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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 25: The state of Christianity in the Serra,   pp. 1-10

Page 5

soul with the sacrament of confession and who sought to obtain cola and
tobacco from his vicar. Who would not be fearful(for such a man), knowing
that for thirty years he had not (been confessed) and would thereafter die
a heretic and in total misfortune?()I shall not go on (with the list). With
such wicked allies, what can be hoped for from conversions, seeing that
what makes them increase more than anything else is a good example? With
such bad seed, such tares, what corn could survive w-ithout the arm of the
Almighty? With such winds, in such weather, what torches, even those most
carefully lit, could remain alight without the hand of the Lord to shelter
them and protect them?
This is the second source(of evil) which I promised to discuss, a
-source from which evil flows so copiously not only in the places mentioned
but here in our Serra, where naturally the force of its currents is stronger
inasmuch as they are further away from what might turn them aside and direct
them to other regions. But the Lord always comes forward with remedies;
and will wound, in order to heal, those whitened sepulchres. However this
epithet does not (really) fit them since they do not even attempt to be
hypocritical. Evil has no mask here, as is always the case where it is
tolerated and finds itself feared, and where it is scourged only by the
heavens. To see a man(J) of sixty who has spent forty years in Guinea
completely crippled, and his body so covered with scars of numerous wounds
he looks like a wall full of holes in which birds might nest and lay their
eggs, this would astonish anyone.
When he came to confess before me, not having done so since he confessed
before Father Barreira seven years earlier, I asked him about the profit
had gained from life; and he could give me no response other /f.113v/ than
the signs of great grief.    What shall I say about Jorge Fernandes Gramaio?(k)
(i) "And he clothed himself with cursing like as with his garments,
so let
it come into his bowels like water, and like oil into his bones"
rPsalm    109:18]7
j)   Lucas Vaz, a native of Lisbon.
k)   The punishment of Jorge Fernandes Gramaio.


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