Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

and parentage; that we are content to sacrifice our country's good to an obstinate perversity of

con

proceedings of 'Change Alley? Ah! in that case,

I fess that he is right. On this scale Protestants do rank high indeed!" History of the Protestant Reformation,

p. 17.

As to the charge of the Catholic religion being opposed to “the natural movements of a just and ingenuous mind," I will only reply through another and a very eminent auxiliary, that “ Catholicity has been the belief of the most illustrious characters that ever did honour to the name of man,” and leave the bishop to seek the solution of his problem where and how he may. I refer not to the long catalogue of saints, of martyrs, and of apostles ; to men who at the risk of their lives, and with the sacrifice of every temporal comfort, have carried the light of the gospel to all the nations of the known world :-I refer not to a Moore, a Fisher, a Boromeo, a Turenne, a Fenelon :I refer not to those hundreds of individuals, who in every Catholic province of the universe, devote every faculty with which God has blessed them, to the sublime occupation of doing deeds of charity to mankind: -I refer not to them; for I am too blunted to see, and the Bishop is too enlightened to believe, that all these were, or are Roman Catholics.

With the bishop's permission, however, I will say one word more in my own person. This is not the place, neither is it my province to follow the right reverend prelate into the arena of polemic history. Mr. Butler's reply being entirely out of print, I have been unable to procure a copy of it, and therefore know not whether that gentleman

mind, and are only resolute in maintaining ourselves to be right, because it might appear degrad

has triumphantly refuted the bishop's historical assertions, as I am sure he is so capable of doing ; but which it was not necessary that he should do, as they have long since been ably confuted by others. I will, however, observe in passing, that Dr. Blomfield's annotations upon the creed of Pius IV. would shame the meanest tyro in theology; --that his application of the decree of the Council of Constance relative to Huss, is wholly and entirely perverted;-that he every where confounds discipline with doctrine, and doctrine with discipline;—that he cites the opinions of councils, without waiting to discuss their validity, or without distinguishing the unratified decisions of an unauthorized few, from the authenticated decrees of an cecumenical assembly of the pastors of the church. As long as the bishop's historical facts rest only upon his ipse dixit, the ipse dixit of any other man is as good to refute them: but, satis superque.

My object has been to show that his Lordship can sometimes convert the sword of the spirit into a sword of steel; and that, neither the fire-brand nor the poisoned arrow are weapons so entirely disused by ministers of the establishment, as he would wish us to suppose.*

How effectual is example! In a charge delivered last year, in the diocese of Chester, and published at the request of the Clergy present, we find the following extract, from a bull of the present Pontiff:—“ We also, venerable

* The Bishop refers his readers to “ A comparative view of the Churches of England and Rome.”. I beg to refer them to Dr. Lingard's convincing answer to that publication.

ing to acknowledge ourselves to be wrong. But I should wish it to appear that we have other

brethren, conformably to our apostolical duty, exhort you diligently to occupy yourselves by all means to turn away your flock from these deadly pastures; [i. e. the Scriptures translated into the vulgar tongue].” The Archdeacon of Richmond here proves himself a worthy subaltern of his diocesan commander. Nay, we are free to confess that the servant has outdone the master; if not in the boldness, at least in the impudence of his slander. What will be the astonishment of the reader, when, instead of these deadly pastures, referring to the Scriptures translated into the vulgar tongue, he sees that these expressions relate to what shall be described in the Pontiff's own words:

“ What shall I say more? The iniquity of our enemies has so increased, that, besides the deluge of pernicious books, contrary to the faith, it even goes so far as to convert to the detriment of religion the Holy Scriptures, which have been given us from above for the general edification. You are not ignorant, venerable brethren, that a society, commonly called the Bible Society, audaciously spreads itself over the whole earth; and that in contempt of the traditions of the holy fathers, and contrary to the decree of the Council of Trent, it exerts all its efforts, and every means, to translate, or rather to corrupt the holy scriptures into the vulgar tongue of nations, which gives just cause to fear that the same may happen in all the other translations, as in those already known-namely, that we shall find in them a bad interpretation; instead of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the gospel of man, or rather the gospel of the devil. Behold, venerable brethren, whither

motives for not deserting an ancient cause, a cause in which we have endured so long and so cruel a

it tends, omitting nothing to accomplish its impious purpose; for it glories, not only in printing its translations, but even in going about to towns and distributing them among the people; sometimes it sells them, and sometimes, with perfidious liberality, gives them away.” Rescript of May 3, 1824.

Such are the deadly pastures mentioned in the“ Rescript," and not, as the Archdeacon unblushingly asserts, the Scriptures translated into the vulgar tongue. But, such are the extravagant and disgraceful impositions by which the people of this country are deluded,- by which Christianity itself is brought into disrepute, -and by which the rights and characters of innocent men are sacrificed.

Is there not also some reason for the vigilance and restrictions of the Bishop of Rome, as to reading the scripture in the vulgar tongue? In one of the regulations of the Council of Trent, it is declared, as a matter of discipline, “ That since the promiscuous allowance of the bible in the vulgar tongue has been proved by experience to do more harm than good, it is determined that a discretionary power should be invested in the curate or confessor, to allow such versions to be read by those only who would suffer no detriment from the reading, but would receive an increase of faith and piety.” There has long been an authorized translation of the sacred writings in the Italian language, which till lately was open to every one; but in consequence of the eager and intrusive circulation of the corrupted translations of the Bible Societies, the restrictions of the Council of Trent, originally framed under similar circum

martyrdom, than the shame of being branded as apostates; and that, circumstanced as we are, it

stances, were again imposed : but the regulations are not binding on the Catholics of this country, nor, indeed, do they extend beyond Italy itself. We have every where editions of the bible in every size, from the folio to the duodecimo, and have full liberty to read as we list, with proper dispositions, and a due regard to the annotations annexed for the interpretation thereof. In Ireland the circulation of the scriptures among the Roman Catholics has been very great, particularly of late years. Two editions of the New Testament are now lying before me, one dated 1821, and the other 1826; the latter is a stereotyped and a very cheap edition. It is prefaced by the following approbation of the Archbishops :

“We approve of this stereotyped edition of the New Testament of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, being according to the Douay version; and we authorize Richard Coyne, of Capel Street, Dublin, to print and publish it.

Given at Dublin, December 16, 1825.

PATRICK CURTIS, D.D. &c.
ROBERT LAFFAN, D.D. &c.
DANJEL MURRAY, D.D. &c.

OLIVER KELLY, D.D. &c. So that, though the Pontiff has been pleased to style the Bibles of the Society deadly pastures, yet the salutary food of the word of God, translated into the vulgar tongue, whatever the Archdeacon may say to the contrary, is still freely permitted, with an almost nominal restriction in the Papal States, to the whole of the Christian world.

« PredošláPokračovať »