A THIRD LETTER TO A Person of Quality, Being a Vindication of the former, IN ANSWER TO A LATE PAMPHLET INTITULED A DISCOURSE Of the Use of IMAGES, &c.

LICENSED, August the 2d. 1687.

LONDON, Printed for Ben. Griffin, and are to be Sold by Randal Tay­lor near Stationers Hall, 1687.

AN ANSWER To a late Pamphlet Intituled a DISCOURSE Of the Use of Images, &c.


SINCE I sent you my Last, one of the Roman Communion has been Tampering with it, as you may perceive by a late Pamphlet under this Title, A Discourse of the use of Images in relation to the Church of England and the Church of Rome, in Vindica­tion of Nubes Testium, against a Pamphlet entituled, the Antiquity of the Protestant Religion concerning Images.

Assoon as I saw the Title Page, I fancied the Discour­ser had been tumbling over a great many old Books, to discover, if he could, some flaw in the Historical Ac­count I sent you in that Pamphlet, because that is the whole substance of it, nor can any man pretend to An­swer it, but by taking that course. But when I read it, I found some reason to mistrust, that Church-History is a thing quite out of the Discoursers way, and that he durst not venture upon it lest he should Err, which would unbecome one that is Member of a Church which pretends to be Infallible.

[Page 2] When he thought of writing against me, he should have Examin'd, whether the little History I had written were True or False, as to matter of Fact: That (if it were False) he might have told the World where my mistakes lay; or (if it be True) that he might have found out some Artifice and Shift to clear his own Church from the guilt of Innovation. For the Point is, whe­ther the Veneration of Images, as it is done in the Roman Church, be of Primitive Practice? I undertook to shew the Negative; against the Author of Nubes Testium; and in order to it I proved, that in the first Ages of Christia­nity the Christian Church had no Images at all; that it was for about the space of 400 years before any Images were so much as Ʋsed; that though in after Times they came to be used, yet it was a long time before they were used in Churches; that though at last they were set up in some Churches, yet they were set up for History or Ornament sake only; and that it was after St. Gregory's time (that is, above 600 years after Christ) before any Veneration or Worship was allowed to be given to Images. For the making of all this to appear, I thought a more speedy and effectual course could not be taken, then to prove it from those Controversies which were of old, first between Chri­stians and Heathens, and then between Christians them­selves about the business of Images. And this I did with so much faithfulness, and you see with so much Caution, that this Discourser has not one word to say against me, as to that; I am sure he has not offer'd any thing against me in this his Discourse; nor is it a little pleasure to me, that he hath not medled with it at all: 'Tis a sign his Conscience told him, the Knot was too strong for him, when he durst not go about to untie it: For as to the Evidence I produced on my side, the good man says no­thing in Contradiction to it; no, not a word of that in all his six penny-worth of Infallibility.

[Page 3] Instead of that, he has used all his Wits to give me great store of hard words, and to set me at odds with the Church whereof I am a Member, as if I had not only given my self a blow over the face, but had struck the Church of England in the face too, like a blind Combatant, and with a Have at all, as he is pleased to express his thoughts. Truly I am so blind that I cannot see this. As for my own face, I thank God it doth not smart, nor do I so much as feel one of my Cheeks burn. And as for the Church of England, if I have given Her the least blow, I will make Her all possible Satisfaction when She shall complain: At present, by what I hear from Her, I do not find that She thinks I have hurt Her in the least, or that She colours at all; and by and by I hope to satisfie the Discourser too, that instead of Injuring. I have done her Right: in the mean time I must thank him for his singular Care and Tenderness of our Church.

I confess, upon my first Perusal of his Discourse I did not think my self obliged to take any Publick notice of it; because he doth not so much as endeavour to baffle any of my Evidence, nor denies matter of Fact as I have related it; but manifestly declines the main Point under debate, and flies off to other matter; like a Wise Com­batant that strikes, not at all, but at nothing at all, and wholly misseth the Mark, and what could any man have done more, that gives up the Cause?

But upon second thoughts I was of another mind; not because provoked to it by his Rudeness (which I am ready to forgive him) but because I am concern'd for Truth, and the Honour of our Church. For the man has the confidence to tell the World, that our Church doth agree with the Church of Rome in the lawfulness of placing Images in Churches, and that an Honour or Re­verence, or even Worship in its kind, is necessarily due to them, Pag. 19. And that if I had examin'd the Do­ctrine of my own Church, and understood what Catho­licks [Page 4] teach, I would have soon discovered the vanity of my Engagement; for (saith he, Pag. 20.) his own Church is for an Image-Worship too. This is a notorious Falshood, and looks like a malicious Insinuation, as if our Church would presently shake hands with His, did not some blind Combatants keep them a sunder. The Discourser might think that this would do something, especially in this juncture, by creating in our Dissenters as ill an opinion of the Church of England as we have of the Church of Rome; and he seems to follow the hu­mour of some of his brethren, not considering so much whether what he says be True, as whether it will serve a Turn, and do them some good by doing Us mischief; though I hope our Dissenters will be so wise as to consi­der, how deeply They are concern'd as well as We, to beware of Trap.

For this reason I shall bestow upon this Discourse a lit­tle time, which otherwise would be lost and thrown a­way. And first I observe how he treats me with Re­proaches, that I have the misfortune to be of a Factious and Unchristian Temper, a multiplier of needless Con­tentions, a blind Combatant, one that 'tis uncertain what Church I am of, this being the only thing certain, that I am no Papist; a Trifler; a Furious one; a singular Illuminate; whose admirable Talent is in Buffoonry, and a great deal more of such language, as doth well become the mouth of one of the Hinds Calves. But you know, the strain of this Generation is mightily alter'd since seven years ago, when they thought themselves obliged by the singular Humanity of Church of England-men, to give them far different Characters. That it seems is nothing now.

His great design is to shew, that the Church of Rome and England agree in three Points, concerning 1. The Historical Use of Images. 2. The Commemorative Use of Images. 3. The Respect and Honour due to Images. [Page 5] Now though all this be nothing to the History which my angry Adversary quarrels with (for that would be True still, notwithstanding all this, could he prove it) yet I am content to go along with him in his underta­king; and if I am not fouly deceiv'd, he has underta­ken an Impossibility; an Essay perhaps towards his un­dertaking to do a Miracle next: Let us see a little by comparing the Sense of both Churches.

1. For the Doctrine and Practice of the Church of Rome, we know enough of it, and too much of all Con­science. She has Pictures and Images (he says) for the Instruction of the Ignorant, that so they may be ac­quainted with those Sacred Persons of Patriarchs, Pro­phets, and Apostles: 'Tis for this end (saith our Discour­ser) they are set up. And is this all? How comes it to pass then, that She has too the pretended Pictures of the most Holy Trinity? Is it not that people may be ac­quainted with the Invisible, Immaterial, Incomprehensi­ble, and Infinite Deity also? A Rare way indeed, espe­cially for the Ignorant to conceive Right and True No­tions of the Divine Nature!

2. He says, the Church of Rome hath Images for the Commemorative Use of them, to excite people to give God thanks for his favours, and to admonish them to Conform their Lives to such Examples. Well, we quar­rel not about this, nor do we blame any men for looking on the Pictures of Saints to this purpose, especially if they find it has this power upon them. But yet I must tell him, that this cannot justifie their having such Re­presentations as I mention'd before. For when God the Father is pictur'd like an Old Man with a long Beard, and all the Three Persons are pictur'd like Three Heads up­on one Body, what influence such strange Representa­tions can have to excite any man to Thankfulness and Conformity, doth, I confess, pass my poor Trifling Un­derstanding to conceive.

[Page 6] 3. But this is not all; for the Church of Rome hath Images that they may be Worshipt also. This is clear even from the Council of Trent, and the Roman Catechism; nay our Discourser himself Grants it. But then to soften the matter he says two things, which I must a little con­sider, that you may the better understand the state of the difference between Church and Church. 1. He tells us, That though the Church of Rome teacheth, that due Honour and Veneration is to be given to the Images of Christ, &c. Yet it is not for any Divinity or Virtue that is Believ'd to be in them, for which they pag. 11. are to be Worshipp'd; or that any thing is to be asked of them, or any Confidence to be placed in them. But how doth he know, that this is not Believ'd? 1. I appeal to his own Conscience, if he doth not think that Thousands of his Communion do verily Believe it. For what else can be the reason, that one Image is so devoutly and solemnly Ador'd, rather than another? Or, why is it done in one Place, rather than in another? Or, why do so many Pilgrims undertake such long and tiresome journeys to Loretto, and other Oratories, rather than to others, for the worshipping of some special Images? What is the meaning of all this, but that poor people are taught to Believe, that there is a Divine Virtue in Images, and a greater Virtue in some Images, in some Places, then there is in others? I know this Discourser speaks just as the Council of Trent did; for 'twas there defined, that there is no Divinity or Vertue in Images for which they should be Worshipped, &c. 2. But then I ask him, Secondly, how he knows, that the Council of Trent it self was in good earnest? Or, that their mind really was, that men should not believe any Vertue to be in Images, especially if they be Consecrated? I am sure there is good reason to believe, that their Definition was only a Copy of their Countenance, to stop the mouths of a clamorous World. And for your satisfaction I will [Page 7] refer you to a very Learned Author, whom this Discour­ser hath done me the singular favour to call my Good Friend, meaning that Eminent Person Dr. Stilling fleet. I heartily thank him for entitling me to the friendship of so Great a Man, and very thankfully own his friend­ship, sincerely acknowledging my self Beholding to him, as for some private favours, so especially for his Learned Works, whereby he has be friended us all; and I hear­tily wish that this Discourser would suffer him in that respect to be a good Friend to Him too. To that pur­pose, seeing he has singled out Dr. Stillingfleet as my good friend, I will deal with him at present out of a Book of my Friends which I have by me, desiring the Doctors leave, that I may mention him under the character of my Good Friend. And as to the sincerity of the men at Trent in this particular, I would fain see how my Adver­sary can defend it, after what has been said by my good Friend touching the Publick Acts of the Roman Church at the Consecration of Images, especially Defence p. 640. & seg. at the Consecration of a New Cross, and those little waxen Images called Agnus Dei's. For, are not these Consecrations for the procuring of Virtues to those Images, and that people may receive Benefits by worshipping of them, by means of those Virtues? If this Discourser understands his own Church, he cannot but know this to be True, and if he be ingenuous he can­not deny it. For at the Benediction of a New Cross there is this Prayer in the Pontificale, and he may find it Transcribed and Translated by my good Friend; We pray thee, O Holy Lord, Father Almighty, Everlasting God, that thou wouldst vouchsafe to Bless this Wood of thy Cross (observe the expression, hoc Lignum crucis tuae, this Wood of thy Cross) that it may be a wholesome Remedy to mankind, a strengthener of Faith, an increaser of good Works, the redemption of Souls, a Comfort, Protection and [Page 8] Defence against the cruel darts of Enemies, And again, let this Wood be sanctified in the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost; and let the blessing of that Wood, on which the Holy Members of our Saviour did hang, be in this Wood, that such as Pray and Bow themselves down for Gods sake before this Cross, may find Health of Body and Soul. Besides this, in the Ceremoniale Romanum there is this Prayer, among others, at the Consecration of the Agnus Dei's; Do thou vouchsafe to Bless, to Sanctifie, and Con­secrate them, that being sanctified by thy abundant benediction they may receive the same Virtue against all the Diabolical Wiles and Frauds of the Evil Spirit, that no Tempest may prevail against such as devoutly carry them with them, that no Adversity, no Pestilence, no Corruption of the Air, no Fal­ling Sickness, no Storms at Sea, no Fire, no Sin may have power over such, as carry these Images and Worship them. Now can any man conceive after all this, that no Virtue is believed to be in any Images, when it is so expresly prayed for, that it may be given to them? Can we imagine, that the Council of Trent would have men be perswaded contrary to what is said in the Pub­lick Offices of the Church concerning the Virtue of these Images? Or that the Pope, who owns that Council, and whose business it is to Consecrate these things after this manner, doth believe it was the Councils meaning to deny all virtue in Images?

To this I will add out of my good Friend an Admirable Piece of Infallible Poetry, which Pope Ʋrban the Fifth sent to the Greek Emperor with Three Agnus Dei's; partly, because they shew the Popes opinion of the wonderful Virtues of these Images; and partly, be­cause they are such extraordinary Verses for Language, for Numbers, for Fancy, and for Rhime too, that they ought to be kept in some Thesaurus Poeticus among some Pia Hilaria in the Vatican, made by his Holiness himself; for neither Virgil, nor any other old Prophane Poet, no [Page 9] not the Sibylls themselves ever did the like; and I will transcribe them in hopes that for the Honour of it some Sanctified friend of the Hinds may attempt an Imitation of them in English.

Balsamus & munda cera cum Chrismatis unda,
Conficiunt Agnum; quod munus do tibi magnum:
Fonte velut natum per Mystica Sanctificatum.
Fulgura de sursum depellit, omne malignum
Peccatum frangit, ut Christi Sanguis; & angit.
Pregnans servatur, simul & partus Liberatur:
Dona defert dignis, Virtutem destruit ignis;
Portatus munde de fluctibus eripit unde.
Morte repentina servat Sataneque ruirâ.
Si quis honoret eum, retinet super hoste Tropheum,
Parsque minor tantum tota valet integra quantum.

To all which my good Friend subjoyns a remarkable Passage out of Azorius, their great Casuist, that it is not to be Question'd, but the Pope himself having made Prayers over these Images, they will have the effects prayed for, if they be used with that due Reverence and Devotion which is required. And perhaps there is scarcely a true bred Romanist in the World that Questions it; which is the Reason of that wonderful opinion and value they have of them, and of those superstitious Uses they put them to; and if my Adversary be such, his denying of Virtue to be in Images can be nothing but Art, to create in people at this critical juncture a favour­able and kind opinion of Popery, by softning a matter that is so offensive, and by blinding mens eyes till they get their Noses under their Girdles. But if he were in some foreign Parts, he might have as little thanks, as Monsieur de Meaux hath had, for putting a New Face upon Holy Church, as if he were ashamed of the good Matrons Warts and Wrinkles.

2. To soften the matter more yet, this Discourser in­sinuates, [Page 10] Secondly, that the Worship given by them to Images is nothing but an Honorary Respect and Reve­verence, which other Christians give to the word of God, to the Sacrament, to the Communion. Table, &c. Where­in he says the Church of England agrees with the Church of Rome; and therefore he blames me for running it down under the name of Image-Worship, without exa­mining the doctrine of mine own Church.

For the clearing of this I shall briefly do these three things. 1. Shew what that Worship is which accord­ing to the Church of Rome is given to Images. 2. How far the Church of England differs from them in this parti­cular. 3. I shall consider the Proofs he brings of this pretended Agreement: And when this is done I hope you will be satisfied, that I have not spoken against Image-Worship without good grounds and consideration.

1. What that Worship is which according to the Church of Rome is given to Images. For the right un­derstanding whereof it is to be noted: 1. That there is a great deal of difference between Worship, properly ta­ken, and that which we call Reverence and Respect. All mankind, especially Christians have ever made a vast di­stinction between these things: And it deserves this Dis­coursers consideration, that no less a man then Epipha­nius, condemning those to be Idolaters, who worship't the Holy Virgin▪ expresly said, that Mary is to be Honour­ed, but God to be Worshipped, and that no man is to Worship the blessed Virgin. The Second Council at Nice them­selves acknowledg'd this distinction; and so have all the Divines of the present Church of Rome, when they have endeavour'd to prove, that Images are not only to be Honoured, Respected, and Reverenced, but to be Adored too. Therefore this doughty Divine, the Discourser, is not a little out in Confounding things that are so evidently Distinct: For that which all the World saith is Worship, he says is only Honour and Respect, the same thing by whatsoever [Page 11] Name it be express'd: and whether you call it Honour, or Worship, or adoring; or whether it be said to be Hono­rary, Religious, or Divine; or whether it be deemed Ab­solute, or Relative (worship) 'tis it seems equally alike to Him: For in his opinion 'tis only wrangling about Names, a Dispute about a Word; fine Notions, and pretty entertainments for School-debates, but no concern of Religion or Conscience, as he tells us, Pag. 24, 25. 'Tis pity the man was not born long ago to instruct the World better: for we Trifling Protestants have ever thought with the An­cient Christians, that to Respect the Picture of Christ is one thing, and to Adore it is another; that to Bow down to it is more than to set it up, that to lye prostrate before it is more then to keep it clean; and that there is a Me­dium between tearing it in Pieces, and honouring it with Kissings and Bowings, and Genuflexions, and Praying before it, and offering up Lights and Incense and the like: We ever thought, that Divine Worship was to be given to God alone, that it was no needless contention whether the Honour due to God is to be given to the work of mens hands; and that this was a great case con­cerning Religion and Conscience: but it seems all this is nothing upon the matter; 'tis but a little sort of Respect; and you know what She is, that after she has been un­faithful to her Husband, wipes her mouth as if she had done no harm; and so the lewdest woman may excuse her self, that what some Folks calls Adultery, is nothing but a dis­pute about a Word, a fine Notion, a pretty Entertainment, but no concern of Religion or Conscience. 2. That Respect which is given to things Sacred consists in a Decent re­gard of them, and in using them after a different manner from other things. But Worship is quite another thing, viz. A professing our subjection to the Object of our adoration upon the score of his Dominion and Power over us as our Su­perior; and when either the Nature of such adoration, or the Circumstances of it argue it to be Religious, it is then [Page 12] Religious or Divine Worship, peculiarly belonging to God, because it is a Token of our Absolute Subjection to him, as having Supream and Absolute Soveraignity over all. The greatest men in the Church of Rome have had this Notion of Divine-Worship; and had this wonderful Discourser understood or consider'd it, he could not have been so very Indifferent about this mat­ter; because the Dispute is, not about Words but Things, and things of very great Concernment; viz. Whether such actions and gestures as are due to God, and by the Divine Law are appropriated to God, and in the opini­on of mankind, are Testifications of Gods Supream and Absolute Dominion, may be perform'd to and before a dumb Image? Now this is that which we charge upon the Church of Rome, that there are hardly any external acts of Religious Worship, but what She performs to God and to Images in Common, and that according to Her doctrine Images are truly and properly to be Worship­ped, with Worship taken in a strict Sense, and as it is di­stinguish't from, and signifies a great deal more than bare Honour, or Respect, or Reverence.

For the clearing of this, because it is a great Contro­versie between my angry Adversary and Me, I shall at present trouble him only with some ready observations out of my good Friend; and when he has answer'd them I promise faithfully to furnish him with more.

These observations are 1. Concerning the Worship given by the Church of Rome to Images in General. 2. Concerning the Worship given to the Cross of Christ in Particular.

1. The Worship given by the Church of Rome to Images in general, is True and Real Worship; Worship that is a great deal higher than Respect or Reverence; Worship in a proper and strict Sense; Worship that doth consist not only in the External Acts of Divine Adora­tion, but also in an inward affection which implies sub­mission, [Page 13] as Cardinal Lugo doth confess. This my Learn­ed Author shews to have been the thing intended both by the Second Council at Nice, and by the men at Trent, who appealed to that Council; that the most eminent Divines in the Church of Rome thought so, and accord­ingly maintain'd it as an Article of Faith wherein all Ca­tholicks agree, that true and proper Worship is to be given not only to the Exemplars represented by Images, but also to the very Images themselves, as Suarez, Bellar­mine, Tannerus, Ysambertus, and others do positively af­firm. And lest this should be thought to be the Sense of a few private men only, he further shews that some great Divines, who were at the Council of Trent, and could not but understand the Sense of that Council, say the same thing. For so Dominicus Soto determines, that Images are not intended by the Church only for helps to memory, but for Worship. And whereas our Discour­ser would make us believe that this Worship is no more but that Respect which is shewn to the Bible, &c. Soto doth utterly Reject this; for, saith he, We do not Worship the Scriptures or Names of Saints which call them to our minds; but as to Images we ought to think otherwise, for they do not only raise our minds to worship those who are re­presented by them, sed easdem ipsas debemus adorare, but we ought to worship the Images themselves. So likewise Na­clantus another great Man at Trent, tells the World, that 'tis a needless caution for any to say, that they worship before the Image, sed & adorare imaginem sine quo volue­ris scrupulo, but men may say it roundly and without any scruple, that they worship the Image. With these Am­brosius Catharinus agrees too, that True and Real worship is required to be given to Images, and concludes that I­mages are not meerly for instruction, or memory, exciting devotion, but that they are set up properly for worship. ‘Therefore if any man asks another, are Images to be worshipped, let him, saith he, answer without any [Page 14] fear, They are; because Images being set apart by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost for such a Sacred use, do obtain such a degree of Sanctification, that whoever violates them is guilty of Sacriledge and Treason against the Divine Majesty; because God himself is most truly believed to be present in them after a particular manner, and he shews his power and presence by them, using them often for Oracles, &c.

If this be not enough to convince my Adversary of the vanity of his pretences, there is one observation more which deserves his consideration; viz. That whereas some of the Roman Church, as Durandus, Holkot, and o­thers taught, that Images ought not to be worshipped with the same worship with the thing represented, but were said to be worshipped improperly and abusively, because at their presence men did call to mind the objects represented by them, which are worshipped before the Images, but not properly the Images themselves; this opinion was lookt upon as Heretical; and therefore Suarez and many other eminent men disputed hotly against that opinion, as being contrary to the Catho­lick Faith of the Roman Church, which is, that an Image is not only the occasion or sign exciting men to worship the thing represented, but even the material Object to which the act of Worship, and the Intention of the worshipper is to be directed and carried; and which ought to be worshipped with the same worship with the Exemplar it self. And certainly Ariaga was in the right, when urging this to be the sense of the Church he used this strong Argument to prove it; because it is not credible, ‘that if this had been all the Councils had determined (viz. That Images are not the objects of Worship, but only the occasions and means exciting men to worship the Exemplars) they should never think of such an easie way to satisfie Dissenters, as the declaring of this would have been.’ But, saith he, the Controversie lay in [Page 15] another Point; namely, that Images did not deserve im­mediate worship; and then he concludes, that when the Fathers condemned those for Hereticks who denied that worship, they did not determine that Images might be used as a condition of worship, but that True and Real worship was to be given to them.

2. Concerning that worship which is given to the Cross of Christ in particular, 'tis notorious that accord­ing to the common received Doctrine of the Romanists, not only Inferiour Religious Worship, but that which they call Latria, meaning Supream, Divine, Soveraign Wor­ship properly due to God himself, is to be given to the Images of Christs Cross. My Adversary is horribly net­led, and upbraids me with an hard Forehead in charging him with a notion of Invocating Images, when he says he has no such word or hint (I suppose he means in his Nubes Testium.) What notions he may have of this, or what he does in his private Oratory I cannot tell; nor did I charge Him in particular with Invocating Images. But this I do charge upon the Church of Rome in general, that She doth formally Invocate and pray to the Images of Christs Cross, and that the worship of Latria is, accord­ing to the Doctrine of her greatest Divines, to be given to them. He cannot but know, that this form of Pray­er is used by that Church, and that it is directed to the Wood of the Cross, O crux ave, spes unica, auge piis justi­tiam, reisque dona veniam, Hail O Cross, our only Hope, increase Righteousness to such as are pious, and give par­don to such as are guilty. For this Practise of the Roman Church was the true Ground and Reason of that opinion, that Latria is due to the Image of the Cross. This my good Friend hath shewed long ago, that it was one of the grounds which Aquinas went upon, when he determined Latria to be due to the Cross, because the Church in praying to the Cross speaks to it as if it were Christ him­self; O crux ave, spes unica, &c. And more Authors there are [Page 16] which say the same thing; as Marsilius ab Ingen, who asserts that the Cross as a sign representing the object of Wor­ship, and as a Medium of it, is to be adored with Latria; and the reason he fetcheth from the practice of the Church, O crux ave, spes unica, auge, &c. So Catharinus saith: ‘That the opinion of those who say Images are not truly and properly to be worshipped, but God to be worshipped before an Image, is repugnant to the Pra­ctice of the Church, because we direct our gestures, our words and signs of adoration to the Images, to which likewise we burn Incense; and we worship the Cross, saying, O crux ave, spes unica, &c. So likewise Dominicus Soto, we ought to worship the Images them­selves; for the Church doth not say, we worship thee, O Christ, but thy Cross; and O crux ave, spes unica, &c. In like manner Phil. Gamachaeus, a Doctor of the Sorbon saith, that the Cross and Image of Christ as they repre­sent him, ought to be worshipped with the Supream worship of Latria; because Christ himself is the reason of the adoration, and because the Church doth so worship the Cross, O crux ave, spes unica, &c, Besides all this we are told a remarkable Story of one John Egidius Canon of Sevil, that he was forced to make a publick Recantation for denying the adoration of the Cross, because it was con­trary to the practice of the Church, when it saith, O crux ave, spes unica, auge piis justitiam, reisque dona veniam? And after all this let this wonderful Discourser tell us, whether these things be not True? And whether these things be not acts of Latria? And whether abundance of Divines more, both before and since the Council of Trent, have not maintained this Latria to be due to the Image of the Cross? And whether this Latria be not much more than common Respect and Reverence? And whether any Church of England man, or any Protestant ever pretended to give such a sort of Respect to the Communion-Table, or to the Sacramant, or to the Name of Jesus, or to the [Page 17] Bible, so as upon his knees to pray to it, Spes unica, au­ge piis justitiam, reisque dona veniam? Either the man understands not that which he calls the doctrines of Ca­tholicks so well as We Protestants do, or else he is guil­ty of shameful disingenuity for disguising and dissemb­ling things thus out of a sinister design, and then for flying upon Me, as if I had done the Innocent Papists wrong, by making more noise, and raising more dust about their Worshipping of Images, then there ought to be.

2 Since he hath so palpably misrepresented the sense of his own Church, 'tis madness to conceive that he would rightly represent the sense of Ours; which I shall now in the next place consider, to satisfie you that I have done our Church no wrong, which is another thing he lays to my charge. Alas good man! how careful is he, that the Church of England may not be injured.

For the clearing of this too, I shall refer you to our Book of Homilies, because without all question it con­tains the publick sense of the Church of England, which he may be sure we well know, as blind combatants as we are, and which we will with all our Zeal and Abilities defend, what Triflers soever he takes us to be.

The particular Homily I intend is that against peril of Idolatry, consisting of three parts. And because I am willing to prevent an objection which may be made by this Discourser out of our Learned Mountague, viz. that he admitted the Book of Homilies, as containing godly and wholesome exhortations, but not as the pub­lick dogmatical resolutions confirmed of the Church of England, therefore I shall offer these Five things briefly to your consideration.

1. That the former Book of Homilies in the time of K. Edward the Sixth was set out as the Homilies of the Church of England, and as godly and wholesome Ser­mons containing Doctrine to be received of all men, [Page 18] doctrinam ab omnibus amplectendam, as appears by the Ar­ticle concerning it, Anno 1552. 2. That the Second Book of Homilies (wherein this against peril of Idola­try is one) was also judged to contain godly and whole­some Doctrine, as well as the former Book, and there­fore was appointed to be read as the former was, in all Churches diligently and distinctly: Which plainly ar­gues, that it was set out also in the name of the Church of England, and as containing Doctrine to be received of all, as the other was judged to contain. 3. This par­ticular Homily whereof I now speak, was upon a point of National concernment, and in the judgment of our Church about a most important case of Conscience: Be­sides, it was conceiv'd and penn'd upon the greatest consideration and judgment, as we find by that variety of choice Learning in it, beyond what is to be found in all the Homilies beside: And 'tis remarkable too, that 'twas intended not only for the information of the people, but also for the instruction of Curates themselves, and men of good understanding, as appears by the Title of the Third Part of it. So that if any other may, yet this Homily cannot be thought a meer popular Sermon (for it is not so popular) but rather the Decisive and dogmatical resolution of our Church in this Case about Images. 4. As the Learned Mountague doth not deny, but that this Ho­mily contains the publick sense of our Church, so he doth rest in this, that it contains a godly and wholesome Do­ctrine, necessary for those times; meaning the times in which, and for which, this Homily against Images and the peril of Idolatry, was specially made: And if He thought it godly, wholesome, and necessary, he could not but think it True. 5. Therefore I shall conclude, that this Homily ought to be appealed to in this Contro­versie with the Discourser, as the Homily that contains the deliberate and setled judgment of our Church, and such Doctrines as are necessary for these our times, as [Page 19] well as for those when it was first written.

Now in the beginning of the First part of this Homily our Church roundly tells us, that the bringing in of Ima­ges into the Church in those latter days, hath nothing at all profited such as were wise and of understanding, but hath greatly hurt the simple and unwise, occasioning them thereby to commit most horrible Idolatry. Then having noted that the words Idol and Image are of the the same signification in the Scriptures, she proves by several Texts out of the Old Testament and the New, that Images are neither to be Worshipped, nor so much as used or had in Churches, for fear and occasion of wor­shipping them, though they be of themselves things in­different: for so she desires to be always understood to speak not only against Idolatry and Worshipping of I­mages, but also against Idols and Images themselves, in case men be stirred and provoked by them to Worship them, and not as though they were simply forbidden without such occasion and danger, as you may see in the beginning of the Third Part of that Homily.

In the Second part she gives an Historical relation of the rise and progress of Image-Worship in the Christian Church; the sum whereof is this, ‘That Images and Image-worshipping were in the Primitive Church, (which was most pure and uncorrupt) abhorred and detested, as abo­minable and contrary to true Christian Religion. And that when Images began to creep into the Church, they were not only spoken and written against by godly and Learned Bishops, Doctors and Clerks, but also con­demned by whole Councils of Bishops and Learned men assembled together; yea, the said Images by many Christian Emperours and Bishops were defaced, bro­ken and destroyed, &c. And I freely leave to all men of knowledge and integrity to judge, whether in that Historical account I sent you, there be any thing which is inconsistent either with the Doctrine of our Church [Page 20] as to Images and Image-worship, or with the Histori­cal account which our Church her self gives us. I think indeed there is an observation which our Church there makes, but I did not; ‘That the Bishops of Rome, being no ordinary Magistrates appointed of God out of their Diocess, but Usurpers of Princes Authority, contrary to Gods word, were the maintainers of Ima­ges against Gods word, and stirrers up of Sedition and Rebellion, and workers of continual Treason against their Soveraign Lords, contrary to Gods Law, and the ordinances of all humane Laws, being not only Ene­mies to God, but also Rebels and Traitors against their Princes. These were the first bringers in of Images openly into Churches. These were the maintainers of them in the Churches; and these were the means whereby they maintain'd them, to wit, Conspiracy, Treason and Rebellion against God and their Princes.’ As I remember I did not observe this, at least not so ful­ly; but if that be a fault, I suppose this Discourser will readily forgive it: If not, 'tis an even lay, but some other time I may make him amends.

In the Third Part of this Homily our Church doth purposely answer those allegations and pleas which are commonly used by the Romanists to excuse and justifie their practice in this point: as, that their Images are not of any Heathen Idols, but of God, of Christ and his Saints; that the making of Images is a thing in it self indifferent; that they exhibit Honour not to the Image, but to exemplar represented by it; and that Images are lay-mens Books: And throughout this long Sermon our Church declares her sense. ‘1. That the Images of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are unlawful to be made. 2. That though the Art of painting and Image making be not wicked of it self, and such Images may be suffe­red, as are used for no Religion, or Superstition ra­ther (she means of none Worshipped, nor in danger [Page 21] to be Worshipped of any) yet considering the great danger of Idolatry, and the strong inclinations of peo­ple to it, Images are not to be publickly had and suf­fered in Churches: Which danger she shews at large, because all Images publickly set up have been worship­ped, not by the simple sort only, but in conclusion by the Learned also; and because she conceived it impos­sible that Images of God, Christ, or his Saints can be suffered, especially any considerable time or space, without Worshipping of them. 3. She shews, that the Saints neither desire nor ought to be Honoured by Images; that the distinction of Latria and Dulia is a lewd distinction; that the pretence of honouring the Prototype by the Image is an old Heathen shift; and that though it be said, that the Honour is given to the Prototype, yet this is only to palliate the matter; for our Church evidently proves that the Papists did Wor­ship the Images themselves, not only by shewing their gross and Pagan-like Idolatry in that respect, but also by producing the Authority of Jacobus Naclantus (an Emi­nent Divine in the Council of Trent) that it is not only to be confest that the faithful in the Church do worship before an Image (as some peradventure do warily speak) but also do Worship the Image it self, without any scru­ple or doubt at all; yea, and they Worship the Image with the same kind of Worship, wherewith they wor­ship the Prototype; wherefore if the Prototype be to be worshipped with Divine Worship, the Image is also to be worshipped with the same.’ 4. Having abun­dantly shew'd the Snares, and dangers which Images draw people into, and the vast mischiefs and wicked­nesses they occasion, instead of instructing men like Books, our Church at last plainly resolves the point, ‘That true Religion and pleasing of God standeth not in making, setting up, painting, guilding, cloathing, and decking of dumb and dead Images, nor in kissing of them, [Page 22] capping, kneeling, offering to them, incensing of them, setting up of Candles, hanging up of legs, arms, or whole bodies of Wax before them, or praying and asking of of them, or of Saints, things belonging only to God to give; but that all these things, be vain and abomi­nable, and most damnable before God.’

Had my Adversary consider'd all this, we might won­der how he could harden his forehead and Conscience so, as to pretend to the World, that there is an agree­ment between the Church of Rome and Oijrs as to this point; he might as well have pretended to reconcile the most palpable falsehood to the clearest Truth, such a Diametrical and manifest opposition there is between the two Churches; the one allowing not only the setting up of Images, but the Honouring, Reverencing and Wor­shipping of them too, and that sometimes with the highest and supreme Worship; and the other professing solemn­ly, that they are so far from being Worshipped, Adored, or Honoured, that in regard of the horrible dangers and sins they lead men into, are to be pulled down and de­stroyed rather.

3. Let us now consider a little the proofs he brings of this pretended agreement. 1. He tells us of some Fi­gures in the Church at the Savoy, and of some emble­matical representations in the New Church at St. James's, and especially of some Pictures in some of our New Common-Prayer Books. (He means, I suppose, not the large Liturgies on our reading Desks, but some little Prayer-books in some private hands.) A stout argument! as if what is done by connivance, and by some particu­lar persons upon their own private Heads, ought to be look't upon as the publick act of our whole Church; or as if there were the same danger of Idolatry in every age, which hath been in some; or as if all They who are for Decency and Ornament, were agreed with all o­thers who are for the most intollerable Superstition.

[Page 23] 2. Then he tells us of an injunction given by K. Ed­ward the Sixth to the Clergy (when the Reformation, by the way, was green) that they should instruct the people, that Images serve for Remembrance, &c. But here the man plays a double Trick; first he renders the place wrong, for the words are—admonishing their Parishoners, that Images serve for no other purpose but to be a Remem­brance: And besides he conceals a most material passage which goes immediately before and after in the same Injunction, and it is this; ‘That such Images as they (the Clergy) know in any of their Cures to be or to have been abused with Pilgrimage or offering of any thing made thereunto, or shall be hereafter censed unto, they (and none other private persons) shall for the avoiding of that most detestable offence of Idolatry forthwith take down, or cause to be taken down, and destroy the same; and shall suffer from henceforth no Torches nor Candles, Tapers or Images of Wax to be set afore any Image or Picture, but only two Lights upon the high Altar, before the Sacrament, which for the signi­fication that Christ is the very true Light of the World, they shall suffer to remain still; admonishing their Parishoners, that Images serve for no other pur­pose but to be a Remembrance, whereby men may be admonished of the holy Lives and Conversations of them that the said Images do represent; which Images if they do abuse for any other intent, they commit I­dolatry in the same, to the great danger of their Souls.’ And now is not here an admirable agreement between our Church, and the Church of Rome?

3. As to the main point in Controversie between us, viz. concerning the Honour and Veneration given to I­mages, Kissing of them, Kneeling, Praying before them, and in one word, Worshipping of them, (which I have shew'd to be the practice of the Romanists) my Adversary has the strange confidence to say, pag. 14. that the Church [Page 24] of England seems to concur with the Church of Rome in all this point. For proof of this most important mat­ter he cites. 1. The 30th. of King James his constitu­tions; about the Sign of the Cross, and (and not to re­peat the words at length) any man may see the meaning of that place to be this; that though the Jews hated the name of the Cross, yet the inspir'd Apostles honour'd it so far, as that they used the word equivocally, signifying thereby sometimes Christ himself, together with the ef­fects and merits of his Passion; and that the name of the Cross was so honourable, that even in the Apostles days, Christians had an honourable esteem of the Sign of the Cross. And what of all this? Can this possibly argue any kind opinion in the Church of England of Venerating, Kissing, Incensing, Bowing down to Images? Doth it justifie so much as the superstitious use of the Sign of the Cross it self? Doth not our Church confess plainly a little after in the very same Canon, That in process of time the sign of the Cross was grievously abused in the Roman Church, espe­cially after the stain and corruption of Popery had spread it self over it? What mean, what miserable stuff is this, especially for such a discerning, such a substantial Comba­tant as my Adversary would be thought, to offer unto the World for an Argument. 2. But then mistrusting the weakness of all this, he lays his chief stress upon a passage in our learned Montague, where he says, there is a Respect due unto, and Honour given relatively to the Pictures of Christ, the blessed Virgin, and Saints; and speaking in the Plural Number, he says, we give it too, meaning as well as the Papists. And what then? doth he speak of any Publick respect to Pictures in Churches? Or of any other respect then what the Preserving of them amounts to, where there is no danger of Idolatry? If my Adversary be so senseless as to imagine this, I will refer him to the beginning of that Chapter which he cites; for there Mr. Montague tells his Ene­mies, Appeal c. 21. [Page 25] the Informers, that though they would make men believe, that he intended a Religious respect and Pious honour to be due to Pictures, and so to draw on unto a downright worship of them, yet this was not his mean­ing; no, he was in that case as jealous of Gods Honour, as any gloyting Puritan in the Pack.

My Adversary may observe, that Mr. Montague doth here distinguish (as I do) Respect from Religious respect, and Honour from Pious Honour, and then distinguishes both from Image-Worship. And though he is pleased to call this Cant in Me, yet Mr. Montague, to whom he appeals, gives it another name, he calls it Idolatry: ‘I do not (saith he) I cannot, I will not deny, that Idolatry is grosly committed in the Church of Rome. Cap. 19. The ruder sort, at least, are not excusable, who go to it with downright Idolatry, without any Relative adoration, worshipping that which they beheld with their eyes, the Image of the blessed Virgin, S. Peter, S. Paul, the Crucifix, as if Christ Jesus were present. This Idolatry is ancient in their Schools. Thomas Aqui­nas doth directly vouch it, that the same reverence is to be given to the Image of Christ, and to Christ him­self; whereas therefore Christ is adored with the wor­ship of Latria, it follows that his Image is to be adored with the worship of Latria too: which is now an Arti­cle of Faith in the Roman Church, and the opposite Doctrine flat Heresie: For so Cabrera upon that place of Thomas writeth; who alledgeth for his purpose and opinion, many Old and Later Divines of their School. And Azorius the Jesuit tells us, it is the Constant opinion of Divines, that an Image is to be Honour'd with the same Honour, and Worshipped with the same Worship, that is given to the Object whereof it is the Image.’ And hence Mr. Montague concludes, Cap. 22. ‘That Po­pish Practice, and Popish Doctrine fetcheth in all, and runneth out into the Extravagant, Idolatrous, Blasphe­mous [Page 26] Doctrine of Religious Adoration, either primary or secondary, absolute or respective; to that of Tho­mas, Cabrera, Vasquez, the Devil and all.’

Sir, I hope, by this you are satisfied that the Church of England is not in any the least measure for an Image-wor­ship, as this Discourser hath the Confidence to affirm, pag. 20. And that in the account I sent you, I have not abused mine own Church, nor exposed mine own Church, nor injured my Mother, or any of my Mothers Sons; which was the Principal thing I was to convince you of.

And now as to what concerns immediately my self, I am in comparison regardless: His ill Langague I can pati­ently bear, and take it for an Honour from a man of his Kidney.

Yet there are some few things more which I must take a little notice of for my Vindication. Whereas I told you, 1. That the first making of Pictures proceeded partly from Hereticks, the Gnosticks. 2. That it came chiefly from the fond inclinations of Gentile-Converts. 3. That there was no such thing as the use of Images in the Primi­tive Ages. 4. That 'tis contrary to an express Canon of the Council at Eliberis. And fifth that in the opinion of Epiphanius it is contrary to the Authority of the Scrip­tures: This Discourser, not undertaking in the least to Disprove all, or any thing of this, pretends only that I have shot this bolt against the Church of England, and have disgraced Her, who (as he supposeth) is for Pictures, and so by the consequence of my Discourse must be for that which came from Hereticks, and Heathens; that which was not Primitive; that which is repugnant to Canons; nay indeed, that which is contrary to the Bi­ble: This is his charge against me, pag. 9, & 10.

To which, I answer; First, That what he supposeth he hath not proved, nor is it true, that the Church of Eng­land is fond of Pictures in Churches; the contrary I am [Page 27] sure doth plainly appear; nor hath she allowed of them, as far as I know, by any publick Act of Hers, since the Reformation. Secondly, By looking over the Homily I mention'd, against peril of Idolatry, by good luck I find those very particular Arguments which this Dis­courser cavils at, to be used and urged by our Church her self. The First, pag. 135, and 137, of the late Oxford Edition. The Second She alledgeth at large, pag. 120. The Third She shews at large throughout the Second Part of that Homily. The Fourth, She cites on her side, pag. 128. And the Fifth, She urges and makes a large use of, pag. 116, 117. So that if my angry Adversary thinks fit to strike the Second time, he may think it rea­sonable for him to turn his hand from Me upon our Church, who saith the same thing; let him strike at Her if he pleaseth; though I can tell him before-hand, that such blows as His will do our Church no harm, let him do his worst.

For several leaves next following, he saith nothing but what I have already considered. But then Pag. 20. He chargeth me for managing the controversie with the Pa­pists without ever stating the Question, or declaring what the Papists hold, unbecoming a Scholar. But he should have consider'd, that my business was not to enter into a Casuisti­cal dispute about the Lawfulness or Ʋnlawfulness of Image-worship, but to give an Historical account of matter of Fact upon a Question, whether it be an Innovation, or No? And this was fairly stated; nay, as far as I perceive by my Adversary, invincibly decided; and I should have thanked him, if instead of giving me scolding words, and running off from the Point, he had fairly consider'd and answer'd what I had written, like a Scholar, and an ingenuous man, that is not apt to be angry with any one for using Books.

In the next page he asks me, if it be lawful for Pro­testants and Catholicks (as he calls them) to have an in­teriour [Page 28] Respect, Honour and Reverence for holy Ima­ges, how comes it to be so unlawful and abominable for Catholicks to signifie and express outwardly this same Respect, Honour and Reverence, which is so comenda­ble for all Christians, to have inwardly in their Souls? Certainly that Honour and Reverence which in the Heart is Christian, cannot but be Christian in the expres­sion; and 'tis very Absurd to think, a Duty can become Idolatry by professing it.

As to this; 1. I first observe a strange sort of Climax; for first he expresseth it is lawful to have an interiour respect for Images; then he grows a little, and calls it a commen­dable thing, and at last he calls it a Duty; whereas if we consider what he means by Respect, Honour and Reve­rence, it is neither Duty, nor commendable, nor lawful (as the case may stand) to have it for Pictures, and Ima­ges; nor a Christian thing, either in the Heart, or in the Expression. But Secondly, as to the point it self I must ingenuously and plainly tell him, that I do not understand what substantial and solid grounds any man hath to have an interiour Respect, Honour and Reve­rence for Pictures (as Pictures, and as distinct things from other Furniture and Garniture of a Church, where they are:) I am very confident, that the Ancient Christians had no such interiour Respect, but hatred rather; and that, not so much upon Prudential considerations, but upon necessary reasons, because such respect was thought to be contrary to Gods Law. 2. But then, if weak people will so far comply with their own Natures, as to suffer their Affections to run out after these things, doth it follow that they may express their Affections as they please? If the Divine Law requires me not to bow down to an Image; or if the Reason of the thing requires me not to bow, because such Religious Bowing is a Token of my absolute Subjection (which is due to God alone) am I not bound to think my self abridged of this my [Page 29] fondly desired Liberty? I will put two Cases which are somewhat like the Cases my Adversary puts, pag. 14. Sup­pose I had a Reverence and Affection for the Popes Nun­cio (which I declare, I have not) would it be lawful for me, in the construction of our Laws, to kiss his hand up­on my Knee, to serve him upon my Knee, to crave Au­dience of him, and to shew him all the very same Re­spects, which I owe my Natural Prince? Would not this look like a breach of that Allegiance which is due to the Father of my Country? Certainly no Judges ought to excuse my Sin for being so Disloyal, nor would any Prince pass me by uncensured, for acknowledging a Rival in his Country. Or suppose my Adversary were a Married Man, and his Wife should have a kind Respect for another person, and express that Respect after a lewd manner, ma­king this her defence and plea: ‘'Tis true, my dear Husband, I had an interiour Respect and Affection for such a man; 'tis true I did express and shew my Affecti­on to him; but I did this, because he is your Friend, he is your picture, he is like you for all the World: What I did therefore was out of true Respects to you; I kist him, and hugg'd him, and the like; but 'twas out of honour and affection to you; all the Kindness and Love I shew'd him passed to the Prototype, and 'twas for your sake. I hope you will not call this Adultery, because I did it out of Respect to you; no, 'tis not Adultery; 'tis only Honour and Veneration to your Image. What if a fellow in the Neighbourhood calls this Adultery? He is a man not to be believed, though he urgeth such a Commandment in the Bible. He is one of a Factious Temper, a multiplier of needless Contentions, a blind Combatant, a Trifler, a furious One, a singular Illumi­nate, one that 'tis uncertain what Church he is of, and the only thing certain is, that he is no Papist; he is no Papist, Husband; but a Canting man, that disputes a­bout a word. Adultery he calls it, but 'tis not so; 'tis [Page 30] Respect, and Honour, and Affection to you. But he is no Papist; if he were, he would be of another mind, be­cause it was for your sake, and out of Interiour Respect to you, that this was done.’ Supposing this, I say, I will leave it to my Adversary to consider seriously with himself, whether he would accept of this as a fair and reasonable Excuse; desiring him to apply it, and to re­member, that Idolatry is compared in Scripture to Adul­tery, and Fornication; if he has not quite forgotten the Book among so many Legends.

He taxeth me for treating the Second Nicene Coun­cil with abusive Language, because I said, they were a pack of Greeks, that were neither the Wisest, nor the Ho­nestest men in the World. Had I said this without suffi­cient grounds, or could this Discourser prove I had Mis-represented them, I were to blame. But whoever shall impartially consider the proceedings of that Coun­cil, I believe will soon be of my opinion; for the thing proves it self. If my Language doth not please him, it is not half so much as the Three Hundred Fathers at Frankford bestowed upon them, as he may see by the Caroline Books; out of which the Church of England calls them an Arrogant, Foolish, and un­godly Council. If I say they establisht Image-worship, it is no more then what Second Part of the Homily against pe­ril of Idolatry. all the World knows, and Hinemarus said the same thing, who lived near that time, and knew enough of the matter. And if they be Ridiculous, my Adversary may thank Them for it; they made Themselves so. Some of their Arguments I industriously conceal'd, because they are so very ridi­culous, that I fancied my Relating of them would not be Believed.

He pretends, pag. 31. That the reason why Images were not used in the Primitive Ages was, because it was Inexpedient and Ʋnseasonable, Christians then living a­mong [Page 31] Pagans and Jews. But if he pleaseth to consult Clemens Alexandrinus, Origen, and other of the Primitive Writers (who knew their own reasons best) he will find, that they insisted not upon the Ʋnseasonableness, but upon the unlawfulness of having Images, because they thought it contrary to Gods Commandments.

I wonder the man should so much as pretend not to understand (pag. 34.) how Pope Gregory the Second contradicted Gregory the First. But now I think on't, he is not apt to believe his Senses: For the thing is as clear as the Sun to any one that can Read, and will trust his Eyes, that Gregory the First wrote against Image-worship, and the Second of that name wrote for it. And though the Latter endeavour'd to excuse himself and his party with this pretence, That they did not worship Images as Gods, yet my Adversary knows that the old Heathens said the same thing; and therefore this could no more acquit this Pope, than it could the Pagans from the charge of Idolatry.

He pretends I am kind to the Heathens; as if my meaning was to excuse them from Idolatry, so the better to fix this crime upon the Papists, and hereupon he makes a long Harangue. The very truth is, I never intended to excuse either, or take off the Load from one to lay it upon the other. But this I say, (and the thing is ma­nifest) that upon the same grounds that the Romanists justifie Their worshipping of Images, the old Heathens justified Theirs. And lest I should be thought, a singular Illuminate, should I make a comparison between both (as to that) I say further, that the Church of England her self hath long ago done a great deal more of that kind then I am willing to do at this time of day. In the Third part of the Homily, I mention'd before, She hath at large compared the Idolatry of the one, with the Ido­latry of the other, both as to the Images themselves, and as [Page 32] to the manner of worshipping them. I refer you to the place, beseeching you to read it, not for your Informa­tion only, but for your diversion and pleasure too.

After this it is insinuated, pag. 37. That I have de­stroyed not only the Credit, but the very Being of our Church in a manner, our Ordination, our Succession, our Authority of Preaching; and all this, by my writing a poor Pamphlet against Image-worship. A man of Sense would wonder at the consequence; but the Rea­son it seems is, because our Church was once in Commu­nion with the Church of Rome, so that if the one be Idolatrous, the other must Cease. But my Adversary knows our principle to be this, That the Church of Rome is really a Church (as to the Essentials of a Church) though a very Ʋnsound and Corrupt one as to Her additions; and how our Communion with that Church could bring such a Contagion as can Un-Church us, is a thing which we cannot understand. But this, among some other mean considerations which are now objected against Me, have been objected formerly a­gainst my good Friend, and have been abundantly an­swer'd at the end of his Excellent Defence; and because I am not willing this Pamphlet should swell with things, said over again, I refer you to that piece, where you will find this, and some other cavils fully answer'd, which are scatteringly thrown by this Discourser, about bowing towards the Altar, and at the name of Jesus, &c.

Next follows (which I believe was the Principal thing intended by my Adversary) a sly and artificial Application to our Dissenters; as if they had the same reason to depart from our Church, as we had to de­part from the Church of Rome. Now the reason of our departure was, because we could not possibly continue any longer in the Communion of that Church, without being knowingly guilty of many damnable Er­rours [Page 33] and Sins. If this be the case between [...] and our dissenting Brethren I will depart from the Church of England to morrow, though not to the Church of Rome. But, God be thanked, all reasonable men are convinced, that the case is not the same. And my Adversary is malicious and vain in saying pag. 38. That Since the greatest part of those things upon which the dis­sent is founded, are such as have been instituted and com­manded by the Church of Rome, why should the Dissen­ters receive them from the Church of England, whilst these same Church-Guides, who press the observance, take so much pains to prove those from whom they receiv'd them, to be Idolaters? What? Did the Church of Rome Institute those things whereon the Dissent is founded? I think they may be Idolaters to the Worlds end, and yet our Constitutions remain unspotted. Was the Episcopal Government Instituted by the Church of Rome? Was our Liturgy compiled by the Church of Rome? Was the Sign of the Cross, and a few more of our ob­servances Instituted by the Church of Rome? This is a vanity to be despised; and upon this Point I will Engage in a Controversie with this Discourser, when he pleases or dares. In the mean time I take the Li­berty to tell him, that his Trick will not Take; all of Us are sensible what the meaning of this is, and who they are that stand behind the Curtain to inflame us, to set us at further variance with one another, to drive on a Third interest, and at last to laugh at our folly, if we can be made to serve it.

In the Conclusion of all my Adversary gives me a gentle lick: for reflecting upon Me, and the Letter I sent you, he says, the Author is to be excused; the whole is nothing more then a Letter: and every body knows, that a Letter, however proper it may be to the person to whom 'tis directed, is many times very absur'd when 'tis divulg'd [Page 34] and made Common; we'll Excuse therefore the Writer, but really he is to blame that Publish't it. To this I answer in a few words; that if this Discourser and his Party will for­give me the writing of that Letter, I know you will forgive him that Publisht it, and I believe all conside­rate and honest men will forgive us Both, and as for this Discourser, whatever his Sin is, he knows I suppose where to have a pardon too, if he has but Money. I am, Sir

Your Most Faithful and Obedient Servant.

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