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

Chapter 7: Aptitudes of these heathen, and their superstitious rites and ceremonies,   pp. 1-14

Page 4

of the heathen bestows on them. The Portuguese and men of all other kinds
who live a permissive life of corrupt morals here make a point of
'employing these (respected) names for the fathers and brothers of the
'women whom they keep as nominal servants, to the damnation of their own
souls./f.25v/   This polite and politic language conceals another
description as shocking to a true Christian as the behaviour is unworthy
of him. (e) But though they want to present their behaviour in a good
light for the eyes of the world, by excusing themselves in terms of their
need to have their households looked after, this never succeeds in the
eyes of God; instead it is only the seal hanging from the writ of their
eternal condemnation.(f
This shows us the area of opportunities created by the presence of
-these servants, and this common practice causes so much disgust among those
who fear the Lord that they are scandalized when they hear these terms, on
account of the discredit their use in this way throws on the holy sacrament,
both among the savages and among those who are descended from them and from
Portuguese blood. Although the latter have been brought up in the
Christian religion, their attachment is wavering, because just as their
Portuguese ancestor came from outside so does their attachment in matters
of faith, and they commonly drift back to their primary principles. And
this breeds in the heathen a thousand causes of disorder and total
confusion.  First, these gentry can sell these women if they commit adultery),
(e) "Per vos non blasphematur nomen Dei !    E"For the name of
God is
blasphemed ... through you ... ",Romans 2:24_7  Through these in-laws
and these bad Christians who by their heathen practices may be named
(f) Mel.Scandalo Exod.,25. He who makes a well and does not cover it must
pay up if a donkey falls in. How many souls fall because of those who
set a bad example !
(g) The Banhus can (even) sell servant girls because of maleficio
(evil spells).


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