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where, after the service of the mass, they bound themselves by solemn oath, to proceed to the Holy Land ; and failing that, to go wherever the Pope would send them. Having formed this purpose, they did not rush heedlessly and headlong to its accomplishment, for from the very first, the Jesuits “learned to labour and to wait.” They separated with the understanding that, in the spring of 1537, they should again assemble together in the city of Venice. The January of that year found them all faithful to their word at the appointed meeting place, and some of their number were sent to Rome to obtain leave of the Pope to go in the service of the Church to Palestine. Permission was obtained, but the prevalence of war prevented the use of it. The time fixed upon for their departure had passed away, and at last Loyola said to his companions-"Heaven denies the Holy Land to our zeal, notwithstanding that zeal burns with greater fervour day by day; should we not infer from this that God calls us to the conquest of all the countries of the world ?” They went again to Rome to get papal sanction for their wider project. Difficulties beset them, but with that determined spirit which has ever characterised their order they persevered until their prayer was granted, and they were constituted by decree of the Pope, a new order in the Church of Rome, to be called the Society of Jesus.

Misfortunes, it is said, never come alone. Already the great cause, so valiantly championed by Luther, bad received some severe wounds. The religious frenzies of the Anabaptists and others had done much to bring disgrace upon the Reformation, and to make many men fear that this agitation for a free conscience and a purer faith, would end only in the wildest fanaticism and the most utter social disorganisation. It is sad to see how the interests of God's truth were thus imperiled by its professed friends. There were men like Sir Thomas More and Erasmus, who realised the necessity for some reform, but were afraid of all change, when they saw to what excesses many of the so-called reformers were carried. They “would rather bear the ills they had, than fly to others that they knew not of." These lawless and fanatical proceedings, on the part of some of the seceders from the Church of Rome, were undoubtedly of great service to her waning power, and did not a little towards healing the wounds which she had received from the naked sword of the Spirit, wielded by Wickliffe and Luther and Latimer, and other princes of renown in God's ransomed family; but by all the laws of justice, these things ought to have hindered the Church of Rome, and proved a curse to her, for they were nothing but the natural consequences of her unrighteousness-the spawn of her own despotism. It is true the eggs were hatched in the sunshine of the new era, but she was the crocodile that had laid them and left them in the sand, and all the odium of the brood should attach to her, and all the ruin they wrought should be laid to her charge. For centuries she had wilfully and wickedly restrained human thought, and therefore she was fully responsible for all “the fantastic tricks it played before high heaven" when first it recovered its long-lost freedom. If you dam up a river and, against the laws of nature, prevent its free flow, divers disastrous results must follow. Below the barrier the drying up of the stream will deprive much life of its wonted nourishment, while above the barrier the checked waters will accumulate and stagnate, and breed all manner of corruption; and when, by and by, some strong hand comes and takes away the unrighteous restraint, the vast volume of long pent-up waters will break away with furious force, and for a season cover all the surrounding district with a desolating flood. Leave the stream free as God made it; subject only to the laws which He has imposed upon it, and you will neither have stagnating waters at one time, nor destructive floods at another. It will flow on with fertilising power, and having fostered the flowers which grow near its source, its waters will haste away, making sweet music as they go ; winding hither and thither through the valley, as if with an instinctive wisdom and kindness they were earnestly seeking for all languishing life, to kiss it into fresh vigour and beauty.

The history of the Reformation illustrates the proverb about troubles coming in troops. Having already received several heavy blows and sore discouragements by the excesses of foolishly extreme men, it sustained the severest wound of all in the year 1540, when the decree of Pope Paul the Third constituted Loyola and his followers a society devoted to poverty, purity, and labour, and designed to defeat the heretics, to teach little children the tenets of the faith, and to conquer all Pagan countries for the Catholic Church. The Order thus established after much difficulty and delay, speedily became the most successful human organisation the world has ever witnessed. It increased with a swiftness which had characterised no so-called religious movement since the days of Mahomet. The victories of the false prophet were achieved by swords that gave no quarter, and hearts that knew no pity. The methods of early Jesuitism were somewhat different, but its power grew well-nigh as rapidly. Who hath despised the day of small things ? Let him glance again at the marvellous facts. A crippled soldier, clad in pilgrim rags, entered the city of Rome with a few companions, and obtained an audience of the Pope. He sought no other favour than that of being accepted as the willing servant of the imperilled Church. Would the Holy Father allow him and his fellow-labourers to lay down their wills at his feet, and would he send them wherever he thought they could do

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work which needed to be done? The head of the Romish community graciously consented, and in sixty years, these ten men were multiplied into ten thousand, belonging to every European nation; scattered through all the accessible countries of the globe, speaking different languages, and engaged in most diverse occupations, but all obeying one law, and all toiling for the same end-the subjugation of the whole world to the spiritual sovereignty of the Pope. When the sixteenth century dawned, the founder of the Jesuits was but a mere child. Not till forty years of that century were gone, was the Society established. Before ten years of the seventeenth century had passed away, the Order numbered twenty thousand members, and scarcely a sluggard amongst them. It had a hundred colleges for head quarters, and literally its field was the world. India was visited, the walls of China were scaled, and entrance secured into the closely-barred empire of Japan. They lifted the crucifix under the shadows of the Pyramids, and conducted the ritual services of Rome amidst the dreary scenes of Thibet. Following the track of Columbus, they went to the New World, and ultimately planted their stations farther west than the wave of emigration has even yet reached. In the countries that lay around the city of their birth, they wrought more within the first half century of their existence, than the most hopeful could have ventured to anticipate. They helped to bring back the great Rhenish sees to the Papacy, and quickened that Rome-ward impulse to which all the dominions of Austria gradually submitted. One striking proof of their matchless zeal and marvellous success, is found in the fact that even Richard Baxter, contemplating their labours, felt ashamed of what he considered his own comparative lukewarmness and listlessness in a far higher and holier cause. By all Protestant Christendom, Baxter is esteemed to have been one of the

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most illustrious examples of evangelical devotedness that ever adorned the Church of God, and toiled for the salvation of men; yet even he, writing to Eliot the apostle of the Indians, exclaims,-—"These Jesuits shame us all but

you."

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The lives of the Jesuits furnish Christian labourers with many lessons as to what they should avoid. It would be easy to cite a thousand facts which burn like beacon fires to warn us away from perilous places, where these men made shipwreck, if not of their Popish faith, yet of conscience and of character. Several attempts have been made to extenuate their crimes, and to whitewash their dark and stained reputation; but the vast majority of readers will still believe that there is too much truth in those statements, which have made men altogether forget the hallowed derivation, and the originally honourable significance of the term “Jesuit," and to think of it only as a synonym for tortuous policy and remorseless ambition, for a shameless mendacity and a most immoral casuistry. Foremost amongst the warnings of their history must be placed the frequency with which they sought to help what they deemed a righteous cause by what they knew to be unrighteous

One of the three great temptations wherewith the Son of man was assailed, was to win the kingdoms of the world by the worship of the devil. That iniquitous and diabolical suggestion he slew in a moment with the sword of the Spirit. Facts make one fear, that if some of the so-called Society of Jesus had been similarly tempted, they would have forgotten the example of Him whose holy name they had assumed, and would have been willing to bow the knee to Satan, even if less than half the sceptre of the world had been the promised reward of the demon-like idolatry. They told lies in the interests of truth; inflicted cruelties for the sake of charity; and committed many sins to advance

means.

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