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jesty and divinity of Christ is diffused every where, yet his body (as St. Augustine saith) ought to be in one place. We believe that though Christ added majesty to his body, yet he took not from it the nature of a body; nor is Christ to be so asserted to be God that we should deny him to be man; and as the Martyr Vigilius said, Christ left us as to his human nature, but he hath not left us in his divine nature ; and though he is absent from us by the form of a servant, yet be is ever with us by the form of God.
And from thence we believe, Christ shall return to exercise a general judgment, as well upon those he shall then find alive, as upon all that are then dead.
Master. Now let us forward to the rest.
Scholar. The third day after he rose again; and by the space of forty days oftentimes shewed himself alive to them that were his and was conversant with his disciples, eating and drinking with them.
Mast. Was it not enougb that by his death we obtain deliverance from sin and pardon?
Scho. That was not enough if we consider either him or ourselves. For if he had uot risen again, he could not be thought to be the Son of God ; yea, and the same did they that saw it, when he hung on the cross, reproach him with and object against him. “ He saved other (said they); himself he cannot save. Let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.” But now, rising from the dead to eternity of life, he declared a greater power of his Godhead, than-if, in descending from the Cross, he had fled from the terrors of death. To die certainly is common to all ; and though some for a time have avoided death intended against them, yet to loose or break the bonds of death once suffered, and by his own power to rise alive again, that is the proper doing of the only Son of God, Jesus Christ, the author of life, by which he hath shewed himself the conqueror of sin and death, yea, and of the devil himself,
Mast. For what other cause rose he again?
Scho. That the prophecies of David and of other boly Prophets might be fulfilled, which told before that neither his body should be touched with corruption, nor his soul left in hell.
Mast. But what profits bringeth it unto us that Christ rose again?
Scho. Manifold and divers. For thereof cometh to us righteousness, which before we lacked; thence cometh to us endeavour of innocency, which we call newness of life: thence cometh to us power, virtue, and strength to live well and holily: thence have we hope that our mortal bodies also shall one day be restored from death, and rise whole again. For if Christ himself bad been destroyed by death, he had not been our deliverer ; for what hope of safety should we have had left by him that had not saved himself ? It was therefore meet for the person which the Lord did bear, and a necessary help for us to salvation, that Christ should first deliver himself from death, and afterward that he should break and pull in sunder the bands of death for us, and so that we might set the hope of our salvation in his resurrection. For it cannot be that Christ, our head, rising again, should suffer us, the members of his body, to be consumed, and utterly destroyed, by death.
Mast. Thou hast touched, my child, the principal causes of the resurrection of Christ. Now would I bear what thou thinkest of his ascending into heaven.
Scho. He being covered with a cloud spread about him, in sight of his Apostles ascended into heaven, or rather, above all heavens, where he sitteth on the right-hand of God the Father.
Mast. Tell me how this is to be understood.
Scho. Plainly that Christ in his body ascended into heaven, where he had not afore been in his body, and left the earth, where he had afore been in his body. For in bis nature of Godhead, which filleth all things, both he ever was in heaven; and also with the same, and with his Spirit, he is alway present in Earth with his Church, and shall be present till the end of the world ......
Mast. Now as touching Christ, what dost thou
chiefly consider in his ascending and sitting at the right-hand of his Father.
Scho. It was meet that Christ, which from the highest degree of honour and dignity had descended to the basest estate of a servant, and to the reproach of condemnation and shameful death, should on the other side obtain most noble glory and excellent estate, even the same which he had before, that his glory and majesty might in proportion answer to his baseness and shame; which thing St. Paul also, writing to the Philippians, doth most plainly teach. “He became (saith he) obedient,” &c.
Mast. When thou namest the right-hand of God, and sitting, dost thou suppose and imagine that God hath the shape or form of a man.
Scho. No forsooth, Master. But because we speak of God among men, we do, in some sort after the manner of men, express thereby how Christ hath received the kingdom given him of his Father. For kings use to set them on their right-hands to whom they vouchsafe to do highest honour, and make lieutenants of their dominion. Therefore in these modes is meant that God the Father made Christ his Son the head of the Church, and that by him his pleasure is to preserve them that be his, and to govern all things universally.
Mast. Well said. Now what profit take we of his ascending into heaven, and sitting on the Scho. First, Christ, as he had descended to the earth, as into banishment for our sake; so when he went up into heaven, bis Father's inheritance, he entered in our name, making us a way and entry thither, and opening us the gate of heaven, which was before shut against us for sin: for sith Christ, our head, bath carried with him our flesh into heaven, he, so mighty and loving a bead, will not leave us for ever in earth, that are members of his body. Moreover he being present in the sight of God, and commending us unto him, and making intercession for us, is the patron of our cause, who being our Advocate, our matter shall not quail.
Of the Holy Trinity and the Catholic Faith.
Of the two Natures of Christ after his Resura rection. Chap. 4.
It is to be believed also that our Lord Jesus Christ, even after his resurrection subsisted in a twofold nature: the divine, indeed, is immense, uncircumscribed, and infinite, which is every where and fills all things : but the human is finite and limited by the form and boundaries of the human body, with which, after he had purged our sins, he ascended into heaven, and