Spain comes before us in brilliant guise as the greatest power in Europe during most of the Sixteenth Century. She had become a compact State under Ferdinand and Isabella at the end of the Fifteenth Century. Soon after the discovery of America Spain became the possessor of a new Empire beyond the Atlantic. Between 1519 and 1521 the brave, able, perfidious, and cruel Fernando Cortez conquered Mexico; the equally faithless and barbarous adventurer Pizarro took possession of Peru in 1531-32. The ascendency which Spain acquired in Europe was gained by undoubted superiority in all the arts of policy and war. As Italy was first in the fine arts, and Germany in the new boldness of theological speculation, so Spain was, in the Sixteenth Century, the land of soldiers and of statesmen. The diplomatists of Spain surpassed in skill those of all other countries in Europe. The Spanish infantry was the most formidable military force in existence. The Spaniard of this age, moreover, took to himself the arts and the literature of the Italy which he subdued, and the great men of Spain were often distinguished not less as writers than as soldiers and as politicians. Valor, intelligence, energy displayed in such wise as to make the name of “Spaniard” at once hateful and terrible even to the stout-hearted Englishman of that age made Spain in the Sixteenth Century the first country in the world.
The growth of Spain’s power in Europe must now be traced. In 1512 Ferdinand conquered nearly all the Kingdom of Navarre, so that the whole Peninsula except Portugal had come under his power. Spain had already begun to make conquests abroad. Gonsalvo de Cordova, called by the Spanish el gran Capitan (the great Captain), was one of the most brilliant warriors of the age. In 1502 he drove the French out of the south of Italy. In 1504 he completed the conquest for Spain of the Kingdom of Naples, and ruled there as viceroy with a mild, just, and magnanimous sway which greatly strengthened the Spanish hold on the country. In 1516 the Spanish throne came, by the death of Ferdinand, to his and Isabella’s grandson, the Prince known in history as the Emperor Charles V. Charles V was born at Ghent in 1500, being the eldest son of Philip, Archduke of Austria, and of Joanna, the daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain. Philip was son of the Emperor Maximilian of Germany by Mary, daughter of Charles the Bold, last Duke of Burgundy. After lier father’s death Mary was ruler of the Netherlands (or Low Countries), and to these Philip (the father of Charles V) succeeded. The young Prince had thus, by his birth, the claim to a splendid inheritance. His father’s (Philip) death gave him the Netherlands (the territory including what is now both Holland and Belgium) ; his grandfather Ferdinand’s death (in 1516) gave him Spain; on the death of his grandfather Maximilian in 1519 he was elected Emperor of Germany. In Italy he had the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (the island and the Kingdom of Naples on the southern mainland) and Sardinia. His rival for the dignity of Emperor had been Francis I, King of France, but the electoral princes of Germany chose Charles of Spain (as his title then was), and he was crowned Emperor at Aix-la-Chapelle in 1520, being then twenty years of age. This remarkable man was silent, self-contained, patient, prudent, and subtle. Coot in temperament, energetic in business, slow in decision, ready in resource, a good judge of mankind, perfidious on occasion, refined in manners, and dignified in demeanor he was in some respects well adapted to his lot in life, great rather in his circumstances than in his character, a man with no heroic qualities, who never felt and never excited enthusiasm. His career, as a whole, was a failure, from the lack of that high genius which could alone have enabled him to deal successfully with the extreme difficulties of such a position in such an age. The chief matters to be treated in an outline of his reign are the rise of Protestantism, and the wars carried on against Charles V by France and other States in order to maintain the balance of power in Europe.
The Albigenses and John Huss in Bohemia were the beginnings of revolt from the spiritual authority of the popes, and of dissent from the accepted faith of the west-ern branch of the Catholic Church. The Albigenses had been put down by military force and by the Inquisition, worked by the zeal of St. Dominic and his friars. The Council of Constance, which met in 1415, had settled disputes between rival popes, and dealt with the innovations on received faith and practice advocated in Bohemia by John Huss and Jerome of Prague, who were burned as heretics. At the beginning of the Sixteenth Century all the Nations of Western Europe were in communion with the Western Church, of which the pope was the re-cognized spiritual head. The real causes of the great change that was coming lie deep down in the springs of human thought and action, excited by the mental stir that had been long, as we have seen, at work in Europe.
Early in the Sixteenth Century complaints began to be loud against alleged practical abuses in the church, against the absolute authority claimed by her in matters of faith, and against the undue interference of papes with the civil rights of governments and with national churches. Such scholars as Reuchlin and Erasmus, without themselves taking any decisive step, undermined the position of the Roman See with many cultivated persons by the expression of free thought on the subject of religion. The mass of the people was influenced by the diffusion of satirical epigrams, allegories, and jokes directed against the church and the monks. The printing-press was, of course, the chief material aid in the new movement. The doctrines and ceremonies of the church were attacked by allegations that many of them were unscriptural and against the practice and belief of primitive Christianity. Among these topics we may name the use of images and the asking the intercession of saints; the doctrine of purgatory; the en-forced celibacy of the clergy; the use of the Latin tongue in the services of the church; the enforced confession of sins to a priest; and, above all, the doctrine of the real bodily presence of Christ in the consecrated elements used at the sacrament of the Lord’s supper.
In 1508 Martin Luther, a monk of Erfurt (in Prussian Saxony), was appointed professor of philosophy at the University of Wittenberg, lately founded by Frederick III, Elector of Saxony, a zealous Catholic. From the first the new professor fearlessly asserted the rights of human reason, and, being made a Doctor in Theology in 1512, took up the cause of what he professed to find in the Scriptures against accepted doctrines of the church. Leo X became pope in 1513, and the characters of the two men were such that a collision between them was inevitable. The immediate occasion of Luther’s attack on the church was a quarrel between him and a Dominican monk named Tetzel concerning the sale of indulgences. The theory as to indulgences in the Catholic system is that many saints and pious men have done more good works and suffered more than was required for the remission of their sins; the surplus constitutes a treasure for the church, of which the pope has the keys, and is authorized to distribute the same in exchange for pious gifts. Indulgences began in the practice of commuting penances for grievous sins into a money fine payable to the church. In the minds of the ignorant (who did not know that the grant of pardon for sin is made by the church only to the faithful who are truly penitent and have confessed) an indulgence became equivalent to a license for sin; and a manifest abuse resulted which all good Catholics repudiated. Tetzel was engaged in the sale of these indulgences in Germany, and traveled through Saxony in a wagon provided with two large boxes, one containing the letters of indulgence, and the other destined for the money obtained by them. The wrath of Luther was excited, and in 1517 he attacked the sale of indulgences by affixing to the door of the great church at Wittenberg his famous Ninety-five Theses or questions, amounting to a challenge to a public disputation on the subject.
A fire of discussion, attack, recrimination, and abuse soon spread all over Western and Northern Europe, and the Reformation had fairly begun. For, after attacking Tetzel, Luther went on to assail the authority of the pope and the doctrines of the church in a constant succession of pamphlets and sermons, which were conveyed by means of the printing-press into everyone’s hands. From the Pyrenees to the Vistula all Europe was eager to read any-thing written by or about this audacious monk that was defying Leo X. Luther set up the Bible, interpreted by man’s private judgment, against the authority of the church, the tradition of ages, and the supremacy of the pope; and such an attitude could not but cause a struggle, as for life or death, between the Catholic Church and the followers of the Wittenberg reformer. During 1518 and 1519 Luther continued to refuse withdrawal of the propositions contained in his theses, and to decline the summons and invitations of Leo X that he should proceed to Rome. In 1520 the Pope excommunicated Luther and his supporters, and in December of that year the bold German ecclesiastic cut off all retreat for himself by publicly burning the pope’s decree before the gates of Wittenberg. By this act Luther separated himself decisively and finally from the Papal See and the Catholic Church. Several of the German nobles and princes embraced the new cause, and Frederick of Saxony soon came over to the side of what was now called the Reformation.
It is not to be supposed that the supporters of Luther were all actuated by sincere convictions as to the truth of his theological views and the justice of his cause. There were many who had been longing to revolt from authority, but wanted a leader to begin; there were many who consulted only their own self-interest, and sought release from the payment of tribute to the Roman See; others, more sordid still, were simply eager for the plunder of the landed and other possessions of the church within their dominions. As for the people, the German Nations in particular had long regarded the dominion of the papacy with feelings of national jealousy, as being the dominion of foreigners, of Italians, of men who were aliens in language, manners, and modes of thought. Under the banner of Luther, then, came “sovereigns impatient to appropriate the prerogatives of the pope, nobles desirous to share the plunder of abbeys, patriots impatient of a foreign rule, weak men allured by the glitter of novelty, bad men desirous of the license inseparable from great moral revolutions”; as well as, in some cases, good men offended by what they thought to be the corruptions of the church, and learned men eager in the pursuit of what they believed to be the truth.
Leo X, after Luther’s open defiance, called to his aid the newly-chosen emperor, Charles V, who summoned Luther in 1521 to appear before the Diet (or Assembly) of the German princes at Worms, a free imperial city on the Upper Rhine. The Reformer there (in April) at-tended before a great concourse of princes, presided over by the Emperor, acknowledged his writings, and refused to withdraw them. An edict was thereupon issued against the new doctrines. In December, 1521, the pope died suddenly, and was succeeded by the mild Adrian VI. Luther now began to translate and issue his German Bible (completed in 1534), the circulation of which greatly aided his work. None of the measures taken by the Catholics was able to prevent the spread of the movement, nor its success in many quarters. Austria, France, and some of the German sovereign-princes strove to suppress it by persecution. Meanwhile Luther assailed the principles of monasticism in his own person and conduct by throwing off his character as monk in 1524, and marrying a nun named Catharine von Bora in 1525. The monasteries in Germany were soon in many cases deserted, and the priests in Saxony and Switzerland took wives. In 1525 the Elector of Saxony; Philip, Count of Hesse, and Albert of Brandenburg (Duke of Prussia) publicly declared themselves Lutherans, and many German cities and States or portions of States embraced the new doctrines. A Diet of the Empire, held at Spires (Speyer) in 1529, issued a decree against changes in doctrine, and the protest of the Lutherans against this decree caused the professors of the new faith to be known afterwards as Protestants. In Switzerland the work of the new movement was carried on chiefly by Ulrich Zwingli (known as Zuinglius) and OEcolampadius, and led to a civil war between the Protestant and Catholic cantons, in which (1531) Zuinglius was killed. He was succeeded by the famous Frenchman John Calvin, a man of great learning and acuteness, who lived and worked till 1564, establishing at Geneva the body of followers who called themselves Calvinists. Melanchthon aided Luther in Germany, and drew up the famous statement of Lutheran doctrines which was presented to the Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Augsburg in 1530, and is known as the Augsburg Confession. .
During the fifty years which followed the separation of Luther (in 1520) from the communion of the Catholic Church, Protestantism reached its height. In England, Scotland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, North Germany, Saxony, Hesse, Wurtemberg, the Palatinate, the Northern Netherlands (now Holland), and in several Swiss cantons, the Reformation had completely triumphed. Ireland, Spain, Portugal, and Italy remained in the Catholic communion; so did much of Southern and Central Germany. In France the contest was for a time undecided; the Protestants there acquired the name of Huguenots, a term of uncertain origin, first applied to them by the Catholics in contempt; and France in the end remained almost wholly Catholic. Speaking broadly, the Teutonic Nations accepted, the Romance and the Slavonic peoples rejected, the reformed faith of which Luther was the most energetic and violent champion. Before relating what the Catholic Church effected on her side in the way of reformation and reaction, we shall give a brief account of the wars of Charles V, occasioned by the jealous rivalry and fears of France and other States, and of the civil wars in France, partly arising out of the Reformation.
Francis I of France (reigned 1515-1547) was enraged against Charles V on his election as Emperor of Germany. They intrigued against each other for the alliance of England (under Henry VIII), which ultimately joined the Emperor, and in 1521 war broke out, waged in the north of France, on the Spanish border, and in the north of Italy. Francis, through his own unjust behavior, lost the services of his great General, the Constable de Bourbon, who went over to the side of Charles. He drove his countrymen over the Alps, took Toulon, and besieged Marseilles. Francis succeeded in rescuing Provence, and advanced into the Milanese in 1524. In February, 1525, he was utterly defeated by the Emperor’s forces at Pavia, made prisoner, and sent to Madrid. It may be stated that there is no word of truth in the story about Francis I’s letter to his mother, with the famous words, “All is lost, save only honor.” In 1526 he obtained his release by signing a treaty for the surrender of territory in Italy and Flanders, which he afterward declined to give up, and the war went merrily on from 1527 to 1529. An alliance called the “Holy League” was formed against Charles V by Pope Clement VII, Francis I, Henry VIII, Venice, Milan, and other minor States of Italy. In 1527 Rome was taken and sacked by the Emperor’s troops under the Constable de Bourbon, who was killed in the assault. Fighting was ended for the time by the Peace of Cam brai, in Flanders, in 1529, which left Charles V master of Italy, and by far the most powerful monarch in Europe.
Francis I did much for France in encouraging literature, science, and art, but his restless spirit urged him again to war with Charles V in 1535, renewed, after a truce, in 1541, and ended in 1545, after a struggle, which left Francis secure in his French possessions only because Protestantism in Germany called the Emperor to other work. The policy of Charles was to reconcile, if he could, the Protestants and the Catholics, and with this view he alternately threatened and courted the former. Luther died early in 1546, and war began between the Emperor and the league of Protestant Princes in Germany, which ended in the defeat of the Protestants and the breaking up of their confederacy. An alliance, however, made in 1552 between Henry II of France and Maurice, Elector of Saxony, restored the Protestant cause, and in 1555, after the Emperor had sustained several defeats, the Diet of Augsburg confirmed the Treaty of Passau (1552), giving the Protestants equal rights with the Catholics in Germany. Within the different German States, however, great intolerance was exhibited on all sides between Catholics and Protestants, and the Protestant sects of Lutherans and Calvinists, who all persecuted each other as far as they could. All this prepared the way for a desperate struggle in the Seventeenth Century.
In 1555 and 1556 Charles V resigned to his son, the famous or infamous, Philip II of Spain (who is mentioned repeatedly in the volume “Foreign Statesmen”), the sovereignty of the Netherlands and the throne of Spain, with all its belongings, and the dignity and rule of the Empire of Germany passed to his brother Ferdinand. Charles V died in 1558 in retirement at the convent of St. Justus (San Yuste) in Spain. Henry II of France (reigned 1547-1559) was the san of Francis I, and took up his father’s old quarrel with the Empire, Spain, and England. In 1552 he seized the three German bishoprics of Metz, Toul, and Verdun (names made familiar in the Franco-German war of 1870) ; in 1558 his General, the Duke of Guise, retook Calais from the English; in 1557 the Spanish army of Philip II, with a contingent of English troops furnished by his wife, Mary I, had defeated the French completely at the great battle of St. Quentin (in North of France), and checked the rising power of France. The war was ended by the Treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis (in the North of France) in 1559. The wife of Henry II of France was the famous Catharine de’ Medici,* an Italian princess of the celebrated Florentine house a woman beautiful, able, ambitious, and wicked. For four reigns (those of her husband and three sons who reigned in succession) she practiced the arts of Italian intrigue with great assiduity, and often with fatal success, until her death in 1589.
The history of France during the latter half of the Sixteenth Century is mainly taken up with a series of civil wars, arising out of religious differences between the Catholics and the Protestants within the country. Henry II of France was accidentally killed at a tournament in 1559, and was succeeded by his son, a lad of sixteen, as Francis II, married to Mary Queen of Scots. The Government was, during his reign of eighteen months, in the hands of the Duke of Guise and his brother Charles, Cardinal of Lorraine the former directing military affairs, the latter being at the head of religious matters and of the finances. They both used their power solely as a means of gratifying their pride and avarice. The Protestants of France, called Huguenots, as we have seen, had adopted that form of the new faith which was called Calvinism, after its founder, Calvin, who had gone further away even than Luther from the Catholic doctrines. The French Protestants, who were then very numerous, had been persecuted by Francis I, and then by Henry II, and the party of the Guises continued this policy under Francis II. Anthony of Bourbon, King of Navarre, and his brother Louis, Prince de Condé, were jealous of the power wielded by the Guises, who, were not of the royal line, and united with the Calvinists to overthrow them as the leaders of the dominant Catholic party. We see that the cause of the quarrel was ambition, while religion was the pre-text. A conspiracy was formed against the government among the French nobility, especially those of the Calvinist sect, and civil war soon broke out. Francis II died in December, 156o, and was succeeded by his brother, Charles IX, then but nine years old.
Charles IX reigned in name from 156o to 1574. The real power was in the hands of the unscrupulous Queen-mother, Catharine de’ Medici, and her supporters, the Guises. Against them were ranged Anthony of Bourbon and the Prince de Condé, who became a Huguenot, with the famous Admiral Coligny, a leading Calvinist. The Prince de Condé was an active, enterprising, and ambitious man; Coligny was prudent, cautious, and well fitted to be a leader, skilled in repairing his frequent defeats, and as virtuous a man as that age could anywhere show. The Duke of Guise was a soldier distinguished in the Italian wars, and noted for his recapture of Calais (1558) from the English. He was a zealous Catholic. His chief supporter in the battlefield was De Montmorency, Con-stable of France, who had fought with distinction in Italy for Francis I, though he was also the defeated commander at the great battle of St. Quentin in 1557.
The war broke out in 1562, through an affray in Champagne between the followers of Guise and a party of Calvinists at their worship in a barn. At the battle of Dreux December 19, 1562, Coligny and Condé were defeated by Guise, and Condé was taken prisoner on one side and Montmorency on the other. Early in 1563 Guise was killed near Orléans, and there was a lull in the fratricidal contest for a season. In 1567 Montmorency defeated the Huguenots under Condé and Coligny in a battle at St. Denis, near Paris, but died of wounds received in the fight. The Duke of Guise had been succeeded in the leadership of the Catholic party by his son, Henry of Guise, a brave soldier and determined man. In 1569 the Calvinists were thoroughly defeated at Jarnac, where Condé was killed; and again, under Coligny, at Moncontour. Peace was made for a time in 1570.
The most famous of the champions of the Huguenot cause in France had already come to the front. This was the gallant Henry, King of Navarre, son of the above-named Anthony of Bourbon and of Jeanne d’Albret, Queen of Navarre. He is often called the Béarnais, because he was born (1553) at Pau in the province of Béarn, on the French side of the Pyrenees. He was brought up as a Calvinist, and, at the age of sixteen, fought at Jarnac and Moncontour. He was one of the bravest, frankest, and most lovable men that ever lived; his white plume waved ever in the thickest of the fight; his winning demeanor, the outward presentment of a soul in many ways noble and chivalrous, gave him an entrance to all hearts. In 1572 he married the beautiful Margaret of Valois, the King’s sister, the nuptials being celebrated at Paris a few days before the fearful event known as the Massacre of St. Bartholomew (August, 1572). The slaughter of the Huguenots in Paris and the provinces on this occasion introduces one of the vexed questions of history, into the discussion of which we cannot enter here. Admiral Coligny was killed in Paris, and Henry of Navarre saved his life by professing the Catholic faith. The Huguenots renewed the war for a time, and another year’s useless bloodshed occurred.
Charles IX died in 1574, and was succeeded by his brother, third son of Catharine de’ Medici, as Henry III. In 1576 the new King, a selfish voluptuary, whose pleasures civil discord interrupted, issued an edict favorable to the Calvinists, and this caused the formation of the famous Catholic League in December, 1576. From time to time the civil war was renewed, and France was in a dreadful state of confusion and anarchy. In 1584, by the death of the King’s brother, Henry of Navarre, who, had again become Calvinistic in professed faith, became heir-apparent to the throne. The league resumed its activity under Henry of Guise; and when it forced the King to withdraw, in 1585, the concessions made to the Protestants, fighting began again. In 1588 Guise drove his sovereign from the capital, Paris; and in December of that year Henry III, after luring his enemy thither by a pre-tended reconciliation, had Guise murdered at the royal castle of Blois. Paris and several great towns then revolted, and Henry III made an alliance with Henry of Navarre and besieged Paris, which was defended by the Duke of Mayenne, brother of Henry of Guise, and now head of the league. The Catholic party now hated the King; and in August, 1589, a Dominican monk, Jacques Clément, gave him a fatal stab in his camp before Paris at St. Cloud. In Henry III the House of Valois in France became extinct.
In 1589, in the person of Henry of Navarre, son of Anthony of Bourbon, the House of Bourbon came to the throne of France, and ruled there, save during the revolution and first Empire, until 1830. The new King, Henry IV (Henri Quatre), had to fight for his throne, the Catholic League, headed, as above, by the Duc de Mayenne, rejecting him as a heretic. In September, 1589, Henry gained a great victory over the Catholic party at Arques, near Dieppe; in March, 1590, he won his brilliant battle of Ivry, west of Paris; in 1593 he professed the Catholic faith, and in 1594 entered Paris in triumph. Between 1595 and 1598 he was engaged in reducing the provinces of Burgundy, Picardy, and Brittany, held against him by Spanish troops, sent by Philip II, who claimed the French throne. Henry IV was now, as accepted King of France, to show the best side of his character, the paternal regard for his people’s interests which has made his memory dear to the French Nation. It was his business to restore lasting peace and solid prosperity to a country where the royal authority had greatly decayed, and which had long been suffering under the worst passions engendered in civil war. His first object was to reconcile, if possible, the contending religious parties. In 1598 Henry IV issued the celebrated Edict of Nantes, which defined the rights of the Protestants in France. By this document the free exercise of their religion was granted to the Huguenots, and all employments and political offices were thrown open to them. A struggle was thus ended for a time which had threatened to, ruin both the monarchy and the country. We must remember that the Catholic faith was the religion of the great majority of the French people; and the Protestants, under the Edict of Nantes, were required to pay tithes to the State religion, and to observe the Catholic festivals and holidays.
To the wise administration of affairs by the famous Duke of Sully was due in large measure the rapid recovery of France, under Henry IV, from the effects of the disastrous civil wars. The Duc de Sully, Marshal of France, was a Calvinist who had in his youth, as the Baron de Rosny, from his birthplace near Mantes, escaped in Paris from the Massacre of St. Bartholomew. He fought for Henry IV and was severely wounded at the battle of Ivry (1590) ; his devotion to his country was shown by the advice which he, though he was a Protestant, gave to Henry, that the King should embrace the Catholic faith. In 1597 Sully became Minister of Finance, and afterward received charge of all fortifications, public buildings, ports, canals, roads, and river navigation. These great opportunities were nobly used in behalf of his country and his King. Sully had to deal with a great public debt, and with a system of revenue collection so defective and fraudulent that but a seventh part, it is stated, of the taxes paid by the people actually reached the public exchequer. The reforms of the minister soon cleared off a large part of the debt, diminished taxation, created a large reserve fund, and doubled the amount of revenue received by the exchequer; four-fifths of the taxes paid by the people now reached the treasury. The energy of Sully was indefatigable, and he showed the highest principle and the most disinterested courage in resisting the demands of greedy courtiers, and setting the welfare of France above all private considerations. Public virtue of this kind was rare, indeed, in that age, and an enduring fame has rewarded his exertions and integrity. Sully also greatly encouraged agriculture, which he justly regarded as the chief source of the French people’s prosperity, and did much to benefit commerce. In pursuit of these objects marshes were drained, mulberry trees were planted, forests preserved; great highways were opened in all directions, canals dug, free trade in grain introduced, and commercial treaties made with Holland, England, Turkey, and Spain.
Henry IV soon became the most popular of sovereigns, and his popularity aided his determined efforts to strengthen the authority of the crown. The great nobles had become almost independent under the weak rule of the last Kings of the House of Valois, and Henry took severe measures in order to restore the royal power. The municipal franchises of towns were also annulled; a strict censorship of the press was established; and such power as the Parliament still retained was diminished. In his foreign policy Henry IV did all that he could to thwart the imperial house of Austria and the great Catholic power, Spain. In 1609 he made preparations for a war which, according to Sully’s Memoirs, aimed at great designs for the rearrangement of affairs in Europe; but the following year (161o) he died by one of the most tragic, pitiful, and deplorable of assassinations. A fanatic named Ravaillac stabbed him to the heart as he sat in his coach in a street of Paris. The deed was probably that of a lunatic brought to that condition by misery combined with religious excitement. Henry IV left, besides other children, a son who succeeded him as Louis XIII. The mother of these was his second wife, Maria de’ Medici, related to the reigning house of Tuscany, which had succeeded the great Florentine Republic in 1569.
On the outbreak of revolt from the Church, which is known as the Reformation, the danger to the Catholic system was formidable, but it was encountered with the ability and energy which have been often displayed by Catholicism at the crises of its history. In Italy there was a great unwillingness, both in the religious and the irreligious, to break with the Catholic Church; in Spain there was the strongest adherence to the ancient faith, and the most zealous resolve to maintain it at all points and at all hazards. The measures which were adopted by the rulers of the church, and mainly contributed to sustain Catholicism under the shock of the Reformation, were three internal reform, the recognition and development of the order of the Jesuits, and the working of the machinery of the Inquisition. A reformation of manners and discipline in the south of Europe followed the Reformation, as the Protestants considered it, of doctrine in the North. A revived zeal was displayed throughout the Catholic world. Old institutions and religious communities were remodeled and made efficient, and new methods were called into action. The monastic orders restored old strictness of discipline, and devoted themselves anew to the relief and instruction of the poor. A new order of priests, called that of the,Theatines, from one of its founders, Caraffa, Bishop of Chieti, anciently Theate, in Italy, was instituted in 1524. These monks were bound by their vows to preach against heretics, to help the parochial clergy in their spiritual work, to attend the sick and criminals, and to trust entirely to Providence for their daily bread, owning no property, collecting no alms, and awaiting the voluntary gifts of the charitable. Their chief founder, Caraffa, afterward Pope Paul IV, was conspicuous among them for zeal and devotion, and his example was well followed in the order. The court of Rome itself was purified from much that could not fail to give a handle for the attacks of Protestants. The luxurious ease and literary and artistic dilettantism of Pope Leo X (1513-1522) were succeeded by the austerity and fervor of Paul IV (1555-1559), Pius V (1566-1572), and Gregory XIII (1572-1585).
The Luther of the great Catholic reaction was Ignatius Loyola, the enthusiastic founder of the Order of the Jesuits, or Society of Jesus, in 1539 an institution which the shrewd policy and energy of his successors made into the most famous and powerful organization of that class which the world has ever seen. Loyola was a Spanish gentleman of a noble family in Biscay, and from an early age showed a zealous temperament, fostered by reading the Spanish romances, and blending religion and chivalry in a high degree. After a career of distinction as a soldier he was disabled by a wound, and became crippled for life in 1521. On a bed of sickness he turned to dreams of spiritual conquest, and it is said that visions and revelations were made to him. When he recovered, Loyola made pilgrimages to Rome and Jerusalem, studied at the Spanish universities, and then settled at Paris for a seven years’ course of theological training at the university, from 1528 to 1535. He there formed the nucleus of his famous society, consisting of himself and his friends Le Fèvre, François Xavier, Lainez, Bobadilla, and others. They bound themselves together by vows of chastity and poverty, devoting themselves to, the care of the church and the conversion of infidels. In 1543 his new order the Company or Society of Jesus was recognized by the authorities at Rome. The vow of obedience taken by the Jesuits bound them to perform without any demur all the commands of the Pope. They discarded the peculiar garb of monastic orders, and devoted themselves to the education of youth, the defense of the Church, and the propagation of the faith. Besides missionary enterprises for the extension of the Church, the chief methods of influence used by the Jesuits were the pulpit, the confessional, and their schools and colleges for training the young. In 1541 Loyola was elected General of the order, and continued to reside in Rome and to govern the society until his death in 1556. The Popes soon saw the use which could be made of the Jesuits against the advancing Reformation, and granted to them extraordinary privileges and powers, enabling them to make the Catholic religion acceptable to men and women of every class, condition, and character. The General had unlimited power over the members of the order, and could send them on missions of every kind, confer academical degrees on them, appoint them to theological professorships, and in all ways further the objects of the society. The basis of the constitution was a general dispersion of the members throughout society, combined with entire union amongst themselves, and subordination to the General and his Council at Rome.
The Jesuits soon acquired unbounded influence in all parts of the Catholic world, and made rapid way in the countries still divided between the old faith and the new. As rectors and professors in colleges, as preachers in cities and at courts, as tutors and spiritual guides in families, as missionaries among heathens and heretics, as governors of colonies in remote parts of the world, as father confessors of princes, and as general pervaders of every class of society, from the highest to the lowest, they were constantly engaged in advancing the interests of the Catholic Church. Such were the energy, skill, discipline, courage, self-denial, devotion, and versatility of the members of the new society that it has been well said that “the history of the Order of Jesus is the history of the great Catholic reaction.” Every quarter of the globe witnessed the zeal of Jesuit missionaries; every court was the scene of Jesuit intrigues; all art, science, literature, luxury, and fashion were pressed by Jesuits into the service of religion and the advancement of the cause of the Catholic Church. The Jesuits were soon established as a recognized and powerful order in Italy, Portugal, Spain, and Catholic Germany, especially in Austria and Bavaria. They had great success in making themselves acceptable to persons of all classes by adapting their own demeanor and the requirements of the Church to the characters of each and the occasion of the moment, this spirit of worldly policy and accommodation to circumstances being derived chiefly from the principles of Lainez, the second General of the order. Their improvements, zeal, and skill in education of the higher class gave them a just and wide-spread fame, and scholars trained in their institutions did much for the study of history, geography, language, rhetoric, and mathematics. The Jesuits obtained a foothold in France with some difficulty, and were never so influential there as in some other countries. It is certain that the Jesuits, more than any other influence, caused the great reflux in public opinion which followed the Reformation, and which is styled the Catholic reaction. To the Jesuits it is mainly due that whereas, half a century after the Reformation, the contest was still undecided between Catholicism and Protestantism in France, Belgium, Southern Germany, Hungary, and Poland in half a century more the Catholic Church was victorious and dominant in all those countries. Nor must it be forgotten that the Protestants had shown a lessened zeal and an inferior policy, and that while the whole efforts of the Catholics were directed against the Protestants, almost the whole energy of the Protestants was directed against each other. In Germany the Calvinists and the Lutherans were too often engaged in persecuting each other, and in England and Scotland men were wasting, in hot disputes on points of discipline and doctrine, the powers and time which might have brought over Ireland from the old faith to the new.
The rise of the Inquisition began as a means of coping with the outbreak of heresy in the south of France among the Albigenses, at the end of the Twelfth and the beginning of the Thirteenth Century. Innocent III, who became Pope in 1198, and his successors used the tribunal, known as the Holy Inquisition or the Holy Office, both to extirpate rebellious members of the Church and to extend the papal power at the expense of the bishops. The work of the officials of the Inquisition was to seek out adherents of false doctrines, and to pronounce sentence, without appeal, against their fortune and their life. Suspected per-sons were secretly seized and imprisoned, and the Dominican and Franciscan monks, the chief agents of the tribunal, kept a strict watch also over the conduct of the bishops. The Inquisition was introduced into Italy, and into parts of France, but with less authority than in Italy. In England it was never established at all. In the middle of the Thirteenth Century the Holy Office made its way into Spain, and toward the end of the Fifteenth Century the Spanish Inquisition became the most remarkable and powerful development of the institution that ever existed. Ferdinand and Isabella used it politically against the powerful nobles, as well as religiously in persecuting heretics. In 1478 the famous Torquemada, prior of a Dominican convent, was appointed the first Grand Inquisitor of Spain. He had zoo confidential agents, known as familiars, and a body guard for his defense. The ceremony of burning heretics was called an auto de fé, or act of faith. In 1483 the Pope (Sixtus IV) ratified the authority of the Holy Office in Spain, and the tribunal became a most powerful instrument in the hands of the Spanish sovereign, who appointed the grand inquisitor and his chief colleagues, for establishing the royal power on the ruins of the national freedom, for coercing the clergy, and restraining the nobles. The royal treasury was enriched by estates confiscated through the agency of the Holy Office, and Torquemada worked the institution vigorously till his retirement in 1491. For two Centuries the Inquisition continued in full force in Spain, and was finally abolished by Napoleon in 1808. Such was the agency powerful, secret, and terrible that was now armed against Protestantism with new powers by the Catholic Church, and the persecution of heretical persons and the destruction of heretical books had a great effect in forwarding the Catholic revival.
Lastly, the Catholic Church took pains to define afresh the doctrines which she required to be received and held by the faithful. The Council of Trent, so called because its meetings were mostly held at the place of that name, met in 1545 under the pontificate of Paul III, and sat at intervals until 1563. Its decrees as to faith, morals, and discipline are embodied in the Creed of Pius IV (Pope 1559-1566), and these were unanimously accepted by the Catholic States.