Let this be Printed,

Sunderland P.

REASONS FOR ABROGATING THE TEST, Imposed upon All Members of Parliament Anno 1678. Octob. 30.

In these Words, I A. B. do solemnly and sincerely, in the Presence of God, profess, testifie, and declare, That I do believe that in the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper there is not any Transubstantiation of the Ele­ments of Bread and Wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, at, or after the Consecration thereof by any Person whatsoever; And that the Invocation or Adoration of the Uirgin Mary, or any other Saint, and the Sacrifice of the Mass, as they are now used in the Church of Rome, are Superstitious and Idolatrous.

First Written for the Author's own Satisfaction; And now Published for the Benefit of all others whom it may concern.

LONDON: Printed for Henry Bonwicke at the Red Lyon in St. Paul's Church-yard, MDCLXXXVIII.


THE TEST imposed upon all Members of Parliament, Octo­ber 30. 1678. ought (I hum­bly conceive) to be repeal'd for these Reasons;

First, Because it doth not only diminish, but utterly de­stroy the natural Rights of Peerage, and turns the Birth-right of the English Nobility into a precarious Title: So that what was in all for­mer Ages only forfeited by Treason, is now at the mercy of every Faction or every Passion in Parliament. And therefore how useful soever the Test might have been in its season, it some [Page 2] time must prove a very ill Precedent against the Rights of Peerage; for if it may be allow'd in any Case, there is no Case in which it may not be imposed.

And therefore I remember that in the First Transubstantiation-Test, Anno Dom. 1673, the Rights of Peerage are [indeed according to con­stant Custom] secur'd by Proviso. Provided always, That neither this Act, nor any­thing therein contained, shall extend, be judg­ed, or interpreted any ways to hurt or preju­dice the Peérage of any Péer of this Realm, or to take away any right, power, privilege or profit, which any person [being a Péer of this Realm] hath or ought to enjoy by reason of his Péerage, either in time of Parliament or otherwise.

And in the Year 1675. when this Test or Oath of Loyalty was brought into the House of Peers, That it is not lawful upon any Pretence whatsoever to take up Arms against the King, and by his Au­thority against his Person, it was vehemently pro­tested against as a Breach of Privilege.

No body could except against the Matter of the Test it self, much less the Nobility, who had generally taken it upon the Account of their several Trusts in the Militia. So that the only Debate was, Whether the very Proposal of it, as a Qualification for a Right to sit in Parliament, [Page 3] were not a Breach of the fundamental Right of Peerage? And after some Debates upon the Point of Peerage it was, without ever entring into the Merits of the Cause it self, thrown out by an unanimous Vote of the House, April 21. 1675. Be­fore the putting of the Question, this PRO­TESTATION is entred.

‘A Bill to prevent the Dangers which may arise from Persons disaffected to the Government.’

‘The House resolv'd into a Committee to consi­der of it, and being resum'd, the Question was put, Whether this Bill does so far intrench upon the Privileges of this House, as it ought therefore to be cast out? It was at first resolved in the Negative with this Memorandum, That before the putting the abovesaid Question, these Lords following desired Leave to enter their Dissents, if the Question was carried in the Ne­gative, and accordingly did enter their Dissents, as followeth.

‘We, whose Names are underwritten, being Peers of this Realm, do according to our Rights, and the ancient Usage of Parliaments, declare, That the Question having been put, Whether the Bill, entituled An Act to prevent the Dangers which may arise from Persons disaffected to the Government, does so far entrench upon the Privileges of this House, that it ought therefore to be cast out, it being resolved in the Negative, [Page 4] We do humbly conceive, That any Bill which im­poseth an Oath upon the Peers with a Penalty, as this doth, That upon the refusal of that Oath they shall be made uncapable of sitting and voting in this House: As it is a thing unpresi­dented in former Times, so is it in our humble Opinion the highest Invasion of the Liberties and Privileges of the Peerage that possibly may be, and most destructive of the Freedom which they ought to enjoy as Members of Parliament.

‘Because the Privilege of Sitting and Voting in Parliament is an Honour they have by Birth; and a Right so inherent in 'em, and insepa­rable from 'em, as that nothing can take it a­way, but what by the Law of the Land must withal take away their Lives, and corrupt their Blood; The Names of the pro­testing Peers to the num­ber of 23. are to be seen in the Journal Book. upon which Ground, We do here enter our Dissent from that Vote and our Protestation against it.’

QVAERE, How many of those Noble Lords voted for the Test in 1678. and then, whether if they have preserved their Rights of Peerage, they have preserv'd its Honour too?

But the Debate was kept up many Days, till at last, April 30. 1675. it came to this Is­sue.

It was at last resolved, That no Oath shall by this Bill be imposed; and pass'd into a general [Page 5] Order by the whole House, Nemine contradicente, as followeth.

‘Order'd by the Lords Spiritual and Tempo­ral in Parliament assembled, That no Oath shall be imposed by any Bill or otherwise, upon the Peers with a Penalty in case of Refusal to lose their Places and Votes in Parliament, or li­berty of Debates therein; and that this Order be added to the standing Orders of this House.’

Secondly, It ought to be repealed, because of its dishonourable Birth and Original; it being the First-born of Oats's Plot, and brought forth on purpose to give Credit and Reputation to the Perjury.

Now I should think that when the Villainy of that is so fully laid open to the World, it should not a little concern the Honour of the Nation, but very much concern the Honour and Wisdom of the House of Peers, to deface so great a Monument erected by themselves in honour of so gross an Imposture.

It is Shame enough to the present Age to have given any publick Credit to so enormous a Cheat, and the greatest Kindness it can do it self, is to destroy, as much as may be, all the Re­cords of Acts done by the Government to abett it.

What will Posterity judge of the present No­bility, to see such an unpresidented Law, not [Page 6] only enacted upon so foul an Occasion; but af­ter the Discovery of the Cheat, asserted with Heat and Zeal, though to the Subversion of their own fundamental Rights and Privileges?

Besides, the Roman Catholick Peers have suffered severely enough already by their own honou­rable House's giving Credit to so dull an Im­posture: And I think it is the least Compensati­on that they can in Honour make them, only to restore 'em to their natural Rights.

What will foreign Nations and future Ages think of the Injustice and Barbarity of the pre­sent Peerage, to suffer English Noblemen to be stript of the greatest Privilege of their Birth-right by so unheard of a Villainy? And when it is in their Power to see their injur'd Peers redressed, that they should not only suffer 'em to be so basely robb'd of their Peerage, but should for ever establish and ratify the Fraud by Authority and force of Law.

This wou'd be an eternal National Reproach, and such a Blot upon the House of Peers, that no length of Time cou'd wear away; nothing but the Universal Conflagration could destroy.

Thirdly, It ought to be repealed, because of the incompetent Authority by which the Law was enacted: It is a Law of an Ecclesiastical Nature, made without the Authority of the Church, con­trary [Page 7] to the Practice of the Christian World in all Ages, and indeed to our Saviours own Commis­sion, who setled all Power of Government, and especially the Legislative (which is the highest Act of it) upon the Officers of his own Kingdom; so that for any other Order of Men, to assume the Exercise of any such Authority to themselves, is no less than to depose him from his Throne, by disowning, neglecting, and affronting his Com­mission to his Catholick Church.

This Power of making Decrees concerning Divine Verities, is the very Foundation upon which the whole Fabrick of the Christian Church hath hitherto stood, and is to stand to the End of the World. For if it be once taken away, as here it is, there is no peculiar Government left to the Church it self, and without Government there can be no Society, or Band of Union; and with­out that, there remains nothing but Confusion: So dangerous a Trespass is it for the Temporal Powers to entrench upon this sacred Prerogative of the Holy Catholick Church.

The Civil Power may restrain the Exercise of it, as they shall judge meet for the Ends of Peace, and the Interest of the Common-Wealth, and punish it too, at their own Discretion, if it shall any way presume to entrench upon the Power of the State.

But tho' it may prevent or correct Abuses, yet [Page 8] it cannot usurp the Power it self without manifest Sacrilege and Blasphemy; in short, this is such a daring Invasion of our Saviour's own Kingdom, that nothing more imports Christian Kings and Governours, than to be wary and cautious how they lay Hands upon it.

Neither can it be pleaded this Law was con­sented to by the Bishops (to their Shame) in the House of Lords. For First, it being an Ecclesi­astical Law, it ought to have been antecedently enacted by them, without any Lay-concurrence; and when they had first decreed it by their own proper Authority, Then, and not before then, was it lawful for the Parliament to take it into their Consideration, and as they judged fit, to abett it with temporal Penalties.

Which Practice (as I have before mentioned) was ever most religiously observed by all Chri­stian Kings and Princes, and never before viola­ted, but by Apostates and Rebel Parliaments.

But then Secondly, The Bishops sit not in the House of Lords as Bishops, but as Temporal Ba­rons, and so act not there by virtue of any Pow­er derived from our Blessed Saviour, but from the meer Grace and Favour of the King; And if they themselves should pretend to exercise any Ecclesi­astical Authority in that Place, they would most scandalously betray, and as much as in 'em lyes, destroy the very Being of a Christian Church, [Page 9] and profanely pawn the Bishop to the Lord: Be­sides, that lastly by the Law of England the Ec­clesiastical Power is setled in Convocation; so that to Enact any thing of that Nature with­out their Consent, is to betray the Rights of the Church of England as by Law established in par­ticular, as well as of the Church Catholick in General.

Fourthly, It ought to be repealed because of the uncertainty and Falshood of the Matters con­tained in the Declaration it self; as,

First, That there is no Transubstantiation in the Sacrament of our Saviour's Body and Blood.

And Secondly, That the Invocation of Saints and the Mother of God is Idolatry: Both which Propo­sitions are by this Law to be solemnly and sin­cerely in the Presence of God professed, testifyed, and declared, which in Conscience is the same thing with a formal Oath, whatever it is in Law.

Now to oblige the whole Nobility of a Na­tion, to swear to the Truth of such abstruse and uncertain Propositions, which they neither do nor can, nor indeed ought to understand, and this upon Penalty of forfeiting the Privileges of their Birth-right, is such a monstrous and inhumane Piece of Barbarity as could never have enter'd into the Thoughts of any Man, but the infamous Author of it, neither into his (as malicious as his [Page 10] Nature was) but in his fierce Pursuit of Princely Blood; for that was the only Design of all his Actions after the starting of the Otesian Villainy (of which this Test was the first Sacrament) to pursue and hunt down the Heir of the Crown, which all the World knows, and is now satisfied, he sought by numberless Perjuries, tho' by no­thing more than this Test, by which he stript his Royal Highness of the Guards of his most faithful Friends; and when he was left alone, it was an easy matter to come to his Person, and in him to the Monarchy; so that the very next thing that followed immediately upon it, was the black Bill of Exclusion: And next to that it was the very Master-piece of little Achitophel's Wickedness. But to return to my Argument.

What is meant by Transubstantiation is a thing altogether unknown and uncertain, especially to the Persons chiefly concerned, the Nobility and Gentry of the Kingdom: It is a Word and a No­tion chiefly handled by the Schoolmen and Meta­physicians Skill, in whose Writings is the least part of a Gentlemans Education, their Learning is more polite and practicable in the civil Affairs of Humane Life, to understand the Rules of Ho­nour and the Laws of their Country, the Practice of Martial Discipline, and the Examples of great Men in former Ages, and by them to square their own Actions in their respective Stations, and the [Page 11] like; but for the Wars between Scotus and Tho­mas Aquinas, the Nominalists and the Realists, and the several Common-wealths in the Metaphysical World, they are not more beyond than they are below their Knowledge, and yet these numberless Sects of Disputers do not quarrel and differ more about any one thing, than the Notion of Transubstantiation.

How unreasonable a thing then is it, to im­pose it upon the Nobility and Gentry of a whole Nation under Forfeiture of all their Share in the Government, to abjure a thing that is morally im­possible for them to understand? This seems too bold and profane an Affront to Almighty God, in whose Presence the Protestation is made; and only declares that Men will swear any thing, they know not what, before the great Searcher of Hearts, rather than lose any worldly Interest: And I dare appeal to the Honourable Mem­bers of both Houses, if (when they consider se­riously with themselves) they have any distinct Idea or Notion in their minds of the thing they here so solemnly renounce. I fansie if every Man were obliged to give his own account of it, whatever Transubstantiation may be, it would certainly be Babel.

The two Fathers or rather Mid-wifes of the first Transubstantiation Test, in the Year 1673. were the two famous Burgesses of Oxon, who [Page 12] brought it forth without so much as consulting their learned Vniversity. How much the Gen­tleman Burgess understood, I can only guess; but I am very apt to believe, that his Brother, the Alderman, (if the Tryal were made) can­not so much as pronounce the word, much less hammer out the Notion. In short, there seems to be but a prophane Levity in the whole matter, and a shameless abuse put upon God and Religi­on, to carry on the wicked designs of a Rebel Faction, as the Event hath proved.

But for the true state of this Matter, I find my self obliged to give a brief historical Account of the Rise and Progress of this Controversie of Transubstantiation; which when I have done, the result and summ of the account will be, that there is no one thing in which Christendom more both agrees and disagrees. All parties con­sent in the thing, and differ in the manner.

And here the History will branch it self into Two parts:

I. As the Matter is stated in the Church of Rome.

II. As it hath been determined in the Prote­stant Churches.

Where the first part will sub-divide it self into Two other branches.

1st. The Ecclesiastical account of the thing; that is, the Authoritative Definitions and De­terminations [Page 13] of the Church about it. And,

2ly. The Scholastical account, or the various Disputes of the School-men among themselves in their Cells and Cloysters, none of which were ever vouched by the Authority of the Church: And when I have represented the whole matter of Fact, I may safely leave it to the Honour and Wisdom of the Nation to judge, whether of all things in the World Transubstantiation be not the unfittest thing in it to set up for a State TEST?

In the first place then it is evident to all Men, that are but ordinarily conversant in Ecclesiasti­cal Learning, That the ancient Fathers, from Age to Age asserted the real and substantial Pre­sence in very high and expressive terms. The Greeks stiled it, [...].

And the Latins agreeable with the Greeks, Conversion, Transmutation, Transformation, Trans­figuration, Transelementation, and at length, Tran­substantiation: By all which they expressed nothing more nor less than the real and substantial Presence in the Eucharist.

But to represent their Assertions at large, would require much too long a Discourse for this short Essay. And therefore I shall only give an ac­count of it from the time that it first became a Controversie.

[Page 14] And the first Man that made it a publick Dispute, was Berengarius, Archdeacon of An­gers, in the Eleventh Century, about the Year 1047, who pleaded in his own behalf, the Au­thority of a learned Man, Iohannes Scotus Eri­gena, who passed without Censure in the Ninth Century; but, to pass him by, it is certain, that Berengarius publickly denyed the Doctrine of the Real and Substantial Presence of the Body and Blood of Christ, and resolved the whole Mystery into a mere Type and Figure; for this he is condemned of Heresie in the Year 1050, in a Council at Rome, under Leo the Ninth; and in the same Year, in a Synod at Verselles, and another at Paris; and afterwards by Victor the Second, in the Year 1055. Upon which Beren­garius, in a Council held at Tours, in the same Year, submitted, and solemnly recanted his Opi­nion.

But soon relapsing, Pope Nicholas the Second, summons a Council at Rome, of 113 Bishops, in the Year 1059, where Berengarius abjures his Opinion in this form, viz. That he Anathe­matizes that Opinion, that asserts, That the Bread and Wine, after the Consecration upon the Altar, is only a Sacrament, and not the true Body and Blood of our Lord Iesus Christ; and that it is not sensibly handled, and broke by the Priest's hands, and so eaten by the Commu­nicants. [Page 15] And this declaration he seals with an Oath to the blessed Trinity upon the Evan­gelists.

But upon the Death of Pope Nicholas, or rather of King Henry the First of France, a vehement Enemy of Berengarius his Doctrine, (who therefore had summoned the fore-menti­oned several French Councils against him) Berengarius returns to his old Principles, and publickly justifies them, in writing, to the World. For which he is censured by several Provincial Councils.

But then Gregory the Seventh, succeeding in the Apostolick See, calls a Council at Rome in the Year 1078, in which Berengarius abjures again, much after the same form with the for­mer abjuration. But Pope Gregory (not satis­fied with the same general Confession, of the substantial Presence, that he had already eluded) in a second Council, held the Year following, he imposes this From of Recantation upon him.

‘I Berengarius believe in my Heart, and con­fess with my Mouth, That the things upon the Altar, by virtue of Prayer and Consecration, are changed into the true and proper Flesh and Blood of Christ, and are the true Body of Christ, that was born of a Virgin, and sacrificed upon the Cross, for the Salvation of the World, and that sits at the right hand of the Father; and the [Page 16] true Blood of Christ that was shed out of his side, not only as a sacramental Sign, but in propriety of Nature, and reality of Substance.

This is indeed a pretty bold Assertion of the substantial Presence; but as to the Modus of it, it is evident, that he durst not venture to de­sine it, as himself declares in his Commentaries upon the Gospels, where after having recited se­veral Opinions about it, he concludes, But these several surmises I shall not pursue, it is enough that the substance of the Bread and Wine are converted into the substance of the Body and Blood of Christ; but as to the Modus of the Conversion, I am not ashamed to confess my Ignorance. And so ended this Controver­sie at that time; Berengarius ever after living peaceably; and about Eight Years after dying in the Communion of the Church.

But about this time Aristotle's Philosophy was brought into Europe, out of Arabia, as it was translated into the Arabick Tongue by Averroes, Avicenna and others, and out of them translated into Latin; for the Greek Language was at that time utterly lost in those Western parts of the World. This being then a mighty novelty, the School-men, that were the only pretenders to Learning at that time, embraced it with a gree­dy and implicit Faith, supposing it the very Gospel of all Philosophick Knowledge; and [Page 17] therefore set themselves to mix and blend it with the Doctrines of the Christian Schools; and by its Rules and Maxims to Explain all the Articles of the Christian Faith.

Among the rest, he had one very odd Noti­on, singular to himself, from all the other Phi­losophers of Greece, viz. That every substance was compounded of matter and form; and that these two were really distinct from one another; and then that the quantity of every Body was really distinct from the substance of it, and so distinct as to be separable from it: And lastly, That all other Qualities, Accidents, and Predicaments were found­ed not in the Substance, but in the Quantity; and therefore in all change of Affairs ever fol'owed its Fortunes.

Now the Catholick Church having in all Ages asserted the real and substantial Presence; Oh, say they (to shew their deep new Learn­ing) That is to be understood in the Aristote­lian way, by separating the Form of the Bread from the Matter; but chiefly by separating the inward Substance of Bread, from its outward Quantity, and its retinue of Qualities.

This was the Rise of Philosophick or Scholastick Transubstantiation, that the Quantity and Acci­dents of the Bread are pared off from all the Substance, and shaped and moulded a-new, so as to cover an humane Body: And after this [Page 18] they run into an infinite Variety of Disputes and Hypotheses among themselves; so that till the Last Age, it hath been the chief entertain­ment of all pretenders to Philosophy in Chri­stendom.

Rupertus Abbot of Dentsch, a Village upon the Rhine, lying on the other side of the River, against the City of Cologne, a Man of great reputation for Learning in that Age, makes out the Philosophy of the Thing, by the Vnion of the Word, or Divine Nature, that is Omni­present with the Bread and Wine; and it is that Vnity (he says) that makes it one Body with that in Heaven: And withal, that it is as easie for our Saviour to assume, or unite himself to one as the other; and when that is done, they are both one body; because they are both his Body. This was fine and curious, but not Aristotelian enough for that Age; in which that Philosophy was set up as the Standard of humane Wisdom, by the Beaux Esprits: Among these, Petrus Abelardus gain'd a mighty Name and Reputation for his skill in these new found Philosophick Curiosities, tho' otherwise a Man versed (much beyond the Genius of that Age) in Polite Learning; but being of a proud and assuming Nature, he soon drew upon himself the Envy of the less Learned Monks; which cost him a long scene of Troubles, as he hath elegantly described [Page 19] them, in his Book of his own Persecutions.

But among many other singularities to main­tain the separation of the matter from the form, and the substance from the accidents in the Sa­crament of the Altar he is forced to make use of this shift, That upon the Separation of the Substance, the Accidents that cannot subsist of themselves, are supported by the Air.

But then comes Peter Lombard, Lib. 4. dist. 10. Anno 1140. Grand Master of the Sentences, and Father of the next race of School-men, who indeed proves the real and substantial Presence out of the Ancients; particularly St. Austin and St. Ambrose; but when he comes to explain the manner of it, whether it be a formal or material change; whether the substance of the Bread and Wine be reduced into its first matter, or into nothing, and the like, his conclusion is, definire non suf­ficio: I presume not to determine; and therefore quitting these uncertain things, this I certainly know from Authorities, viz. That the substance of the Bread and Wine, are converted into the substance of the Body and Blood of Christ; but as for the manner of the Conversion, we are not ashamed to confess our Ignorance. But if you inquire in what subject the Accidents subsist, he answers problematically (mihi videtur) that they subsist without any subject at all.

[Page 20] But it was agreed in all Schools, That what­ever became of the Substance the Accidents re­mained: And that all outward Operations terminated there; and that only they were brok­en and eaten.

But as for the substance of the Bread and Wine, some were for its permanency with the Sub­stance of the Body and Blood, some for its Annihilation, some for physical Conversion. But then these Curiosites were kept in the Schools, where witty Men, for want of more useful Im­ployment entertained and amused themselves, with these fine subtleties of thought: But then they were confined within the Schools and ne­ver admitted so much as to ask the Authority of the Church.

In the next Age comes that young and active Pope, Innocent the Third, who succeeded to the See, Anno 1198. in the Thirty seventh Year of of his Age, having been made Cardinal in the Twenty ninth.

In the Eighteenth Year of his Reign he sum­moned the famous Fourth, or great Council of Lateran, at which were present above 400 Bi­shops, Metropolitans and Patriarchs, besides Embassadors from all Princes in Christendom, for recovery of the Holy Land, Extirpation of Heresies, and for Reformation of the Church. In this Council the Word Transubstantiate is first [Page 21] used in a Decree of the Church, to express the real or substantial Presence of the Body and Blood of Christ in the Sacrament, under the species of Bread and Wine: Where, in the De­cree against the heresie of the Albigenses, who denied the Real Presence, it is Enacted, ‘That the Body and Blood of Christ, are really con­tained under the species of Bread and Wine: The Bread being Transubstantiated into the Body, and the Wine into the Blood, by the Power of God. But though the Council used the word to Express the Mystery, they did not so much as define its signification, much less the nature of the thing. It was a word that at that time (it seems) was in fashion, having been made use of by some of the more Polite Writers of the Age.

Some give the honour of the Invention to Pas­chasius Radbertus, some to Petrus Blesensis, and some to others; but being a word in Vogue among learned Men, the Council made use of it as a Term of Art, instead of the old word, Transelementation, that had hitherto kept its pos­session among both Greeks and Latins.

It is pity the Greek Copy of this Canon is lost, whereas all the rest are preserved: For if we had the Greek word that answered to the Latin, it might have given us some more light into the thing. However, this was all that was [Page 22] defined by Innocent the Third, or by the Coun­cil of Lateran; for it is much disputed by learned Men, who was the Author of those Ca­nons, many contending that they were drawn up after the Council, because they often quote, and appeal to its Decrees.

This is the chief Argument of the Learned and the Loyal William Barclay, and others against them. But if these learned Men had considered a little further, and looked back to the Third Council of Lateran, they would have found all the Canons cited in this extant in that: So that only some Canons of the Third Council, are revived and ratified in this Fourth: And after the clearing of this Objection, I can see no o­ther material Exception against them.

But to proceed; this word having gain'd the Authority of so great a Council, and being put into the Decretals of the Church, by Gregory the Ninth, in honor of his Uncle Innocent the Third, it soon gained universal usage among the Latins, and was adopted into the Catalogue of School Terms; and was there hammer'd into a Thousand shapes and forms, by those Masters of Subtlety: And upon it St. Thomas of Aquin erects a new Kingdom of his own, against the old Lombardian Empire; but long he had not Reigned, when Scotus, our subtle Country-man, set up against him. And whatever St. Thomas [Page 23] of Aquin asserted, for that reason only, he con­tradicted him; so that they two became the very Caesar and Pompey of the Schools, almost all the great Masters of Disputation from that time, fighting under one of their com­mands; and what intelligible Philosophy both parties vented about the Substantial o [...] Transub­stantial Presence, upon supposition of the real difference between Matter and Form, Substance and Accidents, would be both too nice and too tedious to recite; only in general the Thomists maintain the Transmutation of the Elements; the Scotists, the Annihilation; and they proceed to abstract so long, till they could not only sepa­rate the Matter and Form, and Accidents of the Bread from one another, but the Paneity or Bread­ishness it self from them all, and founded a new Vtopian World of Metaphysick and Specifick Entities and Abstracts.

Thus far I have, as briefly as I can, repre­sented the Scholastick History of this Argument; in which the Authority of the Church is not at all concerned; having gone no farther than to assign or appropriate a Word to signifie such a thing; but all along declaring the Thing it self to be beyond the compass of a Definition. I know 'tis commonly said, that the Council of Trent hath presumed to define the Modus; and learned Men (I know not by what fatal over-sight) [Page 24] take it up on trust one from another; and the Definition is generally given in these Terms: That,

Transubstantiation is wrought by the Annihi­lation of the substance of the Bread and Wine, the Accidents remaining: To the which Annihi­lation succeeds the Body and Blood of Christ, under the Accidents of Bread and Wine.

So the Bishops of Durham and Winchester re­present it; so Mr. Alix, and the Writers of his Church, and not only so but contrary to the sence of all other Churches, they confound the Real Pre­sence with Transubstantiation, as this learned Man hath done through his whole Disputation upon it, using the very words promiscuously (as indeed all the modern Followers of Calvin do) and charg­ing the same absurdities upon both, and imputing the first Invention of the Real Presence to Nico­las the Second, and Gregory the Seventh, in their Decrees against Berengarius. But I cannot but wonder how so many learned Men should with so much assurance fansie to themselves such a Definition in the Trent Council, of the Modus of Transubstantiation, by the Annihilation of the Substance, and the Permanency of the Accidents, when the Fathers of that Council were so far from any such Design, That they design'd no­thing more carefully, than to avoid all Schola­stick Definitions. The subtil Disputes about [Page 25] the Modus existendi (as they termed it) between the Dominicans and Franciscans in that Council are described at large by Father Paolo himself in the Fourth Book of his History. But withal, he says, they were extreamly Displeasing and Offen­sive to the Fathers, but most of all to the NUN­CIO himself; and therefore it was resolved in a General Congregation to determine the Matter in as few and general Terms as possible, to of­fend neither Party, and avoid Contentions; and when, notwithstanding this Decree, they fell in­to new Disputes, they are check'd by the Fa­mous Bishop of Bitunto, who was one of the chief Compilers of the Canons, telling them they came thither to condemn Heresies, not to define Scho­lastick Niceties. And accordingly in the very First Chapter of the 13th. Session, in which this Article was defined, when they determined the Real Presence; they at the same time declare the Existendi Ratio to be ineffable; and in the 4th. Chapter, where Transubstantiation is decreed, the Canon runs thus: That,

‘By the Consecration of the Bread and Wine, there is a Conversion of the whole Substance of the Bread into the Substance of the Body of Christ, and of the whole Substance of the Wine into the Substance of his Blood, which Conver­sion is fitly and properly called by the Holy Ca­tholick Church;’ Transubstantiation.

[Page 26] In all which the Council only appropriates the Word Transubstantiation to express the Real Presence, which it had before determined in the First Chapter, not to be after a natural way of Existence, as Christ sits at the right Hand of God, but Sacramental, after an ineffable man­ner.

Tho here some peevishly object, the Incon­sistence of the Council with it self, when it de­clares, that the thing is inexpressible and yet ap­propriates a word to express it: Whereas all Christendom knows that the Procession of the E­ternal Word from the Father is Ineffable, and yet is expressed by the Word Generation; and that the Vnion of the divine and humane Nature is ineffable, and yet is called the Hypostatical Vnion; and that the Vnity in the Trinity is ineffable, and yet is expressed by the Word Consubstantial: So that this Council seems to have defin'd no more than the Council of Nice did in the Doctrine of the Blessed Trinity, in expressing the Unity of the Three Persons by the Word [...], and the Distinction, by the Word [...], which amounted to no more than this, That as it is certain from the Holy Scriptures that in the Unity of the God-head there is a Trinity, so the Holy Fathers to avoid the Niceties of contentious Men, such as Arius was, determine that for the Time to come the [Page 27] Mystery shall be expressed by the Terms [...] and [...]; but as for any Philosophical Noti­on of the Mystery, the Church never presum'd to define it, and this is the Definition of the Council of Trent, of the Real Presence, that there is a Conversion of the Substances under the Spe­cies or Appearances of Bread and Wine, which the Church hath thought convenient to express by the Word Transubstantiation.

And yet tho the Council approve the Word, yet it does not impose it, it only declares it to be convenient, but no where says 'tis necessary. And as for the Term Conversion, it is much older than the Word Transubstantiation, familiarly used by the Ancient Fathers; and so is the Word Species: I know indeed it is usual with School-men and Protestant Writers to translate the Words under Species of Bread and Wine, by these Words, under the Accidents of Bread and Wine, as particularly the late Bishops of Dur­ham and Winchester have done. But this is to impose Philosophick Niceties upon the Decrees of the Church.

And tho perhaps all the Fathers of the Coun­cil believed the Reality of the New substantial Presence under the Old Accidents, yet they had more Temper and Discretion than to Authorise it by conciliar Determination, and therefore use only the Word Species (and no other Word is [Page 28] used by Nicolas II, Gregory VII, and Innocent III, that are thought the Three great Innova­tors in the Argument of the Real Presence) that properly signifies Appearance, but nothing of Physical or Natural Reality, so that tho the Pre­sence under the Species be real, yet as the Council hath defined it, it is not Natural but Sacramental, which Sacramental Real Presence they express by the Word Transubstantiation, and recommend the Propriety of the Word to the Acceptance of Christendom.

This is the short History of the Real Pre­sence in the Church of Rome, where, as far as I can discern, the thing it self hath been own­ed in all Ages of the Church, the Modus of it never defined, but in the Schools, and tho they have fansied Thousand Definitions to themselves, their Metaphysicks were never admitted into the Church. And so I pro­ceed to give an Account of it, as it hath been defin'd in the Protestant Churches, where we shall find much the same Harmony of Faith and Discord of Philosophy as in the Church of Rome.

And first we must begin with the famous Confession of Ausburg, that was drawn up by Melancthon, and in the Year 1530 presented to Charles the Fifth, by several Princes of Germany, as a Declaration of the Faith of the first Refor­mers, [Page 29] and as the only true standard of the An­cient Protestant Religion.

The Confesion consists of Two parts.

  • I. What Doctrines themselves taught.
  • II. What Abuses they desired to be reformed.

As to the later, the Emperor undertook to procure a General Council.

As to the former, particularly this Article of the Presence in the Sacrament, they have publish­ed it in two several forms: In the Latin Edition it is worded thus: ‘Concerning the Lords Supper, we teach, That the Body and Blood of Christ are there present indeed, and are distributed to the Receivers at the Lords Supper; and condemn those that teach otherwise.’ In the German Edi­tion it is worded thus: ‘Concerning the Lords Supper we teach, That the true Body and Blood of Christ are truly present in the Supper, un­der the species of Bread and Wine, and are there distributed and received. And in an Apology written by the same hand, and published the Year following, it is thus expressed: ‘We be­lieve, That in the Supper of our Lord, the Body and Blood of Christ are really and substantially present, and are Exhibited indeed with those things, that are seen, the Bread and Wine. This belief our Divines constantly maintain, and we [Page 30] find, not only the Church of Rome hath asserted the Corporeal Presence, but that the Greek Church hath anciently, as well as at this time, asser­ted the same;’ as appears by their Canon Missae.

The same Author Explains himself more at large in his Epistle to Fredericus Myconius. ‘I send you (says he) the passages out of the Ancients, concerning the Lord's Supper, to prove, that they held the same with us; namely, That the Body and Blood of our Lord are there present indeed. And after divers Citations he concludes, ‘That seeing this is the express Doctrine of the Scriptures, and constant Tra­dition of the Church, I cannot conceive how, by the name of the Body of Christ, should only be understood the sign of an absent Body; for though the Word of God frequently makes use of Meta­phors, yet there is a great difference to be made between Historical Relations, and Divine Insti­tutions. In the first, matters transacted among Men, and visible to the Sence are related; and here we are allow'd, and often forced to speak figuratively: But if in Divine Precepts, or Re­velations, concerning the Nature or the Will of God, we should take the same liberty, wise Men cannot but fore-see the Mischiefs that would un­avoidably follow. There would be no certainty of any Article of Faith.’ And he gives an in­stance in the Precept of Circumcision to Abraham: [Page 31] That upon those Terms the good Patriarch might have argued with himself, That God never intend­ed to impose a thing so seemingly absurd, as the words sound; and that therefore the Precept is to be understood only of a Figurative or Metaphorical Circumcision; the Circumcision of our Lusts. So far this Learned Reformer.

Now the Authority of Melancthon weighs more with us of the Church of England, (as the learned Dr. St. very well observes) that in the settlement of our Reformation,Conference, P. 119. there was no such regard had to Luther or Calvin, as to Erasmus and Melancthon, whose Learning and Moderation were in greater Esteem here, than the fiery spirits of the other; and yet few Wri­ters have asserted the Substantial and Corporeal Presence in higher terms than this moderate Re­former; and though he may sometimes have varied in Forms of Speech, he continued con­stant and immovable in the substance of the same Doctrine.

For in the Confession of the Saxon Churches (at the Compiling of which he was chief Assist­ant) drawn up in the Year 1551, to have been presented to the Council of Trent; a true and substantial Presence is asserted, during the time of Ministration. We teach (say they) That Sa­craments are Divine Institutions; and that the things themselves out of the use desing'd are no [Page 32] Sacraments; but in the use, Christ is verily and substantially present; and the Body and Blood of Christ are indeed taken by the Receiv­ers.

There seems to have been one singular Noti­on in this Confession, That the Real and Sub­stantial Presence lasts no longer than the Mini­stration; but that is nothing to our Argument, as long as a substantial Presence is asserted.

In the Year 1536 an Assembly of the Divines of the Ausburg Confession on one side, and the Divines of Vpper Germany on the other, con­ven'd at Wirtemberg, by the procurement and mediation of Bucer, who undertook to moder­ate between both parties; where they agreed in this form of Confession. We believe accor­ding to the words of Irenaeus, That the Eucha­rist consists of two things, one Earthly the other Heavenly; and therefore believe and teach, That the Body and Blood of Christ are truly and sub­stantially exhibited and received with the Bread and Wine. This is subscribed by the chief Divines of both Parties, and approved by the Helvetian Ministers themselves.

The Bohemian Waldenses in their Confession of Faith presented to Ferdinand, King of the Romans and Bohemia, declare expressly, That the Bread and Wine, are the very Body and Blood of Christ; and that Christ is in the Sa­crament [Page 33] with his Natural Body, but by ano­ther way of Existence than at the Right-hand of God.

In the Greek Form of Consecration, this Prayer was used: Make this Bread the preci­ous Body of thy Christ; and that which is in this Cup, the precious Blood of thy Christ, changing them by thy Holy Spirit; which words are taken out of the Liturgies of St. Chry­sostom and St. Basil.

And Ieremias the Learned Patriarch of Con­stantinople, in his Declaration of the Faith of the Greek Church in Answer to the Lutheran Divines, affirms That the Catholick Church be­lieves, that after the Consecration the Bread is changed into the very Body of Christ, and the Wine into the very Blood, by the Holy Spirit.

In the Year 1570. was held a Council in Poland of the Divines of the Ausburg, the Helvetian, and the Bohemian Confessions, in which they agreed in this Declaration. As to that unhappy Controversie of the Supper of our Lord, We agree in the Sence of the Words, as they are rightly understood by the Fathers, particularly by Irenaeus, who affirms that the Mystery consists of two things, one Earthly, and another Heavenly. Neither do we affirm, that the [Page 34] Elements and Signs are meer naked and empty Things signified to Believers.

But to speak more clearly and distinctly, we agree that we believe and confess the substantial Presence of Christ is not only signified to Be­lievers, but is really held forth, distributed and exhibited, the Symbols being joined with the thing it self, and not meerly naked, according to the nature of Sacraments. This Confession was confirmed at several times, by several fol­lowing Synods in the same Kingdom, at Cra­cow 1573. at Peterkaw 1578. at Walhoff 1583.

The First Man that opposed the real and substantial Presence was Carolostadius, Archdea­con of Wirtenberg, of whom the candid and ingenious Melancthon gives this Character: That he was a furious Man, void both of Wit, Learning, and common Sence, not capable of any Act of Civility or good Manners; so far from any appearances of Piety, that there are most manifest Footsteps of his Wicked­ness. He condemns all the Civil Laws of the heathen Nations, as Unlawful, and would now have all Nations governed by the judicial Law of Moses, and embrac'd the whole Doctrine of the Anabaptists.

He sets up the Controversie about the Sacra­ments against Luther, meerly out of Envy and [Page 35] Emulation, not out of any Sence of Religion, and much more to the same Purpose: The Truth of all which (he says) a great part of Germany both can and will attest. Tho the greatest Proof of his Levity is his own Wri­ting, when all that Disorder and Schism that he made in the Church, of which he pro­fess'd himself a Member, was founded upon no better Bottom than this slender Nicety, That when our Saviour said this is my Body, he pointed not to the Bread but to himself.

But in this he is vehemently opposed by his Master Luther, in behalf of a true Corpo­real Presence, especially in his Book Contra Coe­lestes Prophetas seu Fanaticos; wherein he lays down this Assertion, ‘That by the Demonstra­tive Pronoun hoc, Christ is declared to be Truly and carnally present with his Body in the Supper, and that the Communication of the Body of Christ, of which St. Paul speaks, is to eat the Body of Christ in the Bread, neither is that Communication Spiritual only but Corporeal, as it is in the personal Vni­on of Christ: So we are to conceive of the Sacrament, in which the Bread and the Body make up one thing, and after an incomprehen­sible manner, which no Reason can Fathom, become one Essence or Mass, from whence, as Man becomes God, so the Bread becomes the Body.’

[Page 36] And in a Sermon preached by him the same Year at Wirtemberg, against the Sacramen­tarian Hereticks, as he calls them: ‘The Devil opposes us by his Fanatick Emissaries in the Blaspheming the Supper of our Lord, that dream the Bread and Wine are there only given as a Sign or Symbol of our Christian Profession, nor will allow that the Body and Blood of Christ are there present themselves, tho the Words are express and perspicuous: Take, eat, this is my Body. In this Contro­versie he was engaged all his Life, against Carolostadius, and other Apostates from the Ausburg Confession, giving them no better Titles than of Fanaticks, Hereticks, Betrayers of Christ, Blasphemers of the Holy Ghost, and Se­ducers of the World.

And in his last Book against the Divines of Lovain in the Year 1545, the Year before his Death, he makes this solemn Declaration. We seriously believe the Zuinglians, and all Sacramentarians, that deny the Body and Blood of Christ to be received Ore carnali, in the Blessed Sacrament, to be Hereticks, and no Members of the Church of Christ: So that hi­therto it is evident, That the whole Body of the true Old Protestants, both in their publick Confessions and private Writings, unani­mously asserted the Corporeal and Substanti­al [Page 37] Presence, as they use the Words promiscu­ously.

As for the Calvinian Churches, Grotius hath observed very truly, That the Calvinists express themselves in a quite different Language, in their Confessions, from what they do in their Disputations, where they declare themselves more frankly. In their Confessions they tell you, That the Body and Blood of Christ, are taken Really, Substantially, Essentially; but when you come to Discourse'em closer, the whole Busi­ness is Spiritual, without Substance, only with a signifying Mystery; and all the reality is turned into a receiving by Faith; which, says he, is a perfect contradiction to the Doctrine of the whole Catholick Church.

So they declare in the Conference at Presburg with the Lutherans, That in the Sacrament, Christ indeed gives the Substance of his Bo­dy and Blood by the working of the Holy Ghost.

And when Luther signify'd to Bucer, his Jea­lously of the Divines of Strasburgh and Bazil, as if they believed nothing to be present in the Sacrament, but the Bread and Wine. Bucer returns this Answer, in the name, and with the consent of all his Brethren; This is their Faith and Doctrine concerning the Sacrament, That in it, by the Institution and Power of our▪ [Page 38] Lord, his true Body and his true Blood are indeed exhibited, given and taken, together with the visible Signs of Bread and Wine (as his own Words declare.) This is the Doctrine not only of Zuinglius, and Oecolampadius, but the Divines of Upper Germany have declared the same, in their publick Confessions and Writ­ings.

‘So that the Difference is rather about the man­ner of the Absence and Presence,’ than about the Presence or Absence themselves.

And the Reformed French Church in the year 1557. declare themselves much after the same manner, to a Synod of Reform'd German Divines, held at Wormes. We confess that in the Supper of our Lord, not only all the Benefits of Christ, but the very Substance of the Son of Man, the very Flesh, and the very Blood that he shed for us, to be there not meerly signify'd, or Symbolically, Typically, or Figuratively, as a Memorial of a thing absent, but truly held forth, exhibited and offered to be received, together with the Symbols, that are by no means to be thought naked, which by virtue of God's Promise, always have the thing it self truly and certainly conjoin'd with them, whether they are given to the good or to the bad.

But what need of more Witnesses, when Cal­vin himself, the very Vrim and Thummim of [Page 39] the Calvinian Churches, declares his Sence in these express Words. Institut. Book 4. cap. 17. Sect. 11. ‘I affirm that Christ is indeed given by the Symbols of Bread and Wine, and by consequence his Body and Blood, in which he fulfilled all Righteousness for our Iustification, and as by that, we were ingrafted into his Body, so by this are we made Parta­kers of his Substance, by Virtue of it we feel the Communication of all good Things to our selves.’

‘But as to the Modus, Sect. 32. if any Man inquire of me, I am not ashamed to confess that the Mystery is too sublime for my Wit to comprehend, or to express; and to speak freely, I rather feel than understand it, and therefore here without Contro­versie I embrace the Truth of God, in which I am sure I may safely acquisce. He affirms that his Flesh is the Food of my Soul, and his Blood the Drink. It is to these Aliments that I offer my Soul to be nourished. He commands me in his Holy Supper, under the Symbols of Bread and Wine to take, eat, and drink, his Body and Blood, and therefore I doubt not but he gives it.’ Here, besides the express Words themselves, if there be so much Mystery in the thing as he affirms, there is much more than meer Figure.

And in another Passage he thus expresses himself. ‘That God doth not trifle in vain Signs, [Page 40] but does in good earnest perform what is repre­sented by the Symbols, viz. the Communication of his Body and Blood, and that the Figure conjoined with the Reality, is represented by the Bread, and the Body of Christ is offered and exhibited with it, the true Substance is given us, the Reality conjoined with the Sign, so that we are made Partakers of the Substance of the Body and Blood.’ This is express enough.

But yet in his Book de Coena Domini, he de­clares his Sence much more fully.

‘If notwithstanding (saith he) it be enquired whether the Bread be the Body, and the Wine the Blood of Christ; I answer, that the Bread and Wine are the visible Signs that represent the Body and Blood, and that the Name of the Body and Blood is given to them, because they are the Instruments by which our Lord Iesus Christ is given to us.’

‘This form of Speech is very agreeable to the thing it self, for seeing the Communion that we have in the Body of Christ is not to be seen with our Eyes, nor comprehended by our Vnder­standings, yet 'tis there manifestly exposed to our Eye-sight; of which we have a very pro­per Example in the same case: When it pleased God that the Holy Ghost should appear at the Baptism of Christ he was pleased to represent it under the appearance of a Dove; and John the [Page 41] Baptist, giving an Account of the Transaction, only relates that he saw the Holy Ghost descend­ing; so that if we consider rightly we shall find that he saw nothing but the Dove, for the Es­sence of the Holy Ghost is invisible: But he know­ing the Vision not to be a vain Apparition, but a certain Sign of the Presence of the Holy Ghost represented to him in that manner, that he was able to bear the Representation.’

‘The same thing is to be said in the Communi­on of our Saviour's Body and Blood, That it is a Spiritual Mystery, neither to be beheld with Eyes, nor comprehended with humane Under­standing, and therefore is represented by Figures and Sings, that (as the weakness of our Nature requires) fall under our Senses, so as 'tis not a bare and simple Figure, but conjoin'd with its Reality and Substance: Therefore the Bread is properly called the Body, when it doth not only represent it, but also brings it to us.’

‘And therefore we will readily grant, That the Name of the Body of Christ may be transferr'd to the Bread, because it is the Sacrament and Emblem of it; but then we must add, that the Sacrament is by no means to be separated from the Substance and Reality.’

‘And that they might not be confounded, it is not only convenient, but altogether necessary, to distinguish between them, but intolerably absurd [Page 42] to divide one from the other. Wherefore when we see the visible Sign what it represents, we ought to reflect from whom it is given us, for the Bread is given as a Representation of the Bo­dy of Christ, and we are commanded to eat it.’

‘It is given, I say, by God, who is infallible Truth, and then if God cannot deceive nor lye, it follows that He in reality gives whatever is there represented: And therefore it is necessary that we really receive the Body and Blood of Christ, seeing the Communion of both is repre­sented to us.’

‘For to what purpose should he command us to eat the Bread and drink the Wine, as signi­fying his Body and Blood, if without some spiri­tual Reality we only received the Bread and Wine? Would he not vainly and absurdly have instituted this Mystery, and as we Frenchmen say, by false Representations?

‘Therefore we must acknowledge that if God gives us a true Representation in the Supper, that the invisible Substance of the Sacrament is joined with the visible Signs, and as the Bread is distributed by hand, so the Body of Christ is communicated to us to be Partakers of it. This certainly, if there were nothing else, ought abun­dantly to satisfy us, when by it we understand, that in the Supper of our Lord, Christ gives us [Page 43] the true and proper Substance of his Body and Blood.’

Thus far Calvin: And I think it is as high a Declaration of the real and substantial Presence, as I have met with in any Author whatsoever. And if in any other Passages the great Dictator may have been pleased to contradict himself, that is, the old Dictatorian Prerogative of that Sect, as well as the old Romans, That whatever De­crees they made, however inconsistent, they were always Authentick.

Neither doth Beza at all fall short of his ado­red Master in the Point of substantial Presence: In his Book against Westfalus a Sacramentarian, de Coena Domini. He declares freely that the [...], or grammatical Sence of our Saviour's Words, This is my Body, cannot be preserved without Transubstantiation, and that there is no Medium between Transubstantiantion and a meer Figure: And yet the whole Design of the Book is to prove the real Presence in the Sacrament, in opposition to the Figurative.

And in the Year 1561, The Protestant Churches of France held a Synod at Rochel, and the Year following at Nimes, in both which Beza sat as President, where the substantial Presence was maintain'd, and defin'd with great Vehe­mence against the Innovators (as they were then esteemed;) for when Morellus mov'd to have the [Page 44] Word Substance taken out of their Confession of Faith, Beza and the Synod, not without some Indignation, decree against them.

This Decree Beza declares in his Epistle to the Ministers of Zurick, dated May the 17th. 1572, to extend to the Protestants of France only, least they who were Zuinglians should take Offence at it as a Censure particularly designed against themselves.

But the highest Declaration of the French Protestants is that sent by their Embassadors to the German Divines assembled at Wormes Anno 1557. in which Business Beza was chief Mana­ger. We confess, say they, that in the Supper of our Lord, not only all the Benefits of Christ, but the very Substance of the Son of Man, the very real Flesh, the very Blood that he shed for us, not only to be signified or Symbolically, Typical­ly, or Figuratively to be proposed as the Memorial of a thing absent, but to be truly represented, ex­hibited and offered to be received; the Symbols by no means to be thought naked, being annexed, which because of the Promise and Engagement of God, al­ways have the thing it self truly and certainly con­join'd, whether given to the Good or to the Bad.

But these Civilities and Condescentions were made in their low Ebbs of Fortune: For when­ever they could flatter themselves with any Ad­vantage of Interest, no Accommodations would [Page 54] serve their Turn. Thus at the famous Confe­rence at Poissy, before Charles the Ninth, Anno 1561, where they supposed themselves warm, and powerful enough, by the Favour of the Queen-Mother (who supported them for her own Ends of State) and some great Ministers of State, who (by the way) soon after proved Rebels, I mean Coligny and his Faction; Beza, who was the chief Manager in behalf of the Protestants, runs high in his Demands. As to the Eucharist, says he, the Body of Christ is as far distant from it, as the highest Heaven from the Earth: For our selves and the Sacra­ments are upon the Earth, but Christ's Flesh is in Heaven so glorified, that it hath not lost the Nature, but the Infirmity of a Body. So that we are Partakers of his Body and Blood only after a spiritual way, or by Faith.’

This Boldness highly offended the Queen; and therefore he afterwards endeavoured to ex­cuse himself by Palliations and softning Expres­sions, but after all, to avoid farther Equivocati­on, he is hardly pressed to it by the Cardinal of Lorrain, whether they would stand to the Con­fession of Ausburg. Beza demurs and consults Calvin; Calvin defies it, and commands him to protest against it. Upon which Occasion Osi­ander, a plain Protestant, in his History makes this Remark upon the Calvinian Honesty.

[Page 46] ‘Heretofore (says he) when Peace was granted to the Protestants in Germany, the Calvinists put in their Claim to their Share in it, because they own'd the Ausburg Confession (and it was subscrib'd by Calvin himself) notwithstanding that at the same time they held contradictory Opinions. But in the Conference at Poissy, when they presumed that they had Strength and Force enough to defend their own Doctrines, they open­ly rejected the Ausburg Confession, when it was offered them by the Cardinal of Lorrain, to subscribe as the only Article of Pacification. And yet after this, when they had not obtained their Ends, they again in affront to their own Consciences, cry up the Ausburg Confession as their only Standard of Faith, not that they ap­proved it, but under that false Guise to impose Calvinism upon the plain meaning Lutherans. So far the Historian, though the matter of Fact is its own best Proof.

This is the short Account of this Controver­sie in all foreign Churches. All Parties of Christendom agree in the Substance of the Do­ctrine, even the Calvinists themselves, who, tho they sometimes attempted to deny it, had not Confidence enought to be steady to their own Opinion, but were often forced to submit it to the consent of Christendom.

[Page 47] From all these Premises it is evident, that no one thing in the World is more unfit to be set up for a Test than Transubstantiation, seeing all Parties agree in the thing, tho not in the Word, and yet tho they do, they again disagree in numberless Speculations about it, and when they have done, all Parties unanimously agree that the Modus is a thing utterly unknown and in­comprehensible. So that take it one way (i. e.) as to the thing it self, or the real Presence, the Test is a Defiance to all Christendom; take it the other way, as to the Modus, it is nothing at all but only imposing an unintelligible Thing upon the Wisdom and Honour of a Nation under the severest Penalties.

As for the Church of England, she agrees with the Tradition of the Catholick Church both Roman and Reformed, in asserting the Certainty of the real Presence, and the Vncertainty of the Manner of it; tho the true account of it hath been miserably perplexed, and disturbed by the oblique Practices of the Sacramentarians.

The first Account we have of it is in our ce­lebrated Church-Historian out of Dr. Stilling­fleet's famous invisible Manuscript, whereby as he had before made Archibishop Cranmer a meer E­rastian as to Discipline, so now here he makes him a meer Sacramentarian as to Doctrine.

[Page 48] A Committee of selected Bishops and Divines being appointed in the First Year of King Ed­ward, for examining and reforming the Offices of the Church. The First, because most materi­al Point, was the Eucharist, concerning which all things were put into certain Quaeries, to which every Commissioner gave in his Answer in Writing. And to the Question concerning the Eucharist, What is the Oblation and Sacrifice of Christ in the Mass? Cranmer's Answer is,

‘The Oblation and Sacrifice of Christ in the Mass is not so called, because Christ indeed is there Offered and Sacrificed by the Priest and the People, (for that was done but once by him­self upon the Cross) but it so call'd, because it is a Memory and Representation of that very true Sacrifice and Immolation, which before was made upon the Cross.’

This is pure Zuinglianism, and in Opposi­tion to it, it is asserted by Six Bishops in a Body.

I think it is the Presentation of the very Body and Blood of Christ, being really present in the Sacrament, which Presentation the Priest makes at the Mass in the name of the Church, unto God the Father, and in Memory of Christ's Passion, and Death upon the Cross, with Thanksgiving there­fore, and devout Prayer, that all Christian Peo­ple, and namely they who spiritually join with [Page 49] the Priest in the said Oblation, and of whom he makes special Remembrance, may attain the Benefit of the said Passion.

And to these agree the several Answers of Carlisle, and Coventry, and Litchfield, by which (as the Historian well observes) the Reader will perceive how generally the Bishops were addict­ed to the old Superstition, and how few did agree in all things with Cranmer.

Now this Old Superstition that he finds in this passage, is nothing but the true Old Prote­stant Doctrine of the real Presence, in opposition to meer Figure and Representation, which is all that is here asserted by the Bishops.

But this is the bold practice of this bold Wri­ter, to make Cranmer the Standard of the Re­formation; and this unknown Manuscript the Standard of Cranmer's Opinions; and these two grand Forgeries concerning no Church Govern­ment; and the meer Commemorative Presence in the Eucharist, are the two grand singularities of his History; and the main things that gave it popular Vogue and Reputation with his Par­ty; and were these two blind Stories, and the Reasons depending upon them retrench'd, it would be like the shaving of Samson's Hair, and destroy all the strength peculiar to the Hi­story.

[Page 50] The Design was apparently laid before the Work was undertaken, that industriously warps all things into Irenical and Erastian Principles, and the vain Man seems to have been flattered by his Patrons into all that Pains to give Re­putation to their Errors.

And here lay the Fondness for the Stilling­steetian Manuscript, that it so frankly and open­ly asserted Erastian and Sacramentarian Princi­ples as the Bottom of the Reformation. But if such an unprov'd and unwarrantable piece of Paper, without any certain Conveyance or Tradition, without any Notice of so publick a Transaction in any contemporary Writer, without any other Evidence of its being genuine, than that it was put providentially into the Hands of Dr. St. when he wrote his Irenicum, must be set up for un­doubted Record, against all the Records of the Churches, our great Historian would be well advis'd to employ his Pains in writing Lampoons upon the present Princes of Christendom (espe­cially his own) which he delights in most, be­cause it is the worst thing that himself can do, than collecting the Records of former times. For the First will require Time and Postage to pursue his Malice, but the Second is easily trac'd in the Chimney Corner.

And therefore I would desire these Gentlemen either to give a better Account of the Descent [Page 51] and Genealogy of the Paper, than that it came to Dr. St. by Miracle; or else to give it less Autho­rity.

But to proceed, a new Office for the Com­munion-Service was drawn up in the same Year by the Bishops, in compiling of which Cranmer had the chief hand, and by his great Power over-ruled the rest at Pleasure; in this Service he retains the old Form of Words used in the ancient Missals, when there was no Zuinglianism or Doctrine of figurative Presence in the Christian World, and the real Presence was universally believed as ap­pears by the very Words of Distribution.

The Body of our Lord Iesus Christ which was given for thée, preserve thy Body and Soul unto everlasting Life. And the Blood of our Lord Iesus Christ which was shed for thée, &c.

This was the Form prescribed in the First Li­turgy of Edward the 6th. and agreeable to this are the King's own Injunctions published at the same time, where the Eucharist is call'd the Com­munion of the very Body and Blood of Christ, by which Form of Words they then expressed the real Presence as oppos'd to Zuinglianism.

This Liturgy being thus established, and with­al abetted by Act of Parliament, for some time kept up its Authority in the Church against all Opposition; though it was soon encountred with [Page 52] Enemies enough both at Home and abroad out of the Calvinian Quarters.

At the end of the Year ensuing Peter Martyr, a rank Sacramentarian, came over, and after much Conversation with Cranmer, he was plac'd Regius Professor in Oxford, where he soon raised Tu­mults about the Zuinglian and Sacramentarian Doctrines.

But Bucer, that prudent and moderate Refor­mer, came not till some time after, though invi­ted at the same time: And so either came too late or departed too soon; for as he came over in Iune so he dy'd in Ianuary, so that tho he were a great Assertor of the real Presence (as our Church-Historian himself often observes) he had not a Season to sow his Doctrine, and Martyr reigning alone, and being a furious Bigott in his Principles, it is no wonder if Zuinglianism spread with so much Authority.

But the most fatal Blow to the Reformation of the Church of England was given by Calvin's Correspondence with the Protector, and after­wards with Dudley, taking upon him to censure, expunge, reform, impose, at his own Plea­sure; the Malignity of whose Influence first dis­covered it self in the Ceremonial War against a Cap and a Tippet, but soon wrought into the Vitals of the Reformation, especially, as to the Liturgy and the Eucharist; both which must be [Page 53] removed to give way to the Zuinglian Errors.

This Alteration was made in the 5th. Year of the Kings Reign, tho precisely when, and by what Persons,Pag. 166. is utterly unknown, only it is re­mark'd by our Church-Historian to have followed immediately after the Consecration of Hooper. When (as he observes) the Bishops being gene­rally addicted to the Purity of Religion, spent most of this Year in preparing Articles which should contain the Doctrine of the Church of England. Among which the 29th. condemns the real Pre­sence, as the new Liturgy, to which they are annexed, had before almost run it up to the Charge of Idolatry.

For they were not content to abolish the old Missal Form of Distribution. The Body of our Lord Iesus Christ which was given for thee, preserve thy Body and Soul unto everlasting Life. Take and eat this, &c. But instead of it appoint this Zuinglian Form, Take and eat this (without any mention of the Body and Blood of Christ) in remembrance that Christ died for thée. &c.

Neither were these Innovators (whoever they were) satisfied with the Alteration of the old Form; but add a fierce Declaration to bar the Doctrine of Real and Essential Pre­sence.

Whereas it is ordered in this Office of the Admini­stration of the Lord's Supper, that the Communi­cants [Page 54] should receive the same Kneeling (which or­der is well meant for a signification of our humble and grateful acknowledgment of the benefits of Christ therein, given to all worthy Receivers, and for avoiding such Prophanation and Disorder in the Holy Communion, as might otherwise ensue.) Yet least the same Kneeling should by any Persons, either out of Ignorance and Infirmity, or out of Malice and Obstinacy be misconstrued and deprav'd, it is here declared that no Adoration is intended, or ought to be done unto any real or essential Presence of Christ's natural Flesh and Blood, for the Sacramen­tal Bread and Wine remain still in their very natu­ral Substances, and therefore may not be ador'd, (for that were Idolatry to be abhorr'd by all faith­ful Christians) and the natural Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ are in Heaven, and not here. It being against the Truth of Christ's natural Body, to be at one time in more places than one.

And whereas a body of Articles was com­posed at the same time, it is declared in the 29th. Article, That since the very being of humane Na­ture doth require, That the Body of one and the same Man, cannot be at one and the same time in many places, but of necessity must be in some cer­tain and determinate place; therefore the Body of Christ cannot be present in many different places at the same time. And since as the Holy Scriptures testifie Christ hath been taken up into Heaven, and [Page 55] there is to abide till the end of the World, it becomes not any of the Faithful to believe or profess, that there is a real or corporeal Presence (as they Phrase it) of the Body and Blood of Christ in the Holy Eu­charist.

This Declaration, though it seem'd to be aim'd with a particular Malice against the Lutherans, and their peculiar manner of Asserting and Ex­plaining the real Presence, yet it strikes at the general Doctrine it self, held in all Churches. And as these were the great Alterations made at that time; so who were the Authors and Con­trivers of'em is so utterly unknown to Historians, that they are not so much as able to conjecture.

Doctor Heylin would ascribe it either to the Convocation it self, or some Committee appoint­ed by it. But this is the officious Kindness of the good Man to help out the poor oppressed Church at that time, at a dead Lift, having no Record or Authority for his Assertion.

Doctor Burnet has often heard it said, That the Articles were fram'd by Cranmer and Ridley. But whoever told him so, knew no more than himself; I am sure it is the meanest Trade in an Historian to stoop to Hear-says.

All that can be conjectured of it, is, That it was done at that unhappy time when Dudley Go­verned all, who when he form'd his great and ambitious Designs, first (as the Historian Remarks) [Page 56] endeavoured to make himself Popular; and to this end, among other Arts, he made himself Head and Patron of the Calvinian Faction, and entertain'd the Establish'd Church with Neglect and Contempt; and therefore I find not Ecclesi­astical Matters referr'd to the advice of the Regu­lar Ecclesiastical Order, but were either Trans­acted by Himself, and his Agents in private, or some incompetent Lay-Authority.

As to this matter of the New Liturgy and Ar­ticles, there is no Record but an Act of Parlia­ment, by which they are Impos'd and Authoriz'd. ‘Whereas there hath been a very Godly Order set forth by the Authority of Parliament for Common-Prayer,Anno 5to. & 6to. Edw. 6ti. and Administration of the Holy Sacra­ments, to be used in the Mother Tongue within this Church of England, agreeable to the Word of God, and the Primitive Church, very comfortable to all good People, desiring to live in Christian Conversation, and most profitable to the Estate of this Realm; upon the which, the Mercy, Favour, and Blessing of Almighty God is in no wise so readily and plenteously pour'd, as by Common-Prayers, due using of the Sacraments, and often Preaching of the Gospel with the Devotion of the Hearers; and yet this notwithstanding a great number of People in divers parts of this Realm, following their own sensuality, and living either with­out Knowledge, or due Fear of God, do willfully and [Page 57] damnation before Almighty God, abstain and refuse to come to their Parish Churches, and other places where Common-Prayer, and Administration of the Sacraments, and preaching of the Word of God, is used upon Sundays and other Days, or­dain'd to be Holy-days.’

II. For Reformation hereof be it enacted by the King our Sovereign Lord, with the assent of the Lords and Commons in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same, that from and after the Feast of All-Saints next coming, all and every person and persons inhabiting within this Realm, or any other the King's Majesty's Dommions, shall diligently and faithfully (having no lawful or reasonable excuse to be absent) endeavour themselves to resort to their Parish Church or Chapel accustomed, or upon reasonable let thereof, to some usual place, where Common-Pray­er, and such Service of God shall be used in such time of Let, upon every Sunday, and other days ordained and used to be kept as Holy-days, and then and there to abide orderly and soberly during the time of the Common-Prayer, Preachings, or other Service of God there to be us'd and ministred, upon pain of Punishment by the Censures of the Church.’

[Page 58] III. And for the due execution hereof, the King's most Excellent Majesty, the Lords Temporal, and all the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, doth in God's name earnestly require and charge all Arch­bishops, Bishops, and their Ordinaries, that they shall endeavour themselves to the uttermost of their Knowledges, that the due and true execution thereof may be had throughout their Diocesses and Charges, as they will answer before God for such Evils and Plagues, wherewith Almighty God may justly punish his People, for neglecting this good and wholesom Law.’

IV. And for their Authority in this be­half, be it further likewise enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That all and singu­lar the same Archbishops, Bishops, and all other their Officers, exercising Ecclesi­astical Iurisdiction, as well in place Ex­empt, as not Exempt, within their Dio­cesses, shall have full Power and Autho­rity by this Act, to Reform, Correct, and Punish by Censures of the Church all and singular persons which shall offend within any their Iurisdictions or Diocesses, after the said Feast of All-Saints next com­ing, against this Act and Statute; any other Law, Statute, Privilege, Liberty, [Page 59] or Provision heretofore made, had, or suf­fered to the contrary notwithstanding.’

V. And because there is risen in the use and exercise of the aforesaid common Service in the Church, heretofore set forth, divers doubts for the fashion or manner of the Ministration of the same, rather by the cu­riosity of the Minister and Mistakers, than of any other worthy cause; therefore, as well for the more plain and manifest Explanation thereof, as for the more per­fection of the said Order or Common Ser­vice, in some places, where it is necessary to make the same Prayer and fashion of Service, more earnest and fit to stir Christian People to the true honouring of Almighty God, the King's most Excellent Majesty, with the assent of the Lords and Commons of this present Parliament as­sembled, and by the Authority of the same, hath caused the aforesaid Order, or Com­mon Service, Intituled, The Book of Com­mon-Prayer, to be faithfully and godly perused, explained, and made fully perfect, and by the aforesaid Authority hath an­nexed and joined it, so explained and per­fected, to this present Statute, &c.

In this new Office, beside the forementioned alterations in the Liturgy it self, there was or­der'd [Page 60] in the Rubrick, the Abolition of Copes and Hoods; neither is it altogether unobservable, that at this time Hopkins his Psalms broke in upon the service of the Church.

But in the beginning of Queen Elizabeth's Reign, when the Reformation was setled in that State, in which it ever after continued, that new Declaration of the Second Liturgy of King Ed­ward was rejected, together with the 29th. Ar­ticle, and the First old Form of Distribution was restored. And thats a clear Declaration of the Sence of this Church for a real and essential Presence, when it was so particularly concern'd to have all Bars against it remov'd. And from that time forward, the most eminent Divines in it, were successively from Age to Age the most Assertors of it.

It were in vain to recite the numberless Pas­sages to that Purpose, it having been so often done by other Hands. A List of the Names of the principal Authors may be seen in the late Bishop of Durham's Historia Transubstantiationis, Iohn Poinet, Bishop of Winchester, who wrote a very learned Book upon the Argument, entitu­led Diallacticon, to explain the Sence of the Church of England about it; Iohn Iewel, Bishop of Sa­lisbury, the learned Bishops Andrews and Bilson, Isaac Casaubon in the Name and by the Command of King Iames the First, in his Answer to Car­dinal [Page 61] Perron; Mr. Hooker; Iohn, Bishop of Ro­chester; Montague, Bishop of Norwich; Iames, Primate of Armagh; Francis, Bishop of Ely; Arch­bishop Laud; Bishop Overal, and the Archbishop of Spalato.

To this Catalogue variety of other Writers might be added, but either here are Witnesses enough, or there never can be. Neither need I pro­duce their Testimonies, when they are so vugarly known, and have been so frequently recited.

I shall content my self with the Two princi­pal, the most learned and reverend Prelates Poi­net and Andrews.

The First wrote his Diallacticon concerning the Truth, Nature and Substance of the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist. A Book much approved and often commended by Grotius, Animad. Cass. Artic. 10. in Ani­mad. Riveti. Votum pro Pace Art. 10. Rivet. Apol▪ dicuss. (tho he knew not the Author) as the best Discourse upon the Argument, and the most proper Me­thod to restore the Peace of the Christian Church in that Point, which he further says was for that purpose translated into French by a reformed Divine, by the Advice of his Brethren. I have not the Book by me, but the Design and funda­mental Assertion is to prove (as Dr. Cosins re­cites it) that the Eucharist is not only a Figure of the Body of our Lord, but contains in it the Verity, Nature and Substance; and therefore that these Terms ought not to be exploded, because [Page 62] the Ancients generally used them in their Dis­courses upon this Argument.

But Bishop Andrews his Passage, though grown Vulgar and Thread-bare, by being so continually quoted, best deserves our Observation, because by that means it is made not only a Declarati­on of his own Sence, but of all that followed him in it, and that is of almost all the learned Men of the Church of England, that have suc­ceeded from that time. The Passage is in his Answer to Bellarmine in these Words.

The Cardinal is not ignorant, except wilfully, that Christ hath said, This is my Body. Now about the Object we are both agreed; all the Con­troversy is about the Modus. We firmly believe that it is the Body of Christ, but after what man­ner it is made to be so, there is not a Word extant in the Gospel, and therefore we reject it from be­ing a Matter of Faith. We will, if you please, place it among the Decrees of the Schools; but by no means among the Articles of Religion. What Durandus said of old, we approve of. We hear the Word, feel the Effect, know not the Man­ner, believe the Presence. And so we believe the Presence too, and that real no less than your selves: Only we define nothing rashly of its Modus, neither do we curiously inquire into it; no more than how the Blood of Christ cleanseth us in our Baptism; no more than how in the Incarnation of Christ the [Page 63] Humane Nature is united to the Divine. We rank it in the Order of Mysteries (and indeed the whole Eucharist it self is nothing but Mystery) what re­mains beside, ought to be consumed by Fire, that is as the Fathers elegantly express it, to be ador'd by Faith, not examined by Reason.

This was his State of the Controversie, that was then perus'd and approv'd of by King Iames, and ever after retained by the Divines of the Church of England down to the Rebellion and Subversion of Church and State, and then it was carried into Banishment with its Confessors. For whilst his late Majesty resided at Cologn, it was there commonly objected, in his own Presence, by the Roman Divines against the Church of Eng­land, That all its Members were meer Zuingli­ans and Sacramentarians, that believed only an imaginary Presence.

Upon this Dr. Cosins, who was then Dean of the Chapel Royal, by his Majesties Command writes a Discourse to vindicate the Church of England from that Calumny, and to give an Ac­count of its Sence concerning the true and real Presence; in which he declares himself to the same purpose with all the forementioned Authors, all along vehemently asserting the true reality of the Presence, and still declaring the Modus to be ineffable, unsearchable, above our Senses, and above our Reason.

[Page 64] So that still all Parties are agreed in the thing it self, were it not for that one mistaken Suppo­sition, That the Church of Rome hath not only defin'd the Matter, but the Manner, which she is so far from pretending to attempt, that before she proceeded to decree any thing about it, she declar'd that it was so incomprehensible, that it was not capable of being defin'd, as we see all Christendom hath done beside.

Now after all this I leave it to the common Sence and Ingenuity of Mankind, whether any thing can be more barbarous and profane than to make the renouncing of a Mystery, so unani­mously receiv'd, a State TEST. And that is my present Concernment about it, not as a Point of Divinity, but as turned into a Point of State.

Thus far proceeded the Old Church of Eng­land, which as it was banished, so it was resto­red with the Crown. But by reason of the long Interval of Twenty Years between the Rebelli­on and Restitution, there arose a new Generati­on of Divines that knew not Joseph. These Men underhand deserted and undermined the Old Church, as it stood upon Divine Right, and Ca­tholick Principles, and instead of it crected a New Church of their own Contrivance, consisting partly of Independency, partly of Erastianism, with the Independent, leaving no standing Autho­rity [Page 65] in the Christian Church over private Chri­stians, but leaving every Man to the arbitrary Choice of his own Communion; with Erastus allowing no Jurisdiction to the Christian Church, but what is derived from the Civil Magistrate.

These Principles being Pleasing to the Wan­tonness of the People, these Men soon grew popular, and soon had the Confidence to call themselves the Church of England: But the principal Object of their Zeal was the Destructi­on of Popery, and the only Measure of Truth, with them, was Opposition to the Church of Rome. And therefore they assum'd to them­selves the Management of that great and glo­rious War.

And as they managed it upon new Princi­ples, or indeed, none at all (never writing for our Church, but only against that Church) so they advanced new Arguments to represent the Church of Rome as Odious as possible, to the People. Among these the Two most frightful Topicks, were Transubstantiation and Idolatry. One was a very hard Word, and the other a very ugly one. These Two Words, they made the Two great Kettle-drums to the Pro­testant Guards. They were continually beat­ing upon them with all their Force, and whenever they found themselves at any Dis­advantage [Page 66] with an Enemy (as they often were by pressing too far, for they never thought they did enough in the Cause) by making a Noise upon these Two loud Engines, they could at pleasure drown the Dispute.

Now, ever since this Alteration of the State of the War between the Two Churches, we hear little or nothing at all of the real Presence in the Cause, but it is become as great a Stran­ger to the (i.e. their) Church of England as Transubstantiation it self, but the whole matter is resolved into a meer Sacramental Figure and Representation, and a Participation only of the Benefits of the Body and Blood of Christ by Faith.

I know not any one Writer of that Party of Men that hath ever own'd any higher Myste­ry, but on the contrary they state all the Dis­putes about the Eucharist upon Sacramentarian Principles, and with them to assert the true re­ality of the Presence of our Saviour's Body and Blood in the Sacrament, as naturally re­solves it self into Transubstantiation, as that does into Idolatry.

And the main Argument insisted upon by them, is the natural Impossibility of the thing it self to the Divine Omnipotence, which beside the prophane Boldness of prescribing Measures to God's Attributes in a Mystery that they do [Page 67] not comprehend; 'tis, as appears by the Pre­mises, a Defiance to the Practice of all Church­es, who have ever acknowledged an incompre­hensible Mystery, not subject to the Examina­tion of Humane Reason, but to be imbraced purely upon the Authority of a Divine Reve­lation.

And therefore that ought to be the only matter of Dispute. For if it be a Divine Revelation (as all Christendom hath hitherto believed) that determines the Case without any further Enquiry; and if any Man will not be satisfied with that Authority, he makes very Bold with his Maker. And Men of those Principles would no doubt, make admi­rable Work with the Definitions of Arti­cles of Faith by the Four first general Coun­cils.

But to let their new way of Arguing pass, it is these Men that first set up Sacramentarian Principles in this Church, and then blew them into the Parliament House, raising there, e­very Session, continual Tumults about Religi­on, and it is to their Caballing with the Mem­bers that we owe these new and unpresiden­ted TESTS. Perhaps to have their own Decrees and Writings established by Law, and imposed upon the whole Nation as Gospel.

[Page 68] In short, if they own a real Presence, we see from the Premises how little the Contro­versie is between that and Transubstantiation, as it is truly and ingeniously understood by all reformed Churches. If they do not, they dis­own the Doctrine both of the Church of Eng­land and the Church Catholick, and then if they own only a figurative Presence▪ (and it is plain they own no other) they stand condemn­ed of Heresie by almost all Churches in the Christian World; and if this be the thing intend­ed to be set up (as it certainly is by the Au­thors and Contrivers of it) by renouncing Transubstantiation, then the Result and Bot­tom of the Law is under this Pretence to bring a new Heresy by Law into the Church of England.

And yet upon this Foot I find the Controver­sie stands at this present Day between the Bi­shop of Rome, or the Bishop of Condom on one part, and little Iulian in the Back-shop with his Dragoons on the other part: The Bishop establishes the Real Presence in Opposition to the Figurative; His Answerer turns the whole Mystery into meer Type and Figure, by set­ing up a figurative Interpretation of the Words of Institution, and yet confesses it at the same time to be somewhat more than a Figure.

[Page 69] To this it is reply'd, I would gladly know what that is, which is not the thing it self, but yet is more than a meer Figure of it: To this it is an­swered, That the Presence is Spiritual, but yet Real; but how a Corporeal Substance should have a real Spiritual Presence, is a thing that requires more Philosophy to clear it up than Transubstantiation, or in the Words of the Au­thor himself: We suppose it to be a plain Con­tradiction that Body should have any Existence, but what alone is proper to a Body that is Corpo­real.

This is their last Resolution of this Contro­versie, that a true real Presence is a Contra­diction; and so I think is a real spiritual Presence of a bodily Substance.

This Scent the whole Chace follows, and una­nimously agree in this Cry, That there is no Presence, but either meerly Figurative, and that shuts out all Reality, and is universally condemned by all the Reformation; or meerly Spiritual, (i.e.) the present Effects and Benefits of the absent Bo­dy and Blood of Christ, which hath been all a­long equally cashiered by all other Reformed Churches, as the other grand Scandal of Zuin­glianism.

Thus the London Answerer to the Oxford Dis­courses: There can be no real Presence, but ei­ther Figuratively in the Elements, or Spiritually [Page 80] in the Souls of those who worthily receive them.Answer to T. C. Dia­logue, p. 66. So Dr. St.

All which the Doctrine of our Church implies by this Phrase, is only a real Presence of Christ's invisible Power and Grace, so in and with the Elements, as by the faithful receiving of them to convey real and spiritual Effects to the Souls of Men.

The Oxford Answerer to the Oxford Discourses allows no other real Presence but the virtual Pre­sence, that is the meer Effect.

So the popular Author of the Discourse a­gainst Transubstantiation, makes no Medium be­tween the meer figurative Presence and Transub­stantiation, so that all other Presence, that is not meerly Figurative, comes under the Notion of Transubstantiation.

Now the gentlest Character he is pleased to give of this Monsieur, is this, That the Business of Transubstantiation is not a Controversie of Scri­pture against Scripture, or of Reason against Rea­son, but of downright Impudence against the plain meaning of the Scripture, and all the Sence and Reason of all Mankind.

But besides the intolerable Rudeness of the Charge against all the Learned Men of the Church of Rome, as the worst of Sots and Ideots, if there be no middle real Presence between Transubstantiation and the Figure, he hath cast [Page 81] all the Protestant Churches into the same Con­demnation of Sots and Fools.

But howsoever rash and preposterous it may be for Presons that believe the real Presence to abjure the Word Transubstantiation, ye to de­termine any part of Divine Worship in the Christian Church to be in its own Nature Ido­latry, is inhumane and barbarous.

IDOLATRY is a Stabbing and Cut-throat Word, its least Punishment is the greatest that can be, both Death and Damnation; and good Reason too, when the Crime is no less than renouncing the true God that made Heaven and Earth. Thus Exod. 22. 20. He that sacri­ficeth unto any God, save unto the Lord or Iehovah only, he shall be utterly destroyed. Deut. 13. 6. If thy Brother the Son of thy Mother, or thy Son, or thy Daughter, or the Wife of thy Bosom, or thy Friend which is as thine own Soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other Gods (which thou hast not known, thou nor thy Fathers) namely of the Gods of the People which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the Earth unto the other: Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him: Neither shall thine Eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him. But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to Death, and afterward the Hand of all the [Page 72] People. And thou shalt stone him with Stones, that he die: Because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the Lord thy God which brought thee out of the Land of Egypt, from the House of Bondage.

This was the Crime, and this the Punishment of Idolatry, and the Sentence was so severely Executed, that for the setting up the golden Calf, or Symbol of the Sun, that the Aegyptians Worship'd, as the supreme Deity, as will ap­pear in its proper place, Three thousand of the Ring-leaders, were put to the Sword by the Command of Moses, Exod. 32. 27. And for this Reason it pleased God to destroy the Canaanites from off the Face of the Earth, (i.e.) for gi­ving Divine Worship to false and created Dei­ties in Defiance to the Eternal Creator of it.

So black a Crime as this, that is no less than renouncing God is not lightly to be charged upon any Party of Christians, not only because of the foulness of the Calumny, but the barbarous Consequences that may follow upon it, to invite and warrant the Rabble, when ever Opportuni­ty favours, to destroy the Roman Catholicks and their Images, as the Israelites were command­ed to destroy the Canaanites and their Idols.

[Page 73] But before so bloody an Indictment be preferr'd against the greatest part of Christendom, the Na­ture of the thing ought to be very well under­stood. The Charge is too big for a Scolding Word. And how inconsistent soever Idolatry may be with Salvation, I fear so uncharitable a Calumny (if it prove one) can be of no less damnable Consequence. It is a piece of Inhumanity, that out-does the Sal­vageness of the Canibals themselves, and damns at once both Body and Soul.

And yet after all, we have no other ground for the bold Conceit, than the crude and rash Asserti­ons of some popular Divines, who have no other Measures of Truth or Zeal, but Hatred to Pope­ry; and therefore never spare for hard Words a­gainst that Church, and run up all Objections against it into nothing less than Atheism and Blasphemy, of which Idolatry is the greatest In­stance.

But if they would lay aside their indecent Heats, and soberly enquire into the Nature and Original of Idolatry; they would be as much ashamed of the Ignorance of their Accusations, as they ought to be of its Malice. And therefore I shall set down a plain and brief Account of that Argument, that when we understand the easie, obvious, and natural Notion of Idolatry, it will for ever ex­pose the Vanity of these Men's Fanatique Pre­tences. I pray God there be nothing worse at [Page 74] bottom, seeing it has ever been set up as the Standard against Monarchy.

It is a Subject that hath entertained the most able Pens in the World, but I shall not presume or pretend to be so learned, but shall confine all my Knowledge to the Word of God, chiefly to the Mosaick Writings, for there it is fully and clearly stated, the Mosaick Law being enacted pure­ly in Opposition to Idolatry. Now nothing can be more obvious, than that the Notion of it there is neither more nor less than this: The Worship of the Heavenly Bodies, the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars, or any other visible and corporeal Deity, as the Supreme God, so as to exclude all Sense and Apprehension of a spiritual and invisible Godhead.

This evidently appears both by the Almighties several Revelations that he made of himself to the Children of Israel to preserve them from it, and from the several Characters and Descriptions, that himself hath upon numberless occasions made of it.

Most learned Men would trace its Original from before the Flood, but they follow their Chase without any Scent, as generally all Anti­quaries do, when they pursue into the first Source and Original of things.

The Iewish Robbies (that are of too late a stand­ing to pretend to any Authority in such Antient Matters; for as they lived not above Six Ages be­fore [Page 75] us, so they had no other Records than what we have, the Writings of Moses and the Prophets) derive its Original from the Age of Enos; but as their Conjecture is founded upon an ambiguous Word, so it is contradicted by the State of the World at that time; for by reason of the long Lives of the Patriarchs from the Creation to the Flood, it is not easie to conceive, That the Me­mory and Tradition of the late Creation of the World should be worn out in so short a time, Enos being Adams's Granchild, and living in the same Age with him for some Hundred Years.

But the plain Demonstration that there was no such Impiety before the Flood, is, that Moses, when he reckons up the Causes that provok'd God to bring that Judgment upon the World, makes no mention of the Sin of Idolatry, of which, if they had been Guilty, as it is a Sin of the first Magnitude, so it would have held the first place in the Indictment.

Others make Cham the Father of this Monster, as they do of all other Crimes, but for no other Reason beside his ill Name.

Others derive it from the Tower of Babel, which they will have to have been built for an Altar to the Sun, after the Custom of after-times, when they Worshiped him upon High Towers for Altars.

[Page 76] Maimonides, and his Followers, find deep Foot­steps in the time of Abraham, who was born in Ur of the Chaldees that is, say they, the Country of the Antient ZABII, the Found­ers of Idolatry; and for that reason he was com­manded out of his own Country to the Wor­ship of the True God.

But this Dream of the ZABII is so modern, and so void of the Authority of any Antient Record, that it proves it self a fond Impo­sture. Tho in Abraham's time (and that was many Centuries after the Flood) we meet with the first Traces of this Apostacy: For that ex­traordinary Discovery that God was pleased to make of himself as Supreme Lord of all things, was made to Abraham in Opposition to the Idolatry of his own Country, i.e. Chaldea, who seemed to have been the first Founders of it, and for that reason God commanded him to leave his Country,Gen. 12. 1.his Kin­dred, and his Fathers House, and sojourn in the Land of Canaan, where the Tradition of the Know­ledge of the True God seems to have been much better preserved. So that tho there were some Decays from the true Old Religion, yet they were as yet very far from an Universal Apo­stacy.

[Page 77] That the Plague was then broke out in Chaldea, is evident from the words of Ioshua, (24. 2.) Your Fathers dwelt on the other side the River in old time, even Terah the Father of Abraham, and the Father of Nachor, and they serv'd strange Gods. But when Abraham came into Canaan; I find no Re­cords that the Customs of his Country had pass'd the River, but on the contrary evident Instances of their Knowledge of the true God, as Creator of Heaven and Earth.

What can be more plain than the Story of Mel­chisedeck, Priest of the most High God (a Term appropriate in Scripture to the Supreme Deity) in his blessing Abraham. Blessed be Abraham of the most High God, Creator of Heaven and Earth. And when God consumed Sodom and Gomorrah with Fire from Heaven, Idolatry is no where reckoned among the Causes and Provocations of that se­vere and unusual Judgment; and had it been one of their crying Sins, it would have been the loudest, and so never have been omitted by the Sacred Historian. And when Isaac was forced by Famine into the Country of the Phili­stines, Abimelech their King entred into a Solemn and Religious Covenant with him of mutual Defence and Offence, upon this Inducement, that he was the Blessed of the Lord, or the peculiar Fa­vourite of Iehovah; so that as long as himself and Isaac were of a side, the Supreme Gods im­mediate [Page 78] mediate Providence would be engaged in his Pro­tection.

The first plain Intimation we find of it in Pa­lestine is in the History of Iacob, after his Con­versation with the Shechemites, where, upon his de­parture from that City by God's especial Com­mand, he builds an Altar at Bethel to God, and commands his Family to put away their [...] or Strange Gods. And from this time we read of nothing of this Nature till the Deliverance of the Children of Israel out of Egypt, after they had been deteined there Four Hundred and Thirty Years, according to the Hebrew, or Two Hun­dred and Fifteen according to the Seventy, the greatest part of which time was spent in Slavery and Bondage.

But at, and after their Deliverance, we hear of nothing else but Cautions against Idolatry or Worship of Strange Gods, as if in that long Tract of Time and Misery, they had lost the Tradition of the God of their Ancestors, and by long conversation with the Egyptians, had taken up their Masters Religion together with their Burdens; and it was scarce possible to be otherwise for men in their poor condition, after so long a Tract of Time, than to take up the Religion in publick Practice.

[Page 79] Long custom and conversation naturally inures Men to the Manners of the Country, but Slave­ry breaks Men to them: And what could be ex­pected from miserable People, who spent all their days in carrying of Clay, gathering Straw, making Bricks, and all Offices of Servility, than that they should serve their Masters Gods, as well as their Masters themselves? And that this was their case, is evident from the whole Series of the Story.

The first Discovery that the Almighty made of himself, was to Moses, in the Burning Bush, where he tells us,Exod. 3. 6. I am the God of thy Fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob: But this seems to be a New Language to Moses; Ver. 13. For he replys, When I come unto the Children of Israel, and shall say unto them, the God of your Fathers hath sent me unto you, and they shall say to me, what is his Name (or what God is he) what shall I say unto them? To this he is com­manded to answer, I am that I am hath sent you; that is, the only self existent Being, that is, the only Supreme Deity, and God of your Fathers: And for the truth and demonstration of this, he refers both him and them to the follow­ing Miracles.

And when Moses was discouraged by the com­plaints of the People,Chap. 6. because of their severe Usage, the Almighty gives him encouragement [Page 80] upon this powerful Motive, I am Jehovah, or I am the Lord, who will deliver you with a strong Hand, or stretched out Arm, i.e. I am that Omnipotent, self-existent Being; and that shall be the proof of it, the great Miracles that I will work for your De­livery.

And at the time of their Deliveranee he im­mediately institutes the Passover, not only as a Memorial of the Thing, but as I shall prove af­terwards, the strongest Bar against Idolatry.

But as soon as they sat down at the Foot of Mount Sinah, which was their first place of Rest, God's first Care was to make further provision against Idolatry, where after a fearful and glori­ous Representation of his Presence, he gives the Ten Commandments, whereof the Four First are directly levell'd against Idolatry.

First, He enjoyns the worship of Himself, who by his Almighty Power had delivered them from their Egyptian Bondage.

In the next place, He forbids them the Wor­ship of all Idols, i. e. as himself describes them, The likeness, or similitude, of any thing that is in Heaven above, or in the Earth beneath, or in the Water under the Earth. A plain and indeed logical Defi­nition this, that Idolatry is giving the Worship of the Supreme God, to any created corporeal or visible Deity, or any thing that can be represent­ed by an Image, which nothing but coporeal Be­ings [Page 81] can, and to suppose such a Being the Su­preme Deity, is the only true and proper Ido­latry.

And tho there may seem to be two sorts of it: First, either to Worship a material and created Be­ing as the Supreme Deity: Or Secondly, to ascribe any corporeal Form or Shape to the Divine Na­ture; yet in the Result, both are but one; for to ascribe unto the Supreme God any corpore­al Form, is the same thing as to Worship a crea­ted Being, for so is every corporeal Substance.

This is, I say, the true and only Notion of Idolatry: And all the Strange Gods mentioned in the Scripture, are only some most glorious Pieces of the visible Creation, as I shall prove at large from undeniable Testimonies. And for this rea­son it was, that the very Angels, by whom this Affair was immediately transacted, never made any appearance in any visible Shape, but only in a Cloud, or in a Glory, to prevent the very Peril of Idolatry; and therefore Moses in his dying and farewel Speech, reminds them over and over, that at Horeb they heard the Voice of God, but saw no Si­militude, with this Application to them, lest you corrupt your selves, i. e. by believing that there can be any Similitude of the Supreme Godhead. And as this is the literal and plain Sense of the two first Commandments, so it seems to be the only Design of the Third and Fourth: For the English [Page 82] of the Third, if it were rightly translated, runs thus; Thou shalt not give the Name of the Lord thy God to a Vanity or Idol; and so the Septuagint▪ ren­der it: For the Word Vanity and Idol are Syno­nomous in Scripture, because an Idol is a vain and empty Thing that represents nothing; for when it is set up as the Symbol and Image of a Deity that is no Deity, it is the Image of nothing, as St. Paul defines it. So that it is not the meer Image it self that is the Idol, but the Image as re­presenting a false God, tho it be only a Symbol, and not a Picture of him, as most of the Hea­then Images were, of the Sun, as the Calf, and the Ram. These are the Vanities or Representa­tions of False Gods in Use, at that time, among the Neighbour Nations, that seem to be here properly interdicted in this Commandment.

As for the Fourth Commandment, it is the very Sacrament of the Worship of the true God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, in opposition to Idolatry, or the Worship of his Creatures, and therefore is prescribed, as it were, as the Holy Day of the Creation, continually to mind the Iews, that the God that they Worship, was the God that made the World, and all the Gods that their Neighbours worshiped, particularly the Sun, Moon, and Stars, his Creatures.

[Page 83] This then being set up as the great Festival, of the Creator of Heaven and Earth, from hence it was that the Precept of not Worshiping of Idols, and Keeping the Sabbath, are so fre­quently coupled together in Scripture; and that the Breach of the Sabbath is punished in the same manner as Idolatry it self.

But I shall treat of this more largely when I come to a Review. At present I have only given a narrow Prospect of the whole matter, but up­on a full and open View of the Mosaick History, it will appear in full and undeniable Evidence, by these Two Considerations.

First, If we consider the great Propensity of the Israelites to renounce the Worship of the One True Invisible God, and to return to their ac­customed Worship of Idol Gods.

Secondly, If we consider that these Gods were nothing else but the Heavenly Bodies, and that the Sun was worshiped as the Supreme De­ity.

As to the first, their continual Revolts, and Re­bellions against that Almighty God, of whose Pow­er they had had so much Experience, could proceed from nothing less than the most inveterate and invincible Prejudices. Their whole History from their first Deliverance to their last Captivity, is nothing but a perpetual Series of Disloyalty a­gainst the God of Israel, to play the Harlot (as [Page 84] the Scripture expresses it) or commit Fornication with the Idols of the Gentiles.

Psal. 78. We have an acurate Epitome of this whole History, the Miracles that God wrought for them in Egypt, in the Wilderness, in the Land of Ca­naan, notwithstanding all which, as they made con­tinual Attempts of Rebellion, so they at last sunk into an universal Apostacy, v. 58. Provoking him to An­ger with their High Places, and moving him to Iealousie with their Graven Images; so that at length he gave them up into the Hands of their Enemies: And first the Ten Tribes were lead away Captive, and not long after the Tribe of Iudah, as it imme­diately follows in the same Psalm, God was wroth, and greatly abhorred Israel, so that he forsook the Ta­bernacle of Shiloh, the Tent which he placed among Men, and delivered his Strength into Captivity, and his Glory (that was the Symbol of his Divine Presence) into the Enemies hand.

But to Trace a few Particulars. The first Opportunity they could gain in the Wilder­ness, after the miraculous Deliverance out of Egypt, by the Absence of Moses, they set up and worshiped the Golden Calf, a Form of Worship they were accustomed to in Egypt: what this Idol was, is variously disputed by Learned Men; some will have it to have been made in Imitation of the Cherubin, when as yet God had made no De­scription of them. Others, and almost all the [Page 85] learn'd, will have it to have been the Idol of Apis, or Serapis, or Osyris, whom the Egyptians worshiped by that Symbol; and that it was the same Idol, is certain; but I take it to be much more antient, for as yet we find not any Foot­steps of Divine Worship given to Men and Wo­men. That Folly is of a much younger Date, and seems to have been brought in purely by the Grecian Vanity, to derive the Originals of all Nations from Themselves, and to People Hea­ven with their own Country-men.

Thus they tell us, that this Apis was King of the Argives, natural Son to King Iupiter by Niobe, who marrying Isis, left his Kingdom, and went into Egypt, who teaching the Barbarous Peo­ple Civility, and the Art of dressing Vines and Agriculture, He was by common consent chosen their King; and after he had Reign'd with ex­traordinary Wisdom and Mercy, to the great Im­provement of the Nation, when he dyed, they deify'd him, and worshiped him under the Image of a Calf or Ox, all which is pure Grecian Fa­ble.

For Egypt had been a famous Nation many Hundred Ages, before any of the Grecian Deities were born: It was a flourishing Kingdom in the days of Abraham: I am sure they knew how to dress their Vines, and plow their Fields, before there was any such Nation as Greece, or any of [Page 86] its Cantons known by any Records: There was no News of them till the Trojan War, and that is the thing objected by all Writers to the Greeks both before and since Christianity, that their remotest Antiquity is meer Novelty in com­parison of the Egyptians, and is confest, by their own best and most antient Writers; at least in these Antient Times, there were no Men nor Women Deities, Gods or Goddesses.

But when the Greeks had stollen their Religi­on from the Eastern Nations, in requital they furnished them with Gods of their own, and clapt the Heads of one of their own Country­men upon every antient Idol, thereby gaining Reputation of Antiquity, both to their Nation and Religion, as if they had been as antient as the Egyptian and Oriental Idolatry.

Thus they fasten this old Idol of the Golden Calf upon King Apis, whereas if there ever were any such Man (for the Greeks have neither Faith nor Knowledge enough to be believ'd one Word in any matter of Antiquity, either of their own, or other Nations) he was born many Ages after this Idol had been Famous in the World: And in that unknown Interval of which there are no Historical Records, and therefore the whole Story of him, as well as of all the other Grecian Gods, is no­thing but Fable.

[Page 87] And much more probable it is, that the Greeks were so far from bringing a God Apis into Egypt, that they carried the very word thence: Apis being the Hebrew and Egyptian Word to signi­fie a Calf, or a Bullock, and so it is rendred by the Septuagint. Ieremiah 46. 15. in the Prophetick Burthen against Egypt, [...]. Why did your Apis fly, Bochart. or that your be­loved Calf desert you, Dr. Ham­mond. because the Lord did drive him? Dr. Spencer. Kircher. Tho we render it in the English Transla­tion, Why are thy valiant Men swept away?

So that the Calf can be nothing else than an Old Egyptian Idol, or Symbol of some Deity, that they had been accustomed to Worship. And there­fore thinking themselves betray'd or deserted by Mo­ses after Forty Days Absence, (as for this Moses, the Man that brought us up out of the Land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him) they force Aaron to restore to them the Symbols of their Old Gods to go before them, instead of this new God, that now seem'd to have deserted them, and to those they ascribe their Deliverance out of Egypt; and this is the first chearful Act of Devotion, that they seem to have perform'd since their Delive­rance. For as for all their Worship of the True God, especially at the Delivery of the Law, it seems to be forc'd and uneasie, to which they [Page 88] were rather over-aw'd by dreadful Appearances, than inclin'd by their own Choice.

And the Solemn Sacrifice that was made im­mediately after, was the Act of Moses, rather than the People, who rather seem'd Spectators, than Actors; and therefore as soon as they thought themselves quit of him (which was immediately after) they set up their Idol, and were transport­ed in their Devotions towards it, to a Degree of madness They rose up early in the Morning, Exod. 32. 6. and offered Burnt-Offerings, and brought Peace-Offerings, and the People sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.

This Solemnity had been endear'd to them by Custom and Education, and there could be no o­ther ground of their great Joy, than that they were restored to the Exercise of their former Re­ligion, and the Worship of their Old Gods, of which the Calf was one of the most eminent Symbols, so that when they say that was the God that deliver'd them out of Egypt, their meaning is, the God of which That was the Symbol or Representation, according to the Lan­guage of those Times,Gen. 31. 30. and indeed of the whole Old Testament, to give the Name of the Deity to the Idol.

Now at that time we find no other mention of any other Deities, than the Sun and Heavenly Bodies; so that this Calf could be the Symbol of [Page 89] no other Gods than the Sun, and therefore was ever reckoned among their [...], their holy Animals, as the Egyptian Priest and Antiquary Manetho informs us, of which Aries and Taurus were the chiefest, and both of them consecrated in honour of the Sun, being the two first Signs in the Heavens; but the Festival of Aries was the most Solemn, when the Sun entring into that Sign, began the Joyful New Year. In Op­position to which the Israelites were commanded to cut the Throat of the Paschal Ram upon that very Day, with all the Ceremonies of Contempt, as shall appear more afterward.

This invincible Obstinacy in their Old Reli­gion, notwithstanding the mighty Works God had wrought for their Deliverance, is severely upbraided to them long after by God himself to his Prophet Amos,Chap. 25, 26. Have ye offered unto me Sacrifi­ces and Offerings in the Wilderness Forty Years, O House of Israel? But ye have born the Tabernacle of your Moloch, and the Star of your God Rem­phan, and their Images which ye made to your selves.

This is a plain Description of their great a­verseness to the Worship of the True God in the Wilderness, when God declares, that in re­ality they never Worshiped him at all, but stuck close to their old God Moloch, which is but a Synonymous Word for the God Baal, i. e. the [Page 90] Sun, and therefore they are promiscuously us'd in Scripture to express one and the same Deity. Thus Ieremy, 19. 5. They have built the High Places of Baal to burn their Sons in the Fire for Burnt Offerings unto Baal. But Chapter the 32. v. 35. the same Crime is thus express, They built the High Places of Baal to cause their Sons and Daughters to pass through the Fire unto Moloch; by which it is undeniably evident, that they were but Synony­mous Terms for one and the same God; and in­deed they are Words of the same Signification, denoting Supreme or Kingly Power, and so were appropriated by them to the Sun, as Sovereign Lord of the Universe.

This strange Inclination of the Israelites to Ido­latry, or the Worship of Baal and Moloch, is so vehemently upbraided to them in the Scripture, as shews it to have been inveterate and impetuous beyond Example: So God himself upbraids it to them, that when he did such mighty things for them in their Deliverance from Egypt, and only required them to renounce the Idols of Egypt, Yet they rebelled against me, Ezek. 20. 7, 8. and would not hearken to me; They cast not away the Abomination of their Eyes, nor the Idols of Egypt.

And when Ioshua had setled them in the Holy Land, Josh. 24. 14. he forewarns them to serve the True God sincerely, and to put away the Gods which their Fa­thers served on the other side the Flood, and in Egypt. [Page 91] By which it appears, they had not yet parted with their Old Gods: but the next Generation made a total Revolt; Judg. 2. 11. and the Children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim, and they forsook the Lord God of their Fathers, which brought them out of the Land of Egypt, and followed other Gods, of the Gods of the People that are round a­bout them, and bowed themselves unto them, and pro­voked the Lord to Anger, and they forsook the Lord, and serv'd Baal and Ashteroth.

This whole Book is nothing else but a Narra­tive of their Sin by Idolatry, their Punishment by Captivity, their Repentance by imploring of the Mercy of the God of Israel, till at last after so many Relapses, they are thus answered by God in their Addresses and Supplications unto him: Ch. 10. 10. And the Children of Israel cryed unto the Lord, saying; We have sinned against thee, both because we have forsa­ken our God, and also served Baalim: And the Lord said unto the Children of Israel, did not I deliver you from the Egyptians, from the Ammorites, from the Children of Ammon, from the Philistins? Also the Zidonians and the Amalekites and Maonites did oppress you, and you cry'd to me, and I delivered you out of their hand, yet you have forsaken me, and served other Gods, wherefore I will deliver you no more: go and cry unto the Gods that ye have chosen, let them deliver you in the time of your Tribulations. But upon their Reformation they are delivered, and as soon re­lapse, [Page 92] of which a Train of Instances are to be seen in that Book.

Here it may be observ'd all along that the Scripture Notion of Idolatry is renouncing and for­saking the True God, to Worship other Gods, or Baalim, that is, Idols of the Sun, whom they commonly call'd the King of Heaven. And so they sin on, till God suffered his own Ark (the Sym­bol of his own Presence) to be carried into Cap­tivity: They apply themselves to Samuel to inter­cede for them; Samuel returns them the old An­swer that God himself had often made, If ye re­turn unto the Lord with all your Hearts,Sam. 7. 3, 4. then put away the strange Gods, and Ashteroth from among you, and prepare your Hearts unto the Lord, and serve him on­ly, and he will deliver you out of the Hands of the Philistins: Then the Children of Israel put away Baal and Ashteroth, Cap. 12. and served the Lord only.

And Samuel at the resigning of his Government, upon the Election of Saul, upbraids them with their continual Ingratitude against the Lord their God, from their first Deliverance out of Egypt to that very Day, in for saking the Lord to serve Baa­lim. So plain is the practical Notion of Idolatry through the whole Sacred History.

Under the pious Reigns of David and Solomon the Sin of Idolatry was competently well re­trench'd, till the Dotage of Solomon, when his Wives and Concubines turn'd away his Heart after [Page 93] other Gods, 1 King. 11. 4, 5. So that Solomon went after Ashteroth the Goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the Abo­mination of the Ammonites. But the great Revolt was made by Ieroboam, upon the Division of the Kingdom, tho rather upon a Political than Religi­ous Account. Ieroboam said in his Heart,1 King. 12. 16. now shall the Kingdom return to the House of David, if this Peo­ple go up to do Sacrifice in the House of the Lord at Ie­rusalem; whereupon he makes two Calves of Gold, and said to the People, It is too much for you to go up to Ierusalem, behold thy Gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the Land of Egypt.

It was only an Artifice to oblige the People to himself by restoring to them their old Egyptian Idolatry.

Some will have these Calves to have been set up in Imitation of Solomon's Cherubin, but this is fully confuted by the learned Visorius. If Ierobo­am, saith he,Vide Dr. Spencer, p. 773. by his Calves design'd to imitate the esta­blish'd Religion of his Country, I pray you when he took these counterfeit Cherubs, why not also the Ark, the Propitiatory, the Seat of God, where the Divine Majesty appear'd most conspicuously in giving of Ora­cles, the Tabernacle and the Temple? Why if they were made only in imitation of the Cherubs, why did he not call them by their own Name, by which they were known to the People, when that would have been a more easie way to deceive them? Why did he not take the Priests of the Family of Aaron, why did [Page 94] he banish them out of his Kingdom, why did not the People comply for three whole Years, if it had been an Imitation of their Old Religion under David and So­lomon? Why if they were nothing but Cherubins, are they so often in Scripture styled other Gods? Why should he Sacrifice to them, when in the Law of Moses no Sacrifices were offered to the Cherubim?

So that it is plain that these Calves were set up by him as Idols or Symbols of a new or separate Religion from the Tribe of Iudah; and tho he took up the old Egyptian Idol for his Foundation, yet he seem'd to have erected a Motley Religion upon it, like that of the Samaritans of old, part­ly to invite the People of all Nations into his Kingdom, where every Man worshiped his own God; and partly by diversity of Religion, more effectually to divide his own Kingdom from that of the Line of Solomon.

Tho not long after Rehoboam and the Tribe of Iudah revolt from the Worship of the true God (as the Scripture aggravates it) above all that their Fathers had done. 1 King. 14. 22.

And from this time Idolatry, or the Worship of Baal, was the prevailing Religion in both Kingdoms, tho sometimes check'd by the Piety of reforming Princes. But it spread so fast, that Elijah thought himself left alone, tho for his com­fort God informed him, that he had the small re­mainder [Page 95] of 7000 in Israel, 1 King. 19. 14, 18. all the Knees which have not bowed unto Baal.

But the Infection soon became universal, and tho God Almighty sent his Prophets from time to time to reclaim them, yet all in vain, they still continued to worship the Host of Heaven, and serve Baal, till finding them irreclaimable, he first delivered the Ten Tribes into the hands of Shal­maneser, King of Assyria, where they continue in Captivity to this Day,2 King. 17. and are a lost Nation.

But the Piety of Hezekiah at that time for a while repriev'd the Tribe of Iudah: But his Son Manasseh built up again the High Places, which Hezekiah his Father had destroyed, and he rear'd up Altars for Baal, and worshiped all the Host of Hea­ven, and served them: Upon this God by his Pro­phets denounces their Destruction. Ver. 15. Because, saith he, they have ever done that which was evil in my sight, and have provoked me to Anger since the Day their Fathers came forth out of Egypt, unto this Day; or because they have forsaken me,Cap. 22. 17. and burnt Incense un­to other Gods, that they might provoke me to Anger with all the work of their Hands; therefore my wrath shall be kindled against them, and shall not be quenched. But the Execution of the Sentence is suspended during the pious Reign of his Son Iosiah;2 King. 25. but as soon as he is gathered to his Fathers, Ierusalem and the Temple are destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, [Page 96] and King Zedekiah with all his People are carried Captive into Babylon.

This is a compendious History of the old Jewish Idolatry, and I think a sufficient Proof both of their strange Inclination to it, to the highest degree of Madness, and wherein it plainly consi­sted, their forsaking the true invisible God, to wor­ship created Deities; than which nothing is more evident through the whole Series of Scrip­ture.

To this Evidence I might add a more ample Proof out of the Writings of the Prophets, that are almost wholly imployed upon this Subject. But I must not be too tedious, and therefore I shall only observe, that they generally express the greatness of this Folly under the Figure of un­governable Lust. Thus Ezekiel the 23d. God describes it to the Prophet under this Scheme. Son of man, there were two Women, the Daughters of one Mother, and they committed Whoredoms in Egypt, they committed Whoredoms in their Youth; there were their Breasts pressed, and there they bruised the Teats of their Virginity; and the Names of them were Aho­la the Elder, and Aholibah her Sister, and they were mine, and they bare Sons and Daughters; Samaria is Ahola, and Jerusalem Aholibah; and Ahola played the Harlot when she was mine, and she doted (or run mad) for her Lovers, the Assyrians her Neigh­bours, with all their Idols she defiled her self, neither [Page 97] left she her Whoredoms brought from Egypt; for in her Youth ('tis in the Hebrew) before she was ripe of Age, they lay with her, and they bruis'd the Breasts of her Virginity, and poured their Whoredom upon her; wherefore I have delivered her into the Hand of her Lovers, into the Hand of the Assyrians, upon whom she doted, and after whom she ran mad.

The same is repeated of her Sister Aholibah, who for her incorrigible Adulteries is delivered into the hands of the Babylonians; nothing can be expressed with greater vehemence than this, that is compared to the utmost lewdness of Female Lust; and nothing more evident, than that this Lewdness consisted in deserting the true invisible God, to worship the false Deities of their Neigh­bours, particularly the Gods of the Egyptians, Assyrians and Chaldeans.

And that is my Second Head of Discourse, that the Gods that they worshiped at that time were nothing but the Heavenly Bodies, or the Sun, as the Supreme Deity. This is evident enough from what hath already been discoursed, Idolatry in general being every where described in Scripture by the Worship of the Host of Heaven, or Hea­venly Bodies. Thus Deut. 4. 19. Lest thou lift up thine Eyes to Heaven, and when thou seest the Sun and the Moon, and the Stars, even all the Host of Heaven, shouldst be driven (tempted) to worship them, which the Lord thy God created for the use and benefit [Page 98] of all Nations under the whole Heaven. So Chap. 17. v. 2, 3. If there be found any among you that have wrought Wickedness in the sight of the Lord your God in transgressing his Covenant, and hath gone and served other Gods, and worshiped them, either the Sun, or Moon, or any of the Host of Heaven, ye shall stone him to Death, 2 King. 17. 16. They left all the Com­mandments of the Lord their God, and made them Mol­ten Images, two Calves, and made a Grove, and worshiped all the Host of Heaven, and served Baal. So Manasseh erected Altars to Ball, and worshiped the Host of Heaven, chap. 21. 3. So Iosiah, when he destroyed Idolatry, brought out the Vessels of the Host of Heaven.

And the Jews, when after their return from Captivity, they would enter their solemn Pro­testation against Idolatry, they do it in this form— Thou even Thou art Lord alone, thou hast made Hea­ven, the Heaven of Heavens, with all their Host, &c. Nehemiah 9. 6. So Jeremiah 19. 13. Ierusalem and Iudah shall be destroyed because they have burned Incense unto all the Host of Heaven, and have poured out Drink Offerings unto other Gods. So Zephaniah 1. 5. God threatens to destroy the Worshipers of Baal, and of the Host of Heaven: And lastly, St. Stephen in his last Speech upbraiding the Jews with their Idolatry, says, that God gave them up to Wor­ship the Host of Heaven.

[Page 99] So evident is the Practical Notion of Idolatry, through the whole Series of Scripture, that it was the worshiping the Heavenly Bodies as the su­preme Deities, or as Iob emphatically expresses it, Chap. 31. ver. 26. If I beheld the Sun when it shin'd, or the Moon walking in brightness, and my Heart hath been secretly enticed, or my Mouth hath kissed my Hand, this also were an Iniquity to be punished by the Iudge, for I should have denyed the most High God.

What can be more plain than this Definition of Idolatry, that it is the Worship of the Sun and Moon, because it would have excluded the Worship due only to the most High God? And the very Word, that we commonly translate Ima­ges in general, signifies properly Images of the Sun. Thus Leviticus 26. 30. God threatens them I will destroy your Images, as we translate it; but in the Hebrew your Chamanim, i.e. Images of the Sun. So the second of Chronicles, chap. 34. v. 7. And so it is set sometimes in the Margent even in the English Translation [or Sun Images] as Isaiah 17. 8. Ezek. 6. 4.

And so all learned Men of all Nations, all Re­ligions, ever understood the old Notion of Ido­latry, till this last Age, when Folly and Passion cast it at any thing that peevish Men were an­gry with.More Ne­voch. Lib. 3. So Rabbi Maimon, the most learned and judicious of the Jewish Doctors, discourses at large, that the antient Idolatry was nothing [Page 100] but the Religion of the Eastern Nations, who acnowledge no other Deities but the Stars, among whom the Sun was supreme, in Opposition to which false Principle, he says, God enacted the Law of Moses.

This was the sense of all the other old Hea­then Nations, as may be seen at large in Eusebius's Collections of their several Opinions in his First and Third Book of the Preparation of the Gos­pel, where he proves, that the antient Heathens worshiped only the Stars, without any Notion of Heroes and Demons. The same is attested by all the Historians; by Diodorus Siculus of the Egyptians, by Herodotus of the Persians and Chalde­ans, by Strabo and Iustin of the Arabians, by Cae­sar of the Germans; so Macrobius, in his first Book Saturnal, proves it of all the antient Ido­laters, that it was the Worship of the Sun as the supreme Deity. So in the antient Hymn to Iupiter ascribed to Orpheus, it is the Sun only that is all along adored.

In short, so all learned Men interpret all the several Idols that we read of in the Holy Scrip­tures; particularly those two learned Protestants, Mr. Selden, in his learned Book De Diis Syris; and Gerard Vossius, de Idololatria, proves all the Idols mentioned in Scripture to have been only so ma­ny several Appellations of the Sun, whom the antient Idolaters believ'd to have been the supreme [Page 101] God and Creator of the World, as Baal, Baal Peor, Bel, Moloch, Dagon, Baalzebub Mythras, &c. In a Word, the whole Nation of the Cri­tiques, that agree in nothing else, are unanimous here; tho indeed the thing is so evident in all the Accounts, Histories and Descriptions of the Antient Idolatry, that it is to me the greatest astonishment in the World, that Men should ap­ply it to any other purpose.

I know there was another sort of Idolatry intro­duced afterward, the Worship of Men and Women, but I find no such Practice in the Scriptures, but take it to have been much more modern, and a meer Invention of the vain and lying Greeks; but whensoever it came in, it was grafted upon the old Stock, of giving the Worship of the su­preme God, not only to created, but to mortal Be­ings.

Here it were easie to wander into a large Field of Mythologick Mystery; but besides that, I take all Mythology to be much more Fable than the literal Fable it self: I have resolved to confine my self to the Information of the Holy Scriptures, from whence, as we have the most infallible Testimo­ny that can be had, so in this case we can have no other, all other Writings whatsoever being by some Thousands of Years too modern to give any Account from their own Knowledge of those An­tient Times.

[Page 102] And for a more acurate account of this, I shall refer the Reader to that admirable Book of Dr. Spencers, concerning the Jewish Laws and the Rea­sons of them, in which he proves every Minute Circumstance of the ritual and ceremonial Law to have been enacted only for the prevention of Idolatry or Sun-Worship. There any Gentleman that delights in antient Learning, may have his glut of Pleasure and Satisfaction; for beside the great Compass and Variety of polite Literature, he hath brought Wit, Sense, Reason and Inge­nuity into the Synagogue. I will only exemplifie the thing in some few Particulars.

The first is the Institution of some Rites pe­culiar to God's own Worship, both as a Bar to preserve them from any other Worship, in which those Rites were not us'd, and as an Obligation to bind them the faster to their Duty to himself; among these the chiefest are Circumcision and the Sabbath, which he instituted, as it were, the two Sacraments of the Jewish Religion, or the Wor­ship of the Creator of Heaven and Earth, to di­stinguish them from their Neighbour Nations, who Worship only his Creatures.

With Circumcision God sign'd his Covenant with Abraham, which was the first Revelation of himself against Idolatry, and the Foundation of the whole Mosaick Law, which was seal'd to, by this sacred Rite of Circumcision; so that with­out [Page 103] it, they were esteemed no better than Idolaters, and an uncircumcised Man signifies no less than an Heathen.

This Reason is expresly given by God himself at the first Institution of it in his Covenant with Abraham: Gen. 17. 7, 10. I will establish my Covenant between thee and me, and thy Seed after thee in their Generations for an everlasting Covenant, to be a God unto Thee, and to thy seed after thee. This is my Covenant which ye shall keep between me and you, and thy seed after thee, every Male Child among you shall be Circumcised. And you shall circumcise the Flesh of your Fore-skin, and it shall be a Token of the Covenant betwixt you and me; and therefore the uncircumcised shall be cut off from his People, as having broken my Covenant, i.e. renounced the true Religion, which is, as Grotius observes, not reasonably to be understood of In­fants, but of Men grown to Years of Understand­ing, whose Parents had neglected that Office in their Infancy, and therefore if they did not supply that Defect, when they came to Age, it was look­ed upon as renouncing the Worship of the true God, of which this was the first Sacrament or Ceremony of Admission into the Jewish Church, which alone profess'd it, and that is the Reason of St. Paul's Assertion,Gal. 5. 3. Every Man that is circumcised, is a Debtor to do the whole Law, i.e. he that willingly and knowingly undergoes this initiating Ceremo­ny, by Vertue of that he obliges himself to the [Page 104] Observation of the whole Mosaick Law, and all things commanded in it.

And for this Reason no Proselyte was admitted to the Paschal Festival, the most sacred Solemni­ty of the Jewish Religion, without Circumci­sion. Exod. 12. 48. When a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the Passover to the Lord, let all his Males be circumcised, and then let him come near, and keep it, and he shall be as one that is born in the Land; for no uncircumcised Person shall eat thereof.

This seems to be the meaning of that Passage, Ioshua 5. 9. when God commanded Ioshua to cir­cumcise all the People, that were born in the Wilderness, and that indeed is all then living; for those that came out of Egypt were dead, and when Ioshua had done it, God tells him, This day have I rolled away the Reproach of Egypt from off you; the Reproach of Egypt was their Idolatry, which they had now renounced by the Sacrament of Circumcision. And accordingly in the Persecuti­on of Antiochus Epiphanes to abolish the Jewish Religion,1 Mac. 1. v. 15, 48, 60 61. and establish Idolatry, the Jews are commanded to leave their Children uncircumcis'd; and the Apostates endeavoured to blot out the Marks of their Circumcisioni; and certain Wo­men that had taken care to circumcise their Chil­dren, were put to Death, and the Infants hanged about their Necks. That was the distinctive Mark through all Ages between a Worshiper of the [Page 105] true God and an Idolater. So that it was the same thing, not to be circumcised, and to apo­statise to Idolatry.

The second, and indeed the greatest Bar of all against Idolatry, was the Institution of the Sabbath in memory of Gods Creation of the whole visible World, and for that reason this Doctrine of the Sabbath, was reputed as fundamental an Article in the Jewish Church, as the Doctrine of the Cross in the Christian, because all other Articles of their Religion depended upon the belief of their God's Creation of the World.

And therefore when God had given Moses a compleat Body of Laws for his own Worship, he ratifies, and as it were comprises them all in a vehement and reiterated pressing that one Law of the Sabbath, Exod. 31. v. 12. to the end of the Chapter. And after the Children of Israel had committed Idolatry in worshiping the Golden Calf, for which God had for some time cast them off, he is at last prevailed upon by Moses to re­new his Covenant with them upon a new Con­tract. First, That they worship none of the Gods of the Heathen Nations, nor ever use any of their Rites and Ceremonies. And then that they be more careful to observe the Passover and the Sab­bath, Exod. 34. 12.

[Page 106] And the Observation of the Sabbath is again enforced in the very beginning of the next Chap­ter, as the Bond and Epitome of the whole Law, And Moses gathered all the Congregation of the Children of Israel together, and said unto them, these are the words which the Lord hath commanded that ye should do them, Six days shall work be done, but on the Seventh day, there shall be to you a Holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the Lord, whosoever doth work therein shall be put to death; As if the Sabbath alone were the whole Law, according to that Saying of the Talmud, Whosoever denies the Sabbath, denies the whole Law. Because that's an Acknowledgment of the Creator of the World, as the Author of the Mosaick Law. And for that reason the Almighty upon all occa­sions styles himself in Scripture, Creator of Hea­ven and Earth, which we (improperly enough) translate Possessor of Heaven and Earth; and in­deed the History of the Creation it self, and the whole Pentateuch, seem to have been written on purpose to prevent Idolatry, or the Worship of Created Beings; and therefore Moses doth not set down the Creation of the Universe in gross, but of every part by it self, particularly of the Sun, Moon, and Stars. And that is in it self a suffi­cient Security against giving them that were meer Creatures, the Worship that is only due to the Creator.

[Page 107] And this seems to be the reason of the parti­cular form of words in the Fourth Command­ment, Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy, for in six days the Lord made Heaven and Earth, and re­sted the seventh day; As if he had said, be sure that you be particularly mindful of this Command­ment of the Sabbath above all others, for it is a Day dedicated to the Eternal Memory of the Cre­ation, and therefore enjoyn'd to be observ'd every Seventh Day, that it may continually bring to mind that great work, and never suffer it to decay out of thy Memory.

And from hence it is that the Precepts of not worshiping Idols, and observing the Sabbath, are so frequently coupled together in the Scrip­tures, as if they were inseparable. Exod. 23. 12, 13. Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest, and make no mention of the Names of other Gods, neither let them be heard out of thy mouth. Levit. 19. 34. Ye shall keep my Sabbaths, I am Iehovah your God; turn ye not unto Idols, nor make to your selves molten Gods: I am the Lord your God. Levit. 26. 1, 2. Ye shall make ye no Idols, ye shall keep my Sabbaths. Ezek. 20. 18, 20. Walk ye not in the statutes of your Fathers, nor defile your selves with your Idols, and hollow my Sabbaths that are for a sign between you and me, that you may know that I am Iehovah your God; for their hearts went after their Idols: so v. 24. they polluted my Sabbaths.

[Page 108] And as these Commands are so frequently joyn­ed together, so is the violation of them, as if they could not be parted, Ezek. 20. 16. They pollu­ted my Sabbaths, and their eyes were after their Fathers Idols. And King Ahaz, when he set up Idolatry, he in Contempt turn'd the Covert for the Sabbath out of the House of the Lord. 2 King. 16. 18. 1 Mac. 1. 44. And ma­ny of the People consented to the command of the King, and sacrificed to Idols, and prophaned the Sabbath. So necessary was it for the observation of the Sab­bath, and the Worship of the true God, to run the same Fate, or stand and fall together; because the Sabbath was instituted in memory of the Creation of the World by the true God; and therefore the belief and observation of it, was an open Defyance to all Idolatry, as the Psalmist joyns them together,Psal. 96. 5. All the Gods of the Heathens are Idols: But the Lord made the Heavens.

And this is the distinctive Character that God hath given between himself, the only true God, and the Heathen Idols or Vanities; The Gods that have not made the Heavens and the Earth shall perish from the Earth,Jer. 10. 11, 12. and from under the Heavens. The Lord hath made the Earth by his Power, he hath fra­med the Universe by his Wisdom, and hath stretched out the Heavens by his Discretion.

Now the Observation of the Sabbath, as in­stituted in honour of the invisible Creator of the visible or material World, being the fundamental [Page 109] Article of Faith in the Jewish Church, in oppo­sition to Idolatry, or giving the Worship of the supreme Deity to created Beings, it is for that rea­son more frequently recited than any other Law, and its Breach as severely punished as Idolatry it self; the recital of this Command is almost half of the Law and the Prophets, and the violation of it certain Death, as a Crime of the same Na­ture with Idolatry it self. So evident is it through the whole Series of sacred History that the Sab­bath was instituted in opposition to Idolatry, and that the Idolatry it was opposed to, was the Wor­ship of created Beings as the supreme uncreated Deity.

To conclude this Argument, tho I designed to confine my self to the Testimony of Ho­ly Scripture, that is the only competent Witness in the case; yet I find such a pregnant Passage cited out of St. Cyril of Alexandria to the same pur­pose with the Premises, from his own Observa­tion of the Train of Scripture History, that it were great pity to rob the Reader of so fair an Authority, Hom. 6. de fest. Pasch. ‘After the Israelites, (says he) left their own Country to sojourn in Egypt, in process of time they lost all memory of their Ancestors, and descent from the Line of Abraham; so that their antient Customs being worn out by degrees, and the Religion of their Forefathers disus'd, they were at length debauch­ed by conversation with the Egyptians to Idolatry, and [Page 110] gave the worship of the supreme God to the Sun, and under him to the Heavens, Earth, Moon, Stars. And therefore when God delivered them out of their Egyptian Bondage, to bring them to the promised Land, he peremptorily commands them to discard all their Egyptian Errors; but because there was need of an evident sign, by which they should, as it were, be forced to confess, that Heaven was made by his Almighty Power; and that the Sun, Moon, and Stars, and all other Beings, were the works of his hands, he commands the Festival of the Sabbath as a Memorial and Imitation of himself and his work; and therefore they that devote themselves to rest as their Creator rested, by that acknowledge, that all other things were the product of his Power; and that is the natural design of the Sabbath Rest, to af­fect them with a sense of the supreme Deity, or Cre­ator of all things.’

In the second place, a very great and considera­ble part of the Mosaick Law was enacted, purely in opposition to the Old Heathen Rites and Cu­stoms. Here I omit the Idolatry of the Zabii, so much of late insisted upon by learned Men, because I find no antient Footsteps of any such People in the World.

The Mahometan Arabic Writers are the first that make any mention of them, and their Divinity (as the Arabians describe it) is a meer Fanatick Rhap­sody of Chaldaism, or Astrologick Idolatry, Iudaism, [Page 111] or the History of the Patriarchs turned into Fables; Gnosticism, or the Worship of Demons and Angels; Pythagorism, or turning all things into Allegories, and therefore must be of a much younger Date than Christianity.

The first time we read of them, is in the Al­choran, and Mahomet gives them that name of Zabii, because they lay Eastward from Arabia, for so the Word signifies Easterlings: Or more probably from a Fanatick Imitation of the Old Testa­ment, that frequently and commonly styles the Heathen Idolaters by the Title of the men of the East, i.e. the Chaldeans, who were situated East­ward of Iudea.

After him we have no account of any such Na­tion as the Zabii, till about Eight Hundred Years since. For the Prophet and his barbarous Fol­lowers, as they conquered, destroyed all Monu­ments of Learning, till being setled in Peace and Empire, (as is the manner of all Barbarians) they betook themselves to the humour of Learning, and translated Books out of other Languages, not only Greek and Latin, but of their Neighbour Nations into their own Tongue.

This is the most antient Account, after all the noise that has been made of their extreme Anti­quity, that we have of any Zabian Writers; so that setting that Modern Nation aside, the Mosaick Rites were instituted in opposition to the more [Page 112] antient Idolatry of their Neighbour Nations, parti­cularly the Egyptians and the Canaanites, of whom there was most danger by reason of their late con­versation with the one, and their new conversation with the other. And therefore against these God arms them with a special Caution,Lev. 18. 3. After the doings of the Land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt shall ye not do; and after the doings of the Land of Canaan, whether I bring you, shall ye not do; neither shall ye walk in their Ordinances.

This contrariety of the Jews to the Laws and Cu­stoms of all other Nations is made use of by Haman to King Ahasuerus to procure their Destruction; Esther 3. 8. And Haman said unto King Ahasuerus, there is a certain People scattered abroad, and dispersed among the People in all the Provinces of thy Kingdom, and their Laws are divers from all People, neither keep they the Kings Laws; and therefore it is not for the King's Interest to suffer them. If it please the King, let it be written that they may be destroyed.

This is perpetually objected by Manetho the Egyptian Priest against the Jews, that they aim­ed at nothing so much in the Rites of their Reli­gion, as to affront and reflect Defiance upon the Egyptian Devotion. Hist. l. 5. And so Tacitus his account of them is this; Moses ut sibi in posterum Iudaeorum gentem firmaret, novos ritus contrariosque caeteris morta­libus indidit; Prophana illis omnia, quae apud nos sacra; rursum concessa apud illos, quae nobis incesta. Moses, [Page 113] that he might the better confirm the Iewish Nation to himself, instituted new Rites, contrary to the customs of the rest of Mankind; what is most sacred with us, is most prophane with them; and what with us is esteem­ed most abominable, is allowed to them as lawful and innocent.

This is the certain ground of that known uni­versal contempt and hatred of all other Nations against the Jews: And so that Passage in Iere­miah, cap. 12. ver. 9. is applyed by Grotius to the Jews, Mine Heritage is unto me as a speckled Bird; the Birds round about her are against her: Mine Inheritance is become like a strange Bird, and is pursued by all the Birds of the Field; As when a Bird of a strange Colour, happens to consort with other Birds, it is natural for them all to set upon it; and this was the case of the Jews in reference to all their Neighbour Nations.

It were an endless work to recite all the Rites peculiar to the Jews, and instituted in contradi­ction to the Customs of their Neighbours, when it is the only reason that runs through almost all their Law, even to the boiling of a Kid or Lamb in its Dams Milk; to the sowing of divers Seeds together; plowing with an Ox and an Ass; wear­ing Linsey Woolsey, &c. And therefore I shall only instance in two remarkable particu­lars.

[Page 114] The Institution of the Passover; And the Law against Sacrificing in High Places, both which are enjoyn'd as most effectual Remedies a­gainst Idolatry.

The Passover was the first Law instituted by God,Exod. 12. 3. at, or upon their Deliverance out of Egypt. In the Tenth day of this Month, they shall take to them every Man a Lamb, a Male of the first Year, according to the House of their Fathers. In the Observation of this great Solemnity, as it is there prescribed, every the most minute Circum­stance is an express defiance to the Egyptian Fol­lies. First, the Paschal Lamb must be a Male a year old, that is, a young Ram; and that was the greatest Affront that could be put upon the Egyptians, that held a Ram not only in religious esteem, but the most Sacred of all their Holy Ani­mals in more antient times, as the Symbol of the Sun entring the Sign Aries, and beginning the New Year: And afterwards of Iupiter Ammon, whom the Greeks planted upon the Stock of the Old Egyptian Idol of the Sun.

Now upon the account of the Sacredness of these Animals, they never offered any of their Species in Sacrifice. And hence when Pharoah bid Moses go Sacrifice to the Lord in the Land of Egypt, Exod. 8. 26. Moses answers, that they dare not, Because it would be an Abomination to the Egyptians, so that they would stone them; that is, it would be a Pro­phaneness [Page 115] and open Affront to the Religion of the Egyptians if they should offer in Sacrifice (accord­ing to the custom of their Fore-fathers) those very Animals that the Egyptians had consecrated to the Honour of their Gods. And for the same reason they are commanded to Sacrifice the Passover with a young Bullock, Deut. 16. 2. as well as a young Ram, out of the Flock, or out of the Herd, as the Scripture ex­presses it. And when King Iosiah kept, after a long intermission,2 Chron. 25. 7. a most solemn Passover, besides Lambs and Kids, he gave to the People 3000 Bullocks.

Now next to a Ram the Bullock was the most Sacred of all the Holy Animals, and therefore made the second Sign in the Zodiack. And there­fore when the Greeks, or later Egyptians, gave the first Symbol to Iupiter Ammon, their Supreme God, they gave the second to Osyris, by them commonly called Apis (not understanding that that word only signifyed the Image, not the Dei­ty) so that here Tacitus his Malice is not much in the wrong; Caeso Ariete velut in contumeliam Ammo­nis, Bos quoque immolatur, quem Egyptii Apim vocant. They sacrifice a Ram in Affront to Ammon, and a Bullock in Affront to Osyris. Beside, it must be a Male, not a Female, because the Egyptians and Heathens (who indeed generally followed the Egyptian Customs, especially the Greeks) used on­ly Females in their Sacrifices.

[Page 116] But the most observable circumstance in this whole Solemnity, is the time of its Celebration; the Lamb was to be solemnly set apart for the Sacrifice on the Tenth Day of the Month,Exod. 12. 36 till the Fourteenth, because on the Tenth Day, on which the Sun entred the Sign Aries, began the great Festival of Aries, or the New Year; so that beginning the Jewish Passover at the same time, it was a manifest Triumph over the Egyp­tian Deity, by cutting the Throat of the poor Beast, with as much Solemnity as the Egyptians at that very time worship'd it.

And for the same reason a Cow that was sacred to Isis, or rather to some more antient Deity, I suppose the Moon, Num. 19. was commanded to be driven out of the Camp, and burnt as an unclean Beast; and so because the Egyptians addressed their Wor­ship to a Goat, as the Symbol of some Deity, pro­bably the Sun in that Sign, God commanded the Jews to make use chiefly of Goats in their Expiatory Sacrifices, and particularly the Scape Goat, laden with all the Sins, and all the Curses of the People; and hence the Israelites were strictly forbidden to Sacrifice to Goats,Levit. 17. 7. which we translate Devils: And they shall no more offer Sacrifice to Devils, ( [...]) to Goats, after whom they have gone a whoring. This shall be a Statute for ever unto them throughout their Genera­tions.

[Page 117] But to return to the Paschal Ram, all the cir­cumstances of the Institution carry a remarkable significancy in them: Thus when they are com­manded to besmear the Side-posts, and upper Door-posts or Lintal of every House: What could have been a more publick Contempt of the Egyptian Religion, when by it they declared, that the Almighty Power that had prov'd it self by so many Miracles and Judgments, especially this Last in the Death of the First-born, com­manded to put all manner of contempt upon those Creatures that were consecrated to the Worship of their Gods, and to leave those Bloody Posts to the Egyptians, as Monuments of their baffled Deities?

And tho I have no Reverence to the Authori­ty of the Jewish Rabbies in the account of anti­ent times, being not only very trifling, but very modern Writers; yet there is cited an excellent Passage out of R. Abraham Seba, that I cannot omit to recite, not for its Authors sake, but its own. ‘The Egyptians began the computation of their Months from the time that the Sun entred Ari­es; and this whole Month was celebrated with extra­ordinary Festival Solemnity, and was more sacred than all the Months of the year beside. God there­fore designing to set his People at as great a distance as could be from the Customs of the Heathens, com­manded them to begin the year, not from the Full [Page 118] Moon, as the Egyptians did, but from the first day of the Month; and whereas the Egyptians spa­red their Cattle, and durst not so much as eat Rams Flesh, therefore they are commanded to kill, roast, and eat it; so that whereas they offer Incense to it, and perform their Solemn Devotions before it, these are commanded in contempt to sprinkle the Blood of this most Holy Animal upon the very Threshold of their Houses.’ So far the Doctor.

So again they are commanded not to eat the Paschal Ram raw, in opposition to the Customs of the antient and barbarous Heathen Nations, who eat all their Sacrifices raw, especially at their signing of Covenants and Treaties of Peace; and that is the original Reason of the Command to abstain from Blood.

Then it is to be eaten in one House, not to be eaten abroad in solemn Pomp and Procession, as the Heathen Priests did their raw Sacrifices. Nor a Bone of it to be broken, because the Heathen Priests in their pretended holy Rage were wont to tear their Sacrifices in pieces with their Teeth. The Head with the Legs and Purtenance to be eaten, because the Heathens only eat the Viscera, or Inwards, no­thing of it to remain till the morning, lest it should be abus'd to superstitious uses, as the Heathens did the Relicks of their Sacrifices, who sold them to the People as a Charm against Diseases and ill Luck.

[Page 119] All which circumstances are most particularly remarkable in the Bacchanalia, or great Festival of Bacchus, that the Greeks stole out of Egypt, as well as all their other Superstitions, as the most learned of them confess: And concerning the Bac­chanalia in particular, Herodotus tells us by whom they were first brought out of Egypt into Greece, viz. the famous Physitian Melampus.

Lastly, the Passover was not to be sodden in Water, becaue the Egyptians and Syrians always boil their Sacrifices, especially to Horus or the Sun; and for that reason it is, that this little circumstance is so often urged, and so strictly observ'd. And this is particularly objected by Manetho the Egyptian against the Jews, that they were not content only to destroy their [...], their Consecrated Animals, but consumed them by Fire, as it were burning their Gods in Effigie.

These are the great Reasons, why the Divine Law-giver laid so much stress upon this Solem­nity, and all the circumstances belonging to it, when it was the grand Diagnostick, or distin­guishing Character between the Worshipers of the true God, and of created Deities.

And therefore upon all Apostasies of the Peo­ple from their Religion, it was the Custom of their pious Princes to recall them, by reviewing and re­newing the Laws of the Paschal Festival. So Io­siah, when he set himself to abolish all Relicks of [Page 120] Idolatry, and establish the Worship of the true God for ever: He commanded all the People, saying, Keep the Passover unto the Lord your God, as it is written in the Book of the Covenant. Surely there was not holden such a Passover from the days of the Iudges that Iudged Israel, nor of the Kings of Iudea.

That was an undenyable Proof of their com­plete Reformation.

The second Law enjoyn'd in opposition to 2 Egyptian Idolatry, is that against sacrificing upon High Places, which were Egyptian Altars built in the form of High Towers, that they might make nearer approaches to the Sun in their Devo­tions. And therefore God, on the contrary, com­mands the Israelites to sacrifice to himself upon a low Altar of Earth, Exod. 20. 24, 26. without steps or stairs; which Laws were given either with, or immediately after the Ten Command­ments, as it seems of equal weight with them.

So that to offer Sacrifices upon High Places, is always represented in Scripture as a very high Act of Idolatry; and to destroy the High Places in Scripture as an eminent Act of Reforma­tion, which must be understood of Towers, not of Mountains, that are not so easily demoli­shed. So Levit. 26. 30. I will destroy your High Places, and cut down your Images, [or Chamanim] and cast your Carcases upon the Carcases of your Idols, and my Soul shall abhor you. So Numbers 22. 41. [Page 121] Balack took Balaam and brought him up into the High Places, or Pillars, as the Septuagint always render it by [...], of Baal, that thence he might see the utmost part of the People. So Numb. 33. 52. Ye shall drive out all the Inhabitants of the Land before you, destroy all their Pictures and Molten Images, and pluck down all their High Places.

In the Historical and Prophetick Writings, Ido­latry is almost every where exprest by Sacrificing or Worshiping in High Places. The Idol Priests are styled Priests of the High Places.

This, says Herodotus, was the received Custom of the antient Nations, and of this Nature were the Egyptian Pyramids; and that which is still standing is built in the form of an Altar, i.e. a four square Plane, ten Cubits broad on every side, (not as it is vulgarly suppos'd, a Point or Spire) to which the Priest advanced by 250 Ascents, which Hero­dotus, that viewed them above 2000 years ago, says, were so many lesser Altars. But that the Pyramids were supposed in the more polite Times, to have been antient Altars, is evident from that known Verse of Luca [...].

Votaque Pyramidum celsas solvuntur ad Aras.

There are Monuments of this antient Custom still remaining in the West Indies. Gage in his Sur­vey, describes such a Tower in the middle of the [Page 122] great Temple at Mexico, of an 180 Ascents, where their Priests offered all their Sacrifices.

In short, the People of Israel were so fond of these High Altars, that some Princes, who would have demolisht them as pieces of Idolatry, were forced to persist for fear of popular Tumults and Seditions.1 King. 15. 14. So Asa in his Reformation, when he burnt their Idols, could not remove their High Places.1 King. 22. 43. So Iehoash could do every thing, but remove the High Places.2 King. 12. 3. So Amaziah was forced to leave them behind him: so his Son Azariah: and when they were demolished by Hezekiah, Chap. 14. 4. and some of the more pious Princes,Chap. 15. 4. they were ever first restored at the Peoples return to Idolatry.

And agreeable to what is here represented is the Reason annexed to the Divine Law, lest ye disco­ver your nakedness; which words, tho they may be literally taken, yet according to the Language of Scripture in this matter, they have a much high­er meaning, i.e. lest you commit Idolatry or Adul­tery with other Gods, and expose your shame and nakedness by playing the Harlot upon your High Places: These two things, Idolatry and Adulte­ry being so frequently joyned together in Scripture, as the same Crime.

Thus far, to mention no more, it pleased God to provide against Idolatry, by enacting special Laws in direct Opposition to the Heathen Rites.

[Page 123] When God had casher'd the more rank and notorious Acts of Heathen Worship, he retained some of their more innocent Rites, especially those that were derived from the antient Patriarchs, be­fore the later Corruptions were crept in, lest if God had given a Law altogether new, and abo­lished all their Old Customs, People that are al­ways fond of the Usages of their Fore-fathers, should rather have revolted to the Heathen Idola­try, than submit themselves to such a new and un­couth Religion; and therefore out of condescen­tion to their rudeness and weakness, God per­mitted them to retain several of their former Rites and Ceremonies in his new Worship, that by that Indulgence he might win them more easi­ly to embrace his new Institution.

And this seems to be the Grammatical Sense of St. Paul's Expression,Act. 13. 18. That God suffered their Man­ners in the Wilderness Forty Years, where the word [...] suffered, is taken from the Use or Lan­guage of Mothers or Nurses, that are forced to humour and comply with the little Follies of their Children by any way to please them.

In allusion to this word, God was pleased to express his Treatment of the Children of Israel, who knowing the weakness of their rude and childish Understandings, permitted and indulged them to enjoy not a few of their former Conceits together with his own Divine Law.

[Page 124] And so Moses lets them know in his Farewel Speech,Deut. 1. 31. That the Lord had all along born with them, as a Father doth with his Child. And so Grotius para­phrases that passage of St. Paul, When we were Children, Gal. 4. 3. we were in Bondage under the Elements of the World, i. e. says he, we were under subjection to those Rites and Usages that were common to us with the rest of the World, as Temples, Altars, Sacrifices, New Moons, to which he might have added, Oblations of First Fruits, Purifications, Fe­stival Solemnities, Tabernacles, Dedication of Tenths, the Ark; the Cherubim or Teraphim (for they are promiscuously used in Scripture, and are of ve­ry antient use:) These, and the like old Customs were enjoyned the People of Israel, lest for want of them they should relapse to Idolatry.

And because these Customs were common to the Jews with the rest of the World, therefore they are call'd the Elements of the World, and weak and beggarly Elements, and carnal Ordinances, that were impos'd and born with till the time of Reformation, in the Apostolical Writings, when they would beat down the value of the Mosaick Law.

But to omit the rest, I shall only insist upon the Cherubim, that God commanded to be placed over the Ark,Exod. 25. 18. and all Divine Worship to be directed towards them, And thou shalt make two Cherubims of Gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the Mercy seat, &c.

[Page 125] That they were Statues or Images is out of doubt by their Description, but of what particu­lar Form is matter of Controversie among learned Men; tho what ever they were, I am not con­cerned; it is enough that they were Images used in the Worship of God, and then the use of Images is not in it self Idolatry.

That the Word originally and properly signifies an Ox, is evident from Ezekiel, who uses the Words promiscuously, Chap. 1. 10. As for the like­ness of their Faces, They four had the Face of a Man, and the face of a Lyon on the Right side, and they four had the face of an Ox on the left side, they four also had the face of an Eagle: but Chap. 10. 14. the same things are thus described, And every one had four faces; the first Face was the face of a Che­rub, the second the face of a Man, the third of a Ly­on, and the fourth of an Eagle And as an Ox or a Cherub was used by the Antients as a Symbol of Strength or Power, so thence came they to signifie the thing it self; so God tells the King of Tyre, that he was his anointed Cherub,Ezek. 28. 14. i. e. that he had made him great and powerful.

Hence whenever God in Scripture is said to sit upon, or dwell between the Cherubims, it is when his Power particularly is represented. Thus when the Israelites were defeated by the Philistins, they agree at a Council of War to send for the Ark of God to save them out of the hands of [Page 126] their Enemies. 1 Sam. 4. 3, 4. So the People sent to Shiloh, that they might bring from thence the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord of Hosts, who dwelleth between the Che­rubims. So King Hezekiah in his Distress calling upon the Divine Protection and Deliverance from his Enemy; And Hezekiah prayed before the Lord, and said,2 King. 19. 15. O Lord God of Israel, that dwellest between the Cherubims, thou alone art God of all the Kingdoms of the Earth. So Psal. 99. 1. The Lord reigneth, let the People tremble; he sitteth between the Cherubims, let the Earth be moved.

And for this reason were these sacred Images placed over the Ark, as the Symbols or Hiero­glyphicks, to represent the Presence of the Divine Majesty; so that as the Ark is styled God's Foot­stool, the Cherubims are called his Throne: And so when the Ark and Cherubims were brought into the Temple, this Anthem was sung: Lift up your Heads, O ye Gates, and be ye lifted up, ye everla­sting Doors, Psal. 24. 78. and the King of Glory shall come in: Who is this King of Glory? the Lord of Hosts, the Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in Battle.

In short, these Images were the most sacred things in all the Jewish Religion; what they were, I will not determine; some will have them to have been Statues of Beautiful Youths (as they are now vulgarly represented:) Others, the Sta­tue of a young Bullock, from the synonymous sig­nification of the Words: But theGrotius. Dr. Spencer. Villalpandus Bochartus. most learned [Page 127] conclude them, as they suppose with good Authori­ty from the Scriptures, not to have been any one certain Form, but mixt of several Forms, in which that of a Bullock had the biggest share; but compounded of these four shapes, a Man's Face, an Eagles Wings, a Lyons Back, an Oxes or Bullocks Thighs and Feet. As they are descri­bed in the fore cited Chapters of Ezekiel, 1. & 10. And to this no doubt St. Iohn alludes in his Vision of the Four Beasts, Rev. 4. 6, 7. Round about the Throne were four Beasts; and the first Beast was like a Lyon, and the second like a Calf, and the third had a face as a Man, and the fourth was like a flying Eagle. And they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

In Allusion, 'tis no doubt, to the representati­on of the immediate Divine Presence in the Ark by the Cherubims, that were made up of these four Beasts, that were probably pitcht upon, be­cause of that great preheminence that they hold a­bove all other Orders of Creatures. A Man for Understanding, an Eagle for Swiftness, a Lyon and a Bull for Strength.

But what ever they were, they were sacred, Images set up by God himself in the place of his own Worship; and he was so far from forbidding the use of Images in it, that he would not be wor­shiped without them.

[Page 128] This is the true Account of Idolatry, as it is stated in the Scripture from the grand Design of the Mosaick Law, to restore the Worship of the true invisible God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, in opposition to the Idols, or created Dei­ties of the Heathen World, and by all wise Arts and Methods to keep them loyal to himself: And this gives us the true Rationale of the Mosaick Law, in which every particular Rite had some regard to Idolatry. So that the Breach of any one ceremo­nial Law was a degree of it; and to boil a Kid in its Mothers Milk was Idolatry, as well as to offer Sacrifice to the Sun, because the Heathens used that form of Ceremony in the Worship of that God.

God did not think it sufficient for their security to forbid them the Worship of this false God, but every minute Circumstance that belonged to it, lest by degrees they might be reconciled to it. And therefore God calls himself upon all occa­sions a jealous God, and oftentimes a jealous Hus­band, to let them know, that they must not on­ly avoid Idolatry it self, but all the least appea­rances and suspicions of it by Heathen Com­pliances.

Now if we compare this antient Idolatry of the Jews, with that of late charged by some men [Page 129] upon all Christians of the Roman Communi­on, I know not which will appear greatest, the Malice or the Folly of the Charge. It con­sists of these three Heads.

  • I. The Worship of Images.
  • II. Adoration of the Host.
  • III. Invocation of Saints.

All which are represented to the People as Crimes of the same Nature with the old Egypti­an Idolatry.

But as to the first, the Use of Images in the Worship of God, I cannot but admire at the Confidence of these Men, to make so bold a Charge against them in general,Exod. 25. 22. when the Ima­ges of the Cherubim were commanded by God himself.

They were the most solemn and sacred part of the Jewish Religion; and therefore, tho Images, so far from Idolatry, that God made them the Seat of his Presence, and from between them de­livered his Oracles; so that something more is required to make Idolatry, than the use of Images.

This Instance is so plain and obvious to every Reader, there being nothing more remarkable [Page 130] in all the old Testament, than the Honour done to the Cherubim, that 'tis a much greater Wonder to me, that those Men, who advance the Obje­ction of Idolatry so groundlesly, can so slightly rid themselves of so pregnant a Proof against it.

It is objected,Dr. St. of the Idolatry of the Church of Rome. I remember, by a learned Ad­versary, to the great Founder of this, and all other Anticatholique, and Antichristian, and uncha­ritable Principles among us; but he turns it off so carelesly, as if it were not worth his Notice. First, That they only directed their Worship to­wards the Images. Yea, they did so, as the Sym­bols of God's Presence, and that is to Worship God by Images, or to give the same Signs of Re­verence to his Representations, as to Himself. And therefore when David exhorts the People to give Honour to the Ark, he says, [...], bow down to, or worship his Footstool, for It, or He, is holy.

And if so much outward Worship may be gi­ven to Images, as Symbols of the Divine pre­sence, it is enough to justifie it. But however the thing stands, the case of all Images is the same, and a Roman Catholique may make the same Plea for his Church, as this Author does for the Jews; and if he accept it in one Case, he cannot refuse it in another; or if he does, he will give but little proof of his Integrity.

[Page 131] At least God was not so nice and metaphysical in enacting his Laws, by distinguishing between bowing to, and towards; or if these Gentlemen say, he was, they must shew us where: But what Authority do these Men assume to themselves, when by the precarious use of these two little Particles, they think to make the same Act the Whitest, and the Blackest thing in the World, towards an Image, 'tis innocent; to it, Idolatry?

But let them take which they please (for they are their own Carvers in all their own Controversies) If it be no Idolatry to Worship towards an Image, after all their Frights, they fairly give up the Cause to the Church of Rome, that requires no more.

But the second Reply is much more curious and metaphysical, That the Cherubims were not seen by the People, and adored but once a year by the High Priest: Here then we distinguish between the Idolatry of the Sight and the Mind; an Image seen is Idolatry, but if covered, 'tis none. So that to adore the Host exposed, is Idolatry; but in a Pix, 'tis none. What Rubbish is here to stuff out so weighty an Argument!

But if they did not see their Images in the Ark, they knew them to be there, and of what Form they were, being described to them by God him­self in their Law. Upon these Terms it seems a [Page 132] Blind Man can never be an Idolater; and if all the Romanists would shut their Eyes at con­venient Times, they would quit themselves of this black Accusation.

But the High Priest used this Solemnity only once a year. If it were Idolatry, it was as un­lawful once a year, as if done every day; and if lawfully done but once a year, it was no Idola­try: Its being seldom or frequent, makes no dif­ference; it is either always Idolatry, or it is never so.

And yet these little Pretences are the last Re­sult of this great Argument; and when we have loaded the greatest part of Christendom with the foulest Crime in the World, we think to make good the Accusation by such shameless Shifts and Pretences as these; for in these Trifles, the Dis­pute, as to the Cherubim Images, ended; and yet the Clamour of Idolatry is kept up as high as ever to this very day.

But what Images do the Roman Catholiques worship? Do they worship any Image or Symbols of False Gods, as the Supreuse Deities? If they do not, then they are innocent of the worst part of Idolatry. Or do they attempt to make a Simi­litude of the true God, or uncreated Divine Nature? That is the other part of Idolatry, and the Scrip­ture knows no more; therefore however supersti­tious they may be in their use of Images, yet they [Page 133] cannot be guilty of Idolatry, but upon one of these two Accounts, which no Man was ever yet so hardy as to charge upon that Church.

Till therefore it be proved that they worship Images of false Gods as the Supreme Deities, or that they worship the true God by Corporeal Images and Representations of his Divine Nature, there is no Footing for Idolatry in Christendom.

As for the Adoration of the Host, when they can prove 'tis given to it either as a Symbol of a false God, or the Picture of the true one, howso­ever faulty it may be otherwise, it can be no Ido­latry.

And as for the Invocation of Saints, unless they worship them as the Supreme God, the Charge of Idolatry is an idle Word, and the Adoration it self that is given to them as Saints, is a direct Protestation against Idolatry, because it supposes a Superiour Deity, and that Supposition cuts off the very being of Idolatry.

But to give an Account of their precarious Notions of Idolatry, and their more precarious ways of proving it, would swell to Volumes; and therefore at present I shall dismiss the Argu­ment, and shall only observe what a Barbarous Thing it is to make the Lives, Fortunes and Liberties of the English Nobility and Gentry to depend upon such Trifles and Crudities, by remarking the un­heard of and unparallel'd Penalties that are annexed to so slender a Law, viz.

[Page 134] That every Offender shall be deemed and adjudged a Popish Recusant convict to all Intents and Purposes whatsoever, and shall forfeit and suffer as a Popish Re­cusant convict, and shall be disabled to hold and Office or Place of Trust or Profit, Ci­vil or Military, in any of His Majesties Realms or Foreign Plantations; And shall be disabled from thenceforth to Sit or Uote in either House of Parliament, or make a Proxy in the House of Peers, or to sue, or use any Action, Bill, Plaint or Information in Course of Law; or to pro­secute any Suit in any Court of Equity, or to be Guardian of any Child, or Execu­tor or Administrator of any Person, or ca­pable of any Legacy or Deed of Gift; and lastly, shall forfeit for every wilful Offence the Sum of Five Hundred Pounds.

Here are all the Punishments that can be infli­cted upon a living Man.

Convict Recusancy it self, one would think, is Punishment more than enough for any one Crime: Abjuration of the Realm;35 Eliz. ca. 1. Returning without leave, Felony without Clergy; upon refusing to abjure, Forfei­ture of all Goods, Chattels and Lands for Liofe.

Forfeiture of Sixty Pounds per Annum, 3 Jacob. ca. 4. Banish­ment from the Kings Court under Forfeiture of an Hundred Pounds, and from London on the same Pe­nalty, [Page 135] Forfeiture of Right of Patronage, Disabled from any Practice or Office in Law, and finally disabled to be Guardian, Executor or Administrator, and Legatee.

This was thought the utmost Severity in the Zealous days of Queen Elizabeth; but alass! our Modern Zeal will not be confined to the gentle Moderation of our Fore-fathers; but now we must suffer all those, with many more, to the loss of our Birth-rights, and all Benefits of Law, for no higher Act of Recusancy, than not swear­ing to the Truth of Dr. St's Unlearned and Fanatique Notion of Idolatry; for that in reality is the bottom of all this Mischief and Madness.

And as it is advanced among us into so bloody a Charge; I cannot but declare my utter Abhorrence both of that, and its Abetters, as sworn Enemies to the Peace of Christendom; and in the Result of all, I find, That Idolatry made the Plot, and that the Plot made Idolatry, and that the same Persons made both.

Thus begging Allowance for Humane Infirmi­ties, lesser Errors and Mistakes, which in so much variety of Argument and Citation will escape the greatest Care, I have declared my pre­sent Judgment of this unhappy Law, as I will an­swer for my Integrity to God and the World.


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