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30. I.-THE REMONSTRANCE ADDRESSED TO HENRY IV. BY THE
PARLIAMENT OF PARIS, 1604.
A FEW glances at Jesuitism in times past may not be unacceptable to the readers of this Magazine. Its history already has a vast literature of its own, and large would be the library furnished in view to the single study of that obnoxious Society. The present writer could never hope, even if he had long life and leisure before him, to write a history of Jesuitism, such as these times require ; but he is disposed to concentrate attention, now and then, upon a few spots of the vast field, trusting that an occasional view of what the “ Society" has done, and an exhibition of its fundamental principles, with the reason and the law of its exist. ence, may not be useless.
Let us now observe how the Company profanely calling itself “Society of Jesus" was received in France during the first sixty years of its activity in that country. This may be learned from two documents, of the highest importance to a right understanding of the subject. The first was issued in Latin by the Sorbonne in the year 1554,-the fatal year of the restoration of Popery in England, the incarceration of Cranmer, Ridley, Latimer, and Hooper, and commencement of the Marian martyrdoms: of this the concluding and practical part is here translated literally. The second is translated from a paper of Remonstrances prepared in French by order of the Parliament of Paris, and read by the First President, De Harlay, to King Henry IV. in 1604, (when the martyr-fires of the Inquisition were blazing in the chief cities of Spain, while France itself was prostrate in shame and grief after the Bartholo. mew massacres,) only six years before the temporizing sovereign who listened to these loyal remonstrances was assassinated, as the Remon. strants feared he would be. Ravaillac, a wretch prepared for the pur. pose by Jesuits and others, and promised heaven for the meritorious deed of killing a king who favoured the Huguenots, and did not love the Pope, stabbed him through the heart in open day, and gloried in the deed.
King Henry II. of France had accepted a Papal brief for the estabblishment of a Jesuit school in Paris, but without the name of Jesuit, that name being already offensive to a large portion of the French people. In the reign of Charles IX., the Parliament of Paris took into consideration many heavy complaints against this Institution, as also against the Jesuits themselves; and, after due deliberation, sent the Bull of Paul III. ' for the creation of the Society itself, and another Bull of Julius III. for investing it with certain privileges, to the Faculty of Theology of the University of Paris, requesting their decision on the merits of those documents. The doctors of the Sorbonne having taken them into grave and prolonged deliberation, delivered their judgment in the terms following:
“ This new Society, assuming to itself in particular the unaccustomed title of the name of Jesus ; admitting so licentiously, and without dis.
tinction, persons of any sort, however wicked, base-born, and infamous they may be ; having no difference in external habit from secular priests, neither in tonsure, nor in canonical hours to be recited in private, or to be sung publicly in church; nor in cloisters and silence; nor in distinction of meats and days; nor in fasts, and various other laws and ceremonies by which religious societies are distinguished and preserved ; being endowed with so many and such various privileges, indulgencies, and liberties, especially in tho administration of the sacrament of penance, and the Eucharist, and that without discrimination of places and persons; also in the office of preaching, reading, and teaching, to the preju. dice of Bishops and of the hierarchical order; to the prejudice also of other religious bodies, and indeed even of princes and temporal lords, against the privileges of universities, and, in short, to the great injury and oppression of the people, appears to encroach on the honour which is due to monastic religion. It tends to destroy the studious, pious, and necessary exercise of virtues, abstinences, ceremonies, and austerity, and rather gives occasion to desert freely from other societies. It detracts from the obedience and submission due to bishops. It unjustly deprives temporal and ecclesiastical lords of their rights. It introduces confusion into both orders (of Church and State). It occasions many quarrels among the people, with litigations, dissensions, contests, envyings, and schism in various forms. Therefore all these things, and others, having been diligently examined and considered, this Society appears to be in the matter of faith dangerous, and of the peace of the church subversive, tending more to destruction than to edification."
Such was the judgment of the principal university of Europe at that time, and in the same judgment the majority of Frenchmen in communion with the Church of Rome were agreed. Full sixteen years had elapsed since the institution of the Jesuit Society by Pope Paul III., and for several years before that institution Ignatius of Loyola and his followers had been known in France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. The new Society contained many men of undoubted learning, of great talent, and ostentatious pretensions to exalted piety, not excepting pretenders to gifts of miracle, and the popes had supported it with all their powers, and kings had shown it great favour; but the condemnation pronounced by the Sorbonne was a faithful expression of the mind of the majority of Frenchmen, both Romish and Reformed.
For a time the Jesuits were placed under restraint, but the company was not suppressed, and Henry IV., who, as will be remembered, had renounced his faith, and professed Popery, in order to make sure of the throne of France, weakly reinstated the Society in its position. The Parliament of Paris sent him the following Remonstrance in the year 1604. De Harlay, surrounded by the members of that high court, read it to the king.
“Sire, your court of Parliament having deliberated on your letters patent of re-establishıment of the priests and scholars of the college of Claremont in some places of their resort, taking the name of Jesuits, has ordained that very humble remonstrances be made to your Majesty, and has charged us to lay before you some points which we judge to be important for the good of your service and for public safety, which
depends on your preservation ; care for which obliges us to carry those orders into effect.
“ And, before entering into particulars, we have to render you very humble thanks for the honour you have been pleased to do us, in allow. ing these remonstrances to be made vivá voce, making your indulgence and benignity towards us appear so much the more worthy of praise, as it is far removed from the austerity of the first Roman emperors; who gave their subjects no access into their presence, but willed all requests and petitions to be presented to them in writing.
“The establishment of persons of this order-Jesuits, as they call themselves--in this kingdom, was judged so pernicious to the State that all the ecclesiastical orders were opposed to their reception, and the Decree of the Sorbonne was that this Society was introduced 'for destruction and not for edification ;' and afterwards, in the assembly of the clergy, in September, 1561, at which were the archbishops and bishops, Monsieur the Cardinal of Tournon presiding, it was approved, indeed, but with so many clauses and restrictions, that, if they had been pressed to the observance, it is probable that they would very soon have shifted their habitations.
" They were only received provisionally, and, by an arrêt of the year 1564, forbidden to take the name of Jesuits, or "Society of Jesus.' This notwithstanding, they have not ceased to take this illicit designation, and to hold themselves exempt from all authorities, both secular and ecclesiastical. In re-establishing them, you have given them greater authority, and made their condition better than it ever was. This judg. ment was so much the more worthy of your court of Parliament, as your people, and all the orders, will consider it necessary to keep them under cautions, to restrain the excessive license which has hitherto attended their proceedings, and of which they can foresee the increase will be hurtful to the public. This prediction is strongly expressed in the Plaidoyé of your people, who were not there present, for it was necessary to exercise foresight, lest the matter should become even worse than had been anticipated.
“And as the name and the vow of their Society are universal, so are the propositions and the doctrine uniform,--that they only acknowledge for superior our holy father the pope, to whom they render an oath of obedience and fidelity in all things, holding it for an indubit. able maxim that he has the power of excommunicating kings, and that an excommunicated king is no other than a tyrant; that his people may rebel against him; that dwellers in his kingdom having any order in the Church, however small, cannot be judged guilty of treason whatever crime they may commit, because they are not their subjects, nor yet amenable to justice; so that all ecclesiastics are exempt from the secular power, and may with impunity lay their ensanguined hand on sacred persons. This is what they write, impugning the opinion of those who maintain contrary propositions.
“Two Spanish doctors of laws having written that clergymen were subject to the power of kings and princes, one of the first men of the Society has written against them, saying, among other things, that as the Levites of the Old Testament were exempt from all worldly powers, so by the New Testament clerks are exempt from the same, and kings and monarchs have no jurisdiction over them.
“Your Majesty will not approve these maxims. They are too false and too erroneous. Therefore, they who hold them, and wish to live in your kingdom, ought to abjure them publicly in their colleges. If they will not do so, will you permit them to live here? But they wish to subvert the foundation of your royal authority and power. If they do that, can you believe that they have a doctrine making part of their religion, which is good for Rome, and for Spain, and for any other country except France, where that is refused which others accept; and that they, coming and going from place to place, will lay it down in one country and take it up in another? If they say that they do so by some secret dispensation, what assurance can you receive from persons brought up in a profession that by diversity and change of place makes the same thing alternately good and bad ?
“This doctrine is common to them all, wherever they are, and it makes such way in your kingdom that it will eventually get possession of companies the most respectable.
" Since their establishment, they (the Jesuits) have not had more determined opponents than the Sorbonne, but at present it is favourable to them, because a great number of young theologians have studied in their colleges. Other scholars will do the like. They will advance, and may be admitted to places of highest trust in your parliaments, while they hold the same doctrine-while they withdraw themselves from your obedience, leaving all the rights of your crown, and liberties of the Church of France to perish; and will not think any crime of treason punishable-that is committed by an ecclesiastic.
“We have been so unhappy in our days as to see the detestable effects of their instructions in your sacred person. Barriere-I tremble, Sire, to. pronounce the name—was instructed by Varade, a Jesuit, and confessed that he had received the communion on the oath taken at his hands to assassinate you. His enterprise having failed, others will get up their courage to handle the little serpent that does its part to finish the crime that he devised.
“Quiquard, the Jesuit, wrote with his own hand the books wherein it is maintained that the parricide of the late kingt was committed justly, and confirming the proposition condemned at the Council of Constance.
“What have we not to fear, remembering the wicked and disloyal acts which can be easily renewed ? If we must live all our days in the perpetual fear of seeing your life in danger, how shall we find rest for you in yours? Would it not be wicked to foresee the danger, and see the evil, and let it approach so near to you? Would he not be plunged into a depth of misery who should survive the ruin of this State, which, ruin, as we have said to you before now, is no further distant than the length of your life?
• Fifty years before this, the Sorbonne condemned the Jesuit Society, but the change was effected gradually, and is now accounted for. The English universities present similar evidences of Jesuit perseverance.
t Jacques Clement, a Jacobin monk stabbed Henry III. in his chamber at St. Cloud, August 2nd, 1589.
“Praise be to God, Sire, for the mutual good-will between you and our holy father (the pope). May God preserve you long with your crown, and him in the Holy See! But if age or disease shortens his days, and if his successor, being indisposed towards you should draw his spiritual sword on you, as his predecessors have drawn theirs on other kings of France and Navarre, what grief to your subjects to see so many enemies of this State among us, so many conspirators against your Majesty; as there were against his late Majesty-of happy memory who were in his reign the principal authors and ministers of the rebellion, and were not innocent of his murder.
"They say that their faults ought not to be brought to mind again, any more than those of other orders and companies, that have not been less in fault than they. It may be said to their prejudice that the fault is not yet found in all the companies and all the orders that is in theirs; that that fault has not yet been universal. Companies have been various. They have not all been so alienated from the obedience that is due to your Majesty ; but the members of the Jesuit Society dwell in close unity; they stand in close rank in their rebellions. Not only does no one of them follow you, but they, and only they, have given themselves to be the most thorough partisans of those old enemies of your crown, who were in your own kingdom as such. Odo, one of their Society, was chosen by the sixteen conspirators for their chief.
"And if it is lawful for us to interject any thing of the affairs of other countries with those of our own, we will tell you of a pitiable affair in the history of Portugal. When the King of Spain undertook to usurp that kingdom, all other religious orders were steadfast in fidelity to their king, only the Jesuits deserted their sovereign to advance the dominion of Spain, and were cause of the death of two thousand monks and other ecclesiastics, for which there is a Bull of Absolution.
" Their past doctrine and deportment were cause that when Châtel rose against you the arrêt followed, as well against him as against their Society, both he and they being condemned by yourself; an arrêt whichi we have consecrated to the memory of the most happy miracle that has happened in our time; judging that from those who continue to teach youth this bad doctrine and damnable instruction, there would be no security for your life. This makes us pass over formalities, obliges us to judge of particular instances with knowledge of the cause, setting public safety above every other consideration.
"We had no hatred, envy, or malice against them, in general nor in particular. If we had, God would have punished us in making us their judges; although the atrocity of the crime, and the earnest care we had to preserve your Majesty's life for the future, induced us to give this arrét, executed within the jurisdiction of the parliaments of Rouen and Dijon by your command; and so it would have been executed everywhere but for the resistance of those that were not yet well confirmed in your obedience, and who could not depart from it without suffering too much for their malevolence.
“ They complain in their writings that all the company ought not to bear the blame of three or four ; but though they had been reduced to the condition of the Frères Humiliez, they would not have had any