AN ANSWER, In Defence of A MESSE OF POTTAGE, Well Seasoned and Crumb'd.

Against M. T. S. T. R. A. I. S. P. H.

Anagram, Strap Smith.

Who falsly sayes, the COMMON PRAYERS are unlawfull, and no better than the Popes Porrage.

11. Job 2.3.

Should not the multitude of Words be answered, and should a Man full of Talk be justified.

Should thy lyes make men hold their peace, and when thou mockest shall no Man make thee ashamed.

23. Exodus 1.

Thou shalt not raise a false Report.

In which Tract is answered his unanswerable Reasons: By the same Gyles Calfine.

London, Printed Anno Domini, 1642.

An Answer in Defence of a Messe of Pottage, well Seasoned and Crumb'd.

THat it is a very great part of indignity to call the Book of Common Prayer, the Popes Porrage, is proved by three Reasons. First, In regard of the Matter in it. Secondly, In regard of the manner of it; And thirdly, In regard of the Lawes that have been Acted for the maintaining of it. As for the Matter of it, if you look well upon it, you shall find groun­ded, first upon the Scriptures; yea, Scripture it selfe, in many places, and not upon any Popish Masse. 2. For the Manner of it, wherein is first, Reading and Meditating; Secondly, Heavenly Ejaculation, conteyning short pitthy Prayers, and they be of three sort; first to be delivered from sin. Secondly, Petitions for Grace, and Thanksgivings for Gods blessings towards Us: The third Reason, That it is an indignity to call it Porrage, because they have beene est [...]blished by Acts of Parliament; viz. in the daies of King Edward the sixth Queen Elizabeth, King James, and now maintained by our gratious Soveraign King Charles; and therefore fourth Reason might be added, That it is an in­dignity to the State, to cast an aspersion upon them, as if they should maintaine Laws against Gods Word: for which cause there is pen [...]lties against those that did either deprave them, or use any other in stead of them: and to thi [...] purpose the Scrip­ture saies well, 13. Rom. 5. and 13. Heb. 17. and therefore it is not the Popes Porrage, nor composed out of the Masse and if you will look back a little, you shall finde, That Liturgies and Formes of Prayers have been long before the daies of Edward the sixth, if not before there was any Pope in the World; Austea, Basil, Clement, Chrysostome, and divers other, before their times who had formes of Prayers, and did answer after the Minister [Page] sometime, Lord have mercy one us, &c. and at other [...]imes, We lift up our hearts to thee, O Lord, and somtimes, Amen: By all which it appeares, That it is an indignity to call it so, and that it is not composed by the fat Cooks (as you te [...]rme them) of the Popes Kitchen, but by Learned Divines, and therefore not to be abo­lished.

But grant it were Composed out of the Masse-Boo [...] (which I will never doe, but defie it) is it therefore so corrupted that it must needs be abolished, and not rather corrected, amended: purcase you had a joynt of meat (which I know you love well) and that it were in a place of two tainted, or as we usually say, Fly-blown, will you because of this, cast your meat quite away, and never eat a bit of it no, I suppose you would not, but rather cut out that which is tainted; a d throw that away, as not fit to be eaten, and preserue the rest for your own eating. And yet the Common Prayers is not taken out of the Popish Masse, neither is it tainted, nor an Idol-worship, and can be no abomination to offer them to God; and to this purpose, your proofes are but slender, that you prove that our prayers are abomination; indeed if they were directed to any Idols, Saints, or Angels, and not to the True and Ever living God, they then were Idolatrous Pray­ers: But being directed, intended, and Gods Glory onely aymed at tis a foule abuse, and deserues the lye, to say they are pro­phane, and full of Popery: therefore rayse no more Rabshakah like; but lay thy hand at thy mouth and be silent, for this kinde of zeale is like a fire that will burn up all Godly discipline, and brings soules even to despaire, if Gods mercy did not exceed his Works. As for Baptisme, Matrimony, Visitation of the sicke, Consecration of the Lords Supper, Collects, Epistles, and Gos­pels, you say they are taken out of the Masse-Book, which is false, and that they are unlawfull and inventions of men; then, I pr [...]y, shew a better way or forme, that they may be performed according to the Scripture. God did institute Marriage, but we never read how the manner of performing it was: we reade [Page] of divers that were buried, but how it is not specified? so for the rest: therefore God hath left it to the Church to prescribe a forme how to doe them, provided, that they doe them accor­ding to his Word as neere as they can. Indeed in these dayes of divisions; there be many that Baptise, Bury, and Marry, &c. after another manner then the Common Prayer injoynes; but what is their manner? my thinks they come short of performing them so well as the Prayer Book Commands: for in Baptisme ther [...]s scarce any Prayer made for the receiving of the Childe into the Congr [...]g [...]tion, and for its growth in Grace; and to perform these duties, a Stable, B [...]rne, or Chamber, is more fit then a Church, and I thinke I should not lye, if I did say, a River: as for Marriage, th [...]r's little said wherefore it was ordayned, for as soon as they come into the Church, they are Married, with a short Prayer of the Ministers, and so flightly shuffled up and away. So likewise at Burials, some there be that allow of no Prayers at the Grave, for (say they) tis Popery to reade to the Dead, (all that's true) but they doe allow of Sermons to be Preached over the Dead, and why that? they say it benefits the hearers, as if the Prayers of the Grave did not, and were onely for the Dead: but if as much gai [...]e were to be had at the Rea­ding of the Prayers, as there is at the Sermons, I question if any would sticke to say them: Now let any indifferent Man Judge; whether the Old way, as the Church useth, or the New way that Seperates and such like use be the best. I for my part will leave it to the wise consideration of the King and Parlia­ment to order things, as They seeme best, and that I will fol­low. But why is the Epistles and Gospels tearmed patches and shreds? Tis but a grosse Phrase: are you kinne to any Botcher that useth patches and shreds to make up a Garment? And what foolish and vain repetitions are there (as you say;) Is Lord have mercy upon us, &c. The Lords Prayer, and other short Ejaculations, battologies, tautologies, and foppish things? what kind of absurd speech is this: it seems you want none of Gods [Page] mercy, and your Prayers are better then our Saviors, & that may be is the reason, that many will not conclude their Prayers with the Lords Prayer. Christ before his Passion, prayed to his Father one thing three times, Mat. 26.44. saying the same words: is it therefore unlawfull for us to doe the like? I suppose not: nei­ther to reade any small portion of Scripture by it selfe upon any occasion, by taking out here a little and there a little, as the Prophet hath it; so now it is neither frivolous nor ridiculous, but may be used in Gods worship. Moreover, if a Woman make a curtesie to the Minister in the Church, at her comming in, or going out. What of that? (if you be a Minister) did you never put off your Hat to any in the Church (or were you alwaies un­covered) nor did none to you; but being it is done, tis neither fel­lony nor treason; tis no Popish Ceremony, nor any duty: com­mon reason will tell you, that we owe reverence one to another, especially to our superiours; perhaps you have done worse in a Church then that is, and we may lawfully reverence one another either in Church or field: but indeed nothing is ill spoken, but where it is ill taken, so saies the Proverbe; but what reverence will you allow to God in the Church, if Man must have none: surely all reverence to him must be excluded, if not God him­selfe God, it seems by this Argument, made the body for no use at all in the Church (or any where els) but to come and squat down and neuer to stir, unlesse they sit uneasily, or to look upon another, fine cloathes: David thought it not sin to kneele to God, neither did Daniel; Christ is an example for us in this point, who fell upon his knees to his Father; He humbled himselfe, that we might learn of him; and therefore tis no Popish Porrage, or any unseemly thing. The Letany also (as you say) is ridicu­lous, full of Magick spels, and worse if worse can be, even Con­juring it selfe: What unreasonable madnesse and absurdity is this? perhaps your beliefe is not as an others is to beleeve you are saved by Christ Sufferings, but by your owne Merits; and to believe thus, is indeed ridiculous.

Concerning our Orders in the Church, no man need admire at it; for what is a Church without Order; S. Paul commands it, Let all things be done in Order, saith he; but it is a disorder when Ministers shall kneel, and other men shall sit, when one shall stand; and another in a manner lye all along. I confesse, the Church at this time is out of Order, for in some places I have seen unmannerly Boyes turne Clearks, and begin a Psalme, be­cause they would have no Service read yea, they have held on in Singing, till the Minister came that should reach, in which time was Sung, the first foure parts of the 119 Psalme, and part of the fifth part: I am sure these have beene unlawfull Or­ders, neither hath the Prayers been so tedious and wearisome, as you say, nor driven out at length, to hinder Pre [...]ching; no, all those Prayers put together, have not beene so long as I have heard: some to my knowledge have been an houre and a quarter long: wherein I have heard one and the same thing reiterated (I speak within my bounds) a dozen times; neither could I finde them so profitable as those in the Common Prayer: Besides all this, if there hath been Sermons wanting in many places, it was not long of tedious Service (as you call it) but the fault was rather in negligent Ministers: never were Sermons debard for the Service sake, but they have been as plentifull as ever; and if any have not read those Prayers with that devotion as they ought, the fault lies still in them, that prayed without a sence and feeling of their owne wants, and not in the Prayers, for they are found, and not to be tearmed Porrage or Popish dregs. I could wish, that the Pope in all his Dominions had no worse Porrage then these Prayers, for then we might be assured hee would at length turne Protestant. And what quarter is there about Holydayes, dayes of Feasting, as if they were kept in honour of Saints. Though God said, six daies shalt thou labour, and keep the seventh day holy, doth it argue, that we may not goe to Church on a Holyday: the performing of this Service on that day, is to give God thanks that he hath given us such [Page] good Examples, as they were for us to imitate, and that wee may prayse God in the remembrance of them, that they lived a godly life, and dyed in the Faith of Jesus Christ. If you had [...] Childe or Friend, that did live a Christian life, and dyed in the state of Grace, would not you (though many yeares after) thank God that you had such a Childe or Friend, that was Gods ser­vant, and pray further, that you may follow his steps: would you be thus uncharitable to your selfe, I suppose not: for proof, The Righteous shall be had in everlasting remembrance; but the memory of the wicked shall rot, as the Scripture speaks, the kee­ping of Holy dayes is therefore, that we may spend some time in the Church in prayses and prayers: and to exercise our selues in some lawfull recreation: and that therefore cannot be Popery: there is yet another thing that is much stumbled at, and that is kneeling at the Sacrament, now to say this is Idola­try, you must first prove that wee kneele to the Creatures, Bread and Wine; to the Minister or to the railes; but to nei­ther of these did ever any Christian Protestant kneele, or ever had that thought; which is the fittest, to kneele, stand, or sit? we reade of neither of these, but that many will conj [...]cture that Christ and the Disciples sate: which is not altogether so appa­rant: If the Church hath power to charge the time of receiving the Sacraments from night to noone, surely it hath some power to order a wholesome and seemly gesture, being there is none prescribed. Many are sore crost at the Crosse in Baptisme, and say tis the Mark of the Beast, Revel. 13.16.17. but it is not there understood, a materiall Crosse, but the open profession and Religion that the beast useth, and all those that professe his Religion, they are said to be marked with the Beasts marke; that is, the receiving of the m [...]rk in the forehead or hand one signifies the profession, and the other signifies the action, both which argue no Crosse, but I desire no more crosses; but crosse fellowes take them if they will, and then one crosse may lye upon another. If the Surplesse be a Rag, tis sooner put off then on, there is no holinesse in it, tis but a signification of purity, ei­ther [Page] in the Minister, or the worship. So that in sum of all that hath been said, ther's no reasonable Man (I beleeve) will censure the Common Prayer to be so vile, so unlawfull, and so full of Popish shreds and patches (as you say tis) and therefore to be abolished; but rather if any thing be in it that is unsound, to be corrected and amended: for it was not Composed of fat Cooks of the Popes Kitchen (as you tearm them) but of godly Divines, of which function you are, I suppose, if not, would you were as good, for I scarce like you, especially when men steale their works out of other Authors, or some other of their own, and are ashamed of their names, and in stead write unknown Letters, as M.T.S.T.R.A.I.S.P.H. which being Annagramd is STRAP SMITH; and that I may give you one strap more, and play the Smiths part, in striking the yron whilst tis hot, I will leave you in the midst of the River, swimming after a Duck, but caught a Goose (the meat I should say) with your Doublet off, and your Breeches on, which is an unproper swimming (for a muffled Cat can never catch Mice) no more can you attaine to the flesh you so desire, being so trussed; and if I have not made a good exposi­tion of your Doublet, then take it another way; One there wes, being hungry, went to an Ordinary, and cals for a three penny Or­dinary, and presently was brought him a great boule of Pottage, with a little meat in the mid'st; the hungry party at the sight of it, streight puls off his Doublet; the party which brought it, as­ked the reason why he did so? answer was made, that he seeing so much Pottage, which he did not love, and so little meat, which he loved best, there was a necessity that he must put off his Doublet to swim to it: of which opinion you are, if not that party, who hold Pottage is only for Children, and meat for Men but my o­pinion is, that Pottage and Meat, Prayers and Preaching, is food convenient for Children and Men, and such are the Common Prayers, tearme them as you list. Now, if I have done well, I am not sorry; but if ill, I wish it were better, it is as well as a lame Man could do; notwithstanding, it is far better to be Lame, then Lecherous. And no more of this.


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