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That rule of Epiphanius shall be ever a safe course for us: "Let Mary be honoured; but the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost worshipped." Here is no fear of danger, but that we may go safely to that God which calls us to him; and prostrate ourselves to his Christ, our gracious Saviour. None of the saints can envy God this honour: none of them ever did, either arrogate it to himself, or suffer it to be given him. Neither is there any of them, whom God ever allowed, either to take it to himself, or to impart it to others, or to accept it quietly being imparted to him by others.
The Papists, therefore, may come to us when they will, with safety and advantage: we may not yield to them, without manifest danger of idolatrous dotage.
(3.) But, if any good-natured Reconciler shall be so indifferent, as to think these weighty points of difference not to be so heinous, but that every one might secretly maintain what opinion he list; yet so, that, as Constantine said to Alexander and Arius, while the minds differ, the outward peace may be preserved; let him further understand, that the continual practice of the religious worship and service of God, will ever both raise and proclaim no less hostility, than matter of judg
In our devotions, and public exercises of piety, and places consecrated to this use, there is nothing, that can offend either the eye or the mind of a Papist, except the bareness of our walls, and the apostolical simplicity of ceremonies: an easy fault; and such, as it is no praise of their ingenuity to wink at: for, long since have those clauses of our Public Liturgy been purposely blotted out, which, in our grandfathers' days, did but lightly touch this galled sore of Popery.
But, contrariwise, in the Popish churches there is scarce any thing either said or done, whereof we can, with a clear and unwounded conscience, be either partakers or witnesses. Their very walls kill us dead: but their ridiculous or demoniacal service, who can endure?
We honour, as we ought, the dear and happy memory of the saints; and, chiefly, the leader of that heavenly choir, the Blessed Virgin, "the Mother of God:" and whatsoever she can think not too dishonourable to herself and her Lord and Saviour, we will most gladly give it her to the full.
Neither will we only glorify God in his saints, as Augustin hath taught Durand to speak; but we will magnify the saints, as opportunity serves, for their excellent graces and worthy acts, both in God and in themselves: we will admire, extol,
h Epiph. Hæres. 79.
iSocrat. 1. i. c. 7.
j OɛÓTOKOÇ, a title assigned by the Council of Ephesus (A. D. 431) to the
Tutissimum ergo nobis illud erit semper Epiphanii: 'Ev Tμ ἔστω Μαρία· ὁ δὲ Πατὴρ, καὶ Ὑιὸς, καὶ ̔́Αγιον Πνεῦμα προσKUVEίow. Nihil hic periculi est, quin tutò liceat adire, qui κυνείσθω. nos ad se vocat, Deum; ejusque Christo, benignissimo Servatori, provolvi. Nullus sanctorum, honorem hunc invidit Deo: nullus sibi aut arrogavit, aut passus est unquam exhiberi. Nec quis omnium est, cui permisit Deus, aut arripere hoc sibi, aut aliis communicare, aut, ab aliis sibi fortè communicatum, serenâ fronte, animo æquo, suscipere.
In nostram ergo sententiam pedibus eant Pontificii, licet hercle, et juvat; nos cum illis sentire absque manifesto Idolomanias discrimine non possumus.
(3.) Quòd si quis facilioris ingenii Conciliator, ejusmodi contendat esse gravissima hæc differentiarum capita, ut, quam quisque velit opinionem, tacitè fovere possit; ita quidem, quod olim Alexandro et Ario Constantinus, ut animorum dissidentium pax interea conservetur; intelligat is demum, religiosi cultûs Tρáv continuam nihilò inimicitiarum minus et serere et propalare.
In cultu nostro, publicisque pietatis exercitiis, locisve sacris, nihil est quod oculum animumve Pontificium offendat; præter nuditatem, simplicitatemque, verè Apostolicam: facile vero vitium; et cui vix ulla candoris laus est, ultro connivere: jamdiu enim in lituras abierunt illæ (quotquot erant) Precum Publicarum clausulæ, quæ, avorum nostrorum seculo, religionis Pontificiæ ulcus vel leviter tetigisse visæ sunt.
In templis contrà Pontificiis, vix quicquam vel dici vel peragi solet, cujus nos, illæsâ mente, aut participes, aut verò testes fieri possimus. Enecant nos ipsi quidem parietes. Cultum vero sive ridiculum, sive dæmoniacum quis ferat?
Honoramus nos, uti condecet, felicissimam sanctorum memoriam; imprimis verò, præcipuam cœlicolarum, meritòque beatissimam, "Virginem Deiparam3:" et quicquid illa sibi, Dominoque suo, non planè dedecori fore autumârit, id illi lubentissimè totum largiemur.
Neque modò Deum in sanctis suis, quod monet, edoctus ab Augustino, Durandus, glorificabimus; sed et sanctos in Deo seque ipsis, propter eximias virtutes, ac res præclarissimè gestas, summâ laude, uti opus erit, efferemus: horum singularem constantiam, fidem, robur animi, sanctimoniam mirabi
Virgin Mary, in opposition to the heresy of Nestorius, may perhaps be fairly translated Deipara; but whether Deipara can be as fairly rendered Mother of God, is by no means equally clear. See Pearson on the Creed; Art. 3.—H.
and, what we may, imitate their singular constancy, faith, sanctity; as Sidonius said of his Claudian,
No tomb can either soul or glory shroud.
But, to dig up their holy bones, that I may borrow Luther's word, out of their quiet graves; and to fall down before these. worm-eaten monuments of the saints; to expect from them a divine power, whether of cure, or of sanctification; equally to respect Francis's cowl, Anna's comb, Joseph's breeches, Thomas's shoe, as Erasmus complains, with the Son of God himself; can seem no better to us, than a horrible impiety.
Neither can we abide, either to deify men, or to canonize beasts. It seems, that Cardinal could abide it well, in whose garden is yet to be seen this epitaph, which he wrote upon his too-dearly-beloved bitch:
This tomb for thee, dear bitch, I builded have,
We, profane Huguenots, cannot skill of worshipping Martin's boots; or, George's scabbard; or, Crispin's paring-knife; or, (which they say is kept in a certain town of Liguria,) the tail of that ass which Christ rode upon; or, Roche's dog; or, Antony's swine and surely, he had need of a very thick hide, that can do this.
But, in earnest, say we should yield these adorations to be lawful and godly; what Macarius, amongst so many woods of counterfeit trees, can shew us the true cross? or, what Helena, amongst such heaps, yea hills of iron, can shew us the true nails? Assuredly, both these jugglers smile one upon another, while they shew these relics to their people: and now, even the silly vulgar begins, not without indignation, to descry this co
To omit, therefore, these ridiculous tricks and knavish conveyances of their shavelings, let us, in this case, appeal even to Cassander's own moderation; who, having first honestly acknowledged the ancient complaints of Basil, Ambrose, Augustine, about the business of these abuses, goes on thus: "It appears," saith he, " that, in the latter times, there hath been too much given to the relics and monuments of the saints: so as even good men, and those which were zealously devout, were grown to that pass, that they placed the sum of all religion in gathering together the relics of the saints, and in garnishing them richly with gold and pearls, and building sumptuous chapels and temples to them: and, again, those, that were lewd and godless, put all their confidence, though vain and false, in the foolish and superstitious worship of relics. Wherefore, in the Council of Cabilon, those are reproved, who, in a pretence of devotion, go on pilgrimage to Rome, or Turon, or
mur, prædicabimus, et, quantum possumus, imitabimur: scilicet horum, quod de Claudiano suo Sidonius,
Mens et gloria non queunt humarik.
Sed, ut sancta illorum ossa (venia sit Lutheri verbo) ex quietis jamdiu sepulchris effodiamus; ut ante hæc semesa piorum monumenta supplices procumbamus; ut divinam ab illis virtutem, sive sanationum, sive sanctificationis expectemus; ut æquè suspiciamus Francisci cucullum, Annæ pectinem, caligam Josephi, Thomæ calceum, (quod Erasmus queritur,) ac ipsum Dei filium; vix ullo nobis piaculo luendum videri solet.
Neque nobis, aut homines inter Deos, aut bestias inter divos referre, placebit unquam. Placuit certè Cardinali illi, cujus in hortis videre est hoc, cani suæ, (vah, quàm nimiùm dilectæ!) Epitaphium:
Quod potui, posui tibi, fida Catella, sepulchrum,
Nos, profanum vulgus scilicet, ocreas Martini; Georgii vaginam; cultrum Crispini calcearium; aut (quæ in quâdam Liguriæ urbe asservari dicitur ") caudam asini, cui insedit Christus; aut Rochi canem; aut Antonii suem, colere nescimus: næ, ille Elephanti corio circumtectus est, non suo, qui istoc fecerit.
Seriò vero, ut geniculationes hasce legitimas demus ac pias; quis mihi Macarius, inter tot densas arborum sylvas, veram crucem dabit? aut, quæ Helena, e tot ferreis montibus, clavos? Et ipsi aruspices arrident sibi, dum hæc populo ostentant; sed et subolet nunc ipsi plebeculæ, quod isti machinati sunt, neque hercle sine deducto rictu.
Mittamus ergo hîc ridendas sacrificulorum artes, fraudemque insignitam; appellemusque, hâc quidem in causâ, unam Cassandri éπLeikelav; qui, post Basilii, Ambrosii, Augustini non dissimulatas hâc de re querimonias; "Constat," inquit", "posterioribus temporibus, nimiùm reliquiis et memoriis sanctorum indultum et tributum fuisse: sic ut a bonis quoque viris, pio zelo præditis, summa quasi religionis in hujusmodi reliquiis conquirendis, auro et gemmis exornandis, et memoriis, seu templis, sumptuosissimis ædificandis posita putaretur: et ab improbis quoque hominibus, falsa fiducia in cultu inepto et superfluo reliquiarum collocaretur. Quare in Concilio Cabilonensi reprehenduntur, qui Romam aut Turonum, sub prætextu ora
* Sidon. in Epita. Claud. Mamert.
m Moresin. Scot. Orig. Papist.
'Poem. Illust. Poetar. Italorum.
any other like places; as if they thought, that the frequenting of these holy shrines could both purge them from sin, and license them to sin with impunity. And, unto this, yet another mischief hath been added; that, for covetousness' sake, to entice the simple people, false relics have been devised, and feigned miracles reported; and, by those miracles, the superstition of the multitude was so fed, that they were rather taken up with an admiration of the wonders, than drawn to a holy imitation of the saints. And, many times, by the subtlety and illusion of the Devil, abusing the superstition of men, new relics were, by dreams and visions, revealed to the world; and, by the operation of the same Devil, miracles seemed to be wrought for the confirmation thereof." Thus saith Cassander; like a true German, shall I say, or like a true Israelite?
But, we, that have been better taught, dare freely and confidently say of ourselves, as Jerome professed of old, in the name of all Christians, "So far are we from adoring the relics of martyrs, that we worship neither sun, nor moon, nor angels, nor archangels, cherubin, nor seraphin, nor any name that is named either in the present world, or in the future; lest we should serve the creature, rather than the Creator which is blessed for ever."
Then, that from relics we may descend to images; is it possible, that we should not be ever displeased with that frantic superstition of the Romish Church? that, against the tables of God's Law, against the institutions of the Apostles, against the practice of the Ancient Church, against the manifest decrees of Councils, against the clear testimonies of Fathers, in defiance of God and men, the churches of Christians should be no less pestered with idols, than the temples of the Heathen? that, as Jerome complained of old, the native beauty of the Church should be polluted with the filth of Paganism? that, which Eusebius justly taxeth of madness, there should be a visible and bodily image or representation made of the Invisible and Spiritual God? that we should put our confidence in Agnis Dei, grains, tapers, roses, swords, ensigns, bells; ridiculously, after their manner, enchanted? that, by certain magical exorcisms, the Devil should be driven out of those creatures, wherein he never was? Nay, let us even enter into league with Satan himself, if we shall give either allowance or connivance to such diabolical practices of will-worship.
I do purposely forbear to speak of that profane paradox of the sufficiency of the outward work done, without good inward dispositions; the idle mumbling up of prayers, in a foreign tongue; the number and virtue of sacraments; the sacrilegious mutilation of the eucharist; and a thousand other monsters, both opinions and ceremonies.
• Hier. ad Riparium, advers. Vigilant. (Epist. 53. p. 157.)