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2. And I pray you, tell me how substances come to the understanding, if they were never in the sense : prove a substance without sensation as a medium, if you can. Do you perceive any substances intellectually or not? If not, why pretend you that there are any? If yea, it must be either as conclusions, or as intellectual principles (which are both logical complex objects, and therefore not substances), or as the immediate immaterial objects of intellection (which is only the soul's own acts), or what is by analogy gathered from them ; or else the objects of sense itself. It can be none of the former ; therefore it must be the latter : and how can the understanding find that in sense which was never there?
If it be said that it is there but by accidents ; I answer, 1. That is false, though said by many. I do as immediately touch substance as accidents, though not substance without the acci. dents. 2. Whether it be there by the meditation of the accidents, or immediately itself, we are sure that the understanding no otherwise receiveth it, than as the sense transmitteth it; we must know material substance as it is sensed, or not at all.
We see then what a pass this Roman religion bringeth the world to. That they may be Christians, they must believe (and swear by the Trent oath) that they are not men; and that they may have faith, they must renounce their senses; and that they may be sure God's word is true (and the church's decrees), they must be sure that they are sure of nothing; and how then are they sure of that? And while they subvert all the
order of nature in the world, they pretend that God can do it, and therefore we are to believe that he doth it, merely because these doctors can call themselves the Church, and then can so expound the Scripture. When it is God's settled order in nature, that a man as an animal shall have sense to perceive things sensibly by, and as a man shall have understanding to receive from the imagination and sense, these objects ; we must now suppose that God hath quite overturned the course of nature, either by making sense no sense, or the object no object, or the medium no fit medium ; and yet this is to be believed by men that have nothing but the same senses to inform their understandings that it is written or spoken, or that there is a man in the world.
Suppose we grant it to be no contradiction, and therefore a thing that God can do, no man can question but that he must do it as a miracle, by altering and overturning nature's course. shall we feign, 1. Miracles to become ordinary things, through all the churches in the world, and every day in the week, or every hour to be done? 2. And miracles to be made a standing church ordinance ? 3. And every one in the church, even all the wicked, and every mouse that eateth the host, to be partaker of a miracle? 4. Yea, that every such man and mouse, may all the week long live on a continued miracle, while accidents without substance do nourish them, and turn to flesh and blood ? 5. And all this ordinary course of miracles to be wrought at the will of every priest, be he never so ignorant or wicked a man? 6. And yet the same
words spoken by the holiest of the Protestant pastors will not do the miracle.
7. But if a Papist priest should be unduly ordained, or forge his own Orders, sobeit the church think him truly ordained, he can do the miracle. All this must be believed.
And the plague of all is, all men must be burnt as heretics, or exterminated, that cannot believe all this, and disbelieve their senses. worse, all temporal lords must be dispossessed of their dominions, who will suffer any such to live therein, and not exterminate them.
An epicure and a sensual infidel, who think man is but of the same species of brutes, do but unman us, and leave us the honour of being animals or brutes. But the Papists do not leave us this much, but must reduce us to a lower order, and teach us to deny our sense itself; and torment and kill them that will not do it.
And what is it that must persuade us to all this? Why merely a hoc est corpus meum,' as expounded by the Councils of Lateran and Trent. And is not David's “I am a worm and no man'' (Ps. xxii. 6) as plain ; yea, and that in a prophecy of Christ? Must we believe there. fore that neither David nor Christ was a man, but a worm? Is not “I am the Vine, and ye are the branches” (John xv. 1, 2) as plain? Must sense be renounced and ordinary miracles believed for such words as these ?
And doth not Paul call it bread (1 Cor. xi.) after consecration, three times in the three next verses ? And is not he as good an expositor of Christ's words as the Council of Trent?
And when did God work miracles which were
mere objects of belief against sense ? Miracles were done as sensible things, thereby to confirm faith, and that which no sense perceived was not taken for a miracle.
To conclude, when the apostle saith, that “flesh and blood cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (plainly speaking of them formally as now called, and not as they signify sin), and consequently that Christ's body is now in heaven a spiritual body, and not formally flesh and blood, yet must the bread and wine be turned into his flesh and blood on earth, when he hath none in heaven?
And by their doctrine no baker nor vintner is secured, but that a priest may come into his shop or cellar, and turn all the bread and wine in it into Christ's body and blood : yea, the whole city or garrison may thus be deprived of their bread and wine, if the priest intend it; and yet it shall not be so in the Sacrament itself, if the priest intend it not. But I have dwelt too long on this.
XIV. Next to the act of cogitation and volitation itself, and to the most certain objects of sense, there is nothing in all the world so certain, that is, so evident to the intellect, as the being of God: he being that to the mind which the sun is to the eye, most certainly known, though little of him be known, and no creature comprehend him.
XV. That God is true, is part of our knowing him to be perfect, and to be God; and therefore is most certain.
XVI. That man is made by God and for God ; that we owe him all our love, obedience and praise, that we have all from him, and should please him in the use of all, with many such like, are notitiæ communes, certain verities, received by nature, some as principles, and some as such evident conclusions as are not to be doubted of.
XVII. That the Scripture is the word of God, is a certain truth, not sensible, nor a natural principle; but an evident conclusion drawn from that seal or testimony of the Spirit, antecedent, concomitant, impressed and consequent; which I have often opened in other treatises.
XVIII. That the Scripture is true, is a certain conclusion drawn from the two last-mentioned premises, viz. That God is true, 'verax,' and that the Scripture is his word.
XIX. Those doctrines or sayings which are parts of Scripture evidently perceived so to be by sense and intellective perception, are known to be true, by the same certainty as the Scripture in general is known to be true.
XX. To conclude then, there are two sorts of certain verities in Theology. 1. Natural principles with their certain consequents. 2. Scripture in general, with all those assertions which are certainly known to be parts. And all the rest are to be numbered with uncertainties, except prophetical certainty of inspiration, which I
IV. OF THE SEVERAL DEGREES OF CER
1. As certainty is taken for truth of being, it admitteth of no degrees: all that is true, is equally