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· The history of the Carmelites is written in the Speculum Carmelitarum, published at Antwerp, in four volumes, in folio, in 1680.
V.4. The Hermits of St. Austin, derive their institute from a bull of Pope Alexander iv. which collected into one order, under that name, several orders of hermits, and prescribed a rule for their government. · V. 5. The four orders, which we have mentioned, are the only orders, which the church has acknowledged to be mendicant. An order is considered to be mendicant, in the proper import of that word, when it has no fixed income, and derives its whole subsistence from casual and uncertain bounty, obtained by personal mendicity. To that, St. Francis did not wish his brethren to have recourse, till they had endeavoured to earn a competent subsistence by labour, and found their earnings insufficient. “ With my own hands,” he says in his testament, “ 1.laboured and wish to, labour; and I earnestly wish all my brethren to labour incessantly, for a decent livelihood. Let those, who have not learned any laborious employment, learn one; not from an improper desire of the profit of labour, but, as a good example, and to keep off idleness: and, when we do not receive the wages of our labour, let us then approach the table of the Lord, and beg from door to door.” But, soon after the decease of St. Francis, the exertions, equally incessant and laborious, of his disciples, for the spiritual welfare of the faithful, appeared, in the universal opinion of the church, to be both incompatible with manual labour, and much more than a compensation to the public, for all they could possibly obtain from it by mendicity. This opinion was unequivocally expressed by St. Thomas of Aquin, and sanctioned by a bull of Pope Nicholas the third. From that time, the friars did not use manual labour as a means of subsistence, but resorted, in the first instance, lo mendicity. In this sense, it was an article of the rule of St. Francis.
It made no part of the original rule of St. Dominic, or of the original rules of the Carmelites, or the Hermits of St. Augustin. Insensibly, however, all of them engrafted it, by particular constitutions on their respective rules; and thus, the four orders, which we have mentioned, became the four mendicant orders ; but St. Francis was the only founder of a religious order, of whose original rule, mendicity was an article.
Experience soon discovered, that many spiritual and many temporal evils attended mendicity. lo consequence of them, some of the Franciscan establishments, and almost all the establishments of the three other orders, began to acquire permanent property. This the church first permitted, and afterwards countenanced; and the Council of Trent, confined mendicity to the Observantines and Capucins.
· In 1534, St. Ignatius of Loyola, laid the foundation of the Society Of Jesus, by the vow, which, with his ten companions, he took in the chapel of Montmartre near Paris. In 1540, and 1543, his Institute was approved by Pope Paul the third. In the history of the life of St. Ignatius, written by Father Bouhours, one of the most elegant works in the French language, the reader will find a succinct account of the constitutions of this celebrated society.
The following character is given of the Society of Jesus, by “ M. Buusset, Ancien Evêque d'Alèth, du Chapitre imperial de Saint Denis, et Conseiller titulaire, de l'Université imperiale," in his very interesting life of Fenelon.
« The Institute of the Jesuits,” (says M. de Bansset) “ to which no other institute ever has been, or ever could be compared, for the energy, the foresight or the depth of conception, which traced its plan and combined its springs of action, was designed in its creation, to embrace within the vast employment of its attributes and functions, all classes, all conditions, all elements, which enter into the harmony or verge of political or religious power. .“ Ascending to the epocha of its establishment, it is easily perceived, that the public and avowed object of the institute in religion, was to defend the Catholic Church against the Luthe
rans and Calvinists; and that its object in politics, was to protect social order, and the established government of every country, against the torrent of anarchical opinions, which always advance on a line with religious innovations. Wherever the Jesuits made themselves heard, they preserved all classes of society in a spirit of order, wisdom and consistence. Called, in their first origination, to the education of the principal families of the state, they extended their cares to the inferior classes : they kept them in the happy habits of religious and moral virtue. Such, particularly, was the useful object of the numerous congregations which they erected, in almost every town, and which they had the talent of connecting with every profession, with every social institution. Simple and easy exercises of piety, familiar instructions, proportioned to every condition, and no wise interfering with the labours or duties of society, served to uphold, in every state of life, that regularity of manners, that spirit of order and subordination, and that wise economy, which preserve peace and harmony in families, and assure the progperity of empires.—The principal towns of France still remember, that there never was more order and tranquillity, more probity in dealings, fewer failures, or less depravation, than while these congregations lasted.
“ Profoundly versed in every branch of knowledge, the Jesuits availed themselves, with great ability, of this circumstance, to acquire the consideration always attached to superior lights and talents. The confidence of all Catholic governments, the sucos cess of their method of instruction, caused the deposit of public. education to pass, almost entirely, into their hands.
“ They had the merit of attracting honour to their religious and moral character, by a severity of manners, a temperance, a nobility, and an individual disinterestedness, which even their enemies could not deny. This is the fairest answer they can make to the satires, which accused them of relaxed morality.
" This body was so perfectly constituted, that it never had. either infancy or old age. We see it, in the first days of its birth, forming establishments in every Catholic state; intrepidly combating all the sects, which spring from Lutheranism; founding
missions in the East, and the deserts of America, and traversing the Chinese, Japanese and Indian seas. The order existed during two centuries, and it still had the full vigour of its maturity, To its latest breath, it was animated by the spirit which gave it birth. It had no original imperfections, which called for a supply of new laws.
“ The emulation, which it occasioned, was one of its necessary effects; and was useful even to its rivals. All of it expired together, and it dragged in its fall, the madmen, who imprudently triumphed in its catastrophe!
166. It will never be explained, by what spirit of giddiness, the governments, of which the Jesuits had best deserved, were so unwisely led to deprive themselves of their most useful defenders, The puerile causes, the laughable accusations, which served as a pretence for their proscription, are now scarcely remembered ; --but it is remembered, that the judges, who declared the whole body convicted of the greatest crinies, could not point out, among all the members, which composed the order, a single guilty individual. The destruction of the Jesuits was a deadly wound to the education of youth, in all Catholic Europe,--a re, markable confession, equally in the mouths of their friends and enemies.
“ The society knew how to make its misfortunes redound to their honour, by supporting them with a noble and tranquil courage. The religious and unconquered resignation of the members of the order, attested the purity of its principles and feelings. These men, who were described so dangerous, so powerful, so vindictive, bowed without a murmur, under the terrible hand that crushed them; they had the generosity to respect and mourn over the weakness of the pontiff destined to sacrifice them. The proscription of them was the essay, and served for the model, of those cruel sports of fury and folly, which destroyed in a moment the wisdom of ages, and devoured in one day the riches of past and future generations.” A complete series of the historians of the Society of Jesus, is given by De Bure, in his Bibliographie Instructive, Histoire Ecclésiastique, section IV.4. 55. Those who read the Provincial Letters, should also
read Father Daniel's Reponse aux Lettres Provinciales, and his Lettres au Père Alexandre. “ No author,” says Doctor Maclaine, in a note (u) to his Translation of Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History, Cent. xv. Part, 1. C. 35., “ has given a more accurate, precise, and clear enumeration of the objections that have been made to the moral doctrine of the Jesuits, and the reproaches that have been cast on their rules of life; and pone, at the same tinye, has defended their cause with more art and dexterity, than the eloquent and ingenious Gabriel Daniel, (a famous member of their order), in a piece entitled, Entretiens de Cléandre et d'Eudoxe." His Lettres au Père Alexandre, are written with still greater point and elegance. Those who read more recent publications against them, should also read
L'Apologie de l'Institut des Jesuites and Mr. Dallas's New Conspiracy against the Jesuiis detected, and briefly exposed, an elegant and able work.
In 1776, the Society of Jesus was suppressed by Pope Clement the Fourteenth.“ In general,” says the author of the Vie privée de Louis XV. Vol. 1v. p. 61., and he cannot be accused of partiality to the Society, “ the more numerous and respectable portion of the community regretted the Jesuits. If the great cause had been heard, with the solemnity and gravity due to its importance, the Jesuits might thus have addressed the magistrates :- You, yes, all you, whose hearts and understandings we have formed, answer, before you condemn us, these Questions! We appeal to the judgment, which you formed of us, in that age, when candour and innocence reigned in our hearts. Now, therefore, come forward and declare, whether in. our schools, in our discourses, or in the tribunal of penance, we ever inculcated to you any of those abominable maxims, with which we are now reproached? Did you ever hear them fall from our lips ? Did you ever read them in the books which we put into your hands ??--Alas! “ continues the same writer," the magistrates said all this to one another In private, they held no other language, but they were no sooner seated on the bench of justice, than they were overpowered by their fanatical and louder brethren."