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THE JESUITS DECEIVE THEM WHO DWELL ON EARTH BY MEANS OF THE MIRACLES WHICH THEY HAVE POWER TO DO IN THE SIGHT OF THE POPE.
THE account of "the Miraculous Straw" is related with a full detail of circumstances by Eudæmon Johannes, Father More, and almost all the earlier historians of the Mission of the Jesuits in England. The original fabricator of this miracle was supposed to be one John Wilkinson, a young Catholic, who at the time of Garnet's trial and execution was about to pass over into France to commence his studies at the Jesuits' College at St. Omers. Representations of the Straw in the first and second stage of the Miracle are given in the Penny Magazine for June 27, 1835. From the subjoined account we collect the following particulars:
After the executions of Oldcome and Garnet, the most absurd tales of Miracles, performed in vindication of their innocence and in honour of their Martyrdom, were industriously circulated by the Jesuits in England and in foreign countries. Among these absurd illustrations of the superstition and credulity of the times, the Miracle which was most insisted upon as a supernatural confirmation of the Jesuit's innocency and martyrdom was the story of Father Garnet's straw. Wilkinson and the first observers of the prodigy merely represented that the appearance of a face was shown upon the husk or sheath of a single grain on so diminutive a scale as scarcely to be visible, unless specifically pointed out. But a much more imposing image was afterwards discovered. Two faces appeared upon the middle part of the straw, both surrounded with rays of glory: the head of the principal figure, which represented Garnet, was encircled with a martyr's crown, and the face of a cherub appeared in the middle of the beard. In this improved state of the Miracle, the story was circulated in England, and excited the most profound and universal attention; and, thus depicted, the Miraculous Straw became generally known throughout the Christian world. Such was the extent to which this ridiculous fable was believed, and so great was the scandal which it occasioned among the Protestants, that Archbishop Bancroft was commissioned by the Privy Council to call before him such persons as had been most active in propagating it, and, if possible, to detect the impostors. The Archbishop commenced
the inquiry in November 1606, and a great number of persons were examined; but, as Wilkinson, who was supposed to be the chief impostor, was abroad, and as the inquiry completely exposed the fraud, though the hand that effected it remained undiscovered, no proceedings seem to have been taken to punish the parties concerned in it.'
Paley has shown that Popish miracles generally happen in Popish countries. In this we behold a fulfilment of prophecy. St. John declared that it would be so. "He deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by means of the miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the Beast." Suppose England to have been a Popish country, when the miracle of Garnet's Straw was said to have happened. No inquiry would have been set on foot. The fraud would never have been exposed. The reality of the miracle would have been asserted to this day. "The Beast," i. e. the Papacy would have given its sanction to the miracle, and none could have proved the deception.
The miracles of the Jesuits are no miracles at all. They come merely in affirmance of opinions already formed. They are Popish miracles in Popish countries. If they happen in Protestant countries, the fraud is sure to be discovered. They make no converts, but are performed "in the sight of the Beast.” They fall in with principles already fixed, with the public sentiments, or with the sentiments of a party already engaged on the side the miracle supports.' Such miracles would not be attempted in the face of enemies, in opposition to reigning tenets or favour
ite prejudices, or when, if they be believed, the belief must draw men away from their preconceived and habitual opinions, from their modes of life and rules of action.' (Paley.) The miracles of the Jesuits are deceptions. They "deceive them who dwell on the earth." They must also be performed " in the sight of the Beast," or not be performed at all. "He deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the Beast."
Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, is said to have performed many miracles. The Jesuits have affirmed that he performed more miracles than Moses, and as many as the Apostles! that his authority over the creatures was such that they rendered him a prompt obedience!! that, whilst he lived, his life and manners were so holy and exemplary, even in the opinion of heaven, that only such Popes as St. Peter, such Empresses as the Mother of God, such a Sovereign Monarch as God the Father and his Son, had the happiness of beholding him!!!
What St. Paul has said of Jesus Christ, the Jesuits have applied to Ignatius Loyola. "In these days God has spoken to us by his Son" IGNATIUS, "whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds."!!! (History of Jesuits, vol. 2. pp. 47, 48.)
We pass over the blasphemous application of this text to Ignatius, and turn to the miracles attributed to him. We affirm that they are deceptions, for they were never heard of till he had been dead near sixty
years. 'His life written by a companion of his, and by one of the order, was published about fifteen years after his death. In which life, the author, so far from ascribing any miracles to Ignatius, industriously states the reasons why he was not invested with any such power. The life was republished fifteen years afterwards, with the addition of many circumstances, which were the fruit (the author says) of further inquiry, and of diligent examination; but still with a total silence about miracles. When Ignatius had been dead near sixty years, the Jesuits, conceiving a wish to have the founder of their order placed in the Roman calendar, began, as it should seem, for the first time, to attribute to him a catalogue of miracles, which could not then be distinctly disproved; and which there was in those who governed the church a strong disposition to admit upon the slenderest proofs.' (Paley.) The Pope was disposed to admit and sanction these miracles; and that was sufficient. "He deceiveth them that dwell on the earth
by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight," or, with the sanction, "of the Beast."
A catalogue of miracles has been attributed to the Jesuit Missionary, Francis Xavier. In the Louvre is N. Pousin's celebrated painting of Xavier raising the daughter of a native of Japan to life, in presence of her parents and many others! The miracles of this Jesuit are liable to this objection, viz. that the accounts of them were published at a vast distance from the supposed scene of the wonders.' (Paley).