The Jesuits: Book 15 (The History of Protestantism)


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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.

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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, villany, 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. 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.

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The second commandment in the law is, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. 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. 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?


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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.


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  6. 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.

    We are neither indulging in satire nor incurring the charge of false-witness-bearing in this picture of Jesuit theology. The opinion of a single grave doctor is all that is requisite. That is the common judgment of modern authors. 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 licence 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 satirising; we are simply stating the morality of the Jesuits. 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 directying 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. The Maxims of the Jesuits on Reglcide -- M. THE three great rules of the code of the Jesuits, which we have stated in the foregoing chapter -- namely,.

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    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.

    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.

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    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. 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. 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. 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, favorting 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.

    1 Corinthians 15.1-4 ✝ Romans 4.4-5

    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. 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.

    The Jesuits: Book 15 (The History of Protestantism) The Jesuits: Book 15 (The History of Protestantism)
    The Jesuits: Book 15 (The History of Protestantism) The Jesuits: Book 15 (The History of Protestantism)
    The Jesuits: Book 15 (The History of Protestantism) The Jesuits: Book 15 (The History of Protestantism)
    The Jesuits: Book 15 (The History of Protestantism) The Jesuits: Book 15 (The History of Protestantism)
    The Jesuits: Book 15 (The History of Protestantism) The Jesuits: Book 15 (The History of Protestantism)
    The Jesuits: Book 15 (The History of Protestantism) The Jesuits: Book 15 (The History of Protestantism)
    The Jesuits: Book 15 (The History of Protestantism) The Jesuits: Book 15 (The History of Protestantism)
    The Jesuits: Book 15 (The History of Protestantism) The Jesuits: Book 15 (The History of Protestantism)
    The Jesuits: Book 15 (The History of Protestantism) The Jesuits: Book 15 (The History of Protestantism)

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