Early Church Fathers
Elucidation. Dinocrates, cap. ii, p. 701.
The avidity with which the Latin controversial writers seize upon this fanciful passage, (which, in fact, is subversive of their whole doctrine about Purgatory, as is the text from the Maccabees) makes emphatic the utter absence from the early Fathers of any reference to such a dogma; which, had it existed, must have appeared in every reference to the State of the Dead, and in every account of the discipline of penitents. Arbp. Usher38 ingeniously turns the tables upon these errorists, by quoting the Prayers for the Dead, which were used in the Early Church, but which, such as they were, not only make no mention of a Purgatory, but refute the dogma, by their uniform limitation of such prayers to the blessed dead, and to their consummation of bliss at the Last day and not before. Such a prayer seems to occur in 2 Timothy 1:18 The context (vers. 16-18, and iv. 19) strongly supports this view; Onesiphorus is spoken of as if deceased, apparently. But, as Chrysostom understands it, he was only absent (in Rome) from his household. From i. 17 we should infer that he had left Rome.39