Tracts for the Times
Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009 - 362 pages
Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: 5. Of the profit of Prayers for the Dead to the Persons prayed for. In the mean time, the reader who desireth to be rightly informed in the judgment of Antiquity, touching this point, is to remember that these two questions must necessarily be distinguished in this inquiry: whether prayers and oblations were to be made for the dead? And, whether the dead did receive any peculiar profit thereby ? In the latter of these we shall find great difference among the doctors; in the former very little, or none at all. For howsoever all did not agree about the state of the souls, saith Cassander, an indifferent Papist, which might receive profit by these things, yet all did judge this duty as a testimony of their love towards the dead, and a profession of their faith, teaching the soul's immortality, and the future resurrection, to be acceptable unto God and profitable to the Church. Therefore for condemning the general practice of the Church herein, which aimed at those good ends before expressed, Aerius was condemned; but for denying that the dead received profit thereby, either for the pardon of the sins which before were un- remitted, or for the cutting off or mitigation of any torments that they did endure in the other world, the Church did never condemn him; for that was no new thing invented by him. Diverse worthy men, before and after him, declared themselves to be of the same mind, and were never, for all that, charged with the least suspicion of heresy. The narration of Lazarus and the rich man, saith the author of the Questions and Answers, in the works of Juslin Martyr, presenteth this doctrine unto us, that after the departure of the soul out of the body, men cannot, by any providence or care, obtain any profit. Then, saith Gregory Nazianzen, ...
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