A rumour having been spread that some individuals, calling themselves agents of the British and Foreign Bible Society, under the pretext of circulating copies of the Holy Scriptures, have traversed several towns on the eastern and western coasts of Spain, and have published writings in which the respect due to the ecclesiastical and civil authorities of Spain has not been observed, but on the contrary an intention has evidently been manifested in them to disparage them in the eyes of the population of those parts, I hasten to make the following public Declaration:
That such individuals -- if it be certain that there are such -- have in this respect acted upon their own responsibility, without permission and even in direct opposition to the intentions of the Bible Society, inasmuch as on the principles of the New Testament similar attempts are to be reprobated and regarded with horror, being in direct opposition to the express commands of the Saviour and His Apostles, who in their addresses and writings have on various occasions exhorted the faithful to shew respect and obedience to their masters and superiors, even when they were heretics or idolaters.
And as it has been stated that certain persons, under pretext of being agents of the British and Foreign Bible Society, have shown zeal in persuading, and have actually in some cases persuaded, various individuals to sign documents purporting to be declarations of separation from the Catholic Faith -- I herewith publicly declare that the British and Foreign Bible Society has no connection with such persons; and should there be any such, it is not disposed either to confirm or to approve their proceedings, but on the contrary is desirous of stating in the most energetic and solemn manner that it disavows and rejects all connexion or intercourse with them.
The British and Foreign Bible Society is composed of individuals belonging to all sects, in which those are divided who follow the faith of Jesus Christ, amongst whom are seen co-operating for one grand and holy object, followers of the Apostles, Romans, and members of the Greek and [of the] English Church, whose design is the propagation of the word of Christ in all countries, separating wholly from the forms of discipline of the Church, [which are] matters of secondary consideration, which for a long time have filled the world with bloodshed and calamity, and have tended to keep up in the hearts of Christians unhappy and malignant feuds. Far from being desirous of making proselytes among those professing the Catholic worship, the Bible Society is at all times disposed to hold out the hand of Christian fraternity to the clergy of Spain and to co-operate with those who believe, as the Catholic clergy assuredly do, 'that all shall be saved, who, believing in Jesus Christ, show it by their good works.'
Madrid May 12, 1838,
Office of the Bible Society,
Calle del Principe.
(Signed) GEORGE BORROW,
Sole authorised Agent of the British
and Foreign Bible Society in Spain.