He giueth to the Twelue the power of Miracles, and so sendeth them to the lost sheep of the
Iewes, 5. with instructions accordingly: 10. and by occasion of the sending, foretelleth of the
persecutions after his Ascension, arming them and al other against the same, 40. and also
exhorting the people to harbour his seruants in such times of persecution.
1. AND hauing called his twelue Disciples togeather, Mark 3,12. 6,7.
Luke 6,13. 9,1. he gaue them Power.
Miracles were so necessarie to the confirmation of their doctrine beginning then to be preached, that not only Christ himselfe did miracles, but also he gaue to his Apostles power to doe them. power ouer vncleane Spirits, that they should cast them out, & should cure al manner of disease, & al manner of infirmitie.
2. And the names of the twelue Apostles be these: The First Simon.
Peter the first, not in calling, but in preeminence. For (*as S. Ambrose saith in 2. Cor. 12.) Andrew first folowed our Sauiour before Peter and yet the Primacie Andrew receaued not, but Peter. Which preeminence of S. Peter aboue the other Apostles is so plainly signified in this word, First, by the iudgement euen of Heretikes, that Beza, not withstanding he confesseth the consent of al copies both Latin & Greeke, yet is not ashamed to say, that he suspecteth that this word was thrust into the text by some fauourer of Peters Primacie. Wherby we haue also that they care no more for the Greek then for the Latin, when it maketh against them, but at their pleasure say that al is corrupted.
Beza in Annot. noui. Test. 15,6. first, Simon who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother,
3. Iames of Zebedee, and Iohn his brother, Philip and Barthlemew, Thomas and Matthew the publican, and Iames of Alphæus, and Thaddæus,
4. Simon Cananæus, & Iudas Iscariote, who also betrayed him.
5. These twelue did Iesvs send; commanding them, saying: Into the way of the They haue here commission to preach only in Israel: the time being not yet come to cal the Gentiles. Gentiles goe ye not, and into the cities of the Samaritans enter ye not:
6. but goe rather to the sheep that ate perished of the house of Israel.
7. And going preach, saying: That the Kingdom of Heauen is at hand.
8. Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out Diuels: gratis you haue receaued, gratis giue ye.
9. Do not possesse.
Preachers may not carefully seeke after the superfluities of this life, or any thing which may be an impediment to their function. And as for necessaries, they deserve their temporal liuing at their hands for whom they labour spiritually. Do not possesse gold, nor siluer, nor money in your purses:
10. not a skrip for the way, neither two coates, neither shoes, neither rod. For the workman is worthie of his meate.
11. And into whatsoeuer citie or towne you shal enter, inquire who in it is worthie: and there tarie til you goe forth.
12. And when ye enter into the house, salute it, saying: Peace be to this house.
As Christ himself vsed these words, or this blessing often, Peace be to you, so here he biddeth his Apostles say the like to the house where they come. And so hath it been alwaies a most godly use of Bishops *to giue their blessing where they come; which blessing must needes be of great grace & profit, when none but worthy Persons (as here we read) might take good thereof; and when it is neuer lost, but returneth to the giuer, when the other partie is not worthy of it.
*Aug. civit. li. 22 c. 8.
Leo Imp. in vit.
S. Chrys. Socrat. l. 6. c. 14.
It remitteth venial sinnes.
Among other spiritual benefits it taketh away venial sinnes. Am. in 9. Lu. Peace be to this house.
13. And if so be that house be worthie, your peace shal come vpon it. But if it be not worthie, your peace shal returne to you.
14. And whosoeuer shal not receaue you, nor heare you wordes; going forth out of the house or the citie Shake of the dust.
To contemne the true Preachers, or not to receaue the truth preached, is a very damnable sinne. shake of the dust from your feet.
15. Amen I say to you, it shal be More tolerable.
Hereby it is euident, that there be degrees & differences of damnation in Hel fire according to mens deserts. Aug. li. 4 de Bapt. c. 19. more tolerable for the land of the Sodomites and Gomorrheans in the day of iudgement, then for that citie.
16. The Ghospel vpon the Commemoration of S. Paul, Iun 30. Behold I send you as sheep in the middes of wolues. Be ye therfore Wisedom and simplicitie both be necessarie in Preachers, Bishops, and Priests. wise as Serpents, and simple as Doues.
17. And take heed of men. For they wil deliuer you vp in Councels, and in their Synagogues they wil scourge you.
18. And to Presidents and to Kings.
In the beginning Kings and Emperours persecuted the Church, that by the very death and bloud of Martyrs it should grow more miraculously, afterward when the Emperours and kings were themselues become Christians, they vsed their power for the Church, against Infidels and Heretikes. Aug. ep. 48. Kings shal you be led for my sake, in testimonie to them and the Gentiles.
19. But when they shal deliuer you vp, Mark 13,11.
Luke 12,11. take no thought how or what to speake: for It shal giuen.
This is verified euen at this present also, when many good Catholikes, that haue no great learning, by their answers confound the Aduersaries. it shal be giuen you in that houre what to speake.
20. For it is not you that speake, but the Spirit of your Father that speaketh in you.
21. Luke 21,16. The brother also shal deliuer vp the brother to death, and the Father the Sonne: and the children shal rise vp against the parents, and shal worke their death,
22. and you shal be odious to al men for my name: but he that shal perseuer vnto the end, he shal be saued.
23. The Ghospel vpon S. Athanasius day Maij. 2. And when they shal persecute you in this citie, flee into an other. Amen I say to you, you shal not finish al the cities of Israel, til the Sonne of man come.
24. Luke 6,40 The Disciple is not aboue the Maister, nor the Seruant aboue his Lord.
25. It suffiseth the Disciple that he be as his maister, and the Seruant as his Lord. If they haue called the Goodman of the house Beelzebub, How much more.
No maruel therefore if Heretikes call Christs vicar Antichrist, when their forefathers, the faithles Iewes called Christ himselfe Beelzebub. how much more them of his houshold?
26. Therfore feare, ye not them. For nothing is hid, that shal not be reuealed: and secret, that shal not be known.
27. The Ghospel for some Martyrs, not Bishops. That which I speake to you in the dark, speak ye in the light: and that which you heare in the eare, preach ye vpon the house tops.
28. And A goodly comfort for Christians and Catholikes and al good men, in the persecutions of Turke, of Heretikes, of al wicked men. feare ye not them that kil the body, and are not able to kil the soul: but rather feare him that can destroy both soul and body into Hel.
29. Are not two sparowes sold for a farthing: and not one of them shal fal vpon the ground without your Father?
30. But your very haires of the head are al numbered.
31. Feare not therfore: better are you then many sparowes.
32. Mark 8,38.
Luke 9,26. 12,8. Euery one therfore that shal Confesse me.
Confessing of Christ and his truth.
See how Christ esteemeth the open confessing of him, that is of his truth in the Catholike Church. For as when Saul persecuted the Church, he sayd *him self was persecuted; so to confesse him, and his Church, is al one. Contrariewise see how he abhoreth them that deny him before men, which is not only to deny any one litle article of the Catholike faith commended to vs by the Church; but also to allow or consent to heresie by any means, as by subscribing, comming to their seruice and sermons, furthering them any way against Catholikes, and such like.
Act. 9. confesse me before men, I also wil confesse him before my Father which is in Heauen.
33. But he that shal denie me before men, I also wil denie him before my Father which is in Heauen.
34. The Ghospel vpon S. Augustines day our Apostlet Maij 26. And for some Martyrs not Bishops. Do not ye think Luke 12,51. that I came to send peace into the earth: I came Not Peace but sword.
Christ came to breake the peace of wordlings and sinners; as when the sonne beleeueth in him, and the father doth not; the wife is a Catholike, and the husband is not. For to agree together in infidelitie, heresie, or any other sinne, is a naughty peace. This being the true meaning of Christs words, marke that the Heretikes interpret this to maintaine their rebellions and troubles which their new Ghospel breedeth. Beza in no. Test. an. 1565. not the send peace, but the sword.
35. For I came to seperate Mich. 7,6. man against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughters in law against her mother in law.
36. And a mans enemies, they of his owne houshold.
37. He that loueth father or mother More then.
No earthly thing, nor dutie to Parents, wife, children, countrie, or to a mans owne body & life, can be any iust excuse why a man should doe, or feine himself to doe or beleeue any thing, against Christ or the vnitie and faith of his Church. more then me, is not worthy of me: and he that loueth sonne or daughter aboue me, is not worthy of me.
38. And he that taketh not his crosse, and foloweth me, is not worthy of me.
39. He that hath found his life, shal lose it: and he that hath lost his life for me, shal find it.
40. Luke 10,16. He that receaueth you, receaueth me: and he that receaueth me, receaueth him that sent me.
41. He that receaueth a Prophet In the name.
Reward for hospitally, and specially for receauing an holy Person, as Prophet, Apostle, Bishop, or Priest persecuted for Christs sake. For by receauing of him in that respect as he is such an one, he shal be partaker of his merits, and be rewarded as for such an one. Whereas on the contrarie side, he that receaueth an Heretike into his house and a false Preacher, doth communicate with his wicked workes. Ep. 2 Io. in the name of a Prophet, shal receaue the reward of a Prophet, and he that receaueth a The reward for harbouring & helping any blessed iust person suffering for his iustice and conscience. iust man in the name of a iust man, shal receaue the reward of a iust man.
42. And Mark 9,41. whosoeuer shal giue drinke to one of these litle ones a cup of cold water, only in the name of a Disciple, amen I say to you, he shal not lose his reward.