The Second Sunday in Advent The Gospel Math. 11 v.2. Saturday 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.

Saturday Meditation

What went you out to see? a man clothed in soft apparel? Behold, such do dwell in the courts of Kings. But what went you fourth to see? a Prophet? Yea I say unto you, and more then a Prophet. For of him it is said (to witt by the Prophet Esay) Behold I will send my Angel before his face to prepare his ways; that is, the way of Christ the Messias or Savior of the world.

Those that honor me (saith God) them will I honor. St. John honored Christ by preaching faithfully his coming to ready us: & Christ our Lord here honor him in a most high degree; styling him, more then a Prophet; as in another place of the gospel he saith, that their was not a greater then he amongst the children of women. And this did he, not in the presence, or hearing of St. John disciples: but after they were gone, & departed to teach us this lesson, that we should not command people (though never so praise worthy) to their faces, or to them that may report it unto the parties least it make them proud, & hinder progress in virtue endangering them to esteem themselves perfect enough by the testimony of such as praise them.

Also we may learn that good men, out of the love of goodness, will praise & set forth one another whereof ((though they seek it not by so doing) they themselves receive praise, & honor. But those that envy the praise & good name of their brother, or dispraise their neighbors; although otherwise, perhaps they be good & virtuous; yet in this they show great imperfection, & the diminishing of their brothers credit, redoubles unto their own dispraise, Let us learn also by St. Johns wilderness, to imitate him in spare diet, and simple apparel, and such other his holy mortifications, for such things are fitter to prepare the way of our Lord unto our souls, which is the keeping of his commandments, and aspiring still to perfection, then to converse in worldly affairs, or to court it in princes palaces, unless in those occasion (which cannot always, and by all persons be avoided since princes also must be served by good men) we learn to make a spiritual wilderness, sometimes retiring to our closets, and private places, to recollection, and prayer unto God almighty.

A certain holy heremit, was won’t to confess, that he never went abroad to company, but he came home less man then he went forth. To pamper a servant (saith Salomon) is to make him insolent. Our servant is our body which we must Keep in subjection to the law of our spirit. If we pamper him over much with delicious diet, soft sleep, and dainty clothing, and the like: he will quickly be rebellious to the spirit his master. And therefore Saint Paul saith, of himself: I chastise my body, and bring it in subjection; least preaching to others, I become a reprobate myself. If the case were so with Saint Paul: much more with us; And therefore let us with St. Paul use the like chastising of our body.


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