"Ecclesia non novit Sanguinem!" meekly repeated the scarlet-robed cardinals. And to avoid the spilling of blood which horrified them, they instituted the Holy Inquisition. If, as the occultists maintain, and science half confirms, our most trifling acts and thoughts are indelibly impressed upon the eternal mirror of the astral ether, there must be somewhere, in the boundless realm of the unseen universe, the imprint of a curious picture. It is that of a gorgeous standard waving in the heavenly breeze at the foot of the great "white throne" of the Almighty. On its crimson damask face a cross, symbol of "the Son of God who died for mankind," with an olive branch on one side, and a sword, stained to the hilt with human gore, on the other. A legend selected from the Psalms emblazoned in golden letters, reading thus: "Exurge, Domine, et judica causam meam." For such appears the standard of the Inquisition, on a photograph in our possession, from an original procured at the Escurial of Madrid.
Under this Christian standard, in the brief space of fourteen years, Tomas de Torquemada, the confessor of Queen Isabella, burned over ten thousand persons, and sentenced to the torture eighty thousand more. Orobio, the well-known writer, who was detained so long in prison, and who hardly escaped the flames of the Inquisition, immortalized this institution in his works when once at liberty in Holland. He found no better argument against the Holy Church than to embrace the Judaic faith and submit even to circumcision. "In the cathedral of Saragossa," says a writer on the inquisition, "is the tomb of a famous inquisitor. Six pillars surround the tomb; to each is chained a Moor, as preparatory to being burned." On this St. Foix ingenuously observes: "if ever the Jack Ketch of any country should be rich enough to have a splendid tomb, this might serve as an excellent model!" To make it complete, however, the builders of the tomb ought not to have omitted a bas-relief of the famous horse which was burnt for sorcery and witchcraft. Granger tells the story, describing it as having occurred in his time. The poor animal "had been taught to tell the spots upon cards, and the hour of the day by the watch. Horse and owner were both indicted by the sacred office for dealing with the Devil, and both were burned, with a great ceremony of auto-da-fe, at Lisbon, in 1601, as wizards!"
This immortal institution of Christianity did not remain without its Dante to sing its praise. "Macedo, a Portuguese Jesuit," says the author of Demonologia, "has discovered the origin of the Inquisition, in the terrestrial Paradise, and presumes to allege that God was the first who began the functions of an inquisitor over Cain and the workmen of Babel!"
Nowhere, during the middle ages, were the arts of magic and sorcery more practiced by the clergy than in Spain and Portugal. The Moors were profoundly versed in the occult sciences, and at Toledo, Seville, and Salamanca, were, once upon a time, the great schools of magic. The kabalists of the latter town were skilled in all the abstruse sciences; they knew the virtues of precious stones and other minerals, and had extracted from alchemy its most profound secrets.
The authentic documents pertaining to the great trial of the Marechale d'Ancre, during the regency of Marie de Medicis, disclose that the unfortunate woman perished through the fault of the priests with whom, like a true italian, she surrounded herself. She was accused by the people of Paris of sorcery, because it had been asserted that she had used, after the ceremony of exorcism, newly-killed white cocks. Believing herself constantly bewitched, and being in very delicate health, the Marechale had the ceremony of exorcism publicly applied to herself in the Church of the Augustins; as to the birds, she used them as an application to the forehead on account of dreadful pains in the head, and had been advised to do so by Montalto, the Jew physician of the queen, and the italian priests.
In the sixteenth century, the Cure de Barjota, of the diocese of Callahora, Spain, became the world's wonder for his magical powers. His most extraordinary feat consisted, it was said, in transporting himself to any distant country, witnessing political and other events, and then returning home to predict them in his own country. He had a familiar demon, who served him faithfully for long years, says the Chronicle, but the cure turned ungrateful and cheated him. Having been apprised by his demon of a conspiracy against the Pope's life, in consequence of an intrigue of the latter with a fair lady, the cure transported himself to Rome (in his double, of course) and thus saved his Holiness' life. After which he repented, confessed his sins to the gallant Pope, and got absolution. "On his return he was delivered, as a matter of form, into the custody of the inquisitors of Logrono, but was acquitted and restored to his liberty very soon."
Friar Pietro, a Dominican monk of the fourteenth century — the magician who presented the famous Dr. Eugenio Torralva, a physician attached to the house of the admiral of Castile, with a demon named Zequiel — won his fame through the subsequent trial of Torralva. The procedure and circumstances attendant upon the extraordinary trial are described in the original papers preserved in the Archives of the Inquisition. The Cardinal of Volterra, and the Cardinal of Santa Cruz, both saw and communicated with Zequiel, who proved, during the whole of Torralva's life, to be a pure, kind, elemental spirit, doing many beneficent actions, and remaining faithful to the physician to the last hour of his life. Even the Inquisition acquitted Torralva, on that account; and, although an immortality of fame was insured to him by the satire of Cervantes, neither Torralva nor the monk Pietro are fictitious heroes, but historical personages, recorded in ecclesiastical documents of Rome and Cuenga, in which town the trial of the physician took place, January the 29th, 1530.
The book of Dr. W. G. Soldan, of Stuttgart, has become as famous in Germany, as Bodin's book on Demonomania in France. It is the most complete German treatise on witchcraft of the sixteenth century. One interested to learn the secret machinery underlying these thousands of legal murders, perpetrated by a clergy who pretended to believe in the
Devil, and succeeded in making others believe in him, will find it divulged in the above-mentioned work.* The true origin of the daily accusations and death-sentences for sorcery are cleverly traced to personal and political enmities, and, above all, to the hatred of the Catholics toward the Protestants. The crafty work of the Jesuits is seen at every page of the bloody tragedies; and it is in Bamberg and Wurzburg, where these worthy sons of Loyola were most powerful at that time, that the cases of witchcraft were most numerous. On the next page we give a curious list of some victims, many of whom were children between the ages of seven and eight years, and Protestants. "Of the multitudes of persons who perished at the stake in Germany during the first half of the seventeenth century for sorcery, the crime of many was their attachment to the religion of Luther," says T. Wright, " . . . and the petty princes were not unwilling to seize upon any pretense to fill their coffers . . . the persons most persecuted being those whose property was a matter of consideration. . . . At Bamberg, as well as at Wurzburg, the bishop was a sovereign prince in his dominions. The Prince-Bishop, John George II, who ruled Bamberg . . . after several unsuccessful attempts to root out Lutheranism, distinguished his reign by a series of sanguinary witch-trials, which disgrace the annals of that city. . . . We may form some notion
* Dr. W. G. Soldan, "Geschichte der Hexenprocesse, aus den Quellen dargestellt," Stuttgart, 1843.
of the proceedings of his worthy agent,* from the statement of the most authentic historians, that between 1625 and 1630, not less than 900 trials took place in the two courts of Bamberg and Zeil; and a pamphlet published at Bamberg by authority, in 1659, states the number of persons whom Bishop John George had caused to be burned for sorcery, to have been 600."+
Regretting that space should prevent our giving one of the most curious lists in the world of burned witches, we will nevertheless make a few extracts from the original record as printed in Hauber's Bibliotheca Magica. One glance at this horrible catalogue of murders in Christ's name, is sufficient to discover that out of 162 persons burned, more than one-half of them are designated as strangers (i.e., Protestants) in this hospitable town; and of the other half we find thirty-four children, the oldest of whom was fourteen, the youngest an infant child of Dr. Schutz. To make the catalogue shorter we will present of each of the twenty-nine burnings, but the most remarkable. J
* Frederick Forner, Suffragan of Bamberg, author of a treatise against heretics and sorcerers, under the title of "Panoplia Armaturoe Dei." f "Sorcery and Magic," by T. Wright, M.A., F.S.A., etc., Corresponding Member of the National Institute of France, vol. ii., p. 185. J Besides these burnings in Germany, which amount to many thousands, we find some very interesting statements in Prof. Draper's "Conflict between Religion and Science." On page 146, he says: "The families of the convicted were plunged into irretrievable ruin. Llorente, the historian of the Inquisition, computes that Torquemada and his
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