To his Disciples (by occasion of Hierusalem and the Temples destruction) he foretelleth,
4. what things shal be before the consummation of the world, as specially 14. the Churches
ful preaching vnto al Nations: 15. then, what shal be in the very consummation, to wit, Antichrist
with his passing great persecution and seduction, but for a short time: 29. then incontinent, the
Day of iudgement, to our great comfort in those miseries vnder Antichrist. 35. As for the moment,
to vs it pertaineth not to know it, 37. but rather euery man to watch, that we be not vnprouided when
he commeth to each one particulary by death.
1. AND Iesvs being gone out of the temple, went. And his Disciples came to shew him the buildings of the temple.
2. And he answering said to them: Doe you see al these things? Amen I say to you, there shal Mark 13,1.
Luke 21,5. not be Not left.
The Church can neuer faile.
This was fulfilled 40. yeares after Christes Ascension by Vespasian the Emperour and his sonne Titus. Euseb. li. 3. c. 6. & seq. ex Iosepho. Vpon which words, There shal not be left &c, which threaten the destruction of the Iewes Temple; and those words, *vpon this Rock I wil build my Church, which promise the building of the Catholike Church of al Nations; **S. Chrysostome making a long comparison of these two Prophecies of Christ, saith thus: Thou seest in both, his great and vnspeakable power, in that he increased and built vp them that worshipped him, and those that stumbled at him, he abased, destroyed, and plucked them vp by the root. Doest thou see how whatsoeuer he hath built, no man shal destroy: and whatsoeuer he hath destroyed, no man shal build? He builded the Church, and no man shal be able to destroy it; he destroyed the Temple, and no man is able to build it, and that in so long time: For they haue endeauoured both to destroy that, and could not: and they haue attempted to build vp this, and they could not doe that neither, &c.
**Li. adu. Gentes quod Christus sit Deus, prope finem. left here a stone vpon a stone that shal not be destroied.
3. The Ghospel for a votiue Masse in time of warre, & for many Martyrs.
TVESDAY night. And when he was sitting vpon Mount-oliuet, the Disciples came to him secretly, saying: Tel vs when shal these things be? and what shal be The signe.
Our Maister knowing that it was not profitable nor seemly for them to know these secrets, gaue them by way of Prophecie warning of diuers miseries, signes, and tokens, that should fal, some further off, and some neerer the later day: by which the Faithful might alwayes prepare them selues, but neuer be certaine of the houre, day, month, nor yeare, when it should fal. Aug. Ep. 80. the signe of thy comming, and of the consummation of the world?
4. And Iesvs answering, said to them: Beware that no man Seduce.
Heretikes seduce vnder faire titles.
The first and principal warning, needful for the faithful from Christes Ascension to the very end of the world, is, that they be not deceaued by Heretikes, which vnder the titles of true teachers, and the name of Christ and his Ghospel, wil seduce many. seduce you:
5. for many shal come in my name saying, I am Christ.
Not only such as haue named themselues Christ, as Simon, Menander, and such like; but al Arch-heretikes be Christs to their folowers, Luther to the Lutherans, Caluin to the Caluinists, because they beleeue them, rather then Christ speaking in his Church. I am Christ; and they shal seduce many.
6. For you shal heare of warres, & bruits of warres. See that ye be not troubled. For these things must be done, but the end is not yet.
7. For Nation shal rise against Nation, and Kingdom against Kingdom; and there shal be pestilences, and famines, and eath-quakes in places;
8. and al these things are the beginnings of sorowes.
9. Then Mat. 10,17. shal they deliuer you into tribulation, and shal kil you: and you shal be odious to al Nations for my names sake.
10. And then many shal be scandalized: and they shal deliuer vp one an other: and they shal hate one an other.
11. And many There were in the people false Prophets, as among you also shal be lying Maisters, which shal bring in Sects of perdition. 2 Pet. 2. The Ghospel vpon the last Sunday after Pentecost. False-Prophets shal rise, and shal seduce many.
12. And because Iniquity abound.
The Ghospel now preached to Infidels.
When Heresie and false teachers raigne in the world, namely toward the later day, wicked life aboundeth, and charitie decayeth. iniquitie shal abound, the charitie of many shal waxe cold.
13. But he that shal perseuer to the end, he shal be saued.
14. And this Ghospel of the Kingdom Shal be preached.
The Ghospel hath been preached of late yeares, and now is, by holy Religious men of diuers Orders in sundry great Countries which neuer heard the Ghospel before, as it is thought. shal be preached in the whole world, for a testimonie to al Nations, and then shal come the consummation.
15. Therfore when you shal see Abomination of desolation.
The abomination of desolation.
The abolishing of the holy Sacrifice of the Masse by Antichrist, and his ministers.
This abomination of desolation foretold, was first partly fulfilled in diuerse prophanations of the Temple of Hierusalem, when the Sacrifice and seruice of God was taken away, but specially it shal be fulfilled by Antichrist, and his Precursours, when they shal abolish the holy Masse, which is the Sacrifice of Christes body and bloud, and the only soueraigne worship due to God in his Church: as S. Hypolitus writeth in these words: The Churches shal lament with great lamentation, because there shal neither Oblation be made, nor incense, nor worship grateful to God. But the sacred houses of Churches shal be like to cottages, and the pretious body and bloud of Christ shal not be extant (openly in Churches) in those dayes, the Liturgie (or Masse) shal be extinguished, the Psalmodie shal cease, the reciting of the Scriptures shal not be heard. Hippol. de Antichristo. By which it is plaine, that the Heretikes of these dayes be the special fore-runners of Antichrist. the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the Prophet, standing in the holy place (he that readeth, let him vnderstand)
16. then they that are in Iewrie, let them flee to the mountaines:
17. and he that is on the house-top let him not come downe to take any thing out of his house:
18. and he that is in the field, let him not goe back to take his coate.
19. And woe to them that are with child, and that giue suck on those dayes.
20. But pray that your flight be not in the winer, or on the Sabboth,
21. For there shal be then great tribulation, such as hath not been from the beginning of the world vntil now, neither shal be.
22. And vnles those daies had been shortned, no flesh should be saued: but for the Elect the daies Dan. 9,27. shal be shortned. Shal be shortned.
The raigne of Antichrist shal be short, that is, three yeares and a half. Dan. 7. Apoc. 11. Therfore the Heretikes are blasphemous and ridiculous, that say, Christes Vicar is Antichrist, who hath sitten these 1500. yeares.
23. Then if any man shal say vnto you: Loe Whosoeuer draweth Christ or his Church from the Communion & felowship of al Nations Christned, to one corner, towne, or Countrie, beleeue him not. Aug. de vnit. Ec. c. 3. here is Christ, or there; doe not beleeue him.
24. For there shal rise false Christes and false-Prophets, and shal shew Great signes.
These signes and miracles shal be to the outward appearance only: for S. Paul calleth them *lying signes, to seduce them only that shal perish. Wherby we see that if Heretikes could worke feyned and forged miracles, yet we ought not to beleeue them, much lesse when they can not so much as seeme to doe any.
2. Thes. 2. great signes and wonders, so that the Elect also (if it be possible) may be induced into errour.
25. Loe I haue foretold you.
26. If therfore they shal say vnto you: Behold he is in the desert; goe ye not out: Behold in the In closets.
The secret conuenticles of Heretikes.
Christ hauing made the Churches authority bright and cleare to the whole world, warneth the Faithful to take heed of Heretikes and Schismatikes, which haue their conuenticles aside in certaine odd places and obscure corners, alluring curious Persons vnto them. Aug. li. 1. q. Euang. q. 38.
Catholike Christians secretly assembling in time of persecution.
For as for the comming togeather of Catholikes to serue God in secret places, that is a necessarie thing in time of persecution, and was vsed of Christians for three hundred yeares togeather after Christ; *and the Apostles also and Disciples came so togeather in Hierusalem for feare of the Iewes. And Catholikes doe the same at this day in our countrie, not drawing religion into corners from the society of the Catholike Church, but practising secretly the same faith, that in al Christendom shineth and appeareth most gloriously.
*Act. 1,12. closets, beleeue it not.
27. For as lightning commeth out of the east, and appeareth euen into the west, so shal also the aduent of the Sonne of man be.
28. Whersoeuer the body is, thither shal the Egles also be gathered togeather.
29. And Eze. 32,7. immediatly Immediatly.
If the later day shal immediatly folow the persecution of Antichrist, which is to endure but three yeares and a halfe, as is aforesaid: then is it mere blasphemie to say, Gods Vicar is Antichrist, and that (by their owne limitation) these thousand yeares almost. after the tribulation of those dayes Ioel 3,15
Dan. 7,15. the sunne shal be darkned, and the moone shal not giue her light, and the starres shal fal from Heauen, and the powers of Heauen shal be moued:
30. and then shal appeare This signe of the Sonne of man, is the holy Crosse, which then shal appeare to the Iewes to their confusion. Chrys. in Mat. hom. 77. It shal be no lesse confusion to Heretikes that can not abide the signe thereof. the signe of the Sonne of man in Heauen: and then shal al Tribes of the earth bewaile: and they shal see the Sonne of man comming in the cloudes of Heauen with much power and maiestie.
31. And he shal send his Angels with a trumpet, and a great voice: and they shal gather togeather his Elect from the foure windes, from the furthest parts of Heauen euen to the ends thereof.
32. And of the figtree learne a parable: When now the bough thereof is tender, and the leaues come forth, you know that sommer is nigh.
33. So you also, when you shal see these things, know ye that it is nigh euen at the doores.
34. Amen I say to you, that this Generation shal not passe, til al these things be done.
35. Heauen and earth shal passe, but my words shal not passe.
36. But of that day and houre no body knoweth, neither the Angels of Heauen, but the Father alone.
37. And as Gen. 7,5 in the dayes of Noe, so shal also the comming of the Sonne of man be.
38. For as they were in the dayes before the floud, eating and drinking, marying and giuing to mariage, euen vnto that day in which Noe entred into the arke,
39. and knew not til the floud came, & tooke them al: so also shal the comming of the Sonne of man be.
40. Then two shal be in the field: one shal be taken, & one shal be left.
41. Two women grinding in the mill: one shal be taken, & one shal be left.
42. Watch therfore because you know not what houre your Lord wil come.
43. The Ghospel vpon S. Clement martyr his day Nouember 23. And for some Confessours Bishops. But this know ye, that 1 Thes. 5,1. if the Good-man of the house did know what houre the theefe would come, he would surely watch, and would not suffer his house to be broken vp.
44. Therfore be you also ready, because at what houre you know not, the Sonne of man wil come.
45. Who, thinkest thou, is a faithful and wise seruant whom his Lord hath appointed ouer his familie, to giue them meate in season?
46. Blessed is that seruant, whom when his Lord commeth, he shal find so doing.
47. Amen I say to you, that ouer al his goods shal he appoint him.
48. But if that naughtie seruant shal say in his hart: My Lord is long a comming:
49. and shal begin to strike his felow-seruants, and eateth, & drinketh with drunkards:
50. the Lord of that seruant shal come in a day that he hopeth not, & an houre that he knoweth not,
51. and shal deuide him, & appoint his portion with the Hypocrites: there shal be weeping and gnashing of teeth.