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ANIMADVERSIONS

UPON

THE REMONSTRANT'S DEFENCE

AGAINST

SMECTYMNUUS.

PREFACE.

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We all know that in private or personal injuries, yea in public sufferings for the cause of Christ, his rule and example teaches us to be so far from a readiness to speak evil, as not to answer the reviler in his language, though never so much provoked: yet in the detecting, and convincing of any notorious enemy to truth and his country's peace, especially that is conceited to have a voluble and smart fluence of tongue, and in the vain confidence of that, and out of a more tenacious cling to worldly respects, stands up for all the rest to justify a long usurpation and convicted pseudepiscopy of prelates, with all their ceremonies, liturgies, and tyrannies, ** I suppose, and more than suppose, it will be nothing disagreeing from christian meekness, to handle such a one in a rougher accent, and to send home his haughtiness well bespurted with his own holy-water. ** For who can be a greater enemy to mankind, who a more dangerous deceiver, thah he who, defending a traditional corruption, uses no common arts, but with a wily strătagem of yielding to the time a greater part of his cause,

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* * and driven from much of his hold in scripture; creeps up by this mean to his relinquished fortress of divine authority again, and still hovering between the confines of that which he dares not be openly, and that which he will not be sincerely, trains on the easy

christian insensibly within the close anıbushment of worst errors, and with a sly shuffle of counterfeit principles, chopping and changing till he have gleaned all the good ones out of their minds, leaves them at last, after a slight resemblance of sweeping and garnishing, under the sevenfold possession of a desperate stupidity: **** And although in the serious uncasing of a grand imposture (for to deal plainly with you readers, prelaty is no better) there be mixed here and there such a grim laughter, as may appear at the same time in an austere vi. sage, it cannot be taxed of levity or insolence : for even this vein of laughing (as I could produce out nf grave authors) hath ofttimes a strong and sinewy force in teaching and confuting ; nor can there be a more proper object of indignation and scorn together, than a false prophet taken in the greatest, dearest, and most dangerons cheat, the cheat of souls : in the disclosing whereof, if it be harmful to be angry, and withal to cast a lowering smile, when the properest object calls for both, it will be long enough ere any be able to say, why those two most rational faculties of human intellect; anger and laughter, were first seated in the breast of man. ****

[In the tract entitled '“ Of Reformation in England," Milton has observed, that the rise of Antichrist

may

be dated from the death of Julian the Apostate, and that it was a common saying at that period, " that former times had wooden chalices and golden priests, but they,

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golden chalices and wooden priests." Upon this the Remonstrant, remarks, addressing himself to the antiepiscopalians, “ If in time you shall see wooden cha

" lices and wooden priests, thank yourselves."-A remark which calls forth from Milton the only passage worth preserving in the piece before us.]

It had been happy for this land, if your priests bad been but only wooden; all England knows they

; have been to this island not wood, but wormwood, that have infected the third part of our waters, like that apostate star in the Revelation, that many souls have died of their bitterness; and if you mean by wooden, illiterate or contemptible, there was no want of that sort among you; and their number increasing daily, as their laziness, their tavern hunting, their neglect of all sound literature, and their liking of doltish and monastical schoolmen daily increased. What should I tell you how the universities, that men look should be fountains of learning and knowledge, have been poisoned and choaked under your governance? And if to be wooden, be to be base, where could there be found among all the reformed churches, nay in the church of Rome itself, a baser brood of Aattering and time-serving priests ? according as God pronounces by Isaiah, the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail. As for your young scholars, that petition for bishoprics and deaneries to encourage them in their studies, and that many gentlemen else will not put their sons to learning; away with such young mercenary striplings, and their simoniacal fathers ; God has no need of such, they have no part or lot in his vineyard: they may as well sue for nunneries, that they may have some convenient stowage for their withered daughters, because they cannot give them portions answerable to the pride and vanity they have bred them in. This is the root of all our mischief, that which they allege for the encouragement of their studies should be cut away forewith as the very bait of pride and ambition, the very garbage that draws together all the fowls of prey and ravin in the land to come and gorge upon the church. How can it be but ever unhappy to the church of England, while she shall think to entice men to the pure service of God by the same means that were used to tempt our Saviour to the service of the devil, by laying before him honour and preferment? Fit professors indeed are they like to be, to teach others that godliness with content is great gain, whenas their godliness of teaching had not been but for worldly gain. The heathen philosophers thought that virtue was for its own sake inestimable, and the greatest gain of a teacher to make a soul virtuous; so Xenophon writes of Socrates, who never bargained with any for teaching them ; he feared not lest those who had received so high a benefit from him, would not of their own free will return him all possible thanks. Was moral virtue so lovely, and so alluring, and heathen men so enamoured of her, as to teach and study her with greatest neglect and contempt of worldly profit and advancement ? And is christian piety so homely and so unpleasant, and christian men so cloyed with her, as that none will study and teach her, but for lucre and preferment! O stalegrown piety! O gospel rated as cheap as thy master, at thirty pence, and not worth the study, unless thou canst buy those that will sell thee! O race of Capernastans, senseless of divine doctrine, and capable only of loaves and bellycheer! But they will grant, perhaps, piely may thrive, but learning will decay : I would fain ask these men at whose hands they seek inferior things, as

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wealth, honour, their dainty fare, their lofty houses ?
No doubt but they will soon answer, that all these
things they seek at God's hands. Do they think then,
that all these meaner and superfluous things come from
God, and the divine gift of learning from the den of
Plutus, or the cave of Mammon? Certainly never any
clear spirit nursed up from brighter influences, with a
soul enlarged to the dimensions of spacious art and
high knowledge, ever entered there but with scorn, and
thought it ever foul disdain to make pelf or ambition
the reward of his studies; it being the greatest honour,
the greatest fruit and proficiency of learned studies to
despise these things. Not liberal science, but illiberal
must that needs be, that mounts in contemplation
merely for money. And what would it avail us to have
a hireling clergy, though never so learned? For such
can have neither true wisdom nor grace; and then in
vain do men trust in learning, where these be wanting.
If in less noble and almost mechanic arts, according to
the definitions of those authors, he is not esteemed to
deserve the name of a complete architect, an excellent
painter, or the like, that bears not a generous mind
above the peasantly regard of wages and hire; much
more must we think him a most imperfect, and incom-
plete divine, who is so far from being a contemner of
filthy lucre, that his whole divinity is moulded and
bred up in the beggarly and brutish hopes of a fat pre-
bendary, deanery, or bishopric; which poor and low-
pitched desires, if they do but mix with those other
heavenly intentions that draw a man to this study, it is
justly expected that they should bring forth a base-
born issue of divinity, like that of those imperfect and
putrid creatures that receive a crawling life from two
most unlike procreants, the sun and mud. And in

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