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النشر الإلكتروني

Marriage is Honourable and Undefiled in All, fays the Apoftle. No, fay you, it is neither in a Prieft. He fays. [a] If Men cannot contain, let them Marry; for it is better to Marry than to Burn, No, fay you, it is better to Burn than to Marry. And this you muft lay, Unless you fuppofe that All the Many Thousands of your Clergy, and Many of them Young Men, are Every one of them Endowed with the Gift of Continency. Which would be a Miracle, if Experience did not Contradict it.

All Sober Chrifiians, and even the Heathen, look upon Marriage as a Preferver and not a Breach of Chastity. St. Peter calls ita [6] Chafte Converfation. If it were not fo, we may prefume that Chrift would not have Honoured it with His own Prefence, and with His firft Miracle, nor made it fo frequently as He does, the Type and Representation of Heaven, and of His Union with the Church, calling Himself the Bridegroom and her His Spouse.

The Apostle fays. [c] To avoid Fornication, let every Man have his own Wife, and every Wo man her own Husband. No, fay you, We Except all the Clergy, the Friers and the Nuns, whom we have put under Vows to the Contrary. And we will find other Means for them to obtain the Grace of Continency! Yes, and the World is full of the Effects of those Means! And know whether they are Better than thofe of God's Appointment!

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[4] 1. Cor. vii. 9. [6] 1. Pet. iii. 2. [c] 1. Cor. vii. 2.

It is ftrange that you who have so many Means of Grace of your own, should not let those very few which Chrift has made stand as He left them!

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(41.) But you Extend yours further than He did His, for He appointed None to be Ufed for thofe in the other World: But you have Offices to deliver Souls out of Purgatory. L. That feems a Charitable Office.

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G. But it is a very Dark one. We have not a Word in Scripture of any fuch State of the Dead, where Souls are put under Pains equal to those of Hell, except for the Duration.

L. No Unclean thing can enter into Heaven. G. Is not the Blood of Chrift Sufficient to Cleans Us [4] from all Unrighteousness.

L. Yes, furely. But though God pardons the Guilt of Sin, yet His Justice will Punish in fome Degree.

G. Then the Guilt is not fully Forgiven. L. Not fo, but that we may be Punished for it, as when Afflictions, Difeafes, &c. are sent to us here upon Earth. God faid to David, [b] I have put away thy Sin, but the Child fhall Die.

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G. And the Reafon is given in the next Words, because by this Deed thou hast given great Occafion to the Enemies of the Lord to Blafpheme, as if God did Countenance fuch Wickedness; therefore David was Punished fo as his Enemies might perceive it. God punishes here either

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[a] 1 fob. 1.9. [6] ii. Sam, xii. 138.

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to vindicate his own Honour before Men: Or for a Tryal of our Faith, as in the Cafe of Job, and to fet forth fuch, as Examples to others: Or for a Proof and Confirmation of our Religion, as in the Cafe of the Prophets and Apoftles, Confeffors and Martyrs: Or to Correct and Recal Obftinate Sinners, many have been Reformed by this Means But all these Reasons refpect this Life only. For you fay not that Souls are made Better in Purgatory, for you fuppofe them to die in the Love of God, and to be in His Favour, before they go thither. And why then are they Punished, fince they are not Purified by it?

L To fatisfy the Vindicative Juftice of God. G. That is fatisfy'd before they are Forgiven and Received into the Favour of God. Unless you mean by Vindicative fuch a Spite and Revenge as is feen among the most Ignoble Part of Mankind, to fay, I will forgive, but I will at the fame time be Revenged for what is past. Which indeed is not Forgiveness, but a plain Unwillingness to Forgive. But a generous Forgivenefs, upon a fincere Repentance, Loves and Embraces, and Rejoices to Comfort and heap Favours, like the Father of the Returning Prodigal. God fays, He will not (4) Remember our Sins, that they shall not be Mentioned unto us, in the Day when we turn from our Wickedness. And how is that confiftent with enduring the Pains of Hell for a Hundred, perhaps a Thousand Years

(4) Ifai. xliii. 25. Jer. xxxi, 34. Ezek. xviii, 22, xxxiii. 12. 16.

Years for ought we know? And how do we know what Souls go to Purgatory? How long they Remain there? And which of them are Released? Can Prayers then for the Releafment of fuch and fuch be made in Faith? Otherwife they are Sin, by the Apostle's Determination.

L. But the Intention is Pious.,

G. So it is in all Superftition, very Pious, and that is it which Deceives. But God has Required that our Zeal to Him fhould be (b) according to Knowledge. And that we (c) intrude not into things we have not feen. We have not feen any Revelation for Purgatory, or the State of Souls there.

L. But we have the Tradition of the Church for it.

G. Ther are Good and Bad Traditions. And they are much oftner taken in the Bad Senfe throughout the New Teftament (d) Te have made the Commandment of God of none Effect by your Tradition Holding the Tradition of the Elders Laying afide the Commandment

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of God, ye hold the Tradition of Men Reject the Commandment of God, that ye may keep your own Tradition(e) Vain Deceit, after the Tradition of Men Tour vain Converfation received by Tradition from your Fathers, &c. Yet ther is a Tradition which (for the Evidence of it) we are willing to admit, that is, according to the Rule of Vincentius Lirinenfis,

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(b) Rom. x. 2. (c) Col. ii. 18. (d) Matth. xv. 6. Mar. vii, 3. 8. 9. (e) Col. ii. 8. 1 Pet. i. 18.

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Quod femper ubiqui, & ab omnibus, That which was always received, every where, and by all. And we are willing to join Iffue with you upon this Tradition as to Purgatory. This is Univerfal Tradition. And you would not defire we fhould be concluded by any Particular Tradition of this or that Church or Place, for you know ther are many Deceits in fuch.

But Veron in his Rule of Faith (a Book much Applauded in France, and put into English for the Ufe of the Roman Catholicks here) fets out in the Beginning with a Definition of the Rule of Faith, of which he makes the first Requisit to be for any Article of Faith, that it be clearlý Revealed in Scripture (and by no pretended Revelation fince to any whatfoever) in exprefs Words, or thence to be deduced by Neceffary Confequence. Which when made appear as to Purgatory (or any other of the Doctrines in Difpute) we fhall readily allow it. And till then, we cannot be Arraigned of Herefy for not Profeffing to Believe it.

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This intruding into things we have not seen, proceeds, as the Apostle obferves, from a [a] Flefbly Mind, Measuring Spiritual things by Carnal. We fee it takes time to Purge the Flesh of Diseases and Defilements it has contracted and it takes a great deal of Filing and Scrubbing to Cleanfe Iron that has been long Rusted. Hence we conjecture the fame as to Souls departed, that they must be Purged by Fire. But

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[4] Coll. ii. 18.

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