صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني
[ocr errors]

sake their livings than subscribe to them. They will admit of no Holidayes, or honest recreations, as `of lawking, hunting, &c. no Churches, no bels some of them, because Papists use them: no discipline, no ceremonies but what they invent themselves : no interpretations of Scriptures, no Comments of Fathers, no Councels, but such as their own phantastical spirits dictate, or Recta ratio, as Socinians, by which spirit misled, many times they broach as prodigious paradoxes as Papists themselves. Some of them turn Prophets, have secret revelations, will be of privy councel with God himself, and know all his secrets, i Per capillos spiritum sanctum tenent, & omnia sciunt cum sint asini omnium obstinatissimi, A company of giddy heads will take upon them to define how inany shall be saved and who damned in a parish, where they shall sit in heaven, interpret Apocalypses, (Commentatores præci. pites & vertiginosos, one cals' them, as well he might) and those hidden mysteries to private persons, times, places, as their own spirit informs them, private revelations shall suggest, and precisely set down when the world shall come to an end, what year, what moneth, what day., Some of them again have such strong faith, so presumptuous, they will go into infected houses, expel divels, and fast forty daies, as Christ him. self did ; some call God and his attributes into question, as Vorstius and Socinus ; some Princcs, civil Magistrates, and their authorities, as Anabaptists, will do all their own privato spirit dictates, and nothing else. Brownists, Barrowists, Familists, and those Amsterdamian sects and sectaries, are led all by so many private spirits. It is a wonder to reveal what passages Sleidan relates in his Commentaries, of Cretink, Knipperdoling, and their associates, those mad men of Munster in Germany; what strange Enthusiasmes, sottish Revelations they had, how absurdly they carried themselves, deluded others; and as prophane Machiavel in his political disputations holds of Christian religion, in general it doth enervate, debilitate, take away mens' spirits and courage from them, simpliciores reddit homines, breeds nothing so courageous souldiers as that Romane ; we may say of these peculiar sects, their Religion takes away not spirits onely, but wit and judgement, and deprives them of their understanding ; for some of them are so far gone with their private Enthusiasmes and revelations, that they are quite mad, out of their wits. What greater madness can there be, than for a man to take upon him to be a God, as some do? to be the Holy Ghost, Elias, and what not? In Poland 1518.

ling, and theiates in his comina wonder to raries, are led ali had, howhat strange clientes, those medies, of Cretink what pas

Agrip. ep. 29. populum decepit.

Alex. Gaguin. 22. Discipulis ascitis mirum in modum

in the reign of King Sigismund, one said he was Christ, and got him 12 Apostles, came to judge the world, and strangely deluded the Coinnons. One David George, an illiterate painter, not many years since, did as much in Holland, took upon him to be the Messias, and had many followers. Benedictus Victorinus Faventinus consil. 15. writes as much of one Honorius, that thought he was not onely inspired as a Prophet, but that he was a God himself, and had i familiar conference with God and his Angels. Lavat. de spect. c. 2. part. 8. hath a story of one John Sartorius, that thought he was the Prophet Elias, and cap.7. of divers others that had conference with Angels, were Saints, Prophets. Wierus lib. 3. de Lamiis c. 7, makes mention of a Prophet of Groning that said he was God the Father ; of an Italian and Spanish Prophet that held as much. We need not rove so far abroad, we have familiar examples at home; Hackett that said he was Christ; Coppioger and Arthington his disciples : * Burchet and Hovatus burned at Norwich. We are never likely seven years together without some such new Prophets that have several inspirations, some to convert the Jews, some fast forty dayes, go with Daniel to the Lions' den ; some foretel' strange things, some for one thing, some for another. Great precisians of mean conditions and very illiterate, most part by a preposterous zeal, fasting, meditation, melancholy, are brought into those gross errors and inconveniences. Of those inen I-may conclude generally, that howsoever they may seem to be discreet, and men of understanding in other matters, discourse well, lasam habent imaginationem, they are like comets, round in all places but where they blaze, cetera sani, they have impregnable, wits many of them, and discreet otherwise, but in this their madness and folly breaks out beyond measure, in infinitum erumpit stultitia. They are certainly far gone with melancholy, if not quite mad, and have more need of physick than many a man that keeps his bed, more need of Hellebor than those that are in Bedlam.

Guicciard. descrip. Belg. com. plures habuit asseclas ab iisdem honoratus * Hen Nicholas at Leiden 1580. such a one. « See Camden's Annals fo. 249. & 285.



Prognosticks of Religious Melancholy,

VOU may guess at the Prognosticks by the Symptomes.

1 What can these signes foretel otherwise than folly, dotago madness, gross ignorance, despair, obstinacy, a reprobate sense, 'a bad end? What else can superstition, heresie produce, but wars, tumults, uprores, torture of souls, and despaire, a desolate land, as Jeremy teacheth, cap. 7, 34. when they commit Idolatry, and walk after their own wayes? how should it be otherwise with them? what can they expect but “ blasting, famine, dearth,” and all the plagues of Ægypt, as Amos denounceth, cap. 4. vers. 9. 10. to be led into captivity? If our hopes be frustrate, “we sow much and bring in little, eat and have not enough, drink and are not filled, clothe and be not warme, &c. Haggai 1. 6. we look for much and it comes to little, whence is it? His house was waste, they came to their own houses, pers. 9. therefore the heaven staid his dew, the earth his fruit:" Because we are superstitious, irreligious, we do not serve God as we ought, all these plagues and miseries come upou us; what can we look for else but mutual wars, .. slaughters, fearfull ends in this life, and in the life to come eternal damnation? What is it that hach caused so many feral battles to be fought, so much Christian blood shed, but superstition ! That Spanish Inquisition, Racks, Wheels, Tortures, Torments, whence do they proceed ? from superstition. Bodine the Frenchuan, in his m method. hist. accounts Englishmen Barbarians, for their civil wars : but let him read those Pharsalian fields - fought of late in France for Religion, their Massacres, wherein by their own relations in 24. years, I know not bow many millions have been consumed, whole families and cities, and he shall find ours to be but velitations to theirs. But it hath ever been the custome of hereticks and idolaters, when they are plagued for their sins, and God's just judgements come upon them, not to acknowledge any fault in themselves, but still impute it unto others In Cyprian's time it was inuch controverted betwixt him and Demetrius an idolater, who should be the cause of tlaose present calamities. Demetrius laid all the fault on Christians, and so they did ever in the primitive

Arius his howels burst, Montanus hanged himsclf, &c. Eudo de stellis, his disciples, ardere potius quam ad vitam corrigi maluerunt ; tanta vis infixi semel erroris, they died blaspheming. Nubrigensis c. 9. lib. 1. Jer. 7. 23. Amos. 5. 5. 5. Cap. - Poplinerius Lerius præf. hist. Rich. Dinoth.


souldiers, d and silver thes, no

through Chriship, skill in en

Church, as appears by the first book of * Arnobius), “o that there were not such ordinary showres in Winter, the ripening heat in Summer, so seasonable Springes, fruitful Autumnes, no marble, mines in the mountaines, less gold and silver than of old; that husbandmen, seamen, souldiers, all were scanted, justice, friendship, skill in Arts, all was decayed," and that through Christians' default, and all their other miseries from them, quòd dii nostri à vobis non colantur, because they did not worship their gods. But Cyprian retorts all upon him again, as appears by his Tract against him. "Tis true the world is miserably tormented and shaken with wars, dearth, famine, fire, inundations, plagues, and many feral diseases rage amongst us, sed non ut tu quereris esta accidunt quod diž vestri a nobis non colantur, sed quod à vobis non colatur Deus, à quibus nec queritur, nec timetur, Not as thou complainest, that we do not worship your Gods, but because you are Idolaters, and do not serve the true God, neither seek him, nor fear him as you ought. Our Papists object as much to us, and account us heretiques, we them; the Turks esteem of both as Infidels, and we them as a company of Pagans, Jews against all ; When indeed there is a generall fault in us all, and something in the very best, which may justly deserve God's wrath, and pull these iniseries upon our heads. I will say nothing here of those vain cares, torments, needless works, pennance, pilgrimages, pseudomartyrdome, &c. We heap upon ourselves unnecessary troubles, observations; we punish our bodies, as in Turkie (saith P Busbequius leg. Turcic. ep. 3.) 6 one did, that was much affected with Musick, and to hear Boyes sing, but very superstitious ; an old Sybil coming to his house, or an holy woman, (as that place yeelds many) took him down for it, and told him, that in that other world he should suffer for it; thereupon he fung his rich and costly Instru. ments which he had bedeckt with Jewels, all at once into the fire. He was served in silver plate, and had goodly housholdstuffe : a little after, another religious man reprehended him in like sort, and from thenceforth he was served in earthen vessels, Last of all a decree came forth, because Turks might not drink wine themselves, that neither Jew nor Christian then living in

* Advers. gentes lib. 1. postquam in mundo Christiana gens cæpit, terra unorbem periisse, et multis malis affcctum esse genus humanum videmus. • Quod nec hyeme, nec æstate tanta imbrium copia, nec frugibus torrendis solita flagrantia, nec vernali temperie sata tam læta sint, nec arboreis factibus autumni Iecandi, minus de montibus marmor eruatur, minus aurum, &c. P Solitus erat oblectare se fidibus, et voce musica cancntium ; sed hoc omne sublatam Sybillæ cujusdam interventu, &c. Inde quicquid erat instrumentorum Symphoniacorum, aura gemmisque egregio opere distinctorum comminuit, et in igncm injecit, &c,


[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Constantinople, might drink any wine at all.” In like sort amongst Papists, fasting at first was generally proposed as a good thing ; after, from such meats at set times, and then last of all so rigorously proposer, to binde the consciences upon pain of damnation. “First Friday," saith Erasınus," then Saturday,” & nunc periclitatur dies Mercurii, and Wednesday now is in danger of a fast. “9 And for such like toyes, some so miserably afflict themselves, to despaire, and death itself, rather then offend, and think themselves good Christians in it, when as indeed they are superstitious Jews.” So saith Leo. nardus Fuchsius, a great Physician in his time, " We are tora tured in Germany with these Popish edicts, our bodies so taken down, our goods so diminished, that if God had not sent Luther, a worthy man, in time to redresse these mischiefes, we should have eaten hay with our horses before this." As in fasting, so in all other superstitious edicts, we crucifią one another without a cause, barring ourselves of many good and lawfull things, honest disports, pleasures and recreations ; for wherefore did God create them but for our use ? Feasts, mirth, musick, hauking, hunting, singing, dancing, &c. non tam ne. cessitatibus nostris Deus inservit, sed in delitias amamur, as Seneca notes, God would have it so. And as Plato 2. de legi. bus gives out, Deos laboriosam hominum vitam miseratos, the gods in commiseration of human estate sent Apollo, Bacchus, and the Muses, qui cum voluptate tripudia & saltationes nobis ducant, to be merry with mortals, to sing and dance with us. So that he that will not rejoyce and enjoy himself, making good use of such things as are lawfully permitted, non est temperatus, as he will, sed superstitiosus. " There is nothing þetter for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour,” Eccles. 2. 24. . And as * one said of hauking and hunting, tot solatia in hac

ægri orbis calamitate mortalibus tædiis deus objecit, I say of all honest recreations, God hath therefore indulged them to refresh, ease, solace and comfort us. But we are some of us too stern, too rigid, too precisc, too grossely superstitious, and whilst we inake a conscience of every toy, with touch not, taste not, &c. as those Pythagorians of old, and soine Indians now, that will eat no flesh, or suffer any living creature to be killed, the Bannians about Guzzerat ; we tyrannize over

Ob id genus observatiunculas videmus homines misere affligi, & denique mori, & sibi ipsis Christianos videri quum revera sint Judæi. - Ita in corpora nostra fortunasque decretis suis sæviit ut parum obfuerat nisi Deus Luthe. sum virum perpetua memoria dignissimum excitasset, quin nobis fæno mox communi cum jumentis cibo utendum fuisset. The Gentiles in India will eat no sensible creatures, or ought that hath bloud in it. * Vandormilius de Aucupio. cap. 27.


« السابقةمتابعة »