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L E T T E R

TO THE

R E V. W. H. MILL, D.D.

LATE PRINCIPAL OF BISHOP'S COLLEGE, CALCUTTA;

CONTAINING SOME

STRICTURES ON MR. FABER’S RECENT WORK,

ENTITLED,

THE ANCIENT VALLENSES AND ALBIGENSES.”

39

BY THE

REV. S. R. MAITLAND,

LIBRARIAN

TO HIS GRACE THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY.

LONDON:

PRINTED FOR J. G. & F. RIVINGTON,

ST. PAUL'S CHURCH YARD,

AND WATERLOO PLACE, PALL MALL.

1839.

862.

LONDON: GILBERT AND RIVINGTON, PRINTERS,

ST. JOHN'S SQUARE.

A

LETTER,

8c.

MY DEAR FRIEND,

I FEEL so deeply indebted to you—or I should rather say to the good Providence of God which brought us together in our youth—for whatever disposition or qualification I may have for discussing such a subject as Mr. Faber has chosen-and custom long ago made it such a matter of course that we should communicate with each other on any odd book that might come in our way, that it would seem quite natural to address these strictures to you, even if I had not heard you express any opinion of this particular work, or of the school of controversy to which it belongs.

In thus referring to your opinion, I do not mean to make you answerable for my remarks on Mr. Faber's book. I have been told that it should be answered; and I should think so too if one could only imagine any possible way of doing it without

A 2

spending a vast deal of time and money in producing some half-dozen large volumes, which no publisher would print, and no reader would wade through. The book contains so much misapprehension, misstatement, and perversion of words and facts, chiefly drawn from writers even less known to most readers than they are to Mr. Faber himself, that the dry discussions, of which a reply in detail must consist, would be invincibly wearisome.

Let me, in the first place, try you with a single chapter, on which I have written some notes for the purpose. I assure you that I did not choose it because it contains, as far as I know, more or less truth or error than any other chapter in the book; but it seems convenient because it is one of moderate length, referring to a single isolated fact which may be stated in few words, and does not require you to bear in mind, or refer to, any previous or subsequent history. It stands as a simple fact in the annals of the Church, that in the beginning of the eleventh century some of the canons of Orleans were charged with heresy, were tried by a synod convened for the purpose, and were burned as heretics. The reason why this fact is brought into the present controversy is that most persons, however they may differ about the nature of the alleged heresy of these canons, agree in supposing that they got it from the Paulicians and transmitted it to the Albigenses. Still there is no external proof of th that is, no proof except such as we may be able to find in the agreement of the recorded doctrines of the several parties, or the evidence afforded by the statements of those persons respecting these doctrines, who, from being near their times, might know more of their opinions than has been recorded in any documents which have come down to us. It is therefore, as I have said, in a certain sense, an isolated fact, and it may be fairly considered as such, whatever bearing it may have on any matters of controversy

You will bear in mind, however, that my present object is not to state the history, or to argue upon it; but to give you the whole of the short chapter which Mr. Faber has devoted to it, with a few strictures on his mode of treating the subject, in order to give you some idea of his book.

CHAPTER IV. The Falsehood of the Allegation of Manichèism against the

Albigenses, demonstrated from the Case of the Canons of Orleans.

The earliest instance, I believe, of the public attention being drawn to certain reputed Manichèans who had suddenly appeared in France, is that offered by the remarkable case of the Canons of Holyrood in Orleans.

I. After the favourite manner of the Gallican Romish Clergy, Bossuet rapidly tells the story in his own way: suppressing all the gross contradictions, which occur in the several accounts of the matter; observing a prudent silence, as to the very suspicious method in which was procured the pretended confession of the culprits; and, instead of honestly exhibiting in his margin the original documents upon which

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