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the reformation of religion had first made them sensible of the imposture which had thus fatally ensnared and betrayed them.
Thus did the all-wise providence of God unite the monarchy, the nation, the church and the religion of England, in the same sufferings and deliverance. They went hand in hand into vassalage. The same men and the very same arts which despoiled the monarchy, enslaved our country, corrupted our religion, and usurped the rights of the English church; and the same Reformation which restored our religion to its ancient purity, restored the rights of the church and of the monarchy, and resettled the liberties of the English nation. These methods of the Divine providence seemed designed on purpose to endear our church and our country and the monarchy to each other, and to show us plainly that their interests are inseparable, and can never be safe but in conjunction; whilst at the same time they teach us by sad experience, that Popery is the common enemy to every thing that is, or that ought to be, dear to the Princes and to the People of England.
I have suffered myself to be led into this long and melancholy digression, that I might at once offer to the reader's view, the ancient and present state of the church and monarchy, together with the steps by which the changes were advanced, and the intolerable mischiefs which from thence ensued :—and having done this, I shall leave the reader to adore the goodness which so happily delivered the Church and the Nation, and which has hitherto preserved us from the snare; and conclude with beseeching God, that we may be all duly sensible of the mercies which we now enjoy under the best of churches and the best of governments, and know no more of those miseries which attended the PAPAL USURPATION, but from our by-past story.
DOCTRINAL CORRUPTIONS OF POPERY1.
We are now arrived at a full and adequate interpretation of our text 2. For we are not, as oi Toλλoì the many, the major part of the world; KaπηλεÚOVTEC, which adulterate and negotiate the word of God for our own lucre and advantage; but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ. And hereby we have made the nearer advances to a clear view and just character of popery: we will allow them to be the of TOAλoi, the most of Christians; nor at present will contend with them about their boasted titles of catholic and universal: for it was never yet so well with mankind, that the major part was the better. And then for the other mark каπŋλεúovtes, I shall now trace and expose their corruptions and cauponations of the gospel : that they are true Χριστέμποροι, real Χριστικάnλo; have perverted and abused the divine institution to the base ends of worldly profit and power; have consociated Jesus with Belial, Christianity with Atheism: every part of their system, which our pious reformers renounced and exploded, being founded upon mere politic; built up and supported by the known methods of subtlety and force.
And yet I would not be thought to charge every single member of that communion with this heavy imputation. I question not, but great numbers think and act in godly sincerity: every age
1 Of popery.] From "A Sermon upon Popery, preached before the University of Cambridge, Nov. 5, 1715, by Richard Bentley, D.D., Master of Trinity College, and Chaplain to His Majesty. 1715." 8vo. p. 9-28.
2 Our text.] 2 Cor. ii. 17.
has produced among them some shining examples of piety and sanctity. We do not now consider individuals, but the collective body of popery; not private lives and secret opinions, but the public avowed doctrines, and the general practice of the managers. There was one pious family even in Sodom, and without doubt many wicked ones even in Jerusalem. Not every single person within the limits of the reformation is as good, as his profession requires; nor every papist as bad, as the popish system permits.
And now, τί πρῶτον, τί δ ̓ ἔπειτα ; What can I better begin with, than what our text suggests; their enhancing the authority of the vulgar Latin above the Greek original? so that we must search for St. Paul's meaning here, not in the notion of кanλɛvovrεç, but of adulterantes; not of oi rodλoì, but of multi without its article; an original defect in the Latin tongue. Now can any thing be more absurd, more shocking to common sense, than that the stream should rise above the fountain? That a verbal translation, which, were the author of it inspired, must yet from the very nature of language have several defects and ambiguities; that such a translation, I say, by a private unknown person not pretending to inspiration, should be raised and advanced above the inspired Greek? Is it possible, those that enacted this, could believe it themselves? Nor could they suggest, that the first Greek exemplar had been more injured by the transcribers and notaries, than that of their version. More ancient manuscripts were preserved of this, than they could show for the Latin. There were more, and more learned commentators to guard it: no age of the eastern empire without eminent scholars; while the west lay sunk many centuries under ignorance and barbarity. And yet in defiance of all this, the Latin is to be the umpire and standard; and the apostles to speak more authentically in that conveyance, than in their own words. Nay, a particular edition shall be legitimated and consecrated, with condemnation of all various readings; and two popes, with equal pretence to infallibility, shall each sanctify a different copy with ten thousand variations. These things are unaccountable, in the way of sincerity: but if you view them on the foot of politic, as an acquist of power, authority, and pre-eminence ;—the council of Trent knew then what they did.
But though this itself is but a translation, yet no secondary translati must be made from it for the instruction of the people. They must hear the public liturgies in a language unknown to
them; and jabber their credos and pater-nosters at home without understanding'. But was not this Latin version at first
1 Without understanding.] "It is a thing plainly repugnant to the word of God, and the custom of the primitive church, to have public prayer in the church, or to minister the sacraments in a tongue not understanded of the people." Art. xxiv. of the Church of England.
Amalarius, in the begynnge of his seconde booke De Ordine Romanæ Ecclesiæ, doth shewe the cause why of olde tyme emonges the Romanes the lessons were reade in Greke and also in Latine, as it is at this day used," saith he, "at Constantinople: for two causes. One, for that there were present Grecians, to whom was unknowen the Latine tongue, and also for that the Romanes were present, to whom was unknowen the Greke tongue. Another cause was to expresse the unitie of both nations. So that the sayde Amalarius may be witnesse, that in the olde tyme the lessons of the Scriptures were so reade in the churche, as by the readyng the people myght understande to their edification." Archbishop Parker, in the anonymous Defence of Priests' Marriages, p. 337.
But let us hear what could be said in defence of the service in an unknown tongue; and how it is argued, that it comes to be better not to understand the divine service.
Manye," says Christopherson, one of the most learned and most respectable of the Romish party, in his Exhortation against Rebellion, in the reign of queen Mary, A.D. 1554, "grudge and are offended, that the masse, and all other divine service, is in Latyn, so that when they be in the church, they do not understande what the priest sayeth. I woulde gladly aske one question of such, why they come to the church; whether to heare or to pray? They will answer, I doubte not, to do bothe. For there they both learne theyr duetye by hearyng of sermons, and also practise it by diligente and fervente praying. Nowe then seeinge that to do our duetie is much better then to learne our duetie, because that every manne learneth to this end that he may practise, although both twayne be good and necessarye, yet the one farre passeth the other. And the one maye be gotten in shorte space with small travayle, but the other asketh longe tyme, and much payne to get it. As concerninge which purpose we reade a notable storye of one Pambo." The notable story into which the good bishop diverges, we will leave, as less likely to bring conviction to our readers, even than his reasons, to which he thus returns: "Wherefore I have oftentymes much marvayled at us Englishemen of late, that we came to the church, at the tyme of our Englishe service, to heare only, and not to pray ourselfes. By meanes whereof many folkes are so inured, that they can hardlye frame them selfes as yet to praye in the churche, which, as our Saviour sayth, is the house of prayer. And moste mete were it for folkes coming to the churche, to pray earnestly them selfes, and both to thinke upon theyr synnes, wherewith they have offended their Lorde God, and to be sory for them; yea, and beside to gyve hym harty thankes for all his benefites bestowed upon them, and to beseche hym to assiste them with hys grace agaynst the assaultes of their adversary the devil. For thus ought men to spende the holy daye, and thus ought they to bestow
the common language of the country? Was it not first made, and received into public use, because the Greek was unknown there? If a Christian congregation may be duly edified, may pay acceptable devotions in a language unknown; the Greek original might have reigned alone and universal, and its Latin rival had never existed,-Why then is popery so cruel and importune, to withhold this common blessing? to continue the public worship in Latin, after it has ceased to be a living language, against the very reason that first introduced Latin?-Seek not a good account for this in Scripture, not even in the Latin Bible: but seek it in the vile arts of politic, and the principles of atheism. Their authority was secured by it over an ignorant populace; it gave a prerogative to the clergy; like the iɛpà yoáμμara, the sacred and secret writings to the Egyptian priests;
their tyme in the churche of God, when they come thyther....The Evangelist telleth not that Anna in the temple was occupied in hearynge, but that she was occupied in praying. Many heare, and eyther they shortly forget what they have hearde, or elles, if they remember it, yet they do not practise it; and one houre spente in practisynge is more worthe to us than twentye spent in hearynge therefore when they come to church, and heare the priestes, who sayeth common prayer for all the whole multitude, albeit they understand them not, yet yf they be occupied in godlye prayer them selfes, it is sufficient for them. And lette theym not so greatly passe for understandynge what the priestes say, but travayle them selfes in fervent praying, and so shall they hyghly please God. Yea, and experience hath playnlye taught us, that it is much better for them not to understande the common service of the Church, than to understande it, because that, when they heare other prayinge with a lowde voice, in the language that they understande, they are letted from prayer themselfe, and so come they to such a slacknes and negligence in prayinge, that they at lengthe (as wee have well sene of late dayes), in maner pray not at al. And then let them first thynke thys, (for it is undoubtedly true,) that the divine service here in Englande hath ever bene in Latyn synce the first tyme that the fayth was among us receaved, save only this six or seven yeares laste passed: and then how godly the people all that while were disposed, how many vertuous and holy men and women have beene within this realme, and howe God dyd in all thinges prosper us. . . . . And eyther muste we graunte thys, that there never was any godly men in thys realme, never any sowle saved, never any grace of God among us, never the assistance of the Holye Gooste wyth us, (whych no good nor reasonable manne either can, or wyll graunte,) yf thys be not the true fayth and belefe (whereby men's soules shall be saved) that nowe is amonges us." Signat. x. Compare also Mirror of our Lady, fol. 22.-Commendation of those who attend the divine services without understanding them.
See Index, under Service Divine in an unknown tongue.