« PoprzedniaDalej »
been gained over to the Established Church; in this respect they would seem to rely on a promise, said to have been extorted from the Virgin Mary by St. Patrick, that collectively or individually, the Irish should not plunge into the abyss of heresy. In the present instance, at any rate, we have an individual to notice, who may be said to disprove the promise-though in reply, it may be urged, that the Virgin is yet as good as her word, for Andrew Sall was not of the "mere Irishry"—he was not a Milesian-his heretical pravity was perhaps owing to the Saxon taint in his blood; at all events, he was a Jesuit of the highest order -had solemnized his fourth vow--an eminent scholar--a great linguist-a deep divine-who, after mature deliberation, sprung over the pale of Popery, and took refuge in the Established Church, of which he became a valuable minister, and to which he adhered consistently until his dying hour. Dr. Sall was born in the vicinity of Cashel, where his family were possessed of property granted to them, as English settlers, in the reign of Elizabeth. How this family became Popish, or how the subject of this memoir became a student in a Romish seminary abroad, I have not been able to ascertain, but have reason to believe that after a certain probation at St. Omer's, he was transferred to Valladolid in Spain, for future training and perfection as a hopeful and efficient Jesuit. There lies before me a curious quaint book, composed by an ex-Jesuit of the name of Carpenter, and entitled," Experience, History, and Divinity," and printed 1650, in which in a wild and rambling way he tells many curious things about Popery and Jesuitism. He thus describes the way in which English and Irish youths were disposed of at foreign
"It is the course of the Jesuits at St. Omer's, to send in the time of harvest, two missions of English scholars into remoter parts of the Christian world, one to Rome and another to Valladolid in Spain. In these places are English colleges, the Superiors and Governors, Jesuits;- and here I have a notable trick to discover of these Jesuits; their best and most able scholars they always send to Spain, and only their weaker vessels to Rome, and it is a great proportion of their labour to win their apt scholars by favours, by promises and much cunning to become Jesuits, and so they never leave any (if all they can do,will do withal) for the secular Priests, but they leave the lean and bony end, and the refuse for them. Their manner is to make trial of every one that comes, what nature and spirit he is of, partly by ap plying subtle lads to him which keep him company, and turn him outward and inward again, and make return of their observations to the Jesuits; and partly by their own sifting him, either in discourse or examination, or some laboured exercise."
* Jesuits of the highest order, besides the three vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, make a fourth of peculiar obedience to the Pope, whereby they bind themselves to go any where, or do anything to support the cause of the Roman See.
Andrew was not the only Jesuit that the family produced; we find a James T. Sall flourishing as a Jesuit in Cashel, at the time of its capture by the Romish rebels, in the early part of the rebellion of 1641; and, he on this occasion, acted with great humanity towards the Protestants, and actually saved the life, and afterwards protected Dr. Samuel Pullen, chancellor of the cathedral.
Andrew Sall tested in this way, did not disappoint the clearsighted anticipations of his triers-transmitted to Spain, he arose to great eminence as a theologian in their schools, which were the best at that day in Romish christendom; he became successively reader of divinity at Pampeluna, professor at Tudela and Palencia, rector of the Irish College, and lecturer of controversial divinity at the University of Salamanca; here he enjoyed the rare privilege of having and using prohibited books, as appears by the licence from the Inquisitor-General of Spain, which licence was annually renewed for the three years he acted in the above capacity; and not alone within the walls of his College was his high character confined, for we find the Conde de St. Stephano, Viceroy of Navarre, in a work of his, which one of his sons presented in person to Pope Alexander the Seventh, giving a laboured eulogium of Dr. Sall, which has this heading, "Rev. P. Andreæ Salo Hiberno Societatis Jesu, Eulogium." Moreover, when it was judged expedient by his superiors to remove him from his professor's chair at Pampeluna, we find the famous expatriated Nicholas French, bishop of Ferns,* thus expostulating with the Provincial of the Jesuits :
"To the Right Rev. Father in Christ, Martin de Lezaun, Provincial Superior of the Society of Jesus, in the Province of Castille.
"RIGHT REV. FATHER IN CHRIST,
"Understanding by the last post, that Father Sall is to remove shortly from that city by your orders-Job's saying comes to my mind-' The thing which I greatly feared is come upon me'-for certainly, besides my sins against God, and ruin of my country and religion'-I could hardly conceive any thing more to be feared and grieved by me, than the order of his departure. Why, my most Rev. Father, will you deprive the schools of Pampeluna of so famous a master -the people of a preacher-the princes and peers of the kingdom of a counsellor in matters of conscience, and me, an afflicted sad prelate groaning in banishment, of my only comfort? But, doubtless, you will have your SUBJECT to be, where, serving God, he may be more beneficial to his brethren-if so, leave him at Pampeluna, where hitherto, besides the functions of the Society, by occasion of our mutual communication while I lived in that city-he has done much good to his country in their spiritual concernments, as now is done by exchange. Alter your opinion, therefore, I beseech you, for the greater good of souls, and lend Sall for a while to me and to his country, and I promise you that you shall not repent of so good a resolution. If it were convenient to discover all, I could allege many things, which would induce your Rev. Paternity, to a free and full consent to my proposal, expecting your favourable answer, I kiss your sacred hands.
Your most affectionate Servant in Christ,
Honoured and useful thus, in Spain the Society required him as their useful and
NICHOL, Bishop of Ferns.
time arrived, when the obedient instrument to
proceed to his native country, and there occupy a difficult and important mission.
* Of whom more by and by.
The situation of the Church of Rome in Ireland, during the reign of Charles the Second, was peculiarly critical, and the management of its cause there required all the efforts of Jesuitical astuteness. The restoration of the king found Popery trampled to the dust under its Cromwellian conquerors-and so humbled, that many of the clergy, and most of the influential laity, chastened by adversity, were ready to swear allegiance to the king, and an instrument called the "Loyal Remonstrance" was drawn up, which purported that the subscribers were willing to adhere to their allegiance, even though the Pope should excommunicate and depose them; that they disclaimed all foreign power, whether Papal or princely, temporal or spiritual, that should pretend to absolve them from their oath of allegiance. This Remonstrance, drawn up by Richard Belling, and supported by the talents and countenance of such men as Peter Walsh, Caron, Lynch, and Harold, would, if it had been universally signed and adopted by the Romish clergy and laity of Ireland, have produced a public toleration of their religion, and given their Lords and Commons admission to Parliament, and almost every other political privilege. But it was determined at Rome that such a concession should not be made to the British Government-all the foreigninfluenced Bishops, and the whole host of Jesuits, were set in array against it; and they so amply succeeded, by means of exciting the rabble against the gentry, and by excommunicating the clergy that favoured the Remonstrance, that the hope of accommodation entirely failed. Walsh, Caron, Harold, &c. &c. were denounced as heretics-the Remonstrance was styled the infamous instrument that was to injure the Church more than any former persecution, and the Irish were exhorted to martyrdom rather than APOSTATIZE, by signing such a damnable doctrine.* In order then to uphold Papal pretensions, which never were and never will, while Popery lasts, be effectually laid aside, a full and constant supply of Jesuits was necessary, and Andrew Sall was drafted for the service: on his arrival in Ireland, the foreigninfluenced party, (at whose head was Peter Talbot, the Romish Archbishop of Dublin,) had in a great measure got the better of their antagonists-the Remonstrants were excommunicated and driven from their native land, leaving the field open for those, who, at the risk of a new revolution, were determined to cast another die for the restoration to splendour of the Roman Church. Sall located in his native province, and well adapted as he appear
Dr. O'Connor adverting to this transaction exclaims-gracious heaven, must I be compelled to state with shame and anguish, that it was an unequal contestthat the foreign-influenced Bishops knew the temper of which the Irish rabble were composed-that the stoutest hearts, whom no sword could conquer, and no danger could appal, trembled before an Episcopal censure, whether just or unjust, and that with such stuff to work on, every thing could be carried and was carried against the dearest interests, the properties, and genuine religion of our honest ancestors, by an infamous excommunication. Dr. O'Connor's (a Roman Catholic) Historical Address, p. 161. What a price Ireland has paid, and is doomed to pay for Priests and Popery.
ed to be, from the suavity of his manners, his cheerful consistent piety, and his acknowledged talents; to him was consigned the office of holding frequent communication with the Roman Catholic nobility and gentry of Munster, in order to engage them in the projects and attach them to the interests of the CHURCH. While thus sojourning in the house of a Roman Catholic lord, connected by kindred and cordial feelings with many of his Protestant neighbours, Sall was solemnly inquired of, whether there was any chance of salvation for these Protestant friends? Amiable and pitiful, Sall had even while in Spain, as a matter of scholastic disputation, maintained a thesis in the schools, that it was possible for those without the pale of the Church of Rome to be saved; and it is curious to observe, how within the reach of the Inquisition, and as it were beneath the fingers of its familiars, he could venture to uphold a tenet so subversive of pure Popery. But it only shows that in Spain, as prior to the reformation over all christendom, the slaves of the Pope were allowed saturnalian liberties, provided that at all times (as Luther has it) they forbore from meddling with the Priests paunches or the Pope's crown. Sall on the present occasion, in accordance with what he freely maintained in Spain, gave it as his decided opinion, that all who were baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity, and who actually believed in all things set forth in the Apostle's Creed, would see the salvation of God.
It could not be that those liberal doctrines of our Jesuit should escape the notice of his brethren, it became a matter of notoriety and animadversion; and grievously did the trained bands of the Pope lament and chafe, when it became evident that this, their boasted member, their "mallæus hereticorum," was likely to prove not only a useless, but dangerous tool. Sall describing their proceedings, states, that there was nothing that was bitter, nothing that was venemous and virulent, that they did not cast out against him-all said, he was infected with heretical pravity-many declared, he was nothing but a rank Atheist. But unmoved by these denunciations, he had the courage and consistency to preach at Cashel, before a large congregation of the Romish nobility and gentry, on the salvability of Protestants, and afterwards he wrote a tract, and had it circulated amongst his detractors, in which he maintained his point, and adduced authorities in support of it, from Scripture, Fathers, Councils, and even the Pope's decrees. But all in vain, he might as well argue with the winds, and every where he was cried down. But here, as his account of the transaction is in existence, we may as well, even at the risk of being counted prolix, give his own words:
"These considerations made me desire earnestly to spend the remnant of my days, retired and unknown, to prepare the better for the long day of eternity, which I resolved, when first I entertained a thought of relinquishing the errors of my former profession, and sticking to the evangelical doctrine of the Reformed Church. But it seems that sovereign Providence, vigilant over all, was pleased to dispose otherwise of me. For being actually ordering my concerns for a voiage, to the end aforesaid, it pleased God that a paper containing the reasons of my dissatisfaction with VOL. VII.
the Roman Church, by way of Soliloquie with God (that by further praier and consideration I might be ascertained of his holy will) dropped from me, and fell into the hands of some of the Romish communion, who so incensed my former friends and relations against me, by a report that I was already become a Protestant minister, as made them out of a blind zeal threaten to destroy me, not unlike those who conspiring against St. Paul, swore they would not eat or drink until they killed him, Acts xxiii. 12. Which being made known to the Lord Archbishop, the Maior, and other English gentlemen of the city of Cashel, they bestired themselves so generally to procure my safety, as may resemble that noble proceeding of the Roman governor, Claudius Lysias, in defending St. Paul from the conspiracy of his brethren against him. They sent by several ways to seek after me and acquaint me of the danger I was in: they prepared a party to relieve me, if any violence should be offered me, and sent an officer of horse with other gentlemen by the way they understood I was to come, to bring me with security into the city, and prevail with me to go directly to the Lord Archbishop's palace, to be under his protection, being not secure of my life in my former habitations.
From the place where I had this notice given to me, I wrote immediately to the nobleman from whose house I came, giving him an account of what had happened to me, and withal assuring him that though necessity forced me to go under that protection, I would never declare against the Roman Church whilst any hope was left of being satisfied in the doubts I had, and delivered by writing against several tenets and practices of it; which to one of my temper was not to be performed by vulgar cries or empty pregnancies, but by solid and plain reasons, grounded upon the infallible Word of God, such as I humbly conceived those reasons to be which I proposed for motives of my discontent with the present practice of the Roman Church. And I desired him to declare so much, and communicate my letter to several persons of honour his relations, and my good friends, who had much experience of my sincerity and constancy in asserting what I conceived to be truth on all occasions, that they giving further notice of it, might direct to me any person or persons that should be thought fit to give me the satisfaction I desired.
Coming to Cashel I sent the like notice to the Vicar General of the Romish clergy there, desiring him that if any of their bishops or other clergy did intend to give me satisfaction to the reasons contained in my paper, which was among them, they would appoint me a time and place of meeting, and they should find my heart and ears open to truth, be resolved to lose my life sooner than the true Catholic and Apostolic Faithe, wheresoever I found it to be pure and uncorrupted. I may truly say that neither I did leave any stone unmoved, nor omitted any care or labour I could imagine conducible for quieting my mind, and settling me in my former profession, (no tree after many years growth and deep rooting in a kind soile, was plucked up with more violence than I was wrought from my natural inclination and sensible comfort, to forsake the society and communion of my former friends and brethren.) Neither did they omit any diligence or industry to hinder my parting from them, and to recal me after my separation, of both which things I will give here a brief and perfect account, for the manifestation of truth, and satisfaction of such who desire to know it.
The first return I had to my invitation before mentioned, to a trial of my reasons of discontent withe Romish communion, was a letter from the superior of the Jesuits in Ireland, dated 12th of May, 1674, of the tenor following:
"Being loath to give credit to the strange reports divulged here of you, I make bold to desire you to let me know whether you forsook the Catholic and do side with