To shew that by his Baptisme (being the Sacrament of illumination or faith) he wil take away
the blindnes of the world, he giueth with strange ceremonies sight to one borne blind. 8. By which
wonderful miracle (the attestation of the partie himself and of his parents concurring) first the
neighbours, then also the Pharisees themselues are plainely confounded. Yet so obstinate they are, that
because it was the Sabboth when he wrought it, they inferre that he is not of God: yea and throw out
of their Synagogue the partie confessing him. 35. But our Lord, receiueth him; 30. and foretelleth by
this occasion, the excecation, of the Iewes (because of their wilful obstinacie) and illumination of
the Gentils who confesse their owne blindnes.
The Ghospel vpon wenesday in the 4. weeke of Lent.
AND Iesvs passing by, saw a man blind: from his natiuitie;
2. and his Disciples asked him: Rabbi, who hath sinned, this man, or his parents, that he should be borne blind? Iesvs answered:
3. Though many infirmities fal for sinne, yet not al: some comming for probation, and some sent that God by the cure thereof may be glorified. Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents; but that the workes of God may be manifested in him.
4. I must worke the workes of him that sent me, whiles it is day. The night commeth, The time of working, and meriting, is in this life: after death we can deserue no more by our deedes, but must only receiue good or il, according to the difference of workes here. when no man can worke.
5. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
6. When he had said these things, he spit on the ground, and Made clay.
Christ that could haue cured this man by his only wil or word, yet vsed certaine creatures as his instruments in working, and diuers circumstances and ceremonies, clay, water, anoynting, washing, &c. No maruel then that he and his Church vse such diuersities of Sacraments and ceremonies external in curing our soules. made clay of the spittle, and spred the clay vpon his eyes,
7. and said to him: Goe, This was a figure of Baptisme, to which al men borne in sinne and blindnes are sent for health and sight Amb l. 3. c. 2. de Sacramentis. wash in the poole of Siloe, which is interpreted, Sent. He went therfore, and washed; and he came seeing.
8. Therfore the neighbours, and they which had seen him before, that he was a begger, said: Is not this he that sate, and begged? Others said: That this is he.
9. But others: No, not so, but he is like him. But he said: That I am he.
10. They said therfore to him: How were thine eyes opened?
11. He answered: That man that is called Iesvs, made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said to me: Goe to the people of Siloe, and wash. And I went, and washed, and saw.
12. And they said to him: Where is he? He saith: I know not.
13. They bring him that had been blind, to the Pharisees.
14. And it was the Sabboth when Iesvs made the clay, and opened his eyes.
15. Againe therfore the Pharisees asked him, how he saw. But he said to them: He put clay vpon mine eyes, & I washed; and I see.
16. Certaine therfore of the Pharisees said: This man is not of God, that keepeth not the Sabboth. But others said: How can a man that is a sinner doe these signes? And there was a schisme among them.
17. They say therfore to the blind againe: Thou, what saiest thou of him that opened thine eyes? And he said: That he is a Prophet.
18. The Iewes therfore did not beleeue of him, that he had been blind and saw, vntil they called the parents of him that saw,
19. and asked them, saying: Is this your sonne, whom you say that he was borne blind? how then doth he now see?
20. His parents answered them, and said: We know that this is our sonne, and that he was borne blind;
21. but how he now seeth, we know not, or who hath opened his eyes, we know not, aske himself; he is of age, let himself speake of himself.
22. These things his parents said, because they feared the Iewes. For the Iewes had now conspired, that if any man should confesse him to be Christ, he should be Put out of the Synagogue.
The Heretikes vntruly translate here (& v. 35.) Excommunicate: to make the simple conceaue the Churches Excommunication to be no other, or no better, or no more rightly vsed against them, then this casting out of the Synagogue of such as confessed our Sauiour.
Casting out of the Synagogue.
They might as wel haue Translated for Synagogue, Church: for the old Testament, the new: for Law, grace: for flesh, spirit: for Moyses, Christ. For no lesse difference is there between casting out of the Synagogue, and Excommunication. Besides that, not euery one which was not of the Iewes Synagogue, was therfore out of the communion of the Faithful, many true beleeuers being in other partes of the world not subiect to the Iewes Synagogue, Law, nor Sacraments.
The Churches Excommunication.
And therfore it was not al one to be out of the Synagogue, and to be excommunicated, as now, whosoeuer is out of the Churches communion, either by his owne wil, or for his iust deserts thrust out of it by the spiritual Magistrate, he is quite abandoned out of al the societie of Saints in Heauen and earth, so long as he so continueth.
*As for the cause of thrusting this poore man and such other out of the Synagogue, and excommunicating Heretikes, there is as great oddes as betwixt Heauen and hel: he being vsed so for folowing Christ and his Church these for forsaking Christ and his Church. Some more agreement there is between that corrupt sentence of the Iewes against the followers of Christ, and the pretended excommunication executed against Catholike men by our Heretikes: although in truth there is no great resemblance. For, the Iewes though they abused their power sometimes, yet had they authoritie indeed by Gods law so to punish contemners of their Law, and therfore it was feared and respected euen of good men. But the excommunication vsed by heretikes against Catholikes or any offenders, is not to be respected at al, being no more but a ridiculous vsurpation of the Churches right and fashion of the same. For, out of their Synagogues al faithful men ought to flye, and not tarie to be thrust out: according to the warning giuen against Core and Dathan: **Be ye separated from their tabernacles, lest you be wrapped in their sinnes.
*See in the Annot. Mt. 18,17.
**Num. 16. put out of the Synagogue.
23. Therfore did his parents say: That he is of age, aske himself.
24. They therfore againe called the man that had been blind, and said to him: So say the Heretikes when they derogate from miracles done by Saints or their Relikes, pharisaically pretending the glorie of God. As though it were not Gods glorie, when his Saints do it by his power and vertue: yea his greater glorie, that doth such things by his seruants, and by the meanest things belonging to them, as Peters shadow Act. 5. and Paules napkins Act. 19. Giue glorie to God. We know that this man is a sinner.
25. He therfore said to them: Whether he be a sinner, I know not: one thing I know, that whereas I was blind, now I see.
26. They said therfore to him: What did he to thee? how did he open thine eyes?
27. He answered them: I haue now told you, and you haue heard; why wil you heare it againe? wil you also become his Disciples?
28. They reuiled him therfore, & said: Be thou his Disciple: but we are the Disciples of Moyses.
29. We knot that to Moyses God did speake; but this man we know not whence he is.
30. The man answered and said to them: For in this it is maruelous that you know not whence he is, and he hath opened mine eyes.
31. And we know that sinners God doth not heare. But if a man be a seruer of God, and doe the wil of him, him he heareth.
32. From the beginning of the world it hath not been heard that any man hath opened the eyes of one borne blind.
33. Vnles this man were of God, he could not doe any thing.
34. They answered and said to him: Thou wast wholy borne in sinnes, and doest thou teach vs? And they cast him forth.
35. Iesvs heard that they cast him forth; & when he had found him, he sayd to him: Doest thou beleeue in the Sonne of God?
36. He answered, and said: Who is he Lord, that I may beleeue in him?
37. And Iesvs said to him: Both thou hast seen him; and he that talketh with thee, he it is.
38. But he said, I beleeue Lord. And falling downe he adored him.
39. And Iesvs said to him: For iudgement came I into this world; By this we see that this miracle was not only maruelous and beneficial to the blind, but also significatiue of taking away spiritual blindnesse. that they that see, may become blind.
40. And certaine of the Pharisees that were with him, heard; and they said to him: Why, are we also blind?
41. Iesvs said to them: If you were blind, you should not haue sinne, but now you say, That we see. Your sinne remaineth.