Jeremy Taylor.

The whole works of the Right Rev. Jeremy Taylor (Volume 11) online

. (page 9 of 50)
Online LibraryJeremy TaylorThe whole works of the Right Rev. Jeremy Taylor (Volume 11) → online text (page 9 of 50)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

' quidam asserunt, some affirm it/ viz. that there is a place of
purgatory after death; nay, but you are deceived, says E.W.
and the rest of the adversaries ; he means, that some affirm
there is a place of purgatory after the day of judgment. Now
truly, that is more than I said ; but that Otho said it, is by
these men confessed. But his words are these : " I think it
ought to be searched, whether the judgment being passed,
besides the lower hell, there remain a place for lighter punish-
ments ; for that there is below (or in hell) a purgatory-place,
in which they that are to be saved are either affected (' affici-
antur,' invested, punished} with darkness only, or else are
boiled in the fire of expiation, some do affirm." 1 What is or can
be more plainly said of purgatory ; for the places of Scripture
brought to confirm this opinion are such, which relate to the
interval between death and the last judgment ; " Juxta illud
patriarch, ' lugens descendam ad inferos;' et illud apostoli,
' ipse autem salvus erit, sic tamen quasi per ignem : '" 1 hope
the Roman doctors will not deny but these are meant of
purgatory before the last day ; and, therefore, so is the opinion
for the proof of which these places are brought. 2. By ' post
judicium' in the title, and ' transacto judicio' in the chapter,
Otho means the particular judgment passing upon every one
at their death ; which he, in a few lines after, calls " terminatis
in judicio causis singulorum." 3. He must mean it to be
before the last great day ; because that which he says, " some

1 Esse quippe apud inferos locum purgationum, in quo salvandi vel tenebris
tantum afficiautur, vel expiationis igne decoquantur, quidam asserunt.


do affirm, quidam asserunt ; " is, that those which are ' sal-
vandi, to be saved hereafter,' are either in darkness or in a
purgatory-fire ; which therefore, must be meant of the inter-
val ; for after the day of judgment is passed, and the books
shut, and the sentence pronounced, none can be saved that
are not then acquitted; unless Origen's opinion of the sal-
vation of devils and damned souls be reintroduced, which
the Church, before Otho, many ages had exploded, and, there-
fore, so good and great a person would not have thought
that fit to be then disputed : and it was not then a question,
nor a thing undetermined in the Church. 4. Whether Otho
means it of a purgatory before or after the day of the last
judgment, it makes very much against the present Roman
doctrine ; for Otho applies the question to the case of infants
dying without baptism : now if their purgatory be before the
day of judgment, then I quoted Otho according to my own
sense and his ; but if he means it to be after the day of judg-
ment, then the ' limbus infantum' of the Roman Church is
vanished ; for the scruple was moved about infants. " Quid
de parvulis, qui solo original! delicto tenentur, fiet?" And
there is none such till after doomsday ; so that, let it be as it
will, the Roman Church is a loser, and, therefore, let them
take their choice on which side they will fall.

But now after St. Austin's time, especially in the time
of St. Gregory, and since, there were many strange stories
told of souls appearing after death, and telling strange things
of their torments below : many of which being gathered
together by the ' Speculum Exemplorum,' the Legend ofLoin-
bardyand others, some of them were noted by the ' Dissuasive'
to this purpose to shew, that in the time, when these stories
were told, the fire of purgatory did not burn clear : but they
found purgatory in baths, in eves of houses, and cold rains,
upon spits roasting like pigs or geese, upon pieces of ice.
Now to this there is nothing said ; but that in the place
quoted in the ' Speculum' there is no such thing; which saying
as it was spoken invidiously, so it was to no purpose ; for if
the objector ever hath read the distinction which is quoted,
throughout ; he should have found the whole story at large.
It is the 31st example, page 205, col. 1, printed at Doway,
1603. And the same words are exactly in an ancienter edition
printed at the imperial town of Hagenaw, 1519, ' impensis
Johannis Rynman.' But these gentlemen care not for the


force of any argument, if they can any way put it off from
being believed upon any foolish pretence.

But then, as to the thing itself, though learned men deny
the Dialogues of St. Gregory, from whence many of the like
stories are derived, to be his, as Possevine confesses, and
Melchior Camus, though a little timorously, affirms ; yet I
am willing to admit them for his, but yet I cannot but note,
that those Dialogues have in them many foolish, ridiculous,
and improbable stories ; m but yet, they and their like are
made a great ground of purgatory ; but then the right also
may be done to St. Gregory, his doctrine of purgatory cannot
consist with the present article of the Church of Rome ; so
fond they are in the alleging of authorities, that they destroy
their own hypothesis by their undiscerning quotations. For,
1 . St. Gregory Pope affirms that which is perfectly incon-
sistent with the whole doctrine of purgatory. For he
says," " that it is a fruit of our redemption by the grace of
Christ our author, that when we are drawn from our dwell-
ing in the body, ' mox, forthwith' we are led to celestial
rewards;" and a little after, speaking of those words of Job,
"In profundissimum infernum descendunt omnia mea," he
says thus; " Since it is certain, that in the lower region the
just are not in penal places, but are held in the superior
bosom of rest, a great question arises, What is the meaning of
blessed Job?" If purgatory can stand with this hypothesis
of St. Gregory, then fire and water can be reconciled. This
is the doctrine of St. Gregory in his own works; for whether

O */

the Dialogues under his name be his or no, I shall not dispute ;
but if I were studying to do honour to his memory, I should

m Post hoc apparuiteidempresbyterocolumnaqusedamjubaris immensi, cujus
claritas ultra communem solis valentiam coruscare videbatur, de coelo usque ad
terram porrecta, per quam anima quaedam angelico ductu ad sydeni contendebat.
Sciscitaute vero presbytero, quidnam hoc esset 1 Respondit alter, ipsa est anima
Constantini quondam judicis et domini Turritani ; haec autem per novem annos ven-
tis,etpluviis,et algoribus semper exposita, adieexitus sui usque nunc, in stillicidio
domus sure constitit, ibique suorum excessuum pocnas luit : sed qui mistricors et
liberalis in pauperes exstitit, et judicium injuriam patientibus fecit, insuper etiam
de malis quse commisit, confessa et prenitens a corpore exivit, idcirco misericor-
diam a Deo consecuta, hodierna die meretur ab omnibus malis liberari, &c. Hajc
et multa alia sacerdos ille vidit et audivit de secretis alterius vitae.

n S. Greg. M. lib. xiii. in Jobum, c. 15, 17.

Cum constat quod apud inferos justi non in locis posnalibus, sed in superiori
quietis sinu tenerentur, magna nobis oboritur quaestio quidnam sit, quod B.Jobus


never admit them to be his, and so much the rather because
the doctrine of the Dialogues contradicts the doctrine of his
Commentaries, and yet even the purgatory which is in the
Dialogues 1 * is unlike that which was declared at Basil ; for
the Gregorian q purgatory supposed only an expiation of small
and light faults, as immoderate laughter, impertinent talking,
which nevertheless he himself says are expiable by fear of
death ; and, Victoria 1 " and Jacobus de Grams 5 say, are to be
taken away by beating the breast, holy water, the bishop's
blessing ; and St. Austin says, they are to be taken off by
daily saying the Lord's prayer; and therefore, being so easily,
so readily, so many ways, to be purged here, it will not be
worth establishing a purgatory for such alone, bat he admits
not of remaining punishment due to greater sins forgiven
by the blood of Christ. But concerning St. Gregory I shall
say no more, but refer the reader to the 'Apology of the
Greeks,' who affirm that St. Gregory admitted a kind of pur-
gatory, but whether allegorically or no, or thinking so really,
they know not ; but what he said was xar oixovo/j,iav, and ' by
way of dispensation,' and, as it were, constrained to it by the
arguments of those who would have all sins expiable after
death, against whom he could not so likely prevail, if he had
said that none was ; and therefore he thought himself forced
to go a middle way, and admit a purgatory only for little or
venial sins, which yet will do no advantage to the Church of
Rome. And besides all this, St. Gregory, or whoever is
the author of these Dialogues, hath nothing definite, or
determined, concerning the time, manner, measure, or place;
so wholly new was this doctrine then, that it had not gotten
any shape or feature.

Next I am to account concerning the Greeks, whom I
affirm always to have differed from the Latins, since they
had forged this new doctrine of purgatory in the Roman
laboratories: and to prove something of this, I affirmed that 4
in the Council of Basil they published an Apology directly
disapproving the doctrine of purgatory. Against this, up
starts a man fierce and angry, and says ' There was no such
Apology published in the Council of Basil, for he had examined

P Lib. iv. Dialog, c. 39. 1 Cap. xlvi. r In Summa Sacrara.

Eccles. n. 110. Decis. Cas. Conscient. part. i. lib. i. c. 6. n. 10.
' The Letter, p. 14.


it all over, and can find no such Apology.' I am sorry for
the gentleman's loss of his labour, but if he had taken me
along with him, I could have helped the learned man. This
Apology was written by Marcus, metropolitan of Ephesus,
as Sixtus Senensis" confesses, and that he offered it to the
Council of Basil. That it was given and read to the deputies
of the council, June 14, 1438, is attested by Cusanus, and
Martinus Crnsius in his Turco-Grsecia. x But it is no wonder,
if this over-learned author of the Letter missed this Apology
in his search of the Council of Basil, for this is not the only
material thing that is missing in the editions of the Council
of Basil ; for Linwood, that great and excellent English
canonist, made an appeal in that council, and prosecuted it
with effect, in behalf of King Henry of England, " Cum in
temporalibus non recognoscat superiorem in terris," &c.
But nothing of this now appears, though it was then regis-
tered : but it is no new thing to forge or to suppress acts of
councils : but besides this, I did not suppose he would have
been so indiscreet as to have looked for that Apology in the
editions of the Council of Basil, but it was delivered to the
council by the Greeks, and the council was wise enough not
to keep that upon public record ; however, if the gentleman
please to see it, he may have it among the booksellers, if he
will please to ask for the " Apologia Graecorum de Igne Pur-
gatorio," published by Salmasius ; it was supposed to be
made by Mark, archbishop ; but for saving the gentleman's
charge or trouble, I shall tell him a few words out of that
Apology, which will serve his turn : A/ 70,$ vZ 7.0.1 TO


, &c. " For these reasons, the doctrine of a pur-
gatory-fire is to be cast out of the Church, as that which
slackens the endeavours of the diligent, as persuading them
not to use all means of contention to be purged in this life,
since another purgation is expected after it." And it is infi-
nitely to be wondered at, the confidence of Bellarmine y (for
as for this objector, it matters not so much), that he should,
in the face of all the world, say, that the Greek Church never
doubted of purgatory : whereas he hath not brought one
single true and pertinent testimony out of the Greek fathers

Biblioth. lib. vi. annot. 259. * Lib. ii. p. 186.

* De Purgatorio, lib. i. c. 15, sect. Ad secundum dico.


for the Roman doctrine of purgatory, but is forced to bring
in that crude allegation of their words, " for their dead,"
which is to no purpose, as all wise men know ; indeed he
quotes 2 the Alcoran for purgatory, an authentic author, it
seems, to serve such an end. But besides this, two memo-
rable persons of the Greek Church Nilus, archbishop of
Thessalonica, and Mark, archbishop of Ephesus, have, in
behalf of the Greek Church, written against the Roman doc-
trine in this particular. And it is remarkable, that the La-
tins were and are so put to it to prove 'purgatory-fire from
the Greek fathers, that they have forged a citation from
Theodoret, a which is not in him at all, but was first cited in
Latin by Thomas Aquinas, either out of his own head or
cozened by somebody else ; and quoted so by Bellarmine, b
which to wise men cannot but be a very great argument of
the weakness of the Roman cause in this question from the
Greek fathers ; and that Bellarmine saw it, but yet was re-
solved to run through it and outface it ; but Nilus taking
notice of it, says, that there are no such words in Theodoret
in the many copies of his works, which they had. In Greek,
it is certain they are not; and Gagneius first translated them
into Greek to make the cheat more prevalent, but, in that
translation, makes use of those words of the Wisdom of Solo-
mon, u$ xguciTov sv xuvsvrqoiw, " as gold in the furnace"
(meaning it of the affliction of the righteous in this world) ;
but unluckily he made use of that chapter, in the first verse
of which, it is said, "The souls of the righteous are in the
hands of God, and no torment shall touch them," which is
a testimony more pregnant against the Roman purgatory,
than all they can bring from the Greek fathers for it. And
this gentleman confutes the ' Dissuasive,' as he thinks, by
telling the story according as his own church hath set it
down, who as with subtle and potent arts they forced the
Greeks to a seeming union, so they would be sure not to tell
the world, in their own records, how unhandsomely they
carried themselves. But besides this, the very answer which
the archbishop of Ephesus gave to the Latins in that council
(and which words the objector here sets down and confesses),
are a plain confutation of himself; for the Latins standing

1 Bellar. lib. i. c. 11, sect, de Mahumetanis. In 1 Cor. iii.

b Lib. i. de Purgat. c. 5, sect, ex Graecis. c Sap. iii. 6.


for a purgatory-fire temporary; as the archbishop of Ephesus
denies it, saying, " that the Italians confess a fire, both in
the present world and purgatory by it (that is, before the day
of judgment}, and in the world to come ; but not purgatory
but eternal : but the Greeks hold a fire in the world to come
only (meaning eternal}, and a temporary punishment of
souls ; that is, that they go into a dark place, and of grief,
but that they are purged, that is, delivered from the dark
place, by priests, prayers, and sacrifices, and by alms, but
not by fire." Then they fell on disputing about purga-
tory-fire, to which the Greeks delayed to answer ; and after-
ward being pressed to answer, they refused to say any thing
about purgatory; and when they, at the upshot of all, were
' utcunque' united, Joseph, the patriarch of Constantinople,
made a most pitiful confession of purgatory in such general
and crafty terms, as sufficiently shewed, that as the Greeks
were forced to do something, so the Latins were content with
any thing, for by those terms, the question between them
was no way determined, " Romae veteris Papam Domini
nostri Jesu Christi vicarium esse concedere, atque animarum
purgationem esse non inficior." He denied not that there
is a purgatory. No, for the Greeks confessed it, in this
world before death, and some of them acknowledged a dark
place of sorrow after this life, but neither fire nor purgatory;
for the purgation was made in this world, and after this
world by the prayers of the priests and the alms of the
friends, the purgation was made ; ' not by fire,' as I cited
the words before. The Latins told them there should be no
union without it ; the Greek emperor refused, and all this
the objector is pleased to acknowledge ; but after a very
great bustle made, they were forced to patch up a union, in
hope to get assistance of the Latins : but in this also they
were cozened ; and having lost Constantinople, many of the
Greeks attributed that fatal loss to their dissembling union
made at Florence ; and, on the other side, the Latins im-
puted it to their opinion of the procession of the Holy Ghost:
however, the Greek churches never admitted that union, as
is averred by Laonicus Chalcondylas, ' de Rebus Turcicis.' d
And it is a strange thing that this affair, of which all Europe
was witness, should, with so little modesty, be shuffled up,

d Lib. i. non longe ab initio.


and the ' Dissuasive' accused for saying that which themselves
acknowledge. But see what some of themselves say: " Unus
est ex notissimis Graeeoruin et Armenorum erroribus quo
decent nullum esse purgatorium, quo animae ex hac luce
migrantes purgentur sordibus quas in hoc corpore contraxe-
runt," saith Alphonsus a Castro : e "It is one of the most
known errors of the Greeks and Armenians, that they teach
there is no purgatory :" aud Aquinas, writing ' contra Grae-
corum errores,' labours to prove purgatory : and Archbishop
Antoninus/ who was present at the Council of Florence, after
he had rejected the epistle of Eugenius, adds, " Errabant
Graeci purgatorium negantes, quod est haereticum." Add to
these the testimony of Roffensis g and Polydore Virgil before
quoted : " Usque ad hunc diem, Grsecis non est creditum
purgatorium :" and Gregory de Valentia saith, h " Expresse
auiem purgatorium negarunt Waldenses heeretici, ut refert
Guido Carmelita in summa de haeresi : item scisniatici Graci
recentiores, ut ex Concilio Florentino apparet." And Alphon-
sus a Castro saith,' " Unto this very day, purgatory is not
believed by the Greeks." And no less can be imagined, since
their prime and most learned prelate, besides what he did in
the council, did also, after the council, publish an encyclical
epistle against the definition of the council, as may be seen
in Binius's Narrative of the Council of Florence: by all which
appears hosv notoriously scandalous is the imputation of
falsehood laid npon the ' Dissuasive' by this objector ; who,
by this time, is warm with writing, and grows uncivil, being
like a baited bull, beaten into choler with his own tail, and
angered by his own objections.

But the next charge is higher ; it was not only doubted
of in St. Austin's time, and since; but the Roman doctrine
of purgatory, without any hesitation or doubting, is against
the express doctrines delivered by divers of the ancient
fathers ; and to this purpose some were remarked in the
' Dissuasive,' which I shall now verify, and add others very
plain and very considerable.

St. Cyprian k exhorts Demetrianus to turn to Christ while
this world lasts, saying " that after we are dead, there is no

e Lib. xii. tit. Purgatorium. f See Biuius, torn. iv. Concil.

f Art. xviii. cent. Luther.

h Disp. xi. qu. 1. punctum. 1. sect. 5. De locis Animarum post Mortem.
' Lib. yiii. adv. Hares, tit. Indulgentiae. * Ad Demetrian. sect. 16, 22.


place of repentance, no place of satisfaction." To this the
Letter answers; ' It is not said ' when we are dead,' but ' when
you are dead,' meaning that this is spoken to heathens, not
to Christians. As if ' quando istinc excessum fuerit,' being
spoken impersonally, does not mean indefinitely all the world ;
and certainly it may as well one as the other, Christians as
well as heathens, for Christians maybe in the state of deadly
sin and aversion from God as well as heathens, and then this
admonition and reason fit them as well as the other. E. W.
answers," 1 that St. Cyprian means that ' after death there is
no meritorious satisfaction ;' he says true indeed, there is
none that is meritorious, neither before nor after death : but
this will not serve his turn, for St. Cyprian says, that after
death there is none at all; ' no place of satisfaction/ of any
kind whatsoever, no place of wholesome repentance. And
therefore it is vain to say, that this council was only given
to Demetrianus, who was a heathen ; for if he had been a
Christian, he would, or at least might, have used the same
argument, not to put any part of his duty off upon confidence
of any thing to be done or suffered after this life. For his
argument is this, " This is the time of repentance," after
death it is not ; now you may satisfy (that is appease) the
Divine anger; after this life is ended, nothing of this can be
done." For St. Cyprian does not speak this ' dispensative,'
or by relation to this particular case, but * assertive ;' he
affirms expressly, speaking to the same Demetrian, " that
when this life is finished we are divided, either to the dwell-
ings of death or of immortality." And that we may see this
is not spoken of impenitent pagans only, as the ' Letter to a
Friend' dreams, St. Cyprian renews the same caution and
advice to the lapsed Christians : " O ye, my brethren, let every
one confess his sin, while he that hath sinned is yet in this
world, while his confession can be admitted, while satisfaction
and pardon made by the priest are grateful with God." If
there had been any thought of the Roman purgatory in St.
Cyprian's time, he could not in better words have impugned
it, than here he does. All that have sinned must here look
1 P. 17. " p. 32.

n Donee aevi temporalis fine complete ad icternse vel mortis vel immortulitatis
hospitia dividamurIAtd. sect. 16.

Serm. de Lapsis. Confiteantur singulis vos fratres delictum suum, dum adbuc
qui deliquit in sjeculo est, dum admitti confessio ejus potest, dum satisfactio, et
remissio facta per sacerdotes apud Dominum grata eat.


to it, here they must confess, here beg pardon, here make
amends and satisfy; afterward neither one nor the other
shall be admitted. Now if to Christians also there is granted
no leave to repent, no means to satisfy, no means of pardon
after this life, these words are so various and comprehensive
that they include all cases; and it is plain St. Cyprian speaks
it indefinitely, there is no place of repentance, no place of
satisfaction ; none at all, neither to heathens nor to Christians.
But now let these words be set against the Roman doc-
trine, viz. that there is a place called purgatory, in which
the souls tormented do satisfy, and ' come not out thence till
they have paid (viz. by sufferings, or by suffrages) the utmost
farthing,' and then see which we will follow : for they differ
in all the points of the compass. And these men do nothing
but betray the weakness of their cause by expounding St.
Cyprian to the sense of new distinctions, made but yesterday
in the forges of the schools. And indeed the whole affair
upon which the answer of Bellarmine relies, which these men
have translated to their own use, is unreasonable. For is it a
likely business, that when men have committed great crimes,
they shall be pardoned here by confession, and the minis-
tries of the Church, &c. and yet that the venial sins, though
confessed in the general, and as well as they can be, and the
party absolved, yet there should be prepared for their expia-
tion the intolerable torments of hell-fire, for a very long time;
and that for the greater sins, for which men have ' agreed
with their adversary in the way,' and the adversary hath for-
given them, yet that for these also they should be cast into
prison, from whence they shall not come, till the utmost
farthing be paid ? that is against the design of our blessed
Saviour's counsel ; for if that be the case, then, though we
and our adversaries are agreed upon the main, and the debt
forgiven, yet nevertheless we may be delivered to the tor-
mentors. But then, concerning the sense of St. Cyprian in
this particular, no man can doubt that shall have but read
his excellent treatise of mortality: that he could not, did not,
admit of purgatory after death before the day of judgment,
for he often said it in that excellent treatise, which he made
to comfort and strengthen Christians against the fear of death,
that immediately after death we go to God or the devil : " and
therefore it is for him only to fear to die, who is not willing


to go to Christ ; and he only is to be unwilling to go to Christ,
who believes not that he begins to reign with Christ." " That
we in the meantime die, we pass over by death to immor-

Online LibraryJeremy TaylorThe whole works of the Right Rev. Jeremy Taylor (Volume 11) → online text (page 9 of 50)