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comfort, approaching to elegance. With great warmth he expressed his pleasure at being visited by an Englishman. The Inquisition, he said, had ruined Spain. The nation had been literally vanquished and enslaved by Rome. Religion had been oppressed, and almost lost, literature had been buried, and some vestiges of it alone remaining, as if preserved by miracle, for that any other people of inferior genius would have been sunk into utter barbarism, under such inmense disadvantages as had affected Spain. "Infidelity had been imported from France; and the people, submerged in ignorance, were carried away by a torrent of licentiousness and unbelief, until in the present day the state of the Spanish youth is lamentable in the extreme. To show me that these views were not recently adopted by him, he read a few sentences of a preface which he had written to his translation of a work from the French, in the year 1913, entitled, Apologista Anti-revolutionaria.
"He then, [in 1813,] openly declared, that the people of Spain had been culpably abandoned to a state of profound ignorance, and that the only remedy was in the hands of the clergy, who ought to provide the people with sound instruction. But since then, [namely, 1813, ) he added, things have grown worse instead of better. The prohibitions which have been laid in the way of literature, he lamented in the strongest language. The clergy, he said, should have employed their pens to resist the influence of irreligion and skepticism, but it became impossible for them to do so. Priests, who were generally profoundly ignorant, were posted at the custom-houses to shut out of the kingdom every foreign work to which they might choose to object, perhaps without even understanding the title-page, and the ministers of religion were not allowed so much as to read a prohibited book without a special license to do so, as though they were unworthy of confidence, and had no judgment of their own to guide them. But now, he said, the Spanish clergy generally are weary of the arrogance and domineering measures of the Romans, and are desirous to break off the yoke. In short, he said it was much to be desired, that the Spanish and English churches should unite and make a stand against Rome, or if not, it appeared to him that Christianity, through Romish and Antichristian policy, would soon be driven out of Europe. I remarked, that if the Spanish church were utterly to renounce the Pope of Rome, there might not be much difficulty in effecting a union with the Church of England, as far as discipline is concerned, as that church is also Episcopal,' and the position of the two churches would then become similar: but I feared it would be impossible for them to agree as to doctrines, as they differ almost entirely on many of the cardinal points of faith. But he thought that difficulty might be easily overcome, 'for,' said he, we would agree to abide by the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, in the first place; and then be further guided by the fathers of the church, for the first six centuries, and reject the superstitions which were afterwards introduced; although, indeed, abuses began with Constantine.” I was indeed delighted to hear such sentiments advanced by an Augustinian monk within the walls of his convent, in the capital of Spain, and that without reserve, and in the hearing of a third person. Doubtless there are others, who, like this man, and the bishop of A- -, desire a union of the Spanish and English churches, and this, too, at a time when the Papal Nuncio has been dismissed from Madrid, because the Servant of the servants of God, and centre of union to the faithful,' will not acknowledge the actual sovereign of the country. As I was about to leave, he led me into his bedroom, and playfully exclaimed, these are the prisoners.' These prisoners are prohibited books in Latin, French, Spanish, &c., some hundreds of which he has collected, having kept them concealed during the times of the Inquisition. He pointed out Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History, but has never seen Milner's, which he wishes to obtain.
“I called on Señor Potia, a lawyer and literary man, who has been imprisoned in the Inquisition, on a political account, and on Señor Quintana, one of the most learned men in Spain, and Procer (peer or Lord of the kingdom, both of whom manifested great liberality of sentiment. They are members of the Junta, commissioned to prepare a new code of laws for Spain, to be submitted to the Cortes.
“ January 27th. — Took leave of J. de la C., the Augustinian monk. With much apparent feeling and sincerity, he lamented the conduct of multitudes of friars, who are now in open rebellion against the government, rendering religion, as he says, contemptible and odious to the people.
“February 5th.- Arrived at Gibraltar. On the way home, my mind was much occupied with reflections on the state of Spain, and the desired introduction of the Gospel into that
country. From all that I have seen and heard, both before and during my visit, I feel painfully convinced, that the great mass of the people are abandoned to idleness and vice, and rendered yet more miserable by their contempt and even abhorrence of the established religion. Infidelity and licentiousness have spread beyond all that I could have imagined. To commence a mission in Pagan Africa, might appear less arduous than in this nominally Christian country; for here is not only ignorance, but obdurate iniquity, in all its forms. Yet, this dreary picture is not utterly without relief. There are still some to be found, who, while they have escaped the thraldom of vulgar superstition, have not cast off all reverence of God and religion ; whose minds are open to conviction, and to whom our efforts may be useful when a door of entrance shall be opened. But even these, haring no right standard of religious principle, slide into a pernicious laxity of sentiment, and class together Protestants, Jews, and Moors, as if they professed religious equality worthy the credence of mankind." In the lower classes, the females are frequently degraded beyond description, and the ordinary language of both sexes, is blasphemous, trifling, and obscene.
To ingratiate themselves with a minister of the gospel, they seem to think it sufficient, that they should deride the friars; but to refrain from sin in his presence, is a mark of respect which they do not seem to conceive of. A Protestant preacher would be heard, as I should think, with avidity, at first, and God might own his labors. But I fear it would be long, ere the mass of the people would cease to regard him rather as an adversary of the priests and friars, than as a preacher of Christ. However, there is a strong prepossession in favor of the Protestant religion in the minds of many, and could the missionary confine himself to a plain declaration of those truths which make men wise unto salvation, he might contribute to a decided change of public feeling on the subject."
In connexion with his other efforts for the good of Spain, Mr. Rule has prepared and printed, in Cadiz, an edition of 500 copies of religious hymns for public worship, in the Spanish language, several of which he composed himself. He has also written to booksellers in thirty-six of the principal towns of Spain, inquiring if they would sell Bibles. From twelve of ihese he has received answers, seven of which are decidedly favorable, and without reserve, and the others suggest only obvious objections, such as the bad state of
the roads, and other similar difficulties, which might prevent Bibles from reaching them safely.
In February, 18:36, in answering the question, — How shall we send the Gospel into Spain, Mr. Rule wrote as follows. —“There are two methods by which this may be done, and it appears to me that both ought to be combined. The one is a distinct oral declaration of the truth, and the other is the dissemination of sound religious knowledge by the press. Whether we shall be permitted to speak of Christ to the Spaniards, ought not, I think, to be regarded as questionable. We may, in conversational intercourse with the people, proceed to any length we please. In this way, much may at first be done; and the missionary, who shall have acquired the confidence and respect of any influential portion of the community, might proceed, in time, to establish some of the forms of social worship.
“ Local authorities might sometimes catch at occasions to embarrass him, unless he should have been able to conciliate them by proceeding in an open, but honorable and pacific
There should be nothing covert about his movements, as there is about those of the people of the country. He has nothing to conceal. His business is to speak the truth, yet not willingly to adopt such measures, or employ such a style, as might be considered offensive to legitimate authorities. That local opposition will be raised is doubtless true. It would seem, however, that, on the subject of religion, every thing is to be taken for granted. The legislators of Spain presume, or affect to presume, that the people would be averse to innovations; but the fact is, no one knows this, as yet, for no considerable attempt has been made to innovate on their errors by the introduction of the truth. But let us go to Spain. We can converse, perhaps preach. But surely we can pray when there, and, by Divine grace, can exhibit piety by living examples : and, above all, God can work with us, and confirm his word, and, when any shall have been brought to experience his power, to save them from sin, we may confide them to Him for protection from their persecutors, should any arise."
Mr. Rule is fully of opinion, that a Protestant missionary to Spain ought, on many accounts, to be married. One reason for this is, that he would need the protection which would thus be secured to his character in his necessary religious intercourse with the people ; for such are the morals of the Catholic clergy there, as to the matter of licentiousness, that a young clergyman cannot freely visit in families, without sacrificing his own reputation, and that of those whose houses he frequents. On this account many respectable families will not permit a Catholic priest to enter their houses, and where one of them joins a company in a stagecoach, or elsewhere, a sneer may commonly be seen on every countenance, and the chance is, that many a joke will be passed upon him.
It is a singular fact, in the lines of party which have been recently drawn in Spain, in consequence of the officious interference of the Court of Rome in the affairs of Spain, that given individuals are freely spoken of as Papists, or adherents of the Pope, as opposed to those who would cast off all allegiance to him.
As to the best means of conducting religious efforts in Spain, my own views fully coincide with those of Mr. Rule, as expressed above, and as further elicited during the full and free discussions of the subject, which have taken place between us. A passing notice of some of the leading topics of which he speaks will therefore suffice for the present.
First, then, as to free conversation on all religious subjects, the Protestant, and especially the Protestant clergyman, who travels or resides in Spain, has great and peculiar facilities. The past efforts of the priesthood, aided by the Inquisition, so far succeeded in excluding from the country, or exterminating there, both Protestants and their writings, that but few, even of the more intelligent and better educated classes, have any just or correct idea of the religious belief, usages, character, and modes of worship of those whom they have been taught to regard as damnable heretics, race of monsters, on whom the blighting curse of Heaven, and of mother church, for ever rests, and for whose extirpation from the earth they should most devoutly pray. When, therefore, they meet with one of these strange beings, and find him a man formed and fashioned like themselves, with the refinement and intelligence of a gentleman and a scholar, and withal familiar with the manners and customs, the religious creeds and sacred rites of nations, whose existence and character, if known to them at all, have ever been clothed with the vague indistinctness of a dream of romance; when they meet with such an one, all that he says has the charm of novelty, and he is listened to with peculiar interest. The Protestant in Spain may therefore not only speak his mind with the utmost free