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Baptista Alfaqui, that Mauritanian Priest, now turn'd Christian, hath written in his confutation of the Alcaron. After a nian's death two black Angels, Nunquir and Nequir (so they call them) come to him to his grave and punish him for his precedent sins; if he lived well, they torture hiin the less ; if ill, per indesinentes cruciatus ad diem judicii, they incessantly punish him to the day of judgement. Nemo viventium qui ad horum mentionem non totus horret & contremiscit, the thought of this crucifies them all their lives long, and makes them spend their days in fasting and prayer, né mala hæc contingant, &c. A Tartar Prince, saith Marcus Polus, lib. 1. cap. 28. called Senex de Montibus, the better to establish his government amongst his subjects, and to keep them in awe, found a convenient place in a pleasant valley, environed with hils, in 66 # which he inade a delicious Park full of odoriferous flowers and fruits, and a Palace of all worldly contents,” that could possibly be devised, Musick, Pictures, variety of meats, &c. and chose out a certain yong man, whom with a i soporiferous potion he so benummed, that he perceived nothing : • and so fast asleep as he was, caused him to be conveyed into this fait garden;" where after he had lived awhile in all such pleasures a sensual man could desire, “k He cast him into a sleep again, and brought him forth, that when he awaked he might tell others he had been in Paradise.” The like he did for Hell, and by this means brought his people to subjection. Because Heaven and Hell are mentioned in the Scriptures, and to be beleeved necessary by Christians : so cunningly can the Divel and his ministers, in imitation of true Religion, counterfeit and forge the like, to circumvent and delude his superstitious fola lowers. Many such tricks and impostures are acted by Polititians, in China especially, but with what effect I will dis. course in the Symptomes.
Next to Polítitians, if I inay distinguish them, are some of our priests, (who inake Religion Policy) if not far beyond them, for they domineer over Princes and Statesmen themselves. Carnificinam exercent, one saith they tyrannize over men's consciences more then any other tormenters whatsoever, partly for their commodity and gain ; Religionem enim omnium abusus (as * Postellus holds) quæslus scilicet sacrificum in causa est : for soveraignty, credit, to maintain their state
Citra aquam, viridarium plantavit maximum & pulcherrimum, foribus oderiferis & suavibus plenum, &c. Potum quendam dedit quo inescatus, & gravi sopore oppressus, in viridarium interim ducebatur, &c. Atque iterum memoratum potum bibendum exhibuit, & sic extra Paradisum reduxit, ut cum evigilaret, sopore soluto, &c. * Lib. 1. de orb. Concord. cap. 7. Kk 2
and and reputation, out of Ambition and Avarice, which are their chief supporters: What have they not made the common people believe? Impossibilities in nature, incredible things; what devices, traditions, ceremonies, have they not invented in all ages to keep men in obedience, to inrich themselves? Quibus quæstui sunt capti superstitione ami, as 'Livy saith. Those Ægyptian priests of old got all the soveraignty into their hands, and knowing, as m Curtius insinuates, nulla res efficacius multitudinem regit quam superstitio; melius vatibus quam ducibus parent, vana religione cupti, etiam impotentes fæminæ ; the common people will sooner obey Priests then Captains, and nothing so forcible as superstition, or better then blind zeal to rule a multitude; have so terrified and gulled them, that it is incredible to relate. All nations almost have been besotted in this kind; amongst our Brittains and old Gauls the Druides; Magi in Persia ; Philosophers in Greece; Chaldeans amongst the Orientall; Brachmanni in India; Gymnosophists in Æthiopia ; the Turditanes in Spain; Augures in Rome, have insulted ; Apollo's Priests in Greece, Phæbades and Pythonissæ, by their oracles and phantasis; Amphiarius and his companions ; now Mahometan and Pagan Priests, what can they not effect? How do they not infatuate the world? Adeo ubique (as * Scaliger writes of the Mahometan Priests) tum gentium tum locorum, gens ista sucrorum ministra, vulgi secat spes, ad ea que ipsi fingunt somnia, so cunningly can they gull the cominons in all places and countries. But above all others, that high Priest of Rome, the dam of that monstrous and superstitious brood, the bull-bellowing Pope, which now rageth in the West, that three-headed Cerberus hath plaid his part. " » Whose religion at this day is meer policie, a state wholly composed of superstition and wit, and needs nothing but wit and superstition to maintain it, that useth colleges and religious houses to as good purpose as Forts and Castles, and doch more at this day” by a company of scribling Parasites, fiery spirited Friers, zealous Anachorites, hypocritical Confessors, and those Pretorian souldiers, his Janisary Jesuits, and that dissociable so. ciety, as + Langius terins it, postremus diaboli conatus, & see. culi excrementum, that now stand in the fore front of the battle, will have a monopoly of, and ingrosse all other learning, but domineer in Divinity,
“ 'Excipiunt soli totius vulnera belli,” and fight alone almost (for the rest are but his dromedaries and asses) then ever he could have done by garrisons and armies. What power of Prince, or pænal law, be it never so strict, could enforce men to do that which for conscience sake they will voluntarily undergo? As to fast from all flesh, abstain from marriage, rise to their prayers at midnight, whip themselves, with stupend fasting and pennance, abandon the world, wilfull poverty, perform canonical and blind obedience, to prostrate their goods, fortunes, bodies, lives, and offer up themselves at their superiours feet, at his command? What so pow. crful an engine as superstition? which they right well perceiving, are of no religion at all themselves: Primum enim (as Calvin rightly suspects, the tenor and practice of their life proves) arcane illius Theologiæ, quod apud eos regnat, caput est, nullum esse deum, they hold there is no God, as Leo 10. did, Hildebrand the Magician, Alexander 6. Julius 2. meer Atheists, and which the common proverb amongst them approves, “ * The worst Christians of Italy are the Romans, of the Romans the Priests are wildest, the lewdest Priests are preferred to be Cardinals, and the baddest man amongst the Cardinals is chosen to be Pope,” that is an Epicure, as most part the Popes are, Infidels and Lucianists, for so they think and believe; and what is said of Christ to be fables and impostures, of heaven and hell, day of Judgement, Paradise, Immortality of the soul, are all,
Lib. 4. Lib. 4. * Exerc. 228. princ. inter provinc. Europ. Lucian.
S. Ed. Sands.
4 In consult. de
" ? Rumores vacui, verbaque inania, El
Et par sollicito fabula somnio.” Dreams, toys, and old wives tales. Yet as so many netstones to make other tools cut, but cut not themselves, though they be of no religion at all, they will make others most devout and superstitious, by promises and threats, compel, enforce from, and lead them by the nose like so many bears in a line ; When as their end is not to propagate the Church, advance God's Kingdome, seek his glory or cominon good, but to enrich themselves, to enlarge their territories, to domineer and compel them to stand in awe, to live in subjection to the See of Rome. For what otherwise care they? Si mundus vult decipi, decipiatur, 'tis fit it should be so. And for which + Austin cites Varro to maintain his Roman religion, we may better apply to them: multa vera, que vulgus scire non est utile; pleraque falsa, que tamen aliter existimare populum expedit; some things are true, some false, which for their own ends they will not have the gullish commonalty take notice of. As well may witness their intolerable covetousness, strange
* S. Ed. Sands in his Relation. Seneca. Vice cotis, acutum Red. derc quæ ferrum velct, exors ipsa secandi. + De civ. Dei lib. 4. cap. 31. Kk 3
forgeries, forgeries, fopperies, fooleries, unrighteous subtleties, impostures, illusions, new doctrines, paradoxes, traditions, false miracles, which they have still forged, to enthral, circumvent and subjugate them, to maintain their own estates. One while by Buls, Pardons, Indulgences, and their ductrine of good works, that they be meritorious, hope of heaven, by that means they have so fleeced the commonalty, and spurred on this free superstitious horse, that he runs himself blind, and is an Asse to carry burdens. They have so amplified Peter's patrimony, that from a poor Bishop, he is become Rex Regum, Dominus dominantium, a Demi-god, as his Canonists make him, (Felinus and the rest) above God himself. And for his wealth and 'temporalties, is not inferiour to many Kings; "his Cardinals Princes companions; and in every kingdome almost, Abbots, Priors, Monks, Friers, &c. and his Clergy have ingrossed a third part, half, in some places all, into their hands. Three Princes Electors in Germany Bishops ; besides Magdeburge, Spire, Saltsburge, Breme, Bamberge, &c. In France, as Bodine lib. de repub. gives us to understand, their revenues are twelve millions, and three hundred thousand levres; and of twelve parts of the revenues in France, the Church possesseth seven. The Jesuits, a new sect began in this age, have as * Middendorpius and + Pelargus reckon up, three or foure hundred Colledges in Europe, and more revenues then many Princes. In France, as Arnoldus proves, in thirty years they have got bis centum librarum millia annua, 200000l. I say nothing of the rest of their orders. We have had in England, as Armachanus demonstrates, above thirty thousand Friers at once, and as I Speed collects out of Lelande and others, almost 600 religious houses, and neer two hundred thousand pound in revenues of the old rent belonging to them, besides Images of Gold, Silver, plate, furniture, goods and ornaments, as Weever calculates, and esteems them at the dissolution of Abbies, worth a million of gold, How many Towns in every kingdome hath superstition enriched? What a deal of mony by musty reliques, Images, Idolatry, have their Mass-Priests ingrossed, and what sums have they scraped by their other tricks ! Lauretum in Italy, Walsinghain in England, in those days. Ubi omnia auro nitent, saith Erasmus, S, Thomas Shrine, &c.
* Seeking their own, saith Paul, not Christ's. He hath the Dutchy of Spoledo in Italy, the Marquisate of Anchona, beside Rome, and the territories adjacent, Bologne, Ferrara, &c. Avignion in France, &c. Estote fratres mei, et principes hujus mundi. u The Laity suspect their greatness, wit. ness thosc statutes of mortmain. ' * Lib. 8. de Acadein. + Præfat. lib. de paradox. Jesuit-Rom. provincia habet Col. 36. Neapol. 93. Veneta 13, Lucit. 15. India orient. 27: Brasil 20, &c. In his Chronic. vit. Hen. S. $ 15. cap, of his funeral monuments.
inay witness. * Delphos so renowned of old in Greece for Apollo's oracle, Delos commune conciliabulilm & emporium solá religione munitum ; Dodona, whose fame and wealth were sustained by religion, were not so tich, so famous. If they can get but a relique of some Saint, the Virgin Marie's picture, idols or the like, that City is for ever made, it needs no other maintenance. Now if any of these their impostures or jugling tricks be controverted, or called in question: If a magnaniinous or zealous Luther, an heroical Luther, as + Dithindrus cals him, dare touch the Monks Bellies, all is in a combustion, all is in an uprore: Demetrius and his associates are ready to pull him in pieces, to keep up their trades, “ I Great is Diana of the Ephesians :" With a mighty shout of two hours long they will roar and not be pacified.
Now for their authority, what by auricular confession, satis. faction, penance, Peter's keys, thundrings, exconmunications, &c. roaring buls, this high Priest of Rome, shaking his Gorgon's head, hath so terrified the soule of many a silly man, insulted over majesty it self, and swaggered generally over all Europe for many ages, and still doth to some, holding them as yet in slavish subjection, as never tyrannizing Spaniards did by their poor Negroes, or Turks by their gally-slaves. “* The Bishop of Rome (saith Stapleton, a parasite of his, de mag. Eccles. lib. 2. cap. 1.) hath done that without arms, which those Roman Emperours could never atchieve with forty legions of souldiers,” deposed Kings, and crowned them again with his foot, made friends, and corrected at his pleasure, &c. y 'Tis a wonder, saith Machiavel, Florentinæ his. lib. 1. " what slavery King Henry the second endured for the death of Th. Becket, what things he was enjoyned by the Pope, and how he submitted himself to do that which in our times a private man would not endure," and all through superstition. Henry the fourth, deposed of his Empire, stood bare footed with his wife at the gates of Canossus. Fredericke the Emperour was trodden on by Alexander the third. Another held Adrian's stirrup, King John kissed the knees of Pandulphos the Pope's Légat, &c. What made so many thousand Christians travel from France, Brittain, &c. into the Holy land, spend such huge summs of mony, go a pilgrimage so familiarly to Jerusalem, to creep and couch, but slavish superstition? What makes them so freely
* Pausanias in Laconicis lib. 3. Idem de Achaicis lib. 7. cujus summæ opes, & valde inclyta fama. + Exercit. Eth. Colleg. 3. disp. 3. Act. 19. 28. * Pontifex Romanus prorsus inermis regibus terræ jura dat, ad regna evehit ad pacem cogit, & peccantes castigat, &c. quod imperatores Romani 40. legionibus armati non effecerunt. y Mirum quanta passus sit H. 2. quomodo se submisit, ea se facturum pollicitus, quorum hodie nc privatus quidemnpartem faceret. : Sigonius 9. hist. Ital. .. Curio lib. 4. Fox Martyrol. K ke