HERE are two invincible proofs of Purgatory. The first:- there are sins which are light in comparison with others, and which do not make man guilty of hell. If then a man die in them, what will become of him? Paradise receives nothing defiled (Apoc. xxi): hell is too extreme a penalty, it is not deserved by his sin: it must then be owned that he will stay in a Purgatory, where he will be duly purified, and afterwards go to heaven. Now that there are sins which do not make man deserving of hell, Our Saviour says in Matthew (v.): Whosoever is angry with his brother shall be guilty of the judgment ; and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be guilty of the council ; and whosoever shall say, thou fool, shall be guilty of hell fire (gehennce ignis). What, I pray you, is it to be guilty of the gehenna of fire but to be guilty of hell? Now this penalty is deserved by those only who call their brother, thou fool. Those who get angry, and those who express their anger in words not injurious and defamatory, are not in the same rank; but one deserves judgment, that is, that his anger should be brought under judgment, like the idle word (Matt. xii.) of which Our Lord says man shall render an account in the day of judgment,- account must be rendered of it: the second deserves the council, that is, deserves to be deliberated about whether he shall be condemned or not (for Our Lord accommodates himself to men’s way of speaking) the third alone is the one who, without question, infallibly shall be condemned. Therefore the first and second kinds of sin do not make man deserving of eternal death, but of a temporal correction; and therefore if a man die with these, by accident or otherwise, he must undergo the judgment of a temporal punishment, and when his soul is purged thereby he will go to heaven, to be with the blessed. Of these sins the Wise Man speaks (Prov xxiv.): The just shall fall seven times a day: for the just cannot sin, so long as he is just, with a sin which deserves damnation: it means then that he falls into sins to which damnation is not due, which Catholics call venial, and these can be purged away in the other world in Purgatory.
The second reason is, that after the pardon of sin there remains part of the penalty due to it. As for example, in the 2nd of Kings, chap. xii., the sin is forgiven to David, the Prophet saying to him: The Lord hath also taken away thy sin: not thou shalt not die. Nevertheless, because thou hast given occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme for this thing, thy child shall die the death.