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most celebrated for veracity, who have written on that important subject.
The works already published on the Inquisition, are very elaborate and circumstantial, extending to a bulk which prevents portability, and must hence considerably curtail their utility; on this principle therefore, it was considered, that the History of the Inquisition, as written by Limborch, Dellon, Martin, Gavan, and others, (from which this has been extracted) would suffer abridgment without injury.
Much of the antiquated style has been modernized, and the major part rewritten. It is peculiarly adapted to the general reader, as it happily steers a middle course between unsatisfying brevity, and prolix diffusion. While every thing that is important is retained, much that is merely calculated to satisfy vain and idle speculation is omitted.
June 10th, 1'814.
While the Lord Jesus Christ was on earth with his disciples, he frequently told them, that his kingdom was not of this world, and that all they had to expect from men was persecution; but they did not, till after his ascension, understand the meaning of what he told them. The Christian religion increased
proportion to the opposition it met with from men, nor was the whole force of the Roman Empire able to crush it, much less to abolish it totally. During
the space of 300 years it grew under persecution, and it was common for the heathens to say of the christians: “ See how they love each other.”. And this loye continued while they suffered persecution ; but here, let us mark the change.
Having received rich livings from the emperor Constantine the Great; the bishops, with the rest of the clergy, met together in synods, and composed creeds, which they sought to impose upon their brethren. And although some of these creeds did not contain any thing contrary to the fundamental articles of the christian religion, yet as they were no more than human compositions, consequently many pious men refused to subscribe them. This created much dissention in the church, for the bishops wrote against each other, and, as many heresies sprung up about the same time, the primitive spirit of charity was lost. But still they did not think of calling in the aid of the civil power, to assist them in punishing those who differed from them in opinion. It is true, they began very soon afterwards to look towards the civil power, but it does not appear that any of the emperors made sanguinary laws against those called hereties before Justinian, about the middle of the sixth century, but trifling indeed were those laws with what we are going to mention.
Pope Innocent III. in his zeal for the infallibility of the catholic church, being desirous to extirpate all those who began to think freely, and to treat the see of Rome with indifference, declared open war against the Albigenses and Waldenses, famous for first lighting the pure flame of reformation in the church, This was followed by the establishment of the Inquisition, which completed the destruction of that unhappy people, and which was founded under the direction of Dominic, on whom the title of Saint was afterwards bestowed.
Innocent, reflecting that however great and overwhelming the force might be, which was employed openly against them, still vast numbers would carry on the worship of their God, according to their creed in private, thought it necessary, for the better securing the erroneous principles of infallibility, which the church had claimed to herself, to establish a standing and perpetual remedy, by erecting a tribunal, composed of such persons, as should be selected by the pope, and whose sole employment should be the searching after, and punishing all such as were suspected of heresy.-This tribunal was called the Inquisition
This formidable tribunal gained much strength in a short time, for all Spain and Portugal received it, and it was established in every city in Italy, except Naples : it was afterwards established in Flanders, and the duke d'Alva attempted to establish it in Holland, which