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IT is a dangerous thing to make Innovations, if but in the Circumſtances of Gods Wor­ſhip; thoſe humane Additions which would ſeem to grace the Inſtitution of God deprave it: the fooliſhneſs of God is wiſer than the wiſdom of men; Ido­latry and Falſhood is commonly more gaudy and plauſible than Truth,Biſhop Hall, Contemplat. on the Altar of Ahaz, lib. 20. p. 1286.

Altar-Worſhip, Or BOWING to the Communion Table Conſidered, As to the

  • Novelty
  • Vanity
  • Iniquity
  • Malignity

charged up­on it.

In an Antitheſis to the Determi­nation of Dr. Eleazar Duncon, Lately tranſlated, and ſent in­to the world in a Romiſh Dreſs, with a Croſs in the Front and Fine.

By Z. Crofton Presbyter, but proved Enemy to all Fanaticks.

Levit. 26.1. You ſhall not ſet up any Image in your Land to bow down un­to it.

London, Printed for J. R. at the Fountain in Goldſmiths-Row in Cheapſide. 1661.

HOdie tepidi ſunt qui Chriſtum cum Belial in ſide, Ceremoniis & mo­ribus conciliare ſatagunt: qui cum ex Babylone ſe egreſſos glorientur, boniqueevangelici haberi velint; exuvias ta­men papatus, dignitates, ordines, ve­ſtes, ſtolas, infulas, caſulas, cruces, Imagines, Statuas, Altaria, Cereos, Lampades, Calices, & id genus ſupel­lectilia Babylonica; pro a diaphoris in Templis & cultu Dei, mordieus tuentur. Pareus expoſ. in Apocalypſ. cap. 3. v. 15.

The Epiſtle to the Reader.

Chriſtian Reader,

REligion (mans Glory) like Moral and Di­vine Vertues, is at­tended and often enervated by two Extreams, Prophaneſſe and Superſtiti­on; equally odious unto God, incident unto men, and too commonly concomitant, and that (which is ſtrange) ordi­narily prevalent in the ſame Subjects; ſinking Religion by Prophaneſs the Defect, and at the ſame time ſub­verting it by Superſtition, the Exceſs thereof.

Such is mans propenſity to both theſe, that nothing will reſtrain many, until they run themſelves on their own Ruine; and when the judg­ments of a Jealous God hath bid a ſtand to their fu­rious courſe; hedged up their way, turned them by weeping Croſs, and bound them a­gainst the ſame by the ſacred Bonds of moſt Solemn Oaths; yet mercy is no ſooner re­turned on them, but like backſliding Iſrael, they for­get God, deal falſly in his Covenant, and go a who­ring after their own Inven­tions.

Of this evil, England is become a moſt ſad and ſenſible Em­bleme; concerning whoſe pre­ſent carriage towards Religi­on, we may expoſtulate as the Ten ſomtimes (on a bare Jealouſie) did with the Two Tribes of Iſrael, in Joſh. 22.16, 17, 18, 19. What treſ­paſs is this that ye have committed againſt the God of Iſrael, to turn away this day from following the Lord; in that you have builded you an ALTAR, that ye might rebell this day againſt the Lord? Is the Iniquity of Peor too little for us, from which we are not cleanſed this day? (although there was a Plague in the Congrega­tion of the Lord) but that you muſt turn away this day from following the Lord: and it will be, ſee­ing ye rebell to day againſt the Lord, to morrow he will be wroth with the whole Congregation of Iſ­rael: Wherefore rebel not againſt the Lord, nor rebel againſt us, to build you an ALTAR beſides the Altar of the Lord.

How Gods Sabbaths have been prophaned, and his Sanctuary polluted in our Land, we cannot forget: and how our Kings, Princes and People have been viſit­ed by a Jealous God, our yet bleeding wounds cannot but mind us: How his Hand hath brought our Nation under a moſt Solemn League and Covenant (from which no Power, Pope, Prince or Par­liament can abſolve us) for the Reformation of Reli­gion according to his Word, all the Chriſtian world could not but obſerve; yet wretched we, not only forget, but with a fretting violence caſt off, yea, break through thoſe Sacred bonds, returning like Dogs to our Vomit; which is wofully witneſſed by that Deluge of Prophaneſs and Superſtition which doth overſpread our Land, unto the again pro­phane neglect of Gods Sabbath, and polluting his Sanctuary, by the whole Maſs of Humane Inventions, and Idolatrous dregs conti­nued among us at our first Reformation, or innovated by our late Prelates, in their purſued accommodation and Union with Rome (that Mother of Whoredoms) for which, notwithſtanding we have ſharply ſmarted, yet we find the ſame Spirit (ac­cording to its power) for­ward to appear: Amongſt which, Solemn and Reli­gious Bowing to, towards, or before the Communion-Table is not the leaſt, though by many the leaſt regarded.

This Ceremony (for ſuch they would have us account it) is afreſh taken up by our now-riſing Prelates, and their old Superſtitious Clergy, not only in Cathe­dral, but ſome Pariſh Chur­ches: But as yet hath ob­tained (that I obſerve) few Advocates, who openly plead for this irreligious, irratio­nal Adoration; only one I. D. hath (with a daring Impudence and Jeſuitick boldneſs) tranſlated Dr. Ele­azar Duncon his Determi­nation De Adoratione Dei adverſus Altare, delivered ſome years ſince in Latine, at publick Commencement in the Univerſity of Cam­bridge, and that as he pro­feſſeth to make plain the Ca­tholick Paths unto Vulgar Devotion:The Epiſtle De­dicatory to the tranſlation of Dr. Duncon his De­termination. & leſt you ſhould miſtake the meaning of his Term Ca­tholick, he hath affixed to the Front and end of his Book, the Croſſe, that Ca­tholick Mark of the Romiſh Church: on whoſe Score, as his holy Mother-Church, (I conceive he would be underſtood) he doth pre­ſume to caſt the Boldneſſe of Dedicating this Tranſlati­on to Doctor John Gauden, (one of our now active ri­ſing Prelates) whom he ap­plauds for his Late Signal Endeavours to vindicate her Honour, and reſtore her Glory.

I cannot but (in Chari­ty) hope to ſee the indig­nation of this Reverend Pa­tron expreſsed againſt this Tranſlators Boldneſs; for that his Non-conformity (in this Point (at his Late Con­ſecration, giveth me cauſe to think his Name is knaviſhly prefixed to this Book; be­cauſe his Late unhappy works may (I wiſh only ſo) by ac­cident prove ſerviceable to Englands ſinful ſhameful re­turn to the Holy-Catho­lick-Mother-Church of Rome to which the coming abroad of this Book in a Popiſh Form and Dialect, ſeems to be a Praeludium. I heard that a Fool of late ſeeing the now Altar and Croſſes over it at Weſtminſter-Ab­bey, and meeting with a Perſon of Honour, ſaluted him with a fooliſh embrace, and this homely Complement, God bleſſe you my Lord, you are reforming Religi­on to the Purity it was in, in Queen Maries daies: Fooles and Children do com­monly ſpeak truths: If ALTARS be erected and adored, without, nay, con­trary to Law, and that un­der Honourable counte­nance, and be pleaded for in plain Engliſh, under our Prelates Patronage, we can expect our Reformation to be reſolved into no other Mode.

That England may have a ſeaſonable warning, and the Vulgar a timely Anti­dote to poyſon thus prepa­red; I have oppoſed unto Dr. Duncons Theſis a plain Antitheſis, and explained and enforced it with thoſe Conſiderations, which run counter to the Arguments of the Doctor, and his contem­porary Conteſtors: I have choſen this Method for the ſake of the Vulgar, who better underſtand plain poſi­tive Aſſertions, than Polemi­cal Debates.

Were I worthy to plead with our Riſing Prelates, I would demand, Whether they are reſolved to re­turn us to Rome, or run us upon our utter Ruine: For otherwiſe they would call a Colledge of Caſuiſts, and reſolve that great Caſe of Conſcience, Unto, againſt what, and how far the So­lemn League and Cove­nant doth oblige our King and Kingdom? lest they run themſelves, and occaſion others to run upon the vio­lation thereof: We well know, Perjury her Prop, cannot but much pleaſure Rome: But if they will needs return into our Church the Romiſh Rubbiſh of Hu­mane Inventions, lately carri­ed out, I think they may fill their Wheel-barrows with enough, pretending to be eſta­bliſhed by Law, and need not take up the Novellous Va­nities of Altars and Altar-Worſhip, condemned by the Doctrine of our Church, and excluded by the Laws of our Kingdom.

But (Courteous Reader) I have ſmall hope of being heard by them: May I entreat thee to read and regard this ſmall Manual; that by ſee­ing the groundleſs ridiculous Vanity of this Superſtitious, Idolatrous (worſe than Po­piſh) Novelty, thou maiſt be confirmed in the ſimplici­ty of thy Religion; and kept from running into, or contending for the Exceſſe thereof, in a pompous Super­ſtition, not more attended with, than tending unto a prophane Converſation, where­in be aſſured of the Prayers of

Thine in the plain­neſs of Gods Wor­ſhip, Z. C.

The SIN of ALTAR-WORSHIP, Or, Bowing to the COMMU­NION-TABLE conſidered.

PROPOS. Solemn and Religious bowing to, to­wards or before the Communi­on-Table, is fooliſh and unlaw­full.

BOwing or Religious bending towards the Communion-Ta­ble, ſimply conſider­ed, is not to be condemned, no place or inſtru­ment, being excluded from uſe, &2 acceſs unto, as conveniency ſhall direct; Bowing the body, or bend­ing the knee is an action natural, and may be directed, as to the performance of it, by ſome ſpecial duty requiring that geſture, ſuch as is Prayer, which conveniency may diſpoſe to be performed, in, or towards the place, where the Communion-Table is ſcituate, ra­ther than any other place in the Church; at the ſolemnization of Marriage, or celebration of the Lords Supper, the Miniſter, and perſons to be married kneel at, or before the Table for conveniency ſake: or the people in the body of the Church, in time of pub­lick Prayer, by the order of the Seats, may be directed towards the Chancel, and ſo without o­ther change of geſture, they kneel towards the Table, which is an action natural, by accident di­rected to, or towards that place,3 having no ground or reaſon for the ſame, but the conveniency of the place, to the ſervice to be per­formed, and ſo hath neither prin­ciple or form of ſolemn, ſuperſti­tious worſhip of the place, or in­ſtrument, to which ſuch genu­flection is directed. Therefore, I denominate, that Altar-worſhip concerning which we enquire, a ſolemn and religious bowing to, or towards the Communion Table; to denote, the Table to be the de­ſigned object; and ſo, the ground, cauſe or reaſon, of that incurva­tion, genuflection, bowing or bending, which is purely an Act elective, done by choice, as ſacred, holy, and ſolemn in its principle, ground, aim, and intention, therefore performed, on ſight of that place and inſtrument, and as frequently as there is any ap­proach to, receſſion from, or paſ­ſing by the Table, when no acti­on,4 duty, or buſineſs is in hand, or doth direct the ſame. And ſo the bowing to, or towards the Table, is a diſtinct Act of worſhip, done ſolemnly and with a compoſed mind, as a piece of Religion, to which the Table,Shelford 5 Treat. pag. 17, 18, 19, 20 and that only (to uſe the dialect of the aſſertors of bowing to the Altar, as an holy duty) is motivum cul­tus, the provoking Dictator of this action, as a duty not to be done, in any other part of the Church, nor to, or towards any other inſtru­ment of divine Service, ſuch as is the Desk, Pulpit, or Font, nor to or towards, the Chancel, if the Altar, or Table were removed, and not there; and this bowing as a piece of Religion, and point of devotion, is that, which I af­firm to be fooliſh, and unlaw­ful.



TO, towards or before the Ta­ble, I add in the poſition, be­cauſe, they who agree in the practiſe of, and pleading for the act, do diſagree in the expreſſion of it.

Some (whoſe conſciences are more livelily touched with a ſenſe of Idolatry, and would gladly ſhift off the guilt thereof) affect­ing this action, do pretend to do it, not to,Morton Inſt. of the Sacram. 2. Edit. lib. 6. cap. 5. Sect. 15. pag. 463. but to­wards the Table, not to the Table of the Lord, but to the Lord of the Table, admitting the Ta­ble as a medium, and bowing to it as Pars Cultus, as a part of Worſhip, but yet look be­yond it and direct their worſhip to God or Chriſt, as the ulti­mate6 object of the ſame, wherein they do not, nor can deny, the Table to be an object, (though not the ultimate) of Adoration, and that they worſhip the Table, though they ſtay not at the Table, but have reſpect unto the God of the Table; and ſo the Table is to them as the Image, Pix, or Cruci­fix, is to the Papiſts, who do pro­feſs they worſhip God in, and by them; it being not to be denied, that the Table is the next, and immediate object of the worſhip, as having more holineſs, and more of Gods preſence than any other place, or inſtrument of Di­vine Service; and yet we well know, that the Papiſts are con­demned, as guilty of direct Ido­latry, and breakers of the ſecond Commandment, in worſhipping God, by, before, or towards an I­mage, or Crucifix, and how bow­ing towards the Table, will be ac­quitted7 from the ſame guilt, when found to be an action of the ſame Nature, I ſee not.

However ſome (more nice than wiſe, being willing to cheat their Conſciences, and cozen their friends) do labor to ſhroud them­ſelves under this difference in expreſſion, we ſhall eaſily find it is a Cloak too ſhort to cover their knavery; for, in ſcripture accep­tation, to worſhip towards or before, is, nor imports no other than to worſhip to its Object: ſo to kneel, to bow, to worſhip before God, is nothing elſe, but bowing, kneeling, praying to, & worſhipping God, as in Deut. 26.11. 1 Sam. 12.15, 16, 17. 2 Chron. 20.18. Pſalm 22.37. 72.9. 86.9. 95.6. 96.9, 15.98.6, 9. Iſa. 66.23. Dan. 6.10, 11. Micah 6.6. Rev. 3.9. cap. 4. v. 10. cap. 5. v. 8. and many other places; ſo bowing, kneeling, and falling8 down before men, is all one with falling down to men, Gen. 49.8. Exod. 11.8. 1 Sam. 25.23. 2 Sam. 1 Kings 1.16.23. 2 Kings 2.15. So alſo bowing, kneeling, or worſhiping before, or towards Images or Altars is the ſame in Scripture language and account, with bowing, kneel­ing, or worſhipping to them, 2 Chron. 25.14. Iſa. 44.15, 17, 19. Dan. 3.5, 6. And it is worth obſervation, that the good An­gel would not ſuffer St. John to worſhip, or fall down at his feet, or before him, Rev. Whilſt the Devil demanded no more of our Lord & Saviour, then fall down and worſhip before me, Lu. 4.7. which he well knew would have been ſufficient to have ſub­verted mans redemption & ſalva­tion. And all our Proteſtant Wri­ters, and our own homilies againſt Idolatry, and Popiſh adoration of9 Images, Crucifixes, or the Eucha­riſt, do make bowing to, or towards them, the ſame Act in the nature of it, and to leave the ſame guilt on the Agent; ſo that ſuch as en­deavor to acquit themſelves from the guilt of Superſtition and Ido­latry by this diſtinction and ex­preſſion; do but ſpin a Spiders web, and can no more evade, than do the Papiſts, whilſt they make in their own defence, no other plea, than the entangling diſtin­ction of bowing towards the Image and Cruci­fix, not to it:Shelfords Ser­mon of Gods Houſe. pag. 2.4.19. Widdows Law­leſs, kneeleſſe Puritan. pag. 34.89. Ironſide 7. Queſt. de Sabbat. pag. 279. yet urge al kind of rea­ſons, which may e­rect the Table, to be the Object of worſhip, as, that it is holy, Chriſts chair of State, where God is specially preſent. That the Table is a10 memorative inſtrument, unto which the aſſiſtance of Grace is never want­ing, either to beget in our minds ſuch thoughts of the death of Chriſt, or to abſtract from our perſons ſuch a Worſhip of him, if we be not want­ing to our ſelves; and that it is con­ſecrated to that end, and ſuch like: But we muſt remember, that this table-worſhip doth no more tend than it was intended, to reconcile (I had almoſt ſaid, return) us to Rome.

Others there are in this deſign (whoſe Conſciences are ſeared with an hot Iron, and being re­ſolved to bring Rome to us, whilſt they could not bring us to Rome) are leſs ſenſible or more daringly reſolved for downright Idolatry, wave all kind of modeſty, and pre­ſume in private exhortation, pub­lick Sermons preached and print­ed, and that cum privilegio, and open Profeſſions to perſwade to11 bow to the Altar (as they affect to call the Communion-Table) as they do themſelves, and that as an eminent point of Devotion, and ſpecial piece of Worſhip: Thus did Giles Widdows in his Lawleſs, Kneeleſs, Schiſmatical Puritan: Mr. Robert Shelford in his 5 Treatiſes, P. 17, 18, 19, 20. and The coal from the Altar: But eſpecially Dr. John Pocklington, in his Viſitation-Sermon, Entitu­led, Sunday no Sabbath: wherein he runs to this height, and if we do not only bow or bend our bodies to this Bleſſed Board or Holy Al­tar, but fall flat on our faces ſo ſoon as ever we approach the ſight there­of, who would condemn us for it? He might indeed in that age, well cry Who? For Archbiſhop Laud would not condemn him for it; whoſe grand Index expurgatorius, Dr. Bray, had paſſed his Sermon without control or correction, nay12 with his Imprimatur, who had e­ſtabliſhed Bowing to the Table in the Univer. of Oxf. by Statute & Oath, & enforced it by Viſita­tion-Articles, High-Commiſſion Cenſures, as did alſo Biſh. Wren, and others, and at laſt commend­ed it in their Conſtitutions and Canons Eccleſiaſtical, 1640. Yet in theſe groſs, plain and abſurd terms, not only the Non-confor­miſts and kneeleſs Puritains, but all Proteſtants, and many of their own Confederates in that Rome-accomodating deſign, yea Pa­piſts themſelves would condemn them, as the greateſt Idolaters in the world, they tranſub­ſtantiating to their fancy, the Bread in the Box, and keeping it placed on the Table or Altar, leſt they ſhould give Divine Worſhip to a Joyners Frame, which they conclude to be wicked and un­lawful: And mad Gybbons of13 Canterbury would play with them as with the then Dean of Canter­bury, at truſs-a tray, if it were poſſible to laugh them out of this their folly and ridiculous act of Religion: and he and others a­greeing in this action, though diſ­agreeing in the expreſſion, muſt give me leave to condemn them in it, as acting and advancing an action Fooliſh and unlawful, as it will appear to be, to all that ſhall ſeriouſly obſerve and conſider the

  • Novelty,
  • Vanity,
  • Iniquity,
  • Malignity,

Of Solemn and Re­ligious bowing to, towards, or before the Communion-Table.

Religious, Solemn Bowing to, towards or before the Communi­on-Table was never digitated by any Primitive or Catholick pra­ctiſe or Preſcript of the Church;14 therefore it is a Novelty.

Religious Solemn bowing to, towards or before the Communi­on Table is no way dictated by the nature or quality of the Ob­ject; and therefore it is a Vanity.

Religious, ſolemn bowing to, towards or before the Communi­on Table, is no where directed by Gods Word; and therefore it is an Iniquity.

Religious, ſolemn Bowing to, towards or before the Communi­on Table, is an action in the uſe of it, dangerous, ſinful and ſcan­dalous; and therefore chargeable with Malignity.

Theſe things conſidered, and cleared, will fully conclude, that ſolemn religious bowing to, to­wards or before the Communion Table, is Fooliſh and Unlawful: Let us therefore conſider them in their Order.

And Firſt, of the Firſt: The Novelty thereof.



THE Firſt Demonſtration of the Folly and Unlawfulneſs of ſolemn and religious Bowing to, towards or before the Com­munion Table, is, the Novelty thereof.

That Novelties in Religion, and matters of Divine Worſhip are Fooliſh and Unlawful, I preſume I need not ſtand to prove; it be­ing granted by all men, Heathen or Chriſtian, Civil or Religious.

Novelty is a diſpoſition, not more vain and childiſh in its ſub­jects, than dangerous in its ef­fects and operations, ſubjecting the moſt ſtable principles, and ſe­rious practiſes to unſafe and un­reaſonable mutations; thereby proving the Mother of Sedition in16 the Commonwealth, and Super­stition in the Church, innovating vanities, good for nothing but to ingender ſtrife and contention, verifying the Greek Proverb,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Novelties are vanities, and are therefore in­hibited by all Politicians or pru­dent Legiſlators, not only by their Councels and Commands, but the Peoples Sacred and So­lemn Oath. Lycurgus ſubjects himſelf to perpetual exile, that he may ſuperſede the changes of his Lacedemonians; and Plato his Rule cannot but be by all receiv'd (eſpecially in things of religious concernment) Ne quid in rebus ad Religionem attinentibus innovetur; That Novelties in Religion be not admitted: Serious and ſin­cere is the obſervation of Dr. Hall, in his Contemplations, on Ahaz his new made Altar, Pag. 1286. It is dangerous preſumption17 to make innovations, though but in the Circumſtances of Gods Worſhip: God doth no little aggravate Iſra­els Idolatry and Superſtition by its Novelty: Hath a Nation for­ſaken their gods, which are no gods? but my people have changed their glory, Jer. 2.11. And they ſacrifi­ced unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods, that came newly up, Deut. 32.17. And obviateth their folly, and an­ticipateth their vanity by a plea of antiquity, Remember the daies of old, conſider the years of many gene­rations; ask thy Father, and he will ſhew thee; thy Elders, and they will tell thee, Deut. 32.7. Have ye not known, have ye not heard, hath it not been told you from the beginning? Iſa. 40. from v. 21. to the end of c. 41. I cannot but own antiquity as a good witneſs in matter of fact, though it want the authority of a Dictator in point of18 duty. I ſubſcribe readily to Sir Francis Bacons Aphoriſm, that an­tiquity without verity, is a Cypher without a Figure. Yet none can deny Novelties in Divine Worſhip to be real vanities: The ſenſe whereof hath in all ages acted the Devil and his Inſtruments to raiſe up ſcorn, contempt, and enmity againſt Gods pure Worſhip and true Religion, with the falſe charge and loud clamour of No­velty; thus the Heathen of old judged the firſt planting of Chri­ſtian Religion the ſetting forth of new gods: and the Papiſts of late reproach and retard Reformation with their clamorous demand, Where was your Religion before Lu­ther? pretending antiquity for their greateſt Impiety and Idola­try:Euſeb Hist. Lib. 7.29. As Paulus Sa­moſatenus (that hor­rid Heretick) caſt the Scripture-Pſalmes out of the19 Church, as new-found figments of Late Writers; by reaſon where­of Religious antiquity hath need­ed to be aſſerted (with an haec novi­tas non eſt novella vanitas, res enim eſt antiquae religionis perfectè fundata in pietate Christi, antiqua haereditas eccleſiae) as the ancient appointment of God, and inhe­ritance of the Church: The ſame Method hath been, and yet is moſt exactly obſerved by Eng­lands popiſhly affected Prelates, and their obſequious Chaplains in their Caſſandrian accomodation, for bringing Rome to England, whilſt England will not go to Rome; wherein they decline the Scripture (the only reaſon of Re­ligion and Rule of Divine Wor­ſhip) & pretend Antiquity, Catho­lick, Primitive and Eccleſiaſtical practiſe and preſcription in their in­novation of humane Inventions, unto the obſtruction of a due, ne­ceſſary,20 inchoated, and ſolemnly covenanted Reformation; though herein they are ordinarily miſta­ken and confounded; it hapning to them, as unto Tertullians Here­ticks, viderint novum eſſe quod ſibi eſt vetus, repreſenting Novelty to be Antiquity, and Antiquity to be Novelty; concluding ſome tract of time to be a ſufficient plea for the Innovation of thoſe things in divine Worſhip, which muſt needs interfere with the In­ſtitutions preſcribed and practi­ſed from the beginning, and ſo expoſe themſelves to the ſhame and guilt of folly and unlawful acting, whenever the novelty thereof ſhall be detected; the which befals them, as in other ſu­perſtitious rites, ſo in this of Al­tar-worſhip, or bowing to, towards or before the Communion Table, con­cerning which, we ſhall firſt en­quire, not ſo much what was the21 command and inſtitution from the beginning, which fals in its place to be conſidered; as what hath been the ancient cuſtom or conſtitution of the Primitive and Catholick Church, which we in­tend as an argument ad hominem, calculated for the clamorous pre­tenders to antiquity for all their innovations and Superſtitions in divine Worſhip, and therein we affirm;

Solemn, religious bowing to, towards or before the Communion-Table was never digitated by the Primitive Catholick practiſe of the Church; wherein we muſt confeſs it is more proper for us to deny, than to affirm, and put our aſſer­tors and coteſtors for this piece of devotion, on the proof of the primitive and catholick uſe thereof, which may acquit them from the charge of novelty laid againſt them, it being to us a ſufficient22 evidence, that no authority of an­tiquity doth digitate it; for that though this practiſe doth pretend to be ſet by this Dial, yet the Dial is obſcure, & no ways made obvious by the innovators of this Devotion: and that rule muſt be our reaſon, non eſſe, & non appare­re, idem eſt, it is all one, not to be, and not to be ſeen.

I muſt indeed confeſs, that the Pulpit and the Preſſes have ſpo­ken it (from more mouthes and Pens than one) That bowing to the table is an ancient & commen­dable practiſe and piece of reve­rence, yea we are ſo told, and as ſuch, have it commended to our practiſe, as fit to be revived, (which implies it to have been in uſe, though then almoſt buried and forgotten) by the grave, learned and judicious Suffrages of the Convocation of both Pro­vinces, held by the two Arch-Bi­ſhops23 of York & Canterbury, cum privilegio Majeſtatis; in their Canons and Conſtitutions Eccle­ſiaſtical, Anno Dom. 1640. where­in they thus expreſs themſelves; We think it meet and behooful, and heartily commend to all good and well affected people, members of this Church, that they be ready to tender it unto the Lord, by doing reverence and obeiſance at their coming in and going out of the ſaid Churches and Chappels, according to the moſt an­cient custom of the primitive Church in the pureſt times, and of this Church alſo for many years of the reign of Qu. El. The reviving therefore of this ancient and lauda­ble custom, we heartily commend to the ſerious conſideration of all good people, without any intention to exhi­bit any religious worſhip to the Com­munion Table. I am not willing to break modeſty ſo far, as to charge theſe Reverend Fathers24 with a Lie and fallacious inſinuati­on, though the laxity of their au­thority, commending what their Reaſons might warrant, and pow­er might authorize, affords a ground on which to ſuſpect it: I ſhall therefore confeſs, that if Obeyſance & Reverence expreſſed by bowing to, towards or before the Communion Table, were the moſt ancient cuſtom in the Primitive Church, in the purest times, it were well worth the ſerious conſideration of good people in order to the revi­ving thereof: But for this anti­quity, we have no evidence but their bare ſay-ſo, and although we are ready to own ſuch aſſem­blies as Objects of Reverence, yet we are not reſolved into ſuch an implicit Faith, as to apprehend their ſay-ſo a ſufficient ground of credence, until we are convinced of their infallibilities, eſpecially in a matter of fact, which them­ſelves25 can only know by report and teſtimonies, they not ſo much as naming any Father, Council or Eccleſiaſtical Hiſtorian, whom we might examine as a witneſs, unto this moſt ancient cuſtom of the Primitive Church in the pureſt times; Nor do ſo much as read unto us the examination and de­poſition of any witneſs taken in private by themſelves: We are ſure this is not the uſual method of the Church of England,2 Book of Ho­milies, p. 21. or her Advocates, who in her Ho­milies of the peril of Idolatry, ſpendeth the ſecond part of the Homily in producing teſtimony to the matter of Fact, and an­cient cuſtom, and practiſe of the thing to which ſhe perſwades: Whilſt therefore they expect our conſent to an ancient cuſtom, and tie us to believe as the Church be­lieves, they raiſe our confidence26 that they palliate an apparent In­novation, with the falſe pretence of ancient and laudable cuſtom of the Primitive Ch. in the pureſt times.

We muſt confeſs, we cannot ſay we never found bowing to the Table commanded and pra­ctiſed in our Church; for then we muſt needs be ignorant of the Injunctions of Car­dinal Pool's Viſi­tors,Fox Acts dud Mon. p. 1781. in the Viſita­tion of the Univerſity of Cam­bridge, in the time of Queen Mary, who amongſt other things, did order the Schollars how to bow to the Altars: And muſt needs be ignorant of the new Statutes made by Archbi­ſhop Laud,De Precibus ſolen. & Oblationibus in de Comitiorum, Sect. 1. p. 2. the then Chancellor of the Univerſity of Oxford, print­ed 1638. and directing all the Schollars in their Order ad men­ſam27 Euchariſtiae ſacram cum debi­ta reverentia oblationes faciant (wch by words and practiſes they inter­preted to be a lowly bowing to, towards or before the Table) for omiſſion whereof they were pu­niſhable at the pleaſure of the Vice-Chancellor, and to pay five ſhillings: And muſt needs be un­acquainted with the Viſitation-Articles of Biſhop Wren, Biſhop Pierce, Biſhop Lindſey, Biſhop Skinner, Biſhop Mountague, and others, who among other things, cauſed ſtrict enquiry about every mans reverent behaviour at entring into the Church by bowing towards the Altar. But yet I muſt be bold to ſay, our Church is not the moſt Catholick or Primitive, nor yet the pureſt Church: that bowing to the table was never preſcribed by the publick authority of this Church, the Convocation in 1640. did only commend it as laudable, not28 command it as neceſſary; but left it at liberty as indifferent; it was never univerſally practiſed by our Church, being chiefly practiſed in Univerſity Chappels, and advan­ced in particular Dioceſſes: ac­cording to the affections of ſin­gle Prelates, who enforced it with their perſonal authority: And yet it paſſed not without ſuspi­tion and cenſure of Innovation and Novelty, by ſome of the Biſhops, as Dr. Wright of Coventry and Litchfield, and Dr. Williams Bi­ſhop of Lincolne, witneſs his Holy Table, Name and Thing: And laſtly, this maketh no antiqui­ty, it being the act of this age on­ly, and not able to account 60. nay ſcarce 30 years towards a cu­ſtom, in which time it hath been more than once arreſted as an In­novation, and as far from appear­ing the ancient practiſe of the Primitive Church in the Pureſt29 times: Nor do we obſerve the practiſe of it in the times of Qu. Elizabeth, either firſt or laſt, with any approbation or allow­ance of the Church; though now again with much earneſtneſs it be endeavoured to be revived: A­gainſt which, I think I may be bold to ſay, that we have many juſt and conſiderable reaſons to believe they cannot produce one honeſt witneſs or authentick teſti­mony, to prove that the Primi­tive Church in its pureſt times, did ever practiſe or preſcribe ſolemn and religious bowing to, towards or before the Communion Table, the which we ſhall not fear to pro­duce unto them, that they may reprove our cenſure of their No­velty, by better informing our judgments; and they are theſe;

1. The zealous aſſertors of, and conteſtors for this reverence, do not produce ſuch teſtimony, however30 men boaſt and brag they have good evidence and ſubſtantial witneſs, they muſt be caſt in their actions, and condemned as guilty, if they do not produce them: they muſt be taken for firſt Inven­tors and contrivers of miſchief, who are active in it, and cannot produce their author.

2. The Fathers and Eccleſiaſti­cal Hiſtorians (by whom all Rites and Ceremonies uſed in the Pri­mitive Church, are moſt accurate­ly ſet down) do make no men­tion of ſolemn or religious bowing to towards or before the Communion-table,Centic. Magdub. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. c. 6. de cere­moniis & ritibus Eccleſ. which of all other, had it been a thing of that moment, ſo anci­ent and laudable a cuſtom, and re­verent acknowledgment of the Di­vine Majeſty, as it is recommend­ed to be, would not have been31 paſſed over in ſilence by them: Nor is there in all the writings of the Fathers which I have read (or men of more reading than my time or affairs will afford me to attain) any paſſage which may ſo much as ſeem to palliate this Novelty, with the leaſt ſhew of Antiquity, unleſſe it be that which Nazianzen mentioneth of his Mother,Nazianz. Ora. 8. de funere Pa­tris, p. 472. quod ve­nerandae menſae nun­quam terga verteret, that ſhe ne­ver turned her back on the vene­rable board, which cannot any way be underſtood of bowing to the table, but of never withdrawing from the Lords Supper when it was adminiſtred, and ſo ſhe turned not her back by neglecting to communicate, the Table being put for the Sacrament, as it is in many of the Fathers: but ſhould we admit what ſenſe can be deſi­red32 of it, yet it is but one ſingle example, and one Swallow makes no Summer; this one example was not till after the year 370. af­ter Chriſt, and can ſcarce come within the computation of pureſt times, or Primitive Church; Nor yet is it plain for bowing to the Table, though it might plead for not turning the back upon it. I read indeed that Uladiſlaus King of Poland after his converſion from Paganiſm to Chriſtianitie, Inter equitandum, quoties-cunquetur­res eccleſiarum inſpexit, detracto pi­leo, caput inclinavit, Deum qui co­leretur, in Eccleſia veneratus: when he rode abroad, he pulled of his Hat, and bowed his head as oft as he ſaw the towers of the Church, worſhipping God, who is adored in the Church: But this example will very little avail, becauſe it was far from the primitive and pure times of the Church, and di­gitates33 an adoration to the Stee­ple of, not Altars in the Church, and that is no way commended, nor commanded to us by our No­vellers.

3. Becauſe the Fathers in the Primitive and Pure times of the Church, for more than 400. years after Chriſt, condemn all bowing to, towards or before Images, or any external Symbal or repreſentation of God, and all worſhipping God in, by, through or towards the ſame, affirming and teaching, all divine worſhip to be a thing peculiar to God alone, and to be immediately tendred unto himſelf, without any ſuch ſe­condary helps as Images; the which is fully cleared in the Homilie of the peril of idolatry,2 Book of Ho­milies p, 21. and by all our Proteſtant writers, and by Dr. Uſher, in his Anſwer to the Jeſuites Challendge of Images and praying to Saints: How therefore34 they ſhould indulge or allow a worſhipping or adoring God, in, by, to, towards or before a Ta­ble or Joyners frame, imagined to be the Symbol or Repreſenta­tion of his Majeſty, and ſo of the very ſame nature with an Idola­trous Image, I cannot con­ceive.

4. Becauſe the Chriſtians in the primitive times, and many hundred years after Chriſt did prohibite the bowing the knee,Die Dominica, jeju­nium ne fas ducimus, vel de jemiculis ado­rare, Tert. de corona militis, justin. Mar. Queſt. 115. Gracian. de conſecr. diſtinct. 3. Jerom de eccleſiaſticis obſerva­tionibus, c. 29. or kneeling on a­ny Lords day; & from Eaſter to Whitſont. they forbad kneeling on any day, and that in the very act of adoration or prayer, much more in the time of receiving the Lords Supper: and that to them it ſhould be a35 cuſtom and ordinary practice, in coming in, or going out, or paſ­ſing by the Communion-Table, to do reverence to it, or bow to­wards it, who would not admit any genuflexion in any the moſt ſerious, ſubmiſſe acts of worſhip, I cannot believe.

5. Laſtly, that no kind of au­thors, not ſo much as the very Pa­piſts, do make mention of bow­ing to Tables, otherwiſe than as they were Altars; whence it un­doubtedly comes to paſs that the great ſticklers for this Table reve­rence, do affect to call the Table an Altar, and contend to have it ſo called, and placed at the Eaſt­end of the Church; under the wall as an Altar, and according­ly furniſh it with Veſſels, Can­dleſticks, Tapers and holy Uten­ſils belonging to an Altar; as fancying that they may muſter up many teſtimonies for Altar-wor­ſhip36 (ſuch as they are) but not one for Table-adoration, which the Papiſts ſo much abhor,Fox acts. Monu­ments Ed. ult. p. 85. 95. 97. as that they con­temptuouſly and ſcornfully call our communion-Tables, Oyſter-boards & Prophane Tables, and yet this Altar-wor­ſhip which our Novellers do af­fect to render ſynonymous with Table-adoration, is ſo far from being the ancient & laudable cu­ſtom of the primitive Church and pureſt times,Article. 35. that the Articles of our Church, (to the verity of which the Table-Adorers have ſubſcribed) do teach us to believe, that for more than 250 years after Chriſt, the primi­tive Chriſtians had no Altars be­fore which to worſhip.

The third part of the Homilies againſt the peril of idolatry (con­firmed by the ſtatute, and by37 the Articles of our Church) doth declare,Homily 2. Tom. pag. 41. all Chriſti­ans in the primitive Church, (as Origen againſt Celſus, Ciprian alſo and Arnobius do testifie) were ſore charged, and complained of, for that they had no Altars and Images.

And King Edward the Sixt propoſing the primitive Church, and pureſt times for his example in Reformation, doth by his Let­ter to Doctor Ridly Biſhop of London, direct him to pull down Altars, and ſet up Tables, and enforceth his direction with reaſons,Fox Acts and Mon. Pag. 1211. the fifth whereof is, it is not read that any of the Apoſtles or Primitive Churches did ever uſe any Altar in the Ministration of the Holy Communion; the ſame is affirm'd by Jewel againſt Harding, Reynolds againſt Hart, Fulke and Cartwright againſt the Rhemiſts,38 and all our Proteſtant writers a­gainſt the Papiſts, which they could never yet anſwer or avoid; and Tho. Bacon, in his Reliques of Rome, doth declare his opinion that Altars were not uſed in the Church before the year of our Lord 590.Fol. 82. Of the or­nament of Churches. when the Popiſh, Peeviſh, Private Maſſe began firſt to creep in; and certainly if there were no Altars in the Primitive Church, and pure times thereof (as good authority aſſureth us there was not) then there was not, nor could be any bowing to, towards, or before Altars. And when Al­tars were brought into the Church; there is no probability that they were adored and wor­ſhipped as are our Communion-Tables, for that they were conti­nued in the middle of the Church, not encloſed, or placed at the Eaſt end of the Church, and advanced39 above other parts thereof; for ma­ny years after. Biſhop Jewel in his anſwer to Hardings Preface, doth obſerve from many good Au­thors, that, it is apparent that the Communion-Table, in the Apoſtles times, and Primitive Church for more then 1300 years after Chriſt, ſtood in the middle of the Church: And William Thomas teſtifies in his Hiſtory of Italy, that in the year 1547. The Altar in the Ca­thedral Church of Rome, ſtood in the time of Maſſe, when the Pope received the Sacrament in the midſt of the Quire; whereof he re­ports himſelf to be an Eye-wit­neſſe; and probably the Altar was advanced to its high and ho­ly incloſure before it was adored; moreover although we read of many expreſſions of affection to the Altar, as of going up to the Altar, Praying and Trembling, as the ſpurious Maſſe of S. James40 the Apoſtle doth direct: or of Pe­nitents when abſolved, Biſhops when conſecrated, and Kings and Emperors when crowned, knee­ling before the Altar: Of Gorgonia her proſtration of her ſelf in her ſickneſſe, before, or at the Foot of the Altar, whereupon ſhe reco­vered, as Nazianzen reports; Oratio 25. and of Malefactors pag. 443. flying to the Altar in time of danger, and ſuch like carriages which were the begin­nings of ſuperſtition, and not found in the Primitive Church; yet we read not of any who men­tion bowing to, or towards the Al­tar,De antiquo ritu Miſſarum Lib. 3. cap. 30. de Incli­nationibus. until Honorius Auguſto-dunenſis, who lived in the year 1120 (far e­nough from the Primitive pure times of the Church (he is the firſt undoubted Writer, who giveth us any account thereof; in41 reſpect of which very practice our bowers to the Table are No­vellers: for the bowing he re­ports, was to the Altar only at en­trance into the Church, not at eve­ry approach to, receſſion from, or paſſing by the Table; they bow­ed Eaſt and Weſt to teſtifie God eve­ry where preſent, but our men muſt bow to the Eaſt, and to the Eaſt only. And after this, though Odo Biſhop of Paris in a Synod about the year 1206 did order, ſumma Reverentia & honor max­imus ſacris Altaribus exhibeatur, that Reverence be done to the Altar, yet he doth not direct it to be done by bowing to, or towards the Altar: and the Synod of Akens held 1583. though it de­cree many things concerning Al­tars, as for their ſcituation and incloſure, furniture with candle­ſticks, altar cloathes, and the like, yet it decreeth nothing for42 bowing to the Altar: & the reſer­ved pix, or tranſubſtantiated bread, adored by the Papiſts, do plainly plead for them, that they wor­ſhip not the Altar, and reflecteth the Table-worſhip of the Pro­teſtants (who deny the reſervati­on of Chriſts body on the Table) as a moſt fooliſh Novelty, ridicu­lous and unlawful Idolatry, wor­ſhipping a Joyners frame without any apprehenſion or acknowledg­ment of Gods ſpecial preſence; from which they ought to acquit themſelves by good and ſufficient reaſons, before they innovate in­to his Majeſties Royal Chappell, Our Cathedral and Pariſh-church­es, ſolemn and Religious bowing to, towards, or before the Com­munion-Table, or can expect any conformity to their new fangled fancy, never uſed in the primi­tive Church, nor in the Refor­med Churches, nor alowed by43 the conſtitutions of the Church of England, before the year of our Lord 1640. in which it is recommended with an argument which appeareth to be an apparent fallacy, whom we ſhall leave to ſearch ancient records, with pre­tence to which they make ſo much noiſe; whilſt they enquire into the nature of the object, and what reaſon therein can dictate this action and demeanour, honor and incurvation, ever charged (ſince firſt acted) to be an innovation.


OUr ſecond evidence where­by we charge ſolemn and religious bowing to, towards, or before the Communion-Table, to be an action fooliſh & unlaw­ful, is, the vanity thereof. I do denominate this action vanity,44 becauſe it beareth a ſhew of reli­gion without any ſubſtance. Men that ſtand at a diſtance, and ob­ſerve the ſolemn, grave, and ſeri­ous deportment of thoſe who bow to the Table, muſt needs imagine that they are ingaged in ſome ſpecial act of devotion, on ſome ſerious ſence of holineſſe in the object, which ſtirreth up, and engageth the ſame; whereas when the object is inquired into, it is found a plain ſimple Joyners frame, or work of ſome Artificer, without any innate cauſe, or rea­ſon of ſolemn and ſacred adora­tion; and it befalls the ſerious ſpectators, as the Poet ſpeaks of the husbandmans expectation when he comes to reap his field, which he apprehendeth to have flouriſhed with full ears of Corn, but finds at Harveſt to be em­pty.

Sed illas expectata ſeges vanis il­luſit avenis.

And therefore I urge againſt this Novelty, the Vanity thereof on this account and conſideration.

Solemn and religious bowing to, towards, or before the Communion-Table, is no way dictated by the na­ture, or quality of the Thing or Object, therefore it is a Vanity. If Scripture do not direct, right reaſon muſt needs expect the na­ture of the Object to dictate the act. They are perſons and po­ſtures fit for Bedlam, that having no preſcription from ſuperiors, cannot plead ſome reaſon from the nature and quality of the Ob­ject: It is poſſible for ſober chil­dren to demean themſelves with all reverence and good manners towards Squire Dunne, but if they ſeem to be reproached for ſo ho­noring46 the Hangman, they can eaſily plead, we knew him not to be the Hangman, he was in a Scarlet cloak, and ſeemed to us a Gentleman of good note, how­ever they ſay he is an Eſquire by his place, and ſo to be reverenced by our betters; let us therefore ſee what reaſons are pleaded, or can be imagined in the nature of the Communion-Table, which can dictate this bowing to, or to­wards it.

As it is a Table, none do make it the object of ſuch adoration; being the work of mans hands, any that knew the nature of an Idol, muſt needs make the wor­ſhip to, or towards it, to be plain, expreſſe Idolatry: Whatſoever therefore is fancied to dictate this worſhip to, or towards it, is in that it is the Communion-Ta­ble, and in Scripture called the Lords-Table; and as ſuch, and47 under colour thereof, ſome ear­neſt Zealots for this adoration, do as from the nature and qua­lity thereof, urge as reaſons for this worſhip, that this Table is an Altar, an high Altar, an holy place or inſtrument, the beſt, choiſeſt and holieſt part of the church the place of Chriſts ſpecial pre­ſence, and his chair of state; Chriſts mercy ſeat, and the memo­ry of the everlaſting ſacrifice, there made and preſented to the Trinity; a ſigne of the place where our Savi­our was moſt diſhonoured and cruci­fied. And laſtly (which is inſerted into Doctor Mortons writings.) The Teſtimony of the Communion of all the faithful Communicants there­at. Thus Widdowes, in his Knee­leſſe Puritan pag. 34. 89. Doctor Duncon in his Lecture on bowing to the Altar. Shelfords Sermon of Gods houſe, pag. 2. 4. 18, 19, 20. Reve his Expoſition of the Cha­techiſm,48 Mortons Institution of the Sacrament. Edit. 2. Lib. 6. cap. 5. Sect. 15. page 463. All which are to any ſerious, ſober Chriſtian­man (although of ſlender judge­ment,) moſt vain and ridiculous, yet becauſe they carry a ſhew of Holineſſe, and ſeem to beſpeak devotion from ſuch as are willing to believe, as the Church believes, I ſhall oppoſe them, by denying, both antecedent, & conſequence, that the Lords Table is any ſuch thing as is ſuggeſted, and if any ſuch thing, yet that it is to be bowed unto, & worſhipped. And thus then we proceed.

1. The Communion-Table is no Altar, or high Altar, nor as ſuch to be worſhiped. The Communion-Table is no Altar; not in the name and appellation, for herein they apparently differ, and that in all languages; nor yet in uſe and nature, for an Altar is, an49 holy Inſtrument, conſecrated for the offering of Sacrifices unto God: this was the only uſe and nature of pa­gans and Jewiſh Altars, ſo deno­minated from the fiers and Sacri­fices burning on them, as Cale­pin & Iſidore do note on the word, whence the Papiſts fancying the Maſſe to be an unbloody Sacrifice offered to God, do affect to call the Miniſters Prieſts, and to turn the Tables into Altars, juſtly laughing at ſuch Chriſtians as own Altars, but deny a Sacrifice; well knowing that a Table may ſuit a Sacrament, but an Altar doth in the very nature and notation of it ſuppoſe a Sacrifice, and the aſ­ſerting the Table to be an Altar, hath led ſome among us unto the ſubverting of the Sacrament, (Chriſts inſtitution) by ſuggeſt­ing the Bread and Wine thereon uſed, to be a Sacrifice: Again, an Altar in the nature of it was ſa­cred,50 and did ſanctifie the things that were offered thereon, as our Saviours expoſtulation with the Phariſees, plainly ſheweth, Mat. 23.18, 19. But none will dare to ſay that the Communion Ta­ble ſanctifieth the Bread and Wine which is uſed on it; but on the contrary, the Adorers of the Table teach us, that it is ſanctified by the conſecrated Elements and holy Service thereat performed: And therefore the difference be­tween an Altar and Communion-Table, appeareth to be no leſs in nature and uſe, than in name and appellation.

A Communion-Table is no Altar, in or by divine account and appointment, the word of God doth no where ſo denominate it: The Table of Shew-bread was in the Temple diſtinct from the Al­tar of incenſe: And under the Goſpel attendance on the Altar,51 and partaking of the Altar, was the ſign of a Jew, or Infidel Gen­tile, contradiſtinct from the Chriſtian, whoſe Character was, to partake of the Table of the Lord; Whence Chriſtians of old, and proteſtants of late, have ever made it a note of Chriſts Church, that it knoweth no Altar. All the Fathers generally, all Commenta­tors and Chriſtian Writets do agree, that Altars were Types of Jeſus Chriſt: Whence the Apo­ſtles do call Jeſus Chriſt himſelf our Altar, Heb. 13.10. Rev. 6.9. c. 8.3, 9, 13. As alſo our Expo­ſitors and Martyres, and our late King James in his Paraphraſe on the Revelation, do agree: More­over, Chriſtians have no proper Sacricfies or burnt offerings to tender unto God, for which God ſhould appoint an Altar; they have indeed a Feaſt of commemo­ration, a Paſſeover, to be with fre­quencie52 celebrated, and this doth require a Table whereat to feed, and from whence they ought not to be excluded by a railed-in In­cloſure.

The Communion-Table is no Al­tar; in the apprehenſion of the Church.

Not in the apprehenſion of the Primitive Church, who were eſtranged unto Altars, and did de­termine them to be expelled the Churches, as things unſuitable to Chriſtians, and whereby we deny­ed Chriſt the true and only Altar, to have been offered unto God, Thus Origen doth determine, the truth was in Heaven, but the Altar, ſhadow and example was on the Earth, but when Chriſt, this truth, came from Heaven to the earth, Al­tare ſublatum eſt, the Altar was taken away, and therefore he di­rects ſuch as ſeem to want the Al­tar, to look up to Heaven, Si53 Altare videris deſtitutum, eſt in coelis: So alſo Paſchalius Rhadber­tus, repulit Dominus Altare ſuum de Eccleſia in qua Chriſtus Altare creditur eſſe: The Lord hath thruſt his Altar out of his Church, in which Chriſt is believed to be the only Altar. None ſave an im­pudent Jeſuite (like Harding) will dare to ſay that there have been Altars even from the Apoſtles times; and our Jewel hath told him full well of the falſhood thereof: Origen tells us, That 200 years after Chriſt the Chriſti­ans were blamed by the heathen, for that they had no Altars; and Ar­nobius after him declareth the ſame thing, all our Proteſtant writers have maintained it againſt the Papiſts, that the Primi­tive Church never had, nor would endure Altars, but certainly they had Communion Tables, and uſed them.


It is an old ſhift and pittiful poor plea, to tell us, that the Fa­thers do often make mention of an Altar, and denominated the Communion-Table an Altar, the which was not done by any 260. years after Chriſt, and then only in a figurative and improper ſpeech, in reſpect of the prayers and praiſes performed at the Lords Supper, as appeareth by ma­ny paſſages out of their own wri­tings urged by the Proteſtants a­gainſt the Papiſts, by B. Jewel, Ba­bington, Reynolds, and others, even as they denominate the heart of godly men their Altar, and Faith an Altar; So St. Jerom. Altare Fidelium fides eſt, and Altare Dei eſt cor bonum, and yet they will not be admitted to be proper Altars and objects of Adoration; How then can communion-Ta­bles be ſo own'd.

Communion-Tables were not55 Altars in the apprehenſion of the Re­formed Churches, or of our own Church in promoting the Reforma­tion of Religion, which did ever be gin, and proceed by pulling down Altars and placing tables in the Body of the Church, as contra-di­ſtinct from the Papiſts Altars; Whoſoever will obſerve our own Book of Martyrs (the beſt Eccle­ſiaſtical Hiſtory of the firſt begin­ning and progreſs of Reformati­on) ſhall find, that at Berea, Conſtance, Baſil, Geneva, Auſ­burge, and other Cities, at the beginning of Reformation in the year 1528. they proclaimed that all Altars ſhould be aboliſhed; and in the year 1556. The Waldayes in Piemont covenanting the Refor­mation, agreed to caſt down the Altars, which they accordingly executed in the Church of Boby. And our Edward the Sixth, begin­ning the Reformation, gave or­der65 to pull down Altars, and place Tables in Churches, the which was earneſtly practiſed, purſued and preſſed by Biſhop Hooper, in his Sermon before the King, by Biſhop Farrar in Wales, by Biſh. Ridley in Saint Pauls, and other Churches in London: All which was enforced with this conſidera­tion, That Altars were not uſed in the daies of the Apoſtles nor Primi­tive Church, nor did agree with the Chriſtians Sacrament and Profeſſi­on, that Chriſt their true and only Altar was come. And on the con­trary, when this Reformation was ſtopped, and turned back in the Reign of Queen Mary, and Po­pery again returned, it enered & proceeded by ſcorning, villifying, & pulling down Communion Ta­bles, and preaching up, building and reſtoring Altars; which were again demoliſhed and dri­ven out, when the Reformation57 revived, under Q. Elizabeth, and Communion-Tables were reſto­red, and fortified by Injunctions, Canons, and Statute-Law, and ſo continued untill the attempted accommodation with Rome, did again turn our Tables into Altars.

If any therefore will obſerve the nature of an Altar, and how Altars and Tables have ever been the contradiſlinct notes of true or falſe worſhip, between the Pri­mitive Chriſtians and the Jews and Heathens, and in latter time between the ſincere Chriſtian Proteſtant, and the Jewiſh Pagan Rapiſt, he muſt needs conclude the Communion Table is no Altar, but a thing contradiſtinct from an Altar, and therefore as ſuch, it can not be worſhipped.

And as the Antecedent of this reaſon is apparently falſe, ſo the Conſequence wants not its falla­cy: Should we grant (what our58 table-cringers ſo much uſe, and affect to call the Communion ta­ble) that it is an Altar, yet there is no reaſon for their bowing to, to­wards, or before it; becauſe Altars are no way the Object of adora­tion, nor can be worſhipped or bowed unto, without apparent I­dolatry: not materially, for ſo they are but common ſtone, or clay, or wood, contemptible creatures, not Objects of Divine Worſhip. Not Formally as Altars, for as ſuch, they are indeed Inſtruments of Service to God, but not Sym­bols of Divine Nature or Preſence, for Altars have been, and may be without the preſence of God: And the Jews were never ap­pointed, nor did the Gentiles by nature apprehend it fit to bow down unto, or worſhip any thing but the Symbols of divine nature and preſence; & therefore though the Jewes might worſhip before59 the Arke, or the cloud which reſt­ed upon it, or towards the Tem­ple; yet neither Prieſt nor peo­ple did worſhip the Altar: and the Gentiles ever had the Images of their Gods placed over their Altars; and their bowings were to their Images, not to their Al­tars, as their own Poets, and Hi­ſtorians, and many of the Fathers do teſtifie: Saint Auſtin tells us, the Pagan Idols were placed ho­norabili ſublimitate, in an honou­rable height, ut a precantibus atqueimmolantibus attendantur; that they might be regarded by them that ſacrificed and prayed unto them: And the Scripture witneſ­ſeth, God for bad Iſraels bowing to the gods of the Gentiles, Numb. 25.2. Not to their Altars, which was not uſed: And when Joſiah brake down the Altars, he brake alſo the Images of Baalim, 2 Chr. 34.3, 4. And theſe two were60 joynt acts in one and the ſame Command, Exod. 34.13. And therefore the Papiſts themſelves do keep God in a Box, the bread fancied to be tranſubſtantiated on their Altar, or hang a Crucifix be­hind and over the Altar; know­ing the Altar as ſuch, to be no Object of Worſhip, becauſe no Symbol of divine nature and pre­ſence. It is more then probable, that the ſence hereof, brought the late Crucifix in the Glaſſe over, and in the Arras Hangings behind the Altar at Lambeth-Chappel, and in the Kings Royall Chappel, ſo ordered by the Late Archbiſhop Laud, the firſt that ever framed a Canon for bowing to, towards or before the Com­munion Table: for which rea­ſon will require ſome Symboll of Divine Nature and Preſence: Its being an holy inſtrument of divine Service, being of no more61 force for the Altar then for the Tongs, or Snuffers of the Taber­nacle, or Aarons breeches under the Law, or for Surplices, Organs, Chalices, Patens, and Canonical coats and girdles, which are made inſtruments of Holy Service, by our Altar-Adorers; and if on that reaſon they muſt be bowed unto, we ſhall abound in cringing not only in every Church, but in e­very ſtreet; but whether it be an holy inſtrument, is conſidered in the next reaſon, to which I op­poſe and ſay.

2. The Communion Table is not an holy place or inſtrument. In this Anitheſis I underſtand our Altar-Adorers in the latitude of their ſence and expreſſions, as ſpeaking of the Table in its fixed form and ſcituation in the Chancel, at the upper end; under the wall, in the form of an Altar, and rail­ed in, in which frame and poſture62 they deem it, not only an inſtru­ment, whereon Divine Service is performed, but an holy place un­to which Chriſt is confined as his Chair of State, and Mercy Seat, nay a moſt holy place, into which not the beſt of Chriſtians, none but the Prieſt may enter, all others muſt humbly and reverentlykneel at the rail; and thus many of them do beſpeak themſelves, by proclaiming holineſſe of the Church-yard, more holineſs of the Church, which muſt needs con­clude moſt holineſs of the Chan­cel, to which the Table is con­fined.

Holineſs inherent cannot be i­maged to be predicated of the Communion-Table, it being pro­per to none but Rational Crea­tures, Angels and Men.

And therefore Relative Holineſs is that which muſt be underſtood of the Communion Table;63 and this Holineſſe according to the deſcription of our Table crin­ger, is nothing elſe but a ſtate of relation and peculiarity to God, de­dicated to his only ſervice, and ſo alienated from all other uſewhat­ſoever, it is holy extra uſum pub­licum. 2. Sanctifying, or giving power and vertue to be more ef­fectuall and acceptable to God, whatſoever is tendred in or by it. 3. The Object of ſome poſitive and ſpeciall reſpect and reve­rence.

That there have been ſuch places and Inſtruments we cannot deny, whilſt we remember the Tabernacle & Temple among the Jewes before the coming of Chriſt; but that the Communion Table is ſuch an holy place or in­ſtrument, we muſt and do deny. 1. Becauſe the holineſs of places and inſtruments, allowed under the Law, is aboliſhed under the64 Goſpel; thoſe ſpecial places and inſtruments, the Tabernacle or Temple, and its utenſils, have been prophan'd and made common, and no other place or Inſtrument hath been appointed in the ſtead thereof; the typical uſe of ſuch holy places and things is expired in the appearance and exiſtence of the Antitype Chriſt Jeſus, who is no more to be ſhadowed by them; and Jeſus Chriſt the King and Prophet of his Church hath expreſlyabrogated all ſuch holineſs of place and Inſtruments, John 4.21. Woman believe me, the hour cometh, when neither in this moun­tain, nor at Jeruſalem (by peculia­rity of relation to God) ſhall ye worſhip the Father; and the Spi­rit in a Viſion hath taught us, to call nothing unclean, and then e­very thing and place muſt be as holy as the Communion Table with its railes.


2. There is no way or meanes by which the Communion Table can be made holy, or ſet in ſuch a ſtate of peculiar relation to God; For the cauſe, way, or means of making it holy, muſt be from God, or from man, or (as our Altars-adorers teach us) from the holy ſervices which are done therein, or there­upon, but the Communion Table is not made holy by God immedi­ately, for his preſence is not tied to this place or inſtrument, and the preſence of God, is the only way by which any place or inſtrument is made holy: Our Table-wor­ſhippers tells us they worſhip God by the Table, and the Lord of the Table, not the Table of the Lord, and call the Table Chriſts Mercy Seat, or chair of State; and ſo ſuggeſt his preſence in this place, and on this Inſtrument; and that more than his omni preſence, which is every where, and there­fore66 they ſometimes tell us he is specially preſent there, as in his chair of State, and Mercy Seat, which the Author of the Quench­coale will not believe, wittily en­quiring whether Chriſt have a Pew in every Church, and his ſpe­cial preſence be ſo chained to the Table, that he is not at the Font, Desk, or Pulpit? Or never ſtirs from thence; that every time men come into the Church, they muſt bow to the Table, as well when the Sa­crament is not adminiſtred, as when it is; but to be more ſerious with them, I ſhould enquire what kind of preſence God affords us at the Communion Table, whereby it is made holy, and ſo rendred the ob­ject of ſuch ſpeciall ſolemn wor­ſhip.

There is recorded in holy writ a threefold ſpecial preſence of God, two of which do ſanctifie any place or inſtrument, and67 make it the object of ſolemn a­doration, ſo long as they, or ei­ther of them exiſt; but the third doth not ſo do.

Gods preſence may be, and hath been ſenſible to the bodily eyes of his people: Thus he ap­peared to the Patriarchs, and to Moſes and Joſhuah and others, and this preſence will (for the time of its continuance) make a place or thing holy as Bethel to Jacob, and the object of ſpeciall reverence, as the ground whereon Moſes and Joſhuah ſtood, Exod. 3.5. by reaſon whereof it is requi­red, that they ſhould put their ſhooes from off their feet. Joſhuah 5.15.

This preſence of God, or Chriſt on the Lords Table, can­not be pretended to, unleſs by a Popiſh Tranſubſtantiation & real preſence, which yet is affirmed to lie latent under the accidents of68 Bread and Wine, but when they have made their God, and put him priſoner in a Box, and place him on the Table, if they tell us, he is in this ſence preſent on the Altar, we ſhould not be­lieve them, for in this caſe ſeeing is believing; this preſence is as obvious to others, (having eyes) as to them; Faith aſſureth us the Heaven of Heavens muſt contain him untill the restitution of all things.

Reaſon apprehends it impoſſi­ble for a humane perſon to have many bodies at one and the ſame time, one in Heaven, and one on every Altar; and ſence ſatisfieth us that a body cannot exiſt in its full proportion, but it muſt be ſeen. Yet I muſt confeſs this fancy is a better fence for bowing to the Table than any other framed by its adorers. But ſecondly,

God is preſent ſymbolically by69 ſome certain and ſpecial ſigne of his preſence: Thus God was pre­ſent to Iſrael by the Cloud, the Tabernacle, the Temple, the Ark, the Mercy Seat, or the like, before which the Prieſt or people bowed and did approach on ſingular pre­paration, and by ſpecial waſhing, ſanctifyng, and cloathing them­ſelves, with ſutable holy Gar­ments; for ſuch things were ſigns inſeparable from the peculiar preſence of God aſcertaining, not aſſimulating Divine preſence; convincing that God was now ſpecially near them, not that he did bear any ſuch ſhape as ap­peared to them.

Sure our Altar-adorers will not ſay God or Chriſt is Symbolically preſent on the Table, yet this is that they muſt mean when they call the Table Chriſts chair of ſtate and Mercy-Seat; but if ſo, they muſt tell us what is the Symbol of70 this peculiar preſence? Is it one thing or many? And how do they know this or that to be the ſign of his preſence? Is the Paten, Cha­lice or Elements in them the ſign of his preſence? Are the Can­dleſticks or Candle the ſign thereof? The laſt is moſt likely, for Chriſt is the light of the world: But I wonder then his preſence doth not light them, as it ſome­times burned the Sacrifices: Sig­nificancy of a thing or inſtrumēt, will make no ſymbol of Gods ſpecial preſence: they muſt be notes, not ſhapes of Gods exiſting; the Ele­ments in the Sacraments with the Actions thereto pertaining, are ſigns of the body and blood of Chriſt, and of his Paſſion; but they are not Symboles aſcertaining a real special preſence, from which he is not ſeparated, but that he cometh and goeth, or tarrieth with it, unleſſe every Communi­cant71 muſt be concluded to eat his God, who muſt then paſs through his body, or abide really preſent in him, with this Symbol which would make all our ſtreets full of moving Altars, to whom Cano­nical Prieſts muſt continually cringe and bow; for Gods ſancti­fying preſence & the Symbol never do divide; this was the reaſon why the Gentile Proſelites under the Law, were conſtrained to travel from the utmoſt parts of the earth to Hieruſalem, to enjoy fellow­ſhip with, and appear before God: and Iſrael in Captivity were tyed to pray towards the Temple, if they would prevail; for that Gods pe­culiar preſence was there confi­ned as to his habitation.

Theſe two kinds of Divine preſence (though ſanctifying in themſelves) confer no holineſs to the Communion table, becauſe neither of them doth thereupon72 exiſt, whereby to make it holy, and the object of ſpecial ſolemn reve­rence; and the third cannot do it; for in this ſenſe it ſanctifieth not any thing or place, & that is,

His spiritual preſence, by the aſſi­ſtance and influence of his Grace & Spirit. This preſence attends perſons in ſolemn and ſacred a­ctions, but is not affixed to any place or Inſtrumēts,Determ. de ado. adver. Alt. p. 20. ſo as to know or make (in D. Dun­cons Dialect) a beſt place in the Church, or a moſt holy of houſhold­ſtuff; the promiſe of it is in Mat. 18.10. to perſons in any, in every place: Where two or three are met together in my Name, THERE am I in the midſt of YOU: This is with the Miniſter in praying or reading in the Desk, praying or preaching in the Pulpit, him and others baptizing at the Font, as well as at the Table, in the ad­miniſtration73 of the Lords Supper; Nay, this ſpirituall preſence is attendant on every of the people in every Pew, whilſt hearing, ſing­ing or attending (in compoſed ſi­lence) upon any Ordinance: Yea, it is in any private place, field or Chamber with any of Gods peo­ple, praying or performing any holy duty, and is not tyed unto the Chancel or Church, or there exiſtent, when the Ordinances and Duties are ceaſed and inter­mitted; and can therefore ſtamp no holineſs, or any way make the Table Gods Mercy Seat, or an holy Inſtrument to be the Object of ſpecial Reverence; And yet in which of theſe ſenſes Dr. Dun­con intended Chriſt his preſence at the Commnion Table, the Tranſlator of his Lecture on this Subject, or Dr. Gauden his Pa­tron muſt explain; we not know­ing how to refer and underſtand74 his words [Nor can the Holy Ghoſt be thought to be ſo ſtrictly conjoyned to the word of God, as the Son of God to the bleſſed Sacrament.] Which ſure muſt be differenced by ſome reality of preſence, whether ſen­ſible or ſymbolical; for as to the ſpiritual influence and preſence, the Holy Ghoſt (by ſpecialty of ſanctification) is more peculiarly and ſtrictly tyed to Word and Sa­craments, than is the Son of God who (ſitting at the right hand of his Father) ſends his ſpirit to ope­rate by his Ordinances, and to rule the hearts of his choſen, and to convince the world of ſin.

But if the Communion Table be not ſanctified by God, it may be by men: Let us therefore con­ſider how men can make any thing holy, and ſo the object of ſpeciall ſolemn reverence and adoration: and they muſt do it one of theſe two wayes;


Men may make a place or in­ſtrument holy miniſterially, but a formal conſecration, by certain Rites, and in ſuch order as God himſelf preſcribeth, who chuſeth the place or inſtrument, and char­geth the Method Rites and Or­der of its Conſecration; from which his Miniſters may not vary, by addition, abſtraction or altera­tion but uſe the ſame, very ſame which God hath appointed to the ſtamping of holineſs; thus was the Tabernacle in the time of Mo­ſes, and the Temple in the time of Solomon, and all the Ʋtenſils thereof conſecrated according to divine direction, but ſince thoſe places and inſtruments have been prophaned, as God never ſanctified any other, ſo he no where in ſcripture hath directed any method or order of conſecration, whereby to ſtamp holineſs on them: nor do we find any practiſed by Chriſt76 or his Apoſtles, or any primitive Chriſtians profeſſing the ſimplici­ty of the Goſpell. I have indeed heard and read of the Conſecrati­on at Lambeth, Creed Church, Giles in the Fields, Woolver ham­pton, and other places: And I have read ſome authors who urge it as neceſſary; for that the place or Inſtrument cannot be holy un­leſs it be conſecrated: But I read not of any Rites or Order preſcri­bed by the Lord, or in any part of the New Teſtament, or any other Books, the Roman, Ritual, Pontifical, or Breviaries excepted. And I am ſure our own Pilkington and Aretius do deter­mine ſuch opinions to be notori­ous Fallacies and Fancies. Aretii problem. tom. 2. fol. 15. de Euc.

If any do pretend the Church to have any Judical power where­by to ſtamp holineſs on any place or thing, and make it the object77 of ſpecial ſolemn reverence, we muſt deſire they will produce her Commiſſion; that we may read it, and underſtand when this pow­er was to her committed, and how far it doth extend: I am much miſtaken if time and place as to their holineſs be not of the ſubſtance of divine worſhip: And I am no leſſe miſtaken if ever God committed the Subſtantials of his Worſhip, unto the judgement of men; and if God hath preſcribed no form of Conſecration, and men have no Judical Authority, to ſtamp holineſs of place or inſtru­ment; though they may in pru­dence determine the conveniency or inconveniency of places or in­ſtruments, as to the Service there­in, thereat or thereupon to be performed; yet they cannot with­out ſuperſtitius vanity appoint the Cōmunion Table to become the object of reverence or adoration or78 as an holy place or inſtrument.

Seeing the Communion Table is not made holy by God or men, we might take it for granted that it is not holy at all, and ought not to be owned as the Object of a­doration, but that our Altar-crin­gers have found out a new way of ſanctifying a place or inſtrument, and that is, by the particular holy Services there performed: there­fore one ſaith,Profauno­maſt. [in what place we have the moſt lively demonſtration of Gods preſence by ſomething either done or ſaid there, as in a place or at an Inſtrument appointed to that ſer­vice, there is the higheſt Court of, and for his holineſs called the place of his Majeſty,] Or by the privi­ledges there conferred: and there­fore ſaith another [Children waſh­ed in the Font do from thence obtain remiſſion of ſins, become the ſons of79 God, and are made Heirs of Heaven,Dr. Dunc. determ. de ador. verſus Altare. p. 21, 22. large priviledges indeed, and ſuch as beget honour and ſanctity in the holy Font from which they flow: But as for the Altar, far greater and divine priviledges do enable it, for on it is celebrated that awful and moſt venerable Sacrifice.

I muſt not ſtand to obſerve the ſeveral exceptions to which theſe reaſons are liable, but againſt their concluſive power, for which they are produced, I cannot but ob­ſerve;

That duties done and privi­ledges received on or at any place or inſtrument ſanctifying that place or inſtrument, ſo as to be an object of ſpeciall ſolemn wor­ſhip is,

Contrary to the order and method of Sanctification uſed under the Law, and urged by our Saviour, as80 an argument to convince them of folly, who ſo dreamed; Ye Fooles and blind, whether is greater, the Gold, or the Temple that ſanctifieth the Gold? Ye Fooles and blind, whether is greater the Gift, or the Altar that ſanctifieth the Gift? Matth. 23.17, 19. I ſhall leave our Altar-Adorers to reſolve the que­ſtion; and onely note, the Altar was conſecrated that it might ſan­ctifie the Sacrifice among the Jews: That it was Folly and Blindneſs, to conceive otherwiſe: and that Folly and Ignorance are the co­gent cauſes and conſtant conco­mitants of ſuperſtition, though in the devout and learned Phari­ſees

2. If duties done and privi­ledges received on or at any in­ſtrument or place, do make it ho­ly, then every Inſtrument on or at which it is done muſt be holy and the object of ſpeciall reverence and81 adoration; ſo the Desk, Pulpit, and Font muſt be bowed unto: And ſo if the Lords Supper be once (as it is directed by our Lyturgy to be ordinarily) adminiſtred to the ſick man, in his Chamber, and he be­ing poor, on his ordinary Table or Cheſt by his bed-ſide, that Cheſt or Table becomes holy, and muſt be no more prophaned, but reſer­ved and worſhipped, bowed unto as a moſt holy Inſtrument: Fur­ther, according to this Fancy, the Patten whereon the Bread, and the Flagons and Chalice wherein the Wine is ſerved at the Sacra­ment, become moſt holy Inſtru­ments, and muſt be bowed unto, as more holy than the Table; for as much they more immediatly touch the Bread and Wine, by the vertue whereof they ſanctifie the Table; and quod Efficit tale, magis eſt tale: And certainly then men will have a care how they82 lend Cups or Flagons to be uſed in the adminiſtration of the Sa­crament, leſt (by the touch of thoſe holy Elements) they be­come a burthen to the owners, by binding them when ever they ſee them, to bow before them: nay leſt they be bound frō ever uſing them in common uſe any more, and be deprived of their goods, as was Sir Nicholas Criſp, who at the conſecration of the Chap­pell at Hammerſmith, ſet his ſil­ver Flagons with Wine on the Communion Table, without any intent to beſtow them; but Arch­biſhop Laud enforced him to part with them, ſaying, they were dedi­cated to God, and it would be ſa­criledge to commit them to his pri­vate uſe any more. Further, if the doing of the duty or receiving the priviledge make the Inſtrument holy, men muſt forbear to uſe their hands in the Sacrament, and83 let the Prieſt put the Pix into their mouths, and yet then I ſee not how the Prieſts hand and peoples mouths will avoid this ſanctifying influence, ſo as not to be Objects of Adoration, and thē our Table-bowers will have bow­ing enough, when they ſhall not go without an Altar, ſo long as they carry their own fingers a­bout them.

3. According to this notion, there are degrees of holineſſe in In­strument, according to the qua­lity of the Ordinances admini­ſtred at or by them, and ſacred Ordinances appointed by the ſame God, ſignifying the ſame thing, Chriſt crucified, and aim­ing at the ſame end, Worſhip of God; and communicating the ſame ſubſtantiall priviledges, joy and peace in believing; only differ­ing in their adminiſtration, accor­ding to the capacity of the ſub­ject;84 are differently holy, and of a different influence in ſanctifying the Inſtruments whereat or wher by they are performed, ſo as that the Desk or Pulpit muſt have its reverence, the Font its holy regard, but genuflexion or bowing muſt be only to the Table, as the moſt holy of Gods houſhold-ſtuff; as if Chriſt preached, or his blood in baptiſm were not the ſame e­qually to be adored, as when the memoriall of his body and blood is celebrated.

Theſe things are ſo abſurd, ir­rational and irreligious, that they muſt renounce their Reaſons, and reſolve to believe as the Church be­lieves, who will believe the Table to be ſanctified by the duties done, or priviledges indulged at the ſame: and then they muſt do no leſs, who will affirm the Ta­ble to be an holy Inſtrument, the object of ſpecial ſolemn worſhip,85 and yet find it not ſanctified by God, by men, or by holy Ordinances, and ſo by no meanes, not at all made holy: And yet,

If I ſhould admit the Holi­neſs our Altar-worſhippers Fancy, they have derived to the Table by their ſinful Superſtitious Con­ſecration; I muſt deſire them to produce their grounds, that will warrant their bowing before an holy Instrument, becauſe ſanctified Extra publicū uſum, and dedica­ted to the only ſervice of God: Did the Jews ever perform ſuch devotion to any of the Utenſils of the Temple, which were warran­tably holy? Did they (that we read of) ever bow when Gods ſenſible or Symbolical preſence did not call for it? Was not God ſpiritually preſent in their Syna­gogues? Was he not ſerved by the Veſſels of the Temple? Where will they prove an adoration in86 thoſe places, or before thoſe ob­jects? Nay do not the Heathen place their gods over their Altars? and the Papiſts reſerve their god in a Box on their Altar, as knowing that the Holy Altar, (if theſe be abſent (is not a ſufficient object of ſpecial ſolemn worſhip or genu­flection?

Muſt not that reaſon be charged with vanity in which neither an­tecedent nor conſequent can be allowed, as true, genuine, naturall, and of ſtrength to conclude the Propoſition? We ſee the Commu­nion Table is no Altar nor other holy Instrument, not Chriſt his Chair of State, or Mercy-Seat, to which his ſpecial preſence can be confined, and as ſuch, is not to be bowed to: But there are other reaſons why we muſt bow to the Table; it is well they give us number, for it is apparent that we want of weight. The Reaſons87 which followed are ſo ridiculous, that to mention them, is to refute them; yet ſuch as they are, we will conſider them; and they are theſe:

The third Reaſon from bowing to the Table, examined.

The third Reaſon is, Becauſe the Table is the memory of the e­verlaſting Sacrifice there made and preſented to the Trinity, So ſaith Shelford, in his Sermon of Gods Houſe, p 2.4, 19. The Table is a memorative Inſtrument unto which the aſſiſtance of Grace is never wanting, either to beget in our mind ſuch thoughts of the death of Chriſt, or to extract from our perſons ſuch a worſhip of him: So ſaith Ironſide, 7. queſt. of Sabbath, p. 279. On the Table is celebrated that awful and moſt venerable Sacrifice, which our Lord himſelf did institute of88 old, for the commemoration, repre­ſentation, application and exhibiti­on of the moſt perfect Sacrifice, ſaith Dr. Duncon in his Determi­nation de adoratione adverſus Al­tare, p. 22.

Whoſoever reads this Reaſon, cannot, but ſee we were running very faſt, and had made good pro­greſs towards a reconcilement with Rome, having admitted not only Prieſts and Altars, but a Sa­crifice, an awful & moſt venerable Sacrifice, though we yet own it but as a memorable Sacrifice, yet it will ſoon appear nonſence, that the Lord of old inſtituted a Sacrifice the memory of a Sacrifice, and will neceſſitate us to know the nature of a Sacrifice is propitiatory, and as ſuch it muſt next time be ac­knowledged, & therefore though theſe ſeem to mince the matter, another (contemporary with them, and managing the ſame89 conteſt) ſpeaks out, and tells us plainly, it is a propitiatory Sacrifice to reconcile us unto God offended with our daily ſins, Widowes his Lawl. Kneel. Schiſ. Puritan, pag. 34, 89. And ſure then there can­not want a reaſon for moſt reve­rent bowing to the Table.

2. Who ever made the Table the memory of the everlaſting Sacrifice? When did the Lord of old inſtitute it? Or how doth it appear that it is a memorative inſtrument, to which the aſſistance of grace is never wanting? I read no more of promiſe for the one, than precept for the other: I think the aſſiſtance of Grace muſt be the aſſurance of God, not appointment of Man, who cannot preſume to diſpence it, without arrogance and preſumption; and then wor­ſhip hereby extracted is ſo far from being acceptable to God, that it is abominable Superſtition:90 Though theſe things might ſom­thing ſuit the Elements, they are abſurdly predicated of the Table; and bowing to, towards, or before the one or the other, more ab­ſurdly concluded; for that nei­ther the Jews, Chriſt, his Apoſtles, Primitive Churches, Fathers or Councils did ever think or teach it a duty, to bow and worſhip before the place where the memory of the e­verlaſting ſacrifice is celebrated.

The fourth Reaſon for bowing to the Table, examined.

A Fourth Reaſon urged why we ſhould bow to the Communi­on Table, is this, The Table or Al­tar is the ſign of the place where our Saviour was moſt diſhonoured, and crucified; ſo reaſons Giles Wid­dowes in the Book and Page before mentioned.

But by his leave, this is notori­ouſly91 untrue; for the Table is no ſign of Hieruſalem, Golgotha, the High Prieſts Hall, or of the Croſs.

2. What Rule directs, or rea­ſon dictates a bowing to the ſign of the place where Christ was deſpiſ­ed, diſhonoured and crucified? If there be any, they may take bow­ing enough at every Map of the holy Land, or Sign of Hieruſalem, hanged at many Taverns, in many ſtreets of the City, and will find a neceſſity of reſtoring Croſſes and Crucifixes, the moſt proper ſigns of the Inſtrument whereon Chriſt was moſt diſhonoured and crucified.

The fifth Reaſon for bowing at the Table, examined.

The Laſt Reaſon I ſhall take notice of, and I need but note it, is this, The like difference may be diſcerned between your maner of re­verence92 in bowing towards the Alt. for adoration of the Euchariſt only, & ours in bowing as wel when there is no Euchariſt on the Table, as when there is; which is not to the Table of the Lord, but the Lord of the Table; to teſtifie the Commu­nion of all the faithful Communi­cants thereat. Thus is Dr. More­ton made to ſpeak in the ſecond Edition of his Learned Inſtituti­ons of the Sacrament, Lib. 6. ca 5. Sect. 15. I ſay he is made to ſpeak, becauſe it was not ſpoken in his firſt Edition, and is conceived (on very confiderable Reaſons) not to have been ſpoken by himſelf being contrary to his known judgemēt, unſuitable to his Lear­ning, Gravity, Acuteneſſe, and Dialect, but to have been foyſted in by ſome zealous Altar Adorer that deſired the authority of ſo Learned an Advocate, as is at large declared in the Quench-coal,93 p. 289, 290, 291. But be it as it will, it is a reaſon moſt vain, and carrying in it the leaſt of reaſon, of any yet produced: For,

How can bowing to the Table teſtifie the Communion of all thè Faithful Cōmunicants at thè Ta­ble? Who inſtituted this action unto that end? Or what natu­rall aptitude hath this action to ſignifie ſuch a thing? The joynt receiving of the Lords Supper doth indeed testifie Communion, and is appointed thereto; But to think that bowing to the Table when there is no Communion, ſhould ſo do, is a moſt ridiculous Fancy, to be derided by the very Papiſts who do more really wor­ſhip the Lord of thè Table, by bowing to their tranſubſtantiated Hoſt, and imagined real preſence, than the Proteſtants can, who de­ny the Lord to be preſent really, or94 by his Ordinance, and yet bow to the Table on a moſt groundleſs, ſenceleſs imagination.

Wee ſee that the nature and qua­lity of the Object doth no way di­ctate any colourable reaſon for bowing to, towards or before the Communion Table, and that how devout ſoever men ſeem to be in this act of Religion, it is a meer ſhadow, and Vanity is written on this action in characters no leſs legible than thoſe whereby we read the Novelty thereof: And there­fore we muſt needs as yet cōclude it is a devotion fooliſh and unlaw­ful, unbeſeeming men of Reaſon, Learning and Piety to practice in themſelves, or enforce upon o­thers, whilſt its beſt bottom is the pleaſing of Superiours, & making Pariſh Churches conform to the Cathedral and Mother Churches, whom we muſt decline to follow further then they follow Chriſt.



THough Bowing to the Communion Table be an action new and ſeemingly vain, yet Gods Inſtitution and ap­pointment will make it good and neceſſary; we are not ſo much to enquire the matter tendred unto God, as to obſerve the ſtamp that makes it currant: the moſt cōmon and contemptible Elements are moſt eminent parts of Gods wor­ſhip, when uſed according to his own appointment: But alaſs, here­in we are at the greateſt loſs of all, for the divine authority of our a­doration to, towards or before the Communion Table, concerning which we charge it to be an Ini­quity, and render for it this Rea­ſon:


Solemn and Religious Bowing to, towards or before the Communi­on Table, is no were directed in the Word of God, and is therefore an in­iquity fooliſh and unlawful.

Nadab and Abihu bringing fire of their own kindling unto God, are made everlaſting Monuments of Gods Jealouſie, preaching to all the world, that it is all acaſe to offer falſe worſhip to the true God, as to offer true worſhip to a falſe God: As God will admit no Corrivals in the honour due to him, ſo he will receive no homage that is not directed by him: It is a danger­ous thing in the ſervice of God to deviate from his own inſtituti­ons whilſt we have to do with a power which is wiſe, to preſcribe his own worſhip; juſt, to require what he hath preſcribed: and jealous, to revenge that which is offered unto him, he having not required it: Moſes might nei­ther97 the add nor alter a pin in the Tabernacle, which God preſcri­bed; nor might Solomon decline the Pattern of the Temple which God had made known to his Father David. Biſhop Hall contemplating the fatall chance of the Sons of Aaron, ſerving God with falſe fire, doth thus obſerve upon it; [When we bring Zeal without Knowledge, miſcon­ceipts of Faith, carnal Affections, the devices of our Will-worſhip, ſuperſtitious devotions into Gods Service, we bring common fire un­to his Altar; theſe flames were never of his kindling, He hateth both Altar, Fire, Prieſt and Sacrifice] Let me therefore ſay to our Altar-Adorers, To the Law and the Teſtimony; pro­duce divine preſcription for your Devotion, and religi­ous bowing to, towards or before the Communion Table, that you ſtand98 not under the charge of iniqui­ty, even an apparent Superſtiti­on, advancing as divine worſhip, what is not of divine appointment. But where ſhall we find a war­rant for ſolemn and religious bowing to, towards or before the Communion Table: The Goſpell of Jeſus Chriſt, or Epiſtles, Ca­nons, Acts or Traditions of his Apoſtles, afford us none; and it being a Relative Worſhip of God, in the nature of it, by an outward frame or ſimilitude, will on a rationall conſideration, be found repugnant to the Se­cond Command, which inter­dicts all media cultus, externall Objects to be worſhipped, though God be the ultimate ob­ject to whom ſuch worſhip is intended, and ſo it is much at one, as to worſhip God by or be­fore an Image.

Yet leſt our Zelots ſhould99 fall inevitably under the charge of Superſtition, they will produce Scripture-proof to juſtifie their Table-Adoration, and thus they rally them;

That the Jews admoniſhed by the Oracles of their Prophets and Prieſts, were accuſtomed to worſhip the true and living God with their bodies proſtrate on the ground, and their head bowed down to the pave­ment of the Temple, before the holy Altar, is plain from the Teſtimonies of holy Scripture, out of 1 Kings 8.22. 2 Kings 18.22. Where the moſt pious King Hezekiah, ſaith, Before this Altar bow your ſelves: Out of 2 Chron. 7.3. And again, 2 Chron 32.12. Before one Altar ſhall ye worſhip; So Dr. Duncon Determ.

And Dr. Morton in the place before quoted, is made thus to ſpeak, We bow before the Gommu­nion Table, even as the people of108 God did in adoring him before the Arke his Footſtool, Pſalm 99.5. And in 1 Chron. 28.2. As Daniels bowing at prayer in Chaldea, look­ing towards the Temple at Hieru­ſalem, where the Temple of Gods worſhip was, Dan. 6.10. And Da­vid would be known to have done, ſaying in Pſalm. 5.7. I will worſhip towards thy holy Temple: Unto theſe are added by Shelford, Reeve, Pocklington and Widdows, Pſal. 99.5. Exod. 12.27. Iſa. 36.7. and the like, which are the ſame, or to the ſame purpoſe with thoſe before alledged: And ſhall we now ſay there is no direction from Scripture, for bowing to the Com­munion Table: to which I ſay in general;

If I ſhould ſay nothing by way of reply, who ſo readeth theſe Scriptures, will ſoon ſee, that he muſt ſtrain his Reaſon, if from any or all theſe Texts he infer a101 direction for Altar-worſhip: I ſhall not ſtand to examine each Text particularly, and to ſhew to Bedlam-Logick in irrational, theological inferences, by which they are improved and extorted to acquit the vanity of our Altar-worſhip frō the iniquity of humāe Invention, but refer my Reader to the Quench-coal, ſuppoſed to be Mr. Prins, where he ſhall find them exactly examined, pag. 240. 241, 242, 243, 244. I ſhall only detect the fallacy of this argumen­tation by theſe more general an­ſwers:

Firſt, Jewiſh practiſe before Chriſt came in the fleſh, will make no warrant or give no direction for that worſhip which is to be now tendred unto God; becauſe their practiſes bottomed upon ſpeciall peculiar Reaſons, are now expi­red and aboliſhed; ſerving to ſhew us how God was worſhipped,102 not how he is to be worſhipped; among which, the Temple, and Altar, and Adoration towards them, was not the leaſt, nay, theſe were the chiefeſt; and this way of Judaizing hath not been the leaſt ſpring of the Superſti­tions ſprung up in the Church of Rome: Before therefore theſe Scriptures will make any warrant for a conform carriage in us, we muſt know whether theſe pra­ctiſes were not particular to the Jewes? peculiar Types and Shadows, expired on the appear­ing of the Subſtance, Jeſus Chriſt our only Temple and Al­tar? which if it could be de­nyed, yet the caſe will be found different between this Adorati­on and our Bowing to the Com­munion Table; and therefore I would admoniſh our Altar-worſhippers to conſider whe­ther they are not miſtaken in103 theſe Three Things, the Object, the Act, and Authority of Wor­ſhip?

The Object of that Worſhip and adoration was either in ge­neral, Gods Footſtool, which ſome underſtand of the Earth in gene­ral, Iſa. 66.1. Or in ſpecial, the Arke, that Symbole of his pre­ſence, 1 Chron. 28.12. And in particular, the Temple at Hieru­ſalem, and the Altar in that Temple, places and inſtruments ſanctified by Gods eſpeciall pre­ſence, and ſolemnly conſecrated according to his own preſcripti­on; but theſe are ſo far from being Common Tables in every Common Church, in any Coun­try, Place or City, that they are not Tables in any Syna­gogue (the proper patern of our Churches) not ſo much as the Holy Tables in the Temple; I preſume our Table-Cringers104 cannot but know, there was in the Tabernacle and Temple a Table, on which ſtood the Shew-bread and Silver Candleſticks; Me­thinks they ſhould give us ſome evidence of the Prieſts and Peo­ple bowing to, towards or be­fore that, which was alſo conſe­crated; for it is moſt irratio­nall to inferr, the Jewes worſhip­ped towards the TEMPLE and ALTAR, when they cannot make our Table an Altar, or Chancel a Temple, holy place, or holy thing, as I have before noted.

2. The Act of Worſhip per­formed among the Jews, was no leſs different from our bow­ing and cringing, than was the Object: This Act of Worſhip was a praying towards the Tem­ple, or offering of Incenſe or Sa­crifice upon the Altar, as is evi­dent, Pſalm 28.2. 1 Kings 8.20,105 30, 33, 35, 38, 42, 44, 48. 2 Chron 26.20, 21. And by that of Dani­el, who prayed towards the Temple, it was not a bare bow­ing before it when no duty was in hand, or did direct the ſame, and that at coming in, or going out, or any time paſſing by the Temple or Altar, as is the devoir done to our Table; So that they muſt prove that a ſim­ple bowing to the Altar or Temple without Prayer or Oblation was a ſingle Act of Devotion and Worſhip.

3. There is not more of Falla­cy in this Argument by the difference of Act and Object, than the Authority of the ſame; they worſhipped towards the Temple and before the Altar on warrantable Grounds and Rea­ſons, (viz.) The Holineſs God had ſtamped on them by con­ſecration. 2. The Special Pre­ſence106 of God was confined to them, they were the ſtand­ing Symboles from which it was not ſeparated; the fire came from the Lord upon the Altar, and conſumed the Sacrifices, and then indeed the people bowed themſelves to the Pavement; ſo may we do, when God im­mediately lights the Tapers which have ſo long ſtood on the Table. 3. They had a pro­miſe of ſpeciall acceptance to en­courage them to pray and wor­ſhip towards the Temple, where ſoever and in what condition ſoever they were; when we find holineſs ſtamped on, Gods ſpeciall Preſence confined to our Tables, or (as they affect to call them) Altars, and have a clear and undoubted promiſe of peculiar acceptance on ſuch a Performance, we may be per­ſwaded to give ſolemn reverence107 to God by religiouſly bowing to, towards or before Communion Table: till then we muſt de­mand ſome clearer Teſtimony from Scripture to convince us of the ſame as a duty, or lawfull, or acquit thēſelves from the charged Iniquity, for ſuperſtitiouſly inno­vating into Chriſts Church, a way of Worſhip ſo vain and fivoulous in it it ſelf, and with­out Divine Warrant, and ſo apparently fooliſh and unlaw­full.


OUR Fourth and Laſt Evi­dence that Solemn and religi­ous Bowing to, towards, or before the Communion-Table, is fooliſhand unlawful is, the Malignity thereof, which we charge upon it, becauſe108 it is ſinful, ſcandalous and danger­ous in the uſe of it.

Sin cannot paſs without ſcandal to the Spectator, and danger to the Sinner; it is of a moſt known malignant influence, in reſpect of both theſe, and therefore to be a­voided and abhorred.

That Solemn and Religious Bowing to the Comunion-Ta­ble is in the uſe of it ſinful, hath been already manifeſted in the Novelty, Vanity, & Iniquity there­of, before diſcovered; by which, all that run, muſt needs read, that it is a ridiculous Superſtition, innovated into the Church & Worſhip of God without any Reaſon in the Object, or preſcription of God: being in its na­ture a divine, not Civil Worſhip, a piece of Devotion, pretending to reverence God or Chriſt, as dire­cted unto him, as the ultimate Ob­ject of the ſame; whilſt God never required, inſtituted or preſcribed any109 ſuch worſhip, nor intimated his mind that in ſuch a way, reverence ſhould be done unto him. The Patriarchs and Prophets of the Old Teſtament, Apoſtles and Primitive Chriſtians were never acquainted with, or did acknow­ledge any ſuch act of Adorati­on of the Altar or Table, or meanes, method and way of worſhip of God: Altars (under which notion the Table is bowed unto) are utterly ceaſed and A­boliſhed: all Chriſtians and zea­lous ſincere Proteſtants have with­ſtood and condemned it as wicked, ſuperſtitious, and idolatrous in the Pagan and Papiſts, and the moſt zealous aſſertors and obſervers of bowing to the Table, do enforce, juſtifie and maintain, with a meer plea of antiquity inpoint of practice, which can be no warrantablpreſcription of divine Worſhip; and that is only pretended & pro­ved110 by forged authorities, & falſe inferences, and moſt abſurd Ri­diculous Reaſons, plain and palpa­ble reſults of humane inventions, and is by themſelves confeſſed to be but a thing indifferent, to be done, or not done without cēſure, which cannot be the property of Divine Worſhip; all which do moſt clearly conclude it to be in the uſe of it ſuperſtitious, and ſo ſinfull, ſcandalous and danger­ous.

But if we well weigh the na­ture of ſolemn and Religious bowing to, towards, or before the Communion Table, we ſhould find it hard to acquit it from Ido­latry: by reaſon it is an apparent Relative worſhip of God, in, through or by reaſon of the Communion Table, which is the formality of the worſhip of the Heathen, and popiſh Images, Crucifixes, and Idols, and determined to be111 idolatry by Dr. Morton who de­termineth, that not onely the ter­minating and fixing di­vine honour upon any crea­ture, is idolatry,Inſtitu. of Sac. lib. 7. Cap. 8. Sect. 1. pa••47 Edit. 2. but when Latria or divine worſhip is given to an Image becauſe of the relation it hath to God or Chriſt, and it can not as I conceive vary, if it be given to an Altar or Table, becauſe of this relation; becauſe it agreeth in that which is the forma infor­mans of Idolatry, & which is decla­red ſo to be by our own Homilies, and all our Proteſtant Writers againſt the Idolatry of the Papiſts, and by Bellarmine himſelf in his book of Images, Cap. 24. for that there is nothing pleaded by way of excuſe, to acquit this Table-worſhip, from Idolatry, which was not better pleaded and pleadable by the Pagans and Papiſts, who ever denied to worſhip the ſtock, ſtone112 or Idol, but directed their worſhip to that which inſpired, or was re­preſented by that ſtock or ſtone, & ſo ſtamped Holineſſe thereupon.

Superſtition in Gods Worſhip (much leſſe Idolatry) cannot be uſed in the Church of God with­out ſin, ſo ſinful and malignant in its influence, that it muſt needs be a ſtumbling-ſtone and a rock of offence, dangerous to the weak, rea­dy to embrace Religion, devotion and reverence towards God, and run upō a divine worſhip without regard and examination, becauſe uſed by ſuch as profeſs God, rather than becauſe inſtituted by God: & deſtructive to the wicked, who are by a righteous God given over to offer him that ſervice, which muſt be rejected with, and who hath re­quired this at your hands.

But to ſtrain Charity to its ut­moſt bounds, and if it were poſſi­ble to abate the malignity of this113 table-worſhip by acquitting it from iniquity; we ſhould yet find it ſcandalous and dangerous, & there­in ſufficiently malignant, whereby to render it fooliſh and unlawful, and that in theſe two reſpects.

Firſt, Bowing to the Commu­nion Table Symbolizeth with the worſhip of Pagans and Papiſts; thoſe known Idolaters, eſpecially in that order in which it was of late (and beginneth a freſh to be) uſed among us, in his Majeſties Royal Chappel, Lambeth Chap­pel, the Cathedral and many Pa­riſh Churches, whilſt the Table muſt be made in the frame of an Altar, railed in, and advanced as an holy Incloſure; fixed at the Eaſt end of the Church; and fur­niſhed with Altar-Furniture, and Coverings, and Candleſticks with Candles in them placed therein; the Images of God, or Chriſt, or the Holy Ghoſt placed over them114 in the glaſs window, or ſome ſtately Crucifix in Arras hanged behind, and above them, or ſome Croſſe in ſome kind of hangings, as at the Abbey at Weſtminſter: and ſo bowed unto, or bended be­fore, when no duty in hand doth direct that genuflection, but it ſelf is done as a diſtinct piece of devotion; in all which there is a moſt full conformity to the heathen worſhip of ther gods, by bowing before their Altars placed in the Eaſt, and prepared according as is here deſcribed; all which is declared by their own Poets Vir­gil,Eneid. lib, 4. p. 171, 172. lib 5. p. 213. lib 8. p. 279, Ovid Faſtor. lib. 5. p. 88. Horace Epi. lib. 2. Epiſt. 1. Ovid and Horace: by our reformed Di­vines Dr. Rainold in his Treatiſe De Idolo­latria Eccleſiae Roma­nae lib. 2. cap. 3. ſect. 46. pag. 432. Biſhop Jewell and Biſhop Morton, and115 by our own Homilies in the third part of the Homily of the peril of Idolatry, as alſo by the Fathers of old, and the plain ſuggeſtions of the Scripture, coupling together the Altars and Images of the Gentiles in their Erection, deſtru­ction or Adoration.

And for the conformity of this practice unto the Papiſts, it is ſo legible that all may run and read it; and I ſhall only inforce it with that known ſtory, witneſſing the full agreement of the Papiſts Prieſts & Engliſh Altar worſhip­pers, as to this point: on Maunday Thurſday, in the year of our Lord 1636. Mrs. Charnock (a gentle­woman of good quality) with her daughter and ſome other friends, amongſt whom one was a Papiſt, went to ſee the Kings Chappel, where they ſaw an Altar with Tapers and other furniture on it, a Crucifix over it: and preſently116 Dr. Brown of Faiths Church, one of his Majeſties Chaplaines and a Dean in this Church with another Mini­ſter (after known to be his Curate) came into the Chappel;Then Dean of Hereford. and turning themſelves towards the Altar, bowed Three Times: and then performing ſome private devotion departed: and immediately came Two Seminary Prieſts, and did as the Doctor and his Curate had done before them, on which Mrs. Charnock, ſpeaking to her friends, ſaid, I never thought to have ſeen ſuch a ſight in England, that our own Miniſters and Popiſh Prieſts ſhould thus repair into the Kings Chappel, & uſe the ſelf ſame bowings & geſtures to the Altar & crucifix, as if they were both agreed; whereunto her Papiſt friend pre­ſently replyed, There is no ſuch odds or difference between you and us, as is conceived; And one of the117 Prieſts ſeconded her, and ſaid, Gentlewoman you need not wonder at our bowing and kneeling to the Altar and crucifix; for you ſee that Miniſters of your own Religion do the ſame.

Can Idolaters find their fooliſh ſuperſtitions followed by, and re­tained among the profeſſors of Gods true worſhip, and not be obdurated in their vanity & folly? or can any conſcientious Prote­ſtants, convinced that God re­quires his people to avoid the Symbol or ſimilitude as well as ſubſtance of falſe worſhip, and not be offended, grieved, ſcandalized, at this apparent conformity with Pagans and Papiſts, in an action that neither Reaſon, nor Religiō, more then humane invention, ſu­perſtitious devotion, will appoint, allow or defend?

Secondly, Solemn and Religi­ous bowing to, towards, or before118 the Communion Table is a ſpring of ſuperſtition and fountain of va­nity, from whence it floweth in great abundance, Men do not ga­ther Grapes of Thornes and Figs of Thiſtles, ſuch as is the Tree, ſuch muſt be the fruit, ſuch as are the premiſes, muſt be the concluſion: If the Communion Table muſt be bowed unto with ſolemn and Re­ligious bowing, then it will fol­low

Firſt, That holineſs of places and inſtruments (expired and aboli­ſhed by the comming of Chriſt) is yet continued in, and to be regar­ded and reverenced by the Church of God: and this is evident in Dr. Duncons notion, that the Lords ta­ble is the moſt holy of Gods Houſ­hold-ſtuff, and in that the Aſſer­tors of this Table Worſhip, do af­fect to call the Table, the Altar, High Altar, the names of