MATTHEW. 14. 30.

London Printed for Henry Brom 1680.

F. H. Van. Houe Schup:

RELIGIO Clerici.



Take heed unto thy self and unto thy Doctrine, 1 Tim. 4. 16.

LONDON: Printed for Henry Brome, at the Gun in St. Pauls Church-yard. 1681.


I Desire thee, Good Reader, (if thou must needs be judging) to suspend thy Censure till thou hast read the last Line of this little Book; or, if thou thinkest it not worth thy while to read all, prethee let me beg of thee not to meddle with it at all. For that which may to a slight glance on single pieces and Paragraphs seem disjoynted and irrelative, will per­haps in the whole appear (to a steady Eye) to have suitable Sym­metry and due Connexion.

Some things, and those of mo­ment too, I have but toucbt with short Hints, as leaving the rest to the enlargement and amplification of thy better Ingenuity.

Brevis esse laboro, obscurus fio. Horat.

I designe no Contest or Cavil in this Pygmie-Treatise, but a slight and sudden Pourtraict in Minia­ture of naked Truth, as she lately appeared to the Authour in a thoughtful Retirement of his for a few days. If therefore some Lines in this Draught seem (to Expert Artists) but very meanly descriptive of the Charms and divine Excellencies of her immortal Beauty, they must pardon the young Limner, since so much da­zling Lustre might possibly con­found [Page] him, and make his unpra­ctised hand shake.

Totus tremo horreóque post­quam aspexi hanc. Terent.

And besides, this is but an Essay of Art, mere Trial of Skill, and the first time that his Pencil hath been publick.

Thou knowest, Reader, that let Sham-truths be drawn as several­ly as mens fancies and humours please, (yet) she herself hath ne­vertheless one regular, uniform, e­ternal Face. And there is most certainly such a thing as right Reason, thô rational men (which I'le tell thee is very odde and a­mazing) by the very self-same pretended Guide follow several distinct tracks, and all but one Erroneous.

But thou maist as well argue, that the Pole-star is not steady, since many are bewilder'd and be­mir'd by an Ignis fatuus, as rashly suspect true Reason, because now adays Errours of all sorts do im­pudently assume its shape.

And there is as undoubtedly such a thing as true Religion, al­though ('tis monstrous to consider that) we are at this very day, af­ter near 1700 years acquaintance, as hotly disputing where, and what she is, as if no man yet had ever had a full and perfect view of her face.

This makes some licentious per­sons now a daies, willing to suspect that all Religion is but the general Laws of Nature, and (at the best) they reduce Christianiry it self to the first stage from whence it long [Page] ago set out, viz. Common Morality.

Disputes, Doubts, and Contests will, I fear, never cease, as long as Ambition, Avarice, and Impiety bear sway in the world. But should perverse differences by endless su­perfetations swarm still daily more and more (which God pre­vent) yet may the most doubtful ignorant Soul take safe Sanctuary in this last reserve of irrefragable Argument, viz. to follow still with generous and stedfast duty, our Royal, our Noble, our Honou­rable, and our Reverend Learned Leaders, (till we can demonstrate that they are in the wrong:) for thus at the very worst we can ha­zard but a possible, pardonable mistake, and that too in dutiful prosecution of our Christian Obe­dience, 1 Pet. 2. 13, 14.

To conclude, Reader, 'tis my hearty wish, that the meanness and impertinence, the brevity and narrowness of this weak shallow discourse (that follows) may not in the least eclipse the glory of its Illustrious Title: For I designed at first (however I have failed in the publication) to speak to no bo­dy, of no body, and for no body but my self. All its Errours I am ready to acknowledge, which I fear are not a few; it being the Product of a dull melancholy Re­treat, and the hasty Abortive Re­sult of a labouring minde, with­out borrowing the usual help and concurrence of other mens thoughts: I only am therefore blameable and responsible for all the mistakes.

I easily foresee, Reader, that some malevolent persons will (with [Page] railing and detraction) tell thee, that my very handling it hath soiled the dignity of the subject. 'Tis true, I cannot prevent uncha­ritable Aspersions; but to the wise, the good, and moderate, I say, What man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man that is in him? 1 Cor. 2. 11. As for the rest,

Odi profanum Vulgus & arceo.


IT prov'd matter of no small wonder to a good old Heathen, when he observed such various appearances of different Opinions, Hu­mours and propensions in his Countrymen of Greece; especially too when he considered how that all these Contrarieties and Disproportions procee­ded [Page 2] from men begot, born, and bred in the same Climate, under the same Laws, Constitutions, and Customs, and the source of all whose Inclinations and passions resulted from one common simplicity of the very same specifick humane nature. But if he was puzled in the re­solution of this scruple then, to what a far higher degree of astonishment would his Admiration have risen, if he had li­ved in these days of ours, when (as if some extraor­dinary malignant Con­junction [Page 3] in the Heavens did in spite produce a general division on Earth, especially) in our poor Island there are as many different Passions and Af­fections, Plots and Agita­tions, Factions and Fashi­ons, Opinions and Religi­ons, almost as men. And when too the Reasons and Advantages for Unity and Agreement both in Principle and Practice, are far greater, and of a stamp more divine, than ever our Heathens Age or Countrey could pretend to.

There are two or three Considerations, that might easily remove all this mans Amazement at the diffe­rent Phaenomena's of his Countrymens Carriage and Conversation.

For, to be begotten and born in the same way and manner, Educated in the same Country, and wearing all the same com­mon humane nature, are concurrences 'tis true that might happily cause some faint resemblances, but could not reasonably be expected to create such a Unity of temper, as to [Page 5] counterballance those ma­ny other accidents that urge the contrary.

The way of Mans Ge­neration, and its atten­ding Circumstances, seem alike, 'tis true; but with­out doubt there is a cer­tain Magical Influence of nature (derived from Ce­lestial Motions, or Extra­duce) that tempers us all diversly in our very fieri, and gives each of us a se­veral tincture whilst we lye loose in our first prin­ciples: and thus each In­dividual being blended in a different fashion by Na­tures [Page 6] Mysterious Art (as I may say) it proves as difficult to find two Con­stitutions, as two Faces exactly alike.

From this various Con­texture proceed our re­spective humours and Complexions, which of­ten prove a more forcible cause of our Opinions and Passions, and of the dissimilitudes and con­trarieties of them, than bare Reason and Free­will: It certainly strongly influences those faculties in their operations, and in a greater measure too, than [Page 7] many weak and unwary Mortals apprehend, to whom ignorance in this point proves oftentimes a most unspeakable delusion and prejudice.

From this secret work of our first nature 'tis, that Man is, (as it were) a species to Man, and our difference is more than that of Numerical.

And by this means our Heathens Countrymen, (having no infallible rule of Knowledge, nor steady guide of their Actions) might well be as different in their Opinions and [Page 8] Practices, as they were in Natural Complexion, by which their Reason and Will was so strongly led and byassed.

For alas, their Reason was dull and blunt, ha­ving no better edge than what it procured by fre­quent Collision and re­flection on its self; by all which notwithstanding, it could never arrive (even in the best of them) to so much brightness and clearness, as to guide and fix them in the one stea­dy Truth, (in pursuit of which they ran into a [Page 9] thousand Superstitious & Idolatrous Errours) nor to so much strength as to hold them to one con­stant regular Tenor of Goodness and Justice.

Nor indeed was it pos­sible it ever should; for they poor Creatures had as large a dose of Natu­tural Corruption and in­fection derived from their unknown Parent Adam, as we, and yet were de­stitute of those helps and antidotes that have by Gods grace allaied the mortal malignity of the venome in us, and lessen­ed [Page 10] much that dominion and power, which Errour and Vice naturally had o­ver the Reason and Will of all men before the ap­pearance and Doctrine of the holy Jesus.

But again, my honest Heathen never thought of the vast number of their respective Gods and Tem­ples, where each man worshipped this or that Deity as his fancie led him, or the Choice and Custom of the City or Country directed and re­quired: surely no small difference in mens Man­ners [Page 11] and Opinions arose from this.

But farther still, Greece was Canton'd out into many petty Polities, and independent Common­wealths, governed by their proper distinct Laws and Constitutions: this too must needs create dissimi­litudes as to Civil Obser­vances, Customs, Practi­ces, and Interests; though the common Education of the Grecians, as to the main, might be much a­like, which he urges, &c.

And lastly, the several parts men acted in their [Page 12] respective Political capa­cities, and the many dif­ferent Occurrences and Emergencies that daily attend diversly the Life and Action, Commerce and Business of each par­ticular person, must ac­cordingly modifie the Manners, Qualities, and Fashions of men.

When I weigh these Circumstances in my Au­thours Age and Country, truly his wonder ceases to be mine, and a far greater arises: Miror magis undi­que nostris usque a­deo Virgil. Ecl. 1. turbatur agris.

I wonder much more at the many diversities and divisions in our own Climate, this poor Island, where most or all of the other reasons and occasi­ons of difference wholly cease: And I loose my self in a Maze and Laby­rinth of thought, whilst I strive to pursue the ge­nuine cause of our divers Opinions and Practices, when (as one would think) all Reasons imagi­nable concur for Union and Harmony.

We acknowledge all one God and Jesus, and [Page 14] have all one revealed will of that God done into plain good English, free of distracting ambiguities (like the Heathen Ora­cles) or perplext and ob­scure significations.

We have all one and the same gracious King and Governour, the same Laws, Statutes and Ordi­nances, made by one consent of our ownselves, and not imposed at the Arbitrary discretion of another: We have all one common Interest to pre­serve Property and Peace, and are all shut up by [Page 15] Nature, and inclos'd in one Island; as if she de­signed universal Concord and Likeness, in exclusion of all Forreign varieties and mixtures.

We have all one com­mon Nature as Men, con­sisting of Reason and Will, the Essential Facul­ties of one simple Essence the Soul; their respective objects too are One, True, and Good: And we have all equally one Infallible Guide to both these, the Book of God.

And yet from all these Essential simplicities, en­viron'd [Page 16] on all sides with Circumstances pointing at Unity; through an odd Caprice of ill manage, and by a monstrous Equi­vocal Generation, arise thousands of diversities.

The Reason of Men (in itself undoubtedly the same) shall yet, in disqui­sition of its own object, Truth, make innumerable Excursions; I mean, as many men shall have so many opinions about a single Verity; which is impossible, if they did not act in spite of Nature, and argue more with their [Page 17] Will than Understan­ding.

For, Positis omnibus ad agendum requisitis, Truth displayed is as much the necessary object of our Understanding, as Light is of Eyes open and sound.

I confess endless Evasi­ons, and contrary plau­sibilities may be opposed to Truth, though never so clear; but 'tis apparent then, that Hypocrisie and Subtlety, Arrogancy and Obstinacy, not Reason or Judgment, hold the Cud­gels. And hence swarms, [Page 18] that daily spurious Issue of Answers upon Answers, and Rejoynders upon Rejoynders, which our Modern Dissenters oppose to the Sober Assertions and Loyal Vindications of our Church and King. Answers indeed they call them, and they are so as far as the Title-Page goes, but no farther, alas!

I have methinks so good an opinion of the Judg­ment of two or three of the chief Oracles that head and lead our modern Schismaticks, that I will never grant their private [Page 19] thoughts and publick wri­tings to run parallel: such strong and plain truths as are daily urged to them, must of necessity carry Confutation (and should of right Conviction too) along with them.

No, no, they are loth to leave their old Associ­ates, and a shame-fac'd re­luctancy restrains them from giving themselves the Lye: They will not now desert the old Cause, though she have lost the field Spiritual and Tem­poral too; nor lay down their Weapons, though [Page 20] Conquered, and gene­rously received to Grace.

But by their leave, if this be true, the Case is worse and worse; their Faith is Faction, their Reason Rancour, and their Courage Contradiction. And we must beware of such sly Combatants; for though they have lost the Field, they may still by Stratagem gain the Battle: Such Exploits have been afore. We fairly Con­quered them once, 'tis true; but not following Victory home, we now run the same Fate, and [Page 21] suffer the same Judgment the Israelites did, by per­mitting the Canaanites to dwell among them, viz. many of us have been en­ticed to go a whoring af­ter their Gods, and as the Angel told the people at Bochim, they Judg. Chap. 2. v. 3. are left to be thorns in our sides.

'Tis now 1700 years very near, since Christia­nity was promulgated; and not much less, since the true Model and Plat­form of it was delivered into our hands, to be for ever the Architype, Rule [Page 22] and Standard of Faith and Practice. And yet from this plain and uniform Model, designed for the help and rule of our Edi­fication, have in all Ages been drawn by the warm fancies of busie Enthusi­asts, and the like, such monstrous Medlies, and odd Landskips of Opini­ons, as (in another kind) the most extravagant Conceptions of Poets and Painters have never e­qual'd. And truly I think one and the other have some grounds much alike for their Whimsies; [Page 23] I am sure they have each of them had too much of one priviledge, and that is the Quidlibet au­dendi Horat. de art. Poet. Potestas.

Christianity, I say, is now almost 1700 years old; and though it, as its Author, is ever one and the same, yet what by the Supineness of its true, and what by the devices of its pretended Professours, it is at this day so over­grown with thorns and briars, and the mossy Ex­crescences of rotten and Corrupted Skulls, that (had not our God been [Page 24] very gracious) we should hardly distinguish and discern its genuine beau­ty and Native Lustre through the Rubbish and Barricade of Schism and Heresie.

I always thought Gods holy word so plain, that to invent an Heterodox Doctrine, we must do a violence to that, and our own Reason too: And yet what nice diffections have been made of these Scrip­tures, by too bold and cu­rious Inspectours into the Secrets of God? How many Texts have they set [Page 25] upon the Rack, and en­deavoured by cruel and unnatural distortions, to make them say as they would have them, and confess what they never knew? from whence have followed such rents and dislocations in some Mem­bers of our Religion, as (I fear) are almost become past Cure.

I would fain know what one thing material hath been discovered by the noise and bustle of all these busie and subtle Pates, that was not as well or better known in [Page 26] the very first Centurie. I believe that in all the whole prodigious Cata­logue of Voluminous Tracts, and laboured Con­troversies, (enough at this day to make Joh. Chap. last v. last. good St. John's Hyperbole) you cannot find one new Truth of any import or significan­cie to our Religion, which was not known 1500 years ago. On the contrary, I am sure they have, together with a thousand falsities, inven­ted perplexities and em­pty trifles without num­ber, [Page 27] which the purest a­ges of Christianity never dreamt of.

Some have stretcht their brains to grasp Mysteries beyond their reach, and would crowd the Infinite Essence, and Ineffable At­tributes of that great God into the senceless rules & terms of their Schools, whom the Heaven of Heavens cannot contain.

What horrid Heresies have men run into, by presuming to fathome the Mysterie of the blessed Trinity! and whilst they have forcibly prest Rea­son [Page 28] on to take as large a step as Faith, they have stumbled and fell, to their utter confusion.

My humble (yet sted­fast) Faith in the hidden Things of God, can rest fully satisfied in the [...], without presuming (to no purpose) so far as the [...]. nay, and my Reason too (if it must needs be med­ling) doth here most just­ly acquiesce, without far­ther scrutiny, in this con­clusion; 'Tis certainly so, because God hath said it.

And thus I can easily believe that the Godhead [Page 29] consists of Three Persons, without the help of [...], persona or supposi­tum: and the Incarnati­on of my Saviour is a Mystery indeed in Divi­nity, but none in Philo­sophy to me; for that tells me, 'twas as easie (to speak more humano) for the Almighty to set Na­ture at work in Holy Ma­ries Womb to frame a man of her Seed, as to make a Woman out of the side of Adam.

But 'tis my opinion, that the truest Faith supersedes all arguing about the My­steries [Page 30] of our Religion; and when St. Peter bids us be ready to give a reason­able account, 'tis not of fathomless Secrets, but of our Hope and 1 Pet. 3. 15. Faith in Jesus. Yet that Faith (I am per­swaded) was always most acceptable with our Savi­our, that acknowledged him with a plain and sim­ple sincerity, without a why, or wherefore: And I believe the nimble Con­fession of Na­thaniel, Joh. 1. 49, 50. though upon a slight occasion, was better approved of [Page 31] by Christ, than the cau­tious proceed, and de­liberate advances of Ju­dicious Nichode­mus. 3 Joh. 9.

However, I like not that high flight of the Fa­ther neither, Certum est, quia impossibile est; nor his who said, there were not Impossibilities e­now in Religion for an active Faith: such Hyper­bolick strains do Christi­anity no kindness I am sure, especially in the Ma­hometan and Pagan world.

For were Socrates, Ci­cero, [Page 32] or Seneca now alive, I might with far better success attempt their Con­version, by the rehearsal of Christs Sermon on the Mount, or St. Pauls Epi­stles, than by assaulting rashly their unprepared Reason with the difficul­ties and seeming contra­dictions of the Athanasian Creed.

It can no ways pro­perly be said, that there is any one Impossibility in the Bible: For if the Let­ter and matter of fact be true, (as it may on that score justly claim a stron­ger [Page 33] title to verity than any Book of longer or la­ter date, which yet we own without scruple) then the Concession that 'twas of Divine Inspirati­on easily follows; and then the consequence is as necessary, That what­ever it contains must be of infallible truth and certainty.

And what if we can­not solve its Mysteries? Their first design was to be objects of Christian Faith and humble acqui­escence, not of Pert and Curious Argumentation. [Page 34] If we will believe no­thing, but what we can make out, and clear of doubts, (ay and strong ones too) even in things obvious and familiar, and with which we converse every day, we must shut the whole Visible World out of doors, and sit down content with abso­lute Scepticism.

I declare I have as even a notion of Spirit as of Body, and understand Cogitation fully as well as Extension: I am no more privy to the Me­chanism of my own hearts [Page 35] Motion, than I am to the Mysterie and feats of Me­mory and Imagination, or to the way how my Soul by a detachment of nimble Emissaries, com­mands my foot to move in an instant. In a word, I understand nothing of this kind by adequate and Commensurate Science, but by Philosophick guess, or Allegorick re­presentations. 11 Eccle. 5.

I remember that a now Reverend and most Lear­ned Prelate, (at whose private Lectures I had the honour long ago to at­tend) [Page 36] amongst other most excellent notices, told us, that Immaterial, Infinite, and the like, were Nega­tives indeed in words, (for the barrenness of Language, and our own weakness and ignorance) but properly and in them­selves they were absolute Positivities; and again, that their Contraries, Fi­nite and Material, were pure Negations in respect of the other.

Descartes, who opened the way to his Philosophy by stopping his Ears and closing his Eyes, and [Page 37] stripping himself naked to bare Cogitation, found out one Original Truth (as he thought) viz. Cogi­to, Ergo Sum: what a pro­digious fallacie past upon this acute man! he might as well (in that case) have argued, Curro, Ergo Sum; the argument had been as good, though it lay at a little farther distance. Thus are we all weak and blind in Natural and Di­vine Secrets and Mysteries. 8 Eccle. 17.

The Canon of Holy Scripture is without doubt so plain, as to Es­sentials [Page 38] of Faith and Pra­ctice, that I cannot per­swade my self to believe there was ever such a thing as Nuda Haeresis: I am rather inclin'd to think that Secular Motives of pride, discontent, and a­varice, raised the boyling ferment in ambitious and restless heads; as was most notoriously apparent in the business of Arrius. This Spirit that agitated in the first Ages of Chri­stianity, worketh now still in the Children of disobedience: And when good and Learned men [Page 39] offer at a Cure by publick writing or dispute, the bad success and fruitless consequence shews, that the wrong remedy is ap­plyed; the malady lying more in the perverseness of the Will, than the mi­stake of the Intellect.

And by this means, De­monstration itself often fails of Conviction; and the strongest and plainest Truths urged home to Schismaticks, stay not, but are sent back daily in a faint retort, stuft more with weak Evasion, and peevish Cavil, than Right [Page 40] or Reason. Just thus 'tis at this very Juncture, and (if in this case Inferences de facto are good conse­quences) is like always to be.

I wonder that Constan­tine should so far counte­nance that damnable He­resie of Arrius, as to allow it the dangerous scope of a free Debate in the Council of Nice. Had not Royal Restraints, and legal Penalties, been a safer and more Orthodox way to repress an Errour so palpable, that it car­ried its Confutation in [Page 41] its own face? No doubt but some Plenipotentia­ries of Heaven itself assisted at that Spiritu­al Treaty, yet (as far as I understand) their strong and zealous Argu­ments could hardly re­duce the contrary faction to an amicable and Chri­stian complyance; whom pride had fore-armed with resolution to demur at Demonstration, and cavil at Conviction. How­ever, with much ado, af­ter a tedious debate, they composed the Catholick Creed, that bears the name.

Disputes in Religion are often fruitless (because improper) Applications, and serve but to increase the heat and feud of O­piniatours: They may in­deed confirm the Right, but very rarely convince the Erroneous party.

I conceive the Empe­rour was in a manner for­ced to give this Heresie so much loose Line as a fair debate; its Contagi­on began to rage in the Christian world, and like the Jewish Idolatry, it had seated itself in the high Places too: besides, [Page 43] its high pretences might incline him to think the occasion worthy the so­lemnity of that famous confluence: for although the contest was compri­zed within the narrow compass of two Greek words, yet the contro­verted point was of no less importance, than the Divinity of our God and Saviour. Yet that all this was the wrong remedy for that disease, appears plainly from its breaking out with re-doubled heat and violence in the suc­ceeding Reign of Con­stantius.

The edge and keenness of our present divisions, we may chiefly date from the late Act of Toleration: Such allowances proceed from Royal mercy and tenderness, 'tis true, but the mischiefs that always ensue are innumerable, and grow to a formidable stature by insensible de­grees, till at length they suck themselves into a state and habit strong enough for Rebellion, even from the breasts of Royal Indulgence. My opinion is, (in all deep humility) that by such [Page 45] condescentions of Grace, Princes act against their own power, and elude their own Authority; they give License to wor­ship the righteous God a wrong way, and establish Schism in Church and State by a Law. Con­cessions of this kind Ex­torted (as it were) from Royal Clemency and pity may indeed confirm pre­sent Impunity, but cannot give Innocence to Dissen­ters: To whom we may boldly and justly rejoyn, whenever they plead the Kings Grace, in the words [Page 46] of our Saviour to 19 Matt. 8. the Pharisees, Mo­ses because of the hard­ness of your hearts suffe­red you this, (to put away your Religion) but from the beginning it was not so.

'Tis now a Solecism in Christianity to talk of a weak Brother, and Liber­ty of Conscience is non-sence totidem verbis. God forbid that at this day, af­ter 1600 years, there should remain any doubts or scruples unresolved in our Religion, when 'tis openly displaied to the [Page 47] view of all men, without shades or obscurities, in most clear and lively co­lours.

If the good and whol­some Act for Uniformity had continued still in full force, it had in time found mens Purses more tender than their Con­sciences: At least, it would have done so much good, that the old Pique had been buried with this Generation, and the next would have Conformed of course. Whereas now I fear this new Liberty hath fixt the Contagion [Page 48] in the very Vitals of our dissenting brethren, and their Children will be tainted Ex traduce.

Disputandi pruritus est scabies Ecclesiae, said a Lear­ned Countryman of ours: It hath certainly been a great promoter of Schism, and the fuel of Faction. To see the Elaborate fol­lies of the subtile School­men, and the quirks of Polemical Divinity (what an odd word that is to affix to the plain and easie Religion of the meek and humble Jesus?) their cu­rious niceties in resear­ches [Page 49] of matters, either al­together above, or else not worth our knowledge; their pretty Mazes and Labyrinths drawn by Art in puzled and bewildred Thought; but above all, their slippery evasions, and nimble escapes, (like Hercules's Protean Anta­gonist) when prest hard by close and solid reason­ing, this is all matter of as great diversion, as it had been to have been pre­sent at the odd posture of Circumstances in the first confusion of Tongues at Babel.

'Tis pretty to observe their Schools; in what order and awful silence non-Entities sit ranged into Classes according to their proficiency or quali­ty, and not one dares move till call'd out to Say, and then they speak in the Language of Ʋtopia. They can (with strange dexterity) make an appo­site Answer to an unintel­ligible Question, and will argue pro and con whole hours together, about what was never seen, felt, heard or understood. 'Tis impossible to pose them; [Page 51] for when they cannot enodate your Argument, they serve you with a di­stinction the same trick that Alexander did the Gordian knot. They can as readily describe the parts and proportions of a Chimaera, as you can of a man or a horse. But their masterpiece lies in this, they can understand words that signifie no­thing, or (which is much the same) signifie they know not what; and yet they have a slight to make the same words mean any thing. But this you'll [Page 52] say is very strange; take any common ordinary truth or Proposition, strip it naked of its plain English, and send it to be drest in their Fire-room, its Port and Garniture shall immediately become so majestick, that (though you were never so well acquainted with it be­fore) you shall gaze at it with as much Ignorance, as the honest Countryman did at the Powder of Al­bum-Graecum, before he understood the trick on't.

These men can baffle Truth in what fashion [Page 53] and to what degree you please; as also advance a Falsitie how far you will, to probabile, verisimile, and (upon a good occasi­on) to absolute demon­stration.

From their Reposito­ries, men of ambitious and working Pates have been furnished with Tools and Instruments of all sorts and sizes, to form and fa­shion, file and vary Do­ctrines and Opinions sui­table to the design and work in hand: Here are Moulds fitly prepared to cast any Schism or Heresie [Page 54] in; and in short, all En­ginery and Artillery that the Church (militant too much in this sence) can possibly want upon any occasion, they can readi­ly produce out of their Polemick Magazines.

With what sly and subtle Artifices these men have infected Christianity, or furnished others with means and methods of do­ing so, is beyond my power to declare; yet I doubt not but the spring and head of our many modern Sects and Schisms might in some measure [Page 55] be traced up to these Fountains.

The Romanists I am sure are very sensible of the great advantages their monstrous Tenets receive from hence; they observe it seldome to fail at a dead lift; by its assistance they often confound the simple, and not seldom amuse even the more knowing. However, they can make a safe retreat hither, when beaten out of the field; and their boldest Champions, to avoid the danger of a close pursuit, muce nim­bly, [Page 56] and sculk in the sub­terfuges of this thorny wilderness.

It comes in my head here, to say, (though 'tis not much to the purpose, you'll think, but that's all one; and yet you may perceive it bears some squint relation to this dis­course too) I have often admired why Aristotles Philosophy should be (to so great a degree) the chief darling of so many Learned and Reverend men among us. They de­duce all things from his Text, reduce all to him, [Page 57] as the infallible Test of universal truth. I am but a very mean Judge, I confess, but yet I know there are some things in him very weak and shal­low, many palpable Er­rours and notorious falsi­ties; and in what he is most Excellent, the same hath been long ago, and is now found in two or three other Languages, without any the least de­pendance on the Philo­sopher, and this in a far greater degree of per­fection too. But alas, the choisest truths and [Page 58] best Observations in Ita­lian, French, Latin, or English, relish not near so well, nor have they half the poynancy, as when served up with Grecian garnish after the Attick Mode.

I had sometime since an occasional discourse with a good and Learned man, who, upon quoting some saying of Aristotles, immediately (with em­phatick admiration) sub­joyns, The very same, saith he, with that of the Apo­stle! I have quite forgot the words, but 'twas [Page 59] some moral doctrinal Pre­cept I remember, which a thousand men might have spoken as well as the Phi­losopher; such Propositi­ons being (we all know) the impresses and com­mon notions of Rational Nature: but Aristotle spoke Greek too, and therefore imitated the A­postle a twofold way.

Who would have thought that old Homer should ever have arrived to so much Honour and Excellency as Evangeli­zans imports! that late good man and excellent [Page 60] Grecian was in so high a degree his admirer, that thinking he deserved bet­ter preferment than the first of the first rank of Poets, he would needs place him among the Go­spellers too. We are all apt to admire, then dote upon, and at length Ido­lize this or that part of Learning that hath most­ly engaged our Time, Labour, and Study: The reason is obvious, because in that we can play a game to advantage with any Antagonist. So natural even to the best of men is Vain-glory.

Not but that I am a great admirer of Learning, and adore it at an awful distance almost to Super­stition: Learning, I say, not in hypothetick fan­cies, dry empty Notions, and fruitless researches, but in solid practical Truths, reductive to the service of God, and the innocent profits and plea­sures of Humane Life. The rest may be the di­version and accomplish­ment of such as enjoy Wealth, Ease, and Vacan­cy: but for my part, I declare, I had rather feel [Page 62] the warmth of the Sun, when I am very cold, than know whether Ptolomie, Tycho, or Copernicus come nearest the truth. For when Wise and Learned men are poor and hun­gry, (which God knows too often happens) I ob­serve that they study more to find out a good Din­ner, than the Longitude; and to Compass a round sum of Money, rather than to square the Circle.

I observe too, that young men fledg'd and flown from their nest of Notions in the Universi­ty, [Page 63] when they come a­broad quickly find, that Mathematical Demonstra­tions, and Logical Axioms are the same neither gene­re, specie, nor numero, with Meat, Drink, and Clothes; this engages them to a study of that which bears a nearer re­lation to self-preservation, and they (for the most part) take the old road of Mankind to purchase ho­nest profit, and the Com­forts of life, without much consulting their old Acquaintances Aristotle, Plato, Descartes, or the [Page 64] like. For as a Modern Satyrist saith well in that,

Forcing our Nature never yet did good;
We must fall back to our old flesh and blood.

This puts me in minde of the real disgrace and detriment our Church suf­fers, by reason of the su­perfluous number of young Divines; some with slender parts and mean Abilities; others without Experience and Conduct; and in these latter, a rude mass of bar­ren [Page 65] unadjusted Notions, gives such an unsavory dash, and ridiculous odd kind of Air to their dis­course and deportment, as always minds me of what Charron saith, Fai­re De la Sa­gesse Liv. 3. Chap. 13. quelque chose en Clerk, c'est le faire en Sot.

But the worst is, that many are without Em­ployment suitable to the great Character they bear, how slightly soever estee­med of in our degenerate days. From each of these, many great mischiefs and inconveniences follow. [Page 66] How many are forced to take shelter as 1 Sam. 2. 36. Tutours or Chap­lains in ill-affected Fami­lies, where their Stipend being often Arbitrary, and their dependance almost necessary, they are obli­ged to do their work af­ter what fashion they please, in whose hands their Salary and liveli­hood wholly depends: And when they have ser­ved the turn they were first entertained for here, (or perhaps for some little peevish Caprice of the Godly old Lady) they [Page 67] are forced to march off with a cold Compliment: But if in this devout Fa­mily they have gotten some proficiencie in Ex­tempore praying, prating pretty well without the Book, and the like, they are excellently appointed to be received into some blind Assembly or petty Conventicle, at least as Probationers, and so on, &c.

Others again cross the Channel, (presuming, for­sooth, that they may see fashions on free-cost) with Omnia mea mecum porto; [Page 68] but when Cold and Hun­ger pinches, and the Philo­sophick Portmantle comes to be examined, not one rag or single stiver is to be found amongst all Bi­as's baggage. Then they are forced to ex­press their wants very politely in the universal Language, and (like Va­gabond Polanders here) they beg formâ pauperis Scholastici at some Con­vent or Monastery; where (as the case now stands) the matter a hundred to one comes to a bargain, & they prove Converts: and [Page 69] so having in time imbibed pernicious Principles, as well as learned the art of putting them in practice, fraught with mischievous Machinations, and sediti­ous designs, they are de­legated hither.

But I fear the Air of old England doth not re­duce one of twenty at their arrival to such an happy reconversion, as by especial Influence it did the good Dr.

But a Maladie beyond all redress is the near de­pendance our Clergy have for the most part [Page 70] upon Lay-Patrons and Benefactours: The servile awe and confusion that possesses the young Di­vine whilst he Preaches before them, is altogether inconsistent with that mo­dest boldness and tempe­rate Assurance that ought (of necessity) to attend the Word, whether we inform or reprove. For if by chance our youth touch never so little upon what thwarts the private opinion, or gauls any one irregular practice of his Patron (though in never so general and distant a [Page 71] way) he shall be sure of such a sowre look, and correcting regard from his Worship at Dinner, as shall quite dash the Coun­tenance, and turn the sto­mack of our new dignifié, maugre the comfortable accession of the late Bene­fice.

In this Case I wish all men were as happy as my self, in bearing relation to a most Orthodox, Loyal, and pious honourable good Gentleman, &c.

To conclude all this, our own Souldiers for want of due pay and en­couragement, [Page 72] turn often Renegadoes, and by de­serting us become so ma­ny fresh supplies to our sworn Enemies the Py­rates of Rome and Geneva. This advantage (superad­ded to the force of the old Pique) enables them not only to fight at di­stance, but makes them so hardy as to board our torn and leaky vessel, the poor Church of England; and 'tis all she can do, with invincible courage to clear her decks of these furious Assailants.

I look upon the Romish [Page 73] Religion as the exactest piece of State-Policie, and the best contrived Myste­rie of infallible Rule and Dominion, that ever yet appeared in the world. I always considered it un­der this notion, without any other regard or rela­tion whatever: Its subtle­tenets and deep Maximes speak it such; its ways and methods to preserve and continue itself where 'tis already planted, and of propagating itself where not, do plain­ly shew, that the true de­sign of it is merely Secu­lar, [Page 74] contrived wholly for Temporal ends and pur­poses of Dominion, Ava­rice, Lust, and in a word, of Universal Tyranny o­ver the Souls and Bodies of Men and Women.

I verily believe its grea­test and most Learned Ec­clesiastick Assertours see and know the trick well enough, though they keep the Mysterie as safe in the Conclave, as the Trojans did the Palladi­um in Minerva's Tem­ple.

No Cabalists of State could e're trepan,
With such firm subtlety as Rome's Divan, saith one.

And thus the main System of their Religion being wholly relative to Poli­tical practicks, no wonder that all our Disputes ablest Writings, and truest Re­monstrances against them do so little good: They may indeed debar them from proselyting men so easily as before; but the two Poles shall sooner [Page 76] meet, than the strongest Truths and Demonstrati­ons shall reduce one of the great Churchmen of Rome.

Alas, the Case is quite of another nature: nor do they themselves think it worth while to enter the Lists of publick Dis­putation, or answer the repeated oppositions of our Learned Churchmen, unless (as our chief Dis­senters) it be to comply with the Expectations of their own Herd; and then too, the main design is (not to argue impartially [Page 77] and solidly) but still more and more to amuse and intangle the poor igno­rant Admirers of, An An­swer to Dr. &c.

Si Pergama dextrâ de­fendi possent, &c. comes always in my mind, when I consider that the pre­sent posture of affairs is rather worse than better, and at the same time think on the Writings of Bishop Jewel, Laud, and those other Heroe's that did and said all that was possible almost, to little purpose alas! and pray what can we do more?

They will not so much as argue to satisfie any scruple of their own Dis­ciples; the device of Im­plicite Faith supersedes their trouble as to that. And if by chance among them a gaul'd Conscience offer to kick, (though ne­ver so sorely pinch'd) one sharp word or frown of the Inquisition, silences the poor Soul better (to their purpose) than a thousand Syllogisms: And thus these men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil.

How quite contrary to all this, is the proceed of our Church? how dif­ferent is her Carriage? how frequent, earnest, and tender are her applicati­ons to the Dissenting Brethren? With what reluctancie and force to herself, (after all means fail) are restraints and penalties gently apply'd as the Ratio ultima re­rum, which she is far from making the Inscrip­tion of loud and infallible Artillery?

And yet what Seditious Murmurs do these men re­turn [Page 80] to her soft & passio­nate Invitations? What In­novations & Changes do they not secretly attempt? What evil Representati­ons of Church and Go­vernment do they not scatter? What shuffling peevish returns do they make to the Writings and Sermons of good and wise Men, in vindication of regular Piety and true Loyalty? And they are so bold too, as to press Gods holy Word for the justification of all this ob­stinacy; but 'tis not the first time that Holy Scrip­ture [Page 81] hath been the Argu­ment, when the destructi­on of the Allegatour hath proved the consequence. 2 Pet. 3. 16.

Our Church, by ap­plying the soft and gen­tle Remedies of Statuta­ble punishments, and le­gal Mulcts, never inten­ded to force gross blind­ness, or impose the Ty­ranny of Implicite Faith on any man; but rather the quite contrary, she carefully and wisely con­sidered that a little smart­ing might make the scales peel off from their Eyes, [Page 82] & by some little bitterness she designed no more harm to them, than Tobi­as did to his Father, by throwing Gall in his Eyes to make him see.

And here I'll presume to insert the words of a Lear­ned & Reverend Gentle­man now among us: We, saith he, that are Ministers of the Church of England may be content; nay, we may really wish that all our Laity had as much true solid understanding in Religion as our Clergy. We can get no advantage by your want of knowledge, [Page 83] no more than you can do by ours: We have no Spiritual Cheat with which to delude you, for the representing of which we should stand in need either of darkness, or of a false light. We have nothing in our publick Profession which the wisest men, the most pious Christians may not outwardly practice; nothing in our Faith which they ought not inwardly to believe. We know and are well assured, that the onely reason why our Church is not more gene­rally embraced, and ad­mired, [Page 84] is, because the pu­rity of its Doctrine, the sobriety of its Devotion, the moderation of its Discipline, the largeness of its Charity, are not more impartially and calmly examined, more generally understood.

Our Church in its Spiri­tual State as you are Christians, is most con­formable to the rules of Christ, to the Apostolick practice, to the Primitive Institutions: In its ratio­nal State as you are Men, its Doctrines are very a­greeable to the reason of [Page 85] Mankind; its Precepts most becoming the purest and strictest Laws of Na­ture, Vertue, and Morality: In its Political State as ye are Englishmen, its Inte­rest is inseparable from that of our Nation and Government.

We are therefore so far from being jealous of your most curious & exact search into the Practice and Prin­ciples of our Church, that we desire it; nay, we most earnestly beseech it. We are in no danger from Mens most subtle inquiry into it; we may be from [Page 86] their utter carelesness, and indifferency towards it.

We are not against any Mans seeing Spiritual Truths; onely we would not have the blind pre­sume to teach others to see: We would not have Men think they see, when they do not, which is the most certain way for them never to see at all: we would have you know as much as you can; onely we would have you believe that both you and we may know much more than we do: we intreat you to strive to know all in a [Page 87] right way, by so­ber Dr. Sprats Sermon at Whitehall before His Majesty. degrees, for right purposes, uses and ends.

I will here be bold to subjoin by way of Corol­lary to the fore-going ex­cellent words: It hath puzled my nearest and nicest Inquisition, and plunged my closest scru­tiny in deep amazement, when I have considered that so many of our Countrymen should out of an odd peevish hu­mour, and most unac­countable Caprice, for­sake that sober, decent [Page 88] way of Worship, which the Established Law pres­ses, which their gracious King and Governour himself strictly observes, together with the Loyal Nobility and Gentry, and the Reverend and Learn­ed Clergy of this Land; that they should (I say) leave these good, these great, these wise Exam­ples, contrary to the obe­dient humble temper of Christians, contrary to the prudence and interest of rational men, and con­trary to the honest good nature of true English­men: [Page 89] And all this out of a blind and ignorant com­plyance to the Insinua­ting hypocritical perswa­sions of a few leading prejudiced Presbyters. For, true scruple of Con­science cannot be said to urge them to this Non­conformity; not one of five hundred understand­ing the intrinsick state of the Question, or the true nature of the Controver­ted point, any more than they do Arabick: But granting that they could plead Christian Scruple, how far would even that [Page 90] fall short of Justification, seeing that the Commands to Obedience are so abso­lute, so plain, so positive, and the reasons for Non-conformity (even at best) so obscure, so weak, so dubious? In a word, the Faith of our Separatists is as blind and implicite as that of the Papists; the design of their Doctrines as Subtle, Sensual, and Secular.

But to return to the Romanists: that the trick should pass upon the com­mon Herd of the Igno­rant and Credulous, is [Page 91] not at all strange, nor that the well-contriv'd Im­posture should go down pretty cleverly with the middle sort of Mankind, is it much to be wondred at; but that so notorious, so bold, so sawcie a cheat, should engage the Wise and Noble, nay Kings and Princes, to a complyance so mean and servile (as heretofore especially) this is a perfect Prodigie to me.

What depth of subtil­ty is implyed in the Do­ctrine of the Popes Su­premacy and Infallibility, the [Page 92] basis of implicite Faith, indisputable obedience, & absolute dependance on the Church and Court of Rome? What great and glorious Scenes of pomp, pride, and splendour, are consequential to the ne­cessity of making all de­ferences and humble ap­peals to his Holiness?

The Doctrine of Pur­gatory is a most excellent bait for a wealthy sinner on his death-bed: how eagerly and zealously he exchanges his Bags for Masses, that he may not be stopt at that hot [Page 93] stage, but be immediately dispatch'd to the more a­greeable warmth of Abra­ham's bosom? Thus by a pretty kind of Platonick Chymistry, the subtle Priest makes real Gold, by an imaginary & fictitious fire.

But above all, to dive into and discover the Tempers and Inclinati­ons, Designs and Contri­vances, Actions and Passi­ons, nay the most retired Thoughts of Men and Women, Auricular Con­fession is an unparallel'd device: 'Tis certainly the most impudent Incroach­ment [Page 94] and unnatural piece of Tyranny that was ever impos'd on Mankind; I mean, as 'tis abused and disfigured by them, from its first good designe and Institution.

I will now end these brief Remarks on the Ro­mish Religion, with one Trick more of theirs, which appeared in the Death of Mr. Langhorne and the late Jesuits; which hath afforded matter of much discourse to all, and of no small wonder and amusement to some. For my own part, I verily be­lieve, [Page 95] that if the Deposi­tions of the King's Wit­nesses (as the Law always allows and supposes them to be, so) were not de facto true and evident; if the Proceedings of the Court were not most im­partial, just and steady, and by consequence the Parties brought in guilty by an honest and unbiassed Verdict; if all this (I say) were not so, then there is no Truth or Certainty under the Sun. And therefore that Learned and Rational Men should at the point of Death fondly [Page 96] conceive, that any Dispen­sation from Rome, or their reciprocal Absolutions, could possibly expiate the Guilt and Crime of a po­sitive, deliberate, mortal sin (I mean, the stedfast Abjuration of true matter of Fact) this is a Presum­ption of that Force and Contradiction to the Ge­nius of Christianity, and so contrary to the very Essentials and Fundamen­tals of Humane Nature; that I know not what to resolve it into, but a to­tal dereliction of God Almighty, or some latent [Page 97] Frenzy in those wretched Delinquents.

I have indeed heard some Learned Men urge the strong force of Edu­cation and Institution, as a competent cause to ri­vet this Principle into the perswasions of the Romish Agents: What e're it is, it affords matter of my­sterious difficulty to me; and what Principle soever it owns, certainly the resolute Effects it produ­ces, must needs belong to a very forcible Cause, since we see this firm Ob­stinacy retains its Vigour [Page 98] in Attempts of the last danger, and at the dread­ful point of unavoidable Death too.

'Tis true, that the Bi­shop and Spiritual Senate of Rome exhibit all the Machiavilian Maximes, (which they without ex­ception call in to esta­blish and advance their Secular and Ecclesiastick Politie) under the specious stamp of Divine Autho­rity, and crown the most horrid Enterprizes and unnatural Villanies with the additional advantage of Merit; this (if firmly [Page 99] believed, but there lies the difficulty) must needs infuse as much Courage and Resolution, as the Arabian Elysium did into the Primitive Assassins, or Mahomet's Paradise doth into the Ottoman Souldi­ers. For Superstition of this kinde deeply grafted, hath always proved the strongest spring and most vigorous motive of de­sperate deeds and devices: Besides, the indisputable Obedience that the Jesu­itick Order is sworn into to their respective Supe­riour, is of no ordinary [Page 100] force and influence to these Exploits, and of grand import to the pur­poses of the Roman Con­clave.

And this suggests how furiously in opposition to this extreme of blinde compliance, some of our present Fanaticks run into the other contrary, and flatly deny that there is any Ecclesiastick Superi­ority at all; others affirm that the Episcopal Functi­on is at best distinct, not in Degree and Fact, but in Title and Dignity only, to that of Presbyter; con­trary [Page 101] to the plain usage of the Catholick Church, and the practice of Antiquity in all Ages. And with these men forsooth [...] is no more of Divine Right, than the little Of­fice of Overseer (its name­sake) in some of our Pa­rochial Societies.

The redress of this, as of other crazy Opinions of our modern Sectaries, is apparently Eccentrick to the power and force of Argument; the proper Remedy and effectual Cure belonging most cer­tainly to a smarter Appli­cation, [Page 102] than that of soft and gentle Reasonings.

And now 'tis high time to tell you, how that by these brief occasional re­marks on the corruptions of Christianity from the Ambition and Avarice of some Professors, from En­thusiastick whimsies, from the senceless Subtleties of the Schoolmen and Casu­ists, from some cramp words and forc'd Allusi­ons out of Aristotle, from the Romish Impostures, and Phanatick Hypocrisie, I have at least hit my de­signe in the Negative, by [Page 103] which you may guess of what Religion I am not of.

Truely, I am heartily sorry that the true Tree of Life, Christianity, should be branched out into so many Divisions, and that our grand Enemy hath not only sowed tares in our field, but inserted spurious graffs here too: however, my firm and faithful de­pendence is on that Branch which hath an undeniable rise and growth from the old Catholick and Apo­stolick stock, and from whence (Zacheus-like) [Page 104] Luke 19. 4, 5. I have a Call (I hope) as well as a full and perfect View of my blessed Saviour, from a­mongst the vulgar crowd of Schisms and Heresies: In a word, I am not so much of Education, much less of Interest or Coacti­on, as of free, yet firm and rational choice, a Member of the Church of England, as now by Law establisht.

And yet Education, by an Epidemick Calamity, hath in all Countreys and Ages been the best Title perhaps, that the Bulk of Mankinde could plead to [Page 105] their Religion: That 'tis so now amongst the grand Monde of Mahometans, Jews and Pagans, is I think not to be disputed. And indeed the difficulties are so great, and the methods so nice of disengaging na­tural Reason from the strong entanglements of Prejudice, Education, and National Interest, that I think it to be almost mo­rally impossible (all cir­cumstances weighed) for these Infidels to raise and refine their gross Appre­hensions to a due and so­ber Scrutiny of Christian [Page 106] Truths: And therefore to talk to them of the Trini­ty, Incarnation, Crucifixi­on, Resurrection, and the like other Mysteries of our Religion, would but produce the same incre­dulous wonder, as to re­peat and plead for some Fables in the Metamor­phosis.

For if the ripe reason of learned Nicodemus (in the very midst of Mira­cles) could at best but ar­rive to a doubtful Questi­on, Joh. 3. 9. How can these things be? puzzled (as appears) by the one only [Page 107] Doctrine of Regenera­tion; if he could hardly relish these Living Waters at the Fountain-head, well may the Streams run muddy through our shal­low conveyances, and prove insipid, if not nau­seous and ridiculous to these senceless, stupid mortals.

What shall we judge then of the gross and mass of mankinde, who lye un­der prejudice or Ignorance invincible? What distinct Regions of Immortality can we assigne to many millions of the so long [Page 108] undiscovered Americans? Amongst whom were found not only the com­mon Rules, but strict observances Mountaign too of Justice, Veracity and Sobriety?

In what classis and de­gree of Felicity or Misery can we range the good old Heathens Socrates, Se­neca, &c. who living up to the height of their Principles (as some think, thô I have good reason to doubt it) were a Law unto them­selves. Rom. 2. 14. There is no other name given among men, [Page 109] whereby we must besaved, saith the Apostle, but the Name of Jesus, Act. 4. 12. What, shall we fondly seign a middle state, a Limbus Philosophorum? For 'tis uncharitable to conclude absolutely and cruelly, that the Merciful Good God will destroy the work of his own Hands.

Perhaps the most ratio­nal refuge in this case, is to presume, that our gracious Father by ways best known to himself, might impart (if not a Revela­tion, yet) an Application [Page 110] of the Name and Merits of the holy Jesus to these just and sober Moralists, if they were indeed really so.

But as to my unspeak­able Peace and Comfort I am a Christian of the Church of England; so to my inestimable honour and glory, I am a Priest of the most High God, and received my Authority and Commission from my Lord and Master Jesus, rightly and truely, by the hands of Episcopacy and the Presbytery.

And as I then felt no [Page 111] unusual Impulses of an ex­traordinary Spirit, no new Light or Revelation, nor any other Enthusiastick Emotions of an over-hea­ted Imagination: so neither did I rudely and rashly intrude without Call, a­mongst my Masters hired Labourers: For I had a fair Invitation from Gods ordinary Goodness and Providence to work in his Vineyard, and I found in my self an honest Resoluti­on and hearty Inclination so to do; which truely I lookt upon as a sufficient warrant and justification [Page 112] for my Affirmative An­swer to that first Ordina­tion-Question, Do you think in your heart that you be truely called, &c. to the Order and Ministry of Priesthood?

And now as I verily believe this divine Cha­racter to be indelible, so I esteem of it as the most noble stamp and Impress humane Nature is capable of, whilst cloathed with clay. I am not so much surprized as troubled, to see the common derision and contempt that attends the Clergy: For those [Page 113] Scorners that cavil at the very Faith, and question the Doctrine itself, cannot reasonably be expected to regard and reverence the Dispensers. And since this Town and Kingdome is infested with such swarms of Deists, Socini­ans, Atheists, and others, that not only violate the undoubted Regalia, but with treasonable Blasphe­my dispute the Divine Sovereignty of Jesus; how should they not affront and outrage the Ambas­sadours of Christ? We are, I fear, making fair [Page 114] Advances, and by very sensible degrees too, to that dismal state of Insi­delity, the prospect of which made our Saviour exclaim long ago, When the Son of Man cometh, shall he sinde Faith upon Earth? Luk. 18. 8.

And yet I have obser­ved, that our Adversaries raise much of their pert­ness and audacity to de­spise and abuse us, from a certain sheepish dejection of spirit that possesses ma­ny: Thus we our selves, by a base and dastardly Cowardise, antedate our [Page 115] own contempt, and poorly fancying our selves always liable and open to affront, like suspicious easie Slaves, we (by this means) become of our Enemies party, and invite and anticipate the approaching Despight, by letting our Countenances fall, and seeming little in our own Eyes: This is exactly to make a gap for every insolent pragmatical Ass to tread over. Instances of this kinde I have not seldom seen in some mean-spirited, poor Divines, whose little Souls ebbe and flow with the chan­ges [Page 116] of Fortune, and who want a true sense of the Excellency and Noble worth of their high Cal­ling, servilely valuing themselves by the false measures of this silly, un­reasonable, degenerate Age. I finde that a man in this case hath just as much respect as he gives himself; and a manly Con­fidence and well-bred As­surance here, is not at all inconsistent with Christi­an Meekness and Humility. But alas! We have too many creep into the Priesthood, and steal into [Page 117] the Sanctum Sanctorum of the Christian Tabernacle, young and raw, hardly yet Masters of common Phi­losophy, but in fruitless Theory; nor are they ar­rived to the proficiency of the poor Stoicks, in opposing a stedfast Cou­rage and Equality of Soul to the rude shock of Con­tempt and Poverty: How then shall they retain Breath and Patience suffi­cient to run through those several rugged stages of Self denial and Mortifica­tion, which the proud and insolent dealing of this [Page 118] world requires, and the Doctrine of Jesus propo­ses? Contempt, Poverty, and Death, (that dreadful Triumvirate of mundane Terrours) which the cou­rageous Reason of the old Philosophers cou'd baffle, is too hard for the Reason and Faith too of many fresh-water Souldiers in our Church-Militant.

'Tis possible, 'tis true, for a wise man by a stea­dy course of manly con­duct to escape Contempt; but the approaches of Poverty are often una­voidable, and the rude­ness [Page 119] of its attendants almost insufferable. This state and condition (especially if suc­cessive to late Wealth and Honour) is the best Test and Touchstone of true worth and Magnanimity:

Hic animus opus, hic pectore firmo. Virg. Aeneid. l. 6.

'Tis an easie matter, when full of Riches and Honour, to fancy we have all Ver­tues; and the fawning world shall avouch it too.

—Omnis enim res
Divitiis parent, quas, qui construxerit, ille

Claerus erit, fortis, justus, sapiens, &c. Horat. serm. lib. 2. Satyr. 3.

Yet I fear, not one of five hundred that rowls in wealth and affluence, hath well Conned the hard Lesson which the honest Stoicks taught in their [...]. But granting we have arrived to some proficiency in the Abstinential Vertues, we must not therefore conclude our selves truely approved, till we have tried our Strength and Patience to the quick in the sharp exercises of Versues other [Page 121] branch, the Tolerantial part, the [...] also: or, till with St. Paul we can true­ly say, I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound, both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need, Philip. 4. 12.

With what Assuming Gravity and Magisterial A we have I heard rich and great men censure and expose small miscarriages and weaknesses in poor and mean Persons; when at that very time, the Re­prover himself hath been guilty of the same Crime, [Page 122] and greater too, with some little Alteration of the guise only; nay, and the advantage shall be so dex­terously managed on his side, as to make it Vertue and accomplishment.

Vos ô Trojugenae vobis ig­noscitis, & quae
Turpia Cerdoni Volesos, Brutósque decebunt. Ju­ven. Sat. 8.

And thus the rich and honourable have not only all Vertues (of course) in the Vogue of the world; but they fancie themselves very devout and religious [Page 123] too; at least if their odde kinde of Faith can make them so; for they pray most commonly without doubting, especially when they say, Give us this day our daily bread, (knowing their Barns to be full;) and forgive us, &c. as we forgive them that trespass against us, when they finde that no man dares affront them.

But to harbour no an­xious sollicitude for the morrow, nor in extreme and helpless Poverty to entertain any peevish di­strust of Divine Provi­dence, [Page 124] but to have a chearful Faith and reliance on Mat. 46. my Heavenly Father, this is Religion: And freely and frequently to forgive my Lives aggressour, or the malicious disturber of my peace, without any the least reserve of Re­venge or Rancour, this is Christianity.

I have been too much intimate (in vain youth) with the most familiar Pleasures of humane Na­ture; and yet by sudden and frequent Intermix­tures, as well acquainted [Page 125] with the Troubles and Crosses of this fickle and unconstant world: But, I thank my God, when Fortune hath made the most Vexatious Dou­bles, she could never run me to a loss; nor hath she made one wrinckle of Sorrow or Fear the more in my face, when she hath turned her own into a thousand frightful Gri­maces. I declare ingenu­ously, that my Soul hath ever kept a steady Poise, (if not enclin'd to the im­patience of Prosperity) and the most stunning [Page 126] Accidents never benum'd my presence of minde so far, but that I have per­fectly reassured my self, softned the most piquant Passion, and smoothed the roughest disorder of thought, by an hours Re­treat and Meditation, say­ing with old Eli, It is the Lord, let him do what seemeth him good, 1 Sam. 3. 18. Or to the same pur­pose with the wise Stoick,

[...], Epict.

To end all this, in my very worst Calamities, I always concluded, that [Page 127] there was need of the greatest Courage; for then to despond, is to be on my Enemies side, and by my faint resistance to double the force of the Assault: but to despair is Frensie, and poorly to yield the stakes, before the Game is up. For what an extreme Madness is it to be frigh­ted with the advantages on the contrary side, sup­posing ten thousand to one against me? Why (pray) may not that one still happen? No man is undone, till he thinks him­self so. Ita est vita ho­minum [Page 128] quasi cum ludas tesseris, si id quod maximè opus est jactu non cadit, id quod cecidit fortè, arte ut corrigas. Terent.

There is no doubt, but the chiefest, if not only designe of our Priestly Ministry, is that which our blessed Saviour by most passionate inculcations ur­ged to Peter, Joh. 21. 17. To feed God's sheep. And to this end, the frequency of the Word, and Sacra­mental Duties, of Prayer also, often publick, with­out ceasing private, is of indispensable Necessity: [Page 129] 'Tis we more especially, that are to make Prayers and Supplications for all men, for Kings, and for those who are in Authority: 'Tis we 1 Ti. 2. 2 that must make Intercessi­on for the People, when God's Judgments are a­broad; 'tis we that must with Faith and Courage stand in the gap, when Wrath is gone out from the Lord, and the Plague is begun, Numb. 16. 48. 'Tis we that must be al­ways ready to give a rea­sonable account of our Hope, and with undaun­ted [Page 130] arguings urge the Do­ctrine and Faith of Christ (to some now a days a Stumbling-block, to others Foolishness, 1 Pet. 3. 15.) against the growing oppo­sitions of Atheism, Heresie and Prophaneness. 'Tis we that must Preach plain, practical Truths to the people, with the Rules and Fundamental Reasons of Obedience, Justice, So­briety, Charity; and all this in easie and familiar (yet powerful) Applica­tions; not in Rhetorical Harangue, or Affectation of Speech and Gesture, [Page 131] which doth but make the ignorant gape, and tickles the Ears of the more knowing; producing per­haps a plausible perswa­sion in the one, but scarce true Christian Edification in either; and better be­comes the old Roman Ro­strum, than the Christian Pulpit.

And since the unreaso­nable Prejudice of people seems now adays to make it almost necessary, we should endeavour to ob­tain the Custom and Ha­bit of talking to them in a familiar way of converse [Page 132] as it were, (salvâ majestate verbi) and (if it may be) wholly without Book.

'Tis true, that when the Preachers Eyes and Ge­stures are pointed directly to the Auditory, they are the more likely to give their regards and atten­tions to him: but again, 'tis strange to me, that these silly Souls should fancy, that the effects of a nimble Invention and unsteady cursory Effusion to be more the Word of God, than the best of a mans sober thoughts squa­red exactly by the Holy [Page 133] Scripture, in Methodick Writing. Matters of Con­troversie we ought wholly to decline; for, (besides that 'tis easie to prate where there is none to oppose) the people would be kept more obedient and safe, if they could al­together be kept ignorant that there is any opposi­tion in any kinde to the truth of our Doctrines: besides, what necessity is there of telling them (to their dangerous amuse­ment) what is wrong, as long as we continue them in the right Belief and [Page 134] practice of what we know to be true and right?

But now I better think on't, since our Schismatical Dissenters Compass Sea and Land to make one Proselyte, Mat. 23. 15. and indefatigably take all op­portunities by partial and detracting misrepresenta­tions to tell their own Tale first, to our no small disadvantage; it might be perhaps of some good consequence, if our Loy­ally-affected Ministers would take frequent Oc­casions (not in their pu­blick Pulpits, but) in their [Page 135] ordinary familiar Commu­nications with their Pa­rishioners, to explain and enlarge upon such Points of Publick Duty, and sound Belief, as these few following; that the good People might be disabu­sed from the insinuating Cheats and Impostures of these deal-board Mounte­banks, and disswaded from giving their Money for that which is not Bread, Isai. 55. 2.

I. That the Power and Authority of Kings, is from God.

II. That Prerogative is [Page 136] accountable to none but God, Psal. 51. 4. But Property and Priviledge in many cases forfeitable to the Crown.

III. That to Depose Kings for fear of Arbitrary Government, is as unjust as to suppose a man felo­niously-affected, and so hang him afore-hand, lest he should Steal or Mur­der.

IV. That to draw Ar­guments from Precedents, and conclude de facto ad jus, is as unjust a procee­ding in Politicks, as 'tis often in Law.

[Page 137] V. That to fear Arbi­trary Government, or its Tyrannical Effects, in a King of Great Britain, is to suppose a Moral Impos­sibility.

VI. That the Kingly Government of these Realms, as 'tis contem­per'd with the Rights and Liberties of the Subject, is the happiest Policy in the world.

VII. That Major sin­gulis, minor universis, is bad Logick and worse Di­vinity, 2 Sam. 18. 3.

VIII. That 'tis un­lawful upon any pretence [Page 138] whatsoever, for the Sub­ject to take up Arms a­gainst the King.

IX. That Rebellious Innovations always end in Confusion and Anar­chy; and redress of Grie­vances that way, hath proved worse than the Disease.

X. That the Church of England (as now by Law establish'd) retains the true Catholick and Apostolick Faith.

XI. That our Gracious Sovereign is in all Causes Ecclesiastical (as well as Temporal) Supreme Go­vernour.

[Page 139] XII. That a Subjects wisest and surest way is to adhere to the Establish'd Religion (in these King­doms) without the least Cavil or Dispute, if he believes he may be saved therein.

XIII. That no pre­tence of scruple whatso­ever, without plain proofs and demonstration, can excuse any Subject from the positive Commands to absolute Obedience in all things Lawful or Indif­ferent.

XIV. That Separate Meetings, and Fanatical [Page 140] Conventicles, have been known lurking-holes and refuges of Romish Priests and Jesuits, and (of consequence) Nurseries of Actors upon the Stage of Rebellion.

XV. That, upon an exact review, we have great reason to conclude our present divisions to belong to a Principle ve­ry different from that of Scruple and Tenderness.

XVI. That Ambition and Avarice are the two great Wheels of the De­vils Chariot.

XVII. That when [Page 141] our grand Adversary de­signs most Mischief, he always hangs out the white Flag of Religion.

XVIII. That Liberty of Conscience commonly proves Licence to be Se­ditious.

XIX. That our Dis­senting Zealots who plead for it most, have been observed to grant it least.

XX. That the People of this Nation are ac­quainted with much more than they should know, and much less than they should practise.

XXI. That we can ne­ver [Page 142] have peaceable days, as long as Bulkers and Coblers are Preachers and Couranters.

XXII. That Vox Po­puli is not always Vox Dei, Mat. 27. 22.

XXIII. That the Stool of Repentance and illegal Impositions of Oaths on King and Peo­ple, is a greater piece of Arbitrary Tyranny, than French Monarchy, or Kissing of the Pope's Toe.

XXIV. That the King­ly Government of this Nation is equally incon­sistent [Page 143] with Popery and Presbytery.

XXV. That the Po­wer and Riches of the King is the Peace and Prosperity of the People.

XXVI. That 'tis im­possible for Peace and Godliness to continue long in Church or State, under a general Tolera­tion of Schismatical and Factious Opinions in mat­ters of Religion, Mat. 12. 25.

These short Aphorisms I presume to insert by way of Essay only, and as imperfect Hints of what [Page 144] wiser Heads and abler Judgments may do in stronger and more suitable Applications to the good People of this distracted Kingdome.

But before I wholly leave this point, it may be worth while to ob­serve, by what an igno­rant, silly Mistake, the dull Teachers in our Separate Assemblies conclude of the Power and Prevalency of their Doctrine, from the sullen cloudiness of Coun­tenance, and tumultuous disorder it causes in the Passions of their Female [Page 145] Anditory, rather than from any Serenity and clearness of Minde and Under­standing: For I have very good grounds to believe, that all this noise hath left the Intellect untoucht, and that it hath not in any degree reacht the Seat of their Reason and Judgment. And thus such Artists as can best by ten­der Expressions, and passi­onate Applications, soften, mellow and dissolve the loose and easie Passions of silly Women, are (for­sooth) the only able, po­werful men, and they [Page 146] (good Souls!) can Edifie under none but them: When alas, all this seeming effectual Operation, is no better than just thus; viz. the whining Holderforth and the Female Congre­gation being at that time tuned (like two Viols) exactly alike by the Ma­gick of Enthusiastick Sympathy, their Notes cor­respond of course, and the Canting of the one immediately begets Sighs and Groans in the other.

I am of opinion, that the highest Paroxysms of Vulgar Quakerisme have [Page 147] much the same Cause, as Dancing to Musick in Fits of the Tarantula: For I have with pity and plea­sure both observ'd, that the malignant Ferment hath been by degrees ex­haled by their violent Su­dorifick motions; and when the poor Soul hath spent his Spirits, and is tyred at his very heart, then (as he fancies) the Spirit goes off and leaves working. And I am in­clined too to think, that the cooler habits of this Religious disease in many of them are to be cured [Page 148] by Medicinal Drugs, and a regular course of Pill, Potion and Phlebotomy.

A timely Visitation of the Sick, as 'tis a chari­table duty almost necessa­ry, so it belongs as pro­perly to the Function of a Priest, as to the Profession of a Physician; and the careful Visits of a Ghostly Father should (of right) be more welcome and comfortable, and accoun­ted of higher import, as the care of our Souls ought to be of dearer con­cern to us than that of our frail Bodies: and yet with [Page 149] us, Ʋbi desinit Medicus, ibi incipit Theologus, is a common woful practice. For my own part, I should think my self obliged by a timelier Assistance to minde my ghostly Patient of the dangers of his long Jour­ney, urge him to hearty Confession, give him com­fortable Absolution, and Communicate to him the strengthening Viaticum of the Body and Blood of the Adorable Jesus. How busie the restless malice of the Enemy of Mankinde may be at this time to in­sinuate Suggestions of De­spair, [Page 150] or presumptuous hopes of longer Life, into Sick persons, I know not; but surely I am bound to examine the case, and by seasonable Anticipations prevent (at least) the suc­cess of Satan's devices.

That the Devil by In­jection can modifie our Thoughts, and in a great measure rule the Faculties, (especially of weak sick persons, who are now more retired within them­selves, and free from the sensible amusements and diversions of worldly ob­jects) I verily believe; for [Page 151] he may make a very mali­cious and mischievous use of the advantages he hath over our Souls (himself being a subtle, powerful Spirit,) and (therefore) by eminency of like na­ture, may have a very forcible Influence upon the Operations of our Spirit; as (to take a parallel A­nalogy from what appears in matter, the contrary essence) the Pressure or Collision of a stronger bo­dy alters (we see) the Figure of Extension in a weaker; or as the dimen­sion of soft Wax is (by [Page 152] my hands) now square, then round, and presently triangular or oblong.

Now the Advantages of these frequent Visits will not only be so to the Sick, but will produce in us forcible habits of un­daunted Indifferencie a­gainst the Fears and Ap­prehensions of Death in general, and the nearer Approaches of it too, when our selves are assaulted. Our most proper Titles are Ghostly, Spiritual, and such like; to intimate, that 'tis our Trade to be familiarly present and fre­quently assistant at Na­ture's [Page 153] grand Dissection of Soul and Body: It will the better improve our Theologick Knowledge and Skill, as an accurate diligence in Anatomick Exercises doth that of the Chirurgick; besides that the company of a Divine Physician suits well with the Soul, as she is ready to be dismantled of her walls of flesh, and trans­mitted to the better Co­lony of the new Jerusa­lem.

To men of our Functi­on, the sight of Death should be no more terrible [Page 154] than that of our Breath; and we may be ashamed, that our profest hopes of the Bodies Resurrection, and the immediate Feli­city of our Soul, falls short of the courageous Gallan­try of many Heathens, in braving the ghastly King of Terrours to his very face, upon no better or very little more assurance of Immortality, than that of surviving Fame and Glory, or a fruitless Nomen crit indelebile nostrum.

I have known some of us, that not want of Christian Charity, but Courage (in [Page 155] this point) hath with-held from paying their last du­tiful Offices to Sick per­sons; and when a silly common Nurse shall at­tend alone in silent, dismal Night-watches, these men could not approach in open day, without appa­rent damps of Conster­nation. And yet 'tis (doubtless) as natural to die as to live, or as 'tis to be born: and the sight of a Coffin alters me no more than that of a Cradle. Certainly, if the strange appearance of the object startled us, a silly Midwife [Page 156] hath greater reason to be scared at the odde and un­couth Circumstances that accompany Natures thru­sting a Child into the world, than we in duely preparing a departing man or woman for the fami­liar Womb of our common Mother.

I finde little more sur­prize or alteration in my self at the sight of a de­ceased Man, than of any other dead Animal: Nay, why should I not (on the contrary) be much more amazed at this, than that? Since this is an absolute [Page 157] object of irreparable Mor­tality, and a total Priva­tion appears here; in the other, of one Moiety only, and that but to the gene­ral Resurrection.

'Tis Opinion, not Rea­son or Religion, rules men. Dying hath been the com­mon trade and way of all flesh, for almost Six thou­sand years; and more dye by Weekly Computation than are born: Nay, this Champion hath made one single Field such a glo­rious Scene of his Pomp and Luxury, that 500000 Spectacles of Mortality [Page 158] have been at once offered as Victims to the insatiate Fury of one bloudy Bat­tle, 2 Chron. 13. 17. And in such a small Circum­scription of time and place as this, I suppose we never heard, nor ever shall, of an equal number of Nati­vities.

To me to dye is gain, saith St. Paul, Phil. 1. 21. which besides an Enfran­chisement and release from the many troubles of this Life, and the acquisition of eternal Joy, doth also import to me, That by Death and Separation this [Page 159] Concrete becomes two di­stinct Essences; and we are so far from vanishing into nothing, that by the advantageous division of Soul and Body, one single Being branches into a du­plicity of Existences. For our Corps, thô silent and unactive in the cold Lap of common Fate, looses not a whit of its title to Exi­stence; nay, even in this ghastly Privation, there still appear some weak re­mains and faint efforts of a Vegetative Soul.

But our Spirit shall mount up like an Eagle, [Page 160] Isai. 40. 31. on the wings of celestial activity, and greedily grasp all the plea­sures of a perfect Intelli­gence, ranging at large in the infinite Abyss of im­mortal Light & boundless Aboads of Angels. There she will clearly discern the nature of her own Es­sence and Faculties by re­flex Intuition on her self; or else (perhaps) see the perfect Image of her self, and of all things past, pre­sent and to come (to her infinite satisfaction) in the glorious Mirrour of the Eternal Godhead. Nor [Page 161] will she then owe her knowledge to the gross Communications of mate­rial objects, through the weak conveyances of bo­dily sense.

I could (in some fits of contemplative Melancho­ly) fall asleep assoon in a Charnel-house, as in my Bed-chamber; and am of­ten so weary of dull Life, that my greatest delight is in such objects as speak most to its disadvantage. The state and magnificence of a Tomb or Monument, steals a secret wish from me to be Tenant to that [Page 162] quiet, silent Pomp, more than the sight of a sum­ptuous Palace, to be Lord and Master there.

I know that I carry a Ghost always about me, and that I my self am a walking Spirit: This thought allays in me those vulgar fears of the haunts and visits of Spectres. And as I am not at all afraid of my self (unless, when God lets loose his terrours up­on my Soul, and my Con­science lashes me for my sins, Job 18. 11.) so I am very little apprehensive of Apparitions: Nay more, [Page 163] I could wish the Commu­nications more frequent betwixt us and the Inha­bitants of the upper world: It would harden our Christian Courage, fa­miliarize to us the thoughts of Separation; and create in us a passio­nate Love of that Coun­try, from the good report of these spiritual Spies, making us say with cou­rageous Caleb, Let us go up and possess it, Numb. 13. 30.

I could (I thank God) stare a reputed Witch full in the face, with as [Page 164] little terrour as I look up­on a sucking Infani; and boldly retort the poyso­nous emissions of her ma­licious Eyes. For in this I take Balaam at his word (who without doubt had tried the Experiment) that there is no Enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any Divination a­gainst Israel, Numb. 23. 23.

I pretend not by the Title of this small Treatise to any extraordinary Scheme or new draught of Religion for the Clergy, much less would I be [Page 165] thought slily to suggest any neglect or deficiency of theirs in the practice of the Old: I am very very well assured, that Religio Clerici is a direct Tautologie; and yet I de­tract no more from the Sanctimonious Worth of the Clergy, by the con­junction of these two terms, than I deny the Sun to be the Fountain of Light, when I say, Lumen Solis. Only I could wish that we were all, not only good and vertuous, but eminently and in the last degree so [Page 166] too; and that all the les­ser Christian Luminaries might more and more derive Light from us. I would have all the Wis­dome and Vertue that ever appeared in the guise of true Reason in the world, summ'd up and amassed in a Christi­an Priest; especially in a daily, sincere contempt of this world. We should strive clearly to demon­strate the certain hope we have of Eternal Felicity after Death, by being very careless, if at all sen­sible of this Life. And in [Page 167] this let us soar a pitch be­yond the highest flights of the wisest Heathens, and outdo in very fact their utmost Ideas and Hyper­boles.

The excellent Specu­lations of some old Philo­sophers arose ('tis true) to a very great height, and their refined Reason was exercised in most divine Contemplations: But a­las! the better and purer their Notions were of Ver­tue and Sanctity, they became so much the more impracticable to them, and they fell short in the [Page 168] performance of their own Rules and Dictates. The Cause of this natural in­ability and latent impo­tency of their Wills, they were altogether strangers to; and thô they knew in effect most Doctrines of Christian Morality, yet having not the Faith of Jesus, nor by consequence the assistance of God's particular Grace, their knowledge was but of small import and signifi­cancy; nor could it in the very best of them produce actions accepta­ble to God, unless his [Page 169] secret infinite Mercy gave some gracious allowances for that natural corrupti­on which they knew no­thing of, and which was cured but in a poor de­gree by universal Grace.

And this Notion I have framed to my self of the Heathens Morality, en­clines me to believe, that our Wills derived from Adam's disobedience, a de­pravity double to that of our Intellects; for as we see by these Pagans, their Understanding could ex­cellently distinguish, and were (in the Serpent's [Page 170] words) as Gods knowing good and evil, yet were the Imaginations of the thoughts of their hearts always evil continually, Gen. 6. 5. But we Chri­stian Priests, that have successively received all the gradual Communica­tions of Divine Grace, and Sanctifications of the blessed Spirit, from the Font to the Ministry of the holy Altar, are doubly obliged, as we transcend the best of them in the sublime Mysteries of our Faith, so to outstrip them in the most excellent pra­ctices [Page 171] of Evangelical Mo­rality; and not them only, but all others al­so.

Non possumus perficere bonam actionem sine adju­torio Gratiae, is rightly opposed to Pelagius; nor is the proposition only notional: for besides that our Saviour tells us, with­out me ye can do nothing, Joh. 15. 5. And St. Paul, that 'tis God which wor­keth in us, both to will and do, Philip. 2. 13. I have often observed, (in my own narrow oeconomy) that the clearest Convi­ctions [Page 172] of Reason, and strongest Moral Resolu­tions, have proved weak and of small force against the power of most sins; especially against the vio­lent assaults of a comple­xional Vice: We may sin and resolve to the con­trary, and resolve and sin again in infinitum, till with Jacob we wrastle with God, (Gen. 32. 26.) as well as resist the Devil; until by violent Prayer we take Heaven by force, (Matth. 11. 12.) and draw down the assistance of Divine Grace, all our o­ther [Page 173] strongest and most vigorous Efforts will prove feeble and ineffe­ctual. The very Expe­rience of this hath confu­ted Pelagianisme to me, better than a thousand Syllogisms.

I have seldome gone to Bed (in the days of loosest Vanity, and before I was so happy as sincerely to espouse the Predicate, much less had the honour to wear the subject of this Books title) without Py­thagoras his [...], &c. Aur. Carm. My rea­son hath upon an impar­tial [Page 174] summing up that days Evidence made my own Conscience a severe Jury against me, in pronoun­cing a perfect dislike and condemnation of such proceedings: I have then made applications of (as I thought) strong resolves to observe its dictates for the future; and this hath in some measure asswaged the smart of my minde then. But alas! my trial all this while being at the wrong Bar, I could never obtain a true Pardon for old, nor strength against new Lapses: My Incli­nations [Page 175] to sin have dou­bled upon me; and when they felt the Curb of Reason pinch them, they began to be resty; or as if a plain discovery had more and more hardned their countenances, the Sensualities which they privately stole before, they began now to act with remorseless Effron­terie; nay more, they would mutter Arguments for their Justification also: This indeed alarm'd me to the quick; I examin'd my self immediately by the standard of the San­ctuary; [Page 176] fell prostrate at the Throne of Grace, and obtained Balm from Gi­lead to cure the Wounds of my repeated weaknes­ses. And (by this new method) I felt more strength in a short time from a single, but hearty Prayer, Lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from evil, than from all the clearest and nicest reasons and perswasions of the Peripatum, or Por­ticus.

Not but that these Ethicks, together with a rational and impartial [Page 177] survey of ourselves, may produce stronger and bet­ter effects in others than they did in me; but we must not rely on the gui­dance and conviction of these alone to amend us; lest we make no better advances than mere Eth­nicks, by the force of Free-will, and conduct of humane Reason: Com­mon Moralities belonging not (perhaps) to the same species with Evangelical Graces, but differing from them as much in essential Beauty, as these do from the perfection of Ange­lical [Page 178] Obedience. For (I say once more) my Opi­nion is, that our Wills received a deeper tincture of corruption, and a far larger Dose of Depravity from Adam's Fall, than the Intellectual Faculty; forasmuch as we finde the former strongly averse to observe and practise those Doctrines, which the Re­ligion of Jesus teaches, and which some Heathens had a rough draught of from Natural Reason, I mean the Theorems of Morality, and that in no mean measure neither: for [Page 179] excepting such revealed Mysteries as have a pecu­liar relation to the incom­prehensible Theanthropy, What sublime Doctrine of Christian Philosophy have they not hinted? Even so far, as to the forgiving and loving their Enemies. But yet, I can­not believe that their actions were in a suitable degree correspondent to their Principles, nor did their practices make ad­vances equal to their Speculations and Theorick Knowledge. Why should any man therefore vainly [Page 180] rely upon that pretended mighty thing, the natural strength of Free-Will? Let us Christians rather exclaim, Non nobis, Do­mine, non nobis, &c.

If it were possible to encline me to the Prede­stinarian Opinion, the urging the ninth Chapter to the Romans would not work half so much upon me, as our Lord and Sa­viour's Answer to that Question, Lord, are there few that are saved? Strive (saith he, Luke, 13. 24.) to enter in at the strait gate, for many (I [Page 181] say unto you) will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

And truly when I con­sider the little sence and knowledge which most Christians (to omit by ten times the greater part of mankinde) have of the Divine Life, how deeply the generality is immersed in the prejudices of Na­ture, clouded with dull grosness of Intellect, and inapprehensive Ignorance of the true state of Na­ture, and the Methods and Conditions of their Redemption; Slaves to [Page 182] Vices of Constitution or Habit, diverted by ne­cessary cares and worldly business, intangled in (al­most) unavoidable Inju­stices of Commerce and Traffique, and wholly ta­ken up with affairs of Natural or Political Life; in a word, led captive to sin, by the Lusts of the Flesh, the lusts of the Eye, and Pride of Life, 1 Joh. 2. 16. When too, I ob­serve the natural avers­ness of our Wills, the many exact circumstances required to compleat a good action, Bonum ex [Page 183] integrâ causâ, malum ex quolibet defectu: When I regard the way almost of all Flesh since Adam, how senceless and careless of celestial business; but a­bove all, when I think on the most incredible obsti­nacy (had not God said it) and prodigious per­versness of the antient Jews, under the palpable sense and ocular Convi­ctions of Miracles and Judgments: When I read Adam stumbled and fell amidst all the Rays of Divinity in Paradise; that Peter with cowardly [Page 184] Perjury could deny his Master (Mat. 26. 74.) the known Son of God, con­trary to fair warning gi­ven him by his Lord, and all his late bravadoes of Fidelity even to Death, Mat. 26. 34, 35. and more than all this, contrary to his great and glorious Confession, Mat. 16. 16. That wise Solomon sacri­ficed to the Devil, althô he had seen God twice, 1 King. 11. 8, 9. When, I say, I sum up all this to­gether, I wonder (with deep adoration of God's Mercy) that any one man [Page 185] is saved, and snatcht from amongst the strong En­tanglements of the World, the Flesh, and the Devil, whose indefatigable tem­ptations, and sly Devices to entrap us, I forgot to mention.

But again, when I pon­der the methods of God's gracious dealing with us in the infallible Revela­tions of his Will in his holy Word; his passionate Expostulations, and kinde Invitations, by promises of Eternal Life and Feli­city; his disswasions from Sin, by dreadful Threats [Page 186] of endless Misery, all which in all other Cases are the first and most for­cible Motives of humane Actions: But above all, when I reflect upon the stupendious Mystery of the Godhead's becoming Flesh for our Redemption, the Ineffable Majesty; grand import and signifi­cancy, strong and com­fortable Efficacy, and the final End and Designe of that incomprehensible piece of Mercy, together with the helps and com­forts of the holy Sacra­ments, those sure Con­veiances [Page 187] of assisting Grace, the inward workings of the Holy Spirit, together with our own strong Convictions, and the Pa­nacaea of all desperate re­peated Falls and Aposta­sies, (God's gracious ac­ceptance of true, though never so late) Repentance; considering (I say) all these, 'tis a Miracle to me, how any Rational Man should finally miscarry to damnation, much less that after all this, the surplusage of number should still lye on the side of the casta­ways. And I am more and [Page 188] more plunged and puzled in this point, when I nar­rowly consider the Mo­tives and Reasons of hu­mane Actions, and the true nature of Free-will. The bare freedom of our Will hath certainly all reasons imaginable to ballance it on the side of Vertue and Piety; it is not only cured of its natural corruption by Grace, but the power of this Grace must be al­lowed to have the pre­valency above the force of any temptation, Rom. 5. 20, 21. For 'tis dero­gatory to our Saviour's [Page 189] Merits to imagine, that we are still left to strug­gle with sin upon unequal oddes.

Their Notion of Will who suppose it a Faculty distinct from the Intellect, I approve not of; and to call it a blinde Power, yet allow it liberty of Electi­on, is beyond my under­standing to apprehend. I rather understand the Will to be the last reso­lution of the Intellectual Faculty, as it tends to action in exerting its power: So that I think Intellectus practicus may [Page 190] include Will too well e­nough; For what ever humane action proceeds from rational Volition, is supposed (more or less) to have passed the delibe­ration of our Understan­ding; that is, the very same power of a reasonable Soul (for I think not the Faculties distinct) first considers and judges, then determines it self to a­ction.

Yet there are some hu­mane Actions where vio­lent surprize or the for­cible sway of a constitu­tional Vice may hurry the [Page 191] Will to sudden choice, before the Intellect in that confusion can appear at the Election; as in Fits of Cholerick or Lustful Passions: But these seem to me actions of the Ani­mal rather than the Man, and more properly spon­taneous than free: And yet we have a few In­stances of the Triumph of Grace over sudden pro­voking Temptations even of this sort, as in David's patient Meekness in the business of Shimei, 2 Sam. 16. 9, 10. when Abishai (thô not pointed at) was [Page 192] all on fire with bloudy rage and fury, as indeed it was his duty: And Joseph's resisting the im­portunate Sollicitations, and at last almost Ravish­ment of his Masters Wife in instanti, contrary to Flesh and Bloud, Interest and Ambition, that with joynt forces assaulted his Honour and Honesty all at once, as the case then stood. But to return, I suppose an humane Soul to be a Simple Thinking Essence, that judges and acts with rational delibe­ration, and which hath [Page 193] more and stronger Mo­tives ab intra and ab extra so to do, in matters of Christian Duty, than in any other occasions of Life whatsoever. By all this I mean, in a word, if there be greater Motives in Religion to incline this free thinking Soul of ours (according to her own common natural way of working) to good a­ctions, than any other Principle can pretend to, to declien her to bad, (and which motives she firmly believes and as­sents to) how can we in [Page 194] Reason, Religion, or Phi­losophy solve the general Inclinations of Christians in the gross the other way, when the more for­cible poize lies here; un­less we make her freedom (like that of Fortune's) the most senceless indif­ferency imaginable; and that she hath no regard or dependence on knowledg or perswasion, but lets her actions out loose, and at rovers; which is Non-sence to me.

But farther still, to choose a finite good be­fore an Infinite, a tempo­ral [Page 195] before an eternal, that is (in short) a less before a greater; nay more, to choose in effect willingly her own destruction, for the sake of a present Pleasure or Interest, this is all to act quite contrary to all her other common Methods of proceeding in any other cases whatso­ever. To say she could not absolutely be free, unless she could do thus, (i. e. act against the very Principles of her being, & those of Self-preservation) and that such a bare in­determinate Power is the [Page 196] especial Prerogative of her freedome) is nothing but what I will grant; but yet still for all that, 'tis natural and rational to presume that this ab­solutely Free will should rather, and most generally, in most Cases be directed (in Religion especially) by the dictates of clear Judgment, and convictions of Understanding: And since these in the business of Christianity bend (con­fessedly) to the side of Vertue and Goodness, Why are not the most of men (according to this [Page 197] explanation of our Wills motion and operation) ballanced rather that way, than the other, as we see daily? If any one urge here the natural impotency in our Wills derived from Adam's corruption: I re­joyn (as before) that the Death of Christ and God's Grace doth abundantly poyze that Infirmity, nay more, helps our Will to advantage above that. But farther still, 'tis our nature to be rational; 'tis highly rational to be religious: what an excellent conse­quence doth now naturally [Page 198] follow? and yet (I fear) a thousand to one de facto miscarry: Little Flock, saith our Saviour, Luk. 12. 32. that startles me.

These Considerations, that the generality of Man­kinde (Christians I mean) act according to their Capacities in the true di­scernment of the Colours of Good and Evil, in all (or most) cases but Reli­gion, (which nevertheless is their greatest Interest, by confest plain Convi­ction) this, I say, general miscarriage of Free-will, together with our Savi­our's [Page 199] aforesaid Answer to the Question, Luk. 13. 24. inclines me to fear (till I am better informed) that few men are happy in the absolute use of unrestrain'd Freedome, but that in most there is a secret imper­ceptible clog upon humane Will in its tendencies and operations.

To sum up all, if our Will be free, and that freedom not simply blinde, but naturally (much more spiritually) directed by Understanding; and that Understanding informed by the confest Truths and [Page 200] strong Convictions of Re­ligion (tending to Self-preservation Positive and Negative in the highest degree) and these again assisted and inclinable to action by Divine Grace; and if there be a present Redress and effectual Re­medy by Repentance for all possible Lapses; How comes the generality of us to force Nature, Reason, Religion, Conviction, De­monstration & Interest to act directly against their re­spective proper Principles? How is it that the true Israelites pitch like two [Page 201] little flocks of Kids; but the Syrians fill the Coun­trey? 1 Kin. 20. 27. How is it that the number of the Goats so far exceeds that of the Sheep? The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are re­vealed belong unto us, that we may do all the words of the Law, Deut. 29. 29.

Such Contemplative Perplexities as these, do sometimes entertain my private thoughts, I con­fess, but I make no farther Consequences than what you have just now read; [Page 202] nor do I harbour the least surmise that touches the Justice of the most Just God, or deduce any In­ference that may have a bad influence on my acti­ons; nor do I follow the lewd humour of this Age in urging Necessity and Impossibility, as Compur­gators for their habitual wicked practices. I con­clude no Necessity, or irreversible Decree abso­lutely from these and such like Meditations; but think when I am most puzzled, that then my poor weakness and Igno­rance [Page 203] appears most.

I believe my Will ab­solutely free in all actions barely Moral and Politi­cal; and in Divine, that there is a concurrence of my freedome with super­natural Grace. If I did not credit the former, I should make my self a Machine, mere Clock­work; and if I distrusted the latter, the Book of God and Religion seems Impo­sture and Delusion. All my Amusements arise from hence, that (in all appea­rance) a thousand to one miscarry, when (if all had [Page 204] a free use of their princi­ples) there seems to be a thousand to one that they should not.

I will now return to what engaged me in this casual digression, (which yet was so great a block in my way, as that I could not well step over it) viz. That I would have all things Sacred, Wise and Vertuous, included in the very name of Christian Priest. And since all the true Philosophy (Divine and Moral, I mean) that hath ever been since A­dam, is sublimated by the [Page 205] refined Doctrines of the great Messiah, I would have my Priest a magni­fying Mirrour of it all; or in our Saviours words, Be the light of the world, Mat. 5. 14.

'Tis a dull thing to jog through all the stages of this Life in the common Road of Nature, and to live over again the vulgar ordinary Life, that the generality of Men have done since Adam, to be governed by Sense and Convenience, and look no farther than the Sun, Moon or Stars; unless [Page 206] likewise we refine our Thoughts and Wishes to the last degree, mould our gross Natures anew, and create a difference as great betwixt the vulgar herd of Mankinde and our selves, as is betwixt them and Brutes: Let us but truely regard the transcen­dency and nobility of our Function, whose Heraldry cannot be Blazon'd be­neath Saturn. We may (in this case) invert the sence of our Saviour's words, & say, No Prophet has Mat. 13. 57. honour but in his own [Page 207] Country. Heaven is the Kingdome from whence we are delegated as Am­bassadours of Christ, not as Residents; and we should long to be called back. If we Priests are indeed in good earnest as to the business of the upper world, 'tis a wonder to me, that our most pas­sionate Desires make not good the words of St. Paul literally, in wishing to 1 Cor. 15. 31. dye dayly.

The enjoyment of my Saviour in the Heaven of Heavens, in his Humane [Page 208] Nature, whereby he is graciously pleased to be­come not a Mediator on­ly, but Interpreter also betwixt my Soul and the incomprehensible and un­intelligible Godhead, raises Ecstatick Languishments often in my longing minde to adjourn from this gross body, and I desire to depart and to be with Christ, Phil. 1. 23.

The Joys of the Hea­venly Jerusalem as they are supernatural, so con­trary to the nature of all other Objects, they en­crease and magnifie by [Page 209] distance; appearing so much the bigger to me, because I cannot see them at all: and when my Eye hath passed the Regions of the Stars, which shew still less and less by length of prospect, all things a­bove them encrease by divine Contemplation, and grow greater and greater, till I am lost and swal­lowed up in the Infinity of my Maker. The bounds of my Native Country begin, where the biggest of the fixt Stars would be invisible, and the Fron­tiers of Heaven lye be­yond [Page 210] the Ken of Sense. These thoughts run me almost to raptures una­wares. But as I was say­ing, since our Faith hath Mysteries beyond the highest reach of Plato's Ideas, and that our Do­ctrines are refined above the purest of the great Aristotle's Ethicks, and our Precepts of Self-denial, better and more agreeable to Humane Nature than the impracticable Apathie of the Romantick Stoicks; Let us outlive the Wis­dome and Philosophy of the whole world, and out­do [Page 211] them all at their own weapon. In order to all which, the skill of a Chri­stian Priest can no ways appear so clearly, as in a perfect contempt of this world; in which there is nothing worth the regards of a wise man. 'Tis true, we finde a continual long­ing in our Souls after some thing, which we cannot meet with here; and there­fore we trace the sum­mum bonum (to no pur­pose) through all the va­rious Mazes of Nature, till the repetition of the most delightful objects [Page 212] turns nauseous, and leaves us more to seek than when we first began: We never run in View of it here (when we are most pleased) but after all our tiresome Courses finde in the close, that we have all the while hunted our selves weary by a wrong Scent.

Nay more, the very keenest pleasures of Na­ture, and such as the grea­test Sensualists rhodomon­tade most upon, affect us least, when they are grea­test, and glut but Sence to an Insensibility; or else [Page 213] they vanish in the em­brace, dye in the grasp, leaving not the least track of flavour or sweetness behind, but rather a dis­satisfyed and still craving Appetite.

Besides all this, the pleasures of this life con­cern the brute more pro­perly than the man; nor do the highest sensible joys touch the better half of humane nature, unless it be to its abatement and disadvantage: for Reason is always at the lowest ebb, if not quite extinct, in acts of the greatest sensuality.

But that the people may verily believe us, when we promise to car­ry them to a Land flow­ing with milk and honey; that they may indeed think us in good earnest, when we tell them, that eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entred into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him, 1 Cor. 2. 9. let none of us in any fashi­on cast a longing look backward on the fleshpots of Egypt, in our advances to the heavenly Canaan. [Page 215] And above all, we must express lively the deep sense and stedfast trust we have of heavenly trea­sure, in being regardless of this worlds wealth, and of the Mammon of un­righteousness: to set any extraordinary value upon which, is in all men irre­ligious, in a Cburchman abominable and odious; 'tis base Idolatry, Col. 3. 5. and blasphemy to Divine Providence; 'tis to unra­vel the peculiar principle of Christianity, and run retrograde to the steps of the holy Jesus: 'tis to set [Page 216] up golden Calves in Be­thel, and by ill example to hinder the people from going to Jerusalem to worship. The vulgar ex­pect, and justly too, some­what extraordinary in the Priests; but when they see them tempted in all things like unto them­selves, and yet not with­out as great sin; when the same corrupt passions and worldly affections appear in them, how should vul­gar prejudice and igno­rance believe their Do­ctrines, or not despise their persons? We are obliged [Page 217] above all men to approve our selves the Disciples of Christ, by imitating in a due measure the simple meanness and plain po­verty of our Saviours Life and Conversation; at least (when our accidental grandeur is greatest) we must be poor in Matth. 5. 3. spirit. No eager pursuit, or restless intemperate de­sire of wealth or honour, must be harboured by us, who are to fix Heb. 11. 16 our whole hopes on ano­ther Country; and we should confess our selves strangers and Pilgrims on [Page 218] this Earth, by the precept and examples of all the holy Prophets and Apo­stles throughout the whole Book of God. But if our heavenly Father have blessed us with afflu­ence and increase, 'tis im­pious to let his bounty be­get a base and sordid par­cimony in us, whom by this he designed as dispen­sers and stewards of his goodness and providence to the poor, the Father­less and the Widow. Pure Jam. 1. 27. Religion and un­desiled before God, saith St. James, is to visit the [Page 219] fatherless and widows in their affliction. And St. John, Whoso hath 1 Joh. 3. 17. this Worlds good, and seeth his Brother have need, and shutteth his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

We are the poor man's Advocate and Sollicitor with others, and our selves are the proper Chanels and Conveyances through whom God derives his refreshing streams to the needy; and if, in their running tho­row our hands, they leave [Page 220] but enough behind them to satisfie our own neces­sary wants and occasions, 'tis all we can in duty call ours.

For the rich therefore among us to be close­handed, and niggardly towards the want of our Brethren, and to fancy we have performed our part in Preaching to save their Souls, when at the same time we let their Bodies starve; this is a Crime of a deeper die than to fall under the notion of common Avarice; 'tis with Sacrilegious hands [Page 221] to stop the current of God's Goodness, and to rob the publick stock of Providence. But a Dis­course of this kinde here, I hope is al ogether need­less; And these brief Hints are designed more to prevent oversights of this kinde that may hap­pen, than to suggest any neglect that now are.

I am naturally inclined to Tenderness and Pity, and therefore consider it not in my self as a Vertue. The Pain of a Brute me­thinks touches my sense in the remote relation of [Page 222] animality: But as I am included in the mass of Mankinde, and am a piece of the Species; so again I think each part of that (in a manner) a piece of me; at least 'tis a member of that whole, whereof I my self am also a part: And therefore I cannot see a Wound, or Hurt, or Grief in another, but I fancy I feel it in my self; and a certain sensible Pain is derived to me by Sym­pathetick Communication, as I have one share in the whole. And thus methinks in easing the Grief, or want [Page 223] or pain of another, I apply a Remedy to my own Sore, and asswage the smart of that Pain, which I feel in the great body of Man­kinde.

But still farther: the Suf­ferings of another affect me (yet still) by a nearer and more tender concern, and as I am a Member of Christs Mystical Body, the least Dolour in any other part touches me to the quick, and I easily Sympathize with the wants of a Fellow-Member; otherwise I should fear I had no part with my Saviour, or as a dead Mem­ber [Page 224] had lost all sense of the Divine Life.

And now (Reader) to sum up all (thô much more might be said on the noble subject of this Trea­tise) as I entertained thy first glance with a Figure at the beginning, so I will conclude all in presenting thee a slight Pourtrait of a true Clergyman.

He is one that fears God and the King, and meddles not with them that are given to change; he be­lieves and can prove, that the King is Head of [Page 225] Church and State imme­diately under God, and that He is accountable to none but Heaven. He zealously asserts the Royal Prerogative, and reveres the Fundamental Laws of the Land, and that for Conscience sake; yet neither basely fawns, nor busily rails himself (the better trick of the two) into Preferment. The Word of God is his Com­pass, and his Conscience the Needle by which he steers as steady a Course in the most tempestuous, as in the most serene and [Page 226] calmest Weather. He knows his Commission runs high, and his Character to be great, as he is the Ambassadour of the King of Heaven; and therefore he dares not stoop out of base fear to any unwar­rantable compliance to the dishonour of his Ma­ster, as also pretends not a false Licence by an as­suming Pride to affront the Princes that give him Audience. If by his Pru­dence and Conduct his Ambassage meets with suc­cess, and answers the de­sires of his Master, he is [Page 227] joyful; if with neglect or contempt, he rails not: but at his recalling home (he knows) must make his Report at his Master's Court. If any miscarriage have hapned through his folly or fear, he knows very well that the punish­ment is Capital. He strives not to make himself re­ver'd by a starcht Deport­ment, affected Gravity, or a mortified Grimace; but by acts of Piety, Loy­alty, and Charity: and his Motto is Semper Idem, as having the same meek even Temper of Minde [Page 228] when Bishop, as when Vi­car. If he be not very Learned, he is neverthe­less honest and painful in his Calling: if he be, he is not assuming or dogma­tical, much less an ill-bred pedantick Opiniator. He is dutiful to his Diocesan, and obedient to his Ordi­nary; and his Conversa­tion towards his Flock is an equal mixture of Affa­bility, Gravity, and Meek­ness. He carefully calcu­lates his Sermons for the Meridian of his Parishio­ners, and reproves their Irregularities with awe [Page 229] and reverence from the Pulpit, where 'tis the word of God; but with a more familiar Gentle­ness in private Converse, where 'tis his own. If by chance he light into Company profane or ob­scene, he expresses a dis­like rather grave than morose; and can tell when to reprove with Raillery, when with Seve­rity: He knows too, when to rebuke one Oath will occasion half a score, and an affront to the Parson to boot; this boisterous rude company of all he [Page 230] shuns, where contempt must needs follow both ways. He can easily and adjustly act the Scholar or the Gentleman, as oc­casion requires; but his general Conversation hath a due mixture of both. At Table his discourse is the most savoury Sawce, and here he is liberal and ho­spitable, as knowing very well that Principles of Obedience and Confor­mity work best, when they are taken down in good Meat and Drink gratis. He is dutiful and thankful to his Patron, yet cannot [Page 231] connive at, much less flat­ter his Vice: In a word, he hath true Christian Courage, and fears not man that can kill the bo­dy and do no more.

The End.

Some Books Printed for Henry Brome.

  • DR. Comber's Para­phrase on the Com­mon Prayer, in four Vo­lumes, in Octavo.
  • Seneca's Morals in three Vol. Octavo.
  • Dr. Heylin on the Creed, in Folio.
  • The Fathers Legacy to his Friends, containing the whole Duty of Man.
  • Dr. Du-Moulin's Week of Prayers.
  • Christianity no Enthusiasm.
  • Dr. Woodford on the Psalms.
  • [Page]—His Divine Poems.
  • The Guide to Eternity.
  • Precepts and Practical Rules for a truly Christian life.
  • Mr. Camfield's Discourse of Angels.
  • The Reformed Catholick, or the Love of Jesus.
  • The Lives of the Grand Viziers.
  • The History of the Savarites.
  • Bp. Wilkins Real Character in Fol.
  • —His Natural Religion.
  • The History of the Irish Re­bellion in Fol.
  • The Life of the Great Duke Espernon.
  • Montluck's Commentaries, fol.
  • [Page]Bp. Cousens against Tran­substantiation.
  • Mr. Simpson's Compendium of Musick. His Violist.
  • Dr. Comber's Advice to Roman Catholicks.
  • Dr. Lloyd's several Ser­mons and Tracts in De­fence of the Church.
  • Dr. Spratt's four Sermons.
  • —His Plague of Athens.
  • Speed's Maps in Fol. and his Epitom.
  • Six Witty Conversations.
  • Pharmacopoeia Londin. fol.
  • Spencer's Works, in fol.
  • Mr. Banister's Ayres.
  • Dr. Whitby against Host-worship.
  • [Page]The Fair one of Tunis.
  • Mr. Hickman's Sermon be­fore the Lord Mayor.
  • Dr. Glanvil's zealous and impartial Protestant.
  • Barbett's Practice of Physic.
  • Vossius of the Winds and Seas.
  • Pool's Parnassus in English.
  • The Scholars Guide from the Accidence to the University.
  • Plots and Conspiracies.
  • Counter-Plot.
  • Way of Peace, Love & Truth.
  • Centum Fabulae.
  • Anatomy of the Elder.
  • Artis Oratoriae.
  • Skinner's Lexicon in Fol.
  • [Page]Education of Children.
  • Sir Kenelm Digby's Re­ceipts.
  • Virgil Travesty.
  • Lucian Burlesque.
  • The Exact Constable.
  • Dr. Starkey's Apology for the Church.
  • The Planters Manual.
  • The Compleat Gamester.
  • Dr. Glisson's Anatomy.
  • Glisson's Common Law E­pitomis'd.
  • Dr. Ford's Sermon on the Man whose Legs and Arms rotted off.
  • Boscobel, or the Kings E­scape at Worcester.
  • Study to be quiet.

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