Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

review, and confirm fully. I begin with that of Durandus, whom I alleged as confessing that "they offered "" for the patriarchs, and prophets, and the blessed Virgin: I intend him for no more; for true it is, he denies that the church prayed for them, but that they communicated and offered sacrifice for them, even for the blessed Virgin Mary herself, this he grants. I have alleged him a little out of the order, because observing where Durandus and the Roman doctors are mistaken, and with what boldness they say, that 'offering' for them is only 'giving thanks,' and that the Greek fathers did only offer for them eucharists, but no prayers; I thought it fit first to reprove that initial error, viz. "that 'communicantes, et offerentes pro sanctis' is not prayer;" and then to make it clear that they did really pray for mercy, for pardon, for a place of rest, for eternal glory for them who were never in purgatory; for it is a great ignorance to suppose, that when it is said, the sacrifice or oblation is offered, it must mean only thanksgiving. For it is called in St. Dionysius, exaρLOTÝLOS sux, 'a eucharistical prayer;' and the Lord's supper is a sacrifice in genere orationis,' and by themselves is intended as propitiatory for the quick and dead. And St. Cyprian, speaking of bishops being made executors of testaments, saith, "Si quis hoc fecisset, non offerretur pro eo, nec sacrificium pro dormitione ejus celebratur. Neque enim ad altare Dei meretur nominari in sacerdotum prece, qui ab altari sa cerdotes avocare voluit."-Where 'offerre' and 'celebrare sacrificium C dormitione' is done sacerdotum prece,' it is pro the oblation and sacrifice of prayer: and St. Cyprian presently after joins them together, ' pro dormitione ejus oblatio aut deprecatio.' And if we look at the forms in the old Roman liturgy, used in the day of Pope Innocent the Third, we shall find this well expounded, "prosit huic sancto vel illi talis oblatio ad gloriam." They offered, but the offering itself was not eucharistical but deprecatory. And so it is also in the Armenian liturgy published at Cracow : "Per hanc etiam oblationem da æternam pacem omnibus, qui nos præcesserunt in fide Christi, sanctibus patribus, patriarchis, apos

* But then it is to be remembered, that they made prayers, and offered for those who, by the confession of all sides, were never in purgatory: so we find in Epiphanius, St. Cyril, the canon of the Greeks, and so (viz. that they offered) is acknowledged by their own Durandus. Dissuasive, p. 27. line 30, &c. Lib. 2. de Ritibus, cap. 35. y Lib. 1. epist. 9.

·

tolis, prophetis, martyribus," &c. which testimony does not only evince, that the offering sacrifices and oblation for the saints, did signify praying for them; but that this they did for all saints whatsoever. And concerning St. Chrysostom, that which Sixtus Senensis says is material to this very purpose: "Et in liturgia divini sacrificii ab eo edita, et in variis homiliis ab eodem approbatis, conscripsit formulam precandi et offerendi; pro omnibus fidelibus, defunctis, et præcipue pro animabus beatorum, in hæc verba; Offerimus tibi rationalem hunc cultum pro in fide requiescentibus patribus, patriarchis, prophetis, apostolis, et martyribus," &c. By which confession it is acknowledged, not only that the church prayed for apostles and martyrs, but that they intended to do so, when they offered the sacramental oblations; offerimus' is offerimus tibi preces.' Now since it is so, I had advantage enough in the confession of their own Durandus, that he acknowledged so much, that the church offered sacrifice for saints. Now though he presently kicked this down with his foot, and denied that they prayed for saints departed; I shall yet more clearly convince him and all the Roman contradictors of their bold and unreasonable error in this affair. Epiphanius a is the first I mentioned as a witness; but because I cited no words of his, and my adversaries have cited them for me, but imperfectly, and left out the words where the argument lies, I shall set them down at length. “ Καὶ γὰρ δικαίων ποιούμεθα τὴν μνήμην καὶ ὑπὲρ ἁμαρτωλῶν, &c. "We make mention of the just and of sinners; for sinners, that we may implore the mercy of God for them. For the just, the fathers, the patriarchs, the prophets, evangelists, and martyrs, confessors, bishops, and anchorets, that prosecuting the Lord Jesus Christ with a singular honour, we separate these from the rank of other men, and give due worship to his divine majesty, while we account that he is not to be made equal to mortal men, κἄν τε μυρία καὶ ἐπέκεινα ἐν δικαιοσύνῃ ὑπάρχῃ ἕκαστος avlov, although they had a thousand times more righteousness than they have." Now first here is mention made of all in their prayers and oblations, and yet no mention made that the church prays for one sort, and only gives thanks for the other; as these gentlemen the objectors' falsely pre

[ocr errors]

* Lib. 6. Biblioth. Annot. 47.
Letter, p. 10. Truth will Out, p. 25.

a Hæres. 75.

tend. But here is a double separation made of the righteous departed; one is from the worser sort of sinners, the other from the most righteous Saviour. True it is, they believed they had more need to pray for some than for others; but if they did not pray for all, when they made mention of all, how did they honour Christ by separating their condition from his? Is it not lawful to give thanks for the life and death, for the resurrection, holiness, and glorification, of Christ? And if the church only gave thanks for the departed saints, and did not pray for mercy for them too, how are not the saints in this made equal to Christ? So that I think the testimony of Epiphanius is clear and pertinent: to which greater light is given by the words of St. Austin; "Who is he for whom no man prays, but only he who intercedes for all men?" viz. our blessed Lord. And there is more light yet, by the example of St. Austin, who though he did most certainly believe his mother to be a saint, and the church of Rome believes so too, yet he prayed for pardon for her. Now by this it was that Epiphanius separated Christ from the saints departed, for he could not mean any thing else; and because he was then writing against Aerius, who did not deny it to be lawful to give God thanks for the saints departed, but affirmed it to be needless to pray for them, viz. he must mean this of the church's praying for all her dead, or else he had said nothing against his adversary, or for his

own cause.

St. Cyril, though he be confidently denied to have said what he did say, yet is confessed to have said these words; "Then we pray for the deceased fathers and bishops, and finally, for all who among us have departed this life. Believing it to be a very great help of the souls, for which is offered the obsecration of the holy and dreadful sacrifice."-If St. Cyril means what his words signify, then the church did pray for departed saints; for they prayed for all the departed fathers and bishops, and it is hard if amongst them there were no saints: but suppose that, yet if there were any saints at all that died out of the militant church, yet the case is the same; for they prayed for all the departed: and, 2. They offered the dreadful sacrifice for them all. 3. They offered it for all in d A. L. p. 11.

In Psal. xxxvi. Conc. 2. tom. 8. p. 120.
eMysta. Catech. 5.

F

VOL. XI.

the way of prayer. 4. And they believed this to be a great help to souls. Now, unless the souls of all saints that died, then went to purgatory (which I am sure the Roman doctors dare not own), the case is plain, that prayer and not thanksgivings only were offered by the ancient church for souls, who, by the confession of all sides, never went to purgatory; and therefore praying for the dead is but a weak argument to prove purgatory. Nicolaus Cabasilas hath an evasion from all this, as he supposes; for vèo (which is the word used in the memorials of saints) does not always signify praying for one,' but it may signify giving of thanks :' this is true, but it is to no purpose; for whenever it is said dɛóμeða vтÈρ тov Stiva ' we pray for such a one,' that must signify, to pray for, and not to give thanks, and that is our present case: and therefore no escape here can be made. The words of St. Cyril are very plain.

·

The third allegation is of the canon of the Greeks; which is so plain, evident, and notorious, and so confessed, even by these gentlemen and objectors, that I will be tried by the words, which the author of the Letter acknowledges. So it is in the liturgy of St. James; "Remember all orthodox, from Abel the just unto this day; make them to rest in the land of the living, in thy kingdom, and the delights of Paradise." -Thus far this gentleman quoted St. James; and I wonder, that he should urge a conclusion manifestly contrary to his own allegation. Did all the orthodox from Abel to that day go to purgatory? Certainly Abraham, and Moses, and Elias, and the blessed Virgin, did not, and St. Stephen did not, and the apostles that died before this liturgy was made, did not, and yet the church prayed for all orthodox, "prayed that they might rest in the land of the living," &c. and therefore they prayed for such, which, by the confession of all sides, never went to purgatory. In the other liturgies also, the gentleman sets down words enough to confute himself, as the reader may see in the Letter, if it be worth the reading. But because he sets down what he list, and makes breaches and rabbit-holes to pop in as he please, I shall for the satisfaction of the reader set down the full sense and practice of the Greek canon in this question.

And first, for St. James's liturgy (which, being merrily disposed and dreaming of advantage by it, he is pleased to

"

call the mass of St. James), Sixtus Senensis gives this account of it; "James the apostle, in the liturgy of the divine sacrifice, prays for the souls of saints resting in Christ, so that he shews they are not yet arrived at the place of expected blessedness. But the form of the prayer is after this manner; Domine Deus noster,' &c. O Lord our God, remember, all the orthodox, and them that believe rightly in the faith, from Abel the just unto this day. Make them to rest in the region of the living, in thy kingdom, in the delights of Paradise, in the bosom of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, our holy fathers; from whence are banished grief, sorrow, and sighing, where the light of thy countenance is president and perpetually shines.''

In the liturgy of St. Basil, which he is said to have made for the churches of Syria, is this prayer; "Be mindful, O Lord, of them which are dead and departed out of this life, and of the orthodox bishops, which, from Peter and James the apostles unto this day, have clearly professed the right word of faith, and namely, of Ignatius, Dionysius, Julius, and the rest of the saints, of worthy memory." Nay, not only for these, but they pray for the very martyrs: "O Lord, remember them who have resisted (or stood) unto blood for religion, and have fed thy holy flock with righteousness and holiness." Certainly this is not giving thanks for them, or praying to them, but a direct praying for them, even for holy bishops, confessors, martyrs, that God (meaning in much mercy) would remember them, that is, make them to rest in the bosom of Abraham, in the region of the living, as St. James expresses it.

And in the liturgies of the churches of Egypt attributed to St. Basil, Gregory Nazianzen, and St. Cyril, the churches pray, "Be mindful, O Lord, of thy saints, vouchsafe to receive all thy saints, which have pleased thee from the beginning, our holy fathers, patriarchs, prophets, apostles, martyrs, confessors, preachers, evangelists, and all the souls of the just which have died in the faith, but chiefly, of the holy, glorious, and perpetual Virgin Mary the mother of God, of St. John Baptist the forerunner and martyr, St. Stephen the first deacon and first martyr, St. Mark, apostle, evangelist, and martyr."

[ocr errors]

f Biblioth. Sanct. lib.6. annot. 345. sect. Jacob. Apostolus.

• Basilii ȧvapopà ab Andrea Masio ex Syriaco conversa.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »