Guil. Sill. R. P. D. Henr. Episc. Lond. à Sac. Dom.

ANCIENT and MODERN DELUSIONS, Discoursed of in Three Sermons Upon 2 THES. 2. 11.

Concerning some ERRORS now prevailing in the CHURCH OF ROME.

By EDWARD PELLING, Rector of St. Martins Ludgate, London.

Etiamsi ingeritur oculis Veritas, amat & tuetur errorem: coargui non vult; & in malè caeptis honestior illi pertinacia videtur, quàm Penitentia. Sen. de ira, lib. 1. c. 16.

LONDON, Printed by B. G. for Jonathan Edwin at the three Roses in Ludgate-street, 1679.

ANCIENT and MODERN DELUSIONS, Discoursed of in three SERMONS Upon 2 THES. 2. 11.

2. THES. 2. 11.‘And for this cause God shall send them strong Delu­sions, that they should believe a Lye.’

I Think, there is not in all the New Testament, a Chapter which has been more quoted by Protestants than this: And he, that shall read the former part thereof, may be apt to conceive, that S. Paul, by a Prophetick Spirit, pointeth here to the Church and Bishops of Rome. And I confess, many Learned Divines have thought so, because there are in this Chapter, so many notable Characters which do become and fit that Faction so well; that though St. Paul did not point to them directly, a man might ea­sily [Page 2] and plausibly mistake in thinking that he did. For, first, he tells us of a falling away (from the Faith) that was to come, vers. 3. and it is notorious, that the Church of Rome hath departed, though not from the whole Creed, yet from many Fundamental, and uni­versally received Doctrines of Christianity. In the same breath, he speaks of a man of sin, that was to be revealed, the Son of Perdition; which the best Interpreters do understand not of a single Person, but of a whole Sect; as when we say, the Jesuit is a Traitor, we mean the wholer Order and Society. Moreover, the Apostle tells us, that this man of Sin opposeth and exalteth himself above all, that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the Temple (or Church) of God, shewing himself that he is God. He speaketh of a My­stery of Iniquity that began to work then, whose coming was after the working of Satan, with all Power, and Signs, and lying Wonders. All which descriptions, whosoever shall consider, and compare them with the Novel Doctrines, the intollerable Usurpations, the monstrous Practices, and the pretended Miracles of the Church of Rome, may be apt to think (as se­veral Doctors, both before, and since the Re­formation, have thought) that the Pope and his flatterers are here marked out unto us. Especially, if he shall consider withal, how the Apostle saith, vers. 10. That the coming of this man of Sin would be with all deceiv­ableness of Ʋnrighteousness; meaning, with all [Page 3] cunning Arts of wheadling people into ini­quity, which Cornelius a Lapide the Jesuit, reckons to be six, and all of them to be used Com. in Loc. by Anti-christ to draw men into Errour and Destruction. 1. By courteous and obliging Insinuations. 2. By specious pretences of Ho­liness and Sanctity. 3. By their Wisdome and Eloquence, and skilfulness in all Arts and Learning. 4. By promising, and bribing them with money, the more readily to bring hun­gry persons to their Lure. 5. By threatning such as are Refractory with Death and De­struction, and by inflicting on them the terri­ble Torments of an Inquisition. 6. By work­ing such Prodigies and Wonders before the Eyes of the World, as ignorant and credu­lous People will be ready to admire and believe, and to take for true Miracles. Now I am much deceiv'd, if this Jesuit did not take his Measures by his own Brethren; so ex­actly do these Arts and Methods agree with the Tricks and Manners of that sort of Cattel, that when I read his Comment upon the Place, I fancied my self to be reading the plain and perfect Character of Ignatius's Dis­ciples.

Yet, the great Hugo Grotius, and many Lib. de Anti­christo. Moderate and Judicious men besides, do not understand St. Paul, to relate here immediately to the Romanists, though others have otherwise opined, whose zeal might have transported them beyond themselves; such weak Creatures we are naturally, that our Passions are apt to [Page 4] ingage in the most weighty Disputes, just as hot pated men are ready to thrust into, and bustle in the gravest Councils. Very proba­ble it is, that the Apostle in this Chapter (as in several other places) pointeth to a wick­ed Crew of Apostates, that prevailed in those first Times of Christianity, as Simon Magus and his followers, who though they were divided into several Sects and Factions (the Nicolaitanes, the Corinthians, the Carpocratians, the Eucratitae, the Marcionites, and the rest) some of our late Divines do comprehend (all of them) under the general name of Gnosticks. I will not contend about this matter, being little to my purpose: This is certain, that whate­ver deceivers are intended in this place of Scripture, it was a just Judgement of God, upon vile and wicked men, that they com­passed their Ends: They gained upon such or such onely, as ran wilfully to their own destruction; such as lived unrighteously, and loved not the Truth, but dishonoured it and the God of it, by their foolish, sensual and lewd Courses, for this cause it was, that God sent them strong Delusion, that they should be­lieve a Lye.

So that my business is to handle this Text, with reference unto those chiefly, who either are already, or are likely to be Deluded; if it be possible, to redeem the one, and to keep the other sort out of that snare, which the Devil spreadeth for unwary wretches, by as many Wiles and Instruments in these days of ours, [Page 5] as ever he did in the dayes of the Apostle, or after. And in the prosecution of this mat­ter, I shall undertake to shew you these two things, by occasion of the words, which I have now read unto you.

1. How it cometh to pass, that many peo­ple are led away by strong Delusions, and be­lieve that which is a manifest and notorious Lye.

2. That notwithstanding the great eviden­ces, which have been given on the behalf of Truth, yet multitudes of silly People are ve­ry fond of Delusions, and Lyes still; strong Delusions, gross and palpable Lies, which are taught them by those, who are, if not the same, yet as like unto the deceivers, whom St. Paul speaketh of here, as one Impostor can be like another; and in the process of this discourse, I shall shew you, in particular, what some of those Delusions and Lies are, and how they resemble those which were broach­ed in the beginning.

1. How it cometh to pass, that many peo­ple are led away by strong Delusions, and believe that which is a manifest and notori­ous Lie. Certainly the History of mankind is a very great wonder, that since Truth is so lovely and taking, since men are generally so solicitous and inquisitive after it, since our faculties are so excellently framed to find it out, and are naturally shie of receiving any notions, which have not the species and colour of Truth; since men profess a willingness to buy [Page 6] it almost at any rate; and to value the pos­session of it above the World, and even to sacrifice their Lives for Truth sake; it seem­eth strange, that there should be any such A­nomalous Creatures and Monsters among the Sons of men; as will care so little for it as to exchange it for a Lye, and not onely to plead and dispute, but moreover to suffer, and become Martyrs for a Falshood. O foo­lish Galatians, who have betwitched you, that you should not obey the Truth? Gal. 3. 1. 'Tis such a senseless thing to be in Love with Error, that none but meer Fools and Sots, and such Fools as are bewitched too, can be thought capable of suffering themselves willingly to be abused with wrong apprehensions, especially in mat­ters of Religion. But he was not much out that divided the whole World into Cheaters and Cheatees: There are [...]. Some that Deceive, and others that are De­ceived, 2 Tim. 3. 13. It has been so in all A­ges, and yet all Ages have admired at it: and 'tis that which we stand amazed at in these days, to see not only mean and silly People, that are but as Mushromes of the Earth, but even Persons of Honourable Ex­traction, of Parts, and Learning, and Gene­rous minds, to be both the Disciples and Pa­trons of a Religion, which, of all the Reli­gions that ever were set up in the World, is not only the most Bloody, but the most Ridi­culous. But the Reasons which may be gi­ven of it, are these chiefly.

[Page 7] 1 Education, whereby men suck in mistakes with their first milk, and have false Principles entailed upon them as part of their Inheritance. And questionless, great is the power of Edu­cation, it being so difficult a matter to raze those principles out of mens minds which cleave to 'em from their Infancy, and grow up with 'em from their Cradle: especially, if either the Tutor be not Faithful, or the Scholer be not Inquisitive, or Means be not afforded for the enlightning of the understanding; as it is, we know, in many places beyond the Seas, where Priests are either ignorant or dishonest, and the Layety are nursed up in blindness, tak­ing their Guides for so many infallible Oracles, who deprive 'em of the Bible, and other use­full Books, and breed 'em up, as you would breed up Pyes and Parrots, to say any thing, which they do not understand. No wonder if these miserable Souls believe a thousand things for Truths, which we, who have the means of Knowledge, plainly find to be no other than Impostures: and we doubt not, but God, who is rich in mercy, will Pardon the invincible Ignorance of these deluded wretches, and re­quire of them according to what they have, and not according to what they have not. But God be bles­sed, this is not the case of those Romanists who live amongst us. They cannot pretend, that they are not, or may not be better instructed, such of them especially, as have deserted our Communion: 'tis not through Ignorance that They are deluded: but very probably it hap­peneth [Page 8] that they are brought to believe a lye.

2. By the Love they bear to some base and sinister ends. For certainly nothing doth more corrupt and abuse Mens understanding, than their Affections. Either the Hatred of a party, or the Hope of Promotion, or the Fear of great mens frowns, or the Love of Riches, when they run greedily after the Errour of Balaam for reward; but above all, a desire of gratifying their Sensual Lusts and Appetites, carrieth a mighty hand over their Reason, to make it re­ceive Falsehood for Truth, and to believe not that which is Rightest, but that which is most popular, most pleasant, and most advantageous. Reason is either the best or the worst Coun­sellour. When it sits in the Throne, command­ing the lower faculties of the Soul, it gives True judgement and faithful directions. But when it hearkeneth to the Oratory of Interest, and submits to the Empire or flattery of the will, it is like the hand of a disordered Dial, that pointeth to any Figure; and it is impos­sible for that man to be free from mistakes, who is guided and led away by his Lusts. For these do strangely paint every object to make it love­ly and beautiful; so that when it is presented to the understanding, Reason is like an eye that is infected with the jaundies, or that looks through a false Glass; and every thing seems to be of the same hue, and complexion, and co­lour with the Medium. Hence it cometh to pass mainly, that there are so many errors in Religion; because men are willing to comply [Page 9] with those doctrines which are most consistent with their Inclinations, and most suitable to their Appetities. And this is that, I fear, which hath perswaded so many to warp from the Protestant Religion, there being variety of such Baits ministred by the cunning Anglers upon Tyler, as are very delightful to every mans palate and Gusto, whether they be the Clergy, or Lay-people. 1. They of the Priest-hood have by a thousand stratagems brought it so to pass, that they are made privy to all mens se­crets, and are become Masters of all mens Con­sciences, and make both Peasant and Peer truc­kle to their commands, and exact what Tributes they please as just offerings to the Church. Now by these means they throughly secure them­selves from that contempt and Poverty, which with us (to the shame of us be it spoken) is the common reward of many a Learned, pain­full and Honest Divine, especially when we have to do with people of sordid and degenerous principles, who neither Respect nor Feed the Ox that treadeth out the Corn. Now when a Religion is so advantageous, 'tis no wonder that there are found men, who, for their Interest sake, both profess it themselves, and teach it others too, though it be full of Impostures. We read in Act. 19. that when Demetrius and his follow-crafts men saw, that their Trade and their wealth was in danger, they strenuously op­pos'd the Doctrine of St. Paul, though it want­ed neither Reasons nor Miracles to confirm it, Sirs, by this crast, ye know, we get our wealth; [Page 10] and that was likely to be lost, if the world should once be perswaded to believe, that they be no Gods, which are made with hands: and therefore, for the sake of the Silver shrines, they cried up Diana of the Ephesians, though it was but a sorry Puppet which they worshipt all this while. I am afraid, that there are many Demetriuses now adayes, that meerly for their profit and gain, cry up Diana of the Romans also: For by this craft they get their Honours and Riches, and 'tis not strange, that men, who aim at base and secular Ends, should first be perswaded to Admire, and then be concern'd to Defend a Religion that brings them such a large and plentiful Dowry. The wonder is, that the Vulgar sort should suffer themselves to be abus'd and cheated by men, who count gain to be Godliness: For, as the World now goes, people are not easily to be fool'd and baffled out of their Reason, their Li­berty, and their Money too: And yet, we see, there are some (and those, of no mean ex­traction, or pitiful Parts,) who have been brought to subscribe to many Delusions, which that Church teacheth for Catholick Doctrines. But, Secondly, even these, I fear, do it for their Interest too. Though it be not for their Spiritual and Eternal Interest to give themselves up to believe a Lye, yet for their Worldly and Carnal Interest it is; for the Interest of their Lusts and sensual Appetites, which some are more fond of, than of a good Conscience. For certainly, there is not a more easie Religion in [Page 11] the World. For, of Good Works they reckon but three sorts, Alms, Fasting and Prayer: so that let a man but shew Mercy in some indiffe­rent measure, let him but forbear eating of flesh when the Church bids him; let him but hear the service, (though in an unknown Tongue,) and run over the Rosary, consisting of 150 Ave Mary's, and 15 Pater Nosters, and he need not much fear his future state. So likewise, of Mortal Sins, they reckon but seven, viz. Pride, Envy, Covetousness, Carnality, Gluttony, Anger, and Sloath: So that let a man forbear these Seven, though he commiteth Seventy times Seven more, yet to Hell he shall not go. Or, though he commiteth These too; yet if he do but confess to the Priest once a year, or before he dieth, he is Absolved at a cheap rate: and if he chance to expire before all his Penance be done; tis but leaving behind him a good Legacy for a Mass, and then the pains of Purgatory shall not hold him long. What an Heap of Sophis­try is here? and yet they call it Religion, and are willing to believe, that it is the only True Religion, not because it is a Rational, but a Plea­sant Model: for it strains no Sinews, it breaks no bones; but saves them the charge of mortifying their Lusts, of crucifying their Affections, of sub­duing their earthly Members, of cutting off a right hand, or pulling out a right eye: and as long as things go at this rate, it is a wonder to me, that all lewd and vicious people in the world do not throw themselvs into the bosome of that Church, where they may live as merrily as they list, and [Page 12] yet if they be not careless, or niggardly, or poor, may die as securely and happily as they can wish.

I have been the longer upon this Subject, because I was minded to give you some account of that, which at this day seemeth such a strange thing, that every one is ready to lift up his hands in admiration, that when the world ge­nerally is so knowing, some should be pre­vailed with, to forsake a Grave, Serious and Ex­cellent Religion, to embrace a Profession which is made up of Fooleries, Chimaera's and Ridicules. 'Tis Interest many times, that opens the gate, and lets out a Renegado, or an Apostate. And yet.

3. Thirdly, there is yet another account (and the weightiest of all) which the Apostle gives of it in my Text; God doth many times send men strong delusions, that they should believe a Lye. For the right understanding of which words two things are to be noted. 1. That the words are not so to be understood, as if God did directly infatuate the minds of men, or actually blind their understandings, by work­ing so powerfully upon them, that they can­not but Err. For as he doth not Tempt, so neither doth he delude any; but every man is led away by his own Lusts, and by the wiles and devices of the Prince of darkness; the place then is not to be understood in a Positive, but in a Negative sense rather; viz. that God is many times pleased to permit men to be de­luded; to deliver them up to themselves, to let them follow their own imaginations, and to [Page 13] suffer them to be deceived, by letting the reins loose to the Spirit of Error, and by with­drawing from wicked people, though not a sufficiency, yet that plenty of Grace, whereby they might have been kept out of the snare of the Devil. God is said to have sent an evil Spirit between Abimelech and the men of Sichem, Judg. 9. To have moved David to num­ber Israel and Judah, 2 Sam. 29. To have put a lying Spirit in the mouth of Ahabs Prophets, 2 Chron. 18. To have poured out upon the Jews the Spirit of a deep Sleep, Is. 29. And to have given them the Spirit of Slumber, Rom. 11. 8. But all these Texts and expressions must be understood, of Gods Permission and purpose of suffering Satan to use his Arts and Stratagems, to close mens eyes, and to cast a mist before their understandings, and to draw them into Errors. And so here, God shall send them strong De­lusions; that is, will suffer and permit the De­vil and his Instruments to delude them, that they should believe a Lye. 2. It is to be no­ted, that when God is pleased to do this; it is not with an immediate design and direct in­tention, that men shall be deluded, that they may perish. For he is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to Repentance. But the Apostle speaketh of the event and issue of things, that the wickedness and ingratitude of People would bring them to that pass and upshot, that they would believe any thing in the End, though never so Romantick and Fabulous: And so, the sense of these words being opened, [Page 14] the consideration which now lyeth before us, is this; that however some are necessarily De­luded, through their invincible ignorance; and others are willing to be Deluded for their inte­rest and advantage, yet that many are delivered up to strong Delusions, is a just judgement of God upon them, as a punishment of their unrighte­ousness: Because they received not the Love of the Truth, that they might be saved; for that cause, saith our Apostle, God shall send them strong De­lusions, that they should believe a Lye. An ex­ample whereof we have in King Ahab, 2 Chron. 18. Because he would not credit the account, which Michaiah gave him concerning his go­ing up to Ramoth Gilead, the Lord suffered him to be deceived, and thereby to be slain. The Lord said, who will entice Ahab King of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth Gilead? And there came out a certain Spirit, and said, I will entice him. I will go out, and be a lying Spirit in the mouth of all his Prophets. And the Lord said, thou shalt entice him, and thou shalt also prevail: Go out, and do even so. In like manner he dealt with the whole Na­tion of the Jews, when they were in Love with Lies, and required the Prophets to Prophe­sie deceit unto them, God chose their Delusions, and gave them up to the ways and imaginati­ons of their hearts, insomuch that the Prophets prophesied falsly, and the Priests did bear rule by their means, and (which is observable) the Peo­ple did Love to have it so, Jer. 5. 31. And to the like purpose St. Paul speaks of those, Rom. 1. [Page 15] who held the Truth in unrighteousness; because that when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful, they became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened; so that professing themselves to be wise, they became fools; and were given over to a Reprobate mind, and to be without understanding.

Now▪ this consideration, that God doth many times, in Judgement upon wicked people, send them strong Delusions, that they should be­lieve a Lye, serveth to these two good pur­poses (that I may not mention any more:)

1. It discovers unto us the Reason, why it is such an hard and very difficult matter, to reclaim people that have once wilfully revolted from the Truth. Every Age hath found it true by sad experience, that it is much more easie to convert that person from the Error of his way, who hath been bred up in Igno­rance from his Youth, than to reduce that man who hath turned aside either to Atheism, or to Idolatry, and Superstition, albeit he may have been instructed out of the Scriptures from his Childhood. Such a one sinneth against grea­ter light of Conscience, and so is infinitely more Criminal, in shutting his own eyes, than he who never had his eyes open, nor had a Torch held out unto him to find out the True way. Questionless a man may sin away Gods Grace by degrees; and of all sorts of Sinners, the Apostate seemeth to take the Largest step to­wards it: and therefore the Apostle speaking of Renegado's from the Truth, tells us, Heb, 6. 4, 5, 6. [Page 16] That it is impossible for those, who were once en­lightened, and have tasted of the Heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good Word of God, and the powers of the World to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto Repentance. For if any man quencheth the Spirit, it is he. If any man treadeth under foot the Son of God, it is he. If any man counteth the Blood of the Covenant an un­holy thing, it is he. If any man doth despite unto the Spirit of Grace, it is he: And after so many sins, so much obstinacy, and so much standing out against the clamours and snub­bings of Natural and Enlightned Conscience, to recover that man out of his Apostacy, by the gravest Counsels, by the most pathetical Ex­hortations, or by the strongest and most con­vincing Arguments, though it be not absolutely impossible, yet it is next door unto it; and the Reason of it, is here in my Text; because he loved not the Truth, therefore hath God sent him strong Delusions, that he should believe a Lye. Let him therefore that standeth (as he valueth the favour of God, the comforts, and fellowship of the Spirit, and the Eternal interest and felicity of his own Soul, let him) take heed lest he fall, 1 Cor. 10. 12.

2. This Consideration of Gods sending some men strong Delusions, serveth to clear up that, which in our Age, seemeth to be a Miracle of wonders; how it cometh to pass, that many famous and learned Divines, in the Church of Rome, have both believed those things them­selves, [Page 17] and obtruded them upon others also, as so many sound and Catholick Truths, which even unskilful Men and Ideots in our Communion, can discover to be meer delusions, or falshoods, as it were, of yesterday. I remember, Tertullian said, Sapientis est, nihil admirari, That a Wise­man will wonder at nothing; and, I think, we need not wonder at this thing, if it be so; but rather we may make it a Question, whether it be so indeed? Whether they have believed those points themselves, which they have offered un­to us, as Articles of Faith? St. Augustine tells of Varro, that learned Pagan, that he affirmed, Aug. de Civ. Dei, lib. 4. c. 31. That many things in Religion were true, which it was not fit that the Vulgar sort should know; and on the other hand, that tho some things were false, yet it was not convenient for the common People to believe otherwise. And so he tells us of Scaevo­la the Roman High-Priest in those times of Hea­thenisme, that Expedire existimavit, falli in Re­ligione Civitates. He thought it very expedient for De Civ. Dei, lib. 4. c. 27. Cities to be deceived in their Religion. And some others too (especially among the old Greeks) have spoken to the same purpose. And it is not impossible, but some Christian Romanes Vid. Joseph. cont. Appion. lib. 2. may have thought, as Varro and Scaevola did of old, that for certain Reasons the Vulgar ought to be made believe many things, tho they be not true. I would strain my Charity to think well of the worst; but yet I cannot for all my Charity but fear at least, that some Popish Di­vines have acted quite against their own Con­sciences, and used indirect Arts to gull the rest of [Page 18] the World, teaching such Doctrines for True, which they themselves could not but know to be false, and I shall give you two instances to con­firm my opinion, that it may not seem to be an uncharitable conjecture only.

When they procured a Commission from King Philip of Spain, to search for all sorts of Catho­lick Books, and to purge out of them those pas­sages which made for the Protestants, and to note those passages in a Book by it self, called the Expurgatory Index, there were notable Cau­tions inserted in the Commission, that the Book so compiled should not in any wise be made pub­lick, Vide Diploma praefix. Ind. Exp. Edit. Belg. but commited to the trust of some certain faithful Prelates; and that those Prelates should not communicate the matter to any, but such as they should judge to be trusty, and by them to be kept very close, and not so much as the sight of one Copy to be imparted unto others, tho they were Catholicks. Now was not this acting a­gainst Conscience? For if they intended to deal fairly and upon the Square, why was this con­trivance to be kept under the Seal of Secrecy?

Again; When the Censors of Doway were upon promoting of this design of purging Books, and did light upon several ancient Writers (and perticularly upon Bertram, who lived within nine hundred years after Christ, and wrote things destructive of Transubstantiation) they resolved together not to burn those Books, but either to bear with their Errors, or to exte­miate them, or to excuse them, and to give them as kind a sense as could be; and if the shoo [Page 19] pinched too much, than their last refuge was roundly and manfully to deny the matter in their disputations with their Adversaries: this is the English of their own words, in their Censure of Pag. 13. Ind. Exp. Edit. Belg. Bertram's Book. And if this be not in plain English down right dishonesty, we are yet to seek; what the Nature of Cheating is.

From these two Instances it doth appear, that there is reason enough for us to suspect at least, that they have acted craftily, and against the light of their own Consciences; and so, it is very pro­bable that they do still, and that they may know themselves the falshood of those things, which they would fain have us to believe, and perhaps for Varro's and Scaevola's reason, because it is fit sometimes the People should be deceived in their Religion, for peace and quietness sake.

But yet, What if the Rulers of these People be of the same Faith with their Vassals? it is no ar­gument of the truth of their Creed, because great and learned Men have believed it, for great and learned Men may be, and have been de­ceived. That great Philosopher Zeno, did que­stion, whether there was any such thing as Mo­tion in the world; but what authority is this for me to disbeleive my own eyes? And Scipio Tettus was such a Fool, that he denied the being of God, and set up a School of Atheism, and died a Martyr for Atheism, and clapt his hands too in the very flames. Now all that we can col­lect from these and the like instances, is, that Man is a most senseless Creature, when God gives him up to his own conduct and management, especi­ally [Page 20] if he be blinded too by him, that ruleth in darkness. Magnus Deus est error, as Luther said, Error is a God, which the most admired Sophies are ready to adore, when the God of Truth, Righteousness, and Peace shall leave them to themselves, and commit them to their own hands. And that this is usual, the Instances are too many to be insisted on, and the thing is too common to be wondered at. And so the first thing I pro­pounded is made good, that many people are led away by strong delusions, to believe that which is a manifest and notorious lie, and how this cometh to pass: Partly by the power of Mens Education, partly by the efficacy of their Lusts; but chiefly by the Justice of God, there­by punishing them for their darling wickednes­ses; for this cause God doth send them strong Delusions that they should believe a Lie.

ANCIENT and MODERN DELUSIONS, Discoursed of in three SERMONS Upon 2 THES. 2. 11.

2. THES. 2. 11.‘And for this cause God shall send them strong Delu­sions, that they should believe a Lye.’

THE second consideration now fol­lowes, that notwithstanding those great Evidences which have been given on the behalf of Truth, yet multitudes of silly people are very fond of delusions and lyes still; nay, even such as are of the same, or of the like Nature, with those Delusions which St. Paul speaketh of here, which he sayeth were to be sent upon that Generation, as a curse and Judgement upon them, because they loved not the Truth, that they might be saved.

[Page 22] In the handling of this matter I must of ne­cessity observe this Method; to shew you what those Pretences were which prevailed in the very first ages of Christianity: Then, that many pretences which are in vogue now do resemble and come very near to those which were broached in the beginning by damned Sedu­cers; and lastly, that these are meer Delusions and Lyes, how specious soever they may appear unto the vulgar.

1. Then it is observable and very certain, that in the most Primitive Times of the Church, many Impostors did pretend to an Infallible Spirit. This is clear to any man that hath but enquired into the History and condition of that Age wherein the Apostles of Christ lived. For Simon the Sorcerer (of whom we read Act. 8. and whom the Ancients called [...] the Eldest Son of the Devil) pretend­ed, that he was that Divine Being, which fram­ed both the Angelical and Visible world. He perswaded many to believe, that he was the great power of God; or (as it may be rendred) that he was that Power, Numen, or Divine Ma­jestie, which is called Great. He pretended to be more than Gods Vicar upon Earth; for he gave out, that he was the very God, that ap­peared Epiph. Haeres. 21. Iren. l. 1 c. 20. Cyril. Ca­tech. 5. Iustin. Dial. in Tryph. Euseb. Hist. Eccl. lib. 2. c. 13. upon Mount Sinai, as the Father; that he was the Christ, that afterwards conversed with the Jews as the Son; and that he was the Holy Ghost, that at last descended as the Paraclete, or promised Comforter. Eusebius tells us, that he had a Demon alwayes attending on him, which [Page 23] was called the Virtus [...], whereby he Quod & de Marco. An­not. Iren. lib. 1. c. 9. wrought such seeming Miracles, that he was worshipped as the Supream and Sovereign De­ity, and it appears by the joynt testimonies of Tertullian, Justin Martyr, and other the most Tertul. Apol. c. 13 Iustin. Apol. 2. Iren. l. 1. c. 20. Cyril. Catech. 5. ancient Writers of the Church, that Claudius the Emperor erected a great Statue in honour of him, with this Inscription upon it, Simoni Deo sancto, to the Holy God Simon. Some lear­ned Divines do conceive, that this was that Man of Sin, of whom Saint Paul saith, in this 2 Thes. 2. 4. That he opposed and exalted himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, &c. This is certain, that his Followers pretended to the most perfect and certain knowledge of Gods Will, insomuch that they despised the Apostles themselves, as much inferiour to them in under­standing the Divine Mysteries. And Epipha­nius relates, that when the Church appealed to Epiph. lib 1. Haeres. 14. & 34. Iren. lib. 3. c 2. the Writings of the Apostles, they urged the authority of a more infallible Tradition, and affir­med themselves to be wiser than the Apostles, and to be Preachers of greater Truths, than ever the Apostles were acquainted with. These were those false Prophets, which our Saviour foretold would come, Matth. 7. 15. He called them false Prophets, not because they pretend­ed to foretel future events, but because they falsly pretended to Divine Inspiration, and to an Infallible Spirit. These are they which Saint Paul saith, were puffed up with a profession of Science, falsly so called, 1 Tim. 6. These were they, whom he called false Apostles, deceitful [Page 24] workers, transforming themselves into the Apostles of Christ, 2 Cor. 11. 13. And these are they, against whom he cautioneth the Thessalonians in this Chapter, that they should not be shak­en in mind [...], vers. 2. by any pretences of the Spirit, by a shew of Inspiration, Immedi­ate Revelation, and Infallible Knowledge.

Now by what hath been spoken you may ea­sily observe, that the Fundamental and Grand Pretence, upon which those monstrous Hereticks went in the Apostles Times, was This, that their Master was the Divine Oracle, the great Teacher of all Truth; and that they themselves by being his Disciples had this Priviledge above other men, to be divinely and immediately inspired, so that they neither did nor could be mistaken in their Reli­gion. Like unto this is the modern pretence tou­ching the Infallibility of the Bishop and Church of Rome. What the old Gnosticks did claim by and under Simon Magus, that do the new Roma­nists claim by and under Simon Peter, that their Teachers and Guides cannot Err. Tho for a­bove fourteen hundred years together the Popes judgement was not counted infallible, yet now it is an undoubted Article, and the Fundamen­tal Tenet among them (especially among the Jesuites) that their Great Pontifex hath this Pre­rogative above all Councils, that in his quae ad fi­dem pertinent nullo casu errare possit, as Cardinal Bellarmine affirms; in things pertaining to the Bellarm. de Rom. Pontif. lib. 4. c. 3. Faith he cannot erre in any case.

Now that this is a meer Delusion and a noto­rious lie. Our Writers have used several effe­ctual [Page 25] wayes to prove. But because I do not in­tend to wade up to the neck in such a senseless Controversie, I shall take this as a ready and satisfactory course, by shewing you briefly how Contradictory the sense of one Pope hath been to the judgement of another; and so by setting them together against themselves, it will soon appear what a vain and silly pretence, that of their Infallibility is. To begin: Saint Peter (as they reckon) was the first Bishop of Rome: and he has left that behind him which doth blast the Infallibility of his pretended Succes­sors; for he declared the King to have no Superior: Though he himself was so great an Apostle, and all Kings then were Pagans and Infidels, yet he taught us to submit our selves to every ordinance, and to the King as Su­preme, 1 Pet. 2. 13. But Pius the 4th. claimed that at the Council of Trent, which Engenius the 4th. had lately defined at the Council of Florence, that the Bishop of Rome holdeth the Primacy over the whole World (Kings and Emperors not excepted.) And this they are so fond of still, that whosoever among us shall ex animo, take the Oath of Supremacy, must lie under a Curse as an Heretick and an Apostate from the Catholick See. Again; the Title of Universal Pastorship over all the Bishops in the World, all the Popes have claimed since the days of Boniface the Third; and yet Grego­ry the Great, while he was Bishop of Rome, declaimed horribly against it, and in divers of his Epistles, calls it a Title full of Novelty, Vanity, [Page 26] Blasphemy, Pride, Madness, and Wickedness, and said, that it was a Preparative to the Times of Anti-christ. Again, this business of Infallibili­ty, which is now one of the choicest feathers in the Old mans Cap, was formerly account­ed by themselves, as a New-nothing. For about 250 years since (no longer ago) Adrian the Bellarm. de Rom. Pontif. lib. 4. c. 2. sixth did ingeniously and honestly declare, that the Pope might not only Err, but might be an Heretick too, and might teach Heresie, and that some Popes have, de facto, done so. And to make good what this Pope Adrian said, it is further observable, that Liberius sub­scribed the Arian Heresie, and the thing is so certain, that Cardinal Bellarmine himself doth confess it, and produceth many Authorities to Hierom. in Catalog. Ballarm. de Rom. Pont. lib. 4 c. 9. prove it. Moreover, Honorius the first held, that there was but one Will in Christ; and Vigilius denied, that Christ had two natures; and Anastasius the second was a Photinian; and Marcellinus was more than an Heretick, for Melch. Canus lib. 6. Gratian dist. 19. c. 9. Council. Si­nues. Tert. adv. Prax. he Apostatiz'd to Heathenism, and sacrificed to Heathen Idols; and Zepherinus embraced the Prophesies of Montanus; and Rhenanus himself, in his Annotations upon Tertullian, notes it on the Margin, as a thing to be observed, Episco­pus Romanus Montanizat, the Bishop of Rome is turned Montanist. And yet Montanism, and Arianism, and Photinianism, and the o­ther Sects I have named, were justly reckon­ed by succeeding Popes, as so many Heretical Professions and Factions, which yet these their Predecessors did embrance notwithstanding. And [Page 27] since this is Pope against Pope, one contra­dicting and condemning the other, and that in things pertaining to the Faith; How is it like­ly and possible, that every one of them could be in the Right? Further yet; two things are observed of Pope Galasius the first, that Magdeb. Cent 5. c. 4. de Cae­ne Dom. & cap. 10. in vita Gelasii. he flatly affirmed the Elements in the Sacrament to remain in their own Nature Bread and Wine; and that he called it a piece of Sacriledge, to administer the Bread without the Wine: But how irreconcileable his Doctrine is with that of latter Popes, who teach Transubstantion, and half Communion, any man may see with half an Eye. Again, Caelestine the Third, taught Alphons. de Castro lib. 1. c. 4. that Marriage was void and null, if either the Wife or the Husband became an Heretick; and yet the quite contrary was taught by his immediate Successor Innocent the Third, and so it has continued to be taught by the rest of the Popes since. Further yet: The Papists are pleas'd to call Mr. Calvin an Heretick, for af­firming, that the souls of Saints departed shall not enjoy the perfect vision of God until the Resurrection. Yet this Doctrine was taught by Pope John the 22th. but (to see the Infallibility of these Men) some say, that John himself recanted this before his death; however it is certain, that the contrary was defined by Benedict, the Twelfth, Johns next Successor; and so the Popes teach still, that such Souls are perfectly happy upon their departure; and this is the fundamental Principle upon which their Invocations of Saints standeth; and were [Page 28] it not for that, I believe John's opinion would have been received as a certain Truth. But what shall we say of John the 23th. who de­nyed the Articles of Eternal Life, and the Re­surrection of the Body? And for his Heresie was accused, and condemned by their own Council of Constance? Either he, or other Popes were grossly mistaken; and which of the two is most likely, we leave to themselves to dispute it out.

To these I might add many instances more; as, that John the 12th. ordained a Deacon in a stable, Magdeb. Cent. 10. c. 9. drank healths to the Devils, and called up­on Devils for help when he was at Dice; that there was an Age (as Platina tells us) when Plat. in vit. Steph. 6. 'twas usual with Popes to make void all that their Predecessors had done; that, when For­mosus was dead, Stephen the 6th. made his bo­dy to be taken out of the Grave, caused some Ballarm. of his fingers to be cut off, and his Carcase to be thrown into the River; that then Pope Romanus was set up, who condemned the Acts of Stephen; and then came Sergius the 3d. who ratified what Stephen had done, and nulled a­gain the Acts of Formosus. I might instance also in another of their pretended Infallible Oracles, I mean that Female Pope, who turned St. Peters into a groaning Chair, and was delivered of a Popeling; and so cozened the whole Church and her self too (notwithstanding her Infallibili­ty;) but as to this, it will be said, that it was not Error in Capite, a judicial Error, but a per­sonal slip only (an hurt in the Elbow or the [Page 29] Shin) or else they will deny, that there was ever such a Pope, and with them it is a Rule, that Fortiter mentiri, to Lye strenuously, and to swear to it, for the sake of the Catholick cause, is not only pardonable, but meritorous too. I shall only add (what is very well known) that Sixtus the 5th. set forth a Latine Tran­slation of the Bible, and cursed all that would not use that; and after him came Clement the 8th. and set forth another and different Tran­slation, and cursed all that would not use that; so that let the Romanists turn themselves which way they please, they are all accursed and damned, if it be so that their Popes be indeed Infallible.

But 'tis a wonder, that any Learned person should be of that opinion of men, who have been so vicious, so ridiculous, and so inconsi­stent with themselves, that the Italians them­selves have made them the Subjects of the bit­terest Pasquils and Satyrs: only I do remember (what a Learned Writer hath observed of Ae­neas Bishop Taylor lib. of Proph. Sect. 7. Silvius) that before he came to be pre­ferred to the Popedome, he laughed at the conceit of the Popes Infallibility; and the rea­son why some did set him above Councils, was this (as he ingeniously confest,) because the Pope had the disposal of all Spiritual Preferments, which Councils had not, and so the thing fairly ends, that 'tis not the Love of Truth, but the Love of Interest, which has made men to sweat, to defend this pretence of Infallibility. A pretence which I have been the [Page 30] longer upon, because it is the grand Delusion on which many others are built; and though many, who dare not believe their own Senses, are so senseless and sottish, as to believe this fancy, yet I consider, that thousands have been justly given up to believe a Lye. That great im­postor Montanus pretended that he was the Para­clete, or Comforter that was promised; and that Delusion prevailed so, that the Acute and Learned Tertullian, himself was at last perswaded of the Truth of it. Though it be a dangerous, yet 'tis no New thing for the worst of men to say, they are Infallible. Those false Prophets, and false Teachers, who seduced the World in the A­postles days, pretended the same thing; and it was the grand Delusion which the Righ­teous God delivered them and their follow­ers up to believe, because they loved not the Truth.

2. Another thing observable of those first Hereticks is, that they taught the worship of Images. S. John cautioned his little Children, to keep themselves from Idols, 1 Joh. 5. 21. And S. Paul spake of some Idolaters that were in the World in his days, 1 Cor. 5. 10. Now by these are to be understood, not only those who worshipped the Pagan Deities, but those also who worshipped Pictures, whether of God, or of Christ, or of Men. And that such there were in those first times is very clear out of the Writings of many Ancient Doctors in the Church; and though they called themselves Christians as the sincere Pro­fessors [Page 31] of the Gospel were called, yet were they condemned, and prescribed by the Church, as vile and abominable Hereticks. Such were the Cerinthians, who boasted of their immedi­ate Revelations, and yet honoured the Picture of Judas himself, because he was the occasion of Christs death. Simon Magus (of whom I spake Epiph. Haeres. 21. Iren. l. 1 c. 20. Augustinus. Eusebius. before) delivered an Effigies of himself to his Followers in the shape of Jupiter, and another of his Strumpet Helena in the shape of Miner­va; and his Disciples by his directions worship­ped these with prostrations, with incense, with meat and drink-Offerings. In like manner the Carpocratians had the Pictures of Christ and of Iren. l. 1. c. 24. Paul, and of others, to which they gave religi­ous worship; and by so doing did conceive, that they greatly honoured Christ himself and his Apostles. Now all these poysonous Branches of Idolatry proceeded from one bitter Root, that wicked Sorcerer, who was the Author of all Cyril. Cat. 5. Vide Ouzel. in Min. Faelic. p. 54. Heresies: And the learned Dr. Hammond is of opinion, that Saint Paul pointeth to these Impostors, Rom. 1. 23. where he saith, that they changed the Glory of the incorruptible God, into an Image made like unto a corruptible man, for they supposed, that God himself was adored and wor­shipped in and by these Images and Represen­tations. Like unto this old abominable and heretical Practice is the modern Practice of the Church of Rome, in worshipping the Pictures of the Persons in the Holy Trinity, of the Holy Virgin, and of the Apostles and other Saints: And tho they would come off with a nice [Page 32] and foolish distinction between Latria and Dulia (which yet their Writers do not throughly a­gree in;) yet suppose they do not pretend to give Divine worship to the Images themselves, but to the Prototypes, that is to God and to Christ, who are thus Represented, this is a ve­ry gross delusion and a Lie, in the Scripture sense of the Word, that is, down right Idolatry. For they, who worshipped the golden Calf in the Wilderness, are called by the Apostle Idola­ters, 1 Cor. 10. 7. and yet they were not so sottish as to think, that the Image which they had just formed with their hands was the very True God; but looked upon it as the Symbol of Gods pre­sence, and worshipt it as Gods Representative; and their Worship was ultimately directed, not to the Calf, but to God himself by the Image, and under that Similitude; and so they were guilty of Idolatry in the Manner, tho not in the Object of their worship; for they worship­ped the True God after a False way. And in­deed this was the Idolatry of the very Pagans. For tho many of the vulgar sort among them terminated their worship in the Images themselves, yet the wiser sort did conceive and prefer, that they worshipped the Great God by their Ima­ges, and not the Images themselves. So Celsus declared in his Disputations with Origen, that he was no better than a perfect Fool, that looked upon those things (things of Wood and Stone, of Brass and Gold) to be Gods and not rather as Origen. cont. Cels. l. 7. Images of the Gods. And the Pagans in Arno­bius profest that they worshipp'd Statues, only Arnob. l. 6. [Page 33] because through them honor is given to the Gods, whereas the Images themselves were wor­shipt only for their Dedication, and Relation sake unto the Deity. This was the Plea of the Heathens, and this is the Plea of the Papists; so that either they are guilty of Ido­latry, or else neither Jews nor Heathens were ever guilty of it: And whatever evasions they make use of to excuse their Image worship, the same shifts any Learned man, may use to excuse the Idolatries of the first Seducers, the Simoni­ans, the Cerinthians, the Carpocratians, and the Collyridians too, who offered up Cakes to the Vir­gin Mary's Image. For all these did believe, that this Worship and Honour did chiefly and ultimately redound to the Honour of God; and this was a Delusion, and a Lie, which they were delivered up to believe; and I wish some pretended Catholicks had not raked up the same Delusions out of these Old Hereticks Graves.

3. Of whom it is yet further observable, that they taught the Adoration and Invocati­on of Heavenly Spirits, as Mediators between them and the great God. This is expresly recorded by Epiphanius of Simon the Sorce­rer, Epiph. Hae­res. 21. that he taught his followers, that no man could be saved, unless he did offer up Sacrifice to the great Parent of the Ʋniverse, by those Principalities, and Powers, and Intelligences which are above. And questionless, this is that [...], or worshipping of An­gels, which S. Paul condemns, 2 Col. 18. Let no man beguile you of your Reward, in a volun­tary [Page 34] humility, and worshipping of Angels. That is, let no man rob you of that which is the peculiar honour of Christians (who call upon God through the Eternal Word onely, let no man beguile you out of that way) by per­swading you to an uncommanded piece of humility, to go to God by many Mediators and Advocates, as if it were too much confi­dence and rudeness to direct your Prayers immediately unto the Father of Spirits: And in order hereunto, take heed, that ye be not tempted to worship and invocate the An­gels, who are thought to be Gods Ministers of State, to carry his Commands down unto Men, and to convey mens Prayers up unto God. This was certainly the foolish and e­vil Practice of many deluded people in those dayes; and very like unto this is the super­stitions and unlawful Practice of many de­luded wretches in our days, who do not on­ly pray to their Guardian Angel to defend and to direct them, but also to S. Michael the Arch-Angel, and to all the (supposed) Nine orders of Blessed Spirits; and to the Souls of Patriarchs and Prophets, of Apostles and Martyrs, and to the Spirits of all Saints de­parted, to be their Mediators and Intercessors at the Throne of Grace. But this is a meer Delusion and a Lye, though they believe it to be an Act of great Piety and Devotion: For Abraham is ignorant of us, and Israel acknow­ledgeth Isa. 63. 16. us not: Nor doth our Saviour himself send us to God any other way but by him, [Page 35] nor direct us to pray in any other Name but in his; nor doth the Scriptures own any 1 Tim. 2. 5. more then one Mediatour between God and Men, the Man Christ Jesus. To address ones self to a plurality of Inferior Spirits, and sub­ordinate Mediatours, is down right Heathenism, which Religion Christ came to destroy, and Matth. 6. 7. forbad us to Pray, as the Heathens did; and so we are not only to forbear all Battologies and vain Repetitions, which the Pagans used; but also we must declaim all Plurality of In­tercessors, which the Pagans believed. And be­cause this is a useful speculation, I would ob­serve unto you these four things, touching the Religion of the Old Heathens, much where­of these Gnosticks in my Text did insert into their Religion, and upon which they ground­ed their Practice of worshipping, and praying to Daemons and Invisible Spirits.

1. They believed, as we all do, that there is but one Supreme, Sovereign and Independent Diety, which presideth over the whole World, and ordereth all things in Heaven and Earth. Yet nevertheless.

2. They believed, that between God and Men there were vast numbers of Inferior Deities, and Deified Souls (as the Romanists reckon great multitudes of Canonized and Re­puted Saints) to whom the great God did commit the care of Men, and the Government See Dr. Cud­worths Intel. System. of the World.

3. They believed (as the Romanists do al­so) that since God was a Being of most tran­scendent [Page 36] perfection, it was not manners for men to address themselves unto him, but by the favour and means of those middle Beings or Mediatours: Even as it is a piece of boldness to present a Petition to an Earthly Prince, but by the hand of an Intercessor, or some Master of Request.

4. And so, lastly, it was the Custome of Heathens, to call upon some Demon, Soul, or Spirit to solicite and mediate for them unto the supream God, and to depend upon them, as their immediate Patrons, and to expect all their Pe­titions to be answered by their care, and all good things, both for them and theirs, to be brought unto them by the hands of these Mediators, to whose Custody and Protection they did solemn­ly devote and commit themselves. This is a short and plain account of the Creed and the Re­ligion of the Ancient Pagans; by what we can learn from the most sagacious, dilligent, and in­quisitive Writers.

And by this it will appear what a correspon­dence and likeness there is between Popery and Heathenism in this particular, concerning their Applications unto, and their Dependances upon certain Mediators, whose Interest they conceiv­ed, to be so great in the Supream and Soveraign Numen, that they rested confidently in their In­tercession and power, in all Cases, Circumstances, and Conditions of Life. For (that I may give you some particular and known Instances:) the Heathens were wont to engage certain Demons, or Spirits of the other world, to be their Tute­lar [Page 37] Deities, to take the Patronage of their Coun­tries, Cities, and Habitations; such was Bel to the Babylonians, Osiris to the Aegyptians, Vul­can to the Lemnians, Pallas to the Trojans, Mi­nerva to the Athenians, Apollo to the Delphicks, Juno to the Carthaginians, and the like. Just so have the deluded Romanists engaged St. James to be the Tutelar Saint for Spain, Peter and Paul for Rome, Denis for France, Martin for Germa­ny, Nicolas for Moscovia, Ambrose for Milan, Hulderick for Augusta, our Lady for I know not how many Cities and Corporations; and every particular Child is taught to choose him a Guar­dian Saint for his own Person, and to pray dai­ly See the Childs Catechisme printed at Paris. 1672. to him in this Form, Glorious Saint N. whom the divine Providence hath allotted for my Pattern on Earth and my Patron in Heaven; obtain (I beseech you) for me, your poor Pupil, so to imi­tate here your Vertues, that I may be made parta­ker of your Glory. Again: The Heathens had divers inferiour Deities and Mediators belonging to their several Trades and Professions Hus­bandmen had their Ops and Sylvanus; Mariners had their Castor and Pollux; Travellers had their Hercules; Shepheards had their Pan; Scho­lars had their Apollo; Souldiers had their Mars; and Theeves had their light-fingured Mercury. Even so have these silly deluded wretches their peculiar Saints: Physitians have their Cosmus and Damianus; Painters their Saint Luke; Potters have their Godrus; Huntsmen their Eustacius; Seamen their Saint Christopher, Saint Clement, and our Lady; Lawyers have their Juno; Smiths [Page 38] have their Eulogius, and Harlots themselves have their Saint Magdalen and Saint Afra. Once more; they have (as the old Heathens had) par­ticular propitions Spirits, and Orators for parti­cular Diseases and Griefs; as Cornelius for the Falling Sickness, Barbara against sudden Death, Liberius for the Stone, Apollonia for the Tooth­ach, Otilia for Sore eyes, Roche against the Plague, Petronilla for the Fever, Saint John and Saint Bennet against Poyson, Saint Antony for the Ery­sipelas, Romanus for Demoniacks, and Saint Mar­garet for Women in Travel, and Faelicitas for such as are Barren. Lastly they have particular Saints for the safety of themselves, and their se­veral sorts of Goods: They have Antony for their Swine, Wendeline for their Sheep, Pelagius for their Oxen, Saint Gall for their Geese, Saint Loy for their Horses, Ʋrban for their Vineyards, Aga­tha against Fires, Saint Michael and Saint George against all their Enemies.

These Instances I have collected, not so much out of a design to render their Religion ridi­culous, as to open the eyes of those ignorant People, who are deluded by crafty and evil Men, and whom I pity with my Soul. Alas! miserable were those Creatures in the Apostles time, who were taught by Hereticks to pray unto Angels, to invocate and conside in Angels, as their Mediators and Patrons in the Court of Heaven: but (God help them) how misera­ble are those poor Souls, I now speak of, who are taught to do this, and much more! Not on­ly to adore and depend on those that are in­deed [Page 39] Ministring Spirits, but moreover to worship and repose their trust (both for their present and eternal safety) in little (and many times very naughty) Creatures, whose names they are pleas­ed for their Interest sake, and for some self-ends, to enter into the Register and Catalogue of Saints! But they have taken their Copy from the Re­ligion of those, whom Saint Paul speaketh of in my Text, that had strong delusions sent them, that they should believe a Lie, because they lo­ved not the Truth, that they might be saved. And yet I have more to say of them still.

ANCIENT and MODERN DELUSIONS, Discoursed of in three SERMONS Upon 2 THES. 2. 11.

2. THES. 2. 11.‘And for this cause God shall send them strong Delu­sion, that they should believe a Lye.’

FOR, Fourthly, there is yet another thing observable of those Deceivers in the dayes of the Apostles, that they pre­tended to great Austerities of Life, in mortifying their Flesh, and disciplining their Bo­dies, and abridging themselves of that Liber­ty which God had allowed in the use of his Creatures. S. Paul takes notice in two seve­ral places, that they forbad to marry, and com­manded to obstain from meats, 1 Tim. 4. 3. and that they neglected the body by observing these hu­mane Ordinances, touch not, taste not, handle not, [Page 41] Col. 2. 21. They pretended to be more per­fect and Holy than other men, in using those severities towards the Body, which others nei­ther did, nor thought themselves obliged to use. These things have indeed a shew of Wis­dome, saith the Apostle, Col. 2. 23. and 1 Tim. 4. 2. He gave these Deceivers this Character, that they spake Lyes in Hypocrisie; abused the World by pretences of extraordinary Sanctity and Mortification, because they were so strict in these outward observances. And are not the Modern Severities, which the Romanists lay so much stress upon, so many Apish Resemb­lances of these Ancient Delusions? Their forbid­ding all Monastick persons and Clergy-men to Marry, as if it were unbecoming the Sacred­ness of their Profession; their commanding certain Religious Orders, such as the Benedictines and Carthusians, to eat no manner of Flesh all their days; their General Laws touching the choice of meats at certain times, which are imposed upon All as Religious ordinances, and necessary to be observed under pain of Anathema; what is all this, but a reviving of the Doctrines of the Old Gnosticks, and a new Edition of those Cheats and Impostures, which were condemned by the Church in its most Primitive Ages?

As near as I can I will do them no wrong in this particular. The Case, I confess, in some respects is not altogether the same, and yet in other respects it is not altogether dif­ferent. It is not the same on this account, [Page 42] because some Ancient Deceivers condemned Marriage as one of the Devils works, and forbad the use of Wine and Flesh as a thing evil and unlawful in it self. So Theodoret tells us of the followers of Simon the Sorcerer; and Irenaeus tells us of Saturninus, Marcion and the Eucratitae: And Epiphanius relates of the Iren. l. 1. c. 22. & 30. Epiph. Hae­res. 30. & 42. & 66. Ebionites and Manichees also, how they held Marriage, and the use of Flesh and Wine to have been instituted by the Devil, and there­fore was evil naturally and intrinsically. This the Papists do deny as we do; and they are very proud of this Evasion, and make use of it against us, when we dispute against their superstitions; even as Tertullian did, disputing against the Church in his book, de Jejunio, when he was a Montanist. This is agreed upon on all hands, against the first Hereticks, that Hierom. adv. Jovinian. l. 2. every Creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving, as S. Paul speaks, 1 Tim. 4. 4.

But then it is to be noted, that in the Apostles days some were guilty, though not of Here­sie, yet of great Superstition in this particular. For they granted the use of Gods Creatures to be lawful in it self; but yet they conceiv­ed the forbearance of their Liberty to be a very meritorious Act of Self-denial, a great piece of of perfection, and such a direct Act of worship as was very acceptable and pleasing unto God. S. Paul, in 1 Tim. 4. 8. speaking of [...], bodily exercise, as a thing of little profit, doth plainly glance at the fooleries of those [Page 43] men, who placed Religion in bodily castigati­gations, in abstaining from certain meats and drinks, and from Marriage; although they did not look upon these things as [...], abomi­nable in their own nature; but refrained from them (as divers did) [...], for Discipline sake, supposing this abstinence to be an Exer­cise of Piety, and kind of Mortification and Humility, that would purchase and merit the Divine favour. And, in Col. 2. 23. although he calls this neglecting of the body, will-wor­ship and humility (as those superstitious wretches did) yet he tells us, that these are onely the Commandments and Doctrines of men, [...], which tended to corrupt practices by the abuse of them. These things had indeed in them a shew of Wisdome, as being borrowed of some Philosophers (for which reason he saith, beware least any spoil you through Philosophy and vain deceit, vers. 8.) but yet they were onely specious, not real or substantial services. And are not those little things, so religiously practised, and so wonderfully applauded by the Church of Rome (such as wallowing on the ground, a Pe­nitential shift, going bare-foot to a Sepulchre or a Shrine, whippings in the Time of Lent, the wear­ing of S. Francis his habit, and especially the choice of some meats, as if it were a mortal sin to eat others, and the forbiding of Priests marriage, because they that are in the Flesh can­not please God (as Pope Siricius insolently af­firmed) Siric. Ep. 1. c. 7. I say are not these pettite and super­stitions observations imposed upon the Consci­ence [Page 44] as necessary and meritorious Acts, a per­fect Copy and Transcript of Ordinances, that were condemned of Old? Though many are such Fops as to receive them for Catholick Tra­ditions, and to confide and trust in them as a sure way to Heaven; yet that the opinion of their merit or necessity is a gross and pal­pable Delusion, may be easily evinced by ob­serving what St. Paul himself said in the beginning with reference to these matters. For: 1. Bo­dily exercise profiteth little, in comparison of that Piety which consisteth in the renovation of the heart, and the Crucifixion of the Old man. Christianity is a grave and serious thing requiring the mortifying of our Lusts, and the inward Sanctity of the Spirit: The Kingdome of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost, Rom. 14. 17.

2. These frothy and insignificant Practices are so distant from the Rules of solid Religion, that they are indeed the very scum of Hea­thenism, the Elements and Rudiments of the World, as S. Paul speaks, Col. 2. 8, 20. For so S. Jerome tells us, out of Cheraemon the S. Hierome lib. 2. Jovi­nian. Stoick, touching the Priests in Egypt; and out of Eubulus, touching the Priests of Mi­thras in Persia; and out of Philo and Jo­sephus, touching the Essenes (which some Chemnit. Eras. pag. 124. de Athen. think that S. Paul pointeth to especially,) out of Xenocrates, touching the Athenians, and out of Euripides touching the Cretians, though they were Gluttons: And the like we find related [Page 45] of several Heathens more by other Authors; that they used bodily severities, especially before See Dr. Ham. in Tit. 1. 12. Volateran. l. 13. c. 4. An­throp. Alex. ab Alex. l. 6. c. 2. they made their adresses unto their Gods; that they were wont to change their garments, and lie upon the bare Earth, and for several days to abstain from conjugal enjoyments, from Wine and Flesh, and even from Eggs and Milk as coming of Flesh; and that when they took their Repast, they did it very moderately, and up­on very light diet, contenting themselves with bread, and hearbs and pulse, and things of the like nature; and all this, supposing, that by these outward castigations and severities, they should make the Gods favourable and propitious unto them.

3. And yet, S. Paul calls all this Hypocrisie, (or vain ostentation) 1 Tim. 4. A character, which though it was given by the Apostle, of the Impostors in his Time, those Spirits of Er­rour, those Apostates from the Faith, who had their Consciences seared with an hot Iron; yet it may become the generality of Romanists at this day. For they make marriage unlawful to those, in whom fornication is counted no sin: They call it fasting when they forbear Flesh, tho they surfeit with the most delicate Fish, and the most generous Wines: And so they have found out a very lucky way to fast, and yet to fare as sumptuously, as any Scholar of Epicurus or Apicius could wish to do; to fast until their girdles crack; to fast till they are as fat as Boars in a frank; and to mortifie their flesh till their sides are, succidiae Gehennae, as S. Jerome speaks, [Page 46] like so many flitches to be smoked in Hell. This is far short of the austerities of those Pagans and Hereticks of old; for they fasted indeed, and fared hard too, when their Fast was broken, and had greater Reason to plead the Merit of their Works, and to call themselves so many mortified Saints, and yet even these were Cheats and Deceivers, who abused silly people, that for their sins were delivered up to strong Delu­sions, that they should believe a Lie.

5. Tonching which Impostors there is yet a fifth thing observable; that notwithstanding their specious and popular pretensions, they were given to such licentious courses, and corrupted the World with such impious and damnable doctrines as brought a Reproach upon Christia­nity, and made the Church of Christ to be ha­ted Justin. Mart. Apol. 2. & Dial. cum Tryp. Min. Fael. and evil spoken of for their sakes. All the ancient Writers have observed over and over; how addicted they were to lasciviousness, and taught men such abominable kinds of uncleanness, as cannot be named without a blush. They taught, that in Times of Persecution, men might worship the Heathen Gods, and eat of such things Iren. l. 1. c. 23. as had been offered unto Devils. They taught, that men might tell any lies for their safety, and to avoid danger might equivocate, and deny the Faith of Christ with their mouths, so they did not do it in their hearts. They taught, that it was lawful to betray and persecute those Christians that were sincere and steddy, and that it was a piece of good service unto God, even to kill them. They taught, that Incest, and Adultery, and For­nication [Page 47] were empty words, and that the most villainous sorts of Lust had nothing of Sin or Impurity in them. In a word, they did not stick at any thing that was evil, but were such Patrons of all manner of wickedness, that in many places of Scripture they are called, Wolves, Dogs, Blasphemers, Traitors, Lovers of pleasures, house-creepers, and enticers of silly women laden with sins, despisers of government, separatists, sensualists, filthy dreamers, scoffers walking after their own lusts, turning the Grace of God into lasciviousness, and denying the Lord that bought them. These are the plain Characters that were cut out upon the foreheads of that un­godly brood, the followers of Simon Magus, in the most Primitive Ages. And now to draw a Parellel between them and the modern Romanists, a man might wonder, that they, who cry up Good Works to the Skyes, should be the Teachers of such things as are quite con­trary to Godliness, and utterly destructive of the Life and Substance of Religion. But here lyes one main peice of Sophistry, that by Good Works they mean, the hearing of Mass, the mumbling over some Ave Maryes and Pater Nosters, abstinence from Flesh at certain times, and such like Acts of obedience to the Laws of their Church. But as for those Ver­tues which are morally, and eternally necessary, as Love, Humility, Subjection, Charity and the rest, they lay so little stress upon them, that they suppose them to be dispensable, and of no great moment. For what saith the great Car­dinal [Page 48] Bellarmine. Why, even this, that men must Bellarm. de Rom. Pontif. lib. 4. c. 5. acquiesce in the judgement of the Pope; and though he should chance to err in commanding to that which is a vice, or forbidding that which is a Virtue, the Church is bound to believe vices to be good, and virtues to be evil. And so he saith elsewhere, that Christ gave unto Lib. in Bark­lain, c. 13. Peter (and in him to his Successors) full power to make that a sin, which is not sin, and to make that to be no sin which indeed is a sin. I am very con­fident, there never was a more devilish Principle taught by the most hellish Impostors that liv'd yet in any Age of the Church. Yet this is the Principle which the Romanists do go up­on, and take for granted, that let their Popes teach what they will, it must be true, let them forbid what they will, it must be evil; let them require what they will, it must be good; and let them dispense with what they will, it must be lawful, even in foro interno in the Court of Conscience. Now, do but observe what are the things, which those precious Infallible Guides teach? Why, that men may be saved by the Merits of Saints, and so need not work out their own Salvation; that they are justifi­ed before God, if they do but confess their Sins to a Priest, and undergo a slight and a cheap Pennance, when the Priest hath ab­solved them; that if they die in the guilt of any Venial Sins, they shall go no further than Purgatory, and shall soon be sent thence in­to Heaven by a good Legacy, by a few Masses, and by the Popes indulgence; and that the Pope hath Authority and Power to Pardon, [Page 49] judicially the sins of all men, past, present and to come, even to the Term of ten thousand years. Again; what is it which they do forbid? Why, to be in Charity with those whom they call Hereticks, to hearken to their Counsels and Arguments, to discourse with them about mat­ters of Religion, to look into their Bibles, and to examine the ground of their own Faith, and whatsoever else tendeth to the prejudice of the Roman Cause, is utterly forbidden under the pain of a Curse. But as the Old Hereticks forbore that which they might and ought to have done, but were very earnest for whatsoever was utterly unlawful; so these, while they tye men up from things that are honest and lauda­ble, do not only let them loose, but drive them also to things, which the Laws of God and of Nature have severely interdicted. They re­quire them to resign up their Senses, Reason and Consciences into their hands; to perse­cute all that are not of the same Opinions, though of the same Faith with them; to sub­vert Kingdomes; to compass Sea and Land to Poyson and Assassinate Princes; and if by Pro­vidence they be detested, to Lie strenuously, and to forswear the Fact, and to protest their Inno­cence with the most bitter Execrations, even at the last minute, when their Souls are imme­diately to appear before that righteous Judge, who is is the searcher of the heart. And of the same nature are those things which they allow and dispence with. Witness that Liber­ty they give men instead of Marrying to For­nicate; [Page 50] to act the greatest Cruelties that the most Savage Wits can invent; to equivocate and dissemble, and deal falsly, to break Oaths, though never so strict and sacred, and if need require, to deny their Faith, and to take the Sacrament, even against their Consciences, and for no other end but to abuse and deceive the World. Briefly; witness those dispensations for Adulteries, for Murders, for Killing ones Father or Mother, and for many unnatural and most horrid impieties: of which we have Mr. Eganes Rates. some account given us by one who was of their own Communion; and a more full ac­count may be seen in their Taxa Camera, a Book publickly printed, of which their own Espenae­us Cited by Bi­shop Taylor, in his Disswa­sive, part. 1. sect. 5. saith, ‘that it is a Book, in which a Man may learn more wickedness, than in all the Sum­maries of Vice published in the World: and yet to them that will pay for it, there is given to many a License, and to all an Absolution, for the greatest and most horrid Sins. It is no wonder to me that the Romanists generally are such vile, inhumane, and more than Barbarous creatures, having Consciences seared with an hot iron; especially the Italians, who live near the Receipt of Custome, and under the Nose of that monstrous Head of the Church, who can make Villany, Nothing. And I am confident, that no Leviathans, whether of former or later Ages, have bred so many Atheists, as that Church which calls her self Catholick, and takes upon her to remove all boundaries of good and evil, and either to command or to allow whatsoever is [Page 51] contrary to Eternal Reason, repugnant to Gods Word, injurious to all Civil Societies, shame­full to Mankind, scandalous to Religion, and destructive of its very Being and Nature. Cer­tainly that Character did never better befit any other Sect, which Saint Paul gave of the old Gnosticks, that they had the form of Godliness, but denied the Power thereof, 2 Tim. 3. 5.

6. And yet lastly, it is observable of those old Deceivers, that they pretended Miracles, and vied with the Apostles themselves in work­ing Wonders, thinking to make their Delusions plausible by the same means and methods, which served at first for the confirmation of the Gospel. All ancient Ecclesiastical Writers have observ­ed, that the first Impostors were Magicians; and that by inchantments, and the help of the Devil, they did many things which past for Mi­racles. We read of Simon the first Heretick, and the Father of those Sorcerers, that he did flie in the air; that he made Statues to walk, and Cyril. Cat 5. Chrys. Hom. 19. in c. 7. Mat. move like men; and that he would cast himself into the flames, and yet come off without being burnt. And so we find of Marcus, that he was wont to make a long Prayer at his consecrating the Cup, and made the Wine to change its colour, and to look of a deep red; and then he pre­tended, that some of Christs blood had dropt into Iren. lib. 1. c. 9. the Chalice. And many more instances might be reckoned up, had I but time to search into An­tiquity. It sufficeth, what Saint Paul saith ex­presly of these Apostates, that tho they taught Doctrines of Devils, yet their coming was after [Page 52] the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders, in this 2 Thess. 2. 9. [...], as St. Chrysostome notes; with such wonders, as either were Impostures, or tended to confirm an Imposture. Had not our Saviour Christ foretold, Matth. 24. 24. That false Teachers should arise, and shew such great signs and wonders, as would (if it were possible) de­ceive the very Elect: Had not Lodovicus Vives told us, that in his time, some counted it a piece of Piety to coin Lies for Religion: and were not the World fraughted with variety of Legends, and thousands of Stories touching Mi­racles done at the Shrines and by the Reliques of Saints; it would be the greatest Prodigy to me, that in these dayes, Men should have the confidence to talk of Miracles, since the Truth of Religion hath been so abundantly confirm­ed. Yet such is the Folly and Impudence of the Church of Rome, that they are not asham'd to fill our ears with such Comical Stories (ma­ny of them fabulous, many ridiculous, and all of them impertinent) that were it fit to make this House a Theatre, I would desire no bet­ter Subject, whereby to expose their Religion. But my business is briefly to shew, that these are strong Delusions, however some credulous and silly people do believe them as firmly as the very Creed.

In order to our proceeding two things must be premised.

1. That there are two sorts of Miracles. Some are properly so called, real and true Miracles, such [Page 53] as cannot be wrought by any second Causes, but by the immediate hand of God alone. Others a­gain are improperly so called, rather Prodigies than true Miracles, such as are not effected by any natural and ordinary causes here among us, but by some invisible created Spirits, who, by Gods permission, produce such supernatural ef­fects, as do strike the vulgar sort into astonish­ment, and serve to bring the Instruments thereof into admiration: Of this sort was those wrought of old by the Egyptian Sorcerers, in Exod. 7.

2. Miracles are not to be heeded without Consideration had of those Doctrines, which they are intended to confirm. For if they serve to promote Idolatry, or to rob God of any of his Honor (things plainly condemned by the Ho­ly Ghost in Scripture) they are to be rejected without further examination; it being not to be supposed, that God will contradict himself, or set his Seal to a Lie; but rather to be Believed, that he doth only permit An­gels or Devils to shew such wonders for the probation and tryal of Mens Faith, or in ven­geance for their Sins. This is clear from Deut. 13. 1, 2, 3. If there arise among you a Prophet, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, say­ing let us go after other Gods, and serve them; thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that Prophet, &c.

These things being taken for granted we affirm,

1. That the signs and wonders, which the Church of Rome boasteth of, are not in any wise true Miracles, done by the power of God, where­with [Page 55] Christ and his Apostles were indued; but that they are either so many Lies and Forgeries, or so many Diabolical operations at the best. For what do they pretend to do, but in a corner and among themselves? Whereas true Miracles were acted before the Sun, and before the eyes of those who were Enemies to truth; because a true Miracle is alwayes for conviction, and so must be publick. And if these men are armed with omnipotence, why do they not shew Ʋs the finger of God, who are ready to resist their Doctrines and Practices even unto Blood? and besides it is to be considered, that how great soever their pretended Miracles are, we will shew them as great, which have been done by unbelievers, not only by the Aegypti­ans, but also by Apollonius Tyaneus, by Vespasian and other Roman Emperors, and by Accius Na­vius, a Pagan, of whom Apuleius, tells us, that Miraculum cotis. Apul. he divided a Stone with a Razor.

2. If these Miracles were more for number, and greater for the nature of them than they are, yet are they to be exploded and hissed at by all Lovers of the Truth, because they tend, not to the confirmation of the Christi­an Faith, but to different ends clearly. It is observable, that when the Roman Doctors would prove the verity of the Articles of our Common Creed, they talk not of Miracles, but have recourse unto the Scriptures. But seeing they can find nothing there, which counte­nanceth the worshipping of Relicks and Images and the like, they appeal always to strange [Page 54] and mighty works, pretended to have been done by such and such a Saint, to give war­rant to their Superstitions and Idolatry. Now these things are repugnant to the Word of God, and to the Doctrine of God our Savi­our; and therefore it is presumable, that they are Impostures and Cheats put upon men by the Father of Lies, thereby to advance the Interest of his Kingdome. For all these Miracles, so highly cryed up, serve to no good purposes, but to some pitiful, or sinful ends; either to bring their Monasteries and Or­ders into veneration, or to encourage the In­vocations of Saints, or to bring honour to the Mass, or to promote the adoration of the Host, or the Cross, or the like monstrous Innovati­ons. So they tell us, that St. Antony was heard at two miles distance, while he was preaching;—That St. Denis took up his own head, after 'twas cut off, and carried it in his arms;—That St. Do­minick was wont to plague the Devil, pulling off his Feathers when he appeared to him in the shape of a Sparrow, and burning his toes when he trou­bled him in the form of a Monkey;—That St. Fran­cis was transformed into the form of our Saviour, with his five Wounds imprinted upon him;—That St. Ignatius's picture quenched a fire in a Barn that was all on a flame, and cured a Spaniard of Mendoza of the black Ague;—That St. Xavier having dropt his Crucifix into the Sea to allay a Tempest, recovered it again by the ministery of a Crab-Fish, that carried it many leagues, and brought it a shore with a great deal of reverence;—That [Page 56] Saint Patrick, while he was yet in his Mothers bel­ly, heard the Irish Infants crying to him to come and set them free;—That Saint Nicholas fasted eve­ry wednesday and friday, whilst he was a sucking Child;—That Bartolomy of Durham confoun­ded an Evil Angel, by throwing at him a pot of Holy Water;—That Saint Moedoc rode over a Lake in a Chariot, and left upon the waters the print of the wheels;—That a Mule was made to leave his Provender to adore the Sacrament;—That a Sheep was so devout, as to attend the Mass, and to bleat before the Altar of the blessed Virgin, and did humble obeisance at the elevation of the Host;—That by the sign of the Cross a Birds head was set on, that had been pulled off by the Boys, and great flakes of Ice were turned into billets, and a sucking Child was made to speak, and thousands have been healed of all manner of Diseases;—That Devils have been brought to confession by the virtue of the Ladies Psalter and the Rosary; and that Evil Spirits have sneaked out of persons possessed by the Repeti­tion of a few Ave Maryes; and that at Saint Ger­vais his Monastry in Paris, a hive of Bees were so Religious, as to build a Chappel of Wax in honor of the holy Wafer, that was put in among them; and framed a Table, a Pix, and even Bells, all of Wax; and ob­served the Canonical hours, and turned their hive into a Religious House: Only there was wanting a Mo­nastry of Drones. This is but a short account of their great Miracles, a larger Collection where­of I have by me, and they shall have it too, when they require it, and there shall be occasion for it. [Page 57] In the mean while it sufficeth to see what tri­fling Miracles these are, which they pretend to; and that they come so far short of those signs and wonders, which the more cunning Gnosticks did work of old, that the only great Miracle is, that people should be so void of sense, and common Reason, as to give credit to them. But yet I consider, that this is no very great Miracle neither, because many have been and are delivered up to strong delusions to believe a lie.

From all that hath been spoken upon this subject, we may see in short, what little Rea­son these fine Christians have to call themselves Catholicks, and the only Catholicks in the World; and for a what strange and sottish Religion it is, that Cities must be fired, and Magistrates mur­thered, and Princes destroyed, and Kingdomes divided, and the World turned upside down. Whereas he is a true Catholick, that holdeth the Catholick doctrine, the Faith that once was delivered unto the Saints, the Sum whereof is comprised in the Apostles Creed, which is indeed the true Catholick Faith; these great preten­ders have added new Articles unto the Old number, and so have spoyled the Ancient pu­rity of Religion by ugly additions; and yet will be so insolent as to call these corruptions by the name of Catholick verities; although it be made to appear, that they have ransaked the graves of Old Hereticks, and even raked Hell it self, to patch up that goodly model, which they would obtrude upon the World. [Page 58] Of the Simonians they have learned to pretend Infallibility, to worship Images, to worship An­gels, to call upon Mediators, to prohibite Mar­riage, to enjoyn the choice of meats, to debauch the World; and as a colour for all their Intollera­ble Usurpations, to pretend Miracles. To which I might add further, that they have learned of the Marcaeta to call Wine Blood; of the Mon­tanists, to make Laws of fasting; of the Hie­rachitae, to make works truely menitorious; of the Priscillianists, to make Apocryphal books e­qual with the Word of God: of the Pelagians, to Preach up a possibility of absolute Perfection; of the Collyridians to offer up Cakes to the Vir­gin Mary; of the Armenians, to worship the Cross; of Petrus Gnaphaeus to make Prayers un­to Saints; and of the Gnosimachi, to applaud Ignorance, as the Mother of Devotion. They are apt Scholars to learn any thing but what is good: and they have followed very fine Guides, the very worst of Christians (if I may so call them) and such as the Catholick Church hath marked and condemned for Hereticks. And now let God be judge between us and them, where the Delusions lie, whether on our side or on theirs: And so I end.


A Catalogue of some Books printed for and sold by Jonathan Edwin at the Three Roses in Ludgate-street.

A Sermon preached on the Thirtieth of Janu­ary 1673/9, being the Anniversary of the Martyrdome of King Charles the First, of blessed Memory, and published at the request of some Friends, by Edward Pelling, Rector of Saint Martins Ludgate: in quarto,

The true Liberty and Dominion of Conscience vin­dicated from the Usurpations and Abuses of Opinion and Perswasion: in octavo.

The Countermine; or a short, but true discovery of the dangerous Principles and secret Pra­ctices of the Dissenting Party, especially the Presbyterians, shewing, that Religion is pre­tended, but Rebellion is intended, and in order thereto, the Foundation of Monarchy in the State, and Episcopacy in the Church are undermined: in octavo.

The Common Interest of King and People, shew­ing the Original, Antiquity, and Excellency of Monarchy compared with Aristocracy and Democracy, and perticularly of our English Monarchy, and that absolute Papal and Pres­byterian popular Supremacy, are utterly in­consistent with Prerogative, Property; and Liberty: in octavo.

The Project of Peace; or Unity of Faith and Go­vernment, the onely expedient to procure [Page] Peace both Forreign and Domestique; and to preserve these Nations from the dan­ger of Popery, and Arbitrary Tyranny: in octavo.

The Causes and Remedies of the Distempers of the Times, in certain Discourses of Obedience and Disobedience: in octavo.

Two Sermons preached at the Funerals of the Right Honourable Robert Lord Lexington, and the Lady Mary his Wife; by Samuel Holden, A. M. late of Lincoln Colledge, in Oxford, and Chaplain to his Lordship, de­ceased: in quarto.

A Sermon preached July 17. 1676. in the Ca­thedral Church of Saint Peter in York, before the Right honourable Sir, Francis North, Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas; and the honourable, Vere Bertie Esquire, one of the Barons of the Exchequer; his Ma­jesties Judges of Assize for the Northern Circuit. by Thomas Cartwright D. D. and Dean of Ripon, Chaplain in ordinary to his Majesty.

A Sermon preached before the King at Whit-Hall, January the 9th 1675/6. by Thomas Cart­wright, D. D. Chaplain in ordinary to his Ma­jesty.


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