The Second Sunday in Advent The Gospel Math. 11 v.2. Monday Meditation: A Plaine Path-way To Heaven Thomas Hill 1634
Gospel St. Matthew, 11. 2-10.
At that time, when John had heard in prison the works of Christ, sending two of his disciples, he said to Him: Art thou He that art to come, or look we for another? And Jesus making answer, said to them: Go and relate to John what you have heard and seen. The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead rise again, the poor have the gospel preached to them: and blessed is he that shall not be scandalized in Me. And when they went their way, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John: What went you out into the desert to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went you out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Behold they that are clothed in soft garments are in the houses of kings. But what went you out to see? A prophet? Yea I tell you, and more than a prophet. For this is he of whom it is written: Behold I send My angel before Thy face, who shall prepare Thy way before Thee.
Fornication,and wine; and drunkenness (sayth the prophet Osee) take away mens hearts, that is to to say: fornication doth take away mens judgement, and understanding, no other wise then drunkenness be bereaveth man of the use of reason, and maketh them like mad men.
So people of Israel fornicated with daughters of Moab, who consequently drew them to their sacrifices, and enticed them to eat, and drink in honor of their false gods: in so much, that they shamed not to dedicate themselves to Beelphogor that is unto Priapus,the most absurd Idol that could be imagined,& set up his statue one their altars to obtain of him fecundity of children.
To such a madness likewise did Herod's incestuous lust to his brothers wife, bring him: not only to set aside all shame of the world,and fear of God: but even to imprison the holy saint John Baptist, a man that desired the good of Herod's soul, a man so highly esteemed of all the people,and even of Herod himself, when, he was in his true sense; that they deemed him to Christ, the promised Messias.
So great a saint,so zealous a master of his soul as this, did his lustful sin draw him to put to death.
And that with a fond, and foolish occasion.
Upon a feigned contentment at his daughters dancing: but indeed the cruel invention of his incestuous minion,who persuaded the daughter to demand the Baptists head as a boon for her dance.
And then the instance circumstance of the time,& company: to ask, & grant so heinous, and bloody an execution upon his feast day,in a solemn banquet, before his Lords,and Captains; as to have that sacred head yet fresh-bleeding served in a dish to the table.
Bloody and barbarous cruelty.
Here hence may we see how far carnal lust, fornication,adultery lascivious desires will transport a man out of reason: how it will bereave a man (as the Prophet Osee said) of his judgement, of his understanding,of his hart: and make him senseless, witless yea barbarous,and void of all humanity.
Withal, by Herodias who induced Herod to this cruelty, we may see how shrewd a persuader a woman is to her husband either in good,or in bad; that men be warned.not to let themselves be seduced by their wives: and wives admonished, to use their persuasions to help, and comfort their husbands in good,and lawful occasions; for which cause they were created, and ordained by God almighty: who said, after he had created Adam: It is not good for man to be alone;let us make Adam a help like unto himself; that is to say,a help to goodness,to live well, and orderly,and contentedly; for a help in evil, properly no help at all, but a mere hindrance.