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“ But what the Apostles their successors taught,
“ They to the next, from them to us is brought,
“ The undoubted sense which is in Scripture sought.
“ From hence the Church is armed, when errors rise
“ To stop their entrance and prevent surprise,
“ And, safe entrenched within, her foes without defies.
“ By these all-festering sores her councils heal,
" Which time or has disclosed or shall reveal ;
“ For discord cannot end without a last appeal.
“Nor can a council national decide,
“But with subordination to her guide,
“ (I wish the cause were on that issue tried ;)
“Much less the Scripture ; for suppose debate
“ Betwixt pretenders to a fair estate,
“ Bequeathed by some legator's last intent;
“ (Such is our dying Saviour's Testament :)
“The will is proved, is opened, and is read;
“ The doubtful heirs their differing titles plead ;
“ All vouch the words their interest to maintain,
“ And each pretends by those his cause is plain.
“ Shall then the testament award the right?
“ No, that's the Hungary for which they fight, *
" The field of battle, subject of debate,
“ The thing contended for, the fair estate.
“ The sense is intricate, 'tis only clear
“ What vowels and what consonants are there.
“ Therefore 'tis plain, its meaning must be tried
“Before some judge appointed to decide."
“ Suppose," the fair apostate said, “I grant,
“ The faithful flock some living guide should want,
“ Your arguments an endless chase pursue :
“ Produce this vaunted leader to our view,
“ This mighty Moses of the chosen crew."
The dame, who saw her fainting foe retired,
With force renewed, to victory aspired ;
And, looking upward to her kindred sky,
As once our Saviour owned his Deity,
Pronounced His words- She whom je seck am 1.+
Nor less amazed this voice the Panther heard
Than were those Jews to hear a God declared.
Then thus the matron modestly renewed :
“ Let all your prophets and their sects be viewed,
“ And see to which of them your selves think fit
“ The conduct of your conscience to submit;
“Each proselyte would vote his doctor best,
“With absolute exclusion to the rest :
“ Thus would your Polish Diet disagree,
“And end, as it began, in anarchy;
* Hungary, the object of contest between the Turks and the German Empire
+ Referring, it is to be presumed, to St. John xviii. 5. 6, when Jesus replied. “I am he," Jewish officers who came with Judas to seek him. “As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground."
“ Yourself the fairest for election stand,
“ Because you seem crown-general of the land : *
" But soon against your superstitious lawn
• Some Presbyterian sabre would be drawn;
" In your established laws of sovereignty
“ The rest some fundamental flaw would see,
""" And call rebellion gospel-liberty.
“ To Church-decrees your articles require
“ Submission modified, if not entire.
“ Homage denied, to censures you proceed :
“ But when Curtanat will not do the deed,
“ You lay that pointless clergy-weapon by,
“And to the laws, your sword of justice, fly.
“Now this your sects the more unkindly take,
“ (Those prying varlets hit the blots you make,)
“Because some ancient friends of yours declare
“Your only rule of faith the Scriptures are,
“ Interpreted by men of judgment sound,
" Which every sect will for themselves expound,
" Nor think less reverence to their doctors due
“For sound interpretation, than to you.
“ If then by able heads are understood
* Your brother prophets, who reformed abroad;
“ Those able heads expound a wiser way,
“That their own sheep their shepherd should obey.
“But if you mean your selves are only sound,
“ That doctrine turns the Reformation round,
“ And all the rest are false reformers found ;
“ Because in sundry points you stand alone,
“ Not in communion joined with any one,
“ And therefore must be all the Church, or none.
“ Then, till you have agreed whose judge is best,
“ Against this forced submission they protest ;
" While sound and sound a different sense explains,
“ Both play at hard-head till they break their brains ;
“ And from their chairs each other's force defy,
“ While unregarded thunders vainly fly.
“I pass the rest, because your Church alone
“ of all usurpers best could fill the throne.
“ But neither you nor any sect beside
“ For this high office can be qualified
" With necessary gifts required in such a guide.
“For that which must direct the whole must be
“ Bound in one bond of faith and unity;
“But all your several Churches disagree.
This phrase, crown-general, is ridiculed in Prior and Montague's parody : “ There's a pretty name now for the Spotted Mouse, the Viceroy !-Smith, But pray, why d'ye call her so?-Bayes. Why, because it sounds prettily : I'll call her the Crown-General presently, if I have a mind to it."
+ Curtana, the sword of mercy, a sword without an edge, said to have belonged to Edward the Confessor, and carried before our Kings at their coronations. Matthew of Paris, describing the coronation of the Queen of Henry III. says, " The Earl of Chester as Lord High Constable carried the sword of St. Edward called Curteine before the King in token that he be Earl or Count of the Palace and had by right a power of restraining the King, if he should act anything amiss.”
“ The consubstantiating Church and priest* “ Refuse communion to the Calvinist; “ The French reformed from preaching you restrain, “ Because you judge their ordination vain ; “ And so they judge of yours, but donors must ordain. “ In short, in doctrine or in discipline “ Not one reformed can with another join : “But all from each, as from damnation, fly : “No union they pretend, but in Non-Popery. “Nor, should their members in a synod ineet, “ Could any Church presume to mount the seat “ Above the rest, their discords to decide ; “None would obey, but each would be the guide ; “ And face to face dissensions would increase, “For only distance now preserves the peace. “ All in their turns accusers and accused, “ Babel was never half so much consused. “ What one can plead the rest can plead as well, “For amongst equals lies no last appeal, “ And all confess themselves are fallible. “ Now, since you grant some necessary guide, “ All who can err are justly laid aside, “Because a trust so sacred to confer “Shows want of such a sure interpreter, “ And how can he be needful who can err? " Then, granting that unerring guide we want, “ That such there is you stand obliged to grant ; “ Our Saviour else were wanting to supply “ Our needs and obviate that necessity. " It then remains, that Church can only be " The guide which owns unfailing certainty ; “ Or else you slip your hold and change your side, 485 “Relapsing from a necessary guide. “ But this annexed condition of the crown, “ Immunity from errors, you disown; “ Here then you shrink, and lay your weak pretensions down. “For petty royalties you raise debate,
490 “ But this unfailing universal State “ You shun, nor dare succeed to such a glorious weight ; “ And for that cause those promises detest “ With which our Saviour did his Church invest ; “ But strive to evade, and fear to find them true, “ As conscious they were never meant to you; “ All which the Mother-Church asserts her own, “ And with unrivalled claim ascends the throne. “ So, when of old the Almighty Father sate “ In council, to redeem our ruined state,
500 “ Millions of millions, at a distance round, “ Silent the sacred consistory crowned, “ To hear what mercy mixed with justice could propound;
* The Lutherans.
“ All prompt with eager pity to fulfil
“ The full extent of their Creator's will.
“ But when the stern conditions were declared,
“ A mournful whisper through the host was heard,
“ And the whole hierarchy with heads hung down
“ Submissively declined the ponderous proffered crown.
“ Then, not till then, the eternal Son from high
“ Rose in the strength of all the Deity ;
“ Stood forth to accept the terms, and underwent
“A weight which all the frame of heaven had bent,
“ Nor he himself could bear, but as omnipotent.
“Now, to remove the least remaining doubt,
“ That even the blear-eyed sects may find her out,
• Behold what heavenly rays adorn her brows,
" What from his wardrobe her beloved allows
“ To deck the wedding-day of his unspotted spouse.
“Behold what marks of majesty she brings,
« Richer than ancient heirs of Eastern kings !
“ Her right hand holds the sceptre and the keys,
e. To show whom she commands, and who obeys :
“ With these to bind or set the sinner free,
“ With that to assert spiritual* royalty.
“ One in herself, not rent by schism, but sound,
Marks of the " Entire, one solid shining diamond,
Catholic “Not sparkles shattered into sects like you :
Church from “One is the Church, and must be to be true,
“ One central principle of unity.
“ As undivided, so from errors free ;
“ As one in faith, so one in sanctity.
“ Thus she, and none but she, the insulting rage
“Of heretics opposed from age to age ;
“ Still when the giant-brood invades her throne, 535
“ She stoops from heaven and meets them half way down,
“ And with paternal thunder vindicates her crown.
“ But like Egyptian sorcerers you stand,
“ And vainly lift aloft your magic wand
“ To sweep away the swarms of vermin from the land. 540
“ You could like them, with like infernal force,
“ Produce the plague, but not arrest the course.
“ But when the boils and botches t with disgrace
“ And public scandal sat upon the face,
“ Themselves attacked, the Magi strove no more, 545
"They saw God's finger, and their fate deplore ;
“ Themselves they could not cure of the dishonest sore. I
* The accent is on the second syllable of spiritual. So also in line 618.
+ Dryden's word botches is here restored: it was changed by Broughton into blotches, which has been printed ever since, “ Young Hylas botched with stains too foul to name."
Garth's Dispensary, canto 2. 1 “And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils; for the boil was upon the magicians, and upon all the Egyptians." (Exodus ix. 11.) The magicians had by their
“ Thus one, thus pure, behold her largely spread,
“ Like the fair ocean from her mother-bed;
“From east to west triumphantly she rides,
“ All shores are watered by her wealthy tides.
“ The gospel-sound, diffused from pole to pole,
“ Where winds can carry and where waves can roll,
“ The self-same doctrine of the sacred page
“ Conveyed to every clime, in every age.
“ Here let my sorrow give my satire place,
“ To raise new blushes on my British race.
“ Our sailing ships like common shores we use,
“And through our distant colonies diffuse
“ The draughts of dungeons and the stench of stews, 56n
“ Whom, when their home-bred honesty is lost,
“ We disembogue* on some far Indian coast;
“ Thieves, pandars, palliards, + sins of every sort ;
“ Those are the manufactures we export,
“ And these the missioners I our zeal has made ;
“For, with my country's pardon be it said,
“ Religion is the least of all our trade.
“Yet some improve their traffic more than we;
“For they on gain, their only god, rely,
“ And set a public price on piety.
“ Industrious of the needles and the chart,
“ They run full sail to their Japonian mart ;
“ Prevention fear, and prodigal of fame,
“Sell all of Christian to the very name,
“Nor leave enough of that to hide their naked shame.ll 575
“ Thus of three marks, which in the creed we view,
“ Not one of all can be applied to you ;
“Much less the fourth In vain, alas ! you seek
“ The ambitious title of Apostolic :**
“God-like descent ! 'tis well your blood can be 580
“Proved noble in the third or fourth degree;
enchantments brought frogs upon Egypt, after Aaron had done so; but they had not been able to destroy them again, nor had they been able to get rid of the lice. "Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of God." (Exod. viii. 19.)
* Disembogue, from the French verb désemboucher, usually applied to a river emptying itsell into another or into the sea.
" To where Fleet-ditch with disemboguing streams
Rolls the large tribute of dead dogs to Thames."
Pope, Dunciad, ii. 271. + Palliard, from the French paillard, a lecherous person.
1 Missionaires was the word in the first edition, but was replaced by missioners in the second ; but missioners is as strange to modern eyes as missionaires.
"Industrious of the needle." See note on "Absalom and Achitophel," line 479, for some instances of similar use of of
|| Dryden here accuses the Dutch of denying their Christianity in order to trade in Japan, where Christians were forbidden to land.
Dryden has professed to describe the marks of the Catholic Church from the Nicene Creed. " And I believe in one Catholic and Apostolic Church." See marginal note at line 526. Three marks are indicated in lines 526-531 ; unity, freedom from error, and sanctity. To the fourth, apostolic origin, he now proceeds.
** Apostolic, pronounced with the accent on the second syllable, the third syllable short. So in line 171, and again 613.