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heart laments and mourns, gives them an occasion of thanksgiving, because they are not alone. Christ looks on their sufferings with tender compassion. Christ appoints those sufferings for their good. Christ is touched with a feeling of their very infirmities. Does the fond mother feel no emotion at the pains of her beloved child? Does not every moan of its anguish, every cry of its agony, produce an answering pang at her very heart-strings? Yet the love of Christ is stronger than this strongest of human affections: "When thy father and thy mother forsake thee, the Lord taketh thee up." Nay, there is a peculiarity in the case of the Christian's relation to his Saviour, to which no earthly relationship can afford a parallel. For he is a member of that body of which Christ is the head. And can the member suffer, without the head? Even though the actual seat of the pain be in the farthest extremity of the body, can the head avoid feeling as if it were its own? And while the body or any member of it continues to suffer, is there not truly something remaining for the head to suffer with it?
Thus then, brethren, the doctrine of St. Paul, in this second proposition, is seen to be a consistent, pure and inestimable part of the Christian's consolation, during his earthly pilgrimage, without the slightest approximation to the unhappy error which the Church of Rome seeks to render plausible, under its supposed authority. And the third point in the text presents still less difficulty, namely, where the apostle saith, that his sufferings are for the Church; that is, on account of the Church, or for the Church's benefit. That the persecutions, stripes, imprisonment, and final martyrdom of the apostles, were on account of the Church, is sufficiently plain from the simple fact, that they were all endured in the work of preaching the gospel of salvation to every creature. That they were all for the benefit of the Church is equally plain; because it was chiefly through them, that the power of divine grace was dis
played in so irresistible a manner, that Jews and Gentiles were alike compelled to acknowledge the work to be of God. And they were equally beneficial to the Church in the edifying example thus placed before believers, for nothing could bring Christians so effectually to the necessary practice of self-denial; nothing induce them so powerfully to live above the world, to take joyfully the spoiling of their own goods, to bear patiently the cross of persecution, to remember that on earth they were but strangers and pilgrims, seeking an eternal and celestial habitation, and thus to show forth their own light before men, so that they, seeing the good works of the faithful, might be led to seek their Father in heaven-nothing, in a word, could have a happier influence upon the whole course of the Church at large, than the spectacle of the apostles, forgetting self in the promotion of the common welfare, and even rejoicing in sufferings for the flock committed to their care. What is there in all this that looks like the Roman Catholic doctrine of satisfaction to the justice of God by voluntary acts of penance and suffering, performed after sin is forgiven, in order to avoid the infliction of temporal chastisement in this life, or the torment of fire in the life to come?
Having thus examined at length, brethren, the Scriptural evidence adduced for the doctrine of satisfaction, because I hold it to be of such high importance among those errors which we are obliged to charge upon the Church of Rome, I have next to present to your attention the proof which our learned author adduces on the subject of purgatory. And here, he begins with the custom of prayers for the dead, citing, for proof, the second book of Maccabees, which, as Dr. Wiseman justly observes, is at least entitled to respect as a history of the Jewish people, anterior to the coming of the Saviour. The passage is in the 12th chapter, and gives an account of a battle fought by Judas Maccabeus, the commander of the Jewish army, against Gorgias, the governor of Idumea, in which some of the Jews.
were slain, although Judas obtained a splendid victory. The day after the battle, he came with his soldiers to bury his dead; "and they found," saith the historian, "under the coats of the slain, some of the (donaries) or things consecrated to the idols of Jamnia, which their law forbiddeth to the Jews; so that all plainly saw that for this cause they were slain. Then they all blessed the just judgment of the Lord, who had discovered the things that were hidden; and so betaking themselves to prayers, they besought him that the sin which had been committed might be forgotten. But Judas sent 12,000 drachms of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice, to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection. It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sin.”
Now there is one serious difficulty about this whole matter, namely, that the book in which it is contained possesses no canonical authority, because it was never reckoned amongst their inspired writings by the Jews themselves, who are the only proper judges of the Scriptures belonging to the Old Tes Neither was it so reckoned in the best catalogues of the primitive Church. Therefore, the reflections of the historian upon the conduct of Judas Maccabeus, have no force beyond the notions of any other nameless author. The facts, however, in the main, we suppose to be correctly stated. That the battle was fought, that the victory was gained, and that the slain Jews were found to have been secret idolators by the consecrated things discovered on their persons, may all be admitted. Neither do we deny the probability, at least, that Judas and his company prayed for the dead, and sent money to have sacrifices offered on their behalf at Jerusalem. But the inference which Dr. Wiseman would draw from it, that such was the doctrine of the Jews in our Saviour's days, and that he never reproved it, is entirely unwarrantable. For, in the first place, our Lord did reprove them sharply, for
making void the law of God by their traditions, of which he stated one or two instances, saying, in conclusion, “and many other such like things ye do;" from which we learn that there were a variety of corruptions which the Saviour did not then specify; and it is at least likely that this was amongst them, since it is very certain that the law of Moses gave no authority nor sanction to sacrifices for the dead. There is another argument, however, which ought to be conclusive with Dr. Wiseman: namely, that the doctrine of the historian on whom he relies, is not in agreement with the Church of Rome at all; although the passage is so constantly quoted in her faFor there can be no question that these Jews, whose story is related in the book of Maccabees, died in idolatry; and that the Church of Rome holds this to be a mortal sin, the commission of which, if not renounced by repentance and confession, certainly takes the soul, according to their own doctrine, not to purgatory, but to hell, out of which there is no redemption. It results, therefore, that the Church of Rome could not justify the doctrine of this book of Maccabees on her own principles. Consequently, the case proves quite too much for their purpose; and hence, by the rules of logic, it must be taken to prove nothing.
Our author's next quotation is from the passage where our Lord, speaking of the sin against the Holy Ghost, saith; "it shall not be forgiven, neither in this world, nor in the world to come:" from which he concludes that there are some sins which may be forgiven in the future state. In answer to this it is surely enough to observe, that it can have no possible bearing on their doctrine of purgatory, understand it how we may. Because we have seen that the Church of Rome assigns purgatory, and voluntary penances, and prayers for the dead, to those whose sins are forgiven in this life; but who have to satisfy the justice of God as to the temporal penalty due to them, after the eternal penalty is completely remitted in
absolution. Hence they utterly deny that the relief of the souls in purgatory is by way of forgiveness or absolution of sin, and insist that it is solely by way of satisfaction or payment; the superabundant merits of Christ and the saints, which constitute the treasure of the Church, being applied to the debt which the departed soul owes to the divine justice, and thus extinguishing it in the manner of an offset, in the business of men. Hence it is manifest, that this text is as little suited to their doctrine as any thing can be, even if we granted, what is more than doubtful, that their interpretation was correct.
There is one passage more, in which St. Paul speaks of the believer's having built upon the true foundation, gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble. (1 Cor. iii. 13.) "Every man's work," saith the apostle, "shall be made manifest, for the day of the Lord shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work, of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work burn, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire." From this, our Roman advocates gather the doctrine of purgatory with more confidence, than from any thing else in ScripAnd yet, brethren, there are several arguments against such an interpretation, which appear to my mind perfectly irresistible. For, in the first place, the apostle speaks of the fire, as trying every man's work, as well the gold, silver, and jewels, as the wood, hay, and stubble. This cannot therefore be the fire of purgatory, which never detains the saints, but only the ordinary believers. Secondly, the apostle speaks of the fire as revealing the quality of our works in connexion with the day of the Lord, that is, as all agree, the day of judgment, when the souls of men, re-united to their bodies, shall stand before the tribunal of Christ. But this cannot be the purgatorial fire of the Church of Rome, which has always been