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stronger aid. On some of their hands, I fear, magical delusions and devilish incantations shall not want, rather than they will want a client.
Neither can this seem strange to any, that knows how familiarly the Roman Church professes the solemn practice of conjuration; in such a fashion, as it doth more than trouble the best Casuists, to set down a perfect difference betwixt their sacred magic and the diabolical.
From hence, perhaps, have proceeded those miraculous apparitions, if at the least they were any other but fancy or fraud, wherewith some of our death-sick gentlemen amongst them have been frighted into Catholics.
A famous Divine of France, second to none for learning or fidelity, told me this one, amongst other instances, of his own experience, which he yet lives to justify. A Gentleman of the Religion, whose wife was popishly devoted, lying upon the bed of his sickpess, in expectation of death, sends for this Divine, his pastor. The sick man's wife sends for a Jesuit. Both meet at the bed's side : each persuades him to his own part : both plead for their religion at this bar, before these judges : after two hours' disputation, not only the gentleman was cheerfully confirmed in that judgment, which he had embraced; but his wife also, out of the evidence of truth, began to incline to him, and it. The Jesuit departed, discontent; yet, within some few hours after, returning, when the coast was clearer, entreats some private conference with the gentlewoman : with whom walking in her garden, he did vehemently expostulate; mixing, therewithal, his strongest persuasions. At last, to shut up his discourse, he importuned her, with many obsecrations, that she would vouchsafe to receive from his hands a little box which he there offered her, and for his sake wear it about her continually: she condescended: no sooner had she taken it, than she fell to so great a detestation of her husband, that she could by no means be drawn into his presence ; and, within two days after, in this estate she died. An act more worthy the sword of justice, than the pen of an adversary.
These courses are as secret as wicked. Not daring therefore pe- . remptorily to accuse, I would rather leave these practices to further enquiry. Sure I am, that by their tongues Satan labours to enchant the world, and hath strongly deluded too many souls. And are we weary of ours, that we dare tempt God, and offer ourselves as challengers to this spiritual danger?
The Jesuits, amongst much change of houses, have two famous for the accordance of their names: one called " The Bow," at Nola; the other, “ The Arrow," La Flesche, in France: though this latter were more worthy of the name of a whole quiver, containing not fewer than eight hundred shafts of all sizes. Their Apostate. Ferrier, if I shall not honour him too much, played upon them in this distich :
Arcum Nola dedit, dedit illis alma Sagittam
" Nola the Bow, and France the Shaft did bring:
But who shall help them to a hempen string :"
This provision is for the care of Christian Princes: but, in the , mean time, what madness is it in us, not only to give aim to these roying flights, but to offer ourselves to be their standing butt, that they may take their full aim and hit us level at pleasure !
Do we not hear some of their own Fellow.Catholics, in the midst of their awfullest senate, the Parliament of Paris, pleading vehemently against these factious spirits; and crying out passionately of that danger, which will follow upon their admission, both of lewd manners and false doctrine *? and do we, in greater opposition, fear neither; and especially from English Jesuits?
Some countries yield more venemous vipers than others : ours, the worst. I would it were not too easy to observe, that, as our English Papists are commonly most Jesuitish, so vur English Jesuits are more furious than their fellows. Even those of the hottest cli. mates cannot match them in fiery dispositions. And do we put our. selves out of our comfortable sunshine, into the midst of the flame of these noted incendiaries? Do we take pleasure to make them rich with the spoil of our souls? And, because they will not come fast enough to fetch these booties, do we go to carry them unto their pillage?
The danger is in the men, more than in their cause : and if this great Courtizan of the World had not so cunning panders, I should won. der how she should get any but foolish customers.
The Searcher of all Hearts, before whose tribunal I shall once come to give an account of this “ Censure,” knows that I speak it not maliciously. Him I call to witness, that I could not find any true life of religion amongst those, that would be Catholics. I meddle not with the errors of speculations, or school points; wherein their judgment palpably offendeth: I speak of the lively practice of piety.
What have they amongst them, but a very outside of Christianity, a mere formality of devotion ?
Look into their Churches : there, their poor ignorant Laity hope to present their best services to God: and yet, alas! they say, they know not what: they hear, they know not what: they do, they know not what : returning empty of all hearty edification, and only full of confused intentions; and are taught to think this sacrifice of fools meritorious.
* At etiam num non animadvertimus, quòd, Latini sermonis obtentu, impu. rissimè Gallicæ juventutis mores ingenuos fædant : bonarum literarum prætextu pessimas edocent artes: dum ingenin excolunt animas perdunt: &c. Oratio ad Curiam Parlamenti super Henrici Magni parricidali nece.
Look upon their Chemarim, the sacred actors in this religious scene : what shall you see, but idle apishness in their solemnest work, and either mockery or slumbering?
Look into their religious houses : what shall you see, but a trade of careless and lazy holiness ? hours observed, because they must, not because they would. What do they, but lull piety asleep, with their heartless and sleepy Vespers ?
Look into the private closets of their devout ignorants : what difference shall you see betwixt the image and the suppliant ? If they can hear their beads knack upon each other, they are not bid to care for hearing their prayers reflect upon heaven. Shortly, in all that belongs to God, the work done sufficeth; yea, meriteth: and what need the heart be wrought upon for a task of the hand ?
Look into the melancholic cells of some austere recluses ; there you may find, perhaps, a haircloth, or a whip, or a hurdle; but shew me true mortification, the power of spiritual renovation of the soul. How should that be found there, when as that saving faith, which is the only purger of the heart, is barred out as presumptuous; and no guest of that kind allowed, but the same which is common to devils ? What Papist in all Christendom hath ever been heard to pray daily with his family, or to sing but a Psalm at home?
Look into the universal course of the Catholic life: there shall you find the Decalogue professedly broken; besides the ordinary practice of idolatry, and frequence of oaths. Who ever saw God's day duly kept in any city, village, household, under the Jurisdiction of Rome? Every obscure Holy-Day takes the wall of it, and thrusts it into the channel. Who sees not obedience to authority so slighted, that it stands only to the mercy of human dispensation ? And, in the rest of God's Laws, who sees not how foul sins pass for venial? and how easily venial sins pass their satisfaction: for which a cross, or a drop of holy water is sufficient amends ? Who sees not how no place can be left for truth, where there is full room given to equivocation ?
All this, though it be harsh to the conscionable man, yet is no less pleasing to the carnal. The way of outward fashionableness in religion, and inward liberty of heart, cannot but seem fair to nature; and especially when it hath so powerful angariation. It is a wonder, if but one half of Christendom be thus won to walk in it. Those, which are either ungrounded in the principles of religion, or unconscionable in the practice, are fit to travel in these miserable errors : But, though Israel play the harlot, yet let not Judah sin. Come ye not to Gilgal, neither go ye up to Bethaven.
FROM the danger of Corruption in Judgment, let us turn our eyes to the DEPRAYATION OF MANNERS, which not seldom goes before, Apples therefore fall from the tree, because they be worm-eaten : they are not worm-eaten, because they fall: and, as usually follows, Satan, like the raven, first seizes upon the eye of understanding, and then preys freely upon the other carcase.
We may be bad enough at home : certainly, we are the worse for our neighbours. Old Rome was not more jealous of the Grecian and African manners, than we have reason to be of the Roman. It were well, if we knew our own fashions; better, if we could keep them.
What mischief have we amongst us, that we have not bor. rowed ?
To begin at our skin: who knows not whence we had the variety of our vain disguises? as if we had not wit enough to be foolish, unless we were taught it. These dresses, being constant in their mutability, shew us our masters. What is it, that we have not learned of our neighbours, save only to be proud good-cheap? Whom would it not vex, to see how that other sex hath learned to make anticks and monsters of themselves? Whence came their hips to the shoulders, and their breasts to the navel; but the one from some ill-shaped dames of France, the other from the worse-minded courtezans of Italy? Whence else learned they to daub these mud-walls with apothecary's mortar; and those high washes, which are so cunningly licked on, that the wet napkin of Phryne should be deceived? Whence the frizzled and powdered bushes of their borrowed excrement ? as if they were ashamed of the head of God's making, and proud of the tire-woman's ? Where learned we that devilish art and practice of duel, wherein men seek honour in blood, and are taught the ambition of being glorious butchers of men ? Where had we that luxurious delicacy in our feasts; in which the nose is no less pleased, than the palate ; and the eye, no less than either? wherein the piles of dishes make barricadoes against the appetite; and, with a pleasing encumbrance, trouble a hungry guest ? Where, those forms of ceremonious quaffing, in which men have learned to make gods of others, and beasts of themselves; and lose their reason, while they pretend to do reason? Where, the lawlessness (mis-called freedom) of a wild tongue, that runs with reins in the neck, through the bed-chambers of princes, their closets, their council-tables, and spares not the very cabinet of their breasts; much less can be barred out of the most retired secrecy of inferior greatness? Where, the change of noble attendance and hospitality, into four wheels and some few butterflies? Where, the art of dishonesty in practical Machiavelism, in false equivocations ? Where, the slight account of that filthiness, which is but condemned as venial, and tolerated as not unnecessary? Where, the skill of civil and honourable hypocrisy, in those formal compliments, which do neither expect belief from others, nor carry any from ourselves? Where, that unnatural villainy, which, though it were burnt with fire and brimstone from heaven, and the ashes of it drowned in the Dead Sea, yet hath made shift to revive, and calls for new vengeance
upon the actors? Where, that close atheism, which secretly laughs God in the face, and thinks it weakness to believe, wisdom to profess any religion? Where, the bloody and tragical science of kingkilling; the new divinity of disobedience and rebellion ? with too many other evils, wherewith foreign conversation hath endangered the infection of our peace?
Lo here, dear Countrymen, the fruit of your idle gaddings. Better, perhaps, might be had :, but he was never acquainted at home, that knows not our nature to be like unto fire, which, if there be any infection in the room, draws it straight to itself; or like unto jet, which omitting all precious objects, gathers up straws and dust.
Islanders have been ever in an ill name. Wherefore? save only for the confluence of foreigners, which never come without the freight of their national wickedness? The experience whereof hath moved some witty nations, both ancient and present, to shut themselves up within their own bounds; and to bar the intercourse of strangers, as those, that thought best to content themselves with their own faults.
A corrupt disposition, out of a natural fertility, can both get and conceive evil alone; but, if it be seconded by examples, by precepts, by encouragements, the ocean itself hath not so much spawn as it: in all which regards, he hath escaped well, that returns but what he carried; but he is worthy of memory, that returns either more good, or less evil. Some have come home perhaps more sparing; others, more subtle; others, more outwardly courteous; others, more capricious; some, more tongue-free; few, ever better. And, if themselves be not sensible of their alterations, yet their Country and the Church of God feels and rues them.
LET me, therefore, have leave to shut up this Discourse with a Double Suit, one to our Gentry, the other to Supreme Authority; both which shall come from the bottom of a heart unfeignedly sacrificed to the common good: neither speak I words, but my very soul unto both.
To the FORMER my suit is, that they would be happy at home. God hath given us a world of our own, wherein there is nothing wanting to earthly contentment. Whither go ye then, worthy Countrymen, or what seek ye? Here grows that wealth, which ye go but to spend abroad. Here is that sweet peace, which the rest of the world admires and envies. Here is that gracious and welltempered government, which no nation under heaven may dare once offer to parallel. Here all liberal arts reign and triumph: and, for pleasure, either our earth or our sea yields us all those dainties, which their native regions enjoy but single. Lastly, here heaven