The now after Baptisme we are no more in state of damnation, because by the grace which we haue
receiued, we are able to fulfil the Law; vnles we doe wilfully giue the dominion againe to
concupiscence. 18. Then (because of the persecutions that then were) he comforteth and exhorteth
them with many reasons.
1. THERE is now therfore no damnation to them that are in Christ Iesvs; that walke not according to the flesh.
2. For the Law of the spirit of life in Christ Iesvs, hath deliuered me from the law of sinne and of death.
3. For that which was impossible to the Law, in that it was weakned by the flesh; God sending his Sonne in the similitude of the flesh of sinne, euen of sinne damned sinne in the flesh,
4. that This conuinceth against the Churches Aduersaries, that the law, that is, God's commandements may be kept, & that the keeping therof is iustice, & that in christian men that is fulfilled by Christ's grace which by the force of the Law could neuer be fulfilled. the iustification of the Law might be fulfilled in vs who walke not according to the flesh, but according to the spirit.
5. For they that are according to the flesh, are affected to the things that are of the flesh; but they that are according to the spirit are affected to the things that are of the Spirit.
6. For the wisedom of the flesh is death; but the wisedom of the spirit, life and peace.
7. Because the wisedom of the flesh, is an 'enmitie.' enemie to God: for to the Law of Got it is not subiect, neither can it be.
8. And they that are in the flesh, can not please God.
9. But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, yet if the Spirit of God dwel in you. But if any man haue not the Spirit of Christ, the same is not his.
10. But if Christ be in you; the body indeed is dead because of sinne, but the Spirit liueth because of iustification.
11. And if the Spirit of him that raised vp Iesvs from the dead, dwel in you; he that raised vp Iesvs Christ from the dead, shal quicken also your mortal bodies, because of his Spirit dwelling in you.
12. The Epistle vpon the 8. Sunday after Pentecost. Therfore Brethren, we are debters, not to the flesh, to liue according to the flesh.
13. For if your liue according to the flesh, you shal die. But if by the Spirit, you mortifie the deeds of the flesh, you shal liue.
14. For whosoeuer He meaneth not that the Children of God be violently compelled against their will, but that they be sweetly drawen, moued, or induced to doe good. Aug. Enchirid c. 64. De verb. Do. ser. 43. c. 7. & de verb. Apost. ser. 23. c. 11. 12. are led by the Spirit of God they are the sonnes of God.
15. For 2. Tim. 1,7. you haue not receiued the spirit of seruitude againe in feare; but Gala. 4,5. you haue receiued the spirit of adoption of sonnes, wherein we crie: Abba, (Father).
16. For the Spirit himself, giueth The Spirit giueth testimonie.
The Testimonie of the Spirit.
This place maketh not for the Heretikes special faith, or their presumptuous certainty that euery one of them is in grace; the testimonie of the Spirit being nothing els but the inward good motions, comfort, & contentment, which the children of God doe daily feele more and more in their harts by seruing him: by which they haue as it were an attestation of his fauour towards them, whereby the hope of their iustification and saluation is much corroborated and strengthned. testimonie to our spirit that we are the sonnes of God.
17. And if sonnes, heires also; heires truly of God, and coheires of Christ: Yet if we suffer.
Nowwithstanding Christ's satisfaction & Passion, yet ours also is required.
Christes paines or passions haue not so satisfied for al, that Christian men be discharged of their particular suffring or satisfying for each man's owne part: neither be our paines nothing worth to the attainement of Heauen, because Christ hath done enough; but quite contrarie: he was by his Passion exalted to the glorie of Heauen; therfore we by compassion or partaking with him in the like passions, shal attaine to be fellowes with him in his Kingdom. yet if we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified with him.
18. The Epistle vpon the 4. Sunday after Pentecost. And for many Martyrs. For I thinke that the passions of this time are not 'condignæ ad gloriam.' condigne Condigne.
Al suffring in this life is nothing in comparison of the heauenly glorie, and yet it is meritorious and worthy of the same.
Our Aduersaries ground hereon, that the workes or sufferances of this life be not meritorious or worthy of life euerlasting; where the Apostle saith no such thing, no more then he saith that Christ's Passion be not meritorious of his glorie, which I thinke they dare not much auouch in our Sauiour's actions. He expresseth only, that the very afflictions of their owne nature, which we suffer with or for him, be but short, momentanie, and of no account in comparison of the recompense which we shal haue in heauen. No more indeed were Christes paines of their owne nature, compared to his glorie, any whit comparable: yet they were meritorious or worthy of Heauen; & so be ours.
And therfore to expresse the said comparison, here he saith, They are not condigne *to the glorie. He saith not, of the glorie, as the Heretikes fasly translate: though the Scripture speaketh also, when it signifieth only a comparison: as Prou. 3. in the Greeke, Omne pretiosum non est *illa dignum. S. Augustine, illi dignum. S. Hierom, non vales huic comparari: that is, No pretious thing is worthie of wisedom, or to be compared with it. See the like Eccl. 26,20. Tob. 9,2.
Whence the merit of workes riseth.
But when the Apostle wil expresse that they are condigne, worthy, or meritorious of the glorie, he saith plainely: **That our tribulation which presently is momentanie and light, worketh aboue measure exceedingly an eternal weight of glorie in vs. The valew of Christes actions riseth not of the length of greatnes of them in themselues, though so also they passed al mens doings: but of the worthines of the Person. And so the valew of ours also riseth of the grace of our adoption, which maketh those actions that of their natures be not meritorious nor answerable to the ioyes of Heauen in themselues, to be worthy of Heauen. And they might as wel proue that the workes of sinne doe not demerit damnation: for sinne indeed for the quantity and nature of the worke, is not answerable in pleasure to the paine of Hel: but because it hath a departing or an auersion from God, be it neuer so short, it deserueth damnation, because it alwaies proceedeth from the enemy of God, as good workes that be meritorious, proceed from the child of God.
*ad gloriam, πρὸς τὴν δόξαν.
**2. Corinth. 4,17. to the glorie to come that shal be reuealed in vs.
19. For the expectation of the creature, expecteth the reuelation of the sonnes of God.
20. For the creature is made subiect to vanitie, not willing, but for him that made it subiect in hope:
21. because the creature also itself shal be deliuered from the seruitude of corruption, into the libertie of the glorie of the children of God.
22. For we know that euery creature groneth, & trauaileth euen til now.
23. And not only it, but we also our selues hauing the first fruits of the spirit, we also grone within our selues, expecting the adoption of the sonnes of God, the redemption of our body.
24. For By hope saued.
As sometime faith only is named, so elswhere only hope, & only charitie, as the cause of our saluation.
That which in other places he atttributeth to faith, is here attributed to hope. For whensoeuer there be many causes of one thing, the holy Writers (as matter is ministred & occasion giuen by the doctrine then handled) sometimes referre it to one of the causes, sometime to another: not by naming one alone, to exclude the other, as our Aduersaries captiously & ignorantly doe argue; but at diuerse times and in sundrie places to expresse that, which in euery discourse could not, nor needed not to be vttered. In some discourse, faith is to be recommended; in others, charitie; in another, hope: sometimes, almes, mercie; elswhere, other vertues. One while, Euery one that beleeueth, is borne of God. 1. Iohn 5,1. Another while, Euery one that loueth, is borne of God. 1. Iohn 4,7. Sometimes, faith purifieth man's hart. Act. 15,9. And time, Charitie remitteth sinnes. 1. Peter 4,8. Of faith it is said, The iust liueth by faith Rom. 1,17. Of charitie, We know that we are transferred from death to life, because we loue &c. 1. Iohn 3,14. by hope we are saued. But hope that is seen, is not hope. For that which a man seeth, wherfore doth he hope it?
25. But if we hope for that which we see not; we expect by patience.
26. And in like manner also the Spirit helpeth our infirmitie. For, what we should pray as we ought, we know not: but the Spirit himself requesteth for vs with gronings vnspeakeable.
27. And he that searcheth the harts, knoweth what the The spirit desireth.
Scripture abused against the Godhead of the Holy Ghost.
Arius and Macedonius, old Heretikes, had their places to contend vpon against the Churches sense, as our new Maisters now haue. They abused this text to proue the Holy Ghost not to be God, because he needed not to pray or aske; but he might command if he were God. Therfore S. Augustin expoundeth it thus: The Spirit prayeth, that is causeth & teacheth vs to pray, and what to pray, or aske. August. de animas & eius orig. li. 4. c. 9. & ep. 121. c. 15. Spirit desireth: because according to God he requesteth for the Saints.
28. And we know that to them that loue God, al things cooperate vnto good, to such as according to purpose are called to be Saints.
29. For whom he hath foreknowen, he hath also predestinated to be made conformable to the image of his Sonne: that he might be the First-borne in many Brethren.
30. And Whom he hath predestinated.
The doctrine of predestination, how to be reuerenced, & what it teacheth vs.
God's eternal foresight, loue, purpose, predestination, and election of his deere children, & in time their calling, iustifying, glorifying by Christ, as al other actes & intentions of his diuine wil and prouidence towards their saluation, ought to be reuerenced of al men with dreadful humilitie, & not to be sought out or disputed on with presumptuous boldnes and audacitie. For it is the gulfe that many proud persons, both in this Age and alwaies, haue by God's iust iudgement perished in, founding theron most horrible blasphemies against God's mercie, nature, and goodnes, and diuers damnable errours against man's free-wil, & against al good life & religion. This high conclusion is here set downe for vs, that we may learne to know of whom we ought to depend in al our life, by whom we expect our saluation, by whose prouidence al our graces, guifts, and workes doe stand: by what an euerlasting gratious determination, our redemption, which is in Christ IESVS, was designed: and to giue God incessable thankes for our vocation and preferment to the state we be in, before the Iewes, who deserued no better then they, before the light of his mercie shining vpon vs accepted vs, and reiected them.
God's predestination taketh not away free-wil.
But this said eminent truth of God's eternal predestination standeth (as we are bound to beleeue vnder paine of damnation, whether we vnderstand how or no) & so S. Augustin in al his diuine workes written of the same (De gratia & lib. arb. de corrept. & gratia. Ad articulos saliò impositos.) defendeth, declareth, proueth, and conuinceth, that it doth stand (I say) with man's free-wil and the true libertie of his actions, and forceth no man to be either il or good, to sinne or vertue, to saluation or damnation, nor taketh away the meanes or nature of merits, and cooperation with God to our owne and other mens saluation. whom he hath predestinated; them also he hath called. And whom he hath called; them also he hath iustified. And whom he hath iustified; them also hath he glorified.
31. What shal we then say to these things? If God be for vs, who is against vs?
32. He that spared not also his owne Sonne, but for vs al deliuered him; how hath he not also with him giuen vs al things?
33. Who shal accuse against the elect of God? God that iustifieth.
34. Who is he that shal condemne? Christ Iesvs that died, yea that is risen also againe, who is on the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for vs.
35. The Epistle for S. Ignatius Feb. 1. Who then shal separate vs from the charitie of Christ? tribulation? or distresse? or famine? or nakednes? or danger? or persecution? or the sword?
36. (as it is written: Psa. 43,22. For we are killed for thy sake al the day: we are esteemed as sheep of slaughter.)
37. But in al these things we ouercome because of him that hath loued vs.
38. πέπεισμαι. For I am sure.
No man ordinarily is sure of his saluation, but only in hope.
This speach is common in S. Paul according to the latin translation, when he had no other assured knowledge but by hope: as Rom. 14,2. 2. Tim. 1,5. Heb. 6,9: Where the *Greeke word signifieth only a probable persuasion. And therfore except he meane of himself by special reuelation, or of the predestinate in general, (in which two cases it may stand for the certitude of faith or infallible knowledge) otherwise that euery particular man should be assured infallibly that himself be iustified, and not that only, but sure also neuer to sinne, or to haue the guift or perseruerence, and certaine knowledge of his predestination; that is a most damnable false illusion and presumption, condemned by the Fathers of the holy Council of Trent. Sess. 6. c. 9. 12,13.
*πέπεισμαι, Confido. 9:9. ad Algos. I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor Angels, nor Principalities, nor Powers, neither things present, nor things to come, neither might,
39. nor height, nor depth, nor other creature, shal be able to separate vs from the charitie of God which is in Christ Iesvs our Lord.