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with blessed immortality": and the monk that wrote the legend, addeth, that she' presently thereupon“ caused the sacrifice of the mass to be offered for him," which how fabulous soever it may be for the matter of the vision, yet doth it strongly prove, that within these five-hundred years (for no longer since it is that this is accounted to have been done) the use of offering, for the souls of those that were believed to be in heaven, was still retained in the Church. The letters of Charles the Great unto Offa king of Mercia are yet extant; wherein he wisheth" that intercessions should be made “for the soul of pope Adrian" then lately deceased; "not having any doubt at all”, saith he,“ that his blessed soul is at rest; but that we may shew faithfulness and love unto our most dear friend : even as St.
lugustine also giveth direction, that intercessions ought to be made for all men of ecclesiastical piety; affirming, that to intercede for a good man doth profit him that doeth it.” Where the two ends of this kind of intercession are to be observed : the one to shew their love to their friend; the other to get profit to themselves thereby, rather than to the party deceased. Lastly, pope Innocent the third, (or the second rather), being inquired of by the bishop of Cremona, concerning the state of a certain priest that died without baptism, resolveth him out of St. Augustine and St. Ambrose, that “ because', he continued in the faith of the holy mother the Church, and the confession of the name of Christ; he was assoyled from original sin, and had attained the joy of the heavenly country.” Upon which ground at last he maketh this conclusion; “Ceasing therefore all questions, hold the sentences of the learned fathers; and command continual prayers and sacrifices to be offered unto God in thy Church, for the foresaid priest."
i Mox fratribus Cappenbergensibus indicavit beati viri obitum, et pro eo missæ sacrificium offerendum curavit. Ibid.
* Deprecantes ut diligenter jubeatis intercedere pro anima illius : nullam habentes dubitationem, beatam illius animam in requie esse; sed ut fidem et dilectionem ostendamus in amicum nobis charissimum : sicut et beatus præcipit Augustinus, pro omnibus ecclesiasticæ pietatis intercessiones fieri debere : asserens, pro bono intercedere, facienti proficere. Carol. M. epist. ad Offam, inter epistolas Alcuini MS. in bibliotheca Cottoniana. Vid. Guil. Malmesburiens. de gest. reg. Anglor. lib. 1. cap. 4. et Matt. Westmonaster, ann. Dom. 797.
! Quia in sanctæ matris Ecclesiæ fide, et Christi nominis confessione perseveravit, ab originali peccato solutum, et cælestis patriæ gaudium esse adeptum, asserimus incunctanter. Decretal. lib. 3. tit. 43. de presbytero non baptizato, cap. 2. Apostolicam. et collect. 1. Bernardi papiensis, lib. 5. tit. 35. cap. 2.
Now having thus declared, unto what kind of persons the commemorations ordained by the ancient Church did extend, the next thing that cometh to consideration is, what we are to conceive of the primary intention of those prayers, that were appointed to be made therein. And here we are to understand that, first, prayers of praise and thanksgiving were presented unto God for the blessed estate that the party deceased was now entered upon; whereunto were afterwards added prayers of deprecation and petition, that God would be pleased to forgive him his sins, to keep him from hell, and to place him in the kingdom of heaven: which kind of intercessions, howsoever at first they were well meant, as we shall hear, yet in process of time they proved an occasion of confirming men in divers errors; especially when they began once to be applied not only to the good, but to evil livers also, unto whom by the first institution they never were intended.
The term of £ùyapıotholog củxri, a thanksgiving prayer, I borrow from the writer of the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy; who, in the description of the funeral observances used of old in the Church, informeth us, first, that the friends of the dead "accounted" him to be, as he was, blessed; because that according to his wish he had obtained a victorious end:” and thereupon “sent forth hymns of thanksgiving to the author of that victory; desiring withal, that they themselves might come unto the like end:” and then that the bishop likewise offered up a prayer of thanksgiving
m Sopitis igitur quæstionibus, doctorum patrum sententias teneas: et in Ecclesia tua juges preces hostiasque Deo offerri jubeas pro presbytero memorato. Ibid.
η αυτόν τε ός τίς (vel οίός) εστι, μακαρίζουσι, προς το νικηφορον εύκταίως αφικόμενον τέλος, και το της νίκης αιτίφ χαριστηρίους ωδάς άναπεμπoυσι, προσέτι και αυτούς αφικέσθαι προς την ομοίαν ευχόμενοι ληξιν, Dionys. ecclesiast, hierarch. cap. 7. Op. tom. 1. pag. 265.
ο Είτα τελεί την προς θεον ευχαριστήριον ευχήν ο ιεράρχης. Ιbid.
unto God; when the dead was afterward broughtPunto him, to receive as it were at his hands a sacred coronation. Thus at the funeral of Fabiola, the praising of God by singing of psalms', and resounding of Halleluia, is specially mentioned by St. Hierome: and the general practice and intention of the Church therein is expressed and earnestly urged by St. Chrysostom in this manner ; “Do' not we praise God, and give thanks unto him, for that he hath now crowned him that is departed, for that he hath freed him from his labours, for that quitting him from fear, he keepeth him with himself? Are not the hymns for this end? Is not the singing of psalms for this purpose ? All these be tokens of rejoicing.” Whereupon he thus presseth them that used immoderate mourning for the dead : “ Thou sayest, Return, O my soul, unto thy rest, for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee; and dost thou weep? Is not this a stage-play? Is it not mere simulation? For if thou dost indeed believe the things that thou sayest, thou lamentest idly ; but if thou playest and dissemblest, and thinkest these things to be fables, why dost thou then sing? Why dost thou suffer those things that are done? Wherefore doest thou not drive away them that sing ?" and in the end he concludeth somewhat prophetically; that he “ very much feared, lest by this means some grievous disease should creep upon
the Church.” Whether the doctrine now maintained in the Church of
Ρ Λαβόντες δε αυτόν επί την ιεράρχην άγουσιν, ώς επί στεφάνων ιερών δόσιν. Ιbid.
9 Sonabant psalmi ; et aurata tecta templorum reboans in sublime quatiebat Alleluia. Hieronym. in epitaphio Fabiolæ, epist. 30.
Ουχί τον θεόν δοξάζομεν, και ευχαριστούμεν, ότι λοιπόν έστεφάνωσε τον απελθόντα, ότι τών πόνων απήλλαξεν, ότι της δειλίας εκβαλών έχει παρ' εαυτώ; ου διά τούτο ύμνοι ; ου διά τούτο ψαλμωδίαι και ταύτα πάντα taipóvrwv ļotiv. "Chrysost. in epist. ad Hebr. hom. 4. op. tom. 12. pag. 46.
5 Επίστρεψον, ψυχή μου, εις την ανάπαυσιν σου, ότι Κύριος ευηργήτησε σε, λέγεις, και δακρύεις ουχί σκηνή ταύτά έστιν, ουχ υπόκρισις; εί μέν γάρ όντως πιστεύεις οις λέγεις, περιττώς πενθείς· ει δε παίζεις, και υποκρίνη, και μύθους αυτά είναι νομίζεις, τί και ψάλλεις; τί και ανεχη των παραγινομένων, διά τί μη απελαύνεις τους ψάλλοντας; Ιd. ibid. pag. 47.
" Και γάρ μειζόνως δέδοικα, μη τούτω τω τρόπω χαλεπη τις νόσος εν τη εκκλησία υπεισέλθη. Ιbid. VOL. III,
Rome, that the children of God, presently after their departure out of this life, are cast into a lake that burneth with fire and brimstone, be not a spice of this disease ; and whether their practice in chanting of psalms (appointed for the expression of joy and thankfulness), over them whom they esteem to be tormented in so lamentable a fashion, be not a part of that scene and pageant at which St. Chrysostom doth so take on; I leave it unto others to judge. That his fear was not altogether vain, the event itself doth shew. For, howsoever in his days the fire of the Romish purgatory was not yet kindled: yet were there certain sticks then a gathering, which ministered fuel afterwards unto that flame. Good St. Augustine, who then was alive, and lived three and twenty years after St. Chrysostom's death, declared himself to be of this mind; that the oblations and alms usually offered in the Church “ for all the dead that received baptism, were thanksgivings for such as were very good, propitiations for such as were not very bad; but as for such as were very evil, although they were no helps of the dead, yet were they some kind of consolations of the living.” Which although it were but a private exposition of the Church's meaning in her prayers and oblations for the dead; and the opinion of a doctor too, that did not hold purgatory to be any article of his creed; yet did the Romanists in times following greedily take hold thereof, and make it the main foundation, upon which they laid the hay and stubble of their devised purgatory.
A private exposition I call this: not only because it is not to be found in the writings of the former fathers, but also because it suiteth not well with the general practice of the Church, which it intendeth to interpret. It may indeed fit in some sort that part of the Church service, wherein there was made a several commemoration, first, of the patriarchs, prophets, apostles and martyrs, after one manner; and then of the other dead, after another: which, together with the conceit that "an" injury was offered to a martyr, by praying for him," was it that first occasioned St. Augustine' to think of the former distinction. But in the “supplications for the spirits of the dead, which the Church under a general commemoration was accustomed to make, for all that were deceased in the Christian and catholic communion;" to imagine that one and the same act of praying should be a petition for some, and for others a thanksgiving only, is somewhat too harsh an interpretation: especially where we find it propounded by way of petition, and the intention thereof directly expressed, as in the Greek liturgy, attributed to St. James the brother of our Lord; “ Be’ mindful, O Lord God of the spirits and of all flesh, of such as we have remembered, and such as we have not remembered, being of right belief, from Abel the just until this present day. Do thou cause them to rest in the land of the living, in thy kingdom, in the delight of paradise, in the bosoms of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, our holy fathers; whence grief and sorrow and sighing are fled, where the light of thy countenance doth visit them, and shine for ever:” and in the offices compiled by Alcuinus; “ O Lord“, Holy Father, Almighty and everlasting God, we
u Cum sacrificia, sive altaris sive quarumcunque eleemosynarum, pro baptizatis defunctis omnibus offeruntur, pro valde bonis gratiarum actiones sunt, pro non valde malis propitiationes sunt ; pro valde malis, etsi nulla sunt adjumenta mortuorum, qualescunque vivorum consolationes sunt. Augustin. enchirid. ad Laurent. cap. 110.
* Augustin. de verbis apostoli. serm. 159. op. tom. 5. pag. 765. * Id. ibid. et in evang. Johann. tractat. 84.
» Non sunt prætermittendæ supplicationes pro spiritibus mortuorum : quas faciendas pro omnibus in Christiana et catholica societate defunctis, etiam tacitis nominibus quorumque, sub generali commemoratione suscepit Ecclesia. Id. de cura pro mortuis, cap. 4.
1 Μνήσθητι, κύριε ο θεός των πνευμάτων και πάσης σαρκός, ών εμνήσθημεν, και ών ουκ εμνήσθημεν, ορθοδόξων, από 'Αβελ του δικαίου μέχρι της σήμερον ημέρας. αυτός εκεί αυτούς ανάπαυσον έν τη βασιλεία σου, εν τη τρυφή του παραδείσου, εν τοίς κόλποις 'Αβραάμ και Ισαάκ και Ιακώβ, των αγίων πατέρων ημών. όθεν απέδρα οδύνη, λύπη και στεναγμός. ένθα επισκοπεί το φως του προσώπου σου, και καταλάμπει διά παντός. Jacob. liturg.
2 Te, Domine sancte, Pater omnipotens, æterne Deus, supplices deprecamur pro spiritibus famulorum et famularum tuarum, quos ab origine seculi hujus ad te accersire præcepisti : ut digneris, Domine, dare eis locum lucidum, locum refrigerii et quietis ; et ut liceat eis transire portas infernorum, et vias tenebrarum,