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By a Bull, dated the 15th of August, 1814, the Society of Jesus, faventibus bonis omnibus, was restored. A fuller acó count of this interesting society has been prepared by the writer of these pages, and inserted in a work, which, in the course of the next year will be submitted to the public, under the title of Historical Memoirs of the Church of France, during the reigns, of Lewis the Fourteenth, Lewis the Fifteenth, Lewis the Sirteenth, the Revolution, and the Restoration of the Monarchy.
The reign of Lewis the Fourteenth was illustrated by several Religious Communities, which, during that period, were either founded or first established in France, Without being bound by religious vows, the members lived in community, in the ob. servance of certain settled rules, and, thus far, had a resemblance to religious orders. Such were the Oratorians, the Lazarists, and the Sulpiciens.
The Oratorians were particularly given to the study of Theology and Sacred Literature, and, possessing Mallebranche, Lami, Simon, Le Brun, and other able writers, attracted, in a high degree, the notice of the public. The Lazarists and Sulpiciens courted obscurity. The character given by M. de Bausset, of the Sulpiciens, in his life of Fenelon, may be applied equally to them and the Lazarists. In perusing it, the reader will probably be put in mind of the beautiful lines, in which the Poet, in his Temple of Fame, (verse 356_366.), describes the smallest tribe he yet had seen. “ Avoiding public notice,” says M. de Bausset, “ engaging in no contest, resigning to others those good works, which confer celebrity, it was their object to be actively einployed in the service of the church, in the most obscure and most humble functions: and, within that modest but useful line of duty, their exertions were uniformly confined. They had numerous establishments in France, and existed 150 years, without the slightest abatement of their first fervor, when at the beginning of the French Revolution, they perished in the general wreck of what was most respectable and holy in France.”
VIII. 1. It remains to give some account of the MILITARY ORDERS OF The Church of Rome. Some time before the first crusade, an hospital was established at Jerusalem, for the relief of the poor pilgrims who resorted there. In 1100, Gerard, the director of it, and his companions, professed themselves members of the order of St. Benedict, and formed a congregation, under the name of St. John the Baptist. It was approved by Pope Pascal II. In 1113, Raymond du Puy, the successor of Gerard, divided the order into three classes ; to the nobles he assigned the profession of arms, for the defence of the faith, and the protection of pilgrims; the ecclesiastics were to exercise the religious functions, for the benefit of the order ; the lay-brothers were to take care of the pilgrims and the sick. These regulations were approved by pope Calixtus II. ; and the order then took the name of Knights of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem. After the loss of the Holy Land they retired to Cyprus : thence to Rhodes : in 1522, that island was taken from them by Solyman the Great: Malta was then given them by the Emperor Charles V.; from that time, they have. generally been known by the appellation of Knights of Malta.
VIII. 2. The order of the Knights Templars was established nearly about the same time, and for the same purposes as that of the Knights of Malta. They took their name from a monastery given them by Baldwin, the second king of Jerusalem, which immediately adjoined the temple in his palace. They were suppressed by the Council of Vienne, in 1312.
VIII. 3. The Teutonic Order was founded on the model of that of the Knights Templars. It was confirmed by Pope Celestine, in 1191. The knights conquered Prussia in 1930, and fixed the head seat of their order at Marienburgh. In 1525, the grand master enibraced the protestant religion : since which time, the head seat of the order has been at Margentheim, in Franconia.
VIII. 4. The original object of the Order of St. Lazurus, was to take care of persons infected with leprosy ; in the course of time, it became a military order. The whole body returned with St. Lewis into Europe, in 1254. Afterwards, it was united in France, with the order of our Lady of Mount Carmel, and in Savoy, with the order of St. Maurice. -All these orders displayed heroic acts of valour, in the enterprises of the Crusaders, to recover the Holy Land.
For the history of the military orders of the church of Rome, the reader may consult, Histoire des Ordres Militaires seculiers et reguliers de l'un et de l'autre sexe, tirées des differens auteurs, et principalement de l'Abbé Giustiniani, avec des figures gravées en taille douce, qui representent leurs habillemens. Ams. 1721, 4 vol. in 8vo.
On the Discipline of the Church of Rome, re
specting the general Perusal of the Scriptures in the vulgar tongue, by the Laity.
This Essay comprises, with some additions, the whole of a first, and extracts from a second and third letter, addressed to Thomas Stonor, Esq., and published in the Gentleman's Magazine, for the month of December, 1813, and the months of Fea bruary and September in the following year. Several replies to them appeared in different nuinbers of the same valuable repository. To those, the writer, being perfectly satisfied with the ground, on which they left the question, made no replication.
As they are now offered to the reader, the substance of these letters may be found to contain some account:
I. Of the ancient discipline of the Church of Rome, respect ing the general perusal of the scriptures by the Laity. II. Some account of the change made in the ancient discipline, in consequence of the troubles occasioned by the Waldenses and Albigenses. III. Some account of the actual state of the discipline of the Church of Rome in this respect. IV. A short statement of the sentiments of some respectable protestant writers on the unrestricted perusal of the scriptures. V. Some observations on the notion, entertained by several protestants, of its being considered by the Roman-catholics to be unlawful to print a
Translation of the scriptures, in a vulgar tongue without notes. VI. Some facts, which show the earnest wish of the Church of Rome to promote the circulation of the scriptures, both in the original languages and in translations. VII. Some facts which show the groundlessness of the charge brought against the Church of Rome, that she did not allow translations of the Bible, into vulgar tongues, to be printed, till she was forced to it against her will, by the protestant translations. VIII. Some account of the English Roman-catholic versions of the Bible... IX. Some observations on the harsh expressions, charged on the notes to the Rheimish version of the Bible, and the edition of it by Doctor Challoner. X. A suggestion of the rules which should be constantly observed in polemic controversy. XI. And of a rule, particularly to be observed in controversies with Roman-catholics. These observations having been drawn up originally in the nature of a letter, it is hoped that the frequent introduction in thein of the pronoun of the first person will be excused.
The early discipline of the Church of Rome in respect to the perusıl of the scripture, by the general body of the Laity, has varied. On this head, I cannot do better than extract the following passages from a letter of Fenelon to the Bishop of Arras, (Oeuvres Spirituels de Fenelon, 8vo. Tom. 4. p. 241.) “I think,” says the illustrious prelate, “that much trouble has been taken in our times very unnecessarily, to prove what is incontestible, that, in the first ages of the church, the laity read the holy scriptures. It is clear as daylight, that all people read the Bible and Liturgy in their native languages : that, as a part of good education, children were made to read them; that, in their sermons, the ministers of the church regularly explained to their flocks whole books of the sacred volumes; that the sacred text of the scriptures was very familiar to the people; that the clergy exhorted the people to read them; that the clergy