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carried it to a still greater excess; for in 1080 POPE GREGORY VII., when URATISLAUS, King of Bohemia, expressed a wish to have the offices of the Church performed in the Slavonian language, haughtily replied, “I will never consent for service to be performed in the Slavonian tongue. It is the will of God that his Word should be hidden, lest it should be despised if read by every one." The first canon by which the Scriptures were forbidden to the laity, was published by the council of Toulouse, held in the year_1229 by the Cardinal of St. Angelo, when the first Courts of Inquisition were also formed: the words of the Canon are, “We forbid the laity to possess any of the books of the Old and New Testament; except, perhaps, some one out of devotion wishes to have the Psalter or Breviary for the divine offices, or the hours of the Blessed Virgin.* But we strictly forbid them having any of these books translated into the vulgar tongue. In 1520, POPE LEO X. condemned LUTHER, and prohibited the reading of his books under pain of excommunication; and the Diet of Worms, in 1521, ordered them to be burned. This Pope was the first who not only excommunicated the authors, but also the readers of what were deemed heretical works. Other Pontiffs followed his example ; but the vague and general manner in which they condemned heretical writings producing confusion, the exact and diligent Inquisitors formed catalogues of such works as came to their knowledge, containing doctrines contrary to their views. The first printed catalogue or Index (as such works have been usually called) of prohibited books, issued from the press at Venice in 1543; but although others of a similar nature were afterwards printed, especially by Philip II. King of Spain, in 1569 and 1571, and POPE PAUL IV. in 1559, no certain rules were formed for these Indexes or Catalogues before the sitting of the Council of Trent, which, lraving appointed a Committee for the purpose of forming an Index of works then considered as heretical, was the cause that General Rules were prescribed concerning it. These received the sanction of the Pope, March 24th, 1564, and are usually prefixed, with the enlargements of succeeding Pontiffs, to all such prohibitory Indexes. Peignot, in his Dictionarre des Livres condamnés au Feu, enumerates above seventy editions of such Catalogues or Indexes printed between the years 1542 and 1759; and several have been published since. In most of them various editions of the Scriptures are forbidden, especially in the vernacular tongues, even though in some instances made by Catholics, and sanctioned by the Pope, as in the prohibition of MARTINI's Italian Testament, printed at Shacklewell near London, in 1813.
At the period of the Reformation from Popery, LUTHER EQcouraged the reading of the Scriptures by all classes, translated
* Prayers, &c. composed for devotional services.in honour of the Virgin Mary. Vol. VII.
them into the German language, and promoted the translation circulation of them among the different nations who received the doctrines taught by the Reformers: even the timid and hesitating, but profoundly learned ERASMUS defended the general reading of them by the illiterate as well as the learned, the ploughman and the weaver as well as the priest and the professor. Printing too, which had been happily discovered about the middle of the fifteenth century, and had consecrated its infant efforts by the publication of a Latin Bible in two volumes folio, betwixt 1450 and 1455, and the magnificent Mentz Psalter in 1457, was called in to aid the dissemination of the Reformed doctrines and the circulation of the Scriptures. Panzer, in his Annales Typographici, enumerates 568 editions of the whole or parts of the Scriptures printed during the years 1500 to 1536 inclusive; a number probably very far below the truth, since he only mentions six editions of the English Scriptures, as printed during that period, whilst Dr. Cotton notices twenty-two editions of the
entire Old or New Testaments or portions of them, besides thirteen or fourteen editions of the Psalms printed in those years. In 1710, CHARLES HILDEBRAND, BARON DE CANSTEIN, formed an establishment at Halle in Saxony, for the express purpose of printing and selling copies of the Scriptures, at a moderate price, in order to secure the more general circulation of the Inspired Writings: in 1805, this valuable institution, usually called, from its beneficent founder, the Canstein Institution, had issued above three millions of copies of the entire Bible or New Testament. An unassuming but important Association was also formed towards the close of the last century, by a few individuals belonging to the Wesleyan Methodist Society in London, for the purpose of gratuitously distributing the Scriptures to the Soldiers on duty in that city and its environs, forming the basis of the present Naval and Military Bible Society. All preceding Institutions of a similar nature have, however, been far exceeded in the extent of their influence, and the magnitude of their operations, by the British and Foreign Bible Society, instituted in 1804, which, aided by its powerful and numerous Auxiliary Societies, seems destined by Providence to become the glorious and blessedly successful means of placing the Sacred Volume in the hands of every individual of the human race, from whatever nation, or kindred, or people, or tongue he may be descended; in whatever clime he may dwell, or whatever language he may use. The following remarks will exemplify its astonishing energy and success :
During the whole of the period which elapsed between the commencement of the Christian era and the Reformation, it does not appear that more than from thirty to forty versions of the Scriptures were made in the various languages and dialects of the world: from the time of the Reformation, to the institution of the British and Foreign Bible Society, the number of translations
had been increased to about seventy : but the Report of this institution, in 1821, states the number of versions made, re-translated; or re-printed by that Society, or the auxiliaries and connexions of the establshment, to be 139, beside several others in different stages of advancement towards completion ; eighty-eight of which had been made since the formation of the Institution, and eight others had been re-translated. It is further worthy of remark, that PEIGNOT, a celebrated French bibliographer, calculated, in 1810, that at that period' there had been from 14,000 to 15,000 editions of the Scriptures printed since the invention of printing, amounting, as he conjectures, to 75,000,000 of copies, which, if correct, would give an average of 203,000 copies annually, dating the era of printing in 1440; a number which is probably excessive, as he supposes every edition to have consisted of 5000 copies. But although this includes the circulation of the Scriptures by every association, in every nation where printing was employed, it is far short of the average number issued from the presses
of the British and Foreign Bible Society, and its connexions, since its establishment in 1804. In 1822 the total issue from the beginning had amounted to 6,056,306 copies, averaging more than 336,450 annually from its commencement: the issue of the year 1822 alone being 610,723 copies.
To such mighty efforts for the dissemination of the Holy Scriptures, the Papal Hierarchy could not be expected to be indifferent: but most assuredly it required a more than common knowledge of the genius and unaltered character of the Romish Church, not to be astonished at hearing the thunders of the Vatican rolling with repeated peals the most tremendous threatenings against the Bible Societies, in the face of Europe, in order to suppress them whereever the Papal denunciations could be enforced. The restrictive policy of the Greek Church, so similar, in many respects, to that of Rome, had began to yield to more enlightened views, and to the influence of the politic and energetic EMPEROR ALEXANDER, who had not only patronized Bible Societies in his dominions, but had consented to a translation of the Scriptures into the modern Russ; the old or Slavonian version, made in the ninth century, having become obsolete and unintelligible to the common people. And although by an old ecclesiastical law of the Russian Church, which even the Emperor is said to have no power to alter, “No Heathen, under Russian sway, shall be converted to Christianity and baptized, but by the Russian Greek Clergy," yet the extraordinary exertions of the Russian Emperor to promote the general diffusion of the Sacred Writings, in which all denominations and all ranks harmoniously united, had marked a new era in the annals of northern history, and exhibited an illustrious example of dignified policy and Christian liberality. Alarmed at the rapid progress of Bible Societies, not only in countries strictly Protestant, but in countries more allied in practice to those immediately
under papal influence, a Brief or Bull* was issued by the Court of Rome against Bible Societies, which astounded the most violent partizans of the Romish Church, and for a season induced the very Catholics themselves to designate it as "a spurious instrument,” and “a forgery of English manufacture !" This Bull was addressed to the Archbishop of Gnezn, Primate of Poland, and was dated Rome, June 29th, 1816. This was succeeded by another to the Archbishop of Mohilow or Mohiloff, on the 3d of September, in the same year. The latter prelate, whose see bad been erected into an archbishopric by Catherine H., had cordially united in the dissemination of the Scriptures; the former was regarded as the special agent of Rome.
The direct object of these Bulls was defeated by the interposition of the Emperor of Russia; but unhappily the influence of them was felt powerfully in other countries, under the governments of Austria and Bavaria. The Austrian Court excluded the good offices of the Bible Societies, not only from the imperial, but also from the hereditary dominions of the House of Austria; and caused an Edict to be issued against such Societies by the Hungarian government, which was seconded by a Declaration of a similar nature, by the Archbishops and Bishops.
In consequence of these public rescripts, three chests, containing upwards of 400 Bohemian Bibles, were forcibly seized, and only delivered up, after a long and vexatious detention, on condition that the individual to whom they had been consigned would engage that they should be exported out of the country, at his own expense; and the Nuremberg Society was suppressed by an order from the Bavarian Court. In the State of Tuscany, the circulation of the Scriptures was suppressed; and at Naples, a number of copies, said to be 500, of the London edition of the Italian Testament, were burned." In every part of the States of Italy," said Dr. PINKERTON, “I have found the civil and ecclesiastical powers united in opposition to the Bible Society."
In 1819, the Prefect of the Congregation de Propaganda at Rome sent a Circular Letter to the Catholic Prelates of Ireland, dated September 18th, warning them against those schools into which the reading of the Bible had been introduced, and which were distinguished as Bible Schools. Another Brief is said to have been issued to the same Prelates, dated, “From the palace of the Propayonda Fide, Rome, 14th of August, 1820." It designates the schools in which Bibles are used, as “ Schools of a Bible Society, which have been set up in almost every part of Ireland; upholden with the resources and by the patronage of the higher anti-Catholic gentry,"_"who make use of Bibles rendered into English by that Bible Society, and pregnant with errors ;” and reminds the Prelates, that "it is indispensably re
* The official mandates or orders issued by the Pope, have received this name from the bulla, or seal affixed to them.
quisite to make every possible effort, in order to recall the useful sort from the pernicious schools; and to admonish the parents, that they are not, by any means, to suffer their offspring to be led into error;" advising “the setting up of Catholic Sehools, wherein to educate the poor and the peasanty in a course of moral instruction and reputable learning.
But, that the reader may have the opportunity of judging of the spirit of Popery as exhibited in these important documents, they are here subjoined (except the last-mentioned, which the extracts already given have rendered unnecessary,) from the reading of which every true Protestant, we conceive, will rise with sincere thankfulness for the power to possess, and the privilege to read, his Bible in his native tongue.
* The authorities upon which the writer has chiefly depended are, the “ Antibiblion;" BLAIR'S “ Letters on the Revival of Popery;" OWEN'S " History of the British and Foreign Bible Society ;" “ Reports of the British and Foreign Bible Society;" PEIGNOT, “ Dictionnarre des Livres condamnes an, Feu;” the “Literary Panorama ;" the “ Evangelical,” “ Congregational,” and “ Baptist Magazines ;" and the authors, referred to in “Illustrations of Biblical Literature.”
(To be Continued.)
SOCIETY FOR THE PREVENTION OF PAUPERISM. Report of a Committee appointed by the Society for the prevention of Pauperism, in the city of New York, on the expediency of erecting an Institution for the reformation of juvenile delinquents.
The object of this Report is, to shew the expediency and necessity of erecting a “House of Refuge” for young delinquents, of both sexes, with a view, if possible, to save them from future crimes, and from their inseparable consequence, future misery. We give the following extracts from this
able report, with a hope that we may aid, in some small degree, those humane individuals who have associated for this purpose, in accomplishing so important and benevolent an object. The Report commences by stating the gradual progress of human amelioration, through the intervention of knowledge and Christian philanthropy, and proceeds to shew, that, notwithstanding the improvements introduced into our prison discipline, there still remain defects which ought to be remedied.
“Among the evils,” says the Report, “and abuses which obstruct the operation of this system, and most powerfully counteract the reformatory influence of imprisonment, is the want of classification among prisoners, the indiscriminate assemblage of persons of all ages and degrees of guilt, and the inevitably corrupting tendency of such an intercourse. The very imperfect structure and the crowded state of our prisons, absolutely forbid the application of an adequate remedy for this deplorable evil. So notorious is the demoralizing nature of some of those insti