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for the faith:
the charac- ports not with the grave character of the Church of ter of the Rome [to be subject to] this name for unsteadiness See of Rome which at present attaches to her; [this belief ] that she suspicion of may be moved by any influence, from the solid ground of heretical the true faith ; in defence of which so many of her martendencies
, tyrs have shed their blood, choosing rather to die, than
to be shaken. For supposing that in our days were to struggle earnestly
come the last persecution of that odious (*monster, whose hide scarce all the vessels (of the earth] will be
able to support*] shall we not resist even unto blood, fightHeb. xli. 4. ing against sin, as our fathers have done [before us,] the
Apostles, I mean, and the company of the Martyrs. If there existed sore persecution in the first days of the
faith, how much more in the latter end, concerning which S. Luke the Lord saith, Thinkest thou that the Son of Man when xviii. 8. he cometh shall find faith on the earth ?' and again, ' Ex
cept those days had been shortened, there should no flesh be saved.' Happy he whom death shall remove, ere that in weakness he deny (the Lord). He saith however, that there shall be even then existing elect ones, those
namely concerning whom he spake in prophecy to his Ch. xxvii. disciples, Lo I am with you always, even to the consum20, ib. mation of the world. Since therefore the elect that shall
be in those more perilous days, ([days] too awful to compare with any that shall have been past and gone before them) shall support, the Lord assisting them, [those] greater trials, how shall not we even in defence of our faith, wherein we differ from Heathens, Jews, and heretics, sus port, by the Lord's assistance, in these com
paratively safe and tranquil times, trials less afflicting. and again “ But when I urge you thus, although forbearing to apologizes act myself, and speaking rather than doing, ([with an for penning, apparent weakness suitable to the import of my name, as the pre-called as I am) in Hebrew Jonah, in Greek Peristera, sent, in Latin Columba, [i. e. a dove] more commonly known
however by the appellation peculiar to your tongue,
S. Matt. xxiv. 22.
though I might incline to the old Hebrew name of him like whom nearly I had well nigh been wrecked) grant Jonah i. 15. me I implore you, your indulgence, as I have already desired more than once. Seeing that I have been impelled to write (this epistle] rather by the necessity of the case, than from a vainglorious temper ; inasmuch as a He had certain person gave me to understand, in a letter which been put on he addressed to me with all speed, almost on my very against Pope first arrival in the territories of this country, that I must Boniface as be on my guard against you, as having lapsed into the a favourer sect of Nestorius. To whom, astonished [at such a of the Nesstatement,] I replied briefly, as well as I was able; but torian hehowever, lest I should act in any manner contrary to the truth, I wrote [afterwards] a different answer, such as suited his letter, and suited also my good opinion of you See 1 Tim. (for I am always of opinion that the pillar of the Church ii. 15. is firm in the Branch;) which [second answer] I have directed to you to be read over, and objected to, if it any where gainsay the truth, for I do not venture to profess myself to be one of those that are beyond the reach of censure.
“Moreover, besides this ground for my writing, there Moreover in is also the urgent injunction of king Agilulf
, whose re-writing this
Epistle, he quest has occasioned me very great astonishment and anxiety; for the state of things which I see at present only comexisting I cannot regard as any thing short of miracu- plying with lous. For the kings of this country for a long time past kuing agihave been trampling on the Catholic faith, and promoting
press desire; this Arian pestilence . at the present moment their express desire is to have our faith more strongly upheld. It may be that Christ, in whose favour every good originates, is now regarding us with an eye of mercy. Very unfortunate are we, if any further occasion of stumbling be afforded by our side. The king then makes request, ious wishes and the queen requests, and all join in the request, that were for the as soon as ever it may be done, all may be restored to peace and VOL. III.
of the Church,
well-being unity; (*that peace may be secured with promptness for
the country, *) peace for the faith; that all may thus become one fold of Christ, (who is] King of kings; that you may follow Peter, all Italy you. What can be sweeter than peace where wars have prevailed? What more delightful than the reconciliation of brethren long separated ? With what eagerness does the father come home [to his children] after many years (of absence.] How sweet the tidings of his arrival to the long expectant mother! So shall God our Father delight in the peace of His children throughout endless ages, and the joy of the Church our mother furnish matter of exulta
tion for all eternity. The conclu- “And now holy pope, and brethren, pray for me a sion. sinner of the vilest class, and for my fellow pilgrims, at
the holy places, and where the ashes of the saints rea pose; (and particularly those of S. Peter and S. Paul, *who were at once the soldiers*] and most valiant warriors of the happiest of battle-fields, who followed even with their blood a crucified Lord ;) that we may be accounted worthy to abide with Christ, to please Him, give Him thanks, and to Him with the Father and the Holy Ghost, to render praises without end, in union with you and all His saints, here, and throughout all ages, for ever and ever. Amen."
VENERABLE BEDE'S ACCOUNT OF THE SYMBOLICAL MEANING OP THE
RULE FOR FINDING BASTER, (referred to at p. 192 of the present work,) extracted from ABBOT CEOLFRID'S EPISTLE IN REPLY TO KING NAITAN.-- See p. 211 of this work.)-BEDR Ec. Hist. v. 22.
Symbolic rcason why the first
Supposing that you may like to be informed of a mystical reason also for these regulations ;-We are directed
to celebrate the Paschal solemnity in the first month of month is a the year, which is also called the month of new vegeta- proper seation, because we should commemorate the Sacraments Paschal fes[i. e. the sacred mysteries] of the Lord's resurrection, tival. and of our own deliverance, with the spirit of our minds renovated for the love of heavenly enjoyments.
“In the third week of the same month we are bidden to And why observe the festival,--because Christ, our true Passover, the third who is sacrificed for us, having been the subject of promise week of the before the law and under the law, came with grace in the third dispensation of the world; because that, having risen again from the dead on the third day, after having offered the sacrifice of His Passion, he willed that the same should be called the Lord's day, and that upon it we should annually celebrate the Paschal festival of the same Resurrection ; because, moreover, we celebrate the solemn observances of that festival in a proper manner, only when we are careful to keep our Pasch, that is, our passing with Him from the world unto the Father, in faith, and hope, and charity.
“After the Vernal Equinox, we are bidden to wait for And why the full moon of the Paschal month, that is, in order that time of the the Sun may first make the day longer than the night, full moon. and the moon then present to the world the full orb of her light; because in the first instance the Sun of Righteousness, who hath healing in His wings, that is, the Lord Jesus, overcame by the triumph of His Resurrection, all the dark shades of death, and so ascending into heaven, sent down the Spirit from on high, and filled with the light of internal grace, His Church, which is often spoken of under the name of the moon; an order of [events connected with] our salvation on contemplating which the prophet said, “The Sun hath arisen, 2 Esd. vi. and the Moon hath stood in her appointed place.' Who- 45 ? soever therefore shall contend that the Paschal full moon may occur before the Equinox, such an one cer
tainly disagrees with the teaching of the Holy Scriptures in his mode of celebrating the chief mysteries; but he agrees with those who believe that they can be saved without the preventing grace of Christ, who presume to teach that they could attain to pertect righteousness, even though the True Light had never dispelled the
darkness of the world by His death and resurrection. And why “ Then setting out from the equinoctial rising of the the first day sun, after the full moon of the first month, (the
next in of the week.
order after it,) that is, after the completion of the 14th day of the same month, (all which observances we have derived from the law.) we still further, in accordance with the suggestions of the Gospel, wait in the third week itself for the arrival of the Lord's day, and thus at length celebrate the votive commemoration of our Paschal feast; thereby indicating, that we do not with the ancients show respect for liberation from the yoke of Egyptian bondage ; but that our Festival is in honour of the Redemption of the whole world; which was prefigured indeed in the deliverance of the ancient people of God, but was completed in the Resurrection of Christ; and that we pay this honour with devout faith and love, to signify that we rejoice in most certain hope of our own Resurrection also, which we believe will take place hereafter on the same sacred day of the Lord.”