To yeald obedience and al other duties vnto Potestates: 8. to loue their neighbour which is the
fulfilling of the Law: 11. and specially to consider, that now being the time of grace we must doe
nothing that may not beseeme day-light.
1. Let Tim. 3,1.
1. Peter 2,13. euery Euery soul be subiect.
Because the Apostles preached libertie by Christ from the yoke of the Law and seruitude of sinne, and gaue al the faithful both example and commandement to obey God more then men, and withal euer charged them expresly to be obedient and and subiect to their Prelates as to them which had cure of their soules and were by the Holy Ghost placed ouer the Church of God: there were many in those daies newly conuerted that thought themselues free from al temporal Potestates, carnal Lords, and humane creatures or powers: wherupon the bondman tooke himselfe to be loose from his seruitude, the subiect from his Soueraigne, were he Emperour, King, Duke, or what other secular Magistrate soeuer; specially the Princes of those daies being Heathens and persecutours of the Apostles, and of Christes religion.
Obedience to temporal Rulers, & in what cases.
For which cause and for that the Apostles were vntruly charged of their Aduersaries, that they withdrew men from order and obedience to Ciuil lawes and Officers; S. Paul here (as S. Peter doth 1. Chap. 2) cleereth himself, and expresly chargeth euery man to be subiect to his temporal Prince and Superiour: Not euery man to al that be in Office or Superioritie, but euery one to him whom God hath put in authoritie ouer him, by that he is his Maister, Lord, King, or such like. Neither to them in matters of religion or regiment of their soules (for most part were Pagans, whom the Apostle could not wil men to obey in matters of faith) but to them in such things only as concerne the publike peace & Policie, & what other causes soeuer consist with God's holy wil and ordinance. For *against God no power may be obeied.
5,29. soul be subiect to higher powers, for there is no power but of Not power but of God.
In what sense, al power or superioritie is of God.
S. Chrysostome here noteth, that power, rule & Superioritie, is God's ordinance, but not efsoones al Princes; because many may vsurp, who reigne by his permission only, and not by his appointment: not al actions that euery one doeth in and by his soueraigne power; as Iulian's apostasie and affliction of Catholikes, Pharao's tyrannical oppression of the Israelites, Achab's persecution of the Prophets, Nero's executing of the Apostles, Herod's and Pilat's condemning of Christ: al which things God permitted them, by the abuse of their power to accomplish, and not being the cause of their euil doings, turned and ordered the same to good effects. S. August. tract. 112. in Ioan S. Tho, 1. p. q. 19. a. 9.
*Chrys. in ep. Ro. ho. 23. God. And those that are, of God are ordeined.
2. Therfore he that resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God. And They that resist.
In things lawfully commanded it is mortal sinne not to obey our Superiours.
Whosoeuer resisteth or obeieth not his lawful Superiour in those causes wherin he is subiect vnto him, withstandeth God's appointment, & sinneth deadly, and is worthy to be punished both in this world by his Superiour, and by God in the next life. For in temporal gouernment and causes, the Christians were bound in conscience to obey their Heathen Emperours: though on the other side, they were bound vnder paine of damnation to obey their Apostles and Prelates, and not to obey their Kings or Emperours in matters of religion. Whereby it is cleere that when we be commanded to obey our Superiours, it is meant alwaies and only in such things as they may lawfully command, and in respect of such matters wherein they be our Superiours. they that resist, purchase to themselues damnation.
3. For Princes are no feare to the good worke, but to the euil. But wilt thou not feare the power? Doe good: and thou shalt haue praise of the same.
4. For he is God's Minister vnto thee for good. But if thou doe euil, feare; for he Beareth not the sword.
The Apostle speaketh of temporal powers.
That the Apostle meaneth here specially of temporal powers, we may see by the sword, tribute, & external compulsion, which he here attributeth to them. And the Christian men then had no doubt whether they should obey their Spiritual powers. But now the disease is cleane contrarie. For al is giuen to the secular power, and nothing to the spiritual which expresly is ordained by Christ and the Holy Ghost: and al the faithful are commanded to be subiect therunto, as to Christ's owne word and wil.
Heresies against rule and Superioritie.
There were Heretikes called Begardi, that tooke away al rule and Superioritie. The wicklifists would obey nor Prince nor Prelate, if he were once in deadly sinne. The Protestants of our time (as we may see in al Countries where the secular sword is drawen against their Sects) care neither for the one nor for the other, though they extol only the secular when it maketh for them.
The obedience of Catholikes both to Spiritual & temporal Superiours.
The Catholikes only most humbly obey both, euen according to God's ordinance, the one in temporal causes, and the other in Spiritual: in which order both these States haue blessedly flourished in al Christian countries euer since Christes time, and it is the very way to preserue both, as one day al the world shal confesse with vs. beareth not the sword without cause. For he is God's Minister: a reuenger vnto wrath, to him that doeth euil.
5. Therfore be subiect of necessitie, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
6. For therfore You giue tributes.
Though euery man ought ought to be ready to serue his temporal Prince with his goods, by tributes or what other lawful taxes and subsidies soeuer; *yet they may exempt by priueledges whom they thinke good.
The Clergie exempted from tribute.
As in al Countries Christian: Priests for the honour of Christ, whose Ministers they be, haue by the grants & ancient charters of Kings been excepted and exempted. Notwithstanding they were neuer vnready to serue voluntarily their Soueraigne, in al common causes, with whatsoeuer they had. See Annot. in Mat. 17,26.
*Hiero. in Mat. 17. you giue tributes also. For they are the Ministers of God, seruing vnto this purpose.
7. Render therfore to al men their dew: Mat. 22,21. to whom tribute, tribute: to whom custom, custom: to whom feare, feare; to whom honour, honour.
8. The Epistle vpon the 4. Sunday after the Epiphanie. Owe no man any thing: but that you loue one another. For he that loueth his neighbour, hath Here we learne that the Law may be & is fulfilled by loue in this life: against the Aduersaries saying it is impossible to keep the commandements. fulfilled the law.
9. For, Exo. 20,13. Thou shalt not commit aduoutrie, Thou shalt not kil, Thou shalt not steale. Thou shalt not beare false witnes, Thou shalt not couet, and if there be any other commandement, it is comprised in this word, Leu. 19,18. Thou shalt loue thy neighbour as thy self.
10. The loue of thy neighbour, worketh no euil. Loue therfore is the fulnesse of the Law.
11. The Epistle vpon the 1. Sunday in Aduent. And that knowing the season, that it is now the houre for vs to rise from sleep. For now our saluation is neerer then when we beleeued.
12. The night is passed, and the day is at hand. Let vs therfore cast off the workes of darknesse, & doe on the armour of light.
13. As in the day let vs walke honestly Not in banketings.
S. Augustines conuersion.
This was the very place which S. Augustine, that glorious Doctour, was by a voice from Heauen directed vnto, at his first miraculous and happy conuersion, not only to the Catholike faith, but also to perpetual continencie, by this voice comming from Heauen, Tolle, lege: Tolle, lege, Take vp and read, take vp and read, as himself telleth li. 8. Confes. c. 12. not in banketings and drunkennes, not in chamberings and impudicities, not in contention and emulation:
14. but doe ye on our Lord Iesvs Christ, and make not prouision for the flesh in concupiscences.