Thomas Carlyle.

The Christian treasury, Volume 2 online

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the names^the witnesses who were to prove
his guilty nor on the other oakngof agaiwt
equity as well as merey pe^ietmied by the !»•
quisiuon. Let theptiDeqiles be known £pobi
the practice.

And tRS vomTOM deser^tes the fint phwe in
this catalogue of atroottios. Aftor the eqd*
deoee had been taken, if the Liqaiiiton sa|^
posed that there was only a a$m jp^Maprt&slMi
or half prool^ they were ewpewered to eM^ojr
bodily torments to compel the aoeastd to giv#
evidence affainst himsell He might t^pipeal to
the Ck)uneil of the Supreme; but then the In-
quisitors against whom the appeal was taken,
were judffes of its validity, and they had it, there-
fore, in their power to execute their own sen-
tence without delay, ^'[nietendermeroiesofthe
wickedare cruel.'* Theengineaofhorrid<}nieUy
employed in those pollnted dans were various,
and the recital of their horrors is more vepul*
sive by far than the investigations of the ai
tomist on the dead. The wmes of the victims
of superstition were moved firom their socket by
the pulley or the raok, and the bkiod wasmade
to start fixtei their veins. llie*^inlBinalopera-
Uou** produces loathing even in the naflnrative;
and one who was himMf secretary to the Holy
Office (liorarte) has confessed that ncaseeuBts
given of tiie torture etm be aososed of eouiff-
gexution. He describee the Inqidsitoro as ^oold-
bloeded barbarians." ^ My p«[i,* he says, ** i
fbses to trace the picture ii their horrors, for I
know nothing more opposed to the spirit of
charity and compassion whioh Jesus Christ in-
culcates in the Gospel, than the conduct of the
Inquisition; and yet," he adds, *^ in epite of the
scandal which it has given, there is not, after
the ei^^temith century is dosed, any law nr
decree abolishing the tortmre." If we may
credit the narrative of Geneml Juan Van
HalCT, he endured it at a comparatively raeent

The place for perpetrating these atroiitiesin
the Spuiish Inquisition, we learn -fi^em one who
had been in it, was generally €ui under-ground
or very dark chambar. When ihe Inquisitor
and other functionaries had taken their plaees,
the person to be tortured was introdaeed; and
the executioner, dressed so as to be i^paUinff,
was also present. The latter was covered wiUi
a black Ihien garment down to his feet, and his
head and face were hid by a long black cowl,
with only two openings for tha eyes. The ap-
pearance startled the criminal, and added to
the horror of his position — it seemed as if he
were already in the grasp of the fiend to
which the Inquisition pretended to consign the

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impenitent. Stripping naked, and the i-ack,
are- kinds of pnnifthment which explain them-
Belves; bnt there is a third, called ^ Squassa-
tion/* which we may describe as a specimen of
the system. The prisoner who was to be pan-
idled in this manner had his hands bound be-
hind his back, and heavy weightB tied to his feet.
He was then hoisted aloft till his head touched
the pulley by which he was suspended, where he
was allowed to hana; for some time, till by the
weights attached to his feet his joints and limbs
were slowly stretched to agony. On a sudden,
he was let down with a jerk, without being al-
lowed, howeyer, to reach the ground, and the re-
sult of such treatment conmionly was to disjoint
Ids lem and arms. The sudden shock received
by his descent being arrested, produced the
most exquisite pain, and generally rendered
the sufferer a disfigured and distorted victim
of cruelty for the remainder of his days. The
^ auUior if the ^ History of the Inquisition at
I Goa," says, that at certain seasons " he every
morning heard the cries and fi;roans of those
I who were put to the question, which was so very
cruel, that he had seen several of both sexes
who were ever after lame.** And that is the
I Popish mode of correcting men's errors, and
I converting them to Christianity t

But this does not exhaust the catalogue of
I their atrocities. Sometimes the prisoner, who
j was 9bnpped^ was thereafter cased so tightly in
a garment made for that purpose that he could
not breathe; then he was suddenly set free, to
I be as suddenly compressed again, and the pro-
I cess was repeated till breathing became asource
I of exquisite pain. If that failed to extort con-
, fessions, other instruments of cruelty were at
hand. The thumbs were so tightly bound to-
gether with small cords, that the blood spurted
nx>m under the nails. If this failed, the pri-
soner was next placed upon a little bench; ropes
were put round the body at several places,
especially the arms and legs, and drawn so
tiffhtly by means of pulleys, that the Jew Orobio,
who was thus mangled and maltreated, has
stated that, in the hands of the Inquisitor at
that stage, he felt as if he had been dissolving
in flames. Sometimes this torture was rendered
yet more agoniziDg, by being so applied that
the weight of the sufferer's body was made to
tighten the cords, and so add to tiie misery.
But Orobio had yet more to endure, because he
was suspected of Judaism. An instrument,
with ^y^ sharp projecting probes, was placed
opposite each shm of the sufferer, and violently
driven agdnst it, so that, at the same moment,
he received ten wounds, accompanied with an-
guish so intolerable that he fainted away. As
soon as he had revived the torture was resumed.
It had now reached the extreme point short
of death. Ropes were put round Orobio*s arms,
and drawn so tightly that they cut the flesh,
even to the bones; and this torture was thrice
repeated. On each occasion the cords were

placed about two inches from the former wound. .
The effusion of blood was at length so great that ;
the victim appeared to be dying; and, as the
Inquisitors were cautioned not to murder the '
prisoner by the torture, (else what would be-
come of the pomp of the Auto-de-fe?) the phy-
sician and suigeon were consulted as to his,
power to endure all that was implied in his sen-
tence. That sentence bore that he must undergo
the whole at one time; and, had he been re-
mitted to his cell, even for a night, the whole
process of torture must have been resumed,
from the conmiencement ! The physician, how-
ever, mercifully declared that Orobio could still
endure what remained without dying in the
hands of those who had already murdered him
again and again. (1 John iii. 15.) The torture
was accordingly continued. At the close, Orobio
was remitted to bis cell, and ten weeks had
rolled away ere he had recovered from the lace-
ration inflicted on his body, by men who declared
that they belonged to the only true Church of
Christ — who inflicted these amnios on their
fellow-mortal, because he would not welcome a,
religion which turned men into wild beasts ! !
Do these things exhibit aright the genuine
spirit of Popery ! Let it be remembered, that alt
of them were done in accordance with a system
sanctioned, patronized, and enforced, by the
infallible head of Romanism, and then, if these
cases be not enough for that purpose, we might!
next describe the torture inflicted on what is
called the wooden horse, where, again, small
cords are bound and twisted so ti^tly round
the limbs, that they cut into the flesh. Or we
might speak of t^e thin cloth thrown over
the victim's mouth — of the stream of water,
small as a thread, falling from some height
into it, and sinking the cloth gradually down,
his throat, to be at last drawn forth from the
half-stifled sufferer, in a way that occasioned
excruciating agony. Or we might tell of the
chafing-dish, rail of burning charcoal, placed I
below the soles of the victim, which had been
previously covered with oil, to render the pain
more exquisite. But we sum up this horrid
recital by describing the torture, as f^plied to !
our countryman, William Lithgow, already!
alluded to. While travelling in Spain, he was I
first imprisoned as a spy, and tortured in that
cliaracter. But as nothing to criminate him,
could be extorted, he was delivered over to the
Inquisition as a heretic, because his journals
contained many *' blasphemies against the pope'
and thejVirgin Mary." Jesuits at first resorted I
to him in his cell, to cajole or to scare him into
Popery; but, as their efforts were imavailing,
he was condemned to endure eleven degrees of
torment in one ni^ht, and thereafter to be burnt;
at Granada at midnight, and his ashes scattered*
to the winds. When imder the tprture, he was
stripped naked, as Orobio had been. His mouth '
was forced open with an iron instrument, and i
water poured down his throat. A rope was!

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next tied tightly round his neck, and he was
Tolled seven times from wall to wall in the
place of tortore. Then a small cord was bound
about each gteat toe, and he was suspended
thereby with his head towards the ground. He
remained in that condition till the water that
had been poured down his throat was dis-
^larged, after which he was stretched on the
ground as one dead, and then laid in irons and
remitted to his cell.

But we dose. Such is a specimen of the
practices of the Inquisition devised by Popish
priests, presided over by Popish archbishops^
patronized and encouraged by Infallible Popes.
We have said nothing of the mental agony
inflicted on the victims of such persecutions by
the contumely and the insults of their oppres-
sors. Munebrega, for instance, archbishop of
Tarragona, and Vice-Inquisitor-General, while
presiding at the torture, and directing its de-
gree, was accustomed to indulge in impious
raillery at his victims. ^ These heretics," he
said, ^ have the commandment, * Thou shalt love
thy neighbour as thyself,' so deeply seated in
their hearts, that it is necessary to tear the flesh
from their bones to make them inform against
their brethren." Such was the bmtality of the
Inquisitor, and such the agony of the aoensed —
the suspected — often the perfectly innocent.
Some have ^t it difficult to understand what
case of atrocity is referred to by the apostle,
, when he speaks of some who ** were sawn
asunder." Tbe doings of the Inquisition foknn
a striking ocmunenta^ on that text*


i (From an old Magazine.)

SoMB of those who do the work of joumeying on
the Sabbath, do not oondesoend to mske an apology
for it. They care neither for the day nor for Him
who hallowed it. With these we have nothing to
■do. Our boiineai is with those who, admitting the
general obligation vf the Sabbath, vA knowing or
soqtecting Sunday traveUing to be a nn, oflbr apolo-
giei which they hope may justify the act in their
case, or else go far towards extenuaiong the cdmina-
Uty of it. I propose to submit to the judgment of
my readers some of the exouses for this sin, as I
I cannot he^ calling the breach of the foortii com-
mandment, which fhim time to time I have heard

I I would premise, that I know of no sin which men
,are so sorry for before it is done, and so ready to
apologise for afterwards. I oannot tdl how many
persons, about to trarel on thD Sabbath, have
answered me that they were very sorry to do it;
and yet they havo immediately gone and dcme it
They have repented and then sinned— just like
Heiod, who was sorry to put John the Baptist to
death, and then immediately sent an executioner to
bctog his head. It does not Htmintah the criminality
I * irCne, Llorentc, Chandler.

of an act that it is perpetrated with some degree of
regret; and yet the presence of such a regret is con-
sidered by many as quite a tolerable excuse.

One gentleman who was sony to travel on the
Sabbath, added, I recollect, that it was against his
principles to make use of the day. I wondered then
that he should do it^-that he should deliberately
practise in opposition to his principles. But I was
still more surprised that he should think to excuse
his practise by alleging its contrariety to his prind- '
pies. What are principles for, but to regulate prao- '
tice ; and if they have not fixe^ss and force enoogh ;
for this, of what use are they ? A man*^ principles :
may as well be in favour of Sabbath-bieakSng as his
practice ; and certainly it constitutes a better apology I
for a practice that it is in conformity to one*s prin<
ciples, than that it is at variance with them.

Another gave pretty much the same reason for his
conduct in difierent words: **It is not my habit,**
said he, ** to travd on the Sabbath.** It was only his
act. He did not unifbnnly do it. He only occasion-
aUy did it A man must be at a loss for reasons who
alleges as an apology for travelling one Sabbath, that
he does not travel other Sabbaths. The habit of
obedience Ibrms no excuse for the act of disobedienoe.

An intelligent lady who was intending to travel on
the Sabbath, volunteered this exculpation of herself
She said she had travelled one Sabbath already since
she left home, and she supposed it was no worse to
travel on another. I sud nothing, but It did occur
to me that two sins were worse than one.

Another, and she was a lady too, said she oould
read good books by the way; and you know, ndd she,
that we can have as good thoughts in one place as iui
another. I assented, but could not help thinking
that the persons employed in conveying her might
not find their situation as farourable to devout read-
ing and meditation. This, I suppose, did not occur
to her.

Another person said that he would never com-
mence a journey on the Sabbath, but when once set
out, he could see no harm in proceeding. But I, for
my part, could not see the mighty difference between
setting out on the Sabbath, and going on on tiie
Sabbath. My perceptions were so obtuse that I
could not discern the one to be trarelling, and tiie
other to be an equiralent to rest

One person told me that he meant to start very
eariy in the morning, for he widied to occupy as
llttie of the Sabbath in travelling as possible. An-
other proposed to lie by all the middle of the day,
and proceed in the evening, and he was sure there
could be no.harm in that. Ah ! thought I, and has not
Sunday a looming and an evening impropriate to it-
self as well as any other day of the week ? Is the
morning of Sunday all one with Saturday, and the
evening no more sacred than Monday? Did God
hallow only the middle of the day ? And is the day
of rest shorter by several houw than any other day?
I nerer could see how one part of the Sabbath should
be entitied to more religious respect than another
port. It seems to me a man may as properly traiel
on the noon of the Sabbath, as in the morning or

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One person iras rery particolar to (ell me what he
meant to do after he had travelled a part of the
LordVday. He expected by about 10 or 11 o'clock
to come across a church, and he intended to go in
and worship. That, he supposed, would set all right

Another, a grave-looking personage, was travelling
on the Sabbath to reach an ecdeaiastical meeting in
season. Another, in order to fulfil an appointment
he had made to preach. These were ministers. They
pleaded the necessity of the case; but I could see no
'necessity in it. I thought the neoessiiy of keepmg
Qod^ commandments a much clearer and stronger
I case of necessity. The business of the meeting could
go on without that clergyman, or it might have been
deferred a day in waiting for him, or he might have
left home a day earlier. The appointment to preach
should not have been made, or, if made, should have
been broken.

There was one apologist who had not heard
firom home for a good while, and he was anxious to
learn about lus family. Something in their circum-
stances might require his presence. I could not sus-
tain even that apology, for I thought the Lord could
take care of his &mily without him as well as with
him^ and I did not believe they would be likely to
suffer by his resting on the Sabbath, out of respect
to God's commandment, and spending the day in im-
ploring the divine blessing on them.

Another apologist chanced to reach on Saturday
night an indifferent publio-house. He pleaded,
therefore, that it was necessary for him to proceed
on the next day, until he should arrive at better ac-
commodation. But I could not help thinking that
his b^ng comfortably accommodated, was not on the
whole so important as obedience to the decalogue.

One person thought he asked an unanswerable
question, when he begged to know why it was not
as well to be on the road, as to be lying by at a
country tavern. It occurred to me, that if his horses
had possessed the faculty of Baalam's beast, they
could have readily told him the difference, and why
the latter part of the alternative was preferable.
I There was still another person who was sure his
excuse would be sustained. He was one of a party,
who were determined to proceed on the Sabbath in
spite of his reluctance, and he had no choice but to
go on with them. Ah! had he no choice? would
they have forced him to go on? could he not have
separated from such a party ? or nught he not, if he
had been determined, have prevailed on them to rest
on the LordVday ? Suppose he had siud, mildly yet
firmly: '* My conscience forbids me to journey on the
Sabbath. You can go, but you must leave me. I
am sorry to interfere with your vrishes, but I cannot
offend God,'* is it not ten to one such a remonstrance
I would have been successful ? I cannot help suspect-
ing that the person was willing to be compelled in

I But many said that this strict keeping of the Sab-
bath was an old Puritanical notion, and this seemed
to ease their consciences somewhat I remarked,
that I thought it older than Puritanism. A Sinaitical
I notion I judged it to be, rather than Puritanical

Many Sunday travellers I met with, begged me
not to tell their pious relatives that they had travel-
led on the Sabbath. They thought if these knew it,
they would not think so well 'of them; and they
would be likely to hear of it again. No one asked
me not to tell Grod. They did not seem to care how
it affected them in his estimation. It never occurred
to them that they might hear £rom the Lord of the
Sabbath on the subjett.

I do not know any purpose which such apologies
for Sabbath-breaking serve, since they satisfy neither
God nor his people, but one, and that is not a very
valuable one. They serve only, as fiir as I can see,
to delude those who offer them. j

I love to be fair. I have been objecting lately
against the Catholics that they reduce the number ,
of the commandments to nine. I here record my |
acknowledgment, that some of us Protestants have
really but nine. The Catholics omit the second;^
some of our Protestants the fourth.


It is seldom seen that a silent grief speeds well ; for \
either a man must have strong hands of resolution to
strangle it in his bosom, or else it drives him to some
secret mischief; whereas sorrow revealed is half re- !
medied, and ever abates in the uttering. Your grief .
was wisely disclosed, and shall be as strangely an- 1
swered. I am glad of your sorrow, and shomd weep ;
for you if you did not thus mourn. Your sorrow u !
that you cannot enough grieve for your sins. Let me '
tell you that the angels themselves sing at this lamen-
tation; neither doth the earth afford anjr so sweet
music in the ears of Gt>d. This heaviness is the way ',
to joy. Worldly sorrow is worthy of pity, because it
leadeth to death; but this deserves nothmg but envy «
and gratulation. If those tears were common, heu .
would not so enlarge itself. Never nn repented of
was punished; and never any thus mourned and re- 1
p^ted not. Lo, you have done that which you :
grieve you have not done. If God required sorrow |
proportionable to the he i nousness of our sins, there \
were no end of mourning. Now, his mercy resarda \
not so much the measure, as the truth of it; and ac- *
counts us to have that which we comphdn to want; '
I never knew any truly penitent, who, in the depth .
of his remorse, was anaid of sorrowmg too much; j
nor any unrepentant, who wished to sorrow more. .
Yea, let me tell you, that this sorrow is better and I
more than that deep heaviness for sin, which you de-
sire. Many have oeen vexed with an extreme re-
morse for some sin, from the gripes of a galled con-
science, which yet never came where true repentance
grew; m whom the conscience plays at once the ac-
cuser, witness, judge, tormentor ; but an earnest grief
for the want of grief^ was never found in any but a gra- .
ciousheart. You are happy, and complain. Tell me. It
beseech you — ^this sorrow which you mourn to want,
is it a grace of the Spirit of GK>d, or not ? If not, why \
do you sorrow to want it ? If it be, O how hiwpy is it ,
to grieve for want of grace ! The CKkI of all truth
and blessedness hath said, *' Blessed are those that
hunger and thirst after righteousness; ** and with the
same breath, ** Blessed are they that mourn; for they
shall be comforted." You say you mourn— Christ ,
saith you are blessed; you say you mourn — ^Christ
saith you shall be comforted. Either now distrust
your Saviour, or else confess your h^^iness, and with
patience expect his promised consolation. What do ,
you fear? You see others sfcand like strong oaks,

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iinshftken,imTemoTed: 70a are but a reed, a feeble
' plant, toased and bowed with every wind, and with
much agitation bruised; lo, you are in tender and
. fitrourable hands, that never brake any whom their
•ins bruised— never bruised any whom temptations
had bowed. You are but flax; and your best is not
a flame, but an obscure smoke of grace. Lo, here his
Spirit is as a soft wind, not as cold water; he will
kmdle, will never quench you. The sorrow you want
is his gift: take heed lest, while you vex yourself with
dislike or the measure, you grudge at the Giver.
. Beggars may not choose. This portion he hath
vouchsafed to give you; if you have any, it was more
than he was bound to bestow; yet you say, What, no
I more ? as if you took it unkindly that he » not more
I libend. Even these holy discontentments are danger-
: ons. Desire more (so much as you can)» but repine
[ not when yon do not attain. Desire, but so as you be
free from impatience, free from unthankfulness;
j those who have tried, can say how difficult it is to
complain, with due reservation of thanks. Neither
[ know I whether is worse, to long for good things im-
patiently or not at an to desire them. The fault of
, your sorrow is rather in your conceit than in itself;
' and if indeed you mourn not enough, stay but CKkL'^
leisure, and your eyes shall run over with tears. How
. many do you see sport with their sins, yea, brag of
them ! How many that would die for want of pas-
time, if they might not sin freely, and more flreely
; talk of it ! ret so I encourage you in what you have,
as one that persuades you not to desist flrom suing for
more. It is good to be covetous of grace; and to have
our dedres herein enlarged with our reoeipts. Weep
still, and still desire to weep ; but let your tears be as
the rain in the sunshine — comfortable and hopeful;
and let not your longing savour of murmur or distrust
These tears are reserved — this hunger shall be satis-
fled— this sorrow shall be comfort^ Tliere is no-
thing betwixt God and you, but time. Prescribe not
to hu wisdom— hasten not his mercy. His grace is
enough for you— his glory shall be more than enough.

I ONCE knew a youth of sixteen, the son and hope
of pious parents, and the favourite of a large circle
of associates. He was my fHend. We went to-
gether to the school-room— to the play-ground— to
our chamber. I have seen him while listening to the
pleadings of parental £uthfulness, uiging him to im-
mediate repentance, and warning him, by a brother*s
recent grave, of the danger of delay. He listened in
flQent and respectful attention, but the alluring
pleasures of youth daxzled him, and he resolved to
leave religion for a future day.

One evening he met a circle of youthful acquaint-
ance. It was a gay drde, and a thoughtiess one.
In the midst of their mirth, his eye fell on a hymn-
book. He opened it and rcAd —

" And muit this body die.
This morUl fl'sme dccaj f
And must these active limbs of mine
I4e mouldering In the clay ? "

He laid down the book, and forgot its wamhig

Online LibraryThomas CarlyleThe Christian treasury, Volume 2 → online text (page 85 of 145)