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A36373 Observations concerning the present state of religion in the Romish Church, with some reflections upon them made in a journey through some provinces of Germany, in the year 1698 : as also an account of what seemed most remarkable in those countries / by Theophilus Dorrington ... Dorrington, Theophilus, d. 1715. 1699 (1699) Wing D1944; ESTC R8762 234,976 442

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upon that ground do require of the People when they come to them that they begin and make to them the Confession of their whole Li●e-past even notwithstanding that they had made a general Confession at the last J●bile They put in practice the maxim of Mr. Arnauld in his book of frequent Communion which is That those who want a sincere and pure love of God ought to be separated from the Holy Communion It is indeed a heinous crime with the Jesuits to insist upon the absolute necessity of the love of God either to fit men for this Communion or for their Salvation These Priests are said to impose hard and rigorous Pennances for very small Crimes Many of them particularly at Rotterdam Delft and the adjacent places pronounce the Sacramental words of Baptism Absolution Marriage and Extream Unction in the Vulgar language when they administer these Sacraments Some pronounce those words twice That is first in Latine and then in Dutch and that without fear of committing Sacriledge by this Repetition of the sacred words which do not operate the second time that which they signifie They condemn and disparage in their Sermons and Books which they distribute among the Protestants the rich and costly furniture of Altars and the magnificence of consecrated Vessels They with Judas to put them in good company call this a wast of expence and a true Luxury And for the most part they make so little account of Indulgences especially of those which are to be applied to the Souls in Purgatory by way of suffrage that there are many and those some of the Principal among them who refused to publish others who very negligently publish'd that of the Year 1690. granted by Pope Alexander VIII which is the more surprizing says this person because the Catholicks of Holland have been wont to have a particular devotion for these things especially for the Indulgence which is granted to the general monthly Communion for the living and the dead These Gentlemen he says do particularly declaim against this and endeavour to abolish the use of it They speak of Purgatory in a very unworthy manner and yet worse of the Relicks of the Saints They publish that we are not bound to believe that the Saints know the Prayers which men make to them They do not content themselves only to leave out the Title of Immaculate which their Ancestors were wont time out of mind to give to the Blessed Virgin in the Dutch Creed nor to change the Phrase in the Angelick Salutation Blessed a●t thou above all Women into this Blessed art thou among Women But they have also gone further than all this and have taken away from this Salutation all that which transforms it into a Prayer leaving out these words Holy Mary Mother of God pray for us Poor sinners now and in the Hour of our Death And the retrenching of this is the more scandalous he says because these words are the only ones which the Protestants disapprove of in the Ave Mary And he concludes 't is an infinite thing to go about to recount all the like novelties which they run into they are so numerous Be it so These things I leave to the Wise to make their use of and to consider what use might perhaps be made of them when his Majesty shall be able to find a Person to reside in those Countries who has a due Sense and Veneration for Religion and a Zeal to encourage and promote Reformation and who would make the Excellent way of Worship used in the Church of England and admired abroad by all judicious persons that know it as publick and notorious in his Family as he could God grant such a time may come To Jansenius in this Lecture succeeded his Friend Libertus Fromondus a follower of his Opinions and the Editer of his Book By additions of later times the Faculty of Theology here is augmented to Nine Professions And the ordinary College or Society of this Faculty is made up of Eight Doctors whom they call Legents and Regents Because to these alone belongs the Authority of governing the School of Theology and the Students of the Faculty and of examining the Students in order to their taking of Degrees and these alone enjoy the Emoluments of the School And these when any of their number dies chuse another into his place whom they judge the most fit for it At length those of the Religious Orders are allow'd admission into this College but with this restriction that there shall never be two of the same Order in this Society at the same time There are in this University of founded Schools and Colleges 32 besides the Colleges Colleges of the Religious Orders Some of these are appropriated to the Arts some to Languages to History to Politicks some to other particular Faculties And some are not confin'd to any one sort of Study but serve in general for all There are some Colleges to which certain annual Sums are left by the Founders for provision for so many Students which not being ordinarily enough to provide them their diet they must supply the remainder out of their own Stock In others there is a full and sufficient provision so made for their Diet. In others besides Diet they are allow'd by the Foundation Fire and Candle and some further assistance for their Studies These allowances they call here Purses They are for the most part annexed to such and such Colleges and expresly design'd for the encouragement of particular Studies which therefore they who enjoy them are bound to follow Some Purses are given which leave the Possessors at liberty in what College they will to reside and so to what Study they please to apply themselves Every College has its President who has the direction of the Manners and Studies of the Students and the Care of the Family And besides him there are Visitors either appointed by the Founder or deputed by the University or by the Heads of the particular Faculties It is their business to admit to the Enjoyment of the Purses belonging to the College to visit at stated times in the Year and enquire into the Studies and Manners of those who enjoy the Purses and to Audit the Accounts of the College once in a Year I went into some of the Colleges and found them built round a Court in one corner of which from the bottom to the top was the Presidents Apartment in another place the Chappel And all the Rooms below were of some general use as Dining Room Kitchin and the like Over the doors of some we should see written Schola Physices or Schola Logices c. In two Stories above were the Chambers for the Students The Jesuits that first invaded this City were Jesuits but two they could do no great feats therefore more were added to the Number at length they were strong enough to build a College or Castle being assisted by a good Legacy left them by Torrentius
Coats was almost hid with the broad Silver Lace laid upon it The Cloathing of the Kettle-Drums as I remember is Cloth of Silver a deep Fringe of Gold and Silver went round the Drum at the top and a lesser one round about the edge of the Cloathing I never saw any thing of the kind so fine as these all were And this is a particular Affectation of this Prince The reigning Religion here is the Popish Popish Religion here and the Papists are in Possession of the publick Churches We went into some of their Churches and saw nothing in them very fine nor any thing peculiar or worth taking notice of In the Yard belonging to the great Church stand Three Crucfixes with Bodies on them as big as the Life to represent the Crucifixion of our Saviour between Two Thieves There is a large Penthouse over them By the side of another Church we saw the same Representation To these many People in passing by paid a profound Respect but without a distinct Interpretation of these Books the People must be liable to pay the same Respect to those which represent the Thieves as to that which is design'd for our Saviour so that in these Books there are certainly some things as dangerous and as liable to betray People into damnable Error and mortal Sin as are pretended to be in Scripture If that be then an Argument for taking the Scripture out of the Peoples Hand● it is an Argument for taking their extravagant Pictures and Images out of their Sight Or if any Preference may be allow'd of the Ordinance of Jesus Christ himself before that of his Pretended Vicar the Scriptures should be given to the People and this sort of Books taken away because Christ has given the Holy Scripture for their Instruction and only the Pretended Vicar has instituted these When we came to the City after we were enter'd within the new Ditch we saw several of those little Oratories or Chappels mention'd before standing about in the Fields in each of which is an Altar and Image and for the most part of the Virgin Mary Among the Papists in these Parts the Controversie is now hotly pursued about the Immaculate Conception Immaculate Conception of the B●essed Virgin of the Virgin Mary the head Managers of which are the Franciscan● and the Do minicans This has been a long Controversie in the Church of Rome and is likely to continue for both Sides pretend to Miracles Visions and Revelations to confirm their Opinion yea both Sides have drawn the Blessed Virgin to testifie for them and so against her self Besides the infallible Guide of the Church cannot tell what to do in this Case and Bishop Meaux says The Church has not yet defin'd whether the Virgin was born in Original Sin or not The contending Parties are indeed so hot upon their Opinion that they would either of 'em be apt to despise the Pope's Authority if he should venture to decide The Pope's Authority is for a Scare-crow set up against the Protestants but upon Occasion the Papists can make little account of it themselves as Scare-crows are never wont to fright them that set them up Bishop Meaux says 'T is neither Heresie nor mortal Sin not to believe the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin and yet he says 't is Pious to believe it But if this be Pious surely the contrary must be impious If any Proposition be true the direct and full Contradiction to it must needs be false and if any Opinion be pious another which fully contradicts it must deserve a contrary Character and consequently be accounted impious Such poor Shifts is t●is shuffling Expounder of the Church of Rome put to that he may render its Doctrines and Practices plausible There are in this City Two Congregations of the Reformed Religion the one Calvinist the other Protestant or Lutheran We spent Lutherans here the Morning of the Lord's-Day in the Protestant Congregation They have not a very large Church but it was well fill'd It stands a little inward from the Street I think they call their People together by a Bell. The Place is Oblong with the Altar or Communion-Table at the East end and a good Gallery over the Entrance at the West end Above that is a little Gallery set up for a small Organ that they might lose no Room by it The Church was very neat but not fine There were but Three distinct Pictures in it and all very free from Popery or Superstition On the South Wall hung a Picture of Moses holding the Two Tables of Stone on which there was only a Scrawl to represent the Writing of the Ten Commandments The Communion-Table was large and very high It stood against the Wall upon a flat of Boards raised a little Step above the Stone Floor of the Church and which goes out at a good distance from the Table Over this Communion-Table or Altar is a good Picture which represents our Blessed Saviour in his Agony in the Garden with an Angel come to encourage him There are Three of the Apostles asleep not far from him and at a distance the tops of the Torches of those who are coming to apprehend him appear from behind a Hill The History is well represented Behind the Picture of our Saviour are black Clouds well drawn and amidst them appears a bright round thing which looks almost as if they design'd to represent the Sun veil'd with these Clouds but it being a Night Piece it must be understood as it is intended to represent the Wafer which they give and receive in celebrating the Sacrament of the Lord's-Supper for they administer the Bread in that Form Over this great Piece of Painting is another lesser one which represents our Saviour with a Glory about him as rising from the dead and treading upon a Dragon to signifie that he had now overcome Death and him that had the Power of Death as the Scripture speaks that is the Devil This is a fit Representation of our Saviour but it is an impudent Blasphemy to attribute this to the Virgin Mary as the Papists do in Pictures and Images of her with which I have often seen a Snake or Dragon put under her Feet as dead The Pillars on each side of these Pictures were wreath'd their Chappiters handsomely carv'd all the Work is very neat and decent but the matter is not Marble but Wood painted in Imitation of Marble some of black and some of white Marble streak'd and it is very well done The Altar or Communion-Table was cover'd with a large Velvet Cloth which reach'd to the Ground of a deep blew Colour Before the Worship began I had time to see what Books lay at the Reading Desk and at the Desks of the People The Reader had before him a great Folio Bible in High Dutch and another Book in Folio which had for its General Title Spiritual Songs I look'd into it and observ'd there the Book of Psalms and other of the
Scripture Songs or Psalms and also some devout Hymns composed by Luther and other pious Protestants of their Communion There were I think in one part of the Book Forms of Prayer The Worship here began about Eight a Clock in the Morning and ended at Eleven It was begun by a Reader a grave ancient Man who is the School-Master of the Protestants Children He first read a short Prayer then he read several Chapters of the Old and New Testament while the Congregation came together When a good Number were assembled they began to ●ing with the Organ their Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs I observ'd many People both Men and Women fell in with the singing without using their Books which they had before them very often and the Children who sate together very readily found what was to be sung though I saw it was taken out of several distant Places of their Books which shows that they were all very well acquainted with their Liturgy I perceiv'd that in one place they sung the Apostle's Creed for a Person by whom I sate and who very civilly turn'd to and show'd me every thing that they sung at length pointed to what I understood to be that This singing took up the greatest part of the time of their Assembly They all sung with most perfect Concord and Agreement with their Organ which was very pleasant and which was more pleasant they did it with greatest Seriousness and Devotion I never saw in any Quire of Monks or Priests in the Roman Church that they sung their Devotions with so much Solemnity and Abstraction as they speak as the People generally here did As soon as they were entred in their singing they appear'd as if the whole Soul was engag'd and elevated above the vain World as if they were all Thought and Devotion I confess it transported me with Pleasure to see how fitly they sung the Praises of the Great and Good Being I thought my self in Circumstances that were a a pleasant Emblem and Resemblance of Heaven and blessed my self to find that I was now amidst the pure Praises and true Worshippers of God And I conceiv'd such a Disdain and Detestation of the Worship of the Papists where one sees divine Honours paid to poor Creatures at the best and some of them perhaps miserable Sinners in Hell that I could hardly perswade my self after this to look into any more of their Churches This singing was twice interrupted for a little space at which times the Minister went from his Pew by the Pulpit and stood before the Communion-Table with his Face towards the People and read first the Gospel and the second time the Epistle for the Day After they had spent a good while in this pleasant part of Worship they ceased and the Minister ascended the Pulpit where he pray'd and preach'd His Preaching was as he told me afterwards an Explication of the Gospel for the Day He perform'd his part with a great deal of Gravity and Seriousness and with a very natural unaffected Zeal which seem'd to demonstrate him sincerely sensible of what he said When he concluded the People sung again for a while and then they were dismiss'd with a Blessing In the Afternoon I had some Conversation with this Minister in which he appear'd a very pious and good Man and a judicious well-studied Divine as I found afterwards He has the Reputation of a good Scholar among the Protestant Divines He was mightily pleasd to see a Priest of the Church of England in his Church and in his House and express'd a great Veneration and Esteem for our Church He ask'd several important Questions concerning it and rejoyc'd at every thing I could tell him which look'd well and in favour of it He positively condemn'd those of our Nation who separate so needlessly from a Church so wisely and justly reform'd but he spoke this with a Spirit of Compassion and Tenderness becoming a Christian and he discover'd that he heartily lamented it as a thing of mighty Prejudice to the Progress and Prosperity of the Reformation He told me they had many things wanting in their Assembly here for want of Means which are usual among the Protestants in other Places where they have more Encouragement He had indeed a good Congregation and many People appear'd there of good Fashion I observ'd some of the Electour's Guards there in their Livery both of the Horse and Foot who are Lutherans But it cannot be so well with them as it should be under a Prince that inherits something of a Bigottry for the absurd and monstrous Religion he professes This Minister told me that there are Five and twenty Congregations of Protestants in this Dutchy besides Calvinists Some of which I think enjoy a settled Revenue for the Maintenance of the Minister and publick Charges but the most of them supply both these from their own immediate Contributions He told me the Churches of the Ausburg Confession have not all one Form of Liturgy every where exactly the same nor all the same Modes or Methods of administring the Divine Offices but in several Countries they have their several Forms and Rites yet they do not censure or quarrel or separate from one another upon this score but he that is used to Methods of one sort in one Country when he comes into another joins with the Congregations and conforms to the Methods there with the Spirit of Meekness and Charity and Wisdom which was in the Primitive Christians and directed them to demean themselves in like manner in the like Cases Passage from Dusseldorp to Cleves ON the second of June we hired Places in a Charrette which was bound for Arnhem a Journey of Three Days from hence they would carry us to Emmerick and leave us there for our Design was to go by Cleves Home This was the only Passage we could obtain for that Day We paid each Person for it Three Guilders Ten Stivers We were Six Persons in the Charrette and had but Two Horses and the same Horses were to go through the whole Three Days Journey Our Company happen'd to be all of the Reformed Religion as they call the Calvinists in these Countries They were glad when we told them we were Protestants and we were very agreeable Company to each other Some of them went with us quite to Emmerick and were bound further They were of this Country Natives and Inhabitants of the Dutchy of Mons. I asked them how they were used under the Popish Government here They shook their Heads and sighed and signified that it is but very hardly and intimated as much as amounted almost to Oppression I said their Prince seem'd in his Person to be good and gentle and to have no appearance of Fierceness in his Nature they acknowledg'd that but said his Confessour is a Jesuite and by him and his Bretheren who manage this Prince too much he is often instigated to do things which lie very hard and uneasie upon the Protestants