Now made English by H. B. Esq.

LONDON, Printed by Tho. Harper, and are to be sold by Thomas Butler at his shop in Lincolns-Inn field, near the New-market, 1655.

To my honoured Father in Law, ABRAHAM HAYNES, Esq.


THis Excellent Peece of Tertullian (who lived about 1400. years since) falling into my hands, and perusing it, for an Essay, translated into English part therof. Some of my friends (who gave me a visit) read this beginning, and liking it (although they have the same in Latine) importu­ned me to finish what begun. Esteeming, it might bring some profit to the Christian [Page] Religion; because therin Tertullian hath made such a solid confutation of the errors of Paganisme, and so perfectly represent­ed the innocence of Christians, against the false accusations of the Gentiles; that in truth Religion could not be better defend­ed, nor better perswaded, then it is in this Divine Peece. That which makes mee appropriate it to you, for my particular, you are he, to whom I professe my selfe,

Your humble and affectionate Son in Law, HENRY BROWN.

TO HIS HONOURED Friend, Henry Brown Esquire, Translator of the ensuing Discourse into the English tongue.


ITs very commendable, when Gentlemen, to avoid the irksome sin of Idlenes, ap­ply their minds unto stu­dies beneficiall to them­selves and others, in ma­king Exo [...]ick tongues hold forth the truth of things in our Native Language. This (it can­not be gainsayd) in your late translation of [Page] this rare Peece into English, you have done. It was written at first by Tertullian, the Au­thor thereof, in Latine. Into how many seve­rall tongues it hath been translated since, I cannot say; this I can, its worthy for the ex­cellency thereof, to bee translated into all tongues, the Contents being convincing Ar­guments for the proof of One God, against the Heathen Romans, who were then Wor­shippers of Many. It were heartily to be wi­shed, we of this Nation, could all of us bee as unanimous in the Profession of One true Re­ligion, as the Author of this Treatise earnest­ly laboured to make those unto whom hee wrot, in the Confession of One true God. This, however, at present, wee may sooner wish, then hope for, in these suffering and di­stracting times, you have seasonably done, Chirst being the Center, from whence all lines of truth tend to the Vniversality of Religion, as to their Circumference, in laying to your help­ing hand for supporting the sinking pillars of Christianity, by translating, out of a forraign [Page] tongue, what the Primitive Christians did, and suffered for the Name of Christ. Its high time to put pen to paper, and publish in our Mother tongue, An Apologie, or Defence for Christians, when men and women, nowadays, who would bee thought true children of our Mother the Church, secretly blaspheme, and openly call in question the Godhead of Christ. But as I and my Father am one (saith our Saviour in the Go­spel) and therby declares himselfe consequent­ly to be true God, so this Apologie sufficiently sets forth the truth of our Christian Faith. Which that it so doth in the English tongue, we are all beholding to you, for your pains a­lone, in this translation. The happy success wherof, together with a further blessing upon it, and your selfe from the Author of what e­ver blessings, God blessed for evermore, is heartily prayed for by him, who is,

Yours, much devoted to serve you, THOMAS WESTLEY.


THis Apologie or Defence is the Work of an excellent Orator, displaying all the forces of his wit, to uphold a most deplored cause in the opinion of the Gentiles, and yet the justest that ever was exposed to the judgement of men. Its Reader will easily comprehend the merit of this peece, so soon as know Tertullian the Author ther­of, and its subject the defense of truth. 'Twas treated as criminall, with them who shut their eyes [Page] to the lights therein, and would not thereby bee informed; Error seemed venerable to them for its antiquity: they preferred the darknesse which blinded them for so many Ages, before the most excellent Sun-shine of divine light: although the accused made mention of in this Treatise were without spots, yet their accusers endeavoured to find some, and obscured their lustre, whom they falsly accused with such impurity, that it was ne­cessary men illuminated with the beams of divine splendor, should employ the graces they received from heaven, to dissipate the darknesse of error, and discover to the world a truth which till then they were utterly ignorant of.

Tertullian was one of those, God made use of to lay open or unfold so glorious a ministry; and certainly it was a labour worthy of him; Hee had enriched his mind with all the choice ornaments of humane Learning; was ignorant of nothing that was taught by any kind of Philosophers, compleat he was in the knowledge of the Civill Lawes, had read the histories of all Ages, made to himselfe a treasure of what every science had most precious [Page] in it, knew all the mysteries of idolatry, and was fully informed of the beginning and progresse of Su­perstition, having an understanding which made him capable of very great things: His Discourse was so powerfull, that one could not heare him without being perswaded by him; every of his Ar­guments rendring him victorious, at least over some of his Auditors. Hee was equally subtill and solid in his reasonings; he had united to those his sublime qualifications, a perfect understanding of the holy Scriptures: great piety and a marvellous zeale in the Religion of the true God. It apper­tained to a man such as hee was, to defend the Christians aginst the calumntes of the Goutiles, to overthrow the Altars of the false Gods which Phi­losophy (as he saith himselfe) had set up to justifie the worship given by us to the Creator of the Ʋ ­niversal.

Hee was an Affrican, drawing his originall from a Noble Family of the City of Carthage: his Father was an Heathen, and commanded a Com­pany of Souldiers, under the charge of the Gover­nour of the Province. As himselfe tooke birth [Page] from an idolatrous house, so brought up hee was in Error, but God giving him an inquisitive soule, he contented not himselfe with the knowledge of this world only, but also soared, and even penetrated into heaven, to get knowledge of divine truth. This saving well spring carefully laid up in the bo­some of the Church, was the water of life hee chiefly thirsted after, which having once tasted of, he hap­pily plunged himselfe therein, and took aful draught of the graces of God, swallowed up at the same time this precious liquor. Since when he ever after ab­horred the fond blindnesse of foolish men, who attri­bute to miserable creatures the glory due to God.

Charity, the most excellent of Christian vertues, so lively inflamed his heart, that it made him un­dertake to instruct Infidels, to communicate his lights unto them, to confirme them therein by the Authority of holy Scriptures, and by the strength of reason to ranke themselves with him, in the faith of Iesus Christ.

Heerupon it was he so powerfully resisted the va­nity of Philosophy, which he formerly so delighted in, and knew to be the principall ground of Super­stition, [Page] So that the same things hee heertofore stu­died to adorn his mind withall, and bring it to the knowledge of false Gods, whilest hee lived under the servitude of Idolatry, by an admirable work­ing of divine providence, served him since his con­version as strong instruments to destroy the worship of Idols.

Now it is very reasonable that hee, who so ear­nestly desired the salvation of his enemies, should have a particular care of his brethren, groaning under the weight of persecutions, which Pagans made them suffer: As therefore he piously laboured to open the eyes of the Gentiles, and make them worship his Master, so he happily imployed himself likewise to represent to him the holinesse of those who most unjustly were charged with such strange crimes.

Two principall things hee equally endeavoured to set forth, namely the falsenesse of the Gods of the Gentiles, and the truth of one only God, and joyn­ing together the defence of doctrine and manners, proved by one same work, the faith and innocence of Christians.

[Page]Hee came into the Church neer the end of the second Age, about the time when Severus came to the Empire. The faithfull then enjoyed a pro­found peace after a furious war. The Hmp rour Marcus Aurelius, a wise Prince for the world, but too much addicted to the opinions of Philoso­phers, suffered the fourth Persecution to bee kind­led, which being stirred up in the year of our Lord 164. by the fury of the people, and injustice of the Magistrates, who governed the Provinces, swept away an infinite number of the servants of GOD: Neverthelesse, although some rest they had, in the year of our salvation 176. by the authority of that Prince his forbidding upon pain of death, to ac­cuse the Christians, for their Religion by a [...]ust ac­knowledgement of the service hee had of their affe­ction, When by the prayers of Christian souldiers, which were in his troops, heaven poured down a favourable showr, that refresht in extream necessi­ty, the Army bee commanded in Germany. Yet this calm lasted not long, the quiet of this uncon­stant sea brought in with it an horrible tempest, especially on this side the Alps, where the City of [Page] Vienna and Lions saw the Rhos [...] dyed with the first bloud the members of Iesus Christ spilt in Gaule.

The people that durst not directly resist the will of the Emperour, transported with extreame rage against so many good people, began againe to trouble their rest, in the year 179, on othre pre­tences than that of Religion: They accused them of supposed crimes, the borror whereof, made their names odious, and by this detestable subtiloy dragd them unjustly before the Courts of Iustice; where­by they cluded the punishment established by the Emperour, against those who accused the Christi­ans, and boldly glutted their cruelty on these inno­cents, whom they exposed to all kind of tortures, and in the end, in humanely put them to death, for confessing the name of God only. This Persecution ended with the life of Marcus Aurelius.

The faithfull after so many suffering, had rest under the Emperour Commodus, who transported with a bloudy outrage against all Orders of his State, by a secret judgement of God spared none but Christians.

[Page]And certainly it was by a visible miracle that this Prince an enemy of all honesty was not also an enemy of those in like maner that made professi­on of godlinesse, that this Prince who shed with so much tyranny, the bloud of his people, should close the wounds by which came out that of the Christi­ans, and that these Idolaters who before had no spectacle so agreeable to their madnesse as the pun­ishments of the Faithfull, should cease to afflict them, in a time when heir hands were so accustomed to slaughter.

Wee must acknowledge God, who inspires such motions as please him in the hearts of men, the au­thor of this so strange wonder. Hee procured this peace to the Church, to the end hee might fortifie it against the assaults it was to endure soon after. Its certaine, during this tranquility it was much in­creased: the Gentiles moved to see such excellency in the Christians, the innocent carriage of their lives, could not consider therof without astonish­ment. They admired the purity they saw shine in their actions. From thence sprang desire in them of discovering the cause of such perfection, and em­ployed [Page] were they in the search of its originall, which is truth. And after they had broken downe the vail, which hindred them from knowing the same, they embraced it with as much affection, as ever they strove against it.

So not only the people, but those also, whose birth and merit raysed them to great dignities, fol­lowed the Crosse of Jesus Christ. They renounced their Idols, to consecraete themselves to the service of the true God, and abandoned the Temples of the false Gods, that they might serve no other but that one God that created them. By this means Towns wrer peopled with Christians, Armies made up of them, and the Senate of Rome, from whence flow­ed the Governours of all the World, filled with them every day. These are the fruits which peace had produced, which the Church injoied since the Empire of Commodus.

Severus having found the Empire in this happy condition, left it not so. The Sovereigne power fell in his hands in the yeare of our Lord 195. At the beginning hee shewed no sign of any a­version against the Christians, but contrarily made [Page] great esteem of them; witnessed their probity, and openly opposed the violence of the people when hee saw them most incensed to the Christians destru­ction. He had still before his eyes the benefit wher­with he was obliged to a Christian named Proculus Torpacion, who heertofore restored him to his health, and by the remembrance of such a recovery, was so dear to him, that he alwayes kept this man neer him, so long as he lived; he durst not use vio­lence to the Religion of him to whom he owed his life, so long as he was in the world, and his presence ready to reproove him of such ingratitude. The death of this Christian, time, and the revolution of affairs changed his mind unhappily to indignation.

Hee had two Competitors in the Empire, Pisce­nius Niger (who held Syria, and declared him­selfe Emperour in the City of Antioch) and Clau­dius Albinius (who was Master of Gaule and Britain,) Severus accommodated himselfe to this man, and associated him with himselfe in the Em­pire, to defeat the other, and after overcomming Niger (who died of akurt hee received in fighting) turned his thoughts unto procuring the ruin of Albi­nius, [Page] whom he had honored for no other purpose then to destroy him. Albinius being dead, he came back from Gaule victorious, and entring Rome, he was there received with publick acclamations, rejoycings, and such solemnities as Superstition had brought in, and which thwarted the holinesse of the Christians, thought they should offend God, if in shewing their affection to the Emperour, they mingled themselves in these dissolutions; but their piety passing with the Infidels for a crime, their enemies tooke occasion thereby to exclame against them, as against the e­nemies of the Emperour. Some think that Seve­rus after hee had caused many Noble persons to bee put to death, of Niger or Albinius party, went to make War against the Parthians, and leaving the Government of the City of Rome to Plautianus, this man naturally cruell, and continuing the search after all those who had favoured the one or the o­ther of these two parties, filling Rome with Fune­ralls and mourning, began also the fifth Persecution against the Christians, not as complices of the fa­ctions which now began to be extinguished, but as guilty of high Treason, in neglecting to render to [Page] the Emperour at his return from Gaule, their du­ties in like maner as his other people did.

They that writ this fifth Persecution were stir­red up at Rome on this subject, on the only autho­rity of Plautianus, have also writ it was in this time that Tertullian made this Apologie or De­fence, to make known to the Gentiles the injustice of the usage the Christians had; And upon their ac­count this Peece was published the seventh yeare of the Empire of Severus, which fell in the year of our Lord 201. But others more probably say, it was in the year of our Salvation 204. the tenth year of the Empire of Severus, when this Prince after he had overcome the Parthians, and established peace in the Empire, willing to smother the seed of trou­bles, wher with it had beene so violently agitated, for bad unlawfull assemblies, and factious meetings; upon this occasion, pretence is taken to persecute the Christians with authority as if in meeting to prayse GOD, they had violated the prohibition of the Emperour.

Tertullian in his Apologie or Defence, affirms, this last opinion to be the truest, shewing Christian [Page] meetings not to be factious meetings: Concluding it was not for this cause, that the before men­tioned Inhibition was put forth. Neither is it un­likely, but this Apologie or Defence, that justifies Christian Religion from the guilt of faction, practise and conspiracie against the State, was after the Edict of Severus, who commanding the Judges to punish all seditious confederacies, had kindled a­gaine the fire of Persecution against the guilt­lesse.

Howsoever it was, certaine it is; Tertullian composed this Apologie or Defence in the reigne of Severus, during the greatest heat of punishing the Christians: he was then at Rome, and published this Book, without putting his name to it, that bee might not expose himselfe to inevitable dan­ger.

Sparing the name of Severus for the respect born to his dignity, he addrest this Book to the Ma­gistrates, who sate every day in judgement upon the faithfull, and condemned the true Religion without knowing it.

[Page]Its impossible seriously to consider this Peece without being ravisht therewith. Riches it hath that puts it into the rank of great Workes, and of force to make us consesse, that if it be to bee estee­med for the reputation of its Author, it is also of more esteem for its own merit. We may see therin rare vivacity of wit, incredible store of high thoughts and a mervaillous power of perswading. Wee may receive there the light of an eminent Do­ctrine. We meet there with an infinite number of choice things. The conduct of it is admirable: Art hath nothing excellent, which is not judicially there observed. All the parts therof are agreeable with the whole. In fine, its a perfect body to which the Learned have given this commendation, that of all the Works of Tertullian, there is none to bee compared to this. All the following Ages have ac­knowledged, that the Church hath nothing more accomplished; and that Religion could not bee bet­ter defended, nor better perswaded then it is in this Divine Peece.

The truth is, the stile is not so glorious, the phrase rude and obscure, and it seems as if every [Page] one of its periods contayned a mystery, the sense therof is so hid, But we must pardon an Affrican, if it be not expressed with all the grace of the La­tine Tongue: the fault is not so much in him, as in his Countrey. If his speech hath not much Elo­quence, it hath much vigor; His discourse flatters not the ears, but works with vehemence, and im­presseth powerfully on the mind of the Readers that which will perswade him

Now although Terrullian hath not loftinesse of speech, yet we may say, hee hath written purely and not used tearms, which were not fit to declare vigo­rously what he conceived, and which are not found in the Authors of Humane Learning, and of civill right; all his words are Latin, but his phrase strange, and rellisheth of the stile of the Greeks, to which he was accustomed by his ordinary reading of their Books. Its this mixture that makes it obscure, that the most able men meet with difficulties in his Workes; and the reason his Apologie or Defence shewes not its beauty, to all those that makes use of it.

[Page]There have crept in some opinions not now re­ceived, and which in that time were not condem­ned. He writes, Divels were ingendred by the conjunction of revolted Angels, with the daugh­ters of men: he speaks of the birth of the soule, as well as of that of the body, beleeving the child takes both his soul and his body from the substance of his father: he sayes the soul cannot suffer alone (but he is not constant in his opinion) and teaches, that the souls of the wicked suffer in hell, although sepa­rated from the matter, and their bodies rest in the grave, which is the doctrine of the Catholicke Church. Hee mentions Paradise, as a place of de­lights, different from that in heaven, and separa­ted from the world, by the interposition of a Zone of fire, where he beleeves the just goe after death, to remain till the day of the Lord. And in conclu­sion, lets slip something from his pen of the age of a thousand years interposed between the end of this world, and eternity: He is of opinion also, that during the course of these thousand yeares, Iesus Christ shall raign on the earth with his elect, that in the mean time, the just being raysed out of their [Page] graves, shall live with abundance of spirituall feli­city, and that this age being come to its period, the Son of God shall then make his universall judgement. It is enough wee have taken notice of these opinions, which were not yet errors in the time of Tertullian; the Church then not having pronounced any thing to the contrary, they con [...]a­ted themselves then to preach the truth of one God in three Persons, the mystery of the Birth, Life, and Death of Iesus Christ, the institution of the Sa­craments, the judgement of the Lord, the glory of the blessed in heaven, and eternall punishments prepared for the wicked in hell.

Our Tertullian hath so wel1 establisht this do­ctrine, so perfectly represented the innocence of Christians, by this Apologie or Defence, that all the Church had this Book in singular reversace: they esteemedit as a pretions Cabinet, where the evidences of its faith are kept the proofs of its an­cient discipline, and marks of the holinesse of its first children

It seemes to me that England deserves to have this Peece in its Language, that Learned men owe [Page] to this Nation so rich a Present; for although Translations are not much esteemed in this Age, where every one adores his own inventions, yet this, (how meanly soever translated) may bee well received, because of the dignity of the matter. I have undertaken it for those, who not knowing the language of the Mistresse of the World, cannot know the perfection of so excellent a production of wit, if it appear not to their eyes with its graces in the Mother tongue of their native Country. This Work might have met with a better Pen then mine, but not a faithfuller; I aspire not to the glory of wri­ting well, but only, of being an Interpreter of an Author, who, in the judgement of the Learned, hath no fewer thorns, then flowers.

Tertullians Apologie, or Defense of the Christians, against the accusations of the Gentiles.



IF the Authority of Justice bee subject to so intollerable a necessity, as you that hold the first places of the Ro­man Empire, (who in the dignity of your Magistracy, being exposed to the eyes of all the world, judge men in the most eminent place of this Capitoll City of the Universe) have not the liberty to examine pub­lickly and in the view of the people under your con­duct, wherein the things consist whereof the Chri­stians are accused, and which they propose for the proofe of their innocence: If upon this occasion on­ly you feare, or are ashamed to labour openly to finde out the truth, and to instruct your selves by [Page 2] the order the Lawes have established; or if the se­verity you have exercised against the Christians sub­ject to your domesticke power, incensing your mindes with too much sury against our Religion, makes you bring from your home a resolution to condemn us, and not so much as hear the reasons ser­ving for our defence: Be pleased we present you this truth in secret, and permit us to discover the same to you in paper, seeing wee cannot make you under­stand it by word of mouth. She demands no favour of you; because her condition permits her not to hope for a usage easier then that she hath formerly received; she knowes her selfe a stranger on earth, and doubts not to meet with enemies in a Coun­trey thats not her owne; as shee derives her originall from Heaven, so there makes she her principal resi­dence, where shee hath most hope, where her best credit is, and where her dignity Chines in its greatest lustre. That which shee desires of you whilest she re­maines heer below, is only you would not condemne her unknown. The Lawes of the State will lose no­thing of their Authority, if you Permit her but to defend her selfe; their power on the contrary will be seen with more luster if you condemne her after you have heard her: but if you judge her without know­ing her cause, you will not only stand charged with reproach of manifest injustice; but be justly suspected your consciences check you with some secret mo­tions, that make you refuse to heare the thing you could not condemne if you heard it. Wee say then ignorance is the first cause that makes the hatred [Page 3] unjust you have conceived against the name of Chri­stians; indeed wee are unholy in your opinion, be­cause you are not informed of the holines of our do­ctrine. But take heed what seems to serve you for an excuse, be not that which renders your judgement of us faulty. For is there any thing more unjust then to hate that you know not, although it were otherwise even a thing to bee hated? As bad as any thing is it begins not to deserve hatred, till it be known to de­serve it; while you know not what it is, how is it possible you should rightly hate it? To make the hatred of any thing just, it sufficeth not the thing it selfe be evill, but that the party who hates the same knows it to be evill in like maner; seeing therefore you hate us without knowing wherefore, how ap­pears it you hate us not without a cause, and conse­quently most unjustly? in regard whereof wee have good reason to reprehend you, because you know us not (to wit) in our condition when you hate us, and therefore hate us most unjustly. Certainly you pur­sue us with so much animosity, that it well appears you know not in what manner wee live; and affect an ignorance that condemnes rather then excuseth you of injustice. For we see a great many whose ha­tred is grounded on the want of knowledge onely, who so soone as they cease from being ignorant of our discipline, cease at the same time to bear hatred against us. It is of these fort of men that Christians are made; they embrace our religion after informed in the Piety thereof, when hating what they some­times were, they make publick profession of that [Page 4] they hated before; the number of these men is so great, that it will astonish you when but hear them reckoned up. And from thence it comes the people complain highly that the City of Rome is invironed on all sides with the enemies of the worship of the Gods, that Christians are spred over all the Empire, that the provinces are full of them; they be wail it as a signall mischiefe and as a considerable losse, because persons of all qualities and ages, men of all conditi­ons, even those who have attained to great digni­ties, run promiscuously on this side. The progresse Christianity hath made cannot make them judge well of us, and the examples before their eyes puts not this thought in their mindes, that a religion that drawes all the world after it must have something excellent and divine that they know not of. The con­stancy wherewith wee suffer their persecutions is not able to move them, to better opinions of us then those they have formerly conceived: they will not perticu­larly be informed of our Doctrine, wherin only they care not for, being over curious, and take as much delight to bee ignorant of this, as others to know all things. O how would Anacharsis have judg­ed these rather imprudent for giving their judgement upon men wiser then themselves, then formerly hee taxed those of folly, who themselves being altoge­ther immusicall, gave their judgement touching Mu­sicke. Seemed it not the policy of the Athenians ri­diculous to him, when hee saw among them the learned exposed to the judgement of ignorant men? Truly the blindenesse of our enemies far surpasseth [Page 5] this, in regard they are so hardned in the hatred they beare towards us, that because not being oblieged to relinquish it, they care not for being made acquainted with our condition: much doubting what they are ignorant of, is of such quality, that it will not be in tneir power to hate it, if once acquainted but with the merit therof. Now if hatred have not a lawfull cause, we cannot too soon extinguish it, and it just­ly kindled, it imports that the subject which hath given it a being bee examined; because if it be found it hath justice on its side? not onely this restimony takes nothing away from its force, but seemes to take new forces, authorising it the more. You say, to prove the holinesse of our doctrine, we should not boast in that which shee insinuateth into the mind, and that she gaineth so much people; for wee see very many change their good customes into bad, that it is not a new thing souldiers revol­ting from their owne party quit their En­signes, to cast themselves into the troops of their enemies. Wee agree with you in this; but experi­ence also teacheth us, that even they that suffer them­selves to be surprised with unruly affections, are not assured of defending the disorders of their life, and dare not undertake to make them passe for good a­ctions; Nature hath tied to evill, fear or shame, the wicked seeke for darkenesse, tremble when they are surprised, and deny ail when accused: One can hard­ly draw the truth from their mouthes no not in the middest of tortures, and when their sentence is pro­nounced, they have recourse to teares and sighs. [Page 6] They examine their consciences, and remembring the number of their crimes, they impute it to destiny & the stars, and wil not acknowledge they have been carried to it by their consent, because they know they are wicked and punishable things. Do the Christians any such thing? They are not ashamed when disco­vered what they are, they repent not, unlesse it bee that they had not sooner followed the Law of Jesus Christ, they esteeme it a glory to bee put into the hands of Justice, if accused they defend not them­selves, when interrogated they confesse willingly, and when condemned they declare themselves thank­full to their Judges. What is that evill that hath not the quality of evill? which is neither accompa­nied with feare nor shame? who know not the arti­fices the accused make use of to gaine time, and de­ferr judgement? Who are not affected with repen­tings, or complaints wherwith Criminalls use ordina­rily to deplore the sadness of their conditio? was there ever an evill of this nature? Did any ever see Cri­minalls rejoyce in the torments they endure? Who desire to bee accused? Who make much of punish­ment? and of their pain make their felicity? Doe not say the constancy wee shew is rather a mark of despair then of vertue, for you cannot judge safeiy of our actions, seeing you cannot know the motions they produce.


IF notwithstanding you cannot part with the o­pinion you have conceived, but beleeve us indeed guilty, why are wee handled otherwise then they who, being like us, are in like maner guilty? Seeing by the rules of justice the same fault ought to have the same maner of punishment. When men, not of our Religion are accused of the same crimes they impute to us, it is permitted them to have their innocency made knowne, to defend themselves by word of mouth, to take counsell of an Advocate; they are suffered to give an answer unto what ob­jected against them, and to make good their justifi­cation; for the Laws do not allow those to bee con­demned whose offences have not been heard. It is on­ly from the Christians they take the liberty to speak in their justification, to uphold the truth, and to de­clare to the Judges the things they ought necessarily to know, that their judgements might not bee suspe­cted of injustice. They require for the condemning of us, but only the confession of the name Christian, they stay not till the crimes wherewith they charge us be examined, and it is the confession only that exposeth us to publick hatred. When you put up a processe against a Criminall, you doe not pronounce his condemnation so soon as confest hee is a murthe­rer, sacrilegious, incestuous, an enemy of the State, which are the titles they give us: But you examine [Page 8] the circumstances, you consider the qualities of the fact, in what place, in what maner, and at what time the crime was committed, then you informe your selves against the complices; you do not keep these forms when you proceed against us, and yet you will condemne us without shew of justice; you must make us appear guilty of the things which are falsly imputed to us; for example, how many children a Christian denounced after inhumanely cut their throats, how many times darkness give him the assu­rance of satiating his incontineney with incestuous imbraces, who the Cooks dressed the flesh of these bodies so cruelly murthered, & of what sort the dogs (as you suppose) brought into our assemblies, to serve to put out the lights. Oh what great glory to a Judge to have convinced by due proof a Christian to have caten the fieash of an hundred children? seeing we read it hath otherwise beene hecretofore forbid even so much as to make any maner of inquiry after us. Pliny the second, whilest Governor of Asia, after sentencing to death many Christians, & depriving others of their dignities, wondred his severity did not diminish their number, and consutred with the Emperour Trajan to know in what maner hee should governe for the time to come, in the behalf of Christians that should bee presented to him. Hee wrot to him that besides their firm resolution of not sacrificing to the Gods, he could learn no other thing touching their Religion, but of their assembling together before day to sing prayses to Jesus Christ, and to God, and to unite their wills to the conservation of the discipline esta­blished [Page 9] amongst them: forbidding expresly murder, adultery, fraud, persidiousnesse, and other crimes. Trajan by way of answer, returnes him a command not to make inquiry after them, but being brought before him to punish them. O judgement wrapt up in a necessary and inexplicable ambiguity.! How is it possible to accord things so opposite? Hec for­bids to seek after Christians, as being innocent, and commands to punush them as criminalls. He is mer­cifull and cruell, pardons, and punisheth at the same time. How comes it you are contrary to your selves, that your owne judgement beares witnesse of your own Injustice? If you think wee deserve punishment, why forbid to enquire after us? If thought fitting not to enquire after us, why then not acquit us? Pro­vosts are established in all Provinces, to discover and take theeves. Arms are lawfull in the hands of all men to be employed against traytors, and against the enemies of the State. When once made ac­quainted with a villany committed, wee apprehend in the pursuit all wee suspect to bee Pertakers with them that commit it. They are only Christians are forbid to be sought after, and yet permitted at the same time to bee dragd before the Tribunals of Ju­stice, as if the enquiry made to no other end then to present men before the Judges. So you condemn a Christian when once found out, although according to the design of your Lawes, hee should bee assured against all searches; and when you condemn them, I doe not beleeve you judge them worthy of the pu­nishment you ordain them, because guilty, but onely [Page 10] because discovered; and that there are people found bold enough to enquire of their life against the pub­lick ordinances. But when a Christian is in your hands, you doe not act against him as you are used to act when you would pursue the vengeance of a crime, for when the other accused boldly maintaine they are not guilty, you ordayn they should bee put to the rack, to the end that torture may force them to confesse, and contrarily you apply it to the Chri­stians only to force them to deny. If our Religion were evill, without doubt wee should flie to deny­ings in the same maner as criminalls doe, and you would be forced to draw confessions from us by the force of torments; you say you doe not think your selves obliged to seek by tortures the proofe of the evill we doe, because you certainly beleeve the con­fession of the name Christian carries enough with it of all crimes. But this pretence is not lawfull: for if a man be accused of murder, although you know well enough of what nature his crime is, yet you doe not content your selves with the confission, but you force him to declare the order hee took to com­mit it; you doe not deal so with us, and the strange­ness of your proceeding discovers visibly your inju­stice. You hold that to confesse the name Christian makes us guilty, and you make use of violence to force us to retract it, in disavowing the name of Christian, we discharge our selves, at the same time of the crimes you impute to us because of this con­fession. But I think you do so, because you will not have us destroy our selves, wee whom you take for [Page 11] execrable persons: It may be you are wont to bid a murtherer deny the murther he is accused of, and in­joyne a sacrilegious person to suffer more torments if he persevers inconfessing his impiety. Now seeing you proceede not against us as against Criminals, its a figne you thinke us very innocent; Then ther­fore it is without doubt you will not have us per­sist in this confeission, whereas you know very well that condemnation is grounded on the necessity im­posed on you to obey the lawes of the state, and not on the rules of justice. A man cryes out in the midst of his torments, and saith, I am a Christian, he de­clares openly what he is; you would heare from his mouth what he is not. You are resolved, purposed, de­termined to draw the proofe of the truth by the con­fession of the accused, and of all other men, but there are none but we of whom you strive to heare lies. You ask me (saith one of us) if I be a Christian, and I answer, I am. Why endeavour you to corrupt me by force of tortures? I confesse and you torment mee. What would you doe if I should deny? when those that are guilty protest they are innocent, you be­lieve not the truth from their words; and you be­lieve us so soone as wee say wee are not Christians. Certainely this unjust affection which so unhapplly troubles your reason, is to be suspected, and ought to make you thinke ther's some secret violence that workes in your minds, and makes you proceed in our cause against the order and nature of judgement, and also against the Laws. If I bee not deceived the laws command us to discover, and not conceale of­offenders [Page 12] in withdrawing them from punishment, it or daines that those who confess themselves guil­ty should be condemned, and not absolved.

These are the rules established by the authority of your Senate, and custome of your Princes: these are the maximes which are in use in the exercise of the power whereof you are ministers; for the autho­rity of your magistracy is lawfull, and not Tyrani­call. Tyrants are accustomed to add tortures to or­dinary punishments to render them more cruell: but as your pollicy is full of humanity, you make no use of it, but force the accused 10 confesse. Keepe this Law in its vigour, and stretch it not further then its bounds; its necessary to draw confession from the mouth of criminalls, but if they prevent its rigour men must not use it, there remaines nothing in this case but to judge and punish it. Punishment establi­shed by the laws is a debt which they are bound to acquit, and whereof its unjust to discharge it after it is confest. Indeed wee see nojudge that strives o­penly to save a wicked person. Neither is he permit­ted to have a will to it; and from thence it comes in order of judgement wee doe not force men to de­nie. You believe a man cannot make profession of Christianity without being tainted with all sorts of crimes; without being an enemy to the Gods, to Princes, to the lawes, to good manners, and to na­ture, and that a Christian cannot be acquitted unless he denyes himselfe to be a Christian; you force him to deny that you may acquit him, which is appa­rantly tobetraye the justice of the lawes. What [Page 13] would you have him deny he is guiltie that you may make him innocēt, even against his wil, & that a man cannnot after impute to him what is past to render him criminall? tell us what motion inspires you with an affection so, unreasonable? and from whence comes it you resolve not to believe him that volunta­rily confesseth rather then the party that denyes what hee is accused of by constraint: This last being forced in his judgement mayspeake against his con­science, and keeping in his heart the Christian Reli­gion, after hee is absolved, deride you at the same time you come to judge him, because of the partia­lity you shew in maintaining your opinions at the charge of justice. Now seeing you treat us in every thing otherwise then criminalls, and your onely end is to make us foregoe the name wee beare,(and wee undoubtedly relinquish the same if wee doe what they doe who are not Christians) you may easily ap­prehend we are not guiltie of any wickednesse: that our being named Christians is our onely crime, that his appellation is unjustly prosecuted by the motions of a rash and blinde hatred, whereof the first effect is to take from men the desire of knowing certain­ly the things which they know they have no assured knowledge of at all. So they believe all that is pub­lished against us, although they see no proofes, and they will not let our lives be enquired after, for feare a lawfull proceeding discover onely the things they will not have to bee believed to bee true, and they take occasion to condemne this name, which is the object of their hatred, on the onely confession wee [Page 14] make as if the confession of the name were suffici­ent for the conviction of those crimes, they attribute to it without any other ground then their owne o­pinion. Then as our contention is but a contention a­bout a name, they torment us when wee confesse it, they punish our constancy, and acquit us when wee denie it. But after all, when you pronounce sentence against a Christian, why doe you not declare ano­ther cause of his condemnation then that hee is a Christian? Why say you not hee is guilty of mur­ther, and of incest? that he hath committed all other crimes imputed to us by your selves. It seemes there are none but wee against whom you are asha­med to pronounce judgement under the notion of these execrable actions. If the name of Christian bee not a name of naughtinesse, then what you attribute to it is nothing pertinent, it being the name onely, and not any wickedness that name importeth, Which you finde fault with.


BUt is it not a strange thing, that the hatred, wherewith this name is pursued, in such man­ner blinds the minds of most men, that when witness the probity of a Christian, they mixe in their discourse as a reproach that he hath embraced this Religion? One saith, truly he of whom you speake is an honest man, if hee were not a Christian, and his [Page 15] life would bee free from blame. Another, doe you know such a one who had the reputation of a wise and discreet man, he is lately turned Christian? and there is no body reproves and shewes them it is more to the purpose to reason thus: Therefore such a one is an honest man, or this who is so wise and modest hath got these rare qualities since making profession of Christianity: or else, such like men make it appeare visibly they are Christians, because they are wise and vertuous, they prayse the thing they know, and blame what they know not, and corrupt the purity of handsome actions, whereof eye-witnesses, by the opposition of a quality whose merit is unknowne to them, although it is more just to judge of things that appeare not, by those that appeare; then to ground on hidden things the con­demnation of those which are apparent. There are others found that keeping company with those they knew before they were Christians to bee vagabonds, infamous, and wicked, now prayse them, who obser­ved the irregularity of their life past. These people by an extreame blindenesse of hatred, speak to the advantage of the name Christian when they strive to render it odious. For say they, how pleasant and of what a good humour was that woman? How soci­able and joviall was that man? Its pity they should bee Christians. So they impute the amend­ment of their lives to the profession of Christianity. Some of them also purchase the aversion they carry against the name Christian which wee beare, with [Page 16] the price of what is most precious to them, rather desiring to lose the sweetness of life, tranquility of minde, and all sorts of Commodities, then to see in their houses that which they hate.

A man who heretofore had his minde full of jea­lousie, can no longer endure the company of his Wife, what assurance soever he hath of her Chasti­tie, after once he perceives her to bee turned Chri­stian, and parts from her now when her actions (full of modesty) have extinguished all suspitions where­with he was heretofore moved.

A Father, who of a long time endur'd the disobe­dience of his heathenish Son, resolves to take from him the hope of succeeding him in his inheritance, for turning Christian, when at the same time exe­cuting his commandements without murmuring.

A Master that us'd his Slave gently, when his carriage gave him some cause of distrust, now puts him farre from him, for that a Christian, when hee hath most assurance of his fidelity. It's committing of a crime to correct the disorders of a mans life, by the motions of a holy conversion to the Christian faith; and the good which is produced by so happy a change, workes not so powerfully on the mindes of men, as the hatred they have conceived against us. Indeed this hatred is strange; and when I consider that the name of Christian onely makes it to bee so, I would willingly know how a name can bee crimi­nall, and how a simple word can bee accused? Me thinks a word cannot be condemned, unless it be bar­barous, or expresseth some evill speaking, or repre­sents [Page 17] some unchast thing, and of ill report. The word Christian drawes its, originall from that of Unction; it is the name that the son of God our ma­ster tooke, to shew he was the King of the faithfull, and the high Priest of the new law. And when by an ill pronuntiation you change the signification of this name, (for one need but heare you speake it, to dis­cover you know it not) it is a name composed of sweetnesse and goodnesse; so you hate men whose actions are full of integrity, and a name that hath nothing of evil in it, did one ever see an opinion con­demned because of the name of its author? What wonder were it if they that give themselves to a dis­cipline take the name of him that taught it? Are not Philosophers by the reason of the name of their Sects called Platonicks, Epicurians, and Pithagori­ans? and in consideration of the places of their as­semblies Stoicks and Academicks? and doe wee not see Physitians borrow that of Erasistratus? the Gra­marians that qf Aristarchus? and the Cookes also that of famous Apicius? Let none thinke it strange that both the one and the other beare the name of their Author, seeing they glory in following their Doctrine, and in embracing their discipline which was left them. Indeed the name of a Sect cannot bee condemned, if it be not vicious, and it must be made knowne that a Doctrine is evill, and also that the Author is wicked, to make the name of them odi­ous which make profession of it: for it cannot bee, unlesse it bee because of the vices of the Sect, and of him that made it. Therefore before you hate our [Page 18] name, you must know the worthinesse of our Reli­gion by the knowledge of our Author, which is Je­sus Christ: or else inquire of the conditions of our master, by a holy search of the things hee taught us. But you will know neither the Religion which you persecute, nor the excellent quality of its Author: You are content to inveigh against the name, and to contend with it: a simple word is all the ground of the injustice you doe to a Religion, and the Author Of a Doctrine you know not; and there is so much prejudice in your mindes, that you condemne this law and its Author, onely because of the name, with­out being convinc't by the force of a lawful convicti­on.


I Have hitherto insisted in opposing the injustice of the publicke hatred wherewith wee are perse­cuted: I am now to treat of the point of our inno­cency; and therefore will not onely refute the things they object against us; but returne the same upon themselves who cast them upon us, that thereby they may know Chiristians defile not themselvs with crimes so impudently laid to their charge, by those who cannot bee ignorant that Christians are guiltless therof. In regard wherof, I wonder they blush not (wicked people as they are) at the rash accusations they charge us withall; I will not speak [Page 19] against: good men, but only such as themselves, who asperse us for criminals.

I will touch in particular all they say wee doe in private, and from whence they take occasion to re­proach us as wicked, superstitious persons, worthy the infamy of punishment, and in conclusion objects of laughter and contempt, and make it appeare our Enemies commit the same publickly every day. But because your last refuge, when you see truth on our side discovers all these impostures, is to make use of the authority of the Lawes against us; and have ordinarily in your mouths, either that it is not per­mitted you to examine anew what they have con­demned, or your oath injoynes the necessity of obey­ing the same; that is, whether you will or no, and by constraint you preferre what they will have you, before the knowledge of the truth; I am first obli­ged seeing the Lawes are under your protection, to speake to you of the obedience due unto them. I say then, when you pronounce these words with too much rigour unto us, your Religion is forbid by the Laws, and by an inclination contrary to humanity condemn us with an unlimitted power, without suffering us to justifie ourselves: you act with violence, and ex­ercise a power full of tyranny. Certainly you abuse your authority, when you determine the Christian Religion ought not to be suffered, not indeed because it ought not to be suffered, but because you will not suffer it.

If Justice bee the Rule of your Judgements, and if reason makes you condemne a thing which ought [Page 20] not to bee condemned; without doubt that onely should be forbid which is wicked, from whence it follows, what is good should bee left to the free li­berty of all men. If I finde that to be just your Laws forbid, is it not true, this forbidding of yours obligeth me not at all, and contrarily, that I am bound to o­bey it, if condemning that which is evil? And won­der not if I accuse your Lawes of errour: it is man hath conceived them, they that made them failed not a little: your Laws have not been established by the infinite Wisedome of God.

It is no wonder to take notice that men may bee deceived in making a Law, and therefore upon bet­ter consideration with themselves, they have confes­sed their errour, in condemning that they former­ly approved? Know wee not that the Lacedemoniaus sweetned the severity of Lycurgus Lawes, to accom­modate them to civill society: at which the great Law-giver was so displeased, that hee voluntarily quitted his Countrey, condemned himselfe to dye, and to advance his death, deprived himselfe of nou­rishment for life? and falls it not out every day, that the experience you have got in doing justice, serves you for a Candle, and glittering light to dissipate the darkness of antiquity, to beat downe before you this thorny Wood of the ancient Lawes? I might say, you clear the confusion that would insue thereupon, by the authority of the new constitutions of the Em­perours?

A little while since have wee not seen Severus, a Prince indued with comely gravity and rare wis­dome [Page 21] to have changed certaine things of the Papic Lawes, although their old age was never so vene­rable? Lawes that forc'd the People to put their children into the world, before the Age ordained by the Julian Lawes to contract mariage, and which shewed them ridiculous, in taking thought with so­litary care for the birth of men.

There were also Lawes that permitted Creditors to cut in pieces the bodies of their Debtors, when destitute of meanes to pay what was due to them. But these Lawes are abolished, and the following Ages by a more feeling humanity, have universally condemned this cruelty as too barbarous. They ex­empted the poor from capital punishment, but not to leave them without chastisement imprinted shame in their foreheads, by ordaining their goods to bee publikly sold, that their infamy might be publick in like manner, choosing thereby rather to make bloud ascend into their faces, then to let it out of the bodies of such poore men.

How many other crimes doe you thinke there are in your State, whereof you know not the injustice, and which deserve to be corrected? Surely, seeing equity is the onely object all Laws ought to propose; Laws themselves are neither for the number of years or dignity of their Authour, but for the only consi­deration of the equity and justice that is in them for to bee commended. So that when once wee know they are destitute of this so necessary a condition, we have reason to neglect them though they have such authority, and condemn those which accuse them of [Page 22] injustice. But it is not enough to say your Laws are unjust, we must adde they are impertinent, and rash when they punish men for their Names sake onely, as those are that are published against Christians; if it bee true, Lawes ought to punish actions, if in respect of all other persons they will have the con­demnation to be grounded on the proofe of the fact, and not on the name of the accused: Is it not a strange thing that in our Cause they take onely the name we beare to punish us for the crimes they impute un­to us? I have committed incest, why require they not my life for the same? I have kill'd a Childe, how comes it to passe, they extort not from mee the confession of these crimes by racks, and tortures? I have offended the Majestie of the gods, and the Prince (say they) why is not my, defence heard to know if I have where with all to justifie my selfe with respect to those crimes they accuse me of? There is no law forbids mee to examine that which is liable to condemnation, neither doth a judge justly inflict punishment, unlesse he findes the accused to have of­fended against the publicke ordinances. Neither can a Citizen give the obedience that hee ought to the law, unlesse hee know of what nature the action is which, it punisheth. It sufficeth not the law bee good in it selfe: but so it must be knowne also from those from whom it expecteth obedience. For that is to be suspected which will not let us trie whether or no it be just: but without all apparent proofe of its equity will absolutely have what it condemneth to be executed. Such a Law cannot but be wicked.


But (to say something of the originall of the Lawes you oppose against us) there was an ancient Law that forbad introducing new ceremonies into Religion, as worshipping strange Deities, unless approved by the Senate: this was an inviolable and unalterable Law to which the Prince or Emperour himselfe was subject. Marcus AEmi­lius knew what his power was, when he would have had divine honours rendred to his Idol called the god Alburnus, but he could not obtaine the same. A strange thing, and advantagious for our part against you I that the gods with you must depend upon the approbation of men: if men like not God, hee shall no longer be a God; and man must now be propi­tious to God. It was by vertue of this Law the Em­perour Tiberius (under whom the name Christian began to be made famous) propounded to the Senate to receive among the number of their gods, Jesus Christ, of whom he heard great miracles had been done, from the intelligence given him by those Com­manders under him Palestine, the place where Christ our Master first Preached the mystery of his Divinity.

This Prince witnessed at first, that he enclined to ordaine for him the honour he rendred to his other gods: the Senate rejected the proposition, and would [Page 24] not approve of a God they did not know. Tiberius remained firme in his resolution, and threatned dis­grace to those that went about to accuse the Chri­stians.

Read your ancient Records: you shall finde there Nero the first of all the Emperours that persecuted our Religion, when it was in its birth: which much redounded to our glory, that this Monster should be the first of all others that condemned us; for whosoe­ver knew his life, must needs judge it could not other­wise be, but what he condemned was most highly to be esteemed.

Domitian (whose cruelty made up that of Nero's) did sometimes resolve also to molest us: but as his thoughts and resolutions were contrary to humane condition, his minde of it selfe turned to render, us the peace he had taken from us, and to recall those Christians he had banished. In briefe, we were ne­ver persecuted, but by Prince, whose actions were full of injustice, whose minds of impiety, and whose manners of shame and infamy, never persecuted of any but of those whose lives your owne selves are wont to condemn, and whose odious governments oblige you to revoke their judgements, in re-establi­shing innocents which have beene so miserable as to be the unhappy objects of their fury. Princes who by their vertue got the love of the people, have not been our enemies; and of all the Emperours com­manding this State till now, and that had any sense of Piety and Religion towards your gods, or whose conduct was animated by the spirit of humane wise­dome, [Page 25] you cannot name one that persecuted the Christians. On the contrary, it will bee found, the Emperour Marke Aurelius, a very wise Prince, was our Protector; if you see the Letters hee writ tou­ching the extreame incommodity his Army suffered whilst he made war in Germany, you shall finde hee there witnesseth, that the prayers of the Christian Souldiers in his Troops, obtained from Heaven that favourable raine which quenched the thirst where­with they were oppressed.

This Prince resolving to make acknowledgement of their affection, and the good will they bore him; and yet not purposing to infringe the authority of his Predecessors, did not publickly discharge the Chri­stians from the punishments enacted against them, but rendred their power useless in the sight of all the world, another way, by ordaining their Accusers to be inflicted also with the extreamest punishment. Consider then a little what force these Lawes ought to have, where none made use of them against us, but these Emperours that are defamed with all manner of impietie, injustice, villany, cruelty, lightness, and folly: which Trajan frustrated in part, in for­bidding to inquire after Christians which were ne­ver confirmed by an Adrian, a Prince curious of all rare and excellent things, by a Vespasian who con­quered Judea, by an Antoninus Pius, nor by a Marcus Aurelius: If our lives were wicked, as is supposed, we should not feare affliction from wicked Princes, because Companions of their Vices, but rather pun­nishment to bee inflicted upon us from them who [Page 26] make profession of honesty, whom being vertuous we might sooner feare to become our enemies and ready upon all occasions to seeke meanes to disturbe us.


BUT I could wish these men that appeare so religiously, and so zealously observant of their owne Lawes, and so severe defenders of things instituted by their Ancestors, would answer to the demands I shall make them; namely, whether they have kept their Faith inviolable? whether rendred the honour and obedience they ought to the good Rules left them by their fore-Fathers? whether there are not some Laws that have lost their power and authority among them? whether they have not passed beyond the bounds prescribed by ancient sim­plicity? or rather not banished from their policy all that their Fathers judged necessary and convenient to establish a good government? what are become of the Laws which cut off Luxury, superfluous and am­bitious expences? which commanded what we spent at a Feast should not exceed five shillings? that would have us serve up but one Hen at a meale, and that not a fat one neither? which forbad a Senator entrance into the Senate, who had in his house twen­ty markes of silver; (as if in that alone one might justly suspect he would seeme too magnificent) that [Page 27] would over throw the Theatres after newly set up, supposing the use of shewes would not serve but to corrupt manners? which would not suffer any man rashly and without punishment to usurp the emblems of great dignities, belonging to persons of noble birth?

But now I see superfluity gives names to Feasts, they call them Hundreds, because of s;o many hun­dred Crownesspent at such Feasts. They also draw out of the Mines silver to make Basins, not onely for Senators but Free-men, and those that not yet come to obtaine their freedome, yea that scarce exempt from the miseries of servitude: I see it is not enough in open Theatres to content the eyes of the People, but by drawing vast Covertures over, they arme themselves against the injuries of the Ayre, to fulfill their pleasures by the objects of those infamous re­presentations. For they imitate the Lacedemonians, who were the first that tooke care to see publique Playes at their ease, and covered themselves with large and heavy Gownes for feare lest during the winter, they should catch cold, in injoying their dis­honest and unchaste pleasures. I see no difference between the women of honour, and those that are in­famous and lewd; they observe not any longer those holy institutions of former times, that injoyned wo­men to have speciall care of modesty and tempe­rance. When a woman wore no more gold then that on the finger she put the Ring her Husband gave her the day shee was married, to bee the gage of her con­jugall Faith. When it was so absolutely forbidden [Page 28] women to drink Wine, that there was one that her neare Kinsman caused to be starved, because she had broke the seales wherewith his Cellars were shut up; and under the reigne of Romulus one Mecenius killed his Wife for the same cause, and was absol­ved for it.

Therefore it was established that they should kiss their Parents, that they might judge by their breath, if they had offended against this Law. Where are now those happy Mariages, and good maners, main­tained in such a perfect harmony, that we have seen neare six hundred years since the foundation of this City pass, without hearing so much as a divorce once spoke of in any one family onely?

Women now a dayes have never a part of their bodies which bows not under the weight of the gold they weare: a man cannot kiss them without smel­ling the Wine they drinke; and wee are fallen into those times, it seems, that people marry onely to be repudiated, and divorce is the fruit of marriage: But this is not all, for as religious as you will appear in the observation of the ancient institutions of your Fathers, you have revoked what they ordai­ned with serious deliberation concerning the wor­ship of your gods. The Consuls with the Authority of the Senate, banished, not only from the City, but also from all Italy; Father Bacchus, with all ceremo­nies done in his honour; Piso and Gabinius were not Christians, and yet during their Consulship, they forbad to place in the Capitoll, Serapis, Isis, Harpo­erates, and that Image which had the head of a dog, [Page 29] that is to say, they put them away from the Palace of the gods. They tooke from them their divine honours, and caused their Altars to be beat down, that the disorder of vaine and dishonest superstitions might be restrained.

You have re-established all these gods in the dig­nity they had taken from them, and make them per­take of honours due to the highest Majesty knowne by mortals. Tell me where is your Religion? where the reverence you owe to your fore-Fathers? you render your selves unlike them, in your habits, cu­stome of living, manners, opinions, and lastly in your very words & language? you always praise antiqui­ty, and every day, receive new things: so that you re­move from you as much as is possible, the laudable institutions of your Ancestors, and as for the things that are established, you keep none of them, but what deserve not to be kept. There is moreover, this in it, for I will shew presently that by a negligence, that injureth the authority of your fore-Fathers, although you have set up againe the Altars of Serapis, that by your means this god might be no more a stranger at Rome, and have presented your sacrifices to Bacchus, whom you cause to be worshipped in Italy, you have no more this great affection to the worship of the gods, which antiquity held so unfortunate an error, and so strange a blindness; you your selves destroy the Religion your Fathers taught you, whilest pass for its faithfull protectors, and accuse Christians principally of being guilty of impiety towards them; yet notwithstanding I must justifie our profession [Page 30] from the infamy of the hidden crimes which they object against it, that I may prepare a way, to arrive at the point which concernes the actions we doe in the sight of all the world.


I Say then, the crimes pretended against us, the horror whereof makes us pass for wicked in the opinion of the people, are, that wee meet toge­ther to sacrifice a childe; after we have taken away his life by a barbarous superstition, we devoure his body, and when devoured the flesh of this Innocent, we commit incests. They adde, we have Dogs who serve to overthrow the Candles, and doing the Of­fice of these infamous Merchants of modesty, make us lose all shame in taking the lights from us, and covering our actions under the vaile of darkness, em­boldens us to seek the use of ungodly and sacrilegious pleasures.

But so it is, we are not guilty, save in the discourse you make concerning us. It's a long time since you imputed to us all these things, and though you ac­cuse us of them everyday, yet you make not much inquiry to know the truth thereof. If you take us to be faulty, why make you not process against us as criminals? but seeing you have not as yer convicted us by a lawfull proceeding, you should not have such an evill opinion of us; and certainely that which [Page 31] moves you to use dissimulation in what concerns us, tells you wee are unjustly accused. Therefore is it you dare not undertake to informe against us, and when you give the Executioners the order they are to observe in tormenting Christians; you command them to draw from their mouthes; not the confession of what they are, but the disavowing the Religion they profess.

Now (as wee have already said) the doctrine which we follow, began from the time of the Em­perour Tiberius; from its beginning it hath drawne on it the hatreds of men: it hath met with as many enemies, as it hath found people in the darkness of Idolatry; even those who ought to have received it: The Jewes, to whom it was revealed, are set against it, by a spirit of jealousie , because it would destroy their Law. Soldiers in their usual persecuting us are accustomed to be against it, & our domesticks becom­ing our adversaries by an evill inclination of nature, have beene the first that made war against it. From thece it coms, that every day we see our selvs besieg'd, we are betrayed at every instant, and very often they take us in our Assemblies. This being so, I ask when did it fall out, that ever any one surprized us at the same time, when a Childe having the knife set to his throat, gave forth his last crye before we cut his winde-pipe asunder? was there any that finding a Christians mouth bleeding, as of the Cyclops, and the Cyrenes after such a deed done by us, presented it to the Judges? Who among you ever discerned in his Wite any symptome or token of unchastity, after [Page 32] our Religion at any time sincerely imbraced by her? Is it possible our Enemies should hide such strange crimes as laid to our charge, after once discovering us to be faulty therein? or that they that take such a pride in persecuting and dragging us before the Tri­bunall of justice, should be corrupted in our behalfe? you say we doe nothing but in obscurity: if it bee as you say, tell us, when knew you wee did what you accuse us of, and in whose power it was to give you the certaine knowledge of it? it's not likely you had it from the mouthes of them you judge guiltie: for all Mysteries are to be kept secret; and to partake of them as we ought, the Law of si­lence is faithfully to be observed by us. Men usually say nothing of the mysteries of Samothracia or Eleusi­na: How much rather ought they to bee carefull, not to reveale those which would excite against them, were they knowne the rigour both of humane and divine justice.

They are not Christians it seems then, that disco­ver themselves unto you; and if not Christians, then must they be people of different profession, that dis­course of their actions. But how should such a peo­ples knowledge bee informed in those mysteries to be laid open by them, seeing even the ceremonies where piety presides puts away the profane, and suffers no strange witnesses, unless they will have it said, Christians are impious, and the wicked feare lesse to be seen then the good. So you must confess you know nothing of our doings, but by common bruit, uncertain proofe, of the weakeness whereof [Page 33] there is no man ignorant? Is there any who knows not the nature of it? One of your Authours said, same is the swiftest of all evils? why thinke you call they it an evill? is it because of its swiftness? or because its principall office is to discover hidden things? or that it often declareth lies; indeed it hath this evill quality, even when reporting something of truth it cannot forbeare to mingle the same with lea­sing or falshood. Truth never passeth purely through fames mouth, either she adds something to, or takes something from, or makes some notable change in it: besides, she hath also this fault, her credit lasts no longer then she lies: she hath no life, but so long as she certainly proves nothing: so soon as make e­vident her proofe, she ceaseth to be any longer Fame, whose property is to make relation of nothing but what's not certainly knowne: so soone [...]s delivered for certaine, the assurance of the thing delivered suc­ceeds immediatly into its place, as being no longer a bruit, but a knowne and profess'd truth. At what time and when such a thing is known, we say not it's so reported, or so the bruit goes, but so or so it is without doubt.

For example, we use to say, such a man hath got such a government, in such a Province, when wee know certainly hee hath got the same: and when not, it is so famed, or so reported. After we are assu­red of a thing, we make no more reekoning of Fame, which is an expression of doubt and uncertainty. So there are none but fools ground themselves upon re­ports; wise men believe nothing but what is certain, [Page 34] and what time also hath verified on her behalfe. And certainly, as generall and diffused as same may bee, what beliefe soever she hath got with men, and with what assurance soever they esteeme her, wee must alwayes consider she had a beginning since she hath passed through divers tongues and eares, which have given her the vogue shee hath in the world. Her originall is ordinarily weake and vici­ous: but together with all her faults she authoriseth and covers all that is added to her from her birth, because no body mounts up to the sourse, and trou­bles himselfe to know whether or no the first Au­thor of the relation thereof began with a lie: which falls out often, either through hatred to them same teares in peeces, or liberty usurped to make evill judg­ments upon simple suspitions, or the pleasure some take in lying, a pleasure not new among men, and to which many are so naturally inclined. But God be thanked, time reveals the truth of all things; it is a sentence wee have from you, and whereof wee make use against you, the established order of nature cannot suffer any thing long to remaine hid: but in the end makes that appear which fame had not dis­covered. Judge then if it be as reasonable you should still persecute us seeing after so long time ther's no­thing but bare report to informe you in the know­ledge of the crimes we are supposed to commit, no­thing proved against us by you, but her restimony which is so much the more evill, because shee can­not yet prove what she bath heeretofore invented to make us appeare odious, and which for so many [Page 35] yeares shee hath affirmed upon the opinion onely of certaine men.


IT is not enough to shew you the weakenesse of the proofes you imploy against us, I will make knowne our innocence by your own judgement, to overthrow the opinion you have conceived a­gainst our life: I demand but the testimony of nature, who is your mother as well as ours. Suppose Chri­stians promise Eternall life, as a recompence for all these crimes so full of horrour: You may believe it if you list, but I would also know, if after perswaded by such blacke actions a man might merit Heaven, you would bee so barbarous as to desire it at such a rate. Can it be imagined one should say these words or the like unto you? come on hither, die your sword in the bloud of a Child, I say in a Childs bloud whose tender age ought to have no enemy, who cannot be guilty of injuring any body, and whom every one with a fatherly Love ought to cherish.

Or if the charge of shedding a Childs bloud bee committed to another, can it be supposed we should use this discourse unto you? Be present at the bloody death of an infant who meets with the end of his life in the beginning of his dayes, see a soule depart out of a body so soone as it came in, take this blood [Page 36] newly animated, dip your bread in it, and fill your selfe with the substance thereof. Againe, while at Table, marke well where your Mother, and Sister, are seated, that you may not faile to find them out, after they are left in the darke, by dogs overthrow­ing the Candles, consequently extinguishing the lignt. For you must know, you cannot but be faulty if you commit not incest. If profiting by these our in­structions, you square your Faith by the practise of such actions, assure your selfe you shall receive ever­lasting life. Answer me now, would you to get this never fading selicity do things so contrary to all hu­manity? If nature it selfe be of force sufficient to di­vert your owne minds from acting such irregular courses, you cannot I perswade my selfe, be induced to believe that other men would bee faulty therein: Yea though yee certainly believe this the onely way to eternall happinesse. I dare say you would not by such meanes so barberously difile your selves; no neither if you had any such desire, have the cou­rage to performe the same. Judge then of us by your selves, and know wee can no more commit these crimes then you, or if wee can, your selves as liable thereunto as we.

But what do you thinke our judgements different form yours? that Christians of another race of man­kind then you are? do you take us for the Cynocephales, & Sciapodes, Monsters of India & Lybia? do you believe we are made otherwise then other men, that the fa­culties of our bodies otherwise disposed and by a sa­vagenesse more then the most brutish of all people, [Page 37] us onely to feed on blood, and violate the Lawes of nature, in the use embracements which it forbids? Certainly if believe these things of Christians ther's som what in it that you should doe so, we are men as well as you: And therefore if your souls abhor such like actions, you ought not imagine us in regard men as well as Christians, to commit them. You ac­knowledge these crimes contrary to nature: but you say we deceive them who know us not; as if the ca­lumnies you invented against the Christians were not publicke or any could be ignorant thereof. That which all the world knowes cannot be dissembled, and those who have embraced the Law of Jesus Christ, take not this resolution, without well consi­dering it: but after all things exactly pondered they finde we are innocent of the crimes wherewith they accuse us. Besides, its a common use, that those who will be instructed in a Religion, adresse them­selves to the cheise Priests, to learne of them what they ought to prepare that pertake of his mysteries. Then if it be true, Christians are guilty of these im­pieties, there's no doubt but the Priest, whose charge is to receive him who would bee instructed, speakes to him in this manner: Friend, you must be carefull to provide a childe that is yet in the innocence of his first age, who knowes not what death means, and re­joiceth at the sight of the knife that must cut his throat.

You must have a loafe to put under the wound to receive the bloud which runnes from it. You must make provision of Candlesticks and Lamps: You [Page 38] must bring Dogs; which when you throw meat to them to eat out of the reach of the string where­with tied, the desire of filling themselves there­with may excite them to make such a leape, that they overthrow the Candlesticks to which they are tied, and by this means put out the lights: but first it is necessary you cause your Mother and Sister to be present. Yea, but how if they wil not consent to it? If he hath neither Mother nor Sister? If no kindred that would be a Christian, can he not be received? and these relations of Brother or Son, are they essen­tiall to the qualitie of Christians? I say more, sup­pose they have all these things ready, without ad­vertising those who have no knowledge thereof: one cannot denie but they learne presently what is done in their Assemblies; and yet they remain firme, af­ter turning unto Christianity they complaine not of being deceived: but you say they feare to be puni­shed, if they discover the evill they have done. Con­trarily, if any be found that call for the publick Au­thority against Christians as against impostors, there would be none but would speake in their behalfe. Moreover, if the actions of Christians were so dete­stable as you make the, those whom they should so abuse, would rather expose themselves to death then live with the remorse of so criminall a consci­ence. But after all, suppose they feare to accuse themselves, how comes it they perservere so con­stantly, and keep their religion in the midst of perse­cutions? for men are not wont to tie themselves with such constancy to a profession, which they had [Page 39] not imbraced, if not beene well inform'd of it form the beginnig.


BUT, to make it knowne wee are not guilty of these crimes, I will shew, that you your selves in publick & private cōmit the same; for it may bee for this reason it is you lay them to our charge. Men heretofore publickly sacrificed Children in A­frica to Saturn, untill the time of Tiberius, by whose Commandment, he that governed this Province un­der him, abolish'd so strange a barbarisme, causing the Priests, the authours of these impieties, to be put to death in their room, on the trees which were near the Temple of this god; trees whereon they were wont to hang the offerings they presented to him, and where the leaves seemed to comply with the crimes committed under their shades.

A just punishment, and which these miserable creatures suffered in the view of the Souldiers, in the Countrey of my Nativity, who served the Liev­tenant of the Emperour in the execution of this com­mission. They still continue these bloudy and dete­stable sacrifices: but they doe them privately, and hide themselves when they shed the bloud of inno­cents.

So you see they are not Christians onely that con­temne your Lawes: your owne people slight your [Page 40] injunctions: whatsoever severity used by you, you cannot throughly pluck out of mens hearts the roots of this criminall devotion, and your gods change not their manners, in having changed their condi­tion.

Saturn that pardoned not his own children, much lesse would spare children not his owne. Since hee ceased to live upon the earth, hee lost not the desire of bloud he had before. Ever since men made him a god, he continually receiveth the offering up of in­nocents unto him from the hands of their owne Fa­thers, who by an unlucky superstition, making sacri­fices to their gods, take away the lives of them to whom they had given the same; who voluntarily ob­liged themselves to this impiety; and who in this action where their owne Children were the victims sacrificed by them, entertained them with flatteries, not without any feeling of compassion, fearing the mystery might be interrupted, it they suffer not their throats to be cut without shedding teares. Tell us a little, whether the crime of murther you impute to us, be not farre beneath that of Paricide, which your People are guilty of? The Gauls offred on the Altars of Mercury, men which had attained to their full strength or age of perfection.

I Passe by the fables of the horrible sacrifices that were offered up in the Temple of Diana Taurica, as matter fitter to be represented on Theatres. There is also in this so religious a City, and Temples of the Pious off-spring of AEneas, a Jupiter in honour of whom they make playes, where they shed humane [Page 41] bloud, by Combates with men and wild Beasts. You tell me, you expose none but those that are already condemned to dye. Alas, what then? Is it not the shedding of humane bloud, to shed the bloud of these miserable creatures? But this sacrifice, is it not much more detestable, then the bloud of the wicked which is presented to a God? whatsoever excuse you may seek for, this truth remaines alwayes certaine, that this bloud which you offer, is the bloud of a man, whom you have caused to be cut in pieces, and you cannot accomplish your vowes without committing murther.

Certainly, your Jupiter much resembles Jesus Christ: for he thirsts as much for bloud, as you sup­pose our Master loves to see it shed, and as he is the onely Son of his Father; which you must acknow­ledge could never bee, had not Saturne a cruell heart.

Let us passe now form murthering children in s­crifices, to other kinde of wilfull murthering by their Parents; (for in what manner soever they take away their childrens lives, it is alwayes murthering them, although not alwayes alike hainous:) I will then address my speech to all Idolaters: how many are there among you, O ye people, that are this way greedy of the bloud of Christians? and also among you, O ye Magistrates, that after you appeare such great Justiciers by the severity you treat us with, whose consciences I would strike with true reproa­ches of having procured the death of your own chil­dren? yet if you did but simply put them to death, [Page 42] it were somewhat; but by a strange excess of cruel­ty, you throw them into the water, you expose them to the rigour of cold and hunger, and the rage of dogs: you will not take their lives away with the sword, because too gentle a death, and which men of the age of discretion had rather suffer, then any other that hath violence in it.

As for us that are Christians, homicide is particu­larly forbidden us, by vertue whereof, it's likewise inhibited us to destroy that which the Mother hath conceived in her womb, though yet but bloud, and deliberating (as I may so speake) in the presence of nature, whether or no it take the forme of man: It's a committing murther before hand, to destroy that which is to be born; and as much evill in hindring the birth of a soule, as in plucking it out of the bo­dy when it is borne: that which should come into the world being a man, and the fruit already in the seed which produceth it.

As for that custome, so full of inhumanity, to drinke bloud, and to feed on such tragick meats, you may read further in Herodotus, it being he, as I think, who reports, that certaine Nations assembling to sweare Treaties, were accustomed to draw bloud from their Armes, which presenting one to the o­ther, they drank solemnly.

There passed some such thing in the conjuration of Cateline. They say also among the Scythians, in certaine Families they that are neare alli'd use to devoure the bodies of their dead kindred: but wee need not goe so far; we have among us the use of [Page 43] these barbarous ceremonies. The Priests of Bellona, shedding their owne bloud, and consecrating it to their Goddess, after putting it in the palme of their hand, give it to those who participate with them in their mysteries. In the publick spectacles of the combats of the Gladiators, they that are subject to the falling sickness, seek their cure by the practice of a Remedy worse then the Disease, viz. seeing the bloud of these wretched creatures newly slaine; they receive the same while running from their wounds, and to obtaine their healths, fill themselves in such a bruitish greediness, with the substance of these poore people, who are men as well them­selves.

What shall wee say of these that make whole meals meats of these poor creatures (before key-cold) kill'd upon the place of combate, and aske at the same time for a piece of the wild Boare, and of the Stag lying dead also upon the place? a piece of that wild Boare, which having torn in pieces his assailant, whilst they were yet in the encounter, licked up the bloud flowing from his wounds; againe a piece of that Stag, even yet sweltring in the gore of the Gla­diator whom he pierced with his horne: The peo­ple also aske for the intrails of Beares, which are full of the bodies of men they have devoured; so men fill themselves with flesh nourished by that of men. As for you that cat these meats, how much are your meales different from the meales of Christians? But what judgement shall all one give of these who by a bruitish concupiscense make impure meat for them­selves [Page 44] of that which contributeth to the birth of men? are they lesse guilty then others, because they devour the substance of the living? can one say in the filth to which they abandon themsolves, there is no humane bloud, because the matter they suck in is that where­with bloud is made? These people eat not onely children, but men, old enough to put other men into the world.

Certainly it must needs bee, these disorders with you, should make you blush before Christians, who as you know, eat not the blood of any creature, and for that reason feed not on the meat of any creatures stifled, and abstaine from that of beasts which have not been slaine, for feare they should have the least bloud that is, even that dri'd up or yet remaining in the flesh of the strangled beast to defile themselves with.

This is the reason also, you offer them puddings made with the bloud of beasts when you trie them, being well informed, that what you suppose they sin most in, if they accepted thereof, is most straitly interdicted them. Is it possible, think you, we thirst after the bloud of men, when you know by experi­ence, we abhorre the bloud even of beasts? This opi­nion cannot enter into your mindes, unless having tasted of the one and the other both, humane bloud seems to you the most pleasing.

But if perswaded Christians inhumanly devoure this bloud, how comes it to pass you make not use thereof to trie them? you should offer them mans bloud, as usually you offer them incense-fire: They'l [Page 45] soon discover themselves in not taking this drinke from your hands, as when refuse to sacrifice Incense; and thereby you may have this advantage of two severall proofes to condemne them with; namely, their refusing to taste mans bloud, and their not of­fering up Incense to your gods.

The criminall justice you execute upon supposed offenders will furnish you this way with bloud e­nough to convince all manner of Christians brought before you. But to speak of the crime of Incest, who should a man sooner suspect to be guilty of this wic­kedness, then those to whom the greatest of their gods (to wit, Jupiter) hath given an example? The Persians (as Cresias reports) mingle themselves inces­tuously with their owne Mothers. The Macedonians it seems are not exempt from this sin, in regard the mocking complaints Oedipus makes in the Tragedy of Sophocles, because of the Incest he had committed with Jocaste, in laughing to see him so afflicted, they said, goe fight generously, and overcome your Mo­ther. As for you, if open but your owne eyes, you cannot but take notice, that Incontinence, whose slaves you are, nourisheth you with disorders, in­considerately precipitating you into this soule crime: for you expose your children to the open aire by put­ting them from you, that passengers having more compassion of their hard destiny then your selves, might bring them up, or else make them over to be adopted by other Fathers of a better disposition then your selves: Now it cannot be, but in time you lose the knowledge of your bloud, which you aban­don [Page 46] to strangers, and when once for want of this knowledge, begin to offend the errour in which you so imprudently ingage your selves, increasing by course of yeares, your care will perpetuate it selfe with the vice of its incestuous beginning. And truly your lust accompanies you in all places where you goe: it remains with you in your houses: it leaves you not when you travell; it passeth Sea with you, from whence it falls out you lose no opportunity ful­filling your concupiscence, it's very difficult not to meet in some places of the World with persons that know not your birth, and theirs have the same be­ginning, and that descended of the same kinred and lineage that you are. It's also very hard, leaving your seed all the world over, it produceth not chil­dren unto you which by the commerce men have one with another, are joyned to you, or yours, by an in­cestuous conjunction, and thereby mingling your bloud with that of your neer kinred, without know­ing the same.

As for us, the chastity whereof wee make exact profession, and which wee keep with greatest assu­rance, will warrant us from these accidents, and as inable us against incontinency, by living purely in the estate of marriage, preserve us from falling in­to the sin of Incest.

Yea, there are many among us, who to avoid these disorders, with greater prevention, vow to God their virginity, which they happily keep till the extremity of old age, that (as it were) renders and renewes unto them the innocency of their first [Page 47] yeares. Certainly, if consider you your selves guilty of these crimes imputed by you to Christians, you would presently confesse that they are innocent. The light of your owne understanding could not butcon­demn your selves and acquit them at one and the same instant. But it falls out ordinarily, by the ren­counter of a double blindness, that they who see not that which is, imagine they see that which is nor. I will shew you by and by the truth of this proposi­tion in all things, but speake first of those which are more manifest.


YOU say we doe not worship the gods, nor for the welfare of the Emperours offer Sa­crifices unto them. The one of these two crimes whereof you accuse us, must necessarily fol­low upon the neck, or in consequence of the other: for being resolved to render no manner of worship to your deities, wee must necessarily bee resolved in like manner, not to sacrifice to their Altars, whe­ther for our selves, or for what person soever it be. Hereupon you conclude us guiltie of sacriledge and high treason, which is the upshot of what you charge us withall : and the argument most convin­cing of all other, whereof you accuse us. And truly it well deserves to be examined, because the judge­ment of our innocence wholly depends, thereon: the [Page 48] judgment I say of our guilt or innocence in this mat­ter, that neither prejudice nor injustice pronounce the sentence: not prejudice which upon all occasi­ons refuseth to heare, nor injustice which by all means refuseth to allow of truth when ready to bee alleaged in our defence: We say then, we have de­sisted from honouring your gods, since the first time we knew them to bee no gods. That which to bee expected by you from us, is, wee prove those you a­dore as gods, to bee no gods, and therefore unwor­thy the worship you render them: for it is true, ho­nour should be due unto them, if they were true dei­ties; and Christians were punishable, if this title of a god appertained unto tnose whom they refuse to adore, for the opinion onely they conceive they are no gods. But you adde, they are your gods: in an­swer thereunto, we appeale from your words to your Consciences: We are willing they both judge and condemn us, if it can be maintained your gods have not been men as well as your selves; if it be denied, we will convince it of falshood, by the testimony of antiquitie, which shewes us the Cities where they were born, the Countries where they left Monuments of their actions, and places where they were buried.

I will not stay to speake to you of all particularly: there is too great a number of them, new, old, Bar­barians, Greeks, Romans, Strangers, Captives, gods that are particularly adored in each Province, those that are knowne in Greece and at Rome males, and females, gods of Countries, and gods of Cities, Sea­faring and Warfaring gods. It were to lose time [Page 49] to repeat what may bee said of every one of them, I will onely speake of them in grosse, not to make you know them, but to recall your knowledge by remembring their beginning, which it seemes you have forgot.

You have never a god ancienter then Saturn: from him begins all that Deity to which you address your Vows, at least the principall and the most known: That which you say touching his originall, may fit­ly enough be applyed to those descended from him. If believe written Books, we shal find that neither Di­odorus Siculus nor Tallus, nor Crassus Severus, nor Corne­lius Nepos, nor any other ancient Historian, have spoke of Saturne otherwise then of a man. If seeke for proofes drawn out of publick Records or monu­ments, we cannot meet with faithfuller, or more certaine then those we have in Italy it selfe, where we learn, that Saturn after many Voya ges landed in this Province, while comming from greece, and was re­ceived there by Janus or Janes (as the Saliens will have it.) The Mountaine where he dwelt was called Saturnien: the Citie hee founded carries even untill now, the same appellation, and in conclusion all Ita­ly after that of Oenotirian was called by his name. It was hee who first found out the invention of Tables and signing or marking money with the Image of Princes, from whence it comes, that the publique Treasure is placed by you in his Temple: Now if Saturn were a man, hee was the Son of another man; and being his Father was a man, you cannot say he was the Son of Heaven, and Earth.

[Page 50]It is an errour proceeding from hence when Saurn, so cal'd, that his original was not known, and because they knew not of what race hee was, they easily fell to this beliefe, that he had for his Parents Heaven and Earth, the which a man justly may stile the parents of all Mankinde: for who is he that for re­verence or honours sake, calls not Heaven and Earth the Father and Mother of us all? or else they had this thought of Saturn, namely, that as men are u­sed to say of those they never saw; till comming up­on them on a sudden, they are come from Hea­ven.

So Saturne in person thus surprising the Inhabi­tants of the places where he first landed, passed af­ter for a Divine person, the vulgar calling them Children of the Earth, also whose originall is alto­gether uncertaine to them. I could tell you people in these times were so grosse, that if a man not wont formerly to bee among them, shewed himselfe to them, they were moved with it in the same man­ner, as if they had seene a god. Which ought not seem strange, leeing now adaies, the wits of men are so refined, that at present put them in the number of the living gods, who a little before by the Cere­mony of a funerall pomp, you knew to bee onely dead men. Enough of Saturn, although but a little spoken of him. Wee will shew now that as Jupiter the Son of a Man, hee was Man also, as well as his Father, and all the discent of your gods mortall, and of the same condition with those, of whom taking their Birth they are descended.


BUT because you dare not deny your gods have lived as men, to the end you may justifie the worship given by you unto them; you say, their deities were established unto them after death: let us then examine the causes that should raise men up into this glory.

First, you must grant a greater God then them, a po­wer upon which the power of your gods depends, as of their Soveraign, a god who made those your gods of mé, by endowing them with a divine nature; for of themselves they could never attaine this qualitie which was not in them, neither is there any but hee who had it of his owne nature, that could give a part thereof to them to whom it did not appertaine ori­ginally: That if there were not a God, who gave this divinitie to men: if not, acknowledge this principle Author; it would be but in vaine to think they were made gods after they ceased to live here on the Earth as men. Briefly, had they had the power of making themselves gods, they would never have been born men, and subjected themselves to mortality, while injoy they might the possession of a far more excellent condition.

Then if there bee a chiefe God that makes gods, I returne to the search of the causes which should ob­lige him, being the chiefest, to communicate to men [Page 52] this high Majestie: and I finde none unless wee say this chiefe God had need of their ministry where­with to exercise his functions more perfectly: But it's an injuring the Authour of all things, to thinke he needed the help of any one living, much lesse should imploy to so excellent an end the ministry of dead men. This wise providence could not but well foresee such an assistance would be necessary to him for the time to come, and in this foreknowledge it had been more convenient for him to make gods as­sistant to himselfe from the very beginning, then stay the end of these mens lives subjected to mortalitie, whom he purposed to make his fellow gods.

But I see no need God Almighty had to make o­ther gods; for what manner of thought soever wee have of this world, whether it bad no beginning and was never made, (according to the opinion of Pytha­goras) or that there was a time when it had a begin­ning, & was made, (according to the opinion of plato) the eternall Wisdome at the same instant doubtless when he formed it, foresaw by an absolute & admi­rable exquisiteness all that was necessary for the go­vernment thereof; he who gives perfection to all o­ther things, could not be imperfect to himselfe, as ex­pecting help from Saturn, or any other of Saturns race to adde ro his perfection.

Men would be thought to be very simple if from the beginning of time they believed not both raine to have fallen from the Clouds, starrs to have darted out their beames from Heaven, light to have shone, Thunder to have made a noise, and Jupiter himselfe [Page 53] to have trembled (as it were) at the terrible roa­ring of Thunderbolts put by God into his hands. Al­so the Earth produced all sorts of fruits before Bac­chus, Ceres and Minerva lived, yea before those whom you make your greatest Gods raigned upon the Earth. That which serves to entertaine the life of man is as ancient as himselfe, providence giving him a being, I gave him at the same time all things whereof hee stood in need; and men could not have invented any thing more for their preservation, then what was before: let them not say therefore they are the Authors; but onely after finding out the same, when created before by God that taught others how they should make use thereof, which presup­poseth such things were before such, as they shew­ed their use. And from thence followes the glory or honour thereof is not to be attributed to men, but to him to whom they themselves owe their origi­nall. If Bacchus were put in the number of the Gods, because hee first taught men to plant the Vine, cer­tainly they have ill treated Lucullus in not making him a god also, he being the first who planted Cher­ry-trees in Italy, brought by him from the Kingdom of Pontus; for they ought also to have made him a god, as Author of a new fruit, because he first gave them knowledge of it. Wherefore seeing from the beginning all wee see dono in the Universe, hath beene done before, as likewise all things ordayned to certaine functions of their nature, this first reason, for which suppose God communicated his deity to men is rendred of no force because the same facul­ties [Page 54] you give to each of your Gods inventing, were from the beginning of the world created by God, and should never have seased to bee, or to produce their excellent effects, though you had never esta­blished those your gods. Seeke yee therefore ano­ther reason for mons being sacrificed unto, as unto gods, by saying that deifying them is the reward of their eminent vertues. From whence I suppose you must grant that this God that makes other Gods, go­verns by the rules of exact justice, and distributes not so noble a recompence rashly, without measuring his liberallity, and considering the merit of those whom he calls to his glory. I will therefore examine these mens actions whom you now adore as gods, to see if they be of a condition that render them worthy to bee listed up to Heaven, or not rather (which as a man would thinke) should have cast them headlong into the bottome of Hell, a Prison (as you say som­times) wherein the wicked are shut up, to receive the punishment of their crimes. A place where (ac­cording to your opinion) those are imprisoned who have banished from their hearts the naturall Piety that Children ought to shew towards their Parents; a place whither those are confined who commit in­cests with their sisters, who corrupt married wo­men, ravish Mayds, defile themselves with boyes, use all manner of violence or outrage, kill, steale, and deceive their neighboures, and who (to shut up all in a word) by their vices, are like some of your gods; for you cannot make appeare one of them was ever exempted from all manner of faults, unlesse de­ny [Page 55] him to bee at any time man. But you must ac­knowledge, your gods have been of the condition of men, because the actions you attribute to them wit­nesseth they were subject to such disorders, as are to­kens of the weakness of our nature, and tokens I say which permit not, wee can be perswaded that after death they should be stiled gods.

In a word, if wont to punish those who suffer themselves to be carried away with these disorders; if as many of you as are people any good manners, avoid the commerce, conversation, and societie of vicious and infamous persons, thinke you, God hath called you to possession of his Deitie those whom they resemble? or if any such matter believed by you, how comes it to pass you condemn criminals? you that adore the companions of their crimes? the justice you seem to exereise in this world, serves not in heaven but for a subject of mockery, and derision. If render your selves conformable to your gods, you must ascribe divine honours to the wickedst of all men, it being an honour to those gods you adore, to make gods of men most like unto them in all maner of abhominable filthiness.

But to omit speaking any further of things so un­worthy of divine worship, I could wish so long as they lived here below, they had been of better re­port, had passed their dayes here in perfect integrity. How many nevertheless of better reputation then these whom you worship for gods, have you left in Hell? have you not there put Socrates so renowned for his wisdome? Also Aristides, no less famous to [Page 56] all posteritie for his justice? Themistocles, who was so excellent a Souldier? Alexander, who by his high, enterprizes made himself so great and terrible? Policrates, who was so happy? Craesus who possessed so much riches? and Demosthenes whose eloquence was so admirable? Were there any of your gods wiser then Cato? juster, or more warlike then Scipio? greater then Pompey? happier then Sylla? richer then Crassus? and eloquenter then Cicero? Certainly, God who knowes perfectly the merit of men, being to have his divine nature, communicated to mortall men, would have thought his graces with more e­quitie distributed if hee had stayed for the death of these persons to make gods of them.

But it may be he made too much haste, and there­upon after he had taken the men whom you adore, to be partakers with him of his divine Majesty, shut­ing up Heavens doores, could not call thither any o­ther, these faire souls in the mean while going down to Hell; where murmuring against his injustice, by their complaint, from thence they make him still blush with shame enough unto this day.


NOT insisting on these things any longer, I will shew you the true condition of your gods, and thereby demonstratively make it appeare that indeed they were never gods. Touch­ing [Page 57] whom to say what I have heard and read, I find nothing at all but the names of certaine men long since dead, fabulous reports of what they did in their life time, and thereof composed mysteries made sa­cred to mock the common-people withall. As for the Images you adore, that which seems to me most ridiculous, is, they are made of the same matter that other Vessels, wherewith you are ordinarily served: or rather of your moveable goods you make gods, by your consecrating them, and thereby chan­ging the uses whereunto at first ordained by the help of Art; also you give them another form, then what they had, and of the matter thereof compose figures which you call gods: which workes cannot without much abuse and wronging the Divine Na­ture be done by you.

From whence neverthelesse we that are Christi­ans may take occasion of comforting our selves with respect to those evills your gods cause us to suffer, seeing the same you make them endure before ob­taine from you the titles of gods. So wheras you tye Christians to Crosses and peeces of wood; have you any image that in making thereof hath not been first fixed to such like stakes before compleated in­to such a shape, as thought fit by you to be worship­ped in? you hang us up as publick spectacles unto all men upon Gibbets. Is it not on a Gibbet that the Masse or body of those things you call gods is set up before worshipped by you? You pearce our bodies with irons, and when forming your gods of wood, use you not the like violence with Sawes, Chissels, [Page 58] and such like iron instruments upon each member of them also? You cut off our heads, and your gods have no heads till after fastened by you to their bo­dies, with Soder, Ciment, and Iron Cramps.

You expose us to the rage of wild beasts, and are they not such beasts you make to keepe company with, Bacchus, Cybele and Ceres, men carving or pain­ting them therewith? You throw us into the flames, and have not your gods beene tryed therewith when of a shapelesse matter, the Smiths hand formed them into a Comelier figure out of the fire? you condemn us to worke in mines, and is it not from thence your Gods made of silver and gold fetch their originall? you confine us to Islands, and have not some of your gods taken their birth, and others their death there? If any divinity in these things, it will follow, men consecrate these they punish, and that punishments are imbraced instead of gods. But in truth your gods neither know the outrages men do unto them, when they work upon their Statues, nor the honours they render them when adore and present sacrifices to them.

Most vile and prophane Wretches, that speak af­ter this sort, that dare utter such blasphemous words (say you of us) in reproach of our gods, bee as angry and fume with rage as long as you list, whatever say, you are they that have approved the workes of Sene­ca, though inveighing more eagerly though penn'd with much more vehemence against this your super­stition. Then if wee doe not adore Statues and Fi­gures, which are as cold as the dead bodies they re­present, [Page 59] and whereof the beasts know their insensi­bility; our resolution that proceeds but from the light of truth, which coming to inlighten our minds, makes us renounce your errour. Is it not worthy ra­ther of praises, then of the torments wee suffer? Is it possible we can offend them whom wee know very well that they are not? That which is not, suf­fereth no manner of injury from any body, because it is not.


BUT you say the gods we offend are your gods; if it be so, from whence comes it, that by your actions you shew your selves impious and sa­crilegious towards them. I will maintaine it you undervalue those whom you take to bee your gods, you overthrow their Altars at the same time you are thought to reverence them, and detract from the glory thereof when you would appeare to be so zea­lous. Examine what follows, and see whether I say the truth.

Is it not so that some among you adore certaine gods which others adore not? you cannot deny but you wrong those gods whom you render no honour to: the preferring of some gods necessarily implieth the neglect of others, because when of two things we chuse one, it's certaine we reject that we chuse not [Page 60] and consequently neglect the same. So you despise the gods you know not, and testifie you feare not to offend them, in denying them the worship where­with you honour other Deities.

But (as we have touched upon before) the condi­tion of each of your gods, depends upon the appro bation of men. Hee is not a god whom your Se­nate, while not approving of, refuseth to owne as God.

As for your domestick gods (stiled of you by the names of Lares) you dispose of them even as of your other houshold or domestick goods, pawning, selling, and changing them upon all occasions, as your selvs list: of a Saturne and Minerva you make goods for your Kitchin, when these Images are spoyled and broke with old age, in having too long time recei­ved divine honors: or else if you find your selves in­commodated in your affaires, you make money of them to help the necessity wherwith you are pressed, in which you finde more holiness, then in your gods, seeing you preferre it before the worship you render them.

You use the gods of the publick no better, then those private Lares made use of. You imploy the authority of justice to prostitute them; you put them into the Book of the publique revenew, and let them out to those that offer most for them, even as you are wont to farme those incomes that are rai­sed in the Capitol and Market. A Crier publisheth the prices of a Deitie, and in pronouncing what you judge it to bee worth doth it solemnly, and in the [Page 61] same forme as all other things prized by you; a Treasurer keeps Registers of the price of the Farme of a god, as of the price of all other farmes. It seems Land charged with tribute is of lesse value, then Land not subject to any duty; a man that is impo­sed to a personall tax, is not noble, as a man that is exempted from it; for these charges are markes of servitude.

Contrarily, among the gods those which pay a greater tribute are not most to be adored, but rather those to whom men have the most devotion, render a greater tribute then others. They make a shame­full commerce of the Majesty of the gods: they car­ry their Images even into Ale-houses, that Religion may began Alms there: they take money for their entrance into the Temple, & for the place they occu­py there: one cannot make use of the gods freely, and their mysteries are not exempted from sale also. But what doe you in honouring them, you doe not also practice in celebrating the memory of dead men? you erect Temples and Altars both to the one, and the other, their Statues have the same Ornaments; You dress up those for men according to the diver­sitie of their age and condition: you observe the same thing of the gods.

What difference is there between the Feast made in honour of Jupiter, and Feasts of the Funerals of the dead? between the Vessels out of which they powre Wine in sacrifices, and those they usually offer to the shades of the dead? between the Augure, and he that hath the charge of the Graves? For hee doth [Page 62] the Office of an Augure, in Funerall Ceremonies, yet we must acknowledge you justly place your Em­perours after dead in the number of the gods, seeing whilest they lived you conferred this honour upon them. Your gods are obliged to you, and they ought to thank you, because of their Masters you make them their equalls: But whereas you attribute di­vine honour unto Larentina a Common Whore, I Would rather advise you to worship among your Ju­no's, Ceres, and Diana's: Lais or phryne after the same manner. You erect a Statue to Simon Magus, with this Inscription, This is the Statue of a Deity. You make a Deity of I know not whom, of one that hath been bred with infamous education, and prostrated to the lewdest pleasures, even those which Nature her selfe abhorres; albeit your gods of old (being of the same stamp) were no better then such, yet they take themselves nevertheless to be fouly reproached by you when using libertie to worship the aforesaid men and women with what ever divine rites your selves list, you give the same honour to others of la­ter edition, which was wont anciently to be ascribed onely unto themselves.


I Will now say somthing of the rites and ceremo­nies of your Religion; not insisting much on the condition of your sacrifices, where the beasts you [Page 63] offer are the oldest and worst you can find: when your sacrifices are fat and well fed you keep the best of them; and offer to your gods, onely unprofitable peeces cut off from severall parts, and accustomed to be given by you in your houses, to servants or dogs. Even as of the tenth part of your goods vowed by you to Hercules, you present him but with a third on his Alters.

Imagine not that I blame you at all for this, con­trarily its an action of wisdome mee thinkes to keep part of what would be intirely lost. But that which I thinke strange is this, the Bookes wherein instructed in worldly prudence, and from whence you draw the knowledge of all duties touching a civill life, are they not filled with impertinent and ridiculous tales concerning your Gods. In those bookes its re­ported that the gods have sought one with another, as the Gladiators in favour of the Trojans or Greekes: that Venus was hurt with the shaft of an Arrow, drawne by the hand of a man, when she would have pulled her son AEneas from Diomedes who had al­most kil'd her. That Mars remained thirty months in irons wherewith chained. That Jupiter by the help of a certaine monster was saved from the same violence the other gods would have made him suf­fer.

Sometimes they present him shedding teares for the death of sarpedon, sometimes they figure him in the infamous embraces ot his sister, telling him of his adventures and assuring him that the love hee bore towards his mistresses was not comparable to [Page 64] that of theirs to him. After all, who is hee among your Poets, to flatter some Prince, invents not some unworthy thing of your gods? One will have Apollo employed in feeding the cattle of King Admetus? Another speakes of Neptune as of a Mercenary, re­commended to Laomedon to build the City of Troy. There is a Lyrike Poet (pindarus by name) who writes that AEsculapius was strucke with thunder, for abusing his knowledge of Physicke, by covetously making use thereof, to hurt rather then restore men unto their healths; wherein Jupiter was too blame, if Jupiter it be that hath command of the Thunder­bolts, for shewing such cruelty towards his granchild, such envy towards the Author of so excellent and usefull a science But truly these things are of such a condition that men who would bee thought Religi­ous should neither relate them if they were not true, nor invent them if they were false. Tragicke and Comicke Poets are not more respectfull of your gods: in regard that usually, when making mention of them in their interludes they spare not to speake of their disorders. I will say nothing of your Philoso­phers. Socrates may suffice for all, who in derision to your false Gods, calls an Oak, a Buck, and a Dog, for witnesses of the oathes hee made. But Socrates say you was condemned, because hee undervallued, and consequently put a blurre upon the worship of your gods. I answer, truth hath beene in all times the object of the hatred of men. Yet the Athenians repented of the judgement they gave against him: they punished those that accused him, and placed in [Page 65] their Temples his Statues made of the most precious of all their mettals. Now seeing they revoked his condemnation, without doubt they gave Testimo­nies of his innocence, and approved the opinion hee had of the gods. But your Diogenes hath he not scof­fed sufficiently at Hercules? and Varro the Cynique of the Romans, bringeth he not in three hundred gods without a head under the name of Jupiter?


ALL these Libertines who labour so much to delight you, draw their subject from dishonest action attributed to your gods. When you see them play the Baffoones with ridiculous conceits out of Lentulus, and Hostilius, tell me whether they be your jesters, or your gods that stir up laughter: there you heare an immodest Anubis spoken of, a masculine Moone, and a Diana that was whipt, there the will of a dead Jupiter, is recited there jests made of three hundred starved Hercules's. Besides all this, Comedies Tragedies express all that is shamefull in the History of your gods.

There With delight you may heare the Sum com­plain of the misfortun of his off spring thrown down from Heaven. You may see there without blushing Cybele sighing for a Shepheard that undervalued her: there you suffer to be repeated in songs before you, all the Encomions wherewith Jupiter is extolled for [Page 66] his jewd pranks, and how Paris decided the diffe­rence betweene Juno, Minerva, and Venus. But are they not certaine infamous persons that are disgui­sed With the visages of your gods? Is it not some vi­cious fellow that appears on the Stage with a forced posture, and an effeminate voice to represent a Mi­nerva, or Hercules unto you?

Tell me, if in approving these sacrilegious persons by the commendations and applaudings you give them, you violate not the Majesty of your gods, and prophane their Deities? But it may be whats repea­ted on the Amphitheatre hath more modesty and piety in it. It is there where your gods play their parts in the bloud of men, and horrour of punish­ments. Their Histories serve for an argument to the subjects which the guilty present there; and very often also these poore people doe truly repre­sent the personages of your gods, by the paines they indure. Wee have sometimes seen the secret parts of a miscrable creature cut off for your god. Athis of the City of Possena; and sometimes he that wore the habit of Hercules lost his life for him in the flames. We have taken occasion to laugh, to see Mercury in the midst of the bloudy Spectacles, of the combats of the Gladiators, which are acted at Noone, pro­ving the dead bodies with his hot iron rod, to try if they be still living. And Pluto conducts them with a hammer in his hand, to dispatch them, if not already dead.

If all these actions and many such like, which one might finde out, bee injurious to the honour of your [Page 67] gods, and throws all their Majesty to the ground, they must take it from the neglect which they have of their Deities, and of those that commit it, and are the cause thereof.

But suppose all this is but jesting: There are other things which your consciences cannot disavow, no more then that I have already said; you make bar­gains for Adulteries in the Temples: you corrupt the chastitie of women before the Altars: you ful­fill your concupisceces for the most part even in those houses which ordained for the Priests, and for the laying up of other holy things therin, having before your eyes the Pontificall habits, and the Incense still fuming with the fire of the Sacrifices. This being so, I know not why your gods doe not more complaine of you, then of Christians: Indeed, all that are found guiltie of sacriledge are of your Religion: for (as you know) Christians never enter, in the day time, into your Temples; it may be they would ran­sack them as well as you, if they offered sacrifices, as you doe.

But if you aske what Deity the Christians adore? I answer, it is not hard to conceive, that they who render no worship to false gods, honour the true, they will not fall any more into the errours from whence they are delivered, when as they have received the light of the Doctrine of Jesus Christ, and known the wickedness of Idolatry. Now I will begin to disco­ver the mysteries of our Religion, yet it shall be af­ter I have refuted the false opinions you have concei­ved of it.


SOme among you have fancied the god we wor­ship hath the shape of an Asse. It importeth that I discover the originall source of this fable: The rea­son that raised this suspition of us, is in the fifth Booke of the History of Cornelius Tacitus, where ma­king mention of the warre that Titus had with the Jewes under the Empire of Vespatian, he takes occa­sion to relate the History of this Nation, speaking as he thinks good, of its originall, name, and Religion; and reports that the Jewes comming out of AEgypt, where they were banished, as he believes, received great incommodities in passing the vast Desarts of Arabia, because they found no water, and as they were extreamly press'd with thirst, they were delive­red by the rencounter which they had with a com­pany of wild Asses, who shewed them the Fountains where they went to drink, lying not farre from their Pastures. And in acknowledgement of this benefit, they are reported to consecrate the image of one of these Asses that then succoured them in that extre­mity.

I thinke this, tale makes it presumed that the Christians whose Religion is drawne from that of the Jews, and hath succeeded it, worship the effi­gies of an asse. Yet the same Author, who faith hee lies not, writes neverthelesse that Pompey having ta­ken [Page 69] the City of Jerusalem, and entring into the Temple to see the mysteries of the Jewish Religion, saw there no image at all. It is likely, had they for­med any image to the Deity adored by them, they had reposed it in the Sanctuary, where if sus­pected to bee thought Idolaters, they could not bee discovered by strangers, because none but their own high Priest permitted to enter in, a vaile also being drawn before it, to hinder all others from prying thereinto.

As for your selves its a thing you cannot deny you worship with ridiculous ceremonie, all beasts of bur­then with their goddesse Hyppone. But peradventure it may not bee so well taken, that among so many worshippers of all forts of creatures, we onely should be thought to adore nothing else but asses. I come therefore to those who are of opinion wee worship a crosse also, and do not they the same thing they be­lieve of us when they consecrate their woodden ima­ges. It imports not though it bee another figure, so it bee of the same matter: though the forme bee not the same, so it be the body of a God.

What difference is there betweene the wood of the crosse, and an Athenian Pallace, or a pharien Ce­res, which are nothing but rough pieces of wood un­shapt, whereof the hand of the workman hath not formed an image? All images set upon their feet by you represent a part of the crosse; and do not we bet­ter then you when wee worship the whole Godhead in Christ without a Crosse? Moreover, those taken by you for go [...]s have beene in the begining cast, as we [Page 70] said before in moulds made after the forme in som part or similitude of a crosse: besides you consecrate spoyles taken by you from your enemies: you rayse up Trophies in honour of victory: and those Tro­phies what are they within but onely trees made by you into crosses? The Roman souldiers in their Re­ligion which is all martiall, adore the ensignes of their Emperour, they sweare by their standard, and make Deities of them, which they prefer before the majesty of their other gods. Which Ensignes and standards of theirs, however richly set forth, howe­ver cover'd over with cloth of gold, perhaps, or tissue, and the like, are all for the most part represented to the eyes under the forme or figure of a Crosse. So that all the difference I finde between the Crosse we honour, and you, consists, it should seem, in the pom­pousness wherewith yours beyond ours is adorn'd. Wherein I applaud you for it, that you consecrate not bare crosses without all other manner of ador­ning them.

There are, that with more apparent reason be­lieve, the Sun to be our god, these send us to the Re­ligion of the Persians: But wee worship not the I­mage of the Sun, as these people doe, who in a foo­lish superstition carry it ordinarily painted on their Bucklers. Yet herein they suspect us for so doing, be­cause hearing when we pray, wee turne our selves to the East: Is it not true, there are many among you that doe the same, when making Orisons to some other gods then those Images of yours repre­sent, prostrate themselves to the Sun-rising, and in [Page 71] that posture offer up their vows to Heaven? If cele­brate the Sunday, which is the day of the Sun, as a Ho­lyday, to rejoice in it, so doing we worship not that great light of the world, but thereby rather solem­nize this day which comes next after that of Saturne, to be distinguished from the Jewes, who owne Sa­turday for their Sabbath, and with respect there­unto spend the same in all manner of case and idle­ness, swerving in so doing from the laudable cust­ome of their Ancestors, long since extinguished with them.

The calumnies invented to cry down our Religion, arise to such excesse of impiety, that not long agoe in this City, a Picture of our God was shewed by a certain infamous person that got his living by expo­sing to the sight of the people, wilde beasts: who, by a strange faculty gotten by him to avoid their bi­tings, making use of his craft, shewed also the afore­said Picture openly to all commers, with this inscrip­tion thereon, This is Onochoetes the god of the christi­ans.

This supposed god of the christians pretended by him, had the ears of an asse, a hoof on one of his feet, carried a book, and was clothed with a gowne. We laugh at the barbarousness of this name, and the ex­travagancy of this figure. But they me thinks, should rather worship such a Monster as this for a god, who for the present adore with divine honour such like things: for example, an Image composed of two dif­ferent formes at the same time, having the head of a Dog, and Lion, joyned together; hornes resembling [Page 72] those of an Oxe and Ramme, like a goat from the loines, a serpent from the thighs, with wings on his feet and backe. Of these things more then enough, that nothing remaines to bee confuted on our part, of what ever falsly alleadged by the Heathen against us, as also that you might not say or impute to mee I have used artifice in dissembling the things wher­of I could not justifie the Christians. I come now to the expounding the mysteries of our Religion.


THe God whom we worship, is one only God, who created of nothing this great masse of the world, together with every thing wher­of the Elements, bodies, and spirits therein are com­posed, and by the authority of his word, by the admi­rable order which his wisdom hath established, and the vertue of his infinite power, hath produced this excellent worke to bee a worthy image of his great­nesse: from whence it comes the Greekes have gi­ven him a name which signifies ornament. This God though dayly to be seene, is neverthelesse invisible; though graciously represented every where, incom­prehensible; enough expos'd to humane sence, yet indiscernable. Because such a God, therefore is hee the true God. Ordinarily that which fals under the object of the sight, which may bee handled, which the mind can understand, is lesse then the eyes that [Page 73] see it, the hands that touch it, the mind which maks it be known. Which things cannot be said of God whose infinitenesse is onely indiscoverable save to himselfe. In regard whereof though not so well ap­prehended of men, yet is he neverthelesse not altoge­the unknowne to them. Somthing of him men conceave, when conceave him to be beyond the far­thest reach of all human reasonings; his immensity at the same time discovering, when concealing. But heerein you mistake principally in that you will not know him at all, because you cannot know him per­fectly, or you will not worship him because you will not know him, when at the instant you seem to a vow as much, you cannot be wholly ignorant of him.

Well then, will you have us prove him by the in­finitenesse of his marvellous workes wherewith wee are encompassed, wherewith wee are preserved, wherwith we are delighted, wherwith we are terri­fied? Wil you have us convince you of your infidelity by the witness of your owne soule? you know in des­pite of the constraint shee suffers in the Prison of her body, in the midst of evill habits wherwith besieged, with respect to the disorders of vicious inclinations, and unchast desires impairing her vigor, in this mis­fortune of her condition, where she sees her selfe en­slaved to false deities, when retire into her selfe, and takes up her spirits, as it falls out after shee comes from being cropsick (as it were) out of sleep, or what ever distempers if retaining stil the use of reason, she thanks God. This inward motion that maks you call on God, doth it not show you that there is but [Page 74] one God to whom truly this high title belongs? Is it not true that you all say God is great, God is good? and when you speake of the good you receive from Heaven that God hath given, do you not also make this, God your judge, when you say God sees all things, recommending your selves to God, and desi­ring that hee will help you? in effect, these words which you have ordinarily in your mouth shew, that your souls are naturally carried to acknowledge a God, and consequently that you are Christians. Fi­nally, he that speaks thus of God, lookes up to Hea­ven, and not to the Capitoll; for hee knows Heaven is the residence of the living God, as he knowes him to bee the Author of his life, and from thence to have descended.


NOw as God is full of goodnesse, hee would leave a means, whereby men might acquire a full and intire knowledge of the truth of his being, his lawes, and his commandements. He hath given the Holy Scriptures to instruct those who will bee enlightened with the light of the true Religion, who desire to finde it when they seeke it, who have intentions to believe in the word of one God, after they have found him; and to serve him faithfully af­ter they have received the same. Therefore he cau­sed men to bee sent upon the earth from the begin­ning [Page 75] of times, who by holinesse of manners, and inno­cency of their lives, have rendred themselves capable of knowing and shewing his greatnesse to others. He hath abundantly shed upon them the graces of his divine spirit, that they might preach, there is but one God who created this Universe; who is the true Prometheus that tooke man from the earth, who hath ordained in the world the change of seasons, by which it subsists; who hath given tokens of the dreadfull rigor of his judgements by water, and fire, who hath published his Lawes wherein all hee would have men doe to please him are set downe, Lawes that you are ignorant of, or neglect; who hath ordained great recompences to those that keepe them, who, at the end of the world, will rayse all the dead, that ever lived from the Creation of the World, commanding them to reassume their bodies, to examine their good or evill actions, that thereupon gives to the faithfull a felici­ty that hath no end, and condemne Idolaters and such like, to eternal flames. We have heertofore been of your opinion, and then mockt at this doctrine, for men are not borne Christians; they embrace this Religion after they know it. Wee say then, those to whom God hath given this charge to preach, are called Prophets, because they publish the things which should come to passe: the oracles which they have declared, concerning the mysteries of that God which we worship, have been layd up in bookes, as in the publicke treasury, where they have been kept till now.

[Page 76]The most learned of the Ptolomies, who was sirna­med Philadelphus, a most accomplished Prince in the knowledge of learning, would after the example of Pisistratus make a rich Library; among the excellent peeces which hee sought after, and had reputation, either because of their antiquity, or because they were rare and curious, by the advice of Demetrius phalerius, (who was then the learnedst of all the Gra­marians, and to whom he had given the keeping of all that great number of volumes hee had gathered together,) ask [...] of the Jews the holy bookes which were written in their mother tongue, & which were not found any where else but in their hands: For the Prophets were alwayes of their nation, and they alwayes addressed their Prophesies to them; as to a people, who by the merit of their ancient Patrianks, had the happinesse to bee the beloved of God. Wee called them heeretofore Hebrews, whom you now call Jews, and therefore their language was called the Hebrew tongue. The Jews to make knowne to strangers the law of the true God, granted Ptolemy that which he desired of them, and sent him seventy two learned men to interpret those holy bookes. Will you have witnesses? the Philosopher Menede­mus who was a powerfull Protector of the opinion of divine providence, admired at what recorded in them, and in that point was of the same opinion with them. Aristaeus hath left a publicke monument of this history, in a booke hee composed in Greeke: These Hebrew volumes are found at this day in the liberary of Ptolemy, and the Jews read them openly, [Page 77] you may goe and heare them every Saturday in their Synagogues; they buy this liberty with a great tribute which they annually pay.

He that heares the truths they declare, shall meet with the truth of one onely God; and whosoever will study to comhrehend the mysteries contained in the Holy Scriptures, will bee presently forced, to be­lieve them.


THese holy Writings take their principall au­thority from their antiquity. You are wont to make use of this proofe, and will have it to be lawfull in upholding your Idolatry, you ground the reverence you carry to your gods, on long conti­nuance of years, but wee have more reason to make use of it then you; for the books of one of our Pro­phets onely, to wit, Moses, (wherein, it seemes, God hath inclosed, as in a treasure, all the Religion of the Jewes, and consequently all the Christian Religion, preceding for many ages together) reacheth beyond the ancientest you have, even all your publick Monu­ments, the antiquity of your originals, the establish­ment of your estate, the birth of most part of the peo­ple, the foundation of many great Cities, all that most advanced by you in all ages of History, and memory of times, the invention of Characters, which are interpreters of Sciences, and the Guardians of all [Page 78] excellent things: I thinke wee may say more, even your gods, Temples, Oracles, and Sacrifices.

Have you heard mention made of that great Pro­phet Moses? He was contemporary with Inachus, he preceded Danaus three hundred fourscore and thir­teen years, the ancientest of all that have a name in your Histories: He lived about a thousand years be­fore the ruine of the City of Troy; I could also say, fifteen hundred and more before Homer: for it is not without ground, neither will I relate it, but as o­thers have reported it before me. Every of the other Prophets succeeded Moses, and yet the last of them all, is of the same age as your first Wise-men, Law­givers, and Historians were.

The proof of these things are not so difficult, as it would be troublesome, so hard as long to make ap­parent: wee must examine a great number of Vo­lumes, and Papers, put our selves to calculate the se­quell of times; open the Records of the ancientest of all people, namely, of AEgyptians, Caldeans, and phaenitians: make use of the testimonies of their Writets, who have left to posterity the knowledge of things past; of Manethon an AEgyptian, Berosus a Chaldean, Hierome a Phaenician King of Tire, and of them that followed after, Menedesius a Ptolomean, Me­nander an Ephesian, Demetrius a Phalerian, King Juba, Appion, Thallus, and Josephus, the genuine and true Au­thour of the antiquity of the Jews, whose Writings either approve that which others have said, or make known their errours.

Wee must examine the publick Registers of the [Page 79] Greeks, see what actions they report, consider when such actions done, that the order of times may ap­peare, and cleare the Histories of the past ages, in re­ducing them according to the sequell of years; in conclusion, we must turne over the leaves and Notes of all the earth.

But me thinks I have already made half the proof, in shewing from whence it ought to be taken. Cer­tainly it is better to defer the spinning out this point any further; for feare that touching it in half, I say not all that importance thereof requires, or that in resting here, I stay too long from the princi­ple meanes of our Defence.


IF defer to shew the antiquity of holy Scriptures, I will shew you at persent something more im­portant in lieu thereof: for I discover to you their Majesty, I tell you, they are divine, if you doubt still they are ancient. There's no need of any long dis­cussion to let you know it, neither will we go to seek the proof without us. The World History of all a­ges, & the event of things do furnish us; all don in our dayes was foretold here to fore, what our. Fathers heard spoken of arrived not till after them; the Pro­phets whom the providence of God instructed touch­ing the time to come, have foreseen & left in writing that which passed every moment to the view of mor; [Page 80] they have knowne what wee see, that Earthquakes swallow up great Cities; that the Sea covers Islands, and takes them from our sight; that the people are afflicted with strange, and intestine warres; that one kingdome destroyes another; that famine and the Plague, cause mortallities; that every countrey hath its perticular calamities; that wild beasts inhabiting the mountaines, doe hurt in the plaines; that the little become great, and contrarily, that the lofty by a miserable change fall into a low fortune; that there is little justice among men, and very much ini­quity; that the thought of all good things is lost; that the functions of the seasons and elements are in disorder; that the order of nature is troubled by Monsters, and prodigies, all these misfortunes are found in our bookes, whilest wee endure, and try them, our judgement obliegeth us to believe those who have foretold them: I thinke the accomplish­ment of a prophecy is a good testimony of its holi­nesse, and one may conclude it is divine, when find it true.

Now as we believe things that have been prophe­cied, and are come to passe, so we belive things that have been told us, & not as yet come to passe; because they have been al foretold us by the same Scriptures, as wel those that are verifi'd every day as those whose successe us stil expected; they are the same words which wee heare; the same letters that instruct us, it is the same spirit which hath inspired the Pro­phets both the one, and the other. Hee that by the grace of God, hath the gift of penetrating into the [Page 81] time to come, discovers in an instant all future things: men which have not this light, distinguish the times by the events, and seperate the time to come, from the present, and the present from the past. Tell mee I pray, if we commit any fault, when we believe that which should come, seeing the present and the past are two degrees; by which we learne, that we ought to believe that which is foretold, although we doe not as yet see the success?


I Have told you our Religion is grounded on very ancient monuments; that is to say, on the Books of the Religion of the Jews: yet because there are many among you know it to be much newer then this, & that it began under the Empire of Tiberius, & we acknowledge it ourselves. It imports that I explain my selfe more particularly on this subject, that wee may not be accused of covering our owne opinions under the vaile of a most famous Religion, and whereof the publick exercise is permitted. We must take away the scruple that may arise, not onely in that we are distinguished from the Jews by the times, and novelty of our institution, but also for that there is a difference betweene their ceremonies and ours, that wee forbid not as they doe the use of certaine meats, nor solemnize their tea feasts, nor use circumcisi­on, and in the end, carry not the same name: which [Page 82] are arguments you hold infallible, to prove you doe not serve one God.

But that which helps to confirm you in the opini­ons you have of us, is, that you all know, even unto the meanest of the people, that Jesus Christ was Man, that as so hee was condemned by the Jewes, which carries you easily to this perswasion, that we worship a Man, and not the God of the Jewes. But the behaviour this ungratefull people have used to our Master, doth not make us ashamed; contrarily it is a glory to us to passe for his children, and to bee persecuted for his name, and the honour we beare to him derogateth not from that wee owe to God, neither have wee any other opinion of the Godhead then the Jewes.

I am therefore obliged to speake a few things of Jesus Christ, and to shew hee is the true God. The Jewish Nation of all others had the happiness to be the onely beloved people of God. They received this favour because of the wonderfull piety, and in­violable faith of their ancient Patriarks, and there­fore was their race still raised to that admirable greatness, their condition came to a power that made it so flourishing, and their felicity so perfect, that God communicated himselfe to them, and with his own mouth taught them to honour him alwayes, and not to offend him. But they had too much con­fidence in the merit of their Ancestors; that which should have tied them straitly to the service of the Divine Majesty, made them forget their duty: they finned against God, and by a strange blindness, neg­lected [Page 83] his Commandments, and changed his Lawes into a prophane worship. If the Jewes will not con­fess their crimes, the condition they are now in, will be a sufficient proofe thereof. They are spread over all the Universe, they wander from all parts, are banished from their Countrey, cannot injoy the aire they breathed at their birth; and run over all the world, without having either man, or God for their King; in conclusion, their condition is so miserable, that it is not permitted them to set so much as their foot, or cast their eyes on their natu­rall Countrey, or to passe thither as strangers. The holy Scriptures that threatned them with these evils, are full of Prophesies, that foretold them that in the last times God would chuse servants faithfuller then they, whom hee would take to himselfe in all Na­tions, and Countreys of the World; and on whom he would powre graces much perfecter, then those they had received, proportioned to the merit of the Messiah, which should come to publish the Law which he would give them.

Therefore the Mespsiah which God had ordained to send on the earth, to change the Law of the Jewes, to discover the truth of these figures, and to accomplish the Prophecies; this just Dispensator of Divine graces, this excellent Master of this heavenly Doctrine, the true light that inlightens, and Doctor that teacheth men, and to say all, this Son of God was promised us. But do not think this Son is ashamed of his birth; hee hath beene begotton, but know, that neither the seed of his Father, not the name of Son, [Page 84] which he beares makes him ashamed: His genera­tion is not defiled with the incest of Brother, or Sister, neither of a gods unchast imbraces with a Maid or married woman: His Father not a god dis­guised under the forme of a Serpent, Bull, Bird, or golden showre, as of your feigned god Jupiter it is reported.

Besides, the Son of God whom wee worship, it's true hath a Mother; but not a Mother defiled with the least impurity, she to whom the birth of this Son hath given the name of Mother, being still a Virgin without carnall knowledge of any man. But to make you comprehend how the Son of God is born, I must discover to you what his substance is. I have alrea­dy declared, that God created the Universe by the power of his word, the operation of his wisedome, and the vertue of his power.

The ancient Wise-men also were of this opinion, that the word and wisedome, which they named of one onely word [...], that is to say, the word, did make the World. Zenon saith, this word is the Authour of that order, and admirable disposition we see in nature; also that the same that is called De­stiny is God, the mind of Jupiter, and necessity of all things. Cleanthes makes a spirit that goes into all the parts of this Universe. As for us, as wee say God hath made all things by his word, wisedome, and vertue, wee attribute to the word, wisedome, and vertue of God, a Spirit that is their proper substance, and which is the word to command, the wisdom to dispose, and the vertue to give perfection to his [Page 85] workes. Wee have learnt that God hath produced this spirit which we call the word, that God in pro­ducing it hath begot it, and therefore it is the Sonne of God, and also God in regard the substance of God and his owne Son, are but one selfe same substance, because God is also a Spirit; it is even as of a beame comming from the body of the Sun; this Planet in producing the same, gives it a portion of its light, which notwithstanding it cannot lose; for it is al­wayes in its beame, because the beame is alwayes a beame of the Sun; the substance of the light is not separated, but spreads forth. So in the internall gene­ration of the word, the spirit derives from the spirit, and God derives from God, as the light of a Candle is taken from another Candle which hath comunica­ted to it its light: the light remains all intire in the Candle from whence it is taken, and suffers not any diminution, although men borrow the quality to distribute it to many Candles.

It is even so of God, that which comes from him is God, the Son of God, and both together, God, and his Sonne, are one and the selfe same God. From whence it follows that this distinction of spirit to spi­rit, of God to God, is not in the substance, but person, makes not a division in God, but only a distribution of the qualities of Father and Son; not a diversity of conditions between Father and Son, but onely an or­der of God the Father to God the Son: and finally that God the Son springeth, and is not separated from the substance of God: wherefore the beame of God being come downe into the body of a Virgin, and in­carnate [Page 86] in her womb; is come likewise into the world Man and God together. This marvellous composure of mortal flesh, & the spirit of God, hath been nouri­shed, brought up, grown in years, spoken, taught, & wrought, & is this Man Jesus Christ. Take if you wil, this truth for a fable, you may receive it in the mean time, till we bring further proofs of our Master, as wee receive many tales made touching those, gods you confess. This wonder was knowne to them of whom you hold all the follies you believe of a Dei­ty.

They have invented them by a sacrilegious emu­lation, to destroy the eternall truth of a God-man, in exposing to them the lies which have some relati­on with them. If then you will have witnesses of the incarnation of the Son of God, we tell you the Jews knew it from the mouths of the Prophets, that hee was to be borne among men, and they expect him still, and the greatest difference between them and us, is, that they doe not believe he is already come. The holy Scriptures make mention of two commings of the Son of God: the first, when he appeared in the weakness of humane nature, and condition of a very low humility. The second, which to bring with it the end of all times, and wherein he will shew him­selfe with all the splendor of his God-head. The Jewes have not heard of the first, and they, hope for the second, which hath been so clearly declared, perswading themselves that the Son of God should come this onely time on the earth: Their sins are [Page 87] the just cause of their blindness, they have deserved by their crimes committed against God, not to un­derstand this first comming; yet without doubt, they would have believed this glorious Mystery, if they had uhderstood it, and if they Would have believed it, he had acquired for them eternall salvation.

This punishment was foretold them, and they may read in the holy Scripture, that God hath threatned, they should not know his secrets, that their understanding should not comprehend them; that they should have eyes, and not see his light, eares, and not heare his word. Now, as they could not imagine him whom they saw in this low humi­lity, to be a God, so they took him only for a man; whom when reflecting upon them the effects of his power, they gave out, that he used Magick, and by the helpe thereof cast Divels out the bodies of men, restored sight to the blinde; cleansed the Lepers; healed them that were sicke of the Palsey; raised the dead; made the Elements obey him; appea­sed Tempests; went upon the waters; all acti­ons by which hee shewed himselfe to be the ancient Word, the first born, accomplished with vertue and wisdome, as also informed with the spirit of God himselfe.

The Doctors, of the Law, and the greatest among the Jewes, who saw when he preached, that he con­founded their errours, and that an infinite multi­tude of people followed him, were so incensed against him, that, in conclusion, they accused him before Pontius Pilat, the then Governour of Judea, under the [Page 88] authoritie of the Emperour Tiberius; and by viola­ting justice, forced him to deliver them Jesus to bee nailed on the Crosse. Hee foretold they should thus unworthily use him; but, it may be, 'twould not be enough if the Prophets had not declared it a long time before: yet Jesus being on the crosse gave many signes, by which he shewed hee was truly the Son of God; for after making that great exclamation, when a dying, he rendered, of his own accord, his spirit to God his Father preventing therby the Executioners, accustomed to breake the thighs of those that were crucified, to hasten the end of their lives, and deliver them from the pains of a longer punishment.

Moreover, in that very moment wherein Jesus expired, which was at noone, the Sun lost his light, and the Earth was covered with darkness even they who knew not this prodigy should happen at his death, and that revealed before to the Prophets did take it for a miracle, and because unwilling to discover the reason thereof, they denied it that came to pass: But you cannot make this wonder suspe­cted, seeing your owne Calenders have remarked it, and your selves retaine the testimonies thereof in your owne registers.

The Jews having took Jesus from the Crosse, and put him into the sepulchre, encompass'd it with a great number of Souldiers, to whom they gave charge to keep him carefully: This suspicious peo­ple, feared his Disciples should come and take away his body, and having committed this theft, perswade them hee was risen, because hee had said, that in [Page 89] three dayes hee would rise from the grave, and tri­umph over death.

But the third day being come, the earth shooke on a sudden, the stone that shut the mouth of the Sepulchre was overturned, the Souldiers astonished, and troubled with fear, and not one of his Disciples durst appeare, that they might be accused of taking away his body, which not being found, there remai­ned nothing in the grave, but the linnen wherewith he was wrapt. Yet notwithstanding the High Priests divulged this bruit, that the body of Jesus was taken away by his Disoiples. They had reason to publish this false theft, that they might turne away the peo­ple from embracing this Doctrine, otherwise them­selves should lose the authority they had over the People, and the profits they drew from them, if they had knowne that hee whom they had crucified was truly the son of God.

Their mindes being thus abused by the ambition and avarice of the Priests, they remained in the darknesse of errour; for Jesus Christ shewed him­selfe, not to the People, because hee would not doe this favour to the wicked, to make them become faithfull, in presenting before their eyes his glorious body, and it must be that the faith that promis'd such great recompences, should bee wrapt up with some difficulties.

After his resurrection he stayes with some of his Disciples sorty dayes in Galile, one of the Provinces in Judea, where hee taught them what they should preach to men; and having given them to declare his Doctrine throughout all the Earth, a cloud invi­roned [Page 90] him, where with received up to Heaven, a truth far more certain then any humane testimonies, given of your Proculus touching his seeing a Romulus, or other of your Princes mounting up into the same place.

Pilate, who in his heart believed in Jesus Christ, at the same time wrote all this History to the Empe­rour Tiberius, whereupon the Cesars themselves had worshipped our Master, if their government in so doing had been consistent with the men of this world, and Christians permitted to have beene saluted Cae­sars. The Disciples of Jesus, following the order hee had given them, went over all parts of the knowne world to publish the Law of the Gospel: But the Jewes, their declared Enemies, made them indure many punishments, which they suffered generously, because they knew they were hated only for preach­ing the truth. In the end, these Insidels taking ad­vantage of the cruelty of Nero, caused the bloud of the Christians inhumanly to be shed.

But remember when wee told you of the gods you worship, we said we would produce them as sit wit­nesses of the Godhead of Jesus Christ. Is it not strange we should imploy them whom you withold from being Christians, to make you believe the Do­ctrine of Christians? yet you shall see by and by, that your gods beare witness, in favour of our Religi­on, against your Idolatry. This wee shall tell you, when come to declare to you, wherin consists all the mystery of our instirution; then you shall know both the originall of out Religion, the name, and [Page 91] the Author thereof. Let none therefore object to us any more these crimes so full of infamy; let none a­ny more conceive these strange opinions of our lives, you must needs belleve what wee declare to you touching the worship we render to God.

Religion is a sacred thing, where it is not permit­ted to seigne, and where lies are counted sacrilegious. Every man that saith he worships other God then whom he pretends truly to worship, is an Insi­dell to his God, and takes from him the honour hee should render him to transfer the same to another; and in transferring it, acknowledgeth not his God­head any longer, because hee violates it in denying him. We say openly we are Christians, we avow it publickly, yea even in the midst of tortures, the which you make use of to make us deny it. When we are torne in pieces and covered with our bloud, we cry out, as far as our voices will extend, wee worship God in Jesus Christ, believe if you will Jesus Christ to be man onely. It is by him, and in him neverthe­less that God will bee known and honoured. So to the end wee may answer the Jewes, Have not they learn'd to worship God on earth by Moses, a man whom God sent to teach them to serve him, and that he made use of Moses as a man, to publish his Law? as for the Greeks, were not they men that instructed them in their superstitions? to wit, Orpheus on the mountain of Pierius, Museus at Atbens, Melampus at Argos, and Trophonius in Beotia. Then if I should cast mine eyes upon you, who are the Masters of all the world, do I not finde it was a man, a Numa Pompilius, [Page 92] that put upon you a Religion so full of ridiculous mysteries, and troublesome ceremonies? Why should it not be permitted Jesus Christ also to de­clare his Divinity, he to whom only the Divinity ap­pertained, and to make himselfe acknowledged for the God of Heaven and Earth? He ought not to be suspected for an Impostor as others, for hee was not like to a Numa, who would not soften the wilde spi­rits of these savage people, and barbarous, in filling them with astonishment by the infinite number of gods which made them afraid. Hee address'd him­self to men pollishe & perfectly knowing in the pru­dence of the world, and yet withall their wisedome, were blinde as concerning Heaven. He came to en­lighten, and discover to them the truth they knew not. Informe your selves whether the God-head of Jesus Christ be the true God-head we ought to wor­ship. Whether it change their manners that be­lieve it, and makes them become better then they were, all the other Deities must bee condemned as false, and principally that which is under the names and Images of dead men, by the artisice of certaine supposed signes, of the miracles they counterfet, and the deceitfull Oracles they render, passe for a true Divinity, although it is knowne that all it doth is but the worke of Divels.


VVE say then, that there is in Nature certain spiritual substances, to whom the name of Divels is given. This name is not new, the Philosopher had the know­ledge of it, and Socrates did nothing Without the per­mission of his Divell. So they say, that from his in­fancy this Divell was alwayes by him, and abando­ned him not so long as the lived. Certes: this spirit was not proper but to turne him away from the love of good things The Poets also knew what the Divels were; and the ignorant common people, have them in their mouths when they would pronounce a ma­lediction. It is by an inward motion of the soule, that in those imprecations in calling the evill spirits, in effect they call Satan, who is the Prince of this cur­sed Company. Blato did also aoknowledge the na­ture of the Angels; and the Magidians who in their inchantments make use of the names of Angels, and Divels, to bee testimonies of their being. One may learn from the holy Scriptures how by the sin of cer­tain Angels, who frō the irregularity of their own wil suffered their innocence to bee corrupted, came the race of the Divels, a race much more corrupted then these evill Angels from whence they draw their ori­ginall, and that God hath condemned with them, and their Prince, those of whom we come from spea­king [Page 94] of, Wherefore sufficeth that wee now treat of the point that concerneth the operations of these spirits.

They worke on men but to destroy them; the malice of the Divels from the beginning of times was imployed in doing evill. Thus they afflict bo­dies with diseases, and make them fall into trouble­some accidents; they stir up in mens mindes violent troubles, and sudden motions, which move them ex­traordinarily. Their simple and subtile nature gives them the faculty of laying bold of the two substan­ces that compose man.

The power with which these spirits operate is ad­mirable, one may very well know their action, but the manner of their operation falls not under the object of the sight, neither can bee perceived by the organ of the senses. As when there happens any se­cret irregularity in the aite, the distemper thereof makes the fruit to be lost in the blossome, takes away its life when it begins to put forth, and nips them at the very time of their maturity: even as when the aire is infected by some sudden cause, it spreads the plague upon the earth among the vapours that the Sun had drawn up; in the same manner, and with a contagion as unperceiveable, the Divels and evill An­gels by their blast cast disorders into mindes, agitate them with divers furies, give them thoughts of folly and filthiness, make them capable more violent passions, and slide therein an infinite number of er­rours. Of these errours this is the principall, that, after they have abused, & wrapt them up into a thou­sand [Page 95] illusions, they recommend them to the wor­shipping of these false gods, and oblige them to of­fer sacrifices to their Idols, that they may be fed with the odour of the sacrifices, and the bloud of these beasts which is their most agreeable nourishment. For what nourishment do they raste with more plea­sure then, the Idolatry of man, when by the wiles of their false juglings, they seduce them, and turne aside their thoughts from the object of the true God? I will now discover by what way they deceive them.

Every Spirit hath the same nimbleness as a bird, and because the Angels and Divels are spirits, they are every where in a moment. All the world is but one place to them, it is all one with them to know what is done in every coast of the world, as to say it. This promptitude with which they know all things, makes them pass for gods, because their sub­stance is not knowne.

So they will often appear to bee Authours of that which they declare; & in effect they are somtimes of evill, but never of good. Besides, they learnt here­tofore from the mouthes of the Prophets the things which eternall providence hath determined; and now they take them from the holy Scriptures: it is from thence they draw the conjectures by which they judge of the times to come.

They observe the changes that have happened in the fequell of times, and they strive to appeare like to a Deitie, by the thefts they make of these predi­ctions wherewith they abuse the world. They work [Page 96] upon all with a wonderfull cunning to express the Oracles they render, by terms full of ambiguity, that they may accommodate themselves to the events. Craesus and Pyrrhus could tell much newes. It was by the means we before spoke of, Apollo declared, that Craesus had boiled his Tortoise With the flesh of a Lamb; hee had learnt it in Lydia, where he was in an instant. Moreover the Divels who have their re­sidence in the aire, by their neighbourhood with the starres, and the nearenesse of the clouds may know the disposition of the Heavens.

They promise men raine which is ready to fall, and which they feele when they promise it. Truly wee must avow they are very helpfull in the cure of diseases; for they are they that doe the evill, and afterwards ordaine the remedies, but they are reme­dies wonderfull new, and contrary to the evill: after one hath made use of their receipts, they cease to af­flict the body, and then wee thinke they have cured it.

What shall I say more concerning the trickes of these deceitfull spirits, and their admirable effects? of the spirits of Castor and Pollux, who brought to Rome the news of the victory obtained on King Perseus of Macedonia, presently after it was won? of that Vestall that received water in a sieve? of another that made a great ship saile which she drew onely with her girdle? of that Domitius to whom the spirits of Castor and Pollux, by their onely touch, changed the colour of his beard, and of black made it become red, that he might have some marke to make him [Page 97] elieveb it? when declaring to him this victory all­ready obtained by the Romans all these things which are the workers of the Devill have authorised Idolatry, perswaded men that stones were true de­ities, and hindred them to seeke the true God; this high and incomprehensible majesty to whom onely worship is due.


BUt seeing Magicians have power to make spi­rits appear to men; seeing they recall the souls of the dead, whom they cover with infamy by their witchcrafts; that by the force of their en­chantments, Children are made use of in their charmes to throw themselves on the ground, and afterwards rise up againe to declare Oracles; that by the delusions, wherewith they deceive the eyes and eares, they represent a great number of mira­cles; that they infuse dreams into us when asleepe, and worke all these things, when once by the vertue of their invocations they have obtained the help of evill Angels and Devills, who make their goats, and tables prophesic: When this power worketh of one accord, and for it onely; with how much more affection doth it imploy all its forces to effect what it produceth, when there is no question of any interest but of that which is a stranger to it? If the Angels and Devils do the same things as your gods, [Page 98] where is the excellencie of the deity, wee must ima­gine to bee above all other powers? is it not more seemely to presume that they are they that make themselves to bee acknowledged for gods, seeing their actions are like to them they take for actions of the gods, then to believe the power of the gods is not greater then that of Angels and Devils? but it may bee your gods are gods but in the temples, it is the place that gives them the title, and that out of temples, you do not acknowledge them for gods; that in your opinion, it is another kind of fury to leape over consecrated towers to a deity, then to precipitate ones slle from a prophane house, that it is another sort of rage to cut off ones privy parts, and armes, then to cut ones throat; in truth the despaire both of the one and the other meet both in one, as it is but one cause that transports them. But hitherto we have made use of nothihg but wordes; now wee must make use of the things themselves, and demon­strations, to shew you that your gods and divels are but one substance, and that they differ but in name.

If a man should bring before your Tribunalls, one that were truely possessed of a Divell, if a Christian should comand him to speake, this wicked spirit wil confess then that he is a Devill, with as much truth as he saith falsely at another time he is a God. Let them present, any one of these they believe to be wrought upon within by a deity; that in the ceremo­ny of the sacrifices they offer on the Altars, have the vertue of a God in senting the smell which goes out of the sacrifices; who with force belch out words out of their stomacks; within breathing de­clare [Page 99] oracles; if this heavenly virgin who promiseth raine; if this AEsculapius that teacheth the secrets of Physicke, that preserves the lives of them who must lose the same soone after, confesse not by the mouths of these impostors, Whose fained inspirations deceive the world, that they are but devills, if the presence of a Christian takes not from them the boldnesse of lying, wee are willing that in the same place, you shed the bloud of this Christian, and punish him as a wicked person. What demonstration is clearer then this? what proofe more infallible? truth shines there in its purity, it is afficted with this force, that is not proper but for her selfe; there is nothing heere to bee evill thought on. Say then it is done by the power of Magick; or by some such like tricke, if your eyes or eares will let you. But I pray what can you say against a thing that shews it selfe so cleare and without artifice? if these spirits are gods indeed, why do they falsely say they are devills? is it to obey us they do so? on this accout the deity receives law from the Christians, but they should not honour with this title, a nature that is under the govern­ment of man: I might add, that is subect to the pow­er of his enemies, if it causeth shame.

If on the other side these spirits are Divels, or Angels, how comes it when they speake to others then to us, they would passe for gods? for as those to whom divine honour is rendred wou'd not be a­vowed Divels, if in truth they were gods, because gods cannot take the qualitie of Divels without put­ting off their majesty; so yit the names they give [Page 100] themselves whom you acknowledge to bee Divels, were the names, of true gods, they could not bee so rash as to take, and to put them in the rank of a Dei­tie; because these gods would without doubt bee their Soveraignes, and they would feare to offend the majestie of them whose power they should dread.

Acknowledge then that the Deitie you honour is not a Deitie, because, if it were, the Divels would not attribute it to themselves, and the gods would not disavow it. So seeing both the one and the other concur in acknowledging this truth, that those the world acknowledge for gods are none, you must con­fess then they are Divels; and therefore you must resolve to seek Deities somewhere else, seeing you now see what is the condition of them you take for gods.

Now seeing by our meanes your gods discover to you they are no gods, and that all the other to whom men erect Altars, are none in like manner; but this at the same time they make you know who the true God is, if it be this only God that we that are Chri­stians worship, if we must believe of him what the Christians believe, if hee must bee served as their Lawes ordaine. When you conjure your gods in the name of Jesus Christ, doe they aske who is that Jesus Christ? doe they call the History of his life a Fable? doe they say hee is a man of the same con­dition as other men? that hee was a Magician? that, after dead, his Disciples tooke away his body privately from the Sepulchre? [Page 101] and that he is now in Hell? say they not rather hee is in Heaven? that hee must discend to the terrour of all the world? with horrour to the Universe? with the lamentation of all men but Christians? and that hee shall come downe on the earth full of Maje­stie, as the vertue of God, the spirit of God, the Word, Wisdome, Reason, and Son of God? your gods must doe as you doe, deride all these things, denie all the souls that liv'd since the Creation of the world should take their bodies againe; that Jesus Christ must judge them, they should say it belongs to Radamanthus and Minos, according to the opinion of Plato, and the Poets; at least they should discharge themselves of the shame of this sin, and infamy of their condemnation, not avowing they are spirits of corruption, although it sufficiently enough appeares by the condition of their meats they seed on, the bloud, smoake, stinking sacrifices of beasts, and im­pure tongues of their Divines that they are so; and in the end not confess they are already condem­ned to the pains of Hell, expecting the universall judgement, where they shall receive the just recom­pence of their wickedness, with all them that have sinned as they, and worshipped them. Now all the power we have of them, is the name of Jesus Christ who gives it us, it is the threatning we give them of the evils God is readie to powre on their heads, and which one day Jesus Christ must declare to them. As they feare Jesus Christ in God, and God in Jesus Christ, they are under the government of the servants of God, and of Jesus Christ: so by the onely touch [Page 102] of our hands, and breath of our mouths; the Divel seized with feare at the sight of the flames that en­viron them are forced to obey us, to come our of the bodies they possess, in dispite of them, and with mur­muring, to suffer this shame in our presence. You that are wont to believe them when they lie, believe them when they speake of thenselves. No body will tell a lie to get shame by it, but rather to gaine honour; one will sooner beleve them that confesse against their owne interest, then those that denie to their advantage. These Testimonies which we have of your Gods make men to bee Christians; for wee cannot give a full beleese to what they say, without believing in Jesus Christ our master. Your gods kindle in our hearts the faith which the Holy Scrip­ture teacheth us; they strengthen our hope, and confirme us in the assurance wee have of our salvati­on. As for you, to honour them, you offer them also the blood of Christians; and if it were permitted then to lie when Christians interrogate them, and labour to make you know the truth by their confes­sion, they would take good heed of discovering your errours to you, as well for keeping the profit they have of them, and the honors you render them, as for the feare they might have that in becomming your selves Christians, you drive them away as wee doe from the bodys they torment with so much rage.


VVEE need nothing but the acknow­ledgment wee have from your gods, when wee make them confesse they are no gods, and when they answer us there is no o­ther God, then the onely God we serve, to purge us from the crime of high treason, and impiety to the Roman Religion. For if in truth the Gods they wor­ship are no gods, in truth their Religion is no Reli­gion; if their Religion bee no Religion, then those they acknowledge for gods, are none, it follows wee are not guilty of the crime of impiety. On the con­trary wee can maintaine, that this reproach reflects on you, that, because so long as you honour a lye, you neglect not onely the true Religion of the true God, but moreover oppose God; and by this meanes truely fall into the crime of true impiety.

If we should agree your gods are true gods, would you not confesse, according to common opinion, that there is a God greater and stronger then they, who is as the principall and author of the Universe, and accomplished with power, and an infinite ma­jesty? for many have this opinion of the Deity; that to one onely God belongs Soveraigne power, and that hee commits the exercise of his functions to all the other Gods: what is that Plato would have pre­presented, [Page 104] when hee writ, that great Jupiter is in Heaven accompanied with an army of Gods and Divels. You may say, we must honour the officres and Livetenants of a Prince, even as the Prince whose majesty they represent. But I demand of you, what crime commits hee who regards none but the prince, hopes not but in his favour, and will please none but him? what outrage commits he against the Godhead that gives not the name of God but to the Prince of Heaven? seeing in the world they give the name of Emperour but to the Soveraigne, and that it is a Capitall crime, by humane lawes, to call, or suffer to bee called with this title any other, then the master of the State? But let one worship God, another, Jupiter, let one in saying his prayers lift up his hands to Heaven, another put them on the Altar of faith; let one, if you will, number the clouds, another the seelings; one vow his soule to his God, another offer him that of a goat. But you ought to: take heed that this bee not a kinde of impiety, to take from men the liberty of serving God after their owne manner, to hinder them from making choice of a deity, and force them so in that which should depend upon the will, that it should not bee permitted them to worship the God they would, and bee forced to worship him they would not.

Know wee not very well that neither the gods, nor men, demand any thing but voluntary services: and this is the reason they suffer the vaine superstitions [Page 105] of the Egyptians, who by a strange blindnesse conse­crate Birds and Beasts, and condemne to death them that have killed one of these gods. Moreover every province, and citty hath his particular God, Syria the God Astartes; Arabia the God Disares; Bavaria, Bele­nus; Affrica the goddesse Celestis; Mauritania their Kings.

The provinces I have named, me thinkes, are sub­ject to the Roman Empire, and yet I have not na­med among the Gods that are there worshipped any of the gods of the Romans; in effect the gods that are honoured in these countries, are as little known at Rome, as those that are worshipt in the Cities of Italy, as the God Belventinus of Monte-rotondo, Visidia­nus of Narni, the Goddesse Ancaria of Ascoli, Nursia of Vulsina, Valentia of Ocricoly, Nortia of Sutry, and June of Monte-siasooni, who is cald upon there, because there she was born, and to whom the inhabitants of the place gave it the name of her father. There are none but we to whom it is forbid to have a Religion a part.

Wee offend the Romans, because not serve the God of the Romans, and are unworthy the names of Romans. But we have this advantage, that God is the God of all men, and that we are all his, whe­ther we will or no. As for you, it is permitted you to worship all forts of gods, excepting the true God; as if the same were not by way of eminence, the God of us all, seeing we all are his.


IN my opinion I have sufficiently proved, what the false, and what the true Divinity is, seeing I have drawne my proofs, not onely from Argu­ments which reasoning produceth, but also from the sole testimony of those you acknowledge to be gods; so that I have largely given satisfaction (as I think) in this point. But because in this place, an occasion is presented to speake of the name Romans, I will not avoid the combat that some oblige me to under­take, against the opinion that hath seized on their mindes, and makes them say, the Romans obtained the Empire of all the world, and this greatness where to wee see them arrived, by their pietie, and deserved to bee Masters of all the Nations of the Earth, by the reverence carried by them to the my­steries of the religion of the gods, the gods having rendred them flourishing beyond all other honours, because the Romans surpass all other in devotion.

There is some likelihood the Romans received this Recompence from the originall gods of Rome, in ac­knowledgement of the honours the Romans rendred unto those gods; for example, the gods sterculus, Mu­tunus, and Larentina, who inlarged the bounds of their domination. For I doe not thinke the other gods had more inclination to a strange Nation, then to their owne Countrey, or that they would have [Page 107] subjected to a people so far remote from their Coun­trey, the Land where they were borne, where their youth brought up, where they acquired so much honour in their life time, or where finally after their death they had buriall given to their bodies. Cybele will not disavow the affection she bore to the City of Rome to be produced from that she carried to AE­neas, because hee was of her Countrey; shee defen­ded him against the Armies of the Greeks, and loves the City where she still sees the bloud of Trojans, and progeny of that Prince. Without doubt, when resolved to favour the Romans, shee foresaw they would revenge it, and put Greece in servitude, which had ruined the Empire of Troy.

Certainly, shee hath caused it to bee seene in our time, that it was with a great deale of reason the Ci­ty of Rome delayed to give unto him Divine ho­nours; for Marcus Aurelius having ended his dayes at Sirmion, the seventeenth of March, the chiefest Priest of that goddesse, this venerable chiefe of the Evnuches, the soure and twentieth of the same Month of March, with the horrour and impurity of the bloud he spilt, and which came from the wounds hee made in his body, rendred his vowes, as hee was wont, for the preservation of this Prince after he was dead. O sleepie Courtiers! O tedious dis­patchers, whose tarrying the cause that Cybele was not acquainted sooner with the Emperours death! truly Christians could not choose but make derision at such a goddesse. But had it beene in the power [Page 108] of Jupiter to dispose (as he thought good) of the Em­pire of the world, would he have suffered the power of the Romans to put his Isle of Creet insubjection? Would you think, the remembrance of the cave of Mount Ida, with the noise the Corybantes made, in beating on their head attires, and playing on their cymballs to hinder those childish cries from disco­vering him: again, the acceptable smel of the breath of his nurse, should not obliege him rather to op­pose himselfe against this conquest? would hee not have preferred the place of his buriall before all the greatnesse of the Capitol? would hee not rather have enclined to have raysed up above all the coun­tries of the earth, that which enclosed his ashes? would juno have taken it well that Carthage, which she preferred before samos, should be overcome and destroyed, even by the race of AEneas, if I bee not deceived

— Hic illius Arma,
Hic currus fuit; hoc regnum dea gentibus esse,
si qua fata sinant, jam tum tendetque fovetque.

Englished thus by John Ogleby out of Virgill.

— Here her Arms, and here
Her Charriot was: that this Earth sway should beare
(If Fates permit) she fosters and intends.

This unfortunate sister and wife of Jupiter had not the credit of changing the decrees of destiny,

— Fato stat Jupiter esse.

— To Fate, was Jupiter himself conforme.

[Page 109]And yet the Romans have not done them so much honour, although they put Carthage under their power, against the designe and desires of Juno, as to an unchast whore, and a villanous and an infamous Larentine, now of all the gods you honour, its cer­taine there are many of them that have raigned in the would; if they had now the power to give Em­pires and kingdomes, whilst they were kings, and commanded maen, of whom recived they their au­thority? what gods have beene worshipped by Sa­turn and by Jupiter? it may be twas some Sterculus, to whom they gave immortallity because the first found out the invention of dunging the earth, but hee li­ved since their death with the people that inhabited the territory of Rome. If any of your gods have not had the Soveraigue power heere below, in their time, there were Kings that rendred them not as yet, Divine honours, because they were not as yet ac­knowledged for gods; from whence it followes that it belongs to others then to them to give kingdomes, because there were kings established a long time be­fore they consecrated these deities.

But see how ridiculous a thing it is to attribute the greatnesse of the Romans, to the merit of their piety and care had or Religion, seeing their Religion became much more pompous and costly since their estate grew powerfull, and their dominion enlarged. For although Numa was author of all your supersti­tious mysteries, yet in his time the Romans served their gods without Images and Temples, their Reli­ligion [Page 110] being then void of all costlinesse and ostenta­tion; their ceremonies then neither rich, nor mag­nificent, wee saw not as then Capitolls raised up to Heaven, but onely altars of turfe made in hast, as ser­ved occasion and upon necessity: te vessels for their sacrifices were as then but of earth, from whence onely issued the odor of all the bloud of the beasts which were sacrificed. Engraven representations of the gods then no where appeared. For the Greeks and Tuscans who first invented the art of making carved images to the gods were n ot as then spred in the City of Rome. Its true therefore the Romans were powerfull before they were Religious, neither was it their piety that was the cause of their greatnesse

For, how should the care of Religion become great to them, who owe their greatness to impietie and sacriledge? for it I bee not deceived, Kingdomes and Empires are established by disorders of war, and increase by victories. Wars and victories ordinarily produce the taking and ruine of Cities. Which things cannot bee done without offending the gods. Fury at the same time indifferently assaulting the walls of Temples and Cities, slaughters involving Priests and Citizens without distinction, and the Souldier eager for his prey, sparing no more sacred things, then prophane. In which regard the Romans committed as many sacrilodges, as they obtained conquests; triumphed as often over their gods as O­ver men; all Images of strange and captive gods, yet in your Temples, remaine as so many booties ta­ken [Page 111] form people overcome by you, and these gods suffer their enemies to worship them, giving an end­less Empire to them, whose outrages they should ra­ther have punished, then recompensed after that sort their sacrilegious flatteries.

But as it's unprofitable to honour these gods that have neither sense, nor knowledge, so it's as little dangerous to offend them. Certes true pietie permits not to believe, that this people who (as aforesaid) en­creased Religion by scandalizing it, againe scanda­lized Religion in labouring for its judgement, should get this great power to which arrived, by any reve­rence borne by them to divine things; neither is it otherwise in like manner, to be believed, that those Nations, whose Countries conduced in their being conquered by them, unto the Roman greatness, before losing their Countreys, should bee destitute of all manner of Religion.


REturne then into your selves, and examine if it bee not more likely that it's hee distril utes Kingdomes, he to whom the World belongs which kings governe, and whom Kings depend upon, who command on the Earth; that it's hee that hath ordained the change of Emperours in the sequell of times, and course of ages, who was before all times, and who from times hath composed the ages, that [Page 112] raiseth up estates, and makes them fall from their greatness, whom men have acknowledged for their Authour before they had established among them a­ny societie: confess your errour. Rome, this Citie heeretofore a field, in ancienter then any of your gods; she had her Laws reverenced before she built this vast and magnificent worke of the Capitol. The Babylonians reigned before the creation of your high Priests. The Medes before that of the fifteene men, whom, you propounded to consult on the Sybils Bookes. The AEgyptians, Assyrians, and Ama­zones possessed great Empires before we heard speak of the Saliens, Lupercals, and Vestall Virgins.

After all, if the gods of the Romans disposed of Kingdomes, the Jewish Nation who alwaies negle­cted these kindes of Deities, had never formed an Estate powerfull as it hath done: they abhorred your Idolatry, and on the contrary, you have sacrifi­ced oblations to their god, you have presented gifts to his Temple, you have lived in alliance with them along time, and they had never fallen under your power, if they had not offended their God by the unworthy treating they used to Jesus Christ.


MEE thinks we have purged our selves very well of the crime of high treason, when we say we offend not your deities, because wee [Page 113] shew they are no deities. Therefore when wee are exhorted to present them sacrifices, wee oppose for our defence, the trust wee put or owe to the light God hath given us; wee call our consciences to our aide, which shews us certainly, to whom the wor­ship you render to these images should be adressed, which are exposed to a sacrilegious adoration, and to the names of men you have consecrated: but some say there is folly in our resistance, wee may sa­crifice when prest to it, and conserve our lives with­out injuring our consciences, in keeping a secret re­solution to remaine firme in our Religion, and that in neglecting our security, wee prefer a vaine selfe­will before our welfare. So you give us an advise that teacheth us how to deceave you, but we know the author of this counsell, and who inspires it into you: wee know the crafts of that wicked one, who sometimes by the wiles of his perswasions, sometimes, by the force of torments makes us suffer, strives to overthrow our constancy. It is that mali­cious spirit whose substance is that of Angels, and Divels, who by his sin finally falling from grace becomes our enemy, and envies at that state of happi­nesse wherein by Gods gracious assistance we yet re­maine, and who puts projects in your minds to as­sault us, who secretly excites these furious motions that corrupts all functions of reason in you, and dis­pose you to do us the injustice we spoke of in the be­ginning of this discourse; of condemning us against the rules of justice, and in tormenting us, altough guilty of no fault: for although all power of De­vils, [Page 114] and this wicked spirit, is subject to us, yet is falls out sometimes, that like unto wicked and faithlesse slaves, in the midst of the feare they have of the authority God hath given us over them, they give themselves over to actions of disobedience and re­volt: and as te ordinary effect of feare, is to pro­duce hatred, they strive to wrong them, whose power they feare.

Besides in the estate of rage, and despaire to which they are reduced, because their condemnation is al­ready pronounced, they find content in their wicked­nesse, they solace themselves in their evils, by those they make against the servants of God, against the day of the last judgement when they shall bee shut up in hell to suffer there eternally.

Neverthelesse, they combate not with us after this sort but at a distance, for when wee come neare them, they must yield, being under out power, and are forced to acknowledge the misery of their con­dition, so the Devills that assault us when far from us, have recourse to entreaties when we affront them neare hand. Therefore when we must undergoe such punishmets as you ordain for your wretched slaves, when they shut us up in prisos, whe tey cause us to be condemned to work in the mines, or to som other servile work of the same condition; in the end when they exercise all their rage against us, by te impe­tuous motions of fury that transports them because they see they are subjected to our authority, knowing their forces are inferior to ours, and therfore our victory is assured, and their destruction is inevitable, [Page 115] then we defend our selves against these troublesom & importunate spirits, as if they were our equalls, wee resist them by a holy perseverance in the faith which they strive to destroy; and the most glorious triumph wee can gain over them, is, when our constancy and firme resolution in the Religion of the true God con­demns us to death.


BUT seeing Religion cannot bee forced, and the service of God is a pure act of the will, it seemes, it were injustice to force free men to offer them sacrifices, and would be ridiculous to ob­liege them to honour the gods in despite of them, seeing they ought to be carried by their owne moti­on and interest to seeke their favour; if they be true gods, wee should not snatch away the advantage that gives them the liberty of their nature: It should be permitted them to say, I will not have Jupiter fa­vourable to mee: who are you that will force my will? I feare not Janus, I laugh at his anger, of which side soever of his two faces he looks upon me, what power have you to meddle with what concerns me? but the same spirit that inspires you to presse us to sacrifice to the gods, excites you to ordain us to sacri­fice for the health of the Emperours, & by this meanes the interest of Caesar being mingled with that of the gods, you cannot avoyd the necessity of constray­ning [Page 116] us, and we cannot hinder our lives form being in perill, if wee will be faithfull to God. So wee are come to the second head of high treason, but against a majesty more august then that of the gods: for you render your duties to the Emporour with more feare, and an apprehension more industrious, then to your Iupiter you place in Heaven; and I find you doe wisely if you knew the true condition of this King of gods: for, tell me, whatsoever he be of the living, is he not to be preserd before the dead? but that which you doe is not so much because rea­son obliegeth you to it, as for the consideration of the power present with you, and which before your eyes exerciseth a soveraigne authority on the earth: therefore you shew your selves impious to­wards your gods, in being more afraid of the Prin­ces of the world, then of those gods you prosesse to worship. Finally there is lesse danger with you to cal all the gods together to be witnesses of a false oath, then to sweare falsely by the genius of Caesar onely.


BEfore then you can force us to sacrifice to the gods, it must appeare they can preserve the lives of the Emperours, and the rest of men: when you can shew us they have this power wee are willing to be declared criminalls, if we addresse not our prayers to them for the welfare of our Princes: [Page 117] If the gods you serve; who are no other then the mi­serable spirits of evill Angels and Devills, worke a­ny good: if they that destroy themselves preserve o­thers: if the condemned deliver those that exclaime against them: and lastly if the dead, as you know in your consciences your gods are, protect the living.

Why defend they not rather their statues, ima­ges, and temples, who in my opinion owe their con­servation to the souldiers that guard them? But tell me if the matter, wherof these statues are formed, be not taken out of the mines of the Emperours inheri­tance? and if all these temples depend not absolute­ly on his will? There are many gods have had expe­rience of Caesa [...]s anger; and this is an advantage to us that the Prince being favourable to them, hath used his liberality and accorded some priviledges to them.

Now how is it possible that they that are subjects to the Emperour, to whom all the world is subject, should have the welfare of their Emperour in their power? there is more likely-hood they have their welfare from Caesar, then Caesar from them.

What? offend we the majesty of the Prince, be­cause we cast him not under the things appertaining to him? because we turne not into derision the pray­ers which should be raysed up to Heaven for his pre­servation? and believe not that it is in the hands of the leaden statues of your gods? Truely you appeare very pious to your Prince, being you seeke his wel­fare where it is not, and demand it of them who can do nothing, forgetting him that hath the power, [Page 118] to give it; and seeing you persecute men who can de­mand it, and knowing how to aske it, know also how to obtaine it.


As for us, in the prayers wee make for the Em­perous, wee call upon the eternall God, the true God, the living God, this God to whom the Emperours prefer their assistance before that of other gods; they know very well who gave them the empire they possesse; and men as they are, know who gave them the spirit wherewith they are ani­mated. They acknowledge there is no other, then this onely God, through whose power alone they subsist, to whom they are inferiour one degree one­ly, after whom they are next in place; before and above all other that are called gods. Why should they not be greater then these gods, seeing they are masters of all the living, which are more worth then the dead? they consider how farr their authority goes, and apprehend the essence of God in proving they can do nothing against him; also seeing God greater and of more power then themselves, they are forced to acknowledge they can doe nothing but by him.

Let the Princes of the earth makes as many de­signes as they please to subdue Heaven, undertake to carry Heaven in triumph as a captive, command [Page 119] courts of guard to be kept in Heaven, strive to make Heaven tributary, they labour in vaine, hee is great, because not altogether so great as heaven. To him heaven and all creatures appertaine, the Empe­rour drawes his originall from the same place whence man drew before hee was Emperour: the author of his soule, is the author of his power. It is to him to whom wee Christians, addresse our pray­ers, make them with hands opened, and lifted up, because innocent; the head bare, because no cause to bee ashamed when wee pray to God. There are none declares to us the words we are to say, because it is our heart that acteth rather then our tongue: Wee pray for all the Emperours, and aske of God that he would give them along life; that their Em­pire enjoy a profound peace; their house a happy con­cord; their armies be invincible; themselves assisted with good counsells; the people remaine in their duties, no trouble arise in the world against their authority. In the end, we forget nothing the Prince can wish for, either as a man, or as an Emperour.

Neverthelesse, we cannot aske these things but of him of whom wee know wee shall obtaine them: as hee is the onely one that must grant them, wee are they alone that must pray for them, because we and none but we are his true subjects, for of all men hee is worshipped of none but us, let them put us to death because wee follow his doctrine, and offer this rich and fat sacrifice, which hee will have us consecrate unto him, to wit a prayer conceaved and produced from a chast body, an innocent soule, a spirit filled [Page 120] with holinesse, and not with the graines of incense of little value, the teares of that tree of Arabia, two drops of wine, the blood of an Oxe ready to die of old age, and for that reason even to bee rejected in true sacrifices; finally after all sort of uncleanesse, with a contaminated conscience. In effect there is where withall to wonder that among you, the Priests (vicious as they are) exactly consider it the sacrifi­ces are pure and intire, they examine rather the in­wards of the sacrifices, then the insides of them that offer them, then whilst we implore the grace of God for the Emperours, with our hands lifted up, and stretched toward heaven, let irons pierce us, gibbets put us on crosses, fires consume us, knives cut our throats, beasts devoure us: A Christian while in prayer lifting up his hands to God is in a condition fit to receave all sorts of punishments; and therefore continue, O magistrates, so affected to justice; ravish our soules, whilst they are in prayers for the welfare of the Emperours, and make a crime of truth and the service of God.


BUT it may bee you imagine our hearts belie our words, that what we come from saying, of the vowes wee make for the welfare of our Emperours, is but flattery, by which wee thinke to shelter our selves from the torments prepared for us: [Page 121] But if wee use faigning, this faigning is not unprofi­table, seeing you admit us to prove what we alleadg for our justification: wee entreat them who believe our Religion takes no care of the preservation of the Emperours, to examine the lawes of our God, to read our bookes which wee hide not, and which by divers accidents fall into other hands then ours. They will learne there that it is commanded us by a superabundant charity to pray to God for our ene­mies, and to wish good to them that persecute us.

Now have wee greater enemies, and ruder perse­cuters, then those who make offended majesty the ground of the crime they impute unto us? Holy Scriptures content not themselves with this com­mandement; they have another more precise and clearer, pray, say they, for Kings, Princes, and pow­ers, that you may live in peace in the midst of pub­licke tranquilitie; for, if the Empire be shaken, all its members suffer a generall shaking, it is impossible we should not feel it, because although people take us for strangers, yet seeing wee occupie certaine places, as well as they, wee make a part of the state as well as they, and together with them participate of its good and evill fortune.


VVEE have yet an obligation greater then that, of praying to God for the [Page 122] Emperours, all estates of the Empire and prosperity of the Roman affaires. Wee are assured that the ge­nerall dissolution that threatens the Universe, and this consummation of ages which must bring such fearefull confusions in the world, is retarded so long as the glorious majesty, and triumphant Roman Empire shall last.

We desire not to bee present at the subversion of all nature, and when wee pray to God to deferr it we pray to him that the power of the Romans may long subsist. If wee sweare not by the Genius of the Caesars wee sweare by their welfare, which is more precious then all manner of spirits together. Know you not that they call Genies Devils? wee reverence the providence of God in the persons of the Empe­rours, that raysed them above all nations. Wee know they governe the world with this supreame authority, because God would have it so; and wee desire their conservation, because God would have us desire it. And the prayers wee make for the wel­fare of Emperours, are in the same esteeme with us, as most solemne oaths.

As for Devils, or Genies, we are wot to conjure them to drive them away from the bodies of men, where­of they are seased, and render them not the honours due to God onely, by swearing by them.


[Page 123]BUt why should I stay longer in making knowne with what sense of Religion and pie­ty Christians honour Emperours? It sufficeth to say we are oblieged to render them our duties, as to whom our master hath commanded us so to doe: I can easily add, the Emperour is more Emperour of the Christians, then of his other sub­jects, because the God of the Christians hath established him, in regard whereof wee labour more to purpose for his welfare, then other men, be­cause wee aske it not onely of the onely God who a­lone can grant it us, not onely wee that demand it who are fitly quallified for obtaining the same, but the prayers moreover which we make for him have so much the more efficacy, as wee abase the Empe­rours Majesty under that of gods, we submit it to his onely power; to the greatnesse of God, because wee equall it not to him; for I give not the name of God to the Emperour, either because I cannot lie, or have not the forhead to mocke him withall, or that himselfe will not have me call him God.

If hee bee man, hee hath reason to acknowledge that God is more then he, it being sufficient for him to be called Emperour: this name which God hath given him is full of dignity, hee that calls him God, denyes that hee is Emperour, because if hee bee not man he cannot be Emperour. Even when hee is set on his triumphant chariot, and sees himselfe raysed up to the highest degree ot humane felicities in this world, he should be advertised then, that he is man. There is a voyce that sayth, looke behind you, re­member [Page 124] what pompe soever environs you, you are still but man: we should diminish without doubt ve­ry much of his greatnesse, if in this estate we should call him God, because its a title that belongs not un­to him, and contrarily wee honour him agreeably to the majesty of his estate, when we call back his spirit to the consideration of what he is, that hee may not believe he is a God.


AUgustus to whom the Empire owes its esta­blishment because Lord is the firname which wee give unto God, would not suffer his sub­jects to call him their Lord; yet I will make no difficulty to acknowledge the Emperour is my Lord, but it shall be, when not forced to call him my Lord, in the same sense that appertaines to my God.

When I say the Emperour is my Lord, I will not forbeare in so saying to preserve my liberty. This kinde of reverence makes mee not his slave. For I have but one onely true Lord, to wit the powerfull and Eternall God, who is his God also as well as mine.

But how can it be that the father of a countrey is the Lord of the same? cerres, a name of piety is much more agreeable to such a man, then a name of power and authority. Secondly, therefore it is that we call the chiefe of perticular houses, fathers, [Page 125] rather then Lords of families: If Augustus would never take upon him the name of Lord, the [...] less appearanc of reason to attribute that of God unto Emperours. Its a flattery thats not onely infamous, but also of a pernicious consequence: as if forgetting the respect due to the Prince, (to whom this great Empire renders obedience) you should thereby transfer the title of Emperour to another; is it not true you doe an extreame injury to the Emperour, whom you ac­knowledged before for your master? by this caution you render him irreconcilable to you, and his hatred kindled by you, is dreadfull to him as well as unto you whom you have honoured with the name of Emperour; You your selves must bee pious to God, if you desire to have God propitious to your Empe­ror. You must cease to believe thers any other God, by forbearing to call your Emperour so who hath need of the assistance of God.

But if the pleasure of the world so governes your spirits that you blush not when you call man God against your owne knowledge, you ought, at least, to feare this title you attribute to him, be not an ilO­men; for its the making of an imprecation against the life of the Emperour, to call him God before his apotheosis.


SO then Christians are publick enemies, because the honours they render to the Emperours, are neither vaine, flattering, nor rash; because that in the sense of the true Religion, they professe, they celebrate their solemne dayes, rather by the moti­ons of a pure conscience, then the disorders of a fil­thy deboystnesse, Thinke you these are such great testimonies of affection, to kindle fires in the midst of the streets, to set up tables there, to make feasts in the publicke places; to change the face of the City into that of a great Taverne, to spill so much wine upon the pavement, that dirt is made there­with, and afterwards to run in troopes, for quarrels, for committing insolencies, for seeking of meates an­swerable to unruly appetites? Must a publick shame bee the marke of a publicke joy? must these things bee counted seemely on the solemne dayes of Prin­ces, which at no other time, on no other dayes are either fitting or decent.

What? they who live according to the rules of ex­act discipline, that their prayers may obtaine from God the wellfare of the Emperour, shall they I say, change the manner of living, thus to houour the Emperour? shall liberty, and corruption passe for piety? What serves to enflame concupiscence shall it bee imputed an act of Religion? I confesse it is just [Page 127] to condemne us; for why while observers of chasti­ty, temperance, and all other Christian and morrall vertues, deny we them the licentiousnesse of making such like brutish rejoycings and bedlam sports for the welfare of the Emperours? why when all the world besides in joy, shade we not our doores at the same time with laurells? why set we not up candles and burne (as wee use to say) in the proverbe daye­light with torches? for it is counted a meritoriour thing with you, in celebrating publicke solemnities to adorne your dwellings with all manner of vici­ous ornaments agreeable to licentious youth in har­lots houses.

But let us see if they that envy us the name of Ro­mans, and suppose us enemies, to the Roman Em­pire, fall not into the selfesame crimes they reproach us with that are Christians, let us looke into your lives, examine your histories that therein discover whether or no you (the people I meane) who accuse us after this manner, offend not more then wee this second Majesty, whether you commit not more then wee, this second sacriledge, a crime layd to our charge, because wee solemnise not with you the dayes you feast on in honour to the Emperours, with all kind of beastly ceremonies repugnant to our mo­desty, chastity and purity. I addresse my selfe to this common people of Rome, to this popularity who occupy the seven hils of this great City, and aske them if their language, as Roman ask is, hath spa­red any of their Caesars. The placcards fixt to the Statues of Tiber, and the Cirques where they bring [Page 128] the wild beasts, that are taught to teare men in pee­ces, and whether they heare the people in the midst of these publicke spectacles speake ill of the Prince, can render sufficient testimonies heerof. If nature had given to man a body of as transparent a matter as a looking glasse, is there any in this great multi­tude, that appeares not with the image of some new Emperour engraven on his heart, set on a throne lifted up, giving order for the distributing of the pre­sents the Princes are wont to make to the publicke at his comming to the Empire, at which instant hee heares these confused voyces which crie, ‘De nostris annis tibi Jupiter augeat annos?’ Frō our own years, should Jupiter add more to thine.

A Christian can neither pronounce these words, nor make wishes for the change of Emperours. You say these are actions of the vulgar, but they are the actions of the Romans, and of those that are the greatest enemies wee can have, for its this populari­ty that crie the lowdest against the Christians. But it may be other Orders have beene faithfull to their Princes to the proportion of the authority they have in the State; that there is come out no conjuration from the body of the Senate, and of the Knights, that the Souldiers have not attempted the Empe­rours lives, they are safe in theit owne pallaces: from whence then an Avidius Cassius, a Piscenius Ni­ger, and a Claudius Albinius? from whence those that assieged the Emperor Comodus between the two law­rell woods? from whence those in the exercise of the At hletes got the force they imployd to strangle that [Page 129] Prince? From whence those that forced the palace with their armes in their hands, with more impu­dence then the Sigeres had, and the Parthenians? If I bee not deceived they are all Romans, all these Parricides are of the Religion of them that professe not Christianitie. So that these people, at the same moment they went to commit these attempts so full of impiety, did sacrifice for the welfare of the Em­perour, swore by his Genius, shewing themselves outwardly much different from that they were within, and gave to the Christians the names of pub­licke enemies. But so many persons as are dayly discovered to bee confederates, or approvers of this detestable party made against Severus, these rests of so great a harvest of parricides; what lawrells new­ly gathered, and covered with branches, did they not put up before their doores? with what eleva­ted and lighted torches did they not blacke the en­try of their houses withall? what rich and magnifi­cent tables did they not set up in the chiefe places of Rome? not to take part in the publicke joyes, but that by the occasion of a solemnity ordayned for a­nother, they made the Deities they cald on under­stand, that the prayers they had conceived, and changing in their minds the name of Prince, by the image of this pompe, they consecrated that of their hopes.

They that consult with Astrologers, Devines, Au­gures, and Magitians concerning the welfare of their Emperours, render them all theseduties; these curi­ous sciences were taught men by the revolted Angels. [Page 130] God hath forbid the use thereof, and therefore Christians male no use of them no not to my what should be the successe of their owne affairs; but it is true, one cannot without crime enquire of these im­postors of the welfare of the Prince. For who can have an interest in it, but hee that hath a designe up on his death, who wisheth it, hopes it, and expects something should happen against it? Wee do not in­forme our selves of the fortune of our neighbours, with the same intention wee informe our selves of that of our masters. The curiosity that produceth the affection of bloud hath other motions then that which enters in the mind of a subject by the hatred it carryes to servitude.


NOw seeing they who had the names of Ro­mans, were enemies of the State, why doe they deny us the title of Romans, wee whom they call enemies? but cannot we bee Romans with­out being enemies, because it is found they were e­nemies who passed for Romans? Certes the piety we should, have to the Emperours, the judgement of Re­ligion, with which wee are obliged to pray for their welfare, and the testimonies of the fidelity due to them, consist not in these exterior duties whereof wee have spoken; contrarily under the vaile of these ceremonies men may hide their ill will; but it con­sists [Page 131] in the ceremonies of the actions of vertue that commands the law of God, and that Christians are bound to practise, as much for the Emperour in per­ticular, as for all the world in generall; for the good wee do, is not a tribute wee owe but to our Prince. Our good workes distinguish not the qualities of persons, because wee labour not for our selves, and looke not for the prayse, or recompense of men, but of God, who hath a faithful register of our good actions, and gives us a rich recompense when they are indifferent, and have not for an object any other consideration in the world. We live with our Em­perours even as with our neighbours.

It is equally forbidden us to wish evill, to do evill, and to speake evill of our neighbours, yea to thinke evill of whosoever it bee: that which is not lawfull for us to undertake against the person of the Empe­rour, is not permitted us against any other person whatsoever: that which is not lawfull for us to un­dertake against a particular, is perhaps lesse lawfull against him God hath raysed up to so great dignity.


IN effect, if (as wee have said heer before), it bee commanded us to love our enemies; remaines there any wee must hate? if revenging injury re­ceived, bee forbid us, as also to commit the same faults they fall into that have offended us; remaines [Page 132] there any one, to whom it is lawfull for us to do a displeasure unto? judge of it by your owne know­ledge? How often by a blind obedience, render you as mach to your passions, as to your lawes; you em­ploy the sword and fire aginst Christians? How, of­ten doe these people, being our enemies, of their owne accord, without your authority, assault us with stones, or burne us? Certes, they are so enra­ged against us, that during the furies of the Bacchinales, they spare not, even Christians that are dead, but trouble the rest of their graves, they violate their Se­pulchers, which are as sanctuaries of the dead, they draw forth their bodies, not to bee known whose bo­dies they are, after mangled by them, which with extreame inhumanity they teare and drag in the streets. In the midst of all these outrages, have you observed that these people, Who (as you thinke) have formed so strange a conspiracy, and on the o­ther side might bee animated enough for revenge by the punishments, wherewith you make them lose their lives, endeavoured any thing against you to ressent the evill treating they have received? Think you that they want an occasion? When in one night onely a small number of torches would be enough to satisfie their revenge, if with us it were permitted to render evill for evill; but God forbid wee should doe so.

A Religion that is all Divine ought not to re­venge by the instigation of men; and must not think it strange to suffer that which is made use of to prove them. If we would declare against you, as o­pen, [Page 133] rather then pursue you as secret enemies, might wee not have forces and troopes enough? It may bee the Moores and Marcomanes, the Parthians, or what­soever people they are, shut up in the bounds of the Countrey they inhabit, make a greater number of men, then they that are spred throughout all the U­niverse and have no other limits then that of the world. Our originall is but of late, and we fill al­ready all that your power acknowledgeth, Cities, Fortresses, Isles, provinces, the assemblies of the peo­ple the armies also, the wards, and tenths of Rome, the, Palace, the Senate, and the publicke places; Fi­nally wee leave you but the Temples. What warrs were wee not able to undertake? With what promptitude might we not arme our selves, although wee should bee the weaker; wee that suffer our selves so willingly to bee killed, if in our Religion it were, not rather lawfull to let our selves bee killed, then to kill others? Wee would also make warr a­gainst you without taking up armes, and casting our selves into a revolt; It were enough not to live with you, and to seperate our selves, our divorce would print shame in your foreheads. For if the Christi­ans who make so great a multitude of all sorts of persons, should abandon you, to retire into some Countrey of the world dispersed from all society; truely the losse of so many Citizens, of what condi­tion soever they are, would disparage your govern­ment and also our retreat would bee a rude punish­ment to you; without doubt the solitude that would remaine with you; this silence of all things, this ge­nerall [Page 134] astonishment of nature, even as if all the world were dead, would frighten you, you might goe seeke subjects to command, there would re­maine to you more enemies then Citizens: now you have more Citizens then enemies, because there are greater number of Christians among you. But if we were not neare you, who would snatch you a way from these secret enemies, whose malignant operations make so strange a confusion in your minds, and so horrible an alteration of your healths? I have heard speake of the possession of Divells, where with you are tormented from whence we de­liver you freely and Without reward; if wee had the spirit of revenge, it were enough to satisfie us, that these corrupted spirits might at all times sease on your bodies, and that entrance therein were al­wayes open to them. But as you do not thinke of that you ought, to wit, so deare a protection, you cease not to declare a people, to bee your enemies, who do you no hurt, whose assistance is so absolutely necessary to you. It is true wee are enemies, yet not of men, but of their errours.


THen being you see no evill can be imputed to our Religion, and on the contrary, the piety it teacheth, is saving to men, you should let them have better usage then that have had: [Page 135] you should, approve of them as of a law full and per­mitted society, beacause there is no such thing com­mited by them as is wont to be feared from factious societies, and such as is forbid by the lawes.

If I bee not deceived, the cause why Magistrates forbid them, is the care they have of the publicke tranquillitie: that the City be not divided in parties, for that sooner disturbes all the orders of the Ro­man people, makes tumults in the midst of the as­semblies of the multitude, and also disquiets the use of the lawfull pleasures of this people, when the pleasures they affect with so much desire possesse their eyes; for it is subject to receive diverse impres­sions. They interesse themselves in the factions made by the ambition of evill Citizens. They share their affections among them, and one may feare these disorders now more then ever, because we live in a time, in which men fell their services to com­mit violences. As for us, as wee care not for gaining honour, and possessing great matters of this world, nothing obliegeth us to assemble our selves against the prohibitions of Lawes; and its far from our thoughts, to meddle with publick affaires. Wee ac­knowledge, but one onely republicke of all men, which is the world; Wee renounce your shewes, as wee condemne their diverse originalls, by the know­ledge, wee have that they are the effects of superstiti­on and idolatrie.

Finally, wee regard not what passeth there, have no comerce with the furies of the Cirques, with the unchastity, of the Theater, the vaine exercise of the [Page 136] Athletes, and the cruelties of the amphitheater. If lawfull for the Epicurians to faine a volupruousnesse to themselves, wherein they established the truth of the Soveraigne good. In what then do we offend you if wee take other pleasures then yours? but if wee will be ignorant of all kind of delights, me thinks it is not for your interest; and if there be any losse, it falls all upon us. We reject, say you, the things that please you: wee have reason so to doe, because our pleasures are not yours.


AFter shewing Christian Religion (which you call a factious society) innocent of all crimes by you attributed to it; its time I disco­ver unto you its maners, to the end, that having refu­ted the evill wherewith it is reproached, I shew you the good wherewith it is replenished. Wee make a body, or by certaine knowledge all conspire in the service of the true God, where we live united under one Discipline, and one onely Faith, or, by a happie conjunction, conceive all of us the like hope of e­ternal felicity. We assemble together by troops in our prayers to God, as if thereby wee would carry as by force, the grant of whatever prayers we present un­to him; it is a violence that is agreeable to him; we pray to him for the Emperours, their Ministers, [Page 137] the magistrates that have the exercise of their pow­er, for the polliticke estate, the tranquillity of the Empire, the retarding of the generall dissolution that must put an end to all things. Wee assemble together to read the holy Scriptures, and wee read them according to the condition of the times, what serves either to admonish, or confirme the faith­full. In effct the Scriptures nourish our faith, lift up our hope, and assure the confidence wee have in God, neverthelesse we cease not to confirme our dis­cipline by the strength of precepts we continually re­peate.

In these assemblies wee make exhortations, and threatnings, and exercise Divine censure, that bani­sheth sinners, and excludes them from our commu­nion wee judge them with very much circumspe­ction, because we know that God is in the midst of us, and sees what we doe; and certainly it is a great fortelling of the judgement God will, one day, pro­nounce against the wicked, when the Church, mo­ved with the enormity of their crimes, darts out up­on wilfull sinners the thunderbolts of excommunica­tion, and deprives them from the participation of its prayers, its society, and all sort of holy commerce with it. In our assemblies there are Bishops that pre­side, and have authority over all the faithfull com­mitted to their charge; they are approved by the suffrages of them whom they ought to conduct, and it is not bribes that acquire them this honor, but testimonies given of their good life. For in the Church of God nothing is done by the allurement of [Page 138] gifts: if there be among us any kind of treasure, the money layd up makes our Religion not ashamed; neithercan it be sayd what brought unto us is a tri­bute, or price payed to participate of its ho inesse: everyone contributes a little sum, at the end of the month, or, when hee will: but it is, if hee will, and can: for none are constrayned to give: if wee get a­ny almes, it is of good will, riches gathered in this manner are as the pledges of piety; wee do not con­found them in eating and drinking with excesse; we make not use of them for the fowle and loathsome exercise of gluttony: but we employ them in feeding the poore, and burying them, in comforting chil­dren that are destitute of parents and goods, in hel­ping old men who have spent their best dayes in the service of the faithfull, in helping the poore that have lost by shipwracke what they had, and in as­sisting them that serve in the mines, are banished into Islands, or shut up in prisons, because the pro­fesse the Religion of the true God, that during the time they suffer for the confession of his name they may be nourished with the stocke of the Church. But its a strang thing that this charity among us gives oc­casion to som to blame us. See, say they, how they love one another; this astonitheth them, because they hate one another, See, say they, how they are ready to die one for another, hut as for them they are ready, to kil one another; & I think, they have nothing to say a­gainst the name of Christian we give one another, for with them paternal names, & the affinity that blood produceth, expresseth but a fained affectiō, & disguised [Page 139] amity. It must not seeme strange to you if wee call one another brethren, seeing wee are all your brethren by the right of nature, which is mother to us all. Wee have the same principles as you, but you renounce the humanity common to us; because you are evill brethren to us: but with how much more reason are they called and esteemed brethren; who acknowledge one same father, to wit, the li­ving God, that have received the same spirit of Sanctitie, who being shut up in the same darkenesse, and ignorance, as children in the belly of their mo­ther, came forth happily, and in opening their eyes were frighted at the sight of the same light, which is that o [...] truth? But, it may bee, it is not believed we are brethren indeed, because there are no trage­dies, that speake of the bloody disorders of Christi­ans, or because wee are brethren, but unto the com­mon usage of the goods of the world, which with you have the power to dissolve the union of bro­therhood; therefore, as we live with the same intel­ligence, as if we had all but one spirit, and one soul, we make no difficulty to put all things betweene us in common; we have nothing in particular but our wives, of all things in the world there is nothing but wives, whereof wee reject community; and, on the contrary, among them, of their wives onely there is community with other men, for as they have used to desile the mariages of their friends, they prostiture also marriages with very much pati­ence to the unchastitie of their friends: that which they have learnt, if I be not deceived, in the schoole [Page 140] of a Greeke Socrates, and Roman Cato, who have sometimes lent their wives to their friends, those they married to have children by, to bee engendred by others then themselves and out of their houses. I know not if they lent them against their wills; for why should they have any care of their chastity, whom their husbands abandon so lightly? O fa­mous example of a Grecians wisdome, and Roman severitie! A Philosopher and a Censor make a shamefull trade of the chastitie of their wives.

Now seeing wee live together with so much cha­rity, that all our goods are common; why should they wonder if wee make good cheere? for it is one of the excesses you reproach us with, besides the in­famous crimes where of you accuse our repasts, you reproove us with prodigality; it may bee it is of us Diogenes hath said, the Megarians make feasts, as if they would die tomorrow and they build also, as if they would never die. Certes, each of you fees easi­er the straw in his neighbours eye, then the beame in his owne. The aire is corrupted with the ill sents that goe out of the mouths of so many people, that spew in the streets.

What, the Saliens could not make one repast, un­lesse they found some body that lent them money to supplie their expences? your stewards would bee troubled to make ready the accounts of the money spent in feasts, where you vow the tenth of your goods to Hercules? In Athens they chuse the excel­lentest cookes to celebrate the feast of the Apaturies, wherein the midst of their deboystnes, they call upon [Page 141] the Deity of father Denis; the souldiers who have the charge of watching by night, to hinder the bur­ning of the City, are troubled at the sight of the smoake that riseth in the aire, in making ready sup­per in honour of Serapis? And yet they will talke of nothing, but the excesse of the Tables of the Christi­ans? But you need but consider the name given to our repast to know the quality thereof. They express themselves with the same word that signifies dilecti­on with the Greekes, whatsoever the cost is that is made, it is profitable, for they gaine alwayes in this expence; because it hath piety for its foundation. Its a sweetnesse, wherewith wee comfort the want of the poore, but we do not treat them, as you those infamous gluttons, who glory in selling you their li­berty for the price of the good bits, where with they fill their bellies in the midst of a thousand indigni­ties. But wee will have the least served with our goods, because we know they, among all men, are, the most acceptable to God.

Then seeing our banquets have so honest an end, consider what our Discipline should be in the rest of our actions, even those which more concerne the duties of Religion; it permits nothing that is disho­nest, nor far from modesty. Before wee goe to table wee are fed with heavenly meat; which is the pray­er we make to God; wee eate as much, as is necessa­ry to satisfie ones appetite, wee drinke as much as is permitted to persons that have a care of their puri­ty. They that sit there take their refection with so [Page 142] much temperance, as they may remember they are obliged to worship God, even at night. They enter­taine one another as people that know God heares what they say. After the repast done, and washt their hands, and lighted the candles, they are invi­ted to prayse God, and to sing Psalmes, taken out of the holy Scripture, or Hymns; every one composeth according to the capacity of his mind. By this it may be known, it they have committed any excesse at table; as the repast began with prayer, so it ends; they goe forth, no [...] in diverse troopes to defile their hands with the bloud of men, not in severall bands running in the streets, not to doe insolencies; but with the same care they had in comming in, preser­ving their modesty and chastity.

Finally, Christians retire with so much stayed­nesse, that wee may very well see, they are not fed so much with corporall meats, as the substance of heavenly and holy discipline. Certes, it were but reason, that this society of the Christians should bee reputed unlawfull, if it were like to that the lawes forbid; it were but good reason it should bee con­demned, if it were not different to that which deserves to bee condemned; if one would reproach it with the same things wherewith they accuse facti­ous societies. But tell me, did wee ever assemble to procure the hurt of any one? As we are seperated, we are the same also in a bodie: as wee are in per­ticular, so we are in generall that is to say, in what­soever estate we are found, we offend no body, wee injure no body; when any vertuous or godly people [Page 143] are associated, when any pious or chast persons assem­ble together, their union should not be called a facti­on, but a lawfull society.


BUT, contrarily, the title of factious apper­taines truely to them, who forme intelligences of undoing good men, whom they hate, who, by a wicked combination, lift up their voyces against the bloud of innocents, and ground not their hatred but on the false opinion they have, that Christians are the cause of al the calamities arrive in the world, and evills that people suffer.

If Tiber overflowes, if Nilus have not watered the plaines, if Heaven hath stopt its course, and not powred its raines heere below, if the earth quake, there bee famine, or plague, immediately they crie out, cast the Christians to the Lyons. What is one Lyon able to devoure so many Christians? But con­sider, I pray you, how many evills have afflicted the U [...]iverse & Cities which make a part thereof before the Empire of Tiberius that is to lay, before the birth of Jesus Christ. Wee read that the Island of Hiera­polis, Delos, Rhode, and Co, were heertofore lost with many thousands of men that inhabited them. Plato reports, that the Atlanticke Sea hath covered an I­sland of a greater exten [...], then Asia, and Africa toge­ther. An Earthquake made the Sea of Corinth ap­peare [Page 144] drie, and the impetuosity of the waves sepera­ting Lucarna from the firme land of Italy, and bani­shing it from its continent, hath made an Island, which is now known by the name of Sicily. Certain­ly al these accidents could not happen, but the people must have suffered strange misfortunes. But, I will not onely say, where were the Christians, the contemners of your gods, but your gods themselves, when the de­luge covered & drowned all the world, or (as Plato supposeth) the flat countries onely? for, indeed, wee cannot but doubt your gods are since this generall, in­undation, the Cities where they took birth, & where they died, and those they built render testimonies therof: they would not have beene, they had not lasted till our time, if their originall were not after this Universal disorder, when the justice of God pun­nished all the world? Palestina had not yet served for a retreat to the people of Israel at their going out of Egypt. The Iewes, whose law is the source of the Christian Religion, was not yet established, when as two Cities neer to this province, Sodom and Go­morrah were consumed by a raine of fire: the Coun­trey retaineth still the odor of that ancient bur­ning, and if the trees beare any fruits, they are fruits onely to the sight, so soone as one toucheth them they are turned into ashes. Tuscany, and Campania did not complaine of the Christians, when fire from Heaven consumed the City of Vulsina, and that of Pompeyes, was burnt by flames the neighbour moun­taine vomited. Nobody, as yet, cald on the true God at Rome, when Hanniball, after hee had got the great [Page 145] victory of Cannes, by the number of gold rings hee got of the Romans, and measured by the bushell, which made the count of the men killed in the battel. All people indifferently adored your gods; when the Gaules came with their armes in their hands un­to the Capitol, and besieged it: but is it not a powerfull argument against your errour which wee see in your histories, that when Cities were forced, temples and walls had the same destiny? for, from, thence I boldly conclude, that your gods send not these evills on the earth, because they are mortall, as well as you. If discover the source of the evils, wherewith the race of men have been afflicted in all ages, know it hath been their ingratitude hath exci­ted against them the anger of God. For, they have alwayes offended this great author of nature, because not acknowledged the graces received of him. Hee hath given them the knowledge of a part of his greatnesse, in exposing before their eyes the beauty of the Universe, which publisheth his honour so highly; and instead of imploying themselves in so noble a search; they faigned to themselves other gods, to whom they have rendred the honour that appertained not, but to him alone.

After this fault, they committed another, which is, in not seeking out him that is the master, and example of innocencie, and who is also the judge and revenger of sin, abandoning themselves to all sorts of vices, and shamefully defiling themselves with execrable crimes: the which, if they had loo­ked into, as they were oblieged, without doubt, [Page 146] they had knowne him, and in knowing, honoured him, and after that had sooner resented his favours, then his wrath. Let them not then trouble them­selves about the cause of these evills, but know they are the effects of the fury of this same God, who, in all ages, hath given them proofes of his indignation, before they heard speake of the name of Christians. Man this wicked race that inioyed at case all the goods God created for him, before all false gods? ado­red by him were forged, will hee not comprehend that these evils came from the hand of him to whom he hath not rendred homage for his goods? In sum, his ingratitude is his crime, hee hath offended the majesty of God, in failing to make due acknow­ledgement of him. Yet if make comparison of the calamities of the time past, with this time, wee shall finde since the very moment God sent the first Christians on the earth, publicke evills have beene more tollerable then before they were. Its very ea­sy to discover the reason of it, the innocence where­of they make profession hath diminished the iniqui­ties of the world, and begun to turne away, with their prayers, the just vengeance of God. But, see heere a manifest proofe of your blindnesse. During the great draught of summer, when an excessive heat stayed the raine, and hindred that it fell not on the earth, in the time when every one desired water, that the fruits of the earth might come to maturity, you lose not the use of your pleasures, and de­boistnesse, and among the pastimes you take in your bathes, your tavernes, and your unchast houses, you [Page 147] demand of Jupiter, by divers kind of sacrifices, and by the use of many superstitions, the help whereof you have need; you ordain publicke prayers, where the people being baresooted invoke the affistance of the Gods, you seeke in the Capitole that which you cannot find, but in heaven; you stay till the seelings of your temples be changed into clouds, to give you raine, and thinke to obtaine that you desire, with­out addressing your selfe to God, and turning your selfe towards heaven, where hee powres downe his graces upon men. Our proceedings are much diffe­rent from yours, in these publick necessities we mor­tisie our selves by fastings; wee practise continency, with all the severity wee can; wee abstaine, for a time, from all corporall nourishment, we take sack­cloth and ashes, as markes of our affliction; and in this condition, wee strike at heaven with our cries; wee constraine him to have pitty on us; wee make him ashamed of our misery; and when wee have o­vercome the anger of God, and puld downe his mer­cy, you honour your Jupiter, and thanke him for a benefit comes not from him.


CErtainly, that which you say unjustly of Christians, Christians may, with good rea­son, say of you, that you do nothing but hurt the society of men, and by your crimes, every day, [Page 148] draw publicke evills upon them; for the evill of pu­nishment is the effect of the neglect you have of God, and the worship you render to statues : in a word its more credible, that God neglected by mankind, should bee sooner irritated against you, then those that receive his services, otherwise the Gods you honour would be very unjust, if in punishing Christ­ians they make no difficulty to punish them also that adore them. They should seperate their servants from the condition of Christians, their enemies. You likewise oppose to us that this argument resists the justice of our God; because hee suffers that they who serve him feele the publicke evils, even as the pro­phane that do not acknowledge him. But observe the order our God hath established, and when com­prehended it, you will forbeare this objection. Hee that hath ordained at the end of all ages the judge­ment of men, and to distribute to alrecompenses or e­verlasting punishments, puts no difference betweene them before the consummation of time, doth not, before hand, make a seperation of the good and evill, but reservesit for his last judgement; in the meane time, hee equally treats all mankind, whether hee shewes them mercy, or reproves them in his anger; Hee will have both good and bad things common to his servants and the prophane; that wee may, in the society of the world, without any distinction, bee all tryed by his clemency and severity; as for us, as wee have learnt all these things of him, we love his clemency, and feare his severity; contrarily, you neglect both the one and the other, and from thence [Page 149] it comes that all the miseries the world receives from the hand of God, are, to us, voyces from hea­ven, that admonish, and exhort us to do well, and to you, they are chastisements of your crimes. In the midst of these calamities, wee feele no displcasure, for nothing tyes us to the world, and wee have no interest, but to bee gon ere long; besides, wee know, they are the disorders of your lives, that procure these evills, wherewith the world is afflicted; and if there falls any part upon us, because we are mingled with you, wee take occasion to rejoyce, because it puts before our eyes the truth of the holy scriptures, that confirme in us the confidence wee have in the promises made to us; that fortisies our faith, and assures our hope. If it be true, they are the Gods you honour afflict you so cruelly because of us, how is it possible you continue, still to worship so ungratefull, and unjust gods; seeing, contrarily, to injure the Christians, they should rather assist, and defend you?


BUt, after all these crimes, they object against us, and say, wee are not any way prositable in commerce of the world. I know not how that can be sayd of us, seeing wee live with you, wee use the same meates, and the same habits as you, we have beene brought up the one as the other, and the [Page 150] necessities of life are common betweene us. For, wee are not like the Brachmanes, or the Gymnosophists of India, wee retire not into the woods; wee banish not our selves from all things necessary for life, wee continually remember, we have great obligations to our God, our Lord, our Creator: we reject not any good thing, his goodnesse hath produced, for our use: we containe our selves in a just moderation, that wee may not take with excesse, or without having need: we remaine with you in the world, but not seperate from the ordinary commerce: wee are not without your publicke places, your markets, your baths, your shops, your Inns, your Faires. Wee saile, beare armes, cultivate the ground, and trafficke with you; so that wee mingle our functions with yours; and make open profession of working for your service. I cannot comprehend how you can imagine wee are not profitable to you, and that we contribute nothing to the offices of society, seeing it is with it, and by it wee live: But if I do not assist at your ceremonies, if I celebrate not your feasts, yet I am a man as well that day as other dayes. During the Saturnalls I goe not into the bath before day, because I will not employ the houres of night and day unprofitably, yet I wash my selfe at a convenient houre, that the bath may serve to preserve my health and conserve my life and blood: is it not enough, When I am dead, that all my body growes stiffe and pale after it is washed? the daies on which are represented games in honour of your Gods, I eate not publikely, as you doe, according to the custome of these wretched [Page 151] creatures, who at the instant they are to bee devou­red by wild beasts, fill their bellies before all the world for their last repast; yet in any other place where I eate, I eate the same meats as you doe. I buy no flowers to make a garland to put on my head: what is it to you what use I make of the flowers I have bought? mee thinks they are more pleasing to mee when they are free, unbound, and scattered without order. But, if wee must put them into the forme of a garland, wee are used, when they are in this condition, to put them neer our noses to smell to them. Let them that put them on their heads, try if it be more to purpose to smell by the haires, or by the organ of the smelling part? I am not at your shewes, but, if my appetite mooves mee to tast the good bitts that are sold in these assemblyes, I will ra­ther buy them in the places where they are ordinari­ly sold. I buy no incense: if the marchants of Ara­bia complaine on it, let these strangers know more wares are spent, and with greater profusenesse in burying Christians, then to sume the images of the God. You say, the tributes of the temples are lesse every day by the malice of men, that there is lesse given to them that keepe those holy places; but hard­ly can wee suffice to give comfort both to men, and to your gods that implore our charity. Wee think, it is enough to use liberallity towards them that aske it of us: Let Jupiter give us his hand, and hee shall not take it away empty; wee will doe him the favour, which our mercy refuseth to no body: Wee distribute more goods , in every street, then your Re­ligion, [Page 152] with all its sacrifices doe in all your temples; and, on the other side, if the tributes of the temple suffer any diminution, the republicke is oblieged for her owne to the piety of the Christians, because they pay what they owe with the same fidelity, which makes them abstaine from all frauds, by which men are wont to retaine unjust­ly the goods of others. If one consider but the losse the publicke receives by these trickes and lies, where you strive to frustrate her rights, it will bee found that the dammage your evil conscience causeth to the State in this onely ran-counter, carries away quite al the good you can do in any other thing what­soever.


I Acknowledge there are certaine persons that have reason to complaine of us, and may truely say, there is nothing to be gained for them of the Christians. They are first these infamous corrup­ters of chastity; these brokers of foule pleasures, and dishonest loves, these wretched creatures that serve the vildest ministers of unchastitie; after these, Murtherers, they which meddle with giving of poy­son, and Magicians, and finally southsayers, Deviners, and Astrologers. But it is very profitable in this life, to be unusefull to these people; Yet in what manner soever it be, that our Religion causeth dammage to [Page 153] your affaires, it hath neither lost where withall to recompence you by the helpe you may expect from it. How much do you esteeme them, I say not them that deliver you from the power of Divells, them that pray for you to the true God: But, them you may have neere you, as assured guards, from whom there is nothing to be feared?


IN effect, there is cause to wonder your passion is so irregular, that in prosecuting the Christi­ans, you make no difficulty to take away the life of men that are profitable to the common wealth. The State receives by your injustice an evident da­mage, and important losse: and yet no bodie lookes to it: no body weighs of what consequence the suf­ferings are of so many persons of good life, and the punishment of so great a number of innocents. We speake as boldly of the Christians you put to death, for wee have an unreproachable testimony of their integrity, which wee take also from your registers, Sirs, who are employed, every day, in judging those that are kept in prisons, and who terminate their processes, by the sentences you give against them, of all the malefactors accused before you, of so many sorts of crimes; is there any of them charged with Murther, Robberie, Sacriledge, and other faults, to whom they impute also that hee is a Christian? [Page 154] or else, when Christians are presented to be punish­ed as Criminalls, because they are Christians, is there, any amongst them, whose life like that of o­ther prisoners? all the faulty wherewith your pri­sons are so filled that they are overcharged, are of your Religion; they are also of your Religion that make the mines groane under the weight of their blowes, they are the wretched creatures of the same Religion you are wherewith the wilde beasts fill their enttayles. All these poore criminalls, your Citizens breed up to make them cruelly kill one a­nother before a bloody people, have the same opini­on you have of the deity.

Finally, among all these wretched creatures, thers not one Christian, unlesse hee be charged by iustice, because of his name Christian: Or, if there be found a Christian attainted of any crime, hee hath no more the name Christian, because he hath lost that Divine qualitie, in losing his innocence.


ARe there none then in the world innocent but we, what marvaile? it must needs bee so; and otherwise it cannot bee: Forasmuch as God, having taught us innocency; wee know it perfectly, as revealed from a perfect master, and keep it faith­fully as dispensed by one who will not bee mocked by us in a seeming obedience unto what hee com­mands. [Page 155] As for you its the opinion of men that makes you innocent, and their rules that governe all; thence it comes your injunctions establish not fully the truth of this excellent vertue; and, as the things most offectuall to perfection are there wanting, so have they not the power of imprinting feare, in the hearts of those, that owe them obedience. For, tell me, what light hath humane learning to teach that which is truely good? What authority humane power to free men from embracing the true happi­nesse? If it bee easie to bee deceived by the one, it is no lesse common to neglect the other.

Let us consider a little your lawes, and compare them with those of our God; which law is more ac­complished, that which saith, Thou shalt not kill: or that which saith Thou shalt not bee angry? which perfecter, that which forbids adultry, or which turnes the eyes from the object, surprising the mind when idle, causeth evill desires to enter into the soul thereby? which lawe wiser, that which condemnes evill deeds, or forbids evill speakings? [...]hich pu­rer, that which permits not to do wrong to others, or which suffers not so much as to revenge wrong after done unto our selves? but this is not all; for you must know your lawes, which seemed to set out innocence, whereof notwithstanding they represent but an imperfect image, have borrowed that they have of good from the law of God as far more an­cient then what in lawes established by men.

I have already spoken of the time wherein Moses lived, and therefore not necessary to repeate what [Page 156] before said, to shew the lawes then published to bee the first, before all other humane lawes since, which have not the vertue of that primitive law: for, I pray you, what force have those lawes, whereof men may avoid the severity because very often their crimes are covered, and wee may somtimes freely violate them when it is by accident, or constraint they are offended by us. But wee need do nothing to make them be neglected, but this consideration, that the punishments are not of long continuance, and end with death: so Epicurus mockes at all sorrowes and torments that afflict the body, because hee saith, one should not apprehend them it meane, and tole­rable, and if violent they will not last long. As for us, who are to answer before a God, who knowes the most hidden things, and that his justice will revenge the faults of men, with paines that shall ne­ver end, it is with good reason wee labour onely to attaine true innocencie; the perfect knowledge wee have of so rare a vertue, the difficulty wee have to hide our actions from him that sees all, the horror of torments this great God prepares for the wicked, torments that are not onely long, but eternall, ob­lieging us to conserve purity, whereof Jesus Christ hath given us an example; for wee feare this God, the Iudges ought also to feare that condemne them, whose hearts are touched with this feare; that is to say, Christians, who feare God, and not man, what­soever power man hath on the earth to afflict them with.


I Thinke, I have cleared the Christians of all the crimes, wherwith calumnious imputations make men thirst for their blood. Explained all that tends to our justification; shewne, by what meanes, wee can proove the verity of the grounds of our Re­ligion, in that I have produced the saith of antiqui­ty consistent with the Holy Scriptures, and the con­fession spirituall powers make of the Divinity of Jesus Christ. He that shall bee bold enough to make us passe for impious, should not rest on the skill of vaine eloquence, and the weake endeavours of fine words: but hee must make his proofe in the same forme, as wee have established ours. Certes, these testimonies are of great authority, but the ad­mirable fruits our Doctrine produceth, the know­ledge whereof is become publicke by the commerce wee have in the world, makes so downright a con­flict with rude incredulity, that to defend her selfe, she is forced to say our profession, hath no matter in it Divine, but is onely a sect of Philosophy, that ob­liegeth Christians to ranke themselves there, in the exercise of morall vertues. The Philosophers, saith shee, teach and practise the same things, Innocence, Justice, Patience, Temperance, and Chastity. If our Doctrine bee like that of Philosophers, if the comparison you make of us with them bee just, how [Page 158] comes it, wee are not treated as they are? for with you their sects are tolerated, and you do not punish them? But, contrarily, the Doctrine we publish is forbid by your lawes, and exposeth us to all sorts of punishments? or else, why are not they, you esteeme like unto us, forced to doe the same things you impose upon us as necessary, and which wee re­fuse on perill of our lives? for, is there any that for­ceth a Philosopher to sacrifice, or sweare by their gods, or to light candles at noone? But, contrarily, they have the liberty to overthrow the worship of your gods openly, and to reprehend your super­stitions in the bookes they compose, which when they make, you commend them, evidencing thereby that you approve of their opinions. Many among them raile impudently against the Princes of the world, and you suffer them, and the justice of the land hath rather recompenses then punishments for them. They set up Statues for them, they recom­pence them with rewards, and wee heare not that they are delivered to the fury of wild beasts, and must avow that it is with a great deale of reason, be­cause they beare the name of Philosophers, and not Christians. This name Philosopher driveth not a­way Divells how should they drive them away, see­ing they put them in the ranke of gods, and take them and Divels, to bee for one and the same na­ture? Socrates had alwayes this word in his mouth, if my Daemon permit me; and the same Philosopher, who witnesseth hee had the same light of truth, when hee taught we must not honour the gods, cea­sed [Page 159] not to ordaine when giving up the Ghost, they should sacrifice a cocke to AEsculapius, I thinke it was an act of gratitude hee would render to Apollo, father of AEsculapius, because he said, Socrates was the wisest of all men: O strange imprudence of a God! he bore witnesse of the wisdome of a man, who de­nied the power of the gods. Now as truth is wont to kindle hatred, whosoever is faithfull to it and presents it all pure, and without disguise, is liable to bee checked by the lovers of this passion; but con­trarily every man that makes profession of corrup­ting truth, acquireth by an action so detestable the favour of those who persecute it. The Philoso­phers will appeare followers of the truth; and be­cause glory is the end they propose to themselves, in faigning to love it, they corrupt it; but the Christi­ans that have their salvation for an object, earnestly desire it, with an holy necessity, and after they have met with it, conserve its purity, and publish it with­out bringing any change. It is not true then, what­soever you imagine, that the knowledge and Disci­pline of Philosophers are like to ours; but there are other arguments of difference betweene them and us. What is this Thales Prince of Physitians who when Craesus sollicited him to deliver what believe with certainty of God? Did hee not put him off with sundry delayes to thinke further upon it? every handicraftsmen, the least Christian knowes God, and is able to shew how his greatnesse is to bee com­prehended. He shews by the sensible things all that humane understanding finds in God, although Plato [Page 160] affirmes this author of the Universe cannot easily be knowne, and when know him, it is hard to expresse his nature, and make his essence be conceived. Be­sides, if you object to us that the practise of morall vertues is common betweene the Philosophers and us, let us examine them in perticular. And to begin with chastity, I read the Athenians gave sentence a­gainst Socrates, as a defiler of young boyes; a Christian man as making love to a woman one­ly, accustomes not to seeke a brutish pleasure in chan­ging the sex which nature hath ordained. I have heard a Phrynè hath beene made use of for Diogenes deb [...]ystnesse, and submitted her body to his fowle affections That Speusippus a Philosopher of platoes schoole, was kild n adultery; a Christian is permit­ted to accompany with his lawfull wife onely. De­mocritus deprived himselfe of his sight, because hee could not looke upon women without lusting after them, and afflicted himselfe when hee could not in­joy them, and so by consequence witnessed his own incontinence.

A Christian hath eyes, and yet in looking upon women, sees them not; that is, with any unlawfull concupisence, being wholly blind in his mind to such desires; though quicke sighted enough to behold such like objects with the eyes of his body. If questi­on of common civility, behold Diogenes with his fil­thy feet in greater arrogance treads on sumptuous carpets, then Plato whose sumptuous carpets they were; Neither is a Christian high minded towards the poor. If speake of moderation, Pythago­ras [Page 161] among the Turiens, and Zeno among them of Pri­ene, play the Tyrants, when as a Christian hath not the ambition to be in the least power or office over the people among whom hee lives; if wee treat of contentment in mind, Lycurgus will famish himselfe, because the Lacedemonians went about but to reforme and amend his lawes; A Christian even when con­demned to die, is thank full to those that condemne him. If question of faithfullnesse in things com­mitted to anothers trust, Anaxagoras refuseth the restitution of goods left with him, to his guests; A Christian even by those that are not Christians is reckoned trusty, because made proofe they have of his fidelity. If touch on lowlinesse, I find Aristotle, made his friend Hermias goe shamefully from the place he had assumed; A Christian offers wrong to no body, no not his greatest enemie. The same A­ristotle, in designe to governe Alexander, the easier, flatters him with as much infamy, as Plato Dionysius, when for good cheere hee soothed up the Tyrant in his liberty. Aristippus, in the midst of his purple, car­rying the markes of great severity in his lookes, gives himselfe over to all kind of excesses: And Hip­pias, when about to betray his countrey, is sudden­ly murdered: an act of barbarous revenge never yet undertooke by a Christian to a man linked with him in the interest of the same Religion, though with never so much fury persecuted by them. But some will say even among us, there are a people that gives themselves the liberty of doing evill, that free themselves from subjection to our lawes, from any [Page 162] what ever exact observation of what legally com­manded by us. It is true, there are some such, but so soone as they fall into this disorder, wee hold them on more for Christaians. But, contrarily, these Philosophers, notwithstanding the irregularity of their lives, keepe still with you the name of wise men, and the honour which appertaineth to so glo­rious a title; so then what resemblance is there be­tweene a Philosopher, and a Christian, a Disciple of Greece, and a Disciple of Heaven, a mind desi­rous of vaine reputation, and a soule that seekes his salvation onely? A man that is vertuous in words onely, and hee that is so indeed: one that is wholly occupied in doing good, and another that makes no conscience in committing what ever wickednesses: he that corrupts the truth to establish error, and he that by subduing error renders to truth the beauty of its originall: hee that turnes truth out of doores as a theefe, and steales it away from the sight of men, and hee that keepes it faithfully, that it may bee known by all the world.


THe antiquitie of the holy Scriptures, which I have heeretofore discovered, is a famous testimony, which may serve mee still in this place, to let you know this holy booke is a treasure from whence these wise men of the world who are [Page 163] come since, have taken all they have left to posteri­ty: this proofe is proper, but long; and the onely thing that hinders mee to undertake it, is the feare I have to make too great a volume. Is there any Poet or Sophister that hath not drawn what he hath of excellent concernment from the rich sources of the Prophets? It is in these delicious fountains the Philosophers plunged themselves to qualifie the de­sires of their minds, and some people have also bani­shed Philosophy from them, as the Thebans, those of Sparta, and of Argos, because their Philosophers cor­rupting what they had read in the writings of these men sent from God, composed pestilent doctrines, which a man could not heare but with horror: so these people, who as I have said, laboured not but for glory, and had no affection but for eloquence, having met in the holy Scriptures, with things that might be gainfull to them made their profit of them, and as they had no intention but to Content their cu­riosity, accommodated the same to their designes, not acknowledging its holinesse, which should have hindred them from corrupting it; and not understan­ding well the sense, then covered with cloudes, and which the jewes themselves, for whom the Prophets had written it, apprehended not, but thorough sha­dows that wrapt them up. They saw truth there with simplicity alwayes accompanied; but humane pru­dence blinded with her errors, not willing to believe in this truth which was shewed to her, remaines more doubtfull and unresolved then before; from whence it comes these wise men of the world have [Page 164] formed opinions variable and uncertaine touching the same things they found, or declared proved with infallible certainty. They have learnt onely from the holy Scriptures there is one God, and the opinions they have had of the nature of God divides them into many sects: One assitming God hath no body: other, that he is corporeal1, (as the Platonicks & Stoicks) one, that God is composed of Atomes; other, of numbers, (as Epicurus & Pythagoras) one, that his substāce is of fire (as it seemes to Heraclitus) the Platonicks hold he takes care of the conduct of the world: contrarily, the Epi­curians that he remaines in an idle tranquillity with­out exercise, & meddles not at all with human things. The Stoicks believe God hath his seat out of the Uni­verse, from whence he manageth & removes, as a pot­ter turnes his frame. The Platonicks put him in the world, and say, hee governes it within, as hee that holds the rudder of a ship; so they are of different o­pinions concerning the nature of the world, to know whether it hath not been made, or whether it hath not beene; if it must end one day, or must last al­waies; so, they are not agreed of the condition of our soule; some maintaine, it is divine and eternall; others, that it is subject death; each of them hath spoken according to his sense, given way to his thoughts, changed, and corrupted the truth, to fol­low their owne motions; but wee must not wonder, if Philosophers have made this worke of the oracles of the old Testament, seeing wee have amongst us people, who shew themselves children worthy of such fathers, infecting the purity of our new Gospell [Page 165] with the corruption of their owne opinions, anima­ted with the spirit of Philosophy; and who by this onely way, which brought to the knowledge of the truth, have drawn many crooked paths, wherein men cannot engage themselves without losing themselves: whereof I would willingly advertise you that the diversity found betweene us, makes you not imagine our profession is like that of the Philo­sophers, and that you judge not ill of the truth, be­cause wee desend it by different meanes, and are di­vided in our doctrine. These people that are sepe­rated from us, have violated the faith of Jesus Christ, and wee beat downe their crrours by this onely ex­ception, that the true rule of truth is that which hath beene taught by our Master, and transmitted to us by these holy persons, who had the happinesse to heare his word, and receive his Divine instructions.

We shall shew in another place, that all which is not conformable to this rule, hath beene invented by new Doctors, who came not till after the blessed companions of the son of God; to destroy the truth, men have made use of truth it selfe by the suggesti­ons of the spirits of error, who have inspired them to fight with it with its owne armes; they are they who have excited them to corrupt so saving a d [...]ct­rine: they are they, have invented fables, where­with its holinesse hath been prophaned, that by their resemblance, they take away the beliefe from truth, or rather get it for themselves. They would ruinate faith by this detestable tricke, perswading men they must not believe Christians, by the same reason not [Page 166] believe the Poets, nor Philosophers; or rather wee should believe the Poets and Philosophers, because not believe the Christians. It is this sacrilegious i­mitation, that makes them laugh at us, when wee preach the last judgement; the Poets and Philoso­phers, upon the ground of this truth, set up a tribu­nall in Hell. They mocke at us also, when wee threaten them with eternall torments, which are those hidden flames the earth shuts up in her bo­some, and are reserved by the justice of God, as in a treasure, for the punishment of the wicked: for these prophaners have invented, that there is is hel a River of burning fire; if wee speake to them of Pa­radise, a place fild with agreeable and Divine beau­ties, ordained to be the residence of the soules of the blessed, and seperated from the world by the inter­position of this Zone of fire which God hath put before it, presently the Elysian fields comes in their thoughts; they imagine that there is that delicious place wee declare unto them. Tell mee I pray you where the Poets and Philosophers have drawn these things so like to our doctrine? if it bee not from our bookes and Discipline? if they have drawne them from our Discipline, they have without doubt the prerogative of antiquity upon them; therefore it fol­lowes, that what wee teach is truer, and ought to have more beliefe then all these vaine opinions. In effect: these opinions are but the shaddowes of truth, and seeing the world hath given faith to these vailes, they ought rather to believe the truth that is the substance. If the Poets and Philosophers are the first [Page 167] authors of these things which they have written, it must bee then that our Discipline is but the figure of that which is come after it, which nature per­mits not, because the shadow is not before the body, and the figure cannot have beene before the truth, from whom it takes its originall.


IT must bee acknowledged that the usage wee re­ceive from you, and that you give the Philoso­phers, are very different: if a Philosopher sets out what Laberius left in writing, according to the opinion of Pythagoras, that a mule is changed into a man, & a woman into an adder; if he displayes al the cunning of his eloquence, if hee sets out with ad­dresse all his arguments to settle this opinion, is it not true that hee moves your minds? that he drawes you to his partie? that hee forceth you to believe you must abstaine from the flesh of beasts? and that after there are some found with you, that make some scruple to tast it, because in eating a peece of beese, they feare to devoure some of their auncest­ors? contrarily, if a Christian assures you, a man that is dead shall live againe one day, that hee that is in the grave shall come out and take againe the same forme he had, hee is abused by the people, not onely with blowes of the fist, but also with stones cast at him. Now, mee thinkes, there is much [Page 168] blindnesse in receiving the opinions of these Philo­sophers, and in condemning the Doctrine wee pro­pose to you upon the point of the resurrection; for if there bee reason perswades that the soule of a dead man reenters into a body; why may not wee be­lieve it enters into the same body again; and returnes into the same matter from whence it is seperated; seeing the effect of a true Resurrection, is to be that which it was before? the soules after they have changed their bodies, according to the opinion of Pythagoras, and his Disciples, are no more the same they were heretofore: because they could not be­come what they are not, unlesse they cease to be what they were: wee might find wherewithall to jest on this subject, if disposed to sport our minds, and en­tertaine our leasure with mirth: it wou'd bee a very pleasant thing to enquire in what beasts, persons have beene changed that lived before us: but it is better we resolve to determine the truth of this pro­position. We say then, it is more convenient to the dignity of our nature, to believe man shall become man againe, that every one in particular shall rise a­gaine to be the same he was, and informed with the same soule, that animated him, with the same qua­lities wherewith he was endowed, although the bo­dy receive some change in his exterior figure. In sum, the designe of the Universall judgement, being the ef­fectuall reason of our resurrection, it is necessary the same man that is dead live againe, that God may recompence, or punish for his good or evill actions the same persons. And the same bodies that are in [Page 169] the dust of the grave must appeare at this judge­ment, because the soule cannot suffer alone, and without a sensible matter, that is to say, with­out its flesh, and as it hath not sinned but in its flesh, it also hath not merited but with its flesh the pu­nishments the justice of God hath ordained for its crimes. But you say to mee, how can it bee that a matter reduced to dust should represent it selfe? consider with thy selfe O man! that makest this ob­jection to me, thou shalt find in thy owne person the proofe of so rare a miracle. Thinke on what thou wast before created, thou wert nothing. For if any thing before, thou wouldst remember it. Thou then that wert nothing before thy creation, and when cease to live, shalt returne to nothing: why canst thou not once againe bee brought out of no­thing by the will of the same Creator, who created thee of nothing? will there come any new thing un­to thee? Thou who before wert not, art made again: after thou ceasest to live heere, thou shalt bee resto­red in the resurrection, and after this wee would have thee aske by what meanes God will rayse thee up againe?

But seeing hee made no difficulty to make thee what before thou wert, thou oughtest not to thinke that hee finds any to an easier thing, that is, to make thee what thou wert heeretofore. Can one doubt of the power of God, that hath made this vast and immense bodie of the world of that which was not? of nothing, and out of a Chaos? and who at the same moment animated this world with a spirit, that gi­veth [Page 170] life to all things? hee hath given testimonies, that witnesse, and sets forth examples to us of the resurrection of man. Wee see every day, the light after ir hath lost its darkenesse, takes it againe; and by turnes the darkenesse dissi­pates it selfe, and succeeds to light againe: the Starrs deprived of their splendor, as if they were not, in being clothed with their luster seeme to bee re-ani­mated: the time begins at the same terme where it finished; the fruits fall off the trees, and come again in their season; the corne puts not forth its eares plentifully, till after its former graine is corrupted, and rotten in the earth: all things in perishing are conserved, spring againe after dead; and thou, O man! that shouldst bee so glorious by the excellen­cy of thy nature, if thou knewest it, and that learn­est also by the Oracle of Apollo, thy selfe to bee ma­ster of all creatures, as well of them that die not to live again, as of those must die to rise again. Is it possible thou shouldst die to bee no more? and that thy death ought not have a return to life again? No certainly, in what place soever thy soul is separated form thy body, whatsoever element hath destroyed thy being, swallowed up, consumed, and reduced thee to nothing; it shall render thee all entire, be­cause nothing and all the Universe appertain to one and the same Lord. It follows by this discourse, say you, that we must alwayes die, and always rise again: and I answer you; If God, the great Lord of all things hath so ordayned it, so it shall bee whe­ther you like of it or no: but that which his provi­dance [Page 171] hath ordayned touching the Resurrection of man, is conducted by a more equitable order: Its a mystery newly revealed by his only Son Jesus Christ. This wisdome that hath composed the Universe with substances of different natures, and makes it subsist in a body, by the uniting of so many contra­ry qualities, of voyd, and solid, of things animate, and inanimate, of that in our power, and that above us, of life, and death, the same hath ordayned time, with this difference of conditions, that this first part in which wee live, since the very Creation of the World, was perpetually to the terme that must ac­complish the number of its yeares; and the other part that followes, and which we stay for, is infinite in its durance, and perpetuates unto eternity. Be­tweene these two, there is a middle time, which af­ter arrived to its end, the beauty of this Universe, which must end one day also, and is for the present, hung up before all eternity, shall change face; and then all mankind shall arise and appeare before the same God, to bee recompensed according to all the good or evill we have done upon earth, either with infinite joy, or paine in the world to come. After which wee shall neither die, nor rise againe any more. But without other change keepe still the be­ing wee appeare in at the howre of our Universall resurrection; that is to say, the servants of God, be­ing clothed with the substance of eternity, which is that of the Angels, shall remaine alwayes united to God; and the Prophane, and those that violate the [Page 172] lawes of God, be buried in flames, where suffer per­petually without consuming; because pertake of the nature of this fire, which is of such a sublime quality, as shall make them live in paines without being subject to corruption. The Philosophers ac­knowledge the difference betweene hidden fire, and fire discovered to our eyes: so the fire ordained for the use of man, is other then that which serves for the justice of God: whether it formes the light­nings which heaven darts upon the earth, or disgor­geth it selfe from the deepe Cavernes of moun­taines; it consumes not that it burnes, it repaires ra­ther that it destroyes, so that the mountaines main­taine themselves in their order, and man is strucke with the lightening without offending his body, or being reduced to ashes by the fire wherewith hee hath been touched.

This miracle is a proofe of the nature of these e­ternall flames, and an example of the vertue they have by the decree of the judgement of God, to pre­serve punishments, wherewith his justice will pu­nish the wicked; the mountaines burne, and re­maine intire: why should it not so come to passe with men found hainous offenders before God, and enemies of their Creator?


THese things while wee declare to you under the notion of truth, in us alone you hold for presumptuous assertions, when the self same uttered by your Philosophers, you esteem admira­ble lights of mind, and sublime sciences. They are wise, we simple: they deserve to be honoured, wee to bee laughed at: yea, I dare say, more severly pu­nished. But suppose the doctrine wee preach false, admit it consists in vain opinions; if vain, they are necessary for the salvation of mens souls. If follies, wonderfull profitable; in regard they who beleeve them, are thereby excited to live well, for fear of e­ternall punishment if they doe not; and againe if they doe, in hope of eternall felicity. Therefore it behooves us not to call these things false and imper­tinent, which so much import us, to find true; ney­ther condemne that which produceth nothing but good: which granted, the opinions you have for persecuting our doctrine, rather then the doctrine wee professe, should passe for imaginations concei­ved without ground.

Again, this doctrine of ours being so profitable to men, deserves not to bee held impertinent: if, not­withstanding, you will have it to bee false, and ridi­culous, you must yet acknowledge its innocency; [Page 174] and consequently, that it deserves not to draw pu­nishments upon the Christians. Know we not, that when other men have given way to vain, and fabu­lous opinions, they have not beene reprooved, your Lawes have not been armed with so much severity, as to punish them, they having told freely their thoughts without being treated as Criminalls. The worst a man can doe to those, who after their ex­ample, publish their follies, is, to laugh at them; Wee finde not that ever they persecuted them with sword, and fire, that they have beene exposed, for that only, to the infamy of gibbets, and rage of wild beasts. This crueltie is not exercised, but against Christians; and it is a strange thing, that not onely this people blind in their passions, take delight to see us suffer; but some also among you, cause our bloud inhumanely to be shed, to gain the favour of the vulgar, and by this means seek glory in their in­justice: as if, all you can doe to us, dependeth not of our good will. In effect, I am a Christian, if I will be one, and therefore you cannot condemne mee, if I will not have you condemne mee. Now seeing you cannot use the power you have on mee, unless I will, it follows, that it is of my will, you have this pow­er, and not of the authoritie of your Magistracie. Therfore in vaine doe this people rejoice at our tor­ments; our punishments that make them rejoice, make us rejoice also, because wee had rather die, then lose the grace of God. Contrarily, they that hate us, should be afflicted, and not rejoice at our e­vils, because they make us obtain what we desire.


THerefore say you to us, what reason have you to complaine of the evills wee cause you to suffer, seeing you will needs suffer them? are not you oblieged rather to love those that make you endure the punishments you desire? it is true, wee are resolved to endure them; but the reason is, because, without doing worse, wee know not how to avoid them: even as no body exposeth himselfe to the fury of war, by his good will, because, he can­not come neare it, without being afraid, and hazar­ding his life, and yet they, that find themselves en­gaged there, fight with all their might, and what­soever aversion they had before, they rejoyce when they get the victory, because they acquire glory, and enrich themselves with the spoiles of their ene­mies. We enter into a combate, when we appeare before your Tribunalls, and there it is, wee fight for the truth, in perill of our lives; our victory is, to make this truth raigne, for which wee contend, and the fruit wee have of it, is the glory of pleasing God, and the precious booty of eternall life: in the meane time we perish, but it is after we have beene conquerors of errour; so wee are conquerors when wee perish, and, at the same instant we perish, wee are freed out of your hands, and receive our liberty. Give us if you will, names taken from the instru­ments, [Page 176] of our punishments, to wit, from the posts where you tie us, and from the ba [...]ins you kindle a­bout us, when you burne our bodies, and reduce them to ashes; this is the ornament of our victory; this our roabe of State; this pittifull condition wherein your cruelty puts us, is our triumphant chariot. You must not wonder then, if we do not please them, that overcome us, our constancy makes us passe with them, for mad and desperate, and yet with you, these actions of rage and despaire are as standards, under which vertue seekes glory, and marcheth to the conquest of reputation. Scevola, of his owne motion, left his hand in the flames: O greatnesse of courage! Empedecoles precipitated him­selfe into the burning of Mount AEtna: O strength of mind! the foundresse of Carthage cast her selfe into the fire, to avoid a second marriage: O commendati­on of chastitie! Regulus, not willing his life should cost his countrey the setting free so many of its ene­mies, suffered in every part of his body: O generous man, and victorious in his captivity! Anaxarchus, so long as they pounded his body, as barley beat in a morter, beat, beat, saith he, the bladder of Anaxar­chus, it is not Anaxarchus you outrage: O generositie of a Philosopher, that in so miserable an end ceased not to laugh! I speake not of them, that kill them­selves with their owne hands, or, have taken an ea­sier death, to merit a vaine prayse withall You ap­prove also of contentions in torments, and honour is the prise you give them that suffer them. A Cour­tisan of Athens, after she had wearied her executio­ners, [Page 177] and bit her tongue between her teeth, in cast­ing it into the Tyrants face who made her suffer, threw to him the instrument of her speech, that if shee were overcome by the force of tortures shee could not, if shee would, discover them, who were of the conspiracy. Dionysius enquiring of Zeno Eleates, what good, Philosophy brought to men; and the Philosopher having answered him that it taught them to contemne death, hee signed his answer with his blood, unto the last groanes of his life, by the inhumanity of this Tyrant who made him cru­elly to die by whipping. The rods which tryed the patience of the Lacedemonians, and made them feele the sharpest stroakes thereof in the sight of their nearest kindred, who, in the meane time, exhorted them to endure it constantly, gave them so much the more honour, as they lost or had their bloud spilt more in abundance; O lawfull glory! because it is of the world; for it is the neglect or death, all that the cruelty of men hath insupportable, is not imputed to an enraged obstinacy, and a desperate resolution; it is permitted to whosoever desires, to suffer for his Countrey, Kingdome, Friend, that which is not permitted to suffer for Gods cause; it is strange, you abhorr our constancy, and yet you make Statues for all these people, you set up their Statues with rare inscriptions; engrave Elogies in stone, and marble for them, that they may last to Eternity, and, by your publicke monuments, strive, to the utmost of your power, to give, in some kinde, a resurrection to the dead; and, contrarily; you [Page 178] hold him for a mad man, that endures torments for the name of God, hopes from him, for a true resur­rection. Continue, O magistrates, so full of integrity, juster in the opinion of this kind of people, if you sa­crifice the Christians to fury, torment us, apply your tortures to us, judge us, and, in the end, exterminate us; your injustice is the proofe of our innocence; therefore, God will have us endure, that our suffe­rings may make our purity shine the clearer. And in­deed, a few daies since, you condemned a Christi­an maide to bee rather prostituted to an infamous corrupter of her chastity, then to bee exposed to the rage of a Lyon; you acknowledge there is no punish­ment, nor kind of death which is so intolerable to Christians, as the losse of their chastity: but, doe what you please, all inventions the most exquisite cruelty can advise you unto, are to no purpose, so far are they from profiting you, that contrarily they draw all the world to our Religion. The oftner you make a harvest of the Christians, the oftner their number encreaseth: their blood is a seed which dies not on the earth, but puts forth prosperously. Ma­ny, among you, have laboured, to perswade men to suffer constantly paine, & death, (as Cicero in his Tus­culans, Seneca in his Treatise against casuall things, Diogenes, Pyrrhon, & Callinicus,) but Christians have better taught constancy, by the examples they have given, in supporting patiently so many evills, then all the Philosophers, with al their discourses. This same obstinacy, you reproach us with, is an excellent mi­stresse of truth, which we believe: for, who is it not, [Page 179] that striveth with contemplation, to seeke what it is? who after made his search, comes not on our side? who, having embraced the faith of Jesus Christ, desires not to suffer for him, that by his sufferings he may get the infinite treasures of the grace of God, and that, in the price of his blood, they may obtaine the pardon of their faults; for the remission of all our sins is the assured recompense of our punish­ments. This is the reason, that when they read your sentences of death unto us wee render you thankes; because by a happy emulation that meets betweene the judgements of God, and the judgement of men, at the same instant when you condemne us heere be­low God pronounceth our absolution in Heaven.


A Table of the principall matters contayned in this Booke.

  • ACcusations of the Romans against the Christians, false 8.9 other of high treason and sacriledge 47
  • Actions, not to be safely iudged of whose Author wee know not 6, 7
  • Adrian a Prince, curious of all rare and excellent things 25
  • The Author of irregular affections, not sure to make them passe for good actions 5
  • Albinius 128
  • Amity of Christians, odious to Idolaters 138
  • Anacharsis, his astonishment 4
  • Anaxagoras, his dealing with his guests 161
  • Anaxarchus, his generosity 176
  • Antoninus Pius Emperour 25
  • Anubis immodest 65
  • Apicius 17
  • Appton 78
  • Apaturien feasts 140
  • [Page]Apolloes imprudency 159
  • Aristeus left a publick monument of the holy Scripture, in a booke composed by him in Greeke 76
  • Aristotles pride and flattery 161
  • Aristippus notwithstanding his severe countenance ad­dicted to riot 161
  • Aristides famous for his iustice 56
  • Augures, Diviners, Astrologers, gaine nothing of Christi­ans 152
  • Augustus would not be called Lord 124 His humility 125
  • BAcchus his worship, forbid by the Consuls thoroughout all Italy 28, set up againe 29
  • Bacchanalian furies 132
  • Banquets of Christians 141 their entertainments 142
  • Behaviour admirable and excellent of Christians to the Pa­gon Emperours 130, 131
  • Bellonas Priests shed their own blood and consecrate it to her 43
  • Brachmanes and Gymnosophists manner of living 150
  • Beares entrailes full of mens bodies 43
  • Bargaines for committing adultry made in the temple 67
  • Belenus 105
  • Belventinus 105
  • Berosus the Caldean 78
  • [Page]CAssius Severus 40
  • Cassius 128
  • Castor and Pollux in an instant carry to Rome the news of the victory woon over Perseus 96 and at the same instant change the colour of Domitius his beard ibid
  • Cato and Socrates sometimes lent their wives to their friends 140
  • Cicero perswaded to suffer death constantly 178
  • Christian chastity 46, 47
  • Christian, the originall of the word 17
  • Christians voluntary confession 6
  • The Romans take away from them onely the liber­ty of justifying themselves and the onely confession of the name Christian was their condemnation 10 They are put to the rack to deny it, contrary to o­ther criminalls ibid.
  • Their being sentenced to death for no other crime then for the name Christian 14 Its a glory to them to be persecuted for the name of Jesus 82 their pow­er over the Divels 100, 101, are oblieged to pray to God for their Kings, although idolaters 120, 121 call one another brethren 139 after meales are wont to sing Psalmes and Hymns 142 since they had be­ing, all publike calamities more tollerable 146 all things are common among them 140 The manner of burying their dead 151 They are a sure safeguard to idolaters 152 And profitable to the common wealth 153
  • [Page]Are punished for the onely name Christian and yet inno­cent of all crimes 154
  • They onely know God and teach what he is 159, 160
  • Their continency 160, 161 their beliefe of the refurrection 168 they suffer persecution willingly 178 are compa­red to Souldiers ibid. their blood a seed that dies not 178 Christianities progresse 4
  • Christians shew the difference between their owne manner of solemnising the festivalls of the Emperours, and that of the Pagans 127, 128
  • Cristians commerce with the Idolaters 149, 150, 151
  • Comparisons 6
  • The comparison of the confession of a Christian, with that of other criminalls 11
  • The comparison of Christians torments, with the same fa­bricks on which the false Gods are formed 57
  • The owning the name Christian, carries with it the guilt of all other crimes 10
  • Confession of Divels to their confusion 98
  • Conjuration of Idolaters against Christians, whereon groun­ded 143
  • Conscience not to be forced 113, 114
  • Celestis 105
  • Constancy of Christians unprositable to the Romans 4
  • The courage of the Couritisan of Athens 176, 177
  • Cressus and Pyrrhus abused by the Oracles 96
  • Confession thats voluntary, sooner to be believed then deni­all by constraint 10
  • The crosse compared to the materialls of Idolaters 69
  • We worship the the godhead without a crosse ibid. excellent rea­sons on this subject 70
  • [Page]Cleanthes 84
  • Cornelius Nepos 105
  • Comneodus the Emperor besieged betweene the two lawrell woods 128
  • Children sacrificed in Africa to Saturne 39 and the pu­nishment of the Priests that sacrificed them ibid
  • The Church what it doth 137 and why assembled 138
  • Human Curiosity not asleep but for the christian Religion 4
  • Cynocephales and Sciapodes monsters of India, and Lybia 36
  • Cyclops with their bloody mouthes 31
  • Danaus 78
  • Delights and pleasures of christians contrary to those of the Romans 136
  • Delos 143
  • Demetrius Phalerus, the learnedst of all the Gramarians 76
  • Democritus why he put out his eyes 160
  • Demosthenes eloquence 56
  • Diana whipt 65
  • Diodorus Siculus 49
  • Difference between Divine and human lawes 155
  • Diogenes mockt at the Deity of Hercules 65
  • Diogenes, his arrogancy 160
  • Distinction of the jewes from the christians 81
  • Domitian recalls the Jewes banished by him 24
  • Christian Doctrine began from the time of the Emperour Tiberius 31
  • Dostrine of Philosophers compared to that of christians 150
  • 151 a question on this subjec;t ibid
  • [Page]Disorders very great on the selemne dayes of the Emperors 126, 127
  • Divels spirituall substances 93 their fall ibid. what employ­ed in 94 their admirable manner of working ibid. compared to the corruption of the aire 96. their agillity and promptitude 95, [...]6. Authors of evill but never of good 95. How they foretell things to come, ibid.
  • THe Empire troubled, all its members suffer 111, 112
  • Emperours in their triumph put in mind what they are 123 mockt when cald golls 124
  • Empedocles 176
  • Epithetes of some great persons 55, 56
  • Erasistratus 17
  • Excommunication, a foretelling the judgement God pro­nounceth against the wicked 137
  • Excuse, that which seemes to serve for it, renders the passi­on more criminall 3
  • Epicurus mockes at all sorrowes and torments, and his rea­son 156
  • THe Fable of the asse, under the figure whereof, Idola­ters say we worship Jesus Christ 68, 69
  • Fame, the onely cause wherefore christians hated by the Romans 33
  • Feasts of the Romans, why cald hundreds 27
  • [Page]Fire hid, and fire visible, the difference 172
  • Fidelity consists not in exterior duties 130
  • Fruit, its equally evill to destroy it in the wombe, as after when brought forth in the world 42
  • GAules, offred men on the altars of Mercury 40
  • Gaules beseige the Capitol 145
  • Glory the end of many philosophers 159
  • God needs not the creatures 52 what God is 72 prooses that he is 73
  • Gods of the Idolaters no gods, because men formerly as well as idolaters themselves 48
  • Gods of infidels none of them lived without vice 55 all good actions attributed to them, fabulous 57
  • Gods of Idolaters broken, melted, pawned, changed, and sold by Idolaters 60, 61
  • Gods unknown to the Romans 103
  • Gods of the Romans, beare witnesse in favour of the christi­an Religion 90
  • Gods of pagans conjured at the name of Jesus Christ, acknow­ledge his Divinity, and dare not belie him 100
  • Gods of Pagans many of them felt Caesars anger 117 from whom they hold their welfare ibid.
  • Gods of heathen, as well as their idolaters implore the cha­rity of christians 151, 152 the son of Gods com­ming 86
  • Greeks, from whom they learnt their superstition 92
  • [Page]HAnnibals victory over the Romans at Cannes 144, 145
  • Hatred, the causes and pretences examined 2
  • Hatred of what we know not, what more unreasonable? 3
  • Hell approved of by Idolaters 54
  • Hermias 161
  • Herodotus 42
  • Hierapolis Island 143
  • Higronymus a phaenician King 78
  • Hippias wherefore kild 161
  • Hippone, a goddesse of creatures adored together with beasts 69
  • IAnus or Ianes 49
  • Innachus 78
  • Iealous men sooner left their wives for being Christians, then for any other crime 16
  • Idolaters possessed by Divels 134
  • Idolaters, their manner of interceding to their gods 146, 147
  • Idolaters, Gods ungratefull to them 148, 149
  • Jesus Christ King of the faithfull 17. call'd a Magician by the Jews 87. The miracles he did ibid. Signes of his Divinity, when a dying 88. He expired a­bout mid-day, ibid. His resurrection 89. He taught his Disciples, ibid. His ascension 90. why he came into the world. 92
  • [Page]Impertinent tales of Idolaters and their evill speaking of their gods 62, 63, 64
  • Ignorance the first cause that rendred the Romans hatred a­gainst Christians unjust 2, 3
  • Impostures against Christians 30
  • Incarnation of the son of God 85, 86 foretold to the Jewes by the Prophets ibid
  • Inductions, to prove one God powerfuller then all other 51, 54
  • Ingratitude of men, causeth the anger of God against them 146
  • Innocence thats true, necessary for christians 153, 154
  • Josephus author of the Jewes antiquity 78
  • Ironies of the Author against the Gods and Goddesses of the Romans 107, 108, 109
  • Islands of great extent swallowed up 143
  • Judgement universall, to what end 169. what shall happen after it 171
  • Jewes so attered over all the world 83
  • Jewes were the only people beloved of God 82. their punish­ment 83. foretold by the Prophets ibid.
  • Juba King 78
  • Jupiter lesse feared by the Romans then Caesar 115, 116
  • Jupiter much resembles Jesus Christ, an irony 41
  • Justice, according to its rules, not to use different proceed­ings in punishing the same criminalls that have fay­led 8, 10
  • [Page]LAberius the Pythagorean, what he thought of man, 167
  • Larentine, an unchast woman adored 62
  • Lares, houshold gods 60
  • Laws, what they command 11, 12
  • Laws of Insidels condemned of error by the Author 20
  • Papy Lawes, what they compeld unto 21
  • Julian Laws 21
  • Laws not to be esteemed, but for their justice 22
  • Laws divine, what they promise to them that observe them 74, 75
  • Laws and Books of Christians not hid 175
  • Lentulus his ridiculous conceits 65
  • Lucania, known now by the name of Sicily 144
  • Lucullus, the first that planted cherry-trees in Italy, which he brought from Pontus 53
  • Lycurgus, his Lawes sweetned by the Lacedemonians, 20
  • The displeasure he took at it ibid.
  • Lycurgus, wherefore he dyed by famine 161
  • MAcedonians mock'd at the complaints of Oedipus, and against his incest 45, 46
  • Magicians in their inchantments, bear witness of Angels, and Divels 93
  • Manethon, an Egyptian 78
  • Manner of the Christian Religion 137
  • [Page]The Manner of swearing treaties of certaine Nations 42, 43
  • The cruell Manner of sacrificing children to Saturne in Affrica 57, 58.
  • Marcus Aurelius, pro [...]ector of the christians, 25
  • Marcus AEmilius his Idel named the god Alburnus, 23
  • Mecenius absolved for killing his wife, who drunk Wine, 28
  • Megarians, how they make Feasts 140
  • Melampus 91
  • Menedemus, a Pagan Philosopher, admires the holy Scripture 76
  • Menander, an Ephesian 78
  • The M [...]ssiah ordained to change the Lawes of the Jewes, and accomplish the Prophesies, 83. How conceived, ibid. His Mother a Virgin 84. Hee is called the Word by the Ancients, ibid.
  • Miracles done by the Christian Souldiers 25
  • Mysteries alwayes to be kept secret 32
  • Moslesty of Christians odious to the Insidels, 15
  • Moses his age 78. Moses sent of God, to learn the Jews how to serve him, 19
  • Musaeus 19. Mutunus 106. Moores and Marcomanes, 133
  • NEro, the first Emperour that persecuted the Christian Religion, 24
  • Niger 123
  • Nor [...]ia 105
  • Numa Pompilius, the Religion he instituted 91, 92
  • Nursia 105
  • [Page]OEnotrian 49
  • Onochoetes, what it is 71
  • Opinions, not to be condemned for their Authors name 17
  • Order of judgement compels not to deny 13 the Order God hath established over us 148
  • Orpheus 91
  • PAralell of the Christians laws to those of Idolaters 155
  • Pallas Athenian 69
  • Parthenius 129
  • Parthians 133
  • Pagan Philosophers, notwithstanding their evill life, con­serve the name of Sages 158
  • Roman People spoke evill of their Caesars 128 made them be assassinated 128, 129 loved change ibid
  • Philadelphus, the learnedst of the Ptolemies put the holy Scriptures in his library 76
  • Persians mingle themselves incestuously with their owne mothers 45
  • phryne 62
  • philosophy why banished from Sparta, and Argos 163
  • philosophers opinions of Divinily 164
  • Pisistratus 76
  • Plato acknowledged the nature of the angels 93
  • Platoes opinion of the deluge 144
  • Plato for his gluttony engageth his liberty 161
  • [Page]pliny the second advertiseth Trajan, that severity dimini­sheth not the number of Christians, and what hee saith of them 8
  • Poets and Philosophers opinions of Paradise and Hell 166
  • Poets have drawne their best doctrine from the Prophets 163
  • Polycrates that was so happy 56
  • Pontius Pilat Governor of Judea for the Romans 87
  • Pontius Pilat wrot to the Emperour the miracles that hap­ned at the death of Jesus Christ 90
  • why Christians Pray with hands stretcht out, and heads bare 119
  • Prayer how it ought to be conceaved 120
  • Preachers have beene named Prophets 75
  • Priests idolatrous, vicious 120
  • Prooses infallible of the true Religion 98
  • Proceedings strange against Christians 9, 10
  • The Progress of the Christian Religion 133, 134
  • Precepts confirme ecclesiasticall discipline 136, 137
  • Prophets have foretold all thats come to passe in our dayes 78 the which is a true marke of the holy Scriptures 80
  • Providence divine, which hath given a being, hath also provided for all things 52, 53
  • The Providence of God reverenced in the Person of Kings 122
  • Phyrron 178
  • Pythagoras will usurp Tyranny over the Turiens 161
  • [Page]Questions of the Author, to the Romans 7 to Trajan 9, 10, &c.
  • RAdamanthus and Minos 101
  • Reasons of Insidels weake against the Christian Reli­gion 19
  • Reasons that confound the divinity of the false gods 52
  • R [...]asons, wherfore the Christians will not sacrifice to Idols, for the welfare of the Prince 117. has to the true God, and what prayers they make for them ibid. 118
  • Regulus his generosity 176
  • Religion Christian, what her condition permits her to doe, drawes her originall from heaven?. should not be con­demned without knowing her ibid. they that will bee in­structed therin, must addresse themselves to their Supe­riors 37
  • Religion not to be dissembled 113, 115
  • Religion Christian, is exempt from all crime 134
  • Religion counted asacred thing where its not permitted to saign, and where lies are esteemed sacriledge 91
  • Reproaches to the Romans of their injustice against Chri­stians 7, 8
  • Resurrection, and the proofs of it, 170. confirmed by the Oracles of Apello ibid.
  • Revealed by Jesus Christ 171
  • Resolutions of divers Empires, and Kingdomes 112
  • [Page]Romans attribute the enlargement of their Empire, to their piety 106
  • Reasons against it 109, 110, 111
  • Romans answered to that they object against Christians, of enduring their punishment, and being so willingly put to death 175
  • SAcrificing of men in the Temple of Diana Taurica, and at Rome, in honour of Jupiter 40
  • Samothracian mysteries 32
  • Saliens, their suppers. 140
  • Saturn, why the ancientest of all the gods, 49. many bisto­rians speak of him, but as a man 50
  • Saturns inventions given to men 53
  • Scaevola the greatnes of his courage 176
  • Scipio just and warlike 56
  • Serapu suppers made in honour of her 141
  • Seneca writ against the Pagan superstitions 58
  • Serapis, Isis, Harpocrates, and the image of the head of a dog, taken away from the Pallace of the gods by Pison and [...]abinius [...]8. reestablished again by the Romans 29
  • Severus a very wise Emperour 20
  • Socrates, his maner of speaking, 158 sacrificeth a Cock to AEjculaplus, 159 a corrupter of yong boyes, 160 under­valued his gods, calleth for witnes of his oaths an oak, a buck, and a dog 64
  • Sedom and Gomorrha consumed by fire 144
  • Soctishnes of the ancient Idolaters 49, 50
  • Spectacles horrible 65, 66
  • [Page]Speusippus taken in adultery 160
  • Sterculus 106
  • Sunday the day of the Sun, wherefore celebrated by us 70, 71
  • THales, Prince of the Physitians, his answer to Cres­sus 159
  • Tallus 49, 78
  • Tenths of goods vowed to Hercules 140
  • Treasure of Christians, where every one contributes what he will, and how employed 138
  • Tiberius propounded to the Senat, to receive Jesus Christ a­mong the number of their Gods 23
  • Trophonius 51
  • Tuscans and Grecians were the inventers of carving ima­ges to the deities 110
  • Tyrants and their customes 12
  • Tyrants in vaine rejoyce at Christians suffering death for the Christian Religion, and the reason 174
  • VArro brings in three hundred gods without a head, un­der the name of Jupiter 65
  • Vespasian conquered Judea 25
  • Vestals, where of one kept water in a Sieve, and the other drew a Ship alone 96
  • Virginity vowed to God by the Christians 46
  • Vulsina, a City consumed by fire 144
  • [Page]WIne, the use of it forbid to women 28
  • How to know when they had drunk it ibid
  • Women their Communion odious to Christians 130
  • Words cannot bee condemned unlesse they bee barbarous, or expresse some evill sp aking 16
  • The Word is one with God 85. and is compared to light, ibid.
  • ZEno saith, that the Word is the Author of the order wee see in Nature, calls it Destiny, the soule of Jupiter, and the necessiry of all things 84
  • Will usurp tyranny over the Prieniaes 161
  • His death 177
  • Page 1 line 7. read capitall.
  • p. 25. l. 3. r. Marcus Aurelius.
  • p. 60 l. 11. and 24. r. Lares.
  • p. 65. l. 11. r. actions.
  • p. ibid. l. 12. r. Buffoons.
  • p. 69 l. 24. r. Athenian Pallas.
  • p. 82. l. 1. r. we doe not.
  • Page 93 line 6. and 7. read Daemon.
  • p. 96. l. 26. r. retained.
  • p. 100. l. 25. r. when we conjure.
  • p. 103. l. 30. r. wh [...] is it that Plato.
  • p. 122. l. 14. and 22. r. G [...]ni [...]
  • p. 129. l. 5. r. professe not.
  • p. 146. l. 25. r. drought.

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