The Translate of an Extract of a Letter
written by Dr Horne[altered] to Mr Hartlib From Leyden.
Iune 16. 1655.
I have received Letters from Mr Stockar, wherein he writes me word of the horrible persecution of the Waldenses. Our States in their Letters to the Duke of Savoy call it Undetestable Massacre. But it is in vaine, to talk to such powerfull Tyrants. Wee may see by this Example, what wee are all to look for from this new Pope & his Vassalls. The Papists in these parts, & in this very Towne are growne so insolent, that lately, having assembled themselves vpon our day of Fast & Humiliation, they snatched away a mans Bible, as he was comeing from Church, & kicked it vp & downe; & said, that they would shortly wash their hands in our blood. Which insolencie of theirs, had like[altered from likewise] to have caused a tumult & bloodshed. Our Magistrats make very strict enqviry after the Authors of it, & will vse timely remedies against those Serpents, which wee cherish in our owne bosomes. I have often said, & am verily persvaded, that all the Counsells of the Protestants will bee to noe purpose, vnless they carry a War against the Pope into Italy itselfe, & by an open Declaration of his Tyranny, over all Christians, for so many Ages together, shew, that they have most iust grounds for a War, & therby inflame all Christian Princes, even those who are yet Papists, to root out so great an evill, & so begin a Holy War. Here is now a most fitt Occasion for it, whilest this detestable Massacre is fresh in memory: whilest the Spaniards & French are at ods: whilest Italy itselfe is divided by War: whilest the Protestants are every where free, both from forreine & Civill Wars: While the English Fleet rides master vpon the Mediterranean Sea. But I am resolved to write a whole Discourse, & send it over to you, concerning a War to be made against the Pope, & the Lawfullness, necessity & possibility of that War, & of the Advantages, which the Christian World will gaine by it. It will bee nothing to the maine businesse, to set vpon the Pope here & there in the skirts of his Dominions, & to take some few places from him. But the very head & heart of his power should be set vpon, & then the rest would come in of themselves. Neither are wee to aime at the Circumference of the Circle, but at the Center. Many [catchword: thousands]
thousands of Men, as soone as that War were once proclaimed, would leave all, & take vp Armes, as was formerly done in recovering Hierusalem from the Turks. I am clearly of Opinion, that if Generall Blake had not medled with those rascalls at Tunis, but had gone to Civita Vechia, & blockt vp the mouth of the Tiber, he would have disturbed the Conclave of Cardinalls, & have put the whole City into a great fright, with his being so neer. Now whilest hee persues those Pirats, he scarce does anything to purpose, in the meane while, time is spent & much mony, & our courages abate: & the Pope strenghtens himselfe, & prevents our Counsells, because they are so slow & a far of: and in one word, avoids all our Designes. So our miseries continue, poore Christian are massacred, & wee in danger at home, whilest we let that Enemy of Christ, sit qviet & vndisturbed at home.
Hanaw 30 Iun: 1655.
The Letter from Leyden to you, speakes Truth, & I beleeve, the effect of it will follow at last. For God certainly in his owne time, will find out his Enemies, & I hope the time is not far off, that they will also bee visited, seeing hee hath now visited his owne house, & not spared the hypocrits therin.
Dublin, August. 1. 1655.
For the Subiect of Dr. H. Letter, I doe a little stagger at, as not well vnderstanding the Composition of a Christiano Political War, not being as yet thoroughly convinced, that the way which the Lord has in his purpose determined for the subversion of Antichrist, is by a slaughter made of the Papists, or by an Oecumenical Councel & Confoederation of all the Protestants & their Princes. Yea I thinke, such Discurses to savor much more of Notion, & of a retired contemplative Speculation, then of a solid & sound judgment, even about the nature of Humane Actions. And if wee had no other thing to lead vs, History would convince vs, of the Vanity of such an Vndertaking. I confesse, I am in all these cases (:so long as wee are thus in the darke, concerning the Councels of God:) for following, rather then running, before the Voice of God in Providence. And for doing these things, which the Exigent of his Providence cals vs to, then for proiecting any matters before hand, for such & such great & specious Ends, wherin I think the Reason, Pride & Lust of men, many times deceive them.<sub>/</sub>.
The iudgment which your Freind makes, Concerning D. H: designe; seemes modest, although it is severe enough; how farre it may glance also at my endevours, I cannot well coniecture; because I find nothing directly mentioned of the busines I have in hand, except hee meanes by his Oecumenicall Counsell & Confederation of all the Protestants & their Princes, that which I have in hand; as if my Endevours did tend to nothing else, but to Unite them, that they might the more powerfully destroy & slaughter Papists; so that it seemes hee doth melt & mixe our Workes into one mould, to make my busines subordinat unto his undertaking, if by this Oecumenicall Counsell & Confoederation my Worke bee understood, as only intended to that effect. How farre hee may bee mistaken in D. H. designe, I know not; but if that bee his notion of mine, I am sure that hee is as farre wide at least as wee are distant one from another, that is some hundreds of miles. D. H. can lay open his owne purpose in this undertaking, better then any man else: The Extracts of Letters which you have imparted unto me, I confesse seeme to impart nothing but a Politicall designe of Warre; to ouerthrow the power of the Pope: which to mee seemes qvite another thing, then to make a slaughter of Papists; for the first signifies to mee the deposing of a Tyran, & the breaking of his vsurped power & Counsell of wickednes; & the last signifies the killing of men, only because they have beene brought vp in Poperie, as the Papists of late in Ireland, & in Savoye have massacred the Protestants, because they were Protestants, which being an Abominable designe in them, would bee more execrable in vs, then in them, by how much wee have more light, to discerne the will of God, both in respect of Christianitie & humanitie, then they have. Now your Friend seemes to take vp the Dr. his scope, to bee only this, which I am not apt to beleeve; because I think wee ought not to construe any thing in a sense which is the worst it can bee taken in; when it can beare one that is good or tolerable: but the truth is, that some men vse alwayes to doe so, & most men are naturally inclined so to doe. Some vse to doe it by Policie, to draw out the secrets of mens intentions, & the knowledge of matters, in disputing against them, as Chimists sometimes or Alchimists vse to doe, when they would dive into the Secrets of nature, which others pretend to have: and[altered from And] States men, when they can argue & debate matters to bee resolved vpon, & suspect secret plots. Some vse to doe it out of an humour of censuring, hauing a good opinion only of themselves & not of any thing, which others take in hand; & therefore intend to Contradict & discredit it, which is another kind of perverse Policie, which is naturall to all proud men, that would appeare, & bee the main directors of all affaires. And truly, there is an inclination in vs all, to suspect the worst of others, & to make ourselfes iudges, rather of their evill, then of their good thoughts, because there is more hatred in our Nature, then love, wee feare more the evill, then wee love that which is good, & therefore wee looke more after that which is evill, to apprehend the danger of it, then after the good, to set forth the Excellencie of it: hence comes a habit of suspecting & censuring [catchword: others]
others; & indeed the evill is more obvious to our vnderstanding, then that which is good; & a moat is sooner perceived in another mans eye, then a beame in our owne: For all these[altered from the] reasons I will excuse your Friend to have taken the Worst Construction, which D. H. his designe could beare; & for having glaunced covertly[altered from couvertly] to mixe my worke with it as beeing possibly coherent & hatcht together: for hee perhaps can know nothing to the contrary, but that it may bee so.
Yet for mine owne part I am loath to give this scope unto mine inclination in judging of others, but I think it safe to avoid strife & offence; & to exercise my self in that which is good, & to provoke others to doe the like, to judge of others as I would have them iudge of me; that is, not to take things in the worst, but in the best sense, that they can beare, for in so doing I neither offend others, nor foment mine owne corrupt inclinations, but am conversant with God in all things, by looking vpon that which is of him therin, & auoiding that which may bee of the evill one; wheras if I should not fixe my resolution this way, I should onely bee conversant with the evill on in all things, by looking vpon that which is of him therin. There is a good & an evill propertie, & seed in all things; & that which wee chuse to cultiuate in our owne soules, & in others, wee reap the fruit therof in due time; if wee cultivate the seed of our flesh, wee reap Corruption: but if the seed of the Spirit, wee reap life everlasting, saith the Apostle Gal. 6. 8. Now then according to this Rule, let me looke vpon the Dr his designe.
Your Friend giues it the name of a Warre Christiano-Politicall, which hee would exhort the Protestant Princes unto, in opposing the Pope. Whether the Dr hath given it this terme, I know not; it is likely hee may. Supposing then his Scope to bee to stirre vp all Protestant Princes iointly to oppose the Pope (for I take warring to bee nothing else, but opposing that which is evill) & in a Christian & Politicall way; to strippe him of his vsurped power, & put an ende to his Tyrannie. I say supposing this to bee his scope, would not your Freind allow of it? If I take Warre to bee only the Slaughtering of men; or think that the Dr meanes nothing else by it, but outward brutish force to breake & teare all in pieces; I have a very meane notion of the thing myselfe, & think very meanly of the Drs. abilities, who is a Man of noted parts: but let vs think well of him; & take vp the true meaning of things as they are in their natures, & to this effect I will give you my[altered] notion of the things which I suppose make vp his Scope. First hee intends to exhort Protestant Princes, by these I understand those who are in power amongst such Christians as protest & Declare against the vsurped power; which the Pope pretends to have over the Consciences of men; & professe themselves exempt from it, both in Civill & Ecclesiasticall respects, & subject to none other power, but that of Christ Iesus; & to none other Rule, but that of his Word, which is in the Scriptures. These Princes & States, which have thus Protested & Declared, & pretend to maintain themselves & their subiects in the[altered from their] Libertie of the Gospell: the[altered from The] Pope of Rome (that is, not only the head of the Roman Conclave, as hee is a man in that place: but the Supremacie, which the whole Roman Church & Clergie, as a Body under their Conclave[altered from conclave], pretends to have over all other Churches & Nations) having had by a mysterie of iniqvitie, the Preeminencie both [catchword: of]
of Civill & Ecclesiasticall Iurisdiction over all that are called Christians in the Westerne World, & having lost it in these latter times by the discovery, which Protestants have made of his wickedness, of his Tyrannie & Idolatrie & of the truth & true priviledges of Saints in the Gospell, hee vses all possible meanes of deceit & power, either to reduce them to his obedience, or to destroy them; partly by fomenting divisions among them of all kindes; partly by Uniting those that cleave[altered] to his Superstitions to oppose the truth & the Professors therof, and this hee doth Universally, not only by his influence vpon the Counsels & actions of those that are setled in their severall places; but by his Emissaries of all sorts, whose whole Worke & busines, is to vexe, disturbe & destroy all those, whom they cannot bring to the obedience of the Pope, by going to the Masse. These I take to bee the two opposit parties, which God hath set against one another in the Westerne World; & I conceive, that of late, hee hath shewed vpon the Stage of Great Brittain, to those that have eyes to see the wayes of his Providence; wherin the opposition of both parties, mainly doth stand in all respects, aswell Civill as Ecclesiasticall: & wherin the weakenes of the Protestant party doth lye, & the strenth of the Popish, & what the Remedie of the one, & the ouerthrow of the other may bee. Now if D. H. a man greatly versed in History, & sound in Divinity, hath observed Gods way vpon our stage, & is inabled to Consider the whole Body of Protestants, as it stands in opposition to the Pope, & would encourage the heads of the Protestant Body, to maintaine their Cause, both in a Christian Religious[altered from Religions]; & in a Civill Prudent way of acting against him, that is an Vsurper[altered from vsurper] of both: what harme or evill can bee in this designe, I know not? I know there may bee a mixture of designes in mens Counsels; but why should I suspect the Dr. to bee willing to exhort any to pretend one thing, & intend another; I hope his Scope is the best, that hee can conceive, or that in this kind can bee conceived by any: & therefore for mine owne I will not give any evill impression of his designe, but will rather endevour to rectifie that which I shall find may bee lyable to an evill construction in it; & seeing I belieue that his Scope is to exhort them to ioyne in their true Evangelicall Interest[altered from interest], because their Antichristian Enemie prevailes against them by nothing so much as by this, that they are utterly divided amongst themselves & that hee is able to unite all his forces, vpon any pretended Religious designe against them: therefore I would endevour to strenthen his hands in putting home this persvasion: for in truth nothing is so much wanting amongst Protestants as a true Union in that, for which they have Protested against the Pope; & if God should ever put it into their hearts to bee vnited in one mind against him (as hee will doe I hope) then it will appeare, how soone Tyrannie & Superstition will vanish from among Christians, but to bring them to this mind. I would wish D. H. or your Friend, who has a good facultie of ripping[altered] vp deceitfull & Politicall subtill practises of cunning men; as in one thing to my knowledge hee [catchword: hath]
hath shewed it: I say I would wish either or both of them. First to discover to the Protestant World, & also to the Iansenists & more free sort of Papists, & all Rationall[altered from rational] men, the iniqvitie of his Craft[altered from craft], & the deceitfulnes of his Tyrannie, in making all men Slaves to his pretended power, under the Colour of keeping Unitie, good Order, & Government[altered from Gouvernment] among Christians, which hee effects by all deceivablenes[altered] of Error[altered from error] & Vnrighteousnes[altered from vnrighteousnes]. Secondly to shew the iust prerogatives of free <left margin: souverain Christian States, & the priviledges of true Christians to walke in the light of the> Gospel without the jokes of humane Ordinances to bee imposed vpon them in the Worship of God. Thirdly to shew their ioint Interest[altered from interest] in maintaining these prerogatives & priviledges, & how they may & ought to bee united in this designe, & by what meanes & good Correspondencie to this effect may bee established & maintained. If your Friend would instead of misconstruing his aime, helpe the Dr. in making out these things, to oppose the Antichristian Papal power, & set Protestants in a good intelligence one towards another, & not imagine to himself an Oecumenicall Protestant Councell, which none but such as know not, how infinitly Protestants are divided & subdivided can talke or thinke of. I say if your Friend would set his sharpe witte to doe this, rather then to argue as hee seemes to doe; hee would serve God & the Commoncause at home, more advantagiously then I believe hee hath hitherto done in any of the employments, wherin hee hath set himself or beene by others set a worke. I thought to have spoken within the compasse of this Paper when I laid it before me also somewhat distinctly of mine owne designe, & shewed how farre it is distant in the way of Christianity, even from this aime, which I imagine to bee the uttmost of Dr H. purpose: but you see that I am come to the end
e of the Paper, & have enlarged myself vpon this subiect further then I intended at first, & therefore shall remitt what I have to say further to another time, & by the next occasion I hope to furnish you with the thoughts which I have; of the vulgar Notions[altered from notions] of an Oecumenicall Counsell Counsell of Protestants, & such like wayes which are imagined to bee intended by me who am
Your faithfull Servant in Christ.
[hand Y?:] Mr Dury of Dr Horne's design
[another hand:] Dr Horne to Mr Hartlib [etc?]
[another hand:] and Mr Durys paper Concerning Dr Horn's design of a war against the Pope.