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believe the person did not deserve that wrong: as we find it in Terence :
Novi ego vestra bæc: nollem factam : jasjurandum dabitur, te esse
Indignum injuriâ hâc e. Concerning which, who please to see more testimonies of the true sense and use of the word 'satisfactions,' may please to look upon Lambinus in Plauti Amphitr.' and Torrentius upon Suetonius in Julio.'
• Exomologesis,' or confession,' was the word which, as I noted formerly, was of most frequent use in the church.. “Si de exomologesi retractas, gehennam in corde considera quam tibi exomologesis exstinguet :” “He that retracts his sins by confessing and condemning them, extinguishes the flames of hell:" so Tertullianf. The same with that of St. Cyprian : “ Deo patri, et misericordi, precibus et operibus suis satisfacere possunt:” “ They may satisfy God our Father and merciful, by prayers and good works:” that is, they may by these deprecate their fault, and obtain mercy and pardon for their sins; “ peccatum suum satisfactione humili et simplici confitentes;" so Cyprian, “ confessing their sins with humble and simple satisfaction :” plainly intimating, that * confession' or exomologesis was the same with that which they called ' satisfaction.'-And both of them were nothing but the public exercise of repentance, according to the present usages of their churches; as appears evidently in those words of Gennadius h: “ Pænitentiæ satisfactionem esse causas peccatorum exscindere, nec eorum suggestionibus aditum indulgere:” “ To cut off the causes of sins, and no more to entertain their whispers and temptations, is the satisfaction of repentance:"—and like this is that of Lactantius : “ Potest reduci et liberari, si eum pæniteat actorum, et ad meliora conversus satisfaciat Deo :" “ The sinner may be brought back and freed, if he repents of what is done, and satisfies or makes amends to God by being turned to better courses.”—And the whole process of this is well described by Tertulliani: “ Exomologesis est, quâ delictum Domino nostrum confitemur, non quidem ut ignaro, sed quatenus satisfactio confessione disponitur, confessione pænitentia nas
e Adelph. 2. 1. 11.
De Pænit. c. 12.
8 De Lapsis. h L. de Dogm. Eccles.
i De Poenit. c. 9. VOL. IX.
citur, pænitentia Deus mitigatụr:” “We must confess our sins to God, not as if he did not know them already, but because our satisfaction is disposed and ordered by confession; by confession our repentance hath birth and production, and by repentance God is appeased.”
73. Things being thus, we need not immerge ourselves in the trifling controversies of our later schools, about the just value of every work,—and how much every penance weighs,—and whether God is so satisfied with our penal works,-that in justice he must take off so much as we put .on, and is tied also to take our accounts. Certain it is, if God should weigh our sins with the same value as we weigh our own good works, all our actions and sufferings would be found infinitely too light in the balance. Therefore, it were better that we should do what we can, and humbly beg of God to weigh them both with vast allowances of mercy. All that we can do, is to be sorrowful for our sins, and to leave them, and to endeavour to obey God in the time to follow; and to take care, ut aliquo actu administretur pænitentia, * that our repentance be exercised with certain acts proper to itk: Of which these are usually reckoned as the principal.
Sorrow and Mourning. 74. So St. Cyprian : “Satisfactionibus et lamentationibus peccata redimuntur :” “Our sins are redeemed or washed off by the satisfactions of just sorrow or mourning.”And Pacianus m gives the same advice: “ Behold, I promise, that, if you return to your Father by a true satisfaction, wan-. dering no more, adding nothing to your former sins, and saying something humble, and mournful— We have sinned in thy sight, O Father, we are not worthy of the name of sons, --presently the unclean beast shall depart from thee, and thou shalt no longer be fed with the filthy nourishment of husks.”—And St. Maximus calls this mourning and weeping of our sins,' mostam pænitentiæ satisfactionem,' the sorrowful amends or satisfaction of repentance. The meaning of this is; that when we are grieved for our sins and deplore them, we hate them, and go from them, and convert to God who only can give us remedy.
Serm. de Lapsis.
k Tertul. de Penit.
A Hom. in die Ciner.
Corporal Aflictions. 75. Such as are, fastings; watchings; hair-cloth upon our naked bodies; lyings upon the ground; journeys on foot; doing mean offices; serving sick and wounded persons; so litariness; silence; voluntary restraints of liberty ; refusing lawful pleasure; choosing at certain times the less pleasing meats; laborious postures in prayer; saying many and devout prayers with our arms extended, in the fashion of Christ hanging on the cross; which indeed is a painful and afflictive posture, but safe and without detriment to our body: add to these the austerities used by some of the ancients in their ascetic devotions, who sometimes rolled themselves naked upon nettles, or thorns, shut themselves in tombs, bound themselves to pillars, endured heats and colds in great extremity, chastisements of the body, and all ways of subduing it to the empire of the soul. Of which, antiquity is infinitely
and of which at last they grew so fond and enamoured, that the greatest part of their religion was self-affliction; but I choose to propound only such prudent severities, as were apt to signify a godly sorrow, to destroy sin, and to deprecate God's anger in such ways of which they had experience, or warrant express, or authentic precedents; their exomologesis' being, as Tertulliano describes it, a discipline of humbling and throwing a man down,' conversationem injungens misericordiæ illicem,''enjoining a life that will allure to pity :' 'de ipso quoque habitu atque victu mandat, sacco et cineri incubare, corpus sordibus obscurare.' Penitential sorrow expresses itself in the very clothes and gestures of the body; that is, a great sorrow is apt to express itself in every thing, and infects every part of a man with its contact. “ Ut Alexandrum regem videmus, qui cum interemisset Clitum familiarem suum, vix à se manus abstinuit: tanta vis fuit pænitendi:” “ When Alexander had killed his friend Clytus, he scarce abstained from killing himself: so great are the effort and violence of repentance P:" and this is no other thing than what the Apostle said ; " If one member of the body is afflicted, all the rest suffer with it:" and if the heart be troubled, he that is gay in any other part, goes about to lessen his trouble ; and that takes off, it does not promote; repentance. • De Poenit. c. 9. p Ciceron. Tuscul. 4. 37. Rath. p. 369.
76. But the use of this is material; it is a direct judging of ourselves, and a perverting the wrath of God; not that these penances are a payment for the reserve of the temporal guilt, remaining after the sin is pardoned. That is but a dream; for the guilt and punishment are not to be distinguished in any material event : so long as a man is liable to punishment, so long he is guilty : and so long he is unpardoned, as he is obnoxious to the divine anger. God cannot, will not, punish him that is innocent; and he that is wholly pardoned, is in the place and state of a guiltless person. Indeed, God punishes as be pleases, and pardons as he pleases, by parts, and as he is appeased, or as he inclines to mercy ; but our general measure is,-As our repentance is, so is our pardon ;-and every action of repentance does something of help to us; and this of self-affliction, when it proceeds from a hearty detestation of sin, and indignation against ourselves for having provoked God, is a very good exercise of repentance; of itself it profits little, but as it is a fruit of repentance; in the virtue of it, it is accepted towards its part of expiation, and they that have refused this, have felt worse ;
Et qui non tulerat verbera, tela tulit 4. But when God sees us smite ourselves in indignation for our sins, because we have no better way to express and act our repentances, God hath accepted it, and hath himself forborne to smite us, and we have reason to believe he will do so again. For these expressions extinguish the delicacies of the flesh, from whence our sins have too often had their spring: and when the offending party accuses himself first, and smites first, and calls for pardon, there is nothing left to the offended person to do, but to pity and pardon. For we see that sometimes God smites a sinner with a temporal curse, and brings the man to repentance, and pardons all the rest ; and therefore much rather will he do it, when we smite ourselves. For this is the highest process of confession. God is pleased that we are ashamed of our sin, that we justify God, and give sentence against ourselves, that we accuse ourselves, and acknowledge ourselves worthy of his severest wrath: if therefore we go on and punish the sinner too, it is all, it is the greatest thing, wecan do: and although
4 Mart. Spect. 10.
it be not necessary in any one instance to be done, unless where the authority of our superior does intervene; yet it is accepted in every instance, if the principle be good, that is, if it proceeds from our indignation against sin, and if it be not rested in as a thing of itself, and singly a service of God, which indeed he hath no where in particular required; and lastly, if it be done prudently and temperately. If these cautions be observed in all things else, it is true that the most laborious repentance, if other things be answerable, is the best, for it takes off the softness of flesh, and the tenderness of the lower man; it abates the love of the world, and enkindles the love of heaven; it is ever the best token of sincerity and an humble repentance; and does promote it too, still in better degrees effecting what it doth signify. As music in a banquet of wine, and caresses and indications of joy and festivity, are seasonable and proper expressions at a solemnity of joy: so are all the sad accidents, and circumstances, and effects, and instruments, of sorrow proper in a day of mourning. All nations weep not in the same manner, and have not the same interjections of sorrow: but as every one of us use to mourn in our greatest losses, and in the death of our dearest relatives, so it is fit we should mourn in the dangers and death of our souls; that they may, being refreshed by such salutary and medicinal showers, spring up to life eternal.
77. In the several ages of the church, they had several methods of these satisfactions; and they, requiring a longer proof of their repentance than we usually do, did also, by consequent, enjoin and expect greater and longer penitential severities : concerning which these two things are certain :
78. The one is, that they did not believe them simply necessary to the procuring of pardon from God; which appears in this; that they did absolve persons in the article of death, though they had not done their satisfactions. They would absolve none that did not express his repentance some way or other; but they did absolve them, that could do no exterior penances ; by which it is plain, that they made a separation of that, which was useful and profitable only, from that which is necessary.
79. The other thing which I was to say, is this. That though these corporal severities were not esteemed by then simply necessary, but such which might, in any and in every