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regard to the King of it. Thus is the intent of religion destroyed, and the Heathen multitude of deities brought silently back into Christianity. But above all their worship of the Virgin Mary is very remarkable. We honour her memory as a person whom he that is mighty hath peculiarly magnified, and whom all generations shall call blessed*. But they address her in such terms as follow : Empress of Heaven; Queen of Angels and men: Through whom after God, the whole Earth liveth; Mother of Mercy: the Fountain of Grace and Salvation; the only hope of Sinners: Who ever trusted in thee, and was confounded ? To thee I commit all my hope, and all my comfort: under thy defence is my refuge; make haste to help me in all things which I shall either do or think every moment of my life, loose the bonds of the guilty, enlighten the eyes of the blind, free us from all sin, and drive away from us all evil; grant us to escape eternal damnation, and cause the glory of Paradise to be bestowed or us. What authority or what excuse is there now for such expressions as these? And yet every one of them I have myself collected partly out of their public offices, partly from others of their authorized and approved books of devotion. Formerly in their very Mass Book they went yet farther: And begged her, by virtue of her parental authority, to command of her Son what they wanted. But to this very day, in another office, they imitate the same thing, by exhorting her that she would shew herself to be his mother. And the better to make sure of her doing so, they apply to St. Joachim, who, they say, was her father, though indeed it is not certainly known at all who her father was; much less whether he was Saint or sinner: how
* Luke i. 48, 49.
ever they apply to St. Joachim and tell him, that as his daughter can possibly deny him nothing, it is in his power to do every thing he will for them. This, you see, is being very artful in making interest: only it is more art than is necessary. For since we are both permitted and appointed to approach God through Christ directly, who, we are certain, both doth hear and will help us, we shall prejudice, instead of benefiting our cause, by making underhand applications to other persons, who perhaps never come to know of our petitions, and, if they do, are displeased at them; or, if they were not, can be in comparison of little use to us.
Yet to judge by the practice of the Romish Church, who would not think that the whole New Testament were filled with precepts for the worship of the Saints, especially the blessed Virgin? Whereas, even in the Gospels she is but seldom and occasionally mentioned; our Saviour seeming on purpose to take less notice of her, as if he foresaw what advantages taking more would give to the extravagancies of after times. In the Acts she is just mentioned once.
In the Epistles and Revelation not at all. Yet these are not half the monstrous things that the Romanists are guilty of about her. They have invented a fable of her body being taken up into Heaven, and appointed a solemn festival in honour of it. They have instituted a form of devotion called the Rosary, in which ten addresses are made to her, for one to God; and successive Popes have granted large indulgencies and blessings to all that shall say it. Then their private writers about her have gone incredible lengths. One of their Cardinals, Bonaventure, by putting her name instead of God's, and some other necessary alterations, hath applied the whole Book of Psalms to
her. In the same manner he hath altered the Te Deum. We praise thee, O Mary, we acknowledge thee to be the Lady; and so in the other hymns of the Church. Nay, he hath made a Creed for her in imitation of St Athanasius's. Whoever will be saved, it is necessary that he hold the true faith concerning Mary; which except a man keep whole and undefiled, he shall perish everlastingly. Now if their Church do really disapprove these things, why do they never censure them? Why is this very man canonized for a Saint, whilst we are condemned as heretics ? For not content with thinking this kind of worship lawful, they pronounce accursed whoever shall think otherwise.
Another thing we differ in, is this : they make pictures of God the Father under the likeness of a venerable old man. They make images of Christ and of his Saints, after their own fancy. Before these images, and even that of his cross, they kneel down and prostrate themselves : to these they lift up
their eyes, and in that posture pray. The least appearance of command, or even the allowance, of such practices in Scripture they pretend not; and yet against those who disallow them, they thunder out anathemas. Now as to pictures of the Father AB mighty, whom no man either hath seen or can see *; all visible figures must represent him such as he is not, must lead the ignorant into low and mean ideas of him, and give those of better abilities, from a contempt of such representation, a contempt of the religion that uses them. Anciently the Heathens themselves had no images of God; and a very learned Heathen observes, that if they had never had any, their worship would have been the purer; for the
* 1 Tim, vị. 16.
inventors of these things, says he, lessened among men the reverence of the Divine Nature, and introduced errors concerning it *. The Jews, though the Old Testament figuratively expresses, in words, the power and attributes of God by parts of the human form, were yet most strictly forbidden all sensible representation of him under any form.
Take good heed unto yourselves, says Moses, for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the Lord spoke to you in Horeb; lest ye corrupt yourselves, lest ye for. get the covenant of the Lord your God, and make the similitude of any figure; for the Lord thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God f. Accordingly we find, that when they had made a golden image, though it was expressly designed in honour of that God who brought them out of Egypt, it was notwithstanding punished as idolatry. And far from allowing to Christians, what was then forbidden the Jews, St. Paul most severely condemns it in the very Heathens, that when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, but became vain in their imaginations, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God, into an image made like to corruptible man I. Yet how near doth this approach to what the Church of Rome doth now, in making pictures of God the Father! Our blessed Saviour indeed, having taken on him human nature, is capable of being represented in a human form. But, as all such representations must be imaginary ones, so they are useless ones too: the memorial of himself, which he hath appointed in the Sacrament, we may be assured is sufficient to all good
• Varro ap. S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. 1. 4. c. 31. where he says they had none for 170 years. But Tarquinius Priscus introduced them. See Tenison on Idol.
p + Deut. iv. 15—24.
1 Rom. i. 21. 23.
purposes ; and these other memorials have always produced absurd and wicked superstitions. As for the images of the Saints, it is sufficient to say, that there being no pretence for worshipping the Saints themselves, there is yet less pretence for worshipping these representations of them. But here the Church of Rome will say we wrong them: they do not worship images, but only Christ and his Saints by these images. But indeed it is they who wrong themselves then. For not a few of their own writers * frankly own they do worship images, and with the same degree of worship that they pay to the persons whose images they are. And for the cross particularly, in their public offices, they expressly declare themselves to adore it, and in plain words, petition it in one of their hymns, to give increase of grace to the righteous, and pardon to the guilty. This they say is a poetical licence; and truly, in so serious a thing as worship, no small one. But farther : had they no regard to the image, but only to the person represented, why is an image in one place looked upon to have so much more power and virtue, than an image of the same person in another place? Why hath that of our Lady of Loretto, for instance, so much more honour done it, than that of our Lady any where else? We own the council of Trent does give a caution, that no divinity be ascribed to images, nor any trust put in them: and the Heathen gave the like caution often with respect to theirs: but this never hinders the Scripture from condemning them as idolaters. And the reason
Aquinas, &c. See Trapp. Ch. of England defended, p. 219. They put in the Index exp. those passages in marginal notes and indexes, that say the contrary. See instances, ib. p. 235. They are to be worshipped, says Bellarmine, ita ut ipse terminent venerationem, ut in se considerantur et non solum ut vicem gerunt exemplaris. Bellarm. de Imag. 1. ii. c. 21. ap. Vitr, in Is. xliv. 20.