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pelled to act with great reserve and caution in this affair, that they might not furnish the Lutherans with new arguments against auricular confession, and the Catholics with a motive for employing it less frequently." p. 355.
"It was the custom to read the Edict of Denunciations in the churches every year, on some Sunday in Lent; and as the number of crimes increased, new articles were added to the edict. The inquisitors of some provinces introduced that of the priests who corrupted their penitents, and Raynaldus Gonzalvius Montanus, speaking of the occurrences at Seville after the publication of this edict, declares that it was published in 1563, and that the denunciations were so numerous, that the notaries of the holy office refused to receive them, and that the inquisitors were obliged to relinquish the prosecution of the criminals." p. 356.
with which some of it may be introduced. The influence of the crusades, in paving a way for the introduction of the Inquisition, deserves notice. The opinion that it was meritorious to make war against infidels favoured the idea that it was equally so to persecute heretics, who were accounted little, if at all, better than unbelievers by the Church of Rome. Accordingly, as she had granted her indulgences for the defence of the holy sepulchre and the recovery of Palestine, she now renewed them in aid of the misnamed holy office, and for the preservation of the equally miscalled holy see in all its plenitude of universal dominion. It would be almost amusing, were not the subject too horrible for lightness, to observe the semblance of equity which the Inquisition affected to maintain in adjusting the scale of evidence by which the guilt and punishment of their victims were to be determined. They pretended to employ a sort of intellectual thermometer, graduated from remote suspicion to proof po
Amidst the encroachments of this tribunal upon the civil power, it, doubtless, sometimes encountered and punished crimes and abuses against which the strong arm of law is properly directed. Not to speak of "infamy too nauseous to be named," it is certain that all representations of gross indecency should be visited with legal penalties. We suppose that the "pic-sitive, while their use of the torture tures, prints, and medals-the fans, snuff-boxes, mirrors, and other articles of furniture, adorned with my thological figures," which are said to have occasioned great trouble to the possessors of them, came, more or less, under this description. Had the Inquisition levelled its censures against the venders of such articles, it would have so far performed a good work; but any power, in such hands, was always liable to the worst abuse. What too shall we think of its prosecutions for licentiousness, when we find that its own gloomy prisons were often scenes of the most horrible sensuality, as well as of cruelty and torture?
The volume before us contains many facts and observations, some of which we shall here briefly subjoin; trusting that the mass of information communicated will make amends for the want of method
evidently reduced all their nice distinctions to a mere mockery of justice. In its censures of writings the Inquisition took cognizance, not of acknowledged heresies only, but also of propositions savouring of heresy, fomenting heresy, tending to heresy, and capable of causing it. What scope was here both for the indulgence of private malice, and for the admission of every species of abuse in the exercise of judicial functions! If the inquisitors had sat down to deliberate how they might most effectually entrap an unsuspecting victim who, for any or no reason, was the object of their dislike, they could hardly have framed regulations better adapted for their purpose. These, and a hundred similar detestable arts, were put in practice to accomplish the ruin of Carranza, Archbishop of Toledo, who died in 1576, after an imprisonment of eighteen years.
To console him for his protracted sufferings, the pope sent him a general absolution and exemption from penance just three days before his death! Some judgment may be formed of the cruel delay and interminable intricacy of inquisitorial proceedings, from the simple fact, that the writings connected with the trial of this Archbishop amount to twenty-four folio volumes, each containing 1000 or 1200 pages; and Llorente had the patience and perseverance to wade through this endless report. He seems also to have cleared up the history of Don Carlos, son of Philip II. With regard to this prince, the character of Philip, as he endeavours to prove, has been calumniated. Don Carlos was never tried or condemned by the Inquisition. He is said to have formed an attempt against the life of the king; and some actions related of him here, if correct, prove him to have been subject to fits of insanity. Llorente, after a full investigation of the evidence on both sides, states his conviction that the prince was not taken off by poison, as was generally believed at the time, but that he died by a natural death.-We give the following extract as an instance of the heretical enormities for which a formal absolution was required, and which the criminals were obliged to confess before they could avail them selves of an edict of grace. It affords a curious specimen of the united justice and mercy of this tribunal. The culprits were accused of having displayed too great tenderness for Antonio Perez, one of its victims. What was the amount of their guilt?
"Mary Ramirez declares, that on seeing Antonio Perez taken to prison, she exclaimed-Poor wretch! after having left him in so many prisons, they have not yet found him an heretic.'
"Christoval de Heredia 'confesses that he has often wished that Perez might get out of his troubles.'
"Donna Geronima d'Arteaga, that she raised a little subscription for Antonio Perez, because he could not enjoy his own property.'
servant, carried it to him in the prison.' solution only to reassure his conscience, for it does not reproach him!'
"Don Louis de Gurrea demands ab
"Don Michael de Sese also claims it, 'to appease the same scruples!' "Doctor Murillo, that he visited Perez in the prison when he was ill.' p. 497. In the trials for sorcery, the inquisition laid down some tests which appear to bear very hard on the superstitious practices of the Church of Rome.
One test was this: If the suspected person had "mingled holy things with profane objects, and worshipped in the creature that which belongs only to the Creator." We are aware of the defence which would be here set up by pious Romanists; but it would be difficult to prove that any of those pretensions to magic, for which the Inquisition burnt men and women by hundreds,
more pernicious than that systematic fraud, trickery, and conjuration which have been connived at, and even countenanced, by some of the highest authorities of their church, and indeed flow naturally from the doctrines which it inculcates.-In 1507, the Inquisition of Calahorra alone consigned more than thirtywomen to the flames, as guilty of sorcery. Upon this part of the subject, however, we must not be too severe. When we reflect upon the shocking proceedings in New England in the matter of witchcraft; also that no longer ago than quite the latter end of the seventeenth century, a woman was burnt in Scotland as a witch; and that our own laws against witchcraft were not repealed till the year 1736; we can only lament the slow and difficult progress of the human mind towards the discovery of truth and a removal of the worst abuses.
We shall now conclude our account of the Inquisition with some remarks on an important document of its proceedings, which we translate from the French abbreviation.
"A General Recapitulation of the Victims of the Spanish Inquisition, from the year 1481 to 1820.
From 1481 to 1498, under the administration of the
From 1498 to 1507, under the administration of Deza
Condemned to the Galleys or imprisoned.
From 1517 to 1521, under that of Adrian.
From 1521 to 1523, Interregnum
From 1523 to 1538, under Manricus
From 1538 to 1545, under Tabera..
From 1545 to 1556, under Loaisa, and Charles V..... 1,320
"Thus the number of victims of the Spanish Inquisition from 1481 to 1820 amounts to 340,921, not including those who have suffered imprisonment, or confinement to the galleys or exile during the reign of Ferdinand VII., the number of which is very considerable.
"If we were to add to the condemnations which have taken place in the peninsula, those of the other countries under the authority of the Spanish Inquisition, such as Sicily, Sardinia, Flanders, America, the Indies, &c., we should be horrified at the number of unhappy victims whom the holy office has condemned to render them better Catholics.
"Not only has the Inquisition decimated the population of Spain by its auto-da-fé, but it has also considerably reduced it by exciting civil wars and commotions, and by the expulsion of the Jews and Moors. More than five millions of inhabitants disappeared from Spain while the holy office exercised its terrible authority; and we may say of this barbarous institution what Montesquieu said of an eastern emperor: Justinian, who annihilated sects by the sword or by his laws, and who, by compelling them to revolt, compelled himself to exterminate them, rendered many provinces barren. He believed that he had increased the number of the faithful, but he had only lessened that of human beings."" Histoire Abré. gée, pp. 357–359.
Upon this statement we shall offer a few remarks. The above "reign of terror" may be properly enough divided into three periods. The first reaches from the year 1481 to the year 1597, the close of the reign of Philip II., whom our author distinguishes as the greatest friend and patron of the Inquisition,
on the list of Spanish monarchs. During this interval, consisting of only 116 years, there was the vast proportion of 288,861 victims, out of the total number, amounting to 340,921.-The second period shall be taken from the year 1597 to the close of the reign of Philip V. ending with 1746; an interval of about 150 years. During this interval the number of victims, though still great, was unquestionably much diminished. That number was 51,762.-During the last period, extending from 1746 to 1820, an interval of rather more than seventy years, the number of sufferers is stated at only 287. A remarkable decline of the power and influence of the Inquisition is observable on the accession of Ferdinand VI.; and one still more remarkable, on that of Charles III. in 1759. Llorente attributes this amendment to the rapid progress of knowledge under these princes, which caused even the provincial inquisitors, though the laws of their tribunal remained still unaltered, to adopt principles of moderation before "The last person burnt unknown. by the Inquisition was a Beata," (the Beata is a sort of Romish Joanna Southcote,) for having made a compact with the devil. She suffered on the seventh of November 1781*."
*We are happy to find the report, cir
The Inquisition, abolished by Bonaparte in 1808, was, we know, revived by Ferdinand VII. in 1814, and now exists, in form at least, throughout Spain. It will naturally be inquired, is it likely ever to renew its horrors? And what are the most probable means of its extinction of sweeping away every vestige of its existence, except what must always remain to pollute the page of history?
In reply to these queries, we must say, that we do not see any probability of an extensive renewal of its horrors. We think that the spirit of the age and the progress of knowledge forbid this. Though much nonsense has been poured forth by modern philosophers, of the infidel schools, respecting the perfectibility of man, we still believe that the progress of information is one of the surest pledges of continued improvement. It may be said, that communities have been retrograde with respect to intellectual and moral power; that Rome, for example, once the mistress of the nations, had her decline and fall, and merged eventually into ages of ignorance and barbarism. But the mental grandeur of Greece and Rome was confined to a very few individuals; and, wanting the light of true religion, their moral elevation was always at a low standard. The mass of the people remained at all times, stationary. No attempt was made to enlighten them. No means existed of sufficient force to crown the attempt, even had it been made, with any signal success. We have two mighty engines of improvement at work, in the modern world, which were unknown to the ancients; namely, the influence of the press, and the comparative facility of communica tion and intercourse at the greatest distances; and these, not as would have been the case with the
culated last year of the burning of a Jew at Valencia, contradicted, and we hope truly, by a Spanish authority at Cadiz, who had sent to inquire into its truth.
CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 303.
ancients, had they possessed them, directed to propagate merely the opinions of frail and fallible men, but to diffuse throughout the world that sacred knowledge which has been revealed to us by our merciful Creator, not only as an infallible guide to future happiness, but also as best promoting the welfare of mankind in the present world. The universal diffusion of the principles inculcated in the Bible, is the best pledge for the improvement of the human race in all that is truly valuable: and though it would be presumptuous to predict what is possible or impossible, in the everchanging scene of human affairs, yet we think it may be affirmed with confidence, that the above-named impulses make a general retrogression of the nations far more improbable now than it was under the circumstances of the ancient
world; besides which we have in the Scriptures many promises that predict a far more holy and happy condition of our species, than has ever yet been enjoyed since the expulsion of our first parents from the garden of Eden. There are, however, some appearances in the aspect of the present times, which render it peculiarly necessary for the Protestant and the philanthropist to be on the alert. The revival of the Spanish Inquisition, especially when viewed in connexion with the gross ignorance and superstition still prevailing throughout the peninsula; the re-organization of the Jesuits; some recent proceedings at Rome, where the present head of the church seems disposed to give a new impulse to some of the worst abuses of Popery, particularly that of the right of sanctuary; the bigoted faction both secretly and openly at work in France, and so far successful as lamentably to cripple the Protestant energies of that most important country;-all those are symptoms of no auspicious import. Let us do all we can to counteract them, especially by our example; but let us ever Ꮓ
remember, amidst our operations, that the result is in the hands of Him who worketh according to his will in the armies of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; who "maketh the wrath of man to praise him," mysteriously permitting such a quantity of it to go forth as will conduce to the accomplishment of his unfathomable, but glorious designs; and then "restrains the remainder thereof," keeping it innocuous, like lightning carried by a conductor into the earth.
Before we close this review, let us add a very few words respecting another subject, of no dissimilar interest. This subject is the Slave Trade. The Inquisition, and the Slave Trade, with its fostering parent, Slavery, may be denominated the greatest scourges of the modern world; the heaviest draw-backs upon the progress of civilization and social happiness; and the blackest stains upon the profession of Christianity. Paley, speaking of the latter, has stated it as his belief, that "the Slave Trade destroys more, in a year, than the Inquisition does in a hundred, or perhaps hath done since its foundation." This may not be found correct, if we reckon the number indirectly, as well as directly, ruined by the Inquisition. But, if the guilt of each of these engines of cruelty be made to depend on the total amount of destruction occasioned by each respectively, we have no doubt but that the Slave Trade has proved far the greater destroyer of the two. And shall this abomination be suffered to continue in Christian Europe? France would never admit the Inquisition; and yet, in effect, retains the Slave Trade. Let her manfully follow up her projects of reform in this respect, and clear herself, without further delay, from this horrible reproach. Portugal has abolished the Inquisition; but has not abandoned the traffic in blood, even by an adequate acknowledgment of its turpitude. Let her
hasten to repair her errors; and as she has lately claimed and secured the powerful assistance of this country, let her prove that she can deserve it by "bidding the oppressed go free."
A Sermon occasioned by the Death of JOHN MASON GOOD, M.D., &c. preached at Shepperton, and at St. John's Chapel, Bedford Row, London. By the Rev. C. JERRAM, M.A., Vicar of Chobham, and late Minister of St. John's Chapel. 1827.
OUR Frénch neighbours have often reproached us with being ignorant of the art of composing funeral sermons. Many of them have indeed carried the reproach still further, alleging that we know little of the felicities of pulpit composition in general; for that our most celebrated discourses are rather cool dissertations, than impressive and fervid appeals to the sympathies of the heart. It is remarkable, however, that Voltaire, whether from a conviction of the truth of his remark, or from an innate love of contradiction, or to pique his countrymen, has pronounced, on this subject, an opposite opinion to that of most French writers and preachers. He says, in his " Age of Lewis the Fourteenth," that our pulpit eloquence, which had been very rude till the time of Charles II., suddenly advanced to maturity. Bishop Burnet, he continues, avows that this was from imitating the French: but, adds Voltaire, they have perhaps surpassed their masters; for their sermons are less round-about, less affected, less declamatory than those of the French.
Having alluded to the remark of Voltaire, we are tempted to notice the elaborate refutation of which Cardinal Maury thought it worthy; for though that refutation is sufficiently laudatory to all that is Gallic, and equally disparaging to all that is Anglican, there is, amidst all his ex