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Printed in English, 1699. Cand in the Expofation before it said to be of great Antiquity, and Composed by the Church, directed by tbe Holy Gbolt) you will find many: Prayers to the Virgin Mary, not only of Intercession or Pray: ing for us, but to Grant us Grace, Pardon of Sin, and Eternal Life, in as full and positive Terms as could be asked of God himself. See the Hymn, Memento rerum Conditor, p. 34. And Ave Maris Stella, p. 53. And the Prayer to her, p. 59. Under thy Aid-Sub tuum Præhdium to which is taken out of the Ram man Pontifical in the Office for Consecrating an Image of the B. Virgin, where we Pray for Aid, &c. from her self directly, without mentioning any Interceffion. Nay, they Bless in ber Name, which was never done to any Creature. The Priesthood was Ordained by God, to Bless in his Name. No Apostle or
Deut. x. 8. Angel ever Blefled the People in bis own Name. But in this Primer, p. 16. You will see the Priest give the Blesing in these Words, The Virgin Mary, with her pious Son, bless us. To which the People answer, Amer. Here the Principal Part is given to the Virgin, her Son only Blesses with her, and the is first Named. But if she be not Preferred, yet she is here put upon the Level with her Son at least, and Blesses the People Jointly with him.
L. Why may nor the Virgin Mary Bless as well as an Angel ? And we find that Jacob prayed the Angel might Gen. xlvii
. 16. Bless his Grand Sons.
G. That Angel was God, and so it is Expressed, God, before whom my Fathers Abraham, and Ifaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, the Angel which redeemed me from all Evil, Bless the Lads. This Angel was Christ, who often Appeared before He took Flesh. He was the Angel which, Wrestled with this fame Jacob, and Blessed him. He was the Angel appeared to Moses in the Bush, and said, I am the God of obraham, &c. which no Created Angel could have faid. It was He who Appeared to Joshua as Captain of the Host of the Lord, and said, as before to Moses, Loose Jos. v. 14, 15. thy Shoe from off thy Foot, for the Place whereon thou standest is Holy, which no meer, Angel ever said. So that this will be no Precedent for Blesling the People in the Name of the Virgin Mary.
Epiphanius reckons the Worship of the Virgin Mary (not then so Rank ) among the Herefes, under the Name
Hær.78,79. of the Collyridians,' who offered Cakes to the Moon as Queen of Heaven, which is the same Name they give now Jer, vii, 18. to the Virgin, and she is Painted standing upon the Moon her Representive. Epiphanius Observes that our Blessed Lord foreseeing the Superstition that would come into the World on Account of His Mother, treated her always at a Distance, never once called her Mother, no not upon the Crofs, or by any other Appellation than that of Wo
man, and checking her forwardness laid unto
her, Woman, what have. I to do with Joh. ii. 4. thee? She is as little Named as possible in the Gospels, where Christ pronounces a
Greater Blessing to those that hear Luk.xi. 28.
His Word, than to the Womb that Bare Him: And she is not Reckoned among those who saw Him after His Resurrection. She is but once Named in the Acts of the Apostles, and that upon no other Account
than that she with other Women, A&. i. 14. continued in the Communion of the Apostles after the Ascension of our Lord : But none of her Acts or Miracles are Recorded, though Abundance in the Legends. And the is not once Named, upon any Account whatsoever, in any of the Epistles. Strange! That this should be so forgot, which makes now so great a Part in the Devotions of the Church of Rome!
But there is an Honour of an Extraordinary Nature paid to Her at the Head of all the Saints, in the Office of the Mass, where, be. . fore the Consecration, the Elements are Offered up to God in Memory of the Passion, Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus Christ, and for the Honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary, &c. in Honorem beatæ Mariæ semper Virginis. Did Chrift then Suffer, Rise, and Ascend, for Her Honour? It was for the Honour and Glory of God indeed, but to thrust Her in or any of the Saints to thare in this, looks a little too Familiar, and putting them, at least Her, near
upon the Level with the Almigbry, face more could not be said to Him.
And here we may see a good Reason why God would not have any Religious Worship paid to these, or any Ministers of His Kingdom, nor would be Worshipped with them; for he saw ther would be Encroaching, and coming nearer to Him than was fit for the Condition of Creatures. They would have a Share with Him. Nay that they might come at last to Advance these above God Himself, and Prefer the Saints even to Cbrift! As it has been said, That Christ did non
Lib. Conform. thing which St. Francis did not do, yea, that he did more than Christ bimself.
And now we see the Reason why your Index Expurgatorius would not have it reen in the FATHERS, that God only is to be Wor. shipped, for they have Ex
Adorari solius Dei punged this out of the Indi
est: Deleatur ex Ind. ces of their Works, that they Operum Athanafii In
dice Lib. Prohib. & might not be found by the
Expurg. p. 52. MaPeople, who might take Of- drit. An. 1627. item fence to see their Worship ibid. p. 56.
ex In. Op. S. Auguft. divided betwixt God and Creatures.
Was ther ever so shameless a thing done by any Church as to take upon them to Correct and Alter the Fathers. It is plainly to stifle the Evidence against themselves: And renders every thing at least Suspected that they Quote out of them. And the Scriptures had been Purged too, but that they are fo Common in the Hands of Protestants, that it could not be done without manifest Detection. But how far they have gone towards it, by Mistranslations, Adding or Leaving out some: Words, I have shewed already. But to pursue the Subject we are now upon.
(34.) Not only the Souls of the Saints in Heaven, but their dead Bodies or Bits of them a Finger, a Toe, or a Tooth, or a Scrap of their Cloaths, à Girdle, or a Book, 'orany thing else that they used are Worshipped, and made Means of Grace, and great Miracles said to be done by them.
L. Was not a Dead Man ii Kin, xiii. 21.
Raised by touching the Bones of Elisha?
G. Yes, God may work Miracles by what Means he pleases. But does this - Consecrate the dead Body of every Saint to be a Means of Grace, and a Worker of Miracles? Many Miracles were Wrought by the Rod of Moses; Is every Rod therefore a Means of Grace, either Ghostly or Bodily ? Or may we Consecrate any Rod to be such a Means ? Notbing is such a means to us but what God has Commanded and Appointed to be Done, as Baptism and the Lord's Supper. It is the inor Nitution, not an Example, that makes any thing a Means of Grace to us. Elfe we might go and Imitate all the miraculous Actions of