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by adverting to the Evidence given before Parliamentary Committees in the years 1816 and 1825. In the first—which may be found appended to Poynder's valuable History of the Jesuits, in 1816, may be observed every shuffling evasion, which Jesuitism could dictate, to avoid letting in the light of scriptural truth into certain projected schools in any form whatever ; no one form would be assented to, as appears particularly by the examination of Dr. Poynder, V. A. June 15, who admitted that there was no English translation of the Bible authorized by the see of Rome. The examination of the Irish prelates in 1825, which, besides the Reports, is extant in the Digest of the Evidence in the Reports, * expressly admits that there are no notes of any real authority attached to the Bibles issued for the Roman Catholic. So that, notwithstanding all the mockery of approbations and recommendations, notwithstanding the supreme importance put upon notes, as alone qualifying the Scriptures to go with safety into the hands of the Romish public, there are no notes whatever, for which the church or rulers of Rome will hold themselves responsible ; and so all the infallible teaching, which their church monopolizes to herself as her grand distinction and evidence of doctrinal supremacy, is allowed to vanish into smoke! and we might add, all those atrocious acts of hostility to the Protestant Scriptures, which are confessedly encouraged by the Irish hierarchy, and particularly the Bible-burnings and buryings, in one instance applauded by Dr. Doyle himself.t But we must refrain, and only beg to ask, whether, in persons who by their profession ought to have no other object in religious inquiry than that of truth, can satisfy themselves with the evidently partial and evasive view, which Romanists of even the highest order condescend exclusively to present to the public ; whether it be in the lowest degree ingenuous (unless they will plead ignorance,) to omit altogether such views as we have given; and whether they can honestly imagine that documents of so high, so deliberate and determined a character, repeated from an early period to the very days in which we live, issuiug from that personal authority, which is conceived
to be the highest possible in their church, the chief Pastor of Christendom, the Vicar of Christ, the Vicegerent of God—that individual respecting whom the only doubt in the Roman church is whether he or a General Council be superior,—whether such documents can be honestly considered by them as not entitled to the highest respect, and even obedience, where obedience is practicable-and whether they can be flippantly tossed aside as the independent
Part I. pp. 214, &c. † A Bible-man, as he is not ashamed in the very place to call himself. NO. I.
enouncements of a private Doctor ? And then the additional question will suggest itself— What love, what kind or degree of love towards the Scriptures, do such exhibitions of the Church of Rome discover ?
It may be proper to notice in a few words the pretence or apology put forth for the condemnation and proscription of vernacular Bibles—their alleged falsehood or infidelity. This is an easy and inviting charge, because it requires a laborious answer. But the instance of R. Stephens's vindication of his Translation against the censures of the Sorbonne, and the shame with which he covered his censors in his memorable Responsio, 1552, may serve as a general specimen of the ground for such charges. The efforts of Martin and of Ward were not more respectable, and Grier has proved not more fortunate. But in this necessity will not the Church of Rome, in sheer compassion, furnish her various flocks with, each, an authentic vernacular translation ? Something indeed has been surreptitiously done in this way by some of her sons. There have been, even after the Reformation, translations, English, French, and others. The schismatical colleges of Rheims and Douay supplied the English Romanists with one, distinguished not only for its interested infidelity, but for the inculcated intolerance and persecution of its notes. Of the French, it is only necessary to notice those of Corbin, Veron, and the anonymous editor at Bourdeaux, who first found the Mass in Scripture, (Acts xiii. 2) with several other Romish doctrines as unquestionably to be found in the original! The Bourdeaux New Testament was certainly got up for the new converts in 1686, though, for shame, Amelotte's was afterwards substituted.* But just to revert to the Rhemish Testament, it may be plainly seen, that the general reason for papal translations after the Reformation was, to supersede the presumed heretical ones; and surely nothing can exceed the ludicrous symptoms of uncomfortableness and reluctance, with which the Preface of the Rhemists shows that they accomplished their undertaking. It is remarkable, too, that their smothered objections comprehend with the heretical, “ the holy Scriptures though truly and catholicly translated into vulgar tongues,” &c. Father Simon bears express testimony to the same fact: he asserts, that the vernacular translations of his church were made “ on purpose to divert the Catholics from reading Protestant translations.”+ On a translation by J. de
See in particular the valuable and scarce work of Serces— Popery an enemy to Scripture. An account of him occurs in Senebier's Hist. Litt. de Genève.
+ Crit. Inq. into Ed. of Bible, p. 224.
Bay, he likewise remarks ; “ We see by this that the principal design of this version was, to rid the people of the Protestant French Bibles, and substitute in their place another more conformable to the ancient interpreter of the church.” Again he writes, that some popes “thought it expedient that the Bible should be delivered to the people translated into their language, provided that these translations were composed from the vulgar by Roman Catholic authors, and by this means the versions of the heretics were taken out of their hands."*
An advertisement has lately appeared of a large edition of the Roman Catholic Translation of the New Testament, without note or comment, attested by Dr. Troy as conformable to former approved editions, and recommended by a Rescript of Pius VII. dated April 18, 1820, to the Vicars Apostolic of Great Britain ; requesting them to direct their zeal and attention that by reading pious books, and above all the holy Scriptures, in the editions approved by the Church, the faithful may conform in truth and good works to them as their pattern in precept and practice. There appears, it must be acknowledged, little of precision and straightforwardness in such expressions, whatever their authenticity : but far be it from any Christian not to rejoice in any conversion from evil, either in individuals or corporations. Should, however, the sanguine wishes and prayers to this effect be realized, it is obvious that the substance of past facts stands as fast as ever; and should such a desirable consummation take place, in whatever degree, the then reformed will be among the foremost to acknowledge and reprobate the former delinquency of their church. It will, however be observed, that the original control of the church is left perfectly untouched: the confessor will report personally in each case; and the priest, or superior, so authorized, will act according to his judgment, his power, and his policy.
Art. IV.-On the Criticism of Lathbury's History of the
English Episcopacy, in the last Number of the Edinburgh Review.
THE tone of the Scotch Review, in all cases, where the English Episcopal Church comes under the notice of the stalwart polemics of the kirk, might be, in general, facetiously described as the errant scolding of Jack's wife Peg; but there is so much good sense, and good temper let us add, in the last article, on
* Crit. Hist. of Versions of the New Test. Part II. pp. 224, and 377.
Lathbury's History of the Episcopal Church," bating some flippant personalities on the author, that we are impelled to give the writer credit for his sincerity. And yet it seems almost impossible that a writer, in the least acquainted with the controversial history and spirit of the times, should be sincere, when he gravely assumes the fact that the Episcopal Church was more intolerant than the Presbyterian; when the Presbyterian, so far from being tolerant, deprecated toleration as the greatest sin ; and when the murder of the archbishop of St. Andrew's, and the implacable treatment of Laud on the scaffold, stand written in blood against them.
Turn to some of the most powerful writers in the Church of England, before the
“Pulpit, drum ecclesiastic,
Was beat with fist instead of a stick”
They were as mild as powerful. Witness Chillingworth, who was educated and patronized by Laud. Witness that ornament of the English Church of England, Hales of Eton. Witness Hall, Davenant, and the imprisoned bishops, (amongst whom was Bishop Skinner, the tutor of Chillingworth at Trinity College, Oxford) who, with the other bishops, (inoffensive old men,) the Puritan Parliament sent to prison, without any alleged crime, except that they were bishops! Of what other crime were these virtuous, grey-haired, and blameless men guilty, to be so shamefully and unjustly and injuriously treated ?
Besides this, there seems to be a kind of SHUFFLING jumble in this criticism, for the mere purpose of throwing dust in the eyes of the less accurately-informed reader, as to the different principles and conduct of the Presbyterians and Independents.
Can this writer be ignorant, when he speaks so glowingly of Milton, that Milton wrote a certain immortal copy of stringent
“ The FORCERS OF CONSCIENCE in the Long Parliament,” concluding with the memorable line
“ New PRESBYTER is but Old Priest, WROTE LARGE !"
Is it possible that the “ Naïf Candide” of the acute polemical school of Scotch divinity really knows nothing of this fact ? and that if the Independents wore the name Toleration on their soldiers' caps, when all were inspired Babylonian jargonists alike, policyas well as religion required this, without which the solemn synod-men would have trodden them all in the dirt!
As to Cromwell, he, in every thing as to spirit of toleration, was guided by Usher, Owen, Milton, and those great men; but when we speak of the moderation of Milton, is it not true that the heart revolts at the brutal language of ruthless intolerance with which he ends one most sublime chapter on “ England's Reformation ?"
This harmonious passage Mr. Bowles has quoted in his Life of Bishop Ken; and in the same Life, vol. ii., he has brought forward speeches in the Independent, not Presbyterian, Parliament, in perusing which (on the punishment of that poor fanatic, Nailor the Quaker) the reader would suppose he was listening to the fiends in pandemonium, rather than to christian legislators in an English parliament! So much for toleration, Presbyterian or Independent !!
Now, can the Reviewer seriously believe that he can point out one sentence in any Episcopal writer, breathing such furious intolerance and malignity as this ?-in Bishop Andrews, whom Milton beatifies in immortal Latin verse ?-or Bishop Fuller, or even Laud himself, whom the Review seems to fix his fangs on, as with undying hate?
Then, all the scurrilous jests, and brutal incentives to murder, from the Presbyterian pulpits of Case and Marshall, are not true! are they not? Their sermons remain ? and the flowers of the Scotch Church !
Then, Archbishop Laud, as is reported by every historian since Neal, “ held up
when the bloody sentence was pronounced on Prynne, and gave God thanks !!”
Mr. Bowles has challenged any one writer in all England to bring forward any evidence, from an historian of credit, of this one fact. Neal is the only authority—and on his authority, uncorroborated by one impartial historian of the times, has this scurrilous calumny been repeated. The fact is so reported by every subsequent writer, as if the fact were proved. So far was Laud from being the chief inquisitor, that he was the only one in the Star Chamber who spoke a word of humanity in favour of Prynne! This remarkable fact, spoken of by Rushworth, has in all subsequent histories been studiously omitted; and the other fact, which has only the authority of Neal, writing so many years after, and who is the most prejudiced of writers, is as constantly quoted.
We give this hint to the Edinburgh Reviewer, and recommend him to refresh his mind on the intolerance of the infallible and inhuman Presbyterians, by looking at an article so late as the Biographia Britannica, under the head of “Edwards,” author of “Gangrene."