[ocr errors]

Rev. H, W, POOFF.





NOVAM hanc BIBLIE SACRE Anglicam Editionem, typis Richardi Cross licentiâ nostrâ impressam, cum Vulgata Clementina, nec non Duacena Veteris Testamenti, Anni 1609, Novi Testamenti Rhemensi, Anni 1582; et Londinensi Veteris ac Novi Testamenti R Dni Challenor, Episcopi Deborensis, Anni 1752; Anglicis jam approbatis versionibus, à R. D. Bernardo Mac Mahon, diligenter jussu nostro collatam, auctoritate nostra approbamus; eamdemque, debitis servatis conditionibus, a Fidelibus cum fructu legi posse declaramus. Datum Dublinii, die 21 Septembris, 1791.

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors]


THE Scriptures, in which are contained the revealed Mysteries of Divine Faith, are undoubtedly the most excellent of all writings; they were written by men divinely inspired, and are not the Words of men, but the Word of God, which can save our souls, 1 Thess. ii. 13. and James i. 21; but then they ought to be read, even by the leamed, with the spirit of humility, and with a fear of mistaking the true sense, as many have done. This we learn from the Scripture itself; where St. Peter says, that in the Epistles of St. Paul there are some things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures, to their own perdition. 2 Peter iii. 16.

To prevent and remedy this abuse, and to guard against error, it was judged necessary to forbid the reading of the Scriptures in the vulgar languages, without the advice and permission of the Pastors and spiritual Guides whom God has appointed to govern his Church, Acts xx. 28. Christ himself declaring: He that will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and the publican. Matt. xviii. 16. Nor is this due submission to the Catholic Church (The pillar and ground of truth, 1 Tim. iii. 15.) to be understood of the ignorant and unlearned only, but also of men accomplished in all kind of learning. The ignorant fall into errors for want of knowledge, and the learned through pride and selfsufficiency.

Therefore let every reader of the Sacred Writings, who pretends to be a competent judge of the sense, and of the truths revealed in them, reflect on the words, which he finds, in Isaias, chap. lv. 8, 9. My thoughts are not as your thoughts, neither are your ways, my ways, saith the Lord; for as the heatens are exalted above the earth, even so are my ways exalted above your ways, and my thoughts above your thoughts. How then shall any one, by his private reason, pretend to judge, to know, to demonstrate, the incomprehensible and unsearchable ways of God!

The following Letter of His Holiness Pius THE SIXTH, to the Most Rev. ANTHONY MARTINI, NOW Archbishop of Florence, on his Translation of the Holy Bible into Italian, shews the benefit which the faithful may reap from their having the Holy Scriptures in the Vulgar Tongue.


BELOVED SON, Health and Apostolical Benediction.

AT a time that a vast number of bad books, which most grossly attack the Catholic Religion, are circulated, even among the unlearned, to the great destruction of souls, you judge exceedingly well, that the faithful should be excited to the reading of the Holy Scriptures: For these are the most abundant sources which ought to be left open to every one, to draw from them purity of morals and of doctrine, to eradicate the errors which are so widely disseminated in those corrupt times: This you have seasonably effected, as you declare, by publishing the Sacred Writings in the language of your country, suitable to every one's capacity; especially when you show and set forth, that you have added explanatory notes, which being extracted from the Holy Fathers, preclude every possible danger of abuse: Thus you have not swerved either from the laws of the Congregation of the Index, or from the Constitution published on this subject by BENEDICT XIV. that immortal Pope, our predecessor in the Pontificate, and formerly when We held a place near his person, our excellent Master in Ecclesiastical learning; circumstances which We mention as honourable to Us. We therefore applaud your eminent learning, joined with your extraordinary piety, and We return you our due acknowledgment for the books which you have transmitted to Us, and which, when convenient, We will read over. In the mean time as a token of our Pontifical benevolence, receive our Apostolical benediction, which to you, beloved Son, We very affectionately impart. Given at Rome, on the Calends of April, 1778, the fourth year of our Pontificate.

To our Beloved Son,

Anthony Martini, at Turin.

PHILIP BUONAMICI, Latin Secretary.


A PRAYER BEFORE THE READING OF ANY PART OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURE. COME, O Holy Spirit, fill the hearts and minds of thy faithful servants, and inflame them with the fire of thy divine love.


O GOD, who by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, didst instruct the hearts of thy faithful servants; grant us in the same Spirit, to discern what is right, and enjoy his comfort for ever: Through our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth one God, with thee and the same Spirit, world without end. Amen.


THE holy Oecumenick and general Council of Trent, in the Holy Ghost lawfully assembled,

the three aforesaid Legates of the Apostolic See presiding therein, having always this in view, that

all errors being taken away, the purity of the Gospel should be preserved in the Church; that Gos-

pel, before promised by the Prophets in the Holy Scriptures, our Lord JESUS CHRIST, the Son

of God, first promulgated with his own mouth; and afterwards commanded his Apostles to preach

the same to all † nations, as the source of every saving truth, and moral discipline: and the Synod

clearly seeing that this truth and discipline is contained in the Written Word, and in the unwritten

Traditions, which the Apostles received from the mouth of Christ himself, or from the ‡ Apostles

themselves, being the dictate of the Holy Ghost to them, and delivered as it were from hand to

hand, came down to us: following the examples of the Orthodox Fathers, with due veneration

and piety receiving all the books as well of the Old as of the New Testament, seeing that God is

the immediate Author of both, and also receiving these Traditions, appertaining to Faith and Mo-

rals, as coming from the mouth of Christ, or dictated by the Holy Ghost, and held in the Catholic

Church by a continued succession. The Synod, therefore, thought proper to annex to this decree

a catalogue of the Sacred Books, lest any doubt might arise concerning those that were approved

of. They are the following: Of the Old Testament, the five books of Moses, that is, Genesis,

Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy; Josue, Judges, Ruth, the four books of Kings, two

of Paralipomenon, first and second of Esdras, which is called Nehemias, Tobias, Judith, Esther,

Job, the Psalter of David, in number one hundred and fifty Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the

Canticle of Canticles, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Isaias, Jeremias, with Baruch, Ezechiel, Daniel,

the twelve minor Prophets, that is, Csee, Joel, Amos, Abdias, Jonas, Micheas, Nahum, Habacuc,

Sophonias, Aggeus, Zacharias, Malachias, two books of the Machabees, first and second. Of the

New Testament, four Gospels, according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, The Acts of the

Apostles written by Luke the Evangelist: the fourteen Epistles of Paul the Apostle: to the Ro-

mans, two to the Corinthians, to the Galatians, to the Ephesians, to the Philippians, to the Colos-

sians, two to the Thessalonians, two to Timothy, to Titus, to Philemon, to the Hebrews: two

Epistles of Peter the Apostle, three of John the Apostle, one of James the Apostle, one of Jude

the Apostle, and the Apocalypse of John the Apostle. Now if any one, reading over these books

in all their parts, as they are usually read in the Catholic Church, and being in the Latin Vulgat

Edition, does not hold them for Sacred and Canonical, and knowing the aforesaid traditions, does

industriously contemn them, let him be Anathema.

* Jeremias, chap. xxxi. ver. 33, † Mark, chap. xvi. ver. 15. 2 Thessalonians, chap. ii. ver. 14.


[blocks in formation]
« ElőzőTovább »