French translation of a portion was made by order of the emperor; and it was not till 1846 that the last of the plundered documents were returned to the Vatican. In 1849, the Roman archives were again pillaged; and seventy folio volumes of the Inquisition are at present in the library of Trinity College, Dublin. Nothing, however, has ever been discovered which could bring discredit upon the proceedings of the tribunal.

"The publicity given to these Roman records has had the good result of disposing of the old myth of the woes of starry Galileo. An immense amount has been written on the Galileo trial within the last thirty years; and any one who will take the trouble to do a little reading will speedily convince himself that the astronomer never suffered the torture, and that the E pur si muove is, as has been pithily said, 'un de ces mots de circonstance inventés après coup. All that the Inquisition ever did was to tell the man of science to stick to his science, and leave the church to take care of the interpretation of Scripture. To say that the Catholic Church ever committed itself against the Copernican systemor any other system of astronomy, is rodomontade. Copernicus himself was a Catholic priest, for many years an honored professor in the city of Rome itself, and, in 1553, dedicated his great work, De Revolutionibus, to the head of the church, Pope Paul III.

"The third remark is one which I have hesitated to make, but which I trust no generous friend will judge unfairly. It is that for a Protestant to talk loudly about toleration, and to arraign the church of his forefathers on a charge of persecution, is, on the whole, the most naïve piece of effrontery in the annals of controversy.” (Pp. 97–8–9.)

Our first remark is, that the admission of Dr. Stone that the Pope "authorized” the Spanish Inquisition is fatal to his infallibility—the only point in question. Again: the issue with Galileo was not primarily whether he should stick to his science and leave to the church the interpretation of Scripture. This mode of twisting language is simply a desperate expedient to disguise the real issue. It was simply and purely a question whether the sun is stationary and the earth moves. Galileo affirmed, Pope and cardinals objected. Galileo was right, they were wrong. The question is not how far their criminality may be mitigated by their circumstances and surroundings. But what does it prove touching Papal infallibility? If Galileo did not "suffer the torture,” it would require equal boldness and blindness to pretend that he did not suffer dreadful tortures at the hands of the Romish hierarchy, with Papal sanction, for declaring the truth. However we may palliate this action on their part, what does it prove about their infallibility ?

Finally, it is irrelevant in regard to this issue to retort upon

[ocr errors]

Protestants their alleged persecutions in former ages. Suppose they were at fault in the inatter, does this justify Papal persecution? Or does it neutralize the conclusive evidence they furnish of Papal fallibility ?

Let us next see how our author deals with another great case which annihilates Papal infallibility.

"Pope Honorius was condemned by the Fathers of the Sixth General Council, together with Sergius, Cyrus, Pyrthus, and other Monothelite heretics. When we have said this, we have exhausted all that history can furnish against the infallibility of St. Peter's chair. Does it prove any thing against that infallibility ? Let us see. The Head of the Church is infallible when, speaking as the Head of the Church, he gives a decision mpon a matter of faith. Well, Sergius, with true Greek subtlety, endeavored to entrap Honor into a heretical definition. Honorius declined to give any definition at all. Here are his words: Non nos OPORTET UNAM VEL DUAS OPERATIONES DEFINIENTES PREDICARE. It is not necessary to urge that the letters of Honorius were of a private and, as we should say, confidential character; that they were never made public until after his death; that they show, to any one who will take the trouble of reading them, that their author was no Monothelite, but was deceived by the adroit sentences of his Eastern correspondent, supposing him to speak, not of a Divine and a human will, but of two contrary wills of the spirit and of the flesh-all these are important considerations; but they are superfluous. It is enough that the Pope refused to exercise liis apostolic prerogative. He gave no erroneous decision, for he decided nothing. But the Council condemned him. Certainly; and why? Utpote qui eos [Sergium et rel.] in his [erroribus] sequutus est. Not because he defined error, but because he allowed the errors of others. But this construction of the intention of the Council might be disputed. Let it pass, then; it also is superfluous. The Council is ecumenical only in so far as it was confirmed by the Holy See. It is by Pope Leo's letter of confirmation, therefore, that we must judge of the character of the condemnation passed upon his predecessor. Here, then, we have the famous Papal censure upon a Pope: "We anathematize the inventors of the new dogma'(then follow the names), 'and also Honorius, who did not strive with energy to maintain the purity of this apostolic church, by the teaching of the tradition of the Apostles, but who permitted that this church without spot (immaculatam) should become stained by profane treason.' Or, as it is expressed in the letter to the bishops of Spain, 'Honorius, who, failing in the duty of his apostolical authority, instead of extinguishing the flame of heresy, fomented it by neglect.' Honorius was frightened at the bare thought of a new Eastern heresy, and instead of investigating and condemning, he strove to arrest the evil by hushing it. In a word, he erred, not in faith, but in judgment; he was condemned, not for heresy, but for negligence; non erravit definiendo, sed tacendo, et omittendo quod definienduin fuerat.” (Pp. 333-4-5.)

According to this, Papal infallibility consists : 1. With declaring it not needful or obligatory to define the truth

against heresy when that heresy is asserting itself in, and dividing the church. 2. With being“ deceived” by the adroit sentences of an heresiarch. 3. With being condemned by an ecumenical council, or what would be ecumenical, if one could be such, when not approved by the Pope it condemns, for following (sequutus est) the condemned heresy. 4. With requiring the Latin verb sequor to be translated “allowed” instead of “followed” 5. With being anathematized by a subsequent Pope for not“ striving with energy to maintain the purity of the apostolic church," and permitting it to “ become stained with profane treason!” 6. With erring, “not in faith but in judgment.” If Dr. Stone finds such Papal infallibility a safer guide than the “sure word of prophecy” the “incorruptible word of God which liveth and abideth forever," we deplore his choice, but cannot follow him. We will hear the voice of the true Head of the Church. But such a stranger we dare not follow. Such is the wretched abortion brought forth by this mountainous labor to show us an infallible guide to salvation better than His Word who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Dr. Stone says, “no council is ecumenical unless confirmed by the Holy See.” Archbishop Purcell, however, in a lecture on the Vatican Council, reported in the New York Tribune, endeavoring to soften to his audience this dogma of Papal infallibility, to which he had been bitterly opposed, says that in the deliberations of the Council


The question was also raised by the cardinal: “What is to be done with the Pope if he becomes a heretic? It was answered that there was never such an example; but in such a case a council of bishops could depose him for heresy; for, from the moment he becomes a heretic he is not the head, nor even a member of the church The church would not be for a moment obliged to listen to him when he begins to teach a doctrine which the church knows to be false, and he would cease to be a Pope, being deposed by God himself. If a Pope, for instance, were to say that a belief in God is false, you would not be obliged to believe him; nor if he were to deny the rest of the creed, 'I believe in Christ,' etc. The supposition is injurious to the Holy Father in the very idea, but it serves to show you the fulness with which the subject was considered. Ample tho ght was given to every possibility. If he denies any dogma of the Church held by every true believer, he is no more Pope than either you or I; so in this respect this dogma of infallibility amounts to nothing as an article of temporal government or as a cover for heresy."

If this be so, a council has power to depose an heretical Pope, whether indorsed by him as ecumenical, or indorsed by him at all, or not. “The church would not be obliged to listen to him when he begins to teach a doctrine which the church knows to be false." Indeed! And how is the church to know it false, unless in the exercise of its own judgment in the light of reason, Scripture, and the Holy Ghost? Is not the Pope, then, like all others, to be judged by tests and standards outside of himself, and to be followed only so far as he follow's Christ in his Word ?

His Grace says he further objected to this dogma in the Council in the following conclusive manner, nor does it appear that any attempt was made to solve his difficulty, nor do we think it is capable of solution.

“Well, when I got to that part of my discourse I told the cardinals in Council that there was another weightier objection which I wished to have removed before I gave my assent to that dogma, and that was, how we are to understand the claims of Boniface VIII., who said: “Two swords are given me by God, a spiritual and a temporal one ? I sought in the Dominican library of Minerva, in Rome, to refresh my memory, and to see on what grounds they claimed the right of controlling temporal affairs, of deposing Henry VIII., or Elizabeth, or any other temporal prince, or absolving their vassals from their oath of allegi. ance, if their sovereigos did not respect the act of excommunication by the church. I could not find any text of authority for that in the Bible; hence I wanted the Council to say whether they asserted a right of that kind, or assumed it as a right. The entire Council with one voice cried out: "Those Popes had no authority, uo commission from God, to pretend to any such power.'”

[ocr errors]

Indeed, the dogma of the Vatican Council declaring the Roman Pontiff infallible, and denouncing the curse upon all who deny it, revolts not only the Protestant, but the best part of the Romish Church itself. Tidings come from various quarters that this opposition to it, maintained by an influential minority of the Vatican Council itself, is now organizing and voicing itself ainong important portions of the Romish laity and hierarchy. May God speed their effort and maintain his cause.


Manual of Historico-Critical Introduction to the Canonical Scriptures of

the Old Testament. By Karl Freidrich Keil. Translated from the Second Edition, with Supplementary notes from Bleek and others, by George C. M. Douglas, D. D., Professor of Hebrew and Old Testament Exegesis in the Free Church College, Glasgow. Vol. II., 8vo, 435 pp. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark. New York: Scribner,

Welford & Co. An Introduction to the New Testament. By Friedrich Bleek. Edited

by Johannes Friedrich Bleek. Translated from the German of the Second Edition, by the Rev. William Urwick. Vol. II., 8vo, 426 pp.

Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark. New York: Scribner, Welford & Co. The introductions of Keil and Bleek have, from the date of their appearance, been esteemed the best and most serviceable manuals of the kind in Germany, where criticism and exegesis are prosecuted with a thoroughness, acuteness, and learned research unknown elsewhere. These works, which are indispensable to one who would acquaint himself with the latest and best results of Scriptural investigations, are now, by the publication of their second volumes, made entirely accessible to English readers.

The respective merits of these introductions, and the general character of the translations, were sufficiently stated in our notice of the preceding volumes. Keil and Bleek have both proceeded upon the idea which, since Reuss, has been the prevailing one in Germany, of regarding introduction under the aspect of the literary history of the Bible. This gives to the subject a unity and scientific precision which it did not possess before, though it still leaves the true position of some important topics in doubt. With some minor diversities of arrangement, however, the plan pursued by both is the same. One of the most striking and obvious results of this method is the inversion of the order pursued in all the old introductions, by placing the cial before the general portion of the subject. The questions of the canon and the text, the manuscripts, versions, etc., are postponed until the origin and character of each individual book has first been investigated. This may accord better with the historical order, but it is, in our judgment, of doubtful advantage in a text-book for theological classes.

In regard to some of the books of the New Testament, Bleek arrives at con. clusions differing from the belief now currently entertained, though he does not, except in a single instance, pass beyond the limit of the doubts allowed in the early church, and mentioned, if not entertained, by some of the ablest and soundest of the fathers. He is disposed, with Eusebius, to discriminate among the books of the canon, and, while not venturing to exclude any from it that are now received, and still less inclined to admit any that are now excluded, he is of opinion that those books regarding whose canonicity no doubt has ever been expressed, and which have from the beginning been received without a discord.

« ElőzőTovább »