Front Page Titles (by Subject) Number LXVIII.: The Teachers of all Sects ( who lay Claim to Power and Submission ) how apt to reproach, yet how much resembling each other. - The Independent Whig, vol. 3 (2nd ed. 1741)
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Number LXVIII.: The Teachers of all Sects ( who lay Claim to Power and Submission ) how apt to reproach, yet how much resembling each other. - Thomas Gordon, The Independent Whig, vol. 3 (2nd ed. 1741) 
The Independent Whig: or, a Defence of Primitive Christianity, And of Our Ecclesiastical Establishment, against The Exorbitant Claims and Encroachments of Fanatical and Disaffected Clergymen. The Second Edition (London: J. Peele, 1741). Vol. 3.
Part of: The Independent Whig, 4 vols.
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The Teachers of all Sects (who lay Claim to Power and Submission) how apt to reproach, yet how much resembling each other.
ALL Sects reproach one another; but though all their Reproaches be generally too well grounded, they should in good Policy spare them, and be equally silent, since most can equally recriminate. By the contrary Conduct they do but furnish one another with reciprocal Weapons, invite an Assault by giving it, and arm Men of free and unlisted Minds against them all. “Why do you keep the Bible from the Laity?” says a Protestant Minister to a Popish Priest: “Why do you not give it them in their own Tongue?” The Priest answers, “Why do you not give it them in their own Sense?” So we do, “says the Minister, when their Sense of it is orthodox. That is, when they submit to your Sense, says the Priest. Just so do we, but with more Sincerity: We tell them they cannot, they shall not understand it for themselves. And while both you and we keep the Spirit and Explication of it to ourselves, what avails the dead Letter? What signifies poring over Leaves and Print with another Man’s Eyes? If they must not understand it as they please, where is the Pleasure of Reading? Would it not be downright Mockery in me, to say to you, Sir, some Men are so barbarous to let their necessitous Friends go naked: There’s Lord Peter does so, an inhuman Wretch, though he pretends to be the most fatherly and most christian Creature alive: But my Name is John, or Martin; I hate Lord Peter, and abominate his Example so much, that I neither eat nor drink with him. I will, therefore, in Charity to your poor Carcase, give you freely a Suit of Cloaths; they shall be made solely for your Use, and be intirely yours: But because, tho’ you want them sadly, you are not qualified to wear them yourself, I will wear them for you: But you may declare to all the World, as I will, that they are your Cloaths, and that you have the free Use of them; though, for good Reasons, you are not permitted to make use of that Use; and you and I will rail plentifully all the while at Lord Peter, who keeps all the Wool to himself, and will not allow his Creatures and Followers a Rag of Cloaths, like a Miser as he is! a Wolf! a Tyrant!”
I know not what the Protestant could answer to this Raillery of the Catholic. To say, that the Pope is Antichrist, and an Usurper, would be no Answer, or a foolish one: For I take upon me to maintain, that Antichrist has as valid a Right to be an Usurper, and to do ill and inconsistent Things, as any good Christian whatsoever. I do further aver on the other Side, that the Bible is of no Use but to be understood; that another Man’s Understanding is not my Understanding; that Heretics and Schismatics have as much need to read the Scripture, as any the most orthodox and conforming Man; that the Laity have Souls to be saved as well as the Clergy; that the Word of God is of sovereign Use thereunto; and that no Man can be pious or knowing by Proxy.
We ought at least to be free from the Faults with which we upbraid others. The Popish Travellers relate with Abhorrence the superstitious Phrenzies, and religious Barbarities, of the modern Pagans, which, compared with those of their own Church, are few and tolerable. Their Church has refined the godly Madness of Heathenism, inlarged it beyond Bounds, and carried pious Wickedness as far as human Craft and Selfishness can carry it.
TheLama or Arch-priest of Great-Tartary is a considerable Monster, and described as a hideous one by Catholic Writers, who adore the Pope, a Monster more complicated and terrible. Dr. Gemelli, a Romish Traveller, tells us, “That impious and ridiculous Adoration is paid by the Tartars to a living Man, whom they call Lama, that is, Great Priest, or Priest of Priests; because from him, as the Source, they receive all the Grounds of their Religion or Idolatry; and therefore they give him the Name of Eternal Father. This Man is adored as a Deity, not only by the Inhabitants of the Place, but by all the Kings of Tartary, who own a Subjection to him in Matters of Religion: And therefore not only these Kings, but their People, go in Pilgrimage, with considerable Gifts, to adore him as a true and living God. He, as a great Favour, shews himself in a dark Place of his Palace, adorned with Gold and Silver, and lighted by several hanging Lamps, sitting upon a Cushion of Cloth of Gold, on a Place raised from the Ground, and covered with fine Carpets. Then they all prostrate themselves flat on the Ground, and humbly kiss his Foot. Hence he is called Father of Fathers, High-priest, Priest of Priests, and Eternal Father. For the Priests, who are the only Persons who attend and wait on him upon all Occasions, make the simple Strangers believe Wonders of his Sanctity: And, that he may be thought immortal, when he dies, they seek out, through all the Kingdom, for one very like him; and having found one, place him upon the Throne, and make all the Kingdom hold it as an Article of Faith, (they being all ignorant of the Imposture) that the Eternal Father rose again out of Hell, after seven hundred Years, and has lived ever since, and will live to Eternity: Which is so deeply imprinted on the Minds of those barbarous People, that no Man amongst them makes the least Doubt of it. They adore him so blindly, that he thinks himself completely happy, who has the Fortune to get the least Bit of his Excrement, which is bought at a great Rate. They believe that by wearing it about their Necks in a gold Box, as the great Lords use to do, it is a sure Defence against all Evils, and an Antidote against all Diseases; and there are those, who out of Devotion put some of it into their Meat. This living Deity is of such great Authority throughout all Tartary, that no King is crowned, till he has sent Ambassadors with rich Presents to obtain the great Lama’s Blessing, for a happy and prosperous Reign. His Residence is in the Kingdom of Barautola, or Lossa, where he assumes the Regal Dignity, though he takes nothing upon him of the Government, contenting himself with the Honour, living quietly and peaceably, and leaving the Care of the Kingdom to another, whom they call Deva, or Dena: Which is the Reason why they say there are two Kings in Barautola.” Churchill’s Collections, Vol. IV. p. 325.
This is the Character of the Lama, who does pretty well for a Pope of rude and savage Tartars; but is, in reality, an innocent and limited Cheat, compared to the Lama of Rome; who, like the other, is often styled Our Lord God the Pope, and like him receives Adorations: But in Pretensions to Power and Mischief, the other is a Babe to him. Here an old crazy Frier, avowedly subject to Follies, Diseases, and Death, affects a Power over Heaven, Earth, and Hell; and, though he cannot restore a lost Finger, pretends to save or damn the Souls of all Mankind; and to open and shut, at his Pleasure, the Gates of the upper and infernal Worlds, though not a Door in his own Palace will lock or unlock at his Command. He is so far from living peaceably, and not meddling with Government, that he has made and murdered Kings, claims a Sovereignty over Sovereigns, and has butchered, or caused to be butchered, a great Part of the World, for the Ambition of governing the rest. In the midst of his Hypocrisy, Impurities, and Tyranny, he sets up for such infinite Sanctity, that he has engrossed the Word, is styled Sanctity itself, and conveys (generally sells) Saintship to all that have it. Hitherto he has not thought fit to canonize his own personal Excrements: But the Excrements of the Dead, their rotten Bones, dried Flesh, their Hair and Nails, serve the same Purpose, are as highly reverenced, and travel over the Globe at a high Price: And the putrid, perishing Remains of the Dead, who could not defend themselves from Casualties, Executions, and the common Lot of Nature, are esteemed the Guards and Security of the Living. For the rest, the Lama’s Foot is as good as the Pope’s Toe; and in Grimace, Pomp, the Awe of Sounds and Appearances, his Holiness still exceeds: Nor do we find, that the Lama ever set his sanctified Foot upon the Necks of Princes.
By this Idea of these two Monsters, it will appear which is the more frightful.
The Fathers Missionaries were greatly astonished, and pierced at the Heart, with the wild and nasty Superstitions of the East-India Pagans; who, in some Places, whenever a Cow urines, run to that Fountain to drink and wash, as an Act of Religion. Now, I would be glad to know of the reverend Fathers, wherein the Cow’s holy Water and theirs differ in Cleanliness and Efficacy? Is theirs a stronger or a sweeter Lee for the Soul; or does it more potently purify from Sin?