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Sermon to the Commonalty, wherein he disputeth against the Donatists, and
treateth of vows.
1. The enemies of the Lord Jesus Christ, known unto all men, the Jews, are wont to glory in this Psalm which we hare sung, saying, Known in Judæa is God, in Israel great is the name of Him: and to revile the Gentiles to whom God is not known, and to say that to themselves alone God is known ; seeing that the Prophet saith, Known in Judea is God: in other places therefore He is unknown. But God is known in very deed in Judæa, if they understand what is Judæa. For indeed God is not known except in Judæa. Behold even we say this, that except a person shall have been in Judæa, known to him God cannot be. But what saith the Apostle? He that in secret is a Jew, he that is so Rom. 2, in circumcision of the heart, not in letter but in spirit. 29 There are therefore Jews in circumcision of the flesh, and there are Jews in circumcision of the heart. Many of our holy fathers had both the circumcision of the flesh, for a seal of the faith, and circumcision of the heart, for the faith itself. From these fathers these men degenerating, who now
2 Meaning of Judæa. The tuelve tribes of Israel. Psalm in the name do glory, and have lost their deeds; from these LXXVI. fathers, I say, degenerating, they have remained in flesh
Jews, in heart Heathens. For these are Jews, who are out
of Abraham, from whom Isaac was born, and out of him Gen. 21, Jacob, and out of Jacob the twelve Patriarchs, and out of the 26:22, twelve Patriarchs the whole people of the Jews. But they 32. &c. were generally called Jews for this reason, that Judas was
one of the twelve sons of Jacob, a Patriarch among the twelve, and from his stock the Royalty came among the Jews. For all this people after the number of the twelve sons of Jacob, had twelve tribes. What we call tribes are as it were distinct houses and congregations of people. That people, I say, had twelve tribes, out of which twelve tribes one tribe was Judah, out of which were the kings;
and there was another tribe, Levi, out of which were the Numb. priests. But because to the priests serving the temple no 18, 20.
land was allotted, but it was necessary that among twelve tribes all the Land of promise should be shared: there having been therefore taken out one tribe of higher dignity, the tribe of Levi, which was of the priests, there would have remained eleven, unless by the adoption of the two sons of Joseph the number twelve were completed.
What this is, observe. One of the twelve sons of Jacob was Joseph. It is that Joseph whom his brethren sold into Egypt, and who there on account of his chastity was raised to an exalted station, and God was with him in all his work; and he received his brethren, by whom he had been sold, and his father, weighed down with famine and for the sake of bread going down into Egypt. This Joseph had two sons, Ephraim and Manasse. Jacob, dying, as though by will,
received those his grandsons into the number of sons, and Gen.48, said to his son Joseph, The rest that are born shall be to
thee ; but these to me, and they shall divide the land with their brethren. As yet there had not been given nor divided the land of promise, but he was speaking in the Spirit prophesying. The two sons therefore of Joseph being added, there were made up nevertheless twelve tribes, since now there are thirteen. For instead of one tribe of Joseph, two were added, and there were made thirteen. There being taken out then the tribe of Levi, that tribe of priests which
The Jews forfeited their name in renouncing their King. 3 did serve the Temple, and lived by the titbes of all the rest Ver. unto whom the land was divided, there remain twelve. In t. these twelve was the tribe of Juda, whence the kings were. For at first from another tribe was given King Saul, and he i Sam. was rejected as being an evil king ; after there was given, lo from the tribe of Judah King David, and out of him from the tribe of Judah were the Kings. But Jacob had spoken 1 Sam.
16, 12. of this, when he blessed his sons, there shall not fail a prince Go out of Judah, nor a leader from his thighs, until there come 10. He to Whom the promise hath been made. But from the tribe of Judah there came Our Lord Jesus Christ. For He is, as the Scripture saith, and as ye have but now heard, out 2 Tim. of the seed of David born of Mary. But as regardeth the 2, 8. Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, wherein Heis equal with the Father, He is not only before the Jews, but also before Abraham John 8, himself; nor only before Abraham, but also before Adam ; 58. por only before Adam, but also before Heaven and earth and before ages : for all things by Himself were made, and without John l, Him there was made nothing. Because therefore in prophecy hath been said, there shall not fail a prince out of Judah, Gen. 49, nor a leader from his thighs, until there come He for Whom 10. the promise hath been made : former times are examined, and we find that the Jews always had their kings of the tribe of Judah, and had no foreign king before that Herod who was king when the Lord was born. Thence began Luke 3, foreign kings, from Herod. Before Herod all were of the tribe of Judah, but only until there should come He to Whom the promise had been made. Therefore when the Lord Himself came, the kingdom of the Jews was overthrown, and removed from the Jews. Now they have no king; because they will not acknowledge the true King. See now whether they must be called Jews. Now ye do see that they must not be called Jews. They have themselves with their own voice resigned that name, so that they are not worthy to be called Jews, except only in the flesh. When did they sever themselves from that name? They said—(they were raging against Christ, that is, the race of Judah was raging against the seed of David. And Pilate saith to them, Your John 19, King shall I crucify?)—they said, I say, We have no king 15. but Cæsar. O ye who are called Jews and are not, if ye
The true royalty of Darid is in Christ. Psalm have no king but Cæsar, there hath failed a Prince of Judah:
there hath come then He to Whom the promise hath been made. They then are more truly Jews, who have been made Christians out of Jews: the rest of the Jers, who in Christ have not believed, have deserved to lose even the very name. The true Judæa, then, is the Church of Christ, believing in that King, Who hath come out of the tribe of Judah through
the Virgin Mary; believing in Him of Whom the Apostle was 2 'Tim. just now speaking, in writing to Timothy, Be thou mindful 2, 8.
that Jesus Christ hath risen from the dead, of the seed of David, after my Gospel. For of Judah is David, and out of David is the Lord Jesus Christ. We believing in Christ do belong to Judah : and we acknowledge Christ. We, that with eyes have not seen, in faith do keep Him. Let not
therefore the Jews revile, who are no longer Jews. They Jobn19, said themselves, We have no king but Cæsar. For better
were it for them that their king should be Christ, of the seed of David, of the tribe of Judah. Nevertheless because
Christ Himself is of the seed of David after the flesh, but Rom. 9, God above all things blessed for ever, He is Himself our
King and our God; our King, inasmuch as born of the tribe of Judah, after the flesh, was Christ the Lord, the
Saviour; but our God, Who is before Judah, and before John 1, Heaven and earth, by Whom were made all things, both
spiritual and corporal. For if all things hy Himself were made; even Mary herself, out of whom He was born, by Himself was made. How then could He have been born like the rest of mankind, who made unto Himself a mother out of whom He might be born? Therefore He is Himself
the Lord : the Apostle saying, when he was speaking of the Rom. 9, Jews, of whom are the fathers, and out of whom is Christ
after the flesh; Who is over all things, God blessed for ever. Because then the Jews saw Christ and crucified Him, they saw not God: but the Gentiles because they saw not and
believed, have perceived God. Therefore if there appeared Cor.3, to them God in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, and
they crucified Him because they perceived not God hidden
in flesh: begone that which is called Judæa and is not; and Ps.34,5, let there draw near the true Judæa, to whom is said, Draw ye
near to Him and be ye enlightened, and your faces shall not
He is known as God to the true Judah and Israel. 5 blush. The faces of the true Judæa shall not be put to con- Ver. fusion. For they have heard and have believed, and the Church hath become the true Judæa, where Christ is known, Who being Man of the seed of David, is God abore David.
2. Known in Judæa is God, in Israel great is the Name of Him. Concerning Israel also we ought so to take it as we have concerning Judæa: as they were not the true Jews, so Deither was that the true Israel. For what is Israel said to be? One seeing God. And how have they seen God, among whom He walked in the flesh; and while they supposed Him to be man, they slew Him? Rising again He appeared as God to all to whom He willed to manifest Himself. They then are worthy to be called Israel, who merited to perceive Christ, as God clothed in flesh, so that they despised not that which they saw, but adored that which they saw not. For though not seen to the eyes, the Gentiles with humble mind have perceived Him Whom they saw not, and in faith have retained Him. Again, they that in hands held Him, slew Him; they that in faith held Him, adored. In Israel great is His Name. Wilt thou be Israel? Observe that man concerning whom the Lord saith, Behold an Israelite indeed, John 1,
47. in whom guile is not. If a true Israelite is he in whom guile is not, the guileful and lying are not true Israelites. Let them not say then, that with them is God, and great is His name in Israel. Let them prove themselves Israelites, and I grant that in Israel great is His Name.
3. Ver. 2. And there hath been made in peace a place for Him, and His habitation is in Sion. Again, Sion is as it were the country of the Jews; the true Sion is the Church of Christians. But the interpretation of the Hebrew names is thus handed down to us : Judæa is interpreted confession, Israel, one seeing God. After Judæa is Israel: so it hath been placed here, Known in Judæa is God, in Israel great is His Name. Wilt thou see God? First do thou confess, and then in thyself there is made a place for God; because there hath been inade in peace a place for Him. So long as then thou confessest not thy sins, in a manner thou art quarrelling with God. For how art thou not disputing with Him, who art praising that which displeaseth Him? He punisheth a thief, thou dost praise thest: He doth punish a drunken man,