Thirteenth Sunday After Pentecost The Gospel Luc. 17 v. 11. Tuesday Meditation: A Plaine Path-way To Heaven Thomas Hill 1634

GOSPEL Luke 17:11-19
At that time, as Jesus was going to Jerusalem, he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain town, there met him ten men that were lepers, who stood afar off. And lifted up their voice, saying: "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us." Whom when he saw, he said: "Go, shew yourselves to the priests." And it came to pass, as they went, they were made clean. And one of them, when he saw that he was made clean, went back, with a loud voice glorifying God. And he fell on his face before his feet, giving thanks. And this was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering, said: "Were not ten made clean? And where are the nine? There is no one found to return and give glory to God, but this stranger?"And he said to him: "Arise, go thy way; for thy faith hath made thee whole."


Of sin, a certain holy man used this Parable: The devil took Iniquity, or Sin to his wife, & by her had nine Daughters.

His first daughter was Pride, & this be married unto Kings, and Princes, and great persons of the world, because it doth reign commonly in these kind of persons.

The second was Simony, and this he married to the Clergy, or Ecclesiatical persons, because it is proper to them.

The third was Hypocrisy, this he married to religious persons, because it is most incident to them.

The fourth was Rapine, or open & violent taking away of mens goods, and this he married unto Soldiers and military men, because it is most proper to them.

The fifth was Usury, and this he married to Merchants, because it is most proper to them.

The sixth was lying, and this he married to mechanical men, because it it most proper to them, as men that scarce have learned to speak truth.

The seventh was Sloth and Idleness, and this he married to the Nobility and Gentry, who think themselves exempted from that penal law, Thou shalt eat thy bread in the sweat of the brow.

The eighth was Murmuration , and this he married to Husbanmen, & the common vulgar people, because it is most proper to them, as men that are murmuring, & repining at the Nobility and Gentry, and especially at their Governors, and Commanders.

The ninth was Leachery which he would marry to none in particular, but leave her a common Concubine to all sorts and states of people, and is so potent and prevalent with them, that there are few with whom, in one sort or other, she doth not prevail.

Behold the fair and sweet lady Lechery, the common Concubine of the world!

The prophet David for the avoiding of these & other sins saith, he did observe hard ways, his words are these.

For the words of thy lips, O Lord, that is to say, for the keeping of thy commandments, I kept hard ways: or, as St. Jerome translated, the ways of the thief, that is to say, I have shunned the occasions of sinning against thy commandments, which the thief Satan doth offer unto me, which being the ways to sin are consequently the ways of Satan, wherein he lurketh to rob our souls: which ways we must be very diligent and vigilant to avoid, as he would those ways that thieves and robbers do haunt, if we will keep the commandments of God, and especially the occasions of Lechery; because we have by nature a more stronger inclination, and adhesion thereunto, then unto any other sin, and is more common to all, as aforesaid: what hard ways we must take, especially against the sin of Lechery, we have this example in the holy Scripture.

When Moses gave instructions to the people of Israel, concerning the Land of Promise, when they came there, among other things to comfort them, he told them, God would consume & root out the inhabitants thereof, that they might dwell in their place, yet withal he gave them this Caveat, that he would do it, by little and little, not all at once, least they, having none to conflict withal, and to exercise themselves, the wild beasts of the land might set upon them, and destroy them: whereby was mystically signified, that if men should not be troubled, and kept in exercise, with other temptations, corporal labor & afflictions, the beastial temptations of the flesh (I say (bestial) for they are no better) world invade & destroy them: where our fall is more certain, and danger more desperate, & therefore our good God doth oftentimes out of his especial favor, permit us to be exercised with those, that we fall not into these: and in religious houses the Superiors care not, how they load their subjects with corporal labors, and other afflictions & crosses, nor how much they seem to persecute them, nor how much they murmur, & spurn against them, so they may preserve them from the temptations, and occasions of that foul leprosy of carnal sin; which as the Scripture telleth, is a fire that consumeth all the buds & blossoms of virtue.

And of all occasions of this sin of Lechery, the company and familiarity of such as are infected therewith, is the most dangerous, which meeting with our natural inclination, is almost inevitable: and for us to shun the familiarity of such men, especially if we affect them, is almost as hard to many, as to shun the occasions of the sin.

St. Paul sayth, that to avoid the sin of the flesh it is good for a man not to touch a woman.

Job made a pact with his eyes that he would not so much as think of a young maiden.

Priests do enuch, or geld themselves by a solemn vow of Chastity, to the end that by that occasion the obligation being doubled, they may keep it the better, and shun the occasions of losing, or violating the same.

These and the like be those hard ways, the prophet David meaneth we must take, if we will keep the commandments of God; Christ telling us, that the kingdom of heaven doth suffer violence, and the violent be they, that carry it away.


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