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A33141 An Epistle to the authour of the Animadversions upon Fiat lux in excuse and justification of Fiat lux against the said animadversions. 1663 (1663) Wing C428; ESTC R16551 53,082 113

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I have heard many grave protestant divines ingeniously acknowledg that divine comfort and sanctity of life requisite to salvation which religion aims at may with more perfection and less inconvenience be attained by the customs of the Roman Church than that of ours For religion is not to sit pierching upon the lips but to be got by heart it consists not in reading but doing and in this not in that lives the substance of it which is soon and easily conveighed Christ our Lord drew a compendium of all divine truths into two words which his great apostle again abridged into one And if the several gospels for every day in the year which are or may be in the hands of all catholiks the chiefest particles of divine epistles books of sacred history and meditation upon all the mysteries of salvation and spiritual treatises for all occasions and uses which be numberles amongst catholiks adjoyned to the many several rites of examination of conscience daily and continual practis of prayer and fasting and an orderly commemoration of the things God hath wrought for us throughout the year which all by law are tied to observ and do observ them may not give a sufficient acquaintance of what concerns our salvation and promote them enough towards it I am to seek what it is that can or what further good it may do to read the letter of Saint Pauls epistles to the Romans for example or Corinthians wherein questions and cases and theological discourses are treated that vulgar people can neither understand nor are at all concerned to know And I pray you tell me ingenuously and without heat what more of good could accrew to any by the translated letter of a book whereof I will be bold to say that nine parts in ten concern not my particular either to know or practis than by the conceived substance of Gods will to me and my own duty towards him or what is ther now here in England when the letter of scriptur is set open to every mans eye any more either of peace or charity piety or justice than in former catholik times when the substance of Gods word and will was given people in short and the observance of their duty prolixly prest upon them What did they do in those ancient catholik times they flockt every day in the week to their Churches which stood continually open there to pray and meditate and renew their good purposes they sung psalms hymns and canticles all over the land both day and night they built all our churches that we have at this day remaining amongst us and as many more which we have razed and pulled down they founded our universities established our laws set out tythes and glebe-land for their clergy built hospitals erected corporations in a word did all the good things we found don for our good in this our native kingdom But now Quid agitur in Anglia Consulitur de religione The former Christians practised and we dispute they had a religion we are still seeking one they exercised themselvs in good works by the guidance of their holy catholik faith which leads to them all these works we by our faith evacuate as menstruous rags they had the substance of true religion in their hearts we the text in our lips they had nothing to do but to conform their lives to Gods will all our endeavour is to apply Gods word to our own factions Sir mistake me not The question between us is not whether the people are to have Gods word or no but whether that word consist in the letter left to the peoples disposal or in the substance urgently imposed upon people for their practis And this becaus you understand not but mistake the whole busines all your talk in this your eighteenth chapter vades into nothing Where Fiat lux sayes in that forenamed paragraff that the Pentateuch or hagiography was never by any High-priest among the Jews put into a vulgar tongue nor the Gospell or Liturgy out of greek in the Eastern part of the Christian Church or latin in the Western You slight this discours of mine becaus hebrew greek and latin was say you vulgar tongues themselvs I know this well enough But when and how long ago were they so not for som thousand years to my knowledge And was the Bible Psalms or Christian Liturgy then put into vulgar tongues when those they were first writ in ceased to be vulgar This you should have spoke to if you had meant to say any thing or gain-say me Nor is it to purpos to tell me that S. Jerom translated the Bible into Dalmatian I know well enough it has been so translated by some special persons into Gothish Armenian Ethiopian and other particular dialects But did the Church either of the Hebrews or Christians either greek or latin ever deliver it so translated to the generality of people or use it in their service or command it so to be don as a thing of general concernment and necessity So far is it from that that they would never permit it This I said and I first said it before you spoke and your meer gain-say without further reason or probability of proof cannot dispossess me Syrian you would prov not to be any known language in Palestin becaus the common people understood it not as appears in the book of Kings where Rabshakeh general of the host of Sennacherib when he defied King Hezekiah under the walls of Jerusalem was intreated by the Hebrew princes to speak Syriack and not the Jews language to fright the poor people But Sir you are mistaken for that tongue the princes perswaded Rabshakeh to speak was the Assyrian his own language which was learned by the gentry of Palestin as we in England learn french which although by abbreviation it be called Syriack yet it differed as much from the Jews language which was spoke by Christ and his apostles wherof Eli Eli lama sabacthani is part and was ever since that time called syrian or syriack as french differs from english And if you would read attentively you may suspect by the very words of the text that the Jews language even then was not Hebrew For it had been a shorter and plainer expression and more answerable to their custom so to call it if it had been so than by a paraphrase to name it the Jews language which if then it was called Syrian as afterwards it was then had the princes reason to call it rather the Jews language then Syrian becaus that and the Assyrian differed more in natur then appellation though som difference doubtles ther was in the very word and name although translatours have not heeded to deliver it Shibbolet and Sibbolet may differ more in signification than sound nor is Brittish and Brutish so near in nature as they are in name And who knows not that Syria and Assyria were several kingdoms As likewise were the languages Dr. Cousins now byshop of Durham lately
AN EPISTLE TO The Authour Of the ANIMADVERSIONS UPON FIAT LVX In excuse and justification of Fiat Lux against the said Animadversions Psal 120. Quid detur tibi aut quid apponatur tibi ad linguam dolosam Sagittae potentis acutae cum carbonibus desolatoriis Cùm his qui oderunt pacem eram pacificus cùm loquebar illis impugnabant me gratis 1663. An Epistle to the Author of the Animadversions upon Fiat Lux. SIR I Was in my Journey in the North far enough from London when your Animadversions upon Fiat Lux came forth Nor did I ever set eye upon them till my return in February about half a year after which I tell you Sir to excuse my silence And now in brief For your labour I thank you for your endeavour I pitty you for your purpose I pardon you that being as I beleev intended for Gentlemens satisfaction the other for Fiat Lux his confutation this for the Authours confusion I may not go about to reply unto you becaus this would be against the very end and principles of Fiat Lux it self which speaks forth nothing more then this That Controversies about Religion are vain and fruitles And lest this should not be able to detain me from any such reply you adde your own threats That if I shall dare to write again you will make me know what manner of man you are However Sir let me crave leave to thank you for the pastime your Animadversions have given me since my return But Sir you mistake the very drift and design of Fiat Lux which makes you to erre ever and anon and almost continually throughout your whole Book whiles you take that as spoken absolutely which is only said upon an hypothesis of our present condition here in England which is distraction disputes and wars in order to a contrary end of unity love and concord designed by Fiat Lux. By vertue of this capital mistake what by me is said of the obscurity of God Nature and Providence is with you impertinent that of Light and Spirit impious that of Plea of Parties frivolous that of Reason dissonant and to no purpos that of Scripture blasphemous that of the History of Religion no less inconsequent than untrue In a word this thing that thing every thing a wilde dishonest illiterate discours Some would wonder that he who writes in consutation of a Book should be himself the only man that understands it not But the reason is apparent It is your only advantage to mistake The whole discours of Fiat Lux chained together one part with another from that which is supposed to that which is designed would breath so much of charity and sobernes that my Commentatour could not have told how to make any mad versions upon it It is not yet too late Now that you have finished your Animadversions or Comment or Notes upon it you may do well to take my Book again into your hands read it calmly and understand it That which you speak so frequently of Fiat Lux his ignorance is not altogether amiss for he pretends not much to learning although he knows what he sayes But yet Sir if you had defied and villified him with less violence and more seldom and not so universally in every point of History Language and Philosophy nor just then when you had least caus it had been more for your honour And in my minde you too much forget your self when you recount so often with regret and anger that som Gentlemen of the Land should it seems through their own inconsideration have any liking of a Book which you judg so slight aiery vain fallacious and simple As if they had none and you all the judgment of discerning Gentlemen Sir must be allowed a sens of Religion as well as Ministers and their portion of reason must not therfor be less becaus their Blood is more noble the company they keep more accomplisht and their education better They have the body although they wear not the Cloak of Religion and masters they are of their own reason though not of yours This is one difference between Catholick Countreyes and ours that there the Clergy man is only regarded for his vertue and the power he hath received or is at least believed to have received from God in the great ministery of our Reconciliation And if he have any addition of learning besides it is looked upon as a good accidental Ornament but not as any essential complement of his Profession so that it often happens without any wonderment at all that the Gentleman Patron is the learned man and the Priest his Chaplain of little or no science in comparison but here in England our Gentlemen are disparaged by their own Black Coats and not suffered to use their judgments in any kinde of learning without a gibe from them The Gentleman is reasonles and the scribling Cassock is the only Schollar he alone must speak all know all and only understand I cannot but smile to see you turn so dexterously every thing that is said in Fiat Lux to your own use His discours of innocence and moderation gives you occasion to speak and amply dilate of wars murders adulteries lyes hypocrisies villanies And when he cries Peace Peace it is motive enough for you to cry Guns and Daggers You rave and rage against him and the whole earth you load your pen and pages with the tyrannies desolations disorders have been aforetime in the world not heeding that you had not so much as heard at this day of any such abuses if their holy and renowned Clergy-men who still declaimed against the vices of their times had not left them upon record or so much as considering that even now in these best times of Reformation are as grand disorders in all kindes as ever were in the worst times of Popish corruption nay there was never any crow or magpy so pecked and cawed upon the back of a sheep as you do upon Fiat Lux and if he do but stir or wag you threaten if I understand you right to peck out his eyes And all this because Fiat Lux indeavours to show that animosities about matters of Religion are groundless prejudicial to peace and neighbourhood ruinous desolatory endles and consequently vain fruitles and sinful ther may indeed be som advantage on the Defendants side which is not in the Plaintiff or Actour but this at present I am not to take notice of nay finally that they have ever don much harm in Kingdoms but never good In all this Sir you do like your self you love nois and whirlwinds and when you hear of Peace prepare your self to Battle so ill do you understand the sound of a retreat or becaus it suits not with your ends and inclinations will not But all this discours of Fiat Lux tends say you to Popery A fearful thing and ungrateful news to Ministers for whose foolish endles and ungrounded quarrels we have lately engaged our honour peace
knows not what or beleev not what himself speaks It was the proper badg of those times when after the alarm sounded in the Pulpit that our people therupon went forth in troops to battle neither did the peasant understand nor the man in black beleev although the sound rung generally in their ears that it was the sword of the Lord and of Gideon which they brandisht against the loyal band their foes Fourthly your pert assertion so often occurring in your Book that ther is neither reason truth nor honesty in my words is but the overflowing of that former intemperat zeal and the more frequent it occurs the less approbation it will find Fiftly your sharp and frequent menaces that if I write or speak again I shall hear more finde more feel more more to my smart more then I imagin more then I would rellishes too much of that insulting humour our poor bleeding Land then groaned under the many years of our anarchical confusion Sixtly the absence of your name in the frontispiece of your book which I have never before observed in all my life of any Protestant writer that hath ever in my time set forth a book here in England against Popery givs no small suspicion that the Authour of our Animadversions is no such Protestant as he would be thought to be Lastly that I may omit other special reasons your other general trick of charging me then most of all with fraud ignorance and wickednes when in your own heart you find me most clear from any such blemish thereby to put a vail upon your own caus which would otherways be disparaged makes me smell a fox a notorious one sic notus Vlysses This has been too often acted here in England to be soon forgotten The better the cause the lowder still was the cry against those who stood for it that the blustering nois of calumnies might drown all report of their innocence And by all this I cannot Sir but suspect that if the description of Popery your Animadversions gives us be right you are a Papist your self a great one and no true Protestant But as it is so let it be Thus much I only tell you that you may see I am neither neglective of your book nor idle but have perused and read it over And although what for the threats of your Animadversions and what for the reasons of my own Fiat Lux I may not enter into controversies yet I hope I may let you know that I have seen your work And that you may the better credit me I will give you a short account of it first in general then in particular All the whole design of Fiat Lux you do utterly mistake throughout all your book of Animadversions so that you conceiv that to be a Controversy which is none that to be absolutely asserted which is but hypothetically discoursed that to be only for one side which is indifferently for all although I speak most for them that are most spoken against and am in very deed absolutely against all speaking quarrelling disputing about Religion If you will but have patience to hear my purpose and design which to all men not interested and blinded with a prejudice is clear enough relucent in the whole context of Fiat Lux what I say will easily appear to your self Fiat Lux sayes one thing and supposes it another thing he desires and aims at that he dislikes this commends We are at this day at variance about Religion this Fiat Lux supposes but it were better to have peace this he aims at and desires And both these things are intermingled up and down in my Book according to that small faculty that God hath given me though not according to the usual method of Books now adayes Here Sir in few words you have the whole summe of Fiat Lux. And I hope you will grant that that to be the scope of my book which I made it for That we are now at varience is most clear and certain by me supposed and not to be denied And that it were better to have peace is as absolutely expedient as the other is evidently true These then being things both of them which no man can resist either by denying the one or disliking the other I thought them better intermingled than set apart and with more reason to be supposed then industriously proved Yet to superinduce a disposition unto peace my only work was to demonstrate an uselesnes an endlesnes an unprofitablenes of quarrels which I laboured quite through my book beginning it with an intimation of our quarrels which S. Paul calls the fruits and works of the flesh and ending it with a commendation of charity which is the great fruit and blessing of Gods holy Spirit Now the easier to perswade my Countreymen to a belief both of the one and the other first is insinuated in Fiat Lux both the ill grounds and worst effects of feuds then is the plea of parties specified their probabilities acknowledged and lastly an impossibility of ever bringing our debates to a conclusion either by light or spirit reason or scriptur texts so long as we stand separated from any superiour judicative power unto which all parties will submit is I think with a strong probability if not demonstrative evidence concluded And therfor is it thought by Fiat Lux to be more rational and Christian like to leav these endles groundles and ruinous contentions and resign our selvs to humility and peace This is the design and whole summ of my book And although I speak up and down here for Papists ther for Protestants elswhere for Presbyterians or Independents commonly out of the very discourses they make for themselvs yet do I not defend either their wayes or their arguments Nor do I teach any doctrin at all or hold there any opinion but only giv to understand in that one little book what is largely discoursed in a hundred That all parties do make out to themselves such a probability which as it stands joyned with the actours resolution and separated from any superiour visible power to which they will submit can never be subdued And hath not long experience proved this as true as any thing els What is ther in Fiat Lux that can be denied Is it not evident that we are now at variance and too long indeed have been Is it not also clear that peace charity and neighbourhood is better than variance dissention and wars do not parties strongly plead for themselvs so far perswaded each one that he is in the right that he will not yield that truth is with any but himself Is not all this evident I am sure it is and all England will witnes it And if any one should be able to evince that any reasonings made in Fiat Lux either for Papists Protestants or others be not certain or perhaps not probable yet he does nothing except he be able to prove likewise that they are not probable to Fiat Lux
fatal to papal pretensions And why so Sir becaus the Gospel you say came to Rome as well as it came to us here in England To this Sir I have already told you that it came not to us as it came to Rome and now I tell you again that it came to us from Rome and not to Rome from us And therfor is that text fatal to us not to them It may open their mouths but I am sure it stops ours Heats and resolutions the subject of my fourth paragraff which your self will not countenance you will not permit me to dislike You may talk against them but I may not But I may be excused for I knew not then such a man of art as your self would speak of that he understood better then I do The motives of moderation in my sixt paragraff you laugh at and I will not stop your merriment But in all this say you Fiat lux hath a secret design which your eagle-sighted eye has discovered And in vain is the net spread before the eyes of a thing that hath a wing And I must know that the authour of Animadversions is that thing that hath a wing 6 ch from page 1 48 to 177. Your sixt chapter which meets just with my sixt paragraff of the obscurity of God in the beginning where you declare the sufficient knowledg we have of God by divine revelation whereunto by our humble beleef we have subscribed our consent is right and good but not at all against me who there treat a case of metaphysical concernment which you apprehend not It is no wonder then you should so much dislike all that my plea of uncertainty not only before any teacher appear but after too whiles you take the teacher and his words as they walk hand in hand actually linkt together with our beleef in him which actual beleef my supposition suspends and separates to the end I may consider whether any such teacher can appear so accomplisht as to move us who live in this present age and coin religion anew to a beleef invariable so that through your too much haste you utterly mistake all my whole discours and speak nothing at all to the case I treat of I speak wholly there as in other parts of Fiat lux upon a supposition of the condition the generality of people are now actually in here in England where every one lets himself loose at pleasure to frame opinions and religions of themselvs And so cannot be thought to speak of a settled beleef but only of settling one or one to be settled which there and elswhere in that book I indeavour to show impossible to be so fixedly stated by any private man but that himself and others may rationally doubt it And that therfor our only way is to beleev and not dispute to submit to the old way we have formerly received and not to surmise a new This is the very substance scope and purpos not only of that paragraff but of my whole book which you do as utterly swerv from as ever any blinded man put to thrash a cock misplaced his blow Perhaps it is hard for you to conceiv your self in a state you are not actually in at present and if you cannot do this you will be absolutely unfit to deal with such hypothetick discourses as I see indeed you are Bellarmins little catechise had been a fitter book for you to write Animadversions upon than my Fiat lux There is good positive doctrin signed hic nunc and specified to your inclination and capacity I meddle not with any I deliver no positive doctrin at all I never descend to any particular conclusion or thesis of faith I defend no opinion but only this That every opinion is defensible and yet none impregnable Do you not blush sir to see your own gross mistake God is my witnes when I finde you misled by your own errour so furiously to tax me with ignorance fraud blasphemy atheisme I cannot but pitty you And generally you talk at random as well in this chapter as others Let me give some little hint of it in particular Where I in my foresaid paragraff say that differences of faith in its branches are apt to infer a suspition in its very root and consequently atheisme To this you reply that That discours of mine is all rotten that Christian religion it self might thus be questioned that it is the argument of the pagan Celsus that such contests have ever been that Protestants are resolved that Catholiks turn atheists as well as others that our religion is the same yesterday and to day that our evils are from our selves c. Doth this talk concern or plead to my assertion I know all this as well as you but that it is nothing to the purpos that I know and it seems you do not Though all this you say be true yet still it remains notwithstanding as true and certain as it was before and that is certain enough That difference of faith in its branches are apt to inferre a suspicion in its very root and consequently atheism You have but beaten the air So likewise unto all that discours of mine If the Papist or Roman Catholik who first brought us the news of our Christianity be now becom so odious then may likewise the whole story of our Christianity be at length thought a Romance You speak with the like extravagancy and mind not my hypothetick at all to speak directly to my inference as it became a man of art to do But neglecting my consequence which in that discours is principally and solely intended you seem to deny my supposition which if my discours had been drawn into a syllogisme would have been the minor part of it And it consists of two categories first that the Papist is now becom odious second that the Papist delivered us the first news of Christianity The first of these you little heed the second you deny That the Papist say you or Roman catholik sirst brought Christ and his Christianity into this land is most untrue I wonder c. And your reason is becaus if any Romans came hither they were not Papists and indeed our Christianity came from the East namely by Joseph of Arimathea c. And this is all you say to my hypothetick or conditional ratiocination as if I had said nothing at all but that one absolute category which being delivered before I now onely suppose You use to call me a civil logician but I fear a natural one as you are will hardly be able to justify this motion of yours as artificial A conditional hath a verity of its own so far differing from the supposed category that this being fals that may yet be true For example if I should say thus A man who hath wings as an eagle or if a man had wings as an eagle he might fly in the air as well as another bird And such an assertion is not to be confuted by proving