Ecclesia and Factio  (1698) 
by Edward Ward

An annotated version of this text is available.

Eccleſia & Factio.




Bow-Steeple Dragon,


Exchange Graſhopper.

LONDON, Printed in the Year, 1698.





TEll me Proud Inſect, ſince thou can’ſt not Fly,
By what aſſiſtance thou art Hopp’d ſo high:
The buſie ſwarms of Gnats & Waſps around,
With Hum, and Buz, thy Revelations ſound,
And cry in thee (alone) their happineſs is found.

Me they Deſpiſe, and thee they Praiſe aloud,
Admire thee, and Adore thee as a God:
Miſled by falſe Enthuſiaſtick Light,
They’ve rais’d thee now to a Deſtructive hight,
Who reſtleſs ſtrive’ſt, by thy accuſtom’d ways,
To ſtain thoſe Glories, which thou ne’er cou’dſt raiſe;

And like your Dam (the Babylonian Beaſt)
Cry down thoſe Truths (by which Mankind are bleſt)
Which Reaſon, well as Faith, makes manifeſt.


Thy Scally Body, and Aſpiring Wings,
Thy furious Tallons, and thy frightful Stings,
Makes thee ſeem Monſtrous to our milder Flock,
Who Dreaded once, but now Diſdains thy Yoke:

You’d bind our Souls, b’ Omnipotence made free,
And Rob us of that Heav’n-born Libertie,
To which we have a Right, as clear as thee.
My Sons thou wou’dſt unreaſonably confine
To Worſhip God, within no Walls but thine,
As if the Prayers, from other Temples ſent,
Of ſighing Souls, who fathfully Repent,
Were Scorned, and by repulſion backward driven,
Vaniſh’d in Air, and reached no Ear of Heaven.
Where is its Goodneſs? What avils its Grace,
If our ſincere Repentance wants acceſs,
Thro’ Heav’ns reſpect to either Time, or Place?

Thoſe meaſures but our own Projections be,
Unminded of the Great Eternitie,
Whoſe Love Divine moves round the Sinfull Bull,
To bleſs each wretch, who on his Mercies call,
Without regard to Place, no matter where,
If the Heart’s Contrit, and the Mind Sincere.
Our Humble Guide the great Example yields,
Who Pray’d and Preach’d in Gardens, Mounts, and Fields:
Temples but Sacred from their uſe became;
Our Piety makes any Houſe the ſame:

Where e’er we in th’ Almighty’s Name repair,
Omnipotence hath promis’d to be there,
Our Prayers (by which all-pitty’ng Heav’n we move,
To grant us His ineſtimable Love,
When with true Zeal our Pious Souls are warm’d)
Makes the Place Holy, whereſoe’er perform’d.


Thou know’ſt I’m founded on a fateleſs Rock,
Freed from the danger of an Envious ſhock:
Scripture’s my Baſs, Immovable I ſtand,
Guarded by Lawful Pow’r, on ev’ry hand.

Eſtabliſh’d by a National Conſent,
Preach Faith, and Charity, do ills prevent;
And for the Truths I Teach, am made Predominant.

Stedfaſt and Pure, from Innovations free,
Preſerv’d intire from Mutabillity;
Safe from your Pride, and Envy, Arm’d with Law,
To humble ſtiff Preciſians, who with draw

From my Communion, Conſcious to agree
With Heads uncover’d, or a bended Knee,
And think a Bow a rank Idolitry.

Religion, like a Prince, tho’ ne’er ſo Pure,
By Pow’r to Puniſh, muſt be made ſecure,
Or elſe your Saints, to Reformation given,
Would quickly cut Ten Thouſand Paths to Heaven.

Could I from Factious Inſolence be free,
And live unſtain’d, without an Enemy,
(But that, till thou art cruſh’d, can never be)

Then Church, and State might happily Unite,
To Mankinds Safety, and to Heav’ns Delight:
But you, by Pride, are ſwell’d to ſuch a Rage,
(Fed by the Vice of a Corrupted Age)
That now you ſtrike, with Envy, at my Pow’r,
And aim’ſt above my Sacred Head to tow’r;
But all in vain——
For that Bleſt Edifice can never drop,
Which, when aſſail’d, good Heaven’n is ſtill the Prop.

You urge a Barn, or Stable, where you Meet,
A Field, a Coffee-Houſe, Dancing-School or Street,
Are fit for Heav’nly Worſhip, and for Prayer
Sacred, as unpoluted Temples are.
Rare Arrogance indeed, ſo vilely prone,
To juſtify Irreverence to a God-head done.
A Room where Men their common Luſts purſue,
Drink, Swear, Lye, Cheat, all Worldly-buſineſs do,
In Chriſtian Reaſon, is a hopeful Place
To beg God’s Preſence, or expect His Grace;
Whilſt His own Houſe, for Holy uſe ordain’d,
To Him Erected, by our Sins unſtain’d,
Shall be Deſpis’d, and Unregarded ſtand,
A uſeleſs Fabrick, in an Impious Land:
Yet do’ſt thou grumble in oppreſſive tones,
And rail at me for Perſeutions.

If you, thro’ ſtuddi’d Prejudice, retire
From what the Laws of God, and Man require,
A Legal Force may juſtly then be us’d;
Such Factious Serpents may in time be bruis’d:

My Pow’r’s from God, and in His Word declard,
To thoſe who to my Laws bear no regard,
Heav’ns Puniſhments are Juſt, as to the Good Reward.

The Scriptures whatſoever I Teach contain,
Whats Eaſie I Recite, whats Hard Explain:
Virtue commend to Practice, Sin reprove,
Excite to Faith, Hope, Charity, and Love,
Obedience, Loyalty, Repentance, Prayer,
The uſe of what we Spend, or what we Spare.
Truth I advance, and what is Falſe ſuppreſs,
You can no more than theſe, I do no leſs.
Then tell me what ſtrange Feavour in the Head,
At firſt thoſe Superſtitious Frenzys bred?
From whence you raiſe that cauſeleſs diſcontent,
Which makes you from my Temples thus Diſſent?


Superfluous Rites there are, which you maintain,
And hold as Decencies, which I think Vain.
Look back upon your boaſted Pedigree,
One part deriv’d of Romes Idolatry,
From whoſe fantaſtic Cuſtoms you have drawn,
Square Caps, low Bows, your Surpliſs, and your Lawn.

Proud Lazy Prelates, with Pluralities,
VVho ſpeak but by their hair-brain’d Deputies,
VVhoſe Junior Years no Truths obſcure can reach;
And ſeldom are ſo VViſe, as thoſe they Teach.
Your Maſs-like Service, with your noiſie Toots,
Of hum drum Organs, Fiddle Faddles and Flutes,
Your high-flown Doctrins to advance a State,
And Pleaſe it, till Unlawfully made Great,
Then turn your Holy Flat’ries to its Fate.
Theſe I diſlike, from theſe (in chief) Diſſent,
As quite repugnant to the Lords intent.
Theſe are the ſumptious Trappings of the VVhore,
The Marks and Patches which ſhe always wore.

Theſe are her ſtuddi’d and prevailing Charms,
Which, but the looſer part of Fancy warms,
And draws unwary Youth to her Adult’rous Arms.


External Order firſt informs our Senſe,
And raiſes in us a due Reverence,

Either towards Place, or Perſon, where we ſee
Concurrent parts, in Noble Form, agree;
And tend to a peculiar Harmonie.

Or why did the Creator ſhape the World
From a dark Maſs, together rudely hurl’d?
But that, in ev’ry part, Mankind ſhould ſee,
The ſtrokes of an Allpow’rful Deity.
From whence the light of Faith does firſt ariſe,
And makes our Reaſon ſubject to our Eyes,

For ev’ry wond’rous work of Heav’n we ſee,
Gives freſh Aſſurance of Eternitie;

And by its Graceful Order ſtrikes an Awe,
Humbles our Souls, and does Obedience draw
By Natural means, to Heav’n, and Natures Law:

Therefore, ſuch decent Rites do I diſpenſe,
As beſt ſhall Humble, and Affect the Senſe;
And in my Sons beget a Graceful Reverence.

How inſolent it looks? How Evil bred,
T’ approach God’s Preſence with a Cover’d Head?
Yet to a Great-man Couch, with Hat in Hand,
And Bare, before the Wealthy Idol, ſtand.
Or at Devotion ſo neglectful be,
As quite abandon all Humilitie;
And rather than to Bended knees ſubmit,
In diſreſpectful Poſtures, Lolling ſit.

Next, with Church Government you diſagree,
And cauſleſly condemn our Hierarchie:
Rail at my Biſhops, angry at their State,
And Envy them, whoſe Merit made them Great;
The Learn’d, and Pious Characters they wear,
Hath rais’d them to the Dignities they bear.
Unſtain’d their Lives, they are as Guardians choſe,
To ſave the Church from Errour, and from Foes:

Without whoſe Conduct, and Authoritie,
Religions Priſtine ſtate can never be
Kept from Erroneous Innovations free,

But ſtand expos’d to every abuſe,
That each Fanatick whimſie ſhall produce.
Then ſure ſuch Men, who by a Painful Life,
(Thro’ Grace) to Knowledge more ſublim’d arive,
And, with the piercing Eyes of Reaſon, ſee
Thro’ all the Miſt’ries of Divinitie,
Juſtly deſerve a Spiritual advance,
Above an unlearn’d, or a half-learn’d Dunce;
Whoſe rowling Eyes, feign’d Looks, and yawning Jaws,
Can nothing utter, but with Hums, and Haughs;
Inſpir’d with Ignorance, then roars aloud
Audacious Nonſenſe, to a Brainleſs Croud:
Tis theſe; who from their Cradle are miſled,
And backward taught, to Factious Pulpits bred,
Who, with impetuous Vi’lence, headlong run,
Purſuing Ills, their Rebel Si’res begun.
Thus in their Fathers faults they perſevere,
And by Inſtinct of Nature, envious Dunces are:
Theſe, thro’ their barren Ignorance, exclaime
Againſt all, Order and the Church defame.
Pelting with Factious, and Calumnious Lyes,
That Sacred Pow’r, to which they cannot riſe:

Spurning at all Eccleſiaſtick Pomp,
True Zealous Sons of the deteſted Rump,
Waiting the lucky Minute to be turn’d up Trump.


Theſe bald aſperſions, from afar you fetch,
Serve, but as Bullets, to enlarge the Breach.

Why ſo Diſturb’d, ſo Scornful, and ſo High?
You’re but a Weather-cock as well as I.
Boaſt of fix’d Fundamentals, yet I find,
For Intereſt, you can Turn with ev’ry Wind.
Where’s Right Divine, your Paſſive, and your Non,
The Bubble’s once blown up, now, Poh, they’re gon.
Where is your Loyalty, ſo ſubt’ly ſhown,
Sometimes to th’ Prince, and ſometimes to the Throne,
Sometimes to both, ſometimes to ne’er a one:
Thus is it Logically plac’d behind
So many School-boys Querks, ’tis hard to find.
When the great Change (by Heav’ns permition) try’d
Your Churches Doctrine, and her Clergies Pride,
Some Conſcientious Fools, ’tis true, turn’d out,
But all the Wiſer Sheepheards fac’d about;
And, like good Men, could blacken and upbraid
That ſinking Pow’r, for which before they Pray’d.


Scandal (as you are wont) I know you chuſe,
As the beſt Weapon, of Offence, to uſe,
Whether, on ſearch, it True, or Falſe be found,
No matter which, if you can make it wound.
But know my Armour’s temper’d againſt Fate;
And much to hard, for you to penetrate:
The Iron Walls, my treaſur’d Truths defend,
Reverb’rate all the poiſonous balls you ſend.
You charge me with the want of Loyalty,
That am the chief ſupport of Monarchy:

By my High Prieſt the Holy Oyl’s apply’d,
By me Kings Reign, are Crown’d, and Sanctifi’d;
I am on Earth their Safety, and to Heav’n their Guide.

By me the Factious Falſhoods are ſuppreſt,
Scatter’d by reſtleſs Rebels, to moleſt
The happy quiet of a Peaceful Reign,
Which Traitors Envy, and blind Fools Diſdain.
Duty to Kings, I to the Public teach,
To Loyalty Excite, Perſwade, Beſeech,
That all things to the Throne be eaſie made,
And him thereon be Rev’renc’d, and Obey’d.

What are all theſe, but Marks of Loyaltie,
Religious Graces, manifeſt in me,
Virtues, I find, too bright for thy dull Eyes to ſee.

But pray your Reaſons to the World impart,
Why now you from your old Opinion ſtart.
In happy days, when Charles the Scepter ſwai’d,
When baſe Deſigns, by you know who, were lai’d,
Then all your Awkward, Canting Brood profeſt
’Twas Damnable, the Bread of Life to Taſt
Within my Sacred Temple-Walls, but now,
What then you held ſo Dang’rous, you Allow.

If Once ’twas an Offence ſo great, we know,
(As you maintain’d, full Twenty Years ago)
’Tis Now the ſame, and Ever will be ſo.

Why do the Grandees of your Leering Tribe,
(Who from rank Dugs their Prejudice imbibe)

So curb their Malice, as Conform of late,
And with my Flocks they Envy, Congregate.
Oft on a Sabaths Morning have I ſeen
Rich Awful Zealots, of a bulkey Mein,
Cheat Heaven, and diſſemble with the State,
To be by Flatt’ry, and Deceit made Great;
Viſit my Temples, ſeem devout as Saints;
And for their Intreſt, turn baſe Sicophants:
Thus with my Worſhip, thro’ deſign, agree,
And only Mimmick, what they hate to be,
To climb, unfairly, to Authoritie.
Then, by their own Corrupted Whimſies led,
Where the Frape meet, and common Ills are bred;
There hear the Church, from whence they came, Lampoon’d,
And True Religion, by an Ape Buffoon’d;
Who o’er his Cuſhion, full of Yawn, and Hum,
Stands Gaping like the Bear that beats the Drum.
Thus is the Afternoon at Meeting ſpent,
The Morning in the Church, at Sacrament:
Rare Pious Chriſtians, full of Faith, and Grace,
To thus with Heav’n, diſſemble for a Place;
And pawn their Souls to purchaſe Sword or Maſe.
If I am Right, and from Miſtakes moſt free,
Why do they not Conform intire to me?
If your dark Syſtem, they believe moſt True,
Why not alone Communicate with you?
Thoſe who for Intreſt, carry fair with both,
Are Juſt to neither, by their Faith or Troth:
But plung’d between two Crimes, to Greatneſs bent,
Erre with the Wrong, and from the Right Diſſent.


If you wake Laws t’ eclips my purer light,
And rob my Sons, of what’s their native Right,
The fault’s not theirs, ’tis you incur the blame,
The Cunning’s on their ſide, on yours the Shame.
Why not by Birth, and Chriſtian Knowledge free
To Riches, Honour, and Authoritie?
Why muſt theſe Worldly Comforts reſt in you;
Or your Sons count all Pow’r and Place their due?
Why may not mine as well aſſiſt the State,
And in as great attempts, prove fortunate?
If you ſuch Laws procure, ſuch Pow’r poſſess,
As prove a hind’rance to our happineſs,
How can you juſtly blame us, to evade,
And leap o’er all the ſtumbling-blocks you’ve laid?
If you ſuch bars to our Preferments make,
As Oaths, and Sacraments, for your own Int’reſt ſake,
It is no crime in us, the ſame to Break, or Take.
If you attempt, thro’ Pride, to keep us low,
And we, thro’ Cunning, your deſigns o’erthrow,
Call it not Cozening Heaven, but Out-witting you.


No Laws can ſuch looſe Principles reſtrain,
No force can bind you, but a Golden Chain.
Int’reſt I find, is the prevailing tye,
Makes you Approve, Conform, Diſſent, Deny,
Oppoſe the Right, or the Wrong Juſtifie.
Int’reſt, from me firſt made you Seperate,
And become Rival to the Church, and State.

Int’reſt diſpos’d you to Inteſtine Jars,
Improv’d to Bloody, and Domeſtick Wars;
Wherein being flatter’d with unjuſt ſucceſs,
Trampl’d on Merit, ſpit in Virtues Face,
Riffled the Throne, and ſtain’d the Judgment-ſeat,
With Crimes too black, and dreadful to repeat;
As if to you, Omnipotence had given,
A Sanguine, not a Milky-way to Heaven.
Still are your Thoughts by wild Ambition toſt,
Aiming to gain that Pow’r, you juſtly loſt:
At all Ellections, buſie are your Brood,
Heaving and ſhoving ’gainſt the Public Good.
On all Promotions, Zealouſly intent,
Squeeſe, Bawl, and Joſtle, till their Breaths are ſpent;
Kick, Cuff, and Scandal (heedleſs of the Laws)
Tongues, Feet, and Arms, all working for the Cauſe;

To raiſe ſome Meager Darling of their own,
Faction in whoſe penurious looks is ſhown:
Rich by meer Chance, or Fraud, not Great by merit grown.

Who can Lye, Cant, Diſſemble, or Forſwear,
Declaim againſt, or hear the Common-Prayer;
Thro’ all Opinions Halt, to Lamely reach the Chair.

Who can his Conſcience, to his Intereſt mould,
Run with the Court, or with the City hold.
And without ſhame, can true Reflections face,
Or bear all ſcandal, with a comely Grace.

And will his Pow’r beyond juſt bounds extend,
To injure Foes, or to advance a Friend;
Or any thing will do, to ſerve a Factious End.

Theſe are the worthy Dolts, your Sons advance,
By their falſe Poles, and double Diligence.
Theſe are the Men of merit, they provide,
To Row, and Toe, againſt the Wind and Tide;
Who in Tempeſtious Diſcords, they create,
Sail quite repugnant to the Church and State:
Yet to ſuch outward Godlineſs ſeem bent,
To Church they’ll come, tho’ in their Hearts Diſſent:
But for no Faith, will either Hang, or Starve,
Both God and Mammon, for advancement ſerve;
Thus ſeaſonably comply, or in fit times can ſwerve.
If ſuch unſteddy Rovers bear Command,
Whilſt Men of Worth, ſhall unregarded ſtand,
By Law, and Nature, Qualifi’d for Truſt,
To ſomething Fix’d, and known in all things Juſt.
If Men like theſe, ſhall be by Fraud put by,
And yield their Rights to the Pedantick Fry;
England muſt ſoon from all her Greatneſs fall,
And mourn her Ancient Glories Funeral.
Which Heaven prevent——
And (that ſhe may once more her Grandure boaſt)
Retrieve her Virtues, now ſo nearly loſt;
And from all Factious Quarrels, and Deſpights,
Preſerve the King, Church, Nation, and our Rights:
That in One Faith, we may United be,
And accord ſweetly, in juſt Harmonie.


This work was published before January 1, 1928, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

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