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separate human from Divine charity, or either from the true knowledge and constant adoration of God.
Those institutions advance among us once more, with their twofold dowry of Divine graces and of the scorn of worldly men. The name of nun cannot be expiated by a life of labour, vigil, and love; and the veil which hangs between the world and the heart which has renounced it for ever, is thick enough to hide from that world what would, to eyes that can see, have been the image of virtue itself, reflected from a supernal antitype of glorified endurance. In the mean time they advance; and advance as a sign to be spoken against, and that the thoughts of many hearts may be known. With an influence silent as light and refreshing as dew, they have to teach most gentle lessons to men of good-will ;-to souls conformed and configured with truth, and to breasts in which the words of peace find, without demonstration, a natural echo. They have severer lessons for men who, though conscious of prejudice and unashamed, are yet false enough to arrogate to themselves the title of Truth-lovers;- men whom proud intelligence has made blind, and false strength has made weak. Besides such lessons, they will bring us other blessings, on some of which we have touched,—though from discussing the greater number our limits have precluded us. If rejected from the threshold of the nation, and compelled to shake the dust from their feet, there remains, beside the spiritual loss, that Nemesis of Communism and anarchy which cannot but visit a nation that will not learn, and that repeats in the nineteenth century, and after fifty years of babble respecting religious liberty, the sacrilege and the spoliation which in the sixteenth century dishonoured God and defrauded the poor. If accepted, they will not only prove the noblest forms of organised charity, and the greatest incentive to individual exertion beside, but they will also elevate the whole character of benevolence, in a nation eminent both for that and every other good gift that belongs to the natural order. Natural benevolence is more ready to feel for than with the sufferer. Working commonly through some mechanical agency, it takes mechanical and material views of things: it sweeps away distress from before its face, as it buries its dead
out of its sight;" and the man who is to be relieved if he will keep his distance, is counted, if near, an eye-sore, a scandal, and a nuisance. At least, it does not imitate Him who “ laid His hands” on those whom He healed, and who declined not the access either of sinner or sufferer. Christian charity not only bears with, but venerates, the poor man whom it relieves. It takes no offence at rags. Falsehood, and every other offence which is especially the temptation of the destitute, it neither resents as a personal affront, nor rages about as an offence against taste, honour, and society; but it regards as a sin against God, and it measures impartially as such in the scale of crime, according to the Divine standard of right and wrong. It is prompt to observe the virtues which also belong especially, not only to the poor, but to the poorest of the poor. In short, it sees Christ in His suffering members; and to relieve Him in them is an act of devotion as well as of beneficence. Christian charity is a sacrament—one of those which belong to a life, the whole of which has been rendered sacramental through the Incarnation,—and many, even of those who have not renounced it, partake of it without "discerning" the mystery. Against such errors, common, though far from universal in Protestant lands, the charity of the convents is a perpetual and effectual protest.
DE CASTRO'S RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE IN SPAIN. Religious Intolerance in Spain. Translated from the Spanish
of Senor Don Adolpho de Castro by Thomas Parker.
London: W. and F. G. Cash. 1853. “A HISTORY of religious intolerance,” and “in Spain,”country in which it is notorious that such intolerance has been carried to a great, if not the greatest extent,-how interesting might such a subject be made by one having the will and the ability to do it justice! But the title goes on to add, or an examination of some of the causes which led to that nation's decline;" and though this also is another scarcely less interesting subject, yet it is one which, when thus forcibly coupled with the other, instead of heightening our expectations of the value of the book, caused them to fall considerably below zero. It betrayed to us that the author's real subject was neither historical nor political, and that he had written not so much upon a subject, as with an object,— namely, to write down Catholicity.
Under these circumstances, we were disposed to lay the volume aside as a mere harangue addressed to partisans, not meant for our notice, and not worthy of it. Indeed, we certainly should have done so had the author's name been altogether new to us; but we remember to have seen another book written by a De Castro, of which the writer had much reason to be ashamed, and we felt a strong suspicion that the author was no other than this same Don Adolpho. De Castro, though a good, is not an uncommon Spanish name. There was a De Castro who befriended the Franciscan missionaries in Morocco in the thirteenth century; a De Castro who wrote the life of a viceroy; a Christopher of that name who was a theologian of some repute, and a fellow-townsman of the great Suarez; and a William who was a distinguished dramatist. There was also an Alphonso de Castro, a Franciscan monk, and confessor to Charles V., who wrote (curiously enough) upon this very subject of “religious intolerance," only taking a somewhat different view from our Senor don Adolpho, since he entitled his book “De justa hæreticorum punitione." Our suspicion,
. however, as to the author of the book before us proved correct. This Don Adolpho was the identical Don who published a work at Cadiz in the year 1847, to which he gave the title of “The History of the Jews in Spain, from the time of their settlement in that country till the commencement of the present century; written and illustrated with divers extremely scarce documents," of which an English translation appeared in 1851,- not, however, by the Mr. Parker who translates this work on “Intolerance," but by a Rev. Edward D. G. M. Kirwan, M.A., Fellow of King's College, Cambridge; and he, having a conscientious sense of the responsibility he incurred by helping it to an English circulation, and discovering that one of the "divers extremely scarce documents” so much boasted of was a barefaced forgery, warned his readers that this was
The following is the passage in which he did so, taken from p. vi. of his preface:
“In the Appendix is given a letter purporting to have been written to Philip II. by Arias Mortasio, entitled “Instruction for Princes,' and which, as the reader will see by note 4 to page 262, is a forged one: although this will not affect the credit of the history (inasmuch as no fact mentioned in it rests on the authority of the • Instruction,' which was published for the purpose of confirming the author's opinions about the Jesuits), it is much to be regretted that he should have printed it. Were I to consult my own inclination, I should suppress it; but it strikes me, that were I to do so, I should be disingenuous; and were I to publish it without stating it to be a forgery, I should be still more disingenuous."
We accept Mr. Kirwan's fact with all thankfulness, but not his logic. Don Adolpho's utterance of this forgery cannot be considered otherwise than as most damaging to his general credit as an historian; and it is impossible to limit its injurious effect
upon his character to the statements he may have founded upon the forged document. Should any one conceive we are unjust in saying this, let him ask Mr. Parker, whose skill as
fugleman to the Spaniard is of the highest order, to preface the next translation he may make of any of his works with the extract just given, and remark how he receives the proposal. We shall be contented to abide by the result as to whether our prejudice against the author be not sufficiently accounted for, and its justice proved.
Buť how comes it that, after such a disgraceful faux pas on the part of Don Adolpho, we find him coming again at so short an interval before the (as commonly supposed) truth-loving English public, not as a writer of fiction for which, indeed, , we could fancy him highly qualified—but in the same character as before, -as an historian? He speaks of himself as encouraged to do so by “two English gentlemen," and by the good reception accorded to Mr. Parker's “elegant” translation of his Spanish Protestants. He says nothing about the History of the Spanish Jews, though a publication subsequent to that on Spanish Protestants. But it is natural as well as wise for a man to say nothing on a subject upon which he has nothing to say, or upon which “ the least said” is soonest mended." We think, however, that the “two English gentlemen" and Mr. Parker are as much concerned to give an answer to our question as Don Castro himself; for it is evident that he writes not for the Spanish, but the English market, and if not actually employed by Englishmen, as is highly probable, at any rate receives "suggestions” from them. Indeed, since the translation of one of his works appeared in England (Mr. Parker tells us) fifteen days before the original appeared in Spain, there is good reason for regarding them as the principals, and him as merely the agent in this business.
What, then, induces Englishmen to be the getters-up of works of Spanish literature, that they may be then translated into the language of this country and circulated here? If they consider that there is any thing in the past history of Spain unknown to their fellow-countrymen, yet worth knowing, we should expect them to make translations from some of the existing histories most in repute among the Spaniards, or to send competent and trustworthy persons, with government introductions, to examine the ancient records of that realm; but this employment of the author of the history of the Spanish Jews wears, to our mind, a very disagreeable and suspicious aspect.
What was their object? As they do not tell us, we must try and discover it for ourselves. There is a passage in Mr. Parker's preface which, if we are not mistaken, betrays the secret. It informs us that the appearance of the translation of the Spanish Protestants and “the religious intolerance" synchronised with two highly important periods of the anti-Catholic agitation in this country. “Senor de Castro," observes Mr. Parker, "is remarkably favoured by circumstances. Then came the Papal aggression' to give an interest to his Spanish Protestants, and to aid in its circulation; and for similar results to his History of Religious Intolerance in Spain he will doubtless be now indebted to Leopold the Grand Duke of Tuscany and the Madiai.” It is a matter of congratulation between the friends and the "religious world" for which they
” write that the books should have arrived just at these times; and yet, by so doing, they must have served to increase religious antipathies, and to add fresh fuel to that unhallowed fire which was stirring up such terrible discord between the Protestant and Catholic portions of this great empire. They were, so to say, an importation of Spanish fly, considered by the party to whom they were consigned as most opportunely received, because it came to increase the irritation of his patients just at the moment when they were most irritable. Surely we cannot be far wrong in presuming that the purpose intended was not very different from that which they so rejoiced to see answered; but, indeed, we are not surprised that there should be a demand just now for literature of this kind in this country. It has, indeed, an unmistakable place and meaning amongst English Protestants at the present time. It comes to help in supplying one of the most afflicting losses that a religious party has probably ever sustained—an irreparable lossone for which all the De Castros that ever were born, squired by all the Mr. Parkers in England, as their most faithful Sancho Panzas, can never supply a really adequate substitute, -no other than the loss of their history. The dilemma of the poor
man who lost his shadow is the only one upon record that at all equals that of the Protestant party in this country when Dr. Maitland took away their history. They offered no resistance,-poor people, how could they ?-struck dumb with astonishment, as they were, to see him go round to each, dressed in his ample bands and his Geneva gown, and take out of their hands that Fox's Book of Martyrs, for five, ten, or even twenty copies of the new edition of which they had many of them been just subscribing. They could hardly believe their eyes when they saw him cast it aside as worthless trash, or their ears when they heard him assert that he had proved it to be such. It was impossible to deny that he had; but then the question of the truth of the book had never before occurred to them. Their regard for it, and anxiety to have it reproduced, was grounded not upon its qualities as a book, but as a weapon. In their confidence that it was true as steel,"