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that a thorough revision was highly
A CLERICAL MEMBER OF
For the Christian Observer.
HAVING several friends who have been long desirous of witnessing the solemn rite of ordination in our church, and having heard that there would be an extensive ordination in this large metropolitan diocese during the present Lent, I endeavoured to learn beforehand the appointed place and hour, but found that both were kept secret, even from the candidates themselves, till the day before the solemnization; and that the place, when announced, was the chapel royal; and the time, the unseasonable hour of eight o'clock in the morning. I presume that this is the custom of the diocese; and I by no means impute any blame to the zealous and exemplary prelate who presides over it, and whose anxiety that all the offices of the church should be discharged in it, in a manner the most regular and edifying, deserves and has obtained the most just and general commendation. Indeed the practice of holding ordinations at inconvenient hours, and in chapels difficult of access to the public, is not confined to a single diocese. But, common as it is, it is greatly to be lamented, as it deprives the people of the benefit of witnessing this most impressive rite, and the candidate of the presence and the prayers of the assembled church. Few of the laity are aware of the very affecting and striking cha
racter of the ordination service of our venerable establishment. They know indeed that some ceremony takes place on the occasion, and may even have read the service in the larger Prayer-books, (thanks to the Prayer-book and Homily Society, it may now be found in many of the smaller also ;) but it seldom occurs that they can be present at the solemnization to witness it for themselves. The consecration of bishops, which is another most impressive rite of the church, is still more systematically "hid in a corner; as if all such matters were purely of a professional kind, and that the laity have no concern in them. But very different was the case in the primitive church; very different, I believe, is the practice in the Church of Rome; and very different is the habit of the Dissenters, who are accustomed to make the setting apart of their ministers as solemn and public as possible, and with a most powerful effect as respects the impression produced upon the spectators. Very different also was the intention of our own church; for the whole service for ordering bishops, priests, and deacons supposes the presence of the assembled congregation of the faithful; and Wheatly expressly mentions, as one of the reasons why the church has fixed certain times for ordination, “that the people, knowing the times, may, if they please, be present either to approve the choice made by the bishop, or to object against those whom they know to be unworthy;" "which primitive privilege," he adds, "is still reserved to the people in this well constituted church." So indeed it is in theory; but, by means of the practice to which I am objecting, the fact is far otherwise. The service appeals throughout to "the people," the congregation:" they are exhorted to pray for the candidate; a sermon is to be preached, in which not only is the necessity of the order of priests and deacons to be pointed out, but also "how the people ought to esteem them
in their office;" and the people are also enjoined "in the name of God" to declare if they know of any crime or impediment why the candidate should not be ordained. And all this where the service is conducted in a private chapel, and not at the usual hour at which the congregation are accustomed to assemble, and when no notice has been given in order that one may be specially convened. I admit that on particular occasions a special ordination, at the discretion of the bishop, may be expedient: but even this needs not be private; it may be performed openly at the usual time of service, (or, if at an unusual time, with proper notice, in order that a congregation may convene, as would not fail to be the case,) either at the cathedral or in a parochial church. But even if an occasional special ordination might with propriety be conducted somewhat privately, the same exception does not apply to the case of such an ordination as the regular Lent Ember-week Ordination, in a diocese like London. On the occasion above alluded to, about thirty candidates, I believe, were present. What an impressive and edifying
service would such an ordination have been at one of our large churches, several of which might be advantageously made use of in successión on such occasions, so as to interest the public at large in this solemn rite, and to engage their prayers and sympathies more earnestly in behalf of their ap pointed pastors. The clergy, the churchwardens, and the vestry and parish would in general think themselves privileged by the selection of their church on such an occasion.
I would again repeat, that I mean no disrespect to the revered prelate whose late ordination I have incidentally alluded to, and whose last most excellent Charge would of itself be sufficient to shew his anxiety for the honour of religion, and of the church over which he presides. His lordship's impressive advice to his clergy respecting the occasional services, applies equally to the service for ordination; the public as well as devout administration of which might do much towards impressing both the clergy and the laity with the sacred nature and infinite importance of the pastoral function.
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
1. The History of the Inquisition of Spain, composed from original Documents. By D. J. A. LLORENTE, formerly Secretary of the Inquisition, abridged and translated from the original Work. 1 vol. 8vo. 15s. London. 1826. 2. Histoire abregèe de l'Inquisition d'Espagne [par M. Llorente]. Par L. GALLOIS. Troisième Edition. Paris. 1824.
AN historical disclosure of the secrets and enormities of the Inquisition of Spain, composed by a Spanish ecclesiastic, who continued,
nominally at least, to the end of his life an adherent of the Church of Rome, exhibits something so novel and extraordinary that, even from motives of mere curiosity, we might be strongly tempted not to overlook such a publication. Before, however, we proceed to notice the contents of this interesting work, it may be proper to furnish our readers with a brief account of its author. Such a notice will not only gratify curiosity, but throw light upon the degree of credit due to the author's report, and serve to expose the remnants of
that spirit of superstition, bigotry, at Logrogno was so ill-judging or and intolerance which is still at work among some professed Protestants, we are sorry to say, as well as among Roman Catholics, to counteract the best hopes and undermine the best interests of mankind.
Juan Antonio Llorente was born in the province of Arragon in 1756. He was the son of parents not affluent, but of an ancient and noble family. He received the clerical tonsure as early as the age of fourteen. In October 1773, he placed himself at Saragossa, for the purpose of studying law. During the vacation of 1775 he made his first visit to Madrid, where, with a strange versatility of mind, he became addicted to the drama, and actually produced a comedy. The ecclesiastics of Spain and Italy, unlike those of France, were accustomed to appear without scandal at the theatre. Ordained priest in 1779, at the age of twentythree, he soon afterwards evinced his natural good sense and liberality of mind, by an attempt to dissuade an aged priest from bestowing his property on the church, to the prejudice of his near relations. In 1781 we find Llorente an advocate at the supreme council of Castile, and in the following year vicar-general of the diocese of Calahorra. In a biographical memoir which he drew up concerning his own life, he mentions 1784 as the year when he made the important discovery that much of his boasted knowledge was but the offspring of early prepossessions, and had been derived from books replete with error; and when, with regard to both philosophy and theology, he entered upon a new course of thinking, principles, and conduct. The author from whom we derive our information justly remarks, that the philosophy of M. Llorente was the very reverse of that which has been recently inculcated by the eloquent Abbé de la Mennais, whom we introduced to our readers some time ago. In 1785 the tribunal of the Inquisition CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 303.
so unfortunate as to select Llorente for their commissary, little aware that they were cherishing one who in the end would do all in his power to betray the citadel into which he was thus incautiously admitted. In 1788 our author made himself known as a preacher of some eminence, under the countenance of the duchess of Sotorayor, who afterwards made him one of her executors and guardian to her son. In the beginning of the following year he was appointed secretary general to the Inquisition of the court; a post which he retained for two years, and his introduction to which was ultimately of great importance to the world, as it put him in possession of the archives of the holy office. At this time also, he was active in the diffusion of useful knowledge, under the encou ragement of Count Florida Blanca, a more able and enlightened statesman than Spain bas often found at the head of her councils.
In 1791, Llorente was compelled, through the influence of court intrigue, to leave Madrid and retire to his canonry of Calahorra. While in this retirement, he discharged the duties of hospitality towards the French emigrant clergy, who were banished from their country by the troubles of the Revolution. He appears to have done his utmost to serve them out of his own very limited resources, and still more by the aid of many of his wealthy countrymen, whom he interested on their behalf. In 1793 the inquistor general, La Sierra, mirabile dictu! invited Llorente to co-operate with him in a reform of their horrid tribunal: but before he could carry his project into execution, this honest inquisitor was removed from his office. Others, however, were found to encourage the work, and Llorente procured his plan of reform to be presented to the noted Godoy, Prince of the Peace. His project struck at the vitals of the InquisiX
tion; for it went to the length of abolishing its secret horrors, and making all its trials and examinations public; but the minister was removed, and the intended amelioration postponed. The bigotted supporters of this execrable tribunal, now aware of the dangerous alliance which they had contracted, began to persecute the individual whose measures so well calculated to ruin them. Among the papers of an ex-minister, Jovellanos, they had found the writings of Llorente on the Inquisition. They opened his correspondence at the post-office of Madrid, took copies of his letters, and then allowed them to reach their destination, in order to betray him into further confidence. Soon after this, he was sentenced to be despoiled of his functions of secretary and commissary of the holy office, to pay a fine of fifty ducats, and to endure a month's imprisonment in a monastery. This, for the Inquisition, was indeed an indulgent sentence; but it was attended with as much injustice as if it had been more severe; for he was left in ignorance of the particular charges brought against him. His disgrace lasted till 1805, during which interval he resided in his native province, employing his time in the composition of works of piety, learning, and public usefulness. At length, in 1806, he was recalled to Madrid, for the purpose of being employed about some historical researches wanted by the government. The king also gave him a canonry at Toledo, and appointed him master of the chapter schools of that cathedral. From this period, his career became more strictly political. On the invasion of Spain by Bonaparte, in 1808, he was appointed a member of the Spanish Convention which met at Bayonne. He attended it, and appears to have entered warmly into the French interest. In 1809 the Inquisition was abolished by King Joseph, or rather by his brother Napoleon; and Llorente was in
structed to compile a history of it from the archives, now fully placed at his command. For this work he had been collecting materials ever since 1789; and these, with what he now added, have produced a history, for the merits of which some have entitled him "the Suetonius of the Inquisition." This same year was entrusted to him the execution of a decree, abolishing gradually the monastic orders and establishments; an office which he performed with much forbearance and moderation. In the midst of these and other political occupations, he published (in Spain itself!) his first sketch of the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition. This work afterwards underwent a thorough revisal; and having been recomposed by him in French, with many alterations and improvements, it soon became known throughout Europe. Llorente continued to attach himself to the cause of Joseph Bonaparte; and, somewhat inconsistently with his past professions and exertions in the cause of civil and religious liberty, he attacked the Cortes in some bitter pamphlets. He appears to have entangled himself in the French interest, till he began to forget what was due to the rights and liberties of his native country. At length he shared the fate of his French associates, was driven with them across the Pyrenees, and arrived at Paris in March, 1814. The dominant party, under the weak and bigotted Ferdinand, now took vengeance on their enemies; among whom Llorente was assuredly neither the least hated, nor the least formidable. He had to undergo the double penalty of perpetual exile and the confiscation of his property, part of which was a library he had left at Madrid, consisting of more than 8000 volumes, and containing many rare books and manuscripts. During the year 1814 he visited London; but, disliking our climate, returned to fix himself permanently at Paris. There, in a contest with
M. de Coussergues, who affirmed that no auto da fé had taken place since 1680, Llorente proved that, between the dates of 1700 and 1808, no fewer than 1578 individuals had been sentenced to the flames by the Spanish Inquisition. Upon the publication of his important work, he began to be persecuted, even in the French capital. He had to undergo a variety of mortifications, till his "Portraits politiques des Papes" filled up the measure of his guilt in the view of the bigotted party at Paris. In this work, he is said to have gone great lengths, and to have rather provoked hostility, which, of course, he readily met with. About the close of 1822, he was ordered to quit Paris in three days, and France with the least possible delay. He rapidly traversed the country, then covered with snow, and was not even permitted to rest for a short time at Bayonne. Upon entering his native country, however, he was received with flattering marks of public esteem. But these honours came too late; for, a few days after his arrival at Madrid, he died, worn out with anxiety and fatigue, at the age of sixty-six. His funeral was well attended, and was celebrated with much respect.
The history of the Spanish Inquisition in the French language, which was our author's own composition, and the mature result of his labours on the subject, is in four small, but thick, and rather closely printed volumes. It contains abundance of important matter; but the details are long, minute, and to the ordinary reader would be wearisome, especially in a day like the present, when reading, if not knowledge, is increased almost beyond the possibility of keeping up with its march. In short, there are few works which more require, and few, we may say, which better deserve a good abridgment. The character of the original work is, we think, thus justly described by Gallois, the French abbreviator:
"La fortune de ce livre est due, non
pas au style, dépourvu de coloris et d'élegance, non pas à la disposition habile des profondeur des aperçus, à la finesse des matériaux, à l'énergie des portraits, a la observations; au contraire, les parties brillantes de l'art d'écrire manquent dans cet ouvrage : mais l'authenticité des titude, et la nouveauté des détails qu'il pièces importantes qu'il renferme, l'exacrévèle, la vérité frappante d'une narration sans ornemens, ont suffi pour donner tout. à-coup à ce livre le caractère de source permis desormais de parler ni d'écrire sur historique; c'est à dire, qu'il n'est plus 'Inquisition, sans consulter et sans citer le temoignage de son véridique annaliste." Pp. xxvi, xxvii.
The recommendation of the present history, as compared with former works on the same subject, is, we conceive, that it exhibits greater fulness and superior accuracy; and also that it brings down the annals of this tribunal to its temporary abolition in 1808, would we could say its final and complete destruction. But, because it still rears its gorgon head, it is necessary that the monster should be watched and attacked with persevering and unrelenting energy. The history of Philip Limborch has, we believe, hitherto enjoyed the greatest reputation of any work which has appeared on the subject. But, not to speak of his necessarily inferior means of information, it must be remembered that he died more than a century ago, and that consequently his work reaches far short of the period up to which Llorente has carried his annals.
We shall endeavour to present our readers with as much information on the subject of these volumes, as the scantiness of our limits will allow. In treating of the Spanish tribunal, it is at once mournful and consolatory to reflect that we are taking a view of the Inquisition under its very worst and most tremendous aspect. That scion of it which was grafted at Rome, under the immediate care and culture of the pope himself, might almost be termed mild and innoxious, when compared with the Upas tree which took root and flourished on the unhappy shores of Spain.