« PrécédentContinuer »
contends, that there was an uyanimity in all points, which related to doctrine, or the reformation of manners : and Dr. Courayer, in the Preface to his translation, concedes, “ that in what regarded discipline, several excellent regulations were made, according to the ancient spirit of the church ;” and observes, that " though all the disorders were not reformed by the council, yet, if we set aside prejudice, we may with truth acknowledge, that these were infinitely less than they were before.” The classical purity, and severe simplicity of the style, in which the decrees of the council are expressed, are universally admired; and are greatly superior to the language of any part of Justinian's law.
In what concerns faith or morals, the decrees of the council have been received without any restriction, by every Roman Catholic kingdom: all its decrees have been received by the Empire; Portugal; the Venetians, and the Duke of Savoy, without an express limitation. They have been received by the Spaniards, Neapolitans, and Sicilians, with a caution as to such points of discipline, as might be derogatory to their respective sovereignties. But the council was never published in France. No attempt was inade to introduce it into England. Pope Pius the Fourth sent the acts of the council to Mary Queen of Scots, with a letter, dated the 13th of June, 1564, urging her to have the decrees of the council published in her dominions ; but nothing appears to have been done in consequence of it. See Histoire de la Reception du Concile du T'rente, dans les différens Etats Catholiques : Paris, 2 Vols. 8vo. 1766.
The acts of the council were deposited in the Vatican, and are said to have been removed from it to the Institut National, at Paris, by the order of Buonaparte. The canons and decrees of the councils, with the title, Canones et Decreta Concilii Tridentim, were published at Rome twice, in the year 1564, in one volume folio, and have since been reprinted in every form. Both the editions of 1564 are great typographical curiosities; but the first of them is incomparably the greatest.
A succinct and explicit summary of the doctrine contained in the canons of the council of Trent, is expressed in the creed which was published by Pius the Fourth in 1564, in the form of a Bull, and usually bears his name. It is received throughout the whole Roman Catholic church: every Catholic who is admitted into the Catholic church, publicly reads and professes his assent to it.
The tenor of it is as follows : “ I N. believe and profess, with a firm faith, all and every one of the things which are contained in the Symbol of Faith, which is used in the Holy Roman Church, viz.
“I believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, and of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial to the Father, by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from Heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, suffered, and was buried, and rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and ascended into Heaven, sits at the right hand of the Father, and will come again with glory to judge the Living and the Dead, of whose Kingdom there will be no end : And in the Holy Ghost the Lord and Life-Giver, who proceeds from the Father and the Son: Who together with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who spoke by the Prophets. And one holy Catholic and Apostolic church. I confess one baptism for the remission of sins, and I expect the resurrection of the body, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
“I most firmly admit and embrace apostolical and eccle
siastical traditions, and all other constitutions and observances of the same church.
“ I also admit the sacred Scriptures according to the sense which the Holy Mother Church has held, and does hold, to whom it belongs to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the holy Scriptures; nor will I ever take and interpret them otherwise than according to the unanimous consent of the Fathers.
“I profess also, that there are truly and properly seven Sacraments of the new law, instituted by Jesus Christ our Lord, and for the salvation of mankind, though all are not necessary for every one; viz. baptism, confirmation, eucharist, penance, extreme unction, order, and matrimony, and that they confer grace ; and of these, baptism, confirmation, and order, cannot be reiterated without sacrilege.
“ I also receive and admit the ceremonies of the Catholic church, received and approved in the solemn administration of all the above said Sacraments. . .." I receive and embrace all and every one of the things,
which have been defined and declared in the holy council of · Trent, concerning original sin and justification.
“ I profess likewise, that in the mass is offered to God a true, proper, and propitiatory sacrifice for the living and the dead ; and that in the most holy Sacrament of the Eucharist there is truly, really, and substantially the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ; and that there is made a conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the blood, which conversion the Catholic church calls transubstantiation.
“I confess also, that under either kind alone, whole and .: entire, Christ and a true Sacrament is received.
“I constantly hold that there is a purgatory, and that the souls detained therein are helped by the suffrages of the faithful.
“ Likewise that the saints reigning together with Christ, are to be honored and invocated, that they offer prayers to God for us, and that their relics are to be venerated.
" I most firmly assert, that the images of Christ, and of the
Mother of God ever Virgin, and also of the other saints, are to be had and retained ; and that due honor and veneration are to be given to them.
« I also affirm, that the power of indulgences was left by Christ in the church ; and that the use of them is most wholesome to Christian people.
“ I acknowledge the holy Catholic and Apostolic Roman Church, the mother and mistress of all churches ; and I promise and swear true obedience to the Roman Bishop, the successor of St. Peter Prince of the Apostles, and Vicar of Jesus Christ.
“ I also profess and undoubtedly receive all other things delivered, defined, and declared by the sacred canons and general councils, and particularly by the holy council of Trent; and likewise I also condemn, reject, and anathematize all things contrary thereto, and all heresies whatsoever condemned and anathematized by the church. .
“ This true Catholic Faith, out of which none can be saved, which I now freely profess, and truly hold, I N. promise, vow, and swear most constantly to hold and profess the same whole and entire, with God's assistance, to the end of my life. Amen."
The Catechism of the Council of Trent.
The council of Trent had recoinmended to the Pope to publish a catechism. By the Pope's recommendation, a catechism was composed, under the direction of Cardinal Borromæo, by several eminent theologians, principally by Father Francis Foreiro, a Dominican Friar, who had attended the council, in quality of Theologian to the King of Portugal. The style was afterwards polished by Julius Poggiani. It is indifferently called the Catechism of the Council of Trent, the Roman Catechism, and the Catechismus ad Parochos.
It was first published at Rome, in one volume octavo, by Paulus Manutius, under the title “ Catechismus Romanus, ex
decreto Concilii Tredentini, ad parochos, Pii V. Pontificis Maximi, editus.” It is recommended by the erudition, exactness, and conciseness, with which it is written; and by the neatness and elegance of its style. It is, perhaps, the best work wbich a person, who seeks to obtain a clear and comprehensive knowledge of the Roman Catholic creed, can peruse.
Bossuet's Exposition of the Faith of the Catholic Church, in
matters of Controversy.
The unqualified approbation, which this work has received from the universal body of the Roman-Catholic Church, gives it a place among, or at least, very near to, her Symbolic books.
In his controversies with Protestants, Bossuet thought he observed, that the chief obstacle to their conversion to the RomaniCatholic religion, arose from their mistaken notions of her doctrines : it therefore appeared to him, that he might greatly facilitate their conversion, by composing a full, but concise, exposition of the Roman-Catholic faith.
It was a work of long and profound meditation. When finished, he caused twelve copies of it to be printed, and cir·culated them among the prelates and theologians, by whose
opinion and advice he considered it most likely he should be benefited. They returned the copies to him with their written remarks. These he weighed with great attention, and fiually, in December, 1671, gave to the public the Immortal Work. It was accompanied by the formal approbation of the Archbishop of Rheims, and ten other bishops. Cardinal Bona, the oracle of the Roman See, to whom Bossuet sent it, wrote him a letter, commending it in the warmest terms of approbation. It was „, translated into every European language. . .
“ Nothing," to use the words of the Bishop of Alais, in his recent Life of Bossuet, (L. III. S. 14.), “ can be compared to the sensation which it excited in every part of Christian Europe.