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thority, after light arose, powerfully burnt and dried up those streams of Papal wealth, and reduced the Romish see to poverty and meanness, like a scorched part of the earth dried and burnt under the vertical rays of the sun.
A striking instance of the judgments of this vial on the Papal power, we find in the subversion of the order of the Jesuits in the great kingdoms of Europe. To see the force of this remark, let us take a view of that order. They were called the Janissaries. They were indeed the life-guard of the Romish hierarchy. The Jesuits were instituted in 1540, by Ignatius Loyola, a Spaniard. And we find in them a masterpiece of Satan's policy, to support the then sinking Papal
The fertile imagination of Loyola suggested to him such an institution; and he obtained the sanction of the Pope for the establishment of it. The Jesuits came under a vow of monastic obedience, and of undertaking, in behalf of the Papal interest, in any service directed by their general, without any reward. from the Papal see. Loyola was commissioned their first general. They were trained for, and admitted to this order with amazing art. Their constitution and laws were revised and perfected by Laynez and Aquaviva, two most able and subtile generals, who succeeded Loyola. Their object was to gain a decided influence in the courts of Europe, and so to manage the civil affairs in the nations as to support the Papal see. The other orders of monks were devoted to mortification and seclusion from the world. But the Jesuits were designed for activity in all things which might tend to the support of Popery. They studied human nature, and the dispositions of rulers. They flattered the great; and became prodigies of intrigue and of enterprize. In less than half a century they were established in every Catholic country. And their numbers, wealth, and influence, became vast, and made rapid progress. They were "celebrated by the friends, and dreaded by the enemies of the Romish faith.”* Their
* Hist. Ch. V, vol. iv, p. 191.
government was purely monarchical; consisting of a general, chosen for life by deputies from the Jesuits in the different nations. His power was supreme and independent. He appointed his provincials, rectors, and every officer; and employed and removed them at pleasure. The revenues and funds of the order he held in his hands. Under his direction every member of the vast community was passive, as clay in the hands of the potter. They were taught to be incapable of resistance to their general, as they would be to their Maker. The profound subtilty of their system, for learning the dispositions of their members, and of mankind, and for holding the perfect control of their order, exceeds all that was ever known among men, excepting the more modern system of Illuminism, which appears to have been copied from it, with improvements. The general of the Jesuits (according to M. de Chalotais) was furnished annually with 6584 registers and reports from his 37 provinces through the kingdoms; beside numberless letters from spies. In these communications all the affairs of their order, and of the states, and nations of Christendom, were ascertained. All was done in cyphers invented for the purpose; so as to defy detection. The general could thus see at once what needed to be done; and who were the proper instruments of doing it; and his orders were remitted accordingly, and with the most irresistible effect. To manage the education of youth was a prime object with the Jesuits. They aimed at the control of all instruction and religion. They preached much. They sent their missionaries every where. And they found numerous admirers and patrons. They in fact obtained the chief direction of the means of education in every Catholic country. They became the confessors, and controllers of kings; and the spiritual guides of almost all people of rank. And they “possessed in the highest degree. the confidence and interest of the court of Rome, as the most zealous and able champions of its authority.”* And finally, “they possessed the direction of the most considerable courts in Europe.” They "took part in every intrigue and revolution;" and managed all things to their mind with amazing efficacy. They formed vast possessions in every Catholic country. The number and magnificence of their public buildings were immense. They obtained license from the Pope to trade wherever they resided. And they were engaged in an extensive and lucrative commerce, both in the East and West Indies. They opened warehouses in different parts of Europe; vied with commercial societies in ob. taining settlements; and they obtained vast fertile provinces in Paraguay in South America; and reigned there as sovereign princes over some hundreds of thousands of subjects. * Their influence among men became vast. And their attachment to their order and object was inviolable. Their professions were such as to steal upon the confidence of the Catholic multitudes; while yet their morality was pliant, and suited to the passions of every person upon whom they wished to operate. Their object was, imperceptibly to restore the Papal prerogatives of the dark ages; or heal and support that wounded cause. Many of the Jesuits were most learned. They produced more works of genius than all the other Catholic orders. They claimed it as their prerogative to combat the Protestants: And they labored to excite against them all the rage of civil and ecclesiastical power. They were the authors (says Dr. Robertson) of “most of the pernicious effects arising from that corrupt and dangerous casuistry of the times, from those extraordinary tenets concerning ecclesiastical power, and from the intolerant spirit, which has been the disgrace of the church of Rome throughout that period, and which have brought so many calamities upon civil society.”+ For two centuries Europe beheld this powerful order, and felt its dismal effects: But not having discovered the deep internal policy of the system, they knew not to what to impute its amazing success. The internal policy of the order was
*Hist. Ch. V, vol. iv, p. 198.
designed to be kept concealed in impenetrable mystery. They refused even in courts of justice to expose it; and they were long connived at in this particular.
But this mysterious system was at length developed; which excited disgust and alarm. And the Jesuits having been found guilty of many dangerous intrigues, and even assassinations of monarchs and statesmen, the civil authorities of Europe were awakened; and the order was suppressed. And the suppression of them in France, Spain, Portugal, Naples, and other nations; the shutting up of their schools, the confiscation of their revenues, and the banishing of them from these kingdoms, operated as a deadly stroke toward the ruin of the Papal
Dr. Langdon, on the Revelation, (page 229) viewed this event as an effectual step, taken by the Eu. ropean governments, toward the overthrow of the Pa. pal interest. He says, “The banishment of the Jesuits from all the nations of Europe, and the dissolution of the order, as guilty of treasons, rebellions, and assassinations of monarchs, is the most remarkable event in Providence.” Dr. Trumbull, in his sermon at the close of the 18th century, remarks, “In the last half century the order of the Jesuits, who constituted the most deceitful, intriguing, and formidable branch of the Romish hierarchy, were abolished. They made rapid and astonishing progress through all the Roman Catholic countries, till they were suppressed in 1773."
Events so great, and so fatal to Popery, as the parts, which the civil governments of Christendom thus acted, in throwing off their superstitious veneration for the Papal authority, many of them protecting the Protestant cause, and abolishing the rites of Popery; and even the others despising the arrogant pretensions of the Roman Pontiff; and at last determinately abolishing the order of the Jesuits, on whom the Papal see was making its chief dependence, must'be viewed as having a place among the essential steps taken in Providence toward the ruin of the Papal cause. The connexion of this conduct of the civil European governments with the events of the three vials already noted, seems to give it a claim to be reckoned as the fourth vial. And the nature of the event appears fully to accord with the symbolic representation, of power being given to the sun to scorch men (the men of the Papal interesi) with his fire and great heat.
And the events, which in fact have followed those effects of the political sun in the great nations of Europe, have been just such as were predicted under this vial;—and men blasphemed the name of God, who had power over these plagues; and they repented not to give him glory. Most completely have the impenitence and blasphemy, here foretold, been fulfilled in the greatest Catholic nations, in the scheme of Illuminism, or the Voltaire system of Infidelity, which at this very time went into operation. So far were those nations from repenting, and giving glory to God, under those plagues, that they blasphemed his name, by adopting another latent system of darkness, which aimed at the total subversion of all religion, and of the idea of the being of God. We read nothing in the vials of their blaspheming the name of God, till the close of the fourth vial. And we find in fact no systematic attempt to introduce Atheism, till just at the close of the fourth vial, as just explained. And then we do find such an attempt in fatal operation. · This furnishes an argument in favor of the explanation given of the fourth vial. It can be no objection to the view given of this vial, that it began its operation before the effects of the third vial, on the rivers and fountains of water, had ceased. Let me here repeat the remark before noted of a celebrated author; “It is no where said, that each vial is emptied before its successor begins to be poured out.
Hence it is not unreasonable to conclude, that two or more of the vials may be poured out at the same time, though the effusion of one commence, before that of the other."* As the two first vials were of a nature to be partially collateral; so were the third and fourth.t
*Faber, vol. ii, p. 199. +Should any suggest that events in France under the tyranay of the present emperor, may seem strikingly to fulfil the judgment of the fourth vial; I answer; those events may also strik. ingly fulfil another vial, as may appear. And it must be incor.