Against their vaine childishnes, that thought it a goodly matter to be able to speake (by
miracle) strange languages in the Church,
Much like to some fond Linguists of our time, who thinke themselues better then
a Doctour of Diuinitie that is not a Linguist.
preferring their languages before prophecying,
that is opening of mysteries: he declareth that this guift of languages is inferiour to the
guift of prophecy. 26. Giuing order also how both guifts are to be vsed; to wit, the Prophet to
submit himself to other Prophets: & the Speaker of languages not to publish his inspiration, vnles
there be an Interpreter. 34. Prouided alwaies, that women speake not at al in the Church.
1. FOLLOW Charitie, earnestly pursue spiritual things: but Rather prophecie.
A paraphrastical exposition of this Chapter concerning vnknowen tongues.
The guift of prophecying, that is, of expounding the hard points of our religion, is better then the guift of strange tongues, though both be good. rather that you may prophecy.
2. For he that speaketh with tongues speaketh Not to men.
To talke in a strange language, vnknowen also to himself, profiteth not the hearers, though in respect of God who vnderstandeth al tongues and things, and for the mysteries which he vttereth in his spirit, and for his owne edification in spirit and affection, there be no difference: but the Prophet or Expositour treating of the same matters to the vnderstanding of the whole assemblie, edifieth not himself alone but al his hearers. not to men, but to God: for no man heareth. But in spirit he speaketh mysteries.
3. For he that propecieth, speaketh to men vnto edification, & exhortation, & consolation.
4. He that speaketh with tongues, edifieth himself; but he that prophecieth, edifieth the Church.
5. And I would haue you al to speake with tongues, but rather to prophecy. For greater is he that prophecieth, then he that speaketh with tongues: vnlesse perhaps he interpret, that the Church may take edification.
6. But now, Brethren; If I come.
That is, If I your Apostle, and Doctour should preach to you in an vnknowen tongue, and neuer vse any kind of exposition, interpretation, or explication of my strange words; what profit could you take thereby? if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shal I profit you, vnlesse I speake to you either in reuelation, or in knowledge, or in prophecie, or in doctrine?
7. Yet the things without life that giue a sound, be it pipe of harpe, vnlesse they giue a distinction of sounds, how shal that be knowen which is piped, or which is harped?
8. For If the trumpet.
As the Trumpeter can not giue warning to or from the fight, vnles he vse a distinct & intelligible sound or stroke knowen to the souldiars: euen so the Preacher that exhorteth to good life, or dehorteth from sinne, except he doe it in a speach which his hearers vnderstand, can not attaine to his purpose, nor doe the people any good. if the trumpet giue an vncertaine voice, who shal prepare himself to battel?
9. So you also by a tongue vnlesse you vtter manifest speach, how shal that be knowen that is said? for you shal be speaking into the aire.
10. There are (for example) so many kinds of tongues in this world, & none is without voice.
11. If then I know not the vertue of the voice, I shal be to him to whom I speake, barbarous; and he that speaketh barbarous to me.
12. So you also, because you be emulatours of spirits: seek to abound vnto the edifying of the Church.
13. And therfore he that speaketh with the tongue, Let him pray that.
He that hath only the guift of strange tongues, let him pray to God for the guift of interpretation; that the one may be more profitable by the other. For, to exhort or preach in a strange tongue was not vnlawful nor vnprofitable, but glorious to God, so that the speach had been either by himself, or by another, afterward expounded. let him pray that he may interpret.
14. For if I pray with the tongue, My spirit praieth.
Also when a man praieth in a strange tongue which himself vnderstandeth not, it is not so fruitful for instruction to him, as if he knew particularly what he praied. Neuertheles the Apostle forbiddeth not such praying neither, confessing that his spirit, hart, and affection praieth wel towards God, though his mind & vnderstanding be not profited to instruction, as otherwise it might haue been if he vnderstood the words. Neither yet doth he appoint such an one to get his strange praier translated into his vulgar tongue, to obteine thereby the foresaid instruction. See the Declaration following of this Chapter. my spirit praieth, but my vnderstanding is without fruit.
15. What is it then? I wil pray in the spirit, I wil pray also in the vnderstanding: I wil sing in the spirit, I wil sing also in the vnderstanding.
16. But if thou blesse in the spirit, he that supplieth the place idiotæ.
By this word are meant al rude vnlearned men, but specially the simple which were yet vnchristned, as the Catachumens, which came in to those spiritual exercises, as also infidels did at their pleasures. of the vulgar how shal he say, Amen, vpon thy blessing? because he knoweth not what thou saiest.
17. For thou indeed giuest thankes wel, but the other is not edified.
18. I giue my God thankes, that I speake 'with tongues more then you al.' with the tongue of you al.
19. But in the Church I wil speake fiue words with my vnderstanding that I may instruct others also; rather then ten thousand words in a tongue.
20. Brethren, be not made children in sense, but in malice be children, and in sense be perfect.
21. In the Law it is written: Isai. 28,11. That in other tongues and other lippes I wil speake to this people: and neither so wil they heare me, saith our Lord.
22. Therfore languages are for A signe.
The extraordinarie guift of tongues was a miraculous signe in the primitiue Church, to be vsed specially in the Nations of the Heathen for their conuersion. a signe not to the faithful, but to infidels: but prophecies, not to infidels, but to the faithful.
23. If therfore the whole Church come together in one, and al speake with tongues, and there enter in vulgar persons or Infidels.
In the primitiue Church, when Infidels dwelt neer or among Christians, and oftentimes came vnto their publike preaching & exercises or exhortation and exposition of Scriptures and the like: it was both vnprofitable and ridiculous to heare a number talking, teaching, singing Psalmes, & the like, one in this language, & another in that, al at once like a black-saunts, and one often not vnderstood of another; sometime not to themselues, and to strangers or the simple standers by, not at al. Where otherwise if they had spoken either in knowen tongues, or had done it in order, hauing an expositour or interpreter withal, the Infidels might haue been conuinced. infidels, wil they not say that you be mad?
24. But if al prophecie, and there enter in any infidel or vulgar person, he is conuinced of al, he is iudged of al.
25. the secrets of his hart are made manifest, and so falling on his face he wil adore God, pronouncing that God is in you indeed.
26. What is it then, Brethren? when you come together, euery one of you hath A Psalme.
Of what spiritual exercise the Apostle speaketh.
We see here that those spiritual exercises consisted specially, first in singing or giuing forth new Psalmes or praiers and lauds: secondly, in Doctrine, teaching, or reading lectures: thirdly, in Reuelation of secret things either present or to come: fourthly, in speaking tongues of strange Nations: lastly, in translating or interpreting that which was said, into some common knowen language, as into Greek, Latin, &c. Al which guifts they had among them by miracle from the Holy Ghost. a psalme, hath a doctrine, hath a reuelation, hath a tongue, hath an interpretation: let al things be done to edification.
27. Whether a man speake with tongue, by two, or at the most by three, and In course.
The disorders in the same.
Al these things they did without order, of pride and contention, they preached, they prophecied, they praied, they blessed, without any seemly respect one of another, or obseruing of turnes and entercourse of vttering their guifts. Yea women without couer or veile, and without regard of their sexe or the Angels, or Priests or their owne husbands, malapertly spake tongues, taught or prophecied with the rest. This was then the disorder among the Corinthians, which the Apostle in this whole chapter reprehendeth and sought to redresse, by forbidding women vtterly that publike exercise, and teaching men, in what order and course as wel for speaking in tongues, as interpreting and prophecying it should be kept.
A MORE AMPLE DECLARATION OF THE
sense of this 14. Chapter.
That S. Paul's place maketh nothing against the seruice in the latin tongue.
This then being the scope and direct drift of the Apostle, as is most cleere by his whole discource, & by the record of al antiquitie: let the godly, graue, & discret Reader take a tast in this one point, of the Protestants deceitful dealing, abusing the simplicitie of the popular, by peruerse application of God's holy word, vpon some smal similitude & equiuocation of certaine termes against the approued godly vse & truth of the vniuersal Church, for the seruice in the Latin or Greek tongue: which they ignorantly, or rather wilfully, pretend to be against this discourse of S. Paul touching strange tongues.
By strange tongues the Apostle meaneth not the Latin Greek or Hebrew.
Know therfore, first, that here his no word written or meant of any other tongues but such as men spake in the Primitiue Church by miracle: & that nothing is meant of those tongues which were the common languages of the world or of the Faithful, vnderstood of the learned & ciuil people in euery great citie, & in which the Scriptures of the Old or new Testament were written, as, the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. For though these also, might be giuen by miracle & without study, yet being knowen to the Iewes, Romans, or Greek, in euery place, they be not counted among the differences of barbarous & strange tongues here spoken of, which could not be interpreted commonly, but by the miraculous guift also of interpretation. And therfore this Apostle (as the Euangelists also and others did their books) wrote his Epistles in Greek to the Romans & to al other Churches. Which when he wrote, though he penned them not in the vulgar language peculiar to euery people, yet he wrote them not in Tongue, that is, in any strange tongue not intelligible without the guift of interpretation, wherof he speaketh here: but in a notable, knowen, & learned speach, interpretable of thousands in euery countrie.
S. Augustine our Apostle brought in the Seruice in the Latin tongue.
No more did S. Augustin our Apostle speaking in Latin, & bringing in the Scripture & Seruice in Latin, preach & pray in Tongues according to the Apostles meaning here. For the Latin was not, nor is not, in any part of the West, either miraculous or strange, though it be not the National tongue of any one countrie this day. And therfore S. Bede saith, (li. 1. hist. Aug. c. 1.) that being then foure diuers vulgar languages in our countrie, the Latin was made common to them al.
The Latin seruice one and the same in al countries and strange to none.
And indeed of the two (though in truth neither sort be forbidden by this passage of S. Paul) the barbarous languages of euery seueral prouince in respect of the whole Church of Christ, are rather the strange tongues here spoken of, then the common Latin tongue, which is vniuersally of al the West Church more or lesse learned, and pertaineth much more to vnitie and orderly coniunction of al Nations in one faith, Seruice, and worship of God, then if it were in the sundry barbarous speaches of euery Prouince.
The seruice in vulgar tongues strange & barbarous to euery stranger.
Wherin al Christians that trauel about this part of the world or the Indes either, where soeuer come, shal find the self-same Masse, Mattins, & Seruice, as they had at home. Where now if we goe to Germanie, or the Germans or Geneuians come to vs, each others Seruice shal be thought strange and barbarous. Yea and the Seruice of our owne language within a few hundreth yeares (or rather euery Age) shal wholy become barbarous and vnknowen to ourselues; out tongue (as al vulgar) doth so often change.
Whether the seruice in vulgar tongues doe more edifie.
And for edification, that is, for increase of faith, true knowledge, and good life, the experience of a few yeares hath giuen al the world a ful demonstration whether our Forefathers were not as wise, as faithful, as deuout, as fearful to breake God's lawes, & as likely to be saued, as we are in al our tongues, translations, & English praiers. Much vanitie, curiositie, contempt of Superiours, disputes, emulations, contentions, Schismes, horrible errours, profanation & diuulgation of the secret Mysteries of the dreadful Sacraments, *which of purpose were hidden from the vulgar (as S. Denys Eccl. Hiero. c. 1. and S. Basil. de Sp. Sanct. c. 27. testifie) are fallen by the same; but vertue or sound knowledge none at al.
The vertue of the Sacraments & Seruice consisteth not in the peoples vnderstanding.
Wherin this also is a grosse illusion and vntruth, that the force and efficacie of the Sacraments, Sacrifice, and common praier, dependeth vpon the peoples vnderstanding, hearing, or knowledge: the principal efficacie of such things & of the whole ministerie of the Church, consisting specially of the very vertue of the worke, & the publike office of the Priests, who be appointed in Christes behalfe to dispose the Mysteries to our most good: the infant, innocent, idiote & vnlearned, taking no lesse fruit of Baptisme & al other diuine offices, meet for euery ones condition, then the learnedst Clerke in the Realme: and more, if they be more humble, charitable, deuout, and obedient, then the other, hauing lesse of these qualities and more learning.
The people is to be taught the meaning of Sacraments and ceremonies, and are taught in al Catholike countries.
Which we say not as though it were inconuenient for the people to be wel instructed in the meaning of the Sacraments and holy ceremonies and seruice of the Church (for that to their comfort and necessarie knowledge, both by preaching, Catechizing, and reading of good Catholike books, Christian people doe learne in al Nations, much more in those countries where the Seruice is in Latin then in our Nation, God knoweth:) But we say that there be other waies to instruct them, & the same lesse subiect to danger & disorder, then to turne it into vulgar tongues. We say, the simple people and many one that thinke themselues some body, vnderstand as litle of the sense of diuers Psalmes, Lessons, & Oraisons in the vulgar tongue, as if they were in Latin, yea & often take them in a wrong, peruerse, & pernicious sense, which lightly they could not haue done in Latin. We say, that such as would learne in deuotion and humilitie, may, and must rather with diligence learne the tongue that such Diuine things be written in, or vse other diligence in he in hearing sermons & instructions, then for a few mens not necessarie knowledge, the holy vniuersal order of God's Church should be altered. For if in the Kingdom of England only it be not conuenient, necessarie, nor almost possible, to accomodate their Seruice book to euery prouince & people of diuers tongues: how much lesse should the whole Church so doe consisting of so many differences? Neither doth the Apostle in al this Chapter appoint any such thing to be done, but admonisheth them to pray and labour for the grace of vnderstanding and interpretation, or to get others to interpret or expound vnto them.
Catholike people in euery countrie vnderstandeth euery ceremonie, and can behaue themselues accordingly.
And that much more may we doe concerning the Seruice in Latin, which is no strange nor miraculously gotten or vnderstood tongue, but common to the most & cheefe Churches of the world, and hath been, since the Apostles time, daily with al diligence throughout al those parts of Christendom, expounded in euery house, schoole, church, and pulpit: and is so wel knowen for euery necessarie part of the diuine Seruice, that by the diligence of parents, Maisters, and Curates, euery Catholike of age almost, can tel the sense of euery ceremonie of the Masse, what to answer, when to say Amen at the Priests benediction, when to confesse, when to adore, when to stand, when to kneel, when to receiue, what to receiue, when to come, when to depart, and al other dueties of praying and seruing, sufficient to saluation. And thus is it euident that S. Paul speaketh not of the common tongues, of the Churches Seruice.
That he speaketh not of the Churches seruice, is proued by inuincible arguments.
Secondly, it is as certaine, that he meaneth not nor writeth any word in this place of the Churches publike Seruice, praier, or ministration of the holy Sacrament, wherin the office of the Church specially consisteth: but only of a certaine exercise of mutual conference, wherin one did open to another and to the assemblie, miraculous guifts and graces of the Holy Ghost, and such Canticles, Psalmes, secret Mysteries, sorts of languages, and other Reuelations, as it pleased God to giue vnto certaine both men and women in that first beginning of his Church. In doing of this, the Corinthians committed many disorders, turning Gods guifts to pride and vanitie, and namely that guift of tongues: which being indeed the least of al guifts, yet most puffed vp the hauers, and now also doth commonly puffe vp the Professours of such knowledge, according as **S. Augustin writeth therof. This exercise and the disorder therof was not in the Church (for any thing we can read in antiquitie) these fourteen hundreth yeares: and therfore neither the vse nor abuse, nor S. Paules reprehension or redressing therof, can concerne any whit the Seruice of the Church. Furthermore this is euident, that the Corinthians had their Seruice in Greek at this same time, and it was not done in these miraculous tongues. Nothing is meant then of the Church Seruice. Againe the publike Seruice had but one language: in this exercise they spake in many tongues. In the publike Seruice euery man had not his owne special tongue, his special Interpretation, special Reuelation, proper Psalmes: but in this they had. Againe the publike Seruice had in it the ministration of the Holy Sacrament principally: which was not done in this time of conference. For into this exercise were admitted Cathechumens, and Infidels, & whosoeuer would: in this women before S. Paules order, did speake and prophecie: so did they neuer in the Ministration of the Sacrament: With many other plaine differences; that by no meanes the Apostles words can be rightly & truely applied to the Corinthians Seruice then, or ours now. Therfore it is either great ignorance of the Protestants, or great guilfulnes, so vntruely and peruersly to apply them.
The Apostle speaketh not of the peoples priuate praiers in latin, as vpon primars, beades, or otherwise.
Neither is here any thing meant of the priuate praiers which deuout persons of al sorts & sexes haue euer vsed, specially in Latin, as wel vpon their primars as Beads For, the priuate praiers here spoken of, were psalmes or hymns and sonnets newly inspired to them by God, & in this conference or prophecying, vtrered to anothers comfort, or to themselues and God only. But the praiers, psalmes, and holy words of the Christian people vsed priuately, are not composed by them, nor diuersly inspired to themselues, nor now to be approued or examined in the assemblies: but they are such as were giuen and written by the Holy Ghost, and prescribed by Christ and his Church for the faithful to vse, namely the Pater noster, the Aue Maria, and the Creed, our Ladies Mattins, the Litanies, & the like. Therfore the Apostle prescribeth nothing here therof, condemneth nothing therin, toucheth the same nothing at al. But the deuout people in their ancient right may and ought stil vse their Latin primars, beades, and praiers, as euer before.
Latin praiers translated, or the people taught the contents therof.
Which the wisedom of the Church for great causes hath better liked and allowed of then that they should be in vulgar tongues, though she wholy forbiddeth not, but sometimes granteth to haue them translated; and would gladly haue al faithful people in order and humilitie learne, as they may, the contents of their praiers: and hath commanded also in some Councels, that such as can not learne distinctly in Latin (specially the Pater noster and the Creed) should be taught them in the vulgar tongue. And therfore as we doubt not but it is acceptable to God, and auailable in al necessities, and more agreable to the vse of al Christian people euer since their conuersion, to pray in Latin, then in the vulgar, though euery one in particular, vnderstand not what he saith: so it is plaine the such pray with as great consolation of spirit, with as litle tediousnes, with as great deuotion and affection, and oftentimes more, then the other: and alwaies more then any Schismatike or Heretike in his knowen language.
The peoples deuotion nothing the lesse for praying in Latin.
Such holy Oraisons be in manner consecrated & sancitfied in and by the Holy Ghost that first inspired them; and there is a reuerence & Maiestie in the Churches tongue dedicated in our Sauiours Crosse, & giueth more force & valure to them said in the Churches obedience, then to others. The children cried ***Hosanna to our Sauiour, and were allowed, though they knew not what they said.
The seruice alwaies in Latin throughout the west Church.
It is wel neer a thousand yeares that aour people which could nothing els but barbarum frendere, did sing Alleluya, & not, Praise ye the Lord; & longer agoe since the poore husband-men sang the same at the plough in other countries. Hiero. to. 1 ep. 5. And Sursum corda, and Kyrie eleison, and the Psalmes of Dauid sung in Latin in the Seruice of the Primitiue Church, haue the ancient & flat testimonies of S. Cyprian, S. Augustin, S. Hierom and other Fathers. Grego. li. 7. ep. 63. Cyp. exp. orat. do. nu. 13. Aug. c. 13. de bono perseuer. & de bono vid. c. 16. And ep. 178. Hiero. præfat. in Psal. ad Sophron. Aug. de Catechiz. rud. c. 9. de Doct. Chr. li. 2. c. 13. See ep. 10. August. of S. Hieroms Latin translation read in the Churches of Africa. Praiers are not made to teach, make learned, or increase knowledge, though by occasion they sometimes instruct vs: but their special vse is, to offer our harts, desires, and wants to God, and to shew that we hang of him in al things: and this euery Catholike doth for his condition, whether he vnderstand the words of his praier or not. The simple sort can not vnderstand al Psalmes, nor scarse the learned, no though they be be translated or read in knowen tongues: men must not cease to vse them for al that, when they are knowen to containe God's holy praises.
It is not necessarie to vnderstand our praiers.
The simple people when they desire any thing specially at Gods hand, are not bound to know, neither can they tel, to what petition or part of the Pater noster their demand pertaineth, though it be in English neuer so much. They can not tel no more what is, Thy kingdom come, then Adueniat regnum tuum; nor whether their petition for their sicke chidren or any other necessitie pertaine to this part or to Fiat voluntas tua, or Ne nos inducas, or to what other part els. It is enough that they can tel, this holy Oraison to be appointed to vs, to cal vpon God in al our desires: more then this, is not necessarie. And the translation of such holy things often breedeth manifold danger and irreuerence in the vulgar (as to thinke God is authour of sinne, when they read Lead vs not into tentation) and seldom any edification at al.
How farre is sufficient for the people to vnderstand.
For though when the praiers be turned and read in English, the people knoweth the words, yet they are not edified to the instruction of their mind and vnderstanding, except they knew the sense of the words also & meaning of the Holy Ghost.
How the mind or vnderstanding is edified.
For if any man thinke that S. Paul speaking of edification of man's mind or vnderstanding, meaneth the vnderstanding of the words only, he is fouly deceiued. For, what is a child of fiue or sixe yeares old edified or increased in knowledge by his Pater noster in English? It is the sense therfore, which euery man can not haue, neither in English nor Latin, the knowledge wherof properly and rightly edifieth to instruction: and the knowledge of the words only, often edifieth neuer a whit, and sometimes buildeth to errour and destruction: as it is plaine in al Heretikes and many curious persons besides. Finally both the one and the other without charitie and humilitie maketh the Heretikes and Schismatikes with al their English and what other tongues and intelligence soeuer, to be bæs sonans & cymbalum tinniens, sounding brasse and a tinkling cymbal.
To conclude, for praying either publikly or priuately in Latin which is the common sacred tongue of the greatest part of the Christian world, this is thought by the wisest & godliest to be most expedient, and is certainely seen to be nothing repugnant to S. Paul.
A notable rule of S. Augustin.
If any yet wil be contentious in the matter, we must answer them with this same Apostle: cThe Church of God hath no such custome; and with this notable saying of S. Augustin, ep. 118. c. 5. Any thing that the whole Church doth practise and obserue throughout the world, to dispute therof as thuogh it were not to be done, is most insolent madnesse.
*See Annot. 1. Cor. 10,15.
**Aug. doct. Chr. li. 2. c. 13.
aGregr. li.. 27. Moral. c. 6.
b1. Cor. 13.
c1. Cor. 11,16. in course, and let one interpret.
28. But if there be not an interpreter, let him hold his peace in the Church, and speake to himself and to God.
29. And let Prophets speake two or three, and let the rest iudge.
30. But if it be reuealed to another sitting, let the first hold his peace.
31. For you may al prophecie one by one: that al may learne, and al may be exhorted:
32. and the spirits of prophets are subiect to prophets.
33. For God is not the God of dissension, but of peace: as also in al the Churches of the Saints I teach.
34. Let women hold their peace.
Women may haue any temporal Soueraigntie, but no Ecclesiastical function.
There be, or were, certaine Heretikes in our Countrie (for such euer take the Scriptures diuersly for the aduantage of time) that denied women to hold lawfully any kingdom or temporal Soueraignty: but that is false and against both reason and the Scriptures. This only in that sexe is true, that it is not capable of holy orders, spiritual Regiment or Cure of soules: and therfore can not doe any function proper to Priests and Bishops: not speake in the Church, and so not preach, nor dispute, not haue or giue voice deliberatiue or definitiue in Councels and publike Assemblies, concerning matters of Religion, nor make Ecclesiastical lawes concerning the same, nor bind, nor loose, nor excommunicate, nor suspend, nor degrade, nor absolue, nor minister Sacraments, other then Baptisme in the case of mere necessitie, when neither Priest nor other man can be had: much lesse prescribe any thing to the Clergie, how to minister them, or giue any man right to rule, preach, or execute any spiritual function as vnder her & by her authoritie: no creature being able to impart that wherof itself is incapable both by nature & Scriptures. This Regiment is expresly giuen to the Apostles, Bishops, and Prelates: they only haue authoritie to bind and loose, Mat. 18: they only are set by the Holy Ghost to gouerne the Church, Act. 20.: they only haue cure of our soules directly, and must make account to God for the same, Hebr. 13. Let 1. Tim. 2,12. women hold their peace in the Churches: for it is not permitted them to speake, but to be subiect, as also Gene. 3,16. the Law saith.
35. But if they learne any thing, let them aske their owne husbands at home. For it is a foule thing for a woman to speake in the Church.
36. Or did the word of God proceed from you? came it vnto you only?
37. If any man seeme to be a Prophet, or spiritual, let him know the things that I write to you, that they are the commandements of our Lord.
38. But if any man know not, he shal not be knowen.
39. Therfore, Brethren, be earnest to prophecie: and to speake with tongues prohibit not.
40. But let al things be done honestly and according to order among you.