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gins, are, contrary to all rules of honour and decency, stripped intirely naked, and then a pair of strait linen drawers put on them. What a scene, in all probability, of a most unnatural and shocking mixture of lechery and cruelty is here exhibited! A modest, beautiful young lady is stripped naked before these grave, reverend monsters, who behold her first with eyes full of lust, then order her to be laid on the rack, and with eyes still fuller of cruelty see her lovely limbs strained 'till the finews crack, and cut with cords through the flesh to the very bones; her beauteous face bathed in tears, and distorted with deathful agonies.
ARE there any instances in heathen antiquity, or among the most favage modern people, of the fair and tender sex being thus cruelly punished, even when they have committed the most heinous offences ? Yet, in civilized, polished, and, what one would still think more strange, in christian countries, this has frequently been their treatment, when intirely innocent, and of exemplary piety and merit. And the perpetrators of these hellish cruelties, who certainly ought to be exterminated from the face of the earth, are, to the scandal of religion in general, and in the highest degree to christianity in particular, not only suffered to live, but to
enjoy enjoy the greatest honours, dignities, and power.
O finish this account of the inquisition,
(that hell upon earth) it will be necessary to give a short description of the manner of executing the pretended criminals who are condemned to die ".
When an Auto de Fe, or act of faith, that is, in plain English, a day of execution, is appointed by the inquisition, it is in Spain and Portugal a day of the utmost exultation and triumph to the church and the mob. The lords inquisitors appear in the most infolent and triumphant pomp, with (says my author) almost divine majesty, and the mob rejoice in the most outrageous manner. The king and queen, and principal grandees, with the whole court, usually assist at this shocking fight, and are spectators of the cavalcade, and the tormenting death the poor creatures are put to: all which is, by a famous Spanish inquisitor himself, justly called, horrendum ac tremendum spectaculum. The judges, 'many of the nobility, gentry, military officers, friers, and other ecclefiaftics, march in the procession with the devoted victims of religious cruelty. The manner of their execution is almost too horrible to be related, and yet, which shews the prodigious force of bigotry and enthusiasm, is viewed even by the ladies, who on occasion of all other executions thew as much compassion as any of their sex, with apparent signs of satisfaction and pleasure. Two eminent protestant and English divines, who were present at these affecting spectacles, have given relations of them, from which the following account is extracted.
tremendum For a very full and circumstantial account of these exécutions, the reader may be pleased to consult the often-mentioned Mr. Chandler's translation of Limborch's History of the Inquisition.
The poor sufferers, who are to be burned alive, are seated on a bench about twelve seet high, and chained to a stake to which the bench is faftened. Two Jesuits then go up a ladder, and exhort the heretics to be recon, çiled to the church of Rome : if after the second exhortation they refuse so to do, the Jesuits then tell them, that the devil is at their elbow to receive their souls, and will, as soon as out of their bodies, carry them with him into hell-fire. Immediately after this charitable and comfortable denunciation, a great fhout is raised by the people, and the cry is, Let the dogs beards be trimmed, as it is 3
merrily termed. This is done by thrusting faming furzes, fastened to a long pole, against their faces, which is commonly continued till they are burnt to a coal, and is accompanied with such loud acclamations of joy, as are not to be heard on any other occasion; a bull-feast or a farce being dull entertainments to this, The furze or faggots are then set on fire; but the flame seldom reaching higher than the poor miserable creatures knees, they are rather roasted than burned to death, being sometimes an hour and a half or two hours thus tormented before they are dead.
My author informs us, that the late king of Portugal and his brothers were seated in a window, so near the place where one of these executions was performed, as to be addressed a considerable time in very moving terms by a man as he was burning: but tho' the favour he begged was only a few more faggots, to put an end to his misery, yet he could not obtain it. This poor wretch's hinder parts, says the spectator, were perfectly wasted, and as he turned himself, his ribs opened, before he left speaking.
At one of these acts of faith in Spain, the queen, who was a daughter of the French king, being present, when a most beautiful young Jewish girl, scarce entered into her seventeenth year, was going to be burned for
her turned away
my mother's away her
her religion; the poor girl turned herself to
eyes, and declared the pitied the miserable creature, but did not dare to intercede for her with a single word.
BEHOLD the effects of religious cruelty ! for so may these barbarities with propriety be styled, because they are committed under a pretence of serving the cause of religion: but they must be strangely stupid, prepoffeffed or infatuated, who cannot discern that they are designed for a very different purpose.
We may assure ourselves, that all pretended zeal for religion, which breaks out into persecution or other acts of violence, proceeds from temporal views of gratifying mens pride, covetousness, ambition, &c. or from an outrageous, cruel, and wicked tem
per of mind.
CERTAIN wretches, without religion, morality, or common honesty, have invented or propagated a number of fabulous tales and