Fire and Ice: Puritan and Reformed Writings
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Purgatory Needful for Christians

by Ralph Erskine

It was the Father's mind that Christ should come and shew his disciples the proper and needful purgatory he designed to bring them through; not the anti-christian purgatory, after this life; for there is no word of this in the sacred oracles; but the Christian purgatory is three-fold; the first is, the bloody purgatory of the blood of Christ, that cleanseth from all sin. The second is, the fiery purgatory of the Spirit of Christ, and his operations, compared to fire. The third is, the crying and pruning purgatory of the cross. All these, but especially the last, seem to be spoke of by our Lord here, John 15:2, "Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit." There are two things in this world that he makes use of for trying, purging, and purifying his disciples; and it is part of his Father's mind to tell them of this; there is, 1. The world's hatred, John 15:18, 19, "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." 2. The world's rage, John 16:2, They shall put you out of the synagogues; yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think he doth God service, &c. It was his mind to tell them the worst as well as the best.

This extract taken from Christ's Treasures Opened by Himself (115K).   Word format (43K)  PDF format (88K)

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