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While the Author viewed these Christian corruptions in different places, and indifferent forms, he was always referred to the Inquisition at Goa, as the fountain-head. He had long cherished the hope, that he should be able to visit Goa before he left India. His chief objects were the following:
!. To ascertain whether the Inquisition actually refused to recognise the Bible, among the Romish Churches in British India.
2. To inquire into the state and jurisdiction of the Inquisition, particularly as it affected British subjects.
3. To learn what was the system of education for the Priesthood ; and
4. To examine the ancient Church-libraries in Goa, which were said to contain all the books of the first printing.
He will select from his Journal, in this place, chiefly what relates to the Inquisition. He had learnt from every quarter, that this tribunal, formerly so well known for its frequent burnings, was still in operation, though under some restriction as to the publicity of its proceedings ; and that its power extended to the extreme boundary of Hindoostan. That, in the present civilized state of Christian nations in Europe, an Inquisition should exist at all under their au
thority, appeared strange; but that a Papal tribunal of this character should exist under the implied toleration and countenance of the British Government; that Christians, being subjects of the British Empire, and inhabiting the British territories, should be amenable to its power and jurisdiction, was a statement which seemed to be scarcely credible; but, if true, a fact which demanded the most public and solemn representation.
Goa; Convent of the Augustinians,
Jan. 23, 1808. . On my arrival at Goa, I was received into the house of Captain Schuyler, the British Resident. The British force here is commanded by Colonel Adams, of His Majesty's 78th Regiment, with whom I was formerly well acquainted in Bengal.* Next day I was introduced by these gentlemen to the Vice-Roy of Goa, the Count de Cabral. 1 intimated to His Excellency my wish to sail up the river to Old Goat
* The forts in the harbour of Goa were then occupied by British troops (two King's regiments, and two regiments of Native infantry) to prevent its falling into the hands of the French.
+ There is Old and New Goa. The old city is about eight miles up the river. The Vice-Roy and the chief Portuguese (where the Inquisition is,) to which he politely acceded. Major Pareira, of the Portuguese establishment, who was present, and to whom I had letters of Introduction from Bengal, offered to accompany me to the city, and to introduce me to the Archbishop of Goa, the Primate of the Orient.
I had communicated to Colonel Adams, and to the British Resident, my purpose of enquiring into the state of the Inquisition. These gentlemen informed me, that I should not be able to accomplish my design without difficulty; since every thing relating to the Inquisition was conducted in a very secret manner, the most respectable of the Lay Portuguese themselves being ignorant of its proceedings; and that, if the Priests were to discover my object, their excessive jealousy and alarm would prevent their communicating with me, or satisfying my inquiries on any subject,
On receiving this intelligence, I perceived that it would be necessary to proceed with caution. I was, in fact, about to visit a republic of Priests; whose dominion had existed for nearly three centuries ; whose province it was to prosecute heretics, and particularly the
inhabitants reside at New Goa, which is at the mouth of the river, within the forts of the harbour. The old city, where the Inquisition and the Churches are, is now almost entirely deserted by the secular Portuguese, and is inhabited by the Priests alone. The unhealthiness of the place, and the ascendancy of the Priests, are the causes assigned for abandoning the an. cient city,
teachers of heresy; and from whose authority and sentence there was no appeal in India.*
• It happened that Lieutenant Kempthorne, Commander of His Majesty's brig Diana, a distant connection of my own, was at this time in the harbour. On his learning that I meant to visit Old Goa, he offered to accompany me; as did Captain Stirling, of His Majesty's 84th regiment, which is now stationed at the forts.
We proceeded up the river in the British Resident's arge, accompanied by Major Pareira, who was well qualified, by a thirty years' residence, to give information concerning local circumstances. From him I learned that there were upwards of two hundred Churches and Chapels in the province of Goa, and upwards of two thousand Priests.'
On our arrival at the city, t it was past twelve o'clock:
* I was informed that the Vice-Roy of Goa has no authority over the Inquisition, and that he himself is liable to its censure. Were the British Government, for instance, to prefer a complaint against the Inquisition to the Portuguese Government at Goa, it could obtain no redress. By the very constitution of the Inquisition, there is no power in India which can invade its jurisdiction, or even put a question to it on any subject.
+ We entered the city by the palace gate, over which is the Statue of Vasco de Gama, who first opened India to the view of Europe. I had seen at Calicut, a few weeks before, the ruins of the SAMORIN's Palace, in which Vasco de Gama was first received. The Samorin was the first native Prince against whom the Europeans made war. The empire of the Samorin has passed away; and the empire of his conquerers has passed all the Churches were shut, and we were told that they would not be opened again till two o'clock. I mentioned to Major Pareira, that I intended to stay at Old Goa some days; and that I should be obliged to him to find me a place to sleep in. He seemed surprised at this intimation, and observed that it would be difficult for me to obtain reception in any of the Churches or Convents, and that there were no private houses into which I could be admitted. I said I could sleep any where; I had two servants with me, and a travelling bed. When he perceived that I was serious in my purpose, he gave directions to a civil officer, in that place, to clear out a room in a building which had been long uninhabited, and which was then used as a warehouse for goods. Matters at this time presented a very gloomy appear ance; and I had thoughts of returning with my companions from this inhospitable place. In the mean time we sat down in the room I have just mentioned, to take some refreshment, while Major Pareira went to call on some of his friends. During this interval, I communicated to Lieutenant Kempthorne the object of my visit. I had in my pocket Dellon's Account of the Inquisition at Goa ;'* and I mentioned some particulars.
away : and now imperial Britain exercises dominion. May imperial Britain be prepared to give a good account of her stewardship, when it shall be said unto her, “ Thou mayest be no longer steward!"
* Monsieur Dellon, a physician was, imprisoned in the dungeon of the Inquisition at Goa for two years, and witnessed an