« IndietroContinua »
Thus have you papists, through many generations, « received for doctrine the precepts of men, who for much speaking, and facrificing of your own inventions, expect to be heard, whilst in the lustful, wanton, ignorant, and killing nature, which has been always shedding the precious blood of those whom God in every age raised to testify against your superstitions and will - worships: therefore woes from God Almighty to that Romish whore, who has corrupted the nations, “ and sits upon a scarlet-coloured beast “ full of names of blafphemy, drunk with the blood “ of saints, and martyrs of Jesus'; the hour of her • desolation is nigh, and in the cup which she hath “ filled, shall it be filled unto her double; for strong “ is the Lord God of hosts who judgeth her.”
Come now, you that are called Protestants, however denominated or distinguished, who profess the scriptures for the rule of life and doctrine, stand
trial by them: and first those who are called Episcopalians, who date your religion from the martyrs: that those who firft protested against the darkness and gross idolatry of the popish antichrift, were directed thereto, and supported therein, by the mighty power of God, is not denied; and that the seals of blood they set to recommend their testimonies to posterity, are with us in high esteem, I openly affirm and declare: but that you of the church of England (who now persecute us) have any more to do with them than had the Jews and Pharisees, who crucified the Lord of life, with Abraham, Moses, and the prophets, is as positively disowned: for as they were out of the life and spirit of those holy men, (though building and garnishing their sepulchres, and making great profession with their words) insomuch as that they few those whom God sent in the same spirit, to preach a farther glory, and to discover a more excellent way; so are you out of the power and spirit your forefathers lived
& Mat. xv. g. Rev. xvii. 3, 4, 6. Chap. xviii, 6, 8. A&ts
and died in, professing their words, but persecuting the same spirit in others, and crucifying it in yourfelves: no wonder therefore you have made so little progress since the first dawning of reformation, being not yet got out of the borders of Babylon's form, and altogether in her lustful, proud, persecuting, and wicked nature: for have not you, protestant princes, condemned that in others, which you have and do allow in yourselves, contrary to your forefathers protestations? Did you not return severe persecutions, not only upon the heads of the Roman Catholicks in Queen Elizabeth's time, who esteemed it antichristian in them, but even your fellow-protestants, who through zeal for God, declared against your backslidings? Witness her severity, and what followed in the reigns of James, and the deceased Charles, but more' particularly the many thousands now of late that have been clubbed, bruised, imprisoned, exiled, poisoned to death by stinking dungeons, and ruined in their outward estates, contrary to law, christian or human : therefore well may I take up the lamentation and reproof that was of old, « Ye make offenders for a word, and lay “ a snare for him that reproveth in the gate : ye turn “ aside the just for a thing of nought, d and lay bur“ dens upon the backs of the righteous, whilst evil“ doers pass unpunished; you store up violence in
your palaces, and many are the oppressed that are “ amongst you: yet do not your priests prophesy “ smooth things, that few pillows under your arms, “ and cry peace? who provoke you to Nay those, by “ executing cruel acts, that should not die, and preach
safety to them that should not live, like greedy
dogs, shepherds that cannot understand, they all “ look for gain from their quarters; they teach for “ hire; they divine for money, and you all judge for re“ wards;" for all which abominations God is departed, « vision is ceased, the sun is gone down over you,
d Isa. xxix, 21. Amos iii. 10. Jer. xxiii. 17. Ezek. xiii. 19, 20. Ifa, Ivi. 10, 11. Mic. iii. 5, 6, 11.
" and your day is turned into thick darkness :" therefore it is you deny the necesity as well as the present enjoyment of revelation to any, though without it, as Christ faith, “no man can know God, whom to know “ is life eternal•;" and place the ground of divine knowledge in human arts and sciences, that thereby you may ingross a function to yourselves, and keep up your trade of yearly gain upon the poor people; preaching sin for term of life, thereby rendering invalid the glorious power of the second 'Adam, and indulging people in transgresion; though “ he that committeth is fin is of the devil, and without holiness none shall « fee God'; ministers he never sent, but were commissionated by men, void of the Holy Ghost, and therefore ye profit not the people; a badge inseparable to lying prophets, who run in their own name.
Come and tell me now, ye of the church of England, that say the scriptures are your rule, where do they own such persecutors, false prophets, tithe-mongers, deniers of revelations, opposers of perfection, men-pleasers, time-servers, unprofitable teachers (witness the abominations of the land) extollers of human learning, as the only way to know God; admirers of universities, (signal places for idleness, looseness, profaneness, prodigality, and gross ignorance;) and where do we find the prophets, apostles, and servants of the Lord, to live in worldly pomp, poffefs hundreds and thousands a year, be called lords of their brethren, and exercise civil and spiritual jurisdiction over the bodies and souls of Christians in their days? Whence came your forms of prayers, and church-government; from the scriptures of truth, and the practice of the primitive Chriftians, or the mass-book, and popish canons ? Where is it that mass-houses are called churches ? and what precedent do you find for litanies, responses, singing, choristers, organs, altars, bowing, surplices, square caps, hoods, rochets, fonts, babybaptism, holy days, " (as you call them) with much
• John xvii, 3. John iii, 8. Heb. xii. 14. Jer. xxiii. 32. more such like dirty trash, and foul superstition ? Are these your scripture doctrines, and this the spiritual worship of the holy Jesus, his apostles, and the ancient Christians ? Stand up and answer me, ye mem. bers of the church of England; but are they not the offspring of that idolatrous popish generation, amounting at best to will-worship, which is abominable to the God of heaven, who is now breaking forth in vengeance, to thunder down and consume all the fair buildings, and pleasant pictures of Babylonish inventions ? Therefore from you may I expect an answer to the question I asked the Romanists, in what nature and spirit is it, o princes, priests, and people, you hold and profess religion, and worship towards God? Is it the divine and heavenly one, which is pure and perfect? Are you baptized by the Holy Ghost, and with fire 8; crucified through the daily cross to the world; born again, and your affections set on things above h? But alas, poor souls ! are you not at have mercy upcon us miserable sinners, there is no health in us, from seven to seventy ? and as in truth it is to the shame of religion, and destruction of human society; how do you abound in evil! equalizing, if not outstripping papists and heathens (against whom you protest in words) in all kinds of impiery: therefore, “Wo unto you protestants, that are mighty to drink strong « drink, that give your neighbours drink, and put « the bottle to them that they may be drunk'; that put
far away the evil day, and cause the seat of vi“ olence to come near; that lie upon beds of ivory, " and stretch yourselves upon your couches; that eat “ the fat of the flock, and drink the sweet of the “ vine; that anoint yourselves with the chief oint“ments; that chant 10 the found of the viol, and in“ vent to yourselves instruments of musick, but con“ sider not the alictions of Joseph k.” How sport you away your precious time, as if ye were born not
* Acts xix, 2, 3, 4, 5.
h Col. iii.
i Ifa. v. il, 12. vi. 3, 4, 5, 6.
to die, at least never to be judged ? O what swearing, what uncleanness, what drunkenness, what profanation, what vanity, what pride, what expence, what patching, what painting, what lascivious intrigues, what wanton appointments, what publick unclean houses, what merry masks, what luftful insinuating treats at your plays, parks, mulberry and spring-gardens, with whatsoever else may please the lustful eye, and gratify the wanton mind! Is not this your case and practice, ye gallants, young and old, men and women ? and by these courses, have not debts surprized your estates, poverty plenty, diseases health, debauchery chastity ? Whole families ruined both in soul and body; yea, such a deluge of intemperance has so overwhelmed the nations, that hard it is to light upon fobriety and virtue.
Well, my friends, when I ruminate on these things, my heart affects mine eye, and grief overcomes my soul for your fakes: repent therefore, Oye protestants, or else know, " that for all these things God Alınighty “ will bring you to judgment';” and in the day that his indignation shall be kindled, your religion of words shall fly away, and your Lord Lord-cryings shall be rejected, because you were strangers to the spiritual nature (though babblers of the name) of true christianity, and therefore shall ye perish by the sword.
Now as for you separatists of divers names, although I shall not disallow the zeal that once you had, yet must I on God's behalf bear my testimony concerning you; therefore be it known unto all, “ that you are “ teaching and receiving for doctrine the traditions of « men,” running and striving in your own spirits,
compassing yourfelves with the sparks of your own
fire,” being not yet come to stand still and know that will done on earth which is done on heaven : you tell people, Christ Jesus has suffered and satisfied for sins past, present, and to come; and that though they
1 Mat. vii. 21.
m Isa. 1. 11.