THIS esteemed canonist and scholarly bishop was far from being an academic drudge or equivocating ecclesiast. He had the firm convictions, as well as the usual inconsistencies, with which to precipitate himself into endless troubles; these embarrassments he regularly exchanged for new ones. Perhaps he did become sufficiently weary of such battles to combine, in his later years, a life of safe diocesan administration with a maturation of the advisory services as a canonical authority. But he continued at least a semblance of his old idealism and social concern. The portions here reproduced, if little characterized by that interest, show a surprisingly small amount of sheerly antiquarian preoccupation. MPL 162:567-68. The translation by Ne.Mpp. 99-101 is from the Paris ed. (1647), II, 286.
Since, in the observation of the present time, we celebrate both the Advents of Christ, we must distinguish what, at this season, we have to believe as past, what we have to expect as future; to the end that the expectation of future things may, by fear, restrain you from sin: and belief in that which is past, if you are not lukewarm in charity, may confirm you in that which is good. For there is none of you who doubts that our Lord has already come in the form of a servant to the end He might be judged: there is none of you who denies that He will come in the same form to the end He may judge. In the first Advent He was hidden, in the second He will be manifested. In the first Advent it is written of Him: What Man is this, and who knoweth Him? And in the Gospel: The light shined in darkness, but the darkness comprehended it not (John 1:5), and much to the same effect. Of the second it is thus said in the Psalm: Our God shall come and shall not keep silence (Ps. 50:3; d. 49:3). In His first advent He kept silence, not from teaching, but from judging. When He was reviled, He reviled not again, when he suffered, He threatened not, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth (I Pet. 2:23; Isa. 53:7). In the second, He will not be silent, when He will render to each according to his works (Rom. 2:6). For then He will say to them that shall be at His left hand, Go, ye cursed, into everlasting fire (Matt. 25:41): but thus to those who shall be on His right hand: Come ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom which is prepared for you from the beginning of the world (Matt. 25:34). The first Advent was in humility and meekness, the second will be with terror and majesty. In the first it is said of Him by the Prophet to the Church, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek and humble (Matt. 21:5). Of the terror of the second it is said in the Psalm: There shall go a fire before Him, and a mighty tempest shall be stirred up round about Him (Ps. 50:3; D. 49:3), that this tempest may drive away the wicked afar from the vision of His glory, but over them the fire shall burn. Of this tempest it is written: Let the wicked be taken away, that they may not see the glory of God. But of the fire to which the wicked shall be given up, thus saith the Lord by Moses: A fire is kindled in Mine anger which shall burn even to the lowest hell (Deut. 32:22). He Himself says that He will come 142 to judgment with majesty: When the Son of Man shall come in His glory, before Him shall be gathered all nations (Matt. 25:31, 32). In the first Advent He came to justify the wicked, in the second He will come to condemn the wicked. In the first He came to call back those that were wrested from Him, in the second He will come to glorify those that are converted to Him. In the first Advent Christ was betrayed for the wicked to a death which He deserved not, in the second He will give up the wicked to a death which they deserve. In the First Advent He came to form our hearts again to the image of God. But in the second, He will form again the body of our humility so as to be configured to the body of His glory. For as by the first earthly man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, so it was fit that by the Second Man from heaven, man should first be justified from sin, and after that, should by the same be restored to immortality. For in the same order in which he had perished, in that order he was to be restored. The first death was transgression of the commandments, from which the second springs, the corruption of the flesh by the departure of the soul. Thus, therefore, the first resurrection is justification; the second, the restoration of corrupt flesh to immortality. Because then each Advent was necessary for our restoration, Holy Church is accustomed to venerate each under the observation of one time, that she may read former benefits with thanksgiving, and may look forward with pious fear to the good things of the latter Advent. Therefore those things which are written concerning each Advent of the Lord, in the law, and the Prophets, and the Psalms, and the Gospel, are most especially recited in the Church by being read or sung in these four weeks, that we may be fortified by these four kinds of testimonies to giving of thanks, and may be prepared for the future with no idle solicitude.