Obrazy na stronie

as the bishop or inquisitor shall deem proper, according to the contumacy or quality of the delinquent.

“ With regard to those books which the fathers of the present deputation shall examine, or correct, or deliver to be corrected, or permit to be reprinted on certain conditions, booksellers and others shall be bound to observe whatever is ordained respecting them. The bishops and general inquisitors shall, nevertheless, be at liberty, according to the power they possess, to prohibit such books as may seem to be permitted by these rules, if they deem it necessary for the good of the kingdom, or province, or diocese. And let the secretary of these fathers, according to the command of our holy father, transmit to the notary of the general inquisitor, the names of the books that have been corrected, as well as of the persons to whom the fathers have granted the power of examination.

“ Finally, it is enjoined on all the faithful, that no one presume to keep or read any books contrary to these rules, or prohibited by this index. But if any one keep or read any books composed by heretics, or the writings of any author suspected of heresy, or false doctrine, he shall instantly incur the sentence of excommunication; and those who read or keep works interdicted on another account, besides the mortal sin committed, shall be severely punished at the will of the bishops."*

A permanent committee, styled the 6 Congregation of the Index,” is specially charged with the execution of these tyrannical and iniquitous laws. Under its care the index has been increased from year to year, by the addition of such new works as were deemed unfit for Roman-catholic readers. It now forms a considerable volume. A few of the names found in it may be mentioned. No Roman-catholic is suffered to read the writings of Wiclif, Luther, Calvin, Bucer, Zuinglius, Melanchthon, Bullinger, Ecolampadius, Beza, Tyndal, Cranmer, Ridley, Latimer, Knox, Coverdale, Bishop Hooper, John Fox, the Martyrologist, John Huss, Jeroine of Prague, Addison,

* The Rev. J. Mendham's “ Literary Policy of the Church of Rome,” a very valuable and useful work, contains the fullest information respecting the prohibitory and expurgatory indexes.

Algernon Sydney, Lord Bacon, Boerhaave, Bayle, Bochart, Brucker, George Buchanan, Buxtorf, Camden, Casaubon, Castalio, Cuve, Claude, Le Clerc, the Critici Sacri, Erasmus (his Colloquies, and several other works), Glassius, Grotius, Sir Matthew Hale, Father Paul, Kepler, Lavater, Locke, Milton, Mosheim, Robertson (History of Charles V.), Roscoe (Life of Leo X.), Saurin, Scaliger, Scapula, Schmidt, Selden, Sleidan, Jeremy Taylor, Vossius, Walton (the Polyglott), Young (the Night Thoughts). Of these authors, the works of some may not be possessed or read, according to the above rules, under any circumstances, without incurring the guilt of mortal sin, and the punishment of excommunication; the perusal of others is permitted, by licence, after examination, or expurgation, to a favoured few “ learned and pious men.” In Burnet's History of the Reformation, the form of one of these licences may be seen, given by Tonstall to Sir Thomas More. Such a licence, it is presumed, Mr. Butler received, to enable him to read Southey's “ Book of the Church,” and other heretical publications, which he took so much pains to answer, but dared not peruse till his superiors gave him the requisite permission. For we are not speaking of a defunct statute. The authority of the index is acknowledged and felt in the nineteenth century; and in Roman-catholic countries, the censorship of the press and the tyrannical vigilance of the priests perpetuate the dominion of ignorance, enslave and fetter the human mind, and inflict untold miseries, religious and political, on a suffering people.

Spain has from the beginning patronised and promoted this detestable crusade against knowledge, with characteristic zeal.* The index was immediately reprinted in that country,

* “ There is still fixed, every year, at the church doors, the index, or list of those books, especially foreign, of which the holy office has thought fit to interdict the reading, on pain of excommunication.”-Bourgoing's Modern State of Spain, ii. p. 276.

“ To expect a rational system of education where the inquisition is constantly on the watch to keep the human mind within the boundaries which the church of Rome, with her host of divines, has set to its progress, would shew a perfect ignorance of the character of our religion. Thanks to the league between our church and state, the Catholic divines have nearly succeeded in keeping down knowledge to their own level. Even such branches of

and was subsequently so enlarged that it reached the enormous size of two folio volumes ! In 1571, another index was published by royal command, wholly expurgatory,—that is, containing lists of those passages in certain authors, or in Protestant editions of their writings, which were to be erased, before the books were allowed to be read; this was chiefly intended for the Netherlands, then under Spanish dominion. The manner in which it was framed furnishes clear proof of the object which the Church of Rome has in view in these nefarious proceedings,—viz., to crush evangelical truth. This is especially evident from the plan adopted in regard to the editions of the fathers. In the “ Contents” appended to the works of Augustine, Jerome, Chrysostom, &c., by Protestant editors, the theological sentiments of those illustrious men are arranged in alphabetical order, with suitable references to the pages. Now, to contradict the fathers would never be endured ; yet it was felt that on many important points their opinions symbolized with those of the reformers. In this dilemma, it was resolved to condemn those opinions, as they were given in the Summaries,or Contents," compiled by the editors, and not in the text itself! The following propositions contained in the 66 Index” or “ Contents” to the works of Chrysostom, are therefore ordered to be expunged :—. That sins are to be confessed to God, not to man; that we are justified by faith only; that Christ forbids us to kill heretics ; that it is great stupidity to bow before images; that priests are

science as seem least connected with religion cannot escape the theological rod; and the spirit which made Galileo recant upon his knees his discoveries in astronomy still compels our professors to teach the Copernican system as an hypothesis. The truth is, that with Catholic divines, no one pursuit of the human mind is independent of religion. Astronomy must ask the inquisitors' leave to see with her own eyes; geography was long compelled to shrink before them. Divines were made the judges of Columbus's plan of discovery, as well as to allot a species to the Americans. A spectre monk haunts the geologist in the lowest cavities of the earth; and one of flesh and blood watches the philosopher on its surface. Anatomy is suspected and watched closely, whenever it takes up the scalpel ; and medicine had many a pang to endure, while endeavouring to expunge the use of bark and inoculation from the catalogue of mortal sins. You must not only believe what the inquisition believes, but yield implicit faith to the theories and explanations of her divines.”-Doblado's Letters from Spain, pp. 109--111.

subject to princes; that salvation does not flow from our own merits; that the scriptures are easy to be understood; and that the reading of them is to be enjoined upon all men.” Chrysostom had affirmed all this, and much besides that was equally opposed to popery; yet they have not condemned Chrysostom, (he is one of the saints in their own calendar,) but only the unfortunate editor who has reported his opinions !

In the same way have these lovers of darkness dealt with the apostles, yea, with our Lord himself. An edition of the Bible, published by Robert Stevens, contained an index, stating the doctrines of scripture, with references to the texts wherein they are found. The following propositions, with many others, are ordered to be expunged, as suspected, “ tanquam suspectæ :”—“ He who believeth in Christ shall never die, (John xi. 26.) The heart is purified by faith, (Acts xv. 9.) We are justified by faith in Christ, (Gal. ii. 16.) Christ is our righteousness, (1 Cor. i. 30.) No one is righteous before God, (Psalm cxliii. 2.) Every one may marry, (1 Cor. vii. 2.)” Here, notwithstanding the flimsy pretence of condemning only the editor, it is evident enough that the sentence is in fact issued against the Saviour and his inspired servants; for though they are not in express words censured for uttering the foregoing sentiments, yet as Robert Stevens is condemned for asserting that they uttered them, it is plain that through him our Lord and his apostles are attacked. This is truly the mystery of iniquity."*

The “ Catechism of the Council of Trent” was published in 1566, by command of Pope Pius V.4 Although termed a 66 Catechism,” it is not written in the usual form of question

* The title of the book is, “ Index Expurgatorius Librorum qui hoc sæculo prodierunt, vel doctrinæ non sanæ erroribus inspersis, vel inutilis et offensivæ maledicentiæ fellibus permixtis, juxta sacri Concilii Tridentini decretum : Phillippi II. Regis Catholici jussu auctoritate, atque Albani Ducis concilio et ministerio in Belgia concinnatus. 1571.".

An expurgated copy of Nicephorus Callistus lies now before the author. The title-page has “ Opera vero ac studio doctissimi Joannis Langi :" but the inquisitor has erased “ doctissimi," and written instead “ Autoris damnati, opus permissum." The expunged passages in the work correspond exactly with the directions in the index of 1571.

+ Every information respecting the writers &c. of the catechism is contained in the “ Introduction” prefixed to the Dublin edition,

and answer, but is in fact a manual of religious instruction, chiefly, though not wholly, intended for the use of the priests. It is a work of considerable labour and research, and is written in a terse and elegant style. Of the four parts into which it is divided, the first, third, and fourth, contain expositions of the Apostles' Creed, the Decalogue, and the Lord's Prayer; the second is a treatise on the Sacraments. The doctrines laid down in the decrees of the council are here elaborately discussed and defended ; much additional information is supplied; and great skill is employed in endeavouring to make the obnoxious sentiments of the Roman-catholic church appear to be consistent with reason and scripture. The numerous quotations inserted in this volume have enabled the reader to judge how far the authors have succeeded in their attempt.

As the catechism was designed for general circulation, directions were given to have it translated into the languages of those countries into which it should be introduced. Accordingly, it was early published in England. A new translation has been recently issued, by one of the professors of Maynooth College.* In his preface, the translator observes, that “ Whilst he has endeavoured to preserve the spirit, he has been unwilling to lose sight of the letter ; studious to avoid a servile exactness, he has not felt himself at liberty to indulge the freedom of paraphrase; anxious to transfuse into the copy the spirit of the original, he has been no less anxious to render it an express image of that original. The reader, perhaps, will blame his severity ; his fidelity, he trusts, may defy reproof; and on it he rests his only claim to commendation.”+ After such professions, it would be naturally expected, that whatever might be the defects of the translation in regard to elegance, it would at any rate be entitled to the praise of fidelity and accuracy. But the evidence presently to be adduced will prove that the translator has wilfully misrepresented the meaning of the original, in order to beguile Protestant readers, by suppressing or altering such passages as express the peculiar

* “ The Catechism of the Council of Trent, published by command of Pope Pius the Fifth. Translated into English by the Rev. J. Donovan, professor, &c., Royal College, Maynooth,” 1829.

† Page xvi.

« PoprzedniaDalej »