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Alvares, Manuel, 1526-1583, et al. / Ethiopia Minor and a geographical account of the Province of Sierra Leone : (c. 1615)
(1990)

Chapter 18: The apostle catechises the king and instructs him in the matters of our holy faith


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Chapter 18
The apostle catechises the king and instructs him in the matters of our
holy faith
No heathen, whether savage or Moor, is harder to convert than the one,
who when confronted, lacks the weapons of rationality a) Hence, in matters
of faith and the Christian religion, one must believe that he who possesses
these weapons is always better placed to attain to the hope of advancing
to
the heights of Goodness and qrace~b) From lack of these weapons it comes
about that the Moor and the Turk resist with the sword the light of the
Gospel and keep to the dark doctrines of their barbarous sect; that the
heretics, with their pride and fleshly licence, extend so widely the
abominable vice; and lastly, that the Jews, who in ancient times did not
believe unless they had miracles, in order to justify their refusal to
believe at the present time can only shelter behind the unbelief and blind-
ness of their fathers and their ancestors. To this last group of unbelio'vers
I compare the idolatry of Ethiopia and its peoples. In everything they
follow the example of their forefathers, so that, just as all of them are
one in the flesh and in understanding, equally so they consider themselves
obliged to conform to the same pattern and to copy each other in their
beliefs. Although miracles have considerable weight with them as arguments
for Divine Power, example always prevails. Everything they have in abund-
ance, except the curiosity to learn about heavenly things. Let us supply
them with the necessary instruction which, as it is about the principles
of
our holy faith, can be a great consolation to all of them, and for some of
them a remedy against the importunities of the enemy, who, as Prince of
Darkness, attempts without scruple to lead them astray in everything.
Proceeding thus and sustained by the divine favour, we gradually disperse
the darkness of understanding of this people, by correcting their nonsens-
ical beliefs about the other life. Now let us speak about the Author of Life.
The rest of this chapter, and all chapters 19 and 20, represents a general
exposition of Christian doctrines, lacking any specific references to
Guinea and is therefore not translated. 16 -     Ia~r.o  s      «v
 f gb3.
(a) Teaching of Father Lucena of the Society. Dispositio ( ? testament)
of Father Manuel Alvares of the Society, 1612.
(b) Chapters 18 - 20.


 


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