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royal decrees for the suppression of bad books, the laws against them were never, in any one instance, enforced, and that the execution of them was actually prevented by the interposition of the bishops and clergy:" " while,” adds Carrascon, “ they were so watchful and diligent in preventing the publication of the Holy Scriptures in the vulgar tongue, that if any man, anxious for his salvation, and desirous of profiting by the study of them, should attempt to read them, though it were in the most hidden retreat in his house, never will there fail to be a familiar (or to speak more properly, a devil incarnate), who will surprise him in the act, and denounce him to the inquisitors, who will rob him of the word of God, and, perhaps with it, of his life.”
The second chapter is on the canonical books of Scripture ; and is headed by the following decree of the council of Trent:
" Our church places in the Canon of the canonical books the following, and anathematizes, and excommunicates, as accursed heretics, all who do not receive and admit them as such ; to wit, the third and fourth, which we call Esdras, the book of Manasseh, the books of Tobias, Ecclesiasticus, the book of Wisdom, Judith, the 1st and 2nd of Maccabees, the history of Susanna, of Bel and the Dragon," &c.
On which Carrascon observes,
“ So enormous is the temerity and insolence of this Lucifer (the Pope), that he boasts, not only that he can make any Apocryphal book canonical; that is, command any work of human invention to be received as divine, and believed in, and feared as coming from God himself; but that he can order that no chapter or book should be received as canonical without his authority. So that, if we rely on him, we should not believe in the five books of Moses, nor in the four Gospels, unless he commanded us to believe in them. Judge then, if I am right in saying, that he whose aim and tendency, and of the popish religion, is to raise the glory and authority of the Pope, since he arrogates the power of forbidding us to believe the word of God, and requires, that if it should please him to propose to us the fables of Æsop, or the rhymes of a saraband, as true and inspired by God, we are to bow our heads, and to say, Amen.”
The third chapter is on the Vulgate Version of the Scriptures, and is introduced by another decree of the council of Trent.
« Our church proposes the vulgate version to the faithful, as authentic ; and commands, under pain of anathema, that all should receive it as such, and should prefer it to the Greek text, and even to the Hebrew. For the fountains of the Scriptures are to be preferred to the streams of the versions, when it is certain that the fountains have not been muddied; but if they have (of which there is no doubt), we ought not to have recourse to them, but to the pure and limpid stream of the Latin edition *."
* Concil. Trid. Ses. iv. Decret. 2. Bellarm. Lib. ii, de Verb. Dei, cap. 2, &c.
We shall not follow Carrascon through his examination of the respective claims to authenticity and correctness of the Hebrew and Latin texts. It is full of learning and research ; but these are not wanted to convince any reflecting mind that the study of the originals would not have been anathematized, if the translation had not been better adapted to the interests and ends of the anathematizers. The gravity and erudition of this discussion are singularly contrasted with the absurd and childish taste for jeux de mots, which the author, in common with many of his contemporaries, frequently evinces : a taste which probably recommended him in an especial manner to the favour of his royal patron. We must give one example:
“El venerable Beda, beda la contraria opinion, e haze la nuestra con su autoridad mas venerable.”
“Whether any body has proved this [the corruptions of the Hebrew text] I know not; but I know that the greatest and most powerful defender the church of Rome has had for many centuries, the Hercules of Popery, the Goliath of the Popish Philistines, who, in all other disputes, is wont to carry matters with such a high hand, so that, like another Saul against the first Christians, and conformably with the etymology of his name, he breathes only menaces and death ; when he comes to this Hebrew contest, he trembles, gives way, and, indeed, turns his arms against his own party.”
A writer of the present day would not think an anagram on his adversary's name a very efficient weapon in debate; but the works of the most illustrious schoolmen abound in this learned trifling; and traces of it are not rare in the pulpit oratory of this, and other countries, down to a much later period. When once admiration is transferred from the useful to the ingenious, there is no knowing to what a pitch of childishness even the greatest intellects will descend.
In the fourth book, Carrascon proceeds to prove that “ the Vulgate” is vicious, depraved, and erroneous; and he gives some curious instances of the dexterity of the papists in mis-translating the Scriptures; and in drawing profitable conclusions. On the seventh verse of the second chapter of Malachi, “ they shall seek the law at his (the priest’s) mouth,” they have established the useful position, “ that the law is not law except from the mouth of the priest;” “ so that,” adds our author, “ the Decalogue is not the law of God unless it be pronounced by a priest.” “ Image worship, which was as profitable to the coffers of the clergy as it was hurtful to the souls of the people,” was sanctioned by the mis-translation of the twenty-first verse of the eleventh chapter of Hebrews : “ And he worshipped, leaning on
* Bella, arma, minas.
VOL. 1.-PART J.
the top of his staff; which is rendered in the Vulgate, et adoravit summitatem virgæ;' thus imputing to the most holy and blessed patriarch Jacob the adoration of a stick, in order to justify and canonize, by his example, their papistical and more . than pagan idolatry (papana y mas que pagana idolatria).” The chapter concludes with the following curious apostrophe: “The holy Scripture says of our first father Adam, that, by the aid of the divine wisdom, he gave to all animals names so appropriate that they expressed their natures and properties. If thou, Oh Vulgate, hadst then existed, or if Adam were now among us, and had to give names, not to beasts, but to bibles, I am of opinion that he would call thee as thou callest thyself, Vulgate, since no name could be found more suited to thy most vulgar quality!” It is hardly fair to our author to quote such a passage as this, after withholding all evidence of his learning and zeal. But the controversy would be quite out of place here.
The fifth and sixth chapters contain a continuation of the same discussion. The seventh is “ On Implicit Faith ;” and is headed by the following remarkable passage from Bellarmine:
“ Faith, in its proper nature, is not a knowledge of things which ought to be believed, but a certain assent to them, whether they be known or not. And farther, our Roman religion distinguishes faith from knowledge, and teaches that it ought rather to be defined as ignorance than as knowledge ; that is, that we believe better those things of which we are ignorant than those which we know *.”
“The ignorance of the people,” continues our author, “is the gain of the clergy. For the blind are scrupulously timid, and easily deceived ; they follow any guide, as the shadow follows the body. The Philistines put out Samson's eyes before they led him to the temple of the idol, and the papists have learnt their policy; they put out the eyes of the public understanding, that their abominations may not be seen. They do not convince by their teaching; they require to be believed before they teach. They require that Catholics should believe what the Church believes, without knowing either what they believe, or what the Church believes."
We know not how much of Bellarmine's doctrine may be disclaimed by the Catholics of Great Britain. It is difficult to imagine that any thing at once so absurd, so impudent, and so flagitious, should be maintained under the flood of light which freedom of discussion has poured upon every subject in this country. That, however, is not the test by which the Romish church is to be tried : the question is, whether she does or does not still enforce this monstrous claim to absolute power over the understandings and consciences of men.
* Bellarm. Lib. I. de Justis, cap. 7.
The Eighth Chapter is “On Images," under the following head:
« Our church venerates and adores the images of God and of his saints; and teaches us that one of the most important doctrines proposed to us by the sacred Scriptures, and by reverend doctors, is the reverence and adoration of holy images *."
“ Had St. Paul been a papist,” says Carrascon, “ he might easily have quieted the pious fears of Demetrius, the silversmith of Ephesus. Undeceive yourself, he might have said ; for there never was, and never will be, a religion so profitable and convenient for men of your trade as ours : for our temples must be filled with idols and other things; nor do we hold a man to be a good Christian who has not a reliquary in his bosom, and crucifixes and images in his house: so that you will get more work among a hundred papists than among a thousand pagans.”
What follows now is as true of the people who are thoroughly subject to the influence of popery as it was at the time it was written. This we can affirm on the testimony of competent and credible witnesses.
“ Others are so ignorant and foolish that they make more obeisances to beautiful images than to ugly ones; to new than to old; to well than to ill dressed: they believe that the finer they are, the holier they are; and they offer most money to those which are the richest."
He asserts, that the belief in the power and divinity of images is not confined to the people; but is the doctrine and creed of the learned. He quotes numerous addresses and invocations to images in proof of this assertion. We have only room for one or two.
“ Salve Deus! crux resplendens, unica spes mortalium,"&c. And again :
“ Image of our lady of Atocha, the most ancient patroness of Madrid, mediatrix, friend, shield, and protectress, acknowledged lady, comforter under all our necessities, served and revered as such t," &c.
“Who does not know," he adds, “that in all dangers, tribulations, pains, and sufferings, one man invokes the crucifix of Burgos, another calls on the image of Montserrat, another devotes himself to that of Atocha, another makes vows to that of Loretto; few or none to God. I have in my possession a book on the miracle of the crucifix of St. Augustin de Burgos, full of instances of people who in sickness or danger invoked it from distant countries in these words : O holy crucifix of Saint Augustine of Burgos, have mercy upon this child !
* El Padre Fr. Balthasar Pacheco, en su summario, p. 51.
† Fol. 30. De la Patrona de Madrid. Written to instruct the servant of that image how she is to be addressed and glorified.
restore this child! Holy crucifix of Saint Augustin, have pity upon them! O holy crucifix, give them life ; for it is a light thing to you to heal them, and I promise to take them to your chapel ! O holy and blessed crucifix, I supplicate you by your own nature (por quien vos soys) that you would grant me so much favour and mercy as to give tħe fruit of benediction!”
“In order that the Roman catholic may not accuse us and excuse himself, by saying that neither these people nor any others invoke the crucifix, but God in it, I will add two other expressions, which clearly show that the papists invoke the very wood, believe in stones, place their hopes in images, and render thanks to idols:
“I give thanks to God and to the holy crucifix*.
“ And that they may not reply, that by the holy crucifix they mean Christ Jesus, I add another, which will not admit of any excuse or evasion whatever:
“ I commend myself to Christ, and to the holy crucifix .”
These instances are taken from a book of authority among them, and are proposed as examples which they are exhorted to imitate.
“ The idols of the Gentiles," continues he, “ had mouths, but spoke not. Those of the Romanists, on the contrary, speak, though they have no mouths. It is affirmed that a crucifix in the church of St. Dominic, at Naples, spoke to De Aquinas, and said, “Well hast thou written concerning me, Thomas !""
We cannot find room for the details of another miracle of the same kind, which occurred at Madrid, where a crucifix accused five Jews of having scourged it. The unhappy men were, on that evidence, put to the torture: the only one who had sufficient resolution to persist in denying the charge was burnt; the others were sent to the galleys. · « The statues of the ancients had feet, but walked not. The idolaters went to the idols, but not the idols to the idolaters, as among the papists."
Among other of these singular deambulations, he mentions that the crucifix of Burgos walked from that city to Cogollado, near Guadalaxara, to resuscitate a woman; “ and it is as unquestionably true,” adds he, “ that it did resuscitate her as that it went.”
We have not space for many more of these fables. One more, however, concerning this same crucifix of Burgos, with which Carrascon had a more peculiar acquaintance:
“ The friars of that monastery assert, that it once stretched out both its hands, and gave a great blow on the head to a sick woman,