The Power and Secret of the Jesuits

The Power and Secret of the Jesuits

The Power and Secret of the Jesuits

The Power and Secret of the Jesuits

Excerpt

Writings concerning the Society of Jesus may be numbered by thousands; from the foundation of the order to the present day, every epoch, and almost every people and every tongue, has produced an extensive literature relating to the Jesuits. Of all these works, few indeed attempt to treat the subject objectively, while the remainder are all concerned either with reviling and accusing or with praising and defending.

Nevertheless, anyone who in our days seeks the truth about Jesuitism will find more valuable help in these partisan, controversial writings than in the guaranteed information of the historians. For, however important in many respects verified data and documents may be, such dry compilations never reveal to us the whole, or, indeed, the most essential part, of the truth. Incomparably deeper insight into the being and the meaning of Jesuitism is afforded by all the hate-filled pamphlets, the highly coloured apologies, distorted representations, doctored reports, the slanderings and glorifications of the order's history. They show us the attitude of living men to the Jesuit idea, disclose how deeply this idea has influenced emotions, thoughts and actions at every period, to what a passionate degree of rage and enthusiasm it has driven the mind of man.

In these writings, we see the combatants in the midst of the conflict, accusing or conciliatory, arrogant or humble, entreating or triumphing, cunning or open-hearted; we hear the cadence of their speech, see their actions and their plottings. In consequence, the judgment to which such controversial literature leads us is not derived from colourless, historical material, reduced to dry data, but grows from the evidence of living witnesses and from direct observation.

The author, therefore, could scarcely have wished for more valuable or suggestive material relating to his subject than that which is to hand. It introduces us to the salons of Paris society, the observatories of great astronomers, the primeval forests of South America, the ceremonial halls of China, the palace of the Sacrum Officium, the lodges of the Freemasons, into churches, conspirators' conventicles and hermits' cells; we pass through every town and country of the inhabited earth, through every epoch of recent times. We find ourselves involved in theological . . .

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