4 What therefore is it that he says by the prophet? [*5] And let them eat of the goat which is offered in the day of the fast for all their sins. Hearken diligently (my brethren,) and all the priests, and they only shall eat the inwards not washed with vinegar.

5 Why so? because [*6] I know that when I shall hereafter offer my flesh for the sins of a new people, ye will give me vinegar to drink mixed with gall; therefore do ye only eat, the people fasting the while, and lamenting in sackcloth and ashes.

6 And that he might foreshew that he was to suffer for them, hear then how he appointed it.

7 [*7] Take, says he, two goats, fair and alike, and offer them, and let the high priest take one of them for a burnt offering. And what must be done with the other? Let it says he be accursed.

8 Consider how exactly this appears to have been a type of Jesus. [*8] And let all the congregation spit upon it, and prick it; and put the scarlet wool about its head, and thus let it be carried forth into the wilderness.

9 And this being done, he that was appointed to convey the goat, led it into the wilderness, [*9] and took away the scarlet wool, and put it upon a thorn bush, whose [*10] young sprouts when we find them in the field we are wont to eat: so the fruit of that thorn only is sweet.

10 And to what end was this ceremony? Consider; one was offered upon the altar, the other was accursed.

11 And why was that which was accursed crowned? Because they shall see Christ in that day having a scarlet garment about his body; and shall say: Is not this he whom we crucified; having despised him, pierced him, mocked him? Certainly, this is he, who then said, that he was the Son of God.

12 [*11] As therefore he shall be then like to what he was on earth, so were the Jews heretofore commanded, to take two goats fair and equal. That when they shall see (our Saviour) hereafter coming (in the clouds of heaven), they may be amazed at the likeness of the goats.

13 Wherefore [*12] ye here again see a type of Jesus who was to suffer for us.

14 But what then signifies this. That the wool was to be put into the midst of the thorns?

15 This also is a figure of Jesus, sent out to the church. For as

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Click to enlarge
CHRIST BEARING HIS CROSS TO GOLGOTHA, FOLLOWED BY HOLY WOMEN. The Drawings on each side of the Engraving are Enlargements of the Heads of the Principal Figures. FROM A FRESCO OF THE TWELFTH CENTURY IN THE CHURCH OF ST. STEPHEN AT BOLOGNA.

he who would take away the scarlet wool must undergo many difficulties, because that thorn was very sharp, and with difficulty get it: [*1] So they, says Christ, that will see me, and come to my kingdom, must through many afflictions and troubles attain unto me.


The red heifer, another type of Christ.

BUT what [*2] type do ye suppose it to have been, where it is [*3] commanded to the people of Israel, that grown persons in whom sins are come to perfection, should offer an heifer, and after they had killed it should burn the same.

2 But then young men should take up the ashes and put them in vessels; and tie a piece of scarlet wool and hyssop upon a stick, and so the young men should sprinkle every one of the people, and they should be clear from their sins.

3 Consider how all these are delivered in a [*4] figure to us.

4 This heifer is Jesus Christ; the wicked men that were to offer it are those sinners who brought him to death: who afterwards have no more to do with it; the sinners have no more the honour of handling of it:

5 But the young men that performed the sprinkling, signified those who preach to us the forgiveness of sins and the purification of the heart, to whom the Lord gave authority to preach his Gospel: being at the beginning twelve, [*5] to signify the tribes, because there were twelve tribes of Israel.

6 But why were there three young men appointed to sprinkle? To denote Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, because they were great before God.

7 And why was the wool put upon a [*6] stick? Because the kingdom of Jesus was founded upon the cross; and therefore they that put their trust in him, shall live for ever.

8 But why was the wool and hyssop put together? To signify that in the kingdom of Christ there shall be evil and filthy days, in which however we shall be saved; and [*7] because he that has any disease in the flesh by some filthy humours is cured by hyssop.

9 Wherefore these things being thus done, are to us indeed evident, but to the [*8] Jews they are obscure; because they hearkened not unto the voice of the Lord.


Of the circumcision of the ears; and how in the first institution of circumcision Abraham, mystically foretold Christ by name.

AND therefore the Scripture again speaks concerning our ears, that God has circumcised them, together with our hearts For thus saith the Lord by the holy prophets: [*9] By the hearing of the ear they obeyed me.

2 And again, [*10] whey who are afar off, shall hear and understand what things I have done. And again, [*11] Circumcise your hearts, saith the Lord.

3 And again he saith, [*12] Hear O Israel! For thus saith the Lord thy God. And again the

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[paragraph continues] Spirit of God prophesieth, saying: [*1] Who is there that would live for ever, [*2] let him hear the voice of my Son.

4 And again, [*3] Hear, O Heaven and give ear O Earth! Because the Lord has spoken these things for a witness.

5 And again he saith [*4] Hear the word of the Lord, ye princes of the people. And again [*5] Hear O Children! The voice of one crying in the wilderness.

6 Wherefore he has circumcised our ears that we should hear his word, and believe. But as for that circumcision, in which the Jews trust, it is abolished. For the circumcision of which God spake, was not of the flesh;

7 But they have transgressed his commands, because the evil [*6] one hath deceived them. For thus God bespeaks them; [*7] Thus saith the Lord your God (Here I find the new law) Sow not among thorns; but circumcise yourselves to the Lord your God. And what doth he mean by this saying? Hearken unto your Lord.

8 And again he saith, [*8] Circumcise the hardness of your heart, and harden not your neck. And again, [*9] Behold, saith the Lord, all the nations are uncircumcised, (they have not lost their fore-skin): but this people is uncircumcised in heart.

9 But you will say [*10] the Jews were circumcised for a sign. [*11] And so are all the Syrians and Arabians, and all the idolatrous priests: but are they therefore of the covenant of Israel? And even the Egyptians themselves are circumcised.

10 Understand therefore, children, these things more fully, that Abraham, who was the first that brought in circumcision, looking forward in the Spirit to Jesus, circumcised, having received the mystery of three letters.

11 For the Scripture says that Abraham circumcised three hundred and eighteen men of his house. [*12] But what therefore was the mystery that was made known unto him?

12 Mark, first the eighteen, and next the three hundred. For the numeral letters of ten and eight are I H. And these denote Jesus.

13 And because the cross was that by which we were to find grace; therefore he adds, three hundred; the note of which is T (the figure of his cross). Wherefore by two letters he signified Jesus, and by the third his cross.

14 He who has put the engrafted gift of his doctrine within us, knows that I never taught to any one a more [*13] certain truth; but I trust that ye are worthy of it.


That the commands of Moses concerning clean and unclean beasts, &c., were all designed for a spiritual signification.

BUT why did Moses say [*14] Ye shall not eat of the swine, neither the eagle nor the hawk; nor the crow; nor any fish that

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has not a scale upon him?–answer, that in the spiritual sense, he comprehended three doctrines, that were to be [*1] gathered from thence.

2 Besides which he says to them in the book of Deuteronomy, And I will give my statutes unto this people. Wherefore it is not the command of God that they should not eat these things; but Moses in the spirit spake unto them.

3 Now the sow he forbade them to eat; meaning thus much; thou shalt not join thyself to such persons as are like unto swine; who whilst they live in pleasure, forget their God; but when any want pinches them, then they know the Lord; as the sow when she is full knows not her master; but when she is hungry she makes a noise; and being again fed, is silent.

4 Neither, says he, shalt thou eat the eagle, nor the hawk, nor the kite, nor the crow; that is thou shalt not keep company with such kind of men as know not how by their labour and sweat to get themselves food: but injuriously ravish away the things of others; and watch how, to lay snares for them; when at the same time they appear to live in perfect innocence.

5 ( [*2] So these birds alone seek not food for themselves, but) sitting idle seek how they may eat of the flesh others have provided; being destructive through their wickedness.

6 Neither, says he, shalt thou eat the lamprey, nor the polypus, nor the cuttle-fish; that is, thou shalt not be like such men, by using to converse with them; who are altogether wicked and adjudged to death. For so those fishes are alone accursed, and wallow in the mire, nor swim as other fishes, but tumble in the dirt at the bottom of the deep.

7 But he adds, neither shalt thou eat of the hare. To what end?–To signify this to us; Thou shalt not be an adulterer; nor liken thyself to such persons. For the hare every year multiplies the places of its conception; and so many years as it lives, so many it has.

8 Neither shalt thou eat of the hyena; that is, again, be not an adulterer, nor a corruptor of others; neither be like to such. And wherefore so?–Because that creature every year changes its kind, and is sometimes male and sometimes female.

9 For which cause also he justly hated the weasel; to the end that they should not be like such persons who with their mouths commit wickedness by reason of their uncleanness; nor join themselves with those impure women, who with their mouths commit wickedness. Because that animal conceives with its mouth.

10 Moses, therefore, speaking as concerning meats, delivered indeed three great precepts to them in the spiritual signification of those commands. But they according to the desires of the flesh, understood him as if he had only meant it of meats.

11 And therefore David took aright the knowledge of his threefold command, saying in like manner.

12 Blessed is the man that hath not walked in the counsel of

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the ungodly; as the fishes before mentioned in the bottom of the deep in darkness.

13 Nor stood in the way of sinners, as they who seem to fear the Lord, but yet sin, as the sow.

14 And hath not sat in the seat of the scorners; as those birds who sit and watch that they may devour.

15 Here you have the law concerning meat perfectly set forth, and according to the true knowledge of it.

16 But, says Moses, ye shall eat all that divideth the hoof, and cheweth the cud. Signifying thereby such an one as having taken his food, knows him that nourisheth him; and resting upon him, rejoiceth in him.

17 And in this he spake well, having respect to the commandment. What, therefore, is it that he says?–That we should hold fast to them that fear the Lord; with those who meditate on the command of the word which they have received in their heart; with those that declare the righteous judgments of the Lord, and keep his commandments;

18 In short, with those who know that to meditate is a work of pleasure, and therefore exercise themselves in the word of the Lord.

19 But why might they eat those that clave the hoof?–Because the righteous liveth in this present world; but his expectation is fixed upon the other. See, brethren, how admirably Moses commanded these things.

20 But how should we thus know all this, and understand it? We, therefore, understanding aright the commandments, speak as the Lord would have us. Wherefore he has circumcised our ears and our hearts, that we might know these things.


Baptism and the Cross of Christ foretold in figures under the law.

LET us now inquire whether the Lord took care to manifest anything beforehand concerning water and the cross.

2. Now for the former of these, it is written to the people of Israel how they shall not receive that baptism which brings to forgiveness of sins; but shall institute another to themselves that cannot.

3 For thus saith the prophet: [*1] Be astonished, O Heaven! and let the earth tremble at it, because this people have done two great and wicked things; they have left me, the fountain of living water, and have digged for themselves broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

4 Is my holy mountain a [*2] Zion, a desolate wilderness? [*3] For ye shall be as a young bird when its nest is taken away.

5 And again the prophet saith, [*4] I will go before thee, and will make plain the mountains, and will break the gates of brass, and will snap in sunder the bars of iron; and will give thee dark, and hidden, and invisible treasures, that they may know that I am the Lord God.

6 And again: He shall dwell [*5] in the high den of the strong rock. And then, what follows in the same prophet? His water is faithful; ye shall see the king

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with glory, and your soul shall learn the fear of the Lord.

7 And again he saith in another prophet: He that does these things; [*1] shall be like a tree, planted by the currents of water, which shall give its fruit in its season. Its leaf also shall not wither, and whatsoever he doth it shall prosper.

8 As for the wicked it is not so with them; but they are as the dust which the wind scattereth away from the face of the earth.

9 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, neither the sinners in the council of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous and the way of the ungodly shall perish.

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