« AnteriorContinua »
premonition, as I remember, I desired the gentleman, who dealt between us, to return this answer, or to this effect: That I believe the doctrine of the Trinity, the Deity of our Saviour, and all other supernatural Verities revealed in Scripture, as truly, and as heartily as yourself, or any man; and, therefore, herein your charity was very much mistaken, but much more, and more uncharitably, in conceiving me a man, that was to be wrought upon with these terribiles visu formæ,' those carnal and base fears which you presented to me; which were very proper motives for the Devil and his instruments to tempt poor spirited men out of the way of conscience and honesty, but very incongruous, either for teachers of truth to make use of, or for lovers of truth (in which company I had been long ago matriculated) to hearken to, with any regard. But if you were indeed desirous that I should not answer “Charity maintained,” one way there was, and but one, whereby you might obtain your desire; and that was by letting him know when and where I might attend you; and by a fair conference, to be written down on both sides, convincing my understanding (who was resolved not to be a Recusant if I were convicted) that any one part of it, any one argument in it which was of moment and consequence, and whereon the cause depends, was indeed unanswerable.' This was the effect of my answer, which I am well assured was delivered : But reply from you I received none but this, that you would have no conference but in print, and soon after, finding me of proof against all your batteries, and thereby (I fear) very much enraged, you took up the resolution of the furious Goddess in the Poet, madded with the uusuccessfulness of her Malice
“Flectere si nequeo superos Acheronta movebo." And moreover, to clear myself once for all, from all imputations of this nature, which charge me injuriously with denial of supernatural Verities, I profess sincerely that Í believe all those books of Scripture which the Church of England accounts Canonical, to be the infallible Word of God : I believe all things evidently contained in them, all things evidently or even probably deducible from them. I acknowledge all that to be Heresie which by the Act of Parliament primo of Eliz. is declared to be so, and only to be so : And though in such points which may be held diversly of divers men, salvà fidei compage,' I would not take any man's liberty from him, and humbly beseech'alî men, that they would not take mine from me: yet thus much I can say, which I hope will satisfie any man of reason,) that whatsoever hath been held necessary to salvation, either by the Catholick Church of all ages, or by the consent of Fathers, measured by Vincentius Lyrinensis his rule, or is held necessary, either by the Catholick Church of this age, or by the consent of Protestants, or by the Church of England, that, against the Socinians, and all others whatsoever, I do verily believe and embrace.
An account of the Indexes, both Prohibitory and Expurgatory, of the
Church of Rome. By the Rev. Joseph Mendham, M.A. London, 1826. 8vo. pp. 187.
( Continued from page 122.) HAVING
AVING taken a view of the sources, from whence these documents have issued, we proceed to notice the mode in which they were con
structed. As the great object was to exclude every thing, which might suggest a doubt in the minds of the faithful, the short and simple way was to prohibit, either wholly or until expurgated, all books which were not written by members of the Church of Rome. Thus the second rule of the Council of Trent, after specifically prohibiting the works of Luther, Zuingle, Calvin, and other heresiarchs, adds, that “ other similar ones are altogether forbidden, whatever may be their names, titles, and subjects. And the books of other heretics, which treat professedly upon religion, are totally condemned ; but those which do noi treat upon religion are allowed to be read, after having been examined and approved by Catholic divines, by order of the Bishops and Inquisitors.”*. A prohibitory Index, obviously requires no explanation, being merely a list of authors and books altogether forbidden; but an expurgatory Index affords something more than the mere name imports, or than might be expected by those, who are unaequainted with the artifices of the Romish Church. Here, indeed, we feel that we have some ground to complain of Mr. Mendham. He says, “the exterminating principle, as books are concerned, found a fruitful soil in Spain, as her next Index abundantly proves, being a bulky folio, with the following title-INDEX LIBRORUM PROHIBITORUM ET EXPURGATORUM Bernardi de SANDOVAL et Roxas Cardinalis, Madriti, 1612-1614;" and after giving an account of the prefatory matter, he proceeds to say, “the first or prohibitory, Index, presents nothing to detain us : but the second, the expurgatory, is full of curiosities, had we time to examine them.” Now, we really do not know how much time Mr. Mendham's other avocations might allow, but we will answer for it that his readers would gladly have found time to read, what his good sense and research would have enabled him to write. We might with more propriety say that we have not space to enter on a detail of the curiosities contained in that "bulky folio;" but, as it now lies before us, we cannot help making some extracts from it, for the benefit of such readers as may not have the opportunity of consulting these productions of the Romish Church.
We will consider as the first object, (for such it avowedly—and in the minds of some expurgators, we believe-really was) the extirpation of heresy by the condemnation and erasure of erroneous propositions. And here we may state generally, what Mr. Mendham says of a particular case, which we shall have occasion to notice presently; "it will be observed that the doctrines which are the chief objects of antipathy, are those which express the peculiarly Protestant one of Justification by Faith alone_articulus, said Luther, siantis vel cadentis ecclesiæ.” p. 130. Thus in the Index of St. Athanasius's works, the following propositions are denounced :-"Sequentia deleantur,' 'Ecclesiæ fundamentum est solus Christus’ dele solus,' 'Gratia Christi salvut nos per fidem non per bona opera,' 'Operibus non justificamur.'” Again, in the Index to St. Augustine, “dele ‘Justitia nostra ex fide est,' et, 'quæ sit justitia fidei,' 'Gratia salvamur non operibus,' 'Justus nemo justitia sua.'” To these, as the reader may imagine, we could easily add many more heretical passages from the Index of St. Augustine's works. We say the Index ; because, of course, the heresy lay either there, or in the preface, or the notes, or in something else furnished by the Editor, and was pointed out that the faithful might not be led erroneously to imagine that it existed in the work of the Father. This mode of proceeding, however, was not confined to the works of the Fathers; the Holy Scriptures were not safe from the same indirect attacks. To be sure he who condemned “gratia salvamar non operibus” in the Index of St. Augustine's works, should have cancelled whole pages of that Father's writings, and, to
have been consistent, should have erased from the Vulgate “ Gratia enim estis salvati per fidem : et hoc non ex vobis, Dei enim donum est ; non ex operibus ut nequis glorietur.” Eph. ii. But such a proceeding would have been unseemly, and, therefore, the Index of the Bible was attacked instead of the Bible itself. Mr. Mendham has extracted a very curious list of passages expunged from the Bible of Robert Stephens, to which we refer the reader, and only extract the following :-“Credens Christo non morietur in eternum." What sort of a Church must that be, which, with all the formality of sacred congregations and infallible Bulls, denounces such a proposition as this; and what is blasphemy, if we may thus contradict Him who said, “ Qui credit in me, etiam si mortuus fuerit, vivet : et omnis, qui vivit, et credit in me, non morietur in æternum?
It will be obvious, however, that there was some difficulty in knowing how to deal with the Fathers, because it was impossible to conceal the fact, that the works of some, who bore that venerable name, contained very awkward passages. If indeed, a poor Franciscan made a blunder, it was easily corrected, and without ceremony. Thus when Ferus wrote “ Scias non ob aliud esse debitam quam ex promissione divina,” the expurgator boldly said, “corrige, et lege,” “Scias non sine promissione esse debitam,” nec enim nostra sunt que Deus per nos operatur,” adde et scribe, “nec enim nostra sunt quasi ex nobis quæ Deus per nos operatur,” "non igitur alios fructus profert natura nostra quam eo8” adde et scribe "non igituralios fructus profert natura nostra ex se, ex ea parte, qua corrupta est, quam eos.” In all such cases the Censor did not scruple to make the writer say just the contrary of what he intended.
A good specimen of this is afforded in the article on Drusius, p. 471, "in fine pagin. 100 ubi legitur Docet Theologia non dicere dele non dicere.” Again, in that on Martinus Martinus "puto arti dialecticæ comparari,” dele dialecticæ et repone Sophistice," » « dele dicamus et adde hactemus Origenes : cujus sententia rejicienda est, prout constat ex dictis in hoc ipso capite." But we must not multiply examples, suffice it to say that the Expurgator felt himself at liberty to deal in a simple and summary way with all, who were either decided heretics, or obedient, but inferior, subjects of the Romish See. Those of the former class were generally thrown at once into the prohibitory Index, or if they were so far privileged as to be allowed existence on condition of expurgation, they were treated with little ceremony, as we shall have occasion to shew. With respect to the latter class, we have already seen how they were dealt with when they erred in matters of opinion; and we cannot help adding a specimen of the mode of treating an orthodox ignoramus, who, though full of sound doctrine, was apt to go astray in matters of fact. We have never
been privileged to see the “Consideraciones Sobre los Evangelios de la Quaresme” of F. HERNANDO DE SANTIAGO ; and as the greater part of the five folio pages devoted to the revision of his work are occupied in directing, that certain passages, pointed out by their beginning and end, shall be expunged, we do not gain much acquaintance with the writer, or learn what nine-tenths of his blunders were. But it is very curious to see how the careful censor follows to set him right. We could fancy that we saw him with the Book in his hand and heard him say, “Not Abimelech, my good brother; to be sure the names are much alike though the persons were quite different—you mean Melchisedek; and here, too, where you speak of Pelagians, you mean Socinians; and, just lend me your pencil, I will alter “ Persia” into
So we venture to call the popular preacher who almost broke the Pope's heart by deserting Rome to re-illumine his own countrymen. Perhaps some of the expunged passages may explain how he came to possess that power which his biographer ascribes to him, of raising sudden mirth in his congregation.
Assyria,” and “ Anna the sister of Moses " into “ Miriam,” and “ Tamar his sister” into “ Dinah," and, dear me! it is well I happened to look, here, instead of saying “ books of chivalry" you should say “ books of the Macchabees." Such cases were managed with much ease, and no great discredit, provided the expurgatory Index was kept in the hands of the official censors for whose use it was intended, and did not fall into those of heretics ; but, as we have hinted, there was more difficulty, when the author under revision was one, whom the Church professed to treat with reverence.
In this case, one of three plans was adopted. The first was that already mentioned, by which the faithful were assured that although certain propositions might appear to be in the works of any particular Father, or even in the Bible itself, so plainly as to have misled the editors, yet those propositions were heretical, and, therefore, could not exist in the work itself. The second plan was the notable device of the “fraus hæreticorum,” by which it was assumed that, any passage in an orthodox writer indisputably erroneous, and incapable of being explained away, must have been interpolated by heretics. Speaking of the Index from which we have quoted, Mr. Mendham says, “under Thomas Caietan, we have an instructive specimen of the alteration which these censors allow themselves to make in authors by supposing, or rather asserting, a fraus hæreticorum. Here are two sentences in a work strictly Roman, and printed at Antwerp, altered to a directly opposite meaning without any other proof of fraud than their own affirmation."
The article to which Mr. Mendham refers, (and which was worthy of insertion in his book) is entitled, “In Thomæ Caietani Commenthariis in D. Thomam errores, qui fraude hæreticorum irrepserunt," and stands thus, “dele sed hæc sunt omnino illicita, et non amplectenda, quia sunt pars mali cultus, quæ verba fraude hæreticorum irrepsere ; cum vera auctoris lectio sit et hoc sunt omnino licita et amplectenda quia sunt pars divini cultus. Et paulo inferius post illud ad missam vesperas dele et hæc quoque proculdubio sunt omnino illicita et impia, quæ similiter verba fraude hæreticorum depravata sunt, horum verborum loco et hæc qua que proculdubio sunt omnino licita et sancta. Et cave si quid simile invenias ; timeri enim potest eosdem hæreticos alia hujusmodi suppossuisse." When any thing like this appeared in the works of a cardinal, a fraus hæreticorum might be asserted boldly; but in the case of Laurentius Villavincentius, it is more modestly suggested that perhapst the obnoxious passages have“ been interpolated by heretics."
This method, however, ingenious as it was, could not be made use of when an unfortunate train of
thought ran through a work, or an obnoxious principle lay at the foundation of an argument. In that case a third mode of proceeding was adopted. We shall give a specimen of this in the words of Mr. Mendham. Speaking of the Spanish Index of 1571, edited by B. A. Montanus, he says “the work is full of very curious
• "Quitese Abimelech y pongase Melchisedech," " quitese Pelagianos y pongase hereges que negaron la divinidad de Christo," "donde dize Assur Rey de Persia quitese Persia y pongase Assyria," • Anna hermana de Moysen quitese Anna y pongase Maria," “ Thamar su hermana quitese Thamar y pongase Dina," * Libros de cavallerias quitese cavallerias y pongase los Machabeos."
+ " Lectiones.... hæreticorum fraude forte suppositæ ;' and indeed there was good ground for suspecting that these passages were, if not interpolations, at least relics of heretical writers, to whose works the Spanish Monk was known to be much indebted, while, as far as regards himself, he seems to have been a very sound Romanist, if we may judge from his “Tabulæ Compendiosæ," the only work of his that we are personally acquainted with. Take, for instance, the concise and pithy statement which forms his 5th Division on the Parable of the Supper, in Luke. "Qua eatur ad cænam illam æternam ? per Ecclesiam Catholicam, ea est Ecclesia Romana Pontificia. Ad hanc nos vocant Catholici concionatores, ad Cænam Diaboli vocant Lutherani suos sequaces." and important matter; and perhaps no article better deserves that character than the critique upon BerTRAM's book de corp. et sang. Domini, professing to be communicated by the University of Douay. The good Romanists are almost equally troubled to dismiss or retain him; but, upon the whole, preferring the latter, they exert all their ingenuity to transubstantiate his supposed heterodoxy into orthodoxy; and in the outset divulge a principle of criticism of extreme use to such persons, but of most dangerous publication for them, that it was their custom in judging the ancient Catholics, to hear with many errors, to extenuate, excuse, and often by an ingenious comment to deny (what they affirm) and to fabricate a convenient meaning to them when objected in controversy."" p. 49. Thus then did these good Fathers of Douay screen Bertram from the imputation of heresy. It was indeed kindly done, it was much that they acted on this principle, much more that they avowed it, what a pity then that all was in vain ; and procured the unhappy book, only twelve years of orthodox existence. In 1583, the Spanish Prohibitory Index, published by command of the InquisitorGeneral, and represented by him as “the result of much care and deliberation of the Universities of the Kingdom, and of many learned persons beside,” condemned the book, and proved that notwithstanding the ingenuity and infallibility of the Spanish Index, the Monk of Corby had really been a heretic. Does the reader feel for the Church of Rome which has been obliged to denounce one of its Fathers as a heretic? His pity is wasted, if he will take the assurance of the Jesuit Gretser, no such thing has happened; “ although,” says he, “Bertram be prohibited, I deny that a Father is prohibited. For he is called a Father of the Church who feeds and nourishes it with salutary doctrine;" and he judiciously concludes that Bertram was “not a Father but a stepfather, not a doctor but a seductor."
By such means the writers of the Church of Rome were prevented from committing themselves on points of doctrine, and, as we have observed, especially on that of Justification. We have expressed our willingness to believe that the Church of Rome sincerely desired by these means to extirpate heresy, but many pages of her Index lead to the suspicion that she did not lose sight of the opportunity which was afforded of maintaining and increasing her own influence. If her treatment of the doctrine to which we have already alluded is suspicious, some others which we will mention are still more so. Thus, in regard to the Scriptures; the following passages are expurgated from the Index of St. Athanasius :-" In Indice deleantur sequentia • De Deo extra scripturas non loquendum,! Scriptura sacra sufficit ad veritatis, &c.
Scriptura sacra sufficit ad plenam,' &c. Scriptura sacra ita clara est ut quisque, &c. ' Scripturæ sacræ etiam plebi et magistratibus cognoscenda.” It would be easy, if it were worth while, to multiply extracts which relate to matters obnoxious to the Church of Rome, though we are obliged to do this under much disadvantage ; for where passages of any considerable length are ordered to be expunged, they are indicated by their first and last words with a reference to the page, and it would be an endless labour to hunt for them in any edition except that used by the Expurgator. To this, indeed, we may add, that many of the heretical passages can only be “known from the ends of being, to have been, because time has removed the works which contained them, from the expurgatory Index of Rome, to his own prohibitory list. But where the Index appended to the works of a Father, is the subject of censure,
• Pappus, in his preface to the second edition of Junius's reprint, says, “Tota enim ipsorum expurgandi ratio in eo consistit: ut ne adversus prava Antichristi Romani dogmata, turpemque satellitum ipsius et asseclarum vitam, ullum uspiam testimonium, aut testimonii vestigium supersit.”