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Grace, and is in Use every Day. And at Rome they are counted Atheists who have not Faith in these things. So much they Place their Religion in them!
L. The Disenters Object all this to you, as to your Rites, Ceremonies, Habits, &c.
G. But without any Ground, for we Consecrate none of these things, nor do we attribute any Vertue, Ghostly or Bodily to the use of them, as to the Wearing a Surplice, hearing a Bell or an Organ, &c. they are purely for Decency and Order, and we may Change them, or take them quite away every Day, as our Governours think fit. Can they shew any outward Action or Thing appointed in our Church, by the use of which Evil Spirits may be Chased away, Women helped in Labour, or Storms at Sea quell'd; All which and many more Vertues are attributed in your Church to the use of what you call Holy Water, and many other such like Institutions of Mechanical Means of Grace.
(31.) But that which makes up the Bulk of the Romiso Devotions is, the Worship and Invocation of Saints and Angels, the Adoration of their Images, and of the Reliques of Saints departed, Pieces of their Bodies or of their Vestments, &c. to which great Miracles are attributed, and therefore they are made, strictly and properly, Means of Grace.
L. We desire the Prayers of one another upon Earth, why not much rather of the Saints and Angels in Heaven.
G. Because the one is Commanded, the other not, nay Forbidden, as I will new you.
L. It seems to be giving greater Glory to God, and more Humility in us, not to Approach His Presence directly and immediately our selves, as we do not to an Earthly King, but by the Introduction and Recommendation of fome eminent Courtier whom we know to be in His Favour. PG, Your Simile will Halt on all Four, for God is nearer to us than any Saint or Angel; in God we Live and Move and have our Being but the Angels and Saints departed are 'ar distance from us, and we know not where to find them, or that they hear our Prayers, for they are not every where, That is an Attribute of God alone.
L. Therefore our School.men fay, they see our Prayers in Speculo Trinitatis, in the Looking Glass of God.
G. Do they see every thing in that Looking-Glafs? Then they know as much as God! But if not, then how do we know they see our Prayers there? And how will this fort with your Simile of an Earthly King, that the Courtier must go to the King to know what I desired the Courtier to Ask of Him.
Abrabam is the Father of us all.
Rom. iv. 26. And he was called the Friend of God. Therefore it is likely that he saw. Jām. ii. 23. as far into that Looking-Glass as another. Yet it is said, Ifa. Ixiji. 16. That Abraham is ignorant of us. And are pot we as Ignorant of their State, and what Knowledge they have of us below? We are told that they have no knowledge of it. His Sons
Job xiv.21. come to honour, and be knoweth it not; and they are brought low, but be perceiveth it not of them.
L. It is faid, that the Angels of Heaven re joice over a Sinner that Repenterb.
G. That is when ic pleaseth God to let them know it, or that the Sinner comes thither. But that they know of every Penitent upon Earth, is no where said, nor do I know it Arferred by any.
But instead of the School-Mens LookingGlass and their vain Philosophy, if we would look into the plain Directions of Holy Scripture, we should settle our felves upon a much surer Foundation. See then what the Apostle says upon the very Cafe in hand, Let no Man beguile you of your Reward in a voluntary Humility (or being a voluntary in Humili
Col.ii.18,19. ty, as our Margin reads it) and Worshipping of Angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puff'd ap by his fleshly Mind; and not holding the Head, from which all the Body by Joints and Bands having Nourishment Ministred, and knit
together together, increaseth with the increase of God. And after says, ver.23. Which things have indeed a Shew of Wisdom in Will Worship and HuPretensions for this Will.io'r Angels, for both go upon the same Foot. It is called, Intruding into things we have not seen, of which we are altogether Uncertain, and therefore Sinful in the Practice, by the Apostles Rule, Rom. xiv. 23. That whatsoever is not of Faith, is Sin. This was spoke in respect of Meats, but is much more lo as to our Worship and Solemn Devotions to GOD ---Your Comparison of Accels to an Earthly King, is here called a Fleshly or Cars nal Thought, measuring God after the Manner of Men And the Result of this is no less than losing our Reward, that is, Heaven for it is forsaking the Head, which is Chrift, whose Members we are, and receive Nourite ment from Him; not so from Saints or Angels; God has given Christ to Us as the One Mediator between God and Men, i Tim. ii. 5. But we have made to our felves many Mediators to Allist and Help Him, as if his Mediation and Intercession were not Sufficient. And we make more Applications to Them than to Him, or to God himself. You have Ten Ave Maria's for One Pater Nolter.
And you have Multiplyed these Saints to your selves without Number, like the Heathen Deities, and New Canonizations are going on every Day. Every Country, City, Parish, and
almost Perfon have a particular Saint for their Patron. You have Saints, as they had Gods, for the Sea, for the Air, Fire, &c. for Peace, for War, for Learning, and all sorts of Trades and Occupations. St. Christopher and St. Clement are for the Sea, especially the Virgin Mary to whom the Sea Men Sing Ave Maris Steda. St. Agatha is for the Fire, and they make Letters on her Day to quench Fire with. St. Nicholas and St. Gregory are for Scholars, St. Luke for Painters, &c. And they have Saints for all Diseases, St. Cornelis cures the Falling-Sickness, St. Roche the Pox, St. Apollonia the Tooth-Ach, &c. And they have particular Saints for all Beasts and Cattle, St. Loy presides over the Horses, and St. Anthony Over the Swine, &c. And they bring their Cattle to be Blesled by these Saints on their
particular Days. And they Pray to these Saints jointly with God, a Scholar fays, God and St. Nicholas be my Speed. And when one Sneezes, God help and St. John. And to a Horse if he Stumbles, God and St. Loy fave thee, &c. And upon every Surprize they cry, felu Maria.
(32.) L. You should not compare these to the Dæmons of the Heathens, for they were Evil Spirits. And they called them Gods.
G. The Word Gods is frequently given in Scripture to Angels and to Men as Ministers of God. And thus the Heathens underRood it, and supposed their Gods to be such