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which you stand charged before this awful tribunal. It now lies in your own breast, prove. yourself deserving (by a sincere avowal) of the: lenity, clemency, and the charity of the St. Of.. fice.
Alas! what awował, what confession can I: - make ? resumed the poor girl-I mentioned alli
I had to say the first time I was brought before you; I now repeat it again. I do not believe ibat I have ever committed, wilfully, any enornous crime against that God whom I serve and adore : nor do I remember ever offending ar father whom I love and honor, neither did L give any cause of sorrow to a tender and respectable mother, whose memory I will always venerate, whose lessons and examples of virtue will never depart my recollection; as to my neighbors, my conscience clears me of any guilts. towards them; I have always endeavored to do by them as I wished to be done by. Since your ask for truth you have now heard it !
No more of that, if you please resumed the friar ; we are tired every clay with such nonsense ;. one would think that two thirds of those who appear before us, had agreed before hand upon the answers they mean to give : To the fact, madam., own at once, that your father, who has avoided our pursuits by a timely flight, is one of those execrable wretches, who, despising the many wonderful & holy mysteries, and arti -cles of faith, which our holy mother the church summands us to believe, together with the sancifying and salutary practices which she has in-tituted for the benefit of our souls, took on:
themselves to reduce their belief to almost nothing; whose morals centre in the mere observa. tion of the laws of nature : so that under the deceiving appearance of the austerest probity and of an unbounded toleration, for other people's Opinion, that their's may be tolerated, by means of the most unbounded kindness and false charity behaving as the most dutiful subjects of the land, and appearing the most honest of mankind, they have gained the weak to their side, drawing them of course into satan's net, by which means that dangerous vermin has already tainted the flock of the faithful. *
Oh ! unworthy and destestable race !--that thou wert at the bottom of the endless abyss, with Korah, Dathan and Abiram, with all the pagans, jews and heretics, with all the sorcer. ers which exist on the face of the earth !-but no, subsist ye, continue to be the constant obj. ject of the extensive charity, the zeal, the work and watchings of the Lords's ministers, and namely of the holy inquisition, whose sole aim is God's greatest glory, and the salvation of your wicked souls ! ah ! dear daughter, you are still ignorant how far that zeal and charity extends, which keeps us day and night in quest of the lost sheep.
* These expressions persuaded me, that the unfortunate object before my eyes, was the daughter of an old gentleman of my acquaintance, who took passage with me from Holland, his native country, to England ; and had related to me the persecurins which himself and his friends, the Unitarians in Spain, had been exposed to. He had a thousand times nientioned with a torrent ef tears, that very daughter whom his own safety had left no time to rescue.
Do not let us insist any longer on that con. fession which we expect from you. Declare that your father had no sooner inculcated in your mind his aboininable principles, than you conceived a sovereign contempt for the Catho. lic, Apostolic and Roman religion and the most implacable hatred for the Holy Inquisition ; that by the means of that contempt and hatred, the devil took possession of your soul, seduced you by liis delusions, and you gave yourself up to him. Own that you have made use of witchchraft. Do’nt pretend to deny those horrid crimes which you have committed towards the church and its ministers ; tell us the names of your accomplices ; —let us know your father's retreat, and that of his adherents, that we may open their eyes, and be enabled to recal them from the way of perdition which they so boldly tread. Ah! as to my father! exclaimed the poor girl, did I actually know where he is, were he the most criminal of mankind, I shall obey in that respect the voice of nature, only that moving & amiable voice which whispers me to spare my own blood. As to his adherents, I know but few of them who differ in opinion from you,as far as reason warrants them so to do, and their concience dictates; who perform good from a love of it ; who, as much as it is in their power mark each of their days by some laudable
deed, whom I would not betray did I know their | retreat. On the contrary, if the purest. faith,
the strictest virtue, which I have professed all my life, is rewarded among you by the torments I have endured since I fell in your hands, and that I must still suffer. I beseech heaven to preserve them from such a reward. In answer to the accusation of contempt and hatred which I am charged with entertaining against the -church and its ministers, I can only say that my parents have uniformly taught me not to despise or hate any person of whatever religion : that lesson I have constantly practised to this day. They have unvariably informed me, that super. stition alone was despicable, and vice' hateful : That I ought to deplore the fate of the superstitious and vicious, take pity on them, to enlighten them if possible, and treat them as bre. thren ; and such is the fruit of the education I have received, that notwithstanding what I have undergone since I have fallen into your power, my patience, together with the hope I have al. ways entertained that time & truth would finally convince you of my innocence, has smothered my resentment. Therefore, that hatred, those pretended delusions of the devil, with their con. sequences, have no existence but in the disor. dered brains of those who through weaknessi or wickedness have invented against me the most absurd and cruel calumnies. My dear child, said the inquisitor, you have owned, while off your guard, that you were an heretic. Let us know the particular points in which you err, the consequence of your errors; do not force ' us to have recourse to rigor ; confess, and at
once, otherwise you shall be put to the rack. 1. Great God! exclaimed the poor wretch, the rack ! alas !-Shall I be able to bear it! Ah! fathers, who authorises you to torment your fel.
low creatures, when possessing every moral virtue, and guilty only of a difference in opinion ? Who authorises us ? retorted the inquisitor ; the honor of religion, the glory of a wrathful God, of a terrible God! of the Lord of Hosts.-Stop, stop, exclaimed the girl, that God is not my God: my God is not terrible, yet my God is the Lord of Hosts. My God neither approves nor commands persecution, nor the desolation of the human race; he hates discord, injustice, vengeance, violence, cruelty and fury-and generally all the fatal consequences of ambition, fanaticism and interest. My God is good : all nature teaches me so; in him it does not shew me a threatening God, thundering and spreading alarm every where ; neither does it offer to my view a cruel and capricious God, quenching his thirst with blood and tears, or appeased by the foolish practices of a fruitless penance. Nature bids me behold a God who makes us the tenderest of his care, who with a prodigal hand bestrews the path of life with bounties, and gives us reason to use them with moderation. In him I see a God loving mildness, justice, chari. ty, beneficence, and expecting of me the practice of the same virtues : a God who pities our weaknesses, who, when he corrects, punishes like a father. And if he has in store some aw. ful judgment, it must pour on the head of the obstinate sinner ; but above all, on those vain and cruel men, who have created a God similar to themselves, that is to say, a monster compo. sed of the horrid medley of all human passions and vices, a monster whom they mix in all t!icir