By his troubles in Asia he comforteth them: and (against his aduersaries the false Apostles
of the Iewes) alleageth to them the testimonie of his owne and also of their conscience, 17.
answering them that obiected lightnes against him, for not comming to Corinth according to his
1. PAVL an Apostle of Iesvs Christ by the wil of God, and Timothee our Brother: to the Church of God that is at Corinth, with al the Saints that are in al Achaia.
2. Grace vnto you and peace from God our Father, & from our Lord Iesvs Christ.
3. The Epistle for S. Marcelius. Ian. 16. and S. Linus Sept. 23. And for some other Martyrs Bishops. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Iesvs Christ, the Father of mercies and God of al comfort,
4. who comforteth vs in al our tribulation; that we also may be able to comfort them that are in al distresse, by the διὰ τῆς παρακλήσεως ἧς παρακαλούμεθα. exhortation wherewith we also are exhorted of God.
5. For as the Passions of Christ.
Al our afflictions, be Christ's afflictions, for the coniunction between the head & body.
Al the afflictions of the faithful be called Christes owne passions; not only because they be suffered for him, but for that there is so strait coniunction & communion betwixt him being the head, & euery of the liuing members of his body, which is in Church, that whatsoeuer is suffered by any one of the same, is counted as a peece of his owne Passion.
Merit and satisfaction.
As likewise whatsoeuer good workes be done to any of them, or by any of them be accepted as done to, or by Christ himself. Which thing if the Protestants wel weighed, they would not maruel that the Catholike Church attributeth such force of merit & satisfaction to the worke of holy men. passions of Christ abound in vs: so also by Christ doth our The comfort abound.
Worldly men feel not the comfort of afflicted Catholikes.
Wordly men that see only the exteriour miseries and afflictions that Catholikes doe suffer being persecuted by the Heathen or Heretikes, deeme them exceeding miserable. But if they felt or could conceiue the aboundance of consolation which euer giueth according to the measure of their afflictions, they would neuer wonder at the voluntary toleration of what torments soeuer for Christes sake, but would wish rather themselues to be in any dungeon in England with the comfort that such haue from God, then to liue out of the Church in al the wealth of the world. comfort abound.
6. And whether we be in tribulation, for your exhortation & salutation: whether we be exhorted, for your exhortation & saluation, which worketh the toleration of the same passions which we also doe suffer:
7. and our hope is firme for you: knowing that as you are partakers of the passions, so shal you be of the consolation also.
8. For we wil not haue you ignorant, Brethren, concerning our tribulation which happened in Asia, that we were pressed aboue measure aboue our power, so that it was tedious vnto vs euen to liue.
9. But we in our selues, had the answer of death, that we be not trusting in our selues, but in God who raiseth vp the dead,
10. who hath deliuered and doth deliuer vs out of so great dangers: in whom we hope that he wil yet also deliuer vs,
11. You helping in praier.
Intercession of Saints or holy men for vs, no derogation to Christ.
S. Paul knew that the help of other mens praiers was nothing derogatorie to the office of Christes mediation or Intercession for him, nor to the hope that he had in God: and therfore he craueth the Corinthians aid herin as a support and succours for himself in the sight of God. With what reason or Scripture then can the Protestants say, that the praiers of Saints be iniurious to Christ, or not to stand with the confidence we haue in him? As though it were more dishonour to God that we should vse the aid of Saintes in heauen then of sinners in earth: or *that the Intercession of these our fellowes beneath, were more auailable then the praiers of those that be in the glorious sight of God aboue.
*Hieron. contra Vigil. you helping withal in praier for vs, that By many mens.
Publike prayers & fasts.
He meaneth, that as the praiers of many ioyned together for him, shal be rather heard, then of any alone; so their common thankes-giuing to God for granting their request, shal be more acceptable & glorious to God, then any one man's thankes alone. Which thing doth much commend the holy Churches publike praiers, processions, stations, and pilgrimages, where so many meet and vniformly ioyne their praiers and lauds together vnto God. by many mens persons, thankes for that guift which is in vs, may be giuen by many in our behalfe.
12. For our glorie is this, the testimonie of our conscience, that in simplicity and sincerity of God, and not in carnal wisedom, but in the grace of God we haue conuersed in this world: and more aboundantly towards you.
13. For we write no other things to you then that you haue read and know. And I hope that you shal know vnto the end:
14. as also you haue knowen vs in part, that we are Your glorie.
Their glorie in heauen that conuet others.
The Apostles, Teachers, and Preachers, that conuert countries or particular persons to Christ, & the peoples or parties by them conuerted, shal in the day of iudgement haue much mutual ioy and glorie of and for each other; one giuing to the other great matter of merit in this life, and afterward ioy in the next. See 1. Thess. 2. v. 19. your glorie, as you also ours in the day of our Lord Iesvs Christ.
15. And in this confidence I would first haue come to you, that you might haue a second grace:
16. and by you passe into Macedonia, and againe from Macedonia come to you, and of you be brought on my way into Iewrie.
17. Whereas then I was thus minded, did I vse lightnes? Or the things that I mind, doe I mind according to the flesh, that there be with me, It is and It is not?
18. But God is faithful, because our preaching which was to you, there is not in it, It is, it is not.
The Protestants inconstancie in changing their writings, translations, seruice books &c.
As he dischargeth himself of al other leuitie touching his promise or purpose of comming to them, so much more of al inconstancie in preaching Christes doctrine and faith: wherin one day to affirme, another day to deny, to dissent form his fellowes or from himself, to change euery yeare or in euery epistle the forme of his former teaching, to come daily with new deuises repugnant to his owne rules, were not agreable to an Apostle and true Teacher of Christ, but proper to falsse-Prophets & Heretikes. Wherof we haue notorious examples in the Protestants: who being destitute of the Spirit of peace, concord, constancie, vnitie, & veritie, as they varie from their owne writings which they retract, reforme, or deforme continually, so both in their preachings & forme of Seruice, they are so restles, changeable, and repugnant to themselues, that if they were not kept in awe with much adoe, by temporal lawes, or by the shame and rebuke of the world, they would coine vs euery yeare or euery Parliament new Communions, new faithes, and new Christes, as you see by the manifold endeauours of the Puritan. And this to be the proper note of false Apostles and Heretikes, see in S. Irenæus li. 1. c. 18. and Tertull. de præscript. S. Basil. ep. 12. It is, and, it is not.
19. For the Sonne of God Iesvs Christ, who by vs was preached among you, by me and Syluanus and Timothee, was not, It is, and, It is not, but, It is, was in him.
20. For al the promises of God that are, in him It is: therfore also by him, Amen to God, vnto our glorie.
21. And he that confirmeth vs with you in Christ, and that hath anointed vs, God:
22. who also Hath sealed.
The indeleble Character of Baptisme, Confirmation, Holy Orders.
The learned Diuines proue by his place & by the like in the *fourth to the Ephesians, that the Sacrament of Baptisme doth not only giue grace, but imprinteth & sealeth the soule of the Baptized, with a spiritual signe, marke, badge, or token, which can neuer be blotted out, neither by sinne, heresie, apostasie, nor other waies, but remaineth for euer in man for the cognisance of his Christendome, & for distinction from others which were neuer of Christes fold. By which also he is as it were consecrated and deputed to God, made capable and partaker of the rights of the Church, and subiect to her lawes and discipline. See S. Hierom. in 4. Ephes. S. Ambrose li. 1. de Sp. Sancto cap. 6. S. Cyril. Hierosol. Catechesi. 17. at the end, and S. Dionysius Areopag. c. 2. Eccle. Hierarch. The which Fathers expresse that spiritual signe by diuers agreable names, which the Church and most Diuines, after S. Augustin, cal the Character of Baptisme. By the truth and force of which spiritual note or marke of the soul, he specially conuinceth the Donatistes, that the said Sacrament though giuen and ministred by Heretikes or Schismatikes or who els soeuer, can neuer be reiterated. See ep. 57. & l. 6. cont. Donat. c. 1. & li. 2. cont. Parmenian. c. 13. As the like indeleble Characters giuen also by the Sacrament of Confirmation and Orders, doe make those also irreiterable and neuer to be receiued but once. Wheras al other Sacraments sauing these three, may be often receiued of the self-same person. And that holy Orders can not be iterated, see S. Augustin li. 2. cont. Parmen. c. 11. li. de bono coniug. c. 24. & S. Gregorie li. 2. Regist. ep. 32. The like of Confirmation is decreed in the most ancient **Councel Tarracon. cap. 6. Finally that this Character is giuen only by these said three Sacraments, & is the cause that none of them can be in any man repeated or reiterated, see the decrees of the Councels Florentine & Trent. Which yet is no new deuise of them, as the Heretikes falsely affirme, but agreable (as you see) both to the Scriptures, and also to the ancient Fathers & Councels.
**See conc. Tarrac. to. 2. concil. hath sealed vs, and giuen the pledge of the Spirit in our harts.
23. And I cal God to witnesse vpon my soul, that sparing you, I came not any more to Corinth,
24. Not because we ouer-rule.
The Caluinists wil be subiect to no tribunal in earth for trial of their religion.
Caluin and his seditious Sectaries with other like which despise dominion, as S. Iude describeth such, would by this place deliuer themselues from al yoke of spiritual Magistrates and Rulers: namely that they be subiect to no man touching their faith, or for the examination and trial of their doctrine, but to God and his word only. And no maruel that the malefactours and rebelles of the Church would come to no tribunal but God's, that so they may remaine vnpunished at least during this life. For though the Scriptures plainely condemne their heresies, yet they could writh themselues out by false glosses, constructions, corruptions, and denials of the books to be Canonical, if there were no lawes or iudicial sentence of men to rule and represse them.
Tyrannical dominion forbid in Prelates, not Ecclesiastical Soueraigntie for examination of faith or manners.
Notwtithstanding then these wordes of S. Paul, whereby only tyrannical, insolent, and proud behauiour & indiscrete rigour of Prelates or Apostles towards their flocks is noted, as also in the first of S. Peter cap. 5. (the *Greek word in these places, and in the Gospel Mt. 20,25. Mr. 10,42. signifying lordly & insolent dominion:) exercised iust rule, preeminence, & prelacie ouer them, not only for their life, but also & principally touching their faith. For he might and did cal them to account for the same, and excommunicated heretikes for foresaking their faith 1. Cor. 4,5. 2. Cor. 10,4. 13,10. 1. Tim. 1,20. Tit. 1,11. And al Christian men are bound to obey their lawful Prelates in matters of faith and doctrine specially, and must not vnder that ridiculous pretence of obeying God's word only (which is the shift of al other Heretikes, as Anabaptists, Arians and the like, as wel as the Protestants) disobey God's Church, Councels, and their owne Pastours and Bishops, who by the Scriptures haue the regiment of their soules, and may examine and punish as wel Iohn Caluin as Simon Magus, for falling from the Catholike faith. For though God alone be the Lord author and giuer of faith, yet they are his **cooperatours and coadiutours by whom the faithful doe beleeue & be preserued in the true faith, and be defended from wolues, which be Heretikes, seeking to corrupt them in the same. And this same Apostle ***chalengeth to be their father as he begat and formed them by his preaching in Christ.
1. Cor. 3,9.
***1. Cor. 4,15. not because we ouer-rule your faith: but, we are helpers of your ioy. For in the faith you stand.