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selves, as all the avails of it must contribute to the support of their families, the common fund was affected in the same manner as if they had been directly devoted to its augmentation, as the same amount they so obtained might be retained from them in the find. If this be a community of goods, the greatest slaveholder of the African race acts on the principle of a community of goods ; for the planter no less than the Jesuit must afford his slaves a subsistence, or they perish, and he is ruined.
By this system the Jesuits accumulated enormous wealth. In the missions alone, situated on the banks of the Parana, they possessed thirty townships, containing not less than one hundred thousand In. dian inhabitants. More than thirty thousand of these were capable of performing labor; and each laborer, acting under this system, was worth to the Jesuits at least two hundred dollars. If to the sum of these be added the value of their horses, cattle, mules, sheep, land, and their churches, with their rich ornaments, it will amount, at the most moderate prices, in a single establishment, to nine hundred thousand dollars. This sum, multiplied by the thirty towns, produces the enormous amount of twenty-seven millions.
But enormous as this wealth appears, it was small compared to the millions they possessed in the various sections of this vast territory their lands, slaves, Indian subjects, numerous warehouses, and richly endowed churches, together with twelve most favorably located col. leges around them, with a paramount influence with which none in the new world could compete. So fearful was this influence that the viceroy of Buenos Ayres declared to the king of Spain that the Je. suits had more vassals than his majesty in South America. It is true that knowledge was only dealt out to this people in grains and scruples, yet of all that was allowed to be disseminated the Jesuits held the key. It was at this moment of their brightest glory, when the tide of wealth was flowing in most abundantly—when the echo of their achievements sounded over the continent—when Spain itself trembled at the success of their intrigues—it was at this moment of aspiration and ardent hope, that all their power and prospects vanished, like the “ baseless fabric of a vision, and left not a wreck behind."
In 1767 Charles III., king of Spain, formed the bold design of expelling all the Jesuits from his dominions. After having issued a decree to this end, the king addressed Pope Clement III., begging his benediction on this momentous and apparently indispensable act. In this address he reminded his holiness, that the first duty of a sovereign was to watch over the peace and preservation of his state, and to provide for the good government and internal tranquillity of his subjects; that, guided by this view of his duty, he felt himself imperiously required to adopt this severe measure against that society; that he would send them all from his dominion, both in the old and new world, to the state of the church, Italy; and that he had appropriated a suffi. cient sum for their support to sustain them through life.
At this the pope instantly took fire; and, addressing a brief to Charles, he remonstrated in the strongest terms against a measure which he declared to be most offensive to Heaven: he vindicated the Jesuits, and alleged them to be the most pure, active, and divinely attended of all the servants of God, and condemned the king in this severe measure, by some fearful insinuations. His majesty submitted this stern document to his council extraordinary, to receive advice from that august body. The council spoke out on the communication of his holiness with a freedom, and fearlessness, and strength, worthy of a brighter age of the world. It stated to the king that the brief was wanting in due respect to the sovereign of Spain and the Indies ; that it would be compromising his supreme prerogative to enter into any controversy on the question ; that to God alone the king was re. sponsible for his acts; that the brief had been silent respecting some of the most important considerations, which make the measure it opposes indispensable.
The council then recapitulated some of the charges against the Jesuits. That they had altered the theological doctrines—that some of them had been so daring in their skepticism as to doubt the authen. ticity of the sacred Scriptures—that, in China, they had rendered com. patible at once the worship of both God and mammon—that, in Japan, they had, in so scandalous a manner, persecuted the bishops, and other religious orders, as that it could never be blotted from the memory of man—that, in Europe, they had been the very point and focus of all the tumults, rebellions, and regicides—that it was proved, by the unde. niable testimony of their own papers, that, in Paraguay, they took the field at the head of organized armies to oppose themselves against the claims of the crown-and that they had just been in Spain endeavor. ing to change the whole system of government, and modify it ac. cording to their own ruinous purposes. The council, after, from the most unquestionable authorities, drawing this gloomy picture of the fraternity, concluded by recommending his majesty never to lend bis royal ear to any application in their behalf.
The king accordingly persevered in his original design, and pro. ceeded to execute it with so much energy and despatch as to astonish such as were best acquainted with his purpose. Three days after the decree was issued to expel the Jesuits, a vessel of war sailed for the river Plata, with the most positive orders to the viceroy of Buenos Ayres to seize the Jesuits in all their strong-holds, in one simultaneous movement, and ship them for Europe.
This ordinance reached the viceroy on the 7th of June, and was executed by him on the 22d of the following month. His plans were originated in a secrecy so deep, and matured in a silence so profound, that a suspicion of them never entered the public mind till the very moment they burst into execution.
This hazardous enterprise involved extensive bearings ; and, had a single blunder been committed, much bloodshed might have been occasioned. The Jesuits to be apprehended were more than five hundred in number. They were spread over a territory of nearly two thou. sand miles in extent; they held an absolute sway over almost one hundred and fifty thousand Indians, many of whom were armed ; they had under their entire influence most of the literary institutions in South America; they wielded a power sufficient to repel the military force of any province in the new world, and to make, at least, one throne tremble beyond the ocean. To break down, by a single stroke, such an establishment as this, without the least public tumult, er the loss of a single drop of blood, required a skill in planning, and a
celerity in executing, with which the most powerful are not often gifted. Yet such a blow fell on the Jesuits !
In one dreadful midnight-hour all was lost! Their gold, silver, lands, slaves, colleges, cattle, and churches, with their rich treasures, which were accumulated by the strenuous efforts of a hundred and fifty years, passed for ever from their grasp. On the night of the 22d of July, 1767, every Jesuit in South America was arrested, made prisoner, and prepared for transportation to Buenos Ayres, that he might be thence shipped to Europe.
Thus this community—the most singular that ever existed—which had advanced by rapid strides in wealth, and strength, and influence, for a century and a half, was crushed at the very moment when sus. picion was in the deepest sleep, and ambition on its most fiery chase. When every individual aspired at higher distinction—when the whole community lorded it over the country—when every member felt that the house of the Jesuits was based on a rock—then, like ancient Ba. bylon, its fall was as a millstone hurled into the ocean. As this society has again been resuscitated, and is at this moment spreading itself over both, the northern and southern hemispheres of the new world, its past history should be studied, and its future enterprises anticipated, with an interest which coming events will give to its movements. To develop the arcana involved in the deep plans of this fraternity belongs not to our pen, but demands the attention of some gifted mind, whose description shall be vision, and whose warn. ing notes shall thrill through the nations.
For the Methodist Magazine and Quarterly Review.
AN ESSAY ON CHURCH GOVERNMENT.
BY REV. J. PORTER, OF THE N. E. CONFERENCE.
CIVIL governments may be divided into three kinds-monarchical, aristocratical, and republican. These, in their various modifications, embrace all the governments in the world.
They may exist pure or mixed. Where supreme power is vested in a king, there is a pure monarchy. Where it is vested in a few of the principal men of a state, there is a pure aristocracy. Where it is vested in the people, there is a pure democracy. A mixed govern. ment is one in which these different forms are more or less blended, so as to make a government embracing parts of each.
To be more explicit. The king makes a monarchy; the house of lords an aristocracy; the house of commons a democracy. The king and house of lords make a limited monarchy. The king, house of lords, and house of commons, make a still more limited monarchy; or a government somewhere midway between a pure monarchy and a pure democracy.
Ecclesiastical governments may also be divided into three kinds Episcopal, Presbyterian, and Independent. The Episcopal form em. braces the Roman Catholic, the Greek, the Armenian, the Moravian, the Lutheran, the English Episcopal, the American Protestant, and
VOL. XI.--Jan., 1840. 2
the Episcopal Methodist Churches; the Presbyterian, the Scotch and American Presbyterian Churches, with some other smaller sects; the Independent, all other denominations, whether Congregational. ists, Baptists, Unitarians, Universalists, Swedenborgians, or any other by whatever name designated. To this classification no exceptions can be taken, if it be considered that ecclesiastical governments, like civil, admit of many modifications. This point will be more particularly noticed in treating of the different forms of government separately.
The episcopal form is that which recognizes bishops as having authority beyond the limits of a single congregation. The exact extent of this authority is not essential. The Presbyterian form is that which governs any number of congregations by presbyteries, synods, and general conventions ; or by other legislative and judicial bodies, by whatever name called, which exercise jurisdiction over several congregations. The Independent is that which lives, and moves, and has its being in and by a single congregation.
My object is to exhibit the different forms of church government existing in the United States. This I shall do in as few words as the nature of the subject will admit, beginning with that general division called episcopal. As I have already stated, this embraces several denominations, which differ no less in discipline than in doctrine. A clear view of the distinctive features of each will enable us to decide as to their real and relative claims.
I will first notice the Roman Catholics. The government of this church, I need not hesitate to say, is a pure despotism. The pope of Rome is its supreme head. In him is vested not merely supreme judicial and executive, but legislative authority. Hence he is called God —the most holy father-God's vicegerent, &c. From him there is no appeal. To resist him is to resist God, and is punishable to any ex. tent he may please. He may act in person, or by deputy. The former being impossible to any great extent, he acts by primates, patriarchs, archbishops, bishops, and priests, and thus makes his power to be felt throughout the world. In spiritual matters he claims uni. versal jurisdiction; in temporal, all he can gain by art or arms. In America he enforces his laws by one archbishop, ten bishops, two assistant bishops, and nearly four hundred priests. These, acting in his stead, govern his eight hundred thousand subjects according to his pleasure. They may bless or curse, pardon or excommunicate, to the pains and penalties of purgatory. Under such a government subjects have nothing to do but submit.
The powers belonging to these and other officers of the Roman Church are very clearly stated in the Encyclopædia of Religious Knowledge. A short extract shall close the consideration of this sect. “An archbishop has jurisdiction over all the bishops of his province, who are his suffragans, summons them every
year to a provincial synod, and the constitutions formed in it affect all the churches in the province. In like manner, primates and patriarchs have a jurisdiction over all the archbishops and other bishops of the kingdoms or nations where they hold their dignified rank. The constitutions of the na. tional councils, convoked by the primate, bind all the churches in that nation; and the constitutions of the patriarchal council bind all the patriarchate. Above all there is the pope, who has the power, jure divino, of feeding, ruling, and governing the whole church, and exercising his jurisdiction over all clergy as well as laity.
“ His care and solicitude extend to all Roman Catholic Churches throughout the world. He enacts rules of discipline for the universal church, dispenses with some of them when he sees proper, punishes those who do not obey, passes sentence upon ecclesiastical causes referred to him, and receives appeals from all Roman Catholic bishops in the world. Thus all Roman Catholics obey their bishops, the bishops the archbishops, the archbishops the primates and patriarchs, and all of them their head, the pope ; and of these is composed one church, having one faith under one head.”
The Moravians, according to their own account, derive their origin from the Greek Church, which is strictly episcopal. They, however, allow their bishops much less authority than is exercised by the bi. shops of the mother church. They govern themselves by councils or synods, composed of deputies from the congregations, and by inferior bodies, called conferences. Their synods generally meet once in seven years. The authority of this body extends to all the congregations and missions. It makes laws for the whole church, decides. questions of doctrine and discipline, elects bishops, and chooses a kind of executive board, called “the elders' conference of the unity,” to exercise a general supervision over the whole work, during the interim of the synods. This conference superintends the missions, watches over the doctrine, moral conduct, and temporal concerns of the congregations, sees that discipline is everywhere maintained, appoints and removes servants of the unity, and authorizes the bishops to ordain presbyters or deacons, and to consecrate other bishops.
There is another conference belonging to each congregation, which directs its affairs, and to which bishops, and all other ministers, and laymen are amenable. This body is called the elders' conference of the congregations. It consists of the minister or pastor, who is presi. dent, the warden, a married pair, who have the spiritual oversight of the married people, a single clergyman who oversees the spiritual concerns of the young men, and some women whose business it is to see to the temporal and spiritual concerns of their own sex. This conference is answerable for its proceedings to the conference of the unity.
The bishops have no authority only what they receive from the synod, or the elders' conference of the unity. They differ from pres. byters in that they are consecrated to the work of ordaining bishops and other ministers. This is their principal business.
The Moravians have two prominent peculiarities. One respects their mode of doing conventional business, the other their mode of forming the marriage contract.
Their synods and conferences settle some questions by a vote of the majority ; but in cases of importance their final resort is to the lot, even though the vote is unanimous. It is in this way they choose their bishops. Hence, should they choose forty, and the decisions of the lot be against them, they would have to make another trial, or abandon episcopacy.
In respect to marriage, the brother who marries out of the commu