He magnifieth the grace of Gods eternal predestination and temporal vocation, 11. both of the
Iewes, 13. and also of the Ephesus being Gentils. 15. For whose excellent faith and charitie he
reioyceth, and continually praieth for their increase, that they may see more clearely the
greatnes both of the inheritance in heauen, & also of God's might which helpeth them therevnto: 20.
and example of which might they may behold in the supereminent exalting of Christ.
1. PAVL an Apostle of Iesvs Christ by the wil of God: to al the Saints that are at Ephesus; & to the faithful in Christ Iesvs.
2. Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and our Lord Iesvs Christ.
3. Blessed be God and the Father of our Lord Iesvs Christ, which hath blessed vs in al spiritual blessing in celestials, in Christ:
4. as he chose vs in him before the constitution of the world, that we should be holy and immaculate ✟ We learne here that by God's grace men be holy and immaculate, not only in the sight of men, nor by imputation, but truely and before God: contrarie to the Doctrine of the Caluinistes. in his sight in charitie.
5. Who hath predestinated vs vnto the adoption of sonnes, by Iesvs Christ, vnto himself; according to the purpose of his wil:
6. vnto the praise of the glorie of his grace, wherin he hath ✟ ἐχαϱίτωσεν. gratified vs in his beloued Sonne.
7. In whom we haue redemption by his bloud (the remission of sinnes) according to the riches of his grace.
8. Which hath superabounded in vs in al wisedom and prudence,
9. that he might make knowen vnto vs the sacrament of his wil, according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in himself,
10. in the dispensation of the fulnes of times, to ✟ ἀνακεφαλαιώσασθαι. perfit al things in Christ, that are in heauen and in earth, in him.
11. In whom we also are called by lot: predestinate according to the purpose of him that worketh al things, according to the counsel of his wil:
12. that we may be vnto the praise of his glorie, which before haue hoped in Christ:
13. in whom you also, when you had heard the word of truth (the Ghospel of your saluation) in which also beleeuing you were ✟ Some referre this to the grace of Baptisme: but to many learned it seemeth that the Apostle alludeth to the giuing of the Holy Ghost in the Sacrament of Confirmation, by signing the baptized with the signe of the Crosse & holy Chrisme. For that was the vse in the Apostles time, as elswhere we haue proued. Annot. Act. 8. signed with the holy Spirit of promise,
14. which is the pledge of our inheritance, to the redemption of acquisition, vnto the praise of his glorie.
15. Therfore I also hearing your faith that is in our Lord Iesvs, and loue toward al the Saints,
16. cease not to giue thankes for you, making a memorie of you in my praiers,
17. that God of our Lord Iesvs Christ, the Father of glorie, giue you the spirit of wisedom and of reuelation, in the knowledge of him,
18. the eyes of your hart illuminated, that you may know what the hope is of his vocation, and what are the riches of the glorie of his inheritance in the Saints,
19. and what is the passing greatnes of his power toward vs that beleeue: according to the operation of the might of his power,
20. which he wrought in Christ, raising him vp from the dead, and setting him on his right hand in celestials
21. aboue Al Principalitie.
Nine orders of Angels.
The Fathers vpon this, and other places of the old and new Testament, where they find the orders of holy Angels or Spirits named, agree that there be nine orders of them. Of which some be here counted and called, as we see: in the Epistle to the Colossians, the order of Thrones is specified, which maketh fiue: to which if we adde these foure, Cherubim, Seraphim, Angels and Archangels, which are commonly named in holy writ, in al there be nine. S. Denys cœl. Hier. c. 7. 8. 9. & Ec. Hier. c. 1. S. Athanas. li. de Communi essent. in fine. Gregor. Moral. li. 32. c. 18. Therfore, good Reader, make no account of *Caluins and others infidelitie, which blasphemously blame and condemne the holy Doctours diligence in this point, of curiositie and impietie. The whole endeuour of these Heretikes is, to bring al into doubt, and to corrupt euery Article of our Religion.
*Cal vpon this place. al Principalitie & Protestate & Power, and Domination, & euery name that is named not only in this world, but also in that to come.
22. And he hath * Ps. 8,8. subdued al things vnder his feet: and hath made him Head.
As Christ is King, and yet men are Kings also: so Christ is Head of the Church, and yet man may be Head therof also.
It maketh a high proofe among the Protestants, that no man can be Head of the Church, because it is a calling and dignitie proper to Christ. But in truth by as good reason there should be no King nor Lord, because *He is King and Lord: neither should there be Bishop or Pastour, because he is **the Bishop and Pastour of our soules: nor Pontifex, nor Apostle, for by those titles S. Paul termeth him Hebr. 3. none should be piller, foundation, rock, light, or Maister of the Church or truth, because Christ is properly al these. And yet our new Doctours (though they be exceeding seditious and would for the aduantage of their Sect be gladly ridde of Kings and al other Superiours temporal, if they feared not the sword more then God, and would find as good Scriptures to be deliuered of them, as they now find to discharge themselues of obedience to Popes.) yet (I say) they wil not deny, al the former titles and dignities (notwithstanding Christes soueraigne right in the same) to be giuen and communicated to the Princes and Magistrates of the earth both spiritual and temporal. Though Christ in a more diuine, ample, absolute, excellent, and transcendent sort, haue al these things attributed or appropriated to himself.
**1. Pet. 2,25.
Christ is Head of his Church in a farre more excellent sort, then any man can be.
So then, though he be the Head of the Church, and the only head in such soueraigne and Principal manner, as no earthly man or mere creature euer is or can be, and is ioyned to the Church in a more excellent sort of coniunction, then any King is to his subiects or Countrie, or any Pope or Prelate to the Church wherof he is Gouernour, euen so farre that it is called his body Mystical: life, motion, spirit, grace issuing downe from him to it and the members of the same, as from the head to the natural body: Though in this sort (we say) no man can be Head but Christ, nor the Church be body to any but to Christ; yet the Pope may be the ministerial Head, that is to say, the cheefe Gouernour, Pastour, and Prelate of the same, and may be his Vicar or Viceregent in the regiment of that part which is in earth: as *S. Hierom calleth Damasus the Pope, Summum Sacerdotem, the cheefe and highest Priest: and the **Apostle saith of this ministerial Head, The head can not say to the feet, you are not necessarie for me. For therin also is a great difference between Christ and euery mortal Prelate, that (as the Apostle here saith) he is Head of the whole Church, meaning of the triumphiant (& of al Angels also, though in another sort) no lesse then of the Church militant. So Peter was not, nor any Pope, nor any man can be. where you must obserue, that for this soueraigne preeminence of Christ in this case, the Church is not called the body mystical of any Gouernour, Peter, Paul, or what Prelate or Pope soeuer.
*Hier. ep 123.
**1. Cor. 12,21. Head ouer al the Church,
23. which is his body, the ✟ Christ is not ful, whole, and perfect without the Church no more then the head without the body. fulnes of him, which is filled al in al.