Seasonable Advice TO PROTESTANTS: SHEWING The Necessity of Maintaining THE Established Religion: In Opposition to POPERY.

By Dr. Fell, late Lord Bishop of OXFORD.

LONDON, Printed for Charles Brome, at the Gun, at the VVest-end of St. Paul's Church-yard. 1688.

A Seasonable DISCOURSE SHEWING The NECESSITY of Maintaining THE Established RELIGION, In Opposition to POPERY.

IT is not be doubted, but that the Papists (against whom the I Penal Laws were most sharp) are and will be watchful to im­prove to their utmost advan­tage, His Majesties Declara­tion of Indulgence; wherein he grants Liberty to all sorts of Dissenters from the Church of England, to ex­ercise their Religions, and suspends the Execu­tion of the Penal Laws in force against them. They will now so much the more industriously set themselves to seduce Protestants, since they may securely own and defend their Perswasions, and even their Priests openly act in all parts their Fun­ction, which was before no less than Capital in any of His Majesties Subjects. If the industry we expect from them meet not with a proportionable [Page 2] zeal in all true Protestants, it will not he hard to conjecture what the Success will be, when the Attaque is vigorous and industrious, and the De­fence faint and negligent. And therefore I think it cannot be unseasonable to offer a few Motives to the stirring up the zeal, and awakening the prudence of all such Protestants as fear God, and love the King, the Church, or themselves; as well as to arm them with some Arguments for their own confirmation in the grounds of Protestancy, in opposition to Popery.

II. The first Consideration shall be that of Duty to Almighty God, who has made us Members of a Christian Church, in which we may assuredly find Salvation if we continue in it, and live according to its Rules and Precepts. This Christian Church, our holy Mother, has no other Rule of Faith and Practice than the Holy Art. 6. Scripture, of which, when less was written than we have now in our hands▪ S. Paul 2 Tim. 3.15. said then, they were able to make men wise unto salva­tion through faith in Christ Jesus. It receives for Ca­nonical Scripture neither less nor more than those Books Artic. 13. of whose authority there was never any doubt in the Church, yielding herein as much to Universal Tradition as any Church in the world: much more than the Roman does,Cousins Shol. Disc. who obtrudes her particular Dictates and most notorious Innovations for the Fundamentals of the Catholic Faith. It professes the same Faith and no more than what all Chri­stians have made the Badge and Symbol of their Profession, namely, that which is briefly compris'd in the Ant. 8. Apostles Creed, explain'd in those o­thers [Page 3] which are called the Nicene and Athanasian, and proved by the Holy-Scriptures taken in that sense which is evident in the Text to any indif­ferent judgment, and approved by the consent of the Jewel's Apol. Universal Church, the Decrees of the first General Councils and Writings of the Fa­thers.

We are Members of a Church where are used the same Art. 25. Catechism in the Lit. Sacraments which Christ expresly left in his Church, and no other. We worship the only Art. 1. God, as we are taught to believe in him, and no other. Our Administration of this Worship and of these Sacraments is in 1 Cor. 14.6, 7, 8. Language under­stood by all those that are concerned in them, be­ing performed with such 1 Cor. 14.40. Preface of Ce­rem. to the Litur. Rites as are agreeable to the Word of God, being for Decency and Or­der; and we use them not as necessary in them­selves, but in obedience to that Authority which God has given to every particular Church over its own Members. Art. 33. Our Discipline likewise is ac­cording to the Scripture Rule, and Primitive Pat­terns, as far as the loosness of this Age will bear; and if this has weakned the Discipline of our Church,Commin. in the Litur. we believe it has the same effect even in those of the Roman Communion, and had no less in the Church of Corinth in the Apostles times.

And for the Book of Or­din. Art. 36. Mason de Min Ang. Bramhal Persons who are employed in the Ministry of Gods Worship and Sacraments, and in the feeding and governing of the Flock of Christ, they are lawfully called to their Office and Ministry, and are consecrated and ordained according to the Scriptures, and Canons of the [Page 4] Universal Church: and we shew the Succession of our Bishops to the Apostles of Christ, as fully as it can be shewn in any other Church at this day.

Lastly, We are members of a Church, which above all other Constitutions in the Christian World enforces the great duties of Art. 37. King Charles Letter to the Prince. obedience and submission to the Magistrate, and teaches to be subject not only for Wrath, but Conscience sake.

In all these respects our Church holds a Com­munion with all true Churches of Christ that are or have been in the World, and is together with them a true Member of that holy Catholic Apostolic Church which was from the beginning, and will be to the end.

As we pass not severe censures on other Churches, though exceedingly erroneous, and are for that charity unworthily repaid by the most criminal, that of Rome: So are we excommunicated by none that we know of, but Her; The Pope herein dealing with us as he does with all other Christians in the Bulla Caenae. World, namely, with most of the European Churches, and in other parts, except those few whom he has gained of late by his Missionaries.

The common Cause for which we suffer is no­thing else but the defence of the Jude 3. Gal. 5.1. Faith which was once delivered to the Saints, and of that Liberty where­with Christ has made us free; against those additional Articles which he would intrude into the one, and thar Anti-christian Yoke which he would impose on the other.

The difference between our case and that of our [Page 5] fellow Christians who suffer with us is only this; that they are shut out from Heaven as far as the Popes Censures can do it, for they know not what; many of them, even Millions in the remoter parts, having never so much as heard of him, or his pretensions; whereas we konw them too well by woful Experience.

It is not so much more than an hundred years since that our Ancestors were under his Tyranny: which as their Fathers had insensibly drawn upon themselves, by their deference to the See of Rome, from whence the Saxons had partly Ethelbert and some others of the South of England. their Conversion; so they having endured it as long as they were able, after many fruitless endeavours to make it tolerable, at last with one An. 23. of Hen. 8. by the advice of the Parliament and Convoca­tion consent threw the Yoke off their necks.

Our Church being thus freed from the Usurpa­tions of Rome by them who were deeply Heb. Hist. of Hen. 8. Speed, Baker, &c. im­mersed in the errors and corruptions of it; the best use they could make of their liberty was this, to restore the primitive purity of the Christian Faith and Worship, which ignorance and interest had fatally depraved. Indeed, 'twas morally impos­sible that they should pass untained through so many Ages of darkness; when the Popes given up to profligate Guicciard. l. 16. Luitprand. l. 1. c. 13. Baron ad An. 908. Concil. Const. Sess [...]t. Geneb. ad an 901. vice seem'd to drive on no other design but for Wealth and Dominion; when scarce any in their Communion understood the Originals of Scripture; when those that governed were so jealous of it, that they would not suffer any Sixt. V. & Clem. 8 in the Prefaces of their Bibles. Translation, but the Latine, which was overgrown the mean while (as they now confess) with many thousands of Corruptions.

[Page 6]III. Having considered the Obligation we have to the Religion we profess, it may be seasonable next to reflect on the Religion to which we are invited.

We are invited to one that recals us to the Idolatrous practice of the heathen World, to Concil. Tri­dent. Sess. 25. Bell. de Imag. l. 2. pray unto our fellow Creatures canonized, to Saints and Heroes to worship Images and fall down to the stock of a tree. Nay to the worshiping of the consecrated host, which by the confession of Coster, En­chirid. Con­trovers. c. 8. de Euch. p. 308. Concil. Tri­dent. Sess. 13. Bell. de Euch. Coster, the Jesuite, and Some others, is a more stupid Idolatry than the worst of the Heathens were ever guilty of, in case Transubstantiation cannot be made out. Now that Transubstantiation is not real, we have all the evidence that we are capable of the testi­mony of our reason and our senses. The absurd and monstrous consequences of that Doctrine will fill Volumes, a great part of which are with great truth and justice drawn together by Dr. Brevint in his late Tract entituled, The Depth and Mistery of the Roman Mas.

We are invited to a Religion that takes from us, half the Sacrament of the Eucharist, Concil. Con­stance, Sess. 13, Trid. Sess. 21. Bell. de Euch. l. 4. notwith­standing the Institution of Christ in express words, and notwithstanding the practice of the Primitive Church to the contrary.

We are invited to a Church that revives the Heathen Persecution of taking away our Index lib. probib. reg. 4. Bell. de verbo dei. l. 2. Bibles▪ and would involve every Lay-man in the guilt of being a Optat Mile­vitan. l. 1. Cont. Parmen. Traditor, the next step in the account of the Primitive Church to Apostacy from the Christian Faith. We are invited to a Church, that as it takes away the Scriptures and half the [Page 7] Communion, robs us likewise of the benefit of the Publick Prayers, putting the Offices in an un­known Missal. Rom. approbat. ex de­cret. Conc. Trid. & Bulla Pii V. Cherubini bul­la [...]. Tom. 2. p. 311 Tongue; insomuch that when about thirteen years ago some of the Prelates of the Church of France had taken care to translate the Liturgy and Scripture into the vulgar Tongue, Pope Extrait du procez verbal des assembl ge­ner. du clerge du Fran. tenue a Paris, es An. 1660. & 1661. Alexander the seventh damns the At­tempt, and under pain of Excommunication com­mands all persons to bring in their Books to be publickly burnt. We are tempted to a religion, which contrary to the command of trying all things, and holding fast that which is good, and paying to God a reasonable service, enjoyns an Bell. de Rom [...] Pont. l. 4. implicite Faith and blind Obedience: to a Religion that instead of the guidance of the Word of God, sets up an Bellar. de Eccles. l. 3. infallible Judge and Arbitrator of all Doctrines, the Pope of Rome: Which instead of the faith once delivered to the Saints adds Jude 3. new Articles of Faith, which instead of that one pro­pitiation made by Christ, and the condition thereof Faith and Repentance, sets remission of sins upon quite other terms, and proposes that gift of God to be bought with Money in the vile Market of Bellar. de In­dulg. l. 1. In­dulgences; for instance,Taxa cancel. Apost. Sacriledge is valued at seven grosses, Incest at five, Simony seven, Perjury six, Murder five, and so on in the Tax of the Apostolic Chancery.

We are invited to a Church where we must be Schismatics that we may be Catholics, and adhere to the Bellar. de Eccles. l. 3. Roman in opposition to all other; that is to the Catholic Church.

'Twere endless by retail to reckon up the Errors and the Guilts to which we are invited; [Page 8] the fond ridiculous Rites, the superstitious, bur­thensom and heathenish Ceremonies, the Exorcisms and Conjurations, the Blasphemies and forged Miracles, Cheats and pious Frauds, the Lies and Stories stupid and impossible as those of Amadis de Gaul, the Knight of the Sun, or the Seven Champi­ons, witness the Golden Legend, the Lives of the Saints, of S. Francis, Bruno, S. Dominick and infi­nite others, or if we have a mind to a Romance of our own, the long Tale of a Tub which Church Hist. of Britany. Father Serenus Cressy has lately put out bor­rowed from Father Alford; the improbable, that is the greater Miracles, as he tells us, being omitted because of the unbelief of the Heretics; and yet enow are left to weary the credulity of the most sanguine Catholic: Wherein also, as he tells us, we may see the Faith of our Forefathers, and truly we have great reason to thank him for the prospect, which (as he represents it) gives us strong inducements in so unequal a com­petition, to retein our own.

Notwithstanding all that has been said, there are a sort of pacific Writers, who represent the Doctrines of the Church of Rome under a fairer light, and would have us believe they have a better meaning than is usually suggested. And God forbid that we should take things by the worst handle, or make that breach wider, whose closure we should endeavour to make up with a zeal equal to that of the gallant Curtius. Roman, who threw himself on behalf of his Country into the gaping Gulf. Indeed no price can be too great for Peace, but only Truth; the which we may [Page 9] not part with for all the tempting charms of Charity and Love: and God knows, in the present case 'tis evident, that the excuses which are fram'd in the Romanists behalf are short and frivolous; nor besides can any man be esteem'd a Roman Catholic by admitting the Doctrines of that Church in his own private or some more probable Doctors, but in the public sense. And had these undertakers in the Catholic Cause power to dispense therein according to that Candor which many of them make shew of, we might attend to what is said; but we are well assur'd, that all these fair words can signifie nothing, but are merely a bait and snare laid to draw in the easie Proselyte: for when he's reconcil'd and brought into the bosom of the Church, these painted shews are presently washt off; and all concessions immediately retracted; the Convert must then learn the Colliers Creed, believe as the Church believes, and St. Peter's Key which threw the gate open to admit into the Church, will shut the Prisoner in: and the Child which had a piece of money given him to keep him quiet, shall soon after have it call'd for back again, and be aw'd with the rod, if he repine or murmur. So that 'twill be a frivolous Project to talk of a Reconcilement with the Church of Rome, till she first conform herself to Truth; and a Conviction, and much more a Refor­mation must here be impossible, where the grossest Errors are joyn'd with an Assurance of being free from any; nay, a Persuasion of being infallible.

[Page 10]IV. The Motive which deserves the next place is the Safety of the King's Person, and the Prerogative of the Crown, which hath no higher or more necessary appendent than his Supremacy in his Dominions in all Causes Ecclesiastical and Secular, according to the powers invested in the David, He­zek &c. Jewish King under the Law, and exercised by the first Const Theod. Juista &c. Christian Emperours.

'Tis obviously known how destructive both to itself and the Community is the Partnership of Regal Power; but this must be infinitely mischievous when shared by a Foreigner; whose interests are ne­cessarily contrary to those of our Prince and Nation, as the Popes certainly are. But this mischief stays not within the aforesaid bounds; for the Pope is not content with a bare Co-ordination, but demands the Preference for his spiritual Sword, and claims a power to depose Kings and dispose of Kingdoms.

This we learn at large from Bell. de. Rom. pont. l. 5. Suar Aud. Eud. Johan resp. ad Caesaub. p 12. Suar. defens. fid cath. l. 3. Turrecrem. sum. ecc l. c. 1 [...]. Thom. Aquin. 2.2 quaest. 12. Art. 2. Ledes. Theol. mor. tract. 7. Malder. com. in D. Thom. 2.2. quaest. 1. Bellarmin, Suarez, Turrecremata, Card. Perron, Thom. Aquin, Ledesma, Malderius, to pass by innumerable others, all whose Works were publisht by Authority, and so own'd as consonant to the Doctrines of the Church, to which may be added the Pope's definition, who makes it authentic Law in these words We say and define and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary to Salvation for every human Crea­ture to be subject to the Bishop of Rome, and this Law of Pope Extravag de majoritate & obedientia c. 1. unam sanctam. Boniface the Eighth's making, he effectually commented on himself, of whom Platin. in vit. Innoc. 3. Platina says, That he made it his busines to gave and take away Kingdoms, to expel men and [Page 11] restore them at his pleasure. All which, that it might want no Sanction or Authority to render it the Doctrine of the Church, is justified in the third and fourth Concil. later. can. 27. tom. concil. 27. p. 461. Concil. lat. 4. Can. 3. Tom. 28. p. 161. Concil. Ludg. 1. Sess. 3. Tom 28. p. 424. Concil. Const Sess. 17. tom. 29. p. 158. and 469. Lateran Council, the Council of Lions, the Council of Constance, all which call themselves General, and therefore speak the Doctrine of the Church.

What has been done in this kind since the days of Gregory the Seventh throughout Europe would fill a large Volume, in the bare Narration, whoever has a mind to see those black Annals need not consult Protestant Writers, but read Baronius or Platina, and there he will satisfie himself. Behold at large the last and greater Triumphs of the Capitol: Crowns and Scepters and the necks of Emperors and Kings trampled upon in great Self-denial by Christ's humble Vicar, their Realms and Countries taken from them and involv'd in blood by the Leiutenant of the Prince of Peace: Subjects discharg'd from their Allegiance in the right of him, who himself disown'd the being a divider and a Judge, and in a word, the whole world made his Kingdom, who pretends his interest deriv'd from our Lord Jesus, who disclaim'd the having a kingdom of this World. So that it was not said amiss by Passavantius, That the Devil made tender of all the Kingdoms of the World and the glory of them to our Lord Christ, but he refused them; afterwards he made the same offer to his Vicar the Pope, and he presently accepted it, with the Condition annext of falling down and worshipping. The English Reader who desires to be satisfied in matter of Fact [Page 12] may please to consult the History of Popish Treasons and Usurpa­tions. History of Popish Trea­sons and usurpations not long since written by Mr. Foulis, to pass by others who have also dealt in that Subject.

At present I shall only add that although our neighbouring Princes have difficulty enough given them by this Universal Monarch, who like his Predecessors in Heathen Rome, makes it a piece of his Prerogative to have Kings his Vassals, yet they often help themselves by some Advantages which our Sovereign is not allowed. The most Christian King has his Capitularies, Pragmatic Sanctions, Concordats, and the Privileges of the Gallican Church to plead upon occasion. And his Catholic Majesty as the eldest Son of the Church has several Rights of Primogeniture, especially in the Kingdom of Sicily. But the Crown of Eng­land is not to be treated with such respect: it alas ever since the days of Henry the Second or at least King John is held in fee of the Pope, and we are in hazard to be called unto account for the Ar­rear of 1000 Markes per Annum payable ever since that time: And Cardinal Admonish to the Nobility: Allen has given it for good Canon Law, That without the approbation of the See Apostolic none can be lawful King or Queen of England by reason of the antient Accord made between Alexander the third in the year 1171. and Henry the Second then King, when he was absolv'd for the death of S. Thomas of Canterbury: That no man might lawfully take that Crown, nor be accounted as King, till he were confirmed by the Soveraign Pastor of our souls which for the time should be; This accord being afterwards renewed about the year 1210 by King John, [Page 13] who confirmed the same by oath to Pandulphus the Popes Legate at the special request and procurement of the Lords and Commons as a thing most necessary for the preservation of the Realm from the unjust usurpation of Tyrants, and avoiding other inconveniences which they had proved, &c. But if this be but the single Opinion of a probable Doctor, we may have the same asserted by an infallible one, Pope Mat. Paris, An. 1253: Innocent the Fourth, who before his Colledge of Cardinals, and therefore in likelihood e Ca­thedra, declares, that the King of England was his Vassal, nay, to speak truth, his Slave. From hence it is that the succeeding Popes have been so free on all occasions of turning out of doors these their Tenants upon every Displeasure and little pet. Not to mention the old Mis-adventures of Richard the Second, King John, &c. Hence it was that Cherubini bullar. Tom. 1: p. 704. Hist Conc. Trent. l. 1. An. 1538. Paul the Third sent against King Henry the Eighth, in the year 1538. his terrible thundring Bull, as the Author of the History of the Council of Trent calls it, such as never was used by his Predecessors nor imitated by his Successors; in the Punishments to the King were deprivation of his Kingdom, and to his adherents of whatsoever they possest, commanding his Subjects to deny him Obedience, and Strangers to have any Commerce in that Kingdom, and all to take Arms against, and to persecute both himself and his followers, granting them their Estates and Goods for their prey, and their Persons for their Slaves. Upon like terms Hist. Concil. Trent. an. 1558. Paul the Fourth would not acknowledge [Page 14] Queen Elizabeth, because the Kingdom was a Fee of the Papacy, and it was audaciously done of her to assume it without his leave: And therefore Cambd. Eliz. An. 1570. Cherubini bul­lar. Tom. 2. p. 303. Pius the Fifth went on, and fairly deposed her by his Bull, dated Febr. 25. 1570. but because the stubborn Woman would needs be Queen for all this, Pope Thuan. l. 64. Cambd. Eliz. An. 1578. Gregory the Thirteenth deposes her again, and having two hopeful Bastards to provide for, to the one he gives the Kingdom of England, to the other that of Ireland. Nor was she unqueen'd enough by all this, but Cambd. Eliz. An. 1588. Sixtus Quintus gives away her Dominions once more to the King of Spain: and after all, when nothing of all this would thrive, Cambd. Eliz. An. 1600. Cle­ment the Eighth sends two Breves for failing into England, one to the Laity, the other to the Clergy, commanding them not to admit any other but a Ca­tholic, though never so near in blood, to the Suc­cession; in plain terms, to exclude the Family of our Sovereign from the Crown. When King James was come in notwithstanding those Breves, the Gun-powder Plot was contrived to throw him out again; and when that had occasion'd the State for its own Security to require the taking of an Oath of Allegiance, Paul V. sent his Breves with all speed to forbid the taking of it; and for fear those might be forgotten in time, in the year 1626. Dat. May. 30. 1626. Foulis p. 725. Ʋrban VIII. sends again to forbid his beloved Sons, the Catholics of England, to take that pernicious and unlawful Oath of Allegiance. Yet more, in the late unnatural Rebellion in Ireland, the loyal Ca­tholicks, [Page 15] as now they call themselves, submitted that unhappy Kingdom to his aforesaid Holiness Pope Lord Orre­rys answer to Peter Welsh his Letter. Ʋrban, to pass by other offers no less trea­sonable: and after that, as we are credibly informed, Pope Innocent the Tenth bestowed it as a Favour on his dear Sister, and much dearer Mistris Donna Olympia. And sure we have all the reason in the world to believe that every thing of this will be done again when the old Gentleman at Rome is pleased to be angry next, has a mind to gratifie a neighbour Prince, or wants a Portion for a Son, or a Favour for a Mistris. And as it is, the Papists of England have but this one excuse for that mortal sin of obedi­ence to their Heretic Prince; Watson's quodlibets. p. 255. out of Bannes, Valen­tia and others. that they are not strong enough to carry a Rebellion: And truly 'twere great pity these men should be intrusted with more power, who give us so many warnings beforehand how they are bound to use it.

But to all this the Roman Catholics have one short reply, That they are the most Loyal Sub­jects of his Majesty: and have signally approved their duty by their service and fidelity in the last War. To this I say in short, that as bad as Pope­ry is, I do not think it can eradicate in all its Vo­taries their natural conscience; no Plague was e­ver so fatal as to leave no Person uninfected, but always some have scapt 'its fury. The case is fully stated by King King James his works. p. 504. James of famous memory, As on one part, many honest men, seduced with some Er­rors of Popery, may yet remain good and faithful Sub­jects; so on the other part, none of those that truly know and believe the whole grounds and School conclusions of [Page 16] their Doctrines, can ever prove either good Christians, or good Subjects. To speak the plain truth, and what the insolent boasts of Papists makes necessary to be told them, whatever was done then, was no trial at all of Loyalty. The late Rebels found it necessary for the countenancing their cause to make a loud pretence against Popery, and to have the benefit of spoiling them: So that the Roman Catholicks did not so much give assistance to the King, as receive Protection from him. When they shall have adher'd to their Prince in spight of the commands of their holy Father the Pope, and defended their Sovereign and his Rights, when it was not their interest to do it, they will have somewhat worth the boasting: As the case now stands, they had better hold their peace, and remember that the Sons of another Church served their King as faithfully as they, though they talk less of it. But since they will needs have the World know what good Subjects they have been, let them take this short account from the Answer to the Pag. 14. Apology for the Papists, Printed An. 1667. In Ireland there were whole Armies of Irish and English that fought against his Majesty folely upon the account of your Religion. In England it is true some came in voluntarily to assist him, but many more of you were hunted into his Garrisons by them that knew you would bring him little help, and much hatred. And of those that fought for him as long as his Fortune stood, when that once declined, a great part even of them fell from him. And from that time forward you that were always all deem'd [Page 17] Cavaliers where were you? In all those weak efforts of gasping Loyalty what did you? You complied, and flattered; and gave sugared words to the Rebels then, as you do to the Royalists now; You addressed your Petitions to the Supreme Authority of this Nation the Parliament of the Commonwealth of England. You affirmed that you had generally taken, and punctually kept the Engagement. You promised, that if you might but enjoy your Religion, you would be the most quiet and useful Subjects of England. You prov'd it in these words: The Papists of England would be bound by their own interest, the strongest Obligation amongst wise men, to live peaceably and thankfully in the pri­vate exercise of their Conscience, and becoming gai­ners by such compassions, they could not so reasonably be distrusted as the Prelatic party which were losers. If this be not enough to evidence the singular loyalty of Papists in the late War, they may hear a great deal more of their vertue celebrated from their Petitions and public Writings in my Pag 14, 15, &c. Lord Orrery's answers to Peter Welsh his Letter. And because in those Writings they are so ready to throw the first stone against the late Regicides, they would do well to clear themselves from the guilt of that Sacred blood which is charged home upon them by the Answerer of Pag. 50. Philanax Anglicus, who has not yet been controuled for that accusation.

V. To this barbarous insolence of Excommu­nicating and Deposing Kings may succeed the usual consequent of that, but greater prodigy [Page 18] of Tyranny, the putting whole Nations under In­terdict, and depriving them of all the Offices and comforts of Religion, and that generally with­out any other provocation, than that the Prince has insisted on his just rights, or the people per­formed their necessary duty. History is full of instances hereof. Within the compass of one Age, I mean the eleventh Baron cent. undecim. Century, almost all the Nations of Europe fell under this Disci­pline, France, England, Scotland, Spain, and Germa­ny; and some of them several times over; and so it has gone down in following Ages. The nature of the punishment we may learn from An. 1208. Matthew Paris, who describing the Interdict in the days of King John, which lasted amongst us for six years, three months, and fourteen days, says, There ceased throughout England all Ecclesiastical Rites, Absolution and the Eucharist to persons in their last Agonies, and the baptizing of Infants only excepted: also the bodies of the dead were drag'd out of Cities and Villages, and buried like the Carkasses of Dogs in the high-ways and ditches without any prayers or the Sacerdotal Ministry. One would imagine that he who pretends to hold his Empire from the Charter of pasce oves, the feeding of Christs Sheep would find himself concerned no to destroy and starve them, or withhold from them their spiritual food for almost seven years together; an unusual prescript for abstinence in order unto health. But we may not wonder at all this; for Plarina in vita Greg VII. pasce oves with a Roman Comment means all Coertion and Dominion; and they who [Page 19] take away the Scriptures and half the Communion from the Layty are not to be controul'd, if they also withhold the other offices of piety.

VI. A farther consideration may be the Laws of the Land, which in case of Popery must be content to truckle under the Canon Law, and occasional Bulls of his Holiness, or Legantine Commissions: The proceedings of the Courts in Westminster veiling to Prohibitions and Appeals to Rome, against which a Premunire will be a weak fence in Bar to the plenitude of the Apostolic Power; and to murmur or dispute any thing will be especially to new Converts, interpreted Heresie, a word of so sharp an importance, as not to need a Comment. There is a Tradition that heretofore the Gentlemen of the long Robe were in that mean estate as to ply at Westminster Hall Gate as now Watermen do at the Stairs for a Fare, let the Practicioners in that noble Profession consider whether some such thing would not in earnest be the consequent of Popery. And the rest of the People of England would do well to think whether they are fitted for a Journey to Rome, as often as they shall be called thi­ther: I do not mean the divertisement of Tra­vel, or devotion of Pilgrimage, but the com­pulsion of Citations from that Court, where the attendance and expence is not likely to be less than formerly it was, when it occasioned the groans and sad complaints of our Fore-fathers; which though they have escaped, our experi­mental [Page 20] knowledge sufficiently appear in all our R. Hoved. in Hen. II. Mat. Paris ib. Histories. Or should the English Law have some quarter given it, and be allowed a little Chamber practise, this must be only in reference to the Layty. All Council. Trid, Sess. 25. Ecclesiastics are under a more perfect dispensation, and only accountable to the Apostolic See either for their actions or concerns, the benefits of which though the Secu­lar Priests share in some proportion, the Regu­lars much more liberally enjoy, being owned by the Pope Hist. Concil. Trident. l 2. as his Souldiers and Pretorian bands, listed under the Generals of their seve­ral Orders, maintained indeed at the cost of the Countries where they live, but for the service of their Sovereign abroad, to whom they owe an entire and blind obedience: And, that they may give no Hostages to the State where they reside, are forbid to marry. So that if Popery should prevail, we must, besides all charges necessary to secure our selves from forreign enemies both by Land and Sea, constantly maintain a vast Army of possibly an hundred thousand men, for such were the old numbers, to assure our slavery to the Roman Yoke. Nor are these Priviledges of the Church only personal, the places themselves which these religious men possess are hallowed into Sanctuaries, and give protection unto any criminal that treads within their thresholds, the most horrid Murther or barbarous Villany is to have the Benefit of the Clergy, and if the Malefactor have but time to step into a Cloyster, he fears no farther prosecution.

[Page 21]VII. But besides the inconvenience of submit­ting to a foreign Law, that certain mark of sla­very, and the intolerable burthens that attend its execution, it will be of moment to advise how well our Property and interest in our estates will stand secur'd; And though when Princes are upon their good behaviour, to be disseiz'd of their do­minions, whenever they offend his Holiness of Rome, the Pesant or the Gentleman have no great reason to expect indemnity: yet should the Farm or Manor-house be too low a mark for the Roman Thunderer to level at, 'tis not to be imagined the Lord Abbots and the Lands of all Religious hou­ses will be past by as trifles. The Church is ever a Minor, and cannot be prescribed against by time, or barr'd in her claims, and our holy Father out of his Paternal care will find himself concern'd to vindicate the Orphan committed to his trust. Some perchance who enjoy those Lands think they need not apprehend any thing, because they hold un­der Acts of Parliament: But they who imagine this, should consider, that the same strength that can repeal those Laws that establish Protestancy, may also do as much for those which suppress Re­ligious houses: and no body can tell what the force and swing of a violent turn, especially in England, may produce, where we seldom proceed with coldness or reserve. Acts of resumption are not things unheard of in ours, or in forrein stories. Nor is the consent of the Pope in Queen 1 and 2 of Phil. & Mary: Ma­ries days a better security; for in case of a change [Page 22] of Religion all those grants will be interpreted a bare permission, and that conditional in order to the great end of reclaiming an heretical Kingdom, which not being then accepted of, and finally sub­mitted to, will not be thought obligatory when Papists by their own skill or interest have gotten the power into their hands. King Charles the First yielded at the Isle of Treaty at the Isle of Wight. Wight that the Church Lands should be leased out for 99 years, in order to a present peace and settlement of all things, through the interposition of a powerful and vio­lent Faction it was not then accepted of: Does any man think the Obligation of leasing for 99 years remains now? Let our Lay-Abbots apply this to their case, and then judge whether they upon a revolution will be more secure of their Possessions than the late Purchasers were; or whe­ther those Purchasers were not as confident of transmitting their Acquisitions to their posterity as any possessor of Church Lands now is or has been. The King of France, not long since has redeemed back to the Crown those demesnes which belong'd to it, paying back such summs as were really laid out by the Purchasers; and allowing the mean profits as interest for the mo­ney so laid out: Which method of procedure has been defended by very considerable Arguments to be just and equitable. If the money expen­ded on the Church penniworths at the dissolu­tion of Religious houses were now refounded, and the advantage of above 100 years profit already received were thrown in to the bargain, though [Page 23] the present Proprietaries would have an ill ex­change, yet there would be so much plausible­ness in the grounds of it, as in the zeal and heat of a turn would not be easily controul'd, espe­cially if it be farther prest, that the first claim from the Acts of Parliament suppressing Church Lands appear to be not full and peremptory; the Lands of the first suppression in the 27. year of Henry 8. not seeming to intend an alienation to common and secular uses, but to have been vest­ed in the King in trust, that the revenues might be employed Cap. 28. to the pleasure of Almighty God, and to the honour and profit of this Realm, As to the second in 31 year of Henry 8. The Act supposes, and is built upon the alienations legally made by the respective Religious Houses and Corporations, who are said Cap. 13. of their own voluntary minds, good wills and assents, without constraint, coaction, or compul­sion of any manner of person or persons, by the due order and course of the common Laws of this Realm of Eng­land, and by their sufficient Writings, of Record under their Covent and common Seals, &c. Now to the ve­rifying of these particulars a great many doubt­ful circumstances and nice points of Law are easi­ly drawn in as requisite, the suggesting whereof in the forementioned cases however slight and fri­volous they may be, no body can tell what force they will have when dilated on by a Roman Ca­tholic Advocate, and interpreted by an infallible Legislator. That all this is not an idle dream, suggested to make Popery odious, will be mani­fest to any one who will take pains to read what [Page 24] a French Marquess of that Religion has lately written on this very subject, who having repre­sented us as a Traitte de la politique de France. c. 14. p. 283. People without Friends, without Faith, without Religion, without Probity, without any justice, mistrustful, inconstant to the utmost extremity, cruel, im­patient, gurmandizers, proud, audacious, covetous, fit only for handy-strokes and ready execution; but incapa­ble of managing a War, with discretion. After this friendly character he proceeds to shew by what wayes and methods we are to be destroyed, which are first, to put us to the expences of a War, and by rai­sing of forces create a jealousie between the King and his People. Then, to amuse us with fear of invasion. Third­ly, to stir up the several Parties among us, and to favour one Sect against another, especially the Catholicks, promising secretly to the Benedictines as from the King of England, which they will easily believe, that they shall be restored to all that they formerly possest, accord­ing to the Monasticon lately printed there: whereupon, sayes this worthy Author, the Monks will move heaven and earth, and the Catholics will declare them­selves. It will not be material to transcribe the whole design laid down for our destruction by this bold Writer, which with all other Machinations, the providence of God, and the prudence of his Sacred Majesty will wee hope frustrate. This is enough to shew that there are persons in the world, who can yet nourish hopes of destroying the Nation, and repossessing the Lands of the Church, and in printed books make a publick profession of them.

[Page 25]But if one general Act of Resumption should not disseize at one stroke all the Lay-Possessors of Church-Lands, 'tis plain that in case of Popery, by retail they will be all drawn in, for what Pa­pist in his last Agonies will obtain Absolution without satisfaction first made to Holy Church, for the Goods sacrilegiously detained? Or how will he escape the lying in Purgatory at least, and frying there for several thousands of years, who instead of having benefit from the Indulgences of the Church,Concil. Trid. is solemnly Sess. 22. bulla coenae. in bulla­rio Cherubin. passim. cursed and anathe­matized with the worst of Heretics in the Bulla Coenae, as also the Declaration of the Council of Trent, upon the score of being Robbers of the Church,? 'Tis not to be hoped they should have any benefit from the spiritual Treasure of the Church, who, have enrished themselves with that real and material Treasure belonging to her, which is the only price that buyes the other. Indeed, they who, without the plea of a precedent right, in few centuries gain'd to themselves a fifth part of the whole Kingdom, will not doubt in a much shorter time, having the fore-mentioned pretences to re­cover it again, even the six hundred forty five Abbies, whereof twenty seven had their Abbots, Peers of England: The ninety Colleges, two thousand three hun­dred seventy four Chantries and free Chapels, and one hundred and ten Hospitals, Hebert hist. of Hen. 8. Speed, &c. which (besides the les­ser Dissolutions of Templars, Hospitalers, Friers Alien, and others that preceded) fell together under the hands of King Henry VIII.

[Page 25]VIII. It would be farther weigh'd in reference to the Wealth and flourishing of the Kingdom, and what is necessarily required thereto, the Pre­servation of Trade, and the value of Lands and Rents; that the more Popery growes, the more will Idleness increase, the more Abbey-Lubbers, that is, persons exempted from contributing in any kind to the uses of a State either in War or Peace, and yet maintain'd as drones on others sweat and labours. The more it increases, the more will Celibate or single life prevail; the more Daughters will be sent to Nunneries abroad, till they can be fix'd at home, the more men will turn Priests and Friers, and so less people in the Nation which already has too few. And that the numbers in those Societies may be sure to be full, it is a known and customary practice to entice and spirit away Children from their Parents into their Covents, from whence they cannot be withdrawn without Sacriledge. Of this abuse complaint was made long ago in behalf of the English Nation, to the Pope by Sermon prea­ched before the Pope and Car­dinals at Ave­nion. Rich. Fitz-Ralph, called Armachanus, Anno 1360, though without redress. Lay-men, says he, refrain from sending their Sons to the Ʋniversities fearing to have them taken away from them, chusing rather to keep their Sons at home, and breed them to Husbandry, than to lose them by sending them to the Schools: In my time there were thirty thousand Students in Oxford, and now there are not six thousand, and the great cause of this decrease in numbers is the aforesaid cir­cumventing [Page 27] of Youth. To this Accusation In defensorio. William Widford, a begging Frier, makes answer in his Apology for his Order, by undertaking to prove, That it is very lawful to entice Children into their Covents without their Parents consent. Since the Reformation, what Arts have been used to People the Seminaries abroad, is a thing too notorious to need an account, if any desire satisfaction therein he may have it from Mr. Wadworth's English Spanish Pilgrim. As by this en­gaging of the Youth in Monasteries and Nunne­ries there will be many more idle hands, so by the more Holy-days which will be kept there will be the less work done; consequently what is done will be so much the dearer, an ill ex­pedient for promoting of Trade, for four dayes work must perhaps maintain a man and his Family seven. The more Popery encreases, the less Flesh will be eaten, a third part of the year being one way or other Fasting days, be­sides particular Penances, as good an expedient for Rents, as the former was for Trade. To salve this, I expect the Papists should tell us, That great numbers of Forreiners of that Reli­gion will come and live among us, and supply by their numbers the other inconveniences: but the English Artificers and Merchants are already sensible of the mischiefs which those interloping Strangers which are here already do among us, and desire no new Colonies: Besides, 'tis obvi­ous to any common understanding, that if the admission of Popery bring in Forreiners, the [Page 28] discouragement of Protestancy will in greater and more disadvantageous proportions drive out Natives: and though it be not certain who will gain by the change; 'tis manifest that the true English Interest will be a loser by it.

IX. But to proceed, Popery will wring out of private persons a vast expence in Masses, Dirges, Mortua­ries, Penances, Commutations, Pilgrimages, In­dulgences, Tents, First Fruits, Appeals, Inve­stitures, Palls, Peter-pence, Provisions, Exem­ptions, Collations, Devolutions, Revocations, Unions, Commendams, Tolerations, Pardons, Jubilees, &c. paid to Priests, the Pope and his Officers; which upon computation amounted to above three times the Kings Revenue,Mat Paris Hist. Anno 1252. a great part thereof carried out of the Kingdom in a time when the Indies had not filled it with Gold and Silver. The tyranny was so intolerable, that the whole Nation protested against it in their Letter to the Council of Tom. concil. 28. p. 460. Lyons, Anno 1245. wherein among others things they declare, That the Itali­ans received hence yearly above sixty thousand Marks, besides all other payments to the See of Rome, and carried out of the kingdom a greater revnue than the King had, who was Tutor to the Church and was to support the charge of the State. Which com­plaint yet had no other answer than delays, and a severe example to terrifie them immediately made upon the Emperour Frederick the Second, against whom his Holiness Innocent the Fourth then Pope, to use the words of the Acts of the [Page 29] Council, Pag. 462. Pronounced and thundred out the Sentence of Excommunication, not without the hor­rour and amazement of all hearers and by-standers, Only the Annats or First Fruits of Bishopricks as they were computed in Herb. Hist. King Hen. 8. p. 330. Parliament, Anno 1532. in a few years came to an hundred sixty thousand pound sterling; it would be endless to audit the whole Account. As England was by the Popes stiled an Mat. Paris Anno 1246. inexhaustible pit, so was there no bounds set to the industry of them who attempted to drain it. After a sad com­plaint of the Rapine, Avarice, and Tyranny of the Pope and his Officers among us, Anno 1237. Mat­thew Paris breaks out in these words, we might there see heart breaking grief, the cheeks of pious persons drown'd in tears, the doleful moan that they made, and the sighs which they multiplied, saying with bleeding groans, It were better for us to die, than behold the calamity of our Country and pious People of it. woe to England, who heretofore was Princess of Provinces, and Ruler of Nations, the mirrour of Excellence, and pattern of Piety, is now become Tributary, vile persons have trampled upon her, and she is a prey to the ignoble: But our mani­fold sins have procured these iudgments from God, who in his anger for the iniquity of his People has made a Hypocrite and Tyrant to rule over them. If Almighty God should for the like Provocations put us again under the same Egyptian Task­masters, we need not doubt of the self-same usage. But now, for all this expence, 'tis pleasant to examine what is to come back to us in ex­change; [Page 30] even Parchments full of Benedictions and Indulgences, store of leaden Seals, Beads, and Tickets; Medals, Agnus-Dei's, Rosaries, hallowed Grains, and Wax-candles, such Traf­fique that an Indian would scarce barter for; such pitiful Gauds that would hardly bribe a child of a year old; and yet this is the goodly price they offer for all the wealth of a whole Nation.

X. After this Tyranny over our Estates in the particulars rehersed, there is a very re­markable one behind which will well deserve to be considered: It is Concil Trid. Sess. 14. Auricular Confession; where not to mention its ill aspect upon Goverment, as being made an Engine of State, and Pick­lock of the Cabinets of Princes, sealing up all things from the notice of the Magistrate; but making liberal discoveries against him; hereby not only the Estate, but Soul and Conscience of every private man are subjected to the Avarice and Rapine, and withal the Humour and Caprice, the insolence and Pride, nay, Lust and Villany of a debauched Confessor; Every mortal sin upon pain of Damnation must be confessed, and when the Penitent after great anxieties has freed himself from this disquiet, he must submit to the Penance, however rigo­rous, or chargeable, or foolish, which the Priest enjoyns, he and his Family are entirely in the power of this Master of their secrets.

And if this Awe and Empire, however grie­vous, were the whole Inconvenience 'twere [Page 31] something tolerable, it being to be hoped, that so severe a Remedy would affright from Guilt; but the very contrary happens: the Priest takes often benefit of the Sin which he ab­solves from, and having the advantage of these two Points, that the person whose Confession he has taken has lost Modesty, and that he can absolve from the Crime, it will be easie to persuade the Repetition of that Sin, which his breath can easily blow away and render none. I shall not here men­tion on the other part the perfunctory Penan­ces, which seem only imposed to invite to sin again, and those authorized by a most authen­tic pattern, that of the Popes themselves, for what Markets may we not expect from a poor Priest, when his Holiness in his Taxa cancel. Apost. Tax of the Apostolic Chancery has valued the most horrid crimes at so easie rates as a few Grosses, or a Julio, and eighteen pence or half a crown compounds for the foulest most abominable Guilt. Nay, when a Visit to a priviledg'd Shrine or Altar, and the bare recital of a short Prayer purchases pardon for 100, 500, 546, 6646 dayes: Nay, for 7500, 10000, 1000000 years according to the grants of se­veral Popes to be seen for our great comfort and edification in the Horae B. Vir. p. 73, 84, 76:40, 73, 79, 72.56, 80, &c. Horae B. Virginis. So that the story of that plump Confessor, who for six Acts of Adultery is said to have enjoyn'd the repetition of six Penitential Psalms, and when 'twas told him that there were seven of them, [Page 32] advised the Votary to commit Adultery once more, and repeat the whole number, may seem a very severe act of Discipline, and (besides a full atonement for past sins) supererogation for future ones.

So that Vice being brought to this easie rate, besides all other mis-adventures, unless we will stand for the honour of being Cuckolds, and have our Posterity share the Title which is proverbial in Popish Countries, to be fils de Prestre; it will concern us to look about us, while 'tis time, and prevent these vile dis­honours which are preparing for us. If it shall be said, that 'tis not imaginable men should pervert so sacred an action, as the receiving of Confessions to those purposes of villany that are suggested. I answer first, That we may without breach of Charity suppose that thing possibly to be done, which is notori­ously known to have been done: as also, that the horror of the crime is competently allay­ed by their Doctrine, who think only Marriage, and not Sleid. comm: l. 4. Fornication inconsistent with the dignity of a Clergy-man. And therefore the Nephews of great Clergy-men and Popes have in all Ages been owned and preferred, and moreover Corn. Agrip. c. de lenocin. fornication has been allowed to Priests and Friers in in compensation for their restraint from marriage, three or four Whores as part of their spiritual preferment. I say, all this being put together, there will be little hopes to preserve honour in Families, where [Page 33] so many circumstances concur together to betray it.

XI. After all this there still remains a far­ther reason why we should resist the groath of Popery, even the most pressing that can be urged, Self-preservation, to avoid Imprisonment and Inquisition, Fire and Fagot, Massacres, Racks and Gibbets, the known Methods by which the Romanists support their Cause, and propagate their Faith. Should that Sect pre­vail, the Nonconformist shall no longer com­plain of a Bartholomew day; the Parisian Vespers, which bore that date, will be resumed again, and silence all complaints of them or us: and as his Holiness thought fit to celebrate that barbarous villany, calling together, as Thuan hist. l. 53. Thu­anus tells us, his Cardinals solemnly to give thanks to Almighty God for so great a blessing con­ferred upon the Roman See, and the Christian World; nay, a jubilee was to be proclaimed through the Christian World, whereof the cause was ex­pressed to give thanks to god for destroying in France the enemies of the Truth and of the Church; There may be found on this side the Sea, men who will imitate the Princes of the holy League, who upon such encouragements from the See of Rome, and for the greater glory of God, will be ready to consecrate their hands in a Massacre here with us. It is vulgarly known what was done to the poor Albigenses and Waldenses: How many hundred thousand of [Page 34] lives the planting of the Roman Gospel in the Indies cost: What cruelties were practised in the Low-Countires by the Duke d' Alva, what bloud in this Island in the days of Queen Mary, what designed to be shed in the Powder Treason, and that by the privity and direction of the Pope himself as Disq. magic. l. 6. c. 1. Sect. 3. Delrio informs us in spight of all the palliations that are now suggested: who withal adds, that his Holiness Clement the VIII by his Bull a little before that time, gave order that no Priest should discover any thing that came to his knowledg in confession to the benefit of the Secular Government: It seeming safer to these good men to break all the Obligations of Duty and Allegeance, though bound by Oaths, than violate the Seal of Confession, or put a stop to that meritorious work, at one moment to de­stroy their Sovereign with all his Royal Family, his whole Nobility and Senate, and subvert the Government of their Native Country. But we need not seek for instances without our own memories, the carriage of the Lord Orrery p. 29. Irish Rebellion, where the Papists in a few moneths cut the throats of about two hundred thousand innocent Pro­testants of all Sexes and Ages, cannot be yet for­gotten. Which Act was so meritorious as to deserve from his Holiness a most plenary Indul­gence for all that were concerned in it, Pag 61. even absolution from Excommunication, Suspension, and all other Ecclesiastical Sentences and Censures by whom­soever, or for what cause soever pronounced or inflicted upon them, as also from all sins, trespasses, transgres­sions, [Page 35] crimes and delinquences, how hanious and attrocious soeuer they be, &c.

Nor let any man be so fond to hope for better terms, or Liberty of Conscience, if Po­pery should now prevail. Let us look into the world, and we shall see on all hands, that nothing is any where suffered to grow either under or near that Sect. Where Protestan­tism has been so strongly fix'd as not to be batter'd down at once, it has by degrees been perpetually undermin'd: witness the Pro­ceedings against them in Poland and Hungary and several parts of Germany, the late Per­secutions in the Vallies of Piedmont, and the methods used in France to demolish their Tem­ples, and disable them for their Employments, and almost exclude them from common Trades. I need not enquire what is now done in Ʋtrecht and other acquisitions of the French upon the Hollander; this we are sure of; Whatsoever Articles are, or can be made of favour and compliance, 'tis somewhat more than a pro­bable Concil Const. Myst. Jesuitism Doctrine, That Faith is not to be kept with Heretics. The Jesuited Romanist is at large by Equivocotions to say any thing, and by directing of Intention to do any thing: they can with very good conscience dissemble their own, and pretend to the Protestant Profession, come to the devotions of Heathen Idolaters, and that from express Licence from his Holiness Pope Clement the Eight upon account of which, we may, says De convers. infid p. 854. Tho. a [Page 36] Jesu, be present without any scruple at the Rites and divine Offices of Infidels, Heretics and Schis­matics. Nay Peter In vit. Ignati Loyol. Maffeius makes it his boast, that Ignatius Loyola imitated the Devil in all his tricks, cheats and cunning, to convert souls: and how his followers have transcrib'd that Pattern the world does know.

Yet farther, they, some of them at least, can set up a new Gospel, where their is not one word of the Cross of Christ; can worship Heathen Idols with that pitiful reserve of having in their Sleeve a Crucifix, to which they privately direct their Adoration: All which as they are notorious for, being com­plained of to the Palafox Bo. of Angelopolis in his Letter to Pope Inoc. X. Pope, so are they un­controul'd for ought appears and permitted by him. Indeed what conversation can there be with these men who are under no obligations of Society, no Character of notice or Distin­ction; who at the same time are Priests and Hectors, Casuists and Artificers, Presbyterians, Anabaptists, Quakers, Theists, Atheists, and amidst all this very good Catholics. Let any honest sober man judge what kind of Religion this is, in it self, and how fit to be encourag'd and submitted to.

XII. To close up all that has been said; from uncontroulable Testimonies and Proofs, we have seen the influence which Popery has either heretofore or may hereafter have a­mongst us in all the great concerns of our [Page 37] Religion, our Prince, our Laws, our Property, our Country, our Families and Lives, and found it evidently destructive unto all: the inference from whence can be no other, but that if we have any love for our Religion, any abhorrence of the grossest Superstition, Error or Idolatry; any regard for the safety of His Majesty, any care of our Laws or our Estates, any concernment for the Strength, the Wealth or Numbers of our Nation; any desire to hold the Freedom of our Conscience, the Virtue and the Honour of our Families; and lastly, any care of Self-Preservation, to escape Massacres, and the utmost rage of persecution; it will behoove us to beware of the prevailing of that sect, in whose Successes we have reason to expect to forfeit all these Interests, perish our selves, and bequeath Idolatry and Beggery and Servitude to our Posterity.

FINIS.

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