SAƲL and SAMƲEL AT ENDOR, OR THE New Waies OF SALVATION and SERVICE, Which usually temt Men to ROME, and detain them there.

Truly Represented, and Refuted.

By DAN. BREVINT, D. D.

As also A Brief Account of R. F. his Missale Vindicatum, or Vindication of the ROMAN MASS.

By the same Author.

They have hewed them out Cisterns, broken Cisterns that can hold no water. Jerem. c. 2. v. 13.

OXFORD, At the THEATER. 1674.

The Preface.

I Never expected, that my Book against the Mass should have the liberty to go abroad two Years together, without meet­ing opposition: nor that two Points so dear and so fundamental to Rome, as Mass Sacri­fice, and Priest-hood are, could be left so long in the Dirt, and under the Impeachment of that Lewdness and Impiety, that I have accused, and I hope convicted them of, with­out an Advocate to defend them; and there­fore am not at all surpriz'd, that after so long a time, an Answer is pretended to be made to it: But such an Answer, so emty and imperti­nent, I must confess I did not expect, imagin­ing the Cause, as bad as it was, tho it could not find good Reason, would yet have had good Sophistry, and Artificial Colour to defend it. But since that Roman Catholics are pleased to take up with these most trivial Shifts and Cavils, and in spight of both Sense and Grace persist in an Abuse, which neither they nor [Page]any body else can in any tolerable manner ju­stifie: the next thing which I have to do, is to examine what the special Attractives are, which can draw Men to, and detain them in such a strange and unchristian kind of Worship. Here I do not propose to my self the cure of such as are already prepossessed, and throughly sick with wilful Ignorance. He that can cure the Deaf, and the Dumb, is alone the immediate and proper Physitian for that Dis­ease. But I do what I ought, when I do what I can, to hinder the Plague from spreading, and them which are desperatly ill with it from infecting others. The Roman Church abounds with prudent and politic Men, who can infuse their Mysteries in as plausible and Christian Words, as the Assyrian Envoy did his Designs, in good and true Jewish Lan­guage, Isa. 36. The very Jansenists, (a more reformed kind of Papists, whom therefore one might less suspect) exceed sometimes the Missi­onaries, and the Jesuits, in this black Art of disguising: and I have had in Conferences, [Page]such Experience of some of the best of this sort, both at the French Court, and the Sorbone, that tho I may here spare their Names, I may not, with any Charity, spare to warn others, to take heed of their Companies. The proper Genius, and as it were, the Ʋniversal Spirit of that Church, consists much in a Confi­dence to raise any thing which they have, al­tho that were but a Dung-hill, into a Castle; and by the noise of strange Expressions, to per­swade you out of your own knowledge, that you may believe the Enchantment. Transub­stantiation, the Mass Sacrifice, Purgatory, and their pretended Infallibility, had bin as soon tumbled down, as started up, had they not bin kept on foot by this kind of Roman Hecto­rism; and the better to turn both Mens Brains and Hearts to that side, their pre­tended Catholicness, Miracles, Suffrages, Confraternities, Church Tresury, Indul­gences, &c. (the very Dirt and Dung of that Church) are by the same Art and Valor erected into plausible Means of Worship and Salva­tion. [Page]Therefore my present business is, to re­move these, and other-like Snares out of the way: and to let impartial Men see, that the very Meat and Drink wherewith they are al­lur'd and baited to Popery, are the very Poi­son and Imostume, that should deter them from it. To this end, I fetch out the Soot and Ashes which lie hidden in the skin of a Sodom, when it passes for a Golden Apple: and, as the Fathers did before me, under the first Christian Emperors, I expose to public view the Vermine, the Cats, the Crocodiles, and other such foolish Idols, which are adored by vulgar People, upon the credit and ac­count of pompous and stately Temples. In this unbowelling of Rome, I fear not what Papists shall say, and some unexperienced Christians perhaps suspect, as if I made the case worse; for I make it such as I have seen it, and, not to be mine own witness, such as I find it in their Authors. I might have bin as charit­able and as ignorant in these Affairs, as those who know little of Popery, but what they read [Page]in Bellarmin, or what they heard of subtile Je­suits discoursing among raw Strangers: had I not bin made wiser then so, both by the Times of Rebellion, that kept me 17 Years abroad among the Romanists themselves; and by the special favor of great Persons, who during nine whole Years of that long Banish­ment, procured me the advantage of being pretty well acquainted with all sorts and de­grees of their Roman Learned Clergy. And to say this also by the way, the undeserved Con­ceit of some of them, and my Friends too, who were pleased to look upon me as a fit Man to be imploy'd about the great design then in hand, of Reconciling the two Religions, gave me such an Access into every corner of that Church, that it is much my Fault, if I do not know as well all that which is within its en­trails, as those Men do, who make it their great Business to Disguise and Paint its out­side. As to the Safety and Savingness which it promiseth (the great Imposture of the times) I do sincerely represent here, both what [Page]it is, and what it can do. The truth is, Igno­rant Sinners run generally for shelter to Rome, as broken Merchants do to the Kings Bench, with hope of being there secured a­gainst the ordinary course of Justice. So that as long as God, and the Kings Laws keep Men in awe, and that there shall be ranting and spending, neither that Prison nor that Church can want good store of Proselytes. In order to make them throng in, when the Roman Church hath the good luck to meet with tender Consciences, she will be ambitious to exceed all the degrees of Christian Severi­ty; and if she meet with Men of a contrary temper, she will accommodate them also with all the Condescentions of the loosest Indul­gence. So let these Fishers cast out their Nets at which side of the Ship they please, both the Superstitious & the Profane, if they have the Grace but to fear Hell, shall be sure to become their Prey. And upon this one ac­count, it is a very great Wonder to me, and, as I hope, a great Mercy of God upon a better [Page]Posterity, that in this both most ignorant and sinful Age, all, as well as many, do not run away from us to that promising Sanctuary. And this is the motive wherefore, in opposition to a more general Apostacy, I do here endea­vor to break the main strength and course of the present Temtation; to discover and break the most dangerous Snares; and, with the help of God, to secure from the hazard of pe­rishing, all such Persons as are not willing to perish. If in all these Essaies, my Discourses seem to be long, as I confess they are; this length, I hope, shall be tedious and useless to none but to such as read them only, that they may divertise themselves, which end this Book is not made for; my real intention be­ing only this, to give Men a solid account both of the true Christian Doctrine; that is, of the true waies of God to save; and of the new Me­thods and Wiles of other Spirits, to seduce Souls. Of these I have said as much as at this time I could prove out of their Books; but much less, then I know, by mine own Experi­ence. [Page]It is a gross mistake, to think that the Roman Religion is made up of nothing else, then what we find in their Councils and Breviaries. You might fansie as well, that Rome hath all within the Walls of the City, and little or nothing in the Suburbs; and that all her unwritten Traditions are destitute of unwritten Waies and Practices. The truth is, in time of War the Romanists love to Camp as close as they can to Lateran, to Trent, and to such other Council Forts, while they stand upon their defence; but they dwell and spread infinitly farther about, when in peace­able Times they have a mind either to win, or conquer others: and I may safely affirm, that Rome hath no ground more commodious for Ambushes, nor more dangerous to poor Stran­gers, then what she can either take or leave, as she sees cause. There is not so deadly biting, as with those Teeth, that Vipers, as they say, can keep unseen in their Gums; nor are there fitter Tools to do mischief, then those short Weapons, which one draws out, or hides under [Page]his Clothes. The Roman Church hath Of­ficers that can offer you Salvation on any terms; if you take them, they are that which in their Language must needs ease you of all your Sins; and if you happen to per­ceive the Cheat, and the incredible Extrava­gancy, then she hath other graver Doctors that will tell you (in order to save her Cre­dit) that these are but the Dreams of some Monks, and no part of their Catholic Do­ctrine. So let that Church mix and temper whatever kind of stuff she pleases, to charm you into her Party; if she find you well di­sposed to devour it, then she gives it you as good Meat; but if she see that you abhor it, then to please you, she will disown it as rank Poison. By these means, Rome both abuseth the World, and keeps up her Reputation; and under this Collusion, lies, works, and thrives, the Mystery of Iniquity, and the Power of Darkness.

If after this second Warning, Men will fall off to a Religion, which in its most Essen­tial [Page]Services (as I have already shewed) is plain impiety, and be led to it by Motives which I shew here to be no other then the worst kind of Impostures, their Blood shall fall on their own Heads. It is not in the power of human Help in this case to save Men, who will destroy themselves.

THE CONTENTS.

  • Chap. I. A General Account of the new waies to Salva­tion, and Services of the Roman Church. Pag. 1.
  • Chap. II. How far, and in what sense Papists may be called Catholics; and how the Roman Church is neither the true Catholic, nor a truly Catholic Church. Pag. 8.
  • Chap. III. Concerning the second Inducement to Popery, The Roman Miracles. Pag. 34.
  • Chap. IV. Concerning the Protection and Assistance of Ro­man Saints. Pag. 71.
  • Chap. V. Of the Worship deferred the Virgin; and of the Blessings expected from this Worship. Pag. 99.
  • Chap. VI. Concerning the Adoration, and new waies of ser­ving the Virgin Mary. Pag. 123.
  • Chap. VII. Concerning the daily Services bestowed upon the Virgin Mary. Pag. 153.
  • Chap. VIII. Of another special Inducement to Popery, by a more easie way of serving the Virgin by Beads, which they call the Rosary. Pag. 168.
  • Chap. IX. Of the vast Tresure of the Roman Church, and her power to dispose it. Pag. 189.
  • Chap. X. Concerning the Roman Indulgences, the most ge­neral Inducement to Popery. Pag. 210.
  • Chap. XI. Concerning the procuring Pardon of Sins, by the means of Holy Confraternities and Friends. Pag. 240.
  • Chap. XII. Concerning three special means of Salvation, The Holy Girdle of St. Francis; The 150 Beads of St. Dominic; and the Scapulary of St. Simon Stock, in their respective Fraternities. Pag. 269. 1. Concerning the Holy Rope, or Girdle of St. Fran­cis. Pag. ib.
  • [Page]Chap. XIII. 2. Concerning the second special Means of Sal­vation in the Confraternity of Mount Carmel, by wear­ing the little Mantle or Scapulary of Saint Simon Stock. Pag. 277.
  • Chap. XIV. 3. Concerning the third means of obtaining Salvation, by the Confraternity and 150 Beads of St. Dominic. Pag. 284.
  • Chap. XV. Concerning divers other Instruments of Blessing and Salvation. Pag. 300.
  • Chap. XVI. Concerning the most general, and most sensi­ble Inducement to Popery, by the means, and in the use of Consecrated Images. Pag. 330.

SAUL and SAMUEL AT ENDOR, &c.

CHAP. I.
A General Account of the new Waies to Sal­vation, and Services of the Roman Church.

WELL may the Church of Rome look Full and Rich, since what the Church of Christ hath single, she still hath double, and of different sorts; keeping in her Bosom as much of good and bad together, as can both furnish true Catholics with the Fundamentals of Christian Faith, and lend to others, thereon to build whole heaps of ruinous Superstitions and Abuses. Here you shall find under one Roof, the Eternal God of Israel, and a Mortal Woman, standing very near upon the same ground, both for your Worship and Praiers: Two sorts of Christs called upon in the same way; the one born of a Virgin, and the other made by a Mass Priest: two necessary Sacri­fices [Page 2]for the Salvation of Mankind; one once offered up to God on the Cross, and another which is offer­ed up every day upon an Altar: Two sorts of Media­tors and Advocates, worshipped and surrounded with an equal number of Clients; our Blessed Savior, and Canoniz'd Saints. Suitably to these two different sorts of Patrons, you shall find in the same Church two different waies of obtaining pardon of sins; the one by the Evangelical Mercy of God upon all men, whosoever shall repent, and believe on his Son; and another by the Bulls of the Pope, for them who will either pray before an Image, or without any men­tion of Praiers, look devoutly towards an Altar: Two Ladders to get up to Heaven, one white with the milk of Mary, the other red with the Blood of Je­sus; both equally puzling poor Worshippers about the choice: Two sorts of sufferings to be allow'd to sinners for their behoof and benefit, the Passion of the same Savior, and the Mortifications and Services of the Saints: Finally, two sorts of Spiritual Kin­dred, and Ghostly Fraternity; that of Christ, by a par­taking in Faith and Holiness, and that of the Rosary for instance, or S. Francis, and twenty more, by turn­ing Beads, or wearing Frocks or Girdles, and by such other new Performances. To join and keep all this together, the Roman Church submits to two Heads; the Son of God in Heaven, and his Holiness in Italy; and Preaches two different, and sometimes contrary words of God, which you must embrace both together with the same Devotion and Faith, name­ly, the written word of God, which you may find in the Holy Scripture, and the unwritten Tradition, which you must seek in that Churches Breast.

In this unhappy conjuncture of true Catholic Chri­stianity, [Page 3]and of mere Roman Popery, that happens which you may observe, either in unnatural and beastly Copulations, the baser kind spoils the bet­ter; or in the Dreams of Pharaoh, the ugly destroies the well-favor'd. We find by sad experiences in these last times of the Gospel, what heretofore was typi­fied by Ceremonies, and also expressed ever after, by unhappy Examples under the Law; the Flesh which was consecrated and made holy at Gods Altar, had not the same vertue to sanctifie the unclean, as the unclean had to defile that which was Holy. Nor were the Israelites so powerful to convert the Idola­trous Jebusites to God (when Married together) as were the Jebusites, to seduce them to their Idols: and for this consideration the Law forbad such Societies. Corrupt Nature, we know, hath of it self both a strange tendency to frivolous and unlawful, and no less aversness from truly good and holy things: so, tho the power of both were equal, as to sanctifying, or corrupting, our inward Inclinations are more likely to determine us to the worst side. Never were Women so ready to part with their choicest Jewels, as when 'twas to make a Golden Calf: nor could ever so many Fathers have bin perswaded to be so cruel, as to pass their Children thro the fire, had it not bin to serve Molock.

The Kingdom of Heaven is by our Savior compar'd to Seed; now one handful of Tare is enough to poi­son and over-run a whole Field. Hence it is, that tho the ten Tribes of Israel retained the Law of Moses, as well as the Papists do at this present the Gospel; yet the holy Prophets mention no other Religion, whe­ther in Dan, or Beer sheba, but the waies of Jeroboam, and the Ordinances of Omry. And tho the Samaritans [Page 4]did make profession to serve the Lord God of Israel, among the gods of other Nations, 2 Kings 17.33. Yet their service to these so immediatly takes up their whole Devotion, that in the following Verse you find, that they do not fear God at all.

It is by this fatal prevalency of evil over good, and the corrupt readiness of Men to yield to this pre­valency, that the Roman superstition hath not only over-topped, but even over-whelmed the Catholic Faith, to that degree, as any Christian may both see it, if he have Eies, and must deplore it too, if he have any sense or fear of God. What the Blessed Evangelists have set down in the four Gospels, and what the Blessed Apostles have Preached upon it thro the whole World, is yet at Rome as to its being; but as to its condition, there it is as miserably buried under the confused heap of other new & unchristian services, as ever was that Book of the Law, 2 Kings 22.8. under the Ruines of the Temple. Their Masses, Legends, Auricular Confessions, Bulls, Praiers to Saints, and the Worshipping of Images fill up the Churches, and make the main Bulk of all visible Re­ligion. There if some good Praiers to God Almighty appear by chance among the Croud, it is as one Pa­ter noster among many Ave Maria's, that is, one a­mong ten in their Beads; and if you take the pains to compare how many Praiers, Proses, Panegyrics, and other expressions of the deepest Devotion, are bestowed on the Virgin, with what is left for our Sa­vior; there you shall find somewhat the same pro­portion between them two, as you may see both in the Images that represent them in their Churches, and in the most Authentic Visions, which are pre­tended to shew them together to their Monks, where [Page 5]she appears still with all the Pomp that can attend a glorious Queen, whil'st Christ her Son is still re­presented but as a Child. Thus Papists have the Common Faith (and I wish to God they had no more) and their own proper Romanism, to the very same or like purpose, as the Jews have the Law and the Prophets, and the Talmud of their Rabbies; and as the Turks have both much of Moses, and of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and all the Impieties of Mahomet, this latter to choak the former, as the Tares in the Parable did the good Seed; or to dishonor and abuse it, as the Babylonians in Dan. 5. did the holy Vessels of Gods house.

To make all these sins more sinful, and Popery more dangerous; these unhappy Superstructures, which lie as a heavy Encumbrance upon the holy Foundation of God, are now adaies used as so many Snares and Attractives to draw Men to the Church of Rome. Protestants have among themselves neither better, nor other waies of saving distressed Sinners, then by charging them to forsake sin, to believe and to live according to the Gospel, and with this Faith, & the use of Divine Ordinances, to cast their burden and themselves on the Mercies of God in Christ; whereas over and above all this, the Papists have a great deal more, which others do lay no claim to. First, they have the Queen of Heaven and the Mother of Compassions, who is unknown on this account to the best Churches. And this Goddess is represented, as such a Tresurer of all Graces, and a Favorer of such Persons, and upon such good and easie terms, as without her it were absolutely vain to expect ad­vantage from the aid even of the whole Trinity. In the second place, they have millions of Saints, [Page 6]who whensoever called upon, make it their business to help, as much as in them lies, every condition, sort, and profession of Men. There is never a small Parish, nor Trade, no nor any exigence, want, or dis­ease, but hath some favorable and proper Saint. The very Images of Wood and Stone are instrumental to great Blessings: their Churches and Altars are consecrated in such a manner, that the very coming near them, forgives some sins. The sound and ring­ing of Bells, if Christned after their way, hath much vertue. Who knows not how much devout persons are benefited by Holy Water, and devout Praiers improved to high Merits by holy Beads? It were in­finite to say all that is pretended of the Agnus Dei Medals, and a numberless store of Relics, and how they are working every day up and down the World for believing Catholics, more Cures then you can ever imagine. The Milk, the Hairs, the Shift, the Shoes, but especially the Girdle of the Virgin Mary, are to this purpose tried and well known. What shall we say of those swelling Streams, which, tho they do not sanctifie Sinners, yet overflow them with Pardons? I mean the Bulls and Indulgences, the Confraternities, the Masses upon priviledged Altars, Pr [...]iers before certain Images, Stations and Jubilees upon visiting of certain Churches, great and extra­ordinary Powers conferred on certain Priests, when­soever occasion requires it, for dispensing with ugly things at easie rates: poor Protestants, I say, want altogether all these Blessings, and blessed Catholics abound with them. And if any of these waies of attaining Salvation seem to some Men inconceivable; this very inconceivableness is thought by others a proper Character to set out all for Mysteries. And if [Page 7]that do not fully satisfie all Mens Consciences, this must, namely that their Roman is the undoubted Catholic Church, and that the Catholic Church can­not err.

Such things as these have a great weight with Ignorant, and sometimes too with intelligent Sin­ners, who find themselves both loaden with their sins, and unwilling to part with them. And who could blame poor Creatures for going to Rome for such Pardons, as it is certain they can never find a­mong us, nor in the Gospel, nor in Heaven, nor any where else but at Rome? Therefore I think it chari­ty to undeceive men in these matters; and convince unhappy Saul, if his obdurate Heart be not altoge­ther incapable of reasonable Instruction, that what he sees or hears at Endor, tho perhaps sounding like the Voice, and looking like the Appearance of Sa­muel in the night time, will be found in the day light, not to be any thing but the Enchantment or Cheat of a poor and silly Witch. I will begin with the Ca­tholic Church, because it is the first Varnish that they adorn their Errors with, and the general Illu­sion, whereby they inveigle both themselves and others.

CHAP. II.
How far, and in what sense Papisls may be called Catholics, and how the Roman Church is neither the true Catholic, nor a truly Catholic Church.

THE Papists are much pleased with calling themselves Catholics, and take it a for the first Mark and Acknowledgment of their Church, when sometimes others call them so; not consider­ing in the mean while, that Titles in all kinds of Tongues do continue most commonly long after the things signified by them are gon: and that we may call Rome the Catholic, upon the same account that St. Matthew 4.5. calls still Jerusalem the Holy City, tho this hath lost her Holiness, as that hath depraved her Religion.

Catholic Doctrine and Service, rightly applied, and called so, is the most essential Jewel, and the ve­ry Soul of true Churches. The first Title they ever had, after Christ was gon up to Heaven, was to be called Christian: the second was, after the blessed Apostles had planted them in most Countries, to be called Apostolical: the third, if Churches did keep faithfully that Gospel, which had bin Preached by the Apostles every where, both such Churches and such Doctrines were entitled Catholic. This last Ti­tle is the essential Seal and Character of the two o­ther: for whatsoever is thus Catholic, that is thus [Page 9]grown Universal thro-out all Churches, and in all times, since the preaching of Christ and his Apostles, let it be where it will, at Rome, or at Jerusalem, is both Apostolical and Christian: and therefore S. Paul Coloss. 1.6. and 23. uses it twice, as an infallible evi­dence to demonstrate, that the Doctrine which the Colossians had heard either from him, or from Epa­phras, was the true Gospel of Christ, because it was come to them and all the world, and was preached to every Creature under Heaven. Men may set up small Candles, that can fill with light private Rooms, and if carried about, lead Travellers some part of their way: but none but God alone can make such a Light as the Sun is, that can in a moment, as the Sun doth, spread a bright day over the whole world. No Philosophers that we know, were ever able with all their wit, to extend their Opinions beyond their Scholes; nor the greatest Kings with their might, set­tle their Laws beyond their Dominions; nor the worst Heretics spread their Errors much farther then their several Abodes. The true Doctrine of Christ only, and all such other holy Precepts, Ordinances, and Traditions, as are proper to his Go­spel; as they went forth with a divine commission, had sutable Power to carry them, and to maintain them thro-out all parts, and to all Creatures e­very where (whom God would call) in the whole world. Matth. 26.13. Mark. 14.9. Hence come such Doctrines, and the Churches on their account to be called Catholic. As for all other private Te­nets, Customes, and Traditions whatsoever, how­ever intended by their Authors to follow close af­ter them, they could never reach half the way: they staied behind; they wanted breath; they had not [Page 10]the Arm of the Lord, nor the power of his Spirit, which the Gospel had, to carry and convey them so far. Thus without any exception, whatsoever you can find has bin made thus general among Christi­ans from its very beginning, (and nothing else) is Christian, and Apostolical, and truly Catholic, by this infallible token, and upon this account, because it had the strength and Almighty Spirit of God to make it so, and without which it could not be so.

Thus one may judg of the Catholicness, which Ro­manists brag of, and challenge on two accounts, the first, when they give it to their Church, and them­selves the honor of being the Catholic Church; the second, when they give it to their new Doctrines, and Traditions, and obtrude all as Catholic. By the Ca­tholic Church in the first sense, nothing else can be understood, but an Universal Collection of all the Churches in the world, and of all Christians in those Churches, which by the same faith join together into one Communion of Christ their Savior and their Head; as all the Boughs of a Tree, however spread and scattered one from the other, unite into one stem; as all Rivers into one Sea; and as the twelve Tribes of Israel into one Kingdom. After this rate, if the Pope be the Universal or Catholic Bishop, you must needs conclude thence against him, as Pope Gregory the great did several b times against the Con­stantinopolitan Patriarch: if one, saith he, be called the Universal Bishop, this one hath all, and all the other Bishops have nothing left: and thus if Rome be the Catholic Church, the other Churches are no [Page 11]Churches: Rome alone is the whole World, and this Tiber the whole Ocean.

To this some are pleased to say, that the Roman is the Catholic Church, not collectively or exten­sively, that is not by being in her self the collective and extended body of all the Churches, but virtu­ally, and as the eminent Cardinal Du Perron expres­ses it, eminently, that is, the Roman hath an eminent Power Influence and Empire over other Churches. Thus Rome is all Christendom; as if one should say London is all England, when the King and the Parliament sit at Westminster; & the Tribe of Levi all Israel, when the High Priest and his Sanhedrin keep their Courts there: Which is to say, not that all Christendom is contained in the precinct and bo­some of Rome, but under its hand and power. Thus to be the Catholic, is not to be the Universal, but only the Domineering Church, and so far Roman Catholic; which many wise men take for a Bull: per­haps it sounds better then they are aware of, since the Romans love to be Masters, and since the Ma­stering Power hath bin a great while under their hand. But there is a reply against all this, that no Roman Power or wit can well shift off, First, this notion of Catholic, to signifie commanding or Monarchical, is altogether unusual, and unheard of among the Fa­thers; especially St Cyprian and St Austin, who are all for keeping close to the Catholic Church and Faith; and all, at the same time, for keeping them­selves and their Churches free from the Monarchy of Rome. Secondly, it is, tho it were true, imperti­nent to such purposes as the Papists apply it to. For suppose Rome hath the Power; hath she therefore the Holiness, the Infallibity, the Promises of being led [Page 12]into all truth by the Spirit? Hath she all such other great advantages which are made to the Catholic U­niversal, and not to the Catholic Reigning Church? Did Aaron never make an Idol, altho he was the Lords high Priest? Were either the Scribes ever kept from inventing idle Traditions, by being Rulers in Jerusalem? or St Peter, from cursing himself, and denying his own Master, by that Jurisdiction, they say, he had over the rest of the Apostles? Is his Holi­ness, for instance, John the twelfth, or Sylvester the 2d, the one less effeminate, the other less a sorcerer, or either of them more holy, for all the power they say they have both over all the Kings of the Earth, and over all the Churches of Christ? And may not the holy City of Jerusalem be turned both into a Den of Thieves, or into a Synagogue of Devils, altho you believe her to have a very great and eminent sway over all the Tribes of Israel? Therefore it is not the Catholic, that is, the Monarchical, but the Catho­lic in a better sense, that is, the Universal Church of Christ, that hath the Promises of God, and this excellent Privilege, which both Papists and others look for, of bringing all its truly Catholic Mem­bers to Eternal Salvation.

But admit all what they would have, that their Church may be said to be the Catholic, because it has dominion over all other Churches: whence comes this Catholic Power, that can make her as really to be, as to be said so? It comes, they say, by lawful succession from Saint Peter, who had it, and so be­queath'd it to their Popes. This is, I confess, easi­ly said, but hardly maintained or understood. For first, St Paul knew nothing of it, when he resisted this Soveraign both publicly and to his Face, Galat. [Page 13]2.11. Nor did the whole College of Apostles, when they sent him with John as freely, as now the Pope sends his Legats, to settle the Church at Cesarea, Acts 8.14. Nor the whole Church of Jerusalem, when they called him to an account about his beha­vior with the Gentiles, Acts 11.2.3. Nor the holiest Fathers of the Church, when they did call his Suc­cessors, that is, their own Soveraigns, by the fa­miliar name of Brothers: Nor the whole Church of God with them, when, as it appears c by the very Confession of one who afterwards came to be Pope, they took little notice of this sort of Catholicness, Ante Nicenam, &c. that is, Before the Nicene Council they regarded little the Roman Church: and by the Interpretation of Ruffinus a Roman Priest, who lived but few years after it, its sixth Canon restrains this pretended Universal Power, within the adjacent Towns of Rome. I will say more, even two hun­dred Years after, Pope Gregory the first was so little acquainted with this pretended Prerogative, that he could not suffer the hearing e of it, no not in a Compliment (altho bestowed sometimes on others) and so little as to this point skilled in Scri­pture, that tho he insists often on these words, Thou art Peter, &c. Feed my Flock, and I will give thee the Keies, &c. (the present great Supporters and De­monstrations of Universal Monarchy) this blind Doctor could see in them nothing tending to such a Catholic Latitude.

If Christ had intended any such Power for Saint Peter, 'twas not a business to be whisper'd privatly d [Page 14]in the Ear, as the Treason he told Judas of: it was to be proclamed on the House tops, and in the hearing of all the World; according to the practice of Moses and Elisha, when they made choice of their Successors in the face of all Israel. Such a public Declaration might have presently both quelled the dangerous and unde­cided Contention among the Disciples, to wit, Who should be the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven; & pre­vented all the Disorders, which have ever since trou­bled the Church for want of knowing this supreme and infallible Governor. Then might the Roman Church have spared forging f Donations & Decretals to her own shame, to assert her Power in Europe: And the Popes might have reserved that massy weight of Gold, which they gathered from the Christians un­der the ordinary pretences of Holy War, for holier uses, then were either g the arming Turks against such Churches, as would not acknowledg his Gran­deur, or driving distressed Bishops on this account by Persecution h and hard usage, to seek for shelter a­mong the Turks. All Nations, without either fraud or force, might then have learned their duty towards S. Peters Chair, at the same time when they heard of S. Peters Gospel: and if this pretended Tra­dition, whether written or not written, had wait­ed but at a distance on the first Preaching of Chri­stian Faith; they would certainly have submitted to it, that is, to that Universal Empire, as they did to Episcopacy.

Secondly, Suppose, against all what I have said, [Page 15]that St Peter had, during his life, an Universal Mo­narchy; What sound Reason, what clear Text of the holy Scripture, or what undoubted Tradition, can any one allege to shew he left it to a Successor? Did he leave him also his other Gifts and Privileges, and among them his Faith of Miracles, his Apostolical Rod to strike men with, some to the ground, as they say he did at Rome Simon Magus; and others to their very Graves, as he did certainly Ananias and Saphira? Did he pass to his Successor his special Commission and Apostleship over the Jews? Did St Paul leave either at Rome, or in any other Cities he was in, proper Apostles to succeed him in all his Prerogatives among the Gentiles? Let any one shew me, where the twelve are whom James, John, and Thomas, and all the rest of the Apostles, left en­dued with equal Power in their rooms; and then let, if you please, the Popes, in quality of Peters Suc­cessors, reign over them.

Thirdly, Suppose there were any where in the World such an Apostolical Sacred College; What claim hath Rome, more then another place, to the Headship of this College? Is it not as likely, that St. Peter would have left his Throne at Antioch, where he made the first Christians, as at Rome, where no Scripture saies he was ever to make any? Would not one think that his first Chair, namely that of An­tioch, which alwaies hath bin honored with a kind of Holy-day thro Christendom, should assoon be the Seat of their Universal Empire, as his other second Chair at Rome; which if it have now the same Ho­nor, hath it but i since the other day? They say, that this was k his last Throne, wherein he died, and [Page 16]never removed any whither else: but they should prove that this was his last Will also it should stand there. He removed this Seat no whither else, be­cause there he was put to death: Thus Nero made it his last Throne; as about six hundred Years after, Phocas made l it Universal. This last did it to vex his Bishop Cyriacus, for having m saved out of his Bloody Hands the Empress Constantina, and her two Daughters: and to gratifie the Bishops of Rome, who were so base as to flatter him. So these two re­nowned Worthies, the Murderer of his own Mo­ther, and the Murderer of his own King, have first founded that Universal Eminence, which hath made Rome thus Catholic.

The Foundation being thus laid down, both for Primacy over other Churches, and for Reverence and Dignity among most Christian Potentates, who ever shewed themselves exceeding liberal on these ac­counts (for as yet the Roman Papacy went but thus far;) the next task was to raise it up from this degree to in absolute Monarchy. Both the Invasions of Turks, and the Broils and Dissentions that happened among the Christian Princes, helped the Popes to shake off all Subjection: and Gregory the seventh un­derstood and practiced so well the Art of Building upon Ruins, that he left to his Successors, partly in Design, partly in actual Usurpation, very fair ground to advance farther by these Rules, common­ly called the Popes Dictates. n 1. That the Pope alone is the Universal Bishop. 2. The Pope alone [Page 17]can make new Laws. 3. That the Pope alone can take the Arms of Empire and Soveraignty. 4. That the Pope alone must have his Feet kissed by all Prin­ces. 5. That the Pope alone hath the Power to De­pose Kings. 6. That the Pope alone can release Subjects from Allegiance. 7. That the Pope cannot be judged by any Man. 8. That the Roman Church never erred hitherto, nor can ever err here­after. 9. That he is not a Catholic, that is, a Chri­stian, whosoever dissents from Rome. There are many more Dictates of the same sort; but these are enough to intimate, how Popes would master the whole World. After Gregory the Seventh, comes Pope Boniface the 8th, to hoist this immense Power from this World both up towards Heaven, thence fetching Angels o by his Bulls for the care of his dead Pilgrims; and then down to Purgatory, thence pulling p up such tormented Souls (some three or four at one bout) as his Croisado-men shall require. Hell it self is related to the Popes Dominions: for if he be pleased by negligence, or otherwise, q to send whole Nations to Hell, and to deliver them as well as himself to the Prince of the Devils, many are of an Opinion, that no Man ought to rebuke him for it.

The Project of this vast Empire comes fully either to the Infernal Pride, that St. Gregory r charges him with, who would be call'd Universal Bishop: I will, saith he, exalt my Throne above the Stars of God, and I will ascend unto Heaven, Isa. 14.13. or to their [Page 18]Bedlam Distemper, who, whatsoever they hear or see, imagine it to be their own. But take the whole work as you please, either as mad, or as impious, it becomes well its three Builders: The first is Phocas, a Villain, who ſ Murthered both his own Master and Emperor, & his Masters Roial Family, his Wife, his six Sons and two Daughters. His Holiness, I say, ows his first Title of Universal Bishop to this abominable Massacre. The second is Gregory the Seventh, before called Hildebrand, who is branded among many for a Magician of the worst fort, and for a pestilent Incendiary, both in arming Subjects a­gainst their Princes, and (which is more unnatural) the very Children against their Fathers: And at last, being at the point of death, he himself confessed in the presence u of his Cardinals, That by the Devils perswasion he had provoked the wrath of God against Mankind. The third is Boniface the Eighth, who is reported in the x Chronicles, To have crept up to the Popedom like a Fox, and there reigned like a Lyon, and at the last died like a Dog. These are the Men that have preferred the Church of Rome to the Di­gnity she takes upon her, of being the Catholic Church. Thus it appears, that the Church of Rome is the Catholic Church in no sense, neither formally or properly, as it signifies the whole Universal Church of Christ; nor virtually or eminently, in their unproper and unusual notion, by having any lawful universal Dominion and Headship over all o­ther Churches.

Now I come to the second part of the matter in question, to demonstrate, That the Church of Rome is no truly Catholic Church at all (much less the Catholic Church) further then it agrees with ours: and that the proper notion of Catholic, excludes as inconsistent with the Apostolical and Christian Re­ligion, whatsoever she pretends as proper to the Po­pish Faith.

First, I begin with the Doctrine concerning St. Pe­ter and the Roman Dominion. Ask them that know, what is properly Catholic, they will tell you after honest Lirinensis, x 'Tis that which is believed by all Christians in all ages, and every where. I have de­monstrated already, that St Peters Roial Power was not believed by the Apostles, nor in any Apostolical times; and made it good out of Acts and Evidences altogether incompatible with, & destructive of this Belief: namely, His being rebuked by St. Paul, both to the Face and publicly; his being called to account by his Brethren; his being sent to Cesarea, &c. Can you think, that if at his return, they had found him guilty of such a foul miscarriage as would send whole Nations to Hell, they had thought it presumtion, as the Canon Law saies it is, to ask wherefore he did so? Was it ever heard among the twelve, that besides the general Commission of Preaching Christ, St. Peter had another more speci­al and proper Power of degrading all such Princes, as would not be ruled by his Bulls? And if he had it not; Is it likely that the present Roman Popes have more Secular Power from Christ then he, for compensation of their having less Holiness? To come lower to the holy Fathers; read their Epistles to the [Page 20]then Popes, and judg whether St. Cyprian, St. Basil, &c. did believe them to be their Monarchs, when they call them (as commonly they do) their Bre­thren and Fellow-servants. Did St. Augustin and his Brethren, the worthiest Prelats of that Age, sub­mit themselves very modestly to the Roman Papal Power, of controlling by their Legats and Officers the African Church Affairs, when they called it a­gain and again Secular y Pride? and do the African z Canons (the best Ecclesiastical Rules that the Church hath) look upon Popes as their lawful su­preme Visitors, when they do forbid all Church­men, under pain of Excommunication, in any Church business, to appeal to Rome? During this long mis­understanding, which lasted the lives of three Popes, did Sozimus, Boniface, and Celestin, (Learned and Wise Roman Bishops) believe, that clear Texts of Scripture did sufficiently assert the Papacy, when they were afraid of their Cause, unless they could help it up better, by forging false Nicene Canons? And on the other side: What meant the honest A­frican Fathers in sending a to Constantinople, to A­lexandria and Nicea, for true Copies, with profession of a readiness of submitting to all the true Nicene Canons, if they had thought, That feed my flock, and Thou art Peter, and such other Texts of Scriptures (better worth then all the Councils) had so much as nodded the Roman way? Or if the Papists say (for I know not what they can say else) that these places of Scripture, which they now mainly stand upon, are not so clear to their purpose, without the help of [Page 21]Tradition; Did St. Augustin, and all the rest of A­frica, not yet know what Tradition was or what it said? Was the ancient Tradition of the Universa Church then quite lost, among the eighty Nicene Ca­nons, which some b fondly suppose to have bin burnt by the Arrians? Books and Papers indeed may have bin burnt; but Christian Faith, and Tradition written no where so legibly as in Mens hearts, could not be so, unless the whole Church had bin burnt also. Besides, the general Practice, whatsoever be­comes of Tradition, must remain still: for you can­not imagin that the Church of Rome could actual­ly exercise an universal Jurisdiction over all the Churches of the World, without imagining in these an universal submission to that Power. To this pur­pose, tell me I pray, Whether and where S. Chrysostom or St. Basil, did swear Canonical Obedience to his Holiness when they were consecrated? What sums of Money did they send to Rome, when they had thence got their Pallium? And when or where among a thousand Prelats in the old Times, do you find one either subscribing himself, or being called by others, as now they do, and are Arch-Bishops or Bishops of Milan, of Constantinople, or any other Diocess, by the Grace of God, and of the Holy Apostolical See; fairly acknowledging themselves thereby, little bet­ter then what they are now, meer Suffragans, Vicars, or Curats of that Universal Bishop? I am sure that Pope Gregory abhorred, as long as he lived, that ve­ry Title (and much more the Usurpation) as c a Mark of Antichrist, and as a Destruction of the [Page 22]Faith. Now it is cherished at Rome, not only as a Catholic Doctrine, but as the very Fundamental that makes the Catholic Church. Thus Knaves grow great upon cheating, and Rebels become Kings up­on a Murther, and Mens Crimes prove sometimes their Pride and Exaltation.

2. From the Roman Supremacy, go on, and look upon the Roman Mass; you know what great pro­portion that Sacrifice has among them. Whole Popery depends or tends that way, as on its Center: and if the Roman Pope is that Churches Head, this Roman Service is its Body. I say then in the second place, that this vast and comprehensive Bulk is no­thing less then Catholic. Catholic is, By all Mens acknowledgment, that which hath bin alwaies be­liev'd (if a Doctrine) or observed and practiced (if a Service) since Christian Antiquity, in all Chri­stian Churches and Ages. Go therefore and seek, when and where the twelve Apostles ever offered in Preaching their Savior to men, to offer him up, and to make him a Victime to God. Enquire of all the Holy Fathers, when and where they sung any Mass publicly without any Communicants except the Priests? When and where they ever solemnly and publicly administred the holy Communion under one kind? When and where they ever heard one single syllable of those Unchristian Doctrines, that now a daies make the Main Fundamentals of the Romish Religion? to wit, that Christ offered up himself to God as an Expiatory Sacrifice any where else but on the Cross; that the Natural Body of Christ is both in Heaven upon a Throne, and on Earth on a thou­sand Altars; that here his Body contracts & shrinks it self into the compass of a small Crumb of Bread, [Page 23]or any the least drop of Wine; that these appear­ing Crumbs and Drops, altho emtied to all Sub­stance, and attenuated to meer Accidents, can both well subsist by themselves, and whithersoever they be driven, pull along with them the Flesh of Christ. If these and other like Doctrines, which now are essential to Roman Mass, had in Ancient time bin Preach'd and heard as essential to Christian Faith; Where was all the wit of Celsus, or the malice of Julian, and such Enemies of Christ Jesus, when they fell foul upon the Blessed Trinity, the Incar­nation and Resurrection of Christ, and all such o­ther Articles as seemed to them ridiculous, to spare both the Mass-Sacrifice and the Transubstantiation, that both are, and seem to be so? Where was either the wisdom or the care of Origen, Eusebius, St. Au­gustin, and other Christian Champions, whil'st they were writing large Volumes in defence of Religion, where it seemed subject to reproach, to leave this part alone undefended, which by all Mens confession had, if then in being, the greatest need of defence? If the Church of God had in those daies a most real and continual Mass-Sacrifice; How came S. Cyrill of Alexandria to be so dull against his Custom, as when Julian laughed at Christians for having neither Altars nor Sacrifices, to stop his mouth with nothing else then Metaphorical Oblations? And was this A­postate such a Sot, as to object at every turn such meer Falshoods (if Mass be true) wherein he knew (having bin long a Christian) that any Body might stop his mouth? It seems (as some of their best Au­thors d confess) the Mystery of Transubstantiation was yet in the Church incognito, and came to ap­pear, [Page 24]as it doth now, but a long while (as they say e too) after Christ had instituted it: So it is not Ca­tholic at all.

3. Go you down to Purgatory, that vast and wide subterranean Rome, as great at least as this above­ground; who also in a very great mesure is her Mo­ther and Nurse: for if this pretends to send down any kind of relief to that, by her Masses and Mass­offices; yet 'tis that which maintains and helps up this, with Wealth, Honors, Monasteries, and all imaginable affluence of Riches. In the mean time, this commerce, how mutual and great soever, is no­thing less then Catholic, having not followed the Gospel through all the Countries, nor times of the Church. Whensoever and wheresoever the Christian Faith was Preached, there is left an Impression in the Heart of all Believers, that there is after this Life a Heaven prepared for Faithful Souls, and an e­verlasting Hell for those that shall be found not to be so. Purgatory, which is a third place, and should of course, if true, have gon in the same company with these two, never followed them half the way: no Apostle, so far as we can see in their holy Wri­tings, ever Preached it: it was not blown by Gods Spirit thro-out the whole World, as other Catholic Doctrines were; it lodg'd in some corners only, and that late, or upon a Heathenish account: and where by chance it was admitted, it found no better enter­tainment then a wavering Opinion: Such a thing may be, saies one: It is not unlikely, saies another. The Greek and Armenian Churches, larger then the Ro­man is, do not believe it, f saies one of the most [Page 25]learned Papists. It was believed but somewhat late, saies g one of their Cardinal Bishops, and tho Bel­larmin turns over and over all the Scriptures to search it out, many of his own Church do confess, that they h cannot find it there.

4. Indulgences, that vast revenue, and staple Merchandize of Rome, is neither more ancient nor Universal then its correspondent Purgatory. For, saies i a good Roman Author after Cardinal Fisher, no body thought of Indulgences, before Purgatory was set a foot: these without this being of no value. But a while after men had bin affrighted with the Purga­tory Torments; then began Indulgences to be of use. If you will know why both came in late, they will endeavor to k satisfie you with two Reasons; the first is, because Christians in primitive time had few sins to trouble them after their death; when they had any, they needed no other flames then their own Zeal to burn them out, and their great i Mortifica­tions besides, left nothing to do for Indulgences. The second is, because the Ancient Church did not know all, however, much less, then now we do. The first reason stands upon mere inconsideration of what men were for the most part in the best times. The second stands fair for new lights: and upon this account you must exclude Purgatory, Indulgences, and Fana­ticism, from being Catholic Doctrines.

5. You may join with those three, all the Roman [Page 26]Praiers and Devotions to Saints. This recommended daily, and reputedly devout Emploiment hath not so much as the shadow of Catholic; for it crept in a­mong Christians, (as the Baalim did in Israel, when the Holy men that had seen Moses and Joshua, and the elders of that generation were all departed Jud. 2.10.11.12.) when our Savior and his Apostles and the first Preachers of the Gospel had left the world. During above four thousand years, when God had undoubted Saints living on Earth among his People, you shall not find one, who ever call'd, praied, or wor­shipped any other Saint in Heaven, then the Holy one of Israel. Salmero, one of the learned Disputants at Trent, confesses, m such Invocations have no express ground in all the Scriptures. Bellarmin n and others must yeild it, as to the 4000 and odd years, that preceded the Ascension. And as for the years that followed it, Would to God saies Stapulensis o we would conform our waies of Faith and Devotion to the exam­ple of the Primitive Church, who never lookt but on one Christ; and never Worshipped any other then, he Holy Trinity. Eckius p also is clear for this. Read for your better satisfaction Origen. contra Cels. l. 8. Eu­seb. Eccles. Hist. l. 4. c. 15. S. Epiphanius his whole Tract against the worshippers of the blessed Virgin. S. Ambros. 1. Rom. S. Austin de Civit. l. 8. c. 27. l. 22. c. 10. item contra Faust. l. 20. c. 21.

The whole business of Image worship (the most visible part of the Roman Religion) came in later then the Saints worship, and therefore appears to be [Page 27]less Catholic. If Ancient Authors mention once as it were by chance, q a Statue made by the Woman (and a Heathenish Woman was she) whom Christ had cured of a bloody Flux; or the Picture of some Apostles, which had bin seen on private walls; or the Figure of a Shepherd with a Lamb upon his shoul­ders, ingraved in a Cummunion s Cup; or a Repre­sentation of Histories and t Martyrdoms in one or two Oratories; yet where is the Prophet, the Apo­stle, or the Holy Father, who ever lookt on such Figures, otherwise then common representations or Pieces of Antiquity? or ever consecrated them in Churches, where they are now u proper means to serve Saints by, and fit Objects to have for them­selves a considerable part of this service? That one Hanging with St. Epiphanius x tore to pieces, be­cause it represented a Saint, at the entring into a Church, might well serve for a winding sheet to wrap up all such Images, and to bury them out of the pre­cincts of Gods Church.

7. All other Tools and impliments of Popery, as Ro­saries, Beads, holy Medals, Agnus Dei's, Blessed Grains, Privileged Altars, Christening of Bells, all the three sorts, of holy water, and such Furnitures of the Ro­man Church, may very well go the same way, as ra­ther the dirt then the Doctrine of any true Catholic Church.

8. Auricular Confession, that is the continual work of Priests and People, is not much better; and, as it is sometimes practised, is a great deal worse. Of all their more sober and intelligent writers, y some doubt much, whether it be a Catholic Practice: and others adventure to say, z that it is not. The Eastern Churches, where the Gospel was first preached * ne­ver had it: and it came among the Romans, when public Confessions and other good customes grew out of date.

I forbear to bring more instances, because these, being the chief materials, which compose this Roman Body, may suffice to shew what it is. As a dry skin filled with straw can never make a true Li­on; nor the hollow bark of an Oak stuffed up ne­ver so industriously with moss and dirt, ever make a fruitful Tree; so neither can now the Church of Rome, to what bigness soever it swells, or what face soever it may put on, make with these pitiful Ingredients a Catholic, much less the true Catholic Church. Let Papists try by these undeniable Cha­racters, namely Christian Antiquity of Beginning, Continuance of Duration, and Universality of recep­tion, what is properly Catholic; and then turn out of their doors what is not so; you shall presently see Rome without Popes, Churches without Image­worship and Mass service: all new Doctrines and old Idols will fall immediately down to the ground, [Page 29]and the manifest novelty of what they brag of, and give out as old, shall soon betray the Imposture.

I confess that Popery wants not as much Age and Antiquity, as may deceive ignorant men; their Do­ctrine of Purgatory is as old as Homer himself, who lived many years afore Christ; and their worship­ping of Images, as old among the Christians, as is Simon the sorcerer, who both had and adored them, and therefore * is branded for it in the very A­postles times: only some difference may be, that Si­mon had his from Pilates Brush; and Rome had theirs, as they do think from St. Nicodemus, or St. Lukes hand. There was a worshipping of Angels, (as bad it may be, as as the Popish is at this day) of no lesser date then all the writings of S. Paul. a Coloss. 2.18. and condemned by the Ancient Fathers. Tran­substantiation is not so new as many think: for Mar­cus, an old Enchanter, endeavored somewhat like it by b turning the Wine into Blood, which he cal­led [...] somthing like Transubstantiation. That the same Body might be, and was at the same time in se­veral places, was a Doctrine plainly taught by the Manichees, c many hundred years before all the Councils of Lateran or Trent. Those Laws forced on mens Consciences, since Christ and his Apostles had left them to their Liberty, concerning Meats, and Marrying, are not less Ancient then d Cerdon, Marcion, Tatian, and the Encratites, who were very [Page 30]Ancient Heretics. Extreme Unction bestowed by the Mass Priests on dying persons, was prescribed by e Heracleon, about an hundred and ten years af­ter Christ. Not to multiply instances, the very source and fountain, whence all errors were derived to Rome, namely the magnifying f an unwritten Tradition, and the vilifying the Holy Scripture g for an uncertain and obscure Rule, hath no later Au­thors then the Scribes were, long before Christ, and the Gnostics, soon after him. Thus the Papists are not without Antiquity, such as it is: for I may say in general, and prove too by many Instances, that Jews, Gentils, and old Heretics scarce ever had any famous and general Abuse among them, but Rome woud have somewhat of it. But as for truly Christian and Apostolical Antiquity, such as can be the only Root, and essential Character of Catholic Doctrine; I may safely defie the best of them to name me any one Article proper to their own Roman Faith, that is ancient in this sense. And as to those Articles of Christian Faith, which they have in common with us, and are truly Apostolical and Catholic; it is most pitiful to think, how shamefully they abuse and poison them by the mixture of their own pecu­liar Roman ones. Therefore if you take this mixt and confused Body together, that is the Roman Church at the best side, as it holds yet the fundamental Ground of Christianity, which we profess; thus far I grant it is a true Church: and if you take it at the worst, as to its proper Roman Doctrines, wherein it differs no more from us, then from all true Catholic [Page 31]and Apostolical Antiquity; thus far it is, if a Church at all, a most corrupt, and desperately infected one. But if you come to huddle up these two heterogeneous and incompatible Parts together, in order to an ab­solute estimate and denomination of the whole (as at the great day of the Lord one shall not appear with­out the other) then it were most unreasonable that the lesser and weaker part should give the Title; and that the Cities of Sodoma, Gomorrha, Admah and Zeboim should be called holy Cities because they have one Lot among them. The Mountain that has many Grains of Gold lying under it, is rock or sand never­theless: & the Ocean is still salt water, tho some Rivers, and some Shipwracks mix with it other liquors. Thus Papists are ridiculously vain, who brag as they do of our acknowledging their Church, to have the Essen­tials of Christian Religion. For these essentials are not saving but where they have the Prevalency: and they can but aggravate sin and leave it more inexcu­sable, where they are baffled and opprest. Can any man think that Pilats Judgment Hall becomes a Church, for having Christ standing there to be con­demned? or that Dagons Temple becomes Gods house for having the Ark there shut up? No wise man looks for any Harvest from a few handfulls of Wheat choaked with all manner of weeds: nor takes it to be good Pasture, which he sees to be overgrown with Thorns. No sincere Israelite can ever think of being saved by the Religion of Dan and Bethel, be­cause it keeps still Moses his Law; nor by the Sa­maritan Religion, because they serve God as well as Baal. Mixt and corrupt Religions are not to be valu­ed so much in what is trodden under mens feet, as by what is predominant, and set upon their high Altars. [Page 32]The great Building raised at Jerusalem by Adrian, did not cease to be Jupiters Temple, for being rais­ed upon holy Foundations; and the best Altars of the Lord can procure no Atonement tho they be kept in good repair, when they serve for burning Swines Flesh. Thus what expect you from the whole Bi­ble, while what is in it is but a Pedestal to hun­deeds of false Superstitions? or from the Preaching of Christ, and himself crucified, the chiefest learn­in of S. Paul, and the Salvation of Jews and Gen­tiles; as long as it is made a Foundation for an abo­minable Mass Service?

In the mean while, if Papists will still bless them­selves, and think that all is safe at home, because they are called Catholics abroad (and for my part, I can but wonder to find here Bellarmin so weak) let them remember, that in the ancient times, Men, as erroneous as they are, were called Gnostics, Aposto­lics, and Angelics, that is, Sublime and Angelical Christians: and thus the very Turks may bless themselves, whensoever we call them Musulmans, that is, Men of true saving Faith. The Papists may give to themselves such Titles as they are best pleased with; but when Protestants call them Catholics, it is either out of ignorance (for many are not acquaint­ed with the true signification of that Word) or a ci­uil Complement, or a meer Jest and Mockery [...] as to the truth it self, the Roman Church [...] the true, nor a truly Catholic Church [...] the true Catholic Church, for this [...] pre­tend to, but upon the account of [...] Ju­risdiction over all the Churches of [...]; which Pretension, where it prevails, is a Sacrilegious En­croachment; and where it doth not, is a meer Fa­ble. [Page 33]Nor is she truly Catholic, either by her own proper Doctrines, Laws, and Worship, which all are new (as to Christian Antiquity) Local, and un­apostolical: or by the common Principles of Chri­stianity that she detains, since she detains them in Unrighteousness, over-whelmed, oppressed, and groaning under many heavy massy Burthens of Su­perstitions and Abuses, beneath which she kept them, and that not like the Oracles of God in a Church, but as Captives in a Dungeon: There, both God in his Law, and Jesus Christ in his Gospel, are in a manner close Prisoners, under a cruel Band of Sol­diers: not one Commandment among the ten; few, if any, of the twelve Articles of the Creed, but there are in the Church of Rome some special Errors and Impieties wickedly set to abuse them. And this is both the Sanctuary that Rome opens for Salvation, and the first fundamental Allurement she serves men with, to entice them to Popery.

CHAP. III.
Concerning the second Inducement to Po­pery, The Roman Miracles.

NExt to the pretended Catholic Church, Roman Miracles are the main Pride of Popery, and its strange Wonders, such as they be, of Lauretta, Montserrat, and other places, give as much coun­tenance to the Roman, as Delphi, Delos, Dodona, and such other Seats of Heathenish Gods, did to the Heathenish Religion. The truth is, Miracles will carry a great weight, both with the unlearned and Learned Men, when they are right; and there­fore it much concerns every one that hath no mind to be cheated, well to know the right from the wrong.

All true Christian Miracles are supernatural, or extraordinary Works wrought for a time, either by the immediate Hand of God, or by the Mediation of Men and Angels, when moved or strengthned thereto by him, for the farther authorizing and con­firming true Catholic and Christian Truth, especial­ly among Infidels.

First, I say, true Christian Miracles; not only to oppose them to all Cheating and Fabulous, but also to distinguish them from other more common supernatural Effects, which God is pleased some­times to shew promiscuously among all sorts of Na­tions for the asserting of his Power, Justice, Mercy; or more generally, his Divine Being in the course of [Page 35]his Providence: There is not a Nation in the whole World, but may find, if they will search, many such admirable Passages in their Chronicles; nor scarce any private Man, but may observe somwhat of these, as he calls them, strange Accidents in his own time. It is most certain, that God sent his Angels, and with them his great Judgments and Powers among the Persians, and Greeks called Javan, Dan. 10. as well as among the Israelites: and besides, what either the Earth or the Heavens can do by their proper In­fluence, and what Man-kind can add unto it, by their own good or bad conduct, in the ordinary course of things, the miraculous Hand of God often times over-rules so visibly, that no sober man can doubt of his interposition and guidance. Of this kind are the stupendous and unexpected rises and falls of great Estates: the slaughters of many thousands, mention'd in divers Histories, by an inconsiderable handful of men: the raising of Princes among Pagans to an ex­traordinary pitch of Moral Vertue, and Heroical Courage: the terrible Prodigies, Blazing-stars, and Predictions before great Desolations and Plagues; somtimes Curses, somtimes Blessings fastned as it were to some Houses, &c. No judicious Man will fancy, that Cyrus for example, or Alexander either, would undertake, or could perform their vast De­signs amidst their Disadvantages, without some sin­gular influence and help from above: and whosoe­ver will consider, what Plato was, and what he makes a Socrates say before his death, can hardly forbear thinking, but that this Heroical Pagan had commonly the Assistance of a good Angel. These, and other such great Examples taken notice of by [Page 36]all sorts of Historians, confirm the truth of Gods special care; about the conservation of Societies, and signifie nothing at all about their true or untrue Re­ligion in Churches or Temples. If they did, where is that pitiful Sect or Country, but might allege sun­dry Miracles to justifie its own Pagan or Heretical Perswasion? The Emperors Vespatian and Adrian, might have authorized, by this means, the Wor­shipping of Roman Eagles: for both are said b to have restor'd sight to blind men: the Vestal in Valerius, with her holding of Water in a Sieve, or drawing a Ship with her Girdle, might as well have asserted her Heathenish Religion, as her Personal Innocency. There is nothing so absurd with the Donatists, nor so impious with the Manichees, which some Miracle or other wrought among them, might not countenance in some mesure. And without look­ing back towards old times, the Kings of England, and the Kings of France, with that gift which it is said they have, of healing an otherwise scarcely curable Disease, might come near to justifie at once (which is both absurd and impossible) both Prote­stancy and Popery: So far do these Providential, differ from Christian Miracles, as to the confirming of any Christian Truth.

Secondly, I say, that these true Christian Mira­cles are commonly but for a time, and for the first au­thorizing, &c. For the Gift of working Miracles is, as that of speaking Languages, 1 Cor. 14.12. in­tended for the Conversion of Unbelievers, and for assisting the Gospel, wheresoever it should be first Preach'd. Therefore the first Evangelists, and o­ther first Planters of Churches, as well as the Holy [Page 37]Apostles, had as long this help of Miracles, as God had Nations in the World, to whom he would re­vele his Will: which, being a work of many Years, this supernatural Hand of God help'd it forward, both in confounding Pagan Idols, and strengthning Men against Pagan Persecutions, till God had sent Christian Princes, to whose care he then committed the work (both of countenancing the Church thro­out all their Dominions, and of mastering her Ene­mies) which till then he did by his own hand. After this, 'tis certain Miracles ceased apace, if not to be, yet to be common, being thenceforth not so ne­cessary as before: Those that continued the longest, were about the healing of Sicknesses, and about the casting out of Devils: and the corners where they continued, were those wilde Deserts and remote Places (the refuge of the Primitive Christians from the Face of their Enemies) where there was more need of such continued Wonders, because that more Infidels did lurk there. And by the way, it may be imagin'd, that God inclined those last Workers of Miracles, whose austere Life and Devotion now a­daies seems to us so strange, * to leave the more cultivated World and retreat to Deserts, in order to convert barbarous men in their most barbarous Countries.

All this being done, and all known Parts and Creeks of the World being either mostly converted, or sufficiently called to the Christian Faith, the Holy Fathers tell us, that Miracles c ceased; that they were d unnecessary; that to expect e of God any [Page 38]other then the old ones, by which the Gospel had bin already most sufficiently confirmed, was no less then temting of him; that if any were wrought in their times, they could not be well look'd upon, but as a suspicious kind of Signs (and not infallible proofs of Faith) because the true f Servants of Christ having confirm'd their Preaching by true signs, call'd Men away from their Infidelity, to the Faith: now this first calling being over, the Devil will set up himself, by the means of his own Miracles, in order to draw Men back again from Faith to Infidelity.

And as to this, God was pleased to take the same course in the publishing of the Gospel, as he had bin pleased to take in the publishing of the Law. In this first he asserted the Glory of Israel, the redemtion out of Egypt, and his own Law under Moses, by such Miracles as no Egyptian at last could question, and no false God could counterfeit. For altho most of them, as for example, the producing of Lice, the dividing an Arm of the Sea, the making Thunders and Earth-quakes, &c. seemed not much to exceed that compass, which created Causes might have reach'd to: yet God so visibly confounded both the skill of all Magicians, and the power of all Devils, that his Almighty Power and stretched-out Arm, did not appear so much in the very working of these Wonders, as in restraining the contrary Powers both of the Air, and of Hell, from attemting to any pur­pose the like performances. Lastly, God having suf­ficiently evidenced both the Power of his Laws, and the Truth of his Promises, he thenceforth both with­draws his Hand from working his former continually appearing Miracles, and takes off that restraint that [Page 39]alone kept the Devils from either doing or counter­feiting any like them. And then, the Evil Spirits being let loose again to their former Liberty, God gives his People this fair warning, against all Reve­lations and Miracles whatsoever: If there arise a­mong you a Prophet, and give thee a Sign or a Won­der, &c. Deut. 13.1. In like manner those Miracles which ushered the Holy Gospel, and spread it over all the World, were in all respects unquestionable. First, they were mark'd out before-hand, by clear infallible Prophecies, both of Isaiah 35.5, 6. The eyes of the blind, &c. And of Joel 3.28. I will pour my Spirit, &c. Secondly, to remove farther out of the way, both all suspicion and possibility of Error in those first times, all the Devils and all their Mini­sters were tied generally from all false and consider­able Miracles: I beheld, saies our Savior very much to this purpose, Satan falling as Lightning from Heaven. His Oracles were over the World all upon a sudden * suppressed, Magicians and Seducers, if they attemted any thing, were either struck blind, as Elymas in the Acts; or silenced, as so many Demo­niacs were in the Gospel; or confounded, and even beaten down, when they thought to exalt themselves, as Simon Magus was by St. Peter, as we find both in the Acts, and in the Ecclesiastical History. Then, after a long course of true and infallible Miracles, suffici­ent in all respects both to perswade men through all the World, and to seal the Holiness and Importance of the Gospel to all Ages; Satan is permitted to use his ancient Power again, both for the trial of the Believers, and the punishment of the Rebels. Then all sorts of Seductions, false Revelations, and false [Page 40]Miracles, could not but return back again by an in­fallible Consequence, and with greater Violence then ever, because after a longer restraint. Here­upon come the often repeted and serious and merci­ful warnings of Christ: There shall arise false Christs, &c. Matth. 24. Thus both in the Law and the Go­spel, the first times and sorts of Miracles do carry al­waies along with them, and as it were in their Fore­heads, such express Characters of Gods hand, as is most proper and most sufficient to put the Truth a­bove all doubt: Therefore Christ often doth make use of them, John 5.36. and 9.37. And so do the Holy Prophets most celebrate and insist upon those Principal and Primitive ones, that had bin wrought by Moses, by Joshua, and by the first Judges. Where­as the second sort of Miracles are all branded with such black Marks, and discredited in all respects with such heavy Charges and Warnings, as must needs affright all Christians from being mis-led, but those who are pleased, or given over to be seduced by them. Maricon g, and Donatus h, and other worse i sorts of Heretics, seldom wanted these last Mi­racles.

Thirdly, I say, True Christian Miracles are in­tended for the confirming of Christian Truth. This is their chief and ultimate end, tho in order to it they may and do serve commonly for other more im­mediate accounts. Thus, when Christ cured the Sick, and cast out Devils, these Miracles were to be lookt on both as extraordinary effects of his Divine Power, and most signal Expressions of his [Page 41]Mercy to those persons whom he did cure. Yet the main thing Christ aimed at, was this, that both those who were cured, and those who saw that they were so, might be perswaded by such wonders, that the expected Messias was come, that it was He; and that whatsoever he said and commanded, was to be be­lieved and obeied. So Miracles were both to Christ & Christs Ministers, what Credential letters, badges and robes are to all Public Officers: and also were to the Gospel, which they preached, what Signs and Seals are to the Articles, Patents, and other Com­missions, which are brought by those Officers; that is to say, such Confirmations and Evidences, that if all those, to whom they were expresly sent would not believe them upon their word, or upon the hear­ing of their Doctrine, (which many did without more ado) they might do it by seeing their works. Hence it is that both our Savior, and his Apostles ever preached the Gospel in the first place, and con­firmed it by the words taken from the Law or the Prophets; and in the second place, if what they said, required in the hearers any farther Confirma­tion, then in that case they shewed Miracles. They went forth, saies St. Mark 16.20. and preached e­very where, the Lord working with them, (inward­ly by his spirit,) and confirming the word with the Signs that followed. Therefore the following Signs having such a special dependence and proper aspect on the Gospel, which went before; if no Gospel, nor any thing essential to it is preached or delivered some other way, these Miracles are just like Seals and Signs, that are merely put to a Blank; and, as to Christian Doctrine can signifie nothing at all. And so these Signs, if true, are merely Providential. If they be put to any true and real Deed, but enter­lined [Page 42]afterwards with Clauses, that cannot well a­gree with it; you may be sure those Seals relate not to any one of the forged Additions. And if all was blank before, & all afterwards be filled with a whole false Commission, the Seals and Miracles pretended for it, must needs be utterly false, and if real, utter­ly Devilish; it being utterly impossible, that God the God of Truth, would put either his own hand, or the hand of his good Angels to the countenan­cing of an untruth, and to the contradicting any Truth which he hath confirmed before.

So, to prevent Delusion, some care and skill must be used in understanding and construing the voice and Signification of Miracles. For instance when God sent Lions among those Heathenish Colonies, who used no other Religion in Israel, then what they had learned in Babel or in Ava. 2 Kings 17.25. this extraordinary Judgment said nothing at all to countenance what Jeroboam and the ten Tribes had adulterated in Gods Service; for such language in a Miracle should contradict, and not confirm the clear Voice of God in his Law: it declared nothing but this truth, to wit, that God would have alway the Memorial of his Name kept in that Land; and that in order to this will of his, he would rather bear with any Corruption, then with the utter Abolition of his Service in that Country, till his Son should come to reform it. Thus the Angel moving the water once every year at Bethesda. S. John 5. or the other Angel that at one time dried up or removed twice the water, which a Novatian k Bishop had consecrated for the Christening of a Jew, who had bin Christened already, & who thought of nothing [Page 43]else then of surprizing by this means the Liberality of Christians, which then was very great upon such oc­casions; neither of these true Miracles I say are un­derstood, if you draw them, either to favor the Tra­ditions which the Scribes then taught in the Tem­ple; or to countenance the long Schism, which this Novatian Bishop with others did keep and foment in the Church. These two Miracles must be appli­ed to their own proper and fit ends, or to such things as Christian Truth can allow of. That of Bethesda to declare the continuance of some temporal Mercies upon a corrupted then, but before an elected Peo­ple: and to signifie to all men the Blessing of holy Baptism, and the admittance into the Christian Church, which was, fitly represented by the said Pool of Bethesda, that is the Laver of Regeneration in the House of Gods Mercies. And the other, to vindi­cate the Honor of this same holy Baptism, which the Novatians kept entire, and which this wandering Jew thought to abuse. By this means the true Miracles done in Christs Name (and power too) sometimes by false men Matth. 7.22. shall recommend only Christs Gospel, not their Iniquity who work them. No simple Ignorants shall turn the wonderful Acts of God as S. Peter saies, some do the Scriptures to their own Destruction 2 Pet. 3.6. nor the foulest Here­ties, as otherwise they may) toward their foulest Blasphemies, and whatever be don or reported to be so, among men of mixt and corrupted Religions, shall give them no ground of bragging in their Error, or Heresie. Thus suppose (which for my part I might very well wish it were true) that the great Cures done anciently at the Graves of the holy Mar­tyrs, were yet to be seen every day; these Acts of [Page 44]God, how great soever, wrought at the touching the Relics of St. Stephen in Africa, or of St. Andrew at Constantinople, or of Gervasius and Protasius at Milan, would justifie neither Turcism, nor any other Im­piety now believed or practised in those Countries; they could attest nothing but this, that those Mar­tyrs howsoever killed, and cast out like Dogs, were holy men: and that what they taught and died for, when they were taken for Seducers, is proved by these great works, to be most true. Thereupon en­quire what they taught, what they did, and what they believed; for this certainly (and this only) is attested by those Miracles: and if the Heads of Peter or Paul shewed yet yearly upon great holy daies at Rome, did really the greatest Cures; these would assert S. Peter and S. Pauls Epistles which the Papists now contradict in many Points; and not the Popes Roial Power, nor the Roman Purgatory, nor the works of congruity, condignity, or supererogation, nor any other like Doctrines which are contradicted by these Epistles. But if you meet, as oft you may, with another sort of Miracles, which, what way soever you turn them, do not look towards any Doctrine delivered by Christ or his Apostles; these can be none of those, we may be sure, which S. Mark calls following Miracles, such as are properly the Christi­an ones. They may be from God nevertheless, and true, and good, and thankfully to be accepted, as the Providential Miracles are. But if they look or go plainly a quite cross or contrary way; be sure they are Antichristian, and are designed either to sow, or to improve some other Seed, then was at the first Sown by Christs Preaching, and cultivated by his Miracles. And such were those true Prophecies, which [Page 45] Moses bids us to take heed of, Deuter. 13.1. to draw Israel after strange Gods: such were the many Signs and wonders, which Jansenius Bishop of Gant affirms l to have bin don in his time, to seduce men after a false Christ. Nor matters it that these Miracles seem not much less, then those first were, wherewith the Gospel was confirmed; For the Beast can perform great wonders. Revel. 13.13. Devils by Gods permission come very neer that which good Angels attain unto, by Gods Command: and tho there are many Miracles beyond the reach of good and bad Angels, as for instance the Reviving of dead Bodies, &c. Yet there are none, but by some illu­sion or other, may be so exactly counterfeited, that tho they have no Reality, yet will they have as much appearance to confirm Lies, as the other have to confirm the Truth. Hence comes in these last times (when the Devil hath no restraint to keep him from making the utmost use of his Power) the absolute impossibility of discerning those from these any other way, then by the end, which they aim at, to wit the reveled will of God, and the manifesta­tion of his Truth. There are some of the Devils Mi­racles, * saies S. Austin, that as to the work it self seem not to be lesser then Gods are, but their End must distinguish them. And therefore, he will have the Miracles of later times to be tried by the true Church as we find it in the Scriptures: and not the Church, by these Miracles.

Bring Roman Miracles to this Rule, you may di­vide them into three Ranks; for some of them are [Page 46]but mere Tales; some are counterfeit Impostures, and artificial tricks of Juglers: others have a real Being; but the question is, Whence they have it.

As for the first sort of Miracles: the Papists have by little and little, heaped them to such an Extra­vagancy, that divers of their communion, who have some modesty left them, can scarce forbear blushing m at their relation. Gregory of Tours, and Gregory the first Bishop of Rome (if the four Books of Dia­logues be truly his) did begin pretty well to tell sto­ries: But it is nothing to the advances made by some other Prelats and great Roman Doctors, in the fol­lowing Ages: And I may say confidently, that these Romanists are not much short of the most extrava­gant Romancers. There you shall read of Constan­tine the great being a Leper, and transferring his Ro­man Empire upon that Pope that made him clean; of Wolves and Lions bringing back Lambs, and re­storing them out of their Entrails, after they had torn them to pieces; of Birds flocking about to hear Sermons; and of Asses becoming Roman Catholics, at least kneeling to adore the Mass-Sacrament, &c. They cannot conceive any great Man to be a Saint, unless he hath an extraordinary Gift for the work­ing of such Miracles. How true they be, you may best learn of the very Saints, who deny them: as for Example, n Berard, o St. Chrysostom, and p St. Gregory, and yet they are forced upon them: and you can hardly pass for a true Catholic, unless you [Page 47]believe; that St. Bernard q was saluted and suckled several times by our Lady in her Image; that r St. Chrysostom did raise the dead, did cure all sorts of incurable Diseases; and had every night St. Paul himself whispering continually in his Ears, what he did write on his Epistles. And as to St. Gregory the Great, he had no meaner Whisperer r then the Holy Ghost in Person, under the shape of a Pigeon sitting quietly upon his Head, and sometimes stretch­ing down her Bill s into his Mouth, when he was Preaching. And we know that the grand Impostor Mahomet pretended somwhat the alike about the same time. Now you may be sure all this is merely Fa­bulous, since it is disown'd by the very Men who are pretended to have had it, & who therefore knew best the truth of all these Works and Assistances. Much like to these are the Miracles and Revelations of I­gnatius Loyola, when he cures Women in their Tra­vel, if you but set his Seal t or Signet on their Belly; when he makes u the House where he happens to be, horribly shake; and when himself grows as hot and as terrible as Mount Aetna, by the fierce motion of that Spirit, which from a debauch'd Soldier made him a Holy Jesuit: or when he sees the Soul of his deerest Friend Hosius x mounting up into the sky, far more gorgeous then the Soul of any other: or when he works greater Miracles, with his own name in a little piece of Paper y, Cum nomine suo Chartae inscri­pto, [Page 48]then Moses and the Apostles did in Gods Name. We cannot deny (saies the Bishop of Canaries) but som­times very grave Men write and leave to posterity such reports about Saints Miracles, humoring hereby both themselves and the People, whom they perceive both prone to believe, and importunate to have them do so.

There is a second sort of Roman Miracles, which are somewhat, but have it all from Artifice and Im­posture. Pope Boniface in this matter once behaved himself like a Man, when thro a Pipe or Sarbatane he conveied so dexterously this a Oracle, Celèstin get thee away, if thou hast a mind to be saved; that Pope Celestin took it, it seems, notwithstanding his Infal­libility, for an Angelical Warning, and so left his Popedom to the Cheat. Pope Hildebrand had once another as good intention of Cheating, but as it was much more cruel, it had not so happy a success; when he had ready a huge Stone b, which should have faln from a high Vault, like a Judgment out of Heaven, upon the Emperor Henry the Third's Head; but the poor wretch, who was emploied in that good affair, made too much hast, for he fell down with his great Stone, wherewith he was crusht all to pieces, before the Emperor came under that place where he used to kneel at Praier. It was a prettier trick of the Country Curate, b who getting Crabs, with little can­dies fastned to their backs, set them a crawling up and down his Church-yard at night; and perswaded his People in the morning, after he had taken them again, that they were poor distressed Souls which wanted z c [Page 49]Masses. Images and Crucifixes are very commodi­ous for working this kind of Miracles, especially when they are ser up close to thick Walls, as the great Serapis of Alexandria was once; for then 'tis an easie matter to get up behind, by secret waies, to anoint the Face of the Saint, and to put in a Cha­fing dish, that shall make him both sweat and weep, by heating and melting that Liquor. Springs, and Wheels. and such like Engines, are of great use to move and bow, and make them speak. By such a Miracle, the married Clergy unhappily lost once their good Cause at Winchester; for when they were upon the point of winning it, d a Crucifix started at it, and declared against the Priests. This Voice in the Synod being well seconded by the Monks, went pre­sently for an Oracle: So either simple were the men, or strong the Impostures of those daies; nor are they now much less in many places. Altho Lyranus tells all the World, That great e Delusions are often put upon the People by Mass-Priests, and their counter­feited Wonders and Signs.

Besides these two, I will not deny, but the Ro­man Church may be granted to have another third kind of Miracles, which neither are fancied by Hi­storians, nor counterfeited by Juglers, but really wrought by higher Causes. For my part, when I do read in grave & famous Roman Writers, that a Con­secrated Host will flie and flutter in the Air some­times, till a Mass-Priest holds up his Pix to receive it; that shapes of Flesh, and young Children, have appear'd on their Altars, at the Elevation of the said Host; that by many good Experiences, Horses, [Page 50]and Mules, and Cows, have bin cured of their Dis­eases, when some Masses were sung for them, to the honor of St. Barbara; that St. Dominic did write Books, which, upon several Trials, no fire could ever Burn; that once he was seen perfectly in the shape of a Crucifix f, with the five Wounds in his Body, and a Crown of Thorns on his Head; that at the Consecration at Mass, somthing like Christ was seen hard by him, with the same signs of his cruel Passion, dropping out of his own Wounds, some of his dear Blood on this dear Saint; that the Blessed Virgin beheld all this, & of her own accord plaied the Mass-Priest, and administred the very Body of her Son in one moiety of a Consecrated Wafer to this same Saint, in token of special Friend­ship: and all this averred and sworn as true, by a formal Oath in the Name of the Blessed Trinity, and under pain of all kinds of Gods Curses, in case of a lie or a mistake, with five hundred such, and greater Marvels: I think it a kinder and safer part in me, to take them for something, then for mere Tale But for my pains of believing so, let me, who by Gods grace am a Protestant, have the liberty which the Papists allow themselves, when they controle what is done by Pagans; to say, as perhaps it is true, that g when the Emperor Vespasian once cured a blind and a lame man, it was the Devil, who hin­dring the sight of the one, and the motion of the other, seemed really to heal both, when really he did but cease from hurting and annoying them. Somtimes Papists will come so far, as to suspect their [Page 51]own Miracles, h and to take them but for sportings of unhappy and wicked Spirits. Those extrordinary shows of a young Child, or of a Man of complete sta­ture, that appear somtimes, as they say, among their holiest Mysteries, and upon the Fists of their best Priests. They might as well, if their Interest would suffer it, find the like flaws in all the rest: And you may easily do it, if you compare their own Roman, with all averted Christian Miracles. For,

The Miracles of Christ and of his Apostles, had in them three prime Characters, which set them past all doubt. 1. In themselves all were very substan­tial and serious Works, and of a suitable nature besides, both to promote the Glory of God, and to procure some very considerable good to men. 2. They did tend, and were also proper, to rouse the dul­lest Infidels to the belief of some Fundamental Ar­ticle of Christian Religion, as the Resurrection, or coming of Christ; the accomplishment of Prophe­cies, and the establishment of the Gospel. 3. And for this end, God had them wrought mostly in such remarkable times, as were set out by most express Predictions, and freed by Gods restraining hand, from all mixture and possibility of Lying Wonders. The Roman Miracles, contrary-wise carry with them three such sad marks (or at the least some of the three) as both visibly distinguish them from the Christian ones, and must needs render them suspi­cious to all Christians. First, By their own intrin­secal Impertinency and Frivolousness. Secondly, By their general Aptness and Tendency to confirm rather any piece of trifling Superstition, then any fundamental Point of Christian Faith, Thirdly, By [Page 52]being done late, after the Gospel of Jesus Christ had bin thus abundantly confirmed over all the world by the former true Miracles, that the farther continu­ance of them had bin useless; which times were reserved for false Miracles, and are branded accord­ingly by Christ himself and his Apostles, with this woful Prediction, that Antichrist should then come, and enchant men with strong Delusions, and lying Wonders, 2 Thess. 2. Revel. 13.13.

As to the first black Character, whereas the An­cient Miracles of God are grave and serious works, and do carry along with them both some Image of Gods Wisdom, and some holy Impression of the Di­vine hand that causes them; the modern and Roman Miracles are commonly such Sports and Pranks, as can become but Fairies or Hobgoblins. What is there in the whole world more impertinent, then to make the most blessed and holy Virgin Mary come pur­posely out of Heaven, whence it was not heard she came before, to drudg here and there about Monks, about sick Wives, about Images & such like things? Who could take for a holy Soul, or a good Angel (much less for that ever Blessed Saint) that which appears under her Name like a Woman shewing her Breast, * embracing men, giving them suck, en­ticing them with her Favors, Hoods, Vests, and som­times fine Rings, which she makes for them of her own hairs? for whensoever she is pleased to come down, and to bring her Heavenly Train about her, it is commonly for such purposes. Once St. Ilde­phonse met her at Church i sitting gravely in his own Throne, with thousands of other Virgins, that [Page 53]stood singing round about her, and about the read­ing Pulpit. This great Appearance was for nothing else then for complimenting that Bishop; and for presenting him with a white Robe. Come to me, saies she, thou Servant of God, and accept of my hand this small Present, which I have taken out of my Sons Ward-robe. Thou maiest wear it upon my day (that is, her Assumtion, or Conception, &c.) and not at any o­ther time; and because thou holdest the eies of thy Faith continually bent to my Service; (for this is the best Eie of Roman Faith) thou shalt use it here in this Church, and hereafter in my Closets, in Promtua­riis meis, thou shalt have joy. They shew yet this Gown at Toledo. At Magdeburg another time she came to Church upon a more serious affair. She k had the goodness before, it seems, often to chide Ʋdo, (the then Bishop) for lying so often, as he did, with her Virgins the Nuns. Thou hast had, saies she, sport enough, do so no more. Notwithstanding this fair warning, she found him afterwards a Bed with no meaner Miss, then the Mother Abbess her self: then indeed was she sore vexed; so she calls down her Son to her (you may be sure it was not Christ) and they both by their Angels pulled him off out of the Bed from his Abbess, and soundly beat him for his pains. At every blow Ʋdo vomited out one of those Hosts, which he had consecrated, being in that sin: and be­cause of her Sons dirty lying (if Transubstantiation be true) in that stinking, she held the Chalice to take both the wafers & her Son in it. Then the Quen of Heaven, saies the Historian, takes up these vomit­ed Wafers, and washes them clean with great care, and laies them up reverently on the Altar. It would [Page 54]never be don to tell you of all her other strange pas­sages; as, when she goes to Orleans l with a Box of precious Ointment, there to anoint the back of a Dean; when she m gives special Pills to a Monk, to purge his choler: when she feeds S. Albert n with a kind of Bread, after which he resolved ever after to feed upon nothing but Roots and Herbs: when she comes down out of Heaven (that is, I think from the Powers of the Air) purposely to uncover her Breast) and to put her Paps into mens mouths; as for exam­ple to o S. Fulberts, but more effectually p to S. Ber­nards; for since this Virgins milk went down his Throat, his Words and Eloquence, saies the same Author, were much sweeter: when after these fami­liar visits, this obliging Lady comes to woe Sweet­hearts, and to desire their Marriage. Thus when once she had made a Ring q of her own Hair, and given it to S. Alain, a most filthy companion before, and in the presence of her Saints and Angels (all Spi­rits of the like nature) she then took him after for her Husband. But before him she had another, who deserves to be remembred; it was the pretty S. Har­man. This Gentleman was from his youth much de­voted to her Service, and she to his. At last, after many sweet Conversations and Visits, under the no­tion of our Lady, and her Chaplain (for she used to call him so) once she appears r to him (being at his Devotions) led by two Angels; who being come [Page 55]within the distance, where S. Harman did well hear them; one of them cries out, To whom shall we give and marry this Virgin? the other answered quite as loud; To whom should we, rather then to this young man? meaning Harman. Then the Angel took him by the hand, and joined it with the said Virgin, with these solemn Expressions, O Harman, I give thee this Virgin to be thy Spouse, in the same manner as once she was to Joseph; and hereafter be thou her Husband, and upon these terms be called Joseph. Then at night when he was asleep, this Queen of Heaven comes to his Bed side, and laying her Child, whom she car­ried on her left Arm, into this new Bridegrooms hands, Take you charge of him, saies she, hereafter, as once my other Joseph did, when we three fled into E­gypt: but after all these good Kindnesses, there (as 'tis usual among Lovers) happened an unlucky distaste: for this Joseph being intrusted with the Guardianship of a Convent, she grew Jealous of her new Joseph (which she never was of the old) as if he had taken greater care of his Convent, then of her self: and being in that musty humor, she appears to him under such an old ugly Face, that poor Har­man thought (as well he might) it was the same Devil, who in former times used to haunt him: and cryed out frightfully, Who art thou? I am, saies the Apparation, I am the Keeper of this place, as you know, I was so before; then Joseph Harman knowing who she was by her sweet Voice, tho much troubled at her sowre Face. O my Rose; quoth he, for he was used to call her so; art thou the same, and how camest thou by this old Face. I had a mind, replied she, to appear in your Eies, such as I fear I am in your heart; where I perceive I am accounted no better then if I were [Page 56]an old Woman: Where are now the frequent Praiers, which I used to receive of thee, and which did hereto­fore render us young one to the other? With these, and many more reproches, she so mortified her poor Joseph, that he quite laid aside all the care he had of his Convent; and since that time had no other thought, then of making his Queen younger by re­hearsing her Ave Maries, and other-like Angelical Prizes, till poor Harman got a mischance: for when he was running too fast, he fell down flat upon his Face, and struck out two of his best Fore-teeth by that fall; but his Lady put them in again, both so fast, and so dexterously, where they had bin, that he was well of them ever after. At another time she came to his Bed, and finding him lying on that side, where he had bin let Blood in the Arm, she turned him upon the other, and shew'd him how to lie and sleep without fear of farther danger. If these evil Spirits dare thus appear, under the name of Christs blessed Mother, whereof Scripture gives no warning, it is no wonder if they do it under the name of Christ himself, after so many Prophecies. It is not the true Christ certainly, that being Immortal in Heaven, comes down either at every Mass, there to lie as if he were dead, under the hand of any Priest; or to shew tricks of Activity under the shape of a young Child, and act among Nuns and Novices twenty sil­ly Pranks in their Churches. We are not bound to believe all; but it were hard to believe nothing, when so many and great Doctors, and among them some great Saints too, aver for truth one and the same thing. One, saies he, hath seen this little Child creeping out s at the mouth of a Crucifix ('tis [Page 57]all that a Sparrow could do, but the Devil can do much more) and thence jumping into the Lap of an Image, and thence flying up again the way that he came. Another saies, That St Ida t had him, and kissed him, and embraced him, ut sponsa sponsum, that is, as you may think, as a young Wife kisses and embraces her young Husband. The worst is, that once when being to sing, and by her order to stretch out her arm, she was put to a great distress lest he should fall, Cogitate, &c. Look to it my Lord, saies the young Nun to the Baby, for I must obey my Order: but the Baby was a strong Child, and so twisted himself about her neck, that he had no need of her holding him, till she had don with her An­themn, and so she took him in her Lap. St Agnes u had him too, witness the little Cross which in a lo­ving way she stole at the same time out of his bosom. And so had St Catharine, of the Order of St. Clara x, being brought to her by his own Mother to kiss up­on a Christmas Eve. St Boniface y had him likewise brought to his Bed in Swadling-clothes, by the same Dame. As for St. Lucia, of the Order of St Do­minic z, she had him three daies and three nights; during which time, it is remarkable, that the Virgin Maries Image had no Baby on its left Arm. At last, Dominus Jesus, the Lord Jesus, (God have mercy on the Blasphemer) took her to Wife, (when he look'd as if he had bin but seven years old) in the presence of all his Saints. What shall I say of St. [Page 58] Hostradus and others, who mistook these enchant­ing Devils for real Appearances of the Infant Christ: and upon this Illusion, a some did offer him, as we do to Children, something to eat; some did take him b upon their knees; others did c play with him, and with St. John who was his Companion at it. These few Instances may serve the turn, to let pious Souls see with grief, that as according to the Pro­phesies, Jerusalem was troden and danced upon by ugly Owles and wild Satyrs, Isa. 13.21. So the Ro­man Church is made a Stage for vile Spirits to act upon. If some say, these were Visions, I grant they were, and Divelish ones too: For where are the good Saints or Angels that will represent, much lest act Christ and the Blessed Virgin, under such shameful Personages?

If you are for sounder Miracles (tho good Ca­tholics must take these for very real and true ones, or most of their Saints are but Cheats) go to the Founders of their Orders, you shall find about St. Francis, d Sheep and Asses running to hear his Ser­mon; Swine falling dead under his Curse, for ha­ving hurt a poor Lamb; all sorts of Cattel recover­ing, with the Water he washt his feet in; Women presently eas'd of the hardest Travel, by applying to them some of the Hay which his Mule was used to eat. This don, go to St. Dominic, you shall find him either at Mass, e hanging in the Air like a Bird; or at the Bed-side of a sick Woman, transub­stantiating [Page 59]Worms into Pearls; or by the Water-side, raising the River into a Flood; or at his Devotions, forcing the Devil to hold a light, and to burn his Fingers in that Service; or it may be, changing the Sex of a young Girl into a Boy.

Lastly, If you will know what Feats Women also can do sometimes; read me but the Life f of Saint Christina: to say nothing of St. Brigitta, St. Julia­na, St. Clara, Saint Ʋrsula, with hundreds more, known and famous in the Roman Church. This great Saint arose from the dead twice, before she died for good and all, and so died thrice. All her Life long she had a very extraordinary gift of Miracles; for having taken upon her to save Souls from Purgato­ry, by suffering here what they did there; she loved to throw her self into all the hot Ovens or burning Fires she could find, & yet met with none that could burn her; she would attone for Gluttons, by resol­ving to starve her self: and while she felt the great pains of a sharp hunger, this Virgin got Milk in her Paps, and so found ease by sucking her self; she did satisfie for proud Souls, by applying her self to the worst way of common Begging: and herein she had this comfort, that when honest Men did give her Bread, it tasted in her mouth like Bread; otherwise, it tasted like Toads flesh. To expiate all sorts of Sins contracted by much company, this Saint resol­ved to forsake Man-kind, and to come near none, but Beasts; and at last, that she might be the safer from all Contagion of Flesh and Blood, she parch'd her self on the tops of Trees: There her thin Body being made thinner, both by continual Fasting, and [Page 60]great fervency of Spirit, she did at her Praier con­tract her self into a round form, that was somwhat like a Hedg-hog. She could climb up the highest Trees like a Squirrel, and swim in Rivers like a Fish, till her Friends barbarous, it seems, and not believing all these Miracles, put her in Chains as a mad Wo­man; and there she tore sadly her poor Body with strugling hard to free her self: and this strugling in her Prison, gave occasion to more Miracles, for the Milk she had in her Breast, turned into Oil, where­with she did anoint her sores; and somtimes also she used it as Butter to sweeten her Bread. Cardinals, and whole Towns besides, can aver these Extrava­gancies, and make therewith the first kind of Ro­man Miracles.

A second Evidence against Roman Miracles, is their looking quite another way, and their being de­sign'd for the confirmation of quite different Do­ctrines, then ancient Miracles were. The last Pri­mitive Christian Miracles, being wrought for the most part at the Graves of Holy Martyrs, never con­firmed more then this Truth, That the Death, the Souls, and the very Ashes of those Saints were pre­cious before the Lord; and therefore, that the Chri­stian Faith which they had believed, taught, and died for, was very true. So it remained only to enquire, what this Faith was, and what kind of Doctrine St. Stephen and other Martyrs believed and Preach'd: for nothing else but this can be asserted by their Mira­cles: What is it, saith St. Augustin, g that these Mi­racles will attest but the Resurrection and Ascension of Christ? The Holy Apostles being alive, never confirmed by their Miracles, but what they taught; [Page 61]and what they taught, St. Paul tells you is concluded within the Law and the Prophets. You may be sure, it went no farther then what you find in Christs Go­spel. This is that Faith, which once (and but once) being delivered to the Saints, was carried thro all Na­tions, (and thus made Catholic) by the Almighty Breath of God, and there setled by his Almighty Hand, and the Miracles that followed it, Mark 16.20. So at this very day, tho all sorts of Operations were continually seen at the Sepulcher of S. Paul at Rome, they would rather confirm his Epistles, then the Popes Bulls. As for Roman Miracles, they do follow likewise Roman Doctrines, which sometimes are quite contrary to, and alwaies quite different from the true Christian Gospel. They would be huge books, that could contain all the Revelations and strange Wonders that encourage Men in general to the wor­ship of the Virgin Mary. As many more are bestow­ed upon the doing it by special waies, and at special Feasts: for what else mean those swarms of Monks, who lie hid h under her Coat? or those Ladders whi­ted with her Milk i, from which no body taking that way to go up to Heaven, can tumble down? or those Quires of k Angels heard in the bottom of a deep Well to sing her Praises? What can you make of those Images, that l bleed, or m speak, or fly as light n as Feathers, unless they serve to bring Man­kind to the worshipping of Wood and Stone? What aile those thousands of sad Souls to ramble up and [Page 62]down the whole World, since the times of Pope Gre­gory, but to revele Purgatory, and to recommend Masses for the dead? How many strange Feats have bin wrought by the hands of S. Dominic, and S. Francis, to no better end, then to confirm the new Orders and waies of these Saints? All those heaps of Excommunicated p Flies, and that q poor Raven pining to death under the same Fate, for having fled away with a Bishops Ring; What else can they si­gnifie, but the terror of the Roman Keies? What shall I say of those both small, and huge great Toads, crawling r out and into Mens mouths, when they do observe ill or well the Rules of Auricular Con­fession? or of the many little Children s standing upon Consecrated Wafers, there purposely to justi­fie the real Transubstantiation at Mass? or of the many Cures wrought every where, partly in the be­half t of the five Wounds, which St. Francis had in his Body, or of the Rope he did wear about his Loins? And since we are about this great Saint, tell me what you think of this Miracle. A Bishop moved with Passion against a Convent of Francis­cans, had resolved to turn them out of his City, and was to do it the next day: the Night before, behold their Sacrist sees in a Vision the Image of St. Paul and the Image of St. Francis, both painted in the Church Window, talking earnestly one with the o­ther. He hears St. Paul extremely blaming St. Fran­cis o [Page 63]for no better defending his own Order; and St. Francis answering to him, What shall I do, saies he, I have but a Cross, and that is no defensive Weapon; but had I a Sword as you have (for commonly they re­present them so) perhaps I might do somewhat more. The man being awak'd, starts off his Bed, and his Imagination being full of this, runs to the Church, finds the two Pictures had exchang'd their Arms: Paul in the Window had the Cross, and St. Francis had the Sword. This amaz'd the whole Convent; but that which is more then all the rest, St. Francis had not St. Pauls Sword in vain, for that same night the Bishop had his Throat cut. What Evangelical Doctrine can be confirm'd by these three Wonders; Pictures, that can speak and move; St. Paul, that exhorts to revenge; and a Saint, who during his Life made conscience, as they say, to kill a Louse, now can cut his Bishops Throat: What, I say, can you make of this, unless it be this wholesome Doctrine, That Bishops are not Jure Divino, but Fryers are? All these, and whole Millions of other such Roman Miracles, are not fit for Christs Kalen­der, because they never were fitted for perswading Men of the truth of Christs Gospel, and therefore upon that account must needs proceed from any other then Christs Spirit.

The third foul mark of Roman Miracles, is, that besides their unchristian ends, they happen in such suspicious times, as may discredit the best that are. The Gift of Miracles being to Teachers, what both Credential Letters and Roial Colors are to public Officers, which signifie much with good Subjects, whilst they know them granted to none but such as the King doth really send; but very little, after they [Page 64]see those in the hands, these on the backs of every dirty Carrier, who hath a mind for his own ends to counterfeit them, and rant with them. No wise man takes for good paiment, whatsoever hath Ce­sars Image, after he hears of false Coiners who have dispersed vast sums abroad, and marked them with the same Stamp. We are not now in the privileged daies either of Moses, or Elias, or Jesus Christ, or his Apostles, when neither all the Magicians could make one Louse; nor all the Baalims could light Fire on one Altar; nor all the Workers of false won­ders open their Mouth against Jesus Christ. We live in times, when the Devils, in all Mens account, are let loose from such a restraint, and the Church left unguarded of such a Protection: when false Pro­phets may arise with such Prophesies, Deut. 13. and false Christs with such Miracles, as, if it were pos­sible, might deceive the very Elect, Mark 13.22. Now the Mirabilarians u as S. August. calls them, are abroad, against whom Christ, saies he, already (and we much more, that are 1200 years after him) cautum me fecit Dominus, the Lord himself (& his Apostles after him) have given us all sufficient warning: And so it were a great folly to take notice of a Painted Cloth, when we are told of so many that * run away with Christs Colours, (that is, with a permitted power of coun­terfeiting true Miracles) and therewith amaze poor Country People; but whosoever hath no mind to be ei­ther affrighted or cheated with this, may look to it. The glorious Works of Christ, of Christs Disciples, and other Apostolical Fathers, were don in such clear daies, as scattered and dissipated all suspicions and [Page 65]imaginable Clouds of Imposture; the Devils had not so much as the liberty to preach the Truth, Mark 1.25. If either Simon, or Elymas, tho Sorcerers of the highest rank, did but offer to play their old game, you read in the Acts, how they were kept in. Thus this mighty restraining hand, rather then the intrinsecal greatness of the work was an infallible E­vidence, which in those daies shined about all true Miracles; whereas the Revelations and Feats of Rome must needs be full of suspition, and noted for such by all Christians, since they came forth, when all false Christs and false Prophets have the liberty to work them. In this horrible Confusion either of Miracles, or Actors, none but God or a good An­gel can well discern by the work it self, which is the Impostors, and with the Saints. If the restoring life to a dead man, or giving sight to one born blind, be thought to be proper to God; this may be with­out much ado counterfeited by any Devil: and as Brass sometimes out shines Gold, lying wonders may dazle our Eies as strongly, as most true Miracles.

This dark and dubious conjuncture is the season and the very point of time, when Roman Miracles swatm abroad. Then the Apparitions of sad Souls first begin by thousands to come up, and to acquaint their friends with their condition under­neath: and what neither Moses, nor the Prophets, nor Jesus Christ, nor his Apostles ever thought to mind us of, sad groaning Spirits make it their prin­cipal business to express, and throng about, craving for help, for Pilgrimages, and for Masses. Then come Images after them, to bleed, or sing, or mourn as occasion requires: and the consecrated Elements, the better to justifie what they are not, appear with [Page 66]blood, with flesh, and even sometimes with whole children. It passes all understanding, how the Vir­gin Mary, who kept her self so long above, would not come down among us men, both sooner and in fitter times. She passed all her daies on Earth, al­waies keeping close and quiet at home: and since her happy departure, I can account five hundred years, when all good Authors will justifie, that she continued as quiet above. Here then are two huge great Mar­vels, the first, how the blessed Virgin, after so ma­ny years of rest, comes to have new Inclinations to bestir her self among men: and the second, that she should consent to take this suspicious unlucky time of shewing her Activity, when the Devil and all his Spirits are permitted to play their Pranks. How is this Change imaginable, that she, who never did appear to any one of the primitive holy Fathers (when she could do it, without any suspicion) would in these last and branded times shew her self to a dirty Monk? Did not S. Augustin, before he di­ed, being besieged by Barbarians, deserve as well her Protection, and a guard of her armed Angels, as S. Dominic did, whilest he held with his Rosa­ry x about the neck one poor pitiful Heretic? where­fore never had these holy men, S. Athanasius, S. Hi­lary, S. Cyprian as well the comfort of a kiss, or an Embrace, as y Loyola, as z Stephen the Minime, and thousand more, less deserving it? And how comes she who never was known to take notice of any trouble, disease, or Imprisonment of true Saints, as the Head-ach of S. Chrysostom, the sickliness of S. [Page 67]Basil, the infirm Body of S. Gregory Nazianzen, the Prisons and Tortures of all the Martyrs; now to be running up and down, to relieve all sorts of persons: to cure a Jesuite with her a Child, whom she put by him in his bed: to cure whole Countries b of purple feavers; and to free several Rogues, that had well deserved c hanging. from the Gallows, from Dungeons, and from all Imaginable sorts of Dan­gers? How comes this fancy to take her so late, of bringing down out of Heaven, Crosses, Hoods, Books, Robes, Holy water and such other utensils, which the Fathers in former times never had, nor expected from her? the truth is, this kind of Appa­ritions, and Miracles were most advisedly reserved till such times, as these later are, dark and confu­sed, and more propitious to Imposture, and these strange new doings have another reason besides, which I wish Roman Catholics would seriously take notice of, and it is this.

As long as the blessed Virgin, had no more ho­nor in the Church, then what became a Creature, and was allowed to her by the Fathers, to be d ho­nored, not adored; no ancient Author will tell you, that she ever appeared among men. But assoon as the later times brought in Public Services to pray with to her, and new Images to pray to her by; then she (or rather some other Spirit under her Name) began first to bestir her self: then she and all other Saints with her, seemed to come down and appear at the voice of these new Praiers, just as the Soul of [Page 68] Samuel did, (or rather seemed) to come up at the Mysteries of Endor. Sam. 28. Ever after, the pre­tended Queen was seen in the Roman Church, as in her Heavenly Palace; and she had more Angels, to wait on her in the least of her ordinary progresses, then Christ himself ever had in any one of his most Solemn Appearings. But as the Circumstance of a base witch, who did order Sauls business, was a suf­ficient Evidence, that the Appearance of Samuel, had not the Soul of Samuel: and, as when Devils will look like Angels; you may still, they say, ei­ther perceive a Cloven Foot, or smell a stinking va­por, that betraies the pretending glorious appear­ance; Roman Miracles and Visions have most com­monly some black Mark, which may convince any sober man, that they are not what they seem to be. Consider in the holy Scriptures what all the true Saints of God both holy Angels and Apostles, say or do whensoever they meet with more honor, then is their due; and ask S. Austin, what Spirits those are, who take it whensoever given, or call for it, when it is not. No Saints or Angels, saies this holy Fa­ther e will take of others what they know to be due only to God; as it appears by Paul and Barnabas, who tore their clothes to shew they were mere men. Act. 14. ‘and by that Angel, who rejected adoration; Unclean Spirits are for Worship; and tho they care little for Flesh, yet they pride themselves with Sacrifices, only because they are due to God.’ And in another Place, f ‘Good Angels are for this one thing, namely that with them we may serve God, in whose contemplation they are happy: but those, [Page 69]who invite us to serve themselves, are like proud men, &c. only the serving of proud Devils, is more hurtful.’ And in another place, g ‘Cele­stial and happy h Spirits will have us Sacrifice (not to themselves but) unto God whose Oblati­on they are, as well as we; and therefore all Re­velations and Miracles that invite us to serve more then one God, are such Seductions of Devils, as any pious and prudent men must needs throw off; for this is their proud malice, who by that token are noted to be neither good Angels in themselves, nor the Angels of a good God. For the i good Angels love us so well, that they will not have us serve them, but serve the true God.’

Bring now to these Christian Rules, most of the Roman Apparitions and Miracles. Shew me where this humble Spirit, whom they worship, did the like good Angel, ever reject one worshipping or devout Adoration: shew me where she tore once her clothes at the hearing the Te Deum, and the whole Psalter of David sung and applied most blasphemously from God, to her. I am sure I find in her waies, for several centuries of years, the steps of another Spirit, seek­ing continually for more honor. We shall behold one who strokes k and kisses pious men, because they both l begin and end their best Devotions with her Praises: who teaches in what godly form they must m pray to her for all Blessing,: who calls them into brakes n of Thornes and Nettles, and sometimes [Page 70]into holes under ground, to find and adore her Ima­ges: one who can put on the shape either of a o Stag or p a Pigeon, or a great r Queen, purposely to shew the place and stone, where she must needs have an Altar, or a Chappel, or a great Church, that there she ſ may be served and worshipped to the worlds end; and there t walk and delight her self: one I say who in all these Churches brags among men, as if she were the u Mother of Campassions, the La­dy x of the House of Praier, and the fountain y of all Blessings: lastly one who spreads forth about her a great Mantle, therewith to betoken the great z large­ness of her mercies and favors, which, she saies, she denies to none that will come to her with faith. Here­upon let S. Austin judg what kind of Creatures these Spirits are: and what great difference there is, be­tween those which among Pagans did perpetually labor for Sacrifices, and these which now among Papists are all for Masses, and the greatest Oblations that can be set on Romes Altars. Mean while we may be confident, that none but God alone can own Sa­crifices, Altars, and Churches to be served with; and that none but Devils ever owned Images to speak, move, or in any wise to work in. Such Spi­rits as these may be the Authors of all the Roman Apparitions and Miracles; and such Apparitions and Miracles are very fit for such Spirits: and both fore­told [Page 71]and reserved for the last times. And so you may guess what that Church is, that hath her pro­per establishment both from such Wonders and such Saints.

CHAP. IV.
Concerning the Protection, and Assistance of Roman Saints,

THIS pretended help of men and women, who after their departure out of this world, and their being Canonized by some Pope, are called Saints; are another great Enchantment to keep and draw People to Rome. Their Souls are conceived to be still ready to go about any business, which their worshippers have in Heaven: and their Bodies, e­ven to the least of their Bones, their Clothes and their Shoes withal, can at every good occasion work great Cures and Feats on Earth. Thus one Saint is upon this account worth as much or more then any two Angels. What sober man therefore would not be temted, to turn a Roman Catholic? and who would turn from being so; tho there were no other reason for either, then the getting, and losing such Friends? The perswasion of Romanists is, that all such Souls as deserve their Canonization at Rome, go up directly to Heaven as to a place, where, their happy Rest from all their Labors, and an happy Pos­session of an eternal Glory with God, is not all what they expect: they must have also Government, and [Page 72]Regencies a over the whole world; wherefore they fancy them sometimes like so many great Captains marshalling all the Natione under Christ, with an Iron Rod: sometimes like great Pillars above, hold­ing all Churches under them. And because so much were too much for any one Saint, to manage it well; and that no Creature is capable of such an Universal Burden, except the Virgin Mary above, and the Pope of Rome, here below; to facilitate b the busi­ness, they divide the whole among themselves; that every one may be troubled with no more, then his proper share.

First by this imaginary Distribution, they divide their Saints into Countries. c S. James is to take care of Spain: S. Sebastian of Portugall: S. Denys of France: S. Mark of the Venetians: S. Nicolas of the Moscovites: S. Ambrose of Milan: the three Kings of the Electorat of Cologne: S. Barbara of Germany, &c. and before the happy Reformation, S. George, S. Andrew, and S. Patrick had the respective charges of England, Scotland, and Ireland.

Secondly they subdivide their Emploiments in these and other Countries, after the several sorts of Professions and Trades extant therein. For S. Nico­las, and S. Christopher are thought to look to the Seamen; S. Catharine to the Scholars; S. Austin to the Divines; S. Luke to the Painters: S. Ivo to the Lawiers; S. Eustachius to the Hunters; S. Chris­pin to the Shoemakers. The very Whores have their proper Saints, and they are S. Magdalen and S. Afra who look to them. Some others are put to equally [Page 73]vile Services; as St. Anthony about Swine; St. Pela­gius about Cows; St. Eulogius about Horses; Saint Vendeline and S. Gallus, have the care both of Sheep and Geese. Judg you how gladly these happy Souls leave the Bosom of Abraham, to drudg about these sorts of Cattel.

Thirdly, In these distinct Provinces, and about these ranks of Men and Beasts, the Roman Saints are for the most part appointed to distinct Works, and Helps, Non omnia possumus omnes, that is, Every one cannot do all, saies one of the Learned Ca­tholics; and therefore will they sometimes direct Clients to other, altho possibly inferior Saints; as once St. Peter sent a d Woman to a Sacrist he had at Rome, for the cure of her Palsie; and it is upon this ground, that devout Persons are directed to se­veral Saints, for their several Exigencies, to the end that both every Saint may have his share in the Wor­ship, and every Client in the Relief. This is it which they e call the discreet Variety, so honorable to their Church, and so advantageous to her poor Members; when you shall see one pray to St. Peter, for the Gift of Submission: to St. Agnes, for Continency: to our Lady S. Anna for Wealth: to S. Margarite for Child­bearing: to St. Rochus against the Plague: to St. Pe­tronilla against an Ague: to Saint Apollonia against the Tooth-ach: to St. Liberius against the Stone: and so to every Saint for that help that is in his way. Let no Batchellors go to St. Peter, because a married Man: nor no married Man to St. John, because he was a Batchellor: but let every one go to a Saint [Page 74]of his on Tribe; a Widow to a Widow-Saint, and a Soldier to one of his Trade, for this is the humor of Roman Saints, to favor better their own Compa­nions.

According to this Oeconomy, there is not one Ro­manist but may pretend to march under the colors of several Saints. For example, a French Catholic born at Paris, hath as fair title as Rome can give, to the protection of St. Michael, St. Denis, and our Lady, who generally rule that Kingdom: of St. Genevefa, that more specially looks to Paris; of St. Germain or St. Thomas, or St. Sulpice, if he either be born, or re­side in those Parishes: of St. Cosmus, and St. Damian, in case he do practice Physic: of St. Ottilia and St. Lucia, when his Ears and Eies trouble him, and of St. Mathur in also, if he be troubled with folly. Over and above these, he may be sure of other Saints, St. Dominic, S. Celestin, S. Francis, and twenty more, by matriculating his Name into their Confraternities; which he may do for a small matter.

It is great pitty that this fancy of distributing Pre­sidencies and Powers thus among Roman Saints, hath no better ground then that had which Julian * the Apostat alleges, and S. Augustin observes f to have bin constantly practiced among the ancient Pagan Gods. What signifies, saies the holy Father elsewhere, g that trifling Division of Offices among your Gods, wherefore must they be severally praied to, but to make it rather a Play fit for a Stage, then any thing which may be­come the worth and gravity of a true God? This new Comedy is still the same, only the Actors wear better [Page 75]Clothes, or rather borrow better Names; and the Roman People that stand about it, adore the Virgin for Juno, and S. George instead of Mars; and as a Learned Romanist h saies, another kind of he and she Saints, instead of the old Gods and Goddesses. But as to any honest ground and precedent for such pra­ctices, these two things may, and must be said, to the everlasting shame of the Roman Church; The first is, That whereas, as long as either the Patriarchs, or the Prophets, or the Apostles, or any Holy and Apo­stolical Men ordered the Church, there never appear­ed one soul that offered to speak to Men, unless the soul of Samuel, 1 Sam. 28. (and in the judgment both of the Fathers, and of many Roman Doctors, that appearing soul was a Devil;) the Church of Rome brags in her time of above ten thousand souls, all coming down to talk with Men, which souls she be­lieves to be Saints. The second is, That whereas neither Patriarchs, nor Prophets, nor any Apostles, or any Apostolical Holy Men, in all their dangers and distresses ever Praied to, or Worshipped any Creature whatsoever, whether holy Angel, or holy Soul; the Church of Rome in a great mesure praies to, and worships nothing else.

And the truth is, this unusual praying to departed Saints, and this new appearing of Mens souls, may very well meet together. It is the constant pra­ctice of evil spirits, tho neither called nor thought on, to meet Men in unlawful waies. When the Pa­gans did consult Fowls of the Air about their good or bad success, and so did bird for Prophesies; the Devils moved Ravens and Eaglesto signifie some­what, by either flying or croaking; the same did actu­ate [Page 76]stocks & stones, when they did call upon Images: they made the Votaries often to see Visions, when they watched for them about Tombs. And it is both very just with the true God to suffer, and pleasing to false gods to do, that they, who run after dead Saints, should find the same thing that Saul and the Witch did, when they sought after dead Prophets.

First, It is a great presumption to pretend to more Wisdom, in point of serving God and saving our selves, then either God hath appointed, or all the holy Prophets and Apostles have known and taught: and it is most just and likely, that Men should meet with strong Delusions, and with the Devils them­selves, when they venture upon slippery, & unknown, and dark by-paths, where not one of Gods Saints ever durst walk.

Secondly, Admit what we know not, that the Souls of Holy Men are not confined to Heaven, and fixt there to their happy rest; but (which i any di­screet Man, tho he suspected it, would not affirm) that they may come down now and then, and take some care of our Affairs. Admit that these few Ap­paritions, which I find recorded by good Authors, 1. Of Potamiena k to Basilides. 2. Of a Father, l who after his death, brings the true Acquittance of a Debt, that his poor Son was troubled for. 3. Of something like Felix the Confessor m appearing to relieve Nola 4. Of something like Spiridians daugh­ter, that n offered to the good Bishop her Father, to [Page 77]shew him where she had laid the Jewels, which a Friend had entrusted her with. 5. Of somthing like John Monachus, (a Holy Man) that o appeared to a really pious Woman, when once she longed to see him. 6. And of something like St. Augustin, that once appeared to his p Disciple Eulogius, and another time q to one Curma about Hippo, when both this John and St. Augustin were yet alive, and knew nothing of this appearing (at the least St. Au­gustin did not) but what he heard other Men say; Suppose, I say, both against all probability, and the s positive judgment of St. Augustin himself, that these were not Angels, but real Souls; What are some few extraordinary Apparitions, to ground an u­niversal and perpetual way of Worship? And sup­pose that not few, but whole thousands of Souls should swarm down amongst us, as we know the Angels do; the Angels we also know, were never called upon, nor praied to, by any true Servant of God, as long as the Church was ordered by any Pro­phet, Apostle, or Apostolical Men: and after their departure, it is well known, how the Fathers who next succeeded them, alwaies voted both against Worshipping and Praying to any one created Angel. The Disciples of Christ, saies St. Ireneus, t do nothing by praying to Angels, but by directing holy and un­defiled Praiers to the Lord, who hath created all things. Praiers directed to others, it seems, are de­filed with something. And tho the blessed Angels u, (saies Origen, a most authentic Author in this Point) [Page 78] are sometimes called Gods, and convey down to us the favors of God, yet we do not serve them as Gods; for all our Praiers, Supplications, Addresses, and givings of Thanks (which he makes to be all one with the true Service of God) must be directed to God, who is the Master of all things, thro our High Priest the li­ving Word and God, who is greater then all the Angels. And as for the Angels themselves, we have no reason to pray to them, because we do not understand them well; and tho we did, this very knowing of both their Nature, and Offices, would not afford us the confidence of offering our Vows and Praiers to any other then to the All-sufficient and Supreme God, by his Son our Sa­vior. Not to trouble my self, or others, with any more clear and direct Citations to this purpose, I will only add the Verdict of two and thirty Fathers, who find x in a full Council, that the praying to An­gels (for so St. Theodoret y interprets the Word, [...]) to be both a hidden Idolatry, and a for­saking of Christ and his Church.

The true reason which makes these and other Fa­thers so sharp against Praying to Angels (much more against Praying to Saints) as to call it Idolatry, is not because the Angels cannot hear alwaies, the Saints never; for this would make praying to them no more then an idle and useless act: but mainly and princi­pally, because Praier, Vows, and giving of Thanks, is a main part of Gods service; and therefore Saint z Ireneus, and a Origen, take Praier and Worship pro­miscuously for the same thing. And 'tis upon this same account, that both b Scripture, and the Ancient [Page 79] c Fathers, still reckon Praier and Thanksgiving a­mong the truest Sacrifices, and which can belong to none but God. Now Praier is part of Gods service, because, if serious and devout (and I am sure Ro­man praying to Saints is no jest) it presupposes and ac­knowleges in the Saint which is praied to, such an infinite knowledg of Mens hearts, such an Universal and extensive Capacity, or rather Being, in hearing them all, alwaies, every where, and such an immense sufficiency and power of helping them accordingly, that to make, or to presuppose, created either Saints or Angels fit persons for to be praied to, is to make or to presuppose them to be Gods. And this is the true account, wherefore calling upon God, is repu­ted an Honor given to God, Call upon me, and thou shalt glorifie me, Psal. 50.15.23. because it implies, and in very deed acknowledgeth the Immensity, the Knowlege, the Mercy and Power of God: not cal­ling upon him, is Atheism, Psalm. 79.6. And so calling on them, who are not Gods, is down-right Idolatry.

The truth is, you may call upon a Saint, without any danger of Idolatry, if he be in such a distance whence intelligent Creatures may without Miracle hear one another: thus the Prophets were not afraid to speak to Angels, Dan. Ch. 10. and Ch. 22. Zachar. 1.9. If you did pray a Holy Man whil'st he is with you, to pray for you, and to recommend you to God after he is dead, perhaps this exceeds not much the ordinary power of a Saint. Thus St. Cyprian d in­treated his Friend Cornelius, then Bishop of Rome, [Page 80]that he of them two who should, by suffering Mar­tyrdom, step the formost to Jesus Christ, would being with him there, continue his wonted Praiers for his poor Brother, whom he knew to be left be­hind. And, as I take it, the same Father asks the same favor of his Holy and Devout Virgins, against the time when their Virgin Zeal and Piety e should be crowned with its due Honor. Thus far I see no­thing at all, that an humble Christian may not wish, and a created Saint may not perform: and if such Praiers have any defect, it is not Idolatry, nor Superstition perhaps, 'tis only they want an Exam­ple. Nor is it any Idolatry to pray to your Friends by letters at any distant whatsoever, for St. Paul in his Epistles doth often so: and therefore I would not blame our learned Papists for dedicating their Books, and writing Dedicatory Letters to the most Blessed Virgin Mary, if they had Expresses to carry them. But if you can fancy a Saint of such an unlimitted and universal Intelligence, as, tho he be but in one place, yet to be able to see, and hear what all Man­kind can say or do, or think, or write, or suffer, all the World over: and that St. Nicholas for example, hearkens and provides where he is (in Heaven I hope) to what one Sea-man praies in a Shipwrack at the Streets of Magellan; to what another wishes for, when he is becalmed in the South-sea; to the cries of another, who sees a Hurrican by the Barbado's; to the private desires or another, who fishes for Pearls by the Guyney shore, or Herrings by our English Coast, or for Whales hard by Green-land, or for Trouts in our small Rivers; and whole thousands of Passengers, who cry to him being Catholics, and perishing in as [Page 81]many places both at once, and alwaies, as he is cal­led upon in all these places, and in all these times, and by all at once; and if you do fancy withal, that he understands besides all this, in these both number­less places and exigencies, what they do both think and deserve, in order to the returning of suitable reliefs and helps: I say, you fancy in St. Nicolas an infinite Omniscience: wherefore they that pray to him on this account, do give him what belongs to God, and make him a complete Idol.

Here Roman and sacred Authors are at a great di­stance the one from the other. Those will have the Saints being departed, to know whatsoever is said, thought and done under the Sun: and these nothing; or if something, besides that which they must needs remember, both of the Church and of themselves, in order to their Holiness and Thankfulness to God Almighty; St. Augustin f thinks that they have it, either of those Angels who of course converse here and there among Men, or from the souls of the Righ­teous whom God takes up to them; or immediatly from God himself, reveling to his Saints above as he doth to his Saints below, that which is necessary they should know. But alas! all this comes far short of what is required in this case: For the Papists them­selves confess, that g neither the Angels, nor sepa­rated Souls, can be present every where, to know and report the Praiers sent up to every Saint, and by every Worshipper at one time, and from all Coun­tries; and tho they were, yet could they not tell what, or whether Men pray when they pray to them sincerely and in their hearts: Therefore they [Page 82]must make use of God, and turn, as much as in them lies, his Essence into a Looking-glass, where with­out any more ado, Angels and Saints may see what they please. And when they have thus taught the simple People, and amused them with their Grego­rian h Motto, that, Whosoever sees him that sees all, sees all himself: they laugh at it among themselves, and say plainly (as well they may) i That created things have not a Being, which may be seen in God, as an Object that shines in a Glass; witness the Angels that see God, and yet are ignorant of many things, but as Effects in the k virtue of their own causes, which indeed could be seen in God, by him who could know him per­fectly, which no Man can: and so it is not true, that whosoever looks in a Glass, sees all in the Glass. And it is fair, if the Saints see in God the things that l are proper to their Happiness: And such certainly are not the cries of Men perishing in a storm. In a Word, they all come to this, that when they say that the Saints see all things in God, it must be understood, m as far only as God is pleased to represent it to them.

Now let the Roman Catholics shew us, either out of Scripture, or some infallible Author, that God reveles to St. Nicolas (to insist in the same example) all the Rocks, the Billows and Storms, which may put his Sea-men to pray; and that the hearing of their Cries, and the sight of all their Ship-wracks, is to this second Neptune a great addition of Hap­piness.

This looking-glass being thus broken, they run as to their best Refuge, to new Revelations, which, if sufficient to the purpose which they are invented for, must swarm up in Heaven, as thick and as con­tinually as there are Praiers made to Saints under the Dominion of Rome. At this rate, whensoever one saies Ave Maria, or another St. Aegidi, or another some other Praier, God must inform the Saint who it is that praies to him, to what purpose, and with what Heart, or else it is a hundred to one if the Saint hears a word of it. And as the whole Trinity must be rea­dy for a million of Miracles to do the business at Mass, so must it be for as many, or rather more Re­velations Night and Day, Morning and Evening, to wait on the Roman Litanies: Only there is this difference, that at the Mass the Priests are so civil, as to pray to God for his Miracles; and so rude at the Litany, as never once in their whole life to ask for a Revelation, wherewith he may be pleased to inform them all, whom it may concern. A very great rude­ness indeed, and such a prodigious over-sight, that whole Rome, as well as great Bellarmin n, may most justly be puzled at; that a Pious and Infallible Church should not remember, that so many, so continual, and so absolutely necessary Revelations, if true, are true continual Favors; and that God, once in an Age, might be as well supplicated to shew and expose their Praiers, as continually as every petty Saint is impor­tun'd to recommend them.

But here is a far worse, and I doubt not, a more impious Absurdity. I cannot tell whether it be more lawful for Papists to set up new Mediators (without any warrant) in Heaven, then it was for Jeroboam [Page 84]to make new Priests in Israel: nor whether the ma­king Mediatores ad Mediatorem, Grandees, who thro their own Merits, and not by their Praiers only, shall promote our Concerns with Christ, be a lesser temerity then it had bin, if Abraham had obtruded all his servants as Officers and Levites to serve under Melchisedec. But see how Babel can set and unset, and over-turn all things up-side down; Christ the only Mediator, the Advocate, and the Intercessor above to God the Father, must lay this his Office a­side, and become a kind of Mediator and Interces­sor for Men with the Saints. All the supplications and addresses which the Papists send up to these Souls, signifie to them nothing at all, unless Christ be there in the stead of either a Prophet to revele, or of a Messenger to bring, or of a kind of Clerk, to read to them all these Praiers. Here to make use of those Examples, wherewith both o Papists and p Pa­gans will perswade Men to call upon their Saints; the King alone must be the Master of Requests to his Courtiers, and the Speaker to his Commons, to inform them of every great, and every petty trifling thing that their respective Relations, Countries and Towns will have them put in a Bill, and then pre­sent it to his own self. Whensoever the Pope calls on S. Peter, or a Cardinal on S. Jerom, or a Monk on St. Cutbert, or any Catholic Man or Woman upon the Virgin; nothing is done, till God himself calls for these Saints, and tells them, Hear you Peter, Je­rome, and you Cuthert, such and such People now pray to you, that you would pray to me, and per­swade me, thro your Merits, to grant them such and [Page 85]such things: And to dispose you the better to be for­ward in this Office, I must tell you, the Pope is old, the Cardinal wants an Estate suitable to his Emi­nence, and unless you make hast to solicit me for more Grace, such Monks or Maidens, your humble Suiters, are at this very nick of time in great danger of Incontinency. Then (and not a moment before) come up the Saints with these Praiers, to press and solicit with God, the very same things and circum­stances which God hath reveled to his Saints before. Such Wheelings and Impertinencies as these, were ridiculous upon a Stage, much more are they so in a Church; and how much more with God in Heaven? And what can you think of the Comedians, who dare bring both God and his Saints as chief Actors in such a Play? Well, Praier to Saints includes these sins in its most plausible Practice, when 'tis no more then calling on the blessed Saints, that they be plea­sed to mediate, and to intercede in their Praiers for us to God, which is the cheating notion under which Men, ashamed of what they do, would fain disguise their Praying to Souls and Angels with the colour of doing q no more, then when we pray here our Friends and Pastors to pray to God Almighty for us. But, when they pray and beg at their hands, not only for Praiers, but (as it is apparent by their real practice, and the stories of their best Saints) for effectual Deli­verances, such praying is without excuse: for instead of the former Drudgery, which the other puts upon God, this attributes Ubiquity, Omnipotency, and other infinite and Divine Powers to Saints; that is, the Church of Rome cannot expect, and upon that expectation cannot Pray, as they do, every where at [Page 86]the same time to the Virgin Mary, for example to bless and help them, unless she be conceived as being both present every where, and potent to bless them and help them every where. And this is a double Immensity, that of being present where they pray, especially where they pray more devoutly, and of be­ing present where she helps. For without this Ubi­quity, how could she be seen at Harvest, wiping the Faces of r of reaping Monks; or in a Chamber, rub­bing s the Head of the good honest Father Adam, whilest she is elsewhere t burning Villages, or in a rich Abby u Mid-wiving an Abbess, whom her Steward had unfortunatly gotten with Child? Is it not unimaginable, that during either of the two daies, when she was under a Gallows x holding up a Thief under the Feet, for fear his own weight should strangle him, she could be then in a River y riding Prince Pocoldas his Horse, or upon the Walls of Poictiers beating the English off from that Town? Or if she be so nimble as to be at the same time un­der a Gallows, upon a Wall, and in the middle of a River, because all these places are in Europe? Can she run both the East and West Indies at the same mo­ment of time, there to a make a Jesuit more chast, and here to comfort b a poor Captain? Thus far what Bellarmin saies, c may very well pass for certain truth, that, to help Men in the point of need, at z [Page 87]the same time, and in so many distant Countries, no nimbleness can serve the turn, nor any thing less, saies he, then a true Omnipresence, which is an Attri­bute proper to God. Every Saturday in the Week requires in a special manner this Universal Presence, for then the Virgin Mary is in her own Person un­doubtedly, and by their most solemn Devotions up­on that day, exalted besides others above the high­est Heavens. She is at the same time conceived to be most present, and beneficial by her Miracles and other waies, to her Worshippers upon Earth; and according to the promises which she hath d passed to Pope John the 22d, she goes down to Purgatory upon that day, and therefore she is then under ground.

This same Universal Presence, the clearest Cha­racter of God, is in a very great mesure required in all other Saints, for she goes seldom without them; & then they are praied to nevertheless from all parts, not only to intercede in Heaven (which there they might being in one place) but to assist them by Sea and Land, in Spain, and in Armenia, which no man believes they can do, without believing them every where. For no created Causes whatsoever, can work any thing but where they are. If our Savior did help some sick, at a distance from him; as Matth. 8.12. He did it with that Divine immense Nature, that his human was united to. And Holy Souls are not likely to have more power then the Angels, who are personally present, wheresoever they work any thing.

If any one say, that the Saints may out of Hea­ven do on Earth whatever they please, not by their [Page 88]coming down themselves, but by their sending down some Angels. First, let him shew, That the Saints are not only equal to, but superiors to the Angels, and then that they have the disposal of this Celestial Hierarchy. Secondly, tho they, or at the least the Virgin had it, yet this sending of Angels could not be applied but to some few private Services; as when some say, 'twas not her self but some Angel, whom she had sent for her, but to counterfeit the Devo­tions, and to save the credit of a Nun for the space of nine whole Years, when she was all the while ram­bling up and down in Bawdy-houses; that it was not her self, but an Angel who ran Races, and fought Battels in the shape of her Worshippers being then at Mass. Some are also pleased to say, that every Saturday she goes down to Purgatory, not by her self, but by her Proxy, for the rescuing thence of some Souls. But none of her Historians will aver, that it was a Deputy, or any other but her self who did hug and kiss St. Bernard, St. Dominic, and St. Alain, upon several occasions; who did once ride behind a Knight, in the shape of a Woman, in order to surprize the Devil; or who in a dark tempestuous night was really met by two wandering Travellers in a Forrest, with St. Michael, and St. Peter. It is she, and not ano­ther, if you will believe what she saies, who now and then will call her self the Mother of Grace and Mercies; who comes often to visit Churches with sweet Perfumes, or Holy Waters, or whole Baskets of Holy Roses, or white and black Hoods for her Chaplains. And accordingly it is she her self, and not her Angel, that is adored in all the places where she appears. No man praies either to her, or to any other Saint or Angel, upon any considerable oc­casion, [Page 89]but thinks to have her and them present, and so the very same conceit of an Universal Power and Presence (essential Attributes of God) which makes them willing to pray to Saints, must needs make them Idolaters in praying thus.

This impious worship is an Abuse of what was don sometimes to God, in the primitive times, at the Graves of his own Martyrs: and no wonder, if igno­rant men could turn the Miracles and Mercies of God, as they can all other good things, to their own de­struction. It is well known, how many wonders were wrought at the Sepulchers of holy Martyrs, as one at the shadow of S. Peter Act. 13. and at the Bones of the holy Prophet Elisha 2 Kin. 13.21. These Miracles were to those Saints in some mesure, what the glorious Resurrection, and Ascension had bin be­fore to their Savior, to wit, high Declarations from above, that their Souls and Bodies, however they had appeared vile in the Eies of their Murderers, were pretious in the sight of God; and that what they had believed, taught and signed as it were with their own Blood, were both true Doctrines, & good Exam­ples in order to Salvation. And these extraordinary Marks of Gods favor on their Persons, and Seals of truth to their belief, as they were principally in­tended in behalfs of Infidels, so they mostly and long­est continued in those parts of the world, as Afri­ca e for example where more Pagans remained not called, or not converted to the Faith. It is well known also, how at the same time, which was a time of generall and cruel persecutions, the holy Zeal and Death of the Martyrs, as it was marked out, as it were, by the finger of God in his Miracles; so it [Page 90]was exalted both to their own praise and to the en­couragement of others, by the Christians in all Churches. The highest strains of Eloquence, which the Fathers had, were spent in the magnifying of Martyrs. They set down their Names in their best Church Records; and rehearsed them duly in their solemn Eucharists and public praises to their Savior: They gave the most honorable Burial they could in those sad times to their bodies: and having no Churches then, they made their graves their most ordinary Places of Meeting, to declare before all the world, that by this resorting to their Sepulchers, they prepared themselves to their Death. In a word they did what they could to bring both themselves and their Flocks to love and admire those holy Souls, that so both themselves and others might be encou­raged to follow them. Bless and esteem most sincerely, saies S. Basil, f the holy Martyrs, that you may in your course do as they did: in the mean while in your real intention be accounted as good as real Martyrs al­ready: that you may without the blows & cruelties, which they suffered, attain to the rewards which they enjoy. These zealous exhortations in times of Persecution, and the visible hand of God confirming whatever they said, as to this point, prevailed so far upon the People, that * at every particulat occasion, as well as upon solemn daies, they did go and pray hard by their Graves, and did take for a great honor to be buried, where they had praied: till at last their Pa­gan Foes began to take notice of it, and to believe, at least to say, g that Christians did adore dead men, [Page 91]as themselves did adore their Gods. This gave an Occasion to the holy Fathers to wipe off all suspi­cions of this kind from Christian Religion: and to declare to all the world (I wish that Roman Catho­lics would take better notice of it) first that they did not worship c Martyrs at all, neither as Gods, nor as Presidents and Vice Roys d of any Town or Coun­try. Secondly, that the blessed Saints have neither particular notice, e nor care of the Affairs of this world; and if by chance they medled with it, it was as extraordinary to them to do so, as f as to the Water to become Wine; or to a dead Body to rise up. Third­ly, that the Veneration and Reverence which they did bear to holy Martyrs, exceeded not that degree of honor, which in former times was deferred to * va­liant men, after they had spent their lives for the defence of their Country: or that is due to all the Friends g and true Disciples of Jesus Christ: and is of no other h sort, then is that which in this life we give to other holy men, whom we think to be endued with the same piety that Martyrs were: on­ly our Devotion for the Dead Saints is more confi­dent then it can be for living; because these are yet fighting, and those have got the victory. Fourth­ly that when they builded i Monuments, and Hou­ses of Praier where these Martyrs were buried; the Monuments were for the Dead Saints, and the Hou­ses [Page 92]of Praier were only for the living God. Fifthly, that when the names of the Martyrs were there mentioned, it was neither to pray for them, nor to them: but to keep up after k their death an Authen­tic Declaration of their continual being with God; and (specially in these great Mysteries, where Christ is both signified, and received) of their continuing Sacred communion with Christ. Sixthly, that these Honors were all bestowed on them, l both for the more solemn celebrating of their faith thro-out all Churches, and for the encouraging of all Christians, to their Example.

This was enough to vindicate the Truth of God, and the true meaning of his Church, as to the Ho­nor due to his Saints. It might have bin enough also to smother in the very birth the growing superstiti­ons of some private men in this case, (that St. Austin doth complain of) or at the least to restrain them from growing worse, and endangering the after Ages; if the Pagans being confuted, some partly seduced, partly seducing Christians had not revived their quar­rel, and gon about to justify as much as in them did lie, their old Reproches, by propping their pray­ing to Saints upon the two main Points, whereon the Pagans worshipt their Gods.

The first is taken from the prudence, that humble or wise Sutors must use at Court. You shall hardly find one Papist, but will tell you, that it is rashness to go bluntly and directly to great Persons, unless you be presented to them by their Officers and fa­vorites: and why should any man pretend any easier a [Page 93]admittance to God, without their intercession and favor, who as the Saints and the Angels do stand continually about him? This is the very self same Argument, which the heathenish Philosophers mainly objected to the Fathers: and to which the Fathers gave two such Answers as at once may stop equally both the Pagan and Roman Mouths; the one is that m of S. Ambrose. We are forced to go to the King, saies he, by the mediation of his No­bles, because great Kings are men, as we are; and have this Infirmity along with their condition, that they must hear, and understand with the help of o­thers besides themselves; whereas God understands every thing, which every supplicant asks, and de­serves: and as for the obtaining of his favor, we can employ no better friend, then an honest and pi­ous Soul. The other is most singular, and I have it from Origen. ‘But if you have a mind also to have the concurrence of the Angels, n saies he, we have it, when by pious lives and praiers, we do address our selves to God. For as the motion of the sha­dow must needs follow that of the Bodies, what way soever these will turn; let us know this, that if we move God towards us, we shall get by the same means all the good Angels, Souls, and Spi­rits to be our Friends; and which is more, actual helpers, both by praiers and other waies; for these blessed Spirits take most especial notice of men qualified for Gods favor. And I dare say confi­dently, that whosoever praies to God devoutly, hath whole Legions of holy Angels at the same time praying for him, without his desiring them [Page 94]to do so.’ This antient Author is the first who ven­tured to say, That the Saints might perhaps pray and act for us: and yet he is as express as any other, to direct men to God by Christ alone, and to keep them from Praying to Angels and Saints.

The other main Ground common to Pagans and Papists, for Praying, those to their Gods, these to their Saints, is either the false Allegation, or the false Construction of Miracles. This every one knows, who knows them both. Whereas when the Mira­cles of the Saints were at the best, that is, during the three Primitive hundred years, they never tem­ted Christians any farther, then to go and to pray to God in those places where they were wrought, and where Praiers had somtimes very extraordinary returns; there they might perhaps wish to God, that he would hear in their behalf, the general Prai­ers which these Souls most probably offer to God, for the afflicted members of his Church. But where is the worthy Prelate or Christian (saith o St. Augu­stin) who being by the Grave of a Martyr, ever said, Peter, or Paul, or Cyprian, I offer to you this Sacri­fice, whether of Praier, or Praise, or Vow, 'tis all one. The Miracles don by Holy Men did set, as it were, the Seal of God upon the Gospel which they believed, and upon the Worship which they both promoted and died for, therefore we must believe and worship as they did. If they did set also, as cer­tainly they did, some Marks of Reverence on their Persons, and their Memory, 'twas not to this pur­pose, that they should be either adored or praied to. We do not read that true Israelites ever praied to the dead Prophet, for the great Miracle wrought at [Page 95]his Tomb; nor that Christians ever worship'd the living Apostles, for all the signs wrought by their hands, and sometimes at their very shadow. S. Chry­sostom p assures me, that God kept them most com­monly under some sensible Infirmity, which they could not ease themselves of, as the ill Stomach of Timothy, and the troublesom Angel about St. Paul, that the Glory of their Miracles might wholly re­flect on Christs Power, and that nothing of it might be abused to the admiration of their Persons. But all is in vain to save those Men, who have a mind to lose themselves. Pagans in spight of all will wor­ship the living Apostles, Acts 14. and Papists will pray to dead Saints. The Miracles of God must be wrested, to countenance these Mens folly; and to use the words of an ancient Father q to this pur­pose, here observe the Wiles of Satan; Christ em­ploies both at once, his Apostles, and his Miracles to destroy all Idolatry from among Men; and Pagans and Papists make use of both to bring it in.

This manner of calling on Saints, is both unchri­stian and unjust, on all the sides that you can take it. First, It transfers on Creatures that Prerogative of Gods glory, and that special part of his Worship, which in Holy Scriptures doth comprehend his whole Service. Secondly, It makes Saints to be what the Holy Ghost alone is, searchers of Mens Hearts and Thoughts, and present over all the World; if not, How can they perceive mental Praiers? Thirdly, if you suppose, that night and day God is reveling to them what Men do, and what they would have, it forges another Impiety, and make God a perpetual [Page 96]Clerk, Mediator, and Drudg to his own Saints. Fourthly, It intrudes into Christs Office, as many Mediators to intercede with God for Men, both by their Sufferings and their Merits, as there are with him Saints and Angels, whereas the Church knows none but one. Fifthly, It quite disables the Church from all possibility of asserting Christ, and the Holy Ghosts Divine Nature, by their usual Demonstrati­ons, to wit, That God is in Scripture praied to, and, that the Holy Ghost is every where; or it proves Saints to have it also. Sixthly, As it is practiced by the devoutest Persons of Rome, it complements the Saints with such Praiers, such Expressions, and such Services, as you may safely challenge Melchisedec, Moses, David, and all the Prophets and Apostles, to magnifie God Almighty with any better.

You may be sure that the Papists will disown this, because their own discretion suffers them not to a­vow more among strangers then they think them­selves able to make good. But where Mass is the reigning Service, there Books, and Mouths, and if these should hold their peace, the very stones of their Altars, Churches, and Images do speak it out: and judg what Religious Worship that is, which modest Men must flatly deny, or palliate and excuse. Some will tell you, r that all their Praiers to the Saints are but such Apostrophes, or Rhetorical Figures, as was that of David to Heaven and Angels, Psalm 103. and that their Litanies, Peter, Paul, &c. Pray for me, come but to this wishing, Would to God, or how I do wish, that all these Saints should pray for me. Others who see, what either blindness or impudence [Page 97]it is to say so, plainly confess, that they directly s pray to Saints, but mince it as it were but as to Friends, only to desire them to pray (which yet at that distance were bad enough) & not as to principal Benefactors: and it is upon this ground, they say, that praying to Saints in Heaven, and praying to Friends in my House to pray for me, comes both to one. These Men are so confident at Rome, and do think us to be so blind to all ends and purposes here in England, that they shall perswade us these two things. The first, That all their Breviaries and Psalters signifie nothing, but what they please: The other, That they make Saints * to be Rulers and Princes over Nations, with an Iron Rod in their Hands, only to pray.

This desperate Cause forces Bellarmin at every turn (the honestest and wisest Papist of his time) to forsake upon this account both all Knowledg and Conscience: For here you shall find him sometimes offering t proofs out of some Books, under the name of St. Athanasius, which, when he needs them not, u he acknowledgeth to be false: sometimes most wil­lingly and grosly satisfying x Eusebius: sometimes insisting y upon such Canons and Decrees (ascribed to the sixth Council) as in his Heart he knows to be z meer Forgeries: somtimes siding with the a Ari­ans, [Page 80]and leaving the b Fathers, thereby to get some little thing, that may favor the Praying to Angels: sometimes he saies, that the Roman Church pray­ing to Saints, makes c them no more then Holy Men; and in the point of Vows, and such other Di­vine Honors, that mere Men are in no wise fit for, he himself d makes them to be by participation no­thing less then Gods. And thus the Papists must own at last, what they did dissemble at the first. And what can you make of such shifts, turnings, and con­tradictions, but that there is most plain untruth, as well as jugling in the case? Either let them shew out of Scripture, or out of any true Record written in true Primitive Times, that any Prophet, any Apo­stle, or any Martyr, have in any one of their many and great Distresses called upon any other Saint, but God alone: or else let them shew, they have found some new Lights, and some better waies, then all these Saints ever did. St. Chrysostom e takes for mere Devils, those Spirits who even in his time did appear under human Shapes, and did go under such and such Mens names. And St. Epiphanius adds more to this, that these Devils will, under Religious and plausible pretences, both make Men to appear like Gods, and induce People to believe it. And who can warrant, that all those Souls that come creeping in Bellarmin, first, under the notion of Gods Friends, and afterwards as Gods themselves, are none of these? However, in point of serving them, let the preten­ces [Page 99]be never so fair, it is not safe to venture on waies which none of Gods ancient Servants have trac'd before. But the following Chapter shall tell us more: for certainly the name of the Blessed Virgin, is un­worthily abused now adaies, to complete in all re­spects the full mesure of Idolatry.

CHAP. V.
Of the Worship deferred to the Virgin: and all the Blessings expected from this Worship.

THat which Rome adores under this name, de­serves a Chapter by it self: It is both the great Allurement to, and the great Diana of that Church. It is with them the Head of all the Saints, the very Crown and Accomplishment of the ever Blessed Trinity, and therefore such a Divinity in the Eies of thorough Catholics, that some that had denied both their Baptism and God himself, could never * be temted so far as to deny, and leave this Goddess.

Between the two contrary Extremes, to wit, the looking with some indiscreet Arabians on the Bles­sed Virgin, as an ordinary Woman; and the Wor­shipping her, as a Goddess: the Holy Fathers keep the middle way. Let the Virgin Mary be honored, saies St. Epiphanius, a but let God alone be worship­ped. [Page 100]The Holy Scripture doth the same, calling her in opposition to all profane Persons, Blessed; & a­gainst all Superstitious Adorers, leaving her among the Women, Blessed art thou among Women, Luke 1.28. Elizabeth likewise calls her, The Mother of the Lord; as the Fathers do upon another account, The Mother of God; that is, Mother of that Savior, (as to the flesh) who by the Hypostatical Union is also God. And lest this Title should seem to exalt her, as it doth commonly other Mothers, to the same di­gnity with her Son, the Holy Scripture sets her al­waies by Christ (since the time of his public appear­ing to Israel) rather like a Disciple, then like a Mo­ther; witness the manner he uses her, or answers her, at all the times when they appear both to­gether; as when she seeks him in the Temple, Luke 2.49. or when she put him in mind of what they wanted in Cana, John 2.13. or when she stood without and sent for him, Mark 3.34. or lastly (for I do not find them any more meeting and speaking together) when he saw her standing by his Cross, John 19.26. for there you cannot chuse but observe, how little this great God and Savior was moved with all those Concerns, even during the daies of his flesh, that had their ground in flesh and blood; and that, if this Blessed Woman deserved any b Blessedness, and had a gracious access to her Son, it was by being a Believer, rather then by being a Mother. These four Passages cannot well bear any other sense: and the severity, which some of them express besides, as some Fathers do c well observe it, stands upon Re­cord, for a warning to keep the Church from thinking [Page 101]better of Mary, then her being a Blessed Virgin, and perhaps a Holy Martyr. Christ by this short Reply, Woman, what have I to do with thee? John 2.3. having branded that great Impiety, which he foresaw in after Ages, and which we see to our great grief scandalously reigning in our daies.

For now, at the head of ten thousand Saints, of whom some were never in being (as far as any true Authors can tell) as St. Christopher, St. Catharine, St. Longis; some were no better then Villains, as Thomas Becket, James Clement, and such like, which the Pope pleases to Canonize; some are very true and blessed Saints, but were never praied for, nor praied to, as long as Israel had a Prophet, or the Church of Christ an Apostle: at the Head, I say, of all these, appears now in the Church of Rome (what all both Prophets and Apostles may just­ly rend their Garments at) the Virgin Mary under the Pomp and the very name of Goddess. Not to mention the Worshippers, how many and famous so­ever, who in their Devotions * call her so, one Pope or two may serve for all. Leo the tenth, in an E­pistle that was published, and therefore confirmed by the Command of Paul the third, demands some better Timber for the repair of one of her Churches, Ne tumnos, tum Deam ipsam, &c. d Lest by sending some useless sticks, you seem, saies he, to delude both his Holiness, and the Goddess her self.

This pretended God-head, Deification, e and Di­vine [Page 102] f Majesty, which under several Titles is attri­buted to this Goddess, is not a thin Participation, such as they allow to other Saints, whom upon this score they call Gods: but g a kind of Equality with God, and an Infinity of Perfections, which no Crea­ture ever had. Some do call it h identity; others more plainly i Esse Dei, that is the very same thing, or the very Being of God, besides her other three Beings, 1. of Grace, 2. of Glory, 3. and of the Mo­ther of God. Hereupon the Jesuites infer (as well they may) 1. that k there is an infinite distance be­tween the Mother, and the Servants. 2. That the greatness l of this Goddess is a Mesure in a manner of Gods own Immensity. 3. And that therefore 'tis impossible to know well Gods Immensity without understanding the Virgins greatness.

Now, if you will know, how the blessed Virgin, who was and is confessedly a finite Creature, hath attained to this real Godhead, and to the Infinity, that attends it; they will tell you, that this great Miracle of being made Goddess, was wrought in her,

1. By a Singular Glorification and mutation in her, proceeding from the whole Trinity. For when once m she presented her self to the Blessed Trinity in behalf both of her self, and her devout servants; God Almighty, they say, spoke to her thus. Esto, &c. Be thou the noble and threefold Room, where the Trinity shall inhabit. I will be thoroughly changed into [Page 103]thee: and thou shalt be thoroughly changed into me, by special and singular Glorification.

2. More especially, by an entire and essential Com­munication from the second Person; for thus they make Christ speaking n to her; Thou hast given me to be man; I will also give thee my being God.

3. Most specially, by such a large Effusion of all Divine Excellencies, as may o hold up proportion with the infinite Goodness and Appetency, which the holy Ghost hath to be diffused to others. So, that as the Father did satisfie his own desire, in bestow­ing his whole Divine Being on his Son: and the Son with the Father, in bestowing all what they have upon the Holy Ghost; so likewise the Holy Ghost hath the same satisfaction, for want of a fourth Per­son, to spend and to pour himself in gifts and Gra­ces, upon Mary, whom upon this account they dare all (and God forgive them for calling her so) To­tius Trinitatis Complementum, that is, the Perfection and Accomplishment of the whole Trinity; and to this purpose belongs what they say, that in Heaven she hath her Throne by the Father, as his only Daugh­ter and Mignion; or as others say, p in quality of Gods Lady, above the Son, q as being his Mother; and close to the Holy Ghost, in quality of his dear Spouse.

I have no mind to trouble my Reader and my self with rehearsing what here they babble, or rather most ridiculously blaspheme concerning the r Jea­lousie between the Holy Ghost and Joseph upon the [Page 104]point of serving and pleasing her best. It is enough, which they will tell you and insist upon twenty times, that this Virgin was the chief Allurement, which in the beginning moved God Almighty, s to make the world; t and that Heaven and Earth were created, and all the holy Scriptures written ob hanc & propter hanc, for her sake, and upon her account. That when in the eternal Decree and Pre­vision u of God, all other things did appear but as Molehills, the great worth of this Virgin stood be­fore him as a Mountain. That when he put his hand to the making of Creatures, Heaven, and Earth, Stars, Angels and Thrones, x he had still this woman in his thought, to pick and chuse out of every Creature, as it came out, the very best of it for this true Pandora and true Abbreviate of all his works. That then she was the very y Perspective thro which from all Eternity God both foresaw and pre­destinated all Christians, S. Peter, S. Paul and all the rest; because they were not predestinated to any Grace, but such as should be conveied to them thro her hands. That when God did order the Springs, and course of Water, z then he but studied, what way it were possible, to make Mary an Aqueduct of all Blessings upon Mankind. That God had not set up so many Princes in the world, nor so many a Kings in Israel, had it not bin to procure her a more Roi­al Extraction. And finally that he made Eve, b the [Page 105]Ark, the Tabernacle, and other Ceremonial Figures, to pass his time in those Images and Representations of Mary; and so to amuse as well as he could the ex­treme longing that he had, to possess the Original.

At last this blessed Creature being come forth, she appears at her very c Birth, when she was lying in her Cradle, above all both Angels and Saints, like a Mountain above small Hills, far holier, as they say, then Mount d Sina, but somwhat like e the Mount Sion, in which God was pleased to dwell; all the Angells f that are in Heaven, all the Souls that are in Hell, all the Saints and Prophets that ever were, and all men that are or shall be, must by all means look towards Her, as the Center and Support of the whole world; as the very Ark of God, as the Cause of all Creatures, as the g founder of all Bles­sings, as the Fountain h and Vein of life, and the Author of i Salvation. Now lest you should think, that these great Titles (as great as God himself and our Savior can ever have) are given her chiefly upon the account of Christ, whose Mother she was, after the Flesh; thorough Catholics will tell you, that be­fore she was the Mother of Christ, she k had deser­ved to be so: that by her own Goodness l and Grace, she had drawn God down towards her, and induced him m to take her Flesh: and that being as com­monly [Page 106]they do term her, Negotium omnium Seculo­rum, the work of four thousand years; and posses­sing eminently within her self all the Perfections that lie scattered up and down in all Celestial and subcele­stial Creatures; such a complete Hostess could not but procure, or o at least hasten the coming in of the best Guest. The Founder of the Jesuites did common­ly p bless himself, whensoever it came to his mind, that swallowing down Christ at Mass, he had also by the same means some of the Flesh of this Goddess. And they say, that on this same account Christ takes delight q to lie hidden under transubstantiated wa­fers, and to fall down into mens stomacs; because it represents and reminds him of his Ancient being in her womb: and that therefore she r would not miss a day, without taking the Sacrament after her Son was in Heaven, that he might have that sweet satis­faction every day. But when at the Salutation of Gabriel, she opened her Heart and her Breast to take him in, and therein to make him her Son; that one Act of humble Obedience expressed in nine Latin words, Ecce Ancilla, &c. Behold the Handmaid of the Lord, &c. that one Act of hers they say, is more Meritorious, then God himself in a manner can recom­pense. Christians may think 'twas no Merit of hers, but rather a favor of God; and that all which she could do towards it, was her Duty; but Roman Catho­lic Authors, and Saints too, teach otherwise. 1. That by that one Act, she had fully s repaied to God, for n[Page 107]all the things, that he ever bestowed upon men; and this they call Retribution, and take it for the eleventh of those twelve Stars, which shine continually about her Head. 2. That by that Act, she repaied more then she ever received her self: and so that t God is in her debt. 3. That by that Act, she hath done more u for God, (or as much at the least) then God for her, and all Mankind: and that men may say to their comfort (rather blaspheme to their confusion) that upon the Virgins account God is more obliged to them, then they to God. This is the most stupend­ous Merit, which they say, x Christ insisted upon, to shelter himself against the wrath of his own Father; when, after their interpretation, he praied thus up­on the Cross. ‘O turn thee unto me, and have mercy on me: give the Kingdom to thy Servant, and save the Son of thy Handmaid; that is, if thou wilt not save me from off this Cross for thy sake, or for my sake; save me for her great Me­rits sake, who said Behold the Handmaid of the Lord: and give me also that Kingdom, the Mo­narchy of the whole World, which she hath y de­served by that Act, and which devolves to me, as being her Son.’ So let all men here consider both how admirable those Merits, must be which Christ makes his own shelter of: and how useful to a poor sinner, since they are thus needful to Christ. We have not yet don. The Virgin Mary appears as great at her Sons Death, as at his Conception; and if some talk of her saving men, only because she hath brought forth [Page 108]their Savior; thorough Catholics will inform you, that z Conceiving and Bringing forth, are two Acts, which of themselves being Natural, and not Volun­tary, cannot be much Meritorious: and therefore besides all what she contributes, either by her Inter­ceding, or by her having brought forth a Savior, towards the Salvation of mankind; she hath a good and proper share with Christ himself, in the very Act of saving them; for first, as God so loved the world, that he gave them his only Son, &c. Joh. 3.16. So, if you believe these Roman a Doctors and Saints too, the Virgin Mary can say as much: for Christ was hers and under her Dominion, as b well as under that of his Father: therefore when she gave him, she gave what was properly her own. Secondly, she herein did more then God himself; since she not on­ly gave him to the world, as God did, by consenting, but by offering him her self most really; for there, they say, she stood by the Cross, not as a Mother to pitty her Son, or as a Disciple to believe on him; but as a Priest c to offer him in Sacrifice; to help him in his Sacerdotal Function: and (mark how far this folly goes) if the Murtherers had failed, * to Sacrifice him with her own hands. O Virgin saies the supposititious Epiphanius, the Stupendous Tresure of the Church! She is both the Priest and the Altar. She brings both the Table, and the Bread, &c. Third­ly, they say, that she stood there to Sacrifice her self with him. Her very standing up with her stretcht [Page 109]Armes was d her Cross: and the Anguish of her heart, e greater, as they say, or at the least more sensibly felt, then any pain which her Son did suffer then in his Body, was her Passion. Thus both Christ and his Mother (saies another famous Doctor) had one design; and both offered to God one and the same Burnt-Sacrifice, He the Blood of his Flesh, and she the Blood of her Heart. Now believe them who say that Saints, and she especially, are Media­tors and Saviors only by Praying, and not by giving and working by their very suffering the Grace and Salvation which we pray for. She was (saies Salme­ron, a main Supporter of the Roman Church among the Tridentine Fathers) cooperatrix g, that is, Christs Fellow-laborer in the very Passion to the end, that as a Man and a Woman did work out the utter ruine of Man-kind, so a Man and a Woman might perfect their Salvation; and as well here as there, the Woman should be the Instigatrix, or the first Sollicitress, Eve to temt, and Mary to set the Man to work. Thus she is, saies another, h the Mother of Redemtion, by shedding her Soul into compassion under, as Christ did his in Passion upon the Cross. And if Christ seem to baffle away this Partnership, and vindicate the whole work to himself alone, in the Prophesie of Isaiah, 63.3. I have troden the Wine-press alone, and of the People there was no Man with me. They have a ready An­swer for him; It is true , saith one, O Lord, there f[Page 110]is no Man with thee, but there is a Woman with thee, who suffers in her very Heart, all the blows and wounds which thou receivest in thy Body. These great Suffer­ings and Satisfactions being her own, she may i ap­ply them to whom she pleases, without troubling her Son about it, even so far sometimes as the Salvation, and the very rescuing damned Men from Hell can come to; besides what some other Divines think she may do, by offering still (in Heaven) both her self and her Son for k the Redemtion of all Men. How­ever, if upon this foundation, that she is by the Ro­man Catholics l called and conceived to be (which otherwise they m think she could not) the very Re­deemer, the Cause and Author of Eternal Salvati­on; the Restorer of Mankind; the n Mercy-seat; the Queen, o the Priest and the Prophet; the Hope of the whole World; the Gate of Heaven; the p Altar of Burnt-sacrifices; the Cherub q of equal light with the other that represented Christ; in a word, any thing that Blasphemers can think of, to make her, upon her proper account, quite parallel unto Christ; and as well in the act of Salvation, as in their own or­dinary Praiers, to huddle up both the Hand-maid, and the Savior, into one Jesu Maria together.

Last of all, the Virgin Mary having so well plai­ed her Priestly part in Sacrificing both her self and her Son here upon Earth, she was in all reason, after the manner of Oblations, to have ascended along [Page 111]with Christ into Heaven; and it is much wonder'd by some, as at a kind of unkindness, wherefore Christ would, when he went up, leave his afflicted Mother behind. But they presently satisfie this scru­ple, by attributing it to a kind of State Policy: For if both had made their public entry into Heaven at the same time *, it had puzled the Angels, whether of the two to adore first: So it was conceived more prudent, that he should go up before, both to pre­vent all Jealousie, and to prepare for her coming the whole Celestial Court (which had bin divided other­wise) to a more noble Reception.

Now she is there, Gods Throne is not too good for her, and her glory is not so much equal to, as the very same r with that of Christ: for (if you can hear a Blasphemy) because she, as well as Christ, humbled her self to the death of the Cross, s therefore hath God highly exalted her, and given her the Name of Mary, (that is, as they say, Lady and Mistress) which is above all Names, that at this Name every knee should bow, &c. There she sits, as it becomes both the t Empress of Heaven, and the Conqueress of Hell. There both the Angelical, and the human Nature wait on her, u as the two Maids did on Queen E­sther. There Saints, and Angels, and Arch-angels, are all in their several Capacities her Courtiers, or her Nobles, her Officers, or her Soldiers, and ge­nerally all one with another x her Servants and her Salves.

The best is, that this large and wide Empire is not [Page 108] [...] [Page 109] [...] [Page 110] [...] [Page 111] [...] [Page 112]setled on her by God, as a mere Donation y and Fa­vor; it is, they say, a just and proper Right of her own, grounded upon natural z Equity, both as being the a Spouse of the Holy Ghost: (on which account they say, b she had Spiritual Gifts, upon the Title of the Wedding present, and afterwards she was to have what she hath now, Heaven and Earth for her Join­ture:) and as having c by her own Merits saved and restored all things; or d as being the Mother of Christ, and therefore Queen e upon as good a Title as he is King, and even as God himself. For, saies another Blasphemer, As God the * Father is Lord of all, be­cause he hath created all thro his Power; so is the Mo­ther Mary the Lady of all, because she hath repared and re-establish'd all things by her Merits. These things being so, as no true Roman Catholic must doubt but they are; it concerns us all next to en­quire, First, What use this Queen of the World is pleased to make of her Power. Secondly, What kind of Homage Men must return to that high and Soveraign Majesty, for the great Favors and Blessings that flow continually from that use.

As to the use of her Grandeur, both old and new Papists will tell you, That since all Power is given to f her, as to Christ, it is to this Blessed purpose, that all Men may receive, as well of g her, as his Fulness, Grace for Grace; and that every one may [Page 113]take out of her Bosome, h all such Blessings as he most desires. Here the Sinner shall find Mercy; the Righteous, all increase of Grace; the Angels, hap­piness and Joy; and the whole Trinity, Glory. A­mong all others, Kings and Warriers are much con­cern'd on this account. She hath a Temporal Pow­er, both of taking and giving away of Estates. Thus, by her help, both the Spaniards and the Portugeses discovered and i got a good part of the East In­dies. She turns Armies and Victories to what side she pleases. Read what they say she did for Philip k King of France, against Otho the Emperor; for l Phi­lip de Valois, and m Philip le Bell against the Fle­mings; and for the Cities of n Tournay, o Ipres, Or­leans, and p Poictiers, against the English. This last is considerable; for there, they say, she stood like a great Queen, and the Keys were conveied away by night (no Body can tell how) from under the Gover­nors Pillow, and found hanging in the morning by her Image. Her very Shift being once set up as a Banner upon a Wall, q routed a great Army; and if any ones Shirt chance but to touch that Blessed Shift, it may go near to make the whole Body (as once it r did) invulnerable. Her very Images will inspire strength; for when King Arthurus was tired, s some say, that he had one of her Images, which was paint­ed [Page 114]upon his Shield, that when he look'd on it, did recover him from fainting Fits. You may guess by these Shifts and Images, what the Lady her self can do.

By virtue of this same Power about Temporal Affairs, she sends, or removes all Temporal Blessings and Curses; Honors, Riches, and all manner of Earthly Prosperities are in her hand; and what Gods Eternal and uncreated Wisdom is in Scripture, Prov. 8.18. the same by a foolish Impiety now is the Vir­gin Mary in Popery. Read their Sermons, and see what good use they make of all the Power given to Christ: See the eighth Chapter of the Proverbs, she is now made blasphemously what Christ was then, the Tresuress t of all Gods Graces, and the very Tresure * of the Church. It is out of this new Store house, that the greatest Scholars of Rome, if you will believe them, had their Learning. Albert the Great was a u dull Fellow, and Duns Scotus a ve­ry x Dunce, till the Virgin Mary gave them more wit. Ʋdo Arch-bishop of y Magdeburg, and St. Ru­pert z Abbot of Tuits had it the same way. But St. Thomas Aquinas, and S. Tharlevarct are in this Point most admirable, that one a became an Angelical Do­ctor, by swallowing down his Throat a Paper that Ave Maria was written upon; and this other got the full understanding of the whole Bible, by drinking [Page 115]out of a Silver Cup, a sweet Liquor b which she gave him. Not to trouble you with more Instances, what can you add to what they say, that She is the very c Ahysse and Ocean, * from whence all Blessings flow, like so many streams into the Church: that she is the true Mother, who keeps us alwaies like Embrions in her d Bowels, and makes us live with her own Breath: that she is both the Neck and the Hand e, that is, both the passage and only means thro which our cries may go up to God, and his Blessings come down to us. They who will speak at a soberer rate, compare the Virgin f to the Moon, which both qualifies and transmits all the Influences that come to us from the Sun and other Planets, that is, from Christ and all his Saints. But here to speak the plain Truth, without terms of Astrology, they do find an absolute Decree, made by all the three Persons together (and God knows where they can find it) whereby g God the Father hath obliged himself to his Daughter; and the Son, to his Mother; and the Holy Ghost, to his Spouse, to shew no favor to Man-kind, but what she shall please to bestow on them. Through her, they say, h with her, and in her, all must be don: and as nothing was ever made without her Son, so nothing is made now without her self.

The better to perform this vast Work, and to scat­ter up and down far and near her Graces upon all sorts of Creatures, they fancy in her four i Laps or Bo­soms, which like four great Magazins, furnish the [Page 116]Church with all Blessings. 1. A Lap, or Bosom of Favor for the Righteous. 2. That of Meekness, for the Oppressed. 3. That of Mercy, for the desperate Sinners. 4. And that of Glory, for them who die in her Service. The Bosom of Favor is reserved for few Persons; such as are Prophets, orderly Monks, and all other devout Men and Women, who may without any scandal be hidden k under her Mantle. The Bosom of Glory belongs to another Life: But the other two, namely of Meekness and Mercy, are of a marvelous use for this.

Her Bosom of Meekness is open to all such Per­sons, as either groan under Oppression, or are in eminent danger. As when she was pleased to come down her self to break the Goal to l Prisoners; to sew, and to put up again the torn m Bowels of Va­lentin; to refit and set on again Heads n cut off, and hanging only by a very small skin; or to set new o Eies, and new p Tongues, instead of those that were bored out or pulled off; or to break the Hang­mans Halters, q to save her Servants from being hang'd. So when you take her to be above, she is a­bout some work of Meekness, either in a r deep Well, to save a Boy; in a River, to lead a s Horse; or on a dark pair of stairs, t to keep St. Martin from tum­bling down, where the Devil had scatter'd Pease.

To this Meekness, you may refer some other cha­ritable Works, not indeed so necessary, as the saving [Page 117]Men from the Gallows, and the healing of burst En­trails; but yet very useful and comfortable in the way of Roman Piety; and in this way thus far that may be true, which otherwise were blasphemous; that, u as they say, the Virgin, (such as they con­ceive her to be), shews to the world greater Exam­ples of kindness, and Humility, then Christ our Savi­or ever did; that is, whereas Christ is not known to have come down out of Heaven, in any visible man­ner, (such as is necessary to give Example) ever since his Ascension; their Virgin Mary doth nothing else. For ever since the time, that Popery was spread in the World, every day is blessed with some Exam­ples of her great Condescention, when she or some­thing else under her Name, is as often seen in their Convents, as if Heaven was not her Abode: when she comes down from the height of all her Glory, to present ſ S. Alberic with a white Hood, instead of the black one that he had before: to mortifie the wanton Reins of t Conradin, or u Reginald: to help Women in a * hard travel: to give suck to aged Persons: to mend clothes x under a Bed: to treat Travellers in y a wood: to serve fasting Monks with c Sweet-Meats: to hug z and kiss, and marry sometimes one, sometimes another. And brutish men cannot perceive, that these kindnessess are much below the mean Condition of an ordinary civil Wo­man, [Page 118]much more below the high Estate of the bles­sed Virgin Mary.

The Bosom, or Lap of Mercy carries them far­ther. It is upon a quite other account, then the having born the Savior, that they call her d the Queen of Heaven; the Fountain of Compassion: the spring and Dispenser of Mercy; the Gate e of Heaven: the f Vein of Pardon; the Hope g of the World: and the h Mother of Mercy. For it is believed a­mongst them, that just as King Ahasuerus did pro­mise i once the half of his Kingdom to Queen Esther, when she appeared for the Jews; Esth. c. 5. v. 6. God the Father hath really settled the disposal of his Mer­cy, (the better half of his Kingdom here in the Church) upon the Virgin Mary now appearing for Catholics. And as they are pleased to imagine Christ and his Mother, to be represented in Genes. 1. by the two great k Lights in Heaven, they do leave Christ the Sun to rule the Day, that is the Chil­dren of Light: but the Virgin Mary must be the Moon, to rule the Night, and to provide for the poor Chil­dren of Darkness. And therefore Innocent the 3d, the best Scholar of all the Popes, may be thought the wisest also, when he advises, l sinners lying in the Night of their sins, well to look up toward the Moon. For the Light of the Sun is too piercing: and tho, say m they, Christ be the Savior; yet is he the Judg also: and so enquires after mens Deserts; scorning [Page 119]to n be the Father of any other, but just men; where­as the Mother o scruples at nothing; but like the Sun, which she is clothed with, Apoc. 12.1. shines equally on good and bad: and what is most wanting to these, she supplies it with her Merits.

This unchristian Mercifulness, and damnable En­couragement to go for Salvation to a Creature ra­ther then to God and his Christ, is grounded by these Catholics upon this threefold account. 1. The Virgin Mary is a Woman, and therefore p is by her Sex, more kind, and tender hearted: Whereas one may fear in Jesus the Severity both of his God­head, and Manhood. 2. She is a real Mother, not to Christ alone, but to us all: and so more q indul­gent to all her poor sinful Children: and these more familiar and bold with her. 3. But there is a third reason beyond all this, which in good equity makes her to be good and kind to them all, and especially to the worst of them; because r their Sins have made Her Mother, have made her Queen, and have made all what she is above the simple Daughter, as she was once, of Eliakim, and of Anna. If there­fore, saies s their S. Anselm, She hath bin made Mo­ther because of me, why should she not be Mother to me, and other worse sinners, then I? And with what Equity could she forbear to succor us in all our sins; since it is for us, and for our sins that she hath bin ele­vated to her Greatness? Upon this most filthy sug­gestion, they build this most impious Doctrine; that [Page 120]it * is a much safer way for sinners to go to the Vir­gin, then to Christ; witness her white t Ladder, that could presently help up to Heaven those whom his red one did shake off and tumble down: witness the heavy Plagues, which, as they u say, she often stops if you do but carry about her dear Image, when all Devotions and Praiers to God did but prove vain: witness whole Hundreds of loose Examples scattered up and down in her Chronicles, which Christ being about to punish, this indulgent Mother did dispense with. Mater mea, &c. She is the x Sove­raign in such Matters, and can dispense with the Laws of Christ, when she sees Cause; And if she be severe, and even almost cruel sometimes, it is com­monly but in some light matters, that Crucifie nei­ther Flesh nor Blood, and where it is easy to please her. For example, she used to plague Alexander Alensis, y an honest and learned Schoolman, with a great pain in his head, yearly upon her Conception day, because he did not observe it. Once she struck down dead a Preacher, at the very z end of his Ser­mon: and she would have damned a eternally Fran­cis Milet upon somwhat the like account; both were very fools for their pains; for what needed the one, to preach, and the other to hear Discourses, and keep Papers against her immaculate Conception? Thus when she killed b one once, and scratcht c out the Eie of another; what plesure temted them to abuse her [Page 121]poor Image? I pitty more d the honest Painter whom she struck blind, for having once but touched it: or the e maid, and f poor Labourer; when I read, how the ones Thred did intangle it self about, and stick pittifully to her tongue, for moistening and spinning it upon the Annunciation: and the other fell down flat in his Field for cutting Corn upon the Assumtion day: as also the rich Citizen's Wife, and Child, whom she destroied one after ano­ther; and damned the Husband besides, for having hanged g about his Wives Bed (then lying in) a kind of Tapistry, that belonged once to her Church. These few Persons, I say may give warning to thou­sands not to displease this Goddess in trifling things, where it is so easy to humor her. But in all other great matters more difficult to flesh and Blood, and more essential to Holiness, let all Catholics be sure of this to their encouragement to serve her, that there is no Sin against the Gospel, nor no Abomi­nation against Nature, that this Indulgent Mother cannot overcome and pardon with her great Merci­fulness. Let a Robber but hold his hand, and fast upon a Saturday; and fall again to killing and plun­dering all the whole week; if he chance to suffer for it, she will force Nature h to make him live with his head off, till he confess, and be saved; it may be she will go also to his Burial, i as once she did at Trent, to have it honorably don. Upon the like or easier terms she will rescu a Blasphemer k from [Page 122]perishing by the fall of a House, and leave others more honest, but not so devout towards her, crusht thereby. She will be so merciful, as to undertake any Drudgery even during fifteen whole years, to save a whore, l not from sin, but Infamy. The worst sort of Incest, and Murder m cannot overtop her Compassion: nor make her Modesty ashamed of appearing at the Bar, in behalf of her guilty, but otherwise devout Client. She will go her self to the Gallows, and there hold up the feet n of a Thief, being a humble Servant of hers, for fear the Halter may hurt his neck, when he is hanging at the Gallows. At last, when such worshippers as these come to die; she will take such care of their Souls, as either to keep them safe, whole o years, in their dead, drowned, and torn Bodies, till some Priest come to absolve them: or if Divine Vengeance prevent the Priest; she will apply to them p her own Merits, and command her Son to do the like, (for she praies him as q a Mistress not a Servant) and keep them from going to Hell. However some good way or other (and let Ruffians be sure of this, having the grace of being Catholics) it is morally impossible, I have a good r Author for what I say, it is morally impossible, that any one, who hath any true devotion for this good Lady, can be damned. For if she do not come down purposely to make them Chast, whether by laying her ſ hand on their Brest; or rubbing [Page 123]their backs t with somthing, (as I said before, she doth sometimes); she will save them with that Al­mighty Power which she hath in Hell, as well as in their Church, of being, as she is called, u the Hope, and Advocate of damned Persons. Do not trouble your self with this question that your best Doctors are puzled at, x with what Justice tis possible for her to save damned or damnable men; and to save them after they are dead without Repentance? It is enough for you to know y she doth it. And what might she not do for these Villains, since she can with her two Angels be a Midwife z to very whores; your main Interest is to see, in return of these great Mercies, Kindnesses, and Protections, what Services now she will have.

CHAP. VI.
Concerning the Adoration and new Waies of serving the Virgin Mary.

WHEN the Roman Doctors are among them­selves, either worshipping at their Altars, or discoursing in their Pulpits, or teaching in their public Scholes, they freely talk of adoring a the blessed Saints; they think them to be Canonized [Page 124]most principally for this end, that they may public­ly b be adored and praied to: and they highly com­mend the Greek, who at his first Conversion pro­fessed that he did c adore from his heart our Lady the Queen of the world. And their S. Damascen is herein their great Goliah driving before him all the Fathers with this weapon. Decet enim, &c. It must be so, f or tis fitting that this Mother of God should enjoy that which belongs to her Son; and therefore the Glory of being adored by all men.

But when the Papists are amongst us, tho they keep still their hearty thoughts, they do quite re­form their Language; they are ashamed to say in England, what they are proud to do at Rome. If you believe what they say here, it was never heard in their Church, that they must adore any Saint, g un­less by chance it be in that sense, in which Jacob a­dored his Brother, and Abigail, King David: which is no Divine honor at all; but only such a reverence, as is deferred h to Kings, or Fathers, or such ho­norable Persons; and therefore, (and justly too) why not to Saints? And if you be inquisitive, and press them farther about this Point, then they will run out into so many Distinctions and terms of Art as will puzle any Lay-man: Dulia, Latria, hyperdulia; Absolute and Relative Worship; Divine Adoration, and bordering upon Divine; Godhead essential, and Godhead participated: so that it will go very hard with them, if they do not leave him whom they pretend to satisfie, as ignorant, and more confound­ed, [Page 125]then he was before. They will tell you, that they intend not, either to adore the Virgin, or to adore her otherwise then respectively; that it is in a mere relation to her Son: and those Intentions be­ing in their hearts, it is impossible there to search out, either the Truth, or the untruth of what they say. But if you look to what they do, instead of heark­ning to what they say; their most solemn and pra­ctical Devotions have such a plain and real language, as must declare to all the world, both what their Re­ligion is in it self, and what you may best think of it.

1. First they bestow and accumulate upon the Vir­gin all the best Titles, which both in the Church, and in the Scripture are proper to God. For in their most solemn Devotions, she is a She God, a She Sa­vior; the Queen of Queens, the Fountain of Salva­tion, the Ladder, and Gate of Heaven, &c. And it were great folly in us, to think that they do not wor­ship her, according to what they call her; since it is not in such Rencounters, that men use to play the Hypocrites.

2. Secondly, in their ordinary Praiers, and Praises and Giving of Thanks, they do most commonly join her with God: Jesu Maria comes in one word out of their Mouths; and Glory be to God, and to the blessed Virgin; is but one compleat Doxologie, at the end of most of their Books. Now such an Asso­ciation as this, is in the judgment of the Fathers, a clear Evidence of being God. Thus they prove i a­gainst the Arians, that the Angel, whom Jacob praied to, when he blessed his Grand-children, Gen. 48.16. is the Lord Christ; because in that praier [Page 126]he is joined with the God of his Fathers: and that this Christ is very God, k because the Apostles join him with God, both in their Praiers and their Prai­ses. Grace be to you, and Peace from God the Fa­ther, and the Lord Jesus Christ. Rom. 1.7. &c. The strength of their Demonstration consists in this, that in all those daies, both when the Prophets and Apostles did write the Holy Scriptures; and when the holy Fathers did maintain the Faith which is contained in them; no man was seen or heard pray­ing l for any thing both to the Father, and to an Angel, or to any other Creature: (for Popery was not yet abroad) nor wishing, that God, or his Angel, or any greater Creature whatsoever, would grant or give him any thing. And they take it for an insuf­ferable piece of m Sawciness, when the Arians dare couple, (as upon their Principles they do) any Creature, with the Lord God. Such was the known Catholic Faith, and Profession of the Primitive times; for otherwise judicious and learned Men would not have produced it in that manner, as an undoubted Evidence against such subtil and dange­rous adversaries. Now both the Roman Faith and practice taking a quite contrary way; we, I hope, are more bound to think, that the Papists, who fol­low this, are Idolaters; then that the holy Fathers, who went on in that, were very Fools.

3. Thirdly, The Papists apply to the Virgin the most illustrious Places of Scripture, that belong directly to Christ: and by this means, either disable all true Christians, from the possibility of proving [Page 127]by the Scriptures, that He is God; or prove as well, that She is so too. I will mention out of many, but few Instances. Every word almost of the eighth Chap­ter of the Proverbs, which doth describe the Eternal Wisdom of God, which by the Fathers is applied to Christ alone; and which is none of the least cogent Mediums they stand upon, to demonstrate him to be that true essential and uncreated Wisdom, is now turned another way, n to deifie their Virgin. It is by her, namely the Virgin, if you believe those A­busers of Holy Scripture, ‘that Kings reign, and that Princes decree Justice. v. 15. By her Princes rule, and Nobles, and all Judges of the Earth. 16. Riches and honor are with her, true durable Riches and Righteousness. 18. She leads in the way of Righteousness, she causes them who love her to have substance.’ The Lord, (saies she, out of these Blas­phemers mouths) ‘possessed me in the beginning of his waies; I was set up from everlasting; when he prepared the Heavens, I was there, &c. and so all along.’ They scruple not o to say of her, what God Almighty saies of himself, Malach. 1.11. ‘From the rising up of the Sun, unto the going down of the same, my Name shall be great among the Gen­tils. And that of Christ, Matth. 28.18. * ‘All power is given unto me in Heaven and in Earth;’ and what John the Baptist saies, p ‘of her Fulness have all received, &c.’ namely, q the Sinner Par­don: the Righteous, Grace: the Angels, joy: and the [Page 128]whole Trinity, Glory. And therefore, r say they as blasphemously, God hath highly exalted her, and gi­ven her a name above all names, that in her name all knees should bow, &c. Phil. 2.9, 10. And after the same rate, what God saies of his only begotten Son, Heb. 1.6. Let s all the Angels of God worship her; and let Men boldly come unto the Throne of Grace (from him to her) that we may obtain Mercy, and find Grace to help us in time of need, Hebr. 4.16. It were endless to rehearse all.

4. Fourthly, They allow her a whole Psalter, * as the Church doth to God Almighty: And what­ever David could say in the Highest strein of his Zeal, towards the magnifying of Gods Glory, or the imploring of his Mercy, or the expressing his Faith in him (Gods name being out, and that of the Vir­gin in) they both transfer and improve it towards the magnifying of this Lady. For Example, in the first Psalm, instead of Blessed be the Man, &c. it begins thus, Blessed be the Man that loves thy name, O Vir­gin Mary: Thy mercy shall comfort his Soul, &c. The second, Why do the Heathen, &c? hath it thus, Why do our Enemies imagine vain things against us? Thy right hand, O Mother of God, shall protect us: Come ye to her, all ye that Travel, and are heavy la­den, and you shall find rest for your Souls, &c. The fourth thus, When I did call, thou O Lady heardest me: Thou wert pleased to remember me, out of thy high Throne; for thy mercy is on all them that call up­on thy holy Name, and thy Majesty be blessed thro out [Page 129]all Generations. Glorifie her, O all ye Nations, &c. The 16. thus, Save me, O Lady, for I have put my trust in thee, &c. The 19. thus, The Heavens do de­clare thy glory, O Virgin, &c. The 29. thus, Bring to our Lady, O ye Sons of God, bring praise and wor­ship to our Lady. Give strength to thy Servants, O holy Mother, and bless them that magnifie thee. Let Hea­ven and Earth bless thee, the Sea, and all the corners of the World, &c. The 42. thus, Like as the Hart de­sires the water Brooks, so longs my Soul after thy love, O holy Virgin: for thou art the Mother of my life, the Nurse and restauration of my flesh, and both the begin­ning and end of my Salvation, &c. The 44. thus, We have heard with our ears, O Lady, and our Fathers have told us, that thy Merits are ineffable, and thy Mi­racles wonderful: Thy Virtues are innumerable, and thy Mercies inestimable. Rejoice in her, O my soul, for many good things are laid up for them that praise her. Blessed be thou, O Queen of Angels, &c. The 51. thus, Have mercy on me, Lady, who art call'd the Mother of Mercies, and according to the Bowels of thy Compassions, make me clean from all mine Iniquities. Pour thy Grace upon me, and withdraw not thy usual Mercies from me, &c. The 68. thus, Let Mary arise, and let all her Enemies be crush'd under her feet, &c. The 72. thus, Give the King thy judgments, O Lord, and thy Mercy to the Queen his Mother: Salvation and life, O Lady, are in thy hand, perpetual Joy and glo­rious Eternity, &c. The 73. thus, Truly God is lo­ving unto Israel, even to such as worship his Mother, &c. The 84. O how amiable are thy Dwellings, O La­dy [Page 130]of Hosts, &c. The 92. It is a good thing to give thanks, and confess to the Virgin Mary, and to sing Praises to her Glory: to tell of her Merits that rejoice the heart, and to imitate her Works, which rejoice the Angels, &c. The 94. It is the Lord God, to whom Venge­ance belongs, but thou art the Mother of Mercy, who turnest him to compassion. The 95. thus, O come, let us sing to our Lady, let us heartily rejoice in the Virgin our she Savior. The 103. Praise the Virgin Mary, O my Soul, and all that is in me, praise and glorifie her name, &c. The 110. thus, The Lord said unto my Lady, Mother, sit thou at my right hand. Be thou reigning with me. Have mercy upon me, O Lady, Mo­ther of splendor: enlighten me O thou Mother of Truth and Virtue, &c. The 117. O praise the Lady, all ye Heathen; glorifie her, all ye Nations, for her Merciful kindness remains upon us for ever: whosoever will serve her, shall be justified: but whosoever neglects her, shall die in his sins, &c. The 144. begins thus, Blessed be our Lady, who teaches her Servants to fight, &c. The 148. thus, O praise our Lady of Heaven, praise her in the height. Praise her Sun and Moon. And so all along to the very last, O praise the Lady in her Holiness: praise her in her Virtues and Miracles. Let every Spi­rit, or every thing that hath breath, praise our Lady. This Service goes under the name of a Superangelical and Seraphical Doctor, a Roman Saint, and a Cardi­nal besides, whom they call St. Bonaventura? Give this Worship what name you please, it is all that Da­vid, and Moses, and other Prophets, could bestow on the Lord God of Israel. Now when the same is bestowed upon a holy Creature, how great and holy [Page 131]soever, yet a Creature, judge what it is.

5. Fifthly, Lest the Lord God of Israel should re­ceive any kind of honor from Men, where the Lady had not her share: what ever more eminent pieces of Divine Service they can find scattered in Holy Scri­pture, they will be sure to give it her. For example, that of Moses, Deut. 32. Give ear, O ye Heavens, to what I will speak of the Virgin Mary. Magnifie her with me, &c. O perverse and crooked Generation! ac­knowledg our Lady for thy she Savior: Is she not thy Mother, that hath begotten thee in Faith? If thou for­sakest her, thou art no friend unto our Soveraign Ce­sar. O that thou wert wise, and wouldest consider thy last end. As an Infant cannot live without his Nurse, no more canst thou be saved without this our Lady. There­fore let thy Soul thirst after her, and do not leave her till she hath blessed thee. Let thy mouth be filled with her praise, and sing of her greatness all the day long. That of the same Moses at the red Sea, Exod. 15. Let us sing to our glorious Lady the Virgin Mary: Our Lady is Almighty: Her name is next to God: She hath thrown into the Sea the Chariots of Pharaoh & his Host, &c. O Lady, thou hast delivered my Soul from the Lion. O my dearest Lady, cover thou me, as a Hen doth, &c. I am all thine, and all I have is thine: I will put thee as a signet upon my heart, &c. That of Isaiah 12. I will sing to thee, O Lady, &c. for thou hast comforted me: my Lady is my Savior, I will trust in thee, and will not fear. Thou art my strength in the Lord, and art become my Salvation: with joy will I draw Waters out of thy brook, and I will call upon thy name alwaies, &c. That of King Hezekias, in [Page 132]the same Prophet, 38.9. when he was recovered from his mortal Disease. I said, in the midst of my daies I will go to Mary, &c. Father, Mother, and Friends did forsake me. but Mary hath holden me up. I will put my trust in her, in the morning, in the evening, and at noon-day. (God) had, as it were a Lion, broken my bones: but thou, our Lady, hast delivered my Soul from perishing; my Darling, from the hand of the Dog, &c. That of the three Children, commonly so cal­led, All the works of the Lord, bless our Lady: praise and magnifie her for ever: O ye Angels, bless our La­dy, &c. Blessed be thou, O Crown of Kings: Let eve­ry knee in Heaven, in Earth, and in Hell, bow unto thy Name, &c. That of Zachary, Luke 1.38. Blessed be thou, Lady Mother, &c. Save us from all our Enemies, &c. and perform the Mercy promised to our Fathers and us, that we being delivered out of the hands of our E­nemies, may serve thee without fear, &c. And thou Mary shalt be called the Prophetess of the Highest, by whom he hath given the knowledg of Salvation, &c. By the Bowels of thy Mercy, O Morning Star, do thou vi­sit us from on high. To complete Idolatry with ab­surdity, that very Hymn, wherewith she adored once her God, is with some parcels of the Song of An­nah, 1 Sam. 2. now turned into an Office to adore her: My Soul doth magnifie the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in my Lady, &c. There is no Saint like our Lady, &c. Let Sion and Jerusalem rejoice and praise Mary, for she is the greatest among the Ladies of Israel: She makes poor, and she makes rich: She brings low, and she lifts up on high. This Lady of ours is higher then the Heavens, broader then the Earth, and purer then the very Stars.

6. Sixthly, She is adored with the most solemn and elevated Office, that the ancient Church could worship God with, namely, Te Deum. We praise thee, O Mary, we a acknowledg thee to be the Lady. All the Earth doth worship thee, as the Spouse of the ever­lasting Father. To thee all Angels, &c. continually do cry, Holy, holy, holy, Mary the Mother of God. The holy Church thro out all the world doth acknowledg thee, Mother of an Infinite Majesty: Thou art the Queen of Glory, O Mary, the Ark of Grace, and the Ladder of Heaven: Thou art the hope of all the world; the Sal­vation of them that call on thee; the Teacheress of the Apostles; the strength of the Martyrs, &c. O Lady, save thy People, &c. Vouchsafe, O Lady, to keep us this day and for ever. O Lady, have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us. O Lady, let thy mercy lighten upon us, as our trust in thee, &c. Lastly, there is added to her Honor, that Praier which belongs to the Holy Ghost, Veni Creator; and which, some say, the Council of Constance at their meeting, were pleased to present the Virgin with. Come Mother of Grace, Spring of Mercy, Light of the Church, Queen, Star, &c. come to defend the Church, to destroy Heresie, and to make peace, &c. And in a word, to do any thing that an honest and pious Council may better expect of the ho­ly Ghost.

7. Seventhly, There is a whole Bible made and Printed to her Honor, Biblia Mariae. Albertus Ma­gnus, both a great Scholar, and a great Bishop, and a kind of Roman Saint, is the Prophet who, as it is thought, composed it. This Holy Book gives the [Page 134]Virgin all or b most part of what was in the true Bi­ble either said or intended for God and Christ. As for Example, in Genesis, She is the truth both of the Al­tar, which Noah built, and of the Sacrifice which he offered: and the Sweet savor which there was smel­led, is nothing else then her Praier. She is the Lad­der which Jacob saw, Gen. 28. wherewith Christ is to come down to us, and we are to come up to him. In Exodus, she is said to be both the true Mercy-seat, and the great Altar of Burnt-offerings. In Leviticus and Numbers, she is the Ark of the Covenant, the Rock whence flow the Waters of Grace; and the Star, which Balaam saw, &c. In Joshuah, she is the Border of our Heavenly Inheritance; the Window, through which we must escape and be saved from Je­richo, that is, from perishing in and with the World; the Ark, which marches before us to Canaan, that is, Heaven, there to prepare us a resting place; the Ci­ty of Refuge, where those must seek shelter whosoe­ver flee from the Wrath of God, &c. In the Book of Judges, she is the true and great Captain, in whose hand our Celestial Father puts the whole Land, Heaven, all Power, and Himself. Therefore take heed, saies this Godly Bible, from going to war without her. In Ruth, she is the true Ruth (with more probability then the Captain) who goes to the Field, that is the Church, there to glean ears of corn left in the Field by the Reapers, that is, some few which she rescues from Devils: Thus she gleans whomsoever she pleases, for Boaz hath charged the reaping Angels not to to touch her, Ruth 2.9.15, 16. When she hath gleaned them, she takes them up into the Bosom of her Mercy, and carries them into the [Page 135]City, v. 8. that is, into the Celestial Jerusalem. In the 1. Kings 1.2, 3. She is the fair and young Vir­gin, who is to lie in the Kings or Gods Bosom: and inflames him to love and compassion towards his People. Thus this Bible running all along to the Revelation after this rate; at last ends with this Praier, instead of, the Grace of our Lord, &c. O Queen of Mercy, Grace and Glory; Emperess of all the Crea­tures, blot out all my Transgressions, and lead me to the life everlasting.

8. The Virgin having Bibles, and Psalmes and o­ther Instruments of Devotion, wherewith Christi­ans serve God and Christ; there is no reason she should want Churches. And she hath them in so great a number, consecrated to her Service, and Visi­ted to her honor; and all in such a special manner, that as they impiously are used to say, c that the Holy Ghost is jealous of Joseph on her account, be­cause they both are her Husbands; God Almighty the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, may justly be Jealous of that Idol, which appearing un­der her Name, gets more Churches to its Service, then God to his.

Those men cover this Shame but with Figleaves, who give out these Churches, to be but d Palaces: and herein as well their own Church Books, as their very Goddess gives them the lie. Their own Church Books; For they have not one Church consecrated to God, since Poperie, that is not with the same words and order consecrated to the Virgin. e San­ctificetur, &c. Let this Church be Sanctified and con­secrated, [Page 136]in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost to the Honor of God and of the Glorious Virgin: and to the memory of such a Saint. By which words it appears, that, tho the Palace be pretended to be but a Memorial, to such a Saint, talis Sancti; it must be a Church to the Virgin; or not to God. Since He an She have the same Rank and Interest, in that main End, that the Church is consecrated to. I say that their very Goddess also confutes their di­stinction between a Palace and a Church, whenso­ever she appears abroad for the building either of them. Witness the Celestial f Ladder, and the a­scending Angels, and her self above them all, to mark the very Ground, where she would have a Church built to her Honor. Witness S. Balduin the Ermite; whom this evil Spirit (for the g good Spirits abhor such things) chid severely h for not building a Church so fast, as she did wish, in a place that She had chosen, for them that would serve her. Witness that large and square Stone of Anis, where she declared, what she intended for her self, both in that and all other places. k This is the Place, saies she, which I have chosen to this purpose, that here, and hereafter mortal men may worship me and serve me throughout all Generations. Now, I hope, such houses for Devotion, Praier and Worship, by what name soever you call them, are just that which we use to call Churches: by making them stately and Roial, you may make them Palaces also: but this Magnificency cannot unchurch them. The Jesuite [Page 137]Canisius is plain and downright, (and herein more sincere then his good Brother Bellarmin), for he calls them Templa Mariana l the Temples, or the Churches of Mary.

In those Churches they say that she will appear sometimes in a created capacity only, either to sing her part among the Nuns like a Chorister: or to burn Incense to Perfume n the Church, like a Dia­con: or to give the Sacrament o like a Priest. Visne, &c. that is, My Son Sylvester, wilt thou take the Body of my Son? or to Confirm her worshippers, and cross them p all with her Sons hand: or to sit in an E­piscopal Throne, like a Bishop. But at last her main purpose is to appear there more like her self: to pro­clame before all the world that she is the x Mother of God, and the Queen both of men and Angels: (and upon this account Bellarmins Palace well be­comes her) to swear y Catholics to her Service: to promise them z protection, and all spiritual Bles­sings, upon condition, they shall pray to her hearti­ly, and at the Service of God both begin a and end with her Praises. Sometimes she will take this trou­ble upon her, of teaching them how to do it. And this is the Model she gave and sung once to S. Go­drick, S. Maria, &c. b Holy Mary Mother of Christ, blot out my Sins, reign in my heart; and bring me up to Happiness with God alone. God himself cannot have more, and Churches by their usual Consecra­tion [Page 138]promise no less. And to render this Consecra­tion yet more solemn, as the Ground where these Churches stand is commonly markt outby the Vir­gin: so the Consecrating of them to her Service is now and then c performed by her Angels.

9. Ninthly, These Churches of hers have Altars, which are no part of a Palace; and which are dedi­cated to her Service. Every Altar, even in Christs own Church, is consecrated to this double use, to wit d to the Honor of God; and to that of the Glorious Virgin: and this on several respects, either e as a Stone, or a Table, or a Sepulcher, or a complete Altar, twenty times. But besides this, She hath as many other Altars, which are proper to her alone; where if God have any share, it is as it were, but by the by. Such as the Rosary Altars; Mariana Alta­ria, the Altars of the good Mary; and sometimes under several Titles; f five such in one and the same Church. The Holy God of Israel never had so ma­ny in his own Temple. It is both a great disinge­nuity to disguise, and as great an impudence to face out this gross and open Idolatry, with saying as they will, sometimes, that these belong to God alone, as Altars: and to the blessed Saints, as Sepulchers. For, first the Virgin Mary left no Bones; if that be true, which they say, that her whole Body was taken up, and carried by the Angels into Heaven. And if you be so simple to believe, what they talk of that great Abundance of milk, which they have got of her, since she is above, to wit when she is pleas­ed to come down, and give suck (for having a [Page 139]Child on her Arm; she must needs have milk to give him) these Altars are not sepulchers, for they do not bury this milk under them, but keep it among the other Relicks they have of her, Combes, Gloves, Hairs, Shifts and Slippers, very safe as in wardrobes. 2. It is not a Grave, it is an Altar which she (or rather a quite other Spirit under her Name) calls for. Go, saies that Ambitious Spirit, and get me g an Altar built by such an Image, that it may be a spring of all Graces to them, who shall call on my Name. Never Saint in the whole Bible spake near this rate.

10. All Altars being made by their general institution, both to receive, and to sanctifie the Sa­crifices and Offerings which are daily laid upon them; the Virgin hath these also, and in an immense abundance. Gods Temple at Jerusalem was scarce richer then Lauretta is on this account. Neither Gold, nor pretious Stones are too good for her Ma­jesty. If his Holiness fear the French, as Alexander the third once did, he will secure himself from that danger, by h offering her a Silver statue: or as In­nocent the 8th. by offering Golden i Medals, and Clothes embroidered with Pearls: or, as the Reci­neti did for securing themselves from the plague, by offering her a Massy Crown k of Gold, and preti­ous Stones. They that have not so much, may of­fer less, tho it were but a wax-candle, as common an Offering under this new Religion, as was a pair of Turtle Doves under Moses. They that have nothing at all, must make a vow of visiting some of her Church­es. [Page 140]Such vows they say have saved many from the Gallows, from Shipwracks, Falls, Fires, and all imaginable Dangers; tho vows before Popery came up, were never heard to have bin made to any Saint, but God alone. But which is more Sacrile­gious then all either Vows and Sacrifices, that which they call the Holy Mass must be celebrated on her Altars; that is, the Son of God and God himself, as they take it, must be sacrificed to her honor: and in that impious service, as I have demonstrated l else­where, suffer more shame and Infamy to please her, then he ever suffered on the Cross, to save the whole world besides.

11. They allow her in every year eight holy daies. Christ hath no more of his Christians; nor are they so religiously observed. Nothing but death, or some other Judgment as bad, threatens the Profaner of them. Witness the Hill, m which they say fell on the Villain, who offered to dig upon her As­sumtion day: and the terrible pain, * which ever troubled honest Alensis as long as he read his Schole-Divinity upon the day of her Conception. Con­trarywise, great Miracles and great Blessings, will attend the holy keeping of these Daies; for wax­candles and Tapers n will burn then a whole night without wasting: And Bishop Bernard may fall down with his horse thro a broken Bridge without harm, if he do but vow, while he tumbles, that o he will observe the Immaculate Conception day.

12. And lastly, The Papists bestow upon the Vir­gin [Page 141] Mary, Proper Masses, Litanies, Canonical Hours, and both great and small Offices, in all Churches, on all Altars, and upon proper Holy daies.

Thus the Virgin, or that Goddess which they take for the blessed Virgin, hath all the Religious Services, (and more) from the Papists, that God and Christ have or ever had from the best sort of Is­raelites, and Christians. If God and Christ have not enough, then Moses and the Prophets, the Apostles, and the Holy Fathers are much to blame, who gave no more: and if they did and gave as much as could make up all the service, which God then required at their hands; and which now another Spirit, be­ing certainly a Creature, requires at the hands of Papists; let the Israel of God be the Judge, both what that proud Creature is that craves as much as God ever had: and what these Catholics are, that will give it. For what they plead, is soon wiped off.

Here a Woman stands accused of lying every night with her Neighbor: She cannot at all deny the Fact; but she maintains, that the Fact is not Adultery; because she never lies with him, as with her Husband, but alwaies as her dear Husbands Cozen and dear Relation. There stands a Jew, publicly impeached of Idol-worship by the Prophet, because he burns Incense to the Queen of Heaven. Jerem. 44.25. The Jew for his Justification avows this; but utterly denies that: because he burns not his Incense to the Queen, as to the King: and understands very well, that this Queen is a Creature. Between these two guilty Persons stands also the Roman Catholic charged with the same; he cannot deny but he hath Churches, Altars, Vows, Bibles, Psalters, Oblations [Page 142]and Holy daies, and universally all those kinds of Worship, which Christians can bestow on God; which for his part he bestows also on the Virgin. But this moves him not at all; he stoutly clears himself (he thinks) of all, by once saying, that he neither honors nor adores with all these things the Blessed Virgin, as he doth God, whom he knows to be her Creator, but as a holy Woman, whom he knows to be his Creature. By this Reckoning none of the three, let them do whatever they will in the way of either Carnal or Spiritual whoredom, can be con­vinced of being guilty; as long as they have but so much wit, as to distinguish, the first, a Cozen from a Husband: the second, a Moon, from a Sun: and the third; a Woman, from God Almighty. Whereas, by their very pleading and excusing of themselves, they are found to be twice Idolaters. 1. By their Act, which they confess; for they transfer on the Crea­ture, what is due to God alone. 2. Secondly by their own knowledg; for all what can be don to God (in point of visible worship, which is all that men can take notice of) they willingly and voluntarily im­part to others, whom they know to be Creatures. By what they do, they stand guilty; and by what they know, unexcusable.

Never simple men were more grossly drawn and inveigled into such sins then Papists are. To begin first, where I ended last; of these eight Holy Daies kept and set out for the Marian Worship, not one can be called Catholic, nor bear any primitive Date. The very Papists p cannot deny it; and among them the two greatest, namely the pretended Concepti­on, and Assumtion, as they were the fittest to crown [Page 143]a most compleat Idolatry, so they came in the latest of all.

That glorious Feast of the Immaculate Concepti­on, now so blissfull to them that observe it, and so terrible to them that do not, was never thought on by their Virgin, nor by themselves, to any conside­rable purpose, sooner then above twelve hundred years, after the Virgin her self was conceived. It was about the year 1300, when this Marian God­dess appeared like a Queen, both of Heaven and all the Angels, both to revele it to S. Peter the Cistercian, who q knew nothing of it before; and to take him for her Husband, upon condition he should keep it: which he gladly undertaking, her Son came down to the wedding; and in facie Ecclesiae being in a Priestly Habit, and in the face of the whole Church joined this holy Monk and his Mother in a Roman Wedlock together.

Her other Solemn and great Feast, which they call the Assumtion, and which in the Roman account makes the Virgin as much a Goddess, as the bles­sed Ascension, among the Socinians, can make Christ God, is scarce older. One of the most skilful of all the Fathers, in Sacred Antiquity, I mean St. Epi­phanius had not yet in his time heard of it: nor had, a great many years after, pious and learned Pulche­ria; when she sought s the Virgins Corps in the Holy Land, not dreaming it was in Heaven. Nei­ther could Venerable t Bede, or Arch-Bishop * Ado, (men the best versed both in all true and untrue sto­ries) [Page 144]tell much more: nor had Ludulphus de Saxonia tho a great Adorer of the Virgin, yet heard of that Legend. Nicephorus, is the first u Romancer, that can distinctly tell with what Triumph of men and Angles She went up, twelve hundred years after it was don. The Blessed Virgin Mary kept her self during that interval close and happy, like other Souls in the Bosom of Abraham, and under the wings of her Savior. She never thought yet of com­ing forth, either to throw x Gold or Medals into their hand, who kept this Feast; or to bury y them under ground, who kept it not. Neither mortal Ears had heard till then in the blindest times of the Church, the Angels z singing their Mattins to cele­brate that Festival: nor mortal Eies seen Trees * both to blossom and bear Fruit against nature; nor Hoods and a Frocks becoming as good as strong Boats, to ferry Monks over a great River, when they would preach the Glory of that day. In good earnest, can an infallible Church, can a true Church be drawn away to new Services, upon the account of such Tales? Or if these Tales and hundred other, as bad or worse, be true stories, (as they may be, and I am not he that will dispute it) what must we think of that Spirit, which is pleased to entice us to his Service upon such Grounds?

This matter proves as bad again, in the Point of Altars and Churches. First it cannot be a good Spirit, if created, that calls for either Altars, or Churches. Secondly, it is not a good Spirit neither, [Page 145]that calls for them, by unbecoming, ridiculous, and jugling waies. Thirdly, 'Tis not a true Religion, or a true Church that yields to that Spirit what he calls for, both on those accounts, and by those waies.

First, Such Spirits, what name soever they take, are to be shrewdly suspected, who call for Churches, Vows, Altars, Offerings, and all such other sacred services, as clearly belong to God alone. And in express terms, Saint Augustin makes no doubt b but that they are Devils. Good Angels, saies this ho­ly Father, do then love us, and for our sakes do re­joice, when we worship the only God; but if we do the like to them, they are not pleased with it at all, but o­penly cast it from them. And when some have thought of deferring also to them that honor, they forbad them, and commanded them to do it to him, to whom alone they know that it can be lawfully done. Herein the Ho­ly Men of God do imitate the Holy Angels. &c. There­fore, saies and concludes the c same Father, (as well he may) when some (of those Spirits or Saints) have a mind to be served with holy Rites and Sacrifices; and others avert it from themselves, and order it for God a­lone; the very sense of true Piety may teach any Man, how to discern between that which proceeds from true Religion, and what from a Spirit of pride: for proud Spirits are neither good Angels, nor the Angels of a good God. And let d them do what Miracles they will, even beyond the course of Nature, these are but sedu­cing Tricks of wicked Devils, which true Piety must take heed of. Here the Papists cannot answer St. Augustin, nor satisfie him at all, by saying, That no Roman Saint or Spirit was ever found calling for any [Page 146]Sacrifices, that is, for the Blood of Bulls, or Goats, which here St. Augustin understands; for then the Father will reply (and out of Porphyrius, an au­thentic Pagan Author) that these proud c Devils never cared for the Blood or smell of slain Beasts, upon any other account, then because such Sacrifices were in those daies the Expressions of Divine Wor­ship; as now surely Churches and Masses are desti­ned to the same end, and therefore as much at the least, if not more desirable and pleasing to them. Who doubts, but all the Gold and Silver Utensils, which you shall find at Lauretta, may be as rich Ob­lations, as all that was once at Delphi? And let any Jeweller tell me, whether one of those many preci­ous Stones, which are daily by formal Vows sent and presented to that Goddess, would not buy the best Bull or Ram, that ever was at any time Sacrifi­ced at Jerusalem? To follow the Roman accounts, one Mass is better then all what both Delphi and Je­rusalem had together: and if the Devils anciently craved for the slaughter of silly Beasts, because such was the solemn worship of Israel; how proud may they be now, to see upon their Altars the Flesh and Blood of Jesus Christ, which tho in very deed but a Wafer, yet in the Opinion of Papists, is the most solemn Worship of Rome? You will say, that this Flesh or Wafer is not sacrificed to the Virgin Mary: true indeed, but it is worse; for it is sacrificed to God for her sake, in honorem Mariae. Thus, when I make much of a Stranger for my Friends sake, the Stranger hath the entertainment: and God, upon the Roman Principles, hath the Sacrifice or the Mass: but the Friend, and the good Lady, are the main end, and [Page 147]the main Persons I look upon, he in the Entertain­ment, and she in the Sacrifice. a Thus this she Ghost understands it: Thou art my servant, saies she to a Priest, offering the First-fruits of his Mass Priest­hood, when he was singing his first Mass: Thou art my servant, for I have chosen thee (God uses to speak so to his Prophets) and I will be glorified in thee: I dearly love them of your b Order (saies she to her St. Jordanes that succeeded St. Dominic) because in all their Divine Services, they both begin and end with my Praises. So, c Go and say to that Bishop, because he begins his Sermons alwaies with my Praises, that I will be a Mother to him. I could bring to the same pur­pose a hundred like, or worse Examples. Let the Roman Catholics shew me but one, where any good Angel ever said as much, or where any Devil ever spoke for more: If they cannot, who may not fear, what their best Monks d oftentimes do, lest the Spi­rits of former times, which seduced Men under the name of God, of Christ, of Angels, and Apostles, now may do worse under the name and the apparition of the ever Blessed and Holy Virgin?

Secondly, This fear and suspicion is sufficiently e­videnced to be plain truth, by the undecent and fool­ish waies which this pretended Goddess takes, to al­lure Men to these Services. Commonly, to compass her ends, she comes down from Heaven it seems, but however from above the Clouds, either with new Hoods for Friars; or Miters and Gowns for Bishops; or Roses and Garlands for Maids; or Pots of Holy Water to sprinkle them all. When she hath over­joied [Page 148]them with these Favors, that they may not want what to sing, nor what to preach and do in her service, she tells them she is the Queen of Heaven, and the very Mother of Grace; and that they shall find her to be so, if they go but to such an Image, and there build for her an Altar, or sing to her honor Sancta Maria, &c. or some other-like Godly An­them. Often times before she leaves them, she will kiss them, or shew them her fine Breasts; somtimes give a tast of her Milk, or acknowledg them for her Husbands; at the least, before her parting, she is sure to perfume the Room, and stroak them on their Heads, and leave them some good Books that will teach them to sing her Praises. The ordinary con­clusion of all, is this: after she hath well bewitched them, what with favor, what with perfumes, they must pray to her both day and night; and, if they can, build her a Church or a Chappel, or do some­thing to her honor. To promote this, Devout Peo­ple shall meet with Images lying here and there a­mong Brambles, under Trees, and under Ground, either crying, or laughing, or doing some other won­der that needs must be taken notice of: and when Men think, that these Images call on them merely for succor, to help them out of those obscure places into some neighboring Church, it proves commonly a mistake; for either the little Image grows so heavy that it is impossible to remove it; or if you remove it twenty times, you shall find it the next Morning in the same place where it was before: and this is the ordinary token, that there is the place where a Con­vent, or a great Church, or at the least an Altar, must needs be builded. This good Lady hath in the World hundreds of Churches and Chappels, both [Page 149]made and served by this device. I need not tell you where I learn this, for no wise Catholic will deny it, or he shall do it to his shame. When the Building must be a work of greater charge and importance, then will she take the trouble of bestirring her self more vigorously about it; for in that case, either she will set up some great Ladder, reaching from the ground up to Heaven, and there bespeak a e Church to her worship, or she will come down to some Wall, and there sit like a Shepherdess, stroaking with her hand * a flock of Sheep, which shall turn speckled with black and white under her hand, thereby to give a fair intimation, that there she must have a Con­vent of Monks wearing these two colours. Or she will make Snow in f Summer, and tell the Pope of Rome in a Dream, that John the opulent Citizen must there bury his whole Estate, for the building of St. Maria major, the seventh great Church now at Rome. She will sometimes also shew the compass her Church must have, either by the means of a strange Stag, which she will inspire g to run about, or she will shew it her self with a thred h, which at this very day is kept for a very great Relic. She counts it no disparagement to be found roosting on the ground i, under the figure of a Dove; or sitting down by a k poor Girls scrip, whilest she goes from her to tell the People where she would have a new Church stand. Her Churches of Montserrati and Lauretta, stand upon harder accounts: for that is [Page 150]built upon a Hill, where she had taken the l pains to keep a Maid alive in her Grave six whole Months, when her Throat was cut: and this which stands at Lauretta, was at first a private Room in Nazareth; but the Goddess being somewhat grieved m for not being so well worshipped in that Country, as she de­served, transported it thence to n Dalmatia, that is farther then from London to Rome, all in one night; thence she made it jump over the Sea to Recineti; thence back upon a little Hill; whence upon a fourth jump, it got and setled in that place where now all Catholic Pilgrims do resort, to be cured of all Diseases. This admirable House had bin hidden hun­dreds of Years out of Mens sight (otherwise o Vene­rable Bede and Arculphus might have found it:) at last, after more then 1200 Years burial, it started up a­gain into that part of Italy, where now it is. Most of the Marian Churches, as they call them, stand all upon such Fabulous Foundations: and Men must not be taken for Catholics, unless they will serve the Spirits who will play such Pranks to get them Churches.

Thirdly, I said that it is a strange Religion, that steers it self, and is guided by such absurd Imperti­nencies. The very ridiculousness essential and inhe­rent to these Passages, might serve better then the Cloven foot, to discover these kinds of Spirits. Men who would hearken to their own Reason, and lay Prepossession aside, could not take her for a most ho­ly, and a most vertuous Virgin, that could at any [Page 151]time brag amongst Men of what she is, and allure them with Smiles and Kisses, to Worship her as a Goddess. Or in case their Reason were so weak, and so inveigled with Custom, as not to be able to see so much; if instead of Consecrated Wafers, Ho­ly Water, and Signs of the Cross, which they try Evil Spirits with, and which those Devils do not care for, they would but consult the Example of the former Ages, and the practice of all Faithful People, much above four thousand Years; there they might see that the Church of God ever had Angels, had Saints, had Deliverers, and sometimes Workers of great Miracles, and yet never had one Altar, nor one Chappel, nor one Image to serve them with: And that if the very best of all their either Saints or Angels, had called for any such Service, they would have thought him qualified rather for Execration, then for Worship. The Women of Arabia did come far short of the Papists in their Devotions to the Virgin, yet St. Epiphanius calls what they did p Di­abolical; and plainly tells them, That the Devil had put them upon the conferring of such Honors. What manner of Spirit must it be then, that falls himself, and puts the others upon seeking and craving them. If the Blessed Virgin, saies the Pious and Learned q Father, have had a natural death and burial, let her sleep and rest in peace: If she have bin slain by the sword, let her be celebrated among the Martyrs: (for in those daies, it seems, her end was not known) If she hath seen no death at all (for no man, saies he, knows her end) then let her be as Elias, who also was a Vir­gin, and was taken up into Heaven. None of these [Page 152]Saints was ever adored; and if r God will not have the Angels, much less Anna's Daughter, that is, the Vir­gin to be so. Churches, Altars, public Praiers, Vows and Sacrifices, do betoken by their own nature, and set out a supreme Adoration, to the highest degree that it can reach to. For if Adoration, or Bowing and Worshipping in general, may sometimes signifie no more then a kind of Civil Honor, as when 'tis said, Abraham adored or bowed himself before the People, Gen. 23. Vowing, Sacrificing, and erecting of Altars or Churches, denotes alwaies Soveraign Worship: these Acts, as the Jesuits themselves confess s, ha­ving in themselves this inherent and proper sense, which no private Intention can make lower, as some­times it doth Bowing and Kneeling. Therefore they take it for a good evidence, to prove our Savior Christ to be God, because the Church t honors him with Tem­ples, Altars, and Oblations: and so, saies Bellarmin, if Christ were not truly God, never such an Idol were in the world. And by the same reason, if the Vir­gin be not a Goddess with all her Churches & Obla­tions, in good earnest what shall she be? Here no Grove, nor hardly the shade of a green Leaf, covers their sin. The Whore may kiss hard her Neighbor, and say, she kisses him as a dear Friend; but she can­not lie with him, and put it off in the same way, saying, she doth it meerly upon her dear Hus­bands account, because the other was his Kins­man: this saying proclames her to be a most bold im­pudent Woman, as the very Act proclames her light [Page 153]and guilty in all the rest. For my part, I like them better, who tell ingenuously what they do, and following the Trade of Idolaters, think they may use as well their Language. Sacrificemus, &c. say some of them u, that is, Let us Sacrifice to the Queen of Hea­ven, and pour out to her Drink-offerings, Jerem. 44.17. Here both Jews and Romans hit just upon the same Idol: the Moon for those; the Virgin Mary (whom they represent by the Moon) for these; and the Queen of Heaven for both.

CHAP. VII.
Concerning the daily Services bestowed up­on the Virgin Mary.

THE Virgin Mary, that is, the Ghost that walks and appears under her name, doth not possess these Churches in vain: For first, They must serve for keeping eight great and universal Holy­daies, which she is allowed every Year; the Annun­ciation, Conception, &c. God the Father, under the Law, had but three such; and God and Christ at Rome have but eight. So she and her Son, are as to this, both of them pretty equal sharers. 2. So are they too in every Week; for if Christ hath the Sun­day, she hath the Saturday before it, and therein that Weekly Office, so famous among them for Miracles, and so plentiful of Blessings; which Service is cal­led, [Page 154] Officium Sabbatinum, that is the Office of the Saturday. But do not think that there is one day, in which you may excuse your self from some other more private daily Praiers and daily Praises to her Honor.

1. Not from Praiers; For the best Masters of Popery say, a that as you cannot live any one day in the week, without the Influences of some of the Planets: so can you neither, without the special Assistance of the Saints: and that the Virgin Mary being the true, or the Original and super-celestial Moon, Luna archetypa & Supramundana, that both qualifies, and immediatly pours down all the Bles­sings, which you can expect from other Saints, as the other Moon doth the good Influences, which you receive from the other Planets; tis more then fit you should pray to her every Day, and order your Devotions suitably to the Temper and strength of the Star, that rules the same day. For example, they say that upon Munday the Moon hath a pro­per faculty of tempering the Heat of the Blood; then come with an office short or long, that is proper to that and every Munday; and pray to the Virgin for Modesty and Chastity. Upon Tuesday, wherein Mars reigns, you must pray to the Virgin again, but not so much for Modesty, as for Zeal and Strength and Courage. Upon Wednesday, which is the day of Mercury, the Merchants must pray to her for good Trade; and the Lawiers, for Eloquence. Up­on Thursday, which is the day of Jupiter, call on the Virgin for high Designs. Upon the Friday, be­cause of Venus, for loving kindness, and Charity. Upon the Saturday, because of Saturn, for Pru­dence. [Page 155]And finally upon Sunday, because the Sun is conceived to rule that day; you are directed to pray to her, for clear and bright understanding about Su­pernatural Mysteries. You may likewise upon any of the seven daies pray for one of the seven Gifts; for tho they proceed originally from the Holy Ghost, they do not think they come to you otherwise then through the Virgin. In doing this, they warrant you, * that you shall find both the Virgin Mary propitious, and the Scripture true, which saies (when most impiously misapplied from Christ to a Crea­ture) Blessed is the man, or, all sorts of Blessings will light upon the man, who hears the Virgin Mary, and watches every day at Her Gates. Prov. 8.34.

2. This Goddess expects also after your Praiers, your daily Praises; and herein this is the Method, which great men of the Papal Communion b mind you to observe: Meditate say they upon the Mun­day, those Things, that preceded Her Birth; how she was conceived without original Sin: how she was adored by Angels: and how c she had sublimer thoughts, and a better use of her Reason, being yet in her Mothers womb, then men and women use to have, when they are come to a full age. Upon Tuesday, you must mind her Education and Course of life; how she was at three years of age brought to the Temple: how there she was shut up like a Nun; how there in the Sanctuary, where by Gods Law the very High Priest is not suffered to come in oftener, then once in a year, She was fed by the Cherubims, till she was fit for a Husband: then how much the [Page 156]Priests were perplexed about either keeping her there any longer against the Law, or marrying her against her Vow; and how being ravishingly fair, such a bright Light d sparkled about her Face, that with­out some help from above, no mans Eies durst look upon her. On the Wednesday; your task is her Fulness of Grace, and how she is an unfathomable Abysse, whence all Angels, and Saints, and sinners must draw whatever they want. On Thursday, you must admire her singular Priviledges; her Immacu­late Conception; her Impossibility of sinning: her Dominion over all the world, Men and Angels, Saints and Devils, &c. On Friday, make it your business to meditate on her Passion, and on her con­curring with our Savior, while he was upon the Cross, towards the Redemtion of Mankind. On Saturday; admire all her Joies upon Earth; when the Archangel fell on his knees, and sung to her Ave Maria, &c. but remember that this joiful Devotion must not excuse you from one Syllable of her weekly Sabbatin Office. On Sunday, you have a fit time to admire her Assumtion, and all her glori­ous Joies in Heaven. What these are she may best tell you them her self. First, saies e she to S. Arnal­phus a huge great mignion of this Ghost, my first joy is, that at my Assumtion there, I found a greater Glory then can be uttered or thought of: and that my Glorious fulness goes beyond that of both Saints and Angels. My second Joy is, when I do see the whole Celestial Hierarchy irradiated about by me, just as the day is by the Sun. My third Joy is, to see both the Hosts of Heaven to obey me: and the [Page 157]whole Trinity to agree kindly with me. My fift Joy is (for my Author hath not the fourth) to see my devout worshippers thriving both in this and the other life, according to my hearts desire. My sixt Joy is, to find my self highly exalted above all An­gels, and by a singular Priviledg, set close to the Trinity. My seventh Joy is, to be sure, that this great Glory of mine shall never fail. She confirmed the self same thing, f to S. Thomas of Canturbury. So upon the credit of two distinct Apparitions, all this is as true as the rest; and you have work enough for a whole week.

3. But here is more; when you have sufficiently discharged all the Duties, which belong to the Year, to the Week, and to the Day; you must think of the Seven Hours. In former times, of twelve hours in the day, the Church had appointed Seven, called the seven Canonical hours for the public Service of God; and now since Mary is come abroad, and the Monks g are in request; The Roman Church thinks it no robbery to make her Lady as to this, (tho with lesser obligation) equal to God. Pope Ʋrban the second is the first, that, as their h best Historians say, instituted a proper Office to her honor upon these hours: and if you believe their best Divines in these matters; it were great pity we should do less. For since the Psalmist, saies i Gazaeus, did bless himself for praising the Lord seven times a day, because of his Righteous Judgments. Psal. 119. why should not Roman Catholics do as much for their [Page 158]Lady, their good Mother, and Protectrix, because of her loving Mercies; knowing this that the Eter­nal God, as well as the King Ahasuerus, Esther 6. will have her whom he honors, thus honored, that is at his seven Canonical hours. And plain Catho­lic Reason, say their great k Masters of Mysteries, will have it so. 1. At Night, that is very early in the Morning; because then appears in Heaven a certain Star, which they do call Transmontana, which guides Sea-men in the Right way: and so doth the Virgin, Roman Sailers, the true Sea l Star, Stella Maris, who, if they praise her devoutly, will steer them safe out of this World into the Haven where they would be. 2. At prime, when there ap­pears another called Diana, that goes before the Sun: and so doth also the Virgin Mary. 3. At Tierce, ad Tertiam, that is in our account about nine of the Clock; because we then begin to be hungry: and tis she, as they say, that provides for us the Bread of life. 4. At the sixth, that is at Noon, be­cause then the Sun is very hot: and therefore we must then praise her, and pray to her (but why not him:) that she be pleased to inflame us with Cha­rity. 5. At Nine, that is at three in the Afternoon; because the Sun declines then towards setting: and tis she that takes care of us, when we decay. 6. At Vespers, after Sun-set; because cur life being at an end, they say she then mainly succors her Worship­pers at the dangerous time of death. 7. Lastly at Completory, when tis quite dark; because when our life is quite gon, then she intercedes for her dead Servants, and procures them good admittance into her heavenly Mansions.

So by this (which they call officium parvum) hourly Office, the Marian and the Christian Ser­vice, like so many Veins and Arteries, run both to­gether through all the Parts of the Roman life. Night and day, and at every hour, the Praiers and Prai­ses of the Virgin Mary never must depart from their hearts, nor if it be possible from their Mouths too. And in the Monasteries, the great Scholes of Piety, there is no Service for God Almighty, nor any time left for his worship, but the Lady hath a share in it. And here learn from a Saint, and a Cardinal besides, how far this Marianism, (for it is no Christianity) might well go farther. m His Brother Marinus being full of this Roman Spirit, when yet he was but a young man, puts off his Clo­thes, and instead of a halter about his Neck, with a lethern Girdle, which before he had about his loines: he ties himself to the Altar: Vowes and gives himself up to the Virgin Mary upon the ac­count of being her slave: then whips him self in such a manner, as one would hardly whip a wicked wretch: and in these words resigns himself into her hands. My glorious Mistress and Lady, and the true Model of all Vertues, whom I have offended by the rot­tenness of my Flesh; All I have more wherewith to help my self, I give it up to thee to serve thee with. I submit the neck of my heart to the Dominion of thy Dignity. Order thou my rebellious self: undertake the stubborn: and let not thy Mercy reject the sinner. By this small Offering ('twas a sum of mony which he laid down at her Altar) I do now give over to thee whole Estate: and from this time ever hereafter, I will pay to thee the yearly Rent, or Tribute, of the same, as [Page 160]long as I shall live. Papists may call this as they please; the best Israelites in their most solemn A­dorations never did and said half so much before the Lord. Deuter. 26.12. and the best Christians, can do and say nothing to God the Savior, that expres­ses more.

This height of palpable Idolatry procured at se­veral occasions, remorse and shame to its Authors, in the very darkest Ignorance before it could be well settled. For few years after some had brought in this Office, n Gozo, an eloquent and acute Monk, prevailed so far with his reason upon the whole Mo­nastery, that these solemn Praiers and Praises of the Virgin were quite voted out of Gods Service. But alas! presently after this voting, it fared just with these poor Monks, as it had don once with the Jews, when they had left worshipping the Moon. Jerem. 44.18. Since we, say they, left off to burn Incense to the Queen of Heaven, we have wanted all things: and have been consumed by the Sword, & by the Famine. For then it seems, there fell upon the Country, where the Convent was situated, such a complication of wars, and troubles (which Cardinal Damian, moved with a quite other Spirit then Jeremy was, in the like case, interpreted to be Judgments inflicted on them by the same Queen), that they were perswaded to worship her again: and then presently all was well. Whosoever (then preached S. Damian) hath turn­ed o out of this monastery the blessed Mother of true Piety, it is fit he should be turned out, and whirled about with tribulations, and Stormes. But turn ye unto me again saies the Lord by the Prophet, and I will return unto you saies the Lord; he should have [Page 161]said, saies the Lady; and then the Impertinency had been complete. The like but more hellish Il­lusion, (if their story be true) happened to the Carthusian p Order. For when they were as poor, as they are now rich; some of them lookt on this new Marian Worship, as nothing less then perni­cious: and the others were so much perplexed, what with it, what with the horror of the wild place wherein they were, that they thought of leaving both the Place, and the Miracle of the se­ven Stars. But then comes to them an old man, with long white and curled Hair who assured them from God, (as he pretended) that the Vir­gin Mary would protect them, if they would but read every day Preces ejus Horarias, that is her small Office at the due hours. So without any more ado they took her for their Patroness, and consequently for their she God: and since that time her Praiers went on. A while after the old man, came an An­gel, q who advised them to put in between the first and the third hour, Ave sanct a Parens, and one Mass more to her Glory; and if you please to believe all, Christ himself r dictated a Rule to S. Briget, where he commands them of that Order, to repete every day the said Service.

No mortal tongue can express, how much that ambitious Spirit, who assum the Virgin Maries Name, is delighted with the hearing of those Prai­ers. She now and then will come to say s them her self, when tired or sick Friers, as Herman was once, [Page 162]cannot do it. She will come down also and leave Heaven and all to hear them, and in a t Majestic Apparel will smile upon, and kiss the Choristers, if they happen to sing them well; and if this be not encouragement enough, She will make her Son (a Baby whom she commonly carries about), run a­bout them, and exhort them x to be fervent in her Service: and tell them that nothing can ever be more acceptable to God Almighty, then is the honor which they shall bestow on his Mother: especially when they fall upon some verses, as is in singing the Te Deum, When thou tookest, &c. thou didst not abhor the Virgins Womb, y her heart jumps and leaps with joy, and so St. Ludgard advises his friend then to bow down to the very ground. At the words Eja Advocata, z she promises to speak to her Son. At these words of the Antiphone, Pulcra es, & deco­ra, a that is, thou art fair and gracious, She present­ly came with two Angels, and proud with hearing her Beauty praised, she took a young man from the Altar, and perswaded him to take her for his Wife, since she was so beautiful. Hence her Roman Chaplains argue well, b that if she be so taken with some Parcels of her Office, how much must she be with the whole. It is upon this account, and her being charmed with these Caresses, that she hath nothing about her too dear for her Spiritual Courtiers. She leaves all her Nobles above, to converse veiled and c hooded, and fing like a de­vout [Page 163]Nun, among her white and black Friers; she feigns to admire them, when they sing; she kisses them when they have sung; and whilst she is hot and busy with an excessive Passion to divert, by all means possible, these supreme and Divine Services from God to a mere Creature, nothing disco­vers the Devil more, then this foolish overdoing.

But to lay aside these fond kindnesses of kissing, suckling, and marrying men, and hiding them un­der her Coat, which a Fairess, or a white witch could better do; the Magnificency of her Promi­ses, backt as they are by the Roman Church, must be a greater Temtation. For what would you have more temting then this? By this saving Office, say they, h ‘if you use it now, especially when his Holiness hath improved it with Apostolical Indul­gences; 1. You may lay claim to Heaven, not merely upon the title of mercy from God, but by that of Justice and Condignity, as your own Right. 2 You may satisfy Divine Justice, both for your sins and the sins of others. 3. What would you have more? by these Praiers what­soever you can ask in the Name of the Savior, and in the name of the Savioress Mary too, you shall receive it. For who can be so incredulous, as not to be sure to have all, in order to his real Good and Salvation, by this form of Praier, thus approved of by the Church; recommended by God himself:’ (they mean the little Baby, who bids men to pray to his Mother) and in an especial manner consecrated to the Virgin Maries Service?

What a hot friend she proves to be, and how Zea­lous to undertake for the silliest Fellow, that is her [Page 164]Client, S. Damian can best tell you i. A pitiful sottish Man, who had no spark of Grace in him, but that he could sing Ave Maria, and bow, passing by her Altar, had bin deprived of his Pension by a Bishop, who thought himself bound in Conscience to free the Church from such a Wretch. But then the Goddess comes by night, and falls foul upon the Prelat; and being seconded by an Angel, who had a burning Taper in one hand, and a lusty whip in the other: What, saies he, wrong'st thou my Chaplain, and takest thou from him what thou didst not give? At last, after many sound stripes, the Bishop being taught good manners, was glad to cry out peccavi, and to restore to that worthy Man, the stipends which he had kept from him.

This is but a temporal Concern; but here is one which is Eternal. It is somewhat long, but it con­cerns all Men to know it, and I have it from the same Saint k. An ugly Fellow named Bassus, who died a sudden death, had the good luck to die so in coming from one of our Ladies Churches. He having bin in his Coffin the greatest part of the night after his death, rose up out of it suddenly, both affrighted, and affrighting others: for with a terrible tone he cried for Praiers & Litanies, to scare away those ugly Spirits who watch'd for him about the Room: and at last being come to himself (for Ave Maria, and Holy Water, had soon frighted the De­vils away) when my poor Soul, saies he, parted from me, presently came on some black Troopers; this Fellow, said they, is our prize, for he hath ever lived after the Flesh, and never knew what the Spi­rit [Page 165]was. His good Angel could say nothing, but that he was dead in the service of their Mistress the Queen of Heaven, and that whosoever hath her fa­vor, cannot perish by the power of any Judg. To this they make bold to reply, that God being Just, would do nothing for a Sinner to their prejudice; and thereupon the Devils grew so earnest after their Prey, and the Angels, on the other side, so remiss in keeping their charge, that the Wretch was upon the point of being given up, as he deserved; when, behold the Queen of Heaven came among them, and an Army of Celestial Soldiers with her, and with such a splendor besides, that the Devils durst not look up. Nevertheless, with reverence they pro­tested against the wrong which the former Angels had done them, in detaining from them their just Prey; and that if God and she were just, they could not rescue such a sinner out of their hands. The Queen confessed he had bin so, but yet her Son and Lord would never suffer, that one, who had ended his daies in her service, as this Fellow had done in going to visit her Church, should ever suffer their Cruelty: and withal he had confessed, tho he had not the time to do Penance. Hence the Devil took a fit time to tell her what a Villain he was, and what ugly Abomination he had never confessed (and that is true, saies the revived Man of himself) at which the Mother of Mercy started: but at last, after a kind of modest silence in reverence to this plain truth, having somewhat recovered her self; It is as you say, saies she, but yet of course Mercy goes before Judgment. Go back again to thy Body, saies she to him, and then confess to such a Priest (whom she named) what these Spirits lay to thy charge; [Page 166]and in my name charge such Friars, (whom she na­med also) to take upon them thy Penance. Then come again without delay, for I will not stir hence till thou come. The Rascal being confessed, saies the Cardinal Damian, and the Holy Friars having taken upon themselves the satisfaction enjoined him by the Confessor, died again, but as sweetly, as if he had but fallen asleep. A happy Sinner in­deed, who can find such a Savioress, as will give way to all his Crimes, and secure him from punishment. Men troubled in their Consciences, and unwilling to leave their sins, do not consider the Absurdity, tho visible, in all such Stories, but see their own con­veniency; and what could please and fit then bet­ter, then such a protecting Goddess?

Add to this Enchantment of daily Praiers to the Virgin, the Devotion of Fasting and Hearing one Mass to her Honor every Saturday; the Temtation will be ended, and your Soul safe. This weekly piece of Devotion on Saturday, Officium Sabbati­num, is grounded, as they say, l upon three Rea­sons. 1. Because the Saturday and the Sunday, or the Ladies day and the Lords day, as do the Lord and the Lady, go together. 2. Because as God the Father rested upon that day, and kept it holy under the Law, so must the Goddess his Daughter and Wife do the like under the Gospel. 3. Because she is an entrance to Eternal Life, as Saturday is to the Sunday. But if you will be so refractory as not to acquiesce in these Reasons, be you satisfied with a Miracle. They say, m that in the Year 770. (it is pity it did not happen sooner, that the Holy Apo­stles [Page 167]and the Fathers might have observ'd it) a great Cortin, that hanged before our Ladies Image all the Week long, was miraculously drawn up, as they suppose, into Heaven, from Friday at Vespers, to Sunday Night; so that the People could see her Face for the space of 24 hours, and adore her ac­cordingly. This Miracle constantly veiling and un­veiling the Virgin Mary on Saturday, as well as the other, that the Night of her Assumtion made all sorts of Lights burn without wasting, is quite abolish'd: But the Benefit, and the Charm to in­duce you to hear her Mass, Missa de S. Maria in Sabbato, is still the same if you believe them, and, by what Men find since, far greater. It may be now they will not be so plain with you, as the poor Wid­dow n was with the Robber one day, to tell you; Sir, do what you please all the Week long, only abstain from doing so on Saturday; this one daies Abstinence will so far expiate all, that either dead or alive, you shall have time both to confess and to escape: but they will induce you to fast then, and to hear Mass to the Honor of their Goddess, by such miraculous Passages, as must oblige you if hearkened to, to believe more. Witness the Head of that Villain, which being * cut off, tumbled down a Hill to the very door of a Mass Priest, and there both cried for, and obtained accordingly, Confession and Salvation together. Witness also the Rose o growing in sign of Salvation out of the Mouth, and appearing upon the Tomb of that o­ther debauched Fellow, who escaped Hell merely [Page 168]upon the account of not having ravished a Maid, both because her name was Mary, and that it was on a Saturday. So thankful and sensible is this God­dess for mean Services; and so either blind and in­dulgent to great Abominations. I forbear the pro­ducing of more instances to this purpose, because they may be both too well known, and too great snares to our Catholic Proselytes. Here the Car­nal and the Spiritual Whoredom, sufficiently help one another.

CHAP. VIII.
Of another special Inducement to Popery, by a more easie way of serving the Virgin by Beads, which they call the Rosary.

THE Rosary must needs come in, after the good Ladies hourly Service. For they a hold, that these two are the Wings in Ezek. 1. that carry up the Cherubims, that is, the Devotions of Pious Souls into Heaven: and the two golden staves, Ex­od. 25. wherewith the Ark of the Lord, or rather our Ladies Covenant is carried over the whole World. And if they seem to carnal Eies but con­temtible, thereby the better they resemble the two celebrated Gospel Mites, which being devoutly of­fered to the merciful Queen of Heaven, and cast in­to [Page 169]her Tresury, Luk. 21. go far beyond all the rich­est Gifts. The Rosary, otherwise called the Virgins Psalter, is a new manner of praying, which, saies Navarrus, b never was, nor can ever be valued at what it is worth: for it is made up of 150 Ave Ma­ries, and 15 Paters tacked together with little but­tons upon a string. There was before in the Roman Church a lesser set of 50 Aves and 5 Paters, which they call Beads; and a middle one of 63, in memory of all the years which, they say, the Virgin lived here upon Earth; which is called the Virgins Crown, Corona Mariae. These had bin * intended by an Eremite for the use of Soldiers, who had no better Books, nor could conveniently carry them to the Holy war. But this of 150 Aves, and 15 Paters, both run over devoutly, and meditated on together, is a quite other kind of thing, as well in worth, as Ex­tent. They say that the Goddess her self inspired it to St. Dominic about the year 1200. and blazed it abroad into the world in the sight of 12000 men, with both the sound and the splendor of such won­derful Miracles, as, if true, must needs make it most Authentic. I am as unwilling as any man to trou­ble my self with Romances. But let us not be loth to hear, what men turning Papists are given over to believe.

When first St. Dominic began to preach this Ro­sary, there fell a Demoniac d at his feet, and cra­ved his aid against the Devils, who did then make him roar and blaspheme. Wherefore the Saint be­ing [Page 170]well pleased with this occasion of confirming by some strange Feats, what he had Preached, leaves his Sermon; and in the Name, saies he, both of the Virgin Mary, and of her Service, which I stand for, O Hellish Spirits I command you, to answer me to these Questions. 1. You must tell me, wherefore you torment this poor Man, and how many you are in him. Wo unto us, say the Spirits, it is not in our power to resist this Adjuration: We have taken hold of him, both because of his Irreverence to the Virgin Mother of God, (tho we hate her as much as he doth) & because of his unbelief: for ever since this Month and more, that thou art Preaching the Ro­sary, this Heretic hath continued as incredulous as before. Now we are fifteen thousand Devils in him, because he did blaspheme against the Rosary, whereof the Ave contains five words, and the whole Psalter fifteen Paters, that this Rascal offered to laugh at. 2. Saies St. Dominic, by this Rosary you must tell me, Whether all that I have Preached con­cerning it, be true or not. Then all the Devils be­gan to fall to fearful Cursings and Howlings, why did we not choak this base Fellow when we took him? Now it is too late, for this Holy Man holds us in fiery Chains, ignitis Catenis, and forces us to speak the truth. So hear ye all Men and Women, Whatever this our bitter enemy hath spoken, either of Mary, or of her Rosary, is very true; and unless ye believe it, you shall perish. 3. Thirdly, saies S. Do­minic, you must tell me, Who is the Man whom you hate most. Thee, say the Devils, for with thy Ser­mons and Praiers, thou shewest every one the way of getting to Paradise, and escaping out of our Hands. Then the Saint being modest at this, and confessing [Page 171]himself a great sinner: Cursed be, say they, this ci­vility, which puts us all to this torture. 4. Fourth­ly, S. Dominic throwing his Mantle about this De­moniacs Neck, which made him spue ugly matter; I must, saies he, know of you, who is the greatest Saint in Heaven, whom you fear most, and whom Men ought to love and serve best. At this Query, the Devils roared so horribly, that all the People fell to the ground: O Dominic, Dominic, said they, have some compassion; be content with what Hell makes us suffer, and do not put us to new Torments. At the least, we beseech thee, do not force us to answer to this publicly. (it seems they would have condescended to an Auricular Confession.) Nay, saies Dominic, but you shall give a clear and public answer. But they being a little stubborn, St. Dominic falls on his knees, and thus praies to the Virgin Mary: O most excellent Virgin, by the Power of this thy Psalter, I beseech thee make these Enemies of Mankind to satisfy my Question. At this Praier, presently Flames of Fire burst out at the Mouth of the poor Wretch: and all the Devils cried out, by the Passion of Christ, the Merits of the Virgin Mary, and the Suffrages of the Holy Church, we beseech thee, O Dominic, do not keep us here any longer. The Holy Angels can revele to thee at any time what thou wilt know; and as for us, we are such Liars, as no Christian can believe us. But the Saint fell to another Praier, O worthiest Mother of Wisdom, for the Sal­vation of this good People, who have learned in this Rosary to salute thee, force thou these Enemies to de­clare to us the plain truth. He had scarce made an end of Praying, when behold, she comes with a Troop of above an hundred Angels armed with gol­den [Page 172]weapons; and in the midst of them the Vir­gin with a golden Rod fell foul on the Devils Backs. Then fell all the Devils to new howlings; O Dam­ning foe, who emtiest Hell, and makest the best way to Heaven; thou dost force us against our will to speak out truth, and our own Confusion. Hear ye therefore, O Christians; This Mother of Christ is too potent to preserve her devout Servants from ever falling into our hands. It is she, who breaks all our Plots: and we confess, that whosoever keeps to her Adoration and Service, can never be damned with us; we never can prevail against any one of her Peo­ple. She saves many against our Rights, at the ve­ry moment of Death; and were it not that she fru­strates all our Designs, we might have long ago made all her Church fall from the Faith. To say all in a word; no man who makes use of her Rosary, can be damned. S. Dominic having by this time what he lookt for, bids the People to say the Rosary; then O Miracle never to be forgotten! at every Ave Ma­ria, a Troop of Devils under the figure of burning Coals, breaks out of that Heretics Body: and be­ing all out, The Virgin gives them her Blessing, and goes her way. The Conclusion and design of all this is, all sorts of People from that time applied themselves in good earnest to the use of the Rosary, and to the worship of Mary. Christ and all his Apo­stles never thought of making thus the Devils to preach his Gospel; no more did Moses, or Elias employ them so, to confirm the Law. It seems the Rosary, as to its end, hath neither Christ, nor Eli­as, nor Moses, nor any true Saint to favor it; and therefore tis no wonder, if it was helped by other waies.

Nevertheless all the World was not so generally blind and sottish, as not to see, that the Devil could tell a ly, and juggle then with S. Dominic; and so this new sort of service having no better ground to stand upon, then the warranty of the Devil, made so little Progress in the world, that the same sprite under the Name of the Virgin Mary 400 years af­ter was fain to appear e to another Saint, and with extraordinary Favors, (as Rings made of her own hair; and milk which she Drew out of her own Brest) to enchant him to the same Ser­vice.

At the first it was called our Ladies f Psalter: be­cause the Lady hath there 150 Salutations, as in the Bible the Lord hath 150 Psalmes. Now it is called the Rosary, either because of the Sweet Comforts, that, g as they say, it perfumes Devout Hearts with: or more probably, because of a sweet odour, sweeter then that of any Roses, which devout wor­shippers pretend to smell, at such Praiers. Herman, this Ladies great Mignion, did smell it so per­fectly, that at each naming of Mary, h he stooped his nose to the very ground, that so he might have it the fresher: and they tell us of an old man of the same Confraternity, that at any time or place so­ever, when and where he said his Rosary, i he was revived with this Aromatical Fragrancy. Nay the very hand of Saint Caecilia, k even after she was [Page 174]quite dead, did smell, they say, better then any Rose, by often touching her Rosary.

This smell is invented to perswade men of the Ex­cellency of the matter; which Excellency is quite other, as they take it, then could be had, either from the breath of an Arch-angel, or the mouth of a Prophet. For the Roman Church hath improved it to such a form, to such an end, and to such a signifi­cation, that, now it hath a hundred Mysteries in the mouth of a Catholic, which it never had in that of the Angel, tho you should grant as they will have it, that he l sung it upon his knees. For as they take it Ave, that is, sine vae, that is without any thing that hath any smell of Curse, is such m a Sa­lutation, as proclams the Virgin Mary to have bin free from all kind of sin whatsoever, from the Origi­nal in her passive Conception; from all Actual, whe­ther mortal or venial in her life time; and from any decay or corruption in her Body either at, or after her death. Maria, in their Roman Construction, raises the heart of a Worshipper to adore her both Soverain and Universal Monarchy over all men and Angels, sometimes n over God himself too. They take and construe o Maria also, for that special Star, that guides poor Travellers upon the Sea. Stella Maris, the surest defense against all storms: the best Leader into Heaven, both by her Example and Merits: the Light of them that sit in darkness: and the great Star, that Balaam saw. Gratiaplena, makes her in the same Grammar, * a whole Sea and Ocean, [Page 175] whence the Sinners have their Pardon, the just men all Increase of Grace, the Angels joy, and the whole Tri­nity Glory; here they find in particular the seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost, the nine Miraculous Pow­ers, and the twelve p special Privileges of being the Mother of us all, the Gate of Heaven, &c.

Therefore this Ave Maria, when specially thus understood, makes the sweetest Melody, by * her own confession, that ever you can sing in her Ears. Christ himself, as they think, or at the least say, sings q it sometimes upon the Altar: and the Virgin hath it written in letters of Gold, upon r her brest. Many People, who knew nothing but the three or four first words of this Angelical Salutation, s have bin, as they say, as well saved therewith, as if they had known the whole Gospel. And all the t Ro­ses, and white Lilies, nay Trees sometimes with these letters upon their leaves, which the Virgin Ma­ry, or rather some other Spirit makes often grow upon their Graves, and out of their very Mouths, Noses, and Ears, who did make it their business and their whole Religion to sing it, are among Roman Catholics, a most sufficient Evidence both of the Excellency of those words, and of the esteem she makes of them. Besides all this Depth and pregnan­cy, which these words bear in their signification; they think them to carry often also such a miracu­lous n [Page 176]strength in the sound, they are spoken with, and in the very Ink and Paper, they are written in, that no Charm can be stronger. What do you think of that x Infant, which, being yet not above six months old, did sing it out in a full Church, when there was neither Clerk, nor other Choristers to do it? Was it not a clear inspiration, that moved your Angelical S. Thomas, being yet an Infant, as the o­ther was, to take up y a loose Paper, where this Sa­lutation was written; and to hold it in spight of his Mother, till he had swallowed it down? But what do you say to the little Bird, that z having bin taught by a Nun, to prate Ave Maria, and being snatcht away by a Hawk; assoon as the Bird cried the two words (with what understanding or devo­tion you may think) presently the Hawk fell down dead; and the poor Bird fled back again to her Mi­stress.

Now, if these few words, an inconsiderable part of the Rosary, can do such Feats; what may not one hope of the whole? when S. Dominic had put it all in a Packthred, and cast it about a ones Neck, he could overmaster any Devil. One of his Captains named Antony (for S. Dominic was a Warrior) could b cause the Clouds to rain hot burning Bul­lets upon his Heretical Foes, by hanging it to his Banner. And it is confidently reported, that Brave Montford c once routed an hundred thousand of them, with this Weapon.

Now you must know, (otherwise you do not de­serve [Page 177]the Name of a true Roman Catholic) that the Rosary with the hundred and fifty Angelical Saluta­tions, well rehearsed and minded together, besides the sense of every word, (which reaches high) con­tains in its whole Contexture the fifteen great My­steries, which are d celebrated by special Masses. What these Mysteries are, is a Mystery to Prote­stants, as it was to the holy Fathers; but of late times the Roman Catholics have got them all by spe­cial Revelations from the Virgin.

Of these 15 Mysteries, the first 5 e are called Gaudio­sa; the 5 next Dolorosa; & the last 5 Gloriosa Gaudiosa; that is, the first five joiful Mysteries, are the five great Joies, that, the Virgin had upon earth, as they say she hath reveled to some of her friends; the first was, when the Archangel Gabriel got into the Sanctuary, the doors being shut, to salute her with an Ave. 2. The se­cond, when Elizabeth saluted her by the title of Mo­ther of the Lord. 3. The third, when she was deli­vered of her Travel. 4. The fourth, when she pre­sented both her and Gods child in the Temple. 5. And the fift, when she found him twelve years after, di­sputing among the Doctors. What the remembring of these Joies is worth, you may learn by the Experi­ence of that holy Monk, who whilst he was mutter­ing them by an Altar, heard an Oracle from Hea­ven, f in these words, Gaud [...]um, &c. thou hast cele­brated my Joies on Earth: Thou shalt have great Joies hereafter.

The second 5 Dolorosa, or full of Grief, are about the Passion, as at the last farwell, when Christ went [Page 178]to Jerusalem: At the sight of the Crown of Thorns: At the hearing of the Hammer beating the Nails up­on the Cross, &c. They say that a very lew'd Ras­kal, and a Magician besides, was saved from Hell upon this one account, that tho he cared neither for God, nor for his Mother, g yet he had the grace to think of these Griess, whensoever he passed by her Image.

The last five Mysteries, which are called Glorio­sa, or glorious Joies are 1. When she saw her Son arising out of his Grave. 2. Going to Heaven. 3. When she at the Pentecost received the Holy Ghost. 4. When she saw her self above waited upon and courted by Christ, &c. Now if any third part of these fifteen Mysteries, can, as you have Examples for it, sometimes rescue a Soul out of Hell; sometimes bring down the Virgin Mary from heaven; and some­times make Altars speak out; how strong are the fifteen together?

Nor is this all. The Rosary one way or other in­volves within its proper Extent, besides the 15 My­steries, 165 Contemplations; h about what both Christ, and his Mother did together: and every one of these Contemplations must be applied to every Pater or Ave. So no man living can say how far the holy Rosary can reach. It is but a small trial of it, to see it sheltering i Monks against a storm, as well as the Roof of a strong house could: or to see Angels gathering k Lilies at every Pater, and a Rose at eve­ry Ave that is said; and making Garlands and Po­sies for them, l who are careful to pray that way. [Page 179]It is somewhat more to see horrible Blasphemers carried m away by stupid Asses from the Gallows into Holy Churches, for once undertaking the Ro­sary: or to see the Virgin her self breaking on this account n all the Halters that should strangle con­demned persons; or keeping them o so slack and loose that they could never stop their breath. But what can a Villain wish for better, or a holy man find more horrible, then is what they say of dead Whores, p arising out of their Graves by the power of their Rosary, an hundred and fifty daies (answe­rable to the 150 Aves) after their heads had bin cut off? The Woman lived but two daies after; for she came merely to confess her sins, and to have Abso­lution, then being dead: after 15 daies more (an­swerable to the 15 Mysteries, and to the 15 Paters) being in the form q of a bright Star, (you see what wanton Ladies may come to) she appeared to St. Dominic, to tell him what he knew before, (but such Things cannot be too well known) that there was nothing in the world comparable to the Rosary, both to save all sorts of sinners, and to please the Holy Virgin. I say St. Dominic knew it before; for when he praied against the Albigenses, r the Queen of Mercy appeared to him, and bad him to set up the Rosary, and to teach all men that form of Prai­er as most acceptable Service both to her self and to her Son. And besides this Instrument, saies she, shall be a singular weapon to destroy Heresies and Vices: to advance all sorts of Vertue: and to obtain both the Divine Mercy, and my help.

All this was farther represented by two notable Visions, which a Bishop saw in a Dream. In one he saw S. Dominic, s making a Bridg with 150 Towers upon it, to bring sinners into a Garden, where the Queen of mercy was giving Crowns to others, but to himself a sharp Censure, for his being not sound in the Faith, concerning that Article of Catholic Religion. But in the other, this prelat being grown very little better, by what he had seen in the for­mer; he found himself and many more in a most stink­ing t Lake, and Puddle, where certainly they had bin choakt, but that both the Goddess, and the A­postle of the Rosary let down from above a long Chain made of 150 small Rings, and some few others bigger among them, by means whereof all were drawn out. Thus far you see, what the Holy Rosary can do; now you must learn how to use it.

1. It is needful to begin it deliberately, u that is, saies the best and surest Author you can find in that Church, not to do it like men in a dream, who may walk, and kneel and say their praiers, altho they sleep: but to begin it with a set purpose of do­ing what the Church enjoines. For tho there are several Examples of men that were saved out of Hell for either wearing x a Rosary, or for giving it to y a friend, without using it otherwise; these are extra­ordinary Blessings rather granted to some, to recom­mend the Excellency of Rosaries, then to encourage holy men to that abuse.

2. Tho of course, as it appears by the ordinary [Page 181]Gloss z upon the Council of Vienna, Rosaries might be used as well as other forms of Praiers are, with­out actual attention, which manner of Praying without the mind, is called by them the fruit of the Lips: and thus the Lips may do the work in reading the hourly Praiers, whilst the heart runs another way; yet besides the first Deliberation and set pur­pose in the Beginning, my more sober and severe di­rector requires a kind of General attention in the Progress of this Service; that is to say, you are not bound to attend what words you say, nor to care much what sense they bear; since neither of these two, can be well done, without some help of the Latin tongue, which you have not. But whilest you dispatch your Aves, and tumble over and over your Beades, you must have what they call the Third, or the * Spiritual Attention, that is a to remem­ber for example, that you are at Mass: there to fan­cy the Real Presence, and to pray heartily that what the Mass Priest doth or saies for you (tho you do not know what it is) may be granted. My good God, or my sweet Lady (saies the Catholic worshipper, as b this severe Divine advises him) I do not under­stand what I hear: and I as little understand what I say; yet I believe, that I both hear and say thy Prai­ses: and that I pray for my self, and all other Christi­ans, after the intention of the Holy Church. Grant me O Dear Lord, or Lady, what I desire, not knowing what. This being done, and the men, being thus well disposed; let Mass, hourly Praiers, and Rosa­ries be what they will, Greek, or Latin, Pater noster, [Page 182]or la, sol, fa; all is one to Roman Worshippers. And as to the 15 Mysteries, and 165 Contemplations, all this must not trouble his head, as it might most re­ally do, and it may be, c turn his Brain too, if he were oblig'd to care for it: for it seems these Con­templations and Mysteries are involved in the Ro­sary, as a great Tresure under Walls, to make it vastly rich and powerful, altho the owner perceive it not. Thus their consecrating Words, Hoc est enim corpus meum, can work Miracles from the mouth of an Ignorant; and so do mostly Spells, and Characters in the mouth of a Conjurer. Origen observes somewhere, that the words of Abraham, Isaac, and Sabaoth, that Magicians did enchant with, did work far better in that Tongue which was unknown to them, then in their own. You may hear of strange Fears also don by words taken out of the Latin Psalms, which the Witches do not understand. And so must at this rate Ave Maria, Pater noster, good and holy words otherwise, if they do such Miracles as they say, contract likewise a strange Virtue from some Extrinsecal Principle, which is neither understood nor thought of. Mean while, what Church is this, and where can the Pa­pists find such another, that dispatches the Di­vine Service, as Conjurers do their mischief, in a strange Tongue?

3. To say the Rosary after the best way without distracting your self about Contemplations and Mysteries; take me the Virgin d by her self, that so the whole strength of your Soul may the better mind her alone: And fancy her the best you can in some of those Conditions, which her Images can [Page 183]help you to; either as hearing with reverence the Message of the Angel Gabriel, Ave Maria, &c. or looking stedfastly on her Baby, whom she hath com­monly on her left Arm; or else sitting like a great Queen close to God upon a high Throne, and there hearkening to what we say. To use your fancy to this way, you must salute her thrice a day, at Morn­ing, Noon, and Sun-setting, when you hear the Bell Salve Regina; and at each time e adore one of those three Members or parts of her, which were the seats of the greatest Wonders. 1. Her Belly, in these or such Words: O most glorious Queen of Mer­cy, I do salute the venerable Temple of thy Womb, Ave Maria. 2. Her Heart: O most glorious Queen of Mercy, I salute thy Virgin Heart, which never had any tincture of sin, Ave Maria. 3. Her Soul: O most glorious Mother of Mercy, I salute your most noble Soul, deckt as it is with all the pretious Orna­ments of Gifts, of Vertues, and of Graces, Ave Ma­ria.

4. Thus having got your self into some f fami­liarity with the Virgin, and thereby learned to look her full in the face; now fall to the first g Decad, or the first ten Ave Maria's of your Rosary, Ave Ma­ria Gratia plena, Dominus &c. And at the end of each Decad, fastening alwaies your Eies on her in one of the three postures aforesaid, adore her with this Doxology (instead of Glory be to the Father) Virgin Mother, Glorious Mary, let all the Angels and Arch-angels, all Principalities, Dominations and Pow­ers, the Thrones, the Cherubims and Seraphins, now glorifie you a thousand times. And we hope to see you [Page 184]and adore you once in Heaven, as well as they. Amen. Then take your breath, and at the end of the se­cond Decad, or ten other Ave Maria's, tell her this: O glorious Virgin Mother, let Adam and Eve, Elias and Enoch, the Patriarchs and the Prophets, St. John Baptist, the Innocents, and all the Saints of the Old Testament, with whom we hope one of these daies to see and adore you, now bless you twenty thou­sand times. Amen. At the end of the third Decad, that is as far as to 30. Aves: O glorious Queen, &c. Let Peter, and Paul, and John, and all the Apostles and Evangelists; let Stephen, and all the Lords Di­sciples; Sebastian, and all the Martyrs with whom, &c. now praise and bless you thirty thousand times. At the end of the fourth Decad, that reaches to 40 Aves: Let all the Confessors, Sylvester, Gregory, Jerome, Isidor, Martin and Nicolas, Benedict and Bernard, Dominic and Francis, all the Bishops, Monks and Eremits, &c. bless you now forty thou­sand times. Ave Maria. And at the end of the fifth Decad, O most glorious Virgin Mother, let your Mother Anna, and your two sisters, Maries; let Magdalen, and your dearest Martha, and Marcella; let your dear waiting Maids, Agnes, Catharina, and Agatha; let all holy Maids, Wives and Widows, with whom we hope, &c. now bless you fifty thou­sand times. Amen. By this time you have done the third part of your Rosary, and now you may take breath a while.

5. When you shall come to it again, (for the first part is enough to some for a day, and to others for a whole Week) that you may both recreate and im­prove Devotion with some variety: A wise and holy [Page 185]Man advises you h to say but 5 Aves, and to put a Pater to each, and apply all to the five Wounds which Christ suffered in his Body (for it is ordinary with these Men to say Our Father to the Virgin, and Ave Maria to God) with this Preface: Go too, let us sing five Pater nosters, and five Aves, to the ho­nor of the five Wounds; and first, in memory of the right Hand, Ave Maria gratia, &c. next, in me­mory of the right Foot wounded, Ave Maria, &c. then of the left Hand and Foot in the same way: finally of his side, concluding all the five Paters at every wounded Member, with an Ave Maria by all means, that being as pertinent to his Body, as a Pater can be to her Image.

6. When you have done with applying your Ave Maria's to Christ, apply them now, which is more proper, to her self. And by all means stick close to the direction of St. Herman (not Herman the second Joseph and Husband of the Virgin Mary, but the Dominican, and therefore the best acquainted with Rosaries.) His advice is, that having the Virgins Image before you, you k take her whole Body piece by piece, and apply to each an Ave, beginning first with her Bowels; then proceed to her Heart; then her Paps; after her Arms; then her Hands; then her Mouth: in a Word, every Member that you can civilly name and look upon in a Woman, that so all your Aves may get more Merit and Holiness, by be­ing applied to every part of her Body; as the Beads or little Buttons of your Rosary do, you know, by being touched at her Image. For this piece of De­votion, she once on a Saturday gave a gracious visit [Page 186]to this l Harman, and enriched him then with Elo­quence, the gift of Tongues, and all other Graces imaginable.

7. Another thing you may do more, which Jor­dan m the Dominican, and a great Saint, gave in Counsil to Bertholdus. When you are pouring your Praiers before the Mother of Mercies, take notice of how many Letters the name Maria is made of: it con­sists of five; the first is M. therefore seek for some holy Song or Psalm, of which the first Letter is an M. such is for example Magnificat, &c. The second Letter is an A. then say, Ad te levavi, &c. The third is R. therefore have at Retribue, &c. and so to the very last. After which, you must dispatch your Aves, provided (which you may omit by no means) that before any one of the five Psalms, you sing or say, Ave Maris stella: I salute you, O star of the Sea, &c. And at the end of every such Song, you make a Leg, or a Courtesie, and then end with Ave Maria. This parcel of special Worship once pleased so well this Spirit (for God forbid I should think it to be the bles­sed Virgin) that leaving all work in Heaven, she came down with a Pot full of Holy Water, to sprinkle it on these Worshippers with her own n hand, and to bid one of them tell all the others as from her, that she was the Mother of God; that she loved dearly their Order for thus beginning and ending the Ser­vice of God with her Praises; and that for her do­ing so, she obtained of her Son, that no Dominican Friar shall ever defile that holy Order, by lying long in mortal Sins. A very great Privilege indeed, and given to Monks from a good hand. You might al­so [Page 187]do what St. Joane the Carmelite used to do *, but not to that prodigious number; for she did dispatch (I hope it was not at one time) fifteen thousand Aves; (fifteen score is enough for you) and at the end of each hundred, she said a Salve Regina, and seven times Ave Stella, or, O gloriosa Domina, all prime Songs to adore her with; and she called this, Our Ladies Shift; this being her Ladiships good­ness to account it, as so many Crowns, or Orna­ments, and rich Garments bestowed on her, when she is adored in this manner. It is by the strength of such Hymns, and well ordered Repetitions and Rosaries, that S. Dominic o and S. Francis were pre­destinated, as they say, both to restore Piety, and to keep the World from perishing; that in all proba­bility, so many black Friars were admitted under the p Robe of their Goddess; that with continual repeting the Rosary Salutation, Eustachius q the Cistercian had it miraculously written in plain Cha­racters on his Tongue; that with continual using and kissing holy Beads, r Alanus the Captain had a brightness like that of Crystal about his Mouth, and in his Hands; and that many Monks of all Orders, had Roses and Lilies, with Ave Maria's in Golden Letters growing on them, or their Graves. S. ſ Jos­sion, and S. t Josbert, are upon this last account great examples of her kindness.

But and if your thoughts will not flie higher then [Page 188]to the common Glory of Heaven, the ordinary use of the Rosary needs not put you to half this trou­ble. It is certain, that St. Dominic, the first Pa­triarch of this Device, and St. Alanus de Rupe the worthy Restorer of it, both inspired by the same Spirit, intended it u for the common People, Men, Women and Children together, whom they knew unable to reach so far. And therefore these in­dulgent Fathers are likely to dispense with them, who will use it at easier rates. Read it but once in a whole Week, and at several times and parcels, that will abundantly serve your turn. Read it with no more attention, then such as you are capable of when you x go to the Market, or walk in a Proces­sion, or ride abroad, or prune your Vine *, or put on or off your clothes, &c. provided that you nei­ther read nor write. If furthermore by chance you have lost your Beads, either you may take y your Fingers, that will presently make a Decad; or ob­serve by how many steps you go up to such a Chap­pel, and run your Paters and Aves after that num­ber; such cursory Devotions will be enough for to save you. St. Alanus z alone, the great Mignion of this Virgin, can give you a whole set of Blasphe­mers, and Rogues, and Whores, who did not the half of all this, yet were all saved one way or o­ther. Now who is the habitual Sinner, who being conscious of his waies, and of his unwillingness to amend them, would not part with any thing rather then with such an Indulgent Mother, Rosary and Religion? But here is yet more, if more can be.

CHAP. IX.
Of the vast Tresure of the Roman Church, and her Power to dispose of it.

BEsides the Virgin Mary, whom the Papists do look upon as their sure Tresure in Heaven, and the most immediate Store-house whence they get one way or other all both extraordinary and easie means in order to Salvation; they also en­rich themselves and others with another as great Tresure, which their Church dispenses on Earth. In Heaven, as they take it, Mary is the great Ocean, into which all the Heavenly Blessings and Vertues, like so many Rivers do flow: Omnia Flumina, &c. saies a one of their most Learned Saints, that is, All Rivers and Floods run into the Sea, when all Gifts and Graces meet in Mary, to wit, the Streams of Graces that the Angels are watered with; the Rivers of all the other Blessings, which all the Saints of God ever had, &c. And as another of their Saints ex­presses it, God hath placed in the Virgin b Mary, the fulness of all that is good, so that if we have any hope, any Blessing and Salvation, we may be sure it comes from her. If this fulness be not enough with what she hath on her account, she can fill it up, and make it run over with what all the Saints may add to it. For the Saints, they say, are to c the Virgin, what [Page 190]the Stars are to the Moon; and those load her with all the Fruits of their Intercessions, as these do this with their Influences, before either of them come down to us.

In Earth, they have the use and disposal of an­other stock, as rich and as necessary to Sinners, which they call the Churches Tresury. And if you compare it as the other, to a Sea, four great Rivers continually do fill it up, or keep it full. The first is, d the satisfactions of all the Saints from Adam and Abel, to Christ. For as the Roman Doctors teach us, they suffered more then need was; and no use was made of their sufferings, because during the 4000 years to Christs Ascension, Heaven, they think, was not open; nor had Christ impowered any Man to take ought of this Tresure, in order to any Pardons. The second is, the Passion of Je­sus Christ, whose Blood they say, e had it bin but one drop, was enough to save all Mankind: there­fore all the surplusage, either before or at his Pas­sion, is reserved (unless lost) in this vast Tresury. The third, all the meritorious Sufferings and Pas­sions of the Virgin Mary, which, as they think f, she needed not for her self; and so the Church ap­plies to others. This one River may make a Sea. The fourth is, the Sufferings, the Martydoms, and the Penances of all the Saints, since the Gospel, Pe­ter, Paul, S. Dominic, and S. Francis, and all holy Monks and Eremits, who, tho perhaps not quite sinless, yet had no need to do so much (as for them­selves) to satisfie Divine Justice.

Here then you have to make use of, first, all the Blood which the Martyrs from Abel to Barachias, under the Old, and from him to the last Sufferer un­der the New Testament could shed, in above five thousand years. Secondly, We have of Christs Blood, all he ever shed upon the Cross, saving one drop; all that whole Flood, I say, that from his Head down to his Feet gushed from his Wounds, and the opening of all his Veins, even since his Cir­cumcision: and by this guess, how many thousand▪ of Roman Churches may be redeemed with this Tresure, if well applied. Thirdly, You have in the same store, the hard Penances, the cruel Perse­cutions, and the voluntary Whippings, whether bloody or unbloody of all other Saints, Monks and Eremits: whatever either S. Anthony, or S. Hila­rion, or S. Paulus, so much celebrated by S. Jerome: whatever S. Zebinas, S. Julian, S. Simeon, S. Maris, or S. Masymas, and others, celebrated by S. Theo­doret, Palladius, &c. could gain by their hard usages and Iron Chains: whatever the great St. Francis could deserve of God Almighty, by leaving g all he had in the World, even to his very drawers and breeches, by rambling naked like a Mad-man, or by quenching his Lust upon Maids and Women of Snow; all this I say, and a great deal more, is to be disposed of at Rome for the use of good Catho­lics: and yet all this is but one half of this Tresure. For besides all these sufferings, all the meritorious Works of pious men from the very first to the last Saint are gathered in; and the Roman Church hath found the way of parting a good work in two, name­ly, [Page 192] h the meritorious deserving side, which makes Supererogations, and gains extraordinary Re­wards: and another laborious and painful side (for the Saints could not Preach or Pray, on do any manner of good, without taking some trouble about it) which is put up and kept very safe for expiating other mens sins. Hereupon Rome may safely swear, that no other Church in the whole World enjoies the like (if real and true) privilege with her; and that she is the only that pretends to be able to ease poor sinners from the necessity of repenting, or at the least i from doing works meet for Repent­ance.

This great Tresure and Privilege, hath bin lost and buried out of the notice of Christs Church, a­bove thirteen hundred Years. No Christian ever thought of it, till Pope Clement found it out. For tho there were Indulgences before, yet they were a quite other thing, as in the time of the La­tin Fathers; or they were not taken out of this Tre­sure, but either out of the pretended strength of their Blessings, or out * of the Keys, which then Popes turned backward and forward, to shut in or let out whom they pleased. Such were the Indul­gences wherewith Innocent the third for example did encourage the Christians against the Turks; and Gregory the seventh, his k Soldiers against the Em­perors of Germany, which were but Letters of Fa­vor, [Page 193]and Testimonials and Passes as it were to God Almighty, which (however much sought after, and sometimes dearly paid for, even in those daies) cost nothing but the Popes blessing or credit; whereas in these later times, Indulgences are Bills of Ex­change for hundreds and thousands of Years, real­ly, as it is supposed, paied out of this Tresury; that is, either out of that vast abundance of Blood, which Papists say, Christ might have spar'd; or out of the Blood and Penances of other Saints, which are reserved in this Tresury, and thence by vertue of these Indulgences allowed to the sinner, as much to all ends and purposes, as if the sinner were the Saint that had done and suffered for himself. Here are two very great Wonders for Men and Angels to look upon: The first, How all this Blood and Sufferings are from the remotest parts of the World, and through the distance of all Ages fetch'd and gathered into this Tresury. The second, How, when thus got home, the Pope can disperse them so well abroad.

1. To get all in, the Blood of Christ and his Martyrs cannot be conveied into the Roman Tresu­ry, as Rivers are down their Chanels into the Sea; or as lesser Waters are by Pipes and Spouts con­veied into a Cistern: No more also can they be kept in Bottles, as they say our Ladies Milk is; nor in Ward-robes, or other Rooms, as they say also her shoes and shifts are; and by that means it were possible to fetch up all from Nazareth, or from Rome, or from Venice, or from any other Country. But as if you should see these said Bottles, Shifts, Shoes, and other Relics, leave all of them upon their own accord their respective usual Abodes, and [Page 194]flock together into one place, you would take it for a strange Miracle, as strange at the least, as when the Chamber where they say the Virgin was born, jumped with the Doors, Chimney, Windows and all, from Nazareth to Lauretta; the Satisfactions and Scourgings, and other Penances of the Saints, to meet under the hand of his Holiness, must not do less. Whether we be bound to imagine such an Attractive Vertu at Rome, which is the Center of their Church, to draw satisfactions to her Tresu­ry, as there is imagin'd in the Center of the World, to draw heavy Bodies to its bottom; or whether all this be done by some other strange Conveiances: however, all the satisfactory Works and Penances, let them be what they can, do tend, and unless hindered and stopt in some passage, take their course towards this Store-house. Insomuch, that l un­less a Man, by a special intention, applies to his own benefit the satisfactoriness of his Work, be­fore it parts out of his hand, it runs forthwith to the Tresury; and thence in vain would he have it again, tho never so much for his own need, unless the Pope will give it him.

2. The second Wonder is about the getting out what is thus got in, and the scattering it far and near upon all manner of Persons, Families, Build­ings, and other things whatsoever his Holiness can think upon. Let the Pope of Rome but turn the Cock, this Fountain will cast forth its Waters what way, how much, and how far he will; and as he [Page 195]may chuse what he pleases, nothing hinders him to pick out for example the works of Abel, that have bin kept close five or six thousand years, and ap­ply them to Gardiner: or all the Merits of austere John Baptist, and bestow them upon the course of some wanton Catholic Lady. 'Tis indeed an ad­mirable Magazine, or Store-house, that can keep things so long for so good ends. And, which is an­other great Wonder, what thing soever they be clapt to, there they shall be as long, or longer, then the very matter which they stick to. Let his Holiness for example, apply one of these Blessings by way of local Indulgence to an Altar or a Church, it will outlast the very Stones (unless re­called;) and tho Thunder or time beats them down m, it will stick to the very ground, and there be as good for a new Church, if the Parishoners will build it up, as ever it was for the old one. Nay, the lightest and moveablest things, as Beads, Me­dals, Pieces of Wax, Holy Grains, &c. what way soever you toss them, cannot shake it off. Na­varrus, a great holy Man among all the Fathers of Trent n, saies, That he hath seen the Pope bestow­ing out of this Tresure, as much upon alittle Button of Wood, Globulo ligneo, as could save any one Soul, if in saying the Lords Praier he will but hold it in his hand; now this Blessing will stick to it, though you throw it into the Sea: and if you did throw it into the Fire, this admirable saving Vertu would probably stick to the Ashes: I am sure it will lay hold upon the very ringing of Bells; and when­soever [Page 196] o you hear them, in the Morning especially, at Noon, and at Sun-setting, and have the grace to put off your Hat to say an Ave Maria, you may thereby expiate some sins. Happy sinners, whose Churches, Altars, and the very Bells can do so much, and the Tresure shall pay for all. But this is a fitter matter to be abhorred, then jested at.

As this Tresure is best contrived, both for the Interest of Covetous, and the Lust of lewd Per­sons, it is made up of Blasphemies, and imperti­nent lies against God. The first Pope who invent­ed it, maintain'd it upon this ground, That p one drop of Christs Blood could save man-kind: whence follows, that he had no need to die. Hereupon the Blasphemer concludes, That since God spared not his Son, but put him to such a violent death, as forced out of him not one single drop, but q a whole stream and Flood of Blood, there must be somewhere a Tresury to receive this most precious, but superfluous quantity, lest it be lost. But,

First, This impious untruth destroies the necessi­ty of Christs satisfaction and sufferings, and coun­tenances all what the old, and the new, and worse Arrians will say against his Sacrifice upon the Cross. For if one drop of Blood was sufficient, he shed that and more at his Circumcision, and thus far his Passion was useless.

Secondly, It charges the Justice of God with such a foul Reproch, as can never be wash'd off, as long as this Roman Tresury shall stand: For since it stands merely to receive that Blood, which might have bin spared at our dear Saviors Passion; it stands up as [Page 197]an Evidence, that whatsoever is therein kept, was demanded of, and paied by Christ, as a tyrannous rigor above what was due, to afflict and torment him; and that the same Eternal Judg, who, as they say, is so merciful, even in Hell, as to take * less of damned men then they deserve, was in the very acts of Grace, and the Redemtion of Man-kind, so se­vere against his own Son, as by most insufferable Punishments to extort from him a thousand times more, then it was strictly just he should suffer.

Thirdly, It throws the same Dirt upon that Love, which God bears to his only beloved Son. For Christ never sought for Torments, farther then they were necessary for the saving of his own Flesh, that is, Man-kind. Contrariwise, with Praiers and Tears he wish'd, That that Cup might pass from him: And therefore, what kindness had this bin in God the Father, to put his Son to vain Tortures, and to plunge his very Soul into a most shameful kind of death, when one drop of Blood had done as much, the Popes Interest being laid aside? And what Bowels, and natural Compassions were these, in both a Just and Loving Father, to draw so much Blood out of his Son, as should bring him to a cruel Death, merely to fill up Roman Purses?

Fourthly, Nothing less then blind Covetousness, could betray Men into that blind Opinion. For what could perswade the Popes, that one drop of Christs Blood was enough to save all the World out of Hell, but the pretence of having all the rest in their disposal, to save Men from Purgatory? Can any ordinary Divine, unless blinded by that In­terest, be so fundamentally ignorant, as not to [Page 198]know, that what sinners deserve, the Law demands, the Sacrifices for sin did threaten, and therefore ei­ther we, or our surety for us was to suffer, was a real and cursed Death? And can any other then a mad-men think, that a Drop of Blood shed without Death is a real and cursed Death? It is true, one Drop of that Blood was of an infinite value: and tis perhaps with this pretense, that Popes blind them­selves, and others, or unconsidering men in their ha­rangues have talkt unwarily, but there are many more things in Christ, which are of an infinite va­lue, as for example his Praiers, his Groanings, his Tears, &c. which yet are not sufficient for our Ran­som; for no infinite thing could be it, but such as were an infinite death: and certanly a Drop of Blood, is neither death, nor a death of infinite worth.

Popes, or at the least Popish Divines r have ano­ther Foundation to set their Church Tresure upon; which I confess is not so impious as the former; but is as much or more impertinent. They say, and they say well, that the Death of Jesus Christ was abun­dantly sufficient, not only to save those few, who are saved out of the World; but to save all men besides, and twenty thousand both men and worlds more, if God had created them; and if they had corrupted themselves. Hereupon, and this is their foolish Impertinency, they part Christs death and infinite Ransom into two; Namely that which hath bin really applied and made use of; and that which hath not bin so. The former, they think well bestowed on them, who are or shall be really saved; and there­fore lay no claim to it. But the other, which is the [Page 199]far greater part, that never was applied, because it was rejected; for fear it should fall to the ground, they challenge it for their Tresure; and that is it, which they apply every 25th year in a Jubilee, and every day in Indulgences.

After this rate Rome may provide for new store-houses; for they may part as well in two, the Infi­nite Wisdom or power or Providence of God; and leaving that part he makes use of, for Creating and Ordering this one world, wherein we live; take for themselves that other share, which might have served, and yet did not, for creating and ordering of thousand more. Did one ever hear of mad-men, that went about to tresure up that part of sun-shine, that might shew the way to a whole Army, when but one man makes use of it? or to reserve that part of Christs Voice, as far as it might have bin heard by the seventy, where it was heard but by the twelve Disciples? the Papists in this Poin are very little wiser then so. The same Wisdom and Power of God, which is all-sufficient both to create and order many worlds, is all necessary; and therefore indivi­sibly and wholly set to order one: the same Sun-shine which at one time fills a whole Hemisphere, or the voice, and Sermon, which fills a great Auditory, do not use to subdivide themselves into greater or lesser shares after the number of Eies, or Ears of more or fewer present persons. One Ear hath as much of the voice, (being in a convenient distance) as hath the whole Auditory: and one Eie takes as much of the light for its own use, as twenty do: and both the voice and the light impart themselves wholly and indivisibly, whether to one, or to fourscore. Much more doth the al-sufficient satisfaction and [Page 200]Ransom of Christ our Savior, which being by it self infinite, must needs therefore be indivisible. For if you part it into shares; either these shares are finite and limited; and so they cannot make an Infinite: or if they be infinite and immense; then every one of these Parcels, must be conceived as great as the whole; which is absurd, contradictory, and impos­sible. And tho this infinite satisfaction and Ransom were such as could be divided; yet every one man hath need of all. As every mans sin is infinite, that is, deserves an infinite Punishment, so must the sa­tisfaction for it, be infinite in the same way, that is as great as can be presented to an infinite Majesty, by an infinitely worthy Savior. By consequent, the unconceavable Mercies of God in Christ Jesus, and the infinite Price offered to the Divine Justice by this Savior, cannot be distributed, as the price he was sold for, in thirty Pieces. Whosoever applies to himself that immense value of Christs Blood, applies it all: and all being not too much for him; he hath nothing of it to spare. This is plain and demonstra­tive to any unconcerned Christian, that hath but learned well his Catechism. Now when Popes came with their new and strange Dividend; so much to God, for them, whom this Blood saves: and so much, which is twenty thousand times more to me, from them, whom it doth not; and out of this large por­tion so much must go for so many years of pardon to one, and for so many daies to another; they so tear the Sacrifice and Body of Christ, as the other Romans would have torn his Garment; and as them­selves part and distribute their own Relics. Here is an Arm of some Saint for his Imperial, and there a skull for his most Catholic Majesty. The most Chri­stian [Page 201]King must have something; and the devout and Holy Queen Christina likewise, a Hand, a Toe, a Tooth, a Jawbone or what you please. This is the great Roman Wisdom; let the Jubilee come when it will; Europe shall find in this Tresury e­nough to buy, and Rome to sell. And if Protestants offer to scruple at this new Divinity; great Scho­lars will spend all their wit, and the Vatican all its learning and all its Books, to justifie what Bedlam saies.

The Virgin Mary's and other Saints number­less Satisfactions fill up also a considerable Corner in this Store-house: and the same Villains, who make God so unnatural to his own Son as to make him suffer far more grievous Punishments, then the se­verest Justice did require; make him in some pro­portion as bad, and in another respect, worse to his Sons friends; as bad, if he makes them also pay more then they owe: and worse, if he make them pay it for debts, namely for temporal Punishments, which the blood of Jesus Christ had most sufficiently paied for already. And the Drift of charging God with this rigor both against Christ and against his Saints in taking of them more then the due, is to be­stow this Overplus, and superfluous satisfactions into the Roman Magazine.

First then I say, if all these second Paiments, and Satisfactions of the Saints be conceived necessary for the satisfying Divine Vengeance; they either wrong the Justice of God, or undervalue the Satisfaction of Christ; for if they must satisfy again for a Debt, which Christ had already most sufficiently satisfied for; this not only wrongs, but destroies all the best known Rules of Justice: or if Justice demands yet [Page 202]any farther satisfaction, it presupposes that it was not yet sufficiently satisfied; and this undervalues and maimes in a very great mesure Christs infinite satisfaction. What the Papists have here to say, is, 1. That the Satisfaction of Christ is infinite, and therefore most sufficient to discharge all scores what­soever; but that s it is applied finito modo, that is, is not applied by the Roman Church to its full worth; as far as it could reach, but only to the sa­tisfying for sins before our Baptism most fully, but for the sins committed afterwards, not so. But now let them give an account, wherefore it is not: and what Power Christ ever gave them of restraining the true immense value of his satisfaction and sacrifice, in such a mesure as may reserve both for Popes and Mass Priests as much as they can sell both in Masses, and in Indulgences. 2. They are pleased to say, or rather they are not afraid to blaspheme, that our Sa­viors immense satisfaction, as they presume to re­strain it, is but a remote and t general Cause to help and qualifie what we do, when we satisfy for our selves (which they may say as well of the Father and the Holy Ghost, who satisfy not at all) and that mens good works and Penances when applied either by themselves during their life; or by others, when they are dead, are the proper and immediate * Cau­ses, which do the Deed. Only the satisfaction of Christ helps mens good and satisfactory works, som­what like as Ambregris can help Sweet Drugs rather by actuating and reviving them to perfume, then by [Page 203]perfuming of it self. For here Bellarmin will tell you, that there are not two u satisfactions, the one of Christ, the other our own: but one actual Satisfaction only, and that is ours. Thus far either men or Saints are more properly Redeemers to themselves and o­thers, then is Christ himself: and thus full this Ro­man Tresury must be filled up with mens Blasphe­mies, and Christs merits plundred from him. Se­condly, from this Blasphemy our Tresury comes to a squib or cracker, and what stinks so in mens No­strils, bursts as an emty sound in their Ears. They say, that these human and superfluous satisfactions, which their Magazasine is furnisht with, to satisfy Di­vine Justice, are only that Redundancy and over­plus of great labors and hard penances, which their Saints first had no need of, for expiating their own sins; and secondly which they made no use of, for ex­piating the sins of others. Now first, who warrants them that their Saints had no need of this Surplu­sage? It is certain, that S. Francis hath bin some­times troubled with lust; and who can tell whe­ther * the Wife, and the two Daughters, and the two Maids he made of snow to ly with them, was more then he needed to cool himself? who knows but the five Stigmes, that is the wounds, which a Seraphim as they say, made in his thin Body may have bin a fitter devise, to asswage burnings, then to make him blasphemously a Parallel and compa­nion in Christs work of Redemtion? Can the Popes give an exact account, what quantity of satisfacti­ons might have bin spent about those sins, that their Predecessors were guilty of, when Victor a turned [Page 204] Photinian: that is denied that Christ was God) and Zepherin b a Montanist; and Marcellin c an Ido­later: and both Liberius d and Foelix e were Ari­ans: and Honorius f a Monothelite? Do they know better, how much must go for the expiating of ugly sins, as for applauding Bloody Phocas, g which was the sin of Great Gregory: or for following the Devils Advise, which was h the Guilt and the pub­lic confession of another great Gregory and great Founder of their Papacy? The truth is no man can tells us, neither what those Saints did owe; nor what they were able to pay; nor therefore how great Legacies they might leave for this Roman Cash. Secondly, but suppose, that some owed little, and may leave much, as for Example the Blessed Virgin, John the Baptist, &c. who knows whether they have have left it, for this Tresury; or whether they have not applied and spent it all, about their poor Friends, who wanted it. They say, that she converted St. Paul i from a Persecutor to an Apostle, both by her Praier and her Merits; and why not with a consi­derable part also of her own Satisfaction? Or if she would do so much for one, who was not of her own Tribe; how in conscience and charity could she spare them from her nearest Relations, the Sons of Joseph her Husband, who all incurred great Penalties, be­fore they would believe in Christ? I appeal to the best Catholics, whether the Mother of Mercies [Page 205]could keep long by her self that overplus of Satisfa­ctions and Merits, which to her were superfluous, and not bestow them upon those, to whom they might be of so great use? not upon her most dear Abbess, 1 to whom she would be a Midwife, when her Steward had lien with her? nor to her 2 Dear Loyola, for his former Debaucheries and Vanities before he came to be a Saint? nor to either of her Dear devoted Servants, whom she protected so vi­sibly; the one from being burned by course of Law, for 3 having destroied her own Child after she had got him by Incest; and the other from being 4 trou­bled at all for enticing her Neighbors Husband? As these Creatures had all along to their lives end, a very great share in her Favor, can you think they had none at all in her satisfactions for their sins? Is there any reason to think, that she would throw all the satisfactions she had into the Roman Tresury for the use of unknown Persons? could she foresee that the Roman Popes might a thousand and three hun­dred years after her abode on earth better dispose of them then she could her self? There is the same impro­bability concerning all other true Saints, S. John, S. Paul, S. Peter, all the blessed Martyrs, &c. The Roman Saints may come in too; For who reads the earnest Addresses, that S. Dominic k makes to his Goddess, for his dear Children the black Preachers; and can believe, he could forbear the applying all what he had to the necessary wants of his Order? or if he had [Page 206]reserved any of his great satisfactions, and daily Whippings for some others; is it not more then probable, that he bestowed them on such Persons as the Whore was, (I mean his dear Miss Catharina) l who heard all his Sermons so devoutly, and yet continued a Trade that had need of all he could do? Was St. Bernard unkind, or St. Francis unnatural, that, not to apply to his Nephew all he could spare, for preventing all those Torments, which he saw did attend him in Hell, because he had left his Convent? and this, not to do the like to his own Father, who certainly could not fare better, tho there had bin no sin in him, but this of beating St. Francis, and turning him naked out of doors for a mad Fool? In all likelihood the Roman Cash is quite emty, if there is nothing else to fill it up, then the satisfactions of such Saints; and his Holiness deals not truly in either selling or giving away to some, that which the Saints have bestowed on o­thers.

Thirdly, it is the like, or rather a greater folly, to think as o they do, to scrape off from every good Work don by the Saints, the labor and pains they took in doing it; and so, to think of filling their store with such scrapings, instead of good satisfa­ctions. For first, not to scruple at their Language, that which is Meritorious, and that which is Satis­factory in a good Work, are commonly so close to­gether, that it is impossible to part them asunder otherwise then you may part one and the self-same thing, in some considerations and respects. Thus the same gallant Action in an Officer for example, [Page 207]who was cashiered for some mis-behavior, will be satisfactory in respect of his former Guilt, for the procuring of his Pardon; and in another who is guiltless, it will be Meritorious by way of Service only, and 'twill procure him not a Pardon, which he needs not, but it may be, some considerable pre­ferment. And if the Service of the Guilty be much greater then his Offence was, and such it may be, Abners case was, when being in a Rebellion before, he brought the ten Tribes to the King; the over­plus of this satisfaction, shall be allowed by David to be thus far Meritorious, and thus far also to have a Reward. After this rate, no part of the gallant Service shall remain behind for the Tresury, but the whole shall be taken up and accepted for its full worth, tho partially, so much to procure his Pardon by a Commutative; and so much to pro­cure him another Reward, by a distributive Justice. A good King, I say, will observe these Proportions with his Subjects: and I hope, at the last Day, God will not deal worse with his Children. 2. When it happens, as it doth sometimes, that the labori­ous and painful part is so extrinsecal to the good work, as to be easily severed from it; as when S. Paul Preaches in the Chain, or when S. John looses his Head in a Prison for his Preaching; altho the Chain and the Preaching be two different things in their nature, yet they cohere and are close toge­ther in the Eies of God Almighty: there the holy Work of Preaching shall sanctifie the cruel Chain; & the hard Chain shall improve the price of the Holy or Meritorious Preaching. And if David can well consider not only what Service Abner did him, in bringing Israel to him; but also, that he lost an [Page 208]Army, or part of his Estate in doing it; there is no fear, but God is a good God, and will extend his Mercies as far, both on what his Servants do in his Name, and what they suffer in those Services: For I say unto you, that every one that hath forsaken Houses, or Children, or Lands, &c. shall receive an hundred fold more, &c. Matth. 19. And when every little parcel of the Suffering is recompensed, as well as the Meritorious part, with so liberal a Re­ward; What can Popes scrape off from it, that remains unrewarded, to spend in satisfactions for more, and to lay up in their Tresury? It seems these crafty Shavers would have the Meritorious­ness for one thing, and the pain of performing it for another: or in more homely terms, they would give the Money for the Purchase, and the trouble of telling and paying it, for the discharge of some other Debts; whereas the sum well told and paid, can scarce suffice to buy the first, much less to leave any over-plus to satisfie the second Account. 3. Lastly, Whenever Crosses and Hardships fall upon one, not in order to any good Work which they do precede or follow, but because they are sent from God, for Chastisements, or Curbs, or Tri­als; as the Tribulations of Job, the buffeting An­gel of Paul, and the Sickliness of Timotheus were: or because they are voluntarily fetch'd in, and un­dertaken by some Saints; as the hard Diet of John the Baptist, the often Fastings of Anna, the low and narrow Lodge of Hilarion, the seeming barba­rous Mortifications of some ancient Holy Persons: What is all this to the Popes Tresure? Did ever God at any time lay these Afflictions on the Righte­ous, in order to make the Pope richer, or his own [Page 209]Children humble and better? And when these laied them on themselves, can the Roman Church well think, but that they intended them rather for mor­tifying their own Bodies, and securing their own Salvation, then for discharging other Mens sins? What and if God and they laied more then was ne­cessary for these true ends, Are Roman Divines igno­rant, that God, who made Job twice as rich as he was before he made him poor, will most abundant­ly remunerate all such hard surplusage, if there is any? And when all accounts are made even, what­soever Burthens are charged either by their Savior, or themselves; St. Paul tells them, That the suffer­ings of this present life (and 'tis with these, if some could be found unrewarded, that this Tresury should be stuffed up) are so far from superabound­ing, or equalling, that they are not to be compared with that Glory (immense reward of all Sufferings, and not only of all good Works) which shall be re­veled in us, Ro. 8.18. Or if by chance Clement the 6th, and the first Founder of this Tresure, better under­stood this Balance, and saw in some corner or o­ther about S. Mary, S. Stephen, and other Martyrs, some unrewarded Afflictions which S. Paul took no notice of; in Conscience are we come to this, that Roman Popes may fetch them out, and apply them to whom they please? That poor John the Baptist shall see from Heaven his austere Life and hairy Clothes, shelter Herods and Herodias lying se­curely together? That most vile and unclean Per­sons, shall with the unspotted Holiness and Chasti­ty of the Blessed Virgin Mary, buy off out of Pur­gatory, and sometimes out of Hell it self, the ve­ry [Page 210]Whores who * made them Popes? And that the Martyrs shall be in the disposal, and for the use of so many dissolute Monsters? And to this comes the Church Tresury, that makes so much noise in the World; and like a Drum, is as emty as it is loud. Let us see what they draw out of it.

CHAP. X.
Concerning Roman Indulgences, the most general Inducement to Popery.

THE Church Tresury, the Jubilee, the Indul­gences, are words capable of a good sense, if the Roman Church would allow of it. For really, the Church of God possesses a very great Tresure, namely, Jesus Christ in Heaven, and in his Holy Ordinances. All sinners, whosoever they be, if contriti & confessi after Gods way, that is, really and truly penitent, and turning from their sins to good Works, such as become true Christian Faith and Repentance, may without the Keies of the Pope open this Heavenly Tresure, and thence take out as much of Christs Blood, or, to make use of the Roman terms, as much of the satisfactions of Christ, as will make up a full and a most plenary Indul­gence; that is, Mercy and Pardon without Mony, and plenteous Redemtion both from the Spot and the punishment of all their Sins. John the Baptist, [Page 211]Jesus Christ, and the Apostles, are the first Men, who at the very Birth of the Christian Church did Preach abroad these Indulgences: and among them Peter is the first (not Boniface) who proclamed at Jerusalem the great Christian Jubilee. You have his Bull in his Sermon, Acts 2.38, 39.

The Church of Rome, for her own ends, hath much abused this good Tresure, as well as these great Indulgences: and if you look into what she hath to brag of, you shall find her Tresury to be but a broken Cistern, and her Indulging Bulls, instead of Living Waters, to be but Puddles. With all the Blood shed on the Cross, one drop whereof in their judgement could have saved all, they say that Christ hath not fully satisfied for any actual sins after our Baptism; and that besides the Eternal Torments in Hell, for which he hath immediatly satisfied, there remain other not less grievous, tho not so long, for which we our selves must needs satisfie, either in this Life, or near about Hell, in a place under Ground which they call Purgatory. Their Mass Priests and Bishops, with all their ordinary Power, cannot absolve their Penitents, tho never so con­trite, farther then this: and to have more, they must either procure it to themselves, by their own works, or send to Rome for Indulgences.

All this is pack'd and contrived with great Wis­dom for the best advantage of Rome. His Holiness gains much by it, for all that Blood which might have paid for all the pains, as well as for the vicious Acts of sin, is spared for his Tresury: and all Ca­tholic Souls being affrighted with Purgatory, out of which Christ hath not redeemed them, and which none but Saints or Martyrs are likely to escape; [Page 212]there is no fear he can want Money, as long as he will help Men out with his Tresure and Indulgen­ces. The other inferior Clergy also are not loosers, for tho their Power be much shortned from giving full Absolution, this Restraint may be look'd upon as a rule of good Husbandry; for if they did par­don all at once by their Keies, as God doth by his Ministers in his Gospel, who, unless some simple Ignorant, would care for any of their Masses? But both Christ, and all Christian Souls suffer much, by what others gain. Christ is visibly defrauded of the Honor that he ever had of being the only Re­deemer, which he is not at the least at Rome, a but in a large fense; since both others and we, may ve­ry well redeem our selves, and satisfie Divine Ven­geance in a very considerable mesure by our own personal Sufferings. Christ also suffers a second and gross Injury, to see the most part of his Blood under the indiscreet hand of a Pope, who squan­ders it at their pleasure who will buy out his Indul­gences. Christian Souls are not used better, being by these Indulgences drawn aside from the true waies of Salvation, to spend their Devotion and their Mony upon that which avails nothing; and which, if relied upon, will certainly prove a great deal worse in the event.

The main ground of all these Devises, is a Com­plication of Blasphemies, and an open Profession, that Christ hath not by his Sacrifice on the Cross, fully satisfied Divine Justice; or that God demands from Penitents and Believers, that which he was satisfied for; and that our sins are neither fully nor properly remitted in the Blood of Christ. These three Antichristian Assertions, being involved and [Page 213]wrapt up in this, which both their Purgatory, and all their Indulgences stand upon, that God in Christ remits the sins, without remitting the punishment; that is, that God in Christ remits our sins without remitting them at all. For if God in Christ re­mits sins, why, being fully and properly remitted, are they (unless redeemed by Indulgences) punish­ed in Purgatory? How comes God to demand of his Children that they be burned and tormented in order to satisfie his Justice, if the Sacrifice of his Son hath satisfied it fully and properly on that account? And what Justice is this to exact of me the same satisfaction and payment, that Christ my Surety hath fully given already? They say that Christ hath fully satisfied Divine Justice for our sins, but not for that part of the punishment, which either Purgatory doth inflict, or the Popes Indul­gences must dispense with. Against this, it is easie to prove, and common sense will tell them so, that both Christ hath satisfied Justice on all accounts, and God remitted sins likewise as to the satisfying of Justice, if Justice have in Christs Sufferings all it requires from guilty Persons, upon the score of suffering. For what is it, that Divine Justice can demand of the worst and guiltiest sinner? Is it that the sins which he hath committed, may never have bin committed? that is impossible, & a plain contradi­ction; and if God remits sins upon such terms, he remits none. Is it that the sinner may not sin here­after? So much did Justice demand of Adam before his fall; and so much demands it yet of the blessed Angels, to whom nevertheless God remits or for­gives nothing, because Adam was not yet, and these are never Trespassers. The Question is, What it is [Page 214]which the severe and holy Justice of God can de­mand of Trespassers? Sin, as to this, denotes two things, to wit, the Vice or Illness of the Act, and the punishment due by the trespass for that ill Act. Divine Justice requires not the ill Act, or the Ini­quity of it; contrariwise, it shuns, detests, and for­bids it: What therefore Justice doth and can de­mand, is all due, and sufficient punishment. Now pardoning, or forgiving, or remitting, is to par­don, or to forgive, or to remit, what Justice de­mands of the sinner and for his sin, and this is the punishment only. And so when Christ did on the Cross satisfie Justice for our sins, and did take our sins from us upon himself, it was not by taking up­on him our Vices, or ugly Acts and Dispositions, God forbid! Christ took all our sins upon himself, when he took and paied fully all the punishment due for our sins: and God remits and forgives our sins in Christ, when he accepts of that punishment of his in lieu of ours. Therefore whensoever Papists talk of sins remitted, as to the trespass of the Fault, & not as to the punishments due for the fault; or that Christ hath fully satisfied for those & not forthese, it is either such a piece of non-sense, as if one should say, That he forgives me all my Debts, on condition I shall pay them: or a Blasphemous Raillery put up­on Christ, as if he did fully satisfie Divine Venge­ance for all our sins, when, except those before Ba­ptism, he satisfies so for none of them. And so the whole Frame of Purgatory for punishing, and all the Jubilees, and Indulgences, and daily Masses, for absolving Men from the punishment of remitted sins, that is, the whole Fabric of the Roman Church, is built upon these impious Bulls.

It is true, God may, and often doth lay heavy Chastisements (call them Punishments if you please) on his Children, even after he hath pardoned their sins, but it is never to satisfy Divine Justice in any punishment it requires more; but either to keep the forgiven sinner, by what he feels, from sinning more; or to affright others from it by such Exam­ples; or for removing the scandal, which otherwise might well arise from all unchastised sins. Which considerations agree not at all with the Torments of Purgatory, where Souls, a as they confess them­selves, are neither better in themselves, nor either more exemplary, or a whit less scandalous to others by what they suffer. There these poor Souls burn and howl in long and terrible torments, with the Faith of Christ above them, and the Blood of his Sacrifice upon their pretended remitted sins, just as notable Rogues are hanged and quartered somtimes with their Pardons about their Necks. Pa­pists would be much displeased to hear that any of their devout and contrite Dames should suffer so much in spight of one plenary Indulgence; and Christ must not be so, to see his true and lively Mem­bers tortured in Purgatory in spight of his Redem­tion.

These Indulgences were never heard of, till the silly World had bin frighted with these Flames of Purgatory, which as their most ingenious Authors confess, was very late: and then the Roman Cler­gy had a fair opportunity from the false Appariti­ons of Souls, and tremblings of simple People, to look to their own private profits, by selling vain Se­curities to protect against vain dangers & fears. The [Page 216]very sound of a Latin word, Indulgentia, without its proper sense and use, was ground enough for crafty men, to build what they would upon it; and how far they have abused it, and more abused their Church with it, one may guess by what here fol­lows.

It was, and should be still, the Practise of the Holy Church, to expell from their Society Scanda­lous and known sinners: and since the Church could not alwaies keep Hypocrites from coming in; she could not take a better course for asserting both her detestation against all sin, and her credit with God and men, then to keep them off, when duly known; and to shun them, in their holy Meetings especially, till many and great Evidences both of their sorrow for what they had done, and of their Amendment for the time to come, had procured them Readmittance. They were y enjoined to pray, to fast, to curb and to mortifie their Flesh, to afflict their Souls for their sins, and to apply themselves to all such works, as might both improve and declare their inward sincere Repentance. These long and holy Exercises did pass among all Christians for Satisfactions to the Church; and in some manner z to God too. Before the Church most properly; because that was all which the Church Discipline, and Ecclesiastical Canons did re­quire; and before God in a lower, yet a very true and proper sense; because, tho all such works of Repentance be far from being a price equivalent to what Divine Justice demands (which can never be had, but either from the eternal death of the sinner, or from the infinite satisfactions of Christ for him) [Page 217]yet it is the main Condition, which God requires of Offenders, before the grant of his Pardon, and which he is in his Mercy both satisfied and pleased with, when they sincerely perform it.

This was not all, 'twas not enough to have don it, they must do it a long * while; some a whole year some two, some ten, some according to the E­normity of the sin all their life long: and the surest Proof the Church could take of their real sincerity, was in the length of their Performances. By this, it seems, the holy Fathers had a great care, that in the management of their keies, whether to shut out, or to let in, their Church might keep time with Heaven: so that they might neither retein, nor re­mit here upon Earth, but what and when they might well judg, God would retein, or remit above. It was not then, as now at Rome, where Dispensati­ons, and Licences are presently got at a small Rate; a Ravisher of a Virgin was in the year 1520 (I hear it is now much raised, as well as the Rate of Monies) about six a Groats: the Ravisher of his own Sister was but at five: and the heaviest severity, that these Villains must undergo, is that 'tis impossible for them, how penitent and contrite soever, to be released without some Mony. Pauperibus, &c. b that is, they cannot have the Comfort of these Mercies, whosoever brings in no Mony. In such Occasions of Scandal the Roman Church, whilst a Virgin, was as severe, as now she is become remiss: and what the Whore gives for twelve pence, the honest Virgin had scarce granted for a penance of twenty years. So [Page 218]careful were they in those daies to clear the Church from foul Scandals: and so afraid were they withal in the exercise of their Power, to break correspon­dencie with Gods Justice; to unloose them whom he kept bound; and to bind themselves before God, * by a rash unbinding of others. You may read in S. Cyprian c and Ambrose how both sinful and dan­gerous, this loose and remiss indulgence is in their opinion.

Nevertheless there now and then happened such causes as not only permitted, but moved them also to be more free. As when the excommunicated Sinner gave signal proofs of an extraordinary sor­row: when upon dangerous occasions he stoutly own­ed and defended the Christian Faith: when in times of Persecutions all Christians were to be encouraged, and strengthened to Martyrdom: and when valiant Confessors (who ever before their Death, were re­puted for true Martyrs) did intercede for some of their friends; on these and other like rational and pious Inducements, the holy Fathers thought they might, d either ease such Penitents of the length, or sometimes quite discharge them of the whole Bur­then, that excommunicated, but withal contrite persons did lie under; and so before the time pre­scribed, readmit them into the Church. And this Relaxation of Ecclesiastical Severity, some Latin Fathers e call once or twice in their writings, by the Name of Indulgence.

Tbis was enough for cunning Cheats, to ground [Page 119]their Indulgences upon; and for silly men, to enter­tain them. So that as one word Missa could serve their turn, as I have shew'd in another Book, for in­troducing that great Abomination, which they call Mass: so doth this other Latin word Indulgentia, used once or twice by some ancient Authors in a good sense, and now turned to a quite other; for countenancing all the Impostures, that now a daies are bought and sold under the name of Indulgences. Here you may whensoever you please, discover Romes either Knavery, or Folly, or both by these two distinct Characters. The first is, that when the Fathers thought good to use any Indulgence, it was to shorten, or to moderate their Ecclesiastical Cen­sures, before Reconciliation and pardon: whereas the Roman Indulgence is for another sort of Punishments, which Mass Priest are pleased both to inflict on the Penitents, and to moderate or quite take off after their Absolution. The second is, that the holy Fa­thers never either thought, or attemted to mode­rate or to take off any other Censures or Punish­ments, then such as had bin imposed: whereas the Pope by his Indulgences offers to moderate or take off all, bo [...] what is laid on by his Church, and what is or shall be laid on by God himself.

As to the first Mark, to distinguish the Primi­tive Relaxations, from the present Roman Indul­gences; The Church of Christ never used upon any occasion whatsoever, this unnatural and popish way of inflicting punishments or Ecclesiastical Cen­sures, after Pardon: and therefore they could not have occasion of ever granting such Indulgences, as should ease men after pardon, from such Censures. When notorious and public Offences had turned the [Page 220]sinner out of dores; the Holy Fathers did lay on him several Degrees of Rigor, before they would take him in again, as antecedent Preparations to make him fit to be taken in. 1. The Sinner was en­joined a to stand without; and there with cries and tears b to beg them who came in, to pray to God for him. 2. Some years or months after, he was admitted within Doors, but in a remote Corner of the Church, behind the Catechumens, that is, the not Christened Proselytes, where they might hear Sermons, but not Praiers. 3. After such other time as they thought fit; he was suffered to hear and pray with the Christians, but not to take the Holy Mysteries. These with some other Mortifications and trials were all the Penalties inflicted by the Church upon scandalous Offenders; the Satisfacti­ons, when undergon, given by the Offenders to the Church; and when humbly and sincerely perform­ed, upon good grounds were also thought in the sense above said, acceptable to God himself. And here among these performances was the only time of Indulgence, either to shorten the time, or to miti­gate the Rigor of the Hardship, that they were un­der. 4. This don, either with, or without favor; at last the sinner was at the time appointed for his Readmission, brought in into the Church; there he kneeled, and there the Bishop coming to him, as the good Father in the Gospel to the lost Child, fell both himself and all the People upon their knees: then after holy Praiers and a holy laying on of hands, gave him Sacerdotal Blessing, and complete Absolu­tion: raised him up from kneeling: for conclusion [Page 221]of all, he was admitted at the same time, both to the holy Communion, and the Churches Peace. The Penitents being thus reconcil'd neither under-went other Punishments, nor needed other Indulgences. And if that Holy Mother the Primitive Church used to chastise her stubborn Children, and upon their amendment to kiss and embrace them afterwards; we do not read in any Father, that it was ever her Method, first to kiss, then to correct and punish. It is an extravagance proper to Rome, to absolve her Penitents and after Absolution, to have them pu­nisht thereby to satisfie Divine Justice: and so con­sequently are all her Indulgences, to ease men of such Punishments, Tricks of their own invention. Our Savior did not plague sinners, after he had bid them, go in Peace: and if God kept them afterwards hum­ble, and sensible of their former sins by Fatherly Corrections, as you read often that he did; Psal. 89. Hebr. 12. 1 Corinth. 11. Roman Indulgences are but both idle and sawcy Toies to take them off. And this brings to the second visible Character, by which you may discern the Primitve Relaxations, from the present Roman Indulgences.

1. Therefore as to this second; the Fathers of the Primitive Church never intended with their Con­descensions or favors to moderate or to take off any other Punishments, then that which they had laid on by their own sentence and Censure: They knew that the Power of reteining, and the Power of remit­ting, which God allowed them in his Church, are both i proportioned and relative, the one to the other: and that they could remit nothing, but when they had bin able to bind. This appears so by the [Page 222]very Contents, and Form of their Warrant, Whatsoever you shall bind on Earth, &c. Matth. 1.16.19. and 18.18. and John 20.23. Where the power of Loosing and Remitting, follows close to that of Retaining and Binding. This is exer­cised by Excommunications and Censures, that, by taking them away in the reconciling of Offenders; and both Keies turn in the same wards, that is, with­in the same compass, within the Ministerial Pale of the Church, and within the bounds of this Life. Roman Popes are the first Hectors, who durst break out beyond these Lines, and roving into Purgato­ry, there over-rule Divine Justice, and pull out thence out of Gods hands the Souls, whom, they say, his Vengeance doth burn and torment. This is then the drift of the Popes, and the second visi­ble Mark of their best and most authentic Indul­gences; that whereas the Fathers of the Church never attemted to dispose of any other punish­ments, then such as they had inflicted: the Popes stretch their hands much farther, even as far as to reverse the Judgments, which, (as they presuppose it) God inflicts. Now let Rome ransack their Learn­ing, and procure from any corner of good and known Antiquity, one precedent for such Indul­gences.

In the mean while laying aside Antiquity, which in true Conscience cannot but shame this new at­temt; it is a business worth enquiring, what these Roman Indulgences (whether new or old) are in themselves. They are intended for these c two ends. 1. The easing of true Penitents from the Pe­nalties laid on them by their Confessors, after their [Page 223]Absolution here in the Church. 2. And the remo­ving of more grievous punishments, laied on them by God Almighty, yonder in Purgatory. And cer­tainly it is hard to say, in the which of these two you shall find less, both Impiety and Extrava­gancy.

1. The Indulgences for the first end, are both foolish and impious upon several accounts: What rebellious attemt is this, to bind to punishment those (Men, as it is supposed, contrite and truly peni­tent for their sins) whom the Gospel of Christ looses and absolves? May not one as well curse, whom God blesses, as retain or bind whom God re­mits? And if one may bind the Penitents, whom God absolves; may he not as well unbind the Faith­less and Impenitents whom God hath bound? If so, we know where the Antichrist lies; yet he should go and learn Manners from the Example of Balaam, Num. 23.8. They say, that what they bind their Pe­nitents to, is not a Punishment only, but an useful Correction also. Then, I say, what they do in binding them whom God doth loose, shall be as far a Rebellion, as it is a punishment; and as far unlaw­ful and unchristian to take off, as 'tis an useful Cor­rection, and as it was good to lay it on. And have the Popes no better waies to fill their Coffers, and to maintain their Holinesses, then by such a Trade of Indulgences, as dispense with Men against their own good? 2. There is yet more; to justifie their Penalties from being a resisting of God, and a re­taining what he remits; they say, that after Ab­solution they lay no more on any Man, then what a sincere Penitent d is both willing to undergo, and obliged by the fear of God, and the sense of his Consci­ence [Page 224]to do or suffer; and that this is it properly and directly, what the Indulgences do ease Men from. Do not then call this, if you please, Rebellion or Resisting God: but you cannot choose but perceive, that if this same penitent Soul lies not between a cruel binding Confessor, and a gracious remitting God; she now falls into another as bad or worse condition. For here is within the sense of Consci­ence, that charges her to do or suffer such a thing; and there is without, a Bull from Rome, that dis­charges her from both doing and suffering it: Do you not think to see this Soul, as the Body of Moses was once, between a good and a bad Angel? Here God impresses a pious Fear, in order that the Peni­tent may do ot suffer such a thing; and there the Pope shews an Indulgence, that he may do but what he pleases: Do you not see God, and the Pope con­testing still about Moses, & strugling one against the other, what way shall be taken by this honest Soul? If the Pope have the better of it, then his Indul­gences come to this, and the Satisfactions and Blood of Christ, which the Pope wraps up in these Bulls, have this good end, namely, that Men need not be perplexed for Gods Fear, nor for the motions of Conscience. Certainly, not to do what both the fear of God, and the sense of an honest Conscience do move us to, is a fearful omission: and if any In­dulgence can wash it off, it must exemt Men not only from a punishment, as they pretend, but from a very great sin also, which they do not. 3. This scattering and abusing the Blood of Christ by In­dulgences, will better appear, if you consider in retail what these Penalties are, which this Blood applied to us by them, must free us from. These [Page 225]Penalties are chiefly these three, c Fasting, Praier, and Almes-giving. The very * Pagans can tell you, that the exercise of Moral Vertues is even a Sove­raign Happiness: How then come good Catholics to imagine, that the exercise of Christian ones may be to them a punishment? In conscience, is Pray­ing, Fasting, and giving of Alms, the punishment, or part of it, which sin deserves? Did ever Gods Law reckon Praier and Charity amongst its Cur­ses? Or did ever the Gospel of Christ impose this Holy and Blessed Exercise, under the notion of Chastening? Is it likely, that the Apostles, who often plagued Men with Blindness, with Death, with delivering them over to Satan, ever inflicted Praiers, and Exercises of Alms-giving, as strokes of their Apostolical Rod? Did the Lord Jesus shed his Blood to be applied in Indulgences, that you should not Pray, or Fast at all? Or that we should not Pray, or Fast so much? And if this be none of the true ends of Christs Death and Satis­faction; I do not say, how unprofitable, but how both unchristian and Antichristian are the Indulgen­ces, that trifle away this Sacred Blood to such con­trary purposes? 4. Lastly, to lay this impious a­buse aside, and to let Fasting, Praying, and charit­able giving of Alms, pass at Rome for hard and pain­ful Punishments; yet they are, neither the Death that the Law threatens sinners with, nor the Hellish burning in Purgatory, which, as they say, the Ju­stice of God requires, that they should suffer when they are dead: they can be at the most, but an emty shadow of these pains. And tho they were (what [Page 226]they are not) a full Equivalent for them; yet are they no satisfaction in any Balance of Justice, un­less God will accept of them for due paiment. Therefore let Roman Confessors shew now to their poor Penitents, either when, and where God hath told them, that he will accept of their Praiers, &c. instead of Purgatory Burnings, which is their pro­per punishment: and let the other greater Cheats, the Popes and Bull-sellers of Rome, assure any o­thers but Fools, upon any probable ground, that God is both pleased and resolved to accept of their Indulgences, in lieu of Fastings and Praiers, and good and Christian giving of Alms.

2. The second end, that Roman Indulgences are intended, and so bought for, is the removing of that Judgment, which condemns Roman Catholics after this Life to dreadful Burnings and Tortures, unless (which few besides Saints and Martyrs can do) they can satisfie otherwise. This hot and ter­rible Torment is not imposed on departing Souls by Popes or Priests; for if it were, it would be no wonder that Popes and Priests could remove it. It is none of those voluntary Chastisements, which one may take upon himself to prepare him for Gods Mercies, since it is confessed by them all, that no Body grows better for them. It is an unavoidable Punishment lying on them for the satisfaction of Ju­stice. It is, they say, decreed by God f himself due and demanded by Gods Law, grounded and radica­ted upon the essential right of Nature: and by this you may judg how indispensable this Purgatory punishment is, since, as they say, God Almighty will rather see his own Children burning many [Page 227]hundreds of years in hellish Flames, when even their sins are pardoned, then to break his Law to take it off. Yet the Almighty Pope dares do it: and if you cannot go so far as to Rome, Rome will in a manner come to you; and give you such an Indul­gence, that is in their own language, such a juridi­cal Absolution, as shall reverse all Judgments whe­ther of natural Justice, or God himself: and thus get you clear on all hands. Heaven and Earth can­not afford the like Example. A Hostler, or a Porter making Acts of Oblivion; or a Prisoner at New-Gate granting Decrees to stop the Judges, and their Pro­ceedings at Westminster, are nothing to Pope Sixtus the 4th, nor to Alexander the fixt, nor to any of those Villains, who send Indulgences from Rome, and from the Embraces of their Harlots, to obstruct the Course of Divine Justice, and to order judicially, to what degrees of Punishment it may proceed; or whether it shall proceed at all. This is far worse then what they say the Russians do, when upon the breast f of their dead Friends, they send a Mandat to S. Peter, charging him, that at the same moment, when he shall have received their letter, he fail not to admit the Bearer thereof, whom they have ab­solved from all sins. For the Popes Indulgence is a formal Sentence, and as they call it, a Juridical Ab­solution directed to and served upon God himself a­gainst the usual course, as they conceive, of this or­dinary Supreme Justice.

I have read of a conceited man, who, even to the endangering of his life, keeping himself from making water, for fear of drowning the whole World, at last was perswaded, it would not be so, by the ex­perience [Page 228]of his weakness upon a poor small Cottage, set on fire, which his friends had called him to quench. If His Holiness in this respect were not twenty times more incurable; twenty thousand ex­periments of the like nature might have cured him. Let him and all Papists but consider, what a most plenary Indulgence, or even a whole Jubilee can do towards the preventing of the least other temporal punishment for sin, for example, want, sickness, or death; and thence let them guess, what it can do against the greatest, and, as they conceive the most fatal, the burning of Souls after Pardon. Let them try, what kind of Relief these Bulls can afford to contrite and repenting Robbers against hanging, in an human Judicature; and then hope or despair of what they are boasted to do, against the Soveraign Divine Justice. Nay let the wisest of all the Papists hearken to their own sense and reason. If an g In­dulgence, saies Bellarmin, cannot so much as take a­way the Punishment, which an Inferior Magistrate condemns a Thief, or a Murderer to; how much less able shall it be, to take of that Punishment, which God hath decreed against Sinners? And what do they conceive Purgatory Burning to be else? They * ac­knowledg also, that, the Pope by his Indulgences can­not pardon any Punishment, which is inflicted by God as Judg, in an Exterior and criminal Judicature. If so, in good earnest doth not God Almighty act as a Judg, when he condemns men to Punishment in order to satisfy his Justice? And is not that an exterior and Criminal Court of Justice, wheresoever men are condemned to such grievous and long, and out­ward [Page 229]Punishments? Or if you call it inward; why should the Judgment of God be less, and the Power of the Pope more regarded, in Gods own internal, then in his external Judicature?

Here the Popes are pleased to juggle, as the Fel­low used to do, who bragged, how far he could jump at Rhodes, where he knew no man had seen him. But saies one, if it be so; come friend, here is as good ground as at Rhodes, let us therefore see what you can do. The Popes brag much, how bravely they can save men from all the dangers in a Place, where no body tells us the truth of what they are pleased to brag of. But here in the Course of this mortal life, where we see so many temporal Judgments of God, so many Plagues and Penalties inflicted by God Al­mighty upon absolved sinners for their sins, my Rho­dian Boaster cannot jump: the Popes Bulls save from none of them: and by their own Confession, their Indulgences h can help no man against any kind of Miseries, whether for Original sins such as are Infir­mities, Diseases and Death; or for any actual sins, such as Plagues upon men, and Countries. It is in vain, when men go to Rome for a Bull against any kind of Tribulations whatsoever, either in their Soul, or Body, Relations or Fortune. No Indulgence can reprive from any Punishments that we can see: only that one which we see not, the being torment­ed in Purgatory for sins which God hath forgiven; and there only my Jumpers can work wonders, and their Indulgences are worth Gold.

If the compassing of these two Ends, namely the easing you from pious Exercises, whensoever you are troubled with them; and the removing of Gods [Page 230]purgatory Justice, be both impious and impossible; the manner of attemting it by laying out the blood of Christ in Indulgences, is not much better. At first, when the Fathers of Trent talk magnificently of opening their great i Celestial Magazines, and of drawing out thence, by the means of their Indul­gences, Christs Blood, and all sorts of Blessings; all this makes shew of a great matter. But if you will come but somewhat near, you shall find it what Eneas did, when being in the Heathenish Limbus, he thought to see and embrace his Father; it is but an emty Phantome, which hath neither flesh nor bones, that you can hold. 1. For first this Celestial Magazine is not lockt and opened at Rome, as the Vatican Library is, whence the Pope and his Offi­cers may lend to Baronius what Ancient Records he calls for, there to find tales for his purpose; and sometimes Truth against himself. Nor is it like the Tresury where His Holiness keeps his Monies, when it comes in from selling Bulls, under the pretense of Holy Wars, &c. and goes out as they k say some­times it doth, in real truth, to arm Turks against Chri­ans. Nor is it like those more holy consecrated Re­positories, where their holy Relics are kept; and whence they may at any time shew all what you have a mind to see, the Head, or the Toe of a Saint, the Milk, or the Hairs of the Virgin. It were fair, if this Tresury, where Christs Blood and Ransom is kept, were but like their Holy Mass Pyx; where the whole Body lies still at hand, for any man that may want it; for then it were easy for the Pope, to take in and out what he pleases. They say that this [Page 231]whole Tresure is laid up in mente & acceptatione Di­vina, l that is, in the very mind and acceptation of God himself, where no sober man will imagine, that any Roman Pope can reach, as he must in the pre­sent Case. The Case is this. The Pope must have to dispose of, as much, or as little of the blood of Christ, as he intends to make his Indulgence to be worth. If it be an Indulgence for 40 daies, any Bishop may take as much; so very little of this blood may serve: if the Indulgence be for 40, or for 4, or 500 years, he must proportionably take so much the more; for all Indulgences being supposed to be real­ly fraught with Christs Blood; and to be effective Paiments made by the Pope, to God himself, out of his Sons satisfactions and Sufferings; here first you must admit another such business as in the Mass Sa­crifice. First the Pope reaches to part of this Celestial Tresure, which is with God (above any human reach one should think) otherwise how could he pay it, and having it (I leave to others to deter­mine what way the Pope can come it) supply all Exigencies, especially at the Jubilee, and generally at any time. I ask any Christian Conscience, whe­ther these satisfactions and this Blood, supposing true what they fancy, should not be much better left in the hand of Christ himself; then in the disposal of a Pope, who, when we may have the greatest need, namely when after Death we must all stand above at the Bar, is at a great distance from us; knows neither our Danger, nor our sins: nor what Judg­ment shall pass on us; nor what we want to secure against that danger. Were not this better in his hand, who hath shed it, and presented it already to [Page 332]God, who sees our need, and who stands there to help out? Were it not better left in Gods own hand to whom Christ first presented it? And who is the Judg to whom, they say, the Pope must present it back again? Is the Pope being at Rome more willing or more able, having this Blood under his key, to help with it remote and unknown Souls, then Christ who is present, to save his Members? And whether of the two is more merciful and more likely to use it best to our Salvation, the Pope at a distance, in ap­plying it to strangers, or God the Father being there present, in applying it to his Children? Is it that Christs Redemtion must come to Rome, and there be ratified by some Bull, before it be good against Burning? Secondly, this Paiment, however reacht to, is, they say, presented to God by the Pope. It is so in all Indulgences, but in those especially, which his Holiness grants for the dead. For there the Pope rescues no man from what he suffers, but by offering as much to God, of Christs Sufferings, that so Justice, they say, n may be satisfied by the exchange. And herein lies a most impious Absur­dity. 1. For what is this, to offer up again what Christ, by his eternal Spirit offered before? Was not Christs once offering it, sufficient? Is the Popes Offering more acceptable? and since Christ alone can by the Law of Mechisedecs Priest-hood, offer up his Body, and Blood; what is the Popes second Offer­ing in every Bull, but a most sacrilegious Boldness? Will they say, that this Offering is merely intentio­nal, such as every Christian may do by praier? then say I, the Indulgence which the Pope sells with this kind of Offering, is a mere Cheat; if it be more, it [Page 233]is the Sacrilege. 2. Secondly what a rude extrava­gancy, is it to offer to God for Paiment his own Mo­ny? and to present him with that which he had al­ready from an incompatably better hand? Is this fair and honest dealing, to pay one out of his own Purse? and what Piece of Courtship is it in a Sub­ject, to present his Prince with nothing else, then his own proper Roial Jewels?

This is the truth of Christs Satisfaction: and Pope and Papists should either learn, or teach it better. Christ having once offered to God a Ransom most sufficient to redeem all men, both from all sins and all the Penalties which attend them; God the Fa­ther hath accepted of it, for such, at the hands of his Dear Son. Now the way of applying this great and infinite Sacrifice: and of rendring it as well all Efficacious to us, as it is al-sufficient in it self, is not to return it up to God, either by ordinary Priests at Mass, or by Popes pretending to repay it him in In­dulgences; (for this were rather the way of apply­ing it to God, who gives, then to us who must re­ceive it) but to beg it of God through Christ by continual Praiers; to thirst and long after it, by the sense of our wants, and unworthiness; to qualify our selves towards the receiving of it, by repenting; and then to embrace what God according to his mer­cies and promises will give; to embrace it, I say, with faith, and secure it to our selves by a constant course of holy life. Or to say the same in Roman terms. The Church hath an infinite Tresure, both of Satisfactions and Merits: out of which you may have as many Jubilees and Plenary Indulgences for all your Sins, and all the Penalties, whether eter­nal or temporal that attend sin, as you shall want. [Page 234]This Tresure of Satisfactions hath already bin both so sufficiently, and so efficaciously offered to God, by Christ and accepted of by God for you, that with­out any farther Offering by Mass Oblations or Popes Bulls, it stands alwaies before God, in his mind, and acceptation. God is pleased to offer it you, full as it is in his Gospel; His Holy Sacraments, and his gra­cious Promises are both his Bulls and Indulgences, and be sure that you shall gain them, if you are but willing and earnest to have them: Only know this, that Christ, who is the Steward, and the Dispenser of the Tresure, throws it not a way undiscreetly on every sinner, that bids mony. None of his Indul­gences are to be had sine Causa rationabili, as the Bull-mongers use to speak, without some reasona­ble cause, which is leaving the Pope, to come with repentance and Faith to Christ: instead of bow­ing to a Rosary Altar or an Image, to humble your self, and walk uprightly both before God and before men. Now have you got the whole Tresure upon these reasonable terms; you have the keies along with it, as far as your private concern reaches. Impe­penitency, or continuing in any sin, are the two or­dinary keies, that lock it up: holy Faith, and true Charity are the keies that get it open. There are keies of another kind, that belong to public Per­sons, S. Peter, S. Paul, and all the Lawful Officers in the house of God. These public keies are to lock out of it all such wretches, as stand in the Church to shame it: and to open it to them again, when af­ter due proofs of Amendment, they shall watch and knock at her Gates. And this is more then perhaps you think; for altho directly they belong only to the Church, they do also consequently both lock [Page 235]or open Gods good Tresure, and in some manner Heaven it self. For tho Christ properly be the keeper of, as well as the way and the Gate of this Celestial Palace; take it for certain, that his Keies do shut or open his Kingdom, whensoever Paul or Apollos, or any other Lawful Bishop, Lawfully shuts or opens the Church; and whensoever also your pri­vate ones shut or open your own Tresure. If Rome trespass against the rule (as her keies may turn wrong, and not in the wards of the Catholic Church) your private ones shall serve your turn, and the keies of Christ will second them. These keies every true Christian, as Tertullian p saies very well, doth keep and carry about him: and may with them attain un­to the tender Mercies of God, and the satisfaction of Christ for all his sins, without the Bull of any Pope. The very Papists do confess it, tho they do it in other words, when they say, r That there is no mortal sin but may be remitted by true Co trition, without the Sacrament of Penance. Only for fear of beggering themselves, they keep in their own Power the remit­ting of Temporal Pains.

This one Reservation makes all the trouble about Pardons, and so secures all the profit. It makes all the trouble for Pardons; for let the foulest sinner go and confess, the meanest Mass Priest can absolve him from all his sins, and from all the eternal punishments in Hell: and if some Repentance be required (tho some s think it scarce necessary) it will go hard with the Penitent, if a very small sorrow be not counted [Page 236]Attrition, and by the power of their Keies be not elevated, that is made to pass into such a degree of Contrition, or Roman Repentance, as shall secure the worst Livers from Eternal Destruction. And God knows, how many Wretches both are drawn away to that Church, and there emboldened to sin by this sweer Enchantment. But when you think to have done all (for who is the honest Penitent that might not think to have done enough, when he hath freed himself from sin, and from the eternal Misery that follows it) there remains still the tem­poral, which may make you burn for every one of these sins you think pardoned, in a Fire as hot as Hell, some say seven, some ten, others twenty Years, for every one of your Mortal Sins. You may hear God protesting by most of the Holy Pro­phets, That if you turn and believe, He will not so much as remember your sins any more. But Romes Purgatory Vengeance tells quite the contrary. You hear an Apostle preaching among the ancient Ro­mans, That there is no condemnation at all for them that are in Christ Jesus, Rom. 8.1. That is true for Hell, say now the Modern Romans, but not for Pur­gatory. You hear another Apostle telling you, That the Blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth you from all sins, when you have committed any, 1 John 1.5. but not, saies the Roman Church, from all the Pu­nishments and Burnings which you must suffer. Nay more, these will tell you also, that t Christ hath most fully satisfied for all Sins and Punishments, both in Hell and in Purgatory: What can they say, and you wish more? one should think so; but they only mock you. For Christ, say they, hath satisfi­ed [Page 137]so for you, but 'tis upon condition, that you shall satisfie also for your self. Good God! I thought my Savior had satisfied fully for all my Debts, if by Repenting and Believing, and leading a Christi­an Life, I should make my self capable of his full Satisfaction. Now it seems he hath satisfied Divine Justice, in case I do satisfie it my self; he hath freed me of all my Debts, if I pay them; he hath obtain­ed the full pardon of all my sins, if I be sufficient­ly punish'd for them. So I receive and may expect this favor, that I shall not be punish'd neither so long, nor in Hell; and that I shall not be drawn and quartered on Tower-hill, if I be hang'd at Tiborn. This certainly is no full Pardon, nor full Satisfacti­on, nor full Paiment. They say, it is, if you ap­ply it well. It is full to all ends and purposes, when it is applied by Baptism; it is full after Baptism for all Mortal Sins and Eternal Punishments in Hell, if it be well applied by temporal and worldly pains. So I need not trouble my self for Hell or Sin: But what must I do to free my self from Purgatory? Here therefore is the Corner, where you must pay the utmost Farthing: Here in good earnest lies all the trouble, and hence the Roman Clergy gains the profit.

For after you have bin at the trouble of continual Pilgrimages, Fastings, Scourgings, and great Ex­pences, no body can well assure you, that seven Years of such hardships in this sad Life, shall x save in Purgatory one hours burning. You must have your recourse to Masses, and redeem your self out of that terrible Fire with whole thousands of these, as they call them, Celestial Victimes, for they [Page 138]properly are intended for that purpose: and many rich Men every day grudg not to destitute their Children, and to bestow their vast Estates to this good end. How much this hath raised up the Roman Church, you may see by those vast Lands and Patrimonies which she enjoies: and how little it can help poor Souls, you may see also by this, that after Millions of Masses so dearly bought, none of the Priests will think their Founders Souls so free from the pains of Purgatory, but they will sell and sing as many more, for their greater se­curity.

In a word, after all is done which both Mass and Mass-Priests can do, there is no safety but in the Pope and Indulgences. If you will know what they Blaspheme; Christ himself with his whole Body and all his Blood, tho a hundred times Sa­crificed in a hundred Masses, is far short of what the Pope can do in one plenary Indulgence; and, what Heaven and Earth may tremble at, his Roman Ho­liness sometimes applies more of Christs Blood in a single piece of Parchment, then Christ himself will do in three or four thousand Mass-Sacrifices. Therefore besides all you can get of the Mass-Priests, with their Supercelestial Victims, the Pope promises you far more out of his Celestial Store-house. This he can open as wide or little as he thinks fit: So you may have Bulls of all sizes; some for 40 daies, Quadragens. Afterward they grew to one Year, as that solemn one which * Alexander the third bestowed in Ferraria upon St. Georges high Altar: Some other grew to seven, some to ten, some to twenty years; but all things well considered, [Page 139]these small Indulgences proved too weak and insi­gnificant to help one out of Purgatory: For alas! who can tell us, whether one sin may not require as much or more, to be burnt out? therefore you may have larger Indulgences, even for hundreds and for thousands of Years: such is that which Pope Boni­face granted, when he dedicated the Chappel Mi­sericordia, being worth one thousand Years to the Romans, two thousand to remoter Neighbors, and three thousand to them who came to it from beyond Sea.

This is nothing; ten and twenty thousand Years came to be an usual rate for every Month in the Year, and sometimes y for many daies in some Months. Read the Account of Roman * Indulgen­ces, there you shal find some of thirty three thousand Years. In one of the Altars of the Lateran Church, which they call Ara Maxima, z there is one of 48000 for every day. They say the Venetians have one gran­ted to them by Benedict the 11th, which extends to above fourscore thousand; at last they are grown, and in one Church, for example in the Lateran, to a a number beyond all calculation: and they who think to guess best at it, do not find them less then the many small grains which you may find in a good handful of Sand; or the many small drops of Wa­ter that can fall in three whole daies and nights of Rain.

This way of mesuring Indulgences by a greater [Page 140]or lesser number of Years, is, as it were an old Rag of the old Relaxations, which the Popes are pleased to tear off, either to blind or to coun­tenance the newness of their Indulgences. The Primitive Church sometimes did punish scandalous Men with Censures, that lasted, some five, some ten, some fifteen, and some twenty Years: and if she saw reason for it, she used to remit more or less of this time of humiliation, according as the Peni­tent seemed to make better use of it. Now the Pope by his Indulgences remits another kind of Pu­nishent, not that which the Church had laid, but that which God himself will lay on them; not in this life and in the Church, but after death and in Purgatory; not to make them a whit the better, but only to please his Justice. So because they know well enough, that these new Indulgences of theirs are quite another thing then b what the ancient Re­laxations were, they will borrow somthing of those to cover with it the newness of these; and having changed the very Substance, they do what they can to inveigle themselves and others with some emty Shadows and Forms. Only they must betray them­selves, when to make Indulgences more precious, they multiply twenties into thousands, a number as inconsistent with the Censures, as with the Lives of Penitents in the Church of God, but compatible with their new waies of Penance in Purgatory. For whereas one, or two, or some few Years of Eccle­siastical Relaxation, did tend only to take off some Years of their Ecclesiastical Censure; our Roman Relaxations and Indulgences intend to take off [Page 241]quite, or to abridge Gods Judgment, which may last upon burning Souls longer then the longest Bulls. And this is the sense and meaning of their extravagant Calculation. Sir, you have from his Holiness a Bull of forty thousand Years; that is, a holy Privilege, by which you shall be c exemted from as long and as hot Burnings in the other World, as you might have freed your self from, not only by scourging your back every day of your natural life, but every day of forty thousand Years, if you were able to live so long. Every one of your Mortal Sins deserves by some ancient Canons a d Mortification of three, of seven, and some of ten Years and more: think how many such lie upon you, and then peradventure you shal find, that tho an Indulgence of forty thousand Years goes very far, it may be yet too short for you.

But if you be not pleased with this mesuring of Indulgences, because how long and wide soever, it is upon many e accounts uncertain, whereas the sum which you pay for them is not so: take at your choice either partial, or plenary Indulgences, and then you shall know what you take. If you take a partial one, chuse what piece of Pardon you please, whether to be freed from the Penances that your Confessor puts you to, or from the punishment of venial, or for half, a third or fourth part of Mortal Sins. I say this, because beyond Sea I have known some great Persons, who would not take Pardon for all, being informed by their Directors, that God [Page 242]would be better glorified, if they should expiate some part of them by Burning themselves along with them in the Purgatory Fire. However, the Pope now hath the Blood and the Satisfactions of Christ so perfectly at his command, that he may & will let you have of it, for as much and as little as you please. But if you have a mind to make clear work, and to be quit with Gods Justice upon all scores, take a to­tal or a plenary Indulgence. A plenary Indulgence, (God in his great mercy forgive, and undeceive them who Blaspheme so) is thought equivalent to Holy Baptism, and able to convey as much of Christs Blood upon you, as will wash you clean from all your Sins; or at the least, clear you from all Debts, from the very date of your Baptism, to the taking of the Indulgence.

Yet this total or full Indulgence, admits of several degrees. For in Pope f Boniface's account, there are some that are more then full, Pleniores; some o­thers yet fuller then these, Plenissimae. Some of the Roman Champions are puzled at this gradation, and do not know how to take it, unless it be for an ex­aggerating Expression, to swell somewhat the bu­siness, and to lighten the Buyers purse. Never­theless there is in the case ground enough for these, and more Gradations. 1. You may think to have gained a total Indulgence, because it releases you of all the Punishment which can be laid on you by the Church; when you want another, to release you from all other punishments, which may, either in Purgatory, or in some other place be laid on you, by God himself. 2. Suppose your plenary Indul­gence remits both these, Ab injunct is, & debitis; it [Page 243]commonly remits them no farther, then the time when it is applied to you, when being in great dan­ger of dying, you are absolv'd by it. But in case you live longer, tho it were but a Fortnight, your total Indulgence is spent; you want another, that may remit the sins which you may fall into before you die. Therefore there is a fuller one, Plenior, that may serve you to your last breath. 3. There must be another yet fuller then this, for when you are in such an extremity of either sickness or dan­ger, that apparently you cannot live, Articulus mor­tis praesumtus, that is, the point g and last term when you must use it; then if you escape this danger, you see you are to seek of another, against both the point presumed, h and the point real, when you shall die; unless you take their good advise i, who are for two distinct Indulgences; one for the pre­sumed end of your life, which for greater security you may use in any danger; and the other for the real term, when you shall die in good earnest: for thus, they say, you cannot fail to end your daies in a Baptismal Innocency. 4. But yet you may per­haps want a Priest to say your Absolution: For tho these kind of Officers be common enough, even five or six in a Parish, yet they may be all singing their Mass, when you are at home groaning to death. And in those barbarous Countries, where Mass-Priests are not so frequent, what will avail all your Indulgences, if you chance to die at Durham, when your Mass-Priest is at New-castle? Therefore there are other fuller then those, and most full and fullest, [Page 244] Pleniores & Plenissimae, that can secure you from be­ing burned, tho you want a Priest: which is done two manner of waies, either by impowering you to make your Groom, or the next Man or Woman that you meet with, a lawful Officer to absolve you, because these Indulgences are such unsacramental Pardons, which may be as well applied k as granted, without any Priestly Character; or by wording your Indul­gence in such terms, as shall require no Body at all l to apply it; and in that case, they say, the Pope himself is the immediate Priest, who absolves you at any distance. 5. When you have this, you have not yet all; for there is another sort of sins that this Indulgence, how large soever, takes, it may be, no notice of; to wit, all the sins which you may ha­zard your self into, by presuming on the strength of this Indulgence. Some of your best Directors tell you, m that nothing is a sin, which you are em­boldened to do by the hope of the next Jubilee, or of a most plenary Bull, such as Friends and Mo­ney can easily procure you from Rome; or at the least, that what you do, tho the venturing were a sin, yet it cannot at all debar you from the benefit of this Pool, that washes all your filth away. Yet I hear of some other great ones, and Saints too, who will except presumtuous sins, when they apply these large Pardons. For thus runs the Absoluti­on, n Authoritate, &c. that is, By the authority of the Apostolical See committed to me, I absolve thee of all thy sins, excepting those which thou hast committed [Page 245]by relying on this Indulgence. Get therefore your most full Indulgence to be made fuller, by the addi­tion of those sins, and then die when and how you please, your Soul is safe. 6. But and if you would be so good, as to get in by the same means some­what to pleasure your Friends with, call for an In­dulgence, such as you find one o at St. Laurence without the Walls of Rome, on Easter Wednesday; or at St. Athanasia p the day before, an Indulgence with 18 or 28 thousand Years of true Pardon, and as many Quarantins: and withal, the power of rescu­ing any Soul from out of the Flames of Purgatory. Thus by this large accumulation of good and Ghost­ly Privileges, you may take the full Indulgence for your self, save Father or Mother out of Burning, and bestow the Quarantins and other odd Years on your Friends. 7. If his Roman Holiness be graciously pleased to add to it these two Clauses, Ad instar Jubilaei, and, Quantum se Claves exten­dunt; that is, After the manner of a Jubilee, and, As far as the Keies of the Church can reach; this is absolutely a Plenary, and more Plenary, and most Plenary Indulgence. With this, for ought I know, you may save all the World and your self: how­ever, you may secure all the Crimes, and In­cests, and Sodomies, which you find expiated, and paid for in the Popes Apostolical q Chamber. For who can tell what that is, which St. Peters Keies cannot fetch in? And what is too much to be taken out of an infinite Tresure? and to be given r out of it, by an unlimited Power? Quaecunque solveris, [Page 246]&c. The main difficulty of the business is, that such a large and comprehensive Indulgence is like to stand you at a high price. For such gracious Con­cessions, as you may see at large in the Roman s Chancery Office, must all be granted after the pro­portion of what they give: So much for having kil­led t your Father; and so much for him that hath ravished u Sister and Mother: but there's no Dispen­sation or Mercy for him who hath a mind to pay x nothing. You may be absolved from sins, which you have not actually confessed, if you had a mind to confess them; and your Indulgence on this ac­count will accept of an intended Confession: But so cannot the Roman Office of an intended paiment; the sum, such as it is, must be laid down. Papa non debet, &c. saies a great z Man, The Pope ought not so to grant Indulgences to them who would fain pay, as to them who pay actually. And in this case, saies he, the rich Men have the a better Title to the Blessedness which the Pope gives; as our Savior saies, The poor have it, to that which he is pleased to give himself, Luke 6.20. Quia b non sunt, &c. saies his Holiness, Book of Rates. Whosoever hath no Money, cannot be comforted with Pardons: and if you will have it in other terms, Such full Indulgences are Jewels for Kings and great Persons, let them be never so profane: not for poor and private Men, let them be never so pious.

But nevertheless, do not despond in this good Ca­tholic [Page 247]way, for the Pope takes care of you, in the care he takes for himself. You must not think that some few Grandees are able to make up the vast sums which he raiseth out of Indulgences: It is all that whole Europe can do. Therefore besides those few Indulgences, which you shall find in some great Houses; as in Corporations and Cities, not only for the Lord, the Lady, the Children, Male and Female who are living, but for many Generations, and hundreds of Years after them, so the Protestant Heresie may never creep into these Houses; be­sides these great and hereditary Indulgences, I say, which are proper to some Families; the Pope scat­ters others as good for their present occasion, thro­out all the Catholic Countries.

1. Sometimes Princes will engage for all, and ac­commodate his Holiness with c a good lusty sum of ready Money, suppose 200 thousand Ducats, that they may sell them in retail, and at small rates a­mong their Subjects; or the Pope will engage those Princes with some d considerable share in the Pro­fits, to countenance his Officers, if he will retail them himself. Thus all passages being made free, Friers will run all over the World, of whom you and every Man else may have their Merchandise for a small matter. If your Parson will take as much as he thinks may serve his Parish (as heretofore Re­ctors e and Curats used to do, in hope of gaining somthing for their pains, and for the ease of their poor Flock) you are like to have it cheaper. Whe­ther the Blood of Jesus Christ follows both forward [Page 248]and backward all the motions of these Merchants, or whether God, in whose hand is the Church Tre­sure, will punctually send as much of it, as makes the Indulgence worth the buying, whether and whensoever the Pope of Rome, for his own ends, will send his Bulls, is not the Point in question. But however, these great Indulgences, full or emty, such as they are, can by the means of these Huck­sters, both return Millions back to Rome, and come home ready to your hands for eighteen pence. Over all Spain, and the Kingdoms appertaining, saies f Navarrus (and think not that England fares worse) a full Indulgence of all Sins, with many other Fa­culties and Privileges added to it, such as the liber­ty of eating Cheese on Saturday, &c. may be had by every one (Prince or Pesant it matters not) for two small pieces of Silver.

2. There is not any poor country Church or Chappel, but, as it hath a Saint for its special Pa­tron, and an anniversary Feast for the day on which it was consecrated, hath also some special Graces out of the Roman Tresury, to wait both upon the Saint and the Feast. Thus one needs not to go farther then the Parish, to get at the least twice in a Year the benefit of Indulgences.

3. If you be not content with what your Parish can afford, the Pope hath so judiciously scattered great Sanctuaries over all his Catholic World, like the Moazim in Daniel, and the High places in Israel; that there is scarce any Country so unfortunatly seated, but it can supply all Catholic Inhabitants with all they can want in this case. In Spain you [Page 149]have the Chappel of Angels g, where by the Vir­gins special favor, you may save one Soul every Year (you might have done it every day, if the Pope had not grudged at it) if you will but step into the Church. At Venice you have the Chappel called The Lords Sepulcher, and therein some think, fourscore thousand Years of Pardon. Padua, Pe­rusium, Florence, Montserrat, Lauretta, &c. do not come much short of this. In France you shall find it may be more, if you go to St. Denis, St. Michael, Limoges, and a hundred other famous Places, which it were needless to mention here. You may be sure that Germany, and the Low Countries, do not want such Commodities as these are.

4. Besides these local Indulgences that are fixed to Altars and Churches, which you may easily re­sort to, his Holiness hath taken care to fasten some other, and large ones too, upon certain move­able h things, which are brought ready to your hand. For as there are privileged Altars, Masses, and Churches, made fast to certain pieces of ground; there are Praiers enrich'd with the like Favors and Indulgences, flying up and down the Roman World, as light and nimble as Paper can be, that can afford you upon this score more then you can need. Buy but a little Book, such as I have an old one by me, containing the Suffrages of the Saints; there you shall find in one short Ave Maria i said to the honor of St. Anna, St. Mary and her Son, ten thousand Years for your Mortal, and twenty thousand more for your Venial Sins. In another Salutation, [Page 250] k Ave Valnus 4000 daies; in the Praier Dirupisti 6000; in the Praier a Domine Jesu, ten hundred thou­sand Years; in the Praier Adoro te, l 32755 Years of Pardon. And if this be not enough, Pope Sixtus the 4th was pleased to add to it a great deal more, even so much as to double it, and the 15 Oo's of St. Brigit, that is, in a Praier made of 15 Ejaculations m, all beginning by O Jesu; forty five huge great In­dulgences, and extraordinary Powers, namely, fif­teen to deliver from Purgatory any fifteen Souls you please to name of your kindred; fifteen, to con­vert to a good Life any fifteen Men or Women, that you may find among sinners; and fifteen, to keep fifteen more honest Persons, safe and constant in a good way. And the Rubric adds more, n that what­soever you shall desire, if it be for the good of your Soul, you shall have it. And what can you not ex­pect of Salve Regina, Ave spes, and such other more solemn Praiers? When you are weary of Prai­ers, take your Beads. Videmus, &c. a saies a most Learned and Pious Author in the Roman way, I my self, saies he, have seen small Buttons, or Beads of Wood, so powerfully blessed by the Pope, that whoso­ever had one in his hand, in saying but the Lords Praier, was therewith enabled to save a Soul. Any Meddal, when rightly consecrated, can do as much; 'tis but getting some of those rusty Pieces, which Pope Sixtus the Fifth found once under the rubbish of an old Wall, then presently you are b fitted with * [Page 251] rare Indulgential Privileges. The Agnus-Dei's, as I will shew you anon, that is, pieces of Wax seal­ed with the Image of a Lamb, and consecrated ac­cordingly, go beyond this. But observe what I tell you, and admire the blessedness of being a Ro­man Catholic; by that time you are grown so weak, or so lazy, as not to stretch your hand to a Book, in order to the gaining these Indulgences; the very Bell of the Parish will sound them int [...] your Ears. Pope John the 22d is the first I know, who c being at Avignion, assured twenty daies of Pardon upon the toling about Sun-set; and since that time, these 20 were out of the Church Tresure d by Pope Sixtus improved here in England, into 300 daies of pardon at every daies toling 3 times; this they call the Ave Bell. Thus, unless you stop both Heart and Ears, you can't want every day a fair proportion of Indulgences.

4. If you will drink at the Fountain of all these good things, go to Rome. As that Town is by the Testimony of her e own Friends acknowledged to be the durtiest Nest of all sorts of uncleanness; she hath, to wash all clean, a whole Ocean of Indul­gences. There the seven great Churches, not to name a hundred more, can upon their own account afford more Propitiations, then the greatest Villains can commit sins: for there is Scala Sancta, that is, those 28 Steps, or Marble Stones, that once be­longed to Pilate; but now have in them such a mea­sure of Holiness, that the Popes think it Devotion [Page 252]to kneel on them: And that of late, Queen Chri­stina is much celebrated f by some for having bent her Roial knees, and, what she never had done in her Country, expressed much Devotion, by creep­ing up those Holy Stairs. There is that most Holy Chappel, which they call Sancta Sanctorum, where Men at the first stepping into, find wherewith g to expiate all sins: and Women, at the very looking into it (for they are not suffered to come in) get even as much through an Iron Grate. This is the most Holy Sanctuary, more Holy then Heaven it self, since it is too Sacred and Holy for his Holiness h to approach near its Altar, and for the very Body and Blood of Christ there to be offered at Mass. Agreat Holiness, you may think, which will admit neither of Christs Vicar, nor Christ himself. There finally are the four Gates, Portae Sanctae, which stand open all the Jubilee long, to let all People into Heaven. The way of it is admirable, and I have it i from good Au­thors. His Holiness comes to St. Peters, with a sil­ver Hammer in his hand; and being followed by a great Pomp and Procession of Cardinals, and best Grandees of the City, he strikes the Wall with his Hammer, and bids the Temple to lay open its eternal or everlasting Gates, that the Righteous Nation may come in. Then presently Masons appear to pull down the Stones, that that Holy Gate was Walled with. The Roman people throngs to help, and thrice happy is the poor Wretch, who gets one bit of the Ho [...]y Materials, which was touched with the Popes Hammer.

What is don by the Pope at S. Peters, the same is don at the same time by some of the best Cardi­nals, at S. Pauls, S. Johns of Lateran, and S. Maries the Major. And the 4 Breaches are the four strait Gates, through which the Roman Catholics by the strength of their Indulgences break into the Kingdom of God. It is beyond the power of men, saies the Cardinal k Rasponi, to tell what an infinite deal of Indulgences is given by Popes on these accounts. But without these Extraordinaries, the ordinary and daily Allowance of these Ghostly Helps comes to that point, (unless my Italian Authors, and Public Authority deceive me) that there is neither a Month in the year, l but Rome can afford you out of her very walls and stones, wherewith to save 25 or 30 Souls besides your own; nor a Day in the Month where any one may not with little trouble, gain Hundreds and Thousands, and ten, and twenty, and sometime three and thirty thousands of years; be­sides the many Quarantins, Moities, and thirds, and half Moities of forgiven sins, over and above.

You may justly wonder at this vast Affluency of Indulgences: but you may better wonder at and bless the Pope for the light and easy terms, that he throws upon you his Tresure at. You do purchase all these Pardons, neither at the rate of the Gospel, Pluck out thine Eie that offends thee; Cut off the Hand, and be renewed in the inner Man: nor at the old rate of the first Popes, who began with these Indulgen­ces; Go, and fight against the Turks, or against excommunicated Heretics: or if you will not be at the hazard of Loosing your life; go and be at the [Page 236]charges of keeping Soldiers for this Service. But Attritus, & Confessus, with a small tincture of Sor­row, which the Sacrament of Confession changes presently into Repentance, go to which Confessor you please: eat or rather swallow down one piece of a consecrated wafer; then go and bow to such an Altar; or if you must salute five, you may stand in such a Place, whence you may see, and salute, and say your Ave Maria before all the l five at one time. This is enough in conscience; for you may find almost everywhere, saies Navarrus, Indulgences with all the Pardons, that Rome affords, (consider what a deal that is) without m any mention of Praier; if you will but visit three Churches, or three Altars. Nay, stand but at a convenient distance from one of them, as for example before S. Peter at Rome. When his Holiness like o a great King scatters his Roial Blessings and Favors among his Catholic Subjects: or p carry hallowed Beads at your Girdle (one day perhaps you may be bidden as well to wear a Feather in your hat, or to cock your Beaver, or to cut a Ca­per, or to dance a civil Sarabrand) these and such like are the Conditions put upon you as proper Means, for gaining the greatest Pardons.

In the mean time, to compleat the Impertinency, and to crown it with Impiety; God and his Christ must be called in, not as Spectators only of, but as Actors subservient to these Doings; there to pro­vide, and to distribute a proportionable Quantity of his Satisfactions, that lie by him, whensoever, and [Page 237]what way soever the Popes of Rome utter their Bulls. For, if you believe what they are at, Christ ordi­narily meddles but little with applying to any man his own Blood or satisfactions. If he did so, there might be some danger indeed, lest Saints, when im­portunatly called upon, or undiscreetly merciful, might intercept, and make use of the Tresury, with­out the help of Popes, and Masses: and by that means praying to Saints would ingross all; and, as to the Churches interest, would most really undo all. Therefore it is thought more * convenient, that Christ of Course should do nothing in the ma­nagement of these Affairs, but by the intervention of his Ordinary Instruments; and when it happens otherwise, as when once the Virgin, as they say took a drop of Blood from her Sons side to apply to one of her ugly Chaplains; it is lookt upon, as one of those very strange things, which if she doth, it is seldome. Witness the case of Pope Innocent the 3d whom, she would never pull out of the direful Flames, where S. Ludgardis saw him burning, for three fearful Crimes he was dead in, and in good justice had bin damned for, had not the Mother of Mercy saved him; She would not I say take him out thence, but by obtaining, (which is the ordinary course, she takes, in the Salvation of damned men) that he might come up abroad a while, for to ac­quaint his Friends with his Pains, and to beg mercy by their Suffrages. So the ordinary course is this, that tho God have the Church Tresury by him, yet he dispenses not the good things which it contains, specially in the matter of Indulgences, but accord­ing [Page 238]as the Pope his Deputy is willing to dispense his Bulls. There God somewhat like a Factor sits by the Cash, to pay out of it, great and small sums, ac­cording as the Chief Merchant draws upon him great or small Bills. In order to this Law, you may re­member, that when the Queen of Heaven once had a mind to invest the Monks called Carmelites, with a privilege that doth free them every Saturday with­out failing, out of Purgatory, She q first addressed her self to the Pope John 22. Christ himself, (that is, the Spirit, who took Christs name) did the like for S. Francis; for before he would grant what the Saint would have, namely the saving of every Soul, that after Confession should step into his little Chap­pel; he sent him to Pope r Honorius 3d, who much disputed the case in a full College of Cardinals: and after a long debate whether he should ratifie that fa­vor; at last he thought more convenient to restrain it, from every day in the year, to the first in the Month of May. Whereas we never read, that Christ ever took upon him to restrain any Popes Bulls, no not the most exorbitant of them. Here then both God, and Christ are made the Drudges, as well of every Pope at every Bull, as of every Mass-Priest, at every Mass. At Mass, whensoever the Priest saies the words, Hoc est enim Corpus meum, Christ by their Law yields his Body, and God the Father, his Miracles, to make the Transubstantiation: and tho the Priest minds nothing more, then Witchcraft, Mischief, and Profaneness, as I have shewed it in an­other Book, both Christs Body, and Gods Power must be rather subservient to the Abuse, then not [Page 239]subservient to the Mass. And in the case of Indul­gences, which, if worth any thing, are nothing else then gracious Favors of the Pope, and real paiments out of Christs Purse; Christ is supposed to be rea­dy to part with his Blood, whensoever the Pope parts with his Bull; and tho these Bulls be intend­ed, as it happens very often for quite other Ends then they pretend; Christs Blood and Satisfactions must wait on them, whether for pardoning mens Sins, or for s emtying poor German Purses; for arming Christians against the Turks; or the Turks against t the Christians: for the Building up of Pa­laces, or for enriching the u Nepotism: for in­dulging Divorcements, Adulteries, and very In­cests; for these and such other good Ends I say, Christ is presupposed to be as free to make good such Bulls with his Blood, as the Pope is, when his own interest will have it so, to make them pass under his Seal; However good Catholics when they buy them, believe it so. And this Belief is one of the greatest Allurements, that draw new Proselytes to Rome.

CHAP. XI.
Concerning the procuring Pardon of sins, by the means of holy Confraternities, and Friends.

NEXT to the Popes Bulls and Indulgences, the help of any honest Friend, that will take our Guilt upon himself: and the having ones Name entered into a Holy Confraternity, are two ready and easie waies of procuring Atonement. And the Roman Religion is commodious in nothing more, then in finding out expedients either for removing quite away; or for shifting from one to another all perso­nal Punishments. Have you committed Adultery, Extortion, or any Crime of this nature? Such grand Sins in the Auricular Confession deserve at the least Fasting, and giving of Alms: but if you are not ei­ther willing, or able to do it your self; it is enough, if some of your kindred will do it for you. One shall fast, a the other give some small relief; if they in­tend it for you when they do it, it shall all turn for your own use: and God, they say will take it so, as well, and in some cases, even better, then if you had don it your self. And this is the best of all; o­thers shall suffer all the hardship, when you enjoy the sweet of sins. And if you want such honest Friends, as will do it out of kindness; you cannot want them, who will do much more for mony. All [Page 241]the World knows, what upon this account is don at Rome, in Spaine, and other Catholic Countries; there men are publicly hired to do Penance, and to whip themselves to the blood, for the discharge of other mens sins. Only, look well to these two things. 1. That the poor fellow, whom you hire to perform this Service for you, be an honest likely fel­low to be in the estate of Grace; in statu Gratiae; for fear his Fastings and Lashings otherwise, may chance not to be accepted either for you or for himself. 2. Get you before hand b the Consent of your Confes­sor, who in that Case both will and may capacitate the self-whipper: and by the Power of his keies, improve every lash he gives himself, into an expia­tory and c Sacramental Satisfaction for you. The custom is in some Countries to get a miserable Ras­kal on Ashwednesday to d turn himself out of the Church: and to walk all that day and night bare­footed about the Streets. After that, every Body invites him home, gives him mony, and lastly he is brought again, and absolved in the Church. After the Absolution, the man, whom they have thus made their Proxy, is called by them Adam, e and is thought to be made again by this Penance both as innocent in himself, as Adam was before the fall: and as able to expiate the whole Town, into as spotless a Condition, as Adam had left his Posterity in, without that fall.

These good Services and Suffrages done in behalf of Catholics, either by Friends or Hirelings, are of 749 k [Page 260]a quite other importance, then all the best helps which Christians ever begged or expected one from another, by Praiers, Intercessions, and any Endea­vors whatsoever, that are usual among Fellow Mem­bers in the communion of one Body; which at the most, come to no more then to pray day and night to God, for what is unknown and uncertain, whe­ther they shall obtain it or no. Some few f more sober Papists indeed would fain understand it so; and this is it which they call in their School Lan­guage, Ferre Suffragium, &c. to Vote for their Friends towards God, by way of Impetration, or Pe­tition, or meer Congruity. But alas! what these simple Men suggest at Rome as a Cloak for their mo­desty, is to be baffled by all the rest as dangerous g In­novation. These Suffrages, as the Catholic current Tenet takes them, are nothing else then good, real, and lawful Paiments or Satisfactions, which both the Sinner may rely on, and which God is obliged to accept of, in lieu or exchange of all other punish­ment. For here the kind Undertaker addresses not himself to God for his Client, with a meer Petition to beg favor; but as if I went my self to the severest Creditor with ready Money in my hand, not to de­fire him to spare my Friend, or to release him gratis, but fully to discharge his Debt, and thus by course of Law to get him out. For it were an idle thing, as these Catholic Divines do think, h to sue for Mercy and a gratuitous Release, as long as Men have suit­able Penances, and satisfactory Works, wherewith they may discharge what their Friends owe, and thus acquit them with Justice. And least, Presum­tion [Page 261]should want Blasphemy; they dare compare these Suffragants with Christ i himself, who redeemed us from punishment no other way, then by satisfying and paying down that punishment. So the Roman Catholics have the happiness (and 'tis a huge one if it be true) to have as many Redeemers as Friends. Now that God will accept of the Ransom, which these Friends offer in behalf of guilty Persons, they put it above all doubt, and allege these two grounds for it. 1. Because the Penance which the kind Neigh­bor is pleas'd to offer, is equivalent k to the punish­ment, which the guilty person should suffer. 2. Be­cause, as they pretend, God hath bound himself by his own special l Order and Promise, infallibly to accept of as due satisfaction, that which shall be thus offered for the Sinner, by the Sinners Friend. And if you should think to beat them off from this per­swasion by plain Scripture, That every one shall bear his own burthen, Galat. 6. That every one shall re­ceive the things done in his flesh, according as he hath done, whether it be good or bad, 2 Cor. 5.10, &c. They will grant you this to be true m, when he hath no Friend that will bear the burthen for him, or un­dertake for what he hath don amiss; but if he have, they make no question at all, but honest Men. n may pay to God what others owe, and so bear the burthen one of another. Yet more, they do not scruple to say, That the good Work being offered for another with true kindness, is more o acceptable to God in some respects, then when it is offered for ones self.

Here if you desire to enquire into the ground, which, by their own confession, the whole business depends upon; to wit, whence they have, or know any such Law as should admit of a Proxy in perso­nal Punishments, and enable a Man against Scripture to deliver his Brother, and to make agreement unto God for him, Psal. 49. they will answer you, p that they have it not from any Reason or Justice; that it must be thus ordered of God by some special Con­stitution of his; that this special Constitution q can­not be evidenced by any convincing Text of Scri­pture, because whatever is brought out of Scripture to this purpose, proves no more, then a mutual help of Praiers to God by way of Impetration and Favor, which God may either grant or deny, as he pleaseth; and not by way of a sufficient Satisfaction or Paiment, which he is obliged to accept of. In a Word, that the common Opinion and sense of the Church, (that is, the present Roman Clergy) is the only Evidence they have for this Constitution. But if this ground seem too Sandy, to bear any great weight with wise Men, several Revelations will be brought in to strengthen it; and tho these Revela­tions be neither from Christ nor his Apostles, what would you have better then the Virgin? I have told you already, how among many of her dear Villains, whom often she suffers to live and to die most dis­orderly, she rescued Bassus out of Hell, and brought him up to life again, that he might have time to confess, and to get Friars in her Name, to under­take r for him the Penance; which the Godly Monks [Page 263]did presently, and so the Raskal was freed of all.

Upon this, and such other Examples, the Roman Priests are directed s, when they have heard their weak Penitents; to exhort their Friends to such Works and Penances in their behalf, who cannot do so much for themselves. And the Confessor being desired, may, upon due consideration, undergo all the Penalties, which, being best transferred on o­thers with his consent, as it is said, are better born out by himself. And that which is a great deal more, and may better please the Sinner, some Con­fessors will go so far, as to take upon themselves the very sin. Thus did, for Example, that both skilful and charitable Jesuit t, who meeting with an old Sinner, but withal a Rich Noble-man, notori­ously loaden with Crimes, and resolved to confess none, eased him of all, both by charging himself with all his sins, and transferring over upon him in exchange, all the Satisfactions and Merits of his good Works. So upon a sudden, here is the Vil­lain in the former case of the Holy Jesuit, and there the Jesuit in the case of the Villain; and both hap­py, as it appeared soon after in a clear Revelation, that assured them whom it concerned, that the dead Noble-man had not any the least Offence to answer for; and that the charitable Jesuit had all both sins and penalties clean wiped off, and a great deal of thanks given him besides, for his extraordinary kindness. I know by what I have heard and seen my self in great Houses, that the ordinary Complement of Directors among Ladies, is, Icharge my self, and [Page 264]lay upon me your sin, Madam. So familiar and easie means Rome can afford for expediting poor Sin­ners.

It is in this management of sins, and transmitting and borrowing at discretion mutual Helps, Satis­factions and Merits, that consists most principally the great use of Confraternities.

The Confraternities are in the Roman Church, what Corporations are in a Commonwealth, to wit, Companies and Societies, both of Monks, and other devout Catholics, united together by free consent, and encouraged by great Indulgences and Spiritual Privileges, toward the undertaking or im­proving some special piece of Roman Devotion. There is scarce any Order of Monks, or any petty Roman Saint, but hath a Confraternity; and if the Saint be more famous, it is hard if one Confrater­nity can serve his turn. The Virgin Mary alone hath as many, which are scattered over Europe un­der several notions, as may people the largest Kingdom. Where she is believ'd to have appear'd, there commonly she hath a Church, or a Chappel, or an Altar, or an Image, and a Confraternity to honor her. The very Courtiers u and Musicians x at Rome, two holy Orders of Men you know, have their proper Confraternities, and consequently their proper Spiritual Privileges, and extraordina­ry Indulgences.

Now the Benefit of any one of those Societies is such, as must needs please any Sinner, who stands in any fear of Hell. The whole business comes principally to these three Heads. First, The [Page 265]Duty which must be performed, such is for ex­ample, the saying de Profundis, * for Souls vex­ed in Purgatory; in the Arch-confraternity of the Blessed Mary de Suffragio, allowed by Pope Cle­ment the 8th; or Worshipping an Arm of S. An­drew, a Toe of St. Paul, and a Finger of S. Catha­rine y, in the Confraternity of the Holy Ghost; or in visiting a certain Altar and Chappel z, as in the Confraternity of St. Rochus; or in kneeling with an Ave, when you hear a certain Bell a, as in the Confraternity of the Holy Sacrament; or praying before a little Image found by a Shepherd in an old Tree b, as in the Confraternity of our Lady Hal­lensis, and of Montague. And who can doubt, but these and other such elevated Devotions about Bones, Bells, and old Images, may much Spiritu­alize Christian Souls, and advance them to Heaven­ly Things?

2. The second advantage of these Holy Confra­ternities, consists in an infinite heap of Indulgen­ces, which the Popes call, c the Spiritual Sweet-Meats, Spiritualium Alimentorum Esca, wherewith Men are allured and baited to Christian Perfection. At your first step into a Confraternity, all your sins whatsoever (Heresie and Rebellion against the Pope alwaies excepted) shall be most fully forgiven: at your stepping out of it by death, you have as much; and as long as you live in it, you scarce can do any [Page 166]the least thing, as to go to Church, walk after a Procession; or in case you must keep your Cham­ber, say a short d Ave when it passes, or when the little Bell rings, but you shall be rewarded for what you do, with seven, or ten, and sometimes a hundred Years of true Pardon. Besides all this, by entring into a Confraternity, you enter at the same time under the Protection and special Favor of some great Saints, St. Sebastian, St. Hubert, &c. and most commonly our Lady her self, who, you may be sure, will look well to her Family, and make good what true Catholics daily teach and hope of her, c namely, That it is absolutly impossible for any one of her Servants to be damned. And hence swarm out most, if not all, yet most of the Revelations, the Miracles, and wonderful Deliverances wrought in behalf of the Brethren, whether Monkish, or Lay and Secular Persons of every Confraternity.

3. But the main Benefit indeed, and the most earnestly sued after, by them who give their names to these admirable Companies, is that of exchanging their Guilt and Sins, with other Mens Satisfactions and good Works. The Protestants never under­stood well, how the Roman Church is skilful in shift­ing on and off good and bad Deeds from one Man over to another. First, There are in every Con­fraternity Saints, and other more common Bre­thren, endued with so many and great Merits, and satisfactory Works, that they have much to spare to others. Secondly, There are, as they say, in every one of these good Works two several distinct [Page 267]Virtues, to accommodate a poor Friend with; to wit, a Meritorious Influence, to procure him Grace, and an Expiatory Quality, to secure him from Pu­nishment. Thirdly, they can order both Influ­ences to go just what way, and upon what Person they direct them. If the Owner feels any need of them for his own use, it is fit they should stay at home; but if he wishes them for a Neighbor, this very wishing and actual Intention will so appropri­ate the whole business to whomsoever he pleases, that when he Praies, Fasts, Whips himself, and doth any act of like Piety; all this shall make the poor Sinner both as acceptable to God, ex Congruo, that is in equity, and as safe from Punishment, ex Con­digno, that is, in due course of Justice, as if he had done all himself. But in case the Holy Man de­signs by his work nothing else but to please God, and so thinks neither of his Friend nor of Himself; then it must be presupposed, that he is alwaies for the good of his Corporation: and this, which they call Implicit or Virtual Intention, conveies all the Merit and Satisfaction of what he doth, not into the public Tresury, whence the Pope takes his Indul­gences; but into these more private Magazins, which are proper to each Company, whence every Member takes what he wants. And if you com­pare these two together, the Tresure of the Church may afford more Satisfactions to shelter one against Purgatory: but the stock of Confraternities is more proper for investing him with Merits, and advancing him to Gods Favor: Therefore Papal Indulgences, f saies their best Doctor upon this Matter, may be more certain to keep off vengeance; but the entring [Page 268]into a Fraternity (which all Catholics of all Ages and sorts may do) is the better way to procure Grace. For whatsoever great Saints have ever deserved of God in their life times, as S. Francis in teaching of Birds, and St. Dominic in making Beads, and all others in like holy Feats (besides their Intercession and Patronage) is reserved in, or hath a direct Influ­ence upon their respective Societies; that is the reason wherefore now adaies all sorts of People, both high and low, Husbands and Wives, Nobles, and common Trades-men, throng to get in, and to have their names entred into these visible Sanctu­aries. And who is the ignorant or mad Sinner, that would not there provide himself with other Mens Satisfactions and Merits, when he knows he wants his own? Tho these saving Harbors be grown, and growing more and more beyond numbring, I will recommend to my Catholic Friends but these three. Namely, 1. The Confraternity of St. Francis his Holy Rope. 2. That of St. Simon's Scapulary. 3. And that of S. Dominic's 150 Beads.

CHAP. XII.
Concerning three special Means of Salvation; the Holy Girdle of St. Francis; the 150 Beads of St. Dominic; and the Scapulary of St. Simon Stock, in their respective Fraternities.
First, Concerning the Holy Rope, or Girdle of St. Francis.

PIOUS and Learned Authors have of late suf­ficiently informed the World, what kind of Saint S. Francis is. He is the Man, whom the Pope in a Prophetical Dream saw a supporting his Late­ran Church from falling. He is the Man, whose Soul roving abroad as bright as the Sun in darkness, and like Phaethon in a Chariot, whil'st he was at his Praiers, gave from that time b a clear Omen, that he was born to be the Light and the Chariot of the Roman World. He is the Man, who taking on him­self this vast Province, as he was by two special Re­velations directed to save it, not by Praying only, (to which his simple Genius inclined more) but by Preaching. First, c He began stoutly with teaching Beasts, and with Catechizing Swallows and Larks: [Page 270]And d the Sheep, which he instructed first to bleat when they sang the Canonical Hours; and after­wards to kneel also at the Elevation of the Host, was an indubitable proof of his extraordinary skill in Teaching. Lastly, When he had rambled o­ver the World by the space of eighteen Years with many such Fabulous Wonders, living all the while with his Followers on what they begged, and so eating, as he did call it, the Bread of Angels; he was, as they say, carried upon a certain Hill in Avergne, Alverniae Mons, at the time when he was Fasting to the honor of St. Michael; and there and then a Seraphim e shewed him a Crucifix brought from Heaven, and wrapt about with six bright and burning Wings. This glorious Apparition soon rendred good S. Francis perfectly like this Seraphi­cal Crucifix, and gave him those five famous Wounds, to the Memory and Honor whereof, the Popes have granted several Bulls, and all the Roman Church scruples not to sacrifice her own God by an Anni­versary g Mass in November. These Noble Sores troubled him two Years, and made him pine away to skin and bones: till at last, finding himself dis­abled to live any longer, he lay flat and naked on the bare ground, that all the World might be wit­ness, how he died just as he was born. Then came the Fowls, but more especially the Larks to this spectacle, not to feed on his Flesh, for he had none, but to take their leave of their Tutor; and by their fluttering and singing about him, gave him thanks f * [Page 271]for his good instructions. Thus this Superangelical Doctor in the year 1226 ended his daies: but so did not the strange stories of his Miracles. During his life, which was a time, when Beasts could learn Christianity, and men discourse of any thing; a­mong all the wonders he did, he had a special faculty to render pregnant and powerful any thing that had bin near him. I can justifie by h good Authors, (however the best that wrote his life) that his spittle restored sight to a blind Maid: that the wa­ter, where he had washt his Feet, could cure all sorts of diseased Cattle: that any Crumb of Bread, which he had bit, did prove a Remedy against all E­vils: that a small Piece of Paper written with his hand, did preserve an honest man, as long as he had it about him, from being disquieted in his mind: that the Sign of the Cross with the stroking of his finger, did expel all infirmities from the Body, that he had touched: that a small handful of the Hey de­voutly taken from his Mule, delivered once a wo­man, who was dying in hard Travel. But the Frock, the Rope and the long Breeches, which had touched his holy wounds, were the most wonderful of all. I will lay aside both Frock and Breeches, the Rope or Girdle being more pertinent to this purpose: and more then sufficient besides, to amaze men at Gods Judgments against those, who leave plain Truth, to seek after Superstitious waies.

This is the Cord, that St. Francis had about him, wherewith one of his Disciples, and which is more wonderful, a very discreet man withal, made once a shift to cure a whole Multitude of sick people. His Method was, to dip in i water the end of this Rope, [Page 272]and which you may well wonder at, the water suckt in out of the Rope, if you believe them, such a Bles­sing, that being carried from house to house, and some few drops of it taken inwardly, it clear'd the Town at once of all manner of Diseases. This was don when he was alive; when he was dead bles­sed was the Franciscan, that had a small piece of the Rope, for then it had rubbed against the wound he had in his side; and this Rubbing, (you may well think) added great Vertue to the Relic. Poor Bea­trix had a happy proof of it. For she, after k fear­ful pains and pangs, having her Child dead in her Womb about 4 daies, and her self being even at Deaths door, after a devout motion called for some Relic of S. Francis; by good chance a small bit of this Girdle of his was brought to her: and it was no sooner applied to her Belly, but she was presently well: the Child came forth of it self, and I cannot tell whether it came not to life also.

Well then, it is to the Memory of this Rope, and to the Honor of the great Saint who made it his Gir­dle, that his Holiness Pope Sixtus the fift thought himself bound in conscience, and by the l care he had of all Christian people, to erect a famous Con­fraternity of men and women, whosoever will vow and give their Names for the wearing of a Rope in outward fashion somewhat like to his.

The End, which this Institution aims at, as it is expressed in the Bull, is the greater Worship and Veneration of S. Francis. Gregory the Ninth is the first who made him a Saint; with this Character be­sides, that by his illiterate m and simple Preaching [Page 273]and as Samson did before him, with the Jaw-bone of an Asse, he had don all. Sixtus 4th and Alexander the 4th afterwards thought good to Canonize his five Sores also, but with a handsomer Character, n to wit of a Giant pulling up all men out of hell. Now Pope Sixtus o the fift has honor'd his Rope: here­after it may be, his Holiness will do as much for his old Shoes, or for his Breeches. Mean while, the work and task of this Confraternity in order both to conferring greater honor upon the Saint, and the better facilitating the * Eternal Salvation of our poor Souls, is to wear insteed of a silk Girdle, such a Cord as he did, about our Loines.

This venerable Badge of being (as well as Sheep, and Asses were) some of S. Francis his Disciples, is to them that wear it, a Cord twisted of three infalli­ble Blessings. 1. The Protection of a great Saint. 2. The Title to all the Pardons, granted by Popes. 3. The happiness of being accommodated in time of need, with all the Satisfactions and Merits of this great Confraternity.

1. Their hope is, that the Protection of S. Fran­cis cannot fail them, who wear this Rope. For al­tho it be not the self same that rubbed against his Flesh and Wounds: yet it is thought to be like it: and the devotion of wearing it upon this account, may enough and enough supply the want of being the same. Saint Cardinal Bonaventure, who was one of his best Disciples, can inform you sufficiently, how great a lover this Saint was in his life time of any thing that came near him; be it man or Beast, Hare or Partridge, Sheep or Lamb or Wolf, or [Page 274]what you will. And at his Death this Love increas­ed, according as his Power did; so that you can scarce think of any Miracle, that he would not do, to help a Friend upon this score. I am not good at telling stories, and if I were, I would not thus trifle away time; but you may take it on my credit, that if the best popish Authors be true; it is but crying out, S. Francis help: or trying, whether he can help, when other Saints can, or will not: or Giving a poor man any thing, when you need it as much as he: or promising to cover his Altar with a clean Cloth; or to keep his holy Day, or to do some such like pretty thing to any thing that relates to him; if he be still as kind, as he was when the Pope Canonized him; you may safely look for at his hands the greatest deliverances. It is upon such and meaner terms, that he was used to p raise the Dead: to enable Women being fourscore years old, to be milch-nurses: and to help men and Beasts pro­miscuously from the most desperate Dangers. A­mong other things you may admire his Nimbleness to come, when called. For how many men and Children hath he saved from touching the Ground tho they were fallen q already from the high Loft or the window, before he was called? Commend me now to such a Saint for all sudden purposes and turns; and doubt not, but he that can but say, S. Francis look here, I wear your Girdle, may be as sure of his Favor, as he that said, O good Father remember now, that once I lent you mine Asse.

2. The second great Blessing in order to Salva­tion, which this Cord can pull down on the Catho­lics who wear it, is the great Abundance of Par­dons, [Page 275]even as great, as both the greatest sinner can want, and the Roman Tresure can afford. It seems the Popes having some ground to be jealous, lest wiser Ages should neglect either such a Saint as S. Francis, or such a means of Salvation as this Rope; have secured both, the best they could by encourag­ing men towards both, by large supplies of Indul­gences. 1. At the first taking of this Cord (when it is blessed and consecrated by the Superior of the Order) a Catholic may be as sure to have all his sins r forgiven him, as any faithful Proselyte may be at his Going to the holy Baptism. 2. Let one re­lapse to his old sins, or fall to new; he is sure of a new Jordan streaming all along down the Streets, where Naaman may wash, and be clean; I mean a most plenary Indulgence s waiting on them, who walk after the Monthly Procession. 3. If this be not enough, (which it is impossible, but it should,) they have for greater security all the Pardons, that ever were granted to the whole Order. And this is not a simple Jordan, but a whole Sea; since by this means all the Privileges and Indulgences, which up­on any account whatsoever, are granted to the Re­collects and Capucins, and to the very Chappel of Angels, may run into this Channel. So the sinner being let down with his Cord, hath wherewith to wash over head, and ears both himself, and whom he pleases. 4. Moreover and above all these Pardons, which belong to the Franciscan Order; they may accommodate themselves with all those, that are granted to the Confraternity t of Confalo; and the Stations of Rome besides; which is heaping Sea upon [Page 276]Sea; however more then a thousand times enough, to wash Rome and Sodom, and whatever may be there­in proper Fewel for the Purgatory Fire. 5. Finally to make all this safe; these full Expiations attend the Rope, and the persons who do wear it, to the last moment, they can sin in u Mortis Articulo. And now let the Devil if he dare, venture upon true Ca­tholics, having about their Loins such a preser­vative.

3. The third great Benefit, and therefore the most lookt after by this Corded Fraternity, is that which the Brethren and Sisters have, of accommo­dating themselves every day with the Merits of other men, as the Jackdaw did it once with the Feathers of other Birds; when they have none of their own. This great Arch Confraternity hath ever bin blessed with great Saints, and consequently with great stores of satisfactions and Merits. It is likely their first Founder alone, great S. Francis, hath by his prodi­gious Mortifications merited more, then the most dissolute can ever need, to secure their worst De­bauches; and if you consider well, what an he­roical Feat that was in him to throw and rub him­self against Bundles of Thorns, and Women made of Snow, merely to tame or cool his Flesh; you will confess that a great deal of this must needs come to their share, who cannot do so. Hereafter Catholic Ladies may safely exchange Churches for Play-houses; S. Rose, and Santa Clara, the first Virgins, who took this Order have left Devotions for them more then they want. And suppose that the Well could ever come to be drawn dry; this Con­fraternity never wants great and living Saints, who [Page 277]supply it daily with fresh Waters. And he is an unlucky Ruffian, who cannot get one of these Fa­thers, to lash and cut his poor old skin, for all what young Flesh may deserve. Only let the young Vil­lain, and the Sweet Misses be devoted to S. Francis; have his Image in their Closets; and wear his Gir­dle. But and if this wearing be troublesom, especi­ally to tender Ladies under their long and streight Bodies; a prudent Confessor can soon put them in another way of attaining Salvation, which shall hurt neither Back, nor Sides: and that is the Scapulary, the gentle wearing of S. Simon, which of my especial knowledge the nicest Persons now beyond Sea, have commonly about their Shoulders.

CHAP. XIII.
Concerning the second special Means of Sal­vation in the Confraternity of Mount Car­mel, by wearing the little Mantle or Sca­pulary of S. Simon Stock.

THIS Confraternity, among Persons of Qua­lity passes for the most gentile, as, I am sure, 'tis the easiest. The Badg it gives which is call'd the Holy Scapulary, is made of two small Pieces of woollen Stuff, about the extent of a hand, hanging by two little laces down from the Neck upon both the Back and the Brest of the devout person who wears it. They say that among a great many Things, which [Page 278]the Virgin Mary brings from Heaven, when she ap­pears, as Books, Gloves, Images, &c. once she was pleased to come down with this Tool of Salvation: and to bestow it upon S. Simon, an English Saint, in the year 1265. This Simon was, they say, a a most retired Eremite; and so great an Enemy to all human Conversation, that to the age of 80 years he kept himself most of his time in an old hollow rotten Oak, & hence he was called S. Simon Stock, or Stoch, because this Stock was his lodging. All this while in his old Tree, he was night and day entreating sometimes God, sometimes the Virgin, that they would be pleased to direct him, what kind of men he might more safely join himself to. At length, as the story saies, there came over to England a Company of Monks from Mount Carmel, who made him their General, that is the General of their Order. Never since that time did the good Saint miss one day, without praying his Patroness for some special Mark of her Favor up­on his Flock. Flos Carmeli, b Carmelitis, &c. that is, Flower of Carmel, Star of the Sea, send a token to thy Servants the Carmelites.

Monks will tell you of thousands of Apparitions, whereby she uses to come to kiss them, or give them some other favor and expression of kindness. Whe­ther this Lady who appears to them to be so free and profuse of her Favors, be the Virgin; or rather some wanton Devil, that takes her Name as it is usual, to countenance Superstition; is not the pre­sent Quere. Certain it is that the Spirit which com­monly appears for her, will bring them sometimes very fine Things: Lightsom shining Garments, as [Page 279]to c the Bernardin Friers: Scarlet-Robes d shut up in a Box, as to Thomas of Canterbury: Rich Drinking e Cups, as of late to St. Tharlavaret: sometimes, but more seldom, good f Mony, as to Bishop Bonifacius: fine ever burning and never wast­ing g Lights and Tapers, as to the Procession of Arras: Fine bread, open Lilies, and Books, as to the h seven Servites: and among others the story is remarkable, when the Cistercian Order was yet in its Infancy, and had need of this Patroness, She appeared among them all, when they were singing their Mattens, i with a fine white Hood in her hand, wherewith she hooded their Abbot: and as soon as he had it on, to their great joy and amazement, they presently saw their former black Hoods or Capu­chions turn pure milk white; and the good Lady added besides these words. Ego ordinem, &c. I do undertake to favor and defend this Order to the worlds end. Well, old Simon was day and night begging for some such favor, till he had it. For after much praying to this Flower of Carmel, at last she appear­ed unto him with a great multitude of Angels, ha­ving the 2d Scapulary or little Rocket in her hand; and This shall be, said she, * both to Thee, and to all the Carmelites a Privilege. Whosoever dies in this Habit, shall not suffer the Eternal Fire. Whosoever dies in this, shall be saved.

This was Encouragement enough to allure Peo­ple, to this happy Confraternity; yet these Car­melites were strangers, and as it is usual, envied by the Mendicant Orders growing much about the same time, they had much ado to take root, till the Virgin Mary appear'd for them a second time and to a much better purpose. The Roman Ca­tholics, for the most part, if they have but time to confess, are not much afraid of the eternal fire in Hell: but they terribly fear the Temporal Purga­tory; to this effect therefore came the same Lady from above; and declared in the presence of Pope John the 22th, then residing at Avignion, that once a week, about every Saturday night, she here­after would not fail to come down * to Purgatory; and thence pull all and every Soul, which she shall find to have worn that sacred Habit. This being proclamed by an Authentic Bull, and by a Pope, for those daies of great Learning, brought the Scapulary into great request. And since that time men may be thought to deserve well all the Purga­tory Burnings, whosoever would be so untoward, as not to prevent that danger, when they can do it upon so reasonable terms: Especially now, when it is made most easy and commodious in behalf of Persons of the greatest quality, for wearing, under the gentilest Doublets or Bodies. There are some words, and Forms of Blessing, to consecrate this little Habit into a saving Apparel. There are also some few Restraints put upon them that do wear it; a Maid must keep her Virginity: a Wife, Con­jugal Faith, and a Widow, her Chastity, &c. But if they happen to trespass; they all know, when [Page 281]and how and where, to be easily absolved. For the putting on of this Habit, procures a threefold ad­vantage in the way of Roman Salvation. 1. An In­dulgence and Pardon of sins. 2. All the Favor and Protection of the Virgin of Mount Carmel. 3. A plentiful supply of all the Meritorious and Satisfa­ctory works belonging to the Society.

1. As to the Benefit of Indulgences most Con­fraternities equal or exceed this; and here you may find the Popes backward, or much saving, in the distribution of their Pardons. For, whereas other Confraternities have seldom less then a full Indul­gence of all sins, at the Entrance; this hath but a third part of them in the great Sabbatine Bull. They allow but 40 daies Pardon for saying seven Paters and Aves to the honor of the seven Joies: but 100, for the little Office: but 300, for eating no flesh on Saturdaies: but 500, and some few Qua­rantains, for waiting on the consecrated Host. Ma­ny other Confraternities of far lesser importance then that is, have much more. Witness that of S. Benedict, S. Scholastica, and S. Rochus. And yet tho the Popes on this account did so little; they did it for the most part, but when they were forced to it by strong and irresistible Impulses. The Virgin Mary, as they say, l was fain to threaten Honorius the 3d, and to tell him of two chief Officers of his, who had bin already destroied by Gods Vengeance, for neglecting her Carmelites, before this Pope could be brought to confirm their Order: and In­nocent the 4th had an Express a while after from the same Lady, before he would do them Right against their envying Neighbors. By this it seems the [Page 282]Lady had done for them so much before, that the Popes were unwilling, for their own profit, as in the case of the Chappel of Angels, to do much more.

2. And the truth is, if these Apparitions to S. Si­mon and to John the 22th be true; the Scapulary Con­fraternity hath abundantly enough in her Bosom, to enrich all her neediest Members, without any beg­ging from Rome. The Scapulary alone well applied to the Breast and Back, is by it self a great Jewel. It may, as they say, preserve mens lives better then the strongest Armor, against all temporal Dangers: and if you hearken to them all, they will come to you with hundred stories, what of women deliver'd, some m of Childbed, some of a Cancer, some of Leprosie, some of a Feaver by appling this blessed Badg unto their Flesh: what of men, who could not be choaked by Devils, n nor drowned after they were bound hand and foot, and thrown into the bottom of the Sea, because they had the Scapulary. But neither God nor the Pope ever gave the Church any thing comparable to it, in all Spiritual Con­cerns. They are not ashamed to call it a Mark of Eternal Salvation, and a Spiritual Covenant with Gods Mother; by which Covenant you have a clear Title to all what in favor and Mercy she can do for you. But without resting on mens sayings, because the honestest Monks we know are some­times temted to say strange things, you have as much from her own Mouth. In hoc moriens, &c. i.e. He that dies with this Habit, shall be saved, and shall not suffer eternal Fire. S. Simon, and a great many [Page 283]Angels are Witnesses that she said so: and, as to Purgatory, the terror of Roman Catholic Souls, she her self engages solemnly, Ego Mater Gloriosa, &c. I the Glorious Mother of God will come down in Person and fetch them out. And of this you have no meaner witness, then the Monarch and visible Head of your Church, Pope John the 22d. Here is his Authentic Testimony in a Bull of his, called the Sabbatina, or Saturday Bull, as I find it in Latin, in an Authentic * Roman Author, with the approbati­on of both the Dominican, and the Carmelitan Order. And I thought fit to English it, that every one may take notice what Spiritual waies Rome can afford for saving Men, beyond what Christ and his Apostles were ever known to be able to do.

The Bull of Pope John the XXII. for the Confirmation and Approbati­on of the Holy Scapulary.

JOHN, Bishop and Servant of the Servants of Jesus Christ, to all and every Faithful, &c. While I was Praying upon my Knees, the Virgin of Mount Carmel appears to me, and spake unto me in these Words. O John, O John, the Vicar of my dear Son, as I will deliver thee out of the hand of thine Ad­versary (the Emperor Lewis the 4th, whom he had Excommunicated) and make thee Pope, so I will, that thou shouldest grant to my Holy and Devout Order of Mount Carmel, founded by Elias and Elisha, the grace of a full Confirmation; namely, That whosoever be­ing [Page 284]profest, will observe the Rule given by my Servant Albert the Patriarch, and approved of by my well­beloved Innocent, the true Vicar of my Son, giving his consent upon Earth to what my Son had decreed in Heaven; viz. That whosoever shall persevere in that Holy Obedience, Poverty and Chastity, and shall enter into this Order, shall he saved. And that any other Men or Women, whosoever shall enter into this Holy Religion, wearing the sign of the Holy Habit (to wit, the Scapulary) calling themselves by the Name of Brethren and Sisters of the said Order and Confrater­nity, shall be delivered and absolved from the third part of their Sins, from the day of their admittance; promising withal, Chastity, if she be Widow; Virgi­nity, if a Maid; and Conjugal Fidelity, if she be a Married Woman. And as to the profest Brethren of this said Order, they shall be delivered both from Pu­nishment and Sin. And when they shall part out of this World, making speed to Purgatory, I the Glorious Mother of God will come down thither the next Satur­day after their death, and will rescue whomsoever I shall find in Purgatory, and will bring them up into the holy Hill of Eternal Life. But these Brethren and Sisters of the said Confraternity, must say the Ca­nonical hours, after the Rule of St. Albert; and if they be ignorant, they must abstain from eating Flesh every Wednesday and Saturday, unless some necessity hinder them, except on my Sons Nativity. Having said thus much, that holy Apparition vanished away. Therefore I John aforesaid, accept of this Holy In­dulgence, and do confirm and strengthen it on Earth, just as Jesus Christ hath by the Merits of his glorious Mother granted it in Heaven. Therefore let no Man presume to annul or contradict this [Page 285]Page or Writ of our Indulgence: or if he dare, let him know, that he shall incur the indignation of God Almighty, and of his blessed Apostles Peter and Paul. Given at Avignion, Indict. 3. and the first Year of our Pontificat. This being so, I wonder who would wish for more, or who would not leave all, to have so much.

3. Nevertheless, altho the best Indulgences of Rome, or all other such Roman Pullies cannot do more then this; viz. to pull a burning Soul out of the Purgatory Fire, up to the Hill of Eternal Life; yet if this happy Soul had a mind to appear there more Gentile, then her own Works will allow her, she hath the advantage of borrowing from the Con­fraternity wherewith to make her self as spruce and neat as one can wish. Let but any Man imagine, what stock of Mortifications and holy Works Elias did leave behind for Jezebel, and John the Baptist for Herod and Herodias; or our Country-man S. Simon for all other such as those three were, in case they will all humbly come, and devoutly wear about them this holy Scapulary; Who is the ignorant or blind Buzard, that wil not leave any Religion, Gospel, and Protestant Churches, to run himself and all his sins under this blessed shelter?

CHAP. XIV.
Concerning the third means of obtaining Salvation by the Confraternity and 150 Beads of St. Dominic.

SAint Dominic and S. Francis are the two Saints, which, as they say, our Lady Mary pacified a her own Son with, being about to destroy Man­kind; for there she past her honest Word, that these two Doctors should, without fail, reform the three sorts of Sinners, the Proud, the Covetous, and the Carnal, whom he hated, and so set up a­gain true Holiness thro the whole World. You may guess what Francis hath don on that account, by what I have said of his Girdle; and you may hope likewise, that S. Dominic may do as much or more with his 150 Beads. However, these two are, by his Holiness b Sixtus the Fourth, voted to be both the two great Seraphims, that help Men to flee up to Heaven upon the Wings of Divine Contempla­tions and Raptures, and the two loud Trumpets which fill Heaven and Earth with their Holy sound; and therefore to their honor is this Privilege duly granted, that whosoever will but visit any of their Churches or Chappels, shall receive Pardon c for a hundred Years; and if any of them being dead d, will be wrapt up in Frocks, or be buried in a Church [Page 287]yard belonging to either of their Orders, shall in all probability have as much more. Judg you by this, what these Confraternities of theirs be worth, and what value you may well set upon their two most Sa­cred Standards or Bodies, the Rope or Girdle of St. Francis, whereof enough; and the 150 Beads or Rosary of S. Dominic; of which you must now learn somthing.

This new and admirable way of praying to God, by saying Ave Maria, hath, as they say, proved in their Church so successful, for raising Hearts to Devotion, sanctifying Men, extirpating all Here­sies, and propagating Catholic Light, as it appears by e many Bulls, that most Popes from Sixtus the Fourth, 1479. have thought themselves concerned in their Consciences, to raise it to a Confraternity as Universal as their Church; and to make it as the Sun is, (to use their words) common to all Men in the whole World. For this brave Corporation is not as the most part of others are, some for Men on­ly, and not for Women; some for great Men, and not for mean People; some for the Religious, and not for the Secular; some for the sound, and not for the weak: * this great and comprehensive So­ciety takes in all sorts and conditions of Men; and to say all, as it shall appear hereafter, even the very dead may come to it.

Whosoever will be admitted as a Member of this vast Body, and march f, as they love to speak, un­der the B. Virgin and St. Dominic's great Standard, he must go first to Confession, and take the Conse­crated [Page 288]Wafer, then he must appear in Person, if he can; or by a Proxy, if he cannot; and there either himself or his Proxy being prostrated before the Al­tar Del Santissimo Rosario, of the most holy Ro­sary, declare what great desire he hath, to be en­rolled under St. Dominic's Banner. So the Officers, being duly qualified to that purpose, shall take his name, and acquaint him with what he the new Bro­ther is to do; especially how he must once every. Week run over the whole Rosary, that is, the 150 Beads, Ave Maria, and the 15 Pater nosters, sola­cing him at the same time with this most gracious assurance, that he must not think it a Sin, * nor a breach upon his Conscience, if at any time he shall fail in the performance; and that the whole duty consists of such things, as never were commanded by God, nor practiced by his Apostles; so the o­mitting of them must not disquiet his mind, only he must be content to lose the good Indulgences, which his Roman Holiness was pleased to grant upon such terms. After this, he gives him a Consecrated Ro­sary of Beads, and the Consecrating of them comes to this. After some short Praiers and Responsals, the Mass-Priest begs at the hands of God, this great and Blasphemous Favor; g namely, That to the ho­nor and praise of his Sons Mother, would he be pleased to infuse into those Beads, so much strength of his Holy Ghost, that whosoever shall either carry them abroad, or reverently keep them at home, and there devoutly pray with them after the way of the holy Confraternity, may abound in Devotion, may have his share in all the Graces, Privileges and Indulgences granted to the said Society; [Page 289]may as long as he lives be protected every where, a­gainst all Enemies whatsoever; and at last, may be presented full of good works to God by the Blessed Vir­gin Mary. To which is added, the other Blessing by Holy Water, and as it were a second Baptism, In the Name of the Father, &c. Next to the holy Beads thus impiously Consecrated, and devoutly delivered into the hand of the new Brother or Si­ster, comes the Holy Candle. This Holy Candle is of great use, when you walk in Procession, when you go to Burial, when any one of the 15 Myste­ries (you may remember what that is) is solemnly celebrated, and especially when you die; for there, but especially here, if you do hold this holy Can­dle lighted in your hand, you may be sure that all your sins are forgiven, because Pope Adrian the h Sixth hath ordered it so. But the Candle must be Consecrated, as solemnly as your Beads were, and with a Form to this purpose: That thro the Inter­cession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the 15 great Mysteries contained in the aforesaid Beads, Christ the true Light, that enlightens every Man that comes in­to the World, will enlighten also this Candle, with the true light of his Grace, &c. Then is the Candle sprinkled with Holy Water, in Nomine Patris, &c. This is not all, you must have a Holy Rose, for it is of a singular Vertue; and besides, Rose and Ro­sary are of a kin, especially as soon as it is Conse­crated with this execrable Form of Blessing, Deus Creator, &c. the sense is, That God the Creator and Giver of spiritual Grace and eternal Salvation, be pleased to bless the said Rose, which is presented unto i[Page 290]him, for the worship of his Mother: and to infuse into the Rose by the vertue of the sign of the Cross, such a Celestial Blessing, that to what Infirmities soever it be applied, and in what houses and places soever it be de­voutly kept or carried, the said Infirmities may be cur­ed: & that thence all Devils may flee away. This Charm is likewise compleated with the usual Baptism of Holy water. With these Tacklings you may here­after reckon your self most fully incorporated into this Heavenly Body. What you have next to think upon, is well to discharge those duties that belong to a Heavenly Member: and to fall lustily to that incredible and strange way which S. Mary and S. Do­minic her Husband have in the latter times brought into the Roman Church, of serving God, by saying Ave Maria.

To the great encouragement of the said Brethren and Sisters, this way of Devotion is called the Crown, the Psalter, and the Rosary; the Crown, because whensoever you say fifty times Ave Maria (as my Italian k Author observes, and I may prove it many waies) the so saluted Goddess, is pleased to take it, for so many Crowns, and Gar­lands of fine Flowers, that you do adorn her Head with. 2. The Psalter; because the Church of Rome doth think it fit, to worship the Lady of the most Holy Rosary, with 150 Salutations, as King Da­vid the Prophet did, to adore the Lord God of Israel with 150 Psalms; and because, as Davids Psalter was an Instrument, wherewith he could ease the Spirit of Saul, when it was troubled by the Devil; so do Catholics with these Aves, defend themselves, and charm all the Powers of Hell from [Page 291]doing any harm to their Souls. 3. It is call'd the Rosary; because as with Roses you make Rose-wa­ter, Oil, Sugar and Hony Rosal; so do the Bre­thren and Sisters of the Rosary make with it admira­ble Confections, Drugs and Syrops to Physic their poor sick Souls; to soften the hardness of sin; to dispose Roman Catholic Hearts, towards all Gra­ces; and to say all with them, Caelum ridet, &c. that is, the Heavens laugh, the Angels dance, the Church keeps her joiful Festivals, Hell trembles, and all the Devils run away, when they say or sing Ave Maria. I much wonder they should excuse or ex­clude all the prisoners in Purgatory from jumping or cutting Capers; since they hold, that the Dead are as much concerned as the Living. Therefore when one goes to enter a Name, he may ſ put in as well any Soul of Father, Son, Uncle, or any o­ther Relation, as his own. Only thereby he binds himself to say the holy Rosary, and to perform all other Duties for them he puts in; that so they may wheresoever they be, above or under ground, re­ceive all the Profits and Pardons of the Society. And if he put in two Names; he must perform the Duty twice, once for himself and once for his Friend. This double work is less troublesom be­cause you may speed it away at any time you have little else to do, as when m you dress and undress your self; when you walk, stand, sit, ride abroad, or wait: and for more ease and more Merit too, you may join more hands to one work, when for example you are with two or three Neighbors walking and travelling together.

I did forget another Duty, which you must by no means forget, it being as indispensable as it is easie; and it is this: both the Poorest and the Rich­est must needs contribute to the Charges of setting up a near Altar, n and adorning it with a Standard, bearing the Picture both of our Lady giving, and S. Dominic receiving on the other side the holy Psal­ter from her Hand. They must be likewise at the Charges of having the fifteen great Mysteries fairly painted both over and on each side of the great Al­tar. Besides, you must pay your small share for both the wax and the Oil, that burns night and day before the Rosary Lady: and least you should grum­ble at such expenses, be you sure, that one Mass upon, or one Ave, or one Pater before such a pri­vileged Altar, especially on solemn Daies, is bet­ter worth then a thousand whether Masses, or Aves that you may hear or say elsewhere.

This being done, you may confidently look for all sorts of Blessings, and Privileges must needs from all parts flow towards you.

1. Rome opens in your behalf her whole Celestial Tresure; a full Pardon of all your sins at your first coming to this Society: at your going out, when you dy: at all and every holy Day kept to the La­dies Honor, through the whole year: at all and every solemn Day kept for any one of the fifteen great Mysteries: at Christmas: the Sunday before Epiphany: holy Thursday, and good Friday: the 3 holy daies at Easter: at the Ascension: the three Holy Daies at Whitsuntide: all the first Sundaies of every Month, &c. And all this, both for sick, and sound, for the absent, as well as present, at Sea [Page 293]or Land, in prison, and at Liberty, so that there be a just Impediment, that detains you from the Duty, and from visiting the Altar; you can hardly make three or four steps, or open the o Mouth to say Jesu, or Maria, but you shall get by it a con­siderable Indulgence. When you devoutly * take your Beads: When you hear Salve Regina (tis a short song to the Ladies Honor:) when you walk after the Procession: when you march after the Banner, at a Burial: when you visit a sick Brother or Sister: when you wait upon the Host in the street, &c. you gain hundreds of Daies, of years, and some Quarantains or Quadragenes to boot. And if all this be not enough; all the Stations and daily Indulgences of Rome are at your command and mercy, if you will but visit a Rosary Church, with saying three Aves in it: or in case of too much throng, stand at a distance before one, or the five Rosary Altars; (and you may stand sometimes be­fore them five, tho you do not stir from one Place:) however my Italian p Author, assures me that di­vers Popes have granted all these huge Pardons both by Bulls, and by word of Mouth, Oraculo vivae vo­cis, which is the Roman Church's Oracle, upon these terms.

I hope that by this time you have enough for your own use. But if you please also to plesure your Friends, you may weekly rescue out of Pur­gatory two of their Souls, one on the Sunday, q the other upon the Wednesday following, and Eleven other souls more upon other special daies; which I leave out to spare you trouble. Only you must [Page 294]take the pains to visit the Rosary Altar, and of say­ing at it this short praier. O Lord, I pray you to ac­cept of the Indulgence, which hath bin granted by your High Priest, the Steward of the holy Tresure, to the soul of John, or James: or if he the said John or James have none or little use of it, to such a soul in Purgatory, which I am most obliged to; concluding all with a Requiescant in pace, thereupon let them rest in peace. This way one may help in one year some 115 souls; and she is a woman of large corre­spondence that hath more friends yearly to care for.

2. Besides this incredible abundance of Privi­leges, and Pardons coming upon you from with­out, they say that this Rosary Confraternity en­joies within it self the greatest Tresure of the whole World, namely a real and perpetual Participation of the Merits and Penances of all and every one of the greatest Saints since Adam. Consider what vast Abundance of Good works S. Dominic left in this Magazine, by whipping r himself to the Blood thrice every day; once for his own sins, which, it is verily thought, he had none: once for the sins of the World: and once for the sins of the souls burning in Purgatory. Calculate what Saint Vincent might hoard up for the use of his Bre­thren by converting 8000 Turks, and 25000 Jews. Think what Tresure might Agnes bequeath to her Society, with those incomparable Jewels which s she had partly received from the Virgin Mary; and partly got and stolen from her Son, when he had bin in her own lap. What can you not hope of S. Osanna, another sister of this holy Confrater­nity, [Page 295]who being yet t a Child, had the Virgin for her School-Mistress: and being come to riper years had the Holy Babe for her Husband? What shall I say of St. Alanus of Dinam, for whose Deliverance the u Rosary Goddess destroied his Enemies at land with 150 Thunderbolts; and raised out of the deep Sea, as many Mountains, (an equal number to his Beads) to make him a Bridg to run away? and what of the other S. Alanus de Rupe, the Restorer of Rosaries, the true x Husband of this Goddess, and withal her bosom sucker? Have these and all, whom I could name, Popes, Cardinals, and other Grandees of the same Confraternity cast nothing into the Tresury? And if all these did not cast in enough; take all Gods Saints from the very beginning of the World, to the year 1431. for if Roman Revelations be at all true, they y all without exception use and sing out the Rosary. Take along with them all the Angels, and as they love to speak, the whole Celestial Court; for every good Roman Catholic is perswaded (unless they offer to contradict z both S. Alan and his Virgin) that they also sing in Heaven the Rosa­ry: and that both these, to wit, Saints and Angels, make up but one Arch-Confraternity together.

Now the Custom of this Society a being so free, as to limit no favors at all (as others most common­ly do) but to allow to every Member, a full Com­munication of all; what a huge deal of wealth is all this to every one, be he otherwise never so poor? All the Intercessions of Saints above: all the Me­rits [Page 296]of more Saints below: all the extraordinary showers of Privileges, and full Indulgences from Rome: all the watchings and helps of the good An­gels: and that which must be reckoned above all things, the continual favor and Countenance of the Queen of Heaven her self; in this vast Concurrence of all the Saints and holy things from Heaven and Earth together, what can the wit of man fancy, that both this Confraternity may not contain, and the Rosary Brother well expect? Are you for a shelter against public Calamities? The Holy Rosary is good for it. They think that by the strength of this Wea­pon the b Turks were beaten from Europe: the war ceased from d Cologne, and e Genua: and the great Plague f from Pavia. Are you troubled with pri­vate Distresses? Frier Amat had no better way to g choak a Devil, nor S. Salvator h to cure the deaf, nor S. Dominic i to procure Children, and cure Bar­renness; nor General Montfort and Captain Antho­ny, k to rout Armies; nor the two Spanish Women l to escape hanging. What they say of the Spanish Ass, is most pertinent to this purpose: This Beast is often in that Country made use of to carry condemn­ed Persons to the place of Execution, and 'tis not heard, but the innocent stupid Animal performs qui­etly this Office, except one time, m when it grew so intelligent, as to perceive, that the Wretch who [Page 297]was on its back, related to the Rosary: then it was wonderful to see, how quick and nimble this slow Beast turns back again from the Gallows, and gal­loping through all the Guards, who attended the Execution, and all the common People, which then was thronging to see it, carries her dear charge to the Church, there laies it down most devoutly be­fore a Rosary Altar. You must conceive, that ei­ther the Grace infused into these Beads at their Consecration, works out these ordinary Miracles; or that the Rosary Queen, whom they call the Mi­stress of the World, and the General of this Order, is alwaies present and active upon all great Exigen­cies, wherein her Officers are concerned, especial­ly when she sees them bearing up, or marching under that which she takes n for her Banner. Neverthe­less, tho the essential Riches of this potent Con­fraternity be so extremely considerable in all Secu­lar advantages (even sometimes so as o to make Men fortunate in Wives, and all other Bargains) yet its great worth lies more in all Spiritual and Eternal Concerns. St. Alain, who never was seen without the Ring, which our Lady p twisted for him of her own Hair; nor without that Heavenly Chain of Beads, which she put about his Neck at the same time, doth assure us upon this account, that to be enrolled in the Book of this happy Confraternity, is q to be enrolled in the very Book of Life: that the benefit which they receive from being thus regi­stred r, is no less then to be chosen and adopted for [Page 298]Gods Children: that such registred Persons are much better, then the hundred forty four thousand were, in the seventh of St. Johns Revelation: and that all Friends and Promoters of this admirable Society, do set up for all sinners as good as the Ladder, in Jacobs Vision, to scale Heaven. And as for themselves, they shall be there glorified, not only as Abel and Abraham, and the other Patriarchs are, but as the noblest Angels of God. And let none be discouraged from this great Hope, for feel­ing himself but a sinful Wretch, since as the same Father saies, if true, Qui propriis, &c. that the very Reprobates, as to their proper and personal Demerits, are made the Children of God by the communion and benefit of this Society. For as a Rosary had in the hand of S. Salvator the vertu of curing Quartan Agues, when it was laid t upon ones head; so it had in the hand of St. Dominic a greater Gift, namely, that of infusing Grace; or however, expelling Vice, when laid u at Night under ones Pillow. For my part, I know no fowler Villain, then that Noble Man at Paris was, who was san­ctified by this means. Where ever was a more prostitute Whore, then fair Catharina at Rome, who both in the heat of her Lust, and her Zeal for this blessed Rosary, was converted also; and in such an extraordinary manner x, as is not fit for me to relate?

But tho Registred Brethren or Sisters should not care much for Conversion; and tho their good God­dess f [Page 299]and Mistress would Indulge them their liberty, as she often doth, as long as they shall enjoy their life, yet, which is the sweetest of all, none of these worthy Members can perish, but either the strength of their Beads, or the kindness of their Lady, or some like thing or other, shall save them from Hell when they are dead. Who can be more wanton then Alexandra of Aragon was? And yet she was raised from the dead, absolved, and visibly saved, as they say, 150 daies (the just number of her Rosary Beads) after her Head had bin chopt off, and thrown into a deep Well? Was ever a Man in the whole World more fit and likely to fall into Hell, then was the desperate Robber, whom some o­thers stronger then he, had suddenly kill'd in his Sin, and whom the Rosary Princess reviv'd and kept so long under z ground, till St. Dominic heard him calling for help, and both digged him up and absol­ved him, two whole Years after he had bin buried? This High-way Man, it seems, had heard of Saint Dominic's Preaching, and therefore had made use of his Rosary, purposely to venture himself more safely, to all the hazards of his Trade; and he did well, for as soon as he was absolved, his Body fell down to the Grave, and his Soul fled up to Heaven. An Indulgent Mistress indeed, who will allow her dearest Mignions, during their life, their Belly full of all Plesures; and when they die, all the Joies of her Paradice. Let good Catholics have but as much Devotion as a public Robber, or a common Whore are capable of, then a Scapulary, a Rosary, or St. Francis Girdle, all three together, or any one of y [Page 300]them by it self, shall save them all. And among all these Impertinencies, sober Papists cannot perceive their own weakness, or the irresistible Charm of a besotting Religion.

CHAP. XV.
Concerning divers other Instruments of Blessing and Salvation.

SAint Simous Rocket, S. Francis Girdle, and S. Dominic's Rosary, are but three of the num­berless Inventions, which the Church of Rome hath found of late to promote Grace and Salvation: The poor Protestants have no waies to help them­selves with, but such as Christ and his Apostles did leave to all the World besides, Faith, Repentance, Perseverance in well doing, &c. happy Catholics have an hundred other, both more commodious and more taking; and it is fit, that all Christendom should know them, since they do prove such useful means, both to keep and to draw the common Peo­ple to their Faith.

These gracious Tools are of two sorts; some are supposed to have had a being a good while ago, but were of late discovered, or however put to the new use which now they have. The others are made new every day, by Roman Popes, Bishops and Priests, in the same way that other Tools are made, and brought to what they are, by the Ma­ster of every Craft.

Of the first sort, are the Tacklings which now the Roman Church gives out for Relics, and which of late have got the credit of procuring what every one asks. For if the vast store of supposed old holy stuff, which S. Peters, S. Pauls, S. Laurence, and other Churches keep in their Sanctuaries at a Rome, had a being in ancient times, it was un­known. Neither Josephus, nor Philo, nor Origen, nor St. Jerome, nor any other of those great Men, and most versed in Antiquity, can tell us where to find the Rod, wherewith Moses did strike out Wa­ter; nor the Altar, where Melchisedec presented to God Bread and Wine; nor the Golden Censer of Aaron; nor the Ark of the ancient Covenant, &c. which now they shew in the Vatican. The most pious and ancient Fathers had bin amazed to hear Men speak of the first Shirt that Christ put on; or of the Bottles which the Virgin used to fill with her own Milk; or of the Hair, the Shift, the Shoes, and the very pareings of her Nails, which she left with them when she went up. If all these things, I say, had a being, either it was hidden somewhere with those many Crosses and Images, which the Monks have digged up from under ground, or in the bottom of some deep Well, where none but Angels b are heard to sing; or it was kept in some of those Ward-robes, whence the Virgin brings out her Veils, Hoods, and such other Fa­vors, when she hath a mind to hearten her Monks. And tho some Men had known somthing of their Being, which is not true, yet no Man ever had hitherto any experience of their Virtu. For who [Page 302]of all the Fathers ever knew, that any Shift which the Virgin had left behind, had the power which that of Chartres, as they say hath, of disabling c an Enemy from going backwards or forwards, and of imparting the same quality to any Shirt, d which toucheth the Box wherein 'tis kept? Did ever Men dream, before Pope John the 22d, e that her Slip­per being kissed and adored with some Aves, should procure Atonement for many sins, and a Pardon for 700 Years? Who may not wonder that these Utensils should have bin kept so long, that is, a­bove a thousand Years in the dark, and now in these last Ages should swarm abroad so thick, and admira­ble, to all ends and purposes every where? Most of them, f saies the Popes Protonotary, have bin kept hidden a great while, and from hand to hand deliver­ed, either to ignorant persons, who knew not how to va­lue them; or to profane and negligent Trustees, who did not care. They think 'twas upon this account, g that our now Lauretan Lady kept her self above 1200 Years obscure and unactive in Nazareth, till at last she forsook her Country to shew her self in Italy, where she meets with more pious People, and worthier to see hir Miracles, then the Apostolical and Primitive Golden Age was.

1. First begin, if you please, with this prodigi­ous Relic, a whole Room with Walls, Roof, Win­dows, where the said Lauretan Lady assures a Bi­shop, that she was born, and had received the Salu­tation [Page 303]of the Arch-angel. There also they shew the Altar, which, they say, St. Peter consecrated; a Crucifix, which the other Apostles had set up, and chiefly her own Picture, which, as she saies, her ad­mirable Painter Luke had drawn. This famous Domicile was brought with these Appurtenances in one Night from Nazareth over Seas and Lands by mighty Angles; and can, if honored with a Visit, with an Offering, or with a Vow, cure in a moment all Diseases.

2. Hence walk to Perusia, there you shall find the Virgin Maries Wedding Ring; a very homely one in­deed (such as might be expected from a Carpenter) of Iron, & a small whitish Stone to it; but having passed through many hands, and at last being discovered what it was by three great Wonders; namely, 1. The Apparition of the Virgin, who owned it. 2. The Destruction of a young Prince, because it was not valued enough. 3. And the Resurrection of the same, at the time of his Burial, both to chide his own Father, for his profaness in neglecting that Sa­cred Ring, and to give all the World warning how they should use it afterwards. This blessed Ring shall make h your Finger as stiff and as dry as a very stick, if you dare rashly put it on; but it will restore the sight, reconcile the greatest Foes, drive out all fears of ill Spirits, if you adore it reve­rently. And that you may never doubt of this, take but a Ring of Ivory (it must be of the same big­ness) and let it [...]ouch this Virgins Ring, it will con­tract from it such a Vertu, as to ease one of the Scia­tica, and to help Women to an easie Travel, if they put it on their right Finger. By this, judg what her [Page 304]shift can do, what her Gloves, what her Comb, what the broken pieces of her Glass, what her Girdle, much more precious then the Cord of St. Francis, and the * very Heaven it self, what the vast quan­tity of Milk, which she gave when she was a Nurse, and which she hath given to forty Persons, Men and Women, out of her own Breast, since the Papists have made her Queen. Catholics may look on us all, like as so many poor Raskals, who have none of these Jewels.

3. They may do it much better upon the account of Christ himself: for tho all other Christians have his Gospel, and his active and passive Justice by his Passion and Holiness; the Roman Catholics look up­on this as the common Materials, and do believe them as things of course; but in the mean while, they mind quite other things, and make use of quite other means of going up to Heaven, which certain­ly Protestants have not. As besides the Blood of Christ shed on the Cross, which no body hath nor can have; being, as one of their Learned Saints affirms, i re-entred into his Veins, and ascended to Heaven with him: they have to shew a great deal more of other Blood, all that which St. Nicodemus took in his Glove, all that which hath bin received in Bot­tles, and now they say is carefully kept at Mantua; and without going any farther, all that which is upon Easter-day k most solemnly adored at Rome. Now to argue according to Pope Clements l Divinity, if one drop of this Blood was enough to save all the world; What obdurate Papist must he be, whom now [Page 305] m Bottles full of the same both Blood and Water could not save? What will you think of the Cra­dle, the Shirt, the n Coat without seam, the Coat of Purple, the Barly Loaves, the Table, the Stool, the Towel, the Communion Bread, the Spear, the Sponge, the Nails, and other Utensils relating to his Life and Passion, which a Romanist hath all, and looks upon both as Objects of his best Worship, and great Instruments of Blessing? Do not forget the Holy Rood, nor all the great and small pieces of Wood, scattered and adored over the Roman World, whereof as much as a small crumb, when hanged about a Catholic Neck, is in their conceit all in all.

How far these and other Relics set one forward towards Heaven, you may judg by two Characters; namely, both by the Opinion that the Papists, and the care that sometimes the very Devils have of them. In the Opinion of the Papists, they are able to sanctifie what or whomsoever they can touch; o so that whosoever toucheth the Bones of a Martyr, becomes in a manner a partaker of his Justice and Holiness, through the Grace issuing out of their Bodies; which surely is a great encouragement for one to keep such things close to his skin. And besides this, they are look'd upon as a great means of en­gaging the Saints to mind and favor them who kiss these Bones, or any thing else relating to their first estate: and therefore those are in the right, who do bestow p the like honor on the Relic, as on the Saints; since from both, they hope to receive (as they shall) [Page 306] the like advantage. Thus if you kiss St. Thomas Beckets Breeches, (they say you may q adore them too) you are forthwith sure of a Saint, who shall thus make you twice happy, both by his Soul pro­tecting above, and his Relics which sanctifie and save below. And how were it possible for these Saints not to befriend them, whom they see kissing and worshipping their very Shoes? Upon this rea­son are these Relics devoutly laid under the Altars, and there as devoutly called upon: insomuch, that you can hardly tell, which of the two Papists do pray to; whether the Saint, as assistant to his Re­lics, or the Relics as nearly relating to the Saints. Sub Altare Dei, &c. * O you (whether Saints or Re­lics that are seated under Gods Altar, intercede ye to God for us. If you make the least doubt of it, read the public Office of the Church; what better Author can you wish? and by what this Church solemnly praies in behalf of the very boxes or shrines, see what you may hope of the Relics. We beseech * you (saies the High Priest, and the Praier of the Church you know cannot be in vain) so to sanctifie these small Vessels, (Vascula) by your free Grace; and so liquor them (perfundere) with your Celestial Blessing, that whosoever requires the protection of your Saints, and imbrace their here inclosed Relics (here is their use) against the devil and his angels; against all Thun­ders, Lightnings and Storms; against the corruption of the Air, and the Plagues of Men and Beasts; a­gainst Thefts, Roberies, Invasions; against all sorts of evil Beasts, and against the devices of wicked Men, [Page 307]may obtain of you through their Propitiations and Prai­ers, strength both to overcome all harms, and to find all profitable things.

This is in all likelihood (to come to the other Character of saving Relics) what the Devils at Rome did consider, when, r as an Authentic Roman Au­thor reports it, they took once especial pious care, lest these saving means should be stolen away from Rome. The History is remarkable, and it runs thus: About the Year 250, under the Popedom of Cornelius, some Greeks who were at Rome attemted to steal thence away St. Peter and St. Pauls Bodies; then happened a great Earth-quake, and all the Devils soon perceiving what these Sacrilegious Thieves were doing, presently bestirred themselves out of their Temples and Images, running up and down through the Streets, and crying with a migh­ty Voice (as concerned in the business) Come out Ro­mans, come out, for the Greeks in all haste are now carrying away your gods. At this huge Cry met to­gether both the Christians, for the securing of their Apostles (for so they took the Devils Language, as now the Papists do speak it) and the Pagans for their Heathenish gods. So the Greeks being closely pur­sued, ran away, and threw their Booty into a Well, whence Pope Cornelius soon took it up. But here­upon a main difficulty troubled the Church, to know which was the Body of St. Peter, and which the Bo­dy of St. Paul; at last, after much Fasting and Praying, a great Voice was heard from above (whence the Queen of Heaven uses to appear) Ma­jora Ossa, &c. The bigger Bones belong to the Preach­er, and the other to the Fisher.

By this good care of ill Spirits, both all the Bones and other Relics, which the Roman Church hath now, are since multiplied to such a number, as may deservedly call again both the Christians and Pagans together, to wonder at this Improvement. No Rats or Mice can multiply so fast in nasty Hou­ses, as Relics will in foolish Churches. Erasmus saies, s That the true Cross, which once a Man could well carry upon his back, is since that time multiplied to so many pieces, that, if they were all put together, might very well load a good Barge. It is most certain, that our Savior was never Cir­cumcised but once, that St. Peter had but one Body, and St. Denis but one Head, while they lived: the same is true of the Wise men, or the three Kings. But now see where their Relics are best kept, to wit, at Rome, Bruxels, Paris, Milan, Ratisbone, and o­ther places, whether now, when they are dead, they have no more. It seems the Roman Church hath a notable faculty of making Bodies, Heads, and Teeth, and all other such things to breed, while she keeps them in her Bosom. This faculty is nei­ther by Transubstantiation, as when they put one individual Body in a thousand places: nor by simple Division, as when they break one of their Conse­crated Wafers into parcels, whereof one, and even the least, conteins as much as the whole doth; this is performed by a certain Efflux & Transmigration of Roman Grace, such as you see in a burning Can­dle, when it lights as many others as you are pleas'd to bring to it.

For the Roman Church thinks to know by infal­lible Experiences, the gift, which their Holy things [Page 309]have of imparting their good Talent, to any thing which comes near them. If they but put their Beads, or any such little thing on their long stick, as the Jews did their Sponge on a Reed, and then with a low bowing, make it kiss our Ladies Image; this gentle touch is a Blessing: and I am sure all Me­dals and Beads, which have had it, are bought and sold at a good price. If this touch be between such things, as are of the same or like nature, then the Transfusion of Holiness is much stronger: and for example, a burning Taper, which will perhaps but heat the finger, will presently light a Candle. And to this purpose is the Danish Suffragan Matthias's public acknowledgment, when he declared solemn­ly, That he had from his Holiness a Commission to hallow, or to consecrate any Bone, even of a Hog or a Sheep, if it were of the like member with that one which he had, into Relics fit for Altars. Here I cannot forget that t Honorable Gentleman, whose prosperous and pious Family is still in Normandy, a great Ornament to that Church; whose Father, as he told me, had the first distast of Popery, when, being with the French Ambassador at Rome, he saw a heap of Bones, taken out of a very common Church-yard, and solemnly Consecrated for the Altars of Hungary, which the Turks, much wiser then they, had cleared of such pitiful Trash. This large Transfusion of Grace was sufficiently tried by the Noble Knight u, whose Shirt kept him Invulner­able against all blows and wounds whatsoever, after it had touched our Ladies Shift: and by many Men and Women, who are cured in Italy both of the [Page 310] x Gout, and many other painful Diseases, by Rings of Wax and Ivory gently rubbed against our Ladies Wedding Ring. Doubt not, but that if you can get some, either of that y Straw which St. Martin did lie upon, or of the Hey *, which St. Francis Horse was sadled with; and if you did mingle o­ther with it, both shall prove to be fit alike, either for working Roman Miracles, or being Objects of Roman Worship. Thus Rome is guilty of no Cheat, whensoever she gives more then one Head to one Body, and many Bodies to one Saint, to be wor­ship'd in several places. And whether Queen Isa­bella, or Pope Clement the Fourth, have the right Head, which S. Paul had on his Neck; this hath very small reason to grumble as he doth z at that, or that to complain at all of this, since they have both, if not the same, at least as good.

2. But and if by chance neither the care of the Pagan Gods could save, nor the craft of Roman Monks invent as many Relics, as may satisfie all the World, the new Romans shall supply that want, with other as good means of Grace, which are of their proper making.

First, They will give you an Agnus Dei, that is, a godly Lamb made of Wax. The Original of this new Device, was first found out by the Masons, who laied the Vatican Foundations. For, as they say, a with much digging, they met among many Medals and Rings, the Figure of a Lamb made with Wax, enclosed in a Golden Case, engraved with these con­juring [Page 311]Words, Maria nostra Florentissima, Michael, Gabriel, Raphael. Archangel. & Ʋriel. The Pope then Reigning (they cannot tell who, nor when it was) presented the Empress with this Relic; and a good while after, the Popes being not able to find more such Subterranean Jewels, were fain to coun­terfeit some like them. Ʋrban the First, is the first Pope who sent one of his own making to the Empe­ror of Constantinople, commending the Vertues there­of in a fine Copy of Latin Verses, Balsamus & cera, &c. The way of making such an Agnus, is this, Take Virgin Wax, charm it with the b usual Bles­sing; mingle it with the Ointment which they call Chrisma, and some Balsom added to it: put this Past into the shape of Lambs, carry them in a Silver Ba­son to the Pope at Procession, saying these Words, c Holy Father, these are the young Lambs that bring the good Tidings. Allelujah, now they are going to the Fonts, ad Fontes. At which the Clergy is to an­swer, Thanks be to God. Allelujah. Then his Roman Holiness, abusing most horribly the Holy Ceremo­nies of Baptism, dips d them all into the Water, out of which, he, or some other present Bishop, takes them; and thus all being Baptized, Omnibus Bapti­satis, the Pope himself Consecrates them with a Praier to the Holy Ghost, O Alme Spiritus. &c. that is, as He (the Holy Ghost) hath ordained the Holy Sa­crament of Baptism, to wash all sins away; so these Lambs (pretty Children to bring to Christ) being washt with the holy and living Water, and anoiated with the holy Ointment, may be blessed and sanctified with the abundance of his Grace, against all Devils, [Page 312]and ill Spirits. And that whosoever will devoutly car­ry about him one of these Lambs, may never be trou­bled with any storms; nor overcome with any Adver­sity, nor Plague, nor ill Air, nor Shipwrack, nor Fire; that no man may ever have the Dominion over him. (So Catholics must have still the better.) And that if a woman wear it in Childbed, the Child may be kept safe with the Mother. The great Sacraments of Christs own institution, namely the Holy Baptism, and Communion have not the half of this: and yet, both for the great encouragement of Poperie, and the greater horror of all true Christianity, you may have more; for the first Pope who made them, and there­fore knew best what they were good for, makes their vertue like to Christs Blood. e Balsamus & Cera, &c. I present you, (saies he to the above said Empress) ‘with an Agnus or Lamb of God as a great Gift; for it scatters away Devils, and storms, &c. (as in the consecrating Praier) ‘and besides all this, it breaks and choaks all mortal sins, as the very Blood of Christ doth.’ Commend me now to such a Church, that can upon her own account make for her friends such Sacraments.

Secondly, Hear what she can make in another way, of this same wax, especially upon Easter Eve. In the Morning f at six a Clock, strike you as much Fire out of a Flint, as may serve you to light Char­Coales without the Church: put the lighted Coales in a Censer: and throw on them, five Grains of Franckincense, while this Incense is a burning, put out all the Lights of the Church: put three wax Candles at some triangular distance upon the top of [Page 313]a long Pole. At the first stepping into the Church, light one of them at the new Fire: then lift it up: and let the People say Deo gratias, God be thanked, there is Christs light. When you come to the middle of the Church; light the Second; and falling down upon your knees repete the same words somewhat louder: and when you are come in so far, as to the High Altar; then light me the third Candle, and cry out as loud as you can, Here is Christs light. This done, go up to the Pulpit; and there with one of the three afore said Candles, light a fourth, but a huge one, which is called Cereus, and must be burn­ing the whole night. This great Candle, or Cereus is good as they say on Easter Eve to bring the holy Ghost into that water, which it is thrice dipped in­to; the first time it must no more then touch the water: the second, it must go in somewhat deeper; but the third g time, it must sink unto the Bottom. Now sprinkle a little of this holy water upon your self, or whom, or whatsoever you will; it will do Marvails. Once the Virgin brought down from Hea­ven one such Taper, h to dip in water; whether she learned it from the Roman Church, or this from her, I cannot tell; but however all the Inhabitants of Arras, who drunk but a little of this water, be­ing troubled afore with sore diseases, were upon their drinking thereof, on a sudden recovered. It were exceeding worth trying, whether the other lesser Candles could do the same, if they were dipt; for Roman Catholics find in the water a marveilously great aptness, to impregnate it self with all the vertu of Holy things. Witness that water, (whereof men­tion [Page 314]was made before) where S. Francis did wash his feet: and the other water in Flanders, which did cure i the Palsie, when the little Image of Montague, Montis acuti, had soakt in it. But how­ever without any water, these small Candles do great Effects, if the praier to hallow them, be not as vain, as, I am sure, it is extravagant; namely k that God would be pleased to Sanctifie all these Candles thro the In­tercession of the Virgin, and the Praiers of all his Saints, for the health of Souls and Bodies by Sea and Land: and to this purpose to kindle them with the light of his Celestial Blessing, and the infusion of his Grace, that all the People who have a mind to carry them devoutly and decently in their hands, may have their Praier heard in Heaven. This said and don, then presently come up the People to the high Altar: and there down on their knees do kiss the hand of the Mass-Priest, who gives to every one of them one of these Candles. When some Body is like to dy, this blessed light is held before him, when he cannot hold it himself; and the benefit of it is this, that whosoever holds, or hath this Candle held be­fore him, when he dies, especially if a Rosary Bro­ther, dies l with the Pardon of all his sins; what would you have more?

Thirdly, from the Wax you go to the Oil; for the Church of Rome makes of it three other great Organs of Grace; 1. One to prepare and qualifie young People to all spiritual Graces; Oleum Catechumeno­rum. 2. Another to introduce the Old, or the Sick into Heaven; Oleum Infirmorum. And the third, to [Page 315]strengthen both young and old, from the time of their Baptism through their whole life, against all Temtati­ons whatsoever, Chrisma. For the making of these three Means of Salvation, which are best don on holy Thursday; m ℞ Take me three Bottles full of the best and purest Virgin Oil you can get: cover them well; the two former, with silk of any Golor: but the third by all means with white; then when the Bells have rung a while, and all things are ready for the Office; let one Sub-Deacon, or more, bring the three Bottles orderly one after another, on his left Arm, (where the Lady carries her Babe) and deliver them being decently covered, into the hand of a more noble Officer, who shall name what Bottle it is; as for Example Oleum Infirmorum, Here is the Oil for dying People: and so set it before the Bishop, upon a little Table near the Altar. At that moment the Bishop shall rise up: and with a pretty low voice (not so low nevertheless, as when he changes Bread into Flesh) thus conjure and consecrate the Bottle set before him. I conjure thee, shall he say, O thou most unclean Spirit, and all you Apparitions, and Incursions of the Devil, to get forth out of this Oil in the Name of the Father, &c. that it may become a Ghostly Ʋnction, fit to streng then the Temple of the liv­ing God. Then follows the solemn Consecration; that God would be pleased to send down the holy Comforter, out of Heaven into this Fatness of Olives, that it may scatter all the Pains, all the Infirmities, and all the sorrows both of the Soul and Body: and that it may be a safeguard and restauration to them, who shall be anointed with it. After this, must the two other Bottles be brought up, on the left arm likewise, but [Page 316]with more Ceremony; for the Chorus must sing the Verse or as they call it the Charm, O Redemtor, &c. four or five times: and the high Mass Priest must consecrate the Balsam, and mingle it with some of the Oil, in a lesser Dish or Patin. This don, he blows three times cross-wise over the Mouth of the greater, otherwise called the Chrismal Bottle. Af­ter him twelve other Mass Priests, but of an inferior Dignity, who stand ready for the same purpose, blow each in order thrice, and cross-wise on the said Bot­tle. Then here follows the Conjuring Consecration. Exorcizo te, &c. that is, I do exercise thee by God the Father Almighty O thou Creature of Oil, that all the Armies of the Devil, and all the Incursions of Satan may flee away out of thee: and that thou maiest become to them, who shall be anointed with thee, an Adoption of Sons, by the Holy Ghost; in the Name of the Fa­ther, &c. Having thus conjured and praied, he falls upon singing the Praises of this Chrismal Oil, calling upon the Trinity, as impertinently, as before, that the Vertue of the Holy Ghost may be mingled with the Fatness of this Oil, just as he (the High Mass Priest) mingles what is upon the little Dish, or Patin, and lets it in into the Bottle, with a Fiat, that is wishing or commanding, that this mixture of Liquors be a saving Propitiation, and safe guard to them, who shall anoint themselves with it. And in full assurance that it is so, the Inferior Priest takes off the white Veil, which this Bottle was hooded with; then the High Priest with a threefold humble kneeling, wor­ships the Bottle three times together, saying at eve­ry kneeling and salute, Ave Sanctum Chrisma; but raising his voice by set degrees (for this belongs to the Mystery) at the second, and the third time: [Page 317]the rest of the present Clergy do somewhat more; for at every Ave in several notes, as before, instead of bowing, where they stood, they must approach, and kneel before the Bottle; call it worship, or Ido­latry, or what you please. Lastly both the High and low Mass Priests do most reverently kiss in order not the Mouth, as before, but only the Lip of the Bottle, Labium Ampullae. Nothing of all this is don in vain; and nothing can be don too much; for this is the great Chrismal Ointment, which supplies the want of Baptism: and which arms the true Ca­tholics with all Graces, not one excepted, against all Temtations whatsoever.

The third Bottle conteins what they call, the Oil of the Catechumens: which, laying Balsam aside, is consecrated as the former; for the High and the 12 low Mass-Priests, blow thrice on it; then it is conjured and praied over, that all the Devils may flee from it: and that so many Graces may come into their Places, as both to adopt and to purifie the Flesh and the Spirit of all, who shall therewith be liquored. For the Conclusion they all worship the third Bottle as they did the second, with their repeting Ave San­ctum Oleum, I worship or Salute thee O Holy Oil. So you have all you can desire to set your Salvation for­ward against the world, the Flesh, and the Devil.

Fourthly, the Church of Rome knows how to ad­vance Salt, and water, either each by it self, or both together, by Conjuring, them into another n saving Sacrament; the Salt, to be both the Health and the Salvation of the Body and Soul. Salus Mentis & Cor­poris: and the water by it self, no less: but when both are mixt together, then you are safe on every [Page 318]side: then all ill Spirits, and uncleanness must fly away: and then the assisting Presence of the Holy Ghost comes in good earnest about you. That is the reason, that no wise Catholic will pass one day, if he can help it, without sprinkling himself with this water; nor let the Chamber, where he lies, be with­out a little Bottle full of this holy Preservative.

Fiftly, the Roman Church affords two other great Saving o Devises by blessing Wine, and conjuring Ashes. These Ashes, if it be possible, must be taken p out of the burning of such Boughs as had served the year before for Palm-Sunday. What vertu these Ashes have, (especially on a Catholic, when troubled in his Conscience) guess by the praier of the Church, who sends expressly for q Gods Angel, to infuse strength and blessing into them. The Wine, (not that of the Holy Communion, for this is a Mysterie, which neither Christ, nor his Apostles e­ver thought of) as it appears by its consecrating Praier, hath a great deal of vertue too. But it shews it especially, when the Mass Bishop hath mixed it with the said Ashes, Salt and Holy water, therewith to hallow Churches, Altars, and all other Instru­ments of Catholic Devotion, with such admirable Properties, as can make all Services more accepta­ble.

Sixtly, this is one of the greatest Perfections and Allurements of Rome; that over and above the many Means of Inherent Blessings, to enable the deadest Souls towards something; she can enable Marble, Wood and Stone, to raise and quicken the least Per­formance. And for my mony give me such a Master, [Page 319]as can both animate my hand with skill and motion to play upon an Instrument, and help me to such an Instrument, as can make most sweet harmony of the least touch of my finger, when I come near; and this is the Case of the Roman Church, and the great Attractive she hath to make blind Souls look towards her. All, even the meanest Country Churches, what with this admirable Confection made of Ashes, Salt, Wine, and holy Water; what with Greek and Latin r Characters, drawn in Ashes up­on the Ground cross-wise, with a Mass Bishops pa­storal Staff; what with Processions about the walls; what with hard knocking and singing at the Doors, are enchanted to that degree of holiness, as that the first step into them, and the least good word or thought in them, may * wipe off clear your venial fins: and that some Churches if no more then lookt upon at a Distance, will clear you from s mortal too. All, even the most common Mass Altars, what with little t Candles burnt cross-wise; what with several sorts of Ointments; what with Signs of the Cross; what with seven turnings about; what with old Bones, or consecrated wafers, are conceived to have no less vertue, then the light of the holy Ghost, and a general capacity to make all holy and accepta­ble, which the Priest offers thereon: and many have the Privilege, if they be seen at certain times, but a far off, to procure general Pardons without any Mass, u or Praier. All Images what by being washt with holy water; what by being smoak'd and suffu­migated [Page 320]with the burning of Frankincense; are ad­vanced to this blessing, that whosoever makes a short Praier to our Lady, before x such an Image of hers, for example, shall be saved here from all dan­gers: and shall in the presence of God hereafter be released of all his sins. Some such Images there are which go as far, and require less, even but a simple bowing, when you pass by. All Crosses, whether of wood, or stone being washt, and smoak'd in the like manner, promise the same, or greater Effects; namely y to be a Foundation of ones Faith, a De­fense in affliction, a help in Prosperity, a Bulwark in the City, a shelter in the Field; in a word by Con­secration z a Cross becomes a fit Object to be ado­red, kissed, and kneeled unto, even by him, who did make it: especially when there is a Crucifix nail­ed to it; for then 'tis both a Cross and an Image: and who, upon this double account would not be easily temted, to adore and to kneel before the work of his own hands? A small woodden Button, such as you may have many hundreds for two pence, (as I have observed already) is by the Roman Popes Bles­sing made a sufficient Instrument to raise one Pater to that Price, as to be a sufficient Ransom for the buying of a Soul out of Purgatory. All Bells, and of all sorts (which in the Roman account a amount to six) what with their Chrismal Ointment and another Oil for the sick; what with abused Parcels of Scripture, and terrible b Conjurations; what with other Roman and distorted Rags of Baptism, are [Page 321]thought to have the faculty as well of scattering storms and Devils from, as of calling the People to Church: and of working true compunction, in the Heart, as well as a sound or noise in the Ear. How­ever the Roman Church among her solemn Conse­crations praies to God for no less, in behalf of her Bells, then in behalf of Christian Souls; that these (Bells) ‘may be blessed with all Heavenly Grace, and throughly moistened with the Dew of the Ho­ly Ghost.’ Moreover to oblige the Country, they are said to be mightily useful, for the preserving c of Corn, and Cattel.

Sixtly, and lastly (for I am loth to trouble both my self and others with relating more Enchant­ments) besides these Universal Attractives, Rome hath or pretends to have, wherewith to accommo­date every particular sort of Christians in their pri­vate Relations. His Roman Holiness doth conse­crate d Crowns for Soveraigns: Banners for Princes, and great Generals: Swords and other weapons for Captains or common Soldiers. He knows also how to please Queens, Princesses, and other great Ladies with Relics, and Godly Lambs of his own making. He will part sometimes with the whole Carcass of a Roman Saint. When they happen to be with Child, they may be sure of holy Clouts. As for his own [...]elf, his custom was to consecrate * a Bit of a patch either of Silk, or of Cotton: and to do it in this man­ner. At the end of every Station, an Acolythe (an inferior kind of Officer dips this pittiful patch, into the Oil of a burning Lamp: and having wiped it as [Page 322]clean as he can, comes to the Pope for a Blessing, Jube Domine benedicere: who doth so, and gives it him again; then the fellow cries out at another sta­tion at such a time, and in such a Church which now salutes your Holiness, &c. and so presents the blessed patch: which his said Holiness joifully ac­cepts of, and heartily kisses, in veneration of the Saint, who happens to be the Patron of the Church, where they are to meet. The Chamberlain laies all these Bits one upon another in a safe place, here­with to make a little soft Pillow for his Holiness to rest his head upon, when he is dead. And why may not this pretty Devise, as well be thought a Sa­ving e Sacrament for a dead Corps, as the mixing of Salt, and water is, in the Consecration of a sense­less Bell? and why may not silk or Cotton un­der a Roman Popes head, as well as Gold, Silver and Steel upon and about a Princes Head, be raised, by the same Power, to strange Spiritual Performan­ces?

These, and many more of like nature consecrated Inventions coming from Rome, and being recom­mended by men of parts, as so many special favors of an Infallible Church, may very well take, and enchant both wise and unwise Romanists: and for my part I do much wonder, how all such of our Pro­testants, as have more Conscience then knowledge, are not more temted then yet they are with these Means of Salvation. We all know how much Flesh and Blood is apt to be drawn with Objects, and Ope­rations of its own kind: and how far it is easier for men and women of loose lives, to amuse themselves with Scapularies, Beads, Ropes, Agnusses, and sprink­ling [Page 323]their Bodies with Holy Water, then to lift up pure Hearts to God. And what hard matter can it be for an old Sinner on his Death-bed, either to kiss a Crucifix, or to hold a consecrated Candle, when contrariwise he finds it an unsufferable task to re­pent? Who, in the daies of Romulus, would have run the hazard of being hang'd, when he really might, or at least thought to escape it by running in­to his Asylum? And who of all the Sons of Adam, if they do see their nakedness, and hear the Thun­der, will not again seek Fig-leaves? Such imaginary means of Grace, both keep Papists nailed to Rome, and might draw more People that way, were it not for some remainder of common Sense left in Man­kind, and even somtime in the worst Sinners, which in part discovers the Folly, the Profaneness, and if there is any reality, the visible Witchcraft of these Babels.

1. I say the Folly: For what is there more im­pertinent, then to think either of scaring the Devils with Salt, Ashes, and Water, or of inviting the Holy Ghost with Perfumes, Balsam & Oil? These weak Ingredients, I do confess, might have some use in the Levitical Service; but yet this use was to si­gnifie and to represent; it was not to perform, or to bring any thing to pass. If the Papists did intend nothing, but for example to represent Innocency, by their Holy Water; or the Glory and Joy of Heaven, by their Burning Candles and Lamps: Men are al­lowed sometimes to express things by such Emblems. And if their Ceremonious framing and scrupulous Christning of Bells, or their Mystical burning of great Torches did tend to nothing else, then those [Page 324]many Allegories, which Durand f and others seek about them; the only great abuse, for ought I know, were in exceeding all sober use; and by that excess, in filling the Church with an intolerable Pageantry. But I pray you, What hath this Bell more then a Drum, proper to working Repentance? Or this Ta­per, more then a Tallow Candle, to cure Diseases? Or this Rose more then a Tulip, to ease of the Quar­tain Ague? If this Wax, or Roses, or Boughs, had bin brought down to us from Paradise, as they say that admirable Branch of the Palm-Tree g was, which an Angel gave to St. John, to adorn the Virgin Ma­ries Funeral; the Celestial Ground where they grew, might dispose one as well to believe, that the Leaves of that Branch did glitter like Stars, and that its Fruit did restore the sight, or raise the dead, as to believe the whole story. Or else if this Wax, and Roses, and Boughs, had bin recommended to the Church by God, or any undoubted Prophet, as Water is in Baptism; and as the Rod, the Lamb, the Blood, &c. were in Moses his daies, it were very easie to conceive, that the same God, who had insti­tuted these Signs, would by some way or other, how­ever unknown to us, make good their signification. But since these begarly Elements, as the Apostle calls like and better things, have neither Institution from God, nor Original from an unknown place, nor any thing in the whole Earth, to recommend them­selves withal, but that they grew in my Garden, and were taken out of my Hives, and then were blown upon by a Pope: upon this pitiful ground, if I think they can do great Feats, I may promise my self as [Page 325]well very great Wonders from the Juglers, Hocus, P [...] ­cus, which I am sure were great folly: or if some great things usually happen at such pitiful Ceremo­nies, as there is neither strength of Nature, nor Or­dinance of God to cause them, my Belief is worse then Folly; there must be some Devil in the case, whom an open Abuse and Profaness in taking in vain Gods holy Name, doth usher in.

2. For what worse abuse can there be, then to call on the Holy Ghost to infuse his Light, his Grace, and the Dew of his Blessing into Ashes, Stones, and Morter made of Water, Lime and Sand? In Con­science, are these dirty things capable of any Grace, and Spiritual Infusion? Or is the blessed Spirit of God become to us so contemtible, as to be called in­to this Dirt? 2. What impudent attemt is this, to pretend, either by our Praiers, or by the help of light Gestures, to raise up filly Elements to high prodi­gious Effects? And what visible temting of God is it, to call on him for Help, Grace and Blessing, upon this prostitute boldness? For when we call upon him to Bless or to Sanctifie what we have, it is to improve it to those uses, which by its nature it is fit for. And when we bless the Elements, either for holy Ba­ptism, or for the holy Communion; it is to procure then a Blessing in order to those Spiritual Ends, that he himself hath ordained both Baptism and holy Communion to. So whensoever we Bless or Pray, we have alwaies a Natural, or a Supernatural ground of God, to bear us up in what we ask. So had Mo­ses, when with a Rod he offered to divide the Sea [...] Joshua, when he bid the Sun to stand still: and all the holy servants of God, when by the laying on of their Hands, or any other weak Ceremonies, they [Page 326]wrought some Wonders. There and then the Men of God neither spoke nor did any thing, but when moved by his Spirit: and without such Grounds and Principles, whether natural, or better, all our Prai­ers are but Faithless, and our Blessngs and Conse­crations unchristian. Now what of all this, can a Mass-Priest or Bishop pretend for all his Conjurings? If Lights and Lamps can by their Natural proprie­ty scatter Darkness, or by an human Institution represent Glory and Joy: Can they also procure Bles­sings, and cure Diseases? Is there any ground in Na­ture, whereupon one may pray to God, that such a Bell (call and Christen it as you please) may work Compunction of Heart, or preserve the Cattel and the Corn, otherwise then by scattering perhaps some Clouds? Is a rag either of Silk, or of Cotton, being at a certain time dipt in Oil, like to give ease and refreshment to a dead Pope lying on it? Or if Nature fail them in this: What Divine Institution, what true Revelation have they to make them think, that their three Bottles, if a Mass-Bishop will breath on them, shall fetch down Graces from above? and that one little drop of this Oil, mingled with Wax and Balsam, shall save People against all Dangers? Why should one think that his Parish Church is bet­ter freed from ill Spirits, by some few Greek and La­tin Letters made with a stick upon spread Ashes, then his Room is, if he writes Slut with his Finger upon a nasty or dirty Board? And what ails a Tulip more then a Rose, or an old Shoe more then a Gir­dle, not to be as well consecrated to great Marvels? 3. As 'tis to these and other such idle purposes, that the Holy and Dreadful Name of God is by them all taken up, and called upon at every turn; if in truth, [Page 327]as it should, in Justice and Judgment, let them shew by some good Precept, Promise, or clear Revela­tion that it is so: and if not, let them now tremble both at the horror of their attemt, and at the dread­ful Voice of God threatning, that he will not hold them guiltless, but look on them alwaies as Sinners, and abominable guilty Persons, whosoever do take his Name in vain. Read who will Roman Service Books, there he shall find the whole Trinity as fre­quently and as formally called down on Bells, as on Children; as dreadfully named and conjured, (Per Deum vivum, &c. By the true God, the living God, the Holy and Almighty God) upon Salt, Stones, Ashes, and such Trash, as on his Sacred Ordinances. The whole Service of Rome, from end to end, is pestered with such Conjurings.

3. But if such Conjurings be not thought to be taking Gods Name in vain, but seem somtimes to work out somthing, you may justly fear that they be worse. The Jews had an Art of casting out De­vils, and curing many Diseases, some with Rings, and Roots of r Herbs, which, they said, they had from Solomon; some by Suffumigations ſ and Conju­rings. The ancient Pagans did the same with Flow­ers t, with Figures, and with Words, which them­selves did not understand. These for the most part were Scripture names, Sabaoth, u Adonai, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, &c. The truth is, a­bused Scripture and Medicine have ever bin the two common Ingredients of Black Arts: this finds out [Page 328]Herbs, Roots, Gums, Perfumes, &c. that furnishes sacred Words, sacred Figures, and holy Daies, to make up the Enchantment. Thus the Devils are best pleased, when they trample both on Nature and Grace, both on Gods good Creatures, and Christs sacred Ordinances. You can no where find more of this then both in the Jewish Talmud, and in the Con­secrations of Rome. No Salt, no Wine, no Smoak, no sound of strange Words and Characters, can be out of their way and use, in order to true Popery: and if Christ, and the Primitive Fathers, ever used any of these Creatures to a Moral and Mystical sense, the Papists will first stretch it out to extravagant Al­legories, and at the conclusion will abuse it for the working out of strange Feats. Thus the use of Oil, which by the Fathers was applied to represent the Graces of the Holy Ghost, falls into the hands of Papists to cure Diseases. Thus the ringing of the Bells is improved from calling the People to Church, to make Corn prosper in the Fields: and thus the Bones of dead Saints, and the very Sacrament of the Lord, from being kept as holy Memorials; to be thrown to quench the Fire, and to save Houses. And as the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, and such o­ther Names of God proper to his ancient People; so must the Holy Trinity, the Living God, and such o­ther Expressions of the blessed Divine Nature, which are more proper to the Christians, among other names of Saints and Angels be now brought in, with many Crossings and Figures to conjure their Busi­ness, and, as Cardinal Rasponi ingeniously expresses it, to make a x Charm of Blessing. With this, a lit­tle Bottle of Holy Water, hanged at or by the Beds [Page 329]Tester, is conceived to keep the whole Chamber both from Fire and evil Spirits; and as much as a small Peper corn of Wax, sowed and wrapt up with Silk in the Figure of a Heart, and carried about ones Neck, is a stronger Preservative then all the forbidden y Phylacteries. And as these great and sa­cred Names did not conjure so well, as when pro­nounced in Hebrew; (for the Devil did not care for the word, unless it was said Sabaoth, or Adonai, as Learned Origen well z observes) all the Pontifical Consecrations and Exorcisms are in Latin, Per Deum Vivum, &c. and this may he thought a good reason for celebrating their Mass in a Tongue that few un­derstand, for fear the Consecrating words in English, or other known and common Languages, might not work out the great Miracle, which they call Tran­substantiation. Therefore whensoever Serpents, or Floods, or Quartan Agues are conjured; or when to the same good purpose Spells and Papers are given out, all is said and written in Latin, out of their vul­gar Version. See their Book called Flagellum Dae­monum, full of Enchantments to scourge the Devils; or their other Book, called The Tresure of the dread­ful Conjurings. Thus, 'tis the Fate of corrupted Re­ligions, whether Jewish, or Mahometan, or Roman, to end in Witchcraft and Sorcery: and who can won­der, if such continual abusing Gods Holy Name, and Scripture, proves a strong Invitation to any other Spirit rather then his own. But of this, you shall hear more about Images.

CHAP. XVI.
Concerning the most general, and most sensible Inducement to Popery, by the means and in the use of Consecrated Images.

BOTH the first scope and most difficult work of Christian Religion concerning Mankind, is to raise up their Souls from low and gross visible Creatures, to God himself and all Spiritual Objects. Contrariwise, the main busi­ness of Heathenish Superstitions, was ever obser­ved to consist in depressing Men from God, and all supercelestial thoughts, down as low as ever they could, to gross and sensual Idols. This se­cond is the easier Task, because human corrupt Na­ture (all good or bad Religions being laid aside) is apt and prone to move downwards, by the very weight of its Principles. Men naturally do love as little to look up, or to employ themselves about invisible Matters, as to gaze at random on emty Air: and being guided only by their Senses, it is exceeding hard for them to take any other way, but towards what they see and touch. Hence Rome hath taken the advantage to fit her own Religion from what true Christianity prescribes, to what sensual Men can or will do. For as to what they can; if to love God with all their hearts, and to a­dore him in Spirit, be much above their Moral [Page 331]strength; to bow passing by an Altar, or to sprinkle themselves with Holy Water, or to stand or kneel demurely at the lifting up of a Wafer, are such acts of Devotion, as any one, who hath but some health, and the natural use of his Members, hath sufficient ability to perform. And as to what they affect, al­tho all spiritual Exercises and mental Elevations, be to them unpleasing; and all pure and eternal Ob­jects very far above their sight, and farther yet a­bove their care; yet they will kiss a Crucifix, sa­lute a Cross, carry most devoutly a Scapulary, an Agnus, or a set of Beads about them: and these and other like Devotions, as I have shewed in many In­stances, go far in the Roman Account. And as to the great Zeal and Passion which the Gospel of Christ requires, tho few Men can force themselves so much, as patiently to hear one Preaching upon any Essential Article of the Christian Faith; yet all of their own accord, especially upon certain daies, will throng both to see and to worship St. Paul's Head, or St. Peter's Tooth. And without any great teaching, Men learn presently any where, what most Israelites learn'd in Egypt; when they care little for God or for Moses, whom they see not, they will gape and run lustily after the Calf, or any thing which they can see. Thus evidently, Let us make Gods to go before us, is the most corrupt natural wish, and the most universal Religion of all Man­kind. To this purpose, the Holy Fathers have ob­served this Enchantment in Images, that the very Men that should best know what stuff these Idols are made of, yet will stand in some a awe of them, when they see them bravely seated over the Heads of a [Page 332]multitude; and that either such is the Charm of these dead figures b, to make Mens Souls stoop un­to them; or the natural weakness of Men, to let themselves stoop to these shapes; that the very Men who see the Sun, and believe it to be their God, will turn c their back to their own God, and turn their Face to his Image. The truth is, carnal Wor­shippers, such as naturally all Men are, are all for present carnal Objects: and if these have also hu­man shapes, in St. Augustins Judgment, this likeness becomes to them so great a Charm, that, as the same Father observes, Men shall not be discouraged from following after Images, by seeing them both Deaf, Blind, and Dumb, but will take them for friendly Gods, because they see them have Ears, Eyes, and Mouths. Whatever this Reason be worth, this Experience is most certain, that, the People of God excepted, all the World besides hath bin drawn to their respective Religions, by the help of these gross Images: and if by chance, any Tem­ple or Nation happened to have none, that is obser­ved by most Historians as extraordinary and sin­gular. All the Provinces of China, however full as they say of Teachers, who think of God, much above all what an Image can represent; yet never draw up their Train'd Bands to any Religious so­lemn purpose, but still march with such Standards; and the true Israel of God, and the Primitive Church of Christ, are the only two Societies that both had not, and detested Image Worship. Not to speak of the Israelites according to the Flesh, of which there is no question, the Church of Christ, [Page 333]as well at Rome as every where else hath, for above six hundred Years after her first Institution, best lived, and best served her Savior without Images, as to any Worshipping account. If there were Images at all to be seen among Christians, during the three first and most Virgin Centuries, they were either kept useless in private hands, or used by the Fol­lowers of Simon the d Magician, Carpocrates e, and such Infamous Heretics: and if by any Christians, it was by such weak Superstitious ones, as in S. Au­gustins f Judgment deserved well to be deceived, for their offering to learn Christian and Apostolical Faith from painted Walls. When first Images crept into Churches, which was about the sixth Cen­tury, it was on a civil account, either as Ornaments of Christian Temples, or as Memorials of Holy Stories. Pope Gregory the first, and the first Pa­tron of Images, * never pleaded farther then this against Serenus for his Clients, which stood 200 Years in this posture; till the second Nicene Coun­cil, with much opposition, and more scandal, ad­vanced them a step higher. Then soon after came the ninth Century, noted by all for the worst, the saddest, and the ignorantest Age of the Church, which drowned the Gospel with Popery, and which, as their best Authors g confess, began in good ear­nest to set up the Abominable Desolation foretold by Dan. 9. in the Roman Church. And so Images had a fair opportunity to come in, when both the Holy Scriptures were kept unknown, under the Bushel [Page 334]of Ignorance: and when all other things were ma­naged by new Revelations and new Miracles. Here I do not undertake to shew, how far Roman Images lead worshippers into the way of plain Pagan Idola­try; since able men have done it before. But what is proper to my purpose, and is not so generally known; I will insist 1. upon their Roman Original. Secondly, upon their use among Papists. Thirdly, and most principally, upon what good, or bad ac­counts, Roman Images are grown so lovely and so taking.

1. First, as to the Original of Roman Images, it imitates that of Roman Relics. So the Papists have them two waies; for some are made by the Roman Church; others have an unknown Extraction, as being supposed either made by some Saint; or brought down from Heaven by Angels; or however found out one way or other by some extraordinary Providence. The Images made by the Roman Church, are made this way; the Carpenter cuts down a Tree, or the Mason digs out a Stone: then a Carver works this Stone, or Tree into an Image: and the Mass-Bishop consecrates both, into a Saint, or a Virgin, or a Crucifix. In the joint labor and concurrence of these three Craftsmen; the first finds the Materials: the second adds the shape and Figure: and the third, that is the Mass Bishop, puts in the Essential form, the very Soul; and by his powerful Consecration introduces it into the Body of the I­mage, in this manner.

When the Church wants a Crucifix, the Bishop puts off his Miter; and in a pretty long Office, declares or explains to God, what he would have, that is, what it is that he hath a mind to set up; namely [Page 335] Singulare Signum, a a special Standard, which by a special Blessing may be a saving help to Mankind; a supporter to Faith; a Means of Proficiency in good works; a Redeeming Instrument for Souls; and both in the Town, and in the Field a protecting Shelter against all Enemies, whensoever a good Ca­tholic shall come, and humbly kneel before it. If the Crucifix be made of some better matter then common Wood, as of some fine Stone, Brass, or Sil­ver; it is intended and praied for, that by the Me­rits of this Crucifix, all devout Worshippers may be cleansed from all their sins, as the world was by the Holiness of Christs Cross. In order to these great Designs, the Bishop makes use of Holy Water; not such ordinary holy water, as Mass Priests make eve­ry Sunday, for every body to keep off Devils and Diseases: nor such, tho nobler, as is used at every Christening of Children: but that noblest sort of ho­ly water, which a Pope, b or a Bishop only can make, to consecrate Altars and Churches; with this admirable Water, I say, the Bishop washes and Hallows the Cross; next he takes Fire and Frank­incense (a Drug able in their judgment after it hath had three crost Blessings, to cure all manner of Dis­eases, and to drive away all manner of Devils, if they but smell the Smoke of it) and perfumes it well with the vapor; and both in the Name of the Trinity, and the vertue of three Crossings, he commands the Grace of the true Cross, where Christ had once his holy Members, to come & rest on the Crucifix, to this effect, that whosoever will bow before it, may there­by find a sure Relief, both for his Body, and his Soul. [Page 336]For conclusion, the Mass Bishop devoutly c kneels before this his new Crucifix, and both adores and kisses it: so do all other Catholics in their greatest Devotions, specially in time of Distress: and so all may, if Crucifixes be such helpers.

All other Images, especially that d of our Lady, are consecrated in the same way, with the same no­blest holy water, and the burning of Incense; only they have this special Praier more; to wit, that God e Almighty would be pleased so to sanctifie the said Images, that whosoever shall pray before them, may never want the Mediation and Intercession of that Saint, who owns the Image, to promote all what he praies for. Where by the bie you may discern Blasphemy and Impertinence coupled together; A Blasphemy, in calling upon God to bless that which in his service he so professedly curses and detests; and the Impertinency, in praying Backward and for­ward; forward to God, to move or get his Saints to mediate: and backward to move or get their God to the hearing of all the Requests, that shall be made before their Image. A Mathematical Device indeed an Image is (and who would not have such an In­strument) to turn God down to any Saint: and to turn up any Saint to God; and both God and Saints, to what one saies, when he kneels before that Fi­gure.

To spare Gods Name out of the Case, (for it is both a most fearful boldness to go to God for a Bles­sing upon what he hates and condemns, and a most desperate folly, to believe that He will grant it) a ve­ry [Page 337]Child might see both in the drift, and the man­ner of these Consecrations, that the main design of Images is not, to set up Resemblances or Memo­rials (as Pope Gregory * said to Serenus) where un­learned People might see, what they could not read; but to contrive such kind of Engins, wherewith Christians might call in and presentiate their Saints, as the Pagans had to call in their Gods. For Holy water, and Frankincense are quite extrinsecal, you know, and impertinent as to the procuring of repre­sentation, and likeness: but they may perhaps con­duce much to making and procuring such a neat and sweet Abode, as both in the Papists and Pagans opi­nion, might invite to it a great Saint. But if you will go to the practice; the common use made of Images shall tell you most plainly, what is the true end that they are made for. No Worshipper goes to Lauretto, to S. Denys, to S. Michael, &c. there to learn and read upon Images the Face, or the Mine of such Saints: nor would he think it worth the trouble and the charges of a long Journy, to go so far merely to instruct himself more fully, whether our Lady hath an Aquiline Nose; or whether S. Mi­chael hath wings in his back; or S. Francis, a deep long Hood, or S. Dominic, a bald Pate: the main Motive, that drives Pilgrims to those Churches, where Images are, is to find, not the Resemblance, but the very Presence of the Saint. So when they say, as they may truly, that these Images are con­secrated to represent Saints; it is in a much higher sense, then when we say, that Pictures do represent Faces; for it is also, (and chiefly too) as when we say, that Embassadors and Nuncios represent Kings, [Page 338]and e Roman Popes; and upon this account it is that if you chance to misuse the Image, thereby you do misuse the Saint as really, as they did whip Henry the great, whosoever whipt stout du Perron, repre­senting at Rome that Kings Person. Contrariwise, kneeling, praying, and bowing before the Image, thereby you kneel, and pray, and bow as really be­fore the Saint, as our Kings under Popery did sub­mit all to his Holiness, when they did it to his Le­gats: or as poor Frederic the Emperor thought really to put his Neck under the Feet of S. Peter himself, when he put it under the Popes. Thus are Images set up in Churches with a twofold Capacity; the one, as formal Representatives to be served with all the Worship, Praiers, Masses, burning Lamps, consecrated Tapers, and Candles, and all such o­ther Formalities, as the very Saints can be served with: and the other, as Sacred Seats of their assist­ing Presence and Power (Divum Numen) so that whensoever you touch or pray to the Image, this must be don as with the same Devotion, so with the same hope of Relief, as if you did touch and pray personally and immediately to the very he or she Saints themselves: the Images in such occasions be­ing joined, f as they say, or even identified with the Saints, and the Saints clothed, with their Images.

Now, how Saints, and Images come to be so near­ly related, and concern'd one with another, is a Mystery, that goes beyond any Christian Appre­hension. When Princes allow or resent what is don to their Embassadors, ill or Good, as don to them­selves; [Page 339]tis because they out of their own plesure, have chosen and sent them abroad as their own Re­presentatives: and if they concern themselves in the wrong don to their Statues, as the Emperor Theo­dosius once, which Bellarmin g stands much upon; it is because they did set them up as Roial Marks of their Soveraignty: And if God would have those Israelites that had bin bitten by Serpents, to look up toward the Brazen Figure of a Serpent in the Desart; or in their public services to turn their Faces towards the Ark; as now Christ will have Christians come with reverence to his Table; it is because God for certain Reasons, Typical, and pro­per to the Law, had ordained those Ceremonies, as now Christ under the Gospel hath ordained his Sacraments. But what is all this to this Roman purpose? and for Gods sake what is the connexion between Gods Saints, and Romes Images? First did ever any one of Gods Saints, express any desire of being served, or praied unto, after his death? Secondly, suppose this untruth, that they did? have they declared in what, and by what sort of Representatives they would be served at a distance? Can any Papist shew, that the Virgin ever cared more for Images, then God doth, who abhors them? And should we not suspect those Saints, if by chance were found any such, who had any love for that worship, which in all the times of true Saints, none but Devils were pleased with? And if for any thing that we can certainly tell, the Saints of God are altogether strangers to Images; why should we think Image-worship to be so dear, and so Charming a Service to Saints? and therefore [Page 340]when the Mass Bishop praies, and believes after his Praier, that all Blessings may and do light on them, who bow or kneel before an Image or a Crucifix; can he not pray and believe as well, that they may and do light on them, who to the great honor of those Saints either whip a Top about a Room, or drink claret in a Tavern? Since these last waies of Worshipping, are not more destitute of Gods word, and Institution then those: and those more unlaw­ful, and more expressly forbidden in all holy wri­tings then these. And so much of the first known Original of made and consecrated Images.

2. There is a second sort of Roman Images, which need no Consecration; being, as it is thought, sufficiently consecrated, either by the hand that made them, or by some other extraordinary Ex­traction. Such are,

1. That Image, which Christ, as they say, made of himself, when King Abagarus sent him a letter, and a Painter, h who being not able to look Him in the Face, much less to draw well his Picture, be­cause of the Glorious light which dazled his Eies; Christ, saies the Romancer, took his own Cloak, and by applying it to his Face, took a perfect Co­py of it, and sent it to Abagarus. But long before Images were used in the Roman Church, Pope Ge­lasius accounting this pretended i letter to be false: it is much, the story of the Painter, and of the Pi­cture can be true.

2. You have another Image of the same worth, and of the same Impression, which Christ, as they say, gave to Berenice, called otherwise Veronica. [Page 341]The story goes, that this woman gave a Handker­chief, wherewith he wiped off the Sweat and Blood, which was on his Face; and thus his Resemblance stuck to the Cloth; and it is this which at this day is both so solemnly shewed, and so devoutly adored at Rome; and you have to this purpose the whole legend k carefully kept in the Vatican.

3. To these may be added that wonderful Image, which they call, l made without hand; which Ca­tholics keep, and adore at Rome in the Chappel of S. Laurence.

4. All those Images which of late times are sup­posed to have bin either made by God himself, or however brought down by his Angels. Witness that fine Picture of the Virgin, m wrought curiously in a Saphir stone, with her Baby on her left Arm, which Pope John saw first in the Skie, and then all the Bells of the Town rung of themselves, while the Angels put it in his hand. Witness another brave Image, which two French-men being in Pri­son, found in n a night made to their hand, when the evening before they were thinking how to make one. Witness that other more glorious one, at Tungres, o which the Angels left in a Garden. If you ask what good it did there; they will tell you, how coming down, it turned the Night into a bright day: and cured the Earl, who owned the Ground where it was left, from an inveterate blindness. Witness that other Miraculous Image near Flo­rence, which the p Painter thinking to make, found [Page 342]in the Morning made to his hand, and to all the Worlds amazement.

5. All the Images, which at this day are believed to have bin made by St. Lukes hand, both of our * Lord, and our Lady, and given q away to his Friends, and so dispersed r over the World. Some think that St. Luke made them of Wax; others, that he did it in Colours; but take it either way you please, he is as like to have bin a Plaisterer as a Painter; and both, as either of the two. Some are so curious, ſ as to enquire both after the places and the time, where and when he handled the Brush: and so they find, that in the last Year of Christs Life he made two fine ones; at Malta three, and in two Years at Rome many more: one of them with a Ring in the hand, is, they say, at St. Maries seated over the high Altar, just in that place where his Chamber was, when he made it; another at the greater St. Maries, S. Maria major, which Pope Gre­gory had about him, when there he stopt the raging Plague: another, the most t miraculous of all, which came from Constantinople, and now is adored in Mont Guardia in Italy. It is a great pity, and a greater wonder, that these Images were yet un­known to all the Churches in the World about 800 Years at the least, when the second Council of Nice met together to set up Image-worship. For if these Fathers had had the least hint that St. Luke had bin a Painter, and that the Virgin Mary had blessed some u of his Pictures, they might have left [Page 343]abusing and even profaning holy Scriptures, to in­troduce their strange Worship: this one Precedent of St. Lukes Preaching the Gospel one day, and the next Morning Painting Images, had bin (if true and known to be so) a ground more then sufficient both to confound their Adversaries, whom they called Breakers of Images; and to justifie upon some probability, what they offered to say as the Papists do now, upon a meer account of boldness, that the ancient Tradition of the Catholic Church stood for Images. Therefore since they did allege nothing of such a visible Importance for their own Cause, it is a Demonstration they did not know it; and that S. Lukes skill either in Painting, or in Scul­pture, was not yet so much as heard of, no more then all his Images which it seems were kept in the dark, and as it were under the heap of those thou­sands which durst not appear abroad, till far worse times.

6. For the greatest part of those Images, which now the Papists set up and adore on their Altars, sprung and started up from under ground in the darkest times of the Church, like so many Toad­stools and Mushroms in a foggy Night. Such is that Marble Statue of Christ, which was so long x un­regarded, sine Cultu, under a Porch, and now is so bravely set up and adored for its Miracles in the Lateran Church. Such is that old rotten piece of Timber, which the Sacrist of S. Roman thought on­ly good to burn, and to bake his Mass-wafers with, till it cried out, y What thou Villain, dost thou not fear the Queen of Heaven? Not to speak of that [Page 344]which z Baronius saith he hath seen at Rome, Images digged out of Church-yards, to the great amaze­ment of the Romans; such is (and of a deeper Ex­traction) that a Stone-Image, which the strength and swelling of Water bubled up once by Night from the bottom of a deep Well upon dry ground, and which now they do worship under the notion of that Stone that our Savior, they say, stood up­on by Jacobs Well. Of the like worth and extra­ction are all those miraculous Images, which, they say, were found by poor Herds-men, some a­mong Thorns, where their Cattel b would be still feeding; some upon the tops of Mountains, where c Grass grew faster then it was eaten; some within deep holes under ground, above which Cows did die d and rise again; some under good arable Fields, where the best e Oxen could not draw the Plough. Others have bin found by Shepherds, some in f Val­lies full of fine Flowers just at Christmass; some a­mong Thorns g where those Images did cry for help; some among Nettles, working h Miracles among an unexpected Flock of Pilgrims. Poor Colliers have i had the grace also of finding some among old Woods: Therefore it is no great won­der, if Hunters having lost the Hare, met with some, k hard by dangerous Clifts, & Precipices. Ere­mites [Page 345]have bin somtimes Inspired to go and to take up some l out of hollow Trees; and some out m of the thick boughs of a Cypress. The 38 Knights of Navar have their Noble Order from those fine Images, which were found by n Night growing up­on the Stalks of white Lilies. As for old doting Lipsius, he found his two dear o Goddesses in no better place then an old Oak. But what a thrice hap­py Rencounter was it, to find three Stone Images at once in the Bowels p of a dead Woman? The first was the Queen of Heaven, with a Golden Diadem about her Head; the second was little Jesus, lying between two Beasts in a Manger; and the third was old Saint Joseph, with a Dominican Virgin at his Feet.

These, and all such Images, were not known to; and if known, had bin detested by all Primitive Antiquity, as to any Religious use. If you read in Tertullian q, of the Figure of a Shepherd carry­ing a Lamb on his shoulders; that Figure was in the bottom of a Cup, no fit place to worship Ima­ges in. If Eusebius tells you of a Statue r of Christ, and a Woman kneeling before him; he tells you withal, that it was not seated in a Church, and that it had bin made and placed where it stood, both by an Heathen Woman, and after an Heathenish cu­stom. What Bellarmin s is pleased to bring both out of S. Nazianzen, and S. Basil, is on my certain [Page 346]knowledg either a very weak mistake, ill becoming a good Scholar; or a most perfect lie, worse be­coming an honest Man. St. Epiphanius came many Years after those two, and yet Images were to him so strange, when seated in a place of Worship, that when by chance in his Travels he found one in a Country Church, he presently tore it to pieces, and desired the Bishop of that Diocess to look bet­ter to such Abuses. St. Jerome, whom the Papists take for their first Roman Cardinal, liked so well both the Admonition and the Censure, that he put in Latin the Greek Epistle which contains both. St. Augustin, somewhat junior to St. Jerome, de­clares abundantly, in the place which I have alrea­dy cited out of him, how he thought this use of J­mages both dangerous and unlawful.

But after those great Lights were out, Pictures came to be more frequent, and to be ushered into public Places, upon this double civil account, both of being a kind of Instruction to Ignorants, and a considerable Ornament to Walls; a most lawful use certainly, as long as it could be kept harmless: and harmless also in it self, when made use of in times and places, and among Men not likely to misapply such things. Images stood upon this foot some hun­dred Years (as yet they are among the Lutherans) till the Empress Irene, who, after she had blinded her Son (an usual Cruelty in those daies) blinded both her self, and some hundreds of her Bishops (the Pope of Rome was one of them) in a worse and more Spiritual way. For in a great Meeting of hir Clergy, now called the second Nicene Council, she brought out these Images, from their civil Histori­cal and harmless use, to a down-right Image wor­ship; [Page 347]and made, as well she might, most of her ignorant Subjects as generally Idolaters, in the ac­count of other Councils, and of the Truth it self, as the Emperor Constantius had before her made them Arrians. Ever since those daies, things grew worse and worse, until at last both Christian E­states, and Churches, fall into such a general and horrible Disorder, as made most sober Men to cry out, That the t Antichrist was surely coming, and that the World could not last long. This thick Darkness having put out all Light and true knowledge of the Gospel, proved to be a most fruitful Womb for all new upstart Saints and Images; and the Black, Grey, and White Friers, Midwived them out so dexterously, with their Revelations and Miracles, that the Original of whole thousands, I mean of these Saints and Images, is among their very Wor­shippers at this day, either as unknown or uncer­tain, as the breeding of Romulus was, whether of a Wolf or a Whore; whether of seducing of Spirits, or pitifully seduced Monks. Only this you have for certain, as I have shewed by some Instances, that these Monks found out their Images, where the Prophet fore-tells that the Babylonians should throw their gods, among Bats, and Moles under ground: and hence pulling them up as fast as the present occasions required, out of their Holes, and, as the Crocodiles were out of the Mud, both had the same good luck; these in Egypt, and those at Rome, to be preferred to Temples and Churches.

Now, what holy use and purpose these Vener­able Images stand in Chappels and Churches for, appears upon a double account. 1. Of the great [Page 348]Honor they receive. 2. And of the great Blessings which they are thought commonly to procure.

As to the first account, I may the better speak of the great Honors done to Images, because I under­stood those Mysteries, as much by sight, as by read­ing. The Image, that of our Lady, for example, whether found by a poor Shepherd under a Tree, or brought and bought by a Pilgrim in the Holy Land, is set up over the Altar, which in their account is no less then the Tribunal and Throne of Christ. Lamps and Tapers burn before it; and if great Churches are often built from the very ground in their behalf, it is no wonder if Mass-Priests, and other Officers, are kept also to attend their immediate Service. At your coming into the Church, the first Object you bow before, is the High Altar and this Image; next, if you be well disposed, a Holy fear and trembling u seises on you, as when Jacob saw Heaven opened, x and said, How dreadful is this place, &c. And Men, as they say, * can never feel a greater apprehension of the very Presence of God (praesentius Dei Nu­men) then when they appear in that place. If you come nearer, look what you do; for many have bin sore plagued for not behaving themselves as they should. Witness that wretched Jew at Rome, whose Face was turned back to his Neck y, and so stood ever after, because he had not look'd reverently e­nough to the Image. Witness the Painter z, who lost his sight for three whole Months, because un­der the pretence of mending, he had rashly touch­ed [Page 349]with his Brush, the Lady of Montserat in the Face. And take you here for a good warning, that sign of Indignation against the Scholars of Doway, when a very Statue of Stone did stretch a out her hand against them, because they plaied where they should kneel. So the Roman and surer way is for Worshippers, when they come near (and for Pil­grims at any distance, where first they can but see any part of the Steeple of the Church) looking up devoutly on the Image, to pour out to the Lady their Heart and Soul with a Salutation, Ave Maria, &c. or with some other Praier, as Salve Regina, &c. O Intemerata, &c. or a Pater noster; that is, to say Our Father, to our good Lady: for grave Do­ctors approve of this seeming Absurdity. If the Image be the Veronic, that is, that wonderful Copy which our Savior left of his Face, when he wiped it with a Handkerchief, you must look the Image in the Face, and say to it or her, Salve Sancta facies, &c. I worship thee, O thou holy Face, make me clean of all my sins. O thou happy Figure, lead up to Hea­ven, there to see the pure Face of Christ: Be thou to us a safe shelter, asweet Comfort, &c. If it be that other Image of Christ, when he was just 33 Years old, which, they say, was made d by St. Luke at the earnest desire of his Mother, and since impro­ved and perfected by some Angels, because this same Image is upon good experience believed to be, tutissimum e Propitiatorium, both a most sure Seat of Mercy, and an infallible Instrument to procure it; you must, especially upon solemn daies, proceed [Page 349]with more Formality. At the first opening of the place where it is kept, serve the Image with this Praier, Salvator f Mundi, &c. O Savior of the World, save us all thy poor Servants, and grant us all, that by the Merits of the two Johns, the Baptist, and the Evangelist, we may appear guiltless before thee. More­over, serve it with a yet greater Pomp, when car­ried in Procession to the other Image of St. Lukes making, at S. Maria major. There its Tabernacle is adorned with g very rich Tapistry, rich Garpets and Cushions, Deorum Pulvinaria (both for the Ho­ly Image to lie, and for the devout Worshippers to kneel upon) which cover the Seats and the Ground; there h the Pope and his Cardinals must approach upon their bare Feet, kneel seven times, or at the least make seven bowings, facit septem Genua, and so kiss the Feet of the Lord; that is, of this said Image. Then all sing the Te Deum (as well they may if this Image be the Lord indeed) We praise thee, O God, we acknowledg thee to be the Lord. A­mong all these Divine Honors the Cardinals take up the Image, and 24 great Lights marching before, and the best Roman Nobility coming after; they carry it from S. Laurence, through all those streets, where they say the evil Spirits were used to plague and infest Rome, to the other Image at St. Maries, which as they say was also made by the same Paint­er. These two Images being together, are so well pleased with their meeting, and with the Divine Honors which attend it, that (as 'tis confidently i believed by People, who mistrust nothing but the [Page 351]Word of God in the Scripture) all that Night they do most miraculously either provide or multiply more Wax, then all the Lights or Flames can burn: so that in the Morning all the Tapers and Candles being weighed, prove often-times much heavier then they were, when lighted the Eve before. All this service is very little to what another Image of our Lady was used to receive near Tungres. This Image for two Daies and Nights, namely every Monday and Tuesday in Easter Week, is (or at least was before the Protestants came to disturb Devo­tion) adored after this manner. As soon as this Sacred Image hath bin brought out with Divine Hymns and Paschal Songs, from its Chappel into the midst of the great Church, k whole thousands of People fall to their Praiers about it; and in that huge thronging, thrice happy is that devout Soul, that can creep under, or somewhat near to worship it. In the solemn Procession, which is a considerable long way, the People are marshalled into an Army. First, march as it were in the Van, whole Regiments of Men and Women, girded about with the long Ropes of St. Francis: After them, other Troops follow, of Men, Women, and Children together, running both forward and backward all bare-foot­ed, and in Drawers, with lighted Candles in their hands: After them quite naked Bodies, loaden with Iron Armors and Chains, and in that cruel Equi­page, crawling on their Knees most part of the way: Then come another Train of People, whose Order and Confraternity is, as the Jesuits do teach them, to scourge themselves; the very Nurses, with their poor Babes; and old Wives, not being [Page 352]able to crawle, are carried upon little Beds, rather, then to lose the Blessing that doth attend as they think, their appearing before the Image. Close before it, and after these march both the Order of St. Francis, singing Praises, and Benedicta es, &c. to the Goddess; and other Officers with Torches. At last comes the Goddess her self, being carried upon the shoulders of the best and noblest Virgins, which the Country can afford. Next to them fol­lows the Troop of true Penitents wishing no more, but that the good Image may see their unfeigned Contrition, in their poor Members torn, as they are, and bleeding most pittifully, under the hard weight of their Chains. Then follow the Magi­stracy; the Lieutenants, and Nobles of the Coun­try, who bear up the consecrate Host under a brave Silk Canopy, being followed in the Rear with Multitudes of all conditions. Yet after this long Procession is gone and come, the Zeal and Devo­tion is not over; for during eight daies and nights more, the People will run to and fro upon the Track, which they guess the Holy Image was car­ried over: thus to gather up the Blessings, which they hope the good Lady hath scattered in that way. Now call you this Devotion, as you please, whether Duly, or Hyperduly, or Indirect, or Re­ductive, or Reflected, or Anogogical worship, which is bestowed on such Images; and puzle into Idolatry poor ignorant Souls, with what words and distinctions you think fittest; this worship is for certain so great, that none so great was ever so visi­bly bestowed on Christ: and if all Gods Saints should appear, no greater could be bestowed on God himself.

2. As to the other use of Images, which consists in procuring Graces; you may be sure that the Blessings, and Advantages both spiritual, and tem­poral, which the worshipper expects from them, are at the least both as numerous, and as great, as the Devotions which he bestows. I could tell of hun­dreds of Images adored here and there by Papists, which are more regarded and trusted to, then ever was the Image of Pallas at Troy; or that of Diana at Ephesus, or any one of the greatest Pagan God any where else. When Turks prevail on Christians, as when they infested Negro Pont; or if Rome her self be sore distrest, as when once Aistulphus came to take it; His Holiness Paul the second's best Re­fuge was to supplicate the Image of l Christ, Effi­giem Salvatoris, and to carry it about a Church in a solemn Procession. Pope Stephen the third shew­ed himself yet more devout in the same way, as be­ing concerned nearer home; for m he walked upon his bare feet, and carried the Image on his own Shoulders; the Covenants which had bin bro­ken by the Enemies hanging upon a Cross before it, that it or she might better see, and upon the sight be more sensible of the wrong don. So by this means, saies my Author, (and with the help of the French too) Aistulphus his Forces were soon routed, and Romes honor and Interest kept safe. But if in the most desperate necessity you will ap­ply yourself to both Images; there is no furer way, n saies the same Cardinal, in the whole world, of attaining the Peace of Heaven, and the greatest Mercies of God. It were a long tedious work, to [Page 354]relate here the hundredth part of great Blessings, and both public and private Deliverances, that Roman Images have bin, and still are admirable for, when devoutly served and adored. It was with carrying Images about, that Rome the Mother and Nurse of Images, was once o freed from a raging Plague, Health and pureness of wholesom Air following the Procession most visibly: Witness the Pope, who both saw the Angel sheathing his Sword over the Castle of S. Angelo, and heard a Troop of other Angels, applauding the Queen of Heaven, when her Image made by S. Luke was so processio­nally followed about. It was by setting up, and worshipping of an Image, whereof no notice was taken before, that in the year 1570. another such most p fearful Plague, was suddenly stopt at Pa­dua; and lest you should take this for a chance, or for a religious mistake; the Virgin her self appear­ed to some holy men, at the same time, and assured them, it should be so. What shall I say of the I­mages at q Bayeux, r Montpellier, and s Sens, which constantly, they say, cure all Diseases, and ease the poor Physitians of all practice? Ask the Mass Priests of Lauretta, Monserrat, Florence, S. Denis, Compostella, Ardilliers, Halls, Tungres, and thousand like Places, whether they know any sick­ness too hard and desperate for their Saints, when praied and adored at their Images. No Tongue so perfectly t cut off, no Breasts u so cruelly run [Page 355]through, no Bodies x so quite unbowelled, and emtied of their Entrails, but the praying before an Image, or even bowing at a distance to a Saint, which the Image stands for, shall restore, and make all whole again. But in the wars, and great Con­quests, their Images shew best what they are. For as Images carried about, so it be with devotion, will in time of need both bring in y showers, and keep off z Storms: so will they now and then defend Towns, and drive away Enemies. Witness the of­ten mentioned defeat of the poor English men a at Poitiers, when the Ladies Image had the keies: Wit­ness also the fearful Cloud, whence Angels broke out against the Tartars, as soon b as they had hurt an Image. They say that the Emperor Heraclius with two Images, which were carried alwaies c be­fore him, defeated once the Persians, whom the Romans could never beat. The brave Emperor Comnenus with the same conquering Machins did no less d against the Tartars: and so he publicly professed, what he owed this Victory to, when he set both these Images in his triumphing Chariot, and walked by them himself a foot. A considerable Part of the East-Indies is said to have bin conquer­ed this same way. Witness the great Island Cuba, where one of their petty Kings is thought to have won great Battles, e because he kept among his Captives, one, who wore still about his Neck a small Image of the Virgin. Many hundred years before him, old King Arthur most successfully used [Page 356]the same Devise: for he had still a shield most cu­riously painted with the Image of the same Saint, * which revived his Spirits and strength, when­soever he found himself fainting. And doubtless this is the reason, why S. Lewis, when tired with hunting, or otherwise distrest, used to alight, and to hang f an Image, which he carried still about him, to the first Tree he met with, and there kneel­ing and praying to it, had presently what he want­ed: and it is believed that by this Means he reco­vered his Estate, which his Children had taken from him, when they kept him close in a Cloister.

3. Now, which is the third, and the last, and the most considerable Point to examine; what is or may be the matter in or about all these Images, which can procure these quick Returns, and here­with, upon all occasions, temt men to pray and worship them, is more then the Roman worship­pers can or dare distinctly tell.

All that you find in an Image, must come to some of these three Things. 1. The substance that it is made off. 2. The outward g Shape or Resem­blance, that makes it in mens conceit the Image of such an Angel, or such a Saint. 3. The Consecra­tion, that makes it a holy Image.

As to the first, the matter or substance it self, to wit Marble, Brass, or Silver, &c. can do no more, then to make the Image more or less fine, rich and costly: and tho it were a Saint Christopher (that is a huge great statue, like a Giant, which stands in most of their Churches) of Massy Gold; [Page 357]it might draw men to admire the Price, but not the vertue of the Image. For when Images are con­secrated, it is not as in the case of Mass-wafers, which in five words are presently transubstantiated from what they were; the Marble or Brass or any substance whatsoever remains still the same: and thus far Pagans and Papists may be equally credited, when, whatsoever their worshipping be, they so­lemnly disown Gold, Wood or Stone, for being ei­ther their Saints, or their Gods.

The second considerable thing in an Image, is the outward form and figure intended to repre­sent either among the Pagans a God, or among the Papists a Saint. Upon this Point, tho Roman I­mages were so ancient and so happy as to be un­doubtedly acknowledged for Pictures of S. Nicode­mus, or S. Luke, or a very Angels drawing: and tho they should most truly represent the Blessed Virgins-Face and Features; the utmost they could temt men to by this most exact Resemblance, were perhaps to go a good way purposely to see and view them: yet no sober men on such accounts could be temted to worship them, much less to hope any great matter, from having seen and worshipt them. Figures, Shapes, and Proportions which make I­mages like, or unlike, are of themselves, you know as uneffectual and unactive on other scores, as bare words, Cyphers, or letters are: and therefore the Resemblances which result from them, can pro­duce no effect at all, but, as sacred or profane signs may, by some either Divine, or human Insti­tution. Thus once the Israelites might well hope to keep off the Destroier, by sprinkling their Lin­tels with Blood; or to recover their former health, [Page 358]by looking up toward the Serpent, because God had instituted these two signs, and had promised such Blessings, if the People did use them so. Thus the subjects of the ancient Roman Empire might hope, besides the performance of their Duty, to get the favor of their Princes, by standing about their Statues, or by their low and civil kneeling, when their first Ministers (as once Joseph was in Egypt, or Mordecai under Assuerus) chance to pass by; because these Soveraigns had resolved and declared, it should be so: and because it is in their power, as to challenge their Peoples Duty, so to dispense their own Favors, at any time, at any Place, and at any mark, sign, or token, which they will chuse. For tho great Kings cannot appear in their own persons every where; yet will they some other way appear as Soveraigns, and be ac­knowledged so every where: and if any private per­son, or any unruly Multitude take down what they were pleased to set up as the Ensigns of their Em­pire, or of their declared Plesure (as they did, who pulled down the Statue of Eudocia, which Bellar­min h is pleased to make a foolish plea for Images) they do affront the Emperors and Kings them­selves.

Now to bring all this home to the Case; 1. Who knows that Roman Images, are either drawn by a Saint, whom no Scripture saies, to have bin a Pain­ter, rather then by Pilate, or by Simon the Sorce­rer, who perhaps i were? or drawn so true, as to invite so much as sober Curiosity to look on them? Is it certain that Christ, or his Mother were just [Page 359]such as they are now represented, she with a delicate Italian Face; he with the Corpulency of a Dutch Boy? 2. When there is little to satisfie a curious Eie, is there more for a pious heart? what Sacred Institution of either Christ, or his Apostles about Images can either give ground to a due lawful wor­ship, or supply the expected Blessings, which nei­ther shape, nor likeness can? Did ever any one of Gods Saints intimate some where in their lives, that they would take it very kindly, if they were praied to before Images? and did ever the Virgin pro­mise to any Body, that she would either come, or send to save Towns and Countries from plagues and wars, when ever they would set up her Sta­tues? whether of the two waies is more likely, to bring her to what we desire; the carrying her Pi­ctures about, or as it hath bin successfully don sometimes, the plain k threatening her with drown­ing it? Are the saints come to be of the Devils mind, who perform most effectually what Magici­ans enjoin, when they treat l him with rough Lan­guage? If both supplicating and threatening be a­like uncommanded, and impertinent for this Pur­pose; is the looking toward the Ark, or the look­ing up to the Brazen Serpent, which had both a Commandment and a Promise, so fit a Precedent, as they m pretend, to countenance praying or looking to Images, which for certain had neither of these? Therefore since neither the Matter, nor the external Form of Images have any strength, either themselves or of any known help conferr'd by God, [Page 360]to enable them towards any manner of work; let us see what the consecrating of this Matter and Form can do. For if this last can do little, or nothing in order to those great and extraordinary Opera­tions, which are attributed to Roman Images, you must needs seek farther for some other both as great and extraordinary Principles.

The Consecrating of Images, as the Roman Church practises it, may be considered either as a Praier, or as an ordinary, or extraordinary Pow­er. If you take it as a Praier; 1. What Ground of faith have they for venturing upon such Praiers? and what Promise, Precept or Precedent for Bles­sing Images, in hope of being afterwards blessed by them? 2. With what Christian and sober modesty, can they wish and devise Instruments, which no holy man, or Scripture ever thought of, to put both God upon hearing, or his Saints upon media­ting and promoting, what we shall pray for, before Images? 3. And as to more special Blessings, which are lookt for at the devout using of these Engines; what silly fancy is this to call upon God, for making wood, stone or any other materials that Images are commonly made of, after they have shaped it after their own way, happy and powerful Instruments to keep houses and Vineyards; to keep off Hail and Devils; to give women an easie labor; to pro­cure good Husbands to Maidens; or to kill them who are not so? For I am sure many Images are renowned and sought after for such Blessings. 4. But what horrible Boldness is this to conjure God in these consecrating Praiers thro his holy Names and Titles in behalf of such strange Purpo­ses, so far against the ordinary Course of his Pro­vidence, [Page 361]and farther beyond his Promises? And what Returns can they expect of such faithless sinful Prai­ers, but Vanity? and if something else, but Gods wrath and their own Confusion?

If you take this Consecration, as a Power; I pray, when and where appears it, that God ever be­stowed this Power either on his, or the Popes Church? Christ in the first times of the Church invested both his Apostles, and other Servants with many great and extraordinary Gifts, for casting out Devils, for curing all sorts of Diseases, for removing even Moun­tains; but where, either for enabling Images, or for the doing either good or harm with Images? They bestowed the Gifts of the Holy Ghost very of­ten, and as it were of course upon Believers at their Baptism; but when and where upon Marbles, or curiously wrought Pieces of Timber at their Con­secration? Where and when did they consecrate Pictures, to sink Ships, to rout Armies, to raise storms, and thunders, and Hails, as Roman Images will do sometimes? When the blessed Apostles, with the laying on of their hands, could endue other men besides themselves with miraculous Power from a­bove, in order to prophesying, and speaking My­steries in strange Languages; did they endue carved stones also, with power to speak, and to play, to sing or weep, and to do all those handsom Feats which are said of Roman Images? Did ever S. Peter leave this Power with Simon Magus, or the Pope, or any consecrating Bishop, that on what statue or Picture soever he should lay his hand, and sprinkle water, and pour Oil, and burn Frankincense, it should be forthwith elevated to high and mighty Performances? If Peter and Paul had this Power, [Page 362]and left it to succession; God, and his Saints must look to it: for as Christ is at every turn liable by Consecration to be shut up in a Mass wafer, God and his Saints are not quite free from consecrated Shapes and Images. For the Consecration, as a Power, obliges God in a considerable manner to hear and report to his Saints, whatsoever is praied for at their Images: and ties as considerably the Saints, to sollicite and intercede with God, for the Request which he reports; and often to come down themselves, to execute and dispatch it. God is bound I say by this consecrating Power which he is supposed to grant, both he to hear and to report what is said before the Image; for otherwise, how could the Saints concerned in the Case understand it? and what were the Power good for? And the Saint is put to so much trouble; For besides the trouble of solliciting the business, which they understand they are praied for, at their consecated Images; how ma­ny Ramblings to and fro are they in equity obliged to, (unless all their Apparitions, and Activities a­bout their Images be mere Lies) either to hear it the sooner, or to give it a quicker dispatch? And who knows not that Roman Images, and Roman Saints, (in famous Churches especially) are never or seldom asunder? I call to witness all the long and holy Pilgrimages undertaken upon this score, to Lauretta, to Montserrat, to S. Michael, &c. there purposely to meet either with the respective Saints, or their assisting Vertue, Divorum & Divarum Nu­men, that is the Godhead of the He or She Saint, which is supposed to watch somewhere, in, or about his dear Image. I call to witness the many Vows, which are directed from all parts to these said Saints, [Page 363]not in Heaven, their proper Abode, as one should think; but to the Lady at Lauretta, or Montaigue, or to the good Saint at Padua, Ardilliers, Monte­gardia, &c. there helping men and women by their Images, in such Churches. And it is to this pur­pose, that both these Images, and Churches are con­secrated with the greatest Pomp; washt with the best sort of Holy water; made sweet with the choicest Perfumes; lighted day and night, with the clearest Lamps and Candles; dressed with the costliest Clo­thes and Laces; served with the Curiousest Music; the Images specially seated on the Eminentest Places of the Church, and (what would you have more) honor'd with the compleatest Mass, to invite thi­ther out of Heaven these Holy guests. And let Rome search out her Vatican, and try whether in all Antiquity she can find an honest Example for such Consecrations and Attractives, but either among old heathenish Priests, or among old and new Sorcerers.

Now, tho by this which I have said, it appears clearly enough, that the Matter, the Form, the Likeness, the Power of Consecration, or any thing else, which you can find intrinsecal to an Image, is both uneffectual, and unchristian, both as to make it a fit Object for any Religious service, or to make it a sufficient Cause of any wonderful Blessing; Ne­vertheless it is found by experience, and however it is most certain in the common Apprehension of Roman Catholics, that a very great number of Images by being consecrated and worshipped, have attained to such a great degree and improvement of strength and Action above what either they are in their Na­ture, or can be raised to by Art, that it highly con­cerns all Christians, seriously to inquire into the [Page 364]hidden Causes and Principles of such Extraordinary Atchievements. For my part I do not believe, (and many Papists do not) that all and every particu­lar thing commonly reported of these Roman Images, is true; and, of the other side, I do not believe that all is false. However, if all were false, they should do well to burn out of their Church their great Pon­tifical, Ceremonial, and Missal Books: and to throw away their Images back again into the same Holes, whence they were pleased to dig them out. But if any part of what they say concerning them be true; I make no question it will prove worse then if it were false: and to make it good I require only the pa­tient attention of an understanding, and unpreposses­sed Reader.

Not to make Pagans, or Papists in any degree worse then they are; both disown in the consecrat­ing of their Images all such a substantial Change, as in the transubstantiating of Mass wafers: both ac­knowlege the material part of their Images, how­ever called, and adored by those as Gods, by these as Saints, to be still stone, or wood, or silver, or viler stuff: And in this case the Papists deal disinge­nuously with the Pagans, when they b make these worse then they are, that they may seem worse then themselves. But that within, neer, or about the Roman or Pagan Images either by consecrating, or worshipping them, are imported such Additionals of either inherent, or wonderful assisting vertues, as may both help out worshippers, and well deserve Adoration and Service; is an Article of Heathenish Faith, which the Pagans publicly declare: and which [Page 365]the Papists do as really presuppose in all their practice and Histories: nor can in truth, without belying both their Devotions and Consciences plainly deny, however they think it more convenient to mince and palliate it for mere shame. This is the down-right Confession of the Heathenish Philosophers. You must not wonder (saies c Olympius to his persecuted Pagans) if you see the pulling down, and the breaking of your Images, since they are made of vile matter, and there­fore easie to be bruised to dust. But once were with­in them those Immortal and Invisible Powers, which are now gone up to Heaven. For (as another adds more fully) d We take not Brass, Gold, or Silver, pro­perly to be our Gods; only we worship in them what holy Consecration hath called into, and seated within those Images. And this is the Religion of Roman Doctors and Saints. 1. e That these dead and inani­mate things (Wood, Stone, &c.) by being Consecra­ted, receive a kind of Spiritual Vertue, which makes them fit for Gods Service, and for the Peoples Adora­tion. So 2. f That both the Saint, and his Image be­ing joined together, may be Praied to, and Adored to­gether also. 3. And g if they be taken asunder, the very Images may lawfully be worshipped, both by themselves and for themselves, besides the Worship due to the Saint. No Pagan Idolater, for all I know ever said so much, and the Roman Practice goes yet much farther.

First, In their ordinary Language, the Image is called and taken for the very Saint; and in that or­dinary Devotion the Image is adored, kissed, em­braced and spoken to, just as if they had the Saint in their arms. 'Tis you (saies the Preacher, speak­ing to a Crucifix) h that have redeemed us: it is you that have reconciled us with God the Father, &c. Just as the cursed Idolater in the Prophets, Isa. 44.9. Habakkuk 2.15. praies to the Wood, Rowse now thy self and rescue me. There both the Devil and his Idol, and there the Saint and his Image are hudled up in the same Adoration. And as when the Host is carried along, all that see the Mass-Priest at any distance, fall on their knees; and if they hear only the little Bell, they cry, There is the good God, who passes by: whosoever goes to, or comes from a Church, saies, Either I will go and pray, or now I come from visiting and praying to our good Lady: because as he really believes that there the Mass-Wafer is, by Transubstantiation, become the Lord; so he believes, that the Image which he hath seen, is either by Consubstantiation, Inhabitation, or some other assisting mode, become to him the good Lady. And I defie all the Roman Preachers to say any thing to justifie what they do upon this ac­count, which the Pagans may not say as well or better for themselves.

Secondly, Lest you should think, that Wood and Stone are thus adored, spoken, and praied to, up­on the mere account of Resemblance; (in which case, any one of our Ladies Pictures might be a­dored and praied to as well at a Painters, as in a Church) is is generally done upon the Faith and Be­lief [Page 367]of an inclosed, or at least assisting Vertue. It is this strong perswasion that makes a Catholic Worshipper creep reverently and trembling to our Lady, to get a touch for the little Image, which he hath newly bought of a Shop: and all Men know how much the better their Beads will sell, when the Pedler can stoutly swear that they have touched such a Saint, that is, his Image. By this it doth appear evidently, that the Image is conceived by them to have some prime Vertue in it self, since it imparts it to another: and I would know, who of them all dares say any of those Images, which he dares not scarce look in the Face, that it hath be­sides resemblance, nothing more then another stone. They that go to touch the Chin, or the Toe, or some other Bone of a Saint, think it endued with some vertue, above that of ordinary Bones, because it was, and is still the part of a Holy Body. They who go a long Pilgrimage to rub their Clothes a­gainst the Shift of our Lady, or their Stockings a­gainst the Breeches of Thomas Becket, must think that the warmth of their holy Flesh have left in them some hidden Blessing, which they do hope may be in some mesure communicated to other things. Ask the Papists, why that Image which they do call Veronica, should have such extraordi­nary vertues; they will tell you, that Christ made it himself; and that besides this, he made it of the Sweat and Blood in his Face. But what have other Images in their carved pieces of Wood, which may temt sober Men to seek after, to touch, to kiss, in hope of being Blessed by such Embraces, unless it be the assisting, or inhabitation, or some other like commerce of Holy Powers, which the Pa­pists [Page 368]call Numina, which are either therein, or there­about?

Thirdly, If you will have more convincing Proofs, go for example, to the Image of our Lady in Mount Gardia i, which keeps Whores off, and perfumes all that comes near it, with a most Cele­stial Fragrancy: or to another Image of hers, once adored in Sozopolis, which k sweats out of its hand a kind of Oil, to cure them who are anointed with it. Go to a third Image of hers l, which, when hidden and unseen, discovers it self by its own light. Just such another you have in Spain m, which was perceived in the same manner shining under the root of an old Oak. But nothing can be brought more demonstrative to this purpose, then the Image of Bardenarda: it had bin bought by a Pilgrim at Jerusalem, out of a Shop, consecrated, when, and where, or whether at all, I cannot tell: However, after much service and adoration, the Image it self, n from a coloured Board at the Painters, is grown Fleshy in its Chappel; its Breast from being flat, is swelled perfectly into the Figure of two Paps, whence flows such odoriferous Oil, as no Balsam is like it; and so Miraculous withal, that it cures all sorts of Diseases. This, however it comes to pass, is Intrinsecal and Inherent in the Image, and may draw Pilgrims to worship it, without the conside­ration of its Saint. And the truth is, it is so Holy [Page 369]by its self, if you believe Baronius, that no Wor­shipper dares touch it.

Fourthly, What will you say to such Images as have an invisible Faculty within themselves, of ei­ther crawling or flying back- to that place which they like better, in case you offer to remove them? And such are the most part of them, which now a daies are reported to work Miracles. Such is that of Montegardia for example, o which fled away out of the Ship, when Thieves thought to carry it to Venice. Such is that other of Rachietta in Savoy, which being p removed from whence it was, into a very handsom Chappel, was found the next Morn­ing in its old Room. Such is that of the Servites, near Lamo q, which made nothing to jump from one side of the River to the other. And to insist upon no more, such is that famous one of Lau­retta, which r being displeased (at least the Saint dwelling therein) that it was not more regarded in its Country at Nazareth, transported it self, with House and all, to Italy, where now it is served to some purpose.

Fifthly, What can you say to common Stone and Marble Images (dead and senseless things, as one should think) that have in them all sorts of seeming Natural and Organical Motions? Such is that, which one of your ſ Mass-Bishops speaks of, which crook'd its Finger to hold a Ring. Such is that which another Learned Man mentions too t, which stretch'd out its hand to strike a Nun. Such is that at [Page 370] Orleans u, which held up its knee, to stop the Ar­row that otherwise had killed a Soldier. And such was that here in the North, which held forth x both its Arms to receive a sweet Baby, creeping out at the Mouth of a Consecrated Crucifix.

Sixthly, These and many more Images have, be­sides these Motions of all their Members, the use of all inward Faculties which can be perceived in living Men. They will shew you that they have Blood, if you wound them; witness y our Lady at Paris, which a mad Fellow pierced with a Sword, and was whipt to death for it; and Milk somtimes, if you touch them too hard z about their Paps, as once did a rude Soldier in plucking off a rich Jewel. Some a weep, some b laugh, some c can do both, some d sing: all e speak, when occasion offers it self. And, which is more, all this they do with so much reason, and to such special purposes, that it doth most clearly appear, that they are moved to what they say, by much higher then human Souls. When a Holy Man passes by, the Image sees his Holiness; and so one f several times used to salute Holy Bernard, Salve Bernarde, and to offer him the Babe out of its left Arm. Bernarde, &c. g that is, O Bernard, take you this Child, the Redeemer of the whole World, said once our Ladies Holy Image. An­other did the like honor to St. Lucia h, who very [Page 371]carefully carried it home. Contrariwise, when wic­ked Men approach too near, some Images will soon perceive their wickedness; witness that i, which said to one who had a murtherous intention, with a threatning Voice and Face, What art thou here for, O thou Villain? Wilt thou kill my Servant in my presence? They say, that there is an Image in a Con­vent of Carmelites in Sicily, which, assoon as any Worshipper comes near, doth presently discern, whether he be in the state of Grace, or in mortal Sin; and so accordingly smiles or frowns, as the Man or Woman deserves. And it is this sort of Images, that piercing into Mens hearts, by a Pro­phetical Spirit, will either turn their Backs to A­postates and Hypocrites, as once one did to that unhappy Carthusian Novice, who afterward forsook the Order, and perish'd no Man can tell how: or smell out Whores, and keep them off with Thun­drings and Lightnings * somtimes; as the abovesaid Image of Montegardia in Italy; or be troubled, and sweat and blow at some eminent, tho never so re­mote dangers; as was that Image in Germany, when all was ready above to come down, and to destroy this Universe. St. Peter of Verona, as they say, being once in danger of being baffled by an He­retic in a Dispute, an Holy Image helped l him out how to answer the Argument that puzled him, Petre, &c. Peter (saies this admirable Teacher) I have praied for thee, that thy Faith may never fail. k [Page 372]And another S. Peter Caralt m, had bin worse con­founded by the Devil, who appeared to him under the notion of a Divine; when having not a word to say, he begged help of a little Image, which by good chance hanged on the Wall; and assoon as he had but lookt somwhat devoutly towards it, present­ly the Image turned to him, and enlightned his Soul with such Reasons, that forthwith the Devil left him. These, and five hundred more Images, which I could produce, if need were, are the usual Oracles of Rome, and the ordinary Seats of Roman Saints: and when Bellarmin, with some others say, that they do honor these Images as signs only representing, and and not as Seats and Instruments inhabited or assist­ed by the invisible Spirit of their Saints; they are confuted by these two waies, the visible Practice of their Church, and the invisible Testimony of their own private Consciences.

What might be said more probably both in behalf of these Images, and of their zealous Devotion in worshipping them, is what frees them from the re­proach which Holy Scripture casts on Idols; that they have Eies, and see withal; they have Hands, wherewith they handle, and somtimes give terrible blows: if they have Mouths, it is not in vain, since they can cry, and laugh, and speak, and somtimes al­so Prophesie: Feet have they, and thereon leap, and walk, and flee: and if they have Noses, they smell therewith, and can tell where the wanton and the wicked Persons are: All this, I say, from their own approved Authors. Only the main difficulty remains (and I conjure all sober Men, as they ten­der their Salvation, to look how to satisfie it well) [Page 373]to know what is the inward Principle, Spirit, or Soul, which moves and animates these dead Figures, to all and more then what living Bodies can perform with the help of their living Souls. Here let the Roman Catholics well consider, whether to justifie them by these acts of activity from being Idols, doth not by the same means both accuse and convince them of be­ing Devils.

The Holy Scripture warns Men often against false Christs, and, false Prophets, against false Apostles and false Spirits: it were strange, if we had no need of warning, or of being wary against false Saints. I find somtimes the best Roman Monks much puzled, what to think of their most celebrated Apparitions: and tho they trust too much their Holy Water (a pi­tiful trial God knows) in the discernment of the good from the bad Spirits, yet they do not think it unca­tholic to demur somtimes in such matters. It is neither want of Learning, nor want of Faith in the School-men, the Primitive Fathers of Popery, which makes them dispute now and then, whether that which they see at Mass under the Figure of raw Flesh, or a young Child, be Christ himself, or a Phantome: and certainly, we have no ground either in Scripture, or in Reason, or in Experience to se­cure us, but that the Devils, which play such pranks both in Apparitions, and on Altars, may jug­gle as well, and play worse tricks about consecrated Images.

First, It is no small prejudice against these Roman Images, and the Roman way of using them, that both came so late into the Church: and that in the best Primitive Times, when the Church was a purer Vir­gin, none but Heretics had Images; whereas in these [Page 374]later and worse Ages, when the Church is confessed­ly worse too, no Roman Catholics are without them. It is also no small prejudice against the best, as it is supposed, and the most famous of these Images, that when they were admitted at first, as either visible Re­cords of Ecclesiastical Antiquity, or as Ornaments of new Walls, not one of them did work Miracles; or if it did, 'twas in behalf of Infidels and Pagans only, as it is presupposed by Patriarch Tharasius n, the great Promoter of Image Worship: whereas now since they are become both the Objects and the In­struments of Roman Devotion and Blessing, they ge­nerally work all Miracles in behalf of the Romanists. The alteration in the Church, as it is now full of Images, from the Church as it was then without any Image Worship, as it is visible and great, must have some visible and great Cause. Is it because the Pa­gans and the Heretics then, and the Mass-Priests and Papists now understand the worth of Images, and the right use of Image-worship, better then the Holy A­postles did? Or is it because the Holy Apostles had neither Patriarchs, nor Prophets, nor Martyrs, to make Saints of, or to consecrate Images to? Is it not more probable to think, that this Alteration hath thus happened, because both Pagans and Papists are of the same mind as to Images? And because the Spi­rits, which Christ and his Blessed Apostles had si­lenced and beaten off from most of their Pagan Quar­ters, having long wandered among the Heathen, and in dry places, have at last found better shelter and em­ploiment at Lauretta, Montserat, and other great Roman Oracles? What can one think else of Images, which having kept themselves close, dumb and ob­scure, [Page 375]in the best and Primitive daies, take now their advantage to start up, and to make a noise, and to shew Miracles in these later times of the Church, when both by Christ and his Apostles Predictions, and the Judgment p of sober Papists, all must be full of false Prophesies, of strong Illusions, and lying Wonders?

Secondly, That which aggravates the suspition of appearing in unhappy Times, like the coming of Thieves and unexpected Straglers in dark Nights, is the ugly and pitiful Holes where most of these Images were at first found. For these Images (I mean those wonderful and famous ones which the Roman Church runs most after) were neither lately made by com­mon Painters, nor consecrated by ordinary Roman Bishops: they are supposed to have bin made and consecrated by no meaner Workmen then God him­self, his Christ, his Angels, and such of his Saints; as S. Luke, S. Nicodemus, &c. were, and so left and deposited to the Christian Church, and Catholic Tradition. Hereupon let me ask two things abso­lutely necessary for any sober satisfaction. The first, When and where, if ever at all, these Saints made these Images; and by laying on of their Hands, or otherwise, conferred on them the Gifts of Speaking, of Prophecying, and working Miracles; or put in them an inward or assisting Spirit, to make them speak, foretel, and do strange things? The se­cond, When and where having used them, as it is supposed they have, they thought fit to bury them under Ground, and to hide some among Thorns, some under Brambles, all in most pitiful places; as dark Holes, and hollow Trees, where they were [Page 376]found, and where any wise Man would rather look for Worms or Toads? If you say they hid them in those places, for fear of the Pagan Persecuters; Pa­gans were not haters at all, nor destroiers of Images; contrariwise, they loved Images, as Papists do. But since they were great Burners and Destroiers of Holy Scriptures: Why would the Apostolical Men rather hide their Books under ground, which were most principally both hated and sought after, then their Images, which were not so? And if they hid both Images and Books together, by what universal Mis­chance did they never find any of these, where they found those? How came the Holy Scriptures to dis­cover themselves so soon, ever in cruellest times of the Primitive Persecutions; and Roman Images so late, and so many hundred Years after all these Per­secutions were over? Why did not Images howl or sing under their Nettles as well in the fourth and fifth Age, when S. Epiphanius, S. Jerome, S. Chrysostom, and such Learned Fathers might have best judged of their worth, as they did many hundred Years after, when Antichrist was expected, and when all the Learning and Holiness of the Gospel was under the thickest Cloud? If you go to Tradition, which, is what the second Nicene Council, and now the Papists go too: as if Roman Images were come from hand to hand immediatly from the Apostles: By what mis­fortune comes it to pass, that the many hundreds of Greek Prelats, all great Admirers of Images, and Boasters of Tradition, had never one of St. Luke's Pictures, nor of Nicodemus, nor of Christ, and that now Rome hath got them all? But since these Images never came to us through their hands, as it is certain they came not that way, Rome hath got them, either [Page 377]flying like Birds and Fowls over their Heads, or creeping along silently like Moles and Vermin under their Feet. The truth is, when this second Coun­cil of Nice was held, it was somwhat too soon for such Roman Novelties, as the prating and howling of Images, to appear above Christian Ground; it was not then yet quite so dark, but the Church could see about her, altho it was toward Sun-setting: Hob­godlings venture not to dance at any Light, but the Moon-shine. A deep Mid-night of Ignorance, and of all other Confusions besides, which soon after over-whelmed the following Ages, was by much a fit­ter time for Stones and Images to speak, and for Spirits to delude Men. And you may judg what Ghosts they are, who hide their Heads during the times of the Apostles, and all the Primitive Fathers, and take their times to shew them, when all is full of new Revelations, and Dreams, and Monks; and yet shew themselves in such a manner, as marks both their Original and their Nature, appearing forth from under ground, and watching under Bushes and Bram­bles, like those Spirits in Isa. 29.4. which were not heard, but muttering out of the dust. Certainly, those blessed Spirits who are imagined to speak thus, are not in Hell, whence damned Souls in Romes ac­count will somtimes howl: nor in that other place, which in their Opinion, is about it, and which they call Purgatory, whence they say that tortured Spi­rits will come up to bemoan themselves; they have a most happy and glorious abode in Heaven, whence it is not imaginable they will come down, unless thrust out, to lurk and weep here under Hedges. The Scripture speaks of some false Gods, which, you may be sure of it, were true Devils, who loved to [Page 278]be courted under green Trees; and of some other wicked Spirits, which either whisper with a low voice, as from the Earth, or are met with and spoken to in some Sepulcher, and love to keep themselves and others in Wildernesses, and about Tombs. The Heathen Rome had familiar Spirits, or Demons, Dii Lares, and Dii Penates, which watch'd and fluttered about their Hearths and Houses. I have heard of some who had travelled in the East, that in those vast Desarts between the Holy Land and the Red Sea, e­specially about Mount Sina, there are many unhappy Phantomes, that will watch and kill Men somtimes, when they find them single, and stragling from their Convoies or Caravans. And I am satisfied by some noble and living Eye-witnesses, that often in some Silver Mines, as for example, near Befort in the Fron­tiers of France and Germany, are seen a sort of seem­ing little Men, in red or blue Juppa's, Genii Metallici, playing and trifling about Work-men, especially in the deepest Holes. These are both fit and likely Juglers, to act their part in hollow Trees and dark Corners: But who could expect it of Moses, of E­lias, or of any Glorious and Blessed Saints or Angels, that instead of waiting upon Christ in their Robes, about his Throne (or if need be, as at his Glorifica­tion, upon the glorious Mount) they would come down into base Holes, and there become Pupet­plaiers, to make Images whistle under Nettles? Let Rome find us one such Example, and second it with some reason why the Blessed Saints and Angels, who­soever appear in Holy Scriptures, detest and wave A­doration for themselves; and now a daies under Popery come down purposely to crave and beg it, for their Images.

Thirdly, in the judgment of the holy Fathers a in their Controversies against Pagans, it was a suffici­ent Evidence and Demonstration against false Gods, (and it can be no less against false Saints) to shew that they did teach men, to make Images: and that they did love these & the like Figures. And the truth is, if holy Souls may be allowed in that elevated condition wherein they live, to fancy yet dead and gross things; it were rather their Bones and Relics, wherewith they have fought the good Fight, then carved Wood, and painted Boards, wherewith they never had any commerce. For, as to Pieces of stone or wood, which are nothing to their Nature, and as little to their Happiness; it were most strange, to see them taken with such Things, and upon such poor silly accounts, because therein forsooth they see somewhat like either their Form, or their Faces. Tho good and sober men may love some­times their Friends Pictures, none but vain fools dote on their own: and they that laugh to see young Cats turning about, and admiring their Resemblance in looking-Glasses, would be sorry to see their old and venerable Friends doing the like in their Pictures. Let the great Devil Serapis brag among his other Pagan Gods, b of the fine Head, brave Locks, and Beard, and golden Feet, which he then had in his Statues; How mean and unbecoming such a great Saint, as certainly the Blessed Virgin is, were it, to see her pleasing her self, as doth the Laurettan Lady, with acquainting sometimes a c sick Mass Bishop, and sometimes an d old Eremite, with the value of [Page 380]what she had in her Chamber at Lauretta: and shew­ing here the very Altar, where S. Peter did offici­ate; and there, the very Crucifix, which the Apo­stles had set over it. But especially, saies she, here is our Image of Cedar, which Luke the Evangelist made with his own hand, to represent my Face, as much to the life, as it was possible for a Mortal; and all this is a Dear Jewel, both to God Almighty, and to my self. She accuaints them withall, that it had bin long honored and with the highest degree of wor­ship in her Town of Nazareth: But at last their Faith and Devotion decaying, she had removed all from thence, to receive more Honor in Italie. In good earnest will a true Saint make such discourses? and will a true Saint tell such a lie, as that S. Luke had bin a Painter? S. Luke was an honest Jew: and therefore drove no dishonest Trade, such as that of making either Pictures, or Statues was e among Jews. But will a grave and glorified Saint ever make so much of a trifle? and leave her Station near Gods Throne, to be fluttering continually, or at least the best part of her time, about a miserable painted Board? she might upon a better account come down purposely from heaven to admire her Hair, her Milk, her Combs and Gloves, her pared Nails, and all, wherein she had a nearer Concern. But suppose that the Saints had alwaies a fond inclination for such Toies; can you think them also so fierce, as the Roman Saints are commonly, to revenge them? What do you think of those poor Jews, f who had their Faces wrencht to their Backs, for following the Law of their Fore-fathers, and turning their [Page 381]Eies aside in detestation of an Image? Do you not pity the case g of the honest Prebend at Florence, whom this said Lady suddenly destroied with Thun­der, because he chanced to smile a little when he saw the Rosary Confraternity carrying in solemn Proces­sion her dear Image through his own Church? How lamentable was the reward of that good Lady, who being sorry h to see one of our Ladies Images, both Worm-eaten and ugly shaped as it was, and wishing for a better one, happened but to say, What is this old Dame doing here? Few daies after appears the said Goddess in Person, and taking the affront done to her Image, as if it had bin done to her self, reven­ged it accordingly, Whosoever, saies she, calls me old Dame, shall be unhappy, and shall not live long: and so it was with the Gentlewoman, for presently she was stript off, by her own Son, of her Estate, inspi­red to it it seems by our Lady, and lived begging from door to door until she died. If these, and a hun­dred more like Stories be true, as Catholics believe they are, Whether is it a Saint or a Devil, that de­stroies Gods living Image, to save dead Stones and Stocks from any shew of Injury? And is this the Mother of Mercy, or not rather one of those sworn haters of Men, that love alike both the destruction of Men, and the preservation of Images? Take the Images at their best side, the Blessed Saints are more earnest and serious, then to be taken with such Tri­fles; and if you take them at the worst, the Blessed Saints are more holy, then to be such zealous Hectors in the defence of what God hates.

Fourthly, Another shrewd Evidence to prove, that such seeming Saints are real Devils, is the Magical Sympathy and usual Correspondency, that binds them and their Images together; and this is what Image-worship is come to. The first Christians had neither Image-worship, nor Images. Afterwards, about the Year 600, Pope Gregory the first would have Images, * But no worship; and thus they stood awhile only as Ornaments to Walls, and as a kind of Book to I­gnorant People. About some 200 Years after, Gre­gory, by the Forwardness of Pope Adrian (a bold Gazetteer of old Tales, as I can prove whensoever I will) and by the blind Zeal of Irene (a cruel Mo­ther to her own Son, and more cruel to Gods Ser­vice) Worship was fastened upon Images: and both were in a Council pack'd up, as the Empress pleased, and regulated to these terms, that the honor or dis­honor done to the Images, should redound upon the Saint; and that Saints might be conceived to have such a moral Being, or civil Capacity in their Ima­ges, as Princes have in their Ambassadors, and pri­vate Men in their Proxies. Hitherto the Roman Doctors dare not own or advance more then this, in their Disputations and Schools. But alas, in their Practises, and in their Sermons, and devout Dis­courses and Histories, the true Food of their Roman People, this Moral Capacity is grown into a true Na­tural Inexistency or Conjunction, both of the Saint acting and doing all in his Image, and of the Image, as a subservient Instrument, or beloved Seat to the Saint. And from hence comes the true fellow-feeling and mutual Sympathy between Roman Images and Roman Saints, such as have bin alwaies observed to [Page 337]be between Pagan Idols and Pagan Gods. For proof whereof you may observe, 1. That when the Roman Saint is either hardly used, or hard at work, his I­mage suffers the Symptoms of it. Thus, if the Lady be in great distress, as they say, that she was once, to see her Son ready to destroy all Man-kind, i and her self scarce able to hold him, her dear Image was seen sweating. If she is terribly provoked, as once she was against a Preacher, who said, that she was con­ceived in Sin; her Image, tho made of cold Marble, will be sensible of that affront, k and with a fierce and angry look, turn its back to him when he passes. If she have a mind to a certain Day, as when she would chuse the Saturday in every Week, her l Image will correspond to her secret Intention, and constant­ly upon that day put off its Veil, that all the World may thereby know, that both the Saint and the I­mage have a desire to be then seen. On the other side, the Saint is neither unthankful, nor backward in returning with advantage all good Offices to his (or her) Images, not only by countenancing them, for that he or she doth most zealously; but also in any way that may bespeak a strict Partnership, and friendly mutual Intelligence. For example, if one will be wedded to the Roman Lady, let him but do * as Edmund of Canterbury did, take any Ring, and with that intention put it upon her Images Finger, she will wear the same on her own, and accept him for her Husband. If you will well secure your Town against Wars and Invasions, trust her sweet Image with the Keies, and you shall see, by what she did [Page 384] once at Poitiers, and at Tournay, how she will lu­stily bestir her self to make good the Trust. If the Image be hurt or maimed, the Saint commonly lends it some Blood to bleed, that Men may see, that tis not a Stone that they strike at, but a Body which is (or some other for it) sensible. Sometimes the Saint will take on himself the very Marks of all the Inju­ries which have bin offered to his Image: as when a Jew had bin so impious, as to strike one full in the Face, and then being troubled to see it bleed, and up­on that fear hiding himself, the next day m the Saint (the R. Lady) appears pittifully black and blew, where her Image had bin abused, and inspires a Black-Smith both with Intelligence, where to seek out the hidden Jew, and with skill and spirit to fight with him in a Duel (for it was an affront she had re­ceived, that was to be repair'd by her Hectors va­lor) and kill him. This one instance (and many more that might be had to this purpose) doth plainly shew, that Roman Saints concern themselves in their Images, not in a civil regard only, as Kings abused in their Envoies, or Nobles beheaded in their Pi­ctures or Effigies; but in a far more real manner, as if Catholic Kings did find their Backs excoriated, when some Pope scourges their Ambassadors; and, as if Gentlemen had their Heads really cut off from their shoulders, when the Hang-man strikes their Pi­ctures. There is such an effectual Correspondency between Roman Saints and Images, as is observed be­tween Twins, who most commonly are either well or ill together: or to come somewhat nearer the case, as between enchanted Images of Wax, and the Per­sons [Page 385]intended by them, who freez, or burn according­ly, as the Magician manages the business. After this rate, as they speak n of the Howlings of Devils, when Christs Passion and Sacrifice turned them all out from their old Seats; you may hear somtimes these Ro­man Saints weep and bemoan themselves, sometimes in the o Clouds, sometimes under Walls, when they are abused in their Images. It is upon this same ac­count of care and sympathy for their dear Recepta­cles, that as Pagans did with threatning force their Gods to what they had a mind they should do, Roman Saints may be led that way, if you tell them, unless they do it, that either q you will drown their Images, or take r away the sweet Baby; as did really the Woman, who kept him so long in her Chest, upon the loss of her Child s whom a Wolf had run away with, till with wonderful humility the Queen of Heaven commanded the Wolf to bring again and re­store his prey, her Majesty seeming to be exceedingly a­fraid of being deprived of her Son, that is, the lit­tle Cherub whom she hath commonly on her left Arm. Hence you may learn upon what ground the Tyrians once being besieged, kept their chief Image * in Chains; the Trojans secured their Palladium; the Romans their Ancile; and now the Roman Ca­tholics have so great care of their Images. Those were once what these are now, dear Pawns, and as it were Hostages, to draw on any side the Gods and Saints p [Page 386]whom these Images do relate to. Never fear that the good Lady can forget her ancient Friend at Lau­retta, at Maria major, or at Montserrat; and if she be sometimes out of the way when Pilgrims adore those Images, it is because she looks to some others. But if the Image be deeply engaged, either in its Re­putation, as when it had bin intrusted with the Keies and keeping of t Tournay; or in its own preserva­tion, as that was which the Sextan u would burn to bake his Wafers; then read what Apollo did x for Delphi, and Minerva for her little Chappel, when both were assaulted by Xerxes; compare it with what in the like occasion our Lady did for y Lauret­ta, for z Tournay, for an old Image: and so upon this whole matter, judg whether Pagan Gods and Roman Saints be not alike, as to their care and kind­ness to their Images; and how unreasonable it were, if you take those for very Devils, to take these for any true Saints.

Fifthly, The very acts of making Images to speak, is an irrefragable Evidence of their being both ungod­like and unsaint-like Spirits. God, and his Blessed Angels, have in times past expressed themselves se­veral waies by Visions, Dreams, Ʋrim and Thum­mim, Signs, Judgments, Fires, and Thunders. I leave out Gods speaking by Men, because it is his most ordinary way of Revelation. But let the Roman Catholics turn over either the Holy Scripture, or the genuine Writings of any ancient Father; and then shew me, where ever God, or Saints, or Angels spake either in the Church, or abroad in the World, a [Page 387]by Stocks or Stones, or any kind of dead Pictures; and after they have consulted their Consciences, if instructed with any degree of Learning, let them pronounce, whether both speaking and working through Images, be or be not the most universal and most constant way of Devils. Hereupon let Rome consider, that tho Devils may and do often coun­tenance themselves with counterfeiting the waies of of God, God or his Saints never have disparaged themselves with using the waies of Devils; much less such a way as the use of Images is, which God hath so earnestly and constantly disowned, and de­clared himself against.

Sixthly, Their own Speeches and Actings may convince any sober Man, by their own Ridiculous­ness or Impiety, what kind of Spirits set them on work. To be short, consider but this one instance, namely, the Image of our good Lady, with a young Child on her left arm, the great Goddess and God of Rome; and at the first entring into a Roman Church, the first and most conspicuous Object of the Roman Adoration. Consider in this double Image. 1. The Roman Lady. 2. The Roman, or as they call it, the sweet Baby, each by themselves. 3. Both the Mother and the Babe together.

First, As to the main and Mother Image: What is it, do you think, that makes Images sometimes as light as any Feather; sometimes as heavy and immovable as any Rock; sometimes to fly; sometimes to dance; sometimes to sing; sometimes to weep; sometimes to sweat; sometimes to tear themselves to pieces? For if all the Pranks be true, as 'tis certain they are possible, do they not become somewhat better those wild silly Spirits, that use to tumble stools and dishes, [Page 388]or to skip up and down in a house; then the most Holy, the most serious, and the most truly glorified Virgin Mary? Whosoever will be at the trouble of summing up the Hours and Daies, which since these six or seven hundred years have bin mispent about such doings, shall find, both that this spirit (who­soever it is) that animates this Roman Image, is oftner below, then above; and that against the con­dition of all true glorified Saints, he or she fidles a­way more of his time about Visions, and Drudgeries, about Gallows, Whores, and Prisons, and about Monks, and their Images, then is left him or her to spend with the Blessed Saints about Gods Throne, and in the Beatifical Vision.

Seeondly, what do you think of those Spirits, which help Images to be Nurses: and which so press their Breasts with their hands, that as much Milk shall run out thence, as an ordinary Child can well drink? They say that Abbot Bernard hath twice or thrice suckt of this Milk: and that it did sweeten his Tongue into plesant Eloquence, wherewith he praised the Holy Virgin. b This story is true, or all are false; for it is reported by so many, and con­firmed by so many more, that it were folly to doubt of it, unless one resolves to doubt of all. But the question is whence comes that Milk, and what sort of Spirit that is, which moves and animates the hand of an Image, to squeese the same milk out of its Paps. Boards, Marbles, and Pictures, you know, have neither Blood nor Milk of their own. Glorified Saints have none likewise: however S. Augustin, one of the four great Doctors of the Latin Church, and a very great Doctor indeed, knows none; and takes [Page 389]it as an impertinent Question, c to ask, whether the Body of Christ in Heaven hath any Blood; much more, whether that of the Virgin hath any Milk. But whether it hath some, or hath none; it is cer­tain that the Blessed Virgin, for we ought know, hath kept her self above in Heaven, during above a thou­sand years, without coming down to show it. By a most just Judgment of God, the same Enchantment which is happened about the Graves, and generally about all unlawful Endeavors of seeking God out of his way, doth visibly attend Images. When men applied themselves, as I have said once already, to Birds, in order to know things to come, some Spirits met them in that way, moving Ravens, Vul­turs, and Eagles, to croak, to fly, and to turn a­bout in that manner, by which men might guess and learn as much, as the spirits themselves could teach. Assoon as they applied themselves to consulting, and watching Graves; these same spirits came up to them, under the shape and notion of the dead, who were called upon. And thus by the acknow­ledgment of all, as well learned Pagans, as Christi­ans, the Sepulchers, that, if not used this way, had nothing but their own Ashes; came to be Tem­ples, and to have Gods. In the like manner when men began to guess, and to attend much to Images (harmless things, God knows, in their proper use, but very pernicious otherwise) these proved the most general Abode, and as it were the very Nest of Hellish Birds: and assoon as the Heathen con­secrated them in their way, in order to find God therein, the Devils met with them in this way, making Images to move, to speak, and often to be [Page 390]as quick at their Miracles, as the worshippers were at their Praiers. So it is most generally true, that men cannot devise for themselves any Religion so absurd, to serve God with, but these Spirits are con­cerned in it: and will like best, what God hates most. I can shew all this out of the Fathers in their Disputes against Pagans: and a great deal of it, out of the Pagans themselves. To bring this home; Be­fore the Saints were invoked, and their Images a­dored at all; the Blessed Virgin staid where she is, in the Glory and Happiness that she is possest of, and before the Face and Throne of God. But as soon as her Image came in, (and Image worship came soon after) first she, or rather some other Spirit un­der her form, appears as a Private Person sometimes in visions, sometimes in Dreams. As soon as the gray and black Friers came to be strong in the Latin Church, and yet stronger in her Service; this pri­vate spirit appears just as she was praied and sought after, as the Ʋniversal Queen of Heaven, and the Governess of the whole world, with Crowns, and Saints, and Angels to attend her; and the better to encourage her devoted Monks to her service, she came with Books, or Gowns, or Hoods, or some­thing else proper to their Order; and this most com­monly at their solemn Devotions in their Chappels. After, she made bold to come in nearer, by day sometimes into their Refectory, and by night into their Cells; there to sprinkle them with holy wa­ter, or to observe their modest lying in their Beds. Being come thus far, the next step is to feel their Pulse, if they be sick: to rub the Backs of some, to cure their Diseases; of others, to remove Incon­tinency, the most general Disease of Monks. At [Page 391]last this Spirit came to embracing, to kissing, to mar­rying, and for the last favor (for I dare not go any farther) to shewing those Mignions her Breast, and to refreshing them with her Milk. Thus went she in to S. Dominic, whom she found once naked, scourg­ing himself in a Cavern. Here d she takes him into her Virgin Arms, saies my holy Author, She fa­stens a close kiss on him, opens her Breast, and gives him suck. Another time, when as it seems in lieu of scourging the Devil had fallen foul on him; She washt e all his sores with her Milk: she took him for her own Husband: she put a wedding Ring on his Finger, and a Chain of 150 Jewels tied with a curious string, about his Neck, both Ring and String made of her own Virgin Hair: Lastly she kissed him, and made him drink out of her Breast such goodly Milk, as restored him to his full strength. S. Alain, who tells this story, f had in his time the like favor: S. Herman g more. This is the Milk, which uses to flow out of her Images. And now let others decide the Case; whether the true and most pure Virgin forgets her self, and all Modesty, to become I do not know what to Monks, and to turn milk­maid to Images? Or whether that kind of Spirits, which of course are used to provide Meat, Wine, and Dainties at their Meetings, be not fitter also to pro­vide Milk: and with this and other Miracles, to de­lude men, when by seeking God in painted walls, or carved Boards, in the judgment h of the best Fathers, they deserve to be deluded. And God [Page 392]forbid, but I should take all shews and Miracles what­soever in these last times, rather for Diabolical En­chantments, then the Blessed Virgin Mary for a servile Drudg.

This Drudg is for marrying too, (an inclination ill becoming a pure Virgin:) and as Venus had be­sides Vulcan, so this pretended Virgin can admit of more Husbands at the same time. If they be old, they must seek her: if they be young, she seeks for them: and in order to contracting with either young or old, her dear Image is the Proxy, that must first receive the wedding Ring, which the Bridegroom puts upon its finger, saying (I am sure Israel, k St Brigits Brother did so) I take thee for my Dame; and therefore I hereby do give and engage my self and my Soul to thy good Plesure. That simple young Prince l of Hungary said much less, without Ring or Intention, only reading of course the words of an Antiphone, Thou m art fair and Beautiful, &c. This was enough for the Lady, to make her come down to him; and what, said she, if I am so fair, why leavest thou me, to take another? Thus the young man being astonisht (for he was in the Church al­ready upon the very point of taking a wife) at these words, and deluded with fine Promises of becoming a great Monarch in this Devils Heavenly Kingdom; left his other Bride at the Altar, to the great scandal of all the world, and to his own far greater shame. Now commend me to such a Saint, who can free men from just Promises, and put asunder to some pur­pose them whom God would have join'd together. [Page 393]If this instance be not enough; Take this other from a grave Bishop. n A young Gallant, being a­bout to play in a Place, where the same Virgin had a Statue; puts a Ring he had on its Finger, and after he had don playing, thinking to take his Ring again, the Image had closed her Finger; so being unwilling to struggle too much, for tis not safe to be too bold with some Images, he left it there; and some few years after, he happened to get an honest Match, with a considerable Fortune: but he is not sooner with her a Bed, then presently an­other Bride fairer then she, appears to him, shews him his Ring, which he had left on the Statue, and, as she took it, had engaged himself to her with it before. The man takes this for a Phantome, (and so it was, and a devillish one too) but when he thought again to sleep, the same Lady comes in a­gain, but much more terrible then before: and what with her angry look, what with her fearful Threatnings (for this Mother of Mercy will prove sometimes a dangerous Dame) she frighted him a­way out of his Bed, from his lawful Wife, & his good Estate, into a pittiful Cloister. Now to judg how grave and holy this is, and how likely to come from a Saint; compare it with this Parallel, which I have o from a good Author. In the year 1058. a young Nobleman of Rome, after a magnificent wedding Dinner, goes with his Guests to Campus Martius; and being at a hot Exercise puts his Ring into the finger of a stately brazen Image which stood hard by, and had in former times bin consecrated to Venus: an hour after my Gentleman being to [Page 394]return home, goes for his Ring; but the Statue had miraculously shut its hand: so being loth to speak of it, for fear of being laughed at by his Friends, he leaves it there; and when it was night, coming back again with tools and men to get it off, the hand was open, but the Ring gon. So, the best he could make of a clear loss, was to concele it, and to go to Bed with his Bride. As soon as they were in Bed he felt a big soft Bundle, as it had bin a sack of Wool, tumbling between them, and hindering them from ever coming near one another: he heard withal a voice, Lie thou with me. I am Venus, whom thou hast taken to Wife this after­noon with this Ring, which here is on my finger. To make short, the same both Bundle and Voice kept them ever asunder, as often as they offered to touch one another, till with the advice of their Friends, they went to one named Palumbus a skil­ful Necromancer and Priest, who for a good sum of Mony meeting the Devil in his own way, got the Ring out of Venus hand. These two Cases are so like, that one might think them to have bin tran­scribed the one from the other; the same manner of wedding Apparitions: the same Correspon­dency, and Proxiship between these Spirits, and their Images: the same Malice and opposition a­gainst Faith and Gods Ordinance: the same base and low trifling, beneath the condition of any No­ble Creature. Hereupon in Cases so like, so un­holy, so ungodly, so unseemly, let the Church of Rome breed such fools, as to think, that the one can be a great Saint, when the other is a down­right Devil.

2. In the second place comes the Baby, whom [Page 395]most commonly you shall see doing some foolish thing or other upon the left Arm of this Dame. For this little Image is known to act as many Parts, as the great one can. It weeps, it prates, it sings, it turns its back, it jumps from one hand to ano­ther, it stretches out its little hand. And whereas at first it was intended, that this little thing should stand still, as an Historical Memorial of Christs Birth; it hath bin, since these last Ages, so well animated and warmed with the heat of Roman wor­ship, that it shews all the life and Activity some­times, that can be expected of a true natural Child, besides what Juglers can do. The inward Soul and Principle, which actuates and moves this Image certainly cannot be a good Angel: for good An­gels are too serious for such mere Childish Moti­tions: Good Angels in all the Scriptures, since their Creation till Popery, are not known to speak in Images: and when they speak in any way, they do neither lie, nor blaspheme; as this wood­den pupet must needs, whensoever he takes on him­self the name of God, Christ, and Savior. The true Mover, and as it were the Soul of this Infantine Image, can be no other, then that Spirit, which often in the Roman Church appears acting that by himself, which he acts by his Image: and none is fitter nor likelier to prate with a woodden Parrot, then he that can do it with his own Lips. For setting a side the little Image; the Papists have a little God, whom they call in English the Sweet Babe, and more blasphemously in Latin Puer Jesus, the Child Jesus; and whom another Spirit under the name of Queen of Heaven in all great Appari­tions [Page 396]carries commonly on her left Arm, t and gives to many People u to kiss; to carry about, x as S. Joseph did; to lay by them in their y beds. S. Lu­cia z had him once three night: and when S. Ar­nulphus, a they say, had him but a quarter of an hour, he was so overcome with Joy, that he was forced to give him back. Sometimes this sweet Baby will leave his Mother and walk alone, either to publish at Mass, what b he is, and to sing Ave Maria: or to run about c the Church, as little Children use to do, but upon another account, for inviting all the Congregation to praise his Mother, and so to spread a great many Roses, and sweet Per­fumes among them all. Sometimes the Child will venture farther, and jump, or fly like a winged Cherub, as when he d crawled out of the mouth of a Crucifix, and jumped thence into an Images Bo­som, and hence back into his first Hole. When S. Herman was a Novice, he did use to give e him Apples, and to be his play fellow, between Servi­ces; his Mother and S. John the Evangelist did come down purposely to see them play. Here take my Son, * saies the Lady, and play with him; a grave Divertisement, for glorious Saints. Once a devout woman f found him alone, walking at Church: and thinking the poor Child had bin left [Page 397]and forgotten there (for he lookt, but as three years old) she asked, whether he could say his Pa­ter, the Lords Praier? to which he having nothing to say; the good Gentlewoman thought, that he was yet too young to speak: but when she tried him a­gain, with an Ave Maria, he found his tongue. The strangest of all his Fortunes, was to be found g na­ked in the Snow, crying and bemoaning himself, because he was starved with the cold weather, and that there was none that would help him. At last nevertheless when a Charitable Traveller would take him up, and had him already on his horse, the sweet Babe vanished away. The Pagan Jupiter transform­ing himself into what shape he will, cannot be worse, then this Popish God, lying thus and wailing in the Snow. However this is the Spirit (and God for­bid we should think him worth a better Name) that helps the Roman Crucifixes, and the sweet wooden Babes to stir, to speak, to work Miracles, at last to become the God of a special Confraternity called now adaies the Religion or Confraternity of the little Jesus.

The first founder of this Religion, as far as I can trace it up, was their Fanatic S. Francis. This giddy Saint having a special Licence from the Pope, for what he meant to do (that you should not think it a private folly) h got upon Christmas Eve an Ox, and an Ass, and Hey and Oats in a Stable; there a Multitude of Country People, besides his ordinary Disciples, flockt from all Parts about to see the new Ceremony. The Mass is said: the Stable was the Church, and the Manger was the High Altar. There [Page 398]S. Francis, after he had read the Gospel, preacht with many tears and sobs a most pathetical Sermon upon the Duty of that Night: and at that time ne­ver called Christ otherwise, then this sweet Babe of Bethlehem. My good Author informs me not, whe­ther he had provided for, and so pointed at a wood­den Babe in the Manger. But however there he found more; for it is * credibly reported (God permitting the Operation of Error, and the Devil of course deluding men, who seek for God, out of Gods way) that a brave and lusty Boy was there found lying a sleep; then you may guess, with what trans­ported devotion S. Francis fell to kissing, to hugging, and to worshipping the sweet Babe, thus sleeping sweetly upon the Hey; where others likewise have found him since. He is the same Lad, who cried when he was half buried in the Snow: who used to skip and play about Churches: the very same, that doth appear standing, or lying sometimes upon Mass wafers: and who by the Mass Priests them­selves is partly suspected, partly judged to be a De­vil. But let them judg, or suspect what they please; It is as far from Jesus Christ our Glorious Savior in Heaven, to come down now to play the Child, as to be so: and not so much as a wise grave and moral man (much less a Saint, much less an Angel, much less our Immortal Savior) would condescend to ap­pear in a fools Coat. But however, this Enchant­ment has bin attended with such Miracles, as have bin i able to make it pass into a Piece of Roman Re­ligion, for holy Truth: And the same Hey (where­upon the sweet Baby slept) that had the vertue, as [Page 399]they say, to cure sick Cattle, and to preserve Men from all Diseases, had the vertue to bring them too into a new Confraternity, which consists much in washing, starching, and sowing Laces, wherewith at Christ-mass to deck the Babe: a proper employ­ment at this very day for good Ladies. And we that have lived among them from the Persecution of both the long Parliament, and Cromwel, had lei­sure enough in twenty Years to see, and wonder at their folly, who think to make their Peace with God for the whole Year, by dressing and undressing, rocking, and worshipping this Child that Night.

3. Now lastly, take both Mother and Child to­gether, you shall find between them two, as much Witchcraft and Superstition again. These Images were not long adored in the Churches, but there went Stories abroad (true or untrue I decide not) that they did stir and work Miracles. The Wor­shipping and Adoration, of course invited the Spi­rit to come in; and, by a recompence fit for Er­ror, the stirring Spirit brought more Worship. These seeming vital Motions, (however extrinse­cal to Images in their harmless use, when they were but Memorials either of things past, or of Friends absent) have ever bin most proper and most essen­tial to Idols; and you can hardly find any one a­mong the Pagans that is famous, but I can shew you, that upon fit occasions it did speak or move, or seemingly do greater Wonders. All this, and in this case, hath proved to be most advantageous to the advancing of Roman Worship. For besides the first account, which is harmless enough, when it goes no farther then representing Christ made Man, and born of a Woman; this Image, as now it is used and [Page 400]continually look'd on, fixes in the simple Worship­per a sottish notion of what he gazes upon continu­ally, to wit, here of Christs being still a little Child, and there the Virgin being a great Queen. Hereupon their Speeches and Miracles improving this imagination, and Christ appearing in very deed prating and acting, as a dutiful Child under his Mother; or as an Infant with the Queen Regent: and at the same time great and glorious Apparitions of seeming Angels and Saints from Heaven, speak­ing and acting seemingly in their own Persons, what these Images speak and act in Churches; the Church of Rome hath bin pleased to make her own public Praiers suitable to these three Patterns, Ap­paritions, Actings, and Images. Jure Matris, impe­ra. * Impera sublimiter, & imperiosissima, &c. Com­mand the Son like a Mother, &c. Thus the Vir­gin is adored as the Goddess and Queen of all; and thus at last these fine Images recommended by Pope Gregory, as an useful Book for Ignorants, have proved among the Papists to be what the Prophet said they were, Teachers of lies. For this Mother Image, when provoked, will k shift and toss its sweet Baby like a Tennis-ball, from hand to hand, then give it suck; and when St. Paula was kissing it, she once had the happiness to tast some few drops of the Milk, that was l yet left between his Lips. Then the Child being full, goes to play, till the Mother calls him back again; and in requital of the good Milk, runs about like a little Rat, bidding all m Men to praise its Dame, and telling them, how they [Page 401] n must do it. When he had done, she gets him Wives, o whom she calls Daughters, and gives him Rings for his dear Brides. S. Mary Razia, S. Ca­tharine, and S. Brigit, &c. are known Instances of what I say. The sweet Baby sometimes makes sweet returns in the same kind. For when the Mo­ther gets Husbands, the Child acts the part of a Priest: and, as it appears in S. Peter the Cestercian, whom p she would be espoused to, he marries and blesses them together. All these Passages are to be seen, both in the visible Motion, and in the audible Language of Images: and these Images are anima­ted both to move, and to speak as they do, by those Spirits who call themselves the Queen of Heaven, and her sweet Babe. Now that these are but evil Spirits, what title soever they may take (unless possibly Imposture, and the knavery of Priests may claim a share) the very ridiculousness and unseem­liness of their doings, are their Heralds to proclaim it: and as to their being Queen of Heaven, or a Savior, or any good Angel, none besides the Papists, but a Lucian, or a Jew, or some like Blasphemer of Christs Name, will have People believe they are, to shame with this Belief, Christs Holy Name and Religion. After that, how far these Spirits will proceed beyond their giving and being given in Marriage, I cannot tell, as to the act: but as to the possibility of worse, it is certain, that Spirits, who offer to be both unholy and untrue, may be unclean too. Learned Men know, what other Demons, Mars, and Venus, and Jupiter, and other Pagan [Page 402]Gods and Goddesses have proved to be in the very heat of their most seemingly Sacred and Religious Mysteries. For my part, I have lived too long be­yond Sea, to take Convents and Monasteries, which these Apparitions use most to haunt, for Schools of any Chastity. Besides what I know by Books, I know particularly by above twenty little Skulls, digged out of the Ditches of a ruinated Nunnery (called Font-some, near St. Quintin, where we camped a while in the Year 1658.) sad Evidences, that be­sides most cruel, most impure Spirits had bin there: and it is upon a long continued Experience, that the Sins of the Flesh, and the Worshipping of I­dols, go both under one name in the Scripture, Psal. 106. Thus they defiled themselves with their own works, and went a whoring after their own Inven­tions. To lay aside the unclean part of this Who­ring, there is another as Devilish that attends it, the Worshipping of Devils or Ghosts of dead Men, in­stead of Saints; which most real and pitiful, tho most unperceived Sorcery, hath ever bin the com­mon fate of Image-worshipping, and corrupted Re­ligion; and hardly ever Men left God, and turned aside from his waies, without meeting with ill Spi­rits. Thus did the two Sons of Noah, when in their Posterity they turned the Religion of their Father into an Heathenish Image Service: thus did also the Israelites, as soon as they fell to their Idols: and thus after them have the Jews done, by falling to their Conjurings. And, how were it now possible for Men to escape it, who fall to both; to wit, I­mage Service, and strange Exorcisms? I do not love to aggravate Burthens, which of themselves are too heavy. But without aggravation, it is most cer­tain, [Page 403]that the Roman Church serves more Images then all the Heathens did together: she hath evident­ly more Conjurings, both public and privat ones, then all the Jews. And so accordingly I may chal­lenge the best Scholar, and best vers'd in Antiquity, to shew me such droves of Spirits running after Men and Women, among either Jews or Pagans, as I can shew him, false Saints haunting and court­ing, sometimes Monks, sometimes Nuns, some­times other Superstitious Persons among the Pa­pists. This being so, no Man must wonder, if he sees Rome, since she is turned Roman Catholic, both more defiled with all Uncleannesses, and more en­raged to Bloody Massacres, and owning both im­pudently, then ever she was when mere Pagan. And without these two sad Effects, that could never have bin influenced upon Christianity, but from Hell; the Great and Glorious God and Savior Christ, is, as much as in Rome lies, degraded out of Heaven, by the same Devils, into a Boy that sleeps on straw, or cries and tumbles in deep Snow, or runs and plaies with other Lads, or is every day kept in a Wafer, which a Mass-Priest hath enchanted. And the ever Blessed, ever Holy, and ever Glorious Vir­gin Mary, is traduced likewise by these Spirits, in­to a shameless Vagabond Woman, rambling the most part of her time after some Suiters or Hus­bands. O Lord, how long! How long shall this Trans­gression, both make desolate thy Sanctuary, and tram­ple it under foot? Dan. 8.13.

FINIS.

A BRIEF ACCOUNT OF R.F. his Missale Vindicatum. OR VINDICATION OF THE ROMAN MASS.

A brief Account of R. F. his Missale Vindicatum, or Vindication of the Roman Mass.

AT last after a deliberation of two Years, a Roman Catholic comes forth with great Zeal against me, to vindicate his Roman Mass.

In the whole course of this his Vindication, the good Man favors me so far, as not to answer one wise Word, to any thing that seems to be somewhat material in my Book; only leaving his dear Jewel under all the dirt imaginable, he shews by what he is pleased to write, how he is well resolved to make much of it, such as it is; and like a tender-hearted Parent, to kiss the Child, tho it be deformed.

This fondness of Affection renders all his Rail­ings more excusable. Men, we know, will defend what they love thus, what way they can: and Na­ture teaches the very Children, when you take from them what they fancy, to scratch and cry. Only a­mong all his ill Language, I must find fault with his Prudence, when he calls me an Ignorant. For if an Ignorant can produce and prove such fowl Crimes against his Mass, as I do in that Book which he rails at: What could not a Learned Man do? And what must he think of himself, since all along his Book and mine, he cannot answer an Idiot?

Instead of answering the Charge, which being heavy and true, as it is, confounds his Mass even to Hell; all he can do, is to exalt it with vain cla­mors above the Sky: and when this unhappy Diana [Page 408]stands accused of being nothing but Wood and Stone, to spend himself in crying out, She is a God­dess, Act. 19.28.

Yet in this Essay, which is the main scope of his Book, he falls short of what he aims at. Among all the Fathers, which he heaps up after Coccius, one on another; not one saies, that Priests hold or give the true and natural Flesh of Christ, otherwise then in Sacrament; nor that they offer it up to God, o­therwise then in a commemorative Sacrifice, which is the drift of the Roman Mass, and the Point which he should make out. But he musters out as many places as he can find, that make any mention of Liturgy, Oblation, Holy Victime, Incruental Sacrifice, and Mass somtimes, which no Protestants dispute against: and whensoever he can lay hold of any such Expressions (which he sees in my Book I am not unwilling to admit) he thinks he hath done great matters. Especially as soon as he can light upon the Priest-hood of Jesus Christ, or the Blessed Communion, if alluded to, or compared with Mel­chisedec's Bread and Wine, his mind runs out to Flesh and Blood. And in this vain labor doth the poor Man spend his four first and longest Cha­pters.

His fifth, About the necessity of Sacrifices, stands for what no Man stands against; to wit, that Ob­lations & Sacrifices must needs be had in the Chri­stian Church. The Question is, Whether the pre­sent Roman Mass be one of them. I have shew­ed by most necessary Evidences, that it is a plain Sacrilege, Abomination, &c. and R. F. cannot re­fute it.

His sixth Chapter comes somewhat closer to me, and what he calls my two Inventions, to exclude the Mass Sacrifice, One is taken out of Heb. 7.9. &c. and urg'd against all evasion in the 4th Chapter of my Book, which the Gentle­man is well pleased in a manner to pass by: Bones too hard for weak teeth, and, which tho but thrown down in the way, might make Mass-Priests tum­ble, if they had not the wit to leap over them. The second is about my quoting of S. Austin de Civit. Dei lib. 10. cap. 6. and Durand concerning that which he calls the lawful Mass Missa Legitima, and the Sacrifice continuing in the Intercession of Christ. Whereon I will say nothing to him, but that he should have read what he carps at, with some kind of attention, rather then expose himself to the hazard of censuring me, like one who had neither common sense nor Conscience.

His 7th Chapter contains for the most part a long and extraordinary Amazement, why I should quote Bellarmin and the Schole-men, since they are all against me, and for Mass; and herein the Gentleman seems to be so strangely perplexed about my foolish Impertinencies, that it is charity to re­solve him, and to help him to understand that I make use of his Authors, either to shew the world what fine Mysteries, whereof Martin Luther and Calvin could not be the proper Witnesses, are contained in his holy Mass: or to convince him how this Babel confounds sometimes her own Buil­ders: or to some other good purpose that no wise man should wonder at. But when he is pleased to think that I quote them fraudulently, or that I [Page 410]have not read them at all; till he can produce some clear Instance of this my fraudulent dealing, I will leave him to his own thoughts.

His 8th Chapter is against two gross Mistakes, which, as he thinks, I poor ignorant am fallen into. 1. When I said somewhere they do Sacrifice Christ at Mass, whereas they sacrifice his Flesh only. 2. When I seem to be afraid, lest the Body of Christ should suffer harm, whensoever they throw it down to the ground, or into sinks and privy Houses. For the first, I have some hope that the Council of Trent, and Bellarmin, whom I have there quoted to that purpose, will in a great mesure protect me: and tho they do not, how comes this learned man to be ignorant of their commonly receiv'd Doctrine, that the Body and Blood are not upon the Altar without the Soul? and if the two former are there by the direct strength of the five consecrating words, this follows them perpetually by a necessary Con­comitance. But as to my second mistake, let him read the 7th Chapter, of my Roman Missal, and answer it. Mean while I advise him, not to make that honest Care, which the Church doth prescribe sometimes of keeping consecrated things safe and decent, a proof of transubstantiation, lest his very Altars, Images, Crosses, Patens, Chalices, Oiles, and other hallowed Utensils, which he would not thro negligence let fall to the ground, have a worse luck, and by his Transubstantiation, among his wafers loose their substance.

His 9th Chapter is spent to prove that his Mira­cles about Mass grow not lesse for being many, which no body, for ought I know, contends they do; [Page 411]for they being nothing at all, it matters not how little or big they are accounted to be. And here the Gentleman having it seems little to do, falls foul on my Folly, for attributing these Miracles to the Priests power, and not to God; which I do no more then themselves: and for bringing their Imaginary Christ from Heaven; which is the En­glish of their Adductive Motion. At last he brings all to this Issue; that St. Chrysostom and John Calvin make very much for these transubstantiating Mira­cles.

His 10th Chapter runs all along upon a more popular Error, as if Christs true real Presence at the administration of his holy Mysteries, were that very Presence, which involves within its being all the aforesaid foolish Miracles; and which, when all is done, proves nothing better, as it were easie to demonstrate, then a true real Absence. Then he insists on Gods Power, to prove the being of his Miracles: and would fain have us to believe them upon their being not impossible: (on which ground a man would believe strange things) however it is better to disbelieve them, upon their being imper­tinent, injurious to Christ as man, and in point of Faith, destitute of any the least ground in his Gospel.

In his 11 and 12 Chapters, he makes it his whole business in behalf of the Absurdities, which his Church takes for Mysteries, to discredit Sense and Reason: and rails bitterly against me as a scoffing, jeering Buffoon for using them, not as my chief Grounds and Treachers in Christian Religion (for so far the Gentleman were right) but as good sub­servient helps to defend it from his Follies; the [Page 412]truth is, he is the fittest man to believe Mass and Popery, who best can disown all Reason. Wherein our Author is fairly advanc'd, who in favor of this brutish Theme, is not afraid to cite St. Austin, one of the most rational of all the Fathers, and the most full of Arguments out of Nature, Sense, and Reason, even in those very Books and Places where he cites him.

His 13th Chapter is a Rhapsody of several Fathers and Doctors, which have bin answered forty times: besides an Imaginary Contradiction which he is pleased to put upon me, when I say, as I do, that Popish Mass may take its Date with Transub­stantion from their famous Lateran Council: and when he fansies that I say, which I do not, nor ever did, that this same Popish Mass hath lasted 1200. years.

His 14th Chapter is a long and loose discourse, both against our Ordination, and in behalf of his Priesthood, where he is so extremly discreet, as not to name me so much as once; much less to answer that heavy Charge of Usurpation, and Sa­crilege, which upon this every account I have justly laid on his Church.

His 15th and last Chapter concludes that Mass Adoration is in no wise Idolatry, by a formal Para­logism, that is a reasoning against all Rules ex mi­nore negante in prima Figura: by the Testimony of Dr Thorndike: by supposing Transubstantiation, and confounding it with the Real Presence; by the Opi­nion of Averroes a learned Turk: and by several misunderstood sayings and Practises of holy Per­sons in their worship at the blessed Communion; all proofs well becoming the case: but too weak [Page 413]for him to stand upon, and for me to take notice of. Especially since he is pleased all along to leave my Reasons against Mass untoucht, and so the Mass undefended.

Nevertheless the Gentleman calls for a Judg and a Jury; which (if not corrupted and packt) must needs find this Client guilty; since he stands these two years charged with such clear and demonstra­tive Accusations, that hitherto no body ventures to meddle with them. Only the Gentleman promi­ses another learned Pen, which, as he hopes, shall do the Deed. Mean while he will end as he be­gan, railing at me, and wondering at my Impu­dence, Ignorance, Insolence, Folly, Malice, for medling at all with his Schole-men, Liturgies, Councils, and Fathers. I hope the other learned Pen will be civil. So if he come out with any thing for the Vindication of his Mass, that may be called an Answer, (the Lord giving me some health with life) he shall not tarry long for a Reply.

FINIS.

ERRATA.

Pag. 9. line 24. read divine commission. p. 12. l. 11. r. second. p. 24. l. y. r. for if. p. 27. l. 13. r, where. p. 33. l. 8. r. Deles. p. 50. l. 11. blot out dear. p. 51. l. 6. r. Mass Priests are of this sort. p. 57. l. 19. r. his. p. 57. l. 22. r. Lucia. p. 61. l. 29. r. ail. p. 63. l. 17. r. louse. p. 65. l. 33. r. requires. p. 69. l. 25. blot out pious. p. 76. l. 20. put the comma after it. p. 83. l. 25. blot out which. p. 88. l. 10. r. of a Nun. p. 97. l. 23. r. falsifying. p. 103. l. 18. r. call. p. 154. l. 23. r. on every. p. 159. l. 32. r. my whole. p. 173. l. 7. r. 200. p. 177. l. 12. a full point after Gloriosa. p. 186. l. 27. r. their doing. p. 203. l. 6. r. thus far. p. 219. l. 22. r. imposed by them. p. 244. l. 18. r. that tis no sin to be emboldned to sin by the hope. p. 249. l. 1. r. have Compostella, and in Italy the p. 270. l. 21. r. September. p. 274. l. 15. r. look at his hands for the p. 276. l. 3. blot out Purgatory. 279. l. 7. r. broad open. ibid. l. 23. r. the said. p. 280. l. 3. r. being strangers. p. 287. l. 5. r. badges. p. 289. l. 13. r. for then and especially. 294. l. 1. r. to say at. ibid. l. 33. she had him in. p. 316. l. 12. r. exorcisc. p. 347. l. 28. r. wher [...] the.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. Searching, reading, printing, or downloading EEBO-TCP texts is reserved for the authorized users of these project partner institutions. Permission must be granted for subsequent distribution, in print or electronically, of this EEBO-TCP Phase II text, in whole or in part.