Steuen being permitted to answer, beginning at Abraham, sheweth that God was with their
Fathers both in other places, and also long before the Temple, 48. and that after it was built,
it could not be (as they grosly imagined) a house for God to dwel in. 51. Then he inueigheth
against their stifneckednes, and telleth them boldly of their traiterous murdering of Christ, as their
Fathers had done his Prophets afore him. 54. whereat they being wood, he seeth Heauen open, and
Iesvs there in his Diuine Maiestie. 57. whereat they become more mad, so that they stone him to
death (Saul consenting) he commending his soul to Iesvs, & humbly praying for them.
1. AND the cheefe Priest said: Are these things so?
2. Who said: Ye men, Brethren and Fathers, heare. The God of glorie appeared to our Father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before that he abode in Charan,
3. & said to him: Gen. 12,1. Goe forth out of thy countrie, and out of thy kinred, & come into a land that I shal shew thee.
4. Then went he forth out of the land of the Chaldees, and dwelt in Charan. And from thence, after his father was dead, he translated him into this land wherein you doe now dwel.
5. And he gaue him no inheritance in it, no not the pase of a feet: and he promised to giue it him in possession, and to his seed after him, when as he had no child.
6. And God spake to him: Gen. 15,13. That his seed be a seiourner in a strange countrie, and they shal subdue them to seruitude, and shal euil intreate them foure hundred yeares.
7. and the Nation which they shal serue, wil I iudge, said God. And after these things they shal goe forth and λατρεύσουσί. shal serue me in this place.
8. And he Gen. 17. gaue him the testament of circumcision, and so he Gen. 21. begat Isaac, and circumcised him the eight day: and Gen. 25. Isaac, Iacob: and Gen. 29. 30. 35. Iacob, the twelue Patriarches.
9. And the Patriarches through emulation, Gen. 37. sold Ioseph into Ægypt. And God was with him:
10. and deliuered him out of al his tribulations. And he Gen. 41. gaue him grace and wisedom in the sight of Pharao the King of Ægypt, and he appointed him Gouernour ouer Ægypt and ouer al his house.
11. And there came famin vpon al Ægypt and Chanaan, and great tribulation: and our Fathers found no victuals.
12. But when Gen. 42. Iacob had heard that there was corne in Ægypt; he sent our Fathers first:
13. and at the Gen. 45. second time Ioseph was knowen of his brethren, and he kinred was made knowen vnto Pharao.
14. And Ioseph sending, called thither Iacob his father and al his kinred in seuentie fiue soules.
15. And Gen. 46. Iacob descended into Ægypt: and Gen. 49. he died, and our Fathers.
16. And they were Translation of Saints bodies agreeable to nature and Scripture. And the desire to be buried in one place more then an other (which the holy Patriarches also had Gen. 49,29. 50,24. Heb. 11,22.) hath sometime great causes.
Aug. de Cur. pro mort. c. 1. & vlt. translated into Sichem, and were Gen. 50. laid in the sepulchre that Abraham Gen. 23.
Ios. 24. bought for a price of siluer of the sonnes of Hemor the sonne of Sichem.
17. And when the time drew neere of the promise which God had promised to Abraham, the people Exo. 1,7. increased and was multiplied in Ægypt,
18. vntil another King arose in Ægypt, that knew not Ioseph.
19. This same circumuenting our stocke, afflicted our fathers, that they should expose their children, to the end they might not be kept aliue.
20. The same time Exo. 2,2. Moyses borne, and he was acceptable to God; who was nourished thee moneths in his fathers house.
21. And when he was exposed, Pharaos daughter tooke him vp, and nourished him for her owne sonne.
22. And Moyses was instructed in al the wisedom of the Ægyptians: and he was mightie in his wordes and workes.
23. And Exo. 2,11. when he was fully of the age of fourtie yeares, it came to his mind to visite his brethren the children of Israël.
24. And when he had seen one suffer wrong, he defended him: and stricking the Ægyptian, he reuenged his quarel that susteined the wrong.
25. And he thought that his brethren did vnderstand that God by his hand would saue them: but they vnderstood it not.
26. And the day following Exo. 2,13. he appeared to them being at strife: and he reconciled them vnto peace, saying: Men, ye are brethren, wherfore hurt you one another?
27. But he that did the iniurie to his neighbour, repelled him, saying: Who hath appointed thee Prince and iudge ouer vs:
28. What, wilt thou kil me, as thou didst yesterday kil the Ægyptian?
29. And Moyses fled vpon his word: and he became seiourner in the land of Madian, where he begat two sonnes.
30. And after fourtie yeares were expired, there Exo. 3,2. appeared to him in the desert of mount Sina and Angel in the fire of the flame of a bush.
31. And Moyses seeing it, marueled at the vision. And as he went neere to view it, the voice of our Lord was made to him:
32. I am the God of thy fathers; the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Iacob. And Moyses being made to tremble, durst not view it.
33. And our Lord said to him: Loose of the shoe of thy feet, for the place wherein thou standest, is Holy ground.
The holy land.
If that apparition of God himself or an Angel, could make the place and ground holy, and to be vsed of Moses with al signes of reuerence and feare: how much more the corporal birth, abode, and wonders of the Sonne of God in Iewrie, and his personal presence in the B. Sacrament, may make the countrie and al Christian Churches and altars holy?
And it is the greatest blindnes that can be, to thinke it superstition to reuerence any things or places in respect of Gods presence or wonderous operation in the same. See S. Hierome ep. 17. 18. 27. of the holy land. holy ground.
34. Seeing I haue seen the affliction of my people which is in Ægypt, and I haue heard their groning and am descended to deliuer them. And now come, and I wil send thee into Ægypt.
35. This Moyses, whom they dinied, saying: Who hath appointed thee Prince and Captaine? him God sent Prince & Christ is our Redeemer, and yet Moyses is here called redeemer. So Christ is our Mediatour & Aduocat, and yet we may haue Saints our inferiour mediatours & aduocates also. See Annot. 1. Io. 2,1. redeemer with the hand of the Angel that appeared to him in the bush.
36. He Exo. 7,8,9,10,11,12. 37. brought them forth doing wonders and signes in the land of Ægypt, and in the redde sea, and in the Exo. 16. desert fourtie yeares.
37. This is that Moyses which said to the children is Israël: Deu. 18. A Prophet wil God raise vp to you of your owne brethren as my self: him you shal heare.
38. This is he that Exo. 19,3. 19. was in the assemblie in the wildernesse, with the Angel that spake to him in Mount Sina, and with our Fathers: who receiued the wordes of life to giue vnto vs.
39. To whom our Fathers would not be obedient: but they repelled him, and in their harts turned away into Ægypt,
40. saying to Aaron: Exo. 32,1. Make vs Goddes that may goe before vs. For this, Moyses that brought vs out of the land of Ægypt, we know not what is befallen to him.
41. And they made a calfe in those dayes, and offered sacrifice to the Idol, and reioyced in the workes of their owne handes.
42. And God turned, and For a iust punishment of their former offenses God gaue them vp to worke what wickednes they would them selues, as it is said of the Gentils. Rom. 1. deliuered them vp λατρεύειν. to serue the host of Heauen, as it is written in the booke of the Prophets: Amos. 5,25. Did you offer victims and hostes vnto me fourtie yeares in the desert, O house of Israël?
43. And you tooke vnto you the tabernacle of Moloch, and the starre of your god Rempham, figures which you made, to adore them. And I wil translate you beyond Babylon.
44. The tabernacle of testimonie was among our Fathers in the desert, as God ordained speaking to Moyses, Exo. 25,40. that he should make it according to the forme which he had seen.
45. Which our Fathers Ios. 3,14. with This is Iosue so called in Greeke in type of our Sauiour. Iesus receiuing, brought it in also into the possession of the Gentils. Which God expelled from the face of our Fathers, til in the daies of Dauid,
46. who found grace before God, and Psa. 131,5. desired that he might find a tabernacle for the God of Iacob.
47. And 1. Para. 17. Salomon built him a house.
48. But the Highest dwelleth Not in houses.
God is not conteined in place yet he wil be worshipped in one place more then in another.
The vulgar Heretikes alleage this place against the corporal being of Christ in the B. Sacrament & in Churches: by which reason they might haue driuen him out of al houses, Churches, and corporal places, when he was visible in earth. But it is meant of the Diuinitie only, & spoken to correct the carnal Iewes: Who thought God either so to be conteined, compassed, and limited to their Temple, that he could be no where els, or at least that he would not heare or receiue mens praiers and Sacrifices in the Churches of the Gentils, or elswhere, out of the said Temple. And so as it maketh nothing for the Sacramentaries, no more doth it serue for such as esteeme Churches and places of publike praier no more conuenient nor more holy than any other profane houses or chambers. For though his person or vertue be not limited to any place, yet it pleaseth him condescending to our necessitie and profit, to worke his wonders and to be worshipped of vs in holy places rather than profane. not in houses Act. 17,25. made by hand, as the Prophet saith:
49. Isai. 66,1. Heauen is my seat: and the earth the foote-stole of my feet. What house wil you build me, saith our Lord, or what place is there of my resting?
50. Hath not my hand made al these things?
51. You stiffe-necked and of vncircumcised hartes and eares, you alwaies resist the holy Ghost: as your Fathers, your selues also.
52. Which of the Prophets did not your Fathers persecute? And they slewe them that foretold of the comming of the Iust one, of whom now
53. you haue been betraiers and murderers: who receiued the Law by the disposition of Angels, and haue not kept it.
54. And hearing these things they were cut in their harts, and they gnashed with their teeth at him.
55. But he being ful of the holy Ghost, looking stedfastly vnto Heauen, The comfort of al Martyrs. saw the glorie of God, and Iesvs standing on the right hand of God.
56. And he said: Behold I see the Heauens opened, and the Sonne of man standing on the right hand of God.
57. And they crying out with a loud voice, stopped their eares, and with one accord ranne violently vpon him.
58. And casting him forth without the citie They stoned him.
Read a maruelous narration in S. Augustine of one stone, that hitting the Martyr on the elbow, rebounded back to a faithful man that stood neere, who keeping & carrying it with him, was by reuelation warned to leaue it at Ancona in Italie: whereupon a Church or Memorie of S. Steuen was there erected, and many miracles done after the said Martyrs body was found out, and not before. Aug. 10. 10. ser. 38. de diuersis in edit. Paris. they stoned him: and the witnesses laid off their garments Act. 22,20. beside the feet of a yong man that was called Saul.
59. And they stoned Steuen inuocating, and saying: Lord Iesvs, receiue my spirit.
60. And falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, saying: Eusebius Emissenus saith, when he praieth for his persecutours, he promiseth to his worshippers his manifest intercession & suffrages. in ho. S. Steph. & S. Augustine, Si Stephanus sic non orasset, Ecclesia Paulum non haberet. Serm. 1. de S. Stephen. Lord, lay not this sinne vnto them. And when he had said this, he fel asleepe. And Saul was consenting to his death.