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pists, Anabaptists, Separatists, and peculiar Churches of Amsterdam, they alone, and none but they can be saved. “8 Zea. lous (as Paul saith, Rom. 10. 2.) without knowledge,” they will endure any misery, any trouble, suffer and do that which the Sun beams will not endure to see, Religionis acti Furiis, all extremities, losses and dangers, take any pains, fast, pray, vow chastity, wilful poverty, forsake all and follow their Idols, dye a thousand deaths, as some Jews did to Pilat's souldiers, in like case, exertos præbentes jugulos, & manifestè præ se ferentes, (as Josephus hath it) chariorem esse vitä sibi legis patrice observationem, rather then abjure, or deny the least particle of that Religion which their Fathers profess, and they themselves have been brought up in, be it never so absurd, ridiculous, they will einbrace it, and without farther enquiry or examination of the truth, though it be prodigiously false, they will beleeve it: they will take much more pains to go to hell, then we shall do to heaven. Single out the most ignorant of them, convince his understanding, shew him his errors, grosness, and absurdities of his sect, Non persuadebis etiamsi persuaseris, he will not be perswaded. As those Pagans told the Jesuits in Japona, "they would do as their forefathers have done ; and, with Ratholde the Frisian Prince, go to hell for company, if inost of their friends, went thither : they will not be moved, no perswasion, no torture can stir them. So that Papists cannot brag of their vows, poverty, obedience, orders, merits, martyrdoms, fastings, alms, good works, pilgrimages : much and more then all this, I shall shew you, is, and hath been done by these superstitious Gentiles, Pagans, Idolaters and Jews: their blind zeal and idolatrous, superstition in all kinds is much at one; little or no difference, and it is hard to say which is the greatest, which is the grossest. For if a man shall duly consider those superstitious rites amongst the Ethnicks in Japan, the Bannians in Gusart, the Chinese idolaters, *Americans of old, in Mexico especially, Mahometan priests, he shall find the same government almost, the same orders and ceremonies, or so like, that they may seem all apparently to be derived from some heathen spirit, and the Roman Hierarchy no better then the rest. In a word, this is cominon to all su. perstition, there is nothing so miad and absurd, so ridiculous, impossible, incredible, which they will not believe, observe, and di, ligently perforin as much as in them lies ; nothing so monstrous to conceive, or intolerable to put in practice, so cruel to suffer, which they will not willingly undertake. So powerful a
Maluat cuir illis ius nire,
e Great is Diana of the Ephesians, Act. 15. quam cum aliis bene sentire. * Acosta, 1. 5.
thing is superstition. :-* 0 Ægypt (as Trismegistus exclaims) thy religion is fables, and such as posterity will not believe.” I know that in true Religion it self, many mysteries are so apprehended alone by faith, as that of the Trinity, which Turks especially deride, Christ's Incarnation, resurrection of the body at the last day, quod ideo credendum (saith Tertullian) quod incredibile, &c. many miracles not to be controverted or dis. puted of. Mirari non rimari sapientia vera est, saith Ger. hardus; & in divinis (as a good Father informs us) quadam credenda, quædam admiranda, &c. some things are to be believed, embraced, followed with all submission and obedience, some again admired. Though Julian the Apostate scoff at Christians in this point, quod captivemus intellectum in obsequium fidei, saying, that the Christian Creed is like the Py. thagorean Ipse dixit, we inake our will and understanding too slavishly subject to our faith, without farther examination of the truth ; yet as Saint Gregory truly answers, our Creed is altioris præstantiæ, and much more divine; and as Thomas will, piè consideranti semper suppetunt rationes, ostendentes credibilitatem in mysteriis supernaturalibus, we do absolutely believe it, and upon good reasons, for as Gregory well informeth us; Fides non habet meritum, ubi humana ratio quærit experimentum; that faith hath no merit, is not worth the name of faith, that will not apprehend without a certain demonstra. tion ; we must and will beleeve God's word; and if we be mistaken or erre in our generall belief, as | Richardus de sancto Victore vows he will say to Christ himself at the day of judgement; “ Lord, if we be deceived, thou alone hast deceived us:" thus we plead. But for the rest I will not justify that pontificial consubstantiation, that which $ Mahometans and Jewes justly except at, as Campanella confesseth, Atheismi triumphat. cap. 12. fol. 125, difficillimum dogma esse, nec aliud subjectum magis hæreticorum blasphemiis, & stultis irrisionibus politicorum reperiri. They hold it impossible, Deum in pane manducari; and besides they scoffe at it, vide gentem comedentem Deum suum, inquit quidam Maurus. || Hunc Deum muscae et vormes irrident, quum ipsum polluunt & devorant, subditus est igni, aquæ, & latrones furantur, pixidem auream humi prosternunt, & se tamen non defendit hic Deus. Qui fieri potest, ut sit integer in sin. gulis hostire particulis, idem corpus numero, tam multis lo. cis, cælo, terrá, &c. But he that shall read the iTurkes Al. coran, the Jewes Talmud, and Papists Golden Legend, in the mean time will swear that such gross fictions, fables, vain iraditions, prodigious paradoxes and ceremonies, could never proceed from any other spirit, than that of the divell himself, which is the Author of confusion and lies; and wonder withall how such wise men as have been of the Jews, such learned understanding men as Averroes, Avicenna, or those Heathen Philo. sophers, could ever be perswaded to beleeve, or to subscribe to the least part of them : aut fraudem non detegère : but that as * Vanninus answers, ob publice potestatis formidinem alla. trare philosophi non audebant, they durst not speak for fear of the law. But I will descend to particulars : read their seve. rall Symptomes and then guess.
* 0 Ægypte, religionis tuæ solæ supersunt fabulæ eæque incredibiles posteris tuis. + Meditat. 19. de cæna domin. Lib. 1. de trin. cap. 2. si decepti sumus, &c. Vide Samsatis Isphocanis objectiones in monachum Milesium. || Lege Hossman. Mus exenteratus. i As true as Homer's Iliads, Ovid's Metamorphosis, Æsop's Fables.
coran, * Dial. 52 de oraculis. Numina ! Juven. Sat. 15.
Of such Symptomes as properly belong to superstition, or that irreligious Religion, I may say as of the rest, some are ri. diculous, some again ferall to relate. Of those ridiculous, there can be no better testimony than the multitude of their gods, those absurd names, actions, offices they put upon them, their feasts, holy dayes, sacrifices, adorations, anıl the like. The Ægyptians that pretended so great antiquity, 300 Kings before Amasis : and as Mela writes, 13000 years from the beginning of their Chronicles, that brag'd so much of their knowledge of old, for they invented Arithmetick, Astronomy, Geometry: of their wealth and power, that vaunted of 20000 Cities : yet at the same time their Idolatry and superstition was most gross: they worshipped, as Diodorus Siculus records, Sun and Moon under the name of Isis and Osyris, and after, such men as were leneficial to them, or any creature that did them good. In the city of Bubasti they adored a Cat, saith Herodotus,- Ibis and Storks, an Oxe (saith Pliny) + Leekes and Onions, Macrobius,
“ 1 Porrum & cæpe deos imponere nubibus ausi,
Hos tu Nile deos colis," Scoffing $ Lucian in his vera Historia : which, as he confesseth himself, was not perswasively written as a truth, but in Comical fashion to glaunce at the monstrous fictions and gross absurdities of writers and nations, to deride without doubt this prodigious Ægyptian Idolatry, fains this story of himself; that when he had seen the Erisian fields, and was now comıning away, Radamanthus gave him a Mallow-root, and bade him pray to that when he was in any peril or extremity; which he did accordingly; for when he came to Hydamnordia in the Iland of treacherous women, he made his prayers to his root, and was instantly delivered. The Syrians, Chaldeans, had as many proper Gods of their own invention ; see the said Lucian de dea Syria. Morney cap. 22. de veritat. relig. Guliel. Stuckius * Sacrorum Sacrificiorumque Gentil. descript. Peter Faber Semester. 1.3. c. 1, 2, 3. Selden de diis Syris, Purchas' Pilgrimage, * Rosinus of the Romans, and Lilius Giraldus of the Greeks. The Romans borrowed from all, besides their own gods, which were majorum and minorum gentium, as Varro holds, certain and uncertain; some cælestial select and great ones, others Indigites and Semi-dei, Lares, Lemures, Dioscuri, Soteres, and Parastatæ, dii tutelares amongst the Greeks: gods of all sorts, for all functions; some for the Land, some for Sea; some for Heaven, some for Hell; some for passions, diseases, some for birth, some for weddings, husbandry, woods, waters, gardens, orchards, &c. All actions and offices, Pax, Quies, Salus, Libertas, Felicitas, Strenua, Stimula, Horta, Pan, Sylvanus, Priapus, Flora, Cloacina, Stercutius, Febris, Pallor, Invidia, Protervia, Risus, Angerona, Volupia, Vacuna, Viriplaca, Veneranda, Pales, Neptunia, Doris, Kings, Emperours, valiant men that had done any good offices for them, they did likewise canonize and adore for Gods, and it was usually done, usitatum apud antiquos, as + Jac. Boissardus well observes, deificare homines qui beneficiis mortales juvarent, and the Divel was still ready to second their intents, statim se ingessit illorum sepulchris, statuis, templis, aris, &c. he crept into their temples, statues, tombs, altars, and was ready to give oracles, cure discases, do miracles, &c. as by Jupiter, Æsculapius, Tiresias, Apollo, Mopsus, Amphiaraus, &c. dii & Semi-dei. For so they were Semi-dii, demi-gods, some medii inter Deos & homines, as Max. I Tyrius, the Platonist, ser. 26. & 27. maintains and justifies in inany words. “When a good man dies, his body is buried, but his soul, ex homine dæmon evadit, becomes forthwith a Demi-god, nothing disparaged with malignity of aire, or variety of forins, rejoyceth, exults and sees that perfect beauty with his eys. Now being deified, in commiseration he helps his poor friends here on earth, his kindred and allies, informs, succours, &c. punisheth those that are bad and do amiss, as a good Genius to protect and govern mortal men appointed by the gods, so they will have it, ordaining some for provinces, some for private men, some for one office, some for anuther. Hector and Achilles assist Souldiers to this
+ O sanctas gentes quibus hæc pascuntur in horto Prudentius. Præfat. ver. hist.
many * Tiguri fol. 1494. Rosin. antiq. Rom. 1. 2 c. 1. & deinceps. Lib. de divinatione & magicis præstigiis in Mopso. Cosmo Paccio Interpreta nibil ab aeris caliginc aut figurarum varietate impeditus meram pulchritudinem meruil, exultans & misericordia motus, cognatos amicos qui adhuc morantur in terra tuetur, errantibus succurrit, &c. Deus hoc jussit ut essent genii dii tu telares hominibus, bonos juvantes, malos punientes, &c.
day ; Æsculapius all sick men, the Dioscuri Seafaring men, &c. and sometimes upon occasion they shew themselves. The Dioscuri, Hercules and Æsculapius, he saw himself (or the divel in his likenesse) non somnians sed vigilans ipse vidi :” So far Tyrius. And not good men only do they thus adore, but tyrants, monsters, divels, (as * Stukius enveighs) Neros, Do. mitians, Heliogables, beastly women, and arrant whores amongst the rest. For all intents, places, creatures, they assign gods ;
“ Et domibus, tectis, thermis, & equis soleatis
Assignare solent genios”— saith Prudentius. Cuna for cradles, Diverra for sweeping houses, Nodina knots, Prema, Pramunda, Hyınen, Hymeneus, for weddings; Comus the god of good fellows, gods of silence, of comfort, Hebe goddess of youth, Mena menstruarum, &c. male and female gods, of all ages, sexes, and dimensions, with beards, without beards, married, unmarried, begot, not born at all, but as Minerva start out of Jupiter's head. Hesiodus reckons up at least 30000 gods, Varro 300 Jupiters. As Jeremy told them, their gods were to the multitude of Cities;
“ Quicquid humus, pelagus, cælum miserabile gignit
Hils, seas and rivers, God was this and that. And which was most absurd, they made gods upon such ridiculous occasions ; “ As children make babies (so saith + Mor. neus) their Poets make Gods,” & quos adorant in templis, ludunt in Theatris, as Lactantius scoffs. Saturn, a man, gelded himself, did eat his own ehildren, a cruel tyrant driven out of his kingdom by his son Jupiter, as good a God as himself, a wicked lascivious paltry King of Crete, of whose rapes, lusts, murders, vilanies, a whole volume is too little to relate. Venus, a notorious strumpet, as common as a barbar's chair, Mars, Adonis, Anchises' whore, is a great she-goddess as well as the rest, as much renowned by their Poets ; with many such: and these gods so fabulously and foolishly made, ceremoniis, Hyninis, & Canticis celebrant; their errors, luctus & gaudia, amores, iras, nuptias & liberorem procreationes, (I as Eusebius well taxeth) weddings, mirth and mournings, loves, angers, and quarreling they did celebrate in Hymns, and sing
* Sacrorum gcnt. descript. non bene mcritos solum, sed & tyrandos pro diis colunt, qui genus humanum horrendum in modum portculosa immanitate divexarunt, &c. fædas meretrices, &c. * Cap. 22. de ver. rel. Deos fiuxerunt corum Poetæ, ut infantium puppas. Proein. lib. Contra philos.