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The thirteenth, with the remaining verses of the forty-first chapter is explained, chiefly with reference to the pride of the Devil, and the most cruel persecutions of Antichrist against the Saints.




1. Because we bear about us a body from this world, let us consider the end of the universe, from the part of it in which we ourselves are [al. ‘which we are’]. For we learn more quickly of what kind is the end of the world, if we carefully consider that which we bear about us from the world. For our age flourishes more vigorously in our youthful years, but in the time of old age it is shrivelled up by increasing diseases, and while its existence is extended to greater length, instead of dying it daily fails every moment of its life. So also as the duration of the world increases in years, it suffers under increasing evils, and it feels the loss of its health, as it obtains increase of age. For its tribulations increase together with its years, and it endures with greater weakness the losses of life, the more it lasts on, as it were, to a more advanced age. For the ancient enemy is let loose against it with all his strength, who, although he has already perished, as having lost the happiness of his heavenly condition, is yet at that time more fully extinguished, when he is deprived of his permission to tempt, and is fast bound in eternal fires. He is about, accordingly, to assail the ends of the world with severer temptations, because he becomes more raging in his cruelty, the nearer he perceives himself to punishment. For he considers that he is just about to lose his privilege of most fatal liberty. And the more he is confined by the shortness of the time, the more does he spread forth with multiplicity of cruelty, as is said of him by the voice of the angel to John; Woe to the earth, and to the sea, because the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, knowing that he hath but a short time. [Rev. 12, 12] He then spreads himself forth into the fury of great wrath, in order that he, who could not remain in his state of happiness, may not fall into the pit of his damnation with a few only. He then searches out with greater craft whatever power of iniquity he has gotten, he then exalts more highly his neck of pride, and by means of that accursed man whom he wears, displays for the purpose of evil, all the temporal power he possesses. Whence also it is now rightly said by the Divine voice;

Ver. 13. In his neck will remain strength. [E.V. 22]




2. For what is designated by the ‘neck’ of that Leviathan, except the stretching out of his pride, with which he raises himself up against God, when, with pretended sanctity, he is exalted also by the pride of power? For that pride is expressed by the ‘neck,’ the Prophet Isaiah witnesses, who reproves the daughters of Jerusalem, saying, They have walked with stretched forth neck. [Is. 3, 16] Strength then is said to remain in the ‘neck’ of this Leviathan, because power is also subjoined and ministers to his pride. For all his haughty pride, all his crafty machinations, he prosecutes at that time by the strength also of secular power. Which the prophet Daniel observing, says, Craft will be directed aright in his hand. [Dan. 8, 25] For craft in his hand, is fraud in his strength; for all his wicked designs he is able also, for the time, to carry out with strength. But his craft is said to be ‘directed,’ because the malice of his fraud is impeded by no difficulty. For this Leviathan or his vessels are wont frequently to possess this peculiarity, that, to add to their iniquity, they are able to carry out more wickedly what they wickedly desire.


3. For when the Elect perchance are weakened, and rush headlong in their unlawful desires, they are frequently restrained by the hand of the Divine gift, so as to find no results from their wretched will. And when a strong opposition arises to their wishes, they are frequently corrected by the very impossibility, and by the wonderful course of the inward disposal, a change of their evil will succeeds through conversion, while through their infirmity perfection [or ‘through their weakness fulfilment’] is denied them. For hence is that which the Lord says, under the character of every soul, to Judæa who is weak, and walking in evil ways; Behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and I will hedge it up with a wall, and she shall not find her paths, and she shall follow after her lovers, and she shall not overtake them, and she shall seek them, and not finding them shall say, I will go and return to my first husband, for then it was better with me than now. [Hos. 2, 6. 7.] For the ways of the Elect are hedged up with thorns, when they find the pain of piercing in that which they desire in this world. He obstructs, as it were, by interposing a wall, the ways of those, whose desires the difficulty of attainment opposes. Their souls truly seek their lovers, and find them not, when by following malignant spirits, they do not gain hold of those pleasures of this world, which they desire. But it is well added that she says immediately in consequence of this very difficulty; I will go and return to my former husband, for then it was better with me than now. For the Lord is the first husband, Who united to Himself the chaste soul, by means of the love of the Holy Spirit. And the mind of each one then longs for Him, when it finds manifold bitternesses, as thorns in those delights, which it desires in this world. For when the mind has begun to be stung by the adversities of the world which it loves, it then understands more fully, how much better it was for it with its former husband.


4. Those then, whom an evil will perverts, adversity frequently corrects. Whence also it is much to be feared, lest prosperity should follow, when unjust things are longed for, because an evil, which is supported also by the prosperity of attainment, is with more difficulty corrected. Both craft then is directed aright in the hand of this Leviathan, who with his members is consigned to eternal tortures, and strength remains in his neck, because that which he longs for in this world with evil resolve against the good, he consummates with more evil ability, in order that no present adversity may oppose him, in proportion as no prosperity awaits him for the future. And because every one who, from depraved habits, is familiar with his friendship, loses first the true riches of the mind, it is fitly subjoined;

And want will go before his face.




5. For acquaintance is wont to be designated by the ‘face.’ Whence it is written; And My Face shall go before thee, [Ex. 33, 14] that is, knowledge of Me will give thee guidance. But it should be known, that the want of the Elect is used in one sense in Holy Scripture, the want of the reprobate in another. For it is the want of the Elect, when the true riches of the heavenly country recur to their mind, and when, placed in the sorrowful banishment of this present life, they remember that they are poor. For they sigh in truth unceasingly after those riches, of which Paul says; That ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the Saints. [Eph. 1, 18] And because as yet they do not behold them, they earnestly groan, the mean while, in the sorrow of this poverty. Jeremiah had doubtless gained a sight of this poverty, when he was saying; I am a man who behold my poverty by the rod of His indignation. [Lam. 3, 1] For the rod of the indignation of God is the blow of severity. And man then endured this indignation, when he was expelled from Paradise, and lost the true riches of inward joy. But because all the Elect continually behold that they have fallen into the poverty of the present life from that faculty of innate strength, it is well said, I am a man who behold my poverty. For whoever still longs after these visible things, understands not the misery of his pilgrimage, and has not skill to see the very evil which he is suffering. The prophet David, beholding this poverty, says, My strength is weakened in my poverty. [Ps. 31, 10] For strength is said to be weakened in poverty, because the mind which has fallen in this pilgrimage, and has been assaulted by the annoyances of its own corruption, is hindered from beholding that which it has lost.


6. But the reprobate know not how to think of this poverty, because, while they pursue those things which they behold, they neglect to think of the invisible things which they have lost. Whence it is rightly called their ‘want;’ for while they are filled with sins, they are emptied of the riches of virtues. And it is frequently their lot, that, when, from being lifted up by the madness of pride, they consider not the losses of their fall, they discern not that they are poor also in good deeds. Whence it is said by the voice of the Angel to the preacher of Laodicea; Thou sayest that I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. [Rev. 3, 17] He who is elated through pride at his sanctity, declares himself, as it were, to be rich, but is proved to be poor, blind, and naked. Poor, assuredly, because he has not the riches of virtues; blind, because he sees not the poverty which he is suffering; naked, because he has lost his first garment, but in a worse way, because he knows not that he has lost it. Because then, as we have said, the ‘want’ of the reprobate is their being stripped of their merits, it is rightly said of Leviathan; Want will go before his face. For no one is joined to the knowledge of him, unless he is first stripped of the riches of virtues. For he first steals away good thoughts, and afterwards infuses in them a clearer knowledge of his own iniquity. Want is therefore said to go before his face, because the faculty of strength is first destroyed, in order that a knowledge of him may be afterwards gained, as if through familiarity. Or certainly, because he steals upon many in so crafty a manner, that he cannot be detected by them, and so makes void their virtues as not to display the evil design of his cunning, want is said to go before his face. As if it were openly said, Because when he tempts by lying in ambush, he spoils men before he is perceived. For hence is that which is said of Ephraim by the Prophet, Strangers have devoured his strength, and he hath known it not. [Hos. 7, 9] For by ‘strangers’ are usually understood apostate angels, who devour our strength, when they consume the virtue of the mind by perverting it. Which Ephraim both endured, and knew it not, because through the temptation of malignant spirits he both lost the strength of his mind, and understood not that he had lost it. Want therefore goes before the face of Leviathan, because he spoils by his temptation the minds of the careless, before he who is tempted knows his snares. By this then which is said, In his neck will remain strength, is set forth the power of his violence. But by this which is added, And want will go before his face, is designated the subtlety of his craft.


7. Although with regard to our knowing that want goes before his face, there is another point for us to expound in a more melancholy manner. For by the awful course of the secret dispensation, before this Leviathan appears in that accursed man whom he assumes, signs of power are withdrawn from Holy Church. For prophecy is hidden, the grace of healings is taken away, the power of longer abstinence is weakened, the words of doctrine are silent, the prodigies of miracles are removed. And though the heavenly dispensation does not entirely withdraw them, yet it does not manifest them openly and in manifold ways as in former times. And this is so caused by a wonderful dispensation, in order that the Divine mercy and justice may be fulfilled together by one and the same means. For when Holy Church appears as if she were more abject, on the withdrawal of signs of power, both the reward of the good increases, who reverence her for the hope of heavenly things, and not on account of present signs; and the mind of the wicked is the more quickly displayed against her, who neglect to pursue the invisible things which she promises, when they are not constrained by visible signs. When therefore the humility of the faithful is deprived of the manifold manifestation of wonders, by the terrible judgment of the secret dispensation, there is heaped up more abundant mercy for the good, and just anger for the evil, by the same means. Because these signs of power cease, in great measure, in Holy Church, before this Leviathan manifestly and visibly comes, it is now rightly said; Want will go before his face. For the riches of miracles are first withdrawn from the faithful, and then that ancient enemy displays himself against them with visible prodigies, in order that as he boasts himself on his wonders, he may be overthrown more mightily and more honourably by the faithful without wonders. For though signs will not be wanting to the faithful in their contest with him, yet his will be so great, that those of our people will seem to be rather few or none at all. But their virtue doubtless becomes mightier than all signs, when it crushes with the heel of inward resolution all his terrible deeds which it beholds. But the malignant enemy displays himself against them with so much the fiercer cruelty, the more he grieves that he is despised even with the brightness of his miracles. He therefore gathers himself together for their destruction, and unites all the reprobate with unanimous cruelty for the death of the faithful; in order that he may put forth his cruelty with so much greater power, in proportion as all the members of his body agree with him in the things he seeks perversely to effect. Whence also it is rightly said;

Ver. 14. The members of his flesh cling to each other. [E.V. 23]




8. The ‘flesh’ of this Leviathan are all the reprobate, who rise not in their longing to a knowledge of their spiritual country. But the ‘members of his flesh’ are those, who are united to these very persons, when acting wickedly, and preceding them in the way to iniquity. As is said on the other hand by Paul to the Lord’s body; Ye are the body of Christ, and members of a member. [1 Cor. 12, 27] For a member of a body is one thing, a member of a member is another. For a member of the body is a part referred to a whole, but a member of a member is a particle to a part. For a member of a member is a finger to the hand, the hand to the arm, but a member of the body, is the whole of this together to the body at large. As therefore in the spiritual body of the Lord we term ‘members of a member’ those who in His Church are governed by others; so, in that reprobate congregation of this Leviathan, those are the ‘members of his flesh,’ who by their wicked deeds are joined to some more wicked than themselves. But because the malignant enemy agrees with himself in his perverse doings from first to last, the Divine discourse speaks of the members of his flesh clinging to each other in him. For they so agree in their wicked opinions, as not to be divided by any mutual disputations with each other. No quarrel of disagreement then divides them, and they therefore prevail mightily against the good, because they keep themselves together with close agreement in evil. For as we have already said above, that it is fatal if unity is wanting to the good, so it is more fatal if it is not wanting to the evil. For the unity of the reprobate obstructs more firmly the path of the good, the more firmly it opposes itself to it by being collected together.


9. Paul had beheld this unity of the reprobate destructive to himself, when being seized in the midst of the Sadducees and Pharisees he was saying; Of the hope and resurrection of the dead, I am judged. [Acts 23, 6] And struck by this voice, the crowd of his hearers immediately mutually started asunder against itself. And when the tumultuous multitude is divided into two parts, a way of rescue is opened to Paul, because the crowd of persecutors when divided released him whom it had held fast when united together. The righteous are therefore rescued, when the unrighteous are divided, and the wishes of the Elect arrive at completion, when the hosts of the reprobate are confounded by discord. And this is also well designated by the dividing of the Red Sea. [Ex. 14, 21] For when the wave is divided into two parts, the Elect people journeys on to the land of promise, because, when the unity of the wicked is rent asunder, holy minds attain to, that which they desire. If the unity of the wicked had not been hurtful, Divine Providence would never have divided the tongues of the proud with such great diversity. [Gen. 11, 9] If the unity of the wicked had not been hurtful, the Prophet would not say of the enemies of Holy Church; Cast down, O Lord, and divide their tongues. [Ps. 55, 9] Because then this Leviathan is then let loose in his might against the Elect of God, to increase his power of hurting, he is permitted also to have unity among the reprobate, in order that he may put forth his might more powerfully against us, the more he assaults us not merely with the blow of strength, but also with the weight of unity. But who can be sufficient against these things? What mind must not tremble at the weight of such pride and compactness, from the very bottom of his thought? Whence, because the Divine Clemency sees that we are trembling through weakness, It immediately adds what It does for us, by Itself. For it follows; He shall send lightnings against him, and they shall not be carried to another place.




10. What is designated by the appellation of ‘lightnings,’ except those tremendous sentences of the last judgment? And they are, therefore, called ‘lightnings,’ doubtless, because they consume for ever those whom they strike. For Paul had beheld lightnings coming down on him, when he was saying, Whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the Spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming. [2 Thess. 2, 8] But these lightnings which are sent against him, are not carried to another place, because they then smite the reprobate only, while the righteous rejoice. For after the threshing of the present life, in which the wheat now groans beneath the chaff, such a separation is made by that fan of the last judgment between the wheat and the chaff, that neither does the chaff pass into the garner of the wheat, nor do the grains of the garner fall into the fire of the chaff. Those lightnings then touch not another place, because, namely, they burn with their fire not the grains, but the chaff. But He teaches us, that punishment does not correct this Leviathan, when he adds;

Ver. 15. His heart shall be hardened as a stone. [E.V. 24]




11. For the heart of the ancient enemy will be hardened as a stone, because it will never be softened by any penitence of conversion. And because he will be fitted only for the blows of eternal punishment, it is rightly immediately added;

And he will be bound as the anvil of the hammerer.


For the hammerer puts up an anvil fitted to receive blows only. For an anvil is erected for the very purpose of being struck with frequent blows. Leviathan therefore will be bound as the anvil of the hammerer, because he will be confined by the chains of hell, in order to be beaten with the continual blows of eternal punishment. And he is struck also even now, when any of the just are saved, as he is watching in ambush, but wasting away with pain. But in an anvil other vessels are wrought into shape, while the anvil itself by its many blows is not changed into a vessel of another kind. This Leviathan is therefore rightly compared to an anvil, because we are wrought into shape by his persecutions, but he is both always struck, and is never changed into a useful vessel. We abandon him to eternal blows, and we, who have been smitten through his temptation by the hand of the heavenly Artificer, come out by his means properly shaped vessels. For on him we are beaten, but it is that we may come into use for the House above. But he is bound as an anvil, because, though he now goes about the world with his temptations, yet when placed in the pit, under the blow of his sentence, he wanders no more. It follows;

Ver. 16. When he shall be taken away, the angels shall fear, and being affrighted shall be purified. [E.V. 25]




12. Holy Scripture often so mixes up past and future times, as sometimes to use the future for the past, sometimes the past for the future. For it uses the future for the past, when there is pointed out to John a woman, who is about to bring forth a male child, to rule the Gentiles with a rod of iron. [Rev. 12, 5] For since this had already taken place by the coming of the Lord in the flesh, an event which had occurred was being announced. Again, it was the past for the future, as the Lord speaks by the Psalmist, saying; They have dug My hands, and My feet, they have numbered all My bones. [Ps. 22, 16. 17.] For by these words in truth, the nature of the Lord’s Passion is described as already past, but yet it is announced as still far future. In this place then in which it is said; When he shall he taken away, the angels shall fear, nothing prevents its being understood, that past events are described under the form of the future tense. Nor do we give up the sense of its true meaning, if we believe that when this Leviathan was falling from the height of blessedness, the Elect Angels also were greatly terrified at his fall, in order that, as the fall of pride was casting him out from their number, their very fear might give them strength to stand more firmly. Whence it also follows;

And being affrighted shall be purified.


13. But they are purified; doubtless because, when he went forth with his reprobate hosts, they alone, who were to live in happiness for ever, remained in the abodes of heaven. His fall then alarmed and purified them; it alarmed them, in order that they might not proudly despise their Creator. But it purified them, because it was so ordered, that when the reprobate went forth, the Elect alone remained. And because God, the Maker of all things, knows how to apply even the evil doings of the reprobate to the protection of the good, He converted the lapse of those who fell to the benefit of those who remain; and the fault of the proud is punished, by the same means by which the increased merits of the humble Angels were discovered and confirmed. For on the fall of these, it was granted as a special gift to those that they should never in any wise fall. For while the holy Angels behold in them the ruin of their own nature, they stand with greater caution and firmness in their own persons. Hence it is ordered, by the Lord the Maker of all, marvellously arranging all things, that even the losses of its ruin are of service to that abode of Elect spirits, when it is more firmly built up, in consequence of its having been partially destroyed.


14. But because Holy Scripture is frequently accustomed to designate the preachers of the Church, by the name of ‘Angels,’ because they announce the glory of the heavenly country, we can in this place understand ‘Angels’ to mean holy preachers. For this cause it is that John, in the Apocalypse, writing to the seven Churches, speaks to the Angels of the Churches, that is, to the preachers of the peoples. [Rev. 2, and 3] Hence the Prophet says; And the angels of peace shall weep bitterly. [Is. 33, 7] Hence again the Prophet Malachi says; The priest’s lips keep knowledge, and they seek the law at his mouth, for he is the angel of the Lord of hosts. [Mal. 2, 7] Hence Paul says; Great is the mystery of godliness, which was manifested in the flesh, was justified in the spirit, appeared unto angels, hath been preached unto the Gentiles, is believed on in this world, is received up into glory. [1 Tim. 3, 16] He therefore, who, after he had said that the mystery of the dispensation appeared to Angels, added also that it had been preached unto the Gentiles, certainly by the name ‘Angels’ designated holy preachers, that is, the messengers of truth.


15. If therefore the expression, When he shall be taken away, the angels shall fear, and being affrighted shall be purified, is referred to future time, there is here pointed out the last damnation of this Leviathan, in this world, on the coming of the strict Judge. Because he, who is now tolerated by the wonderful longsuffering of gentleness, is taken out of this world by the wrath of judgment. But he is cast out from thence with so great a weight of terror, that even the strength of holy preachers is disturbed; For when he shall he taken away, the angels shall fear. Because when he is swept away with the whirlwind of judgment, even those messengers of the heavenly country, who shall be found in their bodies, are staggered with unbounded fear, and tremble. For though they now are strong and perfect, yet, as still living in the flesh, they cannot fail of being agitated with fear, at the whirlwind of such great terror. But when this Leviathan is swept away, and when all the elements are shaken at his destruction, the hope of the approach of the kingdom fills those holy preachers with joy, whom, as I have said, that time of judgment shall find still in their bodies, and the infirmity of their flesh alarms them at the display of wrath. There will therefore be in them, in a certain way, a joyful trembling, and a fearless fear; because they are sure of being rewarded in the heavenly kingdom, and through fear of so great a whirlwind they tremble from the infirmity of the flesh.


16. Let us consider therefore how greatly the conscience of the wicked is then agitated, when the life even of the just is disturbed. What will they do, who hate the coming of the Judge, if even they who love tremble at the terror of so great a judgment? And because, whatever rust of slight sins could possibly exist in holy preachers, is burnt out by this dread, after He had said, When he shall be taken away, the angels shall fear, He fitly subjoined immediately; And being affrighted shall be purified. But because we have learnt these things concerning the end of this Leviathan, let us hear what he does meanwhile, before he perishes. It follows;

Ver. 17. When a sword has reached him, it will not be able to remain, nor a spear, nor a breastplate. [E.V. 26]




17. In Holy Scripture by a ‘sword’ is sometimes designated holy preaching, sometimes eternal damnation, sometimes temporal tribulation, sometimes the wrath or persuasion of the ancient enemy. For a ‘sword’ is put for holy preaching, as Paul says, And the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. [Eph. 6, 17] By the word ‘sword’ is designated eternal damnation, as is written of an heretical preacher; If his children be multiplied, they will be in the sword; [Job 27, 14] because in whatever great number they here shoot forth, they are consumed with eternal damnation. A ‘sword’ is taken for temporal tribulation, as is said to Mary concerning tribulations which are about to follow; And a sword shall pass through thine own soul. [Luke 2, 35] Again, by ‘sword’ is expressed the wrath or persuasion of the malignant enemy, as the Psalmist says; Who hast delivered David Thy servant from the malicious sword. [Ps. 144, 10] For kind is the sword of holy preaching, with which we are struck that we may die from sin. But the sword of diabolical persuasion is malicious, with which a man is fatally wounded, that he may he deprived of rectitude of life. The sword then of the ancient enemy is, at that time, that accursed man, assumed for the purpose of his service. For he sharpens him through the malice of cunning, and pierces the hearts of the feeble. The sword therefore of this man reaches Leviathan, when his own accursed man has taken him up. But if by the word ‘sword’ his wrath is designated, he is rightly described, not as seizing the sword, but as seized by the sword. For he is then turned into such madness, that, seeking to rule over all, he is unable to control his own anger. For we, when we assume wrath in the exercise of justice, hold a sword; because we control it by keeping it under the moderation of judgment. But he, because he is hurried on through the precipices of fury, is said not to seize his sword, but to be seized by his sword. For he does not keep and control his anger, but, in his fury, is possessed by his anger.


18. But it is plain to all, that we strike our adversary with a spear, but are protected from our adversary by a breastplate. By a spear we inflict wounds, by a breastplate we are protected from wounds. What therefore is designated by a ‘spear’ but the shaft of preaching; what by a breastplate but the strength of patience? This Leviathan then, because by taking that reprobate man to himself, he is let loose in the wrath of every kind of cruelty, is said to be ‘seized by a sword.’ For by the display of his immense strength, he then exhibits whatever power of wickedness he possesses. And neither the spear nor the breastplate will be able to stand, because entering into Antichrist, he will seem to be of such great strength, as (if heavenly assistance were wanting) to blunt the keenness of preachers, and to overthrow the long-suffering of the patient. For unless heavenly grace strengthens the life of the righteous, the spear does not stand, because the strength of preachers is broken; the breastplate does not resist, because the patience of the constant is burst through and penetrated. Whence it is also subjoined,

Ver. 18. For he shall esteem iron as straw, and brass as rotten wood. [E.V. 27]




19. That which above He called a ‘spear,’ he mentioned again below under the appellation of ‘iron:’ and that which He spoke of as a ‘breastplate,’ He again designated by mentioning it as ‘brass.’ For iron is sharpened, that the adversary may be wounded; but brass is hardly destroyed by any rust. Whence also it is said by Moses of Holy Church under the character of Asher; His shoe is iron and brass. [Deut. 33, 25] For by ‘shoe’ is understood in Holy Scripture the defence of preaching; as it is written, Feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace. [Eph. 6, 15] Because then strength is expressed by ‘iron,’ but perseverance by ‘brass;’ her shoe is said to be iron and brass, when her preaching is protected by sharpness, and firmness at the same time. For by iron she penetrates opposing evils, but by brass she patiently preserves the blessings she has set before her. Whose perseverance he there in truth more plainly points out, saying, As the days of his youth, so also shall his old age be. [Deut. 33, 25] But when this Leviathan has taken that sword, whom the Holy Scriptures call Antichrist, for the sake of practising his iniquity, he will esteem both iron as straw, and brass as rotten wood; because, unless Divine grace gives protection, he will both consume with the fire of his wickedness the strength of preachers as straw, and will reduce to dust the constancy of the patient like rotten wood. And therefore the keenness of iron and the strength of brass fail, when by the violence of his might both the understanding of preaching is blunted, and the long-suffering of patience is scattered.


20. Unless then the Divine assistance strengthens its Elect, where will the weak then be, if the strong are counted as straw? What will this Leviathan then do with the straw, if he will count the iron as straw? What is he about to do with the rotten wood, if he will break as rotten wood the strength of brass? But O! how many who think that they are in their own strength iron or brass, in that fire of tribulation then find that they are straw; and how many who from their own infirmity are afraid that they are straw, when supported by the Divine help are strengthened with the solidity of brass or iron, so as to be the stronger in God against their adversary the more they remember that they are weak in themselves. But the higher this Behemoth rises against the Elect of God by miracles, the more earnestly do the saints gird themselves for the words of preaching against him. But yet he so possesses the minds of the reprobate, as not to leave them though he is wounded by all the darts of the truth. Whence it is also subjoined,

Ver. 19. The archer shall not put him to flight. [E.V. 28]




21. For what do we understand by ‘arrows’ but the words of preachers? For when they are drawn forth by the voice of holy livers, they transfix the hearts of the hearers. With these arrows Holy Church had been struck, who was saying, I am wounded with love. [Cant. 2, 5] Of these arrows it is said by the voice of the Psalmist, The arrows of children are made their wounds; [Ps. 64, 7] because, that is, the words of the humble have penetrated the minds of the proud. Of these arrows it is said to the coming champion, Thine arrows are sharp, O Thou most mighty, people shall fall under Thee in their heart. [Ps. 45, 5] An ‘archer’ then is he, who by the bow of holy intention fixes in the hearts of his hearers the words of sound exhortation. Because then this Leviathan despises the words of preachers, and when he has wounded the minds of the reprobate by his evil persuasions, does not, in his hardness, in any wise abandon them even in the midst of darts, it is rightly said, The archer shall not put him to flight. As if it were plainly said, The arrow of a holy preacher does not dislodge him from the hearts of the reprobate; because, whoever is seized by him, scorns at once to listen to the words of preachers. Whence the Lord, being deservedly angry for their former sins, says by the Prophet of those whom He abandons in the hands of the ancient enemy, I will send among you serpents, basilisks, for whom there is no charm. [Jer. 8, 17] As if He were saying, I will deliver you up by just judgment to such unclean spirits, as cannot be shaken off by you, by the exhortation of preachers, as if by the word of charmers. But because this Leviathan is not driven from the hearts of the reprobate by the darts of holy preaching, his very contempt for holy men is also added, when it is immediately observed;

The stones of the sling are turned with him into stubble.




22. What is typified by the ‘sling,’ but Holy Church? For when a sling is whirled round, so do stones fly out of it, for the breasts of the adversaries to be struck therewith. In like manner when Holy Church is led through a circuit of tribulations, in the whirl of time, mighty men come forth from her, by whom the hearts of the wicked are to be beaten as if by the blows of stones. Whence the Lord says to the Prophet concerning good teachers, They shall devour, and subdue with sling stones. [Zech. 9, 15] For holy teachers who train others also in virtue, devour their enemies, when they change them within [one Ms. ‘into’] their own body by the power of conversion. And they subdue them with sling stones, because while they train all the mighty men in Holy Church, they crush by their means the hard breasts of proud adversaries. Whence also the giant Goliath is killed by the stone of the sling; [l Sam. 17, 49] because the lofty height of the devil is overcome by a single stone of Holy Church. Because then this Leviathan, when he has assumed that accursed man, despises all the mighty ones of the Church, as if they were weak, and crushes their strength for a season, is it now rightly said, The stones of the sling are turned with him into stubble. As if it were plainly said, He reduces as it were into the softness of stubble the strength of Saints, whose tongue before smote his breast with hard blows. For then putting forth all the strength of his iniquity, the more he grieves at being vanquished by them spiritually, the more fiercely does he prevail against them bodily. And because he considers that he has no power against their spirit, he carries out in their flesh all the methods of his cruelty. But what wonder if he despises the strength of men, since he scorns even the very torments of the heavenly judgment against him. Whence it is also subjoined,

Ver. 20. He will esteem the hammer as stubble. [E.V. 29]




23. As if he were saying, He despises even the weight of that reproof, which strikes him by a punishment coming from above. For in Holy Scripture by the name ‘hammer’ is sometimes designated the devil, by whom the faults of offenders are now smitten. But it is sometimes taken for the smiting of heaven, by which even the Elect feel blows from above, in order to amend their evil ways: or it strikes the reprobate with just indignation, in order that by now anticipating eternal punishments, it may shew them what they also deserve hereafter. For that the ancient enemy is expressed by the term ‘hammer’ the Prophet witnesses, when he observes the power of the last judgment upon him, and says, How is the hammer of the whole earth broken and crushed? [Jer. 50, 23] As if he were saying, Who can imagine with what a whirling stroke, at the coming of the last judgment, the Lord shatters him with eternal damnation, by whom He smites those vessels of His which are to he fashioned for the use of His service? Again, by a ‘hammer’ is expressed a blow from heaven, which is signified by Solomon building the temple, when it is said, And the house when it was in building, was built of stones hewn, and made ready, and neither hammer, nor hatchet, nor any tool of iron was heard in the house, while it was in building. [1 Kings 6, 7] For what did that house typify but Holy Church, which the Lord inhabits in heavenly places? To the building of which the souls of the Elect are brought, as if they were some polished stones. And when it is built in heaven, no hammer of discipline there any longer resounds, because we are brought thither, as stones hewn, and made ready to he arranged in places fitted for us according to our desert. For here we are beaten outwardly, in order that we may arrive thither without reproach. Here does the hammer, here the hatchet, here do all the iron tools of blows resound. But in the house of God no blows are heard, because in the eternal country the noises of smitings are now hushed. There the hammer strikes not, because no punishment afflicts. The hatchet cuts not, because no sentence of severity casts out those who have been once received within. The instruments of iron resound not, because not even the slightest scourges are any longer felt. Because then the weight of the heavenly blow is expressed by a hammer coming down from above, what is meant by this Leviathan despising the hammer, except that he scorns to dread the blows of the heavenly punishment? And he counts the hammer as stubble, because he prepares himself for the weight of just wrath, as if against the lightest alarms. Whence it is also added still more expressly;

And will laugh at Him that shaketh the spear.




24. For the Lord shakes a spear against Leviathan, because He threatens a severe sentence in his destruction. For to ‘shake a spear’ is to prepare for him eternal death through strict punishment. But the apostate spirit, despising the Author of his life, even with his own death, laughs at Him that shaketh the spear; because whatever severe, whatever horrible fate he foresees approaching from the strict judgment, he fears not to suffer it: but the more he perceives that he cannot escape eternal torments, with the greater cruelty does he rise up in practising his wickedness. And when the wise ones of this world behold him made firm with such perseverance, and such might, in all that he desires, they, most of them, incline their hearts to yield to his tyranny; and all that they know by the gift of God, do they turn against Him and apply to the service of His enemy. Whence it is also rightly subjoined;

Ver. 21. The rays of the sun will be under him. [E.V. 30]




25. For in Holy Scripture when the ‘sun’ is used figuratively, there is designated sometimes the Lord, sometimes persecution, sometimes the display of an open sight of any thing, but sometimes the understanding of the wise. For by the ‘sun’ the Lord is typified, as is said in the Book of Wisdom, that all the ungodly in the day of the last judgment, on knowing their own condemnation, are about to say; We have erred from the way of truth, and the light of righteousness hath not shined unto us, and the sun rose not upon us. [Wisd. 5, 6] As if they plainly said: The ray of inward light has not shone on us. Whence also John says; A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet. [Rev. 12, 1] For by the ‘sun’ is understood the illumination of truth, but by the moon, which wanes and is filled up every month, the changeableness of temporal things. But Holy Church, because she is protected with the splendour of the heavenly light, is clothed, as it were, with the sun; but, because she despises all temporal things, she tramples the moon under her feet. Again, by the ‘sun’ is designated persecution, as the Truth says in the Gospel, that the seeds which sprang up without roots withered when the sun arose. [Matt. 13, 6] Because, namely, the words of life which flourish for a moment of time in the heart of earthly men, are dried up by the heat of persecution coming upon them. Again, by the ‘sun’ is designated the setting forth of a clear view, as the Prophet announces the Lord of all things appearing to our eyes, saying; He hath set His tabernacle in the sun. [Ps. 19, 4] As if he were saying, He displayed in the light of clear vision the mystery of His assumed humanity. And as it is said to the same Prophet by the Divine voice by Nathan; For thou didst it secretly; but I will do this thing in the sight of all Israel, and in the sight of the sun. [2 Sam. 12, 12] For what does he mean by the sight of the sun, except the knowledge of manifest vision. Again, by the name ‘sun’ is expressed the understanding of the wise, as it is written in the Apocalypse; The fourth angel poured forth his vial upon the sun, and it was given unto him to afflict men with heat and fire. [Rev. 16, 8] To pour forth a vial upon the sun is in truth to inflict the punishments of persecution on men shining with the splendour of wisdom. And it was given unto him to afflict men with heat and fire. Because when wise men, overcome by tortures, are smitten with the error of evil living, the weak, being persuaded by their example, burn with temporal desires. For the falls of the strong increase the destructions of the weak. That the acuteness of wisdom is designated by the ‘sun,’ is said also in the way of comparison by Solomon; A wise man continueth as the sun, a fool changeth as the moon. [Ecclus. 27, 11] What then is pointed out in this place by the rays of the sun, but the acuteness of wise men? For because many, who seemed to be resplendent in Holy Church with the light of wisdom, either caught by persuasions, or alarmed by threats, or overpowered by tortures, submit themselves at that time to the power of this Leviathan, it is rightly said, The rays of the sun will be under him. As if it were plainly said, These, who within Holy Church seemed by the acuteness of wisdom to shed, as it were, rays of light, and by the authority of rectitude to be resplendent from above, submit themselves under the power of this Leviathan by their evil doings, so as no longer to shine from above by sound preaching, but to submit to him by obeying him in perverse ways. The rays therefore of the sun are under him, when some, even learned men, do not exalt the acuteness of their wisdom by acting freely, but bend themselves down, both by the perversity of their doings, and by the fawning of adulation, to the steps of this Leviathan; so that their understanding, which by the gift of heaven was like a sun to them from above, is cast down, by earthly desire, beneath the feet of the ancient enemy. And accordingly even now when any of the wise or learned, for the sake of advantage, or of the glory of temporal life, submits, by falling into flattery, to the powers of the world who work wickedness, a ray of the sun casts itself, as it were, beneath the feet of the coming Antichrist. And Behemoth humbles, as it were, beneath himself the light of heaven, when he tramples under foot, through their fatal assent, the minds of the wise. The rays, therefore, of the sun submit themselves to the feet of this Leviathan, as often as those who seem to be resplendent with the light of doctrine derive, through excessive acuteness, wrong opinions from Holy Scripture, and by their perverse opinions yield themselves up to his errors. For when they set themselves up against the faithful preaching of the truth, they follow by their false opinions the footsteps of this Leviathan. The rays of the sun are under him, as often as those who are learned, or powerful with the light of understanding, either exalt themselves in pride, to the contempt of others, or putting aside the lofty thoughts they feel, are polluted with the filthy desires of the flesh, or, forgetting heavenly things, pursue those of earth, or, not remembering that they are earth, boast vainly of their knowledge of heavenly things. Whence it is there also rightly subjoined,

He will strew gold under him like clay.




26. For by the term ‘gold’ in Holy Scripture is understood sometimes the brightness of Divinity, sometimes the splendour of the heavenly city, sometimes charity, sometimes the brightness of secular glory, sometimes the beauty of sanctity. For by the name ‘gold’ is designated the very inmost brightness of Divinity, as the appearance of the Bridegroom is described in the Song of Songs; His head is the most fine gold. [Cant. 5, 11] For because God is the Head of Christ, but in metals nothing is brighter than gold, the Head of the Bridegroom is said to be gold, because His Humanity rules over us from the brightness of His Divinity. Again, by the name ‘gold’ is understood the splendour of the heavenly city, as John bears witness that he saw it, saying; The city itself was of pure gold, like unto clear glass. [Rev. 21, 18] For the gold of which that city consists is said to be like glass, in order that by the gold it may be described as being bright, and by the glass as being clear. Again, by the name ‘gold’ charity is suggested, as the Angel, whom the same John beheld talking with him, he saw girt at the paps with a golden girdle. [Rev. 1, 13]] Doubtless because when the breasts of the citizens of heaven are no longer subject to the fear of punishment, and are not separated by any rent the one from the other, they bind themselves together by charity alone. [see Bk. xxi. §5. comp. Acts 7, 30] But to ‘have a golden girdle about the paps,’ is to restrain all the movements of our changeful thoughts by the hands of love alone. Again, by the name of ‘gold’ is expressed the brightness of secular glory, as is said by the Prophet, Babylon is a golden cup. [Jer. 51, 7] For what is designated by the name of Babylon, but the glory of this world? And this ‘cup’ is said to be ‘golden,’ because while it shews the beauty of temporal things, it so intoxicates foolish minds with its concupiscence, that they desire temporal display, and despise invisible beauties. For in this golden cup Eve was the first who was made drunken of her own accord, of whom the history of truth says, that when she desired the forbidden tree, she saw that it was beautiful to the sight, and delightful to the look, and ate thereof. [Gen. 3, 6] Babylon is therefore a golden cup; because while it displays a look of outward beauty, it steals away the feeling of inward rectitude. Again, by the name of ‘gold’ is understood the splendor of sanctity, as Jeremiah deplores the change of the Jewish people from the splendor of righteousness to the gloom of wickedness, saying, How is the gold become dim, the finest colour is changed? [Lam. 4, 1] For as we said before, gold is dimmed, when the beauty of righteousness is forsaken, as the darkness of iniquity succeeds. The finest colour is changed, when the splendour of innocence is turned into the foulness of sin.


27. By the name also of ‘clay ‘is designated in Holy Scripture sometimes the multiplicity of earthly goods, sometimes wicked teaching which savours of filth, sometimes the allurement of carnal desire. For by ‘clay’ is typified the multiplicity of earthly goods, as is said by the Prophet Habakkuk, Woe to him that multiplieth those things which are not his; how long doth he heap against himself the thick clay? [Hab. 2, 6] For he weighs himself down with thick clay, who multiplying earthly goods by avarice, confines himself with the oppression of his sin. Again, by the name of ‘clay’ is designated teaching which savours of faith, as is said to the Lord by the same Prophet; Thou madest a way in the sea for thy horses, in the clay of many waters. [Hab. 3, 15] As if he were saying, Thou hast opened a way for thy preachers amid the doctrines of this world which savour of filthy and earthly things. By ‘clay’ is designated also the desire of filthy pleasure, as the Psalmist says in entreaty; Take me out of the clay, that I stick not. [Ps. 69, 14] For to stick in the clay, is to be polluted with the filthy desires of carnal concupiscence.


28. In this place therefore ‘gold’ is taken for the brightness of sanctity; but nothing hinders our understanding by ‘clay,’ either covetousness in earthly things, or the infection of wicked doctrines, or the filth of carnal pleasures. For because this Leviathan subjects at that time to himself many, who seemed within Holy Church to be resplendent with the brightness of righteousness, either by the desire of earthly things, or by the infection of erroneous doctrine, or by carnal pleasures, he doubtless strews the gold under him like clay. For to strew gold as clay, is to trample down in some persons purity of life by unlawful desires; so that even they may follow his filthy footsteps, who used before to flash forth against him with the splendour of their virtues. The ancient enemy then deceives some at that time under a show of sanctity, but intercepts others by the foul sins of a carnal life. But he will then openly attack in these ways, but now he rules secretly in the hearts of many, as the Apostle Paul says, That he may he revealed in his time; for the mystery of iniquity doth already work. [2 Thess. 2, 6. 7.] He therefore even now throws gold under him as clay, as often as he overthrows the chastity of the faithful through the sins of the flesh. He tramples on gold as clay, as often as he distracts the understanding of the continent by unclean desires. And this he performs the more vehemently at that time, the more unrestrainedly he perpetrates all that he desires, as given up to his own abandoned liberty.


29. And it may perhaps disturb some one, why the merciful Lord permits those things so to happen, that this Leviathan either now by crafty suggestions, or then by that accursed man whom he fully possesses, subjects to himself even the rays of the sun, that is, the learned and wise, or strews gold (that is, holy men refulgent with the brightness of sanctity) as clay beneath him, by polluting them with sins. But we reply at once, that the gold which could be strewed as clay by his evil persuasions, was never gold before the eyes of God. For they who can at any time be seduced so as never to come back again, seem in the eyes of men to lose the sanctity they possessed; but they never had it in the sight of God. For a man is often involved secretly in many sins, and he seems great in some one virtue. And this virtue itself also becomes weak and fails, because, when it is observed by men, it is doubtless praised, and its praise is eagerly sought after. Whence it comes, that even that very virtue is no virtue in the eyes of God, while it conceals that which displeases, puts forward that which pleases Him. What merits then can there possibly be with God, when both sins are concealed, and good qualities made public? For frequently, as we have said, pride is hidden, and chastity is publicly known; and therefore the chastity which has been long made a shew of, is lost towards the end of life, because the concealed pride is sustained unamended even to the end. Another is busy in almsgiving, he distributes his own goods; but he is yet a slave to many acts of injustice, or perhaps employs his tongue in detraction. And it is frequently the case, that he, who had been compassionate, is inflamed, at the end of his life, with the stimulants of rapacity and cruelty. And it is the effect of a most righteous judgment, that he loses before men, even that by which he pleased men, who was never careful to amend that, by which he was displeasing to God. Another studies patience; but while he does not avoid envying others, and keeping malice in his heart, he at last becomes impatient, who for a long while grieved in secret. These therefore are in some measure ‘gold,’ and in some measure ‘clay.’ And this ‘gold’ is strewed as ‘clay,’ when even the virtue, which had shone brightly before men, is scattered by the force of secret sins. But we think it worth while to consider more accurately the excellence of the heavenly dispensation in these cases.


30. For Almighty God often tolerates the secret sins of some persons, in order that He may so make use of their known virtues as to promote the interests of His own Elect. For some persons do not entirely forsake the world, and lay hold on the narrow way, not so as to persevere. But yet by their example they inflame those, who are about to persevere, to seek the narrow way. Whence it frequently happens that this good life which they seem to live, they live not for themselves, but rather for the Elect alone, when, though not about to persevere themselves, they excite others, who will persevere, to zeal in holy living. But we often behold some persons enter on a way, and hasten to the proposed spot; and others follow them, because they see them on the way, and they go on together to the same place. But it frequently happens that when any difficulty assails them, those who were going before, return back, and that those who were following reach the appointed spot. So doubtless are those who lay hold on the way of holiness, though not about to persevere. For they enter on the way of virtue, though not about to reach its end, for the very purpose of shewing to those who are about to reach it, the way in which they should walk. And even the fall of these promotes, with no slight benefit, the advancement of the Elect. Because while they behold their fall, they tremble for their own state, and the ruin which condemns those, humbles these. For they learn to trust in the protection of heavenly assistance, when they see that many have fallen from their own strength. When therefore the reprobate seem to be acting rightly, they are pointing out as it were a level road for the Elect who are following them; but when they fall and lapse into wickedness, they shew, as it were, to the Elect who are journeying after them, the pitfall of pride to be guarded against. Let this Leviathan then go his way, and ‘put beneath himself the rays of the sun,’ and ‘cast under him the gold like clay.’ Almighty God knows how to use aright the sin of the reprobate for the comfort of His own Elect, when they who are about to reach Him, both advance toward Him by their own merits, and are frequently corrected in their proud thoughts by the lapses of others. But if this Leviathan acts thus even with those whom some virtue distinguishes, what is he likely to do with those whose mind is not in any degree raised up above earthly desires? These persons however the divine discourse plainly mentions, when it subjoins,

Ver. 22. He will make the deep sea to boil like a pot. [E.V. 31]




31. What is expressed by the ‘sea’ but the life of the worldly, what by the ‘deep’ [‘profundum’] but their deep and hidden thoughts? And this deep sea this Leviathan makes to boil like a pot, because it is doubtless quite plain, that in the time of the last persecution he studies to excite the minds of the reprobate against the life of the Elect by the flame of cruelty. Then does the deep sea boil as a pot, when he inflames with strong heat the hearts of the lovers of this world, and when those who in this time of peace kept their malice close within itself, then boil over with the heat of most savage persecutions, and with the headlong liberty of open cruelty breathe forth that hatred of ancient envy, which they had long suppressed. But because, when persuaded by deadly error they so serve Antichrist in these doings, as to imagine that they are the more truly doing service to Christ; after he had said, He will make the deep sea to boil like a pot, be fitly subjoined,

He will make it as when ointments boil.




32. For ointments when they boil give forth the fragrance of sweetness. Because then this Leviathan will so seduce the hearts of the reprobate, that, whatever they do from the wickedness of unbelief, they imagine they are doing it for the truth of the right faith, that which they do with zeal for religion, smells, as it were, sweetly to them. Whence the Truth says to His disciples in the Gospel; That every one that killeth you, will think that he doeth God service. [John 16, 2] They, therefore, boil as a pot, while they cruelly persecute: but this very persecution smells, to their sense, with the fragrance of ointments, when their mind, deceived by vain imaginations, thinks that it is doing God service. For in Holy Scripture by the sweet smell of ointments is usually signified an opinion of virtues. Whence the Bride in the Song of Songs, longing for the Bridegroom, says, We run in the odour of Thy ointments. [Cant. 1, 3] And hence the Apostle Paul, knowing that he was fragrant with the praise of virtues, says, We are unto God a sweet savour of Christ. [2 Cor. 2, 15] Because, therefore this Leviathan involves the ministers of that accursed vessel of his in deeds of cruelty, under the notions of praise, and the pretext of virtue, after He had said, He will make the deep sea to boil as a pot: He immediately rightly adds, He will make it as when ointments boil. For the sea which boils with the fire of cruelty, He shews to boil as ointments, in the judgment of those same persons, who are excited by the feigned name of virtue; in order that they may become more atrocious in their cruelty, the more they believe that they even deserve rewards for their zeal for religion. And in the Divine judgment it is just that they, who neglect to consider and guard the power of piety, should be deceived by the odour of their own fancy. Whence, to increase the illusion, signs also and prodigies attend them when committing their cruelties, as it is also rightly subjoined;

Ver. 23. A path will shine after him. [E.V. 32]




33. For a ‘path’ is said to shine after Leviathan, because wherever he passes along, he leaves behind him great astonishment from the brightness of his miracles, and wherever he goes forth, either by himself or by his ministers, he glitters with lying wonders. Whence the Truth says in the Gospel, that which we have already frequently quoted; There will arise false Christs, and false prophets, and will give signs and wonders, so as even for the Elect, if possible, to be led into error. [Mark 13, 22] A path, therefore, shines after Leviathan, because he enlightens by prodigies the deeds of those, whose hearts he penetrates; in order, doubtless, to keep their minds more deeply involved in the darkness of error, the more powerfully he displays, as it were, by their means the light of miracles without. But there are some, who retaining in their memory both the words of the Prophets, and the precepts of the Gospel, know that both the wonders he displays are false, and that the punishments, to which he leads them on by his deceit, are true. Because, therefore, this Leviathan does not deceive their hearts by a display of sanctity, he presents himself to them with another illusion. For he observes some persons, though knowing these things, yet loving the present life; to whose minds he proceeds to make light of future punishments; he asserts, that the sentence of severity will at length terminate; and hurries them on, when craftily deceived, to present pleasures. Whence it is also immediately fitly subjoined;

He will esteem the deep [‘abyssum’] as growing old.




34. That the eternal and incomprehensible judgments are usually designated by the name ‘deep’ the Psalmist witnesses, saying, Thy judgments are a great deep. [Ps. 36, 6] But old age is sometimes put for the approach of the end. Whence the Apostle says, That which decayeth and waxeth old, is near to destruction. [Heb. 8, 13] This Leviathan, therefore, will look on the deep as growing old, because he so infatuates the hearts of the reprobate, as to infuse in them a suspicion that the approaching judgment may come, as it were, to an end. For he considers that the abyss is growing old, who thinks that the heavenly infliction of punishment will ever he brought to a close. This ancient deceiver, therefore, makes light in his members, that is, in the minds of the wicked, of future punishments, which he bounds, as it were, by a certain limit, in order that he may prolong their faults without any limit from reproof, and that they may not here put an end to their sins, the more they imagine that the punishments of sins will be there brought to a close.


35. For there are those even now, who neglect to put an end to their sins, for the very reason that they suspect that the future judgments upon them will, some time or another, have an end. To whom we briefly reply; If the punishments of the reprobate will at any time be ended, the joys of the blessed will also be ended at last. For the Truth says by His own mouth, These shall go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into life eternal. [Matt. 25, 46] If, therefore, this is not true which He has threatened, neither is that true which He has promised. But they say, He threatened eternal punishment to sinners, in order to restrain them from the perpetration of sins; because He ought to threaten, not inflict, eternal punishments on His creature. To whom we reply at once: If He has made false threats in order to withdraw [‘corrigere’] from unrighteousness, He has also made false promises, in order to encourage to righteousness. And who can tolerate this madness of theirs, who, while they assert in their fair offers that the punishments of the reprobate are terminated, overthrow by their assertion the rewards, and recompenses, of the Elect also? Who can tolerate their madness, who endeavour to establish that that is not true which the Truth has threatened concerning eternal fire, and who, while busy in declaring God to he merciful, are not ashamed to proclaim Him to be false?


36. But they said, A fault, which has an end, ought not to he punished without end. Almighty God is doubtless just, and that which is not committed with eternal sin, ought not to be punished with eternal torment. To whom we reply at once, that they would say rightly, if the just and strict Judge at His coming considered not the hearts, but only the doings of men. For the wicked have sinned with a limit, because their life had a limit. For they would have wished to live without end, in order that they might continue in their sins without end. For they are more eager to sin than to live; and they therefore wish to live for ever here, in order that they may never cease to sin, as long as they live. It pertains then to the justice of the strict Judge, that they should never be free from punishment, whose mind desired when in this life never to be free from sin; and that no end of punishment should be granted to the wicked, because as long as he was able he wished to have no end to his sin.


37. But they say, No just person revels in cruelty, and an offending servant is ordered by his just master to be scourged, in order to be corrected of his wickedness. He is, therefore, scourged for some object, when his master delights not in his tortures. But to what end will the wicked ever burn, who have been consigned to the fires of hell? And because it is certain that the Merciful and Almighty God revels not in the tortures of the wicked, why are the wretched put to torture, if they make not expiation? To whom we reply at once, that Almighty God, because He is merciful, revels not in the torture of the wretched; but because He is just, He ceases not, even for ever, from punishing the wicked. But all the wicked are punished with eternal suffering, and indeed by their own iniquity; and yet they are burnt for some purpose, in order, namely, that all the just may behold in God the joys they experience, and may see in them the punishments they have escaped; in order that they may acknowledge that they are the more indebted to Divine grace, the more they see the eternal punishment of the sins, which by His help they were able to avoid.


38. But they say, And where then is their saintship, if they will not pray for their enemies, whom they will then see burning, though it is expressly said to them, Pray for your enemies? [Matt. 5, 44] But we reply at once, They pray for their enemies at that time when they are able to convert their hearts to fruitful penitence, and save them by this very conversion. For what else must we pray for our enemies, except that which the Apostle says, That God may give them repentance, and that they may recover themselves from the snares of the devil, by whom they are held captive unto his will? [2 Tim. 2, 25. 26.] And how will prayers be made at that time for them, when they can no longer be in any degree turned from iniquity to works of righteousness? There is, therefore, the same reason for not praying then for men condemned to eternal fire, as there is now for not praying for the devil and his angels who have been consigned to eternal punishment. And this is now the reason for holy men not praying for unbelieving and ungodly men who are dead; for they are unwilling that the merit of their prayer should be set aside, in that presence of the righteous Judge, when in behalf of those whom they know to be already consigned to eternal punishment. But if even now the just when alive do not sympathize with the unjust who are dead and condemned, (when they know that they themselves are still enduring from their flesh that which will be called into judgment,) how much more severely do they then regard the torments of the wicked, when, stripped of every sin of corruption, they will themselves cleave more closely and firmly to righteousness? For the power of severity so absorbs their minds, by means of their cleaving to the most righteous Judge, that they take no pleasure whatever in any thing which is at variance with the strictness of that inward rule. But because we have made these brief remarks against the followers of Origen [See Huetii Origeniana, B. 2. q. 11.], as the opportunity occurred, let us go back to the course of exposition, from which we have digressed. After the merciful Lord had pointed out the crafty machinations of this Leviathan, openly announcing all the fierce oppressions he inflicts outwardly on the Elect, and every thing which he infuses into the reprobate within by his flattering suggestion, He immediately subjoins, in speaking briefly of the hugeness of his strength;

Ver. 24. There is no power upon earth, which can be compared to him. [E.V. 33]




39. His power upon earth is said to be preeminent over all, because though he has fallen below men by the merit of his doings, yet he transcends the whole human race by the condition of his angelic nature. For though he has lost the happiness of eternal felicity, yet he has not lost the greatness of his nature; by the strength of which he still surpasses all human things, though he is inferior to holy men, by the baseness of his deserts. Whence also the meritorious recompense of the Saints, who are contending against him, is the more increased, the more he is defeated by them, who boasts that, by the power of his nature, he has as it were a right to rule over men. It follows;

Who was made to fear no one.




40. He was indeed so made by nature, as to be bound to feel a chaste fear for his Creator; that is to say, with a subdued and fearless fear, not with the fear which love casts out, but with the fear which remains for ever and ever, that is, which love begets. For a loving wife fears her husband in one way, an offending handmaid fears her master in another. He had therefore been so created, as, with joyful dread, to fear his Maker with love, and to love Him with fear. But by his own perversity he was made such as to fear no one. For he scorned to be subject to Him by Whom he had been created. For God is in such way above all, as to be Himself subject to no one. But this Leviathan, beholding the height of His loftiness, aimed at the privilege of the fatal liberty of ruling over others, and being subject to no one, saying, I will ascend above the height of the clouds, and I will be like the Most High. [Is. 14, 14] But he lost His likeness, because he proudly desired to be like Him in loftiness. For he who was bound to imitate His charity, in subjection, aimed at gaining His loftiness, and lost through pride that which he was able to imitate. He would, doubtless, have been lofty, if he had been willing to cleave to Him Who is truly lofty. He would have been lofty, if he had been contented with a participation in true loftiness. But while he proudly aimed at high estate by himself, he rightly lost that which was participated. For having left that First Cause, to Whom he was bound to adhere, he aimed at being, in a sense, his own first cause [‘principium’]. Having forsaken Him, Who was able truly to be sufficient for him, he decided that he was able to be sufficient for himself, and fell the more beneath himself, the more he raised himself up against the glory of his Creator. For him, whom a slavery akin to freedom exalted, a slavish freedom cast down. With which liberty he is so let loose, as to fear no one, but he is grievously restrained by this very want of restraint. For, by the heavenly judgment which wisely ordains all things, the liberty which he desired, fettered him; because he, who was able to subdue even the elements, if he had been willing to fear the One Whom he ought, is now, though in every way not fearing, subject to every punishment. He doubtless would fear One with possession of all things, who now, by not fearing One, suffers all things.


41. He was therefore made to fear no one, no one, that is, because not even God. But he neither feared that which he was about to suffer. But it had been doubtless more blessed for him to avoid punishments, by fearing them, than by not fearing, to endure them. He changed therefore his desire after high estate into hardness of heart, in order that he, who sought in his ambition to rule over others, might feel not, through hardness of heart, that he has wrought wickedly. For because he did not obtain the right of the power he sought for, he found the madness of insensibility a kind of remedy for his pride; and because he was not able, by going beyond, to surpass all things, he, by making light of these, prepared himself to meet all things. But his pride is still further carefully described, when it is immediately observed;

Ver. 25. He beholdeth every high thing. [E.V. 34]




42. That is, he looks down as if from above on all, who are, as it were, placed beneath him; because while he strives in his intention against his Maker, he scorns to think any one like himself. And this fitly suits his members also, because all the wicked, elated through swelling of heart, despise with the haughtiness of pride all whom they behold. And if they ever respect them outwardly, yet within, in the secret of their heart, where they are great in their own estimation, they consider the life and the merits of others inferior to themselves. And they look on them as beneath themselves, because, through the lofty thought of their heart, they have placed themselves on a kind of high eminence. To whom it is well said by the Prophet; Woe unto you that are wise in your own eyes, and prudent in your own sight. [Is. 5, 21] Hence also Paul says; Be not wise in your own conceits. [Rom. 12, 16] Hence it is said to Saul by the Divine reproof; When thou wast little in thine own eyes, did I not make thee a head in the tribes of Israel? [1 Sam. 15, 17] For he is little in his own eyes, who in considering himself, regards himself as inferior to the merits of others. For whoever in the loftiness of his thought extends himself above the merits of others, looks, as it were, on himself as great. But the reprobate Saul remained not in the good which he had begun, because he was swollen with pride at the power he had received. But, on the other hand, David, ever thinking humbly of himself, and counting himself inferior, in comparison with the same Saul, after he had met with an opportunity of striking, and spared this same raging adversary, prostrated himself with humble profession, saying; Whom dost thou pursue, O king of Israel? whom dost thou pursue? A dead dog, and a single flea. [l Sam. 24, 15] And he had been already certainly anointed as king, and had already learned by Samuel praying, and pouring the oil upon his head, that Divine Grace, having rejected Saul, was preserving him to hold the helm of the kingdom. And yet with humble mind he was prostrating himself to his persecuting adversary, to whom he knew that he had been preferred in the Divine judgment. He therefore humbly placed himself beneath him, to whom he knew that he was incomparably superior through the grace of election. Let those then, who are still ignorant in what rank they are held by God, learn in what way they should humble themselves to their neighbours, if even His Elect thus humble themselves before those, to whom they know they are already preferred in His secret judgments.


43. But it is a usual mark of the Elect, that they ever think more meanly of themselves than they really are. For hence it is said by the same David; If I did not think humbly, but exalted my soul. [Ps. 131, 1] Hence Solomon invites the little ones to wisdom, saying; If any is a little one, let him come to her. [Prov. 9, 4] But he who as yet despises not himself, does not lay hold of the humble wisdom of God. Hence the Lord says in the Gospel; I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to little ones. [Matt. 11, 25] Hence again the Psalmist says; The Lord keeping little ones. [Ps. 116, 5] Hence the teacher of the Gentiles says; We became little ones in the midst of you. [1 Thess. 2, 7] Hence advising his disciples, he says; Each esteeming others better than themselves. [Phil. 2, 3] For, because every wicked person considers every one whom he knows, to be inferior to himself, the righteous, on the contrary, endeavours to regard all his neighbours as superior to himself. And lest, when one person humbles himself before another, this humiliation should tend to the pride of the other, he rightly admonished both parties, saying; Each esteeming others better than themselves: in order that in the thoughts of the heart I should prefer him to myself, and he in return should prefer me to himself; so that, when the heart is kept down on either side, no one may be elated by the honour bestowed on him.


44. But the reprobate, because they are members of this Leviathan, scorn either to know or to maintain this form of humility. Because, though they sometimes shew themselves outwardly humble, yet they neglect to maintain the power of humility within. And it often happens to them that if they ever perform one single good thing, however trifling, they immediately turn away the thought of their mind from all their faults, and ever look with all their attention at even this last good thing they may have done, and that from this they regard themselves as already holy, forgetting all the wickedness they have committed, keeping in mind only their one good action, which perhaps they were able but imperfectly to execute. As, on the other hand, it is usually the case with the Elect, that though powerful in the grace of many virtues, one sin, however inconsiderable, greatly harasses and assails them, in order that, by considering that they are weakened in one quarter, they may not pride themselves on those virtues in which they are powerful. And while they tremble at their weakness, they also maintain more humbly that point in which they are strong. The wicked, therefore, by thus incautiously looking at their one inconsiderable good quality, discern not the many and grievous sins in which they are plunged. And it is so ordered by a marvellous dispensation, that the Elect from the fear of being weakened by even their most minute sin, lose not the great virtues to which they have advanced.


45. It is so ordered then by the rule of the righteous and secret judgment, that their evils are of service to the one, and that their good things are injurious to the others; when these make use of their slight sins for their advance in virtue, and those avail themselves of their smallest good deeds to add to their sin. For these advance to greater perfection in virtue from the fact that they are tempted to sin. But those fall back into greater sin, from the fact that they boast of then goodness. The reprobate therefore applies what is good to a bad purpose, and the virtuous applies what is had to a good purpose. As it frequently happens that one person falls into the evil of sickness from wholesome food taken improperly, and that another, by taking the poison of a serpent in a medicine of proper composition, gets the better of his troublesome sickness. He therefore who would not use his wholesome food aright, perishes fatally by the very means from which others live in health. But he who took care to use the serpent’s poison cautiously, lives in health by the very means by which others perish fatally. We call then not the wickedness itself, but the suggestion of wickedness, with which we are often tempted against our will and efforts, the poison of the serpent. But this is then turned into a remedy, when the mind which is raised on high by its virtues, is brought low by the temptations it sees ranged against it. Whatever works then the wicked, and those who are rejected from the approval of inward examination, may perform, with whatever virtues they may shine forth, they are utterly ignorant of the sense of humility; doubtless because they are members of this Leviathan, of whom it is said by the voice on high, He beholdeth every high thing. Because not only by himself, but by the hearts of those whom he has possessed, he looks down as from an high place on all beneath him.


46. But it must be observed, that this Leviathan, who is described by a beast which possesses a body, is described as looking on high, because, namely, when pride of heart extends outwardly as far as to the body, it is first indicated by the eyes. For they, being puffed up by the swelling of pride, look, as it were, from on high, and the more they depress, the higher they raise, themselves. For unless pride shewed itself through the eyes, as if through certain outlets [‘fenestras’], the Psalmist would never say to God, Thou wilt save the humble people, and wilt bring down the eyes of the proud. [Ps. 18, 27] Unless pride poured forth through the eyes, Solomon would not say also concerning the pride of Judaea; A generation, whose eyes are lofty, and their eyelids lifted up on high. [Prov. 30, 13] Because then this Leviathan is designated by an animal possessing a body, and pride, when it comes forth into the body, more plainly rules over the eyes, the ancient enemy is described as seeing all men, as it were, from on high. But because many points are brought forward to set forth the enemy of the human race, the mind is very desirous, that some one point should be more plainly stated, in the end of the Lord’s speech, by which his members can be pointed out by a brief description. It follows;

He is a king over all the children of pride.




47. This Leviathan, in order to fall in all the points mentioned above, smote himself with pride alone. For he would not wither up, through those many branches of sins, had he not first, through this, become rotten in the root. For it is written, Pride is the beginning of all sin. [Ecclus. 10, 13] For by this he himself fell, by this he overthrew men who followed him. He assaulted the health of our immortality with the same weapon as he destroyed the life of his own blessedness. But God introduced it at the end of His speech, for this reason, that by mentioning the pride of this Leviathan after all his sins, He might point out what was worse than all sins. Although further, from the fact of its being placed at the bottom, it is pointed out to be the root of vices. For as a root is covered over beneath, but yet branches expand outwardly from it, so pride conceals itself within, but open vices immediately shoot forth from it. For no evils would come forth to view, if this did not fetter the mind in secret. This is that which makes the mind of this Leviathan to boil as a pot. And by this he agitates also the minds of men with a kind of glow of madness, but he shews by their outward deeds how he subverts the mind of the person he agitates. For that first boils with pride within, which afterwards foams forth in works without.


48. But because an opportunity has offered itself of speaking about pride, we ought to examine into it with greater minuteness and anxiety, and to point out with what power or in what way it enters the minds of men, and on whom, and in what way, it commits ravages. For other sins assail those virtues only by which they themselves are destroyed; as, namely, anger patience, gluttony abstinence, lust continence. But pride, which we have called the root of vices, far from being satisfied with the extinction of one virtue, raises itself up against all the members of the soul, and as an universal and deadly disease corrupts the whole body. So that whatever is doing when it makes its assaults, even if it appears to be a virtue, vain-glory alone, and not God, is served thereby. For when pride assaults the mind, a kind of tyrant closely invests, as it were, a besieged city: and the wealthier is any one he has seized, the more harshly does he rise up in his authority; because the more largely the business of virtue is transacted without humility, the more widely does pride exercise its sway. But whoever has with enslaved mind admitted its tyranny within, suffers this loss first of all, that from the eye of his heart being closed, he loses the equitableness of judgment. For even all the good doings of others are displeasing to him, and the things which he has done, even amiss, alone please him. He always looks down on the doings of others, he always admires his own doings; because whatever he has done, he believes that he has done with singular skill; and for that which he performs through desire of glory, he favours himself in his thought; and when he thinks that he surpasses others in all things, he walks with himself along the broad spaces of his thought, and silently utters his own praises. But the mind is sometimes brought to such haughtiness, as in his pride to be unrestrained even in boastfulness of speech. But ruin follows the more easily, the more shamelessly a man is puffed up in his own mind. For hence it is written, The heart is exalted before a fall. [Prov. 16, 18] Hence it is said by Daniel, The king was walking in the palace of Babylon, and he answered and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, in the glory of my beauty? [Dan. 4, 29] But how vengeance swiftly aroused repressed this pride, he immediately added, saying, While the word was yet in the king’s mouth, there fell voice from heaven, To thee it is said, O king Nabuchodonosor, the kingdom shall depart from thee, and they shall drive thee out from men, and thy habitation shall be with cattle, and wild beasts: thou shalt eat hay as an ox, and seven times shall be changed over thee. [ib. 31] Behold, because the pride of mind vented itself even in open words, the forbearance of the Judge immediately burst out in his sentence; and smote him the more severely, the more immoderately his pride exalted itself; and because he enumerated and mentioned the goods in which he flattered himself, he heard the evils enumerated with which he was to be smitten.


49. But it should be understood, that this very pride, of which we are speaking, possesses some persons in secular, and others in spiritual concerns. For one prides himself on gold, another on eloquence, one on weak and earthly things, another on the highest and heavenly virtues. And yet one and the same thing is going on before the eyes of God, though, as it comes to the hearts of men, it is clothed in their sight with a different garb. For when he who was at first proud of earthly glory, is afterwards elated at his sanctity, pride has never forsaken his heart, but, coming to him as usual, it has changed its garment, that it may not be recognised.


50. It should be known also, that it attacks rulers in one way, and subjects in another. For it suggests to the thoughts of a ruler, that he has by the sole merit of his life risen above others; and if he has ever done any things well, it suggests them unseasonably to his mind. And when it suggests that he has specially pleased God, in order the more easily to enforce its suggestion, it brings forward in evidence, the recompense of the power entrusted to him; saying, That unless Almighty God perceived thee to be better than these men, He would not have given them all under thy power. And it presently exalts his mind, points out that those who are under his power are vile and worthless, so that he no longer regards any body as fit for him to speak to on equal terms. And hence the calmness of his mind is soon turned into wrath; because when he despises all, when he blames without any moderation the understanding, and the conduct of all, he swells out the more unrestrainedly into anger, the more he considers that those who are committed to his charge, are not worthy of him.


51. But, on the other hand, when pride urges on the heart of subjects, it strives especially to make them neglect entirely the consideration of their own conduct, and in their silent thoughts always to become judges of their ruler. For when they look unseasonably for what they ought to blame in him, they never notice what to correct in themselves. And hence they perish the more dreadfully, the more they avert their eyes from themselves; because they stumble and fall in the journey of this life, while they fix their attention elsewhere. They declare that they are sinners indeed, but not to such a degree that they should be delivered up to the control of so hurtful a person. And while they despise his doings, while they scorn his precepts, they are plunged into such madness, as to think that God does not care for the concerns of men; because they grieve that they have been put under the charge of one, who is, as it were, deservedly blamed. And while they are thus proud against their ruler, they also rise up against the sentence of their Maker. And whilst they pass sentence on the conduct of their pastor, they impugn also the wisdom of Him who orders all things. But they often oppose the commands of their ruler impertinently, and term this haughtiness of language, liberty. For pride frequently thus presents itself, as if it were proper liberty, just as fear frequently puts itself in the place of humility. For, just as many are silent through fear, and yet consider that they are silent from humility, so do some speak from the impatience of pride, and yet think that they are speaking with rightful freedom. But sometimes inferiors utter not the impertinencies which they feel; and they whose loquacity is hardly restrained, are sometimes silent solely from the bitterness of their inward rancour. But, by suppressing through grief of mind their words of impertinence, though they are wont to speak wickedly, they are more wickedly silent. Because when on having sinned they hear any correction, they keep back, through indignation, the words of reply. Whenever they are treated harshly, they frequently break out into words of complaint at this very harshness. But when their teachers prevent them with gentleness, they are more grievously indignant at this very humility, with which they are prevented. And their mind is the more vastly inflamed, the more considerately it is regarded as weak. These doubtless, because they are ignorant of humility, which is the parent of virtues, lose the benefit of their labour, even if there are any good things which they seem to do; because the height of the rising fabric is not strongly fixed, which is not by the strength of its foundation made fast on the rock. That then which they build rises up only to fall, because before they erect the fabric they do not first prepare the foundations of humility. But we thoroughly lay open their inmost character, if we shew what they are in a few outward points.


52. For to all who swell within with proud thoughts there is noisiness in their speech, bitterness in their silence, dissoluteness in their mirth, wrath in their sorrow, unseemliness in their conduct, comeliness in their appearance, erectness in their gait, rancour in their reply. Their mind is ever strong in inflicting, weak in enduring, contumely; sluggish in obeying, importunate in provoking others; slothful in those things which it ought, and has power, to do, but ready for those which it neither ought, nor is able, to do. In that which it seeks not of its own accord, it is turned by no exhortation, but it seeks to be compelled to do that which it secretly longs for, because while it fears to become cheap from indulging its desire, it wishes to suffer compulsion even in its own will.


53. Because then we have said that the minds of men are tempted in one way by carnal, and in another by spiritual, concerns, let those hear; All flesh is grass, and the glory thereof as the flower of grass. [Is. 40, 6] And let these hear that which is said to some persons after their miracles; I know you not whence ye are; depart from Me, all ye workers of iniquity. [Luke 13, 27] Let those hear; If riches increase, set not your heart upon them. [Ps. 62, 10] Let these hear that the foolish virgins, who come with empty vessels, are shut out from the marriage within. [Matt. 25, 12] Again, because we have said before, that rulers are tempted in one way, and subjects in another, let those hear that which is said by a certain wise man; Have they made thee a ruler? Be not lifted up, but be among them as one of them. [Ecclus. 32, 1] Let these hear; Obey them that have the rule over you, and be subject to them, for they watch as if about to give an account for your souls. [Heb. 13, 17] Let those, when they boast of the power they have received, hear that which is said by the voice of Abraham to the rich man in flames; Son, remember that thou in thy life time receivedst thy good things. [Luke 16, 25] Let these, when they break into complaints against their rulers, hear that answer which is given to the murmuring people by the voices of Moses and Aaron; Nor is your murmur against us, but against the Lord. For what are we? [Ex. 16, 8] Let those hear; They shall be troubled in the sight of Him Who is the Father of orphans, and the Judge of widows. [Ps. 68, 4] Let these hear what is said against the contumacy of subjects; Whosoever resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God. [Rom. 13, 2] Let all together hear; God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble. [James 4, 6] Let all hear; Every one that exalteth his heart is unclean before God. [Prov. 16, 5] Let all hear; Why art thou proud, O earth and ashes? [Ecclus. 10, 9] Against the plague of this sickness, let us all hear that, which the Truth our Instructor teaches, saying; Learn of Me, for I am meek, and lowly in heart. [Matt. 11, 29]


54. For for this end the Only Begotten Son of God took on Him the form of our infirmity; for this the Invisible appeared not only visible, but even despised; [Phil. 2, 5-8] for this He endured the jests of contumely, the reproaches of derisions, and the torments of sufferings, that God in His humility might teach man not to be proud. How great then is the virtue of humility, since for the sole purpose of truly teaching it, He Who above estimation is great, became little, even to suffering? For since the pride of the devil caused the origin of our fall, the humility of God was found out as the instrument of our redemption. For our enemy who was created great among all things, wished to appear exalted above all things. But our Redeemer remaining great above all things, deigned to become little among all things.


55. But we both detect more readily the cause of pride, and lay bare the foundations of humility, if we briefly mention and run over what the author of death, and what the Creator of life declare. For the one says; I will ascend into heaven. [Is. 14, 13] But the Other says by the Prophet, My soul is filled with evils, and My life hath drawn nigh unto hell. [Ps. 88, 4] The one says; I will exalt my throne above the stars of heaven. [Is. 14, 13] The Other says to mankind expelled from the abodes of Paradise; Behold, I come quickly, and I will dwell in the midst of thee. [Zech. 2, 10] The one says; I will sit in the mount of the testament, on the sides of the north. [Is. 14, 14] The Other says; I am a worm, and no man, the reproach of men, and the outcast of the people. [Ps. 22, 7] The one says; I will ascend above the height of the clouds; I will be like the Most High. [Is. 14, 14] The Other; When He was in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant; [Phil. 2, 6] and He speaks by His members, saying; Who is like unto Thee, O Lord? [Ex. 15, 11] The one speaks by his members, saying; I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go. [Ex. 5, 2] The Other says by Himself; If I should say I know Him not, I shall be a liar, like unto you: but I know Him, and keep His saying. [John 8, 55] The one says; The rivers are mine, and I have made them. [Ez. 29, 9] The Other says; I can of Mine own Self do nothing. [John 5, 30] And again; My Father that abideth in Me, He doeth the works. [John 14, 20] The one, when shewing all kingdoms, says; All this power will I give Thee, and the glory them, for they are delivered to me, and to whom I will give them. [Luke 4, 6] The Other says; Ye shall drink indeed of My cup, but to sit on My right hand, or on My left, is not Mine to give to you, but to them for whom it is prepared of My Father. [Matt. 20, 23] The one says; Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. [Gen. 3, 5] The Other says; It is not for you to know the times or the moments which the Father hath put in His own power. [Acts 1, 17] The other, in order that the Divine Will might be despised, and his own enforced, says; Why hath God commanded you, that ye should not eat of every tree of Paradise? [Gen. 3, 1] And a little after; For God doth know, that in whatsoever day ye eat thereof, your eyes shall be opened. [ib. 5] The Other says; I seek not Mine own will, but the will of Him Which hath sent Me. [John 5, 30] The one speaks by his members, saying; Let there be no meadow, which our luxury does not pass through, let us crown ourselves with roses before they be withered, let us leave every where tokens of our joy. [Wisd. 2, 2] The Other announces to His members, saying, Ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice. [John 16, 20] The one teaches the minds who are subject to him nothing else but to aim at the height of loftiness, to transcend all their equals in swelling of mind, to surpass with lofty pride the society of all men, and to exalt themselves even against the might of their Creator: as is said of these very persons by the Psalmist; They have passed into the affection of the heart, they have thought and spoken wickedness, they have spoken iniquity on high. [Ps. 73, 7] The Other when approaching the spitting, the palms of the hands, the buffets, the crown of thorns, the cross, the spear, and death, admonishes His members, saying; If any man serve Me, let him follow Me. [John 12, 26]


56. Because then our Redeemer rules the hearts of the humble, and this Leviathan is called the king of the proud, we know plainly, that pride is a most evident token of the reprobate, but humility, on the contrary, of the Elect. When it is known then which any one possesses, it is found out under what king he is fighting. For every one bears as it were a kind of inscription [‘titulum’] in his work, to shew thereby easily under the power of what ruler he is serving. Whence it is also said by the Gospel; Ye shall know them by their fruits. [Matt. 7, 16] Lest then the members of this Leviathan should deceive us by performing even wonders, the Lord has pointed out a plain token by which they can be detected, saying; He is a king over all the children of pride. For though they sometimes assume a pretended appearance of humility, yet they cannot conceal themselves in every point. For since then pride cannot bear to be long concealed, when it is concealed by one action it is exposed by another. But they who war under the king of humility, ever fearful, and circumspect on every side, fight against the darts of pride, and specially guard, as it were, the eye only of their body against the coming blows, when in themselves they principally defend their humility.