Blog 112: 3.5.3 - 3.5.8
3.5.3 - 3.5.8
More on the error of indulgences, "this impious dogma" and "more astounding blasphemy" which, by suggesting the worth of "the heavenly treasury" turns Christ into a mere "saintlet." He accuses the Roman church of twisting Paul's words in Colossians 1:24 - that in his own body he makes up what is lacking in Christ's sufferings, adding the weight of Augustine for his viewing these words as a statement that those in union with Christ will suffer as he did, but not in a way so as to make their sufferings of any atoning worth.
Next, Calvin turns to the doctrine of purgatory (3.5.6), a belief forged upon men's minds by "Satan's craft" and since it teaches that expiation can be attained elsewhere than the blood of Christ, "we must cry out with the shouting not only of our voices but of our throats and lungs that purgatory is a deadly fiction of Satan, which nullifies the cross of Christ inflicts unbearable contempt upon God's mercy, and overturns and destroys our faith." No equivocation, then, on Calvin's part here!
As for Scriptural proofs of purgatory, the attempts are puerile and as for citations from 2 Maccabees, a despite erroneous citations from the Church Fathers, Calvin deems "unworthy of reply, lest I seem to include that work in the canon of the sacred books."
The notion of a purgatory after death, which turns sinners into saints, is a lying invention of man and is nowhere taught in Scripture. It is yet another example of the "damnable plus" that fatally mars medieval soteriology.