Imatges de pÓgina

might sit on his right hand, and the other on his left but what did our Saviour answer? First he asks, whether they can drink of the cup of which he was about to drink. And when they declared that they could, the Saviour admitted it; for he knew that they too were perfected by it, or rather that they would be perfected: What does he say further? They shall indeed drink of the cup; but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, this is not mine to give; but those to whom it is given. Is then your guide, the understanding, nothing? Is labour nothing? Is reason nothing? Is philosophy nothing? Is fasting nothing? Is watching nothing? Lying on the ground? Shedding rivers of tears? Are these things nothing? But is Jeremiah sanctified, and are others froward from their mother's womb by a certain casting of lots? I fear lest this absurd idea should be adopted, as if the soul had existed in some other place, and, afterwards, was united to this body: some receiving the gift of prophecy according to its conduct there, and those who had lived wickedly being condemned. But, since this hypothesis is very absurd, and not agreeable to the doctrine of the Church (for let others sport about these opinions, but such sporting is not safe for us ;) to the expression also in this place, 'To whom it is given,' add, who are willing; who have not only received BB 3


that qualification from the Father, but have also given it to themselves . . . . . . . . . The good derived from nature has no claim to acceptance; but that which proceeds from free-will is deserving of praise. What merit has fire in burning? For the burning comes from nature. What merit has water in descending? For this it has from the Creator. What merit has snow in being cold? Or, the sun in shining? For it shines whether it will or not. Give me a virtuous will. Give me the becoming spiritual, from being carnal; the being raised by reason, from being depressed by the weight of the flesh; the being found heavenly, from having been low-minded; the appearing superior to the flesh, after having been bound to the flesh."-Vol. 1. p. 504.

"This is the grace and power of baptism; not bringing a deluge upon the world, as formerly, but purifying every one from his sins, and entirely removing the obstructions or spots which are caused by wickedness. To speak in few words, we are to consider the power, of baptism as a contract with God for a second life, and a there being no second regeneration."-Vol. 1. p. 641.

[ocr errors]

more pure conversation. . . . . .

"Upon this foundation of doctrines build good works, since faith without works is dead; as are works without faith."-Vol, 1. p. 672.


Paris Edit.-A. D. 1638.

"LET any one consider, how great is the facility to what is bad, gliding into sin spontaneously without any effort. For that any one should become wicked, depends solely upon choice; and the will is often sufficient for the completion of wickedness."-Vol. 2. p. 304.

"The Lord came to seek and to save that which was lost (e).' But not the body was lost, but the whole man, consisting also of soul. And to speak more truly the soul was lost before the body. For disobedience is the sin of the will, not of the body. But will is the property of the soul, from which every calamity of nature had its beginning."-Vol. 2. p. 482.

"Since man was made in the likeness of God, and was blessed in being honoured with free-will (for to have power over himself, and to be subject to no master, is peculiar to the blessedness of God) to be forcibly impelled to any thing by necessity, would have deprived him of this dignity. For if voluntarily, according to the motion of free-will, they directed their human nature to any thing improper, and were driven from it forcibly and by necessity, such a proceeding would have taken

[blocks in formation]

away from them the preeminent good, and would have deprived them of the honour of being like to God. For free-will is likeness to God. Therefore, that both power might remain to human nature, and that evil might be done away, the wisdom of God devised this mode, to suffer man to pursue those things which he wished; that having tasted the evils which he desired, and learnt by experience what exchange he had made, he might voluntarily return by his own desire to his former blessedness, shaking off from his nature every thing which disturbs the passions or is inconsistent with reason, as a burden."-Vol. 3. p. 634.

AMBROSE-A. D. 374.

Benedict. Edit.

"THE danger from what is external to us, is not greater than the danger from ourselves: The adversary is within, the author of error is within, shut up, I say, within ourselves. Consider your intention, explore the habit of your mind, keep a guard upon the thoughts and desires of your heart. You are the cause of your own wickedness; you lead yourself into vice, you stir up yourself to crimes: Why do you call in a foreign nature to excuse your failings? I wish you did not impel yourself; I wish you did not run headlong;

long; I wish you did not involve yourself either in immoderate desires, or indignation, or lusts, which keep us as it were entangled in nets. And it certainly is in our own power to moderate our desires, to curb anger, to restrain lusts; it is in our power also to indulge luxury, to foster our lusts, to inflame anger, or to listen to him who inflames it, to be puffed up with pride, to be abandoned to cruelty, rather than be repressed by humility, and love gentleness.

Those things are to be guarded against, which proceed from our own will, the sins of youth, and the irrational passions of the body. Let us not search without ourselves for the principle of those things, of which we are ourselves the masters; let us not impute to others, but acknowledge, those things which are properly our own.


we ought to ascribe to ourselves rather than to others the election of that evil, which we have in our own power not to do, unless our will consents."—Vol. 1. p. 18.

"The Lord Jesus came to save all sinners; it was right that he should shew his will even with respect to the ungodly; and therefore it was right that he should not pass over even him who was to betray him; that all might observe, that in the choice of his traitor, he displayed a sign that all were to be saved. Nor had either Adam


« AnteriorContinua »