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[BOOK II.] CHAP. XXI.

1. The marvellous Completeness of the Reformation of the Church of England in her Doctrines and Institutes. 2. That she plainly condemns the Invocation of Saints for Idolatry. 3. As also the Adoration of the Host; where our Kneeling at the Communion is vindicated. 4. Her condemning the Worshipping of Images. 5. Her concluding the manner of the Papists worshipping Saints and Images to be plainly the same with that of Pagans. 6. Her free and just censure touching the decking of their Images, and making them Lay-mens Books. 7. How perfectly she has freed us from that Aegyptian yoke we lay under in the time of Popery. 8. The Celebration of Holy-days, the keeping of Lent, and the use of the Surplice in the sense of the Church of England, fully vindicated from all imputation of Superstition or Antichristianism. 9. That the use of the Surplice is not from any grounds at all of Policy in the Church, but pure Charity: with a vindication of the use of the Cross in Baptism.

1. HAving thus clearly set out the true nature or Idea of Antichristianism, as also plainly made good that such an Antichristianism or Antichrist as is delineated in that Idea is that very Antichrist which the Prophecies in the Holy Scriptures do prefigure or foretell, we should now proceed to a more punctual Application of the said Idea and Prophecies to the State of the Church, from such times as it fell into this Antichristian Lapse till this very day. But that being something a more voluminous Design, and less gratefull to my disposition, who take far greater pleasure in the Vindication of an injured Friend then in raking into the unsavoury miscarriages of either a Stranger or professed Enemy, I shal satisfy myself, at least at this bout, with that part of Application onely which concerns our Reformed Church of England: whereby I do not doubt but to free her from all imputations or suspicions of being guilty of any point of true and real Antichristianism, in any of her Doctrines or Institutes. Whence it will appear how little she is concerned in this free and faithfull delineation thereof, unless it be to give Almighty God most humble and hearty thanks, who did so graciously assist those noble Hero's with resolution and judgment for the atchieving of so happy and marvellous a Reformation, wherein nothing is left, no member nor the least joynt or article of that odious and hatefull Image or Idea of Antichrist which we have described, no frauds or falsifications of the Gospel of Christ for the Interest of a worldly Church, and the feeding of the Priesthood by a trade of Lies and Impostures, which would have made any ingenuous man <460> ashamed to be found of the Order or Profession; whenas how, if no Prophaneness lurk in his soul, he may well deem the Calling an ornament to his person. And that this is not a boast, but a real truth, I shall briefly make good by running through all those limbs of Antichristianism (whether opposing the Privative, or Positive Ends of the Gospel) which I proposed in my Idea.

2. The first of the first kind whereof was Idolatry, in the Invocation of Saints and Angels, in the Worshipping of the Host, and in the Adoration of Images. Wherein though the Universal Practice of the Church of England does sufficiently clear her from such gross imputations, yet I think it not amiss, for her greater honour, to bring into light her avowed and declared judgment concerning these matters, that all the world may take notice how sound she is at the Core in these weighty points of Religion.

Touching therefore the Invocation of Saints, That she does apertly condemn it, appears in the Book of Articles,[1] where she calls it a fond thing, vainly invented, and grounded upon no warrants of Scripture, but that it is repugnant to the Word of God; so far is it from being grounded thereupon. And the second part of the Homily concerning Prayer is wholly spent in proving, That we are to address our Prayers to none but to God himself: Where there are excellent Arguments to that purpose, and where she does plainly declare that Christ is our onely Mediatour and Advocate; as also she does in the Liturgie, for the cutting away all pretence for the praying to Saints, and does smartly and at once conclude, That Invocation is a thing proper to God, which if we attribute unto the Saints, it soundeth to their Reproach, neither can they well bear it at our hands. Which is equipollent to the judging of it Idolatry. For what is Idolatry but the doing that worship to a creature which is proper to God? And therefore she compares it with the Pagans offering sacrifice to Paul at Lystra. And how the receiving of Divine honour must redound to the reproach of what-ever Creature receives it, I have abundantly noted elsewhere.[2]

I shall onely urge one place more, which is very explicit and of great weight. The argument runs thus: Invocation or Prayer may not be made without faith in him on whom we call, but we must first believe in him before we can make our prayer unto him; whereupon we must onely and solely pray unto God. For to say we should believe in either Angel or Saint or in any other living Creature, were mere horrible Blasphemy against God. This is a very remarkable passage, and a Demonstration that the Invocation of Saints and Angels is flat Idolatry, it so plainly implying the acknowledgement of that Excellency which is proper onely to God. Nor can our holy Mother the Church be thought to deem it less Idolatry for calling it Blasphemy, since all Idolatry is so, and is several times called so in Scripture, as I have noted in his due place.[3]

3. Now for the second, The worshipping of the Host, which supposes the Bread transsubstantiated, she is most declaredly against both the Opinion and Practice. As in the Book of Articles;[4] Transsubstantiation cannot be proved by Holy Writ, but it is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, over <461> throweth the nature of a Sacrament, and hath given occasion to many Superstitions. Whence she rightly and demonstratively concludes that the Sacrament is not to be carried about, lifted up, nor worshipped. For there is none that can worship the Host, upon presumption that it is Christ to whom Divine worship is due, but he is ipso facto an Idolater, as I have proved elsewhere more at large. And again in the same Book[5] she does expresly declare, That the Sacrifices of Masses, in the which it is commonly said that the Priest does offer Christ for the quick and the dead, to have remission of pain or guilt, are blasphemous Fables and dangerous Deceits. The truth of which is easy to be understood out of what we have written in our Idea of Antichristianism touching Idolatry and the Abuse of Christ's Person and Office in this enormous Errour.

And in the Homily concerning the Sacrament she expresly taxes the Popish Masses with Idolatry, imputing it to the ignorance of the nature of the Lord's Supper. What hath been the cause of this gross Idolatry but the Ignorance thereof? what has been the cause of this mummish Massing but the Ignorance thereof? And a little after; Let us therefore so travail to understand the Lord's Supper, that we be no cause of the decay of God's worship, of no Idolatry, of no dumb Massing, of no hate and malice, &c. To all which you may adde what is annexed, in our Liturgie, at the end of the Communion, viz. That the Sacramental Bread and Wine remain still in their very natural substances, and therefore may not be adored, (for that were Idolatry to be abhorred of all faithfull Christians:) And the natural Body and Bloud of our Saviour Christ are in Heaven, and not here; it being against the truth of Christ's natural Body to be at one time in more places then one. Which Rubrick is interserted in our Liturgie with unexceptionable Judgment and Fidelity, and does fully reach the end of its Intersertion. For no man, I think, can be so grosly ignorant or so openly malicious as to pretend that, after this so plain Declaration of our Church, either himself or any one else can become guilty of Idolatry by that humble posture of Kneeling at the receiving of the Sacrament.

4. And lastly, touching the Adoration of Images, there can be nothing more seriously protested against by any Church then this enormous wickedness is by ours. To omit how she has perstringed them in the Book of Articles, she does expresly bind the worshippers of them under a curse in her Liturgie, in the Form of Commination, Cursed is the man that maketh any carv'd or molten Image to worship it. And in her Homily against the Peril of Idolatry, with a passionate, but unexceptionable and judicious, zeal she does copiously inveigh against the very having of Images in Churches, I mean such as are in any capacity of being worshipped; nay against the very making of the Image of God or any of the Persons of the Holy Trinity, yea of Christ himself, forasmuch as he is truly God, contending that[6] no Image can be made of Christ but a lying Image, (as the Scripture peculiarly calls Images Lies;) for Christ is God and Man. Seeing therefore for the Godhead, which is the most excellent part, no Image can be made, it is falsly called the Image of Christ. Wherefore Images of Christ be not onely Defects, but also Lies.

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Nor does she stick here, but urges the argument, and truly not without judgement, against the Images of Saints, whose Souls, the most excellent part of them, can (saith she) by no Images be represented and expressed.

But concerning the having such Images in Temples, she doth with an holy Jealousy peremptorily contend and inculcate that it is plainly against the Second Commandment, adding this reason, For they being set up, have been, be, and ever will be worshipped, and thereupon become abominable Idols, nothing different from those of the Heathen; they being made of the same matter with them, and men having the same conceits of the Saints they are made to, and of their offices, as the Heathen had of their Deities, they worshipping them also with the same Rites and Ceremonies. And to shew they have the same opinion of their Saints that the Pagans had of their several Gods, she compares such Saints as are made Guardians of Kingdoms to their Dii Tutelares, such as Belus was to the Babylonians, Osiris and Isis to the Ægyptians, Vulcan to the Lemnians; the Guardian Saints of Cities to their Dii Præsides, such as Apollo was to Delphos, Minerva to Athens, Juno to Carthage, and Quirinus to Rome; and, lastly, their Templed Saints to Jupiter in the Capitol, and Diana in the famous Temple of Ephesus.

And touching one and the same Saints having Images in several places, she parallels our Lady of Walsingham, our Lady of Ipswich, and our Lady of Wilsdon, to Venus Cypria, Venus Paphia, and Venus Gnidia; to their Sea-Gods, Neptune, Triton, Nereus and Venus, S. Christopher, S. Clement and the Blessed Virgin; to Vulcan and Vesta, Gods of the Fire, S. Agatha. And then intimating that, as in ancient Paganism the Affairs of Love, of War, of Diseases in men and beasts were assigned to several Deities, so to several Saints in the Popish Religion, she at last breaks out into this zealous Exclamation, Where is God's Providence and due honour in the mean time? who saith, The Heavens be mine, and the Earth is mine, the whole world and all that in it is. I give victory, and I put to flight. Except I keep the City, the Watch-man waketh but in vain that keepeth it. Thou, Lord, shalt save both man and beast. But we have left him neither Heaven, nor Earth, nor Water, nor Countrey, nor City, Peace nor War to rule and govern; neither men, nor beasts, nor their diseases to cure: That a godly man might justly for zealous Indignation cry out, O Heaven and Earth and Seas, what madness and wickedness against God are men fallen into! What dishonour doe the Creatures to their Creatour and Maker! namely, in reposing a religious trust in those Saints they invoke to these purposes, which can belong to none other but God himself.

5. And as touching the manner of their worshipping these Images and Saints; What meaneth it (saith she) that they, after the manner of the Gentile Idolaters, burn Incense, offer up gold to Images, hang up crutches, chains and ships, legs, arms, and whole men and women of wax before Images, as though by them or Saints (as they say) they were delivered from Lameness, Sickness, Captivity or Shipwreck? Is not this COLERE IMAGINES, to worship Images, so earnestly forbidden in God's Word? <463> And a little after, more fully and vehemently, Wherefore when we see men and women on heaps to goe on Pilgrimages to Images, kneel before them, hold up their hands before them, set up Candles, burn Incense before them, offer up gold and silver unto them, hang up ships, crutches, chains, men and women of wax before them; attributing health and safeguard, the gifts of God, to them or the Saints whom they represent, as they rather would have it; who, I say, can doubt but that our Image-maintainers, agreeing in all Idolatrous Opinions, outward Rites and Ceremonies with the Gentile Idolaters, agree also with them in committing most abominable Idolatry?

Truly, for my part, I must confess I do not at all doubt of it; and therefore from such passages as these and several other of the like nature scattered up and down in this excellent Homily of our Church concerning Idolatry and Images, do think it an easie Task to prove such a state of the Church as is here described to be the very Image of the Beast[7] foretold in the Apocalyps, as any man may discern out of my foregoing Discourse.

But I will give my self the trouble of transcribing one or two more passages: as that upon that famous Act of the good King Hezekias in breaking a-pieces the Brazen Serpent, (when once abused to Idolatry) though set up by the special commandment of God, and so mysterious a Figure of our Saviour himself. How think you (saith she) would that godly Prince, if he were now living handle our Idols set up against God's commandment directly, and being Figures of nothing but folly, and for Fools to gaze on, till they become as wise as the blocks themselves they stare on, and so fall down like dared Larks in that gaze; and being themselves alive worship a dead stock and stone, gold or silver, and so become Idolaters abominable and cursed before the living God?

6. And again, Now concerning excessive decking of Images and Idols with painting, gilding, adorning with precious vestures, pearl and stone; what is it else but for the farther provocation and enticement to spiritual Fornication, to deck spiritual Harlots most costly and wantonly? Which the Idolatrous Church understands well enough. For she being indeed not onely an Harlot, (as the Scripture calleth her) but also a foul, filthy and withered Harlot, (for she is indeed of ancient years) and understanding her lack of nature and true beauty, and great loathsomness which of her self she hath, doth, after the custome of such Harlots, paint herself, and deck and tire herself with gold, pearl, stone, and all kinde of precious Jewels, that she shining with the outward beauty and glory of them may please the foolish phantasy of fond Lovers, and so entice them to spiritual Fornication with her. Where it is most manifest that the Church of England doth (and that with truth and judgement) intimate, that that apostatized Church of Rome is prefigured in the Type of the Whore of Babylon, accordingly as I have above demonstrated in this present Treatise. And answerable to this just Censure is that which we may reade in the following Page: Surely, the Prophet Daniel in the eleventh Chapter declareth such sumptuous decking of Images with gold, silver and precious stones; to be a token of Antichrist's Kingdome. Wherein undoubtedly allusion is made to those words of the Prophet,[8] And a God whom his Fathers knew not shall he <464> honour with gold and silver, and with precious stones and pleasant things: which is consonant to that sense we have[9] above delivered of that Prophecy.

And as touching that ordinary pretence for Images, that they are the Lay-mens Books; she doth roundly rebuke the Sophistry of so fond a Plea. But away for shame with those coloured Cloaks of Idolatry, of the Books and Scriptures of Images and Pictures to teach Idiots, nay, to make Idiots and stark Fools and Beasts of Christians. Do men, I pray you, when they have the same Books at home with them, run on Pilgrimage to seek like Books at Rome, Compostella, or Jerusalem, to be taught by them? Do men light Candles at Noon-day to their Books? Do they burn incense, offer up gold and silver and other gifts to them? And a little after; Wherefore call them what they list, it is most evident by their deeds that they make of them no other Books nor Scriptures then such as teach most filthy and horrible Idolatry, as the Users of such Books daily prove by continually practising the same. O Books and Scriptures in the which the devillish School-master Satan hath penned the leud Lessons of wicked Idolatry for his dastardly Disciples (the οἱ δειλοὶ in the Apocalyps) and Scholars, to behold, reade and learn, to God's most high dishonour, and their most horrible damnation!

And at last she, winding up towards a Conclusion, determines thus: True Religion then and pleasing to God standeth not in making, setting up, painting, gilding, clothing and decking of dumb and dead Images, (which be but great Puppets and Babies for old fools in dotage and wicked Idolatry to dally and play with) nor in kissing of them, capping, kneeling, offering to them, incensing of them, setting up candles, hanging up legs, arms, or whole bodies of wax before them, or praying and asking of them or the Saints things belonging onely to God to give. But all these things be vain and abominable and most damnable before God: all such not onely bestowing their money and labour in vain, but with their pains and cost purchasing to themselves God's wrath and utter indignation, and everlasting damnation both of body and Soul. And a little after; Wherefore God's horrible wrath and our most dreadful danger cannot be avoided without the destruction and utter abolishing of Images and Idols out of the Church and Temple of God: Which to accomplish, God put in the minds of all Christian Princes. Amen.

Thus freely, zealously and judiciously does our Church of England condemn the Roman Religion of gross Idolatry in all those Points which I have nominated in my Idea; nor has she left or appointed any Usage or Ceremony that bears any similitude, or has any affinity with that hainous Crime. So clear is she from this First part of Antichristianism, which is the polluting of the Church of Christ with a Pagan-like Idolatry.

7. And now concerning that Second part of Antichristianism, opposite to the Second Privative end of the Gospel, which was the Removal of that Yoke of Judaical Institutes and Ceremonies, in lieu whereof Antichrist brings in an heap and lurry of Superstitious Opinions, Rites and Ordinances, which prove a load more intolerable not onely then the Law of Moses but the Tyranny of Ægypt itself; I demand, has not the Church of England, by the appointment of the Royall Power of the Nation, <465> freed us from this miserable bondage? Whose patience is now set on the Tenter-hooks by attending of dumb shows or mummish Masses, (as they are rightly called in our Book of Homilies) wherein the Unintelligibleness of the Tongue administers no life nor devotion to the hearer? Whose limbs are now tired out with long Superstitious Pilgrimages, exiled from Wife and Children, to salute a dead Statue or Image at Rome, Compastella or Jerusalem? Whose Soul or Body injured by rash and foolish Vows of either Sacerdotal or Monastick Coelibate? or whose Wives or Daughters abused by the Hypocritical Professours of the same? Whose bosome broke open and rifled by extorted auricular Confessions, to the sport of a Profane or Hypocritical Priest, and to the clandestine prejudice of the Penitent? Whose minde besotted or distracted by the secure belief or unavoidable dissettledness in incredible and even impossible Opinions? Is any modest Matron now dismay'd with that Melancholick conceit, that she is big with a Child and Devil at once, and that that soul Fiend (whose proper place is Hell) as often as she is pregnant, must kennel in her womb? Is any man made such a Sot as to creep into a Monk's Coul to shelter himself from the wrathful presence of God; or to kiss the Tail of an Ass, to be reconciled to his triumphant Rider? For in some place (saies that Homily) is the Tail of the Ass which our Lord Jesus Christ sate on, to be kissed and offered unto, for a Relique; breaking out thereupon into this just and zealous Exclamation, O wicked, impudent and most shameless men, the devisers of these things! O silly, foolish and dastardly Daws, and more beastly then the Ass whose tail they kissed, that believe such things! Where I cannot but again note how fitly these Idolatries and Superstitions are resolved into a dastardliness and cowardliness of Minde, and how correspondently to the description of those who are excluded the Holy City in the Apocalyps; whose first character is δειλοὶ, fearful, (not in regard of that fear which seizes the faint-hearted in warre, but of those affrightments that befool men in Religion) and is as much as δεισιδαίμονες, men whose spirits are cow'd and intimidated by the power of Superstition.

But to proceed, or rather to break off, for it were both tedious and unnecessary to repeat all those Particulars I have insisted on in the Description of this limb of Antichristianism. "Their crouching to exorcized Crosses; Their having the light of Reason extinct or drown'd in Holy-Water or enchanted Oils; their eyes dimm'd or dazled with the Histrionical Pomp of the masking Vestments of their Priests, and their Faith abused to the imagining a wonder-working virtue in them by their being enchanted or consecrated, as also in several other exorcized Materials; The unseasonable trouble of Extreme Unction, and the nasty besmearing the tender Nose and Ears of the Infant in Baptism; The vexatious colluctations betwixt the injured Body and illaqueated Conscience about abstaining from meats; The Numerousness and Superstition of the Observations of Saints-days; The stripping of the Souls of men of the most comfortable fruits of Christ's Suffering, making them believe that his Satisfaction reaches not to the sheltering them from the Punishment of sin, but from the Guilt onely; and lastly, The affrighting <466> them out of their wits by that hideous Figment of an Hellish Purgatory, and excoriating their Bodies by barbarous and Pagan-like Processionary Flagellations:" I demand concerning these, and what-ever else looks any thing like either an Antichristian Imposition or Imposture, (belonging to this Second limme of Antichristianism) whether the Care and Fidelity, whether the unbiassed Judgement and Piety of our Royal and Reverend Reformers have not quite cast them out as the dirt and dung of Superstition.

8. I but you will say, we do still celebrate Saints-daies, and do still keep Lent; Surplices are still worn, and the Cross in Baptism still in use. But to these I easily and briefly answer: For the charge is slight and trivial, and cannot reach to the least touch of Antichristianism.

For as for the Saints-daies in our Church, they are neither many, whereby the Observation of them may become burthensome, nor are they Idolatrously or Superstitiously observed; there being no Religious worship done to the Saints, no Temple nor Altar dedicated to them, nor Prayers directed to them, but onely an honourable mention made of their Vertues for our Christian Imitation. In which thing our Church is very explicite, joyning authority with S. Austin, and declaring, That neither Temples nor Churches ought to be builded or made for Martyrs or Saints, but to God alone; and that there ought no Priests to be appointed for Martyr or Saint but to God alone: as you may see in the second part of the Homily against Peril of Idolatry. And he that reads what order she gives for the keeping of these Festivals, in her Constitutions and Canons Ecclesiastical, will but betray his Impiety in gain-saying so Religious a Purpose. For her Injunction is that these Daies be kept[10] in hearing the Word of God read and taught, in private and publick Prayer, in acknowledging their offences to God and amendment of the same, and in reconciling themselves charitably to their Neighbours where displeasures have been, in oftentimes receiving the Communion of the Body and Bloud of Christ, in visiting the poor and sick, using all godly and sober Conversation.

And now concerning Lent; that our Church puts a snare upon no mans Conscience in difference of Meats, is plain out of what we meet with in that eminent Prelate Bishop Jewel, in The Defence of his Apology,[11] (a Book appointed for every Church by publick Authority) where he cites that excellent saying out of Tertullian, Deus ventre non colitur, nec cibis quos Dominus dicit perire, & in secessu, naturali lege, purgari. Nam qui per escas Dominum colit, prope est ut Dominum habeat ventrem suum. He whose Religion is so carnal, is but a degree above them that make their Belly their God. And in the same Page he speaks from himself and in plain English, We weigh not the choice of Fish or Flesh, but the burthen of the Minde, and the snare of the Conscience. The Church herself also doth declare in the Homily of Fasting, That there is no Holiness at all in Meats, and that it is in itself indifferent whether Lent be kept by eating of Fish, or by abstaining from all manner of food till night, and then to eat without any choice or difference of meats; and that keeping of Lent by abstinence from Flesh is grounded merely upon Policy, and thereupon <467> appointed by the Magistrate for the increasing of Victuals, Beeves and Sheep, for the greater plenty, and better provision for the Poor, and furnishing out our Navies, and for the enriching the Sea-coast-Towns by Fishing, and making them more populous, and better provided for to repulse the Enemy at any Invasion. Which is a very honest and solid account for our celebrating Lent by abstinence from Flesh-meats and feedding {sic} on Fish, and devoid of all Popery and Superstition.

And thirdly, touching the Pompous Histrionical Vestments of Priests, no man can condemn them more heartily or deride them more wittily then our Church hath done in the third part of that never-sufficiently-commended Homily against the Peril of Idolatry: where, having noted how Lactantius compared the Idols of the Heathen to the little Puppets that little Girls used to play with, and that the said Idols were but great Puppets for old Fools to play with; Our Churches (saith she) stand full of such great Puppets wondrously decked and adorned, garlands and coronets be set on their heads, precious pearls hung about their necks, their fingers shine with rings set with precious stones, their dead and stiff bodies are clothed with garments stiff with gold. You would believe that the Images of Men-Saints were some Princes of Persia-land with their proud Apparel and the Idols of our Women-Saints were nice well-trimmed Harlots tempting their Paramours to wantonness. Whereby the Saints of God are not honoured, but most dishonoured, and their godliness, soberness, chastity, contempt of riches and of the vanity of the world, defaced and brought in doubt by such monstrous decking most differing from their godly and sober lives. And then comes in what concerns the Priest; And because the whole Pageant must throughly be play'd, it is not enough thus to deck Idols, but at the last come in the Priests themselves likewise decked with gold and pearl, (that they may be meet servants for such Lords and Ladies, and fit worshippers of such Gods and Goddesses,) and with solemn pace they pass forth before these golden Puppets, and fall down to the ground on their marrow-bones before these honourable Idols; and then rising up again offer up odours and incense unto them, to give the people an example of double Idolatry, by worshipping not onely the Idol, but the gold also and riches wherewith it is garnished. What can be more expresly against these Histrionical Ornaments then this?

I but you will say, what is this to the Surplice? Truly, it is a thing of so little moment, that I had almost forgot it. Why? what Antichristianism do you espy in that, provided it be white and clean? Is not the very Wife of the Lamb in the Apocalyps said to be[12] araied in fine linen clean and white? And do you think that the Prophetick style would adorn the Spouse of Christ with such an Habit as in the letter were a special badge of Antichrist? Wherefore it is evident that there is neither Superstition nor Antichristianism simply in wearing a white garment, though there be no garment but may be superstitiously used, and as superstitiously rejected. To consecrate, exorcize or enchant Vestments for the Priests to wear, as is practised in the Apostatized Church, were indeed a palpable piece of Superstition; or to place any Holiness in them: But this is a thing openly protested against in our Church, who plainly declares in her Constitu <468> tions Ecclesiastical concerning prescribed Apparel,[13] That her meaning is not to attribute any holiness or special worthiness to the said garments, but that they are enjoyned onely for decency, gravity and order.

9. And truly for to suspect this kinde of Ornament in our English Clergy to serve for either gratifying their Pride, or for an out-side recommendation of them to the People, that they may the more securely want those more requisite and essential Ornaments of the Minde, is a very weak and groundless surmize. For how can they be thought to pride themselves in such a Garment, or phansy themselves recommendable to the people by such an Ornament as they generally imagine foul and soiled by having been so many Ages worn by that Woman of Apostasies? Wherefore look as narrowly as you will, you cannot espy those Antichristian sins of Pride and Hypocrisie lurking in any the closest fold of this snowy Vestment. Which did it not look so bright as to the blinding of your eyes, you might instead of Antichristianism discover the choicest Christian Graces wrapt up in the use of it, I mean those of Charity and Humility.

For undoubtedly our Heroical Reformers did not, as is the use of some, act out of peevishness and spight, and please their own humour and impetuosity of spirit; but as being part of the chast Spouse of Christ, the true Apostolick Church, the Mother of us all, deals as a Mother with all those that profess themselves in any sense Children of Christ's Church, and therefore would not have them divided more then needs. Whence it is that, out of a spirit of Charity and tender kindness, she has in some things in themselves indifferent humbly condescended to symbolize with that lapsed Lady of Rome, to bring off her abused Paramours to the pure Worship of God. Which Condescension, as is well known, took good effect for some space of years, and the Catholicks joyn'd in publick Prayers and Service with us; till that Woman sitting on the Seven Hills (who at every turn discovers herself not to be the Mother, but the Harlot that makes nothing of having the Child divided) forcibly rent off the English Roman Catholicks from so reasonable and Christian a Communion. And yet for all this does not our Church cease to use this charitable Courtship and sweet Condescension toward them still, to win them off to such a Worship as is every way as graceful as their own, but without the Poison of either Superstition or Idolatry.

Which while I consider how long it has been, without the least effect upon the Catholicks of this Nation, I must needs think him either dullsighted or unjust that will not acknowledge also a third Christian Vertue in our Mother the Church of England, superadded to the former, I mean an impregnable and invincible Patience; she having not all this time fallen either into that Complaint in the Prophet,[14] All day long have I stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gain-saying People; or into that Resolution of the Apostles, wearied out by the Refractariness of the Jews,[15] Seeing you judge your selves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn unto the Gentiles.

Lastly, as touching the Cross in Baptism, there is much-what the same reason as of this last, saving that the use thereof was more early in the Church, whence it becomes more venerable for its Antiquity, and is <469> therefore retained upon that account, as also for the significancy of the Ceremony: but without the least reproach to the Sacrament it self, it being acknowledged perfect and complete without it. I will also adde that it is now as seasonable as ever, the Passion of our Saviour being so much undervalued and trode under foot by a new generation of men that Paganize in their Hearts, though they cant in the language of Christians. But we need not be over-solicitous in this point, there being so ample satisfaction offered to the scrupulous in the Book of Ecclesiastical Constitutions.[16] And therefore we will now proceed to those parts of Antichristianism that oppose the Positive Ends of the Gospel. Wherein there is so little Difficulty, that it will be no hard task to dispatch with like brevity as in these former.

CHAP. XXII.

1. The diametrical Opposition of our Church to that part of Antichristianism which would subvert the Regal and Prophetick Offices of Christ. 2. As also to that which strikes at his Sacerdotal Office. 3. That she holds nothing against those other sacred Titles of Christ, the Truth, Life, Light, &c. 4. A demonstrative Vindication of Episcopacy from the Imputation of Antichristianism, out of the Apocalyps. 5. What an Establishment that Book is, if rightly understood, to the Crown and Church of England. 6. That no Papal nor Presbyterian Power is of right above the King, no not in causes Ecclesiastical. 7. The judgement of our Church thereupon. 8. The peculiar glory of our Church that she is so perfectly free from all Frauds and Impostures. 9. Her freeness from Pride; 10. From Antichristian Impurity, 11. And from Cruelty. 12. Her Reformation an eminent Speciminal Completion of the Prophecy of the Resurrection of the Two Witnesses. 13. The usefulness of this Vindication of her for the suppressing of Popery and Schism.

1. I Demand therefore concerning those three known Offices of Christ, Regal, Sacerdotal, and Prophetical, is not our Church very faithful and sincere in this point, and not at all guilty of such opposings and underminings of them as I have specified in my Idea of Antichristianism? Does our Church pretend to be Infallible her self, or so much as connive or consent to the pretended Infallibility of others? Nay, has she not plainly declared,[17] That general Councils (for asmuch as they be an Assembly of men whereof all be not governed with the Spirit and Word of God) may erre, and sometimes have erred, even in things pertaining to God: and that therefore things ordained by them as necessary to Salvation have neither strength nor authority, unless it may be declared that they be taken out of the Holy Scripture? And in the fore-going Article[18] she does affirm, That it is not lawful for the Church to ordain any thing that is contrary to God's Word written, and that she may not so expound one place of Scripture that it be repugnant to another; and finally concludes, <470> That although the Church be a Witness and a Keeper of Holy Writ, yet as she ought not to decree any thing against the same, so besides the same ought she not to enforce any thing to be believed for necessity of Salvation. To which effect she also speaks in another Article[19] touching the Sufficiency of Holy Scriptures. Holy Scripture (saith she) containeth all things necessary to Salvation; so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man that it should be believed as an Article of Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to Salvation.

And again to the same purpose doth she speak in that excellent Exhortation to the reading and knowledge of Holy Scripture: where with all earnestness she invites every one to the diligent perusing thereof, declaring, That in Holy Scripture is fully contained what we ought to doe, and what to eschew, what to believe, and what to love, and what to look for at God's hands at the length; and tells us the best way for understanding of them, in a Paragraph worthy to be written in letters of Gold, toward the end of the first part of the Homily. And in reading of God's Word (saith she) he profiteth not most always that is most ready in turning of the Book, or in saying of it without-book, but he that is most turned into it, that is, most inspired with the Holy Ghost, most in his heart and life altered and changed into that thing which he readeth; he that is daily less and less proud, less wrathful, less covetous and less desirous of worldly and vain pleasures; he that daily (forsaking his old vicious life) increaseth in Vertue more and more.

And in the second part of the said Homily she heartens her Sons against those discouragements and stumbling-blocks, which that false and treacherous Church casts in their way, of pretended difficulty and obscurity; exhorting them to pray to God for Assistence in reading the Scriptures; assuring them that if they be sedulous and serious, what they are at a loss in, God will either send some pious and knowing person (as he did Philip to the Eunuch reading the Prophets) to instruct them, or that Himself from above will give light into our minds, and teach us those things that be necessary for us, and wherein we be ignorant: farther adding out of S. Chrysostom, That humane and worldly wisdom or science is not so needful for the understanding of Scripture, but the revelation of the Holy Ghost, who inspireth the true meaning into them who with humility and diligence do search therefore.

And lastly, she concludes, That none be enemies to the reading of God's Word but such as either be so ignorant, that they know not how wholsome a thing it is; or else be so sick, that they hate the most comfortable medicine that should heal them; or so ungodly, that they would wish the people still to continue in blindness and ignorance of God. How diametrically opposite this Genius of our Church is to that Antichristian Spirit I have described in his opposings and underminings of the Regal and Prophetical Offices of Christ, is obvious for any man to discern who listeth but to compare them.

2. And now for his Sacerdotal Office, which is injured and affronted in multiplying Mediatours, in pretending to offer up the very Body of Christ in the Mass, and in derogating from the virtue of that Sacrifice himself made for the sins of the world, as if it reached not to the Punish <471> ment, but to the Guilt onely, and that every man must satisfie for himself in imposed mulcts and penances, either here or in Purgatory. As for the first, we have already proved it to be contrary to the Doctrine of our Church. And that one Article, part whereof I have cited already against Transsubstantiation, will assure us of her rejection of the two latter. The offering of Christ once made (saith she[20] ) is that perfect Redemption, Propitiation and Satisfaction for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual; and there is no other Satisfaction for sin but that alone. And then it follows, Wherefore the Sacrifices of Masses, in the which it was commonly said that the Priest did offer up Christ for the quick and the dead, to have remission of pain or guilt, were blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits. See also the Article of the Justification of Man, and the Homily of Salvation and Good Works. But this is so notorious a Doctrine in our Church, that I need not insist any further upon the proof of her avowing of it.

3. As for the Oppositions against the other Titles of Christ specified in the sixth Chapter of the second Book of my Idea of Antichristianism, it is manifest that our Church is not concerned therein. For we traffick not in Legendary Lies and false Miracles, against the Sacred Title of Truth; nor desire to keep the people ignorant of the Scriptures, and to hold them in darkness, against the Sacred Title of Light; nor trespass against the Sacred Title of Life, by making our Religion consist of dumb shows and heaps of dead Rites and Ceremonies; nor derogate from the Divinity of Christ, by giving Religious worship to Saints and Angels; nor offend against his Paternity, by making his Children a company of stocks and stones, and by taking away the judgement of discretion from them, and forcing them to believe as the Church believes, right or wrong, with Scripture or against it; and are so farre from injuring the life of any Child of God by any captious and wicked Sanction, that we profess nothing requisite to Salvation but what is plain in Scripture, as appears from what has been already produced out of the Articles of the Church. Which alone will also vindicate her from any imputation of the following points of Antichristianism against the Peace of Christ's Kingdome. And for absolving Princes from their Oaths, what Church, unless that of Rome, ever pretended to so blasphemous a Power?

4. The next Antichristian Opposition, and which occurrs in the next Chapter, is that against the Divine Life in general. Such as Idolatry, and all manner of Superstition, dumb Shows, speaking in an unknown Tongue, substituting silly Penances instead of real Repentance and Amendment of life; all which our Church is so plainly and professedly against in her Articles and Homilies every-where, and so acknowledgedly, that I will not give my self the trouble of Citation. Some not so well minded may peradventure be over-inclinable to imagine the Episcopal Office and Revenues to have a greater propinquity with that Hypothesis at the end of this Chapter then any indifferent man can possibly judge. For he must be very ignorant of the Constitution of Christendome that does not plainly discern that in that Hypothesis it is the Papal Hierarchy that is perstringed and adumbrated: which is done again more fully and particularly in the ninth and tenth Chapters. <472> For, for my own part, though I do not know the accurate values of the several Bishopricks of this Nation, yet considering the largeness of their Dioceses and the great burthen as well of care as expensiveness in conscientiously executing the Function, truly I cannot imagine them so great but that the weight of the Office will weigh down every-where the value of the Revenue, and we reade in the Gospel that[21] the work-man is worthy of his hire. And concerning the Office and Dignity itself, it cannot sink into my minde, that that Order of the Church which was instituted and in practice in those Ages thereof which were Symmetral, can with any face or conscience be judged Antichristian. And that the Church was Symmetral for about four hundred years after Christ, is a demonstrable Consectary from my Joint-Exposition, and that Joint-Exposition so convincingly evident, that no Interpretation of any Scripture can be more.

5. Whence I cannot but wonder that any true Son of the Church of England should be so shie of the Apocalyps, or so fearful of it, that they durst not touch it without a pair of Mittens of Grotius his making, for fear it should bite them, that is to say, unless it be unfolded, or rather folded up, in Grotius his fond and groundless Explications. For there is not any Book in the World that makes more for the establishment of the Crown and Church of England then this Holy Book of the Apocalyps, if rightly and solidly understood. A thing which that wise and sagacious Prince, King James of blessed memory, had discovered betimes, and accordingly made use of it against the Usurpations of the Church of Rome. And truly I finde nothing in the Apocalyps, though the style seems Mysterious and Ænigmatical, but what is very rational, and look upon it as the most faithful and Philosophical writing that ever was penned. A tast whereof we have in that Catalogue of the evil characters of them that are excluded the Holy City; wherein bloudy and inhumane Zeal, as also vain and imposturous Superstition, is so plainly perstringed. The former in φονεῖς, Murtherers; the latter in φαρμακοι, δειλοὶ, and πᾶς ὁ ποιῶν καὶ φιλῶν ψεῦδος, in Sorcerers, Exorcists or Enchanters; and lying Legendists; and in fearful intimidated spirits, that are superstitiously inclined to submit to the delusions and lies of such shameless Deceivers. These doth our faithful Redeemer of Souls, who deals bonâ fide with Man-kinde, to rescue their abused minds from the Tyranny and burthen of Superstition, note with a mark of Infamy and Condemnation. So fast a friend is the Lord Jesus to Humanity, to Equity, to Truth and Reason.

6. And not to insist upon those passages of the Apocalyptick Visions that imply it, (which are more then one or two either) there is the greatest Equity and Reason in the world that every Christian Prince should next under Christ be Supreme Head over all that part of his Church over which he is King or Sovereign, over Clergy as well as Laiety, in Causes Ecclesiastical as well as Civil; and that not any Papal or Presbyterian Power should be above him, as our English Episcopacy does most justly and professedly submit unto him. For why should any Clergy-men expect of a Prince who has received like precious Faith with themselves, to fall in his Power by becoming a Christian? Which is as unjust, as it were ridiculous to phansy that every proper man should be bound <473> to remit so much of his natural stature as would make him goe lower then the Priest that baptized him. For Christianity does not take away Nature nor Power, but rightly employs it.

Could any of the Pagan Emperours, think you, have been brought over to the Christian Faith, if the Bishop of Rome would have laid claim to the Headship of the Empire so farre as it became the Church of Christ? or would they not have suspected the preaching the Kingdome of Heaven a trick of the Priests, to make themselves Lords of the Earth? No certainly, a Prince once become Christian, that is, a Believer and Professour of the Apostolick Faith comprised in the Word of God in those plain and generally-confessed Points of our Religion, is a Person so Sacred, that nothing can mount above him for Headship in his own Dominions. For the anointing of the Spirit whereby we believe to Salvation is infinitely more holy then any external Sacerdotal oil whatsoever. Why may not then so sacred a Fountain be the Head and Influencer of the whole Church? Or whether is Christ greater as he is Priest or King of Saints? Or who had the preeminence in the Polity of the Jews, the Kings or High-Priests of Israel? And was not that Polity a Type or Figure of the Church of Christ?

The plain Law of Christ is indeed immutable, and it ought to be so; no man upon earth may dispense with one tittle thereof. But for authorizing Interpretations, Opinions, and the Rites and Ceremonies of Religious Worship, either this is in a Christian Prince's power, and not in the Priest's, or else his Kingdome and safe administration thereof is not in his power. For all these things, according to the Eternal Law of Nature and of Reason, are to be in the hand of him that is Supreme Governour, and it is a contradiction to his Supremacy if it be not so. For he that holds the rains of the Souls of men rules their whole Persons; and the strongest rains are those of Religion. And therefore if any Power distinct from the Kingly pretend to the right of ordering the affairs of Religion farther then his allowance and liking, that Power is really the King, and the King himself a precarious Power, to be blown about and blown out of his Throne by the false breath of these pretenders to the Headship of the Church, as often and as violently as they please.

Wherefore as the plain and confessed Law of Christ is immutable; so what is doubtful and merely Ritual is to have its interpretation, change or continuance at the judgement and discretion of every Christian Prince, who has most justly and necessarily the power of accommodating such things to the peace, composure and prosperity of his Kingdome. Nor have the Ecclesiastick Powers any right in an immutable and essential manner to affix to the Christian Religion any thing that is not expresly and declaredly comprised therein according to the Divine Authority of the Scriptures. For it is an high wrong to that Religion which is to be Everlasting and Universal, to be bound and fettered with either Rites or Opinions that are but Temporary or Topical; or that the Errours and Mistakes of dark Antiquity should become as a Law of the Medes and Persians to more serious and <474> clear-sighted Posterity; or what was fetched up upon some transitory emergency, that all the importunities and necessities of after-Affairs of the Church, or any parts thereof, should not be able to conjure it down again, for the making the Gospel more freely to run and be glorified.

7. And therefore most apertly and judiciously has our Church declared in her Homily of Fasting, That God's Church ought not neither may it be tied to any order now made or hereafter to be made and devised by the authority of Man, but that it may lawfully for just causes alter, change or mitigate those Ecclesiastical Decrees and Orders, yea recede wholly from them and break them, when they tend either to Superstition or to Impiety, when they draw the people from God rather then work any edification in them. And in the Book of Articles she again plainly asserts,[22] That it is not necessary that Traditions and Ceremonies be in all places one or utterly alike; for at all times they have been diverse, and may be changed according to the diversity of Countries, Times, and mens manners, so that nothing be ordain'd against God's Word. And lastly, in the close of that Article, Every Particular or National Church hath authority to ordain, change and abolish Ceremonies or Rites of the Church ordained onely by Mans authority, so that all things be done to edifying. Which Affairs of so dispensable and changeable a nature, if they could be ordered by a power distinct from and independent of the Supreme Power of any Christian Nation, and affecting and relishing a private Interest of their own, what wilde commotions and confusions might they cause in a Christian State, while they gore and spurre up the Ass to goe that way where he sees the Angel of the Lord with a drawn sword to drive him back?

Wherefore it is most safe and just that in all preter-Essentials to Christian Religion, the Supreme Magistrate in every Christian Nation have the allowing or disapproving of them; and that no Rites nor Opinions pass into Decrees, but by his Authority; that the Priesthood may not be able (as they ought to be so faithful to their Prince as not to be willing) to teach or decree any thing against his Interest whose Subjects they are, or against the Safety, Peace and Prosperity of the whole State of which they are but part, and therefore ought to have no power to doe any thing independently of the Prince, who is the Common Father of his whole Countrey, and whose Interest is the good and welfare of all: Who therefore must needs be the Head of the Church over all Causes and Persons as well Ecclesiastical as Civil, (as our Church does plainly acknowledge,) that vital Influence may indifferently flow from him into all the members of his Dominions.

But this is a point that might have been more seasonably deferr'd till we came to the Antichristian Opposition to the first branch of the Divine Life, which is Humility, and which the superlative Pride of the Papal Supremacy does so apparently affront. But that there is not the least smutt of Antichristianism in Episcopacy itself, I have already abundantly evinced.

8. Now concerning those Oppositions that be made against Faith, the <475> Root of the Divine Life, our Church is so plainly free from: them (as any one may perceive that pleases but to recount them) that it is enough merely to intimate so much. Onely I cannot let go this seasonable opportunity of triumphing in her behalf, in that she is so throughly reformed from that notorious, though subtle and slim, piece of Antichristianism, I mean that Self-ended Policy in those Doctrines and Practices which are so many in the Church of Rome and so profitable, and yet Our Heaven-directed Reformation has perfectly refined us and cleansed us from them all. The consideration whereof must needs make our Mother the Church of England look very lovely and amiable to every ingenuous and discerning eye, who cannot but bless God for that due judgment and faithfulness which he put into our Royal and Reverend Reformers; and must be a great satisfaction to every honest Priest or Minister of our Church, that he neither feeds himself nor the people with Lies, after the manner of the Roman Priesthood, nor puts one morsell of bread into his mouth filched from the Laiety by fraud and imposture, and that as he labours in the Gospel, so he lives by the Gospel, and not by Figments and cunningly-devised Fables.

9. Those Oppositions also against that Divine Grace of Humility, which are specified in the ninth, tenth and eleventh Chapters, that our Church is cleared from them, it is more apparent to any one that considers them then that I need give my self the trouble of particularly making it out. The Pope's Supremacy is not onely declared against but sworn against, as is very just and right. And though there be peculiar Habits for Clergy-men, yet, as I have noted above, our Church does professedly declare there is no Holiness in any such things, but that they are for decency and distinction. And distinction betwixt Laiety and Clergy is as ancient as Christianity it self, and runs through not onely part but all those Symmetral Ages of the Church. So manifest is it that there is not left in the frame of our English Church any thing of its own nature Antichristianly opposing that Heavenly and Christian Grace of Humility. But if we come to take view of Persons, who can help it but that a Lay-man may be proud as well as a Clergy-man, and a Presbyter as soon as a Bishop? So that all would be Antichristian upon this score.

10. And it is as evident that there are none of those Oppositions against that celestiall Grace of Purity (noted in the twelfth Chapter) to be found in our Church. And not so onely, but I think we may without vanity (provided it be done with humble thankfulness to Almighty God, who inspired our Heroical Reformers with such exquisite prudence and judgment) glory in that excellent and fit constitution of things in our Universities: Where none are tied up to the Vows of Cœlibate, nor confined to separate and solitary cells, to be shewn disguised in some uncouth habit, with circumcised crowns and moaped or bloated looks, as they are wont to shew strange Animals through their several grates at the Tower; but live under more free and manly Laws and ingenuous Exercises, without either the lash or hypocrisy of Superstition, and are appointed to spend their time in such things as may adorn their Souls with real Knowledge and <476> Vertue: where also there is an honest and frugal Provision made for them that list to lay their Bodies as well as bury their Minds in the dust of an Academie. Which, if either Nature or some Diviner power has fitted them for it, they may doe with honour; and if they be weary of a single life, they may leave the University when they will, without the least reproach. Which ingenuous and Christian freedom, in my judgment, is infinitely to be preferred before the Superstitious Slavery and Hypocrisy of the Roman Monasteries, where people are caged up and imprisoned like so many Captives of the King of Babylon, or so many Bond-men or Bond-women of that Mystical Pharaoh, to work out imaginary stuff to fill the Churche's Treasury of Merits, which are vended for ready money to encrease the Revenue and to support the Pomp of this magnificent Tyrant of Ægypt.

11. Lastly, Concerning those most Antichristian Oppositions against that transcendent Grace of Charity; Our English Church is so far from opposing it, that she is exemplary in it, condemning the Doctrines and Practices of that worst of Churches no more then needs must, and courting the adverse party to her Communion by all lawfull accommodations and compliances in her publick Service, if by any means she may gain some of them over to the Truth. Whereas, on the other side, that imperious Woman on the Seven Hills sits like a Queen, to whom every one must bow, but she neither bend nor condescend to any thing, but stands as stiff as a Marpesian Rock for the maintaining her own Humour and Interest, though never so point-blank against the Eternal Laws of God and Right Reason.

Then for that bloudy and butcherly Decree of killing of Hereticks, namely, such as hold against the Tenents of that Church, though those Tenents of this Church be plainly repugnant to express Scripture; How contrary to this Antichristian and Diabolical Spirit is the Doctrine of our Church of England, who, as I have above noted, has declared,[23] That no Church has authority to decree any thing against Holy Writ, nor to enforce any thing to be believed for necessity of Salvation besides it, as you may see in the Book of Articles.

Nor can they justly frame any excuse for their abominable Cruelty from the Sanguinary Laws of this Realm against Priests and Jesuites. For what a vast difference is there, when the one suffer as Traitors to their Liege Sovereign, the other because they will not be Traitors and Rebels to God and the Lord Jesus Christ? for every Idolater is so. And no man can submit to the Church of Rome but he must ipso facto submit to Idolatry.

12. Verily while I consider what an honest and faithfull Spirit breaths in the Book of Homilies and other Writings of our Church, and how exquisitely and perfectly we are set free from all that Imposture and Wickedness that can properly be styled Antichristian, by the wise management and solid and sound judgment of our renowned Reformers, and how that men of this Integrity of mind and soundness in the Faith were then advanced into Power in Church and State by <477> the Sovereign Authority; I cannot withhold from declaring that I do not at all doubt but that the Reformation of our English Church into such a condition as I have briefly represented, was one eminent Speciminall Completion of the Prophecy of the rising of the Two Witnesses, and of that Voice from Heaven (that is to say, of the Sovereign Power) saying unto them, Come up hither. For every tittle of the Prophecy is exactly applicable to the Event, as any one may find that will try. Besides that so notable a providence as the Protestant Reformation is no-where prophesied of, if not in that Vision. For the Vials are none of them within the Sixth Trumpet, as the Vision of the Witnesses is, but all within the Seventh, as I have above plainly enough proved: nor they expressive of the first Reformation in the chief Circumstances thereof, nor any Vision else save this of the Resurrection of the Witnesses.

Nor know I any thing that should make a man hesitate, unless it be that the Witnesses are said to be raised up after three Days and an half, that is to say, three Times and an half, whenas our Reformation fell within these Times, namely, in the last Half of a Time. But no Observation can be more trivial then this; That the designation of Time divided into parts, unless some intimation determinate it to one sense, may signify either such a space of time fully finished, or else expiring in the last division thereof. As if one should say, Post triduum mortis resurrexit Christus, no man can understand that of Christ's being dead three entire days. And so, Aliquot post menses, may as well be rendred Within some months after, as After some months. And the Seventy do expresly translate that in Genesis, כמשלש חדשים[24] μετὰ τρίμηνον, whenas the genuine sense is, within three months, cùm tertius mensis ageretur, as the Marginal Exposition has it in Vatablus. Whence it is evident that μετὰ does not imply the time fully run out, but that the last part thereof must then be current. And so it is in this Prophecy, our Reformation happening in the last Half-Time or Half-Day. So easily is this Scruple removed: And therefore the Application so fit to the Event, that I doubt not but this Vision was a Prediction of it. Which therefore should make our Reformation the more Sacred, and awe men off from either violently tearing it in pieces, or more hiddenly and obliquely corrupting it by foisting in any old out-cast ware disallowed and rejected by our Pious and Judicious Reformers.

13. But this is a Mantissa cast in over and above the bargain. I had before finished my task, which was briefly to prove (and, if I mistake not myself, I have done it clearly and convincingly) That the Heaven-inspired Prudence and Judgment of the Royal, Heroical and Reverend Reformers of our Church of England have purged her and cleansed her from what-ever Doctrine or professed Practice may rightly and properly be deemed Antichristian, and that she holds nor injoyns any thing that is contrary to the truly Catholick and Apostolick Faith. Which just and seasonable Vindication of her joyntly considered with <478> our free and faithfull Description of the true Nature and Idea of Antichristianism, such as we have demonstrated to be predicted in the Prophecies of Holy Scripture, will not fail, I hope, to prove for ever a Sovereign Remedy or safe Preservative of her against those two hatefull and destructive diseases of the Church of Christ, Popery and Schism. Which good effect of our labours God of his infinite mercy grant, for the onely Merits of the Lord Jesus. Amen.

The End of the Second Part.

[1] Article 21.

[2] Book 1. Ch. 12. Ver. 3. Sect. 4.

[3] Book 1. Ch. 5. Sect. 11.

[4] Article 28.

[5] Article 31.

[6] Homily against the Peril of Idolatry, Part 3.

[7] Apoc. 13. 14.

[8] Dan. 11. 38.

[9] Ch. 10.

[10] Canon 13.

[11] Part 2. Ch 14. divis. 1.

[12] * Chap. 19.

[13] Canon 74.

[14] Rom. 10. 21.

[15] Act. 13. 46.

[16] Canon 30.

[17] Article 21.

[18] Article 20.

[19] Article 6.

[20] Article 31.

[21] Luk. 10. 7.

[22] Article 34.

[23] Article 20.

[24] Ch. 38. 24.

Cite as: Henry More, A Modest Enquiry into the Mystery of Iniquity (1664), pp. 459-478, http://www.cambridge-platonism.divinity.cam.ac.uk/view/texts/diplomatic/More1664-excerpt003, accessed 2020-10-21.