The 2 part: The Actes of Christ in Iewrie (hauing already begun his solemne
Manifestation in Galilee. Mt. 4,12) the second Pasche of his preaching.
Curing a bedred man at the pond of miracle, because he doth it on the Sabboth, the blind Iewes
doe persecute him. 17. And againe because he saith that God is his natural Father. 19. He thereupon
continueth saying, the Fathers operation and his to be in euery thing al one, and that he shal doe
greater things then these miraculous cure to with, 21. quicken the dead in soule by sinne, as being
appointed Iudge of al, 28. yea and quicken the dead in bodies also. incontinent iudging al vprightly. 31.
And that these are not bragges of his owne but his witnesses to be 33. Iohn Baptist, 36. his owne
miraculous workes, 37. his Fathers voice at his Baptisme, 39. the Scriptures also, namely Moyses.
The Ghospel vpon Imber friday in the first weeke of Lent.
AFTER these things there was a festiual day of the Iewes, and Iesvs went vp
2. And there is at Hierusalem vpon By our Latin text and the Greeke, this miraculous pond was in or vpon Probatica, that is, a place where the sheep to be sacrificed, were kept. But by other Latin copies, S. Hierom, and some Greeke Fathers, Probatica is the very pond itself: so called because the sheepe of sacrifice were there washed. Probatica A pond.
This is as great a wonder and worke as was in the old Law, yet neuer recorded in the Scripture before: the conditions and circumstances of the same much to be distinctly weighed against the miscreants of this time for many causes.
1. Vertue of miracles giuen to creatures.
First, that God without derogation to his honour, yea to the great commendation of it, doth giue vertue of miracles and cure to water or other creatures.
2. The same giuen specially to sanctified creatures.
Secondly, that he giueth such vertues to these creatures specially which be by vse and occupying in sacred functions or otherwise, as it were sanctified: for this pond was it wherein the carcasses of sheep (therfore called Probatica) and other beasts to be sacrificed, were first washed, to which being alwayes red (as S. Hierom saith*) with the bloud of hostes, this force was giuen, for the commendation of the Sacrifices of the Law there offered. How much more may we acknowledge such workes of God miraculously done in or about the Sacrifice or Sacraments of the new Testament, which faithlesse men wholy reiect and condemne for fables, because they know not the Scriptures nor the power of God.
3. Miracles done at one time more then another, specially in greater solemnities.
Thirdly, that this operation was giuen at one time more then another, and rather on great festiual dayes then other vulgar times (for this was the feast of Pasche or of Pentecost) as dayes more sanctified, and when the people made greater concurse: which sheweth that we should not wonder to see miracles done at the Memories and feastes of Martyrs or other great Festiuities, more then at other places and times.
4. Angels and Saintes patrones and workers in place of miracles.
Fourthly, that the Angels or some special Saints are Presidents or Patrons of such places of miracle, and workers also vnder God of the effects that there extraordinarily be done. Which ought to make Christians lesse doubt, that the force of diuers waters in the world is iustly attributed by our forefathers and good stories to the prayers and presence of Saints, which profane incredulous men referre only to nature, vntruly pretending that God is more glorified by the workes of nature, which be of his ordinarie prouidence, then by the graces of Miracle giuen to his Saints or Angels by his extraordinarie prouidence.
5. Miracles in certaine places, and wrought vpon them that corporally visite the same. See S. Augustine ep. 137.
Fiftly, that miracles be not wrought on men by their faith only and as wel by their presence in spirit as in body, or vpon the parties desire or deuotion only, according to the Heretikes pretext that God is a like present by his power and grace to euery man and place: and therfore that men need not to goe from their owne houses or countries to seeke holiness or health at the places of Christs or his Saints birth, death, memories: for none could have benefit of this water but he that could touch it, and be in it corporally, and at that iust time when the water was in motion by the Angel.
6. Al reasoning in these matters must yeald to Gods pleasure.
Yea sixtly, we may consider that in such cases to make the matter more maruelous, rare, and more earnestly to be sought for, and to signifie to vs that God hath al such extraordinary operations in his owne wil and commandement, without al rules of our reasons and questioning thereon, none could be healed but that person who first could get into the pond after the Angel came and stirred the same.
7. This water is a figure of Baptisme.
Seuenthly, that these graces of corporal cures giuen to this water, **prefigure the like force of the Sacrament of Baptisme for the cure of soules, though we need not seeke correspondence thereof to the figure in euery point.
8. Christ extraordinarily healeth and saueth without creatures.
Lastly, Christ by his power of excellencie and prerogatiue could and did heale this poore man that could get no body to help him into the water, because he earnestly and long desired the remedie by God appointed, but was excluded by necessitie: as our Lord saveth al such as die without Baptisme, if they in their owne persons earnestly intended, desired, and sought for the same.
*Hiero de locis Heb. post med.
**Hiero. cont. Lucifer c. 3. to. 2 a pond which in hebrew is surnamed 'Bethesda' Bethsaida, hauing fiue porches.
3. In these lay a great multitude of sicke persons, of blind, lame, withered, expecting the stirring of the water.
4. And an Angel of our Lord descended at a certaine time into the pond; and the water was stirred. And he that had gone downe first into the pond after the stirring of the water, was made whole of whatsoeuer infirmitie he was holden.
5. And there was a certaine man there that had been eight and thirtie yeares in his infirmitie.
6. Him when Iesvs had seen lying, & knew that 'multum tempus haberet' he had now a long time, he saith to him: Wilt thou be made whole?
7. The sicke man answered him: Lord, I haue no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pond. For whiles I come, another goeth downe before me.
8. Iesvs saith to him: Arise, take vp thy bed, and walke.
9. And forthwith he was made whole: and he tooke vp his bed, and walked. And it was the Sabboth that day.
10. The Iewes therfore said to him that was healed: It is the Sabboth, thou maist not take vp thy bed.
11. He answered them: He that made me whole, he said to me, take vp thy bed, and walke.
12. They asked him therfore, what is that man that said to thee, take vp thy bed, and walke?
13. But he that was made whole, knew not who it was. For Iesvs shronke aside from the multitude standing in the place.
14. Afterward Iesvs findeth him in the Temple, & said to him: Behold thou art made whole; Sinne no more.
Sinne the cause of sickness and infirmitie.
We may gather hereby that this mans long infirmitie was for punishment of sinnes, and that men often attribute their sicknes to other natural defects, and seeke for remedies of the world in vaine, when the sinne for which it was sent, remaineth, or is not repented of: and therfore that in al infirmities men should first turne to God and goe to their Ghostly father, and then cal for the wordly Phisicions afterward. sinne no more, lest some worse thing chance to thee.
15. That man went his way, and told the Iewes that it was Iesvs that made him whole.
16. Therevpon the Iewes persecuted Iesvs, because he did these things on the Sabboth.
17. But Iesvs answered them: My Father worketh vntil now; and I doe worke.
18. Thereupon therefore the Iewes sought the more to kil him: because he did not only breake the Sabboth, but also he said God was his Father, making himself equal to God.
19. Iesvs therfore answered, and said to them: Amen, amen, I say to you, the Sonne can not doe any thing of himself, but that which he seeth the Father doing. For what things soeuer he doeth, these the Sonne also doeth in like manner.
20. For the Father loueth the Sonne, and the sheweth him al things that himself doeth, and greater workes then these wil he shew him, that you may maruel.
21. For as the Father doth raise the dead and quickeneth: so the Sonne also quickeneth whom he wil.
22. For neither doth the Father iudge any man: but al iudgement he hath giuen to the Sonne,
23. that al may honour the Sonne, as they doe honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Sonne, doth not honour the Father, who sent him.
24. Amen, amen I say to you, that he which heareth my word, and beleeueth him that sent me, hath life euerlasting: and he commeth not into iudgement, but 'is passed' shal passe from death into life.
25. The Ghospel vpon Al soules day. Amen, amen I say to you, that the houre commeth, and now it is when the dead shal heare the voice of the Sonne of God, and they that haue heard, shal liue.
26. For as the Father hath life in himself; so he hath giuen to the Sonne also to haue life in himself:
27. and he hath giuen him power to doe iudgement also because he is the Sonne of man.
28. Maruel not at this, because the houre commeth wherein al that are in the graues, shal heare his voice,
29. and they that haue Not faith only, but good and il deedes shal be counted, and accordingly rewarded at the day of iudgement. done good things, shal come forth into the resurrection of life: but they that haue done euil into the resurrection of iudgement.
30. I can not of myself doe any thing. As I heare so I iudge: and my iudgement is iust, because I seeke not my wil, but the wil of him that sent me.
31. If I giue testimonie of myself, my testimonie is not true.
32. There is another that giueth testimonie of me: and a know that the testimonie is true which he giueth of me.
33. Iohn 1,19. You sent to Iohn; and he gaue testimonie to the truth,
34. But I receiue not.
Our Maister meaneth that mans testimonie is not necessarie to him, nor that the truth of his Diuinitie dependeth on worldly witnesses, or mens commendations: though to vs such testimonies be agreable and necessarie. And so for our instruction he vouchsafed to take the testimonies of Iohn the Baptist and Moyses the Prophets: and departing out of this world, to send forth al his Apostles, and in them al Bishops and Lawful Pastours, to be his witnesses from Hierusalem to the end of the world. I receiue not testimonie of man: but I say these things that you may be saued.
35. He was the lampe burning and shining. And you would for a time reioyce in his light.
36. But I haue a greater testimonie then Iohn. For the workes which the Father hath giuen me to perfit them: the very workes themselues which I doe, giue testimonie of me, that the Father hath sent me.
37. And the Father that sent me, himself hath Mat. 3,17. giuen testimonie of me: neither haue you heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape,
38. and his word you haue not remaining in you: because whom he hath sent, him you beleeue not.
39. Search the Scriptures.
Neither Iewes nor Heretikes find the truth, because they search not the Scriptures deeply, but read superficially.
e reprehendeth the Iewes, that reading daily the Scriptures and acknowledging that in them they should find life and saluation, they yet looked ouer them so superficially that they could not finde therein him to be CHRIST their King, Lord, Life, and Sauiour. For the special maisters & Scribes of the Iewes then, were like vnto our Heretikes now, who be euer talking and turning and shuffling the Scriptures, but are of al men most ignorant in the deep knowledge thereof. And therfore our Maister referreth them not to the reading only or learning them without booke, or hauing the sentences thereof gloriously painted or written in their Temple, houses, or coates: but to the deepe search of the meaning and mysteries of the Scriptures, which are not so easily to be seen in the letter. Search the Catholikes search the scriptures, and find there, Peters and his Successours Primacie, the Real presence, the Priests power to forgiue sinnes, Iustification by faith and good workes, Virginitie preferred before matrimonie, breach of the vow of continencie damnable, Volontarie pouertie, Penance, almes, and good deeds meritorious, diuers rewardes in heauen according to diuers merites, and such like. scriptures, for you thinke in them to haue life euerlasting: & the same are they that giue testimonie of me:
40. and you wil not come to me that you may haue life.
41. Glorie of men I receiue not.
42. But I haue knowen you, that the loue of God you haue not in you.
43. I am come in the name of my Father, and you receiue me not: if He meaneth specially Anti-christ. How then can the Pope be he, seeing the Iewes receiue him not. another shal come in his owne name, him you wil receiue.
44. How can you beleeue, that receiue glorie one of another: and the glorie which is of God only, you seeke not?
45. Thinke not that I wil accuse you to the Father. There is that accuseth you, Moyses, in whom you trust.
46. For if you did beleeue Moyses: you would perhaps beleeue me also. For of me he hath written.
47. And if you doe not beleeue his writings: how wil you beleeue my wordes.