Of some passages of the scripture in which mention is made of a purgation after this life, and of a time and a place for it.

THIS first argument is irrefragable. There is a time and a place of purgation for souls after this mortal life. Therefore there is a Purgatory; since hell cannot allow any purgation, and Paradise can receive nothing which needs purgation. Now that there is a time and place of purgation after this life, here is the proof.

(1.) In Psalm lxv. 12: We have passed through fire and water, and thou hast brought us out into a refreshment.
This place is brought in proof of purgatory by Origen (Hom. 2 5 in Numeros), and by S. Ambrose (in Ps. xxxvi., and in sermon 3 on Ps. cxviii.), where he expounds the water of Baptism, and the fire of Purgatory.

[2.]In Isaias (iv. 4]: If the Lord shall wash away the filth of the daughters of Sion, and shall wash away the blood of Jerusalem out of the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment and the spirit of burning.
This purgation made in the spirit of judgment and of burning is understood of Purgatory by S. Augustine, in the 20th Book of the City of God, ch. 25. And in fact this interpretation is favoured by the words preceding, in which mention is made of the salvation of men, and also by the end of the chapter, where the repose of the blessed is spoken of; wherefore that which is said- the Lord shall wash away the filth- is to be understood of the purgation necessary for this salvation.And since it is said that this purgation is to be made in the spirit of heat and of burning, it cannot well be understood save of Purgatory and its fire.

(3). In Micheas, in the 7th chapter 8,9: Rejoice not, thou my enemy, over me, because I am fallen: I shall arise, when I sit in darkness, the Lord is my light. I will bear the wrath of the Lord. because I have sinned against him, until he judge my cause and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth into the light, I shall behold his justice.
This passage was already applied to the proof of Purgatory amongst Catholics from the time of S. Jerome, 1200 years ago, as the same S. Jerome witnesses by the last chapter of Isaias ; where he says that the when I shall sit in darkness . . . I will bear the wrath of the Lord . . . until He judge my cause- cannot be understood of any pain so properly as of that of Purgatory.

[4] In Zachary (ix. 11): Thou also by the blood thy testament hast sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water. The pit from which these prisoners are drawn is the Purgatory from which Our Lord delivered them in his descent into hell, and cannot be understood of Limbo, where the Fathers were before the resurrection of Our Lord in Abraham’s bosom, because there was water of consolation there, as may be seen in Luke xvi. Whence S. Augustine, in the 90th Epistle, to Evodius, says that Our Lord visited those who were being tormented in hell, that is, in Purgatory, and that he delivered them from it; whence it follows that there is a place where the faithful are held prisoners and whence they can be delivered.

(5.) In Malachy (iii. 3): And he shall sit refining and cleansing the silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and shall refine them as gold and as, silver, &c.
This place is expounded of a purifying punishment by Origen (Hom. 6 on Exodus), S. Ambrose (on Ps. xxxvi.), St. Augustine (de civ. Dei xx. 2 5), and S. Jerome (on this place). We are quite aware that they understand it of a purgation which will be at the end of the world by the general fire and conflagration, in which will be purged away the remains of the sins of those who will be found alive; but we still are able to draw from this a good argument for our Purgatory. For if persons at that time have need of purgation before receiving the effects of the benediction of the supreme Judge, why shall not those also have need of it who die before that time, since some of these may be found at death to have remains of their imperfections. In truth if Paradise cannot receive any stains at that time, neither will it receive them any better at present. S. Irenaeus in this connection, in chapter 29 of Book V., says that because the militant Church is then to mount up to the heavenly palace of the Spouse, and will no longer have time for purgation, her faults and stains will there and then be purged away by this fire which will precede the judgment. (6.) I leave on one side the passage of Psalm xxxvii. –0 Lord. rebuke me not in throe indignation nor chastise me in thy wrath:-which S. Augustine interprets of hell and Purgatory in such sense that to be rebuked in indignation refers to the eternal pains, and to be chastised in wrath refers to Purgatory.