Mother of All Censors,. Strong Voice For All, Common Good For All

“No one shall print, write, copy, keep, conceal, sell, buy, or give in churches, streets, or other places, any book or writing made by Martin Luther, John Ecolampadius, Ulrich Zwinglius, Martin Bucer, John Calvin, or other heretics reprobated by the holy church; … nor break, or otherwise injure the images of the Holy Virgin or canonized saints; … nor in his house hold conventicles, or illegal gatherings, or be present at any such in which the adherents of the above-mentioned heretics teach, baptize, and form conspiracies against the holy church and the general welfare…. Moreover, we forbid all persons to converse or dispute concerning the Holy Scriptures, openly or secretly, especially on any doubtful or difficult matters, or to read, teach, or expound the Scriptures unless they have duly studied theology, and been approved by some renowned university; … or to preach secretly, or openly, or to entertain any of the opinions of the above-mentioned heretics; … on pain, should any be found to have contravened any of the points above mentioned, as perturbers of the state and of the general quiet, to be punished in the following manner: that such perturbators of the general quiet are to be executed; to wit, the men with the sword, and the women to be buried alive, if they do not persist in their errors; if they do persist in them, then they are to be executed with fire; all their property in both cases to be confiscated to the crown.”

Immediately after the accession of Philip, the terrible edict of 1550 was re-enacted. From this notable document an idea of Spain’s methods of governing her colonies may be gathered:—

“No one shall print, write, copy, keep, conceal, sell, buy, or give in churches, streets, or other places, any book or writing made by Martin Luther, John Ecolampadius, Ulrich Zwinglius, Martin Bucer, John Calvin, or other heretics reprobated by the holy church; … nor break, or otherwise injure the images of the Holy Virgin or canonized saints; … nor in his house hold conventicles, or illegal gatherings, or be present at any such in which the adherents of the above-mentioned heretics teach, baptize, and form conspiracies against the holy church and the general welfare…. Moreover, we forbid all persons to converse or dispute concerning the Holy Scriptures, openly or secretly, especially on any doubtful or difficult matters, or to read, teach, or expound the Scriptures unless they have duly studied theology, and been approved by some renowned university; … or to preach secretly, or openly, or to entertain any of the opinions of the above-mentioned heretics; … on pain, should any be found to have contravened any of the points above mentioned, as perturbers of the state and of the general quiet, to be punished in the following manner: that such perturbators of the general quiet are to be executed; to wit, the men with the sword, and the women to be buried alive, if they do not persist in their errors; if they do persist in them, then they are to be executed with fire; all their property in both cases to be confiscated to the crown.”



“Thus, the clemency of the sovereign permitted the repentant heretic to be beheaded or buried alive, instead of being burned.”

All who in any way helped the heretic were in danger of, and liable to, the same punishment; for said the decree:—

“We forbid all persons to lodge, entertain, furnish with food, fire, or clothing, or otherwise to favor any one holden or notoriously suspected of being a heretic; … and any one failing to denounce any such, we ordain shall be liable to the above-mentioned punishments.” The edict went on to provide “that if any person, being not convicted of heresy or error, but greatly suspected thereof, and therefore condemned by the spiritual judge to abjure such heresy, or by the secular magistrate to make public fine or reparation, shall again become suspected or tainted with heresy-although it should not appear that he has contravened or violated any one of our abovementioned commands-nevertheless we do will and ordain that such person shall be considered as relapsed, and, as such, be punished with loss of life and property, without any hope of moderation or mitigation of the above-mentioned penalties.”

Author: Adventist Angels Watchman Radio

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