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but to prove those who were quit of it; and you know how the office of the priests was then contended for. But these have received authority not to prove whether it is gotten rid of, but altogether to release, not from the leprosy of the body, but from the impurity of the soul; so that those who despise their authority are .. more wicked than those who were with Dathan, and are worthy of a greater punishment.
PURGATORY. CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA. In Joan. Evang. Lib. xii. tom. iv. p. 1069. (Lutetiae,
For I think that we ought to decide that it is highly probable that the souls of the saints, when they are separated from their bodies, are commended into God's goodness as into the hands of a most dear Father, and are not, as some unbelievers have imagined, waiting for funeral libations, fond of hovering about the tombs, neither are carried, as the souls of the wicked are, into a place of immeasurable punishment, that is, unto hell; but rather fly to the hands of the Father of all; our Saviour Christ having first prepared this way for us. For he delivered up his soul to the Father, that from it and by it we receiving a beginning, might have
The idea of the purification of the soul by fire is absurd.
those, therefore, who overlook Him who is Lord both to punish and to pardon fall into anile imaginations, when they ascribe to fire and water the power of releasing them from their sins. Away from this evil counsel, O man ; approach Him, who alone is by his nature God, and you will directly hear him say, “I am He, who blot out your iniquities for my own sake, and will not remember them.” This is the true purification; this is spiritual splendour. For we are cleansed when we obtain remission of our sins by faith in Christ, being sanctified by the washing of regeneration, and enriched within ourselves by the divine grace, namely, the grace of the divine Spirit, which, like fire, consumes the pollution which invades our minds as if it were dross. And for this reason the holy Scripture truly says that we are baptized with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
The fire of tribulation. B. Cyrilli Arch. Alex. Glaphyr. in Gen. Lib. iv. p. 109.
CYRIL of JERUSALEM.
burnt after a certain fashion by trials and labours, makes a clearer display of the much varied virtue which resides in it.
He who believes in the Son is not judged, but, is translated from death to life. How great is the mercy of God! For the just indeed, after many years were satisfied. But what they obtained walking uprightly by means of a trial of many years, this now Jesus freel estows in one hour. For if you believe that Jesus is the Christ and that God raised him from the dead, you shall be saved and transferred” to paradise by Him who introduced the thief into paradise.
But in holding that the souls of the uniust are in existence after death and are sensibly tortured, but that the souls of the good are happy being released from punishment, we think that we say the same as the poets philosophers have done.
The work of an ancient Father, whose name is unknown, which is generally bound up with Justin Martyr's works.
* Cyril afterwards declares that
the Christian sacrifice benefits the
dead, and Romanists adduce this opinion in favour of purgatory. Jerome says, that this work of his was composed in his youth. “Extant ejus carnxma etc., quas adolescentia composuit. Hier. Catal. Scrip. Eccles.
tom. i. p. 380.-(Parisiis, 1602.)
But after the departure from the body, a separation of the just from the unjust immediately takes place. For they are conducted by angels into places worthy of them. The souls of the just are conducted to paradise in the company and sight of angels into the vision of the Saviour Christ, according to what is said, “being absent from the body, and present with the Lord.” But the souls of the wicked are conducted to the regions of hell and are kept in places worthy of them till the day of resurrection and retribution.
GREGORY NYssEN. Dial. de Animă et Resurrectione (Parisiis, cioicoxv.) tom.
As, by a certain abuse of speech, we call a bay of the sea an arm or bosom, so it seemeth to me that the word signifies by the name of a bosom the exhibition of those immeasurable good things, so that all men that sail by a virtuous course through this present life, when they loose from hence put their souls into a good bosom, or as it were into an haven free from danger.
TERTULLIAN. De Patientiã, c. ix. (Parisiis, 1675.) Christum laedimus, cum evocatos quosque ab illo, quasi