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Francisci Vatabli, Salmanticæ, an. 1584, nisi corrigantur."37
This republication of what was called Vatablus's Bible, was not, however, designed for general perusal, for both it, and the magnificent Polyglott of Antwerp, were too expensive, and too learned, to be purchased or read by the mass of the people, or the major part of the members of the monastic fraternities; nor would the zealous attachment of Philip II. to the inhibitory practices of the Catholic hierarchy, have permitted them to be indiscriminately circulated. The views of Philip, relative to freedom of investigation, were strongly marked, by ordering a list of prohibited books to be printed, for the use of the inquisitors and censors of books in his Belgic dominions, with the title, “Index ExPVRGATORIVS LIBRORUM QUI HOC SÆCULO PRODIERUNT, vel doctrinæ non sanæ erroribus inspersis, vel inutilis et offensivæ maledicentiæ fellibus permixtis, iuxta sacri Concilii Tridentini decretum: Philippi II. Regis Catholici iussu et auctoritate, atq; Albani Ducis consilio ac ministerio in Belgia concinnatus; anno MDLXXI.” Printed at Antwerp, by Christopher Plantin. This work was edited by Arias Montanus, who prefixed a preface to it, which he piously concludes, by entreating all his readers “to pray earnestly, that the most holy and simple teacher, the Spirit Truth, may be sent into the world, that all may taste and prove the same thing." The following selections from the erasures ordered to be made in the Index to St. Chrysostom's works, printed by Frobenius, will serve as a specimen of the work, and of the nature of the doctrines it censures. “Apostolorum doctrina facilis omnibusq; pervia.
Tom. 4.” “The doctrine of the Apostles is easy and intelligible
(37) Clement, Bibliotheque Curieuse, IV. pp. 149–154.
Le Long, edit. Masch, pt. ii. vol. III. cap. iii. sec. 1, pp. 446—448
“Fide sola jnstificari.” Tom. 4.
Dei pendet.” Tom. 4.
on our merit. “Salutem ex sola gratia, non ex operibus, neq; ex
lege esse.” Tom. 4. Salvation is of grace alone, not of works, nor of the
law. “Scripturarum lectio omnibus necessaria." Tom. 2. The reading of the Scriptures is necessary for all. “Scripturas legere omnibus etiam mundanis præ
ceptum.” Tom. 4. The Scriptures are commanded to be read by all
men, even by laymen. “Verbis Dei addere aut detrahere inde qui audet,
quantum incurrat arrogantiæ malum.” Tom. 2. He who adds to, or takes from the Word of God, so
far incurs the sin of arrogance. “Post vitam hanc juvare aut liberare poterit nihil.”
Tom. 5. Nothing can bind or loose after this life. This Index Erpurgatorius was printed, not for general publication, but merely to be distributed among those who were appointed to superintend the censure and correction of books, and was accompanied with a strict charge of secrecy to those who received copies of it, who were on no account to communicate them to any other persons. A copy of this work having fallen into the hands of some of the friends of the Reformation, it was reprinted by Lazarus Zetznerus, 1599, 12mo, with prefaces by Dr. John Pappus, a divine of Strasburg, and Francis Junius; to which Dr. Pappus added a “Collation" of the “Censures," on the“Glosses of the Canon Law,” by Pope Pius V. in 1572, and Pope Gregory XIII., in 1580.88 (38) Index Expurg. Pp. 23-28. edit. Lazar. Zetzner. 1599,
The reluctance of the sovereigns and ecclesiastical authorities of Spain, to permit the dissemination of the Scriptures, produced a correspondent indifference to the reading of the Bible, both among the monastic orders, and the regular clergy, and prevented the suppression of those theatrical performances in the churches wbich bad so long disgraced the clerical profession, and profaned the temples of God. By a canon of the council of Valentia, held in 1565, we find, that the public reading of the Scriptures had fallen into such general neglect, that it was deemed necessary to appoint readers to two collegiate churches, and six of the principal monasteries in that province, that they might not be entirely laid aside; but no injunc tions are given as to the numerous churches and convents of inferior note. Yet the same council forbade any one to print, sell, or possess prohibited books, under pain of excommunication, and loss of the books, (which were to be publicly burnt,) for the first offence; and for the second, to be treated as suspected of heresy. It also prohibited the printing of any works, especially those on sacred subjects, without the prior examination and approbation of the ordinary, or his delegate, whose approbation or licence was to be placed at the head of the work. The council of Toledo, held the same year, (1565,) ordained, “That the bishops should have the Holy Scriptures, or some other ecclesiastical book, read to them at table, during their repasts; and that their table should be frugally not sumptuously furnished.” It also enjoined, “That the prebends, or others in cathedral or collegiate churches, to wliom the interpretation of Scripture was committed, should adapt their instructions to the capacities of their hearers.” The same council forbade "the annual election of the mock, or boy-bishop, but allowed theatrical spectacles to be exhibited in the churches, except during the time of divine service, or solemn processions,” enjoining the bishops to suffer no “plays, or other exhibitions, but those which might conduce to piety, and dissuade from immorality.” “Decernit etenim sancta Synodus, non alias ludos, non alia spectacula, permittenda ab Episcopos fore, quam quæ ad pietatem spectantium animos movere, et a pravis moribus deterrere possint.” 39
The New Testament in the ancient Spanish tongue, which continued to be spoken in some of the provinces of Spain, and is usually called the CantaBRIAN, or Basque, was published by JOHN DE LICARRAGUE, a minister of the reformed church, and a native of the province of Bearn, at the expense, and by the authority of Jane d'Albret, queen of Navarre, to whom it is dedicated in French. It was printed at Rochelle, by Peter Haultin, 1571, in 8vo. Nic. Antonio says, that he had seen an anonymous Cantabrian translation of the New TestaMENT, published in 1572, with the title “Jesus Christ gure Jaunaren Testamentu berria,” preserved in the library
of Cardinal Barberini, at Rome; but as the title is the same, it was probably the translation executed by John de Licarrague.co
The history of the foreigo possessions of Spain and Portugal, presents us with some facts relative to the Scriptures, worthy of being noticed, though some of them rather regard the restriction, than the circulation of the Word of God. The conquest of Mexico by the Spaniards under the barbarous Ferdinando Cortes, at the beginning of the sixteenth century, was followed by zealous endeavours to promote the acceptance of the Catholic religion by the Mexicans; but the cruelties exercised by the conquerors, and detailed so pathetically by the benevolent Bartolomeo de las Casas, in his Relacion de la destruycion de lus
(39) Collectio Max. Coocil. Hispan, IV. pp. 40–45. 61.
Nic. Antonio, Biblioth, Hisp. II. p. 274.
Indias, Sevilla, 1552, were but little calculated to impress the conquered inhabitants of the empire of Montezuma, with a favourable idea of the religion professed by the haughty and cruel Spaniards. Towards the close of the century, certain of the Catholic ecclesiastics and missionaries adopted a wiser plan, than what had been pursued by their predecessors, by translating some parts of the Scriptures into the language of the country. BENEDICT FERDINAND, or FERNANDEZ, a Spaniard, of the order of St. Dominic, and vicar of Mixteca, in New Spain, translated the Epistles and Gospels into the dialect of that province: he also published a work on the “Christian Doctrine,” in the Mixtican tongue, printed in the city of Mexico, 1568, 4to." *
DIDACUS DE S. MARIA, another Dominican, and vicar of the province of Mexico, who died in 1579, was the author of a translation of the EPISTLES and Gospels into the Mexican tongue, or general language of the country. The Proverbs OF SOLOMON, and other fragments of the holy Scriptures, were translated into the Merican language, by Louis RODRIGUEZ, a Spanish Franciscan friar; and the Epistles and Gospels as appointed to be read for the whole year, were translated into the idiom of the Western Indians, by ARNOLD A BASACCIO, a French Franciscan friar; but the dates of these latter translations have not been ascertained.43
(41) Nic. Antonio, Biblioth. Hisp. I. p. 164.
Le Long, I. p. 448. * The title of this latter work is thus given by Antonio, Doctrina CHRISTIANA en lengua Mixteca. Mexici, 1568, 4to.—Thomas, in his History of Printing in America, states the earliest known production of the Mexican press, to be a Spanish and Mexican Dictionary, compiled by Alonso de Molina, a Franciscan friar, and printed in the city of Mexico, by Anton. Spinosa, 1571, fol. having been two years in the press. The “Doctrina Christiana,” of Bened. Fernandez, was, however, a prior production of the American press, and therefore seems to be the first specimen of Mexican printing with which we are acquainted. See Horne's Introduction to Bibliography, I. pp. 206, 207, (42) Le Long, I. p. 448, and Index Auctor.