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glancing manner of arguing which distinguishes that writer, and must make him a great favourite with the fair readers of his party. I dislike historical more than any other controversy, and have purposely abstained in the preceding pages from every topic that could lead me into the labyrinth of contradictory authorities where truth lies concealed, especially on points of ecclesiastical history. But as Mr. Butler has, by the way, discovered two hitherto unknown phenomena, a tolerant Spanish friar and a liberal Spanish Council, I, as a Spaniard, cannot pass these wonders unnoticed. “It should not be forgotten,” says Mr. Butler”, “ that Alphonsus de Castro, a Spanish friar and confessor to Philip, in a sermon preached before the court, condemned these proceedings (the sanguinary persecutions of Mary) in the most pointed manner, as contrary both to the text and the spirit of the gospel.” He said “ that it was not by severity but by mildness that men were to be brought into the fold of Christ; and that it was not the duty of bishops to seek the death, but to instruct the ignorance of their misguided brethren.”— “Many,” says Dr. Lingard, “were at a loss to account for the discourse; whether it was the spontaneous effort of the friar, or had been suggested to him by the policy of Philip, or by the humanity of Cardinal Pole, or by the repugnance of the bishops—it made however a deep impression. The preacher was afterwards advanced to a bishopric in Spain.” This is a remarkable specimen of the art of weakening strong impressions by a crowd of new ones, vague, indefinite, and discordant. It is analogous (I beg my readers to pardon the homeliness of the illustration) to the mode in which
rubbing and scratching in every direction, relieve some deep
* Page 203, 1st ed.
sensations of the skin. Four suppositions are suggested to account for the fact that a Spanish friar preached toleration in London under the sanguinary Mary. The reader, of course, will not stop to choose among them. He then finds that the sermon “made a deep impression,” and the friar was advanced to a bishopric in Spain: the consequence is that, whereas he formerly believed that Spanish friars were the most horrible persecutors, he must now suspend his judgment; and who knows, but he may feel inclined to think that the shortest cut to a Spanish bishopric is a sermon on toleration ? But who was this mild, goodnatured friar—this Alphonsus de Castro? Nicholas Antonio, in his Bibliotheca Hispana Nova, gives a pretty long article about him, of which I will only copy the notice of one of this meek friar's works. “De justa Harreticorum punitione, libri tres. Salmanticae, 1547. in fol. ex officina Joannis Giunta. Lugduni, 1556, in 8, apud haeredes Jacobi Junctae. Antuerpiae apud Steelsii haeredes 1568 in 8. ut confirmaret justas esse omnes illas panas, quibus in jure civili atque canonico haritici addicuntur.” Such was the man that proclaimed forbearance from the pulpit, in the presence of those two notorious tyrants, Philip and Mary. He, indeed, exhibits one of the numerous instances of that mixed spirit of fierce intolerance, and accommodating casuistry, to which men grow prone under the tuition of Popes and Cardinals. It was certainly not the spirit of Christian meekness that produced the extraordinary contradiction which appears between Castro's works, in Spain, and his sermon, in London; but the same ambitious views of Philip, which made him endeavour to acquire popularity by protecting the Lady Elizabeth from the spite of the Queen, and by procuring the release of Lord Henry Dudley, Sir
George Harper, Sir Nicholas Throgmorton, and many others, who, as Hume observes, had been confined, from the suspicions or resentments of the court. I have, in the next place, to show the true character of that liberal Council of Toledo, whose open profession of toleration is so triumphantly adduced by the advocate of the Roman Catholic church. “The fourth Council of Toledo had declared,” says Mr. Butler, “that it was unlawful and unchristianlike to force people to believe, seeing it is God alone who hardens and shows mercy to whom he will.” A noble declaration, indeed, to come from the seat of one of the Spanish inquisitions! But when did this humane Council meet, and what was its general character? Did it apply this broad principle to every dissenting sect? Did it really anticipate the Protestants in the recognition of the right of private judgment in matters of faith? Our author will not deprive his cause of the chance that his readers will answer all these questions in the sense most favourable to the object for which the quotation is made. I will, however, deal more explicitly upon these points. The fourth Council of Toledo was held in the year of our Lord, 634. Mariana, the Spanish historian, says that Sisenand (an usurper who, with the aid of Dagobert, king of France, had deposed Swinthila) “ convened from all parts of his dominions about seventy bishops, at Toledo, under colour of reforming the morals of the ecclesiastics, which the troubles of the times had greatly depraved; but with the real object that the fathers should condemn Swinthila, as unworthy of the crown, and by this means, both his open followers and secret friends might be made to change their minds and be quiet”.” It is probable that this holy council, finding it necessary to allay the alarm of the Jews, whose wealth was for many centuries the best resource of the Spanish kings, was induced to pass the decree in their favour, which Mr. Butler gives us as an unlimited declaration in behalf of all dissenters from the Church of Rome. Numbers of that persecuted people had been forced to receive baptism by a law of Sisebute. This law alone is repealed by the fourth Council of Toledo. Had Mr. Butler either read the original decrees, or wished to state the whole matter without curtailment, the character of his church would have gained little from the liberality of the Toletan fathers. Indeed the same canon of the Council, which favours the world with the comprehensive principles of toleration which have been adduced as a parallel to the most liberal concessions of the Protestants on that point, declares that the Jen's niho were baptized by force should be compelled to the observance of Christianity. I will subjoin the whole decree: Canon. 55. “De Judaeis autem hoc praecepit sancta synodus nemini deinceps ad credendum vim inferre. Cui enim vult Deus miseretur, et quem vult indurat. Non enim tales inviti salvandi sunt, sed volentes, ut integra sit forma justitiae. Sicut enim homo propriá arbitrii voluntate serpenti obediens, periit sic (vocante segratiâ Dei) propriae mentis conversione quisque credendo, salvatur. Ergo non vi, sed libera arbitrii facultate ut convertantur suadendi sunt non potius impellendi. Qui autem jam pridem ad Christianitatem venire coacti sunt (sicut factum est temporibus religiosissimi principis Sisehuti) quia jam constal eos sacramentis divinis associatos, et baptismigratiam suscepisse, et chrismate unctos esse, et corporis Domini, et sanguinis eatitisse participes; oportet ut fidem ETIAM QUAM vi vel.
* Mariana, Book vi. c. 5.
NecessitATE suscepERUNT tenere cogantur, ne nomen Domini &lasphemetur; et sides quam susceperunt contemptibilis habeatur”.” But I have in reserve a string of tender mercies, such as flowed from the tolerant principle of the liberal Council of Toledo. They are recorded in the same page with the proclamation of mental freedom, by which the apologist of Rome has stopped the mouths of those who charge his church with intolerance. The models of Roman Catholic liberality, having in the 55th canon forbidden the Jews baptized by force, to return to their religion, proceed in the 60th to provide for the spiritual safety of children born of unconverted parents, from whom they are directed to be taken away, and placed in convents. Judaeorum Jilios vel filias, ne parentum ultro involvantur erroribus, ab eorum consortio separari decernimus. The forced converts are then made the objects of the Council's anxiety. To prevent the secret exercise of their national practices, all intercourse between them and their unconverted brethren is made punishable, by making the unbaptized parties slaves to the Christians, and putting the offending neophytes to death. Nulla igitur ultra communio sit Hebraeis ad fidem Christianam translatis, cum his qui adhuc in vetere ritu consistunt; ne forte eorum participatione subvertantur. Quicumque igitur amodo ear his qui baptizati sunt, infidelium consortia non vitaverint ; ethi
* The Spaniard, Carranza, not satisfied with the inquisitorial force authorized by the latter part of this canon, took care to omit, in his Summa Conciliorum, the words, “Ergo non vi, sed libera arbitrii facultate ut convertantur suadendi sunt, non potius impellendi.” Yet Carranza himself was suspected and imprisoned by the Inquisition. My transcript of this and following canons is from the Collection of the Jesuits, Labbé and Gossart, vol. v. p. 1720.