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Leaves of Grass

Walt Whitman

Some Experiences of an Irish R. M.

Edith Somerville and Martin Ross

The Secret Doctrine, Volume I Cosmogenesis

H. P. Blavatsky

Darby O'Gill and the Little People

Hermenie Templeton Kavanagh

A distinct view of the doctrine of Purgatory, by a Catholic priest

by Distinct view


Leland observes, in the "New Evangelical Demonstration," torn. L, p. 115 :—" That God had revealed his will to men is the universal sentiment of the human race, in all the ages and in all the countries of the world."

"A miraculous alliance of man with the Deity manifests itself from the beginning of religious institutions, not only amongst the Greeks, but amongst the greater portion of the people of the remotest antiquity, the great Being, to whom they addressed their prayers, appeared as the first institutor of those prayers."—(Mr. Creuzer, Relig. of Antiq., Introd., c. i.)

Benjamin Constant says:—" In travelling over Europe, Asia, and all that we know of Africa, in setting out from from Gaul or even from Spain, and in passing through Germany, Tartary, India, Persia, Arabia, Ethiopia and Egypt, we find similar usages every where—similar cosmogonies, corporations, rites, sacrifices, ceremonies, customs and opinions, having between them incontestable conformities ; and these usages, ceremonies, &c. we find in America, in Mexico and Peru."—(La Relig/Consid. dans ses formes, lib. i., c. 8. Whence this perpetual universality, combined with the strictest unity between so many nations; nations too that never communicated with one another since the days of Noah, since the days of the dispersion? The answer is too obvious to be mentioned.

Having now proved from antiquity that the doctrine of Purgatory was as clear as moon-day, as ancient as the world, as universal as man, as widely diffused as the corners of the earth, I shall proceed to prove that, so far from its being rejected by God and his prophets in the old law or by Christ and his apostles in the new, on the contrary it was sanctioned, it was favoured, it was encouraged by them, whenever it was convenient to allude to a doctrine so universally believed : and certainly if it were an abuse "borrowed from pagan fable and philosophy," it was the duty of God and his prophets to annul it amongst his chosen people, the Jews: it was the duty of Christ and his apostles to annul it amongst his beloved children of the new alliance that he established by his sacred blood. But such was not the case, and I am perfectly borne out in this by a learned Protestant bishop, Dr. Jeremy Taylor, in his book of prophecying—(sec. xx., no. 11, p. 265.), where he says: "We find by the history of the Machabees that the Jews did pray and make offerings for the dead, which also appears by other testimonies, and by their form of prayers, still extant, which they used in the captivity. Now it is very remarkable, that since our Blessed Saviour did reprove all the evil doctrines and traditions of the Scribes and Pharisees, and argued concerning the dead and the resurrection against the Sadducees, yet he said not a word against this public practice, but left it as he found it, which he who came to declare to us the will of his Father, would not have done, if it had not been innocent, pious and full of charity." These words speak volumes.

Before I enter upon this second part of my subject I must have another word with Dr. Porteus and Co., who say that "heaven and hell we read of perpetually in the Bible, but Purgatory we never meet with."—(Confut., page 43.) As I have already proved the Doctor to be completely ignorant of antiquity, I shall now show that he is maliciously averse to truth. Supposing I retort the Doctor's argument in saying, "salvation and eternal life we frequently read of in the scriptures, but the immortality of the soul we never meet with; ergo, according to his mode of reasoning the soul is not immortal; ergo, every notion of heaven and hell, of future rewards and future punishments, are pure delusions; ergo, virtue and all her accompaniments are mere inventions, that serve as a restraint to prevent us from enjoying the pleasures of this life ; ergo, morality, laws, justice, are foolish names, imposed upon the credulous: the only maxim, therefore, remaining worthy of the Doctor is, "let us eat and let us drink, for to-morrow we shall die."

In fact, if we were to believe but wliat is explicitly laid down in the holy Scriptures, we should retrench from the Christian doctrine its most important and essential points ; for the Scriptures name not in express terms the Trinity of Persons in God, the consubstantiality of the Son, original sin, the immortality of the soul, the baptism of infants, the keeping of the Lord's day, &c, &c. ; all of which the Protestants believe, as well as the Catholics. I wonder was the Doctor aware, in his combatting Purgatory, what an argumentative machinery he put into the hands of the infidels to destroy the most sacred truths of religion?


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