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OF MATTERS CONCERNING THE RESURRECTION, AND FIRST OF THE PLACE WHERE SOULS ARE AFTER DEATH (SEVEN ARTICLES)

In sequence to the foregoing we must treat of matters concerning the state of resurrection: for after speaking of the sacraments whereby man is delivered from the death of sin, we must next speak of the resurrection whereby man is delivered from the death of punishment. The treatise on the resurrection offers a threefold consideration, namely the things that precede, those that accompany, and those that follow the resurrection. Consequently we must speak (1) of those things which partly, though not wholly, precede the resurrection; (2) of the resurrection itself and its circumstances; (3) of the things which follow it.

Among the things which precede the resurrection we must consider (1) the places appointed for the reception of bodies after death; (2) the quality of separated souls, and the punishment inflicted on them by fire; (3) the suffrages whereby the souls of the departed are assisted by the living; (4) the prayers of the saints in heaven; (5) the signs preceding the general judgment; (6) the fire of the world's final conflagration which will precede the appearance of the Judge.

Under the first head there are seven points of inquiry:

(1) Whether any places are appointed to receive souls after death?

(2) Whether souls are conveyed thither immediately after death?

(3) Whether they are able to leave those places?

(4) Whether the limbo of hell is the same as Abraham's bosom?

(5) Whether limbo is the same as the hell of the damned?

(6) Whether the limbo of the patriarchs is the same as the limbo of children?

(7) Whether so many places should be distinguished?

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