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it) “. First they affect novelties and toyes, and prefer falsehood before truth ; . Secondly, they care not what they say, that which rashness and folly hath brought out, pride afterward, peevishness and contumacy shall maintain to the last gasp.” Peculiar symptomes are prodigious paradoxes, new doctrines, vain phantasmes, which are many and divers as they themselves. • Nicholaites of old would have wives in common : Montanists will not marry at all, nor Tatians, forbidding all flesh, Severians wine ; Adamians go naked, because Adapı did so in Paradise ; and some u tarefoot all their lives, because God, Exod. 3. and Josua 5. bid Moses so to do; and Isay 20. was bid put of his shooes : Manichees hold that Pythagorian transmigration of souls from men'to beasts ; * the “ Circumcellions in Africk with a inad cruelty made away themselves, some by fire, water, breaking their necks, and seduced others to do the like, threatning some if they did not," with a thousand such ; as you may read in Austin, (for there were fourscore and eleven heresies in his times, besides schismes and smaller factions) Epiphanius, Alphonsus de Castro, Danæus, Gab. Pratcolus,&c. Of Prophets, Enthusians and Impostors, our Ecclesiastical stories afford many examples; of Elia’s and Christs, as our 2 Eudo de stellis, a Brittain in King Stephen's time, that went invisible, translated himself from one to another in a moment, fed thousands with good chear in the wilderness, and many such ; nothing so common as miracles, visions, revelations, prophesies.
Now what these brain-sick Hereticks once broach, and Im(postors set on foot, be it never so absurd, false, and prodigious, the common people will follow and believe. It will run along like Murrain in cattel, scab in sheep. Nulla scabies, as he said, superstitione scabiosior: as he that is bitten with a mad dogg bites others, and all in the end become mad; either out of affection of novelty, simplicity, blinde zeal, hope and fear, the giddy-headed multitude will einbrace it, and without farther cxamination approve it. : Sed vetera querimur, these are old, hæc prius fuere. In our dayes we have a new scene of superstitious įmpostors and hereticks, a new company of Actors, of Antichrists, that great Antichrist himself: A rope of Popes, that by their greatness and authority bear down all before then : who from that time they proclaimed themselves universal Bishops, to establish their own kingdom, soveraignty, greatness, and to enrich themselves, brought in such a company of humane traditions, Purgatory, Limbus Patrum, Infantuin, and all that subterranean Geography, Mass, adoration of Saints, almes, fastings, buls, indulgences, orders, Friers, Images, Shrines, musty Reliques, Excominunications, confessions, satisfactions, blinde obediences, vowes, pilgrimages, peregrinations, with many such curious toyes, intricate subtleties, gross errors, obscure questions, to vindicate the better and set a gloss upon them, that the light of the Gospel was quite eclipsed, darkness over all, the Scriptures concealed, legends brought in, religion banished, hypocritical superstition exalted, and the Church it self obscured and persecuted: Christ and his members crucified more, saith Benzo, by a few Necromantical, Atheistical Popes, than ever it was by * Julian the Apostate, Porphyrius the Platonist, Celsus the Physitian, Libanius the Sophister ; by those heathen Emperors, Hunnes, Gothes, and Vandals. What each of them did, by what ineans, at what times, quibus auxiliis, superstition climbed to this height, traditions encreased, and Antichrist himself came to his estate, let Magdeburgenses, Kemnisius, Osiander, Bale, Mornay, Fox, Usher, and many others relate. In the mean time he that shall but see their prophane rites and foolish customes, how superstitiously kept, how strictly observed, their multitude of Saints, Images, that rabble of Romish Deities, for trades, professions, diseases, persons, offices, countries, places; St. George for England; St. Denis for France; Patrick, Ireland; Andrew, Scotland ; Jago, Spain ; &c. Gregory for Students ; Luke for Painters; Cosinus and Damian for Philosophers; Crispine, Shooemakers; Katherine, Spinners ; &c. Anthony for Pigges; Gallus, Geese ; Wenceslaus, Sheep; Pelagius, Oxen ; Sebastian the plague; Valentine falling sickness ; Apollonia tooth-aclı ; Petronella for agues; and the Virgin Mary for sea and land, for all parties, offices : he that shall observe these things, their Shrines, Images, Oblations, Pendants, Adorations, Pilgrimages they make to them, what creeping to Crosses, our Lady of Lauretta's rich gownes, her donaries, the cost bestowed on Iinages, and number of suters; S. Nicholas Burge in France ; our S. Thomas' Shrine of old at Canterbury; those Reliques at Rome, Jerusalem, Genua, Lions, Pratum,'S. Denis; and how many thousands come yearly to offer to them, with what cost, trouble,
. Res novas affectant & inutiles, falsa veris præferunt. 2. quod temeritas effutierit, id superbia post modum tuebitur & contumaciæ, &c. See more in Vincent. Lyrin, Aust. de hæres, usus mulierum indifferens. Quod ante peccavit Adam, nudus erat. u Alii nudis pedibus semper ambulant. * Insana feritate sibi non parcunt nam per mortes varias præcipitiorum aquarum & ignium. seipsos necant, & in istum furorem alios cogunt, mortem mi. nantes ni faciant. Elench. hæret. ab orbe condito, Nubrigensis. lib. cap. 19. • Joyian. Pont. Ant. Dial,
Cum per Paganos nomen ejus persequi non poterat, sub specie religionis fraudulenter subvertere disponebat. * That writ de prosesso against christians, & palestinum deum (ut Socrates lib. 3. cap. 19.) scripturam nugis ple. nam, &c. vide Cyrillum in Julianum, Originem in Celsum, &c. & One Image had one gown worth 400. crownes and more. Min 4
anxiety, anxiety, superstition, (for forty several Masses are daily said in some of their + Churches, and they rise at all houres of the night to Mass, come bare-foot, &c.) how they spend themselves, times, goods, lives, fortunes, in such ridiculous observations; their tales and figments, false miracles, buying and selling of pardons, indulgences for 40000 years to conse, their processions on set dayes, their strict fastings, Monks, Anacho. rites, Frier Mendicants, Franciscans, Carthusians, &c. Theit Vigils and fasts, their ceremonies at Christmas, Shrovetide, Candlemas, Palme-sunday, Blase, S. Martin, S. Nicholas day; their adorations, exorcismes, &c. will think all those Grecian, Pagan, Mahometan superstitions, gods, idols, and ceremonies, the name, time and place, habit onely altered, to have degenerated into Christians. Whilst they prefer traditions before Scriptures; those Evangelical Councels, poverty, obedience, vowes, almes, fasting, supererogations, before God's Com mandments; their own ordinances in stead of his precepts, and keep them in ignorance, blindness, they have brought the common people into such a case by their cunning conveiauces, strict discipline, and servile education, that upon pain of damnation they dare not break the least ceremony, tradition, edict : hold it a greater sin to eat a bit of meat in Lent, than kill a man: their consciences are so terrified, that they are ready to despair if a small ceremony be omitted ; and will accuse their own father, mother, brother, sister, nearest and dearest friends of heresie, if they do not as they do, will be their chief exe. cutioners, and help first to bring a fagot to burn them. What mulct, what penance soever is enjoyned, they dare not but do it, tumble with S. Francis in the mire amongst hogs, if they bo appointed, go woolward, whip theraselves, build Hospitals, Abbies, &c. go to the East or West Indies, kill a King, or run upon a sword point : they performe all, without any muttering or hesitation, believe all.
"Ut pueri infantes credunt signa omnia ahena
Do they these brazen Images they sce. And whilst the ruder sort are so carried headlong with blind zeal, are so gulled and tortured by their superstitions, their own too credulous simplicity and ignorance, their Epicurean Popes and Hypocritical Cardinals laugh in their sleeves, and are merry in their chambers with their Punkes, they do indulgere genio
* As at our Ladic's churcb at Bergamo in Italy. de falsa relig
* Lucilius lib. 1. cap. 22.
and make much of themselves The middle sort, some for private gain, hope of Ecclesiastical preferment, (quis expedivit psittaco suum xatpe) popularity, base flattery, must and will believe all their paradoxes and absurd tenents, without exception, and as obstinately maintain and put in practice all their traditions and idolatrous.ceremonies (for their religion is halfe a
Trade) to the death; they will defend all, the golden Legend it self, with all the lyes and tales in it: as that of S. George, S. Christopher, S. Winifred, S. Denis, &e. It is a wonder to see how Nic. Harpsfield that pharisaical linpostor amongst the rest, Ecclesiast. hist. cap. 22. sæc prim. sex. puzzles himself to vindicate that ridiculous fable of S. Ursula and the eleven thousand Virgins, as when they lived, how they came to Cullen, by whom martyred, &c. though he can say nothing for it, yet he must and will approve it: nobilitavit (inquit) hoc sæculum Ursula cum comitibus, cujus historia utinam tam mihi esset expedita & certa, quàm in animo meo certum ac expeditum esi, eam esse cum sodalibus beatam in cælis virginem. They must' and will (I say) either out of blinde zeal believe, vary their compass with the rest, as the latitude of religion varies, apply themselves to the times and seasons, and for fear and flattery are content to subscribe and to do all that in them lies to maintain and defend their present government, and slavish religious Schoolmen, Canonists, Jesuits, Friers, Priests, Orators, Sophisters, who either for that they had nothing else to do, luxuriant wits knew not otherwise how to busie themselves in thosc idle times, for the Church then had few or no open adversaries, or better to defend their lyes; fictions, miracles, transubstantions, traditions, Pope's pardons, Purgatories, Masses, impossibilities, &c. with glorious shews, fair pretences, big words, and plausible wits, have coined a thousand idle questions, nice distinctions, subtleties, Obs and Sols, such tropological, allegorical expositions, to salve all appearances, objections, such quirks and quiddities, Quodlibetaries, as Bale saith of Fer ribrigge and Strode, instances, ampliations, decrees, glosses, canons, that in stead of sound Commentaries, good preachers, are come in a company of mad sophisters, primo secundo secundarü, sectaries, Canonists, Sorbonists, Minorites, with a rabble of idle controversies and questions, 'an Papa sit Deus, an quasi Deus? An participet utramque Christi naturam? Whether it be as possible for God to be a Humble Bee, or a Gound as a man? Whether he can produce respect without a
* An. 441. • Hospinian Osiander. An hzc propositio Deus sit cucurbita vel scarabeus, sit æque possibilis ac Deus & homo? An possit respectum producere sine fundamento & termino. An levius sit hominem jugulare quam die dominico calceum cousuerc?
foundation or term, make a Whore a Virgine? Fetch Trajan's soul from hell, and how? with a rable of questions about hell fire : whether it be a greater sin to kill a man, or to clout shooes upon a Sunday? Whether God can make another God like unto himself? Such, saith Kemnisius, are most of your School. men, (meer Alchymists) 200. Commentators on Peter Lambard; (Pitsius catal. scriptorum Anglic. reckons up 180, English Commentators alone, on the matter of the sentences) Scotists, Thomists, Reals, Nominals, &c. and so perhaps that of Saint * Austin may be verefied. Indocti rapiunt cælum, docti interim descendunt ad infernum. Thus they continued in such errour, blindness, decrees, sophismes, superstitions; idle ceremonies and traditions were the sum of their new coyned holiness and religion, and by these knaveries and stratagems they were able to involve multitudes, to deceive the most sanctified souls, and if it were possible the very elect. In the mean time the true Church, as wine and water mixt, lay hid and obscure to speak of, till Luther's time, who began upon a sudden to defecate, and as another Sun to drive away those foggy mists of superstition, to restore it to that purity of the Primitive Church. And after him many good and godly men, divine spirits, have done their endeavours, and still do.
+ And what their ignorance esteem'd so holy,
Our wiser ages do accompt as folly. But see the divel, that will never suffer the Church to be quiet or at rest : no garden so well tilled but some noxious weeds grow up in it, no wheat but it hath some tares : we have a mad giddy company of Precisians, Schismaticks, and some Hereticks even in our own bosoms in another extream,
“ Dum vitant stulti vitia in contraria currunt ; That out of too much zeal in opposition to Antichrist, humane traditions, those Romish rites and superstitions, will quite de. molish all, they will admit of no ceremonies at all, no fasting dayes, no Cross in Baptisın, kneeling at Coinmunion, no Church musick, &c. no Bishops' Courts, no Church govern ment, rail at all our Church discipline, will not hold their tongues, and all for the peace of thec O Sion. No not so much as Degrees some of them will tolerate, or Universities, all humane learning, ('tis cloaca diabóli) hoods, habits, cap and surpless, such as are things indifferent in theinselyes, and wholly for ornament, decency, or distinction sake, they abhor, hate, and snuff at, as a stone horse when he meets a Bear : they make matters of conscience of them, and will rather for
* Dc doct. Christian.