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the Devil. Insomuch that pope Gregory himself was carried away with these illusions, and which some are not ashamed, even at this day, to support.

By these means came purgatory first established in the Roman church, in the sixth, seventh, and eighth centuries; but yet, still the article continued rude and unpolished. Pope Gregory discovered how certain souls, for their punishment, were confined to baths and such like places on earth, but he had not as yet found out any one common place for them to be tormented in in hell. Nay, for some ages after, it seems not to have been risen to a matter of certainty, so far was it yet from being an article of faith. Insomuch that in the twelfth century many doubted of it, as we may gather by that expression of Otto Frisingensis ", ann. 1146, "That there is in hell a place of purgatory, wherein such as are to be saved are either only troubled with darkness or decocted with the fire of expiation, some," says he, " do affirm;" plainly enough implying that all did not believe it.

It is not necessary to say what opposition this novel invention met with in the several centuries in the Latin church, from Claude bishop of Turin in the ninth century, from Peter Bruges and Henry his successor at Tholose; from the Waldenses in France and Piemont, among whom this doctrine was never received, and who are therefore condemned by cardinal Bellarmine himself on this account. I will rather observe, that the eastern churches have continued all along free from this error. For, however the pope and his ministers so far prevailed with the Greeks in the council of Florencey, as to persuade them to yield to a kind of pretended union in this matter; yet both their apology, penned by Marcus Eugenicus2, archbishop of Ephesus, and presented to cardinal Cusan, and the deputies of the council of Basil a the year before, wherein they positively declare, " that they neither had received any such doctrine from their ancestors, and therefore neither would they ever accept it," plainly shews they had no such tradition

u Lib. 8. Chron. cap. 26. Esse apud inferos locum purgatorium, in quo salvandi vel tenebris tantum afficiantur, vel expiationis igne decoquantur, QUI

DAM asserunt.

x Bellar. de Purg. l. 1. c.2. p.571.572.

y Session. 25ta. Counc. Labb. tom. 13. pag. 492, and p. 1135.

z Vid. apud Sixt. Senens. Bibl. 1. 6. Annot. 259. p. 667. a June 14, 1438.

amongst them; and the proceedings of the same Marcus, and of the Greek church after, neither of which would be drawn to consent to this union, more fully confirm it. And it is well known how the Christians of Asia and Africab do not at this day consent with the Roman church in this point, as some of their own authors confess; though others, not so ingenuous, would endeavour to persuade the contrary.

But however this be, purgatory is now become an article of faith, and of too comfortable an importance to be easily parted with; nor have I the vanity to hope I shall be able to argue those men out of it who by this craft gain their living, and will, no doubt, therefore be as zealous in defence of it, as ever Demetrius was of the great goddess Diana upon the same account. But for those whose interest it rather is to be freed from these terrors after death, which serve only to enrich the priests, and keep the laity all their lives in fear and subjection; I hope to satisfy them, that these are only imaginary flames, invented for gain, established upon false grounds, and kept up by artifice and terrors to delude the people, but which themselves many of them no more believe than did that great cardinal who minded one day to pose his chaplain, and proposed this question to him; "How many masses would serve to fetch any soul out of purgatory?" To which when he appeared, as well he might, unable to reply, the cardinal thus pleasantly solved the doubt, "That just so many masses would serve to fetch a soul out of purgatory, as snowballs would serve to heat an oven."

But it is time now to come to a closer examination of all these things; and in order thereunto let us first see,


What it is that the church of Rome means by purgatory. HAD the doctrine of purgatory been as clearly explained by the council of Trent as it was peremptorily defined in it, we should have had the less need to make the present inquiry. b Histoire Critique, p. 5. 20 edit. Franckfort, 1684, for the Greeks, id. p. 69. cites Gabriel Sionita, affirming the same of the Melchites, Purgatorium nullum existere pessime crediderunt, id. p. 72. That the Georgians believe a purgatory, but not such as the C. R. See concerning the Armenians, p. 141, Job Ludolph. Hist. Æthiop.

Lat. shews the same of the Ethiopians, that they deny a purgatory, 1. 3. c. 5. n. 67, 68. See Bellarm. 1. 1. de Purg. cap. 2. p. 572.

e Acts xix. 25, &c.
d C. Richlieu.

e See it at the end of the council of Trent, p. 225. edit. Labbé Paris, 1667. fol.

In pope Pius the Fourth's Creed it is only said in general terms, that "they constantly believe that there is a purgatory, and that the souls there detained are helped by the suffrages of the faithful." Nor is their decree concerning it at all more clear; it only adds, "that they are assisted by the suffrages of the faithful, but especially by the acceptable sacrifice of the mass; and therefore, that the bishops should diligently take care that the wholesome doctrine of purgatory, delivered by the holy fathers and councils, should be believed, held, and taught by all the faithful in Christ."

Indeed, in the foregoing sessions 8, we find two other things defined with reference to this doctrine, but such as conduce very little to the better understanding of it: "1st, It anathematizes those who shall say, that after the grace of justification the fault and guilt of eternal punishment is so remitted to the penitent sinner, that there remains no guilt of a temporal punishment to be paid by him, either now or hereafter in purgatory, before he can attain to the kingdom of heaven:" and 2ndly, In their canons of the mass they resolve, "If any one shall say that the mass is not a propitiatory sacrifice, or that it ought not to be offered for the living and the deadh, for their sins, pains, satisfactions, and other necessities, let him be anathema."

And accordingly the bishop of Meaux, in his Exposition of the Doctrine of the Catholic Church, contains himself within the same bounds. "Those," says he, "who depart this life in grace and charity, but nevertheless indebted to the Divine justice some pains which it reserved, are to suffer them in the other life. This is what the council of Trent proposes to our belief touching the souls detained in purgatory, without defining in what their pains consist, or many other such like things."


The Misrepresenter calls it, a place or state where souls departing this lifek, pardoned as to the eternal guilt or pain, yet obnoxious to some temporal penalty, or with guilt of some venial faults, are purged and purified before their admittance into heaven."

f Session 25. p. 174.

g Session 6. Can. 30. p. 47.

h Session 22. Can. 3. p. 135.

i Expos. Bish. Condom, sect. 8. p. 15. k Papist Misrepr. sect. 23. p. 30.

Ꮶ k Ꮞ

Alexander Natalis is yet more precise: he distinguishes what is of faith in this matter and what not, and thus resolves', that it does not at all belong to the faith, "1st, concerning the place, whether it be in this world, or upon earth, or in the dark air where the devils are; or in the hell of the damned, or in some place underneath nearer the earth, that the souls are purged: 2ndly, concerning the quality of those sensible pains which the souls held in purgatory undergo; whether it be true and corporeal fire, or whether darkness and sorrow, or any other torment inflicted by the justice of God, punishing them after a wonderful, yet true manner: 3rdly, concerning the duration of these purgatory pains, how long the souls are detained there. For though Soto thought that no soul continued in purgatory above ten years, yet it is a matter altogether uncertain how many years those pains shall last. The only thing therefore," he says, "that is in controversy between the catholics," as he calls them, "and protestants, is this, whether the faith teaches that there is a state of the dead in which they shall be expiated by temporary punishments, and from which they may be freed, or otherwise helped by the prayers of the church.”

But though this then be all which these men suppose is to come into our inquiry; yet I must observe, that the Catechism set out by order of the council of Trent determines concerning the pains themselves that they are caused by fire. "There is," says that Catechism m, "a purgatory fire, in which the souls of the faithful being tormented for a certain time, are expiated; that so a passage may be opened for them into their eternal country, into which no defiled thing can enter." So that I do not see how they can choose but allow the pains of purgatory to be determined by them to the particular kind of fire.

St. Thomas is yet more precise, not only that it is fire in which the souls are tormented, but that it is the very "same fire that torments the damned in hell and the just in purgatory"." And Bellarmine himself confesses, that almost all

1 In dissert. sæc. 4. dissert. 41. p. 352.

n In 4. Sent. dist. 21. qu. 1. art. 1.
o Bellarm. de Purg. lib. 2. cap. 6.

m Catechism. ad Paroch. part. 1. p. 646. artic. 5. sect. 5. p. 41. Colon. 1684.

their divines teach, "that the damned and the souls in purgatory are tormented in the same fire and in the same place."

But yet, since they suppose that nothing ought to come into this dispute but just what is defined in the council of Trent, we will take the state of the question according to their own desire, and inquire only in the words of cardinal Bellarmine,

"Whether there be any such place (as they suppose) in which, as in a prison, the souls are purged after this life, which were not fully purged before: that so being cleansed, they may be able to go into heaven, where no unclean thing shall enter."


That there is no ground for such a purgatory in the holy


TO demonstrate this, it will not, I presume, be expected that I should shew the weakness of all those places, which though some of their controvertists have alleged, yet the more learned among them freely confess to have nothing to the purpose in them. Cardinal Bellarmine has put together nineteen several texts out of both Testaments, but yet was far from thinking them all to his purpose P; confessing either of all, or at least of all out of the Old Testament, except the first, that they are but probable arguments. Of these Alexander Natalis utterly rejects sixteen; and one he mentions not, as indeed he needed not to do it, when Bellarmine himself had set a particular mark upon it 9, as impertinent.

The Misrepresenter, unwilling to see his cause reduced to two only places of holy scripture, restores again to its authority' one of those which Natalis had rejected, and adds another, which they had all of them overlooked, but very unfortunately; for that, 1st, they have ever been esteemed t two of the most difficult and obscure places of all the New Testament, and therefore certainly must be very unfit to build an article of faith upon; and then, 2dly, for St. Austin, upon whose authority he would be thought to allege them; it is evi

p De Purgat. 1. 1. c. 3. p. 578. a.

q Ibid. cap. 8. arg. ult. sect. Utuntur nostri, p. 601. D.

r1 Cor. iii. 15.

SI Pet. iii. 15.

t Bellarm. de Purg. l. 1. c. 5. p. 582. A. Natalis Alex. dissert. 41. sæc. 4. p. 378.

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