5. Places of controversie.
1. Controv. Against blasphemous Seruetus, that made himselfe Michael.
It hath beene shewed before, quest. 2. that this Michael was no created Angel, but Christ the Mediator, who is the Prince and protector of his Church, as is there prooued by these 3. aguments out of this place. 1. by the name Michael. 2. by the title here giuen vnto Christ, called the great Prince. 3. by his office, he standeth for the people of God: Herein then appeareth the horrible blasphemie of Seruetus, who as M. Calvin reporteth his words, was not afraid to say, se esse illum Michaelem Ecclesiae custodem, that he was that Mi∣chael the protector and keeper of the Church, &c. What presumption is this for a mortall man to arrogate vnto himselfe that name and title, which is too great to be giuen vnto the Angels?
2. Controv. Whether Henoch and Elias shall stand vp with Michael in the last times.
Pererius, concurring with other Romanists, saith, that beside Michael, who shall be the inuisible protector of the Church, shall stand vp two faithfull witnesses Henoch and Elias, who shall oppose themselues against Antichrist; and they shall preach repentance vnto the world a 1260. dayes, that is 3. yeares and an halfe, Apocal. 11. 3. And that Elias should come in person, beside the receiued opinion of the fathers, as of Theodoret in this place, Au∣gust. lib. 20. de ciuitat. Dei c. 29. he alleadgeth these Scriptures for it, Malach. 3. 4. 5. I will send Elias the Prophet before the comming of the great and fearefull day of the Lord: which must be vnderstood of the second comming of Christ, which shall be fearefull and terrible: Againe, Apocal. 11. 6. it is said of these two faithfull witnesses, these haue power to shut hea∣uen that it raine not in the dayes of their prophesying: wherein there is an allusion vnto Elias, at whose word the raine was staied three yeares and sixe moneths: so Pererius vpon this place.
First, these places giue no warrant for this opinion. 1. the two witnesses are the ministers and preachers of Gods truth, who are said to be two, because their number shall not be great, and yet they shall be so many, as one shall giue witnesse to an other: neither Henoch nor Elias are here named: for these 1260. dayes beeing taken prophetically for so many yeares, two Prophets could not continue preaching so long. 2. that place in Malachie our Page 486 Blessed Sauiour expoundeth of Iohn Baptist, Matth. 11. who should come in the spirit of Elias, to turne the hearts of the fathers to the children, as the Angel saith, Luk. 1. 17. And the first comming of Christ is there vnderstood to be that fearefull day: for in the same place the Prophet saith, v. 2. vnto you that feare my name shall the Sunne of righteousnesse arise: which Zacharie applyeth to the first comming of Christ, Luk. 1. 78. whereby the day spring from an high hath visited vs: It shall be a day of health and saluation vnto the faith∣full, but a day of terror to the wicked and vnbeleeuers, as Iohn Baptist saith, Mat. 3. 12. which hath his fanne in his hand, and will make cleane his floore, and gather his wheate into his gar∣ner, but will burne vp the chaffe with vnquencheable sire. 3. And by the shutting of hea∣uen is by an allegorie signified the efficacie of the preaching of the Gospel, in opening the heauens to the faithfull, and shutting vp the same to all vnbeleeuers, as our Sauiour faith to Peter, Matth. 16. 19. whatsoeuer thou shalt bind in earth, shall be bound in heauen, and what∣soeuer thou shalt loose in earth, shall be loosed in heauen.
Secondly, concerning these witnesses, there is great difference and varietie of opinion, 1. both for the number of them. 2. and who they shall be. 3. and when they shall preach: for the first: the common opinion is, that they shall be but two: yet Lactantius affirmeth, that there shall be onely one Prophet, lib. 7. c. 17. Some thinke there shall be three, Henoch▪ Elias, and Iohn the Euangelist, and this is one of their reasons: because as in the world there haue beene 3. lawes in force, the lawe of nature, the lawe of Moses, the lawe of grace; so it is requisite there should be 3. witnesses that liued vnder these three lawes, Henoch, Elias, and Iohn: Hyppolit. oration. de consum. secul. A•br. Catharin. in Genes. 2.
As great diuersitie there is of opinion, who these witnesses should be: Elias is agreed vp∣on by the most, to be one: but it is doubted who should be the other: Victorinus in Apocal. 11. thinketh, that Ieremie the Prophet shall be the other witnesse: because the Lord saith Ierem 1. 5. I haue ordained thee a Prophet vnto the nations: but then Ieremias onely pro∣phesied to the Hebrewes: to fulfill therefore that saying, he shall come in the ende of the world to prophesie vnto the nations: But Pererius well answeareth vnto this reason: that Ie∣remie is said to prophesie vnto the nations; because he fortelleth the destruction in his pro∣phesie of diuerse nations, the Aegyptians, Moabites, Ammonites, Philistims, with others: Areta vpon the Apocalypse thinketh, that Iohn the euangelist shall be one of the witnesses, whom they suppose yet to be kept aliue in Paradise with Henoch and Elias, because it is said Apocal. 10. 11. thou must prophesie againe among the people, and nations, and tongues, and to many Kings: which was not done in Iohns life time, and therefore he thinketh he shall come in the ende of the world, to prophesie vnto nations: But the meaning of this place is, that Iohn should prophesie vnto nations in the rest of the visions of this booke: and nowe though Iohn be dead, his Reuelation prophesieth still: Pererius also vnderstandeth it of the Gospel, which Iohn did write after his returne from the Isle Pathmos, whereby he prophe∣sieth vnto nations. But it is certaine, that Iohn is not yet aliue in the flesh: as Eusebius proo∣ueth by the testimonie of Polycrates, who was the Apostles disciple, lib. 3. Ecclesi. histor. c. 25. Lyranus thinketh that the two witnesses spoken of Apocal. 11. were Sylverius the Pope and Menna that resisted the Eutychiane heresie. Ioachimus Abbas, and Gagnaeus, vpon the Apocalypse, c. 11. doe thinke that Moses shall be one of these witnesses: that like as he was raised to life to be a witnesse of Christs first comming, when he was transfigured in the mount, so he shall be raised to be a witnesse of his second comming. And this is brought as a probabilitie thereof: because these witnesses are said to haue power ouer waters to turne them into blood, Apocal. 11. 6. which thing Moses had done before.
But 1. it followeth not because Moses was seene in the mount talking with Christ, that therefore he shall come againe before his second comming: for by the same reason it may be inferred, that his three disciples also which went vp to the mount, and sawe him transfigured, should also be witnesses of his second comming, & be sent againe into the world to preach: Sure it is that both the Prophets and Apostles shall accompanie Christ in his second com∣ming, and by the doctrine, which they preached, iudge and condemne the world, Matth. 19. 28. But neither the one nor the other shall be raised vp before the generall resurrection, and sent into the world to preach. 2. by the turning of waters into blood, is vnderstood the threatening of Gods iudgements for the contempt of the ministerie of the word.
3. A third vncertaintie there is concerning the time of the preaching of these two witnes∣ses: Theodoret thinketh that Elias shall preach 45. dayes after that Antichrist is slaine: and Page 487 therefore it is said, v. 12. blessed is he that shall come to the 1335. daies, which is 45. daies more then the former summe of 1290. daies. But Hyppolitus thinketh that Antichrist shall put to death Henoch and Elias, after they haue preached 3. yeares and an halfe: and that af∣ter their death, Antichrist shall raigne 3. yeares and an halfe more. Bellar. lib. 3. de Rom. Pont. thinketh that these two Prophets shall preach 3. yeares and an halfe, that is, 1260. daies, a cap. 8. moneth before Antichrist is slaine, who shall raigne a 1290. daies. This vncertentie sheweth, this to be but a Iewish fable, and a meere imagination of the comming of Henoch and Elias in person in the ende of the world to preach.
3. Controv. What manner of persecution shall be vnder Antichrist.
Pererius thus farre proceedeth well in describing the grieuous persecution which shall be vnder Antichrist, that it shall not be onely corporall and externall in tormenting of the bo∣die, but it shall be also spirituall in abolishing all exercise of religion: he shall burne the bookes of the Scripture, and burne the righteous together with those bookes: he shall for∣bid the vse of the Sacraments; and as Augustine saith, there shall be great difficultie in bap∣tizing of the infants of Christians: lib. 20. de civitat. Dei, c. 8. the sacraments shall not pub∣likely be administred, but priuately. All this is most true, and euery one of these things hath thus come to passe vnder the tyrannie of Antichrist: the true seruice of God was abolished, and prayer in an vnknowne tongue brought into the Church: they haue burned the Mar∣tyrs with bookes of Scripture and of godly prayers together: as is set forth in the storie of the burning of Bucer and Fagius bones, and one Hilliard at Cambridge: the Christians chil∣dren could be hardly baptized, but after their superstitious manner, as the historie of M. Haukes martyr sheweth.
But herein Pererius is deceiued: he thinketh that Antichrist shall take away all images, neither shall suffer any man to signe him with the signe of the crosse, but shall abolish that signe out of euery place.
Contra. 1. It is certen that Antichrist rather shall set vp images and idols of siluer and gold: as in the Revelation, c. 9. 20. after the opening of the sixth and last trumpet saue one, toward the ende of the world, mention is made of those that worshipped idols of siluer and gold, of brasse, &c. and had not repented: now there are none knowne worshippers of such idols in these daies in these part of the world, vnder the Romane Empire, but the Pa∣pists.
2. And Antichrist, as he shall couer his hypocrisie with the name of Christ, so he shall not abolish the signe of Christs crosse, but still rather superstitiously abuse it: robbing Christ indeede of his due honour, and giuing him reuerence onely in outward shewes and signes: as the Iewes clothed Christ in purple, and did obeisance to him in mocking: So that whe∣ther by the marke of the beast, we vnderstand with Iunius the Popish chrysme, which in con∣firmation is laid on with the signe of the crosse vpon forehead and hand: or with Napier the crosses of all kinds superstitiously abused by the Romanists, which are represented in the number of the beasts name expressed in these three Greeke letters 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. as he pithily proo∣ueth, propos. 31. or with D. Fulke S. Peters crosse-keyes, which the Pope vseth as his en∣signe, to the which he forceth euery one to submit himselfe; we shall finde, that the Anti∣christ shall not abolish all such signes, but abuse them rather to superstition and idolatrie.
4. Controv. Of the certentie of election, that none of the elect can finally fall away.
v. 1. In that the Angel here saith, thy people shall be deliuered, euery one that shall be found written in the booke, it is euident, that none there written shall perish: and so consequently whosoeuer is not there written, can not but perish: the first our Sauiour affirmeth, saying vn∣to his Apostles, Luk. 10. 20. Reioyce, for your names are written in heauen: that is, were so written, as that they could neuer be blotted out: in which sense the Prophet Dauid saith, Psal. 119. 89. O Lord, thy word remaineth for euer in heauen: the other also is euident, A∣poc. 20. 15. Whosoeuer was not found written in the booke of life, was cast into the lake of fire.
But against this position of the certentie of Predestination, these places of Scripture are obiected, Exod. 32. 32, 33. Moses saith vnto God, if not rase me out of the booke which thou hast written: and the Lord answeareth, him that sinneth, will I blot out of my booke: likewise Psal. 69. 29. Let him be put out of the booke of the liuing, and let him not be written with the Page 488 righteous. Apoc. 3. 5. He that ouercommeth, &c. I will neuer blot his name out of the booke of life. Apoc. 23. 19. If any shall diminish of the words of the prophecie of this booke, God shall take his part out of the booke of life.
Ans. 1. We refuse here the opinion of Ambros. Catharinus, lib. de praedest. that maketh two orders of those which shall come to euerlasting life: one of such as are predestinate bee∣ing excellent and worthie men; an other of such as are not elected, that is, by the grace of God ordained to saluation, yet through Gods mercie shall be saued. But this opinion is con∣trarie to the Scriptures, which testifie, that whosoeuer is not written in the booke of life, shall be cast into the lake of fire, Apoc. 20. 15.
2. Thomas Aquin. here hath this distinction,* that some are saide to be written in the booke of life, simpliciter, simply, such as are in deede predestinate according to the good purpose of God, and these can neuer be blotted out: others are written secundum quid, after a sort, in respect of their present iustice, these may be blotted out: And as these in respect of their present state may be saide to be written in the booke, so the elect indeede may in re∣spect likewise of their present state, while they remaine in sinne, be saide to be blotted out: And therefore some thinke that the booke which was shewed vnto Ezekiel, was written within and without, in the inside were written onely those, who should be saued, on the backside they which are written onely there for a time.
Contra. 1. This distinction may well be admitted, if some be saide to be written in the booke in respect of their owne opinion, and outward appearance: but none can be said to be there written by God: for as the Preacher saith, Eccles. 3. 14. I know, that whatsoeuer God shall doe, it shall be for euer: his workes are perfect, therefore he writeth not any there, and blotteth them out againe.
3. Wherefore the best solution is this: that God is said to blot out, not properly, but by a certaine similitude, as he is saide in Scripture, to repent, to be angrie: they are blotted out, that is, the Lord declareth by the euent, that they were neuer written there: as Augustine well saith, hoc dictum est secundum spem ipsorum, this is saide in respect of their hope, they tooke themselues to be written there: and they are saide accordingly to be blotted out, that is, non ibi se script•s agnoscent, they shall finde and acknowledge that they are not written there in deede. August. in Psal. 68. So the Scripture sometime speaketh, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, according to the opinion of men: as Matth. 8. 12. the children of the kingdome shall be cast out into darknes: and Matth. 9. 12. I come not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance: here they are called the children of the kingdome, and the righteous, in respect of their own opinion, and others, not that they were so in deede: And so some making a glorious shew for the time of righteousnes, seeme to themselues and others to be written in Gods booke, and yet are not. Pellican.
But yet a further doubt is mooued, concerning Moses words, that wished to be rased out of Gods booke: he was there written in deede, and therefore this solution will not serue here: of this now more in the next place.
5. Contr. In what sense Moses wisheth to be rased out of Gods booke, Exod. 32. 32.
Though this question be sufficiently handled elsewhere,* yet it shall not be amisse to adde somewhat more concerning that matter: and the rather because the other booke may be not so readie at euerie ones hand.
1. Some thinke that Moses speaketh of the booke not of eternall, but of this present life, desiring in effect to giue his life, and to shed his blood, that the people might be saued: in which sense also S. Paul wisheth to be anathema, and accursed for Israels sake: thus Origen in 9. ad Roman. so also Hierome, noluit deleri de libro vitae perpetuo, sed in present•: he would not be blotted out of the booke for euer, but for the present: qu. 19. ad Algasiam: to the same purpose Euthy•ius, who maketh three books of Gods prescience, as is shewed before, quest. 6. and here Moses speaketh, de libro vitae corporis, of the booke of the life of the bo∣die, wherein all men both good and bad are written: But Chrysoctome lib. de compunct. cord. and lib. 3. de pr••ident. by this argument confuteth this opinion: Moses and Pauls desire were all one: now Paul desireth to be separated from Christ for his brethrens sake, Rom. 9. 3. but the death of the bodie doth not separate from Christ, but rather more speedily bringeth the faithful to Christ, as the Apostle •aith, I desire to be dissolued & to be with Christ, Ph. 1. 23.
2. Basil thinketh that Moses and Paul in thus desiring, were not ignorant that they could not be separated from God in thus praying, it proceeding from so great charitie: but Page 489 they rather hoped to receiue so much the more at Gods hand for it: in libr. regular. But if they had thus praied onely of this minde, they had respected themselues more then the glorie of God.
3. August. queast. 140. in Exod. thinketh, that this wish of Moses proceeded ex ingenti quadam divinae familiaritatis securitate, from a wonderfull securitie and familiar assurance that he had with God: and he maketh this to be the effect of Moses speach; either forgiue the people this sinne, or blot me out: but I am assured, thou wilt not blot me out: therefore forgiue them. But the Lords answer, I will blot out him whosoeuer sinneth, sheweth that Moses wish was to be blotted out, and he sheweth not his assurance in so wishing, not to be blotted out.
4. Bernard thinketh that this wish came à paterno affectu, from a fatherly affection, ne solus ipse, excluso populo, &c. that he alone without the people would not attaine vnto euer∣lasting life: serm. 12. in Cant. But this had beene no orderly affection, to wish to be damned with others: the hope of the faithfull is such, that they doubt not to be saued, though all the world beside be damned.
5. Rupert. lib. 3. in Exod. giueth this sense; either forgiue them, or els it must needes fol∣low, that I also be blotted out of thy booke, because I am likewise a sinner: But this had shewed some diffidence and doubtfulnes in Moses of his owne saluation.
6. Hugo in Psal. 138. maketh two bookes of life, one of the present state of iustice, out of the which Moses wisheth to be rased out, the other the booke of predestination: But this had beene to tempt God, to wish to fall from the state of grace into sinne.
7. Caietane thinketh the meaning to be but this, that he desireth to be blotted de libro principatus, out of the booke and decree of his principalitie and gouernment: to loose that princely office, ouer the Lords people, which God had assigned him vnto.
8. And R. Salamon Ioachi much to the same purpose, vnderstandeth by the booke, the Pentateuch, out of the which Moses wisheth his name to be blotted, that is, no mention to be made of his name, or of his acts therein: But Gods answer taketh away both these inter∣pretations, him that sinneth wil I blot out of my book: but in the Pentateuch the names of ma∣ny sinners are written. And Moses only had the principality appointed vnto him for his time, there was none other written there but he: but God speaketh of the blotting out of others.
9. Lyranus thinketh, that as Christ secundum voluntatem partis sensitivae, in the will of his sensitiue part desired the cuppe to passe, quem voluntas rationalis appetebat, which the will of his reason desired: so Moses here, secundum desiderium partis inferioris, in the desire of the inferiour part of his minde, (that is, his will and affection) wisheth to be blotted out, though in his superiour part, that is, in his iudgement, he would not haue it so. But this com∣parison is not alike, for the desire in Christ to escape death was naturall; but this wish of Moses to perish not onely temporally, but eternally, was supernaturall: and to wish one thing one way, and not an other way, includeth a contradiction.
10. Alphons. Abulens. in Exod. thinketh it is an hyperbolical speech, and not literally to be taken, as was that of Rachel to Iaakob, Giue me children, or els I die: not that shee pre∣ferred the hauing of children before her life; but in so speaking shee sheweth her vehement desire. But Gods answer to Moses in the same phrase, sheweth, that Moses so meant in deed.
11. I preferre here therefore the interpretation of Chrysostome in the place before al∣leadged, that Moses and Paul, tanto Dei amore flagrabant, &c. did burne with such loue and zeale to the glorie of God, that in respect thereof, Deo ipso frui pro nihilo reputarunt, they made no account of the fruition of God himselfe: hoc erat eorum propositum, ne Deus ab ipsis summe dilectus, irrideretur ab impijs, this was the purpose and scope of their desire, least God whome they dearely loued, should haue beene laughed to scorne and derided of the wic∣ked: which Moses feared would haue beene, if the Lord should at this time haue destroied his people: as Moses had declared before in his praier, Exod. 32. 12. Wherefore shall the E∣gyptians speake and say, He hath brought them out miraculously to slay them in the moun∣taines. These holy men preferred the glorie of God before their owne saluation.
6. Controv. That the soules of the faithfull departed, doe not sleepe vntill the resur∣rection, but presently enioy the sight of God.
Bellarmine → falsly ascribeth this opinion vnto Luther and Calvin, and vnto the reformed Churches, that the soules of them which depart hence in the Lord, doe not enioy the pre∣sence and sight of God vntill the generall resurrection. Tom. 1. contr. 7. l. 1. c. de canon. sanct.
Page 490 But 1. ← Bellarmine → is much deceiued: for they hold no such thing: it was the opinion of one of the Popes, Iohn 22. which is thus reported by Hadrian the 6. an other of their Popes, in 4. sententiar. de sacram. confirm. artic. 3. Ioannes 22. publice docuit, &c. Iohn the 22. did publikely teach, and commanded also to hold, quod animae purgatae ante sinale iudicium non habent stolam, quae est clara & facialis visio Dei, that the soules beeing purged receiue not their stoale or garment before the finall iudgement, which is the cleare vision of God face to face, &c. 2. This his error might seeme to be grounded out of this text, they that sleepe in the dust shall awake: but this is euidently spoken of their bodies, which are laid in the graue and dust of the earth: which are said to sleepe, because their bodies doe but rest there for a time, they shall be raised againe. But that the soules of the beleeuing doe presently passe out of their bodies vnto heauen, is manifest by the answer of our Sauiour vnto the theefe, This day shalt thou be with me in Paradise: out of which place Gerson Chauncelour of the Vni∣uersitie of Paris, in an oration before the states of France, inferreth, Latronem &c. beatifica∣tum suisse in Paradiso in ipsa hora mortis, that the theefe, though he had not fulfilled his penance, was made blessed in the very houre of his death. Gaguin. histor. Francor. lib. 8. 3. The truth then is this, that the soules of the faithfull departed are presently taken vp vnto rest: but yet their glorie shall be more full and absolute, when the bodies together with soules shall be glorified in the resurrection: as S. Peter faith, 1. epist. 5. 4. When the chiefe shepheard shall appeare, ye shall receiue an incorruptible crowne of glorie. So the Angels that fell, are said to be kept in chaines of darknes vnto damnation, 2. Pet. 2. 4. they are alreadie damned, but yet they shall haue a further consummation of iudgement at the last day. Like∣wise the wicked are said to goe into euerlasting fire in the day of iudgement, Matth. 25. 46. and yet presently after death their soules goe vnto the place of torment, Luk. 16. 23.
7. Controv. That all men shall rise againe, and not onely the faithfull: neither shall they die againe.
Two errors of the Iewes are here conuinced: 1. they hold that the resurrection shall be onely of the righteous, but the wicked, they thinke shall abide in death for euer: But the Angel saith, that of these, which awake out of the dust, some shall awake to shame: the wic∣ked then shall rise againe. 2. The Iewes hold with the Chiliasts, that the iust shall rise a∣gaine, and shall liue a thousand yeares in the earth without any warre or trouble, and after∣ward they shall die againe: But here the Angel saith, that some shall rise vnto euerlasting life: they shall rise then neuer to die againe.
8. Controv. That Christ died not in generall for all, but for such onely as beleeue.
The Vbiquitaries, which hold an omnipresence of Christs flesh in euerie place, doe also hold, that Christ died vniuersally for all men: and that where the Scripture seemeth to speake otherwise, naming many, and not all, as Matth. 26. 28. the blood of Christ was shed for many for remission of sinnes: Rom. 5. 19. by the obedience of one many were made righteous: In these and such like places, many are vnderstood for all, as here in Daniel, many that sleepe in the dust of the earth, shall awake, Pap.
Contra. 1. Why in this place of Daniel, many are named not all, diuerse reasons are be∣fore alleadged, quest. 9. 2. and though in this place many be taken for all, yet it followeth not, that euerie where it should so: in this place it is so, because it is warranted by other places of Scripture: as Ioh. 5. 28. the houre shall come, in the which all that are in the graues, shall heare his voice: But in the other places, many cannot be all, because the Scripture doth not warrant that sense, that Christ intended the benefit of his death to all, but onely to those which beleeue, the holy and vndefiled, Apocal. 14. 3. they sung a new song before the throne, &c. and no man could learne that song, but the hundreth fowre and fourtie thou∣sand, which were bought from the earth: by this place it is euident, that all are not bought by Christs blood, but onely a certaine number, for whom it is ordained: Christs death is in∣deede sufficient for all the world, but is effectuall onely to those which doe beleeue in him: see more of this question of the vniuersalitie of grace, Synops. Centur. 4. err. 23.
9. Controv. That the faithfull doe not iustifie other by way of merit or satisfaction, but as ministers onely of saluation.
In what sense the faithfull seruants of God are saide to iustifie others, as here the Angel Page 491 faith to Daniel, v. 3. is before sufficiently shewed, qu. 12. But the Romanists by occasion of this, and other such like places, as namely that Coloss. 1. 24. where S. Paul thus faith, I fulfill that which is behinde of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh, for his bodies sake, which is the Church: whence the Rhemists inferre: that the sufferings of Christs members are not onely satisfactorie for the sufferers, but for others. But this is a blasphemous assertion, that the passions of any are meritorious or satisfactorie, sauing onely of Christ. 1. The sufferings of Christs members are called his sufferings, because Christ suffereth in his members: 2. but their sufferings are to a farre diuers end, then Christs passion was: for Christ suffered for our redemption: his members suffer not for that ende: for Christs offering was sufficient, which otherwise should haue beene imperfect, if it needed any other supplie: but they suffer both for themselues to be made conformable vnto Christ, and for the confirmation and example of others: in which sense S. Paul saith, 2. Tim. 2. 10. I suffer all things for the Elects sake, that they may also obtaine saluation. So Thomas Aquinas well expoundeth,*passiones sanctorum prosiciunt Ecclesiae, non quidem per modum redemptionis, sed per modum exempli & exhorta∣tionis, &c. the passions of the Saints doe profit the Church, not by way of redemption, but of example and exhortation: according to that saying, 2. Cor. 1. 6. Whether we be troubled, it is for your consolation and saluation, &c.
10. Controv. That the Saints merits as they are diuers doe not merit diuers degrees of glorie.
v. 3. They that be wise, shall shine as the brightnes of the firmament. Though we admit, that there shall be diuersitie of glorie among the Saints in the next world, as one starre dif∣fereth from an other in glorie; yet two errors are here to be taken heede of: 1. the curio∣sitie of the heretikes called Cataphryges, whose sect-masters were Montanus, and his two Prophetesses, Prisca and Maximilla: who imagined that the bodies of the Saints should some exceede the Sunne in glorie an hundred fold, some more, some lesse: which is a curious and idle fansie and speculation: the Scripture saith, that the righteous shall shine as the Sunne in the kingdome of Christ:* but by how many degrees their bodies shall exceede the brightnes of the Sunne, it is a superfluous and curious inquisition. 2. The Romanists thinke, that this difference and diuersitie of glorie is measured vnto the Saints, according to their diuersitie of merit, which is a great error: mens works as they are great and small, shall be a rule, according to the which men shall be iudged, but the greatest works are not meri∣torious of the least degrees of glorie, as Christ teacheth his disciples to say, Luk. 17. 10. When ye haue done all those things, which are commanded you, say ye are vnprofitable ser∣vants.
11. Controv. The Scriptures not so obscure, but all may be admitted to the reading of them.
v. 4. Thou Daniel shut vp the words, &c. Hence Pererius inferreth, that not onely this prophesie of Daniel, but other bookes of Scripture also are obscure, and hard to be vnder∣stood: it should be as a cloased booke to them that would reade it: and thereupon he crieth out against heretikes (meaning in his Iesuited, or rather Iudasited sense the Protestants) which should affirme, omnem diuinam Scripturam cuilibet etiam de vulgo facilem esse & perviam, that all the diuine Scripture is easie and plaine to be vnderstood euen of euery one of the common people. Likewise the Rhemists doe falsely charge the Protestants to say that the Scriptures are so easie, that they may not onely be read, but expounded of the learned and vn∣learned, and that euerie one may make choise of such sense as himselfe liketh, in 1. Pet. 3. vers. 16.
Contra. 1. They doe here notoriously slaunder the Protestants: fot we denie not but that many places in Scripture, are hard to be vnderstood: neither do we giue libertie to ouery one to expound the Scripture as they list. 2. But this we affirme, that the doctrine of faith and of all things necessarie to saluation, is set forth in plaine and manifest places of Scripture, to the reading whereof euen the vnlearned may safely be admitted: as our Blessed Sauiour exhor∣teth generally all, Search the Scrptures, for in them yee thinke to haue eternall life, Ioh. 5. 39. 3. Neither doth it followe, because some things in Daniels prophesie are hard, that all the Scripture is so: and yet the hardnesse of this prophesie was but for a time: for when these things were accomplished, then the meaning thereof plainely appeared: And therefore Da∣niel is bid to seale it vp but for a time: See more of the perspicuitie and plainnesse of Scrip∣ture, Synops. Centur. 1. err. 6.
12. Controv. ← Bellarmine → confuted, who by diuers arguments out of this chapter would prooue the Pope not to be Antichrist.
1. Argum. Antichrist shall raigne onely 3. yeares and an halfe, called here a time, two times, and an halfe: which is defined to be a 1260. daies, Apoc. 11. 3. and 12. 6. But the Pope hath raigned in the Church now more then 1500. yeares at the least: therefore the Pope is not that Antichrist. Bellarm. lib. 3. de Rom. pontif. c. 8.
Ans. 1. The proposition is false: for this place of Daniel is vnderstood of Antiochus, that so long the Sanctuarie should lie prophaned and polluted by him: he was indeede a type of Antichrist, but not in euery respect, as namely in the time and continuance of his ty∣rannie: types doe not answer in euery respect vnto the thing that is shadowed forth, but onely in that wherein they are types: as Dauid and Salomon were types of Christ, yet it fol∣loweth not, that Christs kingdome shall continue but 40. yeares, because they raigned no longer.
2. That tearme of a 1260. daies, mentioned in the Apocalyps, Polanus taketh to signifie that time precisely, namely 3. yeares and an halfe, when the Church of Christ fled from Ieru∣salem vnto a towne called Pella, where they were preserued, during which time the citie was besieged, and at the last taken and destroied: but these daies are rather taken propheti∣cally for so many yeares, 1260. during which time the mysterie of iniquitie did worke in the Church: which tearme some beginne in the yeare 300. so Napier vpon the Reuelation, propos. 36. Iunius also taketh those daies for so many yeares, Apoc. 11. 3.
3. In that he saith the Pope hath raigned 1500. yeares in the Church, therein he confes∣seth that the Pope is the Antichrist, that taketh vpon him to raigne in the Church: whereas S. Peter saith, 1. ep. 5. 3. Not as though ye were Lords ouer (Gods) inheritance. And thus also is euident by his confession, that the said tearme of a 1260. daies taken for yeares, and begin∣ning in the yeare 300. will make that summe of 1500. and somewhat more.
2. Argum. When Antichrist commeth, all externall ceremonies of religion shall cease, and the publike worship of God: but so is it not vnder the Pope: for they haue the daily sa∣crifice of the Masse: Ergo. Bellarm. lib. 3. c. 7.
Ans. 1. Whereas it is here said, v. 11. That the daily sacrifice shall be taken away: it is vnder∣stood not of Antichrist, but of Antiochus, who in deede caused the daily sacrifice to cease: as the author of the bookes of the Macchabees taketh it, 1. Macchab. 1. 57. and Ioseph. lib. 2. antiquit. c. 10. so also Chrysostome expoundeth, and Hierome vpon the 11. chap. v. 30, 31.
2. Neither is it true, that all outward ceremonies of religion shall cease vnder Antichrist: for he shall fit in the Temple of God, and so reteine some outward markes of Christian reli∣gion, as baptisme, and yet in deede be an enemie to the Christian faith.
3. Though in the reformed Church there is (thankes be to God) publike exercise of the right sernice of God; yet vnder the Papacie, the true worship of God is abolished: idolatrie, invocation of Saints, and other strange worships are brought in.
4. The Masse is not that daily sacrifice here spoken of, it is rather that abominable idol, which abrogateth the vertue of Christs sacrifice vpon the crosse, and maketh the oblation of a peece of hallowed bread a sacrifice propitiatorie for the quicke and the dead.
3. Argum. They which goe about to abrogate the sacrifice of the Eucharist, are the fore∣runners of Antichrist: but the Protestants, not the Papists abolish the sacrifice of the Eucha∣rist: Ergo. Bellar. ibid.
Answ. 1. The Protestants doe obserue and keepe the true institution of the Lords Sup∣per, called the Eucharist: which they celebrate as an Eucharisticall and commemoratiue sa∣crifie, not as propitiatiue, as the Papists doe: for Christ hath with one offring consecrated for euer, them, that are sanctified, Heb. 10. 14. therefore he was not to offer himselfe vp often, Heb. 9. 25. we vse it as a commemoration of Christs sacrifice, according to his owne com∣mandement: doe this as oft as ye doe it in remembrance of me: Thus Theodoret writeth, hauing mooued this question, cur noui testamenti sacerdotes mysticum sacrisicium peragunt, &c. why the Priests or ministers of the newe testament doe celebrate a mysticall sacrifice, seeing Christ by his sacrifice, hath made other sacrifices not now to be necessarie: clarum est ijs, qui in rebus diuiuis sunt eruditi, nos non aliud offerre, sed illius vnius & salutaris memoriam pera∣gere, it is well knowne to those which are skilfull in diuine things, that we offer no other sa∣crifice, but celebrate a memorie of that one healthfull sacrifice: for this the Lord himselfe Page 493 commanded, doe this in remembrance of me, &c. so Theodoret in c. 8. ad Hebraeos.
2. But the Papists indeede haue abrogated the true vse of the Eucharist; turning bread into flesh, a Sacrament into a sacrifice, a commemoration into an oblation, eating and drin∣king, into gazing, and shaking to and fro, and lifting vp: in stead of worshipping God, ado∣ring a peice of bread: and such like profanations haue they brought in of the Lords Supper.
4. Argum. 45. dayes after the death of Antichrist, Christ shall come vnto iudgement: But the Pope hath raigned these 500. yeares in the Church, vtroque gladio, by both swords, euen by the protestants owne confession, and yet Christ is not come vnto iudgement: Ergo. Bellar. lib. 3. de Roman. Pontisi. c. 9.
Answ. 1. If iust 45. dayes after the death of Antichrist, Christ shall come to iudge the world, then they which liue at that time shall be able to assigne the verie day of Christs comming, and so shall be wiser then the Angels, to whom the day and houre of Christs comming is vnknowne.
2. This prophesie of a 1335. dayes concerneth not Antichrist, it was fulfilled in the death of Antiochus, who miserably ended his dayes 45. dayes after the restitution of reli∣gion among the Iewes: see before quest. 26.
3. In that ← Bellarmine confesseth, that the Pope hath raigned so long with both swords, therein he sheweth him to be the Antichrist: for Christ saith, learne of me, for I am humble and meeke, Matt. 11. 29. and the Prophet Isay saith, speaking of the kingdome of Christ, c. 11. 9. then shall none hurt or destroy in all the mountaine of mine holinesse: the Pope then, that kil∣leth and destroyeth with the sword the innocent sheepe of Christ, is the verie Antichrist.