Subjects (abstracts): Forgers and Critics; Fakes and Frauds; The Catholic Encyclopedia; An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent; From Bossuet to Newman; The Prolegomena of Jean Hardouin
from: Forgers and Critics Creativity and Duplicity in Western Scholarship, Anthony Grafton, Princeton University Press, 1990.
"the sadistic pleasure derived from seeing others fooled seems to be a prevalent form of gratification.3" .
'Porphyry [c. 232 - c. 305] honed his critical skills elaborately, reading widely in the scholarly literature of his time. When he showed, for example, that the Book of Daniel must be a forgery, he used Africanus' argument that the story of Susanna and the elders contained two puns "which seem to fit the Greek language rather than Hebrew." He went further than Africanus only when he drew the inference that the entire text, rather than the story of Susanna alone, "was an invention and not in circulation among the Hebrews, but a made-up story in Greek."15 His [Porphyry] combination of pagan and Christian learning made him a formidable specialist, one with whom no Christian scholar of his time could argue on equal terms. No wonder, then, that Christians responded not only by rebutting his arguments but also by beating him and burning his writings.16' .
"Whatever the changes in critics' assumptions, the basic set of tools the critics use today to pry open a forgery and see how and why it works would have been entirely familiar to Casaubon and probably to Porphyry as well. Their basic method is, quite simply, systematic comparison. Their conclusions are correct and irrefutable, so long as they rest on valid parallels (one strong parallel is infinitely better evidence, in all these cases, than any number of weak ones). And they go wrong, usually, for the very reasons that lead them into criticism in the first place: because they want to find evidence either to support a wider thesis which is philosophical or theological, not philological or historical, in character, or to support a philological or historical case which itself rests on unquestioned assumptions rather than testable evidence." [97-98].
'He [Ubbo Emmius (c. 1600)] demanded exact locations for the sources that attested to their ["three Indian gentlemen, Friso, Saxo, and Bruno...fourth century B.C."] existence: "What archives are those? What authors composed the sources? In what language? Where and with whom have they been preserved up to now? Who has seen them?"42' .
"The brief examination we have carried out of Western traditions in forgery and scholarship may also seem to warrant despair. But I hope not. I have tried only to do the duty of the critic, to lay bare (rather than ignore or explain away) a fascinating but troubling feature ["forgery"] of the Western tradition. The tradition of criticism is to recognize displeasing as well as pleasing features in the sources. We cannot carry on that tradition if we refuse to recognize how much it [criticism] owes toand how often it has been implicated inthe activities of its criminal sibling ["forgery"]."
 [End of text].
from: Fakes and Frauds, Varieties of Deception in Print & Manuscript, Edited by Robin Myers and Michael Harris, St Paul's Bibliographies, Omnigraphics, 1989.
"By the middle of the 18th century, nearly everyone was aware that scattered among the ancient worksand modern ones as well were an unknown number of literary frauds and forgeries.....an eccentric French Jesuit, Père Hardouin, startled everyone by alleging that almost all the ancient classical works and many of the Church fathers were the invention of a coterie of monks in the later Middle Ages. Although the charge seemed absurd and Hardouin was not left free to develop it, it was taken seriously enough in England to warrant refutation.2" .
"Everyone knew about the 'PIOUS FRAUDS' that disgraced the early CHRISTIAN TRADITION, from the Sibylline Oracles and Hermes Trismegistus to the letters of Jesus to King Abgarus, and Paul to Seneca, not to mention many others, though NO ONE COULD BE SURE JUST HOW MANY." [71-72].
from: The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VI, c1913 (c1910).
["Forgery"] 'The classical and oft-commented text on this matter is the chapter Licet v, "De crimine falsi" in which Innocent III (1198) points out to the bishop and chapter of Milan nine species of forgery which had come under his notice. This famous instruction was given in order to enable his correspondents to guard against future fraud. Following his teaching the gloss on this chapter enumerates among the six points a judge should examine into in order to discover a forgery:
 Forma,  stylus,  filum,  membrana,  litura,  sigillum.
Haec sex falsata dant scripturam valere pusillum.
In other words a document is suspect,
(1) [Forma] If its outward appearance differs greatly from the usual appearance of such documents.
(2) [stylus] If the style varies from the usual manner of the Curia. Chapter iv, "De crimine falsi" gives us an example of this: Innocent III declares a Bull false wherein the pope addresses a bishop as "Dear Son" and not as "Venerable Brother", or in which any other person than a bishop is styled "Venerable Brother" instead of "Dear Son", or in which the plural vos is used to address a single individual.
(3) [filum] If the thread which ties the leaden seal to the Bull is broken.
(4) [membrana] If the parchment bears traces of a doubtful origin (just as we distinguish the water-marks and letter-heads of modern documents).
(5) [litura] If there are any erasures, or words scratched out.
(6) [sigillum] If the seal is not intact, or is not clearly defined. If a judge discovers an evident forgery he ought to repudiate the document and punish the guilty party; but in case he considers it merely doubtful he ought to make inquiries at the office of the Roman Curia which is supposed to have issued it.
SUBSTITUTION OF FALSE DOCUMENTS AND TAMPERING WITH GENUINE ONES WAS QUITE A TRADE IN THE MIDDLE AGES. In the chapter Dura vi, "De crimine falsi", written in 1198, (pars decisa), Innocent III relates that he had discovered and imprisoned forgers who had prepared a number of false Bulls, bearing forged signatures either of his predecessor or of himself. To obviate abuses, he orders under pain of excommunication or suspension that pontifical Bulls he received only from the hands of the pope or of the officials charged to deliver them.' .
from: The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. XI.
'Paris, Matthew, Benedictine monk and chronicler, b. about 1200; d. 1259....
As an historian Matthew holds the first place among English chroniclers. For his ease of style, range of interest and information, vivid though prolix elaboration of detail, he is much more readable than any of those monastic scholars who wrote either before or after him....Lingard perhaps goes too far when, in speaking of his [Paris, Matthew] "censorious disposition", he declares, "It may appear invidious to speak harshly of this famous historian, but this I may say, that when I could confront his pages with authentic records or contemporary writers, I have in most instances found the discrepancy between them so great as to give his narrative the appearance of a romance rather than a history" (Lingard, "History", II, 479).' .
from: The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. XII.
["Renaissance"] "France had its own type of Humanist in that extraordinary man, Rabelais (1490?-1553), a physician, priest, and obscene jester whose book is the glory and the shame of his native tongue. Rabelais, TREATING THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION AS A CREED OUTWORN, falls back upon a kind of liberal Platonism; he would leave men to their instincts and the joy of life. Much the same philosophy, though in graver tones, is insinuated by Montaigne (1533-92) in essays tinged with scepticism and disenchantment." .
'At Rome an "incredible liberty" of discussion prevailed under the spell of the Renaissance. Lord Acton quotes well-known instances. Poggio, the mocking adversary of the clergy, was for a half century in the service of the popesFilelfo, a pagan unabashed and foul, was handsomely rewarded by Nicholas V for his abominable satires.' .
"It is remarkable that the healthy Christian use of ancient literature was destined to be taught by a Spanish reforming saint, himself not learned and certainly no dilettante. This was Ignatius Loyola,....St. Ignatius, who began his order [Jesuit] in Paris, who walked the same streets with Erasmus, Calvin, and Rabelais, did the most astonishing feat recorded in modern history. He reformed the Church by means of the papacy when sunk to its lowest ebb; and he took the heathen Classics from neo-pagans to make them instruments of Catholic education....he recognized the power, if not the charm, which Humanism wielded over young imaginations....
St. Ignatius, alive to the causes which had provoked many nations into revolt from the clergy, made learning, piety, and obedience governing principles in his plan of reform." [768-769].
Subject: Jean Hardouin
from: The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VII.
'Hardouin, Jean, Jesuit, and historian; b. at Quimper, Brittany, 23 Dec., 1646, son of a bookseller of that town; d. at Paris, 3 Sept., 1729....His books are numerous, but many of them are ill-balanced and full of errors....he questioned the authenticity of nearly all the works attributed to the classical writers; the only exceptions he made were in favour of the works of Cicero, Pliny's Natural History, Virgil's Georgics, Horace's Satires and Epistles, and in some writings Homer, Herodotus, and Plautus. In like manner he cast doubts on the authenticity of many of the writings of early Christian literature, and denied the authenticity of the Alexandrian version and the Hebrew text of the Old Testament....
His greatest work is the "Conciliorum collectio regia maxima", or "Acta conciliorum, et epistolae decretales ac constitutiones summorum pontificum" (Paris, 1725). He received a pension from the French clergy for this work, and it was printed at the expense of the King of France....His "Commentarius in Novum Testamentum" was not published till after his death (Amsterdam, 1741), and then it was put on the Index. Other works of his placed on the Index were the edition of his "Opera Selecta", published without its author's knowledge (Amsterdam, 1709); and his "Opera Varia" (Amsterdam, 1;733).' [135-136].
Excursus (serendipitous aside): ["Hare Indians" ("northernmost Redskins")] "The Hare Indians are naturally very superstitious. Owing partly to the nature of their habitat, dreary steppes which are the home of starvation much more than of abundance, and partly to the distance that at first separated them from religious centres [superstitions of others], they retained their practice of abandoning and even eating the old and infirm in times of scarcity, and adhered to their superstitious customs, long after their more favoured congeners ["of the same race or kind"] had discarded them. The first Hare Indian admitted into the Church was baptized some fifteen hundred miles south of the land of his birth in the summer of 1839 by Father Belcourt, a famous missionary of the Red River Settlement. The Indian was then dying while in the employ of the Hudson Bay Company." .
[Reflect on origins of Superstitions].
from: The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, 1997.
"Hardouin, Jean (1646-1729), French scholar. A native of Brittany, he became a *Jesuit at about the age of 16 and for most of his life (from 1683) was Librarian of the Jesuit Collège de *Clermont at Paris. He published many excellent editions of the classics and other ancient writings. He took great delight in defending paradoxical and fantastic theories, maintaining, e.g. that the NT was originally written in Latin, that the great majority of the ancient classics were really the product of 13thcent. monks....
Hardouin was also a great authority on numismatics, his works in this field including Chronologia Veteris Testamenti ad vulgatam versionem exacta et nummis antiquis illustrata (1696)." .
from: An Essay in Aid of A Grammar of Assent, John Henry Newman [1801 - 1890], Edited with introduction and notes by I.T. Ker, Oxford, 1985 (1889) (1870).
"Father Hardouin maintained that Terence's Plays, Virgil's 'Aeneid', Horace's Odes, and the Histories of Livy and Tacitus, were the forgeries of the monks of the thirteenth century. THAT HE [HARDOUIN] SHOULD BE ABLE TO ARGUE IN BEHALF OF SUCH A POSITION, SHOWS OF COURSE THAT THE PROOF IN BEHALF OF THE RECEIVED OPINION IS NOT OVERWHELMING." .
"For let it be observed first, that ALL KNOWLEDGE OF THE LATIN CLASSICS COMES TO US FROM THE MEDIEVAL TRANSCRIPTIONS OF THEM, AND THEY WHO TRANSCRIBED THEM HAD THE OPPORTUNITY OF FORGING OR GARBLING THEM. WE ARE SIMPLY AT THEIR MERCY....
The existing copies, whenever made, are to us the autographic originals. Next, it must be considered, that the numerous religious bodies, then existing over the face of Europe, had leasure enough, in the course of a century, to compose, not only all the classics, but all the Fathers too. The question is, whether they had the ability." [192-193].
"Hardouin allows that the Georgics, Horace's Satires and Epistles, and the whole of Cicero, are genuine: we have a standard then in these undisputed compositions of the Augustan age. We have a standard also, in the extant medieval works, of what the thirteenth century could do; and we see at once how widely the disputed works differ from the medieval. Now could the thirteenth century simulate Augustan writers better than the Augustan could simulate such writers as those of the thirteenth? No. Perhaps, when the subject is critically examined, the question may be brought to a more simple issue; but as to our personal reasons for receiving as genuine the whole of Virgil, Horace, Livy, Tacitus, and Terence, they are summed up in our conviction that the monks had not the ability to write them. That is, we take for granted that we are sufficiently informed about the capabilities of the human mind, and the conditions of genius, to be quite sure that an age which was fertile in great ideas and in momentous elements of the future, robust in thought, hopeful in its anticipations, of singular intellectual curiosity and acumen, and of high genius in at least one of the fine arts, could not, for the very reason of its pre-eminence in its own line, have an equal pre-eminence in a contrary one. We do not pretend to be able to draw the line between what the medieval intellect could or could not do; but we feel sure that at least it could not write the classics. An instinctive [?] sense of this, and a faith [?] in testimony [?], are the sufficient, but the undeveloped argument on which to ground our certitude [?]." .
"Our lawyers prefer the examination of present witnesses to affidavits on paper; but the tradition of 'testimonia', such as are prefixed to the classics and the Fathers, together with the absence of dissentient voices, is the adequate [?] groundwork of our belief in the history of literature." [193-194].
["Editor's Notes"] "192. 18 Father Hardouin Jean Hardouin (16461729), French Jesuit, also argued that the New Testament was originally written in Latin, that the Alexandrian and Hebrew versions of the Old Testament were spurious, and that the pre-Tridentine Councils were fabrications. For his views on the authenticity of classical works, see especially his Chronologia Veteris Testamenti (1697). Apart from his ECCENTRIC THEORIES, Hardouin published many excellent editions of the classics, as well as his Conciliorum Collectio Regia Maxima (1715), which is still a standard work. Cf. Idea, p. 256." .
from: From Bossuet to Newman, Owen Chadwick, Second Edition, Cambridge, 1987 (1957).
The Catholic Critics
Father Hardouin travailed with unrelenting and passionate endeavour over the sources for the history and antiquities of the Church. He published a text of the councils which for long remained the definitive text, an edition which marked an epoch in the study of the canons. He examined the ancient coins and was among the first to apply numismatic evidence systematically to the writing of ancient history. And his eccentricities are one of the rare tragedies in the history of modern scholarship.
In a work of 1693 he hinted; in a work of 1709 he affirmed; in posthumous works of 1729 and 1733 he shouteda bewildering but simple thesis. Apart from the scripturesthat is the Latin scripturesand six classical authors, all the writers of antiquity, profane or ecclesiastical, were forged by a group of writers in the thirteenth or fourteenth centuries. This group of forgers he never defined or discussed, but always referred to them generically as 'the impious crew', 'maudite cabale'. Of the Latins only Plautus, Pliny, the Eclogues and Georgics, Horace's Satires and Epistles were authentic; of the Greeks only Homer and Herodotus.1" .
"To opponents who argued that it was absurd to suppose that so vast a number of ancient documents could have been fabricated by a single group, Hardouin replied that the total size and weight of all antiquity was less than the total weight which the Reformers of the sixteenth century published, and even than the aggregate from Vasquez, Suarez and five other writers from the Society of Jesus.1" .
"Scholars had indeed proved, to the satisfaction of nearly everyone, that numbers of documents supposed to be ancient were in fact forgeriesthe pseudo-Isidorian decretals, the Clementine Recognitions, the Apostolic Constitutions, the Canons of the Apostles, the Protevangelium of St James, nearly half the supposed works of Athanasius, all the supposed works of Dionysius the Areopagiteone could continue a long catalogue of the works which eminent scholars had now abandoned. Hardouin claimed that he was only carrying to its rightful conclusion this process of sifting which modern printing and modern scholarship allowed. Asked by the Oratorian Father Le Brun why he was publishing such extravagant theories, he [Jean Hardouin] is said to have replied 'Do you think I get up at four o'clock every morning in order to say the same as everyone else has said before me?'" [50-51].
"Hardouin converted to his views disciples, a few from among the younger members of the Society of Jesus. Nor did he lack distinguished and eminent support. A member of the French Academy and its historian, the ex-Jesuit Abbé d'Olivet, Voltaire's tutor, was responsible for the posthumous publication of several of Hardouin's manuscripts and himself accepted part of Hardouin's theory.I This was the kind of madness which suited a few thinkers who were not mad. Classical scholarship, pure and unaided, had not led Hardouin to his conclusions. It is therefore worth asking the question, what were the intellectual pre-suppositions?" .
"Isaac Berruyer was a Jesuit who possessed one of the ablest apologetic minds among French Catholics of the middle eighteenth century, the most difficult of all years for apologetic writers....it was discovered that Berruyer had been a pupil of Hardouin.
Berruyer denied that he shared Hardouin's theory of a fabricated antiquity:I he believed that the theory was an extravaganza....Berruyer thought that Hardouin, whatever his absurdities, had shown that EVEN THE MOST HALLOWED KIND OF EVIDENCE MAY BE REGARDED AS ONLY PROBABLE." [70-71].
["Notes"] "All the relevant works of Hardouin found their way, successively, to the Index." .
[Index = "Index Librorum Prohibitorum (Lat., 'List of prohibited books')" (Oxford Dict. C.C.)].
["Notes"] "Hardouin thought it worth while defending Germon from the attack that the acknowledgement of corruption in the Fathers logically led to the possibility of corruption in the scriptures [Amusing!]: cf. Prolegomena, v." .
from: The Prolegomena of Jean Hardouin [1646 - 1729], translated by Edwin Johnson [1842 - 1901], Sydney, Angus and Robertson, Ltd., 89 Castlereagh Street, 1909 (1766). [received (from purchase) 6/24/98]. [note: this book is very rare. Not listed in the University of California system, etc.].
Prolegomena to a Censure of Old Writers, By Jean Hardouin, Jesuit, From His Autograph ["an original handwritten manuscript"], London, At the Expense of P. Vaillant, 1766.
"Introduction" [Edwin Johnson]
'It is important to note that Hardouin was led by theological motives to suspect the writings of the Monks. He had a very keen scent for heresy; and it gradually broke upon him that Writings which were hot-beds of Jansenist, or Lutheran, or Calvinist doctrine, were in fact composed in secret in the monasteries, and published under the disguise of fictitious names of authors, at a very late period....
Hardouin himself relates, in the treatise here translated, how in the years 1690-2-3 he detected the heresies in the writings ascribed to "Augustine" and other monastic writings relied on as those of "Fathers and Doctors" by the Protestant world.' [xii].
'He [Hardouin] had come to the conclusion that all writings which had hitherto passed for "ancient" had been fabricated in the 13th centurywith the exception of the works of Cicero, the Natural History of Pliny, the Georgics of Virgil, the Satires and Epistles of Horace, etc. It will be seen that he somewhat vacillated in his opinions on this head; but his fault was not in changing his mind on re-consideration of evidence, but in the rash or over-confident manner in which he stated opinions so extraordinary, without giving his reasons for them.
Hardouin had become an expert in the study of Coins and Medals; and had from this source of information become persuaded that a great mass of the coins were forgeries, and that such as might be considered genuine did not support the credit of the literary histories. HIS SCEPTICISIM WAS DEEPENED THE MORE HE STUDIED; and there is no evidence that he ever "looked back."' [xiii].
"To the Reader"
"[Preface stated to have been written by W. Bowyer]"
"Although at first he [Hardouin] attacks profane writers, his [Hardouin] main object seems to be to banish and exile the Fathers and Versions of the Sacred Scriptures, EXCEPT THE LATIN VULGATE. No wonder therefore if, in his critical and religious insanity, he never forsook his first design. He proclaims a sacred vow, and proceeds to cast down the old monuments, that he may establish the temple and empire of Rome on the foundation of TRADITION." [xxii].
[I thank this author, for this succinct, extremely helpful, analysis of Jean Hardouin].
"These Prolegomena appear to have been written as part of his critical enterprise, as we learn from the last Addendum. The whole work has perished in the shipwreck of their fortunes, recently suffered by the whole Society of Jesus [Jesuits]; or, I know not where in the world it lies hidden. But this fragment, as if snatched from the waters, came into the hands of the bookseller, P. Vaillant, who grudged not to give it to the literary world. For Hardouin's paradoxes delight by their novelty in themselves; and still more so when adorned by his art. So well does he understand how to illuminate obscurities, how to cast what is lucid into the shade, HOW TO GIVE PROBABILITY TO FICTION, and to everything a certain beauty and grace, at his will. This fragment, then, such as it is, Vaillant had carefully printed, and consecrated the autograph ["an original handwritten manuscript"] to posterity, placing it, like a votive tablet, in the British Museum.
These few remarks, which I have made in slight preface, should be taken as referring to a learned colloquy, with which the Rev. Caesar de Missy* favoured me. If I have said anything thoughtlessly, it should be set down to my ignorance; if anything not displeasing, to his credit, who will soon, as I hope, give to the public more information on this matter.
*A Protestant clergyman in London. A Latin reply to Hardouin is extant under his name ["Rev. Caesar de Missy"]." [xxiii].
Hardouin, born at Corisopitum (Quimper) in Bretagne, A.D. 1646, died at Paris, September 2nd, 1729. With felicity, M. de Boze has expressed him to the life in this epitaph:
In Expectation of the Judgment
The Most Paradoxical of Men,
By Nature a Frenchman, by Religion a Roman,
The Portent of the Literary World,
The Worshipper and the Destroyer of Venerable
Fevered with Learning,
He Woke to Publish Dreams and Thoughts
He was Pious in his Scepticism,
A Child in Credulity, a Youth in Rashness, an Old
Man in Madness." [opposite 1].
Hardouin attacks the mass of alleged old writers: he defends his conduct in so doing on the ground that they were Atheists. He explains why they have hitherto escaped censure. It was necessary that a Jesuit should undertake the task: because the older Religious Orders have, all of them, forged writings to defend: but especially the Benedictines. He briefly tells how he discovered the frauds in the years 1690-1692. [Edwin Johnson]
I here enter upon a very important, but a very invidious undertaking. It is my intention, with the assistance of God, as long as He grants me life, to show that all writings which are commonly thought to be old, are in fact, with certain exceptions to be presently named, supposititious, and the FABRICATION of an unprincipled crew of literary men.
The exceptions are, the Books held by the Church to be sacred and canonical, and six Profane Writers, four Latin, two Greek. Meanwhile I do not declare war upon other writers, unless upon the enemies of the Almighty, of Christ, of the supreme Pontiff, and of the Royal authority." .
'Thirty-six years ago, in the year 1693, and afterwards on more than one occasion I declared that the ...[Greek word] or spuriousness of the "old writers" had become most plain and obvious to me. Then certain Catholics, good and well-meaning men, but of no large views, raised a cry against me. They did not observe that the Calvinists in Holland or Germany vociferated much more loudly. They, forsooth, well knew that if "Augustine" [Augustine 354 - 430] were snatched from themif he were convicted of atheismtheir famous phrase "All Augustine is ours" would bear this sense"A scoundrel and a foe of the true Deity is all for us." In point of fact, the fellow who assumed and bears the name of "Augustine" teaches absolute atheism under the guise of Christian language.' .
'Some one may say, "Are you then wiser than so many men of genius, who read the old writings, and did not observe that they were impious?" I will answer in the words of one of that wicked crew itself, in those forsooth, of Lactantius
[c. 250 - c. 325], book ii, chapter 8:
"Above all, in a matter that is vital it behooves each man to consult himself and to rely on his own judgment and proper senses for the purpose of considering and investigating the truth, rather than to be deceived by the errors of others, as if himself devoid of reason. God gave to all a measure of wisdom, that they might investigate unheard-of things, and perpend things heard. Because you have had predecessors in time, it does not follow that they have exceeded you in wisdom, which, if it is given equally to all, cannot be wholly enjoyed by those who went before. To be wise, i.e., to seek the truth, is innate in all; and therefore they cease to be wise who, without any judgment, APPROVE WHAT OUR ANCESTORS INVENTED, and are LED LIKE CATTLE by others. They are deceived in this, that under the influence of the name of "elders and ancestors," they do not think that they can be wiser, because they are later, or that the others can be foolish, having the name of 'elders.' What hinders that we should take example from themselves; so that even those who made false inventions handed them down to posterity, so we who find the truth should hand down better things to our posterity?"
To listen to this, nothing assuredly incites us but the desire of seeing the truth, which is contained in the one most holy Catholic Religion.' [8-9].
'Again: it was necessary to produce this vast and massive literature, so that no one might dare to withstand the multitude of alleged "witnesses." If any dared this, he would at once be exposed to the censure of desiring to destroy all tradition. For not one of those volumes [forged, Greek and Latin books], considered separately, can escape condemnation as heretical or atheistic. But when it appears that all the Writers of the Faction agree with each member, even Catholics themselves shrink back; they dare reject none; nay, they feel compelled to admit and embrace the whole.
Very many "Fathers" had to be forged. If one only or two, or twenty, or if in Latin only, forthwith the fraud would have been discovered; and so in like manner, if only "Fathers," and not also historians, both sacred and profane, had been contrived! It was necessary also to invent imaginary adversaries: Manicheans, Arians, Donatists, and a host of others.
It was necessary to invent a multitude of questions, decrees, canons, definitions, formulae of prayers, histories, controversies, etc., so that whatever difficulty might arise in the matter of Religion, whether pertaining to dogma or to discipline, the point might appear to have been long ago defined and laid down according to the principles of atheism and natural religion; and that posterity might not dare to decree otherwise than they read that their ancestors had defined. Everything had to be most diligently foreseen and cared for; no scholastic question of the Trinity, of the incarnation, of the Sacraments, must escape them; no contention on ecclesiastical discipline must be passed by.
It was part of the plan that the writings should be continued through all ages, through each century, lest they should be considered fictions....' [23-24].
'Of the Greek and Latin "Fathers" there are not more works than were written within fifty years under the names of Luther, Calvin, and their followers. There are not so many works of "Augustine" as there are of "Tostatus" alone, or "Albertus Magnus" alone! As to Calvin's works, how much more cultivated is the style and manner! How much more abundant in every kind of learning are those of "Albertus Magnus!" If you expunge the constant iterations in Augustine, you will take away at least a fourth part of his works. In our own Society of Jesus there are seven writers, Salmeron, Vasquez, Suarez, Bellarmine, Cornelius à Lapide, Theophilus Raynaud, Petavius, whose books surpass in number and mass the so-called "Latin Fathers."' .
'But the truth is that most of those alleged "old writers" are describers, so to speak, rather than independent writers. They are copyists, as "Rufinus" and "Cyril" of "Augustine," "Ambrose" of "Philo" or "Basil," or "Hilary" on Ps. cxviii. "Justin," though he is reckoned earlier, copies "Theodoret," "Theophylact," "Oecumenius," and both of them copy "Chrysostom," etc.
They did not, like our Commentators, search for the true and genuine sense of Letters; this is sometimes painful; but they set down whatever allegories came into their heads, very often frigid and senseless, that others might copy them; for nearly all have the same things. It is fearfully tedious, therefore, to read them. And so, almost with running pen, they wrote these works, especially sermons, as they sometimes boast, in the course of one night. Sidonius makes that statement about himself.
"Clement of Alexandria, Eusebius of Caesarea, Theodoret, Justin," were really possessors of one library; they praise the same authors, they confute the same stories. And so with others.' .
'The Calvinists and others who clearly saw that Peter never came to Rome used that argument against the Catholicsthe argumentum ad hominem, as it is called. "You," said the Calvinists, "have no Roman Pontiff as successor of Peter, unless Peter himself visited Rome." But I utterly deny the first proposition. The Bishop of Rome is not the successor of Peter, but, as he is wont ever to subscribe in Bulls and Constitutions, Bishop of the Catholic Church. And therefore, as compared with the Pope, who is Bishop of the Catholic Church, the rest of the Bishops stand in the relation of Governors of provinces and cities to a king; and so, compared with the Royal or General Procurator, those who are called his Substitutes or Vicars. [?]
In the same design THEY MADE UP THE TALE of the allotment of the provinces among the Apostles, that it might be thought no more had been given to Peter than to each of the others; but that Rome fell by lot to him, Jerusalem to James, Ethiopia to Matthew, India to Thomas, and so with the rest.' .
"The surest proof of a perpetual tradition and doctrine in the Church is the dignity and power of the Pope. For if books fail as they mustbooks framed with the object of bringing in atheismit cannot afterwards be shown whence or at what time, EXCEPT FROM CHRIST, it began to exist; nor could it be shown by any probable argument that the power of the supreme Pontiff in defining questions of faith was not ever the same that it is now. It is not clear that they [Popes] had any temporal ["civil or secular", etc.] power before the tenth [?] century; but that they had it at least from that age is clear from old coins." .
'It is said, "We should believe nothing that is not written." How is this proved? Where is that written? If it is not written, it is not itself to be believed. If this is true, "Only writing should be believed," it follows that this written thing being non-extant, it cannot be believed. From what time did the principle begin to be true? Who defined it, and by what power? The Apostles certainly taught the contrary; they said that the rule of faith was that which before they wrote anything, they taught by preaching. 1 Peter i. 15. But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the Word which was preached in the Gospel to you. He says not, which was written, but which was preached in the Gospel. I. John ii. 24. What ye heard from the beginning (he does not say what was written and ye read) let it abide in you.' .
"If Religion ought to stand by the testimony of written books, the essentials of Religion are gone. For the chief head of Religion, on which all the rest in their connection depend, is this: Who God is, of what nature. He whom Christians worship, is. For all those books bring in another God than the God of ChristiansI mean the alleged writings of the "Fathers"; they teach of a God who is simply such as atheists would have.
The living Tradition is by far the surer witness of the faith and of the true and ancient use in the Sacraments, than books, whether MSS. or published....
NOTHING, THEN, WRITTEN, IS EITHER TRUE OR USEFUL, UNLESS IT CONSENTS WITH THE PERPETUAL TRADITION OF THE CHURCH." .
"God makes light of written tradition or sets it at naught, as He has shown in these last ages. For since the monuments are all false on which commonly Catholic Doctors relynor merely false, but adverse to the faith; none of the Doctors relies on them, unless he can effect, by means of twisted and forced interpretations, by some violence or art, a consent with the non-written tradition; that is, with the judgment of the Holy Roman Church, and the consent of the Catholic world." .
"God makes light of written tradition or sets it at naught, as He has shown in these last ages. For since the monuments are all false on which commonly Catholic Doctors relynot merely false, but adverse to the faith; none of the Doctors relies on them, unless he can effect, by means of twisted and forced interpretations, by some violence or art, a consent with the non-written tradition; that is, with the judgment of the Holy Roman Church, and the consent of the Catholic world." .
"The best tradition is the unwritten; for it is not an impossibility that the writings in our hands are supposititious ["counterfeit", etc.], or (if you will) that they have been corrupted and depraved. On the other hand the living tradition is ever incorrupt, and constantly the same." [77-78].
'"....It is not by writing that the Church has received her faith; no more then is it by writing that she is obliged to transmit it."' [Hardouin quotes a letter] .
'You may say, "Then all books must be burned." Nay verily! you should diligently preserve them; there is the greatest use to be derived from them; they teach how the faith attacked by these writers flourished down to their time, in all its capital pointsthat is, our own most holy faith. But secondly, what if they were burned? If God were to reveal that they are all spurious, as I teach and believe, you would also believe this; nor would you deem that Religion or tradition lost anything thereby. Tell me then, will Religion more suffer, if by studious labour a fraud inimical to her be detected, than if it should be laid open by revelation? What matters it, the way in which the truth is known? Can truth hurt truth?
However I say that you should keep and preserve with the greatest care the books of Augustine and all the rest, though they are supposititious ["counterfeit", etc.]. For they are highly useful for the thorough knowledge of Religion, provided you diligently look into the sentiments of the writer, and yourself hold the contrary of what he [Augustine] teaches.' [84-85].
'DOWN TO THE RISE OF PRINTING THERE WAS GREAT FACILITY FOR FORGERY, AND GREAT LUST FOR IT [source for #1, 9, 69.]. After its rise it may have been more difficult. And so the great period for forgery was the fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth centuries; the period of Printing, the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries; the period of examination and detection of fraud, the end of the seventeenth century and the following ages; so that the fraud may not acquire strength with years. And I think it to have been a singular providence, that God put this thought into the mind of noneI mean to hold all "Antiquity," as they call it, suspect of falsehoodbefore the whole had come out of the [private] Library shelves. For some monuments are of great service for the understanding and testing of others. But now we can hardly expect anything of any moment, in addition to the material which has become public property. Therefore it is now the time, as it was not before, to show all men clearly how pernicious they are to the Catholic Religion.' [132-133].
"Books there were none or very rare outside the Libraries of the Monasteries down to the twelfth century, says Mabillon in his work on Monastic Studies, bk. i., c. xvi., p. 136. He might have said with greater truth, that in those very monastic libraries there were none or very few before the fourteenth century.
[Note the following] Pliny praises many Writers the loss of whose writings we deplore. They were neglected by antiquity; and of the Latins, Plautus, Pliny, nine Eclogues of Virgil with the Georgics, the Satires and Epistles of Horace only were preserved; and of the Greeks, the Iliad and Odyssey of Homer, and nine books of Herodotus." .
"Many monuments there are to-day kept shut up in the Castle of St. Angelo, Rome, which are said to contain many things contrary to the rights and laws of the Popes. The enemies of the Apostolic See boast, in their ignorance, that they are genuine, simply because they are kept shut up there. Just as if everything that at Paris in the Royal Treasury of Charts, or in the Chamber of Computes is kept shut up, must be genuine! Why, how many instruments have I myself detected to be false! On the MSS. [Manuscripts] of the Vatican Library see the thoughtful judgment of Baronius against the year DCIV ." .
"In France are the greater part of the Latin Codices [codex: "earliest form of book"]; there are few in Italy. On the other hand, there are many Greek codices in Italy, but of more recent handwriting, that is under the care of Theodore Lascaris and the Medici princes. At Corbey in Picardy many of the Latin books were written. The Italians say that France is the repertory of the Latin MSS. Hence I suspect that very many Greek books were first written in Latin, in France, because the same impiety is in both; that they were then sent into Italy to be rendered into Greek, whether at Venice or Milan or Rome, or in the kingdom of Naples. Hence, later, a few returned into Constantinople, and into France many more; as a few of the Latin, written in France, were transmitted to Italy.
A remarkable evidence that the Greek Codices were written in the Latin world, and perhaps in the city of Paris itself, is the Codex Damasceni, which is believed to be very old, in the custody of the Dominican Fathers of St. Honoré; for in one parchment quaternian [quaternion: "Of paper or parchment: a. A quire of four sheets folded in two. b. A sheet folded twice." (O.E.D.)], the Greek of Damascenus is on one side, and on the surface of the membrane Latin names with the acrostic of four parts, which savours of the fourteenth or fifteenth century:
Nitimur in vanum, dant auri pondera nomen." .
'"Lupus of Ferrara," in his fifth epistle (p. 23 of Baluz' edition), says, "The writer Regius Bertcandus is said to have the measure written down of the ancient letters only, which are the largest, and are thought by some to be called Uncials." This passage indicates that the forgers had the measure and form of letters for each age; that they had not only parchments and inks, but the form of letters for all their alleged literary ages, which they might intimate in writing; so that a codex might simulate or be believed to simulate the age of the seventh, eighth, ninth, or other century.' .
'An example of this simulation and fraud is adduced by Dom Montfaucon himself, in his Palaeography, p. 326, from the Royal Codex, 1684, on parchment, which contains the Gospels for the year elegantly written; the year 1336 is noted at the end. "The character of the eleventh century," he says, "has been imitated by the amanuensis" (although he wrote in the fourteenth); "but those who are used to turning over MSS. can recognise the difference at the first glance." So the dishonest amanuensis was not crafty in the practice of this art. That fourteenth century was more productive than any other of spurious codices.' .
'For the recent date of MS. Codices, despite the lies of amanuenses, or rather of the forgers, there is a proof, among others, to be derived from the MS. Codex of St. Jerome, which is in the Royal Library. For the most skilled judges, on inspecting the character, would make solemn asseveration that it is scarce three hundred years old. And yet at the end the amanuensis makes the statement in Greek that it was written more than six hundred years ago. Father R. Simon, in his select Letters, tom i., p. 218, says, "I will tell you only here in general, that very able critics have believed Greek MSS. to be twelve hundred years old, which were nevertheless quite new."' [144-145].
"No Hebrew MSS. [manuscripts] are believed to be more than four hundred years old; that is, in the fourteenth century were written and depraved all that we now possess; because in the Hebrew characters they could not, as in the Latin, invent different forms, like the Merovingic, the Lombardic, the Saxon, etc., of their alleged sixth, seventh, and eighth centuries, etc." .
"We have no MSS. of the Bible in our Libraries that are not elegant, written and illuminated in the best manner; because there are none there except corrupt ones, none but those which the impious crew found it to their interest to preserve in book-cases, that they might be brought forth at the due season. Of the Vulgate Edition, on the contrary, there are no copies in the Libraries; because in point of fact, none of them were written except for use; when worn out they were thrown away, as is now the practice. Before they were worn out they were employed by the librarii (or bookmen) for the purpose of making other similar copies." .
"In the whole of Greece this side of Byzantium, except perchance on Mount Athoswhere the number of books in existence is unknownyou can hardly infer with certainty from Dom Bernard de Montfaucon's [1655 - 1741] description that there were one hundred Greek MS. books. Of the rest of the East we have no information. But in the West, that is, in France, Italy, England, Germany, Holland, he says on p. 21, that the number hardly reached twenty thousand. How many more than in the East! The reason is that in the West all were first written by the forgers. More has been adduced on this head in my work On Greek MSS." .
'The gang of forgers had Alphabets and Inks in both tongues, Greek and Latin, and parchments to suit every age. A notable example of the fraud is, that the copies which they made believe to be about one thousand years old (at the present time) wherever they were written, show the same form of writing, the same character; simply because the writers had the same alphabet before their eyes....
Dom Mabillon [Jean Mabillon 1632 - 1707] in his work on Diplomatics, p. 233, says, "I do not test the truth of falsehood" (of the diplomata) "only by the material, which smacks of a high antiquity; but at the same time by other characters, and above all style. The mask of the impostor shall not escape me under the show of the bark, or the seeming age of a lying hand-writing, and if the other features do not agree." He means by Bark the material on which they wrote.' [148-149].
'"....who is ignorant that men and even the Pope himself in these matters of fact ["to...discern falsehood from truth"], are fallible and may be deceived?" [Hardouin, quoting a letter]
So far then let what I have said suffice as Prolegomena to be read as a preface to my Censure, by which it will clearly appear as I hope, that the contrivers of so many Dogmatic works and of Ecclesiastical History (as they call it) had this object in view, to utterly ruin, if possible, the whole of Religion. From my treatise on the Ancient Coins of the French Kings it appears that this design was taken up by the impious crew and meditated in the reign of Philip Augustus [Philip II (Philip- Augustus) 1165 - 1223]; much more under Philip the Fair [Philip IV, 'the Fair' 1268 - 1314], and Philip of Valois [Philip VI, of Valois 1293 - 1350]; that it afterwards was immensely enlarged through more than one hundred and fifty years.
The End.' .