Page images

Philustr. de He

Witches and Sorcerers, which upon their conviction and penitence

Bodin have laid open the shameful rites of their nightly meetings; Nci.

Demonother was ic without cause that some of their prime agents in the mania, antiene Church were called Rofbeen tay from those filthy fashions which &c. were in use amongst them. Gnoftici borboritæ quafi conosi, ob turpitudi- Augustir nem in fuis mysteriis, &c.

Contrarily, what pleasure the pure and holy God takes in the ref: cleannesse, both of fefh, and spirit,is abundatly testifyed by to those many, and strict injunctions of lotions, and purifications, which

res: we finde, upon every occasion in his antient law; and though those lawes be not now obligatory, as being for the substance of them ceremonial and cypical, yet they have in them so much tincture of an eternall morality, as to imply a meetnesse of decent cleanlinessc in the services of God.

In the observation whereof it is meet for us to hold a midle way betwixt superstition, and neglect ; it is caly to norc how in the former extreme, a superstitious curiosity hath crepe into the Church of Rome ; in lo much as it may well vye with the Jewish, for multi- Batrol. tude and niceneffe of observances;Their Alçar-clochs must not be Gavant

, touched but with a brush appropriated to that service; their cor- pitorescente

porals must first (ere they be delivered forth ) be washed by none murdili: : but those that are in sacred orders, in a vessel proper only co that are fufelo

use, with sope and lye; and after with pure water, which after idem. the rinsing, must be poured into the sacrarium ; their chalices must Tise olix. not be touched by one that is not in Orders : No glove may be worn in their quire : No woman or lay man may make their hoft

, nci- V.Precenio ther may any lay-person lo much as look at that facred wafer out of 1bid.Guhis window; Their missalcushions may not be brought so much as

Moresin. for the Bishop to kneel on : The Stones of a demolished Church Scot, ceo

rig. Papat. may be sold to lay-men, but with reservation of uses : neither may so much as an house for the curate, be built upon the same floor, Gavant, v. bue by the Popes license : Upon the burial of an herctick within the Ecelefia. precincts the Church must be reconciled, and the walls (craped : pa ieris fic The grasle in the Church-yard may not be used to any pasturage ; Dorae their Agnus-Dei may not be touched by a Lay-man, no not with ifla.Oftat. gloves on, or with a pair of tongues: What should I instance in till Cemimore; a jułt volume would not contain the curious scruples of their 10:1a. nice observances, in their vestments, confecrations, sacramencat

Ee 2

Tit.Canon MURTI.,


[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

rites; and indeed, in the whole carriage of their religious devorions ; in all which they bring themselves back ander the bondage of more then Judaical ceremonies:placing Gods worship in the ritu al devices of men, and bringing their consciences under the servile subjection to humane impolitions; That liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free calleth us to the avoydance of this unjust excelle: But withal our reverencial fear of the God of heaven, calls us to eschew in the other extreme all sordid incuriousness, and Movenly neglect in his immediate services.

To which purpose let it pasfe for a sure rule that there is a kinde of Relative holincfs in perfons, things, cimes, places, actions : Rclacive, I lay, not inherent in themselves bur in reference to their use, and deftination ; and in the second place, that even this kind of holinesse challengeth a reverent respect from us : A person whose profeffion is holy, by his folemn consecration to God, should and ought to carry more vencration from us then cvery common man. The holy clements in the sacrament, being now set apart to this divine usc, should be otherwise regarded of us then the common bread, and wine at the Tavern : in rcfpcut of that blessed mystery whereto they are appropriated: Gods holy day is held worthy of more respect from us,then all the dayes in the year besides;and why should it not be so likewise in places and actions ? Even in our own houlcs we observe a decency, and different regard of rooms ; holding it unbesecming that the businesfes of the sculicry should be done in our parlour, or that our bed-chamber should be made a larder: And can we think it lesie uncomly to put Gods peculiar house to the use of a kitchin, or stab!c ? Surely, the service wherto it is ordained, and the name that it bears, ought to priviledge it from all cicher base, or profane imployment.

As for sacred actions, as they have more life in then the outward circumitances of time and place, fə they do justly

require more respect in the managing of them; in our petitions, if we come to carthly princes upon our knces, with an awful reverence ; how much more ought we to do so to the King of glory? In our recit of the blefsed Eucharift, our demeanure must be no other then such as may become the guests of the great King of Heaven, and the commensals of the Lord Jesus, of whom and with whom we do then communicate ; in hearing or reading the Divine Oracles, our

poremeno deporement muft be such, as may arguc our purting a difference betwixt the word of the ever-living God; and the falliblc dictates of mortal men like our felves.

And as ic is in outward decency and cleanliness, so also in the matter of cost, ur handsomencis (at least ) in the utensils and Itructures that belong to God; wherein it is a marvel how much we in this last age of the world have varied from our pecdeceffours, in che first eltablishment of Christianity: Nihil refert fire ex auro, fiue ex ligno fit Templum; fize fit statulum ficut in Bethleem, foie res gia domus ficut in ferufalem. Luth. in Pfal. 122. They thought nothing good cnough for God Almighty, we think nothing too mčan. Upon the first noise of the Gospel, when she secular Starc was not their friend, the poor Chriftians were glad to make any shift; if they could build cheir first Oracories, or Churches of sticks ( as at Glasterbury in the entrance of Christianity) they were well apay'd : or if but the bare sky were their roof, they were well enough contented; but when once Kings became nursing fathers to the Church, what cost, what magnificence was sufficient for Gods temples é Even as it was in the Elder times of Gods ancient people, at the first there was a stake pitched for the habitation of the Almighty;af. terwards there was a Tabernacle erected, and God was plea!cd 10 dwel in Tents; but when Kings were chosen by God to go in and out before his people, now a Sratly Structure, one of the wonders of the World, was raised unto God in Sion: in fo admirable beauty as dazeled the eyes of the World to behold it. When the Christian Religion then had taken foor in the empire, what lumptuous monuments were created by thac pious Constan:ine (in whom our Nation claimech a just interest ) let historics speak ; no stones were too precious, no metral was too costly for that happy use; and so powerful influence had that example upon Christian Kings and Princes, that each strove who should exceed other in the cost and splendor of thofe holy fabricks, che riches of their doration, the price of their facred vessels.; and from chem ( as from the head to the skirts,) descended to the Christian Nobility and Gentry's in fuch fort, that in a short space the face of the earth was grown proud to be adorned with so many precious piles, and the Church was grown glorious and happy with so bountifull endowments: and what shali we think of ic chat the Kings of Tarsbisb and of tbe lles did


[ocr errors][merged small]

thus bring presents, and the King of Shiba, and Saba did offer gifts ? Ps.72.10 Was it well done, or might it not better have been spared

Surely, had those Godly Emperours, Kings, Princes, Peers, Gentry, becn of the minde of many moderne Christians, they had forborne this care and cost, and curned their magnificence into another channel : But if this bounty of theirs were holy and commendable,as it hath been juftly celebrated by all Christians, till this prefent age ; how are those of ours shamefully degenerated, who affet nothing but homlinefse and beggery in all that is devoted to the

Almighty; and are ready to say contrary to the man after Gods 2 Sam. own heart; I will offer to the Lord my Ged of that which shall cost 24. 24. me nothing.

With what great state and deep expence God was served under the Law, no man can be ignorant ; for who knowes not the costly furniture of the Tabernacle, che rich habiliments of the Priest, the precious vessels for the facrifices; and after that the invaluable fumptuouiness of the Temple, both without and within ; In the marbles, cedars, almuggim trecs, brasse, silver, gold, in the curious celacures, and artificial textures ? in regard of all which for matter and forme, what was chis other then the glory of the whole carth ? and as for the very altar alone (Gods Ariel) chat which went up there from, in smoke, both in the daily sacrifices, and the folemn Hecarombs, upon special occasions, what man could valuc? Besides che treble tithes, Erft fruites, oblations which were perpetually presented to God for the maintenance of his Priesthood :o the costly services of God under the Law! And do we think the same God is now of a quite other diet, then formerly? Is all this mecr ceremony ? Is there not so much morality in it as that it is meet the great God, who is the possessour of Heaven and Earth, should be served of the best that it is not for us to affect too much cheapnesse, and neglective homelinefs in our evangelical devotions? Surely, nature it self calls to us for this reípect to a deity, even the very lavage Indians may teach us this point of religion ; amongst whom we find the Mexicans, a people that had never had any intercourse with the other three parts of the World, Eminent in this kinde ; what sumptuous, and stately Temples had they erccted to their Devils : How did they enrich their mil-called 'Gods with Magazins of their treasure? And even still the most barbarous and


[ocr errors]

brutish of all those people that bear the shape of men have this principlc bred in them, that if they have ought betrer chen other, it is for their God : a principle so much advanced by imperfc&t Christianity; that the Abafsins hold it piacular to build their own houles of the same matter which is reserved for their Churches; Fo. Pories

deforipe. of to the very fabrick and use whereof they yield so much reverence

Africk. as thar their greatest Peer alights from his horse when he comes bur within view of those facred piles.

And if from those remote parts of the world we shall think fit to look homewards; how juit cause shall we finde to wonder at the munificent piery of our predecessors, who fo freely poured out themselves into bountiful expence for raising of the houses of God in our Illand, and endowing them with rich patrimony, that the prime honor of this Nation, all the world over, hath ever been the beauty of our Churches : Neither was it otherwise in all those parcs of the World where Christianity had obtained ; How frequent was it for a wealthy marron with veština, and for a great Nobleman with the Roman Tertullus, Regna potius quam cænobis vir San&tis posteris reliquit, &c. Volaterran, to make God their heir, and Ex libro' to enrich his houses and services with the legacies of their jewels, Innscinir. and poffeflions ? Whereupon it came to passe that those structures and vessels which at the firft were bur of mud, and meaner mettals, according to the poverty of the donors ; soon after exchanged their homeliness for so glorious a magnificence, as bleared the cyes of the heathen beholders ; Sce, faith that cnemy of Christ, w what vessels Maries son is served ; and Anmianus is ready to burst with spight at the liberal provision of Gods ministers in comparison of their neglective Paganisme, ut ditenter oblationibus matrc

There may have been some in all ages, that out of a misgrounded humility, and pretended mortification have affected a willing disrefpect of all outward accommodations both in their own domcstick provisions, and in the publick services of God; such were St. Gallus of old, and in later Times, the two famous Franceses of Af- Welafrid fife, and of St. Paul:

The first whereof, Galle, as the history rc- Sorabis.183. ports, when a great Duke our of a reverent opinion of his fanctity had given him a rich and curiously carved peece of plate ; Magroaldushis Disciple who had the carriage of that pretious vessel,moving


narum, &c.

« PreviousContinue »