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dential object would be accomplished by believing them. Notwithstanding, however, that every man of common sense will reject them, they are indispensable to a proper understanding of the methods employed by the Jesuits in setting forth the claims of their society to providential favor. And although the vagaries of the wildest enthusiasts are more credible, because they do not sport with sacred things, their recital puts us in possession of some of the means of unraveling the nets this wonderful society has cunningly woven.
The Jesuits had a fairer and better field for the display of their peculiar characteristics, and for the successful establishment of the principles of their constitution, during the existence of the Government founded by them in Paraguay, than ever fell to the lot of any other society or select body of men. It is not too late to try them by the results they then achieved, so as to assure ourselves of what might reasonably be expected if the modern nations should so far forget themselves as to allow that sad and disastrous experiment to be repeated.
After the Portuguese obtained possession of Brazil, they inaugurated measures necessary to bring the natives under their dominion. The problem was not of easy solution. The Indians had no conception of the principles of international law, which the leading nations had established to justify the subjugation of the weak by the strong, and consequently had to be brought by slow degrees under such influences as should persuade them to believe that their conquerors were benefactors, and not enemies. The pretense of title, based upon the grant of the Pope Alexander VI, was not openly avowed. If it had been, the native population, in all probability, would have united in sufficient numbers to drive the invaders into the sea. Pacific means of some sort had to be employed, so as to delude the multitude of natives into a condition of apparent but false security.
Spain had also acquired possessions in other parts of South America, and the methods of colonization adopted by the two Governments were substantially the same. Charles V of Spain and John III of Portugal were both religious
fanatics, and although their chief purpose was to obtain wealth from the mines of America, each of them professed to desire, at the same time, the civilization of the natives. Hence, as this could not be accomplished without the influences of Christianity, all the expeditions sent out by them to the New World were accompanied by ecclesiastics, and were therefore under the patronage and auspices of the Church of Rome. The controlling idea of the period was that the Church and the State should remain united, so that wheresoever the latter should obtain temporal and political control, the former should be constantly present to decide and direct everything pertaining to faith and morals; that is, to keep both the State and the people in obedience to the Church. With these objects in view, missionaries were sent out by the Church with the first Spanish and Portuguese adventurers, and every step was avowedly taken in the name of Christianity. So deeply was this sentiment embedded in every mind that the memory of some favorite saint was perpetuated in the names of nearly all the newly-established cities. These missionaries were taken mainly from the ancient monastic orders—the Dominicans, Franciscans, etc.— and had been regarded by the popes for many years as not only the most faithful, but the most efficient coadjutors of the Church in the work of extending Christianity over the world. We have elsewhere seen that the Jesuits did not sympathize with this belief, and that Loyola had urged upon the pope the necessity of creating his new society upon the express ground that these ancient orders had become both inefficient and corrupt. When the New World, therefore, was about to be opened before them, the followers of Loyola endeavored to seize the occasion to supplant the monkish orders, if possible, and take into their own hands exclusively the dissemination of Christian influences among the native populations. In this respect the Jesuits displayed more zeal for their own success than for that of the Church, and made the cause of Christianity secondary to their own interests. The history of their missions in South America will abundantly show this, as it will also display their insatiable ambition and unparalleled superciliousness.
The firt Jesuists were sent to £>outh America by the King of Portugal. They found a large district of country washed by the waters of the Rio de la Plata and its tributaries, which had not been reached by either the Spaniards or the Portuguese, but remained in the exclusive possession of the Indians, who had never felt the influence of European civilization. The natives generally had been treated by the invaders with extreme cruelty, having been often reduced to slavery and forced to submit to a variety of oppressions and indignities. All the resources of the country susceptible of being converted into wealth were seized upon to supply the royal treasuries of the Christian kings who tyrannized over them. The whole history of that period shows that, unless some counteracting influences had been introduced, those who professed to desire the civilization of the natives would, in all probability, have added to the degradation and misery in which they were found when first discovered. The Jesuits desired to apply some corrective, and there is no reason why the sincerity of their first missionaries in this respect should be suspected. It can not be justly charged against them that they were disposed to treat the native populations with cruelty, or to do otherwise than subject them to the influences of the Jesuit system of education and government. Whatsoever faults of management are properly attributable to them—and there are many—are easily traceable to that system itself, which, from its very nature, has always been, and must continue to be, inflexible. Inasmuch as blind and uninquiring obedience to the superior is the most prominent and fundamental principle of the society, everything, in either government or religion or morals, must bend to that, or break. There is no half-way ground—no compromise— nothing but obedience. Everything is reduced to a common level, leaving individuals without the least sense of personal responsibility except to those in authority above them. For these reasons, it is necessary to remember, whilst examining
the course and influences of the Jesuits in Paraguay, that whatsoever transpired was in obedience to the command of the superior in Rome, who held no personal intercourse with the natives, and whose animating and controlling purpose was to grasp the entire dominion over the New World in his own hands. It was chargeable to the constitution and organization of the society, which, as already explained, so emphatically embodies the principle of absolute monarchism as to place it necessarily in antagonism with every form of liberal and popular government. If the Government they established in Paraguay, and maintained for one hundred and fifty years, had not been monarchical, it could not have had Jesuit paternity or approval. If, from any cause, at any period of its existence, it had become otherwise by the introduction of popular features, it would have encountered Jesuit resistance. Monarchism and Jesuitism are twin sisters. Popular liberty and Jesuitism can not exist in unity; the former may tolerate the latter, but the latter can not be reconciled without exterminating everything but itself. Whatsoever institutions existed, therefore, in Paraguay whilst the country was under the exclusive dominion of the Jesuits, must be held to have been in precise conformity to the Jesuit constitution, and of such a character as the society would yet establish wheresoever they possessed the power either to frame new institutions or to change existing ones.
The Jesuit idea of exclusiveness and superiority influenced the conduct of their missionaries in Paraguay as elsewhere. But for this, different results might have ensued. If they had been content to recognize the monastic orders as equally important and meritorious as their own in the field of missionary labor, and the ancient machinery of the Church as retaining its capacity for effectiveness in spreading Christianity throughout the world—if, in other words, they had been content to recognize any merit as existing elsewhere than among themselves—the natives might have been subjected to a very different destiny from that which, in the end, overwhelmed them. But they were not permitted, by