History, 1838–1856, volume E-1 [1 July 1843–30 April 1844]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 1742
<​October 1​> penalties prescribed in the Edicts of the Holy Inquisition.”
Why the Jews have been thus selected as the victims of their hellish wrath, is difficult for us to determine. We cannot account for it upon any other principle than that of legalized plunder— such as has been too frequently practised upon them by most of the courts of Europe.— It is thus that their property, in the second section, is not ostensibly confiscated; but it is virtually so, as it places them in the power of their enemies, if they cannot find purchasers for their property, which is very unlikely when they are placed under these severe, inhuman restrictions. “The property must be disposed of within three months, whether in town or country, permanent or moveable, or rents, or interest or any rights involving shares in funded property.” And if there are no buyers, what then? “The Holy office (rather say holy devils) is to sell the same by public auction.”
We are led to ask, is this christianity? Are these the followers of the meek and lowly Jesus? Is this the conduct of a church which professes to be the only true church? purely apostolic? Oh shame! where is thy blush?— The heart sickens at the contemplation. Only think of thousands of men, women and children, being dispossessed of their inheritance— robbed of their property— rendered houseless and homeless, and destined to wander about as vagrants and exiles, through the tyranny, rapacity and thirst for plunder, which is evidently manifested by these infernals of the Holy order. We had hoped that those days of horrid barbarity were gone by and that even the Roman church would not have attempted to revive them: and still less did we imagine that the edicts of the Holy Inquisition would ever have disgraced the footstool of God. What if the governments of , , Russia, Prussia, Norway, Sweden, and other powers, were to exercise the same spirit of intolerance towards the professors of the Catholic religion? Would they like to have meted to them the same measure which they give to others? We know that there was great dissatisfaction manifested by the Catholics of and Ireland during the existence of the Test act. They made long and loud complaints against the injustice, tyranny and oppression of that instrument; and no one felt more indignant than ourselves at such illiberal proceedings— but we must confess that in this instance they have “out-Heroded Herod” a thousand times.— What would the Irish Catholics have thought had the British Government dealt with them as their great Pontificate has dealt with the poor Jews? How much misery, how much distress would not such a step create among them?
We cannot but feel indignant at such proceedings: and as the conductors of public journals, feel ourselves in duty bound to express our feelings. We heartily despise oppression in every shape; and if the European courts do not take sufficient notice of such proceedings as to frown down, indignantly, upon the perpetrators of those inhuman deeds, and awe them into a respect sufficient to ameliorate the condition of their victims, we shall, at least, have had the satisfaction of entering our protest against the proceedings of those heartless wretches, who would make a pretext of religion to plunder the inoffensive, and put in force these inhuman, savage edicts, merely because they have them in their power. [p. 1742]
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