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the French parliament suppressed the order of Jesuits, in spite of the remonstrances of the pope and bishops. They were soon after suppressed by the civil power in Spain, Portugal, Italy, &c.; and, in fine, the order was extinguished by Pope Benedict XIV. This was a grievous blow to the papacy, of which the Jesuits were most devoted partisans. In the course of the present century, this dangerous order has been revived by Pope Pius VII., and is beginning again to trouble the Church.

A spirit of infidelity had long been spreading itself in France and other parts of the continent, under the influence of Voltaire, D'Alembert, and others. Many of these infidels were members, and even clergy, of the Roman Churches. In 1789 the French Revolution broke out, and led to the immediate suppression of monasteries, and the destruction of Church-property. The Gallican Church was then re-organised by the power of the republic; all the bishops were driven from their sees, in consequence of their refusing to acquiesce in this alteration, by which the number of bishoprics was reduced more than one-half, and the papal power suppressed. A body of new bishops was then appointed, and consecrated by Talleyrand, bishop of Autun. Before long, several of these Gallican bishops declared themselves atheists, and renounced the worship of God. All religion was then proscribed. When Buonaparte became first consul, he negotiated for the restoration of the Church with Pope Pius VII., who, in consequence, insisted on all the old royalist bishops and the constitutional prelates resigning their sees. Upon the refusal of many of the former, he declared their consent needless, annihilated 159 bishoprics, and created in their place sixty new ones. Buonaparte then enacted laws, placing the new Gallican Church entirely

under the control of government, as it continues to be to the present day. The adherents of the deprived bishops declared these acts schismatical, and they form a distinct communion from the rest of the Roman Church. Some years afterwards, Buonaparte extinguished the temporal power of the pope; which, however, was restored again at the peace 1814.


The monasteries were also suppressed in France, Italy, Germany; and in the course of the last few years, they have been suppressed in Spain and Portugal by the temporal rulers in those countries. The pope has now entirely lost that temporal power over the princes of Europe, which in the middle ages filled the world with confusion. The recent acts of the King of Prussia, in imprisoning some bishops who had violated the laws and their own engagements, with reference to marriages between persons of different communions, would a few centuries ago have been followed by his deposition from the throne, and the proclamation of a crusade against him.

The limits of the Roman Churches were much enlarged about the time of the Reformation by the conquests of the Portuguese and Spanish in the east and west. A great number of converts from heathenism in the east were made by the pious zeal of Francis Xavier, who in 1542 sailed for the Portuguese settlements in India, and in a very short time succeeded in spreading the Christian religion throughout that vast country and the adjoining islands. In 1549 he went to Japan, and established there numerous churches, which continued to flourish for many years, until they were brought into persecution, and destroyed by the intrigues of the Jesuits. He died in 1552, as he was about to attempt the conversion of the Chinese; but after his death,

Matthew Ricci, and other Jesuits, penetrated into that empire; and having made themselves very acceptable to the emperor by their skill in science, they were permitted to instruct the people in the Christian religion; and thus the foundation of the Church was laid amongst the Chinese, which still continues to exist, though under much persecution. The Nestorians of St. Thomas were also forced to unite themselves with the Roman Church by Menezes, archbishop of Goa. Christianity, which was now introduced into South America by the Spanish and Portuguese, obtained numerous converts there, and took deep and permanent root.

The synod of Trent reformed some of the grosser abuses in discipline; but its canons of discipline were not universally received. The controversies with the advocates of reformation led to some amelioration of doctrine amongst the well-informed members of the Roman Church. In the seventeenth century it became their object to represent their doctrines in the form which was most moderate, most conformable to Scripture, and most approximating to the tenets of the Reformation. One object in this new system of argument was to convict the Protestants of schism in voluntarily forsaking the communion of the Church, -an offence which was imputed to them by their antagonists, and too often admitted by themselves, in direct opposition to the facts of history. This mode of argument, however-in the hands of the celebrated Roman theologians Bossuet and Veronhad the effect of producing sounder and more moderate views on many subjects in the Romish Church itself, though it is unhappily but too certain that the great mass of that community are still involved in superstitions and errors very injurious to true religion. The notions and practices of the ignorant, and even of many of the better informed, are indeed,


in several points, widely at variance with the theories which are put forward by some of the more enlightened members of the Roman communion. Amongst the practices to which we object is "the worship of saints." Some Romanists affirm that this "worship" is not what is commonly understood by the word; that it merely signifies a certain degree of honour paid to the saints, "infinitely below the supreme worship which they pay to God." And yet it is certain that many persons do practically pay more honour to the saints than to God. Their private devotions consist chiefly of prayers and litanies to the Virgin Mary and other saints; and in one of their most common offices, the Rosary, the blessed Virgin is addressed ten times more frequently than the Supreme Being. Such persons may imagine themselves free from the sin of idolatry, because they do not intend to worship the saints with the same high degree of honour which they would pay to God; but these excuses will be of little avail when a “jealous God" shall require an account of their conduct, and they shall be obliged to acknowledge that their hours were devoted to the worship of created beings, in preference to that of the Author of "all good gifts." It is not an occasional prayer, or a general acknowledgment of supremacy, which God demands. He must be "all in all" to the Christian.

With reference to the "invocation of saints," we are informed by some Romanists that the intention is merely to ask for their intercession with God, and that they are not themselves believed to be "the authors or givers of divine grace." Nevertheless it is certain that they are frequently addressed in prayers which make no mention of intercession, but which evidently suppose them to be invested with the power of giving divine grace, and of be

stowing blessings on those who pray to them. Such prayers are, in themselves, plainly idolatrous, and yet they are tolerated and excused by Romanists; and the ignorant are thus exposed to most grievous temptations to direct idolatry. The very practice, indeed, of calling on the saints, leads, not unnaturally, to the dangerous opinion that they can hear such addresses from all parts of the world; that they are in all places, like God himself, and are invested with supernatural powers.

As to images, again, we find many Romanists denying with indignation the notion that they worship the images of Christ or of the saints with divine honours. According to them, the honour paid to images is supposed to pass entirely to the person represented, and in no case is it considered lawful to worship the image itself with the honours due to God. Yet many of the writers most esteemed amongst them, such as Aquinas and Bellarmine, have maintained that the images of Christ, and the supposed relics of the true cross, ought themselves to be adored with latria, or the honour due to GOD; and this doctrine has never been censured or condemned amongst them; so that it may be lawfully held by any Romanist at the present day. There is indeed but too much reason to believe, that in many places images and relics receive a worship which is more or less idolatrous. Men put their confidence in the supposed miraculous powers of certain images or relics. They make pilgrimages and offer gifts to them, bowing down before them, and exhibiting every other sign of worship. Such persons evidently believe that some divine grace or power is present in the images or relics which they thus honour; and such a persuasion and consequent practice is admitted even by Bossuet himself to be idolatrous.

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