Short Papers on Church History — Chapter 47

"The Interim"

The Emperor, now complete master of the position, and having subdued, as he thought, the independent and stubborn spirit of the Germans, held a diet at Augsburg, when he demanded of the Protestants to submit the decision of the religious dissensions which had arisen in Germany to the council of Trent. The city and assembly were surrounded by the Emperor's victorious troops, no doubt to give effect to their master's wishes. He immediately took possession of the cathedral and some other churches, and, after they had been duly purified, restored the popish worship. But scarcely had the proceedings commenced, when Charles learnt, to his deep mortification, that the council had been removed by the pope from Trent to Bologna.

The great success and assumption of Charles in Germany naturally awakened the fears and jealousy of the pontiff. He foresaw that the Emperor's power in that country would greatly influence the decisions of the council, and that he might employ it to limit or overturn the papal authority. He therefore embraced the first opportunity to withdraw the papal troops from the imperial army, and to translate the council to Bologna, a city subject to the pope. This removal was strenuously opposed by the Emperor and by all the bishops in the imperial interest. The latter remained at Trent, while the Spanish and Neapolitan bishops accompanied the legates to Bologna. Thus a schism commenced in that very assembly which had been called to heal the divisions of Christendom, and which issued in an indefinite adjournment of the council: nor were means found of restoring the council of Trent, till Julius III. succeeded Paul III. in the papal chair, A.D. 1550; but the season was then past for the purposes of Charles.

As the prospect of a general council was now more distant than ever, the Emperor, in his pious concern for the religious dissensions of his northern subjects, deemed it necessary, in the interim, to prepare a system of doctrine, to which all should conform, until a council, such as they wished for, could be assembled. This new creed was styled The Interim. It was framed by Pflug, Sidonius, and Agricola, of whom the two former were dignitaries in the Romish Church; the last was a Protestant divine, but considered by his brethren as an apostate.

The New Creed

This famous treatise contained a complete system of Roman theology; though expressed for the most part in "softest words, or in scriptural phrases, or in terms of studied ambiguity." Every doctrine peculiar to popery was retained; or, as Mr. Wylie sums it up, "The Interim taught, among other things, the supremacy of the pope, the dogma of transubstantiation, the sacrifice of the mass, the invocation of the saints, auricular confession, justification by works, and the whole right of the church to interpret the scriptures; in short, not one concession did Rome make. In return for swallowing a creed out-and-out popish, the Protestants were to be rewarded with two paltry boons. Clergymen already married were to be permitted to discharge their office without putting away their wives; and where it was the wont to dispense the sacrament in both kinds, the custom was still to be tolerated. This was called meeting the Protestants half way."*

{*History of Protestantism, vol. 2, p. 118. See also Robertson's History, vol. 6, book 9.}

This document, which brought the most desolating calamities and oppressions on the Protestants, was submitted by the Emperor to the Diet of Augsburg on May 15th, 1548. Having been read in presence of the diet, in due form, the Archbishop of Mentz, without giving time for any discussion, rose up hastily, thanked the Emperor for his pious endeavours to restore the peace of the church, and in the name of the diet signified their approbation of the system of doctrine which had just been read to them. This unexpected, unconstitutional declaration amazed the whole assembly; but not one member had courage enough to contradict what the archbishop had said. Overawed by the Spanish troops outside, the diet was silent. The Emperor at once accepted the declaration as a full ratification of the Interim, proclaimed it as a decree of the empire, to remain in force till a free general council could be held, and to which all were to conform under pain of his displeasure. The Interim was immediately published in the German as well as the Latin language.

The Interim Opposed by Protestants and Papists

The Emperor, proud of his new scheme, and believing that he was on the high road to victory, and the consummation of his plans, proceeded to enforce the Interim. But to his great astonishment he found all parties declaiming against it with equal violence. The Protestants condemned it as a system containing the grossest errors of popery. The papists condemned it because some of the doctrines of the holy catholic church were impiously given up. But at Rome the indignation of the ecclesiastics rose to the greatest height. They exclaimed against the Emperor's profane encroachment on the sacerdotal office, and compared him to that apostate Henry VIII. of England, who had usurped the title as well as the jurisdiction belonging to the supreme pontiff.

Among the Protestant princes there was great diversity of feeling, into the details of which we need not enter. Some yielded a feigned submission, but there were others who made a firm stand and a faithful protest against the Interim. Charles, well knowing the great influence which the example of his prisoner, Frederick, would have with all the Protestant party, laboured with the utmost earnestness to gain his approbation of the scheme. But he was not to be moved either by the hope of liberty, or the threats of greater harshness. He now met the Emperor with weapons mightier far than all the imperial power-conscience and the word of God. And well would it have been for the Protestants and the cause of Protestantism, had no others ever been opposed to the threatenings of the pope and the Emperor. Some might have been honoured with martyrdom, but the country would have been saved from the desolations of war, and the moral glory of this divine principle would have been stamped on the Reformation.

After having declared his firm belief in the doctrines of the Reformation, he added, "I cannot now in my old age, abandon the principles for which I early contended; nor, in order to procure freedom during a few declining years, will I betray that good cause on account of which I have suffered so much, and am still willing to suffer. Better for me to enjoy, in this solitude, the esteem of virtuous men, together with the approbation of my own conscience than to return into the world, with the imputation and guilt of apostasy, to disgrace and embitter the remainder of my days." For this magnanimous resolution, in which he set his countrymen a noble pattern, he was rewarded by the Emperor with fresh marks of his displeasure. "The rigour of his confinement was increased; the number of his servants diminished, the Lutheran clergymen, who had hitherto been permitted to attend him, were dismissed, and even the books of devotion, which had been his chief consolation during a tedious imprisonment, were taken from him."

Melancthon's Submission

It is deeply to be regretted that the Wittemberg divines did not testify more firmly for the truth, and against the popish scheme of the Interim. But the feeble Melancthon, partly through fear of Charles, and partly from his excessive complaisance towards persons of high rank, endeavoured to steer a middle course, and the other theologians followed him. He then introduced the pernicious principle of essentials, non-essentials, and things indifferent in religion. He decided that the whole instrument, called the Interim, could by no means be admitted; but that there was no impediment to receiving and approving it, so far as it concerned things not essential in religion, or things indifferent. This decision gave rise to several long and bitter controversies in the Lutheran Church. The genuine followers of Luther could not account as indifferent, the teaching and object of the Interim, and opposed with great fervour the Wittemberg and Leipsic divines. They charged them, with giving up their Protestantism for the Emperor's religion. This lax principle has been doing its evil work in all the Reformed churches from that day even until now. It is a convenient covering for those who have no conscience as to the authority of the word of God, and wish to serve their own ends. But surely no part of divine truth can be either indifferent or non-essential. "The words of the Lord," says the psalmist, "are pure words; as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times." (Ps. 12:6) How different is the estimate of the Spirit of truth and theology as to "the words of the Lord .... purified seven times."*

{*See Mosheim's History of the Lutheran Church on the Controversies, vol. 3; also Scott's continuation of Milner on Melancthon's submission, vol. 2.}

The Opposition of the Free Cities

The reception of the Interim in the different provinces depended entirely on the nearness or distance of the Emperor's power. Where his arm had not reached, it was openly resisted, where his power was felt, there was at least an outward compliance with it; but it was in the free cities that Charles met with the most violent opposition to his new scheme. There the Reformation had made the greatest progress; its most eminent divines were settled in them as pastors, and schools and other seminaries for the instruction of the young flourished within their gates. They petitioned and remonstrated, but without effect; Charles was determined to carry into full execution the resolution he had formed-universal compliance with his odious Interim.

His first attempt was upon the city of Augsburg. "He ordered one body of his troops to seize the gates; he posted the rest in different quarters of the city; and assembling all the burgesses in the town-hall, he, by his sole authority, published a decree abolishing their present form of government, dissolving all their corporations and fraternities, and nominating a small number of persons, in whom he vested for the future all the powers of government. Each of the persons thus chosen took an oath to observe the Interim." Persecution immediately followed; for many sought to maintain a good conscience before God and adhered to the truth of His word. The Protestant pastors were forced into exile, or rendered homeless in their native land; their churches were purified from Protestant defilement; the old rites were restored-masses, vestments, crosses, altars, candles, images, etc., and the inhabitants driven to mass by the soldiers of the Emperor. "In southern Germany alone four hundred faithful preachers of the gospel fled with their wives and families, and wandered without food or shelter; while those who were unable to escape fell into the hands of the enemy, and were led about in chains." This state of things continued for nearly five years, during which time the sufferings and calamities of the faithful were far beyond the record of the chronicler, and have no place in the history of the church; but there was One who heard every sigh that was heaved, and saw every tear that was shed: "and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His name. And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels." (Mal. 3:16, 17)

A New Turn in the Tide of Events

The period of their sufferings, or rather of their purifying was nearly accomplished, and the day of their deliverance was nigh at hand, though nothing was farther from the thoughts of the oppressor. He imagined that his victories were complete, his plans consummated, and that now he might rest a little from the toils of government, and taste the sweetness of retirement and repose. For this purpose he went to Innsbruck in the Tyrol, with only a few of his guards. But some already saw the storm gathering in various quarters, which was so soon to darken the whole firmament of his dominion and glory, and leave the master of two worlds without honour, and shut up in the solitude of a monkish cell. It happened in this way:-

There were still four cities of note holding out against the authority of the Emperor. These were Magdeburg, Bremen, Hamburg, and Lubeck. But as the resistance of Magdeburg stands connected with events which changed the whole face of affairs in Germany, we will speak of this city only.

In a diet held at Augsburg in the year 1550, it was resolved to send an army against Magdeburg, and besiege it in form. By an artful dissimulation of his real intentions, and by a seeming zeal to enforce the observance of the Interim, the notorious Maurice of Saxony undertook to reduce the rebellious city to obedience. This proposal received the sanction of the diet, and the full approbation of the Emperor.

Deep thoughts had been revolving in the mind of Maurice and many others, previous to this appointment. By the late successes of Charles, the fears of many were awakened. The Vatican was the first to raise the alarm. The pope repented of having contributed so largely to the growth of a power that might one day become his master. Already Charles had shaken the foundations of ecclesiastical authority, in presuming to define articles of faith, and to regulate modes of worship. Efforts were made to form alliances with foreign powers, that a vigorous resistance might be made at once, before his power became too formidable to be opposed.

But it was now apparent to all, that Charles was bent on exacting a rigid conformity to the doctrines and rites of the Romish Church, instead of allowing liberty of conscience, as he had always promised. The nation felt that they had been grossly deceived. They had been told over and over again before the war began, that it was no part of the Emperor's plans to alter the Reformed religion. But now both the religion and the liberties of Germany were at the feet of the perfidious monarch. This could not fail to alarm the princes of the empire, and none more so than Maurice. He was addressed in satires as "Judas," and accused by his countrymen as the author of these calamities. In this painful position Maurice made his choice. Only one thing will atone for the betrayal of the Protestant Confederacy-the complete overthrow of the Emperor's power in Germany; and this he resolved to accomplish.

"He saw," says Robertson, "the yoke that was preparing for his country; and, from the rapid as well as formidable progress of the imperial power, was convinced that but a few steps more remained to be taken, in order to render Charles as absolute a monarch in Germany as he had become in Spain." Maurice was a Protestant-politically-at heart, and by his Electoral dignity, the head of the party. Besides, his passions concurred with his love of liberty. He longed to avenge the cruel imprisonment of the Landgrave, his father-in-law, who, by his persuasion, had put himself into the Emperor's hands.

When he divulged his bold purpose to the princes, they were slow to believe him; but at length, being satisfied of his sincerity, they readily promised to assist him. Having gained the confidence of the Protestant party, he next applied all his powers of art and duplicity to deceive the Emperor. The jealousy of Charles had been somewhat excited by hearing of Maurice's friendship with some of the Protestant princes; but now, by his apparent zeal against the citizens of Magdeburg, all his suspicions were allayed, and he was inspired with fresh confidence in Maurice. As general of the army, he had a large force under his command, but he managed to protract the siege of Magdeburg till his plans were matured. He secretly formed leagues with several German princes, and entered into an alliance with the powerful king of France, Henry II., who proved a most effective ally, though a Catholic.

The Revolution in Germany

A.D. 1552

When Maurice's preparations were accomplished, he published a manifesto containing his reasons for taking arms against the Emperor, namely, that he might secure the Protestant religion, which was threatened with immediate destruction; that he might maintain the laws and constitution of the empire; that he might deliver the Landgrave of Hesse from the miseries of a long and unjust imprisonment. By the first proposal he roused all the friends of the Reformation to support him, who had been rendered desperate by oppression. By the second he interested all the friends of liberty in his cause-Catholics no less than Protestants. By the third he drew to his standard all the sympathy which had been universally excited by the Landgrave's unjust imprisonment, and by the rigour of the Emperor's proceedings against him. At the same time Henry of France issued a manifesto, in which he assumed the extraordinary title of "Protector of the liberties of Germany, and of its Captive Princes. "

The Emperor, as we have seen, was reposing at Innsbruck, within three days' journey of Trent, and narrowly watching the proceedings of the council now sitting there. Maurice still concealing his designs under the veil of the most exquisite address, despatched a trusted messenger to assure the Emperor that he would wait upon him in a few days at Innsbruck; for which friendly visit the Emperor was in daily expectation. But the time for action was now come. The trumpet of war was sounded; and with a well-appointed army of twenty thousand foot and five thousand horse, Maurice pushed on by secret and forced marches, determined to surprise the Emperor and seize his person. The imperial garrisons, by the way, offered no resistance, but tidings reached the imperial quarters, that all Germany had risen and was in full march upon Innsbruck.

The Emperor's Flight

It was now late in the evening. The night was dark, and the rain falling heavily; but danger was near, and nothing could save the Emperor but speedy flight. He had been suffering for some time from a severe attack of the gout, and was unable to escape on horseback. Placed in a litter, the only motion he could bear, he travelled by the light of torches, taking his way over the Alps by roads almost impassable. His courtiers and attendants followed him with equal precipitation, and all in the utmost confusion. In this miserable plight the late conqueror of Germany arrived with his dejected train at Villach, a remote corner in Carinthia.

Maurice entered Innsbruck a few hours after the Emperor and his attendants had left it; but rather than pursue them, he abandoned all the Emperor's baggage, together with that of his ministers, to be plundered by his soldiers. There was now nothing left for the fallen Emperor but negotiation, or rather to submit to the terms proposed to him; and this he committed to his brother Ferdinand. Maurice, backed by all Germany, was absolute.

The Peace of Passau

On the 2nd of August, 1552, the famous treaty of Passau was concluded. By this treaty it was agreed that the Landgrave should be set at liberty, and conveyed in safety to his own dominions; that within six months, a diet should be held of all the states, to deliberate on the best means of terminating the existing religious dissensions, and that in the meantime no molestation whatever should be offered to those who adhered to the Augsburg confession; that, if the diet thus to be held, should fail to effect an amicable adjustment of their religious disputes, the treaty of Passau should remain in force for ever. Thus was peace restored to the empire, and entire freedom conceded to the Protestant faith. This was followed by the "Recess of Augsburg" in 1555, which not only ratified the peace of Passau, but enlarged the religious liberties of Germany. It was this memorable convention which gave to the Protestants, after so much slaughter and so many calamities and conflicts, that firm and stable religious peace which they still enjoy. But alas! the youthful Maurice, who played so conspicuous a part, both in the defeat and the triumph of the Protestants, fell in battle, in less than a year after the peace of Passau, so that he was not permitted to see the full results of his bold undertaking.*

{*Mosheim, vol. 3, p. 157. Wylie, vol. 2, p. 122. Scott, vol. 2, p. 83.}

All these arrangements and treaties were deeply mortifying to the disappointed ambition of Charles. Protestantism, which he had intended to crush entirely, was flourishing throughout the empire. The mass-priests were dismissed; the banished pastors were brought back with great joy to their beloved flocks. The esteemed Frederick, who had been carried about from place to place by the Emperor for five years, had found his way home to his affectionate family and friends, but everything shaped itself in dark and gloomy colours before the troubled mind of Charles. He never had a heart for friendship, and, it is said, he never made a friend. Thus, faint and weary, the friendless Emperor hid himself in the fastnesses of Carinthia. From civil history we learn that, at this very moment, war was going on in Hungary against the still advancing Turks. Henry II., according to his agreement with Maurice, took the field early, with a numerous and well appointed army, and completely defeated the Spanish forces in Lorraine and Alsace. Italy was on the eve of outbreak and anarchy. But the Emperor was in exile; his treasury empty; his credit gone; his armies scattered and dispirited; and, feeling himself rapidly falling from the lofty elevation which he had so long maintained, he resolved to withdraw entirely from the affairs of this world, in order that he might spend the remainder of his days in retirement and solitude.

Accordingly, at the comparatively early age of fifty-six, he filled all Europe with astonishment, by resigning the imperial crown to his brother Ferdinand, and the remainder of his vast possessions in Europe and America to his son Philip II., whom he had already, on his marriage with Mary of England, invested with Naples and Sicily. The following year, after settling his affairs, he retired to the monastery of St. Juste, near the town of Placentia, in Spain. But he was still suffering so severely from the gout, that he had to be conveyed sometimes in a chair, and sometimes in a horse-litter, suffering exquisite pain at every step, and advancing with the greatest difficulty. Like most of the religious houses in those days, the monastery of St. Juste was beautifully situated:-"it lay in a little vale, watered by a small brook, and surrounded by rising grounds covered with lofty trees; from the nature of the soil, as well as the temperature of the climate, it was esteemed the most healthful and delicious situation in Spain." Here Charles lived about two years, and died on the 21st of September, 1558, in the fifty-ninth year of his age.

Reflections on the Foregoing Pages

On the cloister days of the Emperor we need not dwell. They were chiefly spent in light and mechanical amusements when relief from the gout permitted him. One of these was a kind of theatrical lamentation at his funeral before his death. He ordered his tomb to be erected in the chapel; his body was laid in the coffin with great solemnity, the monks weeping (?); then marching in funeral procession with black tapers in their hands to the chapel. The service for the dead was chanted, the coffin sprinkled with holy water, the mourners retired, and the doors of the chapel were closed. Then Charles rose out of his coffin and withdrew to his apartment, full of those awful sensations which such a revolting farce was calculated to create. He died almost immediately after.

Yes! he died-died to all his dignities and humiliation, to all his ambition and disappointments, to all his plans and his policy! Yes! he who had sacrificed hundreds of thousands of human lives, and spent millions of money with the ultimate view of extinguishing Protestantism, died in the narrow sphere of a monkish cell, while Protestantism was now filling the vast firmament of human thought with its light and glory. There we leave the great Emperor-the greatest perhaps, as to dominions, that ever sat upon a throne. He is before the tribunal where motives as well as actions are weighed, and where all must be tried by the divine standard.

But, alas! we search in vain for anything like repentance in that inveterate enemy of the Reformers. Within the holy walls of St. Juste, so far from repenting of his conduct towards them, his only regret was that he had not treated them with greater severity. When informed that Lutheranism was spreading in Spain, and that a number of persons had been apprehended under suspicion of being infected with it, he wrote letters from the monastery to his daughter, Joanna, governess of Spain, to Juan de Vega, president of the council of Castile, and to the Inquisitor-general, charging them to exert their respective powers with all possible vigour, "in seizing the whole party, and causing them all to be burnt, after using every means to make them Christians before their punishment; for he was persuaded that none of them would become sincere Catholics, so irresistible was their propensity to dogmatize." Again, he says, "If they do not condemn them to the fire, they will commit a great fault as I did in permitting Luther to live. Though I spared him solely on the ground of the safe-conduct I had sent him .... I confess, nevertheless, that I did wrong in this, because I was not bound to keep my promise to that heretic .... but in consequence of my not having taken away his life, heresy continued to make progress; whereas his death, I am persuaded, would have stifled it in its birth."*

{*History of the Reformation in Spain, by Dr. McCrie, p. 119.}

Here we have the real heart of Charles. There is no longer any reason for artifice and dissimulation, or pretended toleration to the Protestants. He has done with his wars and his politics, he has no longer a double part to play; and the real spirit of the papist is openly expressed. The one regret of his old age is, that he did not seize the prey in his youth. He seems to gnash his teeth with rage when he thinks of Luther, and grieves that he did not violate his promise. But there was One who was watching over the life of Luther and the infant Reformation; and so kept the hands of Charles full for upwards of thirty years, that he had no leisure to wage war against the Lutherans. But some think that this was ever before him as the one grand object of his life and his reign — the extermination of heresy.

But in that very contest on which he had staked everything, all was lost-his dominions, his throne, his crown, his grandeur. Never was the hand of God more strikingly displayed in the affairs of any prince. In one moment, and by one stroke, all was changed. "His power collapsed when apparently at its zenith. None of the usual signs that precede the fall of greatness gave warning of so startling a downfall in the Emperor's fortunes. His vast prestige had not been impaired. He had not been worsted on the battle-field; his military glory had suffered no eclipse; nor had any of his kingdoms been torn from him."* Of all the great men who started with him in life, such as Francis I., Henry VIII., Leo X., and Martin Luther, he was the sole survivor. His rivals had passed away before him, and none seemed left to dispute his possession of the field. But the hand of the Lord in retributive justice was lifted up against the oppressor of His people, and who could shelter him? Already a finger had written on the walls of his palace, "Mene, Mene, God hath numbered thy kingdom and finished it." And, instantly, the brazen gates of his power could no longer protect him, he was compelled to flee before a power which his insidious and fraudulent policy had created. The rod which he had thus prepared for the destruction of Germany was used of God for his own complete and ignominious overthrow. What a reality is the government as well as the grace of God in the earth! He controls the movements of the mightiest monarchs, and cares for the smallest things in creation. This, faith well knows, and finds its rest and consolation therein. "The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil." (1 Peter 3:12)

{*History of Protestantism, vol. 2, p. 121.}

The Calamities of the Protestants

The other lesson so plainly written on the foregoing pages is this-that God is a jealous God, and will not give His glory to another. He will have His work done by His own means and in His own way. No greater calamity could have befallen the Reformation than that its friends should have given up the divine position of faith, and descended to the world's platform of diplomacy and arms. Had it triumphed by these means, it would have lost its true character, or perished in the land of its birth, and the Reformers would have become a mere political power. But God would not have it so, and He suffered them to be shamefully defeated and stripped, until they were utterly defenceless and cast upon Himself. They had neither league nor sword, nor treasures, nor castles, nor any means of defence. They were brought back to their first principles-faith in the word of God, and martyrdom. But these divine and invincible principles seemed to have died with their great leader and to have been buried in his grave; and it was only through great suffering and humiliation that his followers were led to see their mistake.

But no sooner were they brought to feel that they had no means of defence but the word of God and a good conscience before Him, than deliverance came. The Lord had said, "The rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous." (Ps. 125:3) Such is the goodness and the tender mercy of our God. He withdraweth not His eyes from the righteous. But it is always dangerous to give up the principles of God's word, and to be governed in our ways by the maxims and policy of this world; and this holds true in all the affairs of life; but on the subject before us the word of God is plain, as saith the apostle, "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds," yes, "mighty through God." And as the blessed Lord says, "All they that take the sword shall perish with the sword." (2 Cor. 10:4; Matt. 26:52)

The Reformation in Germany, embracing the Lutheran churches, was now definitively established. But the Reformed churches, embracing the followers of Zwingle and Calvin, were excluded from the privileges secured in the treaties of Passau and Augsburg, nor was legal toleration extended to them till the peace of Westphalia, nearly a century later. By this famous treaty the pacification of Passau was confirmed to the members of the Reformed churches, and the independence of Switzerland declared for the first time. "The balance of power," by which the weak amongst the nations might be effectually protected, and the powerful restrained from those aggressive schemes of ambition which had been too frequently indulged, was one of the important results of the negotiations and discussions in Westphalia.*

{*Universal History, vol. 6, p. 87; Wylie, vol. 2, p. 122.}

The Rise of the Jesuits

Before taking our leave, finally, of the reign of Charles V., we must just notice two memorable events which occurred during that reign, because of the relation they bore to the Reformation, and the great religious struggle which was then agitating all classes of society. We refer to the Council of Trent and the rise of the Jesuits. Having said a little about the former, we will only at present speak of the latter.

We can easily conceive that the enemies of the Reformation were now at their wits' end. What was to be done? That which had been looked forward to for thirty years, as the sure means of crushing it, had not only failed, but ceased to be an opposing power, while the Reformation was rapidly increasing its area and multiplying its adherents. The pope had lost immensely in dignity, influence, and revenues in the contest, and the imperial power could no more be appealed to. The friars, black, white, and grey, were dispersed and their monasteries destroyed: what was next to be done? was a grave question for the evil heart of Jezebel, and those with whom she took counsel. Men-at-arms had failed; peace and persuasion must be our tactics now, suggested the presiding spirit. An army must be raised whose uniform should be the priestly garb, whose vows must be poverty, chastity, the care of Christians, and the conversion of infidels; and the character of whose mission must be persuasive and pacific. Under these appearances a counter-work to the Reformation must be immediately instituted. This plausible proposal was unanimously agreed to; and never was suggestion more plainly from beneath-even from the depths of Satan; and never was there one more satanically executed, as the history of the Jesuits proves. The springs of human feeling, sympathy, and pity seem to have been dried up in every member of that society, and the hell-inspired springs of bigotry and cruelty, which have no parallel in history, most surely possessed them.

Ignatius Loyola

The Society of the Jesuits, a religious order of the Romish church, was founded by Ignatius Loyola, the son of a Spanish nobleman, born in the year 1491 at Guipuzcoa, in the province of Biscay. In his youth he was employed as a page at the court of Ferdinand and Isabella, but he grew weary of its gaieties, and longed to be engaged in the wars of his country. In 1521 we find him defending Pampeluna against the French; but the young intrepid Loyola was severely wounded in both legs. Fever followed, and the future restorer of the papacy was nearly brought to a premature grave.

By nature ardent, romantic, and visionary, he devoured greedily, during his long illness, the romances of Spanish chivalry, founded on the conflicts of his nation with the Moors; and when these were exhausted, he betook himself to a series of still more marvellous romances-the legends of the saints. With a morbid intensity he studied those books of mystical devotion, until he resolved to emulate in his own life the wondrous virtues ascribed to a Benedict, a Dominic, or a Francis. Accordingly, on his recovery, he retired to a Benedictine monastery at Montserrat, near Barcelona, and there he passed the night at the celebrated shrine of the Virgin Mary. He suspended his lance and shield before an image of the Virgin, vowed constant obedience to God and His church, thereby abandoning a temporal for a spiritual knighthood.

To celebrate his self-dedication to Our Lady, he withdrew to the adjacent town of Manresa. Holiness, in the view of such men, does not consist in the moral likeness of the soul to Jesus, but in the mortification of the body. Next to his skin he wore alternately an iron chain, a horsehair cloth, and a sash of prickly thorns. Three times a day he laid the scourge resolutely on his bare back. This was not to mortify the deeds of the body, but the poor unoffending body itself. Such is the blinding power of Satan, and such the suited darkness for his purpose. After travelling barefoot to Rome, Jerusalem, and other places rendered sacred by the Saviour's history, he eventually found his way to Paris. Here he met with Francis Xavier, who afterwards became the great apostle of India. Other kindred spirits joining them, a small band of zealous associates gathered round Loyola, which gave origin to the society of Jesus — about eight or nine in all.

Commencement of the Order of Jesuits

On the 15th of August 1534, being the festival of the assumption of the Virgin Mary, in one of the subterranean chapels of Montmartre, and after receiving the sacrament, they all took the usual vows of poverty and chastity; and then took a solemn oath to dedicate themselves to the conversion of the Saracens at Jerusalem, and the care of the Christians, and to lay themselves and their services unreservedly at the feet of the pontiff. "The army thus enrolled was little, and it was great. It was little when counted, it was great when weighed. 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 own 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 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.'"*

{*History of Protestantism, vol. 2, p. 384.}

After some delays, the pope, Paul III., approving the plan of Loyola and his companions, granted a bull in 1540, authorizing the formation of the body under the name of "The Society of Jesus;" and in April of the following year, Ignatius was installed as "The General Superior," who was to be subject to the pope only. The order had now a formal existence. Its members were to dress in black, like the secular clergy; and not being confined to cloisters, they were able to mix themselves up with all classes, and were soon found occupying courts, confessionals, and pulpits, superintending educational establishments, and otherwise securing the affections and co-operation of the young. Crowds of enthusiastic converts flocked to the new standard in all countries, and from all gradations of society.

The Jesuits' Real Object

Thus far we have trodden on ground over which the real character of the Jesuit does not appear-we have only had to do with vows intended to deceive; but were we to pursue their history, we should have to trace in every land the blood-stained footprints of the treacherous and cruel followers of Loyola. Spreading themselves over the world, we find them secretly executing the decrees and private wishes of the Vatican. Their one grand object was to extend the power of the pope, and the one grand fundamental principle of the fraternity was immediate, implicit, unquestioning, unhesitating obedience to him, through their general, who resides in Rome. The organization of their society is by far the most comprehensive of any in existence. "The Jesuit monarchy," it has been said, "covers the globe." In almost every province of the world they have Generals Provincial, who correspond with the General Superior at Rome; so that by means of the confessional, he sees and knows almost everything that is done and said, not only in the Romish church, but in private families, and throughout all parts of the habitable globe. No place is too distant, no difficulties or dangers too great, and no means too nefarious for the Jesuit, if there is the slightest hope of extending the power of the papacy.

The Gunpowder Plot, which was planned to destroy at one blow the nobility and gentry of England, is attributed to Jesuitical influence; and so are many other plots which were intended to accomplish the death of Queen Elizabeth. The gigantic wickedness of the Spanish Armada, and the crowning slaughter of the St. Bartholomew massacre, to say nothing of the many seditions, torturings, poisonings, assassinations, and massacres on a smaller scale, must be attributed to the policy, and to the seed sown by the Jesuits. So mighty did their power become, and so ruinous, that it was often found necessary for the government to suppress them. According to modern history, they were expelled from Portugal in 1759; France 1764; Spain and Spanish America, 1767; the two Sicilies, 1768; and in 1773 suppressed by the pope Ganganelli, Clement XIV. But soon after he had signed the order for their banishment, he fell a victim to their vengeance, and died by poison. In 1801 they were restored by Pius VII.; in 1860 they were dismissed from Sicily; but we need scarcely add, that they soon found ways and means to return. The late pope, Pius IX., confirmed the restoration of the order; so that they now occupy a very proud position in Rome. They have the command of most of the collegiate establishments in the city, and in so many other places, that merely to name them would fill a page.*

{*For a thorough exposure of the iniquity of the moral code of the Jesuits, see the Provincial Letters of Pascal, a Jansenist. For details of their organization, training, operations, see History of Protestantism, vol. 2; Faiths of the world-Jesuits; Universal History, Bagster, vol. 6, p. 82; Hardwick's History of the Reformation, p. 329.}

Thus was the enfeebled power of popery greatly revived — its deadly wound was healed. By means of the Reformation, many of the most opulent and powerful kingdoms of Europe had thrown off their allegiance to the pope. This was a fatal blow to his grandeur and power. It abridged his dominions, abolished his jurisdiction within their territories, and diminished his revenues. But more than this, it is well known that Charles V. seriously contemplated the reduction, if not the subversion, of the papal power. Such was the low, and almost expiring condition of the papacy, when the army of the Jesuits came to its help, which may be viewed as an illustration of Revelation 13:3, though far from the full accomplishment of those solemn prophecies.

We now turn to our general history, and would briefly glance at the progress of the Reformation in different lands.