Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

the Work of God upon the Soul, when He grants true Faith and Repentance Operates far otherwise, it Effects the Cure of all at once, as with those who looked upon the Brazen Sera pent. Our Saviour Himself (6) makes the Comparison. And he (c) gave us an Example of it in the Thief upon the Cross, who was translated to Paradice the same Day he Died. And yet he had been a grievous Sinner, and Suffered justly for his Offences; his Repentance was Late, and he had made no Restitution; yet he did no Perance in Purgatory.

L. That was an Extraordinary Case, his Faith must be very Strong to be Converted upon the Cross.

G. That is more than we know, whether he might not have been Converted before. But however, it shews ther is no Neceflity for Purgatory, even for very great Offenders,

L. No doubt God may Excuse whom He pleases.

G. How then do we know Whom He excuses, and whom not? And how can we Pray in Faith, that is, without Sin, to Deliver such a particular Person from thence ?

But if there be no Necessity for it, as you have Granted in the Case of the Thief, how is it to be Imagined that God should keep so many Thousand Souls, for many Years or Ages, in the most Extreme Torments, when there was no Necessity for it? And if the Pope has Power to

Release

(6) Joh. iii. 14, 15. (c) Luk. xxiii. 43.

Release out of Purgatory, he must be a very Cruel Father who keeps one Soul there an Hour longer.

L. We see the Church imposing Penance and yet Excusing fome, Shortning the Time more than to others.

G. The Church knows not the Heart, and must Judge by Signs, which y.et Secure not from Hypocrisie. But this is all Foreign as to God, who searcheth the Heart, and knoweth all that is in Man. And tho' our Physick of Difciplin works by Degrees, and the Illue is uncertain; yet God never Cures Imperfectly, Christ never Half-Healed any Man. And so it is when He pardons Sinners, (a) Thy Sins are forgiven thee. It is not said, shall be forgiven, or when

thou haft performed such and such Penance, but the Forgiveness of his Sins was as Immediately wrought as the Cure of his Body. And God gives us all the Assurances that can be, in the Strongest Expressions, of our Sins being Absolutely and Totally Forgiven, as being (6) all Blotted out, all cast into the Depths of the Sea. Never to be Remembred or Mentioned unto us any more, as before quoted. I will Heal (c) their Baiksliding, I will Love them freely. He is Ready to Forgive. He Waiteth to have Mercy He earnestly Remembreth, His Bowels are troubled for Sinners that they may Repent, and in the Day they turn from their Wickedness, Iłe Forgiveth. For Hel

eth.

(a) Luk.v. 20.(b) Psal. li. 9. Isai. xliv. 22. Col.li. 14. Mic. vij. 19.(c) Hos. xiv. 4. Pfal. lxxxvi. s. Ifai. XXX, 18. Jer, xxxj. 20. Ezek. xxxiji. 12. Lam. iii. 33.

doth not afflict willingly, nor Grieve the Children of Men. It is for their Repentance and Reformation, but that Confideration is not in Purgatory.

But how will the poor Souls there (if any are there) be Deluded, if the Stock of Supererogation should fail them, that is, the Merits of Saints for their good Works which they have done, over and above their Duty, and what they were obliged to for their own Salvation, and therefore are Applyed to others who had come Short of their Duty, to supply their Deficiencies; which is the Fund provided for the Discharge of the Prisoners in Purgatory? And this is Dispenfed by the Pope to whom he thinks fit, as being the Grand Treasurer of the Church, and Confequently of these SuperAbundant Merits of the Saints. But we want a Text where St. Peter was Constituted fuch a Treasurer. Or that there is or can be any such Treasury. For can a Creature Merit ac the Hands of God, for ever so. Great Endowments bestowed upon him? Is it a Merit to Receive great Gifts? And if we Employ them to the best Advantage, is it more than is our Duty to do? And we are still (a) unprofitable Servants, as Christ Himself has told us. But was there ever a Man (Christ only excepted) who did all his Duty? Are not all Sinner's? And if their Repentance entitle them to Pardon, yet this is far from Merit. My doing my

Duty

(a) Luk. xvii. 10.

Duty to Day, makes no Amends for my having Neglected it Yesterday. We find the greatest Saints applying to the Mercy of God, and not pleading their own Merits. Jacob faid, [4] I am not worthy of the least of all thy Mercies, And Job who had [6] None like him in the Earih, a Perfect and Upright Man, &c. faid, I abhor my self, and Repent in Duft and Ashes. And Daniel, the Man [C] greatly Beloved, Confessed his own Sins, as well as the Sins of the People. And St. Paul called himself the [d] Chief of Sinners not worthy to be an Apostle, &c. And if the Saints own no Merit in themselves, then surely they will Disown all those who Apply to their Merits ; and, as I said before concerning the Worship and Invocation of them, by which you hope to Gain them to be Intercessors for you, they must become your

Accusers, by their Denial of their Acceptance of such Worship from you, which if they fhould Accept, it would make them Evil Spirits, as I have Quoted out of St. Auguftine. . But what Creature dare plead Purity before God? [f] Behold He chargeth His Angels with Folly; and he putteth no Trust in His Saints; yea the Heavens are not Clean in His Sight. How much more Abominable and Filthy is Man, who drinketh Iniquity like Water? And what is Man that he should be Ciean? And he that is born of a Woman, that he should be Righteous ? And if

All

[a] Gen. xxxii. 1o. [6] Job. 1. 8. xlii. 6. [c] Dan. ix. 20. 33* [d] 1. Tim. I. 15.1. Cor. xv.9. [e] Job. iv. 18. XV. 19.

All [a] our Righteousness are as filthy Rags. If there be [b] Iniquity in our Holy things, in the Holy Sanctuary and Alter. What then is Clean? [c] And if the Righteous themfelves shall scarcely be saved, What Merits have they to spare for others? Especially when they are not saved even by their own Works. [d] For by Grace ye are saved - not of Works, left any Man should Boaft. Can any Man then Boait of his Works, as not only fufficient for his own Salvation, but over and above as Meritorious to be Applyed to others, and to Deliver Souls out of Purgatory ? No, my Lord, the Saints make no such Boasts. And will Disown all those who make them in their Name. For they know that [x] All have Sinned, and come short of the Glory of God; being Justified freely by His Grace, through the Redemption that is in Jesus Christ- Where is boasting then? It is Excluded. By what Law; Of Works? Nay, but by the Law of Faith. And every Man is Saved by his own Faith, not by the Faith of others. And God will [f] Reward every Man according to his Works, not the Works of others. Miferable then is the Condition of those Souls fupposed to be in Purgatory if they must not thence be Delivered but by Works of Supererogation, when no Man can be saved by his own Works, for We are saved--[:] Vot according to our Works, but according to the Grace of God in Christ Jesus.

N

[-] (sai. Ixiv. 6.[6] Exod. xxviii. 38. Lev. xvi. 33. [c] ! Pet. iv. 18. [V] Eph. ii. 8.9. [e] Rom, jji, 23, 24, 27. [f] Match. xvi. 27.[&] ii. Tim.i.9.

« AnteriorContinuar »