The 4. part.
Of meats sacrificed to Idols. He rebuketh the learned who in pride of their knowledge did eate Idolothyta, that is things offered to Idols, vsing (as they said) their libertie; but not considering that the ignorant tooke their doing as an example for them to frequent such meats so, as they did before in their Paganisme, with opinion that they did sancitfie the eaters.
1. AND concerning those things that are sacrificed to Idols, we know that We al haue knowledge.
No meats vncleane.
The spiritual and perfectly instructed Christians knew no meats now to be vncleane, neither for signification, as in the Law of Moyses; nor alwaies by nature and creation, as the Manichees thought; nor by ony other pollution, as in that they were offered to Idols: and therefore they did eate boldly of such meats as were sacrificed, contemning & condemning their Idols as mere nothing, and the worship of them as them as the honour of things imaginarie.
Giuing of scandal reprehended.
Which their fact, for their want of discretion and charitie, and for the vse of that their libertie to the offense & scandal of the weake, the Apostle doth here reprehend. we al haue knowledge. Knowledge without chastitie puffeth vp in pride, and profiteth nothing at al: when it is ioyned with charitie, then it edifieth. Aug. l. 9. ciu. Dei. c. 20. Knowledge puffeth vp; but charitie edifieth.
2. And if any man thinke that he knoweth something, he hath not yet knowen, as he ought to know.
3. But if any man loue God, the same is knowen of him.
4. But as for the meats that are immolated to Idols, we know that an Idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no God, but one.
5. For although there be that are called Gods, either in Heauen, or in earth (for there are many Gods, and many Lords)
6. yet to vs there is one God, the Father, of whom al things, and we vnto him: and one Lord Iesvs Christ, by whom al things, and we by him.
7. But there is not knowledge in al. For some vntil this present with a Some with a conscience.
The perfecter mens fault was, that they gaue offense by their eating, to the weaker Christians. Who seeing them whom they reputed wise & learned, to eate the meats, offered to Idols, conceiued that there was some vertue and sanctification in those meats, from the Idol to which they were offered: and thought that such things were or might be eaten with the same conscience and deuotion as before their conuersion.
The Heretikes ridiculously apply S. Paules words against the Churches fasts and abstinence.
Therfore the case standing thus, and the Apostles discourse of eating or nor eating meats being so as is declared (a thing so euident that it admitteth no other interpretation) if the Protestants apply any of this admonition against our fasts in the Cath. Church, they be too ridiculous. conscience of the Idol, eate as a thing sacrificed to Idols: and their conscience being weak, is polluted.
8. But meate doth not commend vs to God. For neither if we eate, shal we abound: nor if we eate not, shal we lack.
9. But take heed lest perhapes this your libertie become an offense to the weake.
10. For if a man see him that hath knowledge, sit at table In the Idol's Temple.
Going to the Communion, what a sinne in Catholikes.
Like as now, some Catholikes haue said, they know that Caluin's communion is but as other bread and wine. But yet the ignorant seeing such goe to the Communion, thinke that it is a good act of Religion. Yea whatsoeuer they pretend, it must needs seeme an honour to Caluin's Communion, when they are seen in the Idol's Temple solemnly sitting or communicating at the abominable table. in the Idol's Temple; shal not his conscience, being weake, be edified, to eate things sacrificed to Idols?
11. And though thy knowledge shal the Rom. 14,15. weake Brother perish, for whom Christ hath died?
12. But sinning thus against the Brethren, and striking their weake conscience; you sinne against Christ.
13. Wherfore if Rom. 14,21. meate scandalize my Brother, I wil neuer eate flesh, lest I scandalize my Brother.