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“But if any shall strive to set up his Ephod and Teraphim of antiquity against the brightness and perfection of the gospel, let him fear lest he and his Baal be turned into Bosheth. And thus much may suffice to shew that the pretended Episcopacy cannot be deduced from the apostolical times.”
Nor was he friendly to the system of ministers being paid from tythes and other church revenues, which the Puritans, who now possessed the livings, could prove to be jure Divino with infinite ease! not excelled in their conclusive arguments even by their predecessors, whether Episcopalians or Papists. “The present ecclesiastical revenues,” he says,
were not at first the effects of just policy or wholesome laws, but of the superstitious devotion of princes and great men who knew no better; or of the base importunity of begging friars, haunting and harassing the death-beds of men departing this life, in a blind and wretched condition of hope to merit heaven, for the building of churches, cloysters, and convents; the black revenues of purgatory, the price of abused and dered souls, the damned simony of Trentals, and the hire of indulgencies to commit mortal
Before concluding my extracts from this work, I introduce the following humourous satire of
those who shouted, “No bishop! No king!” in a letter to a friend.
“SIR,-Can mischief be nearer hand, than when bishops shall openly affirm that “No bishop! No king? A trim paradox, and they may know where they have been a begging for it. I will fetch you the twin brother to it out of the Jesuit's cell; they, feeling the axe of God's reformation, hewing at the old and rotten trunk of Papacy, and finding the Spaniard their surest friend and safest refuge, to sooth him up in his dream of a fifth monarchy, and withal to uphold the decrepit Papalty, have invented this super-politick aphorism, as one terms it, “One Pope and one king!'
“ The little ado which I find in undertaking these pleasant sophisms, puts me into the mind to tell you a tale before I proceed further, and Menenius Agrippa speed us.
"A TALE OF THE HEAD AND THE WEN.
Upon a time the body summoned all the members to meet in the guild for the common good, (as Æsop's Chronicles draw many stranger accidents;) the head by right takes the first seat, and next to it a huge and monstrous wen, little less than the head itself, growing to it by a narrow excrescency.
The members arranged began to
ask one another what he was that took place next their chief: none could resolve, whereat the wen, though unwieldy, with much ado gets up, and bespeaks the assembly to this purpose;—that as in place he was second to the head, so by due of merit; that he was to it an ornament, and strength, and of special near relation; and that if the head should fail, none were fitter than himself to slip into his place; therefore he thought it for the honour of the body, that such dignities and rich endowments should be deemed him, as did adorn and set out the noblest members. To this was answered, that it should be consulted. There was a wise and learned philosopher sent for, that knew all the charters, laws, and tenures of the body; on him it is imposed by all, as chief counsellor, to examine and discuss the claim and petition of right put in by the wen ; who soon hearing the matter, and wondering at the boldness of such a swoln tumour ; Wilt thou, (quoth he,) that art but a bottle of vitious and hardened excrements, contend with the lawful and free-born members, whose certain number is set by ancient and unimpeachable statute? Head thou art none, though thou receive this huge substance from it.. What offices bearest thou? What good canst thou show done by thee to the common weal? The wen, not easily dasht, replies, that his office was his glory; for as oft as the soul would retire out
of the head, from over the steaming vapours of the lower parts to divine contemplations, with him she found the purest and quickest retreat, as being most remote from soil and disturbance:
Lourdan,' quoth the philosopher, “thy folly is as great as thy filth; know that all the faculties of the soul are confined of old to their several vessels and ventricles, from which they cannot part without dissolution of the whole body; and that thou containest no good thing in thee, but a heap of hard and loathsome uncleanness, and art to the head a foul disfigurement and burden. When I have cut thee off and opened thee, as by the help of these implements I will do, all men shall know."
Some minister, said by Milton to be a son of Bishop Hall, in writing against his Animadversions on Bishop Usher's book, had called it “a scurrilous libel;” and not content with this, had treated the author with the greatest contempt, using defaming language and personal reflections. In his reply, entitled, “ Modest confutation of a slanderous and scandalous Libel, by John Milton, gent.” he proves himself to have been a match for his antagonist even in scurrillity and calling hard names. Speaking of the university, men, he says, “What with truanting and debauchery, what with false grounds, and the weakness of natural faculties in many of them
(it being a maxim with some men to send the simplest of their sons thither,) perhaps there would be found among them as many unsolid and corrupted judgments, both in doctrine and life, as in any other two corporations of the like bigness. This is undoubted, that if any carpenter, smith, or weaver, were such a bungler in his trade, as the greater number of them are in their profession, he would starve for any custom: and should he exercise his manufacture as little as they do their talents, he would forget his art: or, should he mistake his tools as they do theirs, he would mar all the work he took in hand. How few among them that know how to write or speak in a pure stile, much less to distinguish the ideas and various kinds of stile. In Latin barbarous, and oft not without solecisms, declaiming in rugged and miscellaneous gear, blown together by the four winds; and in their choice preferring the gay rankness of APULEIUS, ArnoBIUS, or any modern Fustianist, before the native Latinisms of CICERO. In the Greek tongue most of them unlettered, or unentered to any sound proficiency in those Attic masters of wisdom or eloquence. In the Hebrew text, except it be some few of them, their letters are utterly uncircumcised. No less are they out of the way in philosophy, pestering their heads with the sapless dotages of old Pan's and Salamanca,"