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Pensées Begun in 1656; Collected after death by Jansenites
"Here am I, and this is the time. That which the prophets have said was to come in the fullness of time, I tell you my apostles will do. The Jews shall be cast out. Jerusalem shall be soon destroyed. And the heathen shall enter into the knowledge of God. My apostles shall do this after you have slain the heir of the vineyard."
642. Proof of the two Testaments at once.--To prove the two at one stroke, we need only see if the prophecies in one are fulfilled in the other. To examine the prophecies, we must understand them. For if we believe they have only one meaning, it is certain that the Messiah has not come; but if they have two meanings, it is certain that He has come in Jesus Christ.
The whole problem then is to know if they have two meanings.
That the Scripture has two meanings, which Jesus Christ and the Apostles have given, is shown by the following proofs:
1. Proof by Scripture itself.
2. Proof by the Rabbis. Moses Maimonides says that it has two aspects and that the prophets have prophesied Jesus Christ only.
3. Proof by the Kabbala.
4. Proof by the mystical interpretation which the Rabbis themselves give to Scripture.
5. Proof by the principles of the Rabbis, that there are two meanings; that there are two advents of the Messiah, a glorious and an humiliating one, according to their desert; that the prophets have prophesied of the Messiah only--the Law is not eternal, but must change at the coming of the Messiah--that then they shall no more remember the Red Sea; that the Jews and the Gentiles shall be mingled.
6. Proof by the key which Jesus Christ and the Apostles give us.
643. Isaiah 51. The Red Sea an image of the Redemption. Ut sciatis quod filius hominis habet potestatem remittendi peccata... tibi dico: Surge.116 God, wishing to show that He could form a people holy with an invisible holiness, and fill them with an eternal glory, made visible things. As nature is an image of grace, He has done in the bounties of nature what He would do in those of grace, in order that we might judge that He could make the invisible, since He made the visible excellently.
Therefore He saved this people from the deluge; He has raised them up from Abraham, redeemed them from their enemies, and set them at rest.
The object of God was not to save them from the deluge, and raise up a whole people from Abraham, only in order to bring them into a rich land.
And even grace is only the type of glory, for it is not the ultimate end. It has been symbolised by the law, and itself symbolises glory. But it is the type of it, and the origin or cause.
The ordinary life of men is like that of the saints. They all seek their satisfaction and differ only in the object in which they place it; they call those their enemies who hinder them, etc. God has then shown the power which He has of giving invisible blessings, by that which He has shown Himself to have over things visible.
644. Types.--God, wishing to form for Himself an holy people, whom He should separate from all other nations, whom He should deliver from their enemies and should put into a place of rest, has promised to do so and has foretold by His prophets the time and the manner of His coming. And yet, to confirm the hope of His elect, He has made them see in it an image through all time, without leaving them devoid of assurances of His power and of His will to save them. For, at the creation of man, Adam was the witness, and guardian of the promise of a Saviour, who should be born of woman, when men were still so near the creation that they could not have forgotten their creation and their fall. When those who had seen Adam were no longer in the world, God sent Noah whom He saved, and drowned the whole earth by a miracle which sufficiently indicated the power which He had to save the world, and the will which He had to do so, and to raise up from the seed of woman Him whom He had promised. This miracle was enough to confirm the hope of men.
The memory of the Deluge being so fresh among men, while Noah was still alive, God made promises to Abraham, and, while Shem was still living, sent Moses, etc....
645. Types.--God, willing to deprive His own of perishable blessings, created the Jewish people in order to show that this was not owing to lack of power.
646. The Synagogue did not perish, because it was a type. But, because it was only a type, it fell into servitude. The type existed till the truth came, in order that the Church should be always visible, either in the sign which promised it, or in substance.
647. That the law was figurative.
648. Two errors: 1. To take everything literally. 2. To take everything spiritually.
649. To speak against too greatly figurative language.
650. There are some types clear and demonstrative, but others which seem somewhat far-fetched, and which convince only those who are already persuaded. These are like the Apocalyptics. But the difference is that they have none which are certain, so that nothing is so unjust as to claim that theirs are as well founded as some of ours; for they have none so demonstrative as some of ours. The comparison is unfair. We must not put on the same level and confound things, because they seem to agree in one point, while they are so different in another. The clearness in divine things requires us to revere the obscurities in them.
It is like men, who employ a certain obscure language among themselves. Those who should not understand it would understand only a foolish meaning.
651. Extravagances of the Apocalyptics, Preadamites, who would base extravagant opinions on Scripture will, for example, base them on this. It is said that "this generation shall not pass till all these things be fulfilled." Upon that I will say that after that generation will come another generation, and so on ever in succession.
Solomon and the King are spoken of in the second book of Chronicles as if they were two different persons. I will say that they were two.
652. Particular Types.--A double law, double tables of the law, a double temple, a double captivity.
653. Types.--The prophets prophesied by symbols of a girdle, a beard, and burnt hair, etc.
654. Difference between dinner and supper.
In God the word does not differ from the intention, for He is true; nor the word from the effect, for He is powerful; nor the means from the effect, for He is wise. St. Bernard, Ultimo Sermo in Missam.
St. Augustine, City of God, v. 10. This rule is general. God can do everything, except those things which, if He could do, He would not be almighty, as dying, being deceived, lying, etc.
Several Evangelists for the confirmation of the truth; their difference useful.
The Eucharist after Lord's Supper. Truth after the type.
The ruin of Jerusalem, a type of the ruin of the world, forty years after the death of Jesus. "I know not," as a man, or as an ambassador (Mark 13:32; Matthew 24:36.)
Jesus condemned by the Jews and the Gentiles.
The Jews and the Gentiles typified by the two sons. St. Augustine City of God, xx. 29.
655. The six ages, the six Fathers of the six ages, the six wonders at the beginning of the six ages, the six mornings at the beginning of the six ages.
656. Adam forma futuri.117 The six days to form the one, the six ages to form the other. The six days, which Moses represents for the formation of Adam, are only the picture of the six ages to form Jesus Christ and the Church. If Adam had not sinned, and Jesus Christ had not come, there had been only one covenant, only one age of men, and the creation would have been represented as accomplished at one single time.
657. Types.--The Jewish and Egyptian peoples were plainly foretold by the two individuals whom Moses met; the Egyptian beating the Jew, Moses avenging him and killing the Egyptian, and the Jew being ungrateful.
658. The symbols of the Gospel for the state of the sick soul are sick bodies; but, because one body cannot be sick enough to express it well, several have been needed. Thus there are the deaf, the dumb, the blind, the paralytic, the dead Lazarus, the possessed. All this crowd is in the sick soul.
659. Types.--To show that the Old Testament is only figurative and that the prophets understood by temporal blessings other blessings, this is the proof:
First, that this would be unworthy of God.
Secondly, that their discourses express very clearly the promise of temporal blessings, and that they say nevertheless that their discourses are obscure, and that their meaning will not be understood. Whence it appears that this secret meaning was not that which they openly expressed, and that consequently they meant to speak of other sacrifices, of another deliverer, etc. They say that they will be understood only in the fullness of time (Jer. 30:24).
The third proof is that their discourses are contradictory, and neutralise each other; so that, if we think that they did not mean by the words law and sacrifice anything else than that of Moses, there is a plain and gross contradiction. Therefore they meant something else, sometimes contradicting themselves in the same chapter. Now, to understand the meaning of an author...
660. Lust has become natural to us and has made our second nature. Thus there are two natures in us--the one good, the other bad. Where is God? Where you are not, and the kingdom of God is within you.The Rabbis.
661. Penitence, alone of all these mysteries, has been manifestly declared to the Jews, and by Saint John, the Forerunner; and then the other mysteries; to indicate that in each man, as in the entire world, this order must be observed.
662. The carnal Jews understood neither the greatness nor the humiliation of the Messiah foretold in their prophecies. They misunderstood Him in His foretold greatness, as when He said that the Messiah should be lord of David, though his son, and that He was before Abraham, who had seen Him. They did not believe Him so great as to be eternal, and they likewise misunderstood Him in His humiliation and in His death. "The Messiah," said they, "abideth for ever, and this man says that he shall die." Therefore they believed Him neither mortal nor eternal; they only sought in Him for a carnal greatness.
663. Typical.--Nothing is so like charity as covetousness, and nothing is so opposed to it. Thus the Jews, full of possessions which flattered their covetousness, were very like Christians, and very contrary. And by this means they had the two qualities which it was necessary they should have, to be very like the Messiah to typify Him, and very contrary not to be suspected witnesses.
664. Typical.--God made use of the lust of the Jews to make them minister to Jesus Christ, who brought the remedy for their lust.
665. Charity is not a figurative precept. It is dreadful to say that Jesus Christ, who came to take away types in order to establish the truth, came only to establish the type of charity, in order to take away the existing reality which was there before.
"If the light be darkness, how great is that darkness!"
666. Fascination. Somnum suum.118 Figura hujus mundi.119
The Eucharist. Comedes panem tuum.120 Panem nostrum.121
Inimici Dei terram lingent.122 Sinners lick the dust, that is to say, love earthly pleasures.
The Old Testament contains the types of future joy, and the New contains the means of arriving at it. The types were of joy; the means of penitence; and nevertheless the Paschal Lamb was eaten with bitter herbs, cum amaritudinibus.123
Singularis sum ego donec transeam.124 Jesus Christ before His death was almost the only martyr.
667. Typical.--The expressions sword, shield. Potentissime.
668. We are estranged only by departing from charity. Our prayers and our virtues are abominable before God, if they are not the prayers and the virtues of Jesus Christ. And our sins will never be the object of mercy, but of the justice of God, if they are not Jesus Christ. He has adopted our sins, and has us into union, for virtues are His own, and sins are foreign to Him; while virtues are foreign to us, and our sins are our own.
Let us change the rule which we have hitherto chosen for judging what is good. We had our own will as our rule. Let us now take the will of God; all that He wills is good and right to us, all that He does not will is bad.
All that God does not permit is forbidden. Sins are forbidden by the general declaration that God has made, that He did not allow them. Other things which He has left without general prohibition, and which for that reason are said to be permitted, are nevertheless not always permitted. For when God removed some one of them from us, and when, by the event, which is a manifestation of the will of God, it appears that God does not will that we should have a thing, that is then forbidden to us as sin; since the will of God is that we should not have one more than another. There is this sole difference between these two things, that it is certain that God will never allow sin, while it is not certain that He will never allow the other. But so long as God does not permit it, we ought to regard it as sin; so long as the absence of God's will, which alone is all goodness and all justice, renders it unjust and wrong.
669. To change the type, because of our weakness.
670. Types.--The Jews had grown old in these earthly thoughts, that God loved their father Abraham, his flesh and what sprung from it; that on account of this He had multiplied them and distinguished them from all other nations, without allowing them to intermingle; that, when they were languishing in Egypt, He brought them out with all these great signs in their favour; that He fed them with manna in the desert, and led them into a very rich land; that He gave them kings and a well-built temple, in order to offer up beasts before Him, by the shedding of whose blood they should be purified; and that, at last, He was to send them the Messiah to make them masters of all the world, and foretold the time of His coming.
The world having grown old in these carnal errors, Jesus Christ came at the time foretold, but not with the expected glory; and thus men did not think it was He. After His death, Saint Paul came to teach men that all these things had happened in allegory; that the kingdom of God did not consist in the flesh, but in the spirit; that the enemies of men were not the Babylonians, but the passions; that God delighted not in temples made with hands, but in a pure and contrite heart; that the circumcision of the body was unprofitable, but that of the heart was needed; that Moses had not given them the bread from heaven, etc.
But God, not having desired to reveal these things to this people who were unworthy of them and having, nevertheless, desired to foretell them, in order that they might be believed, foretold the time clearly, and expressed the things sometimes clearly, but very often in figures, in order that those who loved symbols might consider them and those who loved what was symbolised might see it therein.
All that tends not to charity is figurative.
The sole aim of the Scripture is charity.
All which tends not to the sole end is the type of it. For since there is only one end, all which does not lead to it in express terms is figurative.
God thus varies that sole precept of charity to satisfy our curiosity which seeks for variety, by that variety which still leads us to the one thing needful. For one thing alone is needful, and we love variety; and God satisfies both by these varieties, which lead to the one thing needful.
The Jews have so much loved the shadows and have so strictly expected them that they have misunderstood the reality, when it came in the time and manner foretold.
The Rabbis take the breasts of the Spouse for types, and all that does not express the only end they have, namely, temporal good.
And Christians take even the Eucharist as a type of the glory at which they aim.
671. The Jews, who have been called to subdue nations and kings, have been the slaves of sin; and the Christians, whose calling has been to be servants and subjects, are free children.
672. A formal point.--When Saint Peter and the Apostles deliberated about abolishing circumcision, where it was a question of acting against the law of God, they did not heed the prophets, but simply the reception of the Holy Spirit in the persons uncircumcised.
They thought it more certain that God approved of those whom He filled with His Spirit than it was that the law must be obeyed. They knew that the end of the law was only the Holy Spirit; and that thus, as men certainly had this without circumcision, it was not necessary.
673. Fac secundum exemplar quod tibi ostensum est in monte.126--The Jewish religion then has been formed on its likeness to the truth of the Messiah; and the truth of the Messiah has been recognised by the religion, which was the type of it.
Among the Jews the truth was only typified; in heaven it is revealed.
In the Church it is hidden and recognised by its resemblance to the type.
The type has been made according to the truth, and the truth has been recognised according to the type.
Saint Paul says himself that people will forbid to marry, and he himself speaks of it to the Corinthians in a way which is a snare. For if a prophet had said the one, and Saint Paul had then said the other, he would have been accused.
674. Typical.--"Do all things according to the pattern which has been shown thee on the mount." On which Saint Paul says that the Jews have shadowed forth heavenly things.
675.... And yet this Covenant, made to blind some and enlighten others, indicated in those very persons, whom it blinded, the truth which should be recognised by others. For the visible blessings which they received from God were so great and so divine that He indeed appeared able to give them those that are invisible and a Messiah.
For nature is an image of Grace, and visible miracles are images of the invisible. Ut sciatis... tibi dico: Surge.127
Isaiah says that Redemption will be as the passage of the Red Sea.
God has, then, shown by the deliverance from Egypt, and from the sea, by the defeat of kings, by the manna, by the whole genealogy of Abraham, that He was able to save, to send down bread from heaven, etc.; so that the people hostile to Him are the type and the representation of the very Messiah whom they know not, etc.
He has, then, taught us at last that all these things were only types and what is "true freedom," a "true Israelite," "true circumcision," "true bread from heaven," etc.
In these promises each one finds what he has most at heart, temporal benefits or spiritual, God or the creatures; but with this difference, that those who therein seek the creatures find them, but with many contradictions, with a prohibition against loving them, with the command to worship God only, and to love Him only, which is the same thing, and, finally, that the Messiah came not for them; whereas those who therein seek God find Him, without any contradiction, with the command to love Him only, and that the Messiah came in the time foretold, to give them the blessings which they ask.
Thus the Jews had miracles and prophecies, which they saw fulfilled, and the teaching of their law was to worship and love God only; it was also perpetual. Thus it had all the marks of the true religion; and so it was. But the Jewish teaching must be distinguished from the teaching of the Jewish law. Now the Jewish teaching was not true, although it had miracles and prophecy and perpetuity, because it had not this other point of worshipping and loving God only.
676. The veil, which is upon these books for the Jews, is there also for evil Christians and for all who do not hate themselves.
But how well disposed men are to understand them and to know Jesus Christ, when they truly hate themselves!
677. A type conveys absence and presence, pleasure and pain.
A cipher has a double meaning, one clear and one in which it is said that the meaning is hidden.
678. Types.--A portrait conveys absence and presence, pleasure and pain. The reality excludes absence and pain.
To know if the law and the sacrifices are a reality or a type, we must see if the prophets, in speaking of these things, confined their view and their thought to them, so that they saw only the old covenant; or if they saw therein something else of which they were the representation, for in a portrait we see the thing figured. For this we need only examine what they say of them.
When they say that it will be eternal, do they mean to speak of that covenant which they say will be changed; and so of the sacrifices, etc.?
A cipher has two meanings. When we find out an important letter in which we discover a clear meaning, and in which it is nevertheless said that the meaning is veiled and obscure, that it is hidden, so that we might read the letter without seeing it, and interpret it without understanding it, what must we think but that here is a cipher with a double meaning, and the more so if we find obvious contradictions in the literal meaning? The prophets have clearly said that Israel would be always loved by God and that the law would be eternal; and they have said that their meaning would not be understood and that it was veiled.
How greatly, then, ought we to value those who interpret the cipher and teach us to understand the hidden meaning, especially if the principles which they educe are perfectly clear and natural! This is what Jesus Christ did, and the Apostles. They broke the seal; He rent the veil, and revealed the spirit. They have taught us through this that the enemies of man are his passions; that the Redeemer would be spiritual, and His reign spiritual; that there would be two advents, one in lowliness to humble the proud, the other in glory to exalt the humble; that Jesus Christ would be both God and man.
679. Types.--Jesus Christ opened their mind to understand the Scriptures.
Two great revelations are these. (1) All things happened to them in types: vere Israelitae, vere liberi, true bread from Heaven. (2) A God humbled to the Cross. It was necessary that Christ should suffer in order to enter into glory, "that He should destroy death through death." Two advents.
680. Types.--When once this secret is disclosed, it is impossible not to see it. Let us read the Old Testament in this light, and let us see if the sacrifices were real; if the fatherhood of Abraham was the true cause of the friendship of God; and if the promised land was the true place of rest. No. They are therefore types. Let us in the same way examine all those ordained ceremonies, all those commandments which are not of charity, and we shall see that they are types.
All these sacrifices and ceremonies were then either types or nonsense. Now these are things too clear and too lofty to be thought nonsense.
To know if the prophets confined their view in the Old Testament, or saw therein other things.
682. Is. 1:21. Change of good into evil, and the vengeance of God. Is. 10:1; 26:20; 28:1. Miracles: Is. 33:9; 40:17; 41:26; 43:13.
Jer. 11:21; 15:12; 17:9. Pravum est cor omnium et incrustabile; quis cognoscet illud?130 that is to say, Who can know all its evil? For it is already known to be wicked. Ego dominus,131 etc.--vii. 14, Faciam domui huic,132 etc. Trust in external sacrifices--7:22, Quia non sum locutus,133 etc. Outward sacrifice is not the essential point--11:13, Secundum numerum,134 etc. A multitude of doctrines.
Is. 44:20-24; 54:8; 63:12-17; 66:17. Jer. 2:35; 4:22-24; 5:4, 29-31; 6:16; 22:15-17.
683. Types.--The letter kills. All happened in types. Here is the cipher which Saint Paul gives us. Christ must suffer. An humiliated God. Circumcision of the heart, true fasting, true sacrifice, a true temple. The prophets have shown that all these must be spiritual.
Not the meat which perishes, but that which does not perish.
"Ye shall be free indeed." Then the other freedom was only a type of freedom.
"I am the true bread from Heaven."
684. Contradiction.--We can only describe a good character by reconciling all contrary qualities, and it is not enough to keep up a series of harmonious qualities, without reconciling contradictory ones. To understand the meaning of an author, we must make all the contrary passages agree.
Thus, to understand Scripture, we must have a meaning in which all the contrary passages are reconciled. It is not enough to have one which suits many concurring passages; but it is necessary to have one which reconciles even contradictory passages.
Every author has a meaning in which all the contradictory passages agree, or he has no meaning at all. We cannot affirm the latter of Scripture and the prophets; they undoubtedly are full of good sense. We must, then, seek for a meaning which reconciles all discrepancies.
The true meaning, then, is not that of the Jews; but in Jesus Christ all the contradictions are reconciled.
The Jews could not reconcile the cessation of the royalty and principality, foretold by Hosea, with the prophecy of Jacob.
If we take the law, the sacrifices, and the kingdom as realities, we cannot reconcile all the passages. They must then necessarily be only types. We cannot even reconcile the passages of the same author, nor of the same book, nor sometimes of the same chapter, which indicates copiously what was the meaning of the author. As when Ezekiel, chap. 20., Says that man will not live by the commandments of God and will live by them.
685. Types.--If the law and the sacrifices are the truth, it must please God, and must not displease Him. If they are types, they must be both pleasing and displeasing.
Now in all the Scripture they are both pleasing and displeasing. It is said that the law shall be changed; that the sacrifice shall be changed; that they shall be without law, without a prince, and without a sacrifice; that a new covenant shall be made; that the law shall be renewed; that the precepts which they have received are not good; that their sacrifices are abominable; that God has demanded none of them.
It is said, on the contrary, that the law shall abide for ever; that this covenant shall be for ever; that sacrifice shall be eternal; that the sceptre shall never depart from among them, because it shall not depart from them till the eternal King comes.
Do all these passages indicate what is real? No. Do they then indicate what is typical? No, but what is either real or typical. But the first passages, excluding as they do reality, indicate that all this is only typical.
All these passages together cannot be applied to reality; all can be said to be typical; therefore they are not spoken of reality, but of the type.
Agnus occisus est ab origine mundi.135 A sacrificing judge.
686. Contradictions.--The sceptre till the Messiah--without king or prince.
The eternal law--changed.
The eternal covenant--a new covenant.
Good laws--bad precepts. Ezekiel.
687. Types.--When the word of God, which is really true, is false literally, it is true spiritually. Sede a dextris meis:136 this is false literally, therefore it is true spiritually.
In these expressions, God is spoken of after the manner of men; and this means nothing else but that the intention which men have in giving a seat at their right hand, God will have also. It is then an indication of the intention of God, not of His manner of carrying it out.
Thus when it is said, "God has received the odour of your incense, and will in recompense give you a rich land," that is equivalent to saying that the same intention which a man would have, who, pleased with your perfumes, should in recompense give you a rich land, God will have towards you, because you have had the same intention as a man has towards him to whom he presents perfumes. So iratus est, a "jealous God," etc. For, the things of God being inexpressible, they cannot be spoken of otherwise, and the Church makes use of them even to-day: Quia confortavit seras,137 etc.
It is not allowable to attribute to Scripture the meaning which is not revealed to us that it has. Thus, to say that the closed mem of Isaiah signifies six hundred, has not been revealed. It might be said that the final tsade and he deficientes may signify mysteries. But it is not allowable to say so, and still less to say this is the way of the philosopher's stone. But we say that the literal meaning is not the true meaning, because the prophets have themselves said so.
688. I do not say that the mem is mystical.
689. Moses (Deut. 30) Promises that God will circumcise their heart to render them capable of loving Him.
690. One saying of David, or of Moses, as for instance that "God will circumcise the heart," enables us to judge of their spirit. If all their other expressions were ambiguous and left us in doubt whether they were philosophers or Christians, one saying of this kind would in fact determine all the rest, as one sentence of Epictetus decides the meaning of all the rest to be the opposite. So far ambiguity exists, but not afterwards.
691. If one of two persons, who are telling silly stories, uses language with a double meaning, understood in his own circle, while the other uses it with only one meaning, any one not in the secret, who hears them both talk in this manner, will pass upon them the same judgment. But, if, afterwards, in the rest of their conversation one says angelic things, and the other always dull commonplaces, he will judge that the one spoke in mysteries, and not the other; the one having sufficiently shown that he is incapable of such foolishness and capable of being mysterious; and the other that he is incapable of mystery and capable of foolishness.
The Old Testament is a cipher.
692. There are some that see clearly that man has no other enemy than lust, which turns him from God, and not God; and that he has no other good than God, and not a rich land. Let those who believe that the good of man is in the flesh, and evil in what turns him away from sensual pleasures, satiate themselves with them, and die in them. But let those who seek God with all their heart, who are only troubled at not seeing Him, who desire only to possess Him and have as enemies only those who turn them away from Him, who are grieved at seeing themselves surrounded and overwhelmed with such enemies, take comfort. I proclaim to them happy news. There exists a Redeemer for them. I shall show Him to them. I shall show that there is a God for them. I shall not show Him to others. I shall make them see that a Messiah has been promised, who should deliver them from their enemies, and that One has come to free them from their iniquities, but not from their enemies.
When David foretold that the Messiah would deliver His people from their enemies, one can believe that in the flesh these would be the Egyptians; and then I cannot show that the prophecy was fulfilled. But one can well believe also that the enemies would be their sins; for indeed the Egyptians were not their enemies, but their sins were so. This word enemies is, therefore, ambiguous. But if he says elsewhere, as he does, that He will deliver His people from their sins, as indeed do Isaiah and others, the ambiguity is removed, and the double meaning of enemies is reduced to the simple meaning of iniquities. For if he had sins in his mind, he could well denote them as enemies; but if he thought of enemies, he could not designate them as iniquities.
Now Moses, David, and Isaiah used the same terms. Who will say, then, that they have not the same meaning and that David's meaning, which is plainly iniquities when he spoke of enemies, was not the same as that of Moses when speaking of enemies?
Daniel (ix) prays for the deliverance of the people from the captivity of their enemies. But he was thinking of sins, and, to show this, he says that Gabriel came to tell him that his prayer was heard, and that there were only seventy weeks to wait, after which the people would be freed from iniquity, sin would have an end, and the Redeemer, the Holy of Holies, would bring eternal justice, not legal, but eternal.
116Mark 2:10, 11. "But that ye may know that the son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins... I say unto thee, Arise."
117Rom. 5:14. "The figure of him that was to come."
118Ps. 75. 5. "They have slept their sleep."
1191 Cor. 7:31 "The fashion of this world."
120Deut. 8:9. "Bread without scarceness."
121Luke 11:3. "Our daily bread."
122Ps. 71:9. "The enemies of the Lord shall lick the dust."
123Exod. 12:8. Cum lacticibus agrestibus. "With bitter herbs."
124Ps. 140:10. "Whilst that I withal escape."j
Ps. 44:4 "O most mighty."
126Exod. 25:40. "Make them after their pattern, which was showed thee on the mount."
127Mark 2:10, 11. "That ye may know... I say unto thee: Arise."
John 4:23. "True worshippers."
John 1:29. "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."
130"The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked: who can know it?"
131Is. 44:24. "I am the Lord."
132"I will do unto this house."
133"For I spoke not unto your fathers."
134"According to the number."
135Rev. 13:8. "The Lambs slain from the foundation of the world."
136Ps. 109:1. " Sit then at my right hand."
137Ps. 147:13. Quoniam not quia. "For he hath strengthened the bars."
693. When I see the blindness and the wretchedness of man, when I regard the whole silent universe and man without light, left to himself and, as it were, lost in this corner of the universe, without knowing who has put him there, what he has come to do, what will become of him at death, and incapable of all knowledge, I become terrified, like a man who should be carried in his sleep to a dreadful desert island and should awake without knowing where he is and without means of escape. And thereupon I wonder how people in a condition so wretched do not fall into despair. I see other persons around me of a like nature. I ask them if they are better informed than I am. They tell me that they are not. And thereupon these wretched and lost beings, having looked around them and seen some pleasing objects, have given and attached themselves to them. For my own part, I have not been able to attach myself to them, and, considering how strongly it appears that there is something else than what I see, I have examined whether this God has not left some sign of Himself.
I see many contradictory religions, and consequently all false save one. Each wants to be believed on its own authority, and threatens unbelievers. I do not therefore believe them. Every one can say this; every one can call himself a prophet. But I see that Christian religion wherein prophecies are fulfilled; and that is what every one cannot do.
694. And what crowns all this is prediction, so that it should not be said that it is chance which has done it?
Whosoever, having only a week to live, will not find out that it is expedient to believe that all this is not a stroke of chance...
Now, if the passions had no hold on us, a week and a hundred years would amount to the same thing.
695. Prophecies.--Great Pan is dead.
696. Susceperunt verbum cum omni aviditate, scrutantes Scripturas, si ita se haberent.
697. Prodita lege. Impleta cerne. Implenda collige.
698. We understand the prophecies only when we see the events happen. Thus the proofs of retreat, discretion, silence, etc., are proofs only to those who know and believe them.
Joseph so internal in a law so external.
Outward penances dispose to inward, as humiliations to humility. Thus the...
699. The synagogue has preceded the church; the Jews, the Christians. The prophets have foretold the Christians; Saint John, Jesus Christ.
700. It is glorious to see with the eyes of faith the history of Herod and of Caesar.
701. The zeal of the Jews for their law and their temple (Josephus, and Philo the Jew, Ad Caium). What other people had such a zeal? It was necessary they should have it.
Jesus Christ foretold as to the time and the state of the world. The ruler taken from the thigh, and the fourth monarchy. How lucky we are to see this light amidst this darkness!
How fine it is to see, with the eyes of faith, Darius and Cyrus, Alexander, the Romans, Pompey and Herod working, without knowing it, for the glory of the Gospel!
702. Zeal of the Jewish people for the law, especially after there were no more prophets.
703. While the prophets were for maintaining the law, the people were indifferent. But, since there have been no more prophets, zeal has succeeded them.
704. The devil troubled the zeal of the Jews before Jesus Christ, because he would have been their salvation, but not since.
The Jewish people scorned by the Gentiles; the Christian people persecuted.
705. Proof.--Prophecies with their fulfilment; what has preceded and what has followed Jesus Christ.
706. The prophecies are the strongest proof of Jesus Christ. It is for them also that God has made most provision; for the event which has fulfilled them is a miracle existing since the birth of the Church to the end. So God has raised up prophets during sixteen hundred years, and, during four hundred years afterwards, He has scattered all these prophecies among all the Jews, who carried them into all parts of the world. Such was the preparation for the birth of Jesus Christ, and, as His Gospel was to be believed by all the world, it was not only necessary that there should be prophecies to make it believed, but that these prophecies should exist throughout the whole world, in order to make it embraced by the whole world.
707. But it was not enough that the prophecies should exist. It was necessary that they should be distributed throughout all places and preserved throughout all times. And, in order that this agreement might not be taken for an effect of chance, it was necessary that this should be foretold.
It is far more glorious for the Messiah that the Jews should be the specators and even the instruments of His glory, besides that God had reserved them.
708. Prophecies.--The time foretold by the state of the Jewish people, by the state of the heathen, by the state of the temple, by the number of years.
709. One must be bold to predict the same thing in so many ways. It was necessary that the four idolatrous or pagan monarchies, the end of the kingdom of Judah, and the seventy weeks, should happen at the same time, and all this before the second temple was destroyed.
710. Prophecies.--If one man alone had made a book of predictions about Jesus Christ, as to the time and the manner, and Jesus Christ had come in conformity to these prophecies, this fact would have infinite weight.
But there is much more here. Here is a succession of men during four thousand years, who, consequently and without variation, come, one after another, to foretell this same event. Here is a whole people who announce it and who have existed for four thousand years, in order to give corporate testimony of the assurances which they have and from which they cannot be diverted by whatever threats and persecutions people may make against them. This is far more important.
711. Predictions of particular things.--They were strangers in Egypt, without any private property, either in that country or elsewhere. There was not the least appearance, either of the royalty which had previously existed so long, or of that supreme council of seventy judges which they called the Sanhedrin and which, having been instituted by Moses, lasted to the time of Jesus Christ. All these things were as far removed from their state at that time as they could be, when Jacob, dying, and blessing his twelve children, declared to them, that they would be proprietors of a great land, and foretold in particular to the family of Judah, that the kings, who would one day rule them, should be of his race; and that all his brethren should be their subjects; and that even the Messiah, who was to be the expectation of nations, should spring from him; and that the kingship should not be taken away from Judah, nor the ruler and law-giver of his descendants, till the expected Messiah should arrive in his family.
This same Jacob, disposing of this future land as though he had been its ruler, gave a portion to Joseph more than to the others. "I give you," said he, "one part more than to your brothers." And blessing his two children, Ephraim and Manasseh, whom Joseph had presented to him, the elder, Manasseh, on his right, and the young Ephraim on his left, he put his arms crosswise, and placing his right hand on the head of Ephraim, and his left on Manasseh, he blessed them in this manner. And, upon Joseph's representing to him that he was preferring the younger, he replied to him with admirable resolution: "I know it well, my son; but Ephraim will increase more than Manasseh." This has been indeed so true in the result that, being alone almost as fruitful as the two entire lines which composed a whole kingdom, they have been usually called by the name of Ephraim alone.
This same Joseph, when dying, bade his children carry his bones with them when they should go into that land to which they only came two hundred years afterwards.
Moses, who wrote all these things so long before they happened, himself assigned to each family portions of that land before they entered it, as though he had been its ruler. In fact he declared that God was to raise up from their nation and their race a prophet, of whom he was the type; and he foretold them exactly all that was to happen to them in the land which they were to enter after his death, the victories which God would give them, their ingratitude towards God, the punishments which they would receive for it, and the rest of their adventures. He gave them judges who should make the division. He prescribed the entire form of political government which they should observe, the cities of refuge which they should build, and...
712. The prophecies about particular things are mingled with those about the Messiah, so that the prophecies of the Messiah should not be without proofs, nor the special prophecies without fruit.
713. Perpetual captivity of the Jews.--Jer. 11:11: "I will bring evil upon Judah from which they shall not be able to escape."
Types.--Is. 5: "The Lord had a vineyard, from which He looked for grapes; and it brought forth only wild grapes. I will therefore lay it waste, and destroy it; the earth shall only bring forth thorns, and I will forbid the clouds from raining upon it. The vineyard of the Lord is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah His pleasant plant. I looked that they should do justice, and they bring forth only iniquities."
Is. 8: "Sanctify the Lord with fear and trembling; let Him be your only dread, and He shall be to you for a sanctuary, but for a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and many among them shall stumble against that stone, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and perish. Hide my words, and cover my law for my disciples.
"I will then wait in patience upon the Lord that hideth and concealeth Himself from the house of Jacob."
Is. 29: "Be amazed and wonder, people of Israel; stagger and stumble, and be drunken, but not with wine; stagger, but not with strong drink. For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep. He will close your eyes; He will cover your princes and your prophets that have visions." (Daniel xii: "The wicked shall not understand, but the wise shall understand." Hosea, the last chapter, the last verse, after many temporal blessings, says: "Who is wise, and he shall understand these things?" etc.) "And the visions of all the prophets are become unto you as a sealed book, which men deliver to one that is learned, and who can read; and he saith, I cannot read it, for it is sealed. And when the book is delivered to them that are not learned, they say, I am not learned.
"Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me,"--there is the reason and the cause of it; for if they adored God in their hearts, they would understand the prophecies,--"and their fear towards me is taught by the precept of man. Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder; for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and their understanding shall be hid."
Prophecies. Proofs of Divinity.--Is. 41: "Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: we will incline our heart unto your words. Teach us the things that have been at the beginning, and declare us things for to come.
"By this we shall know that ye are gods. Yea, do good or do evil, if you can. Let us then behold it and reason together. Behold, ye are of nothing, and only an abomination, etc. Who," (among contemporary writers), "hath declared from the beginning that we may know of the things done from the beginning and origin? that we may say, You are righteous. There is none that teacheth us, yea, there is none that declareth the future."
Is. 42: "I am the Lord, and my glory will I not give to another. I have foretold the things which have come to pass, and things that are to come do I declare. Sing unto God a new song in all the earth.
"Bring forth the blind people that have eyes and see not, and the deaf that have ears and hear not. Let all the nations be gathered together. Who among them can declare this, and shew us former things, and things to come? Let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified; or let them hear, and say, It is truth.
"Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am He.
"I have declared, and have saved, and I alone have done wonders before your eyes: ye are my witnesses, said the Lord, that I am God.
"For your sake I have brought down the forces of the Babylonians. I am the Lord, your Holy One and Creator.
"I have made a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters. I am He that drowned and destroyed for ever the mighty enemies that have resisted you.
"Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.
"Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.
"This people have I formed for myself; I have established them to shew forth my praise, etc.
"I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. Put in remembrance your ingratitude: see thou, if thou mayest be justified. Thy first father hath sinned, and thy teachers have transgressed against me."
Is. 44.: "I am the first, and I am the last, saith the Lord. Let him who will equal himself to me, declare the order of things since I appointed the ancient people, and the things that are coming. Fear ye not: have I not told you all these things? Ye are my witnesses."
Prophecy of Cyrus.--Is. 45:4: "For Jacob's sake, mine elect, I have called thee by thy name."
Is. 45:21: "Come and let us reason together. Who hath declared this from ancient time? Who hath told it from that time? Have not I, the Lord?"
Is. 46: "Remember the former things of old, and know there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure."
Is. 42: "Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them."
Is. 48:3: "I have declared the former things from the beginning; I did them suddenly; and they came to pass. Because I know that thou art obstinate, that thy spirit is rebellious, and thy brow brass; I have even declared it to thee before it came to pass: lest thou shouldst say that it was the work of thy gods, and the effect of their commands.
"Thou hast seen all this; and will not ye declare it? I have shewed thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them. They are created now, and not from the beginning; I have kept them hidden from thee; lest thou shouldst say, Behold, I knew them.
"Yea, thou knewest not; yea, thou heardest not; yea, from that time that thine ear was not opened: for I knew that thou couldst deal very treacherously, and wast called a transgressor from the womb."
Reprobation of the Jews and conversion of the Gentiles.--Is. 65: "I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not; I said, Behold me, behold me, behold me, unto a nation that did not call upon my name.
"I have spread out my hands all the day unto an unbelieving people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts; a people that provoketh me to anger continually by the sins they commit in my face; that sacrificeth to idols, etc.
"These shall be scattered like smoke in the day of my wrath, etc.
"Your iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers, will I assemble together, and will recompense you for all according to your works.
"Thus saith the Lord, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not, for a blessing is in it and the promise of fruit: for my servants' sake I will not destroy all Israel.
"Thus I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob and out of Judah, an inheritor of my mountains, and mine elect and my servants shall inherit it, and my fertile and abundant plains; but I will destroy all others, because you have forgotten your God to serve strange gods. I called, and ye did not answer; I spake, and ye did not hear; and ye did choose the thing which I forbade.
"Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry; my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed; my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry and howl for vexation of spirit.
"And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen: for the Lord shall slay thee, and call His servants by another name, that he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in God, etc., because the former troubles are forgotten.
"For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former things shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
"But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create; for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.
"And I will rejoice in Jerusalem and joy in my people; and the voice of weeping shall no more be heard in her, nor the voice of crying.
"Before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock; and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain."
Is. 56:3: "Thus saith the Lord, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.
"Blessed is the man that doeth this, that keepeth the Sabbath, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.
"Neither let the strangers that have joined themselves to me, say, God will separate me from His people. For thus saith the Lord: Whoever will keep my Sabbath, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; even unto them will I give in mine house a place and a name better than that of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off."
Is. 59:9: "Therefore for our iniquities is justice far from us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness. We grope for the wall like the blind; we stumble at noonday as in the night: we are in desolate places as dead men.
"We roar all like bears, and mourn sore like doves; we look for judgment, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far from us."
Is. 66:18: "But I know their works and their thoughts; it shall come that I will gather all nations and tongues, and they shall see my glory.
"And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Africa, to Lydia, to Italy, to Greece, and to the people that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory. And they shall bring your brethren.
Jer. 7. Reprobation of the Temple: "Go ye unto Shiloth, where I set my name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people. And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the Lord, I will do unto this house, wherein my name is called upon, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to your priests, as I have done to Shiloth." (For I have rejected it, and made myself a temple elsewhere.)
"And I will cast you out of my sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, even the seed of Ephraim." (Rejected for ever.) "Therefore pray not for this people."
Jer. 7:22: "What avails it you to add sacrifice to sacrifice? For I spake not unto your fathers, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices. But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey and be faithful to my commandments, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people." (It was only after they had sacrificed to the golden calf that I gave myself sacrifices to turn into good an evil custom.)
Jer. 7:4: "Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, are these."
714. The Jews witnesses for God. Is. 43:9; 44:8. Prophecies fulfilled.--I Kings 13:2. I Kings 22:16. Joshua 6:26. I Kings 16:34. Deut. 23.
Malachi 1:11. The sacrifice of the Jews rejected, and the sacrifice of the heathen, (even out of Jerusalem,) and in all places.
Moses, before dying, foretold the calling of the Gentiles, Deut. 32:21. and the reprobation of the Jews.
Moses foretold what would happen to each tribe.
Prophecy.--"Your name shall be a curse unto mine elect, and I will give them another name."
"Make their heart fat," and how? by flattering their lust and making them hope to satisfy it.
715. Prophecy.--Amos and Zechariah. They have sold the just one, and therefore will not be recalled. Jesus Christ betrayed.
They shall no more remember Egypt. See Is. 43:16, 17, 18, 19. Jer. 23:6, 7.
Prophecy.--The Jews shall be scattered abroad. Is. 27:6. A new law, Jerem. 31:32.
Malachi. Grotius. The second temple glorious. Jesus Christ will come. Haggai 2:7, 8, 9, 10.
The calling of the Gentiles. Joel 2:28. Hosea 2:24. Deut. 32:21. Malachi 1:11.
716. Hosea 3.--Is. 42. 48. 44. 60. 61. last verse. "I foretold it long since that they might know that it is I." Jaddus to Alexander.
717. Prophecies.--The promise that David will always have descendants. Jer. 13:13.
718. The eternal reign of the race of David, II Chron., by all the prophecies, and with an oath. And it was not temporally fulfilled. Jer. 23:20.
719. We might perhaps think that, when the prophets foretold that the sceptre should not depart from Judah until the eternal King came, they spoke to flatter the people and that their prophecy was proved false by Herod. But to show that this was not their meaning and that, on the contrary, they knew well that this temporal kingdom should cease, they said that they would be without a king and without a prince, and for a long time. Hosea 3:4.
720. Non habemus regem nisi Caesarem. Therefore Jesus Christ was the Messiah, since they had no longer any king but a stranger, and would have no other.
721. We have no king but Caesar.
722. Daniel 2: "All thy soothsayers and wise men cannot shew unto thee the secret which thou hast demanded. But there is a God in heaven who can do so, and that hath revealed to thee in thy dream what shall be in the latter days." (This dream must have caused him much misgiving.)
"And it is not by my own wisdom that I have knowledge of this secret, but by the revelation of this same God, that hath revealed it to me, to make it manifest in thy presence.
"Thy dream was then of this kind. Thou sawest a great image, high and terrible, which stood before thee. His head was of gold, his breast and arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, his legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thus thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet, that were of iron and of clay, and brake them to pieces.
"Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold broken to pieces together, and the wind carried them away; but this stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. This is the dream, and now I will give thee the interpretation thereof.
"Thou who art the greatest of kings, and to whom God hath given a power so vast that thou art renowned among all peoples, art the head of gold which thou hast seen. But after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.
"But the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron, and even as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things, so shall this empire break in pieces and bruise all.
"And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of clay and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of iron and of the weakness of clay.
"But as iron cannot be firmly mixed with clay, so they who are represented by the iron and by the clay, shall not cleave one to another though united by marriage.
"Now in the days of these kings shall God set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed, nor ever be delivered up to other people. It shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever, according as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it fell from the mountain, and brake in pieces the iron, the clay, the silver, and the gold. God hath made known to thee what shall come to pass hereafter. This dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.
"Then Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face towards the earth," etc.
Daniel 8:8. "Daniel having seen the combat of the ram and of the he-goat, who vanquished him and ruled over the earth, whereof the principal horn being broken four others came up toward the four winds of heaven, and out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceedingly great toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the land of Israel, and it waxed great even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the stars, and stamped upon them, and at last overthrew the prince, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.
"This is what Daniel saw. He sought the meaning of it, and a voice cried in this manner, 'Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.' And Gabriel said:
"The ram which thou sawest is the king of the Medes and Persians, and the he-goat is the king of Greece, and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king of this monarchy.
"Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.
"And in the latter time of their kingdom, when iniquities are come to the full, there shall arise a king, insolent and strong, but not by his own power, to whom all things shall succeed after his own will; and he shall destroy the holy people, and through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand, and he shall destroy many. He shall also stand up against the Prince of princes, but he shall perish miserably, and nevertheless by a violent hand."
Daniel 9:20. "Whilst I was praying with all my heart, and confessing my sin and the sin of all my people, and prostrating myself before my God, even Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, came to me and touched me about the time of the evening oblation, and he informed me and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee the knowledge of things. At the beginning of thy supplications I came to shew that which thou didst desire, for thou are greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision. Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people, and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to abolish iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness; to accomplish the vision and the prophecies, and to anoint the Most Holy. (After which this people shall be no more thy people, nor this city the holy city. The times of wrath shall be passed, and the years of grace shall come for ever.)
"Know therefore, and understand, that, from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince, shall be seven weeks, and three score and two weeks." (The Hebrews were accustomed to divide numbers, and to place the small first. Thus, 7 and 62 make 69. Of this 70 there will then remain the 70th, that is to say, the 7 last years of which he will speak next.)
"The street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after three score and two weeks," (which have followed the first seven. Christ will then be killed after the sixty-nine weeks, that is to say, in the last week), "the Christ shall be cut off, and a people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary, and overwhelm all, and the end of that war shall accomplish the desolation."
"Now one week," (which is the seventieth, which remains), "shall confirm the covenant with many, and in the midst of the week," (that is to say, the last three and a half years), "he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate."
Daniel 11. "The angel said to Daniel: There shall stand up yet," (after Cyrus, under whom this still is), "three kings in Persia," (Cambyses, Smerdis, Darius); and the fourth who shall then come," (Xerxes) "shall be far richer than they all, and far stronger, and shall stir up all his people against the Greeks.
"But a mighty king shall stand up," (Alexander), "that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will. And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided in four parts toward the four winds of heaven," (as he had said above, 7:6; 8:8), "but not his posterity; and his successors shall not equal his power, for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others besides these," (his four chief successors).
"And the king of the south," (Ptolemy, son of Lagos, Egypt), "shall be strong; but one of his princes shall be strong above him, and his dominion shall be a great dominion," (Seleucus, King of Syria. Appian says that he was the most powerful of Alexander's successors).
"And in the end of years they shall join themselves together, and the king's daughter of the south," (Berenice, daughter of Ptolemy Philadelphus, son of the other Ptolemy), "shall come to the king of the north," (to Antiochus Deus, King of Syria and of Asia, son of Seleucus Lagidas), "to make peace between these princes.
"But neither she nor her seed shall have a long authority; for she and they that brought her, and her children, and her friends, shall be delivered to death." (Berenice and her son were killed by Seleucus Callinicus.)
"But out of a branch of her roots shall one stand up," (Ptolemy Euergetes was the issue of the same father as Berenice), "which shall come with a mighty army into the land of the king of the north, where he shall put all under subjection, and he shall also carry captive into Egypt their gods, their princes, their gold, their silver, and all their precious spoils," (if he had not been called into Egypt by domestic reasons, says Justin, he would have entirely stripped Seleucus); "and he shall continue several years when the king of the north can do nought against him.
"And so he shall return into his kingdom. But his sons shall be stirred up, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces," (Seleucus Ceraunus, Antiochus the Great). "And their army shall come and overthrow all; wherefore the king of the south shall be moved with choler, and shall also form a great army, and fight him," (Ptolemy Philopator against Antiochus the Great at Raphia), "and conquer; and his troops shall become insolent, and his heart shall be lifted up," (this Ptolemy desecrated the temple; Josephus): "he shall cast down many ten thousands, but he shall not be strengthened by it. For the king of the north," (Antiochus the Great), "shall return with a greater multitude than before, and in those times also a great number of enemies shall stand up against the king of the south," (during the reign of the young Ptolemy Epiphanes); "also the apostates and robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves to establish the vision; but they shall fall." (Those who abandon their religion to please Euergetes, when he will send his troops to Scopas; for Antiochus will again take Scopas, and conquer them.) "And the king of the north shall destroy the fenced cities, and the arms of the south shall not withstand, and all shall yield to his will; he shall stand in the land of Israel, and it shall yield to him. And thus he shall think to make himself master of all the empire of Egypt, (despising the youth of Epiphanes, says Justin). "And for that he shall make alliance with him, and give his daughter" (Cleopatra, in order that she may betray her husband. On which Appian says that, doubting his ability to make himself master of Egypt by force, because of the protection of the Romans, he wished to attempt it by cunning). "He shall wish to corrupt her, but she shall not stand on his side, neither be for him. Then he shall turn his face to other designs, and shall think to make himself master of some isles, (that is to say, seaports), "and shall take many," (as Appian says).
"But a prince shall oppose, his conquests," (Scipio Africanus, who stopped the progress of Antiochus the Great, because he offended the Romans in the person of their allies), "and shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease. He shall then return into his kingdom and there perish, and be no more." (He was slain by his soldiers.)
"And he who shall stand up in his estate," (Seleucus Philopator or Soter, the son of Antiochus the Great), "shall be a tyrant, a raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom," (which means the people), "but within a few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger nor in battle. And in his place shall stand up a vile person, unworthy of the honour of the kingdom, but he shall come in cleverly by flatteries. All armies shall bend before him; he shall conquer them, and even the prince with whom he has made a covenant. For having renewed the league with him, he shall work deceitfully, and enter with a small people into his province, peaceably and without fear. He shall take the fattest places, and shall do that which his fathers have not done, and ravage on all sides. He shall forecast great devices during his time."
723. Prophecies.--The seventy weeks of Daniel are ambiguous as regards the term of commencement, because of the terms of the prophecy; and as regards the term of conclusion, because of the differences among chronologists. But all this difference extends only to two hundred years.
724. Predictions.--That in the fourth monarchy, before the destruction of the second temple, before the dominion of the Jews was taken away, in the seventieth week of Daniel, during the continuance of the second temple, the heathen should be instructed, and brought to the knowledge of the God worshipped by the Jews; that those who loved Him should be delivered from their enemies, and filled with His fear and love.
And it happened that in the fourth monarchy, before the destruction of the second temple, etc., the heathen in great number worshipped God, and led an angelic life. Maidens dedicated their virginity and their life to God. Men renounced their pleasures. What Plato could only make acceptable to a few men, specially chosen and instructed, a secret influence imparted by the power of a few words, to a hundred million ignorant men.
The rich left their wealth. Children left the dainty homes of their parents to go into the rough desert. (See Philo the Jew.) All this was foretold a great while ago. For two thousand years no heathen had worshipped the God of the Jews; and at the time foretold, a great number of the heathen worshipped this only God. The temples were destroyed. The very kings made submission to the cross. All this was due to the Spirit of God, which was spread abroad upon the earth.
No heathen, since Moses until Jesus Christ, believed according to the very Rabbis. A great number of the heathen, after Jesus Christ, believed in the books of Moses, kept them in substance and spirit, and only rejected what was useless.
725. Prophecies.--The conversion of the Egyptians (Isaiah 19:19); an altar in Egypt to the true God.
726. Prophecies.--In Egypt. Pugio Fidei, p. 659. Talmud. "It is a tradition among us, that, when the Messiah shall come, the house of God, destined for the dispensation of His Word, shall be full of filth and impurity; and that the wisdom of the scribes shall be corrupt and rotten. Those who shall be afraid to sin, shall be rejected by the people, and treated as senseless fools."
Is. xlix: "Listen, O isles, unto me, and hearken, ye people, from afar: The Lord hath called me by my name from the womb of my mother; in the shadow of His hand hath He hid me, and hath made my words like a sharp sword, and said unto me, Thou art my servant in whom I will be glorified. Then I said, Lord, have I laboured in vain? have I spent my strength for nought? yet surely my judgment is with Thee, O Lord, and my work with Thee. And now, saith the Lord, that formed me from the womb to be His servant, to bring Jacob and Israel again to Him, Thou shalt be glorious in my sight, and I will be thy strength. It is a light thing that thou shouldst convert the tribes of Jacob; I have raised thee up for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the ends of the earth. Thus saith the Lord to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Princes and kings shall worship thee, because the Lord is faithful that hath chosen thee.
"Again saith the Lord unto me, I have heard thee in the days of salvation and of mercy, and I will preserve thee for a covenant of the people, to cause to inherit the desolate nations, that thou mayest say to the prisoners: Go forth; to them that are in darkness show yourselves, and possess these abundant and fertile lands. They shall not hunger nor thirst, neither shall the heat nor sun smite them; for he that hath mercy upon them shall lead them, even by the springs of waters shall he guide them, and make the mountains a way before them. Behold, the peoples shall come from all parts, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south. Let the heavens give glory to God; let the earth be joyful; for it hath pleased the Lord to comfort His people, and He will have mercy upon the poor who hope in Him.
"Yet Zion dared to say: The Lord hath forsaken me, and hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? but if she forget, yet will not I forget thee, O Sion. I will bear thee always between my hands, and thy walls are continually before me. They that shall build thee are come, and thy destroyers shall go forth of thee. Lift up thine eyes round about, and behold; all these gather themselves together, and come to thee. As I live, saith the Lord, thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament. Thy waste and thy desolate places, and the land of thy destruction shall even now be too narrow by reason of the inhabitants, and the children thou shalt have after thy barrenness shall say again in thy ears: The place is too strait for me: give place to me that I may dwell. Then shalt thou say in thy heart: Who hath begotten me these, seeing I have lost my children, and am desolate, a captive, and removing to and fro? and who brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; these, where had they been? And the Lord shall say to thee: Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people; and they shall bring thy sons in their arms and in their bosoms. And kings shall be their nursing fathers, and queens their nursing mothers; they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord; for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me. Shall the prey be taken from the mighty? But even if the captives be taken away from the strong, nothing shall hinder me from saving thy children, and from destroying thy enemies; and all flesh shall know that I am the Lord, thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.
"Thus saith the Lord: What is the bill of this divorcement, wherewith I have put away the synagogue? and why have I delivered it into the hand of your enemies? Is it not for your iniquities and for your transgressions that I have put it away?
"For I came, and no man received me; I called and there was none to hear. Is my arm shortened, that I cannot redeem?
"Therefore I will show the tokens of mine anger; I will clothe the heavens with darkness, and make sackcloth their covering.
"The Lord hath given me the tongue of the learned that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary. He hath opened mine ear, and I have listened to Him as a master.
"The Lord hath revealed His will, and I was not rebellious.
"I gave my body to the smiters, and my cheeks to outrage; I hid not my face from shame and spitting. But the Lord hath helped me; therefore I have not been confounded.
"He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? who will be mine adversary, and accuse me of sin, God himself being my protector?
"All men shall pass away, and be consumed by time; let those that fear God hearken to the voice of His servant; let him that languisheth in darkness put his trust in the Lord. But as for you, ye do but kindle the wrath of God upon you; ye walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.
"Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Lord: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged. Look unto Abraham, your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, when childless, and increased him. Behold, I have comforted Zion, and heaped upon her blessings and consolations.
"Hearken unto me, my people, and give ear unto me; for a law shall proceed from me, and I will make my judgment to rest for a light of the Gentiles."
Amos viii. The prophet, having enumerated the sins of Israel, said that God had sworn to take vengeance on them.
He says this: "And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day; and I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation.
"You all shall have sorrow and suffering, and I will make this nation mourn as for an only son, and the end therefore as a bitter day. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east; they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it.
"In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst. They that have followed the idols of Samaria, and sworn by the god of Dan, and followed the manner of Beersheba, shall fall, and never rise up again."
Amos 3:2: "Ye only have I known of all the families of the earth for my people."
Daniel 12:7. Having described all the extent of the reign of the Messiah, he says: "All these things shall be finished, when the scattering of the people of Israel shall be accomplished."
Haggai 2:4: "Ye who, comparing this second house with the glory of the first, despise it, be strong, saith the Lord, be strong, O Zerubbabel, and O Jesus, the high priest, be strong, all ye people of the land, and work. For I am with you, saith the Lord of hosts; according to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit remaineth among you. Fear ye not. For thus saith the Lord of hosts: Yet one little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land," (a way of speaking to indicate a great and an extraordinary change); "and I will shake all nations, and the desire of all the Gentiles shall come; and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord.
"The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord," (that is to say, it is not by that that I wish to be honoured; as it is said elsewhere: All the beasts of the field are mine, what advantages me that they are offered me in sacrifice?). "The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts; and in this place will I establish my house, saith the Lord.
"According to all that thou desiredst in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let us not hear again the voice of the Lord, neither let us see this fire any more, that we die not. And the Lord said unto me, Their prayer is just. I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he will speak in my name, I will require it of him.
Genesis 49: "Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise, and thou shalt conquer thine enemies; thy father's children shall bow down before thee. Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up, and art couched as a lion, and as a lioness that shall be roused up.
"The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be."
727. During the life of the Messiah. Aenigmatis. Ezek. l7.
His forerunner. Malachi 3.
He will be born an infant. Is. 9.
He will be born in the village of Bethlehem. Micah 5. He will appear chiefly in Jerusalem and will be a descendant of the family of Judah and of David.
He is to blind the learned and the wise, Is. 6, 8, 29. etc.; and to preach the Gospel to the lowly, Is. 29; to open the eyes of the blind, give health to the sick, and bring light to those that languish in darkness. Is. 61.
He is to show the perfect way, and be the teacher of the Gentiles. Is. 55; 43:1-7.
The prophecies are to be unintelligible to the wicked, Dan. 12; Hosea 14:10; but they are to be intelligible to those who are well informed.
The prophecies, which represent Him as poor, represent Him as master of the nations. Is. 52:14, etc.; 53; Zech. 9:9.
The prophecies, which foretell the time, foretell Him only as master of the nations and suffering, and not as in the clouds nor as judge. And those, which represent Him thus as judge and in glory, do not mention the time. When the Messiah is spoken of as great and glorious, it is as the judge of the world, and not its Redeemer.
He is to be the victim for the sins of the world. Is. 39:53. etc.
He is to be the precious corner-stone. Is. 28:16.
He is to be a stone of stumbling and offence. Is. viii. Jerusalem is to dash against this stone.
The builders are to reject this stone. Ps. 117:22.
God is to make this stone the chief corner-stone.
And this stone is to grow into a huge mountain and fill the whole earth. Dan. 2.
So He is to be rejected, despised, betrayed (Ps. 108:8), sold (Zech. 11:12), spit upon, buffeted, mocked, afflicted in innumerable ways, given gall to drink (Ps. 68), pierced (Zech. 12), His feet and His hands pierced, slain, and lots cast for His raiment.
He will rise again (Ps. 15) the third day (Hosea 6:3).
He will ascend to heaven to sit on the right hand. Ps. 110.
The kings will arm themselves against Him. Ps. 2.
Being on the right hand of the Father, He will be victorious over His enemies.
The kings of the earth and all nations will worship Him. Is. lx.
The Jews will continue as a nation. Jeremiah.
They will wander, without kings, etc. (Hosea 3), without prophets (Amos), looking for salvation and finding it not (Isaiah).
Calling of the Gentiles by Jesus Christ. Is. 52:15; 55:5; 60, etc. Ps. 81.
Hosea 1:9: "Ye are not my people, and I will not be your God, when ye are multiplied after the dispersion. In the places where it was said, Ye are not my people, I will call them my people."
728. It was not lawful to sacrifice outside of Jerusalem, which was the place that the Lord had chosen, nor even to eat the tithes elsewhere. Deut. 12:5, etc.; Deut. 14:23, etc.; 15:20; 16:2, 7, 11, 15.
Hosea foretold that they should be without a king, without a prince, without a sacrifice, and without an idol; and this prophecy is now fulfilled, as they cannot make a lawful sacrifice out of Jerusalem.
729. Predictions.--It was foretold that, in the time of the Messiah, He should come to establish a new covenant, which should make them forget the escape from Egypt (Jer. 23:5; Is. 43:10); that He should place His law not in externals, but in the heart; that He should put His fear, which had only been from without, in the midst of the heart. Who does not see the Christian law in all this?
730.... That then idolatry would be overthrown; that this Messiah would cast down all idols and bring men into the worship of the true God.
That the temples of the idols would be cast down, and that among all nations and in all places of the earth. He would be offered a pure sacrifice, not of beasts.
That He would be king of the Jews and Gentiles. And we see this king of the Jews and Gentiles oppressed by both, who conspire His death; and ruler of both, destroying the worship of Moses in Jerusalem, which was its centre, where He made His first Church; and also the worship of idols in Rome, the centre of it, where He made His chief Church.
731. Prophecies.--That Jesus Christ will sit on the right hand, till God has subdued His enemies.
Therefore He will not subdue them Himself.
732. "... Then they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, saying, Here is the Lord, for God shall make Himself known to all."
"... Your sons shall prophesy." "I will put my spirit and my fear in your heart."
All that is the same thing. To prophesy is to speak of God, not from outward proofs, but from an inward and immediate feeling.
733. That He would teach men the perfect way.
And there has never come, before Him nor after Him, any man who has taught anything divine approaching to this.
734.... That Jesus Christ would be small in His beginning, and would then increase. The little stone of Daniel.
If I had in no wise heard of the Messiah, nevertheless, after such wonderful predictions of the course of the world which I see fulfilled, I see that He is divine. And, if I knew that these same books foretold a Messiah, I should be sure that He would come; and seeing that they place His time before the destruction of the second temple, I should say that He had come.
735. Prophecies.--That the Jews would reject Jesus Christ, and would be rejected of God, for this reason, that the chosen vine brought forth only wild grapes. That the chosen people would be fruitless, ungrateful, and unbelieving, populum non credentem et contradicentem.141 That God would strike them with blindness, and in full noon they would grope like the blind; and that a forerunner would go before Him.
736. Transfixerunt. Zech. 12:10.
That a deliverer should come, who would crush the demon's head, and free His people from their sins, ex omnibus iniquitatibus; that there should be a New Covenant, which would be eternal; that there should be another priesthood after the order of Melchisedek, and it should be eternal; that the Christ should be glorious, mighty, strong, and yet so poor that He would not be recognised, nor taken for what He is, but rejected and slain; that His people who denied Him should no longer be His people; that the idolaters should receive Him, and take refuge in Him; that He should leave Zion to reign in the centre of idolatry; that nevertheless the Jews should continue for ever; that He should be of Judah, and when there should be no longer a king.
Acts 17:11. "They received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so."
"Read what has been announced. See what has been accomplished. Meditate on what is to be done."
John 19:15. "We have no king but Caesar."
141Is. 65:2. "Arebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good."
"They have pierced."
Ps. 130:8. "from all his iniquities."
737. Therefore I reject all other religions. In that way I find an answer to all objections. It is right that a God so pure should only reveal Himself to those whose hearts are purified. Hence this religion is lovable to me, and I find it now sufficiently justified by so divine a morality. But I find more in it.
I find it convincing that, since the memory of man has lasted, it was constantly announced to men that they were universally corrupt, but that a Redeemer should come; that it is not one man who said it, but innumerable men, and a whole nation expressly made for the purpose and prophesying for four thousand years. This is a nation which is more ancient than every other nation. Their books, scattered abroad, are four thousand years old.
The more I examine them, the more truths I find in them: an entire nation foretell Him before His advent, and an entire nation worship Him after His advent; what has preceded and what has followed; in short, people without idols and kings, this synagogue which was foretold, and these wretches who frequent it and who, being our enemies, are admirable witnesses of the truth of these prophecies, wherein their wretchedness and even their blindness are foretold.
I find this succession, this religion, wholly divine in its authority, in its duration, in its perpetuity, in its morality, in its conduct, in its doctrine, in its effects. The frightful darkness of the Jews was foretold. Eris palpans in meridie.144 Dabitur liber scienti literas... et dicet: Non possum legere.145 While the sceptre was still in the hands of the first foreign usurper, there is the report of the coming of Jesus Christ.
So I hold out my arms to my Redeemer, who, having been foretold for four thousand years, has come to suffer and to die for me on earth, at the time and under all the circumstances foretold. By His grace, I await death in peace, in the hope of being eternally united to Him. Yet I live with joy, whether in the prosperity which it pleases Him to bestow upon me, or in the adversity which He sends for my good, and which He has taught me to bear by His example.
738. The prophecies having given different signs which should all happen at the advent of the Messiah, it was necessary that all these signs should occur at the same time. So it was necessary that the fourth monarchy should have come, when the seventy weeks of Daniel were ended; and that the sceptre should have then departed from Judah. And all this happened without any difficulty. Then it was necessary that the Messiah should come; and Jesus Christ then came, who was called the Messiah. And all this again was without difficulty. This indeed shows the truth of the prophecies.
739. The prophets foretold, and were not foretold. The saints again were foretold, but did not foretell. Jesus Christ both foretold and was foretold.
740. Jesus Christ, whom the two Testaments regard, the Old as its hope, the New as its model, and both as their centre.
741. The two oldest books in the world are those of Moses and Job, the one a Jew and the other a Gentile. Both of them look upon Jesus Christ as their common centre and object: Moses in relating the promises of God to Abraham, Jacob, etc., and his prophecies; and Job, Quis mihi det ut, etc. Scio enim quod redemptor meus vivit, etc.146
742. The Gospel only speaks of the virginity of the Virgin up to the time of the birth of Jesus Christ. All with reference to Jesus Christ.
743. Proofs Of Jesus Christ.
Why was the book of Ruth preserved?
Why the story of Tamar?
744. "Pray that ye enter not into temptation." It is dangerous to be tempted; and people are tempted because they do not pray.
Et tu conversus confirma fratres tuos. But before, conversus Jesus respexit Petrum.147
Saint Peter asks permission to strike Malchus and strikes before hearing the answer. Jesus Christ replies afterwards.
The word, Galilee, which the mob pronounced as if by chance, in accusing Jesus Christ before Pilate, afforded Pilate a reason for sending Jesus Christ to Herod. And thereby the mystery was accomplished, that He should be judged by Jews and Gentiles. Chance was apparently the cause of the accomplishment of the mystery.
745. Those who have a difficulty in believing seek a reason in the fact that the Jews do not believe. "Were this so clear," say they, "why did the Jews not believe"? And they almost wish that they had believed, so as not to be kept back by the example of their refusal. But it is their very refusal that is the foundation of our faith. We should be much less disposed to the faith, if they were on our side. We should then have a more ample pretext. The wonderful thing is to have made the Jews great lovers of the things foretold, and great enemies of their fulfilment.
746. The Jews were accustomed to great and striking miracles, and so, having had the great miracles of the Red Sea and of the land of Canaan as an epitome of the great deeds of their Messiah, they therefore looked for more striking miracles, of which those of Moses were only the patterns.
747. The carnal Jews and the heathen have their calamities, and Christians also. There is no Redeemer for the heathen, for they do not so much as hope for one. There is no Redeemer for the Jews; they hope for Him in vain. There is a Redeemer only for Christians. (See Perpetuity.)
748. In the time of the Messiah the people divided themselves. The spiritual embraced the Messiah, and the coarser-minded remained to serve as witnesses of Him.
749. "If this was clearly foretold to the Jews, how did they not believe it, or why were they not destroyed for resisting a fact so clear?"
I reply: in the first place, it was foretold both that they would not believe a thing so clear and that they would not be destroyed. And nothing is more to the glory of the Messiah; for it was not enough that there should be prophets; their prophets must be kept above suspicion. Now, etc.
750. If the Jews had all been converted by Jesus Christ, we should have none but questionable witnesses. And if they had been entirely destroyed, we should have no witnesses at all.
751. What do the prophets say of Jesus Christ? That He will be clearly God? No; but that He is a God truly hidden; that He will be slighted; that none will think that it is He; that He will be a stone of stumbling, upon which many will stumble, etc. Let people then reproach us no longer for want of clearness, since we make profession of it.
But, it is said, there are obscurities. And without that, no one would have stumbled over Jesus Christ, and this is one of the formal pronouncements of the prophets: Excaeca...
752. Moses first teaches the Trinity, original sin, the Messiah.
David: a great witness; a king, good, merciful, a beautiful soul, a sound mind, powerful. He prophesies, and his wonder comes to pass. This is infinite.
He had only to say that he was the Messiah, if he had been vain; for the prophecies are clearer about him than about Jesus Christ. And the same with Saint John.
753. Herod was believed to be the Messiah. He had taken away the sceptre from Judah but he was not of Judah. This gave rise to a considerable sect.
Curse of the Greeks upon those who count three periods of time.
In what way should the Messiah come, seeing that through Him the sceptre was to be eternally in Judah and at His coming the sceptre was to be taken away from Judah?
In order to effect that seeing they should not see, and hearing they should not understand, nothing could be better done.
754. Homo existens te Deum facit.149
Scriptum est, Dii estis, et non potest solvi Scriptura.150
Haec infirmitas non est ad vitam et est ad mortem.151
Lazarus dormit, et deinde dixit: Lazarus mortuus est.152
755. The apparent discrepancy of the Gospels.
756. What can we have but reverence for a man who foretells plainly things which come to pass, and who declares his intention both to blind and to enlighten, and who intersperses obscurities among the clear things which come to pass?
757. The time of the first advent was foretold; the time of the second is not so; because the first was to be obscure, and the second is to be brilliant and so manifest that even His enemies will recognise it. But, as He was first to come only in obscurity and to be known only of those who searched the Scriptures.
758. God, in order to cause the Messiah to be known by the good and not to be known by the wicked, made Him to be foretold in this manner. If the manner of the Messiah had been clearly foretold, there would have been no obscurity, even for the wicked. If the time had been obscurely foretold, there would have been obscurity, even for the good. For their goodness of heart would not have made them understand, for instance, that the closed mem signifies six hundred years. But that time has been clearly foretold, and the manner in types.
By this means, the wicked, taking the promised blessings for material blessings, have fallen into error, in spite of the clear prediction of the time; and the good have not fallen in error. For the understanding of the promised blessings depends on the heart, which calls good that which it loves; but the understanding of the promised time does not depend on the heart. And thus the clear prediction of the time, and the obscure prediction of the blessings, deceive the wicked alone.
759. Either the Jews or the Christians must be wicked.
760. The Jews reject Him, but not all. The saints receive Him, and not the carnal-minded. And so far is this from being against His glory, that it is the last touch which crowns it. For their argument, the only one found in all their writings, in the Talmud and in the Rabbinical writings, amounts only to this, that Jesus Christ has not subdued the nations with sword in hand, gladium tuum, potentissime. (Is this all they have to say? Jesus Christ has been slain, say they. He has failed. He has not subdued the heathen with His might. He has not bestowed upon us their spoil. He does not give riches. Is this all they have to say? It is in this respect that He is lovable to me. I would not desire Him whom they fancy.) It is evident that it is only His life which has prevented them from accepting Him; and through this rejection they are irreproachable witnesses, and, what is more, they thereby accomplish the prophecies.
By means of the fact that this people have not accepted Him, this miracle here has happened. The prophecies were the only lasting miracles which could be wrought, but they were liable to be denied.
761. The Jews, in slaying Him in order not to receive Him as the Messiah, have given Him the final proof of being the Messiah.
And in continuing not to recognise Him, they made themselves irreproachable witnesses. Both in slaying Him and in continuing to deny Him, they have fulfilled the prophecies (Is. 60; Ps. 71).
762. What could the Jews, His enemies, do? If they receive Him, they give proof of Him by their reception; for then the guardians of the expectation of the Messiah receive Him. If they reject Him, they give proof of Him by their rejection.
763. The Jews, in testing if He were God, have shown that He was man.
764. The Church has had as much difficulty in showing that Jesus Christ was man, against those who denied it, as in showing that He was God; and the probabilities were equally great.
765. Source of contradictions.--A God humiliated, even to the death on the cross; a Messiah triumphing over death by his own death. Two natures in Jesus Christ, two advents, two states of man's nature.
766. Types.--Saviour, father, sacrificer, offering, food, king, wise, law-giver, afflicted, poor, having to create a people whom He must lead and nourish and bring into His land...
Jesus Christ. Offices.--He alone had to create a great people, elect, holy, and chosen; to lead, nourish, and bring it into the place of rest and holiness; to make it holy to God; to make it the temple of God; to reconcile it to, and, save it from, the wrath of God; to free it from the slavery of sin, which visibly reigns in man; to give laws to this people, and engrave these laws on their heart; to offer Himself to God for them, and sacrifice Himself for them; to be a victim without blemish, and Himself the sacrificer, having to offer Himself, His body, and His blood, and yet to offer bread and wine to God...
"Stone upon stone."
What preceded and what followed. All the Jews exist still and are wanderers.
767. Of all that is on earth, He partakes only of the sorrows, not of the joys. He loves His neighbours, but His love does not confine itself within these bounds, and overflows to His own enemies, and then to those of God.
768. Jesus Christ typified by Joseph, the beloved of his father, sent by his father to see his brethren, etc., innocent, sold by his brethren for twenty pieces of silver, and thereby becoming their lord, their saviour, the saviour of strangers and the saviour of the world; which had not been but for their plot to destroy him, their sale and their rejection of him.
In prison, Joseph innocent between two criminals; Jesus Christ on the cross between two thieves. Joseph foretells freedom to the one, and death to the other, from the same omens. Jesus Christ saves the elect, and condemns the outcast for the same sins. Joseph foretells only; Jesus Christ acts. Joseph asks him who will be saved to remember him, when he comes into his glory; and he whom Jesus Christ saves asks that He will remember him, when He comes into His kingdom.
769. The conversion of the heathen was only reserved for the grace of the Messiah. The Jews have been so long in opposition to them without success; all that Solomon and the prophets said has been useless. Sages, like Plato and Socrates, have not been able to persuade them.
770. After many persons had gone before, Jesus Christ at last came to say: "Here am I, and this is the time. That which the prophets have said was to come in the fullness of time, I tell you my apostles will do. The Jews shall be cast out. Jerusalem shall be soon destroyed. And the heathen shall enter into the knowledge of God. My apostles shall do this after you have slain the heir of the vineyard."
Then the apostles said to the Jews: "You shall be accursed," (Celsus laughed at it); and to the heathen, "You shall enter into the knowledge of God." And this then came to pass.
771. Jesus Christ came to blind those who saw clearly, and to give sight to the blind; to heal the sick, and leave the healthy to die; to call to repentance, and to justify sinners, and to leave the righteous in their sins; to fill the needy, and leave the rich empty.
772. Holiness.--Effundam spiritum meum. All nations were in unbelief and lust. The whole world now became fervent with love. Princes abandoned their pomp; maidens suffered martyrdom. Whence came this influence? The Messiah was come. These were the effect and sign of His coming.
773. Destruction of the Jews and heathen by Jesus Christ: Omnes gentes venient et adorabunt eum.156 Parum est ut,157 etc. Postula a me.158 Adorabunt eum omnes reges.159 Testes iniqui.160 Dabit maxillam percutienti.161 Dederunt fel in escam.162
774. Jesus Christ for all, Moses for a nation.
The Jews blessed in Abraham: "I will bless those that bless thee." But: "All nations blessed in his seed." Parum est ut,163 etc.
Lumen ad revelationem gentium.164
Non fecit taliter omni nationi, said David, in speaking of the Law. But, in speaking of Jesus Christ, we must say: Fecit taliter omni nationi.165 Parum est ut, etc., Isaiah. So it belongs to Jesus Christ to be universal. Even the Church offers sacrifice only for the faithful. Jesus Christ offered that of the cross for all.
775. There is heresy in always explaining omnes by all, and heresy is not explaining it sometimes by all. Bibite ex hoc omnes;166 The Huguenots are heretics in explaining it by all. In quo omnes peccaverunt,167 the Huguenots are heretics in excepting the children of true believers. We must, then, follow the Fathers and tradition in order to know when to do so, since there is heresy to be feared on both sides.
776. Ne timeas pusillus grex.168 Timore et tremore.169--Quid ergo? Ne timeas modo timeas. Fear not, provided you fear; but if you fear not, then fear.
Qui me recipit, non me recipit, sed eum qui me misit.170
Nemo scit, neque Filius.171
Nubes lucida obumbravit.172
Saint John was to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and Jesus Christ to plant division. There is not contradiction.
777. The effects in communi and in particulari. The semi-Pelagians err in saying of in communi what is true only in particulari; and the Calvinists in saying in particulari what is true in communi. (Such is my opinion.)
778. Omnis Judaea regio, et Jerosolmymi universi, et baptizabantur.173 Because of all the conditions of men who came there.
From these stones there can come children unto Abraham.
779. If men knew themselves, God would heal and pardon them. Ne convertantur et sanem eos, et dimittantur eis peccata.174
780. Jesus Christ never condemned without hearing. To Judas: Amice, ad guid venisti? To him that had not on the wedding garment, the same.
781. The types of the completeness of the Redemption, as that the sun gives light to all, indicate only completeness; but the types of exclusions, as of the Jews elected to the exclusion of the Gentiles, indicate exclusion.
"Jesus Christ the Redeemer of all." Yes, for He has offered, like a man who has ransomed all those who were willing to come to Him. If any die on the way, it is their misfortune; but, so far as He was concerned, He offered them redemption. That holds good in this example, where he who ransoms and he who prevents death are two persons, but not of Jesus Christ, who does both these things. No, for Jesus Christ, in the quality of Redeemer, is not perhaps Master of all; and thus, in so far as it is in Him, He is the Redeemer of all.
When it is said that Jesus Christ did not die for all, you take undue advantage of a fault in men who at once apply this exception to themselves; and is to favour despair, instead of turning them from it to favour hope. For men thus accustom themselves in inward virtues by outward customs.
782. The victory over death. "What is a man advantaged if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Whosoever will save his soul, shall lose it."
"I am not come to destroy the law, but to fulfil."
"Lambs took not away the sins of the world, but I am the lamb which taketh away the sins."
"Moses hath not led you out of captivity, and made you truly free."
783.... Then Jesus Christ comes to tell men that they have no other enemies but themselves; that it is their passions which keep them apart from God; that He comes to destroy these, and give them His grace, so as to make of them all one Holy Church; that He comes to bring back into this Church the heathen and Jews; that He comes to destroy the idols of the former and the superstition of the latter. To this all men are opposed, not only from the natural opposition of lust; but, above all, the kings of the earth, as had been foretold, join together to destroy this religion at its birth. (Proph.: Quare fremuerunt gentes... reges terrae... adversus Christum.)
All that is great on earth is united together; the learned, the wise, the kings. The first write; the second condemn; the last kill. And notwithstanding all these oppositions, these men, simple and weak, resist all these powers, subdue even these kings, these learned men and these sages, and remove idolatry from all the earth. And all this is done by the power which had foretold it.
784. Jesus Christ would not have the testimony of devils, nor of those who were not called, but of God and John the Baptist.
785. I consider Jesus Christ in all persons and in ourselves: Jesus Christ as a Father in His Father, Jesus Christ as a Brother in His Brethren, Jesus Christ as poor in the poor, Jesus Christ as rich in the rich, Jesus Christ as Doctor and Priest in priests, Jesus Christ as Sovereign in princes, etc. For by His glory He is all that is great, being God; and by His mortal life He is all that is poor and abject. Therefore He has taken this unhappy condition, so that He could be in all persons and the model of all conditions.
786. Jesus Christ is an obscurity (according to what the world calls obscurity), such that historians, writing only of important matters of states, have hardly noticed Him.
787. On the fact that neither Josephus, nor Tacitus, nor other historians have spoken of Jesus Christ.--So far is this from telling against Christianity that, on the contrary, it tells for it. For it is certain that Jesus Christ has existed; that His religion has made a great talk; and that these persons were not ignorant of it. Thus it is plain that they purposely concealed it, or that, if they did speak of it, their account has been suppressed or changed.
788. "I have reserved me seven thousand." I love the worshippers unknown to the world and to the very prophets.
789. As Jesus Christ remained unknown among men, so His truth remains among common opinions without external difference. Thus the Eucharist among ordinary bread.
790. Jesus would not be slain without the forms of justice; for it is far more ignominious to die by justice than by an unjust sedition.
791. The false justice of Pilate only serves to make Jesus Christ suffer; for he causes Him to be scourged by his false justice, and afterwards puts Him to death. It would have been better to have put Him to death at once. Thus it is with the falsely just. They do good and evil works to please the world, and to show that they are not altogether of Jesus Christ; for they are ashamed of Him. And at last, under great temptation and on great occasions, they kill Him.
792. What man ever had more renown? The whole Jewish people foretell Him before His coming. The Gentile people worship Him after His coming. The two peoples, Gentile and Jewish, regard Him as their centre.
And yet what man enjoys this renown less? Of thirty-three years, He lives thirty without appearing. For three years He passes as an impostor; the priests and the chief people reject Him; His friends and His nearest relatives despise Him. Finally, He dies, betrayed by one of His own disciples, denied by another, and abandoned by all.
What part, then, has He in this renown? Never had man so much renown; never had man more ignominy. All that renown has served only for us, to render us capable of recognising Him; and He had none of it for Himself.
793. The infinite distance between body and mind is a symbol of the infinitely more infinite distance between mind and charity; for charity is supernatural.
All the glory of greatness has no lustre for people who are in search of understanding.
The greatness of clever men is invisible to kings, to the rich, to chiefs, and to all the worldly great.
The greatness of wisdom, which is nothing if not of God, is invisible to the carnal-minded and to the clever. These are three orders differing in kind.
Great geniuses have their power, their glory, their greatness, their victory, their lustre, and have no need of worldly greatness, with which they are not in keeping. They are seen, not by the eye, but by the mind; this is sufficient.
The saints have their power, their glory, their victory, their lustre, and need no worldly or intellectual greatness, with which they have no affinity; for these neither add anything to them, nor take away anything from them. They are seen of God and the angels, and not of the body, nor of the curious mind. God is enough for them.
Archimedes, apart from his rank, would have the same veneration. He fought no battles for the eyes to feast upon; but he has given his discoveries to all men. Oh! how brilliant he was to the mind!
Jesus Christ, without riches and without any external exhibition of knowledge, is in His own order of holiness. He did not invent; He did not reign. But He was humble, patient, holy, holy to God, terrible to devils, without any sin. Oh! in what great pomp and in what wonderful splendour He is come to the eyes of the heart, which perceive wisdom!
It would have been useless for Archimedes to have acted the prince in his books on geometry, although he was a prince.
It would have been useless for our Lord Jesus Christ to come like a king, in order to shine forth in His kingdom of holiness. But He came there appropriately in the glory of His own order.
It is most absurd to take offence at the lowliness of Jesus Christ, as if His lowliness were in the same order as the greatness which He came to manifest. If we consider this greatness in His life, in His passion, in His obscurity, in His death, in the choice of His disciples, in their desertion, in His secret resurrection, and the rest, we shall see it to be so immense that we shall have no reason for being offended at a lowliness which is not of that order.
But there are some who can only admire worldly greatness, as though there were no intellectual greatness; and others who only admire intellectual greatness, as though there were not infinitely higher things in wisdom.
All bodies, the firmament, the stars, the earth and its kingdoms, are not equal to the lowest mind; for mind knows all these and itself; and these bodies nothing.
All bodies together, and all minds together, and all their products, are not equal to the least feeling of charity. This is of an order infinitely more exalted.
From all bodies together, we cannot obtain one little thought; this is impossible and of another order. From all bodies and minds, we cannot produce a feeling of true charity; this is impossible and of another and supernatural order.
794. Why did Jesus Christ not come in a visible manner, instead of obtaining testimony of Himself from preceding prophecies? Why did He cause Himself to be foretold in types?
795. If Jesus Christ had only come to sanctify, all Scripture and all things would tend to that end; and it would be quite easy to convince unbelievers. If Jesus Christ had only come to blind, all His conduct would be confused; and we would have no means of convincing unbelievers. But as He came in sanctificationem et in scandalum,177 as Isaiah says, we cannot convince unbelievers, and they cannot convince us. But by this very fact we convince them; since we say that in His whole conduct there is no convincing proof on one side or the other.
796. Jesus Christ does not say that He is not of Nazareth, in order to leave the wicked in their blindness; nor that He is not Joseph's son.
797. Proofs of Jesus Christ.--Jesus Christ said great things so simply that it seems as though He had not thought them great; and yet so clearly that we easily see what He thought of them. This clearness, joined to this simplicity, is wonderful.
798. The style of the gospel is admirable in so many ways, and among the rest in hurling no invectives against the persecutors and enemies of Jesus Christ. For there is no such invective in any of the historians against Judas, Pilate, or any of the Jews.
If this moderation of the writers of the Gospels had been assumed, as well as many other traits of so beautiful a character, and they had only assumed it to attract notice, even if they had not dared to draw attention to it themselves, they would not have failed to secure friends who would have made such remarks to their advantage. But as they acted thus without pretence and from wholly disinterested motives, they did not point it out to any one; and I believe that many such facts have not been noticed till now, which is evidence of the natural disinterestedness with which the thing has been done.
799. An artisan who speaks of wealth, a lawyer who speaks of war, of royalty, etc.; but the rich man rightly speaks of wealth, a king speaks indifferently of a great gift he has just made, and God rightly speaks of God.
800. Who has taught the evangelists the qualities of a perfectly heroic soul, that they paint it so perfectly in Jesus Christ? Why do they make Him weak in His agony? Do they not know how to paint a resolute death? Yes, for the same Saint Luke paints the death of Saint Stephen as braver than that of Jesus Christ.
They make Him, therefore, capable of fear, before the necessity of dying has come, and then altogether brave.
But when they make Him so troubled, it is when He afflicts Himself; and when men afflict Him, He is altogether strong.
801. Proof of Jesus Christ.--The supposition that the apostles were impostors is very absurd. Let us think it out. Let us imagine those twelve men, assembled after the death of Jesus Christ, plotting to say that He was risen. By this they attack all the powers. The heart of man is strangely inclined to fickleness, to change, to promises, to gain. However little any of them might have been led astray by all these attractions, nay more, by the fear of prisons, tortures, and death, they were lost. Let us follow up this thought.
802. The apostles were either deceived or deceivers. Either supposition has difficulties; for it is not possible to mistake a man raised from the dead...
While Jesus Christ was with them, He could sustain them. But, after that, if He did not appear to them, who inspired them to act?
144Deut. 28:29. Et palpes in meridie. "And thou shalt grope at noonday."
145Is. 29:11. Quem (librum) cum dederint scienti litteras et respondebit: Non possum. "Which men deliver to one that is learned... and he saith, I cannot."
146Job 19:23-25. "for I know that my redeemer liveth."
147Luke 22:32, 61. "And when thou art converted, strengthen thy brother." "And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter."
Is. 6:10. "Shut their eyes."
149"The man who exists makes you God."
150"It is written: 'You are Gods' (Ps. 80:6), and the Scripture cannot be made naught of."
151"This weakness is not for life; it is for death."
152"John 11:11 and 14. "'Lazarus sleeps,' and later it says: 'Lazarus is dead.'"
Ps. 44:4. Gladio tuo- "Thy sword, O most mighty."
Heb. 10:5. "When he cometh into the world."
Joel. 2:28. "I will pour out my spirit."
156Ps. 21:28. "All peoples shall come and worship him."
157Is. 49:6. "It is a light thing that thou shouldst be my servant," etc.
158Ps. 2:8. "Ask of me."
159Ps. 71:11. "All kings shall fall down before him."
160Ps. 34:11. "Witnesses rise up."
161Lam. 3:30. "He giveth his cheek to him that smiteth him."
162Ps. 68:22. Dederunt in escam meam fel. "They gave me also gall for my meat."
163Is. 49:6. "It is a light thing that thou shouldst be my servant," etc.
164Luke 2:32. "A light to lighten the Gentiles."
165Ps. 167:20. "He hath not dealt so with any nation."
166Matt. 26:27. "Drink ye all of it."
167Rom. 5:12. "for that all have sinned."
168Luke 12:32. "Fear not little flock."
169Phil. 2:12. "With fear and trembling."
170Mark 9:37. "Whosoever receiveth me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me."
171Mark 13:32. "No one knows, neither the Son, but the Father."
172"Clouds shadowed over the light."
173Mark 1:5. "All the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him."
174Mark 4:12. "Lest they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them."
Matt. 26:50. "Friend, wherefore art thou come?"
Ps. 2:1, 2. "Why do the heathen rage... and the rulers of the earth... against the Lord."
177Is. 8:14. "For a sanctuary and for a rock of offence."
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