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proverbial. Nothing ever displayed so fully to the eyes of mankind the spirit and temper of the papal religion. “ Christians,” says Tertullian, “ were often called, not Christiani, but Chrestiani, from the gentleness of their manners, and the sweetness of their tempers." Jesus himself was the essence of mildness. His apostles were gentle, even as a nurse that cherisheth her children. But what an awful contrast is exhibited in this horrid court of papal inquisition. Let us hear the description which Voltaire, a very competent witness, gives of it. “ Their form of procceding,” says he, “is an infallible way to destroy whomsoever the inquisitor's wish. The prisoners are not confronted with the accuser or informer. Nor is there any informer or witness who is not listened to. A public conviet, a notorious malefactor, an infamous person, a common prostitute, a child, are in the holy office, though no where else, credible accusers and witnesses. Even the son may depose against his father, the wife against her husband.” The wretched prisoner is no more made acquainted with his crime than with his accuser. His being told the one might possibly lead him to guess the other. To avoid this, he is compelled, by tedious confinement in a noisome dungeon, where he never sees a face but the jailor's, and is not permitted the use of either books or pen and ink-or should confinement alone not be sufficient, he is compelled, by the most excruciating tortures, to inform against himself, to discover and to confess the crime laid to his charge, of which he is often ignorant. “ This procedure,” says our historian, “ unheard of till the institution of this court makes the whole kingdom tremble. Suspicion reigns in every breast. Friendship and quietness are at an end. The brother dreads his brother, the father his son. Hence taciturnity is become the characteristic of a nation, endued with all the vivacity natural to the inhabitants of a warm and fruitful climate. To this tribunal we must

likewise impute that profound ignorance of sound philosophy in which Spain lies buried, whilst Germany, England, France, and even Italy, have discovered so many truths, and enlarged the sphere of our knowledge. Never is human nature so debased, as where ignorance is armed with


But these melancholy effects of the Inquisition are a trifle when compared with those public sacrifices, called Auto da Fe, or Acts of Faith, and to the shocking barbarities that precede them. A priest in a white surplice, or a monk who has vowed meekness and humility, causes his fellow creatures to be put to the torture in a dismal dungeon. A stage is erected in the public market-place, where the condemned prisoners are conducted to the stake, attended with a train of monks and religious confraternities. They sing psalms, say mass, and butcher mankind. Were a native of Asia to come to Madrid upon a day of an execution of this sort, it would be impossible for him to tell, whether it were a rejoicing, a religious feast, a sacrifice, or a massacre; and yet it is all this together! The kings, whose presence alone in other cases is the harbinger of mercy, assist at this spectacle uncovered, seated lower than the inquisitors, and are spectators of their subjects expiring in the flames. The Spaniards reproached Montezuma with immolating his captives to his gods; what would he have said, had he beheld an “ Auto da Fe?”

It is but doing justice, however, to many Roman Catholic states, and to thousands of individuals belonging to that church, to say, that they abhor this infernal tribunal, almost as much as Protestants themselves do. This is sufficiently evinced by the tumults which were excited in several parts of Italy, Milan, and Naples in particular, and

• Voltaire's Universal History, Vol. II. ch. cxviii, VOL. II.


afterwards in France, as well as in other catholic countries, by the attempts that were made to introduce it at first, and by its actual expulsion from some places, where, to all appearance, it was firmly established. It is, indeed, matter of regret that any among the members of that church should have their minds so enslaved by prejudice, as to imagine, for a moment, that a despotism which required for its support such diabolical engines, could possibly be of heavenly origin. There is something in the very constitution of this tribunal so monstrously unjust, so exorbitantly cruel, that it must ever excite one's astonishment, that the people of any country should have permitted its existence among them. Ilow they could have the inconsistency to acknowledge a power to be from God which has found it necessary to recur to expedients so manifestly from hell, so subversive of every principle of sound morality and religion, can be regarded only as one of those contradictions, for which human characters, both in individuals and nations, are often so remarkable. The wisdom that is from above is pure, peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. But the policy of Rome, as displayed in the inquisition, is so strikingly characterized by that wisdom which is earthly, sensual, and devilish, that the person who needs to be convinced of it, seems to be altogether beyond the power of argument. Never were two systems more diametrically opposed in their spirit, their maxims, and effects, than primitive Christianity, and the religion of modern Rome; nor do heaven and hell, Christ and Belial, exhibit to our view a more glaring contrast. *

* See Father Paul Sarpi's History of the council of Trent; and Dr. G. Campbell's Lectures on Ecclesiastical History.


History of the persecutions of the Albigenses in France,

during the thirteenth century. The flight of Peter Waldo from Lyons, and the consequent dispersion of his flock throughout the south of France, took place in the year 1163. As nothing lay nearer the hearts of the popes, than an anxious desire to crush in its infancy every doctrine that opposed their exorbitant power, they were seldom remiss in adopting such measures as appeared to them best calculated for promoting that favourite object. Accordingly we find that in the same year (1168) a synod was convened at Tours, a city of France, at which all the bishops and priests in the country of Toulouse, were strictly enjoined " to take care, and to forbid, under pain of excommunication, every person from presuming to give reception, or the least assistance to the followers of this heresy ; to have no dealings with them in buying or selling, that thus being deprived of the common necessaries of life, they might be compelled to repent of the evil of their way." And, further, that “whosoever should dare to contravene this order, should be excommunicated as a partner with them in their guilt.” And, lastly, that, “ as many of them as could be found, should be imprisoned by the catholic, princes, and punished with the forfeiture of all their substance. *

It is very natural to suppose that these cruel precautionary proceedings, if followed up with much rigour, must drive the friends of Waldo to seek an asylum in more hospitable climes; and, of course, many of them took refuge in the vallies of Piedmont, while others proceeded to Bohemia, and not a few migrated into Spain. Hence, in the

Baronius's Annals, sect. 18. n. 4. quoted in Limborch, ch. ix.

year 1194, in consequence of some of the Waldenses coming into the province of Arragon, King Ildefonsus issued a severe and bloody edict, by which “he banished them froin his kingdom and all his dominions, as enemies of the cross of Christ, profaners of the christian religion, and public enemies to himself and kingdom.”*

Yet, notwithstanding these inhuman proceedings, both in France and Spain, “so mightily grew the word of God and prevailed,” that in the year 1200, both the city of Toulouse, and eighteen other principal towns in Langue. doc, Provence, and Dauphiné, were filled with Waldenses and Albigenses. This, no doubt, was owing, under God, to the protection that was afforded them by the Counts of Toulouse and Foix, the Viscount of Beziers, and several other of the French nobility. It can excite no surprise, therefore, that their numbers and growing influence should spread universal alarm at Rome, and that the most spirited exertions should be cetermined on for subduing them.

The first measures resorted to were the issuing of papal canons and sentences of excommunication. Not only was the whole sect anathematized, but also every one who should receive them into their houses, and protect them, or hold any intercourse with them. The archbishops and bishops of Guienne and other provinces of France, as well as the clergy throughout their different dioceses, were enjoined to banish the Waldenses, Paritans, and Paterines from their territories; to mark them, and take care that they should neither enjoy christian privileges while living, nor burial when dead. Kings, princes, and magistrates, were called upon to support and assist the catholic clergy with the power of the sword; to confiscate the property, and raze to the foundation, the houses of these heretics, and of all that countenanced them.+

* Bz us, A. 1199. sect. 38. in Limborch, ch. ix.

†. Rankin's Hist. of France, Vol. III. and Limborch's History of the Inquisition, ch. ix.

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