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might not recollect that this ambitious and imperious Minister was a Cardinal of the Romish Church, and might not know that he was devotedly attached to the Order of Jesuits, Mr. DALLAS sinks both the one and the other of these facts, and leaves it to be inferred by those who choose to believe it, that he was altogether a disinterested witness.
The Cardinal is followed by an Abbé (p. 148), which is quite in orthodox order. This is no other than the Abbé RAYNAL, who is called by MR. DALLAS himself, "one of the "bitterest enemies of Christianity." Persons of Mr. Dallas's sentiments may consider Political Cardinals and Infidel Abbés as very unexceptionable witnesses on behalf of their friends the Jesuits. If the British Public and its Parliament are satisfied with this kind of evidence, it will have been adduced to some purpose. But it happens farther, that the Abbé was A JESUIT himself. Perhaps they will like his testimony no less on that account! It certainly forms no objection with MR. DALLAS; he is much too liberal to think the worse of a man, or of his testimony, because he was a Jesuit *.
The next personages who appear in array as the Champions of the Jesuits, are THE BISHOPS OF FRANCE (p. 150).
The judgment of these right reverend Prelates has been considered by MR. DALLAS as of sufficient importance to print at length in his Appendix.
It will form no subject of astonishment, that THE BISHOPS OF FRANCE should have identified the existence of the Catholic Church with that of the Jesuits, when we recollect that even the Catholics of our own time, and our own country, are at this moment doing the same. It is a Clerical member of the Catholic Church, who has stood forward in defence of the Order, in the public newspapers; while both the Clerical and Lay members of that Church are pursuing the same pious work in the Popish Magazine, which ventures every month to
* A French Biographer remarks of RAYNAL's History of the Establishments and Commerce of the Europeans in both Indies, that it ought to have been entitled, "The Voyages and History of Avarice,”
libel our Established Religion and constituted Authorities, and to abuse the patience* which has hitherto left such a work to the silent contempt which indeed appears to afford the best answer to it.
This judgment of the French Bishops was given as late as the reign of Louis XV. and indeed may be considered as the last great public act of the French Hierarchy: for, in little more than five-and-twenty years from its date, the Bishops of France were driven from their place in the nation, by the hurricane of the French Revolution. This act on the part of the Bishops was the result of the most notorious intrigues on the part of the Jesuits, and it was pronounced at a period when the corruption and wickedness of the National Church of France had nearly reached their height.
It was in consequence of the decisions of the Parliament against the Society in the year 1761, when their pernicious doctrines were publicly condemned, and their books committed to the flames, that the Jesuits exerted themselves to the utmost of their power, both at Rome and in France, for the purpose of preventing their inevitable ruin. They induced the Pope (CLEMENT XIII.), at the instance of their creature, CARDINAL TORREGIANI, who was paid for the purpose, to grant one Bull after another, in their favor, addressed to the French King, to the Bishops, and to the general body of the Clergy. The Jesuits were particularly assiduous with the Gallican Prelacy, as well as with the Papal Consistory, in the hope of averting their doom; and after having li belled the Parliament of Paris, for its bold and resolute conduct, they naturally turned to the Bishops of France, as their last resource.
The four questions which led to the judgment of the Bishops in their favor, upon which MR. DALLAS rests with so much confidence, were put at the suggestion of the Jesuits themselves, with a view to the Judgment which they antici
"Quousque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientiâ nostrâ ?"-CICERO
pated, and which has generally been ascribed to the pen of a Jesuit, of which indeed few who read it can entertain any doubt. In this Judgment the charges against the Jesuits of abusing the monstrous privileges which had been granted to them, are passed over in silence; as are the errors of their Constitutions, their infamous morality, and their regicide doctrines, with the exception only (as to the last) of an endeavour to exculpate them from the charge of employing RAVAILLAC to assassinate HENRY IV. (which is slurred over in MR. DALLAS's translation), but without disproving their part in the attempts of BARRIERE and CHATEL on the life of the same Monarch. To the Judgment of these forty-five Bishops, may be opposed the Judgment of the several Bishops of France, ever since the Jesuits had an origin, as enumerated in the following History.
In March, 1762, appeared the Decree of Louis XV. which had for its object the regulation and reform of the Society, and its restraint within certain limits. A measure so feeble appeared at once to the Parliament as worse than useless; and they presented to the King a collection of THE ASSERTIONS of the Jesuits themselves, extracted from their avowed writings, in order to shew the impossibility of reforming a Society, whose principles were so radically vicious as to endure and encourage doctrines opposed to the main articles of Religion. On the other hand, useless and hopeless as this Reform would have been, the General of Jesuits (LAURENCE RICCI), and the impotent CLEMENT XIII. who was governed by their creature TORREGIANI, absolutely refused to lend themselves to any reform, notwithstanding the wishes of the King of France on that point. "Let them continue as they are" (said they), ❝or continue no longer-sint ut sunt, aut non sint.”—This
was all the answer which LOUIS XV. could obtain; which obliged him, however reluctantly, to declare in the end against their continuance at all.
To return to THE JUDGMENT OF THE BISHOPS. impossible that such a document should deceive the King, or
wash away the stains which rested upon the Jesuits. How was it possible, for instance, for any man who was acquainted with the History of France, to believe the assertion of the Bishops, that" the Jesuits professed no other obedience to "their General, than was consistent with their duty towards "their King and Country ?" As well might the same thing have been pretended of the Papists in England, formerly, and in Ireland at this moment! Accordingly the King knew better than to be thus imposed upon.
On the 6th August, 1762, the Parliament unanimously resolved on a Decree against the Jesuits, of the most masterly description, which concludes by abolishing the Order. This argumentative and able document is supported by incontestable proofs, and it is only to be regretted that its length should preclude its publication as a proper antidote to THE JUDGMENT OF THE BISHOPS, which had just appeared before it*. It was a matter of duty in MR. DALLAS, from which no considerations can discharge him, to have noticed (however briefly) the complete and triumphant answer which was given by this powerful and conclusive piece of reasoning to his vaunted Judgment of the French Bishops. It was not to be expected, indeed, nor is it required of MR. DALLAS, that he should either have admired or applauded that Reply. He has formed his opinion; and even such a Reply as that of the Parliament, was not likely to have altered it; but it was at least due to the public, that he should not have passed over, in contemptuous silence, as solemn and judicial an act on the part of the Parlia ment, as that which he has thought fit to record on the part of the Bishops, and an act which followed the Judgment of the Bishops, within a few months of its promulgation.
Let us now look a little at the secret history of the conduct of the Bishops of France, on this memorable occasion, and we shall perhaps discover some of the springs and pullies which set the machine of Episcopacy in motion.
See ARRET du 6 Août, 1762, 4to. Edit. PARIS.
The Archbishop of Paris (BEAUMONT) was, at the period in question, decidedly attached to the Jesuits: he was a man eminently unqualified for his high station, it having been notorious that he had only taken the degree of Doctor by mere favor; his profound ignorance and excessive vanity induced him to neglect his Diocese, and occupy himself in the concerns of the Jesuits. He seconded the Pope in the most vigorous manner, making obedience to the Bulls in favor of the Jesuits, a test of orthodoxy throughout his Diocese: he multiplied interdicts, expelled from Livings, and exercised many other arbitrary acts of Episcopal authority, with a view to the exclusive interests of the Order of Jesuits; and so manifest was his partiality and injustice, that his Pastoral Charge in favor of the Jesuits was burnt by the Parliament; and he was publicly denounced by the Magistrates of the realm as a factious disturber of the peace of his own Church and Diocese, who had, for fifteen years, only excited agitation where he should have promoted union*.
Another Prelate who was at this time devotedly attached to the Jesuits, and who chiefly assisted in influencing the rest in declaring for them, was M. DE LA ROCHE-AIMON, who was President of the Assembly of the Clergy at this period.→ He was a Prelate in the highest favor at Court, having the disposal of the principal Church-preferments, in distributing which he had by no means forgotten himself: he was, in the first place, Bishop of Sarepta abroad; while, at home, he was Bishop of Tarbes, Archbishop of Thoulouse, Archbishop of Narbonne, and lastly Archbishop of Rheims, Grand Almoner of France, and a Cardinal! He was one of the greatest friends and patrons of the Jesuits; and it was not less owing to him than to the Archbishop of Paris, that the Jesuits were enabled to influence the Bishops and Clergy in their favor.
The third Ecclesiastic who had a chief share in producing the same result, was the well-known LOMENIE DE BRIENNE,