Front Page Titles (by Subject) Part IV.: OF THE KINGDOME OF DARKNESSE. - Leviathan (1909 ed)
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
Part IV.: OF THE KINGDOME OF DARKNESSE. - Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan (1909 ed) 
Hobbes’s Leviathan reprinted from the edition of 1651 with an Essay by the Late W.G. Pogson Smith (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1909).
About Liberty Fund:
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
OF THE KINGDOME OF DARKNESSE.
Of Spirituall Darknesse fromMisinterpretationof Scripture.
The Kingdom of Darknesse what.Besides these Soveraign Powers, Divine, and Humane, of which I have hitherto discoursed, there is mention in Scripture of another Power, namely, that of the Rulers of the Darknesse of this world, the Kingdome of Satan, and the Principality of Beelzebub over Dæmons, that is to say, over Phantasmes that appear in the Air: **Eph. 6. 12. For which cause Satan is also called the Prince of the Power of the Air; and (because he ruleth in the darknesse **Mat. 12. 26. of this world) The Prince of this world: And in consequence hereunto, they who are under his Dominion, **Mat. 9. 34. in opposition to the faithfull (who are the Children of the Light) are called the Children of Darknesse. For **Eph. 2. 2. seeing Beelzebub is Prince of Phantasmes, Inhabitants of his Dominion of Air and Darknesse, the Children of Darknesse, and these Dæmons, Phantasmes, **Joh. 16. 11. or Spirits of Illusion, signifie allegorically the same thing. This considered, the Kingdome of Darknesse, as it is set forth in these, and other places of the Scripture, is nothing else but a Confederacy of Deceivers, that to obtain dominion over men in this present world, endeavour by dark, and erroneous Doctrines, to extinguish in them the Light, both of Nature, and of the Gospell; and so to dis-prepare them for the Kingdome of God to come.
As men that are utterly deprived from their Nativity, of the light of the bodily Eye, have no Idea at all, of any such light; and no man conceives in his imaginationThe Church not yet fully freed of Darknesse. any greater light, than he hath at some time, or other, perceived by his outward Senses: so also is it of the light of the Gospel, and of the light of the Understanding, that no man can conceive there is any greater degree of it, than that which he hath already attained unto. And from hence it comes to passe, that men have no other means to acknowledge their owne Darknesse, but onely by reasoning from the un-foreseen mischances, that befall them in their ways; The Darkest part of the Kingdom of Satan, is that which is without the Church of God; that is to say, amongst them that beleeve not in Jesus Christ. But we cannot say, that therefore the Church enjoyeth (as the land of Goshen) all the light, which to the performance of the work enjoined us by God, is necessary. Whence comes it, that in Christendome there has been, almost from the time of the Apostles, such justling of one another out of their places, both by forraign, and Civill war? such stumbling at every little asperity of their own fortune, and every little eminence of that of other men? and such diversity of ways in running to the same mark, Felicity, if it be not Night amongst us, or at least a Mist? wee are therefore yet in the Dark.
The Enemy has been here in the Night of our naturallFour Causes of Spirituall Darknesse. Ignorance, and sown the tares of Spirituall Errors; and that, First, by abusing, and putting out the light of the Scriptures: For we erre, not knowing the Scriptures. Secondly, by introducing the Dæmonology of the Heathen Poets, that is to say, their fabulous Doctrine concerning Dæmons, which are but Idols, or Phantasms of the braine, without any reall nature of their own, distinct from humane fancy; such as are dead mens Ghosts, and Fairies, and other matter of old Wives tales. Thirdly, by mixing with the Scripture divers reliques of the Religion, and much of the vain and erroneous Philosophy of the Greeks, especially of Aristotle. Fourthly, by mingling with both these, false, or uncertain Traditions, and fained, or uncertain History. And so we come to erre, by giving heed to seducing Spirits, and the Dæmonology of such as speak lies in Hypocrisie, (or as it is in the Originall, ITim. 4. 1, 2. of those that play the part of lyars) with a seared conscience, that is, contrary to their own knowledge. Concerning the first of these, which is the Seducing of men by abuse of Scripture, I intend to speak briefly in this Chapter.
Errors from misinterpreting the Scriptures, concerning the Kingdome of God. The greatest, and main abuse of Scripture, and to which almost all the rest are either consequent, or subservient, is the wresting of it, to prove that the Kingdome of God, mentioned so often in the Scripture, is the present Church, or multitude of Christian men now living, or that being dead, are to rise again at the last day: whereas the Kingdome of God was first instituted by the Ministery of Moses, over the Jews onely; who were therefore called his Peculiar People; and ceased afterward, in the election of Saul, when they refused to be governed by God any more, and demanded a King after the manner of the nations; which God himself consented unto, as I have more at large proved before, in the 35. Chapter. After that time, there was no other Kingdome of God in the world, by any Pact, or otherwise, than he ever was, is, and shall be King, of all men, and of all creatures, as governing according to his Will, by his infinite Power. Neverthelesse, he promised by his Prophets to restore this his Government to them again, when the time he hath in his secret counsell appointed for it shall bee fully come, and when they shall turn unto him by repentance, and amendment of life: and not onely so, but he invited also the Gentiles to come in, and enjoy the happinesse of his Reign, on the same conditions of conversion and repentance; and hee promised also to send his Son into the world, to expiate the sins of them all by his death, and to prepare them by his Doctrine, to receive him at his second coming: Which second coming not yet being, the Kingdome of God is not yet come, and wee are not now under any other Kings by Pact, but our Civill Soveraigns; saving onely, that Christian men are already in the Kingdome of Grace, in as much as they have already the Promise of being received at his comming againe.
As that the Kingdome of God is the present Church: Consequent to this Errour, that the present Church is Christs Kingdome, there ought to be some one Man, or Assembly, by whose mouth our Saviour (now in heaven) speaketh, giveth law, and which representeth his Person to all Christians, or divers Men, or divers Assemblies that doe the same to divers parts of Christen-dome. This power Regal under Christ, being challenged, universally by the Pope, and in particular Common-wealths by Assemblies of the Pastors of the place, (when the Scripture gives it to none but to Civill Soveraigns,) comes to be so passionately disputed, that it putteth out the Light of Nature, and causeth so great a Darknesse in mens understanding, that they see not who it is to whom they have engaged their obedience.
Consequent to this claim of the Pope to Vicar GenerallAnd that the Pope is his Vicar generall: of Christ in the present Church, (supposed to be that Kingdom of his, to which we are addressed in the Gospel,) is the Doctrine, that it is necessary for a Christian King, to receive his Crown by a Bishop; as if it were from that Ceremony, that he derives the clause of Dei gratiâ in his title; and that then onely he is made King by the favour of God, when he is crowned by the authority of Gods universall Vicegerent on earth; and that every Bishop whosoever be his Soveraign, taketh at his Consecration an oath of absolute Obedience to the Pope. Consequent to the same, is the Doctrine of the fourth Councell of Lateran, held under Pope Innocent the third, (Chap. 3. de Hæreticis.) That if a King at the Popes admonition, doe not purge his Kingdome of Hæresies, and being excommunicate for the same, doe not give satisfaction within a year, his Subjects are absolved of the bond of their obedience. Where, by Hæresies are understood all opinions which the Church of Rome hath forbidden to be maintained. And by this means, as often as there is any repugnancy between the Politicall designes of the Pope, and other Christian Princes, as there is very often, there ariseth such a Mist amongst their Subjects, that they know not a stranger that thrusteth himself into the throne of their lawfull Prince, from him whom they had themselves placed there; and in this Darknesse of mind, are made to fight one against another, without discerning their enemies from their friends, under the conduct of another mans ambition.
And that the Pastors are the Clergy. From the same opinion, that the present Church is the Kingdome of God, it proceeds that Pastours, Deacons, and all other Ministers of the Church, take the name to themselves of the Clergy; giving to other Christians the name of Laity, that is, simply People. For Clergy signifies those, whose maintenance is that Revenue, which God having reserved to himselfe during his Reign over the Israelites, assigned to the tribe of Levi (who were to be his publique Ministers, and had no portion of land set them out to live on, as their brethren) to be their inheritance. The Pope therefore, (pretending the present Church to be, as the Realme of Israel, the Kingdome of God) challenging to himselfe and his subordinate Ministers, the like revenue, as the Inheritance of God, the name of Clergy was sutable to that claime. And thence it is, that Tithes, and other tributes paid to the Levites, as Gods Right, amongst the Israelites, have a long time been demanded, and taken of Christians, by Ecclesiastiques, Jure divino, that is, in Gods Right. By which meanes, the people every where were obliged to a double tribute; one to the State, another to the Clergy; whereof, that to the Clergy, being the tenth of their revenue, is double to that which a King of Athens (and esteemed a Tyrant) exacted of his subjects for the defraying of all publique charges: For he demanded no more but the twentieth part; and yet abundantly maintained therewith the Commonwealth. And in the Kingdome of the Jewes, during the Sacerdotall Reigne of God, the Tithes and Offerings were the whole Publique Revenue.
From the same mistaking of the present Church for the Kingdom of God, came in the distinction betweene the Civill and the Canon Laws: The Civil Law being the Acts of Soveraigns in their own Dominions, and the Canon Law being the Acts of the Pope in the same Dominions. Which Canons, though they were but Canons, that is, Rules Propounded, and but voluntarily received by Christian Princes, till the translation of the Empire to Charlemain; yet afterwards, as the power of the Pope encreased, became Rules Commanded, and the Emperours themselves (to avoyd greater mischiefes, which the people blinded might be led into) were forced to let them passe for Laws.
From hence it is, that in all Dominions, where the Popes Ecclesiasticall power is entirely received, Jewes, Turkes, and Gentiles, are in the Roman Church tolerated in their Religion, as farre forth, as in the exercise and profession thereof they offend not against the civill power: whereas in a Christian, though a stranger, not to be of the Roman Religion, is Capitall; because the Pope pretendeth that all Christians are his Subjects. For otherwise it were as much against the law of Nations, to persecute a Christian stranger, for professing the Religion of his owne country, as an Infidell; or rather more, in as much as they that are not against Christ, are with him.
From the same it is, that in every Christian State there are certaine men, that are exempt, by Ecclesiasticall liberty, from the tributes, and from the tribunals of the Civil State; for so are the secular Clergy, besides Monks and Friars, which in many places, bear so great a proportion to the common people, as if need were, there might be raised out of them alone, an Army, sufficient for any warre the Church militant should imploy them in, against their owne, or other Princes.
A second generall abuse of Scripture, is the turning ofError from mistaking Consecration for Conjuration. Consecration into Conjuration, or Enchantment. To Consecrate, is in Scripture, to Offer, Give, or Dedicate, in pious and decent language and gesture, a man, or any other thing to God, by separating of it from common use; that is to say, to Sanctifie, or make it Gods, and to be used only by those, whom God hath appointed to be his Publike Ministers, (as I have already proved at large in the 35. Chapter;) and thereby to change, not the thing Consecrated, but onely the use of it, from being Profane and common, to be Holy, and peculiar to Gods service. But when by such words, the nature or qualitie of the thing it selfe, is pretended to be changed, it is not Consecration, but either an extraordinary worke of God, or a vaine and impious Conjuration. But seeing (for the frequency of pretending the change of Nature in their Consecrations,) it cannot be esteemed a work extraordinary, it is no other than a Conjuration or Incantation, whereby they would have men to beleeve an alteration of Nature that is not, contrary to the testimony of mans Sight, and of all the rest of his Senses. As for example, when the Priest, in stead of Consecrating Bread and Wine to Gods peculiar service in the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, (which is but a separation of it from the common use, to signifie, that is, to put men in mind of their Redemption, by the Passion of Christ, whose body was broken, and blood shed upon the Crosse for our transgressions,) pretends, that by saying of the words of our Saviour, This is my Body, and This is my Blood, the nature of Bread is no more there, but his very Body; notwithstanding there appeareth not to the Sight, or other Sense of the Receiver, any thing that appeared not before the Consecration. The Egyptian Conjurers, that are said to have turned their Rods to Serpents, and the Water into Bloud, are thought but to have deluded the senses of the Spectators by a false shew of things, yet are esteemed Enchanters: But what should wee have thought of them, if there had appeared in their Rods nothing like a Serpent, and in the Water enchanted, nothing like Bloud, nor like any thing else but Water, but that they had faced down the King, that they were Serpents that looked like Rods, and that it was Bloud that seemed Water? That had been both Enchantment, and Lying. And yet in this daily act of the Priest, they doe the very same, by turning the holy words into the manner of a Charme, which produceth nothing new to the Sense; but they face us down, that it hath turned the Bread into a Man; nay more, into a God; and require men to worship it, as if it were our Saviour himself present God and Man, and thereby to commit most grosse Idolatry. For if it bee enough to excuse it of Idolatry, to say it is no more Bread, but God; why should not the same excuse serve the Egyptians, in case they had the faces to say, the Leeks, and Onyons they worshipped, were not very Leeks, and Onyons, but a Divinity under their species, or likenesse. The words, This is my Body, are æquivalent to these, This signifies, or represents my Body; and it is an ordinary figure of Speech: but to take it literally, is an abuse; nor though so taken, can it extend any further, than to the Bread which Christ himself with his own hands Consecrated. For hee never said, that of what Bread soever, any Priest whatsoever, should say, This is my body, or, This is Christs Body, the same should presently be transubstantiated. Nor did the Church of Rome ever establish this Transubstantiation, till the time of Innocent the third; which was not above 500. years agoe, when the Power of Popes was at the Highest, and the Darknesse of the time grown so great, as men discerned not the Bread that was given them to eat, especially when it was stamped with the figure of Christ upon the Crosse, as if they would have men beleeve it were Transubstantiated, not onely into the Body of Christ, but also into the Wood of his Crosse, and that they did eat both together in the Sacrament.
The like Incantation, in stead of Consecration, is usedIncantation in the Ceremonies of Baptisme. also in the Sacrament of Baptisme: Where the abuse of Gods name in each severall Person, and in the whole Trinity, with the sign of the Crosse at each name, maketh up the Charm: As first, when they make the Holy water, the Priest saith. I Conjure thee, thou Creature of Water, in the name of God the Father Almighty, and in the name of Jesus Christ his onely Son our Lord, and in vertue of the Holy Ghost, that thou become Conjured water, to drive away all the Powers of the Enemy, and to eradicate, and supplant the Enemy, &c. And the same in the Benediction of the Salt to be mingled with it; That thou become Conjured Salt, that all Phantasmes, and Knavery of the Devills fraud may fly and depart from the place wherein thou art sprinkled; and every unclean Spirit bee Conjured by Him that shall come to judg the quicke and the dead. The same in the Benediction of the Oyle, That all the Power of the Enemy, all the Host of the Devill, all Assaults and Phantasmes of Satan, may be driven away by this Creature of Oyle. And for the Infant that is to be Baptized, he is subject to many Charms: First, at the Church dore the Priest blows thrice in the Childs face, and sayes, Goe out of him unclean Spirit, and give place to the Holy Ghost the Comforter. As if all Children, till blown on by the Priest were Dæmoniaques: Again, before his entrance into the Church, he saith as before, I Conjure thee, &c. to goe out,and depart from this Servant of God: And again the same Exorcisme is repeated once more before he be Baptized. These, and some other Incantations, are those that are used in stead of Benedictions, and Consecrations, in administration of the Sacraments of Baptisme, and the Lords Supper; wherein every thing that serveth to those holy uses (except the unhallowed Spittle of the Priest) hath some set form of Exorcisme.
And in Marriage, in Visitation of the Sick, and in Consecration of Places. Nor are the other rites, as of Marriage, of Extreme Unction, of Visitation of the Sick, of Consecrating Churches, and Church-yards, and the like, exempt from Charms; in as much as there is in them the use of Enchanted Oyle, and Water, with the abuse of the Crosse, and of the holy word of David, Asperges me Domine Hyssopo, as things of efficacy to drive away Phantasmes, and Imaginary Spirits.
Errors from mistaking Eternall Life, and Everlasting Death: Another generall Error, is from the Misinterpretation of the words Eternall Life, Everlasting Death, and the Second Death. For though we read plainly in holy Scripture, that God created Adam in an estate of Living for Ever, which was conditionall, that is to say, if he disobeyed not his Commandement; which was not essentiall to Humane Nature, but consequent to the vertue of the Tree of Life; whereof hee had liberty to eat, as long as hee had not sinned; and that hee was thrust out of Paradise after he had sinned, lest hee should eate thereof, and live for ever; and that Christs Passion is a Discharge of sin to all that beleeve on him; and by consequence, a restitution of Eternall Life, to all the Faithfull, and to them onely: yet the Doctrine is now, and hath been a long time far otherwise; namely, that every man hath Eternity of Life by Nature, in as much as his Soul is Immortall: So that the flaming Sword at the entrance of Paradise, though it hinder a man from coming to the Tree of Life, hinders him not from the Immortality which God took from him for his Sin; nor makes him to need the sacrificing of Christ, for the recovering of the same; and consequently, not onely the faithfull and righteous, but also the wicked, and the Heathen, shall enjoy Eternall Life, without any Death at all; much lesse a Second, and Everlasting Death. To salve this, it is said, that by Second, and Everlasting Death, is meant a Second, and Everlasting Life, but in Torments; a Figure never used, but in this very Case.
All which Doctrine is founded onely on some of the obscurer places of the New Testament; which neverthelesse, the whole scope of the Scripture considered, are cleer enough in a different sense, and unnecessary to the Christian Faith. For supposing that when a man dies, there remaineth nothing of him but his carkasse; cannot God that raised inanimated dust and clay into a living creature by his Word, as easily raise a dead carkasse to life again, and continue him alive for Ever, or make him die again, by another Word? The Soule in Scripture, signifieth alwaies, either the Life, or the Living Creature; and the Body and Soule jointly, the Body alive. In the fift day of the Creation, God said, Let the waters produce Reptile animæ viventis, the creeping thing that hath in it a Living Soule; the English translate it, that hath Life: And again, God created Whales, & omnem animam viventem; which in the English is, every Living Creature: And likewise of Man, God made him of the dust of the earth, and breathed in his face the breath of Life, & factus est Homo in animam viventem, that is, and Man was made a Living Creature: And after Noah came out of the Arke, God saith, hee will no more smite omnem animam viventem, that is, every Living Creature: And Deut. 12. 23. Eate not the Bloud, for the Bloud is the Soule; that is, the Life. From which places, if by Soule were meant a Substance Incorporeall, with an existence separated from the Body, it might as well be inferred of any other living Creature, as of Man. But that the Souls of the Faithfull, are not of their own Nature, but by Gods speciall Grace, to remaine in their Bodies, from the Resurrection to all Eternity, I have already I think sufficiently proved out of the Scriptures, in the 38. Chapter. And for the places of the New Testament, where it is said that any man shall be cast Body and Soul into Hell fire, it is no more than Body and Life; that is to say, they shall be cast alive into the perpetuall fire of Gehenna.
As the Doctrine of Purgatory, and Exorcismes, and Invocation of Saints. This window it is, that gives entrance to the Dark Doctrine, first, of Eternall Torments; and afterwards of Purgatory, and consequently of the walking abroad, especially in places Consecrated, Solitary, or Dark, of the Ghosts of men deceased; and thereby to the pretences of Exorcisme and Conjuration of Phantasmes; as also of Invocation of men dead; and to the Doctrine of Indulgences; that is to say, of exemption for a time, or for ever, from the fire of Purgatory, wherein these Incorporeall Substances are pretended by burning to be cleansed, and made fit for Heaven. For men being generally possessed before the time of our Saviour, by contagion of the Dæmonology of the Greeks, of an opinion, that the Souls of men were substances distinct from their Bodies, and therefore that when the Body was dead, the Soule of every man, whether godly, or wicked, must subsist somewhere by vertue of its own nature, without acknowledging therein any supernaturall gift of Gods; the Doctors of the Church doubted a long time, what was the place, which they were to abide in, till they should be re-united to their Bodies in the Resurrection; supposing for a while, they lay under the Altars: but afterward the Church of Rome found it more profitable, to build for them this place of Purgatory; which by some other Churches in this later age, has been demolished.
The Texts alledged for the Doctrines aforementioned have been answered before. Let us now consider, what texts of Scripture seem most to confirm these three generall Errors, I have here touched. As for those which Cardinall Bellarmine hath alledged, for the present Kingdome of God administred by the Pope, (than which there are none that make a better shew of proof,) I have already answered them; and made it evident, that the Kingdome of God, instituted by Moses, ended in the election of Saul: After which time the Priest of his own authority never deposed any King. That which the High Priest did to Athaliah, was not done in his owne right, but in the right of the young King Joash her Son: But Solomon in his own right deposed the High Priest Abiathar, and set up another in his place. The most difficult place to answer, of all those that can be brought, to prove the Kingdome of God by Christ is already in this world, is alledged, not by Bellarmine, nor any other of the Church of Rome; but by Beza; that will have it to begin from the Resurrection of Christ. But whether hee intend thereby, to entitle the Presbytery to the Supreme Power Ecclesiasticall in the Common-wealth of Geneva, (and consequently to every Presbytery in every other Common-wealth,) or to Princes, and other Civill Soveraigns, I doe not know. For the Presbytery hath challenged the power to Excommunicate their owne Kings, and to bee the Supreme Moderators in Religion, in the places where they have that form of Church government, no lesse then the Pope challengeth it universally.
The words are (Marke 9. 1.) Verily I say unto you,Answer to the text on which Beza inferreth that the Kingdome of Christ began at the Resurrection.that there be some of them that stand here, which shall not tast of death, till they have seene the Kingdome of God come with power. Which words, if taken grammatically, make it certaine, that either some of those men that stood by Christ at that time, are yet alive; or else, that the Kingdome of God must be now in this present world. And then there is another place more difficult: For when the Apostles after our Saviours Resurrection, and immediately before his Ascension, asked our Saviour, saying, (Acts 1. 6.) Wilt thou at this time restore again the Kingdome to Israel, he answered them, It is not for you to know the times and the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power; But ye shall receive power by the comming of the Holy Ghost upon you, and yee shall be my (Martyrs) witnesses both in Jerusalem, & in all Judœa, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the Earth: Which is as much as to say, My Kingdome is not yet come, nor shall you foreknow when it shall come; for it shall come as a theefe in the night; But I will send you the Holy Ghost, and by him you shall have power to beare witnesse to all the world (by your preaching) of my Resurrection, and the workes I have done, and the doctrine I have taught, that they may beleeve in me, and expect eternall life, at my comming againe: How does this agree with the comming of Christs Kingdome at the Resurrection? And that which St. Paul saies (I Thessal. 1. 9, 10.) That they turned from Idols, to serve the living and true God, and to waite for his Sonne from Heaven; Where to waite for his Sonne from Heaven, is to wait for his comming to be King in power; which were not necessary, if his Kingdome had beene then present. Againe, if the Kingdome of God began (as Beza on that place (Mark 9. 1.) would have it) at the Resurrection; what reason is there for Christians ever since the Resurrection to say in their prayers, Let thy Kingdom Come? It is therefore manifest, that the words of St. Mark are not so to be interpreted. There be some of them that stand here (saith our Saviour) that shall not tast of death till they have seen the Kingdome of God come in power. If then this Kingdome were to come at the Resurrection of Christ, why is it said, some of them, rather than all? For they all lived till after Christ was risen.
Explication of the Place in Mark 9. But they that require an exact interpretation of this text, let them interpret first the like words of our Saviour to St. Peter concerning St. John, (chap. 21. 22.) If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? upon which was grounded a report that hee should not dye: Neverthelesse the truth of that report was neither confirmed, as well grounded; nor refuted, as ill grounded on those words; but left as a saying not understood. The same difficulty is also in the place of St. Marke. And if it be lawfull to conjecture at their meaning, by that which immediately followes, both here, and in St. Luke, where the same is againe repeated, it is not unprobable, to say they have relation to the Transfiguration, which is described in the verses immediately following; where it is said, that After six dayes Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John (not all, but some of his Disciples) and leadeth them up into an high mountaine apart by themselves, and was transfigured before them. And his rayment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no Fuller on earth can white them. And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus, &c. So that they saw Christ in Glory and Majestie, as he is to come; insomuch as They were sore afraid. And thus the promise of our Saviour was accomplished by way of Vision: For it was a Vision, as may probably bee inferred out of St. Luke, that reciteth the same story (ch. 9. ve. 28.) and saith, that Peter and they that were with him, were heavy with sleep: But most certainly out of Matth. 17. 9. (where the same is again related;) for our Saviour charged them, saying, Tell no man the Vision untill the Son of man be Risen from the dead. Howsoever it be, yet there can from thence be taken no argument, to prove that the Kingdome of God taketh beginning till the day of Judgement.
As for some other texts, to prove the Popes PowerAbuse of some other texts in defence of the Power of the Pope. over civill Soveraignes (besides those of Bellarmine;) as that the two Swords that Christ and his Apostles had amongst them, were the Spirituall and the Temporall Sword, which they say St. Peter had given him by Christ: And, that of the two Luminaries, the greater signifies the Pope, and the lesser the King; One might as well inferre out of the first verse of the Bible, that by Heaven is meant the Pope, and by Earth the King: Which is not arguing from Scripture, but a wanton insulting over Princes, that came in fashion after the time the Popes were growne so secure of their greatnesse, as to contemne all Christian Kings; and Treading on the necks of Emperours, to mocke both them, and the Scripture, in the words of the 91. Psalm, Thou shalt Tread upon the Lion and the Adder, the young Lion and the Dragon thou shalt Trample under thy feet.
As for the rites of Consecration, though they dependThe manner of Consecrations in the Scripture, was without Exorcisms. for the most part upon the discretion and judgement of the governors of the Church, and not upon the Scriptures; yet those governors are obliged to such direction, as the nature of the action it selfe requireth; as that the ceremonies, words, and gestures, be both decent, and significant, or at least conformable to the action. When Moses consecrated the Tabernacle, the Altar, and the Vessels belonging to them, (Exod. 40.) he anointed them with the Oyle which God had commanded to bee made for that purpose; and they were holy: There was nothing Exorcized, to drive away Phantasmes. The same Moses (the civill Soveraigne of Israel) when he consecrated Aaron (the High Priest,) and his Sons, did wash them with Water, (not Exorcized water,) put their Garments upon them, and anointed them with Oyle; and they were sanctified, to minister unto the Lord in the Priests office; which was a simple and decent cleansing, and adorning them, before hee presented them to God, to be his servants. When King Solomon, (the civill Soveraigne of Israel) consecrated the Temple hee had built, (2 Kings 8.) he stood before all the Congregation of Israel; and having blessed them, he gave thankes to God, for putting into the heart of his father, to build it; and for giving to himselfe the grace to accomplish the same; and then prayed unto him, first, to accept that House, though it were not sutable to his infinite Greatnesse; and to hear the prayers of his Servants that should pray therein, or (if they were absent,) towards it; and lastly, he offered a sacrifice of Peace-offering, and the House was dedicated. Here was no Procession; the King stood still in his first place; no Exorcised Water; no Asperges me, nor other impertinent application of words spoken upon another occasion; but a decent, and rationall speech, and such as in making to God a present of his new built House, was most conformable to the occasion.
We read not that St. John did Exorcize the Water of Jordan; nor Philip the Water of the river wherein he baptized the Eunuch; nor that any Pastor in the time of the Apostles, did take his spittle, and put it to the nose of the person to be Baptized, and say, In odorem suavitatis, that is, for a sweet savour unto the Lord; wherein neither the Ceremony of Spittle, for the uncleannesse; nor the application of that Scripture for the levity, can by any authority of man be justified.
The immortality of mans Soule, not proved by Scripture to be of Nature, but of Grace. To prove that the Soule separated from the Body, liveth eternally, not onely the Soules of the Elect, by especiall grace, and restauration of the Eternall Life which Adam lost by Sinne, and our Saviour restored by the Sacrifice of himself, to the Faithfull; but also the Soules of Reprobates, as a property naturally consequent to the essence of mankind, without other grace of God, but that which is universally given to all mankind; there are divers places, which at the first sight seem sufficiently to serve the turn: but such, as when I compare them with that which I have before (Chapter 38.) alledged out of the 14 of Job, seem to mee much more subject to a divers interpretation, than the words of Job.
And first there are the words of Solomon (Ecclesiastes 12. 7.) Then shall the Dust return to Dust, as it was, andthe Spirit shall return to God that gave it. Which may bear well enough (if there be no other text directly against it) this interpretation, that God onely knows, (but Man not,) what becomes of a mans spirit, when he expireth; and the same Solomon, in the same Book, (Chap. 3. ver. 20, 21.) delivereth the same sentence in the sense I have given it: His words are, All goe (man and beast) to the same place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again; who knoweth that the spirit of Man goeth upward, and that the spirit of the Beast goeth downward to the earth? That is, none knows but God; Nor is it an unusuall phrase to say of things we understand not, God Knows what, and God Knows where. That of Gen. 5. 24. Enoch walked with God, and he was not; for God took him; which is expounded Heb. 13. 5. He was translated, that he should not die; and was not found, because God had translated him. For before his Translation, he had this testimony, that he pleased God, making as much for the Immortality of the Body, as of the Soule, proveth, that this his translation was peculiar to them that please God; not common to them with the wicked; and depending on Grace, not on Nature. But on the contrary, what interpretation shall we give, besides the literall sense of the words of Solomon (Eccles. 3. 19.) That which befalleth the Sons of Men, befalleth Beasts, even one thing befalleth them; as the one dyeth, so doth the other; yea, they have all one breath (one spirit;) so that a Man hath no prœeminence above a Beast, for all is vanity. By the literall sense, here is no Naturall Immortality of the Soule; nor yet any repugnancy with the Life Eternall, which the Elect shall enjoy by Grace. And (chap. 4. ver. 3.) Better is he that hath not yet been, than both they; that is, than they that live, or have lived; which, if the Soule of all them that have lived, were Immortall, were a hard saying; for then to have an Immortall Soule, were worse than to have no Soule at all. And againe, (Chapt. 9. 5.) The living know they shall die, but the dead know not any thing; that is, Naturally, and before the resurrection of the body.
Another place which seems to make for a Naturall Immortality of the Soule, is that, where our Saviour saith, that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are living: but this is spoken of the promise of God, and of their certitude to rise again, not of a Life then actuall; and in the same sense that God said to Adam, that on the day hee should eate of the forbidden fruit, he should certainly die; from that time forward he was a dead man by sentence; but not by execution, till almost a thousand years after. So Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were alive by promise, then, when Christ spake; but are not actually till the Resurrection. And the History of Dives and Lazarus, make nothing against this, if wee take it (as it is) for a Parable.
But there be other places of the New Testament, where an Immortality seemeth to be directly attributed to the wicked. For it is evident, that they shall all rise to Judgement. And it is said besides in many places, that they shall goe into Everlasting fire, Everlasting torments, Everlasting punishments; and that the worm of conscience never dyeth; and all this is comprehended in the word Everlasting Death, which is ordinarily interpreted Everlasting Life in torments: And yet I can find no where that any man shall live in torments Everlastingly. Also, it seemeth hard, to say, that God who is the Father of Mercies, that doth in Heaven and Earth all that hee will; that hath the hearts of all men in his disposing; that worketh in men both to doe, and to will; and without whose free gift a man hath neither inclination to good, nor repentance of evill, should punish mens transgressions without any end of time, and with all the extremity of torture, that men can imagine, and more. We are therefore to consider, what the meaning is, of Everlasting Fire, and other the like phrases of Scripture.
I have shewed already, that the Kingdome of God by Christ beginneth at the day of Judgment: That in that day, the Faithfull shall rise again, with glorious, and spirituall Bodies, and bee his Subjects in that his Kingdome, which shall be Eternall: That they shall neither marry, nor be given in marriage, nor eate and drink, as they did in their naturall bodies; but live for ever in their individuall persons, without the specificall eternity of generation: And that the Reprobates also shall rise again, to receive punishments for their sins: As also, that those of the Elect, which shall be alive in their earthly bodies at that day, shall have their bodies suddenly changed, and made spirituall, and Immortall. But that the bodies of the Reprobate, who make the Kingdome of Satan, shall also be glorious, or spirituall bodies, or that they shall bee as the Angels of God, neither eating, nor drinking, nor engendring; or that their life shall be Eternall in their individuall persons, as the life of every faithfull man is, or as the life of Adam had been if hee had not sinned, there is no place of Scripture to prove it; save onely these places concerning Eternall Torments; which may otherwise be interpreted.
From whence may be inferred, that as the Elect after the Resurrection shall be restored to the estate, wherein Adam was before he had sinned; so the Reprobate shall be in the estate, that Adam, and his posterity were in after the sin committed; saving that God promised a Redeemer to Adam, and such of his seed as should trust in him, and repent; but not to them that should die in their sins, as do the Reprobate.
These things considered, the texts that mentionEternall Torments what.Eternall Fire, Eternall Torments, or the Worm that never dieth, contradict not the Doctrine of a Second, and Everlasting Death, in the proper and naturall sense of the word Death. The Fire, or Torments prepared for the wicked in Gehenna, Tophet, or in what place soever, may continue for ever; and there may never want wicked men to be tormented in them; though not every, nor any one Eternally. For the wicked being left in the estate they were in after Adams sin, may at the Resurrection live as they did, marry, and give in marriage, and have grosse and corruptible bodies, as all mankind now have; and consequently may engender perpetually, after the Resurrection, as they did before: For there is no place of Scripture to the contrary. For St. Paul, speaking of the Resurrection (1 Cor. 15.) understandeth it onely of the Resurrection to Life Eternall; and not the Resurrection to Punishment. And of the first, he saith that the Body is Sown in Corruption, raised in Incorruption: sown in Dishonour, raised in Honour; sown in Weaknesse, raised in Power; sown a Naturall body, raised a Spirituall body: There is no such thing can be said of the bodies of them that rise to Punishment. So also our Saviour, when hee speaketh of the Nature of Man after the Resurrection, meaneth, the Resurrection to Life Eternall, not to Punishment. The text is Luke 20. verses 34. 35, 36. a fertile text. The Children of this world marry, and are given in marriage; but they that shall be counted worthy to obtaine that world, and the Resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: Neither can they die any more; for they are equall to the Angels, and are the Children of God, being the Children of the Resurrection: The Children of this world, that are in the estate which Adam left them in, shall marry, and be given in marriage; that is, corrupt, and generate successively; which is an Immortality of the Kind, but not of the Persons of men: They are not worthy to be counted amongst them that shall obtain the next world, and an absolute Resurrection from the dead; but onely a short time, as inmates of that world; and to the end onely to receive condign punishment for their contumacy. The Elect are the onely children of the Resurrection; that is to say, the sole heirs of Eternall Life: they only can die no more: it is they that are equall to the Angels, and that are the children of God; and not the Reprobate. To the Reprobate there remaineth after the Resurrection, a Second, and Eternall Death; between which Resurrection, and their Second, and Eternall death, is but a time of Punishment and Torment; and to last by succession of sinners thereunto, as long as the kind of Man by propagation shall endure; which is Eternally.
Answer of the Texts alledged for Purgatory. Upon this Doctrine of the Naturall Eternity of separated Soules, is founded (as I said) the Doctrine of Purgatory. For supposing Eternall Life by Grace onely, there is no Life, but the Life of the Body; and no Immortality till the Resurrection. The texts for Purgatory alledged by Bellarmine out of the Canonicall Scripture of the old Testament, are first, the Fasting of David for Saul and Jonathan, mentioned (2 Kings, 1. 12.); and againe, (2 Sam. 3. 35.) for the death of Abner. This Fasting of David, he saith, was for the obtaining of something for them at Gods hands, after their death; because after he had Fasted to procure the recovery of his owne child, assoone as he knew it was dead, he called for meate. Seeing then the Soule hath an existence separate from the Body, and nothing can be obtained by mens Fasting for the Soules that are already either in Heaven, or Hell, it followeth that there be some Soules of dead men, that are neither in Heaven, nor in Hell; and therefore they must bee in some third place, which must be Purgatory. And thus with hard straining, hee has wrested those places to the proofe of a Purgatory: whereas it is manifest, that the ceremonies of Mourning, and Fasting, when they are used for the death of men, whose life was not profitable to the Mourners, they are used for honours sake to their persons; and when tis done for the death of them by whose life the Mourners had benefit, it proceeds from their particular dammage: And so David honoured Saul, and Abner, with his Fasting; and in the death of his owne child, recomforted himselfe, by receiving his ordinary food.
In the other places, which he alledgeth out of the old Testament, there is not so much as any shew, or colour of proofe. He brings in every text wherein there is the word Anger, or Fire, or Burning, or Purging, or Clensing, in case any of the Fathers have but in a Sermon rhetorically applied it to the Doctrine of Purgatory, already beleeved. The first verse of Psalme, 37. O Lord rebuke me not in thy wrath, nor chasten me in thy hot displeasure: What were this to Purgatory, if Augustine had not applied the Wrath to the fire of Hell, and the Displeasure to that of Purgatory? And what is it to Purgatory, that of Psalme, 66. 12. Wee went through fire and water, and thou broughtest us to a moist place; and other the like texts, (with which the Doctors of those times entended to adorne, or extend their Sermons, or Commentaries) haled to their purposes by force of wit?
Places of the New Testament for Purgatory answered. But he alledgeth other places of the New Testament, that are not so easie to be answered: And first that of Matth. 12. 32. Whosoever speaketh a word against the Sonne of man, it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not bee forgiven him neither in this world, nor in the world to come: Where he will have Purgatory to be the World to come, wherein some sinnes may be forgiven, which in this World were not forgiven: notwithstanding that it is manifest, there are but three Worlds; one from the Creation to the Flood, which was destroyed by Water, and is called in Scripture the Old World; another from the Flood, to the day of Judgement, which is the Present World, and shall bee destroyed by Fire; and the third, which shall bee from the day of Judgement forward, everlasting, which is called the World to come; and in which it is agreed by all, there shall be no Purgatory: And therefore the World to come, and Purgatory, are inconsistent. But what then can bee the meaning of those our Saviours words? I confesse they are very hardly to bee reconciled with all the Doctrines now unanimously received: Nor is it any shame, to confesse the profoundnesse of the Scripture, to bee too great to be sounded by the shortnesse of humane understanding. Neverthelesse, I may propound such things to the consideration of more learned Divines, as the text it selfe suggesteth. And first, seeing to speake against the Holy Ghost, as being the third Person of the Trinity, is to speake against the Church, in which the Holy Ghost resideth; it seemeth the comparison is made, betweene the Easinesse of our Saviour, in bearing with offences done to him while hee himselfe taught the world, that is, when he was on earth, and the Severity of the Pastors after him, against those which should deny their authority, which was from the Holy Ghost: As if he should say, You that deny my Power; nay you that shall crucifie me, shall be pardoned by mee, as often as you turne unto mee by Repentance: But if you deny the Power of them that teach you hereafter, by vertue of the Holy Ghost, they shall be inexorable, and shall not forgive you, but persecute you in this World, and leave you without absolution, (though you turn to me, unlesse you turn also to them,) to the punishments (as much as lies in them) of the World to come: And so the words may be taken as a Prophecy, or Prædiction concerning the times, as they have along been in the Christian Church: Or if this be not the meaning, (for I am not peremptory in such difficult places,) perhaps there may be place left after the Resurrection for the Repentance of some sinners: And there is also another place, that seemeth to agree therewith. For considering the words of St. Paul (1 Cor. 15. 29.) What shall they doe which are Baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why also are they Baptized for the dead? a man may probably inferre, as some have done, that in St. Pauls time, there was a custome by receiving Baptisme for the dead, (as men that now beleeve, are Sureties and Undertakers for the Faith of Infants, that are not capable of beleeving,) to undertake for the persons of their deceased friends, that they should be ready to obey, and receive our Saviour for their King, at his coming again; and then the forgivenesse of sins in the world to come, has no need of a Purgatory. But in both these interpretations, there is so much of paradox, that I trust not to them; but propound them to those that are throughly versed in the Scripture, to inquire if there be no clearer place that contradicts them. Onely of thus much, I see evident Scripture, to perswade me, that there is neither the word, nor the thing of Purgatory, neither in this, nor any other text; nor any thing that can prove a necessity of a place for the Soule without the Body; neither for the Soule of Lazarus during the four days he was dead; nor for the Soules of them which the Romane Church pretend to be tormented now in Purgatory. For God, that could give a life to a peece of clay, hath the same power to give life again to a dead man, and renew his inanimate, and rotten Carkasse, into a glorious, spirituall, and immortall Body.
Another place is that of 1 Cor. 3. where it is said, that they which built Stubble, Hay, &c. on the true Foundation, their work shall perish; but they themselves shall be saved; but as through Fire: This Fire, he will have to be the Fire of Purgatory. The words, as I have said before, are an allusion to those of Zach. 13. 9. where he saith, I will bring the third part through the Fire, and refine them as Silver is refined, and will try them as Gold is tryed: Which is spoken of the comming of the Messiah in Power and Glory; that is, at the day of Judgment, and Conflagration of the present world; wherein the Elect shall not be consumed, but be refined; that is, depose their erroneous Doctrines, and Traditions, and have them as it were sindged of; and shall afterwards call upon the name of the true God. In like manner, the Apostle saith of them, that holding this FoundationJesus is the Christ, shall build thereon some other Doctrines that be erroneous, that they shall not be consumed in that fire which reneweth the world, but shall passe through it to Salvation; but so, as to see, and relinquish their former Errours. The Builders, are the Pastors; the Foundation, that Jesus is the Christ; the Stubble and Hay, False Consequences drawn from it through Ignorance, or Frailty; the Gold, Silver, and pretious Stones, are their True Doctrines; and their Refining or Purging, the Relinquishing of their Errors. In all which there is no colour at all for the burning of Incorporeall, that is to say, Impatible Souls.
Baptisme for the Dead, how understood. A third place is that of 1 Cor. 15. before mentioned, concerning Baptisme for the Dead: out of which he concludeth, first, that Prayers for the Dead are not unprofitable; and out of that, that there is a Fire of Purgatory: But neither of them rightly. For of many interpretations of the word Baptisme, he approveth this in the first place, that by Baptisme is meant (metaphorically) a Baptisme of Penance; and that men are in this sense Baptized, when they Fast, and Pray, and give Almes: And so Baptisme for the Dead, and Prayer for the Dead, is the same thing. But this is a Metaphor, of which there is no example, neither in the Scripture, nor in any other use of language; and which is also discordant to the harmony, and scope of the Scripture. The word Baptisme is used (Mar. 10. 38. & Luk. 12. 50.) for being Dipped in ones own bloud, as Christ was upon the Cross, and as most of the Apostles were, for giving testimony of him. But it is hard to say, that Prayer, Fasting, and Almes, have any similitude with Dipping. The same is used also Mat. 3. 11. (which seemeth to make somewhat for Purgatory) for a Purging with Fire. But it is evident the Fire and Purging here mentioned, is the same whereof the Prophet Zachary speaketh (chap. 13. v. 9.) I will bring the third part through the Fire, and will Refine them, &c. And St. Peter after him (1 Epist. 1. 7.) That the triall of your Faith, which is much more precious than of Gold that perisheth, though it be tryed with Fire, might be found unto praise, and honour, and glory at the Appearing of Jesus Christ; and St. Paul (1 Cor. 3. 13.) The Fire shall trie every mans work of what sort it is. But St. Peter, and St. Paul speak of the Fire that shall be at the Second Appearing of Christ; and the Prophet Zachary of the Day of Judgment: And therefore this place of S. Mat. may be interpreted of the same; and then there will be no necessity of the Fire of Purgatory.
Another interpretation of Baptisme for the Dead, is that which I have before mentioned, which he preferreth to the second place of probability: And thence also he inferreth the utility of Prayer for the Dead. For if after the Resurrection, such as have not heard of Christ, or not beleeved in him, may be received into Christs Kingdome; it is not in vain, after their death, that their friends should pray for them, till they should be risen. But granting that God, at the prayers of the faithfull, may convert unto him some of those that have not heard Christ preached, and consequently cannot have rejected Christ, and that the charity of men in that point, cannot be blamed; yet this concludeth nothing for Purgatory, because to rise from Death to Life, is one thing; to rise from Purgatory to Life is another; as being a rising from Life to Life, from a Life in torments to a Life in joy.
A fourth place is that of Mat. 5. 25. Agree with thine Adversary quickly, whilest thou art in the way with him, lest at any time the Adversary deliver thee to the Judge, and the Judge deliver thee to the Officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing. In which Allegory, the Offender is the Sinner; both the Adversary and the Judge is God; the Way is this Life; the Prison is the Grave; the Officer, Death; from which, the sinner shall not rise again to life eternall, but to a second Death, till he have paid the utmost farthing, or Christ pay it for him by his Passion, which is a full Ransome for all manner of sin, as well lesser sins, as greater crimes; both being made by the passion of Christ equally veniall.
The fift place, is that of Matth. 5. 22. Whosoever is angry with his Brother without a cause, shall be guilty in Judgment. And whosoever shall say to his Brother, RACHA, shall be guilty in the Councel. But whosoever shall say, Thou Foole, shall be guilty to hell fire. From which words he inferreth three sorts of Sins, and three sorts of Punishments; and that none of those sins, but the last, shall be punished with hell fire; and consequently, that after this life, there is punishment of lesser sins in Purgatory. Of which inference, there is no colour in any interpretation that hath yet been given of them: Shall there be a distinction after this life of Courts of Justice, as there was amongst the Jews in our Saviours time, to hear, and determine divers sorts of Crimes; as the Judges, and the Councell? Shall not all Judicature appertain to Christ, and his Apostles? To understand therefore this text, we are not to consider it solitarily, but jointly with the words precedent, and subsequent. Our Saviour in this Chapter interpreteth the Law of Moses; which the Jews thought was then fulfilled, when they had not transgressed the Grammaticall sense thereof, however they had transgressed against the sentence, or meaning of the Legislator. Therefore whereas they thought the Sixth Commandement was not broken, but by Killing a man; nor the Seventh, but when a man lay with a woman, not his wife; our Saviour tells them, the inward Anger of a man against his brother, if it be without just cause, is Homicide: You have heard (saith hee) the Law of Moses, Thou shalt not Kill, and that Whosoever shall Kill, shall bee condemned before the Judges, or before the Session of the Seventy: But I say unto you, to be Angry with ones Brother without cause; or to say unto him Racha, or Foole, is Homicide, and shall be punished at the day of Judgment, and Session of Christ, and his Apostles, with Hell fire: so that those words were not used to distinguish between divers Crimes, and divers Courts of Justice, and divers Punishments; but to taxe the distinction between sin, and sin, which the Jews drew not from the difference of the Will in Obeying God, but from the difference of their Temporall Courts of Justice; and to shew them that he that had the Will to hurt his Brother, though the effect appear but in Reviling, or not at all, shall be cast into hell fire, by the Judges, and by the Session, which shall be the same, not different Courts at the day of Judgment. This considered, what can be drawn from this text, to maintain Purgatory, I cannot imagine.
The sixth place is Luke 16. 9. Make yee friends of the unrighteous Mammon, that when yee faile, they may receive you into Everlasting Tabernacles. This he alledges to prove Invocation of Saints departed. But the sense is plain, That we should make friends with our Riches, of the Poore; and thereby obtain their Prayers whilest they live. He that giveth to the Poore, lendeth to the Lord.
The seventh is Luke 23. 42. Lord remember me when thou commest into thy Kingdome: Therefore, saith hee, there is Remission of sins after this life. But the consequence is not good. Our Saviour then forgave him; and at his comming againe in Glory, will remember to raise him againe to Life Eternall.
The Eight is Acts 2. 24. where St. Peter saith of Christ, that God had raised him up, and loosed the Paines of Death, because it was not possible he should be holden of it: Which hee interprets to bee a descent of Christ into Purgatory, to loose some Soules there from their torments: whereas it is manifest, that it was Christ that was loosed; it was hee that could not bee holden of Death, or the Grave; and not the Souls in Purgatory. But if that which Beza sayes in his notes on this place be well observed, there is none that will not see, that in stead of Paynes, it should be Bands; and then there is no further cause to seek for Purgatory in this Text.
OfDÆmonology, and other Reliques of the Religion of the Gentiles.
The Originall of Dæmonology.The impression made on the organs of Sight, by lucide Bodies, either in one direct line, or in many lines, reflected from Opaque, or refracted in the passage through Diaphanous Bodies, produceth in living Creatures, in whom God hath placed such Organs, an Imagination of the Object, from whence the Impression proceedeth; which Imagination is called Sight; and seemeth not to bee a meer Imagination, but the Body it selfe without us; in the same manner, as when a man violently presseth his eye, there appears to him a light without, and before him, which no man perceiveth but himselfe; because there is indeed no such thing without him, but onely a motion in the interiour organs, pressing by resistance outward, that makes him think so. And the motion made by this pressure, continuing after the object which caused it is removed, is that we call Imagination, and Memory, and (in sleep, and sometimes in great distemper of the organs by Sicknesse, or Violence) a Dream: of which things I have already spoken briefly, in the second and third Chapters.
This nature of Sight having never been discovered by the ancient pretenders to Naturall Knowledge; much lesse by those that consider not things so remote (as that Knowledge is) from their present use; it was hard for men to conceive of those Images in the Fancy, and in the Sense, otherwise, than of things really without us: Which some (because they vanish away, they know not whither, nor how,) will have to be absolutely Incorporeall, that is to say Immateriall, or Formes without Matter; Colour and Figure, without any coloured or figured Body; and that they can put on Aiery bodies (as a garment) to make them Visible when they will to our bodily Eyes; and others say, are Bodies, and living Creatures. but made of Air, or other more subtile and æthereall Matter, which is, then, when they will be seen, condensed. But Both of them agree on one generall appellation of them, DÆmons. As if the Dead of whom they Dreamed, were not Inhabitants of their own Brain, but of the Air, or of Heaven, or Hell; not Phantasmes, but Ghosts; with just as much reason, as if one should say, he saw his own Ghost in a Looking-Glasse, or the Ghosts of the Stars in a River; or call the ordinary apparition of the Sun, of the quantity of about a foot, the Dæmon, or Ghost of that great Sun that enlighteneth the whole visible world: And by that means have feared them, as things of an unknown, that is, of an unlimited power to doe them good, or harme; and consequently, given occasion to the Governours of the Heathen Common-wealths to regulate this their fear, by establishing that DÆmonology (in which the Poets, as Principall Priests of the Heathen Religion, were specially employed, or reverenced) to the Publique Peace, and to the Obedience of Subjects necessary thereunto; and to make some of them Good Dæmons, and others Evill; the one as a Spurre to the Observance, the other, as Reines to withhold them from Violation of the Laws.
What kind of things they were, to whom they attributed the name of Dæmons, appeareth partly in the Genealogie of their Gods, written by Hesiod, one of the most ancient Poets of the Græcians; and partly in other Histories; of which I have observed some few before, in the 12. Chapter of this discourse.
The Græcians, by their Colonies and Conquests, communicatedHow that Doctrine was spread. their Language and Writings into Asia, Egypt, and Italy; and therein, by necessary consequence their Dæmonology, or (as St. Paul calles it) their Doctrines of Devils: And by that meanes, the contagion was derived also to the Jewes, both of Judæa, and Alexandria, and other parts, whereinto they were dispersed. But the name of Dæmon they did not (as the Græcians)How far received by the Jews. attribute to Spirits both Good, and Evill; but to the Evill onely: And to the Good Dæmons they gave the name of the Spirit of God; and esteemed those into whose bodies they entred to be Prophets. In summe, all singularity if Good, they attributed to the Spirit of God; and if Evill, to some Dæmon, but a κακοδάιμων an Evill Dæmon, that is, a Devill. And therefore, they called Dæmoniaques, that is, possessed by the Devill, such as we call Madmen or Lunatiques; or such as had the Falling Sicknesse; or that spoke any thing, which they for want of understanding, thought absurd: As also of an Unclean person in a notorious degree, they used to say he had an Unclean Spirit; of a Dumbe man, that he had a Dumbe Devill; and of John Baptist (Math. 11. 18) for the singularity of his fasting, that he had a Devill; and of our Saviour, because he said, hee that keepethJohn 8. 52. his sayings should not see Death in æternum, Now we know thou hast a Devill; Abraham is dead, and the Prophets are dead: And again, because he said (John 7. 20.) They went about to kill him, the people answered, Thou hast a Devill, who goeth about to kill thee? Whereby it is manifest, that the Jewes had the same opinions concerning Phantasmes, namely, that they were not Phantasmes, that is, Idols of the braine, but things reall, and independent on the Fancy.
Why our Saviour controlled it not. Which doctrine if it be not true, why (may some say) did not our Saviour contradict it, and teach the contrary? nay why does he use on diverse occasions, such forms of speech as seem to confirm it? To this I answer, that first, where Christ saith, A spirit hath not flesh and bone, though hee shew that there be Spirits, yet hee denies not that they are Bodies: And where St. Paul saies, We shall rise spirituall Bodies, he acknowledgeth the nature of Spirits, but that they are Bodily Spirits; which is not difficult to understand. For Air and many other things are Bodies, though not Flesh and Bone, or any other grosse body, to bee discerned by the eye. But when our Saviour speaketh to the Devill, and commandeth him to go out of a man, if by the Devill, be meant a Disease, as Phrenesy, or Lunacy, or a corporeal Spirit, is not the speech improper? can Diseases heare? or can there be a corporeall Spirit in a Body of Flesh and Bone, full already of vitall and animall Spirits? Are there not therefore Spirits, that neither have Bodies, nor are meer Imaginations? To the first I answer, that the addressing of our Saviours command to the Madnesse, or Lunacy he cureth, is no more improper, then was his rebuking of the Fever, or of the Wind, and Sea; for neither do these hear: Or than was the command of God, to the Light, to the Firmament, to the Sunne, and Starres, when he commanded them to bee: for they could not heare before they had a beeing. But those speeches are not improper, because they signife the power of Gods Word: no more therefore is it improper, to command Madnesse, or Lunacy (under the appellation of Devils, by which they were then commonly understood,) to depart out of a mans body. To the second, concerning their being Incorporeall, I have not yet observed any place of Scripture, from whence it can be gathered, that any man was ever possessed with any other Corporeall Spirit, but that of his owne, by which his body is naturally moved.
Our Saviour, immediately after the Holy GhostThe Scriptures doe not teach that Spirits are Incorporeall. descended upon him in the form of a Dove, is said by St. Matthew (Chapt. 4. 1.) to have been led up by the Spirit into the Wildernesse; and the same is recited (Luke 4. 1.) in these words, Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost, was led in the Spirit into the Wildernesse: Whereby it is evident, that by Spirit there, is meant the Holy Ghost. This cannot be interpreted for a Possession: For Christ, and the Holy Ghost, are but one and the same substance; which is no possession of one substance, or body, by another. And whereas in the verses following, he is said to have been taken up by the Devill into the Holy City, and set upon a pinnacle of the Temple, shall we conclude thence that hee was possessed of the Devill, or carryed thither by violence? And again, carryed thence by the Devill into an exceeding high mountain, who shewed him them thence all the Kingdomes of the world: Wherein, wee are not to beleeve he was either possessed, or forced by the Devill; nor that any Mountaine is high enough, (according to the literall sense,) to shew him one whole Hemisphere. What then can be the meaning of this place, other than that he went of himself into the Wildernesse; and that this carrying of him up and down, from the Wildernesse to the City, and from thence into a Mountain, was a Vision? Conformable whereunto, is also the phrase of St. Luke, that hee was led into the Wildernesse, not by, but in the Spirit: whereas concerning His being Taken up into the Mountaine, and unto the Pinnacle of the Temple, hee speaketh as St. Matthew doth. Which suiteth with the nature of a Vision.
Again, where St. Luke sayes of Judas Iscariot, that Satan entred into him, and thereupon that he went and communed with the Chief Priests, and Captaines, how hemight betray Christ unto them: it may be answered, that by the Entring of Satan (that is the Enemy) into him, is meant, the hostile and traiterous intention of selling his Lord and Master. For as by the Holy Ghost, is frequently in Scripture understood, the Graces and good Inclinations given by the Holy Ghost; so by the Entring of Satan, may bee understood the wicked Cogitations, and Designs of the Adversaries of Christ, and his Disciples. For as it is hard to say, that the Devill was entred into Judas, before he had any such hostile designe; so it is impertinent to say, he was first Christs Enemy in his heart, and that the Devill entred into him afterwards. Therefore the Entring of Satan, and his Wicked Purpose, was one and the same thing.
But if there be no Immateriall Spirit, nor any Possession of mens bodies by any Spirit Corporeall, it may again be asked, why our Saviour and his Apostles did not teach the People so; and in such cleer words, as they might no more doubt thereof. But such questions as these, are more curious, than necessary for a Christian mans Salvation. Men may as well aske, why Christ that could have given to all men Faith, Piety, and all manner of morall Vertues, gave it to some onely, and not to all: and why he left the search of naturall Causes, and Sciences, to the naturall Reason and Industry of men, and did not reveal it to all, or any man supernaturally; and many other such questions: Of which neverthelesse there may be alledged probable and pious reasons. For as God, when he brought the Israelites into the Land of Promise, did not secure them therein, by subduing all the Nations round about them; but left many of them, as thornes in their sides, to awaken from time to time their Piety and Industry: so our Saviour, in conducting us toward his heavenly Kingdome, did not destroy all the difficulties of Naturall Questions; but left them to exercise our Industry, and Reason; the Scope of his preaching, being onely to shew us this plain and direct way to Salvation, namely, the beleef of this Article, that he was the Christ, the Son of the living God, sent into the world to sacrifice himselfe for our Sins, and at his comming again, gloriously to reign over his Elect, and to save them from their Enemice eternally: To which, the opinion of Possession by Spirits, or Phantasmes, are no impediment in the way; though it be to some an occasion of going out of the way, and to follow their own Inventions. If wee require of the Scripture an account of all questions, which may be raised to trouble us in the performance of Gods commands; we may as well complaine of Moses for not having set downe the time of the creation of such Spirits, as well as of the Creation of the Earth, and Sea, and of Men, and Beasts. To conclude, I find in Scripture that there be Angels, and Spirits, good and evill; but not that they are Incorporeall, as are the Apparitions men see in the Dark, or in a Dream, or Vision; which the Latines call Spectra, and took for Dæmons. And I find that there are Spirits Corporeall, (though subtile and Invisible;) but not that any mans body was possessed, or inhabited by them; And that the Bodies of the Saints shall be such, namely, Spirituall Bodies, as St. Paul calls them.
Neverthelesse, the contrary Doctrine, namely, thatThe Power of Casting out Devills, not the same it was in the Primitive Church. there be Incorporeall Spirits, hath hitherto so prevailed in the Church, that the use of Exorcisme, (that is to say, of ejection of Devills by Conjuration) is thereupon built; and (though rarely and faintly practised) is not yet totally given over. That there were many Dæmoniaques in the Primitive Church, and few Mad-men, and other such singular diseases; whereas in these times we hear of, and see many Mad-men, and few Dæmoniaques, proceeds not from the change of Nature; but of Names. But how it comes to passe, that whereas heretofore the Apostles, and after them for a time, the Pastors of the Church, did cure those singular Diseases, which now they are not seen to doe; as likewise, why it is not in the power of every true Beleever now, to doe all that the Faithfull did then, that is to say, as we read (Mark 16. 17.) In Christs name to cast out Devills, to speak with new Tongues, to take up Serpents, to drink deadly Poison without harm taking, and to cure the Sick by the laying on of their hands, and all this without other words, but in the Name of Jesus, is another question. And it is probable, that those extraordinary gifts were given to the Church, for no longer a time, than men trusted wholly to Christ, and looked for their felicity onely in his Kingdome to come; and consequently, that when they sought Authority, and Riches, and trusted to their own Subtilty for a Kingdome of this world, these supernaturall gifts of God were again taken from them.
Another relique of Gentilisme, Worshipping of Images, left in the Church, not brought into it. Another relique of Gentilisme, is the Worship of Images, neither instituted by Moses in the Old, nor by Christ in the New Testament; nor yet brought in from the Gentiles; but left amongst them, after they had given their names to Christ. Before our Saviour preached, it was the generall Religion of the Gentiles, to worship for Gods, those Apparences that remain in the Brain from the impression of externall Bodies upon the organs of their Senses, which are commonly called Ideas, Idols, Phantasmes, Conceits, as being Representations of those externall Bodies, which cause them, and have nothing in them of reality, no more than there is in the things that seem to stand before us in a Dream: And this is the reason why St. Paul says, Wee know that an Idol is Nothing: Not that he thought that an Image of Metall, Stone, or Wood, was nothing; but that the thing which they honored, or feared in the Image, and held for a God, was a meer Figment, without place, habitation, motion, or existence, but in the motions of the Brain. And the worship of these with Divine Honour, is that which is in the Scripture called Idolatry, and Rebellion against God. For God being King of the Jews, and his lieutenant being first Moses, and afterward the High Priest; if the people had been permitted to worship, and pray to Images, (which are Representations of their own Fancies,) they had had no farther dependence on the true God, of whom their can be no similitude; nor on his prime Ministers, Moses, and the High Priests; but every man had governed himself according to his own appetite, to the utter eversion of the Common-wealth, and their own destruction for want of Union. And therefore the first Law of God was, They should not take for Gods, ALIENOSDeos, that is, the Gods of other nations, but that onely true God, who vouchsafed to commune with Moses, and by him to give them laws and directions, for their peace, and for their salvation from their enemies. And the second was, that they should not make to themselves any Image to Worship, of their own Invention. For it is the same deposing of a King, to submit to another King, whether he be set up by a neighbour nation, or by our selves.
The places of Scripture pretended to countenance theAnswer to certain seeming texts for Images. setting up of Images, to worship them; or to set them up at all in the places where God is worshipped, are First, two Examples; one of the Cherubins over the Ark of God; the other of the Brazen Serpent: Secondly, some texts whereby we are commanded to worship certain Creatures for their relation to God; as to worship his Footstool: And lastly, some other texts, by which is authorized, a religious honoring of Holy things. But before I examine the force of those places, to prove that which is pretended, I must first explain what is to be understood by Worshipping, and what by Images, and Idols.
I have already shewn in the 20 Chapter of this Discourse,What is Worship. that to Honor, is to value highly the Power of any person: and that such value is measured, by our comparing him with others. But because there is nothing to be compared with God in Power; we Honor him not but Dishonour him by any Value lesse than Infinite. And thus Honor is properly of its own nature, secret, and internall in the heart. But the inward thoughts of men, which appeare outwardly in their words and actions, are the signes of our Honoring, and these goe by the name of Worship, in Latine Cultus. Therefore, to Pray to, to Swear by, to Obey, to bee Diligent, and Officious in Serving: in summe, all words and actions that betoken Fear to Offend, or Desire to Please, is Worship, whether those words and actions be sincere, or feigned: and because they appear as signes of Honoring, are ordinarily also called Honor.
Distinction between Divine and Civill Worship. The Worship we exhibite to those we esteem to be but men, as to Kings, and men in Authority, is Civill Worship: But the worship we exhibite to that which we think to bee God, whatsoever the words, ceremonies, gestures, or other actions be, is Divine Worship. To fall prostrate before a King, in him that thinks him but a Man, is but Civill Worship: And he that but putteth off his hat in the Church, for this cause, that he thinketh it the House of God, worshippeth with Divine Worship. They that seek the distinction of Divine and Civill Worship, not in the intention of the Worshipper, but in the Words δονλεία and λατρεία deceive themselves. For whereas there be two sorts of Servants; that sort, which is of those that are absolutely in the power of their Masters, as Slaves taken in war, and their Issue, whose bodies are not in their own power, (their lives depending on the Will of their Masters, in such manner as to forfeit them upon the least disobedience,) and that are bought and sold as Beasts, were called Δου̑λοι that is properly, Slaves, and their Service Δονλεία: The other, which is of those that serve (for hire, or in hope of benefit from their Masters) voluntarily; are called Θη̑τεβ; that is, Domestique Servants; to whose service the Masters have no further right, than is contained in the Covenants made betwixt them. These two kinds of Servants have thus much common to them both, that their labour is appointed them by another: And the word Λάτεις is the generall name of both, signifying him that worketh for another, whether, as a Slave, or a voluntary Servant: So that Λατρεία signifieth generally all Service; but Δονλεία the service of Bondmen onely, and the condition of Slavery: And both are used in Scripture (to signifie our Service of God) promiscuously. Δονλεία because we are Gods Slaves; Λατρεία because wee Serve him: and in all kinds of Service is contained, not onely Obedience, but also Worship; that is, such actions, gestures, and words, as signifie Honor.
An Image what. Phantasmes. An Image (in the most strict signification of the word) is the Resemblance of some thing visible: In which sense the Phantasticall Formes, Apparitions, or Seemings of visible Bodies to the Sight, are onely Images; such as are the Shew of a man, or other thing in the Water, by Reflexion, or Refraction; or of the Sun, or Stars by Direct Vision in the Air; which are nothing reall in the things seen, nor in the place where they seem to bee; nor are their magnitudes and figures the same with that of the object; but changeable, by the variation of the organs of Sight, or by glasses; and are present oftentimes in our Imagination, and in our Dreams, when the object is absent; or changed into other colours, and shapes, as things that depend onely upon the Fancy. And these are the Images which are originally and most properly called Ideas, and Idols, and derived from the language of the Græcians, with whom the word Ε῀δω signifieth to See. They are also called Phantasmes, which is in the same language, Apparitions. And from these Images it is that one of the faculties of mans Nature, is called the Imagination. And from hence it is manifest, that there neither is, nor can bee any Image made of a thing Invisible.
It is also evident, that there can be no Image of a thing Infinite: for all the Images, and Phantasmes that are made by the Impression of things visible, are figured: but Figure is a quantity every way determined: And therefore there can bee no Image of God; nor of the Soule of Man; nor of Spirits; but onely of Bodies Visible, that is, Bodies that have light in themselves, or are by such enlightened.
And whereas a man can fancy Shapes he never saw;Fictions. making up a Figure out of the parts of divers creatures; as the Poets make their Centaures, Chimæras, and other Monsters never seen: So can he also give Matter to those Shapes, and make them in Wood, Clay or Metall. AndMateriall Images. these are also called Images, not for the resemblance of any corporeall thing, but for the resemblance of some Phantasticall Inhabitants of the Brain of the Maker. But in these Idols, as they are originally in the Brain, and as they are painted, carved, moulded, or moulten in matter, there is a similitude of the one to the other, for which the Materiall Body made by Art, may be said to be the Image of the Phantasticall Idoll made by Nature.
But in a larger use of the word Image, is contained also, any Representation of one thing by another. So an earthly Soveraign may be called the Image of God: And an inferiour Magistrate the Image of an earthly Soveraign. And many times in the Idolatry of the Gentiles there was little regard to the similitude of their Materiall Idol to the Idol in their fancy, and yet it was called the Image of it. For a Stone unhewn has been set up for Neptune, and divers other shapes far different from the shapes they conceived of their Gods. And at this day we see many Images of the Virgin Mary, and other Saints, unlike one another, and without correspondence to any one mans Fancy; and yet serve well enough for the purpose they were erected for; which was no more but by the Names onely, to represent the Persons mentioned in the History; to which every man applyeth a Mentall Image of his owne making, or none at all. And thus an Image in the largest sense, is either the Resemblance, or the Representation of some thing Visible; or both together, as it happeneth for the most part.
But the name of Idoll is extended yet further in Scripture, to signifie also the Sunne, or a Starre, or any other Creature, visible or invisible, when they are worshipped for Gods.
Idolatry what. Having shewn what is Worship, and what an Image; I will now put them together, and examine what that Idolatry is, which is forbidden in the Second Commandement, and other places of the Scripture.
To worship an Image, is voluntarily to doe those externall acts, which are signes of honoring either the matter of the Image, which is Wood, Stone, Metall, or some other visible creature; or the Phantasme of the brain, for the resemblance, or representation whereof, the matter was formed and figured; or both together, as one animate Body, composed of the Matter and the Phantasme, as of a Body and Soule.
To be uncovered, before a man of Power and Authority, or before the Throne of a Prince, or in such other places as hee ordaineth to that purpose in his absence, is to Worship that man, or Prince with Civill Worship; as being a signe, not of honoring the stoole, or place, but the Person; and is not Idolatry. But if hee that doth it, should suppose the Soule of the Prince to be in the Stool, or should present a Petition to the Stool, it were Divine Worship, and Idolatry.
To pray to a King for such things, as hee is able to doe for us, though we prostrate our selves before him, is but Civill Worship; because we acknowledge no other power in him, but humane: But voluntarily to pray unto him for fair weather, or for any thing which God onely can doe for us, is Divine Worship, and Idolatry. On the other side, if a King compell a man to it by the terrour of Death, or other great corporall punishment, it is not Idolatry: For the Worship which the Soveraign commandeth to bee done unto himself by the terrour of his Laws, is not a sign that he that obeyeth him, does inwardly honour him as a God, but that he is desirous to save himselfe from death, or from a miserable life; and that which is not a sign of internall honor, is no Worship; and therefore no Idolatry. Neither can it bee said, that hee that does it, scandalizeth, or layeth any stumbling block before his Brother; because how wise, or learned soever he be that worshippeth in that manner, another man cannot from thence argue, that he approveth it; but that he doth it for fear; and that it is not his act, but the act of his Soveraign.
To worship God, in some peculiar Place, or turning a mans face towards an Image, or determinate Place, is not to worship, or honor the Place, or Image; but to acknowledge it Holy, that is to say, to acknowledge the Image, or the Place to be set apart from common use: for that is the meaning of the word Holy; which implies no new quality in the Place, or Image; but onely a new Relation by Appropriation to God; and therefore is not Idolatry; no more than it was Idolatry to worship God before the Brazen Serpent; or for the Jews when they were out of their owne countrey, to turn their faces (when they prayed) toward the Temple of Jerusalem; or for Moses to put off his Shoes when he was before the Flaming Bush, the ground appertaining to Mount Sinai; which place God had chosen to appear in, and to give his Laws to the People of Israel, and was therefore Holy ground, not by inhærent sanctity, but by separation to Gods use; or for Christians to worship in the Churches, which are once solemnly dedicated to God for that purpose, by the Authority of the King, or other true Representant of the Church. But to worship God, as inanimating, or inhabiting, such Image, or place; that is to say, an infinite substance in a finite place, is Idolatry: for such finite Gods, are but Idols of the brain, nothing reall; and are commonly called in the Scripture by the names of Vanity, and Lyes, and Nothing. Also to worship God, not as inanimating, or present in the place, or Image; but to the end to be put in mind of him, or of some works of his, in case the Place, or Image be dedicated, or set up by private authority, and not by the authority of them that are our Soveraign Pastors, is Idolatry. For the Commandement is, Thou shalt not make to thy selfe any graven Image. God commanded Moses to set up the Brazen Serpent; hee did not make it to himselfe; it was not therefore against the Commandement. But the making of the Golden Calfe by Aaron, and the People, as being done without authority from God, was Idolatry; not onely because they held it for God, but also because they made it for a Religious use, without warrant either from God their Soveraign, or from Moses, that was his Lieutenant.
The Gentiles worshipped for Gods, Jupiter, and others; that living, were men perhaps that had done great and glorious Acts; and for the Children of God, divers men and women, supposing them gotten between an Immortall Deity, and a mortall man. This was Idolatry, because they made them so to themselves, having no authority from God, neither in his eternall Law of Reason, nor in his positive and revealed Will. But though our Saviour was a man, whom wee also beleeve to bee God Immortall, and the Son of God; yet this is no Idolatry; because wee build not that beleef upon our own fancy, or judgment, but upon the Word of God revealed in the Scriptures. And for the adoration of the Eucharist, if the words of Christ, This is my Body, signifie, that he himselfe, and the seeming bread in his hand; and not onely so, but that all the seeming morsells of bread that have ever since been, and any time hereafter shall bee consecrated by Priests, bee so many Christs bodies, and yet all of them but one body, then is that no Idolatry, because it is authorized by our Saviour: but if that text doe not signifie that, (for there is no other that can be alledged for it,) then, because it is a worship of humane institution, it is Idolatry. For it is not enough to say, God can transubstantiate the Bread into Christs Body: For the Gentiles also held God to be Omnipotent; and might upon that ground no lesse excuse their Idolatry, by pretending, as well as others, a transubstantiation of their Wood, and Stone into God Almighty.
Whereas there be, that pretend Divine Inspiration, to be a supernaturall entring of the Holy Ghost into a man, and not an acquisition of Gods graces, by doctrine, and study; I think they are in a very dangerous Dilemma. For if they worship not the men whom they beleeve to be so inspired, they fall into Impiety; as not adoring Gods supernaturall Presence. And again, if they worship them, they commit Idolatry; for the Apostles would never permit themselves to be so worshipped. Therefore the safest way is to beleeve, that by the Descending of the Dove upon the Apostles; and by Christs Breathing on them, when hee gave them the Holy Ghost; and by the giving of it by Imposition of Hands, are understood the signes which God hath been pleased to use, or ordain to bee used, of his promise to assist those persons in their study to Preach his Kingdome, and in their Conversation, that it might not be Scandalous, but Edifying to others.
Besides the Idolatrous Worship of Images, there isScandalous worship of Images. also a Scandalous Worship of them; which is also a sin; but not Idolatry. For Idolatry is to worship by signes of an internall, and reall honour: but Scandalous Worship, is but Seeming Worship; and may sometimes bee joined with an inward, and hearty detestation, both of the Image, and of the Phantasticall Dæmon, or Idol, to which it is dedicated; and proceed onely from the fear of death, or other grievous punishment; and is neverthelesse a sin in them that so worship, in case they be men whose actions are looked at by others, as lights to guide them by; because following their ways, they cannot but stumble, and fall in the way of Religion: Whereas the example of those we regard not, works not on us at all, but leaves us to our own diligence and caution; and consequently are no causes of our falling.
If therefore a Pastor lawfully called to teach and direct others, or any other, of whose knowledge there is a great opinion, doe externall honor to an Idol for fear; unlesse he make his feare, and unwillingnesse to it, as evident as the worship; he Scandalizeth his Brother, by seeming to approve Idolatry. For his Brother arguing from the action of his teacher, or of him whose knowledge he esteemeth great, concludes it to bee lawfull in it selfe. And this Scandall, is Sin, and a Scandall given. But if one being no Pastor, nor of eminent reputation for knowledge in Christian Doctrine, doe the same, and another follow him; this is no Scandall given; for he had no cause to follow such example: but is a pretence of Scandall which hee taketh of himselfe for an excuse before men: For an unlearned man, that is in the power of an Idolatrous King, or State, if commanded on pain of death to worship before an Idoll, hee detesteth the Idoll in his heart, hee doth well; though if he had the fortitude to suffer death, rather than worship it, he should doe better. But if a Pastor, who as Christs Messenger, has undertaken to teach Christs Doctrine to all nations, should doe the same, it were not onely a sinfull Scandall, in respect of other Christian mens consciences, but a perfidious forsaking of his charge.
The summe of that which I have said hitherto, concerning the Worship of Images, is this, that he that worshippeth in an Image, or any Creature, either the Matter thereof, or any Fancy of his own, which he thinketh to dwell in it; or both together; or beleeveth that such things hear his Prayers, or see his Devotions, without Ears, or Eyes, committeth Idolatry: and he that counterfeiteth such Worship for fear of punishment, if he bee a man whose example hath power amongst his Brethren, committeth a sin: But he that worshippeth the Creator of the world before such an Image, or in such a place as he hath not made, or chosen of himselfe, but taken from the commandement of Gods Word, as the Jewes did in worshipping God before the Cherubins, and before the Brazen Serpent for a time, and in, or towards the Temple of Jerusalem, which was also but for a time, committeth not Idolatry.
Now for the Worship of Saints, and Images, and Reliques, and other things at this day practised in the Church of Rome, I say they are not allowed by the Word of God, nor brought into the Church of Rome, from the Doctrine there taught; but partly left in it at the first conversion of the Gentiles; and afterwards countenanced, and confirmed, and augmented by the Bishops of Rome.
As for the proofs alledged out of Scripture, namely,Answer to the Argument from the Cherubins, and Brazen Serpent. those examples of Images appointed by God to bee set up; They were not set up for the people, or any man to worship; but that they should worship God himselfe before them; as before the Cherubins over the Ark, and the Brazen Serpent. For we read not, that the Priest, or any other did worship the Cherubins; but contrarily wee read (2 Kings 18. 4.) that Hezekiah brake in pieces the Brazen Serpent which Moses had set up, because the People burnt incense to it. Besides, those examples are not put for our Imitation, that we also should set up Images, under pretence of worshipping God before them; because the words of the second Commandement, Thou shalt not make to thy selfe any graven Image, &c. distinguish between the Images that God commanded to be set up, and those which wee set up to our selves. And therefore from the Cherubins, or Brazen Serpent, to the Images of mans devising; and from the Worship commanded by God, to the Will-Worship of men, the argument is not good. This also is to bee considered, that as Hezekiah brake in pieces the Brazen Serpent, because the Jews did worship it, to the end they should doe so no more; so also Christian Soveraigns ought to break down the Images which their Subjects have been accustomed to worship; that there be no more occasion of such Idolatry. For at this day, the ignorant People, where Images are worshipped, doe really beleeve there is a Divine Power in the Images; and are told by their Pastors, that some of them have spoken; and have bled; and that miracles have been done by them; which they apprehend as done by the Saint, which they think either is the Image it self, or in it. The Israelites, when they worshipped the Calfe, did think they worshipped the God that brought them out of Egypt; and yet it was Idolatry, because they thought the Calfe either was that God, or had him in his belly. And though some man may think it impossible for people to be so stupid, as to think the Image to be God, or a Saint; or to worship it in that notion; yet it is manifest in Scripture to the contrary; where when the Golden Calfe was made, the people said, **Exod. 32. 2.These are thy Gods O Israel; and where the Images of Laban * are called his Gods.*Gen. 31. 30. And wee see daily by experience in all sorts of People, that such men as study nothing but their food and ease, are content to beleeve any absurdity, rather than to trouble themselves to examine it; holding their faith as it were by entaile unalienable, except by an expresse and new Law.
Painting of Fancies no Idolatry: but abusing them to Religious Worship is. But they inferre from some other places, that it is lawfull to paint Angels, and also God himselfe: as from Gods walking in the Garden; from Jacobs seeing God at the top of the ladder; and from other Visions, and Dreams. But Visions, and Dreams, whether naturall, or supernaturall, are but Phantasmes: and he that painteth an Image of any of them, maketh not an Image of God, but of his own Phantasm, which is, making of an Idol. I say not, that to draw a Picture after a fancy, is a Sin; but when it is drawn, to hold it for a Representation of God, is against the second Commandement; and can be of no use, but to worship. And the same may be said of the Images of Angels, and of men dead; unlesse as Monuments of friends, or of men worthy remembrance: For such use of an Image, is not Worship of the Image; but a civill honoring of the Person, not that is, but that was: But when it is done to the Image which we make of a Saint, for no other reason, but that we think he heareth our prayers, and is pleased with the honour wee doe him when dead, and without sense, wee attribute to him more than humane power; and therefore it is Idolatry.
Seeing therefore there is no authority, neither in the Law of Moses, nor in the Gospel, for the religious Worship of Images, or other Representations of God, which men set up to themselves; or for the Worship of the Image of any Creature in Heaven, or Earth, or under the Earth: And whereas Christian Kings, who are living Representants of God, are not to be worshipped by their Subjects, by any act, that signifieth a greater esteem of his power, than the nature of mortall man is capable of; It cannot be imagined, that the Religious Worship now in use, was brought into the Church, by misunderstanding of the Scripture. It resteth therefore, that it was left in it, by not destroying the Images themselves, in the conversion of the Gentiles that worshipped them.
The cause whereof, was the immoderate esteem, andHow Idolatry was left in the Church. prices set upon the workmanship of them, which made the owners (though converted, from worshipping them as they had done Religiously for Dæmons) to retain them still in their houses, upon pretence of doing it in the honor of Christ, of the Virgin Mary, and of the Apostles, and other the Pastors of the Primitive Church; as being easie, by giving them new names, to make that an Image of the Virgin Mary, and of her Sonne our Saviour, which before perhaps was called the Image of Venus, and Cupid; and so of a Jupiter to make a Barnabas, and of Mercury a Paul, and the like. And as worldly ambition creeping by degrees into the Pastors, drew them to an endeavour of pleasing the new made Christians; and also to a liking of this kind of honour, which they also might hope for after their decease, as well as those that had already gained it: so the worshipping of the Images of Christ and his Apostles, grew more and more Idolatrous; save that somewhat after the time of Constantine, divers Emperors, and Bishops, and generall Councells observed, and opposed the unlawfulnesse thereof; but too late, or too weakly.
The Canonizing of Saints, is another Relique ofCanonizing of Saints. Gentilisme: It is neither a misunderstanding of Scripture, nor a new invention of the Roman Church, but a custome as ancient as the Common-wealth of Rome it self. The first that ever was canonized at Rome, was Romulus, and that upon the narration of Julius Proculus, that swore before the Senate, he spake with him after his death, and was assured by him, he dwelt in Heaven, and was there called Quirinus, and would be propitious to the State of their new City: And thereupon the Senate gave publique testimony of his Sanctity. Julius Cæsar, and other Emperors after him, had the like testimony; that is, were Canonized for Saints; for by such testimony is Canonization, now defined; and is the same with the Αποθέωσις of the Heathen.
The name of Pontifex. It is also from the Roman Heathen, that the Popes have received the name, and power of PontifexMaximus. This was the name of him that in the ancient Common-wealth of Rome, had the Supreme Authority under the Senate and People, of regulating all Ceremonies, and Doctrines concerning their Religion: And when Augustus Cæsar changed the State into a Monarchy, he took to himselfe no more but this office, and that of Tribune of the People, (that is to say, the Supreme Power both in State, and Religion;) and the succeeding Emperors enjoyed the same. But when the Emperour Constantine lived, who was the first that professed and authorized Christian Religion, it was consonant to his profession, to cause Religion to be regulated (under his authority) by the Bishop of Rome: Though it doe not appear they had so soon the name of Pontifex; but rather, that the succeeding Bishops took it of themselves, to countenance the power they exercised over the Bishops of the Roman Provinces. For it is not any Priviledge of St. Peter, but the Priviledge of the City of Rome, which the Emperors were alwaies willing to uphold, that gave them such authority over other Bishops; as may be evidently seen by that, that the Bishop of Constantinople, when the Emperour made that City the Seat of the Empire, pretended to bee equall to the Bishop of Rome; though at last, not without contention, the Pope carryed it, and became the Pontifex Maximus; but in right onely of the Emperour; and not without the bounds of the Empire; nor any where, after the Emperour had lost his power in Rome; though it were the Pope himself that took his power from him. From whence wee may by the way observe that there is no place for the superiority of the Pope over other Bishops, except in the territories whereof he is himself the Civill Soveraign; and where the Emperour having Soveraign Power Civill, hath expressely chosen the Pope for the chief Pastor under himselfe, of his Christian Subjects.
The carrying about of Images in Procession; is anotherProcession of Images. Relique of the Religion of the Greeks, and Romans: For they also carried their Idols from place to place, in a kind of Chariot, which was peculiarly dedicated to that use, which the Latines called Thensa, and Vehiculum Deorum; and the Image was placed in a frame, or Shrine, which they called Ferculum: And that which they called Pompa, is the same that now is named Procession: According whereunto, amongst the Divine Honors which were given to Julius Cæsar by the Senate, this was one, that in the Pompe (or Procession) at the Circæan games, he should have Thensam & Ferculum, a sacred Chariot, and a Shrine; which was as much, as to be carried up and down as a God: Just as at this day the Popes are carried by Switzers under a Canopie.
To these Processions also belonged the bearing of burning Torches, and Candles, before the Images of theWax Candles, and Torches lighted. Gods, both amongst the Greeks, and Romans. For afterwards the Emperors of Rome received the same honor; as we read of Caligula, that at his reception to the Empire, he was carried from Misenum to Rome, in the midst of a throng of People, the wayes beset with Altars, and Beasts for Sacrifice, and burning Torches: And of Caracalla that was received into Alexandria with Incense, and with casting of Flowers, and δαδονχίαις that is, with Torches; for Δαδου̑χοι were they that amongst the Greeks carried Torches lighted in the Processions of their Gods: And in processe of time, the devout, but ignorant People, did many times honor their Bishops with the like pompe of Wax Candles, and the Images of our Saviour, and the Saints, constantly, in the Church it self. And thus came in the use of Wax Candles; and was also established by some of the ancient Councells.
The Heathens had also their Aqua Lustralis, that is to say, Holy Water. The Church of Rome imitates them also in their Holy Dayes. They had their Bacchanalia; and we have our Wakes, answering to them: They their Saturnalia, and we our Carnevalls, and Shrove-tuesdays liberty of Servants: They their Procession of Priapus; wee our fetching in, erection, and dancing about Maypoles; and Dancing is one kind of Worship: They had their Procession called Ambarvalia; and we our Procession about the fields in the Rogation week. Nor do I think that these are all the Ceremonies that have been left in the Church, from the first conversion of the Gentiles: but they are all that I can for the present call to mind; and if a man would wel observe that which is delivered in the Histories, concerning the Religious Rites of the Greeks and Romanes, I doubt not but he might find many more of these old empty Bottles of Gentilisme, which the Doctors of the Romane Church, either by Negligence, or Ambition, have filled up again with the new Wine of Christianity, that will not faile in time to break them.
OfDarknessefromVain Philosophy, andFabulous Traditions.
ByWhat Philosophy is.Philosophy, is understood the Knowledge acquired by Reasoning, from the Manner of the Generation of any thing, to the Properties; or from the Properties, to some possible Way of Generation of the same; to the end to bee able to produce, as far as matter, and humane force permit, such Effects, as humane life requireth. So the Geometrician, from the Construction of Figures, findeth out many Properties thereof; and from the Properties, new Ways of their Construction, by Reasoning; to the end to be able to measure Land, and Water; and for infinite other uses. So the Astronomer, from the Rising, Setting, and Moving of the Sun, and Starres, in divers parts of the Heavens, findeth out the Causes of Day, and Night, and of the different Seasons of the Year; whereby he keepeth an account of Time: And the like of other Sciences.
By which Definition it is evident, that we are not toPrudence no part of Philosophy. account as any part thereof, that originall knowledge called Experience, in which consisteth Prudence: Because it is not attained by Reasoning, but found as well in Brute Beasts, as in Man; and is but a Memory of successions of events in times past, wherein the omission of every little circumstance altering the effect, frustrateth the expectation of the most Prudent: whereas nothing is produced by Reasoning aright, but generall, eternall, and immutable Truth.
Nor are we therefore to give that name to any falseNo false Doctrine is part of Philosophy: Conclusions: For he that Reasoneth aright in words he understandeth, can never conclude an Error:
Nor to that which any man knows by supernaturall Revelation; because it is not acquired by Reasoning:No more is Revelation supernaturall:
Nor that which is gotten by Reasoning from the Authority of Books; because it is not by Reasoning from the Cause to the Effect, nor from the Effect to the Cause; and is not Knowledg, but Faith.Nor learning taken upon credit of Authors.
The faculty of Reasoning being consequent to the use of Speech, it was not possible, but that there should have been some generall Truthes found out by Reasoning, as ancient almost as Language it selfe. The SavagesOf the Beginnings and Progresse of Philosophy. of America, are not without some good Morall Sentences; also they have a little Arithmetick, to adde, and divide in Numbers not too great: but they are not therefore Philosophers. For as there were Plants of Corn and Wine in small quantity dispersed in the Fields and Woods, before men knew their vertue, or made use of them for their nourishment, or planted them apart in Fields, and Vineyards; in which time they fed on Akorns, and drank Water: so also there have been divers true, generall, and profitable Speculations from the beginning; as being the naturall plants of humane Reason: But they were at first but few in number; men lived upon grosse Experience; there was no Method; that is to say, no Sowing, nor Planting of Knowledge by it self, apart from the Weeds, and common Plants of Errour and Conjecture: And the cause of it being the want of leasure from procuring the necessities of life, and defending themselves against their neighbors, it was impossible, till the erecting of great Common-wealths, it should be otherwise. Leasure is the mother of Philosophy; and Common-wealth, the mother of Peace, and Leasure: Where first were great and flourishing Cities, there was first the study of Philosophy. The Gymnosophists of India, the Magi of Persia, and the Priests of Chaldæa and Egypt, are counted the most ancient Philosophers; and those Countreys were the most ancient of Kingdomes. Philosophy was not risen to the Græcians, and other people of the West, whose Common-wealths (no greater perhaps then Lucca, or Geneva) had never Peace, but when their fears of one another were equall; nor the Leasure to observe any thing but one another. At length, when Warre had united many of these Græcian lesser Cities, into fewer, and greater; then began Seven men, of severall parts of Greece, to get the reputation of being Wise; some of them for Morall and Politique Sentences; and others for the learning of the Chaldæans and Egyptians, which was Astronomy, and Geometry. But we hear not yet of any Schools of Philosophy.
Of the Schools of Philosophy amongst the Athenians. After the Athenians by the overthrow of the Persian Armies, had gotten the Dominion of the Sea; and thereby, of all the Islands, and Maritime Cities of the Archipelago, as well of Asia as Europe; and were grown wealthy; they that had no employment, neither at home, nor abroad, had little else to employ themselves in, but either (as St. Luke says, Acts 17. 21. in telling and hearing news, or in discoursing of Philosophy publiquely to the youth of the City. Every Master took some place for that purpose. Plato in certain publique Walks called Academia, from one Academus: Aristotle in the Walk of the Temple of Pan, called Lycæum: others in the Stoa, or covered Walk, wherein the Merchants Goods were brought to land: others in other places; where they spent the time of their Leasure, in teaching or in disputing of their Opinions: and some in any place, where they could get the youth of the City together to hear them talk. And this was it which Carneades also did at Rome, when he was Ambassadour: which caused Cato to advise the Senate to dispatch him quickly, for feare of corrupting the manners of the young men that delighted to hear him speak (as they thought) fine things.
From this it was, that the place where any of them taught, and disputed, was called Schola, which in their Tongue signifieth Leasure; and their Disputations, Diatribœ, that is to say, Passing of the time. Also the Philosophers themselves had the name of their Sects, some of them from these their Schools: For they that followed Plato’s Doctrine, were called Academiques; The followers of Aristotle, Peripatetiques, from the Walk hee taught in; and those that Zeno taught, Stoiques, from the Stoa: as if we should denominate men from Morefields, from Pauls-Church, and from the Exchange, because they meet there often, to prate and loyter.
Neverthelesse, men were so much taken with this custome, that in time it spread it selfe over all Europe, and the best part of Afrique; so as there were Schools publiquely erected, and maintained for Lectures, and Disputations, almost in every Common-wealth.
There were also Schools, anciently, both before, andOf the Schools of the Jews. after the time of our Saviour, amongst the Jews: but they were Schools of their Law. For though they were called Synagogues, that is to say, Congregations of the People; yet in as much as the Law was every Sabbath day read, expounded, and disputed in them, they differed not in nature, but in name onely from Publique Schools; and were not onely in Jerusalem, but in every City of the Gentiles, where the Jews inhabited. There was such a Schoole at Damascus, whereinto Paul entred, to persecute. There were others at Antioch, Iconium and Thessalonica, whereinto he entred, to dispute: And such was the Synagogue of the Libertines, Cyrenians, Alexandrians, Cilicians, and those of Asia; that is to say, the Schoole of Libertines, and of Jewes, that were strangers in Jerusalem: And of this Schoole they were that disputed (Act. 6. 9.) with Saint Steven.
But what has been the Utility of those Schools? whatThe Schools of the Grœcians unprofitable. Science is there at this day acquired by their Readings and Disputings? That we have of Geometry, which is the Mother of all Naturall Science, wee are not indebted for it to the Schools. Plato that was the best Philosopher of the Greeks, forbad entrance into his Schoole, to all that were not already in some measure Geometricians. There were many that studied that Science to the great advantage of mankind: but there is no mention of their Schools; nor was there any Sect of Geometricians; nor did they then passe under the name of Philosophers. The naturall Philosophy of those Schools, was rather a Dream than Science, and set forth in senselesse and insignificant Language; which cannot be avoided by those that will teach Philosophy, without having first attained great knowledge in Geometry: For Nature worketh by Motion; the Wayes, and Degrees whereof cannot be known, without the knowledge of the Proportions and Properties of Lines, and Figures. Their Morall Philosophy is but a description of their own Passions. For the rule of Manners, without Civill Government, is the Law of Nature; and in it, the Law Civill; that determineth what is Honest, and Dishonest; what is Just, and Unjust; and generally what is Good, and Evill: whereas they make the Rules of Good, and Bad, by their own Liking, and Disliking: By which means, in so great diversity of taste, there is nothing generally agreed on; but every one doth (as far as he dares) whatsoever seemeth good in his owne eyes, to the subversion of Common-wealth. Their Logique which should bee the Method of Reasoning, is nothing else but Captions of Words, and Inventions how to puzzle such as should goe about to pose them. To conclude, there is nothing so absurd, that the old Philosophers (as Cicero saith, who was one of them) have not some of them maintained. And I beleeve that scarce any thing can be more absurdly said in naturall Philosophy, than that which now is called Aristotles Metaphysiques; nor more repugnant to Government, than much of that hee hath said in his Politiques; nor more ignorantly, than a great part of his Ethiques.
The Schools of the Jews unprofitable. The Schoole of the Jews, was originally a Schoole of the Law of Moses; who commanded (Deut. 31. 10.) that at the end of every seventh year, at the Feast of the Tabernacles, it should be read to all the people, that they might hear, and learn it: Therefore the reading of the Law (which was in use after the Captivity) every Sabbath day, ought to have had no other end, but the acquainting of the people with the Commandements which they were to obey, and to expound unto them the writings of the Prophets. But it is manifest, by the many reprehensions of them by our Saviour, that they corrupted the Text of the Law with their false Commentaries, and vain Traditions; and so little understood the Prophets, that they did neither acknowledge Christ, nor the works he did; of which the Prophets prophecyed. So that by their Lectures and Disputations in their Synagogues, they turned the Doctrine of their Law into a Phantasticall kind of Philosophy, concerning the incomprehensible nature of God, and of Spirits; which they compounded of the Vain Philosophy and Theology of the Græcians, mingled with their own fancies, drawn from the obscurer places of the Scripture, and which might most easily bee wrested to their purpose; and from the Fabulous Traditions of their Ancestors.
That which is now called an University, is a JoyningUniversity what it is. together, and an Incorporation under one Government of many Publique Schools, in one and the same Town or City. In which, the principall Schools were ordained for the three Professions, that is to say, of the Romane Religion, of the Romane Law, and of the Art of Medicine. And for the study of Philosophy it hath no otherwise place, then as a handmaid to the Romane Religion: And since the Authority of Aristotle is onely current there, that study is not properly Philosophy, (the nature whereof dependeth not on Authors,) but Aristotelity. And for Geometry, till of very late times it had no place at all; as being subservient to nothing but rigide Truth. And if any man by the ingenuity of his owne nature, had attained to any degree of perfection therein, hee was commonly thought a Magician, and his Art Diabolicall.
Now to descend to the particular Tenets of Vain Philosophy, derived to the Universities, and thence intoErrors brought into Religion from Aristotles Metaphysiques. the Church, partly from Aristotle, partly from Blindnesse of understanding; I shall first consider their Principles. There is a certain Philosophia Prima, on which all other Philosophy ought to depend; and consisteth principally, in right limiting of the significations of such Appellations, or Names, as are of all others the most Universall: Which Limitations serve to avoid ambiguity, and æquivocation in Reasoning; and are commonly called Definitions; such as are the Definitions of Body, Time, Place, Matter, Forme, Essence, Subject, Substance, Accident, Power, Act, Finite, Infinite, Quantity, Quality, Motion, Action. Passion, and divers others, necessary to the explaining of a mans Conceptions concerning the Nature and Generation of Bodies. The Explication (that is, the setling of the meaning) of which, and the like Terms, is commonly in the Schools called Metaphysiques; as being a part of the Philosophy of Aristotle, which hath that for title: but it is in another sense; for there it signifieth as much, as Books written, or placed after his naturall Philosophy: But the Schools take them for Books of supernaturall Philosophy: for the word Metaphysiques will bear both these senses. And indeed that which is there written, is for the most part so far from the possibility of being understood, and so repugnant to naturall Reason, that whosoever thinketh there is any thing to bee understood by it, must needs think it supernaturall.
Errors concerning Abstract Essences. From these Metaphysiques, which are mingled with the Scripture to make Schoole Divinity, wee are told, there be in the world certain Essences separated from Bodies, which they call Abstract Essences, and Substantiall Formes: For the Interpreting of which Jargon, there is need of somewhat more than ordinary attention in this place. Also I ask pardon of those that are not used to this kind of Discourse, for applying my selfe to those that are. The World, (I mean not the Earth onely, that denominates the Lovers of it Worldly men, but the Universe, that is, the whole masse of all things that are) is Corporeall, that is to say, Body; and hath the dimensions of Magnitude, namely, Length, Bredth, and Depth: also every part of Body, is likewise Body, and hath the like dimensions; and consequently every part of the Universe, is Body; and that which is not Body, is no part of the Universe: And because the Universe is All, that which is no part of it, is Nothing; and consequently no where. Nor does it follow from hence, that Spirits are nothing: for they have dimensions, and are therefore really Bodies; though that name in common Speech be given to such Bodies onely, as are visible, or palpable; that is, that have some degree of Opacity: But for Spirits, they call them Incorporeall; which is a name of more honour, and may therefore with more piety bee attributed to God himselfe; in whom wee consider not what Attribute expresseth best his Nature, which is Incomprehensible; but what best expresseth our desire to honour Him.
To know now upon what grounds they say there beEssences Abstract, or Substantiall Formes, wee are to consider what those words do properly signifie. The use of Words, is to register to our selves, and make manifest to others the Thoughts and Conceptions of our Minds. Of which Words, some are the names of the Things conceived; as the names of all sorts of Bodies, that work upon the Senses, and leave an Impression in the Imaginations: Others are the names of the Imaginations themselves; that is to say, of those Ideas, or mentall Images we have of all things wee see, or remember: And others againe are names of Names; or of different sorts of Speech: As Universall, Plurall, Singular, are the names of Names; and Definition, Affirmation, Negation, True, False, Syllogisme, Interrogation, Promise, Covenant, are the names of certain Forms of Speech. Others serve to shew the Consequence, or Repugnance of one name to another; as when one saith, A Man is a Body, hee intendeth that the name of Body is necessarily consequent to the name of Man; as being but severall names of the same thing, Man; which Consequence is signified by coupling them together with the word Is. And as wee use the Verbe Is; so the Latines use their Verbe Est, and the Greeks their Εστι through all its Declinations. Whether all other Nations of the world have in their severall languages a word that answereth to it, or not, I cannot tell; but I am sure they have not need of it: For the placing of two names in order may serve to signifie their Consequence, if it were the custome, (for Custome is it, that give words their force,) as well as the words Is, or Bee, or Are, and the like.
And if it were so, that there were a Language without any Verb answerable to Est, or Is, or Bee; yet the men that used it would bee not a jot the lesse capable of Inferring, Concluding, and of all kind of Reasoning, than were the Greeks, and Latines. But what then would become of these Terms, of Entity, Essence, Essentiall, Essentiality, that are derived from it, and of many more that depend on these, applyed as most commonly they are? They are therefore no Names of Things; but Signes, by which wee make known, that wee conceive the Consequence of one name or Attribute to another: as when we say, a Man, is, a living Body, wee mean not that the Man is one thing, the Living Body another, and the Is, or Beeing a third: but that the Man, and the Living Body, is the same thing; because the Consequence, If hee bee a Man, hee is a living Body, is a true Consequence, signified by that word Is. Therefore, to bee a Body, to Walke, to bee Speaking, to Live, to See, and the like Infinitives; also Corporeity, Walking, Speaking, Life, Sight, and the like, that signifie just the same, are the names of Nothing; as I have elsewhere more amply expressed.
But to what purpose (may some man say) is such subtilty in a work of this nature, where I pretend to nothing but what is necessary to the doctrine of Government and Obedience? It is to this purpose, that men may no longer suffer themselves to be abused, by them, that by this doctrine of Separated Essences, built on the Vain Philosophy of Aristotle, would fright them from Obeying the Laws of their Countrey, with empty names; as men fright Birds from the Corn with an empty doublet, a hat, and a crooked stick. For it is upon this ground, that when a Man is dead and buried, they say his Soule (that is his Life) can walk separated from his Body, and is seen by night amongst the graves. Upon the same ground they say, that the Figure, and Colour, and Tast of a peece of Bread, has a being, there, where they say there is no Bread: And upon the same ground they say, that Faith, and Wisdome, and other Vertues are sometimes powred into a man, sometimes blown into him from Heaven; as if the Vertuous, and their Vertues could be asunder; and a great many other things that serve to lessen the dependance of Subjects on the Soveraign Power of their Countrey. For who will endeavour to obey the Laws, if he expect Obedience to be Powred or Blown into him? Or who will not obey a Priest, that can make God, rather than his Soveraign; nay than God himselfe? Or who, that is in fear of Ghosts, will not bear great respect to those that can make the Holy Water, that drives them from him? And this shall suffice for an example of the Errors, which are brought into the Church, from the Entities, and Essences of Aristotle: which it may be he knew to be false Philosophy; but writ it as a thing consonant to, and corroborative of their Religion; and fearing the fate of Socrates.
Being once fallen into this Error of Separated Essences, they are thereby necessarily involved in many other absurdities that follow it. For seeing they will have these Forms to be reall, they are obliged to assign them some place. But because they hold them Incorporeall, without all dimension of Quantity, and all men know that Place is Dimension, and not to be filled, but by that which is Corporeall; they are driven to uphold their credit with a distinction, that they are not indeed any where Circumscriptive, but Definitive: Which Term, being meer Words, and in this occasion insignificant, passe onely in Latine, that the vanity of them may bee concealed. For the Circumscription of a thing, is nothing else but the Determination, or Defining of its Place; and so both the Terms of the Distinction are the same. And in particular, of the Essence of a Man, which (they say) is his Soule, they affirm it, to be All of it in his little Finger, and All of it in every other Part (how small soever) of his Body; and yet no more Soule in the Whole Body, than in any one of those Parts. Can any man think that God is served with such absurdities? And yet all this is necessary to beleeve, to those that will beleeve the Existence of an Incorporeall Soule, Separated from the Body.
And when they come to give account, how an Incorporeall Substance can be capable of Pain, and be tormented in the fire of Hell, or Purgatory, they have nothing at all to answer, but that it cannot be known how fire can burn Soules.
Again, whereas Motion is change of Place, and Incorporeall Substances are not capable of Place, they are troubled to make it seem possible, how a Soule can goe hence, without the Body to Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory; and how the Ghosts of men (and I may adde of their clothes which they appear in) can walk by night in Churches, Church-yards, and other places of Sepulture. To which I know not what they can answer, unlesse they will say, they walke, definitivè, not circumscriptivè, or spiritually, not temporally: for such egregious distinctions are equally applicable to any difficulty whatsoever.
Nuncstans. For the meaning of Eternity, they will not have it to be an Endlesse Succession of Time; for then they should not be able to render a reason how Gods Will, and Præordaining of things to come, should not be before his Præscience of the same, as the Efficient Cause before the Effect, or Agent before the Action; nor of many other their bold opinions concerning the Incomprehensible Nature of God. But they will teach us, that Eternity is the Standing still of the Present Time, a Nunc-stans (as the Schools call it;) which neither they, nor any else understand, no more than they would a Hic-stans for an Infinite greatnesse of Place.
One Body in many places, and many Bodies in one place at once. And whereas men divide a Body in their thought, by numbring parts of it, and in numbring those parts, number also the parts of the Place it filled; it cannot be, but in making many parts, wee make also many places of those parts; whereby there cannot bee conceived in the mind of any man, more, or fewer parts, than there are places for: yet they will have us beleeve, that by the Almighty power of God, one body may be at one and the same time in many places; and many bodies at one and the same time in one place: As if it were an acknowledgment of the Divine Power, to say, that which is, is not; or that which has been, has not been. And these are but a small part of the Incongruities they are forced to, from their disputing Philosophically, in stead of admiring, and adoring of the Divine and Incomprehensible Nature; whose Attributes cannot signifie what he is, but ought to signifie our desire to honour him, with the best Appellations we can think on. But they that venture to reason of his Nature, from these Attributes of Honour, losing their understanding in the very first attempt, fall from one Inconvenience into another, without end, and without number; in the same manner, as when a man ignorant of the Ceremonies of Court, comming into the presence of a greater Person than he is used to speak to, and stumbling at his entrance, to save himselfe from falling, lets slip his Cloake; to recover his Cloake, lets fall his Hat; and with one disorder after another, discovers his astonishment and rusticity.
Then for Physiques, that is, the knowledge of theAbsurdities in naturall Philosophy, as Gravity the Cause of Heavinesse. subordinate, and secundary causes of naturall events; they render none at all, but empty words. If you desire to know why some kind of bodies sink naturally downwards toward the Earth, and others goe naturally from it; The Schools will tell you out of Aristotle, that the bodies | that sink downwards, are Heavy; and that this Heavinesse is it that causes them to descend: But if you ask what they mean by Heavinesse, they will define it to bee an endeavour to goe to the center of the Earth: so that the cause why things sink downward, is an Endeavour to be below: which is as much as to say, that bodies descend, or ascend, because they doe. Or they will tell you the center of the Earth is the place of Rest, and Conservation for Heavy things; and therefore they endeavour to be there: As if Stones, and Metalls had a desire, or could discern the place they would bee at, as Man does; or loved Rest, as Man does not; or that a peece of Glasse were lesse safe in the Window, than falling into the Street.
If we would know why the same Body seems greaterQuantity put into Body already made. (without adding to it) one time, than another; they say, when it seems lesse, it is Condensed; when greater, Rarefied. What is that Condensed, and Rarefied? Condensed, is when there is in the very same Matter, lesse Quantity than before; and Rarefied, when more. As if there could be Matter, that had not some determined Quantity; when Quantity is nothing else but the Determination of Matter; that is to say of Body, by which we say one Body is greater, or lesser than another, by thus, or thus much. Or as if a Body were made without any Quantity at all, and that afterwards more, or lesse were put into it, according as it is intended the Body should be more, or lesse Dense.
Powring in of Soules. For the cause of the Soule of Man, they say, Creatur Infundendo, and Creando Infunditur: that is, It is Created by Powering it in, and Powred in by Creation.
Ubiquity of Apparition. For the Cause of Sense, an ubiquity of Species; that is, of the Shews or Apparitions of objects; which when they be Apparitions to the Eye, is Sight; when to the Eare, Hearing; to the Palate, Tast; to the Nostrill, Smelling; and to the rest of the Body, Feeling.
Will, the Cause of Willing. For cause of the Will, to doe any particular action, which is called Volitio, they assign the Faculty, that is to say, the Capacity in generall, that men have, to will sometimes one thing, sometimes another, which is called Voluntas; making the Power the cause of the Act: As if one should assign for cause of the good or evill Acts of men, their Ability to doe them.
Ignorance an occult Cause. And in many occasions they put for cause of Naturall events, their own Ignorance; but disguised in other words: As when they say, Fortune is the cause of things contingent; that is, of things whereof they know no cause: And as when they attribute many Effects to occult qualities; that is, qualities not known to them; and therefore also (as they thinke) to no Man else. And to Sympathy, Antipathy, Antiperistasis, Specificall Qualities, and other like Termes, which signifie neither the Agent that produceth them, nor the Operation by which they are produced.
If such Metaphysiques, and Physiques as this, be not Vain Philosophy, there was never any; nor needed St. Paul to give us warning to avoid it.
One makes the things incongruent, another the Incongruity. And for their Morall, and Civill Philosophy, it hath the same, or greater absurdities. If a man doe an action of Injustice, that is to say, an action contrary to the Law, God they say is the prime cause of the Law, and also the prime cause of that, and all other Actions; but no cause at all of the Injustice; which is the Inconformity of the Action to the Law. This is Vain Philosophy. A man might as well say, that one man maketh both a streight line, and a crooked, and another maketh their Incongruity. And such is the Philosophy of all men that resolve of their Conclusions, before they know their Premises; pretending to comprehend, that which is Incomprehensible; and of Attributes of Honour to make Attributes of Nature; as this distinction was made to maintain the Doctrine of Free-Will, that is, of a Will of man, not subject to the Will of God.
Aristotle, and other Heathen Philosophers definePrivate Appetite the rule of Publique good: Good, and Evill, by the Appetite of men; and well enough, as long as we consider them governed every one by his own Law: For in the condition of men that have no other Law but their own Appetites, there can be no generall Rule of Good, and Evill Actions. But in a Common-wealth this measure is false: Not the Appetite of Private men, but the Law, which is the Will and Appetite of the State is the measure. And yet is this Doctrine still practised; and men judge the Goodnesse, or Wickednesse of their own, and of other mens actions, and of the actions of the Common-wealth it selfe, by their own Passions; and no man calleth Good or Evill, but that which is so in his own eyes, without any regard at all to the Publique Laws; except onely Monks, and Friers, that are bound by Vow to that simple obedience to their Superiour, to which every Subject ought to think himself bound by the Law of Nature to the Civill Soveraign. And this private measure of Good, is a Doctrine, not onely Vain, but also Pernicious to the Publique State.
It is also Vain and false Philosophy, to say the workAnd that lawfull Marriage is Unchastity: of Marriage is repugnant to Chastity, or Continence, and by consequence to make them Morall Vices; as they doe, that pretend Chastity, and Continence, for the ground of denying Marriage to the Clergy. For they confesse it is no more, but a Constitution of the Church, that requireth in those holy Orders that continually attend the Altar, and administration of the Eucharist, a continuall Abstinence from women, under the name of continuall Chastity, Continence, and Purity. Therefore they call the lawfull use of Wives, want of Chastity, and Continence; and so make Marriage a Sin, or at least a thing so impure, and unclean, as to render a man unfit for the Altar. If the Law were made because the use of Wives is Incontinence, and contrary to Chastity, then all Marriage is vice: If because it is a thing too impure, and unclean for a man consecrated to God; much more should other naturall, necessary, and daily works which all men doe, render men unworthy to bee Priests, because they are more unclean.
But the secret foundation of this prohibition of Marriage of Priests, is not likely to have been laid so slightly, as upon such errours in Morall Philosophy; nor yet upon the preference of single life, to the estate of Matrimony; which proceeded from the wisdome of St. Paul, who perceived how inconvenient a thing it was, for those that in those times of persecution were Preachers of the Gospel, and forced to fly from one countrey to another, to be clogged with the care of wife and children; but upon the designe of the Popes, and Priests of after times, to make themselves the Clergy, that is to say, sole Heirs of the Kingdome of God in this world; to which it was necessary to take from them the use of Marriage, because our Saviour saith, that at the coming of his Kingdome the Children of God shall neither Marry, nor bee given in Marriage, but shall bee as the Angels in heaven; that is to say, Spirituall. Seeing then they had taken on them the name of Spirituall, to have allowed themselves (when there was no need) the propriety of Wives, had been an Incongruity.
And that all Government but Popular, is Tyranny: From Aristotles Civill Philosophy, they have learned, to call all manner of Common-wealths but the Popular, (such as was at that time the state of Athens,) Tyranny. All Kings they called Tyrants; and the Aristocracy of the thirty Governours set up there by the Lacedemonians that subdued them, the thirty Tyrants: As also to call the condition of the people under the Democracy, Liberty. A Tyrant originally signified no more simply, but a Monarch: But when afterwards in most parts of Greece that kind of government was abolished, the name began to signifie, not onely the thing it did before, but with it, the hatred which the Popular States bare towards it: As also the name of King became odious after the deposing of the Kings in Rome, as being a thing naturall to all men, to conceive some great Fault to be signified in any Attribute, that is given in despight, and to a great Enemy. And when the same men shall be displeased with those that have the administration of the Democracy, or Aristocracy, they are not to seek for disgracefull names to expresse their anger in; but call readily the one Anarchy, and the other, Oligarchy, or the Tyranny of a Few. And that which offendeth the People, is no other thing, but that they are governed, not as every one of them would himselfe, but as the Publique Representant, be it one Man, or an Assembly of men thinks fit; that is, by an Arbitrary government: for which they give evill names to their Superiors; never knowing (till perhaps a little after a Civill warre) that without such Arbitrary government, such Warre must be perpetuall; and that it is Men, and Arms, not Words, and Promises, that make the Force and Power of the Laws.
And therefore this is another Errour of AristotlesThat not Men, but Law governs. Politiques, that in a wel ordered Common-wealth, not Men should govern, but the Laws. What man, that has his naturall Senses, though he can neither write nor read, does not find himself governed by them he fears, and beleeves can kill or hurt him when he obeyeth not? or that beleeves the Law can hurt him; that is, Words, and Paper, without the Hands, and Swords of men? And this is of the number of pernicious Errors: for they induce men, as oft as they like not their Governours, to adhære to those that call them Tyrants, and to think it lawfull to raise warre against them: And yet they are many times cherished from the Pulpit, by the Clergy.
There is another Errour in their Civill PhilosophyLaws over the Conscience. (which they never learned of Aristotle, nor Cicero, nor any other of the Heathen,) to extend the power of the Law, which is the Rule of Actions onely, to the very Thoughts, and Consciences of men, by Examination, and Inquisition of what they Hold, notwithstanding the Conformity of their Speech and Actions: By which, men are either punished for answering the truth of their thoughts, or constrained to answer an untruth for fear of punishment. It is true, that the Civill Magistrate, intending to employ a Minister in the charge of Teaching, may enquire of him, if hee bee content to Preach such, and such Doctrines; and in case of refusall, may deny him the employment: But to force him to accuse himselfe of Opinions, when his Actions are not by Law forbidden, is against the Law of Nature; and especially in them, who teach, that a man shall bee damned to Eternall and extream torments, if he die in a false opinion concerning an Article of the Christian Faith. For who is there, that knowing there is so great danger in an error, whom the naturall care of himself, compelleth not to hazard his Soule upon his own judgement, rather than that of any other man that is unconcerned in his damnation?
Private Interpretation of Law. For a Private man, without the Authority of the Common-wealth, that is to say, without permission from the Representant thereof, to Interpret the Law by his own Spirit, is another Error in the Politiques; but not drawn from Aristotle, nor from any other of the Heathen Philosophers. For none of them deny, but that in the Power of making Laws, is comprehended also the Power of Explaining them when there is need. And are not the Scriptures, in all places where they are Law, made Law by the Authority of the Common-wealth, and consequently, a part of the Civill Law?
Of the same kind it is also, when any but the Soveraign restraineth in any man that power which the Common-wealth hath not restrained; as they do, that impropriate the Preaching of the Gospell to one certain Order of men, where the Laws have left it free. If the State give me leave to preach, or teach; that is, if it forbid me not, no man can forbid me. If I find my selfe amongst the Idolaters of America, shall I that am a Christian, though not in Orders, think it a sin to preach Jesus Christ, till I have received Orders from Rome? or when I have preached, shall not I answer their doubts, and expound the Scriptures to them; that is, shall I not Teach? But for this may some say, as also for administring to them the Sacraments, the necessity shall be esteemed for a sufficient Mission; which is true: But this is true also, that for whatsoever, a dispensation is due for the necessity, for the same there needs no dispensation, when there is no Law that forbids it. Therefore to deny these Functions to those, to whom the Civill Soveraigne hath not denyed them, is a taking away of a lawfull Liberty, which is contrary to the Doctrine of Civill Government.
More examples of Vain Philosophy, brought into Religion by the Doctors of Schoole-Divinity, might be produced; but other men may if they please observe them of themselves. I shall onely adde this, that the Writings of Schoole-Divines, are nothing else for theLanguage of Schoole-Divines. most part, but insignificant Traines of strange and barbarous words, or words otherwise used, then in the common use of the Latine tongue; such as would pose Cicero, and Varro, and all the Grammarians of ancient Rome. Which if any man would see proved, let him (as I have said once before) see whether he can translate any Schoole-Divine into any of the Modern tongues, as French, English, or any other copious language: for that which cannot in most of these be made Intelligible, is not Intelligible in the Latine. Which Insignificancy of language, though I cannot note it for false Philosophy; yet it hath a quality, not onely to hide the Truth, but also to make men think they have it, and desist from further search.
Lastly, for the Errors brought in from false, or uncertainErrors from Tradition. History, what is all the Legend of fictitious Miracles, in the lives of the Saints; and all the Histories of Apparitions, and Ghosts, alledged by the Doctors of the Romane Church, to make good their Doctrines of Hell, and Purgatory, the power of Exorcisme, and other Doctrines which have no warrant, neither in Reason, nor Scripture; as also all those Traditions which they call the unwritten Word of God; but old Wives Fables? Whereof, though they find dispersed somewhat in the Writings of the ancient Fathers; yet those Fathers were men, that might too easily beleeve false reports; and the producing of their opinions for testimony of the truth of what they beleeved, hath no other force with them that (according to the Counsell of St. John 1 Epist. chap. 4. verse 1.) examine Spirits, than in all things that concern the power of the Romane Church, (the abuse whereof either they suspected not, or had benefit by it,) to discredit their testimony, in respect of too rash beleef of reports; which the most sincere men, without great knowledge of naturall causes, (such as the Fathers were) are commonly the most subject to: For naturally, the best men are the least suspicious of fraudulent purposes. Gregory the Pope, and S. Bernard have somewhat of Apparitions of Ghosts, that said they were in Purgatory; and so has our Beda: but no where, I beleeve, but by report from others. But if they, or any other, relate any such stories of their own knowledge, they shall not thereby confirm the more such vain reports; but discover their own Infirmity, or Fraud.
Suppression of Reason. With the Introduction of False, we may joyn also the suppression of True Philosophy, by such men, as neither by lawfull authority, nor sufficient study, are competent Judges of the truth. Our own Navigations make manifest, and all men learned in humane Sciences, now acknowledge there are Antipodes: And every day it appeareth more and more, that Years, and Dayes are determined by Motions of the Earth. Neverthelesse, men that have in their Writings but supposed such Doctrine, as an occasion to lay open the reasons for, and against it, have been punished for it by Authority Ecclesiasticall. But what reason is there for it? Is it because such opinions are contrary to true Religion? that cannot be, if they be true. Let therefore the truth be first examined by competent Judges, or confuted by them that pretend to know the contrary. Is it because they be contrary to the Religion established? Let them be silenced by the Laws of those, to whom the Teachers of them are subject; that is, by the Laws Civill: For disobedience may lawfully be punished in them, that against the Laws teach even true Philosophy. Is it because they tend to disorder in Government, as countenancing Rebellion, or Sedition? then let them be silenced, and the Teachers punished by vertue of his Power to whom the care of the Publique quiet is committed; which is the Authority Civill. For whatsoever Power Ecclesiastiques take upon themselves (in any place where they are subject to the State) in their own Right, though they call it Gods Right, is but Usurpation.
Of theBenefitthat proceedeth from such Darknesse, and to whom it accreweth.
Cicero maketh honorable mention of one of the Cassii,He that receiveth Benefit by a Fact, is presumed to be the Author. a severe Judge amongst the Romans, for a custome he had, in Criminall causes, (when the testimony of the witnesses was not sufficient,) to ask the Accusers, Cui bono; that is to say, what Profit, Honor, or other Contentment, the accused obtained, or expected by the Fact. For amongst Præsumptions, there is none that so evidently declareth the Author, as doth the Benefit of the Action. By the same rule I intend in this place to examine, who they may be, that have possessed the People so long in this part of Christendome, with these Doctrines, contrary to the Peaceable Societies of Mankind.
And first, to this Error, that the present Church nowThat the Church Militant is the Kingdome of God, was first taught by the Church of Rome.Militant on Earth, is the Kingdome of God, (that is, the Kingdome of Glory, or the Land of Promise; not the Kingdome of Grace, which is but a Promise of the Land,) are annexed these worldly Benefits; First, that the Pastors, and Teachers of the Church, are entitled thereby, as Gods Publique Ministers, to a Right of Governing the Church; and consequently (because the Church, and Common-wealth are the same Persons) to be Rectors, and Governours of the Common-wealth. By this title it is, that the Pope prevailed with the subjects of all Christian Princes, to beleeve, that to disobey him, was to disobey Christ himselfe; and in all differences between him and other Princes, (charmed with the word Power Spirituall,) to abandon their lawfull Soveraigns; which is in effect an universall Monarchy over all Christendome. For though they were first invested in the right of being Supreme Teachers of Christian Doctrine, by, and under Christian Emperors, within the limits of the Romane Empire (as is acknowledged by themselves) by the title of Pontifex Maximus, who was an Officer subject to the Civill State; yet after the Empire was divided, and dissolved, it was not hard to obtrude upon the people already subject to them, another Title, namely, the Right of St. Peter; not onely to save entire their pretended Power; but also to extend the same over the same Christian Provinces, though no more united in the Empire of Rome. This Benefit of an Universall Monarchy, (considering the desire of men to bear Rule) is a sufficient Presumption, that the Popes that pretended to it, and for a long time enjoyed it, were the Authors of the Doctrine, by which it was obtained; namely, that the Church now on Earth, is the Kingdome of Christ. For that granted, it must be understood, that Christ hath some Lieutenant amongst us, by whom we are to be told what are his Commandements.
After that certain Churches had renounced this universall Power of the Pope, one would expect in reason, that the Civill Soveraigns in all those Churches, should have recovered so much of it, as (before they had unadvisedly let it goe) was their own Right, and in their own hands. And in England it was so in effect; saving that they, by whom the Kings administred the Government of Religion, by maintaining their imployment to be in Gods Right, seemed to usurp, if not a Supremacy, yet an Independency on the Civill Power: and they but seemed to usurpe it, in as much as they acknowledged a Right in the King, to deprive them of the Exercise of their Functions at his pleasure.
And maintained also by the Presbytery. But in those places where the Presbytery took that Office, though many other Doctrines of the Church of Rome were forbidden to be taught; yet this Doctrine, that the Kingdome of Christ is already come, and that it began at the Resurrection of our Saviour, was still retained. But cui bono? What Profit did they expect from it? The same which the Popes expected: to have a Soveraign Power over the People. For what is it for men to excommunicate their lawful King, but to keep him from all places of Gods publique Service in his own Kingdom? and with force to resist him, when he with force endeavoureth to correct them? Or what is it, without Authority from the Civill Soveraign, to excommunicate any person, but to take from him his Lawfull Liberty, that is, to usurpe an unlawfull Power over their Brethren? The Authors therefore of this Darknesse in Religion, are the Romane, and the Presbyterian Clergy.
To this head, I referre also all those Doctrines, thatInfallibility. serve them to keep the possession of this spirituall Soveraignty after it is gotten. As first, that the Pope in his publique capacity cannot erre. For who is there, that beleeving this to be true, will not readily obey him in whatsoever he commands?
Secondly, that all other Bishops, in what Common-wealthSubjection of Bishops. soever, have not their Right, neither immediately from God, nor mediately from their Civill Soveraigns, but from the Pope, is a Doctrine, by which there comes to be in every Christian Common-wealth many potent men, (for so are Bishops,) that have their dependance on the Pope, and owe obedience to him, though he be a forraign Prince; by which means he is able, (as he hath done many times) to raise a Civill War against the State that submits not it self to be governed according to his pleasure and Interest.
Thirdly, the exemption of these, and of all other Priests,Exemptions of the Clergy. and of all Monkes, and Fryers, from the Power of the Civill Laws. For by this means, there is a great part of every Common-wealth, that enjoy the benefit of the Laws, and are protected by the Power of the Civill State, which neverthelesse pay no part of the Publique expence; nor are lyable to the penalties, as other Subjects, due to their crimes; and consequently, stand not in fear of any man, but the Pope; and adhere to him onely, to uphold his universall Monarchy.
Fourthly, the giving to their Priests (which is no moreThe names of Sacerdotes and Sacrifices. in the New Testament but Presbyters, that is, Elders) the name of Sacerdotes, | that is, Sacrificers, which was the title of the Civill Soveraign, and his publique Ministers, amongst the Jews, whilest God was their King. Also, the making the Lords Supper a Sacrifice, serveth to make the People beleeve the Pope hath the same power over all Christians, that Moses and Aaron had over the Jews; that is to say, all Power, both Civill and Ecclesiasticall, as the High Priest then had.
The Sacramentation of Marriage. Fiftly, the teaching that Matrimony is a Sacrament, giveth to the Clergy the Judging of the lawfulnesse of Marriages; and thereby, of what Children are Legitimate; and consequently, of the Right of Succession to hæreditary Kingdomes.
The single life of Priests. Sixtly, the Deniall of Marriage to Priests, serveth to assure this Power of the Pope over Kings. For if a King be a Priest, he cannot Marry, and transmit his Kingdome to his Posterity; If he be not a Priest, then the Pope pretendeth this Authority Ecclesiasticall over him, and over his people.
Auricular Confession. Seventhly, from Auricular Confession, they obtain, for the assurance of their Power, better intelligence of the designs of Princes, and great persons in the Civill State, than these can have of the designs of the State Ecclesiasticall.
Canonization of Saints, and declaring of Martyrs. Eighthly, by the Canonization of Saints, and declaring who are Martyrs, they assure their Power, in that they induce simple men into an obstinacy against the Laws and Commands of their Civill Soveraigns even to death, if by the Popes excommunication, they be declared Heretiques or Enemies to the Church; that is, (as they interpret it,) to the Pope.
Transubstantiation, Pennance, Absolution. Ninthly, they assure the same, by the Power they ascribe to every Priest, of making Christ; and by the Power of ordaining Pennance; and of Remitting, and Retaining of sins.
Purgatory, Indulgences, Externall works. Tenthly, by the Doctrine of Purgatory, of Justification by externall works, and of Indulgences, the Clergy is enriched.
Eleventhly, by their Dæmonology, and the use of Exorcisme, and other things appertaining thereto, they keep (or thinke they keep) the People more in awe of their PowerDæmonology and Exorcism..
Lastly, the Metaphysiques, Ethiques, and Politiques of Aristotle, the frivolous Distinctions, barbarousSchool-Divinity. Terms, and obscure Language of the Schoolmen, taught in the Universities, (which have been all erected and regulated by the Popes Authority,) serve them to keep these Errors from being detected, and to make men mistake the Ignis fatuus of Vain Philosophy, for the Light of the Gospell.
To these, if they sufficed not, might be added otherThe Authors of spirituall Darknesse, who they be. of their dark Doctrines, the profit whereof redoundeth manifestly, to the setting up of an unlawfull Power over the lawfull Soveraigns of Christian People; or for the sustaining of the same, when it is set up; or to the worldly Riches, Honour, and Authority of those that sustain it. And therefore by the aforesaid rule, of Cui bono, we may justly pronounce for the Authors of all this Spirituall Darknesse, the Pope, and Roman Clergy, and all those besides that endeavour to settle in the mindes of men this erroneous Doctrine, that the Church now on Earth, is that Kingdome of God mentioned in the Old and New Testament.
But the Emperours, and other Christian Soveraigns, under whose Government these Errours, and the like encroachments of Ecclesiastiques upon their Office, at first crept in, to the disturbance of their possessions, and of the tranquillity of their Subjects, though they suffered the same for want of foresight of the Sequel, and of insight into the designs of their Teachers, may neverthelesse bee esteemed accessaries to their own, and the Publique dammage: For without their Authority there could at first no seditious Doctrine have been publiquely preached. I say they might have hindred the same in the beginning: But when the people were once possessed by those spirituall men, there was no humane remedy to be applyed, that any man could invent: And for the remedies that God should provide, who never faileth in his good time to destroy all the Machinations of men against the Truth, wee are to attend his good pleasure, that suffereth many times the prosperity of his enemies, together with their ambition, to grow to such a height, as the violence thereof openeth the eyes, which the warinesse of their predecessours had before sealed up, and makes men by too much grasping let goe all, as Peters net was broken, by the struggling of too great a multitude of Fishes; whereas the Impatience of those, that strive to resist such encroachment, before their Subjects eyes were opened, did but encrease the power they resisted. I doe not therefore blame the Emperour Frederick for holding the stirrop to our countryman Pope Adrian; for such was the disposition of his subjects then, as if hee had not done it, hee was not likely to have succeeded in the Empire: But I blame those, that in the beginning, when their power was entire, by suffering such Doctrines to be forged in the Universities of their own Dominions, have holden the Stirrop to all the succeeding Popes, whilest they mounted into the Thrones of all Christian Soveraigns, to ride, and tire, both them, and their people, at their pleasure.
But as the Inventions of men are woven, so also are they ravelled out; the way is the same, but the order is inverted: The web begins at the first Elements of Power, which are Wisdom, Humility, Sincerity, and other vertues of the Apostles, whom the people converted, obeyed, out of Reverence, not by Obligation: Their Consciences were free, and their Words and Actions subject to none but the Civill Power. Afterwards the Presbyters (as the Flocks of Christ encreased) assembling to consider what they should teach, and thereby obliging themselves to teach nothing against the Decrees of their Assemblies, made it to be thought the people were thereby obliged to follow their Doctrine, and when they refused, refused to keep them company, (that was then called Excommunication,) not as being Infidels, but as being disobedient: And this was the first knot upon their Liberty. And the number of Presbyters encreasing, the Presbyters of the chief City or Province, got themselves an authority over the Parochiall Presbyters, and appropriated to themselves the names of Bishops: And this was a second knot on Christian Liberty. Lastly, the Bishop of Rome, in regard of the Imperiall City, took upon him an Authority (partly by the wills of the Emperours themselves, and by the title of Pontifex Maximus, and at last when the Emperours were grown weak, by the priviledges of St. Peter) over all other Bishops of the Empire: Which was the third and last knot, and the whole Synthesis and Construction of the Pontificiall Power.
And therefore the Analysis, or Resolution is by the same way; but beginneth with the knot that was last tyed; as wee may see in the dissolution of the præter-politicall Church Government in England. First, the Power of the Popes was dissolved totally by Queen Elizabeth; and the Bishops, who before exercised their Functions in Right of the Pope, did afterwards exercise the same in Right of the Queen and her Successours; though by retaining the phrase of Jure Divino, they were thought to demand it by immediate Right from God: And so was untyed the first knot. After this, the Presbyterians lately in England obtained the putting down of Episcopacy: And so was the second knot dissolved: And almost at the same time, the Power was taken also from the Presbyterians: And so we are reduced to the Independency of the Primitive Christians to follow Paul, or Cephas, or Apollos, every man as he liketh best: Which, if it be without contention, and without measuring the Doctrine of Christ, by our affection to the Person of his Minister, (the fault which the Apostle reprehended in the Corinthians,) is perhaps the best: First, because there ought to be no Power over the Consciences of men, but of the Word it selfe, working Faith in every one, not alwayes according to the purpose of them that Plant and Water, but of God himself, that giveth the Increase: and secondly, because it is unreasonable in them, who teach there is such danger in every little Errour, to require of a man endued with Reason of his own, to follow the Reason of any other man, or of the most voices of many other men; Which is little better, then to venture his Salvation at crosse and pile. Nor ought those Teachers to be displeased with this losse of their antient Authority: For there is none should know better then they, that power is preserved by the same Vertues by which it is acquired; that is to say, by Wisdome, Humility, Clearnesse of Doctrine, and sincerity of Conversation; and not by suppression of the Naturall Sciences, and of the Morality of Naturall Reason; nor by obscure Language; nor by Arrogating to themselves more Knowledge than they make appear; nor by Pious Frauds; nor by such other faults, as in the Pastors of Gods Church are not only Faults, but also scandalls, apt to make men stumble one time or other upon the suppression of their Authority.
Comparison of the Papacy with the Kingdome of Fayries But after this Doctrine, that the Church now Militant, is the Kingdome of God spoken of in the Old and New Testament, was received in the World; the ambition, and canvasing for the Offices that belong thereunto, and especially for that great Office of being | Christs Lieutenant, and the Pompe of them that obtained therein the principall Publique Charges, became by degrees so evident, that they lost the inward Reverence due to the Pastorall Function: in so much as the Wisest men, of them that had any power in the Civill State, needed nothing but the authority of their Princes, to deny them any further Obedience. For, from the time that the Bishop of Rome had gotten to be acknowledged for Bishop Universall, by pretence of Succession to St. Peter, their whole Hierarchy, or Kingdome of Darknesse, may be compared not unfitly to the Kingdome of Fairies; that is, to the old wives Fables in England, concerning Ghosts and Spirits, and the feats they play in the night. And if a man consider the originall of this great Ecclesiasticall Dominion, he will easily perceive, that the Papacy, is no other, than the Ghost of the deceased Romane Empire, sitting crowned upon the grave thereof: For so did the Papacy start up on a Sudden out of the Ruines of that Heathen Power.
The Language also, which they use, both in the Churches, and in their Publique Acts, being Latine, which is not commonly used by any Nation now in the world, what is it but the Ghost of the Old Romane Language?
The Fairies in what Nation soever they converse, have but one Universall King, which some Poets of ours call King Oberon; but the Scripture calls Beelzebub, Prince of Dœmons. The Eoclesiastiques likewise, in whose Dominions soever they be found, acknowledge but one Universall King, the Pope.
The Ecclesiastiques are Spirituall men, and Ghostly Fathers. The Fairies are Spirits, and Ghosts. Fairies and Ghosts inhabite Darknesse, Solitudes, and Graves. The Ecclesiastiques walke in Obscurity of Doctrine, in Monasteries, Churches, and Church-yards.
The Ecclesiastiques have their Cathedrall Churches: which, in what Towne soever they be erected, by vertue of Holy Water, and certain Charmes called Exorcismes, have the power to make those Townes, Cities, that is to say, Seats of Empire. The Fairies also have their enchanted Castles, and certain Gigantique Ghosts, that domineer over the Regions round about them.
The Fairies are not to be seized on; and brought to answer for the hurt they do. So also the Ecclesiastiques vanish away from the Tribunals of Civill Justice.
The Ecclesiastiques take from young men, the use of Reason, by certain Charms compounded of Metaphysiques, and Miracles, and Traditions, and Abused Scripture, whereby they are good for nothing else, but to execute what they command them. The Fairies likewise are said to take young Children out of their Cradles, and to change them into Naturall Fools, which Common people do therefore call Elves, and are apt to mischief.
In what Shop, or Operatory the Fairies make their Enchantment, the old Wives have not determined. But the Operatories of the Clergy, are well enough known to be the Universities, that received their Discipline from Authority Pontificiall.
When the Fairies are displeased with any body, they are said to send their Elves, to pinch them. The Ecclesiastiques, when they are displeased with any Civill State, make also their Elves, that is, Superstitious, Enchanted Subjects, to pinch their Princes, by preaching Sedition; or one Prince enchanted with promises, to pinch another.
The Fairies marry not; but there be amongst them Incubi, that have copulation with flesh and bloud. The Priests also marry not.
The Ecclesiastiques take the Cream of the Land, by Donations of ignorant men, that stand in aw of them, and by Tythes: So also it is in the Fable of Fairies, that they enter into the Dairies, and Feast upon the Cream, which they skim from the Milk.
What kind of Money is currant in the Kingdome of Fairies, is not recorded in the Story. But the Ecclesiastiques in their Receipts accept of the same Money that we doe; though when they are to make any Payment, it is in Canonizations, Indulgences, and Masses.
To this, and such like resemblances between the Papacy, and the Kingdome of Fairies, may be added this, that as the Fairies have no existence, but in the Fancies of ignorant people, rising from the Traditions of old Wives, or old Poets: so the Spirituall Power of the Pope (without the bounds of his own Civill Dominion) consisteth onely in the Fear that Seduced people stand in, of their Excommunications; upon hearing of false Miracles, false Traditions, and false Interpretations of the Scripture.
It was not therefore a very difficult matter, for Henry 8. by his Exorcisme; nor for Qu. Elizabeth by hers, to cast them out. But who knows that this Spirit of Rome, now gone out, and walking by Missions through the dry places of China, Japan, and the Indies, that yeeld him little fruit, may not return, or rather an Assembly of Spirits worse than he, enter, and inhabite this clean swept house, and make the End thereof worse than the Beginning? For it is not the Romane Clergy onely, that pretends the Kingdome of God to be of this World, and thereby to have a Power therein, distinct from that of the Civil State. And this is all I had a designe to say, concerning the Doctrine of the POLITIQUES. Which when I have reviewed, I shall willingly expose it to the censure of my Countrey.