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walks in the likeness of love and duty; and a thousand times on the pages of history we find Hell beguiling the virtues of Heaven to do its work. The instinct of domination is a weed that grows rank in the shadow of the temple, climbs over it, possesses it, covers its ruin, and feeds on its decay. The unchecked sway of priests has always been the most mischievous of tyrannies; and even were they all well-meaning and sincere, it would be so still.
To the Jesuits, the atmosphere of Quebec was well-nigh celestial. “In the climate of New France,” they write, “one learns perfectly to seek only God, to have no desire but God, no purpose but for God.” And again: “To live in New France is in truth to live in the bosom of God.” “If,” adds Le Jeune, “any one of those who die in this country goes to perdition, I think he will be doubly guilty.”1
The very amusements of this pious community were acts of religion. Thus, on the fête-day of St. Joseph, the patron of New France, there was a show of fireworks to do him honor. In the forty volumes of the Jesuit Relations there is but one pictorial illustration; and this represents the pyrotechnic contrivance in question, together with a figure of the
1 “La Nouuelle France est vn vray climat où on apprend parfaictement bien à ne chercher que Dieu, ne desirer que Dieu seul, auoir l'intention purement à Dieu, etc. ... Viure en la Nouuelle France, c'est à vray dire viure dans le sein de Dieu, et ne respirer que l'air de sa Diuine conduite." — Divers Sentimens. “Si quelqu'un de ceux qui meurent en ces contrées se damne, je croy qu'il sera doublement coupable." – Relation, 1640, 5 (Cramoisy).
Governor in the act of touching it off. But, what is more curious, a Catholic writer of the present day, the Abbé Faillon, in an elaborate and learned work, dilates at length on the details of the display; and this, too, with a gravity which evinces his conviction that squibs, rockets, blue-lights, and serpents are important instruments for the saving of souls.2 On May-Day of the same year, 1637, Montmagny planted before the church a May-pole surmounted by a triple crown, beneath which were three symbolical circles decorated with wreaths, and bearing severally the names, Iesus, Maria, Ioseph; the soldiers drew up hefore it, and saluted it with a volley of musketry. 8
On the anniversary of the Dauphin's birth there was a dramatic performance, in which an urbeliever, speaking Algonquin for the profit of Indians present, was hunted into Hell by fiends. Religious processions were frequent. In one of them, the Governor in a court dress and a baptized Indian in beaver-skins were joint supporters of the canopy which covered the Host. In another, six Indians led the van, arrayed each in a velvet coat of scarlet and gold sent them by the King. Then came other Indian converts, two and two; then the foundress of the Ursuline convent, with Indian children in French gowns; then all the Indian girls and women, dressed after their own way; then the priests; then
1 Relation, 1637, 8. The Relations, as originally published, com. prised about forty volumes.
2 Histoire de la Colonie Française, i. 291, 292. 8 Relation, 1637, 82. 4 Vimont, Relation, 1640, 6. 5 Le Jeune, Relation, 1638, 6
the Governor; and finally the whole French population, male and female, except the artillery-men at the fort, who saluted with their cannon the cross and banner borne at the head of the procession. When all was over, the Governor and the Jesuits rewarded the Indians with a feast.1
Now let the stranger enter the church of NotreDame de la Recouvrance, after vespers. It is full, to the very porch, — officers in slouched hats and plumes, musketeers, pikemen, mechanics, and laborers. Here is Montmagny himself; Repentigny and Poterie, gentlemen of good birth; damsels of nurture ill-fitted to the Canadian woods; and, mingled with these, the motionless Indians, wrapped to the throat in embroidered moose-hides. Le Jeune, not in priestly vestments, but in the common black dress of his Order, is before the altar; and on either side is a row of small red-skinned children listening with exemplary decorum, while, with a cheerful, smiling face, he teaches them to kneel, clasp their hands, and sign the cross. All the principal members of this zealous community are present, at once amused and edified at the grave deportment, and the prompt, shrill replies of the infant catechumens; while their parents in the crowd grin delight at the gifts of beads and trinkets with which Le Jeune rewards his most proficient pupils.2
We have seen the methods of conversion practised
1 Le Jeune, Relation, 1639, 3. 2 Ibid., 1637, 122 (Cramoisy).
among the Hurons. They were much the same at Quebec. The principal appeal was to fear.1 “You do good to your friends,” said Le Jeune to an Algonquin chief, “and you burn your enemies. God does the same.” And he painted Hell to the startled neophyte as a place where, when he was hungry, he would get nothing to eat but frogs and snakes, and, when thirsty, nothing to drink but flames.2 Pictures were found invaluable. “These holy representations,” pursues the Father Superior, “are half the instruction that can be given to the Indians. I wanted some pictures of Hell and souls in perdition, and a few were sent us on paper; but they are too confused. The devils and the men are so mixed up, that one can make out nothing without particular attention. If three, four, or five devils were painted tormenting a soul with different punishments, — one applying fire, another serpents, another tearing him with pincers, and another holding him fast with a chain, — this would have a good effect, especially if everything were made distinct, and misery, rage, and desperation appeared plainly in his face." 3
i Le Jeune, Relation, 1636, 119, and 1637, 32 (Cramoisy). “La crainte est l'auan couriere de la foy dans ces esprits barbares.”
2 Ibid., 1637, 80–82 (Cramoisy). “Avoir faim et ne manger que des serpens et des crapaux, avoir soif et ne boire que des fammes."
8 “Les heretiques sont grandement blasmables, de condamner et de briser les images qui ont de si bons effets. Ces sainctes figures sont la moitié de l'instruction qu'on peut donner aux Sauuages. l'auois desiré quelques portraits de l'enfer et de l'âme damnée; on nous en a enuoyé quelques vns et en papier, mais cela est trop confus. Les diables sont tellement meslez avec les hommes, qu'or
The preparation of the convert for baptism was often very slight. A dying Algonquin, who, though meagre as a skeleton, had thrown himself, with a last effort of expiring ferocity, on an Iroquois prisoner, and torn off his ear with his teeth, was baptized almost immediately. In the case of converts in health there was far more preparation; yet these often apostatized. The various objects of instruction may all be included in one comprehensive word, submission,
- an abdication of will and judgment in favor of the spiritual director, who was the interpreter and vicegerent of God. The director's function consisted in the enforcement of dogmas by which he had himself been subdued, in which he believed profoundly, and to which he often clung with an absorbing enthusin'y peut rien recognoistre, qu'auec vne particuliere attention. Qui depeindroit trois ou quatre ou cinq demons, tourmentans vne âme de diuers supplices, l'vn luy appliquant des feux, l'autre des serpens, l'autre la tenaillant, l'autre la tenant liée auec des chaisnes, cela auroit vn bon effet, notamment si tout estoit bien distingué, et que la rage et la tristesse parussent bien en la face de cette âme desesperée.” — Relation, 1637, 32 (Cramoisy).
1 “Ce seroit vne estrange cruauté de voir descendre vne âme toute viuante dans les enfers, par le refus d'vn bien que Iesus Christ luy a acquis au prix de son sang.” — Relation, 1637, 66 (Cramoisy).
“Considerez d'autre coté la grande appréhension que nous avions sujet de redouter la guérison; pour autant que bien souvent étant guéris il ne leur reste du St. Baptême que le caractère.” – Lettres de Garnier, MSS.
It was not very easy to make an Indian comprehend the nature of baptism. An Iroquois at Montreal, hearing a missionary speaking of the water which cleansed the soul from sin, said that he was well acquainted with it, as the Dutch had once given him so much that they were forced to tie him, hand and foot, to prevent him from doing mischief. — Faillon, ii. 43.