Alexis De Saint-Priest
History Fall of the Jesuits in the Eighteenth Century
Excerpt from History Fall of the Jesuits in the Eighteenth Century: Translated From the French French school of philosophy, but strangers even to its tenets. The causes which struck at Jesuitism, and occasioned its overthrow, in all the plenitude of undisputed power, were wholly local, and of a private and personal nature: whilst, to crown the general astonishment, the vast and powerful body, whose arms extended (as has been often said) to regions till lately unexplored - this universal colony of Rome, an object of dread to all, and feared even in the very seat of its power received its first blow, not from any great potentate, nor upon any of the principal theatres of Europe, but in one ofits ex treme corners, and in one of the weakest and most isolated of its kingdoms. This blow was struck in Portugal, an event which would indeed excite our surprise, if we considered only the power which the Order possessed in that country, ruling both monarch and people, the throne and the altar; but if we regard the excess and abuse of that power which itself tended to endanger its durability, and recall the circumstances which, fortuitously or not, are connected with the introduction of the Jesuits into the Court of Lisbon, our surprise will lessen, and we may find cause to reverse our opinion. They had undoubtedly rendered some partial services to Portugal, and added new and profitable subjects to the realm; in China and in the Indies they had extended the renown of the Portuguese name by their mis sionary labours, crowned, as they were, by martyrdom. But at the same time it must be remembered that the establishment. Of this society coincides with the decline of the Portuguese monarchy. Unhappily for Portugal, the Jesuits entered the country at the very time that a foreign in¿uence was introduced, and the decay of the monarchy was rapid and even instantaneous. Though opposed to the testimony of almost all historians, we are disinclined to attribute this circumstance to the Jesuits we remark only that it was unfortunate for them to have been the active witnesses of the event. Right or wrong, responsibility attaches to those who exercise power; and it cannot be denied that in Portugal the Jesuits exercised sovereign power unin terruptedly for two centuries - from 1540 to 1750. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.
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