Изображения страниц

ples be laid down, and a well connected Syftem Part 2: made. I. The first of our Principles is this, That every there is

1. Principles thing is full of mysteries in that great work of the certainly Creation. I suppose this principle, because it will fome myr be generally granted by those for whose fake I work of write : as for those who will have nothing to be Creation, found here, but the Letter and the History, they deserve not to be considered. If their opinion be no Heresy, it comes very near one: 'tis unworthy of a Divine, and I am bold to say, unworthy of an understanding Christian. He mult very little have itudied the Divine conduct, who doth not takenotice of its depth, and that incomparably more is concealed than discovered. Methinks the lewish Cabalists have a good remark upon it: they say, God hath made three Worlds for one another : and that he hath put his Signet and his Seal upon the super rior World, in such a manner and with fuch a force, that its impression descends to every thing, even to the lowest in this inferior World. I leave the proof of it to men of Contemplation, and am not at leasure for the present to make it out, but it seems certain and apparent to me, God himself in his essence is that exemplar and original seal, he hath every where imprinted the seal and image of his essences in the World of Glory, in that of Grace, and in the lowest also that of Nature : therefore'tis that the Divine image appears every where, and every where the same ; for 'tis the same seal hath

pene. trated all those different things. Deus folet uno figillo varias materias fignare, Taid Renchlin. There are three. sorts of People who read the Scripture.

The simple and ignorant , who are altogether fo; studied and deep Divines, who only are truly

Divines; and those who are butsuperficial ones. The Рp3


Part2. first are the Lambs, bom to eat the grass which

grows on the surface of these fields : I do not im. pute it to them as a fault not to penetrate farther. But I know not how to pardon those pretended Divines , who tear out the very heart of the sacred Scriptures , in the Mysteries and Divine depths therein, and leave it nothing but a bare super. ficies. Let us give but twa Examples of this Maxim of the Cabalists, that God hath imprinted a seal of himself and of his Mysteries, which reacheth to all matters. The first is that of the Trinity of Persons in a unity of essence, whereof we have a lively image in the World of Spirits, by the effence, intelligence, and will, which is found in every Spirit, whether separate or united with matter: and another lively image of it in the three dimenGons of matter, longitnde, latitude , and profundity, which are three diftinct dimensions, and yet make but one only and most simple extension. The other instance is in the mystery of the Incarnation, and the personal union of the Divine uncreated Mature with the humane ; a mystery whereof we fee a lively image in the Incarnation of those fouls which God unites with matter. These things deserve very well to be thought of. Besides, that the Holy Ghost hath sufficiently declared himselfconcerning these Mysteries. He hath shown us one part, that we may imagine the rest. He faith, that the light of the first day, is the image of that Action, whereby God causeth the light to shine in the darknefs of our ignorance. The Scripture calls our Lord the Sun of Righteorfness, by allusion to the Sun in the Heavens; a second. Adam, with reference to the Creation of the first Adam; the marriage of Adam and Eve an image of Christ and his Church, Heaven is called Paradise, by allusion to the Earshly


[ocr errors]

Paradise. In a word, there are an hundred things in Part 2
the work of Creation, whereof no natural reason
can be given : there must be some therefore which
are mysterious. Why (for instance) did God create
a Chaos, before he put in order the several parts of
the world ? why he rank’t them all in fix days time,
no more or less why he created not the Sun but on
the fourth day? why the Plants were created be-
fore the Sun? and why the Fishes and Brids before
the Beasts ofthe field?

II. Our second Principle is this, that the fen. 3. Princi sible World is the image of the Intelligible; and this fenible Intelligible World is not a World of Platonic Idea's. image of 'Tis in the Church, where every thing is to be met the intelo

with by analogy that is found in the sensible World.
1 bere is an Heaven there is an intelligible Sun,
which is God, there are Spirits which are the in-
telligible Stars, there is an Earth, Plants, Fruits, and
also wild Beasts, enemies of this World. The Scri-
pture leads us by the hand in these paths, by the
continual use of figures borrowed from the sen-
fible World, to signify those parts of the intelligible

From this principle we may conclude , that
the creation of the sensible World is the image and
Type of the Creation of the intelligible World. And
consequently that the Creation of the World is the
Image of the different degrees, by which God hath
made his Church to pass through, to bring it to per-
III. Our third. Principle is this, that in every

3. Princi.

ple; God System composed of Events, there are several Pe- divided the riods to be considered. This is the Spirit of the Pro-fémerali pea phets; God divided the times into seven Trum- riods. pets, seven Seals, and seven Viols, Upon this Principle it cannot be doubted, but the seven days of the Creation are as many Periods of this Intelligible


[ocr errors]



ple; the

The fifth

Purt 2. World, through which they are to pass to arrive a

perfection. 4. Princi.

IV.My fourth Principle is this that the H.Ghost same ima: ought constantly to fix the same Mysteries to the raises roughe fame Images in all the parts of the Creation. For where to Example, the Waters should every where be the fine mye same thing, and signify the same Mystery; which Qeries. is a Principle that was not at all heeded by Placeus.

In one place he makes the Waters to be sin ; in another to be the Passions, well ordered and gathered together in Chrift. In a third place,'tis meant of the Heart sanctified and serving God; 'tisa fault that is most obvious, and which alone is sufficient to prove that he had no System, that they were only loose thoughts which shined separately, but did not mutually illustrate each other.

V: I will add a fifth Principle , that in this MyPrinciple; stery we should not, as some do, destroy the HiSy muy not story. There is nothing more dangerous, if a man destroy the gives himself the liberty to deny matters of fact,

and to turn all into pure allegory , there then remains nothing certain in the Scripture.' Libertins may then doubt of the whole, and we shall no longer be able to distingnish those places, where the relation must be taken according to the Letter from those where the Letter Thall be false, and where there is nothing but mystery. We must suppose the Type to be in the matters of fact, if the Events prove false, the Type is null.

These Principles being laid down, I thus form my System. The Creation of the sensible World, being an Image of the Creation of the intelligible World we must divide the time, in which God hath formed the Church into seven Periods; but those feven Periods are not precisely distinguisht, each of them to contain a thoufand years, as hath



[ocr errors]

been formerly supposed, from those words of St. Part 2 Peter, a thousand years with the Lord are as one day. There is some difficulty in the division of those Periods, and after having well condered it, I di, vide them thus: 1. The first Period is from Adam to Abraham, which is almost two thousand years. 2. The second is from Abrabam to Mofes, which is between four and five hundred years. 3. The third Period is from Moses to lesus Christ, which is between fourteen and fifteen hundred

years. 4. The fourth is from Iefus Cbrift to the rise of Antichrist, that is between four and five hundred years. 5. The fifth is from the rise of Antichrist to his Completion, that is between five and six hun dred years. 6. The fixth is from Antichrist compleat to his Destruction, which is between seven and eight hundred years: .

7. The seventh and laft is from the Ruin of Antichrist to the end of the World, this will be about a thousand years.

The great inequality that there is between these several Periods as to their duration, ought not to make any difficulty. We must not reckon things according to the time, but compute the time according to the things. The time wherein

nothing is done is reckon'd for nothing. The Periods of the Church must be computed by the great changes which have therein happened. Now 'tis exactly in these fix points, that the Church hath changed its face. From Adam untill Abraham there was no change in the face of the Church; by Abraham it began to assumea new form, she had then Sacraments; and the distinction of People began. By Mofes the Church took another form, quite different from the Preceding. By Christ the became incomparably more perfect. By the rise and growth


[ocr errors]
« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »