« PreviousContinue »
calamity, (of the taking of Constantinople,) he would rather have chosen to have died a thousand times ;” and adds “It is still free unto the Turk to take the most handsome of the Christian children, and circumcise and bring them in their cloisters to be seminaries of his Janizaries, or guard, and of his soldiers, so that they hear not of Christ, nor parents ; yet many of these Janizaries carry under their arm-pits a New Testament in Greek or Arabic.” 58
The Jews of Constantinople printed the Book of JOB in HEBREW, with a translation into the Romaic or vulgar Greek, in 1576, 4to. The translator was R. Moses ben ELIAS POBIAN, who in the preface says, that the reason of his undertaking the translation was the extreme ignoand indolence of many of the Jewish doctors, who were incapable of properly instructing their disciples ; and that he had translated not only the Book of Job, but also the Book of PROVERBS. The preface likewise includes a privilege for the exclusive right of printing the work for 10 years, given by the prince or head of the school, under pain of triple excommunication. The work was printed in the house of Joseph Jabets, in Constantinople."
(53) Petrie's Compendious History of the Catholick Church, pt. iii.
p. 401. Hague, 1662, fol. (54) Le Long, I. cap. ii. pp. 79, 80.
Theological Faculty of Paris. _Inhibitory Edicts. French
Translators. Claude d' Espence. Rhemish Version. Canons of Synods of the Reformed Church. Genevan Version. Castalio's Translation. Number of Editions of French Bibles and Testaments. Grison New Testament. Progress of Biblical knowledge in England. English Versions. Paul Fagius. Martin Bucer. Destruction of Books at the dissolution of the Monasteries. Sir John Cheke. Sternhold and Hopkins's Psalms. Tye's Metrical Versions. Marbecke's Concordance. Joan Bocher. Edward VI. Lady Jane Grey., Intolerance of Queen Mary. Genevan English Version. Promotion of the Reförmation by Queen Elizabeth. Welsh Version. "Bi. shop's Bible. Prophesyings. Irish Version. Refor
mation in Scotland. THE celebrity of the universities of France, the high
character of several of its divines, and the fame of its printers, would bave led us to expect that at the period of which we are writing, Biblical pursuits would be very generally adopted, and the Scriptures be extensively circulated; but unhappily this expectation was disappointed by the increasing zeal and influence of the Theological Faculty of the university of Paris, which endeavoured to repress every attempt to communicate the Holy Scriptures to the people in the vernacular tongue; and by the different ecclesiastical synods and councils held under the sanction of papal authority. About the year 1535, a process was instituted by the faculty of theology of Paris, against the royal professors of Greek and Hebrew in that university, for lecturing on the Old and New Testaments to their auditors. The request presented to the court, prayed, “that none might be suffered to read publicly, or lecture upon and interpret the Holy Scriptures, without having first obtained the
permission of the said faculty.” The court having appointed a bearing of the four professors, and the Syndic of the university, with the procurator general, Noel BEDA, the Syndic of the faculty, stated, “that he was led to move the court, not from a wish to prevent the reading of the Greek and Hebrew languages, the learning and doctrine of which he praised; but principally lest the professors of the said languages, who might not understand divinity, should censure, or depreciate the (Vulgate) translation of the Holy Scriptures, which the Romish and Western church had continued in use, and thereby approved for about 1100 years, and that persons learned in human sciences, and presuming to correct the said translation, as Erasmus, Le Fevre d'Estaples, and others had done, should inflict great wounds on Christianity itself. For curious persons follow the diversity of such translations according to their respective fancies, and those who should depend upon them would have no certain rule of Holy Scriptures. Item, In the places where they should lecture on the Holy Scriptures, they might cause their auditors to doubt our translation made use of in the church, be. cause, in translating, they would say, it is thus in the Hebrew, or Greek.” “Item, That the greater part of the books of Holy Scripture, which are in Greek, or Hebrew, are printed by Germans, who may have altered them. And that as to the Hebrew, many Jews, who are employed in printing their Hebrew books, are Lutherans, on which account we fear lest they should have corrupted their books. Wherefore, it is not sufficient to say, it is thus in the Hebrew. And these who have made translations, all differ from each other." For these reasons he prayed the court, that if the said lectures in Greek and Hebrew, were permitted to continue their lectures on the Holy Scriptures, they should be forbidden to censure, alter, or depreciate the translation in use in the church; and enjoined to guard against saying or disseminating any thing favourable to Lutheranism. Marillai defended the professors, showed, that to subject them to the faculty, would be derogatory to the prince who appointed them ; produced reasons against it from the civil and canon laws; appealed to the result of the four years' experience of the professors' lectures; and demonstrated the impossibility of learning Hebrew without reading the Bible, on which he principally insisted. But his arguments were useless, for Monthelon, on behalf of the procurator-general, decided in favour of the theological faculty. As this decision was resisted, the affair was referred to the king, Francis I.; and though we are not certain of the final determination, it is not improbable that he would support his professors in their privileges.' · Henry II. who succeeded Francis I. submitted to the influence of the theological faculty, so far as to issue various edicts against the publication of Bibles and ecclesiastical writings. The inhibitory decrees against the editions of the Bible by Robert Stephens, have been previously noticed; to which we may add the following extracts from the edicts of Chasteau-Briant, passed in 1551.
C. 15. art. 10. “We forbid printers to print, or sell any books of the Old or New Testaments, newly translated, or any part of them; or any of the ancient doctors of the church,without being first seen by the faculty of theology."
C. 16. art. 12. “We forbid all our courts of parliament, masters of the requests, and other keepers of the seals of the chanceries, presidial judges, and others our officers and magistrates, to give any licenses to print books, until (1) Simon, Lettres Choisies, II. Let. 5. pp. 32--38. Vol. III.
those who require them have obtained certificates from the faculty of theology, that the books have been seen and approved, which certificates shall be placed, with the licenses, at the commencement of the books."
C. 17. art. 13. “The deputies shall retain the copy of the books thus approved by them, signed by the petitioning bookseller, to whom the license shall be granted by the deputies without
any C. 18. art. 14. “We forbid (testamentary executors] to proceed to the sale of books which concern the Holy Scriptures, until they have been first visited by the deputies."
C. 22. art. 21. “No hawkers shall be permitted to sell any books, whether great or small, coming from Geneva ; or any other books of ill fame, under pain of their confiscation, and of all the other merchandise carried with them by the hawkers, who shall be punished according to their quality, and which the judges shall see done.”
The same edict ordains, “ that wherever there is a university, the faculty of theology shall, twice a year at least, visit the booksellers' shops, and the printing-offices; and where there is no university, the booksellers' shops, and the printing-offices, shall be visited by deputies."..."That at Lyons, the visitation shall be made thrice in the year, by two persons deputed for that purpose, one of them by the archbishop, the other by the chapter and seneschal;" and “That booksellers shall keep catalogues of all the books which they have on sale."
The Gallican provincial councils, held towards the close of the sixteenth century, discover the same disposition to restrain the liberty of the press, and to check the progress of truth. The council of Bourges was held in 1584; and promulgated, among others, the following decrees.
C. 10. "All Bibles, and other books of faith and (2) Bochelli Decreta Eccles, Gallican. lib. i. Tit. 10, pp. 97, 98.