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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 17: The state of the province after the conquest, and how the members of the Society of Jesus entered the province,   pp. 1-3


Page 2

2.


Apostle. Now the king did away with idolatry, now with sins of the flesh,
now with everything which offended the dictates of natural and divine law,
and all this without his being even a catechumen. He appeared true master
of both laws, his fervour being more by nature than by grace. But in his
fervour he did not recognise so easily that it was necessary to have first
mUch divine illumination and much experience of the character and
inclinations of the heathen. I do not wish to go further into the inner
secrets of this (? man) since one can easily deduce them from what has been
said about the good and bad inclinations throughout this Mane Province.
A short time after the padre's arrival at the port, the whole Province
already shared the flagrance of his virtues. The news of the Apostle's
fortunate arrival was spread not only by public report but also by his holy
life and heavenly teaching.   The savage perceived the odour, he followed
it
with great astonishment, he saw the saintly pilgrim, he listened to him,
and
the harmony of his divine words so touched him and appealed to him that he
was completely overcome.   What need be said of the signs of spiritual
happiness manifested by the savage when he saw a portrait of the Saviourts
mother?  The padre brought her as his prisoner in the best sense, as a sure
guide and explorer of the roughland and wastes of infidelity, confident
that shezwould open doors and take possession, to provide for the adoration
of the true God.   The signs were so multiplied in all the kingdoms that
the
savage, after being penetrated by the deep force of holy inspiration, did
not know where to receive the divine ambassador or when he would be bathed
in the holy waters (of baptism), as he himself said. He did not wish to
lose the happy opportunity, while recognising himself unworthy of such a
good.  Already people had begun to plead (to the padre) and the king made
himself the chief of these. Already he said to himself, "Who has sent
the
Padre to my lands?    Who made him stay in my ports first?   I must go to
him
I will beg him to cure me". Holy words, yet I dfr1. not knowk whether,
here in
Ethiopia and in view of its character>they.came from the Holy Spirit or
from
that famous idol which is surrounded by the ignorant in serras and at courts,
that is, self-interest, so artful (a deceiver). /f.92/ So spoke Bure, who,
even if he was deceiving the padre, could not conceal his most secret
thoughts from that Lord who is the true overseer of all such and the divine
miner (who penetrates the depths) of our souls. Whatever a man may say,
however he may behave, to whatever extent he pretends to be holy, even if
he disguises himself to the maximum of his ability, the curtain which he
employs to hide his true image cannot possibly cover it so completely that
it prevents the All-Powerful from drawing it aside whenever Htwishes.


 


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