The Christians zodiake, or, Twelve signes of predestination unto life everlasting written in Lattin by Jeremie Drexelius.
nes of Predesti-
nation unto Life
Written in Lattin
Printed for William Willson
PUBLISHED FOR William Willson
1. The second Paragraph.
IF as often as one received the blessed Sacrament he should improve by some great summe of money his temporall estate, there were no need to perswade any to frequent it oft, none but would bee sensible enough of such golden reasons, nay it would be rather requisite to take some order to represse the multitude of communicants, than to invent motives to incite them for to come. Miserable blindnesse! wee see gold, and are taken with it, and we despise the hidden treasures of the Eucharist onely because we doe not consider them. And what is all the gold in the world, but a little dust compared to this peerelesse Jewell, which no living creature can value to its worth?
This [Page 46] sacred Eucharist protecteth us from committing deadly sinnes, it enervates the vitious propensions of th mind, enlightens our understanding, excitates our will, sereneth our conscience, armes us against the assaults of the enemy, enables us to withstand adversity, defends us from falling in prosperity, and carefully directs not to fail in going right.
This holy Sacrament gives us a pledge of future glory, and withall begets in us a contempt of death, and a desire of Heaven, the moderation of our passions, a horror of sinne, a love of vertue, an entire victory over our selves, and perseverance in good. But you will say, perhaps my minde is so aride, vaine, 'tepid, and defiled, as I even tremble to repaire unto it. This excusation is either evill, or none at all, th more of these imperfections thou discoverest in thy selfe, the more neccssary it is thou shouldst frequent this holy Sacrament.
Is thy mind polluted? make haste then unto [Page 47] this Sacrament, which is the very fountaine of purity. Art thou ill disposed? it is a soveraigne remedy, an approved antidote against all the diseases of the mind. Art thou hungry? behold the bread of Angels. Art thou benumbed with cold? make speed unto it, it is an ardent fire.
Doe thine enemies molest thee? take courage, this Arsenall will furnish thee with all sorts of weapons to defend thy selfe. Art thou sorrowfull and afflicted? this is that wine which cheeres the hearts of men. Dost thou seek often dainties? they are no where to bee found but here in this banquet, the repast of Kings. Dost thou long to bee in heaven? here thy charges are defraid, here thou wilt be furni hed with farre better provision fo thy journey than Elias was , travelling towards Mount Horeb: If the very touch of our Saviours garment could stop a bloudy fluxe, what disease is there which the touch of his sacred body cannot cure? But I am unworthy you will reply again, who [Page 48] approach too often to this sacred Communion, which I can never receive with reverence enough. Deare Christians for his blessed sake, let us not entitle our want of reverence to our slothfulnesse: believe St. Thomas that Angelicall Doctor, melias est ex amore accedere quam ex timore abstinere. It is better to repaire to it out of love, than to abstaine for feare: And Saint Ambrose interpreting th se words of our Saviour, panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie, of the blessed Sacrament; If it be our dayly bread (sayes he) why is it a yeare before you receive it? rather why doe you not receive that dayly, which dayly will profit you? live so as you may worthily receive it every day, for hee who is unworthy to receive it every day, wil not be worthy to receive it once a yeare.
And in another place, if our Saviours blood (sayes he) as often as it is shed, is shed for the remission of sinnes, I ought alwayes to be receiving, that alwayes my sinnes may be remitted me, and it [Page 49] behoves me who ever sinne, to be ever providing men of a remedy.
Lib. de dogm. Eccli. cap. 13.Gennadius Marsiliensis sayes, I neither praise nor dispraise the custome of communicating every d y; but this I would advise and counsaile all to communicate every Sunday, alwayes provided that wee come with no determinate will of sinning any more, which kinde of pr paration is more easily prescribed, than the riddance of our mind of all affection to any vitiousnesse, that is, never thereafter to offend God more; for certainly he should shew himselfe very ungratefull towards his Maker, who would not at least have a will for his sake never to staine his conscience with any sin, for touching such as these, the Master of the feast with good reason professed, dico vobis quod nemo virorum illorum gustabit coenam meam. I say unto you, that none of those men shall taste of my Supper.
But alas, O Lord, are they not the selfe same men who refused to taste of thy Supper, and dost thou now decree it in punishment [Page 50] of their offence? Even so it is, that which they desire is their owne torment, and what wickednesse they voluntarily embrace, is nothing else but their owne punishment Samaria being oppressed with the misery of a grievous famine, the Prophet Elizius foretold that shortly they should see the price of corne incredibly abated: whereupon one of the Nobles in deriding his Prophesie Sionubes pregnantissimae frumenti pluant, nunquid ideo sa ina tam vilis erit p etii: If the clouds, (said hee) should bee great with corne and raine it downe upon us, yet it would never be sold at so vile a price; to whom Elizes answered: Thou shalt see it with thy owne eyes, but shalt not eate of it, and so it came to passe. This is right the punishment of many in these days, they see plenty of this heavenly bread but never taste of it. They see men communicating in every Church they looke into, but Communicate not themselves: They are bid Depart; because they will goe whether the Priest [Page 51] will or no. They are excluded from this holy Table, for no other reason, but because they exclude themselves.