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Rom. 1. 28.
Ezek. 14. 9.
2 2. 3,
T. p. 407. Faith, it is acceptable to him ; but that the Sign of the Cross without that
is available and acceptable, I am fill to learn. Yet he and his Partegiaris think it enough still to say of the Cross, what they say of Images and Pi. Etures; the very Miracles which have been wrought by it and them sufficiently prove God's Approbation of them at least, which to them is Equivalent to his plain Institution. But God's Permission of a thing, and his Approbation of it, are very very different; much more his plain Institution and Command. He permits all Murders and Robberies ; he permitted all the deluding Oracles and Idolatry of the Heathens; did he therefore Approve, Institute or Com. mand them? God gave them up, eis adó-leecy vôi, to e. Reprobate extravagant
Mind, because they did not like to retain him in their knowledge. Because Isa. 66. 3, 4.
his own Chofen People the Jews, had chosen their own ways and delighted in their Abominations, God chose their Delusions, their Tricks or Devices;
as he had threatned to deceive their Prophets; and he made their Sins their 1 Reg. 22. 23. Punishments. And it is as plain in St. Paul, that there should come amongst Hoft., Christians a falling away; and that the Mystery of Iniquity should work;
and that God should send amongst them firong Delusions that they frould Mat. 7.16. believe a lie. Now we koow no other way to judge of the Tree, but by
its Fruits; If therefore he pretended Miraculous Effects, with which we find the Monkish Legends and Books so plentifully stored, did come to pas really upon the Worshipping of this or that Image or Picture; or upon making this or that bare Sign, or Mark only of the Cross, (as these Iconoclators vainly boast,) Thould we pot rather fufpect (if not believe,) that they were wrought by that subtle deceiver of Mankind, on purpose to withdraw these wretched Devoto's from their firm Affiance in the true God, and to confirm them in a blind trust to these dark and dangerous Ceremonies? I doubt not but all Im
postors, cheating Jugglers, and, fallaces Thaumaturgi, pretended Miracle. T. P: 408. Mongers were chiefly forbidden by Mofes upon this very account, least the
Hearts of that plain and wavering People, thould by their IViles and Tricks
he perverted from their fole dependance upon their God. It is confeft, that · 1. 2. C. 13. 323. the Idols of the Heathen were moved, and did Speak, and foretell future
Events, or rather the Devil moved them and Spake in them; or, most
likely, the crafty Juggling Varlets who managed these matters contrived and
26. acted all themselves; and Nicephorus Collistus thews us very admirably, how T. 2. p. 275. many of thesc Tricks were donc, and we had a most notorious discovery made
of such Cheats here in Engiand, in the Images of St. Rumwald and the Rood Speed. p. 1026.0f Grace, by the Bishop of Rochester. The Scripture makes it plain that the D. M. Repl. Idols fpake, or answer'd by Signs. I would allow it as probable, that a Cr16Hab: 2.18,19. Cifix spake at the Synod of Winchester, or that the image of Christ faluted
ech. 10. 2.Th. Aquinas, with benè fcripfifti de me Thoma, well bast thou written of Ezech. 21. 2.'. me, Ő Thomas, I say I will allow this and much more amongst the new
Romans, as that the Statues of Juno and Fortune spake amongst the old ones; yer I am very apt to believe, if thelc matters of Fact be true, that either the great Deceiver himself, or his Monkish Deputies had the only hand in them. It is too common a Tale amongst us, of the Virgin Mary's Image weeping drops of Blood, to be disown'd; and several notorious impostures of the like nature I could add of my own Knowledge; but when I have thoroughly examin’d them, and plainly seen the drift and end of them to be, not the promoting of the true Fear of God, or of Man's relying wholly upon him, buc either to advance, perhaps, the Glory of some new Canonized Saint ; or Quantum lucri facit hæc Fabula, for the Interest and Profit of some place, or Body of Men; or to keep up the empty Vaunt, of fiill bating frequent Miracles in their Church; and above all, to amuse the Cre. dulous Ideots, and to create perhaps a favourable opinion of these Miracles even in some Men of Sense, but of too much bliud Devotion, I must confess the whole Practice to me Savours very rankly of the strong delusions which I have mention'd above as foretold by St. Paul.
Bell. de Imag
Lab. T. 9. p. 712.
I shall in the next place a little consider the Sign or Mark of the Cross, as it T. p. 408. is this day made both by Greeks and Latins. As for the true Shape or Pattern of that upon which Christ died, we have but little satisfaction from the Celebrated Vision of Constantine, which Eufebius relates to us as taken from his own vit.Constantiz. Mouth. He calls what appear’d, only, saugs Tgómatov éx Dwrós ouviçaqevor, thel. 1. c. 28. Trophy of a Cross made of Light; Zonaras, Tún çocugixós d'aqegwr, A Figure made by Stars croswise, or of a Cross, Cedrenus, tipi çaughs, an ho
In Conftantino. nourable Cross, and only the Inscription was made by Stars; and Christ is said to have order'd Constantine, in a Dream, to make that sign his, Labarum, Eufeb.c. 29. Ensign in the Wars, çaugõ gehuan metroumpe évov, Maped after the fashion of a 30, 31. 1. 1. Cross; as the, Labarum, or Ensign was in that Form before his time, and so no new thing as Bellarmine acknowledges. But there were added, dúo goox sñc De Im. Sanét. Tš xgirš tagadmov to 'ővoud, two letters which as a Cypher intimated the ', 2. 6: 28. p. name of Christ. They were a Greek P and a X cur by it perpendicularly, as is to be seen in many Medals of Valens, Decentius, Magnentius and others, which I have by me. But I must here Mark one thing; fuppose the Ensign made cross-wife was appointed as a Phyla&tery to his Army; it is plain that this Eufeb. Co 31. Monogram or Cypher of the name of Christ alone, was worn in the Emperors Helmet as a choice preservative of himself. We are told that this Character Patin Imp. p. (made with X and p struck downwards through it) was before Constantine's 478. time used by Heathens in their Coins; and particularly in those of some of the Ptolomeys. For both the Ægyptians and others as well as the Jews counted their Kings xgiros, Christ, that is, Anointed. And thus the Ægyprians and pr. 18. 50. other Heathen Rulers might use that Character on their Prince's Coins, and io Sam. 24. 6;
2 Sam. 1.14,16. their Banners to sigoify no more then that their Majesty was Sacred. And Christian Soldiers might pay a Reverence to this Character, as a Memorial to themselves, of the true Christ; and not in respect to the Heathen Emperor's Sanctity under whom they served; and it is not unlikely that Constantine, who without doubt might have seen this Character in other Coins or Banners before him, might afterwards by God's Providence apply it to a better purpose; that is, as a Memorial of the true Christ, the real Anointed of God. As the word Ewtip, Saviour, was frequently used by the Heathen and given to every Bountifull Prince, or Hero, or Benefactor ; but is most properly and peculiarly now applied by Christians to the blessed Jejus only. And I find some Skil.
Evelyn full Medallists think that the Monogram in Constantine's Banner, might have been used long before in Medals, as the Monetarius his Mark, for Crestus, Chrysogonus, Chremes, Chryfippus. Now the Devout Lipfius himself tells us, Viros
graves & facrorum peritos, that very grave Men and well Skill'd in sacred matters, have notwithstanding all this doubted of the real shape of the true Cross of Christ. Some made it with two lines or stroaks cutting one another at right Angles, which Opinion, he faith, he likes beft; others thought l. 1. c. 8. it was like a plain T or like the Head of one of our Spades or Shovels, or our Stilts or Crutches; and he is so logenuous as to say, non damno etsi dissideo, I do not condemn this Opinion though I disent from it. Now I would faio koow in the first place, whether the Sign and Mark of every one of all these have the same Power and Virtue to drive away the Devil; or T. p. 409. which of them is to be prefer’d, whether a Cross of one long line and a short one, or of two equal lines, or as a plain T, and whether the Monogram or Cypher of Christ's dame, which alone Constantine is said to have used in his Hélmet, would not now be at least as effectual as any of the rest, if not of more Authority then any of them, it being warranted by his example. Concerning the Crosses of two lines cutting each other at right Angles, we see a wonderfull Vanity and Variety which the Heralds have devised of them. I would fain know whether all those forts are alike Effectual ? And whether he that hach but one of them in his Shield or Coat of Armor might not think himself very fecure against the Devil, even by wearing his Seal so cut in his Pocket? But if the Dovil would flee from one, surely he that hath five or six or more in his Сс с
De cruce. l. la
1. 1. c. 1o.
T. p. 409. Coar, would be able to chase away a whole Legion. There is a very odd differ
ence observed by Prelates in giving their Blcfling cross-wise in the Air; the Greek Patriarch or Bishop lays the Thumb of his right Hand cross-wise upon his third Finger and something bends his little Finger; the fore finger stands upright, the fecood Finger bends a little; so that to one who looks towards the back of his hand the first and second Fivger may make a blind kind of Mark of thelė two Letters, IC. and the Thumb cross the third Finger, and the little Finger bending, may be as nice a mark of these ewo Letters, XC. Both Cyphering, IHČOYCXPICTÓC, Je sus Chrift; the Pope or Latin Bishop hold up his Thumb and first and fecond Finger straight, and doubles in the two other Fingers into his Hand; if the Cross hath fuch Power the Greeks may plead for their way, but Latios tell you, that their way represents the whole Trinity ; I do not question but some of either side may perhaps be fo bardy as to say (as of other Ceremonies) thar even this is an
Apostolical Tradition. Pardon me if I think it as meer a whimsical Mystery as Buxtorf. Synog.
chat of the Jews, who makes the name of God, 70. Shaddai, on the Hand of jud. c. 49:
every dead Person; by crumplivg the Thumb and two first Fingers a little together they make a filly shadow of the first letter, W. and by buckling down the upper joint of the third Finger, and bending a little that of the little Finger, they make the other two, 17. Some of the Greeks mapual Crosses are made of Silver or Gold, and are often very richly and very variously adorn’d with Jewels, which to my Koowledge begets ten Thousand times more Wonder and Amazement then Devotion, in the common or curious Spectators; the little wooden Crosses, made at Mount Athos and in other Monasteries, have ulually these four Letters upon them, T. K.11. T. but are sometimes miftaken by the Ignorant Graver or Carver; they were first made to signify, róa xpavies tapadékos vivetou, the place of a Scull is made the place of Paradise; I fuppofe chefe words are also thought to add much Power to every Crosse, efpecially if there be a musty reputed Relick or two put into some bollow place in them; but the Latins far exceed them in fuch Trinkers publickly fold at Loretto, is xs vixã, Jefus Christ over.cometh, a Relick of Constantine's Vifion is over the door, and in other places of the Greeks Chambers, as IHS. XPS. taken and deform’d from thence is amongst the Latins; the Jesuits make the first of thefe their common Badge of their Society, and expound it (by making every Letter to pote a whole word) Jesus hominum Salvator, Jefus the Saviour of Men; and at last it came not to be abbreviated in Greek Letters IHC, but IHS. and in old Monkifli Prints or Inscriptions we find it jhs. I have many times feen the Armenians Prayer to St. George stuffed into their Bales of Silk, and interfperfed with numbers of Crosses ; one would think that, according to this Doctrine, one Cross (as at the begivning of Greeks common Letters) had been enough to guard them; and I must say the same of the Latins Mass, where, in the very Canon alone there are above twenty Crosses made; and the Greeks are not behind them in faying their
Liturgies. I have elsewhere noted their numerous repeatings of, xúpse èxéroov, Lord T. p. 410.
bave Mercy; sometimes it is hurried over forty times together; this certainly may justly be called Battologia, the running over the very same words again and again, what must we call these vain repetitions of the Cross, many times it is done in one single Sentence? I must here remark that different way of making the Sign of the Cross upon the Breast in the East and West; all begin it, at those words, in the name of the Father, from the top of the Forehead downwards; then the Greeks, at those, and of the Son, go on to the right side first, and then at those, and of the Holy Ghost, they Cross over to the left; the Latins touch the left side first, and end it on the right. I have heard them many times ridicule and blame one anothers way; I cannot but finile at these conceits, and I am apt to think that the Devil, instead of flying away, doth fo too.
Now let the Fathers who contend for the Form of Christ's Cross being like a plain T. and the others who are for the common Form, end their Controversy as well as they can; what would they say if Christ really fuffer'd neither upon one fort of these, nor upon the other? Then give me leave in this point, which
is no Article of Faith, to produce some things which may (to me at least) seem T. P. 4106 to make this a probable Opinion ; But, (that I may all along use Lipfius his own 1. 3. c. 7. p.63, words ) fit cum lege resipiendi & resiliendi fi quis meliora, it shall be with de Cruce this Condition, to change my Mind and recant if any one shews better. It is
very well known that caupos, which we render a Cross, in its original fignification is no more then oxózof a plain Stake or Post, and hath been caken ac last for any thing else on which one is publickly put to Death; so Mount Carcafus was called, to which Prometheus is said to be nailed, éx Tetabeis tw xâge; Lucian in Prom. with his Hands stretcht out, one this way the other that way; and caugšalai
, p. 56. b. and avaçaugot ou, which we translate to be Crucified, are commonly the fame with avdoxonoriletou trgooora tanEÚ€Tou, to be nailed or fastened to a Stake, or Tree, or the like; nay, sometimes it is taken for Impailing or Spitting upon a Stake; as Malefectors (upon very Heinous Offences,) are yet Executed in Turkey, they call it Kazyk, or as our Merchants pronounce it, Gazook. I will add, to what the learned and accurate Lipsius hath observed, but one pregnant example more out of the Epitome of Dion; where it is said thar Severus sent the Heads of Niger and Albinus to Byzantium, and áveçakupwoe, p. 315. a. Crucified them there, that is set them on Poles, as we serve Traitors Heads P. 324. c. in England. At last these words Crux, Furca, Patibulum, a Crofs, a Fork, a Crotched Tree, or Rafter, (on which Men were put to Death,) were promiscuoully used for one another. My learned Author observes several sorts of these 1. 1. c. 6. Go. Crosses; some are Carpenters or Joiners work, wherein two or more pieces of Wood are cacked or Joined together; But he owns also a plain Crotch or Fork- 1. 1. c. 6. ed Pale to have been used in Fashion of the Capital letter, Y. Now he puts the Lib. 1. c. 10. question, upon which sort of the joined Crosses did Christ die? Give me leave to put it thus, was it an Artificial, Compacted, Joined Cross; or a plain Crotched piece of a Tree or Timber? First he truly takes notice that Crucifying was 1. 1.c. 12, 13. counted, Vile, Ipfame Supplicium, a very Vile and Infamous Punishment; only Thieves and Robbers and such like wretched Offenders suffer'd it. Whether Luk, 23. a. Christ suffer'd for Sedition (as forbidding to give Tribute to Cæfar, and saying that he himself was a King; and the Title over his Head seems to point ac that, the King of the Jews; and Barabbas was under the fame Accusation; and
verf. 38: this Offence by the Roman Law was to be punish'd with Death upon the verf. 19. Cross;) or whether he suffer'd as being accounted a Blasphemer, (and as such was guilty of Death, though the Jewish Law commanded Stoning in that case ;) Lips. 1.1. c. 14. or rather whether Pilare, when he saw he could not prevail any thing with Levit. 24. 16. the clamorous People, who still cryed out Crucify him, Crucify him, and being 26. willing to content the People, he caused him to be Executed after the Roman Mat. 27. 24. way; as Governors in such cafes did often make their Will the Law; I say Mark 13: 25: whatever the Accusation or pretended Crime was, Christ was plainly numbred verf. 28. with the vileft Transgressors; He was chastifed, not with Rods, but opayo gemíos, with Thongs or Scourges, (which 'my Author truly makes another Lipf. 1. 2. C. 3. mark of more disgrace, and of a more base and abject Offender ;) and at last he was Crucified between two Thieves. Now to those who are for an Arti
Mat. 29. 38. ficial or Elaborate Cross, some one perhaps may be ready to say, what Lipsius l1. c.6.p.21. faith of the Crucified Lions, mention'd in Pliny, quis credat tam operofam & Compositain fuisse (Christi) Crucifixionem, who can think that a well wrought and nicely contrived Cross was made for one, who was coupted so mean, so despicable, so much hated a Person? My Author rationally owos that Crosses Lips.1.3.C.13. were commonly made, ex obvio & prompto ligno, of any ordinary Wood that was ready at hand, and he himself thought Christ's Cross was made of Oak. Yet there hath been some fo weak, though well meaning Christians, who though they were not ashamed to own a Crucified Saviour, yet thought it too mean a thing to think that he died upon an ordinary Cross, and therefore have devised nobler Forms and Composed it of more precious Materials; Cedar, and T. p. 411. Palm, and Cypress, and Olive; more out of Curiosity, faith Lipfius, thenl. 3. c. 13. Truth. Bede laid it was made of Cedar, and Pine, and Cypress, and Box, which the Cardinal counts altogether Improbable, yet confesfeth that the An. De Image I....
c. 27. p. 332. Ссс 2
Mat. 26. 65
Mat. 27. 26.
1. 2. c. 9.
1. 1. c. 9.
1. 2. c. 27.
T. p. 411. tients did add some things, Mysterij Gratiâ, to make the matter more Mysteri. Labb. notes on ous. See a gross Tale of these Trees growing out of Fire-brands planted Glycas. p. 358. by Abraham. Some made the Crofs fifteen foot long and eight Broad; Mat. 27. 32. which might well be counted too great a Burden for a Feeble, Weakend Tor1. 2. c. 10. mented Person to bear. Some added Ropes to bear up the Body, others added Luk. 23. 26.
a prop to bear up the Feet; which my Author calls, nimis accurata fabrica,
imo delicata; too nice, nay, too delicate a contrivance; As Scaliger learnedNot. in Eufeb.ly adds, Eexov znypa, a seat in the middle for the Body to set on, as his Chron.p. 118. own peculiar observation. Some will have Christ fasteped with three Nails
only, others with four ; which Lipsius faith, arbitrarium fuit & frustrà litigemus, was determind by the choice of the Judge or fancy of the Work-man, and affords but a vain Dispute. Indeed of the whole History or Narrative of the Form of the Cross, and manner of the Crucifixion, you may allow thar, which Lipfius faith of the Fathers different Opinions, to be true; non fine lascivia quadam logeniorum & fili cam describuunt; they have something too wantonly employ'd both their Wits and Pens in describing it. From all this it must seem to some very unlikely that Christ died upon an Artificial Cross, especially such a one as some of the Antients, out of a too much overacted Devotion,
have deyised. Therefore the Cardinal freely acknowledges that Christ, as a De Imag. I. 2. c. 27. P. 333. common Malefactor, as well as the Thieves, were all fastened with Nails, and
carried their Cross, and all were Scourged alike. And therefore this by fome Socrar. I. 1. c. may well be added, that when Helena found the three Crosses at Jerusalem, 17. Sozom.. 1. they were all fo exactly like one another, as they could not be distinguished, Bellar. ut supr.
till by a Miracle, or two, the true Cross was discovered. Now since they
very fame fashion’d Crosses, one would hardly believe that the Ruffin. 1. 10. vile Thieves had Artificially and Elaborately compacted ones made for them; Lips. 1. 2. c. and therefore it is very suspicious that all three of them were but common,
plain, Crotched Poles or Rafters; and if the Antient devour Fathers had buc
supra p. 442. B. thought on, and well considered Pythagoras bis Symbol, they might have
found as solid a Mystery in the plain Crotch, as in the Ægyptian T. which socrat. 5.c. 17.
was found at the Destruction of Serapis's Temple. It is laid that the Æ. gyptians declared that the secret meaning of that Hieroglyphick was, vita ventura, the Life to come; which the Christians snatching at, as being thought more uitable to their Religion, αλαζονικώτερον διετέθησαν, vaunted or gloried the more.
But the Y was a Symbol of the present ways of human Life; the left Horn of it, being broad, represented an easy Voluptuous one; the right Horn, being very narrow, signified a Virtuous one. A meer Heathen Poet
understood this very well; Perf. Sat. 3.
Et tibi quæ Samios diduxit litera ramos,
The false way, to the Left, to th’ Right the true.
Humanæ vita fpeciem præferre videtur.
Or seems to shew the Course of Human Life. And this most wonderfully agrees with the very words of our Saviour himself; Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to Destruction, and many there be which go in thereat ; But strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto Life, and few there be that find it. And conformable to this will his Sentence be at the last day, as Judge he will say to the Good and Righteous on his right hand, come ye Blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the Foundation of the World; then will he say to the IV icked on his left hand, depart from me ye Cursed into Everlasting Fire prepared for the Devil and his Angels. The account which we have in Scripture of the Title and the placing of ir, fecms much to favour a Crotched Pole rather then au Artificial Cross. Pilate, faith St.
Virgil de litera.
Mat. 7. 13,14.
Mat. 25. 34, 41.