« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
created alarm; it was the Spaniards who suffered. Taico even intimated to the Portuguese that he had no fault to find with them.
The scene around the crosses of the martyrs revealed so deep a sympathy with the sufferers, there were evoked such unmistakable manifestations of grief and indignation, that Taico saw that he had gone quite far enough. Next year he died, leaving his only son under the guardianship of Ogosho-Sama. Ogosho's guardianship was of the usual Japanese type. He seized the supreme power for himself, and fixed the dynasty of the Sjogouns in the line of his descendants.
Protected by Nobunanga, circumscribed and partially persecuted by Taico, proscribed in its priesthood by Ogosho, Romish Christianity still not only held its ground, but made progress among the Japanese. But in 1616 it received a blow, from the effects of which it never rallied. In that year the forces of Fide-Jori, Taico's son, and those of Ogosho, his oath-breaking guardian, made a final appeal to arms.
The native Christians, “carrying Christian banners,” took part against the usurper, and swelled the ranks of Fide-Jori's army. "It was reported,” writes Mr. Cocks, "that Fidaia-Sama had promised the Jesuits entrance again, in case he had obtained the victory and been settled in the empire.” That victory he very nearly did obtain ; but in the confusion consequent upon the treacherous conflagration of Oho-Saka, his troops, at first triumphant, were put to the rout, and Ogosho remained master of the field.
“ This yeear,” to quote from William Adams, 1616, “the old Emperour (Ogosho) he died. His son reigneth in his place, and he is more hot agaynste the romishe religion than his ffather was; for he hath forbidden, thorough all hys domynions, on paine of deth, none of his subjects to be romish Christiane.” We purposely abstain from details which one could not read aloud, which one can hardly read when alone. But without lifting the veil wholly from the scenes of suffering, we may present to our readers these few lines of an eye-witness: “I
saw, says Mr. Cocks, "fifty-five executed at Miako at one time, and amongst them children of five or six years old, who were burnt in their mothers' arms, calling on Jesus to save their souls.”
Ogosho's son and grandson completed the extirpatory process which was first thoroughly initiated after the battle of OhoSaka; and how “hot” were the measures of these two Sjogouns may be imagined from the statement, that whereas (according to Charlevoix) there were in 1605 at least 200 missionaries and 1,800,000 Christians in Japan, in 1638 the numbers of the latter had been reduced to 37,000. By banishment, by the sword, by the cross, and by fire, the ruthless exterminatio.
went on. No annals of martyrdom reveal more heroic constancy and triumphant endurance on the part of the sufferers, and none more refinement of cruelty on the part of the persecutors. As one tries to read the tragic narrative, the heart now grows
faint under the merciless inflictions, and then thrills with reverent wonder in presence of a spirit true and death-defiant, far above the wonted level of humanity.
At last the end came. In 1638 the decimated ranks of the native Christians, amounting to about 37,000, threw themselves into the fortress of Sima-barra in Kiusiu. The “submissive readiness of the Dutch"* was exemplified in the person of Mr. Kockebaker, the head of the Dutch factory, who “ within a fortnight battered the walls of the town with 426 balls, both from his own vessel, and from a battery on shore planted with Dutch guns.” This coöperation on the
part of the Dutch being recognised by the besieged, there was launched from the walls an arrow bearing a letter, with the question, "if there were no native soldiers to oppose them ?” and this question, it is said, led to the withdrawal of the Dutch. For an indefinite period the attacks of the imperial troops might have been withstood. But in the course of a few days the provisions of the Christians had become exhausted. Rejecting all overtures of peace, the besieged resolved to hazard an engagement outside the walls. If valour could have saved them, their final sally must have proved a victory; but they were overpowered by numbers, and Japanese Christianity sank down in blood.
Amid all the religious troubles the Japanese ports lay still open to the mercantile navies of many nations; but by the time that the forty years' reign of terror drew to a close, Spanish and Portuguese merchants were included in the proscription which shut out their religion from the empire. By the end of the year 1639 the traders of the western peninsula were expelled from Japan; and over the great sepulchre at Sima-barra was erected a tablet, with this memorable inscription : “ So long as the sun shall warm the earth, let no Christian be so bold as come to Japan, and let all men know, if the King of Spain himself, or the Christians' God, violate this decree, he shall pay for it with his head.” The Japanese annals register these stormy years of which we have been speaking ; but all the notice that is taken of the extinction of Catholicism and the exclusion of all foreigners, save the Dutch and Chinese, is contained in these words: “ Revolt in Sima-barra; annihilation of rebels. Intercourse with Christians is broken off. The arrival of Europeans is forbidden." Our space will not allow us to speak in detail of the swift
annihilation of a Portuguese embassy, consisting of seventy-five individuals, despatched in 1641 from Macao, with the hope of inducing a change of purpose in the Japanese goverment; or of the blowing up by the natives of the heavily-armed Spanish three-decker, which came, on similar errand, to the harbour of Nangasaki. There was an attempt, however, to reintroduce the faith of Xavier, of which a few words may be spoken. The he
. roic adventurer who made the endeavour seems worthy to take rank with Xavier himself. A Sicilian priest, by name Sidotti, after having devoted himself to the study of the Japanese language in Manilla for two years, requested the Spanish authorities to convey him to Japan. Like Xavier, he would listen to no dissuasion. A ship was provided. He reached the coast of one of the islands of the sealed empire, and there, wholly alone, he was left at midnight on the 9th of October 1709. The sailors who rowed him to shore wept like children as he bade them farewell; and before he descended into the boat he kissed the feet of all on board the vessel, and asked their forgiveness for any evil that they might have seen in him during the voyage. His last words were, ere he disappeared in the darkness of the to him unknown land, “Leave me alone in the midst of a people whom, though they abhor the name of Christ, I yet hope to win over to Christianity. I do not rely on my own strength, but on the all-powerful grace of our Saviour, and the protection of the many martyrs who shed their blood for his name.” It is affirmed by some writers that Sidotti was almost immediately apprehended, and that he died a lingering death of pain in Jedo. But others allege that nothing certain was ever heard concerning the self-sacrificing man after he parted from the Spanish sailors.
In later days, various were the fruitless efforts on the part of Russia and of England to open the close-barred gates of Japan. It was reserved for the Anglo-Saxon occupiers of the country which Columbus discovered, when his dreams were filled with “ Zipangu,” to have the honour of first breaking the spell which for generations had isolated the Japanese from the fellowship of the world. As every body now knows, England followed in the wake of America; and coming as our ambassador did with the halo round him of the treaty of Tientsin, he obtained conditions of intercourse never granted by the Japanese to a foreign people before.
The advantages of commerce with the Portuguese, the spirit of feudalism which led the clan to follow in the steps of their chief, the decided religious susceptibilities of the natives, the devout lives and charities of the first missionaries, were among the chief causes which, apart from the diviner meanings of Christianity itself, procured for Catholicism so remarkable a reception in Japan. But Catholicism was hurled from the country as a hateful and accursed thing: and why? It was always a foreign religion. Scarcely any, if any, of the native converts were admitted into holy orders; and every Japanese on receiving baptism laid down his national name, as we saw in the case of the first convert, Angeroo. Further, the mutual recriminations of the different religious orders gradually rendered their common creed a suspected thing. Very damaging, moreover, to Catholicism was the fact, that in course of time the converts had learned or tried to steel their hearts against the impulses of the natural affections, and habitually menaced with eternal damnation the adherents of the old religions of the country. Again, Ogosho and his two successors could never forgive or forget that the Christian soldiers had been ranged by thousands on the field against their interests. They felt that Japan could not serve two masters: she must know no king but the Sjogoun. But first, midmost, and last, it was, as we think, the bonze influence which, using the other adverse elements as its instruments,* in reality achieved the overthrow of the Catholic mission, and thus saved the empire from being clinched by Jesuit hooks to the Roman rock.
* We have not included in our list of causes hostile to Catholicism in Japan the alleged haughty behaviour of a Portuguese priest to a Japanese dignitary, or the much later discovery of letters implicating the Portuguese in a conspiracy to overthrow the Japanese monarchy. Charlevoix, as it seems to us, has quite satisfactorily disposed of both allegations. Fabricius, in his Lux Evangelii, gc., sets down these as the chief grounds of the fall of Catholicism in Japan: 1. T'he opposition of the bonzes. 2. The insolence of the Spaniards, who, having be. come lords of Portugal and of the Portuguese Indian possessions, might seem anxious to add Japan to the number. 3. Whispers against Spain and Jesuits from other powers. We must add here, that in 1690 there were still found some embers of the great fire kindled by Xavier. Kämpfer tells us of a few poor men and women in the common prison at Nangasaki who still professed to be Chris. tians. But all their articulate Christianity consisted in their being able to repeat the names of Jesus and of Mary.
ART. IX.-PAPAL ROME,
La Rome des Pupes; son Origine, ses Phases successives, ses Mæurs
intimes, son Gouvernement, son Système administratif. Par un ancien Membre de la Constituante Romaine. Traduction de l'ouvrage italien inédit.
Premier volume. Bâle: Schweighauser, London: John Chapman, 1859. Le Pape et le Congrès. Paris, 1859. Ir is the singular privilege of the present generation to witness the union in one person of the royal and prophetic offices. What philosophers and theologians might have pictured to themselves in their dreams, but could scarcely in their most enthusiastic moods have hoped to see practically realised, has become an actual and indisputable fact; and strange to say, it is in the centre of fashion, and not in the spiritual metropolis of the Christian world, that this phenomenon has manifested itself. Until the assumption of the reins of government by the Emperor Napoleon III., there was in the diplomacy of European nations something hard, cold, and pedantically formal, which seemed to be the exaggerated essence of secular and material domination. Great questions, under the intricate but systematic manipulation of well-trained diplomatists, were carefully and even anxiously emptied of any thing approaching to a declaration of vital principles at issue, and with a skill worthy of the inost practised special-pleader were made to turn on secondary and unexciting points of detail, which might contain the kernel of the matter, but so disguised its existence from vulgar eyes, that no hereditary sensibilities were shocked by bold unconventionalities, and no popular attention was directed to a department of knowledge as sacred as the inner mysteries of the ancient priesthood. Compromise could scarcely be said to be a constant accompaniment to that of which it was a corporate part, and to the ordered vagueness of which its nature so completely assimilated. Real sentiment was as little to be found as in a lawyer's brief; and sentimental motives, when put forward, were as much matter of mere decent form as the considerations of love and duty introduced into legal documents. Now, however, there is a great change. Diplomacy has become sud- .. denly subordinated to sentiment; the de-facto to the de jure ; the conventional to the “natural;" the practical to the theoretical; the actual to the traditional; in short, the present to the future and the past. If nations are summoned from their inglorious repose, it is by ancestral memories and bright prophetic visions