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XXII. Of Purgatory. THE Romish Doctrine concerning Purgatory,
• For the Scripture doth acknowledge but two places after this life : the one proper to the elect and blessed of God, the other to the reprobate and damned souls; as may be well gathered by the parable of Lazarus and the rich man, (Luke xvi. 22, 23.)—These words, as they confound the opinion of helping the dead by prayer, so they do clean confute and take away the vain error of Purgatory, which is grounded upon this saying of the Gospel, (Matt. v. 26.) “ Thou shalt not depart thence, until thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.' Now doth St. Augustine say, that those men which are cast into prison after this life, on that condition, may in no wise be holpen, though he would help them never so much. And why? Because the sentence of God is unchangeable, and cannot be revoked again.Therefore let us not deceive ourselves, thinking that either we may help other, or other may help us by their good and charitable prayers in time to come. * For, as the Preacher saith, (Eccles. xi. 3.) “When the tree falleth, whether it be toward the south, or toward the north, in what place soever the tree falleth, there it lieth :" meaning thereby, that every mortal man dieth either in the state of salvation or damnation ; according as the words of the Evangelist John do also plainly import, saying, (John iii. 36.) “He that believeth on the Son of God hath eterpal life: but he that believeth not on the Son shall never see life, but the wrath of God abideth upon him.”—As the Scripture teacheth us, let us think that the soul of man, passing out of the body, goeth straightways either to heaven, or else to hell; whereof the one needeth no prayer, and the other is without redemption.—The only Purgatory, wherein we must trust to be
a Behold the Lamb of God, which your conscience from dead works. taketh away the sin of the world! Heb. ix. 14. When he had by John i. 29. Christ loved the himself purged our sins, sat down, Church, and gave himself for it; &c. Heb. i. 3. Worshippers once that he might sanctify and cleanse purged, should have bad no more it with the washing of water, by conscience of sins. Heb. x. 2. By the word. Eph. v. 25, 26. The one offering he hath perfected for blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us ever them that are sanctified. Heb. from all sin. 1 John i. 7. Ye are x. 14. To-day shalt thou be with clean through the word which I me in paradise. John xxiii. 43. I have spoken unto you. John xv. 3. heard a voice from heaven saying Ye are washed, ye are sanctified, unto me, Write, Blessed are the ye are justified, in the name of the dead which die in the Lord from Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, God. 1 Cor. vi. 11. How much that they may rest from their lamore shall the blood of Christ, who bours : and their works do follow through the eternal Spirit offered them. Rev. xiv. 13. himself without spot to God, purge
• Pardons, ‘Worshipping and Adoration, as well
saved, is the death and blood of Christ; which if we apprehend with a true and stedfast faith, it purgeth and cleanseth us from all our sins, even as well as if he were now hanging upon the cross. This then is that Purgatory, wherein all Christian men must put their whole trust and confidence; nothing doubting, but if they truly repent them of their sins, and die in perfect faith, that then they shall forthwith pass from death to life. Hom. xix. 3.
Christ's disciples did receive this authority, (of the keys,) not that they should hear the private confessions of the people
-but to the end they should go, they should teach, they should publish abroad, the Gospel, and be unto the believing a sweet savour of life unto life; and unto the unbelieving and unfaithful a savour of death unto death : and that the minds of godly persons being brought low by the remorse of their former life and errors, after they once began to look up unto the light of the Gospel, and believe in Christ, might be opened with the word of God, even as a door is opened with a key : contrariwise that the wicked and wilful, and such as would not believe, nor return into the right way, should be left still as fast locked and shut up, and, as St. Paul saith, wax worse and worse. This take we to be the meaning of the keys, and that after this sort men's consciences be either opened or shut. Jewell. See also Art. XXXIII.
o As in the first commandment he commandeth that himself alone be honoured and worshipped, so in the second he restrain-,
* To the Lord our God belong soever believeth on him shall not mercies and forgivenesses, though be ashamed. Rom. x. 11. Come we have rebelled against him. Dan. unto me, all ye that labour and are ix. 9. Who shall lay any thing to heavy laden, and I will give you the charge of God's elect? It is rest. Matt. xi. 28. He breathed on God that justifieth. Rom. viii. 33. them, and saith unto them, Receive There is forgiveness with thee that ye the Holy Ghost: Whosesoever thou mayest be feared. Ps. cxxx.4. sins ye remit, they are remitted Who is a God like unto thee, that unto them; and whosesoever sins pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by ye retain, they are retained. Matt. the transgression of the remnant of xx. 22, 23. (See the interpretation his heritage? He retaineth not his of this on Art. XXXIII.) The Scribes anger for ever, because he delight- and the Pharisees began to reason, eth in mercy. He will turn again, saying, Who is this which speaketh he will have compassion upon us; blasphemies? Who can forgive sins he will subdue our iniquities, and but God alone? Luke v. 21. thou wilt cast all their sins into the c Thou shalt not make unto thee depths of the sea. Mic. vii. 18, 19. any graven image, or any likeness I even I am he that blotteth' out of any thing that is in heaven thy transgressions for mine own above, or that is in the earth bea sake, and will not remember thy neath, or that is in the water under sins. 18. xliii. 25. He that believ- the earth : thou shalt not bow down eth on him is not condemned. John thyself to them; for I the Lord thy ii. 18. The Scripture saith, Who- God am a jealous God. Ex. IX.4.
of Images as of Reliques, and also invocation
eth us from all superstition, and from all wrongful and bodily inventions, forasmuch as the worshipping of him ought to be spiritual and pure ; and chiefly he frayeth us from the most gross fault of idolatry. Nowell, p. 12.
Q. Why is it not lawful to express God with a bodily and visible form? A. Because there can be no likeness or agreement between God, which is a Spirit eternal, unmeasurable, infinite, incomprehensible, severed from all mortal composition, and a frail, bodily, spirtless, and vain shape. Therefore they do most injuriously abate the majesty of the most good and most great God, when they go about in such sort to make resemblance of him. Nowell, p. 12.
Q. Have they not then said well, which affirm that images are unlearned men's books ? A. I know not what manner of books they be; but surely, concerning God, they can teach us nothing but errors. Nowell, p. 13.
Q. What manner of worshipping is that which is here in the second commandment) condemned A. When we, intending to pray, do turn ourselves to portraitures or images; when we do fall down and kneel before them with uncovering our heads, or with other signs shewing any honour unto them, as if God were represented unto us by them; briefly, we are in this law forbidden, that we neither seek nor worship God in images, or, which is all one, that we worship not the images themselves in honour of God, nor in any wise by idolatry or superstition abuse them with injury to his majesty. Otherwise the lawful use of making portraitures and of paintings is not forbidden. Nowell,
It is very perilous to set any images or pictures in churches,
Ye shall make you no idols nor incense to it; and he called it Negraven image, neither rear ye up a hushtan. 2 Kings xviii. 4. I am standing image, neither shall ye set the Lord: that is my name : and up any image of stone in your land my glory will I not give to another, to bow down unto it; for I am the neither my praise to graven images. Lord your God. Lev. xxvi. 1. Is. xlii. 8. The stock is a doctrine Cursed be the man that maketh of vanities. They are vanity and any graven or molten image, an the work of errors : in the time of abomination unto the Lord, the their visitation they shall perish. work of the hands of the crafts- · Jer. x. 8, 15. The idols he shall man, and putteth it in a secret utterly abolish. Is, ii. 18. He feedplace. And all the people shall eth on ashes; a deceived heart answer and say, Amen. Deut. xxvii. hath turned him aside, that he can15. Hezekiah removed the high not deliver his soul, nor say, Is places, and brake the images, and there not a lie in my right hand. cut down the groves, and brake in Is. xliv. 20. Wherefore, my dearly pieces the brazen serpent that beloved, flee from idolatry. I speak Moses had made: for unto those as to wise men, judge ye what I days the children of Israel did burn say, 1 Cor. x. 22. Little children,
of Saints, is a fond thing, vainly invented, and
which are properly appointed for the only worshipping of God. Nowell, p. 13.
To desire an image of God, cometh of infidelity, thinking not God to be present, except they might see some sign or image of him.-No image can be made of Christ, but a lying image, (as the Scripture peculiarly calleth images lies,) for Christ is God and man. Seeing therefore that for the Godhead, which is the most excellent part, no images can be made, it is falsely called the image of Christ. Which reason also serveth for the images of saints, whose souls the most excellent part of them can by no images be represented and expressed. Wherefore they be no images of saints, whose souls reign in joy with God, but of the bodies of saints, which as yet lie putrified in the grave. Furthermore no true image can be made of Christ's body, for it is unknown now of what form and countenance he was. Hom. xiv. 3.
Thus then it is plain, by the infallible word of truth and life, that in all our necessities we must flee unto God; direct our prayers unto him, call upon his holy Name, desire help at his hands, and at none other's : whereof if
yet have a further reason, mark that which followeth. There are certain conditions most requisite to be found in every such a one that must be called upon, which if they be not found in him, unto whom we pray, then doth our prayer avail us nothing, but is altogether in vain. The first is this, that he, to whom we make our prayers, be able to help us. The second is, that he will help us. The third is, that he be such a one as may hear our prayers. The fourth is, that he understand better than we ourselves what we lack, and how far we have need of help. If these things be to be found in any other saving only God, then may we lawfully call upon some other besides God. But what man is so gross, but he well understandeth that these things are only proper to
keep yourselves from idols, (images, deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify see Hom. xiv.) 1 John v. 21. God me. Ps. 1. 15. It shall come to is a Spirit; and they that worship pass, that whosoever shall call on him must worship him in spirit the name of the Lord shall be deand in truth. John iv. 24.
livered. Acts ii. 21. Thou, when a Do not err, my beloved bre- thou prayest, enter into thy closet, thren. Every good gift and every and when thou hast shut thy door, perfect gift is from above, and pray to thy Father which is in cometh down from the Father of secret; and thy Father which seeth lights, with whom is no variable- in secret, shall reward thee openly. ness, neither shadow of turning Matt. vi. 6. Verily, verily, I say James i. 17. It is better to trust in unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Lord, than to put confidence the Father in my name, he will in man. It is better to trust in the give it you. John xvi. 23. After Lord, than to put confidence in this manner pray ye when ye princes. Ps. cxviii. 8, 9. Call upon pray, say, Our Father, &c. Matt. me in the day of trouble, I will vi. 9. Luke xi. 2. Come unto me,
grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the Word of God.
him which is omnipotent, and knoweth all things, even the very secrets of the heart that is to say, only and to God alone: whereof it followeth, that we must call neither upon angel, nor yet upon saint, but only and solely upon God, as St. Paul doth write: (Rom. x. 14.) “ How shall men call upon him, in whom they have not believed ?” So that invocation or prayer may not be made without faith in him on whom they call; but that we must first believe in him, before we can make our prayer unto him; whereupon we must only and solely pray unto God. For to say that we should believe either in angel or saint, or in any other living creature, were most horrible blasphemy against God and his holy word: neither ought this fancy to enter into the heart of any Christian man, because we are expressly taught, in the word of the Lord, only to repose our faith in the blessed Trinity; in whose only name we are also baptized, according to the express commandment of our Saviour Jesus Christ, in the last of St. Matthew.-But that the truth hereof may the better appear even to them that be most simple and unlearned, let us consider what prayer is. St. Augustine calleth it a lifting up of the mind to God; that is to say, an humble and lowly pouring out of the heart to God. Isidorus saith, that it is an affection of the heart, and not a labour of the lips. So that, by these places, true prayer doth consist not so much in the outward sound and voice of words, as in the inward groaning and crying of the heart to God.-Now then, is there any angel, any virgin, any patriarch or prophet among the dead, that can understand or know the meaning of the heart? The Scripture saith, (Psal. vii. 9. Rev. ii. 23. Jer. xvii. 10. 2 Chron. vi. 30.) It is God that searcheth the heart and the reins, and that he only knoweth the hearts of the children of men. As for the saints, they have so little knowledge of the secrets of the heart, that many of the ancient Fathers greatly doubt whether they know any thing at all that is commonly done on earth. Hom. xix. 2.
He that cannot be saved by faith in Christ's blood, how shall
all ye that are weary and heavy 26. I fell at his feet to worship laden, and I will give you rest- him, and he saith unto me, See and ye shall find rest unto your thou do it not: I am thy fellowsouls. Matt. xi. 28. Unto the church servant, and of thy brethren that of God, which is at Corinth- -with have the testimony of Jesus : worall that in every place call upon ship God. Rev. xix. 10. Unto him the name of Jesus Christ our Lord : that is able to do exceeding abunGrace be unto you, &c. 1 Cor. i. 2. dantly, above all that we ask or As Peter was coming in, Cornelius think, according to the power that met him, and fell down at his feet, worketh in us, unto him be glory and worshipped him. And Peter in the church by Christ Jesus took him up, saying, Stand up, I throughout all ages, world withoát myself also am a man. Acts x. 25, end. Amen. Eph. iii. 20, 21.