The 3 part.
THE propagation of the Church from Hierusalem into al Iewrie, and Samaria. So farre is persecution from preuailing against the Church, that by it the Church groweth from Hierusalem into al Iewrie and Samaria. 5. The second of the Deacons, Philip conuerteth with his miracles the citie it self of Samaria, and baptizeth them, euen Simon Magus also himself among the rest. 14. But the Apostles Peter and Iohn are the Ministers to giue them the Holy Ghost. 18. Which ministerie Simon Magus would buy of them. 26. The same Philip being sent of an Angel to a great man of Æthiopia, who came a Pilgrimage to Hierusalem, first catechizeth him. 36. and then (he professing his faith and desiring Baptisme) doth also baptize him.
1. AND the same day there was made a great persecution in the Church, which was at Hierusalem, and al were dispersed through the countries of Iewrie and Samaria, sauing the Apostles.
2. And Deuout men.
S. Steuens relikes.
As here great deuotion was vsed in burying his body, so afterward at the Inuention & Translation thereof. And the miracles wrought by the same, and at euery litle memorie of the same, were infinite: as S. Augustine witnesseth. li. 22. de Ciuit. Dei c. 8. & Sermon. de S. Steph. to. 10. deuout men curauerunt.
συνεκόμισαν. tooke order for Steuens funeral, and made great mourning vpon him.
3. But Saul Act. 22,4. wasted the Church: entring in from house to house, and drawing men and women, deliuered them into prison.
4. They therfore that were dispersed, passed through, This perfection wrought much good, being on occasion that the dispersed preached Christ in diuers Countries where they came. euangelizing the word.
5. The Epistle vpon Thursday in whitsunweek. And Philippe descending into the citie of Samaria, preached Christ vnto them.
6. and the multitudes were attent to those things which were said of Philippe, with one accord hearing, and seeing the signes that he did.
7. For many of them that had vncleane Spirits, crying with a loud voice, went out. And many sicke of the palsey and lame were cured.
8. There was made therfore great ioy in that citie.
9. And a certaine man named Simon, who before had been in that citie a Magician, seducing the Nation of Samaria, saying himself to be some great one:
10. vnto whom al harkened from the least to the greatest, saying: This man is the power of God, that is called great.
11. And they were attent vpon him, because a long time he had bewitched them with his magical practises.
12. But when they had beleeued Philippe euangelizing of the Kingdom of God, and of the name of Iesvs Christ, they were baptized, men and women.
13. Then Simon also himself beleeued: & being baptized, he cleaued to Philippe. Seeing also signes and very great miracles to be done, he was astonished with admiration.
14. The Epistle vpon Tuesday in whitsunweek. And in the Holy Ghost. And when the Apostles who were in Hierusalem, had heard that Samaria had receiued the word of God: they sent vnto them Sape sibi socium Petrus facit esse Ioannem: Ecclesie quia virgo placet. Peter often maketh Iohn his companion, because the Church loueth a virgin.
Arator apud Bedam in Act. Peter Sent Peter.
That Peter was sent, is no reason against his Primacie.
Some Protestants vse this place to proue S. Peter not to be Head of the Apostles, because he and S. Iohn were sent by the Twelue. By which reason they might as wel conclud that he was not equal to the rest. For commonly the Maister sendeth the man, & the Superiour the inferiour, when the word of Sending it exactly vsed. But it is not alwayes so taken in the Scriptures: for then could not the Sonne of be sent by the Father, not the Holy Ghost from the Father & the Sonne; nor otherwise in common vse of the world seeing the inferiour or equal may intreate his freind or Superiour to doe his busines for him. And specially a body Politike or a Corporation may by election or otherwise choose their Head & send him. So may the Citizens send their Maior to the Prince or Parliament, though he be the head of the citie, because he may be more fit to doe their busines. Also the Superiour or equal may be sent by his owne consent or desire. Lastly, the College of the Apostles comprising Peter with the rest (as euery such Body implieth both the Head and the members) was greater than Peter their Head alone, as the Prince and Parlament is greater then the Prince alone. And so Peter might be sent as by authoritie of the whole Colledge, notwithstanding he were the Head of the same. and Iohn.
15. Who when they were come, prayed for them, that they might receiue the holy Ghost.
16. For he was not yet come vpon any of them, but they were only baptized in the name of our Lord Iesvs.
17. Then did they Did they impose.
The Sacrament of Confirmation ministred by Bishops only. And that with solemne praier and imposition of handes.
aIf this Philip had beene an Apostle (saith S. Bede) he might haue imposed his handes, that they might haue receiued the Holy Ghost; but this none can doe sauing Bishops. For though Priests may baptize and anoint the Baptized also with Chrisme consecrated by a Bishop; yet he can not signe his forehead with the same holy oile, because that belongeth only to Bishops, when they giue the holy Ghost to the Baptized. So saith he touching the Sacrament of Confirmation in 8. Act. This imposition therfore of hands together with the praiers here specified (which no doubt were the very same that the Church yet vseth to that purpose) was the ministration of the Sacrament of Confirmation. Whereof S. Cyprian saith thus: They that in Samaria were baptized of Philip, because they had lawful and Ecclesiastical Baptisme, ought not to be baptized any more: but only that which wanted, was done by Peter and Iohn, to wit, that by praier made for them and imposition of handes, the Holy Ghost might be powred vpon them. Which now also is done with vs, that they which in the Church are baptized, be by the Rulers of the Church offered, and by our praier & imposition of hand receiued the Holy Ghost, and be signed with our Lordes seale. So S. Cyprian. But the Heretikes obiect that yet here is no mention of oile. To whom we say, that many things were done and said in the administration of this and other Sacraments, & al instituted by Christ himself & deliuered to the Church by the Apostles, which are not particularly written by the Euangelists or any other in the Scripture; among which this is euident by al antiquitie and most general practise of the Church, to be one.
Chrisme in Confirmation.
bS. Denys saith, the Priests did present the baptized to the Bishop, that he might signe them diuino et deifico vnguento, with the diuine and deifical ointment. And again: Aduentum S. Spiritus consummans inunctio largitur, the inunction consummating, giueth the comming of the Holy Ghost. Tertullian de resur. carn. nu. 7. & li. 1. adu. Marcio. speaketh of this Confirmation by Chrisme thus: The flesh is anointed, that the soul may be consecrated: the flesh is signed, that the soul may be sensed: the flesh by imposition of hand is shadowed, that the soul by the Spirit may be illuminated. S. Cyprian likewise, ep. 70. nu. 2. He must also be anointed, that is baptized, with the oile sanctified on the Altar. And ep. 71. (se also ep. 73. nu. 3.) he expresly calleth it a Sacrament, ioyning it with Baptisme, as Melchiades doth (ep. ad omnes Hispaniæ Episcopos nu. 2. to. 1. Conc.) shewing the difference betwixt it and Baptisme. S. Augustine also, cont. lit. Petil li. 2. c. 104. The Sacrament of Chrisme in the kind of visible seales is sacred and holy, euen as Baptisme it self. We omit S. Cyril mystag. 3. S. Ambrose li. 3 de Sacram c. 2. & de ijs qui mysteriis initiantur c. 7. S. Leo ep. 88. the ancient Councels also of Laodicea, can. 48. Carthage 3. can. 39. and Arausicanum 4. can. 1. and others. And S. Clement (Apost. Const. li. 7. c. 44.) reporteth certaine constitutions of the Apostles touching the same. *S. Denys referreth the manner of consecration of the same Chrisme to the Apostles instruction. S. Basil li. de Sp. sancto c. 27. calleth it a tradition of the Apostles. And the most ancient Martyr S. Fabian ep. 2. ad omnes Orientales Episcopos initio. to 1. Conc. saith plainely that Christ himself did so instruct the Apostles at the time of the institution of the B. Sacrament of the Altar. And so doth the Authour of the booke de vnctione Chrismatis apud D. Cyprianum nu. 1. telling the excellent effects and graces of this Sacrament, & why this kind of oile and balsme was taken of the old Law, & vsed in the Sacraments of the New Testament. Which thing the Heretikes can with lesse cause obiect against the Church, seeing they confesse **that Christ and his Apostles tooke the ceremonie of imposition of hands in this and other Sacraments, from the Iewes manner of consecrating their hostes deputed to sacrifice.
Old heresies against confirmation and Chrisme.
To conclude, neuer none denied or contemned this Sacrament of Confirmation and holy Chrisme, by known Heretikes. S. Cornelius that B. Martyr so much praised of S. Cyprian, ep. ad Fabium apud Euseb. li. 6. c. 35. affirmeth, that Nouatus fel to Heresie, for that he had not receiued the Holy Ghost by the consignation of a Bishop. Whom al the Nouatians did follow, neuer vsing that holy Chrisme, as Theodorete writeth, li. 3. Fabul. Hær. And Opertatus li. 2. cont. Parm. writeth that it was the special barbarous sacrilege of the Donatists, to conculcate the holy oile. But al this is nothing to the sauage disorder of Caluinists in this point.
aep. 73. nu. 3. ad Iubaianum.
bEc. Hier. c. 2. & 4.
*Ec. Hier. c. 4
**Beza in Act. 6. v. 6.
impose their handes vpon them, & And they receiued the Holy Ghost.
The Protestants charge the Catholikes, athat by approuing & commending so much the Sacrament of Confirmation, & by attributing to it specially the guift of the Holy Ghost, they diminish the force of Baptisme, chalenging also boldly the ancient Fathers for the same. As though any Catholike or Doctour euer said more then the expresse wordes of Scripture here and elsewhere plainely giue them warrant for. If they diminish the vertue of Baptisme, then did Christ so, appointing his Apostles and al the Faithful euen after their Baptisme to expect the Holy Ghost and vertue from aboue; then did the Apostles iniurie to Baptisme, in that they imposed hands on the baptized and gaue them the Holy Ghost.
The effectes of Baptisme and Confirmation differ.
And this is the Heretikes blindnes in this case, that they can not, or wil not see that the Holy Ghost is giuen in Baptisme to remission of sinnes, life, and the sanctification: and in Confirmation, for force, strength, and corroboration to fight against al our spiritual enemies, and to stand constantly in confession of our faith, euen to death, in times of persecution either of the Heathen or of Heretikes, with great increase of grace.
Heretical shiftes & euasions against manifest Scriptures, & against this Sacrament of Confirmation.
And let the good Reader note here our Aduersaries great peruersity and corruption of the plaine sense of the Scriptures in this point: some of them affirming the Holy Ghost here to be no other but the guift of wisedom in the Apostles and a few more to the gouernment of the Church; when it is plaine that not only the Gouerners but al that were baptized, receiued this grace, both men and women: Some, that it was no internal grace, but only the guift of diuers languages: Which is very false; the guift of Tongues being but a sequele and an accident to the grace, and an external token of the inward guift of the Holy Ghost, and our Sauiour calleth it vertue from aboue. Some say, that whatsoeuer it was, it was but a miraculous thing, and dured no longer then the guift of the Tongues ioyned thereunto: by which euasion they deny also the Sacrament of Extreme Vnction, and the force of Excommunication, because, the corporal punishments which were annexed often times in the Primitiue Church vnto it, ceaseth: and so may they take away (as they meane to doe) al Christs faith or religion, because it hath not the like operation of miracles as in the beginning. But S. Augustin toucheth this point fully. bIs there any man (saith he) of so peruerse an hart, to deny those Children on whom we now imposed hands, to haue receiued the Holy Ghost, because they speake not with Tongues? &c. Lastly some of them make no more of Confirmation or the Apostles fact, but as of a doctrine, instruction, or exhortation to continue in the faith receiued. Whereupon they haue turned this holy Sacrament *into a Cathechisme. **There are also that put the baptized comming to yeares of discretion, to their owne choise, whether they wil continue Christians or no.
To such deuilish and diuers inuentions they fal, that wil not obey Gods Church not the expresse Scriptures, which tel vs of praiers, of imposition of hands, of the Holy Ghost, of grace and vertue from aboue, and not of instruction, which might and may be done as wel before Baptisme, & by others, as by Apostles and Bishops, to whom only this Holy function pertaineth, in so much that in our Countrie it is called Bishoping.
aKemnit. in exam. Conc. Trid. de Confir.
bTract. 6. in ep. Io.
*See Conc. Trid. Sess. 7. can. 1. de Confirmat.
**Conc. Trid. sess. 7. can. 14. de Bapt. they receiued the holy Ghost.
18. And when Simon had seen that be the imposition of the hand of the Apostles, the holy Ghost was giuen, he Offered money.
This wicked sorcerer Simon is noted by S. Irenæus li. 1. c. 20. & others to haue been the first Heretike, & father of al Heretikes to come, in the Church of God. He taught, only faith in him, without good life and workes, to be enough to saluation. He gaue the onset to purchase with his money a spiritual function, that is to be made a Bishop; for to haue power to giue the Holy Ghost by imposition of handes, is to be a Bishop: as to buye the power to remit sinnes or to consecrate Christs body, is to buy to be a Priest, or to buy Priesthood: and to buye the authoritie to minister Sacraments, to preach or to haue cure of soules, is to buye a benefice: and likewise in al other spiritual things, whereof either to make sale or purchase for money or money worth, is a great horrible sinne called Simonie: & in such as thinke it lawful (as here Simon iudged it) it is named Simoniacal Heresie, of this detestable man who first attempted to buye a spiritual function or office. D. Greg. apud Ioan. Diac. in vir. li. 3. c. 2. 3. 4. 5. offered them money,
19. saying: Giue me also this power, that on whomsoeuer I impose my handes, he may receiue the holy Ghost.
20. But Peter said to him: Thy money be with thee vnto perdition: because thou hast thought that the guift of God is purchased with money.
21. Thou hast no part, nor lot in this word. For thy hart is not right before God.
22. Doe penance.
(S. Augustine 108.) Vnderstanding this of the penance done in the Primitiue Church for heinous offenses, doth teach vs to translate this & the like places (2. Cor. 12,21. Apoc. 9,21.) as we doe, and as it is in the vulgar Latin, and consequently that the Greeke μετανοειν doth signifie so much. Yea when he addeth, that very good men doe daily penance for venial sinnes by fasting, praier, & almes, he warranteth this phrase & translation throughout the new Testament, specially himself also reading so as it is in the vulgar Latin, & as we translate. Doe μετανόησον ἀπὸ.
See Apocal. 9,21. penance therfore from this thy wickednesse: and pray to God, If perhaps.
You may see, great penance is here required for remission of sinne, & that men must stand in feare & dread lest they be not worthy to be heard or to obtaine mercie. Whereby al men that buy or sel any spiritual function, dignities, offices, or liuings, may specially be warned that the sinne is exceedingly great. if perhaps this cogitation of thy hart may be remitted thee.
23. For I see thou art in the gal of bitternes and the obligation of iniquitie.
24. And Simon answering said: Pray you for me.
Simon Magus more religious then the Protestants.
As this Sorcerer had more knowledge of the true Religion than the Protestants haue, who see not that the Apostles and Bishops can giue the Holy Ghost in his Sacrament or other, which he plainely perceiued and confessed: so surely he was more religious than they, that being so sharpely checked by the Apostles, yet blasphemed not as they doe when they be blamed by the Gouerners of the Church, but desired the Apostles to pray for him. Pray you for me to our Lord, that nothing come vpon me of these things which you haue said.
25. And they indeed hauing testified and spoken the word of our Lord, returned to Hierusalem, and euangelized to many countries of the Samaritans.
26. The Epistle vpon Thursday in Easter weeke. And an Angel of our Lord spake to Philippe, saying: Arise, and goe toward the South, to the way that goeth downe from Hierusalem into Gaza: This is desert.
Intolerable boldnes of some Protestants, here also (as in other places) against al copies both Greeke and Latin, to surmise corruption or falshood of the text, saying it can not be so. Which is to accuse the holy Euangelist, and to blaspheme the Holy Ghost himself. See *Beza, who is often very saucie with S. Luke.
*Annot. no Test. 1556. this is desert.
27. And rising he went. And behold, a man of Æthiopia, an Eunuch, of great authoritie vnder Candace the Queene of the Æthiopians, who was ouer al her treasures, was come to Hierusalem Note that this Æthiopiá came to Hierusalem to adore that is, on Pilgrimage: whereby we may learne that it is an acceptable act of religion to goe from home to places of greater deuotion & sanctification. to adore:
28. and he was returning and sitting vpon his chariot, and reading Esay the Prophet.
29. And the Spirit said to Philippe: Goe neere, and ioyne thy self to this same chariot.
30. And Philippe running thereunto, heard him reading Esay the Prophet, and he said: Trowest thou that thou vnderstandest the things which thou readest?
31. Who said: And The Scriptures are so written that they cannot be vnderstood without an interpreter, as easy as our Protestants make them. See S. Hierem Ep. ad Paulinum de omnibus diuinæ historiæ libris, set in the beginning of latin bibles. how can I, vnlesse some man shew me? & he desired Philippe that he would come vp and sit with him.
32. And the place of the scripture which he did read, was this: Isai. 53,7. As a sheep to slaughter was he led: and as a lamb before his shearer, without voice, so did he not open his mouth.
33. In humilitie his iudgement was taken away. His generation who shal declare, for from the earth shal his life be taken?
34. And the Eunuch answering Philip, said: I beseech thee, of whom doth the Prophet speake this? of himself, or of some other?
35. And, Philip opening his mouth, and beginning from this scripture, euangelizing vnto him Iesvs.
36. And as they went by the way, they came to a certaine water: and the Eunuch said: Loe water, 'what' who doth let me to be baptized?
37. And Philip said: If thou beleeue with al thy hart, thou maiest. And he answering said: I beleeue that Iesvs Christ is the Sonne of God.
38. And he commanded the chariot to stay: and both went downe into the water, Philip and the Eunuch, and He baptized him.
The ceremonies of Sacraments done, though not mentioned.
When the Heretikes of this time find mention made in Scripture of any Sacrament ministred by the Apostles or other in the Primitiue Church, they imagine no more was done than there is expresly told, nor scarsly beleeue so much. As if imposition of hands in the Sacrament of Confirmation be only expressed, they thinke there was no chrisme, nor other worke or word vsed. So they thinke no more ceremonie was vsed in the baptizing of this noble man, than here is mentioned. Whereupon S. Augustin hath these memorable wordes: In that that he saith, Philip baptized him, he would haue it vnderstood that as things were done, which though in the Scriptures for breuitie sake they are not mentioned, yet by order of tradition we know were to be done.
*De fid. & op. c. 9. he baptized him.
39. And when they were come vp out of the water, the Spirit of our Lord tooke away Philip, & the Eunuch saw him no more. And he want on his way to reioycing.
40. But Philip was found in Azotus, and passing through, he euangelized to al the cities, til he came to Cæsarea.