Page images
PDF
EPUB

Partă. are unstable, always changing The Church is a

Land that hath its roots in the foundation of the world, in God's eternal decrees. 10. The Sea makes a frightfull object, especially in a Tempeft; but the Earth. presents our eyes with an agreeable diversity of Mountains and Hills, of Trees and Flowers, of Fruits and Blossoms. The world is a deformed spectacleby reason of its disorders, and uniformity of its faults. But the Church shows us an agreeable diversity of gifts, greater and less, of vertues, of good works, of good Fruits ; for the Plants and Fruits are to the Earth, that which vertues and good works are to the Church. The Plants have their roots in the bowels of the Earth, they appear on the outside of it ; they serve for ornament and use, and need the kind influences of Heaven to make them grow. All this agrees well to the vertues and good works of the Church. God fajd, Let the Earth bring forth Grass , as if the Earth produced Plants by its own vertues: 'tis because he will have us aét, as if our vertues proceeded from our selves, asif we were the Authors of 'em , that he might thence take occasion to reward us for’em. But among the Plants of the Earıb which arèthus good & usefull,there are some hurtfull ones, some poisons among the good Fruits of the Church, there are some wicked works. 12.Laftly, the nearer any. Land is to the Sun, the betrer its Fruits; the nearer any Church to God, the Sun of Righteousness, the better its works.

[ocr errors][merged small]

Part 2

us

C H A B.

XXII.

Explication of the Mysteries of the four last days:

of the Creation,

TH He fourth day answers to the fourth Period of

the Church1. In this fourth day God crea ted the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars. 'Tis easy2.. to take notice therein of Christ the Sun of Righa teousnefs, of the Church who derives allher Light from the Sun, and the of Teaobers of the Christian Church, which are as the Stars ofthe Intelligible World. This alone should open all mens eyes, and make it evident, that we ought to search after the Churcle throughout the whole work of Crea-1 tiont: for this is the Key of the whole Mystery: This fourth Period is from lefus Christ unto the birth of Antichrift, se till the middle of the fifth Century. In this Period we have the Sun of Righa; teousness, fo Jesus Christ is called by the Prophetsz and Evangelists, The Light whichintightens every john ce? man that comes into the world: Soby the Apostles, The Father of Lights, in whom is no shadow of change, James T. į: e, a Sun that hath no Tropicks. The Pārrallel The Parralbetween Iefus Christ and the San is too manifett el of the

Moon with and easy to make, to be long infifted on. I will

the Church rather fpeak fomewhat of the Moon, which is an admirable Emblem of the Church. 11. The Moon hath all her Light from the Sun, The Church hath all her Beauty, Holiness, Vertue., and Glory from I. Christ. 2. The Moon retains some spots; and those considerable ones, in her borrowed Light ; the Church hath many great and plain defects in heç

Q4 3,

vertuess

[ocr errors]

Partz vertues, 3. The Moon hath no fixed Light , she

often changeth, and is sometimes more and sometimes less inlightned. The Church remains not long in one state, she is always rising or falling, she looseth some of her Light, and then receiveth more; The défiles herself, and then is cleansed, and hath Periods almost as regular as those of the Moon, 4. The Moon, besidesher constant and periodical decrease, suffers Ecclipses, and sometimes total ones. The Church besides her ordinary declensions, is fometimes so Ecclipft, as not to appear, which is more or less according to the inundations of Herely, or the corruption of manners. 5. 'Tis not the fault of the Sun, but of the Moon it felf, that these Ecclápfes happen , the plungeth herself in the shadow of the Earth, and fo deprives herself of the Sun The Ecclipses of the Church by the loss of Truth or vertue happen in like manner, because The falls into fin and fallhged, which is shadow and darkness, the product of Earth and Helle Four fons bave separated between God and you. 6. When the Moon is Ecclipit, the becomes black, and puts on a frightfull Aspect, when the Churcb fuffers herself to lose the Light of the Sun, her vilage becomésdeformed by her disorders and crimes.

Why doth not the Church appear but in this farutb Period, Gince she was created from the be. ginning of the World? so the Moon which was a figure of the Cbareb, should have been created on the first day. I answer, that the Church may also be found in the three preceding Periods: but in the fwft and second day'tis a Land covered with waters. The Church is mixt and confounded with the People of the World, and even covered and hidden amongtem. In the third the appears as adry Land that is visible, but as yet it is but Earth, producing

Plants

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Plants and Fruits. In our fourth Period, she isad- Part 2 yanc't from the quality of Earth, to the dignity of the Stars, The becomes a Moon, a luminous body, which may be seen afar off, which spreads its rays throughout all the world

In the fourth day there were also Stars, which Stars of lix are of fix different magnitudes, from the first to the tudes imafixth. In our fourth Period we have several Teages of the chers, as shining Stars, but they lessen by degrees. of TeaThe Apoftles are the Stars of the first magnitude, chers. Apoftolick Persons were Stars of the second

magnitude, their Disciples who lived in the second Century, were Stars of the third, the Doctors of the

Church in the third Century were Stars of the fourth magnitude. Those of the fourthCentury were of the fifth magnitude. Lastly, in the fifth Century when the good days of the Church ended, there were more Teachers, more Stars in number, but they were but of the fixob magnitude ; their Light began to be obscured by mixing with the darkness of Superstition and Heresy. After them in the following Ages, we feeno Stars but undera Cloud , the witnesses covered with fackcloth Christians concealed and hidden among themultitude of those who were sunk into error and Idolatry

In this Period there is also another fort of Stars viz. Confessors and Martyrs, who shined as Stars of the first magnitude, and the common sort of the Faithful, who are truly Stars, though but of the sixth magnitude. Lastly, in the fourth Period, we find Planets, wandring Stars, Apoftatesy Iudas's , and such as Hymenans and Pbiletus, who concerning the Faith made shipwrack.

We proceed to the fifth day of the Creation. The Mysteries fifth Period is that from the rise of Antichrist to his day..

com

UY

of the sob.

[ocr errors]

Part 2, Completion, from the fifth Century to the eleventb.

In the fifth day God said , Let the waters bring forth Fishes abundantly (or moving Creatures which have life,) and Fowl that may ftie above the Earth in the open firmament of Heaven. Behold, two sorts of Creatures, Birds and Fishes, and they are to be Emblems of neen, who should rule in the fifth Period of the Church. It may be the name of Bird may prove a good Omen to some, one would think we fhould find something of good there, because Birds are a kind of Cælestial Creatures; but we must remember, that in the two following Periods, we shall meet with nothing that is good, because they belong to Antichrist. If there be any thing good in thele two Periods, 'tis the remnant of the fourth, for all is evil that belongs to their perticular Character. So that by Birds we underItand men of rash and daring fpirits, who would pierce beyond the Clouds, attempting to reach unto God himself, and have done violence to his Holy Mysteries by their bold Inquiries. Such was Arrius, who would dive into the mystery of the Eternal generation of the Son, and was there stumbled: Such was Macedónirs, who would fathom the Mysteries of the Procession of the Holy Spiritą and not being able to effect it, made him a Crea: turè , as Arius did the Son. Such was Eutyches, who not being able to fathom the Mysteries of the union of the two natures in Christ , did confound them. Such was Nestorius, who lost himself in fearching into the manner of the Union of the humane Nature with the Divine Person, and so eftablisht two Pérfons in Christ; and I know noi how many more such Birds there were, men ofbold and daring fpirits, who did great mischief to the Church, Weneed but consult History to be informed

« PreviousContinue »