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trine and edification. Mgr. D'Urfé, the Bishop of Limoges, was equally well pleased with it. Men of all parties vied in their approbation of the work. The celebrated Jesuit, Père La Chaise, the director of Louis XIV.'s conscience, always had it on his table; he said he liked good men, and what was good, everywhere; that he did not know a more excellent and instructive book, in which he found all that he wanted; and as he had little time for such reading, he preferred it to all others. Nay, that, as it were, no kind of approbation should be wanting to it, Pope Clement XI., the author of the Bull Unigenitus, is reported to have read it with approval, and we would fain hope found that comfort and edification which it is so well calculated to impart.
One of the most curious episodes in connection with the book is the misadventure which the Cardinal de Noailles met with. In 1695 he had, while yet Bishop of Chalons, published a Mandement to his clergy, containing a glowing eulogium on Quesnel's labours, assuring them that in his Reflexions “they would find the bread of life broken for them and ready for distribution, and so suited to all men that there would be milk for babes and strong meat for the strong men. In point of fact, it was as good as a whole library." The force of laudation could not well go further. Indeed, we do not see how this Romish Bishop could have said more of the Breviary. In the same year he was translated to Paris, and the year following thought himself compelled to condemn a book of the Abbé Barcos, an “ Exposition of the Doctrine of the Church on Grace and Predestination.” Two years afterwards, there appeared an “ Ecclesiastical Problem, in which Louis de Noailles of Chalons in 1695, was contrasted with Louis de Noailles at Paris in 1696, and asking which was to be believed. The remedy, to a certain extent, was easy and simple : faggots, fire, and the hangman burned the awkward publication, luckily not the author: but the dilemma still continued; it could not be burned. The Cardinal himself was not equal to the emergency, but Bossuet, who had drawn up the dogmatic part of his decree condemning De Barcos' book, came forward in his defence ; but, like the Black Knight when assisting Ivanhoe, with his vizor down. In an anonymous “Avertissement” to an edition of the “ Reflexions Morales," published in 1699, he undertook to show that there were differences in the two cases, and that, although there were reprehensible propositions in Quesnel's book, they might be admitted and tolerated; but he too adds, that this translation of the New Testament, with its Notes, was received with so much eagerness and edification, that the zeal of the early Christians for continual meditation on the word of God day and night, seemed to be renewed in the reign of Louis XIV., and that the booksellers could hardly meet the
demand for the “innumerable" editions which were printed of it, and bought up as fast as they could be issued from the press. So it might be said that for a season, even in the heart of the dissolute city and court of Paris, brimming over with unutterable abominations, the word of God grew and multiplied, while he, by whose devotion and exertions it had been bestowed upon his countrymen, was in exile “for that word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ." Before long, however, there was to be a change; a wordy and pompous epistle came from Rome, condemning the “ Reflexions Morales.” As we shall see, no less than a hundred and one heretical propositions, which had escaped the notice of Cardinals and Bishops, and Priests and Vicars, for the space of forty years, were censured at one fell swoop, as heretical, and dangerous to the consciences of the faithful. What spiritual damage had accrued to Clement himself by his unfortunate private readings, is not on record, but-Bos locutus est.
It might be supposed that all controversy would thenceforward have been at an end; but such was very far from being the case. Although the Bull was issued by the Pope at the request of the King, and so both the temporal and spiritual power were combined in the enforcement of its provisions, the resistance made was, as we purpose showing, serious and protracted. Many Bishops, with the Cardinal de Noailles at their head, stoutly opposed it. The Bishop of Montpellier refused to take out of the hands of the faithful a book which had been circulated for forty years “with so much profit, and which had only been attacked through hatred of the sovereign grace of Christ, of the maxims of Evangelical morality, and of the most essential truths of religion.” So late as 1726, the Bishop of Senez, who had been one of those who, in obedience to the Bull, had proscribed the book in his pastoral instruction, declares that, after long and careful examination, he considers it, so far from being worthy of censure, a most profitable book to read; and as one shortly about to stand before the judgment-seat of God, he assures his people, as in the sight of God, that having always read it, even before he was consecrated to the Episcopate, and ever afterwards, he never rose from the perusal of it without being the better for it. It may be startling to many of our readers to hear of such conflicts within the bosom of the Church of Rome, and to be called upon to witness the spectacle of an aged bishop of her communion, with eternity in his view, confronting the Pope himself, when speaking ex cathedra, and lifting up his wrinkled brow before him to vindicate, on behalf of the sheep of whom he was the shepherd, their right to feed in the green pastures of the Word of God. Vol. 68.-No. 376.
Indeed, earnest attention is invited to the curious spectacle we have just presented. A perpetual outcry is being made by Romanists and Romanizers, that the state of the Church of England is a state of confusion, in which there is no security against the prevalence of heretical opinions subversive of the faith; the Romanist assures us that, if we would have truth without ad. mixture of error, we must join his Church, where we shall never want safe guides; and the Romanizers regret that we have not such security. And yet it is manifest, from the facts just submitted, that in the Church of Rome it would have been quite possible to have lived for forty years, daily reading a book containing a hundred and one damnable propositions,-nay more, of clergy teaching the people out of it, and resorting to it as a mine of erudition; making, in point of fact, the same use of it which many English clergy do of Simeon's Horæ Homileticæ; and all this permissu superiorum, with the hearty encouragement and strongest recommendation of Bishops and Cardinals who were doing the same. Living in those times, if in Paris business had taken us to call on the Jesuit Confessor of the King, we should have seen it lying on his table; or if in Rome, admitted to an audience of the Holy Father, he might have laid it aside as we entered the presence chamber. The sermons to which we listened in the churches would have been redolent of its views and doctrines. Infallibility plainly, then, does not reside in Priests, or Bishops, or Cardinals, or, if we are to believe Romish Bishops, in Popes; they may, as a matter of ascertained fact, for years have been daily reading books containing heretical views, and be wholly unconscious, after the closest scrutiny, that such are propounded in them,-nay, they may, blind leaders of the blind, be teaching the people these damnable errors out of them, and so leading them to perdition. The most forlorn Anglican could hardly be in a greater state of insecurity: might not, indeed, his state be better, as it would be permitted to him to see and judge for himself whether these things were so ?
But it may perhaps be asked, from what source did all this calamity proceed, and overflow the provinces of France ? Why should the Word of God, and a devotional commentary upon its contents so acceptable to devout men and to the multitude, to Jansenists and Jesuits, to Popes and Cardinals, which even in the midst of furious religious controversy had met with almost universal acceptance, become the subject of such peremptory condemnation? In general terms, we might very safely assert, that the enmity of the carnal mind against God was sufficient, and would at any time be sufficient, to account for an onslaught upon His Word; but the details furnished in contemporary records are so curious, that we think our readers will not be sorry to have these put before them.
It was in the year 1700 that a strange controversy sprang up in the bosom of the Church of Rome as to the proper mode of carrying on Missions in China. The Jesuits had sent out their emissaries thither, and with an extension of the Apostle's meaning, and with objects which he never contemplated when he said that “ to the Jews he became as a Jew that he might gain the Jews,” they in China became as Chinese that they might gain the Chinese; just as, in India, Robert de Nobili became as a Brahman that he might gain the Brahmans, and forged a Veda to accredit his claims. They were not, however, alone in the field. The Society of Missions Etrangères had their agents in China also. In process of time, a controversy arose. The new missionaries exclaimed, and with just indignation, against the conduct of the Jesuits for allowing their converts to follow the customs of Confucius—to practise ancestral worship-in fact, to continue heathen to all intents and purposes while professing Christianity. The controversy was carried home; and the books of the Jesuit Fathers, Le Tellier and Le Comte, who upheld the cause of their Society, were condemned by the Sorbonne. Le Comte, who was Confessor to the Duchess of Burgundy, was dismissed by the King's order, and recalled to Rome professedly to return to China, whither he never went. To crown their mortification, the practices of the Jesuits were condemned by a Bull published in 1710. In the previous year, Le Tellier, who was sorely exasperated by these proceedings, succeeded Père la Chaise as the King's confessor. The first object of this dark and unprincipled intriguer was to secure himself in supreme and sole command of the King's conscience and favour; and to effect this, he set about ruining in his esteem all those whose influence he deemed obnoxious to him. Con. spicuous among them was the Cardinal de Noailles, who, both from his exalted birth and the part he had taken with the King in his violent measures against the nuns of Port Royal, was in high favour, and held himself independent of the Jesuit company. It was not easy to find means of undermining him, but his unlucky patronage of Quesnel's book, which, as we have seen, had already involved him in trouble, presented a plausible pretext for bringing him into disrepute.
At this time nothing could be more deplorable than the state of France. The war of the Succession had exhausted all the resources of the country; the road to Paris was open to invaders ; grievous famine desolated the land; death had come up into the King's palace; the Dauphin, the Duke of Burgundy, Fénélon's pupil, his wife and their eldest son, were swept away in the space of a year; it was in weariness and humiliation, in dark intrigues and theological squabbles, which gathered in thick clouds round him, that the brilliant sun of Louis XIV. sank, presaging the storms and tempest which hurled his descendants from the throne, and made havoc of religion. In the midst of all his vicious irregularities, the King always had a confused desire for the salvation of his soul; having no merit of his own to trust to, he was ever striving to acquire it by religious persecutions, and so compounding for his own sing at the expense of other people. Profoundly ignorant as he was of all questions of doctrine, and incapable of judging of them, it was easy to persuade the pupil of Anne of Austria and of Cardinal Mazarin, whose conscience was ever under the direction of Jesuit confessors, that the Jansenists were republicans in Church and State, and the enemies of his authority. It was said of him, when once he could be persuaded that a thing was Jansenism, or a man was a Jansenist, he or it was forthwith proscribed without examination or appeal. As sickness in. creased, and the terrors of the shadow of death fell upon him, under the direction of Le Tellier he abandoned himself, with all his remaining energy, to the extirpation of Jansenism as he had of Protestantism.
Soon the Cardinal de Noailles was forbidden the Court unless sent for; lettres-de-cachet were freely employed to exile and imprison leading Jansenists; ceaseless intrigues were carried on at Rome to induce Clement, who had already, in 1708, at the request of the King, decreed a censure of Quesnel's book, to condemn it formally;—finally, in 1713, the Bull “Unigenitus” was published, condemning 101 propositions extracted from the “Reflexions Morales.” When the Bull made its appearance, the verdict upon it was, “ Tout y brillait excepté la vérité.” An amusing story is related by Amelot, the French ambassador, in connexion with it. After having obtained it, he ventured to ask the Pontiff why he had specified 101 propositions. “Que voulez-vous que je fasse, répondit le Pape, en soupirant: Le P. Le Tellier avait dit au roi qu'il y avait plus de cent propositions censurables ; il n'a pas voulu passer pour menteur; on m'a tenu le pied sur la gorge pour en mettre plus de cent, je n'en ai mis qu'une de plus."'* By this Bull the Pope and the Court of Rome declared definitively on the side of the Jesuits, who, since that time, have strenuously upheld ultramontane doctrines, and been the most ardent defenders of the papacy. When it was received in France, the whole remainder of the King's reign was taken up in futile endeavours to enforce its provisions. Some even of the Bishops, with De Noailles at their head, as we have seen, refused compliance; the Parliament of Paris could not be prevailed upon to register it; influenced by men of high reputation, like the Procureur Général
* Lacretelle, Histoire de France.