AN ANTIDOTE AGAINST PVRGATORY. OR Discourse, wherein is shewed that Good-Workes, and Almes-deeds, performed in the Name of Christ, are a chiefe meanes for the preuenting, or mitigating the Torments of Purgatory.

Written by that Vertuous, and Right worthy Gentle-woman (the Ho­nour of her Sexe for Learning in England) Ms. IANE OWEN, late of God-stow, in Oxford­shire, deceased, and now publi­shed after her death.

As VVater doth extinguish Fier: so Almes-deeds do extinguish sinne.

Eccles. 3.


TO THE VVORTHY 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 aduancing of the spiritual good of your soules, [Page] is the mayne Allectiue, inuiting me to write this small Treatise, (pardon I pray the boldnes of my Sexe heerin.) The subiect ther­of is, First, to inculcate, & make deep impressiōs in your minds, of the horrour, and most dreadfull torments of Purgatory: Secon­darily, to set before your eyes, the best meanes to preuent, at least to asswage, and mitigate them: gratū opus agricolis; A labour (I hope) pleasing to such, who are desirous to cultiuate their owne Soules, for gayning their spirituall and expected haruest.

That you belieue there is a Purgatory, your owne Catho­like Faith teacheth you; there­fore [Page] presuming that you rest im­moueable therein, without the least fluctuation of iudgment, I hould it were but lost labour, to spend any tyme in prooffe there­of. Only I heere couet, that you would deeply consider and medi­tate thereof; and thereupon that you would withall meditate and put in practise the meanes of a­uoiding the same.

Touching the terriblenes of the Torments of Purgatory, I haue insisted in the Authority of the most Blessed Cardinall Bellarmine; out of one of whose spirituall bookes I haue transla­ted a whole passage concerning this subiect, as hereafter I shall [Page] 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 vpon this foundation: so as this Misce­lene worke of myne, may per­haps resemble the statua of Na­buchodonozor, of which, part was gould, part siluer, 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 siluer; what is adioyned there­to by me, must (I willingly yield) endure the touch of the learned, to proue what mettall it is.

But now, to proceede a little [Page] further: I could wish you (wor­thy Catholickes) that you would haue 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 liuely 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 vse the Catholike Churches like Dialect of the sinne of Adam, calling it, felix Cul­pa:) For then would men ap­prehende the Future paynes of [Page] Purgatory, as present, (and certainely once they must be pre­sent;) and consequently, would have a greater feare and dread of them, then cōmonly they now haue. It is not in mans power to depriue God of his incommum­ni­cable Attribute of Iustice, being euen of the Essence of God.

This then being so, why will you not seeke to appease this his Iustice in this world, when small satisfactions will serue, 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 [Page] endure them, donec reddas nouissimum Quadrantem, Matth. 5. These are the words of holy Scripture, and are vn­derstood in the iudgment 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 haue therefore thought not amisse (though I grant in a most vnu­suall manner) to set downe in the lower part of euery page; that wheresoeuer the Reader shall open these few leaues, his eye shall instantly meete with the [Page] said moouing words, thereby to cause him to haue 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 Heauen, then the Pa­triarchs which dyed in Egypt, could be buryed in the land of Promise.

Well now, the chiefest help for the preuenting of the paines of Purgatory, is the practise of [Page] Workes of Almes-deeds, and such other actions of Mercy, as hereafter in this short Treatise wil more fully be proued. 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 Heauen with Good Workes: Venite possi­dete paratum vobis regnum; Esuriuienim, & dedistis mā ­ducare &c▪ Matth. 25. Much more then, may you with Good Workes (dyed in the bloud of our Sauiour, and not otherwise) buy out the paynes of Purgato­ry. [Page] 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. Elee­mosinae vestrae commemora­tae sunt in conspectu Dei. For assure your selues, that the Grace of God euer seeketh a charitable Hart.

And by this meanes, you may become more rich in your graues, then you could haue beene in your life tyme: Since to giue a­way [Page] 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 haue 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 liue, & such is the scarsity of Vertue a­mong vs, as that insteed of pra­ctising Workes of Charity, men are commended and praysed, if only they forbeare to practise workes of Iniustice and Wrong. And thus we are glad to accept of a meere Priuation of Vice, [Page] in place of a Positiue, 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 besecch you to haue a setled eye vpon your soules good, for the preuen­ting of future punishments; and remember, that our Sauiour in the Ghospell (Luc. 17.) com­mended the vniust Steward for hoording vp for the tyme to come; and shall then the slouth­full carelessnes of Catholikes be vpbrayded with that vniust stewards diligence? God forbid! But before I do remit you to the [Page] 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 saued) I will not only refer you to the Apo­stles iust prayses giuen thereof (1. Cor. 8.) but also to the learned and graue Iudgment of Cardinall Bellarmine herein, who thus writeth (lib. 5. de ae­terna Felicitate cap. 6.) Au­deo dicere, si oleum charita­tis [Page] 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 Diuells, we instantly should behould, both the damned Soules and the Di­uells, 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 heauy, & thereupon would descēd into the lowest parts.

Thus you see, what this lear­ned Cardinall censureth here­of. [Page] 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 vpon others; ascertayning your selues, 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 selues mercifull to others; Beati misericordes, quoniam ipsi misericordiam conse­quentur, Matth. 5. I meane prompt and ready in exercis [...]ng [Page] the Workes of Charity; since siluer 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 euery man (how yong soeuer) through the wingy speedines of timc, is euen flying towards his graue. And when he is once thither come, then hath he bidden his last A­dieu, or Good Night to all the world. Therefore whiles the day lasteth, employ your selues busily in Good Workes: So true (and withall wholesome) is that Coun­sell in Holy Writ. Eccl. 9. Quodcumque facere potest [Page] manus tua, instanter operare &c. Whatsoeuer 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; [Page] but also, if so his Diuine Maiesty would vouchsafe me, (though most vnworthy) so much fauour and grace, that I may escape this most dreadfull fyer of Purgatory.

Your Soules well-wishing Admonisher, IANE OVVEN.

The Contents of the se­uerall Sections en­suing.

OF the inexplicable paynes of Purgatory, and of o­ther Circumstances accompany­ing the same paynes; translated out of the spirituall Booke of Cardinall Bellarmine, inti­tuled; De gemitu Columbae lib. 2. cap. 9.
Of the meanes to auoyde, at least to mitigate, the paynes of Purgatory.
[Page] SECT. III.
A persuasory Discourse, for the putting in practise the meanes (which are Good Workes) for the auoyding the paynes of Purgatory.
Certaine examples of Good Workes, to be practised for the auoyding of Purgatory, pro­pounded by the Authour of this Treatise.

Non exibis inde, donec reddas nouissimum Qua­drantem.

Matth. 5. v. 27.

Thou shalt not goe out from thence, till thou repay the last Far­thing.


Date Eleemosynam, & ecce omnia vobis munda sunt.

Luc. 11. v. 41.

Giue Almes, and be­hould all thinges are cleane vnto you.

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 Columbae. lib. 2. ca. 9. THE I. SECTION.

AMONG all the Passions of the mind, there is not any, which hath so great a soueraignty, and [Page 2] command ouer man, as the Passion of Feare. The reason hereof is euident, and euen ingraffed in mans Nature. For euery man taketh plea­sure and delight in a sweet and quiet repose of his owne beeing; and consequently flyeth, and auoydeth what­soeuer may endanger to hin­der, or take away his said quietnesse and rst; accor­ding to that Axiome in Phi­losophy: Omnis res cupit con­seruare suum Esse. And here­upon it ryseth, that the Pas­sion of Loue is nothing so potent and preuayling with men, as Feare. For we expe­rimentally [Page 3] see, that most men are afrayd to commit diuers impieties, more for Feare of punishment to be inflicted by the Law, then for Loue of God, or Vertue.

Now, to apply this to my present purpose. Whereas my proiect in these ensuing leaues is, to awaken the harts and minds of diuers Catho­liks for the preuenting, or at least lessening the paynes of Purgatory by their good deeds and workes of Charity, per­formed in their lyfe tyme; therefore I haue in the Front of this Treatise thought good to plant a Discourse tou­ching [Page 4] the incomprehensible torments of Purgatory, and other circumstances accom­paning the same torments; that so, such persons, for whose sake this labour is vndertaken, (as not being blindfoulded vnder the veile of carelesse negligence) may haue a greater Feare & Hor­rour of the said torments; and consequently, may be more watchfull and sollici­tous for their preuenting of them, by their Almes-deeds, and other such workes of Charity.

Which kind of Feare was (as I may tearme it) the Ge­nius [Page 5] of Reuerend Antiquity, causing the liuers in those ancient times, to be so dread­full not only of the torments of Hell, but euen 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 vpon this ground our For­fathers labored so much to spread themselues in the do­ing of good works; and this with most iust reason; since he is truly rich, who is rich in good-workes: and the want of them is a spirituall beggary. And therfore most deserued­ly [Page 6] is this Feare stiled by the Wiseman, The beginning of Wisdome, Prou. 11. as also by some others, The Mother, & Daughter of wisdome; and so holy Iob had iust reason to say: I feared all my works. Iob. 9.

The Discourse prefixed touching the Paynes of Pur­gatory, I haue wholy taken, and Translated out of one of the spirituall Bookes of the most Worthy Cardinall Bellarmine, entituled: De Ge­mitu Columbae. lib. 2. chap. 9. Therefore when the Reader peruseth it, let him remem­ber, that it is Bellarmyne who speaketh, not I. In this pas­sage [Page 7] the learned Cardinall re­lateth certaine dogmaticall Miracles, touching the do­ctrine of Purgatory. I haue thought it much more pre­uayling to deliuer the con­tents therof in the Cardinalls owne words, which are without any affectation of Oratory, or 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 presentage) will sway more with all good Catholiks, by way of perswasion, [Page 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 writings, 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 giueth [Page 9] full credit and assent there­to; and also, in that he is an ouer 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 Iu­stice heere-after to come; themselues thus through su­pine heedlesnes falling vpon that dangerous sentence of the Wiseman: Ita securi vi­uunt, quasi Iustorum facta habe­ant. [Page 10] Eccles. 8. They liue as se­curely, as if their workes were of the Iust. 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 vs yet liuing in the world, a great occcasion & matter of teares; in so much that a due consideration & meditation of Purgatory may [Page 11] iustly 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 coniecture 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 tormēted with those paines.

The first of these Heades is, that the paynes of Purga­tory are greater & more intense, [Page 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 themselues. 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 [Page 13] those men, who yet are liuing, are no lesse then half mad and distracted in iudg­ment, who during their life tyme, are carelesse and negli­gent in satisfying for their sinnes, and had rather des­cend (vpon their death) to those places of Torments, then to be depryued of any pleasure, while they liue 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 ioyned together, which in this lyfe we can vndergoe; this verity is con­firmed [Page 14] 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 aeternum, go into euerla­sting 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 sa­ued, but as by fyer. And then a litle after S. Austin thus fur­ther [Page 15] inlargeth himselfe: Et quia dicitur saluus erit, con­temnitur ille ignis &c. And because it is sayd in the place a­boue, they shalbe saued, there­fore that fyer is neglected and litle feared. True it is, they shalbe saued by fyer: grauior tamen erit ille ignis (saith he) quàm quicquid potest homo pati in hac vita: Notwithstanding that fyer shalbe more heauy and in­tollerable, then any paynes, which a man can suffer in this lyfe. And you well know, what great torments diuers wicked men haue here suffered, and are able to suffer; yea good and ver­tuous men haue suffered as much [Page 16] as the former. For what paynes or torments hath any malefactour, theefe, adulterer, or any other wicked or sacrilegious person suffered, which Martyrs haue not suffered for their con­fession of Christ?

Therefore these Torments, which are in this world, are of a far more lower degree: And neuerthelesse, you see, how rea­dy and prepared men stand to performe any thing commanded them, to preuent the suffering of them; with how much more rea­son then haue men to doe that, which God cōmandeth them, that so they may not vndergoe those (by many degrees more horri­ble) [Page 17] torments? Thus far S. Au­stin, whose iudgment 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 lyfc some mens sinnes shalbe expiated & purged by the flames of Purga­tory; others shall vndergoe the sentence of eternall damnation. Neuerthelesse, because I do firm­ly belieue, that transitory fyer to be more insufferable, then any tribulation in this world; there­fore I thirst not only not to be [Page 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 iudgment here­in, are Venerable Bede, in 3. Psal Poenit. S. Anselme, in cap. 3. Ep. 1 ad Cor. S. Bernard de obi­tu Humberti &c.

S. Thomas of Aquin l. 4. sent. d. 30. q. 1. art. 2. doth not only subscribe to the iudgment 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 [Page 19] world; And yet notwith­standing all this, we obserue daily, that men are not a­frayd to cōtemne 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 proueth this his for­mer sentence and iudgment from this following reason: It is (sayth he) an inexpug­nable and vndeniable truth, that poena damni, the payne of the losse, incurred by [Page 20] sinne, is far more grieuous, then Poena sensus, then any payne of sense, or feeling. And it is further most eui­dent and confessed, that all those, who are in Purgatory, during their stay these, do suffer Poenam damni, the paine of losse; that is, the losse of the vision of God.

But to auoyde 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 pu­nishment and the greatest of [Page 21] all punishments; but during the tyme of a soules staying in Purgatory, the want of the diuine 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 haue suffered in this life; seeing that we, whiles we liue here vpon earth, do not see God, and yet we are nor said truly to suffer poe­nam 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. [Page 22] Yea the ancient holy Fa­thers, Patriarchs, and Pro­phets, who remayning in Limbo Patrum, expecting the comming of the Sauiour of the world, did not as then see God; and yet they were not afflicted with any poena damni, because they were to see God in a prefixed & de­signed tyme. For thus A­brahā answeres to the Rich glutton, Luc. 16. Remember sonne, that thou in thy lyfe tyme receiuedst thy pleasures, and La­zarus paynes, now therefore he is comforted, and thou tormented.

In which words, we do not fynd, that Abraham said; [Page 23] Lazarus was tormēted with poena damni, with the punishment of losse; but that he was in solace & comfort, & cōsequently not in torment. And further, where S Simeon Luc. 2. sayth: Nunc dimittis seruum tuum in pace &c. Now (O Lord) thou lettest thy ser­uant 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 [Page 24] the place, called Limbus Pa­trum, did not suffer there any torments, but did find rest & quietnes. The force of this obiection or argument is ea­sily dissolued. The answere is this. Whiles we are li­uing here vpon earth, we do not easily apprehend, how heauy a matter it is, to want the vision and sight of God; both in regard, that what things we apprehend by meanes of corporall phan­tasmes, and the ministery of the senses, we do but obscu­rely vnderstand, as also, in that we being softened and cherished in corporall de­lights [Page 25] and pleasures, we so­lace and content our selues therewith, and thereupon we are not much sollicitous and seeking after spirituall contentments.

The ancient Fathers and Prophets, were not tormen­ted with any poena damni, payne of losse, in that they saw not God; because they well did know, that this pro­crastination & deferring of enioying 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.

[Page 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 cōming of Christ, it is impossible, but that they should be in the highest de­gree afflicted; for seeing they in that state are depri­ued both of body, and of all corporall senses, they cannot take further delight in sen­sible obiects, as in meate, drinke, riches, honours, in satisfying any carnall con­cupiscēce &c. but they who­ly breath and thirst after the contemplation of the first [Page 27] Truth, and their enioying 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 adioy­ned this other reason; to wit, that the soules in Purgatory do wel know, that the king­dome of Heauen is now made open to the faithfull Christians, and that the on­ly hindrance of not present enioying of it, is only the guilt of payne, contracted through their owne peculiar sinnes; from whence it can­not but follow, that these [Page 28] soules are euen offended & angry with themselues, in that they alone are the cause of their long dilation & de­ferring of their enioying so great an happines.

These soules may well be resembled to a man in great extremity of hūgar & thirst, though hauing 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 deseruedly cau­sed this his delay in tasting [Page 29] of them.

We may add hereto, that the most ancient Fathers, Austin, Gregory, Beda, An­selme, and Bernard, do not speake de poena damni, of the payne of losse, which payne all acknowledge to be most great; but de poena ignis, of the paine of fyer; & this payne, they all with one consent af­firme to be more horrid & intollerable, thē any tormēts in this life. For althogh here vpon earth the torment by fyer is great, yet that fyer, which is not maintayned & nourished with wood or oyle, but is created as an in­strument [Page 30] of Gods iustice, to burne and torment soules, must without all doubt be most violent, and sharpe in the highest degree,

Now, from the premisses it is euicted, that though we would not acknowledge poena 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 euidētly proued from [Page 31] the authorities of so many ancient Fathers aboue pro­duced.

And because, there are many men, who can hardly be induced to belieue any thing, which thēselues haue not seene, God sometimes therefore hath vouchsafed, to raise certaine persōs from death to lyfe; commanding them to relate to others li­uing, what themselues touching this payne haue seene.

Amonge so many eye­witnesses (as I may terme them) who haue seene the torments of Purgatory, I will alledge only two, the one being [Page 32] a man, the other a woman, whose testimonies therein are to be accepted without any doubt or diffidency.

The one then, is Drithcl­mus an English man; the hi­story of which man Venera­ble Bede writeth, & relateth this accident, as a thing well knowne & euident 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, & [Page 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 liuing, 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 haue 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 [Page 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 vp in bed, all those, who accompanicd that night the dead Body, through feare and amazement presently fled away.

But his wife, who loued him dearely (though fearing) re­mayned with him, whom he did comfort in these wordes: Feare [Page 35] not wife, for I am truly risen from death; with which this night I haue beene houlden; and I am permitted to liue againe among men heere vpon earth; but not after the same manner as I was accustomed heretofore to liue, 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 deuided all his sub­stance into three partes; of the which one part he gaue to his wyfe, another to his children, and the third he distributed to the poore.

[Page]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 prouided 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 deliuered the matter in this manner.

Lucidus erat aspectu, & cla­rus indumento, qui me ducebat [Page 37] &c. One of a lightsome counte­nance, and bright in apparell, did lead me. We came vnto a certaine valley of a great large­nes & profundity, but of an in­finite length. That part of the valley, which was vpon 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 [Page 38] the violence of so great an heat, the poore miserable soules did cast themselues into the middest of that insufferable cold, aboue 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 vnfor­tunate 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 [Page 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 bre­uity I omit; the Conductour thus further said to the person raysed from death: Scis omnia, quae 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 [Page 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 makc 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 Heauen. And many of these poore soules are much eased by the prayers of the liuing, by Al­mes-deeds [Page 41] of their friends, by their strict fastings, and espe­cially by the celebration of holy masses in their behalfe; so as by these meanes diuers of them are freed from their torments be­fore the day of Iudgment.

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 [Page 42] art able to endure such asperity of cold; He then replyed, Frigi­diora vidi, I haue seene much more cold places. And when they in lyke sort said to him; mi­rum, quod tam austeram tenere continentiam velis &c. It is wonderfull, that thou wilt keep this austere cōtinency in meates &c. He answered: Austeriora vidi, I haue seene greater auste­rity. And in this sort, through an indefatigable desire of the ioyes of Heauen he tamed and subdued his old feeble body vntill the day of his death, he much profiting many by his perswa­sions and conuersation of lyfe. Thus far S. Bede in his rela­tion [Page 43] 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 ouermuch 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 [Page 44] euents, and not curiosity or vanity, but the health of many soules by their con­uersion 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 liued in the dayes of the said Christina.

The same is in like sort witnessed by that Venerable man Iacobus de Vitriaco (l. de vita & rebus gestis B. Mariae de Oegnies) a pious and lear­ned [Page 45] Cardinall, who in a booke of his maketh men­tion of diuers 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 liuing: Statim vt è corpo­re excessi, &c.

Presently after I did leaue my body, certaine Angels of God, being ministers of the light, re­ceaued my soule, and brought it to an obscure, darke, and horrid place, being full and replenished [Page 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 deli­uered, in any words. I did see there diuers, with whom I was acquainted, whiles they here li­ued vpon the earth. I did much pitty those poore miserable sou­les. I demaunded of my Condu­ctours, what place this was, for I did imagine that it was Hell. They answered, that it was the place of Purgatory, reserued for such sinners, who had obtayned true penitency of their sinnes be­fore their death, but had not yet performed any actuall satisfa­ction [Page 47] for their Crimes in their lyfe tyme committed.

After this, my Conductours brought me to behould the pu­nishment of the damned in Hel, where also I did find certaine persons knowne to me in their lyfe tyme. After this I was con­ducted vp to Paradise, euen to the Throne of the diuine Ma­iesty, where I did behould our Lord wellcomming me. I reioy­ced excessiuely thereat, as being then perswaded, that I should there remayne with our Lord for all eternity. But he presently answered me, saying: Most well­come daughter, thou shalt with out all doubt finally stay with [Page 48] me, but here I put to thee an ele­ction, of which of these two things thou hadst rather make choyce, to wit, whether thou had­dest rather now stay with me for all eternity, or els to returne vn­to 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 liuing vpon the earth, through the example of thy penitent lyfe, abstayning from commiting more facino­rous [Page 49] 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 conuer­ted to me.

Now I, without any pause or delay answered, that I had ra­ther returne to my body vnder 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 euen in that very [Page 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 di­uine Maiesty, and at the third time of the saying of the fore­said words, Agnus, 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 conuersation.

Therefore I would intreate all persons, that they would not [Page 51] be troubled, or affrighted with such things, as they shall see in me. The things do exceed mans vnderstanding, which (God com­manding) shalbe performed in me. Neither haue such euents at any tyme hapned among mor­tall men.

Thus much did she speake. And then the wryter of her lyfe adioyneth these words following, concerning her Cap. 6. Tum vero caepit illa exer­cere &c. Thtn she did begin to exercise and put in practise such seuerities, for the performāce of which she was sent by our Lord: She did voluntarily enter into burning Ouens, & was tormen­ted [Page 52] 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 to 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 Mosae fluminis hy­berno tempore, cum rigerent om­nia gelu &c. She very often & long stood in the waters of the riuer Mosa, in winter time, when it was congealed with frost, remayning there in such manner six dayes, and more.

[Page 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 vpon the wheele of a water mill, and so in most hor­rible manner was borne about with the wheele thereof, being notwithstanding perfect & vn­hurt 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 vp against her all the dogs of the towne of S. Truyen, [Page 54] she rūning before them following her, like a swyft Deare, throgh certaine obscure places full of bryars and thornes, in so much, as she was pricked & her skinne torne in diuers 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 woūds 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 seuerall wayes; First, because, as I said aboue, he had Iacobus Bi­shop and Cardinall of Vi­triacum, [Page 55] (a most graue man) to beare witnesse thereof. Secōdly, in that the authour of this History did relate pas­sages done in his owne life tyme, and in the same Pro­uince, wherein himselfe li­ued, seeing he was Bishop, and suffragan to the Arch­bishop of Cambray. Thirdly, in that the matter and Histo­ry it selfe euen publikely (as it were) deposeth and auer­reth the truth hereof; to wit, that her body was so after conformed and strengthned by diuine power, as that it should suffer payne by fyer, and yet should not be dissol­ued; [Page 56] should receaue wounds and sheed much bloud, and yet no prints of those woūds should appeare.

In this sort this most blessed woman liued, 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 conuerted many to true pe­nance and compunction of their sinnes, and after her death was glorious and emi­nent for miracles: therefore God by such examples aboue insisted vpon, would stop the mouths of such incredulous [Page 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 haue two faythfull Witnesses, a man and a woman, who haue seene the most bitter and in­sufferable torments of Hell, and Purgatory; and therefore such men do wholy rest in­excusable, who do not bleeue these points: and yet those men are more inexcusable, who belieuing these & such like examples, do not with­standing neglect, and con­temne them, forbearing to [Page 58] make satisfaction for their sinnes to God, in fasting, mourning, and bewayling the most poore state of their soules. But let vs come to o­ther heads aboue specifyed.

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 a­boue twenty yeares, yea per­haps not aboue ten yeares; notwithstanding the vse of the Catholike Church tea­cheth the contrary, which [Page 59] prescribeth Anniuersary Sa­crifices of the Holy masse to be offered vp for soules de parted, not only for ten yea­res, but euen for a hundred yeares, and more.

This point appeareth fur­ther from the vision, which we related aboue out of Ve­nerable Bede, which sheweth that many Soules are to re­mayne to be tormented in Purgatory, euen till the day of Iudgment And the same ve­rity may receaue its further warrant from the authority of Tertullian, a most ancient Authour, who speaking of Purgatory vnder the name of [Page 60] Hell, thus writeth, l. de Anima cap. 17. In carcerem te man­det Infernum &c. Hell may send thee to that prison, from whence, vntill 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 & plainly, 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 haue purged his sinnes through a mans owne sufferance and se­uerity of lyfe. Which point [Page 61] receaueth its further proofe from the vision of blessed Ludgardis, a most holy and eminent Virgin, whose lyfe was written by Thomas Can­tipratensis aboue 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.

[Page 62] Hoc ferè 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 vs all, thus tor­mented for so long a tyme? He answered, I am in these flames for three causes. Which Crymes of myne had iustly deserued, [Page 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 haue escaped eternall dam­nation; Neuerthelesse I shalbe tormented with most cruell pay­nes, euen till the day of Iudg­ment. That I am permitted to appeare to thee, thereby to in­treate thee to procure prayers & suffrages to be said for me; this fauour the mother of mercy ob­tayned of her sonne in my be­halfe. And at the speaking of these least words, he instantly [Page 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 vndergoe wonderfull auste­rities for his reliefe. Let the Reader take notice, that Lud­gardis did acquaint vs with those causes of this mans tor­ments, which we for the reue­rence of so great a Pope, haue 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. [Page 65] 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, euen vntill the day of iudg­ment; what Prelat may not feare? Who ought not to search most narrowly, into euery corner of his con­science? For I am persuaded that so great a Pope did not commit any mortall sinnes, except he committing them vnder the shew of some [Page 66] good, was therein deceaued 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 vs all labour to make most dili­gent inquiry into our con­sciences, for feare they be not erroneous, though to our selues they appeare right and sincere.

But let vs returne vnto that point, from which we haue digressed. It is not to be doubted, but that the [Page 67] paynes of Purgatory may be extended to ten, twenty, a hundred, yea to a thousand yeares. But let vs 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 alleuiation or rest, appeareth from the vision, which we haue aboue related, out of Venerable Bede.

Certainly, if a man were assured, that he should conti­nue [Page 68] 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 do­lours, take any sleep or rest; no doubt such a man had ra­ther make choyce to dye, then to perseuer, and liue in this miserable case. And if choyce were giuen him, whether he would remayne for twenty yeares without any respiration and ease in those foresaid paynes, or would suffer losse of all his [Page 69] state and goods; Certainly he would with a most ready mind, seeke to be depriued of all his temporall meanes, that so thereby, he might free himselfe from so conti­nuall & cruell paynes: with how much more reason then, ought euery wise man to make choyce of vnder­going of Penance, accompa­nied with its fruits, which fruits are, watching, Prayer, Fasting, Almes deeds, and especially teares, which are a signe of true Penance?

Now if we add to the acer­bity of these paynes and the long continuance of them, [Page 70] this third Calamity; to wit, that the soules in Purgatory can in no sort help themselues, their infelicity & misery is much increased therby. For here among men conuersing 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 Iudge, or by humbly beseeching the mer­cy of the Iudge, or by some other meanes, he may free himselfe in some measure from the vexations, with which he is enuironed.

[Page 71]But (alas) in Purgatory the Soules can do nothing, but only patiently suffer their punishment. True it is, that Holy Men liuing heere on earth, may pray for the dead, may offer vp almes, and o­ther satisfactory workes for the soules in Purgatory. But this priuiledge is not gran­ted to the soules themselues being in Purgatory, except by a certaine Priuiledge to some few, and this most rare­ly; to wit, to appeare to li­uing men, and to beseech ayde and help by their cha­rity. Therefore the state and condition of those soules are [Page 72] most miserable, who being in those torments, cānot be­get any ease or help to them­selues, 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 Pur­gatory, [Page 73] are innumerable; and so many, as that the number of them is sufficient to moue and stir vp mercy, though their tor­ments were far more easy and light. This is euident, 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 frō 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, [Page 74] can enter into the king­dome of Heauen, but they only, are able to penetrate vnto the sight of God, (which is a light, and in whom, there is not any dar­kenes) and to that place of infinite purity who are tru­ly holy and immaculate, & are mēbers 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 [Page 75] paynes of Purgatory.

Now, from all the former passages of this discourse, it may necessarily be gathered, that the Doue hath iust cause daily to lament and mourne for so many mēbers of hers, which with an infinite de­sire thirst after their heauen­ly 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 Pur­gatory [Page 76] Which discourse (in regard both of his Learning & Sanctity) ought to sway and preuayle 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 adioyning a Reason drawne from Schoole Diuinity, 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 [Page 77] to ioy. To wit; Potentia, Obie­ctum, & Coniunctio vnius cum altero (as S. Tho. p. 2. q. 31. ar. 5. saith:) An intelligent, or at least a sentient Power, or Fa­culty; a conuenient Obiect to that Power; and an Vnion or Coniunction of the Obiect 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 Vnder­standing in a Rationall soule, is (as it were) a mayne Foun­taine; [Page 78] the Sense but a small Riuer. 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 Riuer. 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 Ob­iect; [Page 79] 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 Iustice, who would shew his power in the crea­tion of it.

Lastly, touching the Con­iunction of the Power with the Obiect; the Coniunction 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 Coniunction made, but only [Page 80] by the touch of the Extre­mities, or vtmost 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 auoyde, at least to mitigate, the paynes of Purgatory. SECT. II.

HAuing in the precedent Section, shewed out of the iudgment of the most [Page 81] learned Cardinall Bellarmyne, the atrocity of the paynes of Purgatory, and some other Circumstances accōpaning the said paynes; in this next place it is conuenient to set downe the meanes, through force whereof the sayd pay­nes may receaue some alle­uiation 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 [Page 82] holy Sacrifice of the Masse, Prayer, & Almes-deeds, or good workes; according to those words of S. Austin (serm. 32. deverb. Apost.) Orationibus san­ctae Ecclesiae, & 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. ad Cor.) saying; Iuuatur mortuus non lachrymis, sed precibus, sup­plicationibus, Eleemosynis. A dead man is helped, not with [Page 83] teares, but with prayers, suppli­cations, and Almes-deeds.

With which two former Fathers, Venerable Bede (to omit many other to auoyde prolixity) doth conspire in these words. (l. 5. hist. c. 13.) Multos, preces viuentium, & Eleemosynae &c. The prayers of the liuing, 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 Iudgment.

But of these three seuerall kinds of Suffrages for reliefe of the soules in Purgatory, I will chiefly insist in shewing [Page 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 iudgment of the ancient Fathers. And First, touching the sacred Scriptures, I will alledge di­uers passages thereof, which although they proue imme­diatly the great vertue of Good works, and Almes-deeds, for the gayning of the King­dome of God, and remitting of the punishment of eternall Damnation; yet (as the Logitians phrase is,) à for­tiori, they much more proue, [Page 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 [Page 86] Almes-deeds extinguish sinne. Yea Almes deeds, and Good workes are so powerfull, as that our Sauiour after he had charged the Pharisyes with diuers great sinnes, yet thus concludeth, Luc. 11. Verum­tamen date Eleemosynas, & ec­ce omnia munda sunt vobis; but notwithstanding, do you giue Almes, and behould all things are cleane vnto you.

And which is more, Gods holy word extēdeth the ver­tue of Almes-deeds euen to the Gentills and Heathens, for thus we fynd it said to Nabuchodonosor, who was a Pagan: Heare my Counsell (O [Page 87] King) and redeeme thy sinnes with Almes, and thy Iniquities with works of Mercy. Dan 4.

Now, if Good works of Cha­rity, and Almes-deeds, perfor­med euen by Heathens and wicked liuers, be so much respected by God; much more then, Good workes of Christians and good liuers, are accepted of God, not on­ly for the preuenting 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 [Page 88] credentium, securitatis nostrae salutare praesidium: Almes-deeds a great solace of the faithfull, a healthfull safegard of our se­curity. Againe the said Fa­ther, serm. de Eleemos. Sicut lauacro aquae salutaris Gehennae ignis extinguitur, ita Eleemosy­nis & precibus nostris delictorū 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 iudgment S. Ambrose alludeth in these words. serm. 31. Eleemosyna [Page 89] quodammodo animarum aliud est lauacrum &c. Lauacrum se­mel datur, & semel veniam pollicetur; 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 forgiuenes of sinnes; But as often, as thou shalt do some act of Almes-deeds, so of­ten dost thou procure forgiuenes of sinnes.

S. Chrysostome thus auer­reth, Hom. 25. in act. Apost. Non est peccatum, quod non pos­sit purgare Eleemosyna. There [Page 90] is no sinne so great which Almes-deed cannot purge, and take a­way. And more: Omne peccatū infra illam stat: All sinne is vn­der 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: Eleemosynae pec­cata delent, mortem perimunt, & poenam 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 [Page 91] the Ancient Father 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 Ob­iections, which such men who are in slauery to their riches, not hauing the mag­nanimity and resolution to part with their siluer to any good and charitable vses, ei­ther for their owne soules good, or for the benefit of o­thers [Page 88] [...] [Page 89] [...] [Page 90] [...] [Page 91] [...] [Page 92] that are needfull, are accustomed to insist vpon. The first is, (say such men) My goods are my owne, there­fore I am not obliged to giue any part of them, but to what end my selfe best pleaseth. Their second argument and more potent is, I haue wyfe and chil­dren, I am bound by the Law of God to prouide for them, and af­ter my prouision for them, I shall haue nothing remayning to bestow vpon good and charita­ble vses.

To the first of these two Obiections I answere; First, if we should dreame for the tyme that a mans temporall [Page 93] goods were absolutely at his owne disposall, & that ther­fore it were in his power, whether he would giue any part thereof to good vses or no: to this I first say, that ad­mitting for the present, that a man had sole dominion ouer 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 vses, shall [Page 94] hardly enioy Heauen (for without Charity a man can­not be saued) much lesse, shall he neuer 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 giuing any part therof to needfull and charitable vses. And that this is most true, I produce in proofe thereof the Authori­ties and words of these Re­uerend Fathers following.

[Page 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 vs most cruelly, which you (rich men) wast vaynely.

S. Gregory writeth in this sort (in 3. parte Pastor curae 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 [Page 96] invayne and without cause re­pute themselues to be innocent herein, who peculiarly challenge to themselues, the common guift and liberality of God.

S. Austin (Tract. in Psal. 147.) Superflua diuiti, necessa­ria sunt pauperi; res alienae pos­sidentur, cùm superflua possi­dentur. Those goods, which are but superfluous to euery 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 receaued thy riches, to consume [Page 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 Ierome (vide Gratian. dist. 42. Can Hospitale:) Aliena rapere conuincitur, qui vltra si­bi necessaria retinere probatur? He is conuinced to take euen by violence, those riches which be­long to others, who is iustly accu­sed to retayne to himselfe more, then is necessary to his state.

[Page 98] S. Basill (in orat. in illud, Destruam horrea mea:) At tu nonne spoliator es, qui quae dis­pensanda accepisti, propria re­putas? Art not thou euen a Robber, who takest those things & that substance for thy owne, which thou hast receaued 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 iniure so many poore men, how many thou art able to relieue.

For greater breuity I will conclude with S. Ambrose, [Page 99] serm. 81. Sed ais, quid iniustum est, si cùm aliena non inuadam, propria diligenter seruem? O impudens dictum! Propria dicis? Quae? And then after: Non mi­nus est criminis, quàm habenti tollere, cùm possis & abundes, indigentibus denegare. But thou wilt say? What iniustice is it in me, if so I do not inuade other mens substance, but reserue 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 giue to the poore, when thou art able to giue, and dost abound; then to take riches from those, [Page 100] who already do enioy them. Thus far touching the Fa­thers Iudgment in this point, wherewith to shut vp the mouths of worldly and co­uetous men.

Now, for the better vnder­standing of the former Au­thorities, we are to cōceaue, that those who possesse ri­ches, be indeed true Lords ouer them, if so they be iustly 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 [Page 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 wāt necessaries, without ha­uing 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 themselues, without distri­buting part of them to good [Page 102] and pious vses, do contrary to the will of God therein, and consequently do sinne.

Now, to come to that o­ther excuse, that men are obli­ged to prouide for Children, and that therefore they haue nothing to spare for any good vses, there­by to redeeme themselues from the future fyer of Purgatory. And in thus Apologizing for themselues, 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 [Page 103] his houshould, he denyeth his fayth, and is worse then an In­fidell.

To this poore reason, sha­dowed vnder the veyle of naturall affection, and Pa­ternall care, I thus answere. I do not disalow a moderate care to be taken for the pro­uision 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 aduancement of his owne children; and on the [Page 104] other syde, to be wholy ne­gligent, careles, & incurious for the preuenting 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 ouer great sollicitude in these matters, di­uers of you will make super­fluous prouision and charges in erecting a second House for a yonger Sonne, and the like; because they are neere to you, as being Prosemina­ted [Page 105] 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 vnnaturall to your selues, in being naturall to your Children. Let your owne Soules (which are more neere to you, then any Children) haue at least a Childes Portion. When you looke vpon your children, looke vpon them, not with an eye of an ouer-indulgent, [Page 106] but of a Christian Father: And then may ech of you say to your selues in an in­ward reflexe of your iudg­ment: I loue you all dearely, with a Paternall loue, but I loue my owne soule, more dearely. I will prouide for your temporall meanes in fitting manner, and according to my degree. But shall my ouer much care of your tem­porall aduancement impouerish 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 [Page 107] good of my soule, might haue re­deemed me from those flames? Will your selues thinke intensly, of my such calamitous state, in­curred by my ouer great loue 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 haue receaued from their liuing chil­dren? [Page 108] 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 tormēts, to which by cōmiting some flagitious Cryme he stands subiect & obnoxious. Is not then that Parent (I will not say halfe distracted, but) of most weake iudgment, who shall labour, and couet cer­tainely to vndergoe most horrible torments (and in­cōparably far greater, then [Page 109] this world can affoard) and this not for freeing his sonne from any paynes at all; but only that his children may liue in a more lautious, opu­lent, & full manner, then o­therwise they should, though competent, and sufficient meanes would notwithstan­ding be left vnto them?

For is it not infinitly far better for the Parēt, to leaue 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 preuent, [Page 110] or at least partly to diminish the paynes of Purgatory; then to leaue his issue in greater affluency and abundance of worldly riches, and himselfe to continue many yeares in that insufferable conflagra­tion of fyer; the grieuousnes whereof truly to conceaue passeth our conceite? O, Ante faciem frigoris eius quis sustinebit? Psal. 147.

Thus far I haue thought good to draw out, and en­large this Section, in stirring the mould about the roote of this ordinary pretence, & excuse of Parents prouiding for their Children; by reason [Page 111] that most Parents (to the great preiudice of their owne Soules) do shaddowe their want of Christian Charity to others vnder this pretext; and therby they make their owne Children to become Enemyes to themselues: and so it falleth out to be most true, as is aboue 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 iudgment of the Philosophers; No man knowes, what kind of loue that is which Parents beare to their [Page 112] children, but he that hath chil­dren; notwithstāding before I would endure an infinity of torments for their greater and more full aduancement, 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 Persuasory Discourse for the putting in practise the meanes (which are good Workes) for the auoyding of the paynes of Purgatory. SECT. III.

IN the two former Passa­ges are layed open, First the Horrid atrocity of the paynes of Purgatory; Se­condly, the meanes how to preuent, at least to lessen & mitigate them: It now fol­loweth, that I spend some leaues in a Paraeneticall (as I may terme it) or Persuasory [Page 114] discourse, therby to inuite Catholikes to put in practise the said meanes, which are conducing for the preuen­ting 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 deplora­ble [Page 115] state herein. Dangerous wounds (you know) must haue deepe incisions; And matter of Tragedy (for I ac­count yours to be such) is to be deliuered in mournefull Accents. Neuer ought we in this case to forbeare the touching of the member affe­cted with a hard hand. O no. The Apostle indoctrinateth vs otherwise, in those his fer­uorous and fiery words, 2. Tim. 4. Praedica, Insta, oportu­nè, importunè, argue, obsecra, increpa &c. To such Catho­liks, which are feruorous in the performance of good and pious Actions, this my [Page 116] speach doth not extend.

But here now I hould it conuenient to marshall and range such men into seuerall 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 perhaps haue liued 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 [Page 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 from the boūd­les Ocean of Gods mercy; Yet, what ineuitable Tor­ments, and for how many yeares, do expect thē in Pur­gatory, if otherwise they seeke not to deliuer themsel­ues thereof, in their owne lyfe tyme by good workes? This point will best appeare by discouering in part the atrocity of Schisme, and a Schismaticall lyfe. For the [Page 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 (Ioan. 10.) One body (Rom. 12.) One Spouse, (Cant. 6.) and one Doue. But now Schisme, as comming of the Greeke ver­be [Page 119] [...], scindo, deuideth that which is one, into parts: Therefore as a member cut of 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 pen­sill out a Schismatike, or Schis­me: I will vrge but two or three for breuity. S. Austin then thus writeth (l. de fide & Symb. c. 20.) Schismatiks though they belieue the same [Page 120] points, which we belieue; yet through their dissention they do not keep fraternall charity; ther­fore we conclude, that a Schisma­tike belongeth not to the Catho­like Church, because he loueth not his neighbour. Thus S. Au­stin. Fulgentius thus teacheth, (l. de fide ad Petrum c. 38. & 39.) Firmissimè tene &c. Belieue for certayne, and doubt not, that not only Pagans, but also Iewes, Heretikes, & Schismatikes, who dye out of the Catholike Church, are to goe to euerlasting fyer. To conclude, S. Cyprian thus a­uerreth (l. 4 Epist. 9. ad Flo­rent.) Qui cum Episcopo non sunt, in Ecclesia non sunt: who [Page 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 iudgment both of Holy Scri­pture and of the ancient Fa­thers, passed vpon 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 inue­terate Schismaticall liues; yet what imminent temporall tormēts (euen hanging ouer [Page 122] their heads) are ready to rush vpon them, instantly vpon the separation of the soule from the body, and to seize vpon their soules, for the satisfying of Gods Iu­stice? 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 sa­uing your temporall goods, will endanger the losse of all eternall good; How much do you dishonour (yea vili­fy [Page 123] God) by perseuering in your Schismaticall state? As­sure your selues (You Schis­matikes) that it is not in your power to command at your pleasure, ouer Tyme & Re­pentance. God calleth euery one, but how often he will call, no man knoweth; and be you afrayd of that feare­full Sentence of his Diuine Maiesty: My People would not heare my voyce, and Israell would none of me; So I gaue them vp to the hardnes of their hartes. Psal 81. O most dread­full Relegation!

But admit, God will giue you tyme to repent; yet the [Page 124] strength of your Armes is to weake to bend that Virgam ferream of Gods Iustice, 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 Introuersion vpō your owne most deplorable states; Suppose a Natiue Subiect should through some tem­porall respect and end, beare [Page 125] himselfe most traitourously towards his King, daily per­petrating some Act of dis­loyalty, and euer banding himselfe openly with other his professed Enemies: how could this Man in reason thinke, that his submission could euer be sufficient for his after reconciling to his Soueraigne, and obtayning Grace and fauour, & future aduancement to honour & Dignity? especially if the King were of that seuere dis­position, as that he was e­uer accustomed to punish (though often in a lower degree then the offence de­serued) [Page 126] 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 Diuine Maiesty, by his daily com­municating in Prayers and rytes, with the Preaching Members of an erroneous Church, Gods designed Ad­uersaries: How then can he expect, with his so much gauled Conscience, to arriue to Heauen without extraor­dinary acts of Mercy to the poore, and other workes of [Page 127] Piety in this world, or of suf­fering most exquisite and in­vtterable torments in Purga­tory? Considering God is iust, and seuerely chastizeth euery sinne, committed a­gainst him; Behould (sayth he by his Prophet Isay) I will be reuenged vpon my Enemyes, & will comfort my selfe in their destruction, Isa. 1. And againe: God shall rayne snares of fyer v­pon 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 [Page 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, & impatiēce 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 selues out of this spirituall Lethargy, & awake; since the longer you conti­nue in this your desperate [Page 129] state, you do but all that time (admitting you finally dye repentantly) euen heap fuell together for the nourishing of your flames in Purgatory. Remember the Wisemans say­ing, Eccles. 10. Languor pro­lixior grauat Medicum. You cannot but know, that du­ring your state in Schisme, you are wholy depriued of Gods Grace, by which we make clayme to Heauen; (Gratia Dei, vita aeterna. Rom. 6.) since you wilfully de­priue yours selues of the be­nefit of the Sacraments of Gods Church; which Sacra­ments our Sauiour hath in­stituted [Page 130] in his Church, as the ordinary meanes, or Con­duits, for the deriuing of Gods grace into mans soule.

Well, I will close this point of Schismatikes with this one asseueration: To wit, that a poore Motley foole (be you not offended, for I speake the truth) to whome God hath afforded only the vse of his fiue Senses, is in far more happy state, then you Schis­matikes are. This mā (though most despicable in the eye of the world) as through want of the vse of Reason, cannot merit; so he cannot demerit: You through your abuse of [Page 131] Reason, do not only, not me­rit; but in lieu thereof you increase the heape of your sinnes, through a daily coa­ceruation of your Schismati­call Transgressiōs. 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 [Page 132] thereto: You are indeed freed by your ablution in that sacred Font, from 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 Heauen) then to be the greatest, and most wel­thy Schismatike in England; be­ing resolued to continue yeare after yeare, in this his most wicked course of Schisme; Quid proderit homini, si vniuersum mundum lucretur, anima vero [Page 133] suae 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 vpon such, who are at this present actually Catholiks, yet haue perseue­red many yeares 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 peeuent the paynes of Pur­gatory, or els to endure them for many yeares? This partly appeareth, from the vgly [Page 134] state (so to call it) of a Schis­matike, aboue in part descri­bed. And if he will not per­forme such abstersiue Acts of penance in his owne lyfe tyme, by contributing, shew­ing pitty, and relieuing of others; let him take heed, he fall not vpon that dreadfull sentence of the Apostle, Iac. 2. Iudicium sine misericordia ei, qui non fecerit misericor­diam. Iudgment 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 [Page 135] render a most strict accoūt for your fore-passed lyfe­time, euen 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 Ierusalem with a Candle. And will you then be so negligent, and careles, in preuenting 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 deliuering it from Purgatory, except great Al­mes-deeds [Page 136] (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 instāt, thou wert lying vpon 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 euery minute for thy last dissolution; How [Page 137] would thy Iudgment 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 Sauiours passion, and of the holy Sacraments) his seruant, and in state of Grace, and finally to enioy the interminable ioyes of Heauen. But alas, though the guilt of Eternall damnation (incurred by my long former Schismaticall lyfe, & by my many other infinite sinnes) [Page 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 diuine Maiesty only knoweth) for the expiating of my said sinnes, be­fore I can arriue to Heauen. When I was in health, enioying my temporall state in all fulnes, how easily with a voluntary re­linquishing of a reasonable part thereof to pious and religious vses, could I haue auoyded (at least mitigated) these now im­minent [Page 139] and vnauoydable tor­ments? Good god! where then were my Wits? The very plow­man prouides 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 haue I so negligently carryed my selfe, as to lay vp before-hand no pro­uision, against this tempestuous and rugged future storme? O beast, that I was! Sweet Iesus, how far distant were my former course of lyfe and daily actions from euer thinking of this vna­uoydable danger? I haue liued many yeares in fulnes of state: I [Page 140] haue beene labouring in laying out good summes of Siluer, to heap land to land for my Chil­dren to inherit. I haue liued (perhaps) in a most profuse or wastfull manner; I haue spent to much, to gayne the deceitfull fauour of the world, in sump­tuous apparell, exceeding my state, in keeping an ouer wast­full house, and in ouer great & vnnecessary Attendance about me. By meanes of some, or all of these extrauagant Courses, I haue spent much; And yet not once did I euer thinke to bestow the twentith part of these super­fluous charges to pious vses, for the preuenting of those flames, [Page 141] which within few dayes (per­haps few houres) my poore soule must suffer.

O wretch that I am, that haue thus senselesly so neglected this fearefull day! Here now my for­mer pleasures, and Iollity are come to their last end and pe­riod. Gods Iustice 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 Heauen. 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, [Page 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 haue made true benefit in tyme, of that Mammon of Iniquity, my wastfull spending whereof must giue fuell to that fyer! And we are taught, that, Diuitiae non proderunt in die vltimo. Prou. 11. To my Friends, Kyndred, & former familiar acquaintance, which I shall leaue behind me in the World? Wo is me, they are as wholy negligent of their owne soules danger, concerning this [Page 143] point, as my selfe haue beene. How then can I expect them to be solicitous & carefull of myne?

To thee then alone (most mer­cifull and heauenly Father) who art Pater misericordiarum, (2. Cor. 1.) and who dost crowne vs 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 vpon the Crosse. Be­tweene the armes of thy ineffa­ble Compassion I cast my selfe. Lessen, (ô Lessen) for thy owne honours sake, and the bitter passion of thy most Deare Sonne, my Sauiour Iesus Christ, these tem­porall [Page 142] [...] [Page 143] [...] [Page 144] paynes, which now wante for me. Let my present Compun­ction and Contrition of all my former sinnes (through thy mer­cy, & Sons pretious death) ar­riue to that ascent and height, as that my Sauiour may say to me with the good thiefe; to day thou shalt be with me in Para­dise. So shall thy Mercy thereby ouer-ballance thy Iustice; 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 opera eius, (Psal. 144.) Our Lord is sweet to all, and his mer­cy [Page 145] is aboue all his Workes.

O that I had beene so happy, as to haue followed the whol­some aduyce, giuen 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[Page 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 pro­uiding against this Day, I do di­rect this my charitable Admo­nition. You are yet in health, & perhaps as improuident in laying vp spirituall riches against this fearefull day, as my selfe haue beene. O change your Course, whiles there is tyme. Let my pre­sent state preach to you, & suffer these my last dying words to giue lyfe to your future Actions; since they preach feelingly whose Pul­pit [Page 147] is their death-Bed. Be not in the number of those sensles creatures, who are buryed so deep in earth, as that they haue 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 haue tyme, heap vp 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 [Page 148] be conuented before the seuere Iudge, frō whom nothing can be hiddē, of whō the Prophet saith: Tu cognouisti omnia, nouissima & antiqua. (Psal. 138.) He is not appeased with guifts, nor ad­mtiteth excuses, who out of his boundles mercy remitteth to vs (vpon our true repentance) the paynes of eternall damnation; but yet chastizeth vs with tem­porall punishment to satisfy his Iustice: misericordia & veritas obuiauerunt sibi, iustitia & pax osculati sunt. Psal. 81. Therefore now begin to spread your selues in workes of Piety. Lessen your temporall Pompe, descend in out­ward comportment vnder your [Page 149] selues, and let your sparing char­ges by this meanes saued, serue to redeeme you from those hor­rid flames, which are hereafter to inuade you.

To these, and the like dis­consolate and Tragicall la­mentations in the inward reflexe of thy foule (my deare Catholike) shalt thou in thy last Sicknes be driuen, if thou seeke not to preuēt 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[Page 150] other Catholiks, who thogh you euer liued 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 liues and finall irrepentance do not) yet your Case (with reference to the torments of Purgatory) is lamētable. Most of you are wholy heedles & negligent in seeking by your good Workes, and Almes-deeds to auoyde Purgatory. How many of you, whose meanes are great, might [Page 151] without any stay after your Death, euen post to Heauen 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 obserued (euen with griefe to all Zealous Catholikes) that many of you are ready to lay out great summes of siluer for the in­creasing of your temporall states; That others of you, who are deuoted to the con­tentments and pleasures of [Page 152] this World, to dissipate a great part of your liuing in fruitles charges: Some in gallantry of apparell, others at Dyce, in Running-Hor­ses, in keeping wastfull Christmasses; your selues & your Cōpany feeding most lautiously vpon all variety of curious meates & wynes, whiles in the meane tyme your poore soules perhaps remayne, euen hunger-star­ued (as I may say) for want of spirituall nourishment. In all which courses it is be feared, that many, euen mortall sinnes, are by you committed, of the which, [Page 153] though you after haue pur­ged your selues 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 vnderstan­ding; It is not a bare mista­king of the iudgment: But it [Page 154] is meere Lunacy & Madnes in you, thus to aduance tem­poral respects either of gaine or pleasure, before the pre­uenting of those insufferable torments. And if any of you, who are of great states, do leaue a hundred pounds at your deaths to be prayed for, O, you thinke, you haue made a large and ample sa­tisfaction for all your sinnes, and that after those Prayers are performed, you are sure instantly to goe to Heauen. A selfe flattering, and credu­lous conceit! Thinke of the custome of the Venerable Bi­shops of the anciēt Church, [Page 155] who were vsed to tye a sin­ner to performe penance sea­uen yeares, for the commit­ting but of one mortal sinne: How much different was their Iudgment, from your Iudgment 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 gaue the third part of his goods to the poore, the rest to his wyfe and Children; of whome Cardinall Bellarmyne did a­boue speake in the first se­ction of this booke? Or how [Page 156] stands your Charity to good vses with reference to Za­chaeus, spoken of in the Gos­pell, Luc. 19. who after he had seene Christ, gaue in­stantly the halfe of his state to the poore. Truly I speake in all sincerity; I knew two Gentlemen in Englād, 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 thē did leaue to good vses fifteene hūdred pounds, and the other a thousand Markes. Therefore let such [Page 157] Catholiks, who are carefull of their Soules-good, be ver­tuously emulous of such mēs deuotion and charity; and let them remember, that say­ing of S. Chysostome (serm. 37. ad pop. Antioch.) Non dare, sed copiosè dare, Eleemosyna est. But to proceed.

If any of you, vpon your iust Demerits, were to be racked for diuers moneths togeather; or if any of you were in the highest degree afflicted with some Corpo­rall payne; what would you not giue (if it were in your power) to redeeme your sel­ues from these torments? [Page 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 yeares, through the extremity of the payne (for nullum vio­lentum est perpetuum:) And will you then be so leaden, stupid, and dull in iudgment, as willingly, and affectedly to vndergoe (it being in your power, by abandoning in your lyfe tyme a little Drosse, to preuent them) such paynes for many yeares (perhaps for many hundred of yeares;) in reference and [Page 159] comparison of which, all the greatest torments in this world (in the iudgment of the ancient Fathers) are to be reputed, as shaddowes, or tipes of paynes? where is mās vnderstanding, 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 Christiās? yea are they men? who thus be trample withall ca­relessnes, and supine neglect [Page 160] the good of their owne sou­les, and rauell 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 Iohn 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 [Page 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 v­pon you) coole the heate of those burning flames? No­thing lesse, since these toyes (through your abuse of them) shall serue, as bel­lowes, the more to blow the Flames of Purgatory.

I will vrge one reason,[Page 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 negligēce 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 [Page 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 salui erunt, sic ta­men quasi per ignem. And a­gaine S. Austin thus further saith (l 50. homil. 16.) O how happy are they, that who liuing [Page 164] well, and contented with neces­sary riches to their bodies, libe­rall of their owne, chast in them­selues, and not cruell to others, do redeeme themselues 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. Poenit.) I esteeme the purging fyer (though it be tran­sitory) to be more intollerable, then all tribulations, which in this life may be suffered; therefore I do not only desire, not to [Page 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, prouide 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 vpon the Worth of these [Page 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 Primitiue Church.

S. Austin (gayning the like title) was of that emi­nency for learning and pie­ty, that S. Ierome, thus extol­leth him: (Tom. 2. Ep. 25. in­ter opera August.) I haue all­wayes reuerenced thy Sanctity with that honour, which is fit­ting; [Page 167] and I haue loued our Lord and Sauiour dwelling in thee.

Thus much briefly of S. Austin, whose infinite pai­nes, labour, and study (be­sides his extraordinary ho­lynes in his conuersation & course of lyfe) in writing of so many, and so great Tomes, with such wonderfull per­fection of iudgment & 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 [Page 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, euen D. Whi­taker our Aduersary (lib. de Eccl. pag. 338.) thus cele­brateth [Page 169] his worth: Ego qui dem Bernardum verè fuisse san­ctum existimo.

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 deuotion; they spending their whole tyme in writing in defence of the true Reli­gion; be trāpling vnder their feet all temporall Honours and Preferments; liuing most chastly in Purity of body; & wearing themselues out in Fasting, Prayer, and seuerely [Page 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 aboue, by their owne words and writings, they did;) what then (My deare Catholickes) may be said of most of you, who enioy the pleasures of the world, pamper your bo­dies, liue 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 be­ing [Page 171] thus become Parasytes to your owne selues, in thus flattering your owne most fearefull state?

But it may be, there are some of you, who, so you may enioy Heauen eternally in the end, become thereby lesse carefull of preuenting the temporall paynes of Pur­gatory, sleighting the consi­deration of them. But S. Au­stin shall discouer this vani­ty, who thus discourseth of this point, serm. 41. de sanctis. Some vse to say, I care not great­ly how long soeuer I stay in pas­sing this fyer; seeing at the last, I shall attayne to life euerlasting. [Page 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 Iudgment: 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 [Page 173] let euery man labour with all his force, that he may auoyde 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 vpon this point. What may we say of such men, as read this, and are nothing moued there­with? [Page 174] Truly such men may be thought to haue 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 vse of Reason (wherein the essence of man consisteth) so far forth as it may become ser­uicable to the aduancement and spirituall good of their soules, they participate in their actiōs more with beasts who want soules, then with Rationall Creatures: A griefe not to be expressed, but in most deplorable Threnes and [Page 175] Lamentations.

Nay, I dare be bold to say, that Beasts seeme to haue greater practise of Reason, then diuers of these men haue. 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 con­ceaue such Feare thereof, as that he will for a long tyme after seeke to auoyde both the stroakes, and the hole: And yet, where the Scripture, the testimonies of the An­cient and holy Fathers, the seuerall miracles exhibited in proofe of the torments of [Page 176] Purgatory, do fully proclame the horriblenes of those pai­nes, diuers Catholikes who are infallibly hereafter to endure the same paynes (if so they make no preuention in their lyfe tyme) haue 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 beseeching you, euen for the most precious, and bitter Passion of our Lord and Sauiour, & for the future good of your [Page 177] owne soules, to cast your eye vpon all the Premisses set downe in this smal Treatise, and haue a feeling Conside­ration both of the extremi­ties of the paynes, and of the infallible authorities pro­uing the vndoubted certay­nety of those paynes; and do not suffer your iudgments to fluctuate or wauer, touching the certainty of them. Ther­fore, I will only demand, Is there a Heauen? Is there a Hell? Is there a Purgatory? Yf you belieue these things to haue a true and reall being, (as no doubt infallibly you do) where then (through [Page 178] your so much sleighting of them) is your Iudgment? 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 ensu­ing [Page 179] 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 liues) 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 [Page 180] are able, through Gods assi­stance to performe, for the freeing you from the flames of Purgatory: and remember, that howsoeuer the nycenes & delicacy of diuers 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 Saluation, you must infallibly vndergo those horrible flames (so much spoken of in these leaues) except by your cha­ritablenes (and this in a most full degree) you redeeme those paynes.

O what good Workes [Page 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, vpon one gowne; and that gowne must not serue 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 Iewels, worth many hun­dreds of pounds.

O cut of these needles & fruitles charges, and bestow [Page 182] a good part thereof vpon your Soules, with the pre­ciousnes of good and satisfy­ing works, though your bo­dies in part be depriued 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 lust man shall fall seauen tymes a day. How many idle, and vnne­ssary thoughts and words passe from you, but in one day? and yet you must make satisfaction for euery such thought or word, either here or in Purgatory, before you [Page 183] can arriue to Heauen. For it is sayd, Prou. 19. They shall render an account of euery idle Word, in the day of iudgment.

Now then in tyme of your Widowhoods, lay out a great part of your riches to spiri­tuall vsury (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 subiect her­selfe, and her state to any man, (besides diuers good [Page 184] acts before) she gaue at one tyme (I speake of certaine and particular knowledge) three hundred pounds of her portion away, to the brin­ing vp of poore schollers beyond the Seas; saying thus to herselfe; If I shalbe content to enthrall my selfe, & seauenteene hundred pounds at least, to the will of a stran­ger, who I know not how he will vse me; haue I not reason to giue three hundred pounds away to my owne Soule, for his sake, who will not suffer a cup of could water giuen in his name, to be vnrewarded?

This is an Example wor­thy [Page 185] of your taking notice of, thereby to put you in mind, to remember to preuent 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 prouide for the good of their soules, [Page 186] before they tye themselues 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 reioyce: and so [Page 187] (Noble Ladyes, and others) it is in your power (if your selues will) to enioye the like felicity and retaliation, for your workes of charity, with her. And with this I giue a full close to this my Exhortative Discourse.

Certaine examples of good works to be practised, for the auoy­ding of Purgatory, propoun­ded by the Authour of this Treatise. SECT. IV.

THE first of these Good Workes, so much wished [Page 188] by me, shalbe not only in a mans priuate Deuotions & Prayers; but also by solici­ting of others of our Ca­tholike Clergy (though e­uen of their owne most rea­dy propension and loyalty herein, I know they are not wanting) to pray for his Maiesty of England, our most gratious King, and for his worthy Queene, and their Royall Issue.

This is the Duty, which all Subiects (of what Reli­gion soeuer) ought to per­forme; and the performance thereof is a pleasing, & most gratefull spirituall Sacrifice [Page 189] to the Diuine Maiesty, and a good meanes (among o­thers) to expiate our former Transgressions; Thus shall ech of vs feare the Lord, and honour the King. Prou. 24. And, giue to Cesar, what is Cesars. Matth. 22. For if the Prophet Ieremy (sterned by Gods holy spirit, and therefore spoake the truth) commanded the Israe­lits, being brought into Cap­tiuity to Babylon, to pray for the good state thereof, say­ing to them; In the peace ther­of, you shall haue peace. Ierem. 29. And if further also the Israelites be counselled by God in his holy Writ, to [Page 190] pray for the life of Nabucho­donosor, and his sonne Bal­tasar. Baruch 1. How much more Reason then, haue all Priests, and Catholikes in England, euen 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 Soue­raigne. They for him, who did lead them into Captiui­ty: We for him, who keepes vs in liberty, peace, & tran­quillity. They for a meere [Page 191] stranger and Idolater; We being Christiās, for our Na­tiue Christian Prince. Final­ly, they for a forrayne Na­tion: We for our owne Coū ­try, in which we are bred & brought vp, and to which we owe Omnes omnium chari­tates: So willingly we must remember, that it is said, 1. Pet. 3. We ought to be subiect to the King, as excelling.

Therefore in regard of so worthy a worke, which euen 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 [Page 192] to Personate all the English Priests and good Catholikes in my selfe, and will offer vp to the Highest (in behalfe of vs all) this our most zealous and daily prayer: God preserue 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 giue him the Pri­uiledg 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 nouellae oliuarum, in circuitu [Page 193] mensae tuae. And grant, that in the close of their liues, they may all leaue 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 vpon the Earth deserue not to be Types or adum­brations. And, to this my vn­feigned 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 siluer. And heere I will insist (by way of Example) in certaine courses taken by diuers of [Page 194] the more earnest Protestāts, 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 auoyde,) because they are warranted by the Protestants owne practise, though in a different Reli­gion. Therefore their actiōs for the aduancement of their Religion, may be a spur and incitement to vs, to practise the like actions for the Ho­nour of our Catholike Reli­gion, [Page 195] which is most Ancient and infallible.

For no small dishonour it would be to vs Catholikes, that those words of sacred writ should be auerred here­in of them and vs: Filij huius saeculi 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 euen 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 be­come [Page 196] a Scholia, to paraphraze our doctrine, & beliefe tou­ching Good Workes. And how preposterous would it be, that our Aduersaries putting no confidence in Good Works, should neuerthelesse in their owne iudgments be ready to performe them? We, who put confidence in them, as receauing 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 [Page 197] a foyle to their greater see­ming Actions of that Na­ture?

Well then, to descend to particulars: We obserue, that the more forward Pro­testants, fynding Youths (though meere strangers vn­to them) of pregnancy and hope to be Schollars, will strayne themselues & open their purses, to maintayne them in our english Vniuer­sities; that finally they may become Ministers, thereby more & more to disseminate in the Realme their owne Protestant Religion. Now seeing the Catholike Reli­gion [Page 198] 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 yōg poore schol­lars of hopefull expectation, for their bringing vp in such places of literature, as that when they haue ended their studies, they may be serui­ceable in the Catholike Church for the general good of others?

I instance (for example) in a pregnant yong boy of seauenteene, or eighteene yeares of age; This boy through want of meanes, for [Page 199] his better preferment is to become a Seruingman, a Clarke, a Prentise, or at the best (indeed the worst) a Minister; In all which sta­tes, considering the present streme of Protestancy in En­gland, his soule is in all like­lyhood to perish eternally, for his not dying in a true Fayth, and Religion. Now here obserue 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 aboue is said) in great perill of eter­nally perishing, through his [Page 200] professing of an erroneous Fayth: Yf he be Catholikly brought vp, and sent ouer the sea's, he is to be instru­cted in the only sauing Ca­tholike Faith, to the most ho­pefull Saluation of his soule.

Yf he be here sent to our English Vniuersities, and fi­nally become a Minister; he then, not only looseth his owne soule, but is to be fea­red, will be the cause of the euerlasting perdition of ma­ny other mens Soules, by his enuenoming, and infecting their Iudgments with his owne Religion: Yf he be brought vp in Catholike [Page 201] places, beyond the Seas, and proceed forward in his course, he then (liuing ac­cording to the strict course of his vndertaken Profes­sion,) not only saueth his owne Soule, but is a sub­ordinate Instrument vnder God, for the sauing of many other mens soules partly by practising his function a­mong such as be already Ca­tholikes; and partly by his persuasion (if so he proue learned,) of others yet re­maining Protestants, to im­brace the Roman Catholike Fayth.

And thus if you obserue, [Page 202] either the preuenting of the great Hurt, and Euill, 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 vndergoing the other State: You may thinke your siluer employed to such an Act, to be most happily layed out; Assuring your selues, that the worke of the Euill here preuented, and the Good here performed (& all originally vnder God, by your meanes) shall find a great retaliation at Gods most mercifull hands, both for the increase of your me­rits, [Page 203] 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 haue tyme, lay wayte by all con­uenient meanes to enquyre after such occasions; Espe­cially when such a particu­lar worthy Act may often­tymes be performed with lesser charges, then diuers of you wil bestow vpon a good suite of apparel. O thē, appa­raile [Page 204] and inuest 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 abūdant meanes for the practizing of the workes of Piety, I had rather make choyce to distribute to this vse of prouiding and main­taining of hopeful youths in learning, to the end aboue expressed, then to any other particular End whatsoeuer. For if neither any places of Residence beyond the Seas had beene prouided, and fur­nished with sufficient main­tenance for the bringing vp [Page 205] of English Schollers; nor that there had beene any Catho­likes, who would haue ope­ned their purses to this no­ble End, Catholike Religion had beene vtterly extinct many yeares since, in En­gland.

This Zeale of many good Catholikes both dead (and no doubt, aliue) 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 ouer to be (after their studies en­ded) created Priestes, how [Page 206] could the profession of Ca­tholike Religion continue in these so great stormes a­mong vs? Therefore what a great and inexplicable com­fort will it be to you in your last Sicknes, euen 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 ouerthrowing 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 [Page 207] money, did vnder God, ther­by rescue the sayd youth, euen out of the Deuills iawes, and haue beene a se­cond meanes of sauing both the youths owne soule, & of the soules of diuers others?

This being so, let me then intreat you (Most worthy Catholikes) euen for our Sauiours sake (who gaue not siluer (as is heere only expe­cted) but his most precious bloud, for the ransoning of all soules out of the Deuills possession) that you would cast a most serious, and in­tense consideration of this one point. And thus far tou­ching [Page 208] 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 haue a fee­ling and sensible touch of diuers well-disposed yonge gentlewomen; who through the decay of their Parents state, not hauing sufficient portions left them to enter into Religion (being of themselues otherwise most desirous to shake handes for euer with the world, by ta­king that course) are forced to forbeare that their most [Page 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 dāgerous course? Which if you do performe, what haue you done? This you haue done. You haue cau­sed a yong Gentle-woman (otherwise exposed, & lying open to the dangers of the [Page 210] world) to Cloyster herselfe within a wall, there to spēd all her lyfe tyme, in Chasti­ty, Obedience, Voluntary pouerty, and other deuotiōs; rysing at midnight (to for­beare all other her austeri­ties) when your selues are taking your sweet repose & rest, to sing laudes to God, & to pray for her benefactours, & particularly for you, who haue 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 deseruing the [Page 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 diuers earnest Protestants, who seeing some neighbo­ring places wanting prea­ching Ministers, are ready to plant such men there; affor­ding them large allowāce, & this to the end, the more to dilate their owne Protestan­ticall [Page 212] Fayth, ouer much all­ready spread and dissemina­ted. And hence it is, that so many Stipendary Ministers are setled in seuerall 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 diuers of you, see­ing a peece of land close by you, though rough and vntil­led; yet of it owne Nature (through smal charges) most [Page 213] fruitfull: I doubt not (I say) but that diuers 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 diuers wast places adioy­ning to euery one of you, wherein liue many ciuill & morall men, yet their vnderstanding (in regard of any Religion) are but as Tabulae Rasae, or vnmanured land.

Now heere, what a most worthy and Christian attempt, and endeauour were it in you, to seeke to plant spirituall labourers in such places, by whose paynes the [Page 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, receaueth 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 Heauenly Corne?

O what a spirituall in­crease [Page 215] might such of you make, who haue full and o­pen purses, by cultiuating of diuers of these barrē places? And how forcible would such pious endeuours be, for the expiating of the relicks of your sinnes? Therefore let not the Puritan Gentilmen, and others, exceed and ouer­goe 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 ig­norant [Page 216] Hearers; But labour by secret meanes without contestation to the present state (to which you ought euer to beare all duty and re­uerence) to supererogate with them, in pious workes of this Nature.

An other point, wherein we may well follow the steps of our Aduersaries, is this. The Protestant Gentle­men (though of very great worth and Ranke) do often send their yonger Sonnes to our English Vniuersities, prouiding that they may be­come fellowes of Houses; whose Terminus ad quem (as I [Page 217] may say) is finally to become Ministers, and thereby to be promoted to great and rich Ecclesiasticall liuings; in which store and abundance, England exceedeth all Na­tions in Christendome. Now to be emulous of our Aduer­saries proceeding herein: if Catholike Parents would seriously ponder this point, no doubt they would be more carefull and willing to send ouer their yonger son­nes to Catholike Colledges beyond the Seas, then they are; not to become schollars, only thereby to be aduanced to spirituall liuings (an ouer [Page 218] vnworthy Allectiue) but to become Priests, (that throgh sheeding of their bloud) euen 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 haue not their education a­broad, but only bred vp in England; into what (for the most part) do they finally re­solue? They (for example) being left by their Parents Twenty, or Thirty, or per­haps forty pounds Annuity (and sometimes lesse then, [Page 219] any of these) what course do most of these after their parents decease, vsually vn­dergoe? To be in seruice to any mā or Knight or Noble­man of worth, or to be in any good employment a­broad for their temporall ad­uancement, 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) [Page 220] for their diet; and they rauell out their yeares, wal­king vp 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 diuers Shyres) hiding themselues 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 [Page 221] whence they descend, should be extinct for wāt 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 vpon the other end of the ballance: Yf such yonger sonnes of Catholike Parēts (being of good wits) were sent ouer in their Parents life time, and that when their minds and wills were of a supple and waxen Disposi­tion, as not being acquain­ted [Page 222] afore (through want of yeares) with any sinne or E­uill, and ready to receaue the impression of Vertue & lear­ning; how seruiceable to the Church of God in tyme, might such men become? For by this meanes of education, many of them do vndergoe (as we fynd by experience) a most holy Function of life; spending their whole age af­ter, in laboring to administer the Sacramēts of the Church to Catholikes, in reducing diuers Protestants to the on­ly true and Catholike Fayth, and in daily praying & offe­ring vp the most Venerable [Page 223] Sacrifice of Christes body, for the soules of their dead Parents, and others their li­uing or deceased Friends. O quantum distat ortus ab occasu? for so great is the Disparity betweene these two differēt courses of Yonger Brothers here set downe; not only in the eye of God, but euen in the eye of the world.

And heere by digression I will touch a little vpon the Daughters of Catholicke Gentle-men. Heere in En­gland diuers of them (as well as the Daughters of Prote­stants) take (throgh a blind affection, often cast vpō some [Page 224] base man or other) a most vnworthy Course, to the vnutterable griefe of their Parents, and ouerthrow of their temporall state. And if they be placed in mariage with their Parents consent answerably to their Degree; yet if either the Husbands proue vnkind, or in course of life vitious; or their Chil­dren vntoward 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 [Page 225] Virginall, tender, and inno­cent age, be brought vp 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 thēselues from all illaquea­tions and worldly entangle­ments, shall bestow the grea­test part both of Day and Night in performing, & sin­ging Hymnes of Prayses to his Diuine Maiesty, for the [Page 226] good of themselues & their Friends: To euery 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 prae­parauit in aeternum. (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 Aduersaries; which exā ­ples were most worthy of [Page 227] all commendation, being in­corporated in an Ortho­doxall Religion. But yet heere, in our Imitation of them, I euer 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 withall dutifull Respect to the state of our Realme. Since I hould it most repugnant to true Iudgment & Religion, to vndertake to put in pra­ctise orderly things, by vn­orderly meanes; and there­fore in all such our spirituall endeauours let vs remember, [Page 228] to shew all duty and reue­rence to the State, and that it is recorded in sacred Writ, (Rom. 13.) We are to be sub­iect 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 them­selues, will not be iustly of­fensiue to the graue Prote­stant Magistrate.

There is yet another thing most worthy of your chari­table commiseration. You [Page 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 ouerchar­ged with these yearely pay­ments, as that their meane Estates are not able to sup­port any long time such pay­ments; of which his Maiesty (who is most prone to com­miseration and pitty) litle heareth in particular; this being effected only by cer­taine Subordinate Magistra­tes, aduerse to our Catholike Religion. And thereupon [Page 230] for their auoiding of the said payments, imposed vpon them, diuers of these poore men and women haue 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 haue 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 [Page 231] your worthy performāce 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 preuent, that diuers 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 Saluation.

And can you then other­wise thinke, but that God [Page 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 preuenting of your eter­nall perdition, as also for mitigating your temporall punishments in Purgatory? For heer our Sauiours words would be iustified in you, Matth. 25. Verily I say vnto you, in so much as you haue don­ne it vnto one of the least of these my brethren, you haue done it vnto me.

In this next place, I will descend to acts peculiar on­ly to vs Catholikes; & such [Page 233] as do insist, and rest in offe­ring vp the prayers both of our selues, but especially of the generall Liturgy of the most blessed Sacrifice of the Eucharist, offered vp either for the benefit of our selues, 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 [Page 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 Sauiour himselfe, as that he pronounceth, Matth. 5. Beati misericordes, quoniam ipsi mise­cordiam consequentur; Blessed are the mercifull, for they shall obtayne mercy: So auaylable & behooffull is pitty and mer­cy to the performers thereof. But to proceed to another benefit of such a pious deed.

[Page 235]Yf a prudent man, had a Cause of most great impor­tance, to be tryed before a seuere, yet most iust Iudge; And if at the same tyme, there were certaine persons in prison, whom that Iudge 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 [Page 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 Iudge, 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 Heauen, & shall be most pleasing and gratefull to his Diuine Ma­iesty; [Page 237] who cannot, nor will not deny them the grant of any thing, which they shall demaund, and petition for at his hands.

Euery Catholike (as all other men) are to plead their cause before God, the most iust Iudge: 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 diuers of the [Page 238] said tormented soules.

Now this being once per­formed, those then Happy Soules, shall no sooner leaue their Goale and Prison, and ascend to Heauen; but as euen abounding with a Se­raphicall Charity, shall in recompēce of so great a spi­rituall ease and Relaxation procured to them, euer bat­ter at the eares of our Al­mighty and mercifull Lord, with their daily and inces­sant prayers; that his Diuine Mercy would be most in­dulgent and pittifull to such men, for the preuenting (or at least mitigating) of their [Page 239] temporall paynes, by whose meanes those soules had a more speedy deliuery 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 Aduocates 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 [Page 240] need? And fooles (I will not say Madmen) are all such, vpon whom God hath be­stowed abundance of tem­porall riches; and yet them­selues remayne vnwilling & slow in this spirituall traffi­que of a good and compe­tent part of their said tempo­rall state and meanes.

But because this point of relieuing by Good Workes the soules in Purgatory, is of most great importance, both to the poore soules relieued, & the liuing party performing such a most charitable work to them: Therefore besydes what is already deliuered [Page 241] by me aboue, I will adioyne (as most mouing any man of Piety and Iudgment) the discourse of the aforemen­tioned learned and worthy Cardinall Bellarmine of this point; who maketh the ninth Chapter of the third booke de Gemitu Columbae, the subiect hereof: Thus then that blessed man writeth: We haue shewed aboue, 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 [Page 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 vs 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 [Page 243] of our Lords body. And indeed it is most admirable to obserue, how gainfull a negotiation (and this most iust) may accrew vnto vs thereby. And this spirituall negotiation may well be resem­bled to the proceeding of a man, who should deliuer one and the same siluer (vpon vsury) to se­uerall Merchants; and yet should receaue a full and entyre Interest for one and the said Siluer, from euery one of the Merchants.

Let vs explayne our selues in few words. A man prayeth for the Dead, attentiuely, pious­ly, with fayth, and great confi­dence of impetration and obtai­ning [Page 244] 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 deseruing 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 hauing 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 [Page 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 Iust men pray to God, [Page 246] through Christ, is easely obtay­ned: Our Lord himselfe saying Luc. 11. Petite, & accipietis &c. Aske, and you shall receaue: and againe, Marc. 11. Quic­quid orantes, petitis &c. All things whatsoeuer you aske, pray­ing, belieue that you shall re­ceaue, and they shall come vnto you. And more, Ioan. 16. Si quid petieritis &c. Yf you aske the Father any thing in my name, he shall giue it you.

Behould heere a threefould gayne, proceeding from prayer, made in behalfe of the soules de­parted. But there may be adioy­ned a fourth benefit: That is, the soules, for which we pray, [Page 247] will not be vngratefull, when they shall arriue into their hea­uenly Country; but shall ans­were & recompence our prayers, with their like prayers in our behalfe.

To proceed; Fasting being performed by vs, and applyed for the deceased, obtayneth a mani­fould gaine. For first, (as a me­ritorious worke) it is profitable to him, who fasteth, euen 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, [Page 248] 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 iust cause, did Da­uid fast, with all his retinue and trayne euen till night, when he was aduertized of the ouerthrow of King Saul, and Ionathas, 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 Heauen, will not be forgetfull of their Benefa­ctours; but will power out prayers [Page 249] for them; and such their prayers, as proceeding from true Charity, shall be heard.

Now, in this 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 giuen, and maketh them to be­come our friends, that so when we fayle, they may receaue vs in­to eternall Tabernacles. Luc. 16. Againe, Almes-deeds being applyed for the vse of the soules departed, do bring a refreshing and refocillation to the said soules; and consequently make them also to become our friends, [Page 250] who hauing a title to the King­dome of Heauen, will no doubt helpe vs with their holy Prayers and Intercessions.

Thirdly, Almes-deeds do (as I may say) bynd God to be a deb­tour vnto vs; for thus the Holy Ghost speaketh by the mouth of Salomon: Qui miseretur paupe­ris, foeneratur Domino: Who ta­keth pitty of the poore, doth put out his siluer to interest, euen 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 [Page 251] 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 eui­dent, that that oblation profiteth the party, who offereth it vp, as a guift most gratefull to God: It profiteth the faithfull liuing, as also the faithfull soules de­parted. And that this is most vn­doubtedly 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 [Page 252] bloud of Christ may be offered vp 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 writen by Venerable Bede lib. 5. cap. 13.

In like sort the Epistle 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 [Page 253] principall Remedy for their pai­nes in Purgatory. Now from all the Premisses, it is euident, that we may receaue 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 satisfy 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 deliuery out of Purgatory. Thus far learned Bellarmine discourseth of this point. Whose words I would de­sire euery good Catholicke [Page 254] Reader seriously to obserue.

But to enlarge my selfe a little further, I could wish all of you of good states, when iust occasiō is presented, that you would be most bounti­full in relieuing 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 sel­ues in the words of the A­postle, Hebr. 6. God is not vn­iust, that he can forget your good workes, and charity, which you haue shewed in his name, and haue, and do minister vnto [Page 255] his Saints.

I well remember, that some twenty yeares since, a certaine Prison hauing in it some six or seauen Priests, & far more poore lay Catho­likes, lying there in great want; there was a Catho­like gentle woman of good account, who taking great cōmiseration of their wants, relieued all the Catholike imprisoned company, with weekly prouision of meate for seuerall months; and so she intended still to conti­nue this her Charity, but that she was shortly after preuented by death. This was [Page 256] an Heroicall and most Chri­stian charity in her, able no doubt (throgh Christs mer­cifull acceptance thereof) euen to abate the flames of Purgatory.

In like sort, I could wish all of you, who are carefull to preuent the raging flames or Purgatory, that what workes of labour, or satis­faction, or Almes deeds you intēd 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 diffe­rēce is most great betweene [Page 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, giueth a­way his goods to pious vses, because he cannot enioy 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, [Page 258] since we read) 2. Cor. 9. Hila­rem datorem diligit Deus; God loueth a chearfull giuer. In the former, the will of a dying man is not (for the most part) in all things performed, either through the Co­uetousnes of the wife, Chil­dren, or negligence of the Executors: In this other, a man is assured his will shall be performed; since he is resolued to make his owne Hands, his Executors, and his owne Eyes, his Ouerseers.

Lastly, Almes-deeds dōne after the first sort, do take ef­fect only at the death of the Party & not before; where­as [Page 259] they being distributed after this second sort, they be­gin to worke and obtaine by degrees Indulgēce, lessening of the future paynes, euen from that houre, in which they were first bestowed: So great a disparity there is bet­weene hauing a Candell go­ing before a man, lighting him the way to the King­dome of Heauen, & hauing 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 euery pen­ny of them, if other course [Page 260] in the meane tyme could not be taken; But that if by preuention of time (I meane by paying afore the day of payment cōmeth) 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 siluer vp at Inte­rest) for the present dis­charge of the said twentith part, so to redeeme your sel­ues from the payment of all the rest. I do assure you euen from the testimonies of all [Page 261] ancient & learned Fathers, that it is in your power to redeeme not only the twen­tith part of your future tor­ments in Purgatory, but euen 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 Galatae, 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 deuoted to the world) but that, if you had [Page 262] a fayre demayne of fiue hun­dred pounds yearely worth, though not in possession; yet that it were infallibly to des­cend to you and your Poste­rity for euer, after twenty yeares were expired: And that notwithstāding it were in your Power & Freedome, to buy out and redeeme the said twenty yeares, thereby to haue present possession of it; I say, there are not many of you, but that you would striue, though it were by impouerishing your selues for the tyme, and by liuing vnder your owne worth, thereby to procure meanes [Page 263] for the redeeming of the said terme of twenty yeares.

Heauen is your Inheri­tance, after the guilt of eter­nall damnation is once re­mitted; Yet thither it is im­possible for you to arriue, vntil for certaine yeares you haue 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 seuerall hundreds of yeares) you may redeeme perhaps for lesse charges to your Purse, disbursed in your life time and [Page 264] health to pious & religious vses (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 vndertake the same? How can you heere Apolo­gize or excuse your selues? Is Heauen not so good, as an earthly demaine? O men of little Fayth! What a muddy disposition of the Soule is this, which lyes so groueling vpon the earth, and wholy absorpt in terrene thoughts and cogitations?

[Page 265]Well, ceasing to enlarge my selfe further vpon the Premisses, I earnestly desire euery one of you, to procure now in tyme of Health, the most Reuerend & Dreadfull Sacrifice of the most blessed body and bloud of our Sa­uiour to be offered daily vp, to two ends; to wit, for the spirituall good of your sel­ues and your Children; and secondly, for the preuenting of your future paines of Pur­gatory. And that you shall perceaue of what ineffable vertue and efficacy for mans soule, the offering vp of that most dreadfull Sacrifice is, I [Page 266] haue thought good to set downe the Iudgmentes of some few ancient Fathers, pretermitting the greatest part of them, for greater bre­uity.

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 vp, or accepted [Page 267] more thankefully, then that the flesh of our Sacrifice, should be come 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 ioyned with the bo­dies [Page 268] of the faythfull, that by the coniunction of the immortall body, man may be made partaker of immortality. S. Cyprian thus teacheth of the offering vp of the body, and bloud of Christ in the holy Eucha­rist (Serm. de coena 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 Hea­uen to vs.

[Page 269]And now hauing shewed out of the testimonies of the ancient Fathers, the impre­ciable efficacy and vertue of the most Reuerend Sacrifice of Christs body and bloud, for the spirituall good of mans Soule; we may from thence conclude, that the daily offering vp of the said most dreadfull Sacrifice (cō ­sidering the worth of him there sacrificed) is most a­uaylable & behoofull, both for the soules of men yet li­uing, thereby to arme and strengthen them with grace, against all the temptations of the World and the diuell; [Page 270] as also for the expiating of mans Sinnes in Purgatory. Sweet Iesus! 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 di­uine grace) the Sonne plea­deth to the Father, God to God; And the same man, is both the Priest, and the Sacri­fice.

Yea this most Reuerend Mystery of the Sacrifice of the Masse, is the very center of Religion, and hart of de­uotion; by meanes whereof [Page 271] his diuine Maiesty most bountifully imparteth, and powreth out his fauours and graces to our soules: So cer­taine and infallible it is, that our Prayers made in Vnion of this diuine Sacrifice (whe­ther for our spirituall good during our Peregrination in this world, or for the taking away of the paines of Purga­tory,) haue an inexplicable power and efficacy: And therfore those men are great Enemies to themselues, and their Children, who neglect this so soueraigne a meanes, both for their owne & their Childrens aduancement in [Page 272] sanctity and Vertue

Yet before I end this dis­course, I must adioyne this ensuing Animaduersion; that whereas most of the former examples of Good Workes a­boue 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 (aboue alled­ged) peculiarly belongeth, Non dare, sed copiosè dare Elee­mosyna est: Neuerthelesse we are to conceaue, that the Charity of such, as be but poore in temporall faculties [Page 273] though, neuer so small, are most pleasing to his diuine Maiesty, for the mitigating of the torments of Purgatory. And in this sense we must vnderstand, that euen the poore Widdow in the Ghos­pell, who had but two mites, gaue as much as Zachaeus, who contributed the halfe of his great substance to the poore; because, though the widdow had lesser goods to giue, yet she had the like will of giuing; And though, that which was seuerally giuen by them both, were vnequall & diuers; yet the fountaine from whence they gaue (to [Page 274] wit from a prompt and cha­ritable disposition of relie­uing the poore) was the same. And thus did it fall out, that whereas the whole Widowes state was but small, yet the part thereof giuen, was great; Since he giueth no litle, who freely and cheerefully giueth a part of a little. And therefore the foresaid S. Chrysostome accordingly thus teacheth (Hom. 34. ad pop. Antioch.) Eleemosinae magni­tudo, non in pecuniarum multi­tudine iudicatur, sed in dan­tiū promptitudine. With whom accordeth S. Leo (ser. 4. de Quadrag.) saying, Ex affecti­bus [Page 275] piorum, benignitatis mensu­ra taxatur.

Well, I will close vp 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 preuenting or lessening of the torments of Purgato­ry) put in daily practise that [Page 276] counsell of our Sauiour: Luc. 16. Facite vobis amicos de Mammona iniquitatis, vt cum defeceritis, recipiant vos in ae­terna tabernacula. Make you friends of the Mammon of Ini­quity, that when you fayle, they may receaue you into eternall Tabernacles.


God saue the King.

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