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A Distinct View of the Doctrine of Purgatory
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This Catholic priest brings forth information and insight about the doctrine of Purgatory. He gives examples that the Pagans even believe in the existence of purgatory because of Tradition once passed down by Adam. In addition, that the soul is immortal. We cannot cover all testimonies. There are still Celts, Scandinavians, Mexicans, Savages, Turks, and Jews. Persians "In order to relieve the soul of the deceased, and to procure him the protection of the celestial spirits... prayers are recited for him during three days and three nights, supposing in all cases that he died penitent: for, according to the Ravaits (Rituals) a person ought not to be prayed for who dies in his sins...the relatives give the clothes of deceased or money to a pure Mobed (priest), or to a just person who is in want." (Anquetil Usages Relig. Des Parses.) Chinese "A person is bound to prepare by a retreat and abstinence for the ceremonies that are offered every year for the deceased relatives. There are different occasions on which this fast is observed; 2ndly, before the ceremonies in honour of their ancestors; 6thly, during the three first days of mourning for the death of a father or mother."(Cibot. Miss. Apost. in China.) Tartars "Like all the ancients; they believed in the transmigration of the soul: they thought that, "in passing through the different bodies, the soul is purified, rendered perfect, and re-united with the Deity!" (Su-che-ulh-chang-King; a venerated Thebitan theological work, translated into Chinese more than 1,800 years ago.) Indians "Do penance, restrain your senses, do good works with a pure heart, practice rectitude, which is the principle of all good. He who acts in this manner through life shall be saved; his soul shall pass into no other body" to undergo the pains of expiating his sins." Oupnek-hat, translated by Mr. Languinais.) "A man owes to his departed ancestors expiatory sacrifices."- (Mahabharata, quoted by Mr. d'Eckstein, tom. 7.) Greeks "Antiquity teaches that there is a destination for the dead, but much better for the good than for the wicked: it is said that the genius or angel of each person takes care to conduct him to the place where all men must assemble to be judged, before they go to hades or hell Those who lived in honour, probity and justice, and also those who lived in a different manner, are judged. As to those who have spent a tolerable life, they depart for the Acheron, (a river in the regions of the dead); then they sojourn in the marshes of this river, where they suffer punishment for their sins; after which they are delivered, and receive, each according to his merits, the reward of his good actions. The dead, on the contrary, who are found to be incurable on account of the grievousness of their sins, are precipitated by the just destiny into Tartarus, whence they shall never come out; and those who are found to have committed but sins that are expiable, though great, and to have changed their conduct with repentance, they too will be cast into Tartarus; but when they shall have spent a year in it, the waves bringing them out, they will be transported to the marshes of the Acheron, and they will not come out from that to be delivered from all their sufferings till they have changed by their prayers those whom they have offended. As to those who are found to have lived in an excellent and holy manner, they shall go forth from the subterranean places, as from a prison, and shall enter into an abode, pure and e1evated." -(Socrates explaining the ancient traditions of Greece in the Phredo of Plato, pp. 112, 113. Edit. Etienne.) Romans "Appease the souls of your ancestors; make small offerings on their tombs, their manes (souls) require but little; piety towards them suffices for rich presents....add prayers...there are days consecrated to the dead....and the last is to appease their souls." (Ovid's Fasta lib.2.)
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