« PreviousContinue »
liome at night, praies, is liberally supt, and sumptuously laid to sleep, rises, is saluted, and after the malmsey, or some well spic't bruage, and better breakfasted then he whose morning appetite would have gladly fed on green figs between Bethany and Ierusalem, his Religion walks abroad at eight, and leaves his kind entertainer in the shop trading all day without his religion.
Another sort there be who when ihey hear that all things shall be order'd, all things regulated and setl’d; nothing writt'n but what passes through the custom house of certain Publicans that have the tunaging and the poundaging of all free spok’n truth, will strait give themselves up into your hands, mak'em &
cut 'em out what religion ye please ; there be delights, there be recreations and jolly pastimes that will fetch the day about from sun to sun, and rock the tedious year as in a delightfull dream. What need they torture their heads with that which others have tak’n so strictly, and lo unalterably into their own pourveying. These are the fruits which a dull ease and ceffation of our knowledge will bring forth among the people. How goodly, and how to be wifht, were such an obedient unanimity as this, what a fine conformity would it starch us all into? doubtles a stanch and solid peece of frame-work, as any January could freeze together.
Nor much better will be the consequence ev'n among the Clergy themselves; it is no new thing never heard of before, for a parochiall Minister, who has his reward, and is at his Hercules pillars in a warm benefice, to be easily inclinable, if he have nothing else that may rouse up his studies, to finish his circuit in an English concordance and a topic folio, the gatherings and savings of a sober graduatship, a Harmony and a Catena, treading the constant round of certain common doctrinall heads, attended with their uses, motives, marks and means, out of which as out of an alphabet or fol fa by forming and transforming, joyning and dis-joyning variously a little book-craft, and two hours Y 2
meditation might furnith him unspeakably to the performance of more then a weekly charge of sermoning : not to reck'n up the infinit helps of interlinearies, breviaries, Synopses, and other loitering gear. But as for the multitude of Sermons ready printed and pil'd up, on every text that is not difficult, our London trading St. Thomas in his veftry, and adde to boot St. Martin, and St. Hugb, have not within their hallow'd limits more vendible ware of all sorts ready made : so that penury he never need fear of Pulpit provision, having where so plenteously to refresh his magazin. But if his rear and flanks be not impal’d, if his back dore be not secur'd by the rigid licencer, but that a bold book may now
and then issue forth, and give the assault to some of his old collections in their trenches, it will concern hin then to keep waking, to stand in watch, to set good guards and sentinells about his received opinions, to walk the round and counter-round with his fellow inspectors, fearing left any of his flock be seduc't, who also then would be better instructed, better exercis’d and disciplin'd. And God send that the fear of this diligence which must then be us’d, doe not make us affect the lazines of a licencing Church.
For if we be sure we are in the right, and doe not hold the truth guiltily, which becomes not, if we ourselves condemn not our own weak and frivolous