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the Spirit,) the infallible, unappealable judge would needs set up for the new lights of this of all that was delivered in the written word. last age: blazing comets always portending, And now upon these terms, what could keep or rather causing wars and confusions both in a man so disposed from coming over to Socin church and state; first setting all on fire, and ianism ; since the prime art and engine made then shining by the flames they raised. But use of by Socinus himself, for the venting of light, as we have seen, being so often made all his abominations, was a professed defiance the devil's livery, no wonder if his servants of the judgment of all antiquity in matters of affect to be seen in it. religion ? And what likewise could hinder a And now, after this short view of Popery man (if his temper inclined that way) from and enthusiasm, I hope I shall not incur the taking up in anabaptism, when he could suspicion of any bias to the former, if (as bad neither find any clear precept for infant as it is) I prefer it to the latter, and allow it baptism, nor express instance of it in the the poor commendation, of being the less evil scripture ; but only probable inferences from of the two. I confess, that under both, the thence, and remote consequences; all of them great enemy of truth strikes at our church perhaps too little, without the universal tra- and state ; and that whether he acts by the dition of the church, to found the necessity fanatic illuminati or by Vaux's lantern, the and perpetuity of such a practice upon ? mischief projected by him is the same; there Especially having been encountered by such being in both a light (and something else) specious objections, as have been too often pro- within, for the blowing up of churches and duced against it. And thus wesee, how both the kingdoms too. Nevertheless, if we consider two forementioned extremes coinmence upon and compare these two extremes together, we one and the same principle; to wit, the lay- shall find enthusiasm the more intractable, ing aside the judgment of antiquity, both in furions, and pernicious of the two, and that in matters of faith, and in all expositions of a double respect : scripture: but Socinianism being, as 1. That the evils of Popery are really the observed, an heresy much too fine for the gross same in enthusiasm. And and thick genius of vulgar capacities, the 2. That the little good which is in Popery devil found it requisite soinetimes to change is not in this. his engine, and amongst such as these to set And first ; that the evils of both are equal, up his standard in Familism, or enthusiasm. may appear upon these two accounts : A monster, from whose teeming womb have 1. That the enthusiasts challenge the same issued some of the vilest, the foulest, and most infallibility which the papal church does, but absurd practices and opinions, that the nature are more intolerable in their claim ; for Popof man (as corrupt as it is) was ever poi- ery places it only in one person, the pretended soned and polluted with. For these enthu head of the church, the
but enthusiasm siasts having first brought all to the naked claims it, as belonging to every Christian letter of scripture, and then confined that amongst them, every particular member of letter wholly to the exposition of the Spirit, their church. So that upon a full estimate of (as they called it) they proceed farther, and the matter, the papacy is only enthusiasm advance this “mystery of iniquity," to its contracted, and enthusiasm the papacy difhighest dixgein, by asserting the immediate in fused; the evil is the same in both, with dwelling of the said Spirit in their persons ; the advantage of multiplication in the latter. so that by his impulse and authority they But, may, like Abraham, Phinehas, or Eliud, be 2. Both of them equally take men off from carried out to actions, otherwise and in other the Scriptures, and supplant cheir authority. men, indeed unlawful, but in themselves For as one does it by traditions, making them sufficiently warranted by the Spirit's dispens- equal to the written word; so the other does ing with his own laws in their behalf, and it by pretending the immediate guidance of much more with the laws of men ; besides the Spirit, without the rule of the said word. that, according to the same doctrine, he only For see with what contempt the father of the who has this Spirit can be a competent judge Familists, Henry Nicholas, casts off the use of what is suggested to him by it. " A principle and authority of it. See also the Quakers, of that diabolical malignity, that it sets men (who may pass for the very elixir, the ultimum beyond all reach of the magistrate, and frets quod sic, and hitherto the highest form of enasunder the very nerves of all government thusiasts amongst us.) See, I say, how they and society. For it owns an impulse lawful, recur only to the light within them: a broad and yet unaccountable; whereby they are hint to men of sense and experience, how they empowered to shake off laws, invade the rights intend to dispose of the Scriptures, when the and properties of all about them, and, if they angel of this light within them shall think please, to judge, sentence, and put to death fit to screw them up to a higher dispensation; kings; " because the spiritual man,” forsooth, for then no doubt they will judge it conve“judgeth all things, but himself is judged of nient to bury this dead letter out of their none."
And these were the persons who sight. But,
2. As for the other proposition mentioned his spite upon the public : for spite will be by us, nainely, that the little good which is in always working, and either find or make Popery is not in enthusiasm ; this will appear itself an object to work upon. Cain was the upon these grounds :
only person I have read of, who sought to 1. Upon a political account. The design divest his discontent by building cities; but of the popish religion is, in the several parts the reason was, because then there were none and circumstances of it, to reach and accommo- for him to pull down. These, I say, are some date itself, as much as possible, to all the of the benefits and benign influences which humours and dispositions of men : and I know the papal constitution bestows upon the outno argument like this universal compliance, ward and civil concerns of such as fall within to prove it catholic by. So that a learned its communion. person,* in his “ Europæ Speculum,” or sur But on the contrary, where the quicksilver vey of the religions of the western church, or rather gunpowder of enthusiasm (for the pronounces Popery, upon a strict view of the fifth of November must not claim it all) has artificial, wouderful composure of the whole once insinuated itself into the veins and frame of it, the greatest piece of practical wit bowels of a kingdom, it presently rallies tothat was ever yet set on foot in the world.gether all the distempers, all the humours, all For to shew how in a depraved sense it “ be the popular heats and discontents, till it kicks comes all things to all men;" is any one of down crowns and sceptres, tramples upon a pious, strict, and severely disposed mind? thrones, much like those boisterous vapours There are those retirements, austerities, and shut up within the caverns of the earth, mortifications in this religion, which will both which no sooner inspire it into a quaking fit, employ and gratify such a disposition. Or is (as I may express it,) but it overturus houses he, on the other side, of a loose, jolly temper? | and towns, swallows up whole cities, and, in Why there is that sufficiency placed in the a word, writes its history in ruins and desolaopus operatum, and the external acts of re
tions, or in something more terrible than all, ligion, pieced out with suitable supplies from called a farther reformation. But, the bank of merit, which shall make the whole 2. Popery is likewise preferable to enthupractice of it easy and agreeable. And lastly, siasm, in respect of the nature, quality, if a man has lost his estate, broke his credit, and complexion of the subjects in which it missed of his preferments, failed in his projects, dwells. or the like, he may fairly and creditably take The Popish religion has not been of that sanctuary in some monastery or convent, and poisonous influence but it has brought up men so pretend piously to leave the world, as soon of accomplished learning and morals, of a as he finds that the world is leaving him. sublime wit, and all other excellent parts and
And as for the doctrinal part of the Chris- endowments, which human nature can retian religion, Escobar, with his fellow casuists, commend itself by: whereas enthusiasm, has so pared off all the roughness of that, and the contrary, seldom or never falls upon
such suited the strictest precepts to the largest and dispositions, but commonly takes up its abode loosest consciences, that it will be a much in the gloomy regions of melancholy, of au harder matter to prove a man a sinner, than ill habit of body, and a worse of mind; so that to condemn him for his being so ; so carefully the spirit of darkness, brooding upon the ill and powerfully do these men step in between huinours of the one and the distractions of sin and sorrow; so that if conscience should the other, commonly hatches this monster. at any time become troublesome, and guilt For, to look back upon some of the most begin to lift up its voice, and grow clamorous, noted ringleaders and promoters of our late it is but to go and disgorge all in confession, disorders in church and state, were they vot and then absolution issuing of course, eases such as were first under some disorder themthe mind, and takes off all that anguish and selves ? persons for the most part cracked despair, which (should it lie pent up, without either in fortune or in brain, acted by pretervent) might overwhelm, or, as Ovid expresses natural heats and ferments ; and so mistaking it, even choke or strangle a man, and either that for devotion, which was only distemper
, send him to a halter, or prove itself instead and for a good conscience, which too often
proved little else but a bad constitution. And And thus these spiritual sinks receive and in such cases certainly we may well collect divert all those ill humours of desperate, dis the malignity of that principle, which never contented persons, which the world will dwells but in such venomous tempers ; and never want, and which, in all probability, rationally conclude that the leprosy must would otherwise discharge and spend them- needs have seized the inhabitants, where the selves upon the state. For he who is male- infection sticks so close to the walls. content and desperate, will assuredly either 3. Popery is likewise much more tolerable let fall his spirit, and consume himself, or than enthusiasm, upon a religious account. keep it up, and so (as occasion serves) wreak The great basis and foundation upon which * Sir Edwin Sandys.
the whole body of Christianity rests, is the
(livinity of Christ's person, the history of his third and last general head proposed, and nativity, life, and death, his actions and under it very briefly set down some certain sufferings, and his resurrection and ascension principles, by which he is likely enough to concluding all. But though the popish church play over his old game agnin, and, if not has presumed to make several bold additions counterworked, to trump up the same relito, and some detractions from, the old system gious cheats upon the world, with more adof our faith, yet it always acknowledged and vantage than before. And these are eminently held sacred the foregoing articles, without three : ever venturing to make any breach upon 1. The stating of the doctrine of faith and them. Whereas on the contrary, Familism free grace so as to make them undermine the and Quakerism, the two grand and most necessity of a good life. Goils mercy is inthriving branches of enthusiasm, have reduced deed the crown and beauty of all his attrithe whole gospel to allegories and figures ; | butes, and his grace the emanation of his and turned the history of what Christ actually mercy ; and whosoever goes about in the least and personally did and suffered, into mystical to derogate from it, may he (for me) fiud no and moral significations of some virtues to be share in it. But, after all, has not the devil wrought within us, or some actions to be endeavoured to supplant the gospel in a conwronglit by us. And this in truth does, and siderable part of it, by the very plea of grace ; must directly strike at the very vitals of our while some place an irreconcileable opposition religion, and without more ado will (if not between the efficacy of that and all freedom prevented) effectually send Christianity pack- of man's will, and thereby make those things ing out of the world. Popery indeed has inconsistent, which the admirable wisdom of forced some bad consequences from good God had made so fairly subordinate. But principles, but this destroys the very princi- notwithstanding such fancies, we shall find ples themselves.
that religion, in the true nature of it, consists Add to this, that the corruptions in a church of action, as well as notion; of good works, are not of so destructive an influence as schisms as well as faith; and that he believes to very and divisions from it, the constant effects of little purpose, whose life is not the better for enthusiasm. It being much in the body his belief. spiritual as in the natural ; wliere that which But to state (as some do the nature of severs and dissolves the continuity of parts justifying faith in this, that he who is confitends more to the destruction of the whole, dent his sins are forgiven him, is by that act than that which corrupts them. You may of confidence completely justified, and beyond eure a throat when it is sore, but not when it the dauger of a final apostasy, so that all sins is cut.
must for ever after be surnamed infirmities; And so I have done with this parallel ; what is this, but to give a man a licence to after which, give me leave to recapitulate to sin boldly and safely too, and so to write a you, in short, some of Satan's principal and perpetual divorce between faith and good most specious abuses of religion hitherto dis- works? The church of England owns and coursed of by us. As first, how he made use maintains free grace as much as any. But of the church's abliorrence of polytheism, for still let God be free of it, and not men ; who, the introducing of Arianism, in the denial of when he gives it, never makes a bare Crede our Saviour's divinity; and next, how, upon quod habes the only title to it, or character the declension and fall of that heresy, he of it. took occasion, from the zealous adoration of Antinomianism, as both experience and the Christ's person, to bring in a superstitious nature of the thing has sufficiently taught us, worship of the Virgin Mary his mother, and seldom ends but in Familism. And the sum of his picture in crucifixes, and the like; and and substance of that doctrine is, that it makes so at length appeared, in Popery, a sort of men justified from eternity; and faith not to religion making men in nothing more zealous be the instrument, but only the evidence of than in worshipping such things. And lastly, our justification, as no more than barely how, when this also was shaken off, with the declaring to the conscience of the believer tales and legends that chiefly supported it, what is already done and transacted in and the bare Scripture, with the guidance of heaven. Now let us see whether the former the Spirit, made the sole rule of faith, with- definition of faith can stand upon any other out the help of a pretended infallible judge, or better bottom than this of Antinomianism. he then in the greater and more refined wits For if the faith which justifies me be a firm turned Socinian, and in the vulgar played the belief and persuasion that my sins are reenthusiast. And thus, having pursued the mitted, it must follow, that my sins are reimpostor through all his labyrinths, pulled off mitted antecedently to that act of belief; forhis vizard, and turned his inside outwards, asmuch as the object must needs precede the that we may know, by reflecting upon what act : assent or belief being such an act as does is past, the better fence against his methods not produce, but presuppose its object. But for the future; I shall here proceed to the 1 if my sins are not actually remitted before I
believe, how can I truly believe they are so? as well as form, in the revenue, though none unless the believing of a false proposition can in the service of the church) not only granted, make it true ; which would be a piece of logic but stiffly contended also, that tithes were by as new as this divinity. Bellarmine indeed all means to be coutinued and retained in the fixes this upon the doctrine of all the pro- house of God; especially since they were so testant churches, and much triumphs in the thoroughly convinced, that without them they charge, but falsely and invidiously, and like a could not keep their own.
Now that cerJesuit, as (in spite of the character some have tainly must needs be a very unkind and given him for learning and candour) he still ungrateful principle, which starves the persons shews himself upon this subject. For all the who maintain it; and a very weak one too, reformed churches (especially the church of which affords no consequences but what make England) disclaim it as a paradox in reason, for its own confutation. It must be confessed, a pest in morality, and an assertion so grossly that “the power of godliness,” so much and absurd and contradictious, that not so much so often boasted of by some amongst us, has as the least shadow of an argument can be been a very plausible, well-sounding word ; brought for it, unless “ Credo, quia impossi- and many a foul fact has been committed bile est,” may pass for one, which it will under the splendid cover of it. But it is now hardly ever do, but in the case of transub- high time to redeem truth from the slavery stautiation.
and cheat of words; and certainly that cau 2. A second principle, by which in all never be imagined to be “the spirit or power likelihood the devil may and will (as oppor of godliness," which teaches either to rob or tunity serves) impose upon the church, is by desert the church, and shews itself in nothing opposing " the power of godliness" irrecon but sacrilege and separation ; it being, no cileably to all forms. Aud what is this, but doubt, a very odd and strange sort of “ zeal in another instance to confront subordinates, for God's house, which eats it up;" and a fire and to destroy the body, because the soul can much likelier to come from hell than hicaven, subsist without it? But thus to sequester the which consumes the altar itself. But, divine worship from all external assistances, 3. The third and last principle which I that by this means, forsooth, it may become shall mention, whereby Satan has so much wholly mental, and all spirit, is, no doubt, a disturbed and abused the world, and may notable fetch of the devil, who, we know, is (for ought appears to the contrary) do so all spirit himself, but never the less a devil again, is the ascribing such a kingdom to for being so. On the contrary, we have rather Christ, as shall oppose and interfere with the cause to fear, that, in the strength of this kingdoms and governments of the world. pretence, the worship of Christ may be treated Christ is indeed our king, and it is our honour as Christ himself once was; that is, first be and happiness to be his subjects ; but where stripped, and then crucified. For would you a zealous rebellion destroys monarchy, it know what the evil drives at in all this renders his greatest prerogative, which is to seemingly seraphic plea? Why, first he pleads, be “King of kings," impossible. There canthat a set service or liturgy for divine worship not, one would think, be a better design, or a is superstition and formality; and then, that more unexceptionable pretence, than to ada
vance the sceptre of Christ in promoting the that the very letter of the scripture is but a due anthority of his church : and yet even mere form, (if so much,) and accordingly, to upon this the devil can forge such" blessed be laid aside, as in Familism and Quakerism maxims and conclusions as these : we have shewn it actually is. But then again 1. That since Christ has two kingdoms in some other shortsighted schismatics were for the world, one his providential over all things, proceeding upon that doughty principle, that as he is God; the other his mediatorial, benothing ought to be allowed in the church or longing to him as head of his church, with a worship of God, but what is expressly en full
subordination of the former to this latter, joined in his written word : and accordingly during this world; men are apt to reckon of in the strength thereof having run down kings as his vicegerents only in the administraseveral of the constitutions of the church of tion of the former of these, but church-officers England, as forms and rules uncommanded in as his deputies for governing the latter; and the scriptures, they soon had the same princi- consequently that the sceptre ought to submit ple every whit as strongly, and more justly, to the keys, and Christ's providential kingretorted upon themselves by some of the down to come under his mediatorial : a princibrotherhood of another class, who (their in- ple which the pope and some others (should terest leading them to carry the argument opportunity serve) know how to make no much farther) inferred from thence, that small use of. tithes were to be taken away too. But this, 2. That these ecclesiastical deputies of you will say, was a pinching, ill-natured Christ, by virtue of a power immediately inference; and therefore the Presbyterians derived from him, may meet together, and themselves (who it seems could find matter, consult about church affairs, when and where
they shall think fit, in any part or place of nient than itself. For can we have a higher their prince's dominions without his consent, concern at stake, than our happiness in both and, if they shall judge it requisite, excom worlds, or a subtler gamester to win it from us, municate him too. And then Buchanan tells than he who understands his game so perfectly the world," that he who is thrown out of well, that though he stakes nothing, yet never the church by excommunication is not worthy plays for less than all, in any of his temptato live.” And he might, if he had pleased, tions? Which being our case, should not he have told us also, in what soil such doctrines who is so wise as to see the danger he is in, be root deepest and thrive best.
so wise also as not to cast the least pleasing 3. That these ecclesiastical deputies of look or glance upon any of his insidious Christ have the sole cognizance and decisive offers ? especially in their first addresses, when power in all spiritual causes, and in all civil they paint and flatter most : considering that also in ordine ad spiritualia.
nothing ever flatters, but what is false; nor 4. That a minister of Christ uttering any paints, but what, without it, would appear thing, though sedition or treason, in the exceeding ugly. There cannot certainly be a execution of his ministerial office, and in the greater and a juster reproach to an intelligent pulpit, is not to be accountable for it to any being, than to barter away glory and immorcivil court, but only to the tribunal of Christ; | tality for baubles and fancies, to lose paradise to wit, the church, (or, in other words, to for an apple, to damn one's soul to please one's those who call themselves so ;) forasmuch as palate, and, in a word, to be tempted with “the spirit of the prophets,” they tell us, is such proposals as the proposer himself shall to be “subject to," and judged by, “ only the extremely scorn and laugh at us for accepting. prophets.”
For what is all this but the height of mockery 5. That when religion is in danger, (of as well as misery, the very “sting of death,” which they themselves are to be the sole and like being murdered (as the best of kings judges,) they may engage in an oath or con was) by a disguised executioner? For such federacy against the standing laws of the an one the tempter ever was and will be ; country which they are actually of and belong never accosting us with a smile, but he designs to, and then plead, that they cannot in con us a stab; nor on the other hand ever frightseience turn to the obedience required by ing those whom he would destroy. Such a those laws, because of the obligation of the course, he well knows, will not do his work ; said oath.
but that if he would attempt and ruin a man And now, if this be the grand charter and effectually, silence and suddenness are his these the fundamental laws of Christ's king- surest ways; and he must take heed of giving dom, and the execution thereof be committed an alarm, where he intends a surprise. No; wholly to a sort of ecclesiastics, (and those we may be sure that he understands the arts made such by none but themselves,) it will of tempting too well not to know, that the in good earnest behove kiugs and princes to less he appears, the more he is like to do; and turn their thrones into stools of repentance; that the tempter himself is no temptation. for, upon these terms, I know not where else He is indeed an old, thorough paced, expethey can expect to sit safe. As for the late rienced sophister, and has ways to make the troubles and confusions caused in these poor very natures and properties of things equivokingdoms by the same rebellious ferment, and cate. He can, if need be, shroud a glutton in carried on much more by black coats than by a fast, and a miser in a feast ; and though the red, we shall find that they all moved by the very nature of swine hurries them into the spring of a few specious, abused words ; such as foulest dirt and mire, yet, to serve a turn, we
the Spirit,” “Christian liberty,” “the power read, he can make them run as violently into of godliness,” “the sceptre aud kingdom of the water. Jesus Christ,” and the like. Touching which, Still his way is to amuse the world with it will be found no such strange or new thing shows and shadows, surface and outside ; and for Satan to teach rebellion, as well as to thereby to make good that old maxim in manage a temptation, in scripture phrase. He philosophy, that in all that occurs to the eye, can trepan a Jephthah into a vow and solemn it is not substance, but only colour and figure, oath, and then bind him, under fear of per- which we see. This has been his practice jury, to perform it by a horrid and inhuman from the beginning, from the very infancy murder. And, in a word, by a bold and and nonage of the world to this day ; but shameless pretence of God's cause, he can whatsoever it was then in those early times, baffle and break through any of his com shall we, whose lot has cast us upon these mands.
latter ages, and thereby set us upon their And thus, at length, I have upon the shoulders, giving us all the advantages of matter despatched what I had to say upon warning, and observations made to our hands, this text and subject ; a subject of such vast all the benefits of example, and the assurances importance, that it would be but to upbraid of a long and various experience; shall we, I any hearer, to enforce it by any further argu say, after all this, suffer ourselves to be fooled