Abbildungen der Seite

sider the peculiar dangers of the present crisis, and the probable consequences of the revival of the Order of Jesuits and their unobstructed establishment in the heart of our own Empire. It will be easy to shew that what has been so inadequately performed by the Author, might have been executed with far greater ability by others; but one consolation no man taketh from him -the consciousness of Integrity. It is the simple desire of benefiting his beloved country, which has been his ruling motive throughout this work; and whatever may be the reception which his attempt may experience in the world, he dares at all events to make his appeal to a higher tribunal, for the purity of his intentions and the simplicity of his object.





IT has been observed, with truth, that as the constant pur pose of God is to extract good from evil, and to overrule, for the best ends, the malevolent or mistaken designs of man; so the general aim of man, when not acting under the influence of divine illumination, is to bring evil out of good, and to convert those appointments which were designed for the advantage and happiness of the world, into so many oecasions of misery and mischief to himself and others,

Of the truth of this position, the early History of the Jesuits affords a remarkable example.

THE REFORMATION OF RELIGION was an event which promised incalculable benefit to mankind: like the faith which it professed to purify, it had "the promise of the life that now

is, and of that which is to come:" in proportion as it elevated the spiritual condition of man, it raised him in the scale of sentient beings, and advanced his temporal interests: while it opened to him prospects full of immortality in a future state of being, it decidedly meliorated his lot in the present period of existence-it at once delivered his soul from the ignomis nious bondage of sin, in which a religion of forms had enthralled it, and, at the same time, rescued his mind from the shackles of an usurped dominion: while it secured the free agency, and promoted the real interests of the immortal spirit,

possessor; restrained the incursions of arbitrary power; resisted tyranny in every form; and fostered civil liberty, without encouraging licentiousness. The worship of God was thus purified of its dross, and purged of its secularities; and the throne of monarchs was placed on its only secure foundation-the affections of the people; while those affections were perpetually fed and nourished by a grateful sense of the religious and temporal privileges which can only be enjoyed or appreciated under such a state of things.

No sooner, however, had THE REFORMATION, which was fraught with such blessings for mankind, appeared in the world, than it became the main object of all who "loved "darkness rather than light," to oppose and overthrow it; in other words, to bring all the evil in their power out of the elements of so much good: and, as if in direct contradiction to the fable of the monarch who converted every thing he touched into gold, the undeviating policy of such persons appeared to be to extend and perpetuate the counterfeit currency of the Romish corruptions, and to depreciate and destroy whatever bore the stamp and impress of Heaven.

In order to this, they selected Instruments the best adapted to their purpose; for, of all the enemies of THE REFORMATION, the most subtle, the most powerful, and the most implacable were THE JESUITS.

Raised up for the specific purpose of obstructing the march of a purer system, and of opposing, with all their power, the diffusion of spiritual light, and the progress of civil liberty; these mighty advocates of the Papal and Ecclesiastical dynasty did not, in any measure, disappoint the hopes which were formed of them from the beginning; but fulfilled, in every particular, their high destiny, and were only not successful in utterly extinguishing the light of truth throughout the world, because they entered the lists against the Most High, and sought, under the guise of Religion, to compass the most nefarious ends by the employment of the most unhallowed



That the great object of the institution of the Jesuits in the first instance, was the overthrow of THE REFORMATION, will appear from every Author who has adverted to their early history. The following Extract from VILLERS will set this matter in its true light:

"The Sixteenth Century saw LUTHER and LOYOLA arise "almost at the same moment; the one in the North, the other "in the South of Europe: the latter, a Spaniard, appeared to "be a natural product of the soil and spirit of the country "where he was reared. A century earlier, he would probably "have only founded an Order, like so many others, a frater"nity of worshippers of the Virgin, to whom his devotion "was particularly addressed: the religious innovations, however, which then threatened the existence of the Romish "Church, gave to the enthusiasm of the pious and warlike "IGNATIUS another direction. He conceived the idea of a "sort of spiritual crusade against Heresy. His scheme was 66 eagerly adopted at Rome after some hesitation; and the design was seriously formed of converting the new Society "into a formidable phalanx which might be employed against "the boldest champions of the Reformation.



"To the reaction, therefore, excited by that event, may be "ascribed the origin of the Society of Jesus. It will pro"bably be satisfactory to read the words of DAMIANUS, one "of the first Historians of the Order, who thus expresses "himself in his Synopsis Historia Soc. Jesu-primo seculo, printed in 1640*.


[ocr errors]

* "Eodem anno vigesimo-primo, adulta jam nequitia, palam Ec"clesiæ bellum indixit LUTHERUS: læsus in Pampelonensi arce IGNA"TIUS alius ex vulnere fortiorque quasi defendendæ religionis signum "sustulit.

"LUTHERUS Petri sedem probris convitiisque lacessere aggreditur: "IGNATIUS, quasi ad suscipiendam causam à S. Petro prodigiose


"LUTHERUS irâ, ambitione, libidine victus, à religiosa vita desci"scit: IGNATIUS, Deo vocante, impigre obsecutus, à profana ad reli

"In the same year 1521, LUTHER, with consummate "wickedness, openly declared war against the Church :---"wounded in the fortress of Pampeluna, renovated and "strengthened by his accident, IGNATIUS raised the standard ❝in defence of religion.

"LUTHER attacks the chair of St. Peter with abuse and "blasphemy: IGNATIUS is miraculously cured by St. Peter, in ❝ order to become his defender.

"LUTHER, tempted by rage, ambition, and lust, abandons "the religious life: IGNATIUS, eagerly obeying the call of God, "quits the profane for the religious life.

"LUTHER, with the guilt of sacrilege, contracts an inces"tuous marriage, with a virgin of the Lord: IGNATIUS binde "himself in the vow of perpetual continence.

"LUTHER despises all authority of superiors: the first precepts of IGNATIUS, full of Christian humility, are to "submit and obey.

"LUTHERUS cum sacra Deo virgine incestas nuptias init sacrilegus: perpetuæ continentiæ voto se adstringit IGNATIUS.

"LUTHERUS omnem superiorum contemnit autoritatem: prima * IGNATII monita sunt, plena Christianæ demissionis, subesse et parere.

"In sedem apostolicam, furentis in morem, declamat LUTHERUS: #illam ubique tuetur IGNATIUS.


"Ab ea quotquot potest LUTHERUS avertit: quotquot potest con "ciliat, reducitque IGNATIUS.


“Adversus illam nitentur omnia LUTHERI studia atque conatus: "IGNATIUS suos, suorumque labores peculiari voto illi consecrat.

"LUTHERUS Sacris Ecclesiæ ritibus venerationem, cultumqué de"traxit: IGNATIUS omnem illis reverentiam asserit.

"Missæque sacrificio, Eucharistiæ, Deiparæ, Tutelaribus divis, et illis, tanto LUTHERI furore impugnatis, Pontificum indulgentiis: in "quibus novo semper invento celebrandis IGNATII Sociorumque de"sudat industria.

"LUTHERO illo Germaniæ probro, Epicuri porco, Europa exitio, orbis infelici portento, Dei atque hominum odio, etc.-æterno con"silio Deus opposuit IGNATIUM."-Synopsis, etc. Lib. I. Diss. VI. p. 18.


« ZurückWeiter »