Page images
PDF
EPUB

44

understood.

Luke xii. 50), for being dipped in one's own blood, Part IV. as Christ was upon the cross, and as most of the apostles were, for giving testimony of him. But it Baptism for is hard to say, that prayer, fasting, and alms, have the dead, how any similitude with dipping. The same is used also Matth. iii. 11 (which seemeth to make somewhat for purgatory) for a purging with fire. But it is evident the fire and purging here mentioned, is the same whereof the prophet Zechariah speaketh (chapter xiii. 9) I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them, &c. And St. Peter after him (1 Epistle i. 7), That the trial of your faith, which is much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise, and honour, and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ; and St. Paul (1 Cor. iii. 13), The fire shall try every man's work of what sort il is. But St. Peter and St. Paul speak of the fire that shall be at the second appearing of Christ; and the prophet Zechariah of the day of judgment. And therefore this place of St. Matthew may be interpreted of the same ; and then there will be no necessity of the fire of purgatory.

Another interpretation of baptism for the dead, is that which I have before mentioned, which he preferreth to the second place of probability: and thence also he inferreth the utility of prayer for the dead. For if after the resurrection, such as have not heard of Christ, or not believed in him, may be received into Christ's kingdom ; it is not in vain, after their death, that their friends should

pray for them, till they should be risen. But granting that God, at the prayers of the faithful, may convert unto him some of those that have not heard

44.

the dead, how

part iv. Christ preached, and consequently cannot have re

jected Christ, and that the charity of men in that Baptism for point cannot be blamed; yet this concludeth nounderstood. thing for purgatory; because to rise from death to

life, is one thing ; to rise from purgatory to life is another; as being a rising from life to life, from a life in torments to a life in joy.

A fourth place is that of Matth. v. 25, 26 : Agree with thine adversary quickly, whilst thou art in the

way with him, lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison: verily I say unto thee, thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing. In which allegory, the offender is the sinner ; both the adversary and the judge is God; the way is this life; the prison is the grave; the officer, deuth ; from which, the sinner shall not rise again to life eternal, but to a second death, till he have paid the utmost farthing, or Christ pay it for him by his passion, which is a full ransom for all manner of sins, as well lesser sins, as greater crimes; both being made by the passion of Christ equally venial.

The fifth place, is that of Matth. v. 22: Whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause, shall be guilty in judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be guilty in the council: but whosoever shall say, thou fool, shall be guilty to hell fire. From which words he inferreth three sorts of sins, and three sorts of punishments; and that none of those sins, but the last, shall be punished with hell fire; and consequently, that after this life, there is punishment of lesser

44.

the dead, how

sins in purgatory. Of which inference, there is part iv. no colour in any interpretation that hath yet been given of them. Shall there be a distinction after Baptism for this life of courts of justice, as there was amongst understood. the Jews in our Saviour's time, to hear, and determine divers sorts of crimes, as the judges, and the council ? Shall not all judicature appertain to Christ and his apostles ? To understand therefore this text, we are not to consider it solitarily, but jointly with the words precedent, and subsequent. Our Saviour in this chapter interpreteth the law of Moses; which the Jews thought was then fulfilled, when they had not transgressed the grammatical sense thereof, howsoever they had transgressed against the sentence, or meaning of the legislator. Therefore whereas they thought the sixth commandment was not broken, but by killing a man : nor the seventh, but when a man lay with a woman, not his wife ; our Saviour tells them the inward anger of a man against his brother, if it be without just cause, is homicide. You have heard, saith he, the Law of Moses, Thou shalt not kill, and that Whosoerer shall kill, shall be condemned before the judges, or before the session of the Seventy: but I say unto you, to be angry with one's brother without cause, or to say unto him Raca, or Fool, is homicide, and shall be punished at the day of judgment, and session of Christ, and his apostles, with hell fire. So that those words were not used to distinguish between divers crimes, and divers courts of justice, and divers punishments ; but to tax the distinction between sin and sin, which the Jews drew not from the difference of the will in obeying God, but from the difference of their temporal

4.4.

PART IV. courts of justice; and to show them that he that

had the will to hurt his brother, though the effect Baptism for appear but in reviling, or not at all, shall be cast understoud. into hell fire, by the judges, and by the session,

which shall be the same, not different, courts at the day of judgment. This considered, what can be drawn from this text, to maintain purgatory, I cannot imagine.

The sixth place is Luke xvi. 9: Make ye friends of the unrighteous Mammon; that when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting tabernacles. This he alleges to prove invocation of saints departed. But the sense is plain, that we should make friends with our riches, of the poor; and thereby obtain their prayers whilst they live. He that giveth to the poor, lendeth to the Lord.

The seventh is Luke xxii. 42: Lord, remember me, when thou comest into try kingdom. Therefore, saith he, there is remission of sins after this life. But the consequence is not good. Our Saviour then forgave him; and at his coming again in glory, will remember to raise him again to life eternal.

The eighth is Acts ii. 24, where St. Peter saith of Christ, that God had raised him up, and loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible he should be holden of it: which he interprets to be a descent of Christ into purgatory, to loose some souls there from their torments : whereas it is manifest, that it was Christ that was loosed; it was he that could not be holden of death, or the

grave; and not the souls in purgatory. But if that which Beza says, in his notes on this place, be well observed, there is none that will not see, that instead of pains, it should be bands ; and then there is no further cause to seek for purgatory in this text.

CHAPTER XLV.

45.

[ocr errors]

OF DEMONOLOGY, AND OTHER RELICS OF THE

RELIGION OF THE GENTILES. The impression made on the organs of sight by PART IV. lucid bodies, either in one direct line, or in many lines, reflected from opaque, or refracted in the The original

of demonology. passage through diaphanous bodies, produceth in living creatures, in whom God hath placed such organs, an imagination of the object, from whence the impression proceedeth ; which imagination is called sight; and seemeth not to be a mere imagination, but the body itself without us; in the same manner, as when a man violently presseth his eye, there appears to him a light without, and before him, which no man perceiveth but himself; because there is indeed no such thing without him, but only a motion in the interior organs, pressing by resistance outward, that makes him think so. And the motion made by this pressure, continuing after the object which caused it is removed, is that we call imagination and memory; and, in sleep, and sometimes in great distemper of the organs by sickness or violence, a dream ; of which things I have already spoken briefly, in the second and third chapters.

This nature of sight having never been discovered by the ancient pretenders to natural knowledge; much less by those that consider not things so remote, as that knowledge is, from their present use; it was hard for men to conceive of those images in the fancy and in the sense, otherwise, than of

« PreviousContinue »