Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/676

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

of the pre-Nicene fathers on the subject. An authoritative statement of the present Eastern doctrine is to be found in the Longer Catechism of the Orthodox Church (Q. 376):—

“Such souls as have departed with faith but without having had time to bring forth fruits meet for repentance may be aided towards the attainment of a blessed resurrection by prayers offered in their behalf, especially such as are offered in union with the oblation of the bloodless sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Christ, and by works of mercy done in faith for their memory.”

The efficacy of prayers for the dead, and indirectly the doctrine of purgatory, were denied by early Gnostic sects, by Arëius in the 4th century, and by the Waldenses, Cathari, Albigenses and Lollards in the middle ages. Protestants, with the exception of a small minority in the Anglican communion, unanimously reject the doctrine of purgatory, and affirm that “the souls of believers are at their death made perfect in holiness and do immediately pass into glory.” Rejection of an intermediate state after death follows the Protestant idea of justification by faith as logically as the doctrine of purgatory results from the Catholic idea of justification by works.

An analogy to purgatory can be traced in most religions. Thus the fundamental ideas of a middle state after death and of a purification preparatory to perfect blessedness are met with in Zoroaster, who takes souls through twelve stages before they are sufficiently purified to enter heaven; and the Stoics conceived of a middle place of enlightenment which they called ἐμπύρωσις.

The principal authoritative statements of the Catholic Church on the doctrine of purgatory were made at the Council of Florence (Decret. unionis), and at that of Trent (Sess. vi. can. 30; Sess. xxii., c. 2, can. 3; Sess. xxv.). See H. J. D. Denziger’s Enchiridion; J. Bautz, Das Fegfeuer (Mainz, 1883); and L. Redner, Das Fegfeuer (Regensburg, 1856). A very elaborate treatise from the Catholic standpoint is that of Cardinal Bellarmine, De purgatorio. The subject is discussed, moreover, in all major works on dogmatic theology. There is a representative Catholic statement by Hense in the Kirchenlexikon under the title “Fegfeuer,” 2nd ed., vol. 4, col. 1284–1296; and a corresponding Protestant presentation by Rud. Hoffmann in Hauck’s Realencyklopädie, 3rd ed. vol. v. pp. 788–792.  (C. H. Ha.) 

PURI, or Jagannath, a town and district of British India, in the Orissa division of Bengal. The town is on the sea-coast, and has a railway station. Pop. (1901), 49,334, including an exceptional number of pilgrims. As containing the world-famous shrine of Jagannath (see Juggernaut), Puri is perhaps the most frequented of all Hindu places of pilgrimage. Sanitation is effected by the Puri Lodging-House Act, which provides for the appointment of a special health officer, and for the licensing of lodging-houses both in the town and along the pilgrims’ route.

The District of Puri has an area of 2499 sq. m. The population in 1901 was 1,017,284, showing an increase of 7.6% in the decade. For the most part the country is flat, the only mountains being a low range which, rising in the west, runs south-east in an irregular line towards the Chilka lake and forms a water-parting between the district and the valley of the Mahanadi. The middle and eastern divisions of the district, forming the south-western part of the Mahanadi delta, consist entirely of alluvial plains, watered by a network of channels through which the most southerly branch of that river, the Koyakhai, finds its way into the sea. The other rivers are the Bhargavi, the Daya and the Nun, all of which flow into the Chilka lake and are navigable by large boats during the rainy season, when the waters come down in tremendous floods, bursting the banks and carrying everything before them. The Chilka lake is one of the largest in India; its length is 44 m., and its breadth in some parts 20 m. It is separated from the sea only by a narrow strip of sand. The lake is saline and everywhere very shallow, .its mean depth ranging from 3 to 5 ft. Puri district is rich in historical remains, from the primitive rock-hewn caves of Buddhism-the earliest relics of Indian architecture-to the medieval sun temple at Kanarak and the shrine of jagannath. The annual rainfall averages 58 in.

Puri first came under British administration in 1803. The only political events in its history since that date have been the rebellion of the maharaja of Khurda in 1804 and the rising of the paiks or peasant militia in 1817–18. In the Orissa famine of 1866 more than one-third of the population of Puri is said to have perished. The district suffered from drought in 1897. It is served by the East Coast railway, which was opened throughout from Calcutta to Madras in 1891, with a branch to Puri town.

See Puri District Gazetteer (Calcutta, 1908).

PURIFICATION, in the study of comparative religion, may be defined as the expulsion or elimination by ritual actions and ceremonies from an individual or a community, a place or a dwelling, of the contagion of a taboo (q.v.) or ritual pollution, which is often conceived of as due to the presence of or haunting by an unclean spirit, and having for its effect disease, pain and death. In the higher religions the idea of purification has slowly developed into that of ethical liberation from sin and guilt. This development involves a distinction between the outward act and the inner act or motive, which we do not find even in the relatively advanced codes of the ancient Jews or of the Athenians of the 5th century B.C., for in both of these the taboo or guilt of homicide was the same whether accidentally or wilfully committed. It is part of this development that contrition, remorse and repentance come to be recognized, together with merely ritual acts, such as baptism and sacramental meals, as a condition of regaining the lost purity or status. The ethical ideal of atonement and purity of heart is at last attained when, as in the Society of Friends, all ritual acts are abandoned as indifferent to moral progress. The dross of the primitive taboo still encumbers the conscience in churches which insist on outward ritual performances as an element in holiness or moral perfection and purity. The tendency of civilization is more and more to antiquate them as obstacles rather than aids to the formation of character.

In most primitive societies the chief sources of ritual pollution are birth, death, bloodshed, blood, especially menstruous blood. Numberless other things are or have been taboo among different peoples, such as trees, colours, foods and drinks, persons, places, seasons. Persons and things brought even involuntarily into contact or association with these are tabooed, and only recover their normal condition by some rite of purification or catharsis. Such rites operate by the transference elsewhere of the stain or impurity contracted. Very generally the impurity is dueto the haunting by an unclean spirit or ghost, who must be driven off by exorcists invoking the name of a more powerful and clean spirit, which usually enters the thing or person possessed in place of) the unclean. On this side rites of purification may become rites of consecration. In lower civilizations disease and madness are held to be caused by evil spirits which are similarly expelled; and on this side purificatory rites develop into the medical art. It must be borne in mind that a drug was originally not a substance succeeding by dint of its chemical properties and physical reactions on our bodies, but a talisman or charm taken internally and succeeding by reason of its magical properties.

Among the methods of purification used widely among different races and in various religions, the following may be enumerated, though the list might be indefinitely extended.

1. Piacular sacrifices, often recurring annually, intended to renew the life of the god in the worshippers. “Without shedding of blood there is no remission of sins” (Heb. ix. 22).

2. Vicarious sacrifice, whereby the guilt of an individual or of a clan is transferred into an animal, like the Jewish scapegoat, which is forthwith destroyed or sent over the frontier.

3. Washing or sprinkling with water, as a rule previously blessed or exorcised; or with the water of separation (Le. water mixed with ashes of a red heifer).

4. Washing with gomez, or urine of the sacred cow.

5. Anointing with holy oil.

6. Smearing with the blood, e.g. of the passover lamb or of a pig; or by actual baptism with the blood of an ox as in the Taurobolium (see Mithras).

7. Fumigation with smoke of incense used at sacrifices, the incense itself being the gum of a holy tree and gathered with magical precautions.

8. Rubbing with sulphur or other lyes. Use of hellebore, hyssop, &c.

9. Burning with fire objects in which the impurity has been confined.

10. Sprinkling with water in which the cross has been washed (used for flocks and fields in Armenia).

11. Evil spirits are expelled by invocation of the name of a being more powerful than they, and by the introduction of a clean spirit.

12. By fasting.

13. In the old Parsee religion the drugs or demons which infect a corpse can be driven off by the look of certain kinds of dogs.

14. An impure contagion may be removable together with hair, nails or bits of clothing. Hence the use of the tonsure and the custom of shaving the head in vows.