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2dly, (a) Weought not to call upon, or pray unto any in whom we do not believe. But we do not believe in any Saint, for God pronounces a Curfe againft fuch as (b)
« Trusterb in Man." And, St. Austin (c) fays very well, “. We that are Christians do not believe in Peter, « but in him whom Peter himself believed. As oot in Peter, fo in no other Saint; cherctore no Saint is to be invocated.
3dly, (d) “ God will not have his Glory given to ano.
Bu: Invocation is a principal Part of God's Glory, therefore it is an Infringement upon God's Prerogative, and high Treason agaiaft the King of Kings, to transfer it upon
any other. Athly, There is but one Mediator between God and Man, the Man Christ Jesus, without whom sone can come to the Father, Bur Interceflionis Part of the Office of Me. diator, therefore not without the higheft Sacrilege, to be afcribed to any but Christ: For be alone redeemed all, and therefore alone can intercede in particular for all, because the Virtue and Efficacy of laterceffion, depend on that of Redemption...
thly, Our Lord, teaching his Disciples to pray, commanded them to direct their Prayers to God, and fay, « Our Father which art in Heaven,” not “ O thou Mo“ ther of Mercy, O ye Saints, or holy Angels, oc." And why shou'd Christiaos forsake such a Teacher, to follow their own Inventions?
6thly, If we pray to God, io Chrift's Name, we have an assured Promise that we hallobtain; “ Verily, verily, " whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my Name, he will “ give it you.'
But no such Assurance is made to those
(a) Rom. 10. 14. (b) Jer. 17. 5. (c) De Civit. Dei, Lib. 18. Cap: &(d) Isai, 42. 8.
that call upon Saints or Angels: Nay, they may rather expect a Curse than a Blessing, Since by worshipping the (a) “ Creature instead of the Creator, they change the Truth of God into a Lye.”
7thly, The holy Scriptures teach us, that God only is our Succour, Refuge, Help, Defender, and Protector, to whom in publick and private Prayers, and all our Necessities we are to have Recourse, as in the 18, 46, and 134 Pfalms throughout. And the Lord faith, (b) “Thau " Thalt know no God but me : For there is no Saviour “ beldes me.". Again, (c) “ Every good and perfect " Gift is from above, and cometh from the Father,
To withdraw us from bonouring the Creatures, we are taught, (d) « Not to trust in them.” . And that all Grace is through Chrift, and that the best of Men can challenge nothing through their own Merits. Therefore the Prayers of Pap.fts to Saints and Angels, are impious, and utterly repugnant to Scripture: Nay, plainly tending to fubvert the whole Order of God's Worship, and to rob our molt gracious Saviour of the Glory which for his boundless Mercy belongs to him; of whose loving Kindnels the Scripture hath given such ample Testimony, that it cou'd proceed from none but the Devil and Antichrist, thus to make Saint-Mediators, and Saint-Intercessors, when there is none in Heaven or in Earth fo propense to Mercy as himself. (e) “ With everlasting Kindness will I " have Mercy on thee, faith the Lord thy Redeemer. (f) “ The Mountains shall depart, and the Hills shall be " removed, but my Kindness shall not depart from thee, “ neither shall the Covenant of my Peace be removed, “ faith the Lord that hath Mercy on thee. (g) “ Be!ore
they call, I willanswer, and whiles they are yet speak
ing, I will hear. (b) “ In all Things he was made " like to bis Brethren, that he might be a merciful and
(a) Rom. 1. 25. (b) Hofea 13. (c) James 1. 19: (d) psalm 117. (c) llai. 54. 8. (1) Verse 1c. (g) fai. 63. 24. (b) Heb. 2. 17.
“ faithful High-Priest in Things pertaining to God, to « make Reconciliation for the Sins of the People.” Certainly these Promises are both so trecand fo full that it is the greatest Ingratitude and Impiety in the World to doubt them. One Man gives Credit to another in the Course of Dealing, and a few Lines of Writing secure the greatest Contracts; and shall the Promises of the Son of God, sealed with his Blood, be called into Question? After he has given us his Word, his Oath, his Life for it,
shall we distrust his Mercy? What provoking Madness is ' it then to court the Followers, when we may so easily ad.
dress the Prince; or to hew out unto our felves broken Cisterns, and to run after puddled Streams, when we may thus freely have Access to the Fountain of Mercy and Lite?
8thly, Those that pray to Saints departed, must acknowledge them to know Mens Hearts and Thoughts, else how Nail they understand the Sincerity of their Devotions, and the Desires of their Minds? They must also believe them to be Omnipresent, elle how shall they attend to, and hear so many thousand several Perfons Prayers, in all Nations at the fame Moment: But 'ris God alone that knows Mens Hearts, and he alone that is every where present therefore to pray to Saints, is not only ur warrantable, but most absurd and blasphe
9thly, We read that Angels refused to be worshipped, and earnestly forbad it, saying, (a) “ See thou do it not." And that Saints deny'd to accept of any kneeling to them, that might seein to import Adoration, giving for a Reafon, that (b) “ they were but Men.". Now, what an odd Sort of people are our Papists, who pretend such an excessive Devotion towards Saints and Angels, and yet will not take their Words?
(a) Rev. 19. 10. @ 22, 8. (b) Atts 10. 26.
10thly, If Saints departed do not know our Circumstances here on Earth, or if we can have no Assurance that they can hear our Prayers, then 'tis absurd and vain to pray to them. Solomon faith, (a) « The Dead know not any “ Thing.” And when Foliah shou'd die, God celis him, “He should not see the Evil he wou'd tring upon
Jerufalem.” Nor are the learnedest of our Adversaries able, 'to give us, or their own Consciences Satisfaction, how the Saints know our Wants, and take notice of our Desires, to be pray'd for, as appears by their mulriplying Questions; as, whether the Souls of those that be pray'd to, be present or not; if prelent, whether really, or only virtually, (that is) whether they have the knowledge of our Prayers from others, and whether our Angel-Guardi-, ans inform them, or the Spirits of just Men that go fiom hence, tell them our Desires, ec. 'Tis true their molt common Answer is, " That the Saints enjoying the " beatifical Vision, behold all Things in the Face of God “ as in á Glass.” But how does any body hear Soun./s, or perceive Mens Thoughts in a Glass? Or how can they fee all Things in the Éffence of God, unless they can comprehend his infinite divine Essence, which surpasses the Capacity of Men or Angels ? Can a finite Being fee or know all that the Infinite does ? Besides, what a uieless Circle is here! First, Papists pray to Saints, then God reveals to them that such Persons have pray'd to them, and then the Saints pray to God, for thole that so pray'd to them. Were it not more direct and safe to go as we are commanded, to God by Christ, who both can and will hear our Prayers ? For tho' we acknowledge nothing impossible to God; yet it is not lawful to believe any Thing as his Will, which he hath not revealed; for we can only judge of his Will by the Scrip:ures, which, touching these Speculations are silent; but in fundry Places, command us to pray, “ In Faith without doubting. But how is it possible we Mou'd so do, if we pray to them
of whose Hearing or Knowledge of us, we can have no Faith?
Now since the Worship and Invocatiod of Saints and Angels, and more particularly and emigently of the Vis. gin
Mary, hath for f.me Ayes been a principal Part of the Religion of Rome, may not any discreet, lober, confidesate Man (it is meant tho' educated amongst them) juftly wonder, that fo considerable a Part of Religion as they make this co be, Mou'd have no Manner of Foundation in the Scripture? Does our Saviour any where fpeak one Word concerning any Worship due to the Virgin Mary? Nay, does he not take all Occasions to restrain all extravagant Apprehensions, and Imaginations, concerning the Honour due unto her, as foreseeing the Degeneracy of the Church in this Matter? When he was told thai his Mother and Brethren were without, (a) “Who, fays he,
is my Mother, and who are my Betbren? (b) · Who• soever thall do the Will of God, the fame is my Bro. " ther, and my Sister, and Mother." So when at the Marriage of Cana, me seemed to importune him unleafonably to work a Miracle, saying, (c) “. They have no • Wine.” Jesus faith unto her, * Woman, what have " I to do with thee, my Hour is not yet come." As
much as to say, why shou'd' I have Respect to thy Defire in this Cale? In Matters touching my Charge, and the Com. mission of my Father, for preaching, working Miracles, and conferring Graces, I must not be tied to Flesh and Blood. And another Time, when a certain Woman brake out into that Rapture concerning her, “ Blessed “ is the Womb that bare thee, and the Paps that gave “ thee Suck; ” Our Saviour directs it to another Thing, " Yca rather, faith he, bletted are they that hear the " Word of God, and keep it.” Does' either our Sa“ viour or bis A poftles in all their Precepts and Direc“ tions concerning Prayer and the Manner of it, give
(a) Matt. 12. 47. 2. 3, do 4.
(b) Mark 3. 31.