Tyranipocrit Discovered: The Marriage that Makes History Happen
Our author considers the marriage of Tyranny and Hypocrisy as a literal event–for us, it is the metaphorical beginning of institutional violence.
Anthony Comegna, PhD
Assistant Editor for Intellectual History
As part of their quest to espouse the doctrine of universal salvation–that is, the idea that everyone will be saved by God, not merely the seemingly righteous–our author moves to condemn ceremonies and hierarchies of all sorts. Even the Sabbath is not sacred, “not consonant to God’s nature,” which our author believed was only found within the individual heart. Strip a Christian of their ability to participate in church rituals (perhaps you delete your devout friend’s Calendar app and there’s no way to know which day is the Sabbath), and they are made no less a Christian. God still resides in their hearts, still remains master of all creation, the beginning and end of all things–even we upstart, proud earthworms. Sunday sermons, though, saw the unholy joining of Hypocrisy and Tyranny in God’s supposed houses. Our author details a long list of biblical hypocrites “to show how odious hypocrisy is in God’s esteem, and how much better it is to be a black devil, than a white one.” Black devils were well within reach of the Lord’s redemption, should they choose to reach out for it–“for God can wash a black devil in the blood of Christ, and so cleanse him.” “But there is no help for a white devil,” the most hateful, “inhumane monster,” in the annals of human history, “when tyranny and hypocrisy are joined in one, which the devil doth on the Sunday.” The longer hypocrites and tyrants languished in their hatred for God, the more they distanced themselves from eventual salvation.
In our author’s concluding remarks, they implore Englishmen stop showing “respect for persons” and start exposing Tyranipocrit when they see it. With King Charles dead and his son in exile, many radicals might have thought tyranny and hypocrisy both had been scattered to the continent, but our author knew better. The Cromwellians in control of Parliament and the New Model Army rose to power on a wave of high‐minded, heavy‐handed, hypocritical Puritanism and within a few years of the regicide Cromwell was Lord Protector, practically a dictator. “When the new tyrants which have driven out the old,” writes our pamphleteer,
are in all things so bad or worse than the old tyrants were, only they have, or do pretend to have a better faith, and a new form of tyranny, and in all their other practises, they are worse than their predecessors, then it seemeth that the devil is grown young again, or else he did cast out himself, that so he might return again with more power, to commit more strange impieties. And therefore all you which have cast out any old Tyrants, consider seriously what you have yet to do, and so near as you can, make and maintain an equality of all goods and lands, for that is your duty, which if you will not perform, you are worse than the old tyrants, because you did pretend a bettering, which they did not.
But now let us consider how we Christians do behave ourselves on our Sunday, for that is the chiefest matter to be treated of, in this last part of my Intelligence, and now I wish that our Christian Rulers would seriously consider, what manner Sabbath God in Christ, doth require of us: for if God had delighted in a ceremonial Sabbath, he would have maintained the Jews’ Sabbath: but if Christ be the end of the Law, then he is the end of the ceremonial Sabbath, for that was included in the Law; but God never delighted in ceremonies, for they are not consonant to his nature, for that which doth please God at any time, must please him at all times, and that is not ceremonies, but a new creature. God, for causes best known to himself, permitted ceremonies for a time, to the Jews: And the Law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ, and therefore Christ is the end of the Law, and of all ceremonies contained in the Law, and as Christ said, God is a Spirit, and will be worshipped in spirit and truth. Now being ceremonies are not consonant to God’s nature, and Christ taught us, that God is in us, and shall we seek him in ceremonies which are without us? God is in our hearts and consciences, where he will be found of us, if we will there seek him according to his promise, and shall we seek him in ceremonies contrary to the rule of Christ? I know not who changed the Jews’ Sabbath into our Sunday, some say it was one of the Popes, which is like enough to be true; but if one Pope brought it in, many Popes do maintain it: But consider our demeanour on the Sundays, but first take notice how we do order our Church affairs, before we come to our Church worship. First we ordain, or choose us Preachers and Teachers, as we do other officers, only we are a little more circumspect concerning their education, for commonly we choose humane Artists, good Grammarians, curious Linguists, such as can orderly speak Hebrew, Greek and Latin, such as have been brought up in humane schools, and have no experience in that honest simple life, of tilling the land, nor keeping of sheep, but some of them are good sophisters, that can tell us that hot is cold, and cold hot, that white is black, and black is white, &c. O Christian world! how contrary art thou to Christ? for he thanked God, because he had not revealed the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven to worldly wise men. God destroyed the ancient language, because of that proud Babylonian builder Nimrod, and yet we more impious than he, learn strange languages to build Christ a Church withal, for in these days, he that cannot speak strange languages, shall not be thought fit to preach, nor to teach Christians, and are not such curious Artists and Linguists, worldly wise men? such as are not fit to preach the gospel of Christ, because arts and languages are enemies to humility, which is the sum of Divinity: for, Christianismus non cadit sub regulus,(“Christianity does not fall under the Law [of Moses]”) but our Christianity seemeth in these days to consist in rules and forms, for take those from us, and then a Turk, or a Moor, or any Barbarian, will be so good a Christian, and much better than some of us.
Now consider that hypocrisy will be always seeming to do good, which she hateth, but will never be good, because that is contrary to her nature: now when we have gotten us Prelates, then the work is more than half done, for tyranny, hypocrisy, superstition, and ignorance, have builded us idolatrous churches to our hands. O Hypocrisy, how impious art thou! six days thou hast served the world, the flesh, and the devil, and yet thou art not satisfied with sinning, but on the seventh day, thou wilt bring thy sins to Church, that there thou mayest sanctify them, and make them complete impieties, for then thou clothest thyself in a more prouder manner than at other times, because then thou wilt do the devil more service, than on working‐days.
I have endeavoured to show, that all impious sins, are wilful sins, and that pride, tyranny, hypocrisy, &c. are wilful sins. Now for a man to seem to pray unto God, for pray he cannot, so long as he will keep such sins, as he hath a power to leave, but will not, for such a one to ride or go to Church, to mick God, is the greatest impiety that can be imagined, for God hath given man a power, to desire to be good, and if he cannot attain his desire to be good as he desireth, then he hath a power to hate himself, because of the great power of sin, that is within him, and if he cannot leave his proud heart, yet he can leave his proud habiliments by which he showeth his pride to the world, which are his proud cloths, proud coaches, proud Ships, proud houses, proud Churches, proud pictures, proud wife, children, and servants, &c. such things, men and women have power to leave, and such things must be left, before we begin to pray, or else instead of praying, we shall tempt God, for God will not help, but when all helpers fail: for God hath given unto man a free power to will, and till man hath used his willing power, in leaving such sins as are in his power to leave, God will not help him. God will deliver us from all those sins which we have done, but not from those sins that we desire to do. God will pardon all our sins which are past, if we do not desire to have them acted again, because it is the office of God in Christ so to do: but there is no power in God nor Christ, to save a man with his sins. And now being that nothing is contrary to God’s nature but wilful sinners, and pride is wilful sin, what doth a proud person in the Church? hath he not sins enough already, but he must church his pride, the more to augment his impiety?
O consider this, all you that are young and strong, and yet you are so loaden with pride, that when you will play the hypocrite with the tyrant, then you will be drawn to Church in costly coaches, with pampered horses, when if you would leave your pride, one ass would carry you, if your own legs would not bear you, but pride is a heavy sin, and therefore proud persons had need of many horses to draw their pride and themselves together; but all proud persons have not coaches, and yet they do their best to show their pride, for some have the feet of their boats so long, and the tops so wide, and therein so many emblems of pride, that it makes them to straddle, as if they had the pox, yea some have so many tokens of pride hanging on their stinking carcasses, that if they had any of God’s grace in them, they would be ashamed to see themselves: And what hath been said of the proud man, may be said of all Tyrants and Hypocrites, and all wilful sinners: O impious partiality, how contrary art thou to God, and all goodness! young, strong, lusty, and able persons, which are well able to go on their feet, must ride in coaches, and old, lame, blind, and impotent persons, must crawl on the way, and not have horses, nor asses, coaches, nor Sedans, to draw, carry, help, or ease them. O see, and consider, if you be not stark blind, if this partial dealing of the worldlings, be not contrary to the Law of God and nature, and the rule of Christ.
Some of the Grecians had a temple, into which none but merciful persons might enter: if there were such a custom concerning our Churches, then Tyrants should not be admitted to come to Church, much less to have the chiefest room in the church. O this partial white devil, that in the Christian world ruleth and disposeth all things contrary to reason, hath need of some better‐mouthed dogs to barke at him; But I have waited so long, that I am almost blind with expecting, to see if any better barker would undertake this task, but I saw that men loved to sleep in a whole skin, and it seemeth in these days, that men do think it no sin, to be silent at other men’s presumptuous sins, and therefore men will not, or dare not tell hypocritical tyrants, that they are impious white devils, then at length I resolved to do my best concerning that matter. But to the purpose, which is to drive our seeming holy persons from their sanctuary; because simulata sanctitas est duplex iniquitas.(“To pretend holiness is doubly sinful.”)
O consider that it is bad enough to be a black devil, and to stay at home with our sins, and not to bring them to Church, and so to make ourselves impious white devils. O for an evil man to sacrifice, or seem to do any good, that is the greatest impiety that can be imagined. When Cain will sacrifice, and yet murder Abel, and when Solomon will honour his mother, and yet kill his brother: when Judas will pretend for the poor, and yet sell his master: when Julian buildeth churches, and yet hateth Christ: when Periander will make good laws for the Corinthians, and yet he will observe no law himself: when King Henry the eighth will reform Religion, and yet his own manners were contrary to reason: when Alexander will be free of his frankincense to the Gods, and yet kill men. O what shall I say concerning Saul’s obedience, Jezebel’s fastings, Jehu’s zeal, &c. when he that buildeth like Crassus, and fareth like Lucullus, and yet speaketh like Cato, then beware the goose, for the Fox preacheth. I do not name all these to defame the dead, but to show how odious hypocrisy is in God’s esteem, and how much better it is to be a black devil, than a white one, for God can wash a black devil in the blood of Christ, and so cleanse him; but there is no help for a white devil: and above all other impious wights, none can be so vile as that inhumane monster, when tyranny and hypocrisy are joined in one, which the devil doth on the Sunday: for then he calleth tyranny and hypocrisy to church, and there in the presence of God and the Congregation, it seemeth he saith unto them: Come on, my two dear and best beloved children, Tyranny and Hypocrisy, I know that on the week‐days you have done me all the best service that you could, and now because I have no better jewels to bestow on you, than your own selves, therefore in recompense for all the good service you have done, and shall do for me, I will give you each to the other, and therefore cause Formality to proclaim the banns, which shall bane all the world.
There is a contract of Matrimony betwixt Tyranny and Hypocrisy, and the devil, who is the father of them both, hath given his consent: now if any one can show any reason, why these two Imps of hell should not be joined in one, let him speak, if it be not too late; for when they are joined together, then truth and reason must be silent. Now when this needless ceremony is past, and none doth contradict the devil’s desire, then he that preached to Eve in Paraidise, and he that taught Cain to kill his brother, and Judas to sell his Master, he supplieth the place of a priest, and as it seemeth, he saith unto them as followeth:
“Thou Tyranny my son, and Hypocrisy my daughter, stand up and hear your charge: Thou Tyranny shalt confess here before God and this Congregation, that thou dost take unto thee to be thy wedded wife, my daughter Hypocrisy, to live with her, and to love, comfort, respect, and cherish her, and to maintain her against all sincerity, truth, and reason. And thou Hypocrisy, promise Tyranny to do the like for him: now take each other by the hand. Now the blessing of him that taught Cain to sacrifice, and Judas to preach, &c. be with you, and remain with you for ever.”
And now thou TYRANIPOCRIT, for that henceforth shall be thy name, for now I have joined you in one, therefore you shall have but one name: now viva Tyranipocrit, live long and prosper, and he that will not honour thee, let him not live on earth, and when he dieth, let the infernal furies torture him. And now consider the great love which I do bear unto you two, for I have many other children which must live, but because all the world is yours, therefore all other sins and sinners shall be yours, and to order them for your, and my greatest profit: Partiality shall rule, place and displace all thy whole train of sinful servants, and for thy Privy‐councillors, thou shalt have atheistry, pride, security, artificial thievery, hatred, malice, disdain, uncharitableness, &c. and for my black children, which are whores, and knaves, gluttons, drunkards, swearers, Sabbath‐breakers, artless thieves, and all poor profane persons, they shall be all your slaves, and wait and attend on Tyranipocrit, and his friends, and you may freely use, and abuse them at your pleasures, for these, although they be my children, yet they are so unruly, and out of order, that I know not almost how to trust them, and many of those black ones, through God’s grace, many times do quite forsake me, and therefore I do not care so much for them, but for you Tyranny and Hypocrisy, which I have now joined in one, you and your privy‐councillors which I have named before, you seldom, or never fail me, and therefore Tyranipocrit hearken thou unto me, and in all things be ruled by me, and then I will teach thee how thou shalt commit and maintain any impiety whatsoever, and that with a faire seemblant. First, thou must get an hypocritical Painter, and cause him to paint Truth and Justice, and then cause seeming Zeal, to hang up painted Truth and Justice in the Church and Senate‐house, and then cause Hypocrisy to write many fair sentences, taken out of the Holy Scripture, and are fit to maintain tyranny through hypocrisy, and then be sure that thou hang or banish Tom‐Tell‐Truth: And I charge thee to be very circumspect in all things, for the establishing of iniquity, and as occasion shall serve, thou mayest convent tyrannical Senates, and hypocritical Synods, but remember that I do charge thee on my blessing, that whatsoever thou pretendest or reformest, that thou do not molest or trouble the white devil, for then my whole kingdom would be in danger of falling; but thou mayest reform many things for my profit, so thou be sure, that nothing be the better for thy reforming, for it is a bettering and not a reforming, that hurteth my kingdom, I do not care what form tyranny be put into, neither what fashion hypocrisy can set on tyranny, so I may have the substance, I do not care for the show: and therefore cry out aloud for new forms, that in them you may commit new impieties, and hypocrisy shall carry all things so in the clouds, that through her juggling, the people shall say, that good is evil, and evil good, which is the highest degree of impiety.
And if at any time Tom‐Tell‐Truth should chance to open his mouth, you must deal very circumspectly with him, and first turn him over to hypocrisy, that she may deal with him, as Tyranny had dealt with her before, which is, to convert him through gold and preferment; but if he be obstinate, and will not hearken to her hypocritical persuasions, then turn him over to Tyranny, and he shall call a Council of War against him, and if he will not recant, then hatred shall condemn him, envy shall judge him, and cruelty shall execute him, and infamy shall proclaim his rebellion; because he would not honour and obey Tyranipocrit. And I charge thee, that in all thy impious practises, that thou make a show of piety and charity, in giving something for God’s sake, to honour the devil withal, for when thou hast robbed a hundred or more, then cause ostentation thy almoner, to feed some few poor people at thy gates, and that in a proud detestable manner, not fit for men, much less for Christian brethren, and when you have convented Parliaments, then make a great show of zeal, for the welfare of all mankind, but give partiality with hypocrisy leave to rule and dispose all things, and be sure that in all your conclusions, you do subject reason to tyranny, and not tyranny to reason, and if you cannot make it seem good by Logic, Sophistry shall help you, for this is a general known maxim: Take away the cause, and the effect will follow, but you shall strive to take away the effects, and yet maintain their causes, for you shall hang the poor artless thieves, and maintain the rich artificial thieves, which cause the poor to be thieves: And labour to have a uniformity in ceremonies, for concord in forms, and discord in manners and conditions, that can never hurt the devil’s kingdom, for if you maintain rich tyrants, then they will make poor slaves, make the rich richer, and then they will make the poor poorer, and then what forms soever you have, the devil doth not care; for then the rich with their too much, and the poor with their too little goods, shall both serve sin and the devil: the rich of free‐will, and the poor by compulsion, make it so, that pride may abound in the rich, and misery in the poor; for if you should make and maintain an equality of goods and lands, as God and nature would have, as justice and reason doth crave, then the gall of murmuration would be broken, and then mankind might live in love and concord as brethren should do, for then the devil’s kingdom would fall, or consume away to nothing, then tyranny and oppression would cease, and the Kingdom of Christ would flourish, and then mankind might rightly sing the 133 Psalm: “O how happy a thing it is, and joyful for to see, Brethren together fast to hold, The band of amity,” &c. where now like a company of impious apes, they maintain the causes of discord, and yet they ride, or go to Church, and there sing and pray for concord. O impious impiety! for they seem to pray unto God, that he will force them to do that which they hate, for they tempt God, to have him to do that for them, which he hath given them a power to do themselves, but they will not, neither will they cease from tempting God in that impious manner, for they know that they do hate that which they seem to pray for; for they know, that if every man had an equal portion of goods and lands, then every man might live as God commanded all men, by the sweat of their own brows, and not as they do now, by the sweat of other men’s brows, for now every poor man must be a slave to the rich, and if the rich man be the devil’s slave, what a miserable slave must the poor man be, that must be a slave to him, that is a slave to the devil?
But it is not fit, that the devil should ruin his own kingdom, and therefore I charge thee, Tyranipocrit, and all thy friends and counsellors, which are many and evil, that if any man dare to prate of an equality of goods and lands, amongst such false Christians as inhabit Europa, let him die without mercy, because he is a disturber of the tranquillity of Tyranipocrit, and therefore he is not for the devil’s profit, for the devil’s kingdom is established through iniquity, and yet it hath a show of equity, which is the mystery of iniquity.
I cannot tell you all the impious sport, which they had at this cursed wedding, all other feasts are nothing comparable in all impieties, to this feast. That feast of Ahasuerus, of Balshazar, of Lucullus, Crassus, Herod, and such like, the feast at Paris, where so many thousands of innocents were slain, was not so impious as this feast. But when the halcyon days were ended, the devil would not neglect his time, and then it seemeth that he in his diabolical manners, told them that for the present, that he had done them, and they had done him all the best service that they could do each other, for which he gave himself, and them many thanks, and he said, that the joining of Tyranny and Hypocrisy, did please him better than anything that ever he did, for a greater impiety for the destruction of mankind, was never plotted in hell: but yet to secure their estates, he would return to hell, there to consult with his infernal counsellors, and so he committed all the whole impious crew, to their own wicked wills, for they are so bad, and as much displeasing to God, as the devil can be, and he commended and committed unto them all the deadly sins, and he charged them, upon pain of his displeasure, not to repent. And he charged them to maintain partiality, and in all things to be ruled by him, for he would invent strange prerogatives for some persons to sin by authority, &c. so when he had given them their charge, and blessed them, he seemed to leave them for a season.
Now how there can be so much tyranny in the Commonwealth, when there is so much sincerity in the Church, and both are ruled by one spirit, how this can accord and stand together, that is a mystery above my capacity, and it seemeth to be so strange a paradox, that it is able to make a man mad, if he consider it seriously, as he ought; for it is so impossible, that tyranny and sincere religion should accord with each other, as it is to cause God and the devil to be of one mind; but all is not gold that glistereth, nor all of the church, that are in the church, for Hypocrisy can counterfeit sincerity, and faith in the mouth, may be infidelity in the heart, and when the devil seemeth to be an Angel of Light, then there is much zeal, but no piety. Tell me why in those days Zacharias is not slain between the Temple and the Altar: why is not John beheaded? Steven stoned? Peter crucified? &c. Is this world better than that world was, wherein those men suffered? No certainly: but our Zachariasses are better daubers than that Zacharias was, for ours can better reprove the black, than the white devil, and a black devil is not so cruel as a white devil, neither hath he so much power, if he were so cruel, and it seemeth that our Teachers had rather have money and good words, than either stones, ropes, or swords, and it seemeth although they speak so much of faith, yet when it comes to be proved, concerning the right reproving of Tyranipocrit, when they consider what power he hath gotten, which is so great, that he that hath not his mark, must neither buy nor sell, O then faith in them is at a low ebb: for then they stagger, and cannot tell whether faith or its object, be a reality, or an imagination, and if they have a wavering faith, yet they do not know how to resolve. And although they have heard that God is a defender of truth, yet considering how simple Tyrants in former times have dealt with such as have maintained the truth against them, and their tyrannies, how much more, think they, shall those be tormented, that shall now oppose Tyranipocrit, he unto whom the devil hath given and resigned his whole power and authority. O Tyranipocrit! he sweepeth off the stars of Heaven with his hypocritical tail; for those which tyranny cannot subdue, hypocrisy will seduce.
Now when I think of the inhuman cruelties, and vile impieties, which have been committed in the Christian world, since the joining of Tyranny and Hypocrisy, then I think that the devil did himself a notable piece of service, when he joined them in one. When I think how Vladislaus King of Hungary, through the Popes instigation, broke his faith with the Turk, through which the King, the Cardinal, and thirty thousand more, lost their lives. When I think how worse than barbarians, the French‐men dealt with the Waldenenses, and so did the Spaniards with the Moors, and how the English hunted the poor Irish: and how Duke d’Alva persecuted the Belgians: and how in the Low‐countries, Predestination got the vantage of Free‐will: and how Rochel was circumvented by the Reformadoes, and how in England the Presbyterians do cast out the Bishops, their tyrannical brethren, &c. When I consider those, and many more such cruel changes, and no bettering, but all to establish tyranny in other forms and fashions, then I think O white devil, O Tyranipocrit, how impious art thou: O thou old serpent, thou dost change thy old hide, but thou wilt not leave thy old tyrannical nature. And if tyrants must make us slaves, what do we care what names they have, call them Kings, Bishops, Senators, Soldiers, &c. Tyrants, if they will exercise tyrannical power, it makes no matter what names they have, if the King call his slave, a subject, and the slave call his tyrant a King, what are we bettered by that? call yourselves and us, what you will, so you do administer Justice indifferently, without any respect of persons, because justice exalteth a Nation: and what can be more just, than to give unto every man that which God, nature, and reason, hath allotted him? O to give unto every one with discretion, so near as may be, an equal portion of earthly goods, to maintain him in this life, that is the greatest actual justice that man can do.
This is perfect charity, & Charitas non excidit, nec potest quidem:(“Charity does not pass away, nor can it”) and therefore if we will work by any other rule, we must err, and the more we do strive to do justice, before this equal foundation be first laid, the further we shall be from either doing or knowing what justice is; for he that doth justice partially, is an enemy to justice. The rule of God in Christ, is to love thy neighbour as thyself, ergo if thou doest love to be rich, then thou must labour to have thy poor neighbours so rich as thou wouldst be. I need not reiterate this matter so often, if men would confess the truth, for all reasonable men do know, that this is the right rule; but self‐love, and an evil, long‐continued custom, pride, the devil, Tyranipocrit, partiality, the world, and all impious persons, in this cause do make war against God and nature, Christ and reason, against truth and justice, against their own consciences, and the welfare of mankind here and hereafter. O partiality and hypocrisy, how do you deceive men through new formes, and respect of persons. When the new tyrants which have driven out the old, are in all things so bad or worse than the old tyrants were, only they have, or do pretend to have a better faith, and a new form of tyranny, and in all their other practises, they are worse than their predecessors, then it seemeth that the devil is grown young again, or else he did cast out himself, that so he might return again with more power, to commit more strange impieties. And therefore all you which have cast out any old Tyrants, consider seriously what you have yet to do, and so near as you can, make and maintain an equality of all goods and lands, for that is your duty, which if you will not perform, you are worse than the old tyrants, because you did pretend a bettering, which they did not.