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CHAP. “ concluded, that the agenseiers hereof were to be f reiat
“ ed, and rebukid as nyce, fonned, waful, wantoun, scisme + chidden. 66
sowers, and disturblers of the peple, in maters which “ thei mowe never her entent bring about."
24. By this we may see, that so far were our Bishop and the Wiclifists agreed, that images were not in themselves absolutely unlawful, but that they might be honoured and respected as the signs and memorials of those we regarded or esteemed. They differed in their notions of idolatry, and consequently in the reasons for removing and abolishing them. The Bishop thought, that idolatry consisted in taking a creature for God, and worshipping that creature for his God, a fancy, that, our Bishop truly
observes, no man can entertain that is not a natural fool. Bp. Stil
Even the heathens, who changed the glory of the incorIdolatry of ruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, the Church were not such fools as to take that corruptible image for
the incorruptible God. Thus Celsus : Who but an utter fool believes these images to be gods, and not their avalyMata and &yámata, or statues dedicated to them? Whereas Dr. Wiclif's notion of idolatry was, that it is setting hope or putting trust in images, or giving the honour to them that is due to God alone, as swearing by them, and
offering to them; and this he thought a sufficient reason Life of Dr. for the destroying of images. “If,” says he, “ Ezechie the Wiclif, p. 175.
“ blessid king brak the brasene serpent commaundid of “God to be maad, for, or because, the puple gaf to it in
cense and onour due to God alone, as it is open in the “ iii boke of Kingis, the xviii chap. hou moche more a “ Cristene King, with assent of his Lordis and trewe “ Clergie, shuld breke or brenne doumbe idolis --- if the
simple puple doth idolatrie by them, in settinge hope in “ them?” &c. Our Bishop does not deny, but that very wrong and false opinions were entertained by the people of these images; as, that there was some godly virtue in them, that they did miracles, that they were alive, and did see, hear, or speak at some certain times, and sometimes did sweat. Nay, he seems to allow, that images
were the occasions of some moral vices in the people, as .CHAP. of their overmuch worshipping them, of pride, and of covetousness. Of these things Dr. Wiclif, &c. much complained. That poor men were spoiled with unjust axings, Ibid. p. 175. or tallages, oppressions, extortions or other frauds, to maintain the costly honour paid to these images; that by them the works of mercy were cruelly withdrawn from needy, men; nay, that the Clergy enjoined, as penance, Great Senmen's offering to certain images, for their winning or ad- Curse exvantage, or to maintain their pride and covetousness. But pounded, c. nothing less in our Bishop's opinion was sufficient to justify the breaking or destroying them than the worshipping them as God. But certainly if covetousness, or a trusting in uncertain riches, a making gold our hope, or the fine gold our confidence, be idolatry, as the Apostle of the Gentiles expressly affirms, one would think our trusting in any images of Christ or his saints, our making them our hope and confidence, though we no more took them for the incorruptible God, than we believed our riches to be so, should be properly idolatry. Now what greater sign could the people give of their trusting in images, and placing their hope and confidence in them, and by so doing, giving that honour to them that is due to God only, than their believing a divine virtue in them, and, that miracles were often wrought by them? This was being like even the heathens themselves, or however the wiser sort of them, who, though they denied that they ever thought their images to be very gods, per se deos; yet fancied Arnobius that by consecration the gods were brought into them, and con. Gen;
vi. dwelt in them, and that there they worshipped them. But to proceed :
25. The second principal governance" of which Repressour, many of the layte overmyche wiiten the Clergie,” the part ii. c.7, Bishop observed, was this, “ that pilgrimagis to dyverse “ bodies and bonys ef seintis be maad, and also ben maad “ to ymagis of Crist crucified, and of Marie, and of othere “ seintis, and nameliche for that pilgrimagis ben maad “ into summe placis more in which ben the ymagis of the
CHAP. “ crucifex, and of Marie, and of the seintis, than into
summe othere placis, in which ben like ymagis of the “ crucifix, and of Marie, and of the same othere seintis."
The practice of going in pilgrimage to Jerusalem seems A. D. 370. to have been new in the fourth century, when Gregory Bop: Dascua-Nyssen, about the latter end of it, in a learned epistle dissive from suaded Christians from going thither on that errand, tellPopery,part ing them, that the Lord had not reckoned going to Jeru
salem among those good deeds which direct us to attain to the inheritance of the kingdom of heaven. To the same purpose St. Chrysostom; To obtain pardon of our sins,
says he, there is no occasion of travelling far in pilgrimDr. Inett's ages, and going to the most distant nations. Here in History of England about the beginning of the eighth century, an odd the English Church, vol. and surprising opinion of the holiness and merit of pil
grimages to Rome very much prevailed, and became very fashionable, insomuch that the English of all ranks and degrees, of every sex and age travelled to Rome, and placed a mighty confidence in visiting the tombs of the Apostles
St. Peter and St. Paul, &c. The consequence of which was, about 750. that as Boniface Archbishop of Mentz wrote to Cuthbert
Archbishop of Canterbury, there were few cities in Lombardy, France, or Gaul, in which there were not to be found some lewd women of the English nation. For which reason he recommends to him the suppression of this practice, as of a very scandalous and ill consequence. But this humour finding encouragement on account of the profit arising by the offerings made to the holy places and images which the pilgrims visited, a service or order was
composed for them in particular, which was inserted in Edit. Rhoto-the Salisbury Manual. First of all the pilgrims were to mag. 1554. be confessed of all their sins; then they were to prostrate
themselves before the altar, and to have said over them the psalms and prayers there appointed; the pilgrims were then to stand up, and the Priest was to bless their satchels or scrips, and staves, praying to God, that he would vouchsafe to sanctify and bless them, that whoever for the love of his name should put that satchel to his
side, or hang it about his neck, or carry that staff in his CHAP.
III. hands, and thus going on pilgrimage, should with an humble devotion desire to obtain the suffrages of the saints, might be protected by the defence of his right hand, and deserve to come to the joys of the eternal mansion. And then sprinkling holy water on the satchels and staves, putting the satchel about each of the pilgrims necks, and delivering the staves into their hands, with a set form of words for the purpose. If any of the pilgrims were a going to Hierusalem, they were to have their garments marked with a cross, and the crosses to be blessed and sprinkled with holy water, and the garment' so marked was to be delivered to every one of the pilgrims, with a set form of words for the purpose. All which being ended, a mass was said for their good journey.
26. The Popes finding these pilgrimages likely to turn to account, it was ordained, A. D. 1188, that whatever clerk or laick took the cross, he should be freed and Pabsolved from all the sins which he had repented of and con
p This is the first mention which we have made of these indulgences in any of our English Constitutions. The Council of Trent having left the nature of an indulgence undefined, there are various opinions of it; but it is allowed, that the safest to follow and easiest to defend is this: that,“ an indulgence is a “ remission, in part, or in whole, of the temporal pains imposed on sinners by “ their Confessors, according to the judgment of their discretion, or which might “ have been imposed on them, according to the canons of the Church: and by “ the usual style of an indulgence of forty days, is meant, according to them, “ a remission of the penalties imposed by the canons on offenders, or an in« dulgence of the several periods of time to do penance for several sins."
But these are the softenings of the English Popish missionaries, since the detection of the fraud of this superstition at the Reformation, and since. It is very plain by the English rubrics printed in the Hore beatissime Virginis Marie, 1527, that by these indulgences was then pretended to be granted a clene remyssion of all synnes perpetually enduring; and ten hundred thousand yers of pardon for dedly synnes graunted of our holy Father Jhonn XXII. Pope of Rome: and thousands of yers of pardon for venial synnes. By another of these rubrics we are assured, that who that devoutly with a contrite heart daily say this oryson, yf he be that day in the state of eternal damnacyon, than thys eternal payne shall be chaunged hym in temporal payne of purgatory; than yf he hath deserved the payne of purgatory, it shall be forgoten and forgyuen throwe the infinite mercy of God.
CHAP. fessed. And to improve the trade, some particular images
were preferred to others as of more especial virtue and ho-
Bridget, in the Salisbury Primer, are some prayers with St. Marie de this rubric prefixed to them: Whosoever, being in a state la Peyte.
of grace, shall say devoutly the following prayers with
frages, xxviii thousand, and A. D. 1478, doubled these inJohn Pur- dulgences. The saints which seem to have been most in logue, &c. vogue here in England, were our Lady of Walsingham", St.
Edward, and St. Thomas of Canterbury, and to their images
they too of no inferior character, who shewed their dislike of Speculum these superstitious follies. Thus the author of the Lookingrum, lib. v. glass for little Children tells us, that A.D. 1381,“ in the
“ fourth jubilee of the most famous martyr St. Thomas, the apud Wharton Angl.
people from every place flocked to Canterbury, magno sac. vol. ii. “ cordis affectu, et desiderio; and, that at the same time,
“ on the vigil of the foresaid translation, it happened, that
9 By there being no year mentioned here when Pope Gregory granted this indulgence, it seems as if the maker of this rubric did not know to which of the Gregories to ascribe it, or rather, that he was willing it should be believed that it was Pope Gregory I. But the last of the Gregories lived 1406, which indeed seems to be the date of the rise of these extravagant follies.
* Celeberrimum nomen est per universam Angliam, nec temere reperias in ea insula qui speret res suas fore salvas, quin illam quotannis aliquo munusculo pro facultatum modulo salutarit. Erasmi Peregrinatio Religionis ergo.