From Lecture 15
"16. For this cause the Lord knowing the greatness of the adversary grants indulgence to the godly, saying, Then let them which be in Judæa flee to the mountains. But if any man is conscious that he is very stout-hearted, to encounter Satan, let him stand (for I do not despair of the Church’s nerves), and let him say, Who shall separate us from the love of Christ and the rest? But, let those of us who are fearful provide for our own safety; and those who are of a good courage, stand fast: for then shall be great tribulation, such as hath not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever shall be. But thanks be to God who hath confined the greatness of that tribulation to a few days; for He says, But for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened; and Antichrist shall reign for three years and a half only. We speak not from apocryphal books, but from Daniel; for he says, And they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and half a time. A time is the one year in which his coming shall for a while have increase; and the times are the remaining two years of iniquity, making up the sum of the three years; and the half a time is the six months. And again in another place Daniel says the same thing, And he sware by Him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, and times, and half a time. And some peradventure have referred what follows also to this; namely, a thousand two hundred and ninety days; and this, Blessed is he that endureth and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. For this cause we must hide ourselves and flee; for perhaps we shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of Man be come."
Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. VII
Cyril of Jerusalem, Gregory Nazianzen
Title Page.Title Page.
The Catechetical Lectures of Saint Cyril.The Catechetical Lectures of S. Cyril.
Special Preparation for Baptism.
Ceremonies of Baptism and Chrism.
Eucharistic Rites. Liturgy.
Effects of Baptism and of Chrism.
Place of S. Cyril's Lectures.
The Time and Arrangement of S. Cyril's Lectures.
The Creed of Jerusalem: Doctrine of the Holy Trinity.
S. Cyril's Writings.
Procatechesis, or Prologue to the Catechetical Lectures of our Holy Father, Cyril, Archbishop of Jerusalem.
On Repentance and Remission of Sins, and Concerning the Adversary.
On the Ten Points of Doctrine.
Concerning the Unity of God. On the Article, I Believe in One God. Also Concerning Heresies.
On the Words, Maker of Heaven and Earth, and of All Things Visible and Invisible.
On the Clause, and in One Lord Jesus Christ, with a Reading from the First Epistle to the Corinthians.
On the Words, the Only-Begotten Son of God, Begotten of the Father Very God Before All Ages, by Whom All Things Were Made.
On the words Incarnate, and Made Man.
On the words, Crucified and Buried.
On the Words, And Rose Again from the Dead on the Third Day, and Ascended into the Heavens, and Sat on the Right Hand of the Father.
2. As then we set forth the testimonies concerning His Cross, so come let us now verify the proofs of His Resurrection also: since the Apostle before us 1658 affirms, He was buried, and has been raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. As an Apostle, therefore, has sent us back to the testimonies of the Scriptures, it is good that we should get full knowledge of the hope of our salvation; and that we should learn first whether the divine Scriptures tell us the season of His resurrection, whether it comes in summer or in autumn, or after winter; and from what kind of place the Saviour has risen, and what has been announced in the admirable Prophets as the name of the place of the Resurrection, and whether the women, who sought and found Him not, afterwards rejoice at finding Him; in order that when the Gospels are read, the narratives of these holy Scriptures may not be thought fables nor rhapsodies.
3. That the Saviour then was buried, ye have heard distinctly in the preceding discourse, as Isaiah saith, His burial shall be in peace 1659 : for in His burial He made peace between heaven and earth, bringing sinners unto God: and, that the righteous is taken out of the way of unrighteousness 1660 : and, His burial shall be in peace: and, I will give the wicked for His burial 1661 . There is also the prophecy of Jacob saying in the Scriptures, He lay down and couched as a lion, and as a lion’s whelp: who shall rouse Him up 1662 ? And the similar passage in Numbers, He couched, He lay down as a lion, and as a lion’s whelp 1663 . The Psalm also ye have often heard, which says, And Thou hast brought me down into the dust of death 1664 . Moreover we took note of the spot, when we quoted the words, Look unto the rock, which ye have hewn 1665 . But now let the testimonies concerning His resurrection itself go with us on our way.
4. First, then, in the 11th Psalm He says, For the misery of the poor, and the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the Lord 1666 . But this passage still remains doubtful with some: for He often rises up also in anger 1667 , to take vengeance upon His enemies.
Come then to the 15th Psalm, which says distinctly: Preserve Me, O Lord, for in Thee p. 95 have I put my trust 1668 : and after this, their assemblies of blood will I not join, nor make mention of their names between my lips 1669 ; since they have refused me, and chosen Cæsar as their king 1670 : and also the next words, I foresaw the Lord alway before Me, because He is at My right hand, that I may not be moved 1671 : and soon after Yea and even until night my reins chastened me 1672 . And after this He says most plainly, For Thou wilt not leave My soul in hell 1673 ; neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption. He said not, neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see death, since then He would not have died; but corruption, saith He, I see not, and shall not abide in death. Thou hast made known to Me the ways of life 1674 . Behold here is plainly preached a life after death. Come also to the 29th Psalm, I will extol Thee, O Lord, for Thou hast lifted Me up, and hast not made My foes to rejoice over Me 1675 . What is it that took place? Wert thou rescued from enemies, or wert thou released when about to be smitten? He says himself most plainly, O Lord, Thou hast brought up My soul from hell 1676 . There he says, Thou wilt not leave, prophetically: and here he speaks of that which is to take place as having taken place, Thou hast brought up. Thou hast saved Me from them that go down into the pit 1677 . At what time shall the event occur? Weeping shall continue for the evening, and joy cometh in the morning 1678 : for in the evening was the sorrow of the disciplines, and in the morning the joy of the resurrection.
5. But wouldst thou know the place also? Again He saith in Canticles, I went down into the garden of nuts 1679 ; for it was a garden where He was crucified 1680 . For though it has now been most highly adorned with royal gifts, yet formerly it was a garden, and the signs and the remnants of this remain. A garden enclosed, a fountain sealed 1681 , by the Jews who said, We remember that that deceiver said while He was yet alive, After three days, I will rise: command, therefore, that the sepulchre be made sure; and further on, So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone with the guard 1682 . And aiming well at these, one saith, and in rest Thou shalt judge them 1683. But who is the fountain that is sealed, or who is interpreted as being a well-spring of living water 1684 ? It is the Saviour Himself, concerning whom it is written, For with Thee is the fountain of life 1685 .
6. But what says Zephaniah in the person of Christ to the disciples? Prepare thyself, be rising at the dawn: all their gleaning is destroyed 1686 : the gleaning, that is, of the Jews, with whom there is not a cluster, nay not even a gleaning of salvation left; for their vine is cut down. See how He says to the disciples, Prepare thyself, rise up at dawn: at dawn expect the Resurrection.
And farther on in the same context of Scripture He says, Therefore wait thou for Me, saith the Lord, until the day of My Resurrection at the Testimony 1687 . Thou seest that the Prophet foresaw the place also of the Resurrection, which was to be surnamed “the Testimony.” For what is the reason that this spot of Golgotha and of the Resurrection is not called, like the rest of the Churches, a Church, but a Testimony? Why, perhaps, it was because of the Prophet, who had said, until the day of My Resurrection at the Testimony.
7. And who then is this, and what is the sign of Him that rises? In the words of the Prophet that follow in the same context, He says plainly, For then will I turn to the peoples a language 1688 : since, after the Resurrection, when the Holy Ghost was sent forth the gift of tongues was granted, that they might serve the Lord under one yoke 1689 . And what other token is set forth in the same Prophet, that they should serve the Lord under one yoke? From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia they shall bring me offerings 1690 . Thou knowest what is written in the Acts, when the Ethiopian eunuch came from beyond the rivers of Ethiopia 1691 . When therefore the Scriptures tell both the time and the peculiarity of the place, when they tell also the signs which followed the Resurrection, have thou henceforward a firm faith in the Resurrection, and let no one stir thee from confessing Christ risen from the dead 1692 .
8. Now take also another testimony in the p. 96 87th Psalm, where Christ speaks in the Prophets, (for He who then spoke came afterwards among us): O Lord, God of My salvation, I have cried day and night before Thee, and a little, farther on, I became as it were a man without help, free among the dead 1693 . He said not, I became a man without help; but, as it were a man without help. For indeed He was crucified not from weakness, but willingly and His Death was not from involuntary weakness. I was counted with them that go down into the pit 1694 . And what is the token? Thou hast put away Mine acquaintance far from Me 1695 (for the disciples have fled). Wilt Thou shew wonders to the dead 1696 ? Then a little while afterwards: And unto Thee have I cried, O Lord; and in the morning shall my prayer come before Thee 1697 . Seest thou how they shew the exact point of the Hour, and of the Passion and of the Resurrection?
9. And whence hath the Saviour risen? He says in the Song of Songs: Rise up, come, My neighbour 1698 : and in what follows, in a cave of the rock 1699 ! A cave of the rock He called the cave which was erewhile before the door of the Saviour’s sepulchre, and had been hewn out of the rock itself, as is wont to be done here in front of the sepulchres. For now it is not to be seen, since the outer cave was cut away at that time for the sake of the present adornment. For before the decoration of the sepulchre by the royal munificence, there was a cave in the front of the rock 1700 . But where is the rock that had in it the cave? Does it lie near the middle of the city, or near the walls and the outskirts? And whether is it within the ancient walls, or within the outer walls which were built afterwards? He says then in the Canticles: in a cave of the rock, close to the outer wall 1701 .
10. At what season does the Saviour rise? Is it the season of summer, or some other? In the same Canticles immediately before the words quoted He says, The winter is past, the rain is past and gone 1702 ; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the pruning is come 1703 . Is not then the earth full of flowers now, and are they not pruning the vines? Thou seest how he said also that the winter is now past. For when this month Xanthicus 1704 is come, it is already spring. And this is the season, the first month with the Hebrews, in which occurs the festival of the Passover, the typical formerly, but now the true. This is the season of the creation of the world: for then God said, Let the earth bring forth herbage of grass, yielding seed after his kind and after his likeness 1705 . And now, as thou seest, already every herb is yielding seed. And as at that time God made the sun and moon and gave them courses of equal day (and night), so also a few days since was the season of the equinox.
At that time God said, let us make man after our image and after our likeness 1706 . And the image he received, but the likeness through his disobedience he obscured. At the same season then in which he lost this the restoration also took place. At the same season as the created man through disobedience was cast out of Paradise, he who believed was through obedience brought in. Our Salvation then took place at the same season as the Fall: when the flowers appeared, and the pruning was come.
11. A garden was the place of His Burial, and a vine that which was planted there: and He hath said, I am the vine 1707 ! He was planted therefore in the earth in order that the curse which came because of Adam might be rooted out. The earth was condemned to thorns and thistles: the true Vine sprang up out of the earth, that the saying might be fulfilled, Truth sprang up out of the earth, and righteousness p. 97looked down from heaven 1708 . And what will He that is buried in the garden say? I have gathered My myrrh with My spices: and again,Myrrh and aloes, with all chief spices 1709 . Now these are the symbols of the burying; and in the Gospels it is said, The women came unto the sepulchre bringing the spices which they had prepared 1710 : Nicodemus also bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes 1711 . And farther on it is written, I did eat My bread with My honey 1712 : the bitter before the Passion, and the sweet after the Resurrection. Then after He had risen He entered through closed doors: but they believed not that it was He: for they supposed that they beheld a spirit 1713 . But He said, Handle Me and see. Put your fingers into the print of the nails, as Thomas required. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, He said unto them, Have ye here anything to eat? And they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and honeycomb 1714 . Seest thou how that is fulfilled, I did eat My bread with My honey.
12. But before He entered through the closed doors, the Bridegroom and Suitor 1715 of souls was sought by those noble and brave women. They came, those blessed ones, to the sepulchre, and sought Him Who had been raised, and the tears were still dropping from their eyes, when they ought rather to have been dancing with joy for Him that had risen. Mary came seeking Him, according to the Gospel, and found Him not: and presently she heard from the Angels, and afterwards saw the Christ. Are then these things also written? He says in the Song of Songs, On my bed I sought Him whom my soul loved. At what season? By night on my bed I sought Him Whom my soul loved: Mary, it says,came while it was yet dark. On my bed I sought Him by night, I sought Him, and I found Him not 1716 . And in the Gospels Mary says,They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him 1717 . But the Angels being then present cure their want of knowledge; for they said, Why seek ye the living among the dead 1718 ? He not only rose, but had also the dead with Him when He rose 1719. But she knew not, and in her person the Song of Songs said to the Angels, Saw ye Him Whom my soul loved? It was but a little that I passed from them (that is, from the two Angels), until I found Him Whom my soul loved. I held Him, and would not let Him go 1720 .
13. For after the vision of the Angels, Jesus came as His own Herald; and the Gospel says, And behold Jesus met them, saying, All hail! and they came and took hold of His feet 1721 . They took hold of Him, that it might be fulfilled, I will hold Him, and will not let Him go. Though the woman was weak in body, her spirit was manful. Many waters quench not love, neither do rivers drown it 1722 ; He was dead whom they sought, yet was not the hope of the Resurrection quenched. And the Angel says to them again, Fear not ye; I say not to the soldiers, fear not, but to you 1723 ; as for them, let them be afraid, that, taught by experience, they may bear witness and say, Truly this was the Son of God 1724 ; but you ought not to be afraid, for perfect love casteth out fear 1725 . Go, tell His disciples that He is risen 1726 ; and the rest. And they depart with joy, yet full of fear; is this also written? yes, the second Psalm, which relates the Passion of Christ, says, Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice unto Him with trembling 1727 ;—rejoice, because of the risen Lord; but with trembling, because of the earthquake, and the Angel who appeared as lightning.
14. Though, therefore, Chief Priests and Pharisees through Pilate’s means sealed the tomb; yet the women beheld Him who was risen. And Esaias knowing the feebleness of the Chief Priests, and the women’s strength of faith, says, Ye women, who come from beholding, come hither 1728 ; for the people hath no understanding;—the Chief Priests want understanding, while women are eye-witnesses. And when the soldiers came into the city to them, and told them all that had come to pass, they said to them, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole Him away while we slept 1729 ? Well therefore did Esaias foretell this also, as in their persons, But tell us, and relate to us another deceit 1730. He who rose again, is up, and for a gift of money they persuade the soldiers; but they persuade not the kings of our time. The soldiers then surrendered the truth for silver; but the kings of this day have, in their piety, built this holy Church of the Resurrection of God our Saviour, inlaid with silver and wrought with gold, in which we are assembled 1731 ; and embellished it with the treasures of silver and gold and precious stones. And if this come to the governor’s ears, they say, we will persuade him 1732 . Yea, though ye persuade the soldiers, yet ye will not persuade the world; for why, as Peter’s guards were condemned when he escaped out of the prison, were not p. 98 they also who watched Jesus Christ condemned? Upon the former, sentence was pronounced by Herod, for they were ignorant and had nothing to say for themselves; while the latter, who had seen the truth, and concealed it for money, were protected by the Chief Priests. Nevertheless, though but a few of the Jews were persuaded at the time, the world became obedient. They who hid the truth were themselves hidden; but they who received it were made manifest by the power of the Saviour, who not only rose from the dead, but also raised the dead with Himself. And in the person of these the Prophet Osee says plainly, After two days will He revive us, and in the third day we shall rise again, and shall live in His sight 1733 .
15. But since the disobedient Jews will not be persuaded by the Divine Scriptures, but forgetting all that is written gainsay the Resurrection of Jesus, it were good to answer them thus: On what ground, while you say that Eliseus and Elias raised the dead, do you gainsay the Resurrection of our Saviour? Is it that we have no living witnesses now out of that generation to what we say? Well, do you also bring forward witnesses of the history of that time. But that is written;—so is this also written: why then do ye receive the one, and reject the other? They were Hebrews who wrote that history; so were all the Apostles Hebrews: why then do ye disbelieve the Jews 1734 ? Matthew who wrote the Gospel wrote it in the Hebrew tongue 1735 ; and Paul the preacher was a Hebrew of the Hebrews; and the twelve Apostles were all of Hebrew race: then fifteen Bishops of Jerusalem were appointed in succession from among the Hebrews 1736 . What then is your reason for allowing your own accounts, and rejecting ours, though these also are written by Hebrews from among yourselves.
16. But it is impossible, some one will say, that the dead should rise; and yet Eliseus twice raised the dead,—when he was alive, and also when dead. Do we then believe, that when Eliseus was dead, a dead man who was cast upon him and touched him, arose and is Christ not risen? But in that case, the dead man who touched Eliseus, arose, yet he who raised him continued nevertheless dead: but in this case both the Dead of whom we speak Himself arose, and many dead were raised without having even touched Him. For many bodies of the Saints which slept arose, and they came out of the graves after His Resurrection, and went into the Holy City 1737 , (evidently this city, in which we now are 1738 ,) and appeared unto many. Eliseus then raised a dead man, but he conquered not the world; Elias raised a dead man, but devils are not driven away in the name of Elias. We are not speaking evil of the Prophets, but we are celebrating their Master more highly; for we do not exalt our own wonders by disparaging theirs; for theirs also are ours; but by what happened among them, we win credence for our own.
17. But again they say, “A corpse then lately dead was raised by the living; but shew us that one three days dead can possibly arise, and that a man should be buried, and rise after three days.” If we seek for Scripture testimony in proof of such facts, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself supplies it in the Gospels, saying, For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth 1739 . And when we examine the story of Jonas, great is the force 1740 of the resemblance. Jesus was sent to preach repentance; Jonas also was sent: but whereas the one fled, not knowing what should come to pass; the other came willingly, to give repentance unto salvation. Jonas was asleep in the ship, and snoring amidst the stormy sea; while Jesus also slept, the sea, according to God’s providence 1741 , began to rise, to shew in the sequel the might of Him who slept. To the one they said, Why art thou snoring? Arise, call upon thy God, that God may save us 1742 ; but in the other case they say unto the Master, Lord, save us 1743 . Then they said, Call upon thy God; here they say, save Thou. But the one says, Take me, and cast me into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you 1744 ; the other, Himself rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm 1745 . The one was cast into a whale’s belly: but the other of His own accord went down thither, where the invisible whale of death is. And He went down of His own accord, that death p. 99 might cast up those whom he had devoured, according to that which is written, I will ransom them from the power of the grave; and from the hand of death I will redeem them 1746 .
18. At this point of our discourse, let us consider whether is harder, for a man after having been buried to rise again from the earth, or for a man in the belly of a whale, having come into the great heat of a living creature, to escape corruption. For what man knows not, that the heat of the belly is so great, that even bones which have been swallowed moulder away? How then did Jonas, who was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly, escape corruption? And, seeing that the nature of all men is such that we cannot live without breathing, as we do, in air, how did he live without a breath of this air for three days? But the Jews make answer and say, The power of God descended with Jonas when he was tossed about in hell. Does then the Lord grant life to His own servant, by sending His power with him, and can He not grant it to Himself as well? If that is credible, this is credible also; if this is incredible, that also is incredible. For to me both are alike worthy of credence. I believe that Jonas was preserved, for all things are possible with God 1747 ; I believe that Christ also was raised from the dead; for I have many testimonies of this, both from the Divine Scriptures, and from the operative power even at this day 1748 of Him who arose,—who descended into hell alone, but ascended thence with a great company; for He went down to death, and many bodies of the saints which slept arose 1749through Him.
19. Death was struck with dismay on beholding a new visitant descend into Hades, not bound by the chains of that place. Wherefore, O porters of Hades, were ye scared at sight of Him? What was the unwonted fear that possessed you? Death fled, and his flight betrayed his cowardice. The holy prophets ran unto Him, and Moses the Lawgiver, and Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob; David also, and Samuel, and Esaias, and John the Baptist, who bore witness when he asked, Art Thou He that should come, or look we for another 1750 ? All the Just were ransomed, whom death had swallowed; for it behoved the King whom they had proclaimed, to become the redeemer of His noble heralds. Then each of the Just said, O death, where is thy victory? O grave, where is thy sting 1751 ? For the Conqueror hath redeemed us.
20. Of this our Saviour the Prophet Jonas formed the type, when he prayed out of the belly of the whale, and said, I cried in my affliction, and so on; out of the belly of hell 1752 , and yet he was in the whale; but though in the whale, he says that he is in Hades; for he was a type of Christ, who was to descend into Hades. And after a few words, he says, in the person of Christ, prophesying most clearly, My head went down to the chasms of the mountains 1753 ; and yet he was in the belly of the whale. What mountains then encompass thee? I know, he says, that I am a type of Him, who is to be laid in the Sepulchre hewn out of the rock. And though he was in the sea, Jonas says, I went down to the earth, since he was a type of Christ, who went down into the heart of the earth. And foreseeing the deeds of the Jews who persuaded the soldiers to lie, and told them, Say that they stole Him away, he says, By regarding lying vanities they forsook their own mercy 1754 . For He who had mercy on them came, and was crucified, and rose again, giving His own precious blood both for Jews and Gentiles; yet say they, Say that they stole Him away, having regard to lying vanities 1755 . But concerning His Resurrection, Esaias also says, He who brought up from the earth the great Shepherd of the sheep 1756 ; he added the word, great, lest He should be thought on a level with the shepherds who had gone before Him.
21. Since then we have the prophecies, let faith abide with us. Let them fall who fall through unbelief, since they so will; but thou hast taken thy stand on the rock of the faith in the Resurrection. Let no heretic ever persuade thee to speak evil of the Resurrection. For to this day the Manichees say, that, the resurrection of the Saviour was phantom-wise, and not real, not heeding Paul who says, Who was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; and again, By the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord from the dead 1757 . And again he aims at them, and speaks thus, Say not in p. 100 thine heart, who shall ascend into heaven; or who shall descend into the deep? that is, to bring up Christ from the dead 1758 ; and in like manner warning as he has elsewhere written again, Remember Jesus Christ raised from the dead 1759 ; and again, And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He raised not up 1760 . But in what follows he says, But now is Christ risen from the dead, the first fruits of them that are asleep 1761 ;—And He was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve; (for if thou believe not the one witness, thou hast twelve witnesses;) then He was seen of above five hundred brethren at once 1762 ; (if they disbelieve the twelve, let them admit the five hundred;) after that He was seen of James 1763 , His own brother, and first Bishop of this diocese. Seeing then that such a Bishop originally 1764 saw Christ Jesus when risen, do not thou, his disciple, disbelieve him. But thou sayest that His brother James was a partial witness; afterwards He was seen also of me 1765 Paul, His enemy; and what testimony is doubted, when an enemy proclaims it? “I, who was before a persecutor 1766 , now preach the glad tidings of the Resurrection.”
22. Many witnesses there are of the Saviour’s resurrection.—The night, and the light of the full moon; (for that night was the sixteenth 1767 ;) the rock of the sepulchre which received Him; the stone also shall rise up against the face of the Jews, for it saw the Lord; even the stone which was then rolled away 1768 , itself bears witness to the Resurrection, lying there to this day. Angels of God who were present testified of the Resurrection of the Only-begotten: Peter and John, and Thomas, and all the rest of the Apostles; some of whom ran to the sepulchre, and saw the burial-clothes, in which He was wrapped before, lying there after the Resurrection; and others handled His hands and His feet, and beheld the prints of the nails; and all enjoyed together that Breath of the Saviour, and were counted worthy to forgive sins in the power of the Holy Ghost. Women too were witnesses, who took hold of His feet, and who beheld the mighty earthquake, and the radiance of the Angel who stood by: the linen clothes also which were wrapped about Him, and which He left when He rose;—the soldiers, and the money given to them; the spot itself also, yet to be seen;—and this house of the holy Church, which out of the loving affection to Christ of the Emperor Constantine of blessed memory, was both built and beautified as thou seest.
23. A witness to the resurrection of Jesus is Tabitha also, who was in His name raised from the dead 1769 ; for how shall we disbelieve that Christ is risen, when even His Name raised the dead? The sea also bears witness to the resurrection of Jesus, as thou hast heard before 1770 . The drought of fishes also testifies, and the fire of coals there, and the fish laid thereon. Peter also bears witness, who had erst denied Him thrice, and who then thrice confessed Him; and was commanded to feed His spiritual 1771 sheep. To this day stands Mount Olivet, still to the eyes of the faithful all but displaying Him Who ascended on a cloud, and the heavenly gate of His ascension. For from heaven He descended to Bethlehem, but to heaven He ascended from the Mount of Olives 1772 ; at the former place beginning His conflicts among men, but in the latter, crowned after them. Thou hast therefore many witnesses; thou hast this very place of the Resurrection; thou hast also the place of the Ascension towards the east; thou hast also for witnesses the Angels which there bore testimony; and the cloud on which He went up, and the disciples who came down from that place.
24. The course of instruction in the Faith would lead me to speak of the Ascension also; but the grace of God so ordered 1773 it, that thou heardest most fully concerning it, as far as our weakness allowed, yesterday, on the p. 101 Lord’s day; since, by the providence of divine grace, the course of the Lessons 1774 in Church included the account of our Saviour’s going up into the heavens 1775 ; and what was then said was spoken principally for the sake of all, and for the assembled body of the faithful, yet especially for thy sake 1776 . But the question is, didst thou attend to what was said? For thou knowest that the words which come next in the Creed teach thee to believe in Him “Who rose again the third day, and ascended into Heaven, and sat down on the right hand of the Father.” I suppose then certainly that thou rememberest the exposition; yet I will now again cursorily put thee in mind of what was then said. Remember what is distinctly written in the Psalms, God is gone up with a shout 1777 ; remember that the divine powers also said to one another, Lift up your gates, ye Princes 1778 , and the rest; remember also the Psalm which says, He ascended on high, He led captivity captive 1779 ; remember the Prophet who said, Who buildeth His ascension unto heaven 1780 ; and all the other particulars mentioned yesterday because of the gainsaying of the Jews.
25. For when they speak against the ascension of the Saviour, as being impossible, remember the account of the carrying away of Habakkuk: for if Habakkuk was transported by an Angel, being carried by the hair of his head 1781 , much rather was the Lord of both Prophets and Angels, able by His own power to make His ascent into the Heavens on a cloud from the Mount of Olives. Wonders like this thou mayest call to mind, but reserve the preeminence for the Lord, the Worker of wonders; for the others were borne up, but He bears up all things. Remember that Enoch was translated 1782 ; but Jesus ascended: remember what was said yesterday concerning Elias, that Elias was taken up in a chariot of fire 1783 ; but that the chariots of Christ are ten thousand-fold even thousands upon thousands 1784 : and that Elias was taken up, towards the east of Jordan; but that Christ ascended at the east of the brook Cedron: and that Elias went as into heaven 1785 ; but Jesus, into heaven: and that Elias said that a double portion in the Holy Spirit should be given to his holy disciple; but that Christ granted to His own disciples so great enjoyment of the grace of the Holy Ghost, as not only to have It in themselves, but also, by the laying on of their hands, to impart the fellowship of It to them who believed.
26. And when thou hast thus wrestled against the Jews,—when thou hast worsted them by parallel instances, then come further to the pre-eminence of the Saviour’s glory; namely, that they were the servants, but He the Son of God. And thus thou wilt be reminded of His pre-eminence, by the thought that a servant of Christ was caught up to the third heaven. For if Elias attained as far as the first heaven, but Paul as far as the third, the latter, therefore, has obtained a more honourable dignity. Be not ashamed of thine Apostles; they are not inferior to Moses, nor second to the Prophets; but they are noble among the noble, yea, nobler still. For Elias truly was taken up into heaven; but Peter has the keys of the kingdom of heaven, having received the words, Whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven 1786 . Elias was taken up only to heaven; but Paul both into heaven, and into paradise 1787 (for it behoved the disciples of Jesus to receive more manifold grace), andheard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for man to utter. But Paul came down again from above, not because he was unworthy to abide in the third heaven, but in order that after having enjoyed things above man’s reach, and descended in honour, and having preached Christ, and died for His sake, he might receive also the crown of martyrdom. But I pass over the other parts of this argument, of which I spoke yesterday in the Lord’s-day congregation; for with understanding hearers, a mere reminder is sufficient for instruction.
27. But remember also what I have often said 1788 concerning the Son’s sitting at the right p. 102 hand of the Father; because of the next sentence in the Creed, which says, “and ascended into Heaven, and sat down at the right hand of the Father.” Let us not curiously pry into what is properly meant by the throne; for it is incomprehensible: but neither let us endure those who falsely say, that it was after His Cross and Resurrection and Ascension into heaven, that the Son began to sit on the right hand of the Father. For the Son gained not His throne by advancement 1789 ; but throughout His being (and His being is by an eternal generation 1790 ) He also sitteth together with the Father. And this throne the Prophet Esaias having beheld before the incarnate coming of the Saviour, says, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up 1791 , and the rest. For the Father no man hath seen at any time 1792 , and He who then appeared to the Prophet was the Son. The Psalmist also says, Thy throne is prepared of old; Thou art from everlasting 1793 . Though then the testimonies on this point are many, yet because of the lateness of the time, we will content ourselves even with these.
28. But now I must remind you of a few things out of many which are spoken concerning the Son’s sitting at the right hand of the Father. For the hundred and ninth Psalm says plainly, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou on My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool 1794 . And the Saviour, confirming this saying in the Gospels, says that David spoke not these things of himself, but from the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, saying, How then doth David in the Spirit call Him Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou on My right hand 1795 ? and the rest. And in the Acts of the Apostles, Peter on the day of Pentecost standing with the Eleven 1796 , and discoursing to the Israelites, has in very words cited this testimony from the hundred and ninth Psalm.
29. But I must remind you also of a few other testimonies in like manner concerning the Son’s sitting at the right hand of the Father. For in the Gospel according to Matthew it is written, Nevertheless, I say unto you, Henceforth ye shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power 1797 , and the rest: in accordance with which the Apostle Peter also writes, By the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is on the right hand of God, having gone into heaven 1798 . And the Apostle Paul, writing to the Romans, says, It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God 1799 . And charging the Ephesians, he thus speaks, According to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand 1800 ; and the rest. And the Colossians he taught thus, If ye then be risen with Christ, seek the things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God 1801 . And in the Epistle to the Hebrews he says, When He had made purification of our sins, He sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high 1802 . And again, But unto which of the Angels hath He said at any time, Sit thou at My right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool 1803 ? And again, But He, when He had offered one sacrifice for all men, for ever sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till His enemies be made His footstool 1804 . And again, Looking unto Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith; Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the Cross, despising shame, and is set down on the right hand of the throne of God 1805 .
30. And though there are many other texts concerning the session of the Only-begotten on the right hand of God, yet these may suffice us at present; with a repetition of my remark, that it was not after His coming in the flesh 1806 that He obtained the dignity of this seat; no, for even before all ages, the Only-begotten Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, ever possesses the throne on the right hand of the Father. Now may He Himself, the God of all, who is Father of the Christ, and our Lord Jesus Christ, who came down, and ascended, and sitteth together with the Father, watch over your souls; keep unshaken and unchanged your hope in Him who rose again; raise you together with Him from your dead sins unto His heavenly gift; count you worthy to be caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air 1807 , in His fitting time; and, until that time arrive of His glorious second advent, write all your names in the Book of the living, and having written them, never blot them out (for the names of many, who fall away, are blotted out); and may He grant to all of you to believe on Him who rose again, and to look for Him who is gone up, and is to come again, (to come, but not from the earth; for be on your guard, O man, because of the deceivers who are to come;) Who sitteth on high, and is here present together with us, beholding the p. 103 order of each, and the steadfastness of his faith 1808 . For think not that because He is now absent in the flesh, He is therefore absent also in the Spirit. He is here present in the midst of us, listening to what is said of Him, and beholding thine inward thoughts, and trying the reins and hearts 1809 ;—who also is now ready to present those who are coming to baptism, and all of you, in the Holy Ghost to the Father, and to say, Behold, I and the children whom God hath given Me 1810 :—To whom be glory for ever. Amen.
On the Clause, And Shall Come in Glory to Judge the Quick and the Dead; Of Whose Kingdom There Shall Be No End.
3. Our Lord Jesus Christ, then, comes from heaven; and He comes with glory at the end of this world, in the last day. For of this world there is to be an end, and this created world is to be re-made anew 1824 . For since corruption, and theft, and adultery, and every sort of sins have been poured forth over the earth, and blood has been mingled with blood 1825 in the world, therefore, that this wondrous dwelling-place may not remain filled with iniquity, this world passeth away, that the fairer world may be made manifest. And wouldest thou receive the proof of this out of the words of Scripture? Listen to Esaias, saying, And the heaven shall be rolled together as a scroll; and all the stars shall fall, as leaves from a vine, and as leaves fall from a fig-tree 1826 . The Gospel also says, The sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven 1827 . Let us not sorrow, as if we alone died; the stars also shall die; but perhaps rise again. And the Lord rolleth up the heavens, not that He may destroy them, but that He may raise them up again more beautiful. Hear David the Prophet saying, Thou, Lord, in the beginning didst lay the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Thy hands; they shall perish, but Thou remainest 1828 . But some one will say, Behold, he says plainly that they shall perish. Hear in what sense he says, they shall perish; it is plain from what follows; And they all shall wax old as doth a garment; and as a vesture shalt Thou fold them up, and they shall be changed. For as a man is said to “perish,” according to that which is written, Behold, how the righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart 1829 , and this, though the resurrection is looked for; so we look for a resurrection, as it were, of the heavens also. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood 1830 . Here let converts from the Manichees gain instruction, and no longer make those lights their gods; nor impiously think, that this sun which shall be darkened is Christ 1831 . And again hear the Lord saying, Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away 1832 ; for the creatures are not as precious as the Master’s words.
4. The things then which are seen shall pass away, and there shall come the things which are looked for, things fairer than the present; but as to the time let no one be curious. For it is not for you, He says, to know times or seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power 1833 . And venture not thou to declare when these things shall be, nor on the other hand supinely slumber. For he saith, Watch, for in such an hour as ye expect not the Son of Man cometh 1834 . But since it was needful for us to know the signs of the end, and since we are looking for Christ, therefore, that we may not die deceived and be led astray by that false Antichrist, the Apostles, moved by the divine will, address themselves by a providential arrangement to the True Teacher, and say, Tell us, when shall these things be, and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world 1835 ? We look for Thee to come again, but Satan transforms himself into an Angel of light; put us therefore on our guard, that we may not worship another instead of Thee. And He, opening His divine and blessed mouth, says, Take heed that no man mislead you. Do you also, my hearers, as seeing Him now with the eyes of your mind, hear Him saying the same things to you;Take heed that no man mislead you. And this word exhorts you all to give heed to what is spoken; for it is not a history of things gone by, but a prophecy of things future, and which will surely come. Not that we prophesy, for we are unworthy; but that the things which are written will be set before you, and the signs declared. Observe thou, which of them have already come to pass, and which yet remain; and make thyself safe.
5. Take heed that no man mislead you: for many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ, and shall mislead many. This has happened in part: for already Simon Magus has said this, and Menander 1836 , and some others of the godless leaders of heresy; and others will say it in our days, or after us.
6. A second sign. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars 1837 . Is there then at this time war between Persians and Romans for Mesopotamia, or no? Does nation rise up against nation and kingdom against kingdom, or no? And there shall be famines and pestip. 106lences and earthquakes in divers places. These things have already come to pass; and again, And fearful sights from heaven, and mighty storms 1838 . Watch therefore, He says; for ye know not at what hour your Lord doth come 1839 .
7. But we seek our own sign of His coming; we Churchmen seek a sign proper to the Church 1840 . And the Saviour says, And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another 1841 . If thou hear that bishops advance against bishops, and clergy against clergy, and laity against laity even unto blood, be not troubled 1842 ; for it has been written before. Heed not the things now happening, but the things which are written; and even though I who teach thee perish, thou shalt not also perish with me; nay, even a hearer may become better than his teacher, and he who came last may be first, since even those about the eleventh hour the Master receives. If among Apostles there was found treason, dost thou wonder that hatred of brethren is found among bishops? But the sign concerns not only rulers, but the people also; for He says, And because iniquity shall abound, the love of the many shall wax cold 1843 . Will any then among those present boast that he entertains friendship unfeigned towards his neighbour? Do not the lips often kiss, and the countenance smile, and the eyes brighten forsooth, while the heart is planning guile, and the man is plotting mischief with words of peace?
8. Thou hast this sign also: And this Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come 1844 . And as we see, nearly the whole world is now filled with the doctrine of Christ.
9. And what comes to pass after this? He says next, When therefore ye see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the Prophet, standing in the Holy Place, let him that readeth understand 1845 . And again, Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is the Christ, or, Lo, there; believe it not 1846 . Hatred of the brethren makes room next for Antichrist; for the devil prepares beforehand the divisions among the people, that he who is to come may be acceptable to them. But God forbid that any of Christ’s servants here, or elsewhere, should run over to the enemy! Writing concerning this matter, the Apostle Paul gave a manifest sign, saying, For that day shall not come, except there came first the falling away, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself against all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not that when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know that which restraineth, to the end that he may be revealed in his own season. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work, only there is one that restraineth now, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall the lawless one be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the breath of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming. Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceit of unrighteousness for them that are perishing 1847 . Thus wrote Paul, and now is the falling away. For men have fallen away from the right faith 1848 ; and some preach the identity of the Son with the Father 1849 , and others dare to say that Christ p. 107 was brought into being out of nothing 1850 . And formerly the heretics were manifest; but now the Church is filled with heretics in disguise 1851. For men have fallen away from the truth, and have itching ears 1852 . Is it a plausible discourse? all listen to it gladly. Is it a word of correction? all turn away from it. Most have departed from right words, and rather choose the evil, than desire the good 1853 . This therefore isthe falling away, and the enemy is soon to be looked for: and meanwhile he has in part begun to send forth his own forerunners 1854 , that he may then come prepared upon the prey. Look therefore to thyself, O man, and make safe thy soul. The Church now charges thee before the Living God; she declares to thee the things concerning Antichrist before they arrive. Whether they will happen in thy time we know not, or whether they will happen after thee we know not; but it is well that, knowing these things, thou shouldest make thyself secure beforehand.
10. The true Christ, the Only-begotten Son of God, comes no more from the earth. If any come making false shows 1855 in the wilderness, go not forth; if they say, Lo, here is the Christ, Lo, there, believe it not 1856 . Look no longer downwards and to the earth; for the Lord descends from heaven; not alone as before, but with many, escorted by tens of thousands of Angels; nor secretly as the dew on the fleece 1857 ; but shining forth openly as the lightning. For He hath said Himself, As the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be 1858 ; and again, And they shall see the Son of Man coming upon the clouds with power and great glory, and He shall send forth His Angels with a great trumpet 1859 ; and the rest.
11. But as, when formerly He was to take man’s nature, and God was expected to be born of a Virgin, the devil created prejudice against this, by craftily preparing among idol-worshippers 1860 fables of false gods, begetting and begotten of women, that, the falsehood having come first, the truth, as he supposed, might be disbelieved; so now, since the true Christ is to come a second time, the adversary, taking occasion by 1861the expectation of the simple, and especially of them of the circumcision, brings in a certain man who is a magician 1862 , and most expert in sorceries and enchantments of beguiling craftiness; who shall seize for himself the power of the Roman empire, and shall falsely style himself Christ; by this name of Christ deceiving the Jews, who are looking for the Anointed 1863 , and seducing those of the Gentiles by his magical illusions.
12. But this aforesaid Antichrist is to come when the times of the Roman empire shall have been fulfilled, and the end of the world is now drawing near 1864 . There shall rise up together ten kings of the Romans, reigning in different parts perhaps, but all about the same time; and after these an eleventh, the Antichrist, who by his magical craft shall seize upon the Roman power; and of the kings who reigned before him, three he shall humble 1865 , and the remaining seven he shall keep in subjection to himself. At first indeed he will put on a show of mildness (as though he were a learned and discreet person), and of soberness and benevolence 1866 : and by the lying p. 108 signs and wonders of his magical deceit 1867having beguiled the Jews, as though he were the expected Christ, he shall afterwards be characterized by all kinds of crimes of inhumanity and lawlessness, so as to outdo all unrighteous and ungodly men who have gone before him; displaying against all men, but especially against us Christians, a spirit murderous and most cruel, merciless and crafty 1868 . And after perpetrating such things for three years and six months only, he shall be destroyed by the glorious second advent from heaven of the only-begotten Son of God, our Lord and Saviour Jesus, the true Christ, who shall slay Antichrist with the breath of His mouth 1869 , and shall deliver him over to the fire of hell.
13. Now these things we teach, not of our own invention, but having learned them out of the divine Scriptures used in the Church 1870 , and chiefly from the prophecy of Daniel just now read; as Gabriel also the Archangel interpreted it, speaking thus: The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall surpass all kingdoms 1871 . And that this kingdom is that of the Romans, has been the tradition of the Church’s interpreters. For as the first kingdom which became renowned was that of the Assyrians, and the second, that of the Medes and Persians together, and after these, that of the Macedonians was the third, so the fourth kingdom now is that of the Romans 1872 . Then Gabriel goes on to interpret, saying, His ten horns are ten kings that shall arise; and another king shall rise up after them, who shall surpass in wickedness all who were before him 1873 ; (he says, not only the ten, but also all who have been before him;) and he shall subdue three kings; manifestly out of the ten former kings: but it is plain that by subduing three of these ten, he will become the eighth king; and he shall speak words against the Most High 1874 . A blasphemer the man is and lawless, not having received the kingdom from his fathers, but having usurped the power by means of sorcery.
14. And who is this, and from what sort of working? Interpret to us, O Paul. Whose coming, he says, is after the working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders 1875 ; implying, that Satan has used him as an instrument, working in his own person through him; for knowing that his judgment shall now no longer have respite, he wages war no more by his ministers, as is his wont, but henceforth by himself more openly 1876 . And with all signs and lying wonders; for the father of falsehood will make a show 1877 of the works of falsehood, that the multitudes may think that they see a dead man raised, who is not raised, and lame men walking, and blind men seeing, when the cure has not been wrought.
15. And again he says, Who opposeth and exalteth himself against all that is called God, or that is worshipped; (against every God; Antichrist forsooth will abhor the idols,) so that he seateth himself in the temple of God 1878 . What temple then? He means, the Temple of the Jews which has been destroyed. For God forbid that it should be the one in which we are! Why say we this? That we may not be supposed to favour ourselves. For if he comes to the Jews as Christ, and desires to be worshipped by the Jews, he will make great account of the Temple, that he may more completely beguile them; making it supposed that he is the man of the race of David, who shall build up the Temple which was erected by Solomon 1879 . And Antichrist will come at the time when there shall not be left one stone upon another in the Temple of the Jews, according to the doom pronounced by our Saviour 1880 ; for when, either p. 109 decay of time, or demolition ensuing on pretence of new buildings, or from any other causes, shall have overthrown all the stones, I mean not merely of the outer circuit, but of the inner shrine also, where the Cherubim were, then shall he come with all signs and lying wonders, exalting himself against all idols; at first indeed making a pretence of benevolence, but afterwards displaying his relentless temper, and that chiefly against the Saints of God. For he says, I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints 1881 ; and again elsewhere, there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation upon earth, even to that same time 1882 . Dreadful is that beast, a mighty dragon, unconquerable by man, ready to devour; concerning whom though we have more things to speak out of the divine Scriptures, yet we will content ourselves at present with thus much, in order to keep within compass.
16. For this cause the Lord knowing the greatness of the adversary grants indulgence to the godly, saying, Then let them which be in Judæa flee to the mountains 1883 . But if any man is conscious that he is very stout-hearted, to encounter Satan, let him stand (for I do not despair of the Church’s nerves), and let him say, Who shall separate us from the love of Christ and the rest 1884 ? But, let those of us who are fearful provide for our own safety; and those who are of a good courage, stand fast: for then shall be great tribulation, such as hath not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever shall be 1885 . But thanks be to God who hath confined the greatness of that tribulation to a few days; for He says, But for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened 1886 ; and Antichrist shall reign for three years and a half only. We speak not from apocryphal books, but from Daniel; for he says, And they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and half a time 1887 . A time is the one year in which his coming shall for a while have increase; and the times are the remaining two years of iniquity, making up the sum of the three years; and the half a time is the six months. And again in another place Daniel says the same thing, And he sware by Him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, and times, and half a time 1888 . And some peradventure have referred what follows also to this; namely, a thousand two hundred and ninety days 1889 ; and this, Blessed is he that endureth and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days 1890 . For this cause we must hide ourselves and flee; for perhaps we shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of Man be come 1891 .
17. Who then is the blessed man, that shall at that time devoutly witness for Christ? For I say that the Martyrs of that time excel all martyrs. For the Martyrs hitherto have wrestled with men only; but in the time of Antichrist they shall do battle with Satan in his own person 1892 . And former persecuting kings only put to death; they did not pretend to raise the dead, nor did they make false shows 1893 of signs and wonders. But in his time there shall be the evil inducement both of fear and of deceit, so that if it be possible the very elect shall be deceived 1894 . Let it never enter into the heart of any then alive to ask, “What did Christ more? For by what power does this man work these things? Were it not God’s will, He would not have allowed them.” The Apostle warns thee, and says beforehand, And for this cause God shall send them a working of error; (send, that is, shall allow to happen;) not that they might make excuse, but that they might be condemned 1895 . Wherefore? They, he says, who believed not the truth, that is, the true Christ, but had pleasure in unrighteousness, that is, in Antichrist. But as in the persecutions which happen from time to time, so also then God will permit these things, not because He wants power to hinder them, but because according to His wont He will through patience crown His own champions like as He did His Prophets and Apostles; to the end that having toiled for a little while they may inherit the eternal kingdom of heaven, according to that which Daniel says, And at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book (manifestly, the book of life); and many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and same to shame and everlasting contempt; and they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and of the many righteous 1896 , as the stars for ever and ever.
p. 110 18. Guard thyself then, O man; thou hast the signs of Antichrist; and remember them not only thyself, but impart them also freely to all. If thou hast a child according to the flesh, admonish him of this now; if thou hast begotten one through catechizing 1897 , put him also on his guard, lest he receive the false one as the True. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work 1898 . I fear these wars of the nations 1899 ; I fear the schisms of the Churches; I fear the mutual hatred of the brethren. But enough on this subject; only God forbid that it should be fulfilled in our days; nevertheless, let us be on our guard. And thus much concerning Antichrist.
19. But let us wait and look for the Lord’s coming upon the clouds from heaven. Then shall Angelic trumpets sound; the dead in Christ shall rise first 1900 ,—the godly persons who are alive shall be caught up in the clouds, receiving as the reward of their labours more than human honour, inasmuch as theirs was a more than human strife; according as the Apostle Paul writes, saying, For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord 1901 .
20. This coming of the Lord, and the end of the world, were known to the Preacher; who says, Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth, and the rest 1902 ; Therefore remove anger 1903 from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh;…and remember thy Creator…or ever the evil days come 1904 ,.…or ever the sun, and the light, and the moon, and the stars be darkened 1905 ,.…and they that look out of the windows be darkened 1906 ; (signifying the faculty of sight;) or ever the silver cord be loosed; (meaning the assemblage of the stars, for their appearance is like silver;) and the flower of gold be broken 1907 ; (thus veiling the mention of the golden sun; for the camomile is a well-known plant, having many ray-like leaves shooting out round it;) and they shall rise up at the voice of the sparrow, yea, they shall look away from the height, and terrors shall be in the way 1908 . What shall they see? Then shall they see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven; and they shall mourn tribe by tribe 1909 . And what shall come to pass when the Lord is come? The almond tree shall blossom, and the grasshopper shall grow heavy, and the caper-berry shall be scattered abroad 1910 . And as the interpreters say, the blossoming almond signifies the departure of winter; and our bodies shall then after the winter blossom with a heavenly flower 1911 . And the grasshopper shall grow in substance (that means the winged soul clothing itself with the body 1912 ,) and the caper-berry shall be scattered abroad (that is, the transgressors who are like thorns shall be scattered 1913 ).
21. Thou seest how they all foretell the coming of the Lord. Thou seest how they know the voice of the sparrow. Let us know what sort of voice this is. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God 1914 . The Archangel shall make proclamation and say to all, Arise to meet the Lord 1915 . And fearful will be that descent of our Master. David says, God shall manifestly come, even our God, and shall not keep silence; a fire shall burn before Him, and a fierce tempest round about Him, and the rest 1916 . The Son of Man shall come to the Father, according to the Scripture which was just now read, on the clouds of heaven, drawn by a stream of fire 1917 , which is to make trial of men. Then if any man’s works are of gold, he shall be made brighter; if any man’s course of life be like stubble, and unsubstantial, it shall be burnt up by the fire 1918 . And the Father shall sit, having His garment white as snow, and the hair of His head like pure wool 1919 . But this is spoken after the manner of men; wherefore? Because He is the King of those who p. 111 have not been defiled with sins; for, He says, I will make your sins white as snow, and as wool 1920 , which is an emblem of forgiveness of sins, or of sinlessness itself. But the Lord who shall come from heaven on the clouds, is He who ascended on the clouds; for He Himself hath said, And they shall see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory 1921 .
22. But what is the sign of His coming? lest a hostile power dare to counterfeit it. And then shall appear, He says, the sign of the Son of Man in heaven 1922 . Now Christ’s own true sign is the Cross; a sign of a luminous Cross shall go before the King 1923 , plainly declaring Him who was formerly crucified: that the Jews who before pierced Him and plotted against Him, when they see it, may mourn tribe by tribe 1924 , saying, “This is He who was buffeted, this is He whose face they spat on, this is He whom they bound with chains, this is He whom of old they crucified, and set at nought 1925 . Whither, they will say, shall we flee from the face of Thy wrath?” But the Angel hosts shall encompass them, so that they shall not be able to flee anywhere. The sign of the Cross shall be a terror to His foes; but joy to His friends who have believed in Him, or preached Him, or suffered for His sake. Who then is the happy man, who shall then be found a friend of Christ? That King, so great and glorious, attended by the Angel-guards, the partner of the Father’s throne, will not despise His own servants. For that His Elect may not be confused with His foes, He shall send forth His Angels with a great trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds 1926 . He despised not Lot, who was but one; how then shall He despise many righteous? Come, ye blessed of My Father 1927 , will He say to them who shall then ride on chariots of clouds, and be assembled by Angels.
23. But some one present will say, “I am a poor man,” or again, “I shall perhaps be found at that time sick in bed;” or, “I am but a woman, and I shall be taken at the mill: shall we then be despised?” Be of good courage, O man; the Judge is no respecter of persons; He will not judge according to a man’s appearance, nor reprove according to his speech 1928 . He honours not the learned before the simple, nor the rich before the needy. Though thou be in the field, the Angels shall take thee; think not that He will take the landowners, and leave thee the husbandman. Though thou be a slave, though thou be poor, be not any whit distressed; He who took the form of a servant 1929 despises not servants. Though thou be lying sick in bed, yet it is written, Then shall two be in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other left 1930 . Though thou be of compulsion put to grind, whether thou be man or woman 1931 ; though thou be in fetters 1932 , and sit beside the mill, yet Hewho by His might bringeth out them that are bound 1933 , will not overlook thee. He who brought forth Joseph out of slavery and prison to a kingdom, shall redeem thee also from thy afflictions into the kingdom of heaven. Only be of good cheer, only work, only strive earnestly; for nothing shall be lost. Every prayer of thine, every Psalm thou singest is recorded; every alms-deed, every fast is recorded; every marriage duly observed is recorded; continence 1934 kept for God’s sake is recorded; but the first crowns in the records are those of virginity and purity; and thou shalt shine as an Angel. But as thou hast gladly listened to the good things, so listen again without shrinking to the contrary. Every covetous deed of thine is recorded; thine every act of fornication is recorded, thine every false oath is recorded, every blasphemy, and sorcery, and theft, and murder. All these things are henceforth to be recorded, if thou do the same now after having been baptized; for thy former deeds are blotted out.
24. When the Son of Man, He says, shall come in His glory, and all the Angels with Him 1935 . Behold, O man, before what multitudes thou shalt come to judgment. Every race of mankind will then be present. Reckon, therefore, how many are the Roman nation; reckon how many the barbarian tribes now living, and how many have died within the last hundred years; reckon how many nations have been buried during the last thousand years; reckon all from Adam to this day. Great indeed is the multitude; but yet it is p. 112 little, for the Angels are many more. They are the ninety and nine sheep, but mankind is the single one 1936 . For according to the extent of universal space, must we reckon the number of its inhabitants. The whole earth is but as a point in the midst of the one heaven, and yet contains so great a multitude; what a multitude must the heaven which encircles it contain? And must not the heaven of heavens contain unimaginable numbers 1937 ? And it is written,Thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him 1938 ; not that the multitude is only so great, but because the Prophet could not express more than these. So there will be present at the judgment in that day, God, the Father of all, Jesus Christ being seated with Him, and the Holy Ghost present with Them; and an angel’s trumpet shall summon us all to bring our deeds with us. Ought we not then from this time forth to be sore troubled? Think it not a slight doom, O man, even apart from punishment, to be condemned in the presence of so many. Shall we not choose rather to die many deaths, than be condemned by friends?
25. Let us dread then, brethren, lest God condemn us; who needs not examination or proofs, to condemn. Say not, In the night I committed fornication, or wrought sorcery, or did any other thing, and there was no man by. Out of thine own conscience shalt thou be judged, thythoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing, in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men 1939 . The terrible countenance of the Judge will force thee to speak the truth; or rather, even though thou speak not, it will convict thee. For thou shalt rise clothed with thine own sins, or else with thy righteous deeds. And this has the Judge Himself declared—for it is Christ who judges—for neither doth the Father judge any man, but he hath given all judgment unto the Son 1940 , not divesting Himself of His power, but judging through the Son; the Son therefore judgeth by the will 1941 of the Father; for the wills of the Father and of the Son are not different, but one and the same. What then says the Judge, as to whether thou shalt bear thy works, or no? And before Him shall they gather all nations 1942 : (for in the presence of Christevery knee must bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth 1943 :) and He shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats. How does the shepherd make the separation? Does he examine out of a book which is a sheep and which a goat? or does he distinguish by their evident marks? Does not the wool show the sheep, and the hairy and rough skin the goat? In like manner, if thou hast been just now cleansed from thy sins, thy deeds shall be henceforth as pure wool; and thy robe shall remain unstained, and thou shalt ever say, I have put off my coat, how shall I put it on 1944 ? By thy vesture shalt thou be known for a sheep. But if thou be found hairy, like Esau, who was rough with hair, and wicked in mind, who for food lost his birthright and sold his privilege, thou shalt be one of those on the left hand. But God forbid that any here present should be cast out from grace, or for evil deeds be found among the ranks of the sinners on the left hand!
26. Terrible in good truth is the judgment, and terrible the things announced. The kingdom of heaven is set before us, and everlasting fire is prepared. How then, some one will say, are we to escape the fire? And how to enter into the kingdom? I was an hungered, He says, and ye gave Me meat. Learn hence the way; there is here no need of allegory, but to fulfil what is said. I was an hungered, and ye gave Me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took Me in; naked, and ye clothed Me; I was sick, and ye visited Me; I was in prison, and ye came unto Me 1945 . These things if thou do, thou shalt reign together with Him; but if thou do them not, thou shalt be condemned. At once then begin to do these works, and abide in the faith; lest, like the foolish virgins, tarrying to buy oil, thou be shut out. Be not confident because thou merely possessest the lamp, but constantly keep it burning. Let the light of thy good works shine before men 1946 , and let not Christ be blasphemed on thy account. Wear thou a garment of incorruption 1947 , resplendent in good works; and whatever matter thou receivest from God to administer as a steward, administer profitably. Hast thou been put in trust with riches? Dispense them well. Hast thou been entrusted with the word of teaching? Be a good steward thereof. Canst thou attach the souls of the hearers 1948 ? Do this diligently. p. 113 There are many doors of good stewardship. Only let none of us be condemned and cast out; that we may with boldness meet Christ the Everlasting King, who reigns for ever. For He doth reign for ever, who shall be judge of quick and dead, because for quick and dead He died. And as Paul says, For to this end Christ both died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and living 1949 .
27. And shouldest thou ever hear any say that the kingdom of Christ shall have an end, abhor the heresy; it is another head of the dragon, lately sprung up in . A certain one has dared to affirm, that after the end of the world Christ shall reign no longer 1950 ; he has also dared to say, that the Word having come forth from the Father shall be again absorbed into the Father, and shall be no more 1951 ; uttering such blasphemies to his own perdition. For he has not listened to the Lord, saying, The Son abideth for ever 1952 . He has not listened to Gabriel, saying, And He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of His kingdom there shall be no end 1953 . Consider this text. Heretics of this day teach in disparagement of Christ, while Gabriel the Archangel taught the eternal abiding of the Saviour; whom then wilt thou rather believe? wilt thou not rather give credence to Gabriel? Listen to the testimony of Daniel in the text 1954 ; I saw in a vision of the night, and behold, one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days.….And to Him was given the honour, and the dominion, and the kingdom: and all peoples, tribes, and languages shall serve Him; His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom shall not be destroyed 1955 . These things rather hold fast, these things believe, and cast away from thee the words of heresy; for thou hast heard most plainly of the endless kingdom of Christ.
28. The like doctrine thou has also in the interpretation of the Stone, which was cut out of a mountain without hands, which is Christ according to the flesh 1956 ; And His kingdom shall not be left to another people. David also says in one place, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever 1957 ; and in another place, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundations of the earth, &c., they shall perish, but Thou remainest, &c.; but Thou art the same, and Thy years shall not fail 1958 : words which Paul has interpreted of the Son 1959 .
29. And wouldest thou know how they who teach the contrary ran into such madness? They read wrongly that good word of the Apostle, For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet 1960 ; and they say, when His enemies shall have been put under His feet, He shall cease to reign, wrongly and foolishly alleging this. For He who is king before He has subdued His enemies, how shall He not the rather be king, after He has gotten the mastery over them.
30. They have also dared to say that the Scripture, When all things shall be subjected unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subjected unto Him that subjected all things unto Him 1961 ,—that this Scripture shews that the Son also shall be absorbed into the Father. Shall ye then, O most impious of all men, ye the creatures of Christ, continue? and shall Christ perish, by whom both you and all things were made? Such a word is blasphemous. But further, how shall all things be made subject unto Him? By perishing, or by abiding? Shall then the other things, when subject to the Son abide, and shall the Son, when subject to the Father, not abide? For He shall be subjected, not because He shall then begin to do the Father’s will (for from eternity He doth always those things that please Him 1962 ), but because, then as before, He obeys the Father, yielding, not a forced obedience, but a self-chosen accordance; for He is not a servant, that He should be subjected by force, but a Son, that He should comply of His free choice and natural love.
p. 114 31. But let us examine them; what is the meaning of “until” or “as long as?” For with the very phrase will I close with them, and try to overthrow their error. Since they have dared to say that the words, till He hath put His enemies under His feet, shew that He Himself shall have an end, and have presumed to set bounds to the eternal kingdom of Christ, and to bring to an end, as far as words go, His never-ending sovereignty, come then, let us read the like expressions in the Apostle: Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam till Moses 1963 . Did men then die up to that time, and did none die any more after Moses, or after the Law has there been no more death among men? Well then, thou seest that the word “unto” is not to limit time; but that Paul rather signified this,—“And yet, though Moses was a righteous and wonderful man, nevertheless the doom of death, which was uttered against Adam, reached even unto him, and them that came after him; and this, though they had not committed the like sins as Adam, by his disobedience in eating of the tree.”
32. Take again another similar text. For until this day…when Moses is read, a vail lieth upon their heart 1964 . Does until this day mean only “until Paul?” Is it not until this day present, and even to the end? And if Paul say to the Corinthians, For we came even as far as unto you in preaching the Gospel of Christ, having hope when your faith increases to preach the Gospel in the regions beyond you 1965 , thou seest manifestly that as far as implies not the end, but has something following it. In what sense then shouldest thou remember that Scripture, till He hath put all enemies under His feet 1966 ? According as Paul says in another place, And exhort each other daily, while it is called to-day 1967 ; meaning, “continually.” For as we may not speak of the “beginning of the days” of Christ, so neither suffer thou that any should ever speak of the end of His kingdom. For it is written, His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom 1968 .
33. And though I have many more testimonies out of the divine Scriptures, concerning the kingdom of Christ which has no end for ever, I will be content at present with those above mentioned, because the day is far spent. But thou, O hearer, worship only Him as thy King, and flee all heretical error. And if the grace of God permit us, the remaining Articles also of the Faith shall be in good time declared to you. And may the God of the whole world keep you all in safety, bearing in mind the signs of the end, and remaining unsubdued by Antichrist. Thou hast received the tokens of the Deceiver who is to come; thou hast received the proofs of the true Christ, who shall openly come down from heaven. Flee therefore the one, the False one; and look for the other, the True. Thou hast learnt the way, how in the judgment thou mayest be found among those on the right hand; guard that which is committed to thee 1969 concerning Christ, and be conspicuous in good works, that thou mayest stand with a good confidence before the Judge, and inherit the kingdom of heaven:—Through whom, and with whom, be glory to God with the Holy Ghost, for ever and ever. Amen.
On the Article, And in One Holy Ghost, the Comforter, Which Spake in the Prophets.
Continuation of the Discourse on the Holy Ghost.
On the Words, And in One Holy Catholic Church, and in the Resurrection of the Flesh, and the Life Everlasting.
First Lecture on the Mysteries.
On the Mysteries. II: Of Baptism.
On the Mysteries. III: On Chrism.
On the Mysteries. IV: On the Body and Blood of Christ.
On the Mysteries. V: On the Sacred Liturgy and Communion.