CHAP. LVIII. Answer to the arguments of Eckius and Bellarmine, taken out of Scripture to proue the inuocation of Saints.
BEllarmine, and his Master Eckius before him will needs proue the inuocation of Saints out of Scripture. To which purpose they alledge the fortie eight of Genesis;aThe Angell which hath deliuered mee from all euill, blesse the children, and let my name bee named vpon them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaack.
To the answering hereof wee must vnderstand, that the word Angell hath a double signification; somtime it is taken for a* Ministring spirit; somtime for Iesus Christ himselfe: and so Christ is calledb the Angell, that went foorth from his presence. Now Iacob here praieth not to the other com∣mon Angells, but to the great Angell of office, Iesus Christ.
Three places they bring out of Iob. The first, out of the fift Chapter;cCall now, if any will answer, and to which of the Saints will thou turne? Ergo, there is inuocation of Saints. The very words, which went before, shew the meaning of Elyphas to bee, That God is onely righteous, and all men sinners: God only et•rnall: Man, yea the Saints themselues, transi∣torie; which hauing finished their course, rest with God and cease from humane things, neither can giue helpe to any. Wherefore call (saith hee) If any will heare thee, and to which of the Saints wilt thou turne? Surely Elyphas yieldeth as litle Page 176 helpe to the Church of Rome in the questiō, as he did cōfort to Iob in his miserie. But admit these words of Elyphas were to their aduantage; yet what foundation can bee layd vpon the speeches of such an one, of whome the Lord himselfe hath pronounced,dMy wrath is kindled against thee, and thy two friends: For yee haue not spoken of mee the thing which is right, like my seruant Iob. Againe, the verie contexture of the place alleadged doth altogether proue the contrarie.e For Elyphas was striken into terrour: his bones trembled in him: his hayre also stood vpright: and a winde passed by, and one stoode before him like an Image, whome hee knew not. All which circumstances teach, that this was a vision, and the doctrine thereof was this; that God found sinne in his Angells, much more in men, which dwell in houses of clay, who perish for euer without returne: so that if you call to them, they will not answer. Wherefore wee must enquire of God, and turne our talke vnto him.
The other place in the ninth of Iob, where the patient man saith,f (Miseremini mei, amici; haue mercy on me my friends: the common latine translation, which they so much approue, sheweth that Iob in the complaints of that Chap∣ter was a type of Christ, and his great afflictions. Which if it bee so, I hope, they will not say, that Iob being typicall Christ did praie for the help of Angells: but if the words bee literally taken, they euidently require the true and faith∣full compassion of his friends, that stoode by; who in stead of a louing visitation did vnkindly vpbraid him, and vex him with taunts and bitter reproofes. As for that place in the thirty thirde of Iob;gsi fuerit pro eo Angelus loquens, if an Angell shall speake for him; the text is corrupted. For the Hebrew soundeth thus; if an Angell or Messenger speake to him: and not for him.
Lastlie they vrge the place of the thirtie two of Exodus, where Moses saith,hRemember Abraham, Isaack & Israel thy seruants, to whome thou swarest by thy owne selfe. But (as I be∣fore sayd) this place is no proofe of praier vnto Saints; for that, by Bellarmins owne confession, before the comming Page 177 of Christ the Soules of holy men departed were not in hea∣uen. Therefore they could not bee prayed vnto, because they could not praie for vs, who did not thē in the face of Chr. (as they say) behould our wants. This place then doth set Gods owne Couenant, which was his mere mercy, before the eyes of God, as a motiue sufficient to implore forgiueness of sins and continuation of his grace. The same is to bee vnder∣stood of that place,iFor thy seruant Dauids sake turne not away the presence of thine anointed. Dauid was the type of Christ: and many times by the name of Dauid, Christ is vnderstood. As for Aaron standing betwixt the li∣uing and the dead with his censer, it was a figure of Christ also, and praieth him to bee our only Aduocate.
Of all vanities, that of Eckius doth excell, who saith, Be∣cause God doth honour his,* and Christ did minister to his Disciples, therefore wee muct pray vnto Saints, and honour them in our religious worship: as though Christ washing his Apostles feet did adore his Apostles: or the honour of reward, which god giueth to his chosen, were a sufficient argument, that the honour of adoration & inuocation may bee giuen to them.