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the superior whom they elected; the raged against the monks of his time, who, abbé was their spiritual' father. What in spite of our Lord's command, gave or different things do the same words signify received the title of abbot, the sixth at different times! The spiritual abbé counsel of Paris decided, that if abbots was once a poor man at the head of others are spiritual fathers and beget spiritual equally poor; but the poor spiritual sons for the Lord, it is with reason that fathers have since had incomes of two they are called abbots. hundred or four hundred thousand livres, According to this decree, if any one and there are poor spiritual fathers in deserved this appellation, it belonged Germany who have regiments of guards. most assuredly to St. Benedict, who, in

A poor man, making a vow of poverty, the year 528, founded on Mount Cassino and in consequence becoming a sove- } in the kingdom of Naples, that society so reign ? Truly, this is intolerable. The eminent for wisdom and discretion, and laws exclaim against such an abuse; so grave in their speech and in their Religion is indignant at it; and the style. These are the terms used by Pope really poor, who want food and clothing, } St. Gregory, who does not fail to mention appeal to heaven against Monsieur l'abbé. { the singular privilege which it pleased

But I hear the abbés of Italy, Germany, God to grant to this holy founder--that Flanders, Burgundy, ask, “Why are not all Benedictines who die on Mount Cas. we to accumulate wealth and honours ? { sino are saved. It is not, then, surprising Why are we not to become princes ? The that these monks reckon sixteen thousand bishops are, who were originally poor, canonized saints of their order. The like us; they have enriched and elevated Benedictine sisters even assert, that they themselves; one of them has become are warned of their approaching dissolusuperior even to kings ; let us imitate tion by some nocturnal noise, which they them as far as we are able."

call the knocks of St. Benedict. Gentlemen, you are right. Invade the It may well be supposed that this holy land; it belongs to him whose strength abbot did not forget himself when begging or skill obtains possession of it. You the salvation of his disciples. Accord have made ample use of the times of{ ingly, on the 21st of March, 543, the eve ignorance, superstition, and infatuation,} of Passion-Sunday, which was the day of to strip us of our inheritances and trample his death, two monks, one of them in us under your feet, that you might fatien the monastery, the other at a distance on the substance of the unfortunate. } from it, had the same vision. They saw Tremble, for fear that the day of reason a long road covered with carpets, and will arrive!

lighted by an infinite number of torches,

extending eastward from the monastery ABBEY-ABBOT.

to heaven. A venerable personage appeared, and asked them for whom this

road was made. They said they did not An abbey is a religious community, } know. It is that, rejoined he, by which governed by an abbot or an abbess. Benedict, the well-beloved of God, has

The word abbot, abbas in Latin and } ascended into heaven. Greek, abbu in Chaldee and Syriac,- An order in which salvation was so came from the Hebrew ab, meaning { well secured, soon extended itself into father. The Jewish doctors took this other states, whose sovereigns allowed title through pride; therefore Jesus said themselves to be persuaded that, to be to his disciples, “Call no one your father sure of a place in Paradise, it was only gpon the earth, for one is your father who necessary to make themselves a friend is in heaven."

in it, and that by donations to the Although St. Jerome was much en-churches, they might atone for the most

SECTION I.

crying injustices and the most enormous { whose word they could rely, and who wimes.

had been eye-witnesses of the whole. Confining ourselves to France, we St. Bernard, first abbot of Clairvaux, read in the Exploits of King Dagobert in 1115, had likewise had it revealed to (Gestes du Roi Dagobert) the founder of} him, that all who received the monastic the abbey of St. Denis, near Paris, that habit from his hand should be saved, this'prince, after his death, was condemned Nevertheless, Pope Urban II., having, in by the judgment of God, and that a her- a bull dated 1092, given to the abbey of mit named John, who dwelt on the coast | Mount Cassino the title of chief of all moof Italy, saw his soul chained in a boat nasteries, because from that spot the and beaten by devils, who were taking venerable religion of the monastic order him towards Sicily to throw him into the had flowed from the bosom of Benedict fiery mouth of Etna ; but that, all at as from a celestial spring, the emperor once, St. Denis appeared on a luminous Lothario confirmed this prerogative by a globe, preceded by thunder and light- charter of the year 1137, which gave to ning, and, having put the evil spirits to the monastery of Mount Cassino the flight and rescued the poor soul from the pre-eminence in power and glory over all clutches of the most cruel, bore it to the monasteries which were or might be heaven in triumph.

founded throughout the world, and called Charles Martel, on the contrary, was upon all the abbous and monks in Christdamned, body and soul, for having re- endom to honour and reverence it. warded his captains by giving them

Paschal II., in a bull of the year 1113, abbeys. These, though laymen, bore the addressed to the abbot of Mount Cassino, title of abbot, as married women have expresses himself thus :—“We decree since borne that of abbess, and had con- that you, as likewise all your successors, vents of females. A holy bishop of shall, as being superior to all abbots, bé Lyons, named Eucher, being at prayer, allowed to sit in every assembly of bishops had the following vision : he thought or princes ; and that in all judgments you that he was led by an angel into hell, shall give your opinion before any other where he saw Charles Martel, who, the of your order." The abbot of Cluni angel informed him, had been condemned having also dared to call himself the abbot to everlasting flames by the saints whose of abbots, the Pope's chancellor decided, churches he had despoiled. St. Eucher in a council held at Rome in 1112, that wrote an account of this revelation to this distinction belonged to the abbot of Boniface, bishop of Mayence, and to Mount Cassino; he of Cluni contented Fulrad, grand-chaplain to Pepin-le-bref, }himself with the title of cardinal abbot, praying them to open the tomb of Charles which he afterwards obtained from CalixMartel and see if his body were there. tus II., and which the abbot of The The tomb was opened ; the interior of it Trinity of Vendôme and some others bore marks of fire, but nothing was found have since assumed. in it except a great serpent, which issued Pope John XX., in 1326, granted to forth with a cloud of offensive smoke. the abbot of Mount Cassino the title of

Boniface was so kind as to write to Bishop, and he continued to discharge Pepin-le-bref and to Carloman all these the episcopal functions until 1367 ; but particulars relative to the damnation of Urban V, having then thought proper to their father; and when, in 858, Louis of deprive him of that dignity, he now simply Germany seized some ecclesiastical pro- {entitles himself Patriarch of the holy perty, the bishops of the assembly of religion, Abbot of the holy monastery of Créci reminded him, in a letter, of all the Mount Cassino, Chancellor and Grand particulars of this terrible story, adding Chaplain of the Holy Roman Empire. that they had them from aged men, on Abbot of Abbots, Chief of the Benedicline

Hierarchy, Chancellor Collaleral of the their flocks, and travelled in other proKingdom of Sicily, Count and Governor vinces, in order to attend fairs and enrich of the Campagna and of the muritime themselves by traffic; they succoured not province, Prince of Peuce.

their brethren who were dying of hunger; He lives, with a part of his officers, at they sought only to amass heaps of San-Germano, a little town at the foot of money, to gain possession of lands by Dlount Cassino, in a spacious house, unjust artifices, and to make immense where all passengers, from the Pope down profits by usury.' to the meanest beggar, are received, Charlemagne, in a digest of what he lodged, fed, and treated according to their intended to propose to the parliament of rank. The abbot each day visits all his 811, thus expresses himself :-“We wish guests, who sometimes amount to three to know the duties of ecclesiastics, in hundred. In 1538, St. Ignatius shared order that we may not ask of them what his hospitality, but he was lodged in a they are not permitted to give, and that house on Mount Cassino, six hundred they may not demand of us what we paces west of the abbey. There he com- { ought not to grant. We beg of them to posed his celebrated Institute: whence a explain to us clearly what they call quitDominican, in a work entitled, The Turtle- } ting the world, and by what those who dove of the Soul, says, “ Ignatius dwelt quit it may be distinguished from those for twelve months on this mountain of who remain in it;-if it is only by their contemplation, and like another Moses, not bearing arms, and not being married framed those second tables of religious } in public ;-if that man has quitted the law which are inferior in nothing to the world who continues to add to his possesfirst."

sions by means of every sort, preaching Truly, this founder of the Jesuits was Paradise and threatening with damna not received by the Benedictines with {tion ; employing the name of God or of that complaisance which St. Benedict, on some saint to persuade the simple to strip his arrival at Mount Cassino, had found themselves of their property, thus entals in St. Martin the hermit, who gave up to } ing want upon their lawful heirs, who him the place in his possession, and re- therefore think themselves justified in tired to Mount Marsica, near Carniola. committing theft and pillage ;-if to quit On the contrary, the Benedictine Ambrose the world is, to carry the passion of coCajeta, in a voluminous work written for vetousness to such a length as to bribe the purpose, has endeavoured to trace the false witnesses in order to obtain what origin of the Jesuits to the order of St. belongs to another, and to seek out judges Benedict.

who are cruel, interested, and without the The laxity of manners, which has al-fear of God—” ways prevailed in the world, even among; To conclude-we may judge of the the clergy, induced St. Basil, so early as morals of the regular clergy from an hathe fourth century to adopt the idea of rangue delivered in 1493, in which the assembling in one community the solita- | abbé Tritème said to his brethren, “ You ries who had fled into deserts to follow the abbés, who are ignorant and hostile to law: but, as will be elsewherr seen, even the knowledge of salvation : who pass the regulars have not always been regular. } your days in shameless pleasures, in

As for the secular clergy, let us see drinking and gaming; who fix your what St. Cyprian says of them, even from } affections on the things of this life;the third century—“Many bishops, in- what answer will you make to God and stead of exhorting and setting an examples to your founder St. Benedict ?” to others, neglected the affairs of God, The same abbé nevertheless asserted, busied themselves with temporal con- } that one-third of all the property of cerns, quitted their pulpits, abandoned Christians belonged of right to the order

of St. Benedict; and that if they had it said in the Gospel, "call no man your not, it was because they had been robbed } father." of it. “ They are so poor at present,' Neither abbots nor monks were priests added he, “that their revenues do not in the early ages ; they went in troops to amount to more than a hundred millions hear mass at the nearest village: their of louis-d'ors." Tritême does not tell us numbers, in time, became considerable : to whom the other two-thirds belong;} it is said that there were upwards of fifty but as in his time there were only fifteenthousand monks in Egypt. thousand abbeys of Benedictines, besides St. Basil, who was first a monk and the small convents of the same order, afterwards Bishop of Cesarea and Cappa while in the seventeenth century their docia, composed a code for all the monks number had increased to thirty-seven of the fourth century. This rule of St. thousand, it is clear, by the rule of pro- Basil's was received in the East and in portion, that this holy order ought now the West : no monks were known but io possess five-sixths of the property in those of St. Basil; they were rich, took Christendom, but for the fatal progress part in all public affairs, and contributed of heresy during the latter ages.

io the revolutions of empires. In addition to all other misfortunes, No order but this was known until, in since the Concordat was signed in 1515, } the sixth century, St. Benedict established between Leo. X. and Francis I., the King a new power on Mount Cassino. St. of France nominating to nearly all the Gregory the Great assures us, in his abbeys in his kingdom, most of them Dialogues, that God granted him a special have been given to seculars with shaven privilege, by which all the Benedictines crowns. It was in consequence of this who should die on Mount Cassino were custom being but little known in Eng- to be saved. Consequently, Pope Urban land, that Dr. Gregory said pleasantly to II., in a bull of the year 1092, declared the abbé Gallois, whom he took for a { the abbot of Mount Cassino chief of all Benedictine, “ The good father imagines the abbeys in the world. Paschal II. that we have returned to those fabulous gave him the title of Abbot of Abbots, times when a monk was permitted to say} Patriarch of the Holy Religion, Chanwhat he pleased."

cellor Collateral of the Kingdom of Sicily, Count and Governor of the Campagna,

Prince of Peace,, &c. &c. &c. &c. &c. Those who fly from the world are } All these titles would avail but little were wise ; those who devote themselves 10 they not supported by immense riches. God are to be respected. Perhaps time Not long ago I received a letter from has corrupted so holy an institution. one of my German correspondents, which

To the Jewish therapeuts succeeded began with these words :-“The abbots, the Egyptian monks—idiotoi, monoi- princes of Kempten, Elvengen, Eudestet, idiot then signifying only solitary. They Musbach, Berghsgaden, Vissemburg, soon formed themselves into bodies and ( Prum, Stablo, and Corvey, and the other became the opposite of solitaries. Each abbots who are not princes, cnjoy togesociety of monks elected its superior ; ther a revenue of about nine hundred for, in the early ages of the church, every- } thousand florins, or two millions and fifty thing was done by the plurality of voices. thousand French livres of the present curMen sought to regain the primitive liberty rency. Whence I conclude, that Jesus of human nature, by escaping through Christ's circumstances were not quite so piety from the tumult and slavery inse- easy as theirs." I replied, “Sir, you parably attendant on great empires. must confess that the French are more Every society of monks chose its father pious than the Germans, in the propor--its abba_its abbot, although it is } tion of 4 16-41 to unity ; for our consis.

SECTION II.

more.

corial benefices alone, that is, those which vations, laws,—whether old or new, pay annats to the Pope, produce a reve- { abrogated, revived, or mitigated,-charnue of nine millions; and two millions ters, whether real or supposed, the past, fifty thousand livres are to nine millions the present, and the future, alike subseras 1 is to 4 16-41. Whence I conclude, vient to the grand end of obtaining the that your abbols are not sufficiently rich, good things of this world ; yet it is always and that they ought to have ten times for the greater glory of God.

I have the honour to be, &c." He answered me by the following short

ABLE_ABILITY. letter :-"Dear Sir, I do not understand ABLE.-An adjective term, which, like you. You, doubtless, feel with me, that almost all others, has different acceptaaine millions of your money are rather tions as it is differently employed, too much for those who have made a vow In general it signifies morethan capable, of poverty; yet you wish that they had more than well-informed, whether applied ninety. I beg you will explain this to an artist, a general, a man of learning, enigma." I had the honour of immedi-or a judge. A man may have read all ately replying :—“Dear Sir, there was that has been written on war, and may once a young man to whom it was pro- have seen it, without being able to conposed to marry a woman of sixiy, who duct a war: he may be capable of comwould leave him all her property; he manding, but to acquire the name of an answered, that she was not cld enough." able general, he must command more -The German understood my enigma.

than once with success. A judge may The reader must be informed that, in know all the laws, without being able to 1575, in was proposed in a council of apply them. A learned man may not be Henry III. King of France, to erect all} able either to write or to teach. An able the abbeys of monks into secular com-{ man, then, is he who makes a great use of mendams, and to give them to the officers what he knows. A cupuble man cun do a of his court and his army; but this mo-} thing; an able one does it. This word narch happening afterwards to be excom-cannot be applied to efforts of pure municated and assassinated, the project genius : we do not say, an uble poei, an was of course not carried into effect. able orator ; or if we sometimes say so of

In 1750, Count d'Argenson, minister an orator, it is when he has ably, dexteof war, wished to raise pensions from the rously, treated a thorny subject. benefices for chevaliers of the military Bossuet, for example, having, in his order of St. Louis: nothing could be funeral oration over the Great Condé, to more simple, more just, more useful; but treat of his civil wars, says, that there is his efforts were fruitless. Yet the princess { a penitence as glorious as innocence of Conti had had an abbey under Lewis itself. He manages this point ably; of XIV.; and even before his reign seculars the rest he speaks with grandeur. possessed benefices: the Duke de Sulli We say, an able historian; meaning, had an abbey, although he was a Hugonot. one who has drawn his materials from

The father of Hugh Capet was rich good sources, compared different relaonly by his abbeys, and was called Hugh tions, and judged soundly of them ;the Abbot. Abbeys were given to queens One, in short, who has taken great pains. to furnish them with pin-money. Ogine, If he has, moreover, the gift of narrating mother of Louis d'Outremer, left her son with suitable eloquence, he is more than because he had taken from her the abbey able, he is a great historian, like Titus of St. Mary of Laon, and given it to his Livius, De Thou, &c. wife Gerberge.

The word able is applicable to those Thus we have examples of everything. arts which exercise at once the mind and Each one strives to make customs, inno- the hand, as painting and sculpture.

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