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express it, “ Sub diverso respectu.” A layman receives the Lord's supper as a sacrament, without performing a sacrifice; otherwise it would follow, that every one, admitted to the participation of this heavenly food, discharges functions peculiar to the priesthood. As a sacrifice, therefore, the Eucharist requires the consecration of two distinct species; as a sacrament, it demands necessarily but one; for where Christ really is, there he must be found whole and entire, with all his concomitant treasures and glories.

VIII. The last objection is founded on a similar confusion of ideas. The death of our dear Redeemer is commemorated in two distinct ways ; either by a lively representation, and the unbloody inmolation of the sacred victim; which forms the action of the sacrifice; the second consists in receiving the sacrament to that effect; the first mode belongs to the priest—the other to the people.

QUESTION XI.

Why do you not believe a purgatory?

ANSWER,

1. Because the Scripture makes mention only of two places

or states, men enter into after death, i. e. heaven and hell,

taking no notice of purgatory. 2. The men they send into purgatory are good men, and true

believers, and therefore in Christ Jesus; and we read, there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, Rom.

viii. 1. 3. Good men are said to rest from their labours, from the mo

ment of their death, Rev. xiv. 1. And how do they rest

from their labours, if they labour under torments ? 4. This doctrine is injurious to the satisfaction and merits of

Christ, as if they did not procure a full remission of sin,

and the guilt of it, to those that belong to him. 6. In purgatory, they say, they are only venial sins that are

punished; and is it rational that God forgives the greater sins, and the punishment due to them, and punishes the venial with inexpressible torments, which they themselves

confess, do not interrupt the state of grace? 6. This doctrine is a novelty, and was no article of faith, no

not in their own Church, till the Council of Trent. 7. It is a doctrine which people in the Church of Rome have

been led into by tales and legends, and monkish stories,

and is the great instrument of gain and profit. 8. The primitive church did not believe it; for the fire the

fathers talked of, was a fire at the day of judgment. 9. The Greek Church at this day gives no credit to this

doctrine.

10. Though the primitive church did pray for the dead, yet it

was not for souls that were in torment, but for souls in a
state of refreshment and felicity, that God would shew
them
mercy

in the last day, and hasten their happy resurrection, and give them a blessed sentence.

OBSERVATIONS.

In order to enforce the doctrine of purgatory with effect, it becomes necessary to state with clearness in what it consists. The Council of Trent' has in precise terms proclaimed the Catholic doctrine on the subject, when it says, that there is a purgatory, and that the souls there detained are assisted by the suffrages of the faithful, and particularly by the acceptable sacrifice of the altar. By purgatory, therefore, we mean a middle state, in which souls are cleansed and purified from their smaller sins, and from those stains which disqualify them from enjoying the clear sight and possession of God; a state in which the debts that are due to the divine justice are fully discharged, that souls placed in such a situation may be prepared for heaven. That such a state really does exist, appears from the sacred oracles, from the uniform tradition of the church of Christ, and from the strongest arguments drawn from reason.

That the catechist and his friends may rest satisfied that besides heaven and hell, so often mentioned in the sacred oracles, there is also a third place referred to -I will ask him to explain to me the well-known passage in St. Peter's first epistle, where it is asserted of our Redeemer, that after suffering for our sins, the just for the unjust, he went and preached unto the spirits in prison? This, he will undoubtedly say, is the celebrated limbus patrum, so often mentioned in the ancient ecclesiastical writers and preserved by the tradition of the church, where the souls of the ancient patriarchs and other just were confined, until they were cheered by the presence of their great Redeemer. This is perfectly just; no other solution of the difficulty can possibly be given ; and this is what the catechist openly professes in the apostles' creed, when he says of Christ, that He descended into hell. It appears, then, that a middle state of souls, perfectly distinct from heaven or hell, in the usual acceptation of the word, is clearly expressed in the Scripture, and as clearly contained in the creed, which the catechist, as a good Christian, frequently and devoutly recites on his knees. Such a state, therefore, is by no means an ingenious fiction, an unmeaning fable, an artful invention of the papists, for the basest and most ignoble purposes ; but it is founded on real fact, recorded in Scripture, and transmitted by the apostles to succes

i Sess. 26.

11 Peter, iii. 18, 19.

give ages.

We have thus advanced some way in this discussion, by removing obstructions, and discountenancing that vulgar and illiterate prejudice, which exists in ordinary minds against a middle state. It is hence apparent that the catechist and his friends bear some resemblance to Moliere’s rustic gentleman, who had been talking prose all his life without knowing what was meant by the term; and these good souls, God help them ! have been in the habit of admiring St. Peter's epistle, and of reciting the creed, without considering that the doctrine of a middle state is there clearly expressed.

Let us now advance a step farther, by asking, if the providence of God could detain the ancient just in a state remote from his sacred presence, till a Redeemer came to liberate them, is there not a similar reason for withholding the joys of heaven for a time from those, who depart life, unincumbered indeed with the weight of any grievous crime, but covered with a variety of stains, which, without degrading the soul to the situation of a reprobate, tarnish its beauty and splendour, and render it unworthy of enjoying its Maker? In plain language, let me ask what is to become of those who, at their departure hence, are too good for hell, and are not prepared for heaven?

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