A Beacon Set On Fire: OR The Humble Information of certain Stationers, Citizens of London, to the Parliament and Commonwealth of ENGLAND.

Concerning the Vigilancy of Jesuits, Papists, and Apo­states, (taking advantage of the Divisions among our selves and the States great Employment,) To

  • Corrupt the pure Doctrine of the Scriptures.
  • Introduce the whole Body of Popish Doctrine & Worship.
  • Seduce the Subjects of this Commonwealth unto the Po­pish Religion, or that which is worse.

By Writing and Publishing many Popish Books, (Printed in England in the English Tongue within these three last Years, therein maintaining all the gross Points of Popery, urging a necessity for all to receive them upon pain of Damnation, pro­claiming in one of them, that the Parliament have discharg'd the people of this Nation from the common professed Reli­gion thereof; boasting of many eminent men that are lately converted to their Religion, and ex­pressing the hopes they have of a great flowing in of people unto them.)

And Blasphemous Books of another Nature: All made evident by The Catalogue and Contents of many of the afore­said Books added hereunto.

Published for the Service of the Parliament and Commonwealth.

Hoping that the Parliament by sufficient Laws, and the Lords Mi­nisters and People by their Preaching and Prayers, will set them­selves (upon this Alarum that the Enemy gives) to maintain the Faith that was once delivered to the Saints against all the Ene­mies thereof.

LONDON, Printed for the Subscribers hereof. 1652.

The humble Information of certain Stationers, Citizens of London, to the Parliament and Commonwealth of England, concerning Popish and Blasphemous Books.

THe ardent affection that we bear unto the §. 1 true Reformed Christian Religion taught in the holy Scriptures, the operation and sweetness whereof upon our hearts, we have an experimental knowledg, taste and feeling of through the Holy Ghost, to the eternal praise of the grace of God; which Religion through the same effectual working hath been sealed with the blood of so many holy Martyrs: The tender love we bear to our own native Country and Relations, being passionately de­sirous that the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus may flou­rish in this Nation unto the end of the World, that so the future generations enjoying the light of his glori­ous Gospel and Ordinances, may through his grace walk in that light unto the Kingdom of Glory: And lastly, the just fear we have lest Popish & Blasphemous Books should grow so numerous, as to become a consi­derable (if not the greatest) part of our Trade, and so we be tempted to be Venders of such Loathsom Ware, or else necessitated to leave our Callings to keep our Consciences pure: These Considerations have put us upon giving this Information following, to the Parlia­ment and Commonwealth of England, concerning the late publishing and printing many Popish and Blasphemous Books in England in the English Tongue, which other­wise perhaps they would not so soon come to the knowledg of, that they might suppress them.

[Page 4] §. 2 Hoping it will be well taken, because it is a matter of such unspeakable concernment, as Gods staying with these Nations, or departing from them, the Salvation or Damnation of millions of Souls; and because the Members of the Parliament, to whom we chiefly in­tend this our humble Information, are by Profession of the Reformed Christian Religion, in opposition to Popery, who have in all their Declarations ever since the beginning of the late troubles, held forth the main­taining thereof as one end of the War; and have de­molished Popish Pictures, that men might not learn Popery by them; put men to death for being obliged by Office to assert the Popes Supremacy, made a great­er Profession of Sanctity then any Parliament that e­ver sat before them, and of aiming at the highest de­grees of Reformation, even beyond Presbytery it self.

Yea our hopes ascend higher, to wit, That that great Accusation of the Parliament in one of the Popish Books [namely, That God hath put a period to the com­mon professed Religion of this Nation, and that by Autho­rity of PARLIAMENT,] will be by publique Demonstrations confuted; the Parliament well know­ing, that the common people of this Nation will be of one Religion or other; and if by publique Authority they be not kept to the Reformed Religion, they'l be easily drawn to the Popish: When an old Religion is out of credit with a State, the multitude will welcome the Introducers of a new; and if once the Approvers of Popery should grow most numerous, how then can we have other then a Popish Parliament, and a Popish Army? Or if the Parliament should be Protestant, yet how could it rule or be safe, sith the strength of the su­pream Magistrate lieth in his Subjects? And if once the Romish Religion should prevail, then farewel the [Page 5] holy Bible in our Mother Tongue, and Sacraments in both kinds, or so much as in one, otherwise then as a visible real material Sacrifice both for the quick and the dead: Then no more preaching and Catechizing in English out of the pure Fountain of the Scripture; we must part with these inestimable Treasures for the filth of Egypt, viz. the Romish Church for the Rule and Standard of our Faith, and her Service in Latin, with all the rabble of her Will-worship and Supersti­tion, for our Practice; which if we shall not like of as the best, we shall for our satisfaction be sent to the In­quisition, there adjudged to be Hereticks, and so past their cure; and then, as if it were pity to leave us so, tender-hearted fathers as they are! they'l turn us over to the secular Power, who will quickly rid themselves and their Church of us, the same way as they did our re­nowned Progenitors in Q. Mary's days. And then what will become of the Souls of our dear children, and the posterity that shall succeed us, when they shall want the means of their Conversion and Salvation, viz. the pure Gospel and Ordinances of Jesus Christ, which every godly parent and Commonwealthsman had rather leave unto his children, then the greatest earthly Inheri­tance that ever man was born to.

Having thus in all humility declared our selves by §. 3 way of Introduction, we do hereby faithfully inform the Parliament and Commonwealth of England, That ‘while the people of God in this Land have vented their heat against each other about lesser points in Di­vinity, and the Parliament and Army conflicted by Councel & Force with many Enemies in reference to publike Liberty, wherby the great care, that otherwise might have been had of the Lords Vineyard, hath been hindred; the old vanquish'd Popish Party, Jesuits and [Page 6] Papists, are unawares with indefatigable pains endea­voring all along to entice the people of this Com­monwealth unto the Popish Religion, and have made such great progress therein by ways known not only to God, but (as we conceive) wise men also, as that now they have taken the boldness to publish among the people of this Nation divers Impressions of seve­ral sorts of Popish Books in the English Tongue, and printed in England within these last three Years, to the number of (as we guess, reckoning 1500 to an Impression of each Book that hath been in that time printed) Thirty thousand at least:’ As if they were now confident of compleating their design, and as if (in their opinion of us) we were yet to seek whether the Popish or Reformed Religion were the right Religion, and were ashamed of the former Zeal of Church and State to preserve the people of this Commonwealth from Romish Doctrine, Worship and Tyranny; and did now think their natures and Religion more milde then when so much Blood of our now glorious An­cestors was in cool blood most inhumanely shed by them, for holding, that the Pope and his Bishops could not make an Article of Christian Faith, much less were to be beleeved or obeyed in things contrary to the Ca­non of the Scripture; or, that the very body of Christ now glorified in Heaven was not in ten thousand places at one time upon earth: of many of which Popish Books both their Titles and Contents, we do hereafter give a Catalogue, and do keep in our custody one of each to make good our Information, if so commanded: And al­though upon the Titles of most of the Books there be Paris, or other places beyond the Sea, prefixed, as if they were printed there; yet we, and all the Booksel­lers and Printers in London, that have seen or shall see [Page 7] them, do upon such sight know that they are printed in London: And the Founders of Printing-letters that live in London, do infallibly know, that the letters with which the said Books are printed, were by them cast and made in London.

The Premisses considered, we do humbly pray the §. 4 Parliament, for the sake of our dear Saviour Jesus Christ, in behalf of our selves, and all the many thou­sands of Gods people in England; yea and again, most heartily implore the Parliament, and every Member thereof, by Gods and mans expectations, your own publique Professions and Engagements, and as ever you expect to appear before God with comfort, who hath put power into your hands to do much for his beloved Spouse and Cause; That you would stir up your Strength and your Zeal against the Ene­mies of both the Souls and Bodies of the people of this Commonwealth, By suppressing Popish and Blasphemous Books, which are the Nursery of Error, Idolatry, and Rebellion, Putrefaction and Shame of a Nation, Provocation of Divine Vengeance, and High-way to eternal Perdition: And that if the Act now depending, concerning the Company of Stationers and Printing, do not make ample provision in the Premisses, it may be accommo­dated to the aforesaid purpose, as well as any other: And to the end so good a work may be accomplished, and effectual means may be applyed, we shall humbly offer our Proposals (if commanded) how it maybe done, without any trouble or charge to the State; In the mean time begging leave, that without offence we may say, we humbly conceive, that we shall despair of ever seeing a sufficient Redress in this case, unless [Page 8] the way of Licensing Books, by faithful able men that are sound in the faith, be strictly enjoyn'd, and an equi­table penalty layd upon all that print and publish, or cause to be printed and published, any Book not Licen­sed, and the said penalty to be recovered by any that shall prosecute the Offender at the Common-Law, with good encouragement to the Prosecuter.

And lastly, Least the Parliaments great Affairs a­bout War and Peace should hinder such inconsiderable Informers as we are from being heard, we do beg (in the Name of Christ) of all persons, of all degrees, whe­ther Ministers of the Gospel, Gentlemen, or others, by what Names soever distinguished, that are or would be esteemed real Friends to true Religi­on, the Parliament and Commonwealth of England, That they would improve all the interest they have both in God and men in authority, for the effectual Suppression of Popish Books, and stopping the growth of Popery.

The same Request to the Parliament and aforesaid Persons we humbly desire may extend unto other Blasphemous Books also; The Names and Blasphe­mies of some of which we likewise herewith tender.

  • Luke Fawne.
  • Samuel Gellibrand.
  • Joshua Kirton.
  • John Rothwell.
  • Thomas Ʋnderhill.
  • Nathaniel Webb.

The Catalogue and Contents of some of those Popish Books that have been published in the English Tongue within these three last Years, and Printed in ENGLAND.

1. THe Golden Treatise of Vincentius Lirinensis, 1651.

2. The Verity of Christian Faith, 1651.

3. The Felicity of a Christian Life, 1651.

4. The Profit of Beleeving, 1651.

5. Saint Austin's Care for or the Dead, 1651.

All which forementioned Books have more or less in them in favor of the Popish Religion, as cun­ningly insinuating, that the Romish Church is that Universal Church to which all must necessa­rily adhere, &c.

6. Parson's Resolutions, as he first put it forth with­out Bunny's Correction.

7. Sales his Introduction; a Book burn'd as Popish in the late Arch-Bishops days, as having many of the gross Points of Popery in it.

8. The Holy Court; which Book, with the other two foregoing it, are so well known to many Schollers and judicious men in England to abound with Popish Errors, that we need but name them.

9. The lost Sheep returned home, or the motives of the Conversion to the Catholike Faith of Tho: Vaine, D. D. Laboring by a great shew of Learning and Argumen­tation to evince the Popish Religion to be the onely true Religion, the Church of Rome the onely true [Page 10] Church, and infallible; maintaining Latin Service, the Communion in one kind, and most of the grossest points of Popery.

10. A Missive to his Majesty K. James, by Dr Carrier, written 39 years ago, and reprinted 1649. containing the Motives of his Conversion to the Roman Religion, with Inducements to that King to turn Papist: The Publisher endevoring to make Luther, Calvin, Beza, &c. odious; inferring from Mechanicks Claim to the Pulpit, the Disagreement that is among our selves, and the miscarriages of particular persons; That our Religion is false; glorying much in the Conversion of many Protestants to Popery of late; as, Dr Vaine, Hugh Paulin, Hen: Ireson, N. Read, Mr Rich: Nicholls, Mr Rich: Milesent, Mr Rich: Crashaw, Mr Will: Rowlands, Mr Thomas Normington, Mr Joyner, Mr Blakistone, Mr Edward Barker, Mr Eaton, Mr Peter Glue, Mr Jack­son, Mr Cooper, Mr Jo: Crighton, Mr Andrew Youngston, Mr Hugh Ross, Mr Tho: Johnston, Mr William Simple: Perswading, that things being fallen to such an uncon­ceivable Confusion in England, it is no matter of won­der that so many turn to Popery, but that more do not follow.

11. The Love of the Soul, by G. M. The whole scope of the Book is to perswade people, That the Church of Rome is the one only true Church, and that separation from her is sinful and damnable; and at the end of it are prefixed some Popish Questions in Rhyme, which were answered by Mr Samuel Hiron forty years ago.

[Page 11]12. A Manifest touching Mr W. P. Aversion from the Protestant Congregation, and his Conversion to the Ca­tholique Church: Maintaining all the gross Points in Popery, affirming the Roman Church to be the only true Church, to which all must joyn, from which none must separate upon pain of Damnation; That she is infallible, and cannot teach any thing repugnant to the Word of God, no more then God can teach contrary to himself; And that Protestants have no true Scrip­ture to build their Faith on.

13. The Examination of the late Act of the Convoca­tion at Oxford, containing their Reasons against the Scot­ish Covenant and Presbytery.

The whole drift of this Book is to deny our Reli­gion to be true, because of the Disunion between the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians; To slander and reproach our Captains that led us out of Romish E­gypt; assert Traditions in the Popish sence, the Sacra­ment of the Mass, Prayers for the Dead, Purgatory, and Invocation of Saints.

14. A Treatise entituled, The Right Religion Evinced, by L. B. 1652. Tending to prove, That the Romish Church is the true and only Catholique Church, In­fallible Ground and Rule of Faith; maintaining the Real Presence, Adoration and Bowing to the Hoast, Altars, Images, Reliques, worshipping of and praying to Angels, and Saints departed; asserting a perfect keeping of the Commandments, The Priests power to forgive Sins in a proper sence, and humane merits; Denying the Actions of Beleevers in Covenant to be Duties, Justifying the Receiving the Communion un­der [Page 12] one kind, acknowledging Christs Institution to be otherwise, but not binding; and that all this must be yeelded to if a man would be saved.

15. Prayer to the Saints Vindicated, by F. P. 1652. Affirms the Lawfulness and Duty of praying to Saints and Angels; That the Saints in Heaven know the secrets of the hearts of men upon Earth; That the Saints in Hea­ven that were poor on Earth have such power and authority by their prayers in Heaven, as to receive into Heaven what faithful rich men they please; That those that persevere in the denyal of this Doctrine of Prayer to Saints, must perish everlastingly in Hell, where the Saints shall see them, and rejoyce in their torment; And that no Honor, Wor­ship, Adoration, Prostration both of Body and Soul, is to be denyed the Saints and Angels, but only visible Sacrifice, which is (said to be) due to God alone.

16. A prudent and secure Choyce, being a sure Land­mark to all those who have been tossed to and fro in these wavering times, by H. G. 1650. Beginning his Pro­logue thus, viz. Sir, Since it hath pleased God to put a period to the common professed Religion of this Nation, and that by Authority of PARLIAMENT: in Capi­tals the Papist prints it, and so we re-print it, that the Parliament might take notice of it. The Book affirms, That what the Church of Rome holds forth as matters of Faith, are Therefore to be beleeved as infallible Truths: Pleads for real corporeal presence in the Eucharist, and offering up Christ in the Mass as a due Sacrifice; main­tains Auricular Confession, the visible Headship of the Pope, Prayer to Saints departed, Worship to Images, Pur­gatory, Free-will, Merit of good Works, Tradition, Indul­gencies; [Page 13] That Scripture is unsufficient to declare its own sence in things that must be beleeved upon pain of Damna­tion; and that therefore the Church and the Church of Rome is the only infallible Rule both to know what is the Word of God, and the sence thereof, and what is to be be­leeved; and that upon the belief of all this depends our everlasting welfare.

17. A Treatise of Schism, by Scot.

18. The Christian Sodality, or Catholique Hive of Bees, by E. P. alias Gage, as is said; Which expounds the Popish Primmer, justifies their Popish Days, Wor­ship, and the whole Religion of Popery: printed 1652.

19. The Christian Moderator, printed 1652. the fourth Edition. Pleading for a Toleration of the Popish Religion; maintaining the real corporeal pre­sence in the Eucharist, prayer to Angels and Saints departed, &c. Putting a painted Gloss upon the foul face of Popery, to make it appear otherwise then it is; Making much mention of a sweet spirit, tenderness, humility, mutual Love, &c. meerly to abuse the people of this Commonwealth; for the world knows, that those vertues never appeared in Papists toward Christians of a different Belief, who are not (that we know of) tolerated to profess their Re­ligion among them, except by the atchievement of the Sword taken up in their defence against Popish cruel­ties: Nor doth the Author in the least demonstrate how the Protestants may be assured of a Toleration, in case the Papists shall at any time become the major part, as be­ing impossible for him or any others so to do, until a Popish-General-Councel shall cancel some of their Points of Faith about the Popes Supremacy, and Churches Infallibility; which Points all Papists must [Page 14] and do believe, notwithstanding any thing they shall say to the contrary.

The Names and Blasphemies of some Books not Popish.

HOBS his LEVIATHAN, Affirms,

That all they to whom God hath not supernaturally re­vealed the Scriptures, are not obliged to obey them by any other Authority then that of the Commonwealth residing in the Soveraign, who only hath the Legislative power: p. 205.

That the Kingdom of God we pray for in the Lords Prayer, when we say, Thy Kingdom come, is nothing else but a Civil Kingdom, governed by Gods Lievtenants and Vicars upon Earth, and not a Spiritual: That the preach­ing of the Apostles was the preaching of this Kingdom: p. 219. 220.

That God hath a Soveraign Prophet and Vicegerent up­on Earth, who is a Christian Soveraign, that hath next un­der God the Authority of governing Christian men; and that by the Doctrine which in the Name of God he com­mands to be taught as a sure Rule, we are to examine and try the truth of such Doctrines as shall be advanced either with Miracles or without; and that if the Soveraign dis­avow them, then we are no more to obey their voyce: p. 232.

That the immortal Soul begins not in a man till the Re­surrection: p. 241.

That the Tormentors of the damned, which the Scrip­ture calleth Satan, Devil, Abaddon, are not any indivi­dual person, but an office and quality; and that by Satan is meant any earthly Enemy of the Church: p. 244.

That the Torments of the damned after the Resurrecti­on, shall be such an earthly misery as many men now endure that are alive; that this misery shall be but for a time, and [Page 15] that they shall then dye again, and be annihilated: p. 245.

That If our Prince cōmand us to say with our tongue, We beleeve not in Christ, we must obey the Prince; and that whatsoever a Subject is compelled to in obedience to his So­veraign, and doth it not in order to his own mind, but in order to the Laws of is Country, that action is not his, but his Soveraigns; nor is it he that in this case denyeth Christ before men, but his Governor, and the Law of his Country: p. 271.

Asserts, that there have been no Martyrs since the Apostles days, but many have needlesly cast away their lives: p. 273.

That actions of men can never be unlawful or sinful, but when they are against the Law of the Commonwealth: p. 279. Denying, that the New Testament is in any place to any person a Law, where the Law of that Common­wealth hath not made it so, p. 284. And as much he saith of the whole Scripture elsewhere: with a great deal more of such Blasphemous Stuff.

A Testimony to an Approaching Glory, by Joshua Sprigge:

Asserting, That the Sufferings of Christ for us were as it were but a Parable, and that Gods heart was not set upon the very having a little Blood for the sins of the people; but taking that Blood, speaks thereby to our Childish­ness, who could not see how there could be a Reconciliation without Blood: p. 53.

That crucifying old Adams righteousness, is a greater Sacrifice to God then the very sacrificing of the flesh of Christ: p. 54.

That the Humanity of Christ is a Form wherein God appears to the world; there is a higher thing then Belee­ving, [Page 16] and that is seeing and knowing the Father without a Form, manifesting and revealing himself in his own imme­diate Light; this I desire you to wait for, seek for, press to­wards, p. 56. And that So a Beleever doth when he goeth to God in the same Unction that was poured upon Christ Jesus, and doth not formally make use of the Name of Christ, as a man would use the name of some great man, and beg for his sake, p. 58. Calls it weakness to think that Christ doth procure the love of the Father, p. 59.

The Racovian Catechism, printed (as in Latin, so al­so) in English: Denying the Divinity of Christ, and the Divinity and Personality of the Holy Ghost, that Christ made Satisfaction for our sins: with many o­ther abominable Errors.

A Book written by Biddle, maintaining that the Holy Ghost is not God.

Concerning which two last Books, namely, the said Catechism in Latin (not English) and Biddle's Book, we cannot but thankfully acknowledg that the Parlia­ment have shew'd their dislike of them, by causing a few that could be taken to be burnt: But alas, there is no standing penal Law (that gives sufficient encourage­ment to the Prosecutor, and investeth the Master and Wardens of the Company of Stationers, or some others, with sufficient Authority) to deter men from Wri­ting, Printing and Publishing the like for the future; whereby it comes to pass, that since the execution of that Justice some have presumed to publish the fore­said Catechism in English, in affront to the Parliament, and chiefly to the Lord Jesus, who is the true God and E­ternal Life, to him be Glory both now and for ever. Amen.


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