THE JESUITS A SPEECH BY JOHN A. MARTIN February 5,1856 Transcribed by Ernst F. Tonsing, Ph.D.
Thousand Oaks, California July 12,2004 [The sixteen, almost seventeen year old, John A. Martin of Brownsville, Pennsylvania, examined the religious order, the Jesuits, in a speech delivered at the meeting of the Franklin Institute in 1856. The Institute was a literary association that had been founded by Martin and his friends to debate current issues and to improve their skills in oratory. It seems from the other manuscripts surviving in the Kansas State Historical Society archives by Martin that most of the topics taken up by the group were political in nature, and this one, although treating a religious order, does the same. Written on six sheets in a clear hand, the manuscript has only a few strike-outs or corrections. [Coming long before Pope John XXIII and the pivotal Vatican II Council that opened rapport between Catholics and Protestants, this speech reflects the widespread Protestant view of the Jesuit Order in the first half of the nineteenth century. Martin reviews for the club the career of the order's founder, the history not only of the order's missionary efforts but its expulsion from a number of countries, and ends with warnings about the hidden enemy among them. The rhetoric reminds one of the Cold War and the angst created by the uncertainty of the Communist threat. It is difficult to appreciate the fact that, in 1856, the United States was yet a young nation, suspicious of monarchical societies that placed their allegiances elsewhere, especially those of European origins. A Pope in the Vatican was seen to be no less a danger to the frail institutions in the New World as a king in England. Suspected of disloyalty, and, even worse, of seeking to subvert American society, the Roman Catholic Church was distrusted even more than a century later. The careers of President Kennedy and others in government have shown the weaknesses of these arguments and that their worries were overwrought. -Ernst F. Tonsing]
We do not propose, in our essay this evening, to give the complete history of the Jesuits, but merely a few historical facts on their rise, power, fall, and present condition, omiting [sic] all the lesser events, almost everything connected with their persecution of the Protestants, in Europe, as the brief time we have had to prepare, forbids us going into detail. Ignatius Loyola, the founder, and first General of the Jesuits, or "Company of Jesus," as they then termed themselves, was born in the province of Guipuzcoa, Spain, in the year 1491. He was of noble lineage, and derived his name from the Castle of Loyola, which was in possession of his family. In 1521, the province in which he resided was ravaged by the French, Pampeluna, the capital of Navarre, besieged, and after a disperate
[sic] resistance, taken. It was in this siege that Loyola first attracted notice, and here he was severely wounded. During the confinement he was subject to, on account of his wound, he read many of the lives of the saints, and his enthusiastic nature being further heightened by fever, he imagined he saw various visions, and on his recovery, he made an irrevocable vow of chastity, and determined to rescue the Romish Church from her dangers. Full of this, he composed "The Spiritual Exercises," one of the doctrinal works of the Jesuits, and went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, on which journey, it is stated by popish authors, that he was attended by many wonders and miracles.1 On his return, he was pronounced a saint, and set about establishing a company of men, who presented themselves to the Pope Paul III, who received them kindly, issued his bull for the establishment of the Jesuits.2 These are the simple facts from which originated the powerful, subtle, and crafty Order of Loyola. But we have seen the circumstances under which it originated,—let us turn again, and observe some of the principles which govern them. Four classes constitute the society, and take vows according to their different degrees. The 1st take vows of perpetual chastity, perfect obedience, voluntary poverty, and absolute submission to the Pope. The 2nd class take only the three first vows; the 3rd take the three first, and with the consent of their superiors, are allowed to take the latter. The 4th are candidates upon trial. Every Jesuit acknowledges unlimited submission to the will of the superior, whose will is to be considered the will of God, and they all must firmly believe in the doctrine that "the end justifies the means." The government is monarchial; the head of the order is the General, who is elected for life. These are the grand principles upon which the order is based, and to these the Pope gave his unconditional assent. As we have before stated, Loyola was elected the first General, and installed with great solemnity, April 23d, 1541. In 1542 the Pope issued his bull for the establishment of the Inquisition, which the Jesuits supported with great ...3 under Loyola's generalship the order was in an exceedingly flourishing condition. He established a large college at Rome, which was his last great work. He died on the last day of July, 1556, in the 65 year of his age. The system which he inculcated, was now identified with the system of Rome. He taught them to bring all their forces to one common focus. He had deputed missions to India, Japan, China, Ethiopia, and various other countries, and such was the devotion his followers felt for him, that on his death, they prevailed on the Pope to beatify him, a ceremony derived from the ancient Pagans, by which a solemn acknowledgment is made by the Pope, that the person beatified is in heaven, and may be revered as a God. It is impossible to imagine a nearer approach to idolatry. But we will pass briefly over the events preceding the death of Loyola. Suffice it to say that the order spread rapidly, and wherever it was established, Protestant blood flowed free as water. It appeared in France; the blood of the Huguenots drenched the
Ignatius' inactivity after injury from a cannonball required him to turn from a military career, but his definite conversion came during his pilgrimage to Monserrat and his solitary life at Manresa. Here he was inspired with the thoughts that were summarized in his Spiritual Exercises. His first impulse was to work in the Holy Land, but, soon he realized that his lack of education had to be remedied, and that careful planning and a community of fellow "warriors for Jesus" was needed for effective results. Ignatius drew up a Formula histituti in 1539 to direct their mode of life. Pope Paul III limited the membership to sixty. This constraint was eliminated by Julius III who succeeded Paul. 3 A blank equal to one word appears in the manuscript here.
soil4; Henry IV fell beneath their daggers, and they were finally expelled from France by Louis XV, in 1764, and his example was followed by the Courts of Spain, Portugal, and Sicily, in 1767, and Malta and Parma in 1768. The[y] appeared in England, and the "Gunpowder Plot,"5 one of the most damnable that has ever disgraced the pages of history, is the result of their machinations. They appeared in Germany, Scotland, Ireland, Poland, and Switzerland, and everywhere they retain the same character. If they arrive in a protestant country, they fill the land with woe and tumult. If in a Catholic country, they direct their plots against the other orders. "At length," says a writer, "even the Roman Pontiff was wearied by their unscrupulous rapacity and all-grasping ambition, their treacheries and stratagems, their formenting of seditions, disloyalties, and rebellions, their instigating of massacres, parricidal cruelties, and royal assassinations; their intrigues and cabals, their laxation of public morals, and the Pope determined to sweep them away ,and cause their institution to perish from off this earth and from under these heavens." In 1773, Clement XTV, then Pope, issued his bull for the suppression of the order. The bull extended to every country in which they were, and pronounced excommunication on all who should harbour [sic] or conceal any of their effects. On signing the bull, Clement remarked, "the suppression is accomplished. I do not repent it, but it will be my death." His remarks proved true. Several attempts were made to poison him, but failed until June, 1774, when he was cut off by poison. His successor, Pope Pius VII, in 1814, issued a bull for their restoration, and they now enjoy all the privileges they had in the time of Loyola. They are again active in Spain, Portugal, Austria, Prussia, Bavaria, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, England, France and even in the U.S., and everywhere they are awakening the alarm of Protestants. They have colleges in every important city in both the old and new worlds, and notwithstanding the opposition they have met, and their numerous expulsions, they are a zealous, active, energetic, powerful and influential as at any former period of their history. And now that we have given the outlines of their past history, let us add a word of warning to the lovers of Republican Institutions. It must be evident to every close observer, that Jeruitism is on the increase, and using every means to subvert our glorious republic; not by open, manly deeds, but in secret they strike the deadly blow. A Jesuit may be your next door neighbor, without your suspecting him. Wily, subtle, and artful, he insinuates himself into your company, and is ever on the lookout for converts, and opportunities to carry out his designs. He moves in secret, and wherever Popery flags, it is the Jesuit who is commissioned to give it new vitality and energy, and they live and move for it. They have no attachments to the country where they reside, further than
The Huguenots were French Protestants. The publication of Martin Luther's Ninety Five Theses in 1517 created great excitement in France, and a Bible in the vernacular French was published in 1523. At the publication of an edict on January 29, 1534, to exterminate the Huguenots, many emigrated, including John Calvin, who fled to Switzerland to become the leader of the Protestant movement there. 5 The "Gunpowder Plot" is the name given to the conspiracy to blow up the English King James I and the parliament November 5, 1604, in response to the anti-Roman Catholic laws which were being zealously enforced by the king. Several Jesuits were among the conspirators. The plot was revealed and the ones involved either were captured and executed or escaped. Guy Fawkes' Day, November 5th, commemorating the discovery of the plot, is celebrated in England by bonfires, fireworks and procession with "guys" carried through the streets.
interest binds them, and even the generous, open soul of Layfayette, the bosom friend of Washington, though reared amongst Popery, and himself a Roman Catholic, bore witness against them when he uttered his ever-to-be-remembered apothegm, "If ever the liberties of this republic are endangered, it will be by Jesuit priests." Let Americans write the warning in their hearts. We see in their movements at the present time, agencies at work which must and will prove our downfall unless counteracted. No law binds them—no oath is too sacred to be broken. They possess a "higher law." When Dr. De Barth, the Vicar General of the order in Pennsylvania, was told that he could not take the oath naturalization to the U.S., without violating his obligation to the pope [sic], he pronounced it a mistake, and said that any part of the oath of allegiance of this country, which may be incompatible with the first and greater obligation to the Roman Pontiff is not binding. They are, without exception, foreigners, for it does not accord with the views of their superior to let native born priests remain on their native shores. They might be slightly tinged with nationality and a love of country. European priests indiscriminately govern the churches of this country and thus they are bound by no ties of nationality, and their "higher law" doctrine, releases them from any obligation they may have taken to support the government. Their Bishops and Priests in this and all other countries are sworn to oppose, subvert, and do all in their power to destroy, all heretical, who do not acknowledge the Pope as their ruler, both spiritually and politically. Give them free sweep, and in less than ten years, by the aid of Torey emigration, the Pope of Rome will be issuing his bulls to the U. S., and all our offices filled by his appointment. They have already, to a considerable extent, the balance of power in their hands, and Archbishop Hughes, their chief mover in this country, possesses more influence than our national executive.5 They oppose the cause of education, unless the schools be placed entirely in their own hands, and will not permit their people to be educated with ours. All history proves them to be dangerous foes to civil and religious liberty, bloodthirsty, and cunning. They possess no power but what they have gained by craft and butchery. The blood of the murdered Waldenses [sic]7 and Hugenots [sic] cry out against them. They tortured a Gallileo [sic] for revealing the science of nature. Their influence excommunicated a Luther for revealing Gods word to the people. They have crept in among us, and are striving to destroy all which an American holds dear. Think, then, all of you, whether the state of our country is not such as now, that as men and patriots, you are bound to to [sic] use your influence to oppose them. Archbishop Hughes has declared that he will celebrate their ceremonies in the Senate Chamber of the U. S., before ten
Archbishop John Hughes (1797-1864) was born in Ireland and immigrated to the United States in 1816. He was the fourth bishop and the first archbishop of New York, and was energetic in establishing new parishes, schools and colleges. His vigorous policies of removing church properties from the supervision of lay trustees brought him into conflict with editor and state Senator, Erasmus Brooks, in 1855. Martin's citation of Archbishop Hughes reflects this controversy. Several years after this speech, although not an abolitionist, Hughes solidly supported the Union cause in the Civil War, and he carried on a correspondence with Secretary of State, William H. Seward. Seward entrusted him with a mission to Napoleon HI to persuade the French to reject the overtures of the Confederate States and to support the North. His success brought him a letter of thanks from President Abraham Lincoln. 7 The Waldensian sect were members of an heretical Christian sect in southern France which began about 1170. Their beliefs are not known for certainty, but they seem to have been related to Gnostic Manichaeism, with its dualism, asceticism, and individualism as opposed to what they saw as a "secularized" Church. They were persecuted, but survived to contribute their doctrines to John Wycliffe and Jan Huss.
years. Let Americans awake from their legarthy [sic], and do their duty, ere a storm breaks upon us, which will leave our beloved country a shattered wrech [sic] upon the sea of ruined nations. J. A. Martin. Brownsville, Feb. 5,1856.