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“mise of his coming ?" Against the creation, the ark, and divers other points, exceptions are said to be taken ; the ground whereof is superfluity of wit, without ground of learning and judgment. A second cause of Atheism is sensuality, which maketh men desirous to remove all stops and impediments of their wicked life: among which because religion is the chiefest, so as neither in this life without shame they can persist therein, nor (if that be true) without torment in the life to come; they whet their wits to annihilate the joys of heaven, wherein they see (if any such be) they can have no part, and likewise the pains of hell, wherein their portion must needs be very great. They labour, therefore, not that they may not deserve those pains, but that, deserving them, there may be no such pains to seize upon them. But what conceit can be imagined more base than that man should strive to persuade himself even against the secret instinct (no doubt) of his own mind, that his soul is as the soul of a beast, mortal, and corruptible with the body.. Against which barbarous opinion their own Atheism is a very strong argument: For were not the foul: a nature separable from the body, how could it enter into discourse of things merely spiritual, and nothing at all pertaining to the body ? Surely the soul were not able to conceive any thing of heaven, no not so much as to dispute against heaven, and against God, if there were not in it fomewhat heavenly, and derived from God.
The last which have received strength and encouragement from the reformers are Papists ; against whom, although they are most bitter enemies, yet unwittingly they have given them great advantage. For what can any enemy
rather desire than the breach and dissension of those which are confederates against him ? wherein they are to remember, that if our communion with Papists in some few ceremonies do so much strengthen them, as is pretended, how much more doth this divifion and rent among ourselves, especially seeing it is maintained to be, not in light matters only, but even in matters of faith and salvation.. Which over-reaching speech of their's, because it is so open to advantage both for the Barrowist and the Papift, we are to wish and hope for, that they will acknowledge it to have been spoken rather in heat of affe&tion, than with soundness of judgment; and that through their exceeding love to that creature of discipline which themselves have bred, nourished and maintained, their mouth in commendation of her did somewhat overflow.
From hence you may proceed (but the means of connexion I leave to yourself) to another discourse, which I think very meet to be handled either here or elsewhere at large; the parts whereof may be these :
1. That in this cause between them and us, men are to sever the proper and essential points and controversy, from those which are accidental. The most essential and proper are these two ; overthrow of Episcopal; erection of Presbyterial authority. But in these two points whosoever joineth with them is accounted of their number; whosoever in all other points agreeth with them, yet thinketh the authority of bishops not unlawful, and of elders not necessary, may justly be severed from their retinue. Those things, therefore, which either in the persons, or in the laws and orders themselves, are faulty, may be complained on, acknowledged, and amended; yet they no whit the nearer their main purpose. For what if all errors by them supposed in our liturgy were amended, even according to their own hearts defire; if non-residence, pluralities, and the like, were utterly taken away; are their lay-elders, therefore, presently authorised ? their sovereign ecclefiastical jurisdiction established ?
But even in their complaining against the outward and accidental matters in church-government, they are many ways faulty. 1. In their end which they propose to themselves. For in declaiming against abuses, their meaning is not to have them redressed, but, by disgracing the present state, to make way for their own discipline. As, therefore, in Venice, if any senator should discourse against the power of their fenate, as being either too sovereign, or too weak in government, with purpose to draw their authority to a moderation, it might well be suffered ; but not so, if it should appear he spake with purpose to induce another state by depraving the present: so, in all causes belonging either to church or commonwealth, we are to have regard what mind the complaining part doth bear, whether of amendment or of innovation; and accordingly either to suffer or suppress it. Their objection therefore is frivolous, Why, may not men speak against abuses ? Yes, but with desire to cure the part affected, not to destroy the whole. 2. A second fault is in their manner of complaining, not only because it is for the most
part in bitter and reproachful terms, but also because it is unto the common people, judges incompetent and insufficient, both to determine any thing amiss, and for want of skill and authority to amend it. Which also discovereth their intent and purpose to be rather destructive than corrective. 3dly, Those very exceptions which they take are frivolous and impertinent: Some things, indeed, they accuse as impious ; which if they may appear to be such, God forbid they should be maintained.
Against the rest it is only alleged, that they are idle ceremonies without use, and that better and more profitable might be devised. Wherein they are doubly deceived : for neither is it a sufficient plea to say, This must give place, because a better may be devised: and in our judgments of better and worse, we oftentimes conceive amiss, when we compare those things which are in devise with those which are in practice;. for the imperfections of the one are hid, till by time and trial they be discovered : the others are already manifest and open to all. But last of all (which is a point in my opinion of great regard, and which I am desirous to have enlarged), they do not see, that for the most part when they strike at the state ecclefiaftical, they fecretly wound the civil state. For personal faults, what can be said against the church, which may not also agree to the commonwealth ?. In both statesmen have always been, and will be always men, sometimes blinded with error, most commonly perverted by passions : many unworthy have been and are advanced in both, many worthy not regarded. As for abuses which they pretend to be in the laws themselves; when they inveigh against non-residence, do they take it a matter lawful or expedient in the civil state, for a man to have a great and gainful office in the north, himself continually remaining in the south ? He that hath an office, let him attend his office. When they condemn plurality of livings fpiritual to the pit of hell, what think they of infinite, of temporal promotions ?. By the great philosopher, it is forbidden as a thing most dangerous to commonwealths, that by the same man many great offices should be exercised*. . When
* Φαύλον δ' αν δοξεν ειναι και το πλειές άρχας αυτον άρχειν όπερ ευδοκιμει παρα τους Καρχηδονιοις,έν γαρ εφ' ένος αριστ’ αποτελειται: δει δ' όπως γινεται τεθ' όραν τον νομοθετης και μη προσταττειν τον αυτον άυλειν και σχντοτομίν, ώσθ' όπε μη μικρα πoλις πολιτικώτερον πλειονας κατεχειν των αρχών, και δημοτικώτερον.
( Arift. de Republicâ, Lib. ii. c. 9. Edit. Heins.)
they deride our ceremonies as vain and frivolous, were it hard to apply their exceptions even to those civil ceremonies, which at the coronation, in Parliament, and all courts of justice are used ? Were it hard to argue even against circumcision, the ordinance of God, as being a cruel ceremony? against the passover, as being ridiculous—hod, girt, a staff in their hand, to eat a lamb'? To conclude, you may exhort the clergy (or what if
you conclufion, not to the clergy in general, but only to the learned in, or of both universities), you may exhort them to a due consideration of all things, and to a right esteem and valuing of each thing in that degree wherein it ought to stand.: for it oftentimes falleth out, what men have either devised themselves, or greatly delighted in, the price and excellency thereof they do admire .above desert. The chiefest labour of a Christian should be to know, of a minister to preach Christ crucified : in regard whereof not only wordly things, but even things otherwise precious, even the discipline itself is vile and base. Whereas now, by the heat of contention, and violence of affection, the zeal of men towards the one hath greatly decayed their love to the other. Hereunto, therefore, they are to be exhorted, to preach Christ crucified, the mortification of the flesh, the renewing of the spirit; not those things which in time of strife seem precious, but, passions being allayed, are vain and childish.
y A strange reading is found in all the subsequent editions : " Against the passover as being " ridiculous; should be girt, a staff in their hand, to eat a lamb.".
This EPITAPH was long since presented to the world in memory of
Mr. HOOKER, by Sir WILLIAM COWPER; who also built him a fair Monument in Borne Church, and acknowledges him to have been his spiritual father.
Though nothing can be spoke worthy his fame,