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gave me full account thereof, and delivered me the following letter from Cardinal Litta.
• Dear Wolf, * The letter, which you have written to me from Bologna, although it has made more poignant that sorrow, which I have ever felt from the moment that I was obliged to take the resolution of sending you away from Rome, gives me, nevertheless, some ground for consolation, since you assure me, that you will ever love the holy Catholic Church. I fear, on the other hand, that in your understanding, and perhaps in your heart, you make a distinction between the Catholic Church and its head, who is the Pope. But I flatter myself, that in suture your
sentiments may be more sincere than they have been in times past. I myself warned you personally, and through the medium of Ostini, many times, to break off your dangerous correspondences; you did not obey me; and having had more confidence in some pretended friends, than in persons who sincerely wished and acted well towards you, you manifested, even without restraint, your opinions and intentions. From this it was seen clearly, that instead of being grateful and attached to that See of Rome which nourished you, and which is the true centre and mistress of the universal Church, you cherished, on the contrary, sentiments of aversion, nay even of horror, for this good mother: that secretly you were beginning to be in a disposition to render of no avail the cares of the Propaganda, by proposing to yourself, if sent to the East, objects and purposes totally different from those which the Holy College has in view. With such sentiments you would have corrupted your companions, brought up in true obedience and attachment to the Holy See. In consequence of these things, which I stated before announcing to you your departure, and which you could not, nor can now deny, it became necessary to remove you from the College of Pope Urban. Nevertheless, even in this case, it was proposed to retain you some time longer at Rome, in consideration of that countenance and support, which
you, conscious, perhaps, of the danger to which your practices exposed you, contrived to procure for yourself. You, who judge me capable of punishing without a just motive, and without forewarning, or listening to reason, will not believe me if I tell you, that this resolution, to which I was unavoidably led, bas given me the greatest pain ; but God knows how inuch I have suffered, and how much still suffer! I never supposed you to be a member of the Bible Society, in which there is no wonder, that many good persons have unawares enrolled themselves, because the venerable name of the Holy Scriptures, which are the writing and the word of God, naturally must attract minds zealous for the divine glory, and the salvation of their neighbours. But it is precisely of the most excellent things that the greatest abuse is made. I hope, however, in the mercy of the Lord, and in his omnipotence and infinite wisdom, that he will bring good out of evil, as he has brought forth light from darkness, and the creature from nothing. But without a special aid, which we ought to hope for from God, towards his Church, certain it is, that the enterprise of translating the Holy Scriptures into all languages, even the lowest and the most barbarous, and of multiplying and pouring forth copies of it, in order to give them into the hands of all persons, even the most stupid and rash, without the aid of any thing to explain the obscure meanings of it, and to solve those great difficulties, which were obstacles even to the acute and sublime understandings of the Augustines and Jeromes, cannot be denied to be a most dangerous thing, as opening the way to a thousand errors, which has been shewn before now, in the examples of the heretics, and as is seen more clearly, in the present day, by the more monstrous absurdities of the Methodists, and the other innumerable sects, who think that they see in the word of God their own ravings. What must one say, moreover, if
, in the regulations of this Society, it is laid down as a fundamental point, that the most authentic version, must be the English, which has been convicted by our Irish Bishops, and English Vicars, of many errors, made
by the pretended Reformers? What if, even among the German versions, there are adopted faulty and corrupt ones, as that of Luther, so much the more seducing than the others, from the purity and elegance of its language ? The Holy Roman Catholic Apostolic Church, does not shut up the heavenly treasure of the divine Scriptures, as some calumniate it, under the title of the Court of Rome, of which title I am not ashamed, but even boast, and ever have boasted ; even amongst the disgraces of our exile prosessing myself to be a member of the court of Rome, and on that very account more united to the centre of unity, and to the sovereign See, the depository of the doctrine and power of Jesus Christ. This See of Rome, to which error cannot have access, as the experience of so many ages demonstrates, in as much as her faith is made sure, by the never failing promises of Jesus Christ,—this See, which teaches to all the truth of the faith, has prescribed the rules and the cautions with which any one, who remains attached to the doctrines of the fathers, and to the interpretation of the Church, ought to treat with great respect and trembling this precious gift of God, and not surely to profane it rashly, and to abandon it, as it were a vile and trivial thing, into the hands of idiots and impure persons. Our holy father, Pius the Seventh himself
, has, in his briefs, spoken against such an abuse. But enough of this argument. I send you a letter for Hofbauer. Profit by this disgrace, which you owe to yourself, for not having obeyed that which I ordered you, through the medium of Ostini. I am not angry with you, although my duty has obliged me to take a resolution which has given me great pain. I wish to help you in any other way, and you can write me with freedom. I pray God that he will preserve you from evil companions, and perfect in you that great gift, which he has bestowed upon you, in calling you to the faith.
Your inost affectionate,
Laurence Cardinal Litta. P.S. By the first opportunity, your books and some others, will be sent to you from the Propaganda."
I was in the most melancholy frame of mind, when I arrived at Vienna.–The recollection of being sent away from my pious German friends at Rome, without having been able to embrace them before my departure that I had been banished by Pius the Seventh, whose private piety I respected, and whom I did like very much, -that I had been separated from a visible church, and condemned by its Bishop,- the idea, that I should now become an object of persecution,--and the experience, that many of my German Catholic friends, who had accorded with my sentiments against the Pope, now began to fear the Pope's power, and to turn away from me—all these things stood clear before my mind, as well as the probability that my career was now stopped, and that I should never be able to preach the Gospel to my brethren. Considering all these things, I wrote a letter to P. Hofbauer, Vicar-general of the Ligorians, whom I had always regarded as a pious character. P. Hofbauer, having been informed of my banishment, and the reason of it, before he received my letter, came to see me in my lodgings, and conducted me to his own house. On the first day he seemed to me to be very much irritated against the Court of Rome, but in three days he changed his tone, and said to me, “ Rome is, notwithstanding, mistress of the Catholic Church, and the Pope, the true successor of St. Peter. Rome was the only Church which believed in the true divinity of Christ in the time of the Arians, and you have not done well in disclosing the shame of the universal mother."
I was surrounded in a short time by followers of Schlegel, who asked me if I did not know the sad condition of the German Catholics who denied the authority of the Pope. The fact was, that many Catholics of Germany, who were adversaries of the Pope, became afterwards Socinians, or embraced an allegorical system of Christianity. They adulterated the Gospel with the philosophy of Kant, Hume, Jacob Behmen, Plato, and Shaftesbury. After the few days which I passed with Hofbauer and his friends, I became very melan
choly. I had expected to find in Hofbauer, and amongst his penitents who were attached to the Pope, a certain zeal for Christ; and to have found the same also amongst the other Catholic clergymen of Vienna, and especially amongst the monks of Austria who were opposed to the Pope. I found, however, not only a great lukewarmness, but likewise great immorality. I therefore entreated P. Hofbauer to send me to his convent at Valsainte in Switzerland, that I might end my days there. He pretended that he was not inclined to incorporate me into his order ; but as often as I said I would leave Vienna and go to another convent, he refused to permit me to go. I was treated by him and his followers, for more than seven months, in a very harsh manner, and I was obliged every day to hear censures of my conduct at Rome. I excused this in Hofbauer, as he was a man of an ardent temperament; and I thought I must now suffer, because I had been too violent, and that I ought to be reconciled with the Pope. I began to hate Separatism. It is true that I suspected the intolerance of Hofbauer and his club, against all who were of different opinions and sentiments.
The followers of Hofbauer and Schlegel find fault with Rome on account of her mildness towards those who dissent from the Romish church government: and my time of independent thinking was passed, and the prophecy of the German painter was about to be accomplished, that I should at length embrace all the abuses of the Romish church which I had hated so long, and against which I had protested with such violence: but the Lord permitted this, that I might experience and taste self-righteousness, and then I found that the way of self-righteousness is an abomination unto God, and that it leads to desperation, to unquietude of heart, to sorrow, and to the abominable system of Jesuitism.
I saw no more of that lady who came to Hofbauer when I was before at Vienna. They told me she escaped with a great sum of money from the house of her parents, and nobody, neither Hofbauer nor any one of his fraternity, knew where she was. I was told, that