Secret Instructions of the Jesuits – Revealed at Last!!

The Secret Instructions were first discovered during the 30 Years’ War when the Duke of Brunswick plundered the Jesuit’s college at Paderborn in Westphalia and made a present of their library to the Capuchins of the same town. Soon after reprints and translations appeared all over Europe.

The text of the Secret Instructions of the Society of Jesus reproduced here was found beneath the pallet on an adobe bed in a cottage in the Andes Mountains of Peru about a century ago. Students of the Incas recall that prior to the expedition of the National Geographic Magazine under Hiram Gingham, in 1911, archeologists from European countries probed the ruins of this people, one of the greatest civilizations in history.

In 1870 a French archeologist slipped unobtrusively into the office of the Secretary of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry in San Francisco, California. He had been sent into the remote recesses of the Andes, where Pizarro and his army had conquered the Incas more than three centuries before. He had rented a room in a tiny village. This he used as a base of his operations. To this spot he returned periodically to rest from the dangerously high altitudes and to write his reports for shipment back to France. While he was away, the family frequently rented the same room to overnight guests. One of these happened to be a Jesuit official. On his departure he forgot a little book which he had hidden under the mattress. The French archeologist accidentally found it. It was the Secret Instructions of the Society of Jesus—the top classified manual of procedure for the trusted leaders of the Jesuit Order. It was in Latin and bore the seal, signature and attestation of the General and Secretary of the Order in Rome.

For the next few days the Frenchman labored furiously translating the work in stenographic notes into French. He then replaced the book and left. The Jesuit returned in a few days inquiring nervously about his little black packet. He also wanted to know if anyone had occupied the room since his departure. On learning of the archeologist he began a search so relentless that the Frenchman had to leave Peru. He finally reached San Francisco and entrusted his precious but dangerous burden to Edwin A. Sherman, the Secretary of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry in California. Mr. Sherman included the Secret Instructions in his book The Engineer Corps of Hell published in 1882. For several years Edwin Sherman was the Masonic Historian of California. He was highly esteemed for his great accuracy and dependability.


The Secret Instructions


These particular instructions must be guarded and kept with careful attention by the superiors, communicated with prudent caution to a few of the professors; in the meantime there does not exist any other thing so good for the Society; but we are charged with the most profound silence, and to make a false show, should they be written by any one though founded in the experience we have had. As there are various professors who are in these secrets, the Society has fixed the rule, that those who know these reserved instructions that they cannot pass in any one religious Order, whether it be of the Carthusians, to cause them to retire from that in which they live, and the inviolable silence with which they are to be guarded, all of which has been confirmed by the Holy See. Much care must be taken that they do not get out; for these counsels in the hands of strange persons to the Society, because they will give a sinister interpretation invidious to our situation. If (unless God does not permit) we reach success, we must openly deny that the Society shelters such thoughts and to take care that it is so affirmed by those of the Society, that they are ignorant by not having been communicated, which they can protest with truth, that they know nothing of such instructions; and that there does not exist other than the general printed or manuscripts, which they can present, to cause any doubt to vanish. The superiors must with prudence and discretion, inquire if any of the Society have shown these instructions to strangers; for neither for himself, or for another, they must be copied by no one, without permission of the General or of the Provincial; and when it is feared that anyone has given notice of these instructions, we shall not be able to guard so rigorous a secret; and we must assert to the contrary, all that is said in them, it will be so given to be understood, that they only show to all, to be proved, and afterwards they will be dismissed.




1. To capture the will of the inhabitants of a country, it is very important to manifest the intent of the Society, in the manner prescribed in the regulations in which it is said, that the Society must labour with such ardour and force for the salvation of their neighbour as for themselves. For the better inducement of this idea, the most opportunely that we practice the most humble offices, visiting the poor, the afflicted, and the imprisoned. It is very convenient to confess with much promptness, and to hear the confessions, showing indifference, without teasing the penitents; for this, the most notable inhabitants will admire our fathers and esteem them; for the great charity they have for all, and the novelty of the subject.

2. To have in mind that it is necessary to ask with religious modesty, the means for exercising the duties of the Society, and that it is needful to procure and acquire benevolence, principally of the secular ecclesiastics, and of persons of authority, that may be conceived necessary.

3. When called to go to the most distant places, where alms are to be received, they are to be accepted, no matter how small they may be, after having marked out the necessities of ourselves. Notwithstanding, it will be very convenient at the moment to give those alms to the poor, for the edification of those who do not have an exact understanding of the Society; and, but we must in advance be more liberal with ourselves.

4. All must labour as if we were inspired by the same spirit; and each one must study to acquire the same styles, with the object of uniformity among so great a number of persons, edifying the whole; those who do the contrary must be expelled as pernicious.

5. In a beginning it is not convenient to purchase property; but in case they can be found, some good sites may be bought, saying that they are to belong to other persons, using the names of some faithful friends, who will guard the secret. The better to make our poverty apparent, the property nearest our college must belong to colleges the most distant, that we can prevent the princes and magistrates from ever knowing that the income of the Society has a fixed point.

6. We must not ourselves go out to reside to form colleges, except to the rich cities; for in this we must imitate Christ, who remained in Jerusalem; and as he alone, passed by the less considerable populations.

7. We must obtain and acquire of the widows all the money that we can, presenting ourselves at repeated times to their sight our extreme necessity.

8. The Superior over each province is the one to whom we must account with certainty, the income of the same; but the amount to the treasurer at Rome, it is, and must always be, an impenetrable mystery.

9. It is for us to preach and say in all parts and in all conversations, that we have come to teach the young and aid the people; and this without interest in any single species and without exception of persons, and that we are not so onerous to the people as other religious orders.




1. It is necessary to do all that is possible to gain completely the attentions and affections of princes and persons of the most consideration; for that, who, being on the outside, but in advance, all of them will be constituted our defenders.

2. As we have learned by experience that princes and potentates are generally inclined to the favour of the ecclesiastics, when these disseminate their odious actions, and when they give an interpretation that they favour, as is to be noted among the married, contract with their relations or allies; or in other similar things; assembling much with them, to animate those who may be found in this case, saying to them that we confide in the assurance of the exemptions, that by intervention of us fathers, which the Pope will concede, if he is made to see the causes, and will present other examples of similar things, exhibiting at the same time the sentiments that we favour, under the pretext of the common good and THE GREATER GLORY OF GOD that is the object of the Society.

3. If at this same assembly the prince treats of doing something, that will not be agreeable to all the great men, for which we are to stir up and investigate, meanwhile, counselling others to conform with the prince, without ever descending to treat of particulars, for fear there may not be a successful issue of the matter, for which the Society will be imputed blame; and for this, if this action shall be disapproved, there will be advertences presented to the contrary that may be absolutely prohibited and put in jeopardy, the authority of some of the fathers, of whom it can be said with certainty, that they have not had notice of the Secret Instructions; for that, it can be affirmed with an oath, that the calumny to the Society, is not true in respect to that which is imputed to it.

4. To gain the good will of Princes, it will be very convenient to insinuate with skill; and for third persons, that we fathers, are a means to discharge honourable and favourable duties in the courts of other kings and princes, and more than any one else in that of the Pope. By this means we can recommend ourselves and the Society; for the same, no one must be charged with this commission but the most zealous persons and well versed in our institute.

5. Aiming especially to bring over the will of the favourites of princes and of their servants, by means of presents and pious offices, that they may give faithful notice to us fathers of the character and inclinations of the princes and great men. Of this manner the Society can gain with facility as much to one as to others.

6. The experience we have had, has made us acquainted with the many advantages that have been taken by the Society of its intervention in the marriages of the House of Austria, and of those which have been effected in other kingdoms, France, Poland, and in various duchies. Forasmuch assembling, proposing with prudence, selecting choice persons who may be friends and families of the relatives, and of the friends of the Society.

7. It will be easy to gain the princesses, making use of their valets; by that, coming to feed and nourish with relations of friendship, by being located at the entrance in all parts, and thus become acquainted with the most intimate secrets of the familiars.

8. In regard to the direction of the consciences of great men, we confessors must follow the writers who concede the greater liberty of conscience. The contrary of this is to appear too religious; for that they will decide to leave others and submit entirely to our direction and counsels.

9. It is necessary to make reference to all the merits of the Society; to the princes and prelates, and to as many as can lend much aid to the Society, after having shown the transcendence of its great privileges.

10. Also, it will be useful to demonstrate, with prudence and skill, such ample power which the Society has, to absolve, even in the reserved cases, compared with that of other pastors and priests; also, that of dispensing with the fasts, and of the rights which they must ask and pay, in the impediments of marriage, by which means many persons will recur to us, whom it will be our duty to make agreeable.

11. It is not the less useful to invite them to our sermons, assemblies, harangues, declamations, etc., composing odes in their honour, dedicating literary works or conclusions; and if we can for the future, give dinners and greetings of divers modes.

12. It will be very convenient to take to our care the reconciliation of the great, in the quarrels and enmities that divide them; then by this method we can enter, little by little, into the acquaintance of their most intimate friends and secrets; and we can serve ourselves to that party which will be most in favour of that which we present.

13. If there should be some one at the service of a monarch or prince, and he were an enemy of our Society, it is necessary to procure well for ourselves better than for others, making him a friend, employing promises, favours, and advances, which shall be in proportion to the same monarch or prince.

14. No one shall recommend to a prince any one, nor make advances to any who have gone out from us, being outside of our Society, and in particular to those who voluntarily verified, for yet when they dissimulate they will always maintain an inextinguishable hatred to the Society.

In fine, each one must procure and search for methods to increase the affection and favour of princes, of the powerful, and of the magistrates of each population, that whenever occasion is offered to support, we can do much with efficacy and good faith, in benefiting ourselves, though contrary to their relations, allies and friends.




1. The care consigned to us, that we must do all that is possible, for to conquer the great; but it is also necessary to gain their favour to combat our enemies.

2. It is very conducive to value their authority, prudence and counsels, and induce them to despise wealth, at the same time that we procure gain and employ those that can redeem the Society; tacitly valuing their names, for acquisition of temporal goods if they inspire sufficient confidence

3. It is also necessary to employ the ascendant of the powerful, to temper the malevolence of the persons of a lower sphere and of the rabble against our Society.

4. It is necessary to utilize, whenever we can, the bishops, prelates and other superior ecclesiastics, according to the diversity of reason, and the inclination we manifest.

5. In some points it will be sufficient to obtain of the prelates and curates, that which it is possible to do, that their subjects respect the society; and that obstructing the exercise of its functions among those who have the greatest power, as in Germany, Poland, etc. It will be necessary to exhibit the most distinguished attentions for that, mediating its authority and that of the princes, monasteries, parishes, prorates, patronates, the foundations of the churches and the pious places, can come to our power. Because we can with more facility where the Catholics will be found mixed with heretics. It is necessary to make such prelates see the utility and merit that we have in all this, and that never will they have so much valuation from the priests, friars, and for the future from the faithful. If making these changes, it is necessary to publicly praise their zeal, although written, and to perpetuate the memory of their actions.

6. For this it is necessary to labour, to the end, that the prelates will place in the hands of us fathers, as confessors and counsellors; and if they aspire to more elevated positions in the Court of Rome, we must unite in their favour and aid their pretensions with all our forces, and by means of our influence.

7. We must be watchful that when the bishops are instituting principal colleges arid parochial churches, that the faculties are taken from the Society, and placed in both vicarious establishments, with the charge of cures, and that the Superior of the Society to be, that all the government of these churches shall pertain to us, and that the parishioners shall be our subjects, of the method that all can be placed in them.

8. Where there are those of the academies who have been driven out from us, and are contrary; where the Catholics or the heretics obstruct our installation, we will compound with the prelates, and make ourselves the owners of the first cathedrals; for thus shall we make them to know the necessities of the Society.

9. Over all, we must be very certain to procure the protection and affection of the prelates of the Church, for the cases of beatification or canonization of ourselves; in whose subjects convened further, to obtain letters from the powerful and of the princes, that the decisions may be promptly attained in the Catholic Court.

10. If it shall be accounted that the prelates or magnates should send commissioned representatives, we must put forth all ardour, that no other priests, who are in dispute with us, shall be sent; for the reason, that they shall not communicate their animadversion, discrediting us in the cities and provinces we inhabit; and that if they pass by other provinces and cities, where there are colleges, they will be received with affection and kindness, and be so splendidly treated as a religious modesty will permit.




1. Those of us who may be directed to the princes and illustrious men, of the manner in which we must appear before them, with inclination united to the greater glory of God, obtaining—with its austerity of conscience, that the same princes are persuaded of it; for this direction we must not travel in a principle to the exterior or political government, but gradually and imperceptibly.

2. Forasmuch there will be opportunity and conducive notices at repeated times, that the distribution of honours and dignities in the Republic is an act of justice; and that in a great manner it will be offending God, if the princes do not examine themselves and cease carrying their passions, protesting to the same with frequency and severity, that we do not desire to mix in the administration of the State; but when it shall become necessary to so express ourselves thus, to have your weight to fill the mission that is recommended. Directly that the sovereigns are well convinced of this, it will be very convenient to give an idea of the virtues that may be found to adorn those that are selected for the dignities and principal public changes; procuring then and recommending the true friends of the Society; notwithstanding, we must not make it openly for ourselves, but by means of our friends who have intimacy with the prince that it is not for us to talk him into the disposition of making them.

3. For this watchfulness our friends must instruct the confessors and preachers of the Society near the persons capable of discharging any duty, that over all, they must be generous to the Society; they must also keep their names, that they may insinuate with skill, and upon opportune occasions to princes, well for themselves or by means of others.

4. The preachers and confessors will always present themselves so that they must comport with the princes, lovable and affectionate, without ever shocking them in sermons, nor in particular conversations, presenting that which rejects all fear, and exhorting them in particular to faith, hope and justice.

5. Never receive gifts made to any one in particular, but that for the contrary; but picture the distress in which the Society or college may be found, as all are alike; having to be satisfied with assigning each one a room in the house, modestly furnished; and noticing that your garb is not over nice; and assist with promptness to the aid and counsel of the most miserable persons of the palace; but that you do not say it of them, but only those who have agreed to serve the powerful.

6. Whenever the death occurs of any one employed in the palace, we must take care of speaking with anticipation, that they fail in the nomination of a successor, in their affection for the Society; but giving no appearance to cause suspicion that it was the intent of usurping the government of the prince; for which, it must not be from us that it is said; take a part direct; but assembling of faithful or influential friends who may be found in a position of rousing the hate of one and another until they become inflamed.




1. It is necessary to help with valour these persons, and manifest in their due time to the princes and lords that are always ours, and being constituted in power, that our Society contains essentially the perfection of all the other orders, with the exception of singing and manifesting an exterior of austerity in the mode of life and in dress; and that if in some points they excel the communities of the Society, this shines with greater splendour in the Church of God.

2. We must inquire into and note the defects of the other fathers (non-Jesuit priests), and when we find them, we must divulge them among our faithful friends, as condoling over them; we must show that such fathers do not discharge with certainty, that we do ourselves the functions, that some and others recommend.

3. It is necessary that the fathers of our Society oppose with all their power the other fathers who intend to found houses of education to instruct the youths among the populations where ours are found teaching with acceptation and approval; and it will be very convenient to indicate our projects to princes and magistrates, that such people will excite disturbances and commotions if they are not prohibited from teaching; and that in the last result, the damage will fall upon the educated, by being instructed by a bad method, without any necessity; posting them that the Society is sufficient to teach the youth. In case the fathers bear letters of the Pontificate, or recommendations from the Cardinals, we must work in opposition to them, making the princes and great men to point out to the Pope the merits of the Society and its intelligence for the pacific instruction of the youths, to which end, we must have and obtain certifications of the authorities upon our good conduct and sufficiency.

4. Having notwithstanding to form duties, our fathers in displaying singular proofs of our virtue and erudition, making them to exercise the alumni (graduates) in their studies in methods of functions, scholars of diversion, capable of drawing applause, making for supposition, these representations in the presence of the great magistrates and concurrence of other classes.




1. We must elect effective fathers already advanced in years, of lively complexion and conversation, agreeable to visit these ladies, and whence they can promptly note in them appreciation or affection for our Society; making offerings of good works and the merits of the same; that, if they accept them, and succeed in having them frequent our temples, we must assign to them a confessor, who will be able of guiding them in the ways that are proper, in the state of widowhood, making the enumeration and praises of satisfaction that should accompany such a state; making them believe and yet with certainty that they who serve as such, is a merit for eternal life, being efficacious to relieve them from the pains of purgatory.

2. The same confessor will propose to them to make and adorn a little chapel or oratory in their own house, to confirm their religious exercises, because by this method we can shorten the communication, more easily hindering those who visit others; although if they have a particular chaplain, and will content to go to him to celebrate the mass, making opportune advertencies to her who confesses, to the effect and treating her as being left to be overpowered by said Chaplain.

3. We must endeavour skilfully but gently to cause them to change respectively to the Order and to the method of the House, and to conform as the circumstances of the person will permit, to whom they are directed, their propensities, their piety, and yet to the place and situation of the edifice.

4. We must not omit to have removed, little by little, the servants of the house that are not of the same mind with ourselves, proposing that they be replaced by those persons who are dependent on us, or who desire to be of the Society; for by this method we can be placed in the channel of communication of whatever passes in the family.

5. The constant watch of the confessor will have to be, that the widow shall be disposed to depend on him totally, representing that her advances in grace are necessarily bound to this submission.

6. We are to induce her to the frequency of the sacraments, and especially that of penitence, making her to give account of her deeper thoughts and intentions; inviting her to listen to her confessor, when he is to preach particular promising orations; recommending equally the recitation each day of the litanies and the examination of conscience.

7. It will be very necessary in the case of a general confession, to enter extensively into all of her inclinations; for that it will be to determine her, although she may be found in the hands of others.

8. Insist upon the advantages of widowhood, and the inconvenience of marriage; in particular that of a repeated one, and the dangers to which she will be exposed, relatively to her particular businesses into which we are desirous of penetrating.

9. We must cause her to talk of men whom she dislikes, and to see if she takes notice of anyone who is agreeable, and represent to her that he is a man of bad life; procuring by these means disgust of one and another, and repugnant to unite with anyone.

10. When the confessor has become convinced that she has decided to follow the life of widowhood, he must then proceed to counsel her to dedicate herself to a spiritual life, but not to a monastic one, whose lack of accommodations will show how they live; in a word, we must proceed to speak of the spiritual life of Pauline and of Eustace, &c. The confessor will conduct her at last, that having devoted the widow to chastity, to not less than for two or three years, she will then be made to renounce a second nuptial forever.

In this case she will be found to have discarded all sorts of relations with men, and even the diversions between her relatives and acquaintances, we must protest that she must unite more closely to God. With regard to the ecclesiastics who visit her, or to whom she goes out to visit, when we cannot keep her separate and apart from all others, we must labour that those with whom she treats shall be recommended by ourselves or by those who are devoted to us.

11. In this state, we must inspire her to give alms, under the direction, as she will suppose, or her spiritual father; then it is of great importance that they shall be employed with utility; more, being careful that there shall be discretion in counsel, causing her to see that inconsiderate alms are the frequent causes of many sins, or serve to foment at last, that they are not the fruit, nor the merit which produced them.




1. It will be necessary to inspire her to continue to persevere in her devotion and the exercise of good works and of disposition, in not permitting a week to pass, to give away some part of her over plus, in honour of Jesus Christ, of the Holy Virgin and of the Saint she has chosen for her patron; giving this to the poor of the Society or for the ornamenting of its churches, until she has absolutely disposed of the first fruits of her property as in other times did the Egyptians.

2. When the widows, the more generally to practice their alms, must be given to know with perseverance, their liberality in favour of the Society; and they are to be assured that they are participants in all the merits of the same, and of the particular indulgences of the Provincial; and if they are persons of much consideration, of the General of the Order.

3. The widows who having made vows of chastity, it will be necessary for them to renew them twice per annum, conforming to the custom that we have established; but permitting them notwithstanding, that day some honest freedom from restraint by our fathers.

4. They must be frequently visited, treating them agreeably; referring them to spiritual and diverting histories, conformable to the character and inclination of each one.

5. But that they may not abate, we must not use too much rigor with them in the confessional; that it may not be, that they by having empowered others of their benevolence, that we do not lose confidence of recovering their adhesion, having to proceed in all cases with great skill and caution, being aware of the inconstancy natural to woman.

6. It is necessary to have them do away with the habit of frequenting other churches, in particular those of convents; for which it is necessary to often remind them, that in our Order there are possessed many indulgences that are to be obtained only partially by all the other religious corporations.

7. To those who may be found in the case of the garb of mourning, they will be counselled to dress a little more agreeable, that they may at the same time, unite the aspect of mourning with that of adornment, to draw them away from the idea of being found directed by a man who has become a stranger to the world. Also with such, that they may not be very much endangered, or particularly exposed to volubility, we can concede to them, as if they maintained their consequence and liberality, for and with the Society, that which drives sensuality away from them, being with moderation and without scandal.

8. We must manage that in the houses of the widows there shall be honourable young ladies, of rich and noble families; that little by little they become accustomed to our direction and mode of life; and that they are given a director elected and established by the confessor of the family, to be permanently and always subject to all the reprehensions and habits of the Society; and if any do not wish to submit to all they must be sent to the houses of their fathers, or to those from which they were brought, accusing them directly of extravagance and of glaring and stained character.

9. The care of the health of the widows, and to proportion some amusement, it is not the least important that we should care for their salvation; and so, if they complain of some indisposition, we must prohibit the fast, the hair cloth girdle, and the discipline, without permitting them to go to church; further continue the direction, cautiously and secretly with such, that they may be examined in their houses; if they are given admission into the garden, and edifice of the college, with secrecy; and if they consent to converse and secretly entertain with those that they prefer.

10. To the end that we may obtain, that the widows employ their utmost obsequiousness to the Society, it is the duty to represent to them the perfection of the life of the holy, who have renounced the world, estranged themselves from their relations, and despising their fortunes, consecrating themselves to the service of the Supreme Being with entire resignation and content. It will be necessary to produce the same effect, that those who turn away to the Constitutions of the Society, and their relative examination to the abandonment of all things. We must cite examples of the widows who have reached holiness in a very short time; giving hopes of their being canonized, if their perseverance does not decay; and promising for their cases our influence with the Holy Father.

11. We must impress in their souls the persuasion that, if they desire to enjoy complete tranquillity of conscience it will be necessary for them to follow without repugnance, without murmuring, nor tiring, the direction of the confessor, so in the spiritual, as in the eternal, that she may be found destined to the same God, by their guidance.

12. Also we must direct with opportunity, that the Lord does not desire that they should give alms, nor yet to fathers of an exemplary life, known and approved, without consulting beforehand with their confessor, and regulating the dictation of the same.

13. The confessors must take the greatest care, that the widows and their daughters of the confessional, do not go to see other fathers (i.e. non-Jesuit priests) under any pretext, nor with them. For this, we must praise our Society as the Order most illustrious of them all; of greater utility in the Church, and of greater authority with the Pope and with the princes; perfection in itself; then dismiss the dream of them, and menace them, that we can, and that we are no correspondents to them, we can say, that we do not consent to froth and do as among other monks who count in their convents many ignorant, stupid loungers who are indolent in regard to the other life, and intriguers in that to disorder, &c.

14. The confessors must propose and persuade the widows to assign ordinary pensions and other annual quotas to the colleges and houses of profession for their sustenance with especially to the professed house at Rome; and not forgetting to remind them of the restoration of the ornaments of the temples and replenishing of the wax, the wine, and other necessaries for the celebration of the mass.

15. If they do not make relinquishment of their property to the Society, it will be made manifest to them, on apparent occasion in particular, when they are found to be sick, or in danger of death; that there are many colleges to be founded; and that they may be excited with sweetness and disinterestedness, to make some disbursements as merit for God, and in that they can found his eternal glory.

16. In the same manner, we must proceed with regard to princes and other well doers, making them to see that such foundations will be made to perpetuate their memory in this world, and gain eternal happiness, and if some malevolent persons adduce the example of Jesus Christ, saying, that then he had no place to recline his head, the Society bearing his name should be poor in imitation of himself, we must make it known and imprint it in the imagination of those, and of all the world, that the Church has varied, and that in this day we have become a State; and we must show authority and grand measures against its enemies that are very powerful, or like that little stone prognosticated by the prophet, that, divided, came to be a great mountain. Inculcate constantly to the widows who dedicate their alms and ornaments to the temples, that the greater perfection is in disposing of the affection and earthly things, ceding their possession to Jesus Christ and his companions.

17. Being very little, that which we must promise to the widows, who dedicate and educate their children for the world, we must apply some remedy to it.




I. To secure our object, we must create the custom, that the mothers treat them severely, and show to them, that we are in love with them. Coming to induce the mothers to do away with their tastes, from the most tender age, and regarding, restraining, &c., &c., the children especially; prohibiting decorations and adornments when they enter upon competent age; that they are inspired in the vocation for the cloister, promising them an endowment of consideration, if they embrace a similar state; representing to them the insipidity that is brought with matrimony, and the disgust that has been experienced in it; signifying to them the weight they would sit under, for not having maintained in the celibate. Lastly, coming to direct in the conclusions arrived at by the daughters of the widows, so fastidious of living with their mothers, that their feet will be directed to enter into a convent.

2. We must make ourselves intimate with the sons of the widows, and if for them an object or the Society, and cause them to penetrate the intent of our colleges, making them to see things that can call their attention by whatever mode, such as gardens, vineyards, country houses, and the farm houses where the masters go to recreate; talk to them of the voyages the Jesuits have made to different countries, of their treating with princes, and of much that can capture Me young; cause them to note the cleanliness of the refectory, the commodiousness of the lodges, the agreeable conversation we have among ourselves, the suavity of our rule, and that we have all for the object of the greater glory of God; show to them the pre-eminence of our Order over all the others, taking care that the conversations we have shall be diverting to pass to that of piety.

3. At proposing to then the religious state, have care of doing so, as if by revelation; and in general, insinuating directly with sagacity, the advantage and sweetness of our institute above all others; and in conversation cause them to understand the great sin that will be committed against the vocation of the Most High; in fine, induce them to make some spiritual exercises that they may be enlightened to the choice of this state.

4. We must do all that is possible that the masters and professors of the youth indicated shall be of the Society, to the end, of being always vigilant over these, and counsel them; but if they cannot be reduced, we must cause them to be deprived of some things, causing that their mothers shall manifest their censure and authority of the house, that they may be tired of that sort of life; and if, finally, we cannot obtain their will to enter the Society, we must labour; because we can remand them to other colleges of ours that are at a distance, that they may study, procuring impediment, that their mothers show endearment and affection, at the same time, continuing for our part, in drawing them to us by suavity of methods.




1. We must do all that is possible, because we do not know if bound with the last vow of him, who is the claimant of an inheritance, meanwhile we do not know if it is confirmed, to not be had in the Society a younger brother, or of some other reason of much entity. Before all, that which we must procure, are the augmentations of the Society with rules to the ends agreed upon by the superiors, which must be conformable: for that the Church returns to its primitive splendour for the greater glory of God; of fate that all the clergy shall be found animated by a united spirit. To this end, we must publish by all methods, that the Society is composed in part of professors so poor, that are wanting of the most indispensable, to not be for the beneficence of the faithful; and that another part is of fathers also poor, although living upon the product of some household property; but not to be grievous to the public, in the midst of their studies, their ministry, as are other ordinary mendicants. The spiritual directors of princes, great men, accommodating widows, and of whom we have abundant hope, that they will be disposed at last to make gifts to the Society in exchange for spiritual and eternal things, that will be proportioned, the lands and temporalities which they possess; for the same, carrying always the idea, that we are not to lose the occasion of receiving always as much as may be offered. If promises and the fulfillment of them is retarded, they are to be remembered with precaution, dissimulating as much as we can the coveting of riches. When some confessor of personages or other people, will not be apt, or wants subtlety, that in these subjects is indispensable, he will be retired with opportunity, although others may be placed anticipated; and if it be entirely necessary to the penitents, it will be made necessary to take out the destitute to distant colleges, representing that the Society has need for them there; because it being known that some young widows, having unexpectedly failed, the Society not having the legacy of very precious movables, having been careless by not accepting In due time. But to receive these things, we could not attend at the time, and only at the good will of the penitent.

2. To attract the prelates, canonicals and other rich ecclesiastics, it is necessary to employ certain arts, and in place procuring them to practice in our houses spiritual exercises, and gradually and energetically of the affection that we profess to divine things; so that they will be affectionate towards the Society and that they will soon offer pledges of their adhesion.

3. The confessors must not forget to ask with the greatest caution and on adequate occasions of those who confess, what are their names, families, relatives, friends, and properties, informing their successors who follow them, the state, intention in which they will be found, and the resolution which they have taken; that which they have not yet determined obtaining, having to form a plan for the future to the Society. When it is founded, whence directly there are hopes of utility; for it will not be convenient to ask all at once; they will be counselled to make their confession each week, to disembarrass the conscience much before, or to the title of penitence. They will be caused to inform the confessor with repetition, of that which at one time they have not given sufficient light; and if they have been successful by this means, she will come, being a woman, to make confession with frequency, and visit our church; and being a man, he will be invited to our houses and we are to make him familiar with ourselves.

4. That which is said in regard to widows, must have equal application to the merchants and neighbours of all classes, as being rich and married, but without children, of that plan by which the Society can arrive to be their heirs, if we put in play the measures that we may indicate; but over all, it will be well to have present, as said, near the rich devotees that treat with us, and of whom the vulgar can murmur, when more, if they are of a class not very elevated.

5. Procuring for the rectors of the colleges entrance for all the ways of the houses, parks, groves, forests, lawns, arable lands, vineyards, olive orchards, hunting grounds, and whatever species of inheritances which they meet with in the end of their rectory; if their owners pertain to the nobility, to the clergy, or are negotiators, particulars, or religious communities, inquiring the revenues of each one, their loads and what they pay for them. All these dates or notices they are to seek for with great skill and to a fixed pout, energetically yet from the confessional, then of the relations of friendship, or of the accidental conversations; and the confessor meets with a penitent of possible, he will be placed in knowledge of the rector, obtaining by all methods the one conserved.

6. The essential point to build upon, is the following: that we must so manage, that in the ends we gain the will and affections of our penitents, and other persons with whom we treat, accommodating ourselves to their inclinations if they are conducive. The Provincials will take care to direct some of us to points, in which reside the nobility and the powerful; and if the Provincials do not act with opportunity, the rectors must notice with anticipation, the crops (the field of operations) that are there, which we go to examine.

7. When we receive the sons of strong houses in the Society, they must show whether they will be easy to acquire the contracts and titles of possession; and if so they were to enter of themselves, of which they may be caused to cede some of their property to the college, or the usufruct (profit) or for rent, or in other form, or if they can come for a time into the Society, the gain of which may be very much of an object, to give a special understanding to the great and powerful, the narrowness in which we live, and the debts that are pressing us.8. When the widows, or our married devoted women, do not have more than daughters, we must persuade them to the same life of devotion, or to that of the cloister; but that except the endowment that they may give, they can enter their property in the Society gently; but when they have husbands, those that would object to the Society, they will be catechized; and others who desire to enter as religiousness in other Orders, with the promise of some reduced amount. When there may be an only son, he must be attracted at all cost, inculcating the vocation as made by Jesus Christ; causing him to be entirely disembarrassed from the fear of its fathers, and persuading him to make a sacrifice very acceptable to the Almighty, that he must withdraw to His authority, abandon the paternal house and enter in the Society; the which, if he so succeeds, after having given part to the General, he will be sent to a distant novitiate; but if they have daughters, they will primarily dispose the daughters for a religious life; and they will be caused to enter into some monastery, and afterwards be received as daughters in the Society, with the succession of its properties.

9. The Superiors will place in the channel of the circumstances, the confessors of these widows and married people, that they on all future occasions may act for the benefit of the Society; and when by means of one, they cannot take our part he will be replaced with another; and if it is made necessary, he will be sent to great distances, of a manner that he cannot follow understandingly with these families.

10. If we succeed in convincing the widows and devoted persons, who aspire with fervour to a perfect life, and that the better means to obtain it is by ceding ad their properties to the Society, supporting by their revenues, that they will be religiously administered until their death, conforming to the degree of necessity in which they may be found, and the just reason that may be employed for their persuasion is, that by this mode, they can be exclusively dedicated to God; without attentions and molestations, which would perplex them, and that it is the only road to reach the highest degree of perfection.

11. The Superiors craving the confidence of the rich, who are attached to the Society, delivering receipts of its proper hand writing whose payment afterwards will differ; not forgetting to often visit those who loan, to exhort them above all in their infinities of consideration, as to whom will devolve the papers of the debt; because it is not so to be found mention of the Society in their testament; and by this course we must acquire properties, without giving cause for us to be hated by the heirs.

12. We must also in a grand manner ask for a loan, with payment of annual interest, and employ the same capital in other speculation to produce greater revenues to the Society; for at such a time, succeeding to move them with compassion to that which they will lend to us, we will not lose the interest in the testament of donation, when they see that they found colleges and churches.

13. The Society can report the utilities of commerce, and value the name of the merchant of credit, whose friendship we may possess.

14. Among the peoples where our fathers reside, we must have physicians faithful to the Society, whom we can especially recommend to the sick, and to paint under an aspect very superior to that of other religious orders, and secure direction that we shall be called to assist the powerful, particularly in the hour of death.

15. That the confessors shall visit with assiduity the sick, particularly those who are in danger, and to honestly eliminate the other fathers, which the superiors will procure, when the confessor sees that he is obliged to remove the other from the suffering, to replace and maintain the sick in his good intentions. Meanwhile we must inculcate as much as we can with prudence, the fear of hell, &c., &c., or when, the lesser ones of purgatory; demonstrating that as water will put out fire, so will the same alms blot out the sin; and that we cannot employ the alms better, than in the maintaining and subsiding of the persons, who, by their vocation, have made profession of caring for the salvation of their neighbour; that in this manner the sick can be made to participate in their merits, and find satisfaction for their own sins; placing before them that charity covered a multitude of sins; and that also, we can describe that charity, is as a nuptial vestment, without which, no one can be admitted to the heavenly table. In fine it will be necessary to move them to the citations of the scriptures, and of the holy fathers, that according to the capacity of the sick, we can judge what is most efficacious to move them.

16. We must teach the women, that they must complain of the vices of their husbands, and the disturbances which they occasion, that they can rob them in secret of some amounts of money, to offer to God, in expiation of the sins of their husbands, and to obtain their pardon.




1. If there shall be anyone dismissed under any protest, as an enemy of the Society, whatever may be his condition, or age; all those who have been moved to become the devotees of our churches; or of visiting ourselves; or who having been made to take the alms on the way to other churches; or who having been found to give to other fathers; or who having dissuaded any rich man, and well intentioned towards our Society, or giving anything; or in the time in which he can dispose of his properties, having shown great affection for his relations with this Society; because it is a great proof of a mortified disposition; and we conclude that the professions are entirely mortified; or also, that he having scattered all the alms of the penitents, or of the friends of the Society, in favour of his poor relations. Furthermore, that he may not complain afterwards of the cause of his expulsion, it will be necessary to thrust him from us directly; but we can prohibit him from hearing confessions, which will mortify him, and vex him by imposing upon him most vile offices, obliging him each day to do things that are the most repugnant; he will be removed from the highest studies and honourable employments; he will be reprimanded in the chapters by public censures; he will be excluded from the recreations and prohibited from all conversation with strangers; he will be deprived of his vestments and the uses of other things when they are not indispensable, until he begins to murmur and becomes impatient; then he can be expelled as a shameful person, to give a bad example to others; and if it is necessary to give account to his relatives, or to the prelates of the Church, of the reason for which he has been thrust out, it will be sufficient to say that he does not possess the spirit of the Society.

2. Furthermore, having also expelled all those who may have scrupled to acquire properties for the Society, we must direct, that they are too much addicted to their own judgment. If we desire to give reason of their conduct to the Provincials, it is necessary not to give them a hearing; but call for the rule, that they are obligated to a blind obedience.

3. It will be necessary to note, whence the beginning and whence their youth, those who have great affection for the Society; and those which we recognize their affection until the furthest orders, or until their relatives, or until the poor shall be necessarily disposed, little by little, as carefully said, to go out; then they are useless.




1. As those whom we have expelled, when knowing little or something of the secrets, the most times are noxious to the Society for the same, it shall be necessary to obviate their efforts by the following method, before thrusting them out; it will be necessary to obligate them to promise, by writing, and under oath, that they will never by writing or speaking, do anything which may be prejudicial to the Society; and it will be good that the Superiors guard a point of their evil inclinations, of their defects and of their vices; that they are the same, having to manifest in the discharge of their duties, following the custom of the Society, for that, if it should be necessary, this point can serve near the great, and the prelates to hinder their advancement.

2. Constant notice must be given to all the colleges of their having been expelled; and we must exaggerate the general motives of their expulsion; as the little mortification of their spirit; their disobedience; their little love for spiritual exercises; their self love, &c., &c. Afterwards, we must admonish them, that they must not have any correspondence with them; and they must speak of them as strangers; that the language of all shall be uniform, and that it may be told everywhere, that the Society never expels any one without very grave causes, and that as the sea casts up dead bodies, &c., &c. We must insinuate with caution, similar reasons to these, causing them to be abhorred by the people, that for their expulsion it may appear plausible.

3. In the domestic exhortations, it will be necessary to persuade people that they have been turned out as unquiet persons; that they continue to beg each moment to enter anew into the Society; and it will be good to exaggerate the misfortunes of those who have perished miserably, after having separated from the Society.

4. It will also be opportune to send forth the accusations, that they have gone out from the Society, which we can formulate by means of grave persons, who will everywhere repeat that the Society never expels any one but for grave causes; and that they never part with their healthy members; the which they can confirm by their zeal, and show in general for the salvation of the souls of them that do not pertain to them; and how much greater will it not be for the salvation of their own.

5. Afterwards, the Society must prepare and attract by all classes of benefits, the magnates, or prelates, with whom those who have been expelled begin to enjoy some authority and credit. It will be necessary to show that the common good of an Order so celebrated as useful in the Church, must be of more consideration, than that if a particular one who has been cast out. If all this affliction preserves some affection for those expelled, it will be good to indicate the reasons which have caused their expulsion; and yet exaggerate the causes the more that they were not very true; with such they can draw their conclusions as to the probable consequences.

6. Of all modes, it will be necessary that they particularly have abandoned the Society by their own free will; not being promoted to a single employment or dignity in the Church; that they would not submit themselves and much that pertains to the Society; and that all the world should withdraw from them that desire to depend on them.

7. Procuring soon, that they are removed from the exercise of the functions celebrated in the Church, such as the sermons, confessions, publication of books, &c., &c., so that they do not win the love and applause of the people. For this, we must come to inquire diligently upon their life and their habits; upon their occupations, &c., &c., penetrate into their intentions, for the which, we must have particular correspondence with some of the family in whose house they live, of those who have been expelled. In surprising something reprehensible in them or worthy of censure, which is to be divulged by people of medium quality; giving in following the steps conducive to reach the hearing of the great, and the prelates, who favour then, that they may be caused to fear that the infamy will relapse upon themselves. If they do nothing that merits reprehension, and conduct themselves well, we must curtail them by subtle propositions and captious phrases, their virtues and meritorious actions, causing that the idea that has been formed of them, and the faith that is had in them, may little by little be made to disappear; this is of great interest for the Society, that those whom we repel, and more principally those who by their own will abandon us, shall be sunk in obscurity and oblivion.

8. We must divulge without ceasing the disgraces and sinister accidents that they bring upon them, notwithstanding the faithful, who entreat for them in their prayers, that they may not believe that we work from impulses of passion. In our houses we must exaggerate by every method these calamities, that they may serve to hinder others.




1. The first place in the Society pertains to the good operators; that is to say, those who cannot procure less for the temporal than for the spiritual good of the Society; such as the confessors of princes, of the powerful, of the widows, of the rich pious women, the preachers and the professors who know all these secrets.

2. Those who have already failed in strength or advanced in years; conforming to the use they have made of their talents in and for the temporal good of the Society; of the manner which has attended them in days that are passed; and further, are yet convenient instruments to give part to the Superiors of the ordinary defects which are to be noted in ourselves, for they are always in the house.

3. We must never expel but in case of extreme necessity, for fear of the Society acquiring a bad reputation.

4. Furthermore, it will be necessary to favour those who excel by their talent, their nobleness and their fortune; particularly if they have powerful friends attached to the Society; and if they themselves have for it a sincere appreciation, as we have already said before. They must be sent to Rome, or to the universities of greater reputation to study there; or in case of having studied in some province, it will be very convenient that the professors attend to them with special care and affection. Meanwhile, not having conveyed their property to the Society, we must not refuse them anything; for after confirming the cession, they will be disappointed as the others, notwithstanding guarding some consideration for the past.

5. Having also especial consideration on the part of the Superiors, for those that have brought to the Society, a young notable, placed so that they are given to know the affection made to it; but if they have not professed, it is necessary to take care of not having too much indulgence with them, for fear that they may return at another time, to carry away those whom they have brought to the Society.




1. It is necessary that much prudence shall be exercised, respecting the election of the Youth; having to be sprightly, noble, well liked, or at the least excellent in some of these qualities.

2. To attract them with greater facility to our institute, it is necessary in the meanwhile, to study that the rectors and professors of colleges shall exhibit an especial affection; and outside the time of the classes, to make them comprehend how great is God, and that some one should consecrate to his service all that he possesses; and particularly if he is in the Society of his Son.

3. Whenever the opportunity may arrive, conducive in the college and in the garden, and yet at times to the country houses, that in the company of ourselves, during the recreations, that we may familiarize with them, little by little, being careful, notwithstanding, that the familiarity does not engender disgust.

4. We cannot consent that we shall punish them, nor oblige them to assemble at their tasks among those who are the most educated.

5. We must congratulate them with gifts and privileges conforming to their age and encouraging above all others with moral discourses.

6. We must inculcate them, that it is for one divine disposition, that they are favourites among so many who frequent the same college.

7. On other occasions, especially in the exhortations, we must aim to terrify them with menaces of the eternal condemnation, if they refuse the divine vocation.

8. Meanwhile frequently expressing the anxiety to enter the Society, we must always defer their admission, that they may remain constant; but if for these, they are undecided, then we must encourage them incessantly by other methods.

9. If we admonish effectively, that none of their friends, nor yet the fathers, nor the mothers discover their vocation before being admitted; because then, if then, they come to the temptation of withdrawing; so many as the Society desires to give full liberty of doing that which may be the most convenient; and in case of succeeding to conquer the temptation, we must never lose occasions to make them recover spirit; remembering that which we have said, always that this will succeed during the time of the novitiate, or after having made their simple vows.

10. With respect to the sons of the great, nobles, and senators, as it is supremely difficult to attract them, meanwhile living with their fathers, who are having them educated to the end, that they may succeed in their destinies, we must persuade, vigorously, of the better influences of friends that are persons of the same Society; that they are ordered to other provinces, or to distant universities in which there are our teachers; careful to remit to the respective professors the necessary instructions, appropriate to their quality and condition, that they may gain their friendship for the Society with greater facility and certainty.

11. When having arrived at a more advanced age, they will be induced to practice some spiritual exercises, that they may have so good an exit in Germany and Poland.

12. We must console them in their sadness and afflictions, according to the quality and dispositions of each one, making use of private reprimands and exhortations appropriate to the bad use of riches; inculcating upon them that they should depreciate the felicity of a vocation, menacing them with the pains of hell for the things they do.

13. It will be necessary to make patent to the fathers and the mothers, that they may condescend more easily to the desire of their sons of entering the Society, the excellence of its institute in comparison with those of other orders; the sanctity and the science of our fathers; its reputation in all the world; the honour and distinctions of the different great and small. We must make enumeration of the princes and the magnates, that, with great content, have lived until their death, and yet living in the Society. We must show how agreeable it is to God, that the youth consecrate themselves to Him, particularly in the Society of his Son: and what thing is there so sublime as that of a man carrying the yoke of the Lord from his youth. That if they oppose any objections because of their extreme youth, then we must present the facility of our institute, the which not having anything to molest, with the exception of the three vows, and that which is most notable, that we do not have any obligatory rule, nor yet under penalty of venial sin.




1. To most of the cases expressed in the Constitutions, and of which only the Superior or the ordinary confessor, with permission of this, can absolve them, where there is sodomy, unseats crime, fornication, adultery, of the unchaste touch of a man, or of a woman; also if under the pretext of zeal, or whatever motive, they have done some grave thing against the Society; against its honours and its gains; these will be just causes for reason of the expulsion of the guilty.

2. If anyone confesses in the confessional of having committed some similar act, he will not be promised absolution, until he has promised to reveal to the Superior, outside of the confessional, the same or by his confessor. The Superior will operate the better for it, in the general interests of the Society; further, if there is founded hope of the careful hiding of the crime, it will be necessary to impose upon the guilty a convenient punishment; if otherwise be can be expelled much before. With all the care that is possible, the confessor will give the penitent to understand that he runs the danger of being expelled.

3. If any one of our confessors, having heard a strange person say, that he had committed a shameful thing with one of the Society, he will not absolve such a person, without his having said, outside of his confession, the name of the one with whom he has sinned; and if he so says, he will be made to swear that he will not divulge the same, without the consent of the Society.

4. If two of ourselves have sinned carnally, he who first avows it will be retained in the Society; and the other will be expelled; but he who remains permanent, will be after such mortification and bad treatment, of sorrow, and by his impatience, and if we have occasion for his expulsion, it will be necessary for the future of it that it be done directly.

5. The Society being a noble corporation and preeminent in the Church, it can dismiss those that will not be apt for the execution of our object, although giving satisfaction in the beginning; and the opportunity does not delay in presenting itself; if it procures continuous maltreatment; and if he is obliged to do contrary to his inclination; if they are gathered under the orders of gloomy Superiors; if he is separated from his studies and from the honourable functions, &c., &c., until he gets to murmuring.

6. In no manner must we retain in the Society, those that openly reveal against their Superiors, or that will complain publicly, or reservedly, of their companions, or particularly if they make them to strangers; nor to those who are among ourselves, or among persons who are on the outside, censure the conduct of the Society in regard to the acquisition or administration of temporal properties, or whatever acts of the same; for example, of crushing or oppressing many of those whom we do not wish well, or that they the same having been expelled, &c., &c. Nor yet those, that in conversation, who tolerate, or defend the Venetians, the French and others, that have driven the Society away from the territories, or that have occasioned great prejudices.

7. Before the expulsion of any we must vex and harass them in the extreme; depriving them of the functions that they have been accustomed to discharge, dedicating them to others. Although they may do well, it will be necessary to censure them, and with this pretext, apply them to another thing. Imposing by a trifling fault that they have committed the most severe penalties, that they blush in public, until they have lost all patience; and at last will be expelled as pernicious to all, for which a future opportunity will present itself when they will think less.

8. When some one of the Society has a certain hope of obtaining a bishopric, or whatever other ecclesiastical dignity, to most of the ordinary vows of the Society he will be obliged to take another; and that is, that he will always preserve good sentiments towards the Society; that he will always speak favourably of it; that he will not have a confessor that will not be to its bosom; that he will do nothing of entity without having heard the justice of the same. Because in consequence of not having observed this, the Cardinal Toilet the Society had obtained of the Holy See, that no swinish descendants of Jews or Mahometans were admitted, that he did not desire to take such vows; and that for celebrity that is out, he was expelled as a firm enemy of the Society.




1. The confessors and preachers must guard well against offending the nuns and occasioning temptations contrary to their vocation; but on the contrary, having conciliated the love of the Lady Superiors, that we obtain to hear, when less, their extraordinary confessions, and that it is predicted that we may hope soon to receive some gratitude from them; because the abbesses, principally the rich and noble, can be of much utility to the Society, by themselves, and by their relatives and friends; of the manner with which we treat with them and influence of the principal monasteries, the Society will little by little arrive to obtain the knowledge of an the corporation and increase its friendship.

2. It will be necessary, notwithstanding, to prohibit our nuns from frequenting the monasteries of women, for fear that their mode of life may be more agreeable, and that the Society will see itself frustrated in the hopes of possessing all their properties. We must induce them to take the vow of chastity and obedience, at the hands of their confessors; and to show them that this mode of life will conform with the uses of the Primitive Church, placed as a light to shine in the house, and that it cannot be hidden under a measure, without the edification of their neighbour, and without fruit for the souls; furthermore, that in imitation of the widows of the Gospel, doing well by giving themselves to Jesus Christ and to his Society. If they were to know how evil it can possibly be, of the life of the cloisters; but these instructions must be given under the seal of inviolable secrecy that they do not come to the ears of the monks.




1. With the end of preventing the seculars from directing attention to our itching for riches, it will be useful to repel at times alms of little amount, by which we can allow them to do services for our Society; though we must accept the smallest amounts from people attached to us, for fear that we may be accused of avarice, if we only receive those that are most numerous.

2. We must refuse sepulchre to persons of the lowest class in our churches, though they may have been very attached to our Society; for we do not believe that we must seek riches by the number of interments, and we must hold firmly the gains that we have made with the dead.

3. In regard to the widows and other persons who have left their properties to the Society, we must labour with resolution and greater vigour than with the others; things being equal, and not to be made apparent, that we favour some more than others, in consideration of their temporal properties. The same must be observed with those that pertain to the Society, after that they have made cession of their property; and if it be necessary to expel them from the Society, it must be done with discretion, to the end that they leave to the Society a part for the less of that which they have given, or that which they have bequeathed at the time of their death.

* “How we must pretend to despise wealth.”




1. Treating principally all, though in things of little consequence, we must have the same opinion, or at least exterior dignity; for by this manner we may augment and strengthen the Society more and more; to overthrow the barrier we have overcome in the business of the world.

2. Thus strengthening all, it will shine by its wisdom and good example, that we shall excel all the other fathers, and particularly the pastors, &c., &c., until the people desire us to all. Publicly divulging that the pastors do not need to possess so much knowledge; with such they can discharge well their duties, stating that they can assist them with the counsels of the Society; that for this motive they can dedicate themselves to all classes of studies.

3. We must inculcate this doctrine with kings and princes, THAT THE CATHOLIC FAITH CANNOT SUBSIST IN THE PRESENT STATE, WITHOUT POLITICS; but that in this, it is necessary to proceed with much certainty. Of this mode, we must share the affection of the great, and BE ADMITTED TO THE MOST SECRET COUNSELS.

4. We must entertain their good will, by writing from all parts interesting facts and notices.

5. It will be no little advantage that will result, by secretly and prudently fomenting dissensions between the great, ruining or augmenting their power. But if we perceive some appearance of reconciliation between them, then we of the Society will treat and act as pacificators; that it shall not be that any others shall anticipate to obtain it.

6. As much to the magnates as to the people, we must persuade them by all possible means, that the Society has not been, but by especial Divine Providence, conforming to the prophecies of the Abbot Joachim, for to return and raise up the Church, humbled by the heretics.

7. Having acquired the favour of the great and of the bishops, it will be an entire necessity, of empowering the curates and prebendaries to more exactly reform the clergy, that in other times lived under certain rule with the bishops, and tending to perfection; also it will be necessary to inspire the abbeys and prelacies; the which it will not be difficult to obtain; calling attention to the indolence and stupidity of the monks as if they were cattle; because it will be very advantageous for the Church, if all the bishoprics were occupied by members of the Society; and yet, as if it was the same apostolic chair, particularly if the Pope should return as temporal prince of all the properties; for as much as it is very necessary to extend little by little, with much secrecy and skill, the temporalities of the Society; and not having any doubt that the world will enter the golden age,1 to enjoy a perfect universal peace, for following the divine benediction that will descend upon the Church.

8. But if we do not hope that we can obtain this, supposing that it is necessary that scandals shall come in the world, WE MUST BE CAREFUL TO CHANGE OUR POLITICS, CONFORMING TO THE TIMES, AND EXCITE THE PRINCES, FRIENDS OF OURS TO mutually make terrible wars THAT EVERYWHERE THE MEDIATION OF THE SOCIETY WILL BE IMPLORED; that we may be employed in the public reconciliation, for it will be the cause of the common good and we shall be recompensed by the PRINCIPAL ECCLESIASTICAL DIGNITIES; and the BETTER BENEFICIARIES.

9. In fine, that the Society afterwards can yet count upon the favour and authority of the princes, procuring


Editor’s Note

1. The ultimate goal of the Jesuits is to bring in a golden age or millennium with the entire world under the Pope. They are behind all those Utopian schemes, whether it is Hitler’s Third Reich or the Communists’ workers paradise. The Bible says that the golden age began with the First Coming of Christ and will end with His Second Coming. This is the ONLY age that men and women can become children of God by faith alone in Jesus Christ! When Christ returns it will be the end of time and the end of this present universe. . . .Thank God this Jesuit golden age will be very short lived.


History of the Jesuits


Dr. J. A. Wylie LL.D.,

Excerpted from the massive 2 vol. History of Protestantism.

Dr. Wylie’s massive History was published in 1878. The Jesuits did not self -destruct with the fall of the Papal States in 1870. As a matter of fact, that momentous event spurred them on to greater effort. The highest ranking Jesuit priest ever to escape that system and come to Christ was Dr. Alberto Rivera. He was a Bishop under the Extreme Oath of Induction. Normally, a person of such high rank who wants out knows too much, and always leaves feet first!! God miraculously spared his life for 30 years. He finally succumbed to Jesuit poison in June, 1997. Dr. Rivera authenticates everything that Dr. Wylie says in his book and the half has not been told!!

Alberto Rivera as a young Spanish Jesuit priest during the Franco regime.

Dr. Rivera (the man who knew too much) after his conversion to Christ in 1967. Dr. Rivera became a martyr for Jesus in 1997. His brave widow is courageously carrying on his mission. Visit her at AIC – Antichrist Information Center.

During the Second Vatican Council, Dr. Rivera was taken deep beneath the Vatican to the Secret Archives, where all the history of the world for the past 2000 years is stored. He was ordered to study the methods of infiltration and extermination used by Nero, Diocletian, Constantine, Dominic, Torquemada, and Loyola etc., in preparation for the Last Great Inquisition!!Dr. Rivera read many top secret documents that linked the Vatican to the creation of Islam and Communism etc.,etc.


The Secret Instructions of the Jesuits – Revealed at Last!!


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 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 summoning, 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, mortifications, 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 immediate connection between himself and the world of spirits. This would never have satisfied Luther. No inspirations—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 accredited 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.



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


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.

Loyola and his disciples before Pope Paul III

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 headquarters. 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 commanded 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 instruments 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 mountains 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 mountains, 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 company, 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 mortification 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 meanwhile 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.”



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


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.

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 inconsistencies. 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 assembled, 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 authority, 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 hardships 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,” exclaimed a General exultingly, as he glanced over the long roll of philosophers, orators, statesmen, and scholars 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, chastity, and obedience—which, with certain modifications, he must ever after renew twice every year. The novitiate 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 purveyors. 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 judgment, 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 conscience 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.


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


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 Intention—Illustrative Cases furnished by Jesuit Doctors—Marvellous Virtue of the Doctrine—A Pious Assassination!

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 conceivable 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 commandment 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 legality 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 discretion 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 viciousness 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 aversion.” 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.


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 Theology. 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 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 Consummation 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 establishment 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 intolerable 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 deliberately 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 “Invincible 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, regicides, 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 confound 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 perpetually 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.


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 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 incomparable 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 commonwealth 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 commonalty, are sometimes allowed to princes, “for the greater glory of God.”6 If a monarch is bent on some enterprise—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 sovereigns, 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 Instructions, 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 principalities.”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


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


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 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 persevered 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 Instruction, “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 Confessors—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, possessions,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 daughters, 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 monasteries 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 Capuchins 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 presumption 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, constitutions, 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


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


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 translation; 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


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.

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 confessors 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 exhaustion, 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 misfortunes 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 Germany. 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 practices. 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 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 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 exhibited 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 culminated 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.


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


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 Protestantism 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 arrogant 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 admiration 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 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.

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, unfortunately 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 answerable, 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 misfortune 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 Jesuitism 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 expulsion 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, Innocents X, XI, XII, and XIII, and Benedict XIV, had been passed in abortive attempts to re-establish the harmony 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; ” withdrew “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, seminaries, 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.


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.


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


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 instruction, 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 Protestantism. 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 according 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 promised 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 inflicted, 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 enterprise. 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 surpassing 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.


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


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 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 Switzerland 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 obscured 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 distinguished 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 annihilate the Protestants of Italy.3

Peter Martyr Vermigli
Italian victim of the Inquisition

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 concluded 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 execution. They were conveyed, accordingly, to the Campo del Flor, where they died with the most pious fortitude.”4

Mollio throwing down his torch before the Inquisition

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 striking, 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 Inquisition, 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 movement, 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 calculated, 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 underground 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 mangling 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.


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.


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.)

The End.