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whom thou hast taken from the earth, may in the clouds meet thee cheerfully.” “ They who have been dead from the beginning, with terrible and fearful trembling standing at thy tribunal, await thy just censure, O Saviour, and receive God's righteous judgment. At that time, O Lord and Saviour, spare thy servant who in faith is gone unto thee; and vouchsafe unto him thine everlasting joy and bliss.” “None shall fly there the dreadful tribunal of thy judgment. All kings and princes with servants stand together, and hear the dreadful voice of the Judge, condemning the people which have sinned into hell; from which, O Christ, deliver thy servant.” « At that time; Ο Christ, spare him whom thou hast translated hence.” "OʻLord, our only King, vouchsafe, we beseech thee, thine heavenly kingdom to thy servant whom thou hast now translated hence: and then preserve him uncondemned, when every mortal wight shall stand before thee the Judge, to receive their judgment.”
We are to consider then, that the prayers and oblations, for rejecting whereof Aerius was reproved, were not such as are used in the Church of Rome at this day; but such as were used by the ancient Church at that time, and for the most part retained by the Greek Church at this present: and therefore as we, in condemning of the one, have nothing to do with Aerius or his cause, so the Romanists, who dislike the other as much as ever Aerius did, must be content to let us alone, and take the charge of Aerianism home unto themselves. Popish prayers and oblations for the dead, we know, do wholly depend upon the belief of purgatory: if those of the ancient Church did so too; how cometh it to pass, that Epiphanius doth not directly answer Aerius, as a papist would do now, that they brought singular profit to the dead, by delivering their tormented souls out of the flames of purgatory? but, forgetting as much as once to make mention of purgatory, the sole foundation of these suffrages for the dead, in our adversaries' judgment, doth trouble himself and his cause, with bringing in such far-fetched reasons as these; that they who performed this duty did intend to signify thereby, that their brethren departed were not perished, but remained still alive with the Lord; and to put a difference betwixt the high perfection of our Saviour Christ, and the general frailty of the best of all his servants. Take away popish purgatory on the other side, which in the days of Aerius and Epiphanius needed not to be taken away, because it was not yet hatched, and all the reasons produced by Epiphanius will not withhold our Romanists from absolutely subscribing to the opinion of Aerius; this being a case with them resolved, that, “ifs purgatory be not admitted after death, prayer for the dead must be unprofitable." But though Thomas Aquinas and his abettors determine so, we must not therefore think that Epiphanius was of the same mind; who lived in a time wherein prayers were usually made for them that never were dreamed to have been in purgatory, and yieldeth those reasons of that usage, which overthrow the former consequence of Thomas every whit as much as the supposition of Aerius.
ο Τρόμω το φρικτών και φοβερά βήματι τω σω παρεστότες, οι απ' αιώνος νεκροί, ψήφον αναμένουσι την σην δικαίαν, Σωτήρ, και την θείαν εκδέ. χονται δικαιοκρισίαν. Τότε φείσαι τού δούλου σου, πίστει του πρός σε μεταστάντος, και της αϊδίου τρυφής σου και μακαριότητος αξίωσον. Ιbid. fol. 122. a.
Ρ Ουδείς εκφεύξεται εκεί το φοβερόν της κρίσεώς σου βήμα. βασιλείς, δυνάσται άπαντες, συν τοις δούλοις άμα παρίστανται, και φωνής κριτου φοβερας, τους αμαρτήσαντας λαούς εις κρίσιν γεέννες εξ ης, Χριστέ, ρύσαι τον δούλον σου. Ιbid. fol. 130. b.
4 Τότε φείσαι, Λόγε, του ένθα μεταστάντος. Ιbid. fol. 133, a.
Γ Κύριε, μόνε βασιλεύ βασιλείας ουρανίου, αξίωσον δν νύν μετέστησας πιστόν σου δούλον, παρακαλούμεν σε, και ακατάκριτον αυτόν τότε διατήρησον, ηνίκα απας βροτος παραστή σοι τα κριτή μέλλων κρίνεσθαι. Ιbid. fol. 130, 8.
For Aerius and Thomas both agree in this; that prayer for the dead would be altogether unprofitable, if the dead themselves received no special benefit thereby. This doth Epiphanius, defending the ancient use of these prayers in the Church, shew to be untrue, by producing other profits that redound from thence unto the living; partly by the public signification of their faith, hope, and charity toward the deceased; partly by the honour that they did unto the Lord Jesus, in exempting him from the common condition of the rest of mankind. And to make it appear that these things were mainly intended by the Church in her memorials for the dead, and not the cutting off of the sins which they carried with them out of this life, or the releasing of them out of any torment; he allegeth, as we have heard, that not only the meaner sort of Christians, but also the best of them without exception, even the prophets, and apostles, and martyrs themselves, were comprehended therein; from whence, by our adversaries' good leave, we will make bold to frame this syllogism.
s Ad hoc etiam est universalis Ecclesiæ consuetudo, quæ pro defunctis orat: quæ quidem oratio inutilis esset, si purgatorium post mortem non ponatur. Thom. contr. Gentiles, lib. 4. cap. 91.
They who reject that kind of praying and offering
for the dead, which was practised by the Church
and offering for the dead, which was practised by
the Church in the days of Aerius. Therefore the Romanists are in this point flat
Aerians. The assumption or second part of this argument, for the first we think nobody will deny, is thus proved :
They who are of the judgment, that prayers and
oblations should not be made for such as are believed to be in bliss, do reject that kind of praying and offering for the dead, which was prac
tised by the ancient Church. But the Romanists are of this judgment. Therefore they reject that kind of praying and of
fering for the dead, which was practised by the
ancient Church. The truth of the first of these propositions doth appear by the testimony of Epiphanius; compared with those many other evidences whereby we have formerly proved, that it was the custom of the ancient Church to make
prayers and oblations for them, of whose resting in peace and bliss there was no doubt at all conceived. The verity of the second is manifested by the confession of the Romanists themselves; who reckon this for one of their Catholic verities, that suffrages should not be offered for the dead that reign with Christ: and therefore that ancient “ formo of praying for the apostles, martyrs, and the rest of the saints, is by disuse deservedly abolished,” saith Alphonsus Mendoza. Nay, to' offer sacrifices and prayers to God for those that are in bliss, is “plainly absurd and impious," in the judgment of the Jesuit Azorius: who was not aware that thereby he did outstrip Aerius in condemning the practice of the ancient Church, as far as the censuring it only to be unprofitable (for tí wpeanOncetal ó talvews; what shall the dead be profited thereby? was the furthest that Aerius durst to go) cometh short of rejecting it as absurd and impious. And therefore our adver
do well to purge themselves first from the blot of Aerianism, which sticketh so fast unto them, before they be so ready to cast the aspersion thereof upon others.
In the mean time, the reader who desireth to be rightly informed in the judgment of antiquity, touching this point, is to remember, that these two questions must necessarily be distinguished in this inquiry. Whether prayers and oblations were to be made for the dead? and, Whether the dead did receive any peculiar profit thereby? In the latter of these he shall find great difference among the doctors: in the former, very little, or none at all. For “ howsoever" all did not agree about the state of the
i Fr. Suarez. tom. 4. in 3. part. Thom. disp. 48. sec. 4. num. 10.
u Illa formula precandi pro apostolis, martyribus et cæt. merito per desuetudinem exolevit. Alphons. Mendoz. controvers. theologic. quæst, 6. scholastic.
• Græci sacrificia et preces offerunt Deo pro mortuis ; non beatis certe, neque damnatis ad inferos, quod plane esset absurdum et impium. Jo. Azor. institut. moral. tom. 1. lib. 8. cap. 20.
* Quamvis de statu illo animarum, quibus hæc prodessent, non satis constaret, nec inter omnes conveniret : omnes tamen hoc officium, ut testimonium charitatis erga defunctos, et ut professionem fidei de immortalitate animarum et futura resurrectione, Deo gratum et Ecclesiæ utile esse judicarunt. Cassand. consultat. ad Ferdinand. I. et Maximilian. II. artic. 24.
souls," saith Cassander, an indifferent papist, “ which might receive profit by these things; yet all did judge this duty as a testimony of their love toward the dead, and a profession of their faith touching the soul's immortality and the future resurrection, to be acceptable unto God, and profitable to the Church.". Therefore for condemning the general practice of the Church herein, which aimed at those good ends before expressed, Aerius was condemned; but for denying that the dead received profit thereby, either for the pardon of the sins which before were unremitted, or for the cutting off or mitigation of any torments that they did endure in the other world, the Church did never condemn him. For that was no new thing invented by him ; divers worthy men before and after him declared themselves to be of the same mind, and were never for all that charged with the least suspicion of heresy. “ The narration of Lazarus and the rich man," saith the author of the questions and answers in the works of Justin martyr, “presenteth this doctrine unto us : that, after the departure of the soul out of the body, men cannot by any providence or care obtain any profit." Then, saith Gregory Nazianzen, “ in vain shall any one go about to relieve those that lament. Here men may have a remedy, but afterwards there is nothing but bonds,” or, “all things are fast bound.” For, " after? death the punishment of sin is remediless," saith Theodoret; and, " thea dead,” saith Diodorus Tarsensis, “ have no hope of any succour from man;" and therefore St. Hierome doth con
* "Έστι δε το περί του Λαζάρου και του πλουσίου διηγήμα, υποτύπωσις λόγου διδασκαλίαν έχοντος, του μή δύνασθαι μετά την εκ του σώματος έξοδον της ψυχής, κατά πρόνοιάν τινα ή σπουδήν, ωφελείας τινός τυχεϊν Toùs åv@pórovs. Justin. resp. ad orthod. quæst. 60. Op. pag. 466. Y Tημος οδυρομένοισιν ετώσια τις κεν αμύναι.
'Ενθάδ' άκος μερόπεσσι, τα δ' ύστατα δέσμια πάντα. Greg. Nazianz. in carm. de rebus suis. Op. tom. 2. pag. 36.
z Post mortem pæna peccati est immedicabilis. Theodoret. quæst. in lib. 2. Reg. cap. 18, 19.
6 οι νεκροί ελπίζουσιν ουκέτι βοήθειαν ανθρωπίνην ουδεμίαν. Diodor. caten. Græc. in Psalm. 87. ver. 5. MS. in publica Oxoniensis academiæ bibliotheca.