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COMPARISON OF TIITS WITH SEVERAL AUTHENTICATED ONES.
THE DOUAY CATECHISM.
MUTILATION OF THE COMMANDMENTS, AND EXCISION OF THE SECOND IN MANY CATECHISMS. THE CATECHISM OF CANISIUS.
SATURDAY, November 7th, 1818. Amicus Veritatis tells us (See Part I. p. 32,) that the Douay Catechism “is approved by the whole body of the Catholic church; and is put into the hands of every child that is learning its Christian doctrine." Alas, for the children who have no better means of instruction than that furnished by this catechism !
This assertion, that it is approved by the whole body of the Catholic church,” like most of his other assertions, will not bear examination. When was this approbation expressed? When was it possible that it could be expressed? There has been no meeting of the Catholic church by its delegates, or otherwise, since the council of Trent; and I have before me, a catechism founded upon the decrees of that council, which differs very materially from the Douay one, as we shall see presently. The Douay Catechism itself does not profess to have the honour of general or universal approbation in the Catholic church. It has, in short, no voucher whatever. It presents itself with as little ceremony, or introduction, as it were merely a collection of those “excellent new songs, which have been hawked about the country for a hundred years.
I have consulted a number of their catechisms, several of which are much larger than the Douay one, and are, besides, formally authenticated by the pope, or some other dignitary of the church. For instance, “ Catechismus ad Parochos ex decreto Concilii Tredentini editus,” is published by authority of Pope Pius V. “ Instructions generales en forme de Catechisme,'' is printed by order of CHARLES Joachim Colbert, bishop of Montpellier; and the Catechism for the use of all the Churches in the French Empire,” is sanctioned by the present pope, and the archbishop of Paris. I find none of those originally published in English, or that are in present use in this country, so well authenticated.
In one of my late numbers, I said there were different versions of the Douay Catechism, or rather, perhaps, different catechisms, intended for different parts of the world, according to the degree of knowledge or ignorance, which is supposed to exist among the people. I have examined a version that is in common use in Ireland, and another which is used among the Papists in the Highlands of Scotland; and, from this examination, I am confirmed in the idea above expressed. The Douay Catechism, recommended by AMICUS VERITATIS, with all its errors and imperfections, is the least gross, and the least exceptionable. The Papists, therefore, have shown their wisdom in adopting this version to be used in Glasgow, as any thing extremely gross would more readily be detected here than in either the Highlands or Ireland.
The Douay Catechism, for instance, gives the second commandment at full length, which is not done by any other of those which I have mentioned. This seems to have been omitted in most of their
catechisms, for the purpose, no doubt, of concealing the divine prohi- . bition of making and worshipping images. But, as Papists do not publicly worship images in Glasgow, they have not this motive for concealing the commandment; and AMICUS VERITATIS would have us believe it is the same all over the world, and, therefore, he tells us, that this catechism is approved by the whole body of the Catholic church.
The version used in Ireland has not a word of the second commandment. That in the Highlands has the first and second, as follows:-" The first commandment is, I am the Lord thy God who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, and out of the house of bondage, thou shalt have no strange gods before me, &c."'* “ The second commandment is, thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain." Thus we see the whole of the second is omitted; but, should any of our acute countrymen in the north, by intercourse with his southern neighbours, come to learn that he has been robbed of one of the commandments, his priest can save his credit, by telling him that it lies all under the comprehensive et cetera.
This mode of announcing a divine law has, however, the sanction of high authority,--not less than that of the council of Trent, at least of the “ Catechismus ad Parochos," founded on their decrees, in which we read as follows:-" Primum præceptum decalogi. Ego sum Dominus Deus tuus qui eduxi te de terra Ægypti, de domo servitutis. Non habebis Deos alienos coram me, non facies tibi sculptile, &c." (Page 310.) This gives four words of the second commandment, forbidding the making of images; but, as if afraid to venture any farther, lest they should divulge too much of the will of God, which is decidedly against the worship of images, they slur over all the rest with an gc.
The Montpellier Catechism, an elaborate work in three volumes, ventures a little farther. To the first commandment they add the following words of the second,—" Vous ne vous ferez point d'idole, ni d'image taillé en aucune figure pour les adorer, ni pour les servir." (Tom. ii. p. 153.) Here, there is no &c., and what is given must stand for the whole commandment.
A large work in English, entitled “The Real Principles of Ca. tholics; or, a Catechism for the Adult,” (page 121,) gives a few words more of the same commandment, but not nearly the whole: and the catechism for the use of all the churches in the French empire, does not give a word of it. It gives what is meant for both the first and second, in five words :—"Thou shalt worship one God;" (page 75;) and then, after a few questions and answers, it proceeds to a direct contradiction of the divine law, as follows:-“Q. Does this commandment forbid honouring the saints as the church does ? A. No: because the church does not render to the saints the same honour as to God; but only honours the saints as the friends of God.-Q. Is it for. bidden to honour the images of Jesus Christ or of the saints ? A. No: because they are honoured only in remembrance of Jesus Christ or of the saints, and the honour paid to the images relates to the objects
• Wherever what we call the second commandment, or any part of it, is given in their catechisms, it is attached to the first; then our third is their second, and so on to their ninth, which is divided to make up the ten.
which they represent.-Q. What say you of the honour shown to the relics of the saints ? A. They are likewise honoured in remembrance of the saints." The Douay Catechism gives the same doctrine in a more guarded manner :-"Q. Is it lawful to honour images of Christ and his saints ? · A. Yes, if rightly understood ; because ihe honour given them is referred to the things they represent; so that by the images or crosses, which we kiss, and before which we kneel, we honour and adore Christ himself.-Q. Do Catholics pray to images ? A. No, by no means: we pray before them, indeed, to keep us from distraction, but not to them ; for we know they can neither see, nor hear, nor help us. Q. What benefit have we then by them? A. They movingly represent to us the mysteries of our Saviour's passion, and the martyrdom of his saints.” (Pp. 45, 46.) There is here evidently a strong hankering after the worship of images, or which is substantially the same, the worship of God by images; and, if our Glasgow Papists had their will, they would have the image of a saint, or of the cross, at the corner of every street.
This sufficiently accounts for the omission of the second commandment in most of their catechisms, and it required no small assurance in the Douayists to give it entire; which says expressly, not only thou shalt not worship, but thou shalt not make unto thee any graren image. It forbids the worshipping of God by means of any resemblance of any thing in heaven or in earth. But the church of Rome teaches the very reverse. They permit the worship of images just as the heathen did, who did not profess to worship the image itself, but the god whom it represented. My present subject, however, is not the idolatry of the church of Rome, but their jugglery, in suppressing the divine command which convicts them of idol worship. On the subject of their idolatry itself, I cannot too strongly recommend the excellent work of Mr. CUNNINGHAME of Lainshaw.
This gentleman convicts the Douay Catechism of a mistranslation in the second commandment, which serves to cover the Romish practice of doing honour to images, so that they be not adored. Their words are, “ Thou shalt not adore nor worship them;" whereas, the words are literally rendered, “thou shalt not bow thyself to them, and shalt not serve them,” which expressly condemns their kneeling and worshipping before images, as much as the worshipping of the images themselves.
As I am upon the subject of catechisms, I shall occupy the remainder of this number, by extracts from one which will show the doctrine in which our fathers were instructed. For this I am indebted to a friend who has been at great pains to copy the very orthography of the work. It is certainly a curiosity; and, as some late publications have acquired great popularity, for little other reason, that I can think of, than the mixture of broad Scotch in their composition, I expect that what follows will be a recommendation of my work, especially as it is not the vulgar Scotch of the present day, but the classical Scotch of the sixteenth century. It is entitled “ Ane Catechism or Schort Instruction, &c. be Father Peter Canisius, Doctour in Theologie." This Catechism of Canisius was held in the very highest reputation by the Papists of the sixteenth century, and translated into all the modern languages. The following translation was made by
a zealous Scotch Papist, for the instruction of his countrymen. It has no date, but the table of moveable feasts begins with the year 1587:
" Quhat expresses ye nynt articl, (i. e. of the creed.) I believe the Halie Kirk Catholixe, the communion of sancts ? First, yat it is simple, ane, and soundlie agreing in faith-under hir one head Christ, and under his lieutena, the heighe bischope. To men out of this blessit communion of sancts (as to yam quha war out of the arke of Noe) deathe certainlie is appointit; and none hope of salvation, quhether they be lew or Ethnikes, quha never receved the faith of the Kirk, or haeretichis, quha has either forsaken ye faith that thay receaivit, or corruptit ye same, or the schismatiches quha has forsaken the peace and unitie of the Kirk, doubtless may not be participant of the grace of God, and eternal salvation, except they be recócilit and restorit agane to the Kirk-for ye reul of Sanct Cyprian and Sanct Augustine is maist suir, he sal nocht haiv God to his Father quha will nocht haiv the Kirk to his mother." Page 12.
The first commandment runs thus, “ Thou sal haiv no unkouth gods befoir me; thou sal nocht mak to thyself ony graven idol to adore it,'—the remaining part is omitted altogether; and what we call the tenth is as usual divided thus :-Ninth, “ Thou sal nocht covet thy nybour's wyffe.” Tenth, “ Nor his hous, nor mā, nor his maden, nor his ox, nor his asse, nor zet ony thing yat is his.".
“ The ancient Fathers' testimonies of the Virgin Marie. Sanct Ireneus, lib. V. com. hor. 8. As Eaive was seducit to flee frome God, so was Marie inducit to obey God, that the wergine Marie mycht be advocat for the wergine Eaive, and as mankind war bound unto deathe by ane wergine, so it mycht be lykwise lowsit by an wergine, the unequall ballance of an wergine's disobedience being maid equal by a wergine's obedience." Page 26. A great part of the popish books of devotion, in modern English, run in the same strain. In fact, the Virgin Mary is held forth as the Saviour and the goddess of Papists.
Hear St. Chrysostom in Liturgia: “ How worthy and rycht thing is it to glorifie ye mother off God, quha ever is most blessit, altogether unspotted. Mother of God, mair honourabill nor the cherubims, and mair glorious without comparison thane the seraphims, quha without all kinds of corruptions has borne God, we magnifie the truelie quha is the mother of God, Marie full of grace, the Lord is with the, blessit art thou amonges al wimen, and blessit is the fruiet of thy wombe, because thou hes brocht furthe the Salviour of our saulles." Page 26.
" Sanct Ambros, lib. 2. de Virginibus. Let the virginitie and lyffe of the blessit wergine Marie be as it war in an image let furthe to us fra quhome, as out off a glass, scheinnes brichtlie the patrone of chastitie, and forme off all vertues.—Marie was so perfyte that the lyffe of hir alon may be ane reul off leiving to all others." Page 26.
“ Sanct Gregorio,-0 Mother, blessit of wergines, ô thou light quha dwelles in ye tempill of heaven, maist bright, being free fra ihe filthe of our mortalitie, and now clothed with the robe of immortalitie, to my word, fra heaven incline thine ear, and my prayers, I beseech the, ô wergine, thow heir.” Page 27.
" Sanct Augustin.—Mary, succour the miserabl, help ye discomfortit, comfort the woful, pray for the pepol, mak intercession for the
clargie, and pray for the deivote womankynd, let all feil thy relieff quha celebrats thy name.” Ibid.
Quhat is the Kirk?—The Kirk is the hail nummer of all mē proprofessing the feath and doctrine of Christ, quhilk the Prince of pastours, Christ, committet baith to the Apostle, St. Peter, and to his successoures, to be fed and governit, quhairfoir hæretiques and schismatiques deserve nocht to be includit in ye name of the Kirk, but falselie throw arrogāce usurps the same; quha, albeit they appear to profes the word and doctrine of God, nevertheless, they refuse to be the scheep of the principal pastour and bischops quham Christ in his stead hes maid reuler of his fauld the Kirk, and be perpetual successione in the Romane Kirk hes alwais been keepit.” Page 48.
“ Quhat is to be thocht of evill priests ?-It is God's ordinance quhilk can nocht be abolishit, that nocht onlie good priests, but also evill, suld be honoured in his kirk. For he will be acknowledged, hond., and halden in revērce in his ministers.” Page 110. Very comfortable doctrine this for the priests. Bad as well as good, it seems, are God's ordinance; and the one as well as the other are to be honoured in the church.
“ Is matrimonie permitted unto all men ?—Nocht sa, (not so,) for we are taught be ye Apostles' tradition, as S. Epiphanius witnesses, yat it is sinne to revolt to marriage, after that virginitie be promised and voued. Thairfoir, this place of ye Apostle, — It is better to marry than to burn, pertaines (as S. Ambrose does plainlie pronounce) to hir yat hes nocht zet receaved the vail. Bot she quha promised herself to God, and hes receaved the holy vail is already married, she is coupled to an immortal husband, and gif she will now marrie after the common law of marriage, she committes adultry, and is maid the handmaid of death. Now, the self same reason, and ye same judgement is to be given of monks, and yam yat is in holy orders, for they have damnation, gif they give ye bridle to the bodilye lusts, they falsifie yair former faith.—No man laying his hand to the ploughe, and looking bak again, is meit for ye kingdom of God." Page 117.
Compells the Kirk then certain persons to live single and unmarried ?- Treulie, our godly and circumspect mother, the Kirk, compells nocht thairunto, quhilk burdens na man with continence or single lyfe without marriage, but requires of yam, yat they willingly receve yar law, (as befor said) that they violat nocht thair religion, neither cotemne or brak ye promeis ād godlie band quhilk they haiv with Christ and his Kirk." Page 119.
“ Venial sinn is actual also, bot zet sic a ane as maks nocht one man God's enemie, and for the quihilk the faithfull easily obteins par. don of God.”—What can strike more directly at the root of all holiness than this doctrine? Any sin to which a man may be addicted, will be, in his esteem, a venial one; and here he is taught that such does not make him God's enemy, and that he will easily obtain pardon for it!
"A guid vif (wife) is praise worthie, bot a godlie virgin is far to be preferred. The one is under the law, the uther is under grace. Marriage is guid, quhairbe is had posteritie, and succession of mankind, bot virginitie is better, quhairbe is gotten the inheritance of the kingdom of heavē, and the succession of heavenlie merits are found. Be a woman cair cam in, bot be a virgin salvation is comme.” Page 202.