Of the Great Scarcity of the Predestinate, by Fr. Drexelius, S.J.:
...Saint Vincent Ferrerius of Saint Dominic's order, that mirror of preachers and religious men, did once in a public Sermon discourse with great efficacy of the scarcity of the predestinate and confirmed it with a wonderful example; whose words in reverence of so great a person I will be as exact in reporting, as the difference of language will give me leave. [S. Vinc. Domin. Sepiuag serm. 6. post initium.] Before our Savior's coming into the world, says he, in human flesh, more than five thousand years were already past, and except some few of the Children of Israel who departed to Limbo, all the rest of the world was damned. Imagine with yourself besides, in the time of the law of Moyses how many Children have died without Circumcision; as also in the time of the law of Christ how many without Baptism; of all which number likewise not one is saved. Moreover how many Jews, Saracens, Pagans and Infidels, how many wicked Christians (for faith and Baptism cannot save a man unless they be accompanied with good life) and how many other Christians are there besides, who although they have faith, are yet proud, avaricious, of lewd life, and given to many other vices etc. And here note the example of the Archdeacon of Lyons, who having resigned his benefice, undertook a course of austere penance for forty years together in the wilderness. This holy man after his death appeared to the Bishop of Lyons, who desiring of him to discover [disclose] somewhat unto him of the other world, the Saint answered that thirty thousand in the world had died the same day with him, whereof only 5 were saved, himself and S. Bernard being two of them, who ascended immediately to heaven, the other three remaining in Purgatory, and all the rest irrecoverably damned. This is the reason why our Savior advises us with so much solicitude to enter by the narrow gate: Intrare per augustam portam. This narrow gate of Paradise is the will of God to which everyone must conform himself who desires to enter into Paradise. The broad gate is our own will, and the spacious way is worldly conversation; as to eat and drink our fill, to follow our lustful appetites, take our pleasure, revenge ourselves of those who have injured us, and the like. So as pauci sunt electi, but a few are saved. To which exhortation of Saint Vincent we will add another example recounted by an approved Author....
From Whether Everyone may be Saved in His Own Religion by Fr. Lessius:
The fundamental reason whereupon this opinion especially relies, is of no moment. For first, if it be not incredible that God for the space of some thousands of years hath left the whole world in Idolatry, excepting only the Jewish nation being but a little portion or corner of the whole world, and to have permitted it to be utterly overthrown, albeit there were so many rare wits among them, so many diligent worshipers of God, and all human justice, and honesty; it should not also seem incredible, if we say that now, also he suffers the Turks and Jews to perish.
From PDF pg. 10 of Fr. William Smith's
God (say they) is most merciful, and therefore it would be much repugnant to his infinite mercy, to damn for all eternity, any man that believes in him, and in Jesus Christ, as his Redeemer; so that withal he forbear doing of all wrong, but lead a virtuous (or at least, a moral) life, though in other articles of less importance he may err. To this I answer, with the Apostle, [Rom. cap. 11.) O altitudo dibitiarum sapientia & scientia Dei! God's judgments are inscrutable, and to be admired, not to be overcuriously pried into. If it was his divine pleasure, for many ages to make choice only of the Jewish Nation (a very handful to the whole earth) for his elected people, and suffer all the rest of the world (generally speaking) to lie drowned in Idolatry, and therefore to be damned. And if also after our Savior's Incarnation, he vouchsafed not, for the space of many ages, to enlighten whole Countries with the Gospel of Christ, but permitted them to continue (to their souls' eternal perdition) in their former Idolatry & Heathenism; yea suffering even to this very day (and how longer after, his divine Majesty only knows) divers vast Countries to persevere in their foresaid Infidelity, if (I say) this proceeding in God is best liking to himself, and that for the same he cannot be truly charged with Injustice or cruelty, seeing he gave the insufficient means of salvation by the law of Nature, and did not withdraw from them grace sufficient leaving them thereby without excuse. Then much less can any man expostulate God of injustice or want of mercy (for his divine goodness is nothing but justice and mercy itself) if he suffer men to perish eternally, and damn them for want of an entire, complete, and perfect faith an all the articles of Christianity; especially in these times, when no Christian can pretend for excuse any invincible ignorance in matters of faith, by reason that the true articles of Christian Religion, are sufficiently propounded and divulged by God's Church, to all Christians whatsoever; therefore touching God's secret judgments and disposals herein, we will conclude with [Cap 30) Esay: Deus judicii Dominus.
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