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ders engaged in teaching, but especially the Christian Brothers, are but ignorant poachers on the rightful domain of the Jesuits !
All this being too strong a dose for us, we decline again and again to swallow it; we decline it even when strongly recommended by bishops and archbishops; nay, we decline it at the hands of fair and accomplished ladies, who in their own winning way say in substance “ Do, dear Quarterly, it will do you so much good.” Having been thus duly warned in every . form, of course we have no reason to be either surprised or offended when we see not only one fine Jesuit prospectus after another withdrawn from our pages, but also every other prospectus over which the good Fathers have any influence, until there is not one left-not even that of the great Catholic tailors, whose peculiar mode of tailoring has cost the tax-payers of New York millions, and who with a part of this money have established scholarships at St. Xavier's College, in this city, by way of rewarding those pious and learned men for their kind, softening influence on our politicians !
Other Catholic orders have adorned our advertising pages with their university, college, academy, and seminary prospectuses in a similar manner, and for similar reasons they have withdrawn them in disgust—the period during which the prospectus was obliged to remain in each case being more or less exactly proportioned to the amount of intelligence, enlightment and liberality of sentiment of the party who inserted it. It would probably be more correct to say that the
the prospectus was withdrawn in each case more or less abrnptly, according as the party who inserted it were more or less bigoted, superstitious, and intolerant, and made their noise in the world more or less like that of empty vessels ! *
But the Christian Brothers, far from attempting to master
* We cannot say that we are much surprised to learn that one of the most pretentious of these institutions has recently established a chair,” or shop for the sale, to the faithful, of the holy water of Lourdes. It is almost needless to remark that a student armed with a bottle of this water and a diploma of proper size, countersigned by the Professeur de Dance, can hardly fail to make his mark in the world.
or muzzle us, or to dictate to us in any manner, have never to this day attempted to control our views in regard either to themselves or their rivals. In a word, they have never interfered with our criticisms in any way whatever. We have ever found them the friends rather than the opponents of free discussion. Instead of casting around their colleges or academies any mantle of secrecy or mystery, they have always invited Protestants as well as Catholics, not only to be present at their recitations, but also to examine their students. And that they have no prejudice whatever against Protestants is sufficiently proved by the fact that they always employ Protestant professors in their colleges; and if they make any distinction in doing so, it consists in their treating their heretical professors still more kindly and more generously, if possible, than their orthodox professors.
There are one or two other circumstances which we confess have strongly contributed to induce us to prefer the Christian Brothers to all other orders of the Catholic Church. They have never taken part, directly or indirectly, in any part of the world, in persecuting their heretical fellow-subjects or fellowcitizens on account of their heresy, but have ever been as much opposed to such persecution as the heretics themselves. Their hands have never been sullied by any dirty work. Even in New York, where it was scarcely necessary for any Catholic order to ask money, if they would only agree to influence those who do the voting, the Christian Brothers, very unlike their Jesuit rivals, have persistently declined to receive any part of the money of which our citizens have, from time to time, been plundered.
Such are our reasons for presenting the following article, written by a thoroughly educated, liberal-minded Catholic, to the consideration of our readers, without objecting to any part of it, but on the contrary bearing cheerful testimony to the truth and justice of its most essential statements. As we concluded our preface to the Borgia article with a scrap of the Church language, we may be permitted to do likewise in the case of De la Salle. But the signification must be very different, for well may the Catholics of this region exclaim at
the present day, notwithstanding the lofty pretensions of our Jesuits
Rari quippe boni ; numero sunt totidem, quot
TO THOSE who seek encouragement in the work of improving the condition of mankind, there is no more consoling study than that of the lives of the noble men and virtuous women who have gone before them and led the way. The more marked the influence, the greater pleasure must we feel in studying the causes which have brought it about. When the individual characteristics have fastened themselves upon a system either original or greatly improved, then the subject of such improvement becomes a study worthy the attention of every student of moral science. Under all these aspects we shall find that the world has not failed to give us many and striking illustrations. Previous to the Reformation we could look for such, omitting the ancients, only in the old Church. Since the division of sentiment in the religious world, the same sublime spectacle of men and women who are fit subjects of study has continued to present itself. So long as man remains in his present imperfect condition, so long will his physical wants and intellectual necessities call for the earnest and intelligent efforts of those whom we are justified in calling benefactors of mankind. When these benefactors show their superior ability by attacking the evils of society in their incipiency, and by devoting their chief attention to youth, then it is that, in our opinion, they are doubly worthy our attention and study. We believe ourselves justified, therefore, in presenting to our readers for their consideration and admiration, Jean Baptiste de la Salle, founder of the Institute of the Christian Brothers.
“ Next to speech," says Lacordaire, “ silence is the greatest power in the world.” In this age of self-laudation, let it be permitted one who has seen the use which has been made of silence, as a power, to employ in favor of those who use it the
still greater power of speech. The cause which the Christian Brothers embrace, the object most dear to their hearts, is one which affects society in its foundation, and which at the present moment is engaging the attention of minds intelligent and interested enough to foresee the dangers which threaten the onward march of Christian intelligence, and the means to be adopted for the arming of the masses against those dangers. Great men appear great only through the work which has procured for them the title, so that, in speaking of the Christian Brothers, we shall be giving the best record of their venerable Founder, of whom, however, we shall have a word to say as we proceed.
Jean Baptiste de la Salle was born at Rheims, France, April 30th, 1651. His family was among the most distinguished in the country, and his name is found connected with some of the most eminent early explorers, or missionaries, in the New World. Marquette the Jesuit was connected with La Salle, Rose de la Salle, a relative of Jean Baptiste, being his mother; and in the French army which aided in securing American independence, there were no less than three Marquettes, who gave their lives for the cause. It will be considered a coincidence that in another way the Abbé la Salle did like his relatives; for, as we shall show, while the former preached in the New World, or fought its battles against the reigning powers, the latter sent his children to preach by teaching, and to conquer, in bloodless but equally honorable warfare, the intellectual supremacy of our land.
To those acquainted with the routine of college life, it were useless to detail the little incidents which marked the years of even so distinguished a student as De la Salle. It may be sufficient to say that he studied so well, and became so prominent an apostle of truth, that he was not considered afterward an unfit instrument to oppose, by the founding of a new order of teachers, the vicious doctrines of that many. sided character, Voltaire, who wrote about the same time, that it was necessary to have the middle or lower classes comparatively ignorant. While yet a student, De la Salle obtained many marks of confidence from the directors of the seminary,
the principal of whom has left this testimony. “M. de la Salle was always a faithful observer of the rules;
his conversation was always pleasing and becoming; he seems never to have given offence to any one, nor incurred any
The man who was afterward to endure such harsh treatment from those who should have most assisted him, became self-reliant at an early age, owing to the decease of his parents. To this early-induced confidence in his own powers, and to the necessary trials attending his early self-direction, we must in great part ascribe that “ iron will” which, a distinguished writer says, was the characteristic feature of the subject of this sketch.
Several ecclesiastical appointments were offered De la Salle, so soon as his age would allow, but he chose one in which there would be much less honor than labor. At twenty-seven he became a priest, and from that moment he devoted himself exclusively to the practice of good works, which led to the advantage of his neighbor. Though most affectionate towards his relatives, his sense of justice caused him to give positions within his control, not to his friends, but to the poorest clerics who coñild prove their claims to superior talent and integrity. His ideas of the priestly state were those since expressed by Lacordaire, a member of one of the most distinguished orders in the Catholic Church. Lacordaire says: "He who is called to the priestly office is he who feels in his heart the value and beauty of souls. Priests are bad or mediocre, simply because they enter upon the office with some other thought than that of self-sacrifice to the mystery of redemption. All other deficiencies may be remedied; nothing will avail if this be wanting."
De la Salle was aware that “there is no ignorance more deplorable than that exhibited in the failure to apply knowledge,” and he equally knew that “where faith disappears, there credulity abounds." His object then became to so shape his life that the varied and extensive knowledge he
* The True Friend of Youth.