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ciation of the language, that Spaniards, who care little for the truths he utters, have been among his hearers merely from the pleasure which it gave them to listen to the fulness and melody with which he speaks their native tongue,
In addition to a choice and valuable library of theology, he has the best English and German works in philology and sacred criticism. I have spoken thus freely of this gentleman, not so much from the fact of my having spent many hours of pleasant social intercourse with him, as because he is a highly important witness as to the religious condition and prospects of Spain. Early in 1835, Mr. Rule made a tour through Spain, visiting Madrid and other important cities; and some extracts, which he permitted me to make from his copious journal, having been published in the United States, excited much interest in behalf of Spain, both there and in England. His familiar knowledge of the language, and his free intercourse with men of high standing in the Catholic church in Spain, placed within his reach important sources of information, which at a later period, when making a similar tour, owing to the distracted state of the country, were not open to me. I shall therefore here avail myself to some extent of extracts from his journal, to show the strong hold which infidelity has gained in Spain, as also the strong opposition there is in the Catholic church there to the claims of the Pope. These extracts are as follows :
“ January 11th, 1835. — At Cadiz. It is the Lord's Day, yet all is business. The market is crowded, and the shops, with very few exceptions, open. Along the narrow balconied streets all is life and bustle, and the Alameda, Plaza, and other public places are thronged with people in holyday dress.
“ January 12th. – This morning called on Mr. Hortel, the principal bookseller in Cadiz, who has for some time past been waiting to receive copies of the Scriptures in Spanish for sale in his shop. He is perfectly willing and even desirous to receive them. Yet the circumstance that the Bible, except when printed with notes approved by the church, is a prohibited book, and the fact, that an ecclesiastic is always posted at the Custoin-House, to prevent contagion from being introduced into the kingdom by prohibited books, must lead us to employ the utmost caution as to their introduction.
“ January 13th. — Left Cadiz for Seville. At Xerez five students of the law entered the diligence to proceed to the University of Seville. We had some brisk conversation on VOL. I.
subjects of doctrine, produced by their questions as to the faith and practice of the Protestants. I spoke as freely as if I had been in England, not having any reason to shroud the truth, no, not even in Spain. Spaniards themselves speak freely, even to licentiousness, and therefore it becomes our duty to speak freely also. So far from taking offence they appeared to be gratified at receiving information.
January 14th. Reached Seville. Went to call on Don Juan Ramon Ramirez, who had called on me repeatedly at Gibraltar. One Sunday evening, after the Spanish sermon, he came to me and requested an interview. The next morning he called again. He told me that he was like a ship without helm or pilot, disgusted with his own priesthood, and yet quite uninformed on the subject of religion. I was pleased with his frankness, and advised him to read a Bible which he purchased, and invited him to call again. He did
When I called at his house, his mother instantly conjectured who I was, and on calling a second time, for then he was not at home, he told me that my bed was ready for me, and that his house was to be my home. He has numerous family connexions in this city, who he states will be ready to declare themselves Protestants as soon as the religion so desired by the people shall have been proclaimed. He says, that the population of Seville is 90,000, of whom 70,000 do not go to mass, nor yet confess. These 70,000 then are chiefly abandoned to infidelity, or sunk into indiffer
A comedy entitled “The Devil Preacher' is to be exhibited this evening, in which it is said friars will be personated on the stage. This is done openly in one of the chief towns in Spain, an Episcopal see, and the residence of a Cardinal Archbishop. None prevent it, for none can.
“ January 15th. -Ramirez went with me to see the parish priest of St. Gil. He is a frank and pleasant man, but lax in his religious sentiments. Speaking of the affairs of Spain, he coolly asked me, if I thought that God meddled with such trifles as the quarrels of such insignificant creatures as we
At our Vice-Consul's I had a conversation with a very intelligent gentleman. Speaking of the immense possessions of the monastic bodies, he was led to notice the friars, which he did with the utmost contempt. He stated that of late none of respectable families have taken the habit, and he predicted the rapid abolition of monasticism.
“ January 16th. — I have had a long conversation today
with parties of students, who asked me a variety of questions as to the doctrines and practices of the different religious sects in England. They tell me, that there are 3,000 students of law, medicine, and divinity in the University; the greater part of whom are, it is to be feared, infidels. A number of them brought me their books, which had on their covers the titles of devotional works, but which, upon opening them, proved to be the writings of Voltaire, and others of the same class.
January 22d. – Reached Madrid. Towards the close I of the journey, I had a conversation with a gentleman of wealth
and intelligence, by the name of Hernandez. He spoke of monkery with the utmost contempt; but says, that even in the convents there are some learned men of liberal minds, who now desire the abolition of monasticism. He considers the toleration of the Protestant religion as a measure of government, so necessary to the commercial prosperity of Spain, that it will be impossible longer to avoid it.
" This morning I called on Mr. Razola, a bookseller, with whom I had corresponded before. He is friendly to the great object of disseminating the truth by means of the press, and desires to receive, if possible, Bibles for sale in his shop.
“ January 23d. - This morning I called on Don Felix Torres Amat, Bishop of Astorga, Translator of the Scriptures into Spanish. He is a truly amiable man. He said that he had received kind assistance from Englishmen, in reference to his version of the Bible, and recounted the services they had rendered him. He said that he acknowledged the Protestants to be true Christians, and knew many of them to be actuated by the most pious and generous sentiments. He dwelt with great apparent interest on the incidents of an early friendship formed with an English gentleman in Spain, many years ago, when both were young, with whom he has lately renewed correspondence, and who has been his agent in sending his version of the Bible to America. In compliance with a request that he would give information of the versions of the Bible published in Spanish, by the Bible societies, he has transmitted to Rome an assurance that, having seen all, as he believes, of these versions, and examined the principal passages cited in controversy between us, he has not detected the slightest corruption in any one instance. At the same time he has told the Pope, that if Catholics calumniate Protestants, by laying against them accusations which cannot be substantiated, they will inevitably lose their cause.
“ The present edition of his version, of which he presented me with a copy, and which would sell in Madrid, for sixty or seventy reals of vellon per volume, is sold so low as twentysix reals to subscribers. It is in five volumes. This edition is one of 3,000 copies, and is to be thrown into circulation, as he says, among heads of families, priests, who ought to read the Bible, and friars, who are too generally ignorant of it. He intends, when the last volume, now in the press, shall be published, to purchase of the printer 100 copies, have them bound, and distribute them gratuitously among the clergy of his diocese.
“For two years and a half his version was subjected to a rigorous examination by the Congregation of the Index, in Rome, when they sent him the following injunctions : Ist. That he should place under their respective passages, several notes, which he had published in a dictionary apart. 2d. That he should show his readers, that the reading of the Bible is not necessary to salvation. Our conversation was long, and he spoke on all points as a man of piety, and a friend of the human race. He gave it as his opinion, that the cause of liberty would advance, in spite of every effort to impede it He said, that public opinion and feeling are a torrent, which, if resisted, will swell, break forth, and devastate with vio. lence, but which it is the duty of all governments, and of the clergy especially, to guide in a right channel, but which, if they regarded their own safety, they would by no means en. deavour to obstruct. The time was now come, he said, to speak and write freely, which he was resolved to do; and he could now say things which, a year ago, it would not have been safe for him to utter.
“ At another visit his favorite topic was the union of the Spanish and English churches. He believed that the higher clergy of Spain would most readily cast off all subjection to the Pope, leaving him only the first place in the Episcopacy, which he conceives ought to be allowed to him, and thinks that it could not be attended with any prejudice to the bishops and other clergy. He plainly acknowledges that Luther, and the other Reformers, were right in their opposition to the abuses of the Church of Rome; but thinks they did wrong in rending the seamless garment of Christ. He says, they did well in despising the Pope's bulls and decretals, and that he would have done the same. He maintains, that the most enlightened part of the clergy of Spain, would now most
readily abandon the nummeries which have been introduced into the worship of God, in the course of ages, and return to primitive simplicity, as the Protestants have done, although he conceives that the Protestants have gone into the opposite extreme. In speaking of difference of doctrine, he said, the Protestants agree that Christ is present at the Sacrament; but then, as to the mode, each one to his own mind; and added, that St. Paul, in so saying, had preached toleration to all parties. He defended the doctrine of Purgatory. But still,' he said, “it was an article of faith, that none could enter into Heaven without being purified from sin ; but as to the mode of purification, each might entertain his own views.' With great earnestness he exclaimed, “We must lay aside our passions, and manifest Christian charity. The enemy of the church is not Luther or Calvin, but Anti-Christ; and, in order to combat him effectually, we must leave the outposts, and fall back into the fortress itself, which is divine revelation, and then be united, and contend for that, or fifty years hence there will be no religion in the world. The majority of the Catholics would say, that you cannot be saved, but I say that you can, for you and other Protestants hold to the essentials of Christianity, and are Christians as well as we.' He advised me, being young, to think well on this subject, and draw sketch of a project for the union of Christians against info observed to him, that infidelity had been spreadinto not only among the laity, but also among the
Among a few of the clergy,' he replied. They are
atlanatics than infidels. Infidelity would rob us risasut superstition and fanaticism provide us with nance Therefore it would not suit us to be infidels.' But, wed, the truth seems to be, that too many of the clergy are indifferent at heart. “Alas! that is the case,' he replied; and such was the style of much of our conversation. He says, that the Bible must have some notes, however few, to give it currency in Spain, — that those notes might be critical and not doctrinal, and on the passages cited in controversy between us, an entire silence might be observed.
“ January 24th. — Called on J. de la C., Augustine monk in the convent of St. Felipe Real. He is busy in preparing a continuation of the España Sagrada, by appointment of the Royal Academy of History, of which he is a member. He has an excellent suite of apartments in the convent, and an extensive library. Every thing around him has an air of