REASONS Humbly offer'd For a LAW to enact the CASTRATION OF Popish Ecclesiastics, As the best way to prevent the Growth of POPERY IN ENGLAND.

LONDON, Printed, and are to be sold by A. Baldwin in Warwicklane, 1700.

REASONS Humbly offer'd for a Law to enact the Castration of Popish Ecclesia­sticks, &c.

THE Honourable House of Commons hav­ing been pleas'd to take into their Con­sideration the unaccountable growth of Popery amongst us of late, and to ap­point a Committee to consider of Ways and Means for preventing the same: It is thought fit, among the croud of Proposals for that end, to publish what follows.

We may, without intrenching upon the Province of Divines, make bold to assert, That when the Church of Rome is call'd in the Sacred Scriptures, The Mother of Harlots, and of the Abominations of the Earth; there's something else meant by it than a mere Religious Impurity, or going a whoring after false Gods, as their Saints and Angels, and multi­tudes of Mediators between God and Men un­doubtedly are. We need but cast our Eye upon Platina's Lives of the Popes, and turn over a few [Page 4] Leaves of the Historys of most Nations of Europe, to be convinc'd that the Romish Clergy have ever since the Pope's Usurpation been branded with Unclean­ness. The wanton Observation made by Henry the 4th of France, as he passed one day betwixt a Friary and a Nunnery, That the latter was the Barn, and the former were the Threshers, was found to have too much of truth in it in all those Countrys where Monasterys were overturn'd or search'd upon the Re­formation. The vast heaps of Childrens Bones that were found in draw-wells, and other places about them, were speaking, tho not living Monuments of the horrid Impurity, as well as barbarous Cruelty of those pretended Religious Communities. To insist any more upon this, were to accuse the Age of inexcusable Ignorance in History, and therefore we shall con­clude this Introduction with an Observation from Fox's Acts and Monuments, That before the Reforma­tion the Priests alone were computed to have 100000 Whores in this Kingdom; which must be understood of what the Dialect of those times call'd Lemmans, from the French L'amante, that is, in the modern Phrase, kept Misses; besides their promiscuous Whore­doms with the Women, they confessed, &c.

This horrid Uncleanness of the Romish Clergy cannot appear incredible to those who consider, that besides their being judicially given up of God to work all manner of Uncleanness with greediness, their Vow of Chastity, and being forbidden to mar­ry, lays them under a temptation peculiar to their Order.

It will yet appear less strange if we consider their way of living, and opportunity: They eat and [Page 5] drink of the best, are caressed in all Families of their Way; have an advantage of knowing the Inclina­tions, and of private converse with Women by their Auricular Confession, and by their pretended Power to give Pardon; have a Door open to perswade the committing of one Sin for expiating another, and accordingly improve it.

This is so far from being a Calumny, that the Po­pish Laity themselves in all Ages and Countrys have been sensible of it; and therefore most of the Popish Kingdoms sollicited the Council of Trent to allow Priests marriage. But the Pope, for Reasons we shall touch anon, did not think fit to grant it; tho AEneas Silvius himself, afterwards Pope, was so fully convinc'd of the necessity of it, that he said, Tho Priests were forbidden to marry for very good Reasons, yet there were better Reasons to allow it.

They that have travel'd in Popish Countrys, and observ'd their Priests and Monks, know, that gene­rally speaking, they carry about them no marks of that Austerity and Mortification which they pretend to. They look as fat, and generally fatter than other Men; which is an infallible Token that they fare as well, if not better, than others do. You shall see as white and plump a Hand under a Monk's Hood, as in any Family of Quality; and a Foot as clean and neat many times in a Sandal, as is to be found under a Spanish Leather Shoe and silk Stockin: Nor is it a­ny Secret, that in the Neighbourhood of Convents there's as good Diet prepar'd for the use of Monks and Nuns, as comes to Gentlemens Tables. Nay, those very places of Retirement, with their large Gardens, adorn'd with Walks and Shades, and many [Page 6] times water'd by pleasant Fountains or murmuring Streams, together with their idle way of living, seem to be accommodated to inspire them with amo­rous Sentiments, against which their Vows of Cha­stity, and the Rules of their Order, are so far from be­ing Preservatives, that they only add Fewel to their Flames, and make them commit Sin with the higher relish. So that when they go abroad from their Mo­nasterys, they are like so many fed Horses neighing, as the Scripture expresses it of the lustful Iews, after every Woman they see; and if they have not op­portunity of giving vent to their Lusts that way, they many times do it by other methods, which Na­ture, as well as Religion forbids to name. This we may justly suppose to have been the Motive that induc'd Emanuel de Saa in his Aphorisms to maintain that Fornication, Adultery and Sodomy did not make a Priest irregular, whereas Marriage did.

If besides their being forbidden to marry, we consider that they are provided for by the sweat of other mens Faces, have no Familys to take care of, have no hard Labour to mortify and keep them low, and are under no Obligation to study hard, we shall find that there's no Reason to wonder if they be more inclinable to Venery than any other Men what­soever: and since by experience it is found to be so, forbidding them Marriage may well be call'd a Doc­trine of Devils, both as to its Original and Effects. That it comes from the Devil, the Father of Lies, and by consequence the Author of every false Doctrine, is not to be controverted, since the Law of God and Nature commands us to increase and multiply, and fits us for it; and that it might be in a regular way, [Page 7] God himself instituted Marriage in Paradise, and the Apostle tells us, that Marriage is honourable in all: and that this Doctrine is devilish in its Effects, is evident from the horrid impurity of the Romish Clergy abovemention'd, and the Mischiefs they do by it to particular Persons, Families, Kingdoms, and Commonwealths.

We come next to take a view of the Cause, why the Court of Rome does so stifly insist on the Ce­libacy of their Clergy, which will further demon­strate the reasonableness of Guelding them, to pre­vent their infesting this Nation.

Tho Rome pretends to have changed her Religion, and hath actually changed her form of Government, by taking an Ecclesiastical instead of a Temporal Head; yet it's visible she hath abated nothing of her Ambition, to be mistress of the Universe, and did in a great measure effect it by her Papacy, to which so great a part of those call'd Christian Nations sub­mitted before the Reformation. So as Catiline, when Rome was Heathen, thought it necessary to debauch the Women, and then to carry on his Conspiracy a­gainst the Government by their Interest, because of the influence leud Women had upon the loose Rab­ble, and that they could either murder their Hus­bands, or bring them over to his Party. Rome since it became Antichristian, hath injoin'd Celibacy upon her Clergy, that they might be rendered the more apt to debauch Women, and to make use of their Interest in order to deprive the Civil Magis­trates of their Right, and to usurp the Temporal, as well as the Spiritual Sword.

[Page 8]1. Because they know that Nature having inclin'd all Men to propagate their Species, their Priests so and so circumstantiated, as beforementioned, could not possibly refrain from the Act, tho they were not allow'd to do it in a regular way: and therefore so many Women as they debauch, which they knew by their Circumstances and Opportunity must needs be innumerable, so many Proselytes they were sure of.

2. Because they knew that their Clergy being pam­per'd and restrain'd from the use of the Marriage-Bed, must needs be more inclinable to Venery than other Men, and consequently more pleasing Companions to insatiable Women, and therefore the better fitted for the practice of creeping into Houses, and leading cap­tive silly Women, laden with divers Lusts, as the A­postle expresses it.

3. Because they knew that their Clergy by this means having an Opportunity of bringing to their Lure a buxom Wife, who perhaps has a sickly, weak, or absent Husband, a Green-sickness Daughter, or a wanton Maid; they would by the same Means be­come masters in a manner of all that belong'd to the Family, have the command of their Purses, know all their Secrets, and improve all to the advantage of the See of Rome, which indulg'd them thus with a Mahomet's Paradise.

4. By restraining their Clergy from Marriage, they knew it would make them the more impetuous to satisfy their desires; and that they might have the better Opportunity of doing it, they are injoin'd by their Directory in confessing Women to examine them most as to the Sins of the Flesh, which they [Page 9] tell 'em they must discover on pain of Damnation. This being a ready Method to inflame them mu­tually, attended with Secrecy, and the Priests pre­tended Power of giving a Pardon, they knew it could not miss of the design'd Effect; they knew al­so that so many of those silly Women as they capti­vated, so many Champions and Advocates for their Religion they should have in Families, Courts, or else­where; for they might assure themselves that such Women would not easily part with a Religion that did so much gratify their depraved Appetites, by allowing them as many Men, tho not Husbands, as they have Priests or Confessors. And therefore many of the wise Popish Laicks have been of Opi­nion themselves, that no Man ought to confess a Wife but her Husband, and that a Daughter ought to be confess'd by none but her Father.

5. Another, and that none of the least Reasons why they forbid Marriage to their Ecclesiasticks, is, That if they had Wives or Families, they could not so easily be sent on Missions, and encompass Sea and Land to make Proselytes. They would not be so ready, nor so fit to engage in Assassinations, Conspi­racies, and Rebellions against Princes and States, at the Commands of their Superior: Nor could they by their Whoredoms so much propagate the Interest of the great Harlot; for then their Wives would be so many checks and spies upon them.

From all which it seems reasonable to infer, that the best way to rid this Kingdom of Popish Priests, and to prevent the growth of Popery, is to make a Law, that all of them who shall be discover'd in Eng­land, except such as are thought fit to be allowed [Page 10] to Foreign Ambassadors, shall be Guelded, as they are in Sweden; where since the same was Enacted into a Law, and practis'd upon a few of them, that Kingdom hath never been infested with Popish Clergy, or Plots, nor their Women reproach'd with want of Chastity.

This will appear the more reasonable, if we con­sider that the Havock they are allow'd to make of Womens Chastity, is one of the principal things that induces lustful Fellows to take Romish Orders upon them, and to ingage in desperate Designs to pro­mote the Interest of that Church. This any Man may easily be convinc'd of, that will give himself leave to consider, what dangers other Men of bet­ter Principles, and who may have Opportunities of satisfying Nature by lawful Marriage, do many times expose themselves to, for the Satisfaction of their brutish Passions, and how they frequently sacri­fice Honour, Interest, and Estate, with the peace of their Families and Consciences, to their irregular Appetites of that sort.

The Case then being thus, let's consider what a deluge of Uncleanness may be pour'd out upon this Nation by 1000 or 2000, supposing there were no more of those Popish Ecclesiasticks in England at a time; especially since they look upon it to be their Interest to debauch the Nation, as one of the best Expedients to advance Popery, as was evi­dent from the practice of the late Reigns: and therefore it seems to be the natural way of obvi­ating the growth of Popery, to make the Romish Ecclesiasticks uncapable of promoting it by that Method which they like best, and find most successful.

[Page 11]It will still appear to be more reasonable, because they have vow'd Chastity, and by their own Con­fession have no occasion for those Seminary Vessels; therefore if they resolv'd to live as they have sworn to do, they would willingly unman themselves as Origen did; so far would they be from having any reason to complain, if others should do it for them.

It can no ways be reckon'd cruel, since it may be done without hazard of Life, as common Experi­ence shews both in Man and Beast, and by conse­quence less to be complain'd of, than those Laws which condemn them to the Gallows. There have been more Priests put to death in England, than ever were guelded in Sweden; yet Experience teaches us it hath not had near so good an effect. This is de­monstrable from the many Conspiracies against our Princes and Nation, that the Priests have form'd since the enacting of those Laws, and from the great pro­gress their Idolatry makes among us at this very day; whereas Sweden, since the enacting of that Law, hath been liable to none of these Misfortunes. This Law of Castration occasion'd a pleasant Raillery upon the Jesuits at Brussels by Queen Christina of Sweden. When those Fathers came to congratulate her there upon her Conversion, they entertain'd her, among other things, with the wonderful Effects of their Mis­sions in the Indies, and other remote parts: That Princess applauded their Zeal, but at the same time rebuk'd their Indifference for her Country of Swe­den, where their Indeavours were so much needed: She pleasantly told them, That tho the Law of Ca­stration was a Bar in their way, they ought not to prefer the keeping of those things of which they [Page 12] stood in no need, and of which she hop'd they made no use to the advancement of the Catholic Faith. But this, tho the severest Reproof in the World, has never been able to bring the Romish Clergy to so much sense of their Duty, as to renew their Attempts of converting Sweden. This may serve to confirm the Story told us of an old Capu­chin in the Menagiana, the Works of the Abbot Menage, that he rejected the Advice of his Physici­ans to be cut of the Stone, for fear it should make him Impotent, tho he was then 80 Years of Age.

Namque ad Vivendum castrari valde recusat,
Et propter vitam vivendi perdere causam.

The Romish Clergy have so much accustom'd themselves to those impure Pleasures, that they will be sure to avoid those Countrys where they must be rendred uncapable of injoying them.

If it be thought that the Laws already made will be more effectual against them, there's no need of repealing them, tho a new one of Castration be ad­ded. Since that hath had so good an Effect in Swe­den, we have no reason to despair of the like here. It's generally concluded, that our English Women are as tempting as any in Europe, and are therefore as likely to prevail on a Romish Priest to venture hang­ing to injoy their Favours as any others: But if they be rendred uncapable of it, the temptation will have no force; and so the Priests will save their Lives, our Women will preserve their Chastity, and our Religion and Liberty will be freed from their At­taques.

[Page 13]The only Objection of weight that can be made against it is, that it may provoke our Popish Allies, and other Popish Princes, to treat Protestant Mini­sters in the like manner. To which we answer, That admitting it should be so, it is not half so bad as to have them broke on the Wheel, Hang'd, or sent to the Gallies. In the next place, there's not the like Reason for treating Protestant Ministers in that man­ner, for they generally marry; or if they be guilty of Uncleanness, are thrust from the Ministry. And in the last place, there's no Reason why we should have any more regard to our Allies, or other Popish Princes, than they have to us. We hear every day of the cruel Persecution in France and Germany, not­withstanding our mildness to the Papists here; so that our enacting a Law of Castration cannot possi­bly make them persecute the Protestants more se­verely than they do, but may rather put a stop to it.

And indeed it is to be wondred at, that the Pro­testants should be so much wanting in their Zeal, and so little sensible of their own Interest, when we have so Warlike and Zealous a Protestant Prince upon the Throne of Great Britain, as not to agree on Methods for obliging the Papists to forbear that barbarous Persecution of their Brethren. Endea­vours of that nature were us'd in some of those Reigns when Popery had so much Interest at Court, that it seem'd to have a share of the Throne; there­fore it's strange if nothing shou'd be attempted to­wards it in this Reign. To effect this would, human­ly speaking, seem to be no difficult Work, since the Naval Strength of Europe is in the Hands of the Pro­testants; [Page 14] and that the Strength of Great Britain and Holland is now under the Command of one Prince who is the Hero of his Age.

This our own Safety seems to require, and Cha­rity and Compassion to our Brethren beyond Sea does loudly call for; but if for Reasons of State, or otherwise, it be found impracticable for us to inter­pose in behalf of persecuted Protestants abroad, there's nothing can hinder us, if we be willing to secure our selves against Popery at home, by put­ting the old Laws in Execution, or enacting new ones.

This seems to be absolutely necessary, if we con­sider, either the State of the Protestants beyond Sea, or our own Condition at home.

If we look abroad, we shall find the Protestant Interest, which was once so considerable in France, quite ruin'd; and one of the chief Causes of its be­ing so, was the neglect of our English Governments since Queen Elizabeth's time: we have done nothing effectual for them since then, which was a mighty oversight, both in respect of Duty and Interest. That it was our Duty, will scarcely be deny'd by any Man that has any true Impressions of the Prote­stant Religion. That it was our Interest is demon­strable, because, had the Protestants of France been supported by our Mediation and Assistance, they would never have concurr'd in any ambitious Design of their Monarchs against the Protestant Interest, or this Nation: and perhaps the fears of that Court, that they might prove a Curb upon their Designs of that nature, was none of the least Causes of their having ruin'd them by the most ungrateful, as well as [Page 15] the most barbarous Persecution that ever was known. From all which it will naturally result, that it is the Interest of England to save, if possible, the Remnant of the Protestants in France, by some ef­fectual Interposition.

If we look a little further into the State of the Protestants of the Valleys of Piedmont, we shall find that Antient Church almost totally ruin'd and dis­perst. If we turn our Eye towards Hungary, Tran­silvania, and Poland, the Reformed Interest is almost quite exterminated in those Countrys, as it is totally ruin'd in Bohemia: What danger it is liable to in the neighbouring Country of Saxony, is known to every one, since that Country, whose Prince was the first that embrac'd the Reformation, is now under a Popish Government; and if we come nearer home to the Palatinate, there we shall also find a Prote­stant Church, once the most flourishing, and best reformed in all Germany, under an unreasonable and cruel Persecution. If we consider the Treaty of Reswick, by that we shall find the German Protestants despoil'd of eight or nine hundred Churches: The once famous Protestant City of Strasburgh deliver'd in prey to the Church of Rome; and the Protestants in Alsace, and the neighbouring Principalities on each side, as the Dutchy of Montbelliard, County of Veldents, &c. subject to Popish Incroachments. In a word, if we look throughout the whole Empire, and take a view of the Diet at Ratisbon, we shall find the Popish Interest every where rampant, and incroaching upon the Reformation, contrary to the Fundamen­tal Laws, and most Solemn Treatys of the Empire. If we cast an Eye upon Swisserland, the little Repub­lick [Page 16] of Geneva, and the Principality of Neufchatel, there also we shall find the Protestant Interest threat­ned and languishing.

If we look Northward, there we find the Prote­stant Kingdoms of Sweden and Denmark ready to in­gage in a War with one another, and that the Quar­rels betwixt them are fomented by those who carry on an Interest, which is destructive both to the Pro­testant Religion, and the Civil Liberties of Europe. This is sufficient to discover the bad State of the Pro­testant Interest abroad.

If we consider the posture of Affairs at home, it's evident from a late printed Letter, said to be wrote by a worthy Bishop, and dedicated to a Mem­ber of Parliament, that Popery comes in upon us like a Flood. It is not to be denied that there's a Party in the three Nations, who favour the Title of an Abdicated Popish Prince and his pretended Succession, against the present Government, and the Succession establish'd by Law. It is not to be forgot, that their Interest was so strong as to advance a Popish King to our Throne; and tho they could not keep him there, because he dismounted himself by a furious Career, yet they have endanger'd us since by repeated Plots against his present Majesty's Life, and endeavouring to bring in a French Inva­sion upon us. It is also known, that there are mighty discontents fomented and nourish'd in all the three Nations, in relation to Trade, Parties, and different Pretensions; and that this gives the Popish Clergy an opportunity of adding fewel to our Flames, which makes it likewise evident that the Protestant Interest is in danger at home.

[Page 17]This is further demonstrable from the Trouble the Papists have from time to time given, and con­tinue to give to our Government and Parliaments; what's the meaning else of those Proclamations formerly and lately emitted, commanding Papists to retire from London? &c. What else is the mean­ing of those Bills brought in to prevent their dis­inheriting their Protestant Heirs, and to hinder their sending Children abroad to foreign Semina­ries, to be bred up in Idolatry, or made Priests, Monks and Nuns? This, besides the danger that ac­crues thereby to our Religion and Libertys, takes vast Sums of Money out of the Kingdom yearly. They likewise give trouble to our Parliaments, by bringing in Bills for discovering Estates and Money given to superstitious Uses, which is every way mighty prejudical to the Kingdom, and enables the Papists to breed Vipers in our Bowels, in order to rend us in pieces.

Then since it is undeniable that we are in danger from the Papists, whether we consider the State of Affairs at home or abroad, and that the Laws hi­therto enacted have not been able to prevent the recourse of Popish Priests, &c. nor the growth of Popery in this Kingdom; what should hinder us from trying new Methods, and particularly this Law of Castration?

It would certainly be a Punishment very proper for them, and might make them read their Sin in their Judgment; since it's evident that by their own personal Villany, and their loose Doctrine of Par­dons, &c. which incourages People in Licentious­ness, [Page 18] they make more Proselytes than by any other Method.

Those, who perhaps would scruple to be any ways Instrumental in taking these Priests, when the Penalty inflicted upon them by Law is Death, would not have reason to be so scrupulous to take and dis­cover them when the Punishment is only Castrati­on, and therefore would be more diligent to put the Laws in Execution upon them.

It must also be reckon'd a deserved Punishment, since under the Seal of Confession they commit Uncleanness with those they have the Trust of as Ghostly Fathers, so that it is a sort of spiritual Incest, and a destroying People with Arms that make no Report; both which Crimes are capital in all well govern'd States, and therefore the Punishment of Castration, in such a Case, must needs be accounted mild.

If it be objected, that tho some of the Romish Clergy be guilty of Incontinence, yet all of them are not so, and therefore such only are to be punish'd in that manner as are convicted of the Crime: It's easy to answer, That it is equally true, that all of them are not guilty of Conspiring against the Government, nor is it possible to convict all of 'em of pervert­ing the Subjects; yet the 27th of Elizabeth makes it Treason for any Popish Priest, bred up beyond Sea, to be here, or to return into England without submitting to the Government, and taking the Oath of Supremacy. And indeed it is but reason­able it should be so, for their being here supposes their Design; and therefore there's as much reason to punish them, tho we cannot prove the Overt [Page 19] Acts upon them, as there is to punish Thieves for coming into our Houses in an illegal manner, tho we cannot prove that they have robb'd us, or stole any thing. If we find a Wolf, or other Beast of Prey among our Flocks, we take their design of destroying them for granted, and treat them accord­ingly, tho we don't see the Limbs of our Cattle in their mouths. And therefore since the Practices and Principles of the Romish Clergy are so well known, their being found in the Nation ought to be suffici­ent Conviction.

It still remains a Question, how they shall be dis­covered? But the Answer is at hand: Let a com­petent and certain Reward be propos'd for such as shall do it, and the like Reward, and a Pardon to any of their own Number that shall discover the rest; or let Provision be made for some of every English Seminary beyond Sea that turn Protestants, plant some of them in the several Ports of the King­dom; and let some of each of those Seminarys be likewise constantly in London to assist in Searches, and view those that are taken up on Suspicion: And at the same time let provision be made for such as will inform of all the Popish Clergy that haunt the great Families of that Opinion in England, and we need not doubt of an effectual discovery in a little time: for besides the influence that the hopes of a Reward will have, those Goatish Fellows, the Ro­mish Clergy, do many times disoblige Familys of their own way, by attempting to debauch their Wives, Children or Servants, some of whom have so much Virtue as to reject the Temptation, and to hate the Tempters; and many times their blind [Page 20] Zeal occasions them likewise to take indiscreet Me­thods to pervert Protestant Servants, who would not be wanting, in case of such provision as above-men­tion'd, to discover those dangerous Fellows.

To inflict this Punishment of Castration upon them, is so much the less to be thought cruel or unreason­able, since it is so ordinary in Italy, and other Po­pish Countries, for the meaner sort of People to geld their own Sons, that they may make the better market of them for singing Boys, and Musicians, or to be Catamites to Cardinals, and other Dignita­ries of the Romish Church. In those hot Countries the Roman Clergy are much addicted to that dam­nable and unnatural Crime: and such of them as are not, keep lewd Women almost avowedly; they are indeed more upon the Reserve, and live ac­cording to the Maxim of Cauté, tho not Casté, in such Countries where the Government is Reformed, or where the Protestants are numerous; but then they are under the greater Temptation to perpe­trate their Villanies, on the pretext of Confessing Women: therefore there's the more Reason to e­nact a Law of Castration against them in this King­dom.

We have the more ground to think, that such a Law duly executed would have a good Effect, because the Lust of the Flesh is so bewitching and natural to the greatest part of Mankind, and continues to have a predominancy in them for so great a part of their Lives, that it hath occasion'd, and does oc­casion more disorders, and is apter to engage Men over whom it obtains the ascendant in more despe­rate Undertakings than any other passion whatever. [Page 21] Histories are full of Examples of Princes and great Men, that have ruin'd themselves and their Coun­tries in the pursuit of their irregular Amours. We have no need to turn over foreign Stories, or to go out of our own Nation for Proofs of this. It is not so long ago as to be forgot, since we had the chief Affairs of State manag'd, and Parliaments dis­solv'd, &c. at the beck of Courtisans. The Interest of Popery and Tyranny in the late Reigns was chiefly advanc'd by such.

Do not we find, even in private Persons of all Ranks, that where that Passion is not kept in due bounds, or cur'd by the proper Remedies of a suta­ble Match, that Honour, Health, and Estates, nay Life it self, is many times sacrific'd to the pleasure of the Flesh; and therefore the Apostle had Reason as well as Revelation on his side, when he rank'd all that is in the World under the three Heads of the Lust of the Flesh, the Lust of the Eye, and the Pride of Life; and gave that of the Flesh the preference. It is plain from Experience, that the other two are made generally subservient to it, as is visible every day from that excess in Jewels, Apparel, and House­hold Furniture, and the vast Expence which the Gallants of both Sexes put themselves to in one or all of these, in order to obtain the Favour of their Paramours.

From all which we may make this Inference, that if the Romish Clergy were made uncapable by a Law of enjoying that which they account the greatest pleasure of Life, they would avoid those Countrys where such Laws are put in execution, as they would avoid the Plague. 'Twould be happy [Page 22] if by this means we could deliver our Posterity from those Conspiracies, Civil Wars, Dreadful Fires, Massacres, Assassinations of Princes, and other Mischiefs which these Kingdoms have been liable to from the Papists, and against which all our other Laws have hitherto signified but little to preserve us.

We have also found, by sad experience, that they have had so much influence as to get the As­cendant over some of our Princes, by tempting them, as they have done the French King, with the hopes of an Absolute Sway, and we know not what Visionary Empires. By this means they prevail'd with them to overthrow our Laws, the recovery of which hath cost the Nation so much Blood and Treasure, that after Ages are like to feel the smart of it: Tho they have run one of our Princes off the Stage, and have well-nigh ruin'd their great Champion beyond Sea, as they did formerly the Spanish Monarchy, by spurring on those Princes to persecute Protestants, and establish Despotical Go­vernment. They will never give over that Game, but inspire all Princes to whom they can have access, either by themselves or others, with one or both of those Designs; and therefore it is the Interest of England to use all possible means to secure the Na­tion against those Romish Clergymen, for which Ca­stration is humbly conceiv'd to be the properest Me­thod, and is so far from being cruely, that it may well be reckoned as great a piece of Clemency to Romish Priests, as Transportation is instead of the Gallows to other condemned Criminals.

[Page 23]In short, it will be so far from being a real dis­kindness to the Popish Laics of this Nation, that it will be the greatest piece of Friendship to them ima­ginable: this we hope they will be the more readily convinc'd of, if their Wives, Daughters, and Maid­servants, cry out against this Law, for then to be sure they have some particular concern in the mat­ter.

We hope that our Popish Laics in England are Men of as good Observation as those in other Coun­trys, and particularly in France and Italy, where their very Proverbs are sufficient to demonstrate, that they have no great Opinion of their Cler­gymens Chastity. It is not possible to expose those goatish Fellows with more severity and con­tempt, than the Italians do by saying fate Lui Co­ronna, by way of sarcasm, of a Stallion that they don't think performs his part; alluding to the Priests shaven Crowns, as if that Sacerdotal Character were sufficient even to invigorate a Horse. Their other Proverb of fate lo Prete, let's make him a Priest, when they have any ungovernable Wanton in a Family, that overruns all their Females, is akin to the other; and their covering their Stone-horses with a Monk's Frock, when they find them indifferent for a Mare in season, is a scandalous Reproof of those bru­tish Clergymen. Answerable to these is the French Proverb;

Qui veut tenir nette Maison
Qu'il n'y souffre ni pretre in Moin ni pigeon.

[Page 24] Comparing the Popish Clergy to the Pigeons for their venereous Inclinations; and may be Englished thus,

They that would keep their Houses Chast and Neat,
From thence must Priests, Monks, Nuns, and Pi­geons beat.

As all Proverbs of that sort are founded upon some­thing universally known or conceiv'd to be true, it is not at all for the Honour of the Popish Clergy, that their Chastity should be thus reflected upon in Countrys where they are the sole Directors of Con­science, and have their Religion established by Law.

But that which fixes it yet more upon them, is, that in the Pope's Chancery the Tax for eating Eggs in Lent, is greater than that for Sodomy; and the Penalty upon a Priest that marrys, is greater than upon those that commit that monstrous and un­natural Villany just now mention'd. From all which it is manifest, that they did not speak at ran­dom who inform'd us that the Celibacy of such an innumerable multitude of Popish Ecclesiastics, is the maximum Arcanum dominationis Papalis, and that the Priests Testicles are the greatest Promoters of the Pope's Empire. This will appear yet more plain, that it is of the highest Importance to them, since the Church of Rome maintains, that Marriage is a Sacra­ment, and that all Sacraments confer Grace, and yet denys it to her Clergy; a manifest Indication that they have their graceless Designs to promote by it, [Page 25] especially since at the same time the want of those Parts which they will not allow them to make use of in a regular way, renders them uncapable of being Priests according to their Canons; but yet they are so kind to their gelded Martyrs, as to allow it to be sufficient if they have them about them, in Pou­der, or any other way.

These things confirm, in a literal sense, the odi­ous Characters given the Church of Rome in the Re­velations, Chap. 17, 18, &c. As the great Whore, with whom the Kings and Inhabitants of the Earth have committed Fornication; the Mother of Harlots, and Abominations of the Earth, having a golden Cup in her hand full of Abominations, and of the Filthiness of her Fornications, &c. Then since by the Testimony of God and Man, the Romish Clergy is such an im­pure and lascivious Crew, it makes a Law of Castra­tion a just and adequate Punishment for them.

To conclude; Since our King and Parliament have both testified their Zeal and Forwardness to suppress Immorality and Profaneness, it follows naturally that such a Law as this deserves their serious Thoughts; for it is impossible to suppress reigning Vice, so long as those goatish Fellows are suffered to swarm among us. They not only corrupt the Morals of People themselves by such Practices and Principles as above-mention'd, but bring over and encourage others to do it; particularly those Italians, &c. who sell and print Aretin's Postures; and in order to debauch the Minds of Women, and to make them guilty of nnnatural Crims, invent and sell 'em such things as Modesty forbids to name. 'Tis evident, that as Po­pery advanc'd upon us in the late Reigns, Debau­chery [Page 26] gain'd ground at the same time, for they na­turally make way for one another; and therefore we can never suppress Immorality, without securing our selves effectually against Popery. If this should be attempted by a Law of Castration against Romish Priests, it must be own'd that it would be more cha­ritable and humane to save our selves from Popish Superstition, and all its mischievous Consequences, by that Method alone, than to practise it, together with other Punishments, upon such of those Wret­ches as come to the Gibbet for Treason; the cutting off their Privities in such Cases, and throwing 'em in the Fire, just before they be totally bereft of Life, can be of no manner of use, whereas Castration a­lone beforehand might have sav'd us from the danger of their Plots, and prevented themselves from com­ing to the Gallows.


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