but the present enjoyment of the people, who would be very few in number, as I have already said, and like so many Savages, having neither Commerce, Arts, Manufactures, Sciences nor Money, as has been often said; for no Man would work but for himself and his Family, and that too but from hand to mouth. These and many more are the Inconveniencies, that would follow upon having all Estates in Mainmort.

Lands and Houses are in a State, when they can pass from one hand to another, like Bills of Assurance or good Security, which are worth as much or more than Gold and Silver, when those things can pass by way of Com∣merce, there's less need of Gold and Silver, and other personal Effects; and if this were not so, there would be an immediate Obstru∣ction of Commerce, and the State must fall into a Consumption. Herein it is that the want of Publick Registers in England, is very prejudicial to the Trade of the Nation, be∣cause for want of this, those who would Traf∣fick with diverse persons that have Estates, which might be purchased, dare not venture •…pon it, for fear that those Estates are already engaged to others, which for a time, has the same effect to those particular persons, as if their Page  35 Estates were in Mainmort; so that the Publick and the Proprietors lose abundantly by this means, besides the numerous Suits, which are thereby occasioned; so that 'tis neither easie to sell them, nor to borrow Money upon them. And hence it is observed, that in the Town of Taunton, where there are Publick Registers for Lands and Houses thereon depending, and for such Estates as are Morgag'd or not Morgag'd, that that Town is in a flourishing Condition, for that very Reason.

But tho' the want of Publick Registers be a very great disorder in England, yet it comes far short of that which is occasioned by Estates being in Mainmort in Popish Countries. For in the first place, this may be remedied when the Nation pleases, whereas in Popish Coun∣tries the Pope and the Clergy, who tyrannize there, and make their own advantage of those disorders, would rather over-turn a Country, than suf•…er any Reformation, as to that Head, unless Princes of great Power and Authority, such as the present King of France, undertakes it. In the next place, those dubious Funds in England, are not perhaps the 20th part of those in the Kingdom, neither are they constantly left out of Commerce, as are those of the Po∣pish Ecclesiasticks. And last of all, it's well known, that this is no effect of the Protestant Religion, as the disorder whereof we now speak, is certainly an effect of the Romish Re∣ligion in France.

But some perhaps may say, that Entails are allowed in all Countries, which hinders those Page  36 that enjoy such Estates from alienating them; so that they cannot enter into Commerce, so long as the Entail lasts, and that by the same reason the Popish Clergy, may also enjoy E∣states that are inalienable without any great inconvenience.

I Answer, That those Entails don't take place, but where Men can't do better, that it is an inconvenience and not an indifferent thing; but besides it is not usual for the Entail to be perpetual, only for a little time, for assoon as the Children, in whose favour it is made, become Masters of the Estate, it returns again into the Publick Commerce, and may be Morgag'd and Alienated, and pass from one hand to another, either in whole or in part. 2. There is not perhaps the 200th part of any Country so en∣tail'd all at once, and there's no reason to doubt, but in a well-govern'd State, where the Governours have sufficient Authority, they would find a Remedy for those Entails, if there were too many of them, and that they would find out some other Method for ensur∣ing the Estate to Infants or Heirs, without ha∣ving the Estate cut off from the publick Com∣merce. 3. But besides that this is not so common; it must be agreed, that there's much more reason to have regard to poor innocent Children, whom a Father that's an ill Hus∣band, might ruine, and who may one time or other be very useful to the Publick, who are moreover recommendable for the sake of their Grandfathers, Grandmothers, or other An∣cestors, whose Memory is dear to the Publick. Page  37 I say there's more regard to be had to those Infants, to whom that Estate ought Naturally and Lawfully to be transmitted by Hereditary Right, than to Ecclesiasticks who have no Natural nor Acquir'd Right to those Estates; and who are besides unprofitable, for the most part, to a State, scandalous Persons▪ and i•… whose hands, and those of their Successours, the half or more of the Wealth of a Nation, is always to remain cut off from Publick Com∣merce.

But perhaps some Opinionative Persons may say, that to carry on the Trade of a Nation, 'tis enough that the half of the Wealth of a Country is not in Mainmort, which is just as much as if he should say, that it is as good to have half the Body Paralitick, and depriv'd of the use of half of its Members, as not to be so at all, because they still live in that con∣dition. But who is it that does not per∣ceive that it is a distemper'd and a languish∣ing condition, and that in such a case, a Man cannot do half the business that he might do, if he were in perfect health.

It cannot be reasonably denied, that the more vigorous a Body is, the better it does work; so that the more Credit there is in a Nation, the more all its effects are in Motion; the more Arts, Industry, Agriculture and Commerce flourish there, and the Country becomes Populous in proportion. What a mighty disorder then does it occasion that all those Monks and Priests (who are the Subjects of a Foreign Prince, seeing they Page  38 have taken the Oaths to him, and who is moreover of necessity the Hereditary Ene∣my of the State) should be thus with all their Wealth, sequestred from the State, in respect of all those things, wherein they might be useful to it, viz. in regard of Im∣posts, and the Charges of the State, and Trade; as also in regard of Propagation, and Obedience to their Sovereign, as other Sub∣jects; that they, I say, should be no other∣wise united to a State, but so as to ruine it, and enrich themselves by its Spoils.

Let us suppose the Estates that are in Mainmort among the Ecclesiasticks, posses∣sed by Merchants or Tradesmen, the Com∣merce would have been much greater in FRANCE, and by Consequence the Kingdom should have been more rich and potent.

Let us suppose, that they had been in the hands of the Generals of Armies, Collonels, and other Military Officers, who like the Turkish Timariots should entertain upon those Estates so many thousands of Married Men as might Cultivate them. What an incredible ease would that give to the poor people, who should thereby be reliev'd from the Burden of Maintaining so many Troops; what increases of People, and w•…at Riches would not that produce? Or let us suppose, that those Estates were in possession of people of Quality, or others who either had serv'd, or might serve the King in his Camp, tho' not in the manner of Timariots, they would spend those Estates Page  39 in the service of the King, by doing him Ho∣nour at Court, or Generously in fine Buildings, Sculptures, Paintings, Gravings, or other Mag∣nificent Curiosities and Ornaments, which would Embellish and Set off the Provinces and Towns, make Arts to flourish, imploy a vast number of people, and cause Money to circu∣late incessantly from one hand to another. Or suppose they were possess'd by Laicks of all ranks indifferently, as the other half of the Estates of the Kingdom are at present, and that as to other things the Government should remain on the same footing as it is at present, (which however is not much to be desired:) The King in that case should mightily increase his Revenue; the Officers of Justice, of the Police or Discipline of Cities, and those of the Treasury, as also those of the Imposts, and all their Train, would get twice as much Riches as they do, except their number should be Augmented in proportion: In which case the King would be enrich'd by the sale of great number of Places. It's true, the people should always continue miserable if they were as much Tax'd in proportion, but the King's Re∣venues would be doubled.

Nay the very name of Mainmort imports, that those Estates in such hands are unprofi∣table to the Society.

I have enlarg'd a little upon this Article, be∣yond what I intended, because it is of the highest concern in Politicks, and that I have met with several Men of Parts, who did not Page  40•…ightly apprehend the Mischief of having so much wealth in Mainmort.

Article VI. relates to the great Quantity of Plate which they have in their Churches and Convents, and in those places they call their Treasuries, as St. Denis near Paris, Notre Dame de Liesse, and des Ardillieres, and other places of that nature. This one Superstitious and Foolish Custom, must needs have robb'd the Publick Commerce of divers Millions, at such time as the Clergy had amass'd a great quanti•…y of it as before this War, which was the true cause that a great part of it was melt∣ed down by the King's Order. Suppose that in the whole it had not exceeded 20 Millions, that would have at least amounted to several Millions amongst the people per Annum. How∣ever I will not take upon me to determine how far this loss extended, because I dont know what quantity of Plate they had, for the Popish Clergy never tell the truth in these cases, and very seldom in any others.

Article VII. Relates to the constant pra∣ctice of their Clergy in hoarding up Money, which is of more importance than the pre∣ceding Article, for seeing many of them possesses great Revenues, and are neither allow∣ed to Trade nor to Marry, and by consequence have no lawful Off-spring, they do ordinarily betake themselves to the amassing of vast sums of Money, under the pretext of providing for their Nephews and Neeces as the Popes do, Page  41 and they don't provide for them neither, for the most part, till after their death, which is doubly prejudicial to Commerce. It hath moreover been the constant Observation of such persons that they are very Covetous and don't love to give Alms to the Poor, altho' they be thereunto obliged by the intention of their Founders; so that taking of their Ava∣rice for granted, which is in•…eparably annex'd and natural to that sort of people, together with their sordid Principles of Parsimony, at least in all their Communities, where they spend little in comparison of their vast Incomes, tho' at the same time they eat and drink a great deal; These things, I say, being taken for granted, as they are certainly true, there's ground to believe, that all their Clergy toge∣ther, Secular and Regular of both Sexes, might have constantly, before this War, at least 50 Millions of useless Money to the Publick, in their Coffers, or the hands of the Publick Notaries. Whence 'tis easie •…o perceive, that the Publick lost considerably by this Money, which in Commerce, would have brought abundance of profit to the Kingdom, helped to pay Taxes, imployed abundance of peo∣ple, and contributed to Propagation.

This Article must certainly amount to sev•…∣ral Millions; I will not determine how many, but without doubt this, and the preceding Article, are to be reckoned at 8 or 10 Millions loss per Annum at least.

Page  42Article VIII. relates to the Ridiculous Fe∣stivals that they observe; wherein the poor Idolatrous People lose their time, besides the Debaucheries which this abuse occasions indis∣pensibly in Popish Countries, which together can't be reckoned at less than •…50 Millions of Livr•…s loss per An. For supposing that the Indu∣stry of the Nation might have been formerly valued at above 600 Millions per Annum, as I have made it appear elsewhere, if it were not for the abuses of Popery, whereof this is one of the most prejudicial: Supposing, I say, there are above 50 working days lost in a Year, by Festivals in general, without reckoning Sundays and some remarkable Festivals, that would be the 6th part of the peoples Industry lost, which amounts to 100 Millions per Annum. We must also take notice, that besides those general Fe∣stivals and Holy days, there are many particu∣lar Festivals, viz. those of every Parish, who have their particular Saint, whose Image they adore according to the Doctrine of their Coun∣cils, the Festivals of Saints for every Profes∣sion, Trade and Distemper, when they practise the like, the Festivals of Beasts or Saints that are Patrons of Beasts; so that there's much above the 6th part of the peoples time lost. I confess that the time of those Holy-days, is not absolutely lost, for then they mind House∣keeping, dress Victuals, and take care of their Cattle on Sunday, &c. and some other profi∣table things are done, as Travelling by Land and Sea, and Mariners are imployed on those Page  43 days as well as others; which to observe by the by, is still a great advantage, that Prote∣stants and Trading Nations have above others, who have not so much Trade by Sea. But then if we consider that those Holy days debauch the People, teach them bad Habits of Idleness, Drunkenness and Immodesty, which hinders them from working on other days, ruins their Families▪ occasions abundance of Disorders, Quarrels, Diseases, Fires, and the Death of many People; one may easily perceive, that the Dammage occasion'd by these Festivals, amounts to above 100 Millions per An. and in effect, as Men do generally •…e those days, they look more like as if they were consecrated to the Devil than to God. Master•… suffer ve•…y much by this Libertinism of their Servants and Apprentices; and the poor Wives at home are grieved, to consider that their Husbands are at the Publick Houses, where they spend all that they had gained in several days, and will come home drunk, and perhaps beat them into the bargain.

If it be pretended, that Men work the bet∣ter, and are the more vigorous the days after the Festival, because they have had some rest; that may be true, as to some of the honest people, but as for the greatest part, it hath a contrary effect; their Idlenefs and Debauchery makes them lose those days and many others, and if all of them don't debauch themselves on those days, they spend them at least in Races and unprofitable Walks, which fatigues them more than their ordinary Work, and to tho•…e Page  44 who are of a regular▪ Temper, those Holy∣days are perfectly irksom. God who is wiser than Man, hath appointed but one day in seven as a day of Rest; not that I would reproach those Christian Nations, who have but a small number of Holy-days, that I think tollerable, provided there be no excess in their number, as there is an horrible excess in the Popish Church. I am really of opinion, that the dis∣orders above-mentioned, which are the result of, or inseparably annex'd to those Festivals, do almost as much mischief as the Holy-days themselves, and experience shews us daily, that there's more Insolence and Disorder committed on one Holy-day than on three others, and that by an ill habit they contract on those days; they do likewise break out in profanity on the Lords day; and most Masters of Shops in Towns, complain that they cannot find Journey-men to work the day after Holy-days, nay, nor on Mondays, because of the Sunday preceding, the Rabble usually disordering themselves so much on those Holy-days, that they cannot work the day after. I take no notice here of the Disorders and Debaucheries that are com∣mitted at their Midnight-Masses.

To this I may joyn their loss of time in their Scandalous Pilgrimages, it being known that sometimes they go as far as Rome, and Loretto, and St. James de Compostella in Spain, &c. and now and then as far as Jerusalem. Besides, they lose abundance of time in Shrieving or Confessing themselves, and at their Anniversary Days, Ash-wednesday, &c. and by carrying Page  45 their pretended Sacrament or God about e•…ery day, by 4 persons at a time, besides the Priest who holds it in his hands; and this is perhaps in 50 places at once in some great Cities. They lose also abundance of time in their daily Masses, which are said without any shadow of neces∣sity, but meerly to subsist the Popes Troops in the Country at the charge of the people. They have moreover their private Masses for the cure of their Cattle, at which every one who is interested is obliged to assist. They lose abundance of time at all those Follies, of which I might make an Article apart, as also their Ambarvalia and Rogation Weeks (which they have borrowed from the Pagans, as they have done most of the rest of their Religion) by which they think to procure Rain, or di∣vert boisterous Seasons, when they threaten their Corn. And this loss of time is so much the more ruinous to France, that there are abundance of more people in it unfit for work proportionably, than in England, viz. Lawyers and other Civil Officers, Clergy-men, & c.

Article XI. relates to the Summ▪ which the Pope draws from France every year, under dif∣ferent denominations as Annates, Bulls, Dispen∣sations, Indulgences, Relicks, Provisions, Agnus Dei, and Consecrated Grains, all sorts of Expe∣dition, Consecrations of Prelates, Dedications of Churches, Jubilès now and then, both at France and at Rome, &c. which is so much the more ridiculous for France to endure, that the Nati∣on since many Ages, has not had greater Ene∣mies Page  46 than the Popes, and yet the Money drain'd out of the Kingdom by this means, amounts to diverse Millions Annually. Mr. dè Sully Surintendant of the Finances, under Hen∣ry the IV. having well examin'd the matter, found that in that time the Pope got every year one with another, above 4 Millions of Livres from France; and since that time it has doubled at least; suppose it were but 6 Millions of Livres per Annum, 'tis 120 Millions in 20 years time.

Article X. is concerning the great Summs which the Cardinals Protectors of France, and divers other Romish Prelates, who are Pen∣sioners of France, besides the Knights of Mal∣tha, &c. draw yearly out of the Kingdom by Benefices which they possess in it. This amounts also to several Millions yearly.

Article XI. relates to the Tapers, Wax∣candles, and Oil that is spent in their foolish Superstitions, as burning them before Images, Statues, Hosties, and at Funerals, &c. which did formerly cost the Kingdom of France, per∣haps 8 or 10 Millions per Annum, the greatest part of the Wax being imported from other Countries, and for that which is the product of France, it must be also reckoned, because it is as unprofitably spent, as if they should take the Wine and Brandy, which is their pro∣d•…ct too, and that they sell to Strangers, and pour it out upon the Ground. I don't reckon here the Incense which they burn to little pur∣pose, Page  47 because that is no great matter, and is grateful to the smell; neither do I take notice of the Ornaments and Raiment of their Sta∣tues, Images, and other Idols, because they last long, nor of their Mysterious Vestments, adorn'd with fine Lace, of Linnen, Silver or Gold, or Gold-Fringes or Imbroidery, with which their Priests are deck'd, when they per∣form what they call Divine Service. Nor do I take notice of the great Quantity of Wine, which is spent in their multitude of Masses daily, because it nourishes those that drink it; nor yet of their Wafers or Consecrated Hosties, that they keep, tho' it be so much flower lost: So that I content my self here, only to reckon the loss of their Tapers and Oil, which I do ve∣rily believe, including their loss of time, in making or lighting their Candles, and cleaning and lighting their Lamps amounted to 8 or 10 Millions per Annum.

The Expence of the Wax is more percepti∣ble to abundance of people than that of their Oil, and especially to Protestants who don't go often into the Popish Churches, because they have seen 1000 times in the Streets and at the Gates of the Churches, prodigious Quantities of great long Tapers, Flambeaus and Torches, burning all at once, whereas they don't so much see the Consumption of the Oil. But on the contrary, the Papists will Judge that the Expence of the Oil is much greater, because they see in many Churches, 10, 15, or 20 Lamps burning all at once, night and day, and in truth I am of opinion, that the expence of the Oil Page  48 is the greater. To convince any Man that it was great, let's suppose there were only 200000 Lamps burning continually in the Churches, Monasteries, Convents and Chappels of the Kingdom, before their pretended Sacrament, their Images and Statues in the middle of the Churches to enlighten the Night, whether they be fed with Oil of Oli•…e, Oil of Rape or other Fat; yet it's known that for the most part they spend the best Oil, which in many places is brought a great way by Land, is very dear; and oftentimes the principal Trade of the Grocers, and Wax-Chandlers in Cities, is to furnish Oil and Wax for the Churches, Funerals and Processions.

I am of the mind, that the least we can reckon for every Lamp in 24 hours is 2 d. which at the rate of 200000 Lamps, amounts to 20000 Livres per day, which is almost 7 Millions per Annum for Oil alone. There are many Lamps which spend above 6 d. per day in Oil where it is dear, or the Lamps great, and have a large wick and cast a great light. It is to be considered, that there are 27000 Parishes in the Kingdom, besides what is in the new Conquests; and that there are few Churches, nay, even in the Country, but what have two Lamps; and that in Cities there are Churches that have 10, 15, 20 or above, continually burning, be∣sides what are in Monasteries, Convents and Chappels both in Town and Country. There are many places in France, as well as in Spain, Portugal, Italy and other Countries where those that light the Lamps in the Churches maintain Page  49 their Families perfectly, by robbing the Lamps of their Oil, and giving out that it is drunk by Night-Owls.

As to the Wax, after having considered it well, I believe that formerly it amounted to no less •…han 3 Millions of Livres per Annum; which would in whole amount to 10 Millions; but this I submit to the Judgment of such who are more throughly acquainted with those things than I; but if it should not amount to above 5 Millions, it is still a considerable loss to the Kingdom.

Article XII. concerns their Lent, Ember-weeks, and other Fast-days, as they call them, viz. the Fryday and Saturday of every Week, with the Orders of Monks and Nuns, who are never allowed to eat Flesh, Eggs nor Butter. All those things occasion abundance of Mischiefs, which I shall here present to view, that we may be better able to Judge of the great preju∣dice done to the State by this one Head, which is of the greatest consequence.

1. By this means, great Summs of Money are exported out of the Kingdom for dry a•…d fresh Cod▪ Stock-fish, White and Red-hering. Salmon, Pilchards, Sardines, &c. It's certain▪ that formerly there were several Millions, above 6 at least, went out of the Kingdom every year for Fish. It it be said, that the French for a considerable time, have Fish'd Cod enough in New-•…ound-Land. It is how∣ever certain, that 'tis not many years since they bought that sor•… of Fish from Foreigners, and Page  50 as for the other sorts of Salt-fish, they buy them almost wholly still from Foreigners and Protestants.

2. These Superstitions prevent the breeding of many Cattel of all sorts, and likewise of Fowl in the Kingdom, as there would be otherwise, because for almost one half of the year they dare not eat any Flesh, which by ne∣cessary consequence diminishes the Revenues of Land.

3. For this very reason of the want of Flesh▪ it is impossible that a Country can maintain and breed up so many people, because next to Bread, there's nothing does so much Nourish a Man as Flesh, nor any thing that renders him so proper for Labour and Generation. They must not pretend to tell me, that that Land which is fi•… for Feeding Cattle, is fit for other things, and that what they lose on the on•… hand, they gain it on the other, for 'tis very well known, that there are many Grounds proper for Cattle, Pasturage, and Hay, that are fit for nothing else; and on the other hand, sup∣pose that those Grounds were equally fit for Corn, Wine or Wood, as for breeding of Cattle, 'tis known that the profit of Cattle is the greatest. I have known several Quar∣ters of France that abounded with Meadows along the Rivers, where a Load of Hay weigh∣ing 2000l. weight, and drawn by six great Oxen, and sometimes two or three Horses join'd to them besides, was not worth above three Livres, and sometimes not above Page  51 two and an half, which would not have been so, but for their Lent and other Fast-days▪

4. It is known that the profit of Cattel comes with less Expence and Labour, for the Cattel go of themselves to the places where one would have them, and so save Carriage.

5. It is also known that Cattle when they feed, are at Work for their Owner, without any need of his being present with them, so that he may apply himself to some other thing.

6. A little Meat with B•…ead, nourishes bet∣ter than three times as much B•…ead alone.

7. Cattel give rise to abundance of impor∣tant Manufactures, that imploy and afford Subsistance to great numbers of people, such as Wools, Hides, Horns, Suet, Butter, Cheese, &c.

8. This want of Cattel makes Meat dear to those imployed in Manufactures, and other Handicrafts, as also to Merchants whom i•… costs a great deal dearer to Victual their Ships.

9 It likewise occasions the dearness of Candle, Butter, Cheese, Hides, and Wool, &c. in a Country, which is an hindrance to Mecha∣nicks, Trade, and Propagation, and makes other Provisions dearer in general than in those Countries where that Superstition is un∣known. It particularly occasions the dearness of Bread, because the people for want of Flesh-meat are obliged to eat abundance of Bread. This want of Cattel occasions also the laying out of great sums in Foreign Rice, Page  52 Hide•…, Suet, Butter, Cheese, and Fat or Grease for Coaches, and other Carriages.

10. Those Extravagant Superstitions are the cause of Maladies and Distempers, Languish∣ings, and of the death of an infinite number of poor people, and of Infirm, Aged, and Scrupulous persons▪ to whom Meat would be more proper than any thing else, and yet they cannot have that Relief, because •…hey either cannot or will not give it them, or that they dare not eat it, because of the Scruples that the Idolatrous Priests have form'd in their Minds, so that they suffer extreamly during that time, and abundance more people die in that season than in others. This Superstitious Lent falls likewise precisely out at a time when the Husbandman, and other Country people labour very hard, about digging their Vines, Dunging their Ground, Sowing their March Corn, and Manuring their Gardens; so that the Peasants are in much the worse condition to work, that they are ill fed, not being allowed to eat Flesh-meat, and their Garden Stuff being many times spoil'd by the hard Frosts in the Winter.

11. Besides this the Lent falls just at the end of Winter, when the Poor, Sickly and An∣cient people have suffered more than they do ordinarily at other Seasons, and instead of re∣covering strength as they would, or might do, were they allowed to eat such good Meat as the Season affords, as fresh Eggs, Lamb, Veal, Kids, Pigs, &c. instead of that, the Lent com∣pleats their ruin and kills them.

Page  5312. Lent, and their other pretended Fast∣days, and their Monks and Nuns that never eat Flesh, destroy all the Fish in the Rivers, without a possibility of being stock'd again, nay they hinder those of the very Ponds from coming to maturity or a competent growth.

13. It occasions abundance of people to lose their time by Fishing i•… those Rivers, without almost catching any thing, because they wil•… have Fish, and can have no other but such.

14. Lent occasions the loss of the Advan∣tage and Income of Eggs▪ which are good a•… that time, and they don't know what use to put them too, and after Lent they are either too Old or of no Value.

15. It's a shame to humane nature, to see those Excesses which the poor Idolatrous Pa∣pists are guilty of, during the time of the Car∣naval, when they conceive they have a privi∣ledge to dishonour, violate, and degrade their nature, by all sorts of Infamy, Excess and Disorders, and by their Masquerades and changing the habit of their Sex, to make themselves amends for being condemned by their Priests to eat no Flesh during Lent, and when that is over, they believe themselves authoriz'd again to commit the like Riots at Easter, which is so much the more dangerous to the health of many people, that they •…ed slenderly before, in hopes of being sooner de∣livered from the Fire of Purgatory after their Death.

16. Lent and other Fast-days which the Priests command them to observe on pain of Page  54 Eternal Damnation, makes them disrelish and loath all Sea and Shell-fish, and are the cause that there are fewer Mariners and Fishers than otherwise there would be, because people do without Comparison eat abundance less of Sea∣fish than otherwise they would do, and by this means the Kingdom loses a great advantage, and an inestimable Revenue, which Nature presents to them without Trouble and Charge.

17. The Country people throughout the whole Kingdom lose abundance in the time of Lent, of what they might reap from their Calves, Lambs, Kids, Pigs, and other young Animals that are bred during that time, and have for the most part need of the Milk of their Dams; for either the Peasants must dis∣pense with the want of that Milk which does highly incommode them, or else they must throw part of those Creatures to the Dogs. They lose also by their Poultry, which they can neither Eat nor Sell, and yet must keep them, tho' many times they have not Corn to feed 'em.

18. The Country People do many times lose part of their great and small Cattel by the Lent, for if the Winter be long, and the Spring backward, and they have not gathered together abundance of Forage the year fore∣going, their Cattel die of Hunger, which would not be if they were either allowed to Sell them to the Butcher, or to Eat them themselves.

Page  5519. The Peasant not daring to eat neither Flesh nor Eggs, because they are forbid to eat them under the Notion of a great Sin, and ha∣ving no Fish to eat, because it is scarce and dear, nor Roots, nor Herbs, because the Winter has destroy'd them, they are oblig'd to main∣tain themselves by the Milk of their Cows, which occasions their Calves bei•…g starv'd, and is partly the cau•…e why the Cattel are so Poor in France, and this occasions an incre∣dible prejudice to the Kingdom.

20. There's more counterfeit Devotion at that time than at others, which exhausts the Purses, and wastes the time of those poor Ig∣norant people. I say nothing of those Mon∣strous Opinions unworthy of God and Man, which these base and foolish Superstitions do nourish and maintain, as if it were more plea∣sing to God, to see people eat Fish or Pulse than to eat Flesh, and at one time rather than another, I say I wont speak of those things here, for that belongs more to Divines than to me; For all these Reasons above-men∣tioned and others, I make no scruple to say, that the keeping of Lent does above 50 Mil∣lions of Livres prejudice to the Kingdom of France per Annum.

And being upon this Subject, it may not perhaps be unseasonable to confute the Errors of those who fancy that Lent, and other Fast∣days are advantagious to a Nation, because say they, it saves abundance of Cattel, puts people upon Fishing, and consequently to the getting of more profit by Sea, than they would Page  56 otherwise do, and by that same means also more Seamen are bred. I confess that Lent and Feast-days are useful to some Nations, not by observing them themselves, but by selling Fish to those who do so, as the English, Scotch, Dutch, &c. who furnish the French and others.

In England the Nation was quickly sensible, that the keeping of Lent was a mistake in Po∣liticks, for after Lent had been observed there, a while, since the Reformation, on pretence of •…ome such Political Reasons, as the encourage∣ment of Fishing, &c. they soon left it off, because they •…ound it did more hurt than good. They saw it did not increase the number of Sea∣men, but rather diminish'd them, and that there was not more Fish taken and spent, but rather less, by reason that people being under that Servit•…de, were disgusted with it, and did eat it against their will upon the very Fish days, and could not at all endure it at other times; whereas they eat it at all times indifferently now, and there's constantly good store of all sorts to be found at the Fishmongers, as well Sea as Fresh-water-fish, and all sorts of Shell-fish; so that now those who love Fish better than Meat, may please themselves, which they could not do, if they were tyrannically commanded to do it. Besides, Fisher-men could not then make their constant Trade of Fishing but only in Lent, and about Fridays, and Saturdays, whereas they both can and do fish actually every day. 'Tis true, France does not afford such plenty of Fish▪ meat as England,Page  57 but this must also be granted, that the people in France who have Means, do not feed so much upon Meat, even on Flesh-days, as they call them, as the English comm•…nly do; and be•…ides most part of the French have not wherewith to do it. But I say further, that France is in greater want of Fish than of Flesh, and that there would have been Flesh enough in the Nation, if Lent, the four Ember-weeks, and other Fast-days, and the Orders of Monks and Nuns had not been set up by Superstition, for this occasion'd a neglect in breeding of Cattle; and even at present, tho' most of the Kingdom lies desolate, there would be Cattle enough, if Lent were abolish'd and Lands not abandoned; and tho' France is at less expence now, as to the buying of Foreign Fish, than it was before the War, yet it still expends very great Summs that way, tho' the poorest sort of people in the remotest Provinces from the Sea, seldom taste Fish of any sort, and ev'n very rarely of Flesh-meat.

But lest any Body should imagine that I con∣tradict my self, in saying that the people of England don't eat less Fish since the Observation of Lent, but rather more, and that I pretend nevertheless, that the notice of such a Supersti∣tion does prejudice to the Revenues of Land in France, and hinders the Breeding and Con∣sumption of Cattel; I shall answer that spe∣cious objection; I call it specious, because it seems that if so be the abolishing of Lent, and other Fish-days in England produce that effect, that more Fish is eaten in it since, it would Page  58 seem to follow, that less Flesh-meat should be consum'd, and so consequently if Lent, and other pretended Fast-days were abolished in France, more Fish would be eaten, and less Flesh destroyed. I answer, that there is no real contradiction in what I have asserted, but only a seeming one, and that also to those who do not weigh things rightly; my reason is this, that in England the people have always and at all seasons, plenty both of Meat and Fish; no place in the Kingdom being very re∣mote from Sea, and there being many Rivers full of Fresh-Water Fish, and the Tide coming up a great way in many of those Rivers, the Sea-Fish is conveyed into the Country at a ve∣ry small charge. They have also plenty of good Cattel, so that they may at all times eat that they like best, or find cheapest, without that aversion which the Tyranny of Imposition occasions, when they are commanded upon Eternal Damnation to eat, or not to eat such and such things, at such and such times, whereas France is generally much more remote from the Sea, and Fish there very scarce or dear. Now in those places at a great distance from the Sea, if it were not for the Superstition of Lent and other Fast-days, as they call them, in those places they would eat much more Meat than they do, and more also than is eaten on the Sea-coasts, where Fish is more plentiful and cheaper, and consequently they should breed more Cattle. More Fish would also be eaten in the Sea▪ Ports and other places near the Sea, than is eaten at present, if it were not for the Page  59 tyrannous Impositions upon their Consciences, which forbids them to eat Meat at such times, and creates, in most part of them, a kind of abhorrency of Fish, which they are forced to eat; and hence it comes to pass that less Fish is taken in the Sea-Ports, than there would be were it not for this Superstition; and less Cattle is also bred in the Country than would be, were it not for the same Abuse, which forbids the eating of Meat above five Months in the Year, and so puts all things out of order; for by this Means, those that live near the Sea are disgusted at Fish, which Nature and Provi∣dence affords them very cheap, nay, almost for nothing; which would be a great Treasure to them, if it were not for the tyranny impos'd up∣on them, and those who live in remote places of the Country, and have an opportunity to breed abundance of Cattle and eat Meat very cheap, are forced to abstain from it, and lose that great advantage, tho' they cannot have Fish but at a very dear rate.

It deserves likewise our Observation, that France has lost considerably in respect of the profits they made of their Cattle, by the ex∣pulsion of the Protestants, because they bought those young Cattle, Poultry, &c. in the Towns and Countries where they liv'd, which otherwise had been lost or very chargeable to the Owners.

Article XIII. relates to the Injustice, Violence and Spiritual Tyranny of the Popish Clergy, which causes an unestimable dammage Page  60 to the Kingdom of France. This Spirit of Injustice and Inhumanity, which is essential to Popery, was the cause of the last War, which they kindled secretly, and of the last Persecu∣tion, and of all the Massacres and Civil Wars, that have been in France. That same Spirit of VIOLENC sets them, whenever they meet with Princes obnoxious to them, to per∣secute all those with the utmost fury, that dif∣fer from them in their Opinions, though they have no other Foundation sor them, but their own Ambition, Pride and Covetousness, that Spirit, I say, of Injustice has been one of the great causes of the Ruin of France; I leave it to the VVorld to Judge whether they did not take advantage of the Ambition of that Potent Prince, who was perhaps possessed with the design of an U•…iversal Monarchy, to make him believe that it was convenient for him, in order to a•…tain his end, to destroy the Refor∣mation in England, Holland, France and all o∣ther parts, and under that pretence to bring King James, who was known to be a Bigoted Prince, into the same design, and to oblige him to do all what we know he did. 'Tis by such Methods as these, that the Court of Rome Ruines all the Princes and States of Christen∣dom; when she is in any way affraid that they will grow too Potent, then to be sure she inspires them by her Emissaries and Confessors, with such designs, as will lay them desolate, and unpeople their Country, when at the same time they have no mistrust of any such thing•… I shall not offer to compute the dammage done Page  61 by this Article, at any certain Sum•… of Money, for every one may easily perceive, that this is a Fountain of innumerable Mischiefs.

Article XIV. shews plainly how ruinous the Popish •…lergy is to the State of France, in this that the•… contribute little to the great Charge of •…e •…tion, tho' they enjoy the half of all Estates Real and Personal of the Kingdom, and •…ught consequently to pay as much propor∣tio•…ably to the King, as those do who possess the other half of the Kingdom. For the Clergy, even at present scarcely, pay 10 Millions o•…•…vres towards the 200 Millions, which the King hath exacted every year from the Nation, one way or other, since the War; that is to say, that the Clergy and Religious Orders, as they call them, of France, who make up per•…aps 300000 Souls, enjoy as much Reven•… as 8 or 9 Millions of other People, that may •…ill be reckoned to be in the King∣dom o•…•…rance, or as much as was enjoy'd by 13 or 〈◊〉 Millio•…s, that might have been in it 30 ye•…rs ago, •…nd that▪ tho' every one of the Clergy and •…uch like Religious Persons, have one with a•…other, as much to spend now, in relation to the Reven•…e of the Real and Per∣sonal Esta•…es, as 40 or 50 other persons of the promiscuous multitude, taken one with another, that yet for all that the Clergy and those Reli∣gious Orders taken in bulk, don't bear above the 20th part of the Charges of the Govern∣ment. To this may be added, that before the War, when the King did raise by the ordinary Page  62 Impositions, 132 Millions yearly, besides the Casualties, as they term them, that did amount some years to 50, 60, and 70 Millions, the Clergy did not pay above 5 or 6 Millions yearly; for the Poll-tax, by which they were obliged to pay 4 Millions per Annum during 5 years, was establi•…hed since.

But that we may the better comprehend how much the Clergy is eased above all other Sub∣jects o•… the Kingdom, it must be known that the Officers of Judicature, and other Civil Officers in the Nation, as those of the Finances, Civil Government and others, who all pur∣chas'd their Of•…ices at a very dear rate, the Farmers of the Imposts with all their depen∣dants, and the Clergy themselves did cost the people altogether, above 200 Millions of Livres yearly, about 20 or 30 years ago, besides the other vexations and losses of time, which they suffered by continual Wranglings at Law, Op∣pressions and Depredations of their Goods by the said Officers, or by the Superstition of the Clergy; of all which Vexations, Losses of Time, and other Calamities, as the Marches, Counter-marches and Quartering of Souldiers, if they had been free, they might have pro∣bably saved or earned 100 Millions per Annum more, but those I don't reckon, because they turn'd to no bodies Account. Now the Clergy is not only •…ree from all those Mischiefs and losses of Money and Time, to which the other Subjects are obnoxious, but they like∣wise get Money from the people and plunder them •…y their false Devotions, and a thousand Page  63 new ways suggested by their Covetousness, abusing the peoples Credulity, endeavouring continually to involve them in greater Igno∣rance, that they might domineer over them more easily, and so dispoil them. 'Tis very well known, that the Officers of Judicature indulge the Clergy much more than they do the other Subjects, and that the Farmers of the Impositions have little or nothing to do with them. The Clergy are moreover respected and feared by the Lawyers, and maintani some Judges, Advocates and Attorneys, who are their Pensioners. There is not one Commu∣nity of Religious Persons, but what have Pensioners in all the Notable Tribunals▪ where their business lies, who order it so that they gain almost all their Suits at Law, how unjust soever they be against the Laity, who have neither so much Money nor so great Protection as they. Then by the help of a Father Titler, which they have in every Community, they forge false Titles every day; and this they ac∣count a pious Fraud, as well as the false Dona∣tives and Legacies, which they often pretend to have been bestowed upon them. In this manner they bereave the poor Laity of their Estates by the Favour and Protection they find one from another; for they stand by one ano∣ther as Thieves do, and are all of them sup∣ported by the Pope, who has a secret Influence upon their Affairs: And many times they are also supported by Courtiers. Then as to the Farmers general and particular of Impositions, and their Servants, the Romish Clergy is not Page  64 exposed to their Robberies, because they are not obnoxious to the Publick Taxes; but on the contrary that sort of Men are obnoxious to the Clergy, for they flatter them with the hopes of a pardon for all their Extortions and Robberies, if they will but employ 'em to say Masses, make them Presents, or enter into their Fraternities and pay them for it. Nor do they suffer by the Cheating Tricks of other Ecclesiasticks as the rest of the Subjects do, for one Raven never picks out the Eyes of another.

The Estates, Farms and Tenants of the Clergy, are moreover in a better condition than those of others, because their Landlords are better able to support them; so that their Houses and Lands are always in better order, and stock'd with the best Cattle of the Land.

The Clergy moreover are not liable to be forced to buy new Offices, nor to lose the old ones, as other Subjects are, or to buy Letters of Nobility; nor are they crushed with ordinary or extraordinary Taxes, nor with forced Loans to the King, nor with Quartering of Soldiers, whereby so many thousands of other People have been every day plagued; nor are they obliged to go to War, nor to the Arrier-Ban; By which means it comes to pass that the Clergy, who are for the most part burthen∣som and unprofitable to the Nation, nay, even to their own pretended Church, are free from all the Calamities under which the useful Subjects groan. I grant the Curates and Coun∣try Page  65 Priests are so laden with Taxes that they can hardly subsist, yet they fare a great deal better than the greatest part of the Laity who formerly had Estates, which now they have lost by the Taxes▪ and are charged with Debts and Children besides. Whereas tho' the Priests be never so poor, yet still they have some Bread left them without any toil for it, for they neither Labour nor Preach, nor are bound to do any Work but what the dullest Peasant might do, if he could but read and had memory enough to learn by long practise, how to handle the Musquet; for the Mass-Trade can be learnt as easily. They enjoy a Church∣Living gratis, which they neither merit for their Capacity nor Services, neither had they it left them by Inheritance from their Ance∣stors, nor can they be seized upon for Debts. I grant 'tis but reason they should live by their Trade, since they do that which the people would have them to do, but as for the great numbers of rich Monastries, Convents, & •…. which contribute little or nothing to the Go∣vernment; is it not ridiculous they should enjoy the half of all the Estates in that Kingdom, and not pay the 20th part towards the support of the Government of what the rest of the Nation pays? for, as I have said before, those wealthy Clergy-men pay almost nothing of what the Clergy pays in general, all the burden falls upon the little Curates and Priests, who are left without Protection. What 〈◊〉 then is it that the diligent and laborious for•… of people in a Nation should perish, and be Page  66 destroyed like Victims, meerly to fatten the lazy and idle sort of people, and that so many Millions of useful Subjects should be sacrific'd to such sluggish Belly-Gods. We can never enough bewail such Blindness as this, nor ex∣press all the Mischiefs which such Injustice brings along with it.

This very thing alone is capable of ruining the Kingdom by degrees: If it be objected that the Ecclesiasticks, who possess one half of it, are not ruined; I Answer, they are properly no more a part of the Kingdom, than a Cancer is which devours the Body that it seizes on, or tha•… a Palsie which renders diverse of the Members of the Body useless, can be a part of the same; and this is so much the truer that the Clergy, as I have already said, acknowledge the Authority of, and have sworn Obedience to another So∣vereign Prince, who must of necessity be a natural Enemy to France, because of the Usur∣pations that he hath made, and designs to make o•… that Kingdom, in which he cannot main∣tain his old, nor make new Usurpations, without e•…feebling the Kingdom from time to time proportionably, as he sees its power, and the Authority of the Kings Increase, and to this end he serves himself of his Ecclesia∣sticks, who, under a Cloak of Religion, have attain'd a mighty Credit, and are maintain'd on the Fat of the Land, at the Expence of others, and that which is a wonderful thing, have their Generals in great number, and Gar∣risons in all Ci•…ies, consisting of diverse Regiments of di•…erent Liveries, that is to Page  67 say, the different Orders of Ecclesiasticks, who under Spiritual Pretences, enjoy the Temporal Estates of the Kingdom, keep Princes and Sub∣jects under the Popes Yoke, and so Constitute one formidable Empire within another, Im∣perium in Imperio.

It is certain, tho' it can't be denied that the Taxes in France are excessive, that if the Clergy had contributed proportionably to their Revenues, with the rest of the People, the Kingdom had been worth one half more than 'tis, except the King had augmented the Taxes in proportion, and in that case he would have almost doubled his Revenues. If the Clergy had paid the share they ought to have paid of the Impositions, the Kingdom would have been much less harras'd and ruin'd than it is; so that this Article reaches a great way throughout the Kingdom.

That we may the better understand it, sup∣pose that any Man has two Slaves or two Car∣riage-Horses of equal stre•…gth in his posses∣sion, capable of working or carrying considera∣ble burdens, it is certain if he work them equally and load neither of them above their abi∣lity, that both of them may hold out a long time; but if he overcharge the one exces∣sively, to ease the other, that which is over∣loaded cannot hold out, but must languish by degrees and become unable either for Work or Carriage, except it be little or nothing, and does quickly die. Suppose then that it does not hold out above half the time that it might have done, had it been treated as the other, or that Page  68 it does not work half so much as it might have done otherwise, there is one half lost, or if it hold not out, or work not above a 4th part, that is three fourths loss. Thus it is with the peo∣ple of France, they are much less profitable to the King and State, than they would be if the Clergy bore one h•…lf of the charge of the Kingdom, as they ought to do. I believe this Article may amount to forty or fifty Millions per Annum; for besides the Taxes from whence they are exempted, they are not subject, as I have already said, to any of the Vexations which are committed in the Levying 'em, nor to quartering of Soldiers, nor are they pillag'd by Civil Officers & Farmers general and their Un∣derlings, but on the contrary they pillage them.

Article XV▪ relates to their Practice and Morals, I mean those of the Clergy; this occasions an infinite number of Crimes which are committed without Scruple; nay, they think they merit Heaven by the Commission of them, for they Act them by a Principle of Conscience.

The Mischiefs which they have commit∣ted on the Account of their pretended Re∣ligion are to be ascribed to their Morals: They have Consecrated and Canoniz'd Per∣fidiousness, Cruelty, Murther, the Ravishing of Matrons and Virgins, and the Stealing of Children and Estates. It is not easie to compute this loss in Money, but all peo∣ple of Sense must needs perceive that this does ruin or very much incommode Trade, Arts, Page  69 Manufactures, Navigation, and all sort of Handy-labour, for the Persecutors as well as the Persecuted suffer incredibly thereby; without mentioning the value of the Men and Women, whom they Massacre and Kill in a hundr'd manners, either all at once or gradually. This doth moreover occasion a general and in∣credible Corruption in the whole Nation, for people perceiving that the Crimes committed on the account of Religion, which of all things in the World ought to be the most Sa∣cred, are not punish'd, but applauded and rewarded by the Clergy, or at their Suggestion, by those who govern them, they readily con∣clude, that if it be lawful to Commit such things for the good of the Church, it is more lawful to Commit them for other ends.

By this means the people become desperately wicked at the heart, and if they were not afraid of Secular Justice, would become a meer Society of Thieves and Robbers. That we may the better understand this, let us suppose that the Civil Magistrate should approve Crimes in the same manner, promise Heaven to the Criminals, and reward them also in this life, as the Clergy have compensated those who were the most Zealous in committing all sorts of Cruelties and Indignities against the Protestants; I say, if the Civil Government should thus countenance the Destruction of Honest and Substantial Men, all humane Society must be forthwith dissolv'd and unable to sub∣sist. Or otherwise, let us suppose that a mul∣titude of Villains should prevail over Mankind, Page  70 and commit all imaginable crimes out of a prin∣ciple of Conscience, in order to oblige Men to say that they believe an Onion, a Tree, a Stone or an Horse are adorable, and deserve the Wor∣ship, which the Papists call Dulia and Latria, as well as God, and force them in effect to In∣voke and Adore those Creatures; and that this numerous multitude of Villains should call themselves Infallible at the same time, and by all sorts of Cruelty and Torture, force people to acknowledge them as such, and that none durst oppose them on pain of losing their Liberty, Estate, Honour and Life, what un∣speakable disorders would this occasion in a State? For honest Men who would not be guilty of such unbecoming & unmanly practices should be outragiously persecuted, put to death by their Orders, and the multitude would think themselves oblig'd to take party with those Villains, to avoid their own Ruin, and for fear of becoming suspected to those Wretches, become as wicked themselves.

But the Divine Providence hath not permit∣ted humane Justice to be deprav'd to that height; as is the Religion of the Church of Rome, which is abundantly more wicked than the most wic∣ked of Men; and herein it is directly opposite to other Religions, which tho' they be wicked in themselves, do nevertheless teach better Morals than those of the people that profess them; whereas on the contrary, the Laicks of •…he Church of Rome are more honest and less Villainous than their Religion.

Page  71I think it proper also to observe in this place, that setting aside the Interest of that which they call their Religion and their Church, which relates wholly and finally to the Profit or Ambition of the Ecclesiasticks; the Clergy of the Church of Rome consider'd, as to their Civil Life, are not much wickeder than their Laymen, as I have already said, which proves that the Devil Reigns principally in that Church, in regard of the Legislative Autho∣rity of Popery, as it relates to the Affairs and Interest of their Religion and Church, that is to say of the Pope and his Guard of Pensioners or Catchpoles. This excepted, I have known many honest enough Men of their Clergy, nay, even of the Jesuites, whose conduct as to Civil Life, was near the matter as good ex∣ternally as those of their honest Laicks. And there are diverse Persons who assure me, that how abominable soever the Court of Rome may be in general, as their Principles and Maxims have been for several Ages, yet there are Prelates, nay, even Cardinals among them, who have very good Moral Qualities, and are persons of Merit.

Article XVI. relates to that Spirit of De∣spotical Government, with which the Church of Rome inspires Princes in regard of their Subjects. This is it that hath produc'd the Severity of the Government of France, which hath so much contributed to the Desolation of that fine Kingdom. The Jesuites especially do infuse it in Princes, who are ruled by them Page  72 not only in matters of Religion, but likewise in Affairs of Political Government, by advi∣sing them to make use of the most Absolute Authority, because that how much the more the Princes whom they govern, are Authoriz'd and Fear'd of their Subjects, so much the more are the Jesuites their Tutors Authoriz'd and Dreaded also. France smarts at present under the Effects of this; and England has but lately escap'd the like danger. That Spirit of Tyranny which makes up a great part of the Essence of Popery, is yet more peculiar to the Society of the Jesuites, than to any other in Popery, and it is known that the Principles of their Order, as they call it, do give their General an Abso∣lute and Unlimited Power, to Command and to do what he lists, wherein they are to render him a Blind-fold Obedience. It's also known that they look on the Popes pretended Mo∣narchy, over the Universal Church and World, to be the most perfect Pattern of Government, in assuming to himself the Authority to de∣stroy all Nations and Persons in Soul and Body, that oppose his temporal Interest.

The Church of Rome reaps great advantage from this Despotical Power of the Princes of her Communion, for those Princes being go∣vern'd by their Confessors, who are govern'd by Rome, the more Authority those Princes have the more the Pope hath over all the King∣dom, and then this great Authority of the Princes is imploy'd to oppress those they call Hereticks, both within and without their Do∣minions, Page  73 and to purchase more Slaves to the Pope; or otherwise, they ingage them in War for humbling some Popish State, that the Court of Rome would have brought low, and many times with a design to ruin that very Prince, whom they so engage in War. For it is highly the Interest of the Court of Rome, that their Neighbouring Nations be kept poor, because that Spirit of Bondage, Slavery and Ignorance, which is so useful and agreeable to the Religion which they impose, is not con∣sistent with the Liberty of a rich people, and the Popes are constantly affraid that if the Do∣minions of those States and Princes that are subject to him, be very populous and rich, they will at sometime or other shake off their Yoke.

This is it they had in view by inspiring the French King with a design to ruin his Pro∣testant Subjects, so manifestly contrary to the true Interests of France and the Kings Honour. That same was the reason of their engaging him in a War against so many Potentates all at once, to the end they might weaken him, and prevent his setting his thoughts upon En∣terprizes a thousand times more great, glorious, and profitable, such as that of deliver∣ing his own Kingdom from the Slavery of the Pope, and so many foolish Superstitions of Popery, of which the honest Papists themselves are ashamed, and also that they might prevent his pushing on his Conquests on the side of Italy, where he might have made War with much more success and advantage, than against Page  74 so many powerful States, and strong Towns as he had to rencounter elsewhere.

Article XVII. relates to the Incontinence and Whordom of the Romish Clergy, which is a large Field, and much might be said upon it, but many Authors have enlarg'd on this Head already. It's known to every Body by Experience, that the Celibacy of that wretched Clergy is the source of an Universal and Loathsom Impurity among them, and that the least Crimes committed by those of that Order, are Fornications and Adulteries. It's well enough known that their Divines teach, that Sins against Nature of every sort, don't render an Ecclesiastick Irregular, but Marriage does, and that their Casuists do continually cram their Books with Extenuations of those Crimes, and add more and more Fewel to the impure Flames, by their obscene Questions, and the Niceties and Subtleties they have found out to advance and encrease those impure plea∣sures.

It is also known that the Pope Authorizes Publick Stews, and Protects them in order to draw a considerable Revenue from them; but it is not so universally known, that to advance the Reputation of that Crime, which indeed is not accounted any by the Court of Rome, the Popes will not suffer any Women to prostitute themselves, unless they be Chri∣stians, and therefore by order of his Holiness, Jewish, Pagan and Mahometan Women, who have a mind to set up that Trade at Rome, must Page  75 first be Baptized. This makes it the more reli∣shing to Anti-christ to think that Jesus Christ is thereby the more offended. But seeing the Church o•…Rome is already branded in the Holy Scriptures, with the Name of Sodom and the Mother of Harlots and of the Abominations of the Earth; both upon the account of her Corru•…∣tion, and because of her Idolatries, Here•…ies and Blasphemies, we have no reason to doubt that she is so, and therefore I shall not insist upon this as a Vice which is so much favoured and nourished by that Church, but only in re∣lation to the infinite number of Mischiefs which it occasions in humane Society.

It many times happens that the Popish Prin∣ces are no better in this respect than the Clergy that hath corrupted them, or don't teach 'em their duty in this matter; so that being wholly given up to Unchastity themselves, the Subor∣dinate Magistrates and Officers are corrupted by their Example, and consequently take no care to suppress that Vice, which ruins and lays wast Nations, and fills them with all sorts of Crimes, for experience teaches us that this one Crime draws all others after it; and Man∣kind perceiving that Princes and Magistrates neglect to punish this Vice (which they ought to do with all manner of rigour, for the good of Society, tho' there were neither an Heaven nor an Hell) come insensibly to be of opinion that it is only a Peccadillo.

But if they considered the Consequences of it only with reference to the good of Society, and to the innumerable Mischiefs which it Page  76 occasions, they ought to look upon it as a very great Crime, and by consequence that it must provoke God highly, who is the preserver of Society, tho' it were not so expresly forbid in his Word, which excludes such persons from the Kingdom of Heaven.

For it occasions an infinite number of Mur∣ders of Men and Children, Miscarriages and Poisonings; it destroys a great number by nasty distempers, as well among Adult persons as among Infants, of which a great number die or are lame during their lives, by the in∣fection of their Fathers, Mothers or Nurses, or else live in misery and are uncapable of ser∣ving the Publick; it shortens the Lives of one and t'other, enfeebles the Wit, destroys Cou∣rage, makes People renounce Honour and Pro∣bity, and renders those who are addicted there∣unto uncapable of undertaking or performing any thing glorious or profitable for the Publick Welfare: It ruines Families; and Fathers and Mothers who are addicted to this Crime, neg∣lect the Education of their Children, who for the most part too, are born feeble and in∣firm, and generally become prof•…igate like their Parents; It generally debauches all sorts of people from their Work and Imployments; is always accompanied with Idleness, Laziness, great loss of Time, Luxury, Drunkenness, Gluttony, Perjury, False Evidence, Pilfering, Robbery, Tricking, Cheating, Cozening, Breaking, Blasphemy, Impiety and Irreligion; and by consequence occasions the abandoning of True Religion and the embracing of a Page  77 False One. And to support themselves in this Vice, Men become Coiners and Clippers, Highway-men, Pirates, Forgers and Knights of the Post. This practice brings many to the Gallows, occasions some to make away them∣selves, their Conscience and the bad Condition of their Affairs, throwing them into despair; Children, that they may have wherewith to maintain themselves in this Vice, rob their Parents, as do Servants and Apprentices their Masters. It wholly corrupts the Minds of those that belong to the Courts of Justice, Whordom bereaves them of all Probity, makes them Unjust and Trickish, or at least occasions them to suck the Blood of their Clients by prolonging their Suits. This Vice occasions the Superiour Officers of an Army to rob their Subalterns and Souldiers, and many times the Government. It has the like influence upon those that are imployed in any other Publick Post; so that those who are addicted to this Vice do always abundance of Mischief, and but little good.

It hinders Marriage, because for want of Discipline, Men can with impunity find debau∣ched Women and Girls in great numbers for their purpose, whom they quit at pleasure and take others, without any Trouble, Servitude or Dependance, and this begets in them a general Contempt of the Sex; so that they think them all alike and worth nothing, judging none of them worthy to be their Wives but only their Concubines. On the other hand those loose Women are affraid of being subject Page  78 to or depending on an Husband, because either he would be jealous if they kept Company with others, or should not be able to satisfy their brutish Appetites; So that this Vice is altogether destructive to Mankind, it ruins those that are addicted unto it, and prevents the Birth of others in their stead.

This Vice does moreover make Men and Women Lyars and Dissemblers, Children Dis∣obedient to their Fathers and Mothers, and without any Natural Affection to them, because having nought else in their eye, but their im∣pure pleasures, they conceive no other ways of their Parents, and think that they brought them into the World, just as a brutish Animal doth its Young, in a manner 〈◊〉 their will, having no other design bu•…•…o asswage their brutish Lusts, and beget them, as it were, only by accident, and that they are no other∣wise oblig'd to them •…or their being then so.

This Vice doth likewise render Men Cruel and Unnatural to on•… another, as also to Beasts, which they look upon 〈◊〉 as a little matter form'd by chance. I•… a •…rd, I don't believe there is any Vice wh•…ch corrupts the Heart to the same d•…gree that this doth, both in regard of their Duty towards God 〈◊〉•…wards Men, yea, and towards themselves, 〈◊〉 they accustom themselves by the •…requent •…deas of Vice and by a Judicial Blindn•…ss, which always attends it, to regard every thing in a Carnal and Corrupt manner.

Page  79It is true, that those desires are many times violent in Youth, both because of the boyling of the Blood at that Age, and because their Experience and Reason are but feeble. But it must also be own'd, that it is not so much the temper of the Body and the Heat of Youth, which occasions that disorder, as bad Example, ill Education, and the filthy Discourse of Mankind, who are for the most part infected with this Vice; so that we see in some Nations even the Publick Stages, and all the Publick Shews poisoned and pestered with all sorts of Obscenity, without any censure by the Ma∣gistrates.

The very Pagans were sensible of the dan∣ger of bad Example to Children, when they said, Maxima debetur puero Reverentia: i. e. We ought to have a very great respect for young ones, and neither do nor say unhandsom things before them; and the Publick Stage amongst them was not poisoned with Impurity as 'tis now a days. But in this Age few Fathers or Mothers or Magistrates take care of that, they act and speak themselves before their young ones and all people, all that their wicked Habits suggest to them. Servants are also drown'd in those Vices, and remain Igno∣rant, and without Instruction, either from the Church or Magistrate; so that they act and speak a thousand profane things with one ano∣ther, b•…re Children, which makes a deep Impression upon the Mind of young ones, which is so much the more dangerous, that na•…urally all Mankind is too much addicted to Page  80 this Vice; so that now a days we many times see young Girls of 8 or 10 years of Age, and sometimes those of Quality too, that know a thousand filthy things, and by that time they arrive to the Age of 14 or 15, they renounce all Subjection to their Fathers and Mothers, and Prostitute and Marry themselves to Ser∣ving-men or Idle Fellows, who at last despise and abuse them; the Consequence of which is many times Despair, and this occasions their making away with themselves, after one sort or other, and thus their Families are every way dishonoured.

This Vice doth also beget a general Con∣tempt among Men for one another, because it renders Marriage Vile and Dishonourable in their Eyes, tho' it be the source of Mankind, Hallow'd and Instituted by God himself, and therefore ought to be accounted Sacred by all Men, for that very reason. It does as much as can be to frustrate the End which God pro∣pos'd by the Formation and distinction of two Sexes, viz. the Propagation and Multiplication of Mankind by means of Marriage, and there∣fore he did not give two Wives to Adam nor two Husbands to Eve.

Those who are addicted to this Vice have no regard for one another, but only with respect to their impure Inclinations, and if they don't think them as bad as themselves, they do all they can to make them so, and to corrupt them by all Methods, either directly by themselves or indirectly by others; hence it comes to pass, that we see every day so many handsom Women Page  81 of good natural parts, and many times of good Families, thus seduced and drawn away, which is a horrid Mischief, for which those who have any remainder of Conscience left, cannot but grieve. In the esteem of those Debauchees, I say, (who assoon as they immerse 'emselves in those Villanies, lose all Sense of Religion, and of the Excellency of Man and the Nobility of his Extraction) Mankind is valued but little above Dogs and Swine, which they see Engen∣der much in the same manner as they do them∣selves, that is to say indifferently, with all of their Species that they meet, according to their brutal Appetites, without reason or con∣sideration, without any regard to God, the Good of Society, or the Honour and Dignity of Man; so that they corrupt themselves in what they know naturally, as Bruit Beasts, as the Holy Scriptures express it.

Hence it is, that in Society there is so little Charity, Friendship and Respect for one ano∣ther, a debauch'd Man looks upon all Women to be tained with this Vice. Women com∣monly shew less disrespect for debauched Men, than Men shew for Lewd Women; yet at the same time, they would have more esteem for those that they believe to be free from that Vice, which renders those that are tainted with it Contemptible, even to persons that are most Vicious themselves, tho' they make use of them for asswaging their brutish Lust; and hence it comes that they do readily call all Women Whores and Bitches, and Children Sons of Whores or Young Dogs, which occa∣sions Page  82 many Quarrels, Law-Suits, and Insolen∣ces, yea, sometimes Murthers.

It is not to be expressed what prejudice this Vice does to Commerce, in those Countries which lye Commodiously for Traffick by Sea, and therefore are oblig'd to take more care therein than others, because Plenty produces, nourishes and entertains this Vice; if the Ma∣gistrates be not persons of Honour, love the Publick Welfare, and keep good Discipline; and the Consequences of it are more mischie∣vous in such Countries than elsewhere; from this it was that Plato said, Mare improbitatis Magister, the Sea teaches Wickedness; and hence also it was that the Poets feign'd that Venus was bred of the Froth of the Sea; and that a Latine Poet express'd it thus, Hispanae Navis Magister, dedecorum pretiosus Empt•…r, implying, that Masters of Ships spare no cost to debauch Women. There is nothing more contrary to the growth of a State, either in number of Men or Riches, than to suffer Whordom to go unpunished.

It troubles me to think that amongst so many able Men who have treated of Commerce, and of what is contrary to it, none of them have observ'd that this Vice is one of the chief Obstacles to the Prosperity of a Nation. I know a State, to which I wish well from the bottom of my heart, to which it occasions the loss of diverse Millions per Annum, which I could ea•…ily demonstrate, and am very certain that if they would give necessary Orders in good earnest, for preventing it, which would Page  83 not be so difficult to do neither, as is generally believed, at least for the greatest part, there would be abundance of more people than there are, and Trade, Arts, Manufacture and Agriculture would thrive there a great deal better than they do; Men, Women and Chil∣dren would be abundantly more healthsul, and fewer of them would in comparison die of Consumptions.

This Vice must be abundantly greater in Popish than Protestant Countries, because the Popish Clergy favour it by their Principles, Auricular Confession, their own Example, and that of the Court of Rom•…, as also by the easiness of Absolution in Confessing themselves to a Priest, who is himself immers'd in such Impurities, or by giving him Money, a good Dinner, or hireing him to say Masses, &c. The Unchastity of all their Clergy, Male and Fe∣male, caused by their Celibacy and Execrable Morals, as well as by the Example of the chiefest Prelates at Rome, is a very great preju∣dice to Popish Kingdoms, which it fills with Adulteries, Fornication, Incests and Crimes yet more Execrable, yea with Millions of open and hidden Crimes, as Abortions, Murthers and such like, for the Clergy who are guilty of those Vices, make no scruple so they can but conceal them, to murther both the Mothers and Children.

As to Protestant States, it's well enough known, that they are infected with this Vice by the Neighbourhood of the Popish ones, and it's confidently asserted, & not without ground, Page  84 that in the two last Reigns, all those sorts of Disorders were favoured in England, for the better and more easie Establishment of Popery.

Article XVIII. relates to the Drunkenness of the Popish Clergy, which as well as their Incontinence is chargeable upon the Morals of their Church; for the greatest part of the Clergy-men except some Bishops and Curates in the biggest Towns, and some particular Men in Monastries, are Drunkards, and by their Example the Common People do mostly become so.

This Vice does likewise occasion abundance of Mischief, tho' much less than the other, as I could here demonstrate, contrary to the opinion of some Men, if it were proper. The truth of this appears by this one thing, viz. that the Popish Clergy are unchaste by Principle, and in a manner of necessity, because Marriage is forbid to them, that so they may have less de∣pendance upon the State, and may be more profitable, and apply themselves with the grea∣ter Application to the Interests of the Pope, which they call the Church. And besides, this Libertinage which pleases them infinitely, makes them love the Pope and his Religion, which grants them so great Priviledges, whereof others are depriv'd, viz. that they may enjoy Women without any trouble, as it's said to be practis'd by the Republick of Venice, who to assure themselves of the Fidelity of their Clergy, grant them a greater Liberty in this Page  85 matter, than is allowed in other parts of Italy.

Now one may easily Judge what disorders this Example of the Libertinage of the Clergy must necessarily produce in Society, and what Ravage they make of the Womens Chastity, by their Auricular Confession and Absolution, and what influence those things have upon the Women and Maids, who are by this means delivered into their hands as a prey. Another Reason which proves that Fornication is incom∣parably more mischievous in a Country, than Drunkenness; is this, that it is a Crime com∣mon to both Sexes; So that it is hard to say, which of the two is most addicted to it, whereas Drunkenness is more particularly the Vice of Men. Another reason is this, that Whordom being contrary to Propagation, as I have said already, and corrupting all the Sources of Generation in a particular manner, and ruining the Bodies of Men, Women and Children, as much and more than Drunken∣ness ruins those of Men, It is certain that it is abundantly more pernicious than the other. I could bring 30 more reasons to prove this, if the place were proper.

This last Article concerning their Drunken∣ness, makes it evident that this Crime does great prejudi•…e to a Country, if it were no more but by the loss of the Wine, Brandy, Cider, &c. which they consume without neces∣sity. But besides, this Vice ruins abundance of Families, shortens the Days of abundance of Page  86 Men as well as the other, tho' in lesser number, occasions the loss of a great deal of time, with many Quarrels and Murders, and makes people brutish and dull as well as Fornication.

But we will lay aside those two last Articles, if the Reader pleases, and count them as no∣thing (tho' the prejudice they do, goes farther than can be imagined) for it's clear enough that the others which I have proposed already, occasion above two hundred Millions loss per Annum, throughout the Kingdom of France, and they can be ascrib'd to nothing else but Popery, whereas they may perhaps cavil at the two last, and say that the Protestants are incontinent and likewise drunken as well as the Papists.

If it be well adverted to, it will be found that four of the 18 Articles, that I have pro∣pos'd, do alone amount to above 200 Millions of Livres per Annum, viz. those of their Holy∣days, the Estates of the Church that are in Mainmort, Lent and other Fast-days, and the few Taxes that the French Clergy pays in com∣parison of the rest of the people.

Popery occasions the same Mischiefs propor∣tionably in all other Popish Countries, and in some more, as Spain and Portugal, which it hath greatly dispeopled, by the Incontinence, and Celibacy of their Clergy, and the Con∣sequences of these Disorders, by the great number of their Ecclesiasticks, the Spirit of Persecution and the Perfidiousness of Popery, in the Expulsion of the Moors and Jews, and by their Inquisition, &c.

Page  87But as Italy is nearest to the Court of Rome, she hath thereby contracted greater Vices also than other Nations. All Sins against Nature are in Vogue there, and Poysoning, Cozenage, Imposture, and a certain Effeminacy and Cowardliness which the Priests and Monks have introduc'd there, with all Vices imagina∣ble; Whence it comes to pass that there is not the least spark of the Courage, Greatness of Soul, and Generosity of the Antient Romans, to be seen, and that there is no Country more easie to be conquered by a powerful Neighbour than that.

France is also owing to Popery and the Court of Rome, for their having infected her in some measure, with the Habits of diverse of those unnatural Crimes, which are so common in Italy, that the Spaniards say of the Italians that are infected therewith, In Italia todos; and of those Crimes the Religious Convents and Mo∣nastries, the Monks, Jesuites and their Scho∣lars, with some great Men in France, are accused.

It is also well enough known, that the Art of poysoning was brought into France, from Italy by the Ecclesiasticks.

The Maltotes, or the great Impositions, is another Calamity introduc'd upon France by its Communion with the Court of Rome. The Popes that are the greatest Tyrants of the World, furnish'd Examples of it upon their own Subjects in Italy, and the Romish Reli∣gion and the Confessors of Princes, and of Page  88 their Ministers have furnished them with Les∣sons of the same.

Equivocations, Perfidiousness in all Treaties, Ambig•…ous Expressions in all Transactions and Publick Acts, have been Consecrated by the Example of Popish Councils, especially that of Trent, which form'd a great number of Decrees, capable of diverse contrary Senses, which have occasion'd Divisions among diverse Sects of their Monks, and many of their Di∣vines; whereof that Infallible Tribunal, as they call it, of the Pope and his Cardinals, would never determine the Sense, for fear of disobliging some one of the Parties, though they do it every day in the most Insolent and Impudent manner, in regard to the Word of God, to which they attribute the most absurd and extravagant Sence imaginable, with a sur∣prizing Impiety.

All Europe in general is oblig'd to the Court of Rome, for the false and cursed Politicks that Reigns almost in all its Courts, and hath bani∣shed thence, Probi•…y, Sincerity, upright Inten∣tions, Fidelity, Justice, Truth, Generosity; so that they are n•…w fill'd with Cozenage, Deceit and E•…eminacy.

The Court of Rome is moreover become a grand Pattern and Teacher of Irreligion and Prophanity, now for several Ages.

It is from the Popes that Roman Catholick Princes have learned to profane the Christian Religion, and to corrupt People daily, by of∣fers of temporal Rewards, to abjure the Re∣ligion of Jesus Christ to follow theirs, of which Page  89 we see sad Examples every day, as to the Church of Rome, and even of some Sovereign Princes.

We have reason to say when we consider all those things well, that the Papacy or the Pope, deserves abundantly better the Title of Infidel, or Hereditary Enemy of Christendom than the Turk, tho' •…e assumes to himself the Name of the Common Father of Christendom.

If any Opiniater will still take upon him to deny that Popery does not occasion the loss of 200 Millions per Annum, through the Kingdom of France, I am satisfied that he wont be ac∣counted any great Master of Reason, by such Judicious Persons as have read my Arguments. But I say however, that tho' it should not amount to above one half or one third of that Summ, it would be an Argument cogent enough for the abolishing it, and sufficient proof▪ of the Falshood of that Pretended Re∣ligion.

Amongst those direful Effects which Popery occasions perpetually and necessarily in the Dominions that are thereunto Subject, I have not taken any notice of those which may be call'd Passing and Accidental, though they have also a determinate Cause, and proceed from the same Original, viz. the first Principles of Popery, which we may call the Soul of it, and constitute the essential Form of the Church of Rome, viz. Ambition, Pride and Avarice; which have made, and do make from time to time, an horrible Ravage in Christian Coun∣tries, nay, through the whole World. I am Page  90 certain, that if we should reckon up those acci∣dental Mischiefs, which Popery occasions from time to time in France, the Sum would be much •…bove 200 Millions per Annum. How many Unjust Wars hath it kindled in France, both Intestine and Foreign? History tells us, that the Ambition of the Popes was the cause of the Mahometans subduing part of Europe, and that the Empire of the East, of Christian be∣came Mahometan; The Ambition of the Popes hath also torn in pieces the Empire of the West, and spoil'd its Emperours of part of their Dominions, even of Rome it self, and made them their Vassals and Slaves in a manner, so as to tread upon them in person sometimes with Impunity; so that by the Ambition of the Roman Clergy and their Popes, the Em∣pire is no other than a meer Shadow of what it formerly was.

It is very well known that by the perfidi∣ousness of the Pope, the Turks rendred them∣selves Masters of Hungary, the Court of Rome having oblig'd the unhappy King Uladislaus to violate his Faith and break the Treaty he had made with them, which Violation was fol∣lowed by a Total Defeat of that King, at the Battle of Varn•… and the loss of the Kingdom, which the Infidels seized upon, as may be seen by the following Distich, wherein that •…nfortunate King is made to complain that the Pope and his Clergy had ruined him by their perfidious Counsel▪

Page  91
Me nisi Pontifices jussissent rumpere faedus,
Non ferret Scythicum Pannonis or a jugum.

May be thus English'd,

By Popes command had I my League ne'r broke,
Pannonia ne'r had felt the Scythian Yoke.

For above 1000 years the Popes and their Clergy, have been constantly aspiring to the Universal Monarchy, and have made it their constant business to sow Divisions betwixt Christian Princes and their Subjects, and to kindle War amongst those Princes, to weaken them by one another, that so they might bring them all under their Yoke.

By this method they make themselves Ar∣bitrators and Masters of their differences, and always cast the Ballance on the side of their own Interest, without any regard to Honour or Justice, and that not by Armies or open Force, but by the Intrigues of Confessors, Monks and Prostitutes, or as the Scripture represents it by their Cups, Draughts and Witchcrasts, as be∣cometh the great Prostitute that hath made the Kings and the Princes of the Earth drunk with the VVine of her Fornication.

They still foment now as formerly, and without ceasing, Divisions and Factions in all the Countries of Europe, yea, even amongst Protestants, by their secret Emissaries whom they imploy in great numbers in order to bring them gradually under their Yoke, one way or Page  92 other, by a Million of Crimes. A famous Spanish Polititian* who knew their Game well enough, said that there is not so much as a Sword drawn, no•… a Pike carried in Christendom, that hath not been sharpen'd in the Forge of Rome. No se Saca espada, non se arbola pica, cuyo el hierro no estuviere aguzado en la fraga de Roma. They had the greatest share in the War newly concluded, and made their profit on't, tho' the simple Vulgar are apt to think they have no hand in it.

No Body is Ignorant of the cunning Inven∣tion, made use of by the Popes formerly, to bring part of Asia under their Yoke, without putting themselves to any charge, and at the same time to increase their own Authority and Conquests in Europe, at the expence of the Christian Princes, whom they dispoil'd. Their way was to perswade those poor innocent Princes to go in Person to Asia, with great Fleets and Navies, to chase the Mahometans from that Country, for which end the Popes call'd it the Holy Land; as if that Land had been holier than another, after having put the Lord Jesus Christ to death. And while those Princes were in that Country, with numerous Armies of their Subjects, by which they dis∣peopled their own Dominions, the Popes en∣deavoured to make themselves Masters of t•…e same, or at least suck'd their Subjects to the bone, and drain'd out all the Riches of their Countries by means of their Clergy. France and England suffered very much by this means, Page  93 and we have no reason to doubt but they would have been much more rich and populous, had it not been for that.

All the World knows that the Romish Clergy or Church, hath destroyed or caus'd to be destroyed by their Orders, more people •…nder pretence of Religion, than all the Heathen Emperours, and more than all the Nations of the habitable World, have done upon that account since the Creation of the World. France and England can testifie this from sad Experience.

It's well enough known, that their Councils, that is to say the Luminaries of Popery, the most enlightned, and sincere part of the Church of Rome (a mark of the Absolute Re∣probation of that Church, for several Ages.) It's well enough known, I say, that those Councils have establish'd it as a Maxim or Rule for several Ages past, that they are not oblig'd to keep Faith with Hereticks, and that Princes are obliged on pain of eternal Damnation and the loss of their Dominions to destroy them. Whence it comes to pass, that not only all the Murders, Robberies, Perjuries, Rapes, and all Crimes in general are permitted, but com∣manded against all those Christians who oppose themselves never so little, to the Interests, Ty∣ranny, or Ambition of the Pope and Clergy; which Sentence doth à fortiori, include also Jews, Pagans and Mahometans, when the Church of Rome shall think meet, seeing it is clear that they ought not to have any more favour shew'd them than those they call Hereticks. From Page  94 those Principles have proceeded so many Mas∣sacres, Persecutions, Violations of Faith, Re∣ligious Wars, Croisades and Leagues to extir∣pate those who were called Hereticks. Hence also proceeded many Assassinations of Princes, and Attempts upon their Lives, which France hath often had experience of; hence came the Civil Wars in England and Ireland, the burning of Towns, and Conspiracies against the State. One of the Kings of France was formerly whipp'd at Rome, in the Person of his Ambas∣sador, by the Popes Order, which is the highest Ignominy that can be done to a Nation or Prince. And if we have not fresh and daily Instances from their Church, of such decrees as those of the Councils of Constance and La∣t•…ran, or such remarkable demonstrations of their Pride and Cruelty; it's not because they have chang'd their Principles, but because there is no opportunity offers to do it with safety, and for the advantage of the Pope. It is not want of good will; The Habit remains still, though the Acts are not continually exerted. A Shoemaker, says Horace, though he lays aside all the Tools of his Art, and shuts up his Shop, is a Shoemaker still.

—Alfenus vafer, omni
Abjecto instrumento Artis, clausâque tabern•…
Sutor erat, &c.

We see what that Church hath occasion'd to be done lately, and does yet at present in France against the Protestants, and what they would Page  95 have done in England; and for their Inquisition, it continues still the same.

It may be clearly seen, by all those proofs which we have produc'd of the Natural and Necessary Opposition there is betwixt the Church and Religion of Rome, and the Happi∣ness and Prosperity of Princes, States and People, that the said Church and its Religion is false to the highest degree, there never having been any Religion in the World so contrary to the good of Mankind. It hath no remainders of old Christianity, but just so much as is necessary to constitute the Form of Antichri∣stianism, by way of Excellence, that is to say the most perfect Enmity against Jesus Christ, by ascribing to him all sorts of Idolatry and Im∣piety, making him the Author of their Ty∣ranny and Cruelty, and feigning an adherence to him, like Judas, in order to betray him, and to dishonour him the more, as an Adulterous Woman dishonours her Husband, while at the same time they persecute his Followers with the height of Rage, and fill the Universe with Blood and Confusion, and trample under foot, ruin and devour Princes and their Subjects, and all in the name of Jesus Christ.

The True Religion being come from God, who is the Creator and Preserver of Men and Society, cannot tend to the Ruin and Destru∣ction of States, except we establish with the Manichees two eternal Principles, one good and the other evil, which is so gross that it de∣serves no Con•…utation.

Page  96If the Romish Religion be good, with all those Mischiefs and Disorders which we have seen, it produces naturally and necessarily in all Countries where it obtains, God who is all Just, all Holy and Holiness it self, the Pre∣server of Nations, and Mankind, and the Au∣thor of the Old and New Testament, can neither be Just, Holy, Good, Wise, True, nor the Author and Preserver of Humane Society, and the Old and New Testament cannot have proceeded from any other but the wicked Spirit. Absit Blasphemia.

God must likewise, if the Religion of the Church of Rome be True, be contrary to the Propagation of Mankind, which it appears to be one of the favourite Designs of Providence. He must also, according to them, approve of Deceit and Imposture, and Cozenage in the Ministers of his Religion, and in his Worship, he must likewise love Injustice, Impiety, Per∣fidiousness, Tyranny, Laziness, Idleness, Cru∣elty, Incontinence, Robbery, Profanity, Per∣jury, Hypocrisy, Murder and Calumny, which are so essential to the Popish Religion and the Roman Clergy.

I leave it to Divines to treat of the Idolatry, Heresie, Superstitions, &c. of this pretended Church, which agree so well, and are so very becoming to all the rest which we have seen, and which cannot indeed be otherwise, and are the natural Effects of the Ambition of those Mischievous Creatures, as well as the Page  97 rest; for as Saint Chrysostome says well▪ 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉i. e. that Ambition or a desire of Dominion, is the Mother of Heresies; and therefore St. Paul reckons Heresie amongst the Works of the Flesh. For the Popes not being able to esta∣blish their Authority in the World, but by introducing those Practices into the Church, and the Disorders, of which we have spoke before, that ruine all the Popish Nations, have been oblig'd entirely to corrupt the Morals and Doctrine thereof▪ and to suppress the Light of the Gospel▪ which would have discover'd their Exorbitanci•…s and Iniquity to Mankind, and have inclin'd them to oppose their Ambition. For this reason they favoured all manner of Ignorance and Vice, that they might the better extinguish amongst Men, all Fear and Know∣ledge of God, and all Generosity. And seeing Men could not live without Religion good or bad, they afterwards hurry'd them head-long into all sorts of Idolatry and Impiety.

If they had not intirely corrupted and falsified the Christian Religion, and People had known the Doctrine of the Old and New Testament, they would never have submitted to Practices and Customs so contrary to the Publick Good; Princes and their Ministers would never have suffered a Religion to be Established among them, which is so much contrary to their Rights, Arts, Husbandry, Manufacture, Com∣merce, Propagation, good Morals, and the •…ublick Peace of Nations.

Let us but read and consider the Old an•…Page  98 New Testament, or only the Ten Command∣ments of Gods Law, we shall find nothing commanded therein, but what is Excellent and Worthy of God, and wonderfully suited not only to the Temporal good and advantage of every Man in particular, but also to that of People and Countries, and the whole World in general; So that if the great Wits of this Age, who pretend to be Men of Parts, though they be indeed meer Fools, would consider this sedately, they would be obliged to own, whe∣ther they would or not, by comparing this with the Conduct of all the Politicians in the World, and their Pretended Skill in the Go∣vernment of their People, that there are no o•…her Rules of True Policy, for regulating of Morals and making every particular Man as profitable as can be to Society, but those that the Law of God and the Gospel furnish us with, and that every thing which does not agree with that, and is not conformable there∣unto, is nothing else but Errour and Destru∣ction. I don't mean only the Political Laws of Moses, as they are call'd to distinguish them from the Moral Law, under which the Com∣monwealth of Israel became so flourishing, and was Peopled in such a manner, as seems Incredible to those that read their History; but I mean also and chiefly the Moral Law, which certainly contributed still more than the Political Laws of that People, tho' but very ill observed, to make them so rich and powerful. I joyn also thereunto at present, the Gospel which not only regulates our Acti∣ons, Page  99 but also our Thoughts and Words, and hath giv'n us a Model of Incomparable Charity, and furnish'd us with new and powerful Mo∣tives to this Vertue, by revealing to us clearly the saving Grace of God, that we may live all in general, Princes and People, and every one in particular, Soberly, Justly and Religiously, which comprehends all our Duty to God, our Neighbours and our selves, wherein if we did acquit our selves, Men would not only be hap∣py in the Life to come, but also in this, and Nations would become incomparably more powerful, populous and rich than they are; For Godliness hath the promises of this Life, and that which is to come: Which of it self might be enough to convince our Deists (many of whom value themselves highly on the account of their sense and ability, and think they are able to Govern Kingdoms) of the Divine Authority of the Holy Scriptures, if there were no other proofs of it.

In that Divine Book alone are the true Rules of Policy to be found.

All the World agrees in this without think∣ing on it, when they say that Honesty is the best Policy, that is to say, to observe the Law of God, and cause it to be observ'd by others, which is no less essentially Necessary for the good of the State than for Salvation. But •…he Church of Rome hath confounded all those Notions, as I have already said, and having govern'd the World for a long time, hath in∣troduced a cursed sort of Politicks into the same, quite contrary to that which the Law of Page  100 God prescribes, but suited indeed to her ow•… Doctrine and Morals, by which after she hath blinded the Eyes of Princes and People, she leads them whither she pleases.

It is certain, that if Princes and Magistrates applyed themselves, as they ought, if it were no more but for their own Temporal Interest, and the good of the State, to make the Laws of God to be observed▪ by punishing Delin∣quents severely, and if the Church concurring with the Magistrates, did her best by Doctrine, Example and Discipline, and if every particu∣lar Person would also do their Du•…y, they would see their Dominions, Provinces, Cities and Families flourish otherwise than ever they did hitherto. If it were thus, no Body would do to another what they would not have done to themselves: Every one would have his own; Industry and Diligence would be much more in Vogue than 'tis; Injustice which Reigns so much at present in Courts of Judicature and elsewhere; Rapine, Robbery, Idleness; Im∣posture, Cozenage, and Deceit in Matters of Religion, which have rendred the Popish Clergy so powerful by the Ruin of the Peo∣ple; Bankrupts, Coiners, Murders, Knights of the Post, Lying, Unfaithfulness, all of them so contrary to the Repose and Prosperity of Countries, would be banish'd in a great measure; Cruelty and Perfidiousness so essen∣tial to the Church of Rome, Incontinence which at this day makes such a Ravage amongst Men, and is look'd on as a meer trifle without Punishment or Publick Censure, tho▪ I make Page  101 bold to say, it is the root of all other Crimes▪ and occasions more Disorders at present than Murder and Robbery both, because those are in some measure punished; Drunkenness, Unfaithfulness in Treaties, and publick and private Contracts; the Spirit of Tyranny in Princes towards their Subjects, the Rebellion of Subjects against their Princes, the Disobedi∣ence of Children to their Parents, &c. all of them so contrary to Commerce, Propagation, and the Repose of People, should be extermi∣nated for the most part.

In a word, Vice being either banished or repressed by the method of this true Policy, Vertue would take place, by which Nations should prosper at another rate than they do, and Princes would be incomparably more Potent. In this case also Men would be abun∣dance more long-liv'd, healthful, and vigorous, Marriages would become more numerous; by which together with the mildness of the Go∣vernment, the Industry and Diligence of all sorts of People, Countries would become infinitely more populous.

Once more still, I will adventure to say that it is in the Holy Scriptures alone, that those wise Politicks are to be found, which are ca∣pable of enriching a Nation and making it potent; So that the false Politicians of the World have sought for it in vain elsewhere for so many Ages, and all of them complain that they could never hitherto find it.

This does not hinder, but the Wisdom of God out of his profound and just Judgment, Page  102 suffers Tyrants sometimes to prosper in their wicked Designs, by contrary Maxims, as may be seen by the example of the Popes, who making use of the Credit that they had acquird in the Quality of Bishops of Rome, to domi∣neer over Sovereigns and their People, under pretence of Religion, have subjected both the one and the other, by Millions of Crimes of all sorts. This is so far from destroying what I have said, that it confirms the same, for if they▪have rais'd themselves by those wicked methods, they have done incredible Mischiefs to Mankind; which is just the same as in every Country and City, there are Villains who suc∣ceed in Robberies and Injustice, though they be look'd upon with horror, as the plagues of Society, who violate the Laws of God and the State, and deserve to be totally rooted •…ut▪

This is it which hath oblig'd the Popes, in order to cover their Injustice, as I have already said, to corrupt and change the Law of God, and to conceal the Scriptures from the People, and after having established Morals contrary thereunto, to over-turn the Doctrine of the Faith, that so there might be a proportion be∣twixt the Maxims of their Government and their Opinions, and that their Tyranny might not be discovered by the inequality betwixt them. This is it that brought forth the Fine Doctrine of Transubstantiation, of the Sa∣crifice of the Mass, the In•…allibility of the Church, and many others.

Page  103For if they had not over-turn'd the Rights of God and Man in their Doctrine and Worship, as well as in the Government and Discipline of the Church; and if they had not extingui∣shed all the Light of Revelation, as well as that of Reason, the Light that should have re∣mained in the Doctrine, would have discover'd their Tyranny and Injustice, and the intention they had to make themselves Masters of the World, and bring the same under their sub∣jection. So likewise if their Ecclesiastical Government, their Maxims and Practice had been conformable to the Scriptures and good Sense, and had contain'd nothing contrary to good Order, and the Prosperity of People and Nations, and that together with this, the Doctrine and Worship of their Church had been extravagant and senseless, as they are at present, Men would have still preserved one of their Eyes, and not have been altogether so blind, but must have perceived the falshood and injustice of the one or the other, that is to say either of the Doctrine which the Popes had impos'd upon them, or of their Conduct in the Government of their Church, and so would either have demanded a Reformation, or shook off their Yoke; so that it's visible that it was absolutely necessary for the Interest of the Church of Rome, that their Morals and also the External Government of their Church, and in one word, their whole Ty∣rannical Economy and their Doctrines, should answer one another.

Page  104It is nothing but Ambition at the bottom wch hath occasion'd all these Disorders, and that also by degrees, for no one Man could form the project thereof all at once, but during the many Ages that this Mystery of Iniquity has been at work, the Court of Rome has improv'd all Occasions, and the Circumstances of Time, Place and Persons.

All this is apparently come to pass very na∣turally, and by the little that we know of the Corruption of Mens Hearts, we may perceive that those who are very Ambitious are able to commit insensibly and by degrees, proportio∣nably to the Opposition they meet with, whe∣ther it be by the Established Laws or by Men, millions of Crimes, and trample under Foot all Laws Humane and Divine.

We have all of us those Seeds of Injustice and Pride, and if God did not restrain us by his Providence, but presented such opportu∣nities unto us as he hath done to the Popes, to become Masters of the World, we should by degrees become as wicked as they. Nemo re∣pente fit turpissimus, No Man arrives to the height of Wickedness but by degrees; and in this case Ambitious Persons would reason with themselves, much after the same manner as he did formerly, who said, Si violandum est jus, regnandi causa violandum est; If it be lawful to break through Law in any case, it is lawful to do it for a Crown and a Scepter.

The Heart of Man is universally and at all times the same.

Page  105Let us suppose, that some Ambitious Prelate had Authority enough among the Pro∣•…estants to Form such Designs, as were those of the Bishops of Rome, to raise themselves in the first place above other Bishops and Priests, and afterwards over Princes and Peo∣ple, they would go near to make use of the same methods as the Popes and their Clergy did; and as they should receive opposition from time to time from those that would endeavour to restrain and tie them up to the Laws of God and Men if they and their Successors should overcome those Oppositions, they would by degrees suppress the Holy Scripture, over•…throw all Morality, and introduce an Universal dis∣soluteness of Manners; so that the Protestant or Christian Religion, without changing its Name, for that to be sure they would not do, should become in the first place like that of the Church of Rome, in Government and Disci∣pline, and next in Doctrine and Worship, that is to say, a perfect Brigandage or Robbery, and that Protes•…ant Pope should become a Tyrant over Protestant Princes and People, by calling himself their Common Father, and should likewise become Master of the States, Honour and Repose of their Subjects, without any hopes of Reformation, but by a Miracle wrought by the Almighty.

They would also Establish an Inquisition, and infinitely multiply the number of their Eccle∣siasticks, that is to say their Guard-men, and would neither spare Perfidiousness nor Cruelty to accomplish their Designs, and to maintain Page  106 and augment their Authority. They would pretend to Infallibility as well as the Pope, and claim as much Right as he to change the Law of God, and to make that sin, which is no sin, and sin to be accounted Duty. They would pre∣tend to all power in Heaven and Earth, and would labour incessantly to divide Protestant Princes amongst themselves, and with their Subjects, weaken them by all means, that they might keep a curb in their Jaws, and hold them in dependance upon themselves. They would raise wars for them without number, massacre those that should oppose their Impieties and Ambition from time to time; nor would they be wanting if they found it necessary to have Orders of Clergy-men, resembling the Monks and Jesuites, or worse than those if they could, under other Names, and would likewise As∣semble Councils, wherein they would Establish and Make Decrees, like those of Constance, Lateran and Trent: Et totus Orbis Protestantium miraretur se esse Antichristianum; so that the whole Protestant World should wonder at its being become Anti-christian.

So that while the Pope and the Romish Clergy, are possessed of a power of Domi∣nion and Rule, and that they will always be, unless God stir up some great and poten•… Prince to bring that rascally Crew to themselves, as I hope he will; but until that time they must always of necessity be cruel and perfidious by their Principles and Maxims, and pretend to Infallibility in their Doctrine, Worship and Moral•…, because they have neither Titles nor Page  107 Foundation for their Usurpations, which are palpable and gross; for if they had, they could no more be charg'd with Usurpations and In∣justice, and if they were not Usurpers, they would not maintain their own Rights nor Gods, as they impiously pretend, by committing so many Crimes, and pretending to Infallibility, with so much Impudence as they do, when they find no other way to colour their Impieties▪ There's none but unjust and barbarous Usur∣pers, who can make use of those pretences as they do.

The most clear sighted Protestants ordinarily look upon the Church of Rome, in regard of its Doctrine, as a Medly of Idolatries, Heresies, Superstitions▪ Errors and Blasphemous Do∣ctrines; and in regard of their Morals, as a Composition of Perfidiousness and Infideliy, Cruelty, Impurity and Pride; and they Judge that all those together constitute, and make up the es•…ential Form of that Church, and they are not deceived. But at the bottom it is Ambi∣tion alone, as I have said, which hath produc'd and maintains all those things, and is the Soul of their Church. One proof of this is, that there's no Men who do less believe their Doct•…ines than the Men of Parts amongst themselves, who govern all, but chiefly the Court of Rome. In their Civil Conversation among other Men, they don't appear much worse than they, as has been said already; and there's no room to doubt, but if the Pope and his Clergy could be assur'd by the Orthodox Church, that in case they would embrace the Page  108 pure Christian Religion of the Protestants, they should have the same Dominion and Pow∣er over the Kings, Princes and People of the Earth, and the same Revenues, Dignities and Means to advance all those who adhere to them; there's no doubt, I say, but they would prefer it, how wicked so ever they may be, because it is more conformable to Scripture, Reason and the Natural Light of Conscience, which oft pinches them, notwithstanding their profound and inveterate Habits of Error and Crimes.

I confess that it were impossible for their Tyranny and Authority to subsist with that Religion, which is pure Christianity, and the only Religion becoming the Excellence of Man, and therefore they were obliged to root it out of the Church of Rome, that so they might reign in it. But they have at least so much Equity, that Men of Sense among them who would perswade others to embrace their Communion, don't demand that they should believe their Doctrines, which they have no esteem of themselves, but only that they should go to their Church, and for other things, permit them to believe as they please.

It must then be purely and simply Ambition, and a desire of Dominion, which hath ruined the Church of Rome or the Clergy, and which continues to ruin them still; take but that Vice away from them▪ their Tyranny will cease, Christian Morality would reassume its place, they would neither be Idolatrous, Superstitious nor Heritical, Cruel nor Perfidious. Tran∣substantiation, Page  109 and the Infallibility of their Church, and all other monstrous Opinions would fall, their Discipline, Observations, Customs and Usages so pernicious to the Wel∣•…are of People and Countries, should be abo∣lish'd, and we s•…ould see Industry, Arts, Manu∣factures, Commerce, Agriculture, Sciences flourish every where, and their Clergy them∣selves would become Christians upon the mat∣ter, and honest Men.

Though there never was any Religion in the World more contrary to the Gospel and Rea∣son, than that of the Pope, in regard of Doctrine and Worship; yet I will adventure to say, that it is still more detestable, in regard of the Tyranny which is exercised therein by the Pope and his Clergy.

For the better understanding of this, I maintain that if it were possible there were but two Religions in the World, one whose Doctrine, was well Founded on Scripture and Reason, but the Morals Impious, and the Maxims of Ecclesiastical Government Tyran∣nical, and tending to the Oppression and Ruin of Princes and their Dominions. And that on the contrary, the Doctrines of the other were Abominable, contrary to Scripture and good Sense, but its Moral Practise Good, and its Ecclesiastical Government tending to the advantage of Sovereigns and their People, to make Countries Flourishing, Rich and Popu∣lous, and maintaining Peace and Tranquillity in them. There's no Man of Sense, but would confess the second Religion would deserve the Page  110 Protection of the State better than the first▪ So that if the Protestants should become Ido∣laters and Hereticks, & teach Transubstantiation, Purgatory, the Invocation of Saints, Adoration of the half of one of the two Sacraments, and that of Statues and Images, or such like Doctrines; their Morals and Maxims of Ec∣clesiastical Government, remaining the same as they are at present, that is to say, allowing to God, Princes and People all their Rights, as to what relates to Morals and the Government of Church and State, their Religion should better deserve the Protection of the State, than that of a Church, which should detest Transubstantiation, Purgatory, &c. and at the same time by their Maxims, Observations and Tyranny fill the World with Desolation and Vice, and ruin Princes and People, as the Roman Religion does.

So that it appears hence, that the Church and Religion of Rome, are yet more abomina∣ble by their Tyranny and Morals, than by their Idolatries and Errors. The Pope and his Clergy are more Antichristian by the Tyranny that they Exercise over the Souls and Bodies, the Estates, Honour, Life and Repose of Princes and People, than in regard of their Speculative Impieties and Worship. But I confess, that the one cannot be without the other. Where there is such an horrible Ty∣ranny, Religion cannot long remain pure in Doctrine, and where the Opinions are so mon∣strous, their Morality and Church-Govern∣ment Page  111 must needs become detestable and tend to the ruin of States.

I confess that in relation to God, it is equally impossible, according to Scripture, for private Idolaters, and those that practise a Morality destructive to Society, to be sav'd; So that in that respect the matter is equal, but it is not so with reference to the State.

Experience teaches us that there are Idola∣ters who are Morally Honest, as to Dealings betwixt Man and Man, and good Country∣men, who deserve the Protection of Magi∣strates, and that there are ill Men amongst the Orthodox, who deserve to be cut off, or cha∣stised severely, as Murderers, Fornicators, Robbers, &c.

As to Sovereigns and all Magistrates, the good of the State is always preferr'd to that of the Church, as Nature in order pre∣ceeds Grace, and the Light of Reason that of Faith. For the Church cannot subsist without the State, but the State can subsist well enough without the Church; hence it follows that Disturbers of the Publick Peace, and those that plunder and ruin People, deserve better to be cut off or banished out of a Country than Idolaters or Hereticks, that don't trouble the State. And that the Church of Rome who is guilty of both, that is to say, ruines States and is Idolatrous, deserves more to be de∣stroyed upon the former account than the latter.

History informs us, that the Spirit of Do∣mineering and Tyranny began first in the Page  112 Church of Rome, after which Vice and Igno∣rance, and next Idolatries and Herefies infected her in Crouds, and destroyed all her Doctrine and Worship. For the Popes did first attack the Temporal Rights of Sovereigns and Peo∣ple, before they made any attempt upon the Publick Worship.

Had they been chastis'd for their Ambition, and kept und•… as they ought, the Christian Religion had not been destroyed utterly among 'em, and People and Princes would have preser∣ved their Rights. It is the Natural Order of the Ambition of the Popes and their Clergy▪ that in order to promote their Designs upon the Temporal Rights of Sovereigns and People, they make use of what they call Spiritual Methods, to attain their end. Whence it follows, that Sovereigns ought to abhor them more for their Ambition and Tyranny, than for their Doctrine, tho' the one cannot subsist without the other, and they ought not to delay one moment the exterminating of such a Religion out of their Dominions, when it is so clearly demonstrated to 'em, as I have done that it lays them desolate in such a terrible and amazing manner.

After so great a number of Political Reasons▪ which so manifestly prove the falshood of the Romish Religion, the Papists, who hence•…orth continue obstinate, must find out other Metho•…s to palliate it, and not apply themselves to refu•…e all our Arguments from Scripture, Reason and Sense against their Opinions and pretended Mysteries, but to prove, if they can, that all Page  113 the re•…sons I have bro•…ght ag•…inst them are false, and that the XVIII Articles, by which I •…ave made it appear▪ that they lay Countries desolate, are supposititious or of •…o 〈◊〉. But tho' they should be able to do it: They will not find it easie to 〈◊〉 themselves from the Argumen•…s 〈◊〉•…aid dow•…▪ which are so 〈◊〉 and obviou•… to Sense.

It will •…e to no purpose for them to alledge the I•…fallibility of their Church, as they have successfully done to maintain Transubstantia∣tion, for here their Sophisms c•…nnot so much as impose upon a Servant-Maid, who of her self may Judge of my Arguments, which relate to matters of Fact that they themselves touch and manage, are visible, and plain, and propor∣tioned to the Capacities of the most Ignorant, and which may all be examined to the bottom in a very little time.

There's no need of understanding Hebrew, Greek or Latine for this, nor Divinity and Philosophy, nor so much as to read the Old and New Testament, or those they call the Fathers: The discussion of this Point is not •…edious, and it will be to no purpose for the Papists to alledge Prescription in this, no more than it would be for a Troop of Highway∣men, Pickpockets or False Coiners, who had been acc•…stomed to the cutting of Purses without being taken Notice of, or had for a long time cheated and ruined a senseless Peo∣ple, who did not observe that their Money was Cou•…terfeited. The Mischiefs are too great and mani•…est▪ not to have a remedy at∣tempted Page  114 assoon as possible, when ever▪ they are discovered, otherwise Princes and People, who are so much concern'd therein, must have lost their Senses.

It appears plain by what I have said, that so many Pe•…sons, who for diverse Ages, have pass'd •…or grea•… Ministers of State and Poli∣ticians, in Popis•… States and Kingdoms, were in reality nothing; but on the contrary mean spirited Men, that either did not perceive those Disorders of opery, which are obvious to every Mans view, nay, as I may say, leap on his Face, or suffered a Religion so ridiculous and ruinous to Sovereigns and their People, and so contrary to good Manners, to take place, and be the Religion of the State.

This Treatise which proves so evidently, and in a Method suited to the Capacity of the most Ignorant and Unlearned Persons, thé Falshood and Transcendent Malignity of the Church of Rome and her Religion, and which I defie all or any of them ever to answer, will hence-forward take off the Mask from all the Hypocritical Clergy of that Church, who though they believe nothing of their Re∣ligion themselves, yet they pretend to be sin∣cerely of her Communion, under a Counter∣feit Allegation, that the Holy Scripture is Ob∣scure, and that the said Church is Infallible▪ whereas they are in good earnest retain'd in her▪ Communion meerly by their Love of Ease, and the World, and a Spirit of Profanity, that they may enjoy the Sensual Plea•…ures, and Page  115 Carnal Delights, which are the Lot or Inhe∣ritance of the Romish Clergy.

So that henceforward the Popish Clergy can't but be understood, ev'n in Popish Countries them•…elves, to be the greatest Enemies of the State and of Mankind.

And henceforward we shall have reason also to look upon all the other Papists, who can read or have heard those Reasons Dis•…ours'd of▪ as Impious Profane People without Reli∣gion, and that Love nothing but the World; if they still continue in the unhappy Commu∣nion of that great Harlot, seeing her Shame and Uncleanness cannot in any wise be con∣ceal'd.

We shall moreover have more Reason now than ever to look upon all Protestants, Great or Small, Princes or Subjects, that renounce the Reformation or rather Christianity, to embrace Popery, as declared Enemies of the State, seeing Popery is so evidently prov'd to be the Bane of all Countries, where it is the obtaining Religion: Nor can we in particular, entertain any more favourable Opinion of those English •…rotestants who continue Jaco∣bites, though they do not change their Religion.

This should also make such Protestants blush who entertain, or rather would bring others to entertain a good Opinion of the Church of Rome, as if it were still a True Church, and comparable in any degree to the Church of England, or other Reformed Churches; where∣as there's no more comparison to be made Page  116 between them, than between Christ and Belial, the Temple of God and that of Idols.

I hope also by this way of writing, to de∣liver the World from abundance of Disputes and Vain Questions, about the Popes Supre∣macy, whether he be the Center of Unity, the Source and Fountain of Ecclesiastical Mi∣nistry, that is, of the Mission of all Bishops and Ministers, to which Pretensions, he has no more Right than the Muphti; as also about the Insallibility of the Pope and his Church, Transubstantiation, Invocation and Adoration of Saints and Angels, and a thou∣sand Inanimate Creatures; in which Vain and Foolish Disputes, the Protestants lost abundance of Time, in endeavouring to con∣vince the Popish Clergy, of the Folly and Falshood of those Opinions, which they them∣selves know to be False, as well as we, and without Foundation, and laugh at us in their sleeve, that we should think them so simple, as to believe those nonsensical and ridiculous Opinions.

If they believed their own Doctrines and pretended Mysteries, they would not prosa•…e them as they do, forcing People by a thou∣sand torments to go to their Mass, and to swallow down their pretended God of Bread, which the Protestants profess publickly to abominate, as they do their other Myste∣ries.

By this means I hope I have also delivered our Divines from a sort of Necessity they lay under, by reason of their Controversies with Page  117 the Papists, to read again and again those Books call'd the Fathers, Ecclesiastical History, the Hi∣story of Councils, the School-Divines ,Canonists and Decretals of the Popes, &c. which are all of 'em Vain Studies, for the most part; yet they were oblig'd to spend a great deal of time in following them▪ which might have been better improved in applying themselves only to Me∣ditating and searching out the Meaning of the Holy Scriptures, which ha•… been much better understood since the Reformation than in all the Ages preceding, and is the only Study in which a Mans whole Life can be profitably spent.

Hence we may also perceive of how little consequence it is to us, in regard of our Con∣troversies with the Church of Rome▪ to know which of the two Histories of the Council of Trent is the Truest and most Faithful, viz. that of the Incomparable Fra. Paolo, or that of the Profane Candinal Pallavicini, call'd of a long time his New Gospel, which does not deserve to be read, seeing we have a thousand other stronger Proofs of the Impiety of the Court of Rome, and their pretended Religion, than that History of Father Paolo, though excellent in it self, as to the Matter of Fact.

We may very well say, that the Council of Constance and Lateran, did Evidence and Esta∣blish as great Impieties as the Council of Trent diverse Ages before it. That which was most fatal to Christianity in that Impious last Council, was, that all the Idolatries and Heresies of the Church of Rome, as also her Tyranny, were Page  118 therein Consecrated and Established in Form of Laws, with Anathemas; so that if there were any remainder of Christianity in that pretended Church before the Council of Trent, which is indeed very much to be doubted, it was absolutely destroyed thereby; especially if we consider, that by Vertue of the Decisions of that pretended Council, where the Prote∣stants could not assist, because it was not free, and all was done therein by Bribes, Violence and Treachery, against the Protestations of almost all the Princes of Europe even Papists, who had demanded a Free Council: By Vertue I say, of the Decisions of that Profane and Impious Assembly, the Pope and his Clergy did afterwards put in practise all the Cruelties and Barbarities imaginable, in order to quench the Light of the Gospel in the Blood of the Reformers, and did also highly raise the fury of their Inquisition, which Tribunal alone proves the absolute Reprobation of the Romish Church, better than any thing that was done in the Council of Trent.

The Church of Rome has retain'd nothing of Christianity but the Name, and some small Appearances of it, in order to enrich her self by them, just as the Rouers of Algiers, who put out a Christian Flag when they design to en∣slave and swallow up the Christians; for at the bottom there's nothing in the Church of Rome but Idolatry, Perfidiousness, Cruelty and Tyranny.

It would seem reasonable also, that after so many and so evident prooss, that the Pope is Page  119 the greatest Enemy of all the Christian States, and of Christianity it self, that Protestant Travellers should be more scrupulous to kiss the Popes Foot, when they are at Rome; For 'tis not as a Temporal Prince that the Pope imposes upon them such as Ignominious and Abject Submission, but as the Antichrist or Vicar of Christ, for the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 signifies that, as 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 fignifies a Viceroy, and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 a Proconsul. The Pope, I say, and all his Court take it to be a Religious Worship, and an acknowledgment of his Almighty Power, both in Heaven and Earth, as being the Vicar of Christ, or the Antichrist not as Enemy of Christ, which the word fignifies also by the special Providence of God, tho' he be such a one 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 I know Travellers com∣monly have but a mean Idea of Religion▪ and do this meerly out of a base Covetousness to get the Popes Golden Medal, and fancy that 'tis only a civil aspect which they pay to him as to a Temporal Prince, and not a Religious one. But its a horrid mistake: For the Pope pretends it is due to him, by Vertue of a Prophecy in the Old Testament, by which it's said of the Messias, That all Nations shall bow down and sub∣mit to him, and lick the dust of his Feet. Other∣wise the Pope has no ground to pretend to that excessive and shameful Submission, above so many Princes in the World, who have a grea∣ter Temporal Power and Revenue, are of a far nobler Pedegree, and are infinitely better in all respects than he is; So that all those Tra∣vellers who are guilty of that, commit besides Page  120 the sin against God, a horrid baseness against 'emselves and Christianity, and in truth, I should think that those who will be so base here∣after, as to stoop to that Villany for the Golden Medal, would make no great scruple to pro∣stitute themselves also for Money to the other Roman Prelates at Rome & Muliebria pati.

There is nothing in my Opinion more ca∣pable of inspiring one with low and abased Thoughts of Mankind, than to see Kings and Princes, and their Counsels, who ought to be the most clear-sighted and prudent of all Men, as to what concerns the Welfare of their Do∣minions and People, to suffer themselves to be led by the Nose, by the most Vile and Abject Rascals in the World, who have imposed such a Foolish and Shameful Religion upon them, under pretext of which they pillage, ruine, and lay waste their Countries, without their perceiving it, or at least endeavouring to de∣liver themselves from that Yoke of Slavery.

The Church of Rome is not contented thus to treat those that she hath already brought under, but would also swallow up all others, and yet if you'l believe her, she is, as I have said, Infallible, and there's no Salvation to be hop'd for, but in her Communion, and by submitting to her Yoke; which is all one as if the most dissolute Prostitute in a City, should alledge that all the honest Women are debauched, and cannot learn how to behave themselves except they come to her School: Or just as if a multitude of Profligate, Impious Debauchees, Thiefs, False Coiners Page  121 and Murderers, pretended to impose a new Religion upon Men, to Administer Justice to all the World, under pretence that some of their Ancestors, from whom they claim a Direct and Legal Succession, were honest Men, and acted in those Stations a thousand years ago. For it is just the same: the Popes pretend to be Successors to the Bishops of Rome; who were, as they pretend, the Successors of Saint Peter▪ but what consequence can they draw from it, if it were true; seeing they are now all Idolaters, Hereticks and the greatest Ty∣ra•…s in the World, and have been such for several Ages▪ Is it not certain that Judas, tho he was an Apostle himself, forfeited his Right to his Office, by betraying his Master? how much more have the Popes and the Popish Church forfeited it, who out-do him as much as the Prototype use•… to out-do it's Type.

Let's suppose that the Mahometan 〈◊〉 who are a kind of Christians, as well as the Popes, since they acknowledge Christ for a great Prophet, did pretend that they are the Successors of those Bishops of Asia to whom St. Iohn in his Revelation, directs some Ad∣monitions, who had at least as much Right to pretend to be the Successors of the Apostles, as the now Bishops of Rome. Let us suppose, I say, that those muphtis did pretend now, not only to have their Mission from Christ, but to be the Center of Unity amongst Christians, and under that pretence oblige us to 〈◊〉 Mahometans, would the Popish Church think their Arguments good; and yet they have as much Right to such Pretensions as Page  122 the Pope and his Clergy, who are more Antichristian than they.

The Pope then and his Clergy being without Controversy, as I have demonstrated, the greatest Enemies to Jesus Christ, and to the Christian Church; is it not a horrid piece of Impudence▪ and Folly, to pretend that they are or may still be the Fountain of the Ecclesiastical Mission and Ministry? It is against God's Holiness▪ Truth and Wisdom to think so▪ and Blasphemy to speak so? For did ever any wise Prince trust his Authority, his Person and Family to Rebels and his greatest Enemies, does not he on the contrary, deprive them of all their Offices, and of all his Fa∣vours▪ for otherwise he should countenance their Rebellion and Crimes; but when they have submitted and sworn Fidelity afresh, then if he thinks fit to pardon them, and give them their Offices again, there must be new Patents and a new Commission▪ on else he would be guilty of Folly against his own Crown and Dignity; just the same as if our Lawful So∣vereign King William, did trust his Authority, Person, and People to the Irish, who are in the late Kings Service in France, and his own greatest Enemies, and that they should exercise that Authority without renouncing Popery, Idolatry, and the late King. This might justly be called a trusting the Sheep to the Wolves. Unless Peter after the abjuring of his Master, had repeated of that great sin, and been also restor'd by his Master to the Apostleship, by a thrice repeated Commission to feed his Sheep,Page  123 as he had three times abjured him; Unless, I say▪ Christ had so sealed his Pardon and renew'd his Commission, he had forfeited his Apostle∣ship: How much more then hath the Popish Church forfeited all her pretended Priviledges, by the multitude of her Idolatries, Heresies, Execrable Morals, and by her Tyranny over Princes and Nations?

It's a Folly in Protestants to dispute seriously with the Roman Clergy, and quote Scripture, or bring Reason against them; for they know very well that the Scripture is against them, otherwise they would not prohibit the Reading of it, nor speak with that disrespect of the same, as they do▪ it is just the same as if you would endeavour to dispute Highway-men or Prostitutes out of their way of Living, which they have chosen before all others, with a Resolution never to abandon the same.

It's a Maxim in Logick, that one ought not to dispute with those who deny Principles, nor with those who impudently Controvert certain Truths. And can any Society be more guilty of this, than the Church of Rome, who orders those of her Communion to violate all the Commandments of God, all the Maxims of Christianity, and all the Laws of Nature and Society, to Convert Men, as she calls it, to her Religion? Can there be any thing more ef∣fronted and impudent than that pretended Church, when in her Debates with us, she asserts also, as I have said already, her own Infallibility, in Pillaging, Ruining and laying Desolate those Nations that submit to her Page  124 Yoke▪ and likewise by denying that there was any Persecution in France, or that their pre∣tended Sacrament is Real Bread, &c.

To what purpose is it to Dispute of Religion with such a Church, which for several Ages hath impudently Anathematiz'd those who Communicate in both kinds, though she own'd at the same time, that Jesus Christ commanded we should do so, when he instituted that Sa∣crament, and that the Apostles and Primitive Church did the like.

It exceedingly delights the Popish Clergy, so find the Protestants seriously Disputing against their Ridiculous Doctrines, for they value themselves upon it as having Wit enough to make all their Extravagancies seem Proble∣matical at least. For it requires as much ingen∣uity to put a fair colour on their Follies, as if a Man should undertake to prove that the Devil loves Truth, Justice and Holiness, or that that which is call'd Truth and Holiness, is False and Sinful. What delight would not the Devil take to hear Men Disputing, whether he is to be Worshipp'd and Religiously Served as well as God. This comparison is not too harsh, for in many places of the Scripture, the Ado∣ration of Creatures, both Animated and Ina∣nimated, such as the Papists are guilty of, is call'd The Adoration of Devils; to drink the Cup of Idols, is call'd a drinking the Cup of Devils; to Sacrifice to Idols (as the Papists do when they Invoke and Adore so many Crea∣tures in Heaven or Earth, and when they offer the Sacrifice of their Mass to pretended Saints, Page  125 who are dead, and meer Idols) that's call'd in Scripture, a Sacrisice to Devils, the Adoration of Images of Gold and Silver, is joyn'd with the Adoration of Devils. And several Doctrines which seem to be none of the most Impious of the Romish Church, are call'd the Doctrines of Devils, such as is their prohibiting their Eccle∣siasticks to Marry, and eating such and such sorts of Meat, &c.

I mention all this by the by, without quoting the places of Scripture, because▪ I am no Di∣vine, but those who read the Scriptures know what I say is true. They know also that the Romish Church is call'd in Scripture by the Names of Sodom, Egypt and Babylon, as if the Spirit of God had fought for the harshest Terms, to denote to us in some degree, the infinite Malignity of the Romish Church, which is beyond all Expression and Idea. Their Clergy, I say, take a great delight to see our Divines busied in confuting their Opinions, as those who undertake the Apology of Folly, do when they see others seriously confuting their foolish Arguments.

If it were not for the Riches of Popery, and the Princes and the numbers of People, who fol∣low that Beast and false Prophet, according to the Prophecies of the New Testament, it would appear to the Judgment of the Papists themselves, the most Execrable Religion that ever was, and I hope there will come a time, when all the World will be amazed, to under∣stand by History that there hath ever been in the World such a Portentous and Monstrous Religion as that is▪

Page  126I promis'd at the beginning of this Work, to demonstrate the great Advantages which the King and Kingdom of France might reap by abolishing Popery; in order to shew by that single example, what Advantage other Popish Nations might reap by the same, and the great ones that England and other Protestant Coun∣tries enjoy by the Reformation: I shall there∣fore now say, that should it please God to put it into the heart of the K. of France, who Reigns at present, and who of a long time seems to a great many people, to be destin'd to do great things, to deliver his Kingdom from the Ty∣ranny of the Pope, he would reap abundance of more true glory from it before God and Man, than he would have done, had he been able to conquer the whole World. That would be an Action truly Heroick, infinitely greater than▪ any thing he hath done hitherto, and would be a clearer demonstration to the World, that he •…ath a Great and Noble Soul. This return to God, to Himself and to his People, would compensate for all the past Mis∣carriages of his Reign, and preserve those great Titles, which have either been given him by others, or assum'd by himself, as also the Glory of all the great things that he may have done. Then indeed he would deserve the Title of Most Christian King, which can never be pro∣perly given to a Popish Prince, because Popery and Christianity are Antipodes to one another, at least as much as darkness is to lig•…t.

Page  127It is well known that ever since he ascended the Throne, the honester sort of Papists in that Kingdom, have entertain'd hopes that this great and glorious Prince would deliver it from the Popes disgraceful Yoke▪ by creating a Patriarch. But the Court of Rome by the pernicious Counsels of her Clergy, who have sold themselves to Iniquity, diverted him from that design, by inspiring him with false Ideas of the Glory and Grandeur he would acquire by extirpating the Protestant Religion, which they call Heresie, out of his Kingdom, that is to say▪ to persecute such True Christians as were in the same, with all manner of Fury, in order to subject them to the Pope, instead of making War upon that Grand Enemy of Jesus Christ, the greatest that ever he had or can have.

It must be confessed that the design of esta∣blishing a Patriarch in France, was very consi∣derable, seeing by that means they had de∣sign'd to deliver the Kingdom from a Foreign Yoke, as ruinous as possible, but it must be acknowledged on the other hand, that it would be abundantly and more assuredly Glorious and Advantagious to Reform the National▪ Religion entirely from so many frightful Errors in Doctrine, and so great a number of Customs and Superstitions, that are pernicious to the State, and were introduc'd into the same under the favour of that profound darkness, which the Tyranny of the Pope hath spread therein, and which in their turn maintain and support that Tyranny▪

Page  128For if we consider things duly, that horrid Darkness and Ignorance could not have been dissipated by the meer Creation of a Patri∣arch, for notwithstanding that, most of those ruinous Disorders, represented in the foremen∣tioned 18 Articles, would still have continued, because they are the natural Dependances and Necessary Consequences of the other Princi∣ples of the Romish Religion, which would have remain'd entire notwithstanding the Crea∣tion of a Patriarch, the Abolition of the Pa∣pal Authority only being excepted.

Besides such an Inconsiderable Change as this, the rest of the Popish Religion being con∣tinued, would neither have been Advantagious for the Salvation of Men, Glorious to the King, nor Profitable to the State. For Ido∣latry and the other Heresies remaining, there would have always been an Impossibility of being saved in that Religion, and the greatest part of the Oppression attending it, being also continued, the people would have had but lit∣tle relief by it, nor would the King of France have reap'd the fourth part of the Advantage, which he might expect from a thorough Refor∣mation.

Neither is it to be thought that so small a change, could be solid and durable; for at the bottom, it's certain that it's the Popes who have made the Religion of the Church of Rome to be what it is, either by corrupting the Doctrine of the Apostles▪ or Adopting the Idolatry and Worship of the Pagans, or by Forging now and then new Articles of Faith, for Page  129 their own private Interest, and that of their Clergy: And it is certain that their Religion is founded on no other Authority but that of the Pope, and therefore Cardinal Pallavicini had reason to say in his History of the Council of Trent, call'd by some, his New Gospel▪ Tutti gli Articoli della Religione unitamente considerati non hanno altra certezza prossima ed immediata che l'Autorita del summo Pontefice; i. e. that all the Articles of their Religion, considered together, have no other certain and immediate founda∣tion, but the Authority of the Pope. So that if we reason consequentially from this Principle, the Popish Religion cannot be preserved but by the preservation of the Papal Authority, from which it derives all the Authority, that gives it any value in the eyes of the World.

It is also probable, that if a greater Reforma∣tion were not made immediately upon the Creation of a Patriarch, the Popes Authority would be again Re-established; •…or he should without doubt have always a great Party in the Kingdom, under the •…avour of that horrid Darkness which must have continued therein, if it had been no other but for the Jesuites and Monks, who would be constantly Jealous that the Patriarch would pair their Nails. One Party of the Nation would always have enter∣tained a Correspondence with the Popes Friends, being united by their Communion in the same Religion, excepting the Opinion of the Authority of the Pope, tho'some would have made semblance of rejecting that too, for fear of their King, yet they would effectually endea∣vour Page  130 the Re-establishment of the Papal Autho∣rity. And so much the more, that the Court of Rome would have been prodigal of their Treasures, and have spar'd nothing on this oc∣casion to maintain their Tyranny: And more∣over, i•… the King who had created a Patri∣arch, should come to have died before the Reformation should have been compleated, and a Prince of less Authority had Succeeded, there would have been an end of the Patri∣archat.

This erecting of a Patriarch would not have pleased the Popish Princes neither; so that they would have joyned with the Pope and the Party that adher'd to him in France, and would either have stirr'd up Civil Wars there, or have made War upon it themselves.

Nor could this imperfect Change have satis∣fied the Protestant Princes, who would always have look'd upon France as Idolatrous and Heretical, and ready to return again to wallow in that mire, whence she had made some Effort to get out, and begun to lift up her head; so that they would never put any confidence in her. It should happen to France in this case, as it always happens to Neutral Princes in the quarrels of Neighbouring Potentates, their Neutrality does not reconcile them with their Enemies, nor yet procure •…hem any Friends. Neutralitas ne•… Amicos pari•… ne{que} Inimicos tollit, saith Tacitus: In such cases we must be either t'one or t'other, and avoid that which is call'd Consilia Media. Such a faint Reformation would have serv'd for nought, but to awake Page  131 all the Malice of the Pope, and the Mischie∣vous Ecclesiasticks of the Kingdom, who would have reap'd the same Advantage from this, that a strong Man does from the Impotent Menaces of his Enemy, which serve only to put him on his Guard and set him at Work, to prevent the threatned Mischief, according to the Italian Proverb, Le Minaccie sono l'Armi del Minaccia•…o. Threats sound an allarum to the threatned Man, to take Arms, either to de•…end himself or offend his Enemy, as occa∣sion requires.

Whereas if the King of France did not do things by halves, but should, together with his Subjects, renounce all at once the false Do∣ctrines, Worship, Superstition and Abuses of the Church of Rome, and Free his Kingdom from that Tyranny, by Establishing the light of the Gospel, to enlighten his People, amongst whom it is hid under a Candlestick, he might assure himself that such an Evangelical Refor∣mation would be followed by unexpressible Advantages to himself and his People, both in regard of Temporal and Eternal Life.

Some may perhaps object that such a com∣ple•…t and sudden Reformation, must needs shake the Kingdom of France, and that there's no passing so suddenly from one Extream to another without danger, that is to say, from the thick darkness of Popery, to the bright shining light of Christianity, and therefore it mu•…t be done gradually, as our Saviour did when he restored sight to the Blind, they did not at first see all Objects dis•…inctly; but Men Page  132 walking like Trees, and that God does not make us pass from the dark night to the bright day, but by the dawning of the Morning, and therefore according to that Wisdom, it were proper first to Establish a Patriarchat in France, before they endeavour a Gospel-Reformation.

To this I answer, That as to the Authority of the Pope, which the Creation of a Patri∣arch would have over-turn'd, all the Parlia∣ments of France, and amongst others that of Paris, all Persons of Learning, Sense and Ho∣nesty, ev'n amongst the Clergy themselves, do not acknowledge that Authority in their heart; nay, they despise all other Doctrines contrary to those of the Protestants, as being evidently false or unprofitable. The Kings Authority and the Respect or Fear that they have for him, are the only Ties which retain them, lest he should destroy or ruine them, if they did •…urn Protestants. They have had many Doctors of a long time, who have opened their Eyes in regard of the Popes Authority, and diverse other such Doctrines, as the Chancellor Gerson, and the Drs. Richer, de Launoy, the Author of the Book call'd, Les Moyens Seurs & Honnetes, Sure and Honest Methods, Elias Du Pin, and many other, without mentioning the Books of Protestants; and besides, the Jansenists, the New Philosophy and the present Quietists, do some∣thing of that Nature; And there's ground of hope that all the Nation will be moved at the infinite number of Mischiess, which Popery occasions in the State when they are set before their Eyes.

Page  133We must also consider, that the Rigor and Length of the last Persecution of France, nay which continues still, and hath been one of the longest and most cruel that ever the Christians endur'd since the Establishment of Christianity; that grand Rigor, I say, and the continuance of the Persecution, have giv'n occasion to all Persons of the Romish Communion, who had not absolutely divested themselves of all Con∣science and Humanity, and become perfect Bruits, to inquire into those Opinions, •…or which the Protestants have suffered, and suffer still so many evils, and have found them Reasonable and Christian, contrary to what the Monks represented them to be, and diverse of the honestest of their Clergy-men who were for∣merly very Ignorant, have instructed themselves in them. All of them have been terrified to find so much Courage, Firmness, Humility and surprizing Patience amongst an infinite number of Persons of all Sexes, Ages and Con∣ditions, which made them to think, that in all this, there was something Divine, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉; they are also surpriz'd to find, by the Zeal which those poor People, discover at present when persecuted in diverse places with the utmost rage, that they are less Papists than ever, which occasions many thoughts of heart amongst those who have any Judgment.

Besides the bad success of that Persecution which hath been accompanied with this long and bloody War, a violent Famine, and the dethroning of the late King James, with whom it was concerted, and which, in fine, hath issued Page  134 in the ruine of the Kingdom of France, hath made it evident that it was not a Woŕk which God approv'd, and that he did without all doubt avenge himself on the Nation for their perfidiousness and cruelty committed against his People, at the Instigation of the Court of Rome and the Clergy of France; and those who are not judicially blinded, or have any Sense of God upon them, understand and perceive clearly that God concern'd himself in the Cause of the Protestants, and the Evils they Suffered. Which ought to be another strong Argument, to incline the Papists to embrace the Protestant Religion. So that there's no cause to doubt but the People of France, have a mighty dis∣position to shake off the Popes Yoke, and to embrace the Doctrine of the Gospel▪ if the King of France would declare himself for it, above half the business would be done.

Never Prince had nor can have so fair an occasion to acquire Immortal Glory, and to render his People happy, as the King of France has at present in putting that great Work in Execution, for besides all the Dispositions thereunto abovementioned, he hath the most Authority in his Dominions of any Prince in the World, and hath the finest and most numerous Army that ever was seen in France, and if he should s•…and in need of any assistance to carry on a Work so Glorious, so Magnifi∣cent and Advantagious to Mankind, there's no doubt but the Incomparable William, and other Protestant Powers, would lend him their helpi•…g ha•…d.

Page  135It seems that the present State of the King∣dom of France, doth moreover indispensibly require this general Reformation, and the abo∣lition of the Papacy, to the end the King may appropriate to himself all or at least the greatest part of the Riches of the Church, which belong to no Body, and whereof he might dispose for the •…afety of the State, without any Injustice, by which means he would be enabled to pay his Debts to every one, and to prevent a Civil War, which seems to threaten France unavoidably, if there come a K▪ of lesser Authority than Lewis the XIV. by reason of the desperate Condition into which People of all ranks are upon the brink of being reduc'd, because of the ill condition of their Affairs.

All his Troops seem to require it also, to prevent their being cashier'd, for they must either perish in Foreign Countries, or starve, or be hang'd at home; the great numbers of brave Officers and Noblemen, ruined by the Kings Service do also require it; and 'tis a thousand times more just that they should be compensated by the Riches of the Church which belong to no Body but the King and State, than that they should be enjoy'd by such an Herd of Scandalous and Unprofitable Ec∣clesiasticks. The great numbers of others who have been forced by several ways to lend Money to the King, or to buy Places, or Letters of Nobility, and must unavoidably be cashier'd and ruined, or who have lost all they had by the Taxes, do also require such a general Reformation, that the King may be enabled Page  136•…o pay or give them some Compensation, and to furnish them Bread, of which they have none left. And besides those above-mentioned▪ all ranks of People through the Kingdom in gene∣ral require it, that they may be delivered from those prodigious Losses, that they suffer continually by Popery, which amount, as has been said, to above 200 Millions per Annum, that so they may be Re-established and Re∣peopled a little; for which end the Monks, Nuns and other Ecclesiasticks might be very useful, if their Monasteries were dissolved.

The general Desolation of the Cities and Countries do also demand it, that so that King may be in a condition to moderate the Impo∣sitions and Taxes, with which they are over∣whelm'd at present, and will continue so to be. Without this all Arts, Manufactures and Hus∣bandry, will infallibly decay more and more, and the Art Military will come to nothing in France, where it hath flourished so much in this Reign.

The Interest of the Church of France, as they call it, and all the honest Ecclesiasticks among them, seem also to require it; because if after the present King and Dauphin, there should happen to come a weak Prince, the Kingdom also being so much weakned as 'tis at present, and as it will continue to be still, may be for ever ruin'd unless this general Reforma∣tion be set about speedily: If, I say, a weak Prince should happen to come to the Crown at such a time, the Popes will treat France in a more Tyrannical and Cruel manner than ever, Page  137 because of the fears they have laboured under, that France would shake off their Yoke, and of the attempts which they will pretend have been made upon their Authority in this Reign, which they will never pardon. Then the Pope will Establish the Inquisition in France, deprive the Gallican Church of that she calls her Liberties, rob the King of his Regale, oblige him to restore the Seculariz'd Estates to the Church, and certainly despoil the Bishops of their Lawful Jurisdiction over the Regular Clergy. Then they must believe the Infallibi∣lity of the Pope, or at least pretend to do so, both in Matters of Fact and Right, his Al∣mighty Power in Heav'n and Earth, his Supe∣riority over Councils, his Absolute Power over the Temporal Rights of Kings, and their Lives, as well as in the matters of their Salvation, and the like over their Subjects: The Pope, the Monks and the Jesuites will render them∣selves Masters of all under a weak Prince, and the Kingdom will be more expos'd to the Cheats, Impostures and Scandalous Vices of the Clergy than ever.

The King of France should hereby gain the Affection of all Protestant Princes and States intirely, which would be much more useful to him than that of the Popish Princes, because they are honester in their Treaties, and at pre∣sent much more powerful especially by Sea, and more able to hurt or help him. And more∣over, France cannot subsist without Commerce with them, and the King knows very well that they have no thoughts of regaining any thing Page  138 from France, as the Popish Princes have, be∣cause she hath never taken any thing from them; nor have they any thoughts of making Con∣quests upon him, as being more Sage and Judi∣cious than that comes to: Neither has he any reason to fear that the Court of Rome will employ them to do Mischief to France, as they have imployed, and may still imploy Po∣pish Princes to do.

But if France neglect such a fair opportunity as this is, to shake off the Yoke of Popery, (when there is such an Indispensible Necessity •…o do it for the fafety of the Kingdom, which must otherwise perish) after having seen so evidently, that Popery is the ruin of States, and by consequence a false Religion, all the World will have reason to believe, that His Majesty does not only hate the Protestant Re∣ligion, but the very Persons of all Protestants, especially if he does not Re-establish his Sub∣jects of the Reformed Religion in the free Exercise of the same, and in a full and entire Liberty in all Respects, as his other Subjects, and with all possible Assurance for time to come, seeing no Man can reproach them with Disloyalty towards the King, nor on the ac∣count of their Doctrine, which the most Lear∣ned of the Papists themselves acknowledge to be very Sound, and Conformable to the Scripture, and make their boasts that they be∣lieve the same things as they do, having nothing else to reproach them with, but only that they don't believe enough, because they don't be∣lieve Transubstantiation, nor fifty other Foole∣ries Page  139 of the like Nature; nor adore the half of one of the two Sacraments, which has not so much as the Honour to be Bread, but is only an Elil Elilim, a Nothing, an Idol, which according to St. Paul is a meer Nothing; of this number of Learned Men is the Bp. of Meaux, as appears by his Exposition of the Catholick Doctrine. With∣out •…his Reformation, France will become as desolate in 30 years time, as Spain and Portugal is at present, though there should be a continued Peace all that while. For the Women and Girls who are at present three thirds of the People of France, will for the most part be dead without Children, because there are not Men enough at present to Marry them; so that this want of People will be much more apparent then, than now.

It may very well be said that the Kingdom of France hath for 30 or 40 years had a great Ascendant over all the other Nations of Europe, by means of the Kings Vigour and Absolute Power. But the Kingdom will lose that As∣cendant, come to nothing, and be despicable to all the World, and especially to the Court of Rome, without hopes of being ever able to recover it self, if such a Reformation be not made; And I dare venture to say, that without this the Kingdom is in danger to be torn into pieces by Civil Wars ere it be long, or involved in short in another new War, on the account of Religion, by the Jesuites at the secret Suggestion of the Pope, who are still afraid of that Kings great Authority, tho his Kingdom is ruined.

Page  140There's no other Method left, as I have intimated already, to put the King in a condi∣tion to pay his numerous Debts, but this Evan∣gelical Reformation; and because diverse Per∣sons of great Merit have desir'd of me to give some Account of the Ways and Means they take, to find Money to borrow, and Places to sell in a Kingdom so much ruined as France; I could not refuse to obey them in imparting what is publickly known of that Matter in France, therefore I shall here make a little di∣gression.

We must observe then that the Court en∣tertains a great number of People in Provinces and Towns, who make it their business to dis∣cover those who have yet any Money left 'em. Whereupon the Intendant, Governour or other Chief Men of the Place, have orders either to call for such Persons, or to go to their Houses, and tell them that the King has a mind to sell such and such new Places, or Augmentations of Salleries to all Civil Officers who are already in Place, or Letters of No∣bility to Commoners, or some other Priviledges, or to create Rents upon the Town-House of Paris, or to alienate the Revenues of the Post∣Office, or some part of his Demain, &c. Then they are acquainted Civilly that they will oblige the Court to lay out their Money on such thing•…, and do a piece of good Service to the State, that their Principal and Interest will both be sure, and their gain considerable. If they answer that they have no Money, after being desir'd thus to lay it out, then they Page  141 find it to be, as Tacitus says, Preceserant, sed quibus resisti non poterat. They were Prayers indeed, but such as they could not resist.

Those Officers inform themselves more parti∣c•…larly of the Sta•…e of their Affairs, from Scri∣veners and Notaries, who are oblig'd to tell all they know of it; After this they proceed to threaten the Persons, that so they may squeeze Money out of them. But there are few who let it come to this extremity, because they see so many Examples before them of People ruined by such Refusals, for either they are tax'd extraordinarily as rich Persons, or are accused that either they themselves or their Friends, whose Estates they Inherit, robb'd the Publick when they were in Office, and thereupon despoil them of their Estates. Other∣wise all the Actions of their whole Life are Canvass'd, or if that fail, the Conversations of their Children and other Relations, are enqui∣red into, on purpose to vex them, and their Tenants are over-whelm'd with▪Impositions, or Quartering of Soldiers.

There are a hundred other such Methods; and their Children and Relations are never advanc'd neither in the Church, in the Army, nor otherwise. And they are besi•…es accounted at Court Enemies to the Government, some∣times imprisoned, and if they have any Suit at Law, the adverse Party is sure to find fa∣vour, &c. It's true, there are some who are known to be extreamly Rich, or in great bu∣siness, •…hat prevent •…he Court on purpose •…o gain Favour, and lend their Money upon the Town∣house Page  142 of Paris, nor do they know how to dispose of their Money otherwise, Trade being quite ruined, Houses and Land being of no value, and all people almost being broke; so that there's no safety in lending it to private Hands; besides they are affraid of the Species being cry'd down, the same having been aug∣mented one 6th part during the War. Th•…n the Interest is upon the foot of twelve, fourteen, eighteen or twenty years purchase more or less, and most of those Persons live at Paris on those Revenues: Here I shall take notice by the way, that above two thirds of all the Kingdoms Money, Plate and Jewels are at Paris; and that there was plenty of Money in France 15 years ago, as 'tis necessary for Trade, in a Country where the half of all Estates are in Mainmort.

We must suppose that Court was perswaded that the last War was just and necessary, and that the Kingdom was in great danger, had it not been for the help of such Methods, and they reasoned as that Man, who said formerly; Praestat aliquam habere Rempublicam quam nullam, that is, 'tis better to have some Republick than none: And we must think also, that they thought the Kingdom was able soon or late to pay and reimburse all those Loans, both Princi∣pal and Interest, and that the Money was useless during the War, in the hands of private Men who had it, or might even be prejudicial to the Kingdom, if the Owners had applyed themselves to Usury, as 'tis in such Cir∣cumstances in some Countries. So that 'tis no wonder, that the Court having such an Autho∣rity, made use o•… such Ways and Means.

Page  143How then can all those Publick Debts, old and new, be paid without abolishing Popery? How can those who have bought their Places, of whom three fourths at least must be Ca∣shier'd, be otherwise reimbursed? and this last alone may amount perhaps to a thousand Mil∣lions, besides what is due to those who have purchas'd Augmentations of Salleries, and Titles of Nobility, which together with other Priviledges sold also, must be abolish'd; or how can the Interests of all those Debts be paid, seeing the Kingdom is every day more and more dispeopled? for there's at least three Women for one Man, and by consequence there are but few Marriages, and more People die than are born. What hopes then can that Ki•…gdom entertain from Trade and Hus∣bandry, when they have no Men to manage them?

And besides, the continuance of the Persecu∣tion will more and more alienate the Hearts of all True Protestant Strangers, who either will not Travel, or at least not stay any long time in France, where so much Perfidiousness and Cruelty abounds, against their Brethren, and where they cannot promise safety to them∣•…elves, for ei•…her •…hey are in hazard of being knock'd on the head, by the Furious and Ido∣latrous People, if they don't kneel before their breaden God in the Streets, or are always at the Mercy of their Landlords, Masters of Exercises, or Idolatrous and Bigotted Physiti∣ans, &c. for it is now the mode in France to be mad Bigots, and if they fall sick there, they Page  144 will be persecuted to the death, in order to make them abjure their Religion. Nor can they have leave to eat Meat for six Months almost in the Year, without buying Permission of the Priests, for they are now more ridi∣culous in France, in those matters than at Rome it self: Because the Pope is well satisfied to draw Strangers thither, and to have their Money, and that France should lose so much by it. So that the great pro•…it which the Kingdom of France did ordinarily reap from Protestant Strangers, must reasonably be suppo∣sed to diminish considerably.

There will happen also another Inconveni∣ence by the abating of the Value of Money, which must yet of necessity be done, and will occasion abundance of disorder in the Kingdom. I confess that the abolishing of Popery, which we have demonstrated to be so necessary, can∣not prevent that diminution of the Value of the Coin which is so just, but it would occa∣sion that that loss and all the rest would be nothing so sensibly felt by the Kingdom, be∣cause the Affairs of the King and the Subject both would be abundantly better'd by it.

I think it necessary to observe here, that the Rents of the Town-house of Paris, before∣mentioned, consist in Taxes laid upon all sorts of things, that are exported or imported into that City, for the use of Man and Beast, as Provisions, Cattle, Corn, VVine, Cloaths, Firing, Hay, Straw, &c. Nor is there any thing but what is liable to this Impost, whether it be the product of the Kingdom or of Foreign Page  145 Countries, and it is the same as to all manner of Goods Exported from Paris, as Manufa∣ctures, all sorts of things •… la mode for Dresses, either of Men or Women, and whether it be to the Provinces of France, or to Foreign Countries; so that there's nothing but what pays, the very Herbs and Flowers not being excepted. About 20 years ago the King had at least 20 Millions of Livres, or above a Mil∣lion and a half Sterling yearly by this Impost, but it is without all doubt much diminished at present. The Salt alone which is sold at 14 and 15 d. per Pound, did formerly yield 1800000 Livres per Annum, which was appropriated for the Use of the Kings Table, and those of the Officers of his Houshould, tho' Paris be nothing near so Big, Rich and well Peopled as London; and by consequence spends much less.

Then besides the Tax on all things Imported into that City, for the use of Man and Beast, which pay by the Gross, either at the Ga•…s, the entrance of the Suburbs, or to the Pataches on the River, (which are Boats with Officers of the Custom-house, and Guards to levy the said Tax on all things Imported or Exported by Water) there is moreover a Tax laid upon every thing that is retail'd within the City and Surburbs; and because that this Revenue must necessarily fall in proportion to the De∣crease and Poverty of the People, the Court who are unwilling that it should do so, augment the Tax on every thing, to make up what they lose by this fall of the Revenue, which occasions abundance less to be consumed, and this Branch Page  146 of the Revenue to fall more and more, and People to suffer Extremly by it. Those Taxes are so many that there are several Books writ for ascertaining them. It is the same in several of the biggest Towns of the Kingdom and 'tis at present the best par•… of the K•…ngs Revenues, bec•…use the great Cities are not so Depopulated as the Country. But let's return to our Subject:

I shall suppose here the Popish Religion to be Good as to its Doctrine and Wo•…ship, and the Protestant Religion False; yet the King of France, by embracing the latter, should be •…s∣soon saved if he paid his Debts, reliev'd his People from their Pressures, and his Kingdom from a Foreign Yoke which ruines it▪ if he la∣bour'd incess•…ntly to Re-establish and Re-people his Kingdom, doing Justice to all, rewarding such as have been undone by his Service in one manner or other, making reparation to his Re∣formed Subjects for the dammage he hath done them, making Ver•…ue and Learning to Flourish, and Ba•…ishing Vice, Ignorance and Imposture; all which he may do by abolishing Popery, and which can't be done without it. I say, that he would assoon be saved in a Religion that is fal•…e, as to Doctrine and Worship by doing those things, as he could be in the Popish Re∣ligion, supposing it to be Orthodox in Worship and Doctrine, and that he did not perform his Du•…y in all those respects, as it is certain he cannot do whilst his Kingdom continues Popish.

Vengeance in 〈◊〉 cases displeases God▪ but that which the French K. should hereby take of the Court of R•…me might well be called an Page  147 Holy Vengeance; seeing the Popes have ruin'd France by their Religion, secret Intrigues, and by the Spirit of Pecsecution, with which they have inspired her Princes, &c. The King on the other hand, would Re-establish Fr•…nce by the Ruine of the Popes; which were no more but thebruising of the Scorpion upon the wound that it makes.

By this means the King of France would ob•…ain a mighty Ascendant over the House of Austria, by the Augmentation of his Power and Riches, and the Favour which he should find among Protestants; and the Pope would not be any thing formidable to the French King.

It's time now to draw to a conclusion, and therefore I sháll only say, that it is clear as the Sun shine, that the Court of Fr•…nce by sa∣ving that dammage which Popery occasions to the Ki•…gdom, might easily upon the 200 Mil∣lions which the Kingdom would at least gain by it, encrease its Revenue 100 Millions, without reckoning the Revenues of the Church, the Plate in their Churches and Treasuries, and their Gro•…ing-timber, which the King might dispose of as he should think fit, and at the same time the blessing of God would attend the King and the Nation, whereas they have great reason to dread the contrary, if they don't follow this Me•…hod. But whereas, it continues too evident that the Romish Clergy influ∣ences the King to persecute and murder still his Protestant Subjects with all manner of Outrage, it it a certain proof that the Pope is a•…raid of his Power still, and does not think him reduced Page  148 low •…nough, and therefore if he can, he will certainly prompt him to undertake new Enter∣pri•…es against some Nation and perhaps a Prote∣stant State, and the truth is while the French Court continues to treat their own Reformed Subjects at that rate, there's very good reason for Protestants to be Jealous of them.

By this Persecution we may perceive that the Morals of the Church of Rome are far worse •…han those of the civilized Pagans, as appears by that Saying of Tacitus, Apud optimum quemque •…am miserum est occidere quam perire: That is to say, all honest Men account it as u•…grateful to nature to kill others as to be kill'd themselves; but on the contrary, that which is call'd the Church of Rome, accounts it a thing meri•…orious to be drunk with the Blood of the Saints, & esteems it more advantagious to those that shed it, or occasion it to be shed than the Blood of the Cross; so that I cannot forbear to say, that it would seem that Persecuting Clergy are cer∣tain of their own Reprobation, for if they were in any doubt concerning it, or had the least hope of Salvation, or that their Church were not wholly abandoned by God, they would not so defile and pollute it, by such a desperate Conduct, and by the Com∣mission of so many Cruelties, Perjuries, Pro∣fanities and Sacriledges to advance its Interest.

FINIS.
Consult the Errata.
Page  [unnumbered]
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