Trinity Sunday The Gospel Mat. 28 v.18.Thursday Meditation: A Plaine Path-way To Heaven Thomas Hill 1634
PERINO DEL VAGA
The Fall of the Giants
GOSPEL Matt. 28:18-20
At that time, Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: "All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world."
One of the causes of Noes flood, and of the destruction of the world thereby,was the Giants of that time: so much doth the Scripture intimate unto us, which speaking of the Flood, sayth, And there were Giants in those days upon the earth, meaning that they were a cause thereof.
These giants were men of an extraordinary stature and bigness, &of mighty strength and ability of body, which God having given them for the defense and succour of the weaker sort, they contrariwise did exercise their strength in the oppression and persecuting of them, and in all other wickedness and lewdness of life, in so much that by their ill example, all flesh had so corrupted their ways, as the Scripture sayth, that God destroyed the world with a general Flood and inundation, over all the face of the earth: and this he did to purge the world of that wicked generation, as men unworthy to live therein,choosing rather to destroy then to permit them, of which number the Giant Nemrod was one,who in the holy Scripture is called a strong Hunter before the Lord,that is to say a Tyrant, and one that hunted strongly after wicked courses and oppression of others.
How full is the world now of those Giants who carry themselves if they had received their wealth,strength, authority, and ability of body & mind only to wrong and oppress the weaker, and poorer sort, with which they should protect patronize and succor them!
When the Jews had sinned with the Madianite women with whom God had forbidden them to have any commerce or conversation,or any thing to do,as excommunicate persons,God said unto Moses; Take all the Princes of the people and hang them in gibbets, against the Sun, that my wrath or fury against Israel may cease.
Many other had sinned this sin besides the Princes,but God was most offended with them, because they ought by their potency and good example, to withdraw the people from ill, but they by their greatness and ill example drew them thereunto.
Oh how pernicious a thing is it, when greatness & wicked man meet together,and how happy are they, that are not potent,or rich,or of ability of body, for they, though they may have a desire to do ill, yet they want means to go further then desire,which is a less sin,and sooner amended. Yet as great men may,and do commonly, like those giants aforesaid, sin more freely,and do a great deal more harm to other, then the which nothing is worse: so do they sometimes use their greatness, to the greater honor and service of God, and the good of others, then the which nothing is better: of this doth our sweet Saviour give us here a singular example.
All power, sayth he, in heaven and in earth,is given unto me. And how did he employ this his power? Immediately after he had declared his power in those words, he adjoined these to his disciples; Go ye into all the world, & preach the Gospel, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the son, & of the holy Ghost.
He received power over all,he employed it, and that presently, to the good of all; by which example he seemed to speak unto us, as well as to his disciples, and say: You that are giants of the earth,and have received great power, strength, health, wealth, wisdom, learning, or any other Talent, from the hands of God, use it not to the wrong, and oppression of the weaker sort, nor any other wickedness or ill example of others, as those giants aforesaid did; you know what happened unto the Princes of the Madianites as aforesaid; I am the same I was then,I say no more but this, Potent men,if they abuse their potency,shall be potently punished, when time is.