Part 10 out of 11
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 Christendome. This power Regal under Christ,
being challenged, universally by that 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.
And That The Pope Is His Vicar Generall
Consequent to this claim of the Pope to 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 Gratia 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 Viceregent 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 Haereticis.) "That if a King at the Popes
admonition, doe not purge his Kingdome of Haeresies, 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 Haeresies 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 Reigne 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, or 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.
Error From Mistaking Consecration For Conjuration
A second generall abuse of Scripture, is the turning of 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 of 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 appeared not to the Sight, or other Sense
of the Receiver, any thing that appeareth 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 now 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 aequivalent 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.
Incantation In The Ceremonies Of Baptisme
The like incantation, in stead of Consecration, is used 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 judge 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 Daemoniaques: 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,
and Consecrations, in administration of the Sacraments of Baptisme,
and the Lords Supper; wherein every thing that serveth to those
holy men (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 Imaginery 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 water produce
Reptile Animae 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 Daemonology 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 show 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
own 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 than 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
Soveraignes, 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.
Answer To The Text On Which Beza Infereth
That The Kingdome Of Christ Began At The Resurrection
The words are (Marke 9.1.) "Verily, I say unto you, 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 Judaea, 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 (1 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 this 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 Kingdome 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 9.1
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.
Abuse Of Some Other Texts In
Defence Of The Power Of The Pope
As for some other texts, to prove the Popes Power 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."
The Manner Of Consecrations In
The Scripture, Was Without Exorcisms
As for the rites of Consecration, though they depend 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 Exorcised, 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 Exorcised 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 thanks 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 Exorcise 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, and the 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 in 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 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
praeeminence 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.
Eternall Torments What
These things considered, the texts that mention Eternall Fire,
Eternal Torments, or the Word 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.
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 Angells, 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 know 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, what 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 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 Praediction 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 men,
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 off;
and shall afterwards call upon the name of the true God.
In like manner, the Apostle saith of them, that holding this Foundation
Jesus 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 of 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. 59.) 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; and 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 Officer, and thou be cast into prison.
Verily I say unto thee, thou shalt by no means come out thence,
till thou has 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 to 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,
howsoever 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 be 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.
OF DAEMONOLOGY, AND OTHER RELIQUES OF THE RELIGION OF THE GENTILES
The Originall Of Daemonology
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,
of 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 aethereall Matter, which is, then, when they will be seen, condensed.
But Both of them agree on one generall appellation of them, DAEMONS.
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 Daemon, 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 DAEMONOLOGY (in which the Poets, as Principal
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 Daemons, and others Evill;
the one as a Spurre to the Observance, the other, as Reines to withhold
them from Violation of the Laws.
What Were The Daemons Of The Ancients
What kind of things they were, to whom they attributed the name
of Daemons, appeareth partly in the Genealogie of their Gods,
written by Hesiod, one of the most ancient Poets of the Graecians;
and partly in other Histories; of which I have observed some few before,
in the 12. Chapter of this discourse.
How That Doctrine Was Spread
The Graecians, by their Colonies and Conquests, communicated
their Language and Writings into Asia, Egypt, and Italy; and therein,
by necessary consequence their Daemonology, or (as St. Paul calles it)
"their Doctrines of Devils;" And by that meanes, the contagion
was derived also to the Jewes, both of Judaea, and Alexandria,
and other parts, whereinto they were dispersed. But the name of Daemon
they did not (as the Graecians) attribute to Spirits both Good,
and Evill; but to the Evill onely: And to the Good Daemons 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
Daemon, but a kakodaimen, an Evill Daemon, that is, a Devill.
And therefore, they called Daemoniaques, 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 keepeth
his sayings should not see Death In Aeternum, (John 8. 52.)
"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 he
denies not that they are Bodies: And where St. Paul sais,
"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 signifie 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 Corporeal Spirit, but that of his owne,
by which his body is naturally moved.
The Scriptures Doe Not Teach
That Spirits Are Incorporeall
Our Saviour, immediately after the Holy Ghost 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:"
herein, 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 he might 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 Designes 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 Enemies 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 Daemons.
And I find that there are Spirits Corporeal, (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.
The Power Of Casting Out Devills,
Not The Same It Was In The Primitive Church
Neverthelesse, the contrary Doctrine, namely, that 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
Daemoniaques 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 Daemoniaques, 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 there 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, ALIENOS DEOS, 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.
Answer To Certain Seeming Texts For Images
The places of Scripture pretended to countenance the 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.
What Is Worship
I have already shewn in the 20 Chapter of this Discourse, 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 douleia,
and latreia, 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 Douloi, that is properly, Slaves, and their Service, Douleia:
The other, which is of those that serve (for hire, or in hope of benefit
from their Masters) voluntarily; are called Thetes; 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, whether, as a Slave, or a voluntary Servant:
And the word Latris, is the general name of both, signifying him that
worketh for another, whether, as a Slave, or a voluntary Servant:
So that Latreia signifieth generally all Service; but Douleia the service
of Bondmen onely, and the condition of Slavery: And both are used
in Scripture (to signifie our Service of God) promiscuously.
Douleia, because we are Gods Slaves; Latreia, 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 thy 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 Graecians, with whom the word Eido
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; making up a Figure
out of the parts of divers creatures; as the Poets make their Centaures,
Chimaeras, and other Monsters never seen: So can he also give
Matter to those Shapes, and make them in Wood, Clay or Metall.
And 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 Idoll 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.
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, or 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,
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 the 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 inhaerent 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, is inanimating, or inhibiting,
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, as 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 grace, 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 be 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.
Scandalous Worship Of Images
Besides the Idolatrous Worship of Images, there is 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 Daemon, 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 that, 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, not 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.
Answer To The Argument From
The Cherubins, And Brazen Serpent
As for the proofs alledged out of Scripture, namely, 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 (Gen. 31.30.) are called his Gods.
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.
How Idolatry Was Left In The Church
The cause whereof, was the immoderate esteem, and prices set upon
the workmanship of them, which made the owners (though converted,
from worshipping them as they had done Religiously for Daemons)
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, grow 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.
Canonizing Of Saints
The Canonizing of Saints, is another Relique of 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
Quirinius, and would be propitious to the State of their new City:
And thereupon the Senate gave Publique Testimony of his Sanctity.
Julius Caesar, and other Emperors after him, had the like Testimony;
that is, were Canonized for Saints; now defined; and is the same
with the Apotheosis of the Heathen.
The Name Of Pontifex
It is also from the Roman Heathen, that the Popes have received
the name, and power of PONTIFEX MAXIMUS. 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 Caesar
changed the State into a Monarchy, he took to himselfe no more
but this office, and that of Tribune of the People, (than 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.
Procession Of Images
The carrying about of Images in Procession, is another 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 Caesar
by the Senate, this was one, that in the Pompe (or Procession)
at the Circaean 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.
Wax Candles, And Torches Lighted
To these Processions also belonged the bearing of burning Torches,
and Candles, before the Images of the 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 Dadouchiais, that is, with Torches;
for Dadochoi 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 May-poles; 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.
OF DARKNESSE FROM VAIN PHILOSOPHY, AND FABULOUS TRADITIONS
What Philosophy Is
By 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.
Prudence No Part Of Philosophy
By which Definition it is evident, that we are not to 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.
No False Doctrine Is Part Of Philosophy
Nor are we therefore to give that name to any false Conclusions:
For he that Reasoneth aright in words he understandeth, can never
conclude an Error:
No More Is Revelation Supernaturall
Nor to that which any man knows by supernaturall Revelation;
because it is not acquired by Reasoning:
Nor Learning Taken Upon Credit Of Authors
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 Knowledge, but Faith.
Of The Beginnings And Progresse Of Philosophy
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 Savages 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 neighbours, 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 Chaldea and Egypt,
are counted the most ancient Philosophers; and those Countreys
were the most ancient of Kingdomes. Philosophy was not risen to
the Graecians, 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 Graecian 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 Chaldeans
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 certaine
publique Walks called Academia, from one Academus: Aristotle in the Walk
of the Temple of Pan, called Lycaeum: 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, Diatribae, 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 More-fields,
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.
Of The Schools Of The Jews
There were also Schools, anciently, both before, and 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
with Saint Steven.
The Schoole Of Graecians Unprofitable
But what has been the Utility of those Schools? what Science is there
at this day acquired by their Readings and Disputings? That wee 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 own 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; for 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 Graecians, 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.
University What It Is
That which is now called an University, is a Joyning together,
and an Incorporation under one Government of many Publique Schools,
in one and the same Town or City. In which, the principal 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.
Errors Brought Into Religion
From Aristotles Metaphysiques
Now to descend to the particular Tenets of Vain Philosophy,
derived to the Universities, and thence into 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 aequivocation
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
certaine 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 be Essences 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 Imagination: 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, 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 Esti 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, Essentially,
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 Terms 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 Definitive, not Circumscriptive,
or Spiritually, not Temporally: for such egregious distinctions
are equally applicable to any difficulty whatsoever.
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 Praeordaining of things to come, should not be
before his Praescience 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.
Absurdities In Naturall Philosophy,
As Gravity The Cause Of Heavinesse
Then for Physiques, that is, the knowledge of the subordinate, and