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shall find them grounded only upon their not upon quite different materials, as well as distinguishing between perfection absolute and with quite different instruments; and so to relative, and their absurd arguing from finite turn that vast honour and zeal, whicb, as we and created beings to a being infinite and observed, the world bore to Christ's human uncreate ; as might easily be shewn in each of nature, to the perverting, depraving, and the foregoing particulars, would the time allot- undermining, of Christianity itself. For ted for this exercise permit. So that it was from hence men came to give that inordinate a most true and proper remark, that if we veneration to the sacrament of Christ's body take from heretics disputing against any and blood; and for the defence thereof inarticle of the Christian faith what is common vented that monster of absurdities transubto them with the heathens disputing against stantiation. After which, with great industry, the whole body of Christianity, they will have they got together and kept all relics, which little or nothing left them which is new, or any way represented his memory, as pieces can be called peculiarly their own. Never- of the cross, and pictures of his body, till at theless, such plausible stuff, backed with length they even adored them; and, to justify power, and managed by the devil, drew over their so doing, they cast their practice into a most of the Christian churches, for a consider- doctrine, that the crucifix was to be adored able time, to Arianism ; and so, by a very with relative divine worship; more than preposterous way of worship, made them which, by the way, the heathens themselves sacrifice the Son to the honour of the Father. never gave to their idols; but worshipped But,
them only so far as they were representations, 2. As the Arian ages had chiefly set them or rather significations of those effects and selves to run down, or rather quite take away benefits, for which they adored the Deity, the our Saviour's divinity; so the following ages, great cause and original of them. But this by an diet pie tās vdoaxns, a kind of contrary superstition stopped not here, but extended stretch, were no less intent upon paying a itself likewise to Christ's friends and followers, boundless and exorbitant devotion to every the saints; those especially, who, as I noted thing belonging to his humanity; and in a before, had sealed their profession with their very particular and more than ordinary man blood : the memory of whom they celebrated ner, to those who had eminently done and with solemn invocations of them at their suffered (especially to the degree of martyr- sepulchres, making offerings to them there, dom) for his person and religion. And this and bowing and falling prostrate at the very was the course all along taken by the papal mention of their names, till at length this heresy, from the very first that it got footing reverential respect grew into downright adorain the church ; touching which, let none think tion. And thus by degrees Paganism came it strange, that I make an immediate step to be christened into a new form and name, from the times of Arianism to those of Popery, by their setting up their divi, or begodded as if there ought to be a greater interval put tutelar saints, and prosecuting their apotheosis between them. For though it must be con with divine worship. And lest in this they fessed, that Arianism received its mortal might seem to intrench upon the honour of wound by the first council of Nice, pretty Christ, by treating his saints and servants early in the fourth century; yet these follow upon equal terms with himself, they made ing heresies of Macedonianism, Nestorianism, their very zeal for his honour a plea for their Eutychianism, Monotheletism, &c. (which as making these saints their intercessors with different as they were amongst themselves, him ; alleging, forsooth, their own unfitness were yet, in truth, but so many shoots out of and utter unworthiness to approach him by a the old Arian stock,) continued much longer, direct address, without such a mediation : as and reached considerably beyond the sixth subjects do then most acceptably petition their century, about the end whereof, and the be- earthly prince, when their suits are handed to ginning of the seventh, Popery began to work him by some particular and beloved favourite: and shew itself by degrees ; (Gregory the a shrewd argument, no doubt, if God and Great, who lived till the year of our Lord man proceeded by the same methods. But to 604, being, not without cause, reckoned the go on : since religion would be but a very last of the good popes of Rome, and the first lame and imperfect institution, should not of the bad ;) so that in truth there was no points of faith be seconded with suitable vacancy, or intermediate chasm of time, be- rules of practice; hereupon mortification and tween the Arian poison ceasing, and the austerity of life were, in shew at least, equally Popish ferment beginning to infest the church. advanced, and Satan began to play the white Well then, the deity of Christ having been devil, by prohibiting, upon pretence of higher thus irrefragably proved, and Arianism, with sacerdotal purity, the narriage of the clergy its appendant heresies, at length drawing off (though at the same time reckoned by themthe stage, and another predominant principle selves a sacrament,) forbidding also certain coming on, it was now time for the grand sorts of meat, and enjoining others; as like deceiver to change his hand, being to work wise imposing hair shirts, whips, scourges,
with many more such corporal severities ; and of an infallible judge, without which they for the recommending of all which to men's affirmed them to be obscure ; two qualifications use, they taught them, that these practices which must unavoidably render the Scriptures were satisfactory for sin and meritorious of an incompetent rule of faith. And thus the heaven. And lest this might seem to derogate nail is driven home, and riveted too; and from Christ's satisfaction, (as it certainly did,) upon their being hereby made judges in their they distinguished sins into mortal and venial. own cause, they do and must stand incorrigiAnd whereas they held, that these venial sins ble ; forasmuch as all conviction upon these could not deserve eternal death; and withal terms is utterly impossible. And thus wo that many men die before they have completed have seen what a lofty Babel has been raised their repentance; for them they invented a by this grand architect of mischief and concertain place in the other world, for the fusion, the Devil; a Babel, with the top of it temporal penal expiation of such sins ; to reaching to heaven, and the foundation of it wit, purgatory. And since the pains of this laid in hell. And we have seen likewise the were not to be eternal, but that a deliverance materials with which, and the arts by which, and redemption of the souls held therein this stupendous structure was reared : and might be procured, and that by the merit of since neither old nor new Babel was built in the good works of others, to help out those who a day, we have given some account also how had none of their own, they came from hence this master-builder has all along suited his to assert works of supererogation, as they called tools and engines to the proper genius and them ; which good works, and the merit of condition of each several age ; sometimes them, not being always actually enployed working in the light, and sometimes in the for the benefit of any, (and as if the world dark; sometimes above ground, and someabounded more with good works than bad,) | times under it; but in all, like a Romish they are said to be reserved in the treasury of priest, still under a disguise. the church, to be disposed of (as there should And here, I think, it may be farther worth be occasion) to such as were able and willing our considering, that since the aspects and to ransom their suffering friends with silver influences in heaven (which are some of the and gold, (the very best of metals, and always chief instruments whereby Providence governs held by them a valuable price for souls,) and this lower world) must needs work considerthis produced indulgences; the most useful ably upon the tempers, humours, and conand profitable part of the whole Romish reli stitutions of men, under their several positions gion.
and revolutions; it cannot but follow, that By all which particulars put together, you the same must work very powerfully about may see the curious contexture and concatena the affairs of religion also, so far as the tempers tion of the several mysteries and intrigues of and dispositions of men are apt to mingle and Popery ; and how artificially one is linked to strike in with them. And accordingly, as I and locked within the other, in this chain of have observed that Satan played his papal darkness made to hold and keep poor souls game chiefly in the times of ignorance, and " to the judgment of the great day;" and (if sowed his tares while the world was asleep; God be pot so merciful as to save them in “cum Augustinus haberetur inexpugnabilis spite of their religion) to condemn them in dialecticus, quod legisset categorias Aristotelis. it too. And now these tenets being advan Cum qui Græce sciret, suspectus ; qui autem taged by the suitableness of them to man's Hebraice, plane magicus putaretur;" when natural disposition, (which in matters of be the words hæreticum devita were looked upon lief is too prone to credulity and superstition,
as sufficient to warrant the taking away the and in matters of practice to an arrogant life of a heretic: so on the other side, when opinion of merit, every man being too apt to this mist of ignorance began to clear up, and think that a good action obliges God, and polite learning to recover, and get footing satisfies for an ill one ;) these tenets, I say, again in the world, by the great abilities and were upon these terms easily imbibed by the industry of Erasmus, Melancthon, Politian, vulgar in those dark times of ignorance ; Budæus, Calvin, and several others, men genewhich ignorance also was carefully cherished rally then began to smell out the cheat; and and kept up, by maintaining the sufficiency after a long growing suspicion of the imposture of an implicit faith, and securing the Scrip they had been held under, came at length to tures under the double lock of an unknown a resolution quite to throw it off. But then language and a bad translation. Besides all again, lest so sudden and mighty a stream of which, that they might not in the last place light, breaking in upon the prince of darkness, want a sure shelter and strong hold to defend might wholly overbear and baffle all his prothem, in case this terrible book of the Scrip-jects, he also began wisely to light up his tures should come to be unsealed and let loose candle too, in the new sect and society of upon them, they had two other refuges to fly Ignatius Loyola; a sect composed of the best to; to wit, that of unwritten traditions, with wits and ablest heads, the most learned and out which they held the Scriptures imperfect; | industrious that could be got, to list them.
selves to serve the pope under him. And by anism itself, by a kind of antiperistasis, took this course be quickly brought his myrmidons its rise from Popery, as the occasion or accito fight the Protestants at their own weapons, dental cause of it, it is to be observed, that and for parts and literature to vie with the those nice, bold, and unjustifiable notions, reformation. For he saw well enough that which many of the schoolmen had advanced it was learning which must do his business, concerning the divine essence and persons, when ignorance was grown out of fashion (things which the mind of man can form to and that when such multitudes were resolved itself no express idea, nor consequently any to have their eyes open, it was time for him to clear comprehensive knowledge of,) caused in look about him too. Accordingly Satan, who Socinus such a high loathing of and aversion loves to compass his ends and amuse the to that whole scheme of Christian theology world by contrary methods, (like the evil which then obtained in the world, that, breakspirit in the gospel, sometimes casting the ing through all, he utterly denied the divine person possessed by him into the fire, and nature of the Son and of the Holy Ghost; and sometimes into the water,) having, as we so exploded the whole doctrine of the Trinity, have noted, long imposed upon Christendom as no part or article of the Christian religion ; by Popery, and at length finding a new light frequently alleging also, that the urging the sprung in upon a great part of it and mightily necessity of believing notions so contrary (as chasing away that darkness before it, he he pretended) to the discourses and maxims thought it his interest to trump up a new of natural reason, mightily scandalized and scene of things; and so, correspondently to kept off the Jews, Turks, and rational infidels the two main parts of religion, speculative from embracing Christianity. And this conand practical, he fell upon two contrary, but sideration he laid no small stress upon. equally destructive extremes, Socinianism and But in answer to it; by his favour, the enthusiasm. Thus, like a subtle disputant, contrariety of the notions bere excepted casting his argument into such a dilemma, as against to the maxims of natural reason (as should be sure to gain him his point, and gall confidently as it has been all along supposed his enemy one way or other. And,
by him) was never yet proved ; and as for 1. For the first extreme, Socinianism. the offence taken at it by Jews and Turks, he Faustus Socinus seems to have been a person might have remembered, that the doctrives so qualified by Providence with a competent preached by Saint Paul himself found no stock of parts and measure of reason, (for the better acceptance, as being “ to the Jews a man was no miracle, either in divinity or stumbling-block, and to the Greeks foolishphilosophy,) to shew, how wofully such an ness;" but neither by him who preached it, one (being left to himself) might blunder, nor by those who received it, at all the less and fall short of the right notions of religion, valued for its being so: and certainly the even in the plainest and most important Christian church would make but an ill barpoints of it. He was indeed so bred and gain, to barter away any one article of her principled by his uncle Lelius, that Satan faith, to gain either Turk or Jew: and I thought him a fit instrument for the advance shrewdly guess, that the Jews themselves ment of the light of reason above that of understood bargaining too well, to part with revelation, by making (as he notoriously their Moses for a Socinian Christ. But fardid) the former the sole judge of the latter. ther, as touching this heresy : the time when Socinus's main design (or pretence at least) it was vented in the world' is no less obserywas to bring all the mysteries of Christianity able than the instruments by whom ; Satan to a full accommodation with the general suiting the work he had to do to the peculiar notions of man's reason ; and so far the qualification of the age which he was to do it design was no doubt fair and laudable enough, in. For as the schoolmeu, who were the had it kept within the bounds of a sober greatest and most zealous promoters of the prosecution. For that which is contrary to papal interest, sacrificing both reason and reason cannot be true in religion ; nor can religion to the support of it, were in the God contradict that in the book of his re highest vogue for some ages before; so the vealed word, which he had writ before in the age wherein it began to decline and go downbook of nature : so much, I say, is certain, wards had entertained a general contempt of, and cannot be denied. Nevertheless, a little and aversion to, that sort of learning, as may reason will prove also, that many things may appear out of Sir Thomas More's Defence of seem contrary to reason, which yet really are Erasmus, and other critics, against Dorpius, not so; and where this seeming contrariety a great patron and admirer of school-divinity is, the question will be, whether revelation And as for Socinus himself, the Polonian who ought to control reason, or reason prescribe to wrote his life testifies, “illum scholasticam revelation ; which indeed is the very hinge theologiam nunquam attigisse.” Thus thereupon which the whole Socinian controversy fore was he qualified, it seems, to baffle the turns.
learned part of the world, and having made But to proceed, and shew that even Socini- his first adventure in denying Christ's divinity,
and bringing it much lower than ever Arius swering, or rather eluding such scriptures as did, the denial of his satisfaction unavoidably declare the contrary, he all along with a bold followed; no mere creature being able, in a impiety degrades the divine knowledge into strict sense, to merit of God, and much less to mere conjecture, and no more ; and so ranges satisfy for sin. So that we see here how the all-knowing God with the heathen oracles, Satan, under the plausible plea of reason, soothsayers, and astrologers, not allowing him introduced a doctrine into the world, which any pre-eminence above them, but only a has shook every article of our faith ; and in better faculty at guessing than they had. So the full compass of it grasps in the most con- that hereby the heretic is either for giving us siderable heresies that ever were ; especially a deity without infinite perfection, or an inthose two topping ones of Photinianism and finite perfection without a power of infallible Pelagianism. And whosoever shall, by a prediction, or an infallibility of prediction true and impartial logic, spin it out into its without any certain knowledge of the thing utmost consequences, shall find, that it natu foretold : which, amongst other wretched rally tends to, and inevitably ends in, the consequences, must needs render God such a destruction of all religion : and that where governor of the world, as, in those many imSocinianism has laid the premises, atheism portant affairs of it, depending upou the free cannot be kept ont of the conclusion. But motions of man's will, shall not be able to now, that even reason itself is but pretended tell certainly what shall come to pass in it, only, and not really shewn in the doctrines of so much as one day before it actually happens. Socinus, give me leave to demonstrate in one He may indeed, as I shew before, shrewdly or two instances, instead of many more that guess at events, (and so may a wise man too,) might be assigned.
but farther than guessing he cannot go. All 1. That this doctrine asserts Christ to be a which are such monstrous assertions, and so mere creature, and yet ascribes to him divine scandalously contumelious to the divine nature worship, and that both as to adoration and and attributes, and yet so inevitably resulting invocation ; and this upon absolute and dis- from the position first laid down by him, that pensable necessity.* So that whereas Socinus nothing can equal the profaneness of them, but says, that the Jews and Turks are so scanda the absurdities. lized at our asserting Christ's deity, I am sure,
As for several others of the Socivian errors ; that, by a peculiar and better grounded aver to wit, about the nature of the sacraments, sion, they are more scandalized at idolatry: the divine covenants, the ministry, and the And if Socinus will advance this proposi-church, with sundry other parts of divinity, tion, that Jesus Christ is not by nature I purposely omit them; and mention only God, let Jews, Turks, and all infidels of these two, as being in themselves not grosser common sense alone to make the assump errors in divinity, than inconsistencies in tion, that then he is not to be worshipped philosophy. So that upon this turn at least with divine worship. Christianus Francken we may worthily use that remark of Grotius, shamefully baffled Socinus upon this head. in his book concerning the satisfaction of And it is impossible for him, or any of his Christ; “ Mirum esse, toties a Socino ostentribe, to maintain it. But,
tari rectam rationem, ostendi nusquam.” But 2. This doctrine asserts also, that God can to shew compendiously how he stabs, not only not certainly foreknow future contingents ;
ascribed to God, as the cause or producer of them. Whereupon, as Socinus positively concludes in the eleventh
since such events, according to Socinus, proceed wholly from the chapter of his Prelections ;t where, in an free will of the immediate agents, he denies God to have any
certain prescience of them; for that he will not so much as allow * See Socinus in his catechism, discoursing of those who allow them to be in the number of things in their nature knowable, not of the adoration and invocation of Christ. “Quid censes," nor consequently to fall within the object of omniscience itself. says he, “ de iis, qui ista Christo non tribuunt?" To which Which though it extends to all that is knowable, yet reaches he answers : “ Censeo illos non esse Christianos; quippe qui not beyond it. In answer to which I grant, that such future revera Christum non habeant : et Jesum esse Christum licet contingents as depend wholly upon the free turn of man's will, fortasse aperte verbis non audeant, re tamen ipsa omnino ne are not antecedently knowable to a finite understanding : but
And elsewhere, “Præstat Trinitarium esse, quam that they are simply and absolutely in the very nature of them asserere Christum non esse adorandum."
not knowable, this I utterly deny; and on the contrary affirm, † "Cum igitur nulla ratio, nullus sacrarum literarum locus that to an infinite uriderstanding they are both knowable, and sit, ex quo aperte colligi possit, Deum omnia, quæ fiunt, actually known too. And the reason of this difference is, scivisse, antequam fierent, concludendum est minime asseren because an infinite understanding never looks upon a future dam esse a nobis istam Dei præscientiam,"&c. Socinus, Prælec contingent, but it looks beyond it too; that is is to say, by one tionum capite llmo. In stating of which point, the heretic single act of knowledge God sees it, both in the instant of nature indeed grants, that where God has peremptorily purposed or before its production, and in the instant of nature after it: which decreed to do a thing, he infallibly knows, that the thing so is the true account of this matter, as being founded in the comdecreed shall certainly come to pass, and accordingly may as prehensiveness of God's kuowledge, taking in past, present, and infallibly foretell it. A great matter, no doubt. But, by his future, by ono single view. “ Scientia Dei ad omnia præsentiafavour; what is this to God's foretelling of sinful actions, liter se habet.” And how difficult soever, if at all possible, it together with many passages of great moment depending there may be for human reason, to form to itself a clear notion of the upon (all of them declared by the prophets, many ages before immanent acts of God; yet all tbat is or can be excepted against the event of them?) For these things, as bad as they are, have the account now given by us, will be found but mere cavil, and their events, as well as the best that happen; and yet cannot be not worth an answer.
the Christian, but also all religions, by one affirmed, while he was yet ignorant who or assertion ; we must know, that the chief | what he was, from whom it proceeded. For corner-stone laid by him in this supposed surely, in order of nature, I must know that rational (and by some so inuch adored) doc it is God who says a thing, before I can be trine, is his affirming, that by the light of lieve it true, because God says it. Otherwise, natural reason no man cau know that there suppose some angel had affirmed himself to is a God; as you may see in the second chap- be God, as the devil in effect did, when lie ter of his aforementioned Prelections. For challenged to himself the dominion and disthe proof of which, amongst other places of posal of all the kingiloms of the world, and scripture, he wrests and abuses that in Heb. required divine worship of our Saviour therexi. 6, where the apostle tells us, “ that he who upon ; none certainly will pretend that such comes to God must believe that he is.” Mark a declaration could oblige our assent. But it, says Socivus ; it is here said only, that he when God affirmed or declared himself to be must believe this, not that he must know, or God, in the first age or ages of the world, no scientifically assent to it. But by his favour, doubt this declaration was made in such a as this is not here said, so it is as true that it transcendent and supernatural way, and with is not here denied. And this new teacher of circumstances so wonderfully glorious and the world should, one would think, have extraordinary, that he or they to whom it known, that the words πίστις, and πιστεύω, was made, and Adam in particular, could not belief and beliere, are not always used in a strict but perceive that the person making it was a philosophical sense, for an assent upon testi- being much above the condition of a creature, mony, in contradistinction to an assent upon and consequently God. And such an acgrounds of science ; but generally, and at large, knowledgment of, or assent to the being of a for any firm assent, wliether upon one ac God, was really an act of knowledge, as infercount or the other. I say, as this is certain ring the cause from the effect; and that, too, from the use of the word in common speech, such an effect, as could issue from nothing but so there is nothing to prove, that the apostle such a cause. For which reason, the assent in this sixth verse of the aforementioned chap- given in this case could not be founded upon ter uses it otherwise than in this general, bare testimony, nor be formally an act of popular, and more enlarged sense. Neverthe- belief, but an act properly and strictly scienless, admitting, but not granting, that he took tifical. From all which I conclude, that it is the word in this text, in the strict philoso- absurd and irrational to suppose, that we can phical sense of it, for an assent upon testi believe the being of a God upon the bare mony, must this therefore exclude all assent affirming this of himself, unless we have some upon scientifical grounds ? Whereas it is precedent or concomitant knowledge, that the cercain, that the same thing may be the person so affirming it is God. And this utterly object both of our knowledge and belief; and overthrows the assertion of Socinus, that the that we may assent to the same proposition, being of a God is knowable only by faith, or upon the discourses of reason, drawn from belief. An assertion much fitter to underthe nature of the things contained in that mine than establish the belief of a Deity upon proposition; and withal, upon the affirmation the true grounds of it; but it was perhaps for of one, whom, for his knowledge and veracity, this very purpose that he intended it. we know worthy to be believed. No true! And thus much for the first extreme menphilosopher, I am sure, (which Socinus never tioned; by which Satan has poisoned the was,) either will or can deny this.
principles and theoretick part of religion : But on the contrary, and in opposition to though the poison will be found of that spreadthese new notions, I shall proceed farther, ing malignity, as to influence the practick and venture to affirm, that to believe that too. And so we come to the there is a God, only because God says so, is a Second extreme mentioned ; under which, mere petitio principii, and manifestly circular as an angel of light, he more directly strikes and ridiculous; as supposing, and taking for at the practice of religion ; and that is enthugranted, the very thing, which as yet is under siasm. A thing not more detestable in its inquiry, and ought to be proved. For the effects, than plausible in its occasion. For being of a God is the thing here to be proved ; men being enraged at the magisterial imand the testimony of God, whereby it is to be posing of traditions upon them, as a rule of proved, must presuppose, or rather imply the faith equal to the written word, and being antecedent being of him whose testimony it coinmanded withal to submit their reason to is. Supposing therefore, that the first revela the cheat of an infallible interpreter, they too tion made to man of the being of God, (for naturally struck off to his extreme, to slight it is of that only we now speak,) was by an and lay aside the judgment of all antiquity, express, audible declaration of himself to be and so to adhere only to the bare letter of God; yet this bare affirmation could not of the scripture ; and then, both to secure and itself, and in the way of a testimony, oblige authorize their errors, they made their own a man to believe or assent to the thing I reason, or rather humour, (first surnaming it