Original Douay Rheims Bible (1582 & 1610)

The Epistle of Saint Pavl the Apostle to the Hebrews

That Christ being a man and infirme, was therein but as al Priests; and that he also was called of God to this office: offering as the others: 8 and suffered obediently for our example. 11 Of whose Priesthood he hath much to say, but that the Hebrews haue need rather to heare their Catechisme againe.
1. The Epistle vpon the feast of S. Thomas of Canterburie Decem. 29. And in his Translation Iulij. 7. And for a Bishop that is a Confessour. FOR Euery high Priest.
The description of a Priest, and his office.
By the description of a Priest or high Priest (for to this purpose al is one matter) he proueth Christ to be one in most excellent sort. First then, a Priest must not be an Angel, or of any other nature but mans. Secondly, euery man is not a Priest, but such an one as is specially chosen out of the rest, and preferred before other of the community, seuered, assumpted, and exalted into a higher state and dignitie then the vulgar. Thirdly, the cause and purpose vvhy he is so sequestred and piked out from the residue. is to take charge of Diuine things, to deale as a mediator betvvixt God and the people, to be the Deputie of men in such things as they haue to craue or to receiue of God, and to present or giue to him againe. Fourthly, the most proper and principal part of a Priests office is, to offer oblations, giftes, and sacrifices to God for the sinnes of the people: vvithout vvhich kind of most soueraine dueties, no person, people, or Commonvvealth can appertaine to God: and vvhich can be done by none, of vvhat other dignitie or calling soeuer he be in the vvorld, that is not a Priest: diuers Princes (as vve read in the Scriptures) punished by God, and king Saul deposed from his kingdom, specially for attempting the same.
3 Reg. 13.
2 Par. 26.
1 Reg. 13.

The Princes temporal authoritie how farre it extendeth.
And generally vve may learne here, that in ijs quæ sunt ad Deum, in an matters touching God, his seruice, and religion, the Priest hath onely charge and authority: as the Prince temporal is the peoples gouernour, guider, and soucraine, in the things touching their vvorldly affaires: Vvhich must for al that by him be directed and manneged no othervvise, but as is agreable to the due vvorship and seruice of God. against vvhich if the terrene Povvers commit any thing, the Priests ought to admonish them from God.
There is a peculiar order & calling of Priests of the new Testament.
Vve learne also hereby, that euery one is not a Priest, and that the people must alvvaies haue certaine persons chosen out from among them, to deale in their sutes and causes vvith God, to pray, to minister Sacraments, and to sacrifice for them. And vvhereas the Protestants vvil haue no Priest, Priesthod, nor sacrifice, but Christ and his death, pretending these vvordes of the Apostle to be verified onely in the Priesthod and Seruice of the old lavv. and Christes person alone, and after him of no moe: therein they shevv them selues to be ignorant of the Scriptures, and of the state of the nevv Testament, and induce a plaine Atheisme and Godlesnesse into the vvorld.
Priests and Sacrifice necessarie in the new Testament, and nothing derogatorie to Christ's priesthood or Sacrifice.
for, so long as man hath to doe vvith God, there must needes be some deputed, and chosen out from among the rest, to deale according to this declaration of the Apostle, in things pertaining to God, and those must be Priests. for els, if men neede to deale no more, but immediatly vvith Christ, vvhat doe they vvith their Ministers? Vvhy let they not euery man pray, and minister for him self, and to him self? Vvhat doe they vvith Sacraments, seing Christes death is as vvel sufficient vvithout them, as vvithout sacrifice? Vvhy standeth not his death as vvel vvith Sacrifice, as vvith Sacraments: as vvel vvith Priesthod, as vvith other Ecclesiastical function? There is no other cause in the vvorld, but that (Sacrifice being the most principal act of religion that man ovveth to God, both by his Lavv, and by the lavv of nature) the Diuel by these his ministers, vnder pretence of deserring or attributing the more to Christes death, vvould abolish it.
The difference & excellence. of Christ's Priesthood.
This definition of a Priest and his function, vvith al the properties thereto belonging, holdeth not onely in the lavv of Moyses, and order of Aarons Priesthod, but it vvas true before, in the lavv of nature, in the Patriarches, in Melchisedec, and novv in Christ, and all his Apostles, and Priests of the nevv Testament: sauing that it is a peculiar excellencie in Christ, that he onely offered for other mens sinnes, and not at all for his ovvne, as all other doe.
euery high Priest taken from among men, is appointed for men in those things that partaine to God: that he may offer guifts and Sacrifices for sinnes:
2. that can haue compassion on them that be ignorant and doe erre: because himself also is compassed with infirmitie:
3. & therfore he ought, as for the people, so also for himself to offer for sinnes.
4. 2 Par. 26,18. Neither doth any man Taketh to himself.
A special prouiso for all Priests, preachers, and such as haue to deale for the people in things pertaining to God, that they take not that honour or office at their ovvne hands, but by lavvful calling and consecration, euen as Aaron did.
Al true Priests and Preachers must be lawfully called thereto.
By vvhich clause if you examine Luther, Caluin, Beza, and the like, or if al such as novv a daies intrude them selues into sacred functions, looke into their consciences, great and foul matter of damnation vvil appeare.
take the honour to himself, but he that is called of God, 1 Par. 23,13. as Aaron.
5. So Christ also Did not glorifie himself.
The dignitie and function of Priesthood is not to be vsurped.
The dignity of Priesthod must needes be passing high and soueraine, vvhen it vvas a promotion and preferment in the sonne of God him self according to his manhod, and vvhen he vvould not vsurpe, nor take vpon him the same, vvithout his fathers expresse commission and calling therevnto. An eternal example of humility, and an argument of condemnation to al mortal men, that arrogate vniustly any function or povver spiritual, that is not giuen them from aboue, and by lavvful calling, and commission of their superiors.
did not glorifie himself that he might be made a high Priest; but he that spake to him, Ps. 2,7. My Sonne art thou, I this day haue begotten thee.
6. As also in another place he saith, Psal. 109,4. Thou art Freedom.
Christ both Priest & king: but his Priesthood more excellent of the two.
In the 109 Psalme, from vvhence this testimonie is taken, both Christes kingdom and Priesthod are set fourth. but the Apostle vrgeth specially his Priesthod, as the more excellent and preeminent state in him, our Redemption being vvrought & atchieued by sacrifice, vvhich vvas an act of his Priesthod, and not of his kingly povver. though he vvas properly a king also, as Melchisedec vvas both Priest, and king, being a resemblance of Christ in both, but much more in his Priesthod. And our Lord had this excellent double dignitie (as appeareth by the discourse of S. Paul, and his allegations here out of the Psalmes) at the very first moment of his conception or incarnation.
Christ a Priest as he is man, not as he is God.
for you must bevvare of the vvicked heresie of the Arians and Caluinists (except in these later it be rather an errour proceding of ignorance) that sticke not to say, that Christ vvas a Priest, or did sacrifice, according to his Godhead. Vvhich is to make Christ, God the fathers Priest, and not his sonne, and to doe sacrifice and homage to him as his Lord, and not as his equal in dignity and nature. Therfore S. Augustine saith in Psal. 109. That as he vvas man, he vvas Priest: as God, he vvas not Priest. And Theodorete in Psal 109. As man, he did offer sacrifice: but as God, he did receiue sacrifice. And againe, Christ touching his humanity vvas called a Priest, and he offered no other host but his ovvne body. &c. Dialog. 1 circa med. Some of our nevv Maisters not knovving so much, did let fall out of their pennes the contrarie, and being admonished of the errour, and that it vvas very Arianisme, yet they persist in it of mere ignorance in the groundes of Diuinitie.
Psal. 2. 109.
Retent. pag. 89.
a Priest for euer, according to the order of Melchisedech.
7. Who in the daies of his flesh, With a strong crie.
The Sacrifice on the Crosse was the principal acte of Christ's priesthood.
Though our Sauiour make intercession for vs, according to his humane nature, continually in heauen also: yet he doth not in any external creatures make sacrifice, nor vse the praiers sacrificall, by vvhich our redemption vvas archieued, as he did in the time of his mortal life, and in the act of his Passion, and most principally, vvhen vvith a loud voice, and vvith this praier, In manus tuas commendo spiritum meum, he voluntarily deposed his soul, yelding it in most proper sort for a sacrifice. for in that last point of his death, consisteth specially his high Priestly office, and the very vvorke and consummation of our redemption.
Luc. 23,46.
Priests praiers more effectual.
Obserue more ouer, that though commonly euery faithful person pray both for him self and others, and offer his praiers to God, yet none offereth by office, and special deputation, and appointment, in the person of the vvhole Church and people, sauing the Priest. Vvhose praiers therfore be more effectual in them selues, for that they be the voice of all faithful men together, made by him that is appointed and receiued of God for the peoples legate.
Christs Priestly actions.
And of this kind vvere all Christes praiers, in all his life and death, as all his other actions vvere: his fasting, vvatching, preaching, instituting, ministring, or receiuing Sacraments: euery one being done as Priestly actions.
with a strong crie and teares, offering praiers and supplications to him that could saue him from death, was heard For his reuerence.
Notorious Heretical translation to maintaine Caluin's horrible blasphemie.
These vvordes haue our English Translators perniciously and most presumptuously corrupted, turning them thus, In that vvhich he feared, contrarie to the version and sense of al antiquity, and to Erasmus also, and contrarie to the ordinarie vse of the Greeke vvord, as Beza him self defineth it Luc. 2 v. 25: and contrarie to the propriety of the Greeke phrase, as not onely the Catholikes, but *the best learned Lutherans do shevv and proue by many examples. They folovv herein the singular presumption of Caluin, vvho vvas the first (as his fellovv Beza confesseth) that euer found out this interpretation. Vvhich neither S. Chrysostom, nor any other, as perfect Græcians as they vvere, could euer espie. Vvhere, onely to haue made choise of that impious and arrogant Sectaries sense, before the said fathers and all the Churches besides, had been shameful ynough: but to set the same dovvne for very Scripture of Gods blessed vvord, that is intolerable, and passeth al impiety. And vve see plainely that they haue no conscience, indifferencie, nor other purpose, but to make the poore Readers beleeue, that their opinions be Gods ovvne vvord, and to dravv the Scriptures to sound after the fantasie of their heresies. But if the good Reader knevv, for vvhat point of doctrine they haue thus framed their translation, they vvould abhorre them to the depth of Hel.
ἁπὸ ἐυλαβείας.
Flac. Illyr. vpon this place.
Caluins blasphemie that Christ suffered hel paines vpon the Crosse, and that his death otherwise were insufficient.
forsooth it is thus: they vvould haue this Scripture meane, that Christ vvas in horrible feare of damnation, and that he vvas not onely in paines corporal vpon the Crosse (vvhich they hold, not to haue been sufficient for mans redemption) but that he vvas in the very sorovves & distresses of the damned, vvithout any difference, but that it vvas not euerlasting, as theirs is.
For this horrible blasphemie (vvhich is their interpretation of Christes descending into Hel) Gods holy vvord must be corrupted, and the sacrifice of Christes death (vvhereof they talke so presumptuously) must not be ynough for our redemption, except he be damned for vs also to the paines of Hel. Vvo be to our poore Countrie, that must haue such bookes, and read such translations. See Caluin and Beza in their Commentaries and Annotations vpon this place, and you shal see, that for defense of the said blasphemies they haue thus translated this text. See the Annotations before, Act. 2, 27 and Mat. 27, 46.
for his reuerence.
8. And truely whereas he was the Sonne, he learned by those things which he suffered, obedience:
9. and being Consummate.
Christ yelding vp the Ghost, accomplished our redemption.
The ful vvorke of his sacrifice, by vvhich vve vvere redeemed, vvas vvholy consummate and accomplished, at the yelding vp of his spirit to God the Father, vvhen he said, Consummatum est. though for to make the same effectual to the saluation of particular men, he him self did diuers things, and novv doth in heauen, and our selues also must vse many meanes, for the application thereof to our particular necessities. See the next Annotation.
Io. 19,30.
consummate, Was made to al.
Christ's Passion sufficient for al but profitable to them only which obey, not by faith only, but by doing as he & his Church, command.
The Protestants vpon pretence of the sufficiencie of Christes Passion, and his onely redemption, oppose them selues guilefully in the sight of the simple, against the inuocation of Saincts, and their intercession, and help of vs, against our penitential vvorkes or suffering for our ovvne sinnes, either in this life or the next: against the merites of fasting, praying, almes, and other things commended to vs in holy Vvritte, and against most things done in the Church, in sacrifice. Sacrament, and ceremonie. But this place and many other shevv, that Christes Passion, though it be of it self far more sufficient and forcible, then the Protestants in their basenesse of vnderstanding can consider, yet profiteth none but such, as both doe his commaundements, and vse such remedies and meanes to apply the benefite thereof to them selues, as he appointeth in his vvord, or by the Holy Ghost in his Church. And the Heretikes that say, faith onely is the thing required to apply Christes benefites vnto vs, are hereby also easily refuted. for vve do not obey him onely by beleeuing, but by doing vvhatsoeuer he commaundeth. Lastly, vve note in the same vvordes, that Christ appointeth not by his absolute and eternal election, men so to be partakers of the fruite of his redemption, vvithout any condition or respect of their ovvne vvorkes, obedience, or free vvil: but vvith this condition alvvaies, if men vvil obey him, and do that vvhich he appointeth. See S. Augustine (or Prosper) to. 7 Respons. Prosperi li. 2. articulo 1 ad obiectiones Vincentij, vvhere he saith of the cup of Christes passion, It hath in deede in it self, to profite al: but if it be not drunken, it healeth not.
was made to al that obey him, cause of eternal saluation,
10. called of God a high Priest according to the Order of Melchisedech.
11. Of whom we haue great speach and Inexplicable.
The Apostle omitteth to speake of the B. Sacrament as a Mysterie then too deep for the Iewes capacitie.
Intending to treate more largely and particularly of Christes or Melchisedeks Priesthod, he forvvarneth them that the mysterie thereof is far passing their capacitie, and that through their feeblenes in faith and vveakenes of vnderstanding, he is forced to omit diuers deepe points concerning the Priesthod of the nevv lavv. Among vvhich (no doubt) the mysterie of the Sacrament and Sacrifice of the altar, called Masse, vvas a principal & pertinent matter: vvhich the Apostles and Fathers of the primitiue Church vsed not to treate of so largely and particularly in their vvritings, vvhich might come to the hands of the vnfaithful, vvho of al things tooke soonest scandal of the B. Sacrament, as vve see Io. 6. He spake to the Hebrues (saith S. Hierom ep 126) that is, to the Ievves, and not to faithful men, to vvhom he might haue been bold to vtter the Sacrament. And in deede it vvas not reasonable to talke much to them of that sacrifice vvhich vvas the resemblance of Christes death, vvhen they thought not right of Christes death it self. Vvhich the Apostles vvisedom and silence our Aduersaries vvickedly abuse against the holy Masse.
inexplicable to vtter: because you are become weake to heare.
12. For whereas you ought to be Maisters for your time, you need to be taught againe your selues what be the elements of the beginning of the words of God: & you are become such as haue need of milke, and not of strong meat.
13. For euery one that is partaker of milke, is vnskilful of the word of iustice: for he is a child.
14. But strong meate is for the perfect, them that by custome haue their senses exercised to the discerning of good and euil.