Obrázky na stránke

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 thendilerim

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

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

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.


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.

As to reading the Scriptures in an authorized version,

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

is both ungenerous and unjust to accuse us of being supine and indifferent to the public interest. In arduous times, in periods of political danger, if a man is not found at his post, he should be able to give a good excuse for his absence. It is this which I profess to undertake: I profess to prove that the fault lies with those who impose the restrictions, not with those who submit to them; and that, by acting otherwise than as we do, we should only incur the guilt of a criminal

subserviency to our temporal interests, and make a sacrifice both of our honour and our conscience. Such are the motives for the publication of the following REAsons: they are convincing to me, and I hope they may prove so to others. (S)

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

there is no restriction in Ireland; yet our Bible Missionaries are continually telling us the contrary; not that they do not know their assertions to be false, but that they intend their lying speeches to be circulated among the people of England.”

Extract from a Letter from Dr. Doyle.

[ocr errors]

(I) I feel another inducement to this undertaking. Charity urges us to use every reasonable expedient and exertion to do good to others; to diffuse those blessings which we enjoy ourselves; to impart a knowledge of the truth which we believe, and bear testimony to the faith we have received from our forefathers.

But, to those who believe not in the necessity of any fixed and steadfast faith-who, far from esteeming heresy,

As I have written nothing in a spirit of animosity, so I trust none will be offended with that freedom

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

schism, and dissension in matters of religion, as works of the flesh, and suggestions of Satan, allow themselves to be tossed about by every wind of doctrine, heedless whither they are carried ;--to those who peruse the Scriptures, believing what chimes in with their ideas, but rejecting what displeases them, (though both the one and the other rest equally upon the same authority, and are often to be found together in the same page ;)—to those who, in contradiction to the opinion of St. Peter, imagine that none are so little learned as not to be fit interpreters of the law, and expounders of the sacred doctrine, and that all are so wise and stable as to be proof against the enemy of truth, in his endeavours to induce us to wrest the words of God to our own destruction and perdition ;-to those who are unwilling to submit their reason to the obedience of faith, but are resolved to emancipate themselves altogether from ecclesiastical authority; upon which resolution, both in theory and in practice, every religious establishment

may be said to have been founded, even at the moment of its separation from the parent Church; to those who have no faith in the promise of Christ, that the Spirit of truth shall abide for ever with his ministers; to those who take religious faith to be a belief in what requires not the exercise of faith, namely, a belief in what they can comprebend with their own reason, and see with their own eyes; instead of, what St. Paul terms, the evidence of things which are not seen, and the remedy to that state of intellectual darkness to which original sin had reduced

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

of discussion which the nature of the subject required: none will be so unjust as to deny us the

[ocr errors]

mankind, (a doctrine itself as inexplicable and incomprehensible as any that the Almighty has revealed to man, but which, if we do not believe, we are no longer Christians);—to those, in fine, who look upon religious faith as a matter of indifference, who, knowing that two contradictory propositions cannot both be true, yet fancy that each is equally pleasing to the God of truth, and equally satisfactory as a foundation on which to build that steadfast faith without which we must be condemned, who laugh at error as a play-thing with which we may amuse ourselves as long and in what manner we will, without being answerable for the consequences,-and who consider delusion in controverted points as a matter of no importance whatever:—to all such, I am well aware that my REASONS, considered in reference to religion, will appear vain and unmeaning.

I address myself to those only who, while they believe in the doctrines of Revelation, are willing to take them in their approved and established sense; to inquire sincerely in what manner they were received in the first of the Church, and what authority has been appointed to interpret them ;* and who, while they acknowledge the divinity of our Saviour, are also ready to believe and follow his Gospel. How can

we say we believe in * In the Introduction to Mant's Book of Common Prayer, is the following passage :-—" As it is established by ecclesiastical authority, those who separate themselves and set up another form of worship, are schismatics, and consequently are guilty of a grievous sin, which no toleration granted by the civil magistrate can authorize or justify,” &c.


« PredošláPokračovať »