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tionally, as being identical, all but the letter i, with the heretical symbol of the Homoiousion. What is acknowledged in the Arian controversy, must be endured without surprise in the Roman, in whatever degree it occurs. We may be taunted as differing from the Romanists only in phrases and modes of expression; and we may be taunted, or despised, according to the fate of our Divines for three centuries past, as taking a middle, timid, unsatisfactory ground, neither quite agreeing nor quite disagreeing with our opponents. We may be charged with dwelling on trifles and niceties, in a way inconsistent with plain, manly good sense; but in truth it is not we who are the speculatists, and unpractical controversialists, but they who forget that ha nuga seria ducunt in mala.

But again there is another reason, peculiar to the Roman controversy, which occasions a want of correspondence between the appearance presented. by the Roman theology in theory, and its appearance in practice. The separate doctrines of Romanism are very different, in position, importance, and mutual relation, in the abstract, and when developed, applied, and practised. Anatomists tell us that the skeletons of the most various animals are formed on the same type; yet the animals are dissimilar and distinct, in consequence of the respective differences of their developed proportions. No one would confuse between a lion and a bear; yet many of us at first sight would be unable to discriminate between their respective skeletons. Romanism in the theory may differ little from our own creed; nay, in the abstract type, it might even be identical, and yet in the actual framework, and still further in the living and breathing form, it might differ essentially. For instance, the doctrine of Indulgences is, in the theory, entirely connected with the doctrine of Penance; that is, it has relation solely to this world, so much so that Roman apologists sometimes speak of it without even an allusion to its bearings elsewhere: but we know that in practice it is mainly, if not altogether, concerned with the next world,-with the alleviation of sufferings in Purgatory.

And further still, as regards the doctrine of Purgatorial suffering, there have been for many ages in the Roman Church gross corruptions of its own doctrine, untenable as that doctrine is even by itself. The decree of the Council of Trent, which will presently be introduced, acknowledges the fact. Now we believe that those corruptions still continue; that Rome has never really set herself in earnest to eradicate them. The pictures of Purgatory so commonly seen in countries in communion with Rome, the existence of Purgatorian societies, the means of subsistence accruing to the clergy from belief in it, afford a strange contrast to the simple wording and apparent innocence of the decree by which it is made an article of faith. It is the contrast between

Statement of the Roman doctrine concerning Purgatory.


poison in its lifeless seed, and the same developed, thriving, and rankly luxuriant in the actual plant.

And lastly, since we are in no danger of becoming Romanists, and may bear to be dispassionate and (I may say) philosophical in our treatment of their errors, some passages in the following account of Purgatory are more calmly written than would satisfy those who were engaged with a victorious enemy at their doors. Yet, whoever be our opponent, Papist or Latitudinarian, it does not seem to be wrong to be as candid and conceding as justice and charity allow us. Nor is it unprofitable to weigh accurately how much the Romanists have committed themselves in their formal determinations of doctrine, and how far, by God's merciful providence, they had been restrained and overruled; and again, how far they must retract, in order to make amends to Catholic truth and unity.



4. THE COUNCIL of florence.

1. STATEMENT of the roman doctrine concerning purgatory.

THE Roman doctrine is thus expressed in the Creed of Pope Pius IV.

Constanter teneo Purgatorium esse, animasque ibi detentas fide. lium suffragiis juvari.


I hold without wavering that there is a Purgatory, and that souls there detained are aided by the suffrages of the faithful,"

The words of this article are taken from the decree of the Council of Trent on the subject, (Sess. 25,) which runs as follows:

"Whereas the Church Catholic, fully instructed by the Holy Ghost, hath from the sacred Scriptures and ancient tradition of the Fathers, in sacred Councils, and last of all in this present Ecume. nical Synod, taught that there is a Purgatory, and that souls there detained are aided by the suffrages of the living, and above all by the acceptable sacrifice of the Altar, this holy Synod enjoins on Bishops


Purgatory in the Decree and in the Catechism of Trent.

to meak diligent efforts that the sound doctrine concerning Purga. tory, handed down from the holy Fathers and sacred Councils, be believed, maintained, taught, and everywhere proclaimed by the disciples of Christ. At the same time, as regards the uneducated mul. titude, let the more difficult and subtle questions, such as tend not to edification nor commonly increase piety, be excluded from popular discourses. Moreover, let them disallow the publication and discus. sion of whatever is uncertain or suspicious; and prohibit whatever is of a curious or superstitious nature, or savours of filthy lucre, as the scandals and stumbling blocks of believers. And let them provide, that the suffrages of believers living, that is, the sacrifices of masses, prayers, alms, and other works of piety, which believers liv. ing are wont to perform for other believers dead, be performed ac. cording to the rules of the Church, piously and religiously; and whatever are due for them from the endowments of testators, or in other way, be fulfilled, not in a perfunctory way, but diligently and accurately by the Priests and Ministers of the Church, and others who are bound to do this service."

Such is the Roman doctrine; and taken in the mere letter there is little in it against which we shall be able to sustain formal objections. Purgatory is not spoken of at all as a place of pain; it need only mean, what its name implies, a place of purification. There is indeed much presumption in asserting definitively that there is such a place; and assuredly there is not only presumption, but very great daring and uncharitableness in including belief in it, as Pope Pius' Creed goes on to do, among the conditions of salvation; but if we could consider it as confined to the mere opinion that that good which is begun on earth is perfected in the next world, the tenet would be tolerable. The word "detentas" indeed expresses a somewhat stronger idea; yet after all hardly more than that the souls in Purgatory would be happier out of it than in it, and that they cannot of their own will leave it which is not much to grant. Further, that the prayers of the living benefit the dead in Christ, is, to say the least, not inconsistent, as Ussher shows us, with the primitive belief. So much as to the letter of the decree; but it is safe to go by the letter: on the contrary, we are bound to take the universal and uniform doctrine taught and received in the Roman Communion, as the real and true interpreter of words which are in themselves comparatively innocent. What that doctrine is, may be gathered from the words of the Catechism of Trent, in which the spirit of Romanism, not being bound by the rules which shackle it in the Council, speaks out. The account of Purgatory which that formulary supplies, shall here be taken as our text, and Cardinal Bellarmine's Defence shall be used as a comment upon it.

The Catechism then speaks as follows:

"Est Purgatorius ignis, quo piorum animæ ad definitum tempus

The persons who undergo Purgatorial Punishment.


cruciatæ expiantur, ut eis in æternam patriam ingressus patere pos. sit, in quam nihil coinquinatum ingreditur."-Part i. De Symb. 5.

"There is a Purgatorial fire, in which the souls of the pious are tormented for a certain time, and cleansed, in order that an entrance may lie open to them into their eternal home, into which nothing defiled enters."

In like manner Bellarmine says,

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Purgatory is a certain place in which, as if in a prison, souls are purged after this life, which have not been fully purged in it, in order, (that is,) that thus purged they may be enabled to enter hea. ven, which nothing defiled shall enter."

A painful light is at once cast by these comments on the Synodal Decree. "There is a Purgatory" in the Decree, is interpreted by Bellarmine "there is a sort of prison;" and by the Catechism, "there is a Purgatorial fire." And whereas the Decree merely declares that souls are "detained there," the Catechism says they are " tormented and cleansed." Moreover, both the Catechism and Bellarmine imply that this is the ordinary mode of attaining heaven, inasmuch as no one scarcely can be considered, and no one can be surely known, to leave this world, "fully purged;" whereas the Decree speaks vaguely of "the souls there." So much at first sight; now to consider the persons with which Purgatory is concerned, the sins, condition of souls, place, time, punishment, and remedies; Bellarmine likening it to a carcer, the Catechism saying that the "animæ piorum ad definitum tempus cruciatæ expiantur purgatorio igne."

1. The persons who are reserved for Purgatory.

THE Roman Church holds that Christians or believers only are tenants of Purgatory, as for Christians only are offered their prayers, alms, and masses. The question follows, whether all Christians? not all Christians, but such as die in God's favour, yet with certain sins unforgiven. Some Christians die simply in GOD's favour with all their sins forgiven; others die out of His favour, as the impenitent, whether Christians or not; but others, and that the great majority, die, according to the Romanists, in GOD's favour, yet more or less under the bond of their sins. And so far we may unhesitatingly allow to them, or rather we ourselves hold the same, if we hold that after Baptism there is no plenary pardon of sins in this life to the sinner, however penitent, such as in Baptism was once vouchsafed to him. If for sins committed after Baptism we have not yet received a simple and unconditional absolution, surely penitents from this time up to the day of judgment may be considered in that double state of which the Romanists speak, their persons accepted, but certain sins uncancelled. Such a state is plainly revealed to us in Scripture as a real one, in various passages, to which we appeal as well as the

Romanists. Let the case of David suffice. On his repentance Nathan said to him, "The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die; horheit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die." 2 Šam. xii. 13, 14. Here is a perspicuous instance of a penitent restored to God's favour at once, yet his sins afterwards visited: and it needs very little experience in life to be aware that such punishments occur continually, though no one takes them to be an evidence that the sufferer himself is under GoD's displeasure, but rather accounts them punishments even when we have abundant proofs of his faith, love, holiness, and fruitfulness in good works. So far then we cannot be said materially to oppose the Romanists. They on the other hand agree with us in maintaining that CHRIST's death, might, if GoD so willed, be applied for the removal even of these specific punishments of sins, which they call temporal punishments, as fully as it really is for the acceptance of the soul of the person punished, or the removal of eternal punishment. Further, both parties agree, that in matter of fact it is not so applied; the experience of life shows it; else every judgment might be taken as evidence of the person suffering it being under God's wrath. The death of the disobedient prophet from Judah would, in that case, prove that he perished eternally, which surely would be utterly presumptuous and uncharitable. As far as this then we have no violent difference of principle with the Romanists; but at this point we separate from them; they say these temporal punishments on sin are inflicted on the faults incurring them, in a certain fixed proportion; that every sin of a certain kind has a definite penalty or price; in consequence, that if it is not fully discharged in this life, it must be hereafter; and that Purgatory is the place of discharging it.

2. The sins for which persons are confined in Purgatory. The next question is, what are the sins which are thus punished? not all sins of Christians, for some incur an eternal punishThere are sins, it is maintained, which in themselves merit eternal damnation, are directly opposed to love or charity, quench grace, and throw the doer of them out of God's favour. These in consequence are called mortal; such as murder, adultery, or blasphemy. Such sins do not lead to Purgatory; hell is their portion if unrepented of. But all but these, all but unrepented mortal sins are in the case of Christians punished in Purgatory. Of these it follows there are two kinds, sins though repented of, and sins though not mortal; concerning which a few words shall be said.

1. Mortal sins, though repented of, and though the offender cease to be under God's displeasure, yet have visibly their own

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