To do good and to distribute forget not; for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
In the tenth verse the Apostle saith, 'We have in altar, of which they have no right: to eat; that serve the tabernacle.' Habemus altare 'We have,' that is, Christians. So it is proprium Christinorum, 'proper to Christians,' not common to the Jews together with Christians; they have no right to communicate and eat there, that 'serve the tabernacle.' And yet it is coumune altarare, 'a common altar' to all Christians, they have all right to eat there. And so it is externum altare, not only a spiritual altar in the heart of every Chris-tian- then St. Paul should have said habeo, or habet unusquisque, 'I have,' and 'every Christian hath in private to himself'---but 'We have an altar,' that is, all Christians have; and it must be external, else all Christians cannot have it.
Our head, Christ, offered His sacrifice of Himself upon the cross; Crux altare Christi; and 'the cross of Christ was the altar' of our Head, where He offered the junicum, verum, et proprium sacrificium 'the only, true, proper sacrifice, propitia-tory' for the sins of mankind, in which all other sacrifices are accepted, and applicatory of this propitiation.
[259/260] 1. The only sacrifice, one in itself, and once only offered, that purchased eternal redemption; and if the redemption be eternal what need is there that it should be offered more than once, when once is all-sufficient?
2. And the true sacrifice. All other are but types and re-presentations of this sacrifice; this only both power to appease God's wrath, and make all other sacrificers and sacrifices ac-ceptable.
3. And the proper sacrifice: as the Psalm saith, Corpus aptasti Mihi, 'Thou hast fitted Me with a body;' the Deity assumed the humanity, that It might accipere a nobis quod of-ferret pro nobis; being the Deity could not offer nor be offered to Itself, He took flesh of ours that He might offer for us.
Now as Christ's cross was His altar where He offered Himself for us, so the Church hath an altar also, where it offereth itself; not Christum in Capite, but Christum in mem-bris, not 'Christ the Head' properly but only by commemora-tion, but Christ the members. For Christ cannot be offered truly and properly no more but once upon the cross, for He cannot be offered again no more than He can be dead again; and dying and shedding blood as He did upon the cross, and not dying and not shedding blood as in the Eucharist, can-not be one action of Christ offered on the cross, and of Christ offered in the Church at the altar by the priest by repre-sentation only, no more than Christ and the Priest are one person: and therefore, though in the cross and the Eucharist there be idem sacrificatum, 'the same sacrificed thing,' that is, the body and blood of Christ offered by Christ to His Father on the cross, and received and participated by the communi-cants in the sacrifice of the altar; yet idem sacrificium quoad actionem sacrificii, or sacricandi 'it is impossible there should be the same sacrifice, understanding by sacrifice the action of sacrifice.' For then the action of Christ's sacrifice, which is long since past, should continue as long as the Eucharist shall endure, even unto the world's end, and His consummatum est is not yet finished; and dying and not dying, shedding of blood and not shedding of blood, and suffering and not suf-fering, cannot possibly be one action; and the representation of an action cannot be the action itself.
And this conceit was unknown to antiquity. All the [260/261] Fathers held it a sacrifice, only because it is a representation or commemoration of the true sacrifice of Christ upon the cross, even as our Saviour commanded, 'Do this in remembrance of Me.' St. Augustine saith, Hujus sacrificii caro et sanguis, ante adventum Christi, per victimas similitudinum pro--mittebatur; in passione Christi, per ipsam veritatem reddebatur; post ascensum Christi, per sacramentum memorise celebratur, &c. And St. Chrysostom, Hoc est exemplar illius, &c. And Thomas Aquinas, giving the reason of the divers names given to this sacrament, saith that it hath a triple signification.
Respectu prueteriti, one 'in respect of the time past,' inasmuch as it is commemorative of the Lord's passion, which is called a true sacrifice; and according to this it is called a sacrifice.
2. Respectu presentis, 'in respect of the present,' that is, of the unity of the Church, unto which men are gathered by this sacrament, and according to this it is named a communion, or synaxis, because by it we communicate with Christ, and are partakers of His Flesh and Deity.
3. Respectu futuri, 'in respect of that which is to come,' inasmuch as this sacrament is prefigurative of the fruition of God, which shall be in heaven; and accordingly it is called viaticum, because it here furnisheth us in the way that leads us thither. Again, it is called the Eucharist, that is, bona gratis, 'the good grace,' because 'eternal life is the grace of God;' or else, because it really contains Christ, Who is full of grace. It is also called metalepsis or assumptio, because by it we assume the Deity of the Son. All this, Part III Q. lxxiii. Art. 4. In corpore. And in his answer ad tertiam he addeth, That this sacrament is called a sacrifice inasmuch as it doth represent the passion of Christ; it is likewise called hostia, 'an host,' inasmuch as it containeth Christ Himself, Who is hostia salutaris.
Here is a representative, or commemorative, and participated sacrifice of the passion of Christ, the true sacrifice, that is past; and here is an eucharistical sacrifice; but for any external proper sacrifice, especially as sacrifice doth signify the action of sacrificing, here is not one word. And therefore this is a new conceit of latter men, since Thomas' time, unknown to him, and a mere novelism. And the cure is as bad as the disease; though Thomas gives no other reasons why it is called a sacrifice, yet say they, Thomas denieth it not. For [261/262] that is plainly to confess that this is but a patch added to antiquity. And yet when he saith it is a representative or commemorative sacrifice, respectu præteriti, 'in respect of that which is past,' that is, the passion of Christ which was the true sacrifice, he doth deny by consequent that it is the true sacrifice itself' which is past. And if Christ be sacrificed daily in the Eucharist, according to the action of sacrifice, and it be one and the same sacrifice offered by Christ on the cross and the priest; at the altar, then can it not be a representation of that sacrifice which is past, because it is one and the same sacrifice and action present.
Therefore St. Paul proceeds in the fifteenth verse: 'By Him line therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name.' 'Let us offer up to God.' Christians then have an offering. And, 'Let us offer up to God continually:' this is the ground of the daily sacrifice of Christians, that answereth to the daily sacrifice of' the Jews. And this sacrifice of praise and thanks may well be understood the Eucharist, in which we chiefly praise and thank God for this His chief and great blessing of our redemption. And this and all other sacrifices of the Church, external or spiritual, must be offered up and ac-cepted per Ipsum in, by, and through Christ. St. Paul saith not Ipsum offeramus, 'Let us offer Him,' that is Christ; but 'Let us offer and sacrifice' per Ipsum, 'by Him' in Whom only we and our sacrifices are accepted. And Romans the twelfth, Offerte corpora, 'Offer your bodies living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.' It is not corpora sine animis, not 'bodies without souls,' for in them without souls there is no life, no holiness, no accepting; and this is man's 'reasonable service,' all else is without reason. And St. Peter--the first Pope, as they reckon him who I assured had infallibility--saith, 'Ye also as lively stories are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God,' per Jesu, Christum, by Jesus Christ.' And St. James tells us that to be primitiæ creaturarum; not offer to God the first-fruits of our fields or cattle but that we might offer up ourselves 'first-fruits' to God. So all the offerings of the Church are the [262/263] Church itself; and Christ the Head offered corpus naturale, 'His Natural body,' His soul and flesh for a sacrifice for the ransom and price of our sin, thereby purchasing 'eternal redemption', and by this 'one offering He perfected for ever them that are sanctified.' Neither doth Christ there, that is, in heaven, where He now appears in the presence of God,' offer often, or any more for us, but this once; there is appearing, but no offering. And the Apostle gives the reason of it: 'For then He must have often suffered since the foundation of the world.' He appears in heaven as our High Priest, and makes intercession for us; but He offers His natural body no more but once, because He suffers but once. No offering of Christ, by St. Paul's rule, without the suffering of Christ: the Priest cannot offer Christ's natural body with-out the suffering of Christ's natural body.
So likewise the Church, which is Christ's mystical holy, offers not Christ's natural body; it hath no power to offer the natural body, which is proper to Christ only, Polo animam et nemo tollit not the Church, nor they that are not the Church. And there is no such thing in Scripture, nor I presume call easily be shelved out of any of the probable and undoubted Fathers; but the Church offers corpus mysticum, 'Christ's mystical body,' that is, itself; to God in her daily sacrifice.
First, all sacrifice is proper and due only to God. Be men never so venerable, never so worshipful, yea adorandi, 'to be adored' also, yet no man ever offered sacrifice to any, unless he knew him or thought him or feigned him to be God. True angels would never accept sacrifice; and wicked angels only sought it, because they also affected to be deified.
In, which respect never any priest at the altar, even super corpus Martyris, 'over the body or sepulchre of any martyr,' offere tibi sacrificium, Petre, Paule, Cypriane, 'I offer sacrifice to thee, O St. Peter, St. Paul, or St. Cyprian.' All celebrities towards them, whether praises to God for their victories, or exhortations to their imitation, are only ornamenta memoriarum, 'the ornaments of their memories,' not sacra nor sacrificial mortuorum, tanquam deorum, 'not the sacred things or sacrifices of the dead, as if' they were gods.'
And therefore St. Augustine often denies temples, altars, and sacrifices inward and outward, visible and invisible, to all [263/264] martyrs and saints, as being proper and peculiar to God only, And I trust prayers and invocation be in this number. For as orantes et laudantes, 'prayer; and praising, we direct our signifying words to Him to Whom we offer the things signi-fied in our hearts; so sacrificing, we know the visible sacrifice is to be offered to no other but to Him Whose invisible sacri-fice in our hearts we ourselves ought to be,' nos esse debemus. And then it followeth in the twentieth chapter: 'The true Me-diator, inasmuch as taking upon Him the form of a servant the Man Jesus Christ a Mediator of God and man, whereas in the form of God He takes sacrifice; with His Father, yet in the form of a servant,' maluit esse quam summeri. 'He chose rather to be a sacrifice than to receive sacrifice, lest even by this occasion any man might think he might sacrifice to a creature. By this (nature) He is a Priest, the same the offerer, and the same the thing offered.' Cujus rei sacramentum, 'of which things He would have the daily sacrifice of the Church to be a sacrament,' quæ eum Ipsius Capitis sit, seipsam per Ipsum discit offerre 'which Church being the body of our Lord Himself', doth learn to offer itself', that is, the Church, by Him, that is, by Christ.' Here the body of the Head is the mystical body of Christ, and therefore the daily sacrifice of the Church is not the natural body of Christ, but the mystical body that offers itself' to God by Christ. This made St. Au-gustine to say of angels, and elect and glorious saints Nec illis sacrificemus, sed cum illis sacrificium Deo simus, 'Let us not sacri-fice to them, but let us be a sacrifice to God together with them.'
But a singular and full place we have in the same tenth book and sixth chapter. Where, having shewed what sacrifice is, that is, every work which is` performed, that we may cleave to God in a holy society, being referred to that end of good, by which we may be truly blessed; (as it man consecrated to the name of God, and dying to the world that he may live to God, is it sacrifice; as the body chastened by temperance, is a sacrifice, such as the Apostle calls for, 'Offer up your bodies to be a living sacrifice;' and if the body, the servant and instrument of the soul, much more the soul itself' is a sacrifice; as likewise works of mercy and the like;) hence, saith he, it cometh to pass, ut tota ipsa redempta civitæ societasque sanctorum universale sacrificum offertur Deo, &c. [264/265] 'that the whole redeemed city and society of the Saints is offered up an universal sacrifice to God by our great Priest Who also offered Himself in His passion for us, that we might be the body of so great a Head, in the form of a servant. For this He offered, in this He was offered, because according to this He is our Mediator, in this our Priest, in this our sacrifice.' And then urging again the Apostle's words, of offering our 'bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable to God, which is our reasonable service' of Him, he adds, Quod totum sacrificium ipsi nos sumus, 'all which whole sacrifice we are;' we the members are this whole sacrifice, not Christ the Head. 'For as in the body there are many members, and many offices of those members, so 'we being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another,' having 'divers gifts according to the grace given us.' Hoc est sacrificium Christianorum, multi unum corpus sumus in Christo, 'this is the sacrifice of Christians, many are one body in Christ.' This must necessarily be the mystical body of' Christ, the natural body it cannot be: Quod etiam Sacramento altaris fidelibus noto frequentat Ecclesia; ubi ei demonstratur, quod in i1lâ oblatione quam offert ipsa offeratur. 'Which sacrifice the Church also frequents in the Sacrament of the altar, well known to the faithful, in which it is demonstrated to be Church, that in that oblation which the Church itself is offered.' I hope the Church is the mystical body of Christ, not the natural. Ipsum vero sacrificum corpus est Christi, quod non offertur ipsis quia hoc sunt et ipsi; denying temples, altars, and sacrifices to the martyrs and saints, he saith, 'The sacrifice itself is the body of Christ, which is not offered to them, because they are not this sacrifice.' This may suffice to satisfy any reasonable man of the sacrifice of the Church in St. Augustine's judgment yet give me leave to add one place more because it may stand for many, and that is, lib. 10. caps. 31.Nec jubent, &c 'Neither do they command that we should sacrifice to them but only to Him, Whose sacrifice we together with them ought to be'--a sacrifice, ut sæpe dixi, et sæpe dicendum est, 'as I have often said, and must often say.'
This then is the daily sacrifice of the Church in St. Augustine's resolute judgment, even the Church itself, the universal [265/266] body of Christ, not the natural body, whereof the Sacrament is an exemplar and a memorial only, as hath been shewed. And when they shall prove the Church's sacrifice to be the natural body of Christ, and the same sacrifice with the sacrifice of the cross, as it denoteth the action of sacrificing, because the Fathers often use the word corpus Christi, ' body of Christ,' they shall be further answered.
In the mean time the Church of England in her reformed Liturgy--offering 'ourselves our souls, and bodies to be a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is our reasonable service of Him'--may truly and boldly say, that in this she hath far exceeded their canon of their Mass, in which there is not one syllable that mentions the sacrifice of ourselves and souls and bodies, which is the only thing that God looks and calls for at our hands, and in Christ our Head is most pleasing; nay more, only pleasing to Him, and in our power to offer properly.
We deny not then the daily sacrifice of the Church, that is, the Church itself, warranted by Scriptures and Fathers. We take not upon us to sacrifice the natural body of Christ otherwise than by commemoration, as Christ Himself and St. Paul doth prescribe. They rather that take a power never given them over the natural body of Christ, which once offered by Himself purchased eternal redemption all-sufficient for sin, to offer it again and often, never thinking of the offering of Christ's mystical body, the Church, that is ourselves, our souls and bodies--they I say do destroy the daily sacrifice of Christians, which is most acceptable to God.
Now then that which went before in the Head, Christ, on the cross, is daily performed in the members, in the Church. Christ there offered Himself once for jus; we daily offer ourselves by Christ, that so the whole mystical body of Christ in due time may be offered to God.
This was begin in the Apostles in their Liturgy, of whom it is said, Ministrantibus illis, 'While they ministered and prayed the Holy Ghost said unto them,' &c. Erasmus reads it, Sacrificantibus illis, 'While they sacrificed and prayed.' If they had offered Christ's natural body, the Apostles would surely have made some mention of it in their writings, as well as they do of the commemorative sacrifice. The word is leitourgoÚntwu [266/267] so it is a Liturgical sacrifice, or a sacrifice performed or offered in our Liturgy or form of God's worship; so the offering of ourselves, our souls, and bodies, is a part of divine worship.
Now as it is not enough to feed our own souls, unless we also feed both the souls and bodies of the poor, and there is no true fast unless we distribute that to the poor which we deny to our own bellies and stomachs; and there cannot be a perfect and complete adoration to God in our devotions, unless there be also doing good and distributing to our neighbours; therefore to the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving in the Eucharist in the Church, mentioned in the fifteenth verse, we must also add beneficence and communication in this text; for, Devotio debetur Capiti, beneficentia membris, 'the sacrifice of devotion is due to our Head, Christ, and piety and charity is due to the members.' So then, offer the sacrifice of praise to God daily in the Church, as in the fifteenth verse; and distribute and communicate the sacrifice of compassion and alms to the poor out of the church, as in this text.
Shall I say extra Ecclesiam, 'out of the Church?' I do not say amiss if I do say so; yet I must say also intra Ecclesiam; this should be a sacrifice in the Church, the Apostles kept it so in their time. Primo die, 'the first day of the week,' when they came together to pray and break, St. Paul's rule was, separet unusquisque, 'let every one set apart' or 'lay by in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gathering when I come.' And our Liturgy in the offertory tenders her prayers and alms on the Lord's day or Sunday, as a part of the sacrifice or service of that day, and of God's worship; which I wish were more carefully observed among us. For this also is a Liturgy or office, so called by the Apostle, » dtakona tÁj leitonrgaj, 'the administration of this service.' Or 'office.' For the daily service and sacrifice not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God. So the Lord's day, or Sunday, is then best kept and observed, when to our prayers and praises and sacrifices of ourselves, our souls and bodies, we also add the sacrifice of ours goods and alms, and other works of mercy to make it up perfect and complete, that there may be opus diei in die suo, 'the work of the day in the proper day thereof,' and these two [267/268] sacrifices of praise and alms, joined here by God and His Apostle, may never be parted by us in our lives and practice.
First then we see, that as our Saviour first preached in the mount, and then healed in the cities and towns, so when we have offered ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be living and spiritual sacrifices in the Church unto God, by our High Priest Christ, we must not rest there, but must also offer our goods and alms, whether in the Church or out of the church, to the relief of the poor members of Christ that are in want. And that these two, 1. the sacrifice of praise, 2. and the sacrifice of alms may appear to be indivisible and inseparable, insomuch that he that will give himself, his soul, and body to God, will never spare also to give his goods to those that suffer hunger, and thirst, and nakedness see how our Apostle joins these two. 1. First, Per Ipsum offeramus, 'By Christ our High Priest, let us offer ourselves.' 2. and lest that should be thought to be all the whole sacrifice that man is to tender to his God, He adds this second, with a Nolite oblivisci, by a kind of affirmative, 'To do good and to distribute forget not;' fearing, as it were, lest when man had done his homage and fealty to God, of Whom he holds in chief, he might think that were enough to sacrifice to God in the church on the Lord's Day, and then forget his brother all the week after, and never to take compassion on him; whereas the truth is, Unus amor, but duplex objectum, 'the love is but one' wherewith we love God for Himself, and our brother who is God's image for His sake, as there be two eyes, yes but one visual faculty. For as it is to no purpose to learn our duty at the mouth of God's preachers on the Lord's day, and never to put it in practice all our week or life following, as if it were a matter only for the brain and understanding, whereas in truth first it should edify our faith and then fructify in our lives; so it is a very short love to profess to love God Whom we have not seen, and starve our poor brethren, who lie at our gates in such sort that we cannot choose but to see them.
I. So then the words contain first, an act beneficentiæ et communionis, 'to do good and distribute;' and that must needs be a great work, for it is 'to do good,' and nothing is truly great [268/269] but that which is good. II. A caveat, Nolite oblivisci, it is a work of great consequence, very important to our salvation, it may not be forgotten. III. How small or vile it may seem in itself, yet it is of a high rate and great esteem; sacrificial sunt, et talia sunt, 'they are sacrifices, and sacrifices, and sacrifices of much price,' though they be but crumbs of bread or drops of water, and so much the more precious because they are grateful to God. Delectator, or placatur Deus, 'God id pacified,' or 'God is well pleased;' and all the world is well given to appease and pacify His wrath, and gain His favour.
Now the work is comprised in two words, beneficentia ey communicatio, 'beneficence and distribution.' Beneficence or bounty, that is, affectio cordis, 'the affection and compassion of the heart;' and communication and distribution, that is opus manum, 'the work of the hand.' And these two may be no more divided than the two other sacrifices, or devotion in the sacrifice of ourselves, and charity in the relief of the poor; for beneficence is ut fons, 'as the fountain' and spring or cistern, whence all works of compassion do arise, and distribution is ut rivuli, 'as the rivers' or channels or pipes, by which the waters of comfort and goodness are carried to hungry souls.
Beneficence is as the sun, distribution is as the light that proceeds from the sun. At the beneficence of the heart, there we must begin; and by the distribution and communication of the hand, there is the progress. And it is not enough that our heart is charitable and full of compassion, if we be clusterfisted, and close-handed, and give nothing. 'Go and be warm;' and, 'Go and be fed;' and, 'Go and be clothed;' they be verba compassionis, 'words of compassion;' but if we do not as well feed and clothe as our tongue blesseth, we may have gentle hearts like Jacob's voice, but our hands will be cruel and hairy like Esau's, that vowed to kill his brother.
And true religion is no way a gargleism only, to wash the tongue and mouth, to speak good words; it must root in the heart and then fructify in the hand, else it will not cleanse the whole man.
Now God only is good, and the universal good of all things, and goodness itself. It there be any good in man, it is particular, not universal, and it is participatum; man is not good in himself, but only by participation; goodness in God is [269/270] essentia, 'essence and being,' and He is so goodness that He cannot be but goodness, good in Himself and good of Himself.
In many goodness is accidens, I an accident,' and such an accident as most commonly lie is devoid of it, but only by the grace and likeness of God; so that man is good solâ similitudine bonitatis divinæ, only by the similitude and imitation of the divine good;' the nearer to God the nearer to goodness, and the further from God the more removed from all good-ness. So that as in every good the greatest good is most desired, so in doing good that is ever best that joins us most to our greatest good.
I. All creatures are said to be good by the goodness of God, ut principio, 'as the principal and efficient cause' of all good; 2. ut exempari, ' as the pattern and exemplar,' and idea, according to which all good things are fashioned; 3. ut fine, 'as the end and final cause' for which all things were made.
And the like is in this beneficence and doing of good. For first, it must be good a causâ, 'in regard of the first and efficient cause,' which is God, as the good fruit proceeds from the good tree, and the tree owes his goodness to God That transplants and waters it. 2. It must be good in fundamento, 'in respect of the foundation,' as the house find the living stones and spiritual buildings are therefore good, because they are built upon the immoveable foundation, the rock Christ. And 3. it must be good a fine 'from the end' to which it is referred; it takes beginning from the Holy Ghost and the riches of grace, and it must be directed only to the supreme and grand end of all things, God's glory and the relief of the poor members o£ Christ.
And these two, beneficence and communication, the emi-nent and imperated acts of true religion, the mother of true virtue, they are also the acts of many other particular virtues. I. For first, they are the acts of charity, because they proceed from the love of God; 2. they are the acts of justice, because relief and sustentation is the due debt that is owing to the poor; 3. they are the acts of liberality and bounty, because the free gift of men, not the merit of the needy; 4. they are the acts of mercy, because they participate with the wants and miseries of the afflicted.
[270/271] So that as impendere is bonitatis, 'to do good and distribute,' and bestow is the act of goodness; so likewise rependere, to pay them where we owe them is justitiæi, 'the work of justice' And therefore our goods, they are not properly ours in such sort that we can carry them with us when we go hence, but they are bona pauperum, so our goods that they are also the goods of the poor, whereof we are rather stewards than proprietaries and lords; and he that so keeps and hoards them that he doth not expend them to buy the kingdom of heaven with them at the hands of the poor, (Ipsorum est regnum,) he doth indeed detinere alienum, he defrauds the poor, and 'de-tains that which is another's.' And therefore the Psalm saith, Dispersit, dedit pauperibus, justitia ejus in æternum; 'He hath dispersed and given to the poor, his righteous-ness endures for ever;' not his mercy only, but his justice also.
Where, by the way, observe that there it is first, Dispersit, dedit, 'He dispersed and gave to the poor.' Here in the text that lies before me this day it is, Dedit, dispersit, He gave it, and then He dispersed it, to the poor, in such sort that lie did as it were study how to disperse it to all sorts of poor, even its many kinds of poor as he could devise and find fit to receive it, learned, old men, widows, children and prisoners, and the like.
And this goodness, whether we understand it plainly as the intention of the heart that doth the good, and the works of the hand that distributes and divides it; or whether we understand it as some do, that there is beneficentia in iis quæ dantur, 'beneficence in those things that are given,' and communicatio in iis quæ servantur, 'communication in those things that we give not,' because in these times omnoaa errant communia, 'till things were in common,' And so they did communicate even those things which they did not communicate and distribute; this goodness, I say, bath two properties of true goodness : first, it is diffusivum sui, 'diffusive of itself,' it imparts itself to as many as it can, it heaps not all upon one, as those do that rob all others that they may enrich their heir; secondly, it is unitivum Deo et proximo, 'it is unitive, and unites us to God,' for whose sake we do it, 'and to our neighbour,' to whom we do it.
[271/272] And surely as in the civil states, Quid leges sine moribus vanæproficiunt? 'What will the best laws profit us, if there be no obedience, no manners?' are they not altogether vain, of less force than spiders' webs? And in Christianity, Quid fides sine operibus? 'What will faith and knowledge profit us, if it fructify not in life and works?' He that will send an embassage to God, that shall surely speed, he must send sighs from his heart, tears from his eyes, prayers from his mouth, and also alms from his hands, and they will prove of that force that God cannot deny them.
And if we will take with us the resolution of the learned, out of the form of the last judgment, it will amount to thus much, that not only peccata commissionis, 'sins of commission,' or sins committed will condemn us, but also peccata omnionis, 'sins of omission,' or omission of doing good, as not feeding and clothing the poor, will cast us into hell; and auferre alienia et non dare sua, 'to take other men's goods from them' either by force or fraud, 'and not to give our own' to the poor, both are damnable, though not in the same degree. And therefore our Saviour's counsel is well worth the learning; 'make you friends of unrighteous Mammon, that when you shall fail, they may receive you into everlasting tabernacles.' And these external gifts, they are the vaticum or viands to carry us to heaven; for though non hîc cælum, 'heaven be not here' in this life, yet hîc quæritur cælum, here in this life heaven is to be sought, and here it is either found or lost. So then, shall we fast from meat and not from sin? Shall we pray, and rob the poor? Shall our tongue praise charity, and our hands spoil those that need our charity? God forbid!
And now, most glorious Bounty, and Communication, and Distribution, what shall I say of thee, but that thou art vita sanctorum, the very life, and joy, and delight of all saints?' And when saints must leave this life, and all things else leave them, and they leave all things, yet thou leavest them not, but art comes defunctorum, the 'inseparable companion of the dying.' For of all that a man hath, there is nothing that shall accompany him to the tribunal of the great Judge of the quick and the dead but peccata et bona opera, 'sins and good works;' and then it will appear that the voice of a few good works, done [272/3] for Christ's sake, will speak louder, and plead harder and more effectually for us, than all our glorious words and professions.
And this doing good and distributing is not only profitable, but admirable also. For why? By evils and wants of others itself is bettered, and it becomes beautiful by the uncleanness and nastiness of the wretched; it is enriched by others' poverty, by others' infirmities it grows strong, the bearing of burdens attols and lifts it up, and therein of all other it is happy, de spinis colligit uvas; it does that which Christ denies to be feasible, it gathers 'grapes of thorns,' and sweetest consolation out of greatest miseries; and that which is contrary to all nature and natural reason, ex agro sterilissimo paupertatis messem copiosossomam colligit, 'out of the most barren fields of poverty it reaps the most beautiful harvest.' And herein are these two virtues most to be admired: misericordia miseriam aliorum facit notram, 'mercy makes other men's miseries and calamities to be our own;' and charitas facit bona nostra proximorum, 'charity makes our goods to be our neighbours.'
If a traveling man were heavy-laden, were it not a great and happy ease for him if his fellow-traveller would bear part of his burden? And divitiæonus, 'riches is a heavy load,' it presses down many so much that they are never able to climb up to heaven. What is then to be done? Da partem comiti, 'give thy companion,' the poor man, 'a part with thee,' thou shalt refresh him that is weary of his wants, and thyself shalt run most lightly and nimbly to heaven gates.
And now if thou wilt do as my text teacheth--that is, 'to do good and distribute'--yet take these few rules in the way, they will make thee to make the more and better speed. First, do it voluntarily, willingly, not by compulsion, as if it were a grievous tax or seize; for God more regards thy affection than thy gift, the wido's two mites more than greatheaps of treasure. And why? God is ponderator spiritum, non panis autmonete, 'God is a weightier of spirits rather than of bread and money.' 2. Do it hilariter, 'cheerfully;' for thou well knowest what God loves most, that is, 'a cheerful giver.' He doth not respect quid, what it is that thou givest, but exquanto, the cheerful heart it comes from. 2. Do it affabiliter, 'with kinds words and fair language,' not of a weariness to be [273/274] rid of a beggar, its the unjust judge righted the importunate widow, but out of compassion to relieve him. And certainly when there is pietas in re, 'compassion and piety in thee deed,' non sit in verbis contumelia, 'though thou give him good counsel, yet load him not with reproaches and contumelies,' upbraid him not with his wants or diseases, for God might have turned the tables, and made him as rich its Abraham and thee as poor and infirm as Job or Lazarus. 4. Do it festinanter 'speedily;' for 'blessed is he that considers the poor and needy,' and prevents his petition: for this is indeed to give twice, to give quickly; to have his money or his bread pre-pared and ready at his hand, as more ready to give than they to ask; and this is indeed quærere paupers quibus benefacias, 'to seek and search for the poor to whom thou mayest do good.' And know withal, that Abraham's speed to entertain Christ and His Angels made sinum Ahrahæ receptaculum Lazari, 'Abraham's bosoms to be the receptacle and place of rest to Lazarus,' as well as Lazarus' patience advanced him to Abraham's bosom. And 5. do it humilitier, ' in all humi-lity,' ut eluas peccatum, non ut corrrumpas judicem, 'to redeem thine own sins by thine own alms,' as Daniel said to Nebu-chadnezzar, but 'not to corrupt shy judge,' that thou mayest sin more freely, more securely. For God is like to hear the loudest cry; and it may be the cry of thy sin may decry or cry down thine alms, and the scale of sin may make thine alms to be found too light.
Again, take I beseech you these things into your consideration. First, Quis petit? 'Who it is that asks an alms of thee?' Thou takest it to be the poor man, but thou mistakest it; it is Deus in paupere, 'God thy Creator, and Christ thy Redeemer in the poor man.' And dost thou hoard up for thy wife, or thy child, or thy servant, that will spend it ill riot, et negas Creatori vel Redemptorii, 'and dost thou deny to God thy Creator, and Christ thy Redeemer' That bought thee with His own blood and life?
Secondly, Quid petit? 'What it is that He doth ask?' In short, Suum non tuum, He asks not thine, thou hast only the use and dispose of it, but He asks His own, and 'what hast thou that thou Mast not received,' even to thyself, thy soul, and thy body, all the gifts of nature, and the gifts of grace? [274/275] And when all is said, this is indeed all, Da quod dedi, 'Give Me that I first gave thee,' a fruit of Mine own tree, I bestowed it on thee; Da et reddam, ' Give Me' but some crumbs, sonic drops out of thy heap, out of thy fountain, 'I will repay it;' nay, Da et debitor ero, 'Give Me any part, I will become a debtor to thee' upon My word and promise to repay it in heaven.
Thirdly, Ad quid, 'To what purpose' doth God ask thee by the poor man? to gain it to Himself'? No, ad mutuandum, only 'to borrow' of thee; and he assured He is the best pay-master, He will restore to thee a hundred-fold. And wilt thou lend to a Jew or a Turk for ten or eight in the hundred, et Deo non accommodus, 'and wilt thou not lend' to thy Creator and Redeemer, Who will give an 'everlasting weight of glory' for thy crumbs and drops.
And fourthly, Quid daturus Qui petit, 'What will He give thee, That now begs of thee ?' For thy broken bread and meat He will make thee partaker of the feast of the Lamb, and for a few drops of water He will crown thee in the king-dom of glory; pro poculo aquae frigidæ torrens voluptatis, 'for a cup of cold water'--water, the common clement, and cold water, that cost thee not the charge of a fire to warm it--'there is a torrent,' nay, there, a very sea of all pleasures provided for thee for all eternity.
'Do good then and distribute,' but do it manibus propriis, 'with thine own hands,' if' thou canst spare it; not by other men's hands, which may die soon after thee, or else deceive thy trust. Lucerna in manibus, non a tergo, 'Hang not, thy light at thy back to shine after thy death, but carry it in thy hand;' be executor of thine own will. And do it secreto, 'in secret,' without a trumpet; the seed must he buried or harrowed under the earth, else it neither roots nor multiplies; which though perdi videtur, 'it seem to be lost,' yet, unless it be thus sowed and buried, re verâ perditur, ' it will be lost indeed ;' and the more thou sowest the more thou shalt reap sparingly.
And now, in the second place, mark the caution; Nolite oblivisei, 'To do good and to distribute forget not.' Offer the sacrifice of praise: daily; and if' daily, it is likely enough to be remembered, because it is never forgotten, never omitted in the Church, whither thou art put as to the school of memory.
[275/276 This is but lip-labour, or at the most but a heart-labour, it costs nothing but breath; but to give alms, to 'do good, and to distribute,' that costs more; it will put thee to the charge of bread and water, and clothes, and the like, which is chargeable and burdensome. Any thing but our purses. No, that must not be left out neither to 'do good, and to distribute,' to rob thine own back and thy belly to feed the hungry and clothe the naked, nolite oblivisci; forget not to add this sacrifice of alms to that other of devotion and praise.
And surely I may call this the chapter of remembrances, or the remembrancer's chapter. In the second verse, Memento hospitalitatis, 'Forget not to be hospitable;' Abraham entertained Angels, yea, the Son of God, the Lord of Angels, by his hospitality. In the third verse, Memento vinctorum et afflictorum laborantium, Remember those that are in bonds and afflicted, being yourselves in bonds and adversity together with them;' for as Christus pascitur in iis, so incarceratur, as 'Christ is fed in the poor,' so 'He is imprisoned' with them that are in bonds, and exiled with His exiled members, and condemned to the mines with those that are chained in the mines; and it is an impossibility to banish the Head from His members, in whom He lives, and they in Him. In the eighth verse, Memento præpositorum, 'Remember your governors, that have the rule over you;' you owe so much to them that have sown in you the word of God, whose faith is a light or example to you. So here, 'To do good and to distribute forget not.' The rest are particulars, hospitality to strangers, visitation to prisoners, comfort to the persecuted, and sustentation to our spiritual governors; but this is general and extends to all, strangers, prisoners, persecuted, governors and all other men in need in general, though with a præipue, 'chiefly, to the household of faith.' For every man is our neighbour to whom charity is to be extended, but they are more nearly our neighbours to whom we stand bound by a double obligation and fraternity, of nature and grace.
Why then is our Apostle so solicitous that we 'forget not' this 'doing good and distributing?' a man would think the precept need not be so strictly urged and inculcated, and that in the negative which binds super et ad semper, and therefore never to be forgotten. The moralist gives a good rule: Homo in homine calamitoso misericors meninit sui, [276/277] 'that man is merciful to a man in misery and calamity remembers himself;' he might have been in misery and need, as well as his afflicted neighbour, if God had so disposed. Is it such a matter to be so much and so often inculcated? Can a man forget himself? Or can any man think that which falls to another man might not fall upon him? equal in nature and grace may also be equal in misery, if God will. Yes surely there is need, for he that beheld his face in the glass, he went away, et statim oblitus est, 'straightway he forgetteth' his own shape, his own spots and deformities, amends none of them, never thinks on them more till he comes to the glass again; be the glass never so true, never so pure, even as pure as the word of God itself, yet so often as he comes so often he forgets: therefore nothing is more needful than this not forgetting.
And the truth is, most men are like to the young man that said to our Saviour Christ, 'all these things,' the commandments of God, custodivi ab adoloscentiâ, ;have I kept from my youth;' but yet he had not so strictly kept God's commandments but that withal custodivit boba omnia a puperibus, 'he had more strictly kept all his goods from the poor;' and because he had great substance, and loved it greatly, he had need to be remembered with, Nolite oblivisci, 'Forget not to do good and distribute;' for he custos pecuniæpotius quam præcepti, he was a keeper, but 'a keeper of money,' and no keeper but a breaker of the commandments.
The rich man and all his fellows have need of this, 'Forget not;' he saw Lazarus 'full of sores,' from the crown of the head to the sole of the foot, and the very sight of him was conflatorium pietatis, 'the very bellows' and anvil 'of compassion;' and he lay at his gate, he could neither go in nor go out but he must look upon him, yet obliviscitur quod vidit, 'he forgot him that he saw' and could not choose but see him, nay, he saw the 'dogs' more merciful in 'licking his sores' than himself was in curing or feeding him; and therefore non accepit gutam acquæ, 'he received not one drop of water' 'to cool his tongue.' (He was a great but a most miserable professor, and therefore his tongue was most tormented, because therein consisted all his religion.) And the reason is, because non dedit micam panis, [277/278] 'he would not give him' so much as he gave his dogs, 'not one crumb of bread.'
There be some that say, Quando Te vidimus esurientem, nudum, &c.? 'When did we see Thee hungry or naked?' Peradventure they never saw Him in His own person, in capite, as a particular man, 'the Head,' but they could not but see Him in membris, 'in his members,' the poor; vident pauperem, but christum in paupere non vident, 'they saw the poor man, nut Christ they saw not in the poor man.' Here is great need of this, Nolite oblivisci, Forget not to put them in mind, that they flatter not themselves with this ambiguity. Te et Te totum, they see not the man Jesus, the Head alone, but they cannot choose but see the whole Christ, that is, Christ the Head and the poor His members.
There is one, and I would there were but one, that received a talent and hid it in a napkin under the earth: he was worthy to hear Serve nequam, 'Evil servant,' for he knew his Master's will, That gave His talents to 'receive them with increase; His memory failed and had need to be rubbed with oblitus tradere usuraris, he forgot that which he did not forget; he forgot not to take usury for his money, and use upon use, but he forgot the true and lawful usury, to 'give it to the poor,' and so to 'lend it to the Lord,' Who would surely have paid both principal and interest also; both the substantial reward of eternal life, and also the accidental degree and measure of glory.
How many are there that forget the preacher's precept, 'Cast thy bread upon the waters.' How many ate there that say, 'My barns are too little, I will pull them down and build bigger.' Who have been at the school of forgetfulness, and do not remember, quod ventres pauperum capiunt quod horrea non capiunt, 'that the bellied of the poor are greater than the greatest barns,' and will receive and consume all that which the greatest barns cannot hold; yea the poor do so multiply that the rich are not able to feed them. The foolish rich man said in the Gospel, 'Soul, thou hast much goods laid up in store for many years;' but when he said so he had not many hours to reckon, to 'eat and dronk and take his pleasure.' Male recondite melius erogata, 'They were ill laid up, they had been much better distributed and scattered abroad.'
[278/279] It may be they may pass all the degrees of comparison: male parta, 'ill gotten' by oppression and fraud and rapine; and pejus detenta. 'worse kept and detained' that which is ill gotten may be worse kept; and so that is that is scraped and extorted from all others, is denied to all others, and most of all to himself, and God, and Christ; and pessime erogata 'expended worst of all,' in riot and excess, in pride and vanity, in cruelty and rebellion, in denying maintenance to the King and country, or to the poor.
But howsoever ill gotten, worse imprisoned and debarred the light of the sun; and worst of all so spent, that with them the soul and life and heaven itself is spent and lost; yet the truth is, they are then best kept when they are well expended, and never better than on the poor afflicted members of Christ, than in buying of heaven. But if you will make a true conjunction indeed, they are then bene recondite when bene erogata, 'well stored and laid up when they are well laid out,' Reconde in sinu pauperum, 'The best house to lay them up is to put them into the box and bosom of the poor,' for that indeed is the safest and surest treasury, safer than the temple itself, the living temples of God; a treasury sine fure, sine verme, 'without thief, without worm;' whatsoever is put there defertur Deo, the poor man 'will carry it to God,' out Whose hands it can never be taken.
And this is indeed the art of arts. Not the gold-making juggling art, which under the name of gold-making is the consumer of gold, but the art of turning earth into heaven, and earthly alms into celestial riches; dando cælestes fiunt, 'these transistory earthly things procure us the unspeakable riches and treasure of heaven.' And now consider, Cornelius' 'alms and prayers ascended as a memorial to God.' and procured the great grace of the knowledge of Christ, and the gift of the Holy Ghost; and Dorcas' alms obtained her resurrection to life; God remembered them both, and shall we 'forget to do good and distribute' our alms, which have that force that God will never forget them?
God cannot forget them, if we do remember and perform them; nay God holds them at a great rate, He accept them as sacrifices, and such sacrifices as both pacify and please Him. Talibus sacrificiis, 'with such sacrifices God is well pleased;' [279/280] talibus, with these of praise and alms, and with all those that are like or of the same nature with these. Not with the sacrifices of nature and Moses' law; such are both mortua and mortifera, 'dead' in themselves, and 'mortiferous' and deadly to all that shall use them. These has their time, and were accepted as types and figures of the true sacrifice of Christ upon the cross, in Whom all sacrifices were accepted; in which they were partakers of Christ, and 'did eat the same spiritual meat, and drink the same spiritual drink,' that we now eat and drink by faith, 'and the rock that followed them was Christ.'
No more then to do with the sacrifice pectoris trucidati, 'of the slain beasts' that is past; but cordis contriti, with the sacrifice of a broken and 'contrite heart---that was from the beginning, and so shall continue acceptable to god even to the end; the spiritual sacrifice, or the sacrifice of the soul and spirit, that is it which God ever accepted in the sacrifice of His Son Christ, even from the first Adam to the last son of Adam, the last man that shall live at the last day. And God hath been and is weary of carnal and external sacrifice, and neglected yea rejected if for default and want of the inward sacrifice; but of this inward and spiritual sacrifice, God will never be wearied with it.
In vocal prayer and fasting, and outward alms, and the like, there may be nimium, 'too much,' but of inward prayer and fasting from sin, and compassion and mercy, there can never be nimium, 'too much;' nay not satis, not; enough;' for God calls for all, and all we are not able to perform which we owe. So then the sacrificial must be talia, 'such sacrifices,' that is, spiritual.
And they be sacrificial, in the plural number, 'sacrifices:' the sacrifice representative or memorial of Christ's sacrifices, the Eucharist, which is truly the sacrifice of praise; and the daily sacrifice of ourselves, our souls and bodies, in devotion and adoration to God, and the sacrifice of mercy and alms both here recorded these be the sacrifices here mentioned that please God; and all others not here mentioned that are included in the talibus, in such like sacrifices God is pleased.
And be the number of them as great as any man please to make them, yet because they are all reducible to three, I will [280/281] comprise them in the number of three. First, sacrificium cordis contriti, 'the sacrifice of the contrite and broken heart,' as before, which we tender to God in our repentance and sighs and tears for our sins. The second, sacrificium cordis grati, 'the sacrifice of the thankful heart.' In praise and thanksgiving to God, called here the 'sacrifice of praise.' The third, sacrificium cordis pii, 'the sacrifice of a pious and merciful heart,' in compassion and works of mercy and almsgiving, called here 'doing good and distributing.'
All these and every one of these, which are indeed but the variations or divers affections of one and the same heart, they are the talia sacrificial, 'such sacrifices' which God accepts. St. Bernard was a skilful confectioner, he made three rare and most odiferous ointments of them, most pleasing unto God Himself: the first, unguentum contritionis, 'the ointment of contrition,' made of the sighs of the heart and the tears of the eyes, the confession and prayers of the tongue, the revenge, the judgment and execution done upon our own souls for all our sins; and this compunction of heart, though it be all made of bitter and sharp poignant ingredients, yet the more sour it is the sweeter and more welcome it is to God. The second is unguentum pietatis, 'the ointment of piety' and compassion, made up of the miseries and the wants of the poor; wherein the greater is the misery the greater is mercy, and the more fellow-feeling and compassion of the pressures of the poor, the more odiferous is this sacrifice to pacify God's wrath. The third is unguentum devotionis, 'the ointment of devotion,' which spends itself in praise and thanksgiving by the remembrance of His manifold blessings and graces, which cannot but be acceptable unto God, because though praise and glory be nothing unto God who cannot be increased by the breath of a mortal man, yet because it is all the rent and tribute that man can render to his God whereof to rob God is the greatest sacrilege, it is an ointment most welcome to God; the rather, because man ever did himself the most hurt when he kept glory back from God, and ascribed it to himself. In the fifty-first Psalm, the ointment of contrition is accepted of God with a Non despicies, 'the sacrifice of the broken and contrite heart God will not despise.' The ointment in this place is [281/282] accepted of God with Delectatur Deus, 'With such sacrifices God is pleased.
The ointment of praise goes somewhat higher, with an Honorificat Me, 'He that offers Me praise he honoureth Me.' So the contrite heart, the merciful heart. And the thankful heart talibus sacrificiis, 'with such sacrifices God is well pleased;' all of these together, and every one of these severally, and all others like unto these, they do pacify and please, and delight God Himself.
Plascatur or conciliatur, 'God is pacified' or 'reconciled,' as some read; Delectatur, 'God is pleased' or 'delighted.' Hilarescit or pulchrescit, 'God is chered,' or 'looks upon us with a serene or pleasant countenance;' but the Vulgar will have it, Promeretur Deus, 'God is merited,' in favour of merits. I will not much stand upon the word; be it promeretur in the Fathers' sense, in which merit is via obtinendi, 'the way and means of obtaining,' the matter is not great.
But the word in the proper sense signifies no more but this, that 'God is pleased,' or at most 'pacified with such sacrifices;' and this is remarkable, that the same word, Hebrews the eleventh chapter and sixth verse, signifies only, 'God is well pleased' when it is spoken of faith. 'For without faith it is impossible to please God,' eÙareopÁsai' but here eÙareopÁsai must be promeretur, as if works proceed were more meritious than faith; when all the merits of work proceed from grace and faith; as the goodness of the fruit is from the root and the sap thereof. And so God may be both pacified and pleased, and yet no merit in us, but acceptation in God; for the best works and sacrifices and righteousness in man are so far from the true merit, out of any dignity or condignity of the work, that they cannot stand before God without mercy and grace. The best and most laudable life of the best man hath a væ, or ''woe,' lying upon it, si sine misericordia discutuatur, 'if it come to be discussed without mercy;' and in the district judgment of God, no man. No not the 'man after God's own heart,' dares enter, but prays against it, Ne inters in judicium cum servo Tuo, 'enter not into judgment with Thy servant, O Lord.' And why? For 'no flesh is righteous in Thy sight.' No flesh, no man, righteous or justified: then surely no true merit.
Brass or copper money may be made current by the King's [282/283] proclamation, but still it is but brass and copper, and want of the true value of gold and silver; and good works, and 'to do good and distribute,' may go for current by God's promise, and receive a reward out of justice, but justice with mercy. For there is justitia in reddendo, 'justice in giving' the crown according to His promise: but there is misericordia in promittendo, 'mercy' that triumpheth over justice, 'in promising' to give an infinite reward to a finite work, as heaven for a cup of cold water, or bread, or drink, or clothes, and the like; and between the kingdom of heaven and the crown of glory and eternal life which is infinite, and a few crumbs, or drops or rags which are scant so much as finite, there is no equality. Inter finitum et infinitum nulla est proportio, 'There is no proportion between that which is finite and that which is infinite.' So that as much as infinite doth exceed that which is finite, so much do God's infinite rewards exceed the best finite works of the best man. And the rule of the school in this is true: God punishes citra condignum, 'less than we deserve' so there is mercy in God's justice and punishments; and God rewards ultra meritum, 'beyond our merit or desert,' and so eternal life is the grace and free gift of God.
Insomuch that we may thus resolve: first, non tenetur Deus, 'God is not bound' to give us any reward for any dignity or worthiness of our works. Secondly, non meremur nos, 'we deserve nothing,' but are unprofitable servants, and our best works are imperfect, and fall short of that perfection that law and justice do require. And thirdly, non deerit tamen Deus, 'though God be not bound, and man merits not, yet God never failed any man' that did do any good work, but he was sure of his reward. For though we be bound to good works ex debito, 'of duty,' God commands them and requires an account of them, yet God is not bound to reward them ex pacto, 'out of His promise and agreement.' For eternal life is not a reward which man may exact and require in justice at God's hands for his labour and hire, but it is His free gift; and therefore He calleth it not tuum, 'thine,' but Meum, 'Mine own;' 'May I not do what I list with Mine own?'
What is the reason the Prophet saith, 'O Lord,' memorabor justitiæ Tuæ solius, [283/284] 'I will remember Thy righteousness only,' but because there is no other righteousness worth the remembering but only 'Thy righteousness only?' that righteousness that is a Domino, Inherent in us by sanctification of the gifts and graces of the Lord, is not worth the remembrance, for it is ' a deified cloth,' and dung in itself; and were it never so good, God hath no need of it, nay being offered to God He is nothing increased by it. If thou do all good works, Deus meus es, et bonorum meorum non indiges, 'Thou art my God,' saith David, 'my goods' and therein are his good works also--'are nothing to thee;' God is not increased or enriched by them. If do commit all manner of sins with all manner of greediness, thou canst not defile God nor take anything from Him, thy evil cannot not defile or diminish Him. But it is justitia in Domino, righteousness in the Lord,' that is, Christ's righteousness communicated or imputed to us; for 'Christ is made to us wisdom from God, and justice, or righteousness, and sanctification and redemption;' and He doth not say fecit nos, 'He made us righteous' in the concrete, but factus est nobis, 'He was made righteousness to us' in the abstract, because He communicates His righteousness to us and thereby covers our nakedness, as Jacob clothes in his elder brother's garments received the blessing. And therefore the name of the Son of God is Jehova justitia nostra, 'The Lord our righteousness.'
Besides no man is accepted or well-pleasing to God for his work's sake, but rather the work is accepted for the workman's sake; as God first respexit Abelem, 'He respected or accepted of Abel's, 'He respected or accepted of Abel's person;' and then follows, et sacrificium ejus, 'and then his sacrifice'
For God cares not for Abel's lamb, but because Abel the lamb offered it, his heart and willing readiness to offer a lamb was pleasing, and He accepted the sacrifice. As in the father of the faithful, God could not accept the sacrifice of Isaac because he was not sacrificed facto sed voto or voluntate, not 'in deed but only in vow and will' and purpose, in him voluntas reputatur pro facto, 'his will was accepted for the sacrifice,'
And in Cain's sacrifice God made no difference between the lamb and the sheaf of corn, both which were after commanded equally in the law, and the panes propositionis were [284/285] ever joined with a lamb. The difference was, he offered his ears of corn but not himself, and therefore the words be, Ad Cain vero et ad munera ejus respexit, 'But to Cain and to his offering God had not respect;' He accepted not his person, and therefore He regarded not his sacrifice. And therefore the ancient say, that either of them offered parem cultu et religione hostiam, 'an equal sacrifice in respect of religion and the worship of god,' sed non recte uterque divivit, 'Cain made an ill division,' he offered the fruits of the earth to God; cor retinuit sibi, seipsum non obtulit, ' he reserved his heart to himself, and he offered not himself to God;' but Abel first offered himself to God, and then his lamb.
And so St. Paul's words are true, 'Abel offered a greater sacrifice to god than Cain.' Greater first, quia hostia copiosiar, 'because he offered a double sacrifice,' better chosen, because de adipibus, 'of the fattest and best of the flock;' Cain carelessly took that came first to hand, de fructibus, 'of the fruit,' and no more. Thirdly, quia es fide, 'by faith he offered it;' and that faith justified him and his sacrifice, because he believed in the Seed of the woman That should bruise the serpent's head. And so it is true, dignitas operantis, 'the faith and piety of the sacrificer and worker,' dignitatem confert operie, 'confers all the worth of work.' For it if a heathen or Turk do the same work of alms or mercy that the faithful Christian doth, it shall pass without all regard, whereas the faithful heart and person makes the work of the hand acceptable to the Lord.
So then the sacrifices of goodness and alms or distribution there must be, they are necessary to salvation in them that have time and opportunity and means; and therefore sufficit ad pnam meritis career, 'it is sufficient to punish us if we want good works.' But there can be no trust or confidence placed in them, for they are imperfect and defective and therefore merit nothing at God's hands out of justice, but only are accepted out of God's mercy and the infinite merit of Christ, which is equal to His person that is infinite, as He is the eternal Son of God; and therefore, sufficit ad præmium de meritis non præsumere, the greatest part of the dignity of [285/286] the best works of the best men, is to renounce all trust and confidence in ourselves and our best works, and to repose all our hope in the mercy and merits of Christ.
Now to return to the use of the word, premeretur. In antiquity I remember St. Cyprian useth it not for the dignity and merit of the best work, but only for the way or means of obtaining. For reading that place of St. Paul, 'But I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief,' he read it thus: Sed misericordiu, merui, 'But I merited mercy.' What was merui in St. Cyprian's sense but 'I obtained mercy? and so the Vulgar reds that place.
Again, speaking of those that were baptized and signed in the forehead with the sign of the cross, he saith of Ozias the leper that he was maculated with leprosy in that part of his body in which they are signed qui Dominum promerentur, 'which promerit the Lord' so would our Rheimists read it; but the true understanding is, 'they that promerited the Lord, that is, they that enter covenant with the Lord in baptism. And I presume, rather the keeping the covenant than the entering should be meritorious, if there be any merit at all.
And St. Augustine speaking of St. Paul saith: Meritum fuit in Paula sed malum, 'In Paul there was no merit. But evil merit,' when he persecuted the Church and received good for it. And after, Let us return to the Apostle, whom we find 'without any good merits' sine ullis bonis meritis, immo cum multis meritis 'yea, with many evil merits,' to have obtained the grace of God; and then he adds, ut post bona merita consequatur coronam, qui post mala merita consecutus est gratium, 'that after his good merits obtained the crown, who after his evil merits had obtained grace.' 1. Here first it is plain, merit is joined in both with obtaining. 2. Again, merits are good and merits are bad; the word is common to both. 3. Merit signifies in St. Augustine's sense no dignity of work, but only a means of obtaining. For it is impossible that evil merits (that is, sin) out of the dignity of the work should merit grace; and by the same proportion and work should merit grace; and by the same proportion and form of speech it is as impossible that the dignity of the work should merit a crown, since St. Augustine in the same place doth say, there would be none whom God the just Judge [286/267] redderet coronam, 'should render a crown,' unless first as a merciful Father donâsset gratiam, 'He had given His grace.' And then he adds, Dona Sua coronat Deus, non merita tua; 'God crowns not thy merit but His own gifts.' His reason is, For if they be such that is, thine they are evil, and if they be evil, God crowns them not; if they be good they are God's gifts, and He crowns them not as thy merits, but as His own gifts.
But I have troubled you too long with this school-doctrine and pulpit--divinity of magnifying man's merits before men, since their death-bed divinity recants it all; and then they are all forced, learned and ignorant, utterly to renounce it, and put all their trust in Christ's mercy and merits, as their sure anchor-head' of which I have only this to say, that merit may some place in their science, unless they be seared, tell them there is not true merit but Christ's only.
I have now done with my text, and now I apply myself and my text to the present text that lies before us; vir nec silendus, nec dicendus sine curâ, 'a man whose worth may not be passed over in silence,' whom all ages with us may celebrate and admire, 'nor to be spoken of without great care and study; of whom I can say nothing, but his worth and virtues will far exceed all men's words. Here I desire neither the tongue of man nor Angels: if it were lawful I should wish no other but his own tongue and pen; ipse, ipse, quem loquar, loquatur, 'let him speak of himself, none so fit as himself was, of whom I am to speak this day.' Et jum loquitur, 'and he now speaks,' he speaks in his life and works of mercy, and he speaks in his death; and what he taught in his life and works, he taught and expressed in his death. He is the great actor and performer, I but the poor cryer, vox clamantis; he was the voxclamans, 'he was the loud and great crying voice,' I am but the poor echo; and it is well with me, if as an echo of his large and learned books and works I only repeat a few of the last words.
No man can blame me if I commend him at his death, whose whole life was every way commendable; Justus sine mendacio candor apud bonos crimini non est, 'just commendation [287/288] without flattery is no fault in the opinion of the best men;' and the ancient custom of the church did celebrate the memories of holy men to the praise of God That gave such eminent graces to them, and to stir up others by their example to the imitation of their virtues.
I speak my knowledge of him in many things; I loved and honoured him for above thirty years' space. I loved him I confess, but yet judicia meo non obstat amor qui ex judicia natus est, 'my love doth not blind or outsway my judgment, because it proceeded from judgment.' Of whom what can I say less, than he was vita innocentissimus, ingenio florentissimus, et proposito sanctissimus, 'in his life most innocent, in his knowledge and learning most flourishing and eminent, and in his purpose and life most holy and devout;' whose carriage was so happy, quem nemo vituperat nisi etiam laudet, 'no man could ever discommend him but, will he, nill he, he must withal commend him.' and no man's words were ever able to disgrace him; vera necesse est benedicant, fulsum vita Moresque superant, 'they that spake truth of him could not but speak well of him, and if they spake falsely of him his life and manners did confute them.
And if this text were ever fully applied in any, I presume it was in him; for he was totus in his sacrificiis, 'he wholly spent himself and his studies and his estate in these sacrifices,' in prayer and the praise of God, and compassion and works of charity, as if he had minded nothing else all his life long but this, to offer himself, his soul and body, a contrite and a broken heart, a pitiful and compassionate heart, and a thankful and grateful heart, 'a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God by Jesus Christ, which is our reasonable service' of Him.
He was born in this city of London of honest and godly parents, who besides his breeding in learning left him a sufficient patrimony and inheritance, which is descended to his heir at Rawreth in Essex. It is true, Senum vita composita, 'the lives of old men many times are orderly and well composed,' and disposed, and staid, whereas in youth many things that are in true judgment not altogether decent, are not so indecent in them but that they well enough become their younger years. In this he was happy, Hujus vita composita a pueritiâ, [288/289] 'His life was well composed and ordered even from his childhood.' I may well say of him as the Prophet doth, Bonum est portate jugum Domini ab adolesceniâ, 'Herein was his happiness, that he took up and did stoutly bear the yoke of the Lord even from his youth.'
In his tenderest years her shewed such readiness and sharpness and capacity, that his teachers and masters foresaw in him that he would prove lumen literaum et literatorum, 'the burning and shining candle of all learning and learned men.' And therefore those two first masters that had the care of the first elements of his learning Master Ward of Ratcliffe, and Master Mulcaster of the Merchant-Taylors' School contended for him, who should have the honour of his breeding, that after became the honour of their schools and all learning. Master Ward first obtained of his parents that he should not be a prentice, and at length Master Mulcaster got him to his school; and from this time, perit omne tempus quod studiis non impenditur, 'he accounted all that time lost that he spent not in his studies,' wherein in learning he outstripped all his equals, and his indefatigable industry had almost outstripped himself. He studies so hard when others played, that if his parents and masters had not forced him to play with them also, all the play had been marred. His late studying by candle, and early rising at four in the morning, procured him envy among his equals, yea with the ushers also, because he called them up too soon; not like to our modern scholars, qui nondum hesternam edormiverunt crapulam, who at seven and eight of the clock have their heads and stomach aching, because they have not slept out their last night's surfeits and fullness.
Their pains and care so carefully remembered all his life long, that he studied always how to do good for them and theirs. In which gratefulness he promoted Dr. Ward to the parsonage of Waltham, and ever loved and honoured his Master Mulcaster during his life, and was a continual helper to him and his son Peter Mulcaster, to whom he gave a legacy of twenty pounds by his will; and as if he had made Master Mulcaster his tutor or supervisor, he placed his picture over the door of his study, whereas in all the rest of the house you could scantly see a picture.
[289/290] From Master Mulcaster, he went to Cambridge, to Pembroke Hall, and was there admitted one of Dr. Watts' scholars; a notable grammarian, well entered in the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew tongues, and likewise in the geometry and some of the mathematics; and after a fellow there, in which he passed over all degrees, and places in such sort, ut majoribus semper dignus haberetur, 'he ever seemed worthy of higher and greater places,' and would in the end attain the highest; virtutes enim ejus maturæ errant, 'for his abilities and virtues were mature, and ripe for greater employments.'
And in this he owed little to his tutors, but most to his own pains and study. In which, give me leave to remember one thing which he hath often lamented himself to me and others, that he never could find a fit opportunity to shew his thankfulness to Dr. Watts, his patron, nor to any of his posterity; yet he did not utterly forget him in his will, having ordered that the two fellowships to be founded by him in Pembroke Hall, should always be chosen and filled out of the scholars of Dr. Watts' foundation, if they were found fit, of which himself had been one.
Being in holy orders he attended the noble and zealous Henry Earl of Huntingdon, president of York, and was employed by him in often preaching, and conference with recusants both of the clergy and laity, in which God so blest his endeavours that he converted some of the priests and many of the laity, with great success, bringing many to the Church, and seldom losing his labour, none ever converting so many as he did.
After this, Master Secretary Walsingham takes notice of him, and obtained him of the Earl, intending his preferment, in which he would never permit him to take any country benefice, lest he and his great learning should be buried in a country church. His intent was to make him Reader of Controversies in Cambridge, and for his maintenance he assigned to him, as I am informed, the lease of the parsonage of Alton in Hampshire, which after his death he returned to his lady, which she never knew or thought of.
After this he obtained the vicarage of St. Giles without Cripplegate, London, and a Prebend Residentiary's place in St. Paul's, and was chosen Master of Pembroke Hall, and afterwards [290/291 was advanced to the Deanery of Westminster; and all this without all ambition or suit of his own, God turning the hearts of his friends to promote him for his great worth.
When he took the degree of D. D. in Cambridge, one of his questions was, that Decimæ debentur jure divino; which he betrayed not, as some have done, but made it good by Scriptures, and divine and natural reason, as will appear to the reader when that among other of his works shall enrich the English Church with a happy treasure of learning.
He was, as all our English world well knows, a singular preacher, and a most famous writer. He was so singular a preacher, and so profound a writer, that will doubt in which he did excel; whose weapons in the mouths of the adversary proved as stones in the teeth of dogs; while they thought to withstand or answer them, they bit the stones and brake their own teeth; and so it is true of him, Responsa ejussine responsionibus, 'His answers were answerless.' Never durst any Romanist answer him; as their common use is, that which they cannot answer and confute, they slight it, and let it pass without any answer at all.
His admirable knowledge in the learned tongues, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Chaldee, Syriac, Arabic, besides other modern tongues to the number of fifteen as I am informed, was such and so rare, that he may well be ranked in the first place, to be one of the rarest linguists in Christendom; in which he was so perfect and absolute, both for grammar and profound knowledge therein, that he was so perfect in the grammar and criticism of them as if he had utterly neglected the matter itself, and yet he was so exquisite and sound in the matter and learning of these tongues as id he had never regarded the grammar.
Scientia magna, memoria major, judicium maximum, 'His knowledge was great and rare, his memory greater, and his judgment profoundest and greatest of all;' and over and above all these, industria infinitia, 'his pains and industry was infinite;' for in the things the world hath seen, he used no man to read for him; as those great clerks, Bellarmine, and others' fashion is, to employ whole colleges and societies to study and read for them, and so furnish them; he only used an [291/292] amanuensis to transcribe that which himself had first written with his own hand.
So that now I may propose him ut exemplum sine exemplo maximum, 'as a great example example-less;' nec ante eum quem ille imitaretur, nec post qui eum imitari et assequi posit inventus est, 'there was none before him whom he did imitate, nor none will come after him that will easily over-take him;' insomuch that his great gifts may well be taken a little to cloud and overshadow and obscure all men of his age and order; and surely the fame of this singular bishop will become such a light to all posterity, ut nec bona corum nec mala latere patiatur, 'it will not suffer neither their good nor their evil to lie hid.'
Was his fame great? Major inventus est, 'He was ever found to be greater than fame made him.' in which as he was a wonderful mirror of learning and learned men' so he was a singular lover and encourager of learning and learned men; which appeared in his liberality and bounty to Master Casaubon, Master Cluverius, Master Vossius, Master Grotius, Master Erpenius, whom he attempted with the offer of a very large stipend out of his own purse to draw into England, to have read and taught the Oriental tongues here; even as one well said, Omnes quod in se amant in allis venerantur, 'Those gifts and knowledges which he loved in himself he honoured and rewarded in others.'
When the Bishoprics of Ely and Salisbury were void, and some things were to be pared fro them, some overture being made to him to take them he refused them utterly. If it please you to give me leave, I will make answer for him: Nola episcopari, quia nolo alienare, 'I will nor be made a Bishop, because I will not alienate Bishop's lands.'
After this by some persuasion he accepted of Chichester, yet with some fear of the burden; and after, that of Ely; and last, of this of Winchester, whence God hath translated him to heaven; in which he freed himself and his successor of a pension of four hundred pounds per annum, which many of his predecessors had paid. He was Almoner, Dean of the chapel, and a Privy Counsellor to King James and King Charles; in which he spake and meddled little in civil and temporal affairs, being out of his profession and element; but [292/293] in causes that any way concerned the Church and his calling he spake fully and home to the purpose, that he made all know that he understood and could speak when it concerned him, as by those few speeches which are preserved you may judge, ex ungue leonem, a wise man by his works and deeds.
And herein he was like the ark of God, all places where it rested were blessed by the presence of God in it: so wheresoever he came and live, they all tasted and were bettered by his providence and goodness. St. Giles' was reduced to him by a rate toward the better maintenance of the place, and the house repaired. He found nothing in the treasury in Pembroke Hall, he left in it ready money a thousand pounds. Being Prebend Residentiary in St. Paul's, he built the house in Creed-lane belonging to his prebend, and recovered it to the Church. He repaired the Dean's lodging in Westminster. When he came to Chichester, he repaired the palace there and the house in Aldingbourne. At Ely he spent in reparation of Ely-house in Holborn, of Ely-place at Downham, and Wisbech Castle, two thousand pounds. At Winchester, at Farnham, at Waltham and Wolversey, likewise two thousand pounds.
It seems plainly he loved the churches in which he was promoted and lived, better than he did his money or his gain. For if we consider these expenses in his episcopal houses, and his most magnificent entertainment of his most gracious sovereign King James at Farnham, where in three days he spent three thousand pound as great and bountiful entertainment as ever King James received at a subject's hand--besides he refused to make some leases in his last years, which might have been very beneficial to him, for the good of his successor; his reason was, Many are too ready to spoil bishoprics, and few enough to uphold them: add to these the many alms he gave in his life, and now at his death, and we shall see he was free from all avarice and love of money. In him is true that word of St. John, Nolite diligere mundum. He doth not say, Nolite habere, but Nolite diligere, 'Love not the world;' he doth not say, Have not, possess not the world, or goods of the world, but 'love' them not. He had them, but he loved them not; ut dispensator, ut erogator, he had them [293/294] but as a steward to dispose and expend them, to procure an everlasting tabernacle in the highest heaven.
He meddled little with them, but left the taking of his accounts from his officers to his brothers; and when he began his will at Waltham a year before his death, he understood not his own estate; nay, till about six weeks before his death, when his accounts were delivered up and perfected, he did not fully know his own estate; and therefore in his first draught of his will he gave but little to his kindred, doubting he might give away more than he had, and therefore in a codicil annexed to his will he doubles all his legacies to them, and made every hundred to be two hundred and every two hundred to be four hundred; and yet notwithstanding this increase, he gave more to the maintenance of learning and the poor than to his kindred; his charity and love of God and the poor was greater in him than natural affection, and yet he forgot not his natural affection to them.
It was said of him that in his time was held to be Deliciæ hominum (Titus) Abstinuit alieno ut si quis unquam, 'If ever any man abstained from that which was not his own he was the man.' This is as true of this most reverend Prelate; he never took any man's goods or right from him. Give me leave to add a little more of him: Distribuit sua ut si quis unquam, 'If ever any studied to disperse and distribute his own, either to kindred or to the poor, surely this is the man.'
Neither did he stay to do good and distribute till his death, that is, then gave his goods to the poor when he could keep them no longer. The first place he lived on was St. Giles': there, I speak my knowledge, I do not say he began, sire I am he continued his charity; his certain alms there as ten pounds per annum, which was paid quarterly by equal portions, and twelve pence every Sunday he came to church, and five shillings at every communion; and for many years, since he left that cure, he sent five pounds about Christmas, besides the number of gowns given to the poor of that parish when he was Almoner. And I have reason to presume the like of those other parishes mentioned in his will, to which he also gave legacies: to St. Giles' an hundred pounds, where he had been vicar; to All-Hallows', Barking, where he was born, twenty pounds; to St. Martin's, Ludgate, where he [294/295] dwelt, five pounds; to St. Andrew's in Holborn, where Ely-house stands, ten pounds. And to this parish of St. Saviour in Southwark where he dies, twenty pounds; which parishes he hath remembered, for his alms to the poor, when the land shall be purchased for the relief and use of the poor.
When he came to Oxford, attending King James in the end of his progress, his custom was to send fifty pounds to be distributed among poor scholars. And the like he did at Cambridge, in his journey to Ely. And lest his left hand should know what his right hand did, he sent great alms to many poor places under other men's names, and though he stayed not till the poor sought him, for he first sought them as his servants employed in that service can witness as appeareth at Farnham, at Waltham, and Winchester; and in the last year of great sickness he gave in this parish of St. Saviour a hundred marks. Besides, since the year one thousand six hundred and twenty, as I have my information from him that kept his books of accounts and delivered him the money, he gave in private alms to the sum of one thousand three hundred and forty pounds.
The total of his pious and charitable works mentioned in his will, amounts to the sum of six thousand three hundred and twenty-six pounds. Of which, to Pembroke Hall, for the erection of two Fellowships, and other uses mentioned in the codicil, a thousand pounds, to but fifty pound land per annum to that purpose. Besides a bason and ewer, like that of their foundress, and some books.
To buy two hundred pounds per annum, four thousand pounds: namely, for ages poor men, fifty pounds per annum' for poor widows, the wives of one husband, fifty pounds; for the putting of poor orphans to prentice, fifty pounds; to prisoners, fifty pounds.
He was always a diligent and painful preacher. Most of his solemn Sermons he was most careful of, and exact; I dare say few of them but they passed his hand, and were thrice revised, before they were preached; and he ever misliked often and loose preaching without study of antiquity, and he would be bold with himself and say, when he preached twice a day at St. Giles', he prated once: and when his weakness grew on him, and that by infirmity of his body he grew [295/296] unable to preach, he began to go little to the Court; not so much for weakness as for inability to preach.
After he came to have an episcopal house with a chapel, he kept monthly communions inviolably, yea though himself had received at the Court for the same month. In which, his carriage was not only decent and religious, but also exemplary; he ever offered twice at the altar, and so did every one of his servants, to which purpose he gave them money, lest it should be burthensome to them.
Now before I come to his last end, give me leave to tell you that privately he did much find fault and reprove three sins too common, and reigning in the latter age. 1. Usury was one, from which, what by his Sermons, what by private conference, he withdrew many. 2. Another was simony, for which he endured many troubles by Quare impedit, and duplex querala. As for himself, he seldom gave a benefice or preferment to him that petitioned or made suit for it; he rather sent for men of note that he thought wanted preferment, and gave them prebends and benefices, under seal, before they knew of it, as to Master Boys and Master Fuller. 3. The third and greatest was sacrilege, which he did abhor as one principal cause among many of the foreign and civil wars in Christendom, and invasion of the Turk. Wherein even the reformed, and otherwise the true professors and servants of Christ, because they took God's portion and turned it to public profane uses, or to private advancements, did suffer just chastisement and correction at God's hand; and at home it had been observed, and he wished some man would take the pain to collect, how many families that were raised by the spoils of the Church were now vanished, and the place thereof knows them no more.
And now I draw to an end. God's house is truly called, and is indeed, domus orationis, 'the house of prayer,' it accompanies all acts done in God's house. Of this Reverend Prelate I may say, Vita ejus vita orationis, 'His life was a life of payer;' a great part of five hours every day did he spend in prayer and devotion to God. after the death of his brother Master Thomas Andrewes in the sickness time, whom he loved dearly, he began to foretell his own death before the end of summer or before the beginning of winter. And [296/297] when his brother Master Nicholas Andrewes died, he took that as a certain sign and prognostic and warning of his own death, and from that time till the hour of his dissolution he spent all his time in prayer; and his prayer-book, when he was private, was seldom seen out of his hands; and in the time of his fever and last sickness, besides the often prayers which were read to him, in which he repeated all the parts of the Confession and other petitions with an audible voice, as long as his strength endured, he did as was well observed by certain tokens in him continually pray to himself, though he seemed otherwise to rest or slumber; and when he could pray no longer voce, 'with his voice,' yet oculis et minibus, 'by lifting up his eyes and hands,' he prayed still; and when ne manus nex officum faciunt, 'both voice, and eyes, and hands failed' in their office, then corde, 'with his heart,' he still prayed, until it pleased God to receive his blessed soul to Himself.
And so,hujus mortalis magis finita quam vita, 'his mortality had an end,' and he died peaceably and quietly in the Lord, 'but his life shall have no end;' yea, then his life did begin, when his mortality made an end; that was natalis, ' his birth-day,' September the twenty-fifth, being Monday, about four of the clock in the morning. So died he aliorum majore damno quam suo, 'with greater damage to others,' even to all this English Church and all Christendom, 'than to himself.' And God grant that many ages may be so happy to bring forth and enjoy such a Prelate, so furnished with all endowments of learning and knowledge, with innocency and holiness of life, and with such piety and charity as he shewed in his life and death.
My conclusion is short. I have spoken somewhat of this most Reverend Prelate, but much short of his graces and worth. In sum thus much: In his life he was concionator et scriptor potentissimus, 'a most powerful preacher and writer;' in his deeds and actions, he was potentior et diuturnior, 'more powerful and lasting.' Death hath bereaved us of him; but his life, and his works of learning, and his works of piety and charity, I doubt not God in His goodness will make them momentum ære perennius, 'a monument more lasting than brass' and stone, even to the coming of our Lord Christ.
[297/298] for no doubt while he lived he sowed the sincere word life in the souls of men, and in his life and death, posit eleemosynam in sinu pauperis, 'he put his alms into the bosom of the poor;' and shall I say, Oravit pro eo, 'It prayed for him and by it he procured himself a strong army, and bellator fortes, 'valiant soldiers,' whose many prayers and blessings God could not resist, the rather because they knew him not. That is too short, and the text goes further, Excorabit, 'It shall pray and prevail too;' and he and they have prevailed, and he is now at rest and peace in heaven, and 'follows the Lamb wheresover He goes.'
And after him let us all send this blessing, which the voice from heaven uttered, 'Write, blessed are the dead which die in the Lord' because he always lived in the Lord, and a happy death must needs accompany and crown such a life. 'From henceforth, saith the Spirit, the rest from their labours;' all tears are wiped from their eyes and all signs from their hearts, and 'their works follow them;' opera sequuntur et opera præcedunt, 'their works go before them.' So no doubt but his works have done, as the prayer and alms and fasting of Cornelius did; they have procured a place for him in heaven, and his works shall follow him, and the fame of them shall stir up many to follow his example.
And so I end, beseeching God to give to us all, as He gave to him, our parts in the 'first resurrection' from sin to graces and to grant to him, and all the faithful and saints departed and us all with him, a joyful resurrection to everlasting life and glory in Jesus Christ. Amen.