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33Therefore I sent for you immediately, and you have been kind enough to come. So now all of us are here in the presence of God to listen to all that the Lord has commanded you to say.”


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33. Therefore, we are all now present. To the end Peter may be more ready and willing to teach, Cornelius affirmeth that himself and the rest will be apt to be taught, and ready to obey God; for this serveth not a little to move the teacher to take pains with the hearers, when as he hopeth assuredly that they shall profit thereby, These words, before God, may have a double meaning; they may either be an oath, or Cornelius may thereby simply profess that that company was gathered together at his house, as in the sight of God, that they may hear man’s voice in like sort as if it proceeded out of God’s own mouth. Whethersoever you choose, there shall be always one end; 695695     “Idem semper erit finis,” the result will be the same. for to the end Cornelius may the more procure the credit of his sincerity, he testifieth that he hath God before his eyes, whom no man may mock by dissimulation; and assuredly, so often as the Word of God is set before us, we must thus think with ourselves, that we have not to deal with a mortal man, but that God is present, and doth call us. For, from this respect of God ariseth the majesty of God’s word, and reverence in hearing the same. Notwithstanding, he seemeth to promise unadvisedly for others in a matter so weighty, for who can be a fit borrow [cautioner] for another man’s faith? But because every man had promised obedience for himself, he doth, for good causes, hope that they were so affectioned; and, undoubtedly, we may think that they had promised that they would be obedient to his sayings so soon as the matter was showed them, and that even then every one confirmed by himself that which one had spoken in the name of all.

To hear all things. This only is true faith when we embrace not the one half of the Word of God alone, but addict [subject] ourselves wholly unto it; and yet, notwithstanding, there be few examples in the world of this full and universal faith, for the more part doth not submit themselves to the doctrine of God, as if they had made a covenant with God, save only so far forth as it pleaseth them. If any thing displease them they either carelessly contemn or mislike the same. But Cornelius doth wisely distinguish between God and man, for he maketh God the author of the doctrine, and leaveth nothing for man besides the ministry and embassage. “Thou shalt” saith he, “have attentive scholars, and those which will be obedient in all things which God hath commanded thee; that he alone may be principal, and thou only his minister; that, he alone may speak but out of thy mouth,” which thing God prescribeth to all his servants in the person of Ezekiel.

“Take” saith he, “the word out of my mouth, and thou shalt show unto them from me,”
(Ezekiel 33:7.)




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