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Almighty God doth mercifully inflict upon a sinner according to that saying, Whom God loveth he chasteneth, and he scourgeth every son that he receiveth. But the third is very
fearful and terrible, which by the most just judgment of God shall be executed, not in this world, but in that which is to come, when the just Judge shall say: Depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire, which is prepared for the devil and his angels." Add hereunto the saying of the author of the books De vanitate sæculi, and De rectitudine Catholicæ conversationis, wrongly ascribed to St. Augustine,“ Know that when the soul is separated from the body, presently it is either placed in paradise for his good works, or cast headlong into the bottom of hell for his sins;" as also of the second sermon De consolatione mortuorum. “ When? the soul departeth, which cannot be seen with carnal eyes, it is received by the angels, and placed either in the bosom of Abraham, if it be faithful, or in the custody of the prison of hell, if it be sinful; until the day appointed come, wherein it is to receive the body, and render an account of the works thereof at the tribunal of Christ the true Judge;" and that in the days of Otto Frisingensis himself, who wrote in the year of our Lord one thousand one hundred and forty-six, the doctrine of purgatory was esteemed only a private assertion held by some, and not an article of faith generally received by the whole Church, for why should he else write of it in this manner? “ 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 do affirm;" and lastly, that the purgatory, wherewith the Romish clergy doth now delude the world, is a new device, never heard of in the Church of God, for the space of a thousand years after the birth of our Saviour Christ.
p Scitote, quod, cum anima a corpore evellitur, statim aut in paradiso pro meritis bonis (as it is in the one, or, pro bonis operibus, as it is in the other book : both importing the selfsame thing) collocatur, aut certe pro peccatis in inferni tartara præcipitatur. Lib. de vanit. sæculi, cap. 1. et de rectitud. catholic. conversat. app. tom. 6. operum Augustini.
9 Recedens anima, quæ carnalibus oculis videri non potest, ab angelis suscipitur; et collocatur aut in sinu Abrahæ, si fidelis est, aut in carceris inferni custodia, si peccatrix est: donec veniat statutus dies, quo suum recipiat corpus, et apud tribunal Christi judicis veri reddat suorum operum rationem. Serm. 2. de consolat, mortuor. Ibid.
? Esse apud inferos locum purgatorium, in quo salvandi vel tenebris tantum afficiantur, vel expiationis igne decoquantur, quidam asserunt. Otto Fris. lib. 8. chron. cap. 26.
For the Gregorian purgatory, which reached no further than to the expiation of “ smalls and very light faults," would not serve these men's turn; who very providently considered that little use could be made of that fire, if it had no other fuel but this to maintain it. For such peccadilloes as these, they say, may be taken away in this life ; byť knocking the breast, by receiving the bishop's blessing, by being sprinkled with holy water, and by such other easy remedies; that, if this were all the matter to be cared for, men needed not greatly to stand in fear of purgatory. Yea, admit they should be so extremely negligent in their lifetime, that they forgat to use any of these helps; they might for all this at the time of their death be more afraid than hurt: yea, this fear" alone, if there were nothing else, might prove a means to souls, at the very departing, from those faults of the lightest kind ;" if Gregory may be credited. Nay, which is more, divers of their own elder" divines, to whom we may adjoin cardinal Cajetant also in these latter days, have taught, that all the remains of sin in God's children are quite abolished by final grace, at the very instant of their final dissolution; so that the stain of the least sin is not left behind to be carried unto the other world.
• Sed tamen hoc de parvis minimisque peccatis fieri posse credendum est ; sicut est assiduus otiosus sermo, immoderatus risus, &c. Gregor. dialog. lib. 4. cap. 39. op. tom. 2. pag. 444.
Sext. proæm. in Glossa verb. Benedictionem. Francisc. Victoria in summa sacramentor, eccles. num. 110. Jacob. de Graffiis, decis. cas. conscient. part. 1. lib. 1. cap. 6. num. 10.
• Sed plerumque de culpis minimis ipse solus pavor egredientes justorum animas purgat. Gregor. dialog. lib. 4. cap. 46. op. tom 2. pag. 453.
* Delet gratia finalis peccatum veniale in ipsa dissolutione corporis et animæ ;, &c. Hoc ab antiquis dictum est : sed nunc communiter tenetur, quod peccatum veniale cum hinc deferatur a multis, etiam quantum ad culpam, in purgatorio purgatur. Albert. Magn. in compend. theologicæ veritat. lib. 3. cap. 13. Vid. Alexand. Halens. summ. part. 4. quæst. 15. membr. 3. art. 3. Durand. lib. 4. dist. 45. quæst. 1. &c. * Cajetan. opusc. tom. 1. tract. 23. de purgator. quæst. 1.
Now purgatory, as Bellarmine describeth it, is a “certain' place, in which as in a prison those souls are purged after this life, which were not fully purged in this life; that, being so purged, they may be able to enter into heaven, whereinto no unclean thing can enter. And of this,” saith he, “is all the controversy."
If that be so, their own doctors, you see, will quickly bring this controversy unto an end. For if the souls be fully purged here from all spot of sin, what need have they to be sent unto any other purgatory after this life? Yes, say they, although the fault be quite remitted, and the soul clearly freed from the pollution thereof: yet may there remain a temporal punishment due for the very mortal sins that have been committed ; which, if relief do not otherwise come, by the help of such as are alive, must be soundly laid on in purgatory. But why in purgatory, say we, seeing here there is no more purging work left: for the fault and the blot being taken away already, what remaineth yet to be purged? The punishment only, they say, is left behind : and punishment, I hope, they will not hold to be the thing, that is purged away by punishment. Again, we desire them to tell us, what father or ancient doctor did ever teach this strange divinity ? that man being clearly purged from the blot of his sin, and fully acquitted here from the fault thereof, should yet in the other world be punished for it with such grievous torments, as the tongue of man is not able to express. And yet, as new and as absurd a doctrine as it is, the pope and his adherents have builded thereupon both their guileful purgatory, with which it suiteth as evil-favouredly as may be; and their gainful indulgences, which, by their
y Locus quidam, in quo tanquam in carcere post hanc vitam purgantur animæ, quæ in hac non plene purgatæ fuerunt: ut nimirum sic purgatæ in cælum ingredi valeant, quo nihil intrabit coinquinatum. De hoc est tota controversia. Bellarmin. de purgator. lib. 1. cap. 1.
own doctrine, free? not a man from the guilt of any fault, either mortal or venial, but only from the guilt of the temporal punishment, which remaineth after the fault hath been forgiven.
When Thomas Aquinas and other friars had brought the frame of this new building unto some perfection, and fashioned all things therein unto their own best advan, tage, the doctors of the Greek Church did publicly oppose themselves against it. Matthæus Quæstor by name wrote against Thomas herein : whose book is still preserved in the emperor's library at Vienna. So Athanasius his disputation against purgatory is (or lately was) to be seen in the French king's library; and the like of Germanus, patriarch of Constantinople; and others elsewhere. The apology of the Grecians, touching the same subject, is commonly to be had; which was penned by Marcus Eugenicus archbishop of Ephesus, and presented to cardinal Cusanus and the deputies of the council of Basil, in the year one thousand four hundred and thirty-eight, the fourteenth of June; the very same day wherein Bessarion archbishop of Nice disputed with the Latins of the same matter, in the council assembled at Ferrara. In that apology, the Grecians begin their disputation with this proposition. “ A' purgatory fire, and a punishment by fire which is temporal, and shall at last have an end; neither have we received from our doctors, neither do we know that the church of the East doth maintain." They
2 Id. de indulgent. lib. 1. cap. 7. prop.
1. a Sixt. Senens. lib. biblioth. sanct. annotat. 259.
• Responsio Græcorum ad positionem Latinorum, opinionem ignis purgatorii fundantium et probantium. Quæ lecta et data fuit reverendiss. et reverendis patribus, et dominis deputatis, die sabbati, xiv, mensis Junii, 1438. in sacristia fratrum minorum, Basileæ, præsentata Nicolao Cusano. Martin. Crusius in TurcoGræcia, pag. 186. ex libro MS. Johann. Capnionis.
¢ Act. concil. Florentin.
d Πυρ καθαρτήριον και κόλασιν διά πυρός πρόσκαιρον και τέλος έξουσαν όλως, ημείς υπό των ημετέρων ού παρειλήφαμεν διδασκάλων, ουδε τήν της ανατολής εκκλησίας εσμεν φρονούσαν. Αpolog. Gracor. de purgator. a Bonav. Vulcan. edit.
add further: “ Neithere have we received it from any of our doctors; and moreover no small fear doth trouble us, lest, by admitting a temporary fire both penal and purgatory, we should destroy the full consent of the Church." And thereupon they conclude very peremptorily: “ For these reasons therefore, neither have we ever hitherto affirmed any such thing, neither will we at all affirm it."
Yet within a year after, the pope and his ministers prevailed so far with them in the council at Florence, that they were content for peace sake to yield, that “thes middle sort of souls were in a place of punishment; but whether that were fire, or darkness and tempest, or something else, they would not contend." And accordingly was the pretended union betwixt them and the Latins drawn up: that " if" such as be truly penitent die in God's favour, before they have satisfied for their sins of commission and omission by worthy fruits of penance, their souls are purged after death with purgatory punishments;” neither fire, nor any other kind of punishment being specified in particular. But neither would Marcus the bishop of Ephesus, who was one of the legates of the patriarchs of Antioch and of Jerusalem, consent to this union: neither could the Greek Church afterwards by any means be drawn to yield unto it. And so unto this day, the Romish purgatory is rejected, as well by the Grecians as by the Muscovites and Russians, the Cophtites and Abassines, the Georgians and Arme
• Οτι μήτε παρά τινός των διδασκάλων αυτό παρειλήφαμεν, έτι τε και φόβος ου μικρός υποθρύπτει ημάς, μη πύρ πρόσκαιρον υποθέμενοι παράδικόν τε και καθαρτήριον, τω παντί λυμυνάμεθα της εκκλησίας πληρώματι. Ibid.
1 Διά ταύτα ούν ουδέποτε μέχρι τού νύν ειρήκαμεν τοιούτον ουδέν, ουδ' όλως έρούμεν. Ιbid.
και αι δε μέσαι υπάρχουσι μεν έν βασανιστηρίω, και είτε πύρ εστίν, είτε ζόφος και θύελλα, είτε τι έτερον, ου διαφερόμεθα. Concil. Florentin. sess. 25.
"Si vere pænitentes in Dei charitate decesserint, antequam dignis pænitentiæ fructibus de commissis satisfecerint et omissis, eorum animas pænis purgatoriis post mortem purgari. Eugenii iv. Bulla Unionis. ibid. cujus aútóy papov etiam inter keiunea Cottoniana vidimus.