Изображения страниц

IS A General chosen for life by deputies from the several provinces, possessed power that was supreme and independent, extending to every person and to every case. He, by his sole authority, nominated provincials, rectors, and every other officer employed in the government of the society, and could remove them at pleasure.

In him was vested the sovereign administration of the revenues and funds of the order. Every member belonging to it was at his disposal ; and by his uncontrolable mandate, he could impose on them any task, or employ them in what service soever he pleased. To his commands they were required to yield not only outward obedience, but to resign up to him the inclinations of their own wills, and the sentiments of their own understandings. They were to listen to his injunctions, as if they had been uttered by Christ himself. Under his direction they were to be only passive instruments, like clay in the hands of the potter, or mere machines incapable of resistance. Such a singular form of policy could not fail to impress its character on all the members of the Order, and to give a peculiar force to all its operations. There is not in the annals of mankind any example of such a perfect despotism exercised, be it observed, not over monks shut up in the cells of a convent, but over men, dispersed among all the nations of the earth." (P. 5, 6.) aitas herrito 4 ORAS

202 sd,

beidensa It was necessary to the efficient exercise of this unlimited power, that the general should possess an intimate knowledge of the persons who

bore arms under his authority. Each man was constrained to lay bare his bosom to his examiner. Reports of the character and abilities of each were collected in every small district; these were re-examined and corrected by general examiners; and all were transmitted to the grand depository at Rome, there to be treasured up against an emergency. The number of the reports sent to Rome in a single year amounted to 6584.

Ivozano bo, dob Were our evidence with regard to the Jesuits to stop at this point, enough, we conceive, has been said to prove, that they cannot exist with safety to the great mass of society. Religion, and laws founded upon religion, are the proper guardians of national and individual welfare. But the general of the Jesuits was superior to either ;' he interpreted religion, and limited law, according to his own pleasure, and either extended or crippled both to promote the interests of a few at the expense of all the rest.

As might be expected, unlimited power was indefinitely abused. The instruments were suited to the agents, and both to the end in view. The principle on which their polity appears to be founded is this: “ quod convenit id honestum"-whatever is expedient is right-whatever will promote Jesuitism is sanctified by the purity of the object. That we may not be supposed to scandalize the order, we shall here give some extracts from the

Secreta Monita' We need scarcely remind our readers, that



these are the secret instructions of the Jesuits; instructions which, if discovered, the members of the order were commanded to disown; of which men knew nothing but the consequences for many years; and which the order, in an ill-fated moment for them, surrendered to public examination in the course of a celebrated law-suit.

10 NOBLE Paris ή οΠΓΩποικία 4 Princes and distinguished persons must by all means be so managed that they may gain their ear, which will easily secure their hearts; 80 that all persons will become dependant upon them, and opposition be preDented. Since Ecclesiastics secure the greatest favour by winking at ths vices of the great, as in the case of incestuous marriages, &c. such persons must be led to hope that, through their aid, a dispensation may be obtained from the Pope, which he will no doubt readily grant. It will further their object much, if their members insinuate themselves into foreign embassies, but especially in those to the Pope, Favour must, above all, be obtained with the dependants and domestics of princes and noblemen, who by presents and offices of piety may be so far biassed as to impart intelligence of their employers' inclinations and intentions. The marriages of the Houses of Austria, Bourbon, and Poland, having benefited the Society, similar alliances must be formed with the like object - Princesses and females of rank may be gained by women of their bed-chambers, who must therefore be particularly ad. dressed, whereby there will be no secrets concealed from the members. Their Confessors must allow greater latitude than those of other Orders, in order that their penitents being allured with such freedom, may relinquish others, and entirely depend on their direction and advice. Princes and Prelates capable of being signally useful to the Society, may be favoured so far as to become partakers of all its advantages. The people must be taught that the Society has, beyond all other orders, the fullest powers of absolution even in reserved cases ; of dispensing with fasts, discharging from debt, and dissolving impediments to marriage-by which many will apply to them, and thereby incur the strictest obligations. The animosities of the great must be enquired into, in order that the credit of reconciling them may at least gain one of the parties. Such an ascendancy must be acquired over rulers and magistrates of every place, that they may be led to exert themselves even against their nearest relatives and best friends, when the interest of the Order shall require.cis Where the Clergy are more predominant, as in Germany, Poland, &c. they must be carefully gained, in order that by their, and the Prince's authority, religious houses, patronages, and foundations of masses, may fall to the Society, an object not difficult to accomplish in those places where Catholics are intermixed with heretics and schismatics. Prelates must be engaged to employ the Jesuits both for Confessors and Advisers—care must be taken when Princes or Prelates found either Colleges or Parish Churches, that the Society always have the right of presenting, and that the Superior of the Jesuits, for the time being, be appointed to the cure, so that the whole government of that Church and its parishioners may become dependant on the Society-whenever the governors of academies thwarttions : he may be then' advantageously moved by the terrors of hell, or at least of purgatory, and told that sin is extinguished by acts of charity, which can never be better bestowed than in support of men who profess a desire to promote the salvation of their neighbour, by which means he will be made a partaker of their merit, and, atone for bis own sins; charity must also be represented as the wedding-garment, without which no one is admitted to the heavenly feast."-" If any member expects a Bishopric, or other dignity, he must take an additional vow always to think and speak honourably of the Society neder to have a Confessor who is not a Jesuit-nor determine in any affair of moment without first consulting with the Society-Confessors and Preachers must be cautious of offending nuns, since those descended from noble families (especially rich Abbesses) can be very useful either through their own interest, or that of their parents and friends ; 30 that by the aid of the principal religious houses, the Society may by degrees form acquaintance with, and secure the friendship of almost the whole city; but, on the other hand, female devotees must be forbidden to frequent nunneries, lest they should be allured by that kind of life, and so disappoint the expectations of the Order as to their property." "Kings and rulers must have this principle instilled into them, that THE CATHOLIC Faith, AS MATTERS NOW STAND, CANNOT SUBSIST WITHOUT THE CIVIL POWER, by which means the members will be acceptable to men in the highest stations, and admitted into their most secret councils-- The Society will contribute much to its own advantage by fomenting and heightening (but with caution and secrecy) the animosities that arise among princes and great-men, in order that. they may weaken each other." (P. 49-56.)


So much for the machinery by which this tremendous engine was to be worked. At the first discovery of it mankind' stood aghast. The extinction of the order was felt by all to be necessary; the world rose, and will again rise, to rescue from the grasp of the monster the principles of morality, the rules of charity, the peace and hope of civilized and domestic life. It is too much to require, even of this tolerant age, to suffer a second mine to be prepared under our feet, and then quietly to permit the enemy to collect his combustibles, and once more to sap the citadel of our happiness and repose.

The facts connected with the history of this order have been answerable to the genius of its frame and contrivance. We would not hang even Jesuits upon hypothesis, although it would be difficolt to maintain thảt a society, formed of such dire ingre dients, and upon so mischievous a model, has any right to be presumed innocent till proved guilty. We will, however, pa tiently examine its proceedings amongst the nations of Europe; and to this end we cannot do better than make some extracts from the little volume before us, of which there is not the smallest reason to question the accuracy. Indeed it would be easy to



tráce the march of the author in some of the most unsuspected works of our language.

“In Portugal, where they were first received, they became the entire directors of that Court, which, for a long series of years, delivered to them the consciences of its princes and the education of its people, overwhelmed them with riches and honours, endowed rich Colleges for them, gave them up its most celebrated Universities, and granted them the largest privileges ; they abused the confidence of those misguided monarchs both in Portugal and Spain who trusted them most, deprived them of their truest subjects, disposed of the most valuable appoiatments to their own creatures, and overturned the schools in Portugal to forward their own views ; indeed so important was education to them, that when at one time driven from France, they collected its youth at Dole in Franche Comté to educate it. It was Portugal which opened the door for their missions, and gave them establishments in Asia, Africa, and America, enabling them thus to accomplish their grand object of founding a temporal monarchy : in vain, for ages, did the cries of the oppressed reach the Court of Lisbon; in vain did even Rome herself protest against the enormities of her own children; all gave way before the superior power and craft of the Jesuits ; they usurped the sovereignty of Paraguay, and resisted the lawful forces of the Kings of Portugal and Spain who claimed it. When Joseph of Portugal could no longer shut his eyes to facts, with which every quarter of the world rung, he ordered their expulsion, and the consequence was thiat two conspiracies of the Jesuits against himself and his whole family followed. Long before this they had supplanted Anthony King of Portugal, and transferred his Crown to the King of Spain, compelling him to take refuge in Terceras, one of the Azores, where they excited a revolt against him and beheaded eighty French men, and hung 500 Friars for maintaining his rights.- If Rome was the nursery, Paris was the cradle, of the Jesuits, and perhaps no city has smarted more from fostering them. The great pretext of the league in France was to defend Catholicism against Calvinism; but it was, in fact, a conspiracy of the Jesuits, with the sanction of Pope Sixtus Vth, to disturb the succession of the French throne in favour of the Cardinal Bourbon, a creature of their own; and they are, in the judgment of the best historians, the authors of all the miseries and horrors which desolated France in consequence. The Pope omitted no exertion, sending Cardinal Cajetan into France as his legate, and assigning him for advisers, the Jesuits Bellarmine and Tyrrius, with orders to prevent. the election of any Protestant King in France; and it was the same Pope who joined the league of the King of Spain against England.”. (P. 15-17.)

“ The result of that league was the overthrow of Henry III. whose assassin was undoubtedly instigated by the Jesuits. In the three months that Paris was besieged, it was supposed that 100,000 perished by famine and war in resisting Henry IV" (P. 18.)

" In Poland (especially at Cracow the capital) their excesses were as revolting as elsewhere ; and their cruelties to the Protestants at Thorn

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »