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10. But therefore this is only tolerable in those persons, who at great distance design the calling; as when they first study to make themselves capable of it, then it is tolerable, because they are bound to provide for themselves in all just ways, and standing at so great distances from it, cannot behold the beauties which are in interiori domo;' the duty which is on them, is to do that which is their proper work; that is, to fit themselves with abilities and skill to conduct it, and therefore their intention must be fitted accordingly, and move by the most powerful and prevailing motive, so it be lawful. He that applies himself to learn letters, hath an intention proportionable to his person and capacity when he first enters, and as he grows in powers, so must he also in purposes; so that as he passes on to perfection, he may also have intentions more noble and more perfect: and a man in any calling may first design to serve that end that stands next him; and yet when he is possessed of that, look on further to the intention of the thing, and its own utmost capacity. But therefore,
11. (4.) Whosoever does actually enter into orders, must take care that his principal end be the glory of God, and the good of souls. The reasons are these:
12. (1.) Because no man is fit for that office, but he that is spiritual in his person, as well as his office: he must be a despiser of the world, a light to others, an example to the flock, a great denier of himself, of a celestial mind, he must mind heavenly things; with which dispositions it cannot consist, that he who is called to the lot of God, should place his chief affections in secular advantages.
13. (2.) This is that of which the Apostle was a glorious precedent, "We seek not yours, but you; for the parents lay up for the children, not children for their parents" meaning, that between the spiritual and the natural paternity, there is so much proportion, that when it is for the good of the children, they must all quit their temporal advantages; but because this is to be done for the spiritual, it follows, this must be chief.
14. And this I suppose is also enjoined by another apostle, "feeding the flock of God, not for filthy lucre's sake," ánλà ρwdúμws, that is, but " of a prompt, ready mind";" a
mind moved by intrinsic arguments of fair design, not drawn by the outward cords of vanity and gain.
15. (3.) The work of the calling being principally and immediately for the good of souls, and for the glory of God, it cannot be pursued as the nature of the work requires, if that be not principally intended, which is principally to be procured; all that which is necessary in order to it, must also be taken care of: thus the ministers of religion may attend their health, and must look to their necessary support, and may defend themselves against all impediments of their of fices in just and proportionable ways: but because all these have further purposes, although they standing nearest may be first regarded by an actual care, at some times, and in some circumstances, and by actual attention; yet habitually, and principally, and constantly, the glory of God, and the good of souls, must be in the heart, and in the purpose of every action.
16. But the principality and pre-eminence of this intention are no otherwise to be judged of, either by ourselves or others, than by these following significations.
(1.) No man can in any sense principally, that is, as he ought, intend the good of souls, who enters into the sacred ministry without those just measures of preparation and disposition, which are required by the church, and the nature of the thing itself; that is, that he be well instructed in the Holy Scriptures, and be fit to teach, to exhort, to reprove. For he who undertakes a work, which can serve God's end and his own in several capacities, and is not sufficiently instructed to serve the ends of God,-it is apparent that what he undertakes, is for his own end.
17. (2.) His intentions cannot be right, who by any indirect arts does enter, for that which does not begin at God, cannot be for God: "Non enim ambitione, vel pretio, sed probatæ vitæ et disciplinarum testimonio, ad honoris et sacerdotii insignia oportet promoveri," said the emperor Theodosius. He therefore who simoniacally enters, fixes his eye and heart upon that which he values to be worth money, not upon the spiritual employment, between which and money there can be no more proportion, than between contemplation and a cart-rope; they are not things of the same nature; and he that comes into the field with an elephant,
cannot be supposed to intend to hunt a hare: neither can he be supposed to intend principally the ministry of souls, who comes to that office instructed only with a bag of money.
18. (3.) He may be supposed principally to intend the ministry of souls, and in it the glory of God, who so attends to the execution of his office, that it does really and sufficiently minister to the thing. For since the calling is by God really designed to that end, and if the ministers be not wanting to themselves, they are sufficiently enabled and assisted to that purpose; he that zealously and wisely ministers in the office, hath given a most real testimony of his fair intention, because he does that thing so as those intentions only can be effected. The thing itself is sufficient for the end if God blesses it; he therefore that does the thing, does actuate the intention of God, and sanctifies his own: but this is to be understood with the addition of the following caution.
19. (4.) He may be confident that his intentions for God's glory and the good of souls are right and principal, who so conjoins his other lesser ends with the conduct of the greater, that they shall always be made to give place to the greater. That is, who still pursues the interest of souls, and the work of his ministry, when the hopes of maintenance, or honour, or secular regards, do fail. For he that for carnal or secular regards will either quit or neglect his ministry, it is certain, his carnal or secular ends were his chief motive and incentive in the work. It was the case of Demas, who was St. Paul's minister and work-fellow in the service of the Gospel, but he left him, because "he loved the present world;" concerning which, it is to be considered, that this lapse and recession of Demas from the assistance of St. Paul, did not proceed from that love of the world which St. John speaks of, and is criminal, and forbidden to all Christians, which "whosoever hath, the love of the Father dwells not in him," but is so to be understood of such a love, which to other Christians is not unlawful, but was, in those times especially, inconsistent with the duty of evangelists, in those great necessities of the church: Demas was a good man, but weak in his spirit, and too secular in his relations, but he returned to his station, and did the work of an evangelist, • 2 Tim. iv. 10. P 1 John, ii. 15.
awhile after, as appears in the Epistle to the Colossians and Philemon; but for the present he was to blame. For he would secure his relations and his interests with too great a caution and diligence, and leave the other, to attend this. Such as now-a-days is too great care of our estates, secular negotiations, merchandises, civil employments, not ministering directly unto religion, and the advantages of its ministration. For our great king the Lord Jesus, hath given to all Christians some employment, but to some more, to some less, and in their own proportion they must give a return: and in a minister of the Gospel, every inordination of carefulness, and every excess of attendance to secular affairs, and every unnecessary avocation from, or neglect of, his great work is criminal: and many things are excesses in them, which are not in others, because the ministerial office requires more attendance and conversation with spiritual things, than that of others.
20. (5.) If ever the minister of holy things, for hope or fear, for gain or interest, desert his station, when he is persecuted, or when he is not persecuted,—it is too much to be presumed, that he did not begin for God, who, for man, will quit God's service. They that wander till they find a rich seat, do all that they do for the riches of the place, not for the employment: "Si non ubi sedeas, locus est, est ubi ambules," said he in the comedy; the calling of these men is not fixed but ambulatory: and if that which fixes them, be temporal advantages, then that which moved them principally, is not spiritual employment.
21. For it is considerable, that if it be unlawful to undertake the holy calling, without a divine vocation to it, then to forsake it without a divine permission must be criminal. He that calls to come, calls to continue, where the need is lasting, and the office perpetual. But to leave the calling when the revenue is gone, to quit the altar when it hath no offering, to let the souls wander when they bring no gifts,— is to despise the religion, and to love only the fat of the sacrifices: for the altar indeed does sanctify the gift, but not the gift the altar; and he hath but a light opinion of an eternal crown of glory, or thinks God but an ill paymaster, that will not do him service upon the stock of his promises, and will not feed the flock, though we have no other reward
but to be feasted in the eternal supper of the lamb. hirelings, but they who fly when the wolf comes? And woe be to that evangelist, who upon any secular regard neglects to preach the Gospel; woe be to him, to whom it shall be said at the day of judgment, I was hungry, and my flock was hungry, and ye fed neither it nor me.'
But this is to be understood with these liberties;
22. (1.) That it be no prejudice to these ecclesiastics, who in time of persecution, do so attend to their ministries, that no material part of it be omitted, or slightly performed, and yet take from it such portions of time as are necessary for their labour or support, by any just and honest employment. Thus St. Paul wrought in the trade of a tent-maker, because he would not be a burden to the church of Corinth; and when the church is stripped naked of her robes, and the bread of proposition is stolen from her table by soldiers, there is no peradventure but the ecclesiastical offices are so to be attended to, that the natural duty and necessity be not neglected.
23. (2.) That it be no prejudice to ecclesiastics in the days of peace or war, to change their station from bishop to bishoprick, from church to church, where God or the church, where charity or necessity, where prudence or obedience, calls. Indeed it hath been fiercely taught, that ecclesiastics ought never, and upon no pretence, to desert their church, and go to another, any more than a man may forsake his wife; and for this a decretal of Pope Evaristus is pretended, and is recorded in the canon law." Sicut vir non debet adulterare uxorem suam, ita nec episcopus ecclesiam suam, ut illam dimittat ad quam fuit sacratus q:" and therefore when Eusebius the bishop of Cæsarea was called to be bishop of Antioch, he refused it pertinaciously, and for it was highly commended by the Emperor; and St. Jerome in his epistle to Oceanus tells, "In Nicenâ synodo à patribus decretum est, ne de alia in aliam ecclesiam episcopus transferatur, ne, virginalis pauperculæ societate contempta, ditioris adulteræ quærat amplexus." Something indeed like it was decreed by the fifteenth and sixteenth canons of the Nicene council; and it was a usual punishment amongst the holy primitives, "careat cathedra propria, qui ambit alienam.”
4 Cap. Sicut Vir, can. 7. q. 1.