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the observation of the Church-Laws ? where less care or conscience of the Commandments of God? To taste flesh on a Friday, where suspicion might fasten, were a matter for the Inquisition; whereas, on the other side, the Sunday is one of their greatest market-days.—To conclude; never State, never Government in the world, so strangely compacted of infinite contrarieties, all tending to entertain the several humours of all men, and to work what kind of effects soever they shall desire; where rigour and remissness, cruelty and lenity, are so combined, that, with neglect of the Church, to stir aught, is a sin unpardonable; whereas, with duty towards the Church, and by intercession for her allowance, with respective attendance of her pleasure, no law almost of God or nature so sacred, which one way or other they find not means to dispense with, or at leastwise permit the breach of by connivance and without disturbance.* '
* Pp. 34–37. It has been thought best to modernize the spelling, and rectify, or at least improve, the punctuation.
It will serve materially to illustrate and confirm the preceding detail and discussion, if we add some notice of, and extracts from, the most recent official declarations of the Roman See, relative to the Holy Scriptures—the most important object of the damnatory works which have been examined, -and the general permission to read them in the vernacular languages, into which they have been translated. It will hence be conjectured with tolerable certainty, of what value are the apparent concessions of Benedict XIV. in the Roman Index, as noticed p. 241, and of the latest Spanish Index, given p. 254. The conditions certainly are sufficiently strict to keep the permission under all the control which could be desired. And in what way and degree that control has been actually exercised will clearly appear from the documents to be partially produced.
The first are two Papal Briefs, issued by the late pope, Pius VII.; the first to Ignatius, Archbishop of GNEZN, Primate of Poland, dated June 29, 1816; the other to STANISLAUS, Archbishop of MohileFF (or Mohilow), in Russia, dated Sept. 3, 1816; both from Rome. They are to be read in an English translation, which I use, in Mr. Blair's Letters on the Revival of Popery, Letter xx. It may be observed generally, that they are both expressly directed against the Bible Societies extending themselves at the time in those respective countries.
The first contains the following sentences :—We have been truly shocked at this most crafty device by which the very foundations of religion are undermined'-as a remedy to this “pestilence,' this defilement of the faith, most dangerous to souls,' 'we again and again exhort you, that whatever you can achieve by power, provide for by counsel, or effect by authority, you will daily execute with the utmost earnestness.' It then repeats the Rules of the Tridentine Index, No. II., III., IV., and the Decree of the Congregation of the Index published by Benedict XIV., and already referred to. It is irksome to proceed with the senseless declamation of this document, which, as ever, evades all precision and definition, and flounders in vague and convenient generalities.
The other Brief, which is longer, is so much to the same purpose and in the same style, that the reader, with hardly any other assistance, may pretty correctly imagine its substance; and he will, therefore, hardly regret the want of any further notice of it; although it is certainly desirable that such things should be preserved somewhere. . But the document to which we now proceed is of far greater solemnity and importance, being one and the first of the late pope, LEO XII.-his Encyclical LETTER, as it is called, published, according to established custom, on his accession to the pontificate. The extracts which will be given are taken from the edition under sanction of the papal hierarchy in Ireland, accompanied
by their PASTORAL INSTRUCTIONS, and printed and published in Dublin, by Richard Coyne, 1821. It is addressed to the Roman Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops, and Bishops, and contains the following passages :
• But how numerous and how severe are the contests, which have arisen, and arise almost daily, against the Catholic Religion in these our times! Who, thinking on them, and revolving them in his mind, can refrain from tears!'
After some remarks about spark,' 'flame,' and • leaven,' the elevated writer adds, But wherefore these remarks ? A certain sect, not unknown certainly to you, usurping to itself undeservedly the name of Philosophy, has raked from the ashes disorderly crowds of almost every error.
This sect, exhibiting the meek appearance of piety and liberality, professes Latitudinarianism or Indifferentism,' &c. &c. And now let the reader carefully notice the infamous change endeavoured to be passed upon him, by classing under this head the subject following. You are aware, Venerable Brethren, that a certain Society, commonly called the Bible Society, strolls with effrontery throughout the world ; which Society, contemning the traditions of the holy fathers, and contrary to the well-known decree of the Council of Trent *, labours with all its might, and by every means to translate-or rather to pervert—the Holy Bible, into the vulgar languages of every nation; from which proceeding it is greatly to be feared, that what is ascertained to have happened as to some passages, may
• Sess. 4 de Ed. et usu Sac. Lib.