¶INCIPIT LIBER SECVNDVS.
Of Angells. Chap. 1.
MAlach in Hebrew, Ange∣lus in Gréeke, Nuncius in Latine, is to bée vnder∣stoode, a messenger in English. For by warning of Angells men knowe Gods will, and so Angelus is a name of office and not of kinde. And Ange∣lus is a Spirit: but when God sendeth him forth, then hée is first properly na∣med Angelus. Painters paint Angells with wings because of their swiftnesse of flight. And so simple men knowe the swift working of Angells by that man∣ner of painting. And for the same cause in the olde time, Poettes painted the winde with wings, as saith Isid. lib. 7. Chap. 7.
What Angell is after Da∣mascenes minde. Chap. 2.
DAmascene saith, that Angell is Sub∣stantia intellectualis, alway moue∣able, frée, and bodilesse, seruing God by grace, and not by kinde, and is pertaker of immortalitie. For he may not die. Of this discription of Angels kind, ma∣ny māner properties of Angels be to vs shewed and knowne. An Angell is said, Substantia intellectualis. For by reason of the spiritualtie of his substaunce, and of the singular puritie hée perceiueth in himselfe all formes intelligible, that is to vnderstande, all shapes and lyke∣nesse that hée needeth to haue. For to haue cunning and knowledge of things hée apprehendeth shapes and liknesse intellectuall, that may moue his vnder∣standing to witte and wisedome. And inasmuch as hée is farre from the bon∣dage of earthly matter, insomuch hée is the more perfect in contemplation of spirituall and vnmateriall thinges: So it is sayde plainly in Libro Causarum. For spirites that hée also named vnder∣standing, be full of shapes and likenesse, because they haue knowledge and cun∣ning. Therefore in them shineth all manner of vnderstanding, as in the bo∣dies of men their secrete motions doe declare in the witte to haue know∣ledge of thinges.*Sicut ibidem di∣citur consequenter. Moreouer, Angells kinde passeth all bodilye kinde in sub∣tiltie of his Essentia in simplicitie, and in cléernesse of his conceit, and ability of his frée aduisement. This Angells kind hath no succour of bodily matter. Ther∣fore materiall corruption maye in no wise be according to him. Therefore no knowledge by bodily wits may let this fore knowledge that is godly, for an An∣gell hath forséeing in a manner as God hath. Therefore hee is aboue time, and vnderstandeth all at once: and not one thing after another, or one thing of another, as the conclusion of the premi∣ses, as mans vnderstanding and assu∣raunce of the minde, gathereth know∣ledge of some thing, through, or of the knowledge of other things. It séemeth that such comparison as is betwéene a simple thing and a thing compound, ey∣ther else betwéene a point and a line in béeing,* such is the comparison betwéene Angelles knowledge, and mans per∣seueraunce, in vnderstanding and dée∣ming Also no mallice withdraweth nor turneth away the wil of an Angell from the seruice of his Creator. There∣fore inasmuch as the substaunce of an Angell is the simpler, and more far from all condition of matter. Insomuch, the lykenes of God shiueth yt more expresse in him, and in him as it were in a full cléere mirrour, the shining of God ap∣pearth the more cleere. And the influence of blisse is the more worthy, insomuch Page [unnumbered] as the Angell ioyneth him by his owne will, the more perfectly to the apparant truth, that maye not be chaunged, as Gregory saith: Almightie God made the kinde of good Angells good, but muta∣ble. So that they that woulde abide, might bée assured of grace, & by so much the more increase reward, in how much they setteled the effect of their will with studie, without chaunging in God: al∣so Saint Gregorie sayth: Angell in the contemplation of his Creator is aboue the thing that may be chaunged, but in that he is a creature, he hath subiections of chaunging. Denis sayth, In Angells three things must bée had in considera∣tion, Essencia, by the which they haue béeing: vertue by the which they haue might: and working, by the which they are exercised. The Essencia of them is simple and vnmateriall, pure, distinct, and discréet. This vertue of them is frée, vnderstanding, louing, and without cea∣sing. They haue might and power frée∣ly to choose, to vnderstande, and to loue: and to God to be ioyned without chaun∣ging: also they haue a vertue of wor∣king, for they doe all thing without a∣biding or tarrieng, they put of al aduer∣sitie without withstanding, and without withsayeng: alway they be nigh vs, and serue vs without ceasing: and their wor∣king, is willing, sodeine, profitable, and honest.
For they serue GOD without constraining, and doe his heastes so∣deinly and in an instaunt, and putte not off till on the morrowe: all good and profite they procure with greate héede taking: they bée occupied in lawfull déedes and honest, that bée without blame: then it is truth that in an An∣gell is three manner vertues, of know∣ing, of working, and of béeing. For hée knoweth God aboue himselfe, in a mir∣rour of euerlasting during, without a∣ny intermission. Hee seeth alway the face of the Father. Mathew. 18 Angels alwayes beholde the face of my Father which is in heauen. Psal. 10. He appre∣hendeth all things that is without him∣selfe, without anye collection, and hol∣deth in minde within himselfe, with∣out forgetting, all that hée apprehen∣deth. Angells haue this vertue of wor∣king, mightely, swiftly, and profitably, and without ceasing: and they also haue vertue to be steadfast, in the sim∣plicitie of their kinde. For they are not altered by deedly subiections, ney∣ther they haue no contrariousnesse of passibilitie, neither bee lette with charge of flesh. They bée also in stead∣fastnesse of grace and of blisse. For they bée subiects to the lawes of God, and be not contrary therto by none affection nor deede.
They bée godly and not tormented with the pricke of enuie: and forasmuch as they be pure and cleane, they bee not defiled with anye affection: and they be steadfast in the dignitie of office. They are the substaunce of well minding, and therefore contrarye to euill dooing and they that bée Souereignes bée Princes ouer the other without tyrannie: also Angells kinde is ioyned nigh to the first lyght, that is God, and therefore it is full of more copious light: and so much the more déeper it draweth of the Well of lyfe, the more néere it ioyneth it selfe to the first light in beholding the minde: and it receiueth alway the more principall Theophanias, that is lyght and shining of GOD, insomuch as it tourneth it the more perfectlye to the highest good by loue, that chaungeth not: and so that light, that is euerlasting, first it commeth vppon Angells, and by Angells it commeth downe to vs• and therefore by Angells lawe came to men:* and for that first shining com∣meth to Angelles from the Father of lyght. Denis calleth Angelles Al∣gamatha, that is, most cléere myr∣rours, receiuing the lyght of GOD. Vnde in libro de diuinis nominibus. Chap 6. Denis sayth in this manner. An Angell is the Image of GOD, the shewing of hidde lyght, a myr∣rour pure and most bright, with∣out spot, without wemme, or other de∣filing.
And if it were lawfull to saye, hée receyueth in himselfe all the fayre∣nesse of the well shape, godlye for∣mitie Page 4 and of pure declaration in him∣selfe, as it is possible to take and de∣clare goodnesse that is hidde. He is named the Image of God, for lykenesse and shape in vnderstanding and readi∣nesse: For lyke as God seeth all things without aduice and conference, so doeth Angells, for they see not by meane, nei∣ther apprehend by bodelye wit. Also hée is called the shewing of hidde lyght: for he taketh by influence the sight of the Godhead, that is in it selfe incomprehen∣sible and hidde, and sendeth it foorth, and sheweth it to other, and maketh it knowen to them that are lower. And he is called a myrrour, for he is able to receiue the lyght of God, and is called a pure myrrour, for the kindly purenesse of his substaunce, for he hath no bodelye filth, he is immaculate, he hath no went of originall sinne, he is not defiled with contagion of deadlye sinne, he is with∣out spot of veniall sinne. He is sayd re∣ceiuing fairenesse of the likenesse of the Godhead.
In a speciall manner of knowing, he is lyke to the Godhead, and also hee de∣clareth to them that are lower the incomprehensible and hidde: swéetenesse of the goodnesse of God. For what hée taketh in contemplation and tasting by the gifte of God, he sendeth it forth, and maketh it knowen to them that are lower.
*Dumascene in his seconde Booke and third Chapter sayth, That Angells are lights intellectuall, hauing lyght of the first lyght, and they néede no tongue neither eares: but without words and voyce they vnderstande and know euery others thought and will. And they are not contayned in a bodelye place, not within walles neither cloyster bodelye inclosed, and be not bodelye long, nei∣ther broade, neither thicke, but they be intellectuallye nigh and present, and worke in euerye place where God bid∣deth them. Also they are spirites kind∣lye strong and swifte to doe Gods will: and they are sodainelye founde in eue∣rye place, where God willeth and be∣thinketh, dispensing those things that be about vs, and helping vs after Gods owne will. They are aboue vs, and neuerthelesse about God. It were harde to mooue them to euill, for thereto they are contrarye: & that is of grace, though it be not of •inde.
And as it is possible, they bée in contemplation of God, and haue theyr delyght and lyking in him: and séeing they are spirituall and bodilesse, they néede neyther, wedding nor corporall ioyning.
¶How an Angell in bode∣ly shape is painted. Chap. 3.
ALso though Angelles kinde haue no matter neyther lyneations and shape of bodye, yet by a morall de∣uise, many things are imagined, as God lyke an olde man: euen so Angells bée paynted in bodely lykenesse, and Scrip∣ture maketh mention, that they haue diuers lymmes and shapes. But by de∣nominations of lymmes that are séene, vnséene workings of heauenlye per∣seueraunces, are then thereby vnder∣stoode. For when Angells are paynted with long lockes and crispe haire, there∣by is vnderstoode their cleane affections and ordinate thoughts. For the hayre of the head betokeneth thoughts and af∣fections that doe spring out of the roote of thought and minde.*
Men saye that they haue cares, be∣cause they receiue the inspiration of God, and that they knowe and vnder∣stande. Paynters make to them nose∣thrilles, and not without cause: For they voyde vices and: sinnes as it were stinking thinges: and they loue ver∣tues, as it were swéete smelles. And they seperate trueth from falshood, ma∣king distinction betwéene cleane and vn∣cleane, stinking and sweete smel∣lyng.
Ofte men make mention that they haue mouthes, tongues, and lyppes, be∣cause they shewe, •ou vs as it were in∣speaking the priuities of God: and they Page [unnumbered] are alwaye busie wayting and attending in the praysing of God.
And they be painted beardles: for to take consideration and héede, that they passe neuer the state of youth, neyther ware feeble in vertues, neither fa•lc for age. Men saye that they haue téeth, because grace, that they receiue of God, they vse to part and deale it to other, as it were chewing and grinding, and therby their might and power is betokened. They haue armes and handes, for by theyr might in working they sustaine our in∣firmities. And cease not to holde vp and defende good men, that God hath chosen. Men saye, that they haue heartes and breastes, for because they haue life lyke to the lyfe of God, and worke openlye to helpe vs to receiue the grace of lyfe, and such lyfe as God hath. They haue ribbes and sides, for they haue safelye in themselues all the giftes of grace, and by kéeping of them all thing is sure and safe in good men. Men say, that they haue flankes and thighes, but hidde with clo∣thing, for they haue within themselues, grace and vertue, hid from fleshly men. •éete they haue, but as it were alwaye bare, for the mouing of their affection to Godward is sequestred from all deadly lyking.
¶How Angells be described. Cap. 4.
ALso Angelles be painted in manye manner shapes wonderfully altered, as Saint Denys toucheth in the end of the Angelicall Hierarchie. Truely they be paynted feathered and winged: for that they are of contrary cause & clenne from all earthlye cogitation. And they be lifted vp in effect and knowledge, and rauished to the innermost contemplati∣on of the loue of God.
They are cloathed in flerie redde cloathes, for that they be wrapped in the lyght and mantell of the knowledge and loue of God. They bee cloathed with lyght as with a garment. Psal. 104. They are gyrde with golden gir∣dles, for that they be so clipped with the habite of vertues, that they neuer slyde to vice neither to sinne. They beare in hande authorities and scepters, for after God they giue all rightfull iudgements, and rule and gouern right∣fullye all that is in this worlde, that we knowe with vtter wittes. They beare in theyr handes swordes and speares: for by vertue that is giuen to them, they warre, and destroye the vp∣roares and the enforcings of •iends, and of other that are rebellyous. They be séene to haue Trowells, and hanging plommets, and measures, and worke∣mens tooles: For by prouision of An∣gells, God vseth to tourne euill men to good, and moueth them that they might bée made the habitation of the Holye ghost.
They haue in their handes, rule, lyn•s, and measures, for they diuide, meate, & weigh all mens works good & euill. And they are sayde to haue Phy∣als with swéet smelling things: for by dooing of them our wounds are brought to grace of health. And it is read, that they be girde as they were appa•rayled readye to goe and walke forth on their waye: for by their helpe and guyding, godlye disposed men be alwaye brought home into blysse! Also they be sayde to beare pennars and inke hornes, and other instrumentes of Writers: For that, that through theyr dooing, the pri∣uitie of Gods will, is oftentimes reuea∣led and knowen.
They bée furnished in armes, and weapon of battayle and of warre: For that by helpe of them, good men are of∣ten succoured and defended, in warre and in battayle of bodye and of soule. And the• harpe: For that they that are worthye to bée comforted, by theyr helpe and prayers, fall not into sor∣rowe of despayre, and so to be with∣out hope.
They beare Trumpettes in theyr handes, for that they call and comforte and excite vs to profite alwaye in good∣nesse. Manye such manner things are written of the araye and doing of An∣gells, that betoken theyr meruaylous workes.
¶ How Angells be compared to materiall things. Cap. 5.
ALso they be likened to other things, that be taken & trans•mpt of natu∣ralls* For to signifie and declare theyr profound and secret workings: example. They be likened to windes, for yt they flye and passe sodainely, so their déedes and workes. They be called cloudes, for that they be rauished towarde God by very contemplation. They be lykened to fire, for that they be wholly inflamed with burning loue of God, and as fire they shine in knowledge, and burne in loue.
Now they are named golde; now siluer, and now latten, for they haue pure shining, as light, and be adorned with the wisedome of God. They be lykened to Carbuncles & Saphires, and to other precious stones that be sad and bright, for because they be firme in the grace of God, and confirmed in the blisse: and by their presence, all that is in heauen and in earth, is wonderfully beautified. They are called Lions, for that they be grisly and dreadfull against wicked spi∣rites and to sinfull men: or els as the Commentor vpon the Hierarchie Ange∣licall saith, because when they aspire to the contemplation of God,* that was knowen afore, is wiped out of minde: when cleerenesse that is desired, is open∣ly knowen, to the soules that desireth: for a Lyon vseth to wype awaye his owne steppes with his tayle. They are called Oxen, for an Ore eareth the land, and maketh it able to beare fruite: So Angells make mens soules able to receiue graines of vertues and of gifts. They are called Eagles, for that they beholde strayght and stiffelye in God, that is the Sunne of righteousnesse, without dazelyng of theyr eyen*. They are called Horses for by the Lawe of obedience, they be subiecte to God, that is Lorde aboue them. Sometime also they are called white Horses, for the bright and cléere knowing of God. And sometime blacke Horses, for they maye not comprehende the Maiestie of God at the ful: for blacknes is darke coulour and dimme. Sometime redde Horses, for they shewe dread of righ∣teousnesse and equitie. And some time of diuers coulours, for the variable vse of power that they haue receyued. The vttermost coulours are mixed to∣gether, and by the perfect vertue of An∣gells, the first are ioyned and tourned to the seconde, and the seconde to the first, and be tourned either into others loue. And they be called firie Riuers, because they receiue streames or flow∣ings of diuine grace, and they shedde out plenteouslye that neuer fayleth of fresh streames of Gods grace, and powre out to other in plentie of lyfe: and therefore they are lykened to a fi∣rie Riuer. Also they be called Chari∣ots, for in a Charyot is manye things carried at once: For they bée by one assent borne vp, associate and coupled togethers, in the ioyfull companye of God.
They be also called Whéeles: For as a Whéele windeth and tourneth a∣bout, and mooueth alwaye about the selfe Center: so Angells are in contem∣plation, and mooue about that thing, that belongeth to God, as it were a∣bout the centre or poynt in the middes of a compasse intellectuall: for theyr de∣sire maye not be quenched, and what they desire, passeth theyr •uit•e and might. And therefore also they are lykened to Chariots and firie wheeles. For that they come downe to subiectes, and illuminate them, and so goe vp a∣gayne, and guiding euermore by con∣templation. And they present to our Lorde, prayers and inwarde cogita∣tions of good men: and bring dead mens soules into Abrahams bosome, and into the Countrey of blisse. And they are called Surgeons and Phisi∣tions, because they cure and heale soules.
And they be also called Smithes, for that they prepare for vs ghostlye weapons.
Page [unnumbered]They be called watchmen and war∣deins, for they béeing neuer ouercome with sleepe of wanting skill, warne men of perills that may fall or come to passe. And they also bée named Har∣uesters, for they gather the people that is chosen into the Garner of the king∣dome of Heauen. And they bée called Souldiers, for they warre and fight for vs against wicked fiendes. And they be called Dukes and Leaders, both be∣cause they teach vs the manner of figh∣ting against Ghostly enimyes: and al∣so for they shewe and teach vs the way to the countrie of blisse.
In these and manye other figures and lykenesses, Angells vertues be to∣kened to vs, and vnderstoode in Scrip∣tures, touching the substaunce, ver∣tue, and working of them. But these few that be set héere for example shall suffice at this time.
Of the orders of Angels Hie∣rarchies, and of their offices. Chap. 6.
SEeing that the properties of An∣gells be in part rehearsed and de∣termined in generall, as it belongeth to this worke, wée shall intreate of all the Hierarchies of the orders of An∣gells: that wée maye knowe the of∣fice, conuenience, and difference of all the orders by theyr proper condi∣tions.
Of the three Hierarchies. Chap. 7.
THE holy man Saint Denis spea∣keth of thrée Hierarchies, the first is aboue heauen, and standeth in three persons, the seconde in heauen, and stan∣deth in holy Angells, the thirde vnder heauen, and standeth in Prelates. De∣nis sayth, that a Hierarchie is an or∣deined power and might of holy things: and reasonable, holding a due princi∣palitye ouer Subiectes. Thrée Hie∣rarchies bée in heauen, the highest, that is called in Gréeke Epiphania, and is described of Denis in this manner.
Epiphania is in the burning hot affecti∣on in the highnesse of high motion and vnderstanding, and in the ballaunce of the perticular iudgement. And this Hie∣rarchie conteineth thrée orders. Scra∣phin, that passeth other in burning of loue: and Cherubin, that is ioyfull in priuiledge of cunning: Thrones, that passe other in perpending of righteous∣nesse. And of the other two Hierar∣chies, wée shall speake héereafter in theyr owne place. In euerye Hierarchie néedeth thrée thinges, order, cunning, and working. For as Denis sayth, a Hierarchie is a godly order, cunning, and worke, lyke God, as it is possi∣ble likening and supposing thereto the illuminations by proportion, taking héede to the lykenesse of God. Loe hée setteth thrée in the discription of an Hie∣rarchie, order, cunning, and working: for if one of these thrée should want, it is no Hierarchie. Therefore a Hierar∣chie is sayde a godlye order, as it were a might that is ordeyned and dispo∣sed after Gods owne will. Therefore in order is office noted, in cunning, rea∣dinesse, in working seruice.* Without order presumption is the worke, with∣out worke negligence is the order, with∣out cunning, the worke is then reproua∣ble, and the order is vnprofitable. And therefore as well in order as in cun∣ning and working, euerye. Hierarchie followeth the conformitie and likenesse of God: And by the manner and mea∣sure of his illuminating that God gi∣ueth thereto, bée profit•th in his order, and supposing rightlye, and working well, to the following of God as néere as is possible, hée ascendeth vp.
Such is the disposition betwéene the Angells of the order of Hierarchies. They that be of the higher orders, re∣ceiue more plenteous light of God. And then to those that bée lower then they in order, they transfound and departe the lyght, they receiued. For this lawe is holden and kepte in the order of Angelles in participation of grace and of blisse. Some be the first, and some the seconde, and some the laste: as they the which in order and in re∣ceiuing Page 6 and taking of kinde are péere∣lesse: they be also vnlike and not equall in taking and receiuing of blisse. Ther∣fore Saint Denys saith, that it néedeth that the higher Angelles alwaye teach and leade the nether and lower Angels, that they may bring them to the diuine brightnesse and illumination, abduction, and communication, and induction by conuersation, in illumination by know∣ledge, in knowledge by perception. For as Saint Gregory. 1. Mor. saith, Some are nigh God by contemplation, and some goe outwarde by seruice and wor∣king: and yet they that goe outwarde, passe not awaye from the inner contem∣plation. For alway they sée him, that is present in euery place that they come in.
The excellencie of orders is assigned by the worthinesse of gifts, for by diuers simplicitie of kinde and Essencia, and cléerenesse of kindly wit and wisedome, and by different fréedome of aduisement, the orders receiue and haue diuersitie. For they that he more subtill in kind•, and haue more cleere perseueraunce and wisedome, the gifte of larger grace, they are more worthy than the other. Ther∣fore all the orders of Hierarchies haue proper giftes by the which they worke, and proper qualities, by the which they rule their workes, for no Angell hath leaue to take vpon him a worke or déed, that belongeth not to his order, and to his office. The perfection of the order of Hierarchies standeth in such a point, that they that be cléere beautifieth other, and they that be pourged, pourge other: and they that be made perfect, make other perfect. For the order is such, that they that •e first purged, •e afterwarde, illu∣mined and beautified; and then made perfect. For after purgation followeth illumination, and after illumination the consummation of perfection, and so the higher orders immediatelye receiue of God purgation, that they may be cleane and cléere: and perfection, that they may bée perfect. And then by order of the disposition of God, the higher Angelles cleanse, illumine, and make perfect the lower Angells. But theyr purgation is not to be vnderstoode of corruption of vi∣ces and of sinne, but more verely imper∣fection of goodnesse. For Saint Denys saith, to the likenesse of him that hath no contagion neyther uncleannesse, it néedeth that Angelles be cleane of vn∣cleannesse and confusion, shining in ho∣lynesse and truth, and perfect in good∣nesse. Amongst these most holy orders, some be the first, and some be in the middle, and some the last and lowest. The first illumine, the last be illumi∣ned, the middle illumine•h the last, and be illumined of the first.
¶Of the order of Seraphin. Cap. 8.
AS of the more worthie, first wée shall beginne to treate of the first order, that is Seraphin. Thereof spea∣keth Isidore. li. 7. and saith, Seraphin is a multitude of Angells, that is to vn∣derstande, burning or setting a fire, for betweene them and God, be no Angells meane.
And therefore the néerer they bée to God, so much the more they are infla∣med and lightened in the cléere bright∣nesse of the lyght of God. And there∣fore men saye that they vayle and wrap the face and the féete of our Lorde. For the other Angelles sée not the ma∣iestie of our Lorde more cléerelye than these doe. And therefore they be inuy∣roned with so-much the more bright∣nesse, in howe much they be inflamed in burning affection of the inwarde loue. And so the proper office of these Angells is to burne in themselues, and to moue other to burne in the loue of God.
Wée maye take the principall and speciall properties of this Order of Denys wordes, that sayeth learned∣lye in this manner. The first Hierar∣chie of Heauen is hallowed with well excellent Essencies, and haue an Or∣der higher then other, sitting nexte God.
And therefore the first workings of Page [unnumbered] knowing of God be born into this Hie∣rarchie, as into the Hierarchie that is next God, and it followeth. Seraphin is alway moueable about things diuine, & is hot, without ceasing, sharpe and pas∣sing seruent, alwaye of busie motion that boweth not, the bringer againe of subiects, actiuely exemplicatiue, making them hot, and rai••ng them into the like∣nesse of firie loue of heauen, cleansing offering not intermixed, and may not be quenched, and hath lightnesse of light, & property to giue light to make darknesse knowne, and to pursue it. These wordes be full diuine, and passe all mens wit, touching the darke and mysticall mea∣ning of them. But yet as I may, though it be doubtful & beyond common skil, I shall vndertake somewhat to declare the meaning of these words. For it seemeth that Denis hath meant that the disclo∣sing of the properties and office, ma∣keth knowen to diuerse, discreation and participation of grace in the Angels that be named Seraphin. For the name of Seraphin meaneth moueable, & sayth so by liklyhoode, the kinde of firie loue, by the which the affection of an Angell, is moued and rauished, retourneth into God. But this mouing is quiet, cau∣sing, augmenting, and fulfilling. Also he moueth incessably, for such a loue falleth neuer, neither resseth to desire him, that he loueth. He is called hot; for ye strength of loue exciteth and moueth, as it were heate, to the feeling of swéetnesse. And therefore he putteth to Acutum, sharpe. For the strength of loue pearceth into the innest of the maker and creatour. And so: Acutum, sharpe, betokeneth a manner violence of loue, that entêreth and pearceth into the thing that is lo∣ued Also he saith, Super feru•dum, pas∣sing feruent, for though the loue stretch into the innest of the Godhead, yet hee reaseth not to sée all about by affection: So that the thing that he taketh not at the full by the inwit, he comprehendeth somewhat by tast of contemplation. As a thing that boileth by strength wel∣meth and leapeth, and throweth & shed∣deth it selfe all about: So the affection of an Angell forsaketh nothing, that hee taketh héede of, but the more he know∣eth, the more he desireth to knowe. Hée sayth also, Inflexibilis motionis, moo∣uing that faileth not, for though Angels loue moue into God, yet he is inflexible, stedfast, and faileth not. For he will not lese in no manner wise that thing that he loueth: and so he is moueable & ceaseth not, and that intentiue and in∣wardly. For he setteth his intent into the inward of God. And so he is alwaye moueable and resteth not in himselfe: but he is busie to set his intent in God, but inwardly that he fléete not outward, and he is in all, wise, inflexible & stable, and turneth neuer from him, to things that be without him. Also he saith, Supposi∣torum reductiuum, able to bring againe the neather. For an Angels loue stretch∣eth alway to the ouer, that is, to that a∣boue from whence the cause of his loue commeth: but he goeth not awaye from the loue of the neather. But he calleth & bringeth the neather orders to be part∣ners of the illumination and brightnes of God. Also he saith, Docere actiuum et exemplificatiuum, he desireth to teach and giue good ensample: For his intent is not onelye to bring the neather or∣ders to loue God, that is highest: but al∣so by example he sheweth them that be of the neather orders, how and in what manner, he that is most good, shoulde be beloued aboue all things. And how men shall turne to God by loue, and doe all thing after his will. Therefore he saith, that the loue of them is heating & rea∣ring vp into such a manner heate. For therefore they trauaile, that the neather orders burne and be seruent, though not all alike, but differently. And he saith not that, as though the lower Angells were cold or dead, but it is sayd, because the subiect orders are excited and stirred by them to the more larger affection of loue. And therefore it followeth. Igne∣um celitus & holocaustomatis purgati∣uum. A firie thing of heauen, that pour∣geth offering. For the fire of God ligh∣teth the first Angels, that they may light other, and lighteneth them, from whose light other are become bright shining al∣so, & purgeth them, that they may cleanse Page 7 other. For the fire of God burneth soft∣ly and sweetly, and burneth not to wa∣sting neither to apparing, but to clean∣sing and to pourging. Therfore he faith, That he cleanseth offering: For as he is the luminator at full, so he cleanseth at full. And he cleanseth not from in∣fection of anye vice or sinne: but from the imperfection of goodnesse. For that is perfect purgation, where no correction is, but all perfection. Also Seraphin is sayd, vertues, Multi•moda & multi fida, a vertue of many wayes and of manye faiths.* Of many wayes, in that he is moued in desire & working many man∣ner wise. Many faiths in that he is beu∣tified in possessing: many wayes, in that he passeth forth searching: many faiths, in that he pearceth and findeth. He pas∣seth forth by manye wayes and diuers affections, and commeth to one God, and one lyfe comprehendeth all things toge∣ther. Also the name of Seraphin, mea∣neth the thing that is not put by, ney∣ther intermixed: for without any vay∣ling of figure or of creature set betwéen, he loueth to sée God: and of the plentie of the well of euerlasting lyght he is brightened without anye meane set be∣tweene, that he may brighten other: and he is lightened, that he may light other. And so the Angells of that order, are more worthy then other, for they take the influence of their perfection of God, without any meane set betwéene: and giueth the same foorth to other without withdrawing, and haue it in possession, and keepe it without léesing. They slack neuer, neither withdrawe them from that loue of God, neyther tourneth theyr intent from GOD. And they leade the neather orders toward God, & ceaseth not for trauayle, neyther for annoye. This may suffice of the proper∣ties of Seraphin.
¶ Of the order of Cherubin. Cap. 9.
THe second order is called Cherubin, and is to vnderstand, plentie of cun∣ning. Isidore lib. 7. saith, Duely excepted Seraphin, Cherubin are the highest companies of Angelles. For the neerer they be set to the wisedome of God, the more large gifte in them appeareth of the fulnesse of God. Therefore worthe∣ly the order of Cherubin are ordayned after the order of Seraphin. For after the gifte of Charitie, of which gift Se∣raphin hath the name, the most excellent gifte is the gifte of wit and wisedome, and of the knowing of the dignitie of God: of the which gifte Cherubin hath the name. For the beame of the lyght of God, shineth principally in the Angells of this order, touching the farre excéeding participation of the knowing of God. Therefore Denys sheweth the proper∣ties and effects of the Angelles of this order. cap. 7. where he sayeth, That the knowing of Cherubin teacheth what he knoweth. And these words signifie, that Angells of this order are called Angells that knowe and be knowing, for they passe other in the gifte of the wisedome of God: also he nameth them De• vidi, God seeing, for the excellent sight that they haue of God. For they haue a more cleere contemplation, then other haue of Gods maiestie: and they be said, Altis∣sime dacio racionis luminum accepturi: Of the highest gift of reason receiuers of light. Thereby he meaneth, that the or∣der of Cherubin, is passing other filled of the light to God. Also these Angels haue the gift of the fairenesse of God in the first vertue that worketh: for by the lyght of diuine wisdome, they be in con∣tēplation of ye fairnee of god. Also therby he meaneth, that in them & by them the first vertue ye worketh, yt is to say God, is séene most clearely. Also he is called, Sapientifica traditione repleti, full of giuing of wit and of wisedome, for by the wise tradition of the Creator, they deale the gifte of diuine wisedome, to some more, and to some lesse. Also they haue communicatiue cunning. For the lyght of wisedome, that they receiue largelye, it passeth by them, to diuers others. For the fulnesse of lyght that they receiue, they giue forth and commit to other.
And also they are named takers of Page [unnumbered] lyght of pure contemplation and of sim∣plicitie without meane. He calleth the lyght the illumination and glistering, by the which lyght he commeth to ye pure and cleare contemplation, where the ver∣tue of God is, not in image, in figure, or in anye meane creature: but by it selfe, and in it selfe. Also they are called filled of the food of God, and of his house, and of the vnitie that giueth lyfe of the feeding of God. For in that they be fed with the lyght of knowledge, they be re∣freshed with the swéetnesse of loue. For it were no great profite to inspire with knowing, but there followed therewith soode of the holy spirit, that is, of féeding by loue. Also this feeding is called house∣hold, liuely, and onely refection. House∣hold, for that it is prepared for friends & so; meynie, belonging to ye house. And it is sayde lyuelye, because it maketh and giueth lyfe to each, that is feddé with such meate. And it is onelye and singu∣lar: for it is not tasted with straunge lyking, that is to meane, not with flesh∣ly sweetenesse. And though it bée onely feeding or meate, yet manye manner of feeding is found in this onely meate.
That when this one meate is taken,* full and very feeding is found.
¶Of the order of Thrones. Chap. 10.
THe thirde order is the order of Thrones, and this order hath the name of the gift of dome. For that God sitteth in them, and giueth his sentence of iudgement, and by them he disposeth all subiects, as saith Isidore. Therefore the vertue of Gods equitie is lykened to a firie throne in Daniel, yt is to meane, for c••erenesse of knowledge, for by them, God foreseeing euery thing, discusseth readely all things, and for swiftenesse that nothing may withstand or let. Then these Angells, in which righteousnesse of Gods iudgement specially shineth, he called Thrones, of Isidore. And there∣fore Denys calleth them the highest seates, for they be high vp authoritie of God, as it were instruments of Gods Iustice, ordained to gouerne: higher, for that they followe the rule of the righteousnesse of God in iudgement, but highest, for that they be ••re the pre∣sence of God, in the disposition of the Hierarchies. Strongly placed, for that they are couenablye and conuenientlye ioyned, touching the ioynture and con∣uenience of the iudgements of God. For it is determined and conuenient, that euery man receiue for trespasse paine, and for righteousnesse blisse, and such reward as his worke asketh, acception or reiec∣tion: and therefore payne accordeth co∣uenably to trespasse, and blysse to righ∣teousnesse. For if trepasse and blysse, payne and righteousnesse agree not, they shoulde not haue a seate ordayned coue∣nablye togethers. For compa•ion and vpright iudgement is the rightfulnesse of Domes. The seates are frée of all shamefull subiection: For euer the more subiect they be to GOD that is aboue them, the more worthye they are to bee made high by him, and in him, Sedes De• se•re, seates that beare God, for they beare God that is aboue them, and they set foorth and shewe the might of God by diuine mouings, in creatures that he subiect.
Seates that belong to the comming of God, that is aboue vnmateriall, and aboue worldlye taking. For they take the knowledge of God without stu∣dye and wearinesse, and sendeth it forth to the lower, without grieuous suffe∣raunce, and without withdrawing.
Whereby they teach vs ghostlye, that we putting aparte materiall and earth∣lye things shoulde appoynt and make vs meete to receyue things that euer∣las•eth.
Also these seates are without ende, that is to vnderstande, without begin∣ning and ende. For in God, to whom they are nigh, is founde neyther be∣ginning neyther ende. So the Thrones receyue the vertue of God, and sen∣•eth the same to the lower. They make themselues subiect to God obedientlye and not of anye necessitie, but by ve∣rye freedome, they shewe themselues subiect in all deedes.
¶Of the middle Hierarchie. Cap. 11.
ISidore saith, That the middle Hie∣rarchie cōtaineth these thrée orders, Principatus, Potestates, and Dominati∣ones. Denys calleth this Hierarchie E∣piphonomia, that is diuine brightnesse with reuerence, their parteners setting forth, and teaching the vse of the Lord∣ship, and putting awaye of a thing that is contrary. The first difference is sayd for Principatus, that haue the gift of re∣uerence passing other: whose office is to teach, to exercise, and to do reuerence to them that be worthy, after the diuers degrées of Prelacie, as it is written: Cui honorein, honorein, Honor to whō honor pertaineth. Rom. 13. But the vse of Lordship belongeth to Dominations, which teach ye lower to gouerne, not by lyking and desire to be aboue and ouer other, but after Gods owne will, to rule one another: for God will that men be aboue other men for profite, and not for pride, that they may teach and informe them in the faith and in good manner of lyuing, and not to be outragious in the giftes that are fréelye giuen to the Lordship. Constraining of might & pow∣er belongeth to the order of Potentates, that mightely put off fiendes, that they grieue vs not so much as they woulde,*Preuenting vngodly desires, & vnlaw∣full lustes. And so is the disposition of the middle Hierarchie sette: though it séeme otherwise ordained, after Isidore and Gregory, but that belongeth not to this worke.
¶ Of the order of Dominations. Cap. 12.
THe fourth order is Dominations, as Isidore saith, which are aboue and excell other in powers and vertues, for they be aboue other companies of An∣gells and Lords, and are called Domi∣nations. Gregory sayth, The office of this order, is to teach and informe men, what is néedefull in spirituall battayle, to vse in the office of Prelacie. Also they informe Prelates of the Cleargie, how they shall behaue themselues in go∣uerning of subiects, without oppression & tyrannie. Denys sayeth, That the ser∣uice of these Angels, is to put of distrust and dread, and tourne to God, without bending to worldlye profite, and serue him without ceasing: which by a singu∣lar excellencie, shape onely a behest and commaundement, a sure information & warning in the neather order. The An∣gells of this order be frée of all manner oppressing and ouersetting, that they maye fréelye be reared vp to God ward, and be subiect to none that is lower thē God: & so they be subiect to none other, but to him alone, and by an vniuersal ex∣cellēcie they are far aboue all subiection: yet so yt no vyolence of tyrannie bendeth them to oppresse and ouerset the neather Angells. Therefore Denys sayth, That they vse their Lordship with vnlykenes of tiranny. They haue seuerity in might, and with seueritie, fréedome in goodnes: and whiles the time of Dominations, power, and might is vsed, fréedome is not taken away in their dooing, about the nether orders, yet by this liberalitie their might is no manner of wise dimi∣nished. But conforming themselues to God, as much as is possible, they follow the rule & lawe of their president. They neuer turne them to vanitie, but alway to the highest God, that Denys cal∣leth (One) that is to vnderstande, U∣niuersall. On him they set their eyen, and turne not awaye the sighte of theyr vnderstanding, from him that is Lorde of all: and therefore they are parteners, as it maye be of the forme and lykenesse of God, as Denys sayth. And so Dominations are the first in the seconde Hierarchie.
¶The order of Principatus. Cap. 13.
THe fift order is called Principatus: and holye men declare, that this order teacheth men of low estate to doe reuerence to them that be greater and in higher estate of dignitie, as to Kings, Page [unnumbered] Princes, and Prelates. Of the Angells of this order Denys saith, that to Prin∣cipatus belongeth leading to bring king∣domes to the lykenesse of God. For it belongeth to these Angells of their of∣fice, to teach and bring the other more lower ordinately to God, and to teache the lowest person to be reuerenced in himselfe, and in his neighbour, and spe∣cially in a Prelate. Denys sayth, That therefore they are called Principatus, for that to them it belongeth to turne or bring other to ye first & principal begin∣ning, that is to God: the which they followe as it is possible, and as far forth as it is lawfull in office of presidence, they be lykened to the Prince. For Isi∣dore lib. 7. sayth, That Principatus are they that be ouer the companies of An∣gells, for that they ordaine and dispose the lower Angelles to fulfill the diuine seruice. They haue the name of Prin∣cipatus: some there be that serue, and some that stand by,*Thousands of thou∣sands serued him, & ten hundred thou∣sand stood by. Dan. 7.9.10.
¶Of the order of Potesta∣tes. Cap. 14.
THe sixt order is the order of Pote∣states, & they are called Potestates, as Isidore saith, for the euill Angells be subiect to them. And they haue ye name of Potestates, for by their might, the euill spirites be restrained, that they doe not so much harme as they would. Gre∣gory saith, That the office of these An∣gells is to comfort them that trauayle and fight in ghostly battayle, and to de∣fende them, that they be not vyolently ouercome of their enimies, and to helpe mightely that good men haue the victory. Héerto Denis accordeth and saith, That the seruice of Potestates is to kéepe wa∣relye, that no wicked thing grieue, nei∣ther annoye good men.
And Gregorye sayeth, That Pote∣states in their Order, perceiue more mightely, that euill spirites are sub∣iect to their disposition, the which be re∣strained by Potestates, that they grieue not men so much as they would.
Of this Potencial vertue, Denys saith. This holy Potestates haue equal might with Dominations, and receyue and kéepe méekely the same diuine giftes in theyr degrée without confusion. For they tyrannouslye commaunde nothing contrary to the lower: they assay to do nothing by vyolence and force: but cal∣leth ordinately the lower Angells to the lykenesse of GOD. And ceasse not •o bring thē, Ad Potentificam & causalem potenciam, that is to God, that may all thing, and is cause of all thing intellec∣tually, farre passing worldly dooing. So that by these properties of the lykenesse of God, the middle dispositions of the supernall knowledge, may be illumined and beautified, pourged and made per∣fect.
Also as these Potestates are tourned to the lykenesse of God by meane of the higher Angelles: so by theyr meane the neather Angells are brought also to the lykenesse of God. So that all the orders, highest, middlemost, and lowest, be made partakers of darke and mysticall purga∣tions, illuminations, shinings, and per∣fections.
¶Of the thirde Hierarchie. Cap. 15.
THe thirde Hierarchie is called Ephi∣onia, and contayneth thrée lower or∣ders, that is to suppose, Uertues, Arch∣angelles, and Angells. And thereto ac∣cording the lower Hierarchie is described in this manner. The lower Hierarchie, is a godly principle of nature, méeting with the lawes of kinde, and shewing secrets as he maye take discréete of na∣ture, méeting with the lawes of kinde. This pertayneth to Uertues: for they haue might to do myracles, and to heale sorrowe and sicknesses aboue Natures skill. Shewing mysteries: this belon∣geth to Archangells and to Angels, by a maruelous discréete passe, from the one to the other: this is referred to the diffe∣rence of Archangells and Angells. For the greater, as Archangels reueale grea∣ter mysteries, and the lesse, as Angelles, shewe the lesse screcies.
Page 9For by Archangells were shewed, the greater secrets vnto Prophets, us this:*Ecce virgo concipiet, &c. Behold a vir∣gin shall beare a sonne, and thou shalt call his name Emanuel. And by Angels is shewed the besse,* as this: Episcopa∣tum e••s accipiat, &c. His habitation bee voyde, and no man bee dwellyng therein, and his Bishop right let ano∣ther take. And this was sayde of Iudas the traitour that hung himself:* and Ma∣thias was chosen Apostle in his stéede. Ephionia is sayd of Ephi, that is, vnder, and Phanos, that is, shewing. For the lykenesse of God is shewed in a lower manner in orders of this Hierarchie, then in other orders of the higher Hie∣rarchie.
¶Of the order of Vertues. Cap. 16.
THe seuēth order is of vertues. Uer∣tues be a company of Angells, and their seruice is to vertues and to do mi∣racles, in them principally the vertue of God shineth: and therefore they be cal∣led vertues as Isidore saith. The An∣gells of this order, receiue illumination, purgation, and perfection of the orders of the middle Hierarchie. Therefore De∣nys saith, that vertues haue strength to worke as God graunteth them, yt which strength chaungeth not. In this they be formed and lyke to God: for they haue taken unchangeable strength of vertue, to doe all ••edes. And therefore Denys touching the working vertue of these spirites saith, That the name of these ho∣ly vertues, meaneth a mightie strength, that chaungeth not, that is giuen them asset the lykenesse of God, the which is neuer ••ble •••uer vnstedfast to receiue the illuminations and shewing of God: as though-he-would meane, In yt these Angells be called vertues, it is knowen that they are confirmed & like to God: for the vertue of God is strong & migh∣tie to ••• and which not for difficul∣tie of ••ty worke, and •• vnstedfast to dure and ••• and wearieth no•, neyther fée∣bleth for so long 〈…〉ing • of 〈…〉. So these Angelles •• lyke for they are found strong, and incom••table to doe all déedes. Therefore they be vertuous, not onely in working, but also in recei∣uing of lyght and of brightnesse. For the vertue of these Angells, though it séeme feeble and vnstedfast, is likened to the vertue of God, and is not féeble, but by grace they are likened to the vertue of God• They be féeble concerning their vn∣ablenesse without God, by condition of kinde, but they are not féeble by any •••∣ruption: but they receiue all that is due to a creature, that is to meane, suffici∣ent strength according to the kind there of. Therefore Denys sayth, that the• haue motion like to God, that beareth them stedfastly, into the passing Essence of God, for by that vertue, they and us to God w•••: and therefore theyr vertue is borne vp, into the passing vertue of the Creator, therfore the likenesse of the Image of God is found in them. The likenes of that they resolue, they send it forth to the neather Angells, they take by gifte, and giue foorth by example. De∣nys saith, that the office of these. An∣gells is to teach Prelates to doe the of∣fice of Prela•ie, profitably, and p••elys, and stedfastly, that they may beare their sharpe patiently: Gregory. 4. Mor, saith. That the office of these Angelles, is to teach them that haue vertue, how they should in themselves repaire the image of God: and reforme it, and kéepe it, and •••e it mightely. ••• so by the seruice of these Angels the vertue of doing mi∣racles, is graunted to the perfect, that they may be brought to the first state, in the which God made man to his owne Image and lykenesse. By such miracles shewed, the Angells of this order sée al∣waye and behold the vertue of God, and tremble an contemplation thereof: but this feare, in••red 〈…〉 fliring to set foorth the will of God, as not painfull, but it is rather wonderfull, & not dredfull feare, as saith Gregory in Mor. li. 4.
Of the order of Archangells. Cap. 17.
THe eight order is of Archangels that is to be 〈…〉, highest messen∣gers, Page [unnumbered] or Princes of messenges, as sayth Isidore. For they holde the Principate among Angels, termed Dukes, leaders, and Princes. For vnder their order, to euery of the Angells their offices are as∣signed:* For Archangells be aboue An∣gells,* as it is said in Zachary, where the greater Angell sayd to the lesse: Go & teach this childe, &c. For if it were so in the office of Angells, that the greater ap•ointed not the lower, they would not hade said so, speaking as to a man: it seemeth therefore that one Angell learn∣eth of another. These Archangelles are oft knowen by their proper names, so that by their names, their conditions and workes be shewed.* For*Gabriel was sent to the holye Uirgin, to giue warning that he was comming, that should haue the victory against ye stends, that are called, Aere Potestates. Gabri∣el signifieth ye Fortitude of God.*And Raphael, the Medicine of God, & was sent to Toby, and did lay medicines to Tobies eyen, & healed him of his blind∣nesse, and so of other, Hetherto speaketh Isidore. lib. 7. cap. 5. Gregorie saith: that the office of these Angelles is to teache good men, and help them of those things that concerne theyr faith, as of the com∣ming of Gods sonne, and of his déedes and lawes. Denys faith, that it belong∣eth in Archangells, to shewe Prophecies to Prophets, and to put off frendes that haue mastrie buenmen, that they gréeue them no more: as it belongeth to Po∣testates to put off euill Angels, that they take not vpon them things that belong∣eth to God. Also Archangells are more worthy then the inferiour Angelles, and they be séene before other in message, because they be more perfect, so that both great and lesse, be seruiceable to the set∣ting forth of the glorie of God: and by theyr dilygence the lower Angells are informed towarde God, as much as is possible. Also they consent in one vnitie, gathering Angelles to that chiefe Prin∣cipium, in teaching of the Angells vn∣der them by ordinate leadings and vse, by the which it belongeth to teach and to lead the other neather. Angelles that follow. Also these Archangells be in the middes, among the orders of the nea∣thermost. Hierarchie: and therfore they take illuminations and shinings of the higher Angells, and the same shewe and teach forth to the nether Angells: in the which Angells of all Angells, the dispo∣sition Hierarchie is perfectlye constitute, fulfilled and complete of thrée ternaries of the orders of Heauen.
¶ Of the order of Angells. Cap. 18.
THe ninth and the last order of An∣gelles. Angelus in Greeke•Malach in Hebrewe, Nuncius in Latine: and is to vnderstande a Messenger in Eng∣lysh and in French. For Angelles were wont to come in message, and giue pro∣phets warning of our Lordes will. An∣gelus is a name of office, and not of kinde: for an Angel is alwaye a spirite, and is named Angelus first; when hee is sent in message. Paynters paynt Angells with feathers and with wings, to be token theyr swifte passing and mo∣uing, as Fables of Poettes tell that Windes haue feathers, as it is writ∣ten,*Qui ambulat super pennas ven∣torum. Hetherto be Isidores words, lib. 7. cap. 5.
Denys sayth, that the Angels of the nether order, be not partners of the illu∣minations of ye higher orders: for they part not with thē, but they take part of thē. For ye higher Angels first take illu∣minations of God, & then beare they il∣luminations forth to the knowledge of other, and be called the first messengers: and the other be called after, and the last messengers. Also Denys saith, that Angells lifte vp or inspyre, and bring men to the knowing of GOD, and teach and informe them that they maye lyue righteouslye.
Therefore, though these Angelles haue no other lower Angelles vnder them, and are not aboue any other An∣gelles• not they haue vnder them the Orders of men, ouer whome they are ordayners and disposed of them.
Page 10*For the soule beeing the bodyes lyfe is the watch by the which the bo∣dyes expresseth the workes of na∣ture, charged for a time while the bo∣dye is apparaunt: the course runne, the soul: retourneth subiect to motions di∣uerse, by higher Angells.
They be stirred vp by the loue of God in themselues, and be formed by ye ward of them, and passe forward vnder them∣selues by defence of them that they shal rule.* These Angells haue many man∣ner effects: For the Angells that bée or∣deined singularly to our kéeping, pricke vs to good, and wake vs that we sleepe not in sinnes and in vices. Act. 12. Also they refresh vs Ghostlye, that we fall not vnder the burthen of the way into our countrie. 3. Reg. 9. Also they put off fiendes, that they hurt vs not. Tobie. & And they informe vs in doubts, • make vs certeine. Dan. 11. 10.* Also an An∣gell leadeth vs that we wander not out of the way. Tobie. 5. Exod. 32. Also hee commeth to vs and comforteth vs in sorrowe and in woe. Luke. 23. Gen. 16. Where it is read that an Angell com∣forted Agar that wept full sore: also they haue compassion of vs when wée sinne, least we fall in dispaire and vaine hope. Esay. 24. Iudic. 2. And they assist vs quicklye least wée shoulde fall. Esay. 24. And they helpe vs against enimyes that wée bée not ouercome. Gen. 32. & secundo Macohebrum penul. Also they heale our woundes that wée dye not.
Tobities.* And they bring our sinnes to minde, that we should be ashamed there∣of. Iosu. 2. And they warne vs of Gods will, that we maye doe thereafter. Luke. 2. And they put awaye lets, that wée may serue our Lord, Exod. 23.*Sed precedet te, &c. And they visite vs oft, and warne vs, that we trespasse not. Esay. 40. Secundum penam, &c. And they bée always in the presence of God to haue contemplation. Luke. 1. & Dan. 7. Decres centena millia, &c. Also in prayeng they get vs remission. Iob. 33. Sicut fuerie. And they cease neuer to worshippe and praise God. Esay. 6. Apoc. 5. Non habient reqdiem, &c.
And they behold God face to face with∣out vaile put betwéene. Mat. 18. Angeli corum, &c. And in their substance and vertue, they bée not grieued with the weight or peise of the bodie. Luke. vlti. Spiritus carnem et ossa, &c. Also hée is aboue tune, and worketh in time. For as Dems saith, the secret vnderstanding of an Angell is like to God, and work∣eth sodeinly. Therefore he vnderstandeth and knoweth sodeinly without circum∣staunce or conference of one thing to an other: and by the vertue of his substance he doth all his déeds in one instant: an instaunt is a during that abideth not. For an instaunt is, and neuer was, ney∣ther shall bee. The Philosopher calleth an Angell Intelligencia• and in Libro de Causis, it is written, That an Angell is made in the Orizont of time, and eter∣nitie euerlasting. TREVISA. O∣rizont is a straunge tearme and much vsed in Astronomie: and to inquire and knowe, what the Orizont signifieth,* take héede if a man stand on a great hill, either in a great plaine and large, so that hee sée the Firmament or Skye all a∣bout without anye lette, hée shall séeme that the Skye toucheth the earth all about him on euerye side, and that a Circle of the Skie compasseth the earth all abouts, as farre as his sight comprehendeth. That Circle is called Orizont, and is the middle Circle be∣twéen the parte that we sée of Hea∣uen, and the part that wée see not: and this Circle is betweene the foresayde partes, and is the neathermost of that one, and ouermost of that other: and so is Angells kinde and mankinde ouer those thinges that hée made, and passe, and fall by passing of time, and neuer in degrée of euerlasting.
Then consider of the endlesse great∣nesse of God, that euer was, and euer shall bée, without beginning and with∣out ending. For euerys Angell shall but euer without ending: and no An∣gell than euer without beginning •••••••ye Angell was made. Also if men bee affraide with the sodeine presence of an Angell, consider that •••nd Angell •••eth comforte vnto them, with swéete dooinges, and Page [unnumbered] swéete shewings, as saith Ambrose. Lu. •.ibi. Ve timeas Zacharias, &c. A fiend or euill Angell doth the contrarye, for whome he affraieth with his presence, he smiteth them with more dreadfull feare, as saith Ambrose. Also an Angell is seene when he will. And when he will he is hid from mans sight, as saith S. Ambrose in the same place. Also an An∣gell when he will taketh a bodye coue∣nable to his working, that he maye bée séene: and when he hath done his office, he seaueth that body that he tooke.*Iud. 14. Eua•uit, &c. And the spirit of the Lord began to strengthen him in the host of Dan, And the spirit of the Lord came vppon him, and hee went downe to Ascalon. Also though an Angell tooke a body for any needfull dooing, hée doth not quicken that bodye, neither gi∣ueth thereto lyfe, but onely he moueth it. And so sometime it seemeth, that hée eateth and drinketh as a man, and yet be eateth not neither drinketh: But by his might he destroieth and washeth the meate, as appeareth. Tobie. 12. Where it is said. It seemed that the Angell eate & dranke, &c. Also an Angell eateth for no néede, but only by might. For as Austen saith vpon Luke, the last Chapter. The Sunne beame wasteth the water by might, but the earth swalloweth by ne∣cessitie, And so eating was by might tou∣ching the shewing of the meate and the wasting, but it was not néedfull to the féeding of the body. So these light things and plaine, that be said of good Angelles shall suffice at this time.
¶ Of euill Angells. Chap. 19.
* AS a good Angell is giuen to men for helpe and kéeping, so to eue∣rye man is giuen an euill Angell to as∣sailing & attempting. The head of these euill spirites and leader, is Lucifer, the which as Gregory saith, hath that same, for he was made more cléere and height then other Angells. For the first Angell was beautified as a precious stone for whilest he was aboue all the compa••es of Angells, by comparison he was the more bright and cléere then they. But he waring proud against his Creator, lost light and cléerenesse, and fairenesse:* and as he was worthy, he gate him a foule darke shape of Apostacie. Thereof spea∣keth Damas. li. 1. Chap. 18. Of these ver∣tues of Angelles, he that was aboue other, and to whome God had commit∣ted the charge of the earth, was not made euill by kind, but good, and of the maker, no fire of maltice in himselfe, not suffe∣ring the illumination and worship, that the maker had giuen him: by election and choise of his owne frée aduisement, hée turned out of kinde into a thing that is aboue kinde: and became a rebel against God, and failing of the first good, came in∣to euill. Et infra. He was of the creator made light, and by his owne will he be∣came darknesse. Also with him was sent out an endlesse multitude of Angels, that followed him, and were ordeined vnder him, and wilfullye became euill, and fell out of good into euill. Also it is sayd, that they haue no power neither vertue a∣gainst men, except it be graunted by the disposition and sufferaunce of God: But by sufferance of God they disguise them∣selues, and take what manner Image, fi∣gure, or shape them liketh. Then it see∣meth that all mallice and vncleane thoughts come of their dooing, the which they may put in mans thought: But they may not doe to: men by violence & strength. Also that death of men is a chaunge of life, the alterations of Angels losse of son. After fliding, Angels lack the cléere prosēce of God, as after death men lacke life. Hetherto be Damascenes words. Also Gregory saith, that grace hath forsaken him, and he abideth obsti∣nate in mallice, so that by his will, hee will nothing that is good. He hath frée aduisement, but it is borne downe, and bendeth alway to euill, without ceasing: So that alway he forsaketh the good and chooseth the euill. Therefore it happened as Cassidore sayth, he willed and coue∣ted to vsurp ouer the Godhead; and ther∣by lost prosperitie: also because he in an vndue manner coueted highnesse, that belonged not to him, therefore by a right decrée he fell downe into a lowe place.
Page 11As he that bare himselfe not rightfully in the highest place, should nowe by the order of righteousnesse holde himselfe in the lowest place. Therefore Saints call him Diabolus, a Diuel, as it were De∣orsum ruens, falling downe.* And hée hath many other names, by the which his wickednesse is knowne by significa∣tion of names. Hée is called Demon, and Plato in Thimeo calleth him Ca∣codemon, that is to vnderstand, know∣ing euill. For Demon is to vnder∣stand, knowing. And he is called so for sharpnesse that hée hath of kindly wit. Hée is sharpe in wit of kinde, and by experience of time, in knowing and vn∣derstanding of Scriptures, as sayth Be∣da, and also Damascene. Chap. 18. Héere∣of speaketh Isidore. lib. 7. chap. vltimo, and sayth that the Gréekes call fiendes wise, that is, cunning. For they knowe before manye thinges that shall fall and come after. Therefore they bée wont to giue many aunsweres. For in them is more knowledge of things then is in men, and that is the more because of subtilnesse of wit, and for long conti∣nuaunce and experience, and somewhat they knowe by reuealations of good An∣gells, by the commaundement of God. These fiendes bée nigh in kinde to the bodyes of the aire: For before they tres∣passed they had heauenlye bodyes. And fithence their sliding & fall, they be tur∣ned into qualitie of ayre. And they bée suffered to holde these spaces of the darke ayre, that is to them a prison vnto the dome. These bée the Angells that trespassed, and their Prince is the Di∣uell. Also he is called Sathan, that is to say, contrarie, or an aduersarie. For by corruption of mallice he is contrarye to God, as saith Hierome. By desperate attempting hée taketh more vppon him then he may doe, as saith the Glose. E∣say. 16. Maior est arrogancia eius, &c. His bragge and his boast is more then his might. For as Hierome sayth: He had leauer be, then not bée, because hée woulde fight against God, though hée knowe, that his harme should encrease thereby.
Also hée is called Beemoth. Iob. 40. Ecce Beemoth, Beemoth is as much to say, as an Oxe, or a beast.* The fiende, as an Oxe desireth to •a•e heye, with the tooth of his temptaion, seeketh to chewe and to frette the cleane lyfe of good men. The fiende loueth fleshlye likinges. Also he is called Leuiathan, that is, a thing put to. Iob. 40. For as Gregorye sayth, hée putteth harme to harme, and ceaseth not to put paine to paine. Alwaye as the trespasse of him & of his, increaseth, so the paine in∣creaseth also. Also hee is called Appolli∣on in Gréeke, that is, a destroyer, as appeareth Apocalipsis. 15. For by mal∣lice that stirreth him, he desireth to de∣stroy the goodnesse of vertues that God planteth in the holye Church, and a∣mong good soules, as it is sayde in the Psalme,*Exterminauit eam aper de sil∣ua, &c.
Also hée is commonlye called Diabolus, that is, fléeting downeward, by vnderstanding in Hebrewe. For hée dispised to stande in peace in the high∣nesse of Heauen, hée was worthy to fall downeward by the weight of his pride. And hée is called Criminator in Gréeke, a curser and blamer, either for that hée intiseth or inflameth vnto offences and sinnes, or else for that hée infecteth in∣nocently good men with blame and false accusations, as it is sayde Apocalip∣sis. 12. Proiectus est accusator, &c. and as saith Isidore. Ethimol. ••. 8.* Also be∣side these names in holye writte, his mallice is many wayes noted. For hée is called a Serpent or a Dragon, for his venimous and guisefull cruelnesse. Apocalipsis. 12. Hée is called a Lyon for his open violence. 1. Pet. vltimo.
Tanquam Leo rugiens. And he is called a Boare, for he is obstinate and rooted in shrewdenesse. Esare. 25. And hée is called a crooked and waywarde Addar, for his looking in the darke ayre. And therefore Austen rehearseth Platoes opinion of fiendes, that hée called Ca∣codemones, super Genesisliber. 8. & habet. liber. 5. siue distinctio∣ne. 8. Caput. primo. And sayth, that Fiendes bée called ayrelye beastes, for they liue in bodyes that be airely.
Page [unnumbered]And therefore not to be ouercome by death. For the element that is more able to suffer then to work, hath the masterie in those manner of bodyes. Also Austen in the worke De ciuitale Dei. li. 8. saith, *Demones, fiends be beasts that suffer in the hidden intelligence, reasonable in thought, euerlasting in during, airely in body. Austen saith in this manner, re∣hearsing the opinion, and meaneth, how the fiend was put out of the place that is called Coelum Imperium. Blessed heauen, out of the bright place of lyght, into this darke ayre, & is prisoned therin to suffer w• & sorrow: when God suffe∣reth him, hée taketh a bodie of the aire, that the lyfe of men be haunted & stirred to businesse by his dooing or tempting. Therefore Esaye calleth him a Smith blowing coales, and shaping vessel to his worke. For by his haunting and assay∣ling, the life of good men, that be vessels of grace, are assaied and proued. Esa. 54. 16.17. I haue made a Smith, &c. Thus he is called by these names, and by ma∣ny other, by the which his venemous woodnesse is shewed. Beda in the glose vpon this place. 1. Pe. vlti. Circuit que∣rens quem deuoret. He goeth about & seeketh whom he may deuour & eate, sayth: He goeth about as an enimie be∣sieging closed walls, and spieth where he may enter and come in by the féeblest side. He sheweth vnlawfull shapes to the eien: to the intent that by the sight hée might destroy chastitie. He tempteth the cares by song and melodie, that he might make the christian strength féeble and faint: he prouoketh the tongue by re∣buke and soule reproch. And to take re∣uenge, hée tempteth the hande of them that suffereth wrong, and stirreth there∣to, he promiseth worldly worship, that he might cause the honour due to Hea∣uen to be sette at naught. If he may not deceiue with slow temptings, he putteth too feareful appearaunces and doubting. He is g•ilefull and deceiuable in peace, & violent in persecution. Therefore the wit should be as redy prepared to withstand him, as he is to impugne and assaile, He∣therto he the wordes of the Glose.
¶ Of peruerse Angells. Chap. 20.
EUill Angells consenting to the will of Lucifer, that fell downe, he clo∣sed in this darke ayre, as it were in pri∣son without recouerie. They fell out of light into darknesse, out of loue into hate and enuie, out of most high health into wretchednesse, as saith Gregorye. Also fiends, as they haue more perseue∣rance or lesse, some be souereignes ouer fiends, & some be subiects to other fiends, as saith Ambrose vppon Luke. For though fiends be obstinate in euill, yet they are not spoiled vtterly of sharp wit. For as Isidore saith, they haue thrée mā∣ner of sharpnesse. For some things they knowe by the subtiltie of kinde, & some by experience and during of times, and some things they know by reuealation, and shewing of holy spirits. Also ye fiends as Austen saith, by sharpnesse of witte know vertues seruiall of things, that we knowe not. The which séedes they sowe by couenable and temporate commixti∣ons of Elements, and so they bring forth things of diuerse kinde. For what that kinde may do by it selfe in due time, the same the diuell may do sodeinly by swift hasting of the worke of kinde. So by craft of fiends Pharaos witches made so∣deinly serpents and frogs, as sayth the Glose, super Exod.
Also all the intent of fiends is to do euill, and to molest & disquiet good men. And therefore oft they trouble the Ele∣ments, and make tempests in the Sea, & in the aire. They corrupt and destroy the fruit of the earth, as appereth Apoc. 7. And much more harme wold they do, wer it not the good Angels ye withstand their mallice: and therefore because they trespasse continuallye wheresoeuer they goe, they beare alwaie with them their pain, as saith Gregorie. Also Gregory. li. Mo. 32. saith, Fiends desire alway ye wo & sorrow of good men. But if they haue no power of God, they be not* sufficient to the article of temptation. Therfore when they haue done one hurt or euill, they sodeinly make them ready to doe a∣nother. Page 12 And so when fiends shuld be put out of that men that they were in, they •raied that they might enter into swine. For to the end they might fulfill theyr mallice, they desire also to grieue brute beasts, when the might of God letteth them, that they may not molest m•n•al• so li. 14. after the diuers complections of sendry men, they ordeine whiles of tem∣tation to catch them. For they tempt light conceited men to lechery, and euill disposed men to discordt and strife, and fearefull men to vaine hope, and proude men to take too much vpon them: Also in li. 22. First the olde certaine tempteth, as it were counsailing, he entiseth liking attempts and vnlawfull, after he draw¦eth to delectation, & at the last so consent: and when he hath a man in, he ouerset∣teth him with a violent vsage & custome: wherfore of him it is said: Iob. 41. Str••∣g•t caudam, &c. Also Gregory saith, li. 32. The guilefull entin•• ouercommeth no man by might, but by guile of ve∣nimous perswasions, and by the guilfull counsells he slaieth. For while liking things appeare or séeme pleasantly, they bend the heart to euill. Item. li. 25. Now he appeareth to men as he is lost. And now as an Angell of light; he sheweth himselfe, Item. li. 34. In the ende of the world, he shall be so much the more ser∣uent to madnesse, through mastre, that he is so nigh to ye do••e, & to paint internals. Item. ibidem. Their the false cann•t shal séeke and bethinke wickedly all that hée with, then wilt hee adu•••ce thē proude folke an high:* and by him man shall be dampned by his o••ne déeds, and he shal wickedly shew all the euill that he can. Item ibidem. li. 34. When all the cōpa∣nie of heauen cōmeth to iudgement, then ye old enimy the diuel•, the gris•y beast: streng, shall be brought forth before the doing as a prisoner. And he shall be put into the fire of hell without end, and his inherents with him: Where shall bee a wonderfull sight when this huge of grislye beast shal be shewed to ye eyen of good mē. These fewe of full manye properties of euill spirits, & of the effect of them spo∣ken, shall suffice for to passe shortly. And who that desireth to knowe the proper∣ties, workes, and priue false accusations of this Sathanas, let him throughly read Gregories booke vppon Iob. And special∣ly the two last Chapters. 40. and. 41.