He makes the deep boil like a pot: he makes the sea like a pot of ointment.
Read Chapter 41
Gregory The Dialogist
31. What is expressed by the ‘sea’ but the life of the worldly, what by the ‘deep’ [‘profundum’] but their deep and hidden thoughts? And this deep sea this Leviathan makes to boil like a pot, because it is doubtless quite plain, that in the time of the last persecution he studies to excite the minds of the reprobate against the life of the Elect by the flame of cruelty. Then does the deep sea boil as a pot, when he inflames with strong heat the hearts of the lovers of this world, and when those who in this time of peace kept their malice close within itself, then boil over with the heat of most savage persecutions, and with the headlong liberty of open cruelty breathe forth that hatred of ancient envy, which they had long suppressed. But because, when persuaded by deadly error they so serve Antichrist in these doings, as to imagine that they are the more truly doing service to Christ; after he had said, He will make the deep sea to boil like a pot, be fitly subjoined,
He will make it as when ointments boil.
32. For ointments when they boil give forth the fragrance of sweetness. Because then this Leviathan will so seduce the hearts of the reprobate, that, whatever they do from the wickedness of unbelief, they imagine they are doing it for the truth of the right faith, that which they do with zeal for religion, smells, as it were, sweetly to them. Whence the Truth says to His disciples in the Gospel; That every one that killeth you, will think that he doeth God service. [John 16, 2] They, therefore, boil as a pot, while they cruelly persecute: but this very persecution smells, to their sense, with the fragrance of ointments, when their mind, deceived by vain imaginations, thinks that it is doing God service. For in Holy Scripture by the sweet smell of ointments is usually signified an opinion of virtues. Whence the Bride in the Song of Songs, longing for the Bridegroom, says, We run in the odour of Thy ointments. [Cant. 1, 3] And hence the Apostle Paul, knowing that he was fragrant with the praise of virtues, says, We are unto God a sweet savour of Christ. [2 Cor. 2, 15] Because, therefore this Leviathan involves the ministers of that accursed vessel of his in deeds of cruelty, under the notions of praise, and the pretext of virtue, after He had said, He will make the deep sea to boil as a pot: He immediately rightly adds, He will make it as when ointments boil. For the sea which boils with the fire of cruelty, He shews to boil as ointments, in the judgment of those same persons, who are excited by the feigned name of virtue; in order that they may become more atrocious in their cruelty, the more they believe that they even deserve rewards for their zeal for religion. And in the Divine judgment it is just that they, who neglect to consider and guard the power of piety, should be deceived by the odour of their own fancy. Whence, to increase the illusion, signs also and prodigies attend them when committing their cruelties.