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Now judge whether Constantine and his council were guilty or not of what the idolatrous faction charged them with. But we may wonder the less at this notorious impudency of lying companions, seeing we have experience of the like calumnies fastened upon ourselves this day, though there be so many thousand eyes and ears, and writings too, which confute them.
And thus you have seen what manner of times they were about the end of which our Simeon Metaphrastes lived. Was it not high time, think you, for him and those hands to which he was beholden, (for I will not charge him with all) to ply the old craft, and reinforce the legends with new lies, when the credit of saint-worship lay thus a-bleeding ? It is not credible they would be so much wanting to themselves. And it is as apparent that those tales of the new strain, which we had out of Simeon, were coined in this age, and not before; for if any such thing had been known or delivered from elder times, how came it to pass no notice thereof was given us by any writer of ecclesiastical story, by any father, by any compiler or forger of martyrs' lives and miracles, till now? Certainly so miraculous and wonderful things as voices from heaven, and Christ descending thence in a cloud, and the like, had been worth the telling. But alas ! they could tell us but little of these martyrs, save only the names and time of their suffering. And thus I end my digression, which yet I hope hath not been altogether impertinent to the present argument.
CHAP. VI.-PART II.
THAT SAINT-WORSHIP WAS PROMOTED BY COUNTERFEIT WRI
TINGS UNDER THE NAME OF ANTIQUITY THAT IMAGE-
THE last particular of* the hypocrisy of liars, I made to be counterfeit writings under the name of the first and best antiquity ; St. Peter's Liturgy, the Liturgy of St. James, of Matthew, of Mark, the Apostles' Council at Antioch; foisted works under the names of Justin, Origen, Cyprian, Athanasius, and others, through which we need not doubt but the doctrine of demons was promoted, when we see some not ashamed still to maintain it by these counterfeit authorities.
Thus you see how the first-born and the most ancient part of the doctrines of demons, the deifying of saints and martyrs, was advanced by the hypocrisy of liars. The same you shall find to have been verified also in the advancing of the next born demon changling, imageworship, and of the third, the idolatry of the mass-god; all brought in and established by the means and ways aforenamed. I need not spend time in historical allegations, they are well enough known; and Primum in unoquoque genere est mensura a consequentium; by that I spake of the first, you may judge of those which
for images, I will tell you a story or two for a taste.
Bale, our countryman, (Script. Illust. Britan. Cent. 1. c. 91, 99,) relates, that about the year 712, one Egwin of Worcester published in writing certain revelations, yea express visions he had seen, wherein he was enjoined
* υποκρισις ψευδολογων.
to set up in his diocese of Worcester, the image of the blessed Virgin, for the people to worship ; which Pope Constantine the First having made him confirm by oath, not only ratified by his Bull, but caused Brithwald, the Archbishop, to hold a council of the whole clergy at London, to commend them to the people.
In that idolatrous Council of the second of Nice, one of their proofs, ainong many other the like, for worshipping of images, is a tale (quoted out of I know not what Sophronius) of a certain recluse, who using to worship an image of the Virgin Mary holding Christ in her arms, had been a long timne tempted by the Devil to fornication; whereat on a time, the old man being much aggrieved, the Devil visibly appearing, told him in plain terms, (but under an oath of secrecy,) that he would never cease to vex him, until he left worshipping the image of the blessed Virgin. The monk, notwithstanding the Devil had made him swear by the Most High he should tell nobody, yet acquaints one Abbot Theodore with the business, who not only allows of his perjury in revealing it, but gives him this ghostly resolution.* “ It were better he frequented all the stews in the city, than not to worship Christ and his mother in an image.” I am afraid some of this monk's successors still observe this wholesome counsel.
I must tell you also some of the miracles and lies for laying the foundation of transubstantiation, and thence advancing the idol of the mass. “A certain monk reports that he saw Jesus Christ in foron of a child
sitting upon the altar. Another saith, yea more than “ that one, that Wittikind, King of the Saxons, entering “ disguised into a Church, and diligently observing the “ Christians' fashion of receiving the communion, saw " them put a little pretty smiling boy into their mouths.” These wonders, and other the like, of apparitions of flesh
* Συμφερει δε σοι μη καταλιπειν εις την πολιν ταυτην ποργειον εις ο μη εισελθης, η ινα αρνηση το προσκυνειν τον Κυριον ημων και Θεον Ιησεν Χριςον μετα της ιδιας αυτο μητρος εν εικονι. .
and blood, began not till about the end of the eight hundredth year.
But that they may seem ancienter, Simeon Metaphrastes, hath a forged legend of Arsenius the Hermit; and somebody counterfeited the life of St. Basil, under the name of Amphilochius his companion, which now they begin to be ashamed of. And for fear the people might suspect that these were illusions, they keep yet some of the flesh and blood which was transubstantiated for a monument in many Churches. To these apparitions, to make all complete, they tell us of “a hive “ of bees seen in St. Gervais his monastery in Paris, “ which built a chapel of wax in honour of the host, “ which somebody put into their hive : and a miracle of
an ass that left his provender to worship the host,” and many other the like. But I have staid too long amongst them; and, therefore, let here be the conclusion of* the hypocrisy of liars, that we may pass on to that is yet behind
υποκρισις ψευδολογων. .
CHAP. VII. PART II.
Εν υποκρισει κωλυοντων γαμείν, απεχεσθαι βρωματων, &c.
THAT BY THESE IWO CHARACTERS (FORBIDDING MARKAGE
AND COMMANDING TO ABSTAIN FROM MEATS) ARE CHIEFLY DECYPHERED MONKS AND FRIARS.—THAT PROHIBITION OF MARRIAGE AND ABSTAINING FROM MEATS ARE INSEPARABLE CHARACTERS OF MONASTIC PROFESSION.—THAT THE RENOUNCING OF POSSESSIONS OR THE HAVING NO PROPRIETY IN ANY THING (ANOTHER PRINCIPLE IN MONKERY) MAY BE INCLUDED UNDER THE ABSTAINING FROM MEATS.—THAT THE WORD (Bpwmata) TRANSLATED MEATS, IMPLIES ALL THINGS NEEDFUL FOR MAINTENANCE OF LIFE, PROVED FROM SEVERAL PLACES OF SCRIPTURE.
I COME now unto the last particular of the description of the means whereby THE DOCTRINE OF DEMONS was to be advanced, viz.“through the hypocrisy of such as forbid marriage, and command to abstain from meats.” Who are these ? The wonderful correspondence of the event makes me verily believe that the Holy Ghost intended here (at least chiefly) to decypher unto us monks and doctors of monkery, by two such marks as are the chief points and grounds of that singularity of life. For prohibi. tion of marriage and difference of meats are inseparable characters of monastical profession; and, therefore, common to all that crew of Hypocrites, whether Solivagant Hermits, or Anchorites which live alone, or Cænobites which live in society. And if we take them joined together, as our Apostle doth, I think they can befit no other kind of men by way of rule and precept but these alone. 'Tis true, all ANTICHRIST'S PRIESTS are forbidden marriage generally and absolutely; but meats they are not, but only upon certain days and times; which is not their case alone, but the people also partake with them in the like restraint. But monks are bound by the vowed rule of