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that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury.”. Again, “ He that hath not given forth upon usury, neither hath taken any increase, &c., he shall surely live:"-but he that “hath given forth upon usury, and hath taken increase, shall he live? He shall not live :'u and, “The wages of sin is death :">, and, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.”w And again, “ 'This ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you
with vain words; for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.".~ These are the words of God; and what darkness is in them?
St. Paul saith, “ If it be possible, as much as in you lieth, live peaceably with all men.—Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.-Avenge not yourselves, but give place unto wrath.” Again, “ Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers; for there is no power but of God. He is the minister of God to thee for good : but if thou do evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the 'sword in vain.". These be the words of God; what darkness is in them?
St. John saith, Christ is “the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world :"a and “The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all
St. Peter saith, “ His own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sin, should live unto righteousness.' CHRIST saith, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find i knock, and it shall be opened unto you:"d and again, 6 Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." The prophet saith, “ Whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be saved."f—These be the words of God; what darkness is in them? What eye so simple, but he may see them?
The ways of the LORD are straight, and his words
+ Exod. xxii. 25. Ezek. xviii. 8, 13. w Ezek. xviii. 20. * Eph. v. 5, 6.
Rom. xiii. 1. 4. John i. 29. « 1 Pet. ü. 24. d Matt. vii, 7. r Joel ii. 32, Rom. x. 13,
Rom. vi. 23. y Rom. xii. 18. 9. 19. b 1 John i. 7. • Matt. xi, 28.
plain, even unto the simple. CHRYSOSTOM saith, “ ATI things are clear and plain in the Holy Scriptures. Whatsoever things there are necessary for us, are also manifest."
Some things are covered, as men cover precious stones and precious garments----they are covered, and yet we see them ; we see them, and yet they are covered : yet all things that are necessary are plain and open. ČLEMENT saith, “The word of God is hid from no man: it is a light common unto all men : it is as bright and beautiful as the sun ; there is no dungeon or darkness in it."" So saith IRENÆUS: “ The Scriptures are plain and without doubtfulness, and may
be heard indifferently of all men :"i all men may hear them, even all sorts of men without exception.
Where be they, then, which say it is not lawful for the people to have the word of God, and that the Scriptures are not meet for their reading ? They are bread ;t they are drink ;' they nourish unto everlasting life." Great cruelty it is to starve God's people to death. Are they unfit to have the Scriptures because they are poor? Christ saith, “ The poor receive the glad tidings of the Gospel :"" and, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven :"0—they want riches, and worldly glory, but God giveth his fear and grace to them as well as to the rich. Are they unfit to read the Scriptures, because they are not bred up in other learning ? St. Paul saith, “ I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus CHRIST, and him crucified.”p The prophet David saith, “ Blessed is the man, O LORD, whom thou teachest in thy law.” And Christ saith, “ Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed
8. CHRYSOST. Hom. 3 in 2 ad Thess.
CLEM. ALEX. Orat. ad Gentes. i "Scripturæ in aperto sunt, et sine ambiguitate ; et similiter ab omnibus audiri possent." IREN. adv. Hær. Lib. I. c. xxxi. k John vi. 32. 35. 50. 58.
John iv. 10. 13. vii. 37. m John vi. 27. 51.
n Luke vii. 22. [The old translation is retained in the text, as quoted by JEWELL; because the common version neither adequately sustains his inference nor represents the full meaning of the original svayyedešavtal, they have glad tidings told them.] e Matt. v. 3. P 1 Cor, ii. 2,
Ps. xçiv, 12.
them unto babes."" The apostles were sent “ into all the world” to “preach the Gospel unto every creature”. -to learned and unlearned, to poor and rich. There is no man too poor, none too rich, none too young, none too old. Whosoever hath ears to hear, he hath learning enough to be a hearer. As for the wisest and learned men in matters of this world, they have not always proved the readiest and most willing to set forth the glory of God. They have not been the meetest scholars for this school. Who were they that resisted Moses and Aaron, the servants of God? Not the people, but the wisest and best learned in Egypt.
Who were they that stood against Elias ? Not the people, but the learned and wise men, and the prophets and priests of Baal. Who were they that stoned and killed the prophets ? Not the people, but the chiefest and wisest in Israel. Who were they that resisted Christ and his Gospel, and sought to deface the glory of God? Not the people, but the Scribes and Pharisees, and high priests, and all the troop of their clergy. They called Christ a deceiver,' and · Beelzebub, a companion of publicans and harlots;'u they lay in wait every where to entrap him ; they sued him to death. St. Paul saith, for conclusion in this matter, “ It is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise ? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world ? For after that, in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. Ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called; but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world, to confound the wise ; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath Gon chosen.”ı-Mark, saith he, how mercifully God hath dealt with you. r Matt. xi. 25.
* Mark xvi. 15. * Matt. xi. 15. xii. 9. 43. &c. " Matt. xxvii. 67. X. 25. Luke vii. 34.
1 Cor. i. 19-21. 26–28.
Few of the learned sort, few such as are counted wise, embrace the Gospel with you, or join with you in faith, or keep you company. God hath let them be deceived in their wisdom; they take themselves to be wise, and yet are become fools. And contrary to worldly judgment, God hath made you which were weak and simple, and of no reputation, wise and righteous, and sanctified and redeemed in CHRIST JESUS.- And CHRIST saith, “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”:
Therefore the godly father CHRYSOSTOM calleth upon the people to read and hear the Scriptures. “Hear me, ye men of the world; get ye the Bible, that most wholesome remedy for the soul; if ye will nothing else, yet at least get the New Testament—St. Paul's Epistles, the Gospels, and the Acts, that they may be your continual and earnest teachers.", And again: “Hearken not thereto only here in the church, but also at home; let the husband with the wife, let the father with the child, talk together of these matters, and both to and fro, let them both inquire, and give their judgments; and would God they would begin this good custom !" ?, In like sort saith ORIGEN: “ Would GOD we would all do accordingly as it is written, Search the Scriptures !" ? It were a token that we do love Christ. Then would the Father love us; and he and his Father would come unto us, and dwell in us.
CHRYSOSTom saith, 6. This is the cause of all ill, that the Scriptures are not known.”b
“ To know nothing of God's love," saith he in another place, “is the loss of salvation. Ignorance hath brought in heresies and vicious life ; ignorance hath turned all things upside down." ST. JEROME, expounding those words of the apostle, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you plenteously,' saith, “ Here we are taught, that the lay people ought to have the word of God, not only sufficiently,
* Matt. Ivüi, 3.
w 1 Cor. i. 30.
CHRYSOST. Hom. 9. in Ep. ad Coloss. • Idem, Hom. 3 de Lazaro.
but also with abundance, and to teach and counsel one another."
And now, to conclude what the learned fathers and ancient doctors have said in these matters, THEODORET saith: “Ye may commonly see, that our doctrine is known not only of them that are the doctors of the Church, and the masters of the people, but also even of the tailors, and smiths, and weavers, and of all artificers ; yea, and further also, of women, and that not only of them that be learned, but also of labouring women, and servants, and sewsters, and handmaids ; neither only the citizens, but also the country folks do very well understand the same. Ye may find, yea, even the very ditchers, and delvers, and cow-herds, and gardeners, disputing of the Holy Trinity, and of the creation of all things.”e Thus we see there was a time, before ignorance crept into the Church, and got the upper hand, when the word of God was not counted hard, and dark, and doubtful; when children, and women, and servants, and men of the country, had the knowledge of God, and were able to reason of the works of God. Then went it well with them : they could not easily be deceived, because they had that word which bewrayeth the thief: they carried with them, like good exchangers, the weights and touchstone, and were able to try coins whether they were true or false. Such were the people, such was the state of God's Church, in those days.
Gold, and silver, and lands, and possessions, are the portions of but few: they are not common to all alike : ihe wise man saith, « Houses and riches are the inheritance of fathers.” But the word of God, the law and the prophets, the apostles, the evangelists, the gift of the Spirit, and the knowledge of God, are given unto all men; they are made common for all men. If the word were ordained but for a few, then Christ was given unto the world but for a few; the heaven was made but for a few. But the mercy of God is over all, and upon all, and for all. All have right to hear the word of God, all have need to know the word of God. “ All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."h
& Hieron. in 3 cap. Ep. ad. Coloss.
Rom. iii. 22. x. 12, h Rom. iii. 23.