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voice and a scolding tongue, having a rugged coat on her back, a skull-cap on her head, a spindle in her hand, and a dog or cat by her side."
A witch is one who has entered into a covenant with Satan on certain conditions, namely, he undertakes to serve her in one point or in many, provided she puts her soul into his power. This is the essence of witchcraft. With the conceptions entertained of my despotism and my resources, the prevalence of compacts of this nature put the world into my hands to use and abuse at my pleasure. What, then, is such an agreement but a denial of Heaven and the Church? Heaven and the Church accordingly are against the contracting parties, who are guilty of high treason, terrestrial and celestial. But the celestial power has delegated its juridical functions to the sacerdotal, and the sacerdotal, wielding that awful authority, feels the need of a ruthless system of criminal jurisprudence, else its own interests and the interests of heaven will pass into my hands. Hence war to the knife between the Church and Satan. Aware of the extreme magnitude of the issue, the Church deliberately and carefully prepares for the conflict. What better could it do than assume the shield of Scripture, one word of which was known to possess power to put me to flight? Accordingly, Moses is brought on the field, and heard to declare that witches and wizards, being abominations in the sight of God, must be extirpated by the Church, God's representative (Deut. xviii. 10, seq.). Here was unquestionable and unquestioned authority for a holy war against witchcraft. But where are the legions, officers and men, who will implicitly receive and faithfully obey the orders of the supreme pontiff, the god on earth, whose throne is on the seven hills? The Dominicans and the Inquisition come into existence at the Pope's command for the purpose. The army is organized and fully equipped for the war; the enemy is exactly described his crimes and his punishments. And the dogs of war are let loose, rabid with ecclesiastical fury and begirt with irresistible civil power. The war, which has
PAPAL CRUSADE AGAINST WITCHCRAFT.
scarcely ended yet, went on for many centuries with increasing rage and ruin. Of all the wickedness and folly which humanity has committed, none equals this deadly crusade in terror and desolation. Yet none so groundless. The whole, from first to last, was a huge and frightful delusion. So barefaced is the deception on all sides, that everywhere beyond the darkest spots of papal darkness and despotism, the very name of witch, once so terrible, is now an object of contempt, scorn or derision. What, then, are the factors of this huge and devastating imposture? The Pope on one side, Satan on the other, and debased and down-trodden humanity in the midst. It is fair to judge potentates by the manifest effects of their rule. Look, then, on man as blinded, manacled, fettered, wounded and bruised by the papacy in conflict with me; and, having looked on the poor victim again and again, give your verdict and pronounce your judgment. You find the papacy guilty of high treason against God and man, and write this writing (Dan. v. 25):
MENE, MENEL, TEKEL, UPHARSIN :
GOD HATH NUMBERED THY KINGDOM AND FINISHED IT.
When the papacy is no more, then will the religion of Jesus reign and rule, and then too will my empire vanish with that which, if not its origin, has been its principal support. Sacerdotalism and kingcraft no more, mankind will have reached its ideal, and in doing so made my rule no longer a possibility. A thoroughly trained and fully developed race of men will no more be accessible to the illusion of Satanical possession, than the ordinary ploughman is now afraid of ghosts or hobgoblins. This most desirable result is
doubtless far, perhaps very far distant; but who can look from the pure, serene and wholesome air of the present back into the atmosphere of the middle ages, odorous with sulphur, lurid with flame, disturbed with demons, and laden and darkened with priests, without feeling assured that a few more centuries of continued, if not accelerated progress, will have
SAVONAROLA DENOUNCES THE PAPACY,
left far in the rear the principal tormentors of human beings in their actual condition? Certainly, the moment I see the retiring shadow of sacerdotalism, I shall make my bow and quit the stage. Where the priest is not, I cannot live; and where I do not live, the priest must die.
MY CONNECTION, THROUGH ASTROLOGY, MAGIC, &C., WITH THE
HIGHEST FUNCTIONARIES IN CHURCH AND STATE.
CONSTANTINOPLE has fallen, and in its fall sent scholars into various parts of the West, every one of whom is a torchbearer. The revival of letters is at hand. Printing is discovered, and the people can no longer be kept in the dark. A new era, I feel, is approaching.
Jerome Savonarola lifts his powerful voice, and moves the multitudes as the tempest tosses the ocean. One object on which he pours forth his impassioned oratory is the papacy, then represented by the sovereign pontiff Alexander VI. Roderic Borgia, born in 1431 at Valencia in Spain, got himself appointed Pope in 1492, after purchasing the votes of several cardinals. Dissipated in his youth, he had by a Roman lady named Vanozza four sons, the most known of whom is Cæsar Borgia, notorious for his crimes and perfidies, which, however, did not disqualify him for the highest ecclesiastical dignities. Another of Alexander's natural children was Lucretia Borgia, celebrated for her beauty, her wit and her vice. Her father, Roderic Borgia, whose papal name was Alexander, played an important part in the politics of his day. After having waged an unsuccessful war against Charles VIII., king of France, he formed a close alliance with Louis XII., his successor (1498-1515). Aided by this connection, he succeeded in despoiling the princes who were his neigh
AND SUFFERS MARTYRDOM.
bours, and in augmenting the temporal power of the Holy See. "To satisfy his ambition," says a high authority,* "he trod under foot divine and human laws, and did not fear to have recourse to perfidy, and perhaps even poison. He died in 1503, poisoned, it is said, by drinking a draught he had prepared for one of his victims." The state of society over which such a man could have been the spiritual head must have been very depraved. This single fact explains the appearance of the Dominican monk Savonarola, who, as with "the voice of an archangel and the trump of God," uttered his terrible rebukes against the vices of the Pope and the vices of the world, foretelling the greatest calamities to Italy, and the reform of the Church by the sword of Charles VIII. "Woe to thee, Rome!" he exclaimed; "woe to thee, Florence! I see the Alps covered with clouds of barbarians, who rush down on Italy like eagles on their prey. What blood, great God! what blood in the streets of the cities! Satan is the prince of the air, and God grants him permission to use his power to harden those who insult him by crimes so monstrous. I hear the voice of the grave-digger, who cries as he goes, Who has any to bury? who has any to bury?' This one brings him his father, that one his wife, a third his son. O Italy, array thyself in mourning weeds!"
Savonarola poured forth the indignation he felt at seeing pagan art revive in Rome and Italy under all forms. He endeavoured to create a Christian art. He founded schools of art, encouraged artists, aimed at a radical reform, expecting from it the best results in favour of religion. His genius was equal to so serious a task; but he reckoned too much on the support of an enervated and impressionable people. His boldness aroused his enemies. He was thrown into prison. He suffered martyrdom (1498), and multitudes stood by in total indifference. What else could be expected in an age which endured the turpitude of Pope Alexander VI.? This event
* Dictionnaire Universel d'Histoire, par M. N. Bouillet, Proviseur du Collége Bourbon.
PREVALENCE OF SATANISM.
calls forth from a Roman Catholic authority these words: "Satan triumphed; the revival of letters, turned aside from its proper direction, remained pagan." In one sense this is true. I did triumph in thus supporting "that man of iniquity." Looking back upon the event, I am grieved beyond measure. O yes; do not be astonished. I have moved with my age; and I cannot regard things now in this nineteenth century as I regarded them in the fifteenth. And yet in reporting to you my Autobiography, I ought to report the state of mind I felt at every successive stage of my very lengthened life.
Give a specially attentive ear, excellent and patient Theophilus, while in fast ascending to the throne of this lower world, I subjoin a few sketches illustrative of the hold I had during the fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth centuries on the hearts and lives of the highest individuals in the highest ranks of society. The shadows will be very deep. Deeper might they be easily made; but frowning and disgraceful as they are, they describe not my influence alone, but that of the Church and of the State. After all, how can words paint the horrible evils which Satanism, in the shape of astrology, magic and other black arts, inflicted on high as well as low, on the learned as well as the ignorant, on men, women and children, in all classes and conditions? Justice to the subject my words cannot do; but they may exercise some influence to induce you, my pupil, and others alike pure, simple-minded, benevolent and earnest, to strive to the utmost for the extinction of this Satanical hydra.
About the year 1370, the wise Charles V. founded in Paris the College de Notre-Dame de Bayeux, the direction of which he entrusted to Gervais Chrétien, who is described as a canon as well as "head physician and astrologer in his majesty's pay." Other astrologers were in favour in his court. André de Sully cast the horoscope of Charles VI., the Duke of Orleans and Duke John of Burgundy.
In imitation of the king, princely houses and great per