A TREATISE OF THE HOLY SACRIFICE OF THE MASSE, And Excellencies therof.

Written in Spanish by the R. F. Ant. de Molina, a Carthusian Monke, & translated into English by I. R. of the Society of IESVS.

VVith Order, hovv to be present at the said Holy Mystery, vvith Deuotion & Profit.

IHS

Permissu Superiorum. M.DC.XXIII.

TO THE RIGHT HO­NOVRABLE AND MOST VERTVOVS Gentlewoman, Mrs. MARY PETRE &c.

THE CON­stant report of your De­uotion to the most [Page] holy Mystery of the Masse, hath embol­dened me to present vnto your Seruice, this Infant of a Spa­nish Descent, clad in English Attyre, to at­tend vpō you in your Chappell at such pu­blicke or priuate So­lemnities. Not doub­ting but that he shall [Page] receaue such Enter­tainment at your de­uout Hands, as his Educatiō deserueth; & especially at this Tyme, when so hap­py a Vnion, & firme Friendship is novv most happily conclu­ded, between two so mighty Kingdomes, by so Fortunate and [Page] Hopefull a Mariage. Wherto, if I should adde my commenda­cions of his worth, I might therby rather do him Wronge then Honour; knowing his Tallents, and other good parts to be such, as may beseeme his Seruice; though per­haps not so familiar­ly [Page] acquainted with the fashions of your English Court, as is required: yet because I know your Disposi­tion to be Noble, and your Minde greatly addicted to Piety & Deuotion, and also that the Present can­not be but accepta­ble; I do in the best [Page] manner I can, com­mend him to your Honourable Custody & Protection, & my selfe to your vertuous Prayers, resting

Your assured Seruāt in Christ Iesus. I. VV.

THE TABLE Of the Contents of the En­suing Booke.

  • CHAP. I. THat in the Catholike Church there is a true and proper Sa­crifice, which is that of the Holy Masse. pag. 1.
  • CHAP. II. That the name of Masse was gi­uē vnto this sacrifice by the Apostles, euer vsed in the Church: And the signification therof. pag. 18
  • [Page] CHAP. III. That the Masse is an Embas­sage vnto the most holy Trinity, in the behalfe of humane kind, a­bout the most important affaires in the World. pag. 32
  • CHAP. IIII. That the Masse is a liuely re­presentation of the Mysteries of our Sauiour, which are renewed and mystically performed againe therin. pag. 49
  • CHAP. V. That the Masse is a true and proper Sacrifice, the same, and of the same value, as that which Christ offered on the Crosse. p. 76
  • [Page] CHAP. VI. That the Sacrifice of the Masse, hath all the titles and reasons for which sacrifices are offered vnto God. pag. 100
  • CHAP. VII. That the Masse is a most per­fect Holocauste. pag. 113
  • CHAP. VIII. That the Masse is a most per­fect Sacrifice of Thanks-giuing. pag. 123
  • CHAP. IX. That the Masse is a most per­fect Sacrifice of Propitiation for sinnes. pag. 129
  • CHAP. X. That the Masse is a most effi­cacious [Page] Sacrifice to obtayne what­soeuer we demand. pag. 139
  • CHAP. XI. That the Masse is the thing most Venerable which is in the Church. pag. 152
  • CHAP. XII. That the Masse, is a thing of greatest honour vnto God. p. 167
  • CHAP. XIII. That the Masse, is a Present most gratefull vnto our Sauiours Humanity, & vnto the most Bles­sed Virgin. pag. 187
  • CHAP. XIIII. The externall Reuerence and Worship, to be vsed in the holy Masse. pag. 206
  • [Page] CHAP. XV. Of the Reuerence, due vnto Churches, & holy Places. p. 233
  • CHAP. XVI. Of being present, and hearing the Holy Office of Masse, which hath alwayes byn in most high esteeme, & publickely celebrated euery where, both among the Sy­rians, the Grecians, and the Latines, euer since the tyme of the Apostles. pag. 259

Approbatio.

HVNC pium Tractatum in Anglicanum Sermo­nem ex Hispanico versum, magnam legentibus Conso­lationē afferre posse, iudico.

Io. Floydus Soc. Iesu Theol.
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A TREATISE OF THE Holy Sacrifice of the Masse, and the excellencyes thereof.

That in the Catholicke Church, where is a true & proper Sacrifice, which is that of the Holy Masse. CHAP. I.

IN the first place we must lay for foundation, That in the Christian [Page 2] Church, there is some speci­all and proper Sacrifice to be offered vnto God; which is a truth, so certayne and so cleere, that no doubt can be made therof, but by men impertinent and without iudgment, wherof the He­retickes of our tyme may seeme destitute.

For amōgst diuers absur­dities vnto which through rashnes and pertinacity they are fallen, this is one: That there is no true and proper Sacrifice in the Christian Church. Wherin they stand not only against the vene­rable [Page 3] antiquity of the Fa­thers and Doctours of the Church, against the defini­tions of the sacred Coūcels, against the manifest testi­monies of the Scriptures, which can be vnderstood in no other sense; but also a­gainst the very light of rea­son.

For it is a thing necessary and essentiall to euery well ordered Common-wealth to be furnished with Sacrifi­ces wherby to honour God,Plato Dialog. 8. de le­gibus. Arist. l. 8. Ae [...] 1. c 9. Cice. de natura Deorū. as euen heathē Philosophers acknowledge, Plato, Aristo­tle, Xenophon, & others. Ney­ther [Page 4] was there euer in the world any Cōmon-wealth, howsoeuer rude and barba­rous, that had not some kind of Sacrifice for the worship of God, or of that thinge which they were perswaded to bee God. How then can any man with reason ima­gine, that Christ our Lord, hath left his Church which is the most perfect of all Cō ­mō-wealths, imperfect & de­fectuous in a matter so much importing and essentiall? Specially the Doctrine of S. Thomas receaued by the con­sent of Deuines,S. Tho. 22 q. 88. [...].1. being most [Page 5] true, that men are bound to offer sacrifice vnto God euē by the law of Nature, why shoud our Sauiour leaue no meanes to his faithfull how to comply with this Law? Seing also according to true Theology, Grace destroyes not nature, but addes perfe­ction thereunto.

And seeing these three thinges Law, Priest-hood, Sacrifice, are so ioyned and combined togeather, that change or innouatiō being made in ony one of them, the same must needs redoūd to both the other, as the A­postle [Page 6] proueth effectually, writing vnto the Hebrews, That the Priest-hood being tran­slated, the translatiō of the Law must also needes be consequent therevpon;Heb. 10. It is cleare that Christ our Sauiour as he changed the old Law into another, new and better, the auncient Priest-hood in­to another new and more perfect: so likewyse in the same measure and proporti­on, he ordayned another Sa­crifice to succeed the elder, by so much more excellent then those were, by how much the new Law surpas­seth [Page 7] the old.

It being also a thing so certayne that in the Law of the Ghospell there be Priests, that euen Heretikes cannot deny it, (though they vn­derstand the same amisse, & peruert the meaning ther­of:) certayne also it is there must be a Sacrifice which these Priests are to offer, o­therwise what neede or vse should there be of Priests? The lyke argumēt is drawn from the Aultar, which to be found in the Christian Church is a thing most cer­taine, being affirmed by S. [Page 8] Paul, by the third Canon of the Apostles, and vniformely by all the Saints: it is most vndoubted that there is a sa­crifice to be offered on this Aultar, because for this end is the Aultar built, Aultar and Sacrifice being correla­tiues.

Wherefore the errour of vnfortunate Heretickes, is in this particular so strange, and so contrary to the light of reason, that it could haue entred but into minds, afore through malice obstinate, and through infidelity blin­ded, who from errours run [Page 9] into errour still greater and more foule. But heerin they are Ministers of the Diuell, who by their mediation en­deauoureth to doe the holy Church all the mischiefe he is able; and the cursed Cay­tiffe knowes the greatest mischiefe he can doe, is to driue away or hinder the most holy sacrifice of the Al­tar, as de facto he hath driuen away and exiled the same, out of townes and countries wherin preuayle these er­rours and pestilentiall do­ctrines.

Wherin also they declare [Page 10] themselues Percursors of the most wicked Antichrist, cō ­cerning whome the Saints of God commonly affirme, that the first and principall thing he shall attempt to the detrimēt of the Church, is with most extreme rigour to inhibite the exercise of the most holy sacrifice of the Aultar.

Iren. l. 5 c. 25. Hilar. Auct. imper. in Matt. [...]4. Hie­ron. Beda. Dan. [...].Thus many Fathers and graue Authours vnderstand that which Daniel sayth in his prophecy, That in the thousand two hundred and ninety dayes, that is, in the three yeares and halfe, that [Page 11] Antichrists raigne shal con­tinew, the continuall sacri­fice shall be taken away frō the Church; & he shall cause his image to be placed in the Temple, that himself alone may be adored as God: the text sayth:Dan. 12 He shall take away the continuall Sacrifice, and de­stroy the place of sanctification: & strength against the cōtinuall sa­crifice is giuen him, in regard of sinnes.

This drift which the Di­uel shall then prosecute by the meanes of Antichrist he now endeauours to settle by the help of these Hereticks, [Page 12] who by procuring to take frō the Catholicke Church the most holy Sacrifice, bringe therwith innumerable and inestimable mischiefes: and would haue the Christian people, which hath receaued more of God, and greater benefits, to be more vngra­tefull vnto their God, then any other Nation in the world. This the holy and venerable Abbot Petrus Clu­niacensis, liuing in the same age with S. Bernard, well noted, and signified in the­se wordes: They that attempt to take from the Church of Christ [Page 13] the sacrifice, by the Diuells sug­gestions, doe their best, that that nation which hath byn graced of God with more singular benefits and fauours, should be lesse than­kefull to him, and yield him lesse worship and honour.

But I will leaue these He­retickes, as men without dis­cretion and common sense to thēselues, my purpose not being to dispute this contro­uersie with them, but only to giue a warning vnto the faythfull of their errours & impertinēcies. Al Catholike Christians are to belieue, as a most sure and infallible [Page 14] principle, that in the Catho­licke Church there is a pro­per, true, and most excellent sacrifice, which is offered vnto the eternall Father by the handes of Priests, as being Minister of Christ Ie­sus, the high Priest and soue­raigne Bishop. For this hath euer byn the beliefe of the holy Church since the tyme of the Apostles, this the doctrine perpetually deliue­red by the holy Fathers, this the fayth determined & esta­blished in the sacred Coun­cels, and last of all in the holy Councell of Trent, in [Page 15] these words:Sess▪ 22. c. 1. & Can. 1. Whosoeuer shal say, that in the masse is not offered a true and proper sa­crifice vnto God, or that the sacrifice is no other then the giuing of Christ to be eaten, let him be accursed.

The holy Masse then is the only, and most holy Sa­crifice of the new Testamēt, instituted by Christ our Lord, not when he did of­fer himselfe on the crosse, (though then he offered a Sacrifice, but that was a bloudy sacrifice, consumed with payne and wounds, & the conuulsions of death, in [Page 16] which manner only, he would offer it that tyme) but in his last supper when he consecrated his pretious body & bloud vnder the for­mes and accidents of bread and wine. For then he not only gaue it vnto his Disci­ples, as a sacramentall food, for the sustenance of their soules, but also offered the same vnto his eternal Father as an vnbloudy sacrifice, & made them Priests, with faculty to offer in the like manner, granted vnto them & vnto their successors vn­to the worldes end, saying: [Page 17] Do this in remembrance of me, that is, the same thing that I doe, you likewise doe in my name & memory. Wher­fore two doctrines as most firme and Catholicke truth are settled by the premisses; the one, that in the Christiā Church there is a true and proper Sacrifice, the other that this sacrifice is offered only in the Masse, of the ex­cellencies whereof we now are to treate.

That the Masse was giuen vnto this Sacrifice by the Apostles, euer vsed in the Church: And the signification thereof. CHAP. II.

HERETICKES not only deny, and would take from the Church the most holy Sacrifice of the Masse, but also cannot endure the very word & name of Mas­se: and soe they haue decla­red to affirme with sacrile­gious mouth, that the Masse is the inuention of the Pope and his followers. The most [Page 19] impious Martin Luther Cap­tayne of these wicked secta­ries, hath written a booke with this title, De abroganda Missa. The title is lyke the booke, and the booke lyke the Authour, and the whole lyke the matter hādled ther­in,De Mis­sa pri­uata tom. 9. Ger. fol 28. wherin he doth acknow­ledge that by conferēce had with the Diuell appearing to him, he was perswaded to abrogate the best thing, the most sacred and venera­ble that is in the Church. And though neyther my drift, nor the ayme of this Treatise be to dispute with [Page 20] Heretickes, which thinge graue writers of this age ha­ue fitly performed: yet for the confirmation of Catho­lickes, as also for confusion of Hereticks who sticke not to vtter whatsoeuer they can imagine to be disgracefull to the Church, without care whether they speake true or false, I thinke it reason brief­ly to set downe the truth of this matter.

It is therfore to be known, that not only the Sacrifice of the Masse was instituted by our Sauiour in his last supper, but also the name of [Page 21] Masse was giuen vnto it, by the Apostles themselues, & frō that tyme hath euer been vsed by the holy Church. The first that sayd Masse af­ter our Sauiours Ascension, is thought to haue byn S. Ia­mes the yoūger, termed Bro­ther of our Lord. For though S. Peter were superiour and head of all, as being the so­ueraigne Bishop, yet he would yield that honour vnto this glorious S. Iames, because he was Bishop of Hierusalem, which was the first Church in the world: & it is thought, this Church [Page 22] to haue byn the sacred Ce­nacle where Christ kept his last supper, and where after­ward the holy Ghost came downe vpon the Disciples. In this Masse did the holy Apostles and Disciples com­municate, and the most sa­cred Virgin, then first re­ceaued in the most holy Sa­crament, her glorious and immortall Sonne, whome before she had receaued and apparelled with flesh in her immaculate wombe. This Blessed Apostle did ordayne a certayne forme of seruice or saying Masse, and gaue it [Page 23] the title of Masse, as Baronius a most learned and exact Hy­storian affirmes and proues.

Of this Liturgy or Masse, composed by S. Iames, men­tion is made in the sixt ge­nerall Synod, in 32. Canon thereof, and by S. Proclus Bi­shop of Cōstantinople. The same title of Masse is vsed by S. Cyrill Bishop also of Hie­rusalem,Catec. mystag. 5. who receaued and amplified the Office or Liturgy left by his predecessour the Apostle S. Iames. Clem. Epist. [...] S. Clement Pope and Martyr disciple of S. Peter, in one of his Epi­stles commandes that Cler­gy-men [Page 24] and Priests doe no­thing but with the Bishops leaue; in particular, let them not say Masse without his consent: and agayne, It is not lawfull to sacrifice or celebrate Masse, but in the places which their proper Bi­shop shall appoint. Abdias Bi­shop of Babilon ordayned by the Apostles, (who doth affirme of himselfe, to haue seene our Lord Iesus Christ in flesh) in his history of the Apostles, sayth of S. Matthew that he was martyred by the Aultar, hauing celebrated the Mysteries of our Lord, and sayd the Masse of the Church.

[Page 25]S. Alexander Pope and Martyr, the sixt after S. Peter, Alex. Epist. 1 4. sayth, that with the solem­nities of the Masse, the Pas­siō of our Lord is to be min­gled, so to celebrate his Pas­sion,Epist. ad om­nes xpīfideles. S. whose body and blood is consecrated. Telesphorus also Pope and Martyr, in his Epistle vnto the faythfull ordaynes that in the Masse, the Angelicall Hymne be sayd, and that three Masses be solemnized in the night of the Natiuity of our Lord. All this was appointed in the primitiue Church with­in the first hūdred yeares, & [Page 26] afterward the holy Fathers and Doctors of the Church, [...]e Bel­larm l. 1. de Missa c. 1. as S. Cyprian, Ambrose, Grego­ry, Leo, and many sacred Councels haue vsed the sayd word.

This supposed, let vs now declare the signification of this name deriued by succes­siue tradition from the Apo­stles, which may giue light towards the vnderstanding of the Excellencyes of the Masse: concerning which, laying a side some significa­tions of lesse credit, I will only prosecute two that are most followed by graue and [Page 27] learned Authors.

The first makes the word Missa to be latin, deriued of the word Mitto, which si­gnifies to send, because in the holy Sacrifice of Masse the eternall Father sends vs his only begotten Sonne that we may offer him in sacri­fice. As in the beginning he sent him to become man, & to offer him for men on the Crosse, so now he sends him, that vnder the sacramē ­tall formes, he may offer himself an vnbloudy sacri­fice: & also the holy Church retournes him, and sends [Page 28] him vnto his eternall Father offering him in Sacrifice vn­to him, as S. Thomas signi­fyes saying, [...] p.q. [...]3. a. 4. [...]d 9. That the sacrifice is tearmed Missa, because the people by the Priest, the Priest by the Angel sends prayers vnto God.

The second explication makes the word Missa to be deriued of the hebrew word Missach, which signifies, a voluntary oblation, as ap­peares by the 16. Chapter of Deuteronomy v. 10. where our translation hauing Spon­taneous Oblation; the Hebrew word corresponding ther­unto [Page 29] is Missach. This expli­cation, or Aetymology is also of great credit approued by graue Authors, amongst whom Cardinall Baronius sayth,Baron. an Ch [...]. 34. that he doth not doubt but the Blessed Apo­stles tooke this name of the Hebrew, and the Latin Church receauing it of them hath still cōserued the same. And seing the Apostles and their Disciples euen before Masse was sayd in latin, v­sed the word Missa, as hath byn proued, it is very pro­bable, that Missa is an He­brew word signifying a vo­luntary [Page 30] offering made vnto God, in gratitude for his be­nefits, and specially for that of the freeing his people frō the seruitude of Aegypt.

For this signification doth very properly agree to our most holy Sacrifice of the Masse, in which is offered vnto the eternall Father, his only-begotten Sonne, who voluntarily, and of self-ac­cord offered himself, as Esay testifieth, he was offered because he would: and our Sauiour to his enemies that were solici­tous to lay plots how to be­reaue him of life:Isa. 53. [...] 7. [...]oa. 10. [...]. 17. & [...]. I giue my [Page 31] soule, and take the same againe, no man is able to take it from me, but I of my self giue it. For I haue power to giue it, and power to take it againe. On mens be­halfe likewise the oblation is voluntary, because with free and liberall hart they of­fer vnto God that most holy Sacrifice, in thankes giuing for all the benefits receaued from his bountifull hande, and singularly for the bene­fit of mans redēption, which this Sacrifice doth represent: Eyther of these explications or etymologies, is probable, and of authority, and from [Page 32] each of them, doctrines and cōsideratiōs may be drawne, of great importance to make the Excellency of the sacri­fice of the Masse vnderstood, as we shall now declare.

That the Masse is an Embassage vnto the most holy Trinity, in the behalfe of humane kind, about the most important af­faires in the World. CHAP. III.

THE Masse contaynes in it so many, so hygh, so Diuine, so Soueraigne mysteries, that one defini­tion [Page 33] is not sufficient to de­clare the same, nor to make manifest the notion therof. Wherfore to explicate what the Masse is, we shall vse the way vsed in declaring thin­ges that are immense, and imbrace within thēselues a kind of infinity, which are declared by many & diffe­rent descriptions; because many put togeather may discouer what one only by it selfe were not able to do. Let this thē be the first des­criptiō gathered frō the first Etymology of the word Missa, to wit, that the Masse [Page 34] is an Embassadge sent by mankind vnto the most ho­ly Trinity, that is, vnto the true and liuing God. By mediation of the Priest, that in the name of all, he treate the affaires of most weight and moment that euer were or can be treated of in the world, as now we shall declare

First the Masse to be an Embassadge sent vnto the most B. Trinity is cleere, because to God only sacrifi­ce is to be offered, and not to any creature, no not vnto the most holy virgin Mary, [Page 35] the most Excellent of all creatures. So the Priest whē he beginnes to offer sayth, suscipe Sācta Trinitas hanc obla­tionem, accept o holy Trini­ty this Oblation: which in the Canō he repeats againe, To thee they offer their vows and prayers, the true eternal liuing God. That this em­bassage to be sēt by mākind, or by the whole Catholicke Church, the Preist himselfe signifies, saying in the Ca­non, This oblation of our seruice and of thy whole fa­mily. It is tearmed the offe­ring or sacrifice of our serui­ce, [Page 36] that is, of vs Priests and Ministers of the Aultar, who are peculiarly your seruāts dedicated vnto your diuine worship and seruice, and we offer this sacrifice in acknowledgment of the seruice and subiection we owe you. And it is not only our offering, that as conse­crated Ministers offer it, but of your whole family, that is, of the whole Catholicke Church, and all your faith­full who by our handes and ministery offer, & in who­se name we make this o­blation vnto you.

[Page 37]The same the Priest re­peates agayne straight vpon consecration saying, wherfore being mindfull, we thy seruants and thy holy people. We Priests that are peculiarly thy ser­uants and ministers, and thy Christiā people all ioy­ning togeather do offer this holy sacrifice. This also the sacred Councell of Trent declares, defining all Masses though priuate and not sayd in publicke, are & ought to be estemeed common, be­cause the Priest, as publicke Minister offers them not for himself only, but generally [Page 38] for all the faythfull that be­long vnto the mysticall bo­dy of Christ. In summe, is it the most certayne and vni­uersall doctrine of the holy Fathers and Deuines, that the Masse is sayd in name of the whole Catholicke Church, and of the whole Christian people; not only the faythfull that liue yet in the world, but also the de­ceased that are detayned in purgatory, because they haue their proper part of fruit in the Masse, being in so great necessity therof; all which the company of the faithfull [Page 39] both liuing and departed send the Priest as Embassa­dour to deale their affaires with God.

Yea which is a thing to be pondered, the Priest goeth this Embassadge in name not only of the faith­full that are in the Militant Church, but besides of the Sayntes that now rest in the triumphant, because also to them reacheth part of the fruite of the Masse. For though they haue no need to satisfye for their sins, from which they are already per­fectly cleansed, nor to de­maund [Page 40] fauours for themsel­ues, being in the blisfull possessiō of whatsoeuer they can desire: yet the Masse a­uayles them vnto accidētall glory, and helpes them to giue thankes vnto God for the Benefits he hath be­stowed and still bestowes vpon them; which thing is to them occasion of very speciall contēt, because they still acknowledge themsel­ues charged towardes God with an infinite debt of gra­titude, & that they can ne­uer fully and perfectly dis­charge themselues therof. [Page 41] This is that, vvhich the Church signifyes in the ser­uice of the Masse, saying that she offers the Sacrifice, to the glory of the most holy Virgin Mary, and the Bles­sed Apostles, that the same may auayle vnto the ho­nour of them, and all saints. So that by the Masse honour and accidentall glory comes to all the Saints, and a spe­ciall ioy which they con­ceaue in regard of the glory that is therin giuen vnto God, and of the thankes so effectually presented vnto him.

[Page 42]The affaires in like man­ner which the Priest treates in this Embassadge, are of highest importance, as any eyther be, or can be in the world. For the busines trea­ted is the acknowledgment of subiection & vassallage, which all creatures owe to their Creatour, and of the Maiesty & Dominiō which the same Lord hath ouer all: & in acknowledgmēt heer­of to pay him the great tri­bute, and present him with a gift of inestimable pryce: to giue him thākes for be­nefits that from him they [Page 43] receaue, to obtayne pardon of their offences committed against them, to request great graces and fauours and reliefe of all necessities, and finally to craue ayde and assistance to attayne vnto glory & blessednes euerla­sting: which thinges with­out any contradction or question, are the greatest that are possible.

Hence we may gather & ought much to consider, the great authority of a Priest being at the Aultar, how great a personage he beares, being as it were the [Page 44] Sollicitour general of al hu­man kind, and (as S. Cry­sostome sayth) like a common Father of the whole world; Chrys. hom. 6. super. 1. Tim. 2. and so it is his duty to haue care of all, as God hath whose vicegerent he is: or as the same Father saith in another place,Hom. 5. in c. 6. Esa. as a media­tour betwixt God and humane Nature, bringing from thence benefit vnto vs, & conueying from hence our prayers thither. S. Hierome affirmes, that for this respect the Priest is tear­med, The Angell of our Lord, because he is the mes­senger or Embassadour,Hieron super c. 1. Malach that carryeth mens negotiations [Page 45] vnto God, & bringes backe againe answers from God vnto men. S. Laurence Iusti­nian confirmes the same, a­uerring,Serm. de xpī corpor. that the Priest in the celebration of the Masse, hath the office of mediatour, and therfore ought to be intercessour for all sinners. Which office of Em­bassadour S. Paul attributes to himself and other Preists saying;2. Cor. 5.20. pro Christo legatione fū ­gimur, we are the Legats or Embassadours in the name & place of Christ. For Christ is the principall Embassa­dour, chosen to be the in­tercessour and mediatour of [Page 46] all mankind, to obtayne them pardon of all their of­fences, & all other benefits they haue need of, which office Priests now exercise in his name.

And the Fathers note, that for this reason that the Priest of the old Testament who was a figure of the Priesthood of the new, in his sacerdotall garment did carry pictured the whole world, as the holy Ghost doth clearly signify in the book of Wisedome.Sap 18.24.Because as S. Hierome, and others note, by the colour, matter [Page 47] and fashion of the Priestly garment were signifyed the fower Elements, of which this inferiour world doth consist, as also the celestiall Globes, the starres and pla­nets, euen vnto the Caelum Empireū, which is the Court and Hall where the Bles­sed assist. By the leafe of Gold, which he wore on his forhead, wherin was ingrauē the ineffable name of God, was represented the Lord himself and Creatour of all, who as Monarche, standes and rules ouer the whole Hierarchy of crea­tures. [Page 48] All this doth declare the maiesty of a Priest, a­dorned in his Sacerdotall Robes, when he celebrates the most holy Mysteries as the messenger or sollicitour Generall of all mankind: which considerations are deduced from the first signi­fication of the word Masse, which signifyes a message, or a thing sent.

That the Masse is a liuely repre­sentation of the Mysteries of our Sauiour, which are re­newed and mystically perfor­med againe therin. CHAP. IIII.

LET this be another de­finition of the Masse. The Masse is a liuely and perfect representatiō of the Mysteries of Christ Iesus our Lord his Incarnation, Natiuity, & most holy life, his Passion, Death, glori­ous Resurrection and admi­rable Ascension into Hea­uen. Al which is done with so much truth, life, propriety [Page 50] and perfection, that Christ Iesus himselfe really is there present, and by himself, a­cteth his owne person and part, performing by himself the most Diuine and sacred mysteries, a thing worthy of all veneration and reue­rence, and of most high & attent consideration.

That this may be better vnderstood, we must call to minde a point of most certaine Christian Theolo­gy, to wit, that Christ our Lord, is the supreme and principall Priest, who by himself really, properly, and [Page 51] efficiently worketh the ef­fect of all Sacraments. Thus though the Priest say I bap­tize thee, yet Christ is the person, that as principall & efficient cause, washeth the soule, cleansing it from the stayne of sinnes: and though the Priest in the Sa­cramēt of Pennāce say I ab­solue thee, yet Christ is he that absolueth & releaseth men, freeing them from the giues of sinne, by the medi­ation and Ministery of the Priest, & of that sacramētall action. This is yet more properly & singularly true [Page 52] in the most sacred mystery of the Eucharist. Christ is he that worketh that won­derfull Transubstantiation, and conuersion of bread in­to his Body, and of wine into his Bloud, and the Priest is no more but the instrument & Minister that pronounceth the wordes, in the place & name of Christ himself. And so when the Priest saying in the Canon, He tooke bread into his sacred & venerable handes, himself ta­keth the bread into his own sinfull handes: and though he say, This is my body, & this is [Page 53] my bloud, yet the conuersion is not made, into the body and bloud of the Priest, but into the body and bloud of our Lord.

Wherfore the holy Fa­thers teach expresly, that he by himself worketh these mysteries and offers that sa­crifice, yet by the handes & ministery of the Priest, as S. Chrysostome affirmes.Hom. 83 in Mat. These be not workes of hu­man power: He that did them in that Supper, the sa­me now also doth them: we haue the office of Mini­sters, but he that works, san­ctifies, [Page 54] changeth, is Christ himself: which thing is al­so defined by the Councell of Trent.Trid. Sess. 22. c. 1. & 2. And for this rea­son is Christ in the Psalmes tearmed Priest for euer, ac­cording to the order of Mel­chisedech.Psa. 109. v. 4. For he should not be tearmed perpetuall Priest according to the or­der of Melchisedech, if he offered the sacrifice but on­ly once; but he is perpetual Priest, because he still offers the sacrifice by the ministe­ry of Priests, and neuer cea­seth to offer, and shall not cease to offer vnto the [Page 55] worlds end. Yea to speake more properly, he only is the sole & principall Priest, for though we be tearmed, and are verily Priests, yet we are so only as his instru­ments and deputies, not his successors in Priesthood but his substitutes, who offer in his name sacrifice, yet the principall offerent is only himself.

Hence we may vnder­stand that difficile passage of S. Paul to the Hebrews where he sayth; That in the old Law, it was need there should be many Priests, be­cause [Page 56] they were mortall men, and there was a neces­sity that one should succeed another, that so Priest-hood might be continued: But in the new Law, we haue an eternall Preist which li­ues and continues for euer, and so there is no necessity there should be more then one, as in very truth there is no more, but only one that as principall cause, and in his owne name consecra­teth the Mysteries, and offers the diuine Sacrifice. And according to this the difference is, that in the old [Page 57] Law, the children succeeded in the Priest-hood, vnto their Fathers, not as their de­puties or Ministers, but as their successors in the Sacer­dotall office, exercising the same with the self-same au­thority as their Predece­ssours. But in the Euangeli­call, Christ only is the prin­licall Priest, who still actu­ally offers sacrifice where & when he will haue the sa­me offered. Other Priests though they haue the name & office of Preists, yet they be not successours of Christ, nor do offer in their owne [Page 58] name, nor by that authority as he did vse, but as his in­struments and Ministers. For this reason the Councell of Trent affirmes, in the pre­alledged place, that though the Priest be naught and a sinner, this can not destroy nor diminish the value and efficacy of the Sacrifice, for this dependes of, and is answerable vnto the wor­thynes of the principall of­ferent, and not of the instru­ment, as is made cleere by this example. If a Prince giue a great almes and send it by the handes of his ser­uant; [Page 59] though the seruant be naught and a sinner, and giue it with an ill will, yet the almes therby looseth nothing of his goodnes and merit, because this depēds of the will and vertue of him that is the principall giuer therof, though he vse ano­thers hand. In this sort we, how wicked soeuer we be, cannot hinder or impayre the vertue of the Sacramēts, because we are no more thē Ministers and instruments, celebrating in the per­son of Christ Iesus our Lord.

Hence it followes, that [Page 60] it is a great honour and pri­uiledge of the sacred my­steries of the new Testamēt, that such a Priest & Bishop doth cōsecrate & performe them. This S. Paul pon­dered when he sayd: It was decent, that we should haue such a Priest, holy, in­nocent, vnspotted, seue­red from sinners, and hi­gher then the heauens: for the law appoints Priests subiect to infirmity, but the Word of the Father ap­points the Sonne for euer perfect. Oh let all creatures blesse our God for euer, that [Page 61] would honour and grace vs, by giuing vs for our Priest and Bishop, not any person lesse then his only begotten Sonne, and ma­king vs his Ministers in working so soueraigne Sa­craments. But it is to be noted, that Christ our Lord is sayd to be the sole High-Priest and principall Offe­rent of the holy mysteries, not only for the reason de­clared already, because all o­other Priests offer and con­secrate them in his name, by his authority, and as his Ministers: for though this [Page 62] cause be good and sufficient in case there were no other, yet the more principall, ex­cellent, and admirable cause is, because Christ himselfe truly and really is present, at as many times, and in as many mysteries, as the most sacred mysteries are conse­crated, and he concurres thereunto as principall and efficient cause, to worke and bring them to effect, by meanes of the Priest who is his instrumēt & vicegerēt.

Hence also proceedeth that the representatiō of the mysteries of the life & death [Page 63] of our Sauiour made in the Masse, is so liuely, pro­per, and naturall, that many Fathers not cōtēt so say that the Masse is a representatiō of the mysteries of our Saui­our, as hath been sayd; but exaggerate the thing fur­ther, affirming that the sayd mysteries are celebrated and wrought a new. Blessed S. Gregory in one of his Homi­lies sayth,Hom. 37 in Euāg. that Christ our Lord dyed once in mortall flesh, but now being ray­sed from the dead, and that he cannot retourne agayne to dy, nor to suffer in fashiō [Page 64] as then he did, he will haue his passion and his death re­newed and repeated in the mystery of the Masse, in which he suffers and vnder­goes againe his Passion in mysticall manner, for our profit and perfection. In which sense S. Cyprian also sticketh not to say, the passion of our Lord is the sacrifice we offer. S. Martiall one of the seauenty-two Disciples, & S. Peters companion, sayth that what the Iewes in ha­tred of Christ to rid him and his name out of the world did massacre vpō the Crosse, [Page 65] the same, vnto our owne saluation, do we performe vpon the sanctified Aultar, this being the meanes of gi­uing life and chasing away of death, commanded by our Lord himself saying, Doe this in remembrance of me.

In lyke sort, if we cast a right accompt, the whole life of our Lord Christ Iesus frō the instant of his Incar­nation, vntill he last brea­thed on the Crosse, was no other thing, but as it were the saying of a Masse. In the bowells of the most Blessed Virgin, as in a cele­stiall [Page 66] Sanctuary and Diuine Sacristy, he vested himself with humane flesh, the Pon­tificall and sanctified orna­ment, in which he was to offer his Sacrifice: & from thence girded which forti­tude, he came forth full of ioy, as a giant the runne the race of redemption· The whole time he liued in this life, was a continuall pre­paration of the sacrifice he was to offer, in so much as he made not a steppe which was not guided to this end, as himself signified saying, I am to be bathed, and how am I [Page 67] straitened vntill be performed, to wit, the bath of his preti­ous Bloud wherwith he was bathed, shedding the same when he offered sacrifice on the Crosse. The seauenteen howers that his passion en­dured, to wit, from his prayer in the garden when falling into mortall agonyes he was couered with sweat of bloud, vntill he gaue vp the ghost on the Crosse, all this tyme he spent in offering vp the sacrifice. The three houres he liued fastened with nayles to the Crosse, consuming away [Page 68] through most cruell payne, & much more through the fire of his burning loue to­wardes man. These houres he spent in the Consumation of that Diuine Holocaust, and in the concluding of that sacred Masse, vntill ha­uing taken the ablution of gall and vinager he came to say Ite missa est, whē he pro­nunced the words, It is con­summated, & bowing down his head gaue vp his spirit. These things so great and magnificent, so diuine and soueraigne, are represented liuely and properly, or to [Page 69] speake with more force and expression, these thinges we celebrate, we repeate, we performe in mysticall man­ner, in the most sacred my­stery of the Aultar: and this is properly to say Masse.

Moreouer the former de­finition of the Masse, by all the mysteries of the life and death of our Sauiour, may be made particuler, and deter­minat by application therof to one only mystery in this sort. To say Masse is to ce­lebrat really the Supper our Lord made with his Disci­ples, in the night of his pas­sion, [Page 70] and to sit with him at table, and receaue from his hand his sacred Body & the cupp of his precious Bloud; & this not by repre­sentation, not by figure, but truly, really, properly, as if he were sitting with his Apostles. For the Compa­ny of the Apostles cannot be wanting where is personal­ly the very Master and Lord of the Apostles consecrating his Body and Bloud, and giuing the same to his Apo­stles with that very loue & affection as he then gauē it:Hom. 83 in Mat. and so S. Chrysostome had rea­son [Page 71] to say: This is the same table, the same banquet: the Lord that there gaue his Bo­dy & Bloud to his Apostles, the very same now giues it to his faithfull: he that did consecrate then, consecrates now, the same meate is gi­uen to be eaten, the same cuppe is giuen to be drun­ken of.

And so we must consider, that speach of the Canon, which we vse when we ta­ke the Chalice to consecrate it, In like manner, when supper was ended, taking also this ex­cellent Chalice, which signifies [Page 72] that the Chalice we now drunk, is the same that Christ consecrated and gaue to his Apostles, not the same cha­lice of syluer, for that these are different, & this, be it the same or not the same, ma­kes not much to the purpo­se, but Chalice is takē for the drinke contayned therein, as we commonly say, that a pot of water is drunke vpp not the pot it selfe, but the water therof. And this speech is vsed because wine cannot be takē into our handes but in the cup, and so it could not be sayd, that he tooke [Page 73] the wine into his handes in the manner as he is sayd to haue taken the bread; and for this reason we say he too­ke the chalice. And because that which is contayned in our Chalice, when we take it into our handes, is a thing of the same kind, as that was contayned in the chalice our Sauiour tooke into his, to wit wine, made of grapes of the wine, and that which is giuen afterward to drin­ke, is the selfe same not only in kind, but also the same in number, to wit, the true Bloud of Iesus Christ: hēce [Page 74] it is that with reason & truth it is sayd that our Sauiour tooke into his hāds the self­same Chalice, we now vse, and as he did consecrate it then, soe doth he conse­crate it now, and giue it saying, This chalice is my Bloud which is offered in remissiō of all sinnes Wher­fore seing our LORD that keepes the feast is the same, seing the meate that is taken is the same, seing the chali­ce of drinke is the same, fi­nally seing the intention & drift of supping is the same, it is cleere that the supper & [Page 75] banquet is the same. And so our Lord supping with his disciples sayd vnto them, Do this in remembrance of me: He sayd not, represent this, nor doe another thing like vnto this, which may signi­fy this, but doe this very sa­me that I now doe, in re­membrance of me. Let him be for euer praysed by the Angels in Heauen, that left vs such a memoriall vpon earth.

That the Masse is a true and pro­per Sacrifice, the same, and of the same value, as that which Christ offered on the Crosse. CHAP. V.

ANOTHER Definition of the Masse is gathe­red from the second Etymo­logy or signification of the word, which is, as hath byn sayd, a voluntary Obla­tion made vnto God. The Masse is a true Sacrifice offe­red vnto God the most per­fect, the most excellent, and the most acceptable vnto [Page 77] God that was euer offered, or can be offered vnto him. This is the proper definiti­on, and that which doth most essentially declare, what the Masse is; all other definitions that haue been, & may be brought, being made complete and perfect by the Oblation vnto God of that most Diuine Sacrifi­ces, for the true purposes & ends thereof. And this is the most proper office of the Priest, & for this, peculiarly and singularly is giuen the order and power of Priest­hood, and in his soule is im­printed [Page 78] a character or spiritu­all marke, wherby he is de­signed to offer vnto God sa­crifice in the Masse. For de­claration whereof we are to remember, that mankind being lost by the fall of their first Father, God out of the bowels of his inestimable mercy resolued to repayre the losse, by making men able to offer vnto God a sa­crifice of such value, as might euen in rigour of iustice re­quire pardon of their sinns, reconciliation with God, the bestowing of grace and fauour, as much as they [Page 79] should neede; that so they might seeme to haue deser­ued their pardō, as they were lost by their owne fault.

This was an inuention of infinite wisedome; but in all mankind, yea within the cōpasse of all created things, there was no possibility to offer such a sacrifice. For, sinne against God conclu­ding within it selfe demerit and malice, in manner infi­nite, it was requisite, that the Sacrifice for the Redēp­tion of sinne, should be of infinit worth and value, which was not to be found [Page 80] in the whole vniuerse of creatures, much lesse with­in the boundes of only mankind, who were all by sinne enemyes of God. To ouercome these many diffi­culties and impossibilities, Gods infinite wisedome and goodnes, inclining him from the beginning to loue men, (loue being the master of strange deuises) soūd out a wonderfull way and stra­tageme, so strange that the like was neuer seene in the world, & euen the very Se­raphims were put into ad­miratiō therof. For in the su­preme [Page 81] Court of the most Blessed Trinity, it is resol­ued, that the Word of God and his only begotten Son­ne should become Man, that being made partaker of the nature of men, their losses & their restitution might con­cerne him as their kinsman, and brother of them all. Hence flowed an obligati­on in him to be the Priest & Sollicitour generall, of all humā kind & their surety, ta­king vpō him their debts, & their discharge by offering a propitiatory sacrifice vnto God. This sacrifice, being [Page 82] offered by a man of the sa­me nature as are the rest, was a true and proper sacrifi­ce, & might be of merit and satisfaction, specially being offered by the party indebted & engaged, or by his agēt & surety. And on the otherside, the person offering the sacri­fice, being the true God, (for this neuer ceased nor could cease to be) the sacrifice came to be of infinite value and merit, to reconcile men vn­to God, and to satisfy for their sinnes, and to obtayne whatsoeuer their manifold necessityes might require.

[Page 83]And as the Priest was of so supreme dignity, the true and naturall Sonne of God, & the cause of offering sacri­fice so mayne, and of such high importance, it was reason also, that the Victime to be sacrificed, should also corresponde and haue pro­portion heereunto. This proportion was not found in any creature existing, nor in any that could be made creatures, being inferiour & without any comparison or proportiō vnto the dignity of Christ the Priest. And so it was conuenient that this [Page 84] Priest should offer no o­ther Oblation or victime, besides his owne human flesh, taken of man, which as being vnited personally vnto the Eternall Word, without any cōparison, ex­ceedes all creatures, & being true nature of man, mortall & passible as others are, was very fit to be offered in sacri­fice, as S. Augustine obser­ueth in these wordes.l. 4. de Trin. c. 14. What Priest more iust and holy then the Sonne of God? What could be more conueniently offered for men, & by men, thē flesh? & what thing more fit, and apt to be sa­crificed [Page 85] or immolated then mor­tall flesh? What thing more cleane could be giuen for the cleansing of sinne, then the Flesh of God borne of the Virginall wombe? And what gift could be more gratefully eyther offered or recea­ued, then the flesh of our sacri­fice, made the body of our Priest.

This was the counsell & designe of the Diuine Wise­dome, so much lōging, and so entirely wishing the deli­uery of mankind. And the Son of God straight accep­ted of this office and Priest­hood, & tooke to his charge the Redemption of men, [Page 86] and to offer himself in sacri­fice for them. And from that instant he offered vnto his e­ternall Father all that which in due subsequent tyme he was to performe or suffer for men: which oblation was so pleasing in the sight of the eternall Father, that euē thē straight he pardoned the sinnes of men, and receaued them into his friendshipp, bestowing on them great benefits and fauours, all in trust, and in the vertue of that sacrifice which was to be offered for them: a sacri­fice already offered and ac­cepted [Page 87] in the aforeseing knowledge and goodnes of God. And though it be a most certayne truth, that all the fauours God shewed vnto men were shewed thē in trust, and confidence of that sacrifice that was in the end to be offered for them, yet his Diuine Maiesty was pleased to require of men for the receauing of these graces, that thēselues should still be offering pledges and pawnes, that at the time ap­pointed the full and suffici­ent price of their ramsome should be payed. This was [Page 88] the cause of the sacrificing of bruite beasts, and other thinges vnto God, which were figures and representa­tions of this most Diuine sacrifice, and a kind of pro­testatiō, that all these fauours they receaued vpon trust & confidence thereof.

Hence came it to passe that iust & holy men by the instinct of God, euen frō the beginning of the world, still offered him sacrifices, as did the Innocēt Abel of the best & fattest of his flocke,Gen 4. whose sacrifice God approued, shewing his approbation thereof [Page 89] by a visible signe, sēding frō heauen fire that consumed the same,In qq. Hebra. as S. Hierome wri­teth. Afterward the iust Noe, the great continuing storme of the vniuersall floud being blowne ouer, built an Aultar & offered thereon a sacrifice of the cleane beasts that had been preserued in the Arke. The sacred Text sayth, that God was pleased with the sweet odour of the sacrifice, & that thereupon he promi­sed by oath, neuer more to destroy the world by water, and that in testimony therof he would place his rayne­bow [Page 90] vpon the Cloudes, for the comfort of men, and their assurance that God was still mindfull of his promise. After this agayne, Noe his Sonne the Great Priest Mel­chisedech offered the myste­rious sacrifice of bread and wine, as also the great Pa­triarch Abraham, Noe his Nephew in the eight degree of descent from him, is read to haue made Aultars, & of­fered sacrifices in diuers pla­ces. So likewise did Isaac, Ia­cob, the iust & patient Iob, & other Saynts. In the law of Moyses giuen him ime­diatly [Page 91] of God, the greatest part thereof contaynes the ceremonies and manners of offering sacrifices, which without question were ac­ceptable vnto God, not in respect of what they were in themselues, but as they were figures, and represen­tations of that true and most excellent Sacrifice, that was to be offered by his only be­gotten Sonne. For this rea­son the Law so often re­peates, that her Sacrifices were a most sweet odour vn­to God, certainly not for their owne naturall odour which [Page 92] rather was stronge & noy­some, as proceeding frō the bloud and entralls of brute beasts, but because they figu­red and represēted the sacri­fice of his only begottē Son, of whome S. Paul sayth, That he loued vs, Ephes. 5.2. and gaue him­selfe for vs an oblation vnto God, and a sacrifice of sweet odour.

Whē the time of grace was come,Gal. 4. which S. Paul fit­ly tearmes the perfection of the Law, and Christ now had offered that most Diuine Sacrifice of the Crosse, and thereon built, and esta­blished his Church, it was [Page 93] not decēt that this most per­fect Religious Common­wealth should want proper sacrifices to giue honour and worship vnto God. Nor was it cōuenient or sutable with the dignity of the new Te­stament to offer the aunciēt Sacrifices, seing these were but figures of what now was put in execution: and truth being come, the figure was to cease. Therefore Christ Iesus our Lord the day before he offered this blou­dy Sacrifice vpon the Aul­tar of the Crosse, in his last supper with his Disciples, [Page 94] doing the office of the true Priest, according to the or­der of Melchisedech,Sess. 2. c. 1. (as the Councell of Trent noteth,) ordained, that perpetually in his Church should be offe­red the same sacrifice he was to offer on the Crosse; not­withstanding he would not haue this perpetuall sacrifice bloudy, nor with those fits and accidents of death, but vnbloudy vnder the formes, and accidents of bread and wine, yet in such māner that in substance and in essence it should be the very same. And to the [Page 95] end that the defects and vn­worthynes of Priests might not preiudice in any kind, or diminish the value and dignity of a sacrifice so high and Diuine, he would him­selfs still remayne with the office and stile of eternall Priest, really, and in truth sacrificing, by himselfe, as principal Priest, other Priests being but his instruments, performing the exteriour ministery: and this is that we do, in the Masse, offer vnto the eternall Father, as Ministers of Christ, the same sacrifice his sonne offered on [Page 96] the Crosse. And in saying, We offer the same sacrifices, we say a world of magnifi­cēces, dignities & excellēcies. For being the same, it must needs haue the same vertue, the same value, the same sufficiency, the same merit, as it then had, & other innu­merable honours worthy of much consideration.

Now that the Masse is the same sacrifice really & essen­tially, is a truth most certaine seing the same victime is of­fered, the same Priest is the principall offerent, the same God vnto whome it is offe­red, [Page 97] and the same reason of offering, as the Councell of Trent defineth, only the manner of offering being different,Sess. 22. c. 2. that of the Crosse being bloudy, and with the extremities of death, this vnbloudy couered with the externalls of bread & wine, without woundes or sores, or accidents of mortality. To this purpose pertaine the wordes of S. Ambrose, saying,Super Hebra. c. 10. One and the same is our sacri­fice with that Christ offered. For he is our High-Priest who offered the cleansing victime for vs; the same we offer now that was of­fered [Page 98] then. Do this (sayth he) in remēbrance, not another sacrifice, as did the Priests in the old Law, but the same we still offer.Homil. 2. in 2. Tim. And S Chryso­stome, The sacred Oblation what Priest soeuer offers, it is still the same with that Christ gaue his Disciples: neyther hath this any thing lesse then that had. For men do not sanctify this Victime, but Christ himself: who conse­crated that, doth in lyke manner sanctify this: which are wor­des of great comfort, and worthy of the noting. And for this reason S. Paul affir­mes so many tymes in his [Page 99] Epistle to the Hebrews, that we haue not in the Church, and that we haue no other sacrifice, besides that which Christ offered on the Crosse. And it is the truth, that that sacrifice was most sufficient, and that we neyther need nor haue any other, but the same sacrifice we daily re­peate and renew on the sa­cred Aultar, for a continu­all memoriall and thankes­giuing as our Lord himself ordayned, to the end that the vertue of that most suf­ficient sacrifice, may be in particular, with efficacity, [Page 100] applyed to euery one, as the Councell of Trēt faith, That the holesome vertue thereof be imployed, Sess. 22. c. 1. & applyed for the remis­sion of such sinnes as we dayly commit.

That the sacrifice of the Masse, hath all the titles and reasons for which sacrifices are offe­red vnto God. CHAP. VI.

THAT we may better vnderstand the dignity and excellency of the Masse, we must note, that besides the reason alleadged, why [Page 101] men did aunciently offer sacrifices vnto God, to wit, to figure and represent the true & most perfect sacrifice that was to be offered for the redemption of mankind, in which reasō the Masse with­out comparison, surpasseth them all, as being not a meere representation, but to the very workes of our re­demption mystically perfor­med, as hath been sayd. Be­sides this reason (I say) there were many other, binding men euen by the law of Na­ture to offer sacrifices vnto God, as they were taught [Page 102] by the very instinct of the light of naturall reasō, as al­so by the speciall inspiratiō & releuation made to some iust and holy men. Which reasons gathered out of S. Thomas, 1.2. q. 102. & 2.2. q. 85. and other graue Au­thours though in themselues they be many, yet they may be reduced vnto fower.

The first, to acknowledge and professe the Maiesty, so­ueraignty, and Excellency of God, and the supreme ab­solute Dominion he hath o­uer all, as being the Crea­tour and vniuersall Lord of all, and to pay him the tri­bute [Page 103] of honour and venera­tion, due vnto him for these respects: This is the highest and most perfect reason of offering sacrifices vnto God, which only regardes him, according to that he is in himself, and for this respect is due to him all honour and veneration, that creatures can possibly yield. And for the satisfying of this reason was instituted peculiarly that kind of sacrifice tearm­ed Holocauste, in which some brute beast was offe­red, burnt & consumed with fyre, wholly & entirely, no­thing [Page 104] remayning therof, to signify that whatsoeuer a creature is, all is due vnto God, and all to be offered for his honour and glory.

And if God would vse his vttermost rigour, & not regard men with a louing and gratious eye, he might most iustly chalēg that they should offer him in sacrifice their very liues, or the liues of their deerest children, or other things (if they haue a­ny) more deare and pretious vnto thē. For this cause he commanded in his law, that to him should be offered [Page 105] all the first begotten of man or beast, in acknow­ledgment that he is Lord of all, and the best and most beloued thing is due vnto him,Exod. 13 Gen. 12. often repeating this rea­son thereof, Mea enim sunt omnia: For all is mine. Thus he charged his friend Abraham to offer in holocaust his on­ly Sonne, whome he loued as his owne soule, yet being satisfied with the prompti­tude of his obedience, and readines to offer euen his owne life, if had God made request thereof, he procured him a Ramme, to be offered [Page 106] in liew of his Sonne. And with his people, he was contented with that com­plement and ceremony of offering their first begotten Sonnes, with protestation that they were Gods and due vnto him, and his Ma­iesty tooke possession of them and receaued them as his owne, but straight re­stored them backe againe to their parents, neuer permit­ting that in effect any humā person should be sacrificed vnto him. Only God gaue his consent, that in his only begotten Sonne, this rigour [Page 107] should be vsed of being offe­red in sacrifice, because he alone did suffice for all, as being the first begotten of all creatures. On the other side, the Diuell, as being proud and ambitious of Di­uine worshipp, and a cruel enemy of mankind, requi­red of people, deceaued and brought vnder his tyranny, that they should adore him by sacrificing & massacring their sonnes and daughters vnto him, as also they did in effect sacrifice a great multi­tude of Innocent Infants vnto their Idols, according [Page 108] to that of the Prophet Dauid They did immolate their sonnes and daughters vnto the Diuells & spilt innocent bloud.

The second reason or ti­tle, that men should offer Sacrifice vnto God, is, to giue them thanks for the fa­uours he doth them, and to acknowledge that all good thinges come from him, and in gratitude and in place of tribute, to giue him some part of these goods, as Sa­lomon, What from thy hand we receaued, we haue offered vnto thee, and this kind of sacri­fice is tearmed pacificall and [Page 109] sacrifice of prayse, and of thankesgiuing. In this sacri­fice though the beast were wholly offered vnto God, yet all was not burnt, but only the fatt and entralls, & the remaynder was for the foode of the Priest, and of the Officers, to signify here­by, that the goods which GOD giues vs, he will haue vs offer them vp to him, referring all to his glory, with a good hart & inward content; and that the rest be for vs, and for our profit.

The third reason is satis­satisfactiō [Page 110] for sinnes, which is called propitiatory Sacri­fice, or sacrifice for sinne, or for offences. This kind of sacrifices were very ordina­ry in the old Law, where are set downe peculiar sacri­fices for euery sinne, which are ordayned, and recorded at large in the booke of Le­uiticus.

The fourth title and rea­son of offering Sacrifice is, to request, and obtayne of God the fauours and bene­fits we stande in need off. For euē God is of this dispo­sition, that with him gifts [Page 111] and offerings are of great importance and force to pur­chase vs the graces, for which we are suppliāts vn­to him. And this sacrifice is tearmed Impetratory, or Vi­ctime of saluation.

Now if all this that hath been sayd, be well conside­red, and put by meditation togeather, it will most eui­dently appeare, that this most holy Sacrifice we offer in the new Testament, hath incomparable dignityes, & vnspeakable eminencies aboue all the Sacrifices that aunciētly were offered. For [Page 112] in this only sacrifice, with great aduantage and excel­lencies, concurre the former fower reasons and tytles, & innumerable other that may be called to minde, as the holy Church iudgeth and signifyeth in one of her col­lects or Oraisons saying: O Lord that by the perfection of one Sacrifice hast fully established & set downe vnto vs all the differen­ces of the legall Victimes. And so we shall more largely & perfectly declare how fully the fower afore-mentioned reasons agree vnto our Sa­crifices.

That the Masse is a most perfect Holocauste. CHAP. VII.

AS cōcerning the first ti­tle, of acknowledging the Maiesty and greatnes of God, what Holocauste, to professe and signifye the same, could there be offered more full and complete thē this, wherein is sacrificed the first begotten of all creatures, whose life alone, is of more esteeme without comparison then all the cre­atures ioyned together. And [Page 114] so by this sacrifice we pro­test, and acknowledge the Maiesty, magnificence, and dignity of our God to be so great, that no lesse is due vnto him then a sacrifice of infinit worthynes & value. The Prophet Isaias, did much exaggerate and mag­nify the Maiesty of God, in saying, that all the Nations of the world are before him as a dropp of morning dew, and as the smalest grayne of weight, put into the bal­lance, to counterpoise the cōtrary scale; yea that before him they are as if they were [Page 115] not. And that so great is his worthynes, as that to offer a sacrifice answerable vnto his greatnes, all the flocks of sheep and heardes of cat­tle that feed on the Mount Libanus would not be suffi­cient to make such an Ho­locaust, nor all the trees that grow thereon able to make fyre great inough to con­sume the same,Esa. 40 Libanus non sufficiet ad succendendum, & animalia eius non sufficient ad Holocaustum. The Prophet sayd much, yet without falshood he might haue sayd more, that the whole world [Page 116] and what soeuer is compre­hended therein, would not be sufficient for this end; though all men should offer their liues in sacrifice, though with mē the Angels of Heauē should enter into the Sacrifice, though all cre­atures ioyning togeather should consume themselues in one Holocaust; yet this would not be condigne, yea this would be much short of Gods greatnes and Ma­iesty.

Wherefore we may here­in euer admire the wyse­dome, goodnes, and power [Page 117] of Christ Iesus shining in this mystery, that could deuise, was able to effect, willing to giue, and indeed hath gi­uen vnto his Church such a sacrifice, as hath not only a conformity or proportion, but also equality with Gods greatnes and Maiesty: so that with truth we may af­firme that we offer a sacrifice as good, and as excellent as euen infinite Excellēcy de­serues. And this is also ano­ther dignity, this Sacrifice hath, to magnify God, be­cause therein we make a most high protestation of [Page 118] his infinit power, wisedome & goodnes, the three more principall Diuine attributes vnto which the rest are re­duced. Gods power and su­preme Lordship ouer all creatures we professe, in this Sacrifice, by belieuing that all, without contradi­ction, obey his worde and will, and that he may at his pleasure dispose of all both in Heauen and in earth; se­ing at the only signification of his will, the substance of bread, is changed into the body of Christ, and the sub­stance of wine into his pre­cious [Page 119] Bloud, the accidents which naturally are still in some substance, and haue an essentiall relation therunto, remayne by themselues sin­gle, without any substance wherein they inhere, as if themselues were substance. The body lykewise of our Sauiour, exalted vnto the Empyreall Heauen, aboue all creatures, garnished roūd about with immense glory puts it self, (by the power of Gods word commanded) vnder the accidents of bread to be eaten of the faythfull.

The Diuine Wisedome [Page 120] lykewise wōderfully shew­ed it selfe, in inuenting a most full and conuenient way, how to cōpasse things most difficile, & in the iudg­ment both of men and An­gels impossible. This inuen­tion is, that the whole of­spring of mē being in sinne, and enemies of God, a mā of this stock, should be foūd to offer vnto God a sacrifice so gratefull and acceptable, that euen in rigour of iustice the same deserues: the re­demption of man togeather yieldes vnto God the whole worship and reuerence that [Page 121] is due to him with great ad­uantage and excesse, repay­ring the losses incurred by sinne, so many reasons of profit & conueniency con­curring therin, that they can neyther be declared, nor imagined.

Now it seemes that the goodnes of God cannot pre­sent vnto men greater de­monstrations of it selfe. For the nature of goodnes being to communicate it self, who can imagine, a more full communication, or a more straite vnion then this is, where God made man vn­der [Page 122] the formes of bread and wine, giues himselfe to be eaten of all men, and of euery one in particular shutting vp himselfe within their breasts, vnited vnto them as perfectly and in­wardly, as meate is conioy­ned with the person that feedes theron.

So that we may now well conclude, that the Masse is a most perfect holo­caust, and that therein in highest māner we acknow­ledge our Creatours most soueraigne infinite Maiesty, with the rest of his Diuine [Page 123] excellencyes, and yield him the honour and worship that is his due.

That the Masse is a most perfect Sacrifice of Thankes-giuing. CHAP. VIII.

AS touching the second reason of sacrificing, to wit, thereby to giue thankes vnto God for his benefits done vs, it is apparant with what eminency thankes are giuen vnto God by this our most holy Sacrifice, aboue all other that haue been at any tyme offered in the [Page 124] world. For in other sacri­fices, howsoeuer great and precious the oblatiōs were, yet mē did not offer all that they had, but only a small portion, reseruing the farre greater part for themselues: as Iacob sayd in his Vow vnto God, I will offer thee the tithes, or the tēth part of all the things that thou shalt giue me. What great thing is it, that a man, vnto him that giues all, returne backe agayne the tenth part therof by way of gratitude, retay­ning nyne partes for him­selfe? wherfore this kind of [Page 125] gratitude, is more esteemed by the inward affection of thākesgiuing, in tokē wher­of the Sacrifice is offered, thē by the value and sufficiency of the gift. But in our most Diuine Sacrifice we offer a thing, of farre greater price, thē is all that which he hath giuen vs, because we offer him his very Son, whome also he gaue vs that we might offer him, and by this oblation repay whatsoeuer we owe him, seing he doth no lesse discharge the debt that payeth it by that which is freely giuen him, then he [Page 126] who payeth it out of his owne stocke.

And if respect be had vn­to the inward affection, it is certayne, that the gratitu­de of all creatures put togea­ther is lesse then the benefits they receaued of God; to supply which defect we of­fer the affection & the gra­titude of our Lord Iesus Christ. For he knowing our insufficiēcy in this behalfe, himselfe gaue thankes vn­to his Father for all the be­nefits done vs, & particular­ly for the gracious gift of this most soueragne Sacrament, [Page 127] when he tooke the bread into his handes to consecrate the same, he did as the Euan­gelists write, lift vp his eyes vnto heauen & gaue than­kes vnto his Father, hereby preuenting and by anticipa­tion, making recompense for the want and default of our gratitude. And as often as we celebrate, we repeate this action of our Sauiour, & when we take the bread into our handes we say of him, He tooke the bread, lif­ting vp his eyes vnto Heauen, and giuing thankes, as if we sayd vnto the Eternall Father, [Page 128] that if we be not sufficient to giue him worthy thankes for this soueragne mystery, that he remēber his Sonne our Lord, who rendred vn­to him most perfect thākes, in the name of vs all; & that he receaue these thankes of his Sonne, to supply the defect of ours, who for this reason offer him this sacri­fice, because it contaynes all that is due to him: and for this cause it is called Eucha­rist, or Sacrifice of the Eucha­rist, that is to say, of thankes­giuing.

That the Masse is a most perfect Sacrifice of Propitiation for sinne. CHAP. IX.

AS concerning the third Title of Satisfaction for sinne, the difference is per­spicuous betwixt the aunci­ent Sacrifices and this, be­cause they were not suffi­cient to satisfy for one only sinne, as the Apostle Saint Paul many tymes affirmeth, specially in his Epistle to the Hebrews, where he sayth, that it is impossible [Page 130] that by the bloud of bulls or goates sinne should be abo­lished. And in the same Chapter he writes to the same effect, Euery Priest is occupied in offering againe & againe the same Victimes or Sacrifices; but this Priest (Christ Iesus) hauing offe­red one Sacrifice sits for e­uer at the right-hād of God. For this respect the same Apostle calleth them many tymes weake sacrifices, im­potent and defectuous, In­firma & egena elementa. And not only this is so, but also all creatures put togeather [Page 131] are not able of themselues to satisfy for one only sinne: whereas our great High-Priest Christ Iesus, by one only Sacrifice satisfyed for all the sinnes of the world, and of a thousand worldes were there so many: & this satisfaction is not only suf­ficient, but also abundant, not only equiualent and e­quall, but also obtaying par­don euen in rigour of iustice as is the most common true Doctrine of the Theologers: for (as S. Paul sayth) Vna oblatione consummauit in aeter­num sanctificatos, by one O­blation [Page 132] he consummated for euer the sanctification of men; which most sufficient, & superabundant satisfaction, he applyes efficaciously vnto vs, as often as we do offer the most holy Sacrifice of the Masse. This is the reason that the most holy Councel of Trent defines, that this sa­crifice is truly propitiatory: be­cause God by this Oblatiō appea­sed, by granting the grace and gift of Pennance, pardons mayne and heynous crimes. Hence it is, that a most graue & Deuout Authour affirmes, that a man hauing committed ma­ny [Page 133] & most grieuous sinnes, by one only Masse, which he should say, with the con­uenient disposition, if there be no default on his part, might be as perfectly freed frō them all, by vertue of the sacrifice, as he was before he sinned: so that he might strayght enter into Heauen without any impediment. And herein he vtters a most certayne Truth, because the vertue and efficacy of the Sacrifice, as for within it selfe, hath no limitation nor any measure, but that which the meannesse of mans dis­position [Page 134] giues vnto it.

Wherfore the holy Coū ­cell of Trent sayth absolut­ly, and without restraint, that by the vertue of this Diuine Sacrifice, all our sinnes are pardoned how heynous soeuer. In the for­me of consecration Christ lykewise sayth, and we re­peate the same dayly in his name, That this is the Bloud of the new Testamēt, which was shed and offered for the remission & pardon of sins: and Pope Iulius, Decret. d. 2. c. Cùm omne. as Gratian re­lates, sayth: Omne crimen at­que peccatum oblatis Deo sacrifi­cijs [Page 135] deletur, that euery sinne and crime is cancelled by the oblation of Sacrifice vn­to God.Greg. 4. Dial. c. 5. [...]. S. Gregory in his Di­alogues writes in this man­ner: This Victime, doth singularly saue the soule frō eternall destruction, which mystically represents vnto vs the death of Gods only begotten Sonne. And in another place the same holy Doctour reportes of a man that was captiue in the han­des of his enemies lodē with fetters & yrons, whose wife hearing no newes of him, and therefore belieuing him [Page 136] to be departed this life, cau­sed euery weeke vpon a cer­tayne day Masse to be sayd for him. And as often as the Sacrifice of the Masse was offered on that day, the fet­ters and yrons fell off from him, and he remayned free for them, to his great ad­miration, he not knowing the cause of so great a won­der, vntill retourning into his Countrey, and relating this strange thing, he found by conferring togeather the dayes and houres, that it was the very time that Masse was sayd for him. Hence the [Page 137] holy Doctour inferres, what greate force and efficacy is in this most Diuine Sacrifice, to release men from the spi­rituall fetters of sin, wherin was so great strength to vn­doe and breake the chaynes of the body. The auncient formes of Masse deliuer the same truth: that of S. Iames, speaking with GOD, thus prayeth, that the sinnes we haue committed may be a­bolished; that thou, o Lord, be propitious and mercifull vnto thy people; that by the Oblation of this gratious & Diuine Sacrifice, we may [Page 138] be held worthy of eternall life. The Masse of S. Basil sayth: Let this Sacrifice be acceptable for our sinnes, & for the ignorances of the people. S. Chrysostomes: Make vs worthy to offer the gifts, and this speciall Sacrifice for our sinnes, & grant that we may find fauour in thy sight. And now in the Canon of the Masse we say, that we offer this Sacrifice, for the Re­demption of our Soules.

That the Masse is a most efficaci­ous Sacrifice to obtayne what­soeuer we demand. CHAP. X.

AS cōcerning the fourth title, and reason of of­fering Sacrifices, to the end to obtayne of God, that which we demaund, it is cleere, that our Sacrifice doth farre excell all other. For if the offering vnto God of a lambe, or kidd, or some other bruite creature, was so efficacious a meanes, to obtayne the thing desired, [Page 140] and therefore such kind of Sacrifices were ordinarily offered; how much greater efficacy is there in the offe­ring vnto him, his very Son with the whole treasure of his merits? Without doubt this is greater beyond cōpa­risō. If God made such pro­mises vnto Abrahā, cōfirmed by Oath to do fauours vnto him, and to all his posterity, only in regard of the will he had to sacrifice his Sonne; what benefits, and graces will he bestow on thē that offer and sacrifice vnto him, really & truly, his only be­gottē [Page 141] Sonne? what fauours will he not grant? what can one aske with such a present that he will not giue? with reason we may heere vse the wordes of the Apostle Saint Paul: He that spared not his only Sonne, but gaue him for vs all, how can it be, that he hath not giuen vs all togeather with him? Or how can he deny vs any thing that we can aske?

If the Lawes both human and Diuine, so strictly pro­hibite vnto Iudges, and Princes (whose office is to gouerne the affayres of the [Page 142] Commō-wealth, & to pro­nounce sentence in cases of difference) to receaue gifts or presents, because re­ceauing them they remaine euen in nature obliged to requite them, and to gratify such as gaue them, so that it seemes impossible that they should not fauour them; why may we not presume that God is in a certaine mā ­ner bound to do vs fauours, hauing receaued of vs a gift so great and precious as we offer him in the Masse? And if the Prouerbe, that Gifts breake rocks, be true, as expe­riēce [Page 143] shewes it is, there being no hart so hard, which pre­sents do not make relent & yield vnto the giuer; how can we thinke that God ha­uing an hart, not of stone, nor hard, but most sweet louing, mercifull, & inclined to do vs fauours, will for­beare to do vs any thing we shall request, hauing taken of vs such a rich gift as we present him in our sacrifice? Certayne it is, that the holy Sacrifice of the Masse is a most efficacious meanes to obtayne of God, all that we desire, so that the Church [Page 144] did euer vse to say Masses, to aske of God Health, Peace prosperity, & other benefits generall, and particular, as well corporall as spirituall, neither need I stay lōger in prouing so cleere and recea­ued a truth.

Wherefore I will only here set downe a most pru­dent and pious consideratiō of a graue and learned Di­uine of our age, most true, & conformable both vnto Theology & holy scripture. This is, that Christ our Lord now in Heauen though he be not in the state to merit [Page 145] or satisfy for vs a new, yet he is in a state where he may pray and make intercession for mē, as in verity he doth,Suare 8▪ Tom. 3. in 3. p. Disp. 79. sect. 2. according as the Apostle doth witnesse, that he doth pleade for vs, Rom. [...] Hebr. 6. and at the iudg­ment seate of God is our sol­licitour, and as S. Iohn sayth,1. Ioa. 2. We haue an Aduocate vnto God the Father, Christ Iesus the Iust. Hereupon this learned Au­thour sayth, that it is a thing very credible & likely, that Christ our Lord, as often as the Sacrifice of the Masse is offered, doth intercede and pray for them that offer it, [Page 146] and also for thē for whome it is offered. A consideration most true: For seing it is most certayne, that Christ our Lord doth actually and in truth exercise the office of our Priest and Aduocate, seing also that the proper office of Priest is to pray & intercede for the people, we may rest in this persuasion without any doubt, that our Lord being in all his actiōs most perfect, will complet­ly performe this office, not only by offering the Sacri­fice particularly for them, for whome it is offered, [Page 147] whereof there is no questiō, but also by praying & inter­ceding actually for thē, that they may obtaine what they request and desire, if the same agree with their Sal­uation, and Gods glory.

And it may seeme that the Apostle S. Paul, in his Epi­stle to the Hebrews, doth signify, or insinuate this truth, where treating of the Eternall Priest-hood of Christ, he sayth, That he can saue for euer them, that by him haue accesse vnto God, who liues euer to in­tercede and pleade for vs: [Page 148] and thereupon he straight addeth, It was conuenient that we should haue such an High-Priest. Heb. 7. Where he seemes to conioyne praying and in­terceding for vs, with the office of Priesthood, signi­fying that to discharge that duty perfectly it is necessary that he pray, and intercede for them that are vnder his charge, and more particu­larly for them for whome he offers his Sacrifice: which thing is no wayes inconue­nient in Christ, but very a­greeing with reason, as the Venerable Father Dionysius [Page 149] Carthusianus notes in his de­claration of this speech of the Apostle, Qui etiam inter­pellat pro nobis. Which also is the Doctrine of that great Saint Laurēce Patriarch, who wrytes thus in a certayne Sermon. When Christ is sacri­ficed vpon the Aultar, our sayd Redeemer cryeth for vs vnto his Father, shewing the sacred marks of his Woundes, to saue men from eternall punishments by his intercession.

This being so (as I do firmely belieue it is) what a soueraigne and excellent thing, and full of reuerence [Page 150] and veneration is the holy Sacrifice of the Masse? If we do highly esteeme that some Saints in Heauen pray par­ticularly & actually for vs, or some person liuing vpon earth whome we know to be vertuous & in singular fa­uour with God; how much more ought we to prize the only Son of God his pray­ing and intercession for vs vnto his eternall Father? Out of all which it is suffici­ently proued, that this one Sacrifice of the new Testa­ment contaynes in it, most excellētly, & with great ex­cesse [Page 151] all the perfection, san­ctity, and efficacy of all the Sacrifices of the old, as the same afornamed Saint doth elegātly & briefly set down in these words. It is cleere that no Sacrifice can be offered more acceptable vnto God, eyther to giue him honour, or to render him thankes, or to obtayne pardon, or to deserue glory, then the most holy Sacrifice of the Body, and Bloud of Christ.

The Masse is the thing most Ve­nerable, that is in the Church. CHAP. XI.

OVT of that which hath byn sayd we may cō ­clude, that the Masse is a thing of greater reuerence, grauity and sanctity then a­ny other in the Catholicke Church, there being no­thing eyther equall or com­parable to it. So that ney­ther the Benediction of the Agnus Dei, which the Pope doth with so great solem­nity, nor the Consecration [Page 153] of a Bishop, which with so many graue, and solemne ceremonyes is performed, all which of necessity three Bi­shops are to present, besides him that is consecrated; nor the Dedicatiō of a Church, nor any other thing, done with the greatest and solem­nest Rites, none of these thinges are comparable for Reuerence, Grauity & San­ctity with the Masse. This is the reason that the Saints adorne this Sacrifice with so many choice & exquisite Epiphets and tearmes, cal­ling it a Mystery, Dreadfull, [Page 154] Terrible, Diuine, Deificall, Sacro-saynt, full of Diuini­ty, Honorable, Supreme, Singular, and other such Names, that euery where occurre in the writings of the Holy Fathers. Out of whome omitting many ve­ry excellent thinges which they say of the dignity of the Masse, I will only set down two or three short sentēces, which to me seeme most notable.

S. Chrysostome writes, that being present at Masse, we must not imagine we are vpon earth, but that we are [Page 155] carryed vp into Heauen, & that we are seated amongst the Quires of Angels, and Seraphims. His wordes are these.Chry. l. 3. de Sacerd. When thou doest behold our Lord sacrificed, the Priest performing his office therin, and the people bedewed, and as it were grained and purpled with his pre­tious Bloud, do not thinke that thou art amongst men, nor that thou dost abide vpon earth, but rather that thou art transtated into Heauen: and so casting a­way all carnall imaginations and earthly thoughts, with a pure minde contemplate the things of that Celestiall Court. Oh Mi­racle! [Page 156] Oh Benignity of God! who sitting aloft with the Father, at the same tyme is taken into the handes of men, and giues himselfe vnto such as will receaue him. To the same purpose S. Gregory wryteth in this sort. What Christian can doubt but that in the tyme of Consecra­tion, the Heauens open at the voyce of the Priest; and at this very Mysterie of Christ Iesus, the Quires of Angels assist; Earth is conioyned with Heauen; this wale of teares with the pallace of Blisse; and that visible and in­uisible things meete togeather in one. A wonderfull, dread­full, [Page 157] & venerable thing, that at the voyce of a Priest the Heauens should open, that the glorious Court should come down vnto earth, that with the Faythfull of the Militant Church, though poore and sinfull, the Tri­umphant Church should ioyne, the King of glory and his Courtiers descēding, so that of Heauen and earth is made one Company and Church. What thinge of greater veneration or more strange, then that when the Priest is at the Aultar, many millions of Angells kneele [Page 158] with greate reuerence about the same, adoring the most holy Sacrifice, & the handes of the Priest that holds it; acknowledging his dignity in this regard to be greater then theirs, seeing to none of them such power and au­thority was euer giuē; pray­sing our Lord, giuing him the thankes, which wee through our grosnes do not render vnto him; and sup­plying other defects which we in this duty commit. Oh holy Angels, how often am I ashamed, & do I blush to consider that you are pre­sent, [Page 159] seeing you shall be at the day of Iudgment wit­nesses of our vngratitude & rudenes, that God hauing placed vs in so high a state of honour, we do neyther know it, nor esteeme it, nor exercise it with the de­cency and reuerence that is due.

In fine, that quires of An­gells assist at the time that Masse is sayd, is a most setled and receaued doctrine of the Saynts, namely of S. Ambrose in his Bookes written of the dignity of Priest-hood. And S. Chrysost. deposeth to haue [Page 160] heard the same of venerable and holy men, to whome God granted the fauour to see this, euen with corporall eyes. S. Cyrill in the life of S. Euthimius relates of him, that at the tyme when he sayd Masse, he saw An­gels assisting about the Aul­tar, some ministring vnto the Priest, some prostrate adoring the Sacrament, and all shewing great reuerēce. And the Apostle S. Paul may seeme to insinuate this thing making a comparison and differēce betweene the My­steries of the old Testament, [Page 161] and these of the new, and betweene the Maiesty wher­with God descended to giue the Law on the Mount Sina, & that Maiesty wher­with now he comes downe vpon the holy Aultar in an inuisible manner, he sayth thus. You are come not vnto a Mountayne, that is felt with the handes, nor vnto a fire which is seene with the eyes, nor vnto stormes and mystes, tempests & the sound of trumpets, but you are come to the Mount Sion, and the Citty of the liuing God, and the Heauenly Ierusalem, and vnto the company of many thousand [Page 162] Angels, and vnto the Mediatour of the new Testament Iesus, and the sprinkling of his Bloud, spea­king in better manner then that of Abel. 4. Reg. 4. And without doubt if God should opē our eyes, as he did vnto the seruant of Elizeus, we might there be­hold celestiall Armyes, and we should learne the vene­ration and reuerence wher­with they assist vnto their King and Lord, & perceaue how much they are offēded at our irreuerence and rude­nes.

And to conclude this point, omitting many other [Page 163] sayings of the Saints, con­cerning the veneration and reuerence due to the holy Sacrifice of the Masse, I will only relate the words of the most deuout, learned and e­legant Father Saint Laurence Patriarch of Venice, who wrytes in this manner. There is not any oblation greater, none more profitable, none more ami­able, Serm. de Xpī corpore none more gracious in the sight of the Diuine Maiesty, then the holy Sacrifice of the Masse, which restores honour vnto God, company vnto Angels, Heauen vnto banished men, which cau­seth the worship of Religion, the [Page 164] right of Iustice, the rule of San­ctity, the obedience of the Law, giues Fayth vnto Nations, ioy vnto the World, comfort vnto Be­lieuers, peace vnto People, light vnto the minde, hope vnto them that trauayle, the sight of God vnto them that runne out their race. For by the celebration of these Diuine Mysteries is renewed the memory of the tormēts of our Sauiour, the contumelies he en­dured, the scourges he receaued, the drafts of vinager and gall, the woundes of the nayles and lance. Christ Iesus his assumpted Hu­manity is offered vnto the eternall Father, that he may acknowledge [Page 165] whome he begot, and whome he sent into this world, and by his Mediation grant pardon vnto sin­ners, his hande vnto the lapsed, life vnto the iustified. We may well belieue that at the tyme of this Sacrifice the Heauen is ope­ned, the Angels behold with ad­miration, the Saints singe with ioy, the Iust exult, the Captiues are visited, the fettered are re­leased, Hell mourneth, and the holy Church our Mother reioyceth in spirit. Hence is gathered with what veneration the Priest ought to assist, to whome the office & authority is giuen, to consecrate this Sacrifice, and to intercede [Page 166] and pray for the whole world, who therefore ought to be a louer of Gods honour, religious towardes himself, humble of hart, and full of compassion towards the sinnes of his Neighbours. Wordes worthy of the great spirit of this Saynt, and sufficient to comfort and inflame him that readeth them, and to make him conceaue great respect and reuerence to­wardes the most holy My­stery of the Masse.

That the Masse, is a thing of greatest honour vnto God. CHAP. XII.

SVCH is the Excellency of the MASSE, that the greatest worshipp of Reli­gion and Diuine honour is contayned therein, and the most gratefull vnto God, & that giues him most content of all things that are done, or can be don in the world. Which is auerred by the sa­me most holy Patriarch in these wordes. Verily by no Sa­crifice is God more praysed and [Page 168] honored then by this immaculate Victime of the Aultar, which, to the end that complete worship & perfect prayse might be giuen vn­to God, Christ did institute in his Church, wherein the mysteries and passages of his holy Passion are mystically renewed, so that nothing can be more acceptable vnto God. The truth of this saying is perspicuous by that which we haue shewed before, that in the Masse is offered vnto the eternall Father the Sacrifice of his only begotten Sonne, with the whole treasure of his merits, which without que­stion [Page 169] is a thing of more va­lew and dignity then were a Sacrifice consisting of all creatures put togeather, and by this only Sacrifice more honour and worship is giuē vnto God, then if all crea­tures were offered vnto him at once, and a greater pro­testation of the eminency and Soueraignty of the Di­uine Nature, seeing hereby we acknowledge him wor­thy of a Sacrifice, of infinit perfection, valew, and di­gnity.

And not only this Diuine Sacrifice is more gratefull & [Page 170] acceptable, then any other, but also, to speake with more propriety, nothing is, nor hath euer byn pleasing vnto him but in vertue of this Sacrifice, which is signi­fyed by the speach of the e­ternall Father in the Bap­tisme and transfiguration of his Sonne,Matth. 3. & 17 This is my beloued Sonne, in whome I am well plea­sed, as if he had sayd, He on­ly pleaseth me for himselfe, and all other please me for his sake, and for his merits, and for as much as they be like vnto him, and not in o­ther sort, as the Apostle de­clareth [Page 171] in his Epistle to the Ephesians saying:Ephes. c. 1. He made vs gracious in his beloued Sonne, al the grace we haue of God, stowes as frō the fountayne from that most abundant & copious grace wherwith his most beloued Sonne is gra­tious in his sight. To this ef­fect, the holy Euangelist S. Iohn hauing sayd, That Christ our Lord is full of grace and truth, as the only begotten Sonne of the Father, addeth out of hand, saying, Out of his fulnes haue we all receaued grace for grace. Ioan. [...]. From this plenitude, and height of [Page 172] grace which makes the Sōne gracious vnto the Father, is communicated vnto vs all the grace we haue, without want of any. Yea it is a ge­nerally receaued truth, that al the grace which hath byn giuen, or shall hereafter be giuen, eyther vnto men, or Angels, proceedeth from the grace of Christ; and that no creature hath euer beene, or shall euer be gratious vnto God, but in him & through him. And answerably here­vnto, it is very cleere and certayn, that nothing can be so gratefull and acceptable [Page 173] vnto him, as this Sacrifice wherin Christ himself is of­fered, togeather with all his merits: which truth may be yet further declared in this sort.

If the charity which mē haue had frō the beginning of the world, vnto this day, or shall haue hereafter vntill the consummation thereof, with all their merits, and all the prayse & honour which they haue giuen vnto God, be put togeather; If the tor­ments and sufferings of all the Martyrs, who with such excessiue charity and heroi­call [Page 174] fortitude, offered their liues for the honour of God, if the pious and vertuous ex­ercises of holy Confessours, Patriarchs, Prophets, Mon­kes, Anchorets, Eremits & other who by another kind of Martyrdome, of longer continuance, and in some sorte more painfull and dif­ficult haue crucified & mas­sacred themselues with fa­stings, wearing of hayre­cloth, watchings, pennan­ce, and mortifications: fi­nally if all the vertue and perfection both of men and Angels, be layd togeather [Page 175] in one, yet all this put to­geather doth not please God so much, as doth one only Masse, sayd by the poorest Priest in the world. And to proceede yet further, the charity of the Blessed, is much more perfect & excel­lēt, then that of the greatest Saynt that liueth in the world, because it is charity proceeding from the cleere & perspicuous vision of the Diuine Essence. For this respect our Sauiour hauing extolled the sanctity of the glorious S. Iohn Baptist so farr,Mat. [...] as to say of him amōgst [Page 176] the Sonnes of womē there neuer arose any greater, nor more holy, he strayght ad­ded, Yet the last in the King­dome of Heauen, is greater then he. Now this being so proceeding higher in the forsayd consideration, I say, that though vnto the merits and vertues of all Saints that haue byn, or euer shall be, be added also the charity of the Blessed in Heauen, both of men, Angels, and of the most sacred Virgin Queene of thē all, all these put togeather cannot giue vnto God so much honour, nor so much [Page 177] prayse, nor so much contēt as a Masse doth, offered by any Priest.

And the reason hereof, hath been signifyed be­fore, to wit, that in all, and euery MASSE, Christ our Lord is the principal Priest, who actually makes the o­blation of that Sacrifice: and the proper office & duty of Priesthood is to giue prayse and honour vnto God. So that Christ in euery Masse is the chiefe worshipper and honour of God, & to make amends for our defects, he, as the chiefe and supreme [Page 178] Offerer, giues the thankes, the honour, prayse, and worship that is due vnto him: and most certayne it is, that all creatures put to­geather, cānot yet yield vn­to God so great honour, prayse, and content, as his only Sonne alone can doe. Whence it is consequēt that the Sacrifice of the Masse, aswell in regard of the thing offered, as also in respect of the person that offers: in­comparably exceedes all Religion, worship, and glo­ry which may be rendred vnto God, by all the crea­tures, [Page 179] both of Heauen and earth, that thus Priests may vnderstād what soueraigne treasures and richesse God hath put into their handes, whereby they may supply their wants, & enrich their pouerty. It is great pitty to behold with what facility & carlessenes many depriue themselues of such inestima­ble treasures, only because they will not take a little paynes to prepare themsel­ues, and make pure their consciences.

This most high and no­ble consideration, I find to [Page 180] my great content, in an Au­thour very spirituall & con­templatiue of this age. And because his stile and man­ner of writing makes mee probably iudge,F. Iohn de An­gelis. Tract. 2 of the Spiri­tuall cōflict the 13. Chap. that he re­ceaued that doctrine by spe­ciall inspiration of the holy Ghost, I will set downe his very wordes.

Considering with my selfe many tymes, the most high Mysteries of the holy Masse, and the office which God, out of great loue hath bestowed vpon vs, to con­secrate his most sacred Body and precious Bloud, and [Page 181] handle the same so familiar­ly, and receaue the same in­to our bowells: I haue iud­ged, and do dayly more and more cleerly and assuredly iudge, that the glory and pleasure which the eternall Father receaues, when the Priest offers vnto him, his most beloued Sonne, coue­red and inclosed within the most venerable Sacrament, is so great, that the glory & pleasure which all the Qui­res of Angels, and of the rest of the Blessed in Heauē of­fer him, in comparison here­of is as nothing. For the [Page 182] works of creatures how no­ble & high soeuer that they be, haue no proportiō with the works of the Creatour: and the Priest that offers vn­to the Eternall Father, and vnto the whole most Bles­sed Trinity, the most vene­rable person of the Sonne, in the Sacrament, offers God vnto God, and consequent­ly infinite prayse, infinite glory, infinit content, and finally all goodnes that is, the true and eternall good­nes. And the Angels with the whole celestiall Court, how great soeuer their ser­uices [Page 183] are that they do vnto God, how great soeuer the honours and contentments they yield him, though they continew for all Eternity, yet doe they not offer God vnto God, and consequent­ly all is little or nothing in respect of this most Diuine Oblation, in the which God himselfe is offered.

To this Consideration, another succeedes no lesse excellent then this, of the great fauours that God doth continually bestow vpon men, and the motiues men haue to loue him, and to [Page 184] render him infinit thankes, honour, prayse and con­tentment. Being in this co­gitation, I felt within my selfe a certayne internall voyce, saying, that if I wi­shed and desired this, that then no meanes could be found more fit for that pur­pose, then to receaue in the state of Grace, and with due preparation, the most holy Sacrament of the Aultar: and after that I haue recea­ued and layd hold thereof, hauing it within my breast and in my power, being at is were Maister and owner [Page 185] thereof, to giue and offer it agayne vnto the Eternall Father; retyring my selfe for this end, vnto some quiet place, or recollecting my selfe with quiet of soule, in the place I should find my selfe. This Oblation is to be made with the most in­ward desires of the hart, and with most affectious acts of the will, and with all the humility and reuerence that is possible. For giuing and offering vnto the Eternall Father this gift and oblatiō, infinite glory, prayse, and content is giuen and offered [Page 186] vnto him in regard of the dignity thereof, which ney­ther the Angels of Heauen, nor all the Blessed Saynts, can giue vnto God by any other way.

Hitherto be the words of this Authour, God of his mercy make vs able to vn­derstand them well, that we may practise according­ly.

That the Masse, is a present most gratefull vnto our Saui­ours Humanity, and vnto the most Blessed Virgin. CHAP. XIII.

ANOTHER Excellency of the MASSE that is consequēt out of what hath byn sayd, is, that the Masse is a thing that most pleaseth, & giueth greatest content vnto the most sacred Humanity of our Lord Iesus Christ, and whereby we do him more seruice and honour, then by any other seruice, [Page 188] or seruices that we can do him. This truth is cleere out of the doctrine that hath been set down. For the will of our Sauiour being so v­nited and conforme vnto the will of his Father, he knowing that his Father by this Oblation, receaues so much honour and glory; in lyke sort his Blessed Soule cannot but receaue the same pleasure and content, seing that (as he sayd) euen why­lest he liued in this world, all his pleasure and content was to fulfill the will of his Father.Ioan. 4.

[Page 189]Besides which, there is another speciall reason of this doctrine, to wit, in re­gard of the representation which is made in the Masse, of the Life, Passion, Death, and all the Mysteries of our sayd Lord Iesus Christ. For declaration we must know, that all the Blessed that are in Heauē receaue great ioy, complacence, and content in all the thinges that plea­sed God, and gaue him con­tent in this lyfe, and herein their content is so much the greater, by hovv much the thinges they ioy in, were [Page 190] more gratefull and accepta­ble in God his presence. And this is amongst thē so settled an affection, that any of thē if it were possible, would leaue the glory whereof he is possessed, to do, or suffer the same againe and againe many tymes ouer. The Mar­tyrs reioyce and be glad of their former torments and paynes, the Monkes and He­remits and the rest of the Confessours of their fasts, watchings, Pennances and Mortifications: and they would all haue done and suffered more for God his [Page 191] honour. And seing it is not possible now to returne in­to this World to suffer a­gaine, they receaue new ioy & accidētall glory, that we vpon earth make Cōmemo­ration of their Martyrdomes labours and merits: and that we offer them vnto God, & that we giue him thanks that he gaue them such grace as they might do him such excellent seruices.

That which to none of the Saints is grāted, is grāted vn­to the humanity of our Bles­sed Sauiour, which being v­nited vnto the Diuine Persō, [Page 192] may haue, or do whatsoeuer the same will wish to haue, or do. And he finding that his Passion and Death, so pleased, and gaue such ioy content and glory vnto his Father, he both was able to inuent, and sufficient to af­fect a meanes, whereby the same may be renewed, and repeated ouer many tymes in such manner, as his Father at euery repetition thereof should receaue no lesse ioy, content, & honour, then he receaued the first tyme the same was suffered and offe­red on the Crosse: which [Page 193] manner is this, that seing he now being risen frō death, and glorious in Heauen, cannot returne to suffer and dy againe, he hath ordayned the most sacred Mystery of the Masse, wherein his Pas­sion and Death is so liuely represented, as if he did euē now suffer and dy againe. And this is not only repre­sented, but also in mysticall manner performed, effectua­ted, and repeated the very same Sacrifice he offered on the Crosse, being offered a new vnto the Eternall Fa­ther, with the same valew, [Page 194] merit, and powerfulnes as it then had, and as able to giue him pleasure, content, glory, and honour. This we doe when we celebrate Masse, and consequently we yield vnto Christ our Lord the greatest pleasure and cō ­tent, and we doe him the best seruice, that can possi­bly be giuen vnto him, and (if we may so speake) we doe him the greatest charity that may be, & herein shew ourselues to be his seruants and friends more then in doing for him all other thinges in the world.

[Page 195]And verily we should e­steeme this, as a great felici­ty and treasure, and our sel­ues herein most fortunate, that we haue some thinges wherein we may do seruice, and yield pleasure and con­tent vnto our most louing Lord and Master Christ Ie­sus, specially a thing that we may haue so good cheape, a thing so dew vnto him, who with so much payne, and at the deare rate of his pretious Bloud procured the same for vs, not sparing a­ny labour, nor stying any difficulty to make the same [Page 196] profitable vnto vs. And what is sayd of the most Sa­cred Humanity of our Lord Iesus Christ, may be exten­ded vnto, and with a kind of proportion vnderstood of the most sacred Virgin his Mother, and euery other Saynt, that we can do them no better seruice, we can giue them nothing of grea­ter content, nothing can we more shew that we are their most affection at friēds, then in offering vnto God the holy Sacrifice of the Masse, in their name & ho­nour. For though we may [Page 197] not offer Sacrifice vnto any Saynt, no not to the most Glorious Virgin Mother, Queene of Heauen, for this the sacred Councell of Trēt declareth to be vnlawfull, yet we may make comme­moration of their merits, & giue thankes vnto God for the benefits he bestowed on them, and for the glory wherwith now they are made Blessed; offering also their meritts vnto GOD, which they togeather with vs also offer vnto our com­mon Lord and Maister,F. Iohn de An­gelis. col. citato. to supply our defects in their [Page 198] name, as the aforesayd most deuout and contemplatiue Authour declareth in these wordes.

If we be, (as it is reason we should be) desirous to giue vnto the most glorious Queene of the Angels, as much honour and glory, as is due vnto her, we must coming from the Masse, or holy Communion with the like ardent charity, humili­ty and reuerence, offer vn­to her most pure armes her most sweet & louing Sonn, whome we haue in our cu­stody. For this Oblation she [Page 199] receaueth with more con­tent, & the same is to her of more honour and glory, thē any whatsoeuer other, that eyther all men or all Angels can offer vnto her, if it be not likewise the gift and o­blation of God, and of her Sonne as this is. And thus we may at any tyme so lon­ge as we haue our Sauiour within our breast, that is, vntill the Sacramentall for­mes of bread and wine be consumed by the naturall heate of the stomacke.

The like Oblation may be made vnto any Saynt, or [Page 200] vnto all the Saynts in the aforesayd manner, in their honour, and the honour of God. Wherefore, it being a thing cleere, what great glory, honour, prayse, and content Priests, & all other Christians may giue vnto God, & vnto the soueraign Virgin Empresse of Heauē, and the other Saynts of the Celestiall Ierusalem, by meanes of the most holy Sacrament of the Aultar; Let all that haue notice hereof, consider what great cause they haue to spend themselues, and to doe the [Page 201] vttermost of their power to be continually so prepared and disposed, that no day may passe, wherin they do not eyther celebrate the ho­ly Masse, or receaue the most holy Mysteries. Whereunto besides what hath byn sayd, this consideration may like­wise encourage them, that they may assure themselues, that by the meanes of this rich present, sooner then by any other, they shal obtayne of the Father of Mercyes, & of the Blessed Virgin Mary our B. Lady, & all the Saints of the Heauēly citty, what­soeuer [Page 202] they shall demande. Which confidence may iu­stly be the greater in this re­spect that by this Oblation made in the manner afore­sayd vnto the Saynts, we get thē to be our Aduocats, and Friends obliged to pray and intercede for vs. All these are the words of the afore-mentioned Authour, worthy, that all consider & practise the things counsel­led therein, and benefit themselues by an aduise so important, facile and profi­table.

Other innumerable di­gnityes, [Page 203] excellencyes, and magnificencies, may be sayd of the holy Masse, and are gathered of the former defi­nitions, declarations, and explications giuen thereof, which if we should particu­larly declare, this Treatise would grow of too great a bignes. For example, that the Masse is of greater glory ioy, and comfort vnto the Saynts and Angels of Hea­uen, thē any other thing that is don, or can be don in this world. That the same is of greater profit and vtility, to the Militāt Church, of grea­ter [Page 204] force to helpe & relieue the soules in Purgatory, of greater importance and effi­cacy for our spirituall pro­gresse and increase in perfe­ction; and this with so great excesse, that if we put in one side of the balance, all that we doe in the day and night, supposing we spend them wholly in vertuous and holy Exercises, all this togeather weigheth not so much as a drame, in compa­rison of one Masse, that we say with the due required disposition. Wherefore, though for no other reason, [Page 205] yet at least in respect of our interest and profit, and to spare greater paynes and la­bour, and to enrich our po­uerty, to supply our wants out of treasury of the merits of our Lord Iesus Christ, we ought to procure with all diligence to dispose our sel­ues, to celebrate, and to as­sist at the most sacred My­steries of the Masse, and to receaue the most Diuine Sa­crament, with all purity and perfection possible.

The externall Reuerence and Worship, to be vsed in the holy Masse. CHAP. XIIII.

HITHERTO we haue set downe considera­tions that may stirre vp in vs inward reuerence, and deuotion towardes the ho­ly Sacrifice of the Masse as­well in Priests that celebrat, as in other Christians that assist thereat. And although where inward reuerēce and worship is found, there ex­ternall Reuerence, Grauity, [Page 207] Composition, and all other decent gate will not be wā ­ting, yet to make this Trea­tise more full, it will be cō ­uenient to adde something also concerning this second kind of Reuerence, the wāt whereof is scandalous, and occasion to many to thinke lesse reuerently of the holy Mysteries. Also the time we liue in, may seeme to re­quire, both of Priests and Laymen, that in this exter­nall Reuerēce, they be most punctuall and exact concer­ning the sacred ceremonies, and externall Rites of this [Page 208] Diuine Oblation, because the Heretickes of our tyme do oppose specially against these Ceremonies, & impu­gne the Externall Rite and Worship vsed by the Catho­like Church in the Diuine seruice. Wherfore it is good reason that we, who thinke ourselues happy in that we are Catholicke Christians, and by Gods singular mer­cy, true children of the sayd Catholicke Church: it is good reason, I say, that we should think it part of our honour to be opposite vnto the foolish fancies of Here­retikes, [Page 209] as much as may be: & by how much they more reprehend and despise the sayd ceremonies, by so much we ought to be more careful and religious to performe them with the greatest reue­rence & exactnes that may be.

And to vnderstand the ground of these externall Ceremonies and Rites, we are to note, that man being compounded of two sub­stances, to wit, soule and body, and God being Crea­tour and Authour aswell of the one as of the other, is [Page 210] boūd to acknowledg wor­ship to God, and adore him not only with soule, but also with body, for with the hart one belieues vnto Iustice, & with the mouth he confesseth his fayth vnto saluation. So that it is not inough to belieue with our hartes, but also we must make professiō thereof with our mouth, and so religion bindes vs not only to wor­ship God internally with our soule, but also to yield vnto him externall reueren­ce and honour with our bo­dyes. Thus we see that from the very first beginning of [Page 211] the world iust & godly mē, began to honour God with externall ceremonyes, ben­ding their knees, lifting vp their hādes, casting vp their eyes vnto Heauen,Rom. 10. Gen. 4. building Aultars, and offering Sacri­fices, as did the Iust and In­nocent Abel, which practise went still continuing and increasing in all iust men & Religious towardes God, as doth appeare by diuers Hy­stories of holy Writ. Pro­phane Hystory lykewise shewes, that the Gentills in their impious worship of I­dols, vsed sundry and di­uerse [Page 212] crremonies. For the Diuel, who was adored by thē in those Idols, as he still perseuered in his first pride, and sottish enuy, seeking to vsurpe to himselfe the ho­nour and adoration due vn­to God, knowing that ex­ternall Reuerence is a signe and a character of the inte­riour, and in this respect most due vnto the true God; required of his deceaued a­dorants, and ordayned that they should adore him, and sacrifice vnto him with great variety of externall Reue­rences, Rites, and Ceremo­nyes. [Page 213] And in the holy Scri­pture we reade, that those most vnfortunate Priests of Baal, did inuocate him with Sacrifices, & with clamors, bending their knees, pro­strating themselues on the ground, and being barba­rous & inhumane, lyke to the Diuell they serued, with knifes did lance themselues till they were all embrued in blood.

The difference which in this poynt hath been accor­ding to the variety of liues and states, is that in the first state called, The Law of Na­ture, [Page 214] as God had not giuen them any written forme of Religion, or Law, there was no set order of these kind of Ceremonies, but e­uery one followed the in­ternall instinct and inspira­tion of God, who taught them in what manner he would be honored & wor­shipped by them. But after­ward when God gaue vnto his people a written Law, a most principall part therof pertayned vnto the ceremo­nyes, and diuerse sorts and fashions of Worship to be by them vsed, in their offering [Page 215] Sacrifices; praying, and o­ther duetyes belonging to the Diuine seruice. Also there were appointed di­uers kindes of Ministers for the more full accomplish­ment of these thinges, some being Priests, some Leuits, some Singers, some Porters, some Exorcists, and diuerse other kindes, euery one ha­uing his office and Ministe­ry assigned him, with most strict and seuere command­ments, that each of them should be most punctuall & exact in his owne office, without medling with the [Page 216] office of others, enacting most grieuous punishment vnto any that should fayle, though but in small matters: all which appeares by the Books of the Law, special­ly by that of Leuiticus, and Deuteronomy.

It is true that all these Precepts and ceremoniall Lawes are now ceased and abrogated by the Law of the Ghospell, that now is not necessary, yea now it were a sinne to obserue them; but in their place other ceremo­nies doe succeede, better and perfecter, more pro­portionable [Page 217] and conueniēt, with the perfection of the Law of Grace, which the Church gouerned by the ho. Ghost hath established, as receaued and deriued by tra­dition from Christ and his Apostles. For though some particular ceremonyes haue been altered and changed, according to the state and conueniency of tymes, yet most certaine it is, that some of them were vsed by Christ himselfe in tyme and place, and as they were conueni­ent to his person. Thus we reade, that sometymes he [Page 218] prayed on his knees, positis genibus orabat, Luc. 22. sometymes standing, as in the prayer he made after his last supper, sometymes prostrate on his face,Mat. 26. Procidit in faciem suam, sometymes lifting vp his eyes vnto Heauen,Ioan. 17 Subleua­tis Iesus oculis dixit. And whē he instituted the most vene­rable Sacrament, hauing ended the ceremonies of the old Testament, he washed the feete of his Disciples, sat downe at the Table, tooke bread into his hands, cast vp his eyes vnto Heauē, gaue thankes vnto his Fa­ther, [Page 219] blessed the bread, con­secrated it, deuided it, gaue it to his Disciples, which were the ceremonyes for that tyme, place, and season.

After our Sauiour was ascended vnto Heauen, the Blessed Apostles hauing re­ceaued the holy Ghost, begā presently to vse ceremonyes in the Masse, and ordayned such as were to be obserued, as appeares by most aun­cient formes of Masse by thē composed, and by S. Cle­ment their Disciple, and suc­cessour of S. Peeter, and by the decrees of other Popes, [Page 220] and Councels very aunciēt, which to auoyde prolixity I omit. The Apostle S. Paul in his Epistle to those of Co­rinth,1. Cor. 14. appoints that Womē be in the Church with their heades couered, and Men with their heades bare, as also many thinges concer­ning the order that they were to keepe, when they did meete togeather to re­ceaue the most Blessed Sa­crament, saying in the end, Cetera cùm venero disponam, I will giue order by word of mouth, about the rest of these thinges when I come [Page 221] my selfe. Certayne it it that the Apostle was not to ap­poynt the thinges essentiall vnto the Sacraments, (for these our Sauiour ordayned, and he only could, and had power to ordayne them) but only certayne ceremo­nies concerning the vse of the Sacraments. And so it is a most certayne truth, that the ceremonies of the Church speaking of them in generall be very auncient: & many particular ceremo­nies come by traditiō from Christ and his Apostles, o­thers frō the chiefe Bishops, [Page 222] and Councells.

For it was not conueni­ent that the vse of ceremo­nies and exteriour Religious Rites in the holy Sacrifice of Masse, should be left to the liberty of euery one, because such liberty might be occasiō of many errours, ignorances, and superstiti­ons, but that the Church should haue the appoint­ment of them. The ground of which exteriour obser­uances is found in the holy Scripture set downe by S. Paul in the first Epistle to those of Corynth the 14. [Page 223] Chapter, Omnia secundum or­dinem fiant in vobis, Let all things be don with order a­mongst you, which shewes that it is requisite that the Church should ordayne & appoynt order to be kept, euen about the least thinges that concernes this most ho­ly Sacrifice. For if this were left to the choyce & iudg­ment of euery one, many indiscreet and vnseemly ce­remonies would be vsed: neyther ought any thinge that cōcernes so high a My­stery, be thought little, or of small esteeme, as not to [Page 224] be done with grauity, and decency: the direction S. Cyprian giues, being here of speciall vse, we ought to en­deauour the pleasing of the Diuine eyes, euen in the outward gate and composi­tion of our body. And this vniformity in externall ce­remonies, serues more to set forth the Maiesty of the Ecclesiasticall office, shewes the vnity and consent of the Church, togeather with the care and sollicitude of her Pastours.

And if God in the old Te­stament, did with such ri­gour [Page 225] and seuerity exact the perfect keeping of the cere­monies thereof, as appeares by the words of Deutero­nomy the 7. Chap. verse 11. Keepe my Precepts, Statutes, and Ceremonies, which I this day commaund vnto thee. And in the 8· Chapter the 11. Verse, Take heed thou do not forget thy Lord God, nor neglect his Com­mandments, Ceremonies, and Iudgmēts: Deut. [...]. 10. v. 13 & 11. v. 1. Leuit. 5 v. 15. Ezech. 44. v. 5. & 15. & the same Precept is in other places repeated and inculcated; If I say, God did require so perfect and punctuall obseruance of those auncient Rites, and [Page 226] Ceremonies, that were but figures, and shadowes of the mysteries of the new Testa­ment; how Sacred, Vene­rable, and worthy of obser­uance, are these ceremonies of the Church, which wayte and attend immediatly vpō the most sacred Mysteries themselues now present & effectuated? These Ceremo­nies were vsed to the end that with due exteriour de­cency might be performed the sacrifice of a lambe, or calfe, or of some other bruite beast, or were exercised a­bout the handling and ho­noring [Page 227] of the Arke of Coue­nāt, the bread-loues of Pro­positiō & other such things; but our ceremonies are vsed about the sacrifycing & cō ­secrating the most holy Bo­dy of Iesus Christ, and his pretious Bloud, and to han­dle and worship with due & religious reuerēce, the same true and liuing mysteries, which by those dead figures & shadowes were signified. Wherfore looke what excel­lency truth challengeth a­boue the figure, the body a­boue the shadow, the pro­totype aboue the picture, [Page 228] the new Testament aboue the old; the same excellency haue the ceremonies now vsed aboue those that then were receaued. And so we may & ought to reason, that that if of those ceremonyes, & the obseruation of them, God made so great an ac­count, greater account with­out question he makes of these, seing they are (as hath byn sayd) in many respects much more excellent then the other were.

We may also giue a ghesse, at great and Diuine thinges by consideration of what [Page 229] passeth human thinges, that in respect of them are vayne vile, and childish. It is a wonder to see Noblemen, & Knights that liue in the Court, how perfect they are in the knowledge of Cere­monies, how curious and punctuall to keepe them. All is reduced vnto Rules and Principles, euery one knowes who is to be coue­red in the presence of the King, and who is to be bareheaded, the termes of salutations and courtesies that are to be vsed, and ma­ny other curiosityes; then [Page 230] reason it is that in them and their exact obseruance, we learne what is to be done and kept in a thing of truth and importance, such as are the ceremonies of the holy Masse. Whē the King drinks it is a sight to behold the re­spect, the order, the leasure, the attention vsed, one of the greatest Princes takes the goblet, and with a certayn number of ceremonyes he makes his reuerence, and kneeles whylest the Prince is drinking, with such an humble kind of reuerence that it may seeme he would [Page 231] euen put himself vnder the ground. And yet what is a King compared with God? Surely, but a corruptible worme, that hath the name of King made fast vnto him as it were with pins, which yet are not so stronge, but a little blast of infectious ayre is able to take it from him. On the other side cō ­sidering what we doe, or rather what we omit to do, through negligence, rude­nes, want of carefull exact­nes in the worship and ser­uice of the immortall King of all worldes & ages, who [Page 232] hath not imbrodered in his garments, but also written in his flancke King of Kin­ges,Apoc. 19. and Lord of Lordes, serued by thousandes and thousandes,Dan. 7. before whome ten tymes an hundred thou­sandes of Angels, and Sera­phims, and Princes of glo­ry assist, all with great re­uerence and most profound humiliation, as before their Creatour, and the vniuersall and true Lord of all. Let all these prayse him for euer, seing notwithstanding this his so great Maiesty & high­nes he doth not disdaine, to [Page 233] choose such poore creatures as are men for the exercise and celebration of mysteries so soueraigne and Diuine.

Of the Reuerence, due vnto Churches and holy Places. CHAP. XV.

I will conclude this Trea­tise with this poynt of the respect and Reuerence, that is due vnto Temples, Churches, and other holy places, where the holy Sa­crifice of the Masse is offered. To stire vp in vs this Reue­rend affection, it may suf­fice [Page 234] that we open our eyes of fayth and consideration, & marke that Churches are truly & properly the houses of God. By this title they are honoured by our Lord himselfe, in many places of holy Scripture, and parti­cularly in the second Chap­ter of S. Iohn, where he saith, Make not the house of my Father, an house of negotiation. And in the one & twentith Chap­ter of S. Matthew, our Saui­our alleadgeth in confirma­tion hereof the saying of the Prophet,Isa. 56. My house is the house of prayer. The fact of our Sa­uiour [Page 235] related by both these Euangelists in those places, is very notable, and of great consideration for our pur­pose. For the modesty and mildnes of Christ IESVS, being exceeding great and wonderfull, that in all the tyme of his lyfe, we do not reade, that he chastised any offence with his owne han­des; hauing seen and dayly seeing so many, and so grie­uous, and hauing had so many occasions to doe it, that once they would haue cast him downe headlong from a mountayne, and an [Page 236] other tyme they tooke sto­nes to stone him to death, & diuers tymes they vsed vnto him rude and blasphemous wordes: In all these and many other like occasions, our Sauiour behaued him­selfe with very great mode­sty and mildnes: & towar­des all sinners in generall he shewed this meekenes in great excesse, scarse euer in any occasion shewing dis­pleasure or indignation. Yea he did sharply rebuke at a certayne tyme some of his Disciples, because they as­ked him leaue, that they [Page 237] might make fire come downe from Heauen, vpō the Samaritās that had byn so discourteous towardes him, as not to let him haue any lodging or entrance into their Citty. All this being so, yet the first tyme that he ascended vnto Hie­rusalem with his Disciples, finding some that had lost all respect and reuerence towardes the holynes of the Temple, buying and sel­ling, and negotiating in the same, though these negoti­ations were about thinges belonging vnto the Sacri­fices [Page 238] that were therein day­ly and howerly offered, yet he tooke such indignation and displeasure against thē, that he made a whippe of certayne cordes he there found, and therewith set vpon them, and droue them out of the Temple, threw downe their tables, cast their siluer and moneys on the ground, rebuked them sharply & with hard tear­mes, in a manner calling them theeues, saying, Make not of the house of my Father a denne of theeues. This happe­ned not only once in [Page 239] the beginning of his holy Predication, but also the second tyme he did the ve­ry same, towardes the end of his life, the very last time, or the last sauing one that euer he entred into the Temple. By this fact giuing vs to vnderstād, what great account he maketh, that all decency & religious respect should be vsed towardes his house, and holy Tem­ple, because only against the breach hereof he shewed such extraordinary displea­sure, and with demonstra­tiō of anger against the pro­phaners [Page 238] [...] [Page 239] [...] [Page 240] of his house, he would beginne and con­clude the course of his prea­ching. Wherupon the holy Euangelist noteth, that his Disciples reflecting vpon this his fact, called to mind and vnderstood, that to him agreed that which is writ­tē in the Psalme sixty eight, The zeale of the house of God, eateth vp my very bowells, and the disorders of them that beare not respect vnto it, fall vpon me, and are an heauy and burden­some load vnto me.

Now we are to note, that our Churches are tear­med [Page 241] the house of God, not only for the reason in re­gard of which the Temple of Ierusalē was so entitled, which many times, and ab­solutly is tearmed in holy Scripture, the house of God, because there lodged the Ark of Couenāt, there God was worshipped and adored, there Sacrifice offered vnto him, there he gaue audience vnto men, and heard the petitions they made vnto him. Not only for these re­spects Christians Churches be tearmed the House of God, but also vpon greater [Page 242] reasons, in regard of which this honorable stile, doth belonge vnto them, much more properly then it did vnto the auncient Temple, to wit, because God him­selfe dwelleth in them real­ly & personally in the most Blessed Sacramēt, in which the person of the Worde, and only begotten Sonne of God abides in more par­ticular manner then in any other parte, or creature in the world. For not only there he is according to his Diuinity, in regard of which he is euery where, by Es­sence, [Page 243] Presence, & Power, but also the most sacred Hu­manity of our Lord Iesus Christ, the which is seated in Heauen at the right hand of the eternall Father; this selfe-some Humanity with the selfe same Glory, Maie­sty, and Greatnes is really and personally in the most holy Sacrament, though couered with the sacramen­tall formes of Bread, so that his presence is inuisible, but only vnto eyes enlightned with fayth, who see his wordes verified, This is my body, and his promise accō ­plished, [Page 244] Behold I am with you all dayes, vnto the consummatiō of the world.

This is the glory, and most singular priuiledge of the Christiā people, to haue Iesus Christ the true GOD for their Neighbour, & a so­iourner in all the Churches of Christianity, in such sort that there is not any Catho­like Towne, or Villadge, how small and contemp­tible soeuer, wherein our Lord hath not his proper and peculiar house: so that, if in a Village there be but twelue Neighbours, he [Page 245] maketh the thirteenth. Thus God would honour and fa­uour the Christian people, a thing most worthy to be e­steemed and honoured in farre more excellent man­mer then we doe honour and esteeme the same. For this cause I sayd in the be­ginning of this Chapter, that there is no need to say much of this poynt, but on­ly that we open the eyes of fayth, and consider attenti­uely, that Temples be the house of God, and that in euery one of them IESVS Christ our Lord is really, [Page 246] and personally present with all his Glory and Maiesty; a truth most sure & certayne, yea that also many thousāds of Angels accompany him, making the Church his Court therein, yielding him perpetuall prayses and con­tinuall honour. And so in the prayer of the holy Di­uine Office, wherewith the last Houre and Compline is concluded, sayth in this manner: Visit we beseech thee o Lord, this habitation, and let thyne Angels who dwell therin, keepe vs. The glorious Apostle S. Paul in [Page 247] Epistle to the Hebrews see­mes to affirm no lesse where he sayth,Heb. 12. You are not come to a materiall mountayne, nor vnto a fire that may be seene, but you are come to the mountayne of Sy­on the Citty of the liuing God, the Heauenly Ierusalem, the resort of many thousandes of Angels, the Church of the Primitiues. If this be so, as without que­stion it is, to the end that we beare due respect, reuerence, and veneration vnto holy places, no more is needfull, but that we open our eyes, and consider the great reue­rence and veneration that is [Page 248] due vnto the Holy places, which are the true houses of God where he is present, & hath his aboade, togeather with his Celestiall Cour­tyers.

And if we looke into ho­ly Scripture we shall find it a very auncient custome of holy Men, to beare great re­spect vnto such places where God was present, or did ma­nifest himselfe in particular manner. In Genesis is writ­ten of the Patriarch Iacob, that flying from the house of his Father to auoyde the wrath of his Brother Esau, [Page 249] the first dayes iourney he was benighted, in a forlorne place. There falling a sleep he saw a great Ladder which did reach from Heauen vn­to earth, vpon the which Angels went vp & downe, and God stood on the toppe thereof. The holy Iacob a­waking out of his sleepe, conceaued so great reuerēce vnto that place, because he had seene the former vision therein, that full of feare and astonishment he sayd: How dreadfull is this place, verily here is nothing else but the court of God & gate of Hea­uen. [Page 250] In testimony wherof, he cō ­secrated the sayd place as far as he could, raysing vp the stone that he had laid that night vnder his head, an­ointing it with oyle (which was still taken for the signe of consecration) and lea­uing the same there as a tokē that the place was sacred, and honour and veneration due vnto it, because God had therin shewed himself: and vnto the Citty that was neere vnto that place called Luza, he gaue the name of Bethel, which signifyes House of God.

[Page 251]In Exodus, it is recorded that holy Moyses leading the flocke of his Father-in-law through the most soli­tary & woodiest part of the Mount Horeb, God appea­red vnto him in a very strāg and meruaylous manner, to wit, in a Bush which did burn with a great fire, but did not consume. And when Moyses did approach to see the sayd Miracle more di­stinctly nigh at hande, the Angell that represented the person of God cryed vnto him: Stand still, approach no nearer for the place wher [Page 252] thou art is holy land. Moy­ses hearing the voyce decla­ring God to be there present fell prostrate on his face, not dearing to lift vp his eyes, nor to cast them towardes the place where God did a­bide. And from that tyme euer after the Mountayne was held in great veneratiō, and called the holy Moun­tayne, the Mountayne of God, as appeares by the third Booke of Kinges, the ninteenth Chapter. In this respect the Apostle S. Peter calleth the Mount Thabor the holy Mountayne where [Page 253] our Sauiour was transfigu­red, because there he once, shewed his Maiesty and glo­ry.

Now if these places, be­cause God once appeared in them became so specially ve­nerable, and reuerenced, how much more ought our Temples to be honoured where our Lord himselfe makes his mansion and his aboade, as in his ordinary residence and pallace, where he worketh dayly so many wonders, and bestoweth on men so many fauours? If those holy Patriarchs wor­shipped [Page 254] with such humble respect the place, where once or twice they saw God, or an Angel that spake to thē in his name; what honour would they beare, what re­spect would they shew to our Churchs, had they liued in so happy an age as we liue in, but through rudenes and ingratitude, doe not e­steeme nor acknowledge our happines? If the holy Patriarch Iacob conceaued such dread and reuerence to the place, where in his sleep he saw a lader on which the Angels went vp and down, [Page 255] what reuerence and dread would he conceyue should he see (as we dayly see with the eyes of fayth) the very Son of God to come down, and place himselfe in the handes of Priests. And this not seene in sleepe or in a dreame, but by sight more certayne, & more infallible then any thing can be, that we see with eyes, and feele with handes; with how far greater reason would he ex­clayme: Verily dreadfull is this place, verily God is in this place? And with much more truth haue sayd, verily [Page 256] this is the house of God and entrance of Heauen? If holy Moyses cōceaued such feare and reuerence, not daring to looke on the Bush out of which an Angell spake vnto him in the name & person of God, what reuerence would he conceaue, what deuo­tion would he declare, if he should enter into our Chur­ches and see the most vene­rable Sacrament, knowing as certaynly as we do▪ that there God is in person being made Man for our sake, and so sweet and courteous to­wardes men, that he is re­ceaued [Page 257] and eaten of them. Oh holy Patriarches, me thinkes, that frō your seates of Heauenly glory you be­hold vs on earth, and are a­shamed to see our stupidity and rudenes, who know not how to esteeme and honour such sacred and venerable places as are our Churches, nor how to enter into them, and stay in them with the dread and reuerence, as rea­son requireth of vs. One day you shalbe our Iudges, and condemne vs as rude & vn­mannerly, seing we do not [Page 258] imitate your example in worshipping holy places, our Temples being with great excesse, more venera­ble and glorious then those which you did so highly e­steeme and honour.

Of being present, and hearing the Holy Office of Masse, which hath alwayes byn in most high esteeme, & publickly celebra­ted euery where, both among the Syrians, the Grecians, and the Latines, euer since the tyme of the Apostles. CHAP. XVI.

A Prayer before Masse.

LORD Iesu-Christ, the pure light of harts, and the Eternall truth, stay I be­seech thee, and collect mine euer-wandring & distracted mind, that I, may be atten­tiue, [Page 260] & with reuerence pre­sent in the sight of thy infi­nite Maiesty, whiles this ho­ly office of Masse is celebra­ted, and reape thence true fruit, healthfull to my soule and others, and especially that I may with thankes-gi­uing call to mind thine vn­speakeable charity, wher­with thou offered'st thy self to a most cruell death for my Redemption. To thee be al praise & thans-giuing, thou being the Priest & the Host, and our Bishop according to the Order of Melchisedech, who hast taught Priests to [Page 261] offer a cleane oblation, and euery where to sacrifice vn­to the Eternall God, vnder the likenes of bread and wine.

Then blessing thy selfe, begin with the Priest thus.

IN the name of the Father, and of the Sonne, and of the holy Ghost. Amen.

I will enter vnto the Al­tare of God; to God, who maketh my youth ioyfull.

The 42. Psalme

IVdge me, O God, & dis­cerne my cause from the nation not holy: from the wicked, and deceitfull man [Page 262] deliuer me.

Because thou art God my strength: why hast thou re­pelled me? and why goe I sorrowfull, whiles the en­nemy afflicteth me?

Send forth thy light, & thy truth: they haue condu­cted me, and brought me in­to thy holy hill, & into thy tabernacles.

And I will enter vnto the Altar of God: to God, who maketh my youth ioyfull.

I will confesse to thee on the harpe, O God, my God, why art thou sorrowfull, O my soule: And why doest [Page 263] thou trouble me?

Hope in God, because yet will I confesse to him: the saluation of my counte­nance, and my God.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Sonne &c. Euen as it was in the beginning, and now, and euer, and world without end. Amen.

I will enter vnto the Al­tare of God: to God, who maketh my youth ioyfull.

Our help is in the name of our Lord: who hath made Heauen and Earth·

The Generall Confession.

I Confesse vnto Almighty God, vnto the B. Virgin Mary, to B. Michael the Ar­changell, to B. Iohn Baptist, to the holy Apostles Peter, and Paul, to all the Saintes, and to you, O Father, be­cause I haue grieuously sin­ned in thought, word, and deed, through my fault, my fault, my most grieuous fault. Therefore I beseech the B. Virgin Mary, the B. Michael the Archangell, the B. Iohn Baptist, the holy Apostles Peter & Paul, all the Saints, [Page 265] & you, O Father, to pray to our Lord God for me. Amē.

Almighty God haue mer­cy vpon vs, forgiue vs all our sinnes, and bring vs to life euerlasting Amen.

Thou, O God, conuerted wilt giue life vnto vs▪ and thy people shall reioyce in thee.

Lord shew vnto vs thy mercy: and giue vs thy sal­uation.

Lord, heare my prayer: and let my crye come vnto thee.

The Prayer.

TAke from vs, O Lord, we beseech thee, all our [Page 266] iniquities, that hauing hart and mind pure and vndefi­led, we may deserue to enter into the Holies of Holies. Though Christ our Lord. Amen.

Lord haue mercy vpō vs. Lord haue mercy vpon vs. Lord haue mercy vpon vs. Christ haue mercy vpon vs. Christ haue mercy vpon vs. Christ haue mercy vpon vs. Lord haue mercy vpon vs. Lord haue mercy vpon vs. Lord haue mercy vpon vs.

Adde heere three tymes, Pater Noster &c. for thy sinnes com­mitted in thought, word, & deed, [Page 267] that the holy Trinity, in whose Name thou art baptized, may pardon thee thy offences; & that being dead to sinne, thou mayest for the tyme to come liue to iu­stice.

The Angels Hymne, Gloria in excelsis.

GLory in the highest to God, & in earth peace to men of good will: we prayse thee, we blesse thee, we adore thee, we glorify thee. We giue thee thankes for thy great glory. Lord God, King of Heauen. God the Father Almighty. Lord the only begottē Sonne Ie­sus-Christ, [Page 268] Lord God, Lābe of God, Sonne of the Father. Who takest away the Sinnes of the world, haue mercy vpon vs. Who takest away the sins of the world receiue our prayers. Who sittest on the right hand of the Father, haue mercy vpon vs. Be­cause thou art alone holy, thou alone our Lord, thou alone most high, O Iesus-Christ, with the holy Ghost in the glory of God the Fa­ther. Amen.

S. Augustines briefe Confession, touching the holy Trinity.

WE do with our whole hart & mouth cōfesse, prayse & blesse thee God the Father vnbegotten, thee the only begottē Sonne, thee the holy Ghost the Paraclete, the holy & vndeuided Trinity. Glory be to the Father, who hath created vs. Glory to the Sonne, who hath redeemed vs. Glory to the holy Ghost, who hath sanctified vs. Glo­ry to the most soueraigne & vndeuided Trinity, one God world without end Amen.

After the Epistle is read, which [Page 270] commonly cōprehēdeth the admo­nitiō of the Apostle, whē the Priest cōmeth to read the Gospell, stand vp, and be attentiue vnto it, & in the beginning make the signe of the Crosse vpō thy forehead, mouth & breast, and say from thy hart these wordes: Glory be to thee O Lord. And when the Gospell is ended, Prayse be to thee, O Christ, who by thy selfe, & by thy Apostles, hast vouch­safed to preach the gospell to the world, & to giue the in­credulous and vnbelieuing, the true light of faith.

Say the Creed with the Priest.

I Belieue in God the Father Almighty &c.

When the Priest hath made the oblation, say thus.

LEt vs giue thākes to our Lord God, for that it is truely a worthy thing, and iust, & meete, and healthfull that we alwayes and euery where yield thee thanks, ho­ly Lord, Father omnipotēt, eternall God, by Christ our Lord. By whom the Angels prayse thy Maiesty, the Do­minatiōs adore it, the Pow­ers trēble before it, the hea­uens and the Vertues of the heauens, & the blessed Sera­phims doe with ioynt exul­tation celebrate it. With [Page 272] whom we also beseech thee to commaund that our voy­ces maybe admitted & heard, with humble confessiō say­ing: Holy, holy, holy Lord God of Sabaoth. The hea­uens and the earth be full of thy glory, Osanna in the highest. Blessed is he who cōmeth in the Name of our Lord. Osāna in the highest.

Heere, in honour of the fiue Wounds of our Redeemer (which cannot be honoured inough) say, Pater Noster fiue tymes, that both liuing and dying thou mayest receiue the aboundant vertue of them, and of all our Sauiours pas­sion, [Page 273] and therby obtayne the re­mission of sinnes, and all manner of grace, both for your selues and others.

A Prayer to Christ.

BLessed be thou, o Lord Iesu-Christ, Sonne of the liuing God, who hauing compassion vpon vs, camest downe from heauen, & be­ing a true Sacrifice for our sinnes, liberally offredst vpō the altar of the Crosse thine innocent body and bloud, which thou tookst of the B. Virgin. Prayse and glory be to thee, because of the same body and bloud of thyne, [Page 274] thou hast instituted not only the bread of life, which we are to receiue in the Sacra­ment, but also a sacrifice to be offered vpon the altare by the Priests: and hast left it to be celebrated till the worlds end, that thy Church might haue a perpetuall and pure sacrifice to celebrate all the world ouer. Iesu of Na­zareth crucified for vs, be mercifull to me, and to all sinners, and graunt that we may receiue the effectuall fruit and vertue of the Sacra­ment, and of this Sacrifice, to the profit of both body & [Page 275] soule, and to all prosperity and consolation of the faith­full.

At the Eleuation of the holy Host, and Chalice.

WE adore thee, o Lord Iesu-Christ, our King & high Priest, and we blesse thee, who by thy holy Cros­se, and bloudy oblation of this thy sacred body & bloud hast redeemed vs, and recō ­ciled vs, being lost creatures, to God the Father. By thine infinite goodnes I beseech thee, make me, and all thy Church, participant of all thy redemption, and to re­ceyue [Page 276] in vs the fruit of thy death, resurrection, and as­cension to life euerlasting. Amen.

Hayle the worlds salua­tion, the eternall word of the Father, the true host, li­uing flesh, perfect Deity, & life euerlasting. Thou art my Lord, and my God, whome I humbly adore, and fayth­fully inuocate, being present vpon this Altare in body & bloud, that I may haue thee my Redeemer, propitious and fauourable vnto me in prosperity and aduersity, in life and in death; and finally [Page 277] may behold thee face to face, raygning in Heauen. Who with the Father, & the holy Ghost, liuest and raygnest world without end Amen.

The soule of Christ san­ctify me, the body of Christ saue me, the bloud of Christ inebriate me, the water of Christs side wash me, the passion of Christ strengthē me. O good Iesu vouchsafe to heare me, and permit me not to be separated frō thee. From the malignant Angell defend me. In the houre of my death call me, and will me to come vnto thee, that [Page 278] together with thine Angels I may prayse thee for euer & euer. Amen.

For whome we ought most of all to pray in Masse-tyme.

MOst soueraygne Bi­shop, and Redeemer of the world, Iesu-Christ, who discouerest thy self vn­to vs not only on the Crosse, but also in this venerable Sa­crament, togeather with thy body and bloud, in so much as thou sufferest thy selfe to be touched, offered, & eaten by sinners: haue mercy vpō vs, who without thy grace are not able to do anything, [Page 279] & giue thine assistāce to thy Catholike Church, spread ouer the whole world, that by thee the true Catholikes may haue peace, and by thy conduct may be safe & de­fended against their enemies whersoeuer. Establish suffi­ciēt Pastours ouer thy flock, and contayne all Magistrats in their office, that they may rule, and profit the Christiā Common-wealth, confor­mably to thy will & plea­sure. Conuert, O Lord, all miserable sinners, who are strayed from their faith, that by thine inspiratiō they may [Page 280] returne to the way of truth: giue the light of fayth to In­fidels, comfort the afflicted, restore the sicke to their health, help the miserable▪ succour the needy & poore: protect also our parēts, kins­folks, benefactours & friēds, conserue thē that they may carefully imbrace and loue those things that appertayne to fayth and Catholicke o­bedience. And through thy goodnes & clemency, take away from vs whatsoeuer is displeasing vnto thee, and giue vs strength and vertue to auoyd all sinne, and im­brace [Page 281] all good, that we may fulfill thy will and our own vocation. Admit this health­full Sacrament offered by the Catholicke Priest, in full sa­tisfaction of our sinnes, for an aboundant supply of our negligences, and for a par­ticuler thankes-giuing for all thy benefits whatsoeuer be­stowed vpon vs: & graunt pardon & euerlasting rest, not only to the liuing, but also to the faithfull depar­ted.

For the obtayning of peace.

LAmbe of God, who ta­kest away the sinnes of [Page 282] the world, haue mercy v­pon vs.

Lambe of God who ta­kest away the sinnes of the world, haue mercy vpon vs.

Lambe of God, who ta­kest away the sinnes of the world, giue peace of tyme, of hart, and of eternity: to wit, that we may haue a perfect vniō with our Nigh­bours, enioy a peacefull cō ­science, and come to that eternall repose in heauen, whereunto all the elect doe aspire.

For the publicke peace of the Church.

GRaunt peace, O Lord, in our dayes, because there is not any other who fighteth for vs, but thou, O Lord. Vers. Peace be made in thy vertue. Resp. And a­boundance in thy towers.

The Prayer.

O God, frō whome flow all holy desires, right counsayles and iust workes; giue vnto thy seruantes that peace, which the world is not able to giue: and that our harts being bent to the obseruance of thy comman­demēts, [Page 284] & the feare of our enemies being taken away, the tymes may be through thy protection profitable.

O God the author & lo­uer of peace, whose know­ledge is life, and whose ser­uice is a kingdome, protect thy seruants from all oppres­sions and assaults, that we, relying vpon thy defence, may not feare the force of any hostility, and may be deliuered from all tentati­ons that trouble vs. By Iesu-Christ thy Sonne our Lord. Amen.

At the end of the Masse, when the Priest blesseth the people, re­uerently kneele downe, and as one who expecteth an Heauenly benediction & blessing from God, with an ardent faith, say.

OMnipotent & most mer­ciful God, the Father, the Son, & the holy Ghost, blesse vs and keep vs. Iesus of Na­zareth, King of the Iewes, the tytle of triumph, blesse and defend vs from al euill. Amen.

This done, blesse thy selfe, and say with the Priest, S. Iohns Gospel, in these words.

IN the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and God was the word. This was in the be­ginning with GOD. All things were made by him: and without him was made nothing that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men; & the light shined in darck­nes, and the darcknes did not comprehend it. There [Page 287] was a man sent from God, whose name was Iohn. This man came for testimony, to giue testimony of the light, that all men might belieue through him. He was not the light, but to giue testi­mony of the light. It was the true light, which light­neth euery man that com­meth into this world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came into his owne and his owne receyued him not. But as many as recey­ued him, he gaue thē power [Page 288] be made the Sonnes of God, to those that belieue in his name. Who not of bloud▪ nor of the will of flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God are borne. AND THE WORD VVAS MADE FLESH, and dwelt in vs (and we saw the glory as it were, of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and verity. Resp. Prayse be to thee, O Christ.

FINIS.

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