صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

Marriage is Honourable and Undefiled in All, says the Apostle. No, say you, it is neither in a Priest. He says. [a] If Men cannot contain, let them Marry; for it is better to Marry than to Burn, No, say you, it is better to Burn than to Marry. And this you must lay, Unless you suppose 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 Contradi&t it.

All Sober Chrifiians, and even the Heathen, look upon Marriage as a Preserver and not a Breach of Chastity. St. Peter calls it a [b] Chafte Conversation. If it were not so, we may presume that Christ would not have Honoured įr with His own Presence, and with His first Miracle, nor made it so 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 says. [5] To avoid Fornication, let every Man have bis own Wife, and every Wo. man her own Husband. No, say you, We Except all the Clergy, the Friers and the Nuns, whom we have put under Voms 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 Efects of those Means ! And know whether they are Better than those of God's Appointment!


[+] 1. Cor. vii. 9; [b] 1. Pet. iii. 2. [c] 1. Cor. vii. 2.

It is strange that you who have so many Means of Grace of your own, should nor lec those very few which Christ has made stand as He left them ! ..

(41.) But you Extend yours further than He did His, for He appoințed None to be U. sed for thofe in the other World : But you have Offices to deliver Souls out of Purgatory.

L. That seems a Charitable Office.
G. But it is a very Dark one.

We have not a Word in Scripture of any such State of the Dead, where Souls are pur 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 Christ Sufficient to Cleans Us [4] from all Vnrighteousness.

L. Yes, surely. But though God pardons the Guilt of Sin, yer His Justice will Punish in some Degree.

G. Then the Guilt is not fully Forgiven.

L. Not fo, but that we may be punished for it, as when Afflictions, Diseases, &c. are sent to

upon Earth. God said to David, [6] I bave put away thy Sin, but the Child shall Die.

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

us here

[ocr errors]


[4] 1 Ffoh.'1.9. [4]. ii. Sam, sii. 13

to vindicate his own Honour before Men: Or

for a Tryal of our Faith, as in the Case of Job, and to set forth such, as Examples to others : Or for a Proof and Confirmation of our Religion, as in the Case of the Prophets and Apostles, Confeffors and Martyrs: Of to Correct and Recal

Obstinate Sinners, many have been Reformed by this Means : But all these Reasons respect this Life only. For you say not that Souls are made Better in Purgatory, for you suppose them to die in the Love of God, and to be in His Fa. vour, before they go thither. ?

thither. And why then are they Punished, since they are not Purified by it?

L: To satisfy the Vindicative Justice of God.

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


(a) Ifai. xliii. 25. Jes. xxxi, 34. Ezek, xviii, 22, xxxii, 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 Releasment of such and such be made in Faith? Otherwise 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 should be (b) according to Knowledge. And that we () intrude not into things we have not seen. We have not seen 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 aod Bad Traditions. And they are much oftner taken in the Bad Sense throughout the New Testament (d) Te have made the Commandment of God of none Effect by your Tradition

Holding the Tradition of the Elders Laying aside the Commandment of God, ye hold the Tradition of Menca. Te Reject the Commandment of God, that ye may 'keep your own Tradition

(e) Vain Deceit, after the Tradition of Men Tour vain Conversation 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,


(6) Rom. x. 2. (C) Col. ii. 18. (d) Macth. Av. 6. Mar. vii, 30 8. 9. (e) Col. jl. 8. 1 Pet. i..

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

But Veron in his Rule of Faith (a Book much Applauded in France, and put into English for the Use of the Roman Catholicks here) sets 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 since to any whatsoever) in express Words, or thence to be deduced by Necef ary Consequence

. Which when made appear as to Purgatory (or any other of the Doctrines in Dispute) we shall readily allow it. And till then, we cannot be Arraigned of Herefy for not Professing to Believe it.

This intruding into things we have not seen, proceeds, as the Apostle observes, from a [a] Fleshly 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 Cleanse Tron that has been tong Rusted. Hence we conjecture the same as to Souls departed, that they must be Purged by Fire. But


[1] Coll. ii. 18.

« السابقةمتابعة »