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to save hymself from lying, (which, notwithstanding, were but a very veniall synne in these matters, and of far less account than, perhaps, many other synnes which he hourly committeth,) let hym use some reasonable kynds of equivocation, as he may easily learn, of the wiser sort; that is, let hym speake some words which may satisfye the hearers, and, with some other words which he conceiveth, may make a trewe sense. And let hym assure hymself, that by no way he can sinne more heinously in these matters than to disclose that which is indeed, whether he have sworn it or But if he had no intention of equivocation, at the first when he took the oath, yet let hym persuade hymself, nevertheless, that he is not bound by his oath to do anything which becometh not an honest man; and so, if he equivocate in the particular question, he synneth not at all. If he tell plain lyes, without any true sense reserved, those do not so much offend God with their falsitye, as He is wont to reward such fidelitye, as we read in the midwives of Egypt, and in that honest harlot, if so we may call her, Rahab, to whom God hymself showed special favours. Fynally, if he be urged to swear the truth of some particular matter, let bym intend to tell the truth-so far as he is bound. If to do any particular unlawful matter, if it be such a thing as may be well interpreted, and not to tend to any scandal or dishonour of God, let hym swear it with equivocation, but not meaning to do it. If it be scandalous, or manifestly contrary to Christian duty, he must needs refuse it, as hath been declared before.'-P. 103.
Thus Southwell's good faith is vindicated, as well as 'the 'practice which was common in all Christian courts, and in all 'politicke governments, before these accusers or their greatgrandfather Luther was born, when the world was governed 'with as great piety, justice, and learning, as these scrupulous persons will ever establish in this realm, though they use never so great diligence.' The Treatise would not, however, be complete in its character of a manual, if it contained no more than this. There are other ways, besides this method of mental restriction, (here called equivocation,) whereby, without a lye, a trewth may be covered;' and these must be enumerated. The first of these answers to Liguori's first form of Amphibology, where a word hath many significations, and we understand it ' in one sense which is trewe, although the hearer conceive the 'other which is false. .... The like whereunto were, if one 'should be asked whether such a stranger lodgeth in my house, and I should answer, "He lyeth not at my house," meaning 'that he doth not tell a lye there, although he lodge there.' To the second we have no objection to make, if it is used discreetly, when unto one question may be given many answers; we may yeelde one, and conceale the other.' The third corre sponds with Liguori's second form of Amphibology, where the 'whole sentence which we pronounce, or some word thereof, or the manner of poynting and dividing the sentences, may be
1 P. 49. A similar case is given in p. 29. If I be asked whether such a one be in my house, who is there indeed, I may answer in Latin, Non est hic, meaning that he eateth not there, for so doth est signifye.'
ambiguous, and we may speak it in one sense trewe for our advantage.' Thus, it was not reprehensible, in one which had just cause, to say his father's name was Peter or Paul, because the Apostles are the spiritual fathers of the worlde;' and, so if one should say to a theife, Juro tibi numeraturum me '200 aureos, the word tibi may be joyned with juro, or with 'numeraturum. In like manner a man may cunningly alter the pronunciation, as if, according to the Italian manner of 'pronunciation, a man should say tibi uro for tibi juro, which two examples Bellarmine bringeth in his Dictates, 2. 2. q. 89. ar. 7. dub. 2., as also before (adds Garnet) q. 69. ar. 2. ' dub. 2.'
To these three ways of concealing a trewth by words, if we add the other of which we spoke before, that is, when we utter certain words which of themselves may engender a false conceit in the mynde of the hearers, and yet, with somewhat which we understand and reserve in our myndes, maketh a trewe proposition,1-then shall we have four ways how to conceal a trewth without making a lye.-P. 52.
And what effect had these doctrines on the moral conduct of their promulgators and recipients? Take the case of Garnet himself. Casaubon recounts how he acted upon his principles at the time of his own trial. During his imprisonment, he had been in the constant habit of holding communication with Hall or Oldcorne, who was confined in an adjoining chamber. The words which passed between them were overheard, and many facts were in this method elicited. After a time, Garnet was charged before the Lords of the Council with having held these conferences. He put a bold face on the matter; and, although warned not to equivocate, denie it upon his soul, reiterating his denial,' as the Earl Salisbury said, with so many detestable execrations, as
wounded the hearts of the Lords to hear.' It was told hi
that Oldcorne had confessed the fact, upon which the wretch man cried the Lords' pardon, and said he had offend
if equivocation did not help him.' Again, take the case of Francis Tresham, to whom this identical Treatise which is now in the Bodleian belonged. During his examination, he had admitted Garnet's complicity in the mission of Winter to Spain. A few hours before his death he wrote a paper, and signed it with his to avoid ill-usage; and that, upon his salvation, it was more name, declaring that he had made his previous statement only
following: Non feci, I did not,' understanding ut dicam tibi, that I may or 1 Other examples of this mental reservation, besides those already given, are the ought to tell you; or, 'I did it not, yesterday.' 'Non habeo, I have it not,' underDabo, I will give you an hundred pounds,' under
standing, 'for to give you.'
'than he knew that Garnet was privy to the sending of Thomas Winter into Spain;' and 'that he had not seen Garnet for six'teen years before, nor never had letter nor message from him.' This was wholly false, as all but Liguorians and their predecessors count falsehood. Garnet acknowledged his constant intercourse with him; and on being asked by Lord Salisbury 'what interpretation he made of the testamental protestation of 'Tresham,' replied, 'It may be, my Lord, he meant to equivocate.' This,' says Sir Edward Coke, in a letter to Lord Salisbury, is the fruit of equivocation, the book whereof we 'found in Tresham's desk-to affirm manifest falsehoods upon 'his salvation, in ipso articulo mortis. It is true that no man 'may judge in this case, for intra pontem et fontem, he might 'find grace; but it is the most fearful example that I ever 'knew.'1
The exhumation of this Treatise gives an opportunity of examining an interesting question, how far the Theory of Truthfulness, taught by Rome at the beginning of the seventeenth century, is the same as that which she teaches in the nineteenth. Our extracts from S. Alfonso de' Liguori will have shown that, in spirit, they are identically the same. In form they differ, but only to this extent. There is a greater boldness and shamelessness two centuries ago; a greater consciousness that all the world is not prepared to accept such principles in their nakedness now. There is a naiveté and a heartiness then, which is exchanged for doggedness of assertion now. But more than this. In the interval between the publication of the Treatise of Equivocation' and the Theologia Moralis,' there lived Innocent XI. Innocent XI. of the house of Odescalchi, was a Pope meek and mild in manner, but firm and high in purpose. In his opposition to Louis XIVth's encroachments on the spiritual power, he found himself fighting side by side with the Bishop of Pamiers and others of the Jansenist party. A man of uncompromising and inflexible integrity in his private life, he naturally leant towards the Jansenist codes of morality, and had little sympathy with the system which, twenty years before he had been raised to the pontificate, Pascal had held up to scorn and indignation. Accordingly he made short work with many a darling proposition, which had been enshrined in such books as are represented by Herman Busembaum's Marrow of Moral Theology, and other works of the Society.' Regardless of the long line of logical argument on which they rested, regardless of the ingenuity and authority of their supporters, Innocent acted
'State Paper Office, Criminal Trials, vol. ii. p. 102. Quoted in preface to Treatise of Equivocation.'
on the instincts of a human heart, and unsparingly condemned
I. If anyone, either alone or in the presence of others, either asked or of his free will, either for amusement or for any other reason, swears that he has not done something which he really has done, meaning in his own mind something else which he did not do, or another way from that in which it was done, or any other added circumstance which is true, he in fact tells no lie, and is not perjured.
'II. There is good reason for a man's using these amphibologies, as often as it is necessary or useful, to protect himself, or his honour, or his property, or in order to perform any kind of virtuous act, so that the concealment of the truth is then counted expedient and desirable.
III. Whoever has been promoted to a magistracy or public office by means of a recommendation, or by bribery, may take the oath required by the king's mandate, with mental restriction, without respecting the intention with which it is exacted, because he is not bound to confess a hidden crime.'1
It must have been a hard thing for the under-workers to bear, when the master-builder came in and struck down the crowningstone, for the support of which they had erected their work. However, ingenium res adversæ nudare solent. Il Papa biancho' is no match for Il Papa nero;' and Jansenism has always been worsted in its conflicts with Jesuitism. The Moral-Theologians set to work, and it soon appeared that Innocent XI. might have. spared his pains: he only gave one triumph more to casuistica ingenuity.
Given the problem, how to retain a certain practice, and
the same time to pay outward respect to a Papal decree for
from each other by a distinction without a difference:
you wish temp
species, but not to the other: range everything which
tation towards under the other: the result will be the conclusion
Mental Restriction, and Non-pure Mental Restriction.
practice goes on as securely and merrily as ever.
speaking, the present system, dogmatically enunciated, differs
1 Quoted in Theol. Mor. 4. 152.
in no essential point from that of Garnet, Tresham, and Blackwell.'
Very different is the doctrine of S. Augustine, to whose authority, as well as to the example of our Lord, we have seen that S. Alfonso had the hardihood to appeal. We will now offer our readers a specimen of the teaching of the great Doctor of Hippo on this point. It may be that Liguori will have done his cause little good by appealing to the uncompromising Moralist of the Early Church. He may, perhaps, serve to point out that Rome admits of development in morals as well as in doctrine: that as what was once rejected as false is accepted as true after the decree of a Pope; so what was rejected as immorality by S. Augustine has been made moral by the decision of the casuists. How do 'you manage,' asks Pascal, when the Fathers of the Church happen to differ from any of your casuists?" "The Fathers,' is the reply, were good enough for the morality of their own 'times, but they lived too far back for that of the present age, 'which is no longer regulated by them but by the modern casuists. . . . . At their advent S. Augustine, S. Chrysostom, 'S. Ambrose, S. Jerome, and all the rest, so far as morals are concerned, disappeared from the stage.'
The treatise of S. Augustine, to which reference was made is that which he wrote against Lying. We will now shortly draw out the principles there laid down. We shall feel like a man who has left behind him the fogs and malaria of a reeking morass, and risen to the healthy atmosphere of mountain scenery. S. Augustine has written two books on the subject of Lying, and has many passages on the same subject interspersed amidst his voluminous writings. It is observable that he no
1 This general method of dealing with condemnations is well illustrated in the case of clerical hunting. The steps are as follows:-'1. Clerical hunting is forbidden in general terms. 2. The Doctors understand in common, that this prohibition applies only to clamorous hunting, which takes place with a noise. 3. Neither does it apply to all clamorous hunting with a noise, but only to frequent clamorous hunting with a noise. 4. Neither does it apply to all frequent clamorous hunting with a noise, but only to frequent clamorous hunting with a noise, which is scandalous or very expensive. 5. Sporer, Molina, Cajetan, and Sa, say that merely for hunting, without any adjunct, a clergyman is not easily to be condemned of mortal sin. 6. Layman, Lessius, Sa, Valentia, &c. think that such hunting may be altogether blameless, if it is rare and moderate, or from necessity or for exercise. 7. A modern author, who has written a book called "Instructions for New Confessors," says that nonclamorous hunting for the sake of honest recreation is perfectly allowable, and that, canonically, clamorous hunting is not, according to the more common opinion, a mortal sin, except with the adjuncts of contempt or contumacy. Monks are forbidden clamorous hunting more strictly. They are only allowed, without grave sin, to go out two or three times a-year, in case they can do so without giving scandal, or making a great noise.' (Theol. Mor. 4. 606. Hom. Ap. 10. 72.)