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recommended any such (i. e. vulgar) interpretation to be indifferently used of all men." What do these writers mean by saying their church has not generally forbidden the faithful to read the scriptures? They must mean either that the church has not forbidden it at all times; or that she has not forbidden all persons, but either way it condemns them, for the Bible should be read at all times and by all persons. Besides, their never having commanded or even recommended a vulgar translation to be read by the people, is the neglect of a manifest duty, if it be the people's privilege to read the Bible. It looks very much like keeping the sacred volume out of the hands of the people little further on, the translators say “which causeth the Holy church, not to forbid utterly any catholic translation, though she allow not the publishing or reading of any, absolutely and without exception or limitation.” The expression sutterlyhere, is explained by the power of granting licences to read, which we have considered. A little further on they say, “and therefore neither generally permitteth that which must needs do hurt to the unworthy, nor absolutely condemneth that which . MAY do much good to the worthy.” Here we see what they mean by “generally forbidding.It is that they do not absolutely forbid it, but will in some cases permit it.

The translators then go on to give the substance of the order of the Council of Trent, which we have noticed above, they highly approve of it, and say it is what (many a wise man wished for before.” They on to say that the governors of the church guided by God's spirit, and experiencing the maladies of this time (soon after the reformation) have taken more exact order both for the readers, and translators of these latter ages than of old; yet, say they, “we must not imagine that the translated Bibles in the vulgar tongues were in


then go

the hands of every husbandman, artificer, prentice, boys, girls, mistresses, maid, man, &c. no, in those better times men were neither so ill, nor so curious of themselves so to abuse the blessed book of Christ.” Here, then, we see it is considered by Papists an abuse of the bible for farmers, mechanics, children and servants to read it. They are not fit to read it, and they have no business with it! What shall we say to this? It is plain language, but it is their own: fariners! mechanics! will you

submit to it? Will you give up your senses, your bibles, your souls and your children's 'souls, to popish Priests? Will you calmly and without a murmur of disapprobation, witness the spread of sentiments like these? What if Papists endeavour to deceive you by denying these to be the principles and sentiments of their church? Have you not the decree of their infallible council? Have you not the orders and bulls of their Popes, and have you not the language of their writers? And are you not able to judge for yourselves? Can you not understand commands and prohibitions, when

, clothed in plain language, as well as artful Priests? Need you be told that the principles of their church never change? Need you be told that it is the policy of Papists to disown those principles when they are unpopular, unsuited to the feelings, and opposed to the better knowledge of a free people?

“ The wise,” continue the translators, “will not here regard what some wilful people do mutter, that the scriptures are made for all men, and that it is envy that the priests do keep the holy book from them, which suggestion cometh of the same serpent that seduced our first parents,” &c. Here is a candid confession that the scriptures are not made for all men: and that the Priests do keep the holy book from the people, and that


the idea of its being wrong, is from the Devil! What will Papists say to this? They then say that their church “forbiddeth not the reading of them (the scriptures) in any language **** but giveth order how to do it without casting the holy to dogs, or pearls to hogs, (Chrysostom declaring these dogs and hogs to be carnal men and heretics.) *

**** She would have the presumptuous heretic, notwithstanding he alledge them never so fast, flying as it were through the whole Bible and quoting the Psalms, Prophets, Gospels, Epistles, never so readily to his purpose (a great compliments by the way, to Protestant knowledge of the Scriptures) yet she would, according to Tertullian's rule, have such mere usurpers quite discharged of all our occupying and possession of the Holy Testament, which is her old and only right and inheritance, and belongeth not to heretics (Protestants) at all.” This is enough for the strongest stomach:, But there is more still. They say that Chrysostom does not (as some perversely gather of his words) make it a thing absolutely needful for every poor artisan to read or study the scriptures: and they say that the Fathers were far from approving of “the excessive pride and madness of these days (soon after the reformation. Oh! these were troublesome times for the enemies to Bible reading) when every man and woman is become not only a reader (dear me! that is bad enough) but a teacher, controller, and judge of doctors, church, scriptures and all!” Surely it is a dreadful thing for every man and woman "sto search the Scriptures,” and to appeal to the law and to the testimony" for the confirmation or rejection of doctrines; and to require, a “thus saith the scriptures” for all that is proposed to them for their belief. I know indeed that this touch-stone, like the Magician's wand, would cause many a Popish dogma to vanish, and this is the

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very reason why Papists are so much opposed to the circulation and general reading of the scriptures.

There is one other passage in this preface which we cannot forbear inserting here. It expresses the sentiments of the Council of Trent that the general reading of the scriptures does more harm than good. The translātors boastingly say, “Look, whether your men be more virtuous, your women more chaste, your children more obedient, your servants more trusty, your maids more modest, your friends more faithful, your laity more just in dealing, your clergy more devout in praying: whether there be more religion, fear of God, faith and conscience in all states now, (since the reformation, when the scriptures are more read) than of old when there was not so much reading, chatting, and jangling of God's word.” Can it be possible that the reading of God's word makes men less virtuous, women less chaste, children less obedient, &c. &c.? Is this the doctrine of a christian church? If it be a true doctrine, then indeed, the Romish church is right in forbidding the reading of the scriptures. Here, then, we see the infallible council of Trent, and the learned Rhemish doctors declaring it as their deliberate opinions that the general reading of the scriptures is productive of more evil than good; and yet Papists will declare it is a doctrine of the church that they should be generally read; and they profess their willingness (but it is mere profession) to have them generally read. What! will they countenance and encourage that which is infallibly declared to be productive of more harm than good? But let us see in what manner they evade the charge of prohibiting the general reading of the scriptures, for the very manner of evading it, is an acknowledgment of the principle we charge upon them,

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“ Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?

Therefore, behold, I am against the Prophets, saith the Lord, that steal my words every one from his neighbour.

Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, tbat use their tongues, and say, He saith.

Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the Lord, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness.”

Jer. xxii. 29–32.

Romanists deny that it is a principle of their church to withhold the scriptures from the common people. They say that she expressly permits them to be read. We have already seen what is the order of the council of Trent as to this point; and we leave every intelligent mind to the proper construction upon it. We grant that the church of Rome permits the reading of the scriptures; but it is only to those who are so firmly grounded in the Romish faith as to be in no danger of having their confidence in her dogmas at all shaken. But out of their own mouths we will condemn them. The church of Rome permits the Bible to be read! pray, what does permitting imply, but the power of forbidding? Who is this that undertakes to permit God to speak to his creatures! God beheld our race in ruin: he pitied us in our fallen state, and in great mercy made provision for our restoration to his favour and to happiness; he sends to us the tidings of this great salvation; he reveals to us the terms of reconciliation. It is a matter of

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