Vpon Easter day his body is missed in the Sepulchre, first by M. Magdalene, 3. secondly by Peter also & Iohn, the winding clothes yet remaining. 11. Then to M. Magdalene, after she had seen two Angels. Iesvs also himself appeareth. 18. She hauing told to the Disciples, he appeareth to them also the same day, and sendeth them as himself was sent, giuing them the Holy Ghost to remit and to reteine sinnes. 26. Againe vpon low Sunday he appeareth to them, letting Thomas see, that he might beleeue, and commending such as not seeing yet doe beleeue. 30. The effect of this booke. 1. The Ghospel vpon Saturday in Easter weeke.
Easter day. Mat. 28,1.
Luke 24,1. AND the That is, the first day of the weeke, as some interpret it, taking the Sabboth (as sometime it is) for a weeke.
This is our Sunday, called Dies Dominica, because of our Lords resurrection. See the marginal annot. Luke 24,1. first of the Sabboth, Marie Magdalene commeth early, when it was yet darke, vnto the monument: and she saw the stone taken away from the monument.
2. She ranne therfore and commeth to Simon Peter, and to the other Disciple whom Iesvs loued, and saith to them: They haue taken our Lord out of the monument, and we know not where they haue laid him.
3. Luke 24,12. Peter therfore went forth and that other Disciple, and they came to monument.
4. And both ranne together, and that other Disciple did out-runne Peter, and came first to the monument.
5. And when he had stouped downe, he saw the linnen clothes lying: but yet he went not in.
6. Simon Peter therfore commeth, following him, and went into the monument and saw the linnen clothes lying,
7. and the napkin that had been vpon his head, not lying with the linnen clothes, but apart, wrapped vp into one place.
8. Then therfore went in that other Disciple also which came first to the monument: and he saw, and beleeued.
9. For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he should rise againe from the dead.
10. The Disciples therfore departed againe to themselues.
11. The Ghospel vpon Thursday in Easter weeke. But Mat. 28,1.
Luke 24,4. Marie stood at the The Sepulchres of Martyrs (saith S. Hierome ep. 17.) we do honour euerywhere, and putting their holy ashes to our eyes, if we may, we touch it also without our mouth: and be there some that think the monument wherein our Lord was laid, is to be neglected: where the Deuil and his Angels, as often as they are cast out of the possessed before the said monument, tremble and roare as if they stood before the iudgement seate of Christ? monument without, weeping. Therfore as she was weeping, she stouped downe, & looked into the monument:
12. and she saw two Angels in white, sitting, one at the head, and one at the feet, where the body of Iesvs had been laid.
13. They say to her: Woman, why weepest thou? She saith to them: Because they haue taken away my Lord, and I know not where they haue put him.
14. When she had said thus, she turned backward, and saw Iesvs standing; and she knew not that it is Iesvs.
15. Iesvs saith to her: Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She thinking that it was the gardiner, saith to him: Sir, if thou hast caried him away, tel me where thou hast laid him; and I wil take him away.
16. Iesvs saith to her: Marie. She turning saith to him: Rabboni (which is to say, Maister.)
17. Iesvs said to her: Doe not touch me, for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but goe to my Brethren, and say to them, I ascend to my Father and your Father, my God and your God.
18. Marie Magdalene commeth and telleth the Disciples, That I haue seen our Lord, and this he said vnto me.
19. The Ghospel vpon Dominica in albis or Low Sunday, and for peace. Therfore when it was Mark 16,14.
1. Corinth. 15,5. late that day, the first of the Sabboths, and The doores were shut.
This being of Christs body in the Blessed Sacrament without space or quantitie correspondent there vnto, is proued by other examples in Scripture.
Such Heretikes as deny Christs body to be or that it can be in the B. Sacrament, for it is in Heauen, & can not be in two places at once, not without the natural manner of the quantitie, space or place agreeable to the condition of his humanity, be inuincibly refuted by Christs entring into the Disciples, the doors shut: and by that that his true natural body whole & perfect in al his limmes, length, bredth, & thicknes, distinct & diuerse from the substance and corpulence of the wood, was in the same proper place that the wood was in, and passed through the same: as he also came out of his mothers wombe, the clausure not sturred: and passed through the stone, out of his Sepulcher. By al which the Heretikes being plainely reproued, and conuinced of infidelitie, they boldly deny the plaine Scriptures, or so fondly shift themselues from the euidence thereof, that their impudencie is specially to be marked in this point.
Heretical shifts to auoid plaine Scripture.
Some say, that he came in at the window: some, that the doore opened of it-self to let him in: some, that to come in, the doores being shut, signifieth no more, but that he came in late in the euening, at what time men vse to shut their doors: and such other flights to defend falshood, against expresse Scriptures, & against the Apostles testimonie, who therefore tooke him to be a Spirit because they saw him stand sodenly in the middes of them, al the house being closed shut. And the Fathers confesse that he went in, the doores being shut. See S. Ambrose li. 10. in Lucam c. 24. S. Augustine ep. 3. ad Volusian. & li. 22. de ciuit. c. 8, & S. Cyril, in Io. li. 12, c. 53., & S. Hierome li. 1. cont. Iouinianum c. 21.
Christ can dispose of his owne body & others aboue nature.
We know it is the natural course of Gods ordinance, that euery body should haue but one & his owne proper place fitted to the lineaments, quantitie, termes & limites of the same: without which naturally the bodies were no where, & consequently not at al, as S. Augustin saith *ad Dardanum; but that God supernaturally & miraculously can not by his omnipotencie dispose otherwise of his owne body, then the natural forme or quantitie or qualitie thereof require, that is great incredulitie; seing we must beleeue that he can doe so with any other body of mere men or other creatures, the Scriptures being plaine **that he can make a camel passe through a needles eye, continuing in his natural figure and quantitie stil: and St. Augustin ***telleth of a woman whose ring fel from her girdle, both being fast and whole: and Rupertus of a Religious man, whose girdle fast buckled fel downe before him from his body. De off. Eccl.
Vbiquetaries or Brentiani.
Therfore it is too much vnfaithfulnes, by rules of place to embarre Christ of his wil or wisedom to be in the Sacrament how himself list, and on as many Altars or places as he liketh. We detest for al that, the wicked heresie of certaine Protestants, holding quite contrarie to the Zuinglians, that Christ according to his Humanitie is in euery place where the Diuinitie is: which is both against faith, and the common rules of nature and diuinitie.
*August. ep. 57.
***Aug. li. 23. c. 3. de ciu. Dei. the doores were shut, where the Disciples were gathered together for feare of the Iewes, Iesvs came and stood in the middes, and saith to them: Peace be to you.
20. And when he had said this, he shewed them his handes and side. The Disciples therfore were glad when they saw our Lord.
21. He said therfore to them againe: Though he gaue them his peace hard before, yet now entring to a new diuine action, to prepare their harts to grace and attention, he blesseth them againe. Peace be to you. As my Father.
Christ sheweth his commission & so giueth the Apostles power to remit sinnes.
As when he gaue them commission to preach and baptize through the world, he made mention of his own power therein: so here before he instituteth the Sacrament of Penance, and giue them authority to remit sinnes, lest the wicked should ask afterward by what right they do such great functions, he sheweth his Fathers commission giuen to himself, and then in plaine termes most amply imparteth the same to his Apostles: that whosoeuer deny the Apostles & their successours, the Priests of Gods Church, to haue right to remit sinnes, should deny consequently Christ as man to haue authoritie to doe the same. As my Father hath sent me, I also doe send you.
22. When he had said this: He breathed.
The Holy Ghost is here purposly giuen to the Apostles, to remit sinnes.
He giueth the Holy Ghost in and by an external signe to his Apostles, not visibly and to al such purposes as afterward at Whitsuntide, but for the grace of the Sacrament of Orders, as *S. Augustin saith, and that none make doubt of the Priests right in remission of sinnes, seeing the Holy Ghost is purposely giuen them to doe this same. in which case if any be yet contentious, he must deny the Holy Ghost to be God, & not to haue powers to remit sinnes. It is not absurd (saith S. Cyril**) that they forgiue sinnes, which haue the Holy Ghost. For when they remit or reteine, the Holy Ghost remitteth or reteineth in them, & that they doe two waies: first in Baptisme, & then in Penance. As S. Ambrose also (li. 1. c. 7. de pœnitentia) refelling the Nouatians (an Sect of old Heretikes which pretending Gods glorie as our new Sectaries doe, denied that Priests could remit sinnes in the Sacrament of Penance) asketh, why it should be more dishonour to God, or more impossible or inconuenient for men, to forgiue sinnes by Penance then by Baptisme, seeing it is the Holy Ghost that doeth it, by the Priests office and ministrie in both.
*Aug. q. no. Test. Cont. ep. Parmen. li. 2 c. 11.
**Cyril li. 12. c. 56. in Io. he breathed vpon them; and he said to them: Receiue ye the Holy Ghost:
23. Whose sinnes.
The Sacrament of PENANCE instituted.
Power to offer Sacrifice, which is the principal function and act of Priesthood, was giuen them at the institution of the B. Sacrament, the second & next special facultie of Priesthood, consisting in remitting sinnes, is here bestowed on them. And withal the holy Sacrament of Penance, implying Contrition, Confession, & Satisfaction in the Penitent, and absolution on the Priests part, is instituted. For in that, the express power & commission is giuen to Priests to remitte or reteine al sinnes: & in that, that Christ promiseth, whose sinnes soeuer they forgiue, they be of God forgiuen also: & whose sinnes they reteine, they be reteined before God: it followeth necessarily, that we be bound to submit our selues to their iudgment for release of our sinnes.
Men are bound to confesse al their mortal sinnes, and that in particular.
For, this wonderful power were giuen them in vaine, if none were bound to seeke for absolution at their hands. Neither can any rightly seeke for absolution of them, vnless they confesse particularly at least al their mortal offenses, whether they be committed in mind, hart, wil and *cogitation only, or in word and worke. For Gods Priests being in the Sacrament of Penance constituted in Christs steed as iudges in causes of our conscience, can not rightly rule our cases without ful & exact cognition & knowledge of al our sinnes, and the necessarie circumstances & **differences of the same. Which can not otherwise be had of them being mortal men, then by our simple, sincere, & distinct vtterance to them of our sinnes, with humble contrite hart, ready to take and to doe penance according to their iniunction.
To Reteine sinnes.
For that authoritie to reteine sinnes, consisteth specially in enioyning satisfaction & penitential workes of praying, fasting, almes, & such like. Al which Gods ordinance whosoeuer condemneth or contemneth, as Heretikes doe, or neglecteth, as some carelesse Catholikes may perhaps doe, let them be assured they can not be saued.
The necessitie of this Sacrament.
Neither must any such Christian man pretend or looke to haue his sinnes after Baptism remitted by God only, without this Sacrament: (which was the old Heresie of the Nouatians Ambro. li. 1. de pꭀnit. c. 2. Socrat. li. 7 Ec. hist. c. 25.) more then any may hope to be saued or haue his original or other sinnes before Baptisme forgiuen by God without the same Sacrament. Let no man deceiue himself, that is the second table or borde after shipwracke, as S. Hierom ***calleth it, whosoeuer take not hold of it shal perish without al doubt, because they contemne Gods counsel & order for their saluation. And therefore S. Augustin (ep. 180.) ioyning both together, saith it is a pitiful case, when by the absence of God's Priests, men depart this life, aut non regenerati, aut ligati, that is, either not regenerated by Baptisme, or fast bound, and not absolued by the Sacrament of penance and reconciliation: because they shal be excluded from eternal life, and destruction followeth them. And S. Victor (li. 2 de persecut. Vandalica) telleth the miserable lamentation of the people, when their Priests were banished by the Arian Heretikes. Who (say they) shal baptize those infants? Who shal minister penance vnto vs, & loose vs from the bandes of sinnes &c? And therefore S. Cyprian very often (namely ep. 54.) calleth it great crueltie, & such as Priests shal answer for at the later day, to suffer any man that is pꭀnitent of his sinnes, to depart this life without this reconciliation and absolution: because (saith he) the Lawmaker himself (Christ) agranted, that things bound in earth, should also be bound in Heauen: and that those things should there be loosed, which were loosed before here in the Church.
The Heretikes wrastling against the plaine Scriptures.
And it is a world to see, how the Heretikes wrastle with this so plaine a commission of remitting sins, referring it to preaching, to denouncing God's threats vpon sinners, and to we can not tell what els: though to our English Protestants this authoritie seemeth so cleer, that in their order of visiting the sicke, their Ministers acknowledge and chalenge the same, vsing a formal absolution according to the bChurches order, after the special confession of the partie.
Priests power to forgiue sinnes, is aboue the power of Angels or wordly Princes.
But to conclude the matter, let euery one that list to see the true meaning of Christs words, and the Priests great power and dignitie giuen them by the same words and other, marke wel these words of S. Chrysostome. cFor, saith he, they that dwel on the earth, and conuerse in it, to them is commission giuen to dispense those things that are in Heauen: to them it is giuen to haue the power which God would not to be giuen neither to Angels nor Archangels. For, neither to them was it said: Whatsoeuer you shal bind in earth, shal be bound in Heauen: and whatsoeuer you shal loose in earth, shal be loosed in Heauen. The earthly Princes indeed haue also power to bind, but the bodies only: but that bond of Priests which I speak of toucheth the very soule it-self, and reacheth euen to the Heauens: in so much that whatsoeuer the Priests shal doe beneath, the self-same God doth ratifie aboue, and the sentence of the seruants the Lord doth confirme. For indeed what els is this, then that the power of al heauenly things is granted them of God? Whose sinnes soeuer, saith he, you shal reteine, they are reteined. What power (I beseech you) can be greater then this one? The Father gaue al power to the Sonnw: but I see the same power altogether deliuered by the Sonne vnto them.
Confession to Priests.
And as this concerneth the Priests high authoritie to absolue, so thereupon concerning confession also to be made vnto them, the ancient Fathers speak in this sort. S. Cyprian de Lapsis nu. 11. They (saith he) that haue greater faith and feare of God, though they did not fal in persecution, yet because they did only thinke it in their mind, this very cogitation they confesse to Gods Priests sorrowfully and plainely, opening their conscience, vttering and discharging the burden of their mind, and seeking holesome medicine for their wounds though but smal and litle. And a litle after: Let euery one (my Brethren) I beseech you, confesse his sinne, whiles he is yet aliue, whiles his confession may be admitted, whiles satisfaction and remission made by the Priests is acceptable before God.
Secret or auricular Confession.
S. Cyril (or as some thinke, Origen) li. 2. in Leuit. caleth it a great part of penance, when a man is ashamed, and yet openeth his sinnes to our Lords Priest. See also Tertul. li. de Pœnit. S. Hierome in c. 10. Ecclesiastæ. S. Basil in Regulis breu. quæst. 229. who compare sinners that refuse to confesse, to them that haue some disease in their secret partes, and are ashamed to shew it to the Physician or Surgeon, that might cure it. Where they must needs meane secret confession to be made to them that may absolue. And S. Leo ep. 80. most plainely (as before S. Cyril) expressly nameth Priests. That confession is sufficient which is made first to God, then to the Priest also. And again: It is sufficient that the guiltines of mens consciences be vttered to the Priests only by the secrecie of confession. S. Hierome in 16. Mat. saith, that Priests loose or bind, audita peccatorum varietate, hauing heard the varitie and differences of sinnes. dS. Paulinus writeth of S. Ambrose, That as often as any confessed his sinnes vnto him for to receiue penance, he so wept for compassion, that thereby he caused the penitent to weep also. He addeth moreouer, that this holy Doctour was so secret in this case, that no man knew the sinnes confessed, but God and himself. And S. Augustin ho. 49. de 50. homilies to. 10. saith thus: Doe penance, such as is done in the Church: Let no man say, I do it secretly, I doe it to God, in vaine then was it said: aWhatsoeuer you shal loose in earth, shal be loosed in Heauen. See S. Ambrose de pœnitentia throughout, S. Cyprian de Lapsis, the booke de vera & falsa pœnit. in S. Augustin: beside al antiquitie which is ful of these speaches concerning absolution, and confession.
*Cypr. de laps. nu. 11.
**Hiero. in 16. Mat.
***Hiero. ad Demetriadem. c. 6. to. 1.
bSee the Communion booke.
cLi. 3. de Sacerd.
dIn vita D. Ambr. prope fine. Whose sinnes yov shal forgive, they are forgiven them: and whose yov shal reteine, they are reteined.
24. But Thomas one of the Twelue, who is called Didymus, was not with them when Iesvs came.
25. The other Disciple therfore said to him: We haue seen our Lord. But he said to them: Vnles I see in his handes the print of the nailes, and put my finger into the place of the nailes, and put my hand into his side: I wil not beleeue.
26. The Ghospel vpon S. Thomas the Apostles day, Decemb. 21.
LOW SVNDAY. And after eight daies, againe his Disciples were within; and Thomas with them. Iesvs commeth See the annotation on the 19. verse of this Chapter. the doores being shut, and stood in the middes, and said: Peace be to you.
27. Then he saith to Thomas: Put in thy finger hither, and see my handes, and bring hither thy hand, and put it into my side; & be not incredulous but faithful.
28. Thomas answered, & said to him: My Lord, & my God.
29. Iesvs saith to him: Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast beleeued: They are more happy that beleeue without sensible argument of fight, then such as be induced by sense or reason to beleeue. Blessed are they that haue not seen & haue beleeued.
30. Iohn 21,25. Many other signes also did Iesvs in the sight of his Disciples, which are not written in this Book.
31. And these are written, that you may beleeue that Iesvs is Christ the Sonne of God: and that beleeuing, you may haue life in his name.