Page:A New Survey of the West Indies or The English American his Travel by Sea and Land.djvu/18

This page has been validated.
Chap. I.
A New Survey

souls shall be cursed, and they as Hereticks Anathematized with a Censure of Excommunication latæ sententiæ. Hence sprung that Master-piece of Policy, decreeing that the Pope alone should be above the General Council, left otherwise one Mans pride might be curbed by many heads joyned together; And secondly, that Synodical definition, that the Pope cannot Err, that though the Councils power, wisdom and learning were all fitted into one mans brain, all points of faith strained into one head and channel; yet the people should not stagger in any lawful doubts, nor the Learned sort follow any more the light of Reason, or the sunshine of the Gospel, but all yielding to blind Obedience, and their most holy Fathers infallibility, in the foggy and Chimerian mist of ignorance, might secure their souls from Erring, or deviating to the Scylla or Carybdu of Schism and Heresie. What judicious eye, that will not be blinded with the napkin of ignorance, doth not easily see that Policy only hath been the chief Actor of those damnable Opinions of Purgatory, Transubstantiation, Sacrifice though unbloudy (as they term it) of the Mass, Invocation of Saints, their Canonization or Installing of Saints into the Kingdom of Heaven, Indulgences, Auricular Confession, with satisfactory Penance, and many such like: All which doubtless have been commanded as points of Faith, not so much to save these wretched souls, as to advance that crackt-brain'd head in the conceits of his European wonderers, who long ago were espied out by the Spirit of John wondring after the Beast, worshipping him for his power, and saying, Who is like onto the Beast, who is able to make War with him? Rev.13.3,4.

Thus can Policy invent a Purgatory, that a Pope may be sought from all parts of Europe, nay from East and West-India's, to deliver souls from that imaginary Fire which God never created, but he himself hath fancied, that so much glory may be ascribed to him, and his power wondered at, who can plunge into torments, condemn to burning, and when he list, deliver out of fire. Much more would he be admired, and his goodness extolled, if he would deliver at once all those his Purgatory Prisoners without