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All these descriptions agree most en- ble, and without hope of ever becoming tirely with the facts of history during the otherwise. Deny this interpretation, and last twelve centuries. Rome has fallen the task becomes utterly hopeless, of aninto idolatry, which is spiritual fornica- nexing any meaning to St. John's Revetion and adultery: she has corrupted all lation at all. We may cut the gordian the peoples and nations and tongues, and knot, indeed, by assuming the prophecy the kings of the earth, with her fornica. to be entirely “ future," — wholly " untions ;—she has made herself drunk with fulfilled.” But this is so absolutely at the blood of the saints, and with the blood variance with the apostle's words,–** 10 of the martyrs of Jesus: all this is sim- show unto them things which must ple historical fact, respecting which none shortly come to pass, -as to be quite but those who are themselves “ bewitch- intolerable. Revert, then, to the plain ed with her sorceries” entertain the small- and natural meaning of the words; and est doubt. In her, then, the predictions immediately Rome,-Romish idolatry, of the Apocalypse are accomplished and Romish persecution, Romish sway over accomplishing. But without these facts, the ten kingdoms, shine out as if written this remarkable and wonderful portion of with a pen of fire. God's word remains utterly unintelligi
THE DOCTRINE OF PURGATORY.
The Doctrine of Purgatory and the Practice of Rome, for her strenuous and determined
Praying for the Dead, as maintained by the endeavours to uphold it. Some excellent
remarks are then added, on the state of and St. Peter. London. Wix, 1843.
the soul after death; and our author con
cludes, most appropriately and most efThis is a work of much ability, offectively, by stating the true doctrine of great erudition, and of peculiarly clear Scripture. arrangement. Mr. Hall begins by stat- of such a work it is no easy task to ing, in the wost explicit and circumstan- present a complete analysis within the tial manner, the doctrine against which ordinary limits of a review. he purposes to contend; he then exa- The statement of the doctrine of purmines the Scriptural authorities which gatory and prayers for the dead, as an are cited in its favour, and further pro- integral and essential part of the true ceeds to investigate, to analyze, and to Catholic faith, out of which none can be condense the Scriptural evidences against saved, is taken from the creed of Pope it
. Having established his case, as far as Pius IV., which is, according to Mr. the oracles of God are concerned, he Charles Butler, " an accurate and explicit next institutes a scrutiny into the patris- summary of the Roman Catholic faith ;" tical authorities which are alleged in sup- which Dr. Doyle, in his Examination on port of Purgatory-not contenting him. the State of Ireland, pronounces
" the self with quotations made by proxy, and most approved and authentic summary of refutations adopted at second-hand, but the Roman Catholic creed;" and which exhibiting, in every instance, a distinct Dr. Murray declares to be “the most reference to an authorized and accredited anthentic exposition of the faith of the edition of his author. He then proceeds Roman Catholic church." It is as folto consider, with equal minuteness, and lows :with equal ability, the subject of Prayer “VI. I constantly hold that there is a for the dead;"—the origin of the prac. purgatory, and that the souls detained tice itself; and the motives which may herein are helped by the suffrages of the be reasonably imputed to the Church of faithful."
Now this mode of expression, as Mr. and those who die immediately after absoluHall justly observes, in his Preface, is tion from a priest, go directly to heaven.
" XIV. Souls in purgatory can neither merit "purposely, vague and ambiguous.
nor sin. What purgatory really is where it is
“XV. The doctrine of purgatory is an arti. placed—who are its inhabitants—what cle of the Catholic faith. are the punishments there inflicted - « XVI. He who does not believe there is a what their duration, and what their re
purgatory will be damned.”—(pp. 4, 5.) sult; these are points which are allo- Such is the doctrine, completely and gether unsettled and undefined." By circumstantially detailed. Before, howreference to standard theologians, there ever, we investigate its authority, we fore, Mr. Hall endeavours to supply the shall do well to trace its origin. deficiency; and by combining the decla- In a memorable passage of Scripture, rations of many approved divines, who which describes by anticipation the soare regarded by their Romanist brethren lemn transactions of the great and teras so many oracles of infallibility, he has rible day of the Lord,” all nations are constructed the following complete and represented to be gathered before the explicit summary of all that is dogma- throne of the all-discerning Judge, in tically taught concerning this tradition of order to be then and there separated into men:
two, and only two, divisions, and con« I. There is a purgatory.
signed to one of two, and only two, de“ II. This purgatory is any third place, be- stinations. "They," (the wicked) "*shall sides heaven and hell, whether it be Paradise, go away into everlasting punishment, and Hades, or Abraham's bosom. “ III. Its situation is near to hell.
the righteous into life eternal.” So far, “ IV. It is a place, or, according to some, a
however, as human judgment extends, state, for purifying departed souls between there is a very large proportion of mandeath and the resurrection.
kind, who cannot be said to belong ab“ V. The souls there confined have left this solutely to either of these classes ; and, world in a state of grace, but are subject to the punishment due to venial sins, of which therefore, says Mr. Sharon Turner, " to the eternal punishment has been remitted ; and suit their state of imperfection without also to that which is due to mortal sins imper- consigning them to hopeless evil, the fectly expiated.
system was devised of an intermediate “ VI. The punishment consists in depriva- state of purgatorial efficacy.” Of this tion of the beatific vision of God, and in actual suffering, which is inflicted by material system, however, there was no mention fire, of the same nature with our elementary
or thought during the first four centuries fire. It is said, indeed, that the punishment of the Christian era; during the two sucby fire in purgatory differs not from that in ceeding centuries it obtained liule or no hell, except in duration.
credit; nor was it authoritatively promul“VII. The severity of this punishment exceeds the most bitter pains that mortals can
gated, as a dogma of the church, till the conceive.
time of Pope Gregory, sometimes called “VIII. The duration of punishment varie's St. Gregory, and sometimes Gregory the according to the number of venial sins to be Great. He stated in his “ Dialogues," expiated, or according to the plenitude of which have been characterized as prayers, alms, and masses offered for the liberation of suffering souls.
mixture of fanaticism, credulity, and “IX. The punishment endured is a satis- puerility,” that there would be a purgafaction to God's justice.
torial fire before the judgineni, for lighter “X. Masses are also offered as satisfactions faults, which would be more severe ihan for sins both of the dead and the living; and
any bodily pain;—and he cites, as an are most efficacious. “ XI. God has instituted purgatory as a
authority for his statement, Germanus, channel for conveying his grace into the souls Bishop of Capua, who saw (or says he of men.
saw), the soul of Paschasius, the deacon, “XII. Souls in purgatory experience incre. boiling in the hot baths of St. Angelo. dible consolation, and undergo their punish. The earlier advocates of the doctrine, ments willingly, in the assured hope of their however, did not attach to it the specific final salvation, and their freedom from liability to eternal punishment.
name of purgatory, which was the in“XIII. Newly baptized persons, martyrs, vention of Pope Innocent VI., A.D. 1254.
Nor was it fully established as an article resurrection; (for if he had not hoped that of faith, on the combined authority of they that were slain should have risen again, pope and council, until the time of the
it had been superfluous and vain to pray for
the dead): And also, in that he perceived that Council of Trent, A. D. 1564. Thence
there was great favour laid up for those that forth it has formed a part of the Romish died godly. It was a holy and good thought. catechism, and of the creed, which Whereupon he made a reconciliation for the "non-Catholics, on their admission into dead, that they might be delivered from sin." the Catholic church, publicly repeat and -(pp. 30, 31.)
" It appears that on the day after the battle, testify their assent to, without restriction
when Judas and bis men were collecting the or qualification."
dead bodies, in order to bury them in the In examining Scriptural authorities, graves of their fathers, they found, under the Mr. Hall is content to accept the Roman. coats of every one that was slain, things that ist sense of the term Scripture, and to
had been consecrated to the idols of the Jam
nites; and this circumstance is expressly commence with an authority which is
stated to have been the cause of their death. not Scriptural, but Apocryphal. (2 Mac- Hereupon Judas and his men besought God cabees xii. 32–46.) He does not omit, by prayer that the sin might not be rememhowever, to record his protest against the
bered; most probably lest they should be insubstitution for Scripture of one of those
cluded in the punishment, as were the Israelites
under Joshua (ch. vii.) in the matter of Achan. Apocryphal writings “ which," he says,
Judas also exhorted the people to abstain from " were never admitted into the Jewish
any repetition of the offence: and having made canon; were never appealed to by Christ a collection of money, sent it to Jerusalem and his apostles, as doctrinal or prophe
to offer • a sin-offering' before the Lord. The tical; and of which the contradictions
Romanist asserts that the expression here and inconsistencies deprive them of all rendered (both by the Septuagint, and in our
translation), a sin-offering, indicates ‘a sacrifice claim to a divine original.” However, for the sins of the dead.' It is fatal, however, taking the story as it stands, he sufficient- to this interpretation, that the Jewish law comly demonstrates its utter incompetency to
manded idolatry to be punished with death, support the monstrous fabric of invention
without any sacrificial expiation. What, thereand imposture which is attempted to be fore, was denied to these men while living,
would surely be of no avail to them when based upon it. We will give the passage, dead; and as the Scriptures make no mention accordingly, at full length, both as a fa- whatever of any sacrifice for the dead, it is vourable specimen of Mr. Hall's manner,
obvious that the offering made by Judas had and because we think it not improbable
respect to the living, who had not diligently
sought out and corrected the wicked and idolathat many of our readers, who require no
trous propensities of the host. This, indeed, assistance in following the plain track of was precisely the course pointed out by God, a really Scriptural argument, may stand in the case of bloodshed, when the murderer in need of some such clue to guide them remained undiscovered; and, therefore, would in safety through the mazes of the Apo
naturally suggest itself under circumstances
of a like nature. crypha.
“ Again, the Romish church teaches that “Now under the coats of every one that those who die in mortal sin go inevitably to was slain, they found things consecrated to hell; and that those only who die with venial the idols of the Jamnites, which is forbidden sins upon their heads endure the temporary the Jews by the law. Then every man saw torture of purgatory. But these Israelites had that this was the cause wherefore they were been guilty of idolatry, which is a mortal sin ; slain. All men therefore praising the Lord, and respecting which every man saw that it the righteous Judge, who had opened the was the cause for which they were slain ;'things that were hid, betook themselves unto not, as has been asserted, merely because they prayer, and besought him that the sin commit had taken these idols as 'spoils of war. For ted might wholly be put out of remeinbrance. whence can it be shown that such an act Besides that, noble Judas exhorted the people would, in this particular case, have merited to keep themselves from sin, forasmuch as death? And how, on the other hand, could they saw before their eyes the things that came the offering of Judas be of any avail in deliver
pass for the sins of those that were slain. ing them from hell, whither those go, who, for And when he had made a gathering through- the sake of idols, have cast off the true God? out the company, to the sum of Iwo thousand “ We arrive now at the important observadrachms of silver, he sent it to Jerusalem to tion, that the act of Judas .was a holy and offer a sin-offering, doing therein very well good thought, whereupon he made a reconand honestly, in that he was mindful of the ciliation for the dead, that they might be de.
livered from sin.' Here it is necessary to For this notable exposition Mr. Hall remark, that these are not the words of Judas quotes Bellarmine, who has written most himself
, but an assertion of the compiler; not learnedly and elaborately on the subject, a continuation of the history, but a gloss, or conjecture of the historian; intimating that without even the comfort of expecting the design of Judas, in making the offering, by this good service to escape the conwas, that the sinners might be forgiven, and sequences of his own demonstration.obtain a happy resurrection. The words for
Scarcely any righteous men,” he dethe sins of the dead' in verse 43, which have been introduced into the Douay version, are
clares, “ will escape pænam purgatorii not in the Greek of the original writer. It is acerbissimam;" and on his death-bed there simply, as in our translation, “a sin- he is said to have declared to the geneoffering.' Had Judas himself, who was, doubt- ral of the Jesuits, "I myself have not less, conversant with the law of God, considered it a holy and good thought," he would any expectation of escaping it!" Ego surely have given "holy and good' authority
hanc spem non habeo! But Mr. Hall, for the practice of making reconciliation for determining the precept to have a prithe dead, that they might be delivered from mary reference to the present lise, yet sin. But none is given, for the simple reason, points out two features in the spiritual that none could be found. Judas, moreover, application of the passage which are would not defend the law with his sword, and destroy it with an unlawful sacrifice. At all altogether repugnant to this interpretaevents, there is nothing in the expression
tion:about mitigating present misery, or shortening “Suppose, for a moment, that a man could purgatorial sorrows. Deliverance from sin pay the uttermost farthing, in such a case he only is contemplated in the offering, not de- would liquidate the debt, and his venial sins liverance from Purgatory ;-a resurrection to would stand in no need of that remission or for. future happiness, not an escape from present giveness, for which the Papist contends when punishment. In whatever view, therefore, the arguing upon Matthew xii. 32. Where paypassage is considered, it contains nothing in ment is made, pardon is not required. Besides, favour of the existence of the Popish purga. if no one who enters purgatory is to come out tory.
until he has paid the utiermost farthing,' of • But even if Judas had made an offering what avail are prayers and masses for the for the dead, and prayed for their deliverance sufferer while there? Yet we are told that by from punishment, -as this is the only example these means the dead are daily supposed to of such a practice which can be produced, come forth discharged from all payments to and that not from the Old or New Testament, be made by themselves. To be sure it is not which are undoubtedly inspired, it will no said by the Romish church where the debt is more avail to establish a doctrine, upon the to be paid; so that a mortuary fee, or the donabelief of which our salvation is made to de- tion of some wealthy relative into the hands pend, than the act of Zipporah can authorize of a sordid priesthood, may probably solve the women to administer the sacraments, or than difficulty. But it is said in the texi, by whom that of Razis can sanction suicide.
it is to be paid ;-till thou, i. e., the sinner him“ The above being the only passage, in any self, not his friends and relatives;—'till thou writing anterior to the Christian era, which is hast paid the uttermost farthing. The debt, now more commonly adduced in proof of the therefore, admits of no commutation; and, tenets under examination, it may reasonably consequently, all the masses and prayers in be inferred that the Old Testament writers Christendom are superfluous and nugatory. knew nothing of their existence. Did they “In the interpretation which has been given afford any indication of them, the passages above, it will be found that we are borne out formerly alleged would not have been so gene- by the authority of the fathers, and even by the rally given up; but we should still have been Romanists themselves. Thus, St. Ambrose referred to them, as we are to the Scriptures remarks, that the reconciliation must take of the New Testament, in which certain allu- place, while we are in this body.' sions and expressions are presumed to estab- “He is never released from prison,' says lish their truth."-(pp. 32–36.)
Jerome, who does not pay the last farthing The first supposed authority for Pur
before the end of life.'”—(pp. 38, 39.) gatory adduced from the New 'Í'estament In addition to this comment from Jeis a precept in our Lord's sermon on the rome, Mr. Hall adduces the like lestimount; Matt. v. 25, 26, compared with mony from Chrysostom, Augustine, HiLuke XII. 58, 59. Here, according to lary, Theophylact, and even Fulgentius, papal interpretation, the farthings are in the sixth century, who observes, " If venial sins, the payment is human salis- any one in the way, i. e., if any one in faction, and the prison is purgatory. this life, agreeth not quickly with this
divine word, he is thrown into the prison conclusion of Pope Gregory, who was of eternal fire, and will have no rest be the first to affirm, " that from this declayond it.” Fulgentius then must have ration it is given us to understand that been a stranger to this doctrine, for the some sins inay be pardoned in this life, fire of purgatory is not eternal.
others in the next.” And the premises The next passage which is forced into are worthy of the conclusion. For," the service of purgatory is Mati. xii. 32, adds this infallible sophist, “that which and the inference is thus derived. Our is not denied respecting one sin, is by a Lord, speaking of blasphemy against the manifest consequence granted in respect Holy Ghost, declares that “this sin shall of others.” Mr. Hall treats this papal not be forgiven, neither in this world, logic with as little reverence as Fuller neither in the world to come.” Hence did. “It is only necessary to carry out the Papist infers, that some sins are for this reasoning to jis results,” he says, given in the world to come, and conse- "in order to prove its fallacy.” We may, quently that there must be a purgatory. however, spare ourselves the task, as the St. Mark, however, elucidates the true passage is given up by Bellarmine himmeaning in one emphatic word, “ hath self. He does, indeed, adduce it to estabnever forgiveness,” (Mark iii. 29); and lish the existence of a purgatory; yet, in St. Luke, when declaring that it shall summing up, he candidly confesses that not be forgiven,” (xii. 10). The truth is, the inference does not follow from the as stated by a learned divine of our own premises, and, therefore, that any reasonchurch, that our Lord here adverts to an ing upon the passage for this purpose is opinion which prevailed among the Jews, altogether illogical. and which fully confirms the interpreta- The Scripture, however, on which the tion of St. Matthew which is given by greatest stress is laid, as the pillar and the two other evangelists. According to ground of the doctrine of purgatory, is 1 their opinion, some sins, upon repentance, Cor. iii. 10–15. Here the apostle is received immediate forgiveness; others comparing teachers of the gospel; of were not pardoned until the day of expia- whom some preached Christ of envy and tion; and others were only blotted out by strife, and some also of good will, to enduring some previous affliction, (Luke builders, who were erecting the superviii.; Job ix.); but all were blotted.out structure of the church upon the true at death, provided the offender were an foundation laid by God, viz., upon Jesus Israelite, who, then, would necessarily Christ; but were employing different have his portion in the happiness of an- materials in the work. Thus, some had other world. To correct the erroneous raised a building of gold, silver, precious doctrine that a Jew was certain of final stones; others of wood, hay, and stubble. salvation, our Lord tells them that the sin But in either case, says the apostle, against the Holy Ghost should not be "every man's work shall be made maniforgiven to any, whether Jew or Genitle; fest, for the day shall declare it; because but that whoever should be guilty of that it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire sin should be miserable for ever. The shall try every man's work of what sort text, therefore, cannot be wrested to serve it is. If any man's work abide which he
It must be evident, hath built hereon, he shall receive a reto an impartial mind, that the words, “in ward. If any man's work shall be burned,
are added by St. he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall Mathew simply to strengthen the asser- be saved, yet so as by fire." tion of the impossibility of forgiveness, and not to teach that some sins, by conse
“ According to the Romanist, these combus.
tible materials are the venial sins of mankind, quence, would be forgiven after death, and the consuming fire is that of purgatory. from whence the absurd inference of the It should seem, however, from the more obviexistence of a purgatory is fondly de
ous interpretation of the passage, that some of the apostle's coadjutors were building up the
church of God with pure and costly materials, Opinions of various fathers are then ise, with sound doctrines; while others, though cited, all directly at variance with the building on a right foundation, were incorpo
the Romish cause.
the world to come,