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were no more than a drop of water compared with the ocean.” It was thence obvious that measures could not be too speedily taken to meet this pressing danger, and to restore the tenets of jesuitism to their proper ascendancy. For the accomplishment of this object recourse was had to the establishment at Stonyhurst ; on the perfect orthodoxy of which not a shade of suspicion had ever been cast, and which was now in circumstances to afford very important aid. The Reverend Peter Kenney, who had been educated partly at Stonyhurst, and afterwards in the College of Palermo, was translated from the former residence to Maynooth, where he filled the office of Vice-President : that of President being at the same time held by Dr. Murray, the present titular Archbishop of Dublin. In addition to the proper duties of his collegiate office, Mr. Kenney was also entrusted with the occasional charge of conducting the “ Retreats," or those seasons at which the students are accustomed to retire for the sake of meditation and discussion. The subjects for consideration at such times are fixed by the conductor, who also delivers every day one or more hortatory discourses ; and may, at the conclusion of the Retreat, hear the confessions of such students as apply to him. Mr. Kenney thus enjoyed most ample and favourable opportunities of inculcating the principles of his Order, and of eradicating any opinions of an opposite complexion which, through his intimate acquaintance with the most secret sentiments of the students, he might discover the slightest tendency in any of them to adopt. The testimonies which he had given of the most devoted and resolute attachment to the cause of the Society, were so many proofs of the wisdom of those who selected him to fill these situations, where his zeal and his talents might be directed to the best account. He had, it appears, from his own evidence, taken the simple vows of the Order during his residence in England ; but doubts having arisen whether he could be lawfully aggregated in a country where the restoration of the Society by the Pope had not taken place, he was compelled to seek elsewhere an opportunity of being unquestionably incorporated. The Order, most seasonably for his purpose, had been re-established in Sicily by a special brief of the Pope in 1804 : and Mr. Kenney, therefore, proceeded to Palermo, where in 1808 be became formally and certainly aggregated as a member of the Society of Jesuits. This display of resolution, and of indefatigable perseverance in the cause, clearly pointed out this individual as one whose services might be relied on whenever a suitable opportunity should present itself for employing them in the great and growing design of which the Jesuits were at the head. And such an occasion was not long wanting. The College of Maynooth,
it should be observed, being expressly limited to the education of ecclesiastics, did not completely fulfil the wishes of the leaders of the Society; whose object was then, as it ever has been, by means of their peculiar system of education to obtain influence not over the clergy alone, but over the minds of men of all ranks and professions ; especially of those who might probably rise to eminence and influence in political and secular pursuits. An attempt had, therefore, been made to erect a lay-college within the walls of Maynooth; but the design was defeated, after having made some progress, by the firmness of the late Mr. Abbot, afterwards Lord Colchester, who justly thought that such a proceeding was a plain infraction of the condition upon which the college was endowed. The design, however, was too advantageous to be altogether abandoned. Negotiations were set on foot for the purchase of a suitable property in a convenient situation, and towards the close of 1813 an agreement was made with the proprietor of Clongowes Wood, in the county of Kildare and six miles from Maynooth, for the surrender of that estate as the site of the purposed lay-seminary or college. It was opened in July 1814, for the reception of scholars; Mr. Kenney having been appointed to the office of President. All circumstances indeed, seemed to concur most favourably for the advancement of the design; for at the same precise period of time, (viz. in August, 1814), the Pope, with a memorable coincidence, issued his Bull for the restoration of the order of Jesuits; and, so far as the validity of the vows is concerned, they were from that moment re-established throughout the world. There was now, therefore, no longer any question as to the regularity and sufficiency of a profession made in this country; and great facility was thus afforded for the aggregation of members. Mr. Kenney was joined at Clongowes by others uf his order, who undertook with him the task of education, and the affiliation of the younger establishment with the parent institution of Stonyhurst, was thus rendered complete. The two societies have since maintained constant intercourse and mutual good understanding; and, with force more effective because united, have proceeded in the design to catholicize the British empire. A striking circumstance in illustration of the rapid revival of the influence of Romanism may be mentioned upon the authority of Mr. Kenney, who states upon vath, that there were but two members of the Jesuit order besides himself in the whole of Ireland, when he was appointed Vice-President of Maynooth. When he, after a short interval, removed to Clongowes, the number of priests, and of those who might become priests, had increased to nearly twenty. And from a return ordered by the House of Commons to be printed, 15th of June, 1830, the number of persons in Ireland bound by the Jesuit vows appears to have been 58: in England at the same time, 117. All these, with any augmentation which may have taken place during the ensuing five years, have grown up as suckers from that, in appearance exanimate, root which was planted at Stonyhurst not forty years before,
This design for reviving the Roman Catholic Faith in England has been thought deserving of more than domestic encouragement. It has attracted the attention of foreign states, and has its branches extended especially to Rome. “The English Catholic Library” is established with the avowed purpose of obtaining proselytes, by lending gratuitously books treating of religious controversy and piety “especially to their Protestant countrymen" when under the influence of admiration of the ceremonies of the Church in " that seat of Catholicity”. “Many proofs” it is boasted, have lately been given “ of the happy effect of those books of instruction"; and certainly, when it is considered what crowds are attracted to Rome of Protestants illgrounded in the principles of their own faith, and most favorably situated for receiving the desired impression, as well as how extended may be their influence in multiplying the same impression on their return home, this source of conversions is not to be thought lightly of. An Institution of more direct influence is the English College" at Rome, which is carefully cherished and mainly relied on, as an effective instrument for advancing the cause of the Romish Church in this country. A very remarkable proof of the deep policy by which it has recently been thought worth while to attach the students of this institution by redoubled ties to the service for which they are destined, was afforded in October, 1827; when, for the first time during several centuries, the Pope himself visited their summer retreat about 14 miles from Rome. A very striking account is extant, written by a former student of Stonyhurst, but then a member of the English College, who was present on the occasion. A most animated picture is drawn of the extreme affability and condescension of His Holiness, allowing them to kiss his foot and his hand, blessing their beads, dining at their table, conferring upon them as they knelt before him, the very significant appellation of “the hope of the Church”, and after his departure sending them as a present a beautiful young calf, ornamented with flowers, and moreover issuing directions to his masters of ceremonies that in the procession of Corpus Christi the students of the English College should carry the Baldacchino, or hangings, which are borne over the Pope as he carries the Holy Sacrament. Such aitentions are not lavished without an object; and when the period chosen for this manifestation is consi
dered in connexion with other well known circumstances, but slender doubts can remain as to what is “the hope of the Church,” or how it is expected to be realized.
These, among many other indications, furnish the ground upon which it is assumed that a design is now in progress of execution, for re-establishing in England the Roman Catholic Religion. The chief agency is evidently intrusted to the Jesuits ; upon which part of the subject an observation must be offered, which highly concerns all who even without any particular regard for religion, are anxious for the general welfare of the community. The restoration of that order by Pius VII. has given compactness and momentum to elements which before that were scattered and comparatively inert. Under what circumstances was this effected, and how is it likely to involve us ? The Jesuits within little more than two centuries (1555 to 1773), had suffered thirtyseven expulsions from various states. Such of these as took place during the 18th century had occurred in those states of Europe which are most devoted to the Romish Faith : viz. Savoy, 1729, Portugal, 1759; Spain and the two Sicilies, 1767; Parma, 1768; Malta, 1768. Lastly, as if to crown the whole by a most signal and exemplary instance, they were in 1773, suppressed at Rome and in all Christendom by a Bull of Pope Clement XIV. This prelate was cautious and temperate in disposition, not unaware of the importance to the Church of the services of this Order, nor of the scandal which must arise from his suppression of it. He had within his reach in the archives of the Propaganda, sources of information to which the rest of the world had not access. He deliberated upon these and upon the pleadings of the Society in its own justification during four years, and at the conclusion of that interval, deliberately set his hand to the instrument of suppression. Thus ex Cathedra he pronounced the Society to be inherently wicked and mischievous, dangerous to the peace of the world, and unworthy of any longer toleration. Severe as this censure may appear, the Abbé de Bernis, at that time Ambassador from France to Rome, declares, from his own acquaintance with the facts, that the Sovereign Pontiff “ would have been more than sufficiently justified if the love of peace had not closed his mouth.” Forty years after this the world beheld with astonishment the issue of a Bull by the reigning Pope, reversing the decree of his predecessor, legalizing the vows of that so often prohibited society, and placing it in a condition to exercise, in all the countries of the world, that discipline which all had united in pronouncing injurious to their welfare. The Bull of Pope Clement amounted to a verdict against the Jesuits, who had been accused of insatiable avidity for temporal possessions, dangerous seditions, massacres, hatreds, enmities, prevarications which must destroy all social confidence, and treasonable practices such as endangered the safety of all governments. Yet Pope Pius, unaccountably forgetting or purposely omitting to notice this condemnation, restored the Society in the most unqualified manner. He without any reserve recalled to existence an Order against which the most papistical states, and the papacy itself had united in pronouncing sentence; and their unanimous conclusion was, that the Jesuits did not compensate, even by their exertions on behalf of the Church, for the horrible mischiefs of which they were in other respects the authors. Yet the head of the Church of Rome restored this Society in all its plenitude; neither accompanying his rescript with any refutation or denial of the odious doctrines and practices which had been imputed to it, nor expressing his own disapprobation of them, nor so much as giving a public caution against their re-introduction. The only reason dwelt upon in justification of his proceding is the security of the Church. Placed as he is in the bark of St. Peter, and tossed with continual storms, he should deem himself on his pontificial responsibility guilty of a great crime towards God, if he should neglect to employ “ these vigorous and experienced rowers" who volunteer their services. Verily it must be assumed that the end sanctifies the means, or how could the Church have lent its sanction to the restoration of a fraternity which the Church itself had condemned and suppressed as the source of ineffable enormities?
But whether the Church of Rome is prepared to justify this proceding, or whether, having resorted to it in a moment of desperation, yet now, finding how well it has answered, she will set all censure at defiance, the consequence to ourselves is precisely the same. The Society being restored and once again planted in England, has directed all its energies to recover for the Roman Catholic Faith, its lost dominion over the people. Other of the regular orders, encouraged by the example of the Jesuits, have resumed operations. Six Colleges, besides Stonyhurst, under the direction of one or other of these orders, are now in activity upon a very extended scale, in various parts of the kingdom ; and, as described in the Laity's Directory for the present year, the Roman Catholic Chapels in England and Wales are in number 410. A mere inspection of the newspapers from day to day will furnish evidence of their rapid increase; and confirmation, if it were required, that not one of these establishments is reared
without furnishing its sheaf to the harvest of proselytes. These truths are stated here with the view of at once confirming the assertion in the