Let the Christian Reader note the corruption and impudent boldnes of our Aduersaries, that vpon a false priuate persuasion of their owne, that S. Paul was not the Authour of this Epistle, * In the English Bible of the yeare 1579. leaue out his name in the title of the same, contrarie to the authentical copies both Greeke and Latin.
The Epistle to the Hebrewes is, S. Paules.
In old time there was some doubt who should be the writer of it, but then when it was no lesse doubted whether it were Canonical Scripture at al. Afterward the whole Church (by which only we know the true Scriptures from other writings) held it and deliuered it, as now she doth, to the faithful for Canonical, and for S. Paules Epistle. Notwithstanding the Aduersaries would haue refused the Epistle, as wel as they doe the Authour, but that they falsely imagin certaine places thereof to make against the Sacrifice of the Masse.
God spake to their father by the Prophets: but to themselues by his owne Sonne, 14 who incomparably passeth al the Angels.
1. ⋮ The Epistle at the third masse on Christmas day. DIVERSELY and many waies in times past God speaking to the Fathers in the Prophets, 2. last of al in these daies hath spoken to vs in his Sonne, whom he hath appointed heire of al, by whom he made also the worlds. 3. * Sap. 7,26. Who being the ✟ ἀπάυγασμα brightnesse of his glorie, and The figure.
To be the figure of his substance, signifieth nothing els but that vvhich S. Paul speaketh in other vvordes to the Philippians c. 2, v 6. that he is the forme and most expresse resemblance of his fathers substance.
The B. Sacrament a figure, and yet the true body.
So S. Ambrose and others expound it, and the Greeke vvord Character is very significant to that purpose. Note also by this place, that the Sonne, though he be a figure of his Patheis substance, is notvvithstanding of the same substance. So Christes body in the Sacrament and his mystical death and sacrifice in the same, though called a figure, image, or representation of Christes visible body and sacrifice vpon the Crosse, yet may be and is the self same in substance.
μοϱφὴ χαϱακτὴς. the ✟ χαϱακτὴϱ ὑποςάσεως figure of his substance, and carying al things by the word of his power, making purgation of sinnes, sitteth on the right hand of the Maiestie in the high places: 4. ✟ The excellencie of Christ aboue Angels. being made so much better then Angels, as he hath inherited a more excellent name aboue them. 5. For to which of the Angels hath he said at any time, * Ps. 2,7. Thou art my Sonne, to day haue I begotten thee? and againe, * 2. reg. 7,14. I wil be to him a Father, and he shal be to me a Sonne. 6. And when againe he bringeth in the first-begotten into the world, he saith, * Ps. 96,8. And Let al the Angels adore.
The adoration of Christ in the B. Sacrament.
The Heretikes maruel that vve adore Christ in the B. Sacrament, vvhen they might learne by this place, that vvheresoeuer his person is, there it ought to be adored both of men and Angels. And vvhere they say it vvas not made present in the Sacrament nor instituted to be adored, vve ansvver that no more vvas he incarnate purposely to be adored: but yet straight vpon his descending from heauen, it vvas the duety both of Angels and al other creatures to adore him. let al the Angels of God adore him. 7. And to the Angels truly he saith, * Ps. 103,4. he that maketh his Angels, spirits: and his Ministers, a flame of fire. 8. But to the Sonne: * Ps. 44,7. Thy throne ô God for euer and euer: a rod of equity, the rod of thy Kingdom. 9. Thou hast loued iustice, and hated iniquitie: therfore thee, God, thy God hath anointed with the oile of exultation aboue thy fellowes. 10. And, * Ps. 101,26. Thou in the beginning ô Lord didst found the earth: and the workes of thy hands are the heauens. 11. They shal perish, but thou shalt continue: and they shal al waxe old as a garment. 12. And as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shal be changed: but thou art the self-same, and thy yeares shal not faile. 13. But to which of the Angels said he at any time: * Ps. 109,1.
1. Cor. 15,25. Sit on my right hand, vntil I make thine enemies the foot-stoole of thy feet? 14. Are they not al, ✟ The holy Angels (saith S. Augustin) to the societie of whom we aspire in this our peregination, as they haue eternitie to continue, so also facilitie to know and fecilitie to rest: for they doe help vs without al difficultie, because with their spiritual motions pure & free, they labour or trauail not De Ciuit. lib. 1. c. 31. ministring spirits: sent to minister for them which shal receiue the inheritance of saluation?