Diſcourſe, wherein is ſhewed that
Good-Workes, and Almes-deeds,
performed in the Name of
Chriſt, are a chiefe meanes for
the preventing, or mitigating
the Torments of Purgatory.
Written by that Vertuous, and Right
worthy Gentle-woman (the Honour
of her Sexe for Learning in
late of God-ſtow, in Oxfordſhire
, deceaſed, and now published
after her death.
To the Worthy and Constant Catholickes of England:
And more particularly, to ſuch, who be of the beſt temporall Meanes.
Worthy and Noble Catholiks:
My charity towards the advancing of the ſpiritual good of your ſoules, 2 is ivπ2v is the mayne Allective, inviting me to write this ſmall Treatiſe, (pardon I pray the boldnes of my Sexe heerin.) The ſubject therof is, First, to inculcate, & make deep impreſsiōons in your minds, of the horrour, and most dreadfull torments of Purgatory: Secondarily, to ſet before your eyes, the best meanes to prevent, at least to aſſwage, and mitigate them: gratūum opus agricolis; A labour (I hope) pleaſing to ſuch, who are deſirous to cultivate their owne Soules, for gayning their ſpirituall and expected harvest.
That you believe there is a Purgatory, your owne Catholike Faith teacheth you; thereforefore vπ3r fore preſuming that you reſt immoveable therein, without the least fluctuation of judgment, I hould it were but lost labour, to ſpend any tyme in prooffe thereof. Only I heere covet, that you would deeply conſider and meditate thereof; and thereupon that you would withall meditate and put in practiſe the meanes of avoiding the ſame.
Touching the terriblenes of the Torments of Purgatory, I have inſisted in the Authority of the most Bleſſed Cardinall Bellarmine; out of one of whoſe ſpirituall bookes I have tranſlated a whole paſſage concerning this ſubject, as hereafter I shall 3 more viπ3v more fully shew. Thus I make him the foundation or groundworke of this my enſuing Diſcourſe; and the rest following I do build, and erect upon this foundation: ſo as this Miſcelene worke of myne, may perhaps reſemble the statua of Nabuchodonozor, of which, part was gould, part ſilver, and part of baſer mettall. So I am ſure, that what is taken out of the learned Cardinalls writings in this my Treatiſe, is perfect gould or ſilver; what is adjoyned thereto by me, must (I willingly yield) endure the touch of the learned, to prove what mettall it is.
But now, to proceede a little fur- viiπ4r further: I could wish you (worthy Catholickes) that you would have a feeling apprehenſion of the paynes of Purgatory, though yet to come. True it is, that the Time preſent, and the Time future are in nature different; yet if a man could in ſome caſe, ſo lively paint to himſelfe the face of the Time future, as that it might appeare to him, to be the Time preſent, it were, felix Error, a happy mistaking or confuſion of tymes, (to use the Catholike Churches like Dialect of the ſinne of Adam, calling it, felix Culpa:). For then would men apprehende the Future paynes of 4 Pur- viiiπ4v Purgatory, as preſent, (and certainely once they muſt be preſent;) and conſequently, would have a greater feare and dread of them, then cōommonly they now have. It is not in mans power to deprive God of his incommunicable Attribute of Juſtice, being even of the Eſſence of God.
This then being ſo, why will you not ſeeke to appeaſe this his Juſtice in this world, when ſmall ſatisfactions will ſerve, rather then to performe thoſe ſatisfactions incomparably far greater in a more horrible manner, in the next world, by enduring thoſe Torments, which are not to be endured? And there to endure ixπ5r endure them, donec reddas noviſſimum Quadrantem, Matth. 5. Theſe are the words of holy Scripture, and are understood in the judgment of the Ancient Fathers, of a Soule lying in Purgatory, and therefore must be performed: which forcing words, ſince they ought to be most dreadfull to ech Catholicke, not performing his ſatisfaction in this life, I have therefore thought not amiſſe (though I grant in a most unuſuall manner) to ſet downe in the lower part of every page; that whereſoever the Reader ſhall open theſe few leaves, his eye shall instantly meete with the 5 ſaid xπ5v ſaid mooving words, thereby to cauſe him to have a more intenſe and ſerious meditation of them.
It is certaine, that God is pittifully cruell (as I may ſay) ſince he is content to turne Eternity of punishments, into temporall paines; But withall it is no leſſe certaine, that a ſoule not performing its penance in this life before its diſſolution from the body, can no more immediatly aſcend to Heaven, then the Patriarchs which dyed in Egypt, could be buryed in the land of Promiſe.
Well now, the chiefest help for the preventing of the paines of Purgatory, is the practiſe of Workes xiπ6r Workes of Almes-deeds, and ſuch other actions of Mercy, as hereafter in this ſhort Treatiſe wil more fully be proved. Workes of this nature are the only Oyle, which is to be powred into a Repenting ſoule, whoſe full ſatiſfaction for its former ſinnes, is not yet accompliſhed.
Gods ſacred Word aſſureth you, that you may buy Heaven with Good Workes: Venite poſſidete paratum vobis regnum; Eſuriuienim, & dediſtis māanducare &c. Matth. 25. Much more then, may you with Good Workes (dyed in the bloud of our Saviour, and not otherwiſe) buy out the paynes of Purgatory6 ry. xiiπ6v ry. And though you do find a reluctation in your naturall diſpoſitions to relinquiſh a part of your state to that end, now in your lyfe time; yet let that be made eaſy to you by Grace, which is hard and difficult by Nature; that ſo it may be ſaid of you, as was ſaid of Cornelius the Centurion, Act. 10. Eleemoſinæ veſtræ commemoratæ ſunt in conſpectu Dei. For aſſure yourſelves, that the Grace of God ever ſeeketh a charitable Hart.
And by this meanes, you may become more rich in your graves, then you could have beene in your life tyme: Since to give awayway xiiiπ7r way riches, in a mans lyfe, for the good of the ſoule, is to carry them away after his death. And in this ſenſe, they hould most, who have the most open hand in diſpenſing of their riches; So true is that ſentence, to wit, It is no ſmall riches, for Gods ſake, to abandon riches.
But (alas) ſuch are the pittifull tymes, wherein we live, & ſuch is the ſcarſity of Vertue among us, as that insteed of practiſing Workes of Charity, men are commended and prayſed, if only they forbeare to practiſe workes of Injustice and Wrong. And thus we are glad to accept of a meere Privation of Vice, in xivπ7v in place of a Poſitive, and reall Vertue. O the miſerablenes of our dayes! The very Beasts do not, nor can ſinne, nor can they do any wrong; are they therefore vertuous?
Well, I humbly beſeech you to have a ſetled eye upon your ſoules good, for the preventing of future puniſhments; and remember, that our Saviour in the Ghoſpell (Luc. 17.) commended the unjuſt Steward for hoording up for the tyme to come; and ſhall then the ſlouthfull careleſſnes of Catholikes be upbrayded with that unjuſt ſtewards diligence? God forbid! But before I do remit you to the peruſall xvπ8r peruſall of this enſuing Diſcourſe, I will put you in mind, that all Good Workes streame from Charity, & that without it, there are no Good Workes.
Now, how neceſſary and efficacious Charity is in its owne Nature, it being the Queene of all vertues (the which who hath it, cannot be damned, and who wanteth, cannot be ſaved) I will not only refer you to the Apoſtles just prayſes given thereof (I.Cor. 8.) but alſo to the learned and grave Judgment of Cardinall Bellarmine herein, who thus writeth (lib.5.de æterna Felicitate cap.6.) Audeo dicere, ſi oleum charitatistis xviπ8v tis in animas damnatorum &c. I dare be bould to ſay, that if the oyle of Charity could diſtill downe into the ſoules of damned men, or into the Divells, we inſtantly ſhould behould, both the damned Soules and the Divells, to aſcend out of their torments. As on the contrary ſide, if this oyle of Charity ſhould forſake the holy Angels, Apoſtles, Martyrs, Virgins, &c. they inſtantly would become lumpiſh and heavy, & thereupon would deſcēend into the loweſt parts.
Thus you ſee, what this learned Cardinall cenſureth hereof.of xviiπ9r of. Do not then ſleight and neglect the worth of this Noble Vertue of Charity; and particularly the moſt healthfull and fruitfull effects, proceeding from thence; I meane Good Workes, Mercy, and pious Liberality imployed upon others; aſcertayning your ſelves, that the next and most ſpeedy helpe to procure God, to be mercifull, in mildly chastizing the relickes of your ſinnes, & to mitigate your temporall puniſhments, is to ſhew your ſelves mercifull to others; Beati miſericordes, quoniam ipſi miſericordiam conſequentur, Matth. 5. I meane prompt and ready in exerciſing the xviiiπ9v the Workes of Charity; ſince ſilver in a large degree bestowed in this manner, is the ſpirituall Water, which quencheth the flames of Purgatory.
One thing heere I wish you to remember, that every man (how yong ſoever) through the wingy ſpeedines of time, is even flying towards his grave. And when he is once thither come, then hath he bidden his last Adieu dieu, or Good Night to all the world. Therefore whiles the day lasteth, employ your ſelves buſily in Good Workes: So true (and withall wholeſome) is that Counsell in Holy Writ. Eccl. 9. Quodcumque facere poteſt manus xixπ10r manus tua, inſtanter operare &c. Whatſoever thy hand can do, do it inſtantly; becauſe neither any worke, nor reaſon, nor knowledge, nor wiſdome, is beneath whither thou haſtest.
And with this (Worthy & deare Catholickes) I remit you to the peruſing of this litle Treatiſe; Humbly beſeeching his Mercy, that the reading of it may beget great and worthy effects in you; And then I shall hope, that you will vouchſafe me now and then, your charitable prayers; not only for the remitting of the guilt of eternall damnation, due for my infinite ſinnes;nes; xxπ10v nes; but alſo, if ſo his Divine Majeſty would vouchſafe me, (though moſt unworthy) ſo much favour and grace, that I may eſcape this most dreadfull fyer of Purgatory.
Your Soules well-wiſhing Admoniſher,
Of the inexplicable paynes of Purgatory, and of other Circumſtances accompanying the ſame; tranſlated out of the ſpiritual Booke of Cardinall Bellarmine, entituled: De gemitu Columbæ.lib.2.ca.9.
The I. Section.
Among all the Paſſions of the mind, there is not any, which hath ſo great a ſoveraignty, and A com- 002A1v 2 command over man, as the Paſſion of Feare. The reaſon hereof is evident, and even ingraffed in mans Nature. For every man taketh pleaſure and delight in a ſweet and quiet repoſe of his owne beeing; and conſequently flyeth, and avoydeth whatſoever may endanger to hinder, or take away his ſaid quietneſſe and reſt; according to that Axiome in Philoſophy: Omnis res cupit conſeruare ſuum Eſſe. And hereupon it ryſeth, that the Paſſion of Love is nothing ſo po tent and prevayling with men, as Feare. For we experimentallyri- 003A2r 3 rimentally ſee, that moſt men are afrayd to commit divers impieties, more for Feare of puniſhment to be inflicted by the Law, then for Love of God, or Vertue.
Now, to apply this to my preſent purpoſe. Whereas my project in theſe enſuing leaves is, to awaken the harts and minds of divers Catholiks for the preventing, or at leaſt leſſening the paynes of Purgatory by their good deeds and workes of Charity, performed in their lyfe tyme; therefore I have in the Front of this Treatiſe thought good to plant a Diſcourſe touchingA2 ching 004A2v 4 ching the incomprehenſible torments of Purgatory, and other circumſtances accompaning the ſame torments; that ſo, ſuch perſons, for whoſe ſake this labour is unshy; dertaken, (as not being blindfoulded under the veile of careleſſe negligence) may have a greater Feare & Horrour of the ſaid torments; and conſequently, may be more watchfull and ſollicitous for their preventing of them, by their Almes-deeds, and other ſuch workes of Charity.
Which kind of Feare was (as I may tearme it) the Geniusnius 005A3r 5 nius of Reverend Antiquity, cauſing the livers in thoſe ancient times, to be ſo dreadfull not only of the torments of Hell, but even of Purgatory: So healthfull to mans Soule is that admonition of Holy Writ, 1.Pet. 1. Walke you in feare, during the tyme of your earthly habitation. And upon this ground our Forfathers labored ſo much to ſpread themſelves in the doing of good works; and this with moſt juſt reaſon; ſince he is truly rich, who is rich in good-workes: and the want of them is a ſpirituall beggary. And therfore moſt deſervedlyA3 ly 006A3v 6 ly is this Feare ſtiled by the Wiſeman, The beginning of Wiſdome, Prou. i1.1 as also by ſome others, The Mother, & Daughter of wiſdome; and ſo holy Job had just reaſon to ſay: I feared all my works. Iob. 9.
The Diſcourſe prefixed touching the Paynes of Purgatory, I have wholy taken, and Tranſlated out of one of the ſpirituall Bookes of the moſt Worthy Cardinall Bellarmine, entituled: De Gemitu Columbæ. lib.2. chap.9. Therefore when the Reader peruſeth it, let him remember, that it is Bellarmyne who ſpeaketh, not I. In this paſſageſage 007A4r 7 ſage the learned Cardinall relateth certaine dogmaticall Miracles, touching the doctrine of Purgatory. I have thought it much more prevayling to deliver the contents therof in the Cardinalls owne words, which are without any affectation of Oratory, of fyled Speach, then by any other meanes or Method of my owne, in altering the ſame. Since I preſume, that the ſpeaches of ſo worthy, ſo learned, ſo pious a man (being an Ornament of this preſent age) will ſway more with all good Catholiks, by way of perſwaſion, A4 then 008A4v 8 then any words of myne can effect; And certaine it is, that who ſpeaketh perſwadingly, ſpeaketh Eloquently.
And I hould it a greater Honour, to become a poore Tranſlator of any part of his learned writing, doing therby the more good; then to be accounted a skilfull Compoſer of Bookes, doing therin the leſſer good. And with this I refer the Reader to the paſſage of Bellarmyne by me Tranſlated, wiſhing him not to be diffident of the truth of the Contents thereof; ſeeing he may ſee, that the Cardinall giveth full 009A5r 9 full credit and aſſent thereto; and alſo, in that he is an over Materiall and Senſible Christian (as I may tearme him) who meaſures matters of Fayth and Religion, by the falſe yard of naturall apprehenſion. And great incredulity and dulnes it is, to thinke of things touching the ſoule, only as he ſeeth them, abſtracting them from the trutination of Gods Juſtice heere-after to come; themſelves thus through ſupine heedleſnes falling upon that dangerous ſentence of the Wiſeman: Ita ſecuri viuunt, quaſi Iustorum facta habeantA5 ant 010A5v 10 ant. Eccleſ. 8. They live as ſecurely, as if their workes were of the Juſt. But what doth there immediatly follow? Hoc vaniſsimum. This is moſt vayne.
The diſcourſe of Cardinall Bellarmine, touching the inexplicable paynes of Purgatory.Thoſe Soules, who remayne in Purgatory, do afford to us yet living in the world, a great occc aſion & matter of teares; in ſo much that a due conſideration & meditation of Purgatory may iuſtly 011A6r 11 juſtly be termed a flowing well of teares. Now touching the paynes of Purgatory, foure principall heades or branches are to be conſidered; from the which we may in part conjecture of the greatnes of thoſe paines; and in regard of ſuch their greatnes, all good men may be the more eaſily induced, to powre out their teares in commiſeration of their Chriſtian Brethren, who are in the meane tyme tormēented with thoſe paines. The firſt of theſe Heades is, that the paynes of Purgatory are greater & more intenſe, A6 then 012A6v 12 then any paynes, which men can ſuffer in this lyfe. The ſecond, that the paynes of Purgatory to them that ſuffer them, do for the most part endure longer, then any paynes of this life can endure. The third, that the ſoules which lye in Purgatory, cannot helpe, or bring any eaſe to themſelves. The fourth and laſt Head is, that the ſoules which are in Purgatory, are of huge number, and almost infinite in number. Now from all theſe different paſſages, it is cleare, that the ſoules in Purgatory are in a pittifull ſtate, and therefore moſt worthy of all commiſeration; & that thoſe 013A7r 13 thoſe men, who yet are living, are no leſſe then half mad and diſtracted in judgment, who during their life tyme, are careleſſe and negligent in ſatisfying for their ſinnes, and had rather deſcend (upon their death) to thoſe places of Torments, then to be depryved of any pleaſure, while they live in this world. And now to begin with the firſt, which is, that the paynes of Purgatory are greater, and more violent then all paynes joyned together, which in this lyfe we can undergoe; this verity is confirmedfirmed 014A7v 14 firmed by the authority of S. Austin in Pſal. 37. who thus writeth hereof: Domine, ne in indignatione tua arguas me &c. O Lord do not chastice me in thy wrath and indignation; Let me not be in the number of thoſe, to whom thou shalt ſay; Ite in ignem æternum, go into everlaſting fyer; neither otherwiſe correct me in thy anger, but that I may be made ſuch, as that my ſaid correction shall not be needfull to be increaſed with that purging fyer, in reſpect of ſuch men, qui ſalui erunt, ſic tamen quaſi per ignem, who shalbe ſaved, but as by fyer. And then a litle after S. Austin thus furtherther 015A8r 15 ther inlargeth himſelfe: Et quia dicitur ſaluus erit, contemnitur ille ignis &c. And because it is ſayd in the place above, they shalbe ſaved, therefore that fyer is neglected and litle feared. True it is, they shalbe ſaved by fyer: grauior tamen erit ille ignis (ſaith he) quàam quicquid potest homo pati in hac vita: Notwithſtanding that fyer shalbe more heavy and intollerable, then any paynes, which a man can ſuffer in this lyfe. And you well know, what great torments divers wicked men have here ſuffered, and are able to ſuffer; yea good and vertuous men have ſuffered as much as 016A8v 16 as the former. For what paynes or torments hath any malefactour, theefe, adulterer, or any other wicked or ſacrilegious perſon ſuffered, which Martyrs have not ſuffered for their confeſsion of Christ? Therefore theſe Torments, which are in this world, are of a far more lower degree: And nevertheleſſe, you ſee, how ready and prepared men stand to performe any thing commanded them, to prevent the ſuffering of them; with how much more reaſon then have men to doe that, which God cōommandeth them, that ſo they may not undergoe thoſe (by many degrees more horrible)ble) 017A9r17 ble) torments? Thus far S. Auſtin, whoſe judgment herein many other Fathers follow. Saint Gregory thus dilateth of the ſame point: Domine, ne in furore tuo arguas me &c. Lord, do not chastice me in thy fury, nor rebuke me in thy anger. I know well, that after the end of this lyfe ſome mens ſinnes shalbe expiated & purged by the flames of Purgatory; others shall undergoe the ſentence of eternall damnation. Nevertheleſſe, becauſe I do firmly believe, that tranſitory fyer to be more inſufferable, then any tribulation in this world; therefore I thirst not only not to be aban- 018A9v 18 abandoned and remitted to eternall damnation; but alſo I greatly feare, to be chastized in this temporall punishment of Purgatory. Thus much S. Gregory. Of the ſame judgment herein, are Pſal Pœnit. , in 3. Ep. I ad Cor. , in cap.3. de obitu Humberti &c. S. Thomas of Aquinl. 4 ſent. d. 30 q. I. art. 2. doth not only ſubscribe to the judgment of the former Fathers in this point; but he alſo further maintayneth, that the leaſt payne in Purgatory is greater & more inſupportable, then the greateſt torment in this world; 019A10r 19 world; And yet notwithſtanding all this, we obſerve daily, that men are not afrayd to cōontemne thoſe moſt inſufferable torments in Purgatory, who cannot endure far leſſe paines in this world. But this is the blindnes of mans corruption, which is much to be deplored in this our vale of Teares. To proceed further. S. Thomas proveth this his former ſentence and judgment from this following reaſon: It is (ſayth he) an inexpugnable and undeniable truth, that pœna damni, the payne of the losse, incurred by ſinne, 020A10v 20 ſinne, is far more grievous, then Pœna ſenſus, then any payne of ſenſe, or feeling. And it is further moſt evident and confeſſed, that all thoſe, who are in Purgatory, during their ſtay there, do ſuffer Pœnam damni, the paine of loſſe; that is, the loſſe of the viſion of God. But to avoyde the force of this Reaſon, it may be perhaps replyed by ſome, that the perpetuall puniſhment of loſſe, to wit, to loſe for all eternity the ſight of God (as ſuch ſuffer, who are in Hell) is truly indeed a pu niſhment and the greateſt of all 021A11r 21 all puniſhments; but during the tyme of a ſoules ſtaying in Purgatory, the want of the divine viſion and ſight of God, is not properly to be accounted a puniſhment, or at leaſt not a puniſhment or payne more fearefull then thoſe puniſhments, which Martyrs have ſuffered in this life; ſeeing that we, whiles we live here upon earth, do not ſee God, and yet we are nor ſaid truly to ſuffer pœnam damni, any payne of loſſe; becauſe we ſhall ſee God in due tyme, if ſo we purge & free our harts from ſin, as is our duty to doe. Yea 022A11v 22 Yea the ancient holy Fathers, Patriarchs, and Prophets, who remayning in Limbo Patrum, expecting the comming of the Saviour of the world, did not as then ſee God; and yet they were not afflicted with any pœna damni, becauſe they were to ſee God in a prefixed & deſigned tyme. For thus Abrah āam anſweres to the Rich glutton, Luc. 16. Remember ſonne, that thou in thy lyfe tyme receivedſt thy pleaſures, and Lazarus paynes, now therefore he is comforted, and thou tormented. In which words, we do not fynd, that Abraham ſaid; La- 023A12r 23 Lazarus was tormēented with pœna damni, with the puniſh ment of loſſe; but that he was in ſolace & comfort, & cōonſequently not in torment. And further, where S. Simeon Luc. 2. sayth: Nunc dimittis ſeruum tuum in pace &c. Now (O Lord) thou letteſt thy ſervant depart in peace, was not of opinion, that through death he ſhould deſcend to any moſt inſupportable paynes, but to a moſt ſweet repoſe and peace. To conclude S. Gregory l. 3. moral. c. 22. teacheth, that the ancient Patriarches and Fathers during their being in the 024A12v 24 the place, called Limbus Patrum, did not ſuffer there any torments, but did find reſt & quietnes. The force of this objection or argument is eaſily diſſolved. The anſwere is this. Whiles we are living here upon earth, we do not eaſily apprehend, how heavy a matter it is, to want the viſion and ſight of God; both in regard, that what things we apprehend by meanes of corporall phan taſmes, and the miniſtery of the ſenſes, we do but obſcurely underſtand, as alſo, in that we being ſoftened and cheriſhed in corporall delightslights 025B1r 25 lights and pleaſures, we ſolace and content our ſelves therewith, and thereupon we are not much ſollicitous and ſeeking after ſpirituall contentments. The ancient Fathers and Prophets, were not tormented with any pœna damni, payne of loſſe, in that they ſaw not God; becauſe they well did know, that this procraſtination & deferring of enjoying the viſion of God, was not occaſioned through any default in them, but becauſe the prefixed tyme of that moſt bleſſed ſight was not yet come. B But 026 B1v 26 But heere in our caſe, it falleth out otherwiſe, ſince touching thoſe ſoules, who are condemned, and relegated (as it were) to Purgatory after the cōomming of Chriſt, it is impoſſible, but that they ſhould be in the higheſt degree afflicted; for ſeeing they in that ſtate are deprived both of body, and of all corporall ſenſes, they cannot take further delight in ſenſible objects, as in meate, drinke, riches, honours, in ſatiſfying any carnall concupiſc ēence &c. but they wholy breath and thirſt after the contemplation of the firſt Truth, 027B2r 27 Truth, and their enjoying their Summum bonum, or chiefe good; for the obtayning whereof, as for their laſt end, they well know that they were created. Heerunto may be adjoyned this other reaſon; to wit, that the ſoules in Purgatory do wel know, that the kingdome of Heaven is now made open to the faithfull Chriſtians, and that the only hindrance of not preſent enjoying of it, is only the guilt of payne, contracted through their owne peculiar ſinnes; from whence it cannot but follow, that theſe B2 ſoules 028B2v 28 ſoules are even offended & angry with themſelves, in that they alone are the cauſe of their long dilation & deferring of their enjoying ſo great an happines. Theſe ſoules may well be reſembled to a man in great extremity of hūungar & thirſt, though having a table before him furniſhed with all variety of meats, wynes & choyce waters; and yet the only reaſon and impediment of his not feeding of them proceedeth from ſome former miſcariage of the ſaid man, which hath deſervedly cauſed this his delay in taſting of 029B3r 29 of them. We may add hereto, that the moſt ancient Fathers, Austin, Gregory, Beda, Anselme, and Bernard, do not ſpeake de pœna damni, of the payne of loſſe, which payne all acknowledge to be moſt great; but de pœna ignis, of the paine of fyer; & this payne, they all with one conſent affirme to be more horrid & intollerable, thēen any tormēents in this life. For althogh here upon earth the torment by fyer is great, yet that fyer, which is not maintayned & nouriſhed with wood or oyle, but is created as an in B3 ſtru- 030B3v 30 ſtrument of Gods juſtice, to burne and torment ſoules, muſt without all doubt be moſt violent, and ſharpe in the higheſt degree,. Now, from the premiſſes it is evicted, that though we would not acknowledge pœna damni, the temporary payne of loſſe, which is in Purgatory (to wit of the loſſe of the viſion of God for a long tyme) to be more inſufferable then all the torments in this life; yet that the puniſhment of the fyer in Purgatory is greater then any temporall afflictions in this lyfe, is evidēently proved from the 031B4r 31 the authorities of ſo many ancient Fathers above produced. And becauſe, there are many men, who can hardly be induced to believe any thing, which thēemſelves have not ſeene, God ſometimes therefore hath vouchſafed, to raiſe certaine perſōons from death to lyfe; commanding them to relate to others living, what themſelves touching this payne have ſeene. Amonge ſo many eyewitneſſes (as I may terme them) who have ſeene the torments of Purgatory, I will alledge only two, the one be B4 ing 032B4v 32 ing a man, the other a woman, whoſe teſtimonies therein are to be accepted without any doubt or diffidency. The one then, is Drithelmus an English man; the hiſtory of which man Venerable Bede writeth, & relateth this accident, as a thing well knowne & evident to himſelfe, it happening in Bedes owne life tyme, with great amazement to all of thoſe dayes. Thus then Bede writeth hereof in his fifth booke of the Hiſtory of the nation of England cap. 13. His temporibus miraculum memorabile, & anti 033B5r 33 antiquorum ſimile in Britannia factum eſt &c. In theſe tymes a most memorable miracle (and like to the ancient miracles) did fall out in Britanny. For to incite the living, touching care to be had concerning the death of the ſoule, a certaine Man being for the tyme dead, was after reſtored to lyfe of Body, relating many things worthy of remembrance, of ſome of which I have thought good at this preſent to make particular mention. It is this. There was a certaine Houſehoulder, or Father of a family in the Country-Norman, belonging to the Humbri. This man did B5 lead 034B5v 34 lead with his whole houſe a very religious lyfe. Who being taken with a ſudden infirmity and ſicknes in body, and his payne more, and more increaſing, he was brought to the howre of death, and dyed in the beginning of the Night. But at the appearance of the morning he returned to life againe, and ſetting himſelfe up in bed, all thoſe, who accompanied that night the dead Body, through feare and amazement preſently fled away. But his wife, who loved him dearely (though fearing) remayned with him, whom he did comfort in theſe wordes: Feare not 035B6r 35 not wife, for I am truly riſen from death, with which this night I have beene houlden; and I am permitted to live againe among men heere upon earth; but not after the ſame manner as I was accustomed heretofore to live, but after a far different ſort. Hereupon he preſently did ryſe out of his bed, and went to the Oratory, or Chappell belonging to that village, ſpending the moſt part of the day in prayer. He inſtantly devided all his ſubstance into three partes; of the which one part he gave to his wyfe, another to his children, and the third he distributed to the poore. B6 And 036 B6v And, he with great ſpeed freeing himſelfe from all care of the world, came to the Monastery called Mailros; and there taking the Tonſure, the Abbot provided for him a ſecret cell, into which he entred; and there continued till the day of his death, in ſuch great contrition of mind and body, that his very lyfe (though his tongue had beene ſilent) did ſpeake, that he had ſeene during the ſhort tyme he was afore dead, many things both fearefull, and to be deſired. For he delivered the matter in this manner. Lucidus erat aſpectu, & clarus indumento, qui me ducebat &c. 037B7r 37 &c. One of a lightſome countenance, and bright in apparell, did lead me. We came unto a certaine valley of a great largenes & profundity, but of an infinite length. That part of the valley, which was upon our left hand, was most terrible through ſcorching flames; The other part thereof was no leſſe terrible through extremity of hayle, froſt, ſnow, and wynds. Both theſe wyde paſſages of this valley were full of ſoules, of men and women, which ſeemed to be toſſed to and fro (as it were) through force and violence of boysterous stormes. For when they could not any longer endure the 038B7v 38 the violence of ſo great an heat, the poore miſerable ſoules did cast themſelves into the middest of that inſufferable cold, above related; and when as neither there they could fynd any rest, or eaſe, they then agayne leaped into thoſe inextinguiſhable flames of fyer. And whereas an infinite multitude of poore ſoules I ſaw thus to be tormented with this unfortunate viciſsitude of torments, and without any intermiſsion or eaſe, I began to call to mynd, that perhaps this place was Hell, of the intollerable torments wherof I had before heard much ſpoken. My Conductour (who went 039B8r 39 went before me) anſwered to my preſent thought, ſaying; Do not ſo thinke, for this place, which thou ſeest, is not that Hell which thou ſuppoſest. Now the viſion of Hell, and after of Paradise, being explayned, which for brevity I omit; the Conductour thus further ſaid to the perſon rayſed from death: Scis omnia, quæ vidisti? doſt thou know all theſe things, which thou hast ſeene? The raiſed party ſaid, No. I do not know them. To whom his Conductour thus replyed: That great vale, which thou haſt ſeene most dreadfull for flames of heate and fyer, as alſo for inſufferable cold, is that 040B8v 40 that place, in which the ſoules of all thoſe are to be purged and chastized, who in their lyfe tyme delayed from time to time to confeſſe their ſinnes, and to make ſatisfaction for the wickednes by them perpetrated; and yet in the very laſt houre of their lyfe, obtayned true penitency and contrition for their ſinnes, and ſo departed out of their bodies; which ſoules becauſe they made confeſsion of their ſinnes, and had penitency of them (though at the last houre of their death) do yet belong to the Kingdome of Heaven. And many of theſe poore ſoules are much eaſed by the prayers of the living, by Almes-deedsmes 041B9r 41 mes-deeds of their friends, by their strict fastings, and eſpecially by the celebration of holy maſſes in their behalfe; ſo as by theſe meanes divers of them are freed from their torments before the day of Judgment. Venerable Bede thus further addeth hereto; Cum ille incredibili auſteritate Corpus ſuum vexaret &c. When as this man rayſed to life, did afflict his body with incredible austerity, praying, and prayſing God with hymns, he then standing in water frozen through cold with yce, his fellow Monkes would ſay to him; It is wonderfull, ô Brother Drithelmus, that thou art 042B9v 42 art able to endure ſuch aſperity of cold; He then replyed, Frigidiora vidi, I have ſeene much more cold places. And when they in lyke ſort ſaid to him; mirum, quodtam auſteram tenere continentiam velis &c. It is wonderfull, that thou wilt keep this austere cōontinency in meates &c. He anſwered: Auſteriora vidi, I have ſeene greater austerity. And in this ſort, through an indefatigable deſire of the joyes of Heaven he tamed and ſubdued his old feeble body untill the day of his death, he much profiting many by his perſwaſions and converſation of lyfe. Thus far S. Bede in his relationtion 043B10r 43 tion of this hiſtory. Now, that the contents hereof are moſt true, I little doubt, becauſe it is agreable to the ſacred Scripture, in the booke of Iob cap.24 Ad nimium calorem, tranſeunt ab aquis niuium: from waters of ſnow, they paſſe to overmuch heate. Againe S. Bede (a Venerable & moſt godly man) recordeth the ſame, as happening out in his owne dayes and lifetime. To conclude, there did follow out of this viſion great ſpirituall benefit, the which God is accuſtomed to draw and extract out of ſuch miraculous euents, 044B10v 44 events, and not curioſity or vanity, but the health of many ſoules by their converſion to pennance & vertue. In this next place will I come to the teſtimony of a moſt admirable woman, her name was Chriſtina, whoſe life is written by Thomas Cantipratenſis of the order of S. Dominicke, a man moſt worthy of credit, and who lived in the dayes of the ſaid Christina. The ſame is in like ſort witneſſed by that Venerable man Jacobus de Vitriaco (l. de vita & rebus gestis B. Mariæ de Oegnies) a pious and learnedned 045B11r 45 ned Cardinall, who in a booke of his maketh mention of divers holy women, and particularly of this Christina Mirabilis, whoſe life he relateth moſt briefly in a ſhort Compendium. Now this Virgin Chriſtina doth thus ſpeake of her ſelfe, inſtantly after ſhe did riſe from death to lyfe in the ſight of many then living: Statim vt ēencorpore exceſsi, &c. Preſently after I did leave my body, certaine Angels of God, being ministers of the light, receaved my ſoule, and brought it to an obſcure, darke, and horrid place, being full and repleniſhed with 046B11v 46 with the ſoules of men and women. The torments, which I did behould in that place, were ſo extreme, violent, and inſufferable, as that they cannot be delivered in any words. I did ſee there divers, with whom I was acquainted, whiles they here lived upon the earth. I did much pitty thoſe poore miſerable ſoules. I demaunded of my Conductours, what place this was, for I did imagine that is was Hell. They anſwered, that it was the place of Purgatory, reſerved for ſuch ſinners, who had obtayned true penitency of their ſinnes before their death, but had not yet performed any actuall ſatisfactionction 047B12r 47 ction for their Crimes in their lyfe tyme committed. After this, my Conductours brought me to behould the punishment of the damned in Hell, where alſo I did find certaine perſons knowne to me in their lyfe tyme. After this I was conducted up to Paradiſe, even to the Throne of the divine Majesty, where I did behould our Lord wellcomming me. I rejoyced exceſsively thereat, as being then perſwaded, that I should there remayne with our Lord for all eternity. But her preſently anſwered me, ſaying: Most wellcome daughter, thou shalt with out all doubt finally ſtay with me, 048B12v 48 me, but here I put to thee an election, of which of theſe two things though hadst rather make choyce, to wit, whether thou haddest rather now ſtay with me for all eternity, or els to returne unto the world and earth againe, and there reſuming thy former body to ſuffer paynes, though without any danger to thy body, by which paynes thou mayest free & ſet at liberty thoſe ſoules, which thou behoulding in Purgatory, didst commiſerate & pitty, that ſo by this means, men and women yet living upon the earth, through the example of thy penitent lyfe, abstayning from committing more facinorousrous 049C1r 49 rous Crymes, and performing in ſatisfaction of them, what they ought to do, may in the end (being enriched with store of merits and good deeds) be converted to me. Now I, without any pauſe or delay anſwered, that I had rather returne to my body under the former condition propoſed to me; and thereupon our Lord taking it well, that I shewed my ſelfe ſo ready in the choyce, commandeth my ſoule to be restored to its body. In the performance whereof it was wonderfull to behould the incredible ſwiftnes, and celerity of the bleſſed ſpirits. For even in that very C houre, 050C1v 50 houre, when it is ſayd in the Sacrifice of the Maſſe, (which was then offered for me) Agnus Dei, O Lambe of God &c. my ſoule was placed before the divine Majeſty, and at the third time of the ſaying of the foresaid words, Agnes Dei; the Angells restored me to my body. And thus the matter ſtandeth touching my departure out of this world, and my after returne to lyfe; ſince all this was done concerning my being restored to lyfe, for the chastizing of men, and their amendment in manners and converſation. Therefore I would intreate all perſons, that they would not be 051C2r 51 be troubled, or affrighted with ſuch things, as they shall ſee in me. The things do exceed mans underſtanding, which (God commanding) shalbe performed in me. Neither have ſuch events at any tyme hapned among mortall men. Thus much did ſhe ſpeake. And then the wryter of her lyfe adjoyneth theſe words following, concerning her Cap.6. Tum vero cæpit illa exercere &c. Then she did begin to exerciſe and put in practiſe ſuch ſeverities, for the performāance of which she was ſent by our Lord: She did voluntarily enter into burning Ovens, & was tormentedC2 ted 052C2v 52 ted in thoſe fyers; ſo as through the straytnes of the place and paynes, she made a fearefull & horrible noyſe; But after she came out of thoſe places, there was not be be ſeene in her body any print, or marke of ſuch her burnings. And then the foreſaid Authour thus further proceedeth in his diſcourſe Cap.7. Sub aquis Moſæ fluminis hyberno tempore, cum rigerent om nia gelu &c. She very often & long stood in the waters of the river Moſa, in winter time, when it was congealed with frost, remayning there in ſuch manner ſix dayes, and more. And 053 C3r 53 And then a little after the foreſaid Authour thus further ſayth, cap.9. Interdum in aquis orans &c. She ſometymes praying in the waters, was caryed by them upon the wheele of a water mill, and ſo in most horrible manner was borne about with the wheele thereof, being notwithstanding perfect & unhurt in all the parts of her body. And the Authour thus more writeth, ibid. Surgebat quandoque medijs noctibus, & totius Oppidi Trudonenſis canes in ſe concitans &c. She often tymes ryſing about midnight, would stir up against her all the dogs of the towne of S. Truyen, C3 ſhe 054C3v 54 she rūunning before them following her, like a ſwift Deare, throgh certaine obſcure places full of bryars and thornes, in ſo much, as she was pricked & her skinne torne in divers places, as that no part of her body was free from wounds; and yet after her ſheeding of much bloud thereby, no prints, ſcarrs, or marks of any woūunds or pricks were to be ſeene in her body. Thus far the forſaid Authour. Now, that this his Narration of all ſet downe, was moſt true, appeareth ſeverall wayes; Firſt, becauſe, as I ſaid above, he had Jacobus Biſhop and Cardinall of Vitriacumtria- 055C4r 55 triacum, (a moſt grave man) to beare witneſſe thereof. Secōondly, in that the authour of this Hiſtory did relate paſſages done in his owne life tyme, and in the ſame Province, wherein himſelfe lived, ſeeing he was Biſhop, and ſuffragan to the Archbiſhop of Cambray. Thirdly, in that the matter and Hiſtory itſelfe even publikely (as it were) depoſeth and averreth the truth hereof; to wit, that her body was ſo after conformed and ſtrengthned by divine power, as that it ſhould ſuffer payne by fyer, and yet ſhould not be diſſolved;C4 ued; 056C4v 56 ved; ſhould receave wounds and ſheed much bloud, and yet no prints of thoſe woūunds ſhould appeare. In this ſort this moſt bleſſed woman lived, not for the ſpace of few dayes only, but during all the time of fourty two yeares, after her returne to lyfe. And laſtly; becauſe by this courſe of her life ſhe converted many to true penance and compunction of their ſinnes, and after her death was glorious and eminent for miracles: therefore God by ſuch examples above inſiſted upon, would ſtop the mouths of ſuch incredulous per- 057C5r 57 perſons, who are not afraid ſometymes to demand, Who hath returned from Hell? who hath ſeene the torments either of Hell, or Purgatory? Behould heere, we have two faythfull Witneſſes, a man and a woman, who have ſeene the moſt bitter and inſufferable torments of Hell, and Purgatory; and therefore ſuch men do wholy reſt inexcuſable, who do not bleeve theſe points: and yet thoſe men are more inexcuſable, who believing theſe & ſuch like examples, do notwithſtanding neglect, and contemne them, forbearing to C5 make 058C5v 58 make ſatisfaction for their ſinnes to God, in faſting, mourning, and bewayling the moſt poore ſtate of their ſoules. But let us come to other heads above ſecifyed. The ſecond Head was, the long and dayly ſufferance of the paynes of Purgatory. I grant, that there is a wryter (otherwyſe of a great name and worth) who did maintayne, that not any ſoule remayned tormented in Purgatory above twenty yeares, yea perhaps not above ten yeares; notwithſtanding the uſe of the Catholike Church teacheth the contrary, whichpreſ- 059C6r 59 preſcribeth Anniverſary Sacrifices of the Holy maſſe to be offered up for ſoules de parted, not only for ten yeares, but even for a hundred yeares, and more. This point appeareth further from the viſion, which we related above out of Venerable Bede, which ſheweth that many Soules are to remayne to be tormented in Purgatory, even till the day of Judgment. And the ſame verity may receave its further warrant from the authority of Tertullian, a moſt ancient Authour, who ſpeaking of Purgatory under the name of C6 Hell, 060C6v 60 Hell, thus writeth, l. de Ani ma cap. 17. In carcerem te man det Infernum &c. Hell may ſend thee to that priſon, from whence, untill thy ſinnes be expiated, thou shalt not depart, perhaps till the day of thy reſurrection. But S. Cyprian Epist. 2. l. 4. diſcourſeth of this point more perſpicuouſly & plain ly, thus ſaying: Aliud est pro peccatis longo tempore cruciatum purgari igne &c. It is one thing to be tormented with fyer for ones ſinnes, during a long tyme; and other thing, to have purged his ſinnes through a mans owne ſufferance and ſeverity of lyfe. Which point re- 061C7r 61 receaveth its further proofe from the viſion of bleſſed Ludgardis, a moſt holy and eminent Virgin, whoſe lyfe was written by Thomas Cantipratenſis above mentioned, who had written the lyfe of Chriſtina Mirabilis. And becauſe the matter is of Conſequence, & concerneth much (by way of example) the Prelats of the Church, I will here ſet downe the words of the Authour himſelfe, which are to be found in the ſecond booke of the lyfe of holy Ludgardis (apud Surium tom 3. 16. Iunij.) The words are theſe. Hoc 062 C7v 62 Hoc ferèe tempore Dominus Innocentius Papa tertius &c. About this tyme Innocentius the third, being Pope, after the Councell of Lateran was celebrated, departed this lyfe, and did preſently after appeare viſibly to Ludgardis. After ſhe ſaw him compaſſed about on all ſydes with a great fyre, she asked him, who he was. He anſwered, that he was Innocentius the Pope. But ſhe replying with griefe ſaid, What, is the Common Father of us all, thus tormented for ſo long a tyme? He anſwered, I am in theſe flames for three cauſes. Which Crymes of myne had justly deſerved, that 063C8r 63 that I had beene puniſhed with eternity of torments; but that through the interceſsion of the most holy Mother of God, (to whom I did build & conſecrate a Monaſtery) I had repentance of my ſaid ſinnes. And ſo it is, that I have eſcaped eternall damnation; Nevertheleſſe I shalbe tormented with most cruell paynes, even till the day of judgment. That I am permitted to appeare to thee, thereby to intreate thee to procure prayers & ſuffrages to be ſaid for me; this favour the mother of mercy obtayned of her ſonne in my behalfe. And at the ſpeaking of theſe least words, he instantly vani- 064C8v 64 vaniſhed away. Ludgardis did make knowne this his neceſsity to her ſiſters, that he might be holpen with their prayers. But Ludgardis herſelfe taking great commiſeration of his poore state, did undergoe wonderfull austerities for his reliefe. Let the Reader take notice, that Ludgardis did acquaint us with thoſe cauſes of this mans torments, which we for the reverence of ſo great a Pope, have thought good to conceale. Thus much the former Authour, touching the viſion of Ludgardis, which example hath often affected me with great feare and terrour.rour. 065C9r 65 rour. For if ſo laudable a Pope, who in the eies of men appeared not only good, but alſo holy, and worthy imitation, was in great danger of being eternally damned in Hell; yet in lieu therof is to be puniſhed with moſt inſufferable flames, even untill the day of judgment; what Prelat may not feare? Who ought not to ſearch moſt narrowly, into every corner of his conscience? For I am perſuaded that ſo great a Pope did not commit any mortall ſinnes, except he committing them under the ſhew of ſome good, 066C9v 66 good, was therein deceaved by his flatterers, & ſuch his Domeſticks, of whom it is ſayd in the Ghoſpell, Matth. 10. Inimici hominis domestici eius: A mans enemyes shalbe they of his owne houſehould. Therefore as being taught by this great example, let us all labour to make moſt diligent inquiry into our conſciences, for feare they be not erroneous, though to our ſelves they appeare right and ſincere. But let us returne unto that point, from which we have digreſſed. It is not to be doubted, but that the paynes 067C10r 67 paynes of Purgatory may be extended to ten, twenty, a hundred, yea to a thouſand yeares. But let us grant for the tyme, that thoſe paynes ſhould endure but ten, or twenty yeares; who is able to endure moſt dreadfull & inexplicable torments for the ſpace of twenty yeares without any intermiſſion or eaſe? Now, that thoſe burnings are to be without any alleviation or reſt, appeareth from the viſion, which we have above related, out of Venerable Bede. Certainly, if a man were aſſured, that he ſhould continuenue 068C10v 68 nue afflicted for the ſpace of twenty yeares, without any intermiſſion or relaxation, with the paine of the Goute, or of the ſtomacke, or the Head-ach, or tooth-ach, or of the Stone; & that he could not by reaſon of ſuch his do lours, take any ſleep or reſt; no doubt ſuch a man had rather make choyce to dye, then to perſever, and live in this miſerable caſe. And if choyce were given him, whether he would remayne for twenty yeares without any reſpiration and eaſe in thoſe foreſaid paynes, or would ſuffer loſſe of all his ſtate 069C11r 69 ſtate and goods; Certainly he would with a moſt ready mind, ſeeke to be deprived of all his temporall meanes, that ſo thereby, he might free himſelfe from ſo continuall & cruell paynes: with how much more reaſon then, ought every wiſe man to make choyce of undergoing of Penance, accompanied with its fruits, which fruits are, watching, Prayer, Faſting, Almesdeeds, and eſ pecially teares, which are a ſigne of true Penance? Now if we add to the acerbity of theſe paynes and the long continuance of them,this 070C11v 70 this third Calamity; to wit, that the ſoules in Purgatory can in no ſort help themſelves, their infelicity & miſery is much increaſed therby. For here among men converſing on earth, there is hardly to be found any one ſo depreſſed in miſery and calamity, but that either by flight, or by reſiſtance, or by mediation of friends, or by appealing to another Judge, or by humbly beſeeching the mercy of the Judge, or by ſome other meanes, he may free himſelfe in ſome meaſure from the vexations, with which he is environed. But 071 C12r 71 But (alas) in Purgatory the Soules can do nothing, but only patiently ſuffer their puniſhment. True it is, that Holy Men living heere on earth, may pray for the dead, may offer up almes, and other ſatisfactory workes for the ſoules in Purgatory. But this priviledge is not granted to the ſoules themſelves being in Purgatory, except by a certaine Priviledge to ſome few, and this moſt rarely; to wit, to appeare to living men, and to beſeech ayde and help by their charity. Therefore the ſtate and condition of thoſe ſoules are moſt 072C12v 72 moſt miſerable, who being in thoſe torments, cāannot beget any eaſe or help to themselves, or to the ſoules of their Father, Sonne, Brother, Mother, ſiſter or wyfe or of any other friend lying in Purgatory. But perhaps, It may be here ſuggested, that few are thoſe Soules who come to Purgatory, and therefore the puniſhments there inflicted, are not much to be apprehended, but in a ſort to be ſleighted, and ſmally regarded. But to this I anſwere, that the ſoules which lye cruciated & tormented in Purgatorygatory, 073D1r 73 gatory, are innumerable; and ſo many, as that the number of them is ſufficient to move and stir up mercy, though their torments were far more eaſy and light. This is evident, ſeeing we are inſtructed a little before from the hiſtory of Venerable Bede, that Drithelmus did ſee an infinite number of ſoules in Purgatory, as alſo frōom the lyfe of Bleſſed Chriſtina, that the place of Purgatory was a moſt vaſt & huge place, repleniſhed, & filled with ſoules. Neither can it be otherwiſe, ſeeing nothing that is defiled, and contaminated, D can 074D1v 74 can enter into the kingdome of Heaven, but they only, are able to penetrate unto the ſight of God, (which is a light, and in whom, there in not any dar kenes) and to that place of infinite purity who are truſ ly holy and immaculate, & are mēembers of that Church, in which there is not either macula, or ruga, ſpot, or wrincle, Epheſ. 5. Now, who theſe men are, are moſt rare and moſt few; and therfore it followeth, that all others, who belong to the number of the Elect, are to paſſe through the torments and paynes 075D2r 75 paynes of Purgatory. Now, from all the former paſſages of this diſcourſe, it may neceſſarily be gathered, that the Dove hath just cauſe daily to lament and mourne for ſo many mēembers of hers, which with an infinite deſire thirſt after their heavenly Country; and yet are in the meane time detayned from thence by intollerable flames of fyer, and are cruciated & afflicted with moſt bitter & inexplicable paines.
Thus far doth the Godly Cardinall Bellarmyne diſcourſe of theſe former foure Heads, touching the Nature of PurgatoryD2 gato- 076D2v 76 gatory. Which diſcourſe (in regard both of his Learning & Sanctity) ought to ſway and prevayle much with all ſuch good & pious Engliſh Catholikes, who are ſollicitous, and carefull of their owne ſoules good. Now the Authour of this Treatiſe wil conclude this first Section, by adjoyning a Reaſon drawne from Schoole Divinity, which demonſtrateth that the paynes of Purgatory are far more atrocious and intollerable, then any paynes or torments of this life can be. It is this.
Three things do concurre as well to griefe or payne, as to 077D3r 77 to joy. To wit; Potentia, Obiectum, & Coniunctio vnius cum altero (as ſaith:) An intelligent, or at leaſt a ſentient p.2.q.31.ar.5.Power, or Faculty; a convenient Object to that Power; and an Union or Conjunction of the Object with the Power. Now as concerning the Power, doubtleſly Potentia rationalis, a Rational Power or Faculty, is more capable of payne or griefe, then Potentia animalis, a ſenſible Faculty, or Function; For if we reſpect Apprehenſion, or knowing, the Underſtanding in a Rationall ſoule, is (as it were) a mayne Fountaine;D3 taine; 078D3v 78 taine; the Senſe but a ſmall River. So far as concerneth the Appetite or Deſire, the wil of a Rationall Soule is a maine Fountayne alſo; The Appetite, (being inferiour to it) is but like a ſmall River. Seeing therfore the naked ſoule it ſelfe, is immediatly tormented, the griefe thereof ought to be the greateſt, in reſpect of the Patient; for here in this lyfe not ſo much the ſoule, as the body is tormented; & by reaſon of the paynes of the body, ſome griefe and dolour paſſeth into the ſoule.
Now concerning the Objectiect; 079D4r 79 ject; The fyer of Purgatory muſt be far more violent, horrible, & intenſe, then the fyer in this world is; ſeeing that fyer is created, and inſtituted, as an inſtrument of Gods Juſtice, who would ſhew his power in the creation of it.
Laſtly, touching the Conjunction of the Power with the Object; the Conjunction of the Soule with the fyer in Purgatory ſhall be moſt ſtrait and (as it were) intrinſecall. For heere in this world, where all things are corporall and bodily, there is no Conjunction made, but only D4 by 080D4v 80 by the touch of the Extremities, or utmoſt parts of the bodyes, and the Superficies of things; wheras in Purgatory, the torments and fyer thereof, ſhall penetrate moſt inwardly the very ſoule it ſelfe. Thus farre, touching this firſt Section.
Of the meanes to avoyde, at leaſt to mitigate, the paynes of Purgatory.
Having in the precedent Section, ſhewed out of the judgment of the moſt lear- 081D5r 81 learned Cardinall Bellarmyne, the atrocity of the paynes of Purgatory, and ſome other Circumſtances accōompaning the ſaid paynes; in this next place it is convenient to ſet downe the meanes, through force whereof the ſayd paynes may receave ſome alleviation and mitigation: I imitating herein the Phyſitian, who firſt inquireth into the diſeaſe, & after preſcribeth Medicines, for the curing of the ſame.
Theſe meanes (according to the Doctrine of the Catholike Church) are theſe following: To wit, the most D5 holy 082D5v 82 holy Sacrifice of the Maſse, Prayer, & Almes-deeds, or good workes; according to thoſe words of S. Austin (ſerm. 32. deverb. Apoſt.) Orationibus ſanctæ Eccleſiæ, & ſacrificio ſalutari, & Eleemoſynis non est dubium mortuos adiuuari; It is not to be doubted, but that the Soules of the dead are helped by prayers of the holy Church, by the healthfull Sacrifice, and by Almes deeds.
With whom accordeth S. Chryſoſtome (Hom. 41. in 1. adCor.) ſaying; Iuuatur mortuus non lachrymis, ſed precibus, ſupplicationibus, Eleemoſynis. A dead man is helped, not with teares, 083D6r 83 teares, but with prayers, ſupplications, and Almes-deeds.
With which two former Fathers, Venerable Bede (to omit many other to avoyde prolixity) doth conſpire in theſe words. (l.5. hiſt. c.13.) Multos, preces viuentium, & Eleemoſynæ &c. The prayers of the living, Alms-deeds, Fasting, and principally the Celebration of the Maſſe do helpe many who are dead, that they may be freed from their torments, before the day of Judgment.
But of theſe three ſeverall kinds of Suffrages for reliefe of the ſoules in Purgatory, I will chiefly inſiſt in ſhewing D6 the 084D6v 84 the force and efficacy of good works, or Almes-deeds. In the explication of which point I will firſt reſt in the Authority of the Sacred Scriptures; Secondly in the judgment of the ancient Fathers. And Firſt, touching the ſacred Scriptures, I will alledge divers paſſages thereof, which although they prove immediatly the great vertue of Good works, and Almes-deeds, for the gayning of the Kingdome of God, and remitting of the puniſhment of eter nall Damnation; yet (as the Logitians phraſe is,) à fortiori, they much more prove, that 085D7r 85 that the Temporary puniſhments of Purgatory, may be taken away, and (as it were) bought out by the pryce of them.
Now, to begin with the teſtimonies of Gods Holy writ, we firſt read thus therin: Eleemoſyna ab omni peccato & à morte liberat, & non patitur animam ire in tenebras. Tob. 4. Almes-deeds free a man from ſinne and death, and ſuffer not the ſoule to deſcend into darknes. And in another place we read: Sicut aqua extinguit ignem, ita Eleemoſyna extinguit peccatum. Eccl. 3 As water doth extinguiſh the fyer, ſo do Almes- 086D7v 86 86 Almes-deeds extinguiſh ſinne. Yea Almes deeds, and Good workes are ſo powerfull, as that our Saviour after he had charged the Phariſyes with divers great ſinnes, yet thus concludeth, Luc. 11. Verumtamen date Eleemoſynas, & ecce omnia munda ſunt vobis; but notwithstanding, do you give Almes, and behould all things are cleane unto you.
And which is more, Gods holy word extēendeth the vertue of Almes-deeds even to the Gentills and Heathens, for thus we fynd it ſaid to Nabuchodonoſor, who was a Pagan: Heare my Counſell (O King) 087D8r 87 King) and redeeme thy ſinnes with Almes, and thy Iniquities with works of Mercy. Dan . 4.
Now, if Good workes of Charity, and Almes-deeds, performed even by Heathens and wicked livers, be ſo much reſpected by God; much more then, Good works of Chriſtians and good livers, are accepted of God, not only for the preventing the paynes of eternall damnation, but alſo (which is leſſe) of the temporall paynes of Purgatory.
To come to the ancient Fathers: S. Cyprian calleth Eleemoſyna, Solatium grande cre- 088D8v 88 credentium, ſecuritatis noſtræ ſalutare preæſidium: Almes-deeds a great ſolace of the faithfull, a healthfull ſafegard of our ſecurity. Againe the ſaid Father, ſerm. de Eleemoſ. Sicut lauacro aquæ ſalutaris Gehennæ ignis extinguitur, ita Eleemoſynis & precibus nostris delictorūum flamma ſopitur; As the fyer of Hell is extinguiſhed through our waſhing in that healthfull water (meaning at the tyme of our Baptiſme) ſo the flame of our ſinnes, is abated by our good workes.
To whoſe judgment S. Ambroſe alludeth in theſe words. ſerm. 31. Eleemoſyna quo- 089D9r 89 quodammodo animarum aliud est lauacrum &c. Lauacrum ſemel datur, & ſemel veniam pol licetur; Eleemoſynam autem quoties feceris, toties veniam promereris. Almes-deedes is a certayne kind of Baptiſme &c. But Baptiſme (meaning the Sacrament of Baptiſme) is but once administred, and but once it promiſeth forgiveness of ſinnes; But as often, as thou shalt do ſome act of Almes-deeds, ſo often doſt thou procure forgivenes of ſinnes.
S. Chryſostome thus averreth, Hom. 25. in act. Apost. Non est peccatum, quod non poſſit purgare Eleemoſyna. There is 090D9v 90 is no ſinne ſo great which Almes- deeds cannot purge, and take away. And more: Omne peccatūum infra illam stat: All ſinne is under Almes-deeds; meaning that Almes-deeds, and Good Workes can extinguiſh the greateſt ſinne.
To conclude, S. Leo thus writeth of this point, ſerm. 5. de Collectis: Eleemoſynæ peccata delent, mortem perimunt, & pœnam perpetui ignis extingunt. Almes-deeds do blot out ſin, destroy death, and extinguiſh the payne of perpetuall fyer.
Thus we ſee, what wonderfull efficacy and vertue both the Holy Scriptures, and the 091D10r 91 the Ancient Fathers aſcribe & attribute to workes of Charity and Almes-deeds; from whence we may infallibly conclude; that ſince ſuch good-works are of force to extinguiſh the eternity of Hell fyer, much more the temporary flames of Purgatory.
Heere now I hould it expedient to anſwere two Objections, which ſuch men who are in ſlavery to their riches, not having the magnanimity and reſolution to part with their ſilver to any good and charitable uſes, either for their owne ſoules good, or for the benefit of othersthers 092D10v 92 thers that are needfull, are accuſtomed to inſiſt upon. The firſt is, (ſay ſuch men) My goods are my owne, therefore I am not obliged to give any part of them, but to what end my ſelfe best pleaſeth. Their ſecond argument and more potent is, I have wyfe and children, I am bound by the Law of God to provide for them, and after my proviſion for them, I ſhall have nothing remayning to bestow upon good and charitable uſes.
To the firſt of theſe two Objections I anſwere; Firſt, if we ſhould dreame for the tyme that a mans temporall goods 093D11r 93 goods were abſolutely at his owne diſpoſall, & that therfore it were in his power, whether he would give any part therof to good uſes or no: to this I firſt ſay, that admitting for the preſent, that a man had ſole dominion over his owne goods, and might diſpoſe of them, as beſt pleaſeth himſelfe; yet certaine it is from the former authorities, both ſacred and humane, that, that man who is ſo wholy drowned in his temporall ſtate, as that he cannot endure to part with ſome reaſonable ſhare of them to pious uſes, ſhall hardly 094D11v 94 hardly enjoy Heaven (for without Charity a man cannot be ſaved) much leſſe, ſhall he never eſcape the paines of Purgatory.
Secondly, I affirme, that it is a falſe ground to maintaine, that a man is ſo ſole a Proprietary of the goods he poſſeſſeth, as that he may, as his owne paſſion and appetite carryeth him, diſpoſe of them, without giving any part therof to needfull and charitable uſes. And that this is moſt true, I produce in proofe thereof the Authorities and words of theſe Reverend Fathers following.To 095 D12r 95
To begin with S. Bernard, who thus ſpeaketh to rich Men, in the perſon of the poore (in Ep. ad Epiſc. Senonenſem) Nostrum eſt pauperes clamant &c. The poore crye out, It is ours, which you wastfully ſpend; That is taken from us most cruelly, which you (rich men) wast vaynely.
S. Gregory writeth in this ſort (in 3. parte Pastor curæ admonit. 22.) Admonendi ſunt &c. Men are to be admoniſhed, and instructed, that the earth, of which we all are, is common to all men; and that therefore it affoardeth nouriſhment to all men; in regard wherof they but in- 096D12v 96 in vayne and without cauſe repute themſelves to be innocent herein, who peculiarly challenge to themſelves, the common guift and liberality of God.
S. AuſtinTract. in Pſal. 147.) Superflua diuiti, neceſſaria ſunt pauperi; res alienæ poſſidentur, cùm ſuperflua poſsidentur. Thoſe goods, which are but ſuperfluous to every rich man, neceſſarily belong to the poore; Another mans ſubſtance is poſſeſſed, when ſuperfluous riches are poſſeſſed.
S. Chryſostome (Hom. 34. ad populum Antioch.) Non ad hoc accepiſti &c. Thou haſt not receaved thy riches, to conſume them 097E1r 97 them in wastfull expences, but that thou ſhouldst beſtow much of them in Almes-deeds. And againe in the ſame place: Tuarum rerum &c. O man, thou art but a diſpenſer or steward of thy owne ſubſtance; no otherwyſe, then he, who diſpenſeth and distributeth the goods of the Church.
S Jerome (vide Gratian. diſt. 42. Can Hoſpitale:) Aliena rapere conuincitur, qui vltra ſibi neceſſaria retinere probatur? He is convinced to take even by violence, thoſe riches which belong to others, who is juſtly accuſed to retayne to himſelfe more, then is neceſſary to his state.E S. Ba- 098 E1v 98
S. Baſill (in orat. in illud, Destruam horreamea:) At tu nonne ſpoliator es, qui qua diſpenſanda accepisti, propria reputas? Art not thou even a Robber, who takest thoſe things & that ſubstance for thy owne, which thou hast receaved to distribute to others? The bread which thou haſt in thy houſe, belongeth to the Hungry man, the Coate to the Naked man &c. Quocirca tot pauperibus iniuriam facis, quot dare valeres: Wherefore, thou dost injure ſo many poore men, how many thou art able to relieve.
For greater brevity I will conclude with S. Ambroſe, ſerm. 099E2r 99 ſerm. 81. Sed ais, quid iniustum est, ſi cum aliena non inuadam, propria diligenter ſeruem? O impudens dictum! Propria dicis? Quæ? And then after: Non minus est criminis, quàm habenti tollere, cùm poſsis & abundes, indigentibus denegare. But thou wilt ſay? What injustice is it in me, if ſo I do not invade other mens ſubstance, but reſerve my owne proper riches only to my ſelfe? O impudent and ſhameleſſe ſaying! Callest thou them thy proper riches? Which be they? It is no leſſe a cryme, to deny to give to the poore, when thou art able to give, and doſt abound; then to take riches from thoſe, E2 who 100E2v 100 who already do enjoy them. Thus far touching the Fathers Judgment in this point, wherewith to ſhut up the mouths of worldly and covetous men.
Now, for the better underſtanding of the former Authorities, we are to cōonceave, that thoſe who poſſeſſe ri ches, be indeed true Lords over them, if ſo they be justly obtayned and gotten: if the Compariſon be heere made in reſpect of other men; yet with reference to God, they are not to be accounted Lords, or abſolute Proprietaryes, but only diſpenſers of them. 101E3r 101 them. For God created all things, and ordayned, that ſome men are rich, others poore; yet not in that ſort, as ſome ſhould be ſo rich, as that they ſhall abound with all ſuperfluities; and others wāant neceſſaries, without having reliefe from thoſe who are welthy. The reaſon hereof being, in that God being the Father of all men indifferently, did creat the world and all things therein, for the Common profit of all men; and therefore who retayne ſuperfluous riches to themſelves, without diſtributing part of them to good E3 and 102E3v 101 and pious uses, do contrary to the will of God therein, and conſequently do ſinne.
Now, to come to that other excuſe, that men are obliged to provide for Children, and that therefore they have nothing to ſpare for any good uses, thereby to redeeme themſelves from the future fyer of Purgatory. And in thus Apologizing for themſelves, they can readily alledge that place of Scripture, 1.Tim. 5. Si quis ſuorum, & maximè domesticorum curam non habet, fidem negauit, & est infideli deterior; If any man hath not care of his owne, and eſpecially of thoſe of his 103E4r 103 his houſhould, he denyeth his fayth, and is worſe then an Infidell.
To this poore reaſon, ſhadowed under the veyle of naturall affection, and Paternall care, I thus anſwere. I do not diſalow a moderate care to be taken for the proviſion of Children; for he were an inhumane monſter who ſhould neglect the ſame. But this is it I ſay; to wit, for a man to be on the one ſyde ſo wholy abſorpt & drunke in a thirſty purſuite of temporall riches, for a ſuperfluous advancement of his owne children; and on the E4 other 104E4v 104 othe ſyde, to be wholy negligent, careles, & incurious for the preventing of the horrible flames of Purgatory.
This I ſay, is that, which may well be ſtyled an inſenſible Lethargy in men. The Extremities I altogether diſlike, the Meane I imbrace. And according to this (O Catholikes) your over great ſol licitude in theſe matters, divers of you will make ſuperfluous proviſion and charges in erecting a ſecond Houſe for a yonger Sonne, and the like; becauſe they are neere to you, as being Proſeminatedted 105E5r 105 ted from your owne loines; But your owne poore ſoules in the meane tyme you wholy forget, as if they were but ſtrangers to you, or (as the Phraſe is) but of the halfe bloud: ſuch cecity & blindnes in men is greatly to be pittied.
Be not unnaturall to your ſelves, in being naturall to your Children. Let your owne Soules (which are more neere to you, then any Children) have at leaſt a Childes Portion. When you looke upon your children, looke upon them, not with and eye of an over-indulgent, E5 but 106E5v 106 but of a Chriſtian Father: And then may ech of you ſay to your ſelves in an in ward reflexe of your judgment: I love you all dearely, with a Paternall love, but I love my owne soule, more dearely. I will provide for your temporall meanes in fitting manner, and according to my degree. But ſhall my over much care of your temporall advancement impoveriſh my ſoule? O, God forbid!
What pleaſure will it be to my poore ſoule, lying burning in the most dreadfull flames of Purgatory, for bestowing of that ſuperfluity of meanes, which being otherwiſe bestowed for the good 107E6r 107 good of my ſoule, might have redeemed me from thoſe flames? Will your ſelves thinke intenſly, of my ſuch calamitous state, incurred by my over great love towards you? and accordingly will you worke meanes, by prayers, ſuffrages, and Almes-deeds in my behalfe, for the leſsening of thoſe my torments? O, I feare you will not. And this I may probably gather, from the careleſſe negligence in this point of many children towards other parents being now dead. And how can I promiſe to my ſelfe more from you, then we ſee by experience, other dead Parents have receaved from their living childrenE6 dren? 108E6v 108 dren? Let this be your ſpeach in the ſecret Cloſet of your harts, concerning your children.
There is no Parent ſo kind, who would be content to ſuffer daily torments and rackings, to redeeme his ſonne from the like tormēents, to which by cōommiting ſome flagitious Cryme he ſtands ſubject & obnoxious. Is not then that Parent (I will not ſay halfe diſtracted, but) of moſt weake judgment, who ſhall labour, and covet certainely to undergoe moſt horrible torments (and inc ōomparably far greater, then this 109E7r 109 this world can affoard) and this not for freeing his ſonne from any paynes at all; but only that his children may live in a more lautious, opulent, & full manner, then otherwiſe they ſhould, though competent, and ſufficient meanes would notwithſtanding be left unto them?
For is it not infinitly far better for the Parēent, to leave his children, in fitting degree and quality, furniſhed with temporall meanes, and withall himſelfe, by diſtributing a good part of his ſtate in his life tyme to ſpirituall ends, wholy to prevent, or 110E7v 110 or at leaſt partly to diminiſh the paynes of Purgatory; then to leave his iſſue in greater affluency and abundance of worldly riches, and himſelfe to continue many yeares in that inſufferable conflagration of fyer; the grievouſnes whereof truly to conceave paſſeth our conceite? O, Ante faciem frigoris eius quis ſustinebit? Pſal. 147.
Thus far I have thought good to draw out, and enlarge this Section, in ſtirring the mould about the roote of this ordinary pretence, & excuſe of Parents providing for their Children; by reaſon that 111E8r 111 that moſt Parents (to the great prejudice of their owne Soules) do ſhaddowe their want of Chriſtian Charity to others under this pretext; and therby they make their owne Children to become Enemyes to themſelves: and ſo it falleth out to be moſt true, as is above alledged by the foreſaid illuſtrious Cardinall: Inimici hominis, Domestici eius. Matth. 20.
Yet before I conclude this Section, I only ſay; although according to the judgment of the Philoſophers; No man knowes, what kind of love that is which Parents beare to their chil- 112E8v 112 children, but he that hath children; not withſtāanding before I would endure an infinity of torments for their greater and more full advancement, I would in part leſſen my temporall State, for the good of my owne Soule: for though Children be moſt neere to their Parents, yet that ſentence is moſt true: Tu tibi Primus, & Vltimus.A Per-
A Perſuaſory Diſcourſe for the putting in practiſe the meanes (which are good Workes) for the avoyding of the paynes of Purgatory.
In the two former Paſſages are layed open, Firſt the Horrid atrocity of the paynes of Purgatory; Secondly, the meanes how to prevent, at leaſt to leſſen & mitigate them: It now followeth, that I ſpend ſome leaves in a Paræneticall (as I may terme it) or Perſuaſory diſ- 114E9v 114 diſcourſe, therby to invite Catholikes to put in practiſe the ſaid meanes, which are conducing for the preventing of thoſe temporary direfull flames. And whereas theſe my ſpeaches are directed chiefly to ſuch of you Catholikes, which are moſt ſlouthfull and ſluggiſh in the proſecution of the ſame meanes, I meane, in the performance of Good Workes. Therefore I muſt heere intreate you, to pardon my rudenes of ſtyle, ſince it beſt ſorteth to point forth (for words are the Images of things) your moſt deplorableble 115E10r 115 ble ſtate herein. Dangerous wounds (you know) muſt have deepe inciſions; And matter of Tragedy (for I account yours to be ſuch) is to be delivered in mournefull Accents. Never ought we in this caſe to forbeare the tou ching of the member affected with a hard hand. O no. The Apoſtle indoctrinateth us otherwiſe, in thoſe his fervorous and fiery words, 2. Tim. 4. Prædica, Insta, oportunè, importunè, argue, obſecra, increpa &c. To ſuch Catholiks, which are fervorous in the performance of good and pious Actions, this my ſpeach 116E10v 116 ſpeach doth not extend.
But here now I hould it convenient to marſhall and range ſuch men into ſeverall kinds, to which men this my Admonition belongeth. The firſt kind of theſe are ſuch, as are yet Schiſmatikes in the preſent courſe of their lyfe, and other Catholikes, who hertofore perhpas have lived for many yeares in a Schiſmaticall ſtate. Touching the firſt kind of actuall Schiſmatikes; admitting, that before their death, they become truly penitent of their former continuance in Schiſme; for otherwiſe their ſoules are 117E11r 117 are infallibly to deſcend to Hell, not to Purgatory.
But admitting (I ſay) the beſt; to wit, that they do dye in true repentance of their former ſinne, which only muſt proceed form the boūundles Ocean of Gods mercy; Yet, what inevitable Torments, and for how many yeares, do expect thēem in Purgatory, if otherwiſe they ſeeke not to deliver themſelves thereof, in their owne lyfe tyme by good workes? This point will beſt appeare by diſcovering in part the atrocity of Schiſme, and a Schiſmaticall lyfe. For the better 118E11v 118 better explayning whereof I will inſiſt in the Authorities of the Holy Scripture, & the moſt ancient Fathers.
And to begin with Gods word, we thus read, Galat. 5. The workes of the fleſh are adultery, fornication, & Sects: (meaning thereby Schiſmes) They which ſhall do ſuch things, ſhall not inherit the kingdome of God. And in reſpect of the ſtate of Schiſme, the Church of God, is ſtyled in ſacred Writ: One ſheepfould (Ioahn. 10.) One body (Rom. 12.) One Spouſe, (Cant. 6.) and one Dove. But now Schiſme, as comming of the Greeke verbebe 119E12r 119 be χιξω, ſcindo,devideth that which is one, into parts: Therefore as a member cut off from the whole body, ceaſeth to be a part of the ſaid body; ſo a Sciſmatike by open profeſſion of an Erroneous Religion, impugned by the Church of Chriſt, ceaſeth thereby to be a member of the Church of Chriſt.
To deſcend to the Fathers; Marke how they pen ſill out a Schiſmatike, or Schiſme: I will urge but two or three for brevity. S. Austin then thus writeth (l. de fide & Symb. c. 20.) Schiſmatiks though they believe the ſame points, 120E12v 120 points, which we believe; yet through their diſſention they do not keep fraternall charity; therfore we conclude, that a Schiſmatike belongeth not to the Catholike Church, becauſe he loveth not his neighbour. Thus S. Austin. Fulgentius thus teacheth, (l. de fide ad Petrum c. 38. & 39.) Firmiſsimè tene &c. Believe for certayne, and doubt not, that not only Pagans, but alſo Jewes, Heretikes, & Schiſmatikes, who dye out of the Catholike Church, are to goe to everlasting fyer. To conclude, S. Cyprian thus averreth (l. 4. Epist. 9 ad Florent.) Qui cum Epiſcopo non ſunt, in Eccleſia non ſunt: who agree 121F1r 121 agree not with the Biſhop (meaning the ſupreme Biſhop & Paſtour of the Church) are not in Gods Church.
Thus we ſee, what is the judgment both of Holy Scripture and of the ancient Fathers, paſſed upon the moſt dangerous ſtate of Schiſmatiks. From whence we may infallibly conclude, that ſuppoſing the beſt, I meane, that Schiſmatiks do finally repent & dye in ſtate of Grace, which is moſt doubtfull, conſidering their long inveterate Schiſmaticall lives; yet what imminent temporall tormēents (even hanging over F their 122F1v 122 their heads) are ready to ruſh upon them, inſtantly upon the ſeparation of the ſoule from the body, and to ſeize upon their ſoules, for the ſatisfying of Gods Juſtice? But ſeeing the ſtate of Schiſmatikes is ſo deſperate & dangerous, I am to be pardoned, if I ſharpen my pen more peculiarly againſt the Schiſmatikes of our owne Countrey.
Heare then, you Schiſmatikes of England, who for ſaving your temporall goods, will endanger the loſſe of all eternall good; How much do you diſhonour (yea vilifyfy 123F2r 123 fy God) by perſevering in your Schiſmaticall ſtate? Aſſure your ſelves (You Schiſmatikes) that it is not in your power to command at your pleaſure, over Tyme & Repentance. God calleth every one, but how often he will call, no man knoweth; and be you afrayd of that fearefull Sentence of his Divine Majeſty: My People would not heare my voyce, and Iſraell would none of me; So I gave them up to the hardnes of their hartes. Pſal. 81. O moſt dreadfull Relegation!
But admit, God will give you tyme to repent; yet the F2 ſtrength 124F2v 124 ſtrength of your Armes is to weake to bend that Virgam ferream of Gods Juſtice, by the which he puniſheth with eternall damnation finall Irrepentance, and chaſtizeth ſinne (if ſo all ſuch points be not with good workes cleared afore in this world) with temporary (but moſt inſupportable) paynes of Purgatory.
But yet to make you to caſt a more feeling and intenſe Introverſion upōon your owne moſt deplorable ſtates; Suppoſe a Native Subject ſhould through ſome temporall reſpect and end, beare him- 125F3r 125 himſelfe moſt traitourouſly towards his King, daily perpetrating ſome Act of diſloyalty, and ever banding himſelfe openly with other his profeſſed Enemies: how could this Man in reaſon thinke, that his ſubmiſſion could ever be ſufficient for his after reconciling to his Soveraigne, and obtayning Grace and favour, & future advancement to honour & Dignity? eſpecially if the King were of that ſevere diſpoſition, as that he was ever accuſtomed to puniſh (though often in a lower degree then the offence deſerved)F3 ſer- 126F3v 126 ſerved) ech act of Diſloyalty and Diſobedience committed againſt him?
And is not the ſtate of a Schiſmatike far more deſperate and dangerous? This man committeth ſpirituall Treaſon againſt the Divine Majesty, by his daily communicating in Prayers and rytes, with the Preaching Members of an erroneous Church, Gods deſigned Adverſaries: How then can he expect, with his ſo much gauled Conſcience, to arrive to Heaven without extraordinary acts of Mercy to the poore, and other workes of Pie- 127F4r 127 Piety in this world, or of ſuffering moſt exquiſite and inutterable torments in Purgatory? Conſidering God is juſt, and ſeverely chaſtizeth every ſinne, committed againſt him; Behould (ſayth he by his Prophet Iſay) I will be revenged upon my Enemyes, & will comfort my ſelfe in their destruction, Iſa. 1. And againe: God ſhall rayne ſnares of fyer upon ſinners; Brimstone, with tempestuous winds, ſhalbe the portion of their Cuppe. Pſal. 11.
Poore wretch (I meane poore Schiſmatike) how wilt thou be able to ſuffer theſe inſufferable paynes, and this F4 for 128F4v 128 for many yeares at the beſt; that is, if finally thou dye in true Repentance of thy former Schiſmaticall Courſe, who with ſuch anxiety, toyle, & impatiēence art accuſtomed to endure the payne of the tooth-ach, or other torment in this world? And is the Schiſmatike ſo ſenſible of a litle payne in this life, & yet hopes he ſhall not be ſenſible of infinitly greater paynes in the life to come?
Therefore now in tyme rayſe your ſelves out of this ſpirituall Lethargy, & awake; ſince the longer you continue in this your deſperate ſtate, 129F5r 129 ſtate, you do but all that time (admitting you finally dye repentantly) even heap fuell together for the nouriſhing of your flames in Purgatory. Remember the Wiſemans ſaying, Eccleſ. 10. Languor prolixior gravat Medicum. You cannot but know, that during your ſtate in Schiſme, you are wholy deprived of Gods Grace, by which we make clayme to Heaven; (Gratia Dei, vita æterna. Rom. 6.) ſince you wilfully deprive yours ſelves of the benefit of the Sacraments of Gods Church; which Sacraments our Saviour hath inſtitutedF5 ſtitu- 130F5v 130 ſtituted in his Church, as the ordinary meanes, or Conduits, for the deriving of Gods grace into mans ſoule.
Well, I will cloſe this point of Schiſmatikes with this one aſſeveration: To wit, that a poore Motley foole (be you not offended, for I ſpeake the truth) to whome God hath afforded only the use of his five Senſes, is in far more happy ſtate, then you Schiſmatikes are. This māan (though moſt deſpicable in the eye of the world) as through want of the use of Reaſon, cannot merit; ſo he cannot demerit: You through your abuſe of Rea- 131F6r 131 Reaſon, do not only, not merit; but in lieu thereof you increaſe the heape of your ſinnes, through a daily coacervation of your Schiſmaticall Tranſgreſſiōons. This man is infallibly freed from the paines of Purgatory, much more of Hell: You are aſſured to ſuffer the paines of Purgatory at leaſt, God grant (through your finall irrepentance) not the paynes of Hell.
Briefly this man through the benefit of his Baptiſme, hath his Originall ſinne, cancelled; & as for Actuall ſinne, he ſtandes not obnoxious F6 there 132F6v 132 thereto: You are indeed freed by your ablution in that ſacred Font, form originall ſinne; but then you repeale the worth & Dignity therof, by your actuall perpetrating of mortall ſinne. I ſpeake in the ſight of God, I had rather be one of theſe poore-rich fooles, ſo to call them, (for he is rich, who is aſſured of his inheritance of Heaven) then to be the greateſt, and most welthy Schiſmatike in England; being reſolved to continue yeare after yeare, in this his most wicked courſe of Schiſme; Quid proderit homini, ſi univerſum mundum lucretur, animæ verò ſua 133F7r 133 ſua detrimentum patiatur? what ſhall it profit a man, if he gayne the whole world, and looſe his owne Soule? Matth. 16.
Well, in this next place to touch a litle upon ſuch, who are at this preſent actually Catholiks, yet have perſevered many years in a Schiſmaticall ſtate, before they were incorporated into the Catholike Church; what ſatisfaction and deeds of extraordinary Mercy to others are they bound to performe, to perevent the paynes of Purgatory, or els to endure them for many yeares? This partly appeareth, from the ugly ſtate 134F7v 134 ſtate (ſo to call it) of a Schiſmatike, above in part deſcribed. And if he will not performe ſuch abſterſive Acts of penance in his owne lyfe tyme, by contributing, ſhewing pitty, and relieving of others; let him take heed, he fall not upon that dreadfull ſentence of the Apoſtle, Iac. 2. Iudicium ſine miſericordia ei, qui non fecerit miſericordiam. Judgment without mercy is to fall to him, who will not practiſe mercy.
Alas! Are you not men? Muſt you not once dye (and how ſoone God knoweth:) And are you not then to ren- 135F8r 135 render a moſt ſtrict accoūunt for your fore-paſſed lyfetime, even to him, of whom it is ſaid for his moſt exquiſit and narrow ſearch into our ſinnes, Scrutabor Ieruſalem in lucernis. Sophon. 1. I will ſearch the ſinnes of Jeruſalem with a Candle. And will you then be ſo negligent, and careles, in preventing that dreadfull time? Since God is no accepter of Perſons, neither will Riches, Worldly pompe, nor any other ſuch glorious miſeries help a ſoule ready to depart out of its body, for the delivering it from Purgatory, except great Almes-deedsmes- 136F8v 136 mes-deeds (beſides other penitentiall works) be performed in the life tyme.
Well then, my poore, and deare Catholike, who for many yeares, through thy wicked diſſimulation in matters of Religion, haſt moſt highly offended God; Imagine thy ſelfe, that at this very inſtāant, thou wert lying upon thy death bed: (that bed, I ſay, which the Prophet calleth, Lectum doloris, (Pſal. 40) the bed of griefe,) worne away with payne and ſicknes, & not expecting to eſcape, but looking every minute for thy laſt diſſolution; How would 137F9r 137 would thy Judgment be altered? and wouldſt thou not thus (in all likely-hood) reaſon and diſpute with thy owne Soule? True it is, I thanke God, of his moſt infinite and boundles Mercy, that as a straying ſheep, I am at length brought into Christs ſheep-fold, and I hope to dye (through the benefit of our Saviours paſsion, and of the holy Sacraments) his ſervant, and in state of Grace, and finally to enjoy the intermi nable joyes of Heaven. But alas, though the guilt of Eternall damnation (incurred by my long former Schiſmaticall lyfe, & by my many other infinite ſinnes) as 138F9v 138 as I hope, through Gods infinit mercy, be remitted; yet temporall puniſhment due for all my former ſaid ſinnes, in most inexplicable torments of Purgatory doth expect me.
My poore Soule muſt continue in thoſe burning Flames (how many yeares, his divine Majesty only knoweth) for the expiating of my ſaid ſinnes, before I can arrive to Heaven. When I was in health, enjoying my temporall ſtate in all fulnes, how eaſily with a voluntary relinquiſhing of a reaſonable part thereof to pious and religious uſes, could I have avoyded (at least mitigated) theſe now imminentmi- 139F10r 139 minent and unavoydable torments? Good god! where then were my Wits? The very plowman provides for the tyme of Winter; yea the Ant (to the which we are ſent by Gods word (Prou. 6.) to be inſtructed) hoords graynes of Corne for his after ſustenance; And have I ſo negligently carryed my ſelfe, as to lay up before-hand no proviſion, againſt this tempestuous and rugged future storme? O beast, that I was! Sweet Jeſus, how far diſtant were my former courſe of lyfe and daily actions from ever thinking of this unavoydable danger? I have lived many yeares in fulnes of state: I haue 140F10v 140 have beene labouring in laying out good ſummes of Silver, to heap land to land for my Children to inherit. I have lived (perhaps) in a most profuſe or wastfull manner; I have ſpent to much, to gayne the deceitfull favour of the world, in ſumptuous apparell, exceeding my ſtate, in keeping an over waſtfull houſe, and in over great & unneceſſary Attendance about me. By meanes of ſome, or all of theſe extravagant Courſes, I have ſpent much; And yet not once did I ever thinke to bestow the twentieth part of theſe ſuperfluous charges to pious uſes, for the preventing of thoſe flames, which 141F11r 141 which within few dayes (perhaps few houres) my poore ſoule muſt ſuffer.
O wretch that I am, that have thus ſenſeleſly ſo neglected this fearefull day! Here now my former pleaſures, and Jollity are come to their laſt end and period. Gods Juſtice muſt, and will be ſatisfyed; ſince nothing defyled and contaminated (except all the ruſt therof be afore fyled away) can enter into the Kingdome of Heaven. Whither then now, being encompaſſed on ech ſyde with ſuch thornes of danger, & anxiety, ſhall I turne my ſelfe? To the world, and my former pleaſures thereof? O God, the 142F11v 142 the remembrance of them is most nauſeous, and distastfull to me; ſince the fruition of them is a great cauſe of my future paynes. To my former greatnes and fulnes of my temporall state? O, that I had beene ſo happy, as to have made true benefit in tyme, of that Mammon of Iniquity, my wastfull ſpending whereof must give fuell to that fyer! And we are taught, that, Diuitiæ non proderunt in die vltimo. Prou. 11 To my Friends, Kyndred, & former familiar acquaintance, which I ſhall leave behind me in the World? Wo is me, they are as wholy negligent of their owne ſoules danger, concerning this point, 143F12r 143 point, as my ſelfe have beene. How then can I expect them to be ſolicitous & carefull of myne?
To thee then alone (most mercifull and heavenly Father) who art Pater miſericordiarum, (2. Cor. 1.) and who dost crowne us in miſericordia & miſerationibus (Pſal. 102.) I do flye. Who tookeſt mercy of the Woman of Canaan, of Mary Magdalen, of the Publican, and of the thiefe hanging upon the Croſſe. Betweene the armes of thy ineffable Compaſsion I caſt my ſelfe. Leſſen, (ô Leſſen) for thy owne honours ſake, and the bitter paſ ſion of thy most Deare Sonne, my Saviour Jeſus Chriſt, theſe temporallporall 144F12v 144 porall paynes, which now wayte for me. Let my preſent Compunction and Contrition of all my former ſinnes (through thy mercy, & Sons pretious death) arrive to that aſcent and height, as that my Saviour may ſay to me with the good thiefe; to day thou ſhalt be with me in Paradiſe. So shall thy Mercy thereby over-ballance thy Justice; For to ſpeake in the Churches Dialect; Plus potes dimittere, quàm ego committere: and it is my Comfort, that I read in holy Writ; Suauis est Dominus vniuerſis, & miſerationes eius ſuper omnia operaeius, (Pſal. 144.) Our Lord is ſweet to all, and his mercycy 145G1r 145 cy is above all his Workes.
O that I had beene ſo happy, as to have followed the wholſome advyce, given to me by way of Preſage in a little Treatiſe, entituled, An Antidot againſt Purgatory: I then did read it, but with a certaine curioſity, as thinking it nothing to belong to me. But (alas) I now find it to be a true Sybill, or Prophet of my future Calamitous ſtate.
Well then, ſeeing my owne hower-glaſſe is almost run out, let me turne my speach to you (Deare Catholiks) in my health my chiefeſt Familiars; & with whom I did most conſociate in my former pleaſures. There is no G dif- 146G1v 146 difference betweene you and me, but the tyme preſent, and the tyme to come. You all muſt once be forced to this bed of ſorrow, and be brought to your last Sicknes. To you then, and to all others, who are negligent in providing against this Day, I do direct this my charitable Admonition. You are yet in health, & perhaps as improvident in laying up ſpirituall riches againſt this fearefull day, as my ſelfe have beene. O change your Courſe, whiles there is tyme. Let my preſent state preach to you, & ſuffer theſe my last dying words to give lyfe to your future Actions; ſince they preach feelingly whoſe Pulpitpit 147G2r 147 pit is their death-Bed. Be not in the number of thoſe ſenſles creatures, who are buryed ſo deep in earth, as that they have no tast or feeling of things to come; Nolunt intelligere, vt benè agant. (Pſal. 35.)
Do now therefore (Deare Friends) do now, what you can. Now while you have tyme, heap up togeather, that ſpirituall Wealth, which will buy out all enſuing paynes; and turne the Current of your former ſuperfluous Charges, into the fayre streame of pious workes, that ſo it may affoard you water, for the quenchinge of thoſe raging Flames. Conſider how you ſhall G2 be 148G2v 148 be convented before the ſevere Judge, frōom whom nothing can be hiddēen, of whōom the Prophet ſaith: Tu cognouisti omnia, nouiſſima & antiqua. (Pſal. 138.) He is not appeaſed with guifts, nor adm tiitteth excuſes, who out of his boundles mercy remitteth to us (upon our true repentance) the paynes of eternall damnation; but yet chastizeth us with temporall puniſhment to ſatisfy his Justice: miſericordia & veritas obuiauerunt ſibi, iuſtitia & pax oſculati ſunt. Pſal. 81. Therefore now begin to ſpread your ſelves in workes of Piety. Leſſen your temporall Pompe, deſcend in outward comportment under your ſelues 149G3r 149 ſelves, and let your ſparing charges by this meanes ſaved, ſerve to redeeme you from thoſe horrid flames, which are hereafter to invade you.
To theſe, and the like diſconſolate and Tragicall lamentations in the inward reflexe of thy ſoule (my deare Catholike) ſhalt thou in thy laſt Sicknes be driven, if thou ſeeke not to prevēent the danger in tyme. Therefore Remember, that he is truly Wiſe, who laboreth to be ſuch in his health, as he wisheth to be found in Gods ſight, at the hower of his Death.
But now to come to you G3 other 150G3v 150 other Catholiks, who thogh you ever lived within the boſome of the Catholike Church; yet the ſtate of many of you is otherwiſe moſt deplorable, who though you dye in ſtate of grace (though many hundred Catholikes, through their owne vicious lives and finall irrepentance do not) yet your Caſe (with reference to the torments of Purgatory) is lamēentable. Moſt of you are wholy heedles & negligent in ſeeking by your good Workes, and Almes- deeds to avoyde Purgatory. How many of you, whoſe meanes are great, might with- 151G4r 151 without any ſtay after your Death, even poſt to Heaven by your Religious diſpenſing of a good part thereof; whereas others, through want of temporall meanes ſo to be diſtributed, muſt ſtay long in Purgatory? O, that Man ſhould be ſo treacherous to his owne Soule!
It is daily obſerved (even with griefe to all Zealous Catholikes) that many of you are ready to lay out great ſummes of ſilver for the increaſing of your temporall ſtates; That others of you, who are devoted to the contentments and pleaſures of G4 this 152G4v 152 this World, to diſſipate a great part of your living in fruitles charges: Some in gallantry of apparell, others at Dyce, in Running-Horſes, in keeping waſtfull Chriſtmaſſes; yourſelves & your Cōompany feeding moſt lautiouſly upon all variety of curious meates & wynes, whiles in the meane tyme your poore ſoules perhaps remayne, even hunger-ſtarved (as I may ſay) for want of ſpirituall nouriſhment. In all which courſes it is be feared, that many, even mortall ſinnes, are by you committed, of the which, though 153G5r 153 though you after have purged your ſelves by the holy Sacrament of Confeſſion, yet what reckonings are there remayning touching the temporall puniſhments attending ſuch your ſinnes? which either in this world must be taken away by great ſatisfaction performed by you, or els all ſuch ruſt muſt be purged and burned away in the Horrible Flames of Purgatory.
Therefore it is not a ſimple Imprudency; It is not a weakenes of the underſtanding; It is not a bare miſtaking of the judgment: But it G5 is 154G5v 154 is meere Lunacy & Madnes in you, thus to advance temporal reſpects either of gaine or pleaſure, before the preventing of thoſe inſufferable torments. And if any of you, who are of great ſtates, do leave a hundred pounds at your deaths to be prayed for, O, you thinke, you have made a large and ample ſatisfaction for all your ſinnes, and that after thoſe Prayers are performed, you are ſure inſtantly to goe to Heaven. A ſelfe flattering, and credulous conceit! Thinke of the cuſtome of the Venerable Biſhops of the anciēent Church, who 155G6r 155 who were uſed to tye a ſinner to performe penance ſeaven yeares, for the committing but of one mortal ſinne: How much different was their Judgment, from your Judgment herein?
Againe, what ſmall a proportion hath this ſo niggard an Almes-deeds of yours, with that of the man reſtored to lyfe, and recorded by Venerable Bede, who gave the third part of his goods to the poore, the reſt to his wyfe and Children; of whome Cardinall Bellarmyne did above ſpeake in the firſt ſection of this booke? Or how G6 ſtands 156G6v 156 ſtands your Charity to good uſes with reference to Za chæus, ſpoken of in the Goſpell, Luc. 19. who after he had ſeene Christ, gave inſtantly the halfe of his ſtate to the poore. Truly I ſpeake in all ſincerity; I knew two Gentlemen in Englāand, who were but Eſquyers, (though of good ſtates) and yet at the tyme of their deaths (beſides many other moſt good and holy workes done by them in their life tyme) the one of thēem did leave to good uſes fifteene hūundred pounds, and the other a thouſand Markes. Therefore let ſuch Ca- 157G7r 157 Catholiks, who are carefull of their Soules good, be vertuouſly emulous of ſuch mēens devotion and charity; and let them remember, that ſaying of S. Chryſostome (ſerm. 37. ad pop. Antioch.) Non dare, ſed copiosè dare, Eleemoſyna est. But to proceed.
If any of you, upon your just Demerits, were to be racked for divers moneths togeather; or if any of you were in the higheſt degree afflicted with ſome Corporall payne; what would you not give (if it were in your power) to redeeme your ſelves from theſe torments? And 158G7v 158 And yet the firſt of theſe paines might endure through the Clemency of the Prince, but few moneths (perhaps but few dayes) the other could not endure many yea res, through the extremity of the payne (for nullum violentum eſt perpetuum:) And will you then be ſo leaden, ſtupid, and dull in judgment, as willingly, and affectedly to undergoe (it being in your power, by abandoning in your lyfe tyme a little Droſſe, to prevent them) ſuch paynes for many yeares (perhaps for many hundred of yeares;) in reference and com- 159G8r 159 compariſon of which, all the greateſt torments in this world (in the judgment of the ancient Fathers) are to be reputed, as ſhaddowes, or tipes of paynes? where is māans understanding, where is the light of his Reaſon? But it ſeemes, they are exiled, and in their roome, are imbraced a moſt ſordid & earthly reſpect of temporall, & fading vanities.
Therefore I may well here demand; Are ſuch perſons Catholikes? Are they Chri ſtiāans? yea are they men? who thus betrample withall careleſſnes, and ſupine neglect the 160G8v 160 the good of their owne ſoules, and ravell out their tyme in idle toyes and pleaſures? Alas! what are riches, greatnes of ſtate, a needles fruition of temporall pleaſures, or that, which you call your reputation & honour (which with draw many from doing of good deeds) able to performe?
Syr John Oldcastle being exprobated of his Cowardlynes, and thereby reputed inglorious, replyed; If through my perſuyte of Honour, I ſhall fortune to looſe an Arme, or a Leg in the wars, can Honour restore to me my lost Arme, or legge? 161G9r 161 legge? In like manner I heere ſay to you, Catholikes: Can your Riches, your worldly pompe and pleaſures, or antiquity of your Houſe, and Family redeeme your Soules out of Purgatory? Or can this poore weake blaſt of wind or ayre, which you call your reputation (conſiſting in other mens words, paſſed upon you) coole the heate of thoſe burning flames? Nothing leſſe, ſince theſe toyes (through your abuſe of them) ſhall ſerve, as bellowes, the more to blow the Flames of Purgatory.
I will urge one reaſon, which 162G9v 162 which ſhall make you (negligent Catholikes) to bluſh, and withall to grow pale; for it ſhall force you to be aſhamed of your incredible negligēence in this great buſines heere treated of; and it ſhall put you (if ſo Gods grace be in you) in extreme feare of your future Calamity. I will take it from the examples of certaine moſt learned, pious, and ancient Fathers. The Fathers ſhalbe theſe following, S. Austin, S. Ambroſe, S. Gregory, and S. Bernard; all whoſe pens were guyded by the Holy Ghoſt.
S. Ambroſe through the ex- 163G10r 163 extremity of his feare of the flames of Purgatory, thus writeth (Serm. 20. in Pſal. 118.) I ſhalbe ſearched & examined as lead, in this fyer, till all the lead be melted away &c. S. Austin through his fearefull and ſtrong apprehenſion of this fyer, thus breaketh out in words (in explic. Pſal. 37.) O Lord, let me be made ſuch, as that my Correction ſhall not be needfull to be increaſed with that purging fyer, in reſpect of ſuch men, qui ſalvi erunt, ſic tamen quaſi per ignem. And againe S. Austin thus further ſaith (l. 50. homil. 16.) O how happy are they, that who living well, 164G10v 164 well, and contented with neceſſary riches to their bodies, liberall of their owne, chast in themſelves, and not cruell to others, do redeeme themſelves from this fiery Fornace? Of which fyer the ſaid S. Austin thus ſaith: in Pſal. 27. Grauior erit hic ignis, quàm quis poteſt pati in hac vita. This fyer shalbe more intollerable, then any man can ſuffer in this lyfe.
S. Gregory thus writeth (in Psal. 3. Pœnit.) I esteeme the purging fyer (though it be tranſitory) to be more intollerable, then all tribulations, which in this life may be ſuffered; there fore I do not only deſire, not to be 165G11r 165 be rebuked in the fury of eternal damnation; but alſo I greatly feare to be purged in the wrath of tranſitory Correction.
Laſtly, to come to S. Bernard, whoſe trembling penne through feare of the paynes of Purgatory, thus diſcourſeth: (Serm. de ſex tribul. 16. & 55. in Cant.) O would to God, that ſome man would now before hand, provide for my head abundance of water, and to myne eyes a fountayne of teares; that ſo perhaps the burning fyer should take no hold, where running teares had clenſed before.
And now to reflect a little upon the Worth of theſe foure 166G11v 166 foure former alledged Fathers; and then to draw our inference and deduction. S Ambroſe for his learning (he writing many bookes in defence of the Chriſtian Fayth) as alſo for his ſanctimony of lyfe, obtayned the title of being called (per Excellentiam) One of the foure Fathers of the Primitive Church.
S. Austin (gayning the like title) was of that eminency for learning and piety, that S. Jerome, thus extolleth him: (Tom. 2. Ep. 25. inter opera August.) I have allwayes reverenced thy Sanctity with that honour, which is fitting;ting; 167G12r 167 ting; and I have loved our Lord and Saviour dwelling in thee.
Thus much briefly of S. Auſtin, whoſe infinite paines, labour, and ſtudy (beſides his extraordinary holynes in his converſation & courſe of lyfe) in writing of ſo many, and ſo great Tomes, with ſuch wonderfull perfection of judgment & learning, and all in defence of the Chriſtian and Catholike Faith, might ſeeme in the eye of many, to be ſufficient to expiate the temporall puniſhment due for his ſinnes.
S. Gregory was our Apostle, firſt planting Chriſtianity in En- 168G12v 168 England, and of that Piety, as that M. Godwin the Proteſtant (in his Catalogue of Biſhops. pag. 3.) thus commendeth him: That bleſsed & holy Father S. Gregory.
To come to S. Bernard: This bleſſed man (as Oſiander witneſſeth in his Epitome p. 309.) was an Abbot, authour of many monaſteries, both in France & Flanders, inſtituting a Religious Order in Gods Church: Yea he was eminent for working of Miracles; of whom in regard of his piety of life, even D. Whitaker our Adverſary (lib. de Eccl. pag. 338.) thus celebratethbra- 169H1r 169 brateth his worth: Ego quidem Bernardum verè fuiſſe ſanctum existemo.
Now, if theſe foure moſt worthy ſhining Lamps in the Church of God (or rather ſo many bright ſtars in the celeſtiall Spheare) remarkable for learning, and more remarkable for piety and devotion; they ſpending their whole tyme in writing in defence of the true Religion; betrāampling under their feet all temporall Honours and Preferments; living moſt chaſtly in Purity of body; & wearing themſelves out in Faſting, Prayer, and ſeverely H pu- 170H1v 170 puniſhing their owne fleſh: Yf theſe men I ſay ) notwithſtanding all this their rigorous courſe to fleſh & bloud did ſtand in ſuch feare and horrour of the torments of Purgatory (as we ſee above, by their owne words and writings, they did;) what then (My deare Catholikes) may be ſaid of moſt of you, who enjoy the pleaſures of the world, pamper your bodies, live in great riches and abundance, & yet do thinke to eſcape the flames of that fyer? what is this, but madnes and incredible partiality in the higheſt degree; you beinging 171H2r 171 ing thus become Paraſytes to your owne ſelves, in thus flattering your owne moſt fearefull ſtate?
But it may be, there are ſome of you, who, ſo you may enjoy Heaven eternally in the end, become thereby leſſe carefull of preventing the temporall paynes of Purgatory, ſleighting the conſideration of them. But S. Auſtin ſhall diſcover this vanity, who thus diſcourſeth of this point, ſerm. 41. de ſanctis. Some uſe to ſay, I care not greatly how long ſoever I stay in paſſing this fyer; ſeeing at the laſt, I ſhall attayne to life everlaſting. H2 To 172H2v 172 To which words S. Austin thus anſwereth: But alas, (deare Brother) Let no man ſay thus, for that this Purgatory fyer is more ſharpe, then any puniſhment, which in this lyfe can be ſeene, imagined, or felt. And wheras it is ſaid of the day of Judgment: That one day ſhalbe as a thouſand yeares, and a thouſand yeares as one day; how doth any man know, whether his paſſage through this fyer be for dayes, months, or perhaps yeares? And he, that will now be loath to put one of his fingers into burning fyer, ought to feare the torment of that fyer, though it were but for a litle tyme. Therefore let 173H3r 173 let every man labour with all his force, that he may avoyde mortall ſinnes, which caſt men into Hell; and to redeeme leſſer ſinnes by good workes, ſo as no part of them remayne to be conſumed by that fyer. And then a litle after in the ſame place: Who commit litle, and daily ſinnes, let them not ceaſe daily to redeeme them with good works; to wit, by continuall Prayer, frequent Fastings, & large Almes.
Thus this bleſſed Father ſeriouſly meditateth in the ſecret of his ſoule upon this point. What may we ſay of ſuch men, as read this, and are nothing moved therewith?H3 with? 174H3v 174 with? Truly ſuch men may be thought to have but the outward ſhape, or faces of men; that is, they weare fayre Cloaths, they talke, they walke togeather, they buſy their minds in needles toyes; but as for the true uſe of Reaſon (wherein the eſſence of man conſiſteth) ſo far forth as it may become ſervicable to the advancement and ſpirituall good of their ſoules, they participate in their actiōons more with beaſts who want ſoules, then with Rationall Creatures: A griefe not to be expreſſed, but in moſt deplorable Threnes and La- 175H4r 175 Lamentations.
Nay, I dare be bold to ſay, that Beasts ſeeme to have greater practiſe of Reaſon, then divers of theſe men have. Strike a Horſe, or an Aſſe once or twyce, or thruſt him into a deep or dangerous hole, out of which he can hardly get; he will conceave ſuch Feare thereof, as that he will for a long tyme after ſeeke to avoyde both the ſtroakes, and the hole: And yet, where the Scripture, the teſtimonies of the Ancient and holy Fathers, the ſeverall miracles exhibited in proofe of the torments of H4 Pur- 176H4v 176 Purgatory, do fully proclame the horriblenes of thoſe pai nes, divers Catholikes who are infallibly hereafter to endure the ſame paynes (if ſo they make no prevention in their lyfe tyme) have no Feare, no Senſe, no Feeling thereof. O God, that Men ſhould thus ceaſe to be Men, and Beaſts (after a certaine manner) ſhould ſtep in their place.
Well, I will conclude this my diſcourſe to you (Worthy Catholikes) humbly beſee ching you, even for the moſt precious, and bitter Paſſion of our Lord and Saviour, & for the future good of your owne 177H5r 177 owne ſoules, to caſt your eye upon all the Premiſſes ſet downe in this ſmal Treatiſe, and have a feeling Conſideration both of the extremities of the paynes, and of the infallible authorities proving the undoubted certaynety of thoſe payens; and do not ſuffer your judgments to fluctuate or waver, touching the certainty of them. Therfore, I will only demand, Is there a Heaven? Is there a Hell? Is there a Purgatory? Yf you believe theſe things to have a true and reall being, (as no doubt infallibly you do) where then (through H5 your 178H5v 178 your ſo much ſleighting of them) is your Judgment? If you hould them (as God forbid) but as intentionall and aery Speculations of the braine, where is your Fayth? And a moſt miſerable Election it is, whether a man will be damned for all eternity, for want of practiſing neceſſary points of Chriſtian Religion; or through want of Fayth.
But before I end this paſſage I will turne my penne, but withall gentle, and ſoften in part my ſtyle, in reſpect of the Perſons to which I will direct theſe few enſuinging 179H6r 179 ing lynes. To you then (great Catholicke Ladyes) and other Catholicke Gentle-women of worth (to whom in regard of my Sexe, I may be the more bold to ſpeake freely) whoſe preſent Widdowed ſtates by reaſon of your deceaſed Husbands, ſtand enriched with more then ordinary affluency (during your lives) of lands, money, and other temporall goods: You I ſay (Noble Ladyes, and others of Worth) though you be weake in Nature, yet know your owne ſtrength, and what great matters during your Widowhoods you H6 are 180H6v 180 are able, through Gods aſſiſtance to performe, for the freeing you from the flames of Purgatory: and remember, that howſoever the nycenes & delicacy of divers of you be ſuch, as that in this world, you can brooke nothing diſpleaſing to you; yet in the next world, admitting you dye in ſtate of Salvation, you muſt infallibly undergo thoſe horrible flames (ſo much ſpoken of in theſe leaves) except by your charitablenes (and this in a moſt full degree) you redeeme thoſe paynes.
O what good Workes might 181H7r 181 might you do during your Widdowhoods? And yet I feare, you are moſt forgetfull therein. Many of you (I know) are ready to beſtow a hundred Marks, or more, upon one gowne; and that gowne muſt not serve two yeares, but another (as chargeable) muſt inſtantly be had. Agayne, ſome of you will be content to loſe a hundred marks, or more, in one night at Gleeke; and will weare about your necks Jewels, worth many hundreds of pounds.
O cut off theſe needles & fruitles charges, and beſtow a 182H7v 182 a good part thereof upon your Soules, with the preciouſnes of good and ſatisfying works, though your bodies in part be deprived of ſuch glorious Ornaments. There is none of you, but beſides your greater ſinnes, you daily commit leſſer ſinnes; for it is ſaid in holy Writ, Prou. 24. The Just man ſhall fall ſeaven tymes a day. How many idle, and unneceſſary thoughts and words paſſe from you, but in one day? and yet you muſt make ſatisfaction for every ſuch thought or word, either here or in Purgatory, before you can 183H8r 183 can arrive to Heaven. For it is ſayd, Prou. 19. They ſhall render an account of every idle Word, in the day of judgment.
Now then in tyme of your Widowhoods, lay out a great part of your riches to ſpirituall uſury (as I may terme it) for the good of your Soules. I did know a yong gentle-woman, now dead: ſhe was left by her deceaſed Father two thouſand pounds, and better in portion. She intended to mary (and ſo before her death ſhe did) yet before ſhe would ſubject herſelfe, and her ſtate to any man, (beſides divers good acts 184H8v 184 acts before) ſhe gave at one tyme (I ſpeake of certaine and particular knowledge) three hundred pounds of her portion away, to the bringing up of poore ſchollers beyond the Seas; ſaying thus to herſelfe; If I shalbe content to enthrall my ſelfe, & ſeaventeene hundred pounds at least, to the will of a ſtranger, who I know not how he will uſe me; have I not reaſon to give three hundred pounds away to my owne Soule, for his ſake, who will not ſuffer a cup of could water given in his name, to be unrewarded?
This is an Example worthythy 185H9r 185 thy of your taking notice of, thereby to put you in mind, to remember to prevent the flames of Purgatory, during the tyme of your Widowhoods. For if you be not ſolicitous thereof before your ſecond mariage, when your ſtates are in your owne diſpoſall; it is much to be feared, that your future Huſbands will bridle you of all ſuch (though moſt neceſſary) charges. This Example may alſo be worthily a Preſident for all other yong Catholike gentle-women of great portions, to provide for the good of their soules, before 186H9v 186 before they tye themſelves in mariage to any one.
Well (Worthy Ladyes) let a Woman once preach to women, and ſince you are Women. Imitate that Bleſſed Woman ſo much celebrated for her charity to others, in Gods holy writ, Prou. 31. Manum ſuam aperuit inopi, &c. She opened her hands to thoſe that wanted, and ſtretched out her armes to the poore; and thereupon it followeth of her in the ſaid word of God: Et ridebit in die nouiſsimo; and ſhe ſhall laugh at the last day, That is, at the day of her death ſhe ſhall rejoyce: and ſo (Noble 187H10r 187 (Noble Ladyes, and others) it is in your power (if your ſelves will) to enjoye the like felicity and retaliation, for your workes of charity, with her. And with this I give a full cloſe to this my Exhortative Diſcourſe.
Certaine examples of good works to be practiſed, for the avoyding of Purgatory, propounded by the Authour of this Treatiſe.
The firſt of theſe Good Workes, ſo much wiſhed by 188H10v 188 by me, ſhalbe not only in a mans private Devotions & Prayers; but alſo by ſoliciting of others of our Catholike Clergy (though even of their owne moſt ready propenſion and loyalty herein, I know they are not wanting) to pray for his Majesty of England, our moſt gratious King, and for his worthy Queene, and their Royall Iſſue.
This is the Duty, which all Subjects (of what Religion ſoever) ought to performe; and the performance thereof is a pleaſing, & moſt gratefull ſpirituall Sacrifice to 189H11r 189 to the Divine Majesty, and a good meanes (among others) to expiate our former Tranſgreſſions; Thus ſhall ech of us feare the Lord, and honour the King. Prou. 24. And, give to Ceſar, what is Ceſars. Matth. 22. For if the Prophet Jeremy (ſterned by Gods holy ſpirit, and therefore ſpoake the truth) commanded the Iſraelits, being brought into Captivity to Babylon, to pray for the good ſtate thereof, ſaying to them; In the peace therof, you ſhall have peace. Ierem. 29. And if further alſo the Iſraelites be counſelled by God in his holy Writ, to pray 190H11v 190 pray for the life of Nabuchodonoſor, and his ſonne Baltaſar. Baruch 1. How much more Reaſon then, have all Prieſts, and Catholikes in England, even to beſiege the eares of God with their daily and inceſſant Prayers and impetrations, for the ſpirituall and temporall good of their King Charles?
Since the Iſraelites then prayed for their Enemy; We pray for our Dread Soveraigne. They for him, who did lead them into Captivity: We for him, who keepes us in liberty, peace, & tranquillity. They for a meere ſtran- 191H12r 191 ſtranger and Idolater; We being Chriſtiāans, for our Native Chriſtian Prince. Finally, they for a forrayne Nation: We for our owne Coūuntry, in which we are bred & brought up, and to which we owe Omnes omnium charitates: So willingly we muſt remember, that it is ſaid, 1. Pet. 3. We ought to be ſubject to the King, as excelling.
Therefore in regard of ſo worthy a worke, which even in duty ought to be performed by all Engliſh Catholikes and Prieſts; I the poore authour of this Treatiſe, will make bold, though a woman to 192H12v 192 to Perſonate all the Engliſh Prieſts and good Catholikes in my ſelfe, and will offer up to the Higheſt (in behalfe of us all) this our moſt zealous and daily prayer: God preſerve with his eye of Vigilancy, and care our moſt Noble Prince King Charles, and his most illustrious Queene, and most worthy Iſſue. God grant him to proſper in all true felicity, both temporall and ſpirituall; and give him the Priviledg that he may in his Succeſſours perpetuate his Iſſue from generation to generation: That ſo of him it may be ſayd with the Prophet, Pſal. 127. Filij tui ſicut nouellæ oliuarum, in circuitu menſæ 193I1r 193 menſæ tuæ. And grant, that in the cloſe of their lives, they may all leave the Stage or Theater of this world with ſpirituall Trophees and Triumphs, for the gayning of that Celeſtiall Kingdome; in compare of which, all the kingdomes upon the Earth deſerve not to be Types or adumbrations. And, to this my unfeigned Prayer, I wiſh all good Engliſh Priests, and Catholikes to ſay, Amen.
Now I will I deſcend to other pious deeds, and ſuch as conſiſt in charges of ſilver. And heere I will inſiſt (by way of Example) in certaine courſes taken by divers of I the 194I1v 194 the more earneſt Proteſtāants, whoſe intentions therein (ſuppoſing their Religion were true) are moſt commendable. I here may be the more bould to reſt in ſuch examples (I hope) without offence to any Proteſtant Reader (which willingly I labour to avoyde,) becauſe they are warranted by the Proteſtants owne practiſe, though in a different Religion. Therefore their actiōons for the advancement of their Religion, may be a ſpur and incitement to us, to practiſe the like actions for the Honour of our Catholike Religion,gion, 195I2r 195 gion, which is moſt Ancient and infallible.
For no ſmall diſhonour it would be to us Catholikes, that thoſe words of ſacred writ ſhould be averred herein of them and us: Filij huius ſæculi prudentiores filijs lucis in ſua generatione ſunt. Luc. 16. The children of this world are more wiſe in their generation, then the Children of light. For ſhall ſuch men, whoſe Fayth even depreſſeth the merit of Good Workes, exceed the Catholikes in the practiſe of their ſuppoſed Good Workes? O no. Let therfore our owne practize of Good Workes becomeI2 come 196I2v 196 come a Scholia, to paraphraze our doctrine, & beliefe touching Good Workes. And how prepoſterous would it be, that our Adverſaries putting no confidence in Good Works, ſhould nevertheleſſe in their owne judgments be ready to performe them? We, who put confidence in them, as receaving their worth from the Merits of Christ his Paſſion, and his promiſſe of reward to them (& not otherwiſe) yet ſhould be ſlow in the operation of them? Therfore may we not bluſh, that our owne cold remiſſnes in good actions, ſhould become a 197I3r 197 a foyle to their greater ſeeming Actions of that Nature?
Well then, to deſcend to particulars: We obſerve, that the more forward Proteſtants, fynding Youths (though meere ſtrangers unto them) of pregnancy and hope to be Schollars, will ſtrayne themſelnues & open their purſes, to maintayne them in our engliſh Univerſities; that finally they may become Miniſters, thereby more & more to diſſeminate in the Realme their owne Proteſtant Religion. Now ſeeing the Catholike ReligionI3 gion 198I3v 198 gion is only true, for Vna fides, vnum Baptiſma, Epheſ. 4. how meritorious and pleaſing is it in the ſight of God, for you to practize the like Charity to yōong poore ſchollars of hopefull expectation, for their bringing up in ſuch places of literature, as that when they have ended their ſtudies, they may be ſerviceable in the Catholike Church for the general good of others?
I inſtance (for example) in a pregnant yong boy of ſeaventeene, or eighteene yeares of age; This boy through want of meanes, for his 199I4r 199 his better preferment is to become a Servingman, a Clarke, a Prentiſe, or at the beſt (indeed the worſt) a Miniſter; In all which ſtates, conſidering the preſent ſtreme of Proteſtancy in En gland, his ſoule is in all likelyhood to periſh eternally, for his not dying in a true Fayth, and Religion. Now here obſerve the wonderfull difference, riſing from the performing, or omitting of ſuch a charitable deed. Yf ſuch a boy ſtay in England, then is his ſoule (as above is ſaid) in great perill of eternally periſhing, through his I4 Pro- 200I4v 200 profeſſing of an erroneous Fayth: Yf he be Catholikly brought up, and ſent over the ſea’s, he is to be inſtructed in the only ſaving Catholike Faith, to the moſt hopefull Salvation of his ſoule.
Yf he be here ſent to our Engliſh Univerſities, and finally become a Miniſter; he then, not only looſeth his owne ſoule, but is to be feared, will be the cauſe of the everlaſting perdition of many other mens Soules, by his envenoming, and infecting their Judgments with his owne Religion: Yf he be brought up in Catholike pla- 201I5r 201 places, beyond the Seas, and proceed forward in his courſe, he then (living according to the ſtrict courſe of his undertaken Profeſſion,) not only ſaveth his owne Soule, but is a ſubordinate Inſtrument under God, for the ſaving of many other mens ſoules; partly by practiſing his function among ſuch as be already Catholikes; and partly by his perſuaſion (if ſo he prove learned,) of others yet remaining Proteſtants, to imbrace the Roman Catholike Fayth.
And thus if you obſerve, I5 ei- 202I5v 202 either the preventing of the great Hurt, and Evill, which is in likely-hood to come by the youthes taking the one courſe of life; or the great Spirituall good to himſelfe & others, by his undergoing the other State: You may thinke your ſilver employed to ſuch an Act, to be moſt happily layed out; Aſſuring your ſelves, that the worke of the Evill here prevented, and the Good here performed (& all originally under God, by your meanes) ſhall find a great retaliation at Gods moſt mercifull hands, both for the increaſe of your merits,rits, 203I6r 203 rits, as alſo for the expiating of your ſinnes, which otherwiſe is to be performed in Purgatory.
Why then therfore ſhould ſuch of you, as be of the greater Ranke and beſt abilities, be ſlow in practizing workes of this nature? Therfore now, while you have tyme, lay wayte by all convenient meanes to enquyre after ſuch occaſions; Eſpecially when ſuch a particular worthy Act may oftentymes be performed with leſſer charges; then divers of you wil beſtow upon a good ſuite of apparel. O thēen, apparaileI6 raile 204I6v 204 raile and inveſt your Soules with ſuch good workes; and be leſſe chargeable in gorgeous attire for your bodies. I do aſſure you, if I had great and abūundant meanes for the practizing of the workes of Piety, I had rather make choyce to diſtribute to this uſe of providing and maintaining of hopeful youths in learning, to the end above expreſſed, then to any other particular End whatſoever. For if neither any places of Reſidence beyond the Seas had beene provided, and furniſhed with ſufficient maintenance for the bringing up of 205I7r 205 of Engliſh Schollers; nor that there had beene any Catholikes, who would have opened their purſes to this noble End, Catholike Religion had beene utterly extinct many yeares ſince, in England.
This Zeale of many good Catholikes both dead (and no doubt, alive) in this point, is the fuell, that hath nouriſhed, and kept in, the fyer of Catholike Religion in our owne Country for many yeares paſt. Since if Youths were not ſent over to be (after their ſtudies ended) created Prieſtes, how could 206I7v 206 could the profeſſion of Catholike Religion continue in theſe ſo great ſtormes among us? Therefore what a great and inexplicable comfort will it be to you in your laſt Sicknes, even for ſatisfaction of your temporall puniſhments, when you ſhall remember, that wheras ſuch, or ſuch a pregnant youth was in the high way of perdition, and of overthrowing his owne, and other mens ſoules alſo, if he had proceeded in his former intended Courſe of life; yet you (through your charity) in laying out a little peece of mo- 207I8r 207 money, did under God, therby reſcue the ſayd youth, even out of the Devills jawes, and have beene a ſecond meanes of ſaving both the youths owne ſoule, & of the ſoules of divers others?
This being ſo, let me then intreat you (Most worthy Catholikes) even for our Saviours ſake (who gave not ſilver (as is heere only expected) but his moſt precious bloud, for the ranſonming of all ſoules out of the Devills poſſeſſion) that you would caſt a moſt ſerious, and intenſe conſideration of this one point. And thus far touchingching 208I8v 208 ching this particular kind of Almes-deeds.
Only this much more I will annex, as an Appendix to the former, that I could wiſh the moſt able of you in temporall ſtate, to have a feeling and ſenſible touch of divers well-diſpoſed yonge gentlewomen; who through the decay of their Parents ſtate, not having ſufficient portions left them to enter into Religion (being of themſelves otherwiſe moſt deſirous to ſhake handes for ever with the world, by taking that courſe) are forced to forbeare that their moſt Re_ 209I9r 209 Religious inclination, & for want of meanes to take ſome ſecular Courſe of life, either by mariage, or otherwiſe.
Now here, how truly Worthy and Heroicall a part of Chriſtian Catholike Munificene and bounty were it in you, by increaſing their Portions, to ſupply ſuch their wants, & thereby to turne the channell of their otherwiſe dāangerous courſe? Which if you do performe, what have you done? This you have done. You have cauſed a yong Gentle-woman (otherwiſe expoſed, & lying open to the dangers of the world) 210I9v 210 world) to Cloyſter herſelfe within a wall, there to ſpēend all her lyfe tyme, in Chaſtity, Obedience, Voluntary poverty, and other devotiōons; ryſing at midnight (to forbeare all other her auſterities) when your ſelves are taking your ſweet repoſe & reſt, to ſing laudes to God, & to pray for her benefactours, & particularly for you, who have beene the cauſe of ſuch her moſt happy choyce of life; ſhe thus by your charity increaſing the number of thoſe, qui ſequuntur agnum; quocumque inerit. Apoc. 14. Here is an Act deſerving the true 211I10r 211 true name of Chriſtian charity, and ſuch as ſhalbe able (through Gods moſt mercifull acceptance therof) to arme the Soule againſt the Flames of Purgatory.
But to proceed to other ſorts of good Deeds, practiſed by the forward Proteſtant. We ſee in moſt places of the Realme, that there are divers earneſt Proteſtants, who ſeeing ſome neighboring places wanting preaching Miniſters, are ready to plant ſuch men there; affording them large allowāance, & this to the end, the more to dilate their owne Proteſtanticallticall 212I10v 212 ticall Fayth, over much allready ſpread and diſſeminated. And hence it is, that ſo many Stipendary Miniſters are ſetled in ſeverall places of the Realme. Now, why ſhould ſuch of you as be of greater ability, be inferiour in Zeale to the Proteſtants herein, as to ſuffer ſuch vacant places, as are neare to you, to be deſtitute of all ſuch inſtruments in the Catholike Faith? I doubt not but that divers of you, ſeeing a peece of land cloſe by you, though rough and untilled; yet of its owne Nature (through ſmal charges) moſt fruit- 213I11r 213 fruitfull: I doubt not (I ſay) but that divers of you would be deſirous, either to buy, or at leaſt to take a Leaſe of the ſaid land, therby to better your ſtates the more. There are divers waſt places adjoyning to every one of you, wherein live many civill & morall men, yet their underſtanding (in regard of any Religion) are but as Tabulæ Raſæ, or unmanured land.
Now heere, what a moſt worthy and Chriſtian attempt, and endeavour were it in you, to ſeeke to plant ſpirituall labourers in ſuch places, by whoſe paynes the ſeed 214I11v 214 ſeed of Catholike Religion might be ſowne in mens ſoules; ſince the Georgikes of the mind (ſo to ſpeake) are far more worthy & noble, then the Georgikes or Agriculature of land? And would not then thoſe ſacred textes of Scripture here be verified of you: Seminanti iustitiam merces fidelis, Prou . 11. He that ſoweth righteouſnes, receaveth a ſure reward: and againe: Qui operatur terram ſuam, inaltabit aceruum frugum,Eccl. 20. Who tilleth his land, ſhall increaſe his heape of Corne; to wit Heavenly Corne?
O what a ſpirituall increaſecreaſe 215I12r 215 creaſe might ſuch of you make, who have full and open purſes, by cultivating of divers of theſe barrēen places? And how forcible would ſuch pious endevours be, for the expiating of the relicks of your ſinnes? Therefore let not the Puritan Gentilmen, and others, exceed and overgoe you in their Zeale towards God (though Zeale not according to knowledg. Rom. 10.) in this point, who are moſt liberall in maintaining of their Preachers, and all to plant their Errours, to the ſpirituall Danger of the ſoules of their credulous and ignorantnorant 216I12v 216 norant Hearers; But labour by ſecret meanes without conteſtation to the preſent ſtate (to which you ought ever to beare all duty and reverence) to ſupererogate with them, in pious workes of this Nature.
An other point, wherein we may well follow the ſteps of our Adverſaries, is this. The Proteſtant Gentlemen (though of very great worth and Ranke) do often ſend their yonger Sonnes to our Engliſh Univerſities, providing that they may become fellowes of Houſes; whoſe Terminus ad quem (as I may 217K1r 217 may ſay) is finally to become Miniſters, and thereby to be promoted to great and rich Eccleſiaſticall livings; in which ſtore and abundance, England exceedeth all Nations in Chriſtendome. Now to be emulous of our Adverſaries proceeding herein: if Catholike Parents would ſeriouſly ponder this point, no doubt they would be more carefull and willing to ſend over their yonger ſonnes to Catholike Colledges beyond the Seas, then they are; not to become ſchollars, only thereby to be advanced to ſpirituall livings (an over K vn- 218K1v 218 unworthy Allective) but to become Prieſts, (that throgh ſheeding of their bloud) even after an Apoſtolicall manner, they may labour to reduce their owne Country to its former ancient Catholike and Roman Fayth.
Now, ſuch yonger Brothers of Catholikes, which have not their education abroad, but only bred up in England; into what (for the moſt part) do they finally reſolve? They (for example) being left by their Parents Twenty, or Thirty, or perhaps forty pounds Annuity (and ſometimes leſſe then, any 219K2r 219 any of theſe) what courſe do moſt of theſe after their parents deceaſe, uſually undergoe? To be in ſervice to any māan or Knight or Nobleman of worth, or to be in any good employment abroad for their temporall advancement, many of them out of a long habituated idlenes, and as being at their owne diſpoſall and liberty, will not. And what then commonly do they? Forſooth they reſt content with their owne poore Annuities, burdening commonly their Elder Brother (if he be a man of a good and kind Nature)K2 ture 220K2v 220 ture) for their diet; and they ravell out their yeares, walking up and downe, and domineiring among their Eldeſt Brothers Tenants and Neighbours, with a Marlin, or Sparhauke on their fiſt, & a Grey-hound, or water ſpanell following them (the very badge, or armes of moſt yonger Brothers in divers Shyres) hiding themſelves for the moſt part of the day, in ſome baſe Ale-houſe; and often becomming (through diſſolution of life) Fathers, before they be Husbands. But in the end (belike for feare their Houſe, from whence 221K3r 221 whence they deſcend, ſhould be extinct for wāant of Heires) they marry their Siſter-in- lawes wayting mayde, or ſome other poore woman, and then they beget a litter of Beggars, both burdenſome, and diſhonorable to their Family and Stock.
But now, if we caſt our eye upon the other end of the ballance: Yf ſuch yonger ſonnes of Catholike Parēents (being of good wits) were ſent over in their Parents life time, and that when their minds and wills were of a ſupple and waxen Diſpoſition, as not being acquaintedK3 ted 222K3v 222 ted afore (through want of yeares) with any ſinne or Evill, and ready to receave the impreſſion of Vertue & learning; how ſerviceable to the Church of God in tyme, might ſuch men become? For by this meanes of education, many of them do undergoe (as we fynd by experience) a moſt holy Function of life; ſpending their whole age after, in laboring to adminiſter the Sacramēents of the Church to Catholikes, in reducing divers Proteſtants to the only true and Catholike Fayth, and in daily praying & offering up the moſt Venerable Sa- 223K4r 223 Sacrifice of Chriſtes body, for the ſoules of their dead Parents, and others their living or deceaſed Friends. O quantum diſtat ortus ab occaſu? for ſo great is the Diſparity betweene theſe two differēent courſes of Yonger Brothers here ſet downe; not only in the eye of God, but even in the eye of the world.
And heere by digreſſion I will touch a little upon the Daughters of Catholicke Gentle-men. Heere in England divers of them (as well as the Daughters of Proteſtants) take (throgh a blind affection, often caſt upōon ſome K4 baſe 224K4v 224 baſe man or other) a moſt unworthy Courſe, to the unutterable griefe of their Parents, and overthrow of their temporall ſtate. And if they be placed in mariage with their Parents conſent anſwerably to their Degree; yet if either the Husbands prove unkind, or in courſe of life vitious; or their Children untoward and licentious, what a vexation is it then to the Parents? And how do they languiſhingly ſpend their dayes in inconſolable ſighs and ſorrow?
But now, if the ſaid Daughters, being in their Vir- 225K5r 225 Virginall, tender, and innocent age, be brought up in places of Religion, and that through the ſpeciall grace of God, and meanes of ther daily education, they proceed and become Religious women in the Church of God; How ineffable a comfort may this be to their Catholike parents? Since they then by theſe meanes, freeing thēemſelves from all illaqueations and worldly entanglements, ſhall beſtow the greateſt part both of Day and Night in performing, & ſinging Hymnes of Prayſes to his Divine Majeſty, for the K5 good 226K5v 226 good of themſelves & their Friends: To every one of which, at the Cloſe of their lyfe may be ſaid in the Catholicke Churches Dialect: Veni ſponſa Chriſti, accipe coronam, quam tibi Dominus præparauit in æternum. (in Collect. Natalit. Virg.)
Thus far of this point. And I would to God, that Catholicke Parents would apprehend this Paragraph or paſſage with a ſerious & feeling conſideration. And thus far of theſe former Courſes, in imitating the examples of our Adverſaries; which exāamples were moſt worthy of all 227K6r 227 all commendation, being incorporated in an Orthodoxall Religion. But yet heere, in our Imitation of them, I ever wiſh, that what is attempted in this kind (or els not to be attempted) were performed (as before I intimated) with all ſweetnes, and moderation, and with all dutifull Reſpect to the ſtate of our Realme. Since I hould it moſt repugnant to true Judgment & Religion, to undertake to put in practiſe orderly things, by unorderly meanes; and therefore in all ſuch our ſpirituall endeavours let us remember, K6 to 228K6v 228 to ſhew all duty and reverence to the State, and that it is recorded in ſacred Writ, (Rom. 13.) We are to be ſubject to higher powers; ſeeing there is no power, but of God. And there againe: Who reſisteth the Power, reſisteth the Ordinance of God. In regard of which promptnes of our duty, I hope theſe examples, as being taken by imitation from the Proteſtants themſelves, will not be juſtly offenſive to the grave Proteſtant Magiſtrate.
There is yet another thing moſt worthy of your charitable commiſeration. You ſee, 229K7r 229 ſee, that the Catholickes throughout England pay yerely great ſommes of money for their Recuſancy; Among whom, there are many hundred of poore Catholikes, who are ſo overcharged with theſe yearely payments, as that their meane Eſtates are not able to ſupport any long time ſuch payments; of which his Majeſty (who is moſt prone to commiſeration and pitty) litle heareth in particular; this being effected only by certaine Subordinate Magiſtrates, adverſe to our Catholike Religion. And thereupon for 230K7v 230 for their avoiding of the ſaid payments, impoſed upon them, divers of theſe poore men and women have forſaken already (contrary to their conſcience) externally their Religion, and are content to come to the Proteſtant Church.
Now heere I ſay, ſuch of you, as be of great Abilities, how ample a field have you to ſow your merits and ſatisfactions in; I meane by contributing out of your purſes ſome yearly ſommes to theſe poore Catholikes, thereby to eaſe, and leſſen their yearely payments? In your 231K8r 231 your worthy performāance of this my propounded Motion, you do not only help and ſuccour them touching their bodies; but (which is far more pleaſing in the ſight of God,) you ſo take pitty of their ſoules, as you prevent, that divers of them do not Apoſtatate & forſake their Catholicke Religion, which perhaps throgh feare of want of meanes they would doe; And ſo you are become a ſecondary great Inſtrument of their finall Salvation.
And can you then otherwiſe thinke, but that God (who 232K8v 232 (who is mercy it ſelfe) and who will take this Charity of yours as done to himſelfe, would take the like pitty of your owne ſoules, both for the preventing of your eternall perdition, as alſo for mitigating your temporall puniſhments in Purgatory? For heer our Saviours words would be juſtified in you, Matth. 25. Verily I ſay unto you, in ſo much as you have donne it unto one of the least of theſe my brethren, you have done it unto me.
In this next place, I will deſcend to acts peculiar only to us Catholikes; & ſuch as 233K9r 233 as do inſiſt, and reſt in offering up the prayers both of our ſelves, but eſpecially of the generall Liturgy of the moſt bleſſed sacrifice of the Euchariſt, offered up either for the benefit of our ſelves, or of others. Of which moſt dreadfull Sacrifice ſayth S. Chryſostome homil. 25. in Act. Apoſt. Hostia in manibus, adſunt Angeli, adſunt Archangeli, adeſt Filius Dei, cum tanto horrore aſtant omnes. And to begin; Thinke what a worthy, and charitable Act it were to concurre by cauſing Sacrifices and Prayers to be made, for the redeeming of poore 234K9v 234 poore Soules out of Purgatory.
There is no man of an Humane and ſweet Nature, but he would commiſerate a very beaſt (much more a man) lying in extremity of paynes. And this Naturall Pitty is ſo gratefull to our Saviour himſelfe, as that he pronounceth, Matth. 5. Beati miſericordes, quoniam ipſi miſerecordiam conſequenturBleſſed are the mercifull, for they ſhall obtayne mercy: So avaylable & behooffull is pitty and mercy to the performers thereof. But to proceed to another benefit of ſuch a pious deed.Yf 235 K10r 235
Yf a prudent man, had a Cauſe of moſt great importance, to be tryed before a ſevere, yet moſt juſt Judge; And if at the ſame tyme, there were certaine perſons in priſon, whom that Judge did much reſpect, & to whoſe earneſt ſolicitations in any reaſonable point, he would lend a willing eare: Now would not this Suppliant lay wayte by all meanes to redeeme the ſaid men out of Priſon, if ſo he could (who during their ſtay there, were put to daily torments and rackings) as well aſſuring himſelfe, that theſe Perſons thus 236K10v 236 thus ſet at liberty by this mans meanes (being men of moſt good and gratefull Natures & Diſpoſitions) would be ready to ſpeake to the Judge, and be earneſt and ſolicitous in his behalfe? And then is it not moſt probable (if not certaine) that this man would ſpeed the better in determining his Cauſe?
The caſe is here a like, and both are caſt (as it were) in one mould. The ſoules in Purgatory (once from thence releaſed) ſhall become moſt bleſſed Saints in Heaven, & ſhall be moſt pleaſing and gratefull to his Divine Majeſty;ieſty; 237K11r 237 jeſty; who cannot, nor will not deny them the grant of any thing, which they ſhall demaund, and petition for at his hands.
Every Catholike (as all other men) are to plead their cauſe before God, the moſt juſt Judge: Yet for the more eaſy obtayning of their Plea, it is in the power of ech Catholike of good meanes (if his will be anſwerable thereto) to procure, at leaſt much to further, by his liberall charges beſtowed for the praying for the ſoules in Purgatory, the releaſing and ſetting free of divers of the ſaid 238K11v 238 ſaid tormented ſoules.
Now this being once performed, thoſe then Happy Soules, ſhall no ſooner leave their Goale and Priſon, and aſcend to Heaven; but as even abounding with a Seraphicall Charity, ſhall in recompēence of ſo great a ſpirituall eaſe and Relaxation procured to them, ever batter at the eares of our Almighty and mercifull Lord, with their daily and inceſſant prayers; that his Divine Mercy would be moſt indulgent and pittifull to ſuch men, for the preventing (or at leaſt mitigating) of their tem- 239K12r 239 temporall paynes, by whoſe meanes thoſe ſoules had a more ſpeedy delivery from their torments in Purgatory.
Heere then may a man, who is rich in temporall ſtate (if ſo he be rich in charity) lay out his wealth to an infinite increaſe of ſpirituall gayne. O how many peculiar Advocates and Interceſſours of the then moſt bleſſed ſoules (releaſed out of Purgatory) might a rich Catholike purchaſe to himſelfe, by this former meanes, thereby to pleade his cauſe before the Throne of Almighty God, in his greateſt need? 240K12v 240 need? And fooles (I will not ſay Madmen) are all ſuch, upon whom God hath beſtowed abundance of temporall riches; and yet themſelves remayne unwilling & ſlow in this ſpirituall traffique of a good and competent part of their ſaid temporall ſtate and meanes.
But becauſe this point of relieving by Good Workes the ſoules in Purgatory, is of moſt great importance, both to the poore ſoules relieved, & the living party performing ſuch a moſt charitable work to them: Therefore beſydes what is already delivered by 241L1r 241 by me above, I will adjoyne (as moſt moving any man of Piety and Judgment) the diſcourſe of the aforementioned learned and worthy Cardinall Bellarmine of this point; who maketh the ninth Chapter of the third booke de Gemitu Columbæ, the ſubject hereof: Thus then that bleſſed man writeth: We have ſhewed above, that there are very many, or rather innumerable ſoules of the faithfull in Purgatory; and that they are a most long tyme to be tormented, almoſt with incredible puniſhments. Now here we will declare the fruite, which may be L ga- 242L1v 242 gathered from this conſideration. And certainly it cannot be doubted, but if the ponderation and weighing of this point be ſerious, longe, attent, and full of fayth and confidence; a most vehement commiſeration, and full of horrour and feare will reſult out of the ſaid conſideration.
And in like ſort it is certaine, that an earnest and intenſe conſideration of the ſaid point, will ingender in us a vehement deſire of helping the ſaid ſoules in Purgatory, by ſatisfactory workes; to wit, Prayer, Faſting, Almes-deeds, and chiefly by the most holy oblation, and Sacrifice of 243L2r 243 of our Lords body. And indeed it is most admirable to obſerve, how gainfull a negotiation (and this most just) may accrew unto us thereby. And this ſpirituall negotiation may well be reſembled to the proceeding of a man, who ſhould deliver one and the ſame ſilver (upon uſury) to ſeverall Merchants; and yet ſhould receave a full and entyre Interest for one and the said Silver, from every one of the Merchants.
Let us explayne our ſelves in few words. A man prayeth for the Dead, attentively, piouſly, with fayth, and great confidence of impetratioun and obtainingL2 ning 244L2v 244 ning the thing prayed for. This man ſo praying, by way of merit purchaſeth to himſelfe the gayne of eternall felicity and happines: ſince Prayer is a good worke, & in that reſpect deſerving eternall life, if it proceed from Charity. Of which gayne our Lord ſpeaketh in the Ghoſpell in theſe words, Matth. 6. Tu autem cum oraueris &c. Thou, when thou ſhalt pray, enter into thy chamber, and having ſhut the doore, pray to thy Father in ſecret; and thy Father, who ſeeth thee in ſecret, will repay thee; To wit, a Reward anſwerable to the merit.
Furthermore, this praying for 245L3r 245 for the Dead, by way of ſatisfaction, doth profit the departed ſoule in Purgatory, for the which it is performed: ſeeing Prayer is (amongſt others) a laborious worke, and therein it is ſatisfactory; and conſequently it is profitable for that ſoule, to which it is applyed, according to the intention of him that prayeth, & the Doctrine of the Church. To conclude by way of impetration and humbly begging, it profiteth the ſaid departed ſoule, whoſe freeing from Purgatory, at least whoſe eaſe and mitigation of thoſe paynes, is therin beſeeched and deſired. Since that, for which Just men pray to God, L3 through 246L3v 246 through Christ, is eaſely obtayned: Our Lord himſelfe ſaying Luc. 11. Petite, & accipietis &c. Aske, and you ſhall receave: and againe, Marc. 11. Quicquid orantes, petitis &c. All things whatſoever you aske, praying, believe that you shall receave, and they ſhall come unto you. And more, Ioahn. 16. Si quid petieritis &c. If you aske the Father any thing in my name, he ſhall give it you.
Behould heere a threefould gayne, proceeding from prayer, made in behalfe of the ſoules departed. But there may be adjoyned a fourth benefit: That is, the ſoules, for which we pray, will 247L4r 247 will not be ungratefull, when they ſhall arrive into their heavenly Country; but shall anſwere & recompence our prayers, with their like prayers in our behalfe.
To proceed; Fasting being performed by us, and applyed for the deceaſed, obtayneth a manifould gaine. For first, (as a meritorious worke) it is profitable to him, who fasteth, even by the testimony of our Lord himſelfe Matth. 6. Tu autem, cum ieiunas, &c. When thou dost fast, annoynt thy head, and waſh thy face, that thou appeare not to men to faſt, but to thy Father, which is in ſecret; and thy Father L4 ther 248L4v 248 ther, which ſeeth in ſecret, will repay thee.
Fasting alſo, as a ſatisfactory worke, being applyed for the dead, doth helpe the dead. For not without just cauſe, did David fast, with all his retinue and trayne even till night, when he was advertized of the overthrow of King Saul, and Jonathas, and of a great part of the people of God.
To conclude, Faſting (in an other manner) profiteth the party ſo faſting; to wit, in that the ſoules of the departed, when they shall aſcend to Heaven, will not be forgetfull of their Benefactours; but will power out prayers for 249L5r 249 for them; and ſuch their prayers, as proceeding from true Charity, ſhall be heard.
Now, in the next place, to come to Almes-deeds. This kind of good Worke alſo is accompanied with a threefould gayne. For firſt, it profiteth the poore, to which the Almes-deeds are given, and maketh them to become our friends, that ſo when we fayle, they may receave us into eternall Tabernacles. Luc. 16. Againe, Almes-deeds being applyed for the uſe of the ſoules departed, do bring a refreſhing and refocillation to the ſaid ſoules; and conſequently make them alſo to become our friends, L5 who 250L5v 250 who having a title to the Kingdome of Heaven, will no doubt helpe us with their holy Prayers and Interceſsions.
Thirdly, Almes-deeds do (as I may ſay) bynd God to be a debtour unto us; for thus the Holy Ghost ſpeaketh by the mouth of Salomon: Qui miſeretur pauperis, fœneratur Domino: Who taketh pitty of the poore, doth put out his ſilver to intereſt, even to our Lord. Prou. 19. And Christ confirmeth the ſame in the Goſpell, ſaying, Matth. 6. Te faciente Eleemoſynam &c. When thou dost an Almes deed, let not thy left hand know, what thy right hand doth, that thy Almes- deed 251L6r 251 deed may be ſecret, and thy Father, which ſeeth in ſecret, will repay thee.
To deſcend to the most bleſſed Sacrifice of Christs body & bloud; It is most cleare and evident, that that oblation profiteth the party, who offereth it up, as a guift most gratefull to God: It profiteth the faithfull living, as alſo the faithfull ſoules departed. And that this is most undoubtedly true, appeareth from the many most credible Viſions or apparitions, manifeſting that the faithfull ſoules in Purgatory, do deſire and expect nothing more, then that the most celestiall oblation of the body and L6 bloud 252L6v 252 bloud of Chriſt may be offered up for their refreſhing, or freeing them from their paynes. Of which point read S. Gregory lib. 4. Dialogorum. cap. 75. & ſequent. Alſo the History of England written by Venerable Bede lib. 5. cap. 13.
In like ſort the Epiſtles of Petrus Damianus ad Deſiderium, may be read; & finally the lyfe of S. Nicolaus Tolentinus in Surius tom. 5. ad diem 10. Septembris: For to this bleſſed Priest appeared once a great multitude of ſoules, who with teares and most lachrimall voyces deſired of him the celebration of the moſt holy Sacrifice, as a prin- 253L7r 253 principall Remedy for their paines in Purgatory. Now from all the Premiſſes, it is evident, that we may receave a most preciable and incomparable gayne, if we daily powre out our prayers, for the ſoules departed; or if we do diſtribute Almes to the poore, for the eaſe and refreſhment of their paynes; or if we do ſastisfy for the ſaid ſoules, either by our Faſting, or other penitential works; or finally do celebrate the most holy Sacrifice of the Maſſe for their delivery out of Purgatory. Thus far learned Bellarmine diſcourſeth of this point. Whoſe words I would deſire every good Catholicke Rea- 254L7v 254 Reader ſeriouſly to obſerve.
But to enlarge my ſelfe a little further, I could wiſh all of you of good ſtates, when juſt occaſiōon is preſented, that you would be moſt bountifull in relieving impriſoned Prieſts, and poore impriſoned Catholiks. O how worthy an Act is this, and how do you ſuffer in their ſufferings? And you may then infallibly intereſt your ſelves in the words of the Apoſtle, Hebr. 6. God is not unjust, that he can forget your good workes, and charity, which you have shewed in his name, and have, and do minister unto his 255L8r 255 his Saints.
I well remember, that ſome twenty yeares ſince, a certaine Priſon having in it ſome ſix or ſeaven Prieſts, & far more poore lay Catholikes, lying there in great want; there was a Catholike gentle woman of good account, who taking great cōommiſeration of their wants, relieved all the Catholike impriſoned company, with weekly proviſion of meate for ſeverall months; and ſo ſhe intended ſtill to continue this her Charity, but that ſhe was ſhortly after prevented by death. This was an 256L8v 256 an Heroicall and moſt Chriſtian charity in her, able no doubt (throgh Christs mercifull acceptance thereof) even to abate the flames of Purgatory.
In like ſort, I could wiſh all of you, who are carefull to prevent the raging flames of Purgatory, that what workes of labour, or ſatisfaction, or Almes deeds you intēend to doe, that you would not defer the accompliſhing of them, till the day of your departure out of this world; but performe them when you are in health. The differ ēence is moſt great betweene a 257L9r 257 a worke of Charity done at the Houre of a mans death, and when he is in health not likely to dye.
For in the firſt manner, the party dying, giveth away his goods to pious uſes, becauſe he cannot enjoy them any longer. In the ſecond, it is in a mans power to keep his riches longer, & yet departing from them in his Health, he is content thereby actually to leſſen in his owne daies his temporall meanes, and departeth with them with cherefulnes and alacrity of mind; a circumſtance moſt pleaſing to God, ſince 258L9v 258 ſince we read) 2. Cor. 9. Hilarem datorem diligit Deus; God loveth a chearfull giver. In the former, the will of a dying man is not (for the moſt part) in all things perfor med, either through the Covetouſnes of the wife, Children, or negligence of the Executors: In this other, a man is aſſured his will ſhall be performed; ſince he is re ſolved to make his owne Hands, his Executors, and his owne Eyes, his Overſeers.
Laſtly, Almes-deeds dōonne after the firſt ſort, do take effect only at the death of the Party & not before; whereasas 259L10r 259 as they being diſtributed af ter this ſecond ſort, they begin to worke and obtaine by degrees Indulgēence, leſſening of the future paynes, even from that houre, in which they were firſt beſtowed: So great a diſparity there is betweene having a Candell going before a man, lighting him the way to the Kingdome of Heaven, & having a Candell only to follow him.
I am perſuaded, there are very few of you ſo ſimple, who if you did owe great ſummes of Money, and were infallibly to pay every penny of them, if other courſe in 260L10v 260 in the meane tyme could not be taken; But that if by prevention of time (I meane by paying afore the day of payment cōommeth) you might be ſuffered in lieu of the whole, to pay but the twentith part, and thereby to be diſcharged of the whole great debt; but that you would take courſe by all meanes poſſible (yea by taking your ſilver up at Intereſt) for the preſent diſcharge of the ſaid twentith part, ſo to redeeme your ſelves from the payment of all the reſt. I do aſſure you even from the teſtimonies of all an 261L11r 261 ancient & learned Fathers, that it is in your power to redeeme not only the twentith part of your future torments in Purgatory, but even the greateſt part, and perhaps all, by your charitable Deeds, liberality, and pious workes, now done in your life time: And will you then be ſlow in taking the like courſe herein? O inſenſati Galatæ, quis vos faſcinauit? Gal. 3. But I will yet go further with you.
There are not many of you (I ſpeake of ſuch of you as are much devoted to the world) but that, if you had a 262L11v 262 a fayre demayne of five hun dred pounds yearely worth, though not in poſſeſſion; yet that it were infallibly to deſcend to you and your Poſterity for ever, after twenty yeares were expired: And that notwithſtāanding it were in your Power & Freedome, to buy out and redeeme the ſaid twenty yeares, thereby to have preſent poſſeſſion of it; I ſay, there are not many of you, but that you would ſtrive, though it were by impoveriſhing your ſelves for the tyme, and by living under your owne worth, thereby to procure meanes for 263L12r 263 for the redeeming of the ſaid terme of twenty yeares.
Heaven is your Inheritance, after the guilt of eternall damnation is once remitted; Yet thither it is impoſſible for you to arrive, until for certaine yeares you have performed your temporall puniſhments yet remaining. Theſe inexplicable puniſhments, which may endure for many ſcores of yeares, more then twenty, (yea it may be for ſeverall hundreds of yeares) you may redeeme perhaps for leſſe charges to your Purſe, diſ burſed in your life time and health 264L12v 264 health to pious & religious uſes (through Chriſts moſt mercifull acceptance,) then you would be content to lay out, for the getting in of the former mentioned twenty yeares. And yet how Dull, and Backward are moſt of you to undertake the ſame? How can you heere Apologize or excuſe your ſelves? Is Heaven not ſo good, as an earthly demaine? O men of little Fayth! What a muddy diſpoſition of the Soule is this, which lyes ſo groveling upon the earth, and wholy abſorpt in terrene thoughts and cogitations?Well 265 M1r 265
Well, ceaſing to enlarge my ſelfe further upon the Premiſſes, I earneſtly deſire every one of you, to procure now in tyme of Health, the moſt Reverend & Dreadfull Sacrifice of the moſt bleſſed body and bloud of our Saviour to be offered daily up, to two ends; to wit, for the ſpirituall good of your ſelves and your Children; and ſecondly, for the preventing of your future paines of Purgatory. And that you ſhall perceave of what ineffable vertue and efficacy for mans ſoule, the offering up of that moſt dreadfull Sacrifice is, I M haue 266M1v 266 have thought good to ſet downe the Judgmentes of ſome few ancient Fathers, pretermitting the greateſt part of them, for greater brevity.
Firſt then we find S. Cyrill of Alexandria Epist. ad Nestor. to write, that by meanes of this daily Sacrifice, We are made partakers of the holy body and precious bloud of Christ. S. Austin calleth the ſaid Sacrifice, Precium nostrum, Our pryce. Confeſſ. cap. 13. And further the ſame Father thus writeth lib. 4. de. Trinit. cap. 14. Quid gratius offerri &c. What can be offered up, or accepted more 267M2r 267 more thankefully, then that the fleſh of our Sacrifice, ſhould become the body of our Prieſt?
S. Chryſostome thus teacheth, Homil. 21. in Act. Apostolorum. Hostia in manibus &c. The ſacred hoſt being in the hands of the Prieſt, the Angels are preſent, the Archangels are preſent, the ſonne of God is preſent, cum tanto horrore astant omnes, with ſo much feare and horrour all of them are preſent. S. Gregory Nyſſene thus expreſly writeth, Orat. Cathech. c. 36. Fidelium corporibus &c. That body (meaning the body of Chriſt in the Sacrifice of the Maſſe) is joyned with the bodiesM2 dies 268M2v 268 dies of the faythfull, that by the conjunction of the immortall body, man may be made partaker of immortality. S. Cyprian thus teacheth of the offering up of the body, and bloud of Chriſt in the holy Euchariſt (Serm. de cœna Dom.) Perpes eſt hoc ſacrificium &c. This is a daily Sacrifice, and is a permanent or perpetuall Holocaust. To conclude the forementioned S. Chryſoſtome thus writeth (hom. 2. in 1. ad Cor.) Dum in hac vita ſumus &c. Whiles we are in this life, this mistery of the Euchariſt maketh, that the earth it ſelfe, is a Heaven to us.And 269 M3r 269
And now having ſhewed out of the teſtimonies of the ancient Fathers, the impreciable efficacy and vertue of the moſt Reverend Sacrifice of Chriſts body and bloud, for the ſpirituall good of mans Soule; we may from thence conclude, that the daily offering up of the ſaid moſt dreadfull Sacrifice (cōonſidering the worth of him there ſacrificed) is moſt avaylable & behoofull, both for the ſoules of men yet living, thereby to arme and ſtrengthen them with grace, againſt all the temptations of the World and the divell; M3 as 270M3v 270 as alſo for the expiating of mans Sinnes in Purgatory. Sweet Jeſus! no other impetration, or prayer is more piercing in the eares of God, then this; ſince heere (for remitting of our ſinnes, and regulating our actions for the tyme hereafter with divine grace) the Sonne pleadeth to the Father, God to God; And the ſame man, is both the Priest, and the Sacrifice fice.
Yea this moſt Reverend Myſtery of the Sacrifice of the Maſſe, is the very center of Religion, and hart of devotion; by meanes whereof his 271M4r 271 his divine Majeſty moſt bountifully imparteth, and powreth out his favours and graces to our ſoules: So certaine and infallible it is, that our Prayers made in Union of this divine Sacrifice (whether for our ſpirituall good during our Peregrination in this world, or for the taking away of the paines of Purgatory,) have an inexplicable power and efficacy: And therfore thoſe men are great Enemies to themſelves, and their Children, who neglect this ſo ſoveraigne a meanes, both for their owne & their Childrens advancement in M4 ſan- 272M4v 272 ſanctity and Vertue .
Yet before I end this diſcourſe, I muſt adjoyne this enſuing Animadverſion; that whereas moſt of the former examples of Good Workes above alledged, & inſtanced, aime at great & high points; ſorting only to ſuch to performe, whoſe temporall ſtates are great and rich, and to whom that admonition of S. Chryſostome (above alledged) peculiarly belongeth, Non dare, ſed copiosè dare Eleemoſyna eſt: Nevertheleſſe we are to conceave, that the Charity of ſuch, as be but poore in temporall faculties though 273M5r 273 though, never ſo ſmall, are moſt pleaſing to his divine Majeſty, for the mitigating of the torments of Purgatory. And in this ſenſe we muſt underſtand, that even the poore Widdow in the Ghoſpell, who had but two mites, gave as much as Zachæus, who contributed the halfe of his great ſubſtance to the poore; becauſe, though the widdow had leſſer goods to give, yet ſhe had the like will of giving; And though, that which was ſeverally given by them both, were unequall & divers; yet the fountaine from whence they gave (to wit 274M5v 274 wit from a prompt and charitable diſpoſition of relieving the poore) was the ſame. And thus did it fall out, that whereas the whole Widowes ſtate was but ſmall, yet the part thereof given, was great; Since he giveth no litle, who freely and cheerefully giveth a part of a little. And therefore the foreſaid S. Chryſostome accordingly thus teacheth (Hom. 34. ad pop. Antioch.) Eleemoſinæ magnitudo, non in pecuniarum multitudine iudicatur, ſed in danti ūum promptitudine. With whom accordeth S. Leo (ſer. 4. de Quadrag.) ſaying, Ex affectibusbus 275M6r 275 bus piorum, benignitatis menſura taxatur.
Well, I will cloſe up this ſmall Treatiſe with referring the Catholicke Reader, to the practiſe of a ſkillfull Phiſitian, who can extract medicinable and healthfull Phyſick, out of hurtfull and venemous drugs or hearbs: So heere I moſt earneſtly wiſh, that all good Catholikes (according to the different proportion of their ſtates and power) would in their owne life time, (for the preventing or leſſening of the torments of Purgatory) put in daily practiſe that coun- 276M6v 276 counſell of our Saviour: Luc. 16. Facite vobis amicos de Mammona iniquitatis, vt cum defeceritis, recipiant vos in æterna tabernacula. Make you friends of the Mammon of Iniquity, that when you fayle, they may receave you into eternall Tabernacles.
God ſave the King.omitted omitted