On the Reality of the Particular Judgment

Metropolitan Macarius of Moscow 1816-1882

“Orthodox Dogmatic Theology” v.II, pp. 526-538

§ 249.

Reality of the Particular Judgment

The doctrine that, upon the death of a man a judgment takes place, known as the particular judgment in contrast to the general, which is to be at the end of the world.

1) Was known even in the Church of the Old Testament. The wise son of Sirach says in one place: “For it is a convenient thing unto the Lord in the day of death to reward a man according to his ways. The affliction of the hour maketh a man forget pleasure: and in his end his deeds shall be revealed.” ( Sir. 11, 26. 27). If it is a convenient thing unto the Lord on the very day of his death to reward a man according to his merits, and if, according to His will, there is indeed a revelation at his very end to a person of his doings, and this is not postponed until the general judgment, it must be necessary to allow that immediately upon a man’s death there will be a particular judgment. Otherwise, what would be the purpose that at that time all his works would be revealed to him? What does that revelation itself mean? And why does the Wise one note that it is convenient to God to reward a man for his deeds on the very day of his death?…

2) Was expressed with all clarity in the New Testament by St. Apostle Paul when he said: “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” (Hebrews. 9, 27). Here the Apostle, obviously, does not suggest any gap between death and the judgment. Therefore is speaking not of the general judgment, but of the particular one.

3) Was clearly preached by the Holy Fathers and teachers of the Church. For example:

St. Gregory The Theologian, speaking in one place on the death of King Constantius, remarks that he translated from life here, “having brought, as they say, useless repentance at his last breath, at which time everyone becomes a sincere judge of himself, on account of the judgment that awaits there([1640]).

St. John Chrysostom inspired his audience: “No one living on earth, without having obtained the remission of his sins, after his transition to the future life, can escape those torments. But just as criminals are taken from prison to court in chains: so, upon their departure from this life, souls will be led to the terrible judgment, burdened by the various bonds of sins “([1641]). “On departure from this life, we will appear at a fearful judgment, and will give an account of all our affairs, and–if we remained in our sins , then we shall undergo tortures and executions, but if decide to pay at least a little heed to ourselves, then we shall be made worthy of crowns and blessings unimaginable: knowing this, let us keep the naysayers silent and let us ourselves embark on the path of virtue, that with hope, befitting a Christian, we shall appear at the aforesaid judgment, and obtain the benefits promised to us “([1642]). And also: “Prepare thy works for [thy] going forth, and prepare thyself for the path;” (Prov. 24: 27 [Septuagint]). If you have someone stolen something, give it back, and say, like Zacchaeus: I will restore it fourfold (Luke 19,). If you have berated someone, if you have become the enemy of anyone either, reconcile prior to the trial. Resolve all things here, so that you will see that judgment without any grief. As long as we are here, until then we have a good expectations: but when we depart there- we will be powerless to repent and wash away our sins. Therefore we must continually prepare for our departure from here. For what if it will be pleasing to God to call us tonight? What if tomorrow? “([1643]).

Blessed Augustine calls it a “fair and very salutary belief that the souls are judged as soon as they emanate from their bodies, before they appear for the judgment where they will be tried in resurrected bodies “([1644]).

St. Demetrius of Rostov: “For us, Orthodox Christians, it is meet for every one of us on every day and at every hour to look for the unknown hour of the ending of our lives, and to be ready for departing: for there will be a terrible judgment for each one of us, prior to the general terrible judgment.”([1645]). “Judgment is twofold: particular and general. A particular judgment is one which every man, dying, has, since he will then see all of his own deeds “([1646]). “We look for every day and every hour the coming of the Lord to us, but not yet that terrible coming again, with which He will come to judge the living and the dead and to reward each for his deeds; we do not await at every hour that time, in which (by the words of Peter the Apostle) in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. (2 Peter. 3, 10), but await, each one, the hour of our own death, in which the judgment of God will come to take our souls from our bodies, in which hour there will be for each a particular trial about that which we have done; we await that hour at every hour as the Lord Himself, protecting us, taught in the Gospel: Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not. (Luke 12, 40) “([1647]).

4) It is comprehensible also for common sense. It could not accept that the state of souls, from death until the general judgment remain undetermined, uncertain ([1648]). For how to represent this state? Unconscious? But how is that possible for the soul which is, by nature, self-conscious? And even if this were possible, with what purpose could this be permitted by the wise Providence? ““Or conscious? In that case, how could the soul be conscious of itself, while not being found in a defined state? And what kind of an existence would this be? Therefore, it is necessary to postulate a disposition for every soul immediately upon the death of a man; and do it is necessary to postulate the particular judgment, at which this disposition must be determined.

§ 250.

The representation of the particular judgment: the doctrine of the toll-houses.

How the particular judgment takes place The Holy Scripture does not set forth. But the figurative representation of the judgment, based mainly on Holy Tradition and in concord with the Holy Scriptures, we find in the doctrine of the toll-houses, which exists from ancient times in the Orthodox Church.

I. The essence of the doctrine of the toll-houses can be seen in the Word of St. Cyril of Alexandria on the departure of the soul, which is usually printed in one of the books of the Church- “The Augmented Psalter”([1649]). Let us borrow from its primary themes. “When separation of our soul with the body there will appear before us, on the one hand, the hosts and the forces of heaven, on the other powers of darkness, evil holders of the air, aerial toll-house officers, torturers and accusers in our matters … Seeing them, the soul is troubled, shudders, trembles, and in confusion and horror, wishes to seek the protection of God’s angels, but, even being accepted by the holy angels, and under their shelter flowing through the aerial spaces and soaring to the heights, it will encounter different toll-houses (like some outposts or customs houses that exact fees), which are blocking its way into the kingdom, and will be stopping it and impeding its aspiration to achieve that goal. At each of the toll-houses an answer will be demanded concerning particular sins. The first toll-house concerns sins committed through the mouth and tongue … The second toll-house — sins through sight … The third toll-house–sins through hearing … The fourth toll-house–smell… The fifth -toll-house– All iniquity and foul deeds perpetrated by using the hands. To further toll-houses other sins are related, such as: anger, hatred, envy, vanity and pride … briefly, each passion of the soul, every sin in this way will have its toll-takers and torturers … There will be present at this also the divine powers and a host of evil spirits, and just as the first would represent the virtues of the soul, so the last accusers of sins, committed by word or deed, with the thought or intention. Meanwhile, the soul, being among them, will be living in fear and trembling, worrying in its thoughts, until, finally, based on its acts, deeds and words, either will be convicted and bound with chains, or, having been acquitted, it will be released (for everyone is tied by the bonds of their own sins). And if for its life being devout and pious, it would be found worthy, it will be taken up angels, and then it will already fearlessly speed to the kingdom, accompanied by the holy powers … On the contrary, if it turns out that it spent its life in negligence and incontinence: it shall hear that terrible voice: let the ungodly be taken away, that he see not the glory of the Lord. (Isa. 26, 10 , [Septuagint])…; then the angels of God leave it, and it is taken by the terrible demons …, and the soul, bound by unbreakable ties, will be cast down into a abode grim and dark, in places under the earth, for confinement in underground dungeons and prisons of hell.” ([1650]).

It is therefore evident: a) That the toll-houses represent the inevitable path that all human souls, both evil and good, make during the transition from temporal life to the eternal lot; b) that at the toll-houses, during this transition, every soul, in the presence of angels and demons, before the eye of the all-seeing Judge, gradually and in detail is interrogated concerning all its deeds, both bad and good, c) that as a result of this interrogation, this detailed examination of every soul concerning its previous life, souls that are good, who have been acquitted at every toll-house, will be lifted up by the angels into the heavenly abodes, while the souls of sinners, being detained in one or another of the toll-houses, having been accused of wickedness, are dragged, upon the sentence of the unseen Judge, by demons to their dark dwelling-places ([1651]). And, therefore, the toll-house is nothing other than the particular judgment, which is performed on human souls invisibly by the Lord Jesus Himself through the angels, and admitting to the this also the accusers of our brethren (Rev. 12, 10), the evil spirits, — the judgment, at which the soul is reminded of all its deeds which are impartially evaluated before it, and after which is determined its known outcome[1652]).

II. This doctrine of the toll-houses, as set out by St. Cyril of Alexandria, existed in the Church before St. Cyril, as well as after–in all subsequent centuries.

1) Before St. Cyril of Alexandria, it is found very frequently, as a doctrine generally known, in the writings of Holy Fathers and teachers, in particular of the fourth century ([1653]). For example:

In St. Ephraim the Syrian: “When the lordly powers are approaching, when the terrible hosts are coming, when the divine collectors command the soul to move from the body, when, dragging us by force, lead us to the inevitable judgment: then, seeing them, the poor man. . . begins to shake, as if from an earthquake, and is all atremble … The divine collectors, having taken the soul, rise up through the air, where appear the principalities, the dominions, the rulers of the adverse powers. These are our evil of accusers, strange toll-collectors, scribes, tax-collectors; they meet the soul on its path describe and examine the sins and the handwriting of this person, the sins of his youth and old age, voluntary and involuntary, committed in deed, word, and thought. There is great fear and great trepidation for the poor soul, indescribable need, which it will then suffer from countless multitudes and hordes of its enemies, slandering it, to keep it from being able to rise to heaven, to dwell in the light of the living, to enter into the land of life. But the holy angels, having taken the soul, lead it away.”([1654]).

In St. Athanasius the Great: “In some night, a voice from above came to him (Anthony), saying: “Anthony, arise, go out and see. And having arisen, he went out, and having lifted up his eyes to heaven, he saw someone long and dark, reaching the clouds with his head: he saw others, also, as if with wings, striving to rise to the heavens, but this one, stretching forth his hand, prevented their climb, and they were pushed away from him and cast down on the ground; others, however, ignoring him, flew across with boldness, causing that one to lament about them, gnashing his teeth. And again there was a voice to Anthony: understand what you saw, and he began to understand with an illuminated heart that this was the rising of the souls, the obstruction of the devil, when he could clutch sinners to himself, while he could not catch the saints. “And also, “St. Anthony, once finding himself in a state similar to death, saw himself being carried on the air. Impeding him on his path were aerial demons and they would not let him pass by: while angels, in conflict with them, demanded to know the reason for this obstruction. They then were forced to discover the sins of Anthony from the time of his birth”([1655]).

In St. Macarios the Great: “When the human soul emanates from the body, a great kind of mystery occurs. For if it were guilty of sin: then come hordes of demons, evil angels and dark forces, which are taking this soul and carrying it away to their side. No one should be surprised by this. For if a man, while still alive, while still being found in this world, resigned, surrendered and subjugated himself to them, then will not they even more possess and enslave him when he goes out of this world? “As to the other, better part of people, with them it occurs in another way. That is, the angels are with the holy servants of God, so even in this life, the holy spirits surround them and protect them. And when the soul is to be separated from the body, then the choirs of angels take them into their society, into a radiant life, and thus lead them to the Lord”([1656]).

In St. John Chrysostom: “If when we are going into some foreign country or city, demand guides: how much more will we need helpers and directors for us to pass unhindered by the chiefs, authorities, aerial world rulers, persecutors, keepers of the toll-houses?…» “The Holy angels peacefully separated us from the body (these words are placed by the holy father into the mouth of infants who died), and we, having good guides, without calamity passed by the aerial authorities. The evil spirits could not find in us what they were looking for, did not notice what they wanted. Having seen the body without sin, they are humiliated, and seeing the immaculate soul, they are ashamed, and seeing the undefiled tongue, silent. We passed by, and humiliated them. The net was broken, and we were freed. Blessed be God, who hath not let us fall into their snare” ([1657]). And also: “those lying on the bed with great force shall shake it and look in fear at those present, while the soul tries to stay in the body and does not want to part with it, terrified by the vision of approaching angels. For if we, looking at frightening people, tremble; then what will be our anguish when we see the approaching angels fierce and merciless powers when they will be dragging our soul and will be tearing it away from our body, when it [the soul] will weep, but in vain and to no avail? ” ([1658]).

The same is set out, with more or less detail, by St. Basil the Great ([1659]), St. Gregory of Nyssa ([1660]), St. Epiphanius ([1661]), Eusebius of Caesaria ([1662]), Palladius of Elenopolis ([1663]), Macarius of Alexandria ([1664]).

2) After St. Cyril of Alexandria this doctrine is transmitted by a series of teachers of the Church, of different places and times.

Namely: Eusebius, bishop of Galicia: “Afore its separation from the body it will be too late for the soul to repent of its iniquities. Alas, what will happen to it, when those responsible for its death (the evil spirits) will drag it across the vast aerial air space and lead it by dark paths?” ([1665]).

Blessed John the Merciful: “As the soul departs from the body and wishes to arise to the heavens, it is met by faces of demons, and is tortured first for lies and slander. And if it has not repented of them, then it will be restrained by the demons. And again, higher, the soul is met by demons and tortured for fornication and self-glorification. If it has repented of these, it will be free of them. And there are many barriers and trials by the demons for the soul striving toward the heavens. After these–rage, jealousy, gossip, anger, slander, pride, bad words, disobedience, vengeance, avarice, greed, evil remembering, doing magic, casting spells, gluttony, hating one’s brother, murder, stealing, having no mercy, fornication and adultery. And when that accursed soul is going from earth to heaven is, apart from it are found holy angels who do not help it: but the soul speaks for itself, giving an answer of its repentance and good deeds, and especially of alms. For if there are sins that it forgets to repent here, then by alms it will be delivered from the violence of the demonic toll-houses”([1666]).

Venerable Maximos the Confessor: “Who of those like me, defiled by the filthiness of sin, will not fear the presence of the Holy angels, who is to pass from this life, according to the commandment of God, with force, anger, and against his will, force him from his body? Who, conscious of their own evil deeds, does not fear meeting cruel and merciless crafty demons? “([1667]).

Also: St. John Climacus ([1668]), Venerable Theodosius of the Caves ([1669]), St. Cyril of Turov ([1670]), Mark of Ephesus, Gabriel of Philadelphia ([1671]), St. Dimitry of Rostov ([1672]) and others.

3) We know also that the doctrine of the toll-houses is included in the Lives of the Saints ([1673]) and in the most holy songs and prayers, used by the Orthodox Church. These are:

In the canon to the Lord Jesus and All-Holy Mother of God, which is sung at the separation of the soul from the body of every right believer:

“Vouschafe me to pass from the earth unhindered by the Aerial Prince, the violent one, torturer, keeper of the terrible ways and vain word-extortionist “(Ode 4, tr. 4).

“Vouschafe me to flee from the barbarian bodiless hosts, to pass the aerial depths and to arise to the heavens, so that I may forever glorify Thee, O Mother of God “(Ode. 8, tr. 2).

In the Octoechos of St. John Damascene, in the Canon for the dead:

“When my soul desires to separate its bodily ties and depart from life, do Thou appear to me, O Mistress, and destroy the councils of the bodiless enemies, crush their jaws of those who seek to devour me: that I may without hindrance pass the princes of darkness, standing in the air, O Bride of God, “(Tone 2, Sat. Ode 9, Tr. 16) ([1674]).

In Canon to the Guardian Angel:

“All my life I have spent much time in vain, now I approach the end: I pray thee, my keeper, be a protector to me and an undefeated champion, when I will pass the toll-houses of the ferocious keeper of the world”(Ode. 9, tr. 3) ([1675]).

In the Prayer after the fourth Kathisma:

“O Lord, grant me tears of compunction … that with them I will pray to Thee to be cleansed before my end of every sin: a fearsome and stern place I must pass, having separated from my body, and a multitude of dark and inhumane demons will meet me (Psalt. Prayer after the 4th Kath.).

Such continuous, perpetual and ubiquitous use in the Church of the doctrine of toll-houses, and especially among teachers of the fourth century, offers indisputable evidence that it has been transmitted to them from teachers of the prior centuries and is based on apostolic tradition.

III. It is natural because the doctrine of the toll-houses is in complete agreement with the Holy Scripture. In this doctrine:

1) It says that to people dying, at the time of the separation of their soul from the body, are sent angels of God and the torturing spirits.

The Savior Himself said: when the poor man died he was carried by angels to the bosom of Abraham (Luke 16: 22), and God said to another man: “You fool! In this very night your soul will be wrested from you (Luke 12, 20) ““ “wrested,” it is most fair to consider, by malevolent spirits ([1676]). In addition St. Scripture teaches that the angels in general are ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation? (Hebrews 1, 14), that they cared about us during all our lives (Ps. 90, 10. 11), and are our intercessors and directors, especially the Guardian Angel given to each person at baptism (Matt. 18, 10, Ps. 33,): very natural, if these good spirits do not leave us without their the help especially at the weighty moment of our death, and that they will not refuse to accompany our souls, guide and support them also during the fearsome and totally unknown to them passage from this real life into the realms of eternity. On the other hand the Holy Scripture teaches that all activities of evil spirits are continually directed to our destruction (Eph. 6: 12, 2 Tim. 2: 26, 1 Thess. 3:5) that our adversary the devil, with his minions, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter. 5, 9): Would he miss his convenient opportunity to do anything possible to achieve the ruin of our souls also in the moments of their separation from the body?

2) It is said that, on separation from the body, a person”™s soul, making its way into the upper world through the ethereal space, continually meets fallen spirits there. And the word of God witnesses that the air is as if filled with the spirits of wickedness in the heavenly spheres (Eph. 6, 12), naturally, filled not physically, but spiritually ([1677]) – that their prince is a prince of the power of the air (Eph. 2, 2), and that, therefore, the soul of man, as soon as it comes out of the body, inevitably comes into their area.

3) It appears that these dark spirits, as toll-collectors, torturers, stop the soul during its path to heaven at various toll-houses, reminding it in stages about its different kinds of sins, and trying in every way to condemn it – yet, good angels, accompanying the soul at the same time, remember, the opposite of its sins — its kind deeds and strive to justify it. It is natural to such an activity of the evil spirits is completely natural: they cannot not know and not remember all of our sins, they cannot not use, when the occasion arises all efforts in order to condemn us, when, according to the teachings of the Holy Scripture, they are our constant tempters and participants in all our wrongdoings (I Thess. 3, 5; I John. 3,  and are committed to one goal: to deprive us of our eternal salvation (Luke 8, 12; I Peter. 5, . In the same way the previously mentioned activity of good angels is equally natural, of those, who, as our mentors in every good thing and who lead us to eternal salvation (Hebrews 1, 14), who, no doubt, know our good deeds, and by their love, cannot but help to contribute to our justification.

4) It appears that God does not directly perform a private judgment of the soul of a man upon its separation of the body, but allows it to suffer torture by the evil spirits, who act as if they were the instruments of his terrible justice, and yet at the same time uses as instruments of His goodness, the good angels. But if even at the time of the end of the world when the Lord will appear in all His glory, to judge the living and the dead, He will not directly will perform everything related to the judgment, but “will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. (Matt. 13: 41-49;): what then surprising that He performs the particular judgment not directly, but through His serving spirits, of course, while being present at this invisibly Himself, as the Omnipresent One. Similarly, if it is known know that before the judgment of all, when even the fallen spirits will receive their final due (Jude 6), God allows them to act against man (Job 1, 12; 1 Peter. 5, 9), and sometimes uses them while still on the earth as His instruments of righteous wrath against sinners, as angels of destruction (Ps. 77, 49; 1 Cor. 6, 5): that what is strange if He allows them to be the same sort of instruments of His righteousness also during the particular judgment over the souls of men, using at the same time, as instruments of His goodness, His good angels?

IV. One must, however, note that, as in general with all depictions of matters of the spiritual world, — for us, clothed with flesh, there are inevitably features which are presented more or less physically, anthropomorphically,- -so, in particular, inevitably, they occur in the detailed teaching on the toll-houses, which the human soul passes upon separation from the body. And therefore we must keep firmly in mind the instruction that the angel gave the Venerable Macarius of Alexandria, when he just began talking about the toll-houses: “Accept earthly things here as being the weakest representation of the heavenly” ([1678]). It is necessary to consider toll-houses not in the rough, or sensual sense, but as much as it is possible for us, in a spiritual sense, and not be tied to particulars, which have been presented by various authors and in various stories of the Church differently, while preserving the unity of the basic idea regarding the toll-houses, ([1679]).

 

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[1640] Word XXII, Praise of Athan. the Great, in Works of the Holy Fathers II,

200.

[1641] On the Gospel of Matt Word XIV, n. 4. v. I, p. 263.

[1642] On the Gospel of Matt, Word XIII, n. 6, v. I, pp. 251-252.

[1643] Word on Lazarus II, n. 4, t. I, Addresses to the Antioch. people, p. 63, in Russian trans.

[1644] Nam illud, Quod rectissime et valde salubriter Credit (Vincentius Victor), judicari Animas, cum de corporibus exierint, antequam veniant ad illud judicium, quo eas oportet jam redditis corporibus judicari, atque in ipsa, qua in hic vixerint, carne torqueri, hoc itaque tandem ipse nesciebas? (De Anima et ejus origine II, 4, n. 8, in Patrolog. Curs. compl. T. XLIV, p. 498).

[1645] Investigation of the schismatic Brynsk faith, p. 117.

[1646] Collected Works. t. V, p. 8.

[1647] Investigation pp. 285-286.

[1648] Some heretics were taught that the soul dies together with the body, so then to rise with it on the day of resurrection (Eusebius. Church History VI,

Sec. 37 Augustine. haeres. LXXXIII; Damascene, haere.). The Nestorians taught that if the soul, without dying, but during the entire named period, i.e. from the death of the body until its future Resurrection, remains in a state of unconsciousness (Asseman. dissert. de Nestor. In Bibl. Orient. T. III, P. 11 , ρ. 342). The latter belief has been renewed by the Anabaptists and some Protestants (Zwing. Elench. adv. Catabapt. vol. III, n. 433).

[1649] However, even in the most Orthodox confession is expressed the essence of

the doctrine, although not clearly and fully, and the word “toll-houses” is not used (see Part II, Ans. To Quest. 25). [1650] Λόγος περι ̉εξόδου ψυχής, in Opp. T. V, p. II, p. 405-408, ed. Lutet., Χ in Christian Readings 1841, 1, 202-207.

[1651] Also about the toll-houses, as the path which is common for all who have deceased, it is described in the Life of the Venerable Vasiliy the New, where the Blessed Theodora, among other things, explains: “While ascending up I asked the holy angels who were leading us: my lords, do all Christians pass through these toll-houses, or is it possible for some person to pass through here without torture and fear, which are found in the toll-houses? The blessed angels answered me: there is no other path for the souls of the faithful, ascending to the heavens, all pass through here, but not all are equally tortured as you were; only sinners like you, those who have not performed a full confession of sins they have committed , those who were embarrassed and hid their shameful sins before their Spiritual Father; for if someone should truly confess all of his evil deeds, and is remorseful, and repents of those evil things he has done” ”then their sins are invisibly erased by the mercy of God, and when such a soul passes through here, the aerial torturers, having opened their books, can find nothing written in them, and they can do no harm, and the soul ascends joyously to the throne of grace. ”

[1652] “And it is meet, says St. Basil the Great, that the judgment of God would not be forcible, but rather that it be more like those courts, which are common among the people, and the defendant is given an opportunity to be justified, so that the person, seeing his case presented in clarity, and while defending his case, confirmed the inarguable judgments of God, agreeing, that punishment is meted out to him fully justly, and also when being pardoned he could see that forgiveness is given to him in accordance with law and order “(Exegesis of the 1 Chap. Of Isaiah, in Works of the Holy Fathers VI, 69-70). [1653] Prior to the fourth century, hints at this doctrine can be seen in Tertullian (de Anima cap. 53, in Patrolog. cursus. compl. T. II, P. 741), Origen (in Joan. T. XIX, n. 4; Τ. XXVIII, n. 5; in Levit. Hom. IX, n. 4), Hippolytus (adv. Platon. c. 1), Clement of Alexandria (Strom. IV 18) and others.

[1654] Homily on those who have reposed in Christ, in the Works of the Holy Fathers, XV, 269. 270. 271. The same doctrine is expressed by St. Ephraim, in his Homily Concerning those who deny the resurrection of the dead (in the Work of the Holy Fathers XV, 115-116) and in his Testament (Christian Readings, 1827, ХХVII, 275. 285. 292).

[1655] Life of Venerable Antholy of Egypt., in Orr. T. I, p. II, pag. 845, ed.Maur., in the  Chetyi-Minei , genv. 17.

[1656] Conversations on the double nature of those who have departed this life in Christian Writings 1828. XXXI, 113-114.

[1657] Homily XI, In memory of the dead (see in the Margarete). The Holy Father speaks in the same manner in his Conversation II οn Lazarus, n. 3, in t. I Conversations with the Antiochian people, p. 61 in the Russian translation.

[1658] on Matt. LIII, in volume II, p. 414.

[1659] In one place, he says: “Let no one flatter himself with vain rhetoric (Eph. 5, 6). For sudden destruction will come upon them (1 Thess. 5, 3), and they will be overturned, as by a storm. A morose angel will appear to take you forcibly and will pull your soul, bound by sins and, often turning back to what is left here, and weep silently, because the instrument of weeping has already been shut”(Conversation exhorting those who wish to be baptized in Works of the Holy Fathers VIII, 241). Αnd elsewhere: “Start thinking of your last day (because, without a doubt, you are not alone going to live forever), imagine to yourself confusion, reduced respiration and the hour of death, the approaching verdict of God, hastening angels, the soul in terrible perturbation because of this, mercilessly tormented by our sinful conscience, drawing the pitiful glances at what is there, finally- an undeniable need for being transported to that far-off resettlement”(Letter. 43 to a fallen virgin, ibid. X, 139).

[1660] De baptism. in Opp. T. II. p. 220, ed. Morel.

[1661] Hæres. LXXV.

[1662] Demonstr. Evangel. III, c. 5; praeparat. Evang. XI, c. 20.

[1663] Lavsaik Ch. 24, p. 89-90, St. Petersburg. 1850

[1664] Homily on the passing of the soul in Christian Readings 1831, XLIII, 126-131.

[1665] Homil. an ad monach., in Biblioth. PP., T. VII, p. 656.

[1666] Homily on the passing of the soul, in the Prologue for 29 October pg. 211 on the reverse

[1667] Epist. ad Cubicularium, in Biblioth. PP. T. XXVI, p.. 581.

[1668] Joan Climacus. Scala paradisi, p. 158, Paris 1633.

[1669] On his deathbed he prayed to the Lord Jesus thus: “My Lord! Be merciful to my soul, that it may not be met by the evil of the powers of the enemy, but let it be taken by Thy angels, who conductors through the dark toll-houses, leading me to the light of Thy mercy”(Chetyi-Minei. under 3 May)

[1670] He discloses the teaching on the toll-houses in great detail (The monuments of Russia Literature. XII century, p. 92, Moscow, 1821).

[1671] Vid. apud LeQuien, Dissert. Damascen. V, in Opp. s. Joan. Damasceni T.1.

[1672] “when the terrible hour of separation of my soul from the body shall come: then, My Redeemer, take me up in Thy hands, and protect me from all disasters unharmed, and let not my soul see the gaze of the cunning demons, but being saved, let it pass all of the toll-houses” (Coll. Works. p. I, pp. 179).

[1673] Which are: The Life Rev. Anthony the Great under 17 January; Life of St. John the Merciful at 29 October; Life of the Venerable Vasiliy the New at 12 November and 26 March.

[1674] And again: “In the hour, O Virgin, of my end keep me from the hands of the demons, and from the judgment, and trials , and terrible torture, and the bitter toll-houses, and the evil Prince, O Mother of God, and eternal condemnation (Octoechos. p. I, p. 286 on the reverse.Moscow, 1838).

[1675] Also: “Be merciful unto me, O angels of all-holy God Almighty, and save me from all of the evil toll-houses: for I do not have good deeds to measure against the measure of my evil doings.” (Trebnik. p. 182 on the reverse, M. 1836).

[1676] “At that time, Lazarus was led away by angels. On the contrary, the soul of the other (the rich man) was taken by some powers, perhaps, sent for this purpose; for the soul does not by itself depart to the other life, because this is impossible. If we, traveling from city to city, need a guide, then how much more will we need a guide for our soul, torn from our body and being presented to future life. For this reason, it, flying away from the body, frequently arises, frequently lowers down, and it fears, and it trembles. Because the consciousness of our sins always tortures us, but especially in that hour, when we face being led away to the coming tortures and the terrible judgment seat” (St. John Chrysostom, Conversations with the Antiochian people, III, On Lazarus II, n. 3 in vol. I, p. 61 in the Russian translation).

[1677] “But there is also mental (noetic) place where the mind is active, and mental and incorporeal nature exists: where the mind dwells and acts and is contained not in a bodily but in a mental fashion. For it is without form (σχ̃Εμα), and so cannot be contained as a body is. . . The angel, although not contained in place with figured form as is body, yet is spoken of as being in place because he has a mental presence and acts in accordance with his nature, and is not elsewhere but has his mental limitations there where he acts.”  (St. John Damascene, Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, Book 1, Chapter 13, Pp. 42-43).

[1678] Word on the departure of the soul, in Christian Readings, 1831, XLIV, 126.

[1679] Compare, for example, the detailed description of the toll-houses in the Homily of St. Cyril of Alexandria and in the Life of the Venerable Basil the New.

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