Tuesday, 17 January 2017

The Catholic Church Alone. The One True Church of Christ. Part 201.

SIX VOLUMES IN ONE BY THE DISTINGUISHED EXPONENTS OF CATHOLICISM

REV. HENRY DODRIDGE, D. D. REV. HENRY EDWARD MANNING, D. D.REV. F. LEWIS, of Granada REV. STEPHEN KEENAN REV. BERNARD VAUGHAN, S. J. REV. THOMAS N. BURKE, O. P. 

If, as we have seen, the quality of the Judge ought to make us so much afraid, what should that of the executioner do? For the sentence which God shall pass against a soul is to be put in execution by the devil, and what favour can be expected from so cruel an enemy? That you may conceive something of his fury and malice, consider how he dealt with holy Job, when God had delivered him into his power. What cruelty and violence did he not exercise on this righteous man, without the least show of tenderness or pity? He sent the Sabeans to drive away his oxen and asses; his sheep and his servants he destroyed by fire ; he overthrew all his houses, he killed his children, he covered his body all over with sores and ulcers, leaving him no part of those vast riches he possessed before but a dunghill to sit on, and a tile to scrape off the corruption that ran from his sores. And, to add to his sorrow, he left him a wicked wife, and such friends as it had been more humanity to destroy than spare; for they, with their tongues, pierced and tormented his heart more cruelly than the worms that preyed on his flesh. Thus he behaved himself towards Job. But what was it he did, or rather what was it he left undone, against the Saviour of the world, in that dreadful night, when he was delivered up to the power of darkness ? It is more than can be comprised in a few words. If, then, this enemy of mankind, and all his accomplices, are so inhuman, so bloody, such enemies to mankind, and so powerful to do harm, what will become of you, miserable creature, when you shall be delivered up into their hands, with a full and absolute authority, to execute on you all the cruelties they shall be able to invent ? And this not for a day, on for a night, nor for a year only, or for an age, but for all eternity. Do you think these merciless devils, when they have you in their clutches, will use you kindly? O! how dark and dismal will that unhappy day be, when you shall be delivered up to the power of these ravenous wolves, these savage beasts!

But that you may the better conceive what usage is to be expected at their hands, I will here set down a notable example, out of St. Gregory's Dialogues; L. 4. c. 33. He tells us, "That there was a religious man in one of his monasteries, no riper in virtue than in years, who was ready to die of a very violent sickness. The brothers being all met together, according to their custom, to assist him in this his dangerous passage, and kneeling about his bed to pray for him, the dying man cried out to them, Begone, begone, fathers, and leave me a prey to this dragon, that he may swallow me up, for my head is already in his fiery jaws, and he presses me with his scales, which are like the teeth of a saw, so that I am in most insupportable torments. I desire you, therefore, to quit the. room, and leave me to him, for not being able to make an end of me whilst you are here, he puts me to so much greater pain.' The religious advised him to take courage, and make the sign of the cross: 'How shall I do it,' says he, 'when the dragon has so twisted his tail about my hands and feet, that I am not able to stir ? ' They, not at all disheartened at this, renewed their prayers with much greater fervour than before, and seconding them with sighs and tears, obtained of the Father of mercies his deliverance from this violent agony, which left him so astonished and confounded, that he afterwards lived so virtuous a life as to put him out of all danger of seeing himself reduced to such circumstances again."