Guil. Jane, R. P. D. Henr. Episc. Lond. a Sac. Dom.
A true and lively REPRESENTATION OF POPERY: SHEWING That Popery is only New-modell'd PAGANISM, AND Perfectly destructive of the great Ends and Purposes of God in the Gospel.
Learn not the way of the Heathen —
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not intangled again with the yoke of bondage.
LONDON, Printed by R. Everingham for W. Kettilby, at the Bishops Head in S. Paul's Church-Yard, 1679.
A true and lively Representation of Popery.
THAT there is but one true way to Salva∣tion, is readily acknowledged by all that profess themselves Christians; but whe∣ther this way lye on the right hand or on the left, whether through the Church of Rome, or in the Reformed Religion, that is made a Question. And though the Romanists, with confidence enough, vainly arrogate this to themselves, as if there were no way to Heaven but by associating and joining in Communion with their Church, and will hardly (unless in a good mood) allow a dying Protestant to be saved; yet I doubt not but I have sufficiently made it appear, by such evident and clear Demon∣strations, as are within the sphere and comprehen∣sion of an ordinary Capacity, not only that the Re∣formed Religion is hugely agreeable and subservient to those Grand purposes of God in the Gospel for the Salvation of Mankind, but that Popery is infi∣nitely prejudicial and destructive of them. And although (considering the various Artifices and sub∣tle Stratagems the Popish Emissaries make use of, not only in gaining, but confirming their new Proselytes) I cannot hope to recover such as are already ensnared by them; yet I may reasonably suppose that these few sheets, if they chance to fall into the hands of Page 6some one or other who desires impartially to seek and embrace the Truth where-ever he meets with it, or by what hand soever it be brought to him, may be so fully perswaded and satisfied of the Goodness of the Protestant Religion, and of the gross Impiety and Wickedness of the Popish, as that whatever censure he pass upon this, yet of the other he may say, that God is in it of a truth.
1. I consider therefore that the great End and Design of the Christian Religion is to form in men the sacred life and nature of God; for so S. Peter as∣sures us, That those glorious and inestimable Pro∣mises, which God through Christ was pleased to make to the World, were designed to recover men from their Sins and Corruptions into a participation of the Divine Nature.* And that we may not con∣ceive and think this to be a mere airy Notion and an insignificant sound of Words, our blessed Saviour himself expresses it by the name of The new Birth;Except a man be born again — And his Holy Apo∣stle S. Paul styles it the New Creature:* All which being of a like signification and respect denote a certain state and condition of life, * to which men are brought by the Power and Grace of God in the Go∣spel, whereby their hearts and minds are tuned into an universal Consent to Gods holy will. That state of sin and misery into which all men by their first Pre∣varication and Rebellion are involved, is nothing of the true nature of our Souls, but an Extraneous and Adventitious thing, a meer Usurpation upon the Lords Inheritance, whereby the minds and spirits of Mankind are preternaturally forced against their proper bent and inclination; and God by the Gospel Page 7comes to free them from this heavy Pressure and Bondage, and quickens and invigorates their de∣cayed Powers, with a strong and potent endeavour towards a Restitution and Freedom. And this Cona∣tus or Effort whereby they endeavour to throw off their uneasie load, is expressed and decypher'd in the Holy Scriptures by the Name of Spirit, as in Rom. 8.1. where the Apostle puts an opposition between the Flesh and the Spirit, and says they are two seve∣ral Laws and States of Being, the one tending whol∣ly to the abasing, and dishonouring, and captivating the Soul to vile and low purposes, and making it drudge like a Slave to promote an Animal and sen∣sual life; but the other being nothing but a Law of Holiness and Righteousness, and consequently con∣natural to it, endeavours the freeing it from all that violence and force used upon it. And this very same active and enlivening Principle shall be so far quick∣ned and invigorated by the assistance of God's Holy Spirit, that it shall at last through his benign and power∣ful Influence break into a Flame, and consume all Terrestrial Dregs and Incumbrances, and immor∣talize these our dull and sluggish Bodies. So the Divine Apostle tells us, If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you;*he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mor∣tal Bodies by the Spirit that dwelleth in you. Now that this blessed frame and temper of mind may be raised and renewed in us, God sent his Son into the World; and he incites and encourages us to the attaining of so desirable a State by mighty and stupendious Promises, suited and adapted to our best and highest Capacities: and that we may not think the participation of the Page 8Divine Nature, or the new Creature, that is, that constitution of mind and soul which the Gospel came to implant in us, to be a thing which we can have no rational Idea or Conception of; I shall give such a brief and comprehensive Character of it, as that Eternal Wisdom has legibly engraven in the frame and contexture of the Christian Religion. Thus therefore I conceive of it; That it is a Holy Prin∣ciple of Life and Power implanted in the Soul by the Spirit of God, bringing every Thought, Word and Action into conformity and obedience to the Divine Will, and begetting such a natural and ge∣nuine sense of what is Holy and Righteous, that it is as hard for a man truly possessed of this excellent nature to act contrary to it, as to suffer a Discissi∣on of his bodily life; and though we bear this preci∣ous Treasure in Earthen Vessels, and it be surround∣ed with the frailties and infirmities of flesh and blood, yet does it fill our minds with comfortable hopes and assurance that our mighty Saviour and Redeemer, who expressed the greatness of his love by dying for us, will perfectly release and set it free from the heavy pressure of those Earthly Bodies, and at last Crown it with such a body of Light and Glory, as he himself is possessed of in the highest Heavens, This is indeed the main end and scope of the appearing of the Grace of God to the World; and that the Son of God might take possession of his own Inheritance, and effectually and fully accomplish the recovery of Mankind from the cruel Bondage of Sin and Satan into this so desirable a state of Liberty and Free∣dom, wherein their souls act with the greatest ease and pleasure, and constancy, and delight, he designed by the promulgation of the Gospel.Page 9
2. In the first place, the utter Extirpation and rooting Idolatry out of the World. For this is a sin so heynous, and so derogatory to the Perfections of the Divine Nature, that however it may be subtili∣zed and refined by the crafty Patrons of it, yet it doth most certainly thwart and cross that glorious purpose of God in making men like to himself: And the reason of it is, because it sinks mens minds too much into Body and Matter, and so instead of purging their Souls from the gross affections and al∣lurements of the Flesh, it depresses and debases their thoughts to the lowest degree of Sensuality. Now that when the Evangelical Dispensation should take place upon Earth, all Idolatry was to be extirpated and destroyed, the Prophets of old have clearly te∣stified, Isai. 2.17, 18, 20. — The Lord alone shall be exalted in that day, and the Idols he shall utterly abo∣lish: In that day a man shall cast his Idols of Silver, and his Idols of Gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the Moles, and to the Bats. That this Prophecy respects the times of the Mes∣siah, is acknowledged by the Jews themselves, and may receive a further confirmation from the second and third Verses: And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the Mountain of the Lords House shall be established in the top of the Mountains, and shall be exalted above the Hills, and all Nations shall flow unto it — For out of Zion shall go forth the Law, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem; i. e. That in the days of the Gospel (which is frequently denoted in Scripture by the last times) the worship of the true God shall take place, and be established among all Nations; and that this Evangelical Dispensation Page 10which should be carried and propagated over all the world, should begin from Jerusalem, where the A∣postles of our Lord Jesus received their full and compleat Inauguration into this Office of preaching the Gospel, by the descent of the Holy Ghost upon them; and then in that day all the false Gods and Images of the Heathens shall be utterly thrown a∣sitle, and men shall honour and worship the true God only, and that in Spirit, and in Truth And again; Zephan. 2.11. The Lord will be terrible unto them, for he will famish all the Gods of the Earth, and men shall worship him every one from his place, even all the Isles of the Heathen; i.e. God will abolish and de∣stroy all the Idols and false Deities of the Heathen, and all Nations shall be reduced to the worship of the true God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, every one in his own Land; so that men shall not need to go up to Jerusalem, or be obliged to worship God here or there, but (as Christ speaks) the true worship∣pers shall worship the Father in Spirit, and in Truth. And more plainly yet in Zech. 13.2. And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of Hists, that I will cut off the names of the Idols out of the Land, and they shall no more be remembred; and also I will cause the Prophets and the unclean Spirit to pass out of the Land. And that this unclean Spirit, which sollicited mankind to spiritual whoredome and forni∣cation, was chased out of all those parts of the world where the Gospel was preached by the Apostles and their immediate Successors, is evident; not only from Ecclesiastical story, but from the complaints of the Heathen, that since the Religion of Jesus prevailed, their Oracles were silent, and their Sacrifices were Page 11offer'd in vain to their phantastick Deities. And that this was a main design of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus, he himself assures us in his discourse with the Woman of Samaria, Joh. 4.21, 22, 23, 24. where when the Woman told our Saviour, that the Samaritans worshipped in Mount Ephraim at Shiloh, but that the Jews taught that God was to be wor∣shipped only at Jerusalem; v. 20. He replies, Wo∣man, believe me, the hour comes when ye shall neither in this Mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what; we know what we worship, for Salvation is of the Jews. But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in Spirit, and in Truth; for the Father seeks such to worship him. God is a Spirit, and they that worship him, must worship him in Spirit, and in Truth. The most genuine Interpretation of which-seems to be given by that pious and learned Person Mr. Mede, viz. that the Samaritans who worshipped in the Temple of Mount Gerizim, though they worshipped the true God, yet it was under the visible representation of a Dove, and cir∣cumcised their Children in the name thereof; there∣fore (says Christ) ye worship ye know not what; i.e. ye worship the God of Israel indeed, but 'tis under a Corporeal Representation, which is an argument you do not know him; but God must be worship∣ped in Spirit, and in Truth; that is, conceiving him as a Spirit, and not under any visible shape. There∣fore Idolatry is a belying God, and Idols are termed lyes, Amos 2.4. — Their lyes caused them to err. — And Jer. 16.19. Surely our Fathers have inheri∣ted lyes, the Chaldee, have worshipped a lye.
Page 12 Our blessed Lord and Saviour coming into the world to correct what was amiss, and to reform the manners of mankind, and to introduce a more spi∣ritual Religion than the Jewish was, it is not to be thought but he would in the first place design the Eradication of Idolatry, which so much debases the soul of man, and dishonours the Supreme Deity, by representing him in a gross and material way, and likewise by giving his Incommunicable Excellencies and Perfections to a Creature. Sure it is, the Primi∣tive Christians retained so clear and vigorous a sense of the heynousness of this sin, and the perfect in∣consistency of it with the spirituality of their Reli∣gion, that they chose rather to endure all manner of torments, and die a thousand deaths, than in the least manner pollute their souls with so gross an immorality. Pertinent hereunto is that observation which is made, that in the first part of the Jewish Talmud, which was made about 200 years after Christ, there is no accusation or complaint brought against the Christians for this Idolatry of Image-worship: but in the second part, which was finished about the year 500. when the Church of Christ be∣gan to Paganize, there, and in all the Commenta∣ries of the Rabbins published in the Tenth or Ele∣venth Age, the Jews call the Christian Churches the Houses of Idolatry.
It being plain then that Christ Jesus came to era∣dicate Idolatry, which both spoiled the nature of the soul by sinking it into matter, and fearfully disho∣noured the true and ever-living God; I come now to shew wherein the Pagan Idolatry chiefly consist∣ed, which was in these two things: 1. In worship∣ping Page 13other inferiour Gods together with the true God; these lower sort of Gods being looked upon as a kind of middle Beings or Mediators between the Supreme God and them: And 2. In worshipping both the supreme and subordinate Gods in Images and Statues: That the Pagans acknowledged the true God, the Maker of Heaven and Earth; but that their Errour was in worshipping more subordi∣nate Beings together with him, and both the Su∣preme and Inferiour Gods in Images, Statues, or Symbols, is the constant Opinion of the Jews, who being the only Nation before Christianity that oppo∣sed the Heathen Polytheism and Idolatry, were most likely to understand the ground and bottom of it. I find two quotations cited by an eminently learn∣ed Person out of two Jewish Rabbins, which do give us fully and excellently the sense and notion of the Jews concerning the Pagan Idolatry. The first is out of Maimonides;
Now that the Heathens▪ worshipped many subor∣dinate and inferiour Gods together with the true God; that is, that they joyned Creature-worship with the worship of the Creator, the same Apostle says expresly, *they worshipped the Creature more than the Creator: which words are not so to be under∣stood, as if the Pagans transferred their Religious worship wholly upon the Creature, the Creator in the mean time being altogether passed by; but thus, They worshipped the Creature 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, besides the Creator; or else, They worshipped the Creature above or more than the Creator: as 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 is used comparatively, so as to signifie excess; as Luk. 13.2. & 4. Think ye that these Galileans were sinners〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, above all the Galileans? and sinners〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, above all men? According to either of which Interpre∣tations it is supposed, that the Pagans did worship the true God, the Creator of the world, though they worshipped the Creature also besides him, or (perhaps in some sense) above him, and more than him also. Which latter Interpretation I have the rather added, because it suits so well with that e∣gregiously Paganical practice of the Romish Church Page 16in their worship of the Virgin Mary, to whom they put up ten prayers for one directed to God Al∣mighty.
Another instance we have in Act. 17. where S. Paul tells the Athenians, that as he beheld their sacred Monuments, he found an Altar with this Inscription, To the unknown God; and upon this adds, whom therefore you ignorantly worship (that is, under the name of the unknown God) him declare I unto you, the God that made the world, and all things in it, the Lord of Heaven and Earth. From whence it is evi∣dent; 1. That by the unknown God, was meant the true God, the Creator of all things. 2. That those Pagans did religiously worship the true God. Afterwards the Apostle citing a passage out of Ara∣tus, censures their sottishness, in giving Religious worship to an Image made of Gold or Silver, repre∣senting the true and ever-living God in some Corpo∣real Symbol.
3. Secondly, this Divine Nature which God in∣tended to form in men by the Gospel, consisting in a very great measure in the purity and holiness of their spirits, our Lord Jesus does by all means dis∣countenance all manner of sin and evil, faithfully declaring to all the world the Mind and Pleasure of God herein; and assuring us, that whoever will be happy, must likewise be holy: That the Christian Dispensation, which is Gods last and only Method which he has made known for the salvation of Man∣kind, is so far from palliating mens Corruptions, or giving them a liberty and indulgence to sin, that it most strictly prohibits all, even the least kind of vice and iniquity, and commands an Universal Holiness Page 17to run through all our Actions. And that we may not expose and betray our selves to ruine and misery, by vain conceits and imaginations; either that an External and Pharisaical Righteousness will be suffi∣cient, or if it must be otherwise, that yet we are not bound up to such strict Measures as the common Preachers of Religion perswade us; we are to con∣sider that our Lord Jesus going on with that great Work of the Efformation of the sacred Life and Na∣ture of God in Mens Souls, it would not be in any wise suitable and agreeable with his Design to make them only externally righteous and holy, with∣out an inward change of Mind and Disposition; and therefore expresly informs all his Followers and Disciples, That except their Righteousness exceed the Righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, they shall in no case enter into the Kingdom of Heaven: Which is as much as to say, that he hath set the at∣tainments of rational Souls at a higher Pitch, than ever was, or could be warranted by the Doctrines and Practice of the Scribes and Pharisees; and now requires not only an abstinence from the outward and gross Acts of Sin, but a hearty and sincere Pur∣gation of the Soul from all Vice, and the Reduction of all its Powers and Faculties into an Universal Com∣plyance to God's holy Will. By which likewise that false and carnal Liberty, which some would assume to themselves, is wholly destroyed, and we are taught that Religion gives no allowance, or toleration to any the least evil: that without Holiness no Man shall ever see the Lord; and that the Promise of seeing God is only made to the Pure in Heart. Nor can we understand less by this Holiness and Purity of Page 18Heart, than such a vital Frame and Temper of Spi∣rit, as does not only exclude all gross Defilements and Pollutions of the Flesh, but likewise all secret Mix∣tures and Combinations of Hypocrifie, and all those other more spiritual Sins, whose Acts have no such intimate Conjunction and Commerce with the Bo∣dy. Nay, so far is the Gospel of the Son of God from countenancing, or giving any Dispensation to Sin, that it strictly commands us to abstain from all appearance of Evil. For he came into the World to cleanse our Minds from all irregular and disorder∣ly Lusts and Passions, and to redeem us from all Ini∣quity; that is, not only from this or that particular Vice, but from all manner of Evil; to the end he might purifie unto himself a Peculiar People, zea∣lous of good works, as we read, Tit. 2.14. Sin and Evil is not a meer fantastick Being, an aiery No∣tion or sound of Words, but a real Nature and state of Defilement and Pollution; and while the Soul is under its Dominion, it is then said in Scrip∣ture to be clothed in filthy Garments: But the true Clothing of the Soul is Righteousness and Holi∣ness, * and this is compared by the Spirit of God to fine Linen, * clean and white.
4. Lastly, the Flower and Summity of that Di∣vine Nature which our Lord and Saviour came to beget in Mankind being an Universal Love and Cha∣rity, it is certain he does not only teach it by his Commands and Example; but he condemns the contrary state and temper of Mind; as directly op∣posite to the Excellency and Perfections of the Na∣ture of God. There is no one thing that ever our Saviour so earnestly press'd upon his Disciples as Page 19Love. It is his new, and his old, and last Command, that we love one another; and he proposes his own Example for our Imitation — Love one another, as I have loved you. Now, How is that? Surely, * with a Love stronger than the Bands of Death, which made him give his Life a Ransom for the World. And this alone he tells us shall be the Badge and Cognizance, by which his followers shall be known: By this shall all Men know that ye are my Disciples, if if ye have love one to another.* For indeed there is nothing makes us more God-like, nor is there any thing that so fully expresses the Nature of the Su∣preme Being as Love; God is Love, says St. John. Love is the First-born of Heaven, and the joy of Angels and holy Souls, whose pure minds never shine with so great a splendor and glory, as when they are irradiated with the powerful Influence of so sacred a Being. Behold the grand Exemplar of Charity, the Son of God himself made a Man; and consider him in all his abasements, his solitudes and sufferings, from the first moment of his Birth to his dying on the Cross, and we shall find very power∣ful and strong Emanations of dear Compassion and Benignity to the World. He was so far from grieving or paining or injuring any, that he went about every day doing them good, freeing them from their miseries, and easing them of their sor∣rows. He never did the least hurt or harm to any Man living, but rebuked the indiscreet Zeal of his Disciples, who would have burned the Samaritans with Fire from Heaven for denying to their Lord an Hospitable entertainment; adding that he came not to destroy, but to save the lives of Men. This is Page 20the Grand Law of the whole Creation, that conso∣lidates and holds together all the parts of Heaven and Earth, and makes them conspire in a sweet and universal Harmony and Consent; and permeating and touching humane souls by a vital Energy, im∣pregnates and fills them with a sacred life: which life is no steril and inactive Principle, but diffuses it self in acts of dear kindness and benignity to all ca∣pable subjects, and especially to Man, a Creature most dear to God himself; for whom every one that throughly partakes of this spirit of love, will be ready to offer up even his own life; according as the Beloved Apostle speaks, Hereby perceive we the love of God,*because he laid down his life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the Brethren.
5. Having seen the Grand Ends and Purposes of God in the Gospel of Christ Jesus, I shall now ma∣nifest how perfectly all these are frustrated and de∣stroyed by those Doctrines and Practices of the Church of Rome, which are either established by Papal Laws and Statutes, or countenanced, approved and maintained with great vigour and industry by the Members of that Church: by which it will likewise appear, that the old Polytheism and Idola∣try of the Heathens is really revived, established and practised there, though in another, and newer Garb and Dress.
In the first▪ place then I have declared, that the great End and Design of God in the Evangelical Di∣spensation, was to form his own blessed Nature in the hearts of men, to consummate his Holy Image, and to regenerate them by his own Spirit. And would you think that any Company or Society of Page 21men, that profess to be the Servants of Christ Jesus, to advance his Crown and Dignity, and to seek the Amplification and Enlargement of his Kingdom, should yet be so treacherous as to undermine this Grand Purpose, and maintain such Doctrines as do directly evacuate and destroy, and are clearly repug∣nant to the Mind and Will of God in the Gospel? Behold then such as are taught and allowed by the most eminent and leading men in the Romish Church; I shall instance only in these three, which are so notorious, and so diametrically opposite to the very end and intent of God in the Gospel, as if by those the Devil had plotted the utter extirpation and subversion of that blessed Nature which ought of right to have the Soveraign Rule and Dominion over all Intellectual Beings. 1. The Doctrine of the Direction of the Intention. 2. The Doctrine of Pro∣bability. 3. That of Sacerdotal Absolution upon Confession at the hour of Death.
The first of these, viz. the Direction of the In∣tention, serves to so many excellent purposes for the propagation of all manner of Vice, and the bring∣ing into act all the secret machinations and contri∣vances of evil, with the safety and security of Con∣science, that at first sight it looks like a Devilish En∣gine, fram'd on purpose for the destruction of the true and living Nature of God in mens souls. For if this Doctrine be true (and if it be not, let them look to it that teach and uphold it) there is no Vice so heynous, no Sin so great, but a man may salva Conscientia with a good and honest Conscience com∣mit it, if he have but the wit to direct his Intention aright; Ex. gr. If a certain company of men here Page 22plotted to kill the King, and some of them be ap∣prehended and brought before a Civil Magistrate who has Power to take the business into Examina∣tion, the rest that remain yet undiscovered may law∣fully kill both the Magistrate and the Witnesses that informed against their Associates, always provided they direct their Intention aright; for that secures the Action from being Criminal: that is, they must not kill them upon pure Revenge, for that is forbid∣den by the Law of God, but may dispatch them to preserve their Reputation, or to free a whole Order and Society of men from an indelible disgrace that is likely to be cast upon them: and now the sin is va∣nished, and the Conscience clean and white, as in the day of Innocence. But in such an affair as this, or something else of like nature, care must be taken that the Action be managed with the greatest se∣cresie; for though the inner man be secure, yet the outer is not; and though the Fathers Conscience be entire and sound, yet his Neck may be broken by the force of a Humane Law, that takes no notice of this Admirable Invention of the Direction of the Intention. In like manner this superpolitick device shall sanctifie and hallow Fornication, Adultery, Theft, or whatever other enormous wickedness a sensual person thinks fit to run into; by which all endeavours and hopes of attaining to a new Birth unto Righteousness are utterly stifled and cut off, and the new Creature in the Scripture shall be no more than an empty sound. For surely that Person can give but a poor sign of the Renovation of his Mind, and the change of his Soul by the Spirit of Holiness and Righteousness, that can allow himself Page 23in any of those forementioned gross sins, let his In∣tention be what it will. And though perhaps it may be said, that this is no Doctrine of the Romish Church, yet it is a Doctrine which is taught and practis'd by the greatest Casuists and most flourish∣ing Order that that Church abounds withal: Nay, it is a thing that seems to pervade and run through the whole Body of their Religion; forasmuch as no Sacrament can be valid and efficacious, if the Priests intention be either wanting, or otherwise imployed. And since this is so, I see no reason why this Engine should not be turned, and made to do execution upon themselves: For supposing this to be true, it evi∣dently follows, that no man can be assured that a∣mongst those many Millions which make up the Romish Hierarchy, there is so much as one true Priest, and consequently no man can have any certainty that ever any Sacrament is rightly and duly administred: for this depends upon the mans being a true Priest; and that no man can know, and be sure of, unless he first be certain that he was rightly and duly bapti∣zed; nor can he have any assurance of this, unless he be likewise certain that he was baptized with due Intention; that is, that the Minister of his Baptism was not a secret Jew, or Moor, or Atheist, but a Christian in heart as well as Profession; (otherwise believing the Sacrament to be nothing, in giving it he could intend to give nothing) and that he nei∣ther out of negligence nor malice omitted his In∣tention. But suppose the man be a true Priest, yet when he consecrates the Sacrament, I am not sure he will do it with Intention; for there is a story of a Priest that was burnt in France for compacting with Page 24the Devil, to give no Sacraments with Inten∣tion.
2. The Doctrine of Probability is likewise a neat and excellent Device to set forward the Trade of Sin and Wickedness: For thus Emanuel Sa, A man may do what he conceives lawful, according to a probable Opinion, though the contrary be more safe. And a∣greeable to this is the Assertion of the Jesuit Knot in Mr. Chillingworth, That for the avoiding of sin, we are not always bound to take the safest way, but may follow the Opinion of any probable Doctors. Which im∣pious Doctrine is loaded with so many mischievous and fatal consequences, as render that new Birth un∣to Righteousness, without which our Saviour says no man shall enter into Heaven, perfectly useless and unnecessary. For 1. From hence it will follow, that a man may resolve not to use his utmost care and endeavour to avoid sin, without any hazard or dan∣ger of his damnation: And if this Doctrine be once throughly reduced to practice in the lives of men, a deluge and flood of wickedness will as certainly break in and overflow the World, as the waters once drowned it when God broke up the Store∣houses of Heaven and Earth: For this casts a fatal damp upon all endeavours after Holiness and Righ∣teousness, and mens Zeal and Contention for a bet∣ter state of life cools like the air by intervening showres, and all those Motives and Exhortations which are used in the Gospel to excite and stir up our drowsie souls to a watchful and diligent prose∣cution of the War against sin are rebated and made ineffectual, and the Fire of Hell is no more to be va∣lued than a painted flame.
Page 25 Mr. Chillingworth, discoursing upon this Doctrine, of probability, says, * He knew a young Scholar in Do∣way, Licens'd by a great Casuist, to swear a thing as upon his certain knowledge, whereof he had yet no knowledge but only a great presumption, because (forsooth) it was the opinion of one Doctor he might do so. Cardinal Bellarmine teaches, That want of Power to maintain a Rebellion, was the on∣ly Reason that the Primitive Christians did not rebel against the Persecuting Emperours. To whom agrees Aquinas, when he says, Ecclesiam tolerasse ut fideles obedirent Juliano Apostatae, quia sui novitate nondum habebant vires compescendi Principes terre∣nos, i. e. That the Church suffered the faithful to obey Julian the Apostate, because by their late rise they had not sufficient strength to repress Earthly Princes. Here are two Probable Doctors, and the conclusion from thence is, that when ever they find themselves to have a Party strong enough, they may (having the Opinion of such Probable Do∣ctors on their side) attempt the Murder of their na∣tural Prince, and introduce their Religion, though with the Blood of thousands of innocent Persons: And this they may do, although themselves should think it unlawful, because Bellarmine and Aquinas, Men of approved Virtue and Learning among them, have determined for the lawfulness of it. 2. From hence it will follow, that a Man may forsake the more safe and infallible Direction of Gods Word, and the clear Evidence of Reason and Conscience, and take up with the Opinion of some one Man, who perhaps speaks unadvisedly and carelesly; or it may be out of design and set purpose to deceive: Page 26and by this means all the severe Duties of Religion shall be evacuated, and the Precepts of the Gospel made to comply with the Vices and corrupt Inclina∣tions of Men, and all as it pleases our Probable Do∣ctor: which certainly is the most unreasonable and unrighteous Usurpation upon the understandings of Mankind that ever was; as if the generality of Men were made only to be imposed upon: Nay, by this means the best and wholsomest Laws in the Christi∣an World shall be rescinded, if there be but a Proba∣ble Doctor to dispute their Obligation.
These horrid and impious Consequences will yet appear more plain and evident by those Instan∣ces; First, we are commanded in the holy Scrip∣tures to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our strength; and the truth and sincerity of our love is evidenced by avoiding of Sin, and by keeping his Command∣ments. But now if a Man may forsake the plain and easie direction of God in the sacred Writings, and rest in the Opinion of a Probable Doctor, he need not much trouble his Head about the love of God. *Hurtado de Mendoza (as he is cited by Father Escobar) says, A Man is bound but once every year to have an actual affection for God. Coninck sup∣poses we are bound to it once in three or four years: Henriquez, once in five years: But Filiutius thinks a Man is not obliged every five years. And if we do not think our selves fairly dealt withal yet, Fa∣ther Syrmond will make a full amends, and he assures us we need not love God at all; For we are not so much commanded (says he) to love God, as not to hate him. Secondly, we are injoined a speedy and Page 27sincere Repentance in the holy Scriptures, to turn from our Sins and Impieties unto God, while 'tis called to day, that is, to make use of the present time which is only ours. But if throwing the Scripture aside, we may without danger follow the Guidance of any Probable Doctor, then a Man is bound to repent only three times a year, at Christ∣mas, Easter, and Whitsontide; for so Scotus says: But if you are unwilling to undergo this burden∣some and afflictive Duty so often, you need perform it but once a year; and for this you have the Au∣thority of Scotus and Medina. And if you think this too much, hear what Reginaldus says, The time when a Man is bound to repent, is, at the Article of imminent Death; for the mean while there is no Pre∣cept commanding that a Sinner should not persevere in enmity against God: there is no Negative Precept for∣bidding such a Perseverance.
How directly repugnant those Doctrines are to that Grand Positive end of the Gospel, the Replan∣tation of the sacred Image and Nature of God in the Souls of Men, every pious Christian, who earnestly desires the Recovery of the World from the Bon∣dage and slavery of Sin, cannot but see; and that those Champions which the Dark Kingdom set out to defend and maintain the Pagan Worship (which quickly vanished and disappeared in all places where Christianity shone in its Native lustre and bright∣ness) were not half so successful in their Attempts, nor such dangerous Enemies of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus, as those Popish Agents, who by speak∣ing Lyes in Hypocrisie do really Debauch and Paga∣nize the World again, and make Men two-fold more Page 28the Children of Hell, than if they had been perfect Strangers to the very name of a Christian.
3. Another Doctrine which undermines the Grand Purpose of God Almighty in regenerating and renewing the World by the Gospel, is that of Sacerdotal Absolution upon Confession at the hour of death: For thus the Doctors of the Church of Rome teach, That though a man live and die without the practice of Christian Virtues, and with the habits of many damnable sins unmortified, yet if he in the last moment of his life have any sorrow for his sins,*and joyn Confession with it, he shall certainly be sa∣ved: Which is a Doctrine, that instead of reform∣ing and bettering the World (which certainly was intended by the manifestation of the Gospel) o∣pens a door to all imaginable licentiousness and wickedness. Our blessed Saviour assures us, that except a man be born again, he shall not enter into Heaven: Now certain it is, that Divine Generati∣ons, as well as Natural, are not instantaneous, but require time for their full maturity and perfection; and as sure is it, that an Act of Attrition, accompa∣nied with Sacerdotal Absolution, can never work a change or Renovation of the mind; and conse∣quently, it must be as horrid a Cheat as ever was put upon the poor deluded Sons of Adam, to per∣swade them that this is enough for their Salvation, though otherwise they die without the practice of Christian Virtues, and with the habits of many damnable sins unmortified. For, to speak the plain truth, this kind of Absolution looks more like a Charm or Spell, used by superstitious people to fright away evil spirits, than any thing of sober Page 29truth, having neither Reason nor Scripture to coun∣tenance or abett it. And though men may deceive and befool one another, yet those unhappy people, whose sad Fate it is to be sent out of the world with no better hopes of Salvation, than what an Act of Attrition with Priestly Absolution is able to give them, will find the Scene of Affairs quite altered there, and those grim Officers of the Infernal King∣dom will infallibly challenge and seize their own, notwithstanding the fairest dismission by all the arts and devices of a treacherous Ghostly Father. Con∣sider all you that have any care for your Eternal In∣terest and Salvation, how grosly you are abused by these Holy Impostors and Factors for the Devils Kingdom! Can the Absolution of your Priest work a real change in your Dispositions and Natures? or can those few words effect a Mortification of your vicious habits, and withal superinduce the contrary Virtues? Will this Charm procure a safe passage through the Guards of the invisible Regions? or shall your Wonder-working Priest give you an en∣trance into Heaven, when the express Declarations of Christ Jesus exclude you thence? No wonder that Papists have their Priests in such high esteem and Veneration; no marvel they declare they can∣not live without them, when they are endued with such an Omnipotency as to change the setled order of things, to alter the Decrees of Heaven, and cancel the fixed Laws of life and death, by shutting them out of the presence of God, whom Christ Jesus is ready to receive, and intromitting others that he has declared shall be for ever banished thence. But be not deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man Page 30sows, that shall he also reap: He that soweth to the flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the spirit, shall of the spirit reap life ever∣lasting.
6. Hitherto in general I have shewed the opposi∣tion of the Popish Doctrines to the Grand End and Purpose of God in the Gospel; I shall now descend to the particulars afore-mentioned; the first of which was this, that in order to the replantation of the Divine Nature in the souls of men, Almighty God designed the utter extirpation of Idolatry. Now though the Church of Rome endeavours by many fine shows and specious pretences to free her self from the imputation of so foul and horrid a Crime, yet he that impartially weighs things, shall find her no less guilty than was the Pagan World before the coming of Christ. And if this do not evidently ap∣pear to every candid and ingenious Reader, I am well assured, that 'tis not from the weakness or in∣conclusiveness of the Arguments, but from some partial and preconceived Opinion, or some other prejudice his mind labours under, and is prepossessed and preingaged withal: for this I do confidently af∣firm, that there is no truth of greater usefulness and concernment to Reformed Christendom, nor any that can more clearly and irrefragably justifie the necessity of our separation from that Church than this.
That I may therefore make a clear and demon∣strative proof of this Charge which I have laid a∣gainst the Romish Church, I must a little recur to what I have said of the Pagan Idolatry, which main∣ly consisted in these two things: 1. In that they Page 31worshipped (besides one Supreme God) other Inferi∣our Beings, not as independent and self-existent, but as so many created Deities: and these were wor∣shipped by them upon these two accounts, either as thinking that the honour done to them redounded to the Supreme, or else that they might be their Me∣diators and Intercessors, Orators and Negotiators with him. 2. In that they worshipped both the su∣preme God, and likewise their subordinate Deities in Images and Statues.
This Foundation being laid, it will be no difficult task to draw the parallel between the ancient Paga∣nish Idolatry, and that now practised in the Church of Rome. That the Saints and Angels are worship∣ped both publickly and privately in the Romish Church, needs no other testimony than the daily practice of Papists, who express a greater fervour and zeal in their Invocation of the Saints, than of God himself: so that as a learned Person observes, * for one prayer to God, they put up ten to the Virgin Mary. Nay, so mad are they after this extravagant humour, that Cassander ingeniously confesses, that some, and those no bad men, have made choice of some certain Saints as their Patrons, and place their trust and confidence in their Merits and Intercessi∣ons, more than in the Merits of Christ; * and so lay∣ing aside the Mediation of Christ, they have substi∣tuted the Saints, and especially the Virgin Mary in his room. And hence Cardinal Hosius is not asha∣med to say, We ought to believe in the Saints. They build Temples and Altars to the Saints, and pro∣strate themselves with the most humble devotion before their Images. They swear by the Saints, not Page 32only in their common speech, but in their more so∣lemn Oaths, and to them they direct their Vows likewise.
Now upon the same accounts that the Pagans worshipped their inferiour Deities, do the Papists a∣dore and worship the Saints and Angels. 1. Because the honour done to them redounds to God himself: It is for the Majesty and Grandeur of the supreme God to have a multitude of inferiour Deities under him, says Plotinus: It is not only suitable with the bountiful and noble disposition of God not to grant many graces and favours but by the Intercession of the Saints, but likewise for his glory that the world should know this, * says Fisher the Jesuit; which he further illustrates by this similitude, because (says he) 'tis impossible to honour and praise the Boughs, without honouring and praising the Root; there∣fore when the Saints and Angels are invocated and adored, it is for the honour of the supreme God, the Root and Spring of all things. 2. They make them Mediators and Intercessors between God and them; which was the office and imployment of the Mediae Potestates, or middle Deities of the Heathen; and the ground or reason of this is given by S. Austin, because they excel us Mortals in Merits.* And that the Papists urge the Merits of their Saints, is evi∣dent from divers of their publick forms of prayer: The Saints are in high grace and favour with God, and for this reason we poor Mortals implore their In∣tercession, say the Romanists, as we make use of a Courtier to deliver a Petition to an Earthly Prince. After this manner Celsus argues, when he would per∣swade the Christians to the worship of Daemons,Page 33that they ought to seek their favour as the Ministers of the Great God: To whom Origen replies, * that the Christians allow indeed an honour and reve∣rence to the blessed Angels as Gods Ministers in a sound sense, but they are taught to give Religious Worship only to God, and to his Son, his Word and Image, by whom they offer up their Supplications to God the Lord of all, beseeching him who is the Propitiation for our sins, that he would be pleased, as our High-Priest, to offer up our Prayers, and Sa∣crifices, and Intercessions to the great God. And again, God alone is to be adored, and our Prayers are only to be offered to the only begotten Word of God, the First-born of every Creature, who as our High-Priest offers our Supplications to his God, and our God, to his Father, and the Father of all those that live according to his Word. But if the favour of many be to be sought for, we learn from the Scriptures, that thousand thousands minister unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stand be∣fore him, who afford their friendly assistance to those that humbly invoke the Supreme God, and earnestly contend after Salvation, disdaining not to be officious to them that worship the same God with themselves: For as the Shadow follows the Body as it moves; so when any person hath God propi∣tious to him, at the same time all the Angels and blessed Spirits are likewise his Friends. In like man∣ner Lactantius says, that God hath his Ministers, whom we call Angels, verum hi neque Dii sunt, ne∣que Deos se vocari aut coli volunt; quippe qui nihil praeter jussum ac voluntatem Dei fatiant; i. e. but these are neither Gods, nor would they be called Page 34Gods, nor worshipped; forasmuch as they only exe∣cute the Will and Command of God.
Add to this, that the Papists make their Saints particular Presidents and Regents of Countries, Ci∣ties, Religious Orders, of Beasts, and of the Ele∣ments, Fire, Water, &c. and appoint to them di∣stinctly and by name several Opitulations. So Caeci∣lius in Minutius Felix says of the Heathens, that each particular Nation had its own Municipal Gods which they worshipped: And Arnobius tells the Gentiles,* that with them Dii certi certas habent tu∣telas, licentias, potestates, neque eorum ab aliquo id quod ejus non sit potestatis ac licentiae postulant; i. e. Cer∣tain Gods have certain Guardianships, Licences and Powers; neither do they ask from any of them that which is not in their power and gift. Accordingly the Papists have distributed several Offices to seve∣ral Saints, whose assistance they implore for those particular things to which they are appointed: as for example, S. Apollonia for the Tooth-ach, S. Otilia for Bleer-Eyes, S. Rochus for the Pox, S. Blasius for the Squinancy, S. Petronella for Feavers, S. Wende∣line for Sheep and Oxen, S. Anthony for Hogs, S. Nicholas is the Patron of Mariners, S. Clement of Bakers, S. Luke of Painters, and S. Afra and Magda∣len of Whores. For S. Austin says, that Varro main∣tained, * it was profitable to know the power and working of every God in particular, that men might be able to sue unto them according to their several Offices for every distinct or particular bene∣fit, lest otherwise they might ask water of Bacchus the God of Wine, or Wine of the Nymphs the Goddesses of the Water. And this is so plain and Page 35evident, that it could not but extort this honest Confession from Ludovicus Vives, one of their own; *Multi Christiani, &c. Many Christians err in a good matter, in that they worship He▪ and She-Saints after the same manner that they worship God: nor can I see in many things what difference there is between their Opinion of the Saints, and that which the Heathens thought of their Gods: For what other account did the Pagans make, or in what did they do honour to their inferiour Deities, which Papists do not express to their Saints? Did the Pagans con∣secrate Temples to their Demons? so do the Pa∣pists to their Saints: Do they appropriate several offices and imployments to their inferiour Gods? the same do Papists to their Saints: Have they Al∣tars built to them? so have the Saints: Do the Hea∣thens offer Sacrifice to their Deities? so do Roma∣nists to the Saints: Had they Images erected to them? so have the Saints: Were the Demons in∣voked before their Images? so are the Saints: Did they make Vows to the Demons? so do Papists to their Saints: Do they make those Middle Powers Mediators and Intercessors between the Supreme God and them? it is no more than what Papists a∣scribe to the Saints. Now what these Mediae Potesta∣tes, or Middle Powers were, we learn from Apulei∣us, that they are inter terricolas,*calicolasque Vecto∣res, hinc precum, inde donorum, qui ultro citroque por∣tant, hinc petitiones, inde suppetias, ceu quidam u∣trinque Interpretes & Salutigeri; i. e. a kind of Car∣riers between the Inhabitants of Heaven and Earth, that travelling to and fro, carry from hence Prayers, and bring from thence Blessings, from hence Re∣quests Page 36and Petitions, from thence supplies and aids; or a certain kind of Interpreters, or Messengers, and Internuncii between both. And 'tis a great sign, that the more understanding Papists were long ago sensible of this, because in their Expurgatory Indi∣ces they take special care that such expressions as these should be blotted and razed out of those Au∣thors that speak against their wicked Practices, viz. that God alone is to be adored, that the Saints are to be honoured, but not Religiously worshipped; that Angels are not to be honoured with Religious Worship.
And because when Protestants cite such notori∣ously blasphemous and idolatrous forms of prayer, allowed in the Popish Church, wherein they beg of their Saints, and especially of the Virgin Mary, no less Boons than remission of sins, preservation from the assaults of the Devil, a safe conduct through the hazards of the World to eternal life, comfort and assistance at the hour of death, and the possessi∣on of Eternal Glory in the life to come: The Vul∣gar Papists amongst us are taught, that these forms of prayer are no more than an Ora pro nobis, and all one as to say Holy Apostle, or Blessed Lady, pray for us; (which yet is Idolatry) it is certain that many of them are made in other expressions, and likewise are direct Addresses to such and such Saints, upon account of what is peculiar for them to help them in. The prayer to S. Agnes is not Ora pro nobis, but te exoro precibus, I pray you to keep me in the right Faith, or grant you that all may serve God in per∣fect charity. And the prayer to S. Brigit is, By your safe guidance bring us to the reward of everlasting Page 37life. Can any man in his right senses say, that this is no more, then O Brigit pray for us. The Belgick Expurgatory Index commands these words to be ra∣zed out of Fabricius (which are not much unlike this subterfuge of our Jesuits) O all ye Saints pray to God for me, is all one as to say, I wish all the Saints would pray to God for me; adding this reason, for in very deed we invoke the Saints, not only wishing, but requiring their prayers; which cannot be excu∣sed from Idolatry.
The account which Chemnitius gives of the In∣troduction of this piece of Paganism into the Chri∣stian Church, is to this purpose; That in the Primi∣tive Church, until two hundred years after Christ, * this Doctrine and Practice was utterly unknown: then about the year 370. it began to be spoken of in Publick Assemblies by Basil, Nyssen, and Nazianzen, upon occasion of their Panegyrical Orations, at the same time when by the same Persons Monkery was brought out of Egypt and Syria into Greece. But notwithstanding this, it was not generally and uni∣versally received in those times, for about the year 400. S. Chrysostom interposed and laboured against it. Afterwards he shews out of Nicephorus, that Petrus Gnapheus (condemned for Heresie in the fifth Uni∣versal Synod) was the first Author among the Gre∣cians, of mixing Intercessions to the Virgin Mary with Divine Prayers: And moreover, that in S. Au∣stin's days, Invocation of Saints was not used in the common Service of the Western Church, but that it was brought in about the time of Pope Gregory the First.
Nor can this Paganish Idolatry be palliated and Page 38excused by that poor Subterfuge of distinguishing re∣ligious worship into Latria and Dulia, the first of which is proper only to God, the other to Creatures; that is, to Saints and Angels. First, because the true Object of religious worship is but one, for God is one; and therefore whatever Creature is worship∣ped with religious worship, though inferiour to that which is given to the Supreme God, is ipso facto by this made a God, so far as it is possible for a Crea∣ture to be made a God. 2. The words Latria and Dulia are promiscuously used in Scripture, to denote the worship due to God alone, as 1 Thes. 1.9. Ye turned to God from Idols,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, to serve the living, and true God: VVhich had been a Derogation if the Apostle had used a word that had signified any thing less than Divine worship.
I shall conclude this Particular with a Passage which I find cited out of Athanasius his fourth Ora∣tion against the Arrians;〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, &c. Why therefore do not these Arrians holding this, reckon themselves amongst the Pagans, or Gentiles, since they do in like manner worship the Creature, besides the Creator? For though the Pagans worship one uncreated, and many created Gods; but these Ar∣rians only one uncreated, and one created, to wit, the Son, or VVord of God: yet will not this make any real difference betwixt them; because the Arri∣ans one created, is one of those many Pagan Gods, and those many Gods of the Pagans, or Gentiles, have the same nature with this one, they being a∣like Creatures. Wherefore these wretched Arri∣ans are Apostates from the truth of Christianity, they betraying Christ more than the Jews did; and Page 39wallowing, or tumbling in the filth of Pagan Idola∣try, worshipping Creatures and different kinds of Gods. In which Passage of this Father these things are observable; 1. That the Arrians are charged with Pagan Idolatry in the same words which St. Paul used against the Heathens, That they did worship the Creature, besides, or in the room of the Creator: for the Arrians constantly declared that they gave less worship to Christ the Son, or Word of God, he being by them accounted but a Creature, than they did to the Father the Creator. 2. That the Pagan Polytheism and Idolatry consisted in worship∣ing one only uncreated and independent, and many created Gods. 3. That the worship of the true God is not enough to excuse from Idolatry, if any Crea∣ture be worshipped with religious worship together with him: for then the Pagans cannot be charged with the guilt of Idolatry. 4. That the Fathers of the Nicene Council (if we may credit Athanasius) affirmed, that to give religious worship to any crea∣ted Being whatsoever, though inferiour to that worship which is given to the Supreme God, is abso∣lutely Idolatry: and therefore the distinction of reli∣gious worship into Latria and Dulia, as it was per∣fectly unknown to them, so was it invented of late meerly to palliate and hide the odious Turpitude of Pagan Idolatry. Because it is certain that the Arri∣ans gave much an inferiour worship to Christ, the Son, or Word of God, whom they contended to be a meer Creature, made in time, mutable and de∣fectible, than they did to that eternal God who was the Creator of him. Now if the Arrians, who zealously contended for the Unity of the God-head, Page 40were nevertheless by those Fathers condemned as guilty of Pagan Idolatry, for bestowing but an infe∣riour kind of religious worship upon Christ, the Son, or Word of God himself, as he was supposed by them to be a Creature; then certainly cannot Papists be excused from that guilt, who bestow reli∣gious worship upon these other Creatures, Angels, and Souls of Men, though inferiour to what they give to the Supreme Omnipotent God the Creator of all. Because the Son, or Word of God, however conceived by these Arrians to be a Creature, yet was looked upon by them as the first, the most glorious, and excellent of all Creatures; and that by which, as an Instrument, all other Creatures, as Angels, and Souls were made: And therefore if it were Idolatry in them to give an inferiour kind of religious wor∣ship to this Son, and Word of God himself, accord∣ing to their Hypothesis, then can it not possibly be accounted less to bestow the same upon those other Creatures made by him, as Angels, and Men de∣ceased.
I confess there are many Pious and Learned Men, both of our own, and other Nations, who cannot be induced to believe that the Romanists are Pagani∣cally Idolatrous in this Particular: The Grounds, and Reasons of this their Dissent seem to be these three especially, which are laid down by Curcellaeus: 1. In the Romish Church (saith he) the one Supreme God, the Maker,*and Governour of Heaven and Earth, is acknowledged, and adored; and the Saints are wor∣shipped with an inferiour degree of honour as the Friends of God, and such as are in great favour with him. But the Pagans were ignorant of the true God, Page 41and substituted the Sun and Moon, the Souls of dead Men and Daemons, in his place, and worshipped them as Gods. 2. There is no doubt but the Saints and Martyrs, whom the Roman Catholicks worship, are worthy of some veneration of the Mind, for their ex∣cellent Virtues, and constancy in Persecutions. But to worship the Stars that have neither sense nor reason, is ridiculous: And no honour can be due to the Memo∣ry of Impious and Flagitious Kings, such as Jupiter was: And as for Daemons, they ought to be detested by all good Men, as haters of God and Virtue. 3. The Romanists indeed attribute to their Saints a know∣ledge in some sense and measure Divine, by which they hear our Prayers, and take notice of our wants and necessities; although the Scripture deny all such know∣ledge to the Dead, as Eccles. 9.5, 6. Job 14.21. But this doth somewhat lessen their Errour, that they pro∣fess that the Saints have not this knowledge of them∣selves, but from the Gift of God. But now the Hea∣thens err inexcusably, while they ascribe to their false Gods an independent Knowledge and Power, which is only competible to the Supreme God. Thus far Cur∣cellaeus. To which I reply.
To the first, That it is a vulgar Errour to suppose the Pagans ignorant of the true God, or that they did not worship the Supreme God, the Maker of Hea∣ven and Earth; as not only appears from the Texts of Scripture cited already, but is clearly and evident∣ly demonstrated, by a Person of singular Learning, * who from Plutarch, Heraiscus, Asclepiades, and o∣thers, affirm these two to be Fundamental Points of the Pagan Theology: First, that there is one Self-originated Deity, who was the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, or Maker Page 42of the whole VVorld. Secondly, That there are besides him, other Gods also to be religiously wor∣shipped (that is, Intellectual Beings superiour to Men) which were notwithstanding all made, or cre∣ated by that one. To the Supreme God they gave the highest worship, but to those subordinate Dei∣ties they gave a lesser, or inferiour kind of religious worship: that is, they adored and worshipped the Supreme God, as the first Cause and Original of all things; but their inferiour Deities as Mediators, and Intercessors for them with the Supreme Numen. And where I pray lies the difference now between the Papist and the Pagan, save that the Dii Mediox∣umi of the Heathens are changed into Saints and An∣gels by the Papists? And if it be said that the Pa∣gans substituted these Subordinate Gods in the room of the Supreme God, and worshipped them above, or more than him, I shall readily grant it; and do likewise affirm the same of the Papists, who by giv∣ing religious worship to Saints and Angels, do real∣ly substitute them in the place of the true God, and worship them above, or more than him, for so Sir Edwin Sands tells us, that for one Prayer put up to God, * there are ten offered to the Virgin Mary. So that the Church of Rome are not so much the wor∣shippers of the Man Christ Jesus, as of the VVo∣man his Mother. But that the Pagans did so wor∣ship their inferiour Deities, as wholly to pass by, and neglect the Supreme, I utterly deny.
To the second I say, That it is true the Saints and Martyrs are worthy of some regard and veneration, but not of religious worship, which to give them is down-right Idolatry: but the honour and reve∣rence Page 43which we pay to the Saints departed consists, 1. In making an honourable mention of their Names, as being great and glorious Lights in their times. 2. in setting before our Eyes their Virtues, and praying to God to give us Grace to follow their good Examples, that with them we may be parta∣kers of his Heavenly Kingdom. And whereas 'tis said, that it was ridiculous in the Heathen to wor∣ship the Stars that have neither sense nor reason; I find them utterly disclaiming this latter part, foras∣much as they looked upon all the World, and the se∣veral parts thereof, to be animated at least with one great Soul: and they that worshipped the Sun, did not do it as supposing the Sun to be nothing but a dead and lifeless thing, but as animated with some Intellectual Being. For to deny the Worlds Anima∣tion and to be an Atheist, or to deny a God, was look∣ed upon by them as one and the same thing; because all the Pagans who asserted Providence, held the World also to be animated; and Epicurus denyed the Worlds Animation upon no other Reason, but because he Atheistically endeavoured to exclude a Providence. And though the Poets have introdu∣ced many absurd and impure Fables into their Re∣ligion, concerning Jupiter; yet certain it is that by Jupiter the Heathens understood the Supreme God, the true Etymon of Jupiter being not Juvans Pater, a helping Father, (as Cicero would have it,) but Jo∣vis Pater, Jove the Father of Gods and Men; which Jovis is the very Hebrew Tetragrammaton, only al∣tered by a Latin Termination. And Jupiter, Pluto,*Neptune, Juno, Minerva, &c. in the Pagan Theolo∣gy are nothing but the Polyonymy of one and the Page 44same Supreme Being in the various actings and ma∣nifestations of himself in the several things and parts of the world. But if Jupiter were an impious King, and the Heathens worshipped him after his death, I do not doubt but to find many such Saints in the Roman Calendar. Lastly, for the Demons worshipped by the Pagans, it is evident, they looked upon them under another notion, and did not con∣ceive them to be haters of God and Virtue, but Me∣diators and Intercessors, and such who did negoti∣ate Affairs between Mortals and the Supreme God: So that this Argument, like the former, proceeding upon a false supposition, leaves no other difference but what arises from the change of names between Papist and Pagan; but the Popish Saints are exactly like the Demons of the Heathen.
To the third, which extenuates the errour of Pa∣pists in their Invocation of Saints, because they a∣scribe the Omniscience of the Saints, whereby they hear their Suppliants throughout all the World, to God as his gift; I reply, that the same may be said of the subordinate Gods of the Heathens, who were altogether as Omniscient as the Romish Saints: Nor did the Pagans ever look upon their Middle Gods as so many particular independent and self-originated Beings, but were acknowledged to be the Crea∣tures of the Supreme God, and made by him what they were fancied to be by their Devotionists; and all the honour conferred upon these subordinate Deities, was judged by the Pagans to redound to the Supreme.
7. Having now dispatched the first part, wherein I affirmed the Pagan Polytheism and Idolatry to con∣sist; Page 45namely, in worshipping many inferiour crea∣ted Deities together with the Supreme God, and drawn the Parallel fully and exactly between this Heathenish worship, and that now practised in the Church of Rome; I shall with the same clearness and evidence demonstrate the second Part, viz. that Papists do egregiously Paganize in worshipping both the Supreme God, and their other Inferiour Deities, in Images and Statues. And let not any man be mi∣staken, and think, that because Papists do not call Angels and the Souls of men departed Gods, or In∣feriour Deities, but Saints, that therefore the case is quite different between them and the Pagans; for by giving Religious worship to them, they do for that very reason make them Gods, whether they call them so or not: for neither did the Heathens believe their inferiour Deities to be so many self-existent and independent, but created, Beings, made by the Supreme God; but by performing Religious worship to them, they made them Gods, so far as any Creature can be made a God; and upon this account they are called Gods in Scripture: so that I cannot free the Romish Church from Polytheism and Idolatry, any more than the Pagan VVorld, who by all Christian VVriters has been justly branded with that heynous Impiety.
That the Pagans worshipped the Supreme God, and likewise their subordinate Deities in Images and Statues, I think is so evident as not to be deni∣ed; however, I shall offer something towards the proof of it: And first, that the Heathens worship∣ped the true God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth in an Image, appears from the story of the Inhabi∣tants Page 46of Thebais, who worshipped the Maker of VVorld under the name of Cneph, in an Image or Statue of humane form, and a blackish sky-coloured complexion, holding in his hand a Girdle and a Scep∣ter, and wearing upon his head a Princely Plume, and thrusting forth an Egg out of his mouth; and by this Cneph Plutarch says, * they understood 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, an unmade and Eternal Deity. But it is most apparent from that sacred History (which I touched upon before) in Act. 17.29. For∣asmuch then as we are his Off-spring, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto Gold or Sil∣ver, or Stone graven by art or mans device. In which words there are these things implyed: 1. That the Athenians worshipped God in an Image or Sta∣tue; for had they not done so, it had been imperti∣nent, and beside the Apostles scope, to have de∣claimed against Image-worship as here he does. 2. That this God to whom they built an Altar, and gave Religious worship, was the true God: For that that Jupiter whom Aratus invokes in his Phaenome∣na, and from whence S. Paul cited that passage— For we are his Off-spring—was the Supreme God, the Lord of Heaven and Earth, we are informed from Theon the Scholiast, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. We must understand (saith he) here by Jupiter, the Maker of the World. And so S. Paul says, that he of whom Aratus speaks, We are his Off-spring, and whom the Athenians ignorantly worshipped under the name of the unknown God, he it is that is the Maker and Lord of Heaven and Earth; and there∣fore it was a very non-sensical and ridiculous thing to endeavour to represent this Supreme Numen by Page 47an Image of Gold or Silver, or any other material. To this purpose there is a famous passage in Sopho∣cles, cited by divers of the Ancient Fathers, where after having asserted one only God, the Maker of Heaven and Earth, he condemns all Image-worship, and affirms,
Those vain Mortals to be deceived and err in their hearts, who graving Images of God out of Stone, Wood, Gold, or Ivory, offer Sacrifices and other So∣lemnities to them, to the infinite damage of their Souls, and suppose this to be true Religious wor∣ship.
And that the Heathens worshipped their minor Gods, or inferiour Deities, whether Daemons or He∣roes, in Images and Statues, is so plain and obvious, that it needs no farther proof. Though here the cunning Sophisters of the Romish Church (not be∣ing able to deny the thing it self) have invented many shifts and elusions; and they tell us, that the Pagans worshipped the dead Images and Statues, and accounted those inanimate and sensless Figures of Gold, or Silver, or Wood and Stone, to be the very Gods to whom they paid their Religious worship.
But that this is utterly false, and made use of by the Bigots of the Popish Church, meerly that their conformity and agreement with the Idolatry of the Heathens might not appear, I shall shew:
1. In that it is such a piece of sottishness and con∣tradictious non-sense as is not incident to Humane Nature, that any persons who are endued with a∣ny measure and competency of Reason and Under∣standing Page 48should so far degenerate and fall from it, as to take Gold, or Silver, or some other Material, and frame it into an Image or Statue, and then devoutly court it, and pay the most solemn Devotion and Religious worship to it, by invoking and imploring its assistance, as hoping to receive great benefits thereby, and yet at the same time think it to be no∣thing but a dead and sensless lump, or piece of mat∣ter; this, I say, is so opposite to the very Constitu∣tive Principles and Intellectual Furniture of the Soul of Man, that I cannot imagine any number of peo∣ple to be guilty of such a perfect piece of stupidity. But these Images of the Heathens, which were de∣signed for Religious worship, were first consecrated with certain Prayers and Ceremonies, by which they supposed some Invisible Power superiour to men was conveyed into them, and was ready there to assist and help all Supplicants to them; so that the Image was not worshipped for it self, as if it were nothing but a dead and lifeless Trunk or Stock, but with respect to the Demon, or Invisible Power, which they imagined, after the performan∣ces of certain sacred Ceremonies, was incorporated and dwelt in it. And there is no doubt but that there were many wicked Spirits who industriously waited to minister to the sins of fond mankind, and did (to use the words of Minutius Felix) sub Statuis & Imaginibus consecratis delitescere, lurk under the shades and covertures of those consecrated Statues to delude abused Mortals.
2. The Heathens constantly disclaimed such a worship as this, and tell us, that they knew well enough the value and power of the Image before Page 49which they prostrate themselves, that it is but a dead and lifeless thing in it self, meer Gold, or Sil∣ver, or Wood, or Stone, but that they worship the Gods in these Images. So the Pagans in Arnobius, Thou art deceived, and grosly mistaken; for we [the Heathen] do not believe the substance of Brass, * or Silver, or Gold, or any other thing of which these Statues are made, to be in themselves Gods; but we worship the Gods in these. But if nothing will serve the turn, but that the Heathens must be thought such stupid and blockish people, as to invo∣cate and adore the very Stocks and Stones as Gods, yet have our Adversaries the Papists no such advan∣tage, if their own Polydore Virgil be of any credit with them: To this height of madness is it come (says he) that this piece of Piety little differs from Impiety; for there are a great many of the more rude and stupid sort of people, who worship Images of Stone, Wood, Marble, Brass, or such as are with various colours painted on Walls, not as Figures, but as if those Images had some sense in them, and place their trust and confidence in them, more than in Christ, or those Saints to whom they are dedicated.
Having removed this Objection, let us now pro∣ceed to draw the Parallel; which I shall do, by con∣sidering the reasons and grounds the Pagans insisted upon, and by which they maintained the worship of their Gods in Images and Statues, which were these, 1. They declared that in the Adoration of I∣mages, the worship was not terminated upon the I∣mage as upon the ultimate Object, but directed and referred to the God and his Attributes, whom they adored in and by such an Image; as in the place ci∣ted Page 50even now out of Arnobius. 2. They affirmed, concerning their Images, that they were Symboli∣cal Representations of the Gods they worshipped. 3. They used Images in their Religious worship, as sensible helps to excite and quicken their Devoti∣on, and fix their Imagination upon. For these we have the testimony of Plutarch in his Book De I∣side,*〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, &c. No inani∣mate thing ought to be esteemed for a God, but they who bestow these things upon us, and afford us a continual supply thereof for our use, have been therefore accounted by us Gods; which Gods are not different to different Nations, as if the Barbari∣ans and the Greeks, the Southern and the Northern Inhabitants of the Globe, had not any the same, but all other different Gods: But as the Sun, and the Moon, and the Heaven, and the Earth, and the Sea, are common to all, though called by several names in several Countries; so one Reason ordering these things, and one Providence dispensing all, and the inferiour subservient Ministers thereof having had several names & honors bestowed upon them by the Laws of several Countries, have been every where worshipped throughout the whole World: And there have been also different Symbols consecrated to them, the better to conduct and lead on mens un∣derstandings to divine things; though this hath not been without some hazard or danger of casting men upon one or other of these two inconveniences, either Superstition or Atheism. From which Testi∣mony of Plutarch we have these things observable: 1. That all Nations agreed in the worshipping of one Supreme and Universal Numen, Reason and Page 51Providence governing all things. 2. They agreed in worshipping his subservient Ministers (the Instru∣ments of Providence) appointed by him over all the parts of the World; which being honoured un∣der several Names, and with different Rites and Ce∣remonies, according to the Laws of the Respective Countries, caused all that diversity of Religions that was amongst them. 3. That the Pagans did not worship the very Images or Statues for Gods, but only as symbolical representations of their Gods. 4. That these Images or Symbols were to conduct and lead on mens Understandings (as sensible helps) to Divine things. 5. That Image-worship (in the judgment of Plutarch) was an In-let and occasion of Superstition and Atheism.
Thus far what the Pagans declared concerning their Images; Behold now an admirable and sweet harmony and consent between the Image-worship of the Heathens, and that now practised in the Ro∣mish Church. 1. They likewise with the Pagans de∣clare, that the Religious worship given to the I∣mage is not terminated there, but referred to the Prototype, as to its ultimate Object. So the Coun∣cil of Trent, after having declared that due honour and reverence be given to Images, adds this as one reason of it, because the honour exhibited to them, * is referred to the Prototypes which they represent: so that through those Images which we kiss, and before which we bare our heads, and prostrate our selves, we adore Christ, and worship the Saints, whose similitude they bear; which is so like the A∣pology of the Pagan in Arnobius, that I think it worth the while to produce it entire; Sed erras (in∣quit) Page 52& laberis,*nam neque nos aera, neque auri ar∣gentique materias, neque alias quibus signa conficiunt, eas esse per se Deos, & Religiosa decernimus Numina: sed eos in his colimus, eosque veneramur quos dedica∣tio infert sacra & fabrilibus efficit inhabitare simu∣lachris; i. e. Thou art deceived, and grosly mista∣ken; for we [the Heathen] do not believe the sub∣stance of Brass, or Gold, or any other thing of which these Statues are made, to be in themselves Gods; but we worship the Gods in these, and pay Religious Veneration to those Deities which by Consecration are brought to inhabit and dwell in those Images or Statues. So that the Pagans argu∣ing after the same manner as the Council of Trent, or rather that Council giving the same reason for Image-worship with the Pagans, and establishing the same thing upon the same grounds that they did, it must needs be guilty of the same Crime of Idolatry likewise: For if the Heathens in worship∣ping the Images and Statues of their Gods, were de∣clared by the express Sentence of God Almighty, to be heynously guilty of Idolatry, though in the mean time they never worshipped those Images or Statues for themselves, but in reference to their Pro∣totypes; it is a clear consequence, that the Popish Image-worship, established upon the same grounds and reasons with the Pagan, will necessarily fall un∣der the same condemnation. To this purpose there is a pretty story in an Italian, who wrote Commen∣taries of the Affairs of India; When the poor Bar∣barians of Nova Hispania,* in the Kingdom of Mexi∣co, had one day of a sudden found their Idols taken down and broken, they sent four Principal Persons Page 53of their Country to Alfonsus Zuasus the Licentiate, who had commanded it: they complaining of the injury, suppos'd also, and told him, they did be∣lieve it to be done without his consent or know∣ledge, as knowing that the Christians had Idols and Images of their own, whom they valued, and ado∣red, and worshipped; and looking up, and espying the Image of S. Sebastian, whom Alfonsus had in great Veneration, hanging by his Bed-side, they pointed at him with their finger, saying, The same regard which he had to the Image of S. Sebastian, the same they had to theirs. The Governour being troubled with this quick and not barbarous dis∣course, turn'd him about a little, and at last told them, that the Christians did not worship Images for their own sakes, but as they represented Holy Persons dwelling in Heavenly places; and to demonstrate that, took down the Image of S. Sebastian, and broke it in pieces. They reply'd, that it was just so with them; and that they were not so stupid as to worship the Images for their own regards, but as they repre∣sented the Sun, and Moon, and all the Lights of Hea∣ven. Alfonsus being yet more troubled, was forced to say, that the object was different, though the man∣ner was not; that the Christians did by their Images pass honour to the great Creator of the World, but they did it to Creatures, to evil Spirits, and false Gods. But neither in this was there any difference between Alfonsus and the poor Indians, since another Au∣thor, Josephus Acosta, affirms of the same Indians, that they acknowledged the great and Supreme God, and their worshipping of false Gods was e∣qually true of Papists; for by giving Religious. Page 55worship to a good Angel, or Saint, that Angel, or Saint, is ipso facto made a false God; and being so is all one with the Demons of the Heathens.
Now this Reference to the Prototype, whether it be in Virtue of that Similitude the Images have with those Persons they represent, or whether it be con∣sidered only as the Image is a Symbolical Presence at large, it being not regarded whether the Symbol or Image have any Personal Similitude with the Par∣ty it represents or not, but only as the Devotionist takes an occasion from that to direct his intention to the worship of Christ, or any Saint; let it be (I say) how it will, yet it will no more excuse a Papist than a Pagan from Idolatry. For the giving religious worship to any Creature, whether to Saints and An∣gels, or Demons and Heroes, is a making or ha∣ving other Gods before the true and everliving God; and this being so expresly forbidden by the God of Israel, it is most certain that all erecting Images to be bowed to, or worshipped, in reference to these, is forbidden also. But I am fallen upon the second Branch of the Parallel afore I was aware, that is, that as the Images of the Pagans, so likewise of the Pa∣pists, are Symbolical Representations of the Gods they worship. That the Image of Christ, or of the Virgin Mary, or of this or that Saint, should be like the carnal Figure of those Persons while they lived on Earth, is extremely uncertain: suppose now a devout Papist bowing down and worshipping the Image of the Blessed Virgin; if this worship be given with respect to the Personal Similitude the Image hath with the Party it represents, it will cer∣tainly fall upon some other perhaps wicked Person, Page 54and not upon the holy Virgin. The Picture of the beautiful Curtizan Phryne was placed upon a high Pillar at Delphos, and according to the Features and Lineaments of this, as of the most exquisite Beauty, was drawn the Picture of the Goddess Venus; and therefore 'tis certain that the Strumpet Phryne, and not the Goddess, will be the ultimate object of the religious worship given to the supposed Picture of Venus: This (I say) will follow upon account of Personal Similitude. But that they account them symbolical Representations, and worship Images as the Israelites worshipped the Golden Calf with re∣ference to Jehovah, and intended it as the Symbol of his presence, is manifest from the Images they make of God, wickedly representing the sacred, and ever-to-be-adored Trinity, under the Figure of an old Man in sacerdotal Vestments, with a tripple Crown, and a young Man and a Dove; and this is proposed not only to be gazed upon, but to be wor∣shipped. So Cajetan; Images of the Trinity are painted in the Roman Church, * not only that they may be shewed or looked on, as the Cherubims of old time were in the Temple, but that they may be adored. 3. The Papists (agreeably to the Pagans) affirm, that they use Images in their religious wor∣ship, as sensible helps to excite and stir up their De∣votion and fix their Imaginations upon. When the Council of Nice had established the worship of the Images of Christ, the Virgin Mary and all the Saints, according to the Excellency and Venerabili∣ty of their Prototypes, they add this Reason (as Pho∣tius says) 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, &c. For even by these are we carried up into a certain Unitive and Conjunctive Page 56Vision, and thereby are vouchsafed that divine and supernatural Conjunction, or Contact with the highest of all desirables. As if by the worshipping of Images the Souls of Men were transported beyond themselves, and carried up in Ecstatical Raptures to an Union with God himself. Which is no more than what Pope Adrian, who influenced that Council, writes to the Empress Irene and her Son Constantine; In the whole Christian World (says he) the holy Ima∣ges are honoured, or worshipped by Believers; Ut per visibilem vultum ad invisibilem Divinitatis Majesta∣tem mens nostra spirituali affectu rapiatur, i. e. That by that sensible Figure our Mind may be carried by a spiritual affection to the invisible Majesty of the Divinity. By which Testimonies it is clear as the Meridian Light, that the Romanists worship Images as helps to quicken and draw up their affections in a more inflamed and vigorous manner to the Deity they adore.
And though the great Sticklers for Image-worship, use many Niceties, and raise a Cloud of Dust by their subtil Distinctions to blind the Eyes of the People, that they may not see to the bottom of this their gross Idolatry, yet can they never clear themselves from that foul and detestable Crime. For though the Council of Trent express no particular, but only with great caution define that due honour and wor∣ship be given to Images: yet by referring us to the second Council of Nice, it is plain that the Coun∣cil of Trent decreed the same that the Nicene Coun∣cil had done before; and the Nicene Synod decreed such worship to be due to Images, as the Council of Franefort said was not due, but condemned by the Page 57Scriptures and the constant Practice of the Primitive Church. To this purpose there is a Story in Roger Hoveden,* a Native Historian of the Affairs of Bri∣tain: Charles the French King (says he) sent a Sy∣nodal into Britain, directed unto him from Constan∣tinople, in the which Book many things (out alas) in∣convenient, and repugnant to right Faith, were found; especially it was confirmed almost by the unanimous con∣sent of all the Eastern Doctors, no less than three hun∣dred or more, That Images ought to be worshipped; which thing the Church of God doth altogether detest and abhor. Against which Synodal Book Albinus wrote an Epistle marvellously confirmed by Autho∣rity of Divine Scripture, and carried the same to the French King, together with the foresaid Book, in the name of our Bishops and Princes. And not on∣ly in Britain, but in other places, this abominable Practice of Image-worship was condemned by the best and wisest Men, of the best times and ages. The Council of Eliberis in Spain, forbad the use of Pi∣ctures in Churches, for this reason, *Lest that which is worshipped, or adored, be painted upon the Walls. To the same purpose the fourth Council at Con∣stantinople cites the same words of Epiphanius against placing Images in Churches. Thus another Synod at Constantinople consisting of 338 Bishops under Constantius Copronymus,* forbad all religious use of Images, in Churches, or out of them. And so much of their Decree as prohibited the worship of Images, was again confirm'd by the Council of Francfort, where the Bishops of Italy, France, and Germany were assembled by the command of the Emperour Charles the Great, to that purpose. To Page 58these we may add the Council of Mentz, and the second Council of Sens, in which Image-worship was opposed and cautioned against. And a Greek Historian informs us, that when Frederick 1. the Emperour, who led his Army to the Conquest of the Holy Land,* entered into Armenia, the Christians of those Parts did lovingly receive them, because the worship of Images was not admitted amongst them, as amongst other Northern People. And lastly, for the Doctrine and Practice of the first and best ages of the Church, it was very remarkable what is told by Aelius Lampridius in the Life of Alexander Seve∣rus, That when Adrian the Emperour had com∣manded Churches to be built without Images, it was supposed he intended them for the service of Christ: Than which (saith that learned Bishop Dr. Taylor) there needs no greater,*or clearer Instance of the Doctrine and Practice of the holy Primitives.
But I had almost forgotten the Popish Consecrati∣on of Images, which runs exactly Parallel with that of the Heathens. Of the Pagans it is reported that they consecrated the Statues and Images of their Gods with certain Prayers and Ceremonies, (before they paid any Religious Veneration to them,) by vertue whereof they supposed some extraordinary Powers, or Vertues, were acquired and resided in them. * Such were all those Telesmatical Images which were consecrated to certain purposes, viz. to stop the rage and fury of Fire, or sudden Inun∣dations; or to hinder the sudden Incursions of Ene∣mies: To which last purpose I remember Mr. Gre∣gory cites a Story of certain Telesmatical Statues, or Images, hid in the Ground upon the Borders of Thrace,Page 59which when upon some occasion they were digged up, the Barbarians soon after over ran the whole Country. Of this nature was the Trojan Palladi∣um, and those Images of the Jebusites in which they reposed such confidence, that they derided David, as thinking that so long as those consecrated Statues re∣mained in the City, it was impossible it should be ta∣ken: Except thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither; thinking David cannot come in hither.* The wit of Man certainly cannot find any difference between the Consecration of those Images of the Pagans, and the Dedication of the Golden, or Wooden Images of the Papists: For thus runs the Prayer at the Consecration of the Image of the Virgin Mary, Sanctifie, O God, this Image of the Blessed Virgin, that it may bring saving help to thy faithful People, that Thunders and Lightnings may be driven away the sooner; that immoderate Rains, or Floods, and Civil wars, or the Invasion of Heathens may at the Presence of this be suppressed. In a word, it is very plain from their publick and au∣thorized Practice, that the Papists consecrrate their Images, they hope in them, they expect Gifts and Graces from them, they Clothe them and Crown them, they erect Altars and Temples to them, they kiss them and bow the Head and Knee before them, they light up Tapers and Lamps to them, which is a direct consumptive Sacrifice; and (as Irenaeus says of the Gnostick Hereticks, * who had gotten the Ima∣ges, or Pictures of Christ, Pythagoras, Plato, and other Philosophers,) Reliquam observationem circa eas similiter ut gentes faciunt, they do to their Ima∣ges as the Heathens do to theirs.
Page 60 I know nothing now that can by any Papist be brought, with any shew of reason, to invalidate what I have here said, unless it be that common sub∣terfuge, that they are indeed forbidden to make or worship the Image of any false God, but that they are not interdicted the worshipping of the true God, or his Saints, in Images and Statues. The va∣nity and foolery of which Plea, though it have been already demonstrated by divers learned Persons, yet I shall here reply something to it, partly to gratifie the sincere and unprejudiced Reader, and withal, to render my Discourse upon this Point more unexcep∣tionable and entire.
First therefore, I say, that the second Command∣ment in the Decalogue forbids both the making of an Image to the true God, and likewise the worship∣ping of Images, in reference to Saints and Angels. And whereas the Papists do grant, that the Precept binds strongly as to the Prohibition of the worship of the Images of false Gods, I shall take the advan∣tage of this their Concession, and make use of it to overthrow, even out of their own mouths, their Doctrine of worshipping Images, in reference to Saints and Angels. Thus therefore I argue; There is no more than one God, and the rest no otherwise made Gods, than by giving Religious worship to them; of which erecting consecrated Images to them, and bowing to them, is one Mode: And therefore these Saints and Angels to whom Religi∣ous worship is given by a Law, do ipso facto become Gods, but not true Gods, but false Gods; and therefore the worshipping of their Images is strict∣ly forbidden in this second Commandment, by the Page 61full confession of Papists themselves, who say the I∣mages of false Gods are here prohibited.
Secondly, I say, that the True and Ever-living God hath so strictly forbidden the worshipping of himself by any Image whatever, that represents any thing within the comprehension of the whole Crea∣tion; that when the Israelites worshipped the Gol∣den Calf (which was intended for a symbolical re∣presentation of the true God) they so far provoked his wrath by this their heynous Crime of Idolatry, that notwithstanding there fell thousands of them by the Sword, yet God threatens to remember that very transgression upon them in future Ages: so that it is commonly said by the Jews, that in every Plague and Captivity that fell upon them, there was an Ounce of the Calf, God continuing to pu∣nish this sin in all their Posterities, that continued to provoke him with the like.
Now that this Golden Calf was not the Image of a false God, as suppose the Egyptian Osiris, or some other particular and inferiour Deity, but designed for the symbolical presence of the true and ever-li∣ving God, appears from the whole History of it, in which there are so many pregnant proofs, that this Cherub or Calf was intended for a Symbol of the presence of the true God, that none but a humour∣some and prejudiced mind can understand it other∣wise. 1. The first thing that offers it self is the oc∣casion of this Idolatry, which arose from the ab∣sence of Moses; for he staying in the Mount for forty days, they took it for granted they should ne∣ver hear any more tidings of him; so we read, v. 1. And when the people saw that Moses delayed to Page 62come down out of the Mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Ʋp, make us Gods which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the Land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. Here we plainly see, that when after many days ex∣pectation of Moses, they heard no tidings of him, they sollicit Aaron to make them Gods to go before them, that is, to bring them onward to the promi∣sed Land, as Moses had hitherto done. 2. When the people had thus wrought on the timorous nature of Aaron, and he, according to their desire, had fra∣med the Golden Cherub of the Ear-rings they brought him, they no sooner saw it, but they cry out, These be thy Gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the Land of Egypt; or, as 'tis related in Nehem. 9.18. This is thy God that brought thee up out of Egypt. Now let any man but of an ordinary understanding consider, whether if this Molten Image were the re∣presentation of a false God, as suppose the Egyptian Isis, Serupis, or Osinis, the Israelites could be so weak and sottish as to say of it, that that was it which brought them out of Egypt, especially when the ex∣ecution done upon all the Tutelar Deities of Egypt was yet fresh in their minds, who were notable to save themselves, or protect their charge, when God destroyed all the First-born in the Land. 3. The people of Israel acknowledge that the Cherub or Calf that Aaron made, was the symbolical presence of that God that brought them out of Egypt: now they never thought that it was either Serapis, or O∣siris, or any other Egyptian Deity, that brought them out of Egypt, but the true God, the Creator of Page 63Heaven and Earth, whose presence they lately saw in such terrible Majesty upon Mount Sinai. 4. When Aaron had finished the matter of their sin, he makes a Proclamation throughout the Camp, To morrow is a Feast of the Lord, v. 5. not to the Idol, or false God, but to Jehovah the true God; whereas if this Golden Calf had been the symbol of some Egyptian God, and the people had fallen into Paganish Ido∣latry, it had been very improper for Aaron to have proclaimed this his Sacrifice a Feast to the Lord. 5. Neither here nor afterwards, when Aaron relates the whole proceeding to Moses when he came down from the Mount, is there any mention of any thing that may give the least suspition or intimation that this graven Image was the symbol or representation of a false God, but much to evince the contrary; forasmuch as here is no name of any particular false God (which yet is usual in Scripture, when in other places it relates their lapse into Polytheism and Ido∣latry) but a Solemn Feast proclaimed to the Lord Jehovah: And although this Calf was only intend∣ed by them to be a Symbol of the presence of the true God, yet being directly contrary to his Com∣mand, and having Divine Worship given to it, it became a perfect piece of gross and soul Idolatry.
Another instance of the like nature we have in the Idolatry practised by Jeroboam; for that the Calves which he placed in Dan and Bethel, and built Altars, and sacrificed to them, were Hieroglyphicks or symbolical representations of the true God, and not the Images of false Gods, is plain and evident. 1. In that there is no mention of Jeroboam's worship∣ping the Gods of Egypt, or any other adjoyning Pa∣ganish Page 64Nation; whereas when Solomon in his old Age was drawn away by his Wives to commit Ido∣latry, there is a particular account and enumeration of the false Gods he adored, as Ashtoreth the God∣dess of the Zidonians, Chemosh the God of the Moa∣bites, and Milcom the God of the Children of Am∣mon; but of Jeroboam it is only said, that he made two Calves of Gold, and said to the people, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: *Behold thy Gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the Land of Egypt: And he set the one in Bethel, and the o∣ther in Dan. 2. The sin of Ahab, which was the Introduction of Polytheism, and the height of Pa∣gan Idolatry, (and therefore is signally called in Scripture, the way of Ahab) is accounted greater in Gods sight than the sin of Jeroboam; which is a plain sign, that the way of Jeroboam was not the worshipping false Gods (for that is called the way of the House of Ahab) but the worshipping the true God in an Image. Thus it is written of Jehoram the Son of Ahab, 2 Kings 3.2, 3. And he wrought e∣vil in the sight of the Lord, but not like his Father, and like his Mother; for he put away the Image of Baal that his Father had made: Nevertheless he cleaved unto the sins of Jeroboam the Son of Nebat, which made Israel to sin, he departed not therefrom. 3. In that the object of his Idolatry was a Golden Calf, it seems to be the very same prevarication that Aaron was led into by the Israelites, soon after the delivery of the Law or ten Commandments upon Mount Sinai: and that these Calves, as well as that made by Aaron, were designed for symbols of the presence of the true God; and that being a violati∣on Page 65of the express Command of God, and so inter∣preted by him in the severe punishment of the sin, so likewise were these, and both alike Idolatry. 4. The same form of words is used by Jeroboam at the Dedication of these Calves, that was afore-time made use of by the Israelites, when Aaron made the Molten Calf: These be thy Gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the Land of Egypt. Now they knew, and never thought otherwise, that it was neither Chemosh, nor Milcom, nor Ashtoreth, nor Dagon, nor any other Pagan Deity, but the true God who delivered them from the Egyptian Bondage. 5. Jero∣boam continues the same Feasts and way of worship which were at Jerusalem; and therefore 'tis most likely, he designed still the worship of the true God in these Calves, which were set up as symbols of his presence. 6. It was not agreeable to the Po∣litical end or reason which Jeroboam propounded to himself, to establish that part of Pagan Idolatry which consisted in Polytheism; for his only aim was, to hinder the people, by this Project, from go∣ing up to do Sacrifice in Jerusalem, lest by that they should be tempted to return to the obedience of their natural Prince: for thus he expresses his own fears, And Jeroboam said in his heart, now shall the Kingdom return to the House of David: *If this people go up to do Sacrifice in the House of the Lord at Jerusa∣lem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their Lord, even unto Rehoboam King of Judah; and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam King of Judah. Now if this worship which he established had been the worship of strange and forreign Gods, it would no ways have comported with his end, which was to assure the ten Tribes to himself. 7. Je∣roboamPage 66only argues against the place, and not any thing against the way or manner of worship per∣formed at Jerusalem: for he only tells them, it was too much for them to go up to Jerusalem, but if they would hearken to him, they might worship God as well in another place as there, for he placed an Image at Bethel, and another at Dan, which be∣ing symbols or visible representations of the pre∣sence of the true God that brought them out of E∣gypt, they might sacrifice and perform their other Divine Rites and Ceremonies to them, and not trouble themselves any further. 8. To which may be added, in the last place, that it is the most unlike∣ly and improbable thing in the World, that Jero∣boam, at his very first entrance upon the Kingdom, should establish the very same Idolatry for which the Kingdom was rent from the house of Solomon; for when the Prophet Ahijah tells Jereboam that the Lord would rend the Kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and give ten Tribes to him, and make him King over Israel, the reason is given, 1 Kings 11.33. Because they had forsaken God, and worship∣ped Ashtoreth the Goddess of the Zidonians, Chemosh the God of the Meabites, and Milcom the God of the Children of Ammon. And therefore it is very childish and ridion lous to imagine, that Jeruboram would in∣troduce that very Idolatry at his first coming, for the practice of which God had threatned to pull the Kingdom out of the hand of his Master. These two Examples do sufficiently and fully instruct us in the s•ose and meaning of God in the second Commandment, that he forbid all worship of him∣self by an Image, and that the making of design∣ing Page 67any such Image, though for his honour, is pal∣pable and gross Idolatry.
8. I might now likewise, for a conclusion of this Argument, bring another instance of the grossest I∣dolatry that ever was committed by men, solemnly practised by the Romists Church, and injoyned by their Council of Trent; and that is, their worship∣ping of the Bread in the Sacrament, which they can the Adoration of the Host, than which (besides the Idolatry involved in it) I cannot find any Rite or Custom so barbarous in the whole Pagan Supersti∣tion, unless I should bring in the Cannibals or Man-Eaters: And if the Doctrine of Transubstantiation prove false (as there is nothing more certain) then by the testimony of Costerus the Jesuit, there never was the like piece of Idolatry practis'd in the World before: Take his own words: *For the errours of those (saith he) were more tolerable, who worship some Golden or Silver Statue, or some Image of any other Materials for their God, as the Heathen worshipped their Gods; or a Red Cloth hung upon the top of a Spear, as is reported of the Laplanders, or some live-Animal, as of old the Egyptians did, than of these that worship a bit of Bread, as hitherto the Christians have done all over the world for so many hundred years, if the Doctrine of Transubstantion be not true, From this Testimony then we are informed, that if Transubstantiation be a Fiction, then the Church of Rome is guilty of Idolatry, and so gross a piece of I∣dolatry, as a man can find no instance in Paganism to liken it to. And that the Doctrine of Transub∣stantiation is a ridiculous Figment, a thing without Sense or Reason imposed upon the World, I refer to Page 68those learned Authors who have on purpose disco∣vered the falsity of it.
9. I have shown that Almighty God by sending his Son, our Saviour Christ Jesus, into the World, designed the replantation of his own blessed Nature and Image in mens Souls: And that this might be the more fully and effectually accomplished, he de∣termined likewise to root out and extirpate all Ido∣latry, which both debased the Majesty of the Great God, and rendred mens Minds low, contemptible, and abject: and having in the general discovered some of those Doctrines averred and maintained in the Church of Rome, which directly overthrow this great Purpose of making men Partakers of a Di∣vine and Godlike Spirit; I shall now produce some other instances, and shew how the practice of the Romish Church destroys those other two branches of the Divine Life, that is, Purity or Holiness, and Love and Charity.
And for the first of these, that is, Purity and Ho∣liness, it is wholly evacuated by such Doctrines and Practices as minister to the Vices of men, and re∣concile Heaven and Salvation with the most licen∣tious courses of sin and wickedness, such as ener∣vate all the Arguments used in the Gospel to pro∣mote a strict and holy Conversation, and are apt to give allowance and incouragement to a wicked life.
1. To this end and purpose the Doctrine of Pur∣gatory is hugely subservient; which besides that it is a Politick Device to squeeze and drain mens Mo∣ney from them, and so inrich the Clergy, though with the Damnation of the Laity, it is likewise fit∣ted Page 69for the cherishing and pampering mens carnal lusts and affections, and gives them hope of Sal∣vation upon no difficult terms, though they have not been so careful in providing for it in this life-time, as Christ in his holy Gospel has commanded and injoyned them to be. For since the worst of men amongst Christians (if they take any care, and use any competent circumspection) may be dismis∣sed from these Earthly Regions with fair hopes and assurances, (if not of going directly to Heaven) yet at least of an entrance into Purgatory (where-ever it be, whether in a Torrid or Frozen Zone) it must needs be a wonderful gratification to their Animal Faculties, and Sensitive Lives, to indulge and please them to the full, and yet escape the torments of Hell at the last. We have seen that if a wicked man live and die without the practice of Christian Virtues, and with the habits of many damnable sins unmortified, yet if at the last moment and conclusi∣on of his life, he have but an act of Attrition, and confess to his Ghostly Father, (who is bound upon this to absolve him) he shall certainly be saved; which is incouragement enough to vicious persons to go on in sin, and venture the odds of a surprize, or sudden death, upon such easie terms: But if a man be so careless and wretchedly stupid, as not to mind the making satisfaction for mortal sins in this life, so long as he is assured by an Infallible Priest∣hood it may be done in the next, the worst that can happen to him between Death and Judgment, is on∣ly the state of Purgatory; that is, he must under∣go some strange torment, God knows where, in Fire, or Hail, or Snow, or Ice. And this truly is a Page 70sad & uncomfortable condition, but still there is some hope left, & the redemption from this Dismal Prison prevents all despair of lying for ever under this severe Restraint. Therefore this good natur'd Church of Rome bids them take heart, and tells them that there is an Expiation of Sin after Death by the Prayers of the liv∣ing. It is the Doctrine of the Council of Trent, That the Souls in Purgatory are delivered thence fidelium suffragiis, potissimum vero acceptal ili Altaris saorificio,* i. e. by the Suffrages of the faithful, but especially by the acceptable Sacrifice of the Altar. And giving Directions to Bishops, the Council says, Let Bishops take care that the Suffrages of the faithful now living, i. e. the Sacrifices of Masses, Prayers, Alms-deeds, and other Works of Piety, which according to the Constitution of the Church ought to be performed for the faithful deceased, that they be done piously and devoutly, &c. And they Anathematize every one that shall say, The Sacrifice of the Mass is a waked Commemoration of that Sacrifice on the Cross, and not Propitiatory: or that it only profits him that receives it, and ought not to be offered for the Living and the Dead,*for Sins, Punishments, Satisfactions, and other Necessities. There is no great danger then that a Man should lye long in Purgatory, if he have either Mony or Friends, for either of these ways a Man may escape.
Amongst the rest of the Indulgences conferr'd up∣on the Con-fraternity of the Rosary this is one, That every time they recite the whole Rosary for the de∣parted, they gain the delivery of a Soul out of Pur∣gatory. And though Charity grow cold, and there be little to be done for Love, yet Money that an∣swers Page 71all things, will open the Gates of Purgatory, and deliver whoever the Donor pleases: * for some Monks have taught, (as the learned. Mornay relates,) that the Souls which are in Purgatory do leap at the sound of the Money when it is cast into the Bason for them; so comfortable a thing is Gold. The poor Sinner indeed is in the worst condition, who has few Friends and less Money; and truly for ought I can see such a one living obscurely may dye without much regard or concern, and being quickly forgot∣ten may ly the whole time in Purgatory, which is not ten years say Dominicus Soto, and Thomas Zeru∣la. But for those who are of Ability to purchase Masses and Sacrifices, by leaving round sums of Mo∣ney at their Death, they need not fear the staying so much as a day in Purgatory: So that it need not be said, How hard, but how easie, is it for a Rich Man to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven?
And is not this excellent Doctrine, and very well fitted for the encouragement of a wicked Life? Skin for Skin; and all that a Man hath will he give for his Life; and he were a very Foor that would not part with some of his Estate to be freed from the punishment of his sins, and be made happy for ever. But alas our Ministers cannot give us such excel∣lent encouragements as these, nor can they with safe Consciences tell us that Money will open the Gates of Paradise; but they tell us in sober sadness that if we live bad Lives, we shall certainly and un∣avoidably be miserable. They have no ways of free∣ing Men from Hell and Damnation, but only by per∣swading them in their Life time to be truly penitent and sincere; nor will they promise and secure any Page 72that their sins are pardoned upon any other terms than that godly sorrow that works repentance never to be repented of.
2. But if this Provision be too narrow, and scan∣ty for a Course of Debauchery and Licentiousness, his Holiness, like a most kind and indulgent Father, will give his Children no cause of complaint; but as well out of a prudent regard to his own Coffers, as an earnest desire to give his Sons as ample a liber∣ty to follow all the extravagant and enormous moti∣ons of Flesh and Blood as Heart can wish, he grants many Indulgences and Dispensations for sin and wickedness. And though we squeamish and faint∣hearted Protestants who check at every Sin, may think strange that Christ's Vicar (as he calls him∣self) should act so contrary to the Interest of his Su∣preme Lord; yet the Plenitude of the Pope's Power will warrant this, and much more. For his Power (as Du Ranchin, who was no Protestant, speaks) hath neither Banks nor Bottom; and his Jurisdiction ex∣tends over all the World, even as low as Hell and Pur∣gatory, and as high as Heaven, taking hold of great and small,*Clerks and Laicks, things sacred and pro∣phane: And afterwards he gives divers Instances of the fulness of the Pope's Power out of their own Au∣thors, viz. That the Pope is a God upon Earth, that God and he have one and the same Consistory; that he can go against all Councils and Statutes; that he can make wrong to be right: To whom no Man may say, Why do you so? Whose Power may not be disputed with∣out incurring the Crime of Sacriledge, forasmuch as he is the Cause of Causes, and the just Cause; and for that it it is to be presumed that whatsoever pleases him is just and reasonable.
Page 73 Now he that hath but Faith enough to believe those vast Prorogatives of his Holiness, need never question the Validity of his Indulgences and Dispen∣sations for Sin. And that we may not think this unlimited Power to be only the fawning of his Pa∣rasites and Court-flatterers, Clement the VI. in his Bull of altering the Jubilee gives us a Specimen of it, where among other things he ordains, That if a Man be going to Rome upon Devotion, in the year of Jubilee, and happen to dye by the way, he shall be to∣tally acquitted and absolved of all his sins. And he afterwards adds, Howsoever we command the Angels of Paradise, that they convey his Soul into the glory of Paradise, being totally absolved from the pains of Pur∣gatory. Well spoken brave Head of this Church! we will trust thee for finding out an easie way to Heaven at any time.
In Rome there are so many Churches, Altars, and Crosses that have such an inexhaustible stock of Indulgences granted to them by several Popes, that a Man cannot miss a full Remission and Pardon of all his sins.
And that we may not think our holy Father the Pope has forgotten his Children in England, or any other place far distant from Rome, he has provided Pardon and Salvation for these at as easie a Rate as can be desired; By Grant from Pope John the XX. every bowing of the Head at the naming of Jesus gets twenty years pardon: And to grace the Cere∣mony the more, Sir Edwin. Sands says, * he has heard sundry of their famous Divines teach in the Pulpit, That Christ himself on the Cross bowed his Head on the right side, to reverence his own Name that was written over it.
Page 74 Again, The saying of the Beads over with a Medal, or other Trinket of the Pope's Benediction appendant▪ gets a Plenary Indulgence; and delivers what Soul out of Purgatory one pleases.
And now one would imagine that his Holiness had given ample satisfaction to all his dearly belov∣ed Children; but because some are apt to be queru∣lous and complaining, out of his abundant Chari∣ty he has been pleased to rate and set a Price upon most Sins, that they may know before they act any Villany what an Absolution will cost: The Book is called Taxa Cancellariae Apostolice, The Tax of the Apostolical Chancery, and was set forth by Pope Leo the X. Of which Book in the first place hear Du Ranchin's censure, * who speaking of the dishonest Arts and Tricks the Popes use to get Money, refers those that desire further Information, to a Book In∣tituled Taxa Cancellaria Apostolica, Printed at Paris 1520. And yet (says he) this is nothing in Compa∣rison of the Penitentiary Tax printed with the same Book, where every Sin, every Crime, how heynous soever, hath his Price set; so that to have a License and Impunity for sinning, there needs no more than to be rich; to have a Pasport to Paradise, both for himself and his misdeeds. But (that which might make Rome blush, if there were any shame in her Brow) these Pardons and Indulgences are denyed to the Poor and Indigent, who are not of Means sufficient, to raise these Criminal and Incestuous Impositions. So that we live not in those days when it was harder for a Rich Man to enter into the Kingdom of Hea∣ven, than for a Camel to go through the Eye of a Needle; for now the Kingdom of Heaven belongs Page 75to them, and not to those beggarly Creatures that have nothing but a Staff and a Wallet.
Take likewise the Complaint of Claudius Espen∣caus, a famous Doctor of Sorbon, cited by the same Author: *There is a Book publickly set to every Mans view (says he) which sells as well now as ever, In∣tituled Taxa Cancellariae Apostolicae, which is prosti∣tute and set out for gain, like a common whore, whence more naughtiness is learned than from all the Sum∣mists, and Summaries of all Vices. There is License granted for many of them, and Absolution for all; but only to such as will buy them. I forbear the names, For (as one says) they are very fearful, even the sound of them. It is strange that in these times, in this Sohism, that Index and Inventory of so many unclean and abominable Villanies, so Infamous that I am confident there is not a more scandalous Book in all Germany, Switzerland, or any other place which hath separated from the Church of Rome, was not suppressed: Yea, it is so far from being suppres∣sed by the Treasurers of the Church of Rome, that the Licenses and Impunities for those so many, and such horrible Crimes, are renewed; and for the most part confirmed by the Faculties of the Legats, which come from thence into these Quarters, with Power to restore to their former Estate all things that were utterly lost; and so to legitimate all Bastards, Whore∣sons, and such as were begot by any unlawful Con∣junction; to allow People Marriage with such as they had formerly committed Adultery with, to ab∣solve such as were perjured, Simoniacal, Falsifiers, Robbers, Usurers, Schismaticks, Hereticks recant∣ing; yea, and even to admit them to Orders, Ho∣nours, Page 76Dignities, and all sorts of Benefices; to dis∣pense with casual, not wilful Murderers, howbeit the fore-cited Tax doth not except wilful Parricides, Killers of Father, Mother, Brother, Sister, Children, or Wife; Sorcerers, Enchanters, Concubine-keepers, Adulterers, Incestuous with Parents or Kindred, Sodomites, Sinners against Nature, abu∣sers of themselves with Beasts, &c. O that Rome would from henceforth have some shame, and cease to set out such a shameless Catalogue of all man∣ner of wickedness. This Passage is warily com∣manded to be blotted out in their Spanish Expurga∣tory Index.
Dr. Peter de Moulin saith, That this Book was Re∣printed at Paris by Tossanus Dionysius in S. James's Street,*at the wooden Cross, the King's Priviledge, and the Pope's Bull being annexed to it. And the Lord Morney speaking of these Books, faith, They are no less commonly used among the Pope's Brokers, than Calendars with Husbandmen,*or the Book of Customs and Entries among Merchants.
This Sink of wickedness; which I have here disco∣vered, cannot but be extremely offensive to the ten∣der senses of every true Christian, therefore I shall hasten as fast as I can from it, only citing a Passage out of Dr. Ranchin, with a pleasant Story relating to it. *It is ordinary (saith he) with the Popes to grant a plenary Pardon of all Sins, with this Expressi∣on, [Be they never so he ynous,] not only at the great Jubilee, but also in particular Bulls: And he instan∣ces in that of Pope Sixtus the V. An. 1588. grant∣ed to the Catholicks of France. But that (says he) which is yet more to be condemned in them, is, that Page 77the Popes de not only give remission of sins already committed, but also of such as are to be committed, which is a means to obligex all the hast Rascals in the World unto him, and to give them occasion to re∣double their Crimes and Misdemeanours; to rob with four hands, to kill Father and Mother, to set upon their Lords and Masters, to violate the Authority of their Princes, and usurp their Dominions: For pro∣vided they can make their Party stronger, and that they be devout towards the H. See, there will be no want of an Indulgence; yea even without that, al∣ways provided they pay their Rent.
The story is this:
10. The last great end and purpose of the Go∣spel of our Lord Jesus was (as I have shown) to dif∣fuse and propagate an Universal Love and Charity: but how far removed from this excellent temper and spirit the Romish Church is, their practice is a suffi∣cient witness: For he that shall consider how they Page 78brand us of the Reformation with the odious name of Hereticks, and how impiously diligent they have been to exadicate and extirpate the Reformed Reli∣gion out of the world, persecuting it in all places where their Power extends with all imaginable cru∣elty; and withal remembers, that (as the often-cited Author tells us) it is a Maxim of the Jesuits, That if any manexamine the Doctrine of the Pope by the Rule of Gods Word,*and seeing that it is different, chance to contradict it, let him be rooted out with Fire and Sword: He, I say, that deeply reflects upon these things, will find that Instruments of Cruelty are in their Habitations, and that their tender mer∣cies are like those of the wicked. Our blessed Sa∣viour once rebuked the indiscreet zeal of his Disci∣ples, when they would have called for Fire from Heaven to consume the ungrateful Samaritans, and tells them, that he came not to destroy mend liver, but to save them: But the Romish Church, as if she had owned no other Lord but him who was a Murderer from the beginning, thinks it not enough to call for Fire from Heaven, but searches Earth and Hell too to destroy harmless and innocent persons. The good Shepherd (said the meek Lamb of God) lays down his life for his sheep: But the proud and bloody Bishop of Rome, with his Idolatrous Clergy, are so far from this Divine Spirit, that they drive them to the Shambles, and out their throats without any re∣morse; witness those many barbarous Massacres and Butcheries of men, for no other reason, but because they could not bow the knee to Baal, and joyn with an Idolatrous Church against the express Com∣mand Page 79of the Living God. The barbarous Murders of the Albigenses and Waldenses remain a lasting Monument of unparallell'd Popish Cruelty; of whom Reinerius, an Inquisitor of the Church of Rome, thus writes; *Among all the Sects which have formerly been, none is more pernicious to the Church, than that of the Leonists; and that for these three Reasons. 1. Because it is of longer continuance than any other, for same say it hath lasted ever since Pope Sylvester, others say ever since the Apostles. 2. Be∣cause no Sect is more general than this, for there is scarce any Country in which it is not found. 3. That whereas other Sects deter and affright men with the horridness of their blasphemies against God, this Sect of the Leonists makes a great shew of godliness, be∣cause they live righteously before men, and believe all things rightly touching God, and concerning all other Articles of the Creed, only they speak evil of the Ro∣man Church and Clergy, in which thing the Laity is very forward to credit and believe them. Which Te∣stimony being of one of their own Party, is a clear Evidence against this Bloody Church, that the only Crime of these Persons, was their so freely declaring against the Idolatry and Corruptions of the Romish Church; and therefore that the inhumane Butche∣ries of them was a gross and heynous Murder in the sight of God.
The Parisian Massaore comes next to be consider∣ed, of which Thuanus says, Nullum similis saevitae exemplum in tota Antiquitate reperiri; i. e. the most Ancient Records cannot furnish us with an Exam∣ple of the like cruelty; * it was cloaked over with Page 80shews of the greatest Amity in the World, namely, of a Marriage between the Houses of Valois and Bourbon, to which all the chief of the Protestants were most lovingly invited: There, after the jollity of Mirth, and Caresses of Entertainment, in the dead time of the Night, the whole City was in Arms about them; they fell upon all the Prote∣stants, Houses and Lodgings; they butcher'd them without distinction, Men, Women, and Children, till the Channels ran down with blood into the Ri∣ver: thirty thousand persons were there murdered, says Thuanus, and as many more about that time in divers places of France, says Natales Comes.
This Cruelty was celebrated by the Romanists in France,* as one of the most glorious Actions the World hath been acquainted with; great rejoy∣cings at Court for it, and Publick Thanks given un∣to God: But the greatest joy was at Rome, an ac∣count of which take from Thuanus, a Roman Ca∣tholick, and a most Authemick Historian: He tells us the Pope had an account of the Massacre from his Legate at Paris, that he read his Letter in the Consistoby of Cardinals, that there it was decreed, that they should go directly to S. Mark's, * and there solemnly give Thanks to Almighty God for so great a Blessing conferred upon the Roman See, and the Christian World: That soon after a Jubilee should be publish through the whole Christian World, and these Causes were exprest for it, To give thanks to God for destroying in France the Enemies of the Truth, and of the Church. In the Evening the Guns were fired at S. Angeto, and Bonefires were made, Page 81and nothing was omitted of all those things that use to be performed in the greatest Victories of the Church. Some days after there was a Procession to S. Lewis, with the greatest resort of Nobility and People: First went the Bishops and Cardinals, then the Switzers, then the Ambassadors of Kings and Princes; then under a Canopy went his Holiness himsell, with the Emperour's Ambassador bearing up his Train for him, &c. Over the Church-door was an Inscription set up, in which the Cardinal of Lorrain, in the name of the King of France, con∣gratulated his Holiness, and the College of Cardi∣nals, &c. for the plainly stupendious effects, and al∣together incredible events of their Counsels given him, and of their Assistances sent him, and of their twelve years Wishes and Prayers. And the better to perpetuate the memory of this Massacre, the Pope caused it to be painted about his great Hall in the Lateran, and there recorded in Marble.
To these bloody Catalogues a considerable Acces∣sion has been made since by the Papists in Ireland; who in times of as great peace and liberty as ever that Nation enjoyed; and in the name of that bles∣sed and gracious King, * under whom they enjoyed these, like inhumane Butchers, cut the throats of a∣bove a hundred thousand of his Protestant Subjects, of all Sexes and Ages; an action of so horrid an a∣spect, as will make the names of all that had to do in it look black and detestable to mankind through∣out all Generations:
I have now finished what I intended to say in this short Discourse, with no other design, than that of doing Honour to God, and vindicating the abused Glory of our Lord and Saviour Christ Jesus, by shewing how far the Romish Church is degenerated from his Gospel, who is indeed the Prince and Head of the Catholick Church; whom I humbly beseech to open the Eyes of all deluded Persons, that they may come to the knowledge of the Truth, and be saved. Amen.
Book's Printed for Walter Kettilby, at the Bishops-Head in S. Paul's Church-Yard.
H. Mori Opera Theologica, Fol.
—His Reply to a late Answer to his Antidote a∣gainst Idolatry, with an Appendix, in Octavo.
—His Remarks in answer to the Lord Hales of Gravitati∣on and Non-gravitation of Fluids, in Oct.
Mr. Falkner's Libertas Ecolesiastica, in Oct.
—His Christian Loyalty, in Oct.
Mr. Sherlock's Discourse of the Knowledge of Jesus Christ, and our Union and Communion with him, &c. To which is annexed a Defence, and Continuation; with a particular respect to the Doctrine of the Church of England, and the Charge of Socinianism and Relagianism, in Oct.
Mr. Hotchkis's Discourse concerning the Imputation of Christ's Righteousness to us, and our Sins to him, &c. in two Parts, in Oct.
Mr. Allen's Answer to Mr. Fergusson, about Justification, in Oct.
—His Mystery of Iniquity unfolded, &c. in Oct.
—His Christians Justification stated, in Oct.
—His Friendly Advice to the Non-Conformists, begin∣ning with the Anabaptists, in Oct.
Mr. Hallywel's Account of Familism against the Qua∣kers, in Oct.
—His Discourse of the Excellency of Christianity, in Oct.
—His Sacred Method of saving Humane Souls by Jesus Christ, in Oct.
Dr. Goodall's Vindication of the College of Physitians, against a Pamphlet called, The Corner-stone, in Oct.
Dr. Grew's Anatomy of Trunks, with 19 Figures, in Oct.〈1 page missing〉