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TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH OF J. M. S. DAURIGNAC, prema el
B of mine, Online
VOLUME È.. :
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1865, :
BY JOHN P. WALSH, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the
Southern District of Ohio,
POTYPED AT THE
EVERY one has heard of the Jesuits: throughout the whole civilized world they are either hated or beloved. No one de spises them; to no intelligent man is the society an object of simple indifference. To some it is inexpressibly odious; in many souls it begets tender reverence and affectionate gratitude.
The Jesuits are talked of by many; they are known by few. Nor has it, hitherto, been easy for those not brought into actual contact with them to know them as they are. The history of the society, by Crétineau Joly, has been before the world for some years; but, independently of its great length, which deters the general reader from attempting it, it is a sealed book to the many who are not familiar with the language of its author.
The translator of the more popular sketch, recently published in France, by M. Daurignac, has thought that, by offering this work to the public in an English dress, he would be supplying a void in our literature, and rendering a service likely to be appreciated by that large class who are interested in the history of our modern civilization, and who desire that such information as they possess should be derived from authentic sources, and be reliable and precise, so far as it goes.
He has supposed that a natural curiosity may well exist to know something of a society of which so much is said; whose missionaries, theologians, philosophers, orators; whose students and writers in every department of literature and science; whose saints and whose sages have, for three centuries, been foremost in the palaces of kings and the hovels of the poor, in the cell of the prisoner and in the trackless forests of a newly. discovered world, in the council chambers of statesmen and in
the retreats of learning; who have dared all things, endured all things, hoped all things; who have set the world an exam. ple of courage which has never been surpassed, of humility and obedience which have never been equalled; who, prudent as serpents and harmless as doves, perseveringly in every clime—and what region of the earth is not full of their labors ?-amid all the changes and chances of this mortal life, have made themselves all things to all men, in order that by all means they might gain to Christ a few—their watch word, the maxim of their great founder, “FOR THE GREATER GLORY of God.”
Their founder, a man of the world and a soldier, in middle age so full of the vanities of the world, that he compelled his surgeon to inflict upon him repeated and agonizing tortures, in the hope of avoiding thereby a trifling disfigurement-so ignorant of Christian morals, that he was saved, apparently by a mere accident, from committing murder to avenge an insult to his faith; so illiterate that he had never had the Latin gram. mar in his hand-renounced in an instant, utterly and forever, the world which he had so much loved, became the spiritual father of theologians, the momentum of whose onset drove back the hosts of error, thereby staying the plague of atheism, and hemming in the torrents of heresy, in Europe, within the bounds which it occupied when the society was formed, and beyond which it has not, to this day, surged, and, finally, stood forth the father of the most learned and most distinguished literary corporation that the world has ever seen.
Of this wonderful society, what is thought by the mass of those who visit it with their groundless dislike, may. probably be summed up in the definition of the word “Jesuit," given by Noah Webster, a man whose definitions are seldom offensively erroneous, and who has certainly not gone intentionally out of his way to attack, under cover of explanation. He says that a Jesuit is, “Ist, one of the Society of Jesus, so called—a society remarkable for their cunning in propagating their principles; 2d, a crafty person, an intriguer.” And we believe Dr. Webster to have been in simple good faith in giving that definition. He was a learned man, after