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where he is supposed to be pleased and gratified, like frail Mortals, with costly Furniture, gilded Roofs, engraven and polished Marble, fine Carving, and other curious, though baubling Workmanship of Mechanics and Artificers.
I CONFES I am not wise enough to find out any effential Difference between the present and the old Roman Worship: They boch dedicate their Temples to dead Men and Women, whom the Papists call Saints, and the Pagans called Demi-Gods and Goddesses : The Pas gan Forms of Hocus Pocus, which they called Consecrations, were intended to conjure and call down their Deities to inhabit personally their Temples, their Images, and Idols : The Popish Priests consecrate their Churches for the fame Purpose, namely, to obtain the more immediate Presence of the Dewey : Like the old Romans too, they erect Altars in their Temples, where they worship Saints with Supplications, Tears, Grimaces, antic and distorted Faces and Gestures, Music, and Ceremonies, and tender Offerings and Oblations to them; and, like the others, often make Processions, Cavalcades, and Shews in their Ho. nour; and sometimes go in Pilgrimages to them, to obtain their Favour.
The The Popish Priests have profaned the plain and simple Direction of our Saviour to his Difciples, for commemorating the Benefits which we have received by his Death, by turning it into an old Roman Sacrifice: Amongst them, the Pipers and Harpers were the Fore-runners of the Shew; and before the modern Sacrifice, the Organs strikę up a Tune: There the Priests went up to the Altar in a white Garment free from Spots (being an Emblem of Innocence); in new Rome, the Priest wears a white Surplice : The Heathen Priest turned about to the East, being the Region of the rising Sun, and bowed ; the Popish Priest does the same: The Horns of the Beast facrificed were marked with Gold, and his Blood received in Golden and Silver Vessels; here the pretended Christian Sacrifice of the real Body and Blood of Christ is poured into the same cofily Cups, or laid upon as rich Plates and Dishes. The old Reman Altar was raised by several Steps above the Floor of their Temples; so is the present: The Priest, amongst them, made a crooked Line with his Knife from the Head to the Tail of the Victim; the Popish Priest plays Tricks of Leger demain with his Fingers over the Elements: Lastly, when the Beast was consecrated and killed, the Heathen Priests regaled themselves upon what was left, after their Gods were served; the Romish Priests make it profane for any Layman to drink of the consecrated Wine, or for any one even to eat the Bread but the Communicants.
The old Romans had different Orders of Priests, with different and distinct Offices and Revenues; the High-Priest, the Luperci, the Augurs, the Haruspices, the Pontifices, the Flamines, Salii, Feciales, the Duumviri, Decemviri, quindecimviri, the Keepers of the Sibylline Books, the Corybantes, &c. The present Romans (besides the several Sorts which are in Use and Fashion amongst us) have a Pope, Cardinals, Dominicans, Franciscans, fefuits, Carmelites, Benediktines, Carthufians, Capuchins, Cistercians, Obfervantines, Auguftines, Servites, &c. In Imitation also of the Vestal Virgins, in old Rome, they have founded several Orders of Nuns, who take a Vow of Chastity, for the Breach of which they are immured, as the others were buried alive: And as they had a Right to deliver from the Hands of Justice any Malefactors, whom they casually met in their Walks; so the present Romish Priests claim and exercise an equal Right to protect all Criminals who can fly to them for
Pro Protection, which is borrowed from that of the old Roman Asylums.
The old Romans had their Dies fastos de nefastos, their Fasts and Feasts, their Sacrificia, their Epuld's, their Feria's, in Honour of their Gods and Demi-Gods ; the present Romans also make Distinctions of Days a great Part of their Religion; they too have their Dies fastos dw nefastos, their stated Fasts and Feasts in Honour of their Saints, or to commemorate and condole past Misfortunes, or rejoice over signal Succelles; and some of their Feasts, and particularly their Carnivals, exceed in Lewdness and Prodigality the Bacchanalia of the Antients.
The Heathens had their Deos tutelares, to whom the Defence of certain Countries was committed ; and their Deos Præsides, who had the Safe-guard of particular Cities : The Papists have Saints who supply the fame Offices. Artificers and Professions have also their particular Saints, who preside over thein; Scholars have their Saint Nicolas, and Saint Gregory; Painters, Saint Luke; as Soldiers and Lovers had formerly their Mars and Venus : Diseases too have their Saints to cure them; as the Pox, Saint Rogue; the Falling-Evil, Saint Corwelius; the Tooth-ach, Saint Apollin : And
even Beasts and Cattle have theirs; Saint Loy is the Horse-leech, and Saint Antony the Swineherd.
As the Heathen Priests would suffer none to come into their Sanctuaries but themselves; neither will the Popish Priests permit any Layman to come within the Rails of the Altar, and profane with unhallowed Feet that holy Place. As the Antients obliged all, who were initiated into their Mysteries, to confess, under the most severe Denunciations, all the Secrets of their past Lives; by which means they were so much in their Power, that they never afterwards durft blab out what they saw, nor give the least Opposition to their Designs ; so the Romis Priests trust their Mysteries only to the vere adepti, (their trusty Affociates) and have made the fame Use of Confession (the Loss of which is sorely lamented by others): For they oblige, upon the Penalty of Damnation, all their Votaries to confess not only their private Sins, bur secret Thoughts, as well as every thing else they know of other Peoples, which may any way regard the Interests of their Order; and so have Possession and fast Hold of all Families, and become acquainted with all the Designs, which may ever thwart their Pride; and consequently have secured their own Domination,