Monday, November 2, 2015

All Souls

"And now, recalling his men from the pursuit, he made his way to the city of Adollam; the week had gone round, and here, duly cleansed from defilement, they kept the sabbath.  Next day, with Judas at their head, they went back to recover the bodies of the slain, for burial among their own folk in their fathers’ graves;  and what found they? Each of the fallen was wearing, under his shirt, some token carried away from the false gods of Jamnia. Here was defiance of the Jewish law, and none doubted it was the cause of their undoing;  none but praised the Lord for his just retribution, that had brought hidden things to light;  and so they fell to prayer, pleading that the sin might go unremembered. Judas himself, their gallant commander, gave public warning to his men, of fault they should evermore keep clear, with the fate of these transgressors under their eyes.  Then he would have contribution made; a sum of twelve thousand silver pieces he levied, and sent it to Jerusalem, to have sacrifice made there for the guilt of their dead companions. Was not this well done and piously? Here was a man kept the resurrection ever in mind;  he had done fondly and foolishly indeed, to pray for the dead, if these might rise no more, that once were fallen!  And these had made a godly end; could he doubt, a rich recompense awaited them?  A holy and wholesome thought it is to pray for the dead, for their guilt’s undoing."   -2 Maccabees 12:38-46 (Knox)

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