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XVII. Sect. I.

HE arduous atempts made by the pon.CENT

tifs, in the preceding century, to advance the glory and majesty of the see of Rome, by extending the limits of the Christian church, and 'he Col

lege de prospreading the gospel through the distant nations, paganda met with much opposition; and, as they were fide, foundneither well conducted nor properly supported, Ronic. their fruits were neither abundant nor permanent. But in this century the same attempts were renewed with vigour, crowned with success, and contributed not a little to give a new degree of stability to the tottering grandeur of the papacy. They were begin by GREGORY XV, who, by the advice of his confessor NARNI, founded at Rome, in the year 1622, the famous Congregation for the propagation of the faith, and enuched it with ample revenues. This congregation, which consists of thirteen cardinals, two priests, one monk, and a secretary [a]. is designed to propa

gate (a) Such is the number of members belonging to this congregarion as they stand in the original Bull of Gregory ÅV. see Bullarium Roman. tom. iii. p. 472. edit. Luxemburg.Cerri mentions the same number, in his Eici Preseni de l'Elise Romaine, p. 259. But a different account is given by VOL. V.

B

1 ymun,

CEN T. gate and maintain the religion of Rome in all Sect i. parts and corners of the world. Its riches and

possessions were so prodigiously augmented by the munificence of URBAN VIII. and the liberality of an incredible number of donors, that its funds are, at this day, adequate to the most expensive and magnificent undertakings. And, indeed, the enterprises of this Congregation are great and extensive. By it a vast number of missionaries are sent to the remotest parts of the world; books of various kinds published, to facilitate the study of foreign and barbarous languages; the sacred writings and other pious productions sent abroad to the most distant corners of the globe, and exhibited to each nation and country in their own language and characters; seminaries founded for the sustenance and education of a prodigious number of young men, set apart for the foreign missions ; houses erected for the instruction and support of the Pagan youths that are yearly sent from abroad to Rome, that they may return from thence into their respective countries, and become the instructors of their blinded Brethren : not to mention the charitable establishments, that are designed for the relief and support of those who have suffered banishment, or been involved in other calamities, on account of their stedfast attachment to the religion of Rome, and their zeal for promoting the glory of its pontif. Such are the arduous and complicated schemes, with the execution of which this congregation is charged; but these, though the principal, are not the only objects of its attention; its views, in a word, are vast, and its exploits almost incredible. Its

members

Aymon, in his Tableau de la Cour de Rome, part III. chap. iii. p. 279. for he makes this Congregation to consist of eighteen cardinals, one of the pope's secretaries, one apostolical proihonotary, one referendury', and one of the assessors, or secretaries of the inquisition.,

members hold their assemblies in a splendid and C E N T. magnificent palace, whose delightful situation adds a singular lustre to its beauty and gran

XVII. Sect. I.

deur [b].

II. To this famous establishment, another less The Colmagnificent indeed, but highly useful, was added, lege proin the year 1627, by popę Urban VIII. under da, &c. inthe denomination of a College or Seminary for the citated by propagation of the faith. This seminary is set apart VIIL. for the instruction and education of those who are designed for the foreign missions; and they are here brought up, with the greatest care, in the knowledge of all the languages and sciences that are necessary to prepare them for propagating the Gospel among the distant nations. This excellent foundation was due to the zeal and munificence of JOHN BAPTIST Viles, a Spanish nobleman, who resided at the court of Rome, and who began by presenting to the pontif all his ample possessions, together with his house, which was a noble and beautiful structure, for this pious and generous purpose. His liberality excited a spirit of pious emulation, and is followed with zeal even to this day. The Seminary was at first committed by URBAN TO the care and direction of three canons of the patria archal churches; but this appointment was afterwards changed, and, ever since the year 1641, it is governed by the Congregation founded by GREGORY XV. [C] B 2

III The

[6] The authors, who have given an account of this Con. gregation, are mentioned by Fabricius, in his Lux Evangelii loti orbi exoriens, cap. xxxiii. p. 566. Add to these, Dorotheus Ascanius, De Montibus Pietaris Ecclesiæ Roman. p. 522. where there is a complete list of the books that have been published by this Congregation, from its first institution until the year 1667.

[C] Helyot, Histoire des Ordres Monastiques, Religieux et Militaires, tom. viii. cap. xii, p. 78. Urb. Cerri Etat present de l'Eglise Romaine, p. 293. where, however, the first founder of this College is called, by mistake, Vives.

XVII

nature

Ċ EN T. III. The same zealous spirit reached France,

and produced there several pious foundations of Sect. I.

a like nature. In the year 1603, the Congregation Congrega- of priests of the foreign missions was instituted by Colleges

royal authority, while an associazion of bishops of the same and other ecclesiastics found the Parisian Seminafouided in ry for the missions abroad, designed for the educaFrance. tion of those who were set apart for the propaga

tion of Christianity among the Pagan nations, From hence, apostolical vicars, are still sent to Siam Tonquin, Cochin China, and Persia, bishops to Babylon, and missionaries to other Asiatic nations; and all these spiritual envoys are supported by the ample revenues and possessions of the Congregation and Seminary [d]. These priests of the foreign missions [C], and the apostles they send into foreign countries, are almost perpetually involved in altercations and debates with the Jesuits and their missionaries. The former are shocked at the methods that are ordinarily employed by the latter, in converting the Chinese and other Asiatics to the Christian religion. And the Jesuits, in their turn, absolutely refuse obedience to the orders of the apostolical vicars and bishops, who receive their commission from the Congregation above mentioned; though this commission be issued out with the consent of the pope, or of the College de propaganda fide residing at Rome. There was also another religious establishment formed in France, during this century, under the title of the Congregation of the Holy Sacrament, whose founder was AUTherius, bishop of Bethlehem, and which, in the year 1644, received an order from URBAN VIII. to have always a

number

[0] Sce the Gallia Christiano Benedictinorum, tom. vii. p. 1024.-llelyot, Hisscire des Ordres Biunastiques, torn. viii. chap. ii. p. 84.

[c] These ecclesiastics are commonly callcd in France, Messicurs des Missions Etrangeres.

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