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religion, written in the vernacular tongue, are rejected, except those which have been approved by the authority of the Catholic church, and of the ordinary.”
C. 11. “Let an index of the prohibited books be kept by the scribe and actuary of every diocese, who may show it annually to the booksellers and printers, lest, through mistake, they should disseminate improper books; and lest the Catholic population should, through ignorance, retain prohibited books.”
The same council sanctioned Traditions, and the Vulgate edition of the Bible, and anathematized all who opposed them.3
In 1585, a council was held at Aix, in Provence, by Alexander Canigianus, archbishop of that city, which was approved the following year by a brief from the pope. Many of the regulations were similar to those passed in the council of Bourges, and therefore need not be quoted. A council was also held in 1590, at Toulouse, by Cardinal Joyeuse, in which the inhibitory decrees of the council of Trent were ordered to be strictly enforced, under the severest penalties; and copies of the index of prohibited books, to be placed in the hands of the confessors, that they might be able the more easily to satisfy the inquiries of penitents.
These inquisitorial attempts to prevent the spread of the Scriptures in general, were accompanied with other measures designed to check the circulation of the Protestant versions in particular. For this purpose, a French translation of the BIBLE, corrected according to the Vulgate, was published by the divines of the university of Louvain, under the patronage of the Emperor Charles V. The first edition of this corrected translation was printed
(3) Bochelli Decreta Eccles. Gallican. lib. i. Tit. 10, p. 94; and
Tit. 11, p. 104. (4) Ibid. p. 1340.
Dictionnaire Portatif des Conciles, pp, 16. 482.
at Louvain, by Bartholomew De Grave, in 1550, in fol. The principal editor was NICHOLAS DE L'EUZE, surnamed FRAXINIS, a native of the Netherlands. He was a licen'tiate in divinity, and visitor of books in the university of Louvain. He wrote The Spiritual Pilgrimage to the Holy Land and City of Jerusalem, printed at Paris, 1576, 8vo. He also translated from Latin into French, The Hours of Our Lady, by order of Pope Pius V. and added to them various devout hymns, prayers, contemplations, &c. printed at Douay, 1577, 8vo. He was assisted in correcting the translation by FRANCIS DE LARBEN, a Celestine monk.
The edition of the French Bible selected as the basis of this version, is said to have been the one printed at Antwerp, by Martin L'Empereur, in 1530.
The Louvain French Bible has frequently been reprinted. It was revised by the divines of the university of Louvain, and printed by Christopher Plantin, at Antwerp, in 1578, in fol. with a preface by James de Bay, dated 1572, in which he says, that their design was to put a translation into the hands of the people, which should be permitted by the bishops or inquisitors; and that as no former translation answered exactly to the Vulgate, they had been at great pains to render it so conformable to the Latin, that it might be read with safety. “We see by this,” says F. Simon, “that the principal design of this version was to rid the people of the Protestant French Bibles, and to substitute in their place, another more comformable to the ancient interpreter of the church."?
After every precaution of the Romish authorities to suppress every thing inimical to their ecclesiastical polity, bome daring spirits of their own communion ventured
(5) Le Long, I. pp. 329. 567.
Bibliotheques Francoises, V, p. 120. (6) Le Long, I, p. 329. (7) Simon's Crit. Hist. of the Versions of N. T. ch. XXX. pp. 224, 225. to render the vernacular New Testament the vehicle of satire against the monastic orders. An edition of the French New Testament was published at Lyons, by Jean Frellon, 1553, with plates, in one of which, a devil is represented as wearing a monk's cowl. The practice of conveying invective, by caricature prints, was not uncommon at that period; we find even Erasmus complainin g that in one of the books published against him, under pretence of giving a picture of the priests of Baal, they had drawn them like so many priests of the church of Rome, and had added his picture appareled in the dress he usually wore.
In 1566, Renatus Benoist, a Catholic divine, and member of the theological faculty of Paris, published a French translation of the whole BIBLE, with marginal notes, printed at Paris, in fol. by Sebast. Nivelle, Gabr. Buon, and Nic. Chesneau. It was reprinted, with the Vulgate version, in 1568, in 2 vols. 4to. “No version," says Clement, “ever cost less trouble to its author; and no version ever made more noise.” He satisfied himself with taking the version of Geneva, effacing some words, and substituting other synonimous ones in their stead.. The publication, however, of this edition, embroiled the • editor in violent disputes with the faculty of theology, which were only concluded by his submission and apology.
Renatus Benedictus, or Rene Benoist, was born at Seveniers, near Angers, in 1521. After receiving the first rudiments of learning at his native place, he pursued his studies at Angers, where he was admitted doctor in divinity, and ordained priest. Afterwards, he became curé, or rector, of the church of St. Moulle, at Pont de Cé, a town in the province of Anjou. In 1548, he removed to Paris, and resumed his studies in theology and
(8) Jortin's Life of Erasmus, I. p. 321.
Simon's Crit, Hist, of VersionsN, T. pt. ii. ch. xxx. pp. 226-228.
philosophy, in the university of that city, and in 1559, was admitted to the degree of doctor in divinity, of the college of Navarre. In 1561, he accompanied the unfortunate Mary, queen of Scots, (widow of Francis I. king of France,) to Scotland, as her confessor and preacher in ordinary. After a stay of only two years, he returned to Paris, and in 1566, he obtained the church of St. Pierre d'Arcis, from which he was advanced to that of St. Eustathius, in 1569. In 1587, king Henry III. appointed him to be reader and Regius professor of divinity in the college of Navarre, at Paris. When Henry IV. had resolved to embrace the Roman Catholic religion, he wrote to Dr. Benoist, inviting him to coine to him, and bring with him two others of a mild and moderate spirit to instruct him; the consequence of which was, that the king abjured the reformed religion, and assisted at mass, July 24th, 1593. Dr. Benoist was afterwards appointed consessor to the king, who nominated him to the bishopric of Troyes, in Champagne; but as he could never obtain the pope's bulls to be installed, having offended the court of Rome, both by the publication of his Bible, and by having assisted in the absolution of the king, without being authorised by the pope, he could only enjoy the temporalities of the dignity, which he resigned in 1604, with the king's permission, to Renatus de Breslay, archdeacon of Angers. He died at Paris, March 7th, 1608, aged 87 ; and was buried near the great altar, in his parish church of St. Eustathius. He was the author of several other works beside his Translation of the Bible, particularly of a History of the Coronation of King Henry III., entitled “Le Sacre et Couronnement du Roi Henry III. l'an 1575." Rheims, 1575, 8vo. and inserted in Godefrey's “Ceremonial de France,” Paris, 1619, 4to.''
Another celebrated divine, who flourished during the
(10) Bibliotheques Françoises, II. pp. 359-363.
Claimers' Gen. Bing. Dict. IV. p. 412.
sixteenth century, and who from his Commentaries on the Epistles of St. Paul to Timothy and Titus, and his determined opposition to violent measures in religion, claims our notice, was CLAUDE D'ESPENCE, or de SPENCE, who, with all his attachment to popery, appears to have been one of the most moderate and judicious doctors of the age in which he lived. He was a native of Chalons-surMarne, where he was born of noble parents, in 1511. He became a doctor of the Sorbonne, and rector of the university of Paris. His aversion to the legendary stories interwoven with the history of the saints of the Romish church, was publicly avowed. Preaching on sunday, July 21st, 1543, at the church of St. Merri, he contemptuously called the famous Legende Dorée, (Golden Legend,) La Legende Ferrée, (the Iron Legend,) for which he was ordered by the faculty of theology to make a public apology, by which the storm raised against him was silenced. He was afterwards employed in several affairs of importance, by the Cardinal Lorraine. He accompanied his eminence to Rome, in 1555; but preferring Paris to, Rome, he returned to France, and attended the assembly of the States of Orleans, in 1560, and at the conference of Poissy in 1561, where he attached himself to the Calvinists, by which he gave much offence to his popish brethren. He died at Paris, Oct. 5th, 1571, in the 60th year of his age. His most distinguished works are, his Treatise on Clandestine Marriages, and his Commentaries, in which he successfully defends the reading of the Scriptures.-In his “ Commentary” on St. Paul's Epistle to Titus, chap. ii. he replies to those who say, they cannot understand the Scriptures, by referring them to the instance recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, of Philip and the Eunuch ; and then adds, “I read, thou sayest, but I read in vain, for I have no one to take me by the hand, Philip is not present. But the Spirit who influenced him is present. How canst thou understand, who wilt not even slightly