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settlement north of the Potomac. Years before the Pilgrims anchored within Cape Cod, the Roman church. had been planted, by missionaries from France, in the 1615, eastern moiety of Maine ; and Le Caron, an unam1616. bitious Franciscan, the companion of Champlain, had penetrated the land of the Mohawks, had passed to the north into the hunting-grounds of the Wyandots, and, bound by his vows to the life of a beggar, had, on foot, or paddling a bark canoe, gone onward and still onward, taking alms of the savages, till he reached the rivers of Lake Huron. 1623, While Quebec contained scarce fifty inhabitants, 1625. priests of the Franciscan order—Le Caron, Viel, 1626. Sagard-had laboured for years as missionaries in Upper Canada, or made their way to the neutral Huron tribe that dwelt on the waters of the Niagara. im After the Canada Company had been suppressed,
22. and their immunities had, for five years, been enjoyed by the Calvinists William and Emeric Caen, the huncon dred associates,-Richelieu, Champlain, Razilly, and 1027. opulent merchants, being of the number, -by a charter from Louis XIII., obtained a grant of New France, tos and, after the restoration of Quebec by its English 00% conquerors, entered upon the government of their province. Its limits embraced specifically the whole basin of the St. Lawrence, and of such other rivers in New France as flowed directly into the sea; they included, moreover, Florida, or the country south of Virginia, esteemed a French province in virtue of the unsuccessful efforts of Coligny.
Religious zeal, not less than commercial ambition, had influenced France to recover Canada ; and Champlain, its Bo governor, whose imperishable name will rival with
*posterity the fame of Smith and of Hudson, ever disinterested and compassionate, full of honour and probity, of ardent devotion and burning zeal, esteemed "the salvation of a soul worth more than the conquest of an empire.” The commercial monopoly of a privileged company could not foster a colony ; the climate of the country round Quebec, “where summer hurries through the sky," did not invite to agriculture; no persecutions of Catholics swelled the stream of emigration; and, at first, there was little, except religious enthusiasm, to give vitality to the province. Touched by the simplicity of the order of
St. Francis, Champlain had selected its priests of the contemplative class for his companions ; "for they were free from ambition.” But the aspiring honour of the Gallican Church was interested ; a prouder sympathy was
an awakened among the devotees at court; and, the 1032. Franciscans having, as a mendicant order, been excluded from the rocks and deserts of the New World, the office of converting the heathen of Canada, and thus enlarging the borders of French dominion, was intrusted solely to the Jesuits.
The establishment of “the Society of Jesus" by Loyola had been contemporary with the Reformation, of 1539, which it was designed to arrest the progress; and 1540. its complete organization belongs to the period when the first full edition of Calvin's Institutes saw the light. Its members were, by its rules, never to become prelates, and could gain power and distinction only by influence over mind. Their vows were, poverty, chastity, absolute obedience, and a constant readiness to go on missions against heresy or heathenism. Their cloisters became the best schools in the world. Emancipated, in a great degree, from the forms of piety, separated from domestic time22\2o
/2ti2m22ti2ūtiņŻ–Ż22 ÂòÂ2Ò2/22/2ņēģētiẦtiņ22/?§Â2âÒâÒâm well as essentially plebeian, bound together by the most perfect organization, and having for their end a control over opinion among the scholars and courts of Europe and throughout the habitable globe, the order of the Jesuits held, as its ruling maxims, the widest diffusion of its influence, and the closest internal unity. Immediately on its institution, their missionaries, kindling with a heroism that defied every danger and endured every toil, made their way to the ends of the earth; they raised the emblem of man's salvation on the Moluccas, in Japan, in India, in Thibet, in Cochin China, and in China ; they penetrated Ethiopia, and reached the Abyssinians; they planted missions among the Caffres : in California, on the banks of the Marañhon, in the plains of Paraguay, they invited the wildest of barbarians to the civilization of Christianity.
2 The genius of Champlain, whose comprehensive 1032. mind planned enduring establishments for French commerce, and a career of discovery that should carry the lilies of the Bourbons to the extremity of North America, could devise no method of building up the dominion of France in Canada but by an alliance with the Hurons, or of confirming that alliance but by the establishment of missions. Such a policy was congenial to a church which cherishes every member of the human race without regard to lineage or skin. It was, moreover, favoured by the conditions of the charter itself, which recognized the neophyte among the savages as an enfranchised citizen of France.
Thus it was neither commercial enterprise nor royal ambition which carried the power of France into the heart of our continent: the motive was religion. Religious enthusiasm colonized New England ; and religious enthusiasm founded Montreal, made a conquest of the wilderness on the upper lakes, and explored the Mississippi. Puritanism gave New England its worship and its schools; the Roman church created for Canada its altars, its hospitals, and its seminaries. The influence of Calvin can be traced in every New England village ; in Canada the monuments of feudalism and the Catholic Church stand side by side ; and the names of Montmorenci and Bourbon, of Levi and Condé, are mingled with memorials of St. Athanasius and Augustin, of St. Francis of Assisi, and Ignatius Loyola. 1633- Within three years after the second occupation of 1636. Canada, the number of Jesuit priests in the province reached fifteen; and every tradition bears testimony to their worth. They had the faults of ascetic superstition, but the horrors of a Canadian life in the wilderness were resisted by an invincible passive courage, and a deep internal tranquillity. Away from the amenities of life, away from the opportunities of vain glory, they became dead to the world, and possessed their souls in unalterable peace. The few who lived to grow old, though bowed by the toils of a long mission, still kindled with the fervour of apostolic zeal. The history of their labours is connected with the origin of every celebrated town in the annals of French America : not a cape was turned, nor a river entered, but a Jesuit led the way.
Behold, then, the Jesuits Brebeuf and Daniel, soon to be followed by the gentler Lallemand, and many others of their order, bowing meekly in obedience to their vows, 16 and joining a party of barefoot Hurons, who were 1034. returning from Quebec to their country. The journey, by way of the Ottawa and the rivers that interlock with it, was one of more than three hundred leagues, through a VOL. II.
region horrible with forests. All day long, the missionaries must wade, or handle the oar. At night, there is no food for them but a scanty measure of Indian corn mixed with water; their couch is the earth or the rocks. At five-andthirty waterfalls, the canoe is to be carried on the shoulders for leagues through thickest woods, or over roughest regions ; fifty times, it was dragged by hand through shallows and rapids, over sharpest stones ; and thus, swimming, wading, paddling, or bearing the canoe across the portages, with garments torn, with feet mangled, yet with the breviary safely hung round the neck, and vows, as they advanced, to meet death twenty times over, if it were possible, for the honour of St. Joseph, the consecrated envoys made their way, by rivers, lakes, and forests, from Quebec to the heart of the Huron wilderness. There, to the north-west of Lake Toronto, near the shore of Lake Iroquois, which is but a bay of Lake Huron, they raised the first humble house of the Society of Jesus among the Hurons-the cradle, it was said, of his church who dwelt at Bethlehem in a cottage. The little chapel, built by aid of the axe, and consecrated to St. Joseph, where, in the gazeof thronging crowds, vespers and matins began to be chanted, and the sacred bread was consecrated by solemn mass, amazed the hereditary guardians of the council fires of the Huron tribes. Beautiful testimony to the equality of the human race! the sacred wafer, emblem of the divinity in man, all that the church offered to the princes and nobles of the European world, was shared with the humblest of the savage neophytes. The hunter, as he returned from his wide roamings, was taught to hope for eternal rest; the braves, as they came from war, were warned of the wrath which kindles against sinners a never-dying fire, fiercer far than the fires of the Mohawks; the idlers of the Indian villages were told the exciting tale of the Saviour's death for their redemption. Two new Christian villages, St. Louis and St. Ignatius, bloomed among the Huron forests. The dor. mant sentiment of pious veneration was awakened in many breasts, and there came to be even earnest and ascetic devotees uttering prayers and vows in the Huron tongue, -while tawny sceptics inquired, if there were indeed, in the centre of the earth, eternal flames for the unbelieving.
The missionaries themselves possessed the weaknesses and the virtues of their order. For fifteen years enduring
the infinite labours and perils of the Huron mission, and exhibiting, as it was said, “ an absolute pattern of every religious virtue," Jean de Brebeuf, respecting even the nod of his distant superiors, bowed his mind and his judgment to obedience. Besides the assiduous fatigues of his office, each day, and sometimes twice in the day, he applied to himself the lash; beneath a bristling hair-shirt he wore an iron girdle, armed on all sides with projecting points; his fasts were frequent ; almost always his pious vigils continued deep into the night. In vain did Asmodeus assume for him the forms of earthly beauty; his eye rested benignantly on visions of divine things. Once, imparadised in a trance, he beheld the Mother of Him whose cross he bore, surrounded by a crowd of virgins, in the beatitudes of heaven. Once, as he himself has recorded, Jen while engaged in penance, he saw Christ unfold his
V. arms to embrace him with the utmost love, promising oblivion of his sins. Once, late at night, while praying in the silence, he had a vision of an infinite number of crosses, and, with mighty heart, he strove, again and again, to grasp them all. Often he saw the shapes of foul fiends, now appearing as madmen, now as raging beasts; and often he beheld the image of Death, a bloodless form, by the side of the stake, struggling with bonds, and, at last, falling, as a harmless spectre, at his feet. Having vowed ... to seek out suffering for the greater glory of God, he 1038. renewed that vow every day, at the moment of tasting the sacred wafer; and as his cupidity for martyrdom grew into a passion, he exclaimed, “ What shall I render to thee, Jesus, my Lord, for all thy benefits! I will accept thy cup, and invoke thy name;" and, in sight of the Eternal Father and the Holy Spirit, of the most holy Mother of Christ and St. Joseph, before angels, apostles, and martyrs, before St. Ignatius and Francis Xavier, he made a vow never to decline the opportunity of martyrdom, and never to receive the death-blow but with joy.
The life of a missionary on Lake Huron was simple and uniform. The earliest hours, from four to eight, were absorbed in private prayer; the day was given to schools, visits, instruction in the catechism, and a service for proselytes. Sometimes, after the manner of St. Francis Xavier, Brebeuf would walk through the village and its environs, ringing a little bell, and inviting the Huron braves and counsellors to a conference. There, under the shady forest,