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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 10

The science of material things now fills not only the cities but 'h     
towns, the hills, (even) the barren places. In our day there is no
ignorance anywhere. The most savage natives of Ethiopia can account for
the sky and the earth. No-one who hears me can deny this: I have tested
the matter this very moment. I saw an idolater and heard from him deep
theology. "The Most High holds all in his hand, life, death, health,
riches, honour". How then does it come about that He is despised, that
men deny Him, that men sell Him each day in the market place of the world
for less than did Judas? How can this be? Do you wish to know? It is
because God has entered into the understanding, into the porch of the Temple
of Solomon. You will see another man ask the number of the tribe of Israel,
and when and why God scattered them, and where they went, and which tribe
he brought out of Egypt. You will see the theologian speak of the marvels
of the All Powerful, and discuss with great subtlety of exposition and a
thousand different arguments the divine attributes- and the ineffable
procession of divine persons. You will see the canonist memorise /f.llSv/
a computerful of decisions and decrees of the sacred councils.    You will
see the jurist full to the brim with his own code, his Infortiato, his ff.,
his extravagances, etc. Here God enters the courtyard of the soul, the
understanding and the memory. Seek out the doctor or anatomist, search
through all civil states, it seems that malice has made its stronghold in
the poor soul! You will see it enthroned here in aU majesty in the city-
dweller, in the townsman, in the learned and in the ignorant. This is the
enemy that destroys all, because it has an urge to do this. With this
weapon alone, in the same way as if it had an armoury of weapons, it has
no fear of being deprived of its unjust possession. But this is enough for
those who wanted to know, and it forms a suitable conclusion for chapter


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