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burning, as they say, for the punishment of souls without bodies, and shall continue to burn until the day of judgment, at which time it is to cease. Thirdly, the apostle applies the fire of which he speaks to the works of men. But the Church of Rome applies her purgatorial fires to the souls themselves. Fourthly, the effect of the fire mentioned by the apostle is to burn the wood, the hay and the stubble, that is, to consume the vain and worthless doings of the earthly minded, the hollow pretences of our own imaginary zeal or orthodoxy, as well as all the superstitious inventions which Christians may have built upon the true foundation of Christ. But the purgatorial fire of the Church of Rome is designed to torture, not to con

And lastly, the effect of the fire of which the apostle warns us, depends upon the quality of our own works, but the fire of purgatory is influenced, according to the Church of Rome, not by our own works, but by the works of others; for while the departed soul is perfectly incapable of doing any thing to help himself, the Church on earth can assist him, by masses and prayers, and the pope is able to relieve him entirely, by the application of the treasure of the Church; so that the merits of the saints, united to the superfluous merits of Christ, shall straightway bring him to the mansions of glory. We see, therefore, brethren, that it is not possible, by any fair interpretation, to suppose that the apostle, in this passage, alluded to the doctrine long afterwards introduced, and finally used for so many important purposes by the Church of Rome. The truth is that this celebrated text is probably descriptive of the divine judgment. “Our God,” saith the same apostle in his epistle to the Hebrews, “is a consuming fire.” “He shall sit,” saith the prophet Malachi, like a refiner's fire and like fuller's soap :" (Mal. iii. 2.) the fire representing the consuming of what should be destroyed, the soap representing the cleansing of what should remain. Again: “ Are not my words as a fire,” saith the Lord by the prophet Jeremiah. (xxiii. 29.) And the day of judgment is always presented in this connexion ; St. Peter declaring, that “the earth and the works that are therein shall be burnt up;” (2 Pet. iii. 10) and St. Paul, that “the Lord Jesus shall be revealed in a flame of fire, giving vengeance to them who know not God.” (2 Thes. i. 8.) How clear and consistent, therefore, is the interpretation which is suggested by these and similar passages, that the fiery judgment of the great day shall burn all the earthly works, and thoughts, and inventions of Christians, which, like so much wood, hay and stubble, they shall have foolishly and sinfully built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ; while, nevertheless, if they have held that sure foundation, they shall be saved, yet so as by fire, like brands plucked from the burning. And on the other hand, that those who have built upon that foundation, gold, silver, precious stones, that is, who have laid up their treasures in heaven, and honoured the Lord with all their fa. culties, and means, and powers, shall receive a reward, and shall shine as the stars for ever. For there is, doubtless, an ascending and a descending scale prepared for the tremendous and glorious manifestations of that awful day, by which the happiness of the redeemed and the misery of the lost will be graduated with the utmost precision. “In my Father's house,” saith Christ, “are many mansions.” And “one star differeth from another star,” saith St. Paul, “ in glory.”

Seeing, then, brethren, that the passages cited by the Church of Rome from the Word of God, when fairly examined, lend no support whatever to her doctrine of purgatory, let us turn to the positive testimony of our blessed Saviour, in our text; where, speaking on the very point, in the beautiful and most instructive parable of the rich man and Lazarus, he describes to us two states for the departed soul, and two only. “For it came to pass,” saith our Lord, “ that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom. And the rich man also died, and was buried in hell. And listing up his

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eyes when he was in torments, he saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom." Here we have paradise on the one hand, with the spirits of the just, in peace, in comfort, and in joyful expectation of the day of glory. And hell upon the other hand, with the spirits of the lost, the unbelieving, the earthly, the sensual, the proud, who cared for nothing but to be clad in purple and fine linen, and fare sumptuously every day. But our Lord tells us nothing of purgatory, although the Church of Rome pronounces her anathema upon us, for not believing it. Ah, brethren! when he shall come again, in flaming fire, to take vengeance on his enemies, shall we have any cause to fear his censure, because we rested our faith

upon his own Word, refusing either to add to it, or to take away? I trow not.

But we must release you now, from any farther discussion of these important articles of the Roman Catholic creed. The testimony of the fathers, and the history of the rise and progress of purgatory and indulgences, together with the position in which the doctrines stand at the present day, must be postponed until our next lecture. Meanwhile, beloved brethren, let us increase in the ardour and constancy of our prayers, if not for the dead, who need them not, yet for the living who are still in the flesh, surrounded by temptation. And especially on behalf of the Universal or Catholic Church, let us earnestly beseech the God of all grace to hasten the time, when his own perfect and unerring Word shall be the only standard of faith throughout the length and breadth of Christendom; when truth, and unity, and peace, and love, shall break down every partition wall of heresy and schism, and the whole host of his now divided and contending followers shall realize the blessedness of being but one fold, under the one divine SHEPHERD OF ISRAEL.

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LECTURE XIV.

Luke xvi. 22, 23.–And it came to pass that the beggar died, and he

was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom. And the rich man also died, and he was buried in hell. And lifting up his eyes when he was in torments, he saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. (Doway version.)

Our last lecture, beloved brethren, was devoted to the examination of the doctrine of purgatory, in connexion with the theory of satisfaction to the temporal justice of God, and the prerogative of discharging the soul of the departed believer from this debt of justice, which the Church of Rome asserts in the granting of indulgences. A brief recapitulation of the heads of that lecture may be necessary, in order to refresh your memory, and to enable me to resume the line of argument and evidence which was then commenced, and which I purpose to complete on the present occasion.

You will bear in mind, then, that the Church of Rome teaches the necessity of satisfying the justice of the Almighty, with respect to a certain measure of punishment, which, according to their doctrine, continues due in this life, after a full forgiveness of our sin has been obtained through the atone. ment and merits of Christ Jesus; for although they allow that the application of this atonement remits the eternal penalty of sin, yet they contend that there is a temporal penalty besides, which must be paid by the sinner himself, or by the Church

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for him. The mode of rendering satisfaction for this debt of temporal justice, according to their creed, is by penitential works, fasting, mortification, alms-deeds, and prayers. And all the trials and afflictions of the present life are supposed to be available to the same purpose. But if the Christian departs without having fully paid the amount of penance and suffering which this debt of temporal justice requires, his soul must be tormented in the fire of purgatory until satisfaction is completely rendered. They hold, however, that the Church has an inexhaustible treasury of merits, which can be so applied as to extinguish this claim of God's temporal justice; and thus either shorten the sufferings of the soul in purgatory, or relieve it altogether. This treasury consists of the superfluous merits and sufferings of Christ, and of the saints: and thus the devo. tions, and masses, and offerings for the dead, operate with more or less efficacy upon these purgatorial punishments. While the

pope has the most unlimited power, by his indulgence, to give the suffering soul the benefit of a satisfaction either for a part, or for the whole: the partial satisfaction, amounting to an acquittance of so many days, or months, or years, of the allotted period of torment; and the total satisfaction, which they call a plenary indulgence, being available to cancel the entire debt, and transfer the soul to heaven.

The passages of Scripture alleged as proving these doctrines, brethren, I considered at large; and showed, as I trust, sufficiently, that none of them could be truly interpreted in their favour; that a portion of them were quite irrelevant, and that others taught the very contrary. I then cited the text which, you are aware, forms a part of the narrative of the rich man and Lazarus; and stated, upon the authority of our blessed Redeemer, that there were but two conditions for the disem. bodied spirit; that of torment, with the lost, or that of refresh. ment, peace, and happiness with the redeemed, in the bosom of Abraham. I also endeavoured to explain the true design and

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