The Jesuit New World Order

Sunday, 25 November 2012

HISTORY OF THE JESUITS by
Dr. J. A. Wylie LL.D.,
Contents
Chapter 1
Rome’s New Army—Ignatius Loyola—His Birth—His Wars—He is Wounded—Betakes him to the
Legends of the Saints—His Fanaticism Kindled—The Knight-Errant of Mary—The Cave at Manressa—
His Mortifications—Comparison between Luther and Ignatius Loyola—An Awakening of the Con-
science in both—Luther turns to the Bible, Loyola to Visions—His Revelations.
Chapter 2
Vision of Two Camps—Ignatius Visits Jerusalem—Forbidden to Proselytise—Returns to Spain—
Resolves to make Christendom his Field—Puts himself to School—Repairs to Paris—His Two Com-
panions—Peter Fabre—Francis Xavier—Loyola subjects them to a Severe Regimen—They become
his Disciples—Loyola’s First Nine Followers—Their Vow in the Church of Montmartre—The Book
of Spiritual Exercises—Its Course of Discipline—Four Weeks of Meditation—Topic of each Week—
The Spiritual Exercises and the Holy Spirit—Visits Venice—Repairs to Rome—Draft of Rules—Bull
Constituting the Society.
Chapter 3
Loyola’s Vast Schemes—A General for the Army—Loyola Elected—”Constitutions”—Made Known
to only a Select Few—Powers of the General—An Autocrat—He only can make Laws—Appoints all
Officers, etc.—Organization—Six Grand Divisions—Thirty-seven Provinces—Houses, Colleges,
Missions, etc.—Reports to the General—His Eye Surveys the World—Organization—Preparatory
Ordeal—Four Classes—Novitiates—Second Novitiate—Its Rigorous Training—The Indifferents—
The Scholars—The Coadjutors—The Professed—Their Oath—Their Obedience.
Chapter 4
The Jesuit cut off from Country—from Family—from Property—from the Pope even—The End Sanc-
tifies the Means—The First Great Commandment and Jesuit Morality—When may a Man Love God?—
Second Great Commandment—Doctrine of Probabilism—The Jesuit Casuists—Pascal—The Direc-
tion of the Intention—Illustrative Cases furnished by Jesuit Doctors—Marvellous Virtue of the Doc-
trine—A Pious Assassination!
Chapter 5
The Maxims of the Jesuits on Regecide—M. de la Chalotais’ Report to the Parliament of Bretagne—
Effects of Jesuit Doctrine as shown in History—Doctrine of Mental Equivocation—The Art of Swear-
ing Falsely without Sin—The Seventh Commandment—Jesuit Doctrine on Blasphemy—Murder—
Lying—Theft—An Illustrative Case from Pascal—Every Precept of the Decalogue made Void—Je-
suit Morality the Consummation of the Wickedness of the Fall.
Chapter 6
The Jesuit Soldier in Armour complete—Secret Instructions—How to Plant their First Establish-
ments—Taught to Court the Parochial Clergy—to Visit the Hospitals—to Find out the Wealth of
their several Districts—to make Purchases in another Name—to Draw the Youth round them—to
Supplant the Older Orders—How to get the Friendship of Great Men—How to Manage Princes—
How to Direct their Policy—Conduct their Embassies—Appoint their Servants, etc.—Taught to Af-
fect a Great Show of Lowliness.
Chapter 7
How Rich Widows are to be Drawn to the Chapels and Confessionals of the Jesuits—Kept from
Thoughts of a Second Marriage—Induced to Enter an Order, and Bequeath their Estates to the
Society—Sons and Daughters of Widows—How to Discover the Revenues and Heirs of Noble
Houses—Illustration from Spain—Borrowing on Bond—The instructions to be kept Secret—If Dis-
covered, to be Denied—How the Instructions came to Light.
Chapter 8
The Conflict Great—the Arms Sufficient—The Victory Sure—Set Free from Episcopal Jurisdiction—
Acceptance in Italy—Venice—Spain— Portugal—Francis Xavier—France—Germany—Their First
Planting in Austria—In Cologne and Ingolstadt—Thence Spread over all Germany—Their Schools—
Wearing of Crosses—Revival of the Popish Faith.
Chapter 9
England—Poland—Cardinal Hosius—Sigismund III—Ruin of Poland—Jesuit Missions in the East
Indies—Numbers of their Converts—Their Missions in Abyssinia—Their Kingdom of Paraguay—
Their Trading Establishments in the West Indies—Episode of Father la Valette— Bankruptcy—Trial—
Their Constitutions brought to Light — Banished from all Popish Kingdoms—Suppressed by Clement
XIV—The Pope Dies Suddenly—The Order Restored by Plus VII—The Jesuits the Masters of the
Pope.
Chapter 10
Failure of Ratisbon Conference—What Next to be Done?—Restore the Inquisition—Paul III—Caraffa—
His History—Spread of Protestantism in Italy—Juan di Valdez—His Reunions at Chiaja—Peter Mar-
tyr Vermigli— Bernardino Ochino—Galeazzo CaraccioliVittoria Colonna, etc.—Pietro Carnesecchi,
etc.—Shall Naples or Geneva Lead in the Reform Movement?
Chapter 11
A Stunning Blow—Three Classes in Italy—Flight of Peter Martyr Vermigli —of Ochino—Caraffa
made Pope—The Martyrs, Mollio and Tisserano— Italian Protestantism Crushed—A Notable Ep-
och—Three Movements— The Inquisition at Nuremberg—The Torture-Chamber— Its Furnishings—
Max Tower—The Chamber of Question—The various Instruments of Torture—The Subterranean
Dungeons—The Iron Virgin—Her Office— The Burial of the Dead.
Chapter 1
Rome’s New Army—Ignatius Loyola—His Birth—His Wars—He is Wounded—Betakes him to the Legends
of the Saints—His Fanaticism Kindled—The Knight-Errant of Mary—The Cave at Manressa—His Mortifi-
cations—Comparison between Luther and Ignatius Loyola—An Awakening of the Conscience in both—
Luther turns to the Bible, Loyola to Visions—His Revelations.
PROTESTANTISM had marshaled its spiritual forces a second time, and placing itself at the heart of
Christendom—at a point where three great empires met—it was laboring with redoubled vigor to propagate
itself on all sides. It was expelling from the air of the world that ancient superstition, born of Paganism and
Judaism, which, like an opaque veil, had darkened the human mind: a new light was breaking on the eyes and
a new life stirring in the souls of men: schools of learning, pure Churches, and free nations were springing up
in different parts of Europe; while hundreds of thousands of disciples were ready, by their holy lives or heroic
deaths, to serve that great cause which, having broken their ancient fetters, had made them the heirs of a new
liberty and the citizens of a new world. It was clear that if let alone, for only a few years, Protestantism would
achieve a victory so complete that it would be vain for any opposing power to think of renewing the contest.
If that power which was seated in Geneva was to be withstood, and the tide of victory which was bearing it to
dominion rolled back, there must be no longer delay in the measures necessary for achieving such a result.
It was further clear that armies would never effect the overthrow of Protestantism. The serried strength of
Popish Europe had been put forth to crush it, but all in vain: Protestantism had risen only the stronger from the
blows which, it was hoped, would overwhelm it. It was plain that other weapons must be forged, and other
arms mustered, than those which Charles and Francis had been accustomed to lead into the field. It was now
that the Jesuit corps was embodied. And it must be confessed that these new soldiers did more than all the
armies of France and Spain to stem the tide of Protestant success, and bind victory once more to the banners
of Rome.
We have seen Protestantism renew its energies: Rome, too, will show what she is capable of doing.
As the tribes of Israel were approaching the frontier of the Promised Land, a Wizard-prophet was summoned
from the East to bar their entrance by his divinations and enchantments. As the armies of Protestantism neared
their final victory, there started up the Jesuit host, with a subtler casuistry and a darker divination than
Balaam’s, to dispute with the Reformed the possession of Christendom. We shall consider that host in its rise,
its equipments, its discipline, its diffusion, and its successes.
Don Inigo Lopez de Recalde, the Ignatius Loyola of history, was the founder of the Order of Jesus, or the
Jesuits. His birth was nearly contemporaneous with that of Luther. He was the youngest son of one of the
highest Spanish grandees, and was born in his father’s Castle of Loyola, in the province of Guipuzcoa, in
1491. His youth was passed at the splendid and luxurious comfort of Ferdinand the Catholic. Spain at that
time was fighting to expel the Moors, whose presence on her soil she accounted at once an insult to her
independence and an affront to her faith. She was ending the conflict in Spain, but continuing it in Africa. The
naturally ardent soul of Ignatius was set on fire by the religious fervor around him. He grew weary of the
gaieties and frivolities of the court; nor could even the dalliances and adventures of knight-errantry satisfy
him. He thirsted to earn renown on the field of arms. Embarking in the war which at that time engaged the
religious enthusiasm and military chivalry of his countrymen, he soon distinguished himself by his feats of
daring. Ignatius was bidding fair to take a high place among warriors, and transmit to posterity a name
encompassed with the halo of military glory—but with that halo only. At this stage of his career an incident
befell him which cut short his exploits on the battlefield, and transferred his enthusiasm and chivalry to
another sphere.
It was the year 1521. Luther was uttering his famous “No!” before the emperor and his princes, and summon-
ing, as with trumpet-peal, Christendom to arms. It is at this moment the young Ignatius, the intrepid soldier of
Spain, and about to become the yet more intrepid soldier of Rome, appears before its. He is shut up in the town
of Pamplona, which the French are besieging. The garrison are hard pressed: and after some whispered
consultations they openly propose to surrender. Ignatius deems the very thought of such a thing dishonor; he
denounces the proposed act of his comrades as cowardice, and re-entering the citadel with a few companions
as courageous as himself, swears to defend it to the last drop of his blood. By-and-by famine leaves him no
alternative save to die within the walls, or to cut his way sword in hand through the host of the besiegers. He
goes forth and joins battle with the French. As he is fighting desperately he is struck by a musket-ball,
wounded dangerously in both legs, and laid senseless on the field. Ignatius had ended the last campaign he was
ever to fight with the sword: his valor he was yet to display on other fields, but he would mingle no more on
those which resound with the clash of arms and the roar of artillery.
The bravery of the fallen warrior had won the respect of the foe. Raising him from the ground, where he was
fast bleeding to death, they carried him to the hospital of Pamplona, and tended him with care, till he was able
to be conveyed in a litter to his father’s castle. Thrice had he to undergo the agony of having his wounds
opened. Clenching his teeth and closing his fists he bade defiance to pain. Not a groan escaped him while
under the torture of the surgeon’s knife. But the tardy passage of the weeks and months during which he
waited the slow healing of his wounds, inflicted his ardent spirit a keener pain than had the probing-knife on
his quivering limbs. Fettered to his couch he chafed at the inactivity to which he was doomed. Romances of
chivalry and tales of war were brought him to beguile the hours. These exhausted, other books were produced,
but of a somewhat different character. This time it was the legends of the saints that were brought the bed-rid
knight. The tragedy of the early Christian martyrs passed before him as he read. Next came the monks and
hermits of the Thebaic deserts and the Sinaitic mountains. With an imagination on fire he perused the story of
the hunger and cold they had braved; of the self-conquests they had achieved; of the battles they had waged
with evil spirits; of the glorious visions that had been vouchsafed them; and the brilliant rewards they had
gained in the lasting reverence of earth and the felicities and dignities of heaven. He panted to rival these
heroes, whose glory was of a kind so bright, and pure, that compared with it the renown of the battlefield was
dim and sordid. His enthusiasm and ambition were as boundless as ever, but now they were directed into a
new channel.
Henceforward the current of his life was changed. He had lain down “a knight of the burning sword”—to use
the words of his biographer, Vieyra—he rose up from it “a saint of the burning torch.”
The change was a sudden and violent one, and drew after it vast consequences not to Ignatius only, and the
men of his own age, but to millions of the human race in all countries of the world, and in all the ages that have
elapsed since. He who lay down on his bed the fiery soldier of the emperor, rose from it; the yet more fiery
soldier of the Pope. The weakness occasioned by loss of blood, the morbidity produced by long seclusion, the
irritation of acute and protracted suffering, joined to a temperament highly excitable, and a mind that had fed
on miracles and visions till its enthusiasm had grown into fanaticism, accounts in part for the transformation
which Ignatius had undergone. Though the balance of his intellect was now sadly disturbed, his shrewdness,
his tenacity, and his daring remained. Set free from the fetters of calm reason, these qualities had freer scope
than ever. The wing of his earthly ambition was broken, but he could take his flight heavenward. If earth was
forbidden him, the celestial domains stood open, and there worthier exploits and more brilliant rewards awaited
his prowess.
The heart of a soldier plucked out, and that of a monk given him, Ignatius vowed, before leaving his sick-
chamber, to be the slave, the champion, the knight-errant of Mary. She was the lady of his soul, and after the
manner of dutiful knights he immediately repaired to her shrine at Montserrat, hung up his arms before her
image, and spent the night in watching them.But reflecting that he was a soldier of Christ, that great Monarch
who had gone forth to subjugate all the earth, he resolved to eat no other food, wear no other raiment than his
King had done, and endure the same hardships and vigils. Laying aside his plume, his coat of mail, his shield
and sword, he donned the cloak of the mendicant. “Wrapped in sordid rags,” says Duller, “an iron chain and
prickly girdle pressing on his naked body, covered with filth, with un-combed hair and untrimmed nails,” he
retired to a dark mountain in the vicinity of Manressa, where was a gloomy cave, in which he made his abode
for some time. There he subjected himself to all the penances and mortifications of the early anchorites whose
holiness he emulated. He wrestled with the evil spirit, talked to voices audible to no ear but his own, fasted for
days on end, till his weakness was such that he fell into a swoon, and one day was found at the entrance of his
cave, lying on the ground, half dead.
The cave at Manressa recalls vividly to our memory the cell at Erfurt. The same austerities, vigils, mortifica-
tions, and mental efforts and agonies which were undergone by Ignatius Loyola, had but a very few years
before this been passed through by Martin Luther. So far the career of the founder of the Jesuits and that of the
champion of Protestantism were the same. Both had set before them a high standard of holiness, and both had
all but sacrificed life to reach it. But at the point to which we have come the courses of the two men widely
diverge. Both hitherto in their pursuit of truth and holiness had traveled by the same road; but now we see
Luther turning to the Bible, “the light that shineth in a dark place,” “the sure Word of Prophecy.” Ignatius
Loyola, on the other hand, surrenders himself to visions and revelations. As Luther went onward the light
grew only the brighter around him. He had turned his face to the sun. Ignatius had turned his gaze inward
upon his own beclouded mind, and verified the saying of the wise man, “He who wandereth out of the way of
understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.”
Finding him half exanimate at the mouth of his cave, sympathizing friends carried Ignatius to the town of
Manressa. Continuing there the same course of penances and self-mortifications which he had pursued in
solitude, his bodily weakness greatly increased, but he was more than recompensed by the greater frequency
of those heavenly visions with which he now began to be favored. In Manressa he occupied a cell in the
Dominican convent, and as he was then projecting a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, he began to qualify himself for
this holy journey by a course of the severest penances. “He scourged himself thrice a day,” says Ranke,”he
rose up to prayer at midnight, and passed seven hours of each day on his knees.
It will hardly do to say that this marvellous case is merely an instance of an unstrung bodily condition, and of
vicious mental stimulants abundantly supplied, where the thirst for adventure and distinction was still
unquenched. A closer study of the case will show that there was in it an awakening of the conscience. There
was a sense of sin—its awful demerit, and its fearful award. Loyola, too, would seem to have felt the “terrors
of death, and the pains of hell.” He had spent three days in Montserrat inconfessing the sins of all his past life
But on a more searching review of his life, finding that he had omitted many sins, he renewed and amplified
his confession at Manressa. If he found peace it was only for a short while; again his sense of sin would return,
and to such a pitch did his anguish rise, that thoughts of self-destruction, came into his mind. Approaching the
window of his cell, he was about to throw himself from it, when it suddenly flashed upon him that the act was
abhorrent to the Almighty, and he withdrew, crying out, “Lord, I will not do aught that may offend thee.”
One day he awakened as from a dream. Now I know, said he to himself, that all these torments are from the
assaults of Satan. I am tossed between the promptings of the good Spirit, who would have me be at peace, and
the dark suggestions of the evil one, who seeks continually to terrify me. I will have done with this warfare. I
will forget my past life; I will open these wounds not again. Luther in the midst of tempests as terrible had
come to a similar resolution. Awaking as from a frightful dream, he lifted up his eyes and saw One who had
borne his sins upon His cross: and like the mariner who clings amid the surging billows to the rock, Luther
was at peace because he had anchored his soul on an Almighty foundation. But says Ranke, speaking of
Loyola and the course he had now resolved to pursue, “this was not so much the restoration of his peace as a
resolution, it was an engagement entered into by the will rather than a conviction to which the submission of
the will is inevitable. It required no aid from Scripture, it was based on the belief he entertained of an imme-
diate connection between himself and the world of spirits. This would never have satisfied Luther. No inspi-
rations—no visions would Luther admit; all were in his opinion alike injurious. He would have the simple,
written, indubitable Word of God alone.
From the hour that Ignatius resolved to think no more of his sins his spiritual horizon began, as he believed, to
clear up. All his gloomy terrors receded with the past which he had consigned to oblivion. His bitter tears were
dried up, and his heavy sighs no longer resounded through the convent halls. He was taken, he felt, into more
intimate communion with God. The heavens were opened that he might have a clearer insight into Divine
mysteries. True, the Spirit had revealed these things in the morning of the world, through chosen and accred-
ited channels, and inscribed them on the page of inspiration that all might learn them from that infallible
source. But Ignatius did not search for these mysteries in the Bible; favored above the sons of men, he received
them, as he thought, in revelations made specially to himself. Alas! his hour had come and passed, and the gate
that would have ushered him in amid celestial realities and joys was shut, and henceforward he must dwell
amid fantasies and dreams.
It was intimated to him one day that he should yet see the Savior in person. He had not long to wait for the
promised revelation. At mass his eyes were opened, and he saw the incarnate God in the Host. What farther
proof did he need of transubstantiation, seeing the whole process had been shown to him? A short while
thereafter the Virgin revealed herself with equal plainness to his bodily eyes. Not fewer than thirty such visits
did Loyola receive. One day as he sat on the steps of the Church of St. Dominic at Manressa, singing a hymn
to Mary, he suddenly fell into a reverie, and had the symbol of the ineffable mystery of the Trinity shown to
him, under the figure of “three keys of a musical instrument.” He sobbed for very joy, and entering the church,
began publishing the miracle. On another occasion, as he walked along the banks of the Llobregat, that waters
Manressa, he sat down, and fixing his eyes intently on the stream, many Divine mysteries became apparent to
him, such “as other men,” says his biographer Maffei, “can with great difficulty understand, after much
reading, long vigils, and study.”
This narration places us beside the respective springs of Protestantism and Ultramontanism. The source from
which the one is seen to issue is the Word of God. To it Luther swore fealty, and before it he hung up his sword,
like a true knight, when he received ordination. The other is seen to be the product of a clouded yet proud and
ambitious imagination, and a wayward will. And therewith have corresponded the fruits, as the past three
centuries bear witness. The one principle has gathered round it a noble host clad in the panoply of purity and
truth. In the wake of the other has come the dark army of the Jesuits.
Footnotes
1 Ranke, Hist. of the Popes, bk. 2, sec. 4, p. 138; Lond., 1874.
2 Ibid., pp. 138, 139.
3 Ranke, bk. 2, sec. 4, pp. 138, 139.
4 Ibid., p. 140.
Chapter 2
LOYOLA’S FIRST DISCIPLES.
Vision of Two Camps—Ignatius Visits Jerusalem—Forbidden to Proselytise—Returns to Spain—Resolves
to make Christendom his Field—Puts himself to School—Repairs to Paris—His Two Companions—Peter
Fabre—Francis Xavier—Loyola subjects them to a Severe Regimen—They become his Disciples—Loyola’s
First Nine Followers—Their Vow in the Church of Montmartre—The Book of Spiritual Exercises—Its Course
of Discipline—Four Weeks of Meditation—Topic of each Week—The Spiritual Exercises and the Holy Spirit—
Visits Venice—Repairs to Rome—Draft of Rules—Bull Constituting the Society.
AMONG the wonderful things shown to Ignatius Loyola by special revelation was a vision of two great
camps. The center of the one was placed at Babylon; and over it there floated the gloomy ensign of the prince
of darkness. The Heavenly King had erected his standard on Mount Zion, and made Jerusalem his headquar-
ters. In the war of which these two camps were the symbols, and the issues of which were to be grand beyond
all former precedent, Loyola was chosen, he believed, to be one of the chief captains. He longed to place
himself at the center of action. The way thither was long. Wide oceans and gloomy deserts had to be traversed,
and hostile tribes passed through. But he had an iron will, a boundless enthusiasm, and what was more, a
Divine call—for such it seemed to him in his delusion. He set out penniless (1523), and begging his bread by
the way, he arrived at Barcelona. There he embarked in a ship which landed him on the shore of Italy. Thence,
travelling on foot, after long months, and innumerable hardships, he entered in safety the gates of Jerusalem.
But the reception that awaited him in the “Holy City” was not such as he had fondly anticipated. His rags, his
uncombed locks, which almost hid his emaciated features, but ill accorded with the magnificence of the errand
which had brought him to that shore. Loyola thought of doing in his single person what the armies of the
Crusaders had failed to do by their combined strength. The head of the Romanists in Jerusalem saw in him
rather the mendicant than the warrior, and fearing doubtless that should he offer battle to the Crescent, he was
more likely to provoke a tempest of Turkish fanaticism than drive back the hordes of the infidel, he com-
manded him to desist under the threat of excommunication. Thus withstood Loyola returned to Barcelona,
which he reached in 1524.
Derision and insults awaited his arrival in his native Spain. His countrymen failed to see the grand aims he
cherished beneath his rags; nor could they divine the splendid career, and the immortality of fame, which were
to emerge from this present squalor and debasement. But not for one moment did Loyola’s own faith falter in
his great destiny. He had the art, known only to those fated to act a great part, of converting impediments into
helps, and extracting new experience and fresh courage from disappointment. His repulsion from the “holy
fields” had taught him that Christendom, and not Asia, was the predestined scene of his warfare, and that he
was to do battle, not with the infidels of the East, but with the ever-growing hosts of heretics in Europe. But
to meet the Protestant on his own ground, and to fight him with his own weapons, was a still more difficult
task than to convert the Saracen. He felt that meanwhile he was destitute of the necessary qualifications, but
it was not too late to acquire them.
Though a man of thirty-five, he put himself to school at Barcelona, and there, seated amid the youth of the
city, he prosecuted the study of Latin. Having acquired some mastery of this tongue, he removed (1526) to the
University of Alcala to commence theology. In a little space he began to preach. Discovering a vast zeal in the
propagation of his tenets, and no little success in making disciples, male and female, the Inquisition, deeming
both the man and his aims somewhat mysterious, arrested him. The order of the Jesuits was on the point of
being nipped in the bud. But finding in Loyola no heretical bias, the Fathers dismissed him on his promise of
holding his peace. He repaired to Salamanca, but there too he encountered similar obstacles. It was not
agreeable thus to champ the curb of privilege and canonical authority; but it ministered to him a wholesome
discipline. It sharpened his circumspection and shrewdness, without in the least abating his ardor. Holding
fast by his grand purpose, he quitted his native land, and repairing in 1528 to Paris, entered himself as a
student in the College of St. Barbara.
In the world of Paris he became more practical; but the flame of his enthusiasm still burned on. Through
penance, through study, through ecstatic visions, and occasional checks, he pursued with unshaken faith and
unquenched resolution his celestial calling as the leader of a mighty spiritual army, of which he was to be the
creator, and which was to wage victorious battle with the hosts of Protestantism. Loyola’s residence in Paris,
which was from 1528 to 1535, 1 coincides with the period of greatest religious excitement in the French
capital. Discussions were at that time of hourly occurrence in the streets, in the halls of the Sorbonne, and at
the royal table. Loyola must have witnessed all the stirring and tragic scenes we have already described; he
may have stood by the stake of Berquin; he had seen with indignation, doubtless, the saloons of the Louvre
opened for the Protestant sermon; he had felt the great shock which France received front the Placards, and
taken part, it may be, in the bloody rites of her great day of expiation. It is easy to see how, amid excitements
like these, Loyola’s zeal would burn stronger every hour; but his ardor did not hurry him into action till all was
ready. The blow he meditated was great, and time, patience, and skill were necessary to prepare the instru-
ments by whom he was to inflict it.
It chanced that two young students shared with Loyola his rooms, in the College of St. Barbara. The one was
Peter Fabre, from Savoy. His youth had been passed amid his father’s flocks; the majesty of the silent moun-
tains had sublimed his natural piety into enthusiasm; and one night, on bended knee, under the star-bestudded
vault, he devoted himself to God in a life of study. The other companion of Loyola was Francis Xavier, of
Pamplona, in Navarre. For 500 years his ancestors had been renowned as warriors, and his ambition was, by
becoming a scholar, to enhance the fame of his house by adding to its glory in arms the yet purer glory of
learning. These two, the humble Savoyard and the high-born Navarrese, Loyola had resolved should be his
first disciples.
As the artist selects his block, and with skillful eye and plastic hand bestows touch after touch of the chisel, till
at last the superfluous parts are cleared away, and the statue stands forth so complete and perfect in its
symmetry that the dead stone seems to breathe, so did the future general of the Jesuit army proceed to mold
and fashion his two companions, Fabre and Xavier. The former was soft and pliable, and easily took the shape
which the master-hand sought to communicate. The other was obdurate, like the rocks of his native moun-
tains, but the patience and genius of Loyola finally triumphed over his pride of family and haughtiness of
spirit. He first of all won their affection by certain disinterested services; he next excited their admiration by
the loftiness of his own asceticism; he then imparted to them his grand project, and fired them with the
ambition of sharing with him in the accomplishment of it. Having brought them thus far he entered them on a
course of discipline, the design of which was to give them those hardy qualities of body and soul, which would
enable them to fulfill their lofty vocation as leaders in an army, every soldier in which was to be tried and
hardened in the fire as he himself had been. He exacted of them frequent confession; he was equally rigid as
regarded their participation in the Eucharist; the one exercise trained them in submission, the other fed the
flame of their zeal, and thus the two cardinal qualities which Loyola demanded in all his followers were
developed side by side. Severe bodily mortifications were also enjoined upon them. “Three days and three
nights did he compel them to fast. During the severest winters, when carriages might be seen to traverse the
frozen Seine, he would not permit Fabre the slightest relaxation of discipline.” Thus it was that he mortified
their pride, taught them to despise wealth, schooled them to brave danger and contemn luxury, and inured
them to cold, hunger, and toil; in short, he made them dead to every passion save that of the “Holy War,” in
which they were to bear arms.
A beginning had been made. The first recruits had been enrolled in that army which was speedily to swell into
a mighty host, and unfurl its gloomy ensigns and win its dismal triumphs in every land. We can imagine
Loyola’s joy as he contemplated these two men, fashioned so perfectly in his own likeness. The same master-
artificer who had molded these two could form others—in short, any number. The list was soon enlarged by
the addition of four other disciples. Their names—obscure then, but in after-years to shine with a fiery
splendor—were Jacob Lainez, Alfonso Salmeron, Nicholas Bobadilla, and Simon Rodriguez. The first three
were Spaniards, the fourth was a Portuguese. They were seven in all; but the accession of two others increased
them to nine: and now they resolved on taking their first step.
On the 15th of August, 1534, Loyola, followed by his nine companions, entered the subterranean chapel of the
Church of Montmartre, at Paris, and mass being said by Fabre, who had received priest’s orders, the com-
pany, after the usual vow of chastity and poverty, took a solemn oath to dedicate their lives to the conversion
of the Saracens, or, should circumstances make that attempt impossible, to lay themselves and their services
unreservedly at the feet of the Pope. They sealed their oath by now receiving the Host. The day was chosen
because it was the anniversary of the Assumption of the Virgin, and the place because it was consecrated to
Mary, the queen of saints and angels, from whom, as Loyola firmly believed, he had received his mission. The
army thus enrolled was little, and it was great. It was little when counted, it was great when weighed. In
sublimity of aim, and strength of faith—using the term in its mundane sense—it wielded a power before which
nothing on earth— one principle excepted—should be able to stand.2
To foster the growth of this infant Hercules, Loyola had prepared beforehand his book entitled Spiritual
Exercises. This is a body of rules for teaching men how to conduct the work of their “conversion.” It consists
of four grand meditations, and the penitent, retiring into solitude, is to occupy absorbingly his mind on each in
succession, during the space of the rising and setting of seven suns. It may be fitly styled a journey from the
gates of destruction to the gates of Paradise, mapped out in stages so that it might be gone in the short period
of four weeks. There are few more remarkable books in the world. It combines the self-denial and mortifica-
tion of the Brahmin with the asceticism of the anchorite, and the ecstasies of the schoolmen, it professes, like
the Koran, to be a revelation. “The Book of Exercises,” says a Jesuit, “was truly written by the finger of God,
and delivered to Ignatius by the Holy Mother of God.”3
The Spiritual Exercises, we have said, was a body of rules by following which one could effect upon himself
that great change which in Biblical and theological language is termed “conversion.” The book displayed on
the part of its author great knowledge of the human heart. The method prescribed was an adroit imitation of
that process of conviction, of alarm, of enlightenment, and of peace, through which the Holy Spirit leads the
soul—that undergoes that change in very deed. This Divine transformation was at that hour taking place in
thousands of instances in the Protestant world. Loyola, like the magicians of old who strove to rival Moses,
wrought with his enchantments to produce the same miracle. Let us observe how he proceeded.
The person was, first of all, to go aside from the world, by entirely isolating himself from all the affairs of life.
In the solemn stillness of his chamber he was to engage in four meditations each day, the first at daybreak, the
last at midnight. To assist the action of the imagination on the soul, the room was to be artificially darkened,
and on its walls were to be suspended pictures of hell and other horrors. Sin, death, and judgment were
exclusively to occupy the thoughts of the penitent during the first week of his seclusion. He was to ponder
upon them till in a sense “he beheld the vast conflagration of hell; its wailings, shrieks, and blasphemies; felt
the worm of conscience; in fine, touched those fires by whose contact the souls of the reprobate are scorched.”
The second week he was to withdraw his eye from these dreadful spectacles and fix it upon the Incarnation. It
is no longer the wailings of the lost that fill the ear as he sits in his darkened chamber, it is the song of the angel
announcing the birth of the Child, and “Mary acquiescing in the work of redemption.” At the feet of the Trinity
he is directed to pour out the expression of the gratitude and praise with which continued meditation on these
themes causes his soul to overflow.
The third week is to witness the solemn act of the soul’s enrollment in the army of that Great Captain, who
“bowed the heavens and came down” in his Incarnation. Two cities are before the devotee—Jerusalem and
Babylon—in which will he choose to dwell? Two standards are displayed in his sight—under which will he
fight? Here a broad and brave pennon floats freely on the wind. Its golden folds bear the motto, “Pride, Honor,
Riches.” Here is another, but how unlike the motto inscribed upon it, “Poverty, Shame, Humility.” On all sides
resounds the cry “To arms.” He must make his choice, and he must make it now, for the seventh sun of his
third week is hastening to the setting. It is under the banner of Poverty that he elects to win the incorruptible
crown.
Now comes his fourth and last week, and with it there comes a great change in the subjects of his meditation.
He is to dismiss all gloomy ideas, all images of terror; the gates of Hades are to be closed, and those of a new
life opened. It is morning with him, it is a spring-time that has come to him, and he is to surround himself with
light, and flowers, and odors. It is the Sabbath of a spiritual creation; he is to rest, and to taste in that rest the
prelude of the everlasting joys. This mood of mind he is to cultivate while seven suns rise and set upon him. He
is now perfected and fit to fight in the army of the Great Captain.
A not unsimilar course of mental discipline, as our history has already shown, did Wicliffe, Luther, and Calvin
pass through before they became captains in the army of Christ. They began in a horror of great darkness;
through that cloud there broke upon them the revelation of the “Crucified;” throwing the arms of their faith
around the Tree of Expiation, and clinging to it, they entered into peace, and tasted the joys to come. How like,
yet how unlike, are these two courses! In the one the penitent finds a Savior on whom he leans; in the other he
lays hold on a rule by which he works, and works as methodically and regularly as a piece of machinery.
Beginning on a certain day, he finishes, like stroke of clock, duly as the seventh sun of the fourth week is
sinking below the horizon. We trace in the one the action of the imagination, fostering one overmastering
passion into strength, till the person becomes capable of attempting the most daring enterprises, and enduring
the most dreadful sufferings. In the other we behold the intervention of a Divine Agent, who plants in the soul
a new principle, and thence educes a new life.
The war in which Loyola and his nine companions enrolled themselves when on the 15th of August, 1534,
they made their vow in the church of Montmarte, was to be waged against the Saracens of the East. They
acted so far on their original design as to proceed to Venice, where they learned that their project was mean-
while impracticable. The war which had just broken out between the Republic and the Porte had closed the
gates of Asia. They took this as an intimation that the field of their operations was to be in the Western world.
Returning on their path they now directed their steps towards Rome. In every town through which they passed
on their way to the Eternal City, they left behind them an immense reputation for sanctity by their labors in the
hospitals, and their earnest addresses to the populace on the streets. As they drew nigh to Rome, and the hearts
of some of his companions were beginning to despond, Loyola was cheered by a vision, in which Christ
appeared and said to him, “In Rome will I be gracious unto thee.”4 The hopes this vision inspired were not to
be disappointed. Entering the gates of the capital of Christendom, and throwing themselves at the feet of Paul
III., they met a most gracious reception. The Pope hailed their offer of assistance as most opportune. Mighty
dangers at that hour threatened the Papacy, and with the half of Europe in revolt, and the old monkish orders
become incapable, this new and unexpected aid seemed sent by Heaven. The rules and constitution of the new
order were drafted, and ultimately approved, by the Pope. Two peculiarities in the constitution of the proposed
order specially recommended it in the eyes of Paul III. The first was its vow of unconditional obedience. The
society swore to obey the Pope as an army obeys its general. It was not canonical but military obedience
which its members offered him. They would go to whatsoever place, at whatsoever time, and on whatsoever
errand he should be pleased to order them. They were, in short, to be not so much monks as soldiers. The
second peculiarity was that their services were to be wholly gratuitous; never would they ask so much as a
penny from the Papal See.
It was resolved that the new order should bear the name of The Company of Jesus. Loyola modestly declined
the honor of being accounted its founder. Christ himself, he affirmed, had dictated to him its constitution in his
cave at Manressa. He was its real Founder: whose name then could it so appropriately bear as His? The bull
constituting it was issued on the 27th of September, 1540, and was entitled Regimini Militantis Eeclesiae,5
and bore that the persons it enrolled into an army were to bear “the standard of the Cross, to wield the arms of
God, to serve the only Lord, and the Roman Pontiff, His Vicar on earth.”
Footnotes
1 Ranke, bk. 2, sec. 4, p. 143,
2 Duller, The Jesuits, pp. 10, 11. Ranke, bk. 2, sec. 4. pp. 143, 144.
Chapter 3
ORGANIZATION AND TRAINING OF THE JESUITS.
Loyola’s Vast Schemes—A General for the Army—Loyola Elected—”Constitutions”—Made Known to only
a Select Few—Powers of the General—An Autocrat—He only can make Laws—Appoints all Officers, etc.—
Organization—Six Grand Divisions—Thirty-seven Provinces—Houses, Colleges, Missions, etc.—Reports
to the General—His Eye Surveys the World—Organization—Preparatory Ordeal—Four Classes—Novi-
tiates—Second Novitiate—Its Rigorous Training—The Indifferents—The Scholars—The Coadjutors—The
Professed—Their Oath—Their Obedience.
THE long-delayed wishes of Loyola had been realised, and his efforts, abortive in the past, had now at length
been crowned with success. The Papal bull had given formal existence to the order, what Christ had done in
heaven his Vicar had ratified on the earth. But Loyola was too wise to think that all had been accomplished;
he knew that he was only at the beginning of his labors. In the little band around him he saw but the nucleus
of an army that would multiply and expand till one day it should be as the stars in multitude, and bear the
standard of victory to every land on earth. The gates of the East were meanwhile closed against him; but the
Western world would not always set limits to the triumphs of his spiritual arms. He would yet subjugate both
hemispheres, and extend the dominion of Rome from the rising to the setting sun. Such were the schemes that
Loyola, who hid under his mendicant’s cloak an ambition vast as Alexander’s, was at that moment revolving.
Assembling his comrades one day about this time, he addressed them, his biographer Bouhours tells us, in a
long speech, saying, “Ought we not to conclude that we are called to win to God, not only a single nation, a
single country, but all nations, all the kingdoms of the world?” 1
An army to conquer the world, Loyola was forming. But he knew that nothing is stronger than its weakest
part, and therefore the soundness of every link, the thorough discipline and tried fidelity of every soldier in this
mighty host was with him an essential point. That could be secured only by making each individual, before
enrolling himself, pass through an ordeal that should sift, and try, and harden him to the utmost.
But first the Company of Jesus had to elect a head. The dignity was offered to Loyola. He modestly declined
the post, as Julius Caesar did the diadem. After four days spent in prayer and penance, his disciples returned
and humbly supplicated him to be their chief. Ignatius, viewing this as an intimation of the will of God,
consented. He was the first General of the order. Few royal sceptres bring with them such an amount of real
power as this election bestowed on Loyola. The day would come when the tiara itself would bow before that
yet mightier authority which was represented by the cap of the General of the Jesuits.
The second step was to frame the “Constitutions” of the society. In this labor Loyola accepted the aid of
Lainez, the ablest of his converts. Seeing it was at God’s command that Ignatius had planted the tree of
Jesuitism in the spiritual vineyard, it was to be expected that the Constitutions of the Company would proceed
from the same high source. The Constitutions were declared to be a revelation from God, the inspiration of the
Holy Spirit.2 This gave them absolute authority over the members, and paved the way for the substitution of
the Constitution and canons of the Society of Jesus in the room of Christianity itself. These canons and
Instructions were not published: they were not communicated to all the members of the society even; they were
made known to a few only—in all their extent to a very few. They took care to print them in their own college
at Rome, or in their college at Prague; and if it happened that they were printed elsewhere, they secured and
destroyed the edition. “I cannot discover,” says M. de la Chalotais, “that the Constitutions of the Jesuits have
ever been seen or examined by any tribunal whatsoever, secular or ecclesiastic; by any sovereign—not even
by the Court of Chancery of Prague, when permission was asked to print them... They have taken all sorts of
precautions to keep them a secret.3 For a century they were concealed from the knowledge of the world; and
it was an accident which at last dragged them into the light from the darkness in which they had so long been
buried.
It is not easy, perhaps it is not possible, to say what number of volumes the Constitutions of the Jesuits form.
M. Louis Rene de la Chalotais, Procurator-General of King Louis XV., in his Report on the Constitutions of
the Jesuits’, given in to the Parliament of Bretagne, speaks of fifty volumes folio. That was in the year 1761,
or 221 years after the founding of the order. This code, then enormous, must be greatly more so now, seeing
every bull and brief of the Pope addressed to the society, every edict of its General, is so much more added to
a legislation that is continually augmenting. We doubt whether any member of the order is found bold enough
to undertake a complete study of them, or ingenious enough to reconcile all their contradictions and inconsis-
tencies. Prudently abstaining from venturing into a labyrinth from which he may never emerge, he simply
asks, not what do the Constitutions say, but what does the General command? Practically the will of his chief
is the code of the Jesuit.
We shall first consider the powers of the General. The original bull of Paul III. constituting the Company gave
to “Ignatius de Loyola, with nine priests, his companions,” the power to make Constitutions and particular
rules, and also to alter them. The legislative power thus rested in the hands of the General and his company—
that is, in a “Congregation” representing them. But when Loyola died, and Lainez succeeded him as General,
one of his first acts was to assemble a Congregation, and cause it to be decided that the General only had the
right to make rules.4 This crowned the autocracy of the General, for while he has the power of legislating for
all others, no one may legislate for him. He acts without control, without responsibility, without law. It is true
that in certain cases the society may depose the General. But it cannot exercise its powers unless it be as-
sembled, and the General alone can assemble the Congregation. The whole order, with all its authority, is, in
fact, comprised in him.
In virtue of his prerogative the General can command and regulate everything in the society. He may make
special Constitutions for the advantage of the society, and he may alter them, abrogate them, and make new
ones, dating them at any time he pleases. These new rules must be regarded as confirmed by apostolic author-
ity, not merely from the time they were made, but the time they are dated.
The General assigns to all provincials, superiors, and members of the society, of whatever grade, the powers
they are to exercise, the places where they are to labor, the missions they are to discharge, and he may annul
or confirm their acts at his pleasure. He has the right to nominate provincials and rectors, to admit or exclude
members, to say what proffered dignity they are or are not to accept, to change the destination of legacies, and,
though to give money to his relatives exposes him to deposition, “he may yet give alms to any amount that he
may deem conducive to the glory of God.” He is invested moreover with the entire government and regulation
of the colleges of the society. He may institute missions in all parts of the world. When commanding in the
name of Jesus Christ, and in virtue of obedience, he commands under the penalty of mortal and venial sin.
From his orders there is no appeal to the Pope. He can release from vows; he can examine into the consciences
of the members; but it is useless to particularise—the General is the society.5
The General alone, we have said, has power to make laws, ordinances, and declarations. This power is
theoretically bounded, though practically absolute. It has been declared that everything essential (“ Substantia
Institutionis “) to the society is immutable, and therefore removed beyond the power of the General. But it has
never yet been determined what things belong to the essence of the institute. Many attempts have been made
to solve this question, but no solution that is comprehensible has ever been arrived at; and so long as this
question remains without an answer, the powers of the General will remain without a limit.
Let us next attend to the organization of the society. The Jesuit monarchy covers the globe. At its head, as we
have said, is a sovereign, who rules over all, but is himself ruled over by no one. First come six grand divisions
termed Assistanzen, satrapies or princedoms. These comprehend the space stretching from the Indus to the
Mediterranean; more particularly India, Spain and Portugal, Germany and France, Italy and Sicily, Poland
and Lithuania.6 Outside this area the Jesuits have established missions. The heads of these six divisions act as
coadjutors to their General; they are staff or cabinet. These six great divisions are subdivided into thirty-seven
Provinces.7 Over each province is placed a chief, termed a Provincial. The provinces are again subdivided
into a variety of houses or establishments. First come the houses of the Professed, presided over by their
Provost. Next come the colleges, or houses of the novices and scholars, presided over by their Rector or
Superior. Where these cannot be established, “residences” are erected, for the accommodation of the priests
who perambulate the district, preaching and hearing confessions. And lastly may be mentioned “mission-
houses,” in which Jesuits live unnoticed as secular clergy, but seeking, by all possible means, to promote the
interests of the society.8
From his chamber in Rome the eye of the General surveys the world of Jesuitism to its farthest bounds; there
is nothing done in it which he does not see; there is nothing spoken in it which he does not hear. It becomes us
to note the means by which this almost superhuman intelligence is acquired. Every year a list of the houses
and members of the society, with the name, talents, virtues, and failings of each, is laid before the General. In
addition to the annual report, every one of the thirty-seven provincials must send him a report monthly of the
state of his province, he must inform him minutely of its political and ecclesiastical condition. Every superior
of a college must report once every three months. The heads of houses of residence, and houses of novitiates,
must do the same. In short, from every quarter of his vast dominions come a monthly and a tri-monthly report.
If the matter reported on has reference to persons outside the society, the Constitutions direct that the provincials
and superiors shall write to the General in cipher. “Such precautions are taken against enemies,” says M. de
Chalotais. “Is the system of the Jesuits inimical to all governments?”
Thus to the General of the Jesuits the world lies “naked and open.” He sees by a thousand eyes, he hears by a
thousand ears;and when he has a behest to execute, he can select the fittest agent from an innumerable host, all
of whom are ready to do his bidding. The past history, the good and evil qualities of every member of the
society, his talents, his dispositions, his inclinations, his tastes, his secret thoughts, have all been strictly
examined, minutely chronicled, and laid before the eye of the General. It is the same as if he were present in
person, and had seen and conversed with each.
All ranks, from the nobleman to the day-laborer; all trades, from the opulent banker to the shoemaker and
porter; all professions, from the stoled dignitary and the learned professor to the cowled mendicant; all grades
of literary men, from the philosopher, the mathematician, and the historian, to the schoolmaster and the
reporter on the provincial newspaper, are enrolled in the society. Marshalled, and in continual attendance,
before their chief, stand this host, so large in numbers, and so various in gifts. At his word they go, and at his
word they come, speeding over seas and mountains, across frozen steppes, or burning plains, on his errand.
Pestilence, or battle, or death may lie on his path, the Jesuit’s obedience is not less prompt. Selecting one, the
General sends him to the royal cabinet. Making choice of another, he opens to him the door of Parliament. A
third he enrolls in a political club; a fourth he places in the pulpit of a church, whose creed he professes that
he may betray it; a fifth he commands to mingle in the saloons of the literati; a sixth he sends to act his part in
the Evangelical Conference; a seventh he seats beside the domestic hearth; and an eighth he sends afar off to
barbarous tribes, where, speaking a strange tongue, and wearing a rough garment, he executes, amidst hard-
ships and perils, the will of his superior. There is no disguise which the Jesuit will not wear, no art he will not
employ, no motive he will not feign, no creed he will not profess, provided only he can acquit himself a true
soldier in the Jesuit army, and accomplish the work on which he has been sent forth. “We have men,” ex-
claimed a General exultingly, as he glanced over the long roll of philosophers, orators, statesmen, and schol-
ars who stood before him, ready to serve him in the State or in the Church, in the camp or in the school, at
home or abroad— “We have men for martyrdom if they be required.”
No one can be enrolled in the Society of Jesus till he has undergone a severe and long-continued course of
training. Let us glance at the several grades of that great army, and the preparatory discipline in the case of
each. There are four classes of Jesuits. We begin with the lowest. The Novitiates are the first in order of
admission, the last in dignity. When one presents himself for admission into the order, a strict scrutiny takes
place into his talents, his disposition, his family, his former life; and if it is seen that he is not likely to be of
service to the society, he is at once dismissed. If his fitness appears probable, he is received into the House of
Primary Probation.9 Here he is forbidden all intercourse with the servants within and his relations outside the
house. A Compend of the Institutions is submitted for his consideration; the full body of laws and regulations
being withheld from him as yet. If he possesses property he is told that he must give it to the poor—that is, to
the society. His tact and address, his sound judgment and business talent, his health and bodily vigor, are all
closely watched and noted; above all, his obedience is subjected to severe experiment. If he acquits himself on
the trial to the satisfaction of his examiners, he receives the Sacrament, and is advanced to the House of
Second Probation.10
Here the discipline is of a yet severer kind. The novitiate first devotes a certain period to confession of sins and
meditation. He next fulfills a course of service in the hospitals, learning humility by helping the poor and
ministering at the beds of the sick. To further his advance in this grace, he next spends a certain term in
begging his bread from door to door. Thus; he learns to live on the coarsest fare and to sleep on the hardest
couch. To perfect himself in the virtue of self-abnegation, he next discharges for awhile the most humiliating
and repulsive offices in the house in which he lives. And now, this course of service ended, he is invited to
show his powers of operating on others, by communicating instruction to boys in Christian doctrine, by
hearing confessions, and by preaching in public.This course is to last two years, unless the superior should see
fit to shorten it on the ground of greater zeal, or superior talent.
The period of probation at an end, the candidate for admission into the Order of Jesus is to present himself
before the superior, furnished with certificates from those under whose eye he has fulfilled the six experimenta,
or trials, as to the manner in which he has acquitted himself. If the testimonials should prove satisfactory to
the superior, the novitiate is enrolled, not as yet in the Company of the Jesuits, but among the Indifferents. He
is presumed to have no choice as regards the place he is to occupy in the august corps he aspires to enter; he
leaves that entirely to the decision of the superior; he is equally ready to stand at the head or at the foot of the
body; to discharge the most menial or the most dignified service; to play his part in the saloons of the great,
encompassed by luxury and splendor, or to discharge his mission in the hovels of the poor, in the midst of
misery and filth; to remain at home, or to go to the ends of The period of probation at an end, the candidate for
admission into the Order of Jesus is to present himself before the superior, furnished with certificates from
those under whose eye he has fulfilled the six experimenta, or trials, as to the manner in which he has acquitted
himself. If the testimonials should prove satisfactory to the superior, the novitiate is enrolled, not as yet in the
Company of the Jesuits, but among the Indifferents. He is presumed to have no choice as regards the place he
is to occupy in the august corps he aspires to enter; he leaves that entirely to the decision of the superior; he is
equally ready to stand at the head or at the foot of the body; to discharge the most menial or the most dignified
service; to play his part in the saloons of the great, encompassed by luxury and splendor, or to discharge his
mission in the hovels of the poor, in the midst of misery and filth; to remain at home, or to go to the ends of the
earth. To have a preference, though unexpressed, is to fall into deadly sin. Obedience is not only the letter of
his vow, it is the lesson that his training has written on his heart.11
This further trial gone through, the approved novitiate may now take the three simple vows—poverty, chas-
tity, and obedience—which, with certain modifications, he must ever after renew twice every year. The novi-
tiate is now admitted into the class of Scholars. The Jesuits have colleges of their own, amply endowed by
wealthy devotees, and to one of these the novitiate is sent, to receive instruction in the higher mysteries of the
society. His intellectual powers are here more severely tested and trained, and according to the genius and
subtlety he may display, and his progress in his studies, so is the post assigned him in due time in the order.
“The qualities to be desired and commended in the scholars,” say the Constitutions, “are acuteness of talent,
brilliancy of example, and soundness of body.”12 They are to be chosen men, picked from the flower of the
troop, and the General has absolute power in admitting or dismissing them according to his expectations of
their utility in promoting the designs of the institute.13 Having finished his course, first as a simple scholar,
and secondly as an approved scholar, he renews his three vows, and passes into the third class, or Coadjutors.
The coadjutors are divided into temporal and spiritual. The temporal coadjutor is never admitted into holy
orders.14 Such are retained to minister in the lowest offices. They become college cooks, porters, or purvey-
ors. For these and similar purposes it is held expedient that they should be “lovers of virtue and perfection,”
and “content to serve the society in the careful office of a Martha.”15 The spiritual coadjutor must be a priest
of adequate learning, that he may assist the society in hearing confessions, and giving instructions in Christian
doctrine. It is from among the spiritual coadjutors that the rectors of colleges are usually selected by the
General. It is a further privilege of theirs that they may be assembled in congregation to deliberate with the
Professed members in matters of importance,16 but no vote is granted them in the election of a General.
Having passed with approbation the many stringent tests to which he is here subjected, in order to perfect his
humility and obedience, and having duly deposited in the exchequer of the society whatever property he may
happen to possess, the spiritual coadjutor, if a candidate for the highest grade, is admitted to the oblation of his
vows, which are similar in form and substance to those he has already taken, with this exception, that they
assign to the General the place of God. “I promise,” so runs the oath, “to the Omnipotent God, in presence of
his virgin mother, and of all the heavenly hierarchy, and to thee, Father General of the Society of Jesus,
holding the place of God,” 17 etc. With this oath sworn on its threshold, he enters the inner circle of the
society, and is enrolled among the Professed.
The Professed Members constitute the society par excellence. They alone know its deepest secrets, and they
alone wield its highest powers. But perfection in Jesuitism cannot be reached otherwise than by the loss of
manhood. Will, judgment, conscience, liberty, all the Jesuit lays down at the feet of his General. It is a
tremendous sacrifice, but to him the General is God. He now takes his fourth, or peculiar vow, in which he
binds himself to go, without question, delay, or repugnance, to whatever region of the earth, and on whatever
errand, the Pope may be pleased to send him. This he promises to the Omnipotent God, and to his General,
holding the place of God. The wisdom, justice, righteousness of the command he is not to question; he is not
even to permit his mind to dwell upon it for a moment; it is the command of his General, and the command of
his General is the precept of the Almighty. His superiors are “over him in the place of the Divine Majesty.”18
“In not fewer than 500 places in the Constitutions,” says M. de la Chalotais, “are expressions used similar to
the following:—”We must always see Jesus Christ in the General; be obedient to him in all his behests, as if
they came directly from God himself.’”19 When the command of the superior goes forth, the person to whom
it is directed “is not to stay till he has finished the letter his pen is tracing,” say the Constitutions; “he must
give instant compliance, so that holy obedience may be perfect in us in every point—in execution, in will, in
intellect.”20 Obedience is styled “the tomb of the will,” “a blessed blindness, which causes the soul to see the
road to salvation,” and the members of the society are taught to “immolate their will as a sheep is sacrificed.”
The Jesuit is to be in the hands of his superior, “as the ax is in the hands of the wood-cutter,” or “as a staff is
in the hands of an old man, which serves him wherever and in whatever thing he is pleased to use it.” In fine,
the Constitutions enjoin that “they who live under obedience shall permit themselves to be moved and directed
under Divine Providence by their superiors just as if they were a corpse, which allows itself to be moved and
handled in any way.”21 The annals of mankind do not furnish another example of a despotism so finished. We
know of no other instance in which the members of the body are so numerous, or the ramifications so wide,
and yet the centralisation and cohesion so perfect.
We have traced at some length the long and severe discipline which every member must undergo before being
admitted into the select class that by way of eminence constitute the society. Before arriving on the threshold
of the inner circle of Jesuitism, three times has the candidate passed through that terrible ordeal—first as a
novice, secondly as a scholar, thirdly as a coadjutor. Is his training held to be complete when he is admitted
among the Professed? No: a fourth time must he undergo the same dreadful process. He is thrown back again
into the crucible, and kept amid its fires, till pride, and obstinacy, and self-will, and love of ease—till judg-
ment, soul, and conscience have all been purged out of him, and then he comes forth, fully refined, completely
attempered and hardened, “a vessel fully fitted” for the use of his General; prepared to execute with a con-
science that never remonstrates his most terrible command, and to undertake with a will that never rebels the
most difficult and dangerous enterprises he may assign him. In the words of an eloquent writer—”Talk of
drilling and discipline! why, the drilling and the discipline which gave to Alexander the men that marched in
triumph from Macedon to the Indus; to Caesar, the men that marched in triumph from Rome to the wilds of
Caledonia; to Hannibal, the men that marched in triumph from Carthage to Rome; to Napoleon, the men
whose achievements surpassed in brilliance the united glories of the soldiers of Macedon, of Carthage, and of
Rome; and to Wellington, the men who smote into the dust the very flower of Napoleon’s chivalry—why, the
drilling and the discipline of all these combined cannot, in point of stern, rigid, and protracted severity, for a
moment be compared to the drilling and discipline which fitted and molded men for becoming full members of
the militant institute of the Jesuits.”22
Such Loyola saw was the corps that was needed to confront the armies of Protestantism and turn back the
advancing tide of light and liberty. Touched with a Divine fire, the disciples of the Gospel attained at once to
a complete renunciation of self, and a magnanimity of soul which enabled them to brave all dangers and
endure all sufferings, and to bear the standard of a recovered Gospel over deserts and oceans, in the midst of
hunger and pestilence, of dungeons and racks and fiery stakes. It was vain to think of overcoming warriors
like these unless by combatants of an equal temper and spirit, and Loyola set himself to fashion such. He
could not clothe them with the panoply of light, he could not inspire them with that holy and invincible
courage which springs from faith, nor could he so enkindle their souls with the love of the Savior, and the joys
of the life eternal, as that they should despise the sufferings of time; but he could give them their counterfeits:
he could enkindle them with fanaticism, inspire them with a Luciferian ambition, and so pervert and indurate
their souls by evil maxims, and long and rigorous training, that they should be insensible to shame and pain,
and would welcome suffering and death. Such were the weapons of the men he sent forth to the battle.
Footnotes
1 Bouhours, Life of Ignatius, bk. 1, p. 248.
2 See Mariani, Life of Loyola; Rome. 1842—English translation by Card.
Wiseman’s authority; Lond., 1847. Bouhours, Life of Ignatius, bk. 3, p. 282.
3 Report on the Constitutions of the Jesuits, delivered by M. Louis Rene de
Caraduc de la Chalotais, Procureur-General of the King, to the
Parliament of Bretagne; 1761. In obedience to the Court. Translated
from the French edition of 1762. Lond., 1868. Pages 16, 17.
4 “Solus praepositus Generalis autoritatem habet regulas condendi.” (Can.
3rd., Congreg. 1, p. 698, tom. 1.)
5 Chalotais, Report on the Constitutions of the Jesuits, pp. 19-23.
6 Duller, p. 54.
7 Such was their number in 1761, when Chalotais gave in his Report to the
Parliament of Bretagne.
8 Chalotais’ Report. Duller p. 54.
9 Constit. Societatis Jesu, pars. 1, cap. 4, sec. 1, 2.
10 Examen 3 and 4, sec. 1 and 2—Parroisien, Principles of the Jesuits, pp.
16-19; Lond., 1860.
11 Constit. Societatis Jesu, pars. 3, cap. 2, sec. 1, and pars, 5, cap. 4, sec. 5-
Parroisien, p. 22.
12 Ibid., pars. 4, cap. 3, sec. 2.
13 Ibid., pars. 8, cap. 1, sec. 2.
14 Examen 6, sec. 1.
15 Constit. Societatis Jesu, pars. 1, cap. 2, sec. 2.
16 Ibid., pars. 8, cap. 3, A.
17 “Locum Dei teneti.” (Constit. Societatis Jesu, pars. 5, cap. 4, sec. 2.)
18 Constit. Societatis Jesu, pars. 7, cap. 1, sec. 1.
Chapter 4
MORAL CODE OF THE JESUITS—PROBABILISM, ETC.
The Jesuit cut off from Country—from Family—from Property—from the Pope even—The End Sanctifies
the Means—The First Great Commandment and Jesuit Morality—When may a Man Love God?— Second
Great Commandment—Doctrine of Probabilism—The Jesuit Casuists—Pascal—The Direction of the Inten-
tion—Illustrative Cases furnished by Jesuit Doctors—Marvellous Virtue of the Doctrine—A Pious Assassi-
nation!
WE have not yet surveyed the full and perfect equipment of those troops which Loyola sent forth to prosecute
the war against Protestantism. Nothing was left unthought of and unprovided for which might assist them in
covering their opponents with defeat, and crowning themselves with victory. They were set free from every
obligation, whether imposed by the natural or the Divine law. Every stratagem, artifice, and disguise were
lawful to men in whose favor all distinction between right and wrong had been abolished. They might assume
as many shapes as Proteus, and exhibit as many colors as the chameleon. They stood apart and alone among
the human race. First of all, they were cut off from country. Their vow bound them to go to whatever land their
General might send them, and to remain there as long as he might appoint. Their country was the society. They
were cut off from family and friends. Their vow taught them to forget their father’s house, and to esteem
themselves holy only when every affection and desire which nature had planted in their breasts had been
plucked up by the roots. They were cut off from property and wealth. For although the society was immensely
rich, its individual members possessed nothing. Nor could they cherish the hope of ever becoming personally
wealthy, seeing they had taken a vow of perpetual poverty. If it chanced that a rich relative died, and left them
as heirs, the General relieved them of their vow, and sent them back into the world, for so long a time as might
enable them to take possession of the wealth of which they had been named the heirs; but this done, they
returned laden with their booty, and, resuming their vow as Jesuits, laid every penny of their newly-acquired
riches at the feet of the General.
They were cut off, moreover, from the State. They were discharged from all civil and national relationships
and duties. They were under a higher code than the national one—the Institutions namely, which Loyola had
edited, and the Spirit of God had inspired; and they were the subjects of a higher monarch than the sovereign
of the nation—their own General. Nay, more, the Jesuits were cut off even from the Pope. For if their General
“held the place of the Omnipotent God,” much more did he hold the place of “his Vicar.” And so was it in fact;
for soon the members of the Society of Jesus came to recognize no laws but their own, and though at their first
formation they professed to have no end but the defense and glory of the Papal See, it came to pass when they
grew to be strong that, instead of serving the tiara, they compelled the tiara to serve the society, and made their
own wealth, power, and dominion the one grand object of their existence. They were a Papacy within the
Papacy—a Papacy whose organization was more perfect, whose instincts were more cruel, whose workings
were more mysterious, and whose dominion was more destructive than that of the old Papacy.
So stood the Society of Jesus. A deep and wide gulf separated it from all other communities and interests. Set
free from the love of family, from the ties of kindred, from the claims of country, and from the rule of law,
careless of the happiness they might destroy, and the misery and pain and woe they might inflict, the members
were at liberty, without control or challenge, to pursue their terrible end, which was the dethronement of every
other power, the extinction of every other interest but their own, and the reduction of mankind into abject
slavery, that on the ruins of the liberty, the virtue, and the happiness of the world they might raise themselves
to supreme, unlimited dominion. But we have not yet detailed all the appliances with which the Jesuits were
careful to furnish themselves for the execution of their unspeakably audacious and diabolical design. In the
midst of these abysses there opens to our eye a yet profounder abyss. To enjoy exemption from all human
authority and from every earthly law was to them a small matter; nothing would satisfy their lust for license
save the entire abrogation of the moral law, and nothing would appease their pride save to trample under foot
the majesty of heaven. We now come to speak of the moral code of the Jesuits.
The key-note of their ethical code is the famous maxim that the end sanctifies the means. Before that maxim
the eternal distinction of right and wrong vanishes. Not only do the stringency and sanctions of human law
dissolve and disappear, but the authority and majesty of the Decalogue are overthrown. There are no conceiv-
able crime, villainy, and atrocity which this maxim will not justify. Nay, such become dutiful and holy,
provided they be done for “the greater glory of God,” by which the Jesuit means the honor, interest, and
advancement of His society. In short, the Jesuit may do whatever he has a mind to do, all human and Divine
laws notwithstanding. This is a very grave charge, but the evidence of its truth is, unhappily, too abundant,
and the difficulty lies in making a selection.
What the Popes have attempted to do by the plenitude of their power, namely, to make sin to be no sin, the
Jesuit doctors have done by their casuistry. “The first and great commandment in the law,” said the same
Divine Person who proclaimed it from Sinai, “is to love the Lord thy God.” The Jesuit casuists have set men
free from the obligation to love God. Escobar 1 collects the different sentiments of the famous divines of the
Society of Jesus upon the question, When is a man obliged to have actually an affection for God? The
following are some of these:—Suarez says, “It is sufficient a man love him before he dies, not assigning any
particular time. Vasquez, that it is sufficient even at the point of death. Others, when a man receives his
baptism: others, when he is obliged to be contrite: others, upon holidays. But our Father Castro-Palao 2
disputes all these opinions, and that justly. Hurtado de Mendoza pretends that a man is obliged to do it once
every year. Our Father Coninck believes a man to be obliged once in three or four years. Henriquez, once in
five years. But Filiutius affirms it to be probable that in rigor a man is not obliged every five years. When
then? He leaves the point to the wise.” “We are not,” says Father Sirmond, “so much commanded to love him
as not to hate him,”3 Thus do the Jesuit theologians make void “the first; and great commandment in the law.”
The second commandment in the law is, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” This second great com-
mandment meets with no more respect at the hands of the Jesuits than the first. Their morality dashes both
tables of the law in pieces; charity to man it makes void equally with the love of God. The methods by which
this may be done are innumerable.4
The first of these is termed probabilism. This is a device which enables a man to commit any act, be it ever so
manifest a breach of the moral and Divine law, without the least restraint of conscience, remorse of mind, or
guilt before God. What is probabilism? By way of answer we shall suppose that a man has a great mind to do
a certain act, of the lawfulness of which he is in doubt. He finds that there are two opinions upon the point: the
one probably true, to the effect that the act is lawful; the other more probably true, to the effect that the act is
sinful. Under the Jesuit regimen the man is at liberty to act upon the probable opinion. The act is probably
right, but more probably wrong, nevertheless he is safe in doing it, in virtue of the doctrine of probabalism. It
is important to ask, what makes all opinion probable? To make an opinion probable a Jesuit finds easy indeed.
If a single doctor has pronounced in its favor, though a score of doctors may have condemned it, or if the man
can imagine in his own mind something like a tolerable reason for doing the act, the opinion that it is lawful
becomes probable. It will be hard to name an act for which a Jesuit authority may not be produced, and harder
still to find a man whose invention is so poor as not to furnish him with what he deems a good reason for doing
what he is inclined to, and therefore it may be pronounced impossible to instance a deed, however manifestly
opposed to the light of nature and the law of God, which may not be committed under the shield of the
monstrous dogma of probabilism.5
We are neither indulging in satire nor incurring the charge of false-witness-bearing in this picture of Jesuit
theology. “A person may do what he considers allowable,” says Emmanuel Sa, of the Society of Jesus,
“according to a probable opinion, although the contrary may be the more probable one. The opinion of a
single grave doctor is all that is requisite.” A yet greater doctor, Filiutius, of Rome, confirms him in this. “It is
allowable,” says he, “to follow the less probable opinion, even though it be the less safe one. That is the
common judgment of modern authors.” “Of two contrary opinions,” says Paul Laymann, “touching the legal-
ity or illegality of any human action, every one may follow in practice or in action that which he should prefer,
although it may appear to the agent himself less probable in theory.” he adds: “A learned person may give
contrary advice to different persons according to contrary probable opinions, whilst he still preserves discre-
tion and prudence.” We may say with Pascal, “These Jesuit casuists give us elbow-room at all events!”6
It is and it is not is the motto of this theology. It is the true Lesbian rule which shapes itself according to that
which we wish to measure by it. Would we have any action to be sinful, the Jesuit moralist turns this side of
the code to us; would we have it to be lawful, he turns the other side. Right and wrong are put thus in our own
power; we can make the same action a sin or a duty as we please, or as we deem it expedient. To steal the
property, slander the character, violate the chastity, or spill the blood of a fellow-creature, is most probably
wrong, but let us imagine some good to be got by it, and it is probably right. The Jesuit workers, for the sake
of those who are dull of understanding and slow to apprehend the freedom they bring them, have gone into
particulars and compiled lists of actions, esteemed sinful, unnatural, and abominable by the moral sense of all
nations hitherto, but which, in virtue of this new morality, are no longer so, and they have explained how these
actions may be safely done, with a minuteness of detail and a luxuriance of illustration, in which it were
tedious in some cases, immodest in others, to follow them.
One would think that this was license enough. What more can the Jesuit need, or what more can he possibly
have, seeing by a little effort, of invention he can overleap every human and Divine barrier, and commit the
most horrible crimes, on the mightiest possible scale, and neither feel remorse of conscience nor fear of
punishment? But this unbounded liberty of wickedness did not content the sons of Loyola. They panted for a
liberty, if possible, yet more boundless; they wished to be released from the easy condition of imagining some
good end for the wickedness they wished to perpetrate, and to be free to sin without the trouble of assigning
even to themselves any end at all. This they have accomplished by the method of directing the intention.
This is a new ethical science, unknown to those ages which were not privileged to bask in the illuminating rays
of the Society of Jesus, and it is as simple as convenient. It is the soul, they argue, that does the act, so far as
it is moral or immoral. As regards the body’s share in it, neither virtue nor vice can be predicated of it. If,
therefore, while the hand is shedding blood, or the tongue is calumniating character, or uttering a falsehood,
the soul can so abstract itself from what the body is doing as to occupy itself the while with some holy theme,
or fix its meditation upon some benefit or advantage likely to arise from the deed, which it knows, or at least
suspects, the body is at that moment engaged in doing, the soul contracts neither guilt nor stain, and the man
runs no risk of ever being called to account for the murder, or theft, or calumny, by God, or of incurring his
displeasure on that ground. We are not satirizing; we are simply stating the morality of the Jesuits. “We
never,” says the Father Jesuit in Pascal’s Letters, “suffer such a thing as the formal intention to sin with the
sole design of sinning; and if any person whatever should persist in having no other end but evil in the evil that
he does, we break with him at once— such conduct is diabolical. This holds true, without exception, of age,
sex, or rank. But when the person is not of such a wretched disposition as this, we try to put in practice our
method of directing the intention, which simply consists in his proposing to himself, as the end of his actions,
some allowable object. Not that we do not endeavor, as far as we can, to dissuade men from doing things
forbidden; but when we cannot prevent the action, we at least, purify the motive, and thus correct the vicious-
ness of the means by the goodness of the end. Such is the way in which our Fathers [of the society] have
contrived to permit those acts of violence to which men usually resort in vindication of their honor. They have
no more to do than to turn off the intention from the desire of vengeance, which is criminal, and to direct it to
a desire to defend their honor, which, according to us, is quite warrantable. And in this way our doctors
discharge all their duty towards God and towards man. By permitting the action they gratify the world; and by
purifying the intention they give satisfaction to the Gospel. This is a secret, sir, which was entirely unknown
to the ancients; the world is indebted for the discovery entirely to our doctors. You understand it now, I hope.7
Let us take a few illustrative cases, but only such as Jesuit casuists themselves have furnished. “A military
man,” says Reginald,”8 “may demand satisfaction on the spot from the person who has injured him, not
indeed with the intention of rendering evil for evil, but with that of preserving his honor. Lessius 9 observes
that if a man has received a blow on the face, he must on no account have an intention to avenge himself; but
he may lawfully have an intention to avert infamy, and may, with that view, repel the insult immediately, even
at the point of the sword. “If your enemy is disposed to injure you,” says Escobar, “you have no right to wish
his death by a movement of hatred, though you may to save yourself from harm.” And says Hurtado de
Mendoza 10 “We may pray God to visit with speedy death those who are bent on persecuting us, if there is no
other way of escaping from it.” “An incumbent,” says Gaspar de Hurtado 11 “may without any mortal sin
desire the decease of a life-renter on his benefice, and a son that of a father, and rejoice when it happens,
provided always it is for the sake of the profit that is to accrue from the event, and not from personal aver-
sion.” Sanchez teaches that it is lawful to kill our adversary in a duel, or even privately, when he intends to
deprive us of our honor or property unjustly in a law-suit, or by chicanery, and when there is no other way of
preserving them.12 It is equally right to kill in a private way a false accuser, and his witness, and even the
judge who has been bribed to favor them. “A most pious assassination!” exclaims Pascal.
Footnotes
1 Father Antoine Escobar, of Mendoza. He is said by his friends to have been a good man, and a laborious
student. He compiled a work in six volumes, entitled Exposition of Uncontroverted Opinions in Moral Theol-
ogy. It afforded a rich field for the satire of Pascal. Its characteristic absurdity is that its questions uniformly
exhibit two faces—an affirmative and a negative—so that escobarderie became a synonym in France for
duplicity.
2 Ferdinand de Castro-Palao was a Jesuit of Spain, and author of a work on Virtues and Vices, published in
1621.
3 Escobar. tr. 1, ex. 2, n. 21; and tr. 5, ex. 4, n. 8. Sirmond, Def. Virt., tr. 2, sec. 1.
4 It is of no avail to object that these are the sentiments of individual Jesuits, and that it is not fair to impute
them to the society. It was a particular rule in the Company of Jesus, “that nothing should be published by any
of its members without the approbation of their superiors.” An express order was made obliging them to this
in France by Henry III., 1583, confirmed by Henry IV., 1603, and by Louis XIII., 1612. So that the whole
fraternity became responsible for all the doctrines taught in the books of its individual members, unless they
were expressly condemned.
5 Probabilism will be denied, but it has not been renounced. In a late publication a member of the society has
actually attempted to vindicate it. See De l’Existence et de l’Institute des Jesuites. Par le R, P. de Ravignan, de
la Compagnie de Jesus. Paris, 1845. Page 83.
6 Pascal. Provincial Letters, p. 70; Edin., 1847.
7 The Provincial Letters. Letter 8, p. 96; Edin., 1847.
8 In Praxi, livr. 21, num. 62.
9 De Just., livr. 2, c. 9, d. 12, n. 79.
Chapter 5
THE JESUIT TEACHING ON REGICIDE, MURDER, LYING, THEFT, ETC.
The Maxims of the Jesuits on Regecide—M. de la Chalotais’ Report to the Parliament of Bretagne—Effects
of Jesuit Doctrine as shown in History—Doctrine of Mental Equivocation—The Art of Swearing Falsely
without Sin—The Seventh Commandment—Jesuit Doctrine on Blasphemy—Murder—Lying—Theft—An
Illustrative Case from Pascal—Every Precept of the Decalogue made Void—Jesuit Morality the Consumma-
tion of the Wickedness of the Fall.
THE three great rules of the code of the Jesuits, which we have stated in the foregoing chapter—namely,
(1) that the end justifies the means;
(2) that it is safe to do any action if it be probably right, although it may be more probably wrong; and
(3) that if one know to direct the intention aright, there is no deed, be its moral character what it may, which
one may not do—may seem to give a license of acting so immense that to add thereto were an altogether
superfluous, and indeed an impossible task.
But if the liberty with which these three maxims endow the Jesuit cannot be made larger, its particular
applications may nevertheless be made more pointed, and the man who holds back from using it in all its
extent may be emboldened, despite his remaining scruples, or the dullness of his intellectual perceptions, to
avail himself to the utmost of the advantages it offers, “for the greater glory of God.” He is to be taught, not
merely by general rules, but by specific examples, how he may sin and yet not become sinful; how he may
break the law and yet not suffer the penalty. But, further, these sons of Loyola are the kings of the world, and
the sole heirs of all its wealth, honors, and pleasures; and whatever law, custom, sacred and venerable office,
august and kingly authority, may stand between them and their rightful lordship over mankind, they are at
liberty to throw down and tread into the dust as a vile and accursed thing. The moral maxims of the Jesuits are
to be put in force against kings as well as against peasants.
The lawfulness of killing excommunicated, that is Protestant, kings, the Jesuit writers have been at great pains
to maintain, and by a great variety of arguments to defend and enforce. The proof is as abundant as it is
painful. M. de la Chalotais reports to the Parliament of Bretagne, as the result of his examination of the laws
and doctrines of the Jesuits, that on this point there is a complete and startling unanimity in their teaching. By
the same logical track do the whole host of Jesuit writers arrive at the same terrible conclusion, the slaughter,
namely, of the sovereign on whom the Pope has pronounced sentence of deposition. If he shall take meekly his
extrusion from Power, and seek neither to resist nor revenge his being hurled from his throne, his life may be
spared; but should “he persist in disobedience,” says M. de la Chalotais, himself a Papist, and addressing a
Popish Parliament, “he may be treated as a tyrant, in which case anybody may kill him.1 Such is the course
of reasoning established by all authors of the society, who have written ex professo on these subjects—
Bellarmine, Suarez, Molina, Mariana, Santarel—all the Ultramontanes without exception, since the estab-
lishment of the society.”2
But have not the writers of this school expressed in no measured terms their abhorrence of murder? Have they
not loudly exclaimed against the sacrilege of touching him on whom the Church’s anointing oil has been
poured as king? In short, do they not forbid and condemn the crime of regicide? Yes: this is true; but they
protest with a warmth that is fitted to awaken suspicion. Rome can take back her anointing, and when she has
stripped the monarch of his office he becomes the lawful victim of her consecrated dagger. On what grounds,
the Jesuits demand, can the killing of one who is no longer a king be called regicide? Suarez tells us that when
a king is deposed he is no longer to be regarded as a king, but as a tyrant: “he therefore loses his authority, and
from that moment may be lawfully killed.” Nor is the opinion of the Jesuit Mariana less decided. Speaking of
a prince, he says: “If he should overthrow the religion of the country, and introduce a public enemy within the
State, I shall never consider that man to have done wrong, who, favoring the public wishes, would attempt to
kill him... It is useful that princes should be made to know, that if they oppress the State and become intoler-
able by their vices and their pollution, they hold their lives upon this tenure, that to put them to death is not
only laudable, but a glorious action... It is a glorious thing to exterminate this pestilent and mischievous race
from the community of men.”3
Wherever the Jesuits have planted missions, opened seminaries, and established colleges, they have been
careful to inculcate these principles in the minds of the youth; thus sowing the seeds of future tumults,
revolutions, regicides, and wars. These evil fruits have appeared sometimes sooner, sometimes later, but they
have never failed to show themselves, to the grief of nations and the dismay of kings. John Chatel, who
attempted the life of Henry IV., had studied in the College of Clermont, in which the Jesuit Guignard was
Professor of Divinity. In the chamber of the would-be regicide, a manuscript of Guignard was found, in
which, besides other dangerous articles, that Father approved not only of the assassination of Henry III. by
Clement, but also maintained that the same thing ought to be attempted against le Bearnois, as he called Henry
IV., which occasioned the first banishment of the order out of France, as a society detestable and diabolical.
The sentence of the Parliament, passed in 1594, ordained “that all the priests and scholars of the College of
Clermont, and others calling themselves the Society of Jesus, as being corrupters of youth, disturbers of the
public peace, and enemies of the king and State, should depart in three days from their house and college, and
in fifteen days out of the whole kingdom.”
But why should we dwell on these written proofs of the disloyal and murderous principles of the Jesuits, when
their acted deeds bear still more emphatic testimony to the true nature and effects of their principles? We have
only to look around, and on every hand the melancholy monuments of these doctrines meet our afflicted sight.
To what country of Europe shall we turn where we are not able to track the Jesuit by his bloody foot-prints?
What page of modern history shall we open and not read fresh proofs that the Papal doctrine of killing
excommunicated kings was not meant to slumber in forgotten tomes, but to be acted out in the living world?
We see Henry III. falling by their dagger. Henry IV. perishes by the same consecrated weapon. The King of
Portugal dies by their order. The great Prince of Orange is dispatched by their agent, shot down at the door of
his own dining-room. How many assassins they sent to England to murder Elizabeth, history attests. That she
escaped their machinations is one of the marvels of history. Nor is it only the palaces of monarchs into which
they have crept with their doctrines of murder and assassination; the very sanctuary of their own Popes they
have defiled with blood. We behold Clement XIV. signing the order for the banishment of the Jesuits, and soon
thereafter he is overtaken by their vengeance, and dies by poison. In the Gunpowder Plot we see them delib-
erately planning to destroy at one blow the nobility and gentry of England. To them we owe those civil wars
which for so many years drenched with blood the fair provinces of France. They laid the train of that crowning
horror, the St. Bartholomew massacre. Philip II. and the Jesuits share between them the guilt of the “Invin-
cible Armada,” which, instead of inflicting the measureless ruin and havoc which its authors intended, by a
most merciful Providence became the means of exhausting the treasures and overthrowing the prestige of
Spain. What a harvest of plots, tumults, seditions, revolutions, torturings, poisonings, assassinations, regi-
cides, and massacres has Christendom reaped from the seed sown by the Jesuits! Nor can we be sure that we
have yet seen the last and greatest of their crimes.
We can bestow only the most cursory glance at the teaching of the Jesuits under the other heads of moral duty.
Let us take their doctrine of mental reservation. Nothing can be imagined more heinous and, at the same time,
more dangerous. “The doctrine of equivocation,” says Blackwell, “is for the consolation of afflicted Roman
Catholics and the instruction of all the godly.” It has been of special use to them when residing among infidels
and heretics. In heathen countries, as China and Malabar, they have professed conformity to the rites and the
worship of paganism, while remaining Roman Catholics at heart, and they have taught their converts to
venerate their former deities in appearance, on the strength of directing aright the intention, and the pious
fraud of concealing a crucifix under their clothes.
Equivocation they have carried into civil life as well as into religion. “A man may swear,” says Sanchez, “that
he hath not done a thing though he really have, by understanding within himself that he did it not on such and
such a day, or before he was born; or by reflecting on some other circumstance of the like nature; and yet the
words he shall make use of shall not have a sense implying any such thing; and this is a thing of great
convenience on many occasions, and is always justifiable when it is necessary or advantageous in anything
that concerns a man’s health, honor, or estate.”4 Filiutius, in his Moral Questions, asks, “Is it wrong to use
equivocation in swearing? I answer, first, that it is not in itself a sin to use equivocation in swearing This is the
common doctrine after Suarez.” Is it perjury or sin to equivocate in a just cause?” he further asks. “It is not
perjury,” he answers. “As, for example, in the case of a man who has outwardly made a promise without the
intention of promising; if he is asked whether he has promised, he may deny it, meaning that he has not
promised with a binding promise; and thus he may swear.”
Filiutius asks yet again, “With what precaution is equivocation to be used? When we begin, for instance, to
say, I swear, we must insert in a subdued tone the mental restriction, that today, and then continue aloud, I
have not eaten such a thing; or, I swear—then insert, I say—then conclude in the same loud voice, that I have
not done this or that thing; for thus the whole speech is most true.5 What an admirable lesson in the art of
speaking the truth to one’s self, and lying and swearing falsely to everybody else!6
We shall offer no comment on the teaching of the Jesuits under the head of the seventh commandment. The
doctrines of the society which relate to chastity are screened from exposure by the very enormity of their
turpitude. We pass them as we would the open grave, whose putrid breath kills all who inhale it. Let all who
value the sweetness of a pure imagination, and the joy of a conscience undefiled, shun the confessional as they
would the chamber in which the plague is shut up, or the path in which lurks the deadly scorpion. The teaching
of the Jesuits—everywhere deadly—is here a poison that consumes flesh, and bones, and soul.
Which precept of the Decalogue is it that the theology of the Jesuits does not set aside? We are commanded “to
fear the great and dreadful name of the Lord our God.” The Jesuit Bauny teaches us to blaspheme it. “If one
has been hurried by passion into cursing and doing despite to his Maker, it may be determined that he has only
sinned venially.” 7 This is much, but Casnedi goes a little farther. “Do what your conscience tells you to be
good, and commanded,” says this Jesuit; “if through invincible error you believe lying or blasphemy to be
commanded by God, blaspheme.” 8 The license given by the Jesuits to regicide we have already seen; not less
ample is the provision their theology makes for the perpetration of ordinary homicides and murders. Reginald
says it is lawful to kill a false witness, seeing otherwise one should be killed by him.9 Parents who seek to turn
their children from the faith, says Fagundez, “may justly be killed by them.” 10 The Jesuit Amicus teaches
that it is lawful for an ecclesiastic, or one in a religious order, to kill a calumniator when other means of
defense are wanting.11 And Airult extends the same privilege to laymen. If one brings an impeachment before
a prince or judge against another, and if that other cannot by any means avert the injury to his character, he
may kill him secretly. He fortifies his opinion by the authority of Bannez, who gives the same latitude to the
right of defense, with this slight qualification, that the calumniator should first be warned that he desist from
his slander, and if he will not, he should be killed, not openly, on account of the scandal, but secretly. 12
Of a like ample kind is the liberty which the Jesuits permit to be taken with the property of one’s neighbor.
Dishonesty in all its forms they sanction. They encourage cheats, frauds, purloinings, robberies, by furnishing
men with a ready justification of these misdeeds, and especially by persuading their votaries that if they will
only take the trouble of doing them in the way of directing the intention according to their instructions, they
need not fear being called to a reckoning for them hereafter. The Jesuit Emmanuel Sa teaches “that it is not a
mortal sin to take secretly from him who would give if he were asked;” that “it is not theft to take a small thing
from a husband or a father;” that if one has taken what he doubts to have been his own, that doubt makes it
probable that it is safe to keep it; that if one, from an urgent necessity, or without causing much loss, takes
wood from another man’s pile, he is not obliged to restore it. One who has stolen small things at different
times, is not obliged to make restitution till such time as they amount together to a considerable sum. But
should the purloiner feel restitution burdensome, it may comfort him to know that some Fathers deny it with
probability.13
The case of merchants, whose gains may not be increasing so fast as they could wish, has been kindly
considered by the Fathers. Francis Tolet says that if a man cannot sell his wine at a fair price—that is, at a fair
profit— he may mix a little water with his wine, or diminish his measure, and sell it for pure wine of full
measure. Of course, if it be lawful to mix wine, it is lawful to adulterate all other articles of merchandise, or
to diminish the weight, and go on vending as if the balance were just and the article genuine. Only the
trafficker in spurious goods, with false balances, must be careful not to tell a lie; or if he should be compelled
to equivocate, he must do it in accordance with the rules laid down by the Fathers for enabling one to say what
is not true without committing falsehood.14
Domestic servants also have been taken by the Fathers under the shield of their casuistry. Should a servant
deem his wages not enough, or the food, clothing, and other necessaries provided for him not equal to that
which is provided for servants of similar rank in other houses, he may recompense himself by abstracting
from his master’s property as much as shall make his wages commensurate with his services. So has Valerius
Reginald decided.15
It is fair, however, that the pupil be cautioned that this lesson cannot safely be put in practice against his
teacher. The story of John d’Alba, related by Pascal, shows that the Fathers do not relish these doctrines in
praxi nearly so well as in thesi, when they themselves are the sufferers by them. D’Alba was a servant to the
Fathers in the College of Clermont, in the Rue St. Jacques, and thinking that his wages were not equal to his
merits, he stole somewhat from his masters to. make up the discrepancy, never dreaming that they would make
a criminal of him for following their approved rules. However, they threw him into prison on a charge of
larceny. He was brought to trial on the 16th April, 1647. He confessed before the court to having taken some
pewter plates, but maintained that the act was not to be regarded as a theft, on the strength of this same
doctrine of Father Bauny, which he produced before the judges, with attestation from another of the Fathers,
under whom he had studied these cases of conscience. Whereupon the judge, M. de Montrouge, gave sentence
as follows:—”That the prisoner should not be acquitted upon the writings of these Fathers, containing a
doctrine so unlawful, pernicious, and contrary to all laws, natural, Divine, and human, such as might con-
found all families, and authorize all domestic frauds and infidelities;” but that the over-faithful disciple “should
be whipt before the College gate of Clermont by the common executioner, who at the same time should burn
all the writings of those Fathers treating of theft; and that they should be prohibited to teach any such doctrine
again under pain of death.”16
But we should swell beyond all reasonable limit, our enumeration, were we to quote even a tithe of the “moral
maxims” of the Jesuits. There is not One in the long catalogue of sins and crimes which their casuistry does
not sanction. Pride, ambition, avarice, luxury, bribery, and a host of vices which we cannot specify, and some
of which are too horrible to be mentioned, find in these Fathers their patrons and defenders. The alchemists of
the Middle Ages boasted that their art enabled them to operate on the essence of things, and to change what
was vile into what was noble. But the still darker art of the Jesuits acts in the reverse order; it changes all that
is noble into all that is vile. Theirs is an accursed alchemy by which they transmute good into evil, and virtue
into vice. There is no destructive agency with which the world is liable to be visited, that penetrates so deep,
or inflicts so remediless a ruin, as the morality of the Jesuits. The tornado sweeps along over the surface of the
globe, leaving the earth naked and effaced and forgotten in the greater splendor and the more solid strength of
the restored structures. Revolution may overturn thrones, abolish laws, and break in pieces the framework of
society; but when the fury of faction has spent its rage, order emerges from the chaos, law resumes its
supremacy, and the bare as before tree or shrub beautified it; but the summers of after years re-clothe it with
verdure and beautify it with flowers, and make it smile as sweetly as before. The earthquake overturns the
dwelling of man, and swallows up the proudest of his cities; but his skill and power survive the shock, and
when the destroyer has passed, the architect sets up again the fallen palace, and rebuilds the ruined city, and
the catastrophe is effaced and forgotten in the greater splendor and the more solid strength of the restored
structures. Revolution may overturn thrones, abolish laws, and break in pieces the framework of society; but
when the fury of faction has spent its rage, order emerges from the chaos, law resumes its supremacy, and the
institutions which had been destroyed in the hour of madness, are restored in the hour of calm wisdom that
succeeds. But the havoc the Jesuit inflicts is irremediable. It has nothing in it counteractive or restorative; it is
only evil. It is not upon the works of man or the institutions of man merely that, it puts forth its fearfully
destructive power; it is upon man himself. It is not the body of man that it strikes, like the pestilence; it is the
soul. It is not a part, but the whole of man that it consigns to corruption and ruin. Conscience it destroys,
knowledge it extinguishes, the very power of discerning between right and wrong it takes away, and shuts up
the man in a prison whence no created agency or influence can set him free. The Fall defaced the image of God
in which man was made; we say, defaced; it did not totally obliterate or extinguish it. Jesuitism, more terrible
than the Fall, totally effaces from the soul of man the image of God. Of the “knowledge, righteousness, and
true holiness” in which man was made it leaves not a tree. It plucks up by its very roots the moral constitution
which God gave man. The full triumph of Jesuitism would leave nothing spiritual, nothing moral, nothing
intellectual, nothing strictly and properly human existing upon the earth. Man it would change into the animal,
impelled by nothing but appetites and passions, and these more fierce and cruel than those of the tiger.
Society would become simply a herd of wolves, lawless, ravenous, greedy of each other’s blood, and perpetu-
ally in quest of prey. Even Jesuitism itself would perish, devoured by its own progeny. Our earth at last would
be simply a vast sepulcher, moving round the sun in its annual circuit, its bosom as joyless, dreary, and waste
as are those silent spaces through which it rolls.
Footnotes
1 “A quocumque privato potest interfici.”—Suarez (1, 6, ch. 4)—
Chalotais, Report Constit. Jesuits, p. 84.
2 “There are,” adds M. de la Chalotais, in a footnote, “nearly 20,000
Jesuits in the world [1761], all imbued with Ultramontane doctrines,
and the doctrine of murder.” That is more than a century ago. Their
numbers have prodigiously increased since.
3 Maxiana,. De Rege et Regis Institutione, lib. 1, cap. 6, p. 61, and lib. 1,
cap. 7, p. 64; ed. 1640.
4 Sanch. OP. Mot., pars. 2, lib. 3, cap. 6.
5 Mor. Quest. de Christianis 0fficiis et Casibus Conscientice, tom. 2, tr. 25,
cap. 11, n. 321-328; Lugduni, 1633.
6 It is easy to see how these precepts may be put in practice in swearing the oath of allegiance, or promising
to obey the law, or engaging not to attack the institutions of the State, or to obey the rules and further the ends
of any society, lay or clerical, into which the Jesuit may enter. The swearer has only to repeat aloud the
prescribed words, and insert silently such other words, at the fitting places, as shall make void the oath, clause
by clause—nay, bind the swearer to the very opposite of that which the administrator of the oath intends to
pledge him to.
7 Stephen Bauny, Som. des Peches; Rouen, 1653.
8 Crisis Theol., tom. 1, disp. 6, sect. 2, Section 1, n. 59.
9 Praxis Fori Poenit., tom. 2, lib. 21, cap. 5, n. 57.
10 In Proecep. Decal., tom. 1, lib. 4, cap. 2, n. 7, 8.
11 Cursus Theol., tom. 5,disp. 36, sec. 5, n. 118.
12 Cens., pp. 319, 320—Collation faite d la requete de l’U’niversite de
Paris, 1643; Paris, 1720
13 Aphorismi Confessariorum—verbo furtum, n. 3—8; Coloniae, 1590.
Chapter 6
THE “SECRET INSTRUCTIONS” OF THE JESUITS.
The Jesuit Soldier in Armor complete—Secret Instructions—How to Plant their First Establishments—Taught
to Court the Parochial Clergy—to Visit the Hospitals—to Find out the Wealth of their several Districts— to
make Purchases in another Name—to Draw the Youth round them—to Supplant the Older Orders—How to
get the Friendship of Great Men—How to Manage Princes—How to Direct their Policy— Conduct their
Embassies—Appoint their Servants, etc.—Taught to Affect a Great Show of Lowliness.
SO far we have traced the enrollment and training of that mighty army which Loyola had called into existence
for the conquest of Protestantism. Their leader, who was quite as much the shrewd calculator as the fiery
fanatic, took care before sending his soldiers into the field to provide them with armor, every way fitted for the
combatants they were to meet, and the campaign they were to wage. The war in which they were to be
occupied was one against right and truth, against knowledge and liberty, and where could weapons be found
for the successful prosecution of a conflict like this, save in the old-established arsenal of sophisms
The schoolmen, those Vulcans of the Middle Ages, had forged these weapons with the hammers of their
speculation on the anvil of their subtlety, and having made them sharp of edge, and given them an incompa-
rable flexibility, they stored them up, and kept them in reserve against the great coming day of battle. To this
armory Loyola, and the chiefs that succeeded him in command, had recourse. But not content with these
weapons as the schoolmen had left them, the Jesuit doctors put them back again into the fire; they kept them
in a furnace, heated seven times, till every particle of the dross of right and truth that cleaved to them had been
purged out, and they had acquired a flexibility absolutely and altogether perfect, and a keenness of edge
unattained before, and were now deemed every way fit for the hands that were to wield them, and every way
worthy of the cause in which they were to be drawn. So attempered, they could cut through shield and helmet,
through body and soul of the foe.
Let us survey the soldier of Loyola, as he stands in the complete and perfect panoply his General has provided
him with. How admirably harnessed for the battle he is to fight! He has his “loins girt about with” mental and
verbal equivocation; he has “on the breast-plate of” probabilism; his “feet are shod with the preparation of
the” Secret Instruction. “Above all, taking the shield of” intention, and rightly handling it, he is “able to
quench all the fiery darts of” human remorse and Divine threatenings. He takes “for an helmet the hope of”
Paradise, which has been most surely promised him as the reward of his services; and in his hand he grasps the
two-edged sword of a fiery fanaticism, wherewith he is able to cut his way, with prodigious bravery, through
truth and righteousness.1 Verily, the man who has to sustain the onset of soldiers like these, and parry the
thrusts of their weapons, had need to be mindful of the ancient admonition, “Take unto you the whole armor
of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
Shrewd, practical, and precise are the instructions of the Jesuits. First of all they are told to select the best
points in that great field, all of which they are in due time to subjugate and possess. That field is Christendom.
They are to begin by establishing convents, or colleges, in the chief cities. The great centers of population and
wealth secured, the smaller places will be easily occupied.
Should any one ask on what errand the good Fathers have come, they are instructed to make answer that their
“sole object is the salvation of souls.” What a pious errand! Who would not strive to be the first to welcome
to their houses, and to seat at their tables, men whose aims are so unselfish and heavenly? They are to be
careful to maintain a humble and submissive deportment; they are to pay frequent visits to the hospitals, the
sick-chamber, and the prisons. They are to make great show of charity, and as they have nothing of their own
to give to the poor, they are “to go far and near” to receive even the “smallest atoms.” These good deeds will
not lose their reward if only they take care not to do them in secret. Men will begin to speak of them and say,
What a humble, pious, charitable order of men these Fathers of the Society of Jesus are! How unlike the
Franciscans and Dominicans, who were want to care for the sick and the poor, but have now forgotten the
virtues of a former tune, and are grown proud, indolent, luxurious, and rich! Thus the “new-comers,” the
Instructions hint, will supplant the other and older orders, and will receive “the respect and reverence of the
best and most eminent in the neighborhood.”2
Further, they are enjoined to conduct themselves very deferentially towards the parochial clergy, and not to
perform any sacred function till first they have piously and submissively asked the bishop’s leave. This will
secure their good graces, and dispose the secular clergy to protect them; but by-and-by, when they have
ingratiated themselves with the people, they may abate somewhat of this subserviency to the clergy.
The individual Jesuit takes a vow of poverty, but the society takes no such vow, and is qualified to hold
property to any amount. Therefore, while seeking the salvation of souls, the members are carefully to note the
rich men in the community. They must find out who own the estates in the neighborhood, and what are their
yearly values. They are to secure these estates by gift, if possible; if not, by purchase. When it happens that
they “get anything that is considerable, let the purchase be made under a strange name, by some of our friends,
that our poverty may still seem the greater.”3 And let our provincial “assign such revenues to some other
colleges, more remote, that neither prince nor people may discover anything of our profits”4 —a device that
combines many advantages. Every day their acres will increase, nevertheless their apparent poverty will be as
great as ever, and the flow of benefactions and legacies to supply it will remain undiminished, although the sea
into which all these rivers run will never be full.
Among the multifarious duties laid upon the Jesuits, special prominence was given to the instruction of youth.
It was by this arm that they achieved their most brilliant success. “Whisper it sweetly in their [the people’s]
ears, that they are come to catechise the children gratis.”5 Wherever the Jesuits came they opened schools, and
gathered the youth around them; but despite their zeal in the work of education, knowledge somehow did not
increase. The intellect refused to expand and the genius to open under their tutelage. Kingdoms like Poland,
where they became the privileged and only instructors of youth, instead of taking a higher place in the com-
monwealth of letters, fell back into mental decrepitude, and lost their rank in the community of nations. The
Jesuits communicated to their pupils little besides a knowledge of Latin. History, philosophy, and science
were sealed books. They initiated their disciples into the mysteries of probabilism, and the art of directing the
intention, and the youth trained in these paths, when old did not depart from them. They dwarfed the intellect
and narrowed the understanding, but they gained their end. They stamped anew the Roman impress upon
many of the countries of Europe.
The second chapter of The Instructions is entitled “What must be done to get the ear and intimacy of great
men?” To stand well with monarchs and princes is, of course, a matter of such importance that no stone is to
be left unturned to attain it. The Instructions here, as we should expect them to be, are full and precise. The
members of the Society of Jesus are first of all to imbue princes and great men with the belief that they cannot
dispense with their aid if they would maintain the pomp of their State, and the government of their realms.
Should princes be filled with a conceit of their own wisdom, the Fathers must find some way of dispelling this
egregious delusion. They are to surround them with confessors chosen from their society; but by no means are
they to bear hard on the consciences of their royal penitents. They must treat them “sweetly and pleasantly,”
oftener administering opiates than irritants. They are to study their humors, and if, in the matter of marriage,
they should be inclined—as often happens with princes—to contract alliance with their own kindred, they are
to smooth their way, by hinting at a dispensation from the Pope, or finding some palliative for the sin from the
pharmacopoeia of their theology. They may tell them that such marriages, though forbidden to the common-
alty, are sometimes allowed to princes, “for the greater glory of God.”6 If a monarch is bent on some enter-
prise—a war, for example—the issue of which is doubtful, they are to be at pains so to shape their counsel in
the matter, that if the affair succeeds they shall have all the praise, and if it fails, the blame shall rest with the
king alone. And, lastly, when a vacancy occurs near the throne, they are to take care that the empty post shall
be filled by one of the tried friends of the society, of whom they are enjoined to have, at all times, a list in their
possession. It may be well, in order still more to advance their interests at courts, to undertake embassies at
times. This will enable them to draw the affairs of Europe into their own hands, and to make princes feel that
they are indispensable to them, by showing them what an influence they wield at the courts of other sover-
eigns, and especially how great their power is at that of Rome. Small services and trifling presents they are by
no means to overlook. Such things go a great way in opening the hearts of princes. Be sure, say The Instruc-
tions, to paint the men whom the prince dislikes in the same colors in which his jealousy and hatred teach him
to view them. Moreover, if the prince is unmarried, it will be a rare stroke of policy to choose a wife for him
from among the beautiful and noble ladies known to their society. “This is seen,” say The Instructions, “by
experience in the House of Austria: and in the Kingdoms of Poland and France, and in many other principali-
ties.”7 “We must endeavor,” say The Instructions, with remarkable plainness, but in the belief, doubtless, that
the words would meet the faithful eyes of the members of the Society of Jesus only:
“We must endeavor to breed dissension among great men, and raise seditions, or anything a prince would have
us to do to please him. If one who is chief Minister of State to a monarch who is our friend oppose us, and that
prince cast his whole favors upon him, so as to add titles to his honor, we must present ourselves before him,
and court him in the highest degree, as well by visits as all humble respect.”8
Having specified the arts by which princes may be managed, the Instructions next prescribe certain methods
for turning to account others “of great authority in the commonwealth, that by their credit we obtain profit and
preferment.” “If,” say the Instructions,9 “these lords be seculars, we ought to have recourse to their aid and
friendship against our adversaries, and to their favor in our own suits, and those of our friends, and to their
authority and power in the purchase of houses, manors, and gardens, and of stones to build with, especially in
those places that will not endure to hear of our settling in them, because the authority of these lords serveth
very much for the appeasing of the populace, and making our ill-willers quiet.”
Nor are they less sedulously to make court to the bishops. Their authority—great everywhere—is especially
so in some kingdoms, “as in Germany, Poland, and France;” and, the bishops conciliated, they may expect to
obtain a gift of “new-erected churches, altars, monasteries, foundations, and in some cases the benefices of
the secular priests and canons, with the preferable right of preaching in all the great towns.” And when
bishops so befriend them, they are to be taught that there is no less profit than merit in the deed; inasmuch as,
done to the Order of Jesus, they are sure to be repaid with most substantial services; whereas, done to the other
orders, they will have nothing in return for their pains “but a song.”10
To love their neighbor, and speak well of him, while they held themselves in lowly estimation, was not one of
the failings of the Jesuits. Their own virtues they were to proclaim as loudly as they did the faults of their
brother monks. Their Instructions commanded them to “imprint upon the spirits of those princes who love us,
that our order is more perfect than all other orders.” They are to supplant their rivals, by telling monarchs that
no wisdom is competent to counsel in the affairs of State but “ours,” and that if they wish to make their realms
resplendent with knowledge, they must surrender the schools to Jesuit teachers. They are especially to exhort
princes that they owe it as a duty to God to consult them in the distribution of honors and emoluments, and in
all appointments to places of importance. Further, they are ever to have a list in their possession of the names
of all persons in authority and power throughout Christendom, in order that they may change or continue them
fit their several posts, as may be expedient. But so covertly must this delicate business be gone about, that
their hand must not be seen in it, nor must it once be suspected that the change comes from them!
While slowly and steadily climbing up to the control of kings, and the government of kingdoms, they are to
study great modesty of demeanor and simplicity of life. The pride must be worn in the heart, not on the brow;
and the foot must be set down softly that is to be planted at last on the neck of monarchs. “Let ours that are in
the service of princes,” say the Instructions, “keep but a very little money, and a few movables, contenting
themselves with a little chamber, modestly keeping company with persons in humble station; and so being in
good esteem, they ought prudently to persuade princes to do nothing without their counsel, whether it be in
spiritual or temporal affairs.”11
Footnotes
1 See Ephesians 6:14-17.
2 Secreta Monita, cap. 1, sec. 1.
3 Ibid., cap. 1, sec. 5.
4 Ibid., cap. 1, sec. 6.
5 Ibid. (tr. from a French copy, London, 1679), cap. 1, sec. 11.
6 Secreta Monita, cap. 2, sec. 2.
7 Secreta Monita, cap. 2, sec. 5.
8 Ibid., cap. 2, sec. 9, 10.
9 Ibid., cap. 3, sec. 1.
10 “Praeter cantum.” (Secreta Monita, cap. 3, sec. 3.)
11 Secreta Monita, cap. 4, sec. 1—6.
Chapter 7
JESUIT MANAGEMENT OF RICH WIDOWS AND THE HEIRS OF GREAT
FAMILIES.
How Rich Widows are to be Drawn to the Chapels and Confessionals of the Jesuits—Kept from Thoughts of
a Second Marriage—Induced to Enter an Order, and Bequeath their Estates to the Society—Sons and Daugh-
ters of Widows—How to Discover the Revenues and Heirs of Noble Houses —Illustration from Spain—
Borrowing on Bond—The instructions to be kept Secret—If Discovered, to be Denied—How the Instructions
came to Light.
THE sixth chapter of the Instructions treats “Of the Means to acquire the Friendship of Rich Widows.” On
opening this new chapter, the reflection that forces itself on one is—how wide the range of objects to which the
Society of Jesus is able to devote its attention! The greatest matters are not beyond its strength, and the
smallest are not beneath its notice! From counseling monarchs, and guiding ministers of State, it turns with
equal adaptability and dexterity to caring for widows. The Instructions on this head are minute and elaborate
to a degree, which shows the importance the society attaches to the due discharge of what it owes to this class
of its clients.
True, some have professed to doubt whether the action of the society in this matter be wholly and purely
disinterested, from the restriction it puts upon the class of persons taken under its protection. The Instructions
do not say “widows,” but “rich widows.” But all the more on that account do widows need defense against the
arts of chicanery and the wiles of avarice, and how can the Fathers better accord them such than by taking
measures to convey their bodies and their goods alike within the safe walls of a convent? There the cormorants
and vultures of a wicked world cannot make them their prey. But let us mark how they are to proceed. First,
a Father of suitable gifts is to be selected to begin operations. He must not, in point of years, exceed middle
age; he must have a fresh complexion, and a gracious discourse. He is to visit the widow, to touch feelingly on
her position, and the snares and injuries to which it exposes her, and to hint at the fraternal care that the society
of which he is a member delights to exercise over all in her condition who choose to place themselves under its
guardianship. After a few visits of this sort, the widow will probably appear at one of the chapels of the
society. Should it so happen, the next step is to appoint a confessor of their body for the widow. Should these
delicate steps be well got over, the matter will begin to be hopeful. It will be the confessor’s duty to see that the
wicked idea of marrying again does not enter her mind, and for this end he is to picture to her the delightful and
fascinating freedom she enjoys in her widowhood, and over against it he is to place the cares, vexations, and
tyrannies which a second matrimony would probably draw upon her. To second these representations, the
confessor is empowered to promise exemption from purgatory, should the holy estate of widowhood be perse-
vered in. To maintain this pious frame of mind on the part of the object of these solicitudes, the Instructions
direct that it may be advisable to have an oratory erected in her house, with an altar, and frequent mass and
confession celebrated thereat. The adorning of the altar, and the accompanying rites, will occupy the time of
the widow, and prevent the thoughts of a husband entering her mind. The matter having been conducted to this
stage, it will be prudent now to change the persons of trust about her, and to replace them with persons
devoted to the society. The number of religious services must also be increased, especially confession, “so
that,” say the Instructions, “knowing their former accusations, manners, and inclinations, the whole may
serve as a guide to make them obey our wills.”1
These steps will have brought the widow very near the door of a convent. A continuance a little longer in the
same cautious and skillful tactics is all that will be necessary to land her safely within its walls. The confessor
must now enlarge on the quietude and eminent sanctity of the cloister how surely it conducts to Paradise; but
should she be unwilling to assume the veil in regular form, she may be induced to enter some religious order,
such as that of Paulina, “so that being caught in the vow of chastity, all danger of her marrying again may be
over.”2 The great duty of Alms, that queen of the graces, “without which, it is to be represented to her, she
cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven,” is now to be pressed upon her; “which alms, notwithstanding, she
ought not to dispose to every one, if it be not by the advice and with the consent of her spiritual father.”3 Under
this Direction it is easy to see in what exchequer the lands, manors, and revenues of widows will ultimately be
garnered.
But the Fathers deemed it inexpedient to leave such an issue the least uncertain, and accordingly the seventh
chapter enters largely into the “Means of keeping in our hands the Disposition of the Estates of Widows.” To
shut out worldly thoughts, and especially matrimonial ones, the time of such widows must be occupied with
their devotions; they are to be exhorted to curtail their expenditure and abound yet more in alms “to the
Church of Jesus Christ.” A dexterous confessor is to be appointed them. They are to be frequently visited, and
entertained with pleasant discourse. They are to be persuaded to select a patron, or tutelary saint, say St.
Francis or St. Xavier. Provision is to be made that all they do be known, by placing about them only persons
recommended by the society. We must be excused for not giving in the words of the Fathers the fourteenth
section of this chapter. That section gives their protégés great license, indeed all license, “provided they be
liberal and well-affected to our society, and that all things be carried cunningly and without scandal.” But the
one great point to be aimed at is to get them to make an entire surrender of their estates to the society. This is
to reach perfection now, and it may be to attain in future the yet higher reward of canonisation. But should it
so happen, from love of kindred, or other motives, that they have not endowed the “poor companions of Jesus”
with all their worldly goods, when they come to die, the preferable claims of “the Church of Jesus Christ” to
those of kindred are to be urged upon them, and they are to be exhorted “to contribute to the finishing of our
colleges, which are yet imperfect, for the greater glory of God, giving us lamps and pixes, and for the building
of other foundations and houses, which we, the poor servants of the Society of Jesus, do still want, that all
things may be perfected.”4 “Let the same be done with princes,” the Instructions go on to say, “and our other
benefactors, who build us any sumptuous pile, or erect any foundation, representing to them, in the first place,
that the benefits they thus do us are consecrated to eternity; that they shall become thereby perfect models of
piety; that we will have thereof a very particular memory, and that in the next world they shall have their
reward. But if it be objected that Jesus Christ was born in a stable, and had not where to lay his head, and that
we, who are his companions, ought not to enjoy perishing goods, we ought to imprint strongly on their spirits
that in truth, at first, the Church was also in the same state, but now that by the providence of God she is raised
to a monarchy, and that in those times the Church was nothing but a broken rock, which is now become a great
mountain.”5
In the chapter that follows—the eighth, namely—the net is spread still wider. It is around the feet of “the sons
and daughters of devout widows” that its meshes are now drawn. The scheme of machination and seduction
unfolded in this chapter differs only in its minor points from that which we have already had disclosed to us.
We pass it therefore, and go on to the ninth chapter, where we find the scheme still widening, and wholesale
rapacity and extortion, sanctified of course by the end in view, still more openly avowed and enjoined. The
chapter is entitled “Of the Means to Augment the Revenues of our Colleges,” and these means, in short, are
the astute and persistent deception, circumvention, and robbery of every class. The net is thrown, almost
without disguise, over the whole community, in order that the goods, heritages, and possessions of all ranks—
prince, peasant, widow, and orphan—may be dragged into the convents of the Jesuits. The world is but a large
preserve for the mighty hunters of the Society of Jesus. “Above and before all other things,” says this Instruc-
tion, “we ought to endeavor our own greatness, by the direction of our superiors, who are the only judges in
this case, and who should labor that the Church of God may be in the highest degree of splendor, for the
greater glory of God.”6
In prosecution of this worthy end, the Secret Instructions enjoin the Fathers to visit frequently at rich and
noble houses, and to “inform themselves, prudently and dexterously, whether they will not leave something to
our Churches, in order to the obtaining remission of their sins, and of the sins of their kindred.”7 Confes-
sors—and only able and eloquent; men are to be appointed as confessors to princes and statesmen—are to
ascertain the name and surname of their penitents, the names of their kindred and friends, whether they have
hopes of succeeding to anything, and how they mean to dispose of what they already have, or may yet have;
whether they have brothers, sisters, or heirs, and of what age, inclination, and education they are. And they
“should persuade them that all these questions do tend much to the clearing of the state of their conscience.”8
There is a refreshing plainness about the following Instructions. They are given with the air of men who had
so often repeated their plea “for the greater glory of God,” that they themselves had come at last to believe it:
“Our provincial ought to send expert men into all those places where there is any considerable number of rich
and wealthy persons, to the end they may give their superiors a true and faithful account.” “Let the stewards
of our college get an exact knowledge of the houses, gardens, quarries of stone, vineyards, manors, and other
riches of every one who lives near the place where they reside, and if it be possible, what degree of affection
they have for us.” “In the next place we should discover every man’s office, and the revenue of it, their
possessions, and the articles of their contracts, which they may surely do by confessions, by meetings, and by
entertainments, or by our trusty friends. And generally when any confessor lights upon a wealthy person, from
whom he hath good hopes of profit, he is obliged forthwith to give notice of it, and discover it at his return.”
“They should also inform themselves exactly whether there be any hope of obtaining bargains, goods, posses-
sions,9 pious gifts, and the like, in exchange for the admission of their sons into our society.”10 “If a wealthy
family have daughters only, they are to be drawn by caresses to become nuns, fit which case a small portion
of their estate may be assigned for their use, and the rest will be ours.” “The last heir of a family is by all
means to be induced to enter the society. And the better to relieve his mind from all fear of his parents, he is to
be taught that it is more pleasing to God that he take this step without their knowledge or consent.11 “Such a
one,” the Instructions add, “ought to be sent to a distance to pass his novitiate.”
These directions were but too faithfully carried out in Spain, and to this among other causes is owing the
depopulation of that once-powerful country. A writer who resided many years in the Peninsula, and had the
best opportunities of observing its condition, says: “If a gentleman has two or three sons and as many daugh-
ters, the confessor of the family adviseth the father to keep the eldest son at home, and send the rest, both sons
and daughters, into a convent or monastery; praising the monastic life, and saying that to be retired from the
world is the safest way to heaven.
The fathers of these families, glad of lessening the expenses of the house, and of seeing their children provided
for, do send them into the desert place of a convent, which is really the middle of the world. Now observe that
it is twenty to one that their heir dieth before he marrieth and have children, so the estate and everything else
falls to the second, who is a professed friar, or nun, and as they cannot use the expression of meum or tuum,
all goes that way to the society. And this is the reason why many families are extinguished, and their names
quite out of memory, the convent so crowded, the kingdom so thin of people, and the friars, nuns, and monas-
teries so rich.”12
Further, the Fathers are counseled to raise large sums of money on bond. The advantage of this method is, that
when the bond-holder comes to die, it will be easy to induce him to part with the bond in exchange for the
salvation of his soul. At all events, he is more likely to make a gift of the deed than to bequeath the same
amount in gold. Another advantage of borrowing in this fashion, is that their pretense of poverty may still be
kept up. Owners of a fourth or of a half of the property of a county, they will still be “the poor companions of
Jesus.”13
We make but one other quotation from the Secret Instructions. It closes this series of pious advice and is, in
one respect, the most characteristic of them all.
“Let the superior keep these secret advices with great care, and let them not be communicated but to a very
few discreet persons, and that only by parts; and let them instruct others with them, when they have profitably
served the society. And then let them not communicate them as rules they have received, but as the effects of
their own prudence. But if they should happen to fall into the hands of strangers, who should give them an ill
sense or construction, let them be assured the society owns them not in that sense, which shall be confirmed by
instancing those of our order who assuredly know them not.”14
It was some time before the contingency of exposure here provided against actually happened. But in the
beginning of the seventeenth century the accidents of war dragged these Secret Instructions from the darkness
in which their authors had hoped to conceal them from the knowledge of the world. The Duke of Brunswick,
having plundered the Jesuits’ college at Paderborn in Westphalia, made a present of their library to the Capu-
chins of the same town. Among the books which had thus come into their possession was found a copy of the
Secret Instructions. Another copy is said to have been discovered in the Jesuits’ college at Prague. Soon
thereafter reprints and translations appeared in Germany, Holland, France, and England. The authenticity of
the work was denied, as was to be expected; for any society that was astute enough to compile such a book
would be astute enough to deny it. To only the fourth or highest order of Jesuits were these Instructions to be
communicated; the others, who were ignorant of them in their written form, were brought forward to deny on
oath that such a book existed, but their protestations weighed very little against the overwhelming evidence on
the other side. The perfect uniformity of the methods followed by the Jesuits in all countries favored a pre-
sumption that they acted upon a prescribed rule; and the exact correspondence between their methods and the
secret advices showed that this was the rule. Gretza, a well-known member of the society, affirmed that the
Secreta Monita was a forgery by a Jesuit who had been dismissed with ignominy from the society in Poland,
and that he published it in 1616. But the falsehood of the story was proved by the discovery in the British
Museum of a work printed in 1596, twenty years before the alleged forgery, in which the Secreta Monita is
copied.15
Since the first discovery in Paderborn, copies of the Secreta Monita have been found in other libraries, as in
Prague, noted above. Numerous editions have since been published, and in so many languages, that the idea
of collusion is out of the question. These editions all agree with the exception of a few unimportant variations
in the reading.16 “These private directions,” says M. l’Estrange, “are quite contrary to the rules, constitu-
tions, and instructions which this society professeth publicly in those books it hath printed on this subject. So
that without difficulty we may believe that the greatest part of their governors (if a very few be excepted
especially) have a double rule as well as a double habit—one for their private and particular use, and another
to flaunt with before the world.”17
Footnotes
1 Secreta Monita, cap. 6, see. 6.
2 Ibid., cap. 6, sec. 8.
3 Secreta Monita, cap. 6., sec. 10.
4 Secreta Monita, cap. 7, sec. 23.
5 Secreta Monita, cap. 7, sec. 24.
6 Secreta Monita, cap. 9, sec. 1.
7 Ibid., sec. 4.
8 Ibid., sec. 5.
9 Contractus et possessiones”—leases and possessions.
(Lat. et Ital. ed., Roma. Con approv.)
10 Secreta Morita, cap. 9, seca 7—10.
11 Ostendendo etiam Deo sacrificium gratissimum fore si parentibus insciis
et invitis aufugerit.” (Lat. ed., cap. 9, sec. 8. L’Estrange’s tr., sec. 14.)
12 A Master Key to Popery, p. 70.
13 Secreta Monita, cap. 9, sec. 18, 19.
14 Ibid., cap. 16 (L’Estrange’s tr.); printed as the Preface in the Latin
edition.
15 Secreta Monita; Lend., 1850. Pref. by H. M. W., p. 9.
16 Among the various editions of the Secreta Monita we mention the following: — Bishop Compton’s trans-
lation; Lond., 1669. Sir Roger L’Estrange’s translation; Lond., 1679; it was made from a French copy,
printed at Cologne, 1678. Another edition, containing the Latin text with an English translation, dedicated to
Sir Robert Walpole, Premier of England: Lond., 1723. This edition says, in the Preface, that Mr. John Schipper,
bookseller at Amsterdam, bought a copy of the Secreta Monita, among other books, at Antwerp, and reprinted
it. The Jesuits bought up the whole edition, a few copies excepted. From one of these it was afterwards
reprinted. Of late years there have been several English reprints. One of the copies which we have used in this
compend of the book was printed at Rome, in the printing press of the Propaganda, and contains the Latin text
page for page with a translation in Italian.
17 The Cabinet of the Jesuits’ Secrets Opened; Lond., 1679.
Chapter 8
DIFFUSION OF THE JESUITS THROUGHOUT CHRISTENDOM.
The Conflict Great—the Arms Sufficient—The Victory Sure—Set Free from Episcopal Jurisdiction—Ac-
ceptance in Italy—Venice—Spain— Portugal—Francis Xavier—France—Germany—Their First Planting
in Austria—In Cologne and Ingolstadt—Thence Spread over all Germany—Their Schools—Wearing of
Crosses—Revival of the Popish Faith.
THE soldiers of Loyola are about to go forth. Before beginning the campaign we see their chief assembling
them and pointing out the field on which their prowess is to be displayed. The nations of Christendom are in
revolt: it will be theirs to subjugate them, and lay them once more, bound in chains, at the feet of the Papal
See. They must not faint; the arms he has provided them with are amply sufficient for the arduous warfare on
which he sends them. Clad in that armor, and wielding it in the way he has shown them, they will expel
knowledge as night chases away the day. Liberty will die wherever their foot shall tread. And in the ancient
darkness they will be able to rear again the fallen throne of the great Hierarch of Rome. But if the service is
hard, the wages will be ample. As the saviors of that throne they will be greater than it. And though meanwhile
their work is to be done in great show of humility and poverty, the silver and the gold of Christendom will in
the end be theirs; they will be the lords of its lands and palaces, the masters of the bodies and the souls of its
inhabitants, and nothing of all that the heart can desire will be withholden from them if only they will obey
him.
The Jesuits rapidly multiplied, and we are now to follow them in their peregrinations over Europe. Going forth
in little bands, animated with an entire devotion to their General, schooled in all the arts which could help to
further their mission, they planted themselves in a few years in all the countries of Christendom, and made
their presence felt in the turning of the tide of Protestantism, which till then had been on the flow.
There was no disguise they could not assume, and therefore there was no place into which they could not
penetrate. They could enter unheard the closet of the monarch, or the cabinet of the statesman. They could sit
unseen in Convocation or General Assembly, and mingle unsuspected in the deliberations and debates. There
was no tongue they could not speak, and no creed they could not profess, and thus there was no people among
whom they might not sojourn, and no Church whose membership they might not enter, and whose functions
they might not discharge. They could execrate the Pope with the Lutheran, and swear the Solemn League with
the Covenanter. They had their men of learning and eloquence for the halls of nobles and the courts of kings;
their men of science and letters for the education of youth; their unpolished but ready orators to harangue the
crowd; and their plain, unlettered monks, to visit the cottages of the peasantry and the workshops of the
artisan. “I know these men,” said Joseph II of Austria, writing to Choiseul, the Prime Minister of Louis XV—
“I know these men as well as any one can do: all the schemes they have carried on, and the pains they have
taken to spread darkness over the earth, as well as their efforts to rule and embroil Europe from Cape Finisterre
to Spitzbergen! In China they were mandarins; in France, academicians, courtiers, and confessors; in Spain
and Portugal, grandees; and in Paraguay, kings. Had not my grand-uncle, Joseph I, become emperor, we had
in all probability seen in Germany, too, a Malagrida or an Alvieros.”
In order that they might be at liberty to visit what city and diocese they pleased, they were exempted from
episcopal jurisdiction. They could come and go at their pleasure, and perform all their functions without
having to render account to any one save to their superior. This arrangement was resisted at first by certain
prelates; but it was universally conceded at last, and it greatly facilitated the wide and rapid diffusion of the
Jesuit corps.
Extraordinary success attended their first efforts throughout all Italy. Designed for the common people, the
order found equal acceptance from princes and nobles. In Parma the highest families submitted themselves to
Extraordinary success attended their first efforts throughout all Italy. Designed for the common people, the
order found equal acceptance from princes and nobles. In Parma the highest families submitted themselves to
the “Spiritual Exercises.” In Venice, Lainez expounded the Gospel of St. John to a congregation of nobles; and
in 1542 a Jesuits’ college was founded in that city. The citizens of Montepulciano accompanied Francisco
Strada through the streets begging. Their chief knocked at the doors, and his followers received the alms. In
Faenza, they succeeded in arresting the Protestant movement, which had been commenced by the eloquent
Bernardino Ochino, and by the machinery of schools and societies for the relief of the poor, they brought back
the population to the Papacy. These are but a few instances out of many of their popularity and success.1v
In the countries of Spain and Portugal their success was even greater than in Italy. A son of the soil, its founder
had breathed a spirit into the order which spread among the Spaniards like an infection. Some of the highest
grandees enrolled themselves in its ranks. In the province of Valencia, the multitudes that flocked to hear the
Jesuit preacher, Araoz, were such that no cathedral could contain them, and a pulpit was erected for him in the
open air. From the city of Salamanca, where in 1548 they had opened their establishment in a small, wretched
house, the Jesuits spread themselves over all Spain. Two members of the society were sent to the King of
Portugal, at his own request: the one he retained as his confessor, the other he dispatched to the East Indies.
This was that Francis Xavier who there gained for himself, says Ranke, “the name of an apostle, and the glory
of a saint.” At the courts of Madrid and Lisbon they soon acquired immense influence. They were the confes-
sors of the nobles and the counselors of the monarch.
The Jesuits found it more difficult to force their way into France. Much they wished to found a college in that
city where their first vow had been recorded, but every attempt was met by the determined opposition of the
Parliament and the clergy, who were jealous of their enormous privileges. The wars between the Guises and
the Huguenots at length opened a door for them. Lainez, who by this time had become their General, saw his
opportunity, and in 1561 succeeded in effecting his object, although on condition of renouncing the peculiar
privileges of the order, and submitting to episcopal jurisdiction. “The promise was made, but with a mental
reservation, which removed the necessity of keeping it.”2 They immediately founded a college in Paris, opened
schools—which were taught by clever teachers—and planted Jesuit seminaries at Avignon, Rhodes, Lyons,
and other places. Their intrigues kept the nation divided, and much inflamed the fury of the civil wars. Henry
III was massacred by an agent of theirs: they next attempted the life of Henry IV. This crime led to their first
banishment from France, in 1594; but soon they crept back into the kingdom in the guise of traders and
operatives. They were at last openly admitted by the monarch—a service which they repaid by slaughtering
him in the streets of his capital. Under their rule France continued to bleed and agonize, to plunge from woe
into crime, and from crime into woe, till the crowning wickedness of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes laid
the country prostrate; and it lay quiet for more than half a century, till, recovering somewhat from its exhaus-
tion, it lifted itself up, only to encounter the terrible blow of its great Revolution.
We turn to Germany. Here it was that the Church of Rome had suffered her first great losses, and here, under
the arms of the Jesuits, was she destined to make a beginning of those victories which recovered not a little of
the ground she had lost. A generation had passed away since the rise of Protestantism. It is the year 1550: the
sons of the men who had gathered round Luther occupy the stage when the van of this great invading host
makes its appearance. They come in silence; they are plain in their attire, humble and submissive in their
deportment; but behind them are the stakes and scaffolds of the persecutor, and the armies of France and
Spain. Their quiet words find their terrible reverberations in those awful tempests
Ferdinand I of Austria, reflecting on the decay into which Roman Catholic feeling had fallen in Germany, sent
to Ignatius Loyola for a few zealous teachers to instruct the youth of his dominions. In 1551, thirteen Jesuits,
including Le Jay, arrived at Vienna. They were provided with pensions, placed in the university chairs, and
crept upwards till they seized the entire direction of that seminary. From that hour date the crimes and misfor-
tunes of the House of Austria.3
A little colony of the disciples of Loyola had, before this, planted itself at Cologne. It was not till some years
that they took root in that city; but the initial difficulties surmounted, they began to effect a change in public
sentiment, which went on till Cologne became, as it is sometimes called, the “Rome of the North.” About the
same time, the Jesuits became flourishing in Ingolstadt. They had been driven away on their first entrance into
that university seat, the professors dreading them as rivals; but in 1556 they were recalled, and soon rose to
influence, as was to be expected in a city where the memory of Dr. Eck was still fresh. Their battles, less noisy
than his, were fated to accomplish much more for the Papacy.
From these three centers—Vienna, Cologne, and Ingolstadt—the Jesuits extended themselves over all Ger-
many. They established colleges in the chief cities for the sons of princes and nobles, and they opened schools
in town and village for the instruction of the lower classes. From Vienna they distributed their colonies
throughout the Austrian dominions. They had schools in the Tyrol and the cities at the foot of its mountains.
From Prague they ramified over Bohemia, and penetrated into Hungary. Their colleges at Ingolstadt and
Munich gave them the possession of Bavaria, Franconia, and Swabia. From Cologne they extended their
convents and schools over Rhenish Prussia, and, planting a college at Spires, they counteracted the influence
of Heidelberg University, then the resort of the most learned men of the German nation.
Wherever the Jesuits came, there was quickly seen a manifest revival of the Popish faith. In the short space of
ten years, their establishments had become flourishing in all the countries in which they were planted. Their
system of education was adapted to all classes. While they studied the exact sciences, and strove to rival the
most renowned of the Protestant professors, and so draw the higher youth into their schools, they compiled
admirable catechisms for the use of the poor. They especially excelled as teachers of Latin; and so great was
their zeal and their success, that “even Protestants removed their children from distant schools, to place them
under the care of the Jesuits.”4
The teachers seldom failed to inspire the youth in their schools with their own devotion to the Popish faith. The
sons of Protestant fathers were drawn to confession, and by-and-by into general conformity to Popish prac-
tices. Food which the Church had forbidden they would not touch on the interdicted days, although it was
being freely used by the other members of the family. They began, too, to distinguish themselves by the use of
Popish symbols. The wearing of crosses and rosaries is recorded by The teachers seldom failed to inspire the
youth in their schools with their own devotion to the Popish faith. The sons of Protestant fathers were drawn
to confession, and by-and-by into general conformity to Popish practices. Food which the Church had forbid-
den they would not touch on the interdicted days, although it was being freely used by the other members of
the family. They began, too, to distinguish themselves by the use of Popish symbols. The wearing of crosses
and rosaries is recorded by Ranke as one of the first signs of the setting of the tide toward Rome. Forgotten
rites began to be revived; relics which had been thrown aside buried in darkness, were sought out and exhib-
ited to the public gaze. The old virtue returned into rotten bones, and the holiness of faded garments flourished
anew. The saints of the Church came out in bold relief, while those of the Bible receded into the distance. The
light of candles replaced the Word of Life in the temples; the newest fashions of worship were imported from
Italy, and music and architecture in the style of the Restoration were called in to reinforce the movement.
Customs which had not been witnessed since the days of their grandfathers, began to receive the reverent
observance of the new generation. “In the year 1560, the youth of Ingolstadt belonging to the Jesuit school
walked, two and two, on a pilgrimage to Eichstadt, in order to be strengthened for their confirmation by the
dew that dropped from the tomb of St. Walpurgis.”5 The modes of though and feeling thus implanted in the
schools were, by means of preaching and confession, propagated through the whole population.
While the Jesuits were busy in the seminaries, the Pope operated powerfully in the political sphere. He had
recourse to various arts to gain over the princes. Duke Albert V of Bavaria had a grant made him of one-tenth
of the property of the clergy. This riveted his decision on the side of Rome, and he now set himself with earnest
zeal and marked success to restore, in its ancient purity and rigor, the Popery of his territories. The Jesuits
lauded the piety of the duke, who was a second Josias, a new Theodosius.6
The Popes saw clearly that they could never hope to restore the ancient discipline and rule of their Church
without the help of the temporal sovereigns. Besides Duke Albert, who so powerfully contributed to re-
establish the sway of Rome over all Bavaria, the ecclesiastical princes, who governed so large a part of
Germany, threw themselves heartily into the work of restoration. The Jesuit Canisins, a man of blameless life,
of consummate address, and whose great zeal was regulated by an equal prudence, was sent to counsel and
guide them. Under his management they accepted provisionally the edicts of the Council of Trent. They
required of all professors in colleges subscription to a confession of the Popish faith. They exacted the same
pledge from ordinary schoolmasters and medical practitioners. In many parts of Germany no one could follow
a profession till first he had given public proof of his orthodoxy. Bishops were required to exercise a more
vigilant superintendence of their clergy than they had done these twenty years past. The Protestant preachers
were banished; and in some parts the entire Protestant population was driven out. The Protestant nobles were
forbidden to appear at court. Many withdrew into retirement, but others purchased their way back by a
renunciation of their faith. By these and similar arts Protestantism was conquered on what may be regarded as
its native soil. If not wholly rooted up it maintained henceforward but a languishing existence; its leaf faded
and its fruit died in the mephitic air around it, while Romanism shot up in fresh strength and robustness. A
whole century of calamity followed the entrance of the Jesuits into Germany. The troubles they excited culmi-
nated at last in the Thirty Years’ War. For the space of a generation the thunder of battle continued to roll over
the Fatherland. But the God of their fathers had not forsaken the Germans; it pleased him to summon from the
distant Sweden, Gustavus Adolphus, and by his arm to save the remnants of Protestant liberty in that country.
Thus the Jesuits failed in their design of subjugating the whole of Germany, and had to content themselves
with dominating over those portions, unhappily large, of which the ecclesiastical princes had given them
possession at the first.
Footnotes
1 Ranke, Hist. of the Popes, book. 2, sec. 7.
2 Duller, Hist. of the Jesuits, p. 83; Lond., 1845.
3 Ranke, book 5, sec. 3.
4 Ranke, book 5, sec. 3.
5 Ranke, bk. v., sec. 3.
6 Ibid.
Chapter 9
COMMERCIAL ENTERPRISES AND BANISHMENT.
England—Poland—Cardinal Hosius—Sigismund III—Ruin of Poland—Jesuit Missions in the East Indies—
Numbers of their Converts—Their Missions in Abyssinia—Their Kingdom of Paraguay—Their Trading
Establishments in the West Indies—Episode of Father la Valette— Bankruptcy—Trial—Their Constitutions
brought to Light — Banished from all Popish Kingdoms—Suppressed by Clement XIV—The Pope Dies
Suddenly—The Order Restored by Plus VII—The Jesuits the Masters of the Pope.
OF the entrance of the Jesuits into England, the arts they employed, the disguises they wore, the seditions they
sowed, the snares they laid for the life of the sovereign, and the plots they concocted for the overthrow of the
Protestant Church, we shall have an opportunity of speaking when we come to narrate the history of Protes-
tantism in Great Britain. Meanwhile, we consider their career in Poland.
Cardinal Hosius opened the gates of this country to the Jesuits. Till then Poland was a flourishing country,
united at home and powerful abroad. Its literature and science during the half-century preceding had risen to
an eminence that placed Poland on a par with the most enlightened countries of Christendom. It enjoyed a
measure of toleration which was then unknown to most of the nations of Europe. Foreign Protestants fled to
it as a refuge from the persecution to which they were exposed in their native land, bringing to their adopted
country their skill, their wealth, and their energy. Its trade increased, and its towns grew in population and
riches. Italian, German, French, and Scottish Protestant congregations existed at Cracow, Vilna, and Posnania.1
Such was Poland before the foot of Jesuit had touched its soil.
But from the hour that the disciples of Loyola entered the country Poland began to decline. The Jesuits became
supreme at court; the monarch Sigismund III, gave himself entirely up to their guidance; no one could hope to
rise in the State who did not pay court to them; the education of youth was wholly in their hands, and the
effects became speedily visible in the decay of literature,2 and the growing decrepitude of the national mind.
At home the popular liberties were attacked in the persons of the Protestants, and abroad the nation was
humiliated by a foreign policy inspired by the Jesuits, which drew upon the country the contempt and hostility
of neighboring powers. These evil courses of intrigue and faction within the country, and impotent and arro-
gant policy outside of it, were persisted in till the natural issue was reached in the partition of Poland. It is at
the door of the Jesuits that the fall of that once-enlightened, prosperous, and powerful nation is to be laid.
It concerns us less to follow the Jesuits into those countries which lie beyond the boundaries of Christendom,
unless in so far as their doings in these regions may help to throw light on their principles and tactics. In
following their steps among heathen nations and savage races, it is alike impossible to withhold our admira-
tion of their burning zeal and intrepid courage, or our wonder at their prodigiously rapid success. No sooner
had the Jesuit missionary set foot on a new shore, or preached, by an interpreter it might be, his first sermon
in a heathen city, than his converts were to be counted in tens of thousands. Speaking of their missions in
India, Sacchinus, their historian, says that “ten thousand men were baptized in the space of one year.”3 When
the Jesuit mission to the East Indies was set on foot in 1559, Torrez procured royal letters to the Portuguese
viceroys and governors, empowering them to lend their assistance to the missionaries for the conversion of the
Indians. This shortened the process wonderfully. All that had to be done was to ascertain the place where the
natives were assembled for some religious festival, and surround them with a troop of soldiers, who, with
leveled muskets, offered them the alternative of baptism. The rite followed immediately upon the acceptance
of the alternative; and next day the baptized were taught the sign of the cross. In this excellent and summary
way was the evangelization of the island of Goa effected!4
By similar methods did they attempt to plant the Popish faith and establish their own dominion in Abyssinia,
and also at Mozambique (1560) on the opposite coast of Africa. One of the pioneers, Oviedo, who had entered
Ethiopia, wrote thus to the Pope:—”He must be permitted to inform his Holiness that, with the assistance of
500 or 600 Portuguese soldiers, he could at any time reduce the Empire of Abyssinia to the obedience of the
Pontificate; and when he considered that it was a country surrounded with territories abounding with the
finest gold, and promising a rich harvest of souls to the Church, he trusted his Holiness would give the matter
further consideration.”5 The Emperor of Ethiopia was gained by flatteries and miracles; a terrible persecution
was raised against the native Christians; thousands were massacred; but at last, the king having detected the
authors of these barbarities plotting against his own life and throne, they were ignominiously expelled the
country. By similar methods did they attempt to plant the Popish faith and establish their own dominion in
Abyssinia, and also at Mozambique (1560) on the opposite coast of Africa. One of the pioneers, Oviedo, who
had entered Ethiopia, wrote thus to the Pope:—”He must be permitted to inform his Holiness that, with the
assistance of 500 or 600 Portuguese soldiers, he could at any time reduce the Empire of Abyssinia to the
obedience of the Pontificate; and when he considered that it was a country surrounded with territories abound-
ing with the finest gold, and promising a rich harvest of souls to the Church, he trusted his Holiness would
give the matter further consideration.”5 The Emperor of Ethiopia was gained by flatteries and miracles; a
terrible persecution was raised against the native Christians; thousands were massacred; but at last, the king
having detected\ the authors of these barbarities plotting against his own life and throne, they were ignomini-
ously expelled the country.
Having secured the territory of Paraguay, a Portuguese possession in South America, the Jesuits founded a
kingdom there, and became its sovereigns. They treated the natives at first with kindness, and taught them
several useful arts, but by-and-by they changed their policy, and, reducing them to slavery, compelled them to
labor for their benefit. Dealing out to the Paraguayan peasant from the produce of his own toil as much as
would suffice to feed and clothe him, the Fathers laid up the rest in large storehouses, which they had erected
for the purpose. They kept carefully concealed from the knowledge of Europe this seemingly exhaustless
source of wealth, that no one else might share its sweets. They continued all the while to draw from it those
vast sums wherewith they carried on their machinations in the Old World. With the gold wrung from the
Paraguayan peasants’ toil they hired spies, bribed courtiers, opened new missions, and maintained that pomp
and splendor of their establishments by which the populace were dazzled.6
Their establishments in Brazil formed the basis of a great and enriching trade, of which Santa Fe and Buenos
Ayres were the chief depots. But the most noted episode of this kind in their history is that of Father Lavalette
(1756). He was Visitor-General and Apostolic Prefect of their Missions in the West Indies. “He organized
offices in St. Domingo, Granada, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, and other islands, and drew bills of exchange on
Paris, London, Bordeaux, Nantes, Lyons, Cadiz, Leghorn, and Amsterdam.” His vessels, loaded with riches,
comprising, besides colonial produce, Negro slaves, “crossed the sea continually.”7 Trading on credit, they
professed to give the property of the society as security. Their methods of business were abnormal. Treaties
obeyed by other merchants they disregarded. Neutrality laws were nothing to them. They hired ships which
were used as traders or privateers, as suited them, and sailed under whatever flag was convenient. At last,
however, came trouble to these Fathers, who were making, as the phrase is, “the best of both worlds.” The
Brothers Lioncy and Gouffre, of Marseilles, had accepted their bills for a million and a half of livres, to cover
which two vessels had been dispatched for Martinique with merchandise to the value of two millions, unfor-
tunately for the Fathers, the ships were captured at sea by the English.
The house of Lioncy and Gouffre asked the superior of the Jesuits in Marseilles for four thousand livres, as
part payment of their debt, to save them from bankruptcy. The Father replied that the society was not answer-
able, but he offered the Brothers Lioncy and Gouffre the aid of their prayers, fortified by the masses which
they were about to say for them. The masses would not fill the coffers which the Jesuits had emptied, and
accordingly the merchants appealed to Parliament craving a decree for payment of the debt. The appeal was
allowed, and the Jesuits were condemned to honor the bills drawn by their agent. At this critical moment the
General of the society died: delay was inevitable: the new General sent all the funds he could raise; but before
these supplies could reach Marseilles, Lioncy and Gouffre had become bankrupt, involving in their misfor-
tune their connections in all parts of France.
Now that the ruin had come and publicity was inevitable, the Jesuits refused to pay the debt, pleading that they
were protected from the claims of their creditors by their Constitutions. The cause now came to a public
hearing. After several pleas had been advanced and abandoned, the Jesuits took their final stand on the
argument which, in an evil hour for themselves, they had put forth at first in their defense. Their rules, they
said, forbade them to trade; and the fault of individual members could not be punished upon the Order: they
were shielded by their Constitutions. The Parliament ordered these documents to be produced. They had been
kept secret till now. They were laid before Parliament on the 16th of April, 1761. The result was disastrous for
the Jesuits. They lost their cause, and became much more odious than before. The disclosure revealed Jesuit-
ism to men as an organization based on the most iniquitous maxims, and armed with the most terrible weapons
for the accomplishment of their object, which was to plant their own supremacy on the ruin of society. The
Constitutions were one of the principal grounds of the decree for the extinction of the order in France, in 1762.
8
That political kingdoms and civil communities should feel the Order a burden too heavy to be borne, is not to
be wondered at when we reflect that even the Popes, of whose throne it was the pillar, have repeatedly decreed
its extinction. Strange as it may seem, the first bolt in later times that fell on the Jesuits was launched by the
hand of Rome. Benedict IV, by a bull issued in 1741, prohibited them from engaging in trade and making
slaves of the Indians. In 1759, Portugal, finding itself on the brink of ruin by their intrigues, shook them off.
This example was soon followed in France, as we have already narrated. Even in Spain, with all its devotion
to the Papal See, all the Jesuit establishments were surrounded, one night in 1767, with troops, and the whole
fraternity, amounting to 7,000, were caught and shipped off to Italy. Immediately thereafter a similar expul-
sion befell them in South America. Naples, Malta, and Parma were the next to drive them from their soil. The
severest blow was yet to come. Clement XIII, hitherto their firm friend, yielding at last to the unanimous
demands of all the Roman Catholic courts, summoned a secret conclave for the suppression of the Order: “a
step necessary,” said the brief of his successor, “in order to prevent Christians rising one against another, and
massacring one another in the very bosom of our common mother the Holy Church.” Clement died suddenly
the very evening before the day appointed for the conclave. Lorenzo Ganganelli was elevated to the vacant
chair under the title of Clement XIV. Ganganelli was studious, learned, of pure morals, and of genuine piety.
From the schoolmen he turned to the Fathers, forsaking the Fathers he gave himself to the study of the Holy
Scriptures, where he learned on what Rock to fix the anchor of his faith. Clement XIV strove for several
years, with honest but mistaken zeal, to reform the Order. His-efforts were fruitless. On the 21st of July, 1773,
he issued the famous bull, “Dominus ac Redemptor noster,” By which he “dissolved and for ever annihilated
the Order as a corporate body,” at a moment when it counted 22,000 members.9
The bull justifies itself by a long and formidable list of charges against the Jesuits. Had this accusation
proceeded from a Protestant pen it might have been regarded as not free from exaggeration, but coming from
the Papal chair it must be accepted as the sober truth. The bull of Clement charged them with raising various
insurrections and rebellions, with plotting against bishops, undermining the regular monastic orders, and
invading pious foundations and corporations of every sort, not only in Europe, but in Asia and America, to the
danger of souls and the astonishment of all nations. It charged them with engaging in trade, and that, instead
of seeking to convert the heathen, they had shown themselves intent only on gathering gold and silver and
precious jewels. They had interpolated pagan rites and manners with Christian beliefs and worship: they had
set aside the ordinances of the Church, and substituted opinions which the apostolic chair had pronounced
fundamentally erroneous and evidently subversive of good morals. Tumults, disturbances, violences, had
followed them in all countries. In fine, they had broken the peace of the Church, and so incurably that the
Pontificates of his predecessors, Urban VIII, Clements IX, X, XI, and XII, Alexanders VII and VIII, Inno-
cents X, XI, XII, and XIII, and Benedict XIV, had been passed in abortive attempts to re-establish the har-
mony and concord which they had destroyed. It was now seen that the peace of the Church would never be
restored while the Order existed, and hence the necessity of the bull which dispossessed the Jesuits of “every
office, service, and administration;” took away from them “their houses, schools, hospitals, estates; “ with-
drew “all their statutes, usuages, decrees, customs, and ordinances;” and pronounced “all the power of the
General, Provincial, Visitors, and every other head of the same Order, whether spiritual or secular, to be for
ever annulled and suppressed.” “The present ordinance,” said the bull, in conclusion, “shall remain in full
force and operation from henceforth and for ever.”
Nothing but the most tremendous necessity could have made Clement XIV issue this bull. He knew well how
unforgiving was the pride and how deadly the vengeance of the Society, and he did not conceal from himself
the penalty he should have to pay for decreeing its suppression. On laying down his pen, after having put his
name to the bull, he said to those around him that he had subscribed his death-warrant.10 The Pope was at
that time in robust health, and his vigorous constitution and temperate habits promised a long life. But now
dark rumors began to be whispered in Italy that the Pontiff would die soon. In April of the following year he
began to decline without any apparent cause: his illness increased: no medicine was of any avail: and after
lingering in torture for months, he died, September 22nd, 1774. “Several days before his death,” says Caraccioli,
“his bones were exfoliated and withered like a tree which, attacked at its roots, withers away and throws off
its bark. The scientific men who were called in to embalm his body found the features livid, the lips black, the
abdomen inflated, the limbs emaciated, and covered with violet spots. The size of the head was diminished,
and all the muscles were shrunk up, and the spine was decomposed. They filled the body with perfumed and
aromatic substances, but nothing could dispel the mephitic effluvia.”11
The suppression with which Clement XIV smote the Society of Jesus was eternal; but the “forever” of the bull
lasted only in actual deed during the brief interval that elapsed between 1773 and 1814. That short period was
filled up with the awful tempest of the French Revolution—to the fallen thrones and desecrated altars of which
the Jesuits pointed as the monuments of the Divine anger at the suppression of their Order. Despite the bull of
Clement, the Jesuits had neither ceased to exist nor ceased to act. Amid the storms that shook the world they
were energetically active. In revolutionary conventions and clubs, in war-councils and committees, on battle-
fields they were present, guiding with unseen but powerful touch the course of affairs. Their maxim is, if
despotisms will not serve them, to demoralize society and render government impossible, and from chaos to
remodel the world anew. Thus the Society of Jesus, which had gone out of existence before the Revolution, as
men believed, started up in full force the moment after, prepared to enter on the work of moulding and ruling
the nations which had been chastised but not enlightened. Scarcely had Pius VII returned to the Vatican, when,
by a bull dated August 7th, 1814, he restored the Order of Jesus. Thaddeus Borzodzowsky was placed at their
head. Once more the brotherhood stalked abroad in their black birettas. In no long time their colleges, semi-
naries, and novitiates began to flourish in all the countries of Europe, Ireland and England not excepted. Their
numbers, swelled by the sodalities of “St. Vincent de Paul,” “Brothers of the Christian Doctrine,” and other
societies affiliated with the order, became greater, perhaps, than they ever were at any former period. And
their importance was vastly enhanced by the fact that the contest between the “Order” and the “Papal Chair”
ended—temporarily, at any rate—in the enslavement of the Popedom, of which they inspired the policy,
indited the decrees, and wielded the power.
Footnotes
1 Krasinski, Rise, Progress, and Decline of the Reformation in Poland,
volume 2, p. 196; Lond., 1840.
2 Krasinski, vol. 2., pp. 197, 198.
3 Sacchinus, lib. 6., p. 172.
4 Steinmetz, Hist. of the Jesuits, vol. 2, pp. 46—48. Sacchinus, lib. 3, p.
129.
5 Steinmetz, lib. 2., p. 59.
6 Duller, Hist. of the Jesuits, pp. 135—138.
7 A Glimpse of the Great Secret Society, p. 79; ed. Lond., 1872.
8 A Glimpse of the Great Secret Society, pp. 78—81. Chalotais, Report to
Parl. of Bretagne.
9 Duller, Hist. of the Jesuits, p. 151.
10 “Sotto-scriviamo la nostra morte.”
11 All the world believed that Clement had been made to drink the Aqua Tofana, a spring in Perugia more
famous than healthful. Some one has said that if Popes are not liable to err, they are nevertheless liable to
sudden death.
Chapter 10
RESTORATION OF THE INQUISITION.
Failure of Ratisbon Conference—What Next to be Done?—Restore the Inquisition—Paul III—Caraffa—His
History—Spread of Protestantism in Italy—Juan di Valdez—His Reunions at Chiaja—Peter Martyr Vermigli—
Bernardino Ochino—Galeazzo CaraccioliVittoria Colonna, etc.—Pietro Carnesecchi, etc.—Shall Naples or
Geneva Lead in the Reform Movement?
THERE is one arm of the Jesuits to which we have not yet adverted. The weapon that we refer to was not
indeed unknown to former times, but it had fallen out of order, and had to be refurbished, and made fit for
modern exigencies. No small part of the success that attended the operations of the Jesuits was owing to their
use of it. That weapon was the Inquisition.
We have narrated in a former chapter the earnest attempt made at the Conference of Ratisbon to find a basis
of conciliation between the Protestant and the Popish churches. The way had been paved at Rome for this
attempted reconcilement of the two creeds by an infusion of new blood into the College of Cardinals. Gaspar
Contarini, a senator of Venice, who was known to hold opinions on the doctrine of justification differing very
little, if at all, from those of Luther,1 was invested with the purple of the cardinalate. The chair of the Doge
almost within his reach, Contarini was induced to come to Rome and devote the influence of his high character
and great talents to the doubtful experiment of reforming the Papacy. By his advice, several ecclesiastics
whose sentiments approximated to his own were added to the Sacred College, among other Sadoleto, Gioberto
Caraffa, and Reginald Pole.
In the end, these new elections but laid a basis for a more determined and bloody resistance to Protestantism.
This was in the future as yet; meanwhile the reforming measures, for which this change in the cardinalate was
to pave the way, were taken. Deputies were sent to the Ratisbon Conference, with instructions to make such
concessions to the Reformers as might not endanger the fundamental principles of the Papacy, or strip the
tiara of its supremacy. The issue was what we have announced in a previous part of our history. When the
deputies returned from the Diet, and told Paul III that all their efforts to frame a basis of agreement between
the two faiths had proved abortive, and that there was not a country in Christendom where Protestantism was
not spreading, the Pope asked in alarm, “What then is to be done?” Cardinal Caraffa, and John Alvarez de
Toledo, Bishop of Burgos, to whom the question was addressed, immediately made answer, Re-establish the
Inquisition.
The proposal accorded well with the gloomy genius, unbending opinions, and stern bigotry of the men from
whom it came. Caraffa and Toledo were old Dominicans, the same order to whom Innocent III had committed
the working of the “Holy Tribunal,” when it was first set up. Men of pure but austere life, they were prepared
to endure in their own persons, or to inflict on the persons of others, any amount of suffering and pain, rather
than permit the Roman Church to be overthrown. Re-establish the Inquisition, said Caraffa; let the supreme
tribunal be set up in Rome, with subordinate branches ramifying over all Europe. “Here in Rome must the
successors of Peter destroy all the heresies of the whole world.”2 The Jesuit historians take care to tell us that
Caraffa’s proposal was seconded by a special memorial from the founder of their order, Ignatius Loyola. The
bull re-establishing the Inquisition was published July 21st, 1542.
The “Holy Office” revived with terrors unknown to it in former ages. It had now a plenitude of power. Its
jurisdiction extended over all countries, and not a man in all Christendom, however exalted in rank or dignity,
but was liable to be made answerable at its bar. The throne was no protection; the altar was no shield;
withered age and blooming youth, matron and maiden, might any hour be seized by its familiars, and undergo
the question in the dark underground chamber, where, behind a table, with its crucifix and taper, sat the
inquisitor, his stern pitiless features surmounted by his black cowl, and all around the instruments of torture.
Till the most secret thought had been wrung out of the breast, no mercy was to be shown. For the inquisitor to
feel the least pity for his writhing victim was to debase himself. Such were the instructions drafted by Caraffa.
The history of the man who restored the Inquisition is one of great interest, and more than ordinary instruc-
tion, but it is touchingly sad. Caraffa had been a member of the Oratory of Divine Love, which was a little
circle of moderate Reformers, that held its sitting in the Trastevere at Rome, and occupied, as regarded the
Reform of the Roman Church, a position midway between the champions of things as they were, and the
company of decided adherents of the Gospel, which held its reunions at Chiaja, in Naples, and of which we
shall speak below. Caraffa had “tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,” but the
gracious stirrings of the Spirit, and the struggles of his own conscience, he had quelled, and from the very
threshold of Rest which he was seeking in the Gospel, he had cast himself again into the arms of an infallible
Church. With such a history it was not possible that Caraffa could act a middle part. He threw himself with
sterner zeal into the dreadful work of reviving the Inquisition than did even Paul III, under whom he served,
and whom he was destined to succeed. “Caraffa,” says the historian Ranke, “lost not a moment in carrying its
edict into execution; he would have thought it waste of time to wait for the usual issue of means from the
apostolic treasury, and, though by no means rich, he hired a house for immediate proceedings at his own
expense; this he fitted up with rooms for the officers, and prisons for the accused, supplying the latter with
strong bolts and locks, with dungeons, chains, blocks, and every other fearful appurtenance of his office. He
appointed commissioners-general for the different countries.”3
The resolution to restore the Inquisition was taken at a critical moment for Italy, and all the countries south of
the Alps. The dawn of the Protestant day was breaking around the very throne of the Pope. From the city of
Ferrara in the north, where the daughter of Louis XII, the correspondent of Calvin, sheltered in her palace the
disciples of the Gospel, to the ancient Parthenope, which looks down from its fig and aloe covered heights
upon the calm waters of its bay, the light was breaking in a clearness and fullness that gave promise that in
proportion to the depth of the previous darkness, so would be the splendors of the coming day. Distinguished
as the land of the Renaissance, Italy seemed about to become yet more distinguished as the land of Protestant-
ism. At the foot of Fiesole, and in that Florence on which Cosine and the brilliant group of scholars around
him had so often looked down, while they talked of Plato, there were men who had learned a better knowledge
than that which the Greek sage had taught. In Padua, in Bologna, in Lucca, in Modena, in Rome,4 and in other
cities of classic fame, some of the first families had embraced the Gospel. Men of rank in the State, and of
eminence in the Church, persons of mark in the republic of letters, orators, poets, and some noble ladies, as
eminent for their talents as for their birth, were not ashamed to enroll themselves among the disciples of that
faith which the Lutheran princes had confessed at Augsburg, and which Calvin was propagating from the little
town on the shores of the Leman, then beginning to attract the notice of the world. But of all the Protestant
groups now forming in Italy, none equaled in respect of brilliance of rank, luster of talent, and devotion of
faith, that which had gathered round Juan di Valdez on the lovely shore of Naples.
This distinguished Spaniard had been forced to leave the court of Charles V and his native land for the sake of
the Gospel. On the western arm of the Bay of Naples, hard by the tomb of Virgil, looking forth on the calm
sea, and the picturesque island of Capri, with the opposite shore, on which Vesuvius, with its pennon of white
vapor atop, kept watch over the cities which 1,400 years before it had wrapped in a winding-sheet of ashes,
and enclosed in a tomb of lava, was placed the villa of Valdez. There his friends often assembled to discuss the
articles of the Protestant creed, and confirm one another in their adherence to the Gospel. Among these was
Peter Martyr Vermigli, Prior of St. Peter’s ad aram. In the wilderness of Romanism the prior had become
parched with thirst, for no water could he find that could refresh his soul. Valdez led him to a fountain,
whereat Martyr drank, and thirsted no more. In his turn he zealously led others to the same living stream.
Another member of that Protestant band was Caserta, a Neapolitan nobleman. He had a young relative, then
wholly absorbed in the gaieties and splendors of Naples; him Caserta introduced to Valdez. This was Galeazzo
Caraccioli, only son of the Marquis of Vice, who embraced the Gospel with his whole heart, and when the
tempest dispersed the brilliant company to which he had joined himself, leaving his noble palace, his rich
patrimony, his virtuous wife, his dear children, and all his flourishing honors, he cleaved to the cross, and
repairing to Geneva was there, in the words of Calvin, “content with our littleness, and lives frugally accord-
ing to the habits of the commonalty—neither more nor less than any one of us.”5
In 1536 this select society received another member. Bernardino Ochino, the great orator of Italy, came at that
time to Naples to preach the Lent Sermons. A native of Sienna, he assumed the cowl of St. Francis, which he
afterwards exchanged for the frock of the more rigid order of the Capuchins. He was so eloquent that Charles
V said of him, “That man is enough to make the stones weep.” His discourses were impregnated with the great
principles of the Protestant faith, and his eloquence drew overwhelming crowds to the Church of St. Giovanni
Maggiore, where he was now preaching. His accession to the society around Valdez gave it great additional
strength, for the preacher was daily scattering the seeds of Divine truth among the common people. And not
among these only, for persons of all ranks crowded to hear the eloquent Capuchin. Among his audience might
be seen Giulia de Gonzaga, widow of the Duke of Trajetto, reputed the most beautiful woman in Italy, and,
what was higher praise, one of the most humble and sincere of its Christians. And there was Vitteria Colonna,
Marchioness of Pescaro, also renowned for the loveliness of her person, and not less renowned for her talents
and virtues. And there was Pietro Carnesecchi, a patrician of Florence, and a former secretary of Clement VII,
now a disciple, and afterwards to be a martyr, of the Gospel. Such were the illustrious men and the high-born
women that formed this Protestant propaganda in Naples. It comprehended elements of power which prom-
ised brilliant results in the future. It formed a galaxy of rank, talent, oratory, genius, and tact, adapted to all
classes of the nation, and constituted, one would have thought, such an organisation or “Bureau” as was sure
to originate, and in due time accomplish, the Reformation of Italy. The ravages the Gothic nations had in-
flicted, and the yet greater ravages of the Papacy, were on the point of being repaired, and the physical
loveliness which Italy had known in her first days, and a moral beauty greater than she had ever known, were
about to be restored to her. It was during those same years that Calvin was beginning his labors at Geneva,
and fighting with the Pantheistic Libertines for a secure foothold on which to place his Reformation, that this
little phalanx of devoted Protestant champions was formed on the shore of Naples.
Of the two movements, the southern one appeared at that hour by much the more hopeful. Contemplated from
a human point of view, it had all the elements of success. Here the flower of an ancient nation was gathering
on its own soil to essay the noble task of evoking into a second development those mighty energies which had
long slumbered, but were not dead, in the bosom of a race that had given arts and letters and civilisation to the
West. Every needful power and gift was present in the little company here confederate for the glorious enter-
prise. Though small in numbers this little host was great in names, comprehending as it did men of ancient
lineage, of noble birth, of great wealth, of accomplished scholarship, of poetical genius, and of popular
eloquence. They could appeal, moreover, to a past of renown, the traditions of which had not yet perished, and
the memory of which might be helpful in the struggle to shake off the yoke of the present. These were surpass-
ing advantages compared with the conditions of the movement at Geneva—a little town which had borrowed
glory from neither letters nor arms; with a population rude, lawless, and insolent; a diminutive territory,
overshadowed on all sides by powerful and hostile monarchs, who stood with arm uplifted to strike down
Protestantism should it here raise its head; and, most discouraging of all, the movement was guided by but one
man of note, and he a stranger, an exile, without the prestige of birth, or rank, or wealth. The movement at
Geneva cannot succeed; that at Naples cannot fail: so would we have said. But the battle of Protestantism was
not to the strong. The world needs to have the lesson often repeated, that it is the truth of principles and not the
grandeur of names that gives assurance of victory. The young vine planted beneath the towers of the ancient
Parthenope, and which was shooting forth so hopefully in the golden air of that classic region, was to wither
and die, while that which had taken root beneath the shadow of the Alps was to expand amid the rude blasts
of the Swiss mountains, and stretch its boughs over Christendom.
Footnotes
So he himself declared on his death-bed to Bernardino Ochino in 1542.
(McCrie, Prog. and Sup. Ref. in Italy, p. 220.)
2 Bromato, Vita di Paolo, tom. 4, lib. 7, sec. 3. Ranke, book 2, sec. 6.
3 Ranke, book 2, sec. 6.
4 See McCrie, Prog. and Supp. Ref. in Italy, chap. 3.
5 Calvin, Comment, on 1st Corinthians — Dedication.
Chapter 11
THE TORTURES OF THE INQUISITION.
A Stunning Blow—Three Classes in Italy—Flight of Peter Martyr Vermigli —of
Ochino—Caraffa made Pope—The Martyrs, Mollio and Tisserano— Italian Protes-
tantism Crushed—A Notable Epoch—Three Movements— The Inquisition at
Nuremberg—The Torture-Chamber— Its Furnishings— Max Tower—The Chamber
of Question—The various Instruments of Torture—The Subterranean Dungeons—The
Iron Virgin—Her Office— The Burial of the Dead.
THE re-establishment of the Inquisition decided the question of the Reformation of
Italy. The country, struck with this blow as it was lifting itself up, instantly fell back
into the old gulf. It had become suddenly apparent that religious reform must be won
with a great fight of suffering, and Italy had not strength to press on through chains,
and dungeons, and scaffolds to the goal she wished to reach. The prize was glorious,
she saw, but the price was great. Pallavicino has confessed that it was the Inquisition
that saved Italy from lapsing into Protestantism.1
The religious question had divided the Italians of that day into three classes. The bulk
of the nation had not thought on the question at all, and harbored no purpose of leaving
the Church of Rome. To them the restoration of the Inquisition had no terrors. There
was another and large class who had abandoned Rome, but who had not clearness to
advance to the open profession of Protestantism. They were most to be pitied of all
should they fall into the hands of the inquisitors, seeing they were too undecided either
to decline or to face the horrors of the Holy Office. The third class were in no doubt as
to the course they must pursue. They could not return to a Church which they held to
be superstitious, and they had no alternative before them but provide for their safety
by flight, or await death amid the fires of the Inquisition. The consternation was great;
for the Protestants had not dreamed of their enemies having recourse to such violent
measures. Numbers fled, and these fugitives were to be found in every city of Switzer-
land and Germany.2 Among these was Bernardino Ochino, on whose eloquent orations
all ranks of his countrymen had been hanging but a few months before, and in whose
audience the emperor himself might be seen when he visited Italy. Not, however, till
he had been served with a citation from the Holy Office at Rome did Ochino make his
escape. Flight was almost as bitter as death to the orator. He was leaving behind him
the scene of those brilliant triumphs which he could not hope to renew on a foreign
soil. Pausing on the summit of the Great St. Bernard, he devoted a few moments to
those feelings of regret which were so natural on abandoning so much that he could
not hope ever again to enjoy. He then went forward to Geneva. But, alas! the best days
of the eloquent monk were past. At Geneva, Ochino’s views became tainted and ob-
scured with the new philosophy, which was beginning to air itself at that young school
of pantheism.
Peter Martyr Vermigli soon followed. He was presiding over the convent of his order
in Lucca, when the storm came with such sudden violence. He set his house in order
and fled; but it was discovered after he was gone that the heresy remained although the
heretic had escaped, his opinions having been embraced by many of the Luccese monks.
The same was found to be the case with the order to which Ochino belonged, the
Capuchins namely, and the Pope at first meditated, as the only cure, the suppression of
both orders. Peter Martyr went ultimately to Strasburg, and a place was found for him
in its university, where his lamp continued to burn clearly to the close. Juan di Valdez
died before the tempest burst, which drove beyond the Alps so many of the distin-
guished group that had formed itself around him at Pausilippo, and saw not the evil
days which came on his adopted country. But the majority of those who had embraced
the Protestant faith were unable to escape. They were immured in the prisons of the
various Holy Offices throughout Italy; some were kept in dark cells for years, in the
hope that they would recant, others were quickly relieved by martyrdom. The restorer
of the Inquisition, the once reforming Caraffa, mounted the Papal chair, under the
name of Paul IV. The rigors of the Holy Office were not likely to be relaxed under the
new Pope; but twenty years were needed to enable the torture and the stake to annihi-
late the Protestants of Italy.3
Of those who suffered martyrdom we shall mention only two—Mollio, a Bolognese
professor, renowned throughout Italy for his learning and his pure life; and Tisserano,
a native of Perugia. On the 15th of September, 1553, an assembly of the Inquisition,
consisting of six cardinals with their episcopal assessors, was held with great pomp at
Rome. A train of prisoners, with burning tapers in their hands, was led in before the
tribunal. All of them recanted save Mollio and Tisserano. On leave being given them to
speak, Mollio broke out, says McCrie, “in a strain of bold and fervid invective, which
chained them to their seats, at the same time that it cut them to the quick.” He rebuked
his judges for their lewdness, their avarice, and their blood-thirsty cruelty, and con-
cluded as follows:— “‘Wherefore I appeal from your sentence, and summon you,
cruel tyrants and murderers, to answer before the judgment-seat of Christ at the last
day, where your pompous titles and gorgeous trappings will not dazzle, nor your guards
and torturing apparatus terrify us. And in testimony of this, take back that which you
have given me.’ In saying this, he threw the flaming torch which he held in his hand on
the ground, and extinguished it. Galled, and gnashing upon him with their teeth, like
the persecutors of the first Christian martyrs, the cardinals ordered Mollio, together
with his companion, who approved of the testimony he had borne, to instant execu-
tion. They were conveyed, accordingly, to the Campo del Flor, where they died with
the most pious fortitude.”4
The eight years that elapsed between 1534 and 1542 are notable ones in the annals of
Protestant Christianity. That epoch witnessed the birth of three movements, Which
were destined to stamp a character upon the future of Europe, and powerfully to modify
the conflict then in progress in Christendom. In 1534 the Jesuits recorded their first
vow in the Church of Montmartre, in Paris. In 1540 their society was regularly launched
by the Papal edict. In 1542, Paul III issued the bull for the re-establishment of the
Inquisition; and in 1541 Calvin returned to Geneva, to prepare that spiritual army that
was to wage battle with Jesuitism backed by the Inquisition. The meeting of these
dates—the contemporaneous rise of these three instrumentalities, is sufficiently strik-
ing, and is one of the many proofs which we meet in history that there is an Eye
watching all that is done on earth, and that never does an agency start up to destroy the
world, but there is set over against it a yet more powerful agency to convert the evil it
would inflict into good.
It is one of these great epochs at which we have arrived. Jesuitism, the consummation of error — the Inquisi-
tion, the maximum of force, stand up and array themselves against a now fully developed Protestantism. In
following the steps of the combatants, we shall be led in succession to the mountains of the Waldenses, to the
cities of France, to the swamps of Holland, to the plains of Germany, to Italy, to Spain, to England and
Scotland. Round the whole of Christendom will roll the tide of this great battle, casting down one nation into
the darkness of slavery, and lifting up another into the glory of freedom, and causing the gigantic crimes of the
persecutor and the despot to be forgotten in the excelling splendor of the patriot and the martyr. This is the
struggle with the record of which we shall presently be occupied. Meanwhile we proceed to describe one of
those few Inquisitions that remain to this day in almost the identical state in which they existed when the Holy
Office was being vigorously worked. This will enable us to realize more vividly the terror of that weapon
which Paul III prepared for the hands of the Jesuits, and the Divine power of that faith which enabled the
confessors of the Gospel to withstand and triumph over it.
Turn we now to the town of Nuremberg, in Bavaria. The zeal with which Duke Albert, the sovereign of
Bavaria, entered into the restoration of Roman Catholicism, we have already narrated. To further the move-
ment, he provided every one of the chief towns of his dominions with a Holy Office, and the Inquisition of
Nuremberg still remains—an anomalous and horrible monument in the midst of a city where the memorials of
an exquisite art, and the creations of an unrivalled genius, meet one at every step. We shall first describe the
Chamber of Torture.5
The house so called immediately adjoins the Imperial Castle, which from its lofty site looks down on the city,
whose Gothic towers, sculptured fronts, and curiously ornamented gables are seen covering both banks of the
Pegnitz, which rolls below. The house may have been the guard-room of the castle. It derives its name, the
Torture-chamber, not from the fact that the torture was here inflicted, but because into this one chamber has
been collected a complete set of the instruments of torture gleaned from the various Inquisitions that formerly
existed in Bavaria. A glance suffices to show the whole dreadful apparatus by which the adherents of Rome
sought to maintain her dogmas. Placed next to the door, and greeting the sight as one enters, is a collection of
hideous masks. These represent creatures monstrous of shape, and malignant and fiendish of nature, It is in
beholding them that we begin to perceive how subtle was the genius that devised this system of coercion, and
that it took the mind as well as the body of the victim into account. In gazing on them, one feels as if he had
suddenly come into polluting and debasing society, and had sunk to the same moral level with the creatures
here figured before him. He suffers a conscious abatement of dignity and fortitude. The persecutor had calcu-
lated, doubtless, that the effect produced upon the mind of his victim by these dreaded apparitions, would be
that he would become morally relaxed, and less able to sustain his cause. Unless of strong mind, indeed, the
unfortunate prisoner, on entering such a place, and seeing himself encompassed with such unearthly and
hideous shapes, must have felt as if he were the vile heretic which the persecutor styled him, and as if already
the infernal den had opened its portals, and sent forth its venomous swarms to bid him welcome. Yourself
accursed, with accursed beings are you henceforth to dwell—such was the silent language of these abhorred
images.
We pass on into the chamber, where more dreadful sights meet our gaze. It is hung round and round with
instruments of torture, so numerous that it would take a long while even to name them, and so diverse that it
would take a much longer time to describe them. We must take them in groups, for it were hopeless to think of
going over them one by one, and particularising the mode in which each operated, and the ingenuity and art
with which all of them have been adapted to their horrible end. There were instruments for compressing the
fingers till the bones should be squeezed to splinters. There were instruments for probing below the finger-
nails till an exquisite pain, like a burning fire, would run along the nerves. There were instruments for tearing
out the tongue, for scooping out the eyes, for grubbing-up the ears. There were bunches of iron cords, with a
spiked circle at the end of every whip, for tearing the flesh from the back till bone and sinew were laid bare.
There were iron cases for the legs, which were tightened upon the limb placed in them by means of a screw, till
flesh and bone were reduced to a jelly. There were cradles set full of sharp spikes, in which victims were laid
and rolled from side to side, the wretched occupant being pierced at each movement of the machine with
innumerable sharp points. There were iron ladles with long handles, for holding molten lead or boiling pitch,
to be poured down the throat of the victim, and convert his body into a burning cauldron. There were frames
with holes to admit the hands and feet, so contrived that the person put into them had his body bent into
unnatural and painful positions, and the agony grew greater and greater by moments, and yet the man did not
die. There were chestfuls of small but most ingeniously constructed instruments for pinching, probing, or
tearing the more sensitive parts of the body, and continuing the pain up to the very verge where reason or life
gives way. On the floor and walls of the apartment were other and larger instruments for the same fearful
end—lacerating, mangling, and agonizing living men; but these we shall meet in other dungeons we are yet to
visit.
The first impression on entering the chamber was one of bewildering horror; a confused procession of mangled,
mutilated, agonising men, speechless in their great woe, the flesh peeled from off their livid sinews, the sockets
where eyes had been, hollow and empty, seemed to pass before one. The most dreadful scenes which the great
genius of Dante has imagined, appeared tame in comparison with the spectral groups which this chamber
summoned up. The first impulse was to escape, lest images of pain, memories of tormented men, who were
made to die a hundred deaths in one, should take hold of one’s mind, never again to be effaced from it.
The things we have been surveying are not the mere models of the instruments made use of in the Holy Office;
they are the veritable instruments themselves. We see before us the actual implements by which hundreds and
thousands of men and women, many of them saints and confessors of the Lord Jesus, were torn, and mangled,
and slain. These terrible realities the men of the sixteenth century had to face and endure, or renounce the hope
of the life eternal. Painful they were to flesh and blood—nay, not even endurable by flesh and blood unless
sustained by the Spirit of the mighty God.
We leave the Torture-chamber to visit the Inquisition proper. We go eastward, about half a mile, keeping close
to the northern wall of the city, till we come to an old tower, styled in the common parlance of Nuremberg the
Max Tower. We pull the bell, the iron handle and chain of which are seen suspended beside the door-post. The
cicerone appears, carrying a bunch of keys, a lantern, and some half-dozen candles. The lantern is to show us
our way, and the candles are for the purpose of being lighted and stuck up at the turnings in the dark under-
ground passages which we are about to traverse. Should mischance befall our lantern, these tapers, like
beacon-lights in a narrow creek, will pilot us safely back into the day. The cicerone, selecting the largest from
the bunch of keys, inserts it in the lock of the massy portal before which we stand, bolt after bolt is turned, and
the door, with hoarse heavy groan as it turns on its hinge, opens slowly to us. We begin to descend. We go
down one flight of steps; we go down a second flight; we descend yet a third. And now we pause a moment.
The darkness is intense, for here never came the faintest glimmer of day; but a gleam thrown forward from the
lantern showed us that we were arrived at the entrance of a horizontal, narrow passage. We could see, by the
flickering of the light upon its sides and roof, that the corridor we were traversing was hewn out of the rock.
We had gone only a few paces when we were brought up before a massy door. As far as the dim light served
us, we could see the door, old, powdery with dust, and partly worm-eaten. Passing in, the corridor continued,
and we went forward other three paces or so, when we found ourselves before a second door. We opened and
shut it behind us as we did the first. Again we began to thread our way: a third door stopped us. We opened and
closed it in like manner. Every step was carrying us deeper into the heart of the rock, and multiplying the
barriers between us and the upper world. We were shut in with the thick darkness and the awful silence. We
began to realize what must have been the feelings of some unhappy disciple of the Gospel, surprised by the
familiars of the Holy Office, led through the midnight streets of Nuremberg, conducted to Max Tower, led
down flight after flight of stairs, and along this horizontal shaft in the rock, and at every few paces a massy
door, with its locks and bolts, closing behind him! He must have felt how utterly he was beyond the reach of
human pity and human aid. No cry, however piercing, could reach the ear of man through these roofs of rock.
He was entirely in the power of those who had brought him thither.
At last we came to a side-door in the narrow passage. We halted, applied the key, and the door, with its ancient
mold, creaking harshly as if moving on a hinge long disused, opened to let us in. We found ourselves in a
rather roomy chamber, it might be about twelve feet square. This was the Chamber of Question. Along one
side of the apartment ran a low platform. There sat of old the inquisitors, three in number—the first a divine,
the second a casuist, and the third a civilian. The only occupant of that platform was the crucifix, or image of
the Savior on the cross, which still remained. The six candles that usually burned before the “holy Fathers”
were, of course, extinguished, but our lantern supplied their place, and showed us the grim furnishings of the
apartment. In the middle was the horizontal rack or bed of torture, on which the victim was stretched till bone
started from bone, and his dislocated frame became the seat of agony, which was suspended only when it had
reached a pitch that threatened death.
Leaning against the wall of the chamber was the upright rack, which is simpler, but as an instrument of torture
not less effectual, than the horizontal one. There was the iron chain which wound over a pulley, and hauled up
the victim to the vaulted roof; and there were the two great stone weights which, tied to his feet, and the iron
cord let go, brought him down with a jerk that dislocated his limbs, while the spiky rollers, which he grazed in
his descent, cut into and excoriated his back, leaving his body a bloody, dislocated mass.6
Here, too, was the cradle of which we have made mention above, amply garnished within with cruel knobs, on
which the sufferer, tied hand and foot, was thrown at every movement of the machine, to be bruised all over,
and brought forth discoloured, swollen, bleeding, but still living.
All round, ready to hand, were hung the minor instruments of torture. There were screws and thumbkins for
the fingers, spiked collars for the neck, iron boots for the legs, gags for the mouth, cloths to cover the face, and
permit the slow percolation of water, drop by drop, down the throat of the person undergoing this form of
torture. There were rollers set round with spikes, for bruising the arms and back; there were iron scourges,
pincers, and tongs for tearing out the tongue, slitting the nose and ears, and otherwise disfiguring and man-
gling the body till it was horrible and horrifying to look upon it. There were other things of which an expert
only could tell the name and the use. Had these instruments a tongue, and could the history of this chamber be
written, how awful the tale!
We shall suppose that all this has been gone through; that the confessor has been stretched on the bed of
torture; has been gashed, broken, mangled, and yet, by power given him from above, has not denied his
Savior: he has been “tortured not accepting deliverance:” what further punishment has the Holy Office in
reserve for those from whom its torments have failed to extort a recantation? These dreadful dungeons furnish
us with the means of answering this question.
We return to the narrow passage, and go forward a little way. Every few paces there comes a door, originally
strong and massy, and garnished with great iron knobs but now old and moldy, and creaking when opened
with a noise painfully loud in the deep stillness. The windings are numerous, but at every turning of the
passage a lighted candle is placed, lest peradventure the way should be missed, and the road back to the living
world be lost for ever. A few steps are taken downwards, very cautiously, for a lantern can barely show the
ground. Here there is a vaulted chamber, entirely dug out of the living rock, except the roof, which is formed
of hewn stone. It contains an iron image of the Virgin; and on the opposite wall, suspended by an iron hook, is
a lamp, which when lighted shows the goodly proportions of “Our Lady.” On the instant of touching a spring
the image flings open its arms, which resemble the doors of a cupboard, and which are seen to be stuck full on
the inside with poignards, each about a foot in length. Some of these knives are so placed as to enter the eyes
of those whom the image enfolded in its embrace, others are set so as to penetrate the ears and brain, others to
pierce the breast, and others again to gore the abdomen.
The person who had passed through the terrible ordeal of the Question-chamber, but had made no recantation,
would be led along the tortuous passage by which we had come, and ushered into this vault, where the first
object that would greet his eye, the pale light of the lamp falling on it, would be the iron Virgin. He would be
bidden to stand right in front of the image. The spring would be touched by the executioner — the Virgin
would fling open her arms, and the wretched victim would straightway be forced within them. Another spring
was then touched — the Virgin closed upon her victim; a strong wooden beam, fastened at one end to the wall
by a movable joint, the other placed against the doors of the iron image, was worked by a screw, and as the
beam was pushed out, the spiky arms of the Virgin slowly but irresistibly closed upon the man, cruelly goring
him.
When the dreadful business was ended, it needed not that the executioner should put himself to the trouble of
making the Virgin unclasp the mangled carcass of her victim; provision had been made for its quick and secret
disposal. At the touching of a third spring, the floor of the image would slide aside, and the body of the victim
drop down the mouth of a perpendicular shaft in the rock. We look down this pit, and can see, at a great depth,
the shimmer of water. A canal had been made to flow underneath the vault where stood the iron Virgin, and
when she had done her work upon those who were delivered over to her tender mercies, she let them fall, with
quick descent and sullen plunge, into the canal underneath, where they were floated to the Pegnitz, and from
the Pegnitz to the Rhine, and by the Rhine to the ocean, there to sleep beside the dust of Huss and Jerome.
Footnotes
1Istoria Cone. Trent, lib. 14., cap. 9.
2 Ranke, book. 2., sec. 6, p. 157; Lond., 1847.
3 McCrie’s Italy, p 233; Ed., 1833.
1106
4 Ib., pp. 318—320.
5 The Author was conducted over the Inquisition at Nuremberg in
September, 1871, and wrote the description given of it in the text
immediately thereafter on the spot. Others must have seen it, but he
knows of no one who has described it.
6 The Author has described with greater minuteness the horizontal and
upright racks in his account of the dungeons underneath the Town-house
of Nuremberg. (See ante, book 9, chapter 5, p. 501.)

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