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and the parents terrify their children with him at home. And this evil being has not only been made a terror to them in time, but is to torment them to all eternity in a future state. As many persons have seen him, his likeness has been described, and even given on canvass or paper to produce effect. If some of the clergy have known better, they have still encouraged the delusion, for the benefit of the people's souls. The last ecclesiastical consecrated word I shall notice, is the term,
Damation. This word has had, and still has a tremendous sound in people's ears. It is never mentioned, but it carries their minds into a future state, and presents to their imaginations all the horrors of endless misery. The words, damned and damnation are terms on which many preachers lay a peculiar emphasis. They seem to be favorite words, words without which their sermons would be tasteless. The words, 'he that believeth not shall be damned,' are often quoted. But if the preacher is asked,-damned to what? he is very much at a loss to make out from the context, or any other part of his Bible, what he wishes his hearers to understand by them. Damned to hell, he means; but he only asserts this boldly, and would think his hearers very impertinent, were they to ask him for proof. Ignorant he must be, if he does not know that the words rendered damned, and damnation, simply mean condemned, condemnation, and are so rendered in other places by the translators. This, orthodox writers admit, and confess that the original words convey not the terror which the words damned and damnation do in the English version.
Such are a few more of the ecclesiastical consecrated words, which were retained by king James' orders, in the common version of the Bible. The words hell, satan, devil, damned, and damnation, be they correct or incorrect versions of the original, have supported a tremendous system of terror, as all must allow. They may well be called old ecclesiastical consecrated words, from their antiquity and use in the hands of the clergy. Concerning them, they may justly say, 'without these words we can do nothing.' This leads to the question, which deserves particular notice, 5. For what purpose were these old ecclesiastical words used, which king James wished the translators to retain in their version? They must have been considered valuable for some purpose, when the king prohibited their removal, by royal authority. If they did not serve some purpose, which was deemed of importance,
why so anxious to have them retained? Their removal was deemed dangerous, in some shape or other. It does not appear, that their mere age or antiquity saved them from being altered or removed by the translators. No, they were not merely old but they were ecclesiastical words; and were also consecrated terms, set apart for important purposes. The following remarks will explain what these were. It is said,
'when Tindal issued his translation of the Bible, because he had disregarded some of the words which the clergy esteemed sacred, they condemned it. For instance, he had changed charity into love; church into congregation; priest into senior; grace into favor; confession into knowledge; penance into repentance; and a contrite heart into a troubled heart. Sir Thomas More, who warmly espoused the cause of the clergy against Tindal's translation, wrote a dialogue with a view to bring it into contempt among the people. Tindal in answer to it says, 'what made them (the clergy) whose cause Sir Thomas espoused, so uneasy and impatient, was, they had lost their juggling terms wherewith they imposed on and misled the people. For instance, the word church he said was by the Popish clergy appropriated to themselves, whereas of right it was common to all the whole congregation of them that believe in Christ. So he said the school-doctors and preachers were wont to make many divisions, distinctions, and sorts of grace; with confession, they juggled and made the people, as oft as they spake of it, to understand it by shrift in the ear; so by the word penance, they made the people understand holy deeds of their enjoining, with which they must make satisfaction for their sins to God.' See Lewis's History as quoted above. It ought to be noticed, that though the above words were some of the juggling terms of the clergy, they were not the whole, nor even their principal terms. They could carry on their juggling tricks after these terms were exposed, by the terms hell, satan, devil, and some others, as well as before. It must be obvious to all, if the terms hell, satan, devil, and perhaps one or two more, were exposed, the juggling tricks of the clergy are forever ended. Tindal exposed some of their juggling terms, but retained others. In his day, the clergy were displeased with him for the detection; and they are not much better pleased now.
No class of men has done more to prevent the free cir
culation of the Bible, than the clergy, whose very business is to teach it to others. In the primitive churches the Scriptures were read for the instruction and edification of the people. And it is said, in an extraordinary consistory held at Rome A. D. 679, about British affairs, it was among other things ordained, that lessons out of the divine oracles should be always read for the edification of the churches, that the minds of the hearers might be fed with the divine word, even at the very time of their bodily repast.' Happy had it been for the world, had this always continued. But a sad reverse took place; for the same writer informs us the first synodical prohibition or restraint of this liberty or birthright of Christians, in the use of the holy Scriptures in their own language, we find was in a synod held at Thoulouse, A. D. 1228, on occasion of the doctrine and preaching of the Waldenses, that the holy Scripture is the rule of Christian faith; and that the reading and knowledge of it is free and necessary to all men, to the people as well as the clergy. In opposition to this principle, the synod then decreed in the following terms: We forbid that laymen be permitted to have the books of the Old and New Testaments; unless perhaps some one out of devotion desires to have the Psalter or Breviary for divine offices, and the hours of the blessed Virgin; but even these they may not have translated into the vulgar tongue. The Bible being in a tongue unknown to the common people, since it was now in Latin only, and not very common even in that language, and the Saxonic being grown obsolete and out of use, an opinion it seems prevailed, that the knowledge of the Scriptures was unnecessary, that it was not lawful for private Christians to read them in the vernacular tongue. Nay, to that extravagance was this whim at length carried, that one William Butler, a Franciscan friar, maintained that the prelates ought not to admit of this, that every one should at his pleasure read the Scriptures translated into Latin:' a paradox, which served indeed to justify or excuse many of the priests of those times, who, as they knew nothing of the Scriptures but what they found in their Portuises and Missals, so they were not able to read those portions of them with their understandings, so utterly ignorant were they even of Latin. However, it pleased God in the times of this ignorance to raise up some of a better spirit, who had a greater regard for the dignity of human nature, as well as for the holy Scriptures. In
France, John Beleth, an eminent Paris divine, observed, that in the primitive church it was forbidden to any one to speak in an unknown tongue, unless there was some one to interpret: since it was agreeable to common sense, that it was a thing perfectly useless for a man to speak and not be understood. Hence, (he said), grew that laudable custom in churches, that after the gospel was pronounced according to the letter, or read in Latin, immediately it was explained to the people in the vulgar tongue. But, (adds he), which confirms what is said above, what shall we say of our times, when there is scarce any one to be found who understands what he reads or hears?
But even when John Wickliff published his translation of the Scriptures, it met with strong opposition from the clergy. The historian quoted above thus speaks concerning it: 'We find heavy complaints made by Henry Knighton, a canon of Leicester, in the neighborhood of Dr. Wickliff, and cotemporary with him, of his finishing and publishing this translation.' This Master John Wickliff,' says he, 'translated out of Latin into English, the gospel, which Christ had intrusted with the clergy and doctors of the church, that they might minister it to the laity and weaker sort, according to the exigency of the times and their several occasions. So that by this means, the gospel was made vulgar, and laid more open to the laity, and even to women who could read, than it used to be to the most learned of the clergy, and those of the best understanding. And so the gospel jewel or evangelical pearl was thrown about and trodden under foot of swine.' The historian in a note in the above remarks, 'It is one of the nostrums of the Romish church, that the faithful, whom they in contempt call the laity or the ignorant, have nothing to do to examine any doctrine in particular from its causes and grounds, and thereby to search out what is true or false; but that this they must leave to the clergy, whom they style the masters and doctors of the church, whose property they say this is.' Now, we have no prohibitions against reading the Bible; all have access to it, and may read it. But many people dare not or will not understand it otherwise than their sect dictates to them. They can declaim loudly against infallibility in the Pope, but submit patiently to the infallibility of their own church. But wherin consists the difference, to be prohibited the use of the Bible altogether, and to understand it just as our minister interprets
it. No priest in the dark ages ever demanded more of the people, than to receive implicitly his interpretations of Scripture. We are not then so far removed from infallibility and implicit faith as some people imagine, and have still some need of another Luther to lash the popery of Protestants. If we have got rid of the scum of it, the dregs still remain.
No invention, has contributed more to diffuse knowledge and destroy priestcraft, than the art of printing. When this first began, the clergy were struck with consternation, and gnawed their tongues for pain on account of it. The historian quoted above, informs us, 'when the art of printing was first discovered, A. D. 1457, it was not long before the Latin Bible was printed, viz. in 1462, which was soon followed by other editions, whereby it was rendered more common than before. In 1488 was the Old Testament printed in Hebrew; and in less than thirty years after, the New Testament was published at Bazil in its original Greek. In 1474 was this art brought into England by William Caxton, a native, and a printing-press set up by him at Westminster. These proceedings for the advancement of learning and knowledge, especially in divine matters, alarmed the ignorant and illiterate monks, insomuch that they declaimed from the pulpits, that there was now a new language discovered called Greek, of which people should beware, since it was that which produced all the heresies; that in this language was come forth a book, called the New Testament, which was now in every body's hands, and was full of thorns and briars; that there was also another language now started up, which they called Hebrew, and they who learn it were termed Hebrews.'
It is added, in England, the great Erasmus tells us, his publishing the New Testament in its original language, met with a great deal of clamor and opposition, and in particular, one college in the University of Cambridge absolutely forbade the use of it. These (says he) object to us the feigned authority of synods, and magnify the great peril of the Christian faith, and the danger of the church, which they pretend to support with their shoulders, that are much fitter to prop a wagon. And these clamors they disperse among the ignorant and superstitious populace; with whom, having the reputation of being great divines, they are very loath to have their opinions called in question; and are afraid that when they quote the Scripture wrong, as they often do, the authority of