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verani et incommutabilem, et natura characteres stios por-
tantem ? An istam, quam propter nos suscepit, servi formaa
schemate circumamictus? Sed de forma quidem Dei nee
ipse arbitror te quaerere semel ab ipso edoctam, quoniam
neque patrem quis novit nisi filius, neque ipsum filium novit
quis aliquando digne, nisi solus paler qui eum genuit." And
a little after; " Quis ergo huiusmodi dignitatis et glorias
vibrantes et prafulgentes splendores exarare potuisset, mor-
tuis et inanimatis coloribus et scripturis umbraticis?" And
then speaking of the glory of Christ in Mount Tabor, he pro-
ceeds ; " Ergo si tune incarnata ejus forma tantam virtutem
sortita est ab inhabitante in se divinitate mutata, quid oportet
dicere cum mortalitate exutus, et corruptioue ablutus, spe-
ciem servilis formae in gloriam Domini et Dei commu-
tavit?" Where besides that Eusebius thinks it unlawful to

P Synod, vii. act. 6.



AND THE HOLY TRINITY. 177

make a picture of Christ, and therefore, consequently, much
more to make a picture of God ; he also tells Constantia, he
supposes she did not offer at any desire of that. Well, for
these three of the fathers we are well enough ; but for the
rest, the objector says that they "speak only against repre-
senting God as in his own essence, shape, or form." To this
I answer, that God hath no shape or form, and therefore
these fathers could not speak against making images of a
thing that was not ; and as for the images of his essence, no
Christian, no heathen, ever pretended to it ; and no man or
beast can be pictured so ; no painter can paint an essence.
And, therefore, although this distinction was lately made in
the Roman schools, yet the fathers knew nothing of it, and
the Roman doctors can make nothing of it, for the reasons
now told. But the gentleman saith, that ' some of their church
allow only and practise the picturing those forms, wherein
God hath appeared.' It is very well they do no more ; but, I
pray, in what forms did God the Father ever appear, or the
holy and mysterious Trinity ? Or suppose they had, does it
follow they may be painted ? We saw but now out of Euse-
bius, that it was not esteemed lawful to picture Christ,
though he did appear in a human body : and although it is
supposed that the Holy Ghost did appear in the shape of a
dove, yet it is forbidden by the sixth general council q to
paint Christ like a lamb, or the Holy Spirit like a dove. Add
to this, where did ever the holy and blessed Trinity appear
like three faces joined in one, or like an old man with Christ
crucified, leaning on his breast, and a dove hovering over
them ? and yet, however, the objector is pleased to mince
the matter, yet the doing this is " ubique inter catholicos
recepta ; " and that not only to be seen, but to be adored,
as I proved a little above by testimonies of their own.

The next charge is concerning St. Jerome, that he says no
such thing ; which matter will soon be at an end, if we see
the commentary r he makes on these words of Isaiah, " Cui
ergo similem fecisti Deuni? To whom do you liken God ?"
Or " what image will ye make for him, who is a spirit, and

J Concil. Constantinop. can. 82.

T In cap. xL Isai. Aut quam imaginem ponetis ei, qui spiritus est, et in
omnibus est, et ubique discurrit, et terrain quasi pugillo continet ? Simulque
irridet stultitiam nationum, quod artifex sive faber aerarius, aut aurifex aut
argentarius Deum sibi facial.

VOL. XI. N



178 OF PICTURING GOD THE FATHER,

is in all things, and runs every where, and holds the earth in
his fist? And he laughs at the folly of the nations, that an
artist, or a brazier, or a goldsmith, or a silversmith, makes a
god, viz. by making the image of God." But the objector
adds, that it would be long to set down the words of the other
fathers quoted by the Doctor : and truly the Doctor thought
so too at first ; but hecause the objector says they do not
make against what some of his church own and practise, I
thought it might be worth the reader's pains to see them.

The words of St. Austin in this question are very plain
and decretory : " For a Christian to place such an image to
God (viz. with right and left hand, sitting with bended
knees, that is, in the shape of a man), is wickedness ; but
much more wicked is it to place it in our hearts." 5 But of
this I have given an account in the preceding section.

Theodoret, Damascen, and Nicephorus, do so expressly
condemn the picturing God, that it is acknowledged by rny ad-
versaries ; only they fly for succour to the old ' mumpsimus ; '
they condemn the picturing the .essence of God, but not his
forms and appearances ; a distinction which those good old
writers never thought of, but directly they condemned all
images of God and the Holy Trinity. And the bishops in the
seventh synod, though they were worshippers of images, yet
they thinking that angels were corporeal, believed they
might be painted, but denied it of God expressly. And in-
deed it were a strange thing that God in the Old Testament
should so severely forbid any image to be made of him, upon
this reason, because he is invisible ; and he presses it passion-
ately, by calling it to their memory, that they heard a voice,
but saw no shape ; and yet that both he had formerly and
did afterward shew himself, in shapes and forms which might
be painted, and so the very reason of the commandment be
wholly void. To which add this consideration, that although
the angels did frequently appear, and consequently had forms
possible to be represented in imagery, yet none of the
ancients did suppose it lawful to paint angels, but they
that thought them to be corporeal. Tbv aogarov slxovoyoapsTv Jj
ovx, Stfiov, said Philo.' To which purpose is that



De Fide et Syrab. c. vii. Tale enim simulacrum Deo nefas est Christiuno
in templo collocare, multo magis in corde nefarium est ubi vere templum est.
' Lib. de Legat.



AND THE HOLY TRINITY. 179

of Seneca, "Effugit oculos, cogitatione visendus est : " u and
Antiphanes said of God, ' Op0aA/z,o% ou% ogarai ov&ivi tows,
8i6mg avrbv ix/AadiTv ii~ tixovo; ovfteis dvvarai' " God is not seen
with eyes, he is like to no man ; therefore no man can by
an image know him." By which it appears plainly to be
the general opinion of the ancients, that whatever was incor-
poreal was not to be painted, no, though it had appeared in
symbolical forms, as confessedly the angels did. And of this
the second synod of Nice* itself is a sufficient witness ; the
fathers of which did all approve the epistle of John, bishop
of Thessalonica, in which he largely discourses against the
picturing of any thing that is incorporeal. He that pleases
to see more of this affair, may find much more, and to very
great purpose, in a little book ' de Imaginibus,' y in the first
book of the Greek and Latin ' Bibliotheca Patrum ; ' out of
which I shall only transcribe these words : " Non esse faci-
endum imagines Dei ; imo si quis quid simile attentaverit,
hunc extremis suppliciis, veluti Ethnicis communicantem
dogmatis, subjici." Let them translate it that please, only
I remember that Aventinus 2 tells a story, that Pope John the
Twenty-second caused to be burnt for heretics, those persons
who had painted the Holy Trinity ; which I urge for no
other reason but to shew how late an innovation of religion
this is in the Church of Rome. The worship of images came
in by degrees, and it was long resisted ; but, until of late, it
never came to the height of impiety as to picture God, and
to worship him by images : but this was the state and last
perfection of this sin, and hath spoiled a great part of
Christianity, and turned it back to Ethnicism.

But that I may sum up all ; I desire the Roman doctors
to weigh well the words of one of their own popes, Gregory
It. : a to the question, * Cur tamen Patrem Domini nostri Jesu
Christi non oculis subjicimus? Why do we not subject the
Father of our Lord Jesus to the eyes?' he answers, " Quo-
mam Dei natura spectanda proponi non potest ac fingi ;
The nature of God cannot be exposed to be beheld, nor
yet feigned." He did not conclude, that therefore we can-
not make the image of his essence, but none at all, nothing

" Natur. q. 8, 30. * Act. v.

i P. 734. &c. * Annal. Biorum, lib. vii.

In Epistola quam Baronius Graec edidit torn ix. Aunal. ad A. D. 726, ia
margine.



180 OF PICTURING GOD THE FATHER, &C.

of him to be exposed to the sight. And that this is his
direct and full meaning, besides his own words, we may
conclude from the. note which Baronius makes upon it.
" Postea in usu venisse, ut pingatur in ecclesia Pater et
Spiritus Sanctus ; Afterward it became a use in the Church
(viz. the Roman) to paint the Father and the Holy Ghost.''
And therefore besides the impiety of it, the Church of
Rome is guilty of innovation in this particular also, which
was the thing I intended to prove.



TWO LETTERS

TO

PERSONS CHANGED IN THEIR RELIGION.

ALSO,

THREE LETTERS

TO A

GENTLEMAN THAT WAS TEMPTED TO THE COMMUNION OF

THE ROMISH CHURCH.



'Qvoimu; u,i m <? KtxTtiftivof iraigov;, nxrcuToi; pi* 6<p0x\/xa~s a. Se? fixivrii.

Dio,i. Orut. i. deResno.



TWO LETTERS,

frc.



LETTER I.

To a Gentlewoman seduced to the Church of Rome.

M. B.

I WAS desirous of an opportunity in London to have dis-
coursed with you concerning something of nearest concern-
ment to you ; but the multitude of my little affairs hindered
me, and have brought upon you this trouble to read a long
letter; which yet I hope you will be more willing to do,
because it comes from one who hath a great respect to your
person, and a very great charity to your soul. I must con-
fess I was on your behalf troubled, when I heard you were
fallen from the communion of the Church of England, and
entered into a voluntary, unnecessary schism, and departure
from the laws of the king, and the communion of those with
whom you have always lived in charity ; going against those
laws, in the defence and profession of which your husband
died; going from the religion in which you were baptized,
in which for so many years you lived piously and hoped for
heaven ; and all this without any sufficient reason, without
necessity or just scandal ministered to you : and to aggravate
all this, you did it in a time when the Church of England
was persecuted, when she was marked with the charac-
terisms of her Lord, the marks of the cross of Jesus, that
is, when she suffered for a holy cause and a holy conscience,
when the Church of England was more glorious than at any
time before ; even when she could shew more martyrs and
confessors than any church this day in Christendom ; even
then when a king died in the profession of her religion,
and thousands of priests, learned and pious men, suffered
the spoiling of their goods rath'er than they would forsake
one article of so excellent a religion : so that seriously it is



184 LETTER I. TO ONE SEDUCED

not easily to be imagined that any thing should move you,
unless it be that which troubled the perverse Jews, and the
heathen Greek, ' scandalum crucis, the scandal of the
cross.' You stumbled at that rock of offence ; you left us be-
cause we were afflicted, lessened in outward circumstances,
and wrapped in a cloud : but give me leave only to remind
you of that sad saying of the Scripture, that you may avoid
the consequent of it ; " They that fall on this stone, shall be
broken in pieces ; but they on whom it shall fall, shall be
grinded to powder." And if we should consider things but
prudently, it is a great argument that the sons of our church
are very conscientious and just in their persuasions, when it
is evident that we have no temporal end to serve, nothing
but the great end of our souls ; all our hopes of preferment
are gone, all secular regards ; only we still have truth on our
sides, and we are not willing, with the loss of truth, to change
from a persecuted to a prosperous church, from a reformed
4o a church that will not be reformed ; lest we give scandal
to good people that suffer for a holy conscience, and weaken
the hands of the afflicted ; of which if you had been more
careful, you would have remained much more innocent.

But I pray, give me leave to consider for you, because
you in your change, considered so little for yourself. What
fault, what false doctrine, what wicked and dangerous pro-
position, what defect, what amiss, did you find in the doc-
trine, and liturgy, and discipline of the Church of England ?

For its doctrine, it is certain it professes the belief of all
that is written in the Old and New Testament, all that which
is in the three creeds, the apostolical, the Nicene, and that
of Athanasius, and whatsoever was decreed in the four gene-
ral councils, or in any other truly such ; and whatsoever was
condemned in these, our church hath legally declared it to be
heresy. And upon these accounts, above four whole ages of
the Church went to heaven ; they baptized all their catechu-
mens into this faith, their hopes of heaven were upon this
and a good life, their saints and martyrs lived and died in
this alone, they denied communion to none that professed
this faith. 'This is the catholic faith,' so saith the creed of
Athanasius ; and unless a company of men have power to
alter the faith of God, whosoever live and die in this faith,
are entirely catholic and Christian. So that the Church of



TO THE CHURCH OF ROME. 185

England hath the same faith without dispute that the Church
had for four or five hundred years ; and therefore there could
he nothing wanting here to saving faith, if we live according
to our belief.

For the liturgy of the Church of England, I shall not
need to say much, because the case will be very evident;
1. Because the disputers of the Church of Rome have not
been very forward to object any thing against it, they can-
not charge it with any evil : 2. Because for all the time of
King Edward the Sixth, and till the eleventh year of Queen
Elizabeth, your people came to our churches, and prayed
with us, till the bull of Pius the Fifth came out upon tempo-
ral regards, and made a schism by forbidding the queen's
subjects to pray as by law was here appointed, though the
prayers were good and holy, as themselves did believe. That
bull enjoined recusancy, and made that, which was an act of
rebellion, and disobedience, and schism, to be the character
of your Roman Catholics. And after this, what can be sup-
posed wanting in order to salvation ? We have the word of
God, the faith of the apostles, the creeds of the Primitive
Church, the articles of the four first general councils, a holy
liturgy, excellent prayers, perfect sacraments, faith and re-
pentance, the ten commandments, and the sermons of Christ,
and all the precepts and counsels of the Gospel. We teach
the necessity of good works, and require and strictly exact
the severity of a holy life ; we live in obedience to God, and
are ready to die for him, and do so when he requires us so
to do ; we speak honourably of his most holy name, we wor-
ship him at the mention of his name, we confess his attri-
butes, we love his servants, we pray for all men, we love all
Christians, even our most erring brethren : we confess our
sins to God and to our brethren whom we have offended,
and to God's ministers in cases of scandal or of a troubled
conscience : we communicate often, we are enjoined to re-
ceive the holy sacrament thrice every year at least : our
priests absolve the penitent, our bishops ordain priests, and
confirm baptized persons, and bless their people and inter-
cede for them ; and what could here be wanting to salvation ?
what necessity forced you from us? I dare not suspect it was
a temporal regard that drew you away, but I am sure it could
be no spiritual.



186 LETTER I. TO ONE SEDUCED

But now that I have told you, and made you to consider
from whence you went ; give me leave to represent to you,
and tell you whither you are gone, that you may understand
the nature and conditions of your change : for do not think
yourself safe, because they tell you that you are come to the
Church ; you are indeed gone from one church to another,
from a better to a worse, as will appear in the induction,
the particulars of which before I reckon, give me leave to
give you this advice ; if you mean in this affair to under-
stand what you do, it were better you inquired what your
religion is, than what your church is ; for that which is a
true religion to-day, will be so to-morrow and for ever ', but
that which is a holy church to-day, may be heretical at the
next change, or may betray her trust, or obtrude new ar-
ticles in contradictions to the old, or by new interpretations
may elude ancient truths, or may change your creed, or may
pretend to be the spouse of Christ when she is idolatrous,
that is, adulterous to God : your religion is that which you
must, and therefore may, competently understand ; you must
live in it, and grow in it, and govern all the actions of your
life by it ; and in all questions concerning the Church, you
are to choose your church by the religion, and therefore
this ought first and last to be inquired after.

Whether the Roman Church be the catholic Church, must
depend upon so many uncertain inquiries, is offered to be
proved by so long, so tedious a method, hath in it so many
intrigues and labyrinths of question, and is, like a long line,
so impossible to be perfectly straight, and to have no decli-
nation in it when it is held up by such a hand as yours ; that
unless it be by material inquiries into the articles of the re-
ligion, you can never hope to have just grounds of confi-
dence. In the meantime you can consider this : if the Ro-
man Church were the catholic, that is, so as to exclude all
that are not of her communion, then the Greek churches had as
good turn Turks as remain damned Christians ; and all that
are in the communion of all the other patriarchal churches
in Christendom, must also perish like heathens ; which thing
before any man can believe, he must have put off all reason,
and all modesty, and all charity. And who can with any
probability think that 'the communion of saints' in the creed
is nothing but ' the communion of Roman subjects,' and the



TO THE CHURCH OF ROME. 187

article of the ' catholic Church' was made up to dispark the
enclosures of Jerusalem, but to turn them into the pale of
Rome, and the Church is as limited as ever it was, save only
that the synagogue is translated to Rome, which I think you
will easily believe was a proposition the apostles understood
not. But though it be hard to trust to it, it is also so hard to
prove it, that you shall never be able to understand the mea-
sures of that question, and therefore your salvation can never
depend upon it. For no good or wise person can believe
that God hath tied our salvation to impossible measures, or
bound us to an article that is not by us cognoscible, or
intends to have us conducted by that which we cannot
understand.

And when you shall know that learned men, even of the
Roman party, are not agreed concerning the catholic Church
that is infallibly to guide you ; some saying that it is the
virtual Church, that is, the pope ; some, that it is the repre-
sentative Church, that is, a council ; some, that it is the pope
and the council, the virtual Church and the representative
Church together ; some, that neither of these, nor both to-
gether, are infallible ; but only, the essential Church, or the
diffusive Church, is the catholic, from whom we must at no
hand dissent ; you will quickly find yourself in a wood, and
uncertain whether you have more than a word in exchange
for your soul, when you are told you are in the catholic
Church.

But I will tell you what you may understand, and see, and
feel, something that yourself can tell whether I say true or
no concerning it. You are now gone to a church that pro-
tects itself by arts of subtil ty^ and arms, by violence and per-
secuting all that are not of their minds, to a church in which
you are to be a subject of the king so long as it pleases the
pope : in which you may be absolved from your vows made
to God, your oaths to the king, your promises to men, your
duty to your parents in some cases : a church in which men
pray to God, and to saints in the same form of words in
which they pray to God, as you may see in the offices of
saints, and particularly of our lady ; a church in which men
are taught by most of the principal leaders to worship images
with the same worship with which they worship God and
Christ, or him or her whose image it is, and in which



188 LETTER I. TO. ONE SEDUCED

they usually picture God the Father and the Holy Trinity, to
the great dishonour of that sacred mystery, against the doc-
trine and practice of the Primitive Church, against the ex-
press doctrine of Scripture, against the honour of a Divine
attribute, I mean, the immensity and spirituality of the Di-
vine nature ; you are gone to a church that pretends to be
infallible, and yet is infinitely deceived in many particulars,
and yet endures no contradiction, and is impatient her child-
ren should inquire into any thing her priests obtrude. You
are gone from receiving the whole sacrament to receive it
but half; from Christ's institution to a human invention,
from Scripture to uncertain traditions, and from ancient tra-
ditions to new pretences, from prayers which ye understood
to prayers which ye understand not, from confidence in God
to rely upon creatures, from entire dependence upon inward'
acts to a dangerous temptation of resting too much in out-
ward ministries, in the external work of sacraments and of
sacramentals. You are gone from a church whose worship-
ping is simple, Christian, and apostolical, to a church where
men's consciences are laden with a burden of ceremonies
greater than that in the days of the Jewish religion (for the
' Ceremonial of the Church of Rome' is a great book in folio),
greater, I say, than all the ceremonies of the Jews contained
in Leviticus, &c. You are gone from a Church where vou

C J

were exhorted to read the word of God, the Holy Scriptures,
from whence you found instruction, institution, comfort, re-
proof, a treasure of all excellences, to a church that seals
up that fountain from you, and gives you drink by drops out
of such cisterns ns they first make, and then stain, and then
reach out. And if it be told you that some men abuse Scrip-
ture, it is true ; for if your priests had not abused Scripture,
they could not thus have abused you : but there is no ne-
cessity they should, and you need not, unless you list;
any more than you need to abuse the sacraments or de-
crees of the Church, or the messages of your friend, or the
letters you receive, or the laws of the land ; all which
are liable to be abused by evil persons, but not by good
people and modest understandings. It is now become a
part of your religion to be ignorant, to walk in blindness,
to believe the man that hears your confessions, to hear
none but him, not to hear God speaking but by him, and so



TO THE CHURCH OF ROME. 189

you are liable to be abused by him, as he please, without
remedy. You are gone from us, where you were only taught
to worship God through Jesus Christ, and now you are
taught to worship saints and angels with a worship at least
dangerous, and in some things proper to God ; for your
church worships the Virgin Mary with burning incense and
candles, to her, and you give her presents, which by the con-
sent of all nations used to be esteemed a worship peculiar to
God, and it is the same thing which was condemned for
heresy in the Collyridians, who offered a cake to the Virgin
Mary ; a candle and a cake make no difference in the wor-
ship ; and your joining God and the saints in your worship
and devotions, is like the device of them that fought for king
and parliament, the latter destroys the former. I will trou-
ble you with no more particulars, because if these move you
not to consider better, nothing can.

But yet 1 have two more things to add of another nature,
one of which at least may prevail upon you, whom I suppose
to have a tender and a religious conscience.

The first is, That all the points of difference between us
and your church are such as do evidently serve the ends of
covetousness and ambition, of power and riches ; and so
stand vehemently suspected of design and art, rather than
truth of the article, and designs upon heaven. I instance in
the pope's power over princes and all the world ; his power
of dispensation, the exemption of the clergy from jurisdiction



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