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Of those let him the guilty roll commence, In flannen robes the coughing ghost does walk, Who has betray'd a master and a prince;
And his mouth moats like cleaner breech of hawk. A man, seditious, lewd, and impudent;
Corruption, springing from his canker'd breast, An engine always mischievously bent;
Furs up the channel, and disturbs his rest.
A LAYMAN'S FAITH.
from which the handling of so serious a subject No register records his borrow'd name.
would not be expected, may reasonably oblige the Oh, had the child more happily been bred, author to say somewhat in defence, both of himself A radiant mitre would have grac'd his head : and of his undertaking. In the first place, if it be But now unfit, the most he should expect,
objected to me, that, being a layman, I ought not Is to be enter'd of T- F's sect.
to have concerned myself with speculations, which To him succeeds, with looks demurely sad, belong to the profession of divinity; I could answer, A gloomy soul, with revelation mad;
that perhaps laymen, with equal advantages of False to his friend, and careless of his word; parts and knowledge, are not the most incompetent A dreaming prophet, and a griping lord ;
judges of sacred things; but, in the due sense of He sells the livings which he can't possess,
my own weakness and want of learning, I plead not And farms that sinecure his diocese.
this: I pretend not to make myself a judge of faith Unthinking man! to quit thy barren see,
in others, but only to make a confession of my ont. And vain endeavours in chronology,
I lay no unhallowed hand upon the ark, but wait For the more fruitless care of royal charity.. on it, with the reverence that becomes ine, at a disThy hoary noddle warns thee to return,
taoce. In the next place I wil ingenuously conThe treason of old are in Wales to mourn; fess, that the helps I have nsed in this small treaNor think the city-poor may loss sustain,
tise, were many of them taken from the works of Thy place may well be vacant in this reign. our own reverend divines of the church of Englard; I should admit the booted prelate now,
so that the weapons with which I coinbat irreligion, But he is even for lampoon too low:
are already consecrated; though I suppose they The scum and outcast of a royal race;
may be taken down as lawfully as the sword of The nation's grievance, and the gown's disgrace. Goliab was by David, when they are to be emNone so unlearn`d did ere at London sit;
ployed for the common cause against the enemies This driveler does the sacred chair besh-t. of piety. I intend nut by this to entitle them to I need not brand the spiritual parricide,
any of my ermurs, which yet I hope are only those Nor draw the weapon dangling by his side: of charity to mankind; and such as my own chaTh' astonish'd world remembers that offence, rity has caused me to commit, that of others may And knows he stole the daughter of his prince. more easily excuse. Being naturally inclined to 'Tis time enough, in some succeeding age, scepticism in philosophy, I have no reason to imTo bring this mitred captain on the stage. pose my opinions in a subject which is abore it; These are the leaders in apostacy,
but, whatever they are, I submit them with all reThe wild reformers of the liturgy,
verence to my mother church, accounting them no And the blind guides of poor elective majesty; Further mine, than as they are authorised, or at A thing which commonwealth's-men did devise, least uncondemned, by her. And, indeed, to secure Till plots were ripe, to catch the people's eyes. myself on this side, I hare used the necessary pre
Their king 's a monster, in a quagmire born, caution of showing this paper before it was pube Of all the native brutes the grief and scorn; lished to a judicious and learned friend, a man inWith a big snont, cast in a crooked mould, defatigably zealous in the service of the church Which runs with glanders and an inborn cold. and state ; and whose writings have highly de His substance is of clammy snot and pblegm; served of both. He was pleased to approve the Sleep is his essence, and his life a dream.
body of the discourse, and I hope he is more my To Capreæ this Tiberius does retire,
friend than to do it out of complaisance: it is true To quench with catamite his feeble fire.
he had too good a taste to like it all; and amongst Dear catamite! who rules alove the state,
some other faults recommended to my second vier, While monarch dozes on his unpropt height, what I have written perhaps too boldly on St. AthaSilent, yet thoughtless, and secure of fate.
nasins, which he advised me wholly to omit. Tam Could you but see the fulsome hero led
sensible enough that I had done more prudently to By loathing vassals to his noble bed!
have followed his opinion: but then I could not
have satisfied myself that I had done honestly not nature, which we cannot otherwise define than by to have written what was my own. It has always saying it is infinite; as if infinite were definable, been my thought, that heathens who never did, nor or infinity a subject for our narrow understanding. without miracle could, 'hear of the name of Christ, They who would prove religion by reason, do but were yet in a possibility of salvation. Neither will weaken the cause which they endeavour to supit enter easily into my belief, that before the com- port: it is to take away the pillars from our faith, ing of our Saviour, the whole world, excepting only and to prop it only with a twig; it is to design a the Jewish nation, should lie under the inevitable tower like tbat of Babel, which if it were possible, necessity of everlasting punishment, for want of | as it is not, to reach heaven, would come to nothat revelation, which was confined to so small a thing by the confusion of the workmen. For every spot of ground as that of Palestine. Among the man is building a several way; impotently consons of Noah we read of one only who was accursed; ceited of his own model and his own materials: and if a blessing in the ripeness of time was re- reason is always striving, and always at a loss; served for Japhet, (of whose progeny we are) it and of necessity it must so come to pass, while it is seems unaccountable to me, why so many gene- exercised about that which is not its proper object. rations of the same offspring, as preceded our Sa- Let us be content at last to know God by his own viour in the flesh, should be all involved in one methods; at least, so much of hinu as he is pleased common condemnation, and yet that their posterity to reveal to us in the sacred scriptures: to appreshould be entitled to the hopes of salvation: as if hend them to be the word of God, is all our reason a bill of exclusion had passed only on the fathers, has to do; for all beyond it is the work of faith, which debarred not the sons from their succession. which is the seal of heaven impressed upon our Or that so many ages had been delivered over to human understanding. Hell, and so many reserved for Heaven, and that And now for what concerns the holy bishop Athathe Devil had the first choice, and God the next. nasius, the preface of whose creed seems inconTruly I am apt to think, that the revealed religion sistent with my opinion; which is, that heathens which was taught by Noah to all his sons, might may possibly be saved : in the first place I desire continue for some ages in the whole posterity. That it may be considered that it is the preface only, afterwards it was included wholly in the family of not the creed itself, which, till I am better inSem, is manifest ; but when the progenies of Cham formed, is of too hard a digestion for my charity. and Japhet swarmed into colonies, and those colo- It is not that I am ignorant bow many several texts nies were subdivided into many others : in process of scripture seemingly support that cause; but neiof time their descendants lost by little and little ther am I ignorant how all those texts may receive the primitive and purer rites of divine worship, re- a kinder and more mollified interpretation. Every taining only the notion of one deity; to which suc- man who is read in church history, knows that beceeding generations added others: for men took lief was drawn up after a long contestation with their degrees in those ages from conquerors to gods. Arius, concerning the divinity of our blessed SaviRevelation being thus eclipsed to almost all man- our, and his being one substance with the father ; kind, the light of nature as the next in dignity was and that thus compiled it was sent abroad among substituted; and that is it which St. Paul con- the christian churches, as a kind of test, which cludes to be the rule of the heathens, and by which whosoever took was looked upon as an orthodox bethey are hereafter to be judged. if my supposi- liever. It is manifest from bence, that the heation be true, then the consequence which I have then part of the empire was not concerned in it; assumed in my poem may be also true ; namely, for its business was not to distinguish betwixt pathat deism, or the principles of natural worship, are gans and Christians, but betwixt heretics and true only the faint remuants or dying flaines of revealed believers. This, well considered, takes off the religion in the posterity of Noah : and that our heavy weight of censure, which I would willingly modern philosophers, nay and some of our philoso- avoid from so venerable a man; for if this propophising divines, bave too much exalted the faculties sition, “whosoever will be saved,” be restrained of our souls, when they have maintained, that, by only to those to whom it was intended, and for their force, mankind has been able to find out that whom it was composed, I mean the Christians; there is one supreme agent or intellectual being, then the anathema reaches not the heathens, who which we call God: that praise and prayer are bis had never heard of Christ, and were nothing indue worship; and the rest of those deducements, terested in that dispute. After all, I am far from which I am confident are the remote effects of re- blaming even that prefatory addition to the creed, velation, and unattainable by our discourse, I mean and as far from cavilling at the continuation of it in as simply considered, and without the benefit of the liturgy of the church, where on the days ap: divine illumination. So that we have not lifted up pointed it is publicly read: for I suppose there is ourselves to God, by the weak pinions of our rea- the same reason for it now, in opposition to the Soson, but he has been pleased to descend to us; and cinians, as there was then against the Arians; the what Socrates said of him, what Plato writ, and one being a heresy, which seems to have been rethe rest of the heathen philosophers of several na-fined out of the other; and with how much more tions, is all no more than the twilight of revelation, plausibility of reason it combats our religion, with after the sun of it was set in the race of Noah. so much more caution it ought to be avoided : That there is something above us, some principle therefore the prudence of our church is to be comof motion, our reason can apprehend, though it mended, which has interposed her authority for the cannot discover what it is by its own virtue. And recommendation of this creed. Yet to such as are indeed it is very improbable, that we, who by the grounded in the true belief, those explanatory strength of our faculties cannot enter into the know- creeds, the Nicene and this of Athanasius, inight ledge of any being, not so much as of our own, perhaps be spared; for what is supernatural, will should be able to find out by them, that supreme lalways be a inystery in spite of exposition ; and VOL. VIII.
for my own part, the plain apostles' creed is most this they are bound by virtue of divine precept suitable to my weak understanding, as the simplest and by all the ties of conscience, under no less diet is the most easy of digestion.
penalty than damnation. If they answer me, as a I have dwelt longer on this subject than I in- learned priest has lately written, that this doctrine tended, and longer than perbaps I ought; for hav- of the Jesuits is not de fide; and that consequently ing laid down, as my foundation, that the scripture they are not obliged by it, they must pardon me, is a rule; that in all things needful to salvation it if I think they have said nothing to the purpose; is clear, sufficient, and ordained by God Almighty for it is a maxim in their church, where points of for that purpuse, I have left inyself no right to in- faith are not decided, and that doctors are of conterpret obscure places, such as concern the possi- trary opinions, they may follow which part they bility of eternal happiness to heatheus : because please; but more safely the most received and whatsoever is obscure is concluded not necessary most authorized. And their champion Bellarmine to be known.
bas told the world, in his apology, that the king of But, by asserting the scripture to be the cauon England is a vassal to the pope, ratione directi of our faith, I have unavoidably created to myself domini, and that he holds in villapage of bis Rotwo sorts of enemies : the papists indeed, more di- man landlord. Which is no new claim put in for rectly, because they have kept the scripture from England. Our chronicles are his authentic witus what they could; and have reserved to them- nesses, that king John was deposed by the same selves a right of interpreting what they have deli- plea, and Philip Augustus admitted tenant. And, vered, under the pretence of infallibility: and the which makes the more for Bellarmine, the French fanatics more collaterally, because they have as- king was again ejected when our king submitted to sumed what amounts to an infallibility, in the pri- the church, and the crown was received under the vate spirit: and have detorted those texts of scrip- sordid condition of a vassalage. ture which are not necessary to salvation, to the It is not sufficient for the more moderate and damnable uses of sedition, disturbance and destruc- well-meaning papists, of which I doubt not there tion of the civil government. To begin with the are many, to produce the evidences of their loyalty papists, and to speak freely, I think them the less to the late king, and to declare their innocener in dangerons, at least in appearance, to our present th's plot: I will grant their behaviour in the first, state; for not only the penal laws are in force to have been as loyal and as brave as they desire ; against them, and their number is contemptible; / and will be willing to hold them excused as to the but also their peers and commous are excluded second, I mean when it comes to my turn, and from parliament, and consequently those laws in after my betters; for it is a madness to be sober no probability of being repealed. A general and alone, while the nation continues drunk: but that uninterrupted plot of their clergy, ever since the saying of their father Cres. is still running in my reformation, I suppose all protestants believe; for head, that they may be dispensed with in their obeit is not reasonable to think but that so many of dience to an heretic prince, while the necessity of their orders, as were outed from their fat posses- the times shall oblige them toit: for that, as another sions, would endeavour a re-entrance against those of them tells us, is only the effect of Christian pru. whom they account beretics. As for the late de- dence; but when once they shall get power to sign, Mr. Colemau's letters, for aught I know, are shake him off, an heretic is no lawful king, and the best evidence; and what they discover, without consequently to rise against him is no rebellion. I wire-drawing their sense, or malicious glosses, all should be glad, therefore, that they would follow men of reason conclude credible. If there be any the advice which was charitably given them by a thing more than this required of me, I must believe reverend prelate of onr church; namely, that they it as well as I am able, spite of the witnesses, would join in a public act of disowning and detestand out of a decent conformity to the votes of paring those Jesuitic principles; and subscribe to all liament; for I suppose the fanaties will not allow doctrines which deny the pope's authority of dethe private spirit in this case. Here the infallibility posing kings, and releasing subjects from their is at least in one part of the government; and our oath of allegiance: to which I should think they understandings as well as our wills are represented. might easily be induced, if it be true that this preBut to return to the Roman catholies, how can we sent pope bas condemned the doctrine of king. be secure from the practice of jesuited papists in killing, a thesis of the Jesuits maintained, amongst that religion? For not two or three of that order, others, ex cathedra, as they call it, or in open conas some of them would impose upon us, but almost sistory. the whole body of them are of opinion, that their Leaving them therefore in so fair a way, if they infallible master has a right over kings, not only in please themselves, of satisfying all reasonable men spirituals but temporals. Not to name Mariana, of their sincerity and good meaning to the gorenBellarmine, Emanuel Sa, Molina, Santare, Siman- ment, I shall make bold to consider that other extreme cha, and at least twenty others of foreign countries; in our religion, I mean the fanatics, or schismatics, we can produce of our own nation, Campian, and of the English church. Since the Bible has been Doleman or Parsons, besides many are named translated into our tongue, they have used it so, as whom I have not read, who all of them attest this if their business was not to be saved, but to be doctrine, that the pope can depose and give away damped by its contents. If we consider only them, the right of any sovereign prince, si vel paulum de better had it been for the English nation, that it flexeret, if he shall never so little warp: but if he had still remained in the original Greek and Hebres, once comes to be excommunicated, then the bond or at least in the honest Latin of St. Jerome, than of obedience is taken off from subjects; and they that several texts in it should have been prevarimay and ought to drive him like another Nebu- cated to the destruction of that government, which chadnezzar, ex hominum christianorum dominatu, put it into so ungrateful hands. from exercising dominion over christians; and to How many heresies the first translation of Tindal
produced in few years, let my lord Herbert's his-, establish their discipline by force: so that however tory of Henry the Eighth inform you; insomuch, it comes about, that now they celebrate queen that for the gross errours in it, and the great mis- Elizabeth's birth-night, as that of their saint and chiefs it occasioned, a sentence passed on the first patroness; yet then they were for doing the work edition of the Bible, too shameful almost to be re- of the Lord by arms against her: and in all propeated. After the short reign of Edward the bability they wanted but a fanatic lord mayor and Sixth, who had continued to carry on the reforma- two sheriff's of their party, to have compassed it. tion on other principles than it was begun, every Our venerable Hooker, after many admonitions one knows, that not only the chief promoters of that which he had given them, towards the end of his work, but many others, whose consciences would preface, breaks out into this prophetic speech. not dispense with popery, were forced, for fear of “There is in every one of these considerations persecution, to change climates : from whence re- most just cause to fear, lest our hastiness to emturning at the beginning of queen Elizabeth's reign, brace a thing of so perilous consequence (ineaning many of them who had been in France, and at the presbyterian discip'ine) should cause posterity Geneva, brought back the rigid opinions and im- to feel those evils, which as yet are more easy for perious discipline of Calvin, to graft upon our re- us to prevent, than they would be for them to reformation. Which, though they cunningly con- medy." cealed at first, as well knowing how nauseously How fatally this Cassandra has foretold, we know that drug would go down in a lawful monarchy, too well by sad experience: the seeds were sown which was prescribed for a rebellious common- in the time of queen Elizabeth, the bloody harvest wealth, yet they always kept it in reserve; and ripened in the reign of king Charles the Martyr: were never wanting to themselves either in court and because all the sheaves could not be carried or parliament, when either they had any prospect off without shedding some of the loose grains, of a numerous party of fanatic members of the another crop is too like to follow; nay, I fear it is one, or the encouragement of any favourite in the unavoidable if the conventiclers be permitted still other, whose covetousness was gaping at the patri- to scatter. mony of the church. They who will consult the A man may be suffered to quote an adversary to works of our venerable Hooker, or the account of our religion, when he speaks truth: and it is the his life, or more particularly the letter written to observation of Maimbourg, in his history of Calhim on this subject, by George Cranmer, may see vinism, that wherever that discipline was planted by what gradations they proceeded: from the dis- and embraced, rebellion, civil war, and misery, like of cap and surplice, the very next step was attended it. And how indeed should it happen admonitions to the parliament against the whole otherwise ? Reformation of church and state has government ecclesiastical : then caine out volumes always been the ground of our divisions in England. in English and Latin in defence of their tenets: and While we were papists, our holy father rid us, by immediately practices were set on foot to erect pretending authority out of the scriptures to depose their discipline without authority. Those not suc- princes; when we shook off his authority, the ceeding, satire and railing was the next: and Mar- sectaries furnished themselves with the same weatin Mar-prelate, the Marvel of those times, was pons; and out of the same magazine, the Bible: the first presbyterian scribbler, who sanctified libels so that the scriptures, which are in themselves the and scurrility to the use of the good old cause. greatest security of governors, as commanding exWhich was done, says my author, upon this ac- press obedience to them, are now turned to their count; that, their serious treatises having been destruction; and never, since the Reformation, has fully answered and refuted, they might compass there wanted a text of their interpreting to authoby railing what they had lost by reasoning; and, rize a rebel. And it is to be noted by the way, when their cause was sunk in court and parliament, that the doctrines of king-killing and deposing, they might at least hedge in a stake amongst the which have been taken up only by the worst party rabble: for to their ignorance all things are wit of the papists, the most frontless flatterers of the which are abusive; but if church and state were pope's authority, have been espoused, defended, made the theme, then the doctoral degree of wit are still maintained by the whole body of non-conwas to be taken at Billingsgate: even the most formists and republicans. It is but dubbing themsaintlike of the party, though they durst not excuse selves the people of God, which it is the interest of this contempt and vilifying of the government, yet their preachers to tell them they are, and their were pleased, and grinned at it with a pious smile; own interest to believe; and after that, they canand called it a judgment of Gud against the not dip into the Bible, but one text or another will hierarchy. Thus sectaries, we may see, were boru turn up for their purpose; if they are under perwih teeth, foulmouthed and scurrilous from their secution, as they call it, then that is a mark of infancy: and if spiritual pride, venom, violence, their election ; if they flourish, then God works contempt of superiors, and slander, had been the miracles for their deliverance, and the saints are marks of orthodox belief; the presbytery and the to possess the earth. rest of our schismatics, which are their spawn, They may think themselves to be too roughly were always the most visible church in the Chris- handled in this paper; but I, who know best how tian world.
far I could have gone on this subject, must be bold It is true, the government was too strong at that to tell them they are spared: though at the same time for a rebellion ; but to show what proficiency time I am not ignorant that they interpret the they had made in Calvin's school, even then their mildness of a writer to them, as they do the mercy mouths watered at it: for two of their gifted bro- of the government; in the one they think it fear, therhood, Hacket and Coppinger, as the story tells and conclude it weakness in the other. The best us, got up into a pease-cart and harangued the way for them to confute me is, as I before advised people, to dispose them to' an ipsurrection, and to the papists, to disclaim their principles and re
nounce their practices. We shall all be glad to think Thus anxious thoughts in endless circles roll,
How can the less the greater comprehend ? It remains that I acquaint the reader, that these Or fivite reason reach Infinity? verses were written for an ingenious young gentle- For what could fathom God were more than He. man, my friend, upon his translation of the critical The deist thinks he stands on firmer ground; history of the Old Testament, composed by the Cries xvçixd, the mighty secret 's found: learned father Simon; the verses therefore are God is that spring of good; supreme, and best; addressed to the translator of that work, and the We made to serve, and in that service blest. style of them is, what it ought to be, epistolary. If so, some rules of worship must be given,
If any one be so lamentable a critic as to require Distributed alike to all by Heaven: the smoothness, the numbers, and the turn of Else God were partial, and to some deny'd heroic poetry in this poem; I must tell him, that the means his justice should for all provide. if he has not read Horace, I have studied him, and This general worship is to praise and pray: hope the style of his epistles is not iil imitated One part to borrow blessings, one to pay: here. The expressions of a poem designed purely And when frail Nature slides into offence, for instruction, ought to be plain and natural, and The sacrifice for crimes is penitence. yet majestic: for here the poet is presumed to be Yet, since the effects of providence, we find, a kind of lawgiver; and those three qualities which Are variously dispens'd to human kind; I have named, are proper to the legislative style. That Vice triumphs, and Virtue suffers here, The florid, elevated, and figurative way is for the A brand that sovereign justice cannot bear; passions; for love and hatred, fear and anger, are Our reason prompts us to a future state : begotten in the soul, by showing their objects out The last appeal from fortune and from fate: of their true proportion, either greater than the Where God's all-righteous ways will be declar'd; life, or less : but instruction is to be given by The bad meet punishment, the good reward. showing them what they naturally are.
A man is Thus man by his own strength to Heaven would to be cheated into passion, but to be reasoned into truth.
And would not be oblig'd to God for more.
These truths are not the product of thy mind,
But dropt from Heaven, and of a nobler kind.
And reason saw not till faith sprung the light. Dim as the borrow'd beams of Moon and stars Hence all thy natural worship takes the source: To lonely, weary, wandering travellers,
'Tis revelation what thou think'st discourse. Is reason to the soul : and as on high,
Else how com'st thou to see these truths so clear, Those rolling fires discover but the sky,
Which so obscure to heathens did appear?
Nor be whose wisdom oracles renown'd.
Hast thou a wit so deep, or so sublime, And as those nightly tapers disappear
Or canst thou lower dive, or higher climb? When day's bright lord ascends our hemisphere; Capst thou by reason more of godhead know So pale grows Reason at Religion's sight;
Than Plutarch, Seneca, or Cicero?
To one sole God.
The guiltless victim groan'd for their offence;
If sheep and oxen could atone for men,
And great oppressors might Heaven's wrath beguile, As blindly grop'd they for a future state;
By offering his own creatures for a spoil ! As rasbly judg'd of providence and fate:
Dar'st thou, poor worm, offend Infinity?
Thy easy God instructs thee to rebel :
But if there be a power too just and strong, 'The wiser madmen did for virtue toil:
To wink at crimes, and bear unpunish'd wrong A thorny, or at best a barren soil:
Look humbly upward, see his will disclose lu pleasure some their glutton souls would steep; The forfeit first, and then the fine impose : But found their line too short, the well too deep; A mulct thy poverty could never pay, And leaky vessels which no bliss could keep. Had not Eternal Wisdom found the way: